Disclaimer: Dark Angel copyright to Charles Elgee and James Cameron.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I wandered weak and weary... Oh, wait a minute. Somebody's already used that line. Okay fine, how about this...
She came into my world and screwed up everything I knew. I had a good set-up going, too. I knew my place, I knew my skills, I knew my reality. It wasn't perfect, but it was understood. It was known. It was ordered.
She changed all that.
Oh sure, I know she didn't set out to ruin my happy little existence. It was all just a by-product of her passing; her passion for her world, her reality, bleeding and eroding into mine. I'd say she brought a ray of light into my dark universe, but frankly hers is no brighter than my own. Hers isn't even all that better.
But hers is free.
Freedom is not something I ever thought about much before. It wasn't a goal I had a mission to obtain. It wasn't even an issue. How can you crave freedom when you've never known what it really is? I know the linguistical definition -- had to memorize the English Oxford Dictionary (14th Ed.) for an assignment once -- so I know what the words mean. What freedom means, what being free means. But it was all words to me: abstract, and in the end, meaningless.
I'm a soldier bred for war. Tactics, weapons, combat. Infiltration and assassination. That's what I know, that's all I needed to know. I was made for it, trained for it, destined for it. Designed and built with one purpose in mind -- to kill. Don't get me wrong, we were more than mere killing machines. Along with all those useful physical traits they coded into our gene sequences, they also manipulated our brains. We're smart, quick and efficient thinkers with almost limitless memories. We absorb everything, and can remember and draw upon all of it. Makes us great spies, of course. One more task they could put us to use for. Exploit us. Because for all our special skills, we were still sheltered little children with no real understanding of the world around us.
Max calls her fellow Rogues her 'siblings'. Like they're family or something, just because they were reared as a unit. She even called me her brother once, but I think that was more because I'm her brother's twin than because she actually likes me. I'm fine with that, really. I don't need to be her 'brother'. I don't need some nice happy little X5 family. After all, I was culled from my unit when I was eleven. Selected for solo missions thanks to the assesment of my progress and aptitude tests. Just a fancy way of saying there was something about me that made me an ideal assassin.
Hmm, wonder if it was genetic, whatever it was? Supposedly, dear brother Ben was a pretty damned good killer too. Course, he was a homicidal psychopath... and shit, let's not go there.
But hell, I'm getting off track here. What was my point again? Oh, yeah... Max. Max and her stupid ideals of living a 'normal' life. What the fuck do I know about 'normal'? For that matter, what the fuck does she know about 'normal'? Her boyfriend is an underground cyber-journalist who heads the most wanted subversive network in the modern world; she works for a pissant Reblican who's favorite words are "bip, bip, bip!"; her roommate's a lesbo; and her siblings are genetically-engineered super soldiers spread around the world. Oh yeah, I can really see the 'normal' in that.
But hell, for all I know, this is the closest to normal any of us will ever get. Logan likes to talk about what life was like back before the Pulse, when everything was coming up roses in the world of lollipops and leprechauns. Well, yay for him, 'cause it sure ain't like that anymore.
No, we live in a world of crummy food, crummy jobs, crummy cribs, and crummy guards. Dirt and depression, thugs and armed jarheads around every corner. Everybody just scrambling to survive, and willing to kill over scraps to do it. Yeah, what a paradise. Almost makes me long for Good Ol' Manticore, where at least the beds were clean and the food plentiful.
And that drives me nuts, you know? That I actually feel grateful to Max and Logan for getting me out of that place. Manticore's been my only home for my whole life, it's what I knew. And don't they always say "Better the devil you know, than the one you don't?" Because where I am now -- this the devil I've never met before. This world outside the walls of Manticore -- it's an unknown. And as any soldier will tell you, unknowns are dangerous.
So I need Max and Logan and all their ordinary entourage. I need them. I need them to guide me across this minefield called Life. I need Max to show me how to cope with being an X5 among humans, the ultimate undercover gig. I need Original Cindy to teach me how to communicate as an equal rather than an officer. Heck, even Sketchy has value in teaching me how to just relax and hang out. But what really galls me the most? I need Logan to teach me how to be a man. I've only ever been a soldier; I don't know how to just be a person.
I don't know how to just be me. Hell, I don't even know who I am. And how lame is that? Man... introspection sucks.
I need a beer.
WEATHER UPDATE: It's currently minus fifty-freakin'-two outside! That's it! I'm not leaving this house for anything!