Categories > TV > Dark Angel > Early Days0 Reviews
Director Renfro announces her plans for the wayward X5-494 as well as X5-452.
"X5-392 has passed her long range targeting test with flying colors. We recommend she be cleared for more specialized instruction at Fort Benning." The training officer rattled off the reports on the various X5s in a monotone voice. "X5-494 has settled in with his unit, and has resumed training. However-- " Here some emotion slipped into his tone while his mouth curled downward in disgust, "we have proof he has also resumed his activities as a procurer of illegal goods."
"As we had predicted," the head of Psy Ops muttered beneath his breath. He exchanged a look with his colleague, and after a brief nod from the training officer, Psy Ops turned to the blond woman at the head of the table. "Director Renfro, we strongly urge you to reconsider your decision with regard to 494. And I repeat my department's recommendation that he be euthanized as soon as can be arranged."
Renfro shook her head. "Your opinion is noted, doctor. But my decision stands."
"But, Madam Director..."
She muted the arguments her staff members brought forth in favor of their views to a buzz in the background and gazed out of the window. Far away, on the parade ground, men and women dressed in army fatigues went through a series of hand-to-hand combat motions, their every gesture in sync. They were designed to be the perfect battle machines, and the exercise turned out as graceful as a ballet. Too far away for her to recognize any faces, she knew that the subject of discussion was among them-- and so was 452, the bane of her existence.
By regulation, both 494 and 452 should have been terminated, their characters too headstrong to allow them to survive. Yet, she kept them alive. There were precious few of the remarkable X-series left, and with the DNA lab destroyed, new ones were impossible to come by. These two were so different from the others, yet mirroring each other in unexpected ways. Both independent in nature, strong-willed, refusing to give in. There had to be a way to subdue them, to break them to her will. She had never backed down from a challenge.
She realized the discussion had progressed from 494's fate to more mundane matters like fuel supplies and food storage. "What's the status of the breeding program?" she interrupted to ask the question that was currently high on her list of priorities.
"Um..." the department head of Genetic Research stuttered, caught aback by the sudden change in subject. He shuffled the pile of papers before him nervously, pushing the glasses that constantly slipped down his nose back up.
"Well? Spit it out, man?" Renfro snapped.
"W-we have finished the bloodwork," he stammered. "Paired off the ideal breeding partners based on their genetic profiles. Success levels should be high."
"Give me the list," Renfro ordered.
He pulled out a sheet from the pile and began rattling them off. "X5-392 is a match with X5-546. X5-387 is a match with X5-698. X5-736..."
Renfro gave a curt nod at each pair of numbers he read out. Not that she had much clue as to which face belonged to which designation but her approval was expected.
When he finished and fell silent, she cocked a brow. "Those are not all the X5s we have on base. What about the others?"
He shifted in his seat, reluctant to meet her eyes. "The others are... sterile, madam. Fertility wasn't a high priority when the series were originally designed."
"Dammit," she muttered beneath her breath. "What about 452? I did not hear you mention her. Is she sterile too?"
"No, ma'am. But..." His voice faltered.
"So, she can breed?" Renfro's voice was cold. Although the answer did not matter much; she was going to put X5-452 into the breeding program regardless. It might be just the thing to bring the runaway to her knees, after she had lived for ten years in relative freedom. At the least, it would teach her that she belonged to Manticore, heart, mind, and body.
"And her ideal partner would be?"
The head of Genetic Research glanced around the room as if looking for a way out. Everyone else seemed to have found something terribly interesting in the table's wood grain surface.
Renfro chuckled. She already suspected the answer. "Let me guess: 494."
"Yes, Madam Director."
But the outburst they expected never came. Instead, she threw her head back and began to laugh. X5-452 and X5-494. If that wasn't a match made in a heaven of irony, she didn't know what was. "Perfect!"
She looked around the table. Her staff's expressions ranged from blank for the ones who could school their features to utterly confused for those less skilled in hiding their thoughts. She sighed. Dimwits, all of them.
"Don't you see?" she said. "It's the perfect solution."
"Perfect?" the head of Psy Ops ventured. "Mixing those genetics, we're likely to end up with progeny that possesses, let's say, less than desirable character traits."
"Perhaps," Renfro admitted. "If they produce, we'll have to keep a close eye on their brood. In the meantime, 494 will give me 452."
"He might resist," Psy Ops warned. "Refuse to use force on her. And I don't see her welcoming him with open arms either."
"Doesn't matter," Renfro said. "If he's a good little soldier and does as he's ordered, she'll just hate me more, plus there's the added bonus of possible offspring. If he fails to obey, he might gain her trust. Such rapport I can exploit." She looked back out the window at the training ground.
"Either way, the bitch will be mine."