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How Faith Acquired a Transgenic

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Rescue and Raise". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: When Faith found her, Max was huddled in a dark alley late at night with a vampire staring down at her.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Dark Angel > Faith - Centered
Supernatural > General
(Current Donor)kayarileyFR1315,6304273,92511 Nov 0911 Nov 09Yes
Title: How Faith Acquired a Transgenic

Summary: When Faith found her, Max was huddled in a dark alley late at night with a vampire staring down at her.

Note: This is the prologue to a series that I just about to start called “Rescue and Raise.”

Pairings: ?

Disclaimer: I definitely don’t own any of these characters. Dark Angel characters belong to James Cameron. BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon. SPN characters belong to Eric Kripke.

Thank you to my two lovely betas, MaraLiz & Rorylondra, for your invaluable assistance – and arguing with me over sentence structure when necessary…

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Max’s POV

There were a lot of things Max didn’t understand. This world was large and confusing and for a fraction of a second, she wished she was back in Manticore. Their rules were specific and, if you followed the rules, bad things didn’t usually happen to you. But, she and her brothers and sisters had fled three weeks ago and she knew she shouldn’t be sitting on the cold ground crying, but she was scared and alone and she didn’t have her C.O. to tell her what to do. Soldiers don’t cry, she reminded herself, but she wasn’t a soldier anymore, or was she? This just led to another bout of tears streaming down her face.

She looked around the alley she was crouched in and knew she couldn’t stay there for very much longer. She had stolen some food from the all-night diner across the way and ran into the alley to eat it, but it was late and the club on the corner would be closing soon, filling the streets with partying post-adolescents. The first night, she thought she might be able to pick some pockets, but it looked like the club had done that already and most of the patrons were well past drunk and their pockets were mostly empty. The night before, she had managed to slip into the club when they threw out the trash, so she had a dry, if not comfortable, place to sleep, not that she needed much of it. She couldn’t do that again though. They had an alarm system that she had accidentally triggered when she left in the morning and she knew they would be paying more attention tonight.

The doors to the club opened up and a throng of people exited, swaying back and forth to some unknown music still played in their heads. Someone was walking into the crowd instead of away from it and he met her eyes, changing direction immediately and breaking off toward the alley. She braced herself and gripped the knife she had liberated from a drug dealer two weeks earlier. She gasped as his face shifted into something grotesque, worse than the Nomalies in the basement at Manticore, and his eyes glowed yellow. Max balanced her weight on the balls of her feet and prepared to run. She knew she could vault over the chain-link fence at the far end of the alley if she had to, but she always tried to restrict her movements to that of a standard human girl so as not to draw unwanted attention. But, something told her that her extra abilities would mean the difference between life and death tonight.

Before she could even react, a figure dropped down from the roof of the building next to her. Max realized that she didn’t even know the woman had been up there until she was standing in front of her. She had a wooden stake in her hand and was standing protectively in front of her. The woman had long, wild brunette hair and, even under her leather jacket, Max could see that she wore form fitting clothes that gave her both range of motion and excellent aerodynamic performance. Max focused on the woman as she began to speak.

“Hey, I know you,” she told the monster.

“No, you don’t,” he argued, adding, “but give me a few minutes and we’ll get to know each other.”

“No, I’m sure I know you,” the dark-haired woman informed him as she leapt into the air and kicked out at him, knocking him back into the wall. She followed him and plunged the wooden stake through his heart. Max gasped as the monster dissolved before her eyes. The woman smirked, “Now, I remember. Your name is Dust. Just like the rest.”

The woman turned toward Max and cocked her head to the side. Max kept a tight grip on her knife as the woman crouched down in front of her, “Hey, kid. Are you okay?”

Max didn’t answer her and the woman looked at her wrist, scowling at the circular object wrapped around her arm. She watched as the woman ran her hand through her unruly hair and felt a stab of jealousy. She didn’t even realize that she had raised her free hand up to her own hair. It had just begun to grow out and she knew it didn’t look anything like a normal girl’s hair.

“Isn’t it kind of late for you to be out on your own?” the woman asked.

Max shrugged, still prepared to run if she needed to.

The dark-haired woman sighed and made her stake disappear into her jacket. “Okay, let’s try this another way, my name is Faith. What’s yours?”

She asked for a name, not a designation. It still felt strange that everyone outside of Manticore had names, but she tried her best not to let it show. She swallowed tightly before answering, “Max.”

“See?” Faith asked. “That wasn’t so hard, was it? How about another one? What are you doing out so late? Do you have somewhere to go?”

Max backed up, her shoulders hitting the wall behind her and the woman held her hands out to her.

“Hey, calm down, kid,” Faith told her. “I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to make sure you’re safe.”

“Was that thing a ‘Nomalie?” Max asked. She instinctively knew the disfigured man had been a threat and needed to classify it.

Faith looked at her strangely worded question then gestured to the pile of dust on the ground, “Nah. That was a vampire. You ever seen one before?”

Max shook her head forcefully; she was positive that she had never seen a vampire before.

“You killed it,” she stated quietly.

“Yeah, that’s something I do,” Faith replied. She looked Max in the eye and told her, “They’re evil. They’ll kill you if they can, or worse.”

Faith sniffed the air and narrowed her eyes at Max, “What’s your deal?”

“Deal?” Max asked. She was still having difficulty with some of the outside world’s language uses and she didn’t understand what kind of a ‘deal’ Faith was referring to.

“Yeah,” Faith replied. “I know you aren’t fully human. I can smell it, but you don’t look particularly dangerous, so I’m asking what you are.”

“You can tell?” Max asked in a panic. No one could ever tell just by smelling her before. What did that mean? Was Faith working for Manticore? Was she an earlier model that she needed to run away from? Max stood up swiftly and took off in a run, vaulting over the fence easily.

What she didn’t anticipate was that Faith would be able to follow her and when she stopped running, Faith was right behind her. Before she could even turn to attack her with the knife still clutched in her hand, Faith had disarmed her and had her arms in a strong grip that Max couldn’t break.

“Hey, cut it out,” Faith told her. “I’m trying to help you here, but I need you to cooperate a bit. Whoever you’re running from, I’m not them. You don’t feel evil and my friends and I can help you, but you’re going to have to let us.”

Max stopped struggling, but couldn’t relax. She listened to Faith’s words, but didn’t know how to trust her. Zach had told them not to trust anyone, but Faith had saved her life and if she would be on her side, Max would have a powerful ally to help protect her. She sagged against Faith and tried not to dare to hope as she asked, “Why do you want to help me?”

Faith let go of her arms and picked up the knife she had tossed onto the ground. She handed it back to Max and told her, “It’s not hard to see that you have something big and bad coming after you. My friends and I specialize in neutralizing both of those. Plus, I was only a few years older than you are when I was out on the streets. I didn’t have anyone looking out for me and I don’t want anyone else going through what I went through.”

“You won’t believe me,” Max argued.

Faith snorted, “You just watched me stick a piece of wood in someone and they went ‘poof.’ I think I can suspend disbelief for your story.”

Max didn’t know why she just suddenly knew she could trust Faith, but she did. Despite all common, and soldier sense, telling her that she shouldn’t go to the woman’s motel room, something in her gut told her that she needed to do this, so she suggested that they take the discussion to a more private location.

Faith picked up a pizza on the way and barely blinked an eye when Max told her that she wanted milk to drink. They stopped at the convenience store nearby and Faith bought a half-gallon of whole milk for Max, a six-pack of beer for herself and a box of cereal.

Even though Max had eaten earlier, she was hungry again and happily dug into her share of pizza once they were inside the motel room. It was sparsely furnished, but it was clean and had two beds, a television, a small bathroom and a refrigerator. It was the nicest place Max had stayed since she broke out of Manticore. When Faith had asked her if she needed to pick up her belongings, Max just shrugged and told her that she had everything she needed on her. That was the truth; she had $96.34 in the bottom of her stolen shoes, but all of her material belongings that she wasn’t actually wearing at the moment had been lost when she had to run from the police a couple of days ago.

As soon as she had eaten, Faith sent her into the bathroom with instructions to scrub off the grime, telling her that she would have something for her to wear by the time she got out of the shower. Max’s Transgenic hearing allowed her to hear Faith on the phone”

“Yeah, it’s me, Faith…I’m fine…I need to talk to Red, though…no, I’m not arrested…just get Red…”

The conversation seemed to get louder and softer and Max realized that Faith was pacing around the motel room as she spoke. Once she was sure that she could still hear Faith in the other room even while she was in the shower, she quickly undressed and practically hurled herself under the hot spray. After a few moments pause, she could hear Faith speaking again, this time Max assumed it was to Red.

“Hey…listen, I need a favor and I think I’ve just stumbled onto something big…there’s this kid and she’s in trouble…she’s not one of us, but she moves like she’s had specialized military training. She’s fast and can leap an eight foot chain-link fence like she’s skipping rope….Yes, I’m sure she’s not a Slayer, but she’s scared, Red. I’m betting that wherever she came from, they didn’t exactly invite her to leave…well, of course, I’m going to protect her, but it would be better if we could take down the bad so she wouldn’t have to spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder….Yeah, I’m sure there are more of them. She’s going to give me the details once she’s out of the shower and I’ll fill you in tomorrow. That reminds me, I need some clothes for her. She had to ditch her bag and she has nothing except what’s on her back. She’s too small for my clothes. Plus, my clothes would make her look like a short streetwalker. She’s about Kerry’s size…thanks, Red. I’ll call you when I know more….Hey, I’ve got no problem calling Buffy, but she can’t magic me clothes, so I called you….Later, Red.”

By the time Max was out of the shower and dried off, there was a bag waiting for her on the bed closest to the wall. She was still wrapped in her towel and she looked at Faith, who was lounging on the other bed with the television remote in her hand.

“You can use any of the clothes in the bag and I think Red packed some other stuff in there for you,” Faith told her, barely glancing in her direction.

“The bag got here by magic?” Max asked. “Magic is real?”

“Kid, there are lots of things that are real and we’ll talk about them all after you haul your little butt back into the bathroom and get some clothes on,” Faith informed her, kicking a leg out into the air toward the bathroom door.

Max grabbed the bag and bolted for the bathroom door, not wanting to annoy her potential ally. After she was dressed and her teeth brushed with the toothbrush and toothpaste she found in the bag, she hesitantly made her way back into the main room.

Faith nodded to her and clicked off the television, tossing the remote down on to the pillow, “Okay, Max. Tell me your story and I’ll tell you mine.”

Four hours later, the sun had risen and they were just finishing up. Max had told her everything and was surprised by the barely leashed violence in Faith’s eyes when she told Max that Manticore wouldn’t be getting away with their game much longer. Max wasn’t the only one who did the talking. Faith told her about being a Slayer and about the spell that turned hundreds of little girls into Slayers and their efforts to track them all down and teach them how to control their abilities. Part of Max railed against Faith and her friends for the decision they made, feeling like it was similar to what Manticore did to the Transgenics, but Faith explained that the Slayers weren’t kept under lock and key or tortured in the name of science. The whole reason that Faith was even on the road was because she was taking her turn at checking up on the Slayers that did not live in one of the Slayer strongholds. As long as the Slayers or their parents, if the girls were too young, called in every week to let them know everything was okay, there would be no problem, but if they missed a call-in, whichever Slayer or Watcher was up in the travel rotation would make the trip to make sure the unheard from Slayer was okay and to track her down if she was, indeed, missing. Faith’s missing Slayer had actually turned up visiting her grandmother in Montana and the weather had knocked out the power and telephone lines. Faith was on her way back to the Slayer Central in Cleveland when she decided to blow off some steam at the club that night.

When Faith noticed the sun was up, she told Max that they would get a few hours of sleep and then head to Cleveland. Max burrowed under the covers and, for the first time in her life, she fell asleep with the absolute knowledge that she was being protected.

******

Faith POV

By the time Faith arrived at Slayer Central with Max in tow, her newest appendage seemed to be determined to join the ranks of Slayers. They had stopped to slay a chaos demon along the way and Max had been proud of being able to protect the people on the sidelines while Faith killed the horned and slimy creature. Faith suspected that the genetic manipulations Manticore had done on the kids had encoded some behaviors into their DNA, but she needed to train anyway, so she took Max running and helped her with some sparring techniques. She figured that they would let the girl join the fight somehow. They weren’t too proud to turn away anyone with special talents. Hell, they weren’t too proud to turn Andrew away and, as far as Faith was concerned, Max trumped Andrew any day of the week.

Faith had called Willow as soon as they got up the morning after her little gabfest with Max and she knew the witch was pissed off when the phone actually shot an electric spark through it and zapped her hand. She wasn’t sure what she should expect when they arrived, but she knew it would be along the lines of full-on assault of Manticore. Faith had to admit that she wouldn’t mind getting in on that action. On the way back to Cleveland, Max had elaborated on the stories she skimmed over the first night and it was all Faith could do not to break the steering wheel in half, but she wasn’t allowed to steal cars anymore, except under extreme circumstances, or when the Winchesters were in town, so she had to keep her temper under control. She also didn’t really want to scare the kid next to her. Against all odds and her inherent dislike of children, she actually liked Max. It was probably because she followed orders and didn’t cry, even when Faith thought she probably should.

She smiled as Max looked up in wonder at the old school that had been taken over by the Slayers. Several girls were leaning out of their windows to see the new arrival and Max shrunk back behind her to avoid their scrutiny. Most of the girls were younger and Faith had a feeling that the older girls were already getting suited up to storm the Manticore fortress. Faith pulled Max around to stand next to her, “None of that. You want the right to be here, act like you already do.”

Max nodded at her and squared her shoulders, carrying her bag and keeping up with Faith’s long strides with ease. Faith had to hand it to her: the kid was a fast learner.

One of the pre-teen Slayers-in-residence bounded up to them the moment they stepped through the door and announced to Max, “You’re not a Slayer.”

Max cocked her head to the side and studied the girl for a moment. Then, she mimicked the Slayer’s stance and shot back, “And, you’re not a Transgenic.”

Just as Faith thought the encounter was going to be a disaster, the Slayer—Anna, Faith remembered—turned to her and asked, “Can we go play?”

Max was looking at her expectantly as well and Faith could see the anticipation in the girl’s eyes. She checked the clock on the wall and realized that school had been let out for the day and the younger Slayers had free time until dinner. She just wasn’t sure why Anna was asking her if Max could go play with her. She supposed it was because Faith was a Senior Slayer and had yet to turn Max loose into the school’s population. With a shrug and a half-smile of encouragement, Faith told them, “Sure, but stay on school grounds and don’t be late for dinner. Max, if you want, you can sit with Anna and her friends at dinner and we’ll talk later, okay?”

Max smiled and started to go off with Anna, but then looked down at the bag in her hand and frowned. Faith sighed and rolled her eyes, extending her hand for the bag. When did I get reduced to butler? She wondered as the girls ran out of the room faster than the normal human eye could see. She grinned, knowing that she was right: Max would fit right in.

At that moment, Maggie, one of the older Slayers who chose not to fight, but to be involved in the administration of the school, walked into the foyer and greeted her, “Hi, Faith. Welcome back.”

Faith still wasn’t used to Maggie’s warm, enveloping hugs, but she had given up threatening bodily harm to the older woman since the warnings had little to no effect on her. Ever since the crater formerly known as Sunnydale happened, her relationship with the Scoobies had been interesting, to say the least, with both ups and downs at seemingly random intervals, but Maggie seemed to have a gift for playing referee and had definitely helped smooth the path for Faith to look at the Slayer Central as more than just a place to sleep when she was in town.

“Thanks,” Faith replied, pulling away once Maggie let her go. “So, did I kick over a hornet’s nest this time?”

Maggie offered her a weary smile, filling her in as they began walking toward the War Room. “More than one, I’m afraid. The Council is having a collective conniption over all of this. The only thing they know for sure is that they are not calling Riley in on any of this until they are sure the have all of the children accounted for and have a plan in place to keep them safe. Willow and Andrew hacked into Manticore’s files and she’s got doctors on stand-by. Some of these kids are sick. Some of their earlier versions are kept in the basement.”

“The kids call them ‘Nomalies,’” Faith informed her.

“Makes sense,” Maggie commented, shaking her head. “They created these beings, part-human and part-animal and they just dropped their screw-ups in the basement. Most of them seem to be more animal than human. None of them have had any type of socialization; so of course, they have no idea how to do anything but follow their instincts.”

“Do you think they can be taught not to hump the furniture?” Faith asked.

“Right now, we’re a little more worried about making sure they don’t think the children are on the menu,” Maggie told her with a worried look on her face.

“You think they’re that far gone?” Faith questioned, not liking the thought that they might have to kill any of the Transhumans to protect the children.

“We honestly don’t know,” Maggie replied. “There’s only so much that we were able to get out of the Manticore files and we only have a few people who actually understand the science behind the information we received. But, we’re just going to have to take our chances. We can’t ignore this and let them become a threat later, when their genetically engineered soldiers are all grown up.”

Faith’s eyes widened at that. She hadn’t even thought about the implications of what would happen if Manticore decided to take out the Slayers in a few years. If she hadn’t found Max and learned about Manticore, there was a good chance that one day Max could have been given the order to assassinate Slayers. It was only a matter of time before their secret was out in the world: young girls who suddenly had the strength of a dozen men or so weren’t exactly great at keeping secrets. The revelation just increased Faith’s determination to get those kids out of there before they were too brainwashed to think for themselves.

They reached the War Room and Faith stepped back quickly as someone flew past her with an armful of papers. At first glance, she thought all of the Scoobies were there, but then, after a moment, she realized that Giles was missing. The rest of the room seemed to be buzzing with activity, and she joined the other Senior Slayer team leaders in the briefing on the planned assault. She wondered if any of the Scoobies had slept since she called them two mornings ago. Judging by the dark circles under Buffy’s eyes as she spoke, Faith suspected she hadn’t.

Buffy finished outlining the attack and looked at Faith, “Do you have anything to add?”

“Other than ‘these fuckers are going down,’ nope, you’ve got it all covered,” Faith replied.

Buffy dismissed the Senior Slayers and Faith pulled her aside to ask, “Where’s Giles? Shouldn’t he be here helping with this?”

“Giles is working on making sure we have as much information as possible on their medical and psychological histories before they get here,” Buffy told her, not meeting her eyes.

“Meaning you stole you a Manticore scumbag and Giles is spanking his inner-Ripper,” Faith surmised.

“Something like that,” Buffy admitted, swaying a bit on her feet.

“Whoa there, Nelly,” Faith told her. “Either you get some sleep before we leave or I’m leaving your ass here when we storm the fortress.”

“Not sure I can sleep,” Buffy commented. “Every time I close my eyes…”

“I know,” Faith replied. “I see it too. What the Watcher’s Council could have been if there had been more Slayers and if seriously evil people ran it instead of the evil ones that did before we took it over.”

Buffy nodded, plopping down in one of the chairs and dropping her head into her hands in a clear sign of exhaustion. Faith pulled her arm to get her to her feet and pushed her toward the door, “Go on and get some rest, even if you have to have Willow trance you down for a couple of hours. I’ve got a fresh tank; I’ll hold down the fort for a while.”

Buffy finally agreed and left the room with Willow and Dawn in tow. Faith was true to her word and ran interference on any of the day-to-day matters that she normally tried to avoid like a swarm of pint-sized Slayers on the day Power Rangers was cancelled. She thought about the various ways she could make Buffy pay for the torture inflicted upon her that afternoon, but let the thought go when she saw Max heading for her table with a tray of food in her hands. She was in the dining hall, grabbing a quick bite to eat while going over the profiles of the children who had escaped. She had to give Willow and Andrew credit: they scored the information she would need to search for Max’s missing brothers and sisters.

Max quietly took a seat next to her and started eating even as she tried to furtively look at the sheets of paper. Faith offered her a wry smile and pushed the pages toward the girl. The ones in that pile were the ones who were confirmed escapees. Max already knew that Eva was dead, but she still had hope for the others. Some of the others had died that night and one had been re-captured, but several of them were out in the world and Faith knew Max would want to look for them. She wished she knew why this kid could bend her to her will without effort.

Max read through the information and then looked up at Faith in a wordless entreaty, which Faith answered, “I’ll help you find them, I promise.”

“Thank you,” Max replied quietly.

Anna came over then and sat down next to Max. Great, she was attracting more of the kiddie Slayers; she was supposed to repel them. This was hurting her image, but when Max handed Anna the pages and Anna immediately recognized each of the children, presumably from Max’s description of her siblings, she couldn’t help but smile at the young Slayer. She was truly glad that Max seemed to have someone accept her so readily into their lives.

******

Two hours later, Faith was suited up and armed to the teeth, ready for battle. She had left Max with Anna and Anna promised to keep her company until Faith returned, but when she made her way to the door that led to the garage where everyone was meeting, she found Max standing there, dressed in the most durable clothes that had been in the bag Willow sent instead of the pajamas Anna had given her.

“I want to come with you,” Max told her.

“Not this time, Max,” Faith said, placing a hand on the girl’s shoulder when she tried to move past her toward the transport. “I said no. This is going to be dangerous and I need you to be here so I don’t have to worry about you while I’m out there. I promise I’ll find you when we get back.”

“What am I supposed to do while you’re off saving my people?” Max asked and Faith could see how much it hurt the girl that she couldn’t be of more help in the field.

“You can help by staying here and talking to the girls. Explain to them about Transgenics so when we arrive with a whole bunch of them in tow, they’ll know what to expect. Can you do that?” Faith asked. Being near Max was taking the edge off of her anxiety of attacking a highly protected military operation as she felt the inexplicable need to calm the little girl’s nerves.

Max studied her dubiously, but then visibly steeled herself and nodded, “Yes, Ma’am.”

Faith gave an involuntary shudder, “We’ll talk about that ‘ma’am’ thing when I get back.”

She cuffed Max on the head lightly and pushed her toward Anna, who had stopped in the doorway, waiting to see if her new friend would be allowed to go. She nodded her thanks to the Slayer and told Max, “Stay with Anna till I get back.”

******

Faith’s POV

It was very early morning when they arrived back in Cleveland. They had a few hundred Transgenics and Transhumans with them. Most of them were unconscious, courtesy of a sleeping spell from Willow. Once they were past Manticore’s electronic defenses, Willow’s spell made it fairly easy to simply walk past the guards and take the sleeping children. Andrew downloaded the entirety of Manticore’s servers and uploaded a virus that transformed everything electronically connected to Manticore while Willow performed a second spell to erase the memories of all of the personnel. They were pretending to be a VA hospital, so that is exactly what the computer virus and Willow’s spell turned the facility into. As far as anyone connected with Manticore knew, they were anxiously awaiting the grand opening of the Wyoming VA Hospital and couldn’t wait to fill the beds with veterans in need of their medical and psychological care.

Faith was glad that she didn’t have to deal with the kids asking a lot of questions at the moment. She didn’t mind Max, but she sure as hell wasn’t signing up to be a babysitter for all Transgenics everywhere.

She and Willow were on the same transport and she looked over to see the red-headed witch cradling a four-or-five-year-old against her as she read through some of the downloaded information. Faith’s alarm bells shrieked as Willow’s eyes grew wide at something she read.

Quietly, she made her way over to her and sat down next to her, pulling the information onto her lap so she could read it for herself. What she saw in front of her was gibberish at best to her, but obviously Willow had seen something important in it.

“Want to clue me in as to what’s got your panties twisted?” she finally asked.

Willow dug through the pile and pulled out a matching set of dossiers. No, at second glance, they weren’t exactly matching. One was for a kid called X5-493 and one was for X5-494. She remembered Max telling her about Ben, saying his designation was X5-493 and her heart leapt. The pictures were identical, except for the eyes. Ben’s eyes were fierce and determined, but the last image of 494’s eyes showed a dazed and tired-looking green. She read further and realized that it had been taken right after he had been in PsyOps. Crap. He had only been released from their ‘care’ two days earlier.

“Evil fucks,” Faith commented, wishing she could let loose that killer instinct as she would have several years ago.

“They’re clones,” Willow hissed to her.

“Doesn’t really surprise me, Red,” Faith told her, trying to figure out what Willow was so hung up about. “They were doing genetic manipulation. It’s not surprising that they were also cloning.”

“Faith,” Willow harrumphed, pointing to another section of the page that Faith hadn’t read yet. “Look at the donor.”

Faith scanned the page down to the information on the genetic donor for both boys. She read:

Dean Winchester, age 18 when sample was procured. Occupation: Hunter. Sample procured after doctor recognized a wound from a supernatural source. Hypothesis: Genetic material from a Hunter would provide a worthwhile experiment to see if traits that make the individual a good hunter are able to be passed down genetically. If experiment is successful, subject will be acquired to secure additional samples of genetic material. Note: Experiment deemed to have indeterminate success. Recommend additional sample secured for more testing. Subject unable to be acquired as of 1/1/09. Subject is very adept at avoiding detection and capture. Priority status requested for acquisition. Priority status granted.

Faith looked up and met Willows eyes, “Shit! I’m not telling him.”

“Me neither,” Willow protested.

They looked at the wall and then back at each other and said together, “Dawn.”

The young boy in Willows arms stirred and she shushed him, rocking him back to sleep, before turning back to Faith and whispering, “Good plan.”

“Yeah, he won’t kill her,” Faith agreed, remembering the last time she had to give Dean crappy news and spent an hour dodging rock salt from his sawed-off.

#

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