Jade’s Touch

[March 2001]

Fandom: Dark Angel
Title: Jade’s Touch
Character(s): Zack
Rating: PG
Summary: After Blah Blah Woof Woof Zack runs into some trouble while crashing with a woman named Jade.
Disclaimer: This story is a fanwork based on characters featured on the TV series Dark Angel. A television series created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee.


Zack woke up on the floor, but he didn’t know how he’d gotten there. The mattress springs were poking him in his back, but he was glad for the pain. He had gotten soft and it would do him no good to be soft, he couldn’t protect them if he was soft.

“Hey big boy,” a strong female voice said above him. “This is my place.”

“Sorry,” Zack said sitting up.

The gentle, but well defined Asian face came level with his as the woman knelled down in front of him. she touched the bruise on the side of his face. He didn’t remmber how he got it, but the gentle touch shook him, a shiver ran down his spine.

“What happened to you?”

“Things,” he said grabbing her hand firmly, but not roughly and putting it down.

“What’s you name cowboy?”

He ran through his list of names trying to decide upon one. “Jack,” he replied.

She smiled. “Okay Jack, you want to eat?”

He thought about that question. Did he want to eat? He really didn’t desire food, not right now. Right now he wanted to beat a wall in. But he choose his words wisely. He was back in unfamiliar territory, on enemy ground. Warmth was gone, home was gone, he was the group and himself all at once again. And everywhere around him were enemies waiting to pounce on his fear. He was alone and he always would be, it was time to face that. He was not himself, he was the group, he was never free.

“I a bit hungry,” Zack said standing. The woman stood up beside him.

“My name’s Jade bt the way,” she said quietly. Zack cringed and grabbed his side. “Your hurt.”

“I’ll be fine,” He said feeling his way over to a nearby chair. Jade was about to come inspect the wound anyway when the doorbell rang. She walked to the door.

“Mommy,” a little voice said.

“Hey baby boy.”

“Bye dad,” he said to his father.

Zack got a peek at the sour faced man from where he was standing. He was smoking something, something foul smelling, certainly not your average ciggarette. He eyed Zack from where he was.

“Make sure you and your new boy friend don’t mess up my boy’s mind.”

“What me and my boyfriend do is none of your bussiness?”

“One word from me and your squatting here is over. So don’t try me,”he dropped the ciggarette on the floor and stomped it out. Then he left.

“Nice guy,” he said, sounding almost as sacastic as Logan would have about him.

“Yeah, he’s a cop. Busted me a few years back. About five,” she said rubbing her son’s head. He got the point.

“What’s your name?” the boy asked.

“Jack,” Zack replied, never breaking into a smile. “What’s yours soldier?”

“Max,” the boy replied. His heart stopped for a second, then resumbed it’s normal beating after he took a breath.

“Max, go put your stuff away, you have a reading lesson in a few hours.”

“Okay, talk to you later Jack,” Max said running off.

Zack was always jealouse of regular kids, even as an adult he was jealouse of the

“Nice boy you got there, so he’s about five.”

“Almost, my friend Tara gives him reading lesons, says he’s really smart. Won’t do him much good in the long run. I can’t promise you a feast. Right now I have bread and peanut butter.”

“That’s a feast after where I’ve been. But can I ask you a queston Jade?”


“Where am I?”


“What do you mean where are you?” Jade asked.

“I was running. I’m not sure what city I’m in,” Zack’s mind raced, putting a story together if she should question to much. “I won’t cause you any trouble mam.” That’s it, nice boy act. “And you’ve been quite kind. I’ll gladly get out of here, I just want to get my bearings.”

“Your in Tacoma, Washington. And don’t worry, I want you to stay put till you’re healed. And don’t call me mam, I’m not an old woman.”

“Aren’t you afraid of having a strange guy stick around.”

She leaned over and whispered. “I have connections in the police department.”

He smiled and not a phony smile like he’d wanted.

“Your almost as cute as my kid when you smile. You should do it more often.”

Max came back into the room and grabbed a book out of the crate in the corner of the room.

“See you around Jack,” he said getting his coat.

“Yeah, don’t steal any of my priceless heirlooms,” Jade joked taking the boy out the door.

As soon as she was gone, Zack dropped to the floor and started doing push ups. He ignored the pain in his chest. He was getting soft, he could not get soft. Tacoma, Washington? Brian was in Tacoma. He was one of his younger brothers. How he had gotten away when some of the older ones hadn’t, Zack never figured out. He would check on Brian, but much like his sister Max, Brian was hard headed. He dared to think what would happen if Max knew Brian was so close.

He got up from the floor and surveyed the apartment, making note of every possible exit. He tried to make sure wherever he was, that he knew where every possible exit was. An exit was anything from a window to a vent in the floor. He left the first floor apartment, walked up the stairs, down the stairs, around the building. All while remaining casual to the naked eye.

Would he stick around long? He hadn’t seen Brian in months. Maybe it was time to drop in on him.


It didn’t take him long to track Brian down. Brian kept his hair long to hide the bar code and his girfriend, Chris, supplied him with tryptophan. She worked in a hospital. Her father was a doctor. Zack warned him not to get involved with her. When Zack saw them growing closer, he’d told him to back off and leave. Her father was to well known. At first he claimed it was just for the Tryptophan, but then he admitted he’d fallen in love with the girl.

Brian worked in one of the local shops, a place that sold 20th century nick nacks. Rich people loved the things. He’d given up all illegal activity. And for a long time that was all he did. Zack had first blown his cover to Brian when he’d gotten trapped in a gang in southern California. Zack got him out only to check on him a few months later in a new city where he’d done it again. Chris had atleast, changed that. But somehow he felt Brian was safer among the gangsters than he was with this woman Chris.

Zack slipped through the back door of the shop and found Brian sitting on a stool polishing some old silverware. He din’t see him, so Zack snuck up on him.

“Get your head in the game soldier,” he said in a stern voice. It should have startled the young guy, but it didn’t.

“I heard you coming,” Brian said as he turned around with a huge smile on his face. “Where you been?”

“You know I can’t tell you that.”

“Right,” Brian replyed with a sigh. “So big bro, do you know your an Uncle?”

“What?” Zack replied in shock, but not sounding to pleased.

“Chris had a baby. Dad wasn’t to happy about. . .”

“Are you crazy Brian, how could you risk having a kid.”

“How could I not, I love Chris. She’s the one who’s there for me, I want a life. . . . .”

“I’d love to have an X-5 reuinion,” Zack yelled at him. “But it’s not possible. You hear about that helicopter going down.”


“That was Manticore. They nearly got me.”

“Did you bring them here?” Brian asked jumping up with a flushed expression on his face.

“No, but this is the kind of thing you have to worry about. Manticore will take that baby if they find out, use it for scientific study. How could you bring another innocent kid into this? You know what it was like for us. Damn Brian, you always were just so. . .so. . .irresponsible.”


“Does the kid have a barcode?”

“No” Brian replied.

“Have you noticed any abnormalities, in sleep paterns or anything?”

“No Zack,” Brian shouted back. “She’s a normal kid.”


“Yeah, we call her Star. She’s gorgeous.”

“I want to see her,” Zack told him. “As soon as possible.”

“Chris or Star?”


They heard a bell ding in the front of the shop and then a childs voice.

“But Mom, can’t I keep it, please.”

“No, we need the cash,” the mother replied.

Zack knew them, it was Max and Jade.

“Brian, you in here,” Jade called.

“Back here,” Brian called back. “You got some prizes for me.”

Brian got up and met her in the front of the shop. Zack tried to decide what to do. If he stayed he would have to explain, so he moved toward the back entrance, the one he had come in.

Brian’s knew Zack would be waiting for him when he came out of work, so he wasn’t shocked to see him emerge from the shadows.

“Hey Zack, why’d you disappear.”

“Thoose people”

“Jade and Max?”

“Yeah, I know them. Can I see your kid?”

“Come on,” Brian said.

He lived pretty close, in one of the nicer apartment buildings. He supoosed Chris father made sure they were securly housed. Chris heard the keys jingle and ran to the door, but she was less than happy to find Zack standing there.

“Brian, what’s he doing here?” Chris statefd, ignoring the visitor.

“He’s my brother,” Brian stated simply and walked past her, to the baby who had just started crying. “Come meet uncle Zack.” Brian said moving toward him holding the eight month old.

Zack didn’t really want to hold the baby, just see her and make sure she didn’t carry any distingisable marks. But as Brian held her out to him and he accepted the little bundle. An angry Chris stormed off and Brian went to consol her. And he found himself captivated. She was crying and her rocked her softly.

He then saw himself as a little boy, peaking into the nursery. He rembered the day he’s seen Max and Jondy laying side by side in the nursery with all these techs and medical personel swarming around them. They were both crying, but the grown up ignored them. He banged on the door, trying to tell them the babies were crying. In the end he had gotten in trouble, but from that momment on he protected everyone. He saw that no one else cared what happened to them. All he could think was about how small an innocent they were and he had only been a toddler himself. A toddler who had slipped out of the playroom yet again to size up his surroundings. As he looked at this baby, he saw all of them, all of them–not just the twelve who escaped. That’s what hurt the most, there were only 12 who escaped, the rest were still there. Even if they weren’t little kids anymore—he was as responsible for the ones inside as he was for the ones on the outside. He’d wanted to save them all, but he’d only been able to save a few. And now he’d lost one.  Brin?

Brian entered the room alone.

“Brin’s gone,” Zack said still looking at the baby.

“Gone?” Brian said. “As in dead.”

“No worse, back at Manticore. We have something to worry about. Brin choose to go back because she was sick, a form of Progeria. Four of our group, including her, developed it. If you ever develope it, you have a choice to make. Manticore or death.”

“What about a hospital?”

“They couldn’t help. At the most it would delay the inevitable.”

“Damn,” Brian said. “Just when you thought you’d covered your bases with Tryptophan.”Brian sighed and brushed his daughter’s soft brown hair with his hand. “I hope she’ll be alright. Kinda looks like Sue doesn’t she.”

“Zack smiled, Sue hadn’t made it out of Manticore that night. She had died. ” She has Tosh’s grip. Tosh was one tough cookie.”

“Her and Max and few others. We had some pretty tough sisters.”

“Yeah, sisters,” he said handing the baby back to Brian. It was weird, because Max was family, but something weird had happened when he’d met Logan. Logan was her protector, was in his place, he was the one she relied on, believed in. And now he was just some guy. It hurt, he’d had to reclaim her—they were all he had and he had already lost Brin.

“What’s wrong?”

“Everything Brian. Everything.”

Chris came out at that momment. She must have really resented him for thier last encounter a couple of years ago. He’d told her she would be Brian’s death and been a genral asshole in the hopes of turning her away from Brian.

“So are you going to be staying for dinner,” Chris asked coldly.


“Will you be around Zack?”

Zack didn’t answer, he just left the apartment. He didn’t know where he was going, he just needed to be alone for awhile.

How he ended up back at Jade’s apartment building, he didn’t know. But he wasn’t in her apartment, he was on the roof. It was quiet up here and he needed quiet. He didn’t like anyone, even people he knew, to see him upset.

“Jack is that you?” a little voice said.

Zack turned to him. “Hey kid, what you doing up here?” Zack asked.

“I like it up here,” Max said looking at him curiously. “Jack, were you crying?”

“No,” he said. “There was just something in my eye.”

“Okay,” he shrugged. “Where you been all day.”

“Seeing a friend.”

“You staying with them tonight?”


“You know I found this really cool race car today. I proably could have fixed it. There were only a few lose wires. But Mommy hates it, says I shouldn’t fool with wires or I’ll fry my brain.”

“Have you ever fixxed anything?” Zack asked.

“Not yet, but I could have fixed that car. But it was a classic, so we had to sell it. Mama found some chicken. I’m sure she’d love to share with you.”

Zack smiled. He didn’t have many people talk to him so relaxed, even a kid.

“So you going to eat with us?” Max asked looking at him with a smile. He held out his hand.

“Sure,” he replied, taking the boys hand.

Max led him off the roof and down the stairs to her mother’s apartment. He could smell Jade’s cooking from outside the door and when he stepped in, it was like stepping into warmth.

“Hey, mom look what I found,”Max said proadly.

“Hey big boy,” Jade said. “I thought you’d ran away,” Jade said.

“I had run away,” Zack replied.

“Come on Jack, I want to show you something,” Max said dragging Zack into his room.

when Max had him in his room, he pulled out a box covered by a blanket in the corner of his room. Zack expected critters, a puppy, or one of the crazy things boys collect. But instead he pulled out a broken old gameboy toy and a remote control motorcylce. He held the toy bike up.

“If Mommy knew I had this, she’d make me sell it.”

“I had a motorcycle,” Zack said taking the toy and sitting on the child’s matress. “Not a toy, the real thing.”

“Really!!” Max excliamed. “What happened to it?”

“That’s not important. Have you been able to fix this?”

Zack knew the answer, but he waited anyway. “Not really.”

Zack looked at it. He could proably fix it. He had never had toys as a child and all Max seemed to have were these broken toys he showed him.

“Dinner’s ready,” Jade called from the other room.

Later that night, Zack by the window, watching Jade ently nurse his wounds. He didn’t flinch, he was to busy studying her. He didn’t understand her, he was a strange man, but she had extended him an invitation into her home, trusted him with her child. It was weird, it was illogical, it was. . . . .suspicious. He couldn’t remmber how he’d gotten here. And it was curious that she had.

He had been a little delirious when he’d awoken here and confused, then he’d remmembered Brian and wanted to drop inon him. But there were still to many unanswered questions. How many days had it been since the helicopter crash?

God the woman smelled good. It wasn’t perfume, she just smelled good leaning over him dressing the bruise on his face. He hadn’t been this close to a woman in awhile, not including Max. When she sat back on the matress beside him, his head was still spinning.

“Why?” Zack asked.

“Why what?”

“Why are letting me stay here? You don’t know me?”

Jade sighed. “Injured puppy. When I saw you last night, you looked like one. Couldn’t turn you away.”

“I might be dangerous for all you know.”

“Your not the only person with an alias Micheal,” Jade smiled mischeviously.”

“Micheal?” Zack questioned.

“As in Micheal Hanover. I wasn’t sure it was you at first, but then. . .”

“Then what?”

“Your barcode,” she replied.

He got up and ran to the mirror. It had come back, that meant another agonizing trip to the tatoo parlor. That didn’t matter now. He had killed before, in an instant if he needed to. She knew to much, but she had a child in the next room. He couldn’t do it.

“How do you know?” he asked.

“My dad was a cop, he arrested you. I happen to be thier that day. I was arrested for stealing, like you. I did it because my dad was the dirtiest cop in the presinct. I hated him. I had a best friend, Nancy. He once arrested her and promise to get her out for sexual favors. The day I got arrested, you were down two cells from me. I heard you yelling at the cops and then I saw you beat up two large cops in seconds. You would have got away then if they hadn’t been bringing that other kid in. At the time, no offense, you were a shrimp so i was a little suprised at how quickly you overpowered them. After they got you in a cell, Davis, one of my dad’s men said – ‘Weird-o kid’s got a bar code on his neck. Proably a part of some cult. Heard social services picked up another kid with a barcode in L.A.’ I looked down at your face, it had been fuming, but at the mention of this information it all went away. You impressed me. When dad grabbed me out of jail the next day, I broke into the police files and found you name. Or at least one of your names.”

“Did you bring me here? Did Lydecker get to you?” Zack wasn’t convinced that she was just some girl who ran across him in a prison.

“Ly who? I just saw you get arrested. I also saw you escape. Crafty thing  sneaking thoose keys off the guard. But I still haven’t figured out how you leapt that fence the way you did.”

“But how did I get here?”

“Luck,” Jade shrugged. “I found you in the hallway. You kind of looked like Micheal so I helped you inside my apartment. You slept.”

“I don’t sleep,” he said.

“Everyone sleeps” Jade said.

“Someone must have given me something,” Zack replied. “I don’t sleep, not like I was last night. Somebody planned this, somebody wants me here. They knew I would’ve escaped.” He wasn’t sure if Jade was a coincidence or not.

Suddenly his hand started shaking and other parts of his body started convulsing. “Damn,” he got out as he searched the room for his jacket. With his body caught in beginings of a seisure. This was the wrong time. He tried to control it.

“Have you seen my jacket!” he yelled.

“Yeah, right here,” she said handing him his jacket. He quickly took the pills out of his pocket and tossed the required dose in his mouth. He dropped the pils and his jacket and slid to the floor holding his knees. Jade looked at him curiously.

“Micheal?” she asked.

He didn’t say anything. He hated having his weakness reavealed in front of anyone, but a .possible spy. Life couldn’t get any worse. He should have caught on sooner. He saw himself as a little boy standing beside Lydecker, poised at attention.

>>>>”Your very angry Zack,” Lydecker had said. “You should protect the team. But you must understand the Tac leaders are part of the team. They say a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. This doesn’t just apply to a group, it applies to a single person. Your only as strong as the weakest part of yourself. That’s the part you should sheild the most. You understand me son?”

“Yes sir,” he had replied <<<<

Jade had come over and was brushing back his hair. He didn’t want to feel comforted by this but he was. He could almost see his young self when he was about two, when there was only him and her. She had no name, only blond hair.  It was soft. She feed him and clothed him and sung to him. These care takers were a necessary when they were young, but they went away. They went away, like everything went away. . .

When the seisure was over, Jade had given him a tall glass of water.

“So. Are either of them your name, Micheal or Jack.”

He thought about his answer. “Is Jade your name?”

“No,” she replied. “I was born Emerald.”

Despite himself, he laughed and he didn’t laugh.

“I was. I liked Jade better and once I ran away from my father, I wanted another name. You inspired it, you know?”


“You were a symbol for me, you didn’t let anything stop from escaping. Not the guards, not the fence.”

“Stop please,” Zack interupted. “This story is a little hard to buy. We just accidentally ran into each other.”


“No,” Zack yelled. “I don’t believe in coincidences.”

“Well that’s what this was. Who are you?” Jade questioned.

“You really don’t know?” Zack questioned. “Something is wrong and I don’t know what it is.”

The doorbell rang and Jade went to the door. Max’s father was standing there.

“Let’s go Jade,” he growled.

“It’s late, Max is asleep,” Jade yelled.

“Good then he won’t miss you.”

Zack got up and came to the door. “Excuse me sir, but I think you better leave.”

“I know Jade is good at what she does, but you can get your time after I get mine,” the man said.

He grabbed Jade’s arm and tried to drag her out the door. Zack grapped the man’s arm and dettached it from Jade. The man tried to spin around and elbow Zack,but Zack anticipated the move and flipped him onto his back. Zack dropped a knee into his back and twisted him arm.

“Jack, let him go,” Jade said. “It will just make it worse later.”

Zack was prepared to nap his neck, then he’d never come back. The last thing Max needed in his life was this jerk. But he let him go.

“Your lucky she stoped you,” the man said ajusting his clothes. “Or you would have been in a lot of trouble ‘Jack’.”

“Please watch Max for me,” Jade pleaded.

He nodded and reluctantly watched her go out the door with the man.

When the apartment was quiet, he crept into Max’s room. The boy was sitting up on his matress crying.

“He took mommy didn’t he?”

“Has he done this before?” Zack asked.

“Yes.” the boy answered.

“Jack, can you stay in my room please.”

“Sure soilder.” Zack sat beside Max.

“Can I hear a story?”

“I don’t know any stories.”

“Everybody has a story to tell.”

“Okay,” Zack sighed. “I guess I have a story. It was a dark cold night. There was this school, that was holding a bunch of children hostage. The children were special, gifted, stronger than normal, faster than normal, but they had these seisures. One of the kids, a girl . . .”

“Was she prtetty?”

“Very pretty, but they all were.  Anyway, this girl.”

“Do you think my mom’s pretty?”

“I guess,” he answered quickly. He didn’t think much about “beauty”, not in the physical sense. He looked into the child’s big eyes and decided on a better answer. “She’s definatly one of mother nature’s finer specimines. Now can I tell the story?”

“Yeah,” Max said laying down.

Zack went on to tell the story of thier escape. And when Max fell asleep, he fixed the toy motorcycle.

When he woke up, Jade still wasn’t there. He wanted to assume she worked for Lydecker or someone intrested in Manticore. But he couldn’t abandon the boy or lie in wait for his mother, only to take her away from him. After he got the boy to calm down over his new (or renewed) toy, he told them they had to go and he headed to Brian’s place. He had to move slower than he wanted to, because Max was learning how to navigate the toy motorcycle. He didn’t mind too much, it made it easier to watch the people around him and he was less supicious with a child by his side. Again, Candy wasn’t to hapy to see him and Star was crying.

“So, who’s child have you borrowed?” Candy asked.

“Where’s Brian?”

“Taking a shower. He has to go to work. You know he wants to live something of a normal life.”

Max looked from adult face to adult face, perplexed and intrested.

“I wish he could do that, but he can’t. He’s property to most people. That barcode on the back of his neck is not a fashion statement, someone owns the patent and they think own the rights to it. He’s not a person to them Candy. He’s nothing to them, but money in the bank. He’s no more important than a toaster in the long run.”

Brian entered the room and looked at Zack and Candy, then at Max.

“Max, what are you doing with Zack?”

“Zack, I thought your name was Jack.” Max said.

“I have a lot of names kid,” Zack replied. “I need you to stay with Candy for a second, Brian and I have to talk.”

“I can’t I’m going to be late for work.”

“If you don’t want to lose your life, you need to risk losing your job.”

Zack and Brian sat alone in the bedroom. Zack recounted events as best as he could. Telling him about the past he had just discovered with Jade, how he wasn’t sure if it was a coincidence or part of a bigger plot. Telling him there was one thing he was sure of, his escape had been set up and that they might have brought him to Tacoma for a reason. And that he had to leave now. Brian looked at him blankly.

“My daughter,” Brian said softly.

“She has to go to. If they find out about her, she’ll become there experiment. You’ve been living a lie for a long time, beliving you can be like everyone else. Well you can’t Brian. We’re soilders in a war. Why can’t I get you guys to understand that. People want to sell us, we’re chattle to them.”

“Why me?” asked Brian. “Why can’t I have a family?”

“You have freedom Brian. That’s all I ever wished for all of us. But it’s not free, it’s not a given. Just getting out that night wasn’t enough, look at Brin.”

“But how long are we going to run Zack.”

“However long it takes. Manticore is not the only group after us. There are goverments and companies out there that would pay top dollar for us, sell us off like slaves for our genetic code. And your daughter, she’s no more important to them as a person than thier briefcases.”

Brian sighed. “I can’t ask Candy to give her up.”

“Then ask Candy to save her life.”

Zack paced across the floor, looking out the window as Candy and Brian talked in the other room. He heard her burst into tears. Star cried when Max started making faces to entertain her, so Zack picked her up. He smiled despite himself. He rocked her slowly and continued to patrol the window and Max played with his race car.

Zack felt bad for Cindy and Star. He couldn’t tell people about his dreams, especialy not his siblings. They depended on him to keep his head on straight and going off on flights of fancy wasn’t going to help. But he wished Brian could have his family, that Max could have her life in Seattle, that everyone could live within walking distance of each other. He wished he could write. This was something he had told no one. He’d bought a book by a man named Tolkien in a shop and read it cover to cover, it was the most enchanting story he had ever read. It was an escape from this world. He’d bought it as a cover while being tracked by Lydecker’s men in LA.

He’d bought a million books since then, read them twice and threw them away or sold them. He wished he could keep a libary, escape everyday and not have to worry. His mind stopped and refocused on the momment, he saw Jade walking down the street wobbling from side to side. She was wearing sunglasses.

“Stay here,” he said to Max. “Watch Star.”

Zack ran out of the apartment. He went downstairs and ran to Jade.

“Jade, are you okay,” Zack asked.

“What are you doing here? Where’s Max?” Jade cried.

He removed her glasses and touched her face, there was a bruise. She shivered beneath him and pulled away.

“Can you just take me home?” she asked.

“I can’t,” he replied. “My brother and I are leaving. Come with me.”

Zack put his arm around Jade and took her upstairs. Candy was sitting on her couch holding her baby crying. Brian stood silently by. Max ran to the door excited and hugged his mother.

“That’s your brother?” Jade questioned.

zack started to answer her.

“I’m not giving her up!,” Candy yelled. “I’ll run with Brian if I must, but I can’t let her go.”

“Your not like us,” Zack said. “You can’t defend youself against Lydecker. Your can’t move as fast, you can’t—”

“Neither can Star,” Candy replied. “And you’d be surprised what a mother will do for her child. I’ll fight off a thousand Lydeckers and 20 Manticores.”

“We have to try to stay together Zack,” Brian said sitting beside his girlfriend. “Bro, are we going to let Lydecker deny us of everything. My daughter needs her mother. We belong togther, whatever happens.”

Zack sighed. He looked at Brian. “Maybe, there’s a way. Pack light, put nessesities for the baby first, neccessities only. We’ll be leaving in a few hours.”

“What the hell is going on?” Jade finally asked.

Zack didn’t know why, but he felt like talking. So while Brian and Candy were in the other room packing and Max slipped into a nap, Zack told Jade the basics of his story, no specifics, no locations, limited names. She listened intently.

“Wow,” she replied when he was done. “What a burden you must carry.”

“You know what bothers me most?”Zack said.

“What?” Jade replied.

“The kids who didn’t get out, the ones that have spent twenty or more years in Lydecker’s hands.”

“I can’t believe your real name is Zack,” Jade replied. “I expected it to be exotic for some reason. Or some secret agent name.  So, are you going back to ‘sister’ Max?” Jade inquired.

He scoffed. “No,” Zack replied. “I want to live.” He smiled that rare smile and she touched him gently on the cheek and kissed him on the head. She had the gentless touch, a mother’s touch. He’d felt it when she’s touched him during his seisure. “It was good to talk,” he said looking at her.

“I haven’t known you that long, but I know we’re going to miss you. Especially Max, you took good care of him. Thanks for fixing that toy for him.”

“No problem,” Zack replied. He went to do another sweep of the window. He noticed some suspicious figures. “Brian, Candy, let’s go.” He yelled.

They came out. Brian had his daughter mounted to him in a carrier. Candy was carrying a duffle bag. Zack made sure never to own much, but Brian had built a household and would leave all that he had come to posses behind.

Jade awoke Max and they both hugged Zack good-bye.

Months later, Zack sat in lock down at Manticore. He had saved Brian and his family, but Zack himself had been captured and sent back to Manticore. Lydecker had drugged him and bugged him, he had let him think he escaped the helicopter crash and then waited for him to lead him to his siblings. Lydecker and had first thought Jade a X5 until he’d seen her get beat up by her boyfriend. It really was just a coincidence he had ran into Jade, someone from his past. In the cold cell they’d locked him in, he only had the memory of Jade’s gentle touch to keep him warm.

DZ -2001

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Welcome to RhondaWeasley.com. Dawn is a writer, theatre artist, and film maker. She loves to create and be a part of the creative. This is my webspace playground, for blogging, displaying my work, and general all-around fan fun.
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