The Adversary

A/N: I woke up in the middle of the night and had this semi-dream-state thought…so I decided to act on it straight away and get up and write this. This will be my first attempt at a complete one-shot. Slightly AU although it all could have happened post season 2.
P.S: in my mind I imagined Sasha to look like Megan Fox.

Chapter 1

"Max?…Max!…What're you doing!" The voice was distant and muffled in Max's mind. She wasn't even sure she knew who it was or if it was real. The only thing real to her was the cityscape she looked out across right now. Someone out there was living a normal, happy, life (maybe not such a happy one but at least it was normal right?). Max took one step closer to the edge. She wondered if she could crash heaven's party. Or maybe God would send her to hell for all the damage she'd caused in her life. Maybe she wouldn't go anywhere. The thought of non-existence frightened Max but was also slightly relieving at the same time. The thought had occurred to her before: she didn't have a real soul. She wasn't made by God and wasn't one of his living creatures. Maybe those fools babbling about the transgenic race on TV weren't really fools at all.

Max took a deep breath. It didn't matter anyway. The air at the top of the space needle was cold, colder than usual. Max mentally said goodbye to everything she knew and everyone that used to care for her as she let herself fall…


23 hours earlier… OC's apartment

Max wrapped her arms around her knees and rocked herself slightly. It had a calming effect. She heard OC get up and walk towards her old room.

"Hey." Max greeted as her best friend leaned against her doorframe.

"Can't sleep?" OC looked half dead.

"Don't really have'ta." Max smiled. "Don't worry about me, you look like you got hit by a train, get back to sleep."

OC let out a small laugh. "Don't you go tellin' Original Cindy how she looks, you don't pay the rent here no more so I got no problem evictin' yo ass." Max also laughed. "C'mon Max you can tell me what it is. Why'd you have'ta get outta Terminal City so bad?"

Max's smile faltered. "I can't tel-"

"You can." OC said, cutting her off.

Max thought about it. Would OC believe her if she told her or would she throw her out? After a moment of silence Max answered. "I don't really want to tell you." She said softly.

"You gotta tell me Max." Original Cindy crossed her arms, her expression defiant. "I ain't goin'ta bed until you do."

Max took a deep breath. "Everyone thinks that I killed Sasha and that Alec helped me."

OC's expression changed. She had to use the doorframe for more support. "Did you?" She asked quietly.

Max paused, unsure whether to go with Alec's advice. "No." Max shook her head after a moment.

"Don't lie to me Max I know how much you hated that woman."

"It doesn't mean that I'd kill her!" Max stood suddenly in defense.

OC had taken a step back. A new look of fear that Max had never seen before plastered her best friend's face. Max sighed. She didn't believe her. And why should she? "I should go." Max snapped walking past OC quickly and exiting the apartment. Original Cindy didn't object even though it was four o'clock in the morning.

21 hours earlier… Alec's apartment

Max waited. Where was he? He said he'd be there in an hour when she'd phoned him. An hour had gone by nearly an hour ago. What if he'd been captured by Mole? Would they kill him? Max calmed her thoughts. No, no, she wouldn't believe that. No matter how angry the whole of TC was with her and Alec right now they would never stoop so low. Well, maybe the transgenics with morals. What if one of the few violent one's had caught Alec? They would kill him. No doubt about it. Max rose to her feet suddenly and with that was out of the apartment building. As she descended the stairs she wondered how she hadn't thought this through before. She'd been so stupid letting Alec talk her into letting him sneak into TC alone.

20 hours earlier…Border of Terminal City

The Seattle sun warmed Max's back as she hid behind a huge chunk of concrete. If Max was right and no one had changed any schedules the border patrols were almost over. Then she'd have exactly twenty minutes to get in. Thankfully she knew which path Alec had taken. She'd tried his cell phone again but it was off. She peeked to the side of her cover and zoomed in with her eyesight to see Mole talking to some X6's and X5's. He was probably telling them to 'watch for Max. Make sure Max doesn't get in. Capture Max. Kill Max. Make sure Max doesn't start the friggin' apocalypse.' For all Max knew he could've been saying that from the amount of times she saw him mouth her name. She wanted to vomit. How could they still be loyal to Sasha, even after she'd died. Max remembered the day she'd arrived.

It had all started about nine months ago. A new transgenic had sought out safety and refuge at the pleasure resort that was TC. Max had been the CO for a little over two months. She'd chosen Alec as her SIC as soon as the position was available. The new girl called Sasha was the same age as Max. She'd said she was X5. Hell, she even looked and acted like a cocky X5...-

"Hi, I'm Sasha, it's nice to meet you." She'd extended her hand for Max to shake.

Max completed the gesture. "Max, nice to meet you too."

"So are you psy-ops or X4 or what?" She said with a smile that showed all of her brilliant, perfect, white teeth.

Max laughed and shook her head. "X5 actually."

Sasha's eyebrows almost touched her hairline. "Really?"

"Why do you look so surprised?" Max's own eyebrows creased slightly.

The girl laughed a little nervously. "I'm sorry it's just that, well, X5's have a specific look-" She shook her head. "What I mean is they-we look the most physically attractive out of all the series."

Mole had laughed, Alec had made a cocky remark about how he was so obviously X5 and Max was the only one to pick up her mistake. That was the first time she'd tried to undermine Max and that was the first time that Max became suspicious of her.

Max peeked around the concrete block again. They were gone for now. She had to expect that she had less time than usual due to the recent events. Patrols would be doubled. Max went through a secret opening that few transgenics knew about. Max stuck to the more deserted parts and tried to find a route to the warehouse in the North side of TC. Alec was supposed to go there to get the supposed murder weapon. Max was nearing the rear-entrance of the warehouse. If Alec hadn't gotten the gun then Max would have to. Then she would look for him. The entrance wasn't guarded surprisingly as this was where the murder had taken place. Max looked around until she was sure that no one would see her. Luckily many people were in command, at medical and out so the streets were mostly empty. Max peeked through an old window to make sure that it was empty before she rushed inside as someone was approaching. Max sighed as the person walked past the warehouse. She turned on her heels towards the place where the gun was. It belonged to Jack, another X5. Max bent down to look around for it. She made sure not to touch the sticky patch of day old blood. They hadn't cleaned it up yet. She had no idea where the gun was. She felt around for it when she opened the grate on the floor. It could've fallen through. Max winced as she felt something disgusting. Then she felt the edge of the gun. Her hand recoiled slightly. She really didn't want to touch it. It went against all her beliefs but she knew she had to do this for her and Alec's sake.

Max thought back to the second week after Sasha had arrived. She's made friends with almost everyone she'd met so far. Even some of the scaliest transhumans liked her. Max hadn't even been able to meet that many people in TC yet, let alone befriend them. She wasn't really jealous about losing the miss popularity prize, she'd just found it weird. One person in particular had taken a fancy to Sasha. The particularly good-looking X5 Jack. He'd run after her for weeks but she stringed him along, not really interested. She was busy with other things…

"Hey Sasha I got those, uhm, various items you wanted." Jack said quietly so that Max wouldn't hear but Max could hear every word from across the large table in Command. She looked over some floor plans of a heist while Alec read some magazine and ate his lunch.

"Thanks Jack." Sasha said sweetly making the 20 year old blush.

"Alec, for the last time, get your feet off the table!" Max growled. He'd bumped it and made her pen slip and she'd drawn a line down the plans.

"Give him a break he's been working so hard lately Max." Sasha stood next to Alec and placed a warm, affectionate hand on his shoulder. He looked up at her and smiled and then looked at Max and at the dark line on the page and smirked.

Jack still stood next to Sasha. Max caught the vicious look in his eye as he saw Sasha's hand on Alec's shoulder. She looked back at Alec and rolled her eyes then continued with her work.

"Hey, do you wanna come over for dinner at my place tonight?" Jack tried to get Sasha's attention again.

"Oh, I'm so sorry I gotta help Alec with something tonight." She looked at Jack with remorse. "Rain check?"

Jack looked so close to tears. Max looked up under her eyelashes so that no one saw her staring. She caught the little frown Alec had but he didn't look up from his magazine. Obviously he hadn't been let in on the plans for their evening.

"Oh. Okay." Jack nodded slowly. Then his face brightened. "If you need anything let me know."

"Alright." Sasha nodded.

Jack walked away reluctantly. Max shook her head to herself.

"So, you all done here?" Sasha asked Alec.

"Uh, I think Max needs me here." Alec said looking up at the blue eyed beauty, her long black-brown hair pulled up into a loose pony-tail.

Utter insult and confusion flashed across Sasha's face for a split second. Max wasn't sure if she'd imagined it or not. Then Sasha turned her focus on Max, a smile in place. "You don't mind if I steal him away do you?"

Max smirked at the 'save-me' look on Alec's face. "No, not at all. You don't even have to return him." The look of betrayed shock on Alec's face made Max want to laugh out loud but she stayed silent.

"Thanks." Max was almost sure she heard the fakeness in her voice.

Alec went with her half-heartedly.

Max grabbed the gun, trying not to drop it whilst holding it between her thumb and forefinger, like it was the most repulsive thing in the world. Just then she heard the cock of another gun pointed at her head. Max froze. If the person holding the gun had been an ordinary she could've taken them out but if she moved now, with a transgenic or transhuman holding that gun to her scalp, she would probably get shot.

Max said nothing as she was dragged away by two transgenics and a transhuman following behind. She knew all three of the men. She'd been their leader not one month ago. They took her to a building near the centre of TC. The first floor was used for storage but the second was empty. As Max walked up the stairs she heard the voices of Alec, Mole, Jack and Michael. Michael was an older X series. One of the first successes. He had a lot of experience and had taken over the CO position when Sasha died.

"If you say Max didn't do it and Jack says he didn't do it then that leaves you!" Michael shouted.

"It wasn't me either." Alec growled. As Max turned the corner she saw the furious glare Alec was giving the CO of Terminal City. He was tied to a chair in the middle of the dilapidated room. Rare Seattle sunlight streamed in through the dirty windows. Alec's expression changed when he saw Max. Everyone in the room turned to look at her.

"Well if it isn't miss hypocrite herself." Mole said, chewing around his cigar.

"Look what we caught her removing from the sight." The X6 said holding up the gun that Max had been holding.

"Of course she was." Michael said narrowing his eyes at Max.

"Hey, thought I'd drop buy." Max said sarcastically to Alec.

"I thought I told you I was busy and to wait for me." Alec said back equally sarcastic.

"Got bored." Max said as the men shoved her against one of the pillars in the middle of the room and tied her arms behind it.

"Now…" Michael paced the room. "Who killed Sasha?"

"Do you really want the truth?" Max asked looking dead-serious.

Michael nodded civilly. "Please."

Alec coughed getting Max's attention for a moment. Max locked eyes with him for an instant understanding what he was silently saying to her. She looked back at Michael. "I didn't kil-"

"Oh come on! We caught you red handed at the murder scene-"

"I was trying to clear my name-"

"-trying to remove the gun."

"-you and everyone else who knows me knows I don't use guns-"

"-I don't think anyone here really knows you or what you're capable of!"Max remained silent for a moment. Her screaming match with Michael was getting her nowhere.

"Sasha was kind, loving, compassionate. A good soldier."

"That's not true."

"You couldn't handle it when she pointed out the flaws in your plans."

"She created those flaws-"

"When she found your secret messages to White."

"she planted those messages!"

"Stop! Your lies aren't going to get you out of this."

"She's not lying!"

"Alec you're just as much apart of this as she is. Watch what you say."

Alec remembered when he'd become involved in this whole thing. Four months ago things were getting bad. White was closing in on them from practically every direction. Sasha had driven a wedge between Logan and Max that was so big that he moved away. That was when Alec knew that something was wrong. As much as he disliked the guy he knew that he wouldn't have abandoned Max under any circumstances besides…psy-ops was the only option. Alec had been coming up with a theory for why Sasha could manipulate almost anyone besides himself and Max. One night he was with Max at her apartment…

"I can't believe they thought my plan was flawed." Max growled as she paced up and down her living room, wearing out her rug.

"Relax. I'm sure it was just a mistake." Alec sat on Max's couch, elbows resting on his knees.

"But I didn't make it, Alec. Everything was perfect when I checked it out." Max's eyebrows had furrowed leaving two deep lines between her brow.

"What're you saying?"

"I'm saying that those plans went through someone else before they came to me." Max looked at Alec like he knew exactly who it was.

Alec nodded. "I think she's psy-ops." Alec stated out of the blue.

"What?" Max stood still and looked at Alec like he was crazy.

"Think about it. It's the only way any of this is conceivable. Everyone is 'under her spell' except for us."

"Why not us though?"

"Well I don't know about you but after that whole deal with Mia last year I learnt some techniques for resisting psy-ops. Plus six months at Manticore taught me a few things too."

Max sat down next to Alec. "Okay." She nodded slowly. "Still doesn't explain me."

"I dunno, maybe that freaky rune thing in your blood protects you or somethin'."

Max gave Alec a skeptical look. "Didn't help with Mia."

"Then maybe it only kicked in now-" Alec said getting impatient "-listen, this is the best explanation and pretty much the only one we can find."

"What do we do?" For once Max was asking Alec's advice. He smiled to himself, slightly flattered. Unfortunately he didn't have an impressive plan. "I don't know. We lay low for now. Do some more recon."

"Should I carry on letting her get away with everything she's doing to me?" Max ground out between clenched teeth.

"I'm sorry Max but you gotta keep your head cool for this one." Alec put his hand on Max's forearm for a moment before getting up.

Max nodded and Alec turned to leave her apartment. "Where're you goin'?"

"To spy on our little psy-ops experiment." Alec smirked.

"Don't do anything I wouldn't do." Max smiled.

"If I followed those rules I wouldn't have any fun." Alec quipped but left the apartment quickly as Max threw something towards the door, missing him. She heard him chuckling down the hall and smiled to herself.

15 hours earlier…Second storey of the storage building

Michael had interrogated them for the last four hours. He'd finally decided to take a break and leave them alone for awhile. He'd gone over the last nine months like clockwork. He'd even examined some time before Sasha had arrived. He'd wondered if Max had been working against the transgenics her whole life. It didn't matter if she'd let them out in the first place -he figured that it was all part of an elaborate scheme. Max wondered how much brain-washing he'd gone through at Manticore to still believe she was a traitor. They must've flashed her picture and the word turncoat in front of his face about a billion times. Max had even started crying towards the end. That's when Mole had left the room. Alec had lowered his head. Not even Michael was comfortable with watching the small brunette sob.

Now that they were alone and escape wasn't an option (Max wriggled her wrists and winced as the tight ropes burnt her skin, re-enforcing her theory) she looked at Alec who was also trying to get his hands free.

"Can't we just tell them the truth."

"Yeah Max, 'cuz that's gone over real smooth so far."

"We're not getting outta here either way Alec."

Just then they heard someone walking up the stairs. Michael entered the room.

"Are you ready to talk?" Michael raised his eyebrows at Max.

"Are you ready to listen to what I'm saying?" Max shot back.

"Tell me again." He said patronizingly.

"Sasha arrived at TC nine months ago."

"Yes." Michael nodded.

"She proved her worth in the heists for TC."

He nodded again.

"We slowly gave her more and more responsibility."

"Uh huh."

"She began to corrupt the missions-"

Michael began to shake his head as Max rushed through the rest.

"Frame me for mistakes-"


"Set me up with White-"


"Undermine my decisions-"


"Turn everyone against me and Alec with her psy-ops bul-"

"This is where you lose the plot Max!"

Max sighed.

Michael looked frustrated and tired. He sighed too. "How do you know she was psy-ops?" He asked simply.

"Did you do the autopsy I requested?"

"We don't need to."

"Please, Michael. If I'm wrong then I'll admit defeat and you can do what you want with us."

"Speak for yourself." Alec muttered.

Max rolled her eyes and then carried on. "But if I'm right -you'll have to think about what I've told you so far."

"You do know that if you're wrong we're going to hand you over to the police. We've already explained the crime to them and they've agreed to take the murderer off our hands."

"Whose idea was this?"

"Everyone agreed."

Max nodded.

"I'll inform medical right away." Michael turned to walk out.

"While you're 'bout it could you let us outta these ropes, I'm startin'ta chafe." Alec smiled fakely at Michael.

"Just because there's a percent chance that she was psy-ops doesn't mean that excuses her death. You could still be facing incarceration. We've cleared Jack's name already. The only suspects left are you two." With that Michael walked out of the room and back down the stairs.

Max shared a scared look with Alec. "Tell me you have a plan."

Alec looked at Max regretfully. "I'm sorry Maxie."

A/N: Alright never mind about the one-shot thing. I just proved to myself that one-shots are impossible for me to write. There's one more chapter after this. Considering this is my special X-mas story it's a tad morbid. I just had the idea or Max trying to commit suicide. I don't think I've read one about that subject before so I thought it was unique. I'm going to make it more romantic in the next chapter. It started out being a simple story but once I got started my imagination went wild. It is longer than my usual chapter length so I hope you enjoyed it so far. PLEASE press that review button and send me a Christmas present..

P.S Since it's a mystery tell me who you think the killer was if you review.