Lost and Lonely
I remember Manticore. The things they made us do, I remember it all, even though it doesn't seem like it. Before the escape, Zack took me aside and told me to find a cover and that no matter what may happen not to blow it. I've done well. I don't know why he didn't tell the others. Maybe he did. I was supposed to tell that to Max when we escaped, but I never got the chance. I still remember the night we escaped, the last time I saw her. Running through the snow, Manticore soldiers on our backs. Zack had split us into groups. Me and Max. Running, down hills and over tree stumps. Then Max got her seizures. I had to help her along, it slowed us down a bit, but I wouldn't leave her. Ironic isn't it? I wouldn't leave her then but I'm leaving her now, just to protect my cover. The frozen lake, I remember that. Max fell through it.
"Max!" I'd yelled and then heard soldiers close behind me. I prayed that the Blue Lady would protect my little sister and I ran. I just ran. I didn't stop, there was nothing else left to do but run. I got out and I hope Max did too. As the years went on, I had created a cover, just like Zack wanted. I had two to be exact, just in case I ever needed to ditch one personality. I was working as Natalie Copeland in a little in San Francisco when Zack found me, like he had found the others. He told me if he could find me that easily then so could Manticore. We kept in contact, and he made me change my cover. But from what I heard he told everyone that I still worked in that bar in San Francisco. I didn't know then that the next time I'd see him, he'd have no memory at all of who I was. When an Eyes-Only broadcast came over the t.v. screen in the bar that I worked, informing all of us that we were in danger I ditched Natalie and quickly became my other alias. I left San Francisco and headed to Seattle because Logan asked me to come. He's only known me as his friend and an S1W operative. What he was about to tell me almost destroyed me.
"Have you ever heard of Manticore?" he'd asked. My heart stopped when I asked him if he knew one. Max. She was alive and he had seen her die. My little sister. Zack. He's gone too. The others, scattered. The only thing keeping me from breaking down right there was my training and what Zack had told me before the escape.
"When you get out, find a cover Jondy. Don't blow it, you keep to your story no matter what. No matter what happens. Do you hear me? No matter what happens. Stay hidden."
When I left Logan's that night I headed out of town and broke down. My brother and sister were gone. We had made a pact during a training mission to find eachother and to be together again. And I cried. For the first time in many years. The next day when I was calm enough to face Logan I swore I'd help him bring down Manticore. He had the S1W's full support behind him. Three months later…
I show up at Logan's to find him unconscious and about to be shot. I pull my gun on the guy, and with X5 grace he speeds up and grabs my gun. Shock, I hadn't expected another X. He looked familiar. I found out later that he was Ben's twin. Max. She's alive. She escaped Manticore, blew it to smithereens and got Logan the antigen for the virus, but it was no cure. My sister she's alive. I was told she was shot point blank in the chest. And she was. Zack blew his brains out to give her his heart. He always protected us. Always. But no more. Zack was turned into an organ donor and couldn't remember a thing when Max got him back. When he did he remembered the wrong bits and pieces he tried to kill Logan and Max had to let him go.
Logan. I do love him. But so does my sister and she will always come before myself. If he makes her happy, I'll let them be. Her happiness means everything to me. She will always come first. She's never going to know it's me. The only way she will is if I slip. Zack told me to create a cover and to keep it. Even if it means losing my past, insulting Max once in a while, it hurts it really does. Make-up's great for covering a barcode. You just have to find the right stuff. I still wonder if Logan and Max will make it. I met Alec at Crash one night. He told me about Max's virus going into recession for twelve hours. We spent the night drinking. I know why he's here and it's not me. He loves Max, and would gladly push Logan down a flight of stairs just to have her. Max and Logan. I want him, but can't act on it for my sister's happiness. Alec. He wants her. But can't act on for the fear of getting his ass kicked. Sure I went home with him, only to feign sleep on his couch. Max came in and they went to stop Gossamer. I wish I could have helped I really do. Everytime I feel like slipping Zack's words come back to me. I can't let him down, but in the process I'm letting Max down. Maybe someday I'll slip. I feel like slipping soon. I'm sitting at Logan's right now, on the couch staring out the window. The man's a workaholic and if I can't help Max out there. I'll help her from Foggle Towers.
"Asha?" Said Logan, walking into the room.
"Yeah?" I reply.
"You OK? You seem a bit distracted."
"No, I'm fine." I get up and follow him to his computer terminal as we start work on an all nighter.
I am X5-210. Manticore cover girl. I am Natalie Copeland. San Francisco bar tender.
I am Asha Barlow. Leader of the S1W. I am Jondy. Lost and Lonely.
A/N and disclaimer: Just a little what if Asha was Jondy fic. I know it's not possible but it's a neat idea that I have been playing with. I also wrote this fic in like a half an hour.
Dark Angel belongs to Cameron/Eglee etc.