Eraser Arc by Andromeda-Dreamer

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Adventure, Angst
Published:2007-05-21 03:00:30
Updated:2008-03-05 00:35:18
Packaged:2021-04-21 22:30:47
Summary:A possibly multipart story about Ari and the Erasers, the shadow children of MaxRide. [AriMaxII, AriOC, OCOC, Fax, Fari, Figgy]

Table of Contents

1. Prologue
2. Shadow Girl

1. Prologue

Revamp of old fic, is about how the Erasers got screwed over and is trying to fix that, AU from Book 2 (probably).

Slash & Het.

Disclaimer: Not mine; James Patterson's. And if he'd occasionally remember the wolf-part of the Erasers? We'd be all good, man.

Eraser Arc:


Ari's walking down the hall, headed to the cafeteria, when Jason Buchanan taps his shoulder. He turns, half-snarling; white-coats are not civilized company, no matter what Jeb tries to tell him. Jason, who is not...bad, for a white-coat, raises his hands in the universal sign for "no weapons here". Ari relaxes. "Hello, Jason," he says tiredly. "I'm getting lunch. What about you?"

Jason blinks grey eyes. "Sorry, Ari. We have something to show you."

Ari sighs, doesn't say anything, but he's annoyed. The last time he had this meeting, it was "we're giving you guys wings". He rubs a thumb over his wrist, a small gesture that works wonders to calm him down. It's a trick one of the martial-arts teachers taught him (David Carlyle; he'd thought of Ari as a protege); and people generally don't notice it.

Jason winces. "I'm sorry, man. Boss' orders."

Ari nods. "You can't tell me, then?"

"Sorry," Jason says. He's young, and he hasn't been here long; soon he'll realize it's not worth it to be nice to the experiments. Until then, Ari rather likes him.

"Lab C21," Jason is saying, and Ari blinks.

"All right," he says. "Are you coming, or?"

Jason shakes his head. "I'm not high-level enough," he says, smiling wryly. "I don't even know what's going on."

Ari pulls a face, and heads to the lab, Jason pattering along behind him. He knocks on the sparse steel door once, and enters. Jason waves, and stands outside, back to the wall like a guard.

Jeb is standing there, hands buried in the pockets of his lab-coat; Ari bites the inside of his cheek, hard. He has daddy-issues.

Jeb says, "Ari, I'd like you to meet Theta 6943; she's a clone of Maximum Ride who we think may be able to give us a great advantage."

Ari flicks his eyes over to the girl sitting on the gurney who looks, oh god like Max and he doesn't scream, or panic or even bite his lip but he does grip his wrist with enough force to shatter normal bone.

She looks at him with dead eyes—like most of Ari's kin, but oh, Max.

He says, "Hello," in a soft, gentle voice, forcing emotion down. You have to be careful with unsocialized experiments, because they're generally insane, and a clone of Max? Oh yeah.

The girl blinks, twice, short blonde hair glimmering in the artificial light. The wings on her back rustle; she's nervous. Ari doesn't mind; he knows he doesn't look like a pup, and he's happy with that (how else could he protect his Pack?).

Her primaries are cut. He thinks it, and then it hits him—her primaries are cut. She can't fly. His stomach roils, just a little.

She says, blankly, "Hullo."

Jeb says, "Try not to fuck her, Ari. I'll leave you two to bond." And he sweeps out of the room.

Ari's fists are clenched, and he has to physically calm down to get the claws to retract. The girl just stares, blank and empty.

He says, "I'm sorry about that. D'you have a name?" He doesn't really expect an answer; mostly he doesn't get them. The white-coats are far too good at breaking children; it makes him wonder what their pysch profiles say. Not that he wants to know.

So he's surprised, at least a little, when the girl gets down off the gurney, hands at her sides, and says, "No. Do you?"

Reviews are love!

2. Shadow Girl

New chapter! (About six hundred and seventy billion years after the prologue was published, I know.)

Reviews are good?

Disclaimer: James Patterson's!

Eraser Arc:

Chapter One: Shadow-Girl

(in which Ari is kissed a lot)


Ari stood, teeth clenched, fighting down the urge to surrender to the primal side of his nature and rip out his father's throat. His hands, white-knuckled, gripped the back of his chair as he surveyed the table of investors in the School, playing the stock-market of his Pack's lives.

"No, Jeb," he said angrily through gritted teeth, "It would not be an efficient expenditure of resources to create more flying Erasers. For one thing, it'll lower morale. For another, it's unnecessary. Flying erasers were created for one purpose and one purpose only—to take out the Flock. There are six of them, and forty of us."

The older man looked as though he was about to say something scathing, when he was stopped by John Matheson, one of the senior investors who therefore had enough clout to make scientists stop and do what passed for thinking. Matheson said, calmly, "I agree."

Jeb blinked. Ari's brain did several flips. He said, running on automatic, "That's reassuring to hear. Thank you," and sat down.

Matheson said, "However. The fact that I agree with you notwithstanding, the Flock are a danger we cannot afford. Can you swear to me, on your honor as pack alpha, that you will eliminate them?"

Ari thought, This man knows wolf. Who is he? Why hasn't he spoken before? Aloud he said, "Give me six months."

Matheson nodded, satisfied. "Thank you," he said, and sat with languid easy grace. Ari resolved to keep an eye on him. Or have Shadow have someone keep an eye on him. Same thing, really.

Jeb said, reluctantly, "Well, in that case I see no further point to this meeting; dismissed."

Jason Buchanan, at the scientists' end of the table, grinned at him. Ari smiled back, half-hesitant. Jason had proven rather persistent, hadn't given up his friendship with Ari yet, and Ari wasn't sure what to make of that.

They filed out in an orderly manner.

As soon as Ari got out, there was a clipboard in his face and a girl at his elbow, young-looking for an Eraser. Not that she was one, exactly.

"Did you get anything?" she asked, quietly as they walked; he knew she didn't expect much. They hadn't gone into this meeting thinking they'd get anything more than a postponement; this was very good.

He kept his face blank. "Tell you later," he said evenly, taking the clipboard. "What's this?"

She had the good sense not to swear; he knew she wanted to. "We need your signature for pain meds. We're out, and Jesse and Lyle just got back from god-knows-where, ripped to shreds."

He signed the paper with the pen she handed him and gave the clipboard back. They turned a corner and he said, "Those fuckers."

She said, "Jesse and Lyle'll be fine, I think—given a couple weeks. We do have a couple weeks, right?"

Ari said, "They do. They're not winged, right?"

She shook her head. "Your average garden-variety half-dead wolf-kid. You know."

He grinned. "Point taken. Shadow—I got us six months."

She stared at him. "Six—holy—wow." Then she threw her arms around him.

"Of course, we have to take the flock out within that window, but hey. We're good." He kissed the top of her blonde head. She slid up and kissed him, properly and soundly.

They drew back for air, panting; Ari felt wolf-lust rise and forced it down. The girl formerly known as Theta 6943, currently known as Max II—Shadow, to her friends—wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. "I gotta get this to Stores—Kiran'll do his nut when you tell him. He's in the Yard, I think."

Ari smiled at her. "Okay. See you... when I see you."



Kiran Actillon brushed floppy black hair out of his eyes, growled low in his throat, and pinned the other man beneath him, forearm across his windpipe. The scent of fear filled his nostrils; he felt his canines grow a millimetre and grazed a tooth across the pinned man's throat. The hunt burned bright in him, demanding a kill—he lifted his head and howled.

Then he fixed his gaze on the class of Erasers watching him. Forcing the bloodlust back, he stood, offering Umbra Kimarre a hand up. "See, kids, that's why you block the windpipe. Not only does it weaken your opponent through lack of oxygen, but it gets them on the ground."

Umbra, panting slightly, nodded. "Plus it's damned uncomfortable. However, it does force desperation strength—when your enemy feels his or her air waning, they tend to get a little more vicious. So you gotta be ready with either a death-blow or some tranq. Got it?"

The "kids" in the class—none of whom looked a day under 25—nodded solemnly. Chase, one of the brighter cubs, though with less of an aptitude for hand-to-hand, raised a hand, scuffing his foot in the sand of the Yard.

"Chase?" Umbra asked, wiping his forehead with the back of his hand, sweeping matted, sticky dark hair off his face.

"...Ari's here."

Kiran blinked, thinking. Saw the familiar dark-haired, skulking form at the doorway between the Yard and the School proper.

Umbra grinned at him. "Go; I'll handle this."

"Thanks," Kiran said, "See ya, cubs. Be good. I'll bring Ari to tell you some stories later, 'kay?"

They nodded in unison; how childlike they managed to look, even though their bodies were decades older than their minds! Sometimes it made his heart hurt; he'd been through it and he mourned his childhood. Though he'd had some semblance of one; now the white-coats were just churning out new Erasers, day after day—supply and demand, he supposed, bitterly.

He dusted his hands, walking over to Ari.

"Hey," he said, leaning on the opposite side of the doorframe. "'Sup?"

Ari blinked at him. "I got us six months."

"Holyshit," Kiran said, looked around furtively, and kissed Ari, hard. Ari went, mmph, and kissed him back. They fell apart, gasping for breath. Kiran said, "So, how'd you manage that?"

"Luck, mostly," Ari said, grinning, "but Matheson knows Wolf."

Kiran thought about this. "Wolf? Matheson? How?"

Ari shook his head. "Damned if I know, but I'm not about to look a gift horse in the mouth. Unless asking Shadow's people to dig up what they can is looking a gift horse in the mouth?"

Kiran rolled his eyes. "Does Shadow know you've got her people up for this again?"

Ari coughed lightly. "She'll have figured it out by now."

Kiran rolled his eyes and thumped Ari on the arm. "You're such a dick." He was still grinning, still riding the high. It seemed pretty much natural to kiss Ari again, the sheer joy subsuming him, overwhelming all sense of intelligence or propriety. It was probably a good thing it was only Ari (and Shadow) who could do that to him.

Things went from there, until Ari broke for breath and muttered, "Inside."

Kiron didn't have the mind to protest.


Shadow knocked on Ari's door, twice, and pushed it open cautiously, poking her head around the room. Kiron and Ari were sprawled like puppies in the middle of Ari's bed (three singles, pushed together; fair enough, since like half the pack was sleeping (or not sleeping, whatever) with Ari), limbs tangled. Kiron was asleep. Ari's eyes were half-open and lazy, watching the other Eraser breathe.

At Shadow's entrance, Ari opened his eyes completely and disentangled himself from Kiron carefully, padding over to her. "Hey," he said, softly.

"Hey," she said, grinning a little. "I don't suppose you told anyone butKiron?"

He ducked his head, mock-ashamed and playful like no one outside the Pack got to see. "I was going to!"

She hit him gently on the arm. "You're an idiot, Ari, you know that? Thankfully, I am not."

"Whatever, genius. What've you got on Matheson?"

"You're a dick," she said, but handed him the plain manila folder all the same.

"Thanks, babe," he grinned, kissing her softly. He tasted like Kiron. Speaking of whom—the lump of Kiron rustled and the younger Eraser looked up, blinking blearily at them.

"'Morning," Kiron said. "It is morning, right?"

Shadow shrugged. "Afternoon, morning. Same thing. No point distinguishing, huh?"

"Three p.m.," Ari added, for good measure.

"Fuck," Kiron said, snapping into waking, "Umbra's going to tease the shitout of me." His hair was standing up straight; he scrubbed at it fiercely with one hand and scrabbled around the bed for pants. He came up with two halves of a pair of sweatpants and made a face. "Yousuck," he told Ari, wrapping the blanket around his waist.

Ari quirked an eyebrow.

"Oh my god," Kiron said, grinning despite himself, "grow up," and slammed the bathroom door shut behind him. There was the sound of muffled swearing from behind the door.

Shadow laughed. "Puppies," she told Ari, "the lot of you."

Ari grinned. "Your words, not mine," he said, and flipped through her manila folder. "Oh," he said, shoulders slumping just slightly, "fuck."

She twisted her mouth in a wry grin. "Sorry we couldn't give you more," she said, work taking over; "that's all we could get. We'll keep trying."

"Thanks," he said. "I'd better--"

"Yeah," she said.

"Kiron!" he shouted, into the bathroom door, "I'm going!"

"Whatever," Kiron said back; there was the sound of the shower turning on. "Oh," he added, through the noise, "Don't get killed. Don't get us killed. Avoid death if possible."

Ari rolled his eyes. "Not that kind of going," he said. "Other kind."

"In which case, I don't care."

Shadow grinned lightly. "Don't you just love the younger generation?"

Ari sighed. "There really is no way that would be beneficial to me to answer that."

"Damn right," Shadow said.

Ari left.

Shadow ran a hand through her short-cropped hair, toeing the ground. "Kiron?" she called, tentatively.

The older Eraser shut off the water and sighed, exasperated. "What?"

"Don't worry," she said, shaking her head. "Sorry; it's probably nothing but--"

His voice changed tone, to gentle and worried. "What?"

"Ari," she said. "Is he--"

"Different? Yeah. But that's what he does, Shadow; he changes. He has to, to survive this place; to make sure we survive it." Kiran's voice was tired, soft.

"Okay," she said, "I'm going to-- go now."

"Good," he said. She imagined she could see his grin, wry through the bathroom walls.