Can't Cry by Bhetelgeus

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Angst, Horror
Published:2006-07-16 23:25:40
Updated:2008-01-15 23:11:13
Packaged:2021-04-21 23:20:23
Summary:The flock has escaped, again, into what seem like peaceful waters... or skies. But the new and improved Ari has injured Fang, Who is now facing something terrible, physically, mentally, and emotionally. WARNING: gore, selfmutilation, disturbing images.

Table of Contents

1. The Problem
2. Making More Matches To The Red Slashes
3. Try To Mend It
4. Pointless Conversation
5. Chamber, Chamber, Never Stranger
6. When You’re With Me You’ll Be In Danger
7. Can't Cry: Part I
8. Once More
9. Dying Symphony
10. Home And Peace
11. No
12. Sick! Sick! Sick!
13. Connections
14. Grave Mistake
15. Beyond Salvation
16. These Are The Eyes
17. Of A Psychopath
18. Not Dying
19. Can't Cry: Part II
20. Epilogue

1. The Problem

Disclaimer: DEPRESSING as it is…. I DO NOT own any of James Patterson's freakin' awesome characters… damnit…

Canary: FINALLY! More story!

Calamity: -.- STFU

Can't Cry

Chapter One: The Problem

"We've been flying for hours!" Nudge shouted into the wind. It was a particularly calm day, almost no clouds, and beautiful green rolling hills beneath them, dotted occasionally with a brilliantly blue lake or stream. It was peaceful.

Emphasis on the "was".

"I mean… Six hours? That's a long time and we don't usually travel that distance, unlike when we went to rescue Angel, that was a seven-hour flight, but we stopped and fell asleep on those uncomfortable couches. I think they were upholstery, but I never really liked upholstery, unlike those people in the TV. Commercials that…"

"Nudge!" Max said, her voice straining to remain low and quite. Her tone, nonetheless, was harsh and caused Nudge to flinch slightly. "Look, I'm sorry, but we need to get as far away from those lunatics as possible." Nudge gave a disappointing nod, reluctant to agree. Max sighed, glancing at the others.

Iggy's face remained peaceful, his sightless eyes surveying nothing, but his wings were moving slower and seemed more strained. Gazzy and Angel were flying next to each other, taking turns holding Total who had grown heavy with their weary arms. Nudge… well; Max already knew how Nudge felt. Finally, her eyes rested on Fang.

He flew with the grace the hawks had given him, banking, turning, gliding, floating… He seemed like fluid in the air, moving almost lucidly about the sky.

He scowled, turning to face her.

"Yes?" His tone was a little acidic, but that's what you expected from Fang.

"Are you tired?" she asked. Max almost laughed at herself. Fang never admitted to any sort of weakness. As if on cue he shook his head and returned his gaze forward. "Fine. Everyone, let's head down, find a small patch-o-grass, and catch some Z's."

Nudge let out a whoop of joy, Angel and the Gasman sighed in relief, and Max almost felt bad when Iggy seemed more relaxed at the notion of stopping. Fang said nothing, simply banking gracefully, starting a lucid decent.

They managed to find a small clearing that was nestled in the middle of a huge forest, making it easy for them to be guarded against any unwanted visitors.

Max got right to the duty of making a fire, Iggy and Gazzy helping her collect wood. Angel made sure that Total was comfortable, Nudge helping her build a little doggie bed. Fang lit the fire, stoking it slightly to make sure it was burning nicely, and then went back over to a tree that stood slightly more towards the edge of the small clearing. He sat down, dark wings outspread, leaned against the tree, and closed his eyes.

Max made sure everyone was comfortable; night was quickly approaching, and spared a glance at Fang. He wasn't asleep, she knew that, but his chest seemed to barely move. The light played on his features revealing to Max just how truly handsome he was.

His Long bangs reached his chin now, the black contrasting to his pale skin. Even though the back of his hair was short, part of the style those New York people cut it in, it seemed just a little longer now, since that was a while ago.

His long sleeved black shirt hooked around his thumbs, which cracked Max up, because she thought is pointless to have holes in your shirt. But, tonight, it fit him. Even his torn jeans fit him.

He opened his eyes just a smidge, glancing in Max's direction. She quickly turned away, kicking herself mentally for how obvious she had been. His look.


"Scary, isn't it?" Nudge said. Max nearly jumped out of her skin. She must have looked surprised, because Nudge elaborated. "I mean," she continued in a whisper, "…His gaze. I know what it's like. Remember? I spent a few days alone with him in the cave…" Max was silent. "He doesn't do anything. Say anything. Need anyone. I… remember hearing him talk in his sleep once. Only once. He was mumbling about being alone forever. He was saying how he would be just fine alone forever." Nudge sighed, as if the conversation exhausted her. Yeah right.

Max patted her head, Nudge lying down beside her. She let herself sneak another peak at Fang. His eyes were closed again, his almost inaudible breathing giving the only hint of life. He almost looked peaceful to Max.

Not for long.

A thundering sound burst forth as trees split apart around them. Max, Iggy, and Fang all jolted upright, Nudge, The Gasman, Angel, and Total already in the air. Max silently admired them. Fang frowned as Erasers came in from all directions.

Two launched themselves at Iggy, successfully restraining him. Max and Fang went to his aid, only to have Max slammed up against another Eraser as the former held her by her throat. Fang got distracted by Max now being in distress and was sideswiped by an Eraser, sending him flying through the air to land at another Eraser's feet.

Something caught his eyes. Moonlight reflecting… on the Eraser's metal claws.

"Hello, Fang."


The Eraser's foot came up, kicking Fang across the small clearing. The shouts of his comrades dulled as he stood. Ari grinned menacingly. Fang did the same.

As if they heard a bell, both moved at each other at the same time. Fang tried a roundhouse kick to Ari's head, but Ari seemed to move in a flash to Fang's side, elbowing him sharply in the chest. Fang's breath left him and he flew back. Last time he knew, Ari was clumsy… 'What's with the reflexes? And metal claws?' he thought.

Ari jumped at him with speed even Fang didn't rival, lashing out with his metal claws. Fang tried to block, but the metal ripped through clothing and flesh, almost tearing his arm to ribbons.

"Grah!" Fang tried to suppress the pained look on his face, but the claws cut through him like acid. Ari grinned menacingly and made his way over to Fang. He looked ready to tear him to shreds when he suddenly stopped. He pressed a clawed hand to his ear and listened. Finally, he let his hand drop.

"Our job here is done," Ari said through clenched teeth. And just like that the Erasers filed away, slowly becoming lost amongst the trees. Iggy and Max were released, Nudge, Gazzy, Angel, and Total descended, and Fang simply watched the Erasers melt with the scenery.

"Report!" Max said, quickly looking over the flock.

"I'm fine." The Gasman said. Angel sniffled.

"Celeste and Total are okay. Me too," she replied.

"I think I got a cut on my leg from an Eraser… or a branch… but I'm alright," Nudge said. Iggy nursed a bruised shoulder.

"Slight bruising, but I'm fine," he said. Max nodded, then glanced at Fang.

"Your arm… is it alright? Let me look at it." She reached out for it, but Fang jerked away.

"I'm fine."

"Fang, you're bleeding!" Max said, more urgently. "Listen. Last time you played Mr. Invincible you nearly died! Now let me see your arm!" She paused. Everyone was staring at her, Nudge in mid wrap of her leg bandage. Max wanted to swallow her words. She just didn't want that close call to come again.

Fang stared at her a moment with what almost looked like anger, then held out his arm, tuning away. "Just wash it and wrap it." He said quietly. "Then let's get outta here." Max almost jumped for joy, but grew serious, tending to his arm.


Night had long since fallen upon them. It was cold and the last embers of the fire were finally going out. This new hiding place was similar to the last one, but the ground was much harder.

Fang shifted uncomfortably. He never was a heavy sleeper, but he just couldn't shake this unknown feeling from him. He finally sat up, his body cold and rigid. Then it struck.

Almost too fast for his to turn to the bushes, he silently vomited. It was a horrible feeling, like his soul was leaving him as well.

He coughed quietly, then turned back to sit against the tree. He shook slightly, feeling colder. 'Please,' he thought, 'just let this be from a slight blood loss.' As if he wished it, sleep took him, closing out the cold feeling.

Max woke everyone earlier than usual. She wanted to get everyone in the air as soon as possible. She knew the Erasers could be locking in on them that very second.

"Ahh… flying." Nudge said. Iggy grinned, Max doing likewise. Gazzy and Angel, who carried Total and Celeste, chattered amongst themselves about the Erasers last night. Fang was silent.

Max turned back to face the current traveling direction, but glanced at Fang again. His eyes seemed red with dark circles underneath. His flying was a bit less fluid than yesterday.

"He's ill," a voice said from nowhere. Max growled as she nearly jumped again. Iggy. She was going to have to talk to the flock about suddenly speaking up…


"What do you mean?" she asked. Iggy's face remained calm.

"He's ill. He woke up last night and got sick." Well. That was forward. Max glided down by Fang.

"Fang?" He didn't respond. Max sighed. "Iggy says he heard you being ill last night." Got to cut to the chase with Fang. He sighed.

"I'm alright," he said. Max frowned. He turned to face her and Max saw something there. She couldn't place it, but before she could figure it out, something horrible happened.

Fang lurched and clutched his stomach, yelling out involuntarily in pain. His wings folded, causing him to plummet.

"Iggy!" Max yelled. Iggy followed, catching Fang by an arm, Max doing the same. The Gasman, Nudge, Angel, and Total all came down, asking a bazillion questions. Iggy and Max lowered Fang to the ground. He stood, shakily, shrugging them off.

"I'm fine!" he said angrily. But, to prove him wrong, he doubled over in pain, collapsing to his knees. He had to turn to the side a vomit, blood mixing with the bile. His teeth clenched, sounds of pain silently escaping. His shoulders were shaking, his skin ice cold.

"Fang!" Max shouted. He couldn't pry open his eyes, couldn't even open his mouth to speak. He did, though, manage to pry it open and vomit yet again.

"Grah!" he shouted. Nudge and Gazzy backed away, Angel silently crying. He cried out again, so much pain channeled into his voice. Iggy tried to steady his shoulders.

"Fang!" he shouted. "Fang! Talk to me!" Max glanced over at Angel, her little tears falling onto Celeste.

"Angel?" Max said. Angel sobbed.

"I can hear him, Max! I can hear him!" Max rushed to her.

"What's going on, Angel? What's going on?" Angel looked up at her as tears overwhelmed her eyes.

"He's dying."

2. Making More Matches To The Red Slashes

Disclaimer: Blah, blah, blah… -mumbles incoherent things that no one can understand-

Canary: Booyah! Angst!

Calamity: -.-

Can't Cry

Chapter Two: Making More Matches To Already Red Slashes

Max gave a look of horror.

"What?! Is there anything we can do?!" Max shouted. Angel shook her head, fat tears rolling down her cheeks.

"He's screaming, Max! He's screaming!" Max looked at Fang. On his knees, he held his head, which rested on the ground. He teeth were clenched and his shoulders continued to shake almost violently.

Suddenly, Fang swung his head to the side, smacking it against a large tree.

"Fang! Are you alright?" Nudge shouted. Perhaps it was an accident…

No. He turned and rammed his head against the tree again.

"Fang!" Max shouted. "Iggy! Help me here!" Iggy grasped Fang. He struggled to be released, crying out in agony.

Angel stepped over and tapped Iggy's shoulder, whispering something in his ear. He nodded and let go.

"What do you think you're doing?" Max said, trying to restrain Fang. Iggy grabbed Max's hands, forcing her to release Fang, who smashed his head against the tree again. "Iggy! Please, let go!" Tears welled up in her eyes as Fang slammed his head into the tree until he fell to the ground with a heavy thud.

Max rushed over, inspecting his unconscious form.

"Fang… Fang… please…" The side of his head was heavily bruised, his ear and temple bleeding. "Iggy! What the hell did you do that for?!" she shouted. Iggy's face grew sad at Max's anger.

"Max… Angel told me to. She didn't force me, but we had to let go." Max turned her fury from Iggy to Angel.

"Why?" she asked. Angel's face grew red and more tears spilled down.

"Oh, Max. Please don't be mad. Fang told me to. He kept saying 'Angel, tell Iggy and Max to let go. I'm not going to die. I just need to sleep for a while.' He sounded so calm, but his screams were everywhere… Max… I had to…"

"Shh… It's okay," Max said, patting her on the head. She glanced at Fang, his face seeming so peaceful compared to how much pain it showed before. She nodded and said sorry to Iggy.

"Hey… I was reluctant myself," he said. He touched Fang's face; almost to the point where Max wasn't even sure he touched him. "Jesus… He must've been hitting that tree hard." Max nodded.

"A-alright, everyone… I know it's still in the middle of the day… but we must stay here. At least until Fang wakes up. Nudge, I need to you bandage Fang's head, find some way to make him comfortable. Gazzy, you and Iggy stay here." Max saw Iggy's face darken and she knew what he was thinking about. "It's not because your blind, Ig. It's just… I need to go get food and I'm not focused enough to protect everyone or sense danger. You are the only one capable of that right now. I need the Gasman here to help communicate with Angel. She's coming with me." Iggy nodded, relieved. The Gasman did likewise and went over to help Nudge with wrapping Fang's head.

"Hey! What about me?" Total said, jumping. Max sighed.

"You need to help Iggy guard the place," she replied. Total barked quietly in agreement, trotting off to Iggy. Max looked at Angel who clutched Celeste tightly. "You ready?" Angel looked at Celeste.

"Wait…" she said. She ran to Fang and tucked Celeste in the crook of is arm. Max smiled, waiting for Angel to come back over. "Now I'm ready." Max nodded and both rose into the air.

Max rubbed her temples, surveying the ground for any sign of campers as she and Angel made ever-widening circles. "See anything? Or sense anything?" Max shouted across the wind to Angel.

"No…" she said. Max sighed. How could so much happen so fast… It was giving her a headache, and for Fang to suddenly get ill like that… It chilled her bones. "He'll be okay… won't he Max?" Max choked a sob, sucking it up for Angel.

"I… don't know, Angel… I honestly don't know…" Tears came to her eyes again, threatening to spill over. "I don't even know what's wrong with him." Now the tears slipped over silently. Thank god the wind was blowing and it was nearly impossible to tell that she was crying.


"I finished the wrap…" Nudge said, sitting back. She looked at her hands in disgust. They were covered in blood. Fang's blood; and she was even able to avoid touching him directly. The Gasman came and sat beside her.

"He looks so peaceful…" he commented. Nudge sighed.

"I don't think he is… I could feel something just standing near him… I'm afraid to touch him," she mumbled. Iggy sighed.

"Nudge… We need to know if he's alright," he said. Gazzy nodded.

"Please, Nudge?" the Gasman asked. Nudge glanced at Fang, and then looked at Iggy and the Gasman. Reluctantly, she nodded. Slowly she reached out and touched Fang's shoulder.

"Eek!" She shrieked and pulled back, tears overflowing onto her face. "Oh my god…" she said, sounding almost out of character. She looked around with a scared look on her face and finally went to Iggy's arms. "Oh my god…"

"What did you see?" Gazzy pressed. Iggy signaled him to be patient. Finally, after a while, Nudge's sobs receded into small occasional hiccups. "What did you see, Nudge?" Gazzy repeated. Nudge looked at the ground, fear still in her eyes.

"There's so much pain. It was like being inside the mind of a wild animal… like a mouse trying to escape from a cat's grasp… or a rabid wolf… Everything was so jumbled with confusion, like his brain was scrambled and all he could think was 'Escape!'" She shuddered. "I saw Ari at the beach… I saw him from his view of the hospital when he had to get sewed up, I saw Ari's metal claws when he attacked him yesterday, and I saw… Wait…" She stopped suddenly, growing silent.

"Nudge?" Iggy asked. If Nudge goes quite, then something serious is going on. Nudge shook her head

"No… no…" Her look was intense. She kept mumbling 'No.' to herself. Finally, she raised her head. "It can't be…"

"What can't be?" the Gasman replied. Nudge didn't respond, going over to Fang.

"It can't be, it can't be…"


"Angel? Do you sense anyone?" Max asked for the bazillionth time. They had stolen a smoked salmon, still hot in Max's jacket, a pack of Diet Pepsi, and two snickers bars so far. Not much else.

"Nothing… Max?" Angel asked. Max could hear the concern in her voice. "Can we go back? I'm worried about Fang." Max sighed.

"Reach out to Gazzy, see if anything's up," she said. Angel nodded and closed her eyes. After what seemed like an eternity she opened them and spoke in the Gasman's voice.

"You have GOT to see this!"

Guess that answered Angel's question.


Nudge looked at the Gasman, referring him to pull back Fang's sleeves. He did so, and both him and Nudge stood in shock. Iggy tapped Gazzy's shoulder.

"What? What's wrong?" he asked. The Gasman didn't reply at first. He was staring at the long angry slashes on Fang's forearms on the inside. They were red and swollen; some jagged, some perfectly straight, some shallow… most deep. "Gasman?" The Gasman cleared his throat.

"F-fang's… Fang's arms…" Gazzy stuttered. Iggy's hands floated above Fang's forearms. After a moment of silence Iggy pulled away and stood up, his back to the three. Nudge glanced at Iggy.

"When I felt this pain… it was so relaxed… I didn't understand… Iggy?" she said softly. Iggy's face grew angry. He kicked at a stump, which amazed Nudge and Gazzy as to how he knew it was there.

"He was supposed to stop!" he said angrily. Nudge and the Gasman looked at each other.

"You mean… this isn't from Ari or anything?" Gazzy asked. Iggy frowned.

"No, this isn't from Ari. This is his own doing," he said, his tone acidic. Nudge and Gazzy gasped in unison, looking back at Fang's arms. Nudge's eyes welled up with tears again.

"Why? Why was he doing this? How long?" Gazzy asked. Iggy's frown worsened.

"I don't know how bloody long he was doing it… But I do know that he was supposed to stop," he said, his voice near a growl. Nudge and the Gasman looked at each other again. Iggy could feel their confusion. He sat down. "If… if you must know… then listen…"

-+- Flashback -+-

The park was dark and quiet; trees clustered everywhere, abandoned buildings on the outskirts of the small patch of grass, and only one street lamp on the farthest corner from where the flock was nestled.

Fang sat with his back against a tree, farthest from the flock. His eyes were dark, almost glazed over in appearance, and barely open.

A small glint.

A sign of metal.

Fang removed the small razor from his pocket, watching it with a strange fascination as it glinted in the dull lamplight.

He pulled down one of his sleeves. Several angry marks were there, each one seeming to scream out in pain. But Fang did not scream out. He never screamed out.


That was his art.

He drew the blade on his arm, making more matches to already red slashes on his forearm. The blood almost made him smile, but his face remained impassive.

Deeper. He went deeper and deeper, until his whole arm seemed to ache with pain, shaking in his grasp. So to the other arm he went.

The art was the same… and he continued. But then, a hand grasped his wrist, nearly causing him to attack.


"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Iggy asked in a harsh whisper. Fang simply looked away, not even embarrassed by his performance. "Answer me you idiot! Are you trying to get yourself killed?" Fang turned his gaze to Iggy.

"…How did you know?"

"When you grow up in a genetic experimentation lab… you recognize the sound of metal against flesh." His tone was cold, though Fang still seemed unphased. "What are you getting at? What is this?" Fang's gaze suddenly went cold, almost angry. He knew Iggy couldn't see, but he was sure he could feel it.

"Nothing. It doesn't matter." Iggy's face darkened.

"Shut the hell up." He sat next to Fang, releasing his wrist. Fang did nothing. "Why? Do you want to die or something?" Fang didn't respond at first. That scared Iggy.

"I… don't know." That scared Iggy even more.

"Jesus, Fang!" he said urgently. "I mean… Christ! What's wrong?" Fang growled.

"Don't give me your bloody pity." He sighed, sounding tired and older than he really was. "Iggy… I feel so old at heart… at soul… I've been ready to go… to permanently escape for so long… But I know I can't. I have to stay here. I have to help until this is all over with. So I settle with this… for now." Iggy said nothing, crunching all the Fang had said. That was, perhaps, the most Fang had ever revealed to anyone about himself.

Iggy rose, hearing the blade go into Fang's pocket.

"Fang… promise you'll stop."

"Ig, I…"

"Promise me!" he said more urgently. Fang was silent. Iggy could feel Fang's tiredness.

"Yeah, I promise…" Iggy nodded, moving towards the flock again. "Oh… and Iggy?"


"Don't tell the others. Especially Max."

"If you keep your promise."


Nudge glanced at Gazzy, then Iggy, then Fang.

"I… I had no idea."

"I think that's why he never complains about pain…" the Gasman said. "Because he's so used to it." Nudge nodded. She had no idea Fang was so… in pain. She looked at Iggy.

"Are you going to tell Max?" she asked. Iggy's head turned to the side, listening, as the distant flap of two pairs of wings grew closer.


3. Try To Mend It

Disclaimer: Same as before… I own nothing… not even my own hair… XD


I apologize for all the darkness. -can't see, is blinded by dark- But chapter 2 was supposed to be the anchoring point. This story wont be so… ickeh from now on. Just regular gore. I suppose I just had to get all of that out of the way. XD OKAY! Enough rambling! Onto the story!

Canary: About time you angst obsessed witch!

Calamity: The anger… -.-

Can't Cry

Chapter Three: Try To Mend It

Max and Angel landed softly, only a few leaves stirring.

"What's going on?" Max asked softly. Gazzy and Nudge looked at each other, then to Iggy. Iggy sighed after a painful silence.

"Gasman, Nudge… go help Angel prepare the food. You guys can manage making a better fire, right?" Iggy said softly. They nodded and took Angel to the fire. Max turned to watch them retreat, confusion on her face.

"Ig? What's going on?" she repeated. Iggy sat down by Fang. Max did likewise.

"There's something I should have told you long ago… I was stupid to think he would listen…" Max touched Iggy's shoulder. He looked so ashamed.

"Iggy… Iggy, it's all right. Please tell me… what is wrong." Iggy sniffled, surprising Max with his teary-eyed-ness.

"Max… Fang's ill."

"Well, no duh. Not to sound harsh or anything, Ig… But we know that already." Iggy smiled a little, making Max feel better. Then, in a flash, his features were icy.

"Max… he's ill in more ways than one…" Max grew serious, feeling the weight of this topic as much as Iggy.

"Okay, Iggy. I'm listening."


Angel was sleeping soundly, her head resting on Nudge's stomach, and Total resting on Angel's stomach. Gazzy finally drifted off, his wings out and his body sprawled out, snoring.

Max stoked the fire, Iggy sitting across from her.

"Why are you still up?" she asked, tossing the stick aside. Iggy frowned.

"Same reason you are." She snorted, but didn't argue further.

A noise.

A stirring sound.

A cough.

Max and Iggy both looked in the direction of Fang's slumbering form, only he wasn't slumbering anymore. He sat up, rubbing his head. His eyes winced as he delicately touched the bandaged side of his head. A sour expression came upon his features as he turned to the side and spit.

Finally, he turned to face the light of the fire. He looked at Max, then Iggy, then Max again. He turned away, hurt in his eyes. The look of being ashamed.

After an eternity, Max had suddenly appeared by his side.

"Fang!" she said is a loud whisper. "Fang! Are you all right? Can I get you anything?" Fang looked at the ground with what looked like hatred then turned his eyes to Max. They grew soft instantly, causing Max's own eyes to well up.

"Water… please," he whispered. His voice was thick, rough, sore. Max nodded and ran back over to the fire. She returned with a bottle of water. Fang took it and swigged some of it in his mouth, spitting again. "Horrible taste…" he said quietly. He then took a few sips. "How long?" Max looked at the ground.

"Pretty much all day… you gave your head a good nock," she murmered. Her voice strained at the end, trying to push the memory away. Fang looked at her, seeming ashamed once more.

"Max… I'm… I had to. It was the only way to shut it out…" Max held up her hand.

"I understand… that," she said. He gave her a confused look.

"What do you…"

"Fang?" Max interrupted. "Iggy and Gazzy took care of you. Nudge wrapped your head. You were sick and stuff… and you yelled a lot… and since you were out…" She stopped. Fang turned his gaze to Iggy.

The strawberry blond boy sat there, his sightless eyes fixed upon the fire. He turned in Fang's direction, smiled, and went back to gazing at the fire.

Max had her knees huddled to her chest, trying to keep control of herself. Finally, she crawled forward to look Fang directly in the eyes.

"Why didn't you tell me?" she asked, her voice urgent and hurt. Fang blinked a moment.

"Max… I didn't know I was going to drop out of the sky… I'm sorry…"


Fang turned to face her again, his cheek now stinging. Iggy's head turned in their direction, silently listening. Max's face was red with anger and sadness.

"Not that! Why didn't you tell me about your arms?" she said, her voice sounding hurt. Fang's gaze just barely broke, a small sign of panic in his eyes. No matter how hard he tried to conceal it, that small bit was enough.

"What… what about my arms?" he said, sounding a little too defensive for his liking. Max's nostrils flared.

"What about your arms?!" she shouted. Suddenly, she gripped his right forearm and gave it a nice squeeze. Fang crumpled beneath her grip, quietly crying out in pain. "This, Fang!" Max growled. She realized she was being a little cruel, but she had no tolerance for these kinds of things. Fang's face was covered in pain, silent whimpers escaping him.

"Max… please let go…" His voice was thick with pain. As if she just now realized what she was doing, Max let go, gasping. Fang cradled his arm, it shaking raggedly.

"F-fang… I…" Max stammered. He glanced up at her, hurt in his eyes. Shame. Anger. A hand landed softly on Fang's shoulder. Iggy.

"I'm sorry Fang. I had to. Nudge found out on her own. I couldn't' keep them in the dark forever," he said quietly. Fang jerked away from both of them, cradling his arm. A few specks of blood seeped through the sleeve.

"So… wait for the opportunity that I'm out… and tell everyone." Fang said, surprising both Iggy and Max.

"Fang. Nudge found out on her own. I didn't say anything to anyone. Besides." Now, it was Iggy's turn to be cold. "You broke our promise," he said. Fang's eyes widened.

"You…" He looked away from both of them. "Both of you… Max… You know?" Max said nothing, just glanced at Iggy. Iggy sighed.

"Fang… we're here to help you… You're not alone…" he said with almost too much care. Fang growled.

"Quit talking to me like I'm some sort of nutcase!" he said rather loudly. Max and Iggy were both stunned. Fang ignored their surprise.

"Fang… what do you expect? I didn't know if you were… going to do yourself in or… or…" Iggy couldn't finish. Fang growled again. Max spoke up this time.

"I don't understand, Fang… We… we've never done anything to get this stressed out… What is it?" she asked. Fang turned to face them now.

"Stressed? Stressed? Do myself… do myself in?" Despair was his emotion now. "I am not going to kill myself!" Fang shouted.

"Then why do this, Fang?" Max shouted back. Fang's face dropped, too embarrassed to look at either Max or Iggy.

"Max… let me talk to you for a minute…" Iggy said. Max looked at Fang, then Iggy. Fang simply turn back around, leaning against the tree, eyes closed. Max nodded. Fang needed some decent rest… non-forced.

Max left Fang, following Iggy to the other side of the fire. He sat down, motioning for her to sit next to him. Max obliged and sat, looking at Iggy. The sunrise was going to begin soon.

"Ig?" she said. He sighed.

"Max… Fang has been doing this… since before we left New York." Max's eyes grew. How could she not notice? Iggy read her thoughts.

"We never expected one of the flock to be this… beyond upset. Fang… I guess he never told you about his certain… trauma," he said. Max looked at Iggy.

"Trauma?" she asked. Iggy shook his head.

"I think… I think that's to blame for him being so… destructive. I personally don't believe in excuses… But he… God…"

"What happened, Iggy?" Max asked. Iggy shook his head again.

"No. If he wants you to know… he'll tell you," Iggy replied. Max frowned but said nothing.


Fang looked at something that finally caught his attention. It was Angel's bear Celeste, lying on the ground. He picked it up and wiped the dust off of it and picked out a few sticks. His stomach lurched as a bit of blood, probably from him, was splattered on the soft fur of the bear. He sighed and put the bear in the pocket of his jacket. He'd give it to Angel in the morning.


The sun rose high above their little campsite, shedding light upon the slumbering forms of the flock.

"Man! That's one bright sunrise…" the Gasman said. Nudge and Angel woke in creepy unison, Total yipping happily in Angel's arms.

Iggy prepared breakfast while Nudge started putting together backpacks.

"We almost ready to go?" Max asked. Everyone nodded, except for Fang. He stood a ways off, leaning against a tree, inspecting the claw marks from Ari. "Can you fly? Without a seizure or anything…" Max asked. A smile flickered across Fang's lips.

"Yeah," he answered. Max sighed. Then she remembered about what Iggy told her last night… Fang's trauma.

"Fang? I was wondering…" She didn't get the finish. A sound cut through the air, cutting off her words completely. A sound she's only heard once or twice.

The blood-curdling scream of Angel.

4. Pointless Conversation

Disclaimer: I don't own any of James Patterson's spiffly characters. Sadly

Note to all Reviewers: Thanks for baring the darkness!

Calamity: Onto more of the story!

Canary: Tweet!

Can't Cry

Chapter Four: Pointless Conversation

Max and Fang shot up, both rushing to the rest of the flock. Iggy's face was hardened.

"Erasers! I smell them closing in! We need to get into the air A.S.A.P.!" Angel stared in horror as huge Erasers trekked toward the flock. Max scooped her up in her arms and tossed her in the air.

"Up and Away, people!" Max cried. The flock soundlessly obeyed. Gazzy grabbed Total and flung himself into the air. Iggy kept his hand out, barely brushing against Gazzy's shoe to tell him where he was.

Fang grabbed Nudge's hand and they flew into the air together.

"Max!" Nudge screamed. Fang looked down. Erasers surrounded Max on all sides, keeping perfect distance. There was no way she could snap her wings open without one getting ripped off by an Eraser. Fang released Nudge's hand. "Fang! What do we do?" Iggy glided next to them.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Erasers… they've surrounded Max. But… they aren't attacking… It's like they're waiting for something," Fang replied. Slowly the Erasers parted, letting an Eraser larger then they with metal claws through.


"Well hello, pretty," he said, grinning in a malicious manner. His oversized teeth protruded grotesquely from his mouth. "Looks like you didn't make it that far from yesterday." Max frowned.

"What the hell do you want?"

"You, Max. Remember? I want us to go away together," he replied. Max glanced up to see the confused faces on the rest of flock. Her gaze returned to Ari and she rolled her eyes dramatically.

"Then why did you leave us yesterday?" she asked. Ari grinned.

"I was busy getting rid of the competition." Max's eyes widened and she looked up at Fang. Ari chuckled. "Don't look so surprised. You and I both know he was the only one that came between us. Now he isn't capable of squat." Fang growled.

"Shut up!" he said, lunging himself at Ari. As if swatting a fly, Ari grabbed Fang's shoulder and slammed him into the ground.

"Fang!" Max said, rushing to him.

"I wouldn't move if I were you, Maximum Ride." Max froze… That voice…

"Hello, Jeb," Max said, turning to face Jeb with new anger. He smiled at her with joy.

"Don't be so angry, my Max."

"I'm not your anything."

"I understand your anger, Max, but you're wasting valuable time with arguing with me."

"Wasting what time? Saving the world?" she said, growling. Jeb shook his head sadly.

"The world isn't the only thing that you need to save, Max," he said. He glanced at Fang who was glaring at Ari. Ari grinned.

"Come with me Max," Ari said. Max frowned.

"Shut up, Ari! I'm not going anywhere with you!" He grinned and lifted his hand, metal claws gleaming.

"You like them?" he asked, flexing his hand. Max raised an eyebrow at the sudden change of topic. "I do too. I like them because incase I don't finish the job, they do." Max glanced at Fang, then back you Ari. Ari chuckled. "You see, Max, in these metal claws is a poison capable of terrible things… But Fang already knows that. He's experiencing them personally!" Fang growled.

"What the heck did you do to me?" Fang shouted. He lunged towards Ari but stopped suddenly, froze to the spot. Ari grinned. Fang lurched and turned to the side, vomiting. He fell to his knees, shaking. "D… damnit…" A chorus of chuckles filled the forest as Erasers laughed. Ari sighed.

"You see? Fun, isn't it? This poison in my claws slowly invades the bloodstream, causing fatal reactions to your body. Soon, it'll attack the nerves system. And in time, it'll turn your DNA against itself, and your body will start rejecting it's own chemical makeup, thus unraveling your DNA. And then, my favorite part, you'll die a very painful death." Tears welled up in Max's eyes. She turned to look at Fang. He was hunched over on his knees, holding his stomach. He looked up at her, eyes almost glazed over in pain.

"U-up… up and away… Max…" He tried to smile. Max grew furious and faced Jeb.

"How could you allow this to happen?!" she shouted. Jeb gave her a sad smile.

"Ari has to have his plans work as well, Max. He is my son, after all." Max launched herself at Jeb, but Ari held out his arm and threw her down next to Fang.

"Listen here, Maxie!" Ari said, growling again. "We have the bloody antidote!" Max froze, Fang likewise.

"Wha…" Max said. Of course. She shouldn't be surprised.

"All you have to do to get the antidote… is come with me. I'll hand it over, we'll go, and your little friend will live another day," Ari cooed. Fang growled. He tried to stand, but yelped in pain and fell again, ridding his stomach also. Laughter of the Erasers filled the area.

"Max…" Fang said, grabbing her shoulder. His hand shook uncontrollably. "Don't do it…" Max touched his hand. Ice cold.

"But Fang… You're sick!" He shook his head.

"Please, Max… d-don't… Don't go." Ari chuckled.

"Aw… how touching. And from what we heard, you were usually distant. Max, on the other hand, has a grander scheme than yours." Fang raised an eyebrow.

"Shut it, Ari!" Max shouted. She weighed out her options.

One: Go with Ari, get antidote, Fang lives, she either dies or gets locked away forever.

Two: Grab Fang, fly away, watch as Fang dies violently.

She didn't like either option, but knew what she had to do.

"Ari… Give me the antidote," she whispered. Fang gasped and Ari smiled.

"Max! Please… Don't do this! I'm not worth it!" he shouted. Max ignored him.

"Come and get it, bird girl" Ari said, chuckling. Max gulped and stepped forward. Something wasn't right.

"Max… Please," Fang pleaded. Then, before his eyes could even register it, Ari grabbed Max and pinched a nerve on her neck. She crumpled to the ground. "Max!" Fang shouted. He ran towards Ari, anger boiling in his blood. Two Erasers shot out and grasped his arms, holding him back.

"I don't think so, Fang. You see… You're still a nuisance alive," Ari said, a grin on his face. He tried to escape the rough grasp but it was to no avail. He let out a strangled cry and he fell to his knees, vomiting again. He shook uncontrollably, letting out pained whimpers. Erasers erupted in laughter around him. "He won't be any trouble, boys. Now. Wrap 'em up and bring 'em in."


"Nudge! Angel! Gazzy! What's happening!" Iggy shouted. They were pretty high up, but due to their raptor vision they could see the occurrence below. Except for Iggy.

"They… they've taken Max and Fang!" Nudge shouted. Iggy looked afraid, causing the Gasman to be afraid.

"What do we do?" he asked. Iggy was silent. Total yipped in Angel's arms.

"There goes my dog food!" Total said. Angel's eyes were puffy with tears. Iggy continued his silence.

"Iggy?" Nudge asked. "What do we do?"

"…We rescue them."

5. Chamber, Chamber, Never Stranger

Disclaimer: Blah-dee-blah-blah… ownership of nothing hasn't changed…

Canary: The apologies! I am so sorry I haven't written in forever! I've just been so busy with work that I haven't had the time!

Can't Cry

Chapter Five: Chamber, Chamber, Never Stranger

The smell of mold and mildew entered Max's nose, causing her to gag. Blackness all around. At first, she worried that she had gone blind, but her eyes quickly and acutely adjusted to the darkness.

She was just lying there, on the ground. No restrictions, no straps or chains… just her and the cold and bare cement floor. 'This is too easy…' she thought, and tried to stand up.

No such luck.

All of her limbs were dead. There was feeling, all her senses were working, but she felt as if an invisible force was pressing upon her, rendering her immobile.

"What…" she tried to say out loud, but her voice left her. She could hear, but she couldn't seem to hear her own voice. The strangeness of it was that she couldn't feel her vocal chords moving either. 'Crap…' she thought.

With what strength she could muster, she moved her head to the right, feeling the weight increase as she tried to move it. Finally, she managed to get it to the side, and the weight let up as soon as she stopped trying.

A figure lay about seven feet from her, crumpled up in a heap on the ground.


"Fang!" she tried shouting, but nothing. No sound. 'Damnit, Fang! Please don't be dead!"

'I'm not dead.' If Max could have moved she would have jumped twenty feet in the air. Damn those stupid unexpected talking tendencies.

'Fang?' she thought.

'Yeah… I'm here.' She wished she could sigh in relief.

'What's going on? How come I can hear you in my head?'

'Our consciousnesses are linked.'

'What? How?'

'It's in the sedative they gave us… the stuff that puts pressure on your body. Or… at least seems like it.' Max said nothing for a moment. They were so close to each other and yet… they couldn't even do anything. Wait…

'How… how do you know this?'


'Fang?!' Max thought in a panic.

'I've been in this chamber before.' Now it was Max's turn to be silent. He had been here before? This had been done to him before? But why? How?

These thoughts were interrupted when the door to the chamber squeaked open. They must've been underground, because the light that streamed in didn't hurt Max's eyes as badly as she thought it would.

Two men in white coats emerged and Max could feel the anger inside her boiling. Jeb was one of them.

"Hello, sweetheart." Jeb said to her. Had she the ability, she would have spat at him. "Welcome home." He stood and walked over to Fang. The way he regarded him… completely test-subject-like… it made Max's blood sing with anger. "And you…" Jeb nudged Fang's shoulder with his boot. "I suppose I should welcome you as well… but you see… you should be welcoming Max." Max's eyebrows managed to rise up.


"After all… this is Fang's special room." Max frowned. What did he mean?

Jeb snapped his fingers and the other white coat ran up to Max, injecting her with something. Slowly, the weight lifted away, but only to where she could move sluggishly. The white coat did the same to Fang.

Max slowly sat up and leaned against the wall.

"What'sss going on?" Her speaking ability slowly came back as well. Jeb smiled at her, causing her to want to vomit.

"Well, you see, darling… You have a purpose, you know? To save the world. And young Fang, here, was distracting you. So we had to remove the problem." Fang slowly tried to stand but the other white coat came over and kicked him in the head. Jeb didn't even flinch. Max growled, but Fang looked okay. Then… she grinned.

"You're lying."


"Iggy! Where're we going? Can you even tell?" Iggy sighed and resisted the impulse to wring the Gasman's neck. Usually Nudge was the one who didn't shut up but for cryin' out loud!

Iggy tilted his head west.

"The direction they went was west. Then they got into a car and followed a back road. I can smell the exhaust," he muttered. Gazzy went silent.

"Are they… are they okay?" Nudge asked timidly. She was particularly worried about Fang. He was her only father figure amongst the bunch. Angel flew by her and tried to smile, though her tear-streaked face didn't get her the effect she wanted.

"I'm sure they are okay, Nudge…" she said. Total yipped unhappily in Iggy's arms.

"There goes my dog food provider."

"Shut up, Total. You don't even like dog food." Iggy said rather harshly. Total grew silent, like the rest of the flock. "We're getting close. Please be quiet." Everyone obeyed.


"What, my dear?" Jeb asked. He actually appeared surprised. Max grinned.

"You know what I said. You're lying. You're lying through your teeth," she said. Jeb sighed and gave a sad smile.

"You always were the smartest. Yes. That's not the reason we detained him. But that is completely none of your business. I'm sorry, dear, but you can't know everything about our plans," he cooed. Max frowned.

"I thought I was supposed to be all important. And if what you say is true, then there's really no need to bring Fang into this." Jeb sighed again.

"You really don't know how important you are, Max… But others, even if less, are important, too," he replied. Jeb exited the door, the other white coat moving to do the same. Suddenly, he paused, turned to Max, grabbed her, and made his way to the door. Max tried to fight back, but her movements were too sluggish.

"Fang!" she called out, seeing his scared face as the door was closed. Then she was quiet. Something awful was about to happen, and Fang knew it. He was scared.

"Max!" Fang shouted after the door had shut. His voice finally reached him. It was dark again, the smell of stale water and mildew wafting around in the air. Fang scrunched his nose and coughed.

A crackling sound came through the air, and then a voice, like a distant megaphone, spoke to Fang.

"Welcome back TS-F."


"There!" Iggy shouted, pointing to the ground. Way out there, in the middle of the forest, was a parked car right next to a manhole. "The smell stops there!" The others let out small cries of joy.

"I don't see anyone… Maybe we should stop a ways away… So we don't get spotted…" Nudge said. Total yipped in agreement.

"Yeah… It looks like the only entrance is through that manhole," Gazzy said, sighing.

"Oh great! How are we going to get down there?" Nudge grumbled. Just then, a white coat emerged and got into the car, speeding away. Iggy tilted his head in Angel's direction, a smile spreading across his lips. Angel looked at him innocently. Iggy spoke.

"I think I have an idea."


The cramped crate made Max's back hurt and she almost felt jealous that Fang got an entire room. Jeb had brought her into a small white room with a round coffee table and futuristic round chairs. Max felt like she was watching Men In Black or something.

Jeb walked over to a large control panel and booted it up, a hologram-screen-like projection appearing on the wall. After the loading sign finished, an image of Fang in the dark chamber appeared, stats computing in the upper right corner of the screen.

"Fang!" Max shouted form within her crate. Jeb shook his head.

"It's no use, Max. He can't hear you." Max let her mouth gape open. How… why… "You see, Max… Because you are so curious, I decided to show you what exactly we plan on doing," he said, a dark tone in his voice. Max glanced at Jeb. She said nothing.

The screen beeped and the sound of crackling and a voice on an intercom of sorts sounded.

"This is live video/audio feed. What you are looking at is Fang's special room." Max turned her attention to Jeb.

"His… special room?" she asked.

"Yes. Fang's Chamber. TS-F Chamber. You see… We knew right away that you were something special… the same goes for Fang," Jeb said coolly.

"What do you mean?"

"Fang's mother was a teenage girl. Only fifteen. She was also a drug addict and an alcohol abuser. Her baby had special stats that could prove useful in an experiment. What we didn't expect was for the stats to change along with the mutation process." Max raised an eyebrow. "Well, a lot of babies who have mothers like this develop mental disorders, such as mental retardation or fetal alcohol syndrome. But Fang… Well, he had a mental state that wasn't normal either. But we didn't know that by adding the bird gene it would not only cause the body to mutate, but the mind." Max held up her hand.

"Wait a minute… Are you saying that by injecting the bird genes in Fang you messed up his mind? Or… un-messed it up?" She was confused now. Jeb smiled.

"In a way, yes. To both. It elevated the mental stress to his personality, his physical self, his mental self, and his emotional self. This caused his mental state to be unstable, more susceptible to trauma. Emotional, mental, and physical." Max gasped. Just listening to him go on about it. It made her sick.

"Trauma…" She remembered Iggy mentioning it earlier. "What are you saying, Jeb?" Jeb turned to face the screen.

"We decided to test these elevated stress levels on Fang when he was little. We conducted the TS-F Chamber Experiments. They're quite famous here." Max growled.

"What kind of experiments?" Jeb turned to her and grinned, and this time… she saw something sinister.

6. When You’re With Me You’ll Be In Danger

Disclaimer: Oh hot damn I'm so depressive….

Canary: Sorry if this chapter is a little depressive. I just almost got killed in a head on collision.

Calamity: pat pat


Can't Cry

Chapter Six: When You're With Me You'll Be In Danger

Max looked in Jeb's eyes.

"Jeb… what did you do?" she asked. Jeb turned back to the screen.

"We did a series of things… all related of course," he stated. "Mostly… we did this. Here, I'll play his first ever stress test." Jeb pushed a few buttons and a movie player booted up. Max rolled her eyes. Then a crackling… a voice…


"This is the beginning of the TS-F Chamber Experiments. Test Subject Fang, Abbreviated TS-F is age: 4. Gender: Male. We are experimenting the effects of stress on his deteriorated mental stability."

"Begin the mild stress sequence."

A young little boy sat in the corner, his knees huddled against him. Dark and scared eyes peered out through overgrown jet- black hair. The dark chamber smelled awful, the young boy's nose wrinkling up.

A quiet sound caught the boy's attention. In the other corner a scuffling sound was being made.

"Hello?" the young boy said. He lifted his head, trying to get a better look, but it was just way to dark. The scuffling sound continued. "Are you locked up to?" The boy slowly uncoiled himself. "It's okay. I'm locked in here, too." The noise continued. The boy stood slowly and began to make his way over to the other corner, hands out in front of him. "It's okay." He called as he got closer and the noise grew louder. "I'm scared, too."

The noise stopped.



"H-hello?" Suddenly, from the dark corner, a hand reached out and grabbed his ankle. It was bloody and mangled, though the boy couldn't see where it originated from. The boy screamed in terror and tried to yank away. His foot phased through the hologram.

A voice emerged from the darkness.

"Yesssssss…" Suddenly, another hand, and then another. More and more gruesome hands came from the darkness, trying to pull the boy in. He yelled helplessly, his own screams bouncing off the chamber walls.

More hands appeared and figures formed in the darkness ahead of him. People mangled and decayed began to crawl toward him, black fluids flowing from their mouths and their eyes colorless and dead.

They boy started hyperventilating and started shaking violently. Then, just like that, the images vanished and a white coat came in with a syringe and injected something into the boy. The shakes became fewer until he became limp altogether.

"TS-F has gone into hyper-stress shock and has now been sedated. That concludes today's experiment. Note; intensify the visual stress creators."

-+End Of Flashback+-

Max simply sat there, her mouth wide open. She could feel the fear emanating from the child even though it was so many years ago. The fear… of Fang.

"How… how could…"

"How could I let something like this happen? Very simple Max. It all has to do with Fang's ability," Jeb said calmly. Max forced her mouth shut. The screen was frozen on Fang's limp form. So young and vulnerable… Max focused her gaze on Jeb, trying to forget the look of fear.

"Fang's ability?" she asked. Jeb nodded.

"We didn't know he had it when we started this conditioning, but when we found out it made our day and we continued even more conditioning." Max's mouth dropped open again.

"You monster."

"No, no, Max. Fang's the only monster here."


"Iggy? Iggy? Iiiiggyyyyyyyyyy…"

"What?!" Iggy shouted. Iggy had grown tired of Gazzy's constant questions. "What do you want?"

"Well… I was just wondering…"

"Yes?" Iggy sighed. The plan was simple. Get Angel to mind control a white-coat to get them inside.

"What are we going to do once we DO get inside?" Iggy didn't respond.

"Umm… just wait and see." Just then, the car carrying the white-coat arrived back at the manhole. "Now!" Iggy shouted. The crew followed Iggy down to the white-coat. Iggy and Nudge restrained him while Gazzy and Angel fluttered down. Angel approached the struggling white-coat.

"Who… who are you people?" Angel grinned.

"Relax… You wont remember any of this anyway. Now… you're going to take us down the manhole and into the facility." The white-coat nodded.

"Yes… Inside the manhole… Into the facility…" The white-coat was released and pushed an odd looking key into the lock on the manhole. An elevator, cylindrical in shape, rose up and opened. The white-coat waited for the bird-kids to enter, and then followed them inside. He silently pushed some buttons on the holographic keypad in the glass.

"To the floor they are keeping Fang." Angel said. The white-coat obey and punched in the numbers. The elevator lugged a little, and then shot down. Gazzy giggled and spoke in a manly-spy-voice.

"We're in."


Max glared at Jeb.

"He was just a child! These experiments… how… How could you?!" Jeb smiled politely and looked at the screen.

"Max… I told you. Fang's ability was the reason why we did this," he replied. Max growled.

"What ability?" she asked. Jeb laughed.

"Well, we'd have to go back to the beginning to answer that… starting with when we first started the extensive conditioning on his brain." Jeb typed in a few commands and another media window popped up. It was Fang, yet again, and just a little bit older. "You see, in this video we placed some special stress elevators." He pressed play

Max watched in horror as creatures so evil and sadistic that she herself would have crumbled under the stress confronted the young Fang. His screams of terror echoed in the chamber. Max turned away.

"No, no, Max. Watch. This is the good part," Jeb said quietly. Sicko. Max turned her head to see young Fang on the screen. "We had been doing this for about two years, every time getting more and more emotional trauma readings from Fang. But this time… The little runt tricked us." Max watched as Fang finally collapsed. A white-coat entered the room and reached for Fang. Suddenly, Fang sprang up and reached inside the white-coat's jacket. He pulled out a gun.

"Oh no…" Max whispered. A strange smile grew on Fang's face as he turned the gun and placed it on his forehead. "Fang, no!" Max shouted, even though it was only a video. Luckily, the white-coat managed to knock the gun away just as he pulled the trigger. Four more white-coats rushed in and drugged Fang up, carrying out his limp body. The media stopped.

"To be so young and want to turn a gun on yourself… It was simply fascinating!" Jeb said. Max glared in his direction with newfound hate. It's one thing to threaten the flock, but to cause them to want to die… that was a whole new ball game.

"You are sick…" she growled. Jeb sighed.

"No, Max, just smart." He opened up another media file. Max looked at a much older Fang, probably not to far away from the time they escaped. "This is a more recent file. In this one, you'll see how smart he became. How he honed his… ability." Max watched the screen.

Fang sat in the corner, a distant look on his face. Sluggish and demonic creatures appeared, but he didn't look too phased. Then things became more demonic. Images of the flock, other experiments, everyone close to him being mangled before him. Soon his shouts of rage and fear echoed off the chamber walls.

Suddenly, Fang slipped and reached for something he apparently didn't know was there. A long red gash on his hand began to bleed and the images began to cut out. Jeb froze the media.

"That's how he broke through. Pain," Jeb hissed. He played it. Fang began to slice at his forearm with the sharp object, the images slowly dissipating. He dug in deeper and deeper.

"Stop it!" Max said, even though it was only a recording. Finally, a white-coat burst in and flung the object from Fang. Jeb stopped the media.

"Pain, Max. Pain draws away everything from the mind. And that's where things got tricky, because he became unphazed by our conditioning by focusing on any pain he had. But that's not where it stopped." Max looked at him with tear filled eyes.

"What did you do?" she asked again. Jeb laughed.

"I didn't do anything. Like I said, it all has to do with Fang's ability," Jeb replied. Max growled.

"What ability?" Jeb sighed, ignoring her.

"We stopped the conditioning for a while but gashes remained on Fang's arms. New ones, old ones… They just kept appearing. So, we decided to keep close observation on him. That's how we found out about his ability." He sat down across from Max. "He started having what we call 'Reoccurrences'. These terrors that we inflicted upon him would enter his mind out of nowhere. During the day, or the night, anytime. So, the only way to get rid of these was to focus on pain." Max gasped. It was all coming together now.

"The reason he was doing that…" Jeb laughed again.

"I see you found out about his little habit? Yes, yes. It was all from the conditioning molding to his ability." Max glared at him.

"His ability…"

"Alright… now I can tell you." He switched the screen back to the live feed where the chamber was starting to darken around Fang. "Fang has the ability to put into anyone's mind any terror he himself has experienced. He can make you go as crazy as he is." Max gasped. Jeb nodded. "If we honed his abilities… he would be better than any Eraser."


"Horrible? Yes, considering what he's experienced. I meant it Max. Fang's the only monster here. Just think of all those times he could snap and cause every single one of your flock members to experience horrors beyond their wildest nightmares! He had to injure himself… to keep himself from injuring you." Max growled at Jeb again.

"But why would you allow him to do that to himself?!" Max shouted. Jeb glanced at the screen.

"It wasn't my fault, Max. He wouldn't do that if he was able to relieve stress like a normal person," he replied calmly. Max cocked an eyebrow.

"I don't follow," she said. Jeb looked at her.

"Fang was under some pretty intense stress… what would a normal child do? Something Fang never did in these conditionings, the reason why he has to cause himself pain to remain sane…" Max though about it a moment, then gasped.

"You mean…"

"Yes, Max. Fang can't cry."

7. Can't Cry: Part I

Disclaimer: Once again… I'm a loser baby… so why don't ya kill me…

Canary: Afweee! More writing!

Calamity: STFU and start writing… -.-

Canary: TT I'm so abused…


Can't Cry

Chapter Seven: Can't Cry


Fang opened his eyes. Someone had spoken to him, but he didn't pay attention and couldn't remember what they said.

An aching feeling in the back of his head wouldn't go away. He guessed he had been sleeping in this sitting position for a while which caused the neck pain. He looked around.

"…" Silent. Something wasn't right… The room went dark, the un-seeable lights dimming to almost pitch black. Fang grew uneasy. He shifted, moving his sore limbs. Everything hurt. His head, his back, his forearms… and pretty much his whole body in general. He felt sick, too hot and too cold at the same time.

"Fang?" Fang startled at the sound of the voice. It was small and quiet, female. "Fang? Are you awake?" Max.

"Max! Are you all right? Where did Jeb take you? Did he hurt you?!" he shouted at nothing. Max coughed, an almost choking sound. "Max? Where are you?!"

"R-right… here." Fang stifled a gag as a mangled form of Max dropped forward before him. She looked up at him with bloodshot eyes. "Right… h-here, Fang…" Fang shook his head.

"No… no, no, no… you're not real… It's all fake… A… a hologram…" Max slowly propped herself up but gagged and vomited blood and bile. Her mangled form reached out to Fang and touched his face, leaving a streak of warm blood. Fang froze.

"Fang… I am real…"


"What did you do to him…" Max said, her voice low and full of malice. Jeb sighed and turned to the screen once more.

"I don't want to have to tell you again, Max. Come on, now. You're smarter than this… I told you that we didn't do this. His mutation did this to him," he said. Max scoffed.

"This whole 'mutation' is your fault!" Jeb was about to retort when a small blinking light appeared on the screen. Jeb clicked it and a live video/audio feed of a person, a white-coat, appeared.

"We're ready to continue with the conditioning, Sir. Whenever you're ready," the white-coat said. Jeb grinned to Max.

"Let's watch," he said. He turned to the screen-man. "Begin now." The man nodded and the feed ended. Next appeared an audio/video feed of the same room where Fang had received his so-called 'conditioning'. But this time… the real Fang was in it.

"Oh no…"

"Oh yes." He pointed to the screen. It skittered a bit, but soon cleared. There was Fang, alright. Suddenly, a form landed before him. Fang spoke, but Max couldn't tell what he was saying. Whatever was before him was female, and she sounded familiar. Her body was all destroyed. Jeb grinned. "That's you, Max." Max's eyes widened.

"What?" she whispered. Jeb laughed.

"I programmed in a special simulation of you. That's you all mangled and torn up. It's to test a new thing called Holo-Shell. It's basically a solid hologram. With smell and taste and touch and everything that comes with it." Max gasped. This was…

"You're evil…"



Fang reached up and touched Max's face. She hacked and turned her head, spitting up blood. Fang recoiled.

"Why'd you let them do this to me, Fang? I thought… I thought that we… had something…" Fang's eyes widened.

"Max… I'm so sorry… I hadn't meant for anything to happen! I didn't know that they… that they would do this to you!" She coughed up more bile and blood. Fang resisted vomit of his own.

"I'm dying Fang… You let me… die…" Max collapsed, her body going into violent shock. Her entire frame was racked with seizures. Fang cried out for her, trying to steady her body. She growled at him. "Don't touch me! You don't care about me!" Fang back away, going into a corner where she was out of sight. "Don't leave me again!" Max shrieked. Fang covered his ears, his own body going into shakes.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry…" He watched in horror as she crawled toward him, her flesh nearly falling off of her bones. "I'm sorry… This would have never happened if I was dead!"

"Yes… You should have died…" Fang lurched forward, his chemical makeup reacting to the poison once again. "Yes, Fang… that's right… give into the sickness… Die…" Fang vomited and cried out in pain, his head feeling like it was splitting. "Give in, Fang… Give in…"


Iggy and the others remained silent on their way down the elevator. The white–coat gave Iggy the creeps. He couldn't shake the feeling that something was up.

The elevator finally came to a halt. The white-coat motioned for them to exit. They complied and the elevator went up with the white-coat in it.

"Something's off…" Iggy said. That probably wasn't the best thing to say at that moment… but something needed to be said. Nudge and Angel nodded.

"I don't know why… but I got creepy vibes from that man…" Nudge said. Total yipped in agreement. This time, Angel spoke up.

"That's true… but how do we get to Fang?" she asked. She was met with blank stares from everyone. Iggy sighed.

"I suppose we should just start looking…" Gazzy agreed and the others followed suit.

"Start looking for what?" a coy female voice said behind them. Gazzy gasped.

"This can't be good…"


Max watched in horror as the simulation of herself tortured Fang.

"No, Fang… you don't want to die… Fang, that's not me…" Tears spilled uncontrollably over her cheeks. If only Fang had the same ability. Max turned her fury to Jeb. "Why? If you want to use his power for your evil schemes… then why try and get him to give into the pain and sickness?" Jeb smiled kindly.

"You see, if he's willing to give into the chemical unraveling virus then he'll be much easier to control. He'll give in, we'll save him without a struggle, and by then he'll be deranged enough to do our bidding." Max's eyes overwhelmed with tears again. Was this Fang's fate? To fall prey to his own ability and become some pet for the white-coats?

No… She wouldn't… she couldn't allow it. She had to do something… and fast.

Her train of thought was interrupted when the phone rang. Jeb looked at it with disinterest, but answered it anyways.

"Batchelder… Yes? Section 7? …Okay… Yes… dispatch the Court. Yes. Thank you." He hung up, not looking at Max for a long moment. Max wondered what his end of the conversation meant. Then, suddenly, he turned to face her, his grin filled with new ferocity. "It seems the rest of your little flock has entered the Underground," he said maliciously. Max gasped.

"Oh no…"

" But don't worry, little Max. They'll be dealt with soon."


Fang cradled his head in his hands, willing the pain to go away. His eyes squeezed shut but no moister formed behind the lids. His brain felt as if it was being slowly sawed in half, every fiber of his body being slowly incinerated.

"Grahhh!" he shouted. Max had disappeared, so he was alone. That's all his mind could think about.

'Alone, alone, alone, alone, pain, pain, pain, escape, death, die, die, die…'


Jeb left Max alone in the first observation room, entering the second one.

"How is TS-F?" he asked. The tech workers busily tapped away at keyboards and switches.

"He's having another reaction to the Polymorphic Disem Virus." Jeb watched the screen intently as Fang writhed in pain.

"How big is the infection… of the PDV. An estimate at least." The tech pushed a few buttons and the screen went into a sort of infrared vision.

"It looks like the PVD has already worked its way into the outer chemical makeup. If it reaches the core of his genetic makeup it would be able to ascend into the brain. If it reaches the brain and takes full control of both hemispheres it would completely unravel Fang's bio-structure… and he would die." Jeb nodded.

"An estimated time of full infection?" he asked. The tech paused a moment, but soon pushed a few buttons.

"At this rate, Sir, he could be dead in two days…" Jeb nodded.

"Good work." He stood to exit the room but was stopped by the tech.

"Sir? Do you want me to pump pain relief or sleep gas into his chamber?" the tech asked. Jeb smiled kindly.

"No, he is fine. Let him succumb to the pain. Perhaps he'll actually learn how to cry."


Iggy and the others turned around in the hallway. Just a few yards ahead of them stood two girls. Twins, approximately 15 years old. One was dressed in all white with ebony hair. The other had on an all black outfit with pale, almost white, blond hair.

"Oh no…" Angel said. Total yipped sacredly in her arms.

"This is not good…" he barked. Nudge and Gazzy silently agreed.

"I'm Judge!" said the blond.

"And I'm Jury!" said the raven-haired girl. Then they said in unison:

"And you're late for your Court date!"


Allo! I just thought I would explain something for those who are chemistry or scientifically challenged.

A Polymorphic Virus is a virus that changes it shape and molecular structure constantly, making it almost impossible to vaccinate, build up immunity to, or cure. But it's referred to as a COMPUTER VIRUS. I just thought it'd make a pretty cool physical virus.

The "Disem" in Polymorphic Disem Virus (PDV) is the abbreviated term for the word "Disassemble" which is basically what the virus is doing to Fang's chemical makeup!

BY THE WAY! I'm excited! Just LOVE Judge and Jury! They are so maniacally cute and I can't wait to use them!

ANOTHER NOTE! I have completely revised the whole story, as in I went through it entirely and edited it somewhat, fixed errors, and the like. Now I'll be able to get started on this again. I was momentarily sidetracked with another story of mine, a story a friend of mine and I were writing. But, now that I am finished with my part of it, I can get back to this! Yes, I've already started chapter 8. Expect more chapters!!!

8. Once More

Disclaimer: Well, as you all know… I own absolutely nothing… not even my own soul… nope, myspace stole that a long time ago…

Canary: holy…… SHIT!

Calamity: I know… it's been like… FOREVER!


Can't Cry

Chapter Eight: Once More

Fang slowly opened his eyes. The chamber was dimly lit, barely making visible the blood streaks that were everywhere. Fang shakily looked down at his arms. They were covered in deep gashes and ached in pain as the cuts oozed blood.

Fang pressed down on the wounds, willing uselessly to them to stop bleeding. He didn't even remember making them… It was frightening.

He tried to stand, but a searing pain went through him, sending him crashing to the ground. His mind closed out all other sensations as the pain ripped through him. Suddenly a door opened and something was thrown in. Fang peeled his eyes open to see a small child, a human-looking girl. She whimpered and looked at Fang.

"Mister?" she whispered. She stepped toward the writhing Fang. "Are you okay?"

The holo-shell program kicked in. Fang saw not a little girl, but a gruesome creature make it's way towards him. It spoke in strange and deep tones that made him grasp his head in pain. The creature neared and stretched out its hand. He tried to move away, but it was useless in his state. Finally, the creature touched him.

Fang let out a roar of sorts, sending the child flying back. He looked at her with mad eyes and things began to appear around him. Creatures so decrepit that hell itself would have sent them out formed in dark shapes around Fang, slowly lurching forward towards the girl. She screamed as the creatures growled and howled as they neared her trembling form.

Fang was motionless, simply staring down the girl with a look on insanity. The creatures were not the holo-shell program. No, these things…

…were Fang's creations.


"Iggy!" Nudge shouted. She and Gazzy stood behind him and Total stayed near his feet. The two girls that stopped them, Judge and Jury, looked at them curiously.

"Wow, sis," said the raven-haired girl, Jury. "Looks like we got ourselves a whole meal of bird mutants!" Her blond twin, Judge, agreed.

"Yes… they will be most delicious!" They began to run towards the group.

"Scatter!" Iggy shouted. Nudge and the Gasman went to the left while Total and Iggy went to the right. The hallways restricted their movement greatly. Angel was left standing in the middle.

Judge made her way over to her. She grinned as she neared Angel. Angel closed her eyes until Judge was only a foot from her. Suddenly, she opened them. Judge was frozen to the spot.

"You're going to choke yourself, now," Angel said in a detached voice. Judge stopped in her tracks. She watched horrified as her hand rose up of its own accord and began to close around her throat. Her eyes flicked to her sister, Jury. Angel was about to speak again when she felt a force slam her against the wall. She cried out in pain.

"Angel!" Nudge screamed. Iggy clenched his teeth.

"Is she alright?!" he asked. Nudge whimpered. Gazzy ran to his sister who was cradling her arm. It was probably broken. Angel looked up with tear filled eyes at Jury.

The twin stood there, her arm outstretched in Angel's direction. Judge was released from Angel's grip and went to Jury. Jury opened her clenched eyes and stared Angel down.

"Nobody controls Judge's mind!" she shouted. She moved her hand sharply and another obliterating gust of wind slammed down the hallway. Iggy held onto Total so that he didn't blow halfway down the long shaft.

"What was that!?" Iggy shouted. Total yipped.

"I think the one sister can control air," he barked. Nudge rushed over to Angel and the Gasman. Iggy's face hardened.

"This isn't good news…"


Max pried open her eyes. She was still in the first observation room. She had fallen asleep in the crate that Jeb had first placed her in. Slowly she lifted her stiff neck upwards towards the screen where the live feed of Fang was still rolling. She could feel dried tears on her cheeks as her eyes shifted around.

Fang was there, huddled in a corner with his arms wrapped around his knees. She could barely make out the numerous gashes on his arms; it made her eyes tear up once again. She was quiet as she watched him. His eyes seemed wild, the way they were wide open. She could almost feel the churning emotions in him through the screen.

Suddenly Fang lurched forward and cried out in agony. Max jumped; she had forgotten that there was also an audio feed. She let her tears fall as she heard Fang scream in agony and whimper from the intense pain. She stuck an arm out of the crate towards the screen.

"Fang… Fang, I'm so sorry…"


A white-coat pushed a few buttons on his computer panel, the machine beeping back at him and showing a few readings on Fang. Jeb walked into the room, inspecting the readings.

"So… how long until the virus completely destroys him?" he asked. The white-coat sighed and scratched his chin.

"Estimated time… probably in about 18 hours he'll be completely incapacitated. It'll be a pain unrivaled by anything else. When that occurs we'll only have maybe an hour or two to cure him." Jeb nodded.

"And the girl?" he asked. The white-coat paused a moment.

"He successfully recreated a nightmare. The girl died of shock," he said. Jeb grinned.

"Good. This is what we want. Keep observation on him. I want to know when the 18 hours are up," he replied. The white-coat nodded and Jeb walked out of the control room. The white-coat looked at the image of Fang on the screen, feeling pity for him.

"Poor creature…"


Fang opened his eyes only slightly, looking around the dark chamber. He couldn't remember what happened since he last woke up, only that he was in a lot more pain now than he was before. He didn't even try to get up, knowing it would only hurt more than anything he'd ever felt before.

He went back to closing his eyes. This way he could try to focus on shutting everything out.

His vision began to swirl behind his eyelids. He tried, but could not open his eyes, so he waited patiently. Finally the array of colors stopped and formed into a peaceful meadow in the darkness of night. Fang stood there, his fingertips just barely brushing the tops of the tall flowers.

He looked around at the scene. The wind blew calmly and sent tiny shivers down his spine. To his surprise, nothing hurt. He walked and stretched his wings. It didn't hurt. It was an exhilarating feeling that he mimicked several times. Only when the presence of someone else entering the clearing was made did he cease the marvel.

He turned his head to see a small human girl. She wore a simple white dress and had short blond curls. She walked forward until she was only a few feet from Fang.

"Mister?" she asked sweetly. Fang quirked an eyebrow.

"Do I know you?" he asked. The girl smiled. Something seemed wrong with her, though he couldn't place it.

"You know me, Mister… You know me well," she responded. Fang looked at her and searched his memory.

"Who are you?" he asked. She laughed lightly into the air. It sounded like she was piercing it with tiny daggers.

"I'm the one you showed the nightmares to."

Fang's eyes opened wide. He didn't move, just stared at the wall in front of him.

"The nightmares… oh god…" His eyes remained open, staring at the wall with the harshest sense of self-hate that anyone could muster.


Judge gasped and coughed as she caught her breath. This allowed time for Iggy, Nudge, Gazzy, Angel, and Total to all gather their wits. Iggy noted that Angel's arm might be broken and formulated a plan from there.

"Angel," he whispered. "We don't know what Judge can do, but for now refrain from controlling her. She seems weak but that other girl may bludgeon you. Try working on her instead of Judge." Angel nodded. He looked at Total. "I need you to stay as close to the walls as you possibly can, alright?" he asked. Total was about to ask why when he was met with a harsh glance from Nudge.

"What about me?" the Gasman asked. Iggy faced him.

"I need you to try and get any explosives you have around those two," he said. "Nudge, you stay with Angel. Break!" The group split apart.

Total immediately went to the wall evading anything that the Court sent at him, whether it was Judge's weak kicks or Jury's furious air bashes. Gazzy tried to run around the two girls; he needed an open spot to stick an explosive and still remain unobvious. He darted back and forth between air blasts and kicks.

Iggy listened quietly, waiting for the right sounds. Stick. Alright. Gazzy got one explosive. Stick. Alright… just one more…


Iggy ran over to where Total was and scooped him up.

"Clear the area!" he shouted to Gazzy. Total yelped, not really sure of what was going on.

"What… what are you… oh no… no, no, no, no, no!" he yelped. Iggy grinned.

"Oh yes!"

He launched Total at one of the bombs, setting it off. Angel cried out, worried that Total was hurt, but because of Total's seemingly elastic ability he bounced off of the bomb before it could harm him. He also bounced at just the right angle to set the other bomb off, and finally the third one. Iggy then flew in and grabbed Total before the full repercussion of the three bombs could hit him.

This all occurred in the span of about five seconds.

The bombs exploded all around the two girls, enveloping them in a massive display of flames, rubble, and smoke. Iggy, Gazzy, Angel, Nudge, and Total ran from the area, hoping that this would put some distance between them and their adversaries.

"That was totally AWESOME!" the Gasman stated as they ran away. Nudge giggled at his actions. Angel simply glanced at Total to reassure herself that he wasn't harmed. Total then looked up at Iggy.

"Don't you EVER do that to me again…"


Max opened her eyes again. She couldn't really remember how long that they had been shut, only the fact that she squeezed them shut as tightly as she possibly could. She didn't even open them when colors and patterns swirled in her vision. These were happy distractions from a much sadder truth.

Her thoughts hadn't strayed from the topic at hand. Fang was dieing, he was in extreme emotional pain, and he was hurting others along with himself. She could barely work the scenario through her head; it made her sick to her stomach. All she could concentrate on was the fact that Jeb was responsible for his pain. It made her blood boil. The only thing that calmed her down was the repeating of one mantra.

She had to save Fang.

She had to.

She had to.

She had to.

She will.


(knows you all want to beat her senseless) I am SOOOO sorry for taking so long to update! SHAME! TT BUT! Now that a certain thing is happening I can start WRITING AGAIN! Yay me! so yush… expect moreeeee….

9. Dying Symphony

Disclaimer: a;:IEJ (GLWkjg w9i3uy g? (kills spell check)

Canary: Man… Guess what?!

Calamity: What?

Canary: I've been nominated for Best Horror Story and Best Tragedy Story for Maximum Ride fan fiction! Check it out and nominate others by visiting Myrah's page!

Can't Cry

Chapter Nine: Dying Symphony

Jeb walked soundlessly down the halls. So much was happening in such a short period of time… He didn't like were the situations were heading. The only thing he was pleased about was how much of a success the experiment with Fang was.

For a long time he had been planning this. He knew Max had her duty to save the world, but she was meant for that and that alone. Her attachments to the flock and Fang were small hindrances that he figured she would overcome. Sadly, her feelings had only shown growth when it came to Fang.

He knew it would be the best time to test out his new creation, the Polymorphic Disem Virus. He would find the perfect way to break down Fang's health not only mentally but physically as well. This would make him perfectly susceptible to any sort of brainwashing technique they would use on him.

He thought back to when Anne had called him while Fang was in surgery. The memories ran by like an old film reel as he walked down the hallway.

-+- Flashback -+-

Jeb sat silently at his desk, filling out all sorts of funding and research paperwork and cross-examining every bit of it while keeping track of the numbers. It was a long grueling process, but it was needed. And, so, he went on with it.

His phone ringing obnoxiously on his desk jarred him from his trance-like state of paperwork. He stared at it dumbly for a moment, not answering until it rang again.

"Yes?" he asked tiredly. He removed his glasses and rubbed where the nosepieces sat. There was a delay in answer until a familiar voice floated through on the other end.

"Good evening, Jeb," said a woman. Jeb shifted in his chair, listening a little more intently.

"Same to you, Miss Walker." He heard a soft chuckle on the other end.

"You're so business-like, no matter what hour of the day or night it is," she cooed. Jeb grinned.

"It's my job," he replied. He heard a hum of acknowledgement.

"Well, as you can probably figure out, I did not call to discuss your business attitude," she said. She sounded as tired as Jeb felt. He sighed as he listened. He could tell that he was going to be in the office for a while.

"Well, what have you got to say?" he asked.

"It's one of the flock," she stated. His posture became rigid. Was it Max? Had something happened? He heard Anne chuckling on the other end.

"Now, now, Jeb. If you don't breath you'll pass out. Relax. Your precious Maximum Ride is still alive." Jeb couldn't resist letting out a sigh of relief.

"Well, what is it then?"

"It's Fang."


"Yes, Fang," she stated. "I have him here at the hospital currently in surgery due to major lacerations on his side. Your boy nearly shredded him into pieces." Jeb said nothing, not feeling the least bit sorry. He didn't have to, either; Anne was obviously far from worried about it.

"Will he live?" he asked nonchalantly.

"Of course. We designed him," she said, almost defensively. "It's something else. Something about this boy that we thought was long since dead has surfaced." Jeb was once again quiet, but for another reason entirely.

"You mean… The marks?"

"Yes. Fang is still cutting himself. These seem to be deeper than before, so we can only conclude that his ability is strengthening and that his nightmares are getting worse. In a matter of time he will unleash his ability without intention and cause several deaths. He needs to be detained soon," she said.

"Well, bring him here," Jeb said blankly. Anne scoffed.

"No. I'm not going to risk that. He will stay here and heal from his wounds. I don't want him to be captured until he's ready to burst from holding it all in," she said coldly. Jeb thought for a moment.

"Hmm… I wonder if he's been injuring himself all of this time… I never noticed it while I stayed with them… He's good at hiding it."

"Yes. Soon he wont even be able to save the flock from himself. If things get too much worse I'm afraid he may take his own life. He'll be watched closely." Jeb said nothing, waiting for anything else. She said nothing, so he spoke up.

"That all?" he asked. Anne paused.

"Oh. I want this all filed into a report," she stated. All Jeb heard after that was the dial tone. He sighed.

"I hate that woman…"

-+- End Flashback -+-

He continued his trek down the hall, finishing up his thoughts. Yes, today he would speak with Fang personally. Today he would tell him about the things he wanted him to do, about the evil things he did to the girl.

And that Max saw the whole thing.


Angel gulped in air as the group rested in what seemed to be a utility closet. They had managed to escape the Court, Iggy's plan working perfectly… except for the fact that they just made a lot of racket. They ran for as long as they could, Angel taking care of any white coat that they ran into. They finally had to stop for breath and chose a nearby door to jump blindly into. Iggy was glad that it was a utility closet and not some experimenting chamber.

"You think we're safe in here?" the Gasman asked. Iggy nodded.

"We'll be safe for a while, at least long enough to catch our breath," he replied. Nudge rubbed Angel's back, trying to help her calm down. Total kept his eyes on the ground by the door, ready to warn them if anyone came near. After a few minutes Gazzy finally slumped on the ground.

"How are we going to find him? We can't mind control every single white coat that walks by… it's too risky!" the Gasman stated in obvious defeat. Nudge hung her head in agreement. Then, suddenly, she raised it.

"Angel!" she said in a harsh whisper. Angel glanced up tiredly at her.


"You can connect people's thoughts, right?" she asked. Angel nodded innocently at her. Nudge grinned. "Maybe we can connect to Max's or Fang's thoughts to see where they are!" she said. Iggy nodded.

"It's worth a try," he said. Gazzy punched the air.

"Yesss! Nice thinking Nudge!" he stated. Nudge smiled. Angel took a deep breath.

"I wont be able to do it for very long…" she said quietly. Nudge nodded.

"Contact Max first," Iggy said. Angel nodded and closed her eyes, searching quietly for Max's mind. After a moment, her eyes opened, bearing a strange blank expression. Her lips moved.

"Hello?" came Max's voice.


Fang had finally chased away any nightmares he had, sitting against the wall and watching the darkness. How long had he been in there? A day? Two days? More? It couldn't have been more than two days. He didn't put it past himself to guess wrong, though, because it was easy for one to lose their sense of time when constantly in the dark.

He glanced down at his arms. They were the messiest array of macabre and blood that he had ever seen. He had never had to go this far. He knew he would end up killing himself if he cut any deeper. He had even searched the room earlier for whatever sharp objects he could find, but none were to be found. He was worried that he kept ending up with gashes in his arm that he didn't remember making.

Was this another trick of the white coats? Were they simply messing with his mind? No, it couldn't possibly be that, he concluded. The pain and lightheadedness was too real to be a hologram. He also knew that he would do anything to get rid of the nightmares. They were nearly unbearable and tortured his mind with their music of a dying symphony.

He closed his eyes and his thoughts drifted to Max for the first time in a long while. He had avoided thinking of her for a long time ever since the mangled version of her attacked him. That image just kept popping up in his mind, driving him insane, as if he wasn't already.

He thought about her smile, how it would always cheer him up. Whenever she smiled at him he could literally feel the pain alleviate from his arms. Then she would look away and the pain would come back. He closed his eyes, thinking about how she was in this whole mess because of him.

If only he wasn't around.

He paused his thought process a moment. No… he couldn't think like that… He was wanted, right? Max and the flock accepted him a long time ago, right? He opened his eyes. They would all be safe and together if he was dead.

Their safety at the cost of his life.

He played with the thought. Perhaps he needed to die. Perhaps that was best. Perhaps… perhaps…

He slammed his fist into the ground. No! He couldn't think like that! If he died then no one would be able to save Max! He pushed the thought from his mind, but he could feel it lingering there, waiting for its chance to creep into his thoughts again. He closed his eyes again, trying to find some way to sleep and not let such thoughts play with him.


Max watched the screen. Fang had punched the ground rather hard. It would have shattered a normal human's entire arm. He simply shook it off, even with the gouges in his arms. She watched in pain as his eyes opened and closed, something heavy obviously weighing in his mind.

She remembered the way he charged that little girl and how darkness enveloped the screen. She could only hear the sounds of growls and screams. When the darkness had cleared all that was left was the little girl's body, her face frozen in terror, blood seeping from her tear ducts. Fang crouched by her, watching her. He had become something different entirely, his eyes the only light coming fro his shadowed face. He leaned forward and wiped a finger along her cheek, sweeping up some of the blood. After a moment… he licked his finger.

Max had to look away as he started to convulse and rip at his arms with his own fingernails, the skin breaking slowly and painfully until the cuts were deep enough to calm him. She had looked at the screen and watched Fang fall unconscious to the floor next to the dead body of that little girl. It was a painful thing to remember.

She held back more tears. Fang was being changed into this monster by the white coats, by Jeb, by Anne, by everyone. He was defenseless and mentally unstable…

It was nearly too much to bear.

Her thoughts were halted as she felt a presence enter her mind. A soft voice spoke to her, slowly connecting it's mind with hers.


It was Angel.

"Hello?" she asked, just to be sure.

Hey, Max. It's Angel.

She felt tears spill over her eyes. She sounded so tired, so fragile.

"Angel… is Iggy, Gazzy, and Nudge with you? Are you all okay? Are you guys safe? Where are you?"

Max…we are all fine. We are hiding from the white coats for now…Total says thanks for not remembering him.

Max felt like kissing the damned pooch.

"You guys need to leave. Now. This place isn't safe."

Where's Fang?

That time Iggy's voice came through.

"…he's being held captive," Max murmured.

Where!? We need to find him!

"No! You guys need to leave! It's not safe here! I'll grab Fang and meet up with you guys!"

We want to save Fang!

Now Nudge and the Gasman were chipping in.

"I don't know where he is."

Then we can use Angel to talk to him. He can tell us where he is.

Max's eyes widened. A small flashback of when Angel entered his mind in the forest flipped through her mind. Fang was actually hurting her, without even meaning to.

"No! You will NOT enter Fang's mind! I repeat! Do NOT enter his mind!"

Sor…can't he…too tired t…any more…ust rest…

Max began to panic.

"No! ANGEL NO!" she screamed, but the connection was lost. Even if Angel rested before she tried to find his mind, she would still be in harm's way… and now that Fang was under even worse conditions…

…he was capable of killing her.


Mmmm this is one of my favorite chapters. I liked writing a little about Jeb. It was a fun change. R&R pweeze? OO

10. Home And Peace

Disclaimer: --

Calamity: Canary? Helloooo?

Can't Cry

Chapter Ten: Home And Peace

Nudge looked at Angel. She watched patiently as the child regained her strength. Then, something occurred to her.

"Angel… your arm, is it alright?" she asked. Angel opened her eyes slowly and nodded.

Yes… I thought it was broken, but probably not. It doesn't hurt anymore," she replied. Nudge nodded.

"Don't worry, Angel," the Gasman said. "You just rest up so that we can talk to Fang." Iggy hummed in agreement.

"Yeah, we all should rest. Things are bound to get harder as we go along," he said, and everyone went silent with compliance.


Max slammed her fist against the cage bars.

"Damnit!" she shouted. This was all getting too much for her to bear. She needed to get out of there and save Fang, hopefully before Angel entered his mind.

She looked around, trying to find a way to free herself. The room was, more or less, a control room. There was nothing in there but levers and buttons. No sharp objects, no random crowbars or discarded rocket launchers…

Wait a minute…

She glanced around again. If this was a control room then there had to be a lever or button there somewhere that could release her! She surveyed the button titles, searching for any sort of release button. Her eyes finally rested on a single lever. It was titled 'In-room Cage Release'.

Talk about convenient.

She outstretched her arm, but she knew it would be useless; the lever was too far away. To make matters worse there was nothing she could use to extend her reach. If only there was something she could chuck hard enough to flip it… than it hit her. She could chuck herself.

She concentrated on the lever. She could use her supersonic speed to launch the cage and herself at the lever. She knew it would hurt and she might end up damaging the release mechanism on the cage, but she was willing to try anything at this point. She kept her focus on the lever, preparing herself.




She launched herself at the lever, smashing into the better part of the control panel. Sadly, after she smashed into the control panel, she realized she might have hit it a little too hard. A small amount of blood trickled down from her eyebrow. She began to grow dizzy and fell backwards into the rubble.

The last thing she remembered seeing was the cage door click open.


Fang lay there on the cold ground of the dark chamber. His eyes were barely open as he laid quietly, his thoughts peacefully rolling around his head. He had come to know this chamber as well as he had back when he was a child. The words 'cold' and 'dark' replaced 'home' and 'peace'. The pain in his arms had melted into the pain he felt inside, slowly ripping him apart.

He no longer cried out in agony from such pains and his thoughts trekked easily through his mind. Every once in a while the pain would be great enough to make him cringe, but he no longer writhed in agony. It was becoming a part of him, this pain. His mind told him that he accepted pain a long time ago.

"You're right," he told himself in a hoarse whisper. His mind then proceeded to remind him of how the flock was in pain because of him. "I know," he said to himself. "I need to die…"

He was silent again. He had begun to abandon hope. Max was either dead or being tortured, thanks to him, and now the flock would be without a leader. He drifted back into emptiness as he had learned to do long ago. His thoughts became detached from his physical being, allowing him to stare blankly with half lidded eyes at the darkness.

The door to his chamber suddenly flung open. Light flooded the darkness. This light caused Fang a whole new kind of pain. He shielded his sensitive eyes from the light and crawled into the farthest, darkest, corner. There he whimpered quietly as the light re-awakened every sense of pain and rendered him defenseless. Various mumblings were heard, but Fang didn't understand them. Finally, to his relief, someone closed the door.

Once enveloped in darkness again he lowered his hand. There were people in the chamber. More monsters? He thought primitively. No, these were regular people… One of them seemed familiar, but he couldn't remember who it was. Only when the person spoke did he remember.

"Hello, Fang," said the tall man. Fang coughed slightly as more memories drew forward.

"J… Jeb?" he asked. The man, Jeb, grinned ferociously.

"Good. You're not completely gone," he said. Fang pressed himself against the wall. Jeb mumbled something to an assistant who then went to the door.

"No!" Fang shouted, shielding his eyes. Jeb eyed him.

"No, what?" he asked.

"No light… please, no light…" Fang whimpered. Jeb grinned even wider.

"Write down that the subject has reverted to a child-like state, probably from the massive sensory overload of pain. Isn't that right, Fang? You probably don't even know what's going on anymore," Jeb said. Fang searched his mind. What did he mean? He was worried about something, someone, earlier…


Jeb stood to leave, but felt a hand grip around his ankle. He turned to see a snarling Fang.

"Where's… Max…" he huffed, losing breath already. Jeb grimaced and jerked out of Fang's grasp.

"It seems you've come to your senses. No matter, that allows my original intent for this visit to come into play." He squatted down by Fang and spoke with quiet harshness. "You only have 16 hours to live, Fang… after 16 hours you will experience a pain unrivaled by anything else for only one hour, maybe two," he said. Fang only growled.

"I asked about Max, not me," he said through clenched teeth.

"Oh, yes. I nearly forgot," Jeb cooed. "You remember little Lydia? The child you scared to death?" Fang searched his memories again. The child in the clearing… Jeb grinned. "So you do remember… well, I just thought you should know that your lovely Max saw the whole thing." Fang was frozen in place.

She saw me…

She saw me…

She saw me…

She saw me…

Jeb scoffed and went to the door with his assistants.

"That's right, Fang. Max knows that you're a monster," he said before he opened the door. The light didn't faze Fang in the least as his mental state began to collapse. Soon the door was shut and he was alone again.

"She… saw…" he collapsed to the floor and began shaking violently, foam frothing in his mouth. This was more stress than his modified body could handle. He finally went down, lying again on that cold floor as his mentality shattered.


Angel slowly opened her eyes.

"I'm ready. Let's talk to Fang," she said. Nudge nodded and waited patiently again. Iggy let out a sigh.

"We need to find them as soon as the conversation is over, so don't overdo it, Angel. You need your strength," Iggy said. Angel nodded.

"Here I go…" she said, closing her eyes. After a few moments a pained look crossed her face.

"What's wrong, Angel? Can't find him?" Gazzy asked. Angel shook her head.

"No, I found him… but his mind… It's like someone broke a mirror into tiny pieces… It's hard to find him… in his own mind…" she said. Iggy frowned.

"Angel, withdraw your mind. I don't think his mind is a safe place right now," he said. Angel nodded, but right after a look of pain was there again.

"He wont… let me…" Angel said. Nudge looked up at Iggy with worry.

"What do you mean, Angel? He wont let you leave his mind?" she asked. Angel nodded.

"It's like he's… he's completely detached… His mind is working on impulses… he thinks I'm an intruder… He- EEEK!" she shrieked. "Fang, stop it!"

"What's he doing, Angel!?" Iggy shouted. The small girl shook her head violently.

"It's… a place of nightmares! Fang! Let go! It's just me! Angel!" she cried out. Little tears seeped out of her clenched eyes. The others tried to console her, but it was no use. They couldn't even imagine what Angel was seeing. "Fang…" she whimpered. "Stop…" Iggy growled and shook Angel's shoulders gently.

"Fang! I know you can hear me! Its just Angel! Release her!" he shouted. Suddenly Angel's eyes opened wide. They were completely black, the white, pupil, iris, everything.

"Iggy!" Nudge shouted and pulled him away. "Her eyes…"

"Let go 'a Angel!" Gazzy shouted. Angel faced him slowly.

"Ang…el?" she said in a dark voice. Iggy growled.

"Fang! It's all right! Just let Angel go and we'll find you!" he shouted. Angel opened her mouth to say something, but no noise came out. Total covered his ears and whimpered.

"Ig…" Angel whispered in Fang's voice. "Stop… me… please…" Iggy's brows furrowed.

"Fang…" he whispered. Angel/Fang spoke again.

"Find… me… kill… me…" he said through Angel. Iggy was silent. The silence stopped when Angel let out a piercing scream. "No! Fang! Please don't hurt me!" she screamed in horror. She suddenly collapsed to the floor. As the black cleared from her eyes tears that resembled blood seeped from her tear ducts. Then she was motionless.

Iggy reached out a hand tentatively and stroked her face gently. He recoiled as his finger brushed through the dark tears. He brought his hand to his face and inhaled the scent.

"Blood?" he asked. Nudge and the Gasman said nothing as they clutched each other and stared at Angel.

"A-Angel?" Gazzy managed to squeak out. Angel didn't respond. Nudge hiccupped a sob. Iggy shook Angel's shoulders gently.

"Angel? Hey… Angel…"

No response.


WEEEEE! Time for MORE! OO Yesss… I know what you all are thinking "Nooo! Don't take Angel!" BAH! I have special plansssessss! Anyvays… I think I'mma bring the court back in.

11. No

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Maximum Ride characters. I DO, however, own the Court and No… who will be introduced in this chapter.

Canary: Hwaaa! New character today!

Calamity: Sweet. Now get on with the story.

Can't Cry

Chapter Eleven: No

Max ran through the hallways with a speed she hadn't used in a while on foot. She pushed through anyone and anything, not caring if any alarms sounded or what. She had people to rescue and that was on the top of her list of things to do. Luckily, she had only run into a few white coats, which were always easy to knock unconscious.

She continued to run, her legs burning with each step. She knew she would have to find Angel before she entered Fang's mind. She knew she would have to find Fang before he died… but how?

Her thoughts were interrupted as a piercing scream echoed through the halls.

That scream sounded a lot like Angel.


Iggy gritted his teeth and spoke again to Angel, only to have her not respond. Nudge began to sob hysterically and the Gasman simply stared at his sister's body in shock, unable to respond. Iggy released her shoulders.

"I…" he started, but it simply mixed in with Nudge's sobs. Gazzy finally responded… by turning away and vomiting.

"Ang… Ang… An…" he kept trying to say, only to fail every time and sob with Nudge. Iggy closed his eyes and tried to comfort the two children, but it was no use. A pair of running footsteps suddenly drew near. Iggy opened his blind eyes and hushed the two kids. They tried frantically to stop their crying.

The footsteps stopped in front of the door to the closet they were hiding in. Iggy, Gazzy, and Nudge all held their breath. The handle slowly turned and began to open, the light flooding in. The three braced themselves for an eraser attack.

Suddenly, Iggy remembered.

Erasers don't wear sneakers.

"Max?" he asked blindly. Nudge and the Gasman looked into the light as their eyes adjusted. Sure enough, there stood a huffing, angry Max.

"MAX!" Nudge and Gazzy shouted together. They tackled the older girl and hugged her with renewed intensity.

"Max…" Iggy said in relief. He then gently placed his hand on Angel's body. She must not have noticed yet. He picked up Angel's body, cradling her like when she was younger, and walked out towards Max.

"Nudge! Gazzy! Thank god you guys are okay!" Max said with relief. She sat up, a smile on her face. She must have got to them in time. "So, where's my Angel?"

"Here…" Iggy said, stepping out of the utility closet. Angel lay there, lifeless in his arms, her eyes still open and the blood tears still on her face. Max's eyes widened and she stood slowly so as not to collapse from exhaustion and terror.

"Angel…" she said quietly. She gently took the child from Iggy's arms and held her close. Her fragile and cold little body lay there, limp. Max felt tears in her eyes, but didn't bother to hold them back. "My precious Angel…" she murmured. Iggy sighed, his own eyes tearing up.

"We tried to talk to Fang…" he began.

"Fang did this?" Max whispered, pain straining her voice. Iggy shook his head.

"He didn't mean to, Max. Angel…" He faltered slightly. "Angel managed to tell us that his mind was shattered and acting against Fang's will. It mistook… It mistook her for an intruder," he finally stammered out. Max looked at Angel once more, her tears falling and mixing with Angel's blood red ones. She looked just like the child Fang had unintentionally scared to death in his chamber. Was this the fate of everyone who crossed his path? She thought. To die of sheer terror?

She held Angel's body close, hugging it with all her might and the strength of all humanity, refusing to let go of the little one. Then, that's when she heard it.




A heart beat.

Angel was still alive.

"Iggy!" Max shouted. "Her heartbeat! It's still there! Just barely, but she's still alive!" Iggy frowned.

"Impossible… I checked her pulse only a moment before you arrived. There was nothing…" he said. Nudge and Gazzy looked at Max with hopeful eyes. She grabbed Iggy's shoulder.

"Listen closely! It's so faint that she shouldn't be alive… but she is!" she said. Iggy nodded and leaned forward, placing his ear against Angel's chest. Sure enough, a faint heartbeat resided there.

"No wonder I couldn't feel it… it's hardly there…" he said. Nudge jumped up and hugged Max again.

"Oh, Max! We were sure she was dead!" she said. "And now… and now she's alive! Angel's alive!" The Gasman only stood there, tears pouring out of his big eyes.

"Angel…" he whimpered, grabbing his sister's hand. "Angel… I knew you would be okay. I knew it… I knew Fang wouldn't kill his own family…" Iggy grabbed his shoulder and smiled at him. Gazzy sniffled and wiped his face.

"Well, we still have a few problems, I hate to say," Iggy said. Max nodded.

"We still need to find Fang… And Angel…" she said, closing the little girl's eyes. "And Angel is still unconscious. I don't know how to bring her out of this, but Fang might. So, we need to find him." The other's nodded. They were willing to go wherever Max went. Separation can do that to someone.

Nudge cleared her throat. The others looked at her as she stepped forward. She glanced at Angel one more time to reassure herself that this suggestion of hers was the right thing to do.

"I think I can help find out where Fang is," she stated. Max raised an eyebrow, Iggy doing the same.

"How so?" Max asked. Nudge cleared her throat again.

"I can touch Angel and search her memory… maybe she was able to see a glimpse of where Fang was," she mumbled on. Max stepped near Nudge and spoke, her voice stern.

"No. You are not getting sucked into whatever happened to Angel…" she said. Nudge looked at Max with a bit of relief. Max smiled. "Nudge… You don't have to put yourself in harm's way to be helpful… What happened to Angel was an accident. We can find Fang the old fashioned way. We look until we find him." Nudge nodded.

"So… on with our search to reunite the Flock?" Iggy asked, a smile on his face. Max grinned.

"Yup! Away we go!"


The hallway had cleared of smoke a long time ago, but only now did the Court finally awaken from unconsciousness. Jury stood right away, searching for any of the bird kids that might have been hit with the blast as well. She had managed to blow most of the debris away from her, causing her and her sister to get away with only a few scrapes and bruises.

Judge coughed and sat up, dust falling off of her blond head. She quickly glanced around to make sure Jury was okay. She was met with relief as she spotted her sister standing not but a few feet away.

"They escaped?" Judge asked. Jury nodded. Judge got up and walked over to her sister's side.

"It's not your fault, Jury. They used bombs, it wasn't fair play," she said, trying to reassure her comrade. Jury sighed and hung her head.

"We shouldn't have let them escape… I shouldn't have let them escape…" she said. She faced Judge. "They wont be happy with these results… We were supposed to capture them… and now I've failed us both… they'll cast us into fire! They'll kill us for sure!" Jury exclaimed, dropping to her knees. Judge knelt down to comfort her sister.

"It's okay… I'm sure if we explain the situation…" she said, uselessly lying for her sister's benefit. Jury looked at Judge and smiled sadly.

"Heh… you were always the gentle one. I guess we really do balance each other out," Jury said. Judge smiled and patted her sister's back.

"I was never a fan of war," she stated.

"But… you both are faced with it," said a male voice. The two sisters whipped around to face a tall youth, approximately seventeen in appearance with tan skin and shaggy short sandy blond hair. His eyes were gray and empty as they looked at the two girls. He wore no uniform of sorts, only a halfway buttoned up white shirt and white cloth pants. He didn't even wear shoes.

"No," Jury said, greeting the boy with acidic tones. The boy, No, gave no acknowledgement or happy greeting.

"You both have failed your mission. Failure to complete any mission can put you on death row," he said. Judge stood, her arms outstretched.

"They used bombs! We weren't informed that the enemy could be wielding weaponry, let alone explosives," she said in their defense. No's placid expression didn't change.

"You should be prepared for anything. That is what we are created for," he said. Then all was quiet. Jury stood by her sister.

"You were sent here to exterminate us, weren't you?" Jury asked. No nodded.

"I have been charged with the responsibility of eliminating anything that is deemed unworthy of serving under this operation," he said. Jury nodded.

"I see…" She faced her sister. "Judge… you aren't meant for combat… You never were. Even your power is meant to help others, not harm them… When I say go… Run. Run as fast as you can and get out of here… get away from these people and go somewhere on the outside… be free…" she said. Judge's eyes widened.

"J-Jury…" she said, tears forming. Jury looked away from her.

"I'm sorry, No, but I can't let my comrade and me go to extermination without a fight. I apologize, but that's why we were created, to fight. You understand, don't you?" she said, a smile on her face. No sighed and nodded, his first actual show of expression.

"I understand… that you choose to rush to your death," he said. Jury was grinning now.

"I guess you don't understand!" she shouted, unleashing a powerful gust at the boy. "Go!" she shouted. Judge stood there for a moment. "Go, Judge!" Jury shouted again. With tears in her eyes, Judge slowly backed away from her sister, who was sending gusts at No. Amazingly, he was doing a fine job at dodging them. "Get the hell outta here!" Jury shouted again. This time Judge listened and ran.

She was only a ways down the hallway, but her sister and No were already out of sight. Suddenly explosions erupted behind her.

"Explosions?" she asked herself. She stopped a second, then shook her head and ran forward. She knew what the fate of her sister would be. Tears flowed from her eyes as she thought of this. Her sister had sacrificed herself so that she could live. She had to honor that sacrifice and run away as fast as she could. She had to find a way out. She had to defy this organization that murdered her sister… She knew what to do.

She had to find the bird kids…

…and she had to help them.


Suuu… I know, no Fangy in this chapter. But the next one is gonna involve him a lot, so I kept this chapter Fang-free… besides… he needed a break. (realizes that if these characters really did go through everything she wrote and were real that they would murder her). "You don't have to put yourself in harm's way to be helpful…" Guess Max shoulda told that to Fang, yeah?

12. Sick! Sick! Sick!

Disclaimer: I gonna sing the doom song now! Doom doom doom doom doom doom doom! DOOM! –carries on frantically-

Canary: There ish a LOT of Fangage in this one… to make up for the lack of Fangyness in the last chapter.

Calamity: Will you learn some grammar woman!

Can't Cry

Chapter Twelve: Sick! Sick! Sick!

It was cold… still cold like it had always been. How long had he been there? A million years? Two seconds? Fang didn't know. He didn't care. The passing of time was lost here and to someone who knew the inevitability of his or her demise, time was meaningless.

Fang was lying on the ground again, his pose like that of a frightened child. He felt no fear, though, as only pain and loneliness filled his mind.

At least what was left of it.

His half open eyes stared at nothing as he thought about the flock. They were probably somewhere safe now. Max had seen what a monster he was and busted the hell outta there to save her flock. It was the right choice and he was happy with that outcome.

He brought his hand to his mouth and chewed gently on his thumbnail. After a moment his hand went limp and his eyes slowly shut. His heart was faintly beating now, just barely keeping him alive. Closing his eyes now would be very dangerous.


Fang's eyes shot wide open. There was a voice… a small, quiet voice. He was silent, listening to see if he could hear it again.


This time he sat up with a quick and rigid motion. This sent thousands of needles of pain through his body. He hardly noticed as he strained his ears to listen.


The voice was clearer this time. A young girl was saying his name. The voice was familiar, but he couldn't place it in his memory.

Close your eyes…

Fang felt his body grow suddenly wear. He slumped against the wall until he slid to the ground. His vision swirled in confusion.

Close your eyes…

Fang's eyelids grew heavy. He frowned, not really sure what was going on.

"Why should I?" he asked. There was silence a moment. Something was building up that put so much tension in the air that even the deranged Fang could feel it.

Close your eyes… NOW!

Fang's eyes closed against his will. They stayed shut no matter how hard he tried to open them. He began to claw at his face, scratching red lines down his cheeks. Before he could do too much damage a strange drowsiness overtook him. He collapsed to the floor, his mind being torn away and transported to some strange dream world.

When he opened his eyes he found himself in a clearing. He recognized it as the one he was at before. He stretched out his wings, remembering how there was no pain here.

"Do you like it?" a voice said behind him. He whipped around to face a little girl just a few feet away from him. Even in the night of the dream world he recognized her.

"You…" he said, not recognizing his own voice. He was used to the raspy sound it started making. The little girl kept her gaze placid.

"Do you like it?" she repeated. Fang rose as eyebrow.

"Do I like what?" he asked, eying the strange girl. She frowned.

"This painless, beautiful night. It's painless and beautiful to you anyways," she said. Fang's gaze dropped to the ground.

"…I hurt you, didn't I?" he asked without looking up. The girl nodded.

"You killed me, Fang. You killed me and now I'm trapped here… I'm trapped here forever because you… killed… me." Fang's eyes widened, but he couldn't bring himself to look at the child. She waited patiently for his response.

"I…" Fang started, but couldn't finish. He fell to his knees. "I'm so sorry…"

"I was alone… but you gave me a playmate," the girl said. Fang finally looked at her. Confusion played across his face as he searched his memories. He didn't' remember hurting anyone else.

"You don't remember because you're out of your mind, Fang," she cooed. Fang's features went soft and held a look of guilty fear. The girl looked at the ground to her left. She was almost waist deep in the tall grass.

Suddenly, a hand shot up through the grass where the girl was staring. This startled Fang enough to send him jumping back a few feet. The girl turned her gaze to Fang, temporarily ignoring the hand sticking out of the ground.

"I suppose my new friend wants to talk to you," she said, still remaining emotionless. Fang eyed the tiny hand in fear.

"Who… what is that…" he whispered. The girl shook her head.

"Come closer, Fang, or you won't be able to tell," she said. Fang walked forward until he was once again only a few feet from the child. She looked at the hand again. Tenderly she placed her hand around it. The hand gently gripped hers and slowly rose up. As if pushed by some unseen force beneath the ground the child that the hand belonged to emerged.

Fang's eyes widened as the child emerged. Her skin was pale and her golden curls were scraggly and limp. To add to the gruesomeness here eyes were coal black, the whites and everything, and dark red tears were falling from them. But all of this wasn't what caused Fang to fall to his knees again.

The tears suddenly reversed and went into the child's eyes. As this happened the black cleared to reveal two very sinister eyes.

"Hello, Fang," said Angel.

Fang's eyes ripped open as he found himself in the chamber once again. He stood up and backed against the wall frantically. It was just he in the darkness, but he could still feel their cold stares.

"Angel…" he murmured. He fell to his knees "Angel…" he said again. He grabbed his head on either side. "Angel!" he screamed. His voice bounced off of the walls. "Angel!" he screamed again. Even in all of his fury no tears graced his face. "Angel!" he screamed again. He continued to scream her name, his echoes the only response to his insanity.


Jeb looked at the screen that showed Fang in his chamber. The boy had been screaming Angel's name for a few minutes until his voice left him. He was now huddled in the corner and mumbling to himself. Jeb grabbed a bottled water that sat on the desk adjacent to the control panel with the screen.

"I will begin Phase Two of this operation," Jeb said to a white coat. The man nodded.

"Would you like me to put some relaxants in the chamber before you go in so we don't risk you getting a dose of his ability?" the tech asked. Jeb grinned and shook his head. He waved the bottle of water in front of the guy.

"He won't harm me," he replied. He then exited the control room and made his way to the door of Fang's chamber. He sighed and looked at the bottle of water as if it would offer him solace. He looked at the door a moment. "Heh… here I come, boy." He opened the door to the chamber.

The light shined brightly in the dark chamber, even though it wasn't really that bright to begin with. It shined on the cornered Fang, barely illuminating him as he shrunk farther into the corner. Jeb couldn't help but chuckle at his pitiful appearance.

Fang's eyes were red and drowsy and the skin around them was almost black with sleep deprivation. His lips were cracked and nearly bleeding and his skin was taunt and pale. His arms were in a sorry state as well. They hadn't received medical attention, despite Fang tearing at them constantly. He noted that he should probably have them looked at. The dried blood on them made it look even worse.

Fang kept his barely open eyes on Jeb, mumbling something under his breath as he pressed himself painfully against the wall.

"What is it, Fang? What are you saying?" Jeb said. He stepped closer. Fang tried even harder to press himself against the wall. He continued to mumble. "C'mon, Fang. You can tell me." Fang turned his head only slightly, his movements jerky.

"They don't sm-smile…" he managed to say. Jeb rose as eyebrow.

"They don't, do they?" he asked. Fang's body shook slightly.

"No, no, no… n-never…" he said. Jeb sighed.

"I see… why don't they smile, Fang?" he asked. In all reality, he had no idea what Fang was talking about, but he was interested in listening to what he had to say in his nonsense.

"They hurt…" he said. Jeb looked away and nodded, as if totally agreeing.

"Ah, I see… Why do they hurt?" he asked. Fang didn't respond as his body continued to shake slightly. Jeb realized that the rambling would end up going nowhere, as he anticipated. He grinned and stepped just a little closer to Fang. Slowly, he removed the bottle of water from behind his back. He had to hold back laughter as Fang's eyes widened and his body shook more. He unscrewed the cap and took a long draught. Fang swallowed hard.

Jeb slowly brought the bottle towards Fang. Fang eyed it with renewed intensity, his eyes opening wider and his body shaking even more. Jeb set the bottle of water on the ground in front of Fang.

"Go on, Fang. You want a drink, don't you? You're thirsty, aren't you?" Jeb cooed. Fang looked at the water mindlessly. Jeb grinned. "Go on, Fang." Fang tenderly reached out a hand, but stopped just before it reached the bottle and looked at Jeb again. Jeb nodded. "It's alright." Fang didn't waste another second.

He grabbed the bottle and practically thrust it into his mouth. He began to choke on the water, but that didn't stop him from drinking the precious liquid. He gasped as he finished the bottle. His hand went limp and the bottle fell from it and rolled towards Jeb. He picked it up and stood, eying Fang.

"Nice, wasn't it?" he said. Fang said nothing as he shrank back into the darkness of the corner. His body was noticeably not shaking as badly, but his eyes were still haunted. Jeb smiled a sickly sweet smile and exited the chamber, immersing Fang in his precious darkness.

He made his way up to the control room where several white coats were there, waiting to greet him. He entered the room and was silent, the several people in there staring at him intently. Finally, he looked up and grinned.

"It's a success!" he said. Several men shouted and someone even opened a bottle of wine. Jeb gladly took the offered glass and downed it. One tech approached him timidly.

"Sir, I'm glad to hear that the subject is doing what you wanted… But what exactly is the purpose of this subject?" he asked. Jeb looked at the white coat with a crazy glint in his eyes.

"Ah, yes… I forgot that the night crew hasn't been informed. Ladies! Gentlemen! Please! May I have your attention for one moment!" Jeb shouted. The people stopped their merriment and all eyes were on Jeb once again. "The night crew hasn't been informed of this, so I figured I'd brief them now in this great moment!" Several cheers were heard. "As we all know, several years ago the Chamber Experiments were being conducted purposefully, yet they were interrupted when the test subject escaped. Now, with the help of our wonderful team and my own son, Ari, we were able to detain him once again." More cheers. "We then started the experiments again with the hopes that he would developed and fine tune his ability and at the same time become totally obedient. Today, we achieved that!" Cheering. "Now that he has filled in all the specifics, the buyers will be called and be here in only ten hours! Then he will be sold to the highest bidding power and we will get our largest income record ever for creating the perfect natural and 100 percent effective weapon!" His speech ended with more cheers, one also coming from the night crew tech. Jeb grinned as he observed the happiness.

Everything was going according to plan…

…and only at the cost of Fang's sanity.


Any y'all seen 1408? Guuuuud moveh. So ya, lots'a Fang in this one. I like this chapter… It's the final breaking point for Fang. It didn't say specifically, but it's basically stating that Fang has severed all ties with reality and is probably incapable of functioning like a normal human being. MORE ON THE WAY!

Oh… someone asked if Fang and Max ended up together… guess you'll have to wait and see!

13. Connections

Disclaimer: I am a loooooooser… I own not a damned thing… ESPECIALLY these nifty swifty characters of James Patterson.

Calamity: EVERYONE! Pay attention! Canary has a very import announcement to make! (believe it or not --)

Canary: Hello! And greetings to all of you who are taking precious time to read this story! There are a couple of things that I want to say really quickly, so pay attention!

Canary: Before we move onto chapter 13 of Can't Cry I want to say few things to my readers. First off, thank you so very much for taking time to read this story. It's wonderful that an author knows that her story is appreciated…

Canary: That brings us to our next topic. Reviews. I, like all other authors on Fan Fiction, love reviews. Not only are they a great place to post compliments, but it works great as far as criticism goes. You can break down every chapter and get the fullest of every viewer's perspective. This story, as of this very moment, has 3500 some-odd hits. That's a lot of hits. To me, that's very important! But, something saddens me about this. Guess how many reviews this story has?

Canary: 52.

Canary: That saddens me because I want to know what all 996 of you think of my story, not only 52 of you. And out of those 52 reviews, only a few users are faithful reviewers. Now, I know that some of you don't have the time to write a review, that's understandable. But only 52 out of all those hits? It's a little disappointing.

Canary: Please, to the other 3450 of you who have read this story… please take any opportunity you can to review and give me advice, criticism, comments, flames, whatever! Thank you so very much! I appreciate your time!

Calamity: Also! This story has won Best Horror and Best Tragedy for the First Ever Maximum Ride Fan Fiction Awards! Weeee!

Canary: Now! Onto STOREH!

Can't Cry

Chapter Thirteen: Connections

Max led the rest of her flock, save one member, down the wide hallways. They had to find some white coat and beat Fang's location out of him. It was really their only option, now that Angel was comatose. The others followed her every move, not wanting to get separated for even a second. They never wanted to be apart from each other again.

Suddenly, Iggy skidded to a halt. The other's followed suit, not doubting any of Iggy's senses.

"What is it?" Max asked, Angel held tightly within her arms. Iggy frowned.

"I thought I heard an explosion…" he mumbled. Max glanced at the rest of the crew. They shook their heads. She turned back to Iggy.

"No one else heard it… where'd it come from?" she asked. He shook his head.

"I can't tell, but someone's headed this way… fast," he said. Max looked ahead of them. She couldn't see around the bend, so she nodded towards the flock members and whispered to Iggy.

"Then, we wait for them," she said. He nodded. Nudge scooped Total up in her arms and Gazzy stationed himself behind Iggy. Max clutched Angel almost too tightly as the footsteps became more audible. Whoever it was, they were traveling fast and headed right towards them.

Suddenly, a black blur careened around the corner and smashed right into Iggy. He fell backwards, just barely catching himself as the figure landed with a solid thump. The figure cleared her long blonde hair out of her face and looked up at the group. Her eyes filled with a mix of fear and relief.

"Thank goodness, I've found you!" she exclaimed, rising to her knees. Max quirked an eyebrow.

"Who are you?" she asked. Nudge grabbed Max's arm.

"Max! Get back! Her name is Judge! She attacked us earlier today! She tried to hurt Angel!" she said. Max faced Judge with a new fury.

"You tried to hurt my Angel?" she asked acidly. Judge's eyes widened in fear.

"W-wait! I'm not here to hurt you, I promise!" she said, still out of breath. Iggy stood and faced her.

"Why are you here? Where's that devil of a partner of yours? Your sister, Jury?" he asked, his tone nearly matching Max's. Judge's breath momentarily caught her throat. She bowed her head and shuddered slightly.

"My sister… is dead," she said. They flock was silent, so she continued, her gaze to the ground. "We were recovering from your bombs when a fellow agent approached us. Apparently, failure to complete missions results in death… This agent, No is his name, he came to us… Jury… Jury told me to run," she said, tears spilling over her eyes. "She told me to run and be free! That this organization is evil! And so… She sacrificed herself to save me… I just knew I had to find you guys! To help you! It's what… it's what Jury would have wanted…" she hung her head further, sobs racking her spine. Gazzy's gaze softened and he looked up at Iggy, who was obviously contemplating something.

Max stepped forwards slightly, eyeing the fragile girl. She could easily dispose of her if she wanted. She did, after all, hurt Angel. Once working for Jeb, always working for Jeb. She growled.

"You are nothing but a pawn to them… and you are our enemy. Always," she said, surprising herself with the tone of her voice. She went to walk away, but Iggy stepped forward.

"Wait, Max," he said quietly. She stood still as he went to Judge, who was still quietly crying on her knees. He knelt down and touched her shoulder gently. Judge looked up at him with teary eyes, staring into his blank ones. "It will be alright. Jury is probably happy now. She knows you found us and is peaceful. You best fulfill the rest of her wishes…" He stood and then offered a hand to Judge. She shakily took it and he helped her up.

"Th-thank you…" she stammered. Nudge eyed her suspiciously, not ready to trust her yet. Max frowned.

"I trust you, Iggy," she said. Iggy nodded. Judge thanked him again. Finally, after all this, her eyes rested on Angel. She went completely silent, staring at the girl with a look of absolute terror.

"What? What's wrong?" Max asked, holding Angel close. Judge blinked and tried to regain her composure.

"That child… that child has seen… she is trapped… She cannot escape the nightmares," she mumbled. Max eyed her suspiciously.

"What are you talking about?" she asked. Judge looked at Max, then to Angel again.

"This girl has been inside the mind of a madman… a dangerous place to be… she has seen the nightmares and will be trapped in his mind… for all eternity…" She finished the rhyme and looked up at Max again. Max's eyes softened to a painful look.

"You know... what is wrong with Angel?" Nudge asked, stepping forward. Gazzy followed close behind her, listening closely incase this lady could save his sister. Judge looked at the flock again.

"My power… it's much like this young girl's. She can connect minds and enter them and control them and such… But I can connect and enter and control souls," she replied. Total yipped.

"Creepy," he replied. Max hushed him. Iggy stepped closer.

"What do you mean by 'souls'?" he asked.

"I mean people's consciousnesses. A mind is something that is used for problem solving and thinking and such. A consciousness is what is used to determine right from wrong, fantasy from reality. It makes up a large part of the human, or non-human, brain," Judge said, her tone almost grim. Nudge grew giddy with this discovery.

"So, basically, Angel's consciousness, or 'soul', is trapped inside Fang's mind?" she asked. Judge nodded. "So you'll be able to get it out? You'll be able to save Angel!?" she asked, even more excited. Judge nodded again.

"Theoretically. She entered his mind from a distance and wasn't, quiet literally, scared to her death. I would need the one who took her soul to be here. In a nutshell, I can connect one of your guys' consciousness with this Fang's and you can, thusly, enter his mind and search for Angel's 'soul'," she concluded. Max gave her a hard look.

"How come you can't go in there and get it yourself," she asked harshly. She ignored the annoyed look that Iggy gave her. Judge hung her head.

"Because I need to be out of his mind in order to pull you out and Angel's 'soul' as well… or else I would only get sucked in and then there goes any chance of rescuing her," she stated. Gazzy spoke up this time.

"Would we get sucked in? If we went to get Angel's 'soul'?" he asked. Judge tried to smile.

"It's a possibility. This isn't entirely foolproof. Whoever went in would have only a certain amount of time to find Angel's 'soul' before their own 'soul' is meshed with Fang's. Then, they too would be lost forever," she replied. The flock was silent a moment. Finally, Max spoke up.

"First things first… we have to find Fang. Once we find him we'll be able to work this out. As much as I hate to say it... or not hate to say it…" She glanced at Angel. "…finding Fang is our top priority." Judge nodded to Max.

"I will do everything I can to help you," she said. Max nodded in return.

"Then, let's go."


Jeb looked at the row of chairs. Approximately ten chairs sat there, waiting for their important guests to sit on them. Jeb eyed the clock. The buyers would be here soon. And, boy, were they in for a treat.

Jeb had decided to have Fang's arm wounds treated before he went on display. He didn't want the gore to discourage the buyers' prices. The prettier the better, he always thought. He had sent the deranged bird child to the nurse's station where she was treating him under gunpoint. About fifteen men with tranquilizer guns were at her side, incase he decided to try anything. He doubted the boy would do anything. He was too vegetable-like in his state to care about anything.

He grinned as the first buyer arrived. The Japanese were first, eh? He thought. He let his insides squirm with excitement. He couldn't wait to show off this new toy.


The nurse worked quietly as she stitched up Fang's bloody arms. She had already gone through three bowls of water and two bowls of hydrogen peroxide. He never responded to the pain of having his arm dunked in the cleaning solution, only stared blankly into space as she worked away. Jeb specially requested this creature, this boy, and she didn't want to disappoint him.

Something tugged at her mind, though. She had seen and tended to the sickest and most deformed of creatures and experiments, yet this boy held some sort of gruesomeness that none of those creatures had. She tried her best to ignore it, but couldn't shake the strange, foreboding pressure that the boy gave off.

Suddenly, the boy's gaze shifted.

This sudden shift to reality was so powerful that even the nurse felt it. She stopped her work and looked into his eyes.

Big mistake.

She noted how they were no longer empty, but full of malice, like they had a purpose all of the sudden. She tried to look away, but couldn't. Her body was frozen to the spot. She couldn't move, couldn't speak, nothing. The guards started to shout at her. She didn't respond. All she could see were this boy's eyes.

His evil, evil eyes.


Jeb welcomed the last of his ten guests. They only thing missing was Fang. He growled and checked his watch for the fifth time.

"Where is he?" he mumbled. As if on cue his cellular phone rang. "Jeb," he answered. He was quiet as he listened. "I'm on my way." He clicked the phone shut. "Damn…" he cursed under his breath.

"Is everything alright, Mr. Batchelder?" one of the buyers snidely asked. Jeb put on an innocent smile, shutting the buyer up.

"Of course! Turns out they wanted this specimen to be extra presentable for such important guests," he replied, successfully easing the rest of the group. He turned as his grin faded. He left the observatory and ran towards the nurse's office. "Of all the things…" he muttered as he made his way.


The door to the nurse's office burst open and Jeb walked in. Four operatives with tranquilizer guns were conversing in there. They stood upright in Jeb's presence.

"Sir!" one of them said. "There's been an incident."

"Where!? Take me to him!" Jeb commanded. The operative nodded and took Jeb into the back room where Fang was being taken care of. It was a large room with several hospital beds, but even in it's entirety Jeb felt suffocated.


He saw Fang lying motionless on a bed and had a moment of mild panic. His fears were put to rest as he noticed Fang's chest barely moving. He needed to wake him soon or he would sleep too deep and die. He only had a few more hours until the 'hot zone', Jeb reminded himself. He needed to get things moving along. He turned his gaze from Fang to the obscenity that was once the nurse.

She had a towel over her head, but her body was exposed. Her limbs looked like they had suffered terrible blows and were twisted every which way. Her fingers were all broken and her kneecaps were piercing through her skin. Jeb couldn't help but get goose bumps when he saw the deep gashes on her forearms.

"Dear, God…" Jeb whispered. He looked at Fang. An operative spoke behind him, startling him.

"Sir, she did this… all to herself," he stated quietly. Jeb's eyes widened and he looked at the nurse once more.

"Remove the towel," he ordered.

"But, Sir…"

"Remove it!" he shouted. The operative reluctantly obliged and removed the towel. Jeb's eyes narrowed as he looked at the nurse's face. Sure enough there were tears of blood that had spilled over her cheeks and her eyes had rolled into the back of her head. He sighed and covered her head back up. After a moment he walked over to Fang and observed his slumbering form. Only a few more hours… and his mind would be completely unsalvageable. "Wake him up," he said to an operative. The young man's eyes widened.

"B-but… what if…"

"He wont hurt anyone… not while I'm here," Jeb said sternly. The operative nodded and shakily grabbed a syringe-gun. He placed a vial inside it and then stuck the large needle in Fang's neck. After what seemed like an eternity, he pulled the trigger and injected the serum into Fang.

Jeb waited patiently, hoping Fang would still be able to wake up. Finally, Fang opened his eyes. He sat up slowly and held his head, squinting as the headache ensued. Jeb sighed with relief.

"Fang? Fang, it's me, Jeb," Fang opened his eyes and looked around the room slowly. Suddenly he jerked violently and threw himself off of the bed. He scurried to the darkest corner of the room he could find and hid his face from the light, whimpering quietly.

"Please, no, no, no, no, no…" he mumbled. "Too bright…" Jeb walked calmly over to him and knelt by the trembling boy. His eyes were barely open and the skin tugged painfully around them, dark and sleep-ridden.

"Fang… It's all right. I'm here," Jeb said calmly. Fang slowly emerged his head from his freshly bandaged arms and looked at Jeb. After a moment he lurched forward and buried his face in Jeb's chest. His mind registered Jeb as the nice man with water.

Nice man, nice man, nice man, nice man…

Jeb patted Fang's head as a huge grin spread across his face.

"Go prepare the chamber," he ordered as the men looked on in amazement. "He's ready."


FANGY! NOOOOOO! Man… this really sucks… Fang's lost it Oo…

14. Grave Mistake

Disclaimer: I do not own any characters that belong originally to James Patterson. The only characters I own are Judge, Jury, and No. Any resemblance to these characters to real-life persons, living or dead, or any original characters of your own is strictly coincidence and is not intended.

Calamity: Wow… Chapter 14… Never thought you'd get this far!

Canary: Oh shut up! This is where the story REALLY starts to take off!

Can't Cry

Chapter Fourteen: Grave Mistake

Jeb walked into the chamber, it's dim lighting depressing him for some reason. He ruled it off as being upset that his brand new toy was going to be given away. He sighed and inspected it. There were a few bloodstains, but nothing too discouraging. He didn't want it to be completely clean… he wanted to scare his buyers a little.

Fang was brought in, under gunpoint, and placed before Jeb. He kept his lidded gaze on the ground, but stepped closer to Jeb, so as to feel not so alone. Jeb grinned.

"Listen, Fang. Someone is going to take you away. You have to show them your power," he cooed. Fang just stood there, shaking. He was barely able to hold himself upright. Jeb continued. "This person will get rid of your pain. All of it." Fang nodded but wasn't too responsive otherwise. Jeb sighed and exited the chamber, leaving Fang alone in there.

He made his way to the observation room where his ten buyers were waiting patiently. They all nodded or smiled at him as he entered and he reveled in the attention. He went to the front of the room, standing in front of the large glass panel that showed down into Fang's chamber.

"Ladies and gentlemen… People of higher and lower status… I have brought before you a weapon so guaranteed that no bomb or mine could ever match up to it. The only thing that could match up to this weapon is another one just like it… which doesn't exist," Jeb stated. His buyers listened intently. "What I will show you in this chamber will go to the highest bidder.

"Inside is a boy, a young boy to be exact. By our estimates he's either fourteen or fifteen, give or take a few months. We detained him recently after allowing time for his ability to develop. Now, we had to find a way to weaken his mind and body into total submission. This was done with the Poly Morphic Dissem. Virus, also known as the PMD Virus." A holographic mapping of the virus was displayed on the glass, awing the buyers. "What this virus does is reverse your chemical makeup, eventually unraveling you from the inside out.

"We gave this boy that virus. It not only weakens his body to where he can't fight back, but it also weakens him mind. We then presented him with numerous horrific fantasies with our new program, Holo-Shell." A small bit explaining Holo-Shell was displayed on the glass. "Now, why would we do this, you ask? It all has to do with this boy's ability. He has the power to recreate any nightmare he himself has experienced and project it directly into a person's mind. And, to go beyond that, he's slowly developing the ability to materialize his nightmares, making them even more real.

"Every time he uses his ability on someone, the person's mind is completely wiped out and their consciousness is taken within the boy. This way there is really no evidence of who did what to whom. It's a fantastic ability and completely foolproof!" Jeb finished with a grin. His buyers talked excitedly amongst each other. This was all going according to plan.

"What about the PMD Virus, Mr. Batchelder?" a Polish woman asked. Jeb turned his attention to her. "I mean… in the displayed information it said that ultimately it caused death. According to what you have told us that means that this boy only has a few more hours left to live." Jeb nodded.

"You are correct. The very reason you are here in person is because of that," he stated. He brought up the PMD Virus information again. "You see, right before death there is an hour, maybe two hour period called the 'Red Zone'. Only at this time can the cure be injected into the boy. You see, his mind has regressed enough that he's like a small child. He follows orders and obeys anyone that shows him the most kindness. Therefore, whoever injects the cure and gets rid of all of his pain is going to be, in a sense, his 'new best friend'," he finished. The buyers chuckled at his twisted joke. He flicked the screen clear to display Fang below. One of the buyers stood.

"Mr. Batchelder, why are his arms bandaged? You didn't mention that the merchandise was damaged," they asked curiously. Jeb sighed and smiled sadly.

"Ah, yes… You see, the only thing keeping this boy from taking his own life is by injuring himself. He mostly makes huge gashes on his forearms to draw away from the nightmares once he's completed whatever task you have given him. The medical part is but a penny compared to the gain you would get from using him as a mass destruction weapon," Jeb stated. The buyers all nodded, satisfied with his response. The lights began to dim around them so that all they could see was inside Fang's chamber. Jeb chuckled a little. "Heh, ladies and gentlemen, it's time."


Max and the flock ran uselessly around the long hallways, turning at any corner they met, hoping to perchance run into someone who would be so kind as to lead them to Fang.

Yeah, right.

They continued their running for only a short while longer until Judge suddenly stopped.

"What is it?" Nudge asked. Judge held a single finger to her lips to silence the flock as she listened. She closed her eyes and lifted her hands very slowly.

"There was a disturbance… an extremely powerful soul has shifted… It's probably your Fang," she said quietly. Max stood close to her and whispered.

"Are you saying that you can sense him?" she asked. Judge nodded.

"As long as we keep quiet… just for a second… I can locate him," she said. Max nodded to the rest of the group who kept quiet. Judge's hands twitched. Suddenly they moved back and forth, quicker than the eye could see, merely a blur before the flock. Judge's eyebrows met in a frustrated 'v', but she didn't cease the activity. Her hands stopped their movement and she opened her eyes. They were black, but only for a moment. When the black cleared she fell to the ground, exhausted.

"Judge!" Iggy said. He rushed to her side. She smiled and coughed. Tiny specs of blood were on her hand. She hit it from the rest of the flock's view. "Are you alright?"

"Yeah, I'm fine… This happens every time I do this… I know where he is," she replied. With Iggy's help she stood and pointed down the hallway. "We continue this way until we reach the door that reads 'OBV – 2'. That's the observation room… they are watching him now."

"What do you mean they're 'watching him'?" the Gasman asked. Judge smiled and shrugged.

"I'm sorry, I don't know anything else. All I know is that the OBV – 2 room is right above his chamber and that room is just down this hallway. It's lucky that we've even gone the right direction with all of these passageways. Let's get going… so we can save your friend," she said. Iggy's brows furrowed, though no one saw. He couldn't help but let a smile grace his features. Judge wanted more than anything to fulfill her sister's wishes, even if it included risking her own life. It was admirable.

They continued down the hallway until they reached the outside of OBV – 2. Max looked at her flock and Judge, cataloguing faces and any aches they may have. She secretly also did it for her own good, to help comfort herself with the fact that her flock was almost whole again.

Iggy appeared more stoic to her than he usually did. Sure he was quiet and snide on occasion, but he appeared more mature and ready to handle any situation that came out. He nodded in her direction, probably feeling her gaze on him.

The Gasman stood next to Iggy, fidgeting nervously yet anxiously. He wanted the flock to be together again as much as anyone, but his sister was probably on his mind the most. She hoped he didn't hold it against Fang.

Nudge was next, standing next to Gazzy and with a look of determination on her face. Max knew she was growing up and would become an outstanding and powerful woman. She already held stubbornness to its highest degree, but also had a sense of dignity. It was relaxing to know she wouldn't be defenseless in the real world.

Judge stood on the other side of Iggy, glancing at him on occasion, probably because he was the nicest one to her in the group. Max didn't blame the flock for being apprehensive towards her. She did try to hurt Angel, after all.

Lastly she let her eyes rest on Angel. The small girl slumbered uneasily in her arms. Other than her faintly beating heart she was completely lifeless. Max stroked a stray golden lock of hair from the girl's face and smiled gently. After a moment she faced the flock and Judge again.

"I know that these past hours have been tough, but we only have to stick it out a little more… I know we can do this and rescue Fang… I know that we can," she said. She shifted Angel and stuck out a fist. The others followed suit and they did their ritual hand-tap. Judge smiled at Max.

"I will do everything possible to help you," she said, so earnestly that even Max couldn't help but believe her. Max turned to Nudge.

"Nudge… I need you and Gazzy to protect Angel. That's your guys' job. Judge, Iggy, and I will go in, kick some white-coat butt, and grab Fang," she said. Nudge nodded and took Angel from Max's arms. The Gasman stood a little closer to Nudge, ready to protect his sister. Max turned to face the door, Judge and Iggy on either side of her. "This is it," she stated. "We're coming, Fang… We're coming."


Jeb turned to face the buyers. The lights had dimmed and now only Fang inside his chamber was visible. The buyers looked down at him with curiosity as Jeb began a small introduction.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is our TS-F. The ultimate weapon. Please enjoy the performance. I have the cure right here, on this stand before you, to go to the highest bidder. Enjoy," he said. Little did he know how much of a bang his show was going to be.


The door to the left of Jeb suddenly burst open, the metal bent from the center out. When his eyes adjusted to the light he saw the only thing that could possibly ruin his day. An angry Max and her unhappy cohorts.

"Hello, Jeb. Having fun, you sick freak?" she cooed. Judge was next to her, her leg still held gracefully in the air from the kick she used to smash the door open. "Thanks, Judge. Nice leg." Judge lowered her leg.

"Thanks," she said. Jeb's face darkened.

"Judge! You were supposed to be exterminated!" he shouted.

"What? Disappointed?" she asked coyly. Jeb growled and faced his buyers, who were standing and squabbling in panic.

"Shut up! All of you sit down! You! Call the squad!" he shouted to a white-coat. The white-coat opened his cell phone and was about to summon mounds of erasers, but a flying kick to his arm snapped his wrist. He cried out in agony as the rather speedy Judge stood over him. Max couldn't help but admire her. Jeb turned to face Max.

"Jeb! You are a sick… sick man… What you have done to Fang… to me… To the people you sacrificed to him…" Max spat. "It's unforgivable!" Jeb raised his hands slowly, the angered look on his face still there.

"Max… listen to me. Fang's not the same Fang… He's changed and there's no way to save him!" Jeb said. The buyers cried behind him, their hands up in surrender. Max spat at them.

"Don't lie to me, Jeb. You have a cure. I know you do. It's right next to you," Max stated. Jeb's eyes flicked to the syringe on the small stand next to him. He shook his head sternly.

"Listen, Max… Fang's not himself. If you cure him from that virus, his mind will be completely unsalvageable. He'll be lost forever. Do you want him to live like that? Lost in his own mind? Or do you want him to die while he still has some of hims-"

"SHUT UP!" Max shouted. Tears spilled over her eyes as she spoke to Jeb. "You took Fang away from me! And then you turned him into some monster and he took Angel away from me!" Nudge stepped forward, holding Angel delicately in her arms. Jeb's eyes widened slightly. "And… now, when we cure him… I'll be able to rescue Angel!" she shouted. Jeb looked down at Fang, who was staring madly up at the commotion. He shook his head again, only this time a little more desperately.

"Max… you can't release him… He'll kill everyone. Me, these people, your flock, even you. He doesn't care who and he can't tell either way… he's a monster and he's locked up for his own good," Jeb said, trying to sway Max from releasing Fang. Max shook her head.

"You're not telling me what to do, Jeb. Not ever." She nodded to Judge who nodded back. She positioned herself and then quickly launched a powerful kick at the glass of the observatory room.

"NO!" Jeb shouted, but it was too late. The glass shattered under her crushing power. Glass flew everywhere and Jeb raised an arm to protect his face. The flock and the buyers dropped to the ground to avoid the tiny daggers. Jeb lowered his arm. "You have made a grave mistake…" he whispered.

Fang stood slowly in the chamber. His stance was off balance, tilting drastically to one side. All Jeb could see was his dark silhouette…

And a wide, evil grin.


OKAY okay… I promise you all that things are coming to a climax… a pinnacle point in this story. But, sadly, we all know what that means… Yup… It'll be over with.

I have no idea how long I plan on drawing this out… But shit's about ready to go down. NOW.

15. Beyond Salvation


Canary: ANYWAYS! Hello. No, I did not leave you all. Scared ya, didn't I?

Calamity: No worries, people…

Canary: Yeah… I just had to take a break from the story for a while. Incase you hadn't noticed, I'd been writing religiously for a long while. I needed a moment to breath and re-grip the storyline.

Canary: Also, I wanted to bring something to light. I apologize if my writing style is hard for you to understand. It's a little different than the usual novel style writing, but that's why it's my own personal kind of style. I mean this like… I always start a new paragraph when someone new is talking. I also leave a lot to the readers when it comes to determining conversation. I take it you are all intelligent enough to figure that out. (Heh heh…)

Canary: Plus, I like to end things with a single phrase. It's really hard to get a point across with one sentence, but when it's done it's the best. That's how I end a lot of my chapters. Anyways, I just thought I'd explain that a little bit so that you guys understood that I'm really not a bad writer (I hope OO) and that I just have a very different style.

Can't Cry

Chapter Fifteen: Beyond Salvation

Jeb looked into the dark eyes that dominated Fang's features. His look was cold, yet it held something in it that almost resembled joy… like he was going to enjoy destroying them all.

"Fang… Fang, it's me… The man with the water…" Jeb said, his voice shaky. He stood and raised his hands in front of him in a sort of 'surrender' pose. "I can help you… I can cure you." Fang stepped closer. He said nothing, letting his eyes do all the talking. He was losing it. It was too close to the Red Zone. If Jeb didn't cure Fang now both him and the boy would die.

Fang stepped closer again, but something caught his attention, distracting him from Jeb. He turned to see Max, the Flock, and Judge. They were all watching him intently, ogling at his strange appearance. Max stepped towards him.

"Fang…" she said, pain in her voice. She had never seen a sadder sight. His skin was much too pale, his eyes were bloodshot, the skin around them was tight and dark from sleepless night, his arm wraps were already stained from the blood beneath them, and his gaze was almost empty, had it not been full of malice. Max stepped by him again. "Fang… It's me, Max. We came to save you," she whispered. Fang's eyes darted back and forth between Max and Jeb. It was as if he was deciding which one to kill. He made his decision quickly.

Fang turned and faced Jeb once again, newfound anger in his eyes. There was something in him… something that hadn't died yet… something that said he was bad and that he needed to be rid of… something familiar.

He's the bad one…

Fang nodded. The voice… he had heard it before, but did not fully recognize it. For some reason, though, he trusted it. He stepped towards Jeb again.

"F-F-Fang! Fang, don't do this! I'm the one who HELPED you! I'm going to SAVE YOU!" he shouted. Fang shook his head.

The room was suddenly enveloped in darkness. Nudge screamed and reached out, hoping to grab at one of the flock members. She managed to find Judge, who held her close.

"Stay still!" Judge shouted into the darkness. "If you move around you could get sucked into Batchelder's nightmare!" Nudge clung to her desperately. Gazzy stood where he was, though his body shook with fear. Iggy was silent, hoping Nudge was still holing tightly onto Angel. Max was also still, her heart beating rapidly in her chest.

From the darkness a scream sounded.


More screams followed and strange, animalistic noises also protruded through the darkness. Max's eyes welled up as she thought about the little girl and Angel. As much as Jeb deserved it, Max hated that Fang was the one creating the nightmares.

That's enough… He's dead.

Fang nodded and pulled the darkness back into himself. The room lightened up and gave the flock and Judge visibility once again. Nudge gasped and buried her face in Judge's arm. The Gasman's eyes widened and tears spilled over them, fear sticking him to the spot. Iggy's nose curled. He could smell the blood. Max let more tears spill as she took in the horror that had become Jeb.

His eyes had been gouged out… one in each of his hands. Blood was still gushing from the open sockets as he lay there, lifeless. Blood seeped from his mouth, which was contorted into a crooked grin. He was dead and soulless.

Fang turned to face the flock now. Judge wrapped an arm protectively around Nudge, who held onto Angel tightly. His eyes hadn't changed. They still held the malice and horror of the monster Fang had become. Max's hand went to her mouth. Had he really become beyond all hope? Was he really lost to them? He stepped closer.

"Fang…" Max said. "Fang, it's us… Please… Don't hurt anyone… We're here to help you," she cooed. Fang stepped forward again. "Damnit, Fang! We're you're family! Please, snap out of it!" Fang stepped forward again. Max raised her fists slightly. Tears still fell from her eyes, but she would protect her flock… no matter the enemy. "Fang…" she said again. Fang stopped. His eyes cleared up, a strange look of confusion in them. "Fang," Max said a little louder. A smile crept onto her face. He was coming back to them.


He suddenly collapsed and began to shake violently. His eyes squeezed shut and foam frothed at his mouth.

"FANG!" Max shouted. She rushed to his side, trying to steady him. "Help me!" she shouted to the flock. They all rushed to her side, hesitant as they were about Fang. Iggy grabbed his legs and held them in place.

"Turn him onto his side, Max. So that he doesn't choke," Iggy said, his voice strained, but calm. The two managed to get the writhing Fang onto his side. Max looked around, apparently searching for something. Then, she found it.

"The cure! Bring it to me!" she shouted. Nudge looked at Gazzy, who was still frozen in place. Realizing that he wouldn't be too much help right now, Nudge went to grab it, but was stopped by Judge.

"Hey!" she said. Judge shook her head.

"You can't do that…" she said quietly. Nudge growled.

"Why not!? Are you still evil!?" she shouted, tears in her eyes. Judge shook her head again.

"He's in the 'Red Zone'. It's the only time his mind is weak enough to penetrate. Once we steady him we need to enter his mind and find Angel. If we cure him before that then she'll be beyond salvation," Judge stated. The flock was silent, save Fang's yelping. He finally calmed down, his breathing heavy and strained. Judge knelt down by him. "It's now or never." She touched Fang's forehead. He was burning up. "Who's going to do it?" she asked. Once again, silence. Finally, Max stood.

"I'll do it…" she said. Iggy frowned. This all was so risky, he hated it. Judge nodded.

"I need you to lay down by him, your heads close to each other," she instructed. Max nodded and lay down on the cold ground. She had to try her best not to blush as she got extremely close to his face. She could feel the heat from his feverishness and it made her face bead with sweat. "Good… now relax…" Judge soothed. Max closed her eyes, still feeling Fang's body warmth.

"Alright…" she said, reassuring herself more than anyone else. Slowly things seemed to fade around her.

"Once you enter you'll be confused, probably not going to recognize anything or even remember why you are there. Just give yourself a minute to remember," Judge stated. Max growled.

"Gee… thanks for the… headzzz…zzzup…" Her mouth slowly lost it's functioning as everything became more and more detached. Sounds faded as well and smell and taste and feel. She felt like she was descending, but she couldn't open her eyes. She tried as hard as she could, but nothing seemed to work. So, she succumbed to the numbing sensation as she made her decent.

Suddenly, she stopped. She opened her weary eyes and gazed at nothing but pure white. There wasn't even a solid ground beneath her, just white. She had clearly stopped descending, but she was surrounded by nothing.

And she thought… nothing…

"Hello?" she said aloud. Her voice was swallowed up by the whiteness. Her heart began to pound furiously in her chest. Why was she here? Who was she? What is this? Slowly the sensation of touch returned to her. She could feel the ground beneath her. It was soft, yet hard, this ground.

"Ground?" she said to the white nothingness. Again, no sound. She let herself calm down as she felt around her. She was definitely sitting on something, but it was all white around her. Her arms and legs were tickled by something as well, but she couldn't figure out what. After feel came back into action, so did smell.

"Hmm… air… outside…" she mumbled. She slowly remembered… Max. "Max," she said. She could smell something refreshing, like night air… and her name was Max. "Max." No sound. Next came the sound she seemed to want.

"Max," she said again. She jumped slightly at the sound of her own voice. "My own…" Her mind went on hyper speed. She remembered the School, the Flock, Jeb, Fang, Judge, the experiments, the torturing, Fang's nightmares… All of it. "FANG!" she shouted. That seemed to awaken sight.

The world around her slowly materialized. She was sitting in some sort of field or meadow. The tall grass was what had been tickling her arms and legs. She looked around, taking in all the scenery. It was nighttime, but the air was so cool and crisp and refreshing. She stood and stretched out her wings, enjoying the feeling and temporarily forgetting her cause.

A noise behind her caught her attention. She turned to see a small child, one she recognized, but couldn't quite remember. The little girl looked up at her, her scraggily hair shielding her eyes from Max's view.

"You are here… Why? You do not belong here…" she said. Max was silent, trying to remember the voice that was so familiar. Then, it hit her.

The small child Fang had killed…

"You… have been taken in by Fang?" Max asked. She wasn't sure how to approach this girl. Her voice contained a malice that rivaled that of and Eraser's. She stepped towards the girl. "Can you take me to him?" The girl chuckled dryly.

"You can't go to where he is… You'll die, too… Just like me. Then you'll be trapped here forever. You and I… and Angel," she said. Finally, she looked up at Max with acidic eyes. Max's mouth gaped.

"You can take me to Angel!?" she aid, rushing forward and grabbing the girl's shoulders. She grinned.

"I can take you to Angel. She's with him now," she cooed. Max didn't like the sound of the child's voice, but she needed to do whatever it took to save Angel and Fang. Besides, she wasn't too intimidated by the ways Fang's mind was. In fact, it was a lot more serene and peaceful than she imagined. The child's grin widened. "This is only the surface world. Where I will take you… is a hellish furnace of despair and destruction." She grabbed Max's arm tightly.

"Hey!" she shouted, but refrained from jerking away. Again, she told herself that she had to do it. For Angel.

For Fang.

They slowly began sinking into the ground. Max kept her cool. They descended through the ground, yet emerged as if they were coming up from it.

And Max beheld a sight more horrifying than any terror she had ever seen.


SO yeah… I watched the movie Last Quarter… starring HYDE… Yeah. It was most excellent. Oh… and I watched Mon Child… that has Gackt AND HYDE in it. So cha… Anyways, I'm sorry if this chapter came off really crappy. I wanted to update so I kinda rushed it… PLEASE FORGIVE! . Anyways… I'll probably end up writing on it later. Expect Updates farther apart for a while now. Just a heads up.

(…plus, it's probably LOADED with spelling errors…)

16. These Are The Eyes

Disclaimer: Well… only a few disclaimers left… better let 'em rest a moment.

Canary: Ohmigosh… Chapter 16. Can you believe it? Soon this story will be finished… we're heading to the climax FINALLY.

Calamity: It is rather exciting… and surprising. I didn't think you'd make it this far.

Canary: Oh shut up.

Can't Cry

Chapter Sixteen: These Are The Eyes…

Max clutched the little girl's hand tightly, her knees wobbling and threatening to give out on her. The small child smirked and looked forward at the ungodly sight.

The landscape was hellish and swirling in black fire. The sound of burning was all that filled the air, along with an extreme sense of loneliness and darkness. Max felt her tears being flung from her eyes by the roaring wind and flames. She could not see but a few inches in front of her.

The little girl released her hand and took a few strides forward, almost disappearing from Max's sight. There she turned in a slow circle, as if dancing, and reached out towards the flames. Her dance was demonic and Max couldn't help but be repulsed.

"Here is where I leave you," the child said. Max stepped forward.

"Wait! What is this? Where is Fang? How do I find him!?" she shouted. She stepped towards the girl and found that the fire did not burn her. She curiously twirled her fingers in it. After a moment she looked forward. The girl was gone

You must find him… Go through the trials of his mind… Save him from himself…

Max shuddered as the girl's voice echoed throughout her head. Finally, she raised her head high and strode forward, into the flames and darkness.


Iggy floated his fingers above the still forms of Max and Fang. Gazzy was watching silently from the corner of the room and Nudge was tending to Angel's unconscious body.

"What do we do now?" the Gasman asked. "What if white coats or Erasers show up?" Worry laced his voice and his eyes darted about nervously. Judge opened her weary eyes and gave him a smile. She was exhausted from pushing Max's consciousness into Fang's unwilling mind.

"We will defend these three," she said, gesturing towards Max, Fang, and Angel. "We will keep them safe until Max saves Fang." Iggy nodded and retracted his hand from the sleepers.

"They are safe as long as they are in our care," he added. "No Eraser or white coat will ever lay a hand on them ever again." This seemed to quell Gazzy's fears and he became silent once more. Judge looked at Iggy and smiled.

"You all are so brave… Just like my sister. I am honored to help you in any way I can," she murmured. Iggy smiled, though his sightless eyes remained fixed ahead of him.

"You have already done a lot," he said as Judge finally fell into a restful sleep.


Max strode forward into the infinite darkness. The fires had long abated and now she was only walking forward in total darkness. She could hear things stirring around her, circling her, but she kept walking forward. Something growled in the darkness and she gasped, but didn't stop. She could feel it's circling getting tighter and tighter, the being stalking her completely. She sped up to a jog.

The rumbling behind her grew louder and she finally broke out into a full-bore run. Tears flew form her eyes as the creature chased after her in the darkness. She could feel her legs burning, growing tired as if they were in quicksand. It felt as if she wasn't even moving and the creature was closing in on her. She poured on her supersonic speed, finally gaining momentum.

She was flung into a cityscape. The buildings were all decrepit and rundown. The air seemed to smolder with ash and the sky was tainted red and orange. The emptiness of the city brought goose bumps to Max's skin, but she walked forward anyways, glad to be rid of whatever beast was in the darkness. She could feel the dirt and rubble crunching beneath her shoes as she walked.

At the end of this road, wrought with destruction, was a church. Its steeple was half crumbling and the stained glass windows were either shattered or missing entirely. She could see dead vines that had crept up the walls and the cracks starting to form in the rich texture of the church. She knew there were strange and dangerous things in Fang's mind, but something compelled her to enter the church.

She stepped inside one of the already open doors, her feet crunching the broken glass. She could see the destroyed pews, strewn about as if some giant had had a fit and used them as a source of venting out his anger. She stepped through them carefully, trying to avoid the nails and glass that littered the place. She saw the pulpit was in even worse condition, but was compelled to near it anyways.

As she drew nearer to the front of the church a sense of sadness began to creep into her. It grew the closer she got, drawing her in. Something in her mind wanted her to back away, but she couldn't. It was absorbing her… consuming her…

She closed her eyes and found herself falling. The scenery of the church sped away, but she did remembering seeing one thing before it completely disappeared.

A girl, dressed in all black, praying at the alter.

It was Angel.


Judge's eyes fluttered open and she observed her surroundings, not really sure where she was for a moment. A few seconds of recalling allowed her to properly assess her whereabouts. She stood stiffly and looked over Max's flock.

Nudge and the Gasman were snuggled together in one corner with Angel and Iggy was next to Max and Fang, his eyes closed. She wasn't sure if he was awake or not, but didn't really feel the need to find out. Instead, she stretched, feeling her bones crack. She groaned a little, but didn't make the noise too loud.

"Aches and pains are such vexing problems, aren't they?" a voice said behind her. Judge whipped around to face the doorway. There stood No, an arm resting on the doorframe. His empty eyes surveyed the room, cataloguing everything. "It's a shame that you've made it this far."

"No… this has nothing to do with you," Judge said harshly. She knew she was no match for him, but she had to distract him, keep him occupied long enough to help Max and her flock. Iggy stirred beside her and opened his blind eyes.

"Who's here?" he asked, standing up next to Judge and facing the doorway. No watched him silently.

"No," Judge responded. "He's the one that my sister helped…" She faltered slightly. "…helped me get away from." No kept his gaze on Iggy.

"You fight along side a blind human avian hybrid and his worthless flock rather than a powerful being like myself and this organization?" No asked, his tone actually more surprised than snide. Judge readied herself to fight.

"You fight for all the wrong reasons, No. These people are good. This organization is bad," she said. Iggy spread his wings slightly and raised his fists. Judge suddenly felt a little more confident. No's gaze narrowed.

"You should not raise your fists," he said, raising his own, "unless you are prepared to die by them."


Max tried to open her eyes, but couldn't. All she could tell was that she was on cold hard ground and all of her body hurt. Her arms in particular were the most in pain. She could feel her insides squirming, as if she was dieing slowly and painfully. When she tried to cry out in pain no sounds escaped her weary mouth. Only tears seeped out her eyes.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she heard voices around her. A few moments later she was able to open her eyes. She looked down at her arms and saw not her own, but Fang's. She was looking through Fang's eyes.

She saw with horror as Fang reached down and jaggedly cut each mark into his arm with only a rusty nail. She screamed in his head, but he couldn't hear her. She could feel his pain, his sadness, and his need for death. She felt his anguish, the pain of the virus inside him… everything. She screamed and screamed, begging for this to stop. She didn't want to see it anymore. She didn't want to see him in pain anymore.

She finally opened her eyes to the valley again. Night was still dominant and the cool breeze refreshed her aching body. A shuffling noise to her right drew her attention. She turned to see Fang's form resting against a tree, his eyes lidded and skin pale. Two small children were tending to him, wrapping his arms in fresh gauze, the bloody ones still on the ground around them.

The two small children were clad in black lace dresses, much like those of gothic dolls. Their blond curls were ragged and dreary looking, along with their pale skin. Finally, they faced Max. One was the girl from earlier. The other was Angel.

"Angel!" Max said and rushed forward. She approached the seemingly unconscious Fang and the two girls. She gripped Angel's shoulders, but the girl seemed unresponsive, her blue eyes holding malice.

"Max," she said in a tone strange to Max. Max simply gaped at her. "I am not the one you need to be concerned about right now." She turned to face Fang and gathered up the bloody bandages. "He needs you now. Save him." With that, she and the other girl gathered up the remaining bloody bandages and walked away from Max and Fang, disappearing into the tall grass. Max got onto her hands and knees and crawled forward. She got as close to Fang as she could without touching him, her face extremely close to his.

"Fang…" she breathed. Fang's eyes slowly opened, revealing dark, desperate ones. He blinked a few times and then closed his eyes again.

"Go away," he muttered. Max's brows furrowed with worry.

"Fang, it's me! It's really me! I'm here to help you!" she said. Tears formed in her eyes for the thousandth time. Fang opened his eyes again and looked at Max again. After a moment he leaned forward from the tree trunk and embraced her. Max was a little taken aback, but soon returned the embrace. "Fang…"

"I don't know… if it's really you… but I am glad you are not dieing…" he mumbled into her shoulder. Max wasn't sure what he meant at first, but then remembered the images of her that the white coats had tortured him with.

"Fang… I am inside your mind… I'm here to save you…" she repeated. "I can help you escape this, but first you have to let Angel go." She broke away from Fang and he went back to resting on the tree. After a moment he grinned and let out a small chuckle. It looked pathetic on him with his dry cracked lips the dark skin around his eyes.

"You don't care… Angel doesn't care. I'm a monster. Can't you just let me die?" he said, the strange grin not fading. Max's lips parted slightly.

"Fang, you're not making any sense. I'm really here," Max repeated. His grin faded.

"Oh yeah? If so, then why?" he asked. Max couldn't help but let her disappointment show.

"You are ill, Fang… You have to let Angel go in order for us to cure you and save both you and her," she cooed. Fang's eyes grew dark.

"Don't you get it? I want to die. I don't want to be saved," he said. Max's mouth dropped. She hadn't ever heard him say something so negative in such a straightforward way. He wasn't himself.

"Fang… you want to live. I know you do. You want to come back to us… to me… I need you," she said, her words drifting off. Fang leaned forward and touched her face, his eyes holding sadness unrivaled by anything.

"Don't you understand? I could hurt you… I could kill you… I don't… I don't want to see you die ever again…" he said. He dropped his hand, his gaze dropping as well. He stared blankly at the ground. Max grabbed his shoulders.

"Fang… Fang! Fang, I know you're in there! Please! You have to let Angel go! We'll help you! I promise!" she shouted. Fang remained unresponsive and began to sink into the ground. "No! Fang! Don't give up! Please! There's still time! We can still save you! Don't leave me!" she shouted, tears falling from her eyes and Fang continued to slowly sink into the ground. "Fang!"


"No… please… You don't understand the situation! This place is bad! The people here are bad! These people are good! Don't you get it!?" Judge shouted. No simply took a step forward, his fingertips sparking.

"I think you are all the ones who don't understand. You are the ones who are to be extinguished. You are the ones who are bad."

17. Of A Psychopath

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these loverly characters except No, Judge, Jury, Lydia, and any other extras.

Canary: Wow chapter seventeen…

Calamity: Congrats. You're almost done.

Can't Cry

Chapter Seventeen: …of a Psychopath

Judge rousted Nudge and the Gasman. They woke slowly at first, but quickly came to attention when they saw their uninvited guest. Nudge trembled slightly as No's hands sparked dangerously.

"Who's he?" the Gasman asked. Judge got into her fighting stance.

"This is No. He's an enemy. We have to grab Max, Fang, and Angel and run," she murmured. "We can't fight him here." Iggy grimaced and held up a hand.

"Listen," he commanded. The flock was silent; the sound of padding feet grew closer. Iggy's eyes widened, harboring something that had only been expressed once or twice. "No…"


The light coming from the hallway behind No dimmed as hundreds of Erasers filed in behind him. They crawled though the doorway onto the ceiling and walls like giant spiders. All was dark except for the Erasers' luminous wolf eyes and No's fluorescent ones. They were completely surrounded.

"There is no escape," No said. Nudge clutched Angel's body tightly and Gazzy stayed near Max and Fang, Total doing likewise. Iggy's brow furrowed with frustration.

"I see you guys have made quite the mess," came a familiar voice. Ari stepped forward, his metal claws gleaming in the dim light. "I half expected more." Iggy's fists clenched.

"You… look what you've done…" He voice was dangerously dark. Ari grinned and flexed his hands, claws glinting.

"Back off, bird-boy, or you'll end up just like Fang."


Max gripped Fang's arms as he sank into the ground, tears streaming down her face.

"Fang! Damnit! Please! Don't give up! We need you! The flock needs you! I need you! I… I love you!" she shouted. She held only his hand now, the only part of him still above the surface. "I love you…" she said again. Suddenly, Fang stopped sinking. His hand tightened around Max's. She gaped slightly and gripped it back. "Fang…"

A horrendous scream filled the air, like a high-pitched whine. Angel rose from the ground and held her arms out wide. The black dress and grime on her skin slowly began to strip away to reveal a beautiful white dress and clean, porcelain skin. Angel's golden curls were restored and the menacing look in her eyes was replaced by kindness. She rushed over to Max and hugged her tightly, crying.

"Max! I'm so sorry! All this blackness… it took me… I didn't… I didn't mean to be mean…" she cried, hiccups blunting her speech.

"Go, Angel. You're free now. I'll save him. Go." Max spoke the words softly. Angel nodded and closed her eyes. Slowly she dematerialized, gone forever from the trap of Fang's mind. Max looked back at Fang's hand and was startled to see the little girl she had first met kneeling there. The child eyed Fang's hand then looked at Max. She smiled.

"Thank you…" she whispered. She touched Fang's hand. He began to sink into the ground again.

"No! What are you doing!? Fang!" Max shouted. The girl kept her sad smile.

"He let go, now you must do the same."


The Erasers restrained the flock and Judge. Iggy fought back as ferociously as he could until he was clobbered in the head. He stopped his struggling and breathed heavily as the blood dripped down his temple.

"Iggy!" Nudge shouted before a clawed hand covered her mouth. Judge would have said something as well, had she not also been restrained by an Eraser. Ari walked forward and knelt down to inspect the unconscious Fang, Max, and Angel. He raked a claw cautiously across Max's cheek, careful not to inject the poison.

"It seems that she has gone into his mind… Too bad. I was planning on killing him, but that would also kill Max and I can't do that just yet," he cooed. The Gasman's eyes spilled tears as he loomed over Angel's body. "And this little twerp." He brought his gruesome fangs close to her jugular. "Troublesome." He stood and grinned maliciously. "I think she'll be the first to go."

"Go… where?" a tiny voice said. Ari turned quickly with surprise to see Angel sitting up and rubbing her eyes sleepily. Judge and the others gasped into the hands of their captors. Gazzy managed to wriggle his face out of his captor's grip.

"Angel!" he screamed. "Run!" Sadly, it was too late. Ari scooped her up in his arms and tossed her to another Eraser. Total tried to yip as well, but an Eraser also restrained him. He had been successfully hidden for a while, but he was found like the rest and was also being held captive.

"Rise and shine, sleeping beauty!" Ari shouted. Angel's eyes widened. "Make sure you cover her mouth. She says two words to you and you're done for," he instructed. The Eraser complied and covered Angel's mouth. Strangely, she grew silent. What the Eraser's didn't know is that she was gathering information from everyone's minds to determine what exactly happened after she was sucked into Fang's mind. After a moment her eyes opened again to behold a new type of anger. Her gaze bore into Ari.

"Fang and Max are going to wake up," she said. Ari cackled.

"And what? Max is going to kick my butt? Is that it?" he said, still cackling. Angel's eyes narrowed as a wicked grin spread across her face.

"No, Fang will. And he will kill you."


"What do you mean I have to let him go!? If I do he'll sink!" Max shouted. The little girl gazed at her, her sad eyes no longer containing the hate they harbored before. She shook her head.

"You don't understand… You are another interference… Keeping you here is preventing him from fully focusing on coming to reality. If you're here and he starts another nightmare you'll be trapped here forever. Let him go. You've done all you can do. It's up to him now whether or not he wants to come back." She kept her gaze on Max.

Max looked at Fang's slowly sinking hand, only his fingers visible now. She knew she had to let him go, let him chose whether or not he wanted to live… It was his decision and she had to be happy with it either way. Slowly, she drew her hand away, her eyes brimming with new tears at the thought that Fang might not come back to her. His hand sunk in the rest of the way. Lydia, the little girl, closed her eyes and inhaled deeply.

"You have done well… thank you. You can go now…" she said. She jerked her eyes open, staring directly into Max's. Max gasped as the world around her disappeared and she was sucked into an unknown whiteness, leaving the inside of Fang's broken mind.


All heads turned as a coughing noise disrupted the silence. Max slowly sat up and rubbed her neck, the muscles tight from the prolonged position on the hard ground. She blinked a few times, her eyes adjusting to the dark. She gasped at the sheer number of Erasers in the room and at the fact that her flock was completely restrained.

"Fang!" she shouted, her mind turning to the most important problem. Ari was ready to restrain her from jumping up and starting to land some ferocious punches, but she knelt down by Fang's slumbering form, her face extremely close to his. "Fang…" she whispered. She took his pulse. It was barely there.

"Seems your boyfriend's abandoned you," Ari said, his gravelly voice almost sounding childish. Max turned to face him, anger and sadness on her face.

"Ari… how could you have done this… I thought there was some good in you. I was wrong." She stood, readying herself to fight. She knew it was futile, but she had to try. Erasers surrounded her on all sides, not even allowing her to see Ari. His voice floated out from the mesh of fur.

"Sorry, Max. You're just too much of a problem. All of you." He started cackling. A person Max didn't recognized suddenly seized Ari by the throat and held him off of the ground by a few inches. Her eyes widened at the display of abnormal strength.

"Ari," the person said harshly. "I told you that these creatures were mine to dispose of." He squeezed his hand as Ari struggled. Max could hear the sounds of his choking. Suddenly, this person dropped Ari to the ground with a thud. He glanced around the room as Ari grasped his throat and gasped for breath. The person's eyes darted around almost angrily, as if searching for some enemy. After a moment the person turned towards the hallway and darted away, gone in a flash. Max thought he almost looked scared.

"Heh…" Ari said, his voice hoarse. "He knew he was no match for me…"

"No," said a dark voice behind Ari. "He knew he was no match for me."

Ari turned to see Fang standing before him, his eyes dark, completely black, and the air around seeming to reverberate with darkness. The shadows around him twisted and morphed into strange and demonic shapes. Fang's demeanor was something twisted entirely, his feelings of anger and hate escalating in the air. The Erasers restraining the flock and Judge dropped their captives and started to back away. The flock rushed to meet each other.

"We have to get out of here!" Judge said. "He's completely unstable! He's going to over-exert himself and die if we don't stop him!" She looked Max in the eyes as the Erasers stumbled over one another to get away. "We have to grab the cure and inject it into him now or he will die." Max glanced at the cure on the floor and nodded.

Quickly she rushed over and slid across the floor, grabbing the syringe as she went. She righted herself on the other side of the room, ready to lunge at Fang. That's when she realized it was too late.

The air around Fang was swirling and the lights flickered out, leaving everyone in total darkness. Max grabbed the person nearest to her. Iggy.

"Grab the flock! Everyone hold onto someone and hunker down! Do NOT open your eyes!" she shouted, the swirling wind howling almost too loud for her to hear the replies of the flock and Judge. Everyone obeyed and grabbed onto one another and shut their eyes tightly…

Sounds, screams, growls, aches, pains, everything penetrated the darkness that surrounded the flock. Judge held onto Iggy for her life as demonic things brushed against her and growled in her ears. Total wedged himself between Max and Judge, whimpering about the things he did for love. The Gasman was surprisingly quiet as he clenched his teeth tightly. Angel said nothing, almost swaying to the harmony of despair. Max held on tight to everyone she could get her hands on as she clenched her eyes shut, waiting for the nightmare to be over.

The echoes of screams seemed to last forever, finally subsiding after an eternity of waiting. When all was silent the lights flickered back on. Max heard a dull thud and opened her eyes, trying to determine the noise. She almost vomited at the sight of the scene around her. Everything was painted red with the blood of Erasers, chunks of them still lying around. There was no clean part of the observatory room. Max finally laid eyes on the heap of Fang on the ground, probably the source of the thud.

She rushed over to his collapsed form, syringe still tight in her hand. His eyes were barely open, the skin around them tight and dark. His breathing was ragged and his arm wounds had reopened from the effort he had put forth. Max sniffled as she touched his shoulder lightly.

"Fang… oh god, Fang…" she cooed. He didn't respond, just kept up his ragged breathing. With shaky hands, Max unwrapped one of his arms, the bandages bloody and torn. She found it hard to breath at the sight, but saw an acceptable place to inject the cure into Fang. "Please… hang on, Fang… don't give up… it's not too late…" she whispered, reassuring herself more than Fang. His breathing slowed, relaxing. She let a smile peek through. "Fang?"

Suddenly Fang started convulsing, grabbing at his stomach and shouting in agony. Max's eyes widened as she watched the sight. She tried to hold Fang down, Iggy doing likewise.

"We need to get him out of here!" Judge shouted. "More Erasers will come, possibly No, too! He's having a reaction to the cure and the only way we can help him is to get him out of here!" she instructed. Max nodded and touched Iggy's shoulder. He nodded as well.

With the rest of the flock in tow, Judge led them through the twisting and winding corridors of the underground complex. Iggy carried Fang on his back and kept up with the others at a surprising rate. Not once did he fall behind. They moved as fast as they could, the background blending with everything. There was almost no sound as they traveled, all focused on one thing.


And they had it.

Judge led them straight to the elevator, which took them to the surface. Nudge cried as they reached the top and kissed the ground. Gazzy and Angel held each other for a long while, and Max and Iggy tended to Fang. Fang continued to cringe and cry out in pain, still reacting to the cure.

"Don't worry," Judge said. "This doesn't mean the cure wont work… it's just painful because of the progress the virus had made… We just need to wait it out, and probably somewhere safe." Max nodded and signaled for the others to come to her.

"The creepy guy from earlier is still out there and Fang is still in need of our help. We need to get outta here," Max ordered. She grabbed an arm of Fang's and slung it over her shoulder. Judge did likewise, giving Iggy a break.

"Let's go," Total said anxiously, and he, Judge, Max, and the rest of the flock began to make their way up the hillside and into the forest. Judge looked back, feeling the eyes of the enemy upon her. She knew that they needed to help Fang get through the effect of the cure soon…

…for the enemy was watching them.


OMG! XD Chapter 17…. Holy crap… Anyways… This story is almost over! YES! Oh, by the way… y'all thought I forgot about Total, didn'tcha? Well HA! I didn't! He just didn't really do anything important for a while. Alright… it's my bedtime… and I am kinda sleepy… spent a whole two day son this stinkin' chapter…

18. Not Dying

Disclaimer: OO omg…

Canary: …TT it's so… close to being done… it's frightening!

Calamity: I'd say you've done well… making a nice progress from start to finish. Well done.

Canary BTW… this chapter kicks ass.

Can't Cry

Chapter Eighteen: Not Dying

They had made it a good ways into the woods before they finally had to stop. Max and Judge dropped the writhing Fang on the ground, collapsing themselves with exhaustion. Fang curled up into a ball, his entirely body shaking from his tightly clenched muscles. Max caught her breath and crawled over to Fang.

"Fang… Fang…" she breathed. "Shh… It's alright…" She sat on her legs, propping Fang's head on her lap. Slowly he began to unclench and unfurl from the ball he was in. Max's eyes lit up and she looked at Judge. "I think it's working!" she said. Judge nodded and smiled, the effect almost lost in her appearance. Her sleek and silky blonde hair was matted and had several spots of dried blood. Sadly, most of the flock matched this sense of macabre.

"He just needs to hold on. I think you did a good job convincing him," Judge said quietly. Max quirked an eyebrow.

"What do you mean?" she asked. Judge eyed her kindly.

"The serum would only work if he wanted to be saved. He had to be convinced to live. You did a good job of doing so," she said. Max's eyes teared up slightly and she looked down at the slowly relaxing Fang. Rain had started to fall on the group, adding more grunge to their already dirty appearance. Max stroked the side of Fang's face as he uncoiled. The flock surrounded her and Fang. Max couldn't help but be overcome with emotion. This was right to her… everyone together again. She held in her tears, the small task taking nearly everything she had.

Fang's eyes fluttered open.

"…Max?" he asked, his voice barely even a whisper. Max's hands cupped her mouth. Fang's eyes lolled around for a few seconds and his body tensed on and off, but his eyes were what got Max. They were clear. They were devoid of darkness.

"F-Fang…" Max choked out. She couldn't contain it anymore. Tears fell from her eyes and she leaned forward and pressed her forehead to Fang's. "It's okay, Fang… It's all over, I'm right here, everyone's here…" She sobbed, her tears running into Fang's hair. Fang was silent, his breathing ragged, yet rhythmic. The Gasman, Angel, Iggy, Judge, and Total all put a hand, or paw, on Max and Fang.

"What…" Fang tried to say, but his mouth wouldn't form the words. Max sniffed and shook her head.

"Don't speak, just rest… Please. It's going to be okay," she cooed, watching the rain as it fell onto Fang's face. His dark lashes shielded his eyes and the sky water washed away the grime from his face with every drop. "It's going to be okay."

"Is it?"

Max jerked her head around to see No standing only a few yards away from the flock. The rain made his light white shirt cling to his pale skin and his hair was equally soaked. The only thing that was bright about his appearance was his luminescent gaze, the shining blue eyes. They peered at the flock with a sense of hatred and malice Max had never seen before, save once while she was in Fang's mind. The eyes of Angel.

No raised his hands slowly. The flock stood in front of the kneeling Max and the semiconscious Fang, ready to protect them. Judge stepped forward, her gaze as hard as No's. The air seemed static with the emotions caught in it, the very raindrops electrified with the intensity. Judge smirked.

"What's this? Anger?" she said. She kept her smirk at No, whose eyes only seethed with anger further. "I thought the precious No was perfect. No emotions, no arguments, no heart." She stepped forward. Something seemed different about her and Iggy almost heard Judge's sister, Jury, through her voice. No's fists clenched, blood trickling from where his fingernails had dug into the skin.

"You… you, your damn sister, and those freaks…" No said in a low voice. "You all ruined it. You ruined everything. This company was to do great things, change the world… make it all better. But, then, you had to destroy it all." He raised a bloody hand and pointed at the flock. "Your sister died so that you and those freaks could ruin the only chance of redeeming humanity." Judge growled and ran towards his, lashing out a lightning fast kick. No dodged the attack and appeared a few feet behind her. She whipped around to face him.

"My sister sacrificed herself so that we could save humanity… Not destroy it as you think. This company has nothing redeeming about it! It's poisoned! And it's poisoned you as well, No," Judge said, straining to keep her voice from escalating. She jumped at No again, pushing her foot into the ground. The earth crumpled and shot towards No, who dodged it easily. Judge continued to fight at this distance, shooting her kicking energy through the ground towards No. "Think about it, No. You were a someone at some point in time, weren't you? You, too, were human. Just like me, just like Jury, just like them." No growled and rushed forward, grabbing Judge by the throat. Her eyes widened in surprise.

"No." he said coldly. He lifted her from the ground and launched her across the clearing, grinning at the satisfactory thump of her body against a tree trunk. "Like a rag doll."

"Judge!" Iggy shouted. He spread his wings and launched himself across the clearing to Judge, who lay limp at the trunk of a tree. Angel's eyes narrowed and she stood and took a few steps towards No.

"Angel, no!" Max shouted. "He's too dangerous! Please, come back." Angel ignored her.

"You can't breath," Angel murmured. No's eyes widened and he raised is hands, as if to grasp his throat. Then, he put his hands out in front of him and let out a soft chuckle.

"Nice try, kid," he said. Angel's eyes widened. Total took off for Angel. No's hands sparked dangerously as something was generated between them.

"No!" Nudge and the Gasman shouted. A huge explosion erupted in front of Max, Nudge, and Gazzy, right where Angel was.

"Angel! Angel!" Max shouted, her eyes searching the smoke. There was no response. "No… please, no…" Then, as the smoke cleared, it revealed Angel on the ground, Total laying on top of her and panting happily. He had jumped at her with all his force and managed to knock her a few yards away from the blast. He had saved her life.

"Thank you, Total!" Angel shouted, hugging and kissing the pooch. Max sighed in relief, but it didn't last long, She jerked her gaze over to No, whose hands were sparking again. She stood slowly, carefully resting Fang's head on the ground.

"Watch over him," she said to Nudge and the Gasman. They nodded and Max took a few steps towards No. "So… No, is it?" she asked. She stopped only a few feet away from him, showing no fear. The boy didn't seem surprised.

"Yes. You are Maximum Ride, leader of this… group," he said. Max nodded.

"Listen, pal. I want to make a deal," she said. No didn't say anything so she continued. "You and me. Just you and me. We duke it out. We don't involve anyone. I wont ask for my flock's help and you wont use them against me. Deal?" she asked. She jerked her head towards the middle of the clearing. "Out there. You and me, explody-boy. What do you say?" She watched him steadily, her arms crossed. No glanced out at the expanse of the clearing. Finally, he lowered his hands.


Max stood on one side of the clearing while No stood on the other. She knew she had to defeat him at any cost, that including her life. She started jogging towards the middle, No doing likewise. The closer to each other they got the faster they ran. Finally, it was a full bore run towards each other, each a machine determined to collide and destroy the other.

They reached the middle, Max sending the first hit; a punch flying towards No's head. He ducked under the hit and tried to uppercut Max, but she spun to the right, away from No, and attempted a roundhouse at the same time. No as slightly thrown by the combination of defense and offense, but blocked her kick none-the-less.

He swept a leg underneath her feet, but Max jumped into the air and unfurled her wings. She escalated a few feet before stopping and looking down at No. Something blue was in his hands. It took a few seconds before she finally realized what it was.

"Oh, shit!"

She banked to the left hard and descended at a dangerous rate, narrowly escaping the explosion. She opened up her wings and they snapped painfully. It was welcomed, though, because she had managed to stop herself only a few inches from the ground. She flew parallel with the ground, her chin brushing the tips of the grass blades. She glanced at No and saw his hands sparking again.

She turned sharply up and right, dodging another blast. This one, sadly, was a little bit more accurate than the last and the shockwave sent Max tumbling across the clearing. She glanced up in a daze. Luminescent eyes appeared in her vision. No picked her up and punched her clean in the jaw, sending her flying further across the clearing. Max bounced off of the cold, hard ground, her brain barely registering the sounds of her flock calling out to her. She lay there a moment, only getting up after a few seconds of excruciating pain in her jaw. It was possibly broken.

She stumbled away, another blast erupting at her side. She was thrown only a few yards this time, but the action sent more pain into her body. She became overcome with the thought that there was no way that she could win this. No was just too strong.

Then, it finally dawned on her.

She pushed herself up onto her hands and knees and surveyed the clearing. From where No stood, the radius of his blasts were ranged from large to small. The closer to No the blasts were, the larger the blast radius. The farther away Max was from No, the last intense his explosions. She knew what she had to do.

She stood and wiped the blood from her jaw. She could feel the pain shooting all the way down her spine, but she had to ignore it. This trick would only work once. No raised his hands, the blue sparks shooting off frantically.

"Are you sure you don't want to just give up and die peacefully?" No asked. Max smiled and looked him straight in the eyes.

"I wont be the one dying."

No grimaced and his hands sparked dangerously, the sign of the explosion occurring. Max waiting until a split second before the explosion erupted and she launched herself at No, snapping open her wings and pouring on her supersonic speed. She burst forth from the flames of the explosion and landed her fist right on No's heart. She swore she felt something snap inside him from the sheer force of it, but it wasn't enough for her. Still pouring on the speed she launched No into a tree. As he collided the trunk gave slightly and blood spewed forth from his mouth. Max stopped only a few inches from his face, his eyes dilated and losing their luminescence.

"Who's dying now?"

And No shuddered and died.


OO omg… that was AMAZING! I have never written a chapter like this before! I mean, I've written action scenes before but BOY HOWDY! ohmigosh… I am SO SO SO! Pleased with this chapter… by far my most favorite… I mean, I had a favorite before but… this takes the cake… and the cookies… and the milk… and the baker… and the milkman… and the cows… and the flour commonly used for baking… and the bakery… and the supplies used to build the bakery… and…

19. Can't Cry: Part II

Disclaimer: TT

Canary: Well, folks…

Calamity: OMG… sobs hysterically

Can't Cry

Chapter Nineteen: Can't Cry Part II

Max stumbled over to where Iggy was cradling the limp form of Judge. Max knew she was dead, her spine had to of been snapped in half from the sheer force of being thrown. She was sure that the girl's impact with the tree didn't help. She could see the pain on Iggy's face and put a hand on his shoulder.

"She was…" he tried to say, but his words got caught in his throat. He wasn't crying, but Max could tell from the start that he had grown fond of the girl. She couldn't blame him. Judge had saved their lives… saved Fang's life. She simply smiled and let him be. He would be fine; he just needed time she reasoned.

Max then walked back towards Angel, Total, Nudge, And the Gasman, who were all around Fang protectively. She saw the fear and relief on the children's faces and couldn't help but smile herself. Even though another friend was lost, they were still alive, still together.

"Fang…" Max said, kneeling down. Fang's head jerked to one side and his eyes slowly opened, his dark lashes fluttering. He looked around a moment before hoarsely asking,

"Where am I?" Fang looked around, his thoughts most likely dazed. Max smiled.

"You're outside… We came and rescued you, Fang… It's alright," she said. Fang slowly pushed himself, ignoring the pain in his arms and his head.

"You saved me?" he asked, his voice registering disbelief. Max frowned slightly. She didn't like the tone he had.

"Y-yeah… We came and saved you, Fang… everything's alright now." She tried to smile again, but it was lost in the scared look in Fang's eyes.

"What were you thinking!?" he shouted. He backed away from the flock, still on all fours. "Why did you come after me!? I'm dangerous! I could hurt you! I could kill you!" he shouted. Max reached her arm out.

"Fang, I-"

"No!" he shouted. He glanced around him frantically. "You can't allow me to live!" he shouted. Max's mouth gaped slightly at his words. The flock was silent. Judge had said that he wanted to be saved. This was something Max wasn't sure how to deal with.

"What are you talking about, Fang? You want to come back to us, don't you?" she asked. Fang's eyes held fear and pain.

"I could kill you!" he shouted again. He stood and stumbled towards Max and grabbed her shoulders, his hands shaking violently.

"Fang, what are you-"

"You have to," he said in a harsh whisper. Max looked at him in confusion. "You have to kill me." Max's eyes widened.

"Fang! Stop it! We've cured you! Come to your senses it's all over!" Max shouted. She pushed his arms off of her. Fang slammed his fist on the ground.

"Don't you get it!? I'm dangerous! That virus suppressed my power! I can kill you all without even meaning to!" he shouted. The rest of the flock was silent, save Iggy, who stepped forward slowly and reached a hand out towards Fang.

"Listen, Fang… We can help you… You don't have to hurt yourself anymore to stop yourself. We are your family. We'll help you," he cooed. Fang shook his head violently.

"I can't… I can't control it…" he mumbled. His eyes darted around frantically and he hugged his sides. Angel's eyes moistened with tears.

"Max! He's losing his mind!" she said, her voice high pitched and frightened. "I can feel it!"

"Fang!" Max shouted. She grabbed his shoulders, feeling his body shake in her grasp. He looked around himself frantically and mumbled incoherent things. "Fang! It's all going to be okay! You're not going to be hurt anymore!"

"Kill me!" he said, his voice straining to remain in control. "Kill me before I hurt you!" The air around the flock began to darken. Max's eyes widened.

"Oh no…"

Fang cradled his head in his hands and began to rock back and forth, his mouth and eyes clamped shut. The air continued to darken and swirl with as Fang's mind slowly betrayed him.

"Fang! Fang!" Max said. She shook his shoulders. "Fang, please! It's us! You don't need to be afraid!"

"Kill me," said a deep and demonic voice. Max looked over at Angel whose eyes were coal black. "Kill me and it will end. No one else will be hurt." Max growled and shook Fang's shoulders.

"Fang! Stop it! Let Angel go and we can help you!" she said. She needed to stop him from being swallowed up in his own madness or he would end up killing everyone. She saw the cuts on his arms starting to bleed through the bandages and thought of something. "Those cuts on your arms, Fang… they don't rule you anymore! Your fear has no control over you!" The darkness simply intensified and Max could see the light leaving the eyes of her flock. Things were getting out of hand. Max glanced back at Fang. She could feel the oppressing darkness and tried one last tactic to save Fang from himself.

"Fang… I love you."

Something shifted in the darkness, sending it hurling away. A scream darker and more morbid than anything Max had ever heard erupted in the night air. It was Fang. The darkness was sucked away and she looked into Fang's eyes.

She saw tears.

Fang broke down and sobbed into Max's arms, mumbling things as the tears fell from his eyes.

"I hear them, I see them… everywhere in my head I see them…" he mumbled. Max figured he meant all the people he had killed. He was so close to losing control and sucking the flock into the void of his mind, but he was able to break through. Max was finally able to save him. He continued to sob in her arms, his heart weary from so much pain. The flock gathered around and everyone hugged Max and Fang.

"Fang… Fang…" Max cooed. "It's going to be okay… You're not in danger anymore." The tired Fang lifted his tearstained face and looked around him and into the eyes of the flock.

"I almost killed every single one of you… and you all are still here? Why?" he asked. His voice sounded almost hurt. Max held his face in her hands.

"We would never leave you behind, Fang… We love you too much… I love you too much." And with that she kissed Fang, a slow yet comforting kiss, one that reassured him that she would always be there for him. "I would never leave you."

Nudge let out a romantic sigh and Angel gripped the Gasman's hand tightly. Iggy let a small grin creep onto his face. Even through all the loss, the flock was still together. Fang reached into his pocket and pulled out a very dirty, messed up, bloodstained Celeste. He handed it to Angel.

"Celeste!" she exclaimed, and hugged the ragged bear. Her eyes teared up themselves at the sight of her beloved lost toy. "You kept her safe…"

"She kept me safe…" Fang said quietly. He reached up and touched Angel's cheek. "I'm… I'm so sorry, Angel…" he forced out, more tears forming in his eyes. Angel sniffed at such a sight and wrapped her arms around Fang.

"I love you, Fang. I know you didn't mean to…" she cooed. Fang hugged her tightly, the pain of hurting someone he cared for so much showing on his face. He let her go and winced slightly as he brushed his bandaged arm on his pant leg. He lifted his arms up slightly and looked at the heavily stained bandages.

Slowly, he began to remove the bloody wrappings. The more he removed the more bloodstained the bandages were. Max almost couldn't bear it.

"Fang-" she began, but was cut off by Iggy, who placed a hand on her shoulder. She understood. He needed to see what he had done. He didn't know the extent of the damage he had caused to himself while in control of the virus.

Fang's eyes grew more and more pained with every bandaged he removed. Tears formed in them as he finally removed the last bandage. His arms were so badly cut up that stitches were definitely needed, the blood still seeping from the wounds. His body ached from the deep gashes and the tears that fell from his eyes stung the wounds. He hung his head and closed his eyes, unable to take the sight of it. Max laid a hand on his shoulder.

"Hey…Fang, it's alright… You… you can cry… the white coats were wrong about you. Jeb was wrong… You don't have to hurt yourself anymore… It's all over," she said. Fang nodded, but he wasn't convinced.

"What… what if I can't every cry again… What if I lose control… What if I end up hurting you? Or killing you?" he said, his voice laden with worry. Gazzy knelt down by Fang.

"Don't worry, Fang," he said. "I know you wont hurt us." Fang sucked in a breath and patted the Gasman's head. Total licked Fang's other hand, completely ignoring the blood. Fang closed his eyes, trying to stay in this moment forever. He could feel the cool air, the night leaving him feeling more refreshed than he had felt in years. He opened his eyes, but his world was dizzy. He felt himself falling to one side, but he never hit the ground. Max caught him in her strong arms and held him tight as he let sleep wash over him. He wanted to stay like that forever.

Max watched the slumbering form of Fang. She brushed some of his dark hair from his face, his eyes red from his tears and the skin dark and taunt. She knew he would need several nights of recuperation from the pain he had endured.

"Let's let him rest," Max said quietly. The flock nodded. "We can take the time to bury Judge… then we get the hell outta here." And they did just that.

With the help of a sorrowful Iggy they buried Judge at the base of a tree and carved her name into its trunk. They stood there a moment, admiring the grave and remembering the brave girl who turned from evil and gave her life to save some strangers. Max admired her and it was sad that she was gone. She would have had her join the flock.

Then, under the cover of darkness, with Fang being carried between Max and Iggy, the flock took off into the night sky, putting behind them a terrible and tragic past. Together they would help rebuild Fang's life and piece together a better future. Together, the flock would survive.


omg… it's done… YES! NO! SO MANY EMOTIONS! Okay… so I can't write very good endings… SUE ME!

All right… stay tuned for the epilogue and the thank you!

20. Epilogue

Disclaimer: All characters belong to James Patterson…

Calamity: Well… Here we go… What say you, Canary? This is your story after all.

Canary: TT I'm sad that it's finally over, but I'm also at peace… This is the epilogue, the afterthought… it's sad and exciting that I've made it here with this story… sob

Calamity: pat pat

Can't Cry


The wind was slowly, steady, just an endless softness that caressed the cold yet smooth skin of Fang as he sat on the cliff's edge. He let his feet dangle over the edge, one arm propped up on his knee. His dark eyes surveyed the sunset, the quiet and cool evening. The trees were rustling pleasantly and the forest was quiet as no sounds but the wind graced the scene. It was so picturesque that Fang found it hard to believe that he was really there.

A soft touch on his shoulder brought him back to the present. He glanced up to see Max, who sat down next to him. At first, she said nothing, just sat there and enjoyed the moment with him. After a moment she rested her gaze on him.

"How are you?" she breathed. Fang turned his head slowly and looked into her eyes. She was so beautiful to him, even more so than the sunset. He returned his gaze to the sky, not answering her at first. "Fang?" she said quietly.

"I'm fine," he answered, not harshly, but still cold. He had become a warmer person and a colder person, all at the same time. Max touched his arm, a soft and warm touch.

"Let me see…" she said. Fang glanced at the sunset, then at her, then away again. He jerked his arm away.


"Fang…" she said, her voice suddenly stressed and elevated. "Don't tell me…" Fang looked her in the eyes and held his arms out to her. He was already wearing a short-sleeved shirt, which was kind of new for him. Max kept her eyes on his, but his gaze was daring, menacing. She looked down.

Smooth, unbroken skin was warmed by the sunset's dull glow. Max ran her fingertips along the numerous scars that adorned the smooth skin, tracing each line, whether straight or jagged, with enough care to heal the world. She glanced up at Fang.

He silently grabbed her cheek and pulled her into a soft kiss, lingering there. He pulled away, though not far enough to where he could no longer feel the warmth of Max's skin. He inhaled her scent deeply.

"I told you once… I'll tell you again… I wont do that anymore. I've changed," he cooed. Max nodded, but sniffed as her eyes started to water. Fang smiled softly and pulled her into a warm embrace. They stayed like that for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, calls that dinner was ready were heard from deeper in the cliff-side cave. Fang glanced back and shrugged. "S'pose we'll have to go survive whatever they made to eat," he said. Max punched his shoulder lightly and got up to go check on what the meal had become.

Fang sat there a few moments long, the smile still lingering on his face. He enjoyed this; the serenity was a peaceful change from where he had been. Then, almost instantly, the smile faded. His eyes seemed angrier, the skin around them darker, his character producing a sense of malice. He glanced at his arms, watching the scars pulse black ever so slightly. He hadn't lied when he told Max that he had changed…

…but his mind was far from freedom.


Canary: Helloooo!

Canary: I would just like to inform all of you that have watched this specific story or myself as a author, that there is a second book out!

Calamity: Yeah, someone suggested that a final chapter be added to Can't Cry Book One to help make sure the word gets out!

Canary: So far, there aren't many views or reviews on the current Can't Cry Book Two: Gestort. I'd greatly appreciate it if you all checked it out!

Calamity: If you enjoyed Can't Cry Book One, then you'll definitely want to check out the second installment. Here's a brief preview…

"…He continued forward towards a vending machine, his posture changing dramatically from lovesick-happy to depressed-angry. As he approached the vending machine a man burst forth from the alley and pulled him in.

"Hah! Pathetic little boy, I'll slit your throat! Gimme all that you have!" the mugger shouted. Fang just looked the other way, ignoring the man completely. "Hey! I'm talkin' to you!" He pulled a long blade from his pocket. "Gimme your cash!" he shouted. Fang's eye caught the blade's glint. That sadness that had been replaced in Fang's eyes now found a name.


"H-hey… what's going on!? What the fuck!?" the mugger shouted. Fang grinned maliciously as the shadows rose from the ground in grotesque forms and made their way towards the two. "What the fuck!?" the mugger shouted again. He tossed Fang aside and waved the knife about frantically in front of him. "What are those things!?"

"They are my friends," Fang said almost childishly. His eyes widened in greedy terror and power as the man was consumed by the shadows. He didn't even have time to let out a scream as the shadows enveloped him completely. Fang found himself disappointed. He had wanted to hear the man scream… to see him suffer.

Then he got his wish…"

Calamity: As you can see, there is more to this little story of Can't Cry than first thought! Please check out Can't Cry Book Two: Gestort.

Canary: So please! Rush to my page and READ!

Canary: Enjoy!