Terminal City

Chapter III

A Meeting with the Manufacturer

"I'm sorry, but have you been drinking cough syrup again?" Alec demanded incredulously. "Because you're saying some crazy things."

Alec, Logan and Max had retreated to the small conference room to discuss the newest information bombshell that had fallen into their laps. It was a small, windowless room, and Logan was fairly certain that it was meant to be a janitor's closet, but it had thick concrete walls, and there weren't very many places where three people could have a private conversation when surrounded by a transgenic army with super hearing.

"Look, I'm not saying we should give him the keys to the city or anything," Logan temporized, "but it couldn't hurt to let him in and hear what he has to say. Lydecker and Sandeman might have some useful information, and in case you haven't noticed, information is one of the many things we're lacking lately."

"I can't believe you want to trust Colonel Lydecker and let him bring in the mad scientist that cooked us up," Alec focused his attention on Max this time, hoping to persuade her. "Don't we have enough problems already?"

"Logan's right, Alec. We need information, and talking to Sandeman has been on top of the to-do list forever. C'mon, how many chances do you get to meet your maker? I want to know what the hell is up with White's snake cult and what all these damn symbols mean and how he managed to get them into my skin."

Logan added, "Just because he used to be Manticore and he's being delivered by Lydecker doesn't change the fact that we need him, Alec."

"I know," Alec agreed. "You guys are right, but that doesn't make it any less stupid."

"Since when do we ever do anything the smart way?" Max countered back.

"Go tell Lydecker to set up the meet. You know, if they haven't already defenestrated him while we were talking."

"Yeah, maybe better not to leave him alone too long with Mole. Or whatever," Max shrugged, realizing she didn't really care that much if her former C.O. was being tormented behind closed doors. "We doing this thing in the old lab?"

"Might as well," Logan said as Max was already heading back towards the command center.

Logan and Alec walked away in the opposite direction, heading for the old biotech laboratory that supposedly once belonged to Dr. Sandeman. The journey was silent, and by the time they entered the room the quiet had gone from companionable to decidedly awkward, a tense reminder of everything that they had been through over the last few weeks.

"I get it," Alec finally supplied, mostly because he couldn't take another moment of the awkwardness. "I just have a hard time being on the same side as Lydecker, I guess."

"Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense."

There was another moment of silence. "So, um…how are you feeling?" Logan asked with a nod towards Alec's injured side.

"Punctured," he answered. "But it's alright. My kind, we heal fast."

"Yeah, I've heard that," Logan answered dryly.

"How about you," Alec asked with a nod towards Logan's legs. "That last transfusion and everything…You still feeling alright?"

"Yeah," he answered quickly. "Yeah. You know…Happy to be feeling anything at all, really."

"Right," Alec agreed quietly. Another uncomfortable pause followed. "So, hey, listen. Thanks for helping me out back there at Jam Pony. I mean, I would have been fine on my own once I got my second wind and everything, but, you know…thanks. I owe you."

"Don't worry about it. We're all in this together, right?"

"Right. About that…Max is totally going to kick my ass for this, but you deserve to know. She and I, we aren't technically together, you know. She just said that."

"I know," Logan said.

"She tell you?"

"No. But I know. I know her better than she thinks I do."

"Yeah, you probably do," Alec quietly agreed. "Besides, I could never hook up with a girl like Maxie. WAY too much emotional baggage, and talk about high-maintenance....Honestly, I don't know what you see in her at all. So, we square then?"

"Yeah, we're good," Logan assured him.

"Okay. Good."

The were saved from the awkwardness of further bonding and the threat of a make-up hug by Joshua, who had bound into the old lab with the eagerness of a child on Christmas morning.

"Max says Father is coming," his smile was wide, and Logan was sure that if Joshua had a tail, it would have been wagging.

Mole followed through the open door, escorting a wary Donald Lydecker at gunpoint. He bit the end off of a fresh cigar and spit it into the corner. "Yeah, should be one hell of a family reunion."

"Hey, nobody puts the fun in dysfunctional like we do," Max said as she walked through the doorway. "The team just radioed in. Daddy's on his way."

xxXXxx

Thanks for reading, and for being so patient during my infrequent updates. Large chunks of this story are already written and should be posted soon (and by soon I mean someday, but hopefully someday soon). Feedback is always appreciated.