AN: Tis the chapter to have scene shifts. But it must be done as part of my evil plan. Plot mobilising an' all.
Rated M – sex, violence & coarse language. All possibilities. You have been warned.
Disclaimer: *Checks pockets* I know I have the claim here somewhere. Ooo. Money.
White rubbed the blood-soaked blade over with practiced efficiency. A now dead Harold Vores hung over a crimson pool from the ceiling and an equally dead Mrs. Vores was stiffening in the corner. Torturing the pair hadn't been as satisfying as he'd expected. Both were so partial to pain he wondered how Harold had ever made it into the Conclave.
But then he guessed it was only a matter of finding the limit.
He didn't bother to clean up the mess. Vores was a respected member and he seriously doubted he was acting on the orders of Logan alone. The Conclave would find the bodies quickly, but he would already be gone.
It was done. His long held position in the cult had been replaced by the notorious do-gooder Eyes Only. He'd killed his wife and the two children that had preceded Ray. Numerous others had died at his hands for the cause. Well fuck the cause. He had nothing now. Not a single political burden to pull him down. He smiled and eased the last of the tools back into his duffel bag. A baritone rumble of a random nocturne vibrated from his lips as he picked up the bag, and headed for his car.
All he had left was the cool rage and inclination for revenge. It was 452 who started the trouble. Logan who broke his teetering position. Both would pay in pain and suffering. He couldn't wait to pluck those big blue eyes from Logan's bleeding face. Eyes Only would not be seeing anything by the time he was finished.
He slid behind the wheel and turned the key. It wasn't going to be easy now that he was alone. He would need backup. Fortunately, he knew exactly where to get it. The car sped down the road, heading for a supposedly abandoned warehouse which in reality was acquired by the Conclave to torture its most difficult captives.
Let's see how much Lydecker remembers about his wayward offspring.
Max leaned on Joshua's shoulder, a big clawed hand stroking her hair. Alec was grabbing a shower and Sketchy was counseling Mole in the many reasons for not killing your own kind in the next room, specifically Dix and Luke.
"Little fella hiding" Joshua said and Max smiled.
"Not hiding big fella. Just don't know how to tell you this."
"You talk. Joshua listen."
She paused trying to find a way of telling him that wouldn't result in an angry Joshua-style lecture. "Promise me you won't tell anyone?"
He frowned. "Alec…"
His silence said he didn't approve but he nodded his head and she knew he would keep his word.
"I have to leave Joshua." His hand stilled. "I'm going to see Cindy in London."
"No!" she said looking up at him with pleading eyes. "Logan's coming to get me. White's men are on their way"
"Max needs back-up."
"No. I need to be alone. If I'm alone I can run, it's easier to hide."
"White will find little fella. Kill like Annie. Joshua will come. Not fight alone."
Her eyes turned away. "You can't come big fella. I don't know where I'm going and…" she swallowed knowing it was probably a lie. "White will come here first. Alec is going to need more help than I will, to throw him off my scent. You can protect me by being here, by keeping them occupied while I get away."
"Please Joshua. I just…I didn't want to go without saying goodbye."
"Say goodbye to Alec, Mole."
"They wouldn't understand."
"Joshua doesn't understand."
She said nothing, but listened to quieting voices in the next room and the gentle spray of the shower.
Alec could hear the dull murmur of Joshua and Max talking in the next room and consciously blocked out what they were saying. He'd been getting weird vibes from Max since they all packed in for the night and he could only pin it down to her confusion over Logan and the situation they were now in. She'd tried several times to say she was sorry but he wouldn't hear it. It didn't matter if she was sorry, it didn't make the pain any less. It probably made it worse.
So many people had used him over the years and it all stopped when she married Logan and he got to dictate his own life. He wasn't going to give her the chance to use him again. The murmurs stopped and he turned off the shower, stepping out into the bathroom and shaking like a wet dog. It smelled like her, felt like her. Her presence still warm after her bath and the image alone made him groan.
"C4 and a fucking Winnebago" he muttered and pulled up his jeans. He walked out bare-chested and felt a small surge of male pride when she blushed. He hitched and eyebrow and smirked. "Tempted?"
Her blush deepened and the look of surprise was classic. She obviously thought he would continue to whine and brood. Maybe shut her out. But no, Alec wasn't the type to let his grudges sit on display for everyone to see. Actually he wasn't one to hold a grudge either. He'd just pretend it never happened and if she tried anything again, do the smart thing and push her away with a snarky comment. In the meantime he'd start rebuilding those walls. Let no one say he didn't have a game plan.
Joshua was giving him an odd look, like he wanted to say something but couldn't. He wondered if maybe Max had told him about what happened. If that was the case then he was grateful. He never wanted to talk about it again.
Sketch walked in looking significantly worn out. "Man, those guys are nuts."
"Did you try sedating them?"
"Nah, but Mole's doing his silent thing." He stretched out on the floor, bundling one of the bags under his head and draping his cap across his face. Alec turned to Josh and Max.
"You two take the bed. See you at 0800." He grabbed a book from his bag and sat against the wall.
"You're not sleeping?" Max said.
"Read for a while. Not that tired."
She frowned and lay down, curling into Joshua's side. He watched her for a few moments, how angelic she looked when she wasn't bitching or stressing. In truth, he was exhausted, but he didn't know if he would sleep. It was 3 am before his eyes drifted shut and the arm holding the book fell at his side.
Mole groaned, the dual snoring from the two transgenics driving him half-way to human. He shot to his feet and climbed out the window, shotgun in hand. There was no fucking way he was going to spend all night in that room with the geeks of freak nation. The Junker wasn't the worst place to sleep and he'd done worse. Much worse.
He settled into the drivers seat and leaned back, cigar still dangling from his mouth. His eyes didn't open again until 5 am, his keen night vision snapping straight ahead to the cause of his waking. The purr of a motorcycle and the dark-haired woman slinging her leg over the seat.
"Where you going girly?" he muttered as she sped away.
Max sped down the road, with a 'borrowed' map in the direction of the airport. She'd already reserved tickets for three different flights so whoever came after her would know she'd left, but not to where. Her shark DNA had worked in her favor for once and she would just make the flight to London.
Her heart raced as she made her escape, knowing that she owed the others more than just disappearing in the middle of the night. They saved her and taken some hits in the process, and she wasn't even saying goodbye. But she wouldn't, couldn't give them the chance to stop her. For their own good.
Her feet hit the bitumen before the stolen bike came to a complete stop and she headed straight for the airport bank. She'd have to get all the money she needed here if she even stood a chance at avoiding a trace. Logan hadn't closed their account.
Several thousand heavier in the pocket and she made her way to get the tickets. Nobody gave her a second glance, as she boarded the near-empty plane and relaxed back into her seat. A sad smile on her lips as the world disappeared through the windows of the plane and the droll of the flight attendant echoed in her ears.
Alec grabbed the butt of the gun before it could do irreparable damage to his ribs. "One would think with your scientifically designed brain cells, you would know better than to wake an X-5 when they're sleeping" he growled.
"Her highness left, Sunshine."
His eyes snapped open and he was on his feet the next second, barking at everyone to get up. "What do you mean, she left?"
He puffed at his cigar and jerked his head in the direction of the window. "Slept in the Junker. She buzzed away on one of them motorcycles, didn't even look back." He pressed a hand to his chest. "Honestly, I'm offended."
"Where would she go?" he muttered, running a hand through his hair. Joshua stared at him guiltily and he narrowed his eyes. "Josh?"
His tone booked for no argument and Joshua lowered his head. "Bad men coming, White and Logan to hurt. Little fella ran away."
"Do you know where she went?"
Joshua nodded shakily.
"She told you not to tell, didn't she?" his tone softened at his obvious indecision. Really, the dog was too loyal for his own good.
He sighed and rubbed his temples, Sketch coming back into the room with Dix and Luke. "I know you don't want to say anything Josh, but…"
"Little fella not thinking." His eyes were determined when they met him. "Go to Original Cindy, before she blaze."
He nodded a little surprised and turned to Mole. "Call the airport and see if she's left. Maybe they have another flight. You two," he pointed to Dix and Luke. "Start the Junker. Everyone head out."
Luke hopped from one foot to the other. "If she wants to go them maybe we should let her?"
"She's not used to this world. There are a lot more dangers than she expects. And – hell, I'm giving the orders and we're moving out. Does anyone have a problem with that?" he looked pointedly at Mole who just shrugged with the receiver to his ear.
"I woke you hotshot."
"Plane's gone but the next one will arrive in London an two hours after hers."
An hour later they boarded the plane to London. Alec was in a shit that he had no intention of getting out of and Mole was glaring at a child in the seat in front of them, who insisted on staring, unblinking at the transgenic's menacing face. She broke out in a smile at his unwavering negativity. "I like you" she said and Mole choked on his cigar, Dix and Luke giggled at the seat over.
"Well I don't like you!" he said. "Human." He added for good measure.
She grinned wider. "Yes you do."
He growled and she jumped out of her chair and came around to wedge herself between Alec and Mole. "My daddy says smoking is bad and it makes you sick."
Mole huffed. "Little brat."
She giggled and pushed her hand into his, kicking her legs against the seat and staring at him adoringly. "You look funny. Are you funny?"
Her mother turned in her chair and rolled her eyes at Mole. "Please forgive Tam. She's a bit of a chatterbox."
Sketch leaned over the middle of the back of their seats. "It's good that she's not afraid. Some people just don't understand transgenics are just like everyone else." He paused. "'Cept Mole, he's a jerk."
Her mother laughed. "We had a transgenic who stayed with us for a while. He was a nice man, but thought we would throw him out when we found out what he was." Her face softened in sadness. "Not everyone feels the same as the media."
Sketch nodded. "Most people believe what they hear. It takes a strong person to look past that."
She smiled and her husband turned from beside her. The humans talked around the transgenics and Alec felt his anger slip away.
"Can I touch your face?" Tam asked.
Mole's glare deepened at the smiling girl, but he didn't pull back from her hand tracing the ridges.
"It feels weird." She wrinkled her nose and leaned her back against his side, humming.
Finally Alec let a smile cross his face. He leaned down to whisper loudly in Tam's ear. "Don't worry, the glare means he likes you."
"I do not!" He spluttered as the girl laughed.
After a long flight, Max found herself leaving the London airport with a hollow feeling in the pit of her stomach. They would know she'd left by now. The security guards leered at her as she went through the doors, making her way down the street. She pulled the address from her pocket and frowned when the last cab drove away. Walking it is.
Cindy wasn't expecting her for another few days and her stomach churned its disappointment at her neglect. The smell of warm bread drifted from a nearby café and she went to get something to eat. She wondered what Alec was doing, whether he'd forgive her or be mad. Maybe he'd be hurt that she didn't say goodbye. The familiar pang of guilt joined the hunger and she blinked back tears. You had to leave. You had no choice.
The waitress gave her an odd look when she brought her meal, like she knew what she was and didn't like it. She spent over an hour at the café, just sitting and watching the world go by. Trying to calculate how much time she could spend with OC before she had to move and where she would go. It would be best to make a mix of short and long jumps in an irregular pattern but her head was swimming with all the conflicting thoughts and the deep sense that no plan would be good enough.
One of the waitresses that had been staring at her since she sat down slinked over and hissed in her ear. "We don't want trouble here, please leave."
She looked at her shocked. "Do I look like I'm here to cause trouble? And I paid for my meal! If it's a crime for me to do so, let me know. If not, you can leave."
The waitress gritted her teeth. "I'm trying to help. Though I wouldn't mind if someone put your test-tube arrogance in its place, London isn't the city for transgenics. The anti-tran groups are worse here and they will kill you. We don't want to lose our jobs just because you decided to eat here."
She stared at the woman before relenting. "Fine."
The woman broke out in a cold smile. "Have a nice day!" she chirped and walked off.
Bitch. She gulped the last of her coffee and headed down the street. Four blocks down, they came. A group of people in black and white, with angry slogans on their shirts. Double what there had been when they picked up Lan, and well armed. Uh-oh, she thought taking a defensive stance. The soft click of the sensors beat in her ears. All the adrenaline pumping through her veins would disappear as soon as bullets flew.
*singing* "As around sun the earth knows she's revolving; and the rosebuds know to bloom in early May; Just as hate knows love's the cure; You can rest your mind assure; That I'll be lovin' you always." My love to the reviewers, alerterses and favoritins George Michael style.
See that big greeny button right there. Jensen is all dirty, sweaty and naked behind that button. If we press that button multiple times, maybe we can lend the honey a hand…heh…in the clean up that is.
FlamablePajamas – I too missed out on the patience gene *nods sadly* but smile because the next chapter is already started and should only be a day or so.
Beige Flicka – Oooo. Appreciation! I appreciate your appreciation. And OC is a honey, let's see what happens. ;)
Recicup – It is all very dramatic. While I think that the total lameness of being Logan would in itself be punishment enough, I am partial to pain. Lots and lots of pain. And shiny objects.
RRaineTerra – Thanks sweetie. Cookies are in the mail.
Mahine – I shloop to the total awesomeness that is you on red jellybeans.
Quirkys – Well…Alec is in my basement right now…shackled an' all. But he is extremely tormented so maybe you can help :).
Pup-of-Power – SO DO I! oh, wait, I'm the author. Well that works out nicely then. Hehe. Love to you.