A/N: So, sorry it took me so long to update. I've been busy with other things; it's a surprise! Ok, so, I hope you like this. This chapter was betaed by Miss Aileen (THANK YOU AGAIN!!). And thanks to every single person who reviewed!!! You guys make my day every time you reply!!

There's only one more chapter to go... :D


Chapter 19: Freak Nation II

Alec didn't understand what she was talking about. He immediately signaled Dalton, who signaled back. The coast was clear.

'They're coming. Carry Gem,' she told Cindy. 'Come on, let's go!'

'I don't hear anything,' Mole informed her, as he made good use of his genetically engineered and well trained ears.

'Shah! Joshua, you carry Gem,' Max instructed, not paying attention to Mole.

'Max, we're clear,' Alec told her. He was starting to think she might have lost it.

'Don't argue with me,' Max answered tightly, although she stopped a moment to look at Alec. He saw in her eyes the truth of her words. She really believed it, and he had believed in her since the moment he met her. He could feel what she was feeling; he suddenly knew what was going on inside her head.

'Familiars?' he whispered.

She simply nodded. The simple thought brought fear to her heart. The familiars were attacking, this was it; they knew this was coming, but it hadn't been real until now. There was always the possibility they were mistaken. And although some of them would probably not make it, maybe Mole, maybe Joshua, anyone she cared about, all she could think about right now was Alec, and only Alec. She wanted to kiss him, she was afraid she wouldn't have the chance later, but she had to keep her head in the game, just like Alec.

Just don't die on me.

'Dalton, let's go. Come on. I need everybody upstairs right now. Let's go. Follow me.'


UPSTAIRS - JAMPONY

Max ordered the messengers to hide at the back of the place. It was untidy, dusty and there were mannequins everywhere, as well as shelves and, basically, a lot of junk Normal kept up there for some reason. She wondered what the hell he did with so many mannequins.

She placed Gem, who was already in labor, in a small office next to where the messengers where hiding; Joshua was carrying her, and Cindy, Dalton and Normal were right behind them, as they were assisting with her delivery.

'Logan,' she said once Gem was secured behind an old desk. 'I want you at the back, with the messengers.'

'What?,' was all he could say.

'We're being attacked by familiars, Logan. This'll be dangerous, for you and for everybody; including ourselves.'

It wasn't lost on Logan the way Max referred to her and the rest of the transgenics. It suddenly hit him that Max was one of them, really, and he just didn't belong there, although he felt insulted; he had Joshua's blood running through his veins and he was using his exoskeleton. He could help.

'Help the guys at the back, keep them quiet and keep them low.'

He nodded, although he didn't agree. Max turned around, but he held her shoulder. As she turned around, he looked at her, knowing and understanding now who she was and what she was; all the romantic notions he'd had about Max being different were gone, not by his own choice but hers. He still loved her and respected her; he just wished he could kiss her right now.

'Take my gun,' he spoke softly. 'Maybe Cece can use it.'

She took the gun, nodding at him. She appreciated Logan's help, all the support he'd always given her, but now was not the time for "thank you"s or chick flick moments.

She saw Cece position herself behind a beaten desk, placed against a glass window. As Max caught Cece's attention she threw the gun at her, and Cece, with transgenic reflexes, caught it with no problem.

She heard an explosion, followed by many gunshots. They were in. She saw Alec and Mole rush through the door; Alec closed it behind him, and they both moved towards the columns on both sides of Max, as she commanded them to take cover.

Alec and Mole were out of ammo, but Cece's gun, Logan's, still had some.

'Wait for my signal. We hit hard, we hit fast and we don't back off. This is for all the marbles people.'

They heard a window glass break, their ears picking every single move. They heard the familiars touch the ground with trained silence. They moved slowly around, searching the place.

Max signaled with her hands to each of them; they all gave thumbs up in response.

One of the Familiars opened the door and White and another soldier entered. The Phalanx and White passed by the columns but the transgenics were no longer there; as soon as they did that, Mole, Max and Alec fell from the ceiling, taking them by surprise. Cece stood up and fired Logan's gun, and she made good use of all the bullets left. Two hit the Familiar's chest, which was definitely bulletproof (either because he was wearing a vest or because they were freaky like that), two to the right arm and one to the right thigh. Max had already told her what these people were made of, so she knew her opponent would not feel any pain whatsoever; she just hoped the loss of blood would help bringing him down.

Max was the first one to fall, surprising the three Phalanxes; Mole was next, and Alec fell last. Although his arm ached, he managed to hold the Phalanx's weapon, and use it against her. The helmet was lost in the fight and a long, black braid dangled from her head. The woman was strong, a fact Alec didn't find amusing or surprising. He heard shooting from his right, then shooting from his left. The Familiar put up a fight and got control of the situation. She pushed Alec against one of inner glass windows, and they both fell on the other side of the wall. He fell hard on the floor, her weight on him as well as his; her torso fell on his injured shoulder causing Alec to gasp in pain, and loosen his grip on the woman.

She took that chance to get on top of Alec and immobilize him, although it seemed to be a hard task. He delivered a punch for every punch he received, and tried to get her away from him, but that, as well, seemed a hard task.

The familiar Cece had shot at fell to the ground, giving the X5 the time needed to jump through the glass towards him, but the man had been ready, for he kicked Cece's small frame in mid air, making her land right next to him. She rolled away and stood up gracefully just like the man. They circled each other until the Familiar made the first move. His fist seemed to be made of bricks; she'd never fought someone quite like him, but she wasn't scared. Worried, yes; but never scared.

The Phalanx Max got to fight with was a red haired, big woman, who seemed more a man than anything else. "452," she had said, trying to make a dramatic introduction, but all she got from Max was a sassy, annoyed "just bring it".

The woman was strong and fast. She fought dirty just like Max, which meant she would have to bring out her best moves.

Once Alec managed to get the bitch off of him, she attacked him with the first thing she found, which was one of the mannequins. Alec ducked immediately, and landed a few punches on her face, but she held on his arm, connecting her knee with his guts, and then she threw both of them through, yet, another window, landing on a table.

The dark haired Familiar tried to land a punch on his face but Alec stopped it, and with all the strength from his spine he knocked her nose bridge with his forehead. She landed on her back; Alec, for the first time since the fight had started, took a breath as the woman tried to clear her face of all the blood that kept gushing from her nose, and he kicked her in the guts, leaving her breathless. They might not feel pain, but they still needed breathing to fight back. She tangled her legs with Alec's, and he fell as well, not so far from where she was.

Cece kept fighting back, although the man was much stronger than she was. She was on top of him, punching his not so pretty little face again and again, hoping to break his jaw, when he saw the red stain on her right arm and adventured his hand and fingers towards the wound. He stuck a finger inside Cece's injury, making her scream from pain, and applied even more pressure until he saw his opportunity and took it. He punched her face hard, and Cece fell to her side. She got up immediately, ignoring the burning running through her entire right arm, but he had gotten up first. He grabbed her by her short, blonde hair and rushed her into a wall, in order to squash her head against the brick wall; she knew what was coming, and she also knew the Familiar thought this was it. He thought a little pain would make her weak. How little did they know about transgenics, she thought with a smirk on her face, a few inches away from the wall right before she crashed his nose with her left elbow. He let go of her hair because of the impact, and Cece took the chance to finish this fight once and for all. She kicked him hard on he's knee-cap, busting it, and blurred to his back, graved him by the hair and vented his hear into the wall. The man fell unconscious on the floor.

With a winning smile, she took his handcuffs from his pocket and handcuffed his hands together.

Alec got up in a blur, and landed a high kick to her face, once she got up as well. He felt the cracking sound her jaw had made the instant his boot collided with her bone. She fell to the ground, clutching her jaw because, although she couldn't feel any pain, she definitely felt there was something wrong with her jaw. Alec grabbed her by the arm, and with some impulse, he twirled around, throwing her across the room. He wasn't sure exactly what she had slammed into on her way to the floor, but she was out cold by the time she hit the ground.

He handcuffed her immediately.

The woman fighting Max was strong, but Max was strong as well, and they could have been there all night long trying to see who could win, but they had to get out of there, and it was time to finish this fight. She stole the Familiar's handcuffs and got one of the cuffs on the woman's wrists as she kept hitting Max's face. The confusion that made the woman hesitate was all Max needed to get them both up. The red haired Familiar reacted quickly though, bringing Max closer to herself and trying to choke the X5 with the chain of the handcuff. Max moved towards a column right in front of them, bringing the familiar with her, and Max flipped over, landing behind her opponent. With the strength she had left, Max swung the woman around the column and handcuffed her other hand, so she was embracing the concrete column.

Max breathed hard, trying to catch some air. Her face was stinging, and she knew it would be black and blue by the morning, just like the rest of her body. She felt exhausted and all she wanted to do was sleep for all eternity.

Alec stopped moving his left arm once the fight was over; he was certain the wound was bleeding again, and he would have a bitch of an infection. Plus, it hurt too much. Alec moved to an unconscious Familiar, one of Mole's victims, placed his knee again the back of the man's neck and handcuffed him as he exclaimed, 'Max! Clear!'

She sighed in relief at the sound of his voice. It was good to hear him, though he looked like crap. Cece was handcuffing another familiar laying on the floor; she stated 'clear!'.

Mole came with a gun, also assuring a loud 'clear!'.

It wasn't until then that she noticed Joshua was the only one missing. She found him to her right; White was having his ass handed to him by the big fella, and from the distance, she could hear the cracking of White's back bone.

Joshua had his knee thrust into the man's spinal cord, as he put pressure on his chest and thighs. Familiars didn't feel pain, but for some reason, Max felt White might start feeling some.

'Joshua, no. Joshua! No!' Max called, as she kneeled by his side.

'He deserves to die!' he stated, his voice breaking. 'He killed Annie!' The innocent blue eyes she had met almost a year ago on Manticore's basement were replaced by blue melancholic pools, holding back a cascade of tears.

'No. He deserves to die, a lot,' she explained. 'But if you kill him now, the only thing people will remember about today is how some transgenic killed a human being in cold blood...and then they'll never stop hunting us.'

He looked at Max in the eyes, and he knew she was right. White deserved to die, not once but a million times; but this was neither the place nor the time. So he let go of White, and he fell ungracefully to the floor. Joshua's heavy foot kept him on the ground, not that with all the injuries his body had suffered he could even move; Max crouched down and said, a few inches away from his face, 'Bring around your muscle queens anytime, I'll be happy to kick their ass.'

'We are not finished,' White whispered through shallow breathes and a bloody face.

'Fe'nos tol, ya bitch,' Max answered him, flicking his nose.

They all heard the cry of a baby. Coming to the world will do that to you. You spend nine months inside a secure, dark and warm womb, and then suddenly you slide into a cold, bright world where security is just a mere word on a forgotten dictionary. That is, until you smell the woman who has taken care of you during all those months, and then you feel safe all over again.

Gem held the small, sticky body of her daughter as she informed them the baby girl had no barcode. She was free.


'Throw your weapons out and let me see your hands!' the voice of Detective Clemente ordered.

'So what's your plan now?' Mole asked Max accusingly.

She looked around as she heard Clemente say again: 'Throw your weapons out now!'

'You heard the man,' she finally told the transgenics inside the van.

'Well, this sucks,' Mole told her.

'I fought the law, and the law won,' Alec joked with a grunt, for he already knew what the plan was.

'Throw your weapons out and put your hands where I can see them. Throw them out. Do it!'

Max opened the doors of the van and started throwing the weapons they had gotten from the Phalanxes. Cindy and Sketchy, who were in the ambulance with Gem, her baby girl, and Dalton, did the same. Then they all stepped out, with their hands in the air.

Clemente instructed them to step away from the vehicle and to get on their knees with their hands on their heads. It was especially difficult for Alec and Cece whose arms were very damaged, but they managed with some help. They all dropped on their knees; all, except Max.

She walked slowly, with her hands down, towards the tall, dark man holding a gun and a megaphone.

'452?' he asked.

'You can call me Max,' she answered, as a peace offer.

'I think you better get down on the ground,' he told her. To him, she was just a young girl; he didn't think of her as a monster, a killer like the news said. How could this lovely young lady be all those things, and still not kill one single enemy?

'Actually, I think you should probably go,' she answered, her tone a bit more commanding than Clemente's.

'I'm not gonna tell you again.'

'I'm not gonna tell you again.'

That's when Clemente heard noises coming from the sides of the building. As he looked, he was encountered by many dark figures with shiny eyes moving towards them, and it wasn't until they finally reached the light that he was able to see they were all transgenics; some looked normal, some not. But they all held a gun to protect their own.

In front of him stood dozens of transgenics and this young lady, Max, with determination on her face.

'You can try to arrest us all, but you guys might want to call it a night and go have a beer,' she told Clemente and the rest of the cops.

'All right,' Clemente said, knowing this was her way of saying "back off, or else". There were at least ten transgenics per police officer. 'All right, everybody, let's back it up! Outside the fence!'

The transgenics observed in silence as the ordinaries retreat. Once his men were already out, Clemente walked towards Max, his gun safely in the holster. 'You kept today from turning into a bloodbath, and I respect that,' he told her.

'You held up your end, too,' she stated.

'But you haven't won anything. This is gonna get real ugly, and this is way over my head now. These people's lives depend on the decisions that you make right now. I pray you make the right ones...Max.'

Detective Clemente retreated from the city.

'Escape and evade,' Mole commanded. 'We divide up into teams, pick an azimuth, and go to ground.'

'No, we stay here!' Max yelled, overruling Mole's authority.

'In a couple of hours, that perimeter will be completely locked down. Tanks, National Guard, every cop within a hundred miles,' Mole rudely tried to make Max understand what would happen if they stayed.

'Where are we gonna go?' Max asked honestly to the big, green man. She then looked at the rest, 'I can't stop anyone from leaving, but I'm through running and hiding and being afraid. I'm not gonna live my life like that anymore. Aren't you tired of living in darkness? Don't you want to feel the sun on your face? To have a place of your own where you can walk down the street without being afraid? They made us, and they trained us to be soldiers, to defend this country. It's time for them to face us and take responsibility, instead of trying to sweep us away like garbage. We were made in America and we're not going anywhere. So they call us freaks; who cares? Today I'm proud to be a freak. And today we're gonna make a stand, right here.'

She looked around at the transgenics that had lived their entire lives inside Manticore. She looked at those who had lived their lives in true darkness. She wanted this; she needed this. As she had said, she didn't want to run anymore; she was done running and hiding her true self. Hiding had been something she'd done since the moment she stepped outside Manticore's fence, and even though Cindy knew who she was, and Logan knew what she was capable of and Sketchy knew where she came from, she needed to tell the world she was different, and she didn't care. She didn't care. She had people surrounding her who were just like her, and she didn't care at all that they were all freaks. She caught a glimpse of Alec, and she suddenly wished her siblings would be here; she wished Zack was here to help her convince the rest this was for the best, though she doubted Zack would've agreed on exposing themselves this way. She wished Krit and Syl were here. And Jondy and Zane. Even Brian and Mia. She wished they were all here.

'Who's with me?' she finally said as she raised her fist into the air.

Joshua was the first one to raise his fist; he was followed by Biggs, Alec and Cece, and little by little the rest followed their lead. One by one, the residents of Terminal City agreed with Max; they were done being something to feel embarrassed of. They created them, so let them deal with the consequences now. The only one who hadn't joined the mass was Mole; but as he saw every single one of his fellow soldiers respond to Max's speech, he knew there was no point arguing. He could either leave, all by himself, or he could stay and make sure this X5 didn't kill them all trying to achieve freedom.

'What the hell,' he muttered, raising his fist and joining Max on her crusade.

They were staying, and they were going to fight for their right to freedom.


A/N2: You know I love reviews! Let me know if you liked or not!