A/N: Hey guys, this is my first attempt at writing fanfiction, and I swear I'm really excited about it. English isn't my first language and the story isn't beta-ed.

Hope you enjoy. Constructive criticism greatly appreciated.

Longing for warmth

The first signs of the setting dusk already threatened to drive away the daylight. Shreds of clouds in various shades of gray were racing dangerously fast across the gloomy sky, while the almost ever present, all soaking Seattle drizzle had given way to a whirling autumn wind that furiously pushed leaves, papers and garbage around. And it almost seemed as if the clouds were busy enough, chasing themselves and therefore hadn't the time to take care of wringing out the humid air masses.

It wasn't very late yet, but almost everywhere the windows of the still inhabited buildings were illuminated with more or less bright light. Everybody tried to lock out the uncomfortable gray that dominated the broken city; everybody seemed to long for a little bit of warmth.

Max felt the wind run through her hair, messing it up in a wild whirl and knocking wet strands into her face, till the storm suddenly paused for a moment, just to drag at her clothes with newly aroused fury shortly after.

A big yellow-brown leaf was dancing past her; it was pushed up helplessly by a gust, only to be dropped again. The leaf moved down toward the earth surface, spinning violently and was grasped by the next gust of wind, staggering, inclined in an odd angle, into a completely different direction.

Max stared spellbound at the leaf.

Her expressive, dark brown eyes reflected the clouded-stormy evening sky, and although she defied the forces of nature, that had gotten completely out of hand, absolutely motionless, it seemed as if a furious battle was raging inside her too.

God, it's pathetic – I feel like this damn yellow leaf that sails powerlessly through the storm. My life removes itself from my control. It seems as if it's little by little getting more complicated, yet everything had been so simple – since my escape from Manticore.

I had to take care of myself and the search of my siblings and of nothing else. What's strange people got to do with me? Covering my own ass was hard enough, right? Vanishing from the radar of a secret government agency was a fulltime job after all. That's why staying in control had always been first priority, and emotions were nothing but weakness; a weakness that would get you in danger some time.

And now Logan plunged into this excuse of a life I led – turning everything upside down, and for the first time in my life I've got the feeling, something's pulling me almost magically to a person, and no matter how much I struggle against that, I can't let go of him.

But I know I'm nothing but trouble for him.

Hey ... he is Logan Cale – of The Cales ... and by the way the widows, orphans and ran away dogs protecting Eyes Only ... Blah, blah, wuff, wuff ... .

And what am I ... who am I?

Max Guevera – a genetically engineered super-soldier – designation: X5 452, created in a test tube, hunted by people that stick at nothing, absolutely nothing to reach their aims. And they're getting closer and closer – seven encounters in the last six month, and every time it's getting harder to slip away.

Hey, after all it was Lydecker who taught us all those escape and evade techniques, and it just might be a matter of time till he sees through me.

Do I have the right to pull Logan into this mess? ... Certainly not.

Okay, my revved up Manticore blood has saved his life – but at which cost?

God Zack – pain in the ass, big brother. How could you do something like that? Why did you sacrifice yourself for me? You've been the one that told me over and over again that emotions would get me killed some day. How am I supposed to live with the knowledge that you gave up your freedom for me. You ignored your training, let your judgement be clouded by emotions and jeopardized your mission. ... No! ... – You abandoned your mission ... to protect ME.

... Damn – I know you're out there ... somewhere.

But if Lydecker still has you in his greasy clutches, the others are in terrible danger, and there's no possibility for me to warn them. If only I could do something – anything.

Salty liquid was gathering rapidly in the corner of her eye and then cascaded as a big drop down her cheek.

The yellow-brown leaf had disappeared long ago, and the wind swept with new, impetuous force over the Space Needle, threatening to carry her along.

But she was strong.

And then completely unexpected the wind died down. It was quiet now, eerie quiet, till the first raindrops fell onto the roof of the Space Needle and mingled on her face with her hot tears.

Max shook her head in annoyance, when the intensity of the rain increased. Her hair already stuck to her skull in dark waves when she gracefully jumped to her feet.

She was able to endure a lot, but hey, even an X5 had certain limits.

Hmmm ... what would I do for one of Logan's culinary miracles right now, served with California Cabernet Sauvignon. The enticing image of hot, steaming pasta, two elegant, wine-filled glasses and a penthouse apartment bathed in warm candlelight hovered through her mind, while her glance shifted almost longingly to the high-rise district in sector 9.

A soft smile crept completely unnoticed onto her lips.

She turned around and disappeared through a shattered window inside the Space Needle, and the genetically engineered super-soldier inside her didn't sense that her dark brown eyes were suddenly gleaming with warmth.

- The End. -