This is a side along story to the Dark Angel Series.
Disclaimer: I do not own Dark Angel, it belongs to James Cameron's and the evil people who canceled it FOX. (No offence, my usual rant) The Vercetti Gang thing belongs to the Grand Theft Auto 3 game as does Michael and Anya was created by author Mage-Alia. All other characters belong to me expect for those shown in the show, and the plot/ storyline is mine.
People say that your experiences shape the way you turn out. In all honesty I should be in a psychologist's office, well after making sure they were too drugged up to remember who I was or what I said.
Or like my big brother Ben, who kills because Manticore drove him to insanity long ago. Sometimes my memories of the first eight and a half years of my life are a blur, like a documentary. When I remember, I feel detached as if it were just a bad dream. Whenever I seize I know that it was not. And it should not be Eva and Jack died and any other explanation for it would strip away its meaning.
Max had a seizure; a bad one and the guards saw it. We knew from Jack that if they took Max away we would lose her. So Eva, bold brave Eva stood up to save our sister. And she fell, she died. Killed by the one man we all trusted and looked up to , Colonel Donald Lydecker- he used to be God there in Manticore.
So we escaped from Manticore, the cold place that had been our lives. Outside, what was out there? But we had no choice. Max's life was at stake and then whoever had them next.
When I turned ten my own seizures had started, and proved worse than anything I had ever endured. But that was later. Jace stayed behind, too scared, too afraid to leave. I never found out what happened to her and in a selfish wish, I hope I never do.
To escape to the fence I was partnered with Brin. Beyond being my sister she was also my best friend, gave me the courage to leave Manticore.
We had planned to disobey Zack and stay together- our big brother meant well but the idea of being all alone out in an alien world terrified me more than the Nomlies in the basement eating me up piece by piece. But when we had almost reached the fence we ran into Kavi and Mina. Mina had been shot in the leg and couldn't go on, and Kavi was too little to get out on his own, a full two years younger than me- he was the baby of the unit.
So I had to go on alone.
Rae woke slowly, shaking off the edge of a nightmare. She sat up and looked at the barest hint of light in the sky as she glanced a second later at the time.
Four in the morning and time to get up already, Rae thought and swung her long ganglylegs out of the sheets. A slight tremor went through her body and Rae grabbed a small container of pills already half-empty. She took out four and swallowed them quickly. Rae pulled on a blue short sleeved shirt, and black fitted trousers. A pair of very small-heeled boots went on.
Rae walked into the main room of the apartment and knocked on a closet door. Both Rae and her roommates Scott and Piper had rooms barely bigger than closets and just as comfortable as closets too.
A mumble sounded indicating that Scott Winters had indeed woken up and was now sounding as tired as her. There were so many days Rae wished she had Shark DNA like Max and Jondy rather than the seizures that make other transgenics rough patches look like a walk in the spring. Speaking of which, a very awake Piper Cameron was sitting on the bench, all ready and eating the last piece of toast. Without mould that is.
"Good morning Dr Larter" Piper said with that annoying air of a morning person." And how are we feeling today?" Rae responded by just looking at her with a neutral expression and her light green eyes(which Scott had dubbed the no blinking stare) and then turning when Piper blinked, taking the carton of milk off the bench. Her light brown hair was tied back simply, while Piper's dark waved hair, glossy, stood out next to her pale skin. Scott walked out of his room and scratched his head, dressed but still not awake.
"Has anyone seen my shoes, the brown ones?" Scott asked blearily. Rae dipped a slice of cold pizza into a glass of milk making Piper flinch as she ate it. He looked in the fridge and paused. "Why are my shoes there?" Piper grinned at him and Scott looked in his shoes seeing carrot and celery sticks.
He dumped the food out of them.
"There is a lack of appreciation for decoration," said Piper smirking at him and pushing herself off the bench." Sides that was for making me watch the Rage of Kib last night".
Scott answered with gritted teeth. "The Wrath of Kahn". Piper looked bored and ate one of the celery sticks grinning. Scott was, very politely speaking of course a geek.
Piper turned to Rae.
"Paper, scissors, rock". Rae threw her hands up when Piper grinned at her rock to Rae's scissors. One thing she could not do was predicting the future. It was how they settled who was having Scott as a passenger on their motorcycles. Any attempts to try to get him to ride on his own were disastrous. So the lucky winner every morning would get to ride their bike solo. Rae had won the last three days.
"Too bad, too sad" said Piper smirking. Rae rolled her eyes.
Rae rode her motorcycle just behind Piper's with Scott clutching onto her for dear life. Her motorcycle was a silver, sleek thing more designed for being a speed freak than a travel to work. But then Rae also used it out of work and it was more maneuverable than a car and went more places.
Piper and Scott are great friends. Scott's older than us-28, we both entered the Miami teenage training medical program. You see after the pulse there was not all that many people to become doctors. And no way to track and make sure those with potential did it. So the hospital takes in teenagers and trains them so it has new doctors and in returns gets them off the streets, giving them a future.
I have been in Miami since 2013. Six years here and five of them spent at this hospital. But I have never found the heart to leave Miami despite the increasing chance if Manticore and Lydecker catch up with me. I have never told my friends about my past- I don't want Lydecker to hurt them if I ever do have to bail so the less they know the safer they are.
It's laughable sometimes; a transgenic supersoilder designed to be a weapon, a killer as a doctor. It started off as a way to get a silent one up on Lydecker. But now… I could never see myself as anything else.
Rae sped up and overtook Piper giving her a slight salute, making Scott clutch harder.
"You brat!" yelled Piper, in mock rage. Rae grinned and zoomed down an alleyway. She then braked hard until she came to a stop just outside the hospital staff parking and eased her bike slowly in.
"You… are going to kill me one of these days," Scott said, stumbling as he got off the bike. Piper parked her bike next to Rae's and pulled her helmet off as Rae took hers off. Rae hated wearing a helmet but she was not stupid enough to ride without one- it was like flaunting your barcode in Lydecker's face. And Rae was not arrogant enough to do that.
"The day you learn how to ride one of these" said Piper, "Is the day you realize how great it is". Scott glared at her.
Rae just shook her head and walked towards the door, unzipping the leather jacket she wore over her top. Piper and Scott followed still bickering.
In the locker room, there was a doctor from the night shift snoring on the bench. Rae ignored it as she clipped her ID onto her lab coat and put it on. Piper threw her leather coat onto the sleeping doctor, making him fall onto the ground.
"And you wonder" muttered Scott as he pulled through his small locker. "Why you are the current most annoying person at this hospital".
Piper just grinned and shrugged.
"What can I say, it's a gift baby". Rae slipped out of the room into the general hub of the hospital. All the noise and constant pace that was the everyday for the hospital. If hospitals had been bad pre pulse, they were even worse after it.
Funding for new equipment, wards and other essentials were now dependent on getting companies and the rich to sustain it. Unlike pre pulse though, it was clear that those companies had a stake in hospitals good and proper.
"Hey" said Rae greeting the doctor in charge of the shift, Dr William Larson. Pessimistic, glass half empty Larson had very little faith in the human race at large, and let everyone know it.
"And here I was thinking Larter you had wised up and realized that you are wasting your life here" Larson shook his head and looked over his shoulder. " Hey idiot get here". A man a few years older than Rae came up to her. He had dark blond hair and brown eyes and was very well built; his face set in a bored look until he saw Rae. His eyes narrowed and he looked intrigued. Rae looked at him hard; who was this guy he looked famillar.
"Larter, this is very dull intern is doctor in training Jaye Krieghen" Larson turned to the intern. "And Dr Larter here Krieghen, will be your god the next few weeks so follow what she says very carefully and I will not chase you around with a chainsaw for driving me crazy".
Krieghen looked annoyed which seemed to cheer Larson up as he strode of towards Piper and Scott. Piper had a sad face on and waved as if saying good bye.
Baby sitting an intern was perhaps one of the worst tasks you could be assigned. Her look vanished when Larson started to talk and Rae turned back to Krieghen assured with the knowledge her friend would be doing something equally as bad.
"Do I know you?" Rae asked in curiosity. Krieghen looked away.
"No". Rae looked at him intently and her eyes widened in shock. On his neck was a barcode. The last three digits were six-zero-zero. Manticore, and a twin of Zack to add to the list of very bad. No, no, oh blue lady please not here!
"You should cover your barcode better" Rae spat, hiding her growing panic. Krieghen turned to her and Rae was surprised to see a look of fear on his face. Since when was a Manticore transgenic afraid of a 0'Niner, usually it was the opposite- hatred.
"I am not going back," Krieghen said in a stubborn tone as the fear vanished and a look of resolution filled his face. "Tell Lydecker that I said to go to hell". Rae gave him an incredulous look and pushed him into an empty room.
She decided to play along to get some answers- it still could be a trap.
"I am taking you back on his orders, and I will complete my mission". Krieghen glared at her.
"You may not have free will but I do and the death of two of my unit, my family actually means something to me and- wait a second" he said confused. "Since when do soldiers speak like that". Rae gave a shrug. Realization felled Krieghen's face." You are not Manticore". Rae looked upwards.
"Ten points to you".
Krieghen folded his arms. "You are one of the rogue X5's from 2009 aren't you?"
"Who are you?" Rae asked demandingly.
They were walking down a hospital corridor, Rae looking through a patient's chart. " I have never met a transgenic other than from my family to leave Manticore". Krieghen looked down.
"Well Lydecker killing two of your sisters kinda opens your eyes".
"We were on a mission. My unit completed it successfully- but my sisters were critically injured and needed immediate evac. Lydecker was angry at us for failing to do it undetected. So he deliberately waited, and… it… cost their lives. So I left and I have been on the run for two months".
Rae looked at him." And you have not gotten caught, which is surprising. You don't hide your barcode well". She rolled up his collar to cover it. "And you probably take stupid risks".
"And the twelve of you have not". Rae turned to him, her eyes wide.
"Twelve, twelve of us made it?" Rae had never known the specifics, if she was the only one. The knowledge that the others were out here, in the world with her was better than she had ever hoped. Krieghen shook his head.
"Two have been recaptured so far".
"X5 581 in 2015 and 789 in 2017". Rae flinched. 581, 789- Kavi and Vada. The knowledge hurt but that Kavi made it out-.
"Did Brin, 734 make it out". Krieghen nodded and Rae gave a slight smile but inside she was ecstatic. She had often wondered about Brin, had wondered what she was doing. Rae had always seen Brin as having made it- having a life as a gymnast or dancer. Brin had always been a talented acrobat even by X5 standards.
"Okay" Rae spoke now all business. "Why- why did that make you leave Manticore?" she asked stopping her steps just outside a ward door.
"I could not do it any more". His eyes were closed now as if in pain. The decision for Rae had been painful all those years ago, and for him it must be so close to the surface.
Max fell to the ground shaking and the unit surrounded her. A trainer approached to take Max with a baton stick and Zack attacked him. One of the guards tried to help him and Eva hit now, and grabbed his gun and fired it once into the air and the guards and trainers fled the room.
Eva took the lead. They started to walk helping Max, except for Jace. Rae stayed close to Brin.
Zack, Jondy and Tinga supported Max as they left the room. Max caught sight of Jace who shook her head and stayed still backing away. The others left the hallway and entered a double reflected hallway. As they were almost at the door Colonel Lydecker entered holding a gun followed by similarly armed military personnel. Rae gripped Brin's arm in pure fright as Eva brought up the gun.
Lydecker fired the gun and Eva fell to the ground. Rae stared in horror at the dead body of her older sister.
Sirens blared as Rae and her brothers and sisters jumped through the window out into a cold icy night.
Rae changed the subject quickly.
"You do have medical experience, don't you" He nodded at her. "What do I call you, Krieghen or Jaye?"
"Jaye is fine." Rae grinned and opened the ward door.
"Take point" Rae said, nodding to the patient closest to them, sitting on the bed. The patient a man who looked like he was in his late forties, and he was coughing rather badly. She handed Jaye the chart. Rae didn't know how she knew, but she just knew that he was genuine. And the chance to help someone who was in the position she had found herself in when she had just escaped Manticore. That was one chance she just had to take.
"Mr. Robastzin, I am Dr Krieghen" Jaye said smiling in a friendly, concerned way as he stood near the patient's bed." We took some chest X rays and you have some fluid in your lungs that seems to be the result of your flu". That friendliness had not been learnt out of Manticore, definitely not- but it seemed he was too overcompensating.
The man blinked hard. "That sounds serious". Rae stepped forward.
"It can be, but we caught it early before pneumonia could develop. So everything is going to be fine. Now Dr. Krieghen will explain what your treatment will be"
Rae stepped away and allowed Jaye take back over. The problem was that the he was fresh out of Manticore, two months did not count. Common verbal and lessons how to infiltrate normal life did not make a person. It took more than that to change, but you never forgot. Rae would not, could not forget the things that happened to her, the things Manticore made her do.
The ambulance traveled through some of the less desirable aspects of downtown Miami and people stayed inside.
Piper glared as she sat on the portable gurney in the ambulance. There were never enough medics for the vehicles so some poor doctor was often forced into this duty. She almost wished she had Rae's intern. Almost, Piper was not that desperate.
Abruptly the ambulance stopped without warning and Piper fell off the gurney and hit her head. "Hey" she yelled. "What's with the bad driving?" The driver did not respond and the ambulance doors flew open. A man with heavily tattooed arms stood there.
"Doctor, we need your expertise and discretion". Piper looked around as she got out. Gang territories, well the sooner she helped with whatever, they would let her go back to work. That was how gangs operated, they would use a doctor, but they would never kill one. Kind of a neutral territory there thanks the world.
"Sir, shouldn't we be in Seattle tracking down X5 452?" Colonel Donald Lydecker turned around and regarded Agent Sandoval.
"The last thing I should think Elizabeth Renfro wants is for more transgenics under her command to go rogue". There was no accusation in his voice, just a fact. But Sandoval looked down for a moment anyway. He was often in the line of fire between Lydecker and Renfro and it was never good.
"There is no proof that X5 600 is in Miami sir, apart from the sighting near the area that could have been 599." Sandoval tried to keep his tone even. Lydecker turned to him.
"I have read some… interesting reports from the last few years in this area. A teenaged girl fighting off gang members several times her size two years ago. They saw a barcode on the back of her neck.
This same girl has been seen around according to the local authorities although they have never seen her face. Also successful computer hacking attempts into highly sensitive information regarding Manticore traced to here". Lydecker paused. "It would make sense for 600 to attempt to seek help from someone who has succeeded".
Sandoval sighed. "Even if that's true sir, how do we get them without alerting either one? If one or both of them is in this city, they will be alerted to our presence and escape."
Lydecker stood and looked out the window into Miami's skyline. "We wait. Sooner or later they will slip up" Lydecker looked at Sandoval with cold, blue eyes. "And the we will have them"
Piper followed the gang man into a building that looked a notch above the other 'real estate' here.
A woman in her twenties, with blond hair and coldness about her stood in front of them a few metres away. She was quite obviously pregnant. A man strode in from behind her and Piper recognized him in shock. Michael Vercetti, the man responsible for the largest gang in Miami- even the police abstained from getting bribes from him. Michael Vercetti was more dangerous than most psychopaths were, for one he was quite sane.
"So" said Piper with a bright smile. "What is the medical situation you want me for". The woman if possible felt even colder, and Piper felt her smile wilt.
Michael gave her the barest of smiles.
"I just want you to perform a medical check up on Anya". Woah, now that name rang a bell too. Anya Vercetti married to Michael and was well known not only for her skill as a killer but also her absolute revulsion of being touched by most people.
And touching was required here. Damn it!
"What happed next?" asked Scott smiling. They were in the local lounge/bar that most of the staff went to after work. It was better than most and they were sitting around a table. Rae was trying not to laugh at Piper's day sitting opposite and the intern Jaye was sitting next to her.
Piper just shook her head at Rae. "Well, then I spent the next ten minutes trying to do what I was asked to with minimal touching and Anya Vercetti looking like she was going to kill me. I swear when Vercetti said I could go it was all I could do to keep from running out of there".
Rae cracked up and hid her face with her hands. Rae was not drunk; no alcohol for some reason did work on her. And the stuff tasted vile, so she didn't drink it.
Jaye stared at her weirdly; it was strange for him to see normal people laughing- in Manticore there was not too many smiles and even less laughter.
Scott looked equally as amused as Rae.
"Now it could have been worse". Rae stopped laughing and looked at him. Piper was now scowling at Jaye for daring to say that and then at Rae for bringing him.
"How?" asked Scott, with a not so innocent look to his face.
"The woman could have been in labor". Piper stopped scowling. And Scott just winced and looked away. Now that would be scary on so many levels.
"Now I am so not letting Larson make me do that duty until after that woman's given birth" said Piper, a thankful voice that it had not been the case. "Imagine, if Kinsey got that duty". Scott just shook his head.
"I don't know how he got to be a doctor".
"The pulse" Rae answered, taking a sip of her water. "His dad is some senator in Washington or something" she stood. "I have to go do something, so I'll see you at home later guys. Jaye I'll see you tomorrow". Jaye smiled and nodded at her. He seemed to be having a good time. That was the best way not to brood in your thoughts. Insulate yourself with people.
Rae sped through the Miami streets on her motorcycle. The hair that stuck out from under her helmet was flying behind her. That was the other reason Rae wore the helmet- your hair got wrecked really quickly flying helmet less.
No matter how fast I ride, however hard I try to run from my past it always seems to be over my shoulder stalking me. It is a past I didn't ask for, one I don't want.
If I could wake up and be just another doctor like Scott and Piper, it would be my greatest dream some true. But that's never going to happen. So I go faster, staying a step ahead of the past I wish I could forget.
Rae stopped the motor cycle behind a building and slipped inside. When she came out gone were her normal clothes, instead her outfit was that of a cat burglar's. But that was not what she was after, Rae was after the one resource that she needed-information on the others. She hopped back on the motorcycle and rode just around the block from a FBI office building.
Rae had realized early on that using a private investigate would be cumbersome, time consuming and expensive. So she did the footwork to speak herself. Rae hid her motorcycle in a bush and walked the rest of the way; she had scoped the place out earlier.
Rae glanced at her watch and counted down. Nine at night, there was now a half an hour one this night once a month when all the cameras were off and sure enough the red light from the cameras closest to her blinked out.
Rae ran along the side of the building and leaped up to an open second story window, her hands catching the windowsill. She easily pulled herself up and in and looked down the corridor, empty. The schematics for this building told her; the room she desired to be in was up a floor.
She slipped quietly to a stairwell and got out a card from a breast pocket. The card was a decryptor identification card and allowed you to get into most places. The green light shone and the door opened. With what the card had cost her it better work well. Rae went in and closed the door behind her, feeling only the shape of the metal handle not its coldness through her glove.
Rae got out at the floor and looked around a corner where a guard stood; he showed no sign of tiredness. She coughed. The guard ran to where she was and just as he rounded the corner Rae hit across the face just before he could see her. The guard would be out for a few hours. After she opened the door, Rae dragged the guard in there with her out of sight.
Sitting down at the desk in the room, Rae turned to computer on and slipped in a disk. It whirred and Rae hacked into the computer's mainframe. The disk helped slow down the security protocols, hacking by no length could be considered her specialty. She could do it, yes but not exceptionally. Enhanced DNA only went so far. Now to find the door into the arrest records and the reports of Lydecker's stormtroopers activities.
Sandoval entered Lydecker's office. "Sir, we have detected a hacking attempt into some of the FBI's classified files about Manticore in their facility here. The computer is also searching for the arrest records of a specific group of unspecified females and males young adults with identifying marks on the back of their necks. What should we do". Lydecker stood.
"Don't hamper the efforts" Lydecker grabbed a radio and strode out of the office." Team on standby prepare for immediate deployment".
Rae inserted a flash drive and began to download the information the hacking program was recovering for her.Estimated Time: 2 minutes.
She glanced at the icons at the screen and a small icon was flashing. Rae frowned and clicked on it. A history clicked on and highlighted was a hit registered from another computer in the same city not that far away.
"This is not good" muttered Rae and she entered a key command for more information and the computer blocked her. She frowned deeply, there was still more than a minute left for the download. She heard the sound of approaching vehicles and she looked out of the window. To Rae's horror, TAC teams were pouring out and Lydecker himself stepped out of one of the hummers. The first time Rae had seen him in over ten years.
For a second, her fear paralyzed her. Then Rae breathed in hard and ran to the computer and ripped the flash drive out and opened the disk draw, removing the disk. Then she pushed the computer of the table and made it crash to the ground, sparking as it broke.
Rae ran out of the room and heard the footsteps on the stairwell and she swore mentally and looked out a window. The next building was very close and Rae pulled the window open. It was broken at the edge and a shard of glass cut her through the glove.
Rae winced and stood on the ledge and leaped across. The building was shorter and she landed on the edge of its roof. She ran to the other side and went down the emergency fire outside stair rail. Rae heard the sound of the TAC team at the window she had jumped from and ran faster and spared a glance backwards.
Her pupils widened and she saw Lydecker staring at the building and then he turned and looked in her direction, even though he couldn't see her face he whipped out his radio. She ran off, and reached her motorcycle. Rae leaped on and sped off.
The Miami skyline glowed with the sign of the approaching dawn. Lydecker stared at it, not really seeing it. He had come so close to one of them, had seen a figure blur away. A technician entered the room.
"What do you have for me?" Lydecker asked, not turning.
"We found a trace amount of blood on the window we believed the subject escaped from. The DNA is a match for X5 478". Lydecker didn't move.
"Thank you" said Lydecker, dismissing him. The technician left the room and Lydecker looked at the closed door. 478, or Rae the name the others had given her. The first trace of her since the escape and here all along. And like Max, her days away from Manticore were numbered.
Rae lay on her bed, staring at the ceiling. She had come in just after midnight; quiet ensuring her friends would stay asleep. But she could not sleep. Rae was tired, but she just couldn't sleep. Her mind was racing. Decisions, choices, possibilities ran through her head.
I always knew this day would come that Lydecker would come to the city I call home. I just wished it would never happen. If the trail goes cold Lydecker should, and will leave. But I know better that.
I should be away from Miami already putting, Lydecker behind me. But I can't, this is my home.
I am not going to run, let Lydecker take my life away. This choice is strategically unsound, sentimental and foolish.
But it is human.
Okay for D.A fans this chapter was set just after Cold Comfort. I am running on the thing that Lydecker waited to go after Max for a week to follow this up and goes to Seattle to then try his plan with Max's face to catch her in Blah, blah, woof, woof. Next chapter will take place just after this when Lydecker vanishes from the D.A storyline for a few eps. You know in Out, Red, Art Attack and Rising. The four episodes without Deck in them.
So please review.
-Allison. Chapter completed on 20/8/2006 or for Americans 8/20/2006.