-1-Bleed Just to Know Your Alive-

Alec sat down on the edge of his bed and ran a hand through his hair, the rain pounding against the widow ceil the only sound filling the silence that surrounded him. So much had gone on in the past few days that everything felt surreal, Like this was no longer his life, but someone else's .

The memories inside his head were blinding as they played themselves over and over a constant reminder of what he had once been. The things he had not so long ago been forced to do.

Murderer!

His mind screamed at him between vivid images of the crimes he had committed, the lives he had stolen, the souls he had taken, and the families he had broken.

The worst part though, the worst part of all of it was that up until now… He had never even felt the slightest tinge of guilt about any of it. He would slit a throat or choke breath from a man and not even blink an eye lid.

He was a murderer, a killing machine, genetically altered to the likings of the men who pulled his puppet strings, the men who told him when to eat, when to breathe, and who to kill.

He should have been stronger though, he should of known better, any human being would know that killing was wrong, any human being would feel remorse for the cruel and torturous things that Alec, more commonly known as X-5-494, had done without question.

This realization alone put doubt into the young man's mind and anger in his heart, questions inside of him that he thought he would never have the answer to. He clenched and unclenched his jaw fisting the sheets beneath him in his hand and squeezing them tight enough to cut his circulation off…

X5-494, before he had met Max, that was the only name he had known, hell it wasn't even a name it was a number like a product code stamped on to the back of his neck. He was a replaceable and disposable product engineered in a lab by men in white coats, he was a test tube creation, not some woman's loving child that she carried in her womb…

He never even had a mother, only a drill sergeant. He never felt a hug, only the pain of broken bones and bruised ribs. He never heard the words I love you spoken to him as a child, only orders and demands barked at him telling him to be stronger, to be fearless and to fight harder.

Alec thought about the people he passed by daily on the street, the families with smiles on their faces and songs in their hearts, he thought about how happy they seemed, the sounds of laughter that poured carelessly from their lips…. And he felt jealousy burning inside of him.

Jealousy and sadness. How come he was never allowed to laugh like that as a child, to feel so good inside, why was he so numb to anything that seemed to resemble happiness…

Rising up from his spot on the bed he crossed the room making his way to the kitchen and pulling a bottle of liquor from the cabinet he unscrewed the top and took a long hard drink welcoming the burning sensation that poured down his throat.

MURDERER!!!

There it was again louder then ever, that little voice, that damn thing called a conscience inside his brain reminding him of what he was… what he would always be… He closed his eyes tightly wishing for the darkness to devour him and take him away, to give him some sort of peace.

But like all the other luxuries his life was lacking, he was not rewarded with darkness, only tortured with the faces of the lives he had ended carved into his eyelids…

And then there she was…. The whole reason that this on set of human emotions had begun in the first place, the one and only thing he had ever found comfort in in his screwed up and damned existence

One of the lives, he had forcefully ended, whether he meant to or not.

Her beautiful blue eyes, the first to ever look at him and see him as a person, as flesh and blood, and soul and not just another body on an assembly line, a toy solider to be used up and thrown out like yesterdays garbage.

Her touch that sent a warm and soothing sensation through his entire body, and reminded him, no informed him that he had a heart, because every time that she was near him, every time she touched him, it would beat faster then it ever had and Alec swore it was calling out to her, to be touched by her, to be loved by her.

Her innocence though, that was the best part about her, as beautiful as she was to look at, her flawless face paled in comparison to the innocence that spilled over from her soul. When she spoke to him, her words were the only thing he could hear, they were hopeful… they were naive, and they said things that Alec had only dreamed about….

She talked about her future, about their future… And Alec relished in the illusions that those words created, in the thoughts that he could be with her…. Love her…forever.

She was everything to him, she was the sun, and the moon, the stars and the earth, because she had taught him how to feel… She had taught him to care.

He could still remember the words coming off of her lips, the soft sound of her voice filling her ears, sending a chill down his spine.

"I love you."

So sweet, so innocent, and so real….

She loved him, and he thought he loved her too…

But that didn't change what he had to do, what his mission was….

She loved him, and he had to kill her.

The blinding lights of the explosion, the ringing in his ears returned, and Alec's eyes shot open immediately. He swallowed hard trying to stop the vomit from rising into his throat, the bottle he had been holding having somehow fallen from his grasp it now laid in a hundred tiny slivered pieces at his feet.

RACHEL!

His insides screamed her name, but his lips stayed silent as he felt what he knew were tears behind his eyes and shut them off before they could spill over. Manticore had taught him, had installed in him that tears were for the weak, there was no use for him to cry, no reason. So he never had… Never would, he wasn't built that way.

He could remember that day as though it were yesterday, the confusion that had taken over his mind, he loved her, he didn't understand what love was, but he knew he loved her… Yet his orders were to eliminate her and her father, there was no other way, Manticore, his home was at stake, they told him.

At the last minute the thought of losing her was to much to bare and he tried to tell her, tried to be honest, to be human, but it only backfired….

The explosion was loud and his ears rung for hours afterwards the heat from the fire a burn against his flesh that never faded…

They tore him away, tied him down, and since he refused to forget, he didn't want to forget, they forced him not to care anymore…

And in time the solider had returned and the human had once more vanished…

It was easy to kill, it was his nature, and like a bird with a healed wing he returned to what he knew…. Rachel was a memory that he had forgotten, had been programmed to forget and that was how it remained until now.

All those years, all that time, he had not thought about her once. And now she was all he could think about, she was the trigger of a loaded gun going off over and over again against his temple.

She reminded him of what he had once felt, and then of what he had once done not only to her but to so many….

Sliding down to the cool tiles of the kitchen floor glass surrounding him Alec looked down into the small transparent pieces before picking one up and studying it, it reminded him strangely of himself, so broken and shattered against his will, so capable of causing pain.

Murderer!

He rested his head back against fridge and closed his eyes, X5-494, a product on a shelf with thousands more like him, no more useful then a roll of toilet paper or a can of bug spray, Alec was confused, Alec wanted to understand…

And Alec Wondered…

Was he even human?

With all the things he had done, without guilt, anguish or remorse, with all the lives he had taken, and the monster he was inside….. Was he even human?

He didn't have a mother, a father, or a childhood, he didn't have anything that a person, a real living and breathing person was entitled to… All he had were fucked up memories of battles fought and lives taken.

Gripping the small piece of glass in his hand Alec opened his eyes and looked down at it…

Was he human?

He didn't even know anymore.

His hand shook as he placed the sharp corner to his flesh and slid it down his arm, he didn't want to die, at least he didn't think he wanted to,…. He just wanted to bleed… To bleed and to know he was alive.

It pierced quickly, the pain dull compared to the pain he felt burning his insides with every breath he took these days… and then there, there was his reward as he watched thick red liquid begin to pour from the small opening in his flesh, flowing like a river of red down his arm.

Blood. His Blood.

He watched, bleeding for those he had bled dry, bleeding for those who no longer could because of him, bleeding for her…

As he watched his wound already beginning to heal its self after only a few moments, as he watched it close up, he felt his insides doing the same, closing off, shutting up…. He was a solider, a solider that could bleed, so was he human?

He wondered if he would ever know.