a/n: thanks definitely goes out to christique for giving me the initial concept, and of course also, for proofreading this mess!

this is no AU (at least initially!) Set after the final episode of Dark Angel.

disclaimer- i dont own the original dark angel characters anywhere in this fic unless otherwise noted

Chapter 1

Max sat in the chair, pleased with her preparation. She had made sure to look very professional. She had briefed everyone on the event. It was surely going to go off as spectacular. She couldn't help but smile at her work. Not often did she get the chance to sit back and admire her actions, it wasn't in her nature. But she felt it was okay to be proud. It was, after all, her city!

As the leader of Terminal City, Max took personal pride in making sure they all were fairly represented and had a chance to show the world what they really were like!

The reporter held out her hand to shake Max's, smiling kindly. "Hello, Max. It is so good to finally meet you firsthand. We already have some footage of your…wonderful, city." The reporter's smile seemed a little forced. She was showing some snobbery it seemed to Max. Good thing for Max that she was trained in faking out her enemy. She was able to hold a straight face as well as the cheesy grateful smile while dismissing the woman's rude judgments and obvious opinion that Max wouldn't be able to pick up on her insincerity.

Max grinned, returning the handshake, "No, Darla. Thank you! The citizens of Terminal City are so grateful for this opportunity."

It had all been the brainwork of Sketchy. Max laughed inwardly remembering her skaterboy friend Sketchy. Something about the transgenics saving his ass had reformed Sketchy to come to appreciate their differences, or at least consider accepting them. Or maybe it was the fact that Max was one of them, realizing all these years he'd been hitting on a "governmentally designed goddess" as his words had been upon the discovery.


Earlier that week….

"Dude, I seriously am in a state of shock. Give me a moment, here, Max." he said.

Max raised an eyebrow, "Sketch. You've had 2 weeks." She had finally made her way back to visiting her friends after being exposed and labeled a transgenic. She'd been on the news since, everyone knew she was the "Mayor of Freak Nation" as the tabloids were reporting.

"The thing is…I told myself I wasn't going to allow the government to control me anymore, Max. There are some scary things out there, and I thought I was over it, but, I just am not so sure right now."

Max frowned.

"Max, yesterday, I actually had the unfortunate experience of witnessing Normal commenting to a news anchor about you. I mean, Normal's face should not be given access to a public media. There is some scary shit out there, Max!"

Max wasn't sure what Normal's comments had to do with how Sketchy felt about her. She tried to reason with him. "Well, you and me- we're in the same boat. Cuz I'm tryin' to stop the government from controlling me, too. And all my friends. That would include you, so tell me what to do, I'll get on their ass." She smiled warmly at her old friend.

Max's eyes lit up to see another familiar face. This one wouldn't need any convincing. Of course, she hadn't just then been thrown at the shock of realizing her best friend was part of a hidden project and had been on the run for the past few years.

"What this foo' here is tryin' ta say, is that he still got ya back, 'm I right?" OC nudged Sketchy.

"Of course I've got your back, Max, you know that," Sketchy explained. "I'm just still adjusting to the fact that I've been close friends with a governmentally designed goddess all this time."

Max softened as she realized. Aww.. Poor Sketchy's embarrassed! She almost laughed, but managed to stiffen it. "So, we're cool?" Max asked, holding up her partially gloved hand in a fist for him to return the pound.

Sketchy nodded, returning the gesture, and finally smiling, "Yea. We're cool."

OC clapped, "Well, good. Now that this relationship has been mended, mind tellin' a sister what's up? I have to see you on the news! Now you know that just don't do it for me! So I wanna hear straight from the governmental goddess- how's my girl doin?"

Max smiled, relaxing, but also realizing her situation. It had been tough lately, she felt she was being stretched thin. Being a leader wasn't exactly easy. It was tough keeping everyone in line while dealing with a constant stigma upon anything transgenic everytime she turned on the news.

Max opened her mouth to answer, but paused as she recognized her own voice coming from the TV in the corner.

"We just want equal rights! Why can't we get jobs just like every other benjamin chasin' pimp out there without gettin' harassed? There's nothing wrong with us, and we aren't harming anyone, so I don't get what the dealio is!"

"Mmm!" Cindy commented, "Look at homegirl's attitude! Don't go messin' with that!"

"That, channel 9 viewers, was the unofficial Mayor of the Freak Nation. In spite of her claims, Police reports confirm that the damage from these "transgenics" continues, as the violence only gets worse. Here I am, live, with police chief Danny Brewster, who's been on the case for the past few weeks now, ever since the ultimate exposing of the existence of transgenics exactly one month ago today." The woman turned to a gruff looking man in a uniform. "Officer Brewster, tell us, what is it like dealing with the transgenics?"

The officer stared into the camera while answering. "Well, Linda, it's been difficult. My men aren't used to these military type offenses in the streets of Seattle. We've had to make some adjustments."

"So you're saying these transgenics have in fact been showing aggression and violence?"

"Oh, yea. We're workin' to contain the problem, but of course, the government hasn't been much help. They still won't cooperate with us by informing us of the whole situation."

"But, Officer Brewster, weren't the documents on the Government Project labeled Manticore destroyed in a fire? That's what the government has been reporting."

The officer shook his head, "Of course that's what they want you to believe! How convenient, don't you think? A fire right when the documents in question are needed most. I think they're out there. Someone out there has a copy. I really wish they would come forward."

"One last question, officer. If you could address the Mayor of the Freak Nation right now, I believe her name is Max, what would you say to her?"

"Cooperate with us and help us make Seattle safe. Turn yourselves in, and work with us."

"Officer, are the transgenics under arrest?"

Brewster looked shaken momentarily, "Well, technically, no, but of course coming in for questioning can help us with the current investigations we have going on at the moment."

Linda nodded, turning back to face the camera. "Well there you have it! A call from the Seattle police department to work with the transgenics in making Seattle safer! Will the transgenics respond to the city's call? Or will they remain hidden away in their very own "Freak Nation" while infiltrating the streets of Seattle only during the night equipped with violence and aggression?" She turned once more to gruff policeman. " Thank you Officer Brewster."

The man nodded before the camera went back to the main station.

"In other news-"

Max stood up from her chair, suddenly not feeling welcome without her "Freak Nation" beside her.

"Girl, don't listen to that trash!" OC said, trying to get Max to talk to them.

"That wasn't just some tabloid, O.C. That was the main news channel!" Max said, getting upset.

"Original Cindy will back you up. I'll go talk to them, tell them they're full of crap!"

Sketchy then added some more bad news, "Max, that interview from Normal… I don't know if they're gonna use it, but it might be featured on tonight's news. It wasn't pretty."

Max clenched her fist, trying to keep her anger hidden for the moment, it would do no good yelling at her friends anyway. "Thanks guys, sorry to excuse myself, but I really think I should get back to my nation of Freaks to make sure all my little furry friends haven't killed any innocent citizens wandering nearby." She was bitter, she knew they didn't deserve it, but she couldn't help it.

"You know, I made a comment about you, too, Max, if it helps. Of course, mine wasn't filmed, but I made sure to let them know you are an upstanding citizen by my amazing judgment."

Max smiled slightly, in appreciation. "Thanks, Sketch. It was good seeing you, both of you. But I really think I'm gonna head back."

Sketchy then had a moment- one of his rare ones- when the light bulb went off in his normally dormant head. He looked like he'd just come up with a brilliant idea. "Max! You need some unbiased publicity, right?"

Max stared at him. Where exactly was he going with this? She wanted to say 'duh' but she held her impatience, and offered a "Yes," instead, eyeing him with that look of hers, trying to get him to get to the point.

"I happen to be fairly popular with the public media at large. I've got connections, Max."

"What this boy probably means is he found himself a good screw with some reporter. You doin' that boy toy gig again?" Cindy asked.

Sketchy ignored the comment, "I'm serious, Max. I can put a good word in, maybe get you an exclusive interview! What do you think!"

Max eyed him with slight disbelief. "Sketch, you worked as a photographer for a tabloid! No offense, but I've already seen my friends grace the cover with their appearance, and I'd rather not have that happen again."

Sketchy wasn't satisfied. "Listen, Max. It's like Cindy said, I've got your back! I am gonna get you your very own exclusive. How could any news outlet say no- an exclusive look into the mysteries and dangers of the Freak Nation! A documentary to show the world what is really going on in there, not just the rumors. Come on, Max, what do you say!"

Max couldn't believe she was warming up to the idea. "One, it's not called Freak Nation! It's called Terminal City. And two, who could you possibly know that could hook us up like that?"

Sketchy smiled, pleased with his usefulness. He rubbed his hands together slowly, letting his idea formulate a bit more. "Leave it to me, Max. I will get you a reporter."

a/n: so, whacha think? semi serious at the start, but this is going to get funnier (hopefully!) as next ch Alec will make an appearance! so yes, the usual question- keep going?