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Title- Pocketful of Lies
Part- 11 of 12
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
Notes:Well, here it is, the last full chapter of Pocketful of Lies. I’m sorry to see this story go. Writing it has been an absolute blast.


CHAPTER ELEVEN


The Space Needle was a long way up. Max had forgotten how tall it was, spiraling up to the heavens and blotting out the moon.

It had been a sanctuary once. A place for reflection and thought. Troubles used to seem small when she was up there, but that had all changed after White took Alec. Her refuge had been perverted, twisted into a place of evil and death.

She had thought this part of her life had was over. She’d hoped that she could return to her relatively peaceful existence and forget about White and all the transgenics’ troubles. But life hadn’t been that kind.

“It’s a long way up,” Alec said, as if echoing her thoughts. “And here I thought Sandeman’s was bad.” He paused for a moment and swallowed audibly. “It’s also a long way down.”

White had kept Alec on the observation deck for two weeks before moving him out onto the roof. If Max had gotten there seconds later, it would have been Alec who went over the edge and not White. The very thought sent ice racing through her veins.

Alec was chalk white, his hands trembling just a little. He hid his fear well, better than Max herself did, but the fear was there nonetheless. Manticore may have taught their soldiers how to hide it, but it would never be enough to erase it completely.

“First time coming back?” Max guessed, eyeing her friend with concern.

“That obvious?” Alec breathed as he slipped through the gap in the fence separating the Space Needle from the public. “It’s my first time back in the fucking sector.”

Max let out a sickly laugh. “I can do this on my own you know.”

“Like hell,” he grumbled, snapping seamlessly back into the persona she knew. “Let’s do this. Time’s a-wasting.”

***


The ascent was a blur and neither she nor Alec spared much breath for talk. When they made it to the Space Needle’s observation deck, Alec was looking slightly queasy. “Who’d have thought it,” he joked weakly, “one of Manticore’s finest, afraid of heights.”

Max shot him a sharp glance. “They’re probably waiting for us… it’s a trap remember?”

“Fine then, Maxie, rush to comfort me.”

“Now’s not the time, Alec.”

He quieted without protest. Max realized with sudden insight that he knew it wasn’t the time to jokes, that he had always know when it wasn’t time to joke. Alec had always worn his sarcasm like a coat of armor. White’s torture hadn’t changed that but rather made his bravado seem transparent and false. Still without it, Max doubted he’d be able to cope.

The scene of six months ago flickered in her mind, she could picture Alec’s slack, blood coated face. She’d heard once that the human body carried six quarts of blood. She remembered that fact dancing through her mind until it was all she could see. For a second she was sure that all of it must have been in that room even though she knew it was impossible. There’d been a solid trail from the observation deck to the roof where she’d found him, a map etched with blood. Alec’s clothes had been completely soaked through.

There had been so much blood.

She thought there was more now. Fresh splashes of red covering dried older stains. “Where the hell are they?” Max hissed.

“Blood’s fresh…it’s not even dry yet.” Alec muttered, probably lost in his own memories. “They can’t be far.”

A wheelchair was upturned in the far corner of the room, the wheels spinning incongruously, the only movement in the silent room.

Through the silence came a muffled thud. Max and Alec’s heads turned upwards in tandem.

“The roof,” Alec whispered and Max put a finger to her lips to silence him.

They’re listening, she signed over to him.

It’s a trap, Alec signed back irritably.

He was probably right, but somehow, Max couldn’t bring herself to consider the consequences. There just wasn’t enough time. Besides, Dee said this was the right place… She’d like to think that no one but White was capable of this kind of violence.

I’m going up, she signed, cover me around back.

Alec didn’t look happy but he gave her the okay symbol and silently crept to the opposite side of the observation deck. Max eyed the wheelchair and took a deep breath to steel her resolve.

She’d climbed up onto the Space Needle a hundred times before, but the strange new uneasiness that had crept into the pit of her stomach unnerved her. For the first time in her life, she could see why some people were afraid of heights.

It was a long way down. Far longer than she ever remembered. It would take an eternity to fall.

She grasped the lip of the roof and hauled herself up.

She was greeted with the cold metal barrel of a gun against her forehead.

“452,” White said, sneering.

***


This is how I die, Max thought vaguely, This is what Cy saw. Gun shot wound to the head...

White was still alive. White was here. White had survived the fall. White had been out there for months without them knowing. How could she have let him get away with this…

It was too late to stop him now. He had a gun to her head and one of his muscled bound Familiar buddies was looming ten feet behind him for back-up.

“Where’s Logan,” she breathed as she slowly straightening up to her full height.

White let her rise but kept the gun where it was. “Your boyfriend?” He smirked. “He lasted longer than I thought he would.”

“If he’s dead…” Max hissed, “If he’s dead, I will tear…”

“You’re not exactly in the position to make threats are you, 452,” White said. “I could kill you right now… Or better yet, just give you a push. I doubt you could survive the fall.”

She didn’t have to glance back to know what was behind her. She’d spent hours, staring out at the vast Seattle skyline from this very spot. She’d memorized each and every inch of it. She could feel her heels on the edge of the Space Needle. She was far too close to the edge for comfort.

It was a long way down.

White looked nearly the same as he had before the fall. Mouth in a perpetual sneer, dark eyes cold and ruthless, hair cropped short. The only difference was the faint scarring on the left side of his face, but even that was fading.

“You survived the fall,” Max said with false bravado. “And let’s face it, anything you can do, I can do a hell of a lot better.”

“Cute, 452. You never did know when to keep your mouth shut.”

“Where’s Logan?”

“Unconscious,” White taunted. “He stopped moaning a few minutes ago. You were too late this time, 452”

Max did the calculations in her head. Could she get the gun off of her before White pulled the trigger? Sure she could dodge bullets when the gunman was twenty feet away, but not even her reflexes were quick enough to escape something fired at point blank range.

Gunshot wound, whispered Cy in her head, A bullet hole smack in the middle of your forehead. Blood everywhere.

Where the hell was Alec?

“I’m surprised at you, 452,” White continued, obviously enjoying being in control. “I thought you’d come running the moment you found out he was gone. But no, you wait a week and then you mount the most pathetic rescue attempt I’ve ever seen. You should have heard Cale the first few days. He swore you’d come kick my ass.” White’s lip curled. “He gave up on you quicker than I expected. I haven’t heard a word in days. I was starting to think you weren’t even looking. I left you all those clues. You were supposed to come running. I had the perfect trap all lined up for you.”

“Where is he?” Max growled.

White nodded behind him moved a half step sideways to allow Max a view of Logan’s crumpled form laying face down twenty feet away, face completely obscured from view. Logan’s clothes were in tatters, a thin layer of blood coating everywhere.

Max couldn’t tell if he was still breathing.

“I’m going to kill you,” she told White slowly. “This time, you’re going to suffer.”

White laughed. Max finally caught a sight of Alec as he pulled himself up onto the platform and began creeping towards White’s bodyguard. He was moving with a slight limp and with a start, Max realized he’d already been jumped once.

She kept her eyes trained White and tried not to give Alec away. White shook his head. “Look at the transgenics' hero, weak and alone. Without you, they’re nothing.”

“I’m nobody’s hero,” Max said firmly, desperately trying to mask the sound of the snapping neck as Alec took out White’s extra muscle from behind.

“I know you’re no one’s hero,” White said slowly, “Just like I know you brought 494 for back-up.”

Behind him, Alec froze, rooted for to the spot.

Before Max could even realize what happened, White had turned around and in a single swift movement took aim and pulled the trigger.

The bullet caught Alec in the shoulder and he stumbled backwards, face creased in pain. He had been too close to the edge of the Space Needle and his third step back had him teetering precariously on the edge as the seconds seemed to stretch onto hours.

And then he lost his balance, tumbling backwards, off the edge and down, down, down. Max watched in horror as his flailing arms dropped out of sight.

Max lost it, bringing her arm up with superhuman speed grabbing White’s gun arm and jerking the gun from her forehead. White fired off two shots into the still night air. Max caught him solidly in the jaw with another quick hit. White shook it off like it was nothing, feinting twice left and then using Max’s momentum against her to toss her down onto the cold hard metal of the Space Needle. “Too slow, 452.”

She sprang up, running on pure adrenaline now, and kicked the gun from it his hands. White shrugged and pulled himself into a fighting crouch. “You can’t beat me,” he said slowly.

He moved with the barest limp, his left side still weak from the fall. She couldn’t help but think there should be a bigger outward sign: crushed cheekbones or hideously disfiguring scars of reconstruction surgery but the only visible signs of the fall were the fading scars on his cheek and an almost unnoticeable limp.

She doubted Alec would make it out that cleanly. She doubted Alec would even survive the fall.

Logan was lying a few feet to her left, a thin trail of blood leaking from his mouth.

Her momentary distraction cost her as White’s fist sliced through the still air, lightning fast, clipping her cheek. She retaliated with a feint left followed by a solid right hook that connected with his jaw that sent his head snapping backwards.

“Harsh, 452,” White taunted, “That almost hurt.”

She dropped low and tried to take his legs out from under him, but he saw the move coming and easily stepped out of the way and delivered a solid kick to her head.

Max reeled back, sliding all the way to the edge of the Space Needle, stars dancing in her vision as she gazed past the Seattle skyline and towards the ground. The scene spun under her, twisting and swirling with astonishing speed.

White approached from behind her, footsteps clomping metallically on the ground. She forced herself to move, flipping over his head and landing on her feet, White turned quickly and delivered a solid blow to her stomach before she could completely regain her balance. She doubled of over instinctively, gasping for breath. Black invaded her vision. White wasted no time while he had the advantage and threw her twenty feet to the side. She landed roughly, bouncing twice and hear a small crack that could only be a rib.

White rushed at her, coming with unnatural speed to finish the job. Max raised both her legs and kicked him in the stomach, propelling him over her. He rolled smoothly when he hit the ground and stood as he complete the roll. Max couldn’t help but think her training must have slipped or something because she hadn’t had her ass-kicked this bad since the Reds were in town.

She pushed herself onto all fours, broken ribs protesting vehemently. The gun she’d knocked from White’s hands was lying a few feet away. Without thinking about it, she grabbed it, hands clutching the cold metal. She couldn’t help but feel the unwanted memories sweeping over her.

Max didn’t do guns. Just touching the thing made her physically ill. She swept the gun off of the Space Needle, comforted by the fact that Cy’s vision had no means of coming to pass.

Only, she suddenly realized as she pulled herself laboriously back to her feet White still had a gun. He always carried at least two. Max didn’t know how she could have possibly forgotten.

Her heart lurched. White had it pointed at Logan’s prone form.

She had no doubt that White wouldn’t even hesitate before pulling the trigger. “One move, 452,” he said venomously, “and I blow your boyfriend’s head off.”

She hated guns. “I’ll take you out before you can fire,” she threatened. “You won’t even know what hit you.”

“You’re bluffing,” White said calmly. “I’ll put a bullet into Cale here before you even decided to move. But being the reasonable guy that I am, I’m willing to cut you a deal. Surrender, and I’ll let Cale here live to see another day.”

Live, her mind chided. She couldn’t even tell if he was still breathing.

“We’re not like that,” Max bluffed. “Why would I care about some pathetic ordinary?”

“Tick-tock,” White mocked, not buying the act for a second. “Time’s running out.”

A bullet would probably be the kindest thing for Logan at this point. It would put him out of his misery.

She raised her hands in defeat. “Fine, you win. Just don’t hurt him anymore.”

A sneer twisted its way across White’s features as, keeping the gun trained on Logan, he moved towards her.

“And to think Sandeman had such high hopes for you. He would have been disappointed, his protégé failed him so completely.”

White placed the barrel of the gun firmly on Max’s forehead.

She hoped to God Logan was still breathing.

“Goodbye 452,” White said.

A shot rang out in darkness and for a fraction of a second, Max was sure she was dead, sure she was lying there in a pool of her own blood just like Cy had predicted. She could feel the sticky red blood splattered across her face.

And then White swayed, like sheets floating in the mid-summer’s breeze, forward and back and to Max’s surprise, she noticed the was a gaping hole in his head. An jagged exit wound that had torn half his face clean off.

He collapsed suddenly, entire body giving way all and once and falling in a sort of hap-hazard mess of limbs.

Behind him she could see Alec struggling to pull himself up onto the Space Needle, gun clutched in his off hand. Alec who was not dead. Alec who must have grabbed the safety netting and survived against all odds. “A little help here, Maxie?” he asked. “I’m having issues with my gunshot wound.”

She hurried over, grabbed his arm and pulled him up.

“Is he dead?” Alec asked.

Max nodded mutely. There wasn’t enough left of him to be reconstructed.

Alec rocked a little as he pushed himself to his feet. “I think I’m going to go make sure. You should check on ghost boy over there.”

As Max made her way over Logan, she heard Alec fire another three rounds into White’s corpse, banishing his demons, ending his torture once and for all.

She was afraid to touch Logan, afraid to move him for fear of aggravating one his countless injuries. Even close up, she couldn’t tell if he was breathing.

She rolled him over, groping for a pulse.

Alec stumbled towards her. “Is he alive?”

There was a rhythm, slow and erratic, but there. “Not for long at this rate,” she mumbled. “We need to get him to a hospital.”

“How are we going to explain this to the cops?” Alec asked.

“We’ll figure something out,” Max said, frantically searching for a way to stop some of the bleeding. “I don’t think he can last much longer.”

Logan’s eyes were shut. There were tiny cuts surrounding his closed eyes, the only remaining sign of his shattered glasses.

“If you die on me after all this,” Max hissed into his ear. “I’m going to find a way to bring you back and kill you again.”

Logan didn’t respond.
 
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(deleted comment)

(no subject)

9/12/06 16:31 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
So glad you enjoyed this story. I'll have to admit, I haven't even read the thing in one go... it's good to know it holds itself together.

(no subject)

7/12/06 02:51 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ishara.livejournal.com
*grin* trust you to cliffhang the last chapter. Just so long as you don't leave us hanging in the prologue ;P

[tiny voice]Just one question...[/tiny voice]
You had Max check Logan's pulse? Has the virus already been cured in your fic? Does she just not remember having the virus because her memory has been screwed with? Oh crap, if he's survived White's torture only to be killed by Max's poison touch, it would not be good. At all.

(no subject)

9/12/06 17:07 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Hee. I've had the epilogue done since chapter six and there were very few changes. I wouldn't say it's hanging too much.

The virius was mentioned in passing in chapter two I was hoping people would forget all about it just like you...

(ps. I just posted the epilogue)

(no subject)

7/12/06 08:48 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ajzkitten69.livejournal.com
OMG, for a second I thought Alec was gone and almost cried. Except there was the wink, so I was okay.

Looking forward to the last chapter. And so very glad that White's gone bye-bye.

(no subject)

9/12/06 17:08 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
And to think, I almost didn't put in that wink...

Glad you're enjoying this. =)

(no subject)

9/12/06 01:44 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] alissabobissa.livejournal.com
I loved this chapter! And great cliff-hanger. Can't wait for the rest.

(no subject)

9/12/06 17:09 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
THanks so much.

Also, the rest is here