Disclaimer: I do not own Dark Angel. (I may wish that I did, but then again, if I did, I could hire someone to do this pile of laundry on my floor, rather than leaving it sitting there to evolve into a semi-intelligent life form.) Dark Angel and all characters, settings, etc. portrayed therein belong to such creative geniuses as James Cameron, Charles Eglee, and anyone else who might sue me if I didn't write this disclaimer. I do not own Macbeth, which is quoted in Chapter 19 and referenced in the title of Chapter 20, or the dead Englishman who wrote it. (Please note that Shakespeare was not a dead Englishman until after he wrote the play. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.) Nor do I own James Cameron. Rumor has it that he was recently purchased by Bill Gates for a measly 41 billion dollars. I do, however, claim this story line and anyone who has anything to do with Project 44. Especially Sergei and Mikhail. They are mine.

Rating: R for language and one scene with sexual content. As for the first part, there's nothing that you wouldn't hear on the show, but some of you might not be fond of hearing it, hence the rating. As for the second, there's nothing that you wouldn't read in a smutty romance novel. (Well, a smutty romance novel in which the transgenic main character goes into heat, that is . . .)

Genre: General, but it's actually a little bit of everything - action, humor, romance, a genetically targeted retrovirus, and a couple of people running around trying to kill other people. Nothing unusual, just another typical day in my life.

Spoilers: Some Assembly Required, with a few insignificant references to The Berrisford Agenda and Borrowed Time, but I pulled the rest out of my tushy.

NOTES: Chapter One is more of a prologue. But since Fanfiction.net goes by chapters, I would have felt stupid naming it "Chapter One: Prologue."

Yes, this does start out a little slow. I apologize for that, but I'm trying to establish the characters before I start to mess with them . . .

This story sort of follows my first story, Two Steps Behind. I guess it'll still be understandable if you haven't read the first one, but it'll probably make more sense if you have read it, especially regarding Milly, Jondy, Brian, and "Reggie." For those of you who were worried about spoilers in TSB, it's now spoiler free. And if you read chapters 4-8 of TSB, everything should make sense.

Also note that this may be confusing at first, as several characters in this story will alternately be referred to by their given names and by their nicknames. I'll try to keep it clear.

My American Cousin

Chapter One:

Project 44

In August of 1998, the secret got out.

Somewhere in a remote government installation, American scientists were creating the perfect weapon . . . the perfect soldier . . . the perfect assassin, and the Coalition didn't like it.

Of course no one really knew about the Coalition, either, but that was the point of its existence. Its members were military and political leaders from countries around the world, most of whom had traditionally been allies of the United States, but every good leader knows when to watch his back . . . and when to cover his ass.

In all honesty, these countries had nothing to fear from Manticore or their newly developed weapon, but these leaders had everything to fear. While the U.S. would never openly attack their own countries (or have reason to), any one of them could become a potential target for holding the wrong opinions, for having the wrong political ties, or for simply being in the way, and that is why, one week later, an aging Russian geneticist named Alexander Voinovich was hired to create the solution. It was known only by its code name: Project 44.