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Fic: Learned and Inherited Traits

Title: Learned and Inherited Traits
Genre: Drama, Crossover (Dark Angel/Joan of Arcadia)
Spoilers/Warnings: Everything that aired in either show.
AN: Severely bends the timing of Joan of Arcadia to fit with Dark Angel.  I usually hate doing that, but it would not let go.

It took Luke almost a month to work up the nerve to open the box from Joan’s apartment.  It had been more than a little creepy when they’d picked it up in the first place: the little studio apartment had been stripped bare and scrubbed down, leaving only the four boxes tucked away in a corner.  Four boxes that represented everything about his sister’s life for the past fifteen years.  Each one had been clearly marked for a recipient in Joan’s loopy, feminine handwriting: one for him, one for Grace, and one for each of his parents.  His mom had opened both of those boxes, but he knew Grace had avoided her own like it was a harbinger of doom.

He carefully loosened the tape and eased the flaps of the cardboard box open.  He told himself he was being cautious, but the truth was that he was almost afraid to look inside.  Once he opened this box, his sister would be irrevocably and completely dead.  Joan, the sister who he’d fought with and cried with and who somehow saw him better than anyone in the family, would have nothing more to say.

There had been no specific expectations for the contents.  The box was heavy, but not terribly large, so Luke was willing to bet that there were several books inside, possibly a scarf she had knitted or one of those ugly lamps she made when she needed to cope.  There was an envelope on the top, addressed to him, and he unfolded it with shaking hands.


I’m dead.  I know, I know, stating the obvious, right?  I hope it didn’t hurt too much.  You know how I am about pain.

I knew it was coming.  Hit and run while I was walking home from work, right?  The police won’t have any leads, and it will go down as a tragic accident.  Thing is, it wasn’t an accident.  Just the past catching up to me.

Remember that year after high school when I took that road trip that lasted more than a year and didn’t call home?  Mom and Dad were so mad at me that they took the car away and I took the bus everywhere.  Never did get another car.

It wasn’t really a road trip.

It started out as one, but I hit Wyoming about two weeks in and that’s where I stayed.  They wanted me partly because of you, I think, but there are other reasons I was selected for the program.

I realize this isn’t making much sense.  The truth is, this is hard to write about.  The people who know about Project Manticore are dying in a series of ‘tragic accidents.’  Someone is cleaning up and removing any potential witnesses.

I’m still rambling.  This is harder than I thought it would be.

Summer of ’98.  Gilette, Wyoming.  At the advice of a friend, I volunteered for what I thought was a medical data collection.  They took blood and tissue samples and gave me the most embarrassing physical exam of my life.  After a week they asked if I would be willing to continue with the program.  Then the other shoe dropped.

They were looking for surrogates.  If I carried a child for them, they would give me $50,000 upon a successful delivery.

I accepted the offer.  Even after everything that happened, I don’t regret it.

My daughter’s name is Max.  She lives in Seattle, and she needs help.  I know that you’ve seen the Eyes Only broadcasts about transgenics.  You’re still the biggest geek I know.  Well, congratulations little brother.  Your niece is one.

Find her.  Help her.

Love, Joan’


Before the incident at Terminal City in Seattle, Luke had made very little headway with his sister’s request.  A young woman in her early 20’s named Max, who was secretly genetically engineered and could be anywhere in what was still one of the largest cities in the United States was not exactly easy to locate, especially when he didn’t even have a physical description.

And then the transgenics made their stand and there was a genetically engineered woman named Max on every news channel in the continental U.S., with his sister’s eyes and single-minded determination focused on helping her people.

Well.  Now he knew where to find her, he just had to get inside, past the armed forces on this side of the fence and the presumably armed transgenics inside.

Luke knew he wasn’t brave like his sister.  Joan had a habit of putting herself out there on the line and not caring what anyone thought about her, or what might happen to her in the process.  Not even Grace was willing to go as far as Joan, though she was the closest that he’d ever met.  Joan let everyone in, even when they hurt her.  She hadn’t shown concern about the consequences of her actions when it came to her life and well-being since high school.  He didn’t have that kind of confidence, but to protect his family he would try to create it.

Hang on, Max.  Your family is coming to help you.  Hopefully you have a need for a retired cop, an artist, an anarchist and a theoretical physicist.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
May. 5th, 2013 01:25 am (UTC)
I hope there will be more it sounds like a very interesting combination.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )