Summary: In 2034, ten years after the tragic Seattle Transgenocide, a young girl tries to uncover her roots. Future fic, with flashbacks to 2009

Warnings/Spoilers: There are two major OFCs (with one in a pairing with a canon male character) in this story. This isn't a Mary-Sue story. Really—I'm not planning to write any hot-and-steamy/explicit sex scenes, although there is sex involved. I'm just tying in some things from one of my favorite episodes ("Pollo Loco") and my two favorite characters (Ben and Alec) with an idea that comes from the path the show started on in the Season 2 finale…with the help of a couple of original female characters.

Also, there's language (the d***n word, etc, but no f-bombs) and child molestation (implied, non-graphic). And pay attention to the timelines.

Disclaimer: All recognizable characters and concepts are not mine. The title comes from the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary. I also apologize for anything I get wrong about the Roman Catholic religion. I myself am not a Catholic, so I'm using the internet to guide me.

Beta: FirstBorn. Thank you so much!

. . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . . . . . . .

The Wound of Sorrow

. . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . . . . . . .

Hail Mary, full of grace,
our Lord is with thee,
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now, and in
the hour of our death.

Hail Mary prayer

. . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . . . . . . .

Chapter 1

. . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . . . . . . .

Gillette, Wyoming, January 2009

Ben runs and runs, as fast as his legs can carry him. Bare feet fly over the white snow, ignoring the icy needle-pricks.

Every once in a while, he sees one of his blue-gown-clad brothers and sisters flash by behind a tree. Soldiers' shouts and radio chatter cut through the bitter cold silence of the night.

Ben runs on. His breath trails white smoke behind him in the dark, frozen air.

There, beyond that clump of trees, standing as tall and dark as ever from his earliest memories of the forest, forbidding passage, he sees three heads. Not soldiers' heads; they have no black woolen caps to protect them from the cold. No, these heads are smaller, their hair shorn to buzz cuts, identical to his own. His brothers and sisters.

Only three? He wonders. Of his whole unit, only three have made it out this far? Then one, two more heads pop up.

Big brother Zack ushers him down. Ben thanks the Blue Lady as he slips behind his siblings, trusting the small dip in the landscape to protect them from the soldiers' eyes.

He trembles from excitement. He has always wondered what lies outside the military compound. He knows there is something out there—this miserable life can't be all there is in the world. Anything has to be better than here, Manticore. Maybe the outside will be like the Good Place, where no one ever gets punished, or yelled at, and no one disappears. In the Good Place, no one ever has to follow orders or…

Soft footsteps shake him from his thoughts. They are lighter than a fully-grown male's would be. He cautiously raises his head over the edge of the small hill. Brin. He grins. She's made it.

And who is that a few steps behind her? Tinga? Her dark eyes sparkle with barely-suppressed excitement.

They duck down to wait for the others.

The last one to come is Max, his favorite sister. At the very last minute, Jace had opted to stay behind, too timid to venture out into the unknown. Eva and Jack are…Ben swallows hard. There will be plenty of time to mourn them later. They are casualties of war.

Zack gives them their orders. The words flow fluidly from the twelve-year-old CO's hands. There isn't even a hint of a tremor, belying anything but complete certainty. If there was, Ben and the others would certainly have picked up on it. Zack is a good CO. They can always be sure to depend on his decisions.

Still, his orders are to scatter and go to ground. Ben frowns. But they have always been together. They work better as a team. He looks around to gauge the others' reactions.

He sees Max shaking her head. "No," she signs. "Bad idea." Ben agrees, but doesn't move.

Zack uses his higher status to pull rank on Max. His orders stand: They part.

Ben runs.

. . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . . . . . . .

Seattle, Washington, May 2, 2034

There are three reasons Normal remembers May 2, 2034.

Firstly, it's the tenth anniversary of what the news crews have dubbed the Transgenocide. Twenty-four hours of nonstop bombing and pummeling of Seattle's very own 'Freak Nation,' Terminal City. The hands of the clock ticked to 12 on the night of May 1, 2024, and the brightest fireworks the city had ever seen lit up the Washington coastline. All of America cheered. The fire ceased only when the hands clicked back to 12, midnight of May 2.

In one day, the United States government had succeeded in exterminating every member of the Transgenic race. To them, they represented 5.7 trillion dollars worth of research up in flames. To the American public, they were abominations stamped out and forgotten. To Reagan Ronald, Cynthia McEachin, Calvin Theodore, Logan Cale, and a few others, they were friends and allies who, most importantly, were more human than their oppressors in many ways. They mourned them, some quietly, and some not-so-quietly. Eyes Only had been very active that summer.

The second reason the day sticks in Normal's mind is that it's not every day that a young girl walks into Jam Pony and is actually polite to him. She's pretty in a way that reminds him of a certain spitfire brunette, all sad brown eyes and soft lips hidden under a mass of dark curls. She stands at the door, a bit hesitant, then seems to make up her mind, pulls her chin up and saunters into the place as if she owns it. That reminds him of someone too. "Excuse me, sir," she says when she gets to the counter. Normal hasn't been addressed in that manner by any of the ingrates in his employ since…well, never. Unless they're being sarcastic or sucking up to him, of course. He's pleased that finally, someone's mother has taught them to respect their elders.

And third thing? What girl then asks him throws him off-kilter. It shouldn't, really. It's been ten years, sure, but the TV stations have been airing clips of the incident for a week now, day in and day out. The tenth anniversary of a mass murder is a big thing, especially since crime and violence have been slow in the city this month. They call it 'murder' now—apparently, in ten years, enough people have doubted the decision that the news stations have picked up on the misgivings and amplified the incident into a sort of 'Attica' event in recent American history.

"Excuse me, sir," the girl says, a sweet smile on her lips and a hopeful look in her eyes. "Did you know this man?" Her speech carries the slightest inflection of a Spanish accent. The effect is charming.

Innocent question. It's the picture she pushes at him that freezes him to the spot. It's not a photograph or a 'Wanted' police sketch or any other criminally associated facsimile. It is a simple pencil drawing of a man in profile. Artistic, a thing of beauty; it is obviously not meant to be used for the positive identification in an official investigation. Normal doesn't know much about art, but it's quite well done, because he knows immediately who the subject is. It's a face he's only caught quick glimpses of on TV in the past few days. And before that? Every single day…that the said subject of the portrait deigned to show up to work, that is. His Golden Boy, also known as Alec McDowell, additional alias X5-494. Current status: deceased.

He recovers, flicks indifferent eyes over at the girl, who can't be more than sixteen at the most, maybe as young as thirteen, and hems. "Who is he?" he deflects.

The girl isn't fooled; he sees that right away. She narrows her eyes, purses her perfectly dainty mouth, and huffs. In any other, this action would no doubt put Normal to mind of a petulant teenager, but the girl somehow seems to override his natural resistance to youth's unpleasantness and worms her way into the soft spot in his heart. Of course, Normal himself doesn't realize this yet. He only knows that he wants to tell her whatever she asks of him. He is aware that he probably shouldn't—she could be a news reporter, or heaven forbid, a government agent.

In the short time it's taken for Normal to think all this, the girl's made up her mind to throw him another curveball. "He's my father," she states matter-of-factly. "I'm trying to find as much information as I can about him. He worked for you a while, no? Before they all went to Terminal City."

"Fa—oh," he stammers. "Are you sure?" He's got to ask because even though he knows how his boy was with the fairer sex, there are some things one simply must ascertain before proceeding.

"No," the girl shrugs, "but my mother was. And that is good enough for me." The smirk on her face clinches it. It's that smirk, the one that in a few years will say, Sex on legs, come and get it. Holy mother of lollipops.

He finds himself scrabbling on his desk for a piece of paper and a pen. "Here," he shoves them at her. "Name and number where I can reach you. I have to call someone to set up the meeting."

The girl takes the proffered objects automatically. "Meeting?" A line mars the smooth surface of her forehead. "What do you mean?"

"I was only his boss. I didn't know much about him, but I know someone who could probably tell you something." Normal gestures at the paper, "I can't tell you who it is until I've talked to them—confidentiality is important to me as a businessman—but I'll call you once I do."

"Oh," the girl says, comprehension dawning, and quickly scribbles out the requested information. "Thank you, sir." She beams at him and walks out of the building with a bounce in her step.

Normal takes the paper back and puts his headset on. "No problemo…Mila Iglesias, is it? Hm, pretty name." He clears his throat, "Hot run to 4th and Pine!"

. . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . . . . . . .

Pop culture reference:

'Attica'—referencing the 1971 riot at Attica Prison in New York. The inmates demanded better living conditions and took several officers and guards prisoner. Negotiations went badly when the state police took charge of the prison. By the end, at least 39 people were dead. A famous cultural reference to this incident is in Al Pacino's Dog Day Afternoon. His character shouts, "Attica! Attica!" in allusion to the excessive use of force by the police during the riot. For more information on the subject, look it up on Wikipedia.

Story art:

I'm trying to do some artwork for this story. First up is the drawing mentioned above. It's at my LJ: http(:)(/)poestheblackcat(.)livejournal(.)com/30070(.)html.