Chapter 1

Gazing through the glass now, it all seemed too easy, really. How simple it all had come to her. Certainly, there was plenty of work behind this, but really, had she exhausted all their resources? Had she resorted to their most extreme measures? It had happened far sooner than she'd ever expected. It was a raging success.

She looked into the incubator, staring at her experiment, stroking the glass gently with her delicate yet firm hands. The same hands that had at one time pushed the X5 out of the way. The same hands that she had used along with her feet to jump in front of her, and save her, allowing- more than that, welcoming a bullet to come crashing into her body.

She wouldn't have made the decision if she had any other options. The X5 had left her with no other choice. Renfro did not appreciate having her options taken away from her. She bitterly thought of how she had sacrificed herself to save the X5. Perhaps the rouge soldier mistook the decision for compassion, or a moment of insanity.

Only Renfro knew why she'd done it. She smiled, realizing the beauty of her plan. Her team had worked just as designed. They effectively went into action immediately, just as she had instructed them.

Renfro looked down at her own scars, again made of her own choice. She stared darkly at the tiny puncturing wounds on her arms. Her battle against her own mind was something that she had never expected. Renfro wasn't one to be taken by surprise. She carefully planned everything, and losing her mind of what happened while she was dead was not something she anticipated.

She wanted the time back. She wanted more than anything to know what happened to her during those weeks. She had to study herself thanks to the X5 and her own decision. She didn't know the extent of the changes it had caused.

Renfro wasn't an Xseries. Yet she had to use them, she had to infect her own DNA to come back. Renfro held a slight disgust in herself. She had wanted her DNA, the X5. But since she had to react quickly, she again had found her options limited.

She was forced to have defective DNA pumped through her body, affecting, infecting her own. The doctors weren't aware. Renfro remembered her reaction when she'd found out that she had been revived with another X5's DNA.

She had, at the time, reacted out of anger. She recalled bitterly the one moment where she did not have control over her reactions.

"What the hell do you mean you used blood from X5-656?" Renfro yelled angrily upon hearing the news.

"Ma'am.." the nervous doctor stammered, "She was the only one prepped for it. She was the only one ready."

Renfro ignored her painful memories, and stared again at the glass, stroking it once more. "Oh, there, there," she spoke softly, maternally. "You are going to be so much better when we recreate you!"

This one they called Brin, she thought, laughing at their sentiments. They actually considered themselves a family. Renfro wondered how the X5 would take it if she witnessed this. Renfro thought, disgusted, it would probably be enough for her to turn herself in. How pathetic.

Renfro loved being in charge, the power and feeling it brought. She was the giver of life. She held the power over creation- how amazing that was! She could build them, she could destroy them. She could change them.

She could resurrect them. Reconstruction was the term they used, not that it mattered. She didn't have to answer to anyone. She was the boss of it all, and she loved it.

Her eyes circled the room, admiring her work.

Her gaze stopped as her eyes focused on one particular incubator. This one she approached as though it were another person. This was truly the fruit of their labor. This one was the special one.

Renfro's proud, beaming smile changed as her lips began to curl sharply downward, into a firm frown. This all wouldn't be necessary if her operative had just done his job.

She hated him. He was such a waste. How he'd escaped death, she didn't know. He was somehow able to dodge Manticore-sent attempts to kill him, twice now, while he had allowed a bunch of children to escape his facilities in his past. She didn't have to wait much longer. If the experiment worked this time, as it certainly appeared so, they wouldn't need the X5 anymore. The rogue soldier surely thought she was immune by now, thought that they needed her.

452 knew that she had special DNA. Her careless actions as of late proved she was not concerned with her safety. It was true that until the experiment was completed, her well-being was necessary.

If it worked, she could finally be taken care of. She could be terminated. There would be no need to keep her alive. As long as her body was still in tact, they would only need the vitals. They could rebuild her, make her more perfect.

Renfro stared at Brin, watching the pumps suck the fluids out of her, smiling again at the affectionate name that her creations had given this vegetable. Should I give this one life, Renfro considered. Brin had her flaws. She was not one of Renfro's prized ones. She had a certain jealousy of 452 especially. It had always been evident in training and during missions.

Renfro scowled at the thought of Brin's interrogation. Renfro was almost embarrassed at Brin's lacking self-control. Brin was too self-absorbed. When the question had been asked of her, if 452 had released her of free will, or if Brin had overpowered her, the soldier lied.

Renfro hated being lied to by her soldiers, her creations. Their attempts to undermine her ability to detect their insincerity was unnerving.

That was when Renfro had made up her mind. Any female X5 would do, she needed the female DNA. Why not Brin? Brin's failed DNA would not be passed on, only the female chromosome. Renfro already had another X5 far better than Brin to create what it was that she required.

The experiment would kill her. Renfro had known before she'd decided to go ahead. Brin's life was something that Renfro valued no more than that of her foolish operative.

Renfro wondered, momentarily, if he knew what she was doing. His reaction, perhaps, would be worse than 452's. 452 would probably have more self-control. In a way, Renfro hoped he was close enough to see what was going on. She loved the thought of pissing him off, leading him to make an irrational decision, finally make a mistake that would cost him his life.

Renfro was interrupted by one of her underlings, her head physician on staff. "Ma'am. The prep is over. Are you sure you want to do this again?"

Renfro allowed her icy dark eyes to stare coldly into his. Why was he questioning her? "Of course." She answered flatly.

"Madame, all of my tests indicate there is no guarantee that this will work-" he began to protest.

"I want those weeks back," She interrupted forcefully, dismissing his attempts to change her mind. "Meanwhile, continue to probe 734."

"Renfro," the doctor addressed her impersonally with a look of shock, "Without time to rest, she may die. The alterations made to her body and mind could prevent any type of reconstruction."

"I'm aware of that, doctor," Renfro answered, annoyed. "Do I need to repeat my orders?"

"No, Ma'am."

"Good." She paused, "The prep is over? In that case, let's go." She walked confidently toward the room, swallowing her doubts, her human flaws, that were begging her to turn around. She dismissed the fearful human thoughts within her wanting her to take his advice, to not do this. She ignored the pain she was already feeling in her fresh wounds, warning her to take some time to heal before doing this again.


a/n: thanks for reading, what do you think?... next chapter shows Max's current situation