last01standing: (Default)
[personal profile] last01standing
Title- Pocketful of Lies
Part- 8 of ?
Rating- PG-13
Summary- After hearing a news report on the disappearance of Eyes Only, Max is slowly drawn into the mystery of what really happened to Logan Cale…[ML but Alec friendly] 
Disclaimer- I do not own Dark Angel 
Parts1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12


A quick notes before we begin: all science in this chapter is completely false. I made it up. It’s just a load of bull that sounds half-way plausible.

CHAPTER EIGHT


“Empty,” Alec breathed and the word echoed, impossibly loud through the cemetery’s stale air.

The interior of the coffin seemed pristine and almost blinding white, no dirt, no body, no sign that there ever had been a body inside. Empty, Max’s brain repeated, Empty.

She had wanted verification, closure. She’d half hoped to end this whole mess right here with the solid proof of a rotting corpse, but an empty coffin she belatedly realized, could mean anything. It could mean Logan Cale was still alive, still out there or it could mean the body had been tossed into the river or encased in concrete.

Alec gently reached back and closed the casket. “We’ve got to get this covered back up before someone shows up crying grave robbers.”

Where was Logan Cale if not lying six-feet under? She mechanically began to refill the grave.

“So, do you think we’re looking at a zombie uprising?” Alec joked lightly.

Max whacked him with her shovel. “That’s not funny.”

“Come on,” Alec gripped as he rubbed his arm. “It was at least a little funny.”

The coffin was empty. Logan himself could be anywhere.

***


When she got back to her apartment that night she took a long, cold shower. The icy water slid across her grimly skin and the water circling down the drain was tinged brown by grave dirt. The freezing shower hadn’t brought her the sense of clarity she so desperately needed. When she finally stepped out, she felt even less composed than she had been in the graveyard.

She was suddenly exhausted. A sort of bone-deep tired that was completely foreign to her. She barely had the energy to say hello to Original Cindy before collapsing into bed.

She dreamed she was watching a pair of dancers, the two of them spinning around the room surround by swirling orange and yellow lights.

“I should have died that night,” a voice from her side. “But then again. I should have died during the shooting, too. I guess my luck has to run out sometime.”

She recognized the dancers now: Logan and herself, twirling, spinning, completely at ease.

“I don’t think I would have minded.” Logan continued, as if talking to himself. “I mean, I’ve gotten more miracles that I deserve. I dodged more than a few bullets in Eyes Only’s early days and even the one I didn’t dodge…” He gestured absently towards the wheelchair. “Well, it wasn’t half as bad as it could have been.”

“That’s a pretty optimistic outlook, all things considered.”

“I had you,” Logan said staring out at the dancers. “It took me a long time to realize it, but that’s all I ever needed.”

“I don’t remember,” Max admitted softly. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s all right.” Logan replied, turning his gaze towards her. There was steely resolve in his blue-green eyes. “It’s better this way.”

“I wish you’d stop disappearing on me.”

“I’m here now, aren’t I?”

“But this is a dream,” Max explained, exasperated. “It doesn’t count.”

“Ah.” His eyes glinted from behind his glasses. “But who’s dream is it? Yours or mine?”

“We’ve done this before, haven’t we?” Max asked.

“Happier times,” Logan confirmed. “I wish you could remember.”

“I thought you said it was better this way.”

Logan shrugged. “What can I say, I’m selfish.”

“I want to remember,” Max repeated. “But there’s just nothing there.”

“There’s still something there, Max.” Logan said evenly. “They can’t take it away even if they wanted to.”

“Who the hell are they?”

“I think...” Logan frowned, and Max saw something flicker across his face and his glasses suddenly cracked. The smooth, clean lines of his face suddenly a mess of bruises, cuts and blood. Red seeped out of his mouth. “I think.” He coughed explosively, spraying Max’s face with flecks of blood. “I think I’m wak…”

“Logan!” Max jerked awaked with a start. Sunshine seeped through the open window. “Logan,” she called again, but knew there would be no answer.

“Now who in the hell is this Logan character?” Original Cindy said, peering into Max’s bedroom. “Crying out his name in your sleep. Why hasn’t Original Cindy heard of your new man?”

“What?” Max mumbled, blinking the remnants of the dream from her eyes.

“You said, Logan.” Original Cindy informed her, crossing her arms. “I asked for details.”

“What?” Max repeated dumbly.

“You must have it all kinds of bad if you’re calling out this, Logan’s, name in your sleep.” Her friends smirked. “Original Cindy can read the heterosexual angst all over your face. Now, you gonna to tell me who this Logan guy is or are you going to keep your home girl guessing?”

“You ever wake up and feel like something was missing?” Max asked suddenly.

Original Cindy blinked and shook her head. “What the hell is your dealio, Boo? Sometimes, Original Cindy don’t even want to know what’s going on in that head of yours.”

Max stared out the open window at the harsh sunlight outside. She could see the omissions clearly now. It was like something had been cut from the scope of her past, leaving thousands of holes that pockmarked her every memory.

Why had she rushed back to Seattle when Zack ordered her to leave?

Why had she asked Alec to pretend to go out with her?

Why had she let Lydecker run the operation when they’d gone to take down Manticore?

Why…

There was some key figure missing from the past two years. And the more she thought about it, the more she realized that Logan Cale might very well be the person who filled those holes. But it seemed like all her essential memories of him had been removed with a careful, almost surgical precision.

The question, as always, was why?

“Max? Are you even with me today, girl?”

“I’m sorry,” she said absently. “I’m feeling kinda punk. You think you could tell Normal I’m down for the day.”

“Is this one of them top-secret transgenic meetings you and Alec have been taking without informing your ordinary friends?”

“Will you just tell him for me?” Max pleaded. “I promise, it’s important.”

“Original Cindy’s got your back,” her friend promised grudgingly. “But only if you promise to tell her what’s up with her boo.”

“You’ll know as soon as I find out myself.”

***


“Where’s Cy?” Max asked loudly as she burst into the Psy-Ops building of Terminal City .

“Told you she’d come back today,” a little girl’s voice sang from her left.

“Guess you win, Dee,” Stat said softly and then raised his voice. “It’s the second door on the left, Max. Try not to take the guy’s head off. He means well.”

He means well? Max was seeing red. She didn’t want to hear that Cy meant well. If it hadn’t been for Alec’s intervention, she would have killed Cy months ago in the wake of her friends kidnapping. Though he wasn’t a part of White’s plot, what Cy had done was unforgivable.

“She won’t forgive,” Dee said softly. Max could feel the young girl’s eyes on her back. “She didn’t want to forget.”

Cy’s room was the second door on the left. If she kept this simple, maybe she could keep herself calm.

The entire building was run down, as most of Terminal City was, but inside most of the dilapidated buildings, the transgenics, unused to living in the filth of the outside world, had taken great efforts to clean and in many cases repair the damages. Cy was the exception to the rule. The door to his room was old and termite ridden. Max briefly considered knocking the off it’s hinges, and probably would have if Cy had been the type to care.

She didn’t knock, just tapped the rickety door a few inches forward and slipped nimbly through the crack. Cy was waiting for her, sitting cross-legged on his dusty, unmade bed. “Dee told me you were coming,” he said softly. “I was hoping it’d be later rather than sooner.”

Cy wasn’t much to look at. If you stared too long, you always got the impression of a ghost from him. He had fair skin, pale hair and pale green eyes and everything about him seemed washed out and faded. He had long, almost gangly limbs and lacked the grace of the usual Manticore soldier. If Max had to guess, she’d say Manticore had cooked him up at about the same time as the X-5s, one of their earliest ventures into psy-ops.

There were few people Max detested more.

“What do you need?” he asked even though he could probably just pry into Max’s mind and find out for himself.

“Have you ever heard the name, Logan Cale?” she demanded.

“Name’s new to me.” Cy flinched as Max advanced, suddenly squeamish. She was surprised Lydecker hadn’t killed him for his weakness. It would have saved everyone a lot of pain.

“All the records say he’s dead.” Max forced herself to breathe. “He’s got a coffin and everything.”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t see what this has to do with me,” Cy said defensively. “Unless you came looking for a scapegoat again.”

Max clenched her teeth and balled her fists. “Thing is, I dug up his grave and this guy isn’t dead, not really.” They were dancing. “I’ve been seeing him. Maybe it’s just his ghost or something but I think I used to know him.”

“You’re not making a whole lot of sense,” Cy said calmly.

“It’s like someone erased him,” Max explained. “Sliced any memory of him clean out of the timeline.”

“And why,” Cy said, pulling himself up to his feet, “would you ever ask for my help?”

Max swallowed.

Chances of success are falling

“I’m desperate.”

Cy nodded slowly and turned away. “Well, asides from insanity, my best guess would be an extraction.”

“Extraction?”

“You know,” he waved a careless hand, “mission goes bad and someone wants to take their men out quickly and cleanly. An extraction.”

“Correct me if I’m wrong, Cy,” Max spat, “but extractions don’t take memories with their operatives.”

“But,” Cy said, pale eyes gleaming, “that would be ideal wouldn’t it? The best case scenario. Imagine, being able to extract your undercover operatives and leave absolutely no memory of their treachery and deceit. It’s perfect.” He met her eyes and quickly glanced away. “Well, perfect if you’re Manticore at least."

“So Manticore found a way to extract memories along with people?”

Cy shook his head. “Manticore had a theory as to how it might work.” He fixed his stare on Max. “Say your brain is a radio. Each person emits a certain a frequency, unique as DNA, that you have to pick up to commit a person’s face to memory. Manticore found a way to scramble an individual’s frequency it makes them hard to remember, hard to notice. It’s why no one in this city can tell you what Stat actually looks like. But that’s as far as they got. Erasing someone completely would involve turning this frequency off altogether.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “From what I know, when Manticore went up in smoke, they were nowhere close to figuring out how.”

“So that means…?”

“It means what you want it to mean.” Cy shrugged, dismissively, running a hand through his pale blonde hair. “I’m just saying, it might be possible. Just because Manticore couldn’t do it doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t figured it out.”

Max could feel the pieces of the puzzle sliding into place. “Someone like White and the familiars.”

“If it is White and the familiars,” Cy said firmly, “you should let it go. It isn’t worth it. You don’t even know this guy.” He paused for a beat, two. “Anyway, I thought White was dead. Something about a taking nose dive off the Space Needle.”

Max couldn’t stop herself from biting out, “No thanks to you.”

Cy stared at her, un-phased. “I’d do it again,” he said quietly.

“Alec could have died because of you,” Max hissed. “If I’d gotten there a second later, he wouldn’t still be breathing. You cost him six extra days of torture and now you tell me you’d do it again.”

“I don’t think you realize just how important you are,” Cy said slowly. “White, his breeding cult, what they’re planning… for whatever reason, you’re the only one that can stop it. If you get killed, we all die.”

The door behind her creaked open and Max was too angry to even recognize Stat for a moment. “Dee said there was going to be bloodshed back here,” he said amiably. “I just wanted to make sure no one was killing anyone back here.”

Max stared venomously at Cy. Cy stared back, resolute and unperturbed. Her hands hand clenched into fists. She wanted to beat this idiot into submission. Wanted to watch him bleed.

“Max,” Stat said, appearing beside her and grabbing her shoulder, “that’s it. Let’s get you out of here. This isn’t worth it.”

“You don’t know anything,” Max spat at Cy. “You may be a goddamn psychic, but you don’t know anything about real life.”

Cy kept staring, his poker face firm as Stat dragged Max out of the room.

Dee approached her tentatively moving with a grace unnatural for a child of her young age. “Sandeman’s,” the girl said offering Max a gap-toothed smile.

“What?”

“Sandeman’s house,” Dee confirmed, brow furrowed in concentration. “You’ll find it there.”

She thought of the house with Joshua dead on the front porch. She thought of the signs of Alec’s struggle littering the room. She thought of her barcode number painted on the wall in her friend’s blood.

“Sandeman’s house,” Max repeated dumbly.

Chances of success are falling.

She was getting desperate.

9 | 

(no subject)

13/11/06 09:14 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ajzkitten69.livejournal.com
Unfortunately, I'm in far too much pain to do extensive feedback (I got my wisdom teeth removed yesterday). But let's just say a chapter from you improved my day. Good luck with the basketball.

(no subject)

26/11/06 21:19 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
(I'm way behind on replying to comments, sorry)

Thanks for reading. I hope you feel better soon.

(no subject)

23/3/08 15:51 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] eve11.livejournal.com
hi, coming late to the party and all but I just got done watching the DVDs and was trolling for fic-- great story so far but, I was just wondering, it says a year after Freak Nation but does that also include spoilers for the books? Because I ordered them but haven't read them yet and am wondering if the things I don't recognize in this story are canon from the books? Thanks.

(no subject)

23/3/08 18:21 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
You are completely good to read. I didn't even know there were any books until after I'd finished this story. Enjoy!

(no subject)

23/3/08 18:23 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] eve11.livejournal.com
yay, thanks! :) *goes off to read more*