The plans I make still have you in them

Cause you come swimmin' into view

And I'm hanging on your words like I always used to do

The words they use so lightly I only feel for you

I only know because I carry you around

In the background

"I don't give a damn about the symbols." Max's voice was flat and she stared Logan down, dared him to challenge her. She wasn't feeling too generous as of late.

"You don't want to know what's happening with your own body? You don't care what message Sandeman was trying to send?"

"It doesn't matter." Max crossed her arms. "Was that all you called me for?"

"Max, don't do this. Don't shut yourself down like this." Stupidly, and a little desperately, he actually reached out for her. Max pulled away automatically. Her first thought, this time, wasn't of the virus. It was of how utterly wrong it would feel to touch Logan when she'd never be able to touch Alec again.

Logan dropped his hand, momentarily embarrassed by his own actions. "Max. Please talk to me. It might help."

She stilled and cocked her head to the side. "I don't care about the symbols. I don't care about finding some normal life. I don't care about getting the public on our side. I don't care about anything anymore. The only goal I have right not is finding the person that killed Alec and taking them down. There is nothing you can say that will change that."

"Wow. That speech wasn't melodramatic at all."

Max shivered at the echo of the voice she'd never hear again. She glanced to the side, almost expected to see Alec lounging in the chair behind Logan, smirk in place.

"Max?" She could see the concern in Logan's eyes when she turned back to him. "Look, I know it hurts now but there'll be a day when it won't hurt so badly. You should try and think about that."

"Yeah, lighten up, Maxie. It's not the end of the world."

Max almost laughed. Because really? It kind of was. She wasn't hurting. She wasn't feeling anything.

She was distracted a moment later, however, when her phone rang and she listened to Joshua's panicked voice. She didn't have a clue about some of what he was talking about but she did get that he was stuck in the city with no transportation.

"JamPony's just around the corner. Find-" She cut off, pressed fingers into her temple when she almost said the name of the only person that she knew for a fact wouldn't be at JamPony. "Find CeCe," she corrected herself. "She should be there. She'll get you transportation."

She closed her phone with a sigh and turned to Logan. "I gotta go." Surprisingly, she found she did feel something at the thought of Joshua being in danger.

"You need help?"

"No. Stay here, we'll be fine." She turned and walked out without another word.


"It'll work," Jondy insisted. "It has to."

Jacob Landers stared at her a moment, considered giving her the truth because he was pretty much positive this wasn't going to work the way she wanted but he dismissed the thought immediately, the same way he had when she'd first come to him. The girl was paying him enough money to disappear completely and forever.

"Of course it will," he lied smoothly. Not that she would have noticed if he was a horrible liar. She was completely insane and only had eyes for the young man heavily sedated and strapped to the table in the middle of the room.


"Familiars…" Max tilted her head. She knew White was on his way and she smiled.

"Now, now. Don't go doing anything stupid and impulsive, Maxie. That's my job."

"Not anymore," Max whispered.

"What was that?" Mole asked, bringing her back to herself.

"White's on his way."

"What do we do?" Joshua asked.

Max smiled again without humor. "We fight."


Jondy's hand shot out, grabbing his before he could inject the liquid into the young man's arm.

"And it won't…hurt him will it?"

"No. It won't hurt him," Jacob insisted. And that wasn't a total lie. It wouldn't hurt him…physically anyway.

"Okay." Jondy released him. "Okay…good. Do it."

"He'll be perfectly fine," he reassured. Now that was a lie. He almost felt sorry for the boy. It certainly would not be a pleasant experience. Manticore had scrapped the experiment because while they had been alright with torture, they at least tried to keep the damage repairable. Transgenic's were simply worth too much money.

Jacob shrugged away the thoughts. He'd never developed a conscious in the years he'd worked for Manticore. He wasn't going to start building one right then.


"Joshua, don't! He deserves to die, a lot!" Max paused, pleaded with Joshua with her eyes. "I need him alive. I need to know what he did to Alec…if he did it." She glanced down at White, who Joshua finally dropped after a moment's hesitation. "After that, you can rip his head off for all I care."


"I have to do it," Max said as she stared at White's unconscious form, tied to a chair in the middle of the room. She could almost feel him there, standing beside her, maybe biting his lip with that look he got when he felt she was being a little too stubborn.

"Uh huh. And then what?"

"Then it doesn't matter," she stated simply. Joshua and the others had decided to stay and fight for their right to live normal lives but she didn't care about that.

"I really fuck you up this bad?"

"I was fucked up long before I met you," Max pointed out with a small smile. She turned her head to the side and got what she expected. No one there. She was really only talking to herself. She reached forward and slapped White hard.

"Time to wake up."


"If you'll get on the table?" Jacob asked finally, looking up at Jondy, who nodded. He hooked her up and started the process.

Surprisingly, the girl had a lot of memories to work with. She had spent a lot of time with the boy on the tables double. And, oh yes, Jacob was well aware that the boy on the table was not the man she thought he was.

He had worked with 494 at Manticore during his many visits to Psy-Ops. He'd only had brief contact with 493 but he knew the details of 494's background. He was aware that the girl was out of her mind and that she had latched onto 494 simply because he looked exactly like 493. Again, if he had a conscious, he would have felt sorry for him.


"You know what I want." Max gripped the knife in one hand and stared down at White.

"Do you really believe I'd talk about my-"

Max backhanded him emotionlessly. "Do you really believe I give a damn about your pathetic little breeding cult?"

White smiled. There was blood on his lip but he didn't seem to notice. "It doesn't matter. You see, I know how this plays out, 452. You make a few empty threats and then, like the good little girl you've been trying to be since you escaped, you'll let me go. I know you, 452. You haven't got the stomach to do what it takes to make me talk."

"No?" Max leaned close to him and, without warning, stabbed the knife down onto his hand until it stuck to the wood of the chair he was tied to. He didn't scream like a normal man would have but he did flinch and she saw the shock pass over his face.

"You know, a week ago, you might have been right about me. A week ago, I cared about the cause and doing what was right and all that moral bullshit that comes with it." She held his gaze as she pulled the knife out, savored the second flinch and the very, very slight tightening of his jaws.

"Thing is? This isn't a week ago and now? Now you are going to talk because I'm feelin' now that I've got nothin' left to lose."

"You won't follow through…" He didn't sound quite so sure of that anymore though.

Max leaned even closer. "Look into my eyes, Ames. Tell me what I'm capable of right now."


"It worked?" Jondy asked, staring at him hopefully.

"I believe so." Jacob smiled at her. Hopefully he would already be out of the country when she figured out the process would only confuse 494 at best or it might drive him completely insane.

Then again, 493 had been insane as well. He watched her watch him, saw the look in her eyes. Perhaps she wouldn't notice.