From the Ivory Tower by carino2

Category:Maximum Ride
Published:2008-09-24 21:28:28
Updated:2008-09-24 21:28:28
Packaged:2021-05-07 02:27:50
Summary:Max finally learns the truth about who she is and why she was made. Multiple interpretations possible.

From the Ivory Tower

Once upon a time, there was a princess who lived in a tall, ivory tower. The tower was trimmed with gold and had large, glass windows around the top through which you could see the entire surrounding countryside. The princess liked to look out at her kingdom and marvel at the beautiful countryside surrounding her.

The tower stood alone in the middle of a meadow, but the princess had built it that way on purpose. Everything in the area was of her design, made for the purpose of keeping her safe and happy and making her feel at home. In this way, the tower was a perfect world for the princess. It had everything she needed to survive, and she had even set enchantments upon it to keep the people she didn't like out.

These spells had been woven for the sole purpose of keeping the princess' parents out. They were not too happy that she had run away, but the only reason she had left them was because she knew they were evil. The tower was constantly being attacked by the princess' parents and their armies, but every time so far that they had breached her defenses, she had managed to drive them back again. Her tower was the central point for anyone who wished to resist the evil, she knew, so it had to say free.

It was hard for the princess to be constantly fighting with her parents, so she arranged it so that she could take breaks sometimes. The only way she could do this was by getting far enough ahead of them that they could not beat her. During these times, her stepmother and stepsister would come up to the tower to be with her. The princess loved her stepmother and stepsister greatly, and when all three were together, they were almost like a proper family. They helped her to forget about her evil parents and all the things she had to do for a while. When she was with them, the princess was completely happy.

The princess would have liked to stay with her stepmom and stepsister forever, but she knew she could not. See, her evil parents never stopped doing bad things, and no matter how many enchantments she wrought upon the tower, she could never outdo them for good. They were the kind and queen of the land, of course, and therefore very powerful. They had created armies of people and creatures that were enchanted to have special powers and sent them out to help the kingdom. Of course, the princess knew that the armies were really spreading evil throughout the land, and it was up to her to stop them.

Even though the princess had defied her parents by running away from them, she felt that she was never truly free of their control. See, the princess was on of those special people who should have been in the armies sent out to save the kingdom. Her mother and father had enchanted her when she was born and given her wings. The princess loved the ability to fly, because it gave her freedom, but she disliked the fact that her parents had sought to use her in this way. By creating her they had actually made their own worst enemy, because they were not able to enchant themselves in the same way. They could do nothing to stop her when she was in the air, and she did her best to make their plans fail.

Even though she was very special, she knew that she could not fight her parents alone. Their armies were made of people almost as strong as her, and she would be outnumbered one hundred to one if she ever attacked a group of soldiers. No, she had a group of friends who fought the evil with her, and even if they did not number as many as an army, they were strong and dedicated to their cause. Counting the princess, there were six of them.

The other five who helped the princess fight were her almost-siblings-but-not-quite. They, like her, had been enchanted so that they could fly, and they had other special abilities as well. They were technically under her command, as children of nobles loyal to her father, but they would have followed her anyways because she was strong and smart and the oldest of them all. She led them into battle bravely, and they did their best to fight for what they knew was right. In a land so full of evil, it was a hard task.

For two years, the six had been free of the castle in which they had been raised, and for most of that time they had been fighting to save the kingdom. They had long ago figured out that the best way to defeat evil once and for all would be to kill the cruel king and queen. Then, the princess would be the leader and could fix all the bad things in the land. This was hard, though, because the king and queen were very cautious. They were always surrounded by soldiers, and both of them knew how to fight. Therefore, the princess and her friends had to first work on eliminating the armies. The six of them would attack small groups of soldiers whenever they got the chance. This actually happened quite often, because the king and queen were forever trying to capture the six for opposing their rule.

There were always new soldiers being created, and the princess knew that what she was doing did not help as much as everyone liked to think it did. He greatest fear was that the king and the queen would break down her defenses someday, and take her away from the safety of her ivory tower. She knew that she had to be prepared for such a thing to occur, and was constantly plotting ways in which she could escape capture.

The princess, though she almost never showed it, was also scared for her friends. If she was taken away, there would be nothing protecting them. They would be punished for rebelling against the king and the queen, and probably killed as traitors. She felt responsible for every little thing that happened to them, almost as if she was their mother. Her friends lived with her in the safety of her tower, and she did her best to always keep them happy.

It didn't take long before the princess' fears came true. Though she had done most everything she could, her parents managed to capture her and take her away from her friends. They took her back to the castle, and tried to confuse her with stories of how things were not what they seemed.

While she was there, the princess was locked up in a room on her own. She worried about her friends, but no one made any mention of what had happened to them. It was almost like they did not exist. The princess was left like that, alone, to think about her life. It was hard for her. She thought she was going crazy.

The princess was rescued from her solitude only by the arrival of her father. She had loved him best when she was young, and he used this emotion to try to reach her. He tried to comfort her with his words and tell her of a way things could be better. She didn't listen, of course, because she knew he had turned evil and would only betray her again. His words, filled with demented love, stung her, and she had to fight back tears. Thankfully, the princess was stronger than him. It would take more than that to change her mind.

The princess knew she was going to escape, but first she wanted to try to defeat the evil king and queen. Since she was already in the middle of the stronghold, it was the best chance she'd had so far. She went to find her parents, and was surprised to find that her friends had followed her here. They had walked into the trap right behind her, and were now being attacked. The biggest problem was that her mother and father were trying to kill her friends in her name.

The princess, however, was not about to give up this easily. She fought against the twisted version of her that the king and queen had been inventing with their words, and fought with her friends to get away. The six managed to escape thanks to the princess' strength, with which she overcame her parents' ruse.

Though the princess pretended to be happy after the escape, she was more stressed than ever. She worked hard to fortify the tower so it could not be broken into again, but she knew it was only a matter of time before her magic was overcome another time. As she worked, she realized that her parents were growing more evil by the day. Soon, she might not be able to hold them off anymore.

The princess was also scared of what had happened back at the castle. After seeing how convinced her parents were that she would become evil with them, she was determined to not let herself become that girl. She lived in fear of falling victim to her mother's lies and her father's sweet words, and believed only what she could prove for herself.

Time passed, and things in the kingdom stayed the same. The princess was aware that her mother and father still wanted to catch her, but they had not come close to succeeding again. They had tried to trick her and her friends into thinking their wicked ways were simply the princess' illusion, but no one had been fooled. Because the princess needed to stay strong for the rest of her friends, she did not show how much the constant battles of wits and powers exhausted her. Whatever happened, she would not give in.

Since the princess always acted so strong, it came as a surprise to her friends when she collapsed of overexertion. They didn't realize how hard she had been working. That very night, the main powers of her tower were broken. Some weak enchantments remained, but her parents could enter the tower if they chose. The evil king and queen kept their distance, however. Their only request was that, when the princess woke, she would come down and see them. Because it was the only way to save her friends, the princess complied. Before she left, she told them once again that she would not give in.

The king and queen did not even take the princess to the castle to talk to her. They knew she disliked the place, and did their best to please her by holding their discussion in sight of the tower. At first, the princess was rude and stubborn and would listen to nothing they said. However, the words she was hearing began to sink in. And once she started to listen, she found she couldn't stop.

Her mother and father told her about the days when she and the others were younger and still lived in the castle, ready to fight for good in the kingdom. However, there had been a fight between the six and the queen, over some stupid subject. The king had taken them out for a ride so they could cool down, and they had run away. The princess had tried to take the king with her, but in doing so had fallen and hurt herself. Her friends, she was told, would not turn back. They left without the king but carried her away. They cared for her until she was better.

The king and queen expected the princess to return once she had recovered, but instead she retreated and built the tower. Since then, she had lived there with her friends, in the enchanted world she thought was keeping her safe.

It turned out that the tower was not what she thought. Though it looked good and pure and beautiful, the enchantments the princess had tried to work on it were too complex for her to control. They had changed on their own and made it so she thought her parents and their armies were evil, and she thought she was fighting for good. Through the windows of her tower, her parents told her, her vision was skewed and it seemed that the kingdom was being destroyed. If the princess had stopped to look once she was free of the magic in her tower, she would see that the land was overrun with evil and her parents were trying to stop it.

When she heard this, the princess stopped and looked around to see if what her parents had said was true.

As the king and queen were talking to their daughter, the princess' friends watched from high in the enchanted tower. They became scared as they saw the princess listening to her parents, because she had told them long ago about the structured lies and careful flattery used to sway people to the side of wickedness. They thought that the princess was finally succumbing to evil, because the words of the king and queen did not penetrate the tower walls. And even though the main enchantment of the tower had been broken, some of the princess' magic still remained.

Outside, the princess realized what she had been doing to herself and her friends. She was too proud to ask her parents for forgiveness, of course, but she sought to right her mistake. Her parents granted her leave to bring her friends back to them, and she ran toward the tower full of hope.

When she re-entered her home of the last few years, her friends refused to listen to her. The princess did her best to reason with them, but they would not hear any words she said. Instead, they tried to convince her that she had been on the right side. They would hear none of the counterarguments the princess offered, and with the magic of the tower still so strong, she could find no way to gain their trust. She knew her friends would have to die for the sake of the kingdom if they could not see their mistakes, but even this logic could not sway them. She left the tower in tears, because she knew that she would have to be the one to undo the evil she had begun.

The princess climbed down the tower slowly in hopes that her friends would change their minds, though she knew they would not. At the bottom she locked the door carefully and then walked a safe distance away. Using her magic, she started the tower on fire. This way, both the evil structure and its enchantments would be completely destroyed. Though she would have liked to leave, she had to stay to make sure it burned completely.

Her friends, trapped at the top, realized what was happening and told her to stop. Many times the princess almost changed what she was doing, but she managed to control herself. Though her friends had been good to her, they had not been good to the world. She had repented and this was her punishment for her evildoing; their punishment for not admitting their bad deeds was death.

As the flames moved towards the top of the tower, the princess found it harder to watch. She could feel one of her friends trying to enchant her so she would stop the fire, but the king had taught her to fight such things. The windows of the tower had been broken and the princess could hear her friends yelling for mercy, but they had given up that choice by refusing to see that the king and queen had been right all along.

The flames rose higher now, and the princess was hurt by them as well. No matter how far away she walked, the flames licked at her body as they did the bodies of her friends. She bit her lip to keep herself silent, because even now, she knew she had to stay strong. To help with the emotions, she cleared her mind of everything but a simple image of the flames. It was the hardest thing she'd ever had to do, but the princess did not back down.

Soon thereafter, the tower was nothing but a pile of ashes. The princess walked away, unwilling to remain in the place where she had been tempted into doing wrong. She was truly sorry for what she had done back when she had built the tower, and even more sorry for burning itdown with her friends inside. But it was for good, and sacrifices must be made so evil does not take over.

She returned to her parents alone, but they did not ask questions. They had seen all that had transpired, and they, too, knew that the princess had done only what she had to. They comforted her as good parents ought, but before they could send her to bed as would have been best, they had to talk to her.

Her parents told her that she was not really a princess, and they not yet king and queen. They had a chance to become so, they said, but it would require a lot of work and as much help as they could get. The princess didn't care what they said. She knew she was already royal.

Her parents asked her for help as they had earlier that day, and this time the princess said yes. She promised to do what she had to for her kingdom. The very next day, she joined the armies and started the long, hard fight against evil.

The war was hard, as all wars were. It seemed to drag on, though the armies were filled with people stronger and better than the evil ones, but eventually peace was won. The princess, though royal, fought alongside the lowest of the low in the army. She knew it was her job.

When the war ended, the princess was sad to discover that her parents had been killed in the fight. She dedicated her kingdom—for it truly was hers now—to them, and said that she would forever rule in their name. She was probably right about the forever, because her parents had tried to enchant her so she would never die.

The last thing the princess did before she was crowned king was pick a man to become her husband. He was perfect for her, she saw, because he had been made that way by her parents. It was the way things were truly meant to be.

At the wedding, the king swore his loyalty the princess—now a queen—and to the ideas of her dead parents. He also swore to serve the land forever as it would best be served. The new couple looked so sweet together that none doubted them, because under their rule, there would be peace and prosperity.

The people toasted their new king and queen and vowed to serve them forever in any way they were asked. The king and queen accepted their vow gratefully.

And they lived happily ever after.

A/N Well. I'm not exactly sure about this piece, but if I don't post it now, I'll keep editing it forever. But I think it needs crit.
This stemmed from a discussion Opal and I were having about Max's role in MR, and my muses took control once I got started on it. I swear, I didn't mean to make it this long.
Just so you know, there are about three ways you can interpret this. And none of them are incorrect. I hope you got something out of it that you didn't have before.
And please, please tell me what you think and if it made sense. I'm aware it didn't strictly adhere to MR canon, but I had to write it that way. I hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for reading.