Twisted Experimentation

Disclaimer; I don't own either Harry Potter or Dark Angel but I do own any plot that is does not match any story in either is my own.

Chapter 1; X5-862

Manticore 2002

Two Doctors stood over a small year and a half year old child placed on a metal table. The baby didn't make a sound though it was wide awake. It hadn't been long since it had first awoken on the door step of a house in England but already it had learnt that people listened to his cries no longer. Shaggy black hair half shaded a scar on his forehead in the shape of a lightning bolt and piercing green eyes stared dolefully up at the two men as they studied his charts.

"Designation is X5-331974327862." One said. "Current genetic structure shows magical abilities. Command wanted it analysed for potential use in the other X-5's."

They fussed for a time over the results of the tests on their clipboards before the second spoke. "We could remove his ability to consciously control his magic and harness it to only work internally and create an antibody to try on the other X-5's."

"To what end?" The younger questioned.

"Resistance to long term magical energies." The second, older one, said before checking through his notes again. "We'll have to remove that scar, it's too distinguishable." He lowered his clipboard and smirked. "This one will be one of my best creations. Begin Genetic alterations immediately."


Some weeks later

"Alterations are complete, sir." The old man said over the unconscious body of X5-862, the newest addition to the X-5 class. "He should be on par with the others of his class and the magical strain will give him enhanced healing and deeper sensory resolution than the others but he has no ability to control his magic on a conscious level. Just like you asked, Sir."

"Good, I don't want an unpredictable fighter." A younger, arrogant man spoke. "What of your research into resistance to the magical energies?"

"I've looked into it and it'll take time but doesn't present any obvious problems so far." He reported.

The leader turned to a lowly doctor standing back from the table. "Take him to the others in his age and class." He snapped. "Good work, Doctor."


Manticore 2009

862 gasped as water started to flood first his mouth and then his lungs. He groped at the sheet of glass that restricted his ability to get at the delicious oxygen on the other side. He could see the hazy outline of an army instructor watching him and also several of his brothers and sisters struggling, resisting the orders that kept them from helping him. Already the other two being tested were lying on the ground outside their tanks gasping for air.

He frowned when the Instructor did nothing to get him out, even though he had lasted longer than his two brothers and was near to drowning. Water filled his lung as he scrambled for the lid for even a pocket of air. Darkness began to creep in around his peripheral vision and his limbs began to get heavy.

"862!" One of his sisters' yelled out even though she would never have spoken out of turn even if he was close to drowning.

"862!" His eyes snapped open and he shot up with a gasp. 452 was shaking him, her eyes wide as he came awake and alert in almost the same instant. X-5 weren't supposed to be weak enough to have nightmares. Their bunk room was dark with only the red backlighting showing any features on her face. "Were you dreaming about last week again?"

He nodded as he looked around the room to see if he had woken any of the other nine year olds, being awake after lights out was against the rules, let alone being out of bed or talking like 452 was right now. He saw that 599 was also awake on the bunk on the other side of him to 452's. He was looking at him with concern but he made no motion to rise. Just having one of them out of bed was bad enough. "Get back in bed 452 before you get us all in trouble." He whispered harshly making her follow the request instantly. She lay down and he put his own head on the pillow just as she pulled her blanket up to her chin. He shut his eyes trying to get the memory of water in his lung out of his mind. He glanced over first to 599 on his left who was still watching him carefully and then he tilted his head back to 452 who was looking straight at the ceiling. He drew in his breath and said the one thing they had been trained was never necessary. "Thanks Max."

She looked at him and smiled slightly before closing her eyes to return to her sleep. 862 just sighed. Their main Instructor had never liked him because he was modified rather than born like the others he roomed with. They held him to higher expectations for, it seemed, no other reason other than their dislike for him. Worse than that was all of the other X-5's knew it. He had come to hate pity and the others who knew him in his section knew that so only ever helped him if he could last without them. He hated that too.

But no matter how much he hated their pity and help they were first and foremost his brothers and sisters, his family. Max and Zack most of all.

862 didn't sleep that night, his training nagged at him like it always did after he recalled any of the worst sessions. They were trained through almost every hour of every day but the same men, through every conceivable type of combat training. Their physical skills were tested and their thresholds pushed with tasks of ever increasing difficulty, their reactions were tested, their strength, their speed and even how long they could breathe underwater before their bodies began to shut down. Ever since he could remember that had been his life and never once had he seen or heard news of the world that must stretch beyond the high fences and armed guards that made up his home.

The day's tests and training ran as smoothly as they ever did. They were drilled out in the snow by their instructors, forced to run through obstacle courses half buried in snow and ice. Nothing was different to show that this day would change their small family's life forever. Nothing to show that 862's world could get any worse.

That night he had another nightmare except this time it wasn't just Zack and Max that he awoke. By the time Max had shook him awake all of the X-5 they bunked with were awake, twenty nine-year-old faces were watching him and most horrifically was two the faces of two guards as they stormed down the isle between the bunks with batons at the ready. He shoved Max back against her own bunk, getting a startled "Riley!" out of her, so she was in the clear and swung his legs off the bed.

He needn't have bothered however since his sweat soaked sheets tangled around his legs making it easy for the first guard to deal a blow to his chest that knocked the wind from him and before he could retaliate another blow struck his hip and they grabbed him by the arms and began hauling him from the room. Just before his sight was obscured by the closing door he saw Zack whispering frantically with Max and several of the others.

It wasn't until he woke in an isolation room the next morning that he had any idea that anything had happened out of the ordinary apart from his own situation. One of his instructors walked into the room and Riley snapped himself to attention. "It looks like they left you behind." The military sergeant began though his comment only confused him. No sign of that confusion showed on his face however. X-5's didn't show emotion. "Were you just the decoy then?"

Riley almost frowned but held it in as the man continued. "Run away haven't they. Twenty in all managed to escape when those lackwits left room 2 unguarded. Though we did get the others back though two had to be terminated."

This comment however forced an outburst from Riley. Though it wasn't anything remotely like sadness as far as the instructor was concerned. Two of his family dead.

"The Doctors aren't very impressed with you 862. You let your emotions get the better of you and cost us two X-5's, not to mention another twelve if we don't get them back." He continued ignoring Riley's silence. "Looks like you were betrayed and abandoned like the worthless waste that you are. Your punishment will be isolation for no less than two months on minimum sustenance. Understand, 862?"

Riley couldn't ignore this question. "Understood, Sir!"

Before he could even think the sergeant's baton struck him across the knees, sending him painfully to his knees. Another strike hit his upper back sending him face first into the cold stone floor. He only heard the door close through the ringing in his ear because of his enhanced hearing and by the time he could get enough energy to turn that was he was alone again. He crawled across the floor, trying to keep his weight off of his throbbing knees, and collapsed in the corner and curled into a tight ball as he struggled through his changing world.

There was no other way to look at it. His family had used his removal from the room as a diversion for their own escape. They hadn't stuck together like Max and Zack had promised. Max and Zack and all those others had taken the chance to save themselves without even a thought his way and now he had it so much worse then they had ever had it before. For the first time since Max and Zack had helped him choose a name, he was disgusted by the thought of ever answering to Riley again. He'd answer to nothing other than 862 until the day he was killed.


Manticore 2020

Life had never got much easier for 862. His first time in the isolation rooms when he was nine had taught him that by following orders he could avoid the punishment that always came his way. He was still pushed harder than the others though now that they were nearly twenty the others were pushed harder than they used to be. Failure wasn't something that was ever tolerated and through almost two decades of training failure was very rarely possible for them.

He still had nightmares though his body had learnt to hide them in the same way the other X-5's did. Silently struggling through sleep with only a rapid increase in breathing to show that they were dreaming at all. His room mate, 494, had the same problems as himself, he was one of the best so he was held to higher expectations. Alec, as he called himself even though 862 couldn't bring himself to use his name, was supposed to have been 452's breeding partner but because they still hadn't found her or the others that had escaped ten years ago he was now on the mission list along with 862.

862 had never actually gone on a mission before, he'd been out of the complex on training missions in old abandoned towns and villages, hunting other X-5's for experience but never had he been sent into the real world. 494 had though, he'd gone on a mission and even though 862 wasn't sure what had been the objectives he had noticed that 494 had been gone for a long time, almost three months, and had returned changed. He'd been upset although only 862 had noticed since he spent so much of his time with the other X-5, he'd also heard 494 muttering in his nightmares and had caught the name 'Rachel' several times as well has almost silent screams of distress. He never brought it up and never hinted that he knew as much as he did.

He was now waiting silently in the corner of one of the briefing rooms as several of the Instructors and administrators as they discussed things quietly. He could hear them easily with his enhanced hearing but he paid them no mind. Eavesdropping on your superiors was against the rules. "862. Come forward." The lead Instructor spoke simply. 862 recognised the blond man as Lydecker, Head of operations.

He stepped out of the shadows wearing his bland blue t-shirt and trousers that all of the transgenics wore out of session. He said nothing because he knew it wasn't expected of him to speak, only to follow his orders.

"Your mission is here." Lydecker told him pointing to a small town about twenty miles Northeast of the city of Seattle. "We have heard reports of two possible escaped X-5's in the area. This is a long term mission, your handler will take you to the town and you will find and observe these X-5's. They can't have hidden there without help of some kind, your task is to discover this aid and only when you have exhausted them as information sources will you move in to engage them."

One of the other instructors spoke up. "We would rather you capture them but kill them if you have to." They paused slightly and 862 knew that they wanted to know that he understood his mission so far.

"Understood, Sir!" He directed at Lydecker since he was the most senior in the room.

"You will contact your handler as soon as the task is done. He will bring you back to Manticore for a proper debriefing." Lydecker told him. "You wont fail us will you, 862?"

"No, Sir!" He snapped crisply.

"Good." Lydecker smirked slightly, "Now go and prepare. You move out at 1800 hours. Dismissed."

862 snapped out a salute and turned on his heal and left the room. He remained completely unapproachable until he reached the room he shared with 494 where he sagged down onto his bed and let out the breath he hadn't realised he'd been holding. "What's happening?" 494 asked from his own bed where he was resting from a recent training session that 862 had been taken out of.

862 looked up and smirked at his brother. "I have a mission."

"What is it?" 494 asked.

862 paused, normally you didn't speak about your missions but Lydecker hadn't said that it was confidential. "I'm being sent to hunt two of the X-5 that escaped ten years ago."

"What are you going to do?" 494 didn't harbour the same feelings as 862 when it came to those that had escaped though because he hadn't been in their room that night, nor punished endlessly for the betrayal.

"I'm going to follow my orders!" 862 snapped. "I'll capture or kill them and anyone helping them."

"You would actually kill them?" 494 asked carefully.

"If I have no other choice." 862 nodded. "They used me as a distraction and then left me to take the blame for their actions."

"You'll never forgive them, I understand that." 494 nodded. "But why kill them. They only did what they needed to do."

862 looked at him sharply. "You've changed." He told him bluntly. "Before that mission you would have agreed with me. Now you want me to let them live happy lives whilst we suffer?"

"No!" 494 argued. "Why do you really want to do this? And don't say because those are your orders."

862 shrugged. "Revenge."


End Chapter