A/N: Ok. X5-600 and the rest are from Alec's and Sam's squadron, in case you are wondering. They were raised at a different base. This takes place on December 10th, 2010. This squadron became known as "X5R". X5-600 is Zack's clone and later is known as Lane. X5-657 is Tinga's clone and is later known as Jewel. All this information comes from "Dark Angel: The Eyes Only Dossier" complied by D.A. Stern. It's a must read. It's an eye opener (no pun intended). It gives you information on all kinds of things happening in post pulse America. I got my idea for the story from a chapter entitled "The Phoniex Project". That chapter gave me the tools I needed to write my story. The show gave me the story "thread". Alec and then Sam (Max's Clone in "She Ain't Heavy") always went on and on about how hard they had it. My story is about the day it got hard. Hope you enjoy.
Disclaimers: I don't own Dark Angel, that belongs to Fox, James Cameron, and Chich Eglee. I don't own "Dark Angel: The Eyes Only Dossier" which is where Lane and Jewel come from.
Rating: a nice and clean G
Dedicated to: Fer, Boo, lexie b, and wildsky. Those that inspire me to write and those who have supported. My hats off to you.
By: Rose (that's my old pen) or Sibyl411
X5-600 signaled his 4 units to line up in marching order. This morning had been a tense one. Rumors had been running through the usually silent halls of Manticore. He glanced out the window into the snowy landscape before him, then back to his units. He moved his hand to signal a forward march. His ears could hear the air move as the feet behind him began to pound the floor beneath them. His feet, too, beat the same rhythm. He eyes were front, though his mind pondered over the rumors his extra-sensitive ears had picked up from the passing guards' conversations over the course of the morning. They weren't supposed to hear but there had been word of an escape at another facility. The existence of another facility alone was mind-numbing news to X5-600. The rumors were it was an escape of an X5 Commanding officer and his 4 units. What did that mean? Why had they left and abandoned there duty? There were other X5's? Others. X5-600 had always been under the impression that his units, and himself were the only Manticore X5's. He knew of the existence of the X2's and the X3's. The X2's had been too animal and the X3's too human. The X4's were all dead due to extreme complications in their genetic make-up. Their bodies were buried at the bottom of the eastern wall of the facility. A stone slab with barcodes etched on it showing the only sign they had ever existed. X5-600 had to hide a smirk, the X5's were just right. The urge to smirk died in his chest as he heard the rhythmic pounding of their feet falter. A subtle difference could be heard. And in that silent Manticore hallway to extra-sensory ears it was as loud as a gun shot. X5-600 signaled a halt and about-face. He turned on his heels to observe the soldiers in the ranks before him. In 2.3 seconds he had honed in on the difference. He had listened to the X5's heart-rates before him and in column 2, row 6, X5-657 was pale. Her small fists were clenched at her sides; sweat was beading on her forehead.
"X5-657!" X5-600 loudly shouted at the ranks before him.
"Yes sir!" came her loud, strong reply.
"Stand forward and report!" came X5-600's voice curtly. X5-657 marched forward and then stood before the ranks facing him. Her face was set in a stony mask- but her eyes always belied what she was feeling. All their eyes did if you really looked for it.
"Sir, what would you like me to report, sir!"X5-657's eyes held fear, but determination as well.
"Medical status." X5-600 said staring critically at his charge before him.
She blinked, then said "I'm healthy. Slightly accelerated heart-rate, high blood pressure. I feel a little..." trailing off.
"A little..?" inquired X5-600 sternly, raising a stern eyebrow.
"...shaky" said X5-657, mortification leaking into her voice "a...little light-headed, sir." X5-657's eyes lowered to the floor in shame.
X5-600 felt for her but she was a soldier. "Eyes Front!" he bellowed. X5-657's eyes shot forward but shame, hurt, and anger shone through them. X5-600 could feel the tension ripple through the ranks. Soldiers didn't get sick, X5's didn't get sick-so what was wrong with X5-657? As that thought was being processed all the X5's honed in on X5-657's hand. It had started to twitch. The twitching began to work its way up her arm. X5-657 raised her hand to examine it and turned scared, confused eyes to the eyes of X5-600. Then X5-657 slid to the ground as her whole body was engulfed to become a twitching mass.
"Wh-what's ha-happening t-to me?" said X5-657 in a voice that quivered in both fear and the twitching that was consuming her body. The rest of the X5's worriedly exchanged glances.
"What should we do?" called X5-702 from the ranks. X5-600 went to X5-657's side and placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
X5-600 leaned forward and whispered so softly no one but she could hear what he said. "I'm here X5-657, I'm here. You're going to be alright. Take my hand, hold it tight!" X5-657 looked up questioningly into his eyes then placed her hand in his. He could feel the twitching but he held her hand strongly. His voice then rose to carry over the murmuring of the others. "Reform the ranks! Attention!" The rest quickly stood at attention the hall silent once more. "X5-712 take your place as Second in Command. Proceed to Psy-ops and wait for Colonel Travis to brief you and the rest of the unit. Tell Colonel Travis I have to take X5-657 to the medical ward. Dismissed!"
X5-712 saluted X5-600."Sir, yes, Sir! Left Face! Forward March!" X5-712 barked the orders.
X5-600 turned back to face the convulsing form beneath him. He caught her eyes with his trying to show reassurance through his own. He waited until the X5's were out of hearing range before speaking. "It's going to be alright." he stated quietly. He squeezed her hand as if to put some weight behind his words. To instill some hope, though he didn't know the word. They were trained not to believe in hope, that "fair" didn't exist, that bonds and camaraderie were sentimental lies-but X5-657 squeezed back. "Can you walk?" said X5-600.
X5-657, through her chattering teeth said "There is not a can, sir, there is will. I will walk sir!" She struggled, desperately trying to summon the strength to stand, to force her muscles to conform to her commands. After several moments it was evident to X5-600 that she couldn't walk- though X5-657 refused to admit it. X5-600 understood, to admit it would be admitting defeat.
"X5-657 I order you not to stand. I know you can-but I don't want you to make your condition worse." X5-657 relaxed and X5-600 had saved face by letting X5-657 keep her dignity. "I'll carry you to the medical ward." He gingerly picked her up and started walking.
"Thank you" was her quiet, barely audible, but heart rending gratitude.
Once in the medical ward X5-600 placed her on an empty bed and got medical personnel to examine her. The man began calling for others and issuing orders.
"I have to go rejoin the units." said X5-600 quietly to X5-657. The fear intensified in her eyes.
"Don't you want to wait for a full report on me as C.O.?"
X5-600 could hear her underlying question- 'do you have to leave me?' He gave her a piercing look and took a step toward the door. "To return is the proper protocol." he stated.
"But what if this affects all of us, you would need to know the full medical report." Her second statement came out as a plea and emotion was beginning to show on her face. Her soldier mask was crumbling and the little 8 year old was starting to show, despite X5-657's attempts to control herself. Her statement was a sad explanation for X5-600's remaining presence. X5-600 knew he would be subjected to military discipline if he stayed. The others in Psy-ops probably needed him more for moral support. It was never good thing to be ordered to Psy-ops. It would be worse if he didn't show. The entire morning had been bad. First the rumors of an X5 escape at another facility, then they were ordered to Psy-ops, and now X5-657's medical complications. Still...X5-600 turned and then took a seat by X5-657's bed.
"I would like a full medical report a.s.a.p. doctor, on X5-657. I'll wait until you compile one. I need to be briefed then I have to be in Psy-ops." said X5-600 mustering authority. The medical personnel looked at him. One detached himself from the group while the others continued to busily work on X5-657. She looked at him with gratitude. The medical personnel returned with another man in tow. The man in tow indicated that he wanted to speak with X5-600. X5-600 stood and saluted the medic "Sir, yes, sir?"
"Sir, X5-600, sir!"
"X5-600 you do not have clearance for a full medical report. You will be reported for not following standard protocol. Where are you supposed to be?"
"I am to be with the other 4 units in Psy-ops sir, I am to rejoin them sir."
The medic looked at X5-600, then to X5-657, then back again. "I think Colonel Travis will be very interested in this, very. You are dismissed." X5-600 saluted the medic, then shockingly turned to X5-657 and saluted her. He was out the door before the shock could wear off any one.
"What the hell was that?" yelled the medic "why did he show her that honor? That undermined my authority! Henry!" he called. "Get Colonel Travis on the phone now! He needs to know about this! Let's not have another Gillette incident!"
As X5-600 sauntered out the door, most of it was bravado. He was going to be walking into Pys-ops late having shown behavior that was out of line and would need to be disciplined. This was not the best time to be rebellious. As C.O. his behavior represented the rest of the X5 units under his command. His actions, though showing X5-657 that he was "with her", may now be detrimental to the rest of the soldiers in his units. Did he even help X5-657? He had shown her moral support but he hadn't stopped the medical experiments that were sure to come about and the Psy-ops that was sure to follow. Which would be more intensive for her, all the others, and mostly for him. But he had made his decision. His soldiers were his life and he trusted and honored them in his heart more than any one else. X5-600 never took back any thing he did or said. Still Psy-ops was definitely going to be more intensive for him as punishment for his display in the Medical Ward. X5-600 figured better more intensive for him then any of the others. X5-600 had reached the doors to Psy-ops and pushed them open. He strode in and got in line next to X5-712.
"Good, you're just in time X5-600." said Colonel Travis in a steely voice.
"For what sir?"
"For Reindoctrination X5-600."
A/N: Ok. Hope you enjoyed that. Again I strongly suggest everyone go and read the Dossier. It will give you all kinds of fun story ideas. Lane, Sam, Jewel, Devon (Krit's Clone), and Keema (Brin's clone) were all stationed in Arizona later. I think Alec was stationed in Wyoming because of all the problems they had with him and the mission where he fell in love with Rachel. Just so you know why Max didn't see any of them when she was there during "Designate This". I kinda hinted that Lane liked Jewel and I might do something with that later. In the Dossier report for Jewel it has her down for being disciplined for "unauthorized contact with command personnel". That's interesting. Do you think that since Lane would have been C.O. (presumably) that perhaps they had a secret relationship? Interesting. Any way hope you enjoyed.
Reviews are ALWAYS appriecated:)