This chapter goes through Freak Nation. I've actually changed quite a few things to make it work and to push Max and Alec more towards each other than the show did. I planned on getting this out about two days ago but when I reread this before I was going to post it I saw a few things I wanted to change...


"So?" Max asked, keeping her distance as she stood in Joshua's old house, facing Logan.

"I haven't been able to translate them yet, Max. Sorry. But..." He pulled out a file. "I did get someone to run Alec's blood." Max frowned.

"This someone going to betray us to White?"

"No, he won't," he held up a hand when Max opened her mouth to protest. "Before you say anything, even if he did, he doesn't know anything useful. He doesn't know whose blood it is or why I needed the tests." Max took the files with a frown.

"Looks like you were right before." He said after a moment. "When I got Alec's results back, I had him test your blood too." He handed her another file. After staring at it for a moment, she looked up at him.

"How is this possible? Alec's been inside Manticore for twenty years. How did they not see this before?"

"I'm not completely sure but I think that it's just showing up lately. Like the runes..."

"So, what? He's changing? Mutating?" She had to grin at that.

"What?" Max shrugged.

"Nothing. This all just reminds me of this old movie that I watched with Alec..." She trailed off. Logan shifted and focused on the file basically ignoring what she'd said.

"I don't think it's exactly that. This all was probably buried in Alec's genes. It had to of been if Sandeman left Manticore so long ago." Max opened the file again.

"So, Sandeman is sending Alec a message. It's about him, isn't it? I mean, Alec's right. The guy couldn't have known that me and Alec would meet up one day. And this certainly proves that White was wrong. Sandeman wasn't betting on me, he was betting on Alec."

"What about this?" Logan held up her file. "As Alec pointed out, you are the one with perfect DNA." Max's frown deepened. She stared down at Alec's results for a minute before lifting her head, her eyes wide.

"I'm the decoy." She said softly, staring at him in shock.

"What?" Max stood up, dropping the file on the chair she'd been sitting in.

"It's actually pretty brilliant if you think about it. Although it does kinda piss me off this guy might have been using me, putting my life at greater risk like that." Logan frowned at her.

"Max, what are you talking about?"

"Don't you see it, Logan? White said that Sandeman created me for the purpose of bringing down the breeding cult but he was wrong. This isn't about me, this is about Alec. So, Sandeman gives one of us more than the others, something that might possibly help them fight against the familiars."

"So he gave it to Alec?" Logan asked incredulously. "Max..."

"Why not Alec?" She stopped pacing and stood in front of him, arms crossed. She saw the flash of hurt in his eyes, her tone more than likely reminding him of the lie she'd told. She felt that guilt again but she wouldn't, couldn't let him badmouth Alec.

"So where do you fit into all this?" He changed tracks, once again not meeting her eyes.

"Well, let's say that someone at Manticore might have suspected that something like this could happen, that Sandeman might have done something like this. Maybe he wanted a way to throw them off the trail. My unit back at Manticore reported directly to Lydecker. Zack and I were at the top."

"Maybe..." Logan said, still looking skeptical at the thought.

"It explains the message. Plus, Alec did come after Ben. He was, as he put it, one of the clones." She frowned. Alec was definitely anything but just another clone. She sighed after a moment, glancing at her watch.

"I've got to get to work. I'm already late. I'll talk to Alec about this but he's the only one who gets to know."

"Max-"

"No. He's already on White's radar. For just being a transgenic and for getting away alive a year ago. I'm not letting White find out about this too." Logan stared at her a moment.

"You're willing to step in front of White for him." She was silent for minute before nodding.

"Yes, I am." It wasn't a false statement and when she saw the image of Alec, lying on the floor dead, she realized that it wasn't just because he was transgenic.

Logan looked away from her when her phone rang. He didn't like this. Being around her was getting more and more difficult. He could admit to himself that he had been hoping that it wasn't real, that this thing between her and Alec wouldn't last. The way she had been acting since she had found the words appear on Alec's skin proved that it was real and that she obviously did care for him.

"What? Where are you?" The worry in Max's voice at the question directed into her phone had him turning back to her.

"You're right around the corner from Jam Pony. Find Alec; he'll get you a car. Okay? Joshua?" She said after a pause. "Joshua! Damn." She closed her phone.

"Something wrong?" He asked, standing up.

"Joshua and Mole got caught outside picking up a few others." She put on her jacket. "I gotta go."

"You need some help?" Max paused and shook her head.

"No. We can take care of it." We. Max and Alec. She gave him a small, apologetic, smile.

"Goodbye, Logan," and she was out the door.


"So?" Max asked later, after she had made it inside Jam Pony. Alec shook his head. He'd been keeping watch.

"I'd say we are officially screwed." He narrowed his eyes and looked over at her. "If White's not here yet, he will be soon."

"Yeah..." She hadn't had the time to tell him what Logan had found out. "What's that?" She asked, gesturing to the blood on his jacket. He waved it off.

"Oh, a hole in my body made by a bullet." Max's frown deepened in concern and she reached up to pull his jacket away from the wound.

"It's fine, Max. Not the first time I've gotten shot." She nodded.

"Still, you should get somebody to bandage it. If we're going to have to fight you can't do that if you're dizzy from blood loss." He rolled his eyes.

"I think that I'll be okay." He lifted his arm and let it drop. "Not a problem." She studied his eyes, making sure he was telling the truth. Still she did call for the kid, Dalton.


"Sit down!" Alec said, pushing Normal back down when he tried to get up after getting in Mole's face. "Nobody's going to get killed here." He met Mole's eyes. "Right?" Mole let out a low growl but to Max's surprise he did stand down. Max walked over to Alec.

"We need to get out of here. This is going to get ugly." She said, looking up at him. He nodded.

"Yeah, well. You got a plan for that?" She was silent for a moment.

"Maybe."


"This isn't going to work." Alec said to Max later.

"They won't kill innocent people," Max insisted. Alec shook his head.

"The cops won't. You really think White cares about any of these people?"

"You got a better idea?" He sighed, ran a hand over through his hair.

"Unfortunately, no. I don't." She stepped closer to him.

"You just gotta look out for yourself. Don't let them get a shot at you." Alec grinned at her.

"I am a soldier, Max. Besides, didn't know you cared so much." Max hesitated. This was a bad situation and there was more than a good chance that all of them wouldn't make it.

"I care and it's not just because Sandeman thinks you're our best shot at taking White's guys down."

"What?" She smiled at him.

"Later. Let's do this."


"They don't know about me." Max looked over at CeCe and pulled her close.

"Help cover Alec then." She met the girl's eyes, hers intense. "Take care of him." CeCe nodded with a small smile.

"Don't worry."


The shot was unexpected and Max wasn't sure if anyone had been hit. They ran back into Jam Pony, managing to get the doors closed before she turned to see if everyone was alright.

Alec was in the center of the room, laying CeCe down on the floor. Max walked over and sighed.

"She's dead." Alec said after a moment, looking up at her. She nodded.

"This is on you. I told you not to trust the cops," Mole said, pointing at Max.

"It wasn't the cops," Alec stood up, "it was White." He shook his head at their surprise. "We all knew that he would get involved."

"He did this on purpose to escalate things." Alec nodded.

"It worked." He grimaced suddenly, pressing a hand into his side. Max's eyes widened when his fingers came away bloody.

"You got hit?" She pulled his jacket away, revealing the bleeding wound on his side. "Why didn't you say anything?"

"Guess I didn't notice." She rolled her eyes and grabbed his arm, pulling him away.

"Come on. No one does anything until we get back."


"I thought I told you to take care of yourself." Alec sat still while she bandaged his new wound. She was angry.

"It's not that bad," he shrugged. She glared at him and pressed a little harder than necessary.

"Hey, easy." Ignoring that, she applied the bandage.

"This is my fault." She stood up as Mole and Joshua came over and looked out the window. "It's me that White wants. I'm going out there."

"No." Alec stood up as well, ignoring the pain in his side, in his shoulder.

"I have to. I can end this without any of us getting hurt."

"Maybe she's right." Mole said. Alec shook his head.

"You really think they're just going to leave us alone, let us walk out of here when she's gone. No, White will follow her but that leaves the rest of his guys and the cops."

"I can provide a distraction."

"Not a big enough one." He looked into her eyes and leaned closer. "You even think about giving yourself up for this and White's going to find out the truth." He tapped his wrist, where the fading symbols were.

"Then what?" He stared off for a moment, listening for something and Max frowned at him.

"We fight." He said after a moment. He looked away for a moment, staring into space before meeting her eyes again.

"You hear that?" She nodded, looking up.

"They're here."

"Familiars." If she'd had any doubt about what Logan had said about Alec they were wiped clear now.


"Now?" Max asked, running upstairs behind Alec. He nodded, watched as Normal and Cindy hid Gem behind the desk. She grabbed his arm.

"You shouldn't be fighting in this. You're injured." He shook his head and gave her a smile.

"Don't have time to argue this one, Maxie. You're going to have to believe me when I say that you're not keeping me away." She looked into his eyes for a moment before nodding.

"Be careful." He smiled wider at her.

"Always."


Alec was in mid-fight when he felt it. Despite two gunshot wounds he was holding out alright against the familiar. Still, he knew that he more than likely wouldn't win it. She would have been a challenge if he wasn't injured.

Still he had landed a kick to the side of her head when he stopped. She recovered quickly but when she charged, Alec stepped out of the way, kicking out and sending her hard against the wall.

He was barely aware of the sound of her head rebounding off the wall, of the crack of her skull before he was sprinting to the side. He didn't know how but he knew where he needed to be.

Alec saw him, standing in front of Mole, kicking Mole when he went down. He didn't hesitate and blurred towards White, taking him down. They rolled, picking up the fight. A punch to the jaw had Alec going backwards and he rolled backwards, followed it through and got to his feet just as White did.

"494..." White grinned at him. "Not who I was expecting but you'll do." Alec said nothing; not bothering with a retort which he knew was what White was expecting. It was his usual style. Instead, he blurred again.

He caught White's arm when he tried for a punch and twisted it. Going against White's forward momentum, he used all the strength he had and brought both of their weight down on White's arm. He grinned for a moment when he heard the sound of breaking bone.

White did not cry out. He did, however, punch Alec hard enough to have him roll away. Alec was fast. White was faster. He also had the advantage of not feeling the pain that Alec had tried to inflict. He was up off the floor in an instant. When White kicked him in his side, he felt and heard his ribs crack.

The blow sent him onto his back and White brought his foot up, intending to bring it down on Alec's face but he rolled away at the last instant. He ignored the new pain in his side and jumped to his feet again. Before he knew it, they were rolling again, each trying to gain control.

He managed, somehow, to get his hands around White's throat. White didn't bother with that, though. He did grab a hold of Alec's shoulders, digging his fingers into the bullet wound.

Alec tried to keep his grip, gritting his teeth against the pain but when White managed to press a knee into his side, pressing against cracked ribs and the second bullet wound he'd acquired that night, he couldn't. The head butt that came next left him dazed.


Max smirked at the bitch as she struggled in the cuffs and turned. They were winning. She could tell that when she swept her eyes over the place. She stopped, though, when she saw White, standing a good distance away. He was standing over someone, a gun in hand. Her eyes widened when she focused on who it was and she started to run over. She was going to be too late.

She would have been too late but Joshua sure wasn't. She wasn't even halfway over when Joshua took hold of White and slammed him into the wall.


"Joshua, no!" Max tried to get her friend to look at her, to see her point of view. She wanted desperately to check on Alec who still hadn't moved from his spot on the floor. "No. He deserves to die, a lot. But if you kill him now, the only thing people will remember about today is how some transgenic killed a human being in cold blood...and then they'll never stop hunting us."

Joshua said nothing, still not relinquishing his hold on White. She knew how he felt and there was this sudden realization that if she checked on Alec and he wasn't okay...she was sure that she would go back on everything she'd just said.

"She's right, Josh." Max gave a start and looked over as Alec stood up next to her. He looked like hell and he was holding a hand across his ribs but he was standing. Joshua looked at them both before nodding and he dropped White.


"How'd you beat her so fast?" Max asked, walking away from White and his familiars. She didn't think it was particularly fair. How could he have beaten her so easily when Max had almost gotten her ass handed to her? One of which was still unconscious with a smashed nose. Alec looked over, grinning.

"Actually, I stepped out of the way." Max stared at him for a moment before letting out a laugh. Alec's grin faded and he swayed a little on his feet. She stood beside him just in case.

"Let's get out of here."


Max ran a hand through Alec's hair, watching him sleep. He'd been bandaged again and just about passed out. Thankfully, he was going to be fine, though.

She'd really thought she'd lost him there for a second, when she'd seen him lying on the floor with White standing over him. If she'd known then that he was dead, she might have let Joshua kill White.

It had been a horrifying few moments. Terrified that she wouldn't get there in time, that maybe it didn't matter because he was already gone.

She needed him, that was what it came down to. She needed him to stay alive, to be there. She wasn't sure what exactly she was feeling or how she hadn't seen it before and it was truly a bad thing that it took something like this to make her realize it. How screwed up is that?

She wasn't sure where this was going. She was never good at expressing her emotions. Her non relationship with Logan proved that. She was absolutely sure of one thing. She needed him. They could go from there.


"Hey," Logan walked up to her, looking uncomfortable as she left the room that Alec was sleeping in.

"Hey." She said in surprise. "How did you get in here?" He shrugged.

"I have my ways." She nodded, uncomfortable herself and a little surprised. They had only been here for a day. They were both silent for a minute before he cleared his throat and put his hands in his pockets.

"So, I heard what happened..." He smiled when she snorted. "Okay, so everyone heard what happened. I'm sorry, Max. I would have tried to help but I didn't hear until afterwards. After you left, I just needed..."

"It's okay. We handled it." Logan nodded.

"And everyone's alright?"

"More or less," she crossed her arms and leaned against the door.

"That's good." He paused for a moment. "I just came to tell you that I was able to translate some of the symbols." Max stood up straighter at that.

"Yeah?" He nodded and gave her a small smile. It held no humor.

"You were wrong, Max. You're not the decoy." She raised an eyebrow. The look in his eyes was jealous, hurt. This was about her and Alec.

"What did you find out?"

"I think the meaning is that something really, really bad-like maybe biblically bad-is going to happen." Max nodded.

"And Alec's the one to stop it?" Logan shook his head.

"Not alone. There are some references in there. I think it refers to you and Alec, together." They were both silent for a moment. "I guess you really were meant for each other."

"Logan..." He shook his head.

"It's okay, Max. You've already said goodbye. Guess now it's my turn." He smiled sadly at her and backed away. "Goodbye, Max." She watched him turn and walk out.


Max watched as Joshua and the other raised the flag, a small smile on her lips. She should be worried, panicked. They were taking a stand, declaring themselves, maybe declaring war.

She didn't have to look over to know who it was when Alec stepped up beside her but she did anyways, briefly meeting his eyes before turning back and reaching out to take his hand. She'd worry tomorrow.


Hope you guys liked this. I know that the fight with the woman that beat Alec down on the actual episode wasn't exactly realistic in this. I had actually planned on writing a longer fight but I couldn't help but to think this version was kinda funny, especially with the way they did him on the show.