Authours note: When I figure out where in my mind this came from, I'll be sure to let you know. It is a bit far of the beaten track...okay , way off the beaten track but it's my first attempt, so if it sucks R&R and be as brutal as you like. I'm not american nor have I ever been there so most of the places are either names I made up or found on a map somewhere, I'm always open to correction.

PS: Sorry, No beta, but i think it's all good (hopefully)

Disclaimer: Dark angel and all its characters belong to Cameron and Eglee, I own nothing but my own characters so you could sue me if you really wanted the stack of comic books and stick of gum that I have to my name

Gillette, Wyoming 2009

The sound of helicopters over head and snowmobiles getting closer faded as the icy water numbed her senses, if the unit that had stopped on the frozen lake water above her didn't move soon she'd be dead very soon. She didn't mind much, death would be a welcomed escape, not what they had planned but anything was better than going back, she would never go back there.

The soldiers moved on and she hauled herself out of the freezing cold water, her muscles screaming at the exertion as frostbite began to set in, she had to get to the perimeter fence but she had lost her bearings when she fell trough the ice. A sound of foot steps in the snow made her turn, fighting stance in place, she may be cold and tired but she wasn't going to go out without a fight. She relaxed when her brother emerged out of the trees but there would be time to explain later, they were still in hostile territory and the sound of unfriendly fire echoed around them.

With her brother's help they reached the perimeter fence without running into any soldiers, they climbed over the six foot fence effortlessly and once over allowed themselves to relax a little more, but they weren't out of the woods yet, literally. In front of them stretched the woods that surrounded the facility, after a series of hand gestures they both agreed that they had better odds of evading capture if they went uphill, throw the enemy off keep them guessing its what they were taught and all that they knew.

As they climbed the sound of dogs, helicopters, trucks and snowmobiles grew louder below them, so they ran faster until the trees stopped and a wide road stretched out in front of them. Krit turned to ask his sister what they should do next only to find her on her hands and knees, violent tremors racking her body. Her seizures had returned in full force and she had been shivering uncontrollably since she had come out of the lake, Krit knelt next to his sister draping her arm around his shoulders and helping her gently to her feet.

"Come on Maxie, we can make it."

They made it to the middle of the road before she collapsed again; Krit knelt down beside her and watched helplessly as the tremors increased, Max grabbed his arm searching for something that would make the pain stop. The sound of a V8 engine roared, coming closer every second, Max couldn't move and was shaking so much Krit couldn't carry her and he was not about to leave her behind so all he could do was hope he could fight whoever it was off. Seconds later the beam from the headlights engulfed the pair and the black Chevy screeched to a halt, the door opened and a lone silhouette stepped onto the tarmac and approached them slowly.

Lieutenant David Sanchez eyed the pair wearily as he drew closer, he knew who they were and what they were capable of, he had been off barracks when the sirens went off but the transmission on his radio told him all he needed to know. Once he heard order ten-zero-six being issued he knew he could never go back, what they did to those kids was enough to live with but he certainly wasn't about to kill one of them, they needed to escape and so did he and it was now or never. He knew people who could fix him up with a fake identity so he could start fresh and try to forget all he had seen and he had been on his way there when he had to bump into two of them.

Now he had two options, help them or shoot them and he wasn't about to do the latter. He tied to show them he wasn't a threat by raising his hands in the air, he was fully aware that either one of them could snap his neck before he drew his next breath. As he came closer he noticed how the one on the floor was shaking, seizures were common among the X5s and they were all made to carry an emergency supply of tryptophan and he brought one of his hands down to fumble around in the breast pocket of his vest. At the movement the one kneeling made a move to get up.

"Easy, I'm on your side." David tried his hardest to sound sincere

"No you're not, you're one of them!" Krit snapped gesturing towards the soldier's uniform, he wished Max would let go of the vice grip she had on his arm so he could eliminate the threat.

"I used to be," David tried again, this time with a little more force, "I can help her if you let me." He nodded his head towards Max

Krit looked down at his sister who had closed her eyes against the pain and had now broken out in a cold sweat, he looked back up at the soldier needing more than just a promise.

"Here," David said pulling his gun out of its holster at his waist and chucking it at Krit who caught it with practised precision, "I hurt her in any way you can kill me."

Krit seemed happy with the decision and David wasted no time in bridging the gap between him and the kids. His still fumbling hand finally emerged with a vile and syringes grasped tightly between his fingers. He had the syringe full in seconds and with one final look at Krit for his approval he plunged the needle into her thigh and emptied its contents, two long minutes passed before the tremors stopped and Max was still again. David looked around nervously, they had been there too long and they had to move now.

"We have to go, NOW!" the kid seemed hesitant, so David pushed the issue, "Come on kid, have I given you any reason not to trust me?"

Krit had to admit he had a point, not only had he stopped but he had helped and that made him alright in his book even if he was a soldier. Max had released her grip and with out a word in argument Krit helped settle Max on the back seat of the truck then climbed in him self. With one final look in the rear view mirror David pulled off and began the drive through the Rockies and across the country to Malibu and his contacts Mr and Mrs Guevera, a surgeon and a journalist who promised him a new life.

He had first met Gabrielle Guevera at an AA meeting two years back, he had turned to alcohol to try and help him live with that they did in that place, she was doing a story on how alcohol destroyed lives and he got picked as her case study. She hounded him with questions everyday, asking why he was so miserable and why he felt drinking was the only solution, one session he accidentally let slip about Manticore and of course she wanted to know more, it wasn't everyday you stumbled apon a multi-million dollar covert military operation.

Instead of it being front page news the next day Gabrielle made a deal with him, he would stay at Manticore as an inside informant while she worked on a way to try and bring them down for good and in exchange he would be protected when the penny dropped. Her and her husband Rick had many friends in high places and Rick being the man of science that he was, was fascinated by the thought of genetic manipulation so the quid pro quo was established an David had been feeding them what information he could ever since.

But now tables had turned, not only was he collecting on his part before they had actually terminated the program but he was bringing two examples of genetics at their best right to their door, he didn't think just pitching up would do the trick so he reached into the glove compartment and pulled out the cell phone they had given him and punched in a number, it rang a couple times before a female voice came over the line.



"Yeah, David, that you?"

"Yup, its me, something came up, I'm out."

"What came up? Why are you out?"

"An X5 unit tried to escape, to contain the situation they had to be taken out before they got to the perimeter fence, they wanted me to kill them and I couldn't, I won't." he glanced behind him at the two kids in the back seat, the little boy who called himself Krit was looking out the window at the passing scenery but David knew he was listening to every word of the conversation, "I was off base when I heard the order come in so I took off, on my way I found two of the escapees."

"What, where are they now?" she voice interrupted

"They're with me, right now, one's in pretty bad shape, hypothermia I think plus she's got that neurological condition I was telling you about but I think she is going to pull through."

"Hang on a sec," David heard her talking to someone then she was back on the line, "Bring them here as soon as you can, your papers will be here, how far away are you?"

"We're a couple miles out of Buffalo, but if I dive all day tomorrow I reckon we'll be there by about 2000 hours."

"See you then, be careful." With that she ended the call and David tucked the phone back into the glove compartment. They drove in silence the rest of the way, each not knowing what to say to the other. Max awoke about midday and spent the rest of the day watching the hills roll by through her window, then watched as they flattened out into the dessert, she gazed in awe as they passed through the cities and a place David called Los Vegas took her breath away. Krit was relieved she was up and about, he hated having to make decisions, she was after all his superior officer.

At a truck stop David had got them new clothes and they couldn't help but touch the soft colourful fabric that was such a contrast to the dull uniform grey that used to surround them, life was worth living just to see how many colours there were in the world, Max and Krit saw their first sunset that day out of the window of that Chevy pick up and for the first time in their lives they felt free. Night had fallen by the time they pulled up into the drive way of the biggest house Max and Krit had seen so far, the huge metal gates had swung forward automatically at their arrival and the doors to the house swung open as the tires of the car crunched the gravel beneath them.

The car came to a stand still in front of the stair case that led to the house and David jumped out to open the back door for Max and Krit who cautiously stepped out of the car examining their surroundings, the smell of salt and water graced their noses and told them that the sea was near or so David told them. A man and a woman stood before them smiling and David moved forward to greet them. The man was tall with broad shoulders, his black hair was precision cut, his jaw lined with stubble and his Hispanic features were soft and kind. He examined the children before him with his deep chocolate eyes as his wife gave David a peck on the cheek. She was tall as well, but still shorter than her husband, her long brown hair flowed past her shoulders as she walked towards Max and Krit, her Hispanic features were disrupted slightly by the green of her eyes but they were warm and friendly which let Max and Krit relax a little. David came up behind them and urged them forward,

"Max and Krit meet Rick Guevera and his wife Gabrielle."