February 13th, 2020 Divergent Solar City,
Maxwell was a fading old man now, on the last legs of his life. He lay in a hospital bed, sunlight pouring in from a big open window. A machine beeped incessantly at his side. A government man sat at his bedside, patiently recording his words at his final debriefing. He supposed it would have to happen eventually. The government would find a way to get past X's guards and interview the man who'd destroyed their pet project decades ago. He just wished it could have taken them one day longer.
He looked out the window and wondered when his relationship with X had gone this way. When did she stop coming to the base after she escaped? When did she stop responding to his messages? The only one she'd responded to was his last, a letter that he'd stopped taking his life extending medications and was dying. A day later and men had shown up at the base with a submarine and the offer of a nice place to die, a place where he could see the sun again.
She'd not visited him.
It was hard to say when their relationship changed, when she'd started to resent the isolation. He couldn't blame her. She was a young and vital woman and he'd nothing to offer but grey walls and artificial lighting. Anywhere else and the government would show up and arrest him. Except here, Solar City, her little fiefdom--full of sunlight and people, the two things he could never give her.
She must have forgiven him on some level though or he'd not be here at all.
"Sir, did you hear me?" the youthful G-man asked.
"I suppose--the truth is if I had the chance to do it all again, I'd choose not to do it at all."
"We don't have the right to create life like that. I should have just whipped up some super strength serum and let it be done."
"Why did you choose to end the program though?"
"Because I realized I had created a little girl and put her in a cage miles under the ocean and deprived her of the sun, the moon, the wind and the company of others--all so she could be trained up to kill people. I may have made our replacement as the dominant species on this planet, but I also made a little girl." he looked away from the sun in shame, wiping a tear from his face with the back of a trembling, withered hand. "and I broke her."
"Broke her? By all accounts she's a stunning success, if a little--independent."
He smirked and shook his head. "You just see a weapon don't you?" He found a picture of her at his bed side and held it out. "Don't you see?"
"Yes, she's very pretty, but that's not really the point."
He brought the picture back and looked at it, running a finger over the crinkled surface. "You can't see past what you want to see what you have. You'll never control her and one day the government is going to wake up to find her standing over its bleeding body and you won't have any idea what happened and it will have been my fault."
"With all due respect to your work, I think we can control one project."
He laughed, which turned into a coughing fit. "That's rich. You got lucky with Revolt but I wouldn't bet the farm her eyes never open. X is smarter than you, stronger than you, harder to kill than you, lives longer than you--and you think you can wield that? Like she's just a nuclear missile waiting for launch codes? That kind of attitude is why she'll kill you in the end. Do you want to know a secret?"
He motioned for him to lean closer and whispered into his ear. "The only thing she hates more than being alone, is the people that made her that way. You're all fucked."
He lay back and coughed again. There was blood on his palm, he ignored it.
"We'll get her a boyfriend or something."
He sighed. "You sir, are an idiot."
"I think I have what I need. Thank you."
The G man got up and walked out, right past the beautiful young woman in the stunning violet dress. Maxwell smiled weakly.
"You came back," he said.
She didn't speak but she did reach over and turn off the machine beeping at his side.
"Thank you--I almost didn't figure it out back then."
"Did she forgive me?"
The woman gestured to the room.
He smiled again, stronger this time. It was the last of his strength. "Good--enough. Tell her to read--my letter." Maxwell Lott breathed his last.
The woman reached over and took the letter from where he'd placed it and tucked it gently under his hand even as she fed off the scrap of his death. She took a look around the room, turned and vanished in a wisp of darkness.
Xae looked up from her desk as the government stooge entered her office.
"That wraps that up I think, I just have a few questions for you and then I can hand you your orders."
She stood, crossing the room to the wall facing the sun. The whole wall was one massive window and they were far above the city.
He walked over beside her. "The government feels we've left you alone for too long and should find a way to make it up to you. I have a list of men here that would be--"
She took the data slate from him and glanced at the list of names. "You want to give me a boyfriend?" she cocked her head.
"He seemed worried that you were alone and--"
She smiled, razor sharp teeth glinting in the sunlight. "You want to breed me like cattle. You always wanted more like me."
"I wouldn't put it quite so--" The sound of breaking glass filled the room. She took a step forward and watched the man flail and scream as he went out into the air and began his plummet.
"Go fuck yourself." She tossed the data slate after him.
A door opened behind her. She didn't need to turn to recognize who it was.
"He's dead,"a child's voice said.
She took a deep breath, trying to steady her nerves. She knew it was coming, she'd kept herself from the room because she couldn't bare to think of the world taking someone else away from her. I'm sorry father.
"Thank you Alexander."
She turned away from the broken glass.
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