Broken: A Different Ending to Book 6 by EndOfTheEarth

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Sci-Fi, Tragedy
Characters:Fang, Max
Published:2010-06-02 21:00:22
Updated:2010-06-02 21:00:22
Packaged:2021-04-04 14:45:16
Summary:In reality, the amount of time Max took to revive Fang in book six should have dealt him irreversible brain damage. This is the story of what would have happened.

Broken: A Different Ending to Book 6

To clarify, this is a oneshot, designed to be a substitute ending for FANG.

Begins with the text towards the end of Fang, chapter 84, where Fang is revived from death. Everything up through fang's first phrase is Patterson's text, used for dramatic effect.

Fang blinked hazily and breathed in again. His gaze fell on me, and I must have looked wild with panic and misery.

"Fang?" I gasped.

He blinked, tried to swallow.

"'Ssup?" Was the first thing he said. That was easily the best thing I'd heard out of Fang. Ever. In my entire life to that point.

The second was the worst.

"I can't move my legs."

The room was dead silent.

"I can't move my right arm either, or my right wing."

"Partial brain death," the doc muttered behind me, "It must have been the time between cardiac arrest and—"

I never figured out the rest of what Dr. Gutter-Hugger wanted to say. I don't even remember what I did. Next thing I knew he was up against the far wall, bleeding out the back of his head, and my right hand was sore.

The rest of the flock stared. I don't blame them, they'd seen me do stuff like that to Erasers, Robots, even a weirdo guy made of fish tanks, but this was the first time I'd done it to a regular human.

At that moment, I just wanted someone else to blame. I rounded on Angel next.

She didn't have the guts to look me in the eyes. She sat there, frozen, as if made of porcelain. Then, slowly, she looked at me, and I could tell from the look in her eyes that she had already read my mind and understood what I wanted at that particular moment.

She gave a small nod, "You're right Max," and grabbed a scalpel from the nearby doctor's tray. I watched, partly with burning satisfaction and partly with cold shock as she brought it up to her neck.

That was when Gazzy suddenly flung himself across the room knocking the knife from her hand, then trying to restrain her as she tried to go for it again crying and hammering at his shoulders.

It was a scene from a nightmare. Everything had fallen apart so easily and now… I couldn't move, couldn't think, couldn't even get a full breath.


It was Fang again. I turned back to him.

"Max, I need help."

Slowly, whatever mechanism in my head had been jammed up before began working again. "Right," I tried to say, but only my lips moved, no sound came out.

I tried again, "Right," it worked that time, "Nudge, stay here with Gazzy until Angel is back under control, then go back to the house. Iggy, Dylan, you're going to help me carry Fang home.

"Are you out of your mind?" Jeb shouted at me a hour later, "You should have taken Fang to a hospital, not here! You shouldn't have even been flying him, he's unstable enough as it is!"

I was curled up on a sofa, giving a rather serious stare at the bottom of Jeb's left pantleg. I was shocked, frustrated, and tired from hauling the dead weight of the largest member of my flock on an hour-long flight. Jeb had moved him to one of the beds once he'd arrived, then promptly called 9-1-1.

"You can fix him though, right?" I asked, grabbing at any straw I could, "I couldn't move my arm, you fixed that."

Jeb sighed and dropped onto a chair opposite me. "It's not the same thing," he stated, "That was a bunch of nerves. Back at Itexicon, we had just figured out how to fix those, but this is something completely different. This is a brain Max, once that's damaged, you can't fix it. Take it from me, we tried, we just don't know enough about the brain yet."

I felt my chest constrict. For a fleeting instant, I felt like I was going to puke.

"Once we get him to a hospital, I'll have them run an MRI, that way we'll know for sure how badly damaged he is."

I wanted to tear the sofa open at those words. Fang was badly damaged, Angel was badly damaged, my flock was badly damaged.


I was absolutely helpless. Even the last time I took Fang to a hospital the doctors had told me there was some hope, but now Jeb could tell me with a glance that there was nothing I could do.

I sat by Fang later that day in the hospital as Jeb gave us the damage report.

"Your legs are completely beyond recovery. With some physical therapy and cybernetics, we might be able to give you some of your arm movement back. You'll be able to move your right wing a little, but I'm afraid you're permanently grounded."

I held onto Fang's good left hand. His face remained impassive as Jeb told him the news, but I could feel his grip tighten slightly on mine at the mention that his flying days were over.

"There's other damage too, we may need to put you onto a respirator, and keep you under watch from now on to keep your heart from stopping again."

Fang gave a brief nod, then asked, "Do you mind if Max and I have a private moment?"

Jeb nodded and left us alone. The room we were in was small, but it had windows, large enough to catch the light of setting sun off the roofs of the cars in the parking lot below.

Fang turned to look at me from the hospital bed. "Max—" he began.

"Don't say it," I said flatly. I knew he was going to say it anyway, but I wasn't sure if I could handle it.

Fang gave me that smug grin that he gives me sometimes when he knows that I'm being hollow in my threats. "I can't be a part of the flock anymore."

"What? No, of course you can Fang, you—"

"I can't fly and I can't fight. The best I can do with a computer is Google something. I'm done Max. The crazy days are over for me."

I didn't know what to say. I didn't say anything.

"Do you mind doing a few things for me Max, now that," he seemd to struggle a moment with the concept, "Now that I'm out of the fight?"

I nodded.

"First, don't do anything stupid to Angel. She was trying to help, she just wasn't looking at things the right way."

"She still isn't," I said bitterly. She, Gazzy, and Nudge had all arrived before we took Fang to the hospital. I'd put her under suicide watch until further notice.

"I think she's learned her lesson, don't you?"

I nodded slowly. The lesson must have been the easy part, beneath all that mental scarring.

"Thing number two," he went on, "There's a file on my computer, titled GEN-77. There's some places on there you need to go, and people you need to meet. They'll help you. I would have gone myself, but…" he gestured with his good arm at the rest of his body.

I'd almost forgotten. I still had to save the world on top of all of this. Oh God, I thought, how am I supposed to save the world if I can't even save one of my own?

"One last thing…"

I watched, waiting to hear what this one last thing was.

"I want you to move on."

Maybe I knew what he meant, but it didn't register, "Move on?"

"Yeah Max. Dylan's a bit of a wuss, but he's a nice guy at heart, and Iggy has so many sight related powers that he practically can see at this point—"

"What! No, Fang. No! Don't do this to me! It's not right!" I could feel the tears pulling warm lines down my already boiling face.

"None of it's right, but it's the way it is. Move on Max."

"I won't," I replied fiercely, squeezing his hand, holding onto it for dear life, "I won't Fang, you know that. You heard me when I was all drugged up. I meant it. Every word."

He was quiet for a moment, giving me an odd look. "If that's the case," he said, his voice barely a whisper, "Then after the world's been saved, if you still feel the same way, come back and… we'll see what we can do."

I felt his hand let go of mine. He had nothing more to say. "Your flock needs you," he stated, turning his face away, toward the windows.

Oh my…

I tried to kiss him, tried, but he leaned his face further away, burying it into the pillow.

When I finally left five minutes later, he was staring out the windows at the setting sun.

Angel was wrong. Fang wasn't the one who really died that day.