Spoilers: Nothing more than the miniseries
Warnings: Touches on the sensitive issue of persecution
Summary: Random 4400 character short. The meanings and purposes things are given are often not the only ones they end up having. Such was the problem with their numbers, they marked them, made them little more than a record on a file – waiting to be dealt with.
A/N: Betaread by Fanwoman - who also got me into the show, so many thanks to her.
It started with the numbering. Innocent enough, but now it marks them all. It doesn't mean anything much to her, but it must to the rest of the world, to the others who are scared of them. And now they know who they all are. The list was taken down from the Internet long ago, but it's out there. They can't stop it from existing; the damage is done. The information still flows freely to those who wish to know.
The first time she is truly scared by it - when she realises what it means - is when she hears her own number called out in the street. It's plain daylight, but she freezes up when she recognises the shouted number is a reference to her. They know who she is, without really knowing anything about her at all. They know who everyone is. It may be just facts and figures - her name, her address, her family, when she was taken - but they’re her facts and figures, a part of her life, her self. But they've taken her identity away, assumed control of what should be hers to keep, and now she's exposed. She's so vulnerable, and all because that knowledge is public, because they demand it be. In their eyes, she has no privacy and no rights.
She leaves town the next day, moving on. It’s really running away, hiding, shying from those who only see her as a 4400 and little else, if anything. She feels like she's nothing but a number to those who hate her and “her kind.” Maybe it makes it easier for them to think of her as a number, because then she isn't a person. Then, she’s someone - something - else to be eradicated, numbers counting down in their minds until everyone is accounted for and the world set straight and normal.
All she wants is normality, but they don't see that. She isn't hurting anyone. She doesn't want to, and she really hopes she won't have to. But there's no way to satisfy them; she's an outsider, now, however much she tries, however much better she can make the world. She'll always be 3985, a danger to everyone else, a walking time bomb from the future that they're waiting to go off. They don't even care who she is any more, whether she lives or dies. Officially, she's already dead and gone. It seems the world wishes they’d all stayed that way.