-1The CC Challenge: Basically, everything's the same up until Freak Nation. But just when feelings are starting to develop between Max & Alec, his DNA mark-up comes back to bite him in the butt. Alec soon starts having 'Ben-like' thoughts, but tries to ignore them. They get worse and more frequent, but he still refuses to believe he's in any way like 'his crazy brother Ben. He also hides it from Max, who notices he's been acting strange. Then he starts becoming more violent, even killing ordinaries in fights when it's not a necessity to.
A/N: I'M SORRY! NOBODY KILL ME PLEASE! You'll see what I mean! I also think I may have strayed a bit from the challenge…oh well, I tried.
'It would be so simple. Just a quick flick of the wrist and a snap of the neck and he would be dead.'
Where the hell did that thought come from? One minute he's talking to Logan and the next he's having visions of ending him. What scared him more was that he really didn't think he would find a problem with it. How it would just be so easy…
"Alec?" someone said and he looked up quickly, his train of thought broken.
Logan was looking at him with his brows drawn together. "You ok?"
Alec smiled, pushing the previous thoughts from his head and filing them under 'never open again'. "Yeah, I'm fine. What were you talking about?"
"You sure you're alright?" Logan pressed, his face unchanging.
Alec was feeling annoyed. Would he just drop it and move on! "Yes! I'm ok, I promise"
Logan looked at him for a long moment before seemingly accepting his answer. "Max wants to know what you're doing tonight?"
Alec cocked his head slightly, suddenly interested "Really? Prey tell?"
He didn't ask why Max didn't ask him herself, she was funny that way. One day they were friends, the next she would just as soon toss him of the side of the tallest building in TC. Its was asinine and he found it amusing.
"I don't know. She just asked me to ask you" Logan answered. "She wouldn't tell me why."
Alec rolled his eyes and sighed. Suddenly very annoyed. "I'll go talk to her. I mean, its not like I don't have more important things to do but bend to her every whim" he snapped, not even trying to hide the sarcasm dripping off every word.
Logan's brows drew together again. He seemed surprised at Alec's reaction. Alec didn't blame him, he himself was surprised by it. However, Alec had no desire to explain himself to Logan at that point and stood from where he sitting and headed to TC's control room, where he knew Max would be - because that's where she always was.
Ever since the raid on Jam Pony and Max's realization that she was some sort of messiah to the transgenic community, she had changed dramatically. She was suddenly all-work-and-no-play Maxie. She was usually hunched over some computer screen, checking the movements of the military that had positioned itself in front of the barricaded Terminal City entrance. She swore that sooner or later they would give up their position and simply 'storm the castle'. Alec understood she wanted to be ready when that moment came, he felt the same way, but he couldn't just sit around and wait for it to happen.
"You sent your boy toy to ask me a question?" he said, entering the control room and leaning on an empty chair. She was alone, as per usual, doing what she normally did…stare at the computer screen.
Max looked up at him. Apparently she was a little miffed by his question, but forwent calling him on it. "Yeah, I did. Do you have an answer for me?"
Alec eyed her.
'You weren't bred for this! You're a soldier! Not a chump to some female with a God complex!'
"Alec?" she said, snapping her fingers. "What's wrong with you?"
"Nothing" he said quickly, though these thoughts he'd been having as of late were starting to worry him. Logan was not the first. He'd been having dreams of himself and things he'd done back at Manticore. Things he'd rather forget. Things, no one could understand. Things he thought he had come to terms with. Apparently not.
But why all of a sudden? He was fine for the longest time. Why are these thing coming back to haunt him now? What unnerved him more was that these impulses were occurring during the day, not only when he slept.
He smiled for Max, hoping she would drop it and continue asking him - more like telling him - to do whatever it was she wanted him to do.
"Alec, I got a call today from some transgenics making their way to Seattle. They want to join our little operation. Unfortunately, I'm going to be a little tied up tonight, and I need you to get them past military lines and safely into the perimeter"
Alec hesitated for a moment, letting what he was just asked to sink in, before breaking out into all out laughter. What kind of request was that? Not only was it improbable, it was also probably impossible! "Max, when did you lose your mind?"
"I'm serious Alec" she snapped, standing from the computer chair and walking over to him. She stopped just short of her second in command and pensively paused. "I don't trust anyone else to do it"
Alec was flattered, yet still unconvinced. He didn't even stand up from the chair he was leaning his hands on. "Max, how do you expect me to get them in here?"
She smiled at him and purred "I'm sure you'll figure it out"
Before his brain registered what was going on, she was on him, parting his teeth with her tongue. She kissed him long and deep, throwing her hands around his neck and jumping into his arms.
"Max! You sure don't waste any time, do you?" he said against her lips.
"Shut up" she breathed, pulling him forcefully to the floor and tearing at his clothes.
Later they lay there on the control room floor, being thoroughly satiated.
This began a few weeks ago when out of the blue, Max jumped him, much like she had an hour ago. Alec couldn't explain it - and apparently, neither could Max - so neither said a word. He also didn't fight it, harboring hidden feeling for Max for quite some time.
"Are you ever going to tell Logan?" Alec panted, still out of breath from their previous activities.
"About what? This? Not if I can help it" Was Max's reply.
It wasn't that Alec minded. Mindless sex was something he lived for, but with Max it was different…even if she was already spoken for in most senses of the word.
'Logan would be so easy to kill. He's weak and pathetic, unlike you. He doesn't deserve her. She deserves a soldier of your status. Kill Logan!'
Alec shook the feeling away again.
"You have to kill him, Alec" Max whispered in his ear.
"What!" he cried only to be met with a confused look from Max as she propped herself up on her elbows.
"I said, don't worry about him, Alec" She repeated, drawing her forehead down "What's wrong with you? You've been acting awfully strange…even for you."
Alec smiled to reassure her. The last thing he needed was his leader to lose faith in him. Good soldiers don't do that. "Nothing"
"I am not!" Alec said, grabbing his pants and shirt and slipping them back on. "Now about this job?"
Max stared at him as he continued dressing. She sighed and sat up, grabbing her clothes and donning them as well. "Alec, if you're not up to it, I can find someone else to do it. I'm sure another X5 can-"
"I can do it, Max!" Alec snapped.
"Good" She said simply before grabbing her stuff and walking from the control room.
Alec watched her leave with his eyes. Next problem was figuring out just how the hell he was going to pull this off.
Getting out of TC wasn't the problem, it was getting back in where it became tricky. What made it harder was the fact that he was going to have a few more souls with him this time. Sure, he had made the occasional supply run on his duke, but never had he had to smuggle something this big past enemy lines.
Luckily, TC provided several discreet entrances and exits, some of which the military hadn't found just yet. So that was his plan of attack. Use one of the exits, get these transgenics, sneak them in again, and have Max off his back for a while. It was a win/win situation.
Alec walked his motorcycle out of TC so as to not draw unwanted attention to himself. When he was sure he hadn't been followed or seen, he gunned the engine and headed to the meeting place Max had told him to go to.
It was in the warehouse district, just on the borders of sector 9. He rolled his bike to a halt in front of a group of about 20 people standing around.
"Are you Alec?" One said, a tall man, probably no older then Alec himself. He had deep black hair and blue eyes. Manticore sure knew what they were doing when they made the X series.
"That depends. Designation?"
The man eyed Alec for a long moment before answering. "X5-673...friends call me Hadrian"
"Yeah, like the Roman emp-"
"I got it." Alec cut in before Hadrian could finish. "It's just unusual, that's all"
Alec held out his hand. "I'm Alec. X5-494."
"494?" Hadrian questioned, taking Alec's hand and shaking it dutifully. "That sounds so familiar…"
"I guess I'm famous" Alec responded with a smile.
'Kill him, he's a threat!'
"Shut up" Alec spouted.
"Excuse me?" Hadrian asked, tilting his head slightly and cocking an eyebrow.
"Nothing…C'mon, we gotta get back before someone realizes a bunch of transgenics are out and about"
He instructed everyone to follow and they made their trek back to the TC borders. Of course, on foot, it took a hell of a lot longer and Alec was hoping the cover of darkness would aid in his endeavor. Then again, X5-494 had never had that kind of luck. By the time he and his little band of merry transgenics made it back, the sun was up and shining. To make matters worse, their entrance was blocked by a military convoy that must have discovered it during the night sometime.
"Great" Alec muttered, peaking around a building they were using for cover.
Hadrian was right beside him. Alec quickly learned that this young man was the leader of the small band of transgenics. Not that he minded, he was still commanding officer, at least at the moment.
"Are there any more entrances?" Hadrian asked
"Sure there are. But we can't get to them without passing that convoy" Alec answered, pointing at the twenty or so men, armed to the teeth and just waiting for an excuse to kill a few 'animals'.
"Infiltrate and immobilize" was Hadrian's solution. Alec couldn't disagree. It was simple enough. Go in, knock them out. Simple.
Alec moved first, taking careful steps and ducking behind anything that would afford any kind of cover. Soon, he was right in front of them.
'Clueless! They're clueless. Take them out!'
It was then that something clicked in Alec's head. Something that scared him. A darker side of his being just begging to break free. A side with no moral filter or capacity for mercy. Something dark and primal.
'Yes! Do it!'
Alec couldn't control the growl or dark smile that spread across his face before he pounced. He quickly snapped the neck of the closest man to him, sending the body slumping to the gravel street. He could hear Hadrian and his people following suit, but he didn't care. His all consuming thought was kill. Kill or be killed!
By the end, his hands were soaked with blood and he was holding up a boy of no more then 18 by the neck, his feet barely scraping the ground as his begging, fearful eyes met Alec's.
"Alec, what are you doing?" he vaguely heard, but couldn't care less.
'Kill! Kill him!'
"I'm trying!" Alec growled
'You're not trying hard enough! He'll just run back to his commander and then they will invade. Taking no prisoners and leaving none alive. It will be all your fault. Do it!'
The boy in his hands was barely holding it together. His lips were turning a pale blue as his brain was deprived of oxygen. However, Alec's grip never loosened, even through the futile clawing by the young soldier. All he had to do was squeeze; but for some reason, he held back.
"Alec, drop him. It's over, let's go" that voice implored. The back of his mind knew it was Hadrian, standing there along with his pals, watching the scene. Alec didn't care.
'Why are you hesitating? Are you weak? You know what they do to those that are weak!'
"I'm not weak!" Alec snarled
"Alec, who are you talking to?" Hadrian pressed, taking a small step forward. "He's innocent. Put him down!"
'Don't listen to him, he doesn't know what he's talking about!'
"SHUT UP!" Alec yelled, shutting his eyes against the voice in his head.
'You know I'm right!'
He heard a sharp intake of breath beside him and opened his eyes quickly to find dark realization on Hadrian's face.
"Now I know you!" he said "You're the twin of that X5 that went psycho. 493. Apparently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, huh?"
Alec stared at him, his lip quivering as understanding crept into his tainted brain. Bens illness was deemed hereditary, but he had shown no symptoms back at Manticore and they let him pass back into active duty instead of destroying him. Maybe they should have when they had the chance.
By this point, he could feel the tears on his cheeks, though he couldn't remember starting to cry. His grip loosened and the gasping boy fell to his knees.
Alec stood in stunned silence as his eyes continued to well up.
'Weak. I knew it. They should have destroyed you!'
"No" Alec gasped, shutting his eyes tight yet again.
He felt Hadrian move to face him, but he kept his eyes firmly closed.
"You're just another genetic mistake, aren't you?" Hadrian spat. "I remember everything now. 494, defiant and unworthy of his unit. 494, weak and compassionate. 494, broken just like his brother. Why your commander ever sent a busted toy on this mission, I'll never know."
That final statement hit Alec the hardest. Busted toy? Is that all he was? His eyes flew open and he stared at the venomous blue eyes of Hadrian staring back into his hurt and scared green ones. But Hadrian said no more. He took it upon himself to take up command and lead his people into TC's borders.
Alec didn't follow and seriously considered turning himself in. if they killed him, it would be no big loss at this point. He was broken.
He decided, it was best to stay away from Terminal City…at least until he could figure himself out.
"What the hell happened out there!" Max yelled across the room as she came storming down to meet the new transgenics. "There is a friggen' bloodbath just outside our gates on the news. They're blaming transgenics!"
"And right they should!" Hadrian countered, taking a seat in a free chair.
"What the hell are you talking about? A transgenic couldn't have done that! It looked like an animal attack!"
"Why don't you go talk to 494. He did it." Hadrian replied with unnerving simplicity.
Max was taken aback at the assumption that Alec could have done something like that. It was simply impossible and she let the new guy know it. "Alec would never!"
"You sure about that? He's finally lost his mind, just like that crazy brother of his!"
Max was on him in an instant, grabbing a hold of the simple shirt collar the X5 wore. "Don't you ever speak of them like that. Ben wasn't crazy he was just…just…"
"Broken?" Hadrian finished. "Face it 452, they're shaping up to be two peas in a pod."
Max let go of the X5 and began walking away.
"If you're going to go try and find Alec, don't bother" Hadrian called after her.
She spun quickly and glared at him "Why?"
"He didn't follow us"
Max's glare intensified, if it was possible. "Explain!"
Hadrian smiled "I guess he just couldn't handle what he was becoming"
"I should have left you out there with the military and that breeding cult. Assholes like you don't deserve to be saved." she snarled
"And Alec does?"
Max didn't answer, she simply walked away. It was probably the smartest thing she could have done. Otherwise she would have beat him to death with his own shoe if it came down to it.
Honestly, she was surprised she didn't see this coming sooner. If what Hadrian was saying was true, Alec would just keep getting worse until he finally snapped and was lost forever. She had to reach him before that happened. Not like she knew what she was going to do, but she couldn't just sit back and let his mind deteriorate.
She rushed to her small living quarters and packed a few things before running out the door again. She would have made it if Logan hadn't got in her way.
"Where do you think you're going?"
"To find Alec" she replied, keeping her distance, the virus still being active.
"What if he doesn't want to be found?"
"Logan, get out of my way"
"I'm just saying, Max, Alec knows he's not well. Maybe he just needs to be alone"
"I don't care what Alec wants or needs. I know what happened to Ben and it was horrible. I can't let that happen to Alec too!"
She stepped to the side only to have her path blocked by Logan again. She didn't try to hide the annoyed sigh or the roll of her eye.
"At least let me come with you," said Logan. "maybe I can help"
Max planted her hands on her hips "How do you expect to help me if we can't touch? What if he finally does snap, attacks you and I can't help without doing more damage?"
Logan seemed to think on that for a moment before finally stating "I don't care. You can't do this alone and you know it"
"Logan get out of my way!" she spat.
He finally gave up and stepped aside, letting her pass.
Max had been searching for quite sometime now. Even though she knew if Alec didn't want to be found, he wouldn't be. Alec wasn't hard to miss. A face like his stood out in a crowd.
That was the one thing about him, he always stood out. 'Bright colors. Tricks and treats' as Joshua once put it. Max had always known this and even found herself competing with it now and again. She would miss that part of him if his superior genetics finally failed.
She finally found him in the area not to far from where she had found Ben. What possessed her to look there, she honestly didn't know. Yet here he was, sitting on a rock in the middle of the heavy woods, just staring into space. He usually fiery eyes dull and vacant.
"Alec?" she whispered, knowing he would have heard her.
He didn't turn to her. He kept his eyes trained on a spot somewhere in front of him as he spoke. "Am I broken Max?"
"No" she replied after a moments hesitation.
"Liar" he stated.
"Alec, I know what you're going through. Really I do."
"Do you Max?" he said, standing suddenly to face her. "Do you really?"
His tone was unnerving and low, adding to the menacing look he was now sending her way. For once in her life, Max backed down from him, taking a few wary steps backwards as he advanced.
"Yes, I do Alec!" she countered. "I remember how Ben was."
"No, I think you only have seen what Ben was. I finally understand him." he said, getting ever closer.
'Kill her! She's to dangerous now! She knows your weak!'
"She knows nothing!" he cried.
'She's been nothing but trouble from the get go! Get rid of her!'
"Alec?" she whispered. "What's happening to you? Who are you talking to?"
"Apparently, the voices in my head." he answered with an unsettling smile. "They like to tell me to kill people."
"Killed anyone? Aside from the military convoy a few days ago? No. However, they're getting awfully insistent"
'You can never go back with her. You know she'd never want you. She'd rather take a cripple with a killer virus over someone like you. Just kill her and get it over with!'
"Shut up!" he cried again, grabbing his head.
Max took a confident step toward Alec. She could see he was visibly damaged, barely holding on to what little reality he had left. "Alec, let me try to help you"
"How?" he half sobbed, dropping his hands from his head and staring at her with glassy eyes. "Tell me how you're going to help me."
Max hesitated. What could she say? She couldn't save Ben and odds were she couldn't save Alec either. She gulped down any hardness she may have felt toward him and placed a loving hand on his shoulder - something she would previously never dream about doing to anyone - and answered him honestly.
For a moment, she could see him. The Alec she had grown to care for. He was staring back at her with that look that was so very Alec, deep down in his soul. She had only seen it once or twice, but it was most definitely him.
As quick as it came, that was as quick as it was gone. The sound of the gun cocking behind him brought the deep darkness back into his eyes.
He spun quickly to find Logan standing with an impressive handgun pointed directly at his chest. Max stepped quickly in front of Alec, shielding him as much as she could with her much smaller frame.
"Move Max!" Logan demanded
"What the hell are you doing!" she yelled.
"I'm helping him"
Alec watched for a moment as Logan pointed a bit higher, over her head to right between Alec's eyes.
'I told you he was competition! He wants you out of the way so he can have her all to himself. Kill him. He won't pull the trigger'
"I can't" Alec muttered.
'Yes you can! Snap his scrawny little neck!
'Because you are super human. Bred to be better, stronger, faster, smarter. Don't let him one-up you!'
"You see what I mean Max!" Logan pointed to Alec, muttering behind the female X5. "He's just like his brother. All he needs is a trigger. I can stop it right now!"
Max paused, but didn't move. She was seriously thinking about it, but couldn't bring herself to come to terms with what should be done. No, broken toys could be fixed.
"Max, I'm doing what's best" Logan insisted. "Please, move"
She didn't have a chance to before Alec finally stopped muttering behind her and stood deathly still. She turned to face him, but he was staring at the ground, breathing evenly.
He looked up with deep green, hate filled eyes boring holes into the very fabric that made up her being. That was it, he was gone. There was no spark left, just like Ben.
He moved quicker then she ever knew he could, grabbing her and throwing her to the side before blurring and hurdling himself at Logan. Logan fired, missing Alec's left shoulder by a centimeter. In an instant, the gun was flying out of Logan's hands and Alec's fingers were crushing his windpipe.
Logan gasped and choked, clawing at the hands around his throat.
The sound of the gun clicking again, cause Alec to look up, but never releasing his grip on Logan. Max had picked up the gun and had it expertly trained on the male X5.
"Maxie, Maxie, Maxie." Alec said with a sly smile. "You gonna shoot me?"
"If I have to" she replied sternly.
"I doubt that. Besides, I know you don't like gu-"
The shot was defining through the secluded trees.
Alec looked down to see blood dripping from a hole in his shoulder. It's funny how pain didn't register when you were in shock.
However, the shot did nothing but spur Alec on. Lifting Logan from the ground, he used him as a human shield, using his good arm to wrap around Logan's neck, continuing to sut off his air supply.
"You shot me!" he cried
"You left me no choice. Now let him go" she said, pointing the gun again.
"Oh I don't think so. He's been a thorn in my side for far to long"
"Alec, this isn't you."
"Just like it wasn't brother Ben? Maybe he had the right idea!"
"He was insane!"
Alec laughed "Well, obviously, so am I"
Logan's vision was starting to dim and his eyelids were closing on their own accord. Max could see he couldn't handle much more of the pressure on his trachea and re-cocked the gun.
"Let. Him. Go."
"Or what? You going to kill another member of your so called family? Do it, I dare you."
Alec never heard the second shot, nor feel the bullet rip his skull in half. He simply fell to the ground, taking Logan with him.
Max also collapsed in a fit of tears. She couldn't help feeling that she did the right thing, even if it was so wrong. Alec was gone, she could see it in his empty eyes. What's worse, it seemed like he knew it, daring her to kill him. She had killed another friend, lost another to Manticore and their faulty genetics.
How would she ever be able to forgive herself…
A/N II: SEE WHAT I MEAN! I love Alec as much as the next girl, but in my mind, he would have been lost. Sorry guys. Please oh please don't flame me for this! -runs and hides-