Random Hotel, Oregon
"Dude! You are totally on TV ."
"What?" Dean moved into the small hotel room from the even smaller bathroom, his toothbrush hanging from his lips as he looked at the TV. "What the fu-" He moved back into the bathroom and cleaned his mouth, leaving the toothbrush behind.
"What are you watching?" he asked as he rejoined his brother, confusion still on his face.
"Breaking news, it just cut in. It's on a loop."Dean nodded and took a seat as the news loop started up once more.
'Once more this is coming live from Seattle, reports seem to vary from monsters and daemons to genetically enhanced humans. What we know for sure is that something is amiss. Here are a few clips from earlier and then we will be going live. We do warn you that some of these scenes are violent.'
Dean found himself leaning forward slightly and watching the screen closer. The television showed a number of clips of teenagers and creatures being chased in the streets of a few cities. Then there were clips of what seemed to be a high camera of a young man was being beaten in a crowd. Groups of mixed teens and creatures were running. The words transgenic were being flashed across the screen. A black haired girl flew into a building. A group came out, he saw his face, saw a bullet wound in his arm and a rush for them to fall back. A girl was shot and Dean almost growled in hatred of the human race. It triggered something he vaguely remembered but couldn't put his finger on.
The brothers sat silently as more video played out, this time was a series focused around a sectioned off area which looked like a toxic waste dump. Inhuman feats were being preformed, always to protect, and never in aggression. A number of times they saw the dark haired woman and the Dean look a like. Along with what looked like a giant reptile, a dog and a few other humans. Then there was a fade and they watched as a group of six transgenics leaped over the fence, hands in the air trying their best to look non-threatening. Guns levelled at them. The raven beauty took a step forward, the twin following a step behind, her shadow in every way and Dean felt something grip at his heart.
There was no sound but reports streamed along the bottom of the screen. The transgenics wanted to talk to end the war. A single shot was fired from somewhere in the crowd and the twin pushed the woman out of the way, taking the bullet in his shoulder. Dean had enough and he was up and packing. Tossing things randomly into his bag, only taking care with his father's journal and his weapons.
"Get your ass in gear Sammy, we are going to Seattle."
"Dean, I really don't think that is a good idea." Dean only had to shoot Sam one look, and he was sighing as he turned the TV off and gathered his own clothes and other objects. "Gonna have to sneak in."
"Already planning on it, and you will be researching from the road," he called as he gathered everything up and finally exited the room, heading straight to the Impala.
Opening the trunk, he placed all his bags inside, but kept the weapons bag out, putting it in the backseat when he slipped into the drivers side. Turning the car on, he let the engine warm up. His mind was still racing to try and put this all together. It somehow felt personal, it looked like it was personal, yet Dean knew nothing about what was happening and he tossed his father's journal into Sam's lap as he joined him in the car, the radio on low as they pulled out.
"Check the journal, anything around Seattle. Anything he ever mentioned. Out loud." Dean heard the heavy sigh but he also knew that Sam would do as he asked even if he hated every minute of it.
As they drove Sam read out of the journal there was nothing really out of place or related to the current state of affairs. Dean sighed softly as Sam reached mid way in the book. "Dean, it mentions that you were missing for about two weeks. We had been in Spokane, Washington, which is a fair bit outside of Seattle. Dad seemed to be pretty worried at the time, but you showed back up a few days later and nothing seemed wrong so we just moved on."
Dean felt a frown pull at his face, trying to remember just what had been in that town, he remembered that it had been a popular ghost town, it had seemed that there was a haunting on every corner. He also remembered coming face to face with a young boy that had to have been a ghost in his middle school. Then strangely nothing, a giant void of nothing. A pit started to grow in Dean's gut, it twisted his insides.
He remembered the background work, finding out where the boy was buried and what had happened. He also thought that he had dealt with the salt and burn on his own. "Mark it," Dean said softly, Metallica coming out of the speakers of the car as he took a turn off the side road getting onto a main highway to save time.
"Keep going." Dean could see the worried look on Sam's face as he flipped through the rest of their father's journal. They found a few other notes, but nothing too important. They had been on the road for almost four hours when Dean finally took a highway exit.
"Are we stopping for the night?"
"No, just need to get some gas," Dean informed his brother as they slowed at a red light before heading into the small town to find a gas station. They pulled into the first one they found, Sam putting his hand on Dean's arm, stopping him from getting out of the car.
"I'll do it."
"You'll scratch her," Dean said shaking off his arm, Sam sighing loudly.
"Dean, please! Your face, but not your face, is all over the national news, you can't be seen at the moment. Just trust me please. I'll be careful putting the gas in, and I'll get you some type of sickening junk food but stay in the car."
"Fine, but I want pie." Dean looked at his brother, silently debating with himself.
"Fine," Sam said before he stepped out of the car and moved to deal with the needs of the moment.
Dean relaxed back into his seat, pulling a pair of large, dark tinted glasses from the side pocket of the Impala and slipping them on. His hands went to the steering wheel, drumming to a song in his head. 'Powerslave' seemed to fit the mood as it started, Dean stopped half way in and figured it was time to pick a new song, his mind flicking over songs. The door creaked as Sam joined him again, he had gone over a number of songs and was actually thinking about drumming his way through 'Bad Moon Rising'.
"About time, what held you up?"
"They had the news turned on, I figured I should gather some more intel ."
"Whatever, where's my pie." Dean shook his head.
"In the bag," Sam said handing it over. He had also gotten a few other things for Dean in the hopes of being forgiven faster. It seemed to work.
"So what's happening?"
"After the shot the transgenics, or whatever, retreated back into their city. Apparently they have declared independence ."
"Come on Sammy, I know that isn't all you got." Dean couldn't help but chuckle, shaking his head as he started the car up and pulled out of the gas station, heading back to the highway.
"Well its back to the same as before, military guards, perhaps a few more than before. Other government agencies for the most part have been pulled back. There seems to be a Special Agent Ames White in charge of everything outside of the military zone. I have to say, if I was a transgenic I would want to give it a go with the military."
"Changing your tune already Samantha?" Dean looked over to his brother a little surprised.
"No, of course not, it's just, what they were saying. There were interviews with people, but nothing about the transgenics. It's one sided, and nothing in their favour. From what I have seen they aren't threatening."
"Other than the super power bit."
"Well yeah, that's kinda a given," Sam said with a twisted look on his face. "It's just that, I mean come on Dean, one of them has your face. How is that even possible, if it isn't something that we deal with on a day to day basic?"
Dean swallowed, the pit in his stomach growing further, increasing further. His interest in food gone. "I don't know, I wish I did. But I got this feeling, Sammy." He looked at his brother for a few seconds before turning his attention back to the road. Finding it easier to talk if he wasn't looking directly at Sam. "A feeling in my gut that what is happening is wrong. That something has been wrong for a long while and we have to help. At this point I don't care if its supernatural or genetic." There was a few minutes of silence as they drove past slower vehicles.
"Fine, but we have to be smart about this. Your face is either hated, feared, or wanted. I'll fight with you on this, Dean, but I won't lose you."
"Fine," Dean said in agreement, more or less, before turning the radio up louder to drown out any further conversation.
They drove for another six miles before Dean pulled the car over. "Take over will you, Sam?" he asked as he traded seats with his younger brother. Reclining the seat slightly, he draped his jacket over his shoulders and curled it around himself. "Wake me up if you need anything."
"Get some sleep, Dean."
"Eyes on the road," he commanded before he closed his eyes, letting the rumble of the Impala moving over the highway lure him into sleep.
Command Center TC
The group that was gathered around the small command area was impressive to say the least. As a nation they were still settling in, but they had all agreed that there should be a council or group in power. Not one or two people, the risk they were facing was too large, which is how they ended up with such an unlikely group of transgenics gathered talking about the future.
Max and Alec both sat at the far end of the table, Joshua and Mole on either side of them, Dix and Gem sat in the middle. The other representatives were not new to TC, in fact the twins, Jamie and Jason, who were both X0 series, had been the ones that had started to clear the streets when the population started to grow. The entire city respected them, kept their distance as no one really knew what they were like, but respected them nonetheless. They were probably the only reason the military hadn't already tried to bust the city down around their heads. At the other end of the table was the youngest of the group, the two X8's, were both commanders that were picked to speak for their age and skills.
"Welcome to the war room ladies and gentlemen. More or less," Alec said, finally wanting to get the meeting going. While they were talking there was still a city that needed to be run on the outside of this room. "We already know why we are here, we debated the idea yesterday and all of last night. After that refreshing two hour break we are back to make a choice. Things have only gotten worse, we need to make a choice."
Alec hated the talking and was thankful when Max leaned forward, picking up where he left off. She might not be able to carry a gun for whatever reason, but if she keep covering up his dislike of political speeches he would carry two guns for the both of them.
"We voted as a group to stay here, we wanted to make this our own place. So, are we going to try and open talks, or are we going to fight? If we come up with a stalemate we will have to make it an open vote. If we are divided then most of the others would be as well." Max took a deep breath and Alec wondered if she felt as nervous about this as he did. Nothing was sure, he wasn't sure if he wanted to talk, but fighting didn't sound like what he wanted to do either.
"I vote talk."
"I agree with little fella, talk we need to reach the light," Joshua, sweet and loving Joshua who looked closer to a dog then human. Agreed full heartedly, a lot of the nativity he had before coming into the real world, if they could call it that, was gone. Stolen by lose, but leaving love to burn in its place. Alec was almost jealous of his friend.
"Talk, we are all tired of hiding," Dix said softly, they all knew that feeling.
They reached Jamie and she looked across at Jason. "Talk," she said, her eyes directed at her twin.
"Foolish. I say fight."
"You are wrong."
"I think not."
"Okay you two, enough," Max snapped at them and the twins nodded to her.
"Later," Jamie said before Jason could break the moment's pause.
"Fight." Jewel the first X8 remained relaxed where she sat.
"Fight," came an echo from her right, it was the other X8, Coal.
"Talk, I am sick of being the government's play toy," Gem stated simply, looking at the three that had just spoken, then turning to Mole.
"Point that stare somewhere else half-bint. I say fight," he growled out, managing to smile at the same time.
Alec rolled his eyes, he was the swing vote so to speak. Tie them and it goes to all of them, or finish it and just do the talks. He hated the feeling of eyes on him and he tapped his thumb on the edge of his chair for a moment.
"I was born and breed to be a solider, a number," he gave them all a pointed look, stopping on Max. "Then I was given a name. Sorry guys but I don't want to fight anymore. I vote for talking," he said, putting the nail in the coffin. He nodded and pushed the chair back. "Let's take another short break, half an hour then we can come back and pick out who will go."
A few disappointed faces, but he knew that it would pass over. It was as fair as possible, sometimes you win sometimes you don't. Gotta love being on a council.
Jamie and Jason are the first to leave, the end result forgotten as they get back into a verbal match about their choices. Alec shook his head, he didn't get those two. The X8's and Dix headed outside, Joshua following. That left only Gem, Mole, Max and Alec. The silence stretched out for a few seconds.
"How about a drink?" Mole said finally, laughter at last melting the silence.
"Please," Alec nodded in agreement. Max nodded also, Gem shook her head.
"I still have a baby to think about," she said with a chuckle, "but don't stop on my account. I should go and see the little tyke." She smiled, nodding to the three of them before heading out. "See you in half an hour," she called before the door closed behind her.
"So you really want to flash your pretty mug at the cameras and hope that this all goes away," Mole said (comma) rejoining the two X5's at the table. Mole took a few cups down and began pouring them each a drink of something.
"My pretty mug no, my pretty mug would have them fainting over themselves to be our friends." Alec didn't really want to know what it was, he picked up his cup and shook his head. Max snorted beside him and he pushed on, ignoring her. "More like Maxie's hot body and someone cute, brainy and trained. Someone who can tell them how Manticore was."
"Denial," Mole said with a shake of his head and Alec found himself rolling his eyes again.
"So peace talks, that should be a toast at least." He raised his glass and took a drink, the three of them settled in to spend the rest of the time trying to plot out the next best idea to get the funds they needed to keep the city running.
Half an hour passed way too quickly for anyone's liking, they were all back and had claimed their seats. The X8's tried not to look interested in what would happen now, the same as everyone else, but still hadn't mastered the same abilities as the older transgenics. The twins seem to have come to a silent agreement, while the others looked refreshed.
"Okay, so right back to business we still have a lot of work to do. When and any idea's who." Max asked as she looked around the small table.
Jason raised his hand slightly, "Jamie and I have spoken, if we are to do these talks then we would suggest-"
"-Max and Alec,-" the twins spoke together before they both relaxed back into their chairs.
"We think it would be for the best. The best of the best, and the one that best knows Manticore. Seems fitting," Jamie finished with a shrug. Alec felt a shiver up his back. He knew they were on his side, but still. They were just creepy, at least then now they were together and getting along. While he was interested in the siblings relationship he still did not understand it.
"That does make sense," he heard Gem say and he turned to her.
"Oh no, I don't think so."
"Told you we would get your pretty mug out there," Mole said, leaning back and putting an unlit cigar in his mouth.
"I'm a bad choice. I mean come on, smart Alec here. Don't think that is wise," he said turning to Max(comma) hoping she would see reason. She shook her head at him.
"Sorry Alec, but maybe you are just the thing. You are still you. Who else can tell them how it was at Manticore?"
"Fine another vote, but I think it's a dumb idea." He remembered his words from earlier.
Two minutes later there was only one angry face at the table this time. Alec hated political rut holes.
Gates at TC
"I still think this is a dumb idea."
"So we have noted, Princess, now pipe down and do your job."
Alec glared at him and kicked at a loose rock, two minutes till he walked out into a giant crowd of Norms without a weapon. He remained silent however, Max moved over to him, touching his arm for a second before he joined her. Pushing off the wall, he moved over to stand beside her, radio still in place in his ear since Mole was meters away watching his back.
A hundred and twenty seconds, it really shouldn't feel that long, but it did. Both Max and Alec counted to themselves. The message was sent the day before, that they wanted to talk, were willing to come out unarmed to speak for the nation. An agreement had been reached, they would be meeting with General Isaac White, the man in control of the military. Then it was time, Alec nodded as he and Max leaped over the fence. The bodyguards that they had also picked out jumped seconds behind them. They all landed and he could feel the tension in the air. Max took a step forward.
"General White," she started in greeting, but Alec felt it.
The air shifted slightly and he moved, pushing Max out of the way before the sound snapped to the others around him. The bullet lodging itself in the same damn shoulder as it always did. He really had to get off protection duty. At least this time the bullet wasn't playing tag-along. He almost lost his footing, instead he stumbled, Max at his side before he could fall, offering him balance.
He grinned at her, "Owe me another one Maxie," he said, teasing her about the running tally he had had of saving her life.
"Whatever," she muttered, her eyes scanning the military personnel around them. The General looked as surprised as they did. She should have stopped Alec, but well, a part of her didn't care anymore.
"We are claiming this sector as our own," he declared finally looking over at the man. "As you can expect, the meeting will be cut short today. Sector Seven is now Terminal City, home of the freaks. Do not attempt to come inside," he warned standing up, refusing to look weak, and turning back to the walls they had put up. Max joined him a second later.
"You won't look so badass if you fall into the gates," she muttered, wrapping her arm around him. To anyone else, it would have looked like a normal gesture. The fact was that she was helping him back into their newly crowded city. While it wasn't good, they kept up the pretence until they were out of camera sight. Slowly Alec let a little of the pain show on his face.
"Should get to medical," he stated with a smile.
"You think? I don't know what you think most of the time," Max shook her head wanting to slap him. She growled at him refusing to leave his side, even if she was boiling mad at him.
"What Max? I got shot. Makes a guy snappy. Can promise you that they won't come in here now."
"We were going to talk." Max was almost shaking with anger.
"I know that!" he said louder, matching her raising tone. The other transgenics melted away. "I sure as hell didn't shoot myself!" he reminded her before turning and walking away.
"Where are you going?" she called after him. If it had been anyone other then Max, he would have sworn he heard concern in her voice.
"Medical,"he replied without looking back or stopping.
"Me saying no never stopped you before."
Fog, its all that Dean can see, he turns, looking every way, but no matter what way he is looked the dense obscurity seemed to box him in.He waved his arms in front of himself and the fog parted for a few seconds before fluttering back in front of his face. He could have sworn that he saw something in the distance and started to move forward. That was when he heard the voices, if he didn't know better he would have said one of them was his.
"Hey! Is anyone there?" he called as he moved deeper into the fog, his arms parting the dense fog to either side as he walked.
"You are so close to learning the past Dean Winchester, are you afraid to learn? Afraid to know?"
"You are so close to learning the past Dean Winchester, are you afraid to learn? Afraid to know?"
"Who are you?" he demanded, moving towards the voice only to have it speak from a different location the next time.
"They changed you, took part of you. Unwilling or willing the past will come to haunt you, are you ready Dean Winchester?" the voice called again, this time from behind him and Dean spun around.
"Show yourself!" Dean screamed into the darkness.
Then suddenly the fog was gone and he was in the forest. Not a normal North American forest, but a rain forest. Animals moved freely here, nothing standing in their way, civilization had no claims on matters. Dean was a little freaked out, he had to assume by now that this was a dream, but what kind?
"Here I am, I hope you are ready Dean Winchester," the voice said once more.
Dean turned around to face the speaker, and felt his eyes widen. It was him; the voice, the hair, the eyes everything. Right down to the freckles that ran over his face.
"What are you?"
"What are you?"
"I'm you, just better."
On The Road, Washington
Dean woke with a start, he was thankful for the darkness that the approaching night gave him. He felt his heart pounding in his chest and he licked his lips, trying to take control of his body. The dream was still fresh in his mind, which was almost odder than the dream itself. He vaguely, if ever, remembered his own dreams. Pastor Jim had always said that it was normal, that most people didn't remember them, just used the time to sort out their own feelings in their head in silence. The fact that this one was ringing in his mind bothered him. What did it mean, was it just his brain playing games on him, or was there something darker going on here? Sam's crappy music was playing softly in the background, Dean reached over and turned it off. The silence took over the car.
"How much farther?"
"We are about fifty miles out."
Dean nodded and rubbed his eyes, wishing that he had just stopped and picked up a coffee instead of letting Sam drive. The sleep had raised more questions than it had answered and now he didn't want to close them his eyes again.
"Pull off on the next dirt road, we are leaving the Impala out here, don't need to take her into a war zone like Seattle," he stated simply, opening the glove compartment and pulling out a few of the IDs he had with him. He had a couple for Sam also, having always kept them on hand even after the kid had gone back to college. "We need to sneak in somehow, it would help to have a man on the inside. After the pulse, a electro-bomb that had been dropped over the states years before. Seattle went into lock down, only way in and out is with what the locals call a sector badge. I can make us some once we are inside, but I don't have any idea what they look like," Dean explained, knowing without looking that the question would be on his little brother's face.
After a short drive they found an old abandoned warehouse to leave the in Impala. Dean made sure his protection charms were in place. They gathered what gear they thought they would need and a few weapons. After rechecking the charms one final time, Dean locked up the car and the pair of them started up the road towards Seattle.
"So what do you really make of all this Sammy?" Dean heard his brother shifting his bag around before turning to look at Dean.
"I'm not really sure, I mean I know what is out there, I know what it could be. The science is there, and it's possible. Has been for years," there is a pause but Dean knows that he isn't finished yet. He can almost taste the unasked question. "What do you think?"
Dean shrugged,"don't really know what to think. It being supernatural makes it easy."
"But... " Sam prodded hearing the silent word, tossing it back at Dean.
"I don't know how to explain it Sammy, but it's something in my gut. I told you already, I can't explain it, but I think there is more here. Haven't you ever just gotten a feeling?" Dean didn't miss the look on Sam's face. "Sammy?"
"It's Sam, and let's just go." Dean frowned but didn't push and just keep walking.
They made it to Seattle in record time, waiting until it was early morning instead of late night to sneak in. Thanks to the gear they had brought, getting in wasn't a problem. The local police were spread so thin that it was almost laughable.
"We're in, now what?"
"Find a place for the night, do the lying low thing you do so well, Sam."
"Already figured that one, I mean after that. It's not like you can walk right into a crowd and not be spotted, the ages might be a little different but its close enough, Dean. People don't ask around this town, they just seem to act out with extreme violence."
"Oh come on, Sammy, lay up. I'm not gonna be dumb about this. I've been talking with Bobby. He should have an address for us to get our feet under us and some help. It is after all the middle of the night, and we don't have sector passes. So, for the time being lets find a place to get a few hours sleep and pick this up in the morning," Dean said with a knowing smile before heading down a side street. Sam's only choice was to follow.
Familiars Safehouse, Outside of Seattle
"Mistress, you called for me," a petite voice came from the doorway.
"Yes, a dream came to me. Things have changed, hunters approach." The Matriarch knew that the servant did know knew her meaning and waved her hand at her.
"Gather the Council , and call on Mr. Ames White, tell him I wish to see him with a great matter of importance."
"As you wish Mistress."
Turning back to the window, the Mistress eyes searching the dark night. Confident in stopping the changes before they could even begin.
Alec's Hallway, TC
"Medium Fella, sure he shouldn't stay in Med center. Doc looked mad that you were leaving," Joshua said, worried as he watched his friend slowly make his way down the hall to his new apartment. He had given his old one to Sketchy, ex co-worker at Jam Pony and friend, who also happen to be a reporter for New World Weekly. Who promised just to keep it until he could join them on the outside again.
Alec had to wonder if that was ever going to happen, knew the doc gave me too many meds, he grumbled to himself as he pulled his keys out with his left hand. It was awkward even for a transgenic, but he still managed. He unlocked his doors and moved in, leaving the lights off. They had to conserve power and they didn't need the light. His eyes had already adjusted to the dark hall, the darker room was no problem. It also helped him feel a little less guilty about watching TV, which he turned on as soon as he made his way over to the couch he and Max had managed to find. Somehow he had managed to win it for his place, now knowing she lied about not having the room.
The fact that Max would crash here more times than she did at her own place, normally on the same couch. Well, it wasn't something that Alec thought about, after all she had made it clear that she wasn't interested in him, or the lie she had pleaded he help her maintain. He chose a channel at random. It was a commercial, he left it and looked back to Josh.
"Come on in, I'm sure there are some snacks around here. Not a lot, but outside connections help," he said, never had he thought he would be thankful for Normal, his past boss who was helping get supplies into their city. They had hoped it would only be a few weeks, but that had quickly turned into almost two months. They would have run out of a lot of things a lot earlier, not to mention that he'd kept the underground running with Oringal Cindy's help. Cindy was a chick they all missed. Max's best friend and all around pretty cool lesbian.
Sketchy was reporting a lot more, trying to get another side of the transgenics out there. It kind of hurt to think about his friends on the outside, not that he could remember the moment it happen. The one thing he knew was it happened before he and Max had finally started to try and be friends.
"Little Fella is worried about you."
"You mean angry at me."
"That also, but also herself."
"What? Josh you aren't making a lot of sense here. Drugged here, please remember that."
"Angry because she is worried about you, angry because you got shot because of her. Max and Alec." His tall friend pointed out as he took a seat in a chair beside Alec, whose attention was directed to Joshua.
"Sorry big guy, there's no Max and Alec, and before you ask there isn't any Alec and Max either. The freaky tattoos she's been getting means she's important. She believes in this entire peace notion more than anyone. No insult meant man, but that was all her idea. Broke us out. I've mess around in her life enough, I owe her. We're friends, but no names linked by and. That's more Max and Logan's deal," he said with a pointed look stressing the and at the end.
"There is already an and," Joshua said.
Alec couldn't help but sigh turning the TV off, the room once again pitch black. He looked at the older man.
"You sound pretty sure there Josh."
"I am, because I see it."
"See what?" he asked, sick of the conversation that he hoped he wouldn't remember when he woke.
"The Max and Alec the Alec and Max. By being friends you are an...and."
"I think you got into my drugs."
"I think you want to remain blind."
"I like the darkness."
Alec refused to talk about it further and brushed off any question about how he was doing. After a while Joshua gave up, but refused to leave his friend alone.
He draped a blanket over Alec, tucking him in. Joshua remembered something from his early childhood. A child like this, Isaac, himself, and father. Silence, just flickers of memory, he had been too young to remember much, but the almost innocence he had seen there was showing in Alec's sleep. It was odd that the other boy's features indicated unconsciousness. He finished tucking his friend in and then sat back in the chair for the rest of the morning.