Run Away with Me by Nightwingstar

Category:Maximum Ride
Published:2006-11-19 20:46:28
Updated:2007-08-26 20:20:02
Packaged:2021-04-21 23:51:16
Summary:AU Fax If I asked you to... will you run away with me? ...Who knew running away running away would mean getting wings and a new family?

Table of Contents

1. Run Away With Me
2. Rainy Season
3. Wings
5. When In Rome
6. On Top Of The World
7. Start Of Something New
8. Of Sunrises and Sunsets
9. Hero Heroine

1. Run Away With Me

Nightwing here! I'm updating! well sorta... adding a new story. I hope it's good, my writing's a little rusty. AND OMG! It's AU!!!! I only saw one other Maximum Ride story that was AU and I've been waiting for an update (wink wink, nudge nudge)

Oh man, you know what really bothers me? So my homepage is my profile (lame I know) and I constantly see 29 reviews and I'm just like, turn to 30 turn to 30, cuz I'm becoming OCD with it. I hate that I'm OCD with it.

So As everyone should know, I went to Inianapolis for BOA (bands of America) Our band made finals, we were the ONLY band that never made finals that were in finals. We're also the 12th best marching band in the nation (insert whoot) Ok, so get this, I got selected for a private screening, that was hell. but somehow I managed to get away with a full bottle of water and get in trouble for having a sample lip balm and let me tell you, I HATE LIP BALM. Oh yeah... My cocoa puffs got x-rayed... I think they thought I had a bomb in it... er... no...

To my Goth Faerie: I'M ALIVE!!!!!! I went camping this weekend and now I can't type really well cuz people were having a sword fight with sticks and a huge chuck went flying at me and smacked me hard in the wrist and stomach, might I add my stomach started bleeding (jerks) no, not really, but the rest of the camp out was fun :D. I don't have to carry a stupid pink fan anymore, or run for my life at tempo 164, have flags that screw up my shako it makes me happy and sad. It means no more phillip (guy dancer) ass ownage with a white rifle, ask me later. So how have you been with my non updates?

Enjoy, (there's more to come)

Chapter 1:

"If I asked you to... willy ou run away with me?


I winced as I rubbed my arm. Another shot. What's this pain in my back?

"You ok Max?" Dark hands reached through the bars of my dog crate in an attempt of comfort.

"Yeah Fang, I just want to go away."

"We already did that once, remember?" The dark hands clasped around mine and brought it to the bars. I felt lips press gently against my slightly wounded hands. "We'll run away Max, just hold on and know that I love you."

"Love is a funny word." I pulled my hands away. "But we'll run away together, right?" I looked up with hopeful eyes in the darkness surrounding me.

"I promise." Fang saw my eyes.


"Ow!" I clutched my head, pain searing throughout my head. I glared at the window. "Learn how to drive Nick!" I growled.

"There was a pothole Samantha!" Nick replied in the same manner. He knew I hated to be called Samantha.

"Jerk." I scowled.

"Witch." Nick shot back.





"Wanna say that again?" I seethed. I grabbed his steering wheel and jerked it hard to the left.

"What do you think you're doing?" Nick yelled fiercely. A car was approaching us. A split second later his truck was in a ditch, the approaching car passing us by. "Now who's the jerk?" He asked, is midnight black hair covering the left side of his face.

"You." I grinned. The dream kept playing in my mind, why was I being called Max and who was Fang?

Half an hour later Nick and I were able to push his truck back onto the road and he drove me home.

"You'll be fine right?" Nick asked as he pulled to a stop in front of a classy house. I messed with the black bracelet Nick made me. I wanted to stall, knowing my mother was throwing a hissy fit at home and Dad would try to calm her down. He was so whipped when it came to her, always trying to play the nice guy. I fiddled with the leather bracelet that covered my wrist, an inch or so wide. I felt Nick's eyes boring into me before I looked up.

"When haven't I?" I grinned, knowing this façade was something Nick always saw through. "Just remember what you promised, 'k?" We banged bracelets (he had a similar one to mine) before I jumped out of his truck and ran into my home.

"Hey Maxi." I grinned as I opened the door to my home. A small lab, barely three months old greeted me. I picked up the beauty and cradled her. She was my graduation gift from a few weeks ago.

"I'M TIRED OF THAT DUMB DOG LEAVING ITS BUISNESS IN MY SHOES!" My mother yelled. My mother hates dogs with a passion but she wasn't yelling at me but Dad.

"Then why don't you do something about?" My father, Jeb, replied calmly.

"YOU do something about it!" My mother slammed the door to my parent's bedroom.

Later that night (midnight actually), I was talking with my Dad in the backyard, tossing Maximum a ball every now and then. "If you had named yourself, what would your name be?" Jeb asked me.

"Maximum Ride." I grinned.

"Sounds like a plane." Jeb laughed, taking the ball and tossing it.

"It's not. It sounds like the ultimate freedom." Jeb just shook his head at my answer.

"How's Nick?" What was with the change of topic?

"Good, he likes to drive me everywhere. But I get to drive starting tomorrow, I don't understand why you wanted me to start driving on my eighteenth birthday, which I might add, IS OFFICIALLY HERE!" I grinned. I yawned a little while later.

"Well, Maximum," Jeb grinned as Maximum looked up at as he referred to me, "why don't you head on up to bed? I have a surprise for you in the morning." I nodded, giving one more toss to Maximum.

I opened the blinds in my room, looking over the backyard from the second floor. I watched as Jeb threw the ball and Maximum caught it. I saw him petting her but why did he look so sad?

I gasped in cold realization of what mother told Jeb before we went outside, Mom hates dogs so much –


I wished I screamed. A lump stuck deep in my throat, tears streaming like crazy. Maximum was gone, her adorable face, gone forever.

I fumbled with my phone, punching in Nick's number. "Hello?" Came Nick's sleepy reply. I sobbed as quietly as I could, I could feel his awareness jump from zero to a hundred. "Sam, what's wrong?"

"If I asked you to… will you run away with me?"

"Yes." Came Nick's firm reply. "I promised remember?"

"Good." I grinned through my tears. "Meet me at the park in three hours."

"Wait, Sam, what happened? Sam tell – "

"See you later." I clicked off the phone before throwing my largest duffel bag onto my bed and filling it with clothes.

I stuffed my sketchpad and journal in my batman backpack along with miscellaneous jewelry that I could hawk off later if I ran out of money. I walked out of my room, lugging all my things to the stairs before venturing into the game room. I took the portable DVD player, a laptop, along with my Ipod. I stuffed those into a smaller duffel bag.

I quietly snuck down the stairs with my things, dumping them in the hallway. A white box was sitting on the dining table, I ignored it ad I went sitting around the house for the hidden stashes of money. 300 in the knife drawer, 150 in the laundry room behind the detergent, 700 tucked away in a sandwich bag sealed envelope, wedged between a pipe and sink. There were many other places, after all, both of my parents are scientists.

I came across the white box again after I stuffed the money away.

'To Maximum Ride'

I hesitantly opened it, half expecting to find Maximum, dead inside. A debit card was inside titled 'Maximum Ride', along with a driver's license with a recent picture of me, money, three sketchbooks, a cell phone, and keys with a note.

'it was supposed to be for your birthday tomorrow (or today) but I figured you'd need it now, with the promise to Nick and all.


Ps. Good luck'

I put the cards in my wallet, the cell phone and keys in hand before tossing the box in my backpack. I opened the door and saw a large silver tucking smiling at me. I would have been excited if it weren't for the fact I had lost Maximum.

I threw all my junk into the bed before climbing in. To my surprise, in the passengers seat, buckled in was a stuffed 'Winnie the Pooh'. I wanted him for my birthday.

I jammed the key in the ignition and sped off towards the park.

Nick was already there when I arrived. He hugged me the second I stepped out. "We have to go far away." Nick nodded at my words.

"My truck or yours?" Nick questioned, eyeing my new truck. He looked at his slightly older truck.

"Yours but lets hawk mine when we get far enough ok?" Nick nodded. "I'll take point."

I climbed back in, wiping away my tears. I should be happy I was leaving that spoiled life behind. You heard right. I was spoiled while Nick was poor, he lived almost on the other side of town, just outside of the ghettos. But I never wanted to be spoiled. I knew I lived the perfect life, I just… hate perfection. Now I'm running away, throwing perfection out my rolled down windows, along with the pinned down feeling I had with my mother.

We sped off watching the sunrise on the highway, music blaring in my truck along with wind blowing through my hair to erase the fact that Mom made Jeb kill Maximum.

But now I would take Maximum's name.

And now, forever more, I will be

The indestructible, the ultimate

Maximum Ride.

Oooo, it was horrible, wasn't it? I told you I'm REALLY rusty. :( anyway...

CHALLENGE TIME! What other story have I written ( it's incomplete) that's similar to this one? (remember I have many other categories that I write in)

Preview for Chapter 2:

Rainy Season

"So you changed your name to Maximum, or Max?" Nick asked me. I nodded. "Good, in that case, I want to change my name too."

"So what should it be?" I asked, glancing at the rain dripping outside.

"Fang." Nick grinned. I vaugely remembered my dream from a few days ago... what had Fang said in my dream?

"Cool." I could only grin back before we wrapped the warm blanket over our shivering bodies and watched the rain fall.


2. Rainy Season

BWAH! I'm alive and I'm finally posting the second chapter. I'm home sick again, such fun... whoooo

btw, violet, dear (I call everyone dear) no offense but I realize that most of my stories aren't finished, I'm working on it, I'm just on writers block as always. So it takes me a while to finish.

to my goth faerie: Hmm, you have yet to review this story, por que? nah, just kidding, I'm having fun sitting home sick, fighting a headache and typing a story. It's more fun when you're singing "Billy's got his beer goggles on". It's fun.

To my reviewers: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE REVIEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chapter Two:

Rainy Season

So, you got it. Two towns, one gas station, and one city later, Nick and I crashed at a motel.

"Looks like the Kahki's have been mating in the corner." Nick frowned, using his abbreviation for cockroaches.

"Fun," I rolled my eyes, "let's get up in a few hours and sell my truck ok? I want it gone."

"Just so we can drive around in my P.O.S?" Nick questioned.

"C'mon, it's only a few years older…"

"Nine, Sam – "

"Call me Max." I glared at him.

"Fine, Max," Nick rolled his eyes, "my truck's falling apart but you still wanna use it?"

"It's comfy, like an actual home, unlike my pristine unwelcoming truck out there. Now, go to sleep and hope you don't swallow those Kahki's and their kin." I threw a pillow at him.

"Ha, same goes for you." Nick grinned. I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.

A few hours later Nick and I had changed into new clothes and were unloading my truck of its belongings. A large metal tool case that rested on my truck, no doubt that Jeb had placed something useful inside it, my belongings and keys to said case. It took a while to remove the tool case, seeing as it weighed a ton and all.

"Man, I'm starved!" Nick complained to me, his black eyes shining from the sun. I laughed, grabbing my backpack.

"What a fatty." I grinned, tossing the backpack into the bed of his truck. Nick grinned, stretching his torso out.

"Yes, look at all this fat, I'm such a fatty." Nick lifted up his shirt to show me his well-toned stomach.

"Stop it!" I grinned, turning away. "I don't want to see all that flab!" I laughed at Nick's fake hurt expression.

"Awww… Sammy, I mean Max… I'm so hurt…" Nick pouted. I grinned at his pathetic expression.

"Well get used to it fatty." I stuck my tongue out at him, climbing into my truck. "Race you the dealership." I grinned, turning the key in my truck causing it to roar to life. I peeled out, Nick close behind.

Half an hour later I pulled into a Ford dealership with Nick already waiting for me (he doesn't pay attention to the speed limits) with a dealer talking animatedly next to him. I jumped out and greeted the dealer, giving Nick a nod of thanks.

"Hello, my name is Max Ride and I'm looking to sell my truck, I trust you can help me?" I greeted the man, Nick standing right behind me.

"Ah yes, I'm Manny Watervieil, this young man, Nick I believe, filled me in. He told me your vehicle was purchased only a few days ago, have you experienced any problems with it?"

"Oh, no, I just decided that I didn't need it as much as I thought I did." I smiled cheerfully for the man. The dealer frowned momentarily at the thought of losing money before smiling once again and nodding.

"If you'll step into my office, we'll draw up the worth of your car." The dealer nodded, leading Nick and I indoors.

A couple of hours or so later Nick and I walked out, my car sold, money, written in a check, in my back pocket. It was an annoyance to talk to that dealer who kept trying to convince me to keep my truck.

"So where to?" Nick asked when we climbed into the truck. I slouched in my seat, propping my boots on the dashboard, and grinned.

"TO NEVERLAND, PETER PAN!" I said loudly, pointing to the sky. Nick laughed.

In a split second we were on the highway once more, windows rolled down and music blaring. Nick banged rhythms on his steering wheels and I danced with the upper part of my body.

"And I can honestly say, that I never, ever, ever felt this way. Your lips, your eyelashes, your skin, these are the parts of your body that cause my comatose to begin." We sang together at the top of our lungs, Winnie the Pooh sitting between us, silent, I could only laugh in my mind.

"Up next, your theme song." Nick grinned, using my Ipod to change songs. I laughed, leaning farther back into the seat.

"You could be the devil in my bed," Nick sang, "You could be the angel in my head, you could be the voices that I hear, I'm singing along 'cause it sounds like your near… you're so beautiful, you're beautiful today, you're so beautiful, you're beautiful in every little way, it's when you're coming around, off of the ground, I gotta say, you're so beautiful, you're beautiful today." I laughed at his attempt to flirt with me.

We picked up food from McDonalds; the sky began to turn dark with clouds, and headed towards a park to eat at. "You're such a fatty," I complained, my feet still propped on his dashboard, glancing at him. "I mean how many extra large French-fries did you buy? Six or was it seven."

"Like you're any better," Nick scoffed at me, "three hamburgers, two sodas and four french-fries."

"I have an excuse, fatty! I'm about to start my period!" I snapped. He didn't freak out like most boys did at the mention of the 'unholy' word. Probably because I complained about it to him for over four years…

"Well," Nick sighed, "at least that explains the milkshake."

I flopped onto the grass as Nick set down the food in the park. "You're a lazy bum, you know that?"

"Yeah." I grinned, lying on the ground. I stared up at the gray clouds and wondered if it would rain, more than likely.

"You know…" Nick began, sitting beside me, his face blocking the sky from my view, "that's not a position you should be in, any guy could be attracted to that right now, you flashing off you stomach like that and all."

"Gee, thanks Dad." I frowned. Nick grinned at me and leaned down, pressing his lips to my own briefly.

"As if, it's very alluring Max." I sat up to look at him better. He looked amused and pleased with himself.

"What about this, fatty?" I smiled slyly, kissing his lips, surprising him. I could only think of the feeling surging through my body. I smiled as he kissed back, his hand finding the small of my back and his other running through my hair. He pressed me close to him and I could only grin. I pulled away, grinning. "Fatty likes this." I laughed softly. I pulled away from his grasp and flopped back onto the ground.

"Do we really want to end up like we were in high school? Just to prove people wrong, we acted like we were dating and became friends with benefits. Do we want to become that again?" I asked absentmindedly, grabbing a burger and biting into it.

"Who said I wanted to be friends with benefits?" Nick scoffed. Raindrops began falling, surprising Nick and I. We were sitting on the opposite edge of the park from the truck.

"Should we make a run for it?" I asked, knowing that our belongings were covered by a tarp, so they wouldn't get wet.

"For the cave? Yeah." Nick pointed to a cave several yards away. He grabbed his backpack as he jumped to his feet. I followed the suit, helping grab the food before running to the cave. We dumped the bags of food on a large flat rock as we entered the cave, shivering, the ice-cold rain soaking our clothes.

"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?" I yelled as Nick pulled off his shirt and walked deeper into the cave.

"I'm cold, aren't you?" Nick shrugged. I nodded but kept my shirt on. He dumped twigs and leaves onto the center of the floor before grabbing a couple thicker branches near the back of the cave. He set up a fire and lit it with a liter he had in his back pocket. As Nick waited for the fire to catch, he threw me a blanket from his pack and took off his pants so he would only be boxer clad.

"You should strip too, otherwise, you won't get any warmer." Nick said dismissively, adding a small branch to the fire. "I've got a dry shirt if you think I'm going to be a peeping tom. He tossed me a black t-shirt.

I walked deeper into the cave and took off my pants and shirt, replacing it with the black shirt Nick gave me before bundling up in the blanket. I grabbed my clothes and rejoined him and his now fit fire. I laid out my wet clothes near it to dry and joined him near the entrance.

"Enjoying yourself?" I asked, wrapping the blanket around him two, the both of us huddling for warmth. He nodded.

"So you changed your name to Maximum, or Max?" Nick asked me. I nodded. "Good, in that case, I want to change my name too."

"So what should it be?" I asked, glancing at the rain dripping outside.

"Fang." Nick grinned. I vaguely remembered my dream from a few days ago... what had Fang said in my dream?

"Cool." I could only grin back before we wrapped the warm blanket over our shivering bodies and watched the rainfall.

We stayed like that for a while until Fang shifted to look at me. "Max," Fang began, looking at me, his black eyes filled with an emotion, "I don't want to be friends with benefits." I looked at him, almost confused.

"I want to be more." He said softly, his warm hand caressing my cold cheek. My breath caught in my throat, I felt unable to move. He moved closer and kissed me, and right then, I felt myself cave and melt in his arms.

So, he loved me, I already knew he liked me, we both knew we liked each other and wanted to be with each other but we thought it would just be a faze. We said we would only make a move if we loved each other.

I kissed him back, no complaints, how long had he actually loved me? Did he love me as long as I did him? " I Love you." Fang whispered between kisses. I laughed on the inside, as if I didn't already know.

"I love you too." I replied, kissing him softly on the cheek before pulling away and looking him in the eye. Fang's expression was filled more emotion than I thought possible. I grinned at him and laughed. "I thought we said no sappy love?" I grinned. His expression changed with realization.

"Right." He laughed. There was a reason why we never dated. The whole, best friends thing made us uneasy if we came to date, and then the feeling like you're obligated to be around that person… it bothered us. We never wanted to feel trapped with the duties of boyfriend and girlfriend.

"So, boyfriend," I grinned playfully, "will it still be the same, no obligations, the only difference is that we have the title?"

"Right, girlfriend." He grinned back, kissing my forehead.

We left the edge of the cave and warmed beside the fire, eating our cold and soggy food. Every now and then we could catch each other glancing at each other and laugh. But it was still normal, it won't be a stiff relationship with us, it will still be the same. "Hey!" I exclaimed as Fang threw fries at me, I countered by throwing even more at him and the French fry box.

"Food Fight!" Fang grinned. I couldn't help but grin at that.

"You'll lose Fatty!"

"It's Fang!"

ah ha, reminds me school life XD.

Challenge time! Two songs that I put in here, what were they, title and artist.


Chapter three: (untitled for now.)

Fang yelled out as a wolf like thing attacked him. I screamed but Fang tossed him aside like nothing. A moment later another one snuck up behind me and it's furry hand grasped my throat. I let out a strangled cry and Fang turned to me, his dark eyes alight with fear.

Then something happened. He cried out as if in pain and wings sprouted from his back, dark black wings... WINGS... oh my god... wings...

He flew to me and punched the creature behind me, freeing me from its grasp and cradled me in his arms as he flew above the trees.

Fang, what are you? I looked up at him in shock and after a while he glanced at me. He kissed my forehead and I couldn't help but flinch.

"Do you still love me?" He asked quietly before directing his attention ahead, his wings flapping at an even pace.


3. Wings

HA! I updated! Oh yeah! Thanks for nominating me for Best AU! I feel loved, I mean like REALLY loved. Not to mention that Deeper was nominated, it's still my fav story to read from the stories I've written. Man, when I joined the MRfan wagon there were only 126 stories on here, and now how many over 700, 800? it's grown O.o

To My Goth Faerie: So many questions! Ah but I understand:D. Lets see, Phillip is our gay dancer, really cool, really gay. I love that type of mix, they're fun to be friend with. Ha, you got the challenge right for the first chapter. Lovely. You don't have to read my stories for Danny Phantom, they're just fun to write. as for your review for Chap 2: YOU'RE HIGH ON LIFE! haha, no, jk. Porque is spanish, dear. It means Why. I can't really sing you a song through the computer, sorry. Stop fantizing ( okay, I know I spelled that wrong) about Fang, you're sooo weird, no, don't worry, you didn't draw a picture of that part. Funny thing is, I've never read Peter Pan. I've just had the concept and the concept stayed, just like Icarus. I laugh at attempted flirting at school, does that count? No, don't suppose it does... WHALES, NOT WHALES, NGH! aha, inside joke. just like the three Phillips, there's Philip (straight one, no hand sign), Phillip ( gay hand motion, so much fun to do), and Fill Up (as in Fill up the car). Funny to do to confuse people, did I manage to do that with you? Finals in ...1...2... 3 WEEKS! Summer Vacation, here I come, more updates, more vegging, more... something... most importantly, more updates.

Anyway, thanks to my reviewers, love to hear your comments, Enjoy!

Chapter 3:


I remember waking up to streams of light through inky black hair. I remember feeling warm arms wrapped around me, a dying fire near my feet.

I loved this feeling.

I smiled into Fang's chest, knowing sometime in the night he had pulled me close, feeling cared for. "Fang," I said quietly, nudging him lightly with my fingers, "c'mon, wake up, time for the road trip."

"S'to early." He mumbled, holding me closer. I laughed, causing him to open an eye. "What?" He asked me, his dark eyes penetrating my own and looking deep into my soul.

"Nothing, get up." I smiled. I pulled myself from his hold, sitting up and looking around. My clothes were sitting, laid out where I left them, dry and hopefully warm. The trash from our food was sitting in the far corner of the cave, nothing seemed out of place except for….

"Eep!" I squeaked quietly, seeing penetrating eyes look at me. Fang sat up quickly, looking where I was. A dark hawk was glaring at me, perched still on a rock, its beak as sharp as ever.

"Roger…" Fang laughed quietly, running a hand through his dark hair. "What do you got this time?" He asked, walking to the hawk and taking the tied note as the hawk stuck out its leg. "I've got nothing Roger." Fang patted the hawk's head before facing me, the hawk flew away quickly.

"Roger?" I asked, bewildered. I thought I knew everything about Fang, even down to the last lint ball… don't ask…

"What?" Fang asked me, a faint amused expression on his face. "Even the best of friends keep secrets." I guess he's right… I still haven't told him how I kissed a boy called Sam in my freshman year of high school…

I pulled on my dry clothes; tossing Fang the shirt he let me wear as he was dressing. "So… what's in the note?" I asked casually while putting out the fire.

"Nothing important." Fang shrugged, tugging on his belt. He wasn't going to say more than that.

"Fine keep your petty secrets." I mumbled, standing up and wiping my hands off on my jeans.

"Just fine with me." Fang replied, pecking my lips. I glared at him, annoyed how he was avoiding the subject.

We stepped out of the cave, greeting the warm sunlight on our faces. Well, I did anyway, Fang just kind of glowered. And thus began our trek back to Fang's truck.

Halfway there Fang stopped suddenly, glaring at the sky. I paused, confused. "Get down!" He hissed, jumping on top of me, causing us both to crash to the ground. A bullet just whizzed past us. "They're here, already… Damnit!" Fang cursed.

"Wait, who's here?" I asked, panicked as Fang dragged me to my feet and hid me behind a tree.

"No one!" He snapped at me. I shut my mouth. Something was wrong, he would never snap at me unless we were joking or something was wrong, and we were far past joking. Fang ran back out into the field, looking around. I heard footsteps as Fang stiffened.

There were men and women, all gorgeous, like models or stars on a soap opera… but they jumped Fang! I wanted to cry out to him but Fang would probably curse me, saying that I gave myself away, so I stayed silent, watching him punch the people with guns.

Then, something odd happened, the models began to grow hair… I mean, not like they do it naturally, like werewolf movie-ish. In fact, they did look like werewolves with their snouts and torn clothes. When they attacked Fang this time, he had a harder time beating them away. Damnit! What could I do? I didn't want to be helpless but I didn't want to get in the way of something I didn't know….

Fang yelled out as the wolf like thing attacked him again. I screamed but Fang tossed him aside like nothing. A moment later another one snuck up behind me and it's furry hand grasped my throat. I let out a strangled cry and Fang turned to me, his dark eyes alight with fear.

Then something happened. He cried out as if in pain and wings sprouted from his back, dark black wings… WINGS… oh my god… wings…

He flew to me and punched the creature behind me, freeing me from its grasp and cradled me in his arms as he flew above the trees.

Fang, what are you? I looked up at him in shock and after a while he glanced at me. He kissed my forehead and I couldn't help but flinch.

"Do you still love me?" He asked quietly before directing his attention ahead, his wings flapping at an even pace.

I closed my eyes. What could I say? Was he still the same Fang? Would he change now that I knew that he had those wings? More so, was he a demon?

Awkward silences, here we come.

And so I thought, uncomfortable to in arms, about us. He was my storyteller. He could tell me everything and anything. He was always so truthful, he could never lie to me. He could promise me the world with just his eyes. Fang was so sincere but…

Wait. Why am I talking like he just died? He's right here, flying. Gods, flying. This is going to take some getting used to. But he would still be my storyteller, he would still promise the world, so what am I worrying about?

But my question is, how did he hide those wings for so long? They're about twenty feet long! They must've hurt to come out. I winced at the thought. Imagine, that coming out of me. Ha, was a silly thought.

There's an ache in my heart now… I pressed my hand to it and Fang looks at me curiously. Why does it hurt? Am I feeling pity? No, I feel sad… no amount of jokes can change that… it feels so much worse than when I lost Maximum…

"Ah." The small sound escaped Fang's mouth, I looked up at him and suddenly realized that tears had been running down my face. I wiped them away and looked at him clearly. His expression was sad; did he think I hated him now? After all, I haven't said anything. But still…

What could I say?

Congrats on getting wings? Hey look! I'm the birdbrain's girlfriend, literally!

Heck, no.

"Every time you walk in the room, can't help myself, I wanna be with you. Hit the mike, quick check: one, two. Singing out my lungs just to reach you…" Fang sang softly into my ear. And I felt another tear fall. He always sang that when something was wrong and we needed to stick together.

And then, I laughed… it was small and sad; I knew it and Fang did too. We knew each other so well. "You really are Peter Pan." I told him, wrapping my arms around his neck and burying my head in his chest, feeling the cold air pierce through me. As much as I wanted warmth, I wanted to tell Fang that was still here and I would always stay by him when my heart wouldn't let me voice it.

I'm right here, I told him in my mind. I looked up for a moment to see him gazing at me, his eyes told me, I know.

He landed minutes later in front of his truck, folding his wings into his back. He set me down only to hug me the moment my feet touched the ground. He pressed me close to him, not even saying a word.

Is that how it was going to be Fang?

"Thank you." He whispered before kissing my forehead. And nodded, holding his hand and giving it a squeeze. Just as I shut the door to the truck Fang sped out of the parking lot, letting me put on my seat belt on just before he had to stop at a stop sign.

"They'll be chasing us." Fang said after a gave him an 'are you crazy look'. Who? "The Erasers, those wolf like creatures of you're wondering." Oh.


"They want you." A sharp turn, I bumped my head against the window. I picked up the Winnie the Pooh and hugged it with one arm, I needed something to squeeze, and I can't get a grip on the dashboard.

"What? I think I hit my head a little to hard."

"I said, they want you. They only know about me." He gave me a stern look.

"What are you talking about? Why do you even have wings? Explain, don't just leave me in the dark." I was bewildered. What the hell was happening? Why was my life suddenly in fast-forward or was it the trees were blurring faster than normal?

Fang sighed, taking another sharp turn. I squeezed Winnie tighter. "I was raised as your bodyguard." He said, glancing at me. "Jeb saved us both as little kids." My blood boiled at my ex-father's name. "He erased your memories but let me keep mine. When you had just turned five Jeb took us away, saved us from being experimented on at school. He was able to seal away our wings with his own experiments, but they were perfectly harmless. But he could not adopt both of us. He created fake names for us, just to throw off the Erasers and the 'School' or lab that we were created in. In truth, your name really is Maximum Ride and mine is really Fang, you just grew up as Samantha.

"but Jeb couldn't keep a constant eye on you and he knew that I still knew my fighting experience and I almost the same age as you so he gave me the duty of your bodyguard. I lived by myself, that's why you've never seen my parents. Jeb would help me with my needs and money until I could take care of myself but my job was to always make sure you're safe. But you know… he didn't have to give me that job. I would have done it anyway. After all, you were my only friend at the 'School'."

"Wait… what? The 'School' is a lab where they experiment on what? Mice, rats, humans, you? And what do you mean our wings? I don't have any, you can check my back right now. The only signs of wings I have on there are the tattoos on my shoulder blades. And besides, I remember when I was five, I've even remembered stuff from when I was four, explain that." I replied. This was confusing and at the same time annoying.

"Implanted memories. Jeb's a scientist, as is your mom, is that really a surprise?" Fang asked me. "The 'School' is a place where they experiment on humans, cross them with different DNA. You have wings Max, you just need to remember how to get them, it took me a while to remember, seeing as it's the first time I've used them in a few years."

"So… what exactly are we?"

"Avian-Humans. Hybrids you can say, two percent bird, ninety-eight percent human. Just not quite good enough." He smiled wanly.

"Are there more of us? I mean like, have the people in the 'School' done this to other people – AH!" I screamed as a furry body jumped onto the truck. I heard another thud and one had climbed onto the roof. There were Erasers attacking a crappy old car at high speeds, what the hell?

CLIFF! ah ha, don't kill me. So explinations, there are doubts set in there, doubts this Max hasn't even voiced yet... but will voice later on.

Oh! drawings I did for the story (would love other people drawing stuff too):

ht tp ://w w w.deviantart. com/deviation /50519731/ (BEWARE THERE ARE SPACES) this should be the Fatty pic

htt p://w w w.deviantart. com/deviation/505189 69/?qo18&qby3Anightwingstar&qhsort3Atime+-in3Ascraps (Beware More Spaces) Neverland Pic!

Time: Why do you think Fang had to explain all this to Max? (C'mon, use those higher level thinking skills my teacher thinks we all have!)


Chapter 4: PROJECT: U.N.T.I.T.L.E.D

Monsters, cowards, beasts... Jeb was among them, all the scientists in white coats... Working with those wolf things Fang calls Erasers.

Jeb is talking about some project. A project I had seen a folder of... the one that I opened when I was little and got in trouble for... Project: UNTITLED

I suppose the name is to throw people off, I mean that's totally subtle, insert sarcasm here.

Jeb says I'm going home but where is home? It certainly can't be that house I lived in and I've never been to this 'School'. I asked fang what home Jeb is talking about but he doesn't say anything, he just stares blankly at the darkened walls of the truck as we're cartered off to who knows where.



So, I'm so sorry about 30 Seconds! I mean, I want to update but I've been out of it... as in I lost my inspiration. Bleh. I'm taking college credit classes at the moment so, i guess that's a bust from last Summer which I spend most of my life on. BUT I'm not in college, just to let you know.

To My Goth Faerie: Gods, I can't spell, grrr... You, fantasizing about Edward? Reminds me of my friend Emma, who was really funny when I drew a picture of him. So, when was your last day of school? Mine was May 24th. I have a friend in indianapolis whose classes just ended ysterday. Blah, school again, college credit, Dual credit. again, Blah. What's your summer gonna be like? At anycase. I'M BORED... I'm still in a freaking art rut and writing rut. I don't know how I managed this out.

Thanks for the many reviews! And please enjoy!

Chapter 4:


An Eraser tore open my door, tearing me from my seatbelt and tossing me onto the road. I cried out in pain as my body collided with concrete and continued to roll, my body slowing to a stop. I winced as I pulled myself up off the ground, knowing that my skin was most likely rubbed raw.

I soon found myself being cradled, unable to feel the harsh concrete of the road. I looked up to see Fang, frowning at something. "Lost my truck." He told me, flying fast. I felt every gust of wind from his down stroke and saw Erasers behind us on foot or in a van, attempting to catch up.

"How far away are we going?" I asked him, shivering at the wind, raw skin does nothing for you.

"Far." Fang replied.

"Any destination set?"


"Is it too soon to make jokes yet?" I felt hopeful, well, at least a little bit.


"Damn." Yeah… I saw this coming… I looked up at Fang with a smile on my face; I saw a twinge of a smile on his expressionless face before I looked away, my own smile faded.

You're not going to talk anymore… the small pain in my heart started again. You do this every time something goes wrong. It's not right. You leave me so alone…

I watched the clouds in the sky for a while, they looked so interesting, and not to mention they were so close I wanted to touch them. Then suddenly we were descending. I looked around; Erasers were just below us, why was Fang going down? I looked at Fang, confused and wanting him to answer. His expression was tight, trying to remain emotionless like it usually was as of late. What happened? I looked over his shoulder with some effort and looking for something. On a down stroke of his wings I saw a small spurt of blood fly out in the wind. I looked back at Fang, whom now looked like he was sweating through the tight face.

"Fang set me down." I pleaded with him. He was hurt, he needed to treat it…

"No." He replied firmly. If it weren't something important, I would've given him guts. But seeing as it isn't, he's just being an idiot.

"Don't worry about me, I can take care of myself. Just drop me off in the trees, I'll find a tall branch and I'll hide there until you can bandage that up."

"No." Another firm reply.

"LAND GOD DAMNNIT!" I yelled at him.

"I'm here to protect you!" He yelled back at me, his face stern and commanding, almost fearful… "It's my job to protect you, nothing else! I can't help it if you're acting like an idiot right now and if I'm acting like an idiot but you're supposed to stay safe!"

"Nothing else, eh?" I questioned him quietly, my voice so soft it lost to the wind… but he heard. I saw something flash through his dark eyes for a moment.

So that's all I am. A job. Hope it pays well. Hope he's happy with it… playing face with me, saying he loved me for all these years. All this time, that's all I've been… not best friend, girlfriend, greatest ally and at the same time, worst enemy. I've just been a job.


I suppose that's the only way to describe how I feel right now. I know that my heart aches but I can't feel it. I couldn't feel how much the wind burned my raw skin… I couldn't feel the hair whipping around my face… I felt nothing…

Correction… I feel something… and it's not pleasant. Fang's arms slipped from their hold, sending me plummeting to the earth and I'm just not ready to die yet. If this pain means I have wings then please let them come out… please!

The pain was so immense, how can Fang still survive with this amount of pain? I shut my eyes tight, the pain was like a spider web almost. It started between my shoulder blades and spread in any direction quickly before circling around back to the source of pain, only to repeat again. It was throbbing and sent a tingling down my spine and up to my brain.

On another round of the spider web pain it was like a white hot thread of pain shot straight up to my brain, I yelled out and then nothing.

It didn't hurt… I opened my eyes and found myself about sixty feet from the ground just floating. Huh? Did Fang catch me? I looked around and saw Fang a few yards above me, still sweating and gasping for air. I looked just over my shoulder and saw that I had wings. They looked about eighteen feet long… damn… shorter than Fang's…

I looked down as I heard shouts of protest and saw Erasers growling at us and saw someone in a white coat, standing so calmly, and smiling. The short hair and strong chin… "JEB!" I shouted in anger. I clenched my fists and force myself to stay floating here with Fang instead of flying down and punching Jeb in the face.

"You okay?" I asked Fang. I think the pain messed with my senses, I'm still mad at him, I still hate him, and I'm still hurt by his words, what the hell? I still love him. Despite the fact I'm just a job to him.

There's a part of me that still feels numb and a part of me that's using common sense. He had only said that in anger but it doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. And after all, he said it was his job, so how could I know that I wasn't just his job?

"Can we go now?" I asked him as I flew up to him, I just wanted to get far away. I wonder how fast I can go on these wings… seventy… hundred-fifty?

"Yeah." Fang nodded, directing me to the clouds. His wings brushed mine on the down stroke, sending a shiver down my spin.

'Close but not close enough.' A thought exploded in my mind, I yelped at the sudden pain, was this an after effect of getting wings? You go insane and hear voices?

"Max!" I heard Fang's voice cry out to me and I soon felt warm droplets on my cheeks, I was unsure if it was his blood or my tears. I didn't realize I was falling… it was a new concept to me, being in air, in pain, and being able to fall. I felt hands catch me in the midst of my pain, they weren't like Fang's they were clawed and furry. Damnit, I'm caught. I opened an eye with effort, the pain slowly ebbing away seeing several wolf like people in front of me.

I felt disoriented, my mind had drawn a complete blank… well almost. All I could really remember is my name, Fang's and that wolf like creatures were bad. Bad? Crap. I ripped my arms from the creature's hold and kicked another before punching a third square in the nose.

Fang landed in front of me, his fists at ready to kick some wolf creature butt. "I'll protect you." He swore to me.

"Sorry Maximum." I heard Jeb from behind me before a felt a shock in my side. The world turned black.

Monsters, cowards, beasts... Jeb was among them, all the scientists in white coats... Working with those wolf things Fang calls Erasers.

Jeb is talking about some project. A project I had seen a folder of... the one that I opened when I was little and got in trouble for... Project: U.N.T.I.T.L.E.D.

I suppose the name is to throw people off, I mean that's totally subtle, insert sarcasm here.

Jeb says I'm going home but where is home? It certainly can't be that house I lived in and I've never been to this 'School'. I asked fang what home Jeb is talking about but he doesn't say anything, he just stares blankly at the darkened walls of the truck as we're cartered off to who knows where.

"Home." The word felt foreign in my mouth. I used to call the place where I lived with Jeb home but now, for some reason, this home felt irrelevant. Home was a safe place… where you could sleep and night and leave your things all over and no one would care… home was with Fang…

Anywhere I went with Fang felt safe. Even when I stayed at the house with Jeb, it never felt safe unless Fang was staying over for dinner.

"Fang." I croaked out, my voice felt sore and scratchy.


"I'm sorry I got captured okay?" I apologized. "Just please, talk to me."

"You don't get it." Fang told me, his voice what so quiet I almost missed it.

"What don't I get?" I asked him, staring blankly into the darkness. "I'm sorry if you got hurt, I'm sorry that I got captured, and I'm sorry if I made you feel like I stopped loving you!"

"That's not even the problem anymore!" Fang snapped. I froze, that tone was angry, his was ticked off, and it was probably my fault too. "We're going to the School. How can I keep you safe there? That place is horrible, I've been trying so hard to keep you away from there and now we're going, and they're probably going to hurt you beyond belief. I should be the one who's damn sorry because I'm a sad excuse for a protector!" He continued, the most I've heard him speak in the past few hours.

I guess I forgot that all I am is a job to him…

"Right," I began, the numbing feeling ebbing its way through my skin, "whatever." I turned my back to him. The rumbling of the vehicle continued for hours, leaving me plenty of time to think.

The voice, why is it gone? And how could an eighteen foot wingspan fit in my back, I mean, I'm just under six feet tall!

And just like the project… why do I suddenly feel untitled?

The numbing feeling can be unbearable, I realized after my head was banged against the dog crate for the umpteenth time. I would probably want to feel the pain of that but nooo, no such thing as that.

We had since long ago left the vehicle and were being roughly handled as Erasers lugged us through the School doors. Every step my crate beat against the Eraser's leg, and with every step I hit it hard. There was no way I could steady myself in such a small space, and no way I could prevent my head from moving like that.

"Here we go." I heard an Eraser snarl as two silver doors opened in front of me. They threw my cage down and kicked it roughly, my crate jolting and sliding across the white tiled floor. The smell of Alcohol and anesthetics filled my nose and throat, a burning sensation filled me, causing me to cough. When my cage stopped Fang's crate slammed into me and mine tilted over, making me face plant into the wall of my crate, the bars were having fun making an impression on my face.

"Who're the new fish?" A voice cried out, it was male and sounded like a teen. "Just wait until they're done with you, you'll be as good as dead like the snake hybrids in a day flat." I froze at his words. "Yeah, you heard me!"

"You're encouraging Iggy." Fang called out into the dark room.

"Aw, Fang my man!" The words were spat out like venom. "Still a gloomy asswipe?"

"At least I'm educated, not with this crap you learned from the freaking White Coats, maybe you could do better threatening if you cared to read." A bitter laugh escaped the lips of the voice belonging to an 'Iggy'.

"That's right, you were gone, second I turn six, just a year after you left, guess what they do? Improve my night vision. Slip of a scalpel, or should I say several slips of a few scalpels, whoop de lad de do. Blind you bird brain idiot."

"Pessimistic are we?"

"How's our dear leader Max, she manage not to be eaten for thirteen years?"

"She's right here you twit."

"Well Maxie, you're unusually quiet. I remember when you wouldn't stop coming up with idiotic plans of escape, which I might add, NEVER worked."

"Iggy?" I asked in a confused voice. Where had I heard that name before?

"My God, she remembers!" Iggy laughed bitterly again.

"Nope!" A childish girl called out into the darkness. "She's trying to remember but she's confused 'cause a white coat erased her memory."

"You've got to be kidding me." Iggy groaned. I heard a smack as if someone had hit their forehead on the palm of their hand. "All right then, since we're all such freaking pals and the Flock's all here, lets do some introductions for Max's sake."

"Max, meet Angel, the ten year old mind reader, newest addition to the flock."

"Hi!" The childish girl called out, I could only imagine her waving like an excited girl but the room had a sense of doom in it that I could hardly see why her voice was so cheerful. Wait. Mind reader?

"Uh, Hi, I'm Max and my 'best friend' here is Fang, he's a few months younger that me." Fang said nothing.

"And I'm a few months younger than him." Iggy commented. "Gazzy here is the second youngest, the only one related to Angel and watch out on sloppy joe day." Iggy's tone began to lighten up a little from its bitterness to a slight friendly one.

"Hey." A younger male voice called out.

"And then Nudge – "

"Oh my gosh! Max, I've heard all about you, I wonder if the white coats will put us together for something so I can see you. You have to tell me about the outside world, are there really things called teen magazines, oh! Can you drive? The white coats complain about gas and the only gas I know about is Gazzy's gas. Oh! What about – "

"Nudge! Shut it!" I heard Iggy and Fang yell at the same time. "Nudge, the residential talker." Iggy moaned.

"Well goodie for you." I replied, rocking my cage, hoping to get it off it slanted side, even if it was upside down, it would probably be better than being like this. Trying to get into the best rocking position I could, I rocked myself until my crate tumbled for a few rolls, only stopping upside down when it banged into a crate.

"Oi, I found her." Iggy said, his voice close to me. I was upside down in my crate, my bar door was against Iggy's. I felt a hand reach out and brush against my own. "Smooth skin but you've been neglecting lotion, and your nails, you bite them don't you?" Iggy asked me quietly. His arm reached farther in, his fingers brushing against my arm, going from my shoulder, to my neck, and finally my face. "You're deformed."

"Oh thanks." I muttered to him, feeling his fingers trace against my lips. He laughed.

"Oh sorry, you're upside down, go figure." I wanted to punch him. "But in that case," he glided his fingers over my face again, "you're very beautiful." He told me softly.

"Oh! Fang! Iggy thinks Max is really really really pretty!" Angel called out into the darkness. I blushed.

"Iggy." The stern voice emerged from the darkness. Fang, he was jealous.

"What? Can't think some girl is cute, like you haven't done that when you're in the public, bet you see a bunch of cute girls."

Fang remained silent, Iggy was blind and he was rubbing it in.

"You know anything about a project, U.N.T.I.T.L.E.D?" I asked Iggy, struggling in my crate to right myself.

"Oh, the white coats complain about it all the time but we don't know much about it. I mean they complain about it all the time saying that they need to have Max this and Max that, and hey, they have you now. I don't really get what they're saying but when Jeb comes to visit he always says – " Nudge began before a bright white light flooded into the room.

"Everything is just a test." A smooth voice echoed throughout the cool dark room. I closed my eyes; the words had filled me dread. "It's a game of chess, just like before. You remember." The footsteps echoed against the tile flooring. I felt my crate being lifted and flipped right side up making me upside down again. "You always tried to make the worst situations seem bright." Jeb chuckled softly.

"Go die." I told him with a glare, the memory of my dog burned in my mind.

"Now Samantha, I thought I raised you better than that." I glared harder.

"You raised Sam better than that, not Max." Jeb slid my dog cage beside Iggy, leaving me beside him for a few moments before Fang was slid to my right side.

"They're the same person, just different names." Jeb squatted to be eye to eye with me.

"And different memories." I looked at Fang who was in the shadows of his crate. "What is project U.N.T.I.T.L.E.D?" I asked Jeb quietly, my fingers wrapping around the bars of the crate. Jeb briefly brushed his fingers across my own in a sense of comfort before standing, brushing his white coat free of dust.

"You." He told me gently, patting my crate and leaving through the doors with blinding light.

WAHOOOOO! I had no idea how to end this chapter, that's probably why this IS the longest chapter. Iggy, why are you so pessimistic? I know, I know, I made you, I know I brought out that quality in you but you know you're my fav. character right? I dig guys will red hair, since yours is strawberry blonde, I love it just the same. :D

Um... oh yeah!

CHALLANGE TIME! Ok, ok, hard question, EXTREMELY hard question. What fairy tale story has to deal with a King promising his dying wife he would only marry the most beautiful woman after the wife dies. Which causes incest, 'cause the only beautiful woman is the King's daughter. The Daughter then asks for three dresses to stall. And escapes wearing wearing "blank " hint: the blank is the title of the story. hint2: I have a variation of the story in my favorites

Chapter 5:
When In Rome, Fight Erasers like no tomorrow

It was like a Rome colluseum. Well... not really... but there's still the door that probably has the lion behind it, or better yet, a group of Erasers. Iggy is to my left, his hands in his dirty sweatpant pockets, looking annoyed even though his eyes were emotionless. And Fang was to my right, fists clenched and looking towards the darkened sky even though football stadium lights beamed down on us.

I felt nervous beyond compare, my breath was hitched in my throat. And even then the stagnant air would have prevented me from breathing. The air was so dry and refused to move it made me still.


5. When In Rome

Okay, now THIS is the longest chapter.

To My Goth Faerie: Waah! You're not here! TT I need to survive this boring summer filled with history! I'm reading sickening fairy tales about a mother chopping off her son's head with a trunk and making her daughter believe that it was the daughter who killed the boy! I'm excited though, more words to write, I mean last summer was when I first read Maximum Ride and got into this whole Fanfiction Maximum Ride thing. I SHOULD THROW A HUGE PARTY! Or write a one shot... I dunno... I remember when... jk, I feel OOOOLLLLDDD... I'm working on new fanart and most of them should be coming from this chapter, I dunno, if I can get the poses right and design new clothes. Did I tell you? I'm getting better at designing! Which is awesome for my emo-ish sense of style. oh! I forgot to mention, a celebrity might be coming by our house today, an american celebrity who's filipino aka has the filipino sense I lack, and wants my mom's home cooking XD It's funny... So now I'm cleaning my house... bleh

Okay, Thanks for the reviews!

And now for the challangers! (You know, one of these days, I'm going to total up all the cookies people have earned and write a story based off of the people with the most cookies, akam anyone who earns a cookie gets a chapter, maybe this summer...)
The answer is: DONKEYSKIN!
Myrah: It was a hard challange, I just recently learned that it actually was a fairy tale.
kitti-of-death: Uber close! Closest one! You get a cookie!
thunderbird01: Sort of if you really think about it. I mean, she did have fancy clothing but not quite, it's really just a different fairy tale. (half a cookie!)
deludedfreak: You get the concept but no. Thanks for trying
Apeuree A Etre Seul: Um, same as above. Thanks for trying (P.S. Nightwing is really curious, what does your SN mean?)

Chapter 5:

When In Rome, Fight Erasers like no tomorrow


I was U.N.T.I.T.L.E.D. I was… what?

"Nudge, story time." Angel called out to the resident talker. I heard shuffling as Nudge shifted in her crate.

"Once upon a time there was a lovely Princess," Nudge began, her voice was smooth and calming as it filled the silent room. "She had wings because she lived in the angel kingdom. But an evil man decided to kidnap her when she was really little. They called him White Coat, an evil wizard of an evil kingdom. As he was kidnapping her, her knight came to rescue her only to be captured by White Coat."

My ears soon blocked out what she was saying. A princess was a leader, that or a girl who sat on her butt on day letting servants do the work for her. More than likely the second one, for I have long ago given up on stupid fairy tale dreams. I joke of them all too often but I never mean it. I've never meant it, I've never believed in happy endings and I suppose I'm living the fact now.

So I have a lot of things going on, well not really, I'm just sitting in a dog crate wondering what the hell I did in this world to deserve this karma and don't you dare say 'born'. But there are a lot of things going in my mind.

Like how I think I'm an idiot because I'm not exactly on the in with this whole 'the School' and 'human-avian' hybrid thing. And it's still an odd thought of someone implanting memories, what is this, a Sci-Fi flick? Then finally, Fang, Nick, whatever. He tells me that he loves me and then goes and turns around and tells me that he's just my protector and I'm just a job to him.

This is just completely ridiculous. Not to mention boring. How can you amuse yourself in a darkened room, in a dog crate, the smell of alcohol and floor cleaner, listening to the moans of dying experiments, and have crap ass food brought to you?

"The End." Story time was over. The doors burst open and two carts were wheeled in. A small click sounded and a few lights clicked on.

"There they are. The blind one and the recaptured specimens." A white coat said, hey I'm adapting to freak experiment lingo! … Guess I shouldn't be all that proud of that. I felt my crate being lifted and tossed on the cart followed by Fang's crashing into mine while Iggy had a cart to himself.

"We need to compare and contrast strengths." The white coat said, setting his clipboard on top of my crate. Two other white coats wheeled us out.


"Reminds me of English." I muttered. "Compare and contrast Animal Farm with whatever happened in Russia."

"We going to the Coliseum, Fred?" I heard Iggy ask. I looked and saw Iggy leaning back in his cramped cage, looking bored.

"I've told you for the umpteenth time, MY NAME'S NOT FRED!" The white coat that was pushing his cart yelled.

"You sound like a Fred." Iggy replied coolly. "Sort of like a Bob too. I can see you as a hick, well not see but you know, you get the idea." His white coat rolled his eyes. "Oh, if anyone asks, I'm a cactus."

"Don't know why the hell we still keep this liability around." The white coat scowled. I heard two doors open, the feeling of the displacement of air swept past me. The new air was filtering through for it was denser than indoors. They were bringing us outside, the thick air already settling like a thin film on my skin.

"Enjoy." I heard the Eraser pushing us say, dumping the crates to the ground. I landed with a thud upside down, again.

"They have fun seeing me scowl, don't they?" I asked Fang. Another thud came and I knew Iggy had been dumped too. The crate door opened, letting me roll out and stretch my legs. Damn, being cramped in that cage was like doing a 22-hour drive to Disney World with no stops. I'm told it completely and totally sucks. My knees felt brittle and my shoulders felt sore because of my constant hunched position.

I looked around, seeing Fang standing a few feet away, rolling his shoulder in its joint to work out the stiff muscles. And then Iggy. He was pale because of the lack of sun, small freckles on his cheeks. There was short, spiked strawberry blonde hair on his head and faded blue eyes that stared emotionlessly at nothing. He looked only a little bit shorter than Fang and a heck of a lot skinnier in the grungy gray sweats that looked torn and bloodied in some places. Iggy had his hands stuffed in his gray sweatpants, impatient and bored.

White coats stared at us from the announcer's room like at a football game, only several feet higher than that. The only reason the white coats were there was to write notes. I can't wait till their pens break all over the page and they lose all their data. That'd be a funny day.

I looked around once more, taking in the sights. It was like a Rome colluseum. Well... not really... but there's still the door that probably has the lion behind it, or better yet, a group of Erasers. Iggy is to my left, his hands in his dirty sweatpant pockets, looking annoyed even though his eyes were emotionless. And Fang was to my right, fists clenched and looking towards the darkened sky even though football stadium lights beamed down on us.

I felt nervous beyond compare, my breath was hitched in my throat. And even then the stagnant air would have prevented me from breathing. The air was so dry and refused to move it made me still.

With one clenched fist I stood shaking. How cruel would it be to actually send a lion to eat me? My other hand reached out to the gated door, words escaping from my lips. "If I profane with my unworthiest hand…" a small smirk crept to my lips, "then I'll damn proud this place no longer exists." The gated door opened, twenty Erasers burst through it, all fully morphed, and all looking like they had lost all sense of knowledge.

"Twenty? Honestly, you could do better than that." Iggy sighed, standing as if bored beyond comparison. A Eraser bounded up and aimed to punch Iggy in the face only to have Iggy move his head to the side and let it pass by his ear. "And seriously Max, what's with the lame-o Shakespeare? Remind me to never ask you for a poem." He dodged another punch in the same way, his hands still in his pockets. Iggy leaned back a little before side swiping the Eraser with a kick out of nowhere. "Oi, Max! Behind you!" He shouted lazily. I looked behind me to see an Eraser running my way.

That's right, fighting… oh, what a concept. I jumped out of the way just as the claws swiped at my abdomen.

"You know, I think this is gonna be fun." I chuckled to myself, landing on top of an Erasers shoulders, surveying the battle. Hmm, so I was mistaken, not twenty, about thirty. Whoops. I back flipped off the Eraser's shoulders before kicking it in its back, causing it to stumble as I righted myself. "Iggy, I understand how you're bored now."

"No really." Iggy stifled back a yawn. "They haven't been a problem since I turned fifteen." I ducked a punch from an Eraser before drop kicking it. Fifteen, so he's been kicking these things butts for over two years. Punching an Eraser, I looked for Fang; he was being ganged up by seven of them. I slid back on the dirt as an Eraser knocked the air out of me; I punched it only for the Eraser to catch it. I frowned. He wasn't playing fair, but then again, why should I?

"You just really like trouble, don't you, all those days in the principal's office. Jeez." I muttered to myself, running towards Fang, the Eraser passed out on the ground. "You're lucky I'm here." I told him over the growling and barking of the Erasers.

"Hardly." Fang scoffed as he smacked two Erasers together. This guy has me on my last nerve.

"You know what, fine, be that way." I huffed kneeing an Eraser in the gut before swiping another in the neck. I heard a crack but I willed myself not to look. "You've been giving me the silent treatment. And apparently an 'I'm sorry' isn't valid because I'm apparently not the problem. You've been keeping secrets from me, WAY more than I've kept from you." I ran up to where four Erasers still surrounded him, I pushed past them and sucker punched Fang in the face. He fell to the ground, his black eyes were wide.

"I'VE HAD IT WITH YOU!" I screamed at him giving the Erasers around us a good beating. I glared at him as he stood, " I want the freaking truth, what am I to you, a job or friend? Hell, I don't even want to be your friend, I want to be more than that but if you're treating me like I'm just an object then I don't want ANYTHING to do you with you!" Erasers came our way. "Make a choice Fang. I can easily stand on the sidelines, watching you get beat up and I won't even shed a tear or I could be your friend, the friends we used to be." I gave him a glance as he held an Erasers jaws far apart, preventing them from snapping. I half expected him to stick his head inside. I shook my head, no time to be thinking of that right now.

"Why the hell would you ever be a job?" Fang asked me, his back pressed to mine as Erasers surrounded us.

"You told me I was, you said that your job was to protect me, nothing more." I replied, taking in two punches of the nine Erasers surrounding us.

"That's 'cause I was mad," Fang huffed, leaping into the air and unfurling his wings. Oh yeah, we have wings. I jumped up, unfurling mine. I glanced at Fang, whose cheek was swelling from the punch, his favorite T-shirt was torn in various places, and a cut graced his forehead. "But you're more than a friend to me, you know that, you've known it for years." He dived at the Erasers, tackling three at a time. Wow, insert Soap Opera here. It felt like one of those movies when the hero goes to war or space, whatever, and says, "I'll be back, I promise." Only they don't come back, except Fang will because I know him better than that.

I dived, taking on the two Erasers only having a third Eraser rake its claws against my legs, trying to grab my legs to prevent me from flying. I whacked that Eraser away with my wing before tucking them in and side swiping one of the two I tackled. I barely dodged the second's Erasers sideswipe of its own before high kicking his head; I wasn't in dance for nothing.

"You know, I suddenly miss you being on that dance team with the mini skirts." Fang said thoughtfully, seeing my high kick. I glared at him; he knew I hated the clothes for the dance team. I sent a punch his way only to have him dodge and hit an Eraser's bared teeth. The teeth cut at my skin, making it bleed, before the teeth broke, falling to the ground in piece. The Eraser howled in pain. I glared at Fang; he was already fighting another Eraser. "You hate me, I know I know, same old. You don't really though." He sent me a brief smile. He wrestled that Eraser to the ground before another Eraser came my way.

Another high kick and it was down. I couldn't see Iggy over the Erasers still standing but I was pretty sure he was all right.

All of a sudden, an Eraser came charging at me a hand ready to punch my face in. How had I missed it? It was too late to dodge. I closed my eyes and winced. The punch never came. I opened my eyes and saw Fang's hand wrapped around the fist, his arm extended showing that he had protected me at the last millisecond. Fang wrestled the Eraser to the ground only to be knocked off of it, landing flat on his back. I helped Fang to his feet, looking around and seeing all the Erasers walking towards us. Damnit, where was Iggy?

"So, they weren't as easy as I thought they were but hey, they're easier than the ones we fought before we were captured."

"These are probably last month's model." Fang shrugged. Ganged up on, only nine Erasers surrounded us. I was tired and I was pretty sure Fang was too. Where was Iggy?

"BOMB'S AWAY!" I heard Iggy's laughter from above. I looked up, seeing his crazed face, grinning like mad. It was then I noticed that one of the football stadium like lights were out. What'd he do? "Up and away" Iggy yelled as he dived. Fang grabbed me by the arm and launched me into the air, before jumping up himself. He snapped open his wings, reminding me to do the same. I followed Fang high into the sky, seeing Iggy still in a deep dive. A few feet above the Eraser's heads Iggy released his wings, flapping them to float just a few inches above the heads before throwing little black things at each Eraser.

"You know," Iggy chuckled, reaching our high height as the Erasers were holding the black things in confusion. "That was a pun." Just as he finished saying that large explosions of fire were released beneath us." Chunks of Eraser flesh flew everywhere, even up here.

"Gross." I made an ewwed expression as a large chunk smacked me in the face. "In a way, I'm grossed out because of the fact that there are Eraser chunks on me and at the same time I'm oddly pleased because they were just too damn hideous." Iggy grinned at my words.

Fang grabbed my hand lightly, I turned to look and saw him smiling at me. Well, not smile but you get the idea.

The intercom fizzled to life, a robotic voice crackling words through.

Time taken: 27 min: 02 sec: 56 milisec

Observation: Blind experiment can build bombs in under the fifteen minutes he was missing. Female is easily aggravated by other male and proves to have some strength. Dark male fighter is average.

Conclusion: More tests are needed on the new Female and Male

The intercom fizzled before silence filled the Rome-like arena. "Well," Iggy began, stretching his arms, an obvious rip on the underside of one of his sweat sleeves showing, "I'm done for today, have fun with your 'tests'." He made air quotations before flying around in a circle and sitting on top of his crate.

"Iggy! Come on, we can make an escape!" I urged him, pointing to the blackened sky. Iggy laughed, looking up in my direction.

"Some flock leader you are, you're forgetting about the rest of the flock. And besides, there's electrical netting up there, don't want your pretty face to fry, do you?" The doors opened as scientists walked in. "Oh yeah, you should fly down, otherwise they'll zap you or put a damn collar on your neck."

Fang gently led me down, tucking his wings in and put me behind him before taking a protective stance in front of me. "It's better to listen to Iggy, until you get your memories back." Fang whispered. "Remember, you're still the flock leader, even though you've been away for thirteen years."

"What about you? Haven't you been gone for that long?" I asked, Fang shook his head, a frown claimed his features, he was resisting a scowl.

"Two." He told me. "It wasn't summer camp."

Comply with the scientists. A wave of pain filled my head. It was the voice again. I winced but held my ground, trying to act tough and not let on.

Why should I? I asked the voice. Great, now I was going crazy, I was freaking talking to a voice.

No serious harm will come to you. It reassured me.

Hardly believe you. I scowled, seeing the white coats approach Fang and I.

You will in time. I almost laughed bitterly.

Yeah and until then, I hate you with my life. That's a long time Voice.

I'm willing to wait. It said patiently.

Gods, you're as annoying as my ex-father. I glared at a white coat, who had morphed into an Eraser, and pinned Fang and I to the ground. So this is how they shove us back in those stupid cages.

"Good job, Ari." I heard a white coat say.

"Ari?" I shouted in surprise. "My brother, Ari?" I craned my head to look at the morphed Eraser.

"Long time no see, sis." Okay, now did I not only hate my ex-dad and the voice, I hated my little brother, Ari, too.

Do you remember the story Nudge told today? The Voice asked in a pleasant conversation as I was shoved back into the crate, I heard the lock set in place with a snap.

No, I don't rightly care for twisted fairy tales formed because of the horrors of the School. I glared at the blank ceiling of my crate.

Think about it. I winced as another wave of pain filled my head, the Voice was gone.

"Goodie." I managed a small smile. I was tossed back on the cart with Fang and wheeled through the double doors, Iggy on his separate cart, the same white coat pushing him.

"So, Fred…" Iggy began casually. I almost laughed, seeing the white coats angry expression. Before Iggy could finish what he was going to say, the cart pushing us went down a different hallway and pushed through a different set of doors, leading to a dimly lit hallway.

Fang looked at me through barred slit of a window and into mine, his dark eyes illuminated. I looked back, having a silent conversation. He was hurt, I could tell, that they called him average. Not all that big to him but he always liked to stand out from the crowd. He was at the top of his class, like me, he was the best football player, despite the fact he was so skinny, not to mention, he was the only kid in our small school that wore all black, everyday.

But he could tell I was scared. I've never gone through these tests, my life's been put in fast-forward and I'm having a hard time to adjust. First the fact that Fang and I love each other, then the Erasers, the wings, still getting used to that… not to mention, getting captured, a voice inside my head, that Rodger hawk type whatever, meeting the 'flock' or family, fighting Erasers, and now this. Tests.

I've always hated tests. Like in chem. when Mr. Short is asking how you would get 500 ml out of the PV NrT equation when you don't have it set to Liters and there's no pressure, no moles, or Celsius/Kelvin. You can't answer that. You can't solve for anything with just the answer and the equation. Not for that one anyway.

Ugh. I must be rambling, Fang knows I am, I see the amused glint in his eye. He knows what I'm rambling about, stupid Valedictorian. Never saw that one, did you? Guess what, I would've been it if I hadn't made an 85 on a test in biology once. I know, Biology. Well you know what, I defy you biology with the wings on my back, so nneegh.

Again, rambling, Fang has a smile on his lips.

The cart stopped abruptly, causing me to knock my head on the top of the crate, closing my eyes for a moment, our silent connection, broken. "Take this one to the mazes and this one to the examination room." Fang's crate lifted at the same time as mine and we were pulled in different directions. I reached my fingers through the bars, pleading with Fang to bust out and save me. I know he saw the fear in my eyes.

Be safe, He mouthed to me. You too, I mouthed back.

I was carried through another door and saw a wall made of windows. Below was a heavily lighted room with tall walls with multiple traps. There were heat coils, spikes and more. Oh gods, don't tell me I have to go there. There was someone or something running it and a pool of blood trailing after each step it took. And then, when it reached the coils it collapsed, it struggled to get up only to fall back down. An Eraser came running by, fully morphed, and crushed its head between its teeth, blood spurting and making a sizzling sound on the coils. Oh gods. I think I'm going to hurl.

"That looks like fun, doesn't it?" The white coat, who carried me, asked plesantly.

"For you." I scowled. "For me, that looks like my very own slice, dice, and sizzle kitchen there. Custom made for me."

The coils shut off and a janitor came up with a scientist, loading the it or person onto a cart before taking a mop and cleaned the white floor.

So Fang was in the examination room, was it like a health exam type thing, or worse? If it was worse than that, god's I'm going to hate life more than I already do.

Fang frowned as he sat on a cold metal examination table. He hated this but knew it was better to comply and avoid getting hurt so he would have energy to escape. He wondered how Max would do in the maze before wondering what maze they were making her run while a white coat took his blood.

"Hundred-twenty-five pounds." The white coat muttered when they weighed Fang. "And," the white coat made a clicking sound at the back of his throat in annoyance, "about six three. Little short for your age, huh?" The white coat that measured him was only five four. Fang stayed silent, trying to think of a way out of the school.

I HATE tests.

This whole, run in circles, and find the end. Oh yeah, there's a reward at the end! It better be Chocolate Chip cookies, like the ones fresh out of the oven that Jeb used to bring home from a colleague of his.

Oh gods, what a thought, what if they tried to POISON me with those cookies? But those cookies were so good…

The sound of a horn and I was off. If I bothered to be on the track team, I would've been the top runner. The walls whizzed past me. Why am I running like crazy, you may be asking, well, you would be too if the new batch of Erasers were at your heels.

I took sudden turns, leaping over sudden floor spikes, sometimes leaping over walls. But each time I leaped over a wall, I would get a sudden shock from something, I suppose they have that electrical netting, I just don't remember seeing it, unless of course they set it up while they were preparing me for this.

So no wings, right. Spikes spurted out of the white walls; one scraped my cheek and others tearing my clothes and skin. In the distance, I could still hear the faint snapping of Erasers. I hated tests, the thought passed through my mind once again. The hot coils where the last subject died were approaching, I don't know if that meant I was lost or I was closer to the end. All I could hope is that the last subject had a great sense of direction.

I hate life.

I began to pass through the hot coils, god they're hot; this should be an oven that bakes cookies. A sudden shove caused me to fall onto some of the small coils. I cried out and jerked away and saw an Eraser grinning at me. In turn I shoved the Eraser, my arm hissing in pain. The Eraser howled in pain as his skin burned to the coils. I gagged at the smell of burning Eraser flesh. But there were more Erasers nearby, I had to go.

Another turn, another dodge. That's all this test had become, the burn from the coils still stung and I winced often when I would accidentally bump into a corner and wall as I ran in my haste. The tug in my chest led me through small halls and sharp turns, I was feeling close to the end.

There it was, the end was so close, and I couldn't even hear the Erasers anymore. At the end there was a red button with, you've got to be kidding me, a piece of cheese. Some reward that is. Am I a Mouse hybrid, rat, whatever?

The intercom crackled just like in the coliseum.

Time taken: 14 min: 35: 29

Test One: Complete

Test Two: Begins in Five Minutes

Damnit! How many tests were there?

During the five minutes break I had, the cheese was taken away; I didn't even get to poke it, and received a small Dixie cup of water. Oh come on, I need way more than that! Especially since you sent me through an oven! I took a few sips of the water before splashing the cool water on my burns. I could only hope these burns didn't leave a scar.

As they opened the door in front of me, I saw the maze and nearly let out a cry of defeat. Don't tell me that maze I just took was the easiest one! I saw the electrical current in the wires this time, they were fairly low, and not to mention there was a rocky mountain setting I needed to climb that periodically poked out spikes. I heard the sound of two swords or axes rubbing against each other at a moderately fast speed and then the sound of the Erasers behind me.

Did I mention I hate life?

The buzzer went off and I was gone again.

BWAH HA HA! It's late, so sue me.

So... Frank... XD

Challange Time! Man! I'm giving you guys hard challanges! I'm an Iggy fan, as you all know, bigger than Max and Fang... I know so horrible for me, the legally blind girl going for the actual blind guy. But, anyway, le Challange: What is the easiest Bomb to make using only two-five items? Really you only need two and that fifth is just a given... Use your Imagination. I have a goal to use this bomb in my house some day...

The spoiler you're about to read has been read before... extra credit to those who name it :D

Chapter 6:
On Top Of The World


I winced as I rubbed my arm. Another shot. What's this pain in my back?

"You ok Max?" Dark hands reached through the bars of my dog crate in an attempt of comfort.

"Yeah Fang, I just want to go away."

"We already did that once, remember?" The dark hands clasped around mine and brought it to the bars. I felt lips press gently against my slightly wounded hands. "We'll run away Max, just hold on and know that I love you."

"Love is a funny word." I pulled my hands away. "But we'll run away together, right?" I looked up with hopeful eyes in the darkness surrounding me.

"I promise." Fang saw my eyes.


6. On Top Of The World

BAM! Another long chapter! I dunno what it is with this story but I'm getting a lot of pages per update. It's crazy... 'cause I don't like long updates. So as I put in my profile, I went camping this weekend and did some updates, so you'll be seeing them shortly, well not really, 'cause I just remembered, I have two papers due tomorrow... but I'll definetly update one more story when I get back from school, (four hours or so). The downfall of camping is that our site kept on short circuiting. Imagine, I'd get three sentences and then you hear this beep. My laptop is dead and then I have to fix the breaker. And it really sucks 'cause my laptop can't hold a battery charge to save its life.

To My Goth Faerie:
All alone. T.T You know, I think I'm accident prone... The first day I wear shorts in over a year, I scrape up my left leg, scraped my right knee in the sand, and managed to get cut on both my hands. Then the following day (still wearing shorts) I manage a deep cut in my other knee. And it's not 'cause I'm a clutz. Well maybe the left leg was, I was trying to not get hit by a water balloon and fell down a ditch... XD

Challange and Extra Credit Winners!
Extra Credit: Chapter One, Max's dream! Congrats to everyone who did this
Challange: 2 items: spraycan and Microwave(electricty is a given). 5 items: balloon, tinfoil/spraycan, duct tape, air, microwave, (again, electricity is a given)

EndlessHope: Dry Ice bomb? Hmmm. But Mentos and diet coke doesn't really count as a bomb 'cause it really won't cause damage, it's more a waterworks display.
Myrah: Same as Above, I love the experiment though... P.S. I'm halfway through the PM.
I'll have some stupid cliche: My winner! So, I put your Bomb into alot of thought. Yes it's one of the eaiser ones to make but the questions is, how will I get hydrogen peroxide? Yes it's in bleach but it's bleach concentrate. That's one of the hardest parts in bomb making, getting supplies. It's an interesting Bomb and it's one of my favorite bombs, I'll give you a cookie 'cause even though H2O2 is sometimes hard to find, I bet you some can find it with ease. Like me :D I find the most dangerous chemicals with ease...

Thanks for playing!

Chapter 6:

On Top of the World

Seven mazes, count them, seven. Each one was about twice as hard as the last. The last one, I just barely made it. It took over an hour to get to the finish of the last one but I made it.

And now, I just hurt all over. Gashes and burns seemed to cover my body. The coil wasn't the only burn; I had to leap over acid too… Damn white coats, able to make acids with ease.

They didn't even shove me in the cage when they took me to the examination room; I was just damn to exhausted to deal with anything. They bandaged me and put salve on my burns, hey they're actually taking care of me… strange.

I short man took my measurements and examined me, a little too much for my tastes. It was kinda creepy, a man who's almost a foot shorter than you, eying you like a piece of meat… gross.

Once the short guy finished I was shoved into the crate, they determined I was unsafe again.

I'm tired… maybe I should sleep for a little. Sleep, sleep sounds nice. My eyes closed in no time, the blinding white lights above me faded and I could hear the sounds of experiments no more.

I woke up shivering. My body was sore beyond belief, I could barely move. I felt around numbly, noting how my clothes were in tatters, even my pants were on the verge of becoming the skanky shorts you see celebrities wear, it was more of underwear than shorts. My teeth chattered even though my jaw was sore from all the effort I gave.

"I knew they wouldn't give you new clothes." Jeb's voice was in front of my crate. "Come with me." Jeb opened the cage, extending a hand out for me. I took it weakly, letting him drag me out. I stood with a grimace on my face in the darkened room, my leg; my body was injured and so damn sore. "I think you dropped this." Jeb offered me a small smile, handing me two backpacks. I opened the nearest one, it held my clothes.

"You're lucky that I'm cold." I glared at him as Jeb turned around. I switched my clothes quickly; despite the fact my body screamed in pain at the quick movement, zipping up a dark red hoodie I loved to wear all the time.

"Here." Jeb told me, another soft smile on his face when he turned back around. Winnie the Pooh was in his grasp.

"You've got to be kidding me." I arched a brow at Jeb. "How do I know you didn't put a tracking device in him? Or better yet, how do I know that you're just giving this to me so I won't feel scared when they suddenly poison gas me while I'm sleeping?" I slung the bags on my back, waiting for Jeb to take me back to my crate. He opened the door back to the dark room the flock resided in and led me to my cage. He held the door open like a gentleman, waiting for me to go in. When I squished myself in with the bags, Jeb looked in before placing Winnie the Pooh with me.

"Just someone to hold onto." Jeb told me before I heard his footsteps fade away on the tile flooring.

"Someone to hold onto my ass." I grumbled, adjusting myself in the small cage with the backpacks. Despite the fact I hated that he gave Winnie back to me, I hugged it tight, a sense of comfort I missed in the back of my mind. I couldn't hug Fang in this place, heck, I couldn't even have a silent conversation with him it was so dark. But I could hear Fang breathing beside me, he was up and waiting for me to talk.

I didn't say anything.

I had drifted off after some time because next thing I knew I was being shoved onto a dolly next to Fang. We were both going to run the mazes together.

Run fast, Fang's eyes told me, a hint of fear in his eyes. Why was there fear? I pushed the backpacks to the far back of the crate Winnie sitting gently on top. It wouldn't matter; the White Coats would find it and confiscate them. I stretched my wings the second I was dumped onto the ground of the maze, Fang stretching his out too. "I will." I reassured Fang, he held up his hand and shook his head.

"You don't get it Max, we're going to be chased by Erasers this time, we're racing each other." His gaze looked grave. "Whoever makes it to the point last gets shocked." I winced at the thought, reminding myself of the many painful shocks from yesterday. "I don't want you to get hurt, so run fast."

"What about you?" I asked as the door in front of us began to open.

"Does it even matter?" Fang asked, the buzzer went off and we ran.

Fourteen mazes later, we were on our last one, the fifteenth, it's taken about seven hours to go over the last fourteen. Fang's gotten shocked ten times, he purposely waited for me sometimes to reach the end first because I took a wrong turn. I don't want Fang to get hurt anymore… if I can take this last shock… it'll be fine… I mean yeah, the shocks get worse with every maze, the last shock wasn't too bad, I mean, it only left me seeing blue for about ten minutes…

Another buzzer I ran at full speed, Fang was lagging behind on purpose. I stopped dead in my tracks, glaring at him, knowing well that I was in danger of one of the White Coats surprise traps. His dark eyes looked at me in bewilderment, unsure why I was stopping.

"I WON'T FORGIVE YOU!" I yelled at him as I watched him slow to a walk. "If you don't try your best I won't forgive you! I'll hate you forever if you keep doing this! I swear I won't talk to you and I don't care how childish this sounds! I hate you for doing this right now! If you don't try and beat me, I swear!" I glared, watching him gaze at me for a moment with indifferent eyes. And then a moment later he was gone, like a flash of light.

"Then you try too." Fang whispered to me, for in a moment he was beside me, yanking me away from where I stood as a cinderblock fell with a crash. He let go the second I was safe and was already running towards the exit. That guy…

I ran, following my internal sense of direction, wondering where Fang was and if he was actually doing what I said. I could only hope.

Another turn, another dodge, STOP, another trap.

This wasn't fair; I shouldn't be a lab rat. I shouldn't have to endure this. Why can't I live the normal life I took for granted? I'd probably be sipping on a coke, watching HBO with Fang in a run down motel had we not been caught.

I want out, I seriously want out. I don't know how the rest of the flock can stand it. I felt my eyes begin to burn as I took another turn. I cursed as I ducked a 300 lb cinderblock hurled in my direction before rolling underneath barbed wire.

Tears pricked my eyes as I ran down the final stretch, I could see the end, Fang was there, and his eyes were wide and were about to touch the button. I saw his eyes widened and I smiled, he wouldn't have to suffer the last shock, that's good. Fifty more feet and then I can be free of this test. Twenty-five, ten, BAM! I ran straight into a wall just placed by the White Coats. I'll have to find a new way around; this is a dead end now. I was just ten feet away and I could've been free of this damn maze. TEN FREAKING FEET!

But this is the White Coat's fault. I turned around ready to run out, only to see they dropped a wall thirty yards away. I frowned for I was boxed in. What could I do?

I could fly… but the netting. I looked for an opening, just in case, none. Damnit. I would have to suffer. I backed up about ten yards from the wall closest to the end before running at full speed. Five feet away from the wall I snapped open my wings and flew just above the wall.


Bird-Kid: one, White Coats: zero

Three feet and closing, damn this feels great. I cried out suddenly feeling shocks starting from the tips of my wings and then centralizing just between my shoulder blades. Two feet and I had fallen to the ground with a shock that has me nearly unable to move. I crawled and slammed the red button down, prepared to receive the worst shock yet.

I smiled sadly at Fang, feeling a tear fall down from my burning eyes before I felt the initial shock and then seeing the world go black.

Am I dreaming? Vague white lights, dark figures over me…

A pain in my arm. Why are they opening my mouth?

What's going on? Lights don't go! Tell me what's going on!

Don't go!

Where am I? I can feel myself breathing; I can tell that I'm well and strong. But why do I feel like I'm hurting inside?

Fang's standing in front of me and I can't look him in the eye, something must be wrong. Why can't I look at him face to face? What's wrong?

"Max, I – "

"Don't!" I yelled. Holding a trembling hand out to silence him. Tears were burning my eyes, my heart is aching, I knew what he was going to say but why didn't I want to hear it? "Please don't say it! Don't make me your enemy!" I cried out, looking away to my left.

"But Max, - " He attempted again.

"Don't say it!" I screamed rubbing my throat raw, tears threatening to spill. "Why are you trying so hard to bring out the evil in me?" I asked, anger rising in it despite the fact I was far from it. With each word I spoke I saw Fang become more defeated.

Fang reached out to me and I swatted the hand away instantly, tears spilling freely. "Don't do that." I told him, my voice serious and unwavering. "Why are you making this harder?" His gaze on me was so sad I felt torn. "Do you want to know the truth?" I asked, the tears still falling, the anger was evident in my voice. "You just passed the time, that's it." The words were like knives in Fang's back, he seemed to stumble back at them. I winced inwardly, knowing they stabbed me too.

I walked away knowing I was lying, knowing that I was doing this for the better of the flock, and knowing that this would break my heart. I knew that this was the most painful lie I've ever said. How could I put off 18 years – my whole life – off as nothing? As just a way to pass the time?

My heart ached; it was so painful that it even made it hard to breathe. I turned away and walked, knowing that Fang was just as ready to collapse as I was from this pain. I love him, so why am I lying? He loves me, so why should I hurt him?

Love is a funny thing, my mind told me, it's just a word there's no proof it actually exists. It makes you hurts you and saves you and at the same time, it does nothing at all.

I felt myself trembling on the inside as I towards a black van; Fang was so far away now. The van's door opened and Jeb was sitting in a seat, a hand extended to help me in. "Good job, Samantha."

I snapped my eyes open to only see darkness and only to feel myself squeezing the Winnie the Pooh plush tightly that I was almost afraid his head would burst off. I breathed heavily. It was a dream. A horrible, horrible, dream.

I pressed a hand to my heart, the pain still evident. I regretted the moment I move my hand, for when I did, my whole body complained. It hurt. I felt torn and broken.

I've only been here for a few days but I know this; pain is a common feeling felt around here, more than despair but less than a spirit broken. What I stood for has always been simple and in being trapped here has thrown that all out the window. Spirit, ha, there's no such thing anymore.

The ache in my heart has dulled enough but I still feel cuts and burns that are reacting to the cold air conditioning wafting through the room.


The footsteps are loud and heavy, as if they were steel-toed. It's probably a White Coat afraid to get hurt. A pansy, as Fang would put it, who wasn't cut out for the job. White Coats have patience and a strong stomach or are heartless. Most of the White Coats are the latter.

"Oi! Fred! We going for a ride?!" Iggy cheered, recognizing the footsteps. I smiled briefly at that, noticing the footsteps stop for a moment before continuing. The loud footfalls grew louder before coming to a stop in front of my crate. Crap, that can't be good.

"Be good." The White Coat told me in a hushed whisper. As if I could move, my body would be in so much pain if I did.


I winced as I rubbed my arm. Another shot. 'Fred' left quickly as he heard screeches of nearby experiments. A slam of the door told us we were alone.

"You ok Max?" Dark hands reached through the bars of my dog crate in an attempt of comfort.

"Yeah Fang, I just want to go away."

"We already did that once, remember?" The dark hands clasped around mine and brought it through the bars. I felt lips press gently against my slightly wounded hands. "We'll run away Max, just hold on and know that I love you."

"Love is a funny word." I pulled my hands away. "But we'll run away together, right?" I looked up with hopeful eyes in the darkness surrounding me.

"I promise." Fang saw my eyes.

"Pick a number between one and ten." I attempted a conversation with the room. The Flock and I are on much better terms now; they're even starting to listen to me more than Iggy which, at the moment, is totally amazing. I've only known them for about a week and a half and they already care for me.

"Four." Iggy replied as I heard him shuffling next to me. I thought of the CD of songs I had stuck in my head.

"You've picked, On Top of the World."

"So? What's that? A book or something, I can't read it." I could sense Iggy frowning.

"It's a song on a CD I have stuck in my head."

"Oh! A CD! What are CD's like? Are they anything like those circular micro discs I see the White Coats playing with, are they cool for teens? Wait, what are CD's?" Nudge asked from across the room. I smiled at her questions.

"They play music." Fang replied. "And people sing songs on them."

"Max, will you sing?" I heard Angel ask. "I wanna hear this song." I could almost imagine her pouting.

"My singing's horrible." I replied.

"Can't be as bad as 'Fred' when we caught him trying to coax an experiment into coming out of the cage." Gasman offered.

"Come on, sing." Iggy challenged.

"Please Max?" Angel begged.

"Fine." I grumbled. "Look up the stars are fading," I began, the song already running through, a sense of hope filling me, "And I am still here waiting, to see you again, be with you my friend. When the moon is gone forever, I hope you're up there somewhere, I'll see you again, be with you my friend. And all the roads they lead to where you are. And all the streetlights shine like they were stars, that's where you are… I GOT IT!" I stopped singing a sudden plan forming in my head.

"What do you got? Aids? A monkey? A plan to shove all the White Coats off a cliff to let them die a horrible death? Tell me when I'm getting warmer." Iggy smirked.

"Okay you brats," A voice echoed in the room as a white light filled through the door opening. "Time for some group fun, fitness test." I heard several thuds before I felt myself being tossed onto a cart.

Fang was beside me, giving me a silent conversation again. He witnessed the laughter in my eyes and I watched him reminisce two minutes ago. I watched his eyes widen slightly at the realization. How? His dark eyes questioned me. I glanced towards Iggy's crate and Fang nodded. When? His gaze seemed confused once more. I rolled my eyes and stared at him. Realization hit him. Yeah, oh, the fitness test. And Fang was Valedictorian.

Angel. Fang's eyes glanced at her cage. I nodded; I needed to talk to her. Angel, can you hear me? I thought, gazing at it to see blonde hair move and blue eyes to stare at me. I've got a plan, I need you to give it to Nudge, Gazzy, and Iggy. The blue eyes blinked in acknowledgement. I told her the plan as we were wheeled through the white washed halls.

The gust of wind made me aware that we were heading to the coliseum again. I frowned, already feeling the dense air, the thin film of air felt like sand, it felt grainy like when you'd spend a day on the beach, all the salt and sand on your skin gets annoying.

I felt my crate tilt before I fell out of my cage. I snatched the backpacks from inside, tossing one at Fang and tossing Winnie the Pooh to Angel, who hugged it tightly. "Make sure they get out." I told Fang quietly. He blinked in acknowledgement. "Don't wait for me." I watched his expression change for a moment before he blinked again.

I glanced around, seeing the rest of my flock for the first time. Angel was, well to say the least, an angel. Perfect blonde hair that curled in that Shirley Temple way with beautiful blue eyes that were so bright like stars were in them. And Gasman, I can see how those two are related. His eyes are the same way; his hair is just so much shorter. Nudge, dark but fair skinned, I know a guy in my graduating class who would totally date her, talker or not. Nudge glanced at Fang and I, her eyes wide with excitement. "Oh wow! I finally get to see Fang! He was put in a different room two years ago and this is the first time I get to see you Max! You're really pretty, I bet you get to be in all those things called fashion magazines and – "

Iggy slapped a hand over her mouth; an annoyed expression was evident on his face. He nodded at me before taking the hand away. So Angel told him.

I glanced up, seeing the football stadium lights were on and the night sky was waning. "Complete the test in the given time so we can record how you're doing." A White Coat stated from the announcer room. I glanced around, seeing a few White Coats nearby. The buzzer went off and no one moved.

"U AND A!" I shouted, seeing a White Coat in disguise morph into an Eraser. I ran to it, side swiping it before delivering a good blow to the head. The Flock should be trying to get rid of the electrical netting; Iggy should know how to do this. I glanced back, seeing Angel flying beside her brother, looking serious as she looked at the White Coats in the announcer room. Please don't tell me she's controlling minds. Erasers rushed in through the doors. Damnit. I leaped back, barely missing a blow, Fang fighting beside me.

"Having fun?" I managed out, punching one Eraser in the face before kneeing another in the groin.

"Seriously, mini skirts." Fang replied, witnessing a high kick. I glared at him briefly before hitting the Eraser behind him.


The word echoed through my mind causing me to look up to see the Flock floating just above the netting. "Fang," I called out to him as he got a blow from an Eraser. "Look up, the stars are fading." He gave me a confused look before I launched him up into the air, just like he had done over a week ago. He snapped open his wing, looking at me like he wanted to join back in on the fight. "GO!" I yelled, he flapped through the opening.

I round house kicked an Eraser, leaving me a path to run. "Catch me if you can!" I called, running through the double doors and back within the School. Not one of my smartest ideas, it's one of those, works for the moment type of ideas. If I run, I don't have to fight, but running into a School filled with Erasers, not so smart.

"There she is!" A morphed Eraser cried out. His voice was strangled so badly, I could barely make out what he was saying… well at lease, I hope it's a guy.

I suddenly felt like I was back in the mazes, left turn, right turn, dead end, trap, or WRONG WAY! Running through freshly waxed hallways with no traction on your shoes, you might as well be ice skating, which makes dead ends and wrong ways even worse. Though, it is kinda fun to bowl Erasers…

Okay, all this running in a maze is making me wonder, where the hell is the exit? A door means a group of Erasers could be at ready. Window, have to look for a window.

Window… door, no...

Window… wall, no…

Window! I put on an extra burst of speed, hearing the Erasers behind me closing in. I leaped through it, my arms covering my face. Shards of glass shattered around me, cutting at my clothes, only making small gashes and cuts before I snapped my wings open and flew straight up.

How long had I been running? The stars in the sky were almost gone now. The darkness was being replaced by a red/orange sky of the rising sun. "Let's spend tonight on top of the world. We can do anything, we can be anything." I recalled the lyrics of the song I had been singing earlier. "On top of the world…" I muttered to myself, flying higher. I passed the clouds with a shiver and saw all five of them fly around. Angel, Gazzy, and Nudge were playing tag, zooming all around with their new freedom. Iggy had his face pointed to the rising sun, soaking in the warmth and enjoying the wind from up here. And Fang…

He flew to me with such grace and held me in his arms, resting his forehead on my own. "Don't do that." He told me. He was scared I was going to get hurt. He wanted to protect me just like his job but even more so because he loves me. He leaned in and kissed me briefly, the first kiss I've had in the past couple of weeks. It warmed me inside and I couldn't help but smile.

"We're running away again." I smiled when I pulled away from his hold. I looked at the flock. "Where to?" Their faces lit up like fireworks, knowing that this was their first taste at freedom.

"I wanna get a stuffed animal just like this –" Angel began, holding up Winnie the Pooh.

"Can we get a teen magazine? And a CD? Oh! What about those things called Cell Phones? I'm hungry, when are we going to –" Nudge cut Angel off.

"Sports store, I hear the sell guns there." Iggy looked at me, hearing my flaps.

"Yeah! Guns!" Gasman grinned.

"No." I said firmly. "No guns, that's the last thing we need. We would be bird kids with guns, a mutant gang. No, no guns." I crossed my arms.

"Besides, they're dangerous and leaves incriminating evidence." Fang continued.

"Can we go eat?" Nudge complained, her stomach growling.

"Yeah." A smile crept onto my lips. "Lets go." I flew ahead, leading the flock, my family, towards a new horizon and a new life.

So, it was almost as long as the last one... Oh noes! she had another dream! Wow, I suck at online sacrasm. I finished this about 3 am last night, this morning whatever. So if you'll excuse me, I need to get ready for school.

Challange: 'cause you're all probably more die hard fans of Maximum Ride than me, you're memory isn't shot by american histoy, and my first book is still in the hands of my friend Jess, How did the Flock escape the School in the first book?


Start of Something New

Angel and Nudge begged to watch High School Musical last night and now they won't stop singing the songs, bad idea Max. Bad, bad, idea. I caved into letting them watch, which isn't showing very good parenting skills but screw it. I mean, I have the Flock, we all take care of each other and they're more of a family than the one I lived with Jeb.

"You HAD to let them watch?" Iggy groaned beside me as we flew with the current, his wing tips brushing against mine occasionally. "And their getting Gazzy into it! Listen!" I listened behind us where Angel and Nudge were singing.

"Now who would ever thought that, Mmmm, we'd both be here tonight, and the world is so much brighter, with you by my side!" I heard Troy and Gabriella as if they were actually there.

"Oh yeah, forgot to mention, Gazzy can mimick voices." Iggy grinned. Great, we have another prankster. First a bomb maker then a mimicker. This would be a great combination if I were to break into the federal bank, don't ask me how but it would.

The first days of freedom are always hard to adjust to. All this pent up energy, the adrenaline finally fading away, more food to pig out on, just like summer. "Peter Pan!" I called out to Fang, who was flying ahead of me. He dropped back until he was on my otherside, looking intently ahead. "I still want to go to Never Land." I saw laughter fill his eyes and a small smile crept onto his face. "To Never Land!" I grinned, beginning to fly ahead, knowing that the flock was looking at me weird. I turned around, a sudden realization hitting me. "Uh, where's Florida?"


7. Start Of Something New

Today is the Day that I've been here for a year! So I'm celebrating it with you guys with a new chapter! So happy birthday/anniversary! Oh yeah, sorry that this chapter is kinda slow, I've been unwell all week and I dunno, I feel totally out of it. I finished writing the other half of the story today, I think I spent like 2 hours on it, a better of 30 min was dedicated to finding out what I was doing and staring off into space because I was so out of it. Oh! I got invited to a concert but I turned it down, as much as I love country, I don't love love country. I'm more of a rock fan, tickets to Red Jumpsuit Apparatus anyday! And if I spelled it wrong, that's 'cause I'm more concerned about the names of the songs than anything else.

To My Goth Faerie: I miss you T.T Have I told you? I've been on watch for a root canal for ages and now I think I finally have to get oneT.T and what's worse is that the seditives on that side of my mouth doesn't work, they gave me three shots there, painful stuff. Again... I miss my goth Faerie T.T

To the Challangers! It was the second escape, not the Jeb escape!

Myrah: Thank you so much, I just recently got my book back and I wanted to check Cookie!

EndlessHope: I have to say, you are the biggest Fan I've ever met. Cookie!

And I am working on tallying the cookies from all my reviewers so a new story can be posted.

Chapter 7:

Start of Something New

Angel and Nudge begged to watch High School Musical last night and now they won't stop singing the songs, bad idea Max. Bad, bad, idea. I caved into letting them watch, which isn't showing very good parenting skills but screw it. I mean, I have the Flock, we all take care of each other and they're more of a family than the one I lived with Jeb.

"You HAD to let them watch?" Iggy groaned beside me as we flew with the current, his wing tips brushing against mine occasionally. "And their getting Gazzy into it! Listen!" I listened behind us where Angel and Nudge were singing.

"Now who would ever thought that, Mmmm, we'd both be here tonight, and the world is so much brighter, with you by my side!" I heard Troy and Gabriella as if they were actually there.

"Oh yeah, forgot to mention, Gazzy can mimic voices." Iggy grinned. Great, we have another prankster. First a bomb maker then a mimicker. This would be a great combination if I were to break into the federal bank, don't ask me how but it would.

The first days of freedom are always hard to adjust to. All this pent up energy, the adrenaline finally fading away, more food to pig out on, just like summer. "Peter Pan!" I called out to Fang, who was flying ahead of me. He dropped back until he was on my other side, looking intently ahead. "I still want to go to Never Land." I saw laughter fill his eyes and a small smile crept onto his face. "To Never Land!" I grinned, beginning to fly ahead, knowing that the flock was looking at me weird. I turned around, a sudden realization hitting me. "Uh, where's Florida?"

"Florida?" Nudge asked, a confused look on her features. "What's in Florida?"

"Oh yeah," I saw a grin form on Iggy's face, "Disney World."

"What's Disney World?" Angel asked, looking at me and then to Iggy.

"It's a place where we can have fun." I replied. "And I say we go on the Peter Pan ride first!" I smiled, remembering the first time I went.

"Go East." Fang told me, his dark eyes encouraging. "We're in Nevada."

"That's like, on the other side of the country!" I gasped, almost horrified.

"Well that's like, a twelve hour flight from here!" Fang mimicked horribly. I glared and he smirked. It was possible that it was a twelve hour flight but I wouldn't know, all I knew is that it was a twenty-two hour drive from Texas, almost double from California, so who knew, being higher up could mean getting to places faster…

"Actually…" I glanced at the flock, eying their ratty pieces of clothing. "We need to go shopping. I mean, you guys scream, I escaped from prison with wild dogs after me." Fang looked at me blankly. "Hey, I'm trying to be a little inconspicuous here," I began, "it's not my fashion sense that's talking if that's what you're thinking." I glared at Fang. He shook his head, saying that I didn't get the point.

"Oooo, shopping? Does that mean that we get to get some of those teen magazines and other stuff like that, like earrings! There's a white coat that had really pretty earrings, well, until one of the experiments ripped them off but you know she had it coming because they dangled really low like almost touched her shoulder and they were shiny, really shiny and-"

"Nudge!" I said firmly. She shut her mouth and gazed at me in curiosity. "We're going to go shopping, yes, we might pick up a teen magazine but you are not getting earrings. Not even if you beg and plead." I gave her a stern stare.

"But why?" Her dark eyes questioned me. "I mean you have earrings." I winced. Yeah, I have earrings. I've had to get them pierced so many times because my earlobes kept on closing.

"Max says that they hurt and then you can't touch them forever and if you take them out then your ears will close and then you have to get another shot thingy to wear earrings again." Angel told Nudge, holding her brother's hand.

"I'd like to be warned before someone goes and invades my head, personal space people." I grumbled under my breath. Iggy laughed, hearing it all.

"There's a Wal-Mart in the next town," Fang began, his dark eyes unfocused as he looked at me. "I went there with Jeb before he brought me back to our old home." I looked away, home… the world felt bittersweet. Not because Maximum died only a few weeks ago but my ex-dad tortures experiments that used to be human and Ari, he's no longer my brother, that family there is gone and I've lived with that family for most of my life.

"Then lets go." I nodded, following Fang as he led us through the skies. I closed my eyes for a moment, the sun feels so warm.

We flew for only minutes before Fang dipped his wing, showing off a graceful dive. I followed the suit, gesturing for the others to do the same. I heard their wings flap behind me as I eyed Fang's every movement. I couldn't lose him, not now, not after all we've been through.

I saw the familiar blue store coming closer into view and watched as Fang pulled back. "We've got to land somewhere where we're not noticeable." I nodded, surveying the area. I pointed and Fang nodded, letting me take the lead.

We landed a little clumsily at the trailer drop off. There was only one trailer in the two available spots, a wall on the other side of the vacant spot. The ground dipped for easy unloading and for good cover on my part. "It ripped my shirt didn't it?" I attempted to look at my back to no avail. Great, just great. I pulled out a vest and pulled it on, covering up my rips. I glanced at Fang who was pulling his shirt off and rummaging through his pack for another. "Nudge," I called, pulling a short sleeve jacket out and tossing it to her, "Angel." I saw her clutching the Winnie the Pooh bear tightly "I need you to wear this backpack in the meantime until we get you some proper clothes." Angel nodded when I held out my pack. I glanced at Fang who was already in a new black shirt, Iggy scowling at the new shirt he was wearing, no doubt he had accidentally put it on backwards and Gazzy was wearing- "Fang! That's my elementary school shirt! How do you even have it?" I stared at him, a hardened gaze. So sue me if I can still fit into those clothes.

"Hey, you're the one who left it over at my place after swimming before we left. Thought I could return it but this has more use." Fang shrugged. I sighed; I really couldn't do anything about it now.

"All right, since we all look… remotely normal…" The boys and I were the only ones who looked remotely normal. It isn't usual to see a cute little ten year old in dirty and torn gray sweatpants and shirt and it isn't normal to see a fifteen year old in ratty sweatpants and in a short sleeve jacket that had a sweatshirt underneath where it was obvious she had torn off the sleeves because it looked to weird. "We can go in and get stuff."

We walked out from the unloading area and towards the front of the store. As we entered I smelled the familiar smell of Wal-Mart and believe me, Wal-Mart has its own special smell. "Fang, you take the boys and I'll take the girls." Fang nodded and pushed the guys farther ahead. "They have no idea how lucky they are that they're guys." I muttered. "Nudge, grab a basket." I gestured to the rows of baskets waiting.

"So what are we going to do first?" Nudge asked, pushing the basket lazily, leaning over the basket, her chest covering her hands.

"As odd as this sounds, get you a bra." Again, they have no idea how lucky they are to be guys, no checking that this fits the right stuff or growing pains, I forgot. I grimaced feeling a familiar cramp.

"Functions of a girl," I told Angel, noticing the look she had as she was reading my mind. "So don't grow older than twelve." Angel nodded, hugging Winnie the Pooh so tight I thought he was going to pop at the seams.

So I'm gonna totally skip shopping because shopping can get extremely annoying at times, especially when there are prick guys checking you out as you choose clothing. So I'm just gonna say this, we got plenty of necessities. Toothbrushes, packs for the rest of the flock…Feminine items…

We stopped at the McDonalds on the way out; it was funny because the guy who took our order looked completely surprised on all the food we bought.

So, a twelve-hour flight to Disney, we'll have to stop somewhere because we didn't even get to sleep last night, Angel's already faltering.

"Hey Max," Nudge called to me as we flew over the clouds. She flew next to me, a confused expression on her face. "What's the acquisition of poultry?" I heard Fang snicker at the words and I looked at Nudge, eyes wide in confusion. "No?" Nudge cocked her head. "But they guys back in the store…" She trailed, her brows furrowing to think the conversation the guys that were checking us out were having. "I mean, it's really stupid, isn't it?"

"What are you talking about?" I asked, bewildered.

"The acquisition of poultry!" Nudge replied. "You remember the guys, they were like, 'Lets pick up some chicks-"

"Wait." I held out a hand to stop her. "You mean to tell me, this acquisition of poultry is what you thought the guys meant when they said they were going to ask us out?" I saw Fang smiling, he knew it all along, damn you. "Nudge," I began, I swear I felt a few brain cells die, "chicks mean girls and boys ask girls out to go on dates. There is no acquisition of poultry, if there is, I'd feel sorry for the poultry."

"You know," Iggy mused, flying beside me as Nudge dropped back a bit. "Technically, it is an acquisition of poultry in Nudge's and your case. You are a bird, aren't you?" He flashed a smile before dropping back and discussing something with Gazzy.

"Oh ha ha Iggy." I muttered. Fang flew closer to my side, out wingtips touching at every down stroke. He remained silent as we flew.

"Max, I'm hungry." Nudge complained hours later, we were somewhere over Texas by now. I glanced at Fang, who seemed to be oblivious to my glance even though he seemed to be staring right at me. My wings hurt a little but I didn't want to give in before Fang.

"Just a little farther," I told Nudge, "Fang go check out the nearest place we can eat." I pointed down to the clouds beneath us. He nodded, tucking in his wings and diving.

I heard voices behind me of Iggy and Gazzy talking. "How long can you stare at the sun?"

"About three minutes. What about you?"

"Five hours." I could sense Iggy smiling with pride. "You know, staring at the sun long can make you blind."

"So you're the one who had the staring contest at the School!"

"Yeah, I was already blind then, Gazzy, remember?"


"Wendy's east of here, Taco Bell just a bit north." Fang reappeared at my side. I thought of the choices, Wendy's there was chilly, bad idea for Gasman but Taco Bell was so much worse for him and if it's worse for him then it's worse for us.

"Wendy's." I nodded to Fang. I told myself we were not landing to rest we were landing because the rest of the flock was hungry. I dipped my wing to turn right, the others following the suit. We dipped out of the clouds and saw the bustling city. There were honking cars everywhere and a heavy smog that caused me to sneeze violently. Great, an industrial city, just like I always wanted.

"There." Fang pointed to a familiar sign that had a girl with flaming red hair. I nodded landing behind the dumpster of Wendy's.

I sighed, pulling on my short sleeve jacket to hide the tears in my clothes. I pressed the wings tightly to my back, making it almost impossible to tell I had them. "Why does it seem so slow now?" I asked Fang quietly as we walked through the doors of the fast food restaurant.

"How does this feel slow? We're on the run, Max."

"But it feels like life is at a stand still, like with a normal life you just do nothing but eat, drive your car, watch TV, drive some more, east some more, and then sleep. That's all it feels like we're doing." I should be grateful for this slow life but I had just gotten used to living life on fast forward.

"Knock on wood." I heard Fang mutter under his breath before the flock made their orders.

Oh how I wish I did.

We had just gotten our food and I had managed to eat one burger until this old lady came up and smiled at us. "Your little girl is so cute," the old woman cooed, pinching Angel's cheek that caused her to flinch. "I could just eat her up!" the old woman's voice turned menacing and rough by the last word. The woman morphed into an Eraser which caused me to look around, there were four others, how could they have found us so fast?

"U and A!" I said through gritted teeth, watching the Eraser still pinching Angel, it's claws almost ready to tear off the skin on her face. I launched myself at the Eraser, knocking it to the ground and releasing Angel. "Follow Gazzy, Angel!" I ordered giving the Eraser a hard punch in the face.

Knock on Wood he says, I thought to myself as I ducked a punch, I'll be fine I say, I kicked one where the sun don't shine, what an idiot I am. I scolded myself as I leapt up, letting two Erasers crash heads. I watched more customers morph into Erasers. Damn. This isn't going so well. Nudge was out, along with Gazzy, Angel, and Iggy. Which meant, I looked around, Fang and I.

"Time to go!" I shouted over the growls of the Erasers. I leapt onto the tables and ran across them before jumping onto the counter of the restaurant. "Hi!" I waved to the cashier before jumping behind the counter, Fang following. "Thanks for the food!" I grinned, eying a to go bags ready to be given to the drive thru customers. I ran out the back door and leapt into the air, Fang hot on my heels. "I would've gone through the drive thru window you know," I told Fang as he gave me a hard stare, "but Wendy's drive thru windows are notorious for snapping on your fingers and getting jammed."

"Happy now?" Fang asked me as we flew higher where the flock was flying just below the clouds. "No more 'boring' life."

"Yeah," I replied sarcastically, "'cause you know, I just love to eat and run. Not to mention I'm going to be scared of little old ladies for the rest of my life! I mean come on! Old ladies should be retired, weak, and not FREAKING LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD!" I glared at the hard stare. "Grandma, what big teeth you have!" I mocked, a small look of horror on my face.

"You know, for a new life, it has its ups and downs." I told Fang as I handed two of the bags to Gazzy and Nudge. There was a kids meal that I gave to Angel and four other bags that I split between Iggy, Fang, and I. "I mean, it's great, I have an actual family, totally awesome, I have wings, which I can't decide is a plus or negative, and you're still with me. On the other hand," I sighed as we passed through the clouds, "it's very lame that we don't have a safe place, kind of like a home where we all can return to. Not to mention, you know, old ladies turning into Erasers, Erasers attacking in general, limited money, the School is after us 'cause we're experiments that are going to be used for who the hell knows what." I ate some fries from my bag. "Other than that, it's just peachy."

"You are insane." Fang told me. I beamed, acting like it was a compliment.

We stopped somewhere near the border of Florida, staying at another run down hotel. "Disney Channel again?" I groaned as Hannah Montana came on. "What no cartoons?" Kids these days, rather watch real people than cartoons with superpowers or like Tom and Jerry, Yay violence!

"Gazzy, shower." I ordered seeing Angel glued to the television screen. "Best of both worlds, eh?" I flopped onto one of the musty beds. "Do you remember what our old world was like?" I asked Fang, my hands reaching out towards the ceiling.

"Yeah." Fang nodded, sitting beside me as Iggy seemed to be napping on the other bed.

"Oh yeah." I sat up suddenly, rushing to the packs on the small desk area. I took off the flock's packs except for Fang's and mine. I dumped out the contents, looking at them carefully.

"What are you doing?" Fang asked, snatching his boxers from the pile, I heard Nudge giggle and I wasn't sure it was because of that or the show, I don't think I wanna know.

"The Erasers found us easily. Which means there might be a tracking device in the stuff Jeb gave me." I removed my wallet from the front pocket of my pack and went through it carefully. "Look for anything suspicious." I told Fang as I took out the cards. ID, debit cards, nothing.

We sifted through the items for a long time, when we finished; each member had been put through the shower, even Fang and I. "I've got nothing." I sighed, beginning to brush the knots out of my wet hair. Angel and Nudge shared a bed as did Iggy and Gazzy, the four were fast asleep.

Jeb didn't give you a tracking device, the voice told me, giving me a mild headache. Great, I'm going mad again. Fang pulled out the sofa bed as I started putting our things back in our packs. If Jeb didn't give us a tracking device then how could the Erasers find us? I yawned tiredly, sitting on the edge of the bed, Fang already lying in it.

Don't worry about it, the voice reassured me, I wanted to glare at it. None of it concerns you for now.

If they're finding my family, my flock, it concerns me. I laid down on the bed, pulling the covers up. Forget it, I don't want to argue right before I go to sleep. I gazed at the dark ceiling, still vaguely aware that I hadn't taken off my black bracelet. I'm surprised I haven't lost it through all this mess. I fiddled with it, unable to think.

"Night." Fang told me as he shifted in the bed, I could see a faint outline of his arm with his own bracelet dangling on his wrist. I turned to my side and banged bracelets with him, remembering how we used to do that all the time.

"Night." I replied, holding the bracelet close and falling asleep.

I woke up to the sound of a bird. I sat up, looking around. Fang was sleeping on his side, beside me, his hair disheveled but his face was peaceful, Nudge was sprawled near the bottom of the bed, and Angel curled into a ball with Winnie in her arms. Iggy was lying on his back, his eyes open, telling me he was awake, and Gasman was on his side and lying like a dog on its side.

I heard the sound again and saw as Iggy's eyes flicker to me and then to the door. I felt the bed move a little. Fang sat up slowly, having heard the sound. His face looked slightly pale, like he had a nightmare of some sort.

He got up quietly and walked to the door and opened it wide letting a hawk fly in before closing it again. "Morning Roger." Fang told the hawk, rummaging through his pack for beef jerky.

He gave the piece of beef jerky to the dark hawk and untied the note as the hawk gobbled up the jerky. He tucked the note in his pajama pocket and let Roger out of the room. "What?" Fang saw me looking at him in disbelief. Apparently Roger visited him a lot because Fang thought nothing of it.

"Never mind." I muttered. It makes me wonder though, how many secrets has Fang kept from me? I mean, there's this whole major thing about me having wings that he kept quiet about for eighteen years of my life, well not really eighteen because he said I was taken from the School when I was about five. I wonder if I'll ever get those memories back…

They're in New York; the voice told me with a sigh, your memories are in New York.

I didn't say anything, how can my memories just be in New York anyway? I mean if you have amnesia you just need to see something familiar and then boom, you remember. At least, that's how it works in the movies…

I looked at Fang whose eyes were rapidly reading the note. The expressions in his eyes were changing as rapidly as he was reading. Gazzy and Angel began to wake up thanks to Nudge who fell of the bed with a loud thud. I watched Fang in curiosity and silence at the serious expression on his lips. What did Roger give Fang?

Angel crawled to the edge of her bed, trying to read Fang's mind while Gasman was talking to Iggy quietly, wondering what was going on.

"I can't believe it." Fang muttered to himself. Believe what? "Max, we have to go to New York, this is so much more important that going to Never Land." He gestured to his note. "You'll finally remember things from when you were young and-" He cut himself off. "Never mind about the and but we have to go."

I sighed, two against one, no fair. "So much for Disney World." I muttered to myself but I guess memories are worth it. "Okay, change of plans," I announced to the room, they all looked alert at the sound of my voice, "we're going to New York." A small look of satisfaction crossed Fang's face for a moment.

Good choice Maximum.

Roger is back! I missed Roger and the bracelets. And let me tell you, they're important to this story. A little slow, Voice is back, no Never Land T.T Oh yeah, this chapter tells you I am so totally a female, sorry guys... Just to let you know, I'm adding a new story. In my Profile, I have MAXIMUM RIDE: THE AU Soundtrack, if you're curious as to all the songs I find inspiration from and then add them to the stories.

Challenge Time! This is totally your opinion and I'm debating whether or not I should do this 'cause I have it sort of planned out, not all the way but the basics of every story. Should or should this not be a trilogy series? Because, I'm letting you guys know, it's gonna end in New York like the First book. Which means the last chapter is coming up soon.


Of Sunrises and Sunsets

"Okay, so we're in New York. Now what?" I looked at Fang, he suggested it. Fang shrugged and I looked around, what to do what to do...

Get on the Madison Avenue bus, the Voice told me, get off when it looks fun.

I looked around, nothing but taxi's and people. Stores and cars. Great. So where's the bus?

Now if I were a bus, where would I hide? I mentally smacked myself, how idiotic was that? "Max?" Fang called out my name, bringing me from my thoughts. "Something wrong?" He reached out a hand.

"Nothing," I replied shaking my head, "we just have to find a bus." I looked at a street sign. Madison Avenue. "This way." I pointed taking the lead. Angel sped to my side, holding my hand and Fang hung at my other side, holding my other hand in reassurance, sensing my unease.


8. Of Sunrises and Sunsets

WE BROKE 100 REVIEWS! Thank you so much for all your reviews, alerts, and favorites! This is so exciting for a story of mine to get this many reviews :D

Another chapter done! Congrats It's a very mushy chapter mind you, I haven't written this much fluff since last year 'cause well, you know... actually you don't 'cause I don't even know. I got chapter inspiration from the latest song on THE AU sountrack: Sunsets and Car Crashes by The Spill Canvas. I just recently listened to it an dit was AMAZING!

Challengers: Thank you for your opinions and you'll be seeing the sequal soon!

To My Goth Faerie: It's depressing, I have to wake up at 6 tomorrow morning to get in line at 7 for Harry Potter wristbands that won't be given out till 9 only to get my books and CD's at midnight. That means I have to go to bed early... dang.

Chapter 8:

Of Sunrises and Sunsets

"So which one is the city of lights, Las Vegas or New York?"

"Las Vegas." Fang replied, flying a little above me.

"Really? Then what's the city that never sleeps?"

"Isn't that Chicago?" Iggy asked.

"I thought Chicago was the city of most suicides." Nudge added thoughtfully.

"No, that's Seattle." Gazzy chimed in.

"Chicago is known for a high murder rate." Angel told Nudge.

"I am appalled!" I looked at Gazzy, Nudge, and Angel with mock horror. "That you guys are already talking about murders and suicides, you guys shouldn't know about that, I didn't even know about it till I turned fifteen."

"Guilty." Nudge raised a hand, I wanted to glare.

"She lived a sheltered life." Fang told the flock. "Kids who lead hard lives get to know these things a lot younger, Max. I've known it since I was little."

"And yet you refrained from telling me?"

"Yeah, the time I found out about it, you were staying away from me like the plague because you thought I had cooties. So I kept quiet."

"For nine years? I thought you had cooties when I was like, six!"

"So?" Fang flew ahead. I grumbled in my head,

"Max," Angel flew up beside me, "What's a-" I clamped my hand over her mouth before she could continue.

"Nothing you need to say out loud." She really has to stop reading my thoughts.

"But it's amusing to read them." Angel told me through my hand.

"But it gives you no right to invade my personal space. And don't ever say that word, Fang'll tell you when you're older." Fang swiveled his head around at the sound of his name. I waved, releasing my hand from Angel's mouth.

"Look at the cows!" Gazzy grinned as cattle grazed on grass. One looked up at us and mooed. Gazzy imitated with great enthusiasm.

Hours later we landed on an abandoned skyscraper, the night just beginning. "Max, I'm hungry!" Nudge complained the moment we landed.

"We're all hungry, Nudge." I replied, turning around to face the flock as I tucked my wings away. "How about this, I'll make a deal with you." Nudge nodded. "Angel, Fang, and I will go and get food if you, Iggy, and Gazzy scout the place out and make sure that it's safe to stay here."

"We'll do it!" Nudge said automatically, Gazzy and Iggy held mischievous grins. I think I should be afraid of leaving them alone. "Just go, hurry, I'm starving." She nearly pushed me off the top floor of the skyscraper. I rolled my eyes.

"Come on." I gestured to Fang and Angel, leaping off the rooftop and extending my wings to float down. I landed gently on the concrete, hiding my wings in an instant and pulling on my jacket. Fang stood next to me in an instant while Angel clutched the animal close. "We ready?" Angel nodded suddenly at my side. We slipped into the lively streets, Angel between us, often getting looks.

"They think you're my parents." Angel told me as another person looked at us. I blushed at the thought of Fang and I having kids. We turned a corner and I saw Angel grasp Fang's hand. Don't lose her, I thought to Fang even though he wouldn't hear, she's my baby.

Wait. My baby? She's the youngest in the flock, yes but do I really think her as my baby? "Yes, you do." Angel told me with a smile. "You think it a lot, even if you don't realize it." Fang looked at me curiously, I shook my head, signaling that it was nothing.

"That looks like a good place." I pointed to a Mom and Pop store across the street. We crossed with a large group of people, almost frightening Angel. You're scared, I thought to her. She nodded, holding Winnie the Pooh out to me. I took it and placed it in one arm as I grabbed her other hand. She smiled comforted by the touch. That's right, you're not used to crowds, the only crowds you're used to are Erasers that attack you. Angel nodded again. I gave her hand a squeeze and she squeezed back. I gave Winnie the Pooh back as soon as we stepped through the doors while grabbing a small basket.

"Can I let you go and let you choose something for you and Gazzy to eat?" I asked Angel, she nodded, already freeing her hand from Fang and disappearing down an isle. I glanced around the Mom and Pop grocery store. "Chips or chips?" I asked holding up two equally large bags of potato chips.

"Both." Came Fang's reply, pulling my hands down to put the chips in the small arm basket. Taking my free hand, he held it as we looked down the isles. Holding my hand… I feel like blushing. We added candies like M&M's and gummy worms along with sodas, water, and fruit juice. "Sandwiches." Fang pointed. I nodded as we grabbed at least eight of them.

"Done!" Angel came up to us, looking proud of herself. She had an assortment of candy, chips, and three lunchables.

"Pick two of the candies." I told her, taking the lunchables and half of the chips and putting it into the new basket Fang was carrying. Angel pouted cutely, how could I say no to that look? I glanced at Fang who was giving me a look not to cave. Right, I shouldn't cave, I'm the eldest out of everyone and if I cave now, what else will I cave to in the future? "Only two." I told her sternly, looking away. I saw Fang smirk, his eyes looked into his basket.

She slipped in more than two.

We paid for the food; totaling well over a hundred dollars and convincing the owner that it was a party close by so he didn't have to wonder at all the food. Laden with bags we trekked back to the skyscraper, Angel holding my hand and Fang holding the other.

"Okay Angel," I began as we slipped into the darkened alleyway, "go up first, we'll meet you up there." I handed her a few of the bags. Angel nodded her white wings shining in the dark. As soon as Angel was out of earshot I looked at Fang. "You saw that right?" Fang nodded, releasing my hand and I heard the grocery bags make a soft thud on the ground.

"Well, well, well, look who's on our turf." A guy dressed crudely walked up to us, a pipe in his hand. "Hand over all your cash and you won't get hurt. Better yet kid, hand over the whore."

"You did not just call me a whore." I glared, seeing two others come up behind the guy, holding bats and pipes as well.

"Give it up, girly, you're surrounded." I glanced behind me and saw four others.

"I'll take the loudmouth, you take care for those behind us." I muttered, glaring hard at the thug in front of us. "Count of three." One, two, THREE!

I launched myself at the loudmouth, yanking the bent pipe from his hand just as Fang knocked two of the thug's heads together. The loudmouth took a step back as the two behind him charged. I broke the wooden bat with the bent pipe with ease and just as easily knocked the other pipe away. I tossed the pipe to the ground before giving punches to the two, 'causing them to fall to the ground. These guys are nothing compared to Erasers. The loudmouth charged at me with a knife, a kitchen knife actually. How lame can a thug get? Jumping out of the way, he crashed into the skyscraper itself, causing him to fall back, unconscious.

"We have some really lame thugs around here." I told Fang, picking up our unharmed bags. "Can't believe he called me a whore." Fang gave me a look. "It's different." I replied, thinking of all the times we called each other whores but we were making fun of each other at the time. The loudmouth was serious. We flew up to the roof where the rest of the flock was waiting.

"I thought I told you guys to scout out the place." I tapped my foot impatiently, Nudge looked at me and then the bags. She took the bags from me and began rummaging through as she spoke.

"Yeah, we did, there were these guys, who were really just wimps, who wanted us to leave and threatened us with pipes but we beat them back and told them to never come back to our 'turf'-I think they said it was-again." Iggy was handed a sandwich. Fang set down his bags, before walking to the other side of the building, sitting down, his legs swinging over the edge. I glanced at him and then the flock before scooping food and drinks into two empty bags and leaving Iggy in charge. I walked over to Fang and sat beside him, seeing the lights that illuminated the city.

"We used to be able to see the stars." Fang told me after a while. I was startled at first, I really hadn't thought he would start the conversation. "We used to see them all the time from the rooftops. You remember right?" I nodded.

"We would sneak out during the dead of night and climb onto the highest roofs, not caring if it belonged to a complete stranger-"

"Or Henry McCoy." Fang grinned and I laughed. Henry McCoy was a boy who hated us at school and he lived in a specially designed house that was three stories tall. We climbed his roof one night and made such a ruckus on his roof, he began to tell everyone that evil squirrels came to his roof at night to plan world domination. Of course, last time I saw Henry McCoy, he was in the school Counselors office with his parents, the counselor suggesting the happy farm.

"I wonder if McCoy is out, didn't they say he was sent to a mental institution?" I asked, handing Fang a sandwich and opening one of the bags of chips. Fang shrugged, taking a bite. I munched on the salty chips, staring out at the city below. "Can you imagine," I began, pointing to the city, "all the lights down here rivaled the stars up there?" I laughed lightly to myself. "I see them fighting, going, I'm brighter than you!" I saw a small smile creep onto Fang's lips.

"Max, stars are bright." Fang pointed out.

"I know," I rolled my eyes, "but they're not so bright here as they are with whatever planets are revolving around them. Just like the sun is really bright here and no so much over there." Fang took a few chips and popped them into his mouth, I heard Iggy telling the flock to go to bed. Thanks Iggy. I grabbed a sandwich of my own but took a sip of a coke.

"Stars are amazing." Fang told me quietly after a few minutes passed. I nodded, looking down at my half eaten sandwich.

"They're like hearts." I added, looking up at Fang and catching him off guard. Didn't expect that one did you? "Our hearts beat to keep us alive and our sun burns to make sure people or aliens live. And when the sun goes out, so do we, just like when our heart stops, we die. But the stars are lucky." I told Fang, setting the food aside, my appetite gone for the moment. He gazed at me; his expression told me I had his full attention. "They don't suffer heartbreak or strokes, or anything like that. They are safe from an emotional roller coaster and because they do, they get to shine brighter than anyone else, there is nothing to bring them down."

"Then I feel sorry for the stars." Fang replied. I looked at him in confusion. "When you say that, then stars are like batteries, they will work and work to give something life and strength but in the end they just die and nothing comes of it. The brightest stars burn in the dark because they know through all the darkness that surrounds it and tries to invade it, it will burn brightly because it is happy it's not alone." Wow, that's the most he's said since he tried to explain 'we have wings' thing.

"So, you're saying that stars get hurt too?" I asked slowly. Fang nodded, taking my hand in his. "It's like one of those questions that gets you thinking, like, 'if the hero is supposed to save everyone, then who is left to save the hero?'"

"I will." Fang replied softly, leaning his forehead against mine.

"But how?" I furrowed my brows in confusion.

"I am not everyone, I am not anyone, someone, or no one. I am me." Fang replied, just as soft. He gently brushed his lips against mine, before pulling me into a deeper kiss.

Am I the hero? I could only think as I pressed back.

"Okay," I breathed in the morning air only to cough it back out from the smog coming from the traffic, "or not okay." I wheezed. Iggy laughed at my pain. Damn you Iggy. "Lets see what this place has to show us." We cleaned up our mess and pulled on our backpacks before slipping into the streets of New York City.

"I want to go to the park." Nudge told me.

"The zoo! The zoo!" Angel jumped up in excitement.

"Yeah! I wanna roar like a lion!" Gazzy grinned.

"Hold those thoughts." I said, stopping the flock on a surprisingly empty sidewalk. "Now I don't want to go all kindergarten teacher on you but we need to set up some ground rules." I surveyed the flock, each one looking at me intently, except for Iggy who was staring at the sky but had a wild grin on his face. Yeah, he was listening. "We need to stay together, if you're afraid you're going to get lost, hold onto someone," Angel latched herself to my arm, "don't talk to strangers," Iggy let out a mutter of, 'duh', "if we do get separated, meet back at the skyscraper, and at the first sign of trouble remember the three D's."

"The three D's?" Iggy looked straight at me now.

"Duck, Ditch, and Dive." I grinned. "Okay, now we can go. So, to the zoo?" I asked, Gazzy, Iggy, and Angel nodded. "Four to two, the zoo wins!" I grinned, secretly wanting to go to the zoo myself. I'm in it for the penguins, poor flightless birds.

As we began to leave the empty sidewalk Fang grabbed my hand loosely. "Afraid you're going to get lost?" I grinned. Fang glanced at me, mischief in his eyes.


"Erasers at four, five, and six o'clock." I muttered, seeing the zoo ahead and walking faster. Nudge followed faithfully leading Iggy and Gazzy. Models, similar to the models at the park when I found out what Fang was, what I was, were following us closely. Kids, my eyes perked at the sight of kids swarming in through the zoo gates, a school day! I slipped into the student crowd, Nudge slipped in later on pushed with the crowd.

"Pass, pass, pass," A man, not glancing at any of the kids he was letting through, "Pa-, sorry m'am and sir, students, teachers, and chaperones only." A bored look sat on his face as if he dealt with the matter all the time. I played a look of insult.

"You expect us to leave our daughter alone on a school field, she's having enough trouble adjusting to her new school already!" I glared at the man. The man looked at me in surprise.

"Sorry," he mumbled, "don't look the type to chaperone a trip, but save the sob story. Pass." We entered through the gates. Nudge, Iggy, and Gazzy were already waiting for us in front of a group of animals.

"What a cute set of parents you are." Iggy gushed mockingly. "You're going to spoil and smother your child to death of you continue on like that, Max."

"So I admit, it was a bit over the top but hey," I jabbed a thumb the entrance where the model Erasers were pushing past the kids only to be stopped by security guards, "at least they can't pretend to be the dotting parent."

"Chaperone?" The policeman laughed, "Let me see your pass." I laughed at that.

"See, dotting parent pays off, none of this 'pass' nonsense." I jabbed my thumb once more.

We began heading towards the reptiles, Angel holding my hand tighter and Fang suddenly giving my hand a light squeeze. I looked at him curious.

"Our daughter?" He raised a brow and I blushed.

We slipped from the Zoo hours later after seeing a child more angelic than Angel smiling and waving at us for half an hour, either an Eraser, or a child who is too aware of people that stick out of a clique. It was then and there we decided that the kid should go live with Riding Hood's grandma.

We walked through the streets of New York, munching on whatever food vendors had on almost every corner. But we weren't here to sight see so… what?

"Okay, so we're in New York. Now what?" I looked at Fang, he suggested it. Fang shrugged and I looked around, what to do what to do...

Get on the Madison Avenue bus, the Voice told me, get off when it looks fun.

I looked around, nothing but taxi's and people. Stores and cars. Great. So where's the bus?

Now if I were a bus, where would I hide? I mentally smacked myself, how idiotic was that? "Max?" Fang called out my name, bringing me from my thoughts. "Something wrong?" He reached out a hand.

"Nothing," I replied shaking my head, "we just have to find a bus." I looked at a street sign. Madison Avenue. "This way." I pointed taking the lead. Angel sped to my side, holding my hand and Fang hung at my other side, holding my other hand in reassurance, sensing my unease of a voice in my head.

What I wouldn't give… I thought to myself when a bus pulled up. We climbed in quickly before the bus gave a small lurch and we were off.

"Where do we get off at?" Gazzy asked me while Nudge seemed to be describing things to Iggy.

"Let's play on a whim." I winked, not letting him know I was totally and completely lost. Gazzy nodded and I glanced at Fang who seemed to be giving me a questionable look. Oh boy, not just any look; it's the 'The Max I know never plays on a whim' look. I hate that look.

We passed street after street, where are we supposed to go? Hello, voice that likes to live in my mind, invade my personal space like Angel and create hell for my life?


When was it when you need it? I glanced out the window as the bus pulled to a stop again. A toy store is fun, right?

I hurried off the bus, the flock following close behind. A toy store is fun, with so many isles filled with toys that the flock separated in an instant, trying to see what each toy meant. "Legos." Fang mumbled to me for he disappeared down an aisle. Legos, man's perfect toy.

So, what now? I glanced down one of the aisles, nothing but bright frilly pink; Okay… gotta stay out of there.

Action figures, I've always had a knack for those, men in tights and seeing how much nerds like to add a bust to a super heroine. Yup, my ideal place. The recent Superman action figure looks a little disfigured and Batman doesn't have any useful gadgets… Now what?

"Max!" Angel ran up to me holding up a small stuffed animal. I'm only going to say this once so here it is, it's so cute! The stuffed bear was dressed like an angel with a little halo on top its head and wings on its back. "Can I have it? Please, please, please!" Angel begged. I checked the tag, forty-nine dollars. I winced at the price, we were running low on the cash I had taken from the house and I didn't want to use my old debit yet or even my new one for that matter. People could trace me after using it and that was something I didn't want.

"Angel, it's adorable but I can't buy it for you. We're running low on money as is and we still need to buy food for tonight." Angel frowned at me in mild disappointment. "Besides, what's wrong with Winnie the Pooh?" I asked seeing the stuffed animal sticking out of her backpack.

"He wants a friend." Angel pouted, "And Winnie said he likes Celeste." Celeste? Great, she already named the bear.

"Angel," I sighed, "if Winnie wants a friend, that means you haven't been a really good friend to him, doesn't it?" I eyed her; she looked shocked and then disappointed in herself. Hooray for reverse psychology! "Now go put Celeste back." Angel pouted once more, now noticing she didn't get her way. I followed her to the stuffed animal bin and watched her as she set the bear down near the top of the pile as Nudge was sifting through the pile.

Okay, so fun, like the Voice said. What's fun around here? Legos are fun to build if you get to knock them down acting like Godzilla, action figures are fun when you tie them to your handmade rockets and shoot them into space, radio control cars are fun when you get to see people trip over them or freak out because they think it's a mouse, but Chess, I saw a game board, Chess is not fun.

Ouija Board. Oh what a lovely thing, I had a friend in high school who wanted one so bad but her parents had banned it from the house because they were so superstitious. They had horseshoes on every entrance of the house to make sure bad spirits could get through and even then they 'cleansed' the house every month from evil spirits that might have already inhabited.

So some sort of spirit is supposed in habit the board whenever you ask a question, good or bad no one really knows. I stepped closer to the one on display, it looks harmless, I've never played with one myself but honestly, why would a spirit want to answer to that thing?

Oh crap.

It's moving and I'm the closest thing to it. Please don't answer my question. It moved to the letter T then to the H. Where is this going? I watched as it went to different letters until it finally stopped.

The Institute For Higher Living.

Yes, Max. The Institute, that's where your memories are. The Voice told me sincerly.

And how many institutes are around here anyway? Institute for the insane, which I should probably be in right now, institute for what? Crazy White Coats who want to take over the world like Pinky and the Brain? I walked out of the aisle seeing Fang at the end of it with Iggy, Gazzy, and Nudge.

"Where's Angel?" I asked Fang who shrugged.

"Thought she was with you." I shook my head. We lost Angel, well crap.

"I thought you gave her money or something." Nudge paused, looking thoughtful, I gave Nudge a confused look. I told Angel I could get it for her. "I mean she suddenly grabbed that bear and was all happy like and started going to the cashier and hey! There she is!" Nudge pointed to a cashier that Angel seemed to be talking to. The cashier seemed a bit bleary but nodded and bagged the angel bear before giving it back to Angel. Angel ran to us, hugging Celeste close to her.

"What just happened?" I asked Fang as we exited the store, Angel clutching my hand as she held Celeste tight with her other. Fang shrugged and both our gazes turned to Angel, she looked up at us, playing innocent.

"What?" She looked at us confused. "I just asked if I could have it." Okay, no person is willing to give up something that's worth forty-nine dollars, especially not a minimum wage cashier.

"You're not telling us everything." I frowned slightly.

"But I did ask." Angel pouted. "And I asked very nicely." She nodded her head. "In my mind." She added as an after thought. Fang and I looked at each other.

One conversation, six ice cream cones, six burritos, left over food and drinks from last nights dinner, and three hours later we were walking around Central Park, people beginning their early evening jogs.

"I want to stay here tonight." I said quietly to myself, taking in the beautiful greens and the feeling of being in a forest. This place felt more secure than a steel building that reminded me of the School and crates.

"Then lets stay." Fang replied, just as quietly. I glanced at him and saw the flock playing in the meadow just past him. I nodded, smiling to myself. I tapped Iggy's shoulder twice, signaling that he was in charge before running back to Fang, grabbing him by the wrist and running down the sidewalks. "What are you doing?" Fang asked me.

"Whenever I go to a park, I have the sudden urge to get lost in it." I glanced back before I narrowly dodged a jogger when I almost collided into. I ran off the sidewalk, dragging Fang with me and into the grassy area, dodging trees, my sense of direction telling me where to go.

"Here!" I beamed, stopping right in the center of a deserted meadow and let go of Fang's wrist. "Perfect." I pointed to the setting sun. "You love sunsets more than sunrises, I remember that."

So you remember, Fang thought watching an amused Max spinning around from all the free space around her. He glanced up at the sun, it was at the tops of the trees now, lighting the sky an orange.

And I remember you love freedom over anything else in the world. His gaze softened as while in a middle of her spin he caught her eyes, slowing her to a stop. "What?" Max asked Fang. Fang shook his head, it was nothing really but he saw her eyes were as bright and as mesmerizing as the sunset. Max walked up to Fang slowly, grasping a hand and pulling him to the center of the meadow. "You know," Max began, "we never got to dance on Prom night."

"Who's fault is it that she was in a cast?" Fang asked, placing his hands on Max's hips as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

"Not mine." Max replied, holding her head up high. " Besides, I could've danced, you just wouldn't let me." They swayed to invisible music.

"That's not fair." Fang protested, "If I let you dance your foot would've broken again." He spun her around, taking Max by surprise.

"Fine," Max grumbled, "you win." But she still smiled, happy that he was dancing with her. Fang glanced up at the sky, the sun was almost gone, the night was beginning take control.

"To twilight." Max said softly, leaning her head on Fang's chest, knowing well that Fang was gazing at the disappearing sun.

"To twilight." Fang replied, hugging her closer.

When we returned Iggy had the youngest ones sleeping on high tree branches and was waiting up for us. So Iggy heard me saying that we were staying the night here, good. "You guys didn't do anything bad right?" Iggy asked, leaning against a tree trunk.

"You're crazy." I told Iggy, "Go to sleep, we've got a busy day tomorrow." Iggy climbed a branch.

"Busy?" Fang asked me as I plopped myself in a different tree and Fang sat on a branch across from me.

"We've got to find an Institute or whatever of Higher Living." I waved my hand off.


"Because I have a little friend who's like your friend Roger who's telling me what I should do." My voice held some annoyance.

"How little?" Fang's brow raised a bit.

"Microscopic little, brainwave little, frequency little, it's just a little voice in my head." A look, great, he thinks I should go to the happy farm too.

"It hasn't told you to kill anyone yet, has it?"

"No." I glared.

"Good." Fang leaned his back on the trunk of the tree, crossing his arms, obviously lost in thought. "The Institute for Higher Living." His brows furrowed in thought. "Go to sleep, I'll take watch." I nodded, holding my arm out. We banged bracelets before I made myself comfy on a branch, drifting off.

Time to learn…

Myrah, I have no idea why I named the hawk Roger other than the fact that I can see Fang as a military person and he answers all his orders to Roger for some odd and apparent reason.

Another star thing done for no apparent reason but it's all good.

Challange Time! Odd question to ask and I'm being totally indecisive about this but, Which is a better title: Create a Chain or In Writing?

Preview: ( Unfortunatley I'm having trouble with this preview without giving anything away but if you want, I can give you a summary of the sequal...)


Some how, I don't know how, being kicked out of Central Park, going to underground subways, and freaking out a computer geek can lead to an idea that involves you being knee deep in sewer water... can I just say, ewww!

(p.s. all previews are subject to change)


9. Hero Heroine

Whoot! I finished this yesterday much to my excitement! Over a month since I updated this and now I'm in another crunch for time, it's called School. I'm starting tomorrow... I'M AN UPPERCLASSMAN NOW! Jeebus I'm old.

Challangers!: So as you all know (well if anyone bothered to check my Profile) Create A Chain won. Thank you all for participating:D

To My Goth Faerie: I found this amazing band called Another Day Late. They're amazing, well to me anyway. So yeah...


Run Away With Me

1. Driving Away - Holiday Parade
2. All Hail The Heartbreaker - The Spill Canvas
3. Beautiful - Flickerstick
4. Walking By - Holiday Parade
5. On Top of The World - Boys Like Girls
6. My Only One - Plain White T's
7. Coffee Shop Soundtrack - All Time Low
8. Sunsets and Car Crashes - The Spill Canvas
9. Hero/Heroine - Boys Like Girls
10. Brighter - Paramore
11. Do You Remember - The Summer Obsession

Chapter 9:


Images flashed through my head, a green building, a street address, people talking, a few computers and so much more. It hurt and I wanted to cry out. It felt like a stake being driven through my head with a mallet, the never ending pounding, it hurt so much I wanted someone to just kill me now so it would go away.

"Max." A faint voice, worry ebbed into my mind but not enough to numb the pain. I heard a scream, was it mine? I felt pain in my shoulder, had I fallen from the tree? I clutched my head tightly, I could feel my nails digging into my scalp in hopes it would numb the pounding pain, I knew I pierced the skin but it didn't take it away.

"Max!" The faint voice was more forceful. Something warm was pulling my fingers away… DON'T! This is the only thing I have to take away the pain. "Max!"

My eyes snapped open and my vision was blurry. I felt warm tears spilling from my eyes, my fingers were red with blood, and Fang was towering over me, fear etched in his face, holding my wrists in his hands.

I was trembling and sobs escaped my throat. Too painful, it was too much. It hurt more than wings sprouting from my back, more than the time I fractured my shin and broke my foot, more than being hit in the face by a pressure washer. The pounding wasn't really going away, it still hurt.

"Max, what's wrong?" Angel asked me quietly and I took notice for the first time of her pale face glowing in the moonlight. There was fear in her eyes, she couldn't read my mind. I trembled more.

"What – what happened?" I looked around as Fang slowly released my hands. My left side throbbed; I probably fell off my branch and landed on that side.

"Well," Nudge began, breathing a deep breath, "you were crying and then you started yelling out in your sleep and then and then you screamed and fell out of the tree and that woke everyone up. And then Fang was calling out your name and you were all curled up in a ball holding you head and Fang was trying to get your hands away and then you just snapped your eyes open and then Angel asked, 'what's wrong and then-"

"She gets it Nudge." Iggy held out a hand to silence her. The pounding eased a bit.

"You okay?" Fang asked quietly and I shook my head, regretting it the moment I did, the pounding becoming more forceful, I cradled my head with one hand as I used the other to sit on my knees. My head pounded more and then I suddenly felt arms wrapped around me, Fang was leaning my head on his chest. "What happened?"

"My head hurts." I mumbled as I let my head lie on Fang's chest, I don't think I could keep it up without it hurting. "I don't really know what happened, I just remember banging bracelets and then right as I was falling asleep The Voice told me it was time to learn."

"The Voice?" Gazzy questioned aloud. I wanted to nod but Fang nodded for me.

"It told me to come to New York before Fang did." I told Gazzy. "It said I'd find my memories here." I was still breathing ragged breaths, my heart was racing, it just wouldn't calm down.

"What's banging bracelets?" Nudge asked me. I held up my wrist a little to show my black bracelet.

"Fang has one too. It's kind of a goodnight or see you later gesture we made between us." I moved my head up a bit so it could rest on Fang's shoulder.

"We should do something like that." I watched Gazzy smile with interest.

"Like what?" asked Iggy.

"Stacking fists!" Angel beamed, hugging bother Celeste and Winnie the Pooh. One by one I watched the flock smile, agreeing with the idea.

"Sounds like a plan." I smiled, the pounding reducing to a mild throb. "Hey guys, don't worry about me, I'll be fine by tomorrow morning so get some shut eye, okay?"

"Okay." Iggy replied for the flock, holding a fist out in midair. I smiled, like banging bracelets, telling each other we're right here if we need them, at least, that's what was decided when Fang and I banged bracelets for the first time all those years ago. I stacked my fist on top of Iggy's followed by Fang, Nudge, Gazzy and Angel.

"Now get some shut eye." I shooed them away as they climbed up the trees.

"You don't want to go back up, do you?" Fang asked my quietly as I fiddled with my bracelet.

"Not really."

"Good." Fang held me tighter as he leaned back a little to rest his back on the truck of a tree.

"The advantage of having a hawk telling you things: you don't get massive headaches that make you want to gouge your brain out." I mumbled and Fang chuckled lightly.

That morning I had snagged four packs of donuts from the local convenience store along with aspirin before anyone had woken up. By the time I was on my second donut, Fang had woken from his spot at the base of the tree and Iggy was climbing down. I talked lightly with them as I thought about the images that flashed through my mind.

Institute for Higher Living… I've heard that or seen it somewhere before.

"Fang! Hand me my wallet!" I said suddenly, surprising Iggy and Fang as well as waking up the others. Fang sifted through my backpack before pulling out a stuffed black leather wallet.

I opened up the trifold and flipped through the small stack of cards. It sounded familiar 'cause Jeb worked there during the winter, I remember him never being home for Christmas. I grinned, pulling out a dog-eared and torn card with ink accidentally rubbed on it from the other cards.

"Tah Dah!" I held the card out to Fang as Nudge climbed sleepily down the tree, only to miss the last branch and fall out with a soft thud due to the grass. "Go figure, Jeb used to work there. That explains last Christmas, how he said he had to drop off an important project there. He was even home for the holidays, the first one I think, you remember." Fang nodded, reading over the card.

"The question is, where do you think they'd keep it?" Fang shrugged, flipping the card around to make sure that wasn't secret writing on it or something.

"We'll give it a shot." Fang handed me the card just as Gazzy stuffed four donuts into his mouth.

"FANG!" I yelled out as I was suddenly thrown over someone's shoulder in the middle of the sidewalk later that afternoon. Angel had been torn from my hand and she was screaming in horror. I felt hair pricking my skin through my jeans and glanced behind me at my captor. An Eraser who morphed back into its model self.

I saw Fang's dark head bobbing through the crowd as I was being dragged away, he was too slow, the Eraser was gaining too much ground. I yelled out in protest and pounded on the Eraser's back to no avail, I heard murmurs of the people passing us, wondering if someone was shooting a movie. I glared; it just HAD to be New York.

I cried out in surprise as I suddenly felt myself falling. I cracked my head on concrete seeing stars before my eyes, my legs pinned down by the Eraser. What the hell? I looked at my Eraser captor; its eyes were unmoving and blank. An Eraser can't suddenly drop dead, could they? I checked the pulse on the neck, unable to slide my legs out from underneath it. Nothing.

"Fang!" I called out just before Fang passed me by, he skidded to a halt before he passed the alleyway the Eraser dropped dead in. There were more murmurs coming from the passerbyers as we shoved the Eraser off of me. Fang nudged it with his foot before giving me a nod.

"Crazy drug addict!" Fang yelled, shaking a fist before we high tailed it out of there. I laughed once we were far enough.

"Drug addict? That the best you got?" I asked, seeing Iggy's strawberry blonde hair stick out from the crowd, he seemed to be attempting to calm Angel down. We jogged over and I hugged Angel immediately, seeing the tears in her eyes. "It's okay, I'm right here." I told her softly. Angel hugged me tightly for some time before I stood up slowly, Angel holding on to my hand tightly.

"Right, to thirty First Street." I nodded to the flock, they nodded at me, their eyes trained on me as if I were going to disappear in the next moment.

It's great to have fun sometimes Max but after this, you need to save the world. The Voice greeted me.

How does being kidnapped sound like I'm having the time of my life? I asked, scowling at The Voice. And finding a place where I can get my memories back doesn't exactly sound fun either.

It's all in the game of chess. Jeb moves a pawn and you move your own. I could imagine The Voice smiling.

"I hate chess." I mumbled, catching Fang's and Gazzy's eyes.

"Okay…" Gazzy raised a brow. I felt worry in the back of mind and I suppose the flock would worry when I'm saying random things out loud.

"Nothing, forget I said that." I waved my free hand off. Fang gave me a look and I nodded, yeah, it was the voice. It's crazy how Fang and I can have silent conversations just by looking at each other, it's like we share a secret link that no one else can figure out. I smiled at the thought of us sharing a connection, I knew we did otherwise we wouldn't like each other but still, this connection, this link was different.

When we got to 31st street we followed the addresses before we reached a tall green skyscraper. I walked in through the revolving doors, the flock following behind me, while thinking of a lie that would let us through. I stopped in front of the chattering secretary.

"Please hold." The secretary eyed us up and down, noting our dirt covered clothing and large group. "Do you have an appointment?" She asked with a sneer.

"Actually no, I was going to meet up with my Dad, he told me that he'd be working here for the next week. He goes by Jeb. Is that familiar?" I asked. The woman's eyes narrowed.

"No visitors are allowed on his floor and all personnel on his floor have been strictly instructed not to have family or friends come. What real business do you have here?"

"I'm serious! I'm his daughter, you can check my license and everything!" I held up my hands in a shocked defense. "I wanted him to meet some friends of mine, so I brought them along." I pulled my drivers license of a Samantha Batchedler and showed it to the woman. The woman's eyes narrowed further.

"He has mentioned his daughter before." I heard her mutter. Okay, now that we got through. "But he specifically stated that especially she isn't allowed." Crap! "Guards!" We ran from the building, seeing Erasers dressed up as security guards run in our direction.

"Well that went well." Iggy stated sarcastically. I rolled my eyes, distancing myself from the building.

Beneath every rainbow is a pot of gold, said The Voice.

Great… The Voice is now a fortuneteller. Tell me, oh dear friend, what will tomorrow's fortune cookie be? Live long and prosper? You will find happiness with your friends? Fortune lies for those who wait?

Fang glanced at me, do I have a look of annoyance on my face? I shook my head convincing myself, no I didn't and that I was all right.

"So…" I began as we found ourselves on a different street in the middle of New York, "what do you want for lunch?"

We settled in a subway tunnel that night where the homeless could be seen curled in their cardboard boxes and glaring at us and our mildly clean clothes.

"They want to know if we have food." Angel tugged on my sleeve. I glanced down at her, right mind reading powers. I shook my head as I spoke.

"We can't give them any, we just need to rest here until I can come up with a plan." My sentence seemed to shock Angel slightly.

"You don't have a plan?" I remained silent, Angel could hear the thoughts I was thinking.

"Fang, come scout the subway with me, Iggy, take care of the flock." I said suddenly, my feet leading me to the entrance of the tunnel. "We'll be back soon." I waved to the flock as Fang walked beside me.

We walked in the tunnels, wary of the third rail and walking in complete silence, the only sound came from our boots and rats.

You've got to save the world, Max; it's your destiny. The Voice told me gently as I nearly tripped over a rock. Fang caught my stumble, holding my hand to make sure I wouldn't lose balance.

"We're not really scouting, are we?" Fang asked me as we moved out of the way of a speeding subway.

"No, I just kind of lied and thought it was a good idea." I replied, seeing a tunnel sign with an arrow saying 34th street. I slowed, I felt too tired to go further. "I don't have a plan." I sighed as we turned around to walk back. "And I guess it's because we've been adlibbing it for the past couple of days and everything was falling into place and now I've hit our first rock. I'm utterly stuck." I glanced at Fang who seemed to be taking in my words.

"Don't think about it," Fang assured me, "you get the best ideas when you don't worry about it."

"Yeah but that was before, when there was just you and me."

"Well, it's you and me right now." He pointed out.


"We're alone, in a semi-dark tunnel, the flock is far away, there's no danger, there's just us."

"And?" Fang looked at me exasperatedly.

"Do I have to spell it out for you?" He's probably thinking along the lines of 'is she really that dense?' and I'm saying, 'Yes.'

"That would be nice." I nodded. He cupped my face in his hands and kissed me fiercely


I like this type of spelling. I kissed back just as fiercely, enjoying his cool lips on mine and his hand that was running through my hair. I leaned closer, wrapping my arms around Fang. Blissful would be one word to describe this feeling, no, not even. This feeling was something more that I couldn't quite place and at the moment couldn't care less.

All good things must come to an end. Said The Voice.

My arms slipped from around Fang and my knees fell out from beneath me, my sight to be going in slow motion but a pounding headache had made my mind go blank. The pain was numbing at first, when Fang began shaking my shoulders, worry etched on his face, he seemed to be yelling but I couldn't hear. Max, his lips would read.

And when the sound came flooding into my ears, so did the full attack on my mind. I cried out, nearly falling from where I sat and onto the third rail only to have Fang catch me. My fingers were shaking as I tried to keep them down when they tried to go up to grab my skull. Fang held my wrists, seeing the action and had me lean against him. Tears escaped my eyes as I felt a thousand hammers strike my head at once, not only by the blunt side but the forked side too. I thrashed, trying to rid the pain by doing so only to no avail, the brain attack hurt worse.

Images similar to last time filled my mind. Codes were included, faces, cabinets, files, and folders. And the most prominent of them all was a small red mini disc (that looked more like a floppy disk than anything else) that was heavily guarded by a safe and a ton of codes.

"Hey! Hey! Stop screwing up my computer!" A voice pierced my ears as I suddenly became aware of Fang cradling me in his arms. I looked up, bleary eyed at the approaching shadowy figure, it pointed to its lit screen in red letters as the same images I had seen before in my mind was flashing through the screen.

Save the World, Max.

"Did ya hear me? Where's your equipment?" The person remained in the shadows but it was clearly male.

"No equipment." Fang answered for me, holding me tighter as if this person was about to attack me. "Spooky isn't it?" I could hear the mild sarcasm. I felt my fingers tighten on his shirt.

"You've got to have some equipment." The person demanded. "Has to be very high tech to mess this baby up." He gestured to his laptop.

"Nope, nothing." Replied Fang. He was glaring at the person as the pain began to fade.

"You sure you don't have a chip or something? Doesn't have to be big."

"We don't have any technology on us, not even a cell phone." Fang's jaw was tight. "What are you doing here?" He asked.

"I work here." Fang gave a disbelieving look. "I work wherever I get paid, this week New York, next week, who cares. I'm a hacker and I work for the highest bidder."

"I noticed you didn't tell us your name." Said Fang coolly.

"Neither did you but you could be cops or something." The laptop snapped closed. "What are you doing down here for?"

"Sleep." Fang shrugged. "Why you have secret passageways you don't want anyone to find?" I noticed vaguely how icy and defensive this conversation was getting; I wanted to shiver at the thought.

"H-How did you know?" The person stuttered. …Secret passageways?

"Stab in the dark." Oh and how that stab was right. "Convenient to get to places?"

"Anywhere in New York." The person's voice was grown barely audible.

"Great, thanks." Fang picked me up and walked in the opposite direction of the person. As we neared the flock, Fang paused, leaning his forehead against mine, his dark eyes looking at me gently unlike the fierce glare he was giving earlier. "Get some sleep, don't worry about it."

I could barely protest because my lids drooped and I could hardly keep awake. It was bothering me, why did Fang want that information? But the question escaped me as I slipped dreamlessly into unconsciousness.

"How can paper beat rock? I mean if I put a rock on top of a paper the paper won't move for a long time." Iggy's voice penetrated my ears causing me to wake up.

"Dunno." Fang's voice replied. I pushed myself up slightly, propping myself up by the elbows. I groaned aloud, my head felt like cement and I couldn't lift it up. "You okay?" Fang was suddenly beside me, an arm under my waist, helping me lift up.

"Just peachy." I replied through gritted teeth as my head throbbed when I tried to sit up. My hair fell around me like a curtain, blocking my strained face and allowing me to hide myself from the world for a few moments. If this was anything like a hangover, I will never drink an alcoholic beverage.

"So this computer kid…" Iggy began as we sat in a circle, the younger kids still sleeping. I leaned my head on Fang's shoulder because it felt too heavy to lift.

"Guy, he was about twenty-two." Replied Fang.

"And the messing up of his comp.?" Iggy arched a brow.

"I don't know but he did ask us if we had a chip or something." I told Iggy, seeing Fang's jaw tighten. "We don't have a chip or anything in us, do we?" I gazed at Fang.

"It's a possibility." Replied Fang with a slightly wavering gaze. Liar. You know if it's a yes or no but you never like to tell me.

"And the secret passageways?"

"The Not-so-secret passageways." Fang pointed out. "They're abandoned sections of the subways that lead to the sewers where you can got to just about any street from there."

"That just explains how we're going to get into that Institute." I pointed out.

"Maybe." Fang blinked. Again, you know something.
Ugh, sewers, nasty. I may in the water but it doesn't change the fact that it's disgusting. Iggy's holding his sensitive nose, Angel's clinging to Nudge who's getting freaked out by Gazzy because he's telling a scary story of sewer alligators. Fang's behind as I'm leading the way… though I don't really know where we're going, neither does anyone else.

But some how, I don't know how, being kicked out of Central Park, going to underground subways, and freaking out a computer geek can lead to an idea that involves you being knee deep in sewer water... can I just say, ewww!

My fingers ran across something grimy but metal, different from the brick walls. "We're under the right street, right?" I asked Fang as I felt the handle.

"Yeah." Fang nodded. I felt for the door handle and jiggled it. Of course it'd be locked.

"Outta my way." Iggy pushed past me and knelt in front for the locked door. I heard some scratching noises before the door swung open so fast it almost hit me in the face. "Armature." Iggy scoffed, twirling something between his fingers. I rolled my eyes, gesturing the flock to follow as my foot stepped through the door.

It was dark and there were steps, it weren't for the fact I was a klutz I wouldn't have been afraid but since I'm a klutz and don't want to make a fool of myself as the leader of the flock. I tripped halfway down and landed firmly on my butt in a darkened computer room, the screens glowing an eerie blue. I shivered thinking of the cold and the chance I might get caught since I made such a racket.

My legs stood up instinctively and walked over to one of the computers, my long fingers gliding over the keyboard. How to hack? My fingers began typing in codes I saw while the voice was teaching me until it asked me for a password. Well crap, I don't know how to bypass this and I don't remember seeing the password. My fingers curled over the keyboard and I heard footsteps behind me.

"You're very graceful." Iggy snickered quietly, walking around the area. I rolled my eyes.

"I need to get info to those memories but I'm stuck. I got this far but it needs a password." I muttered to Fang. "Angel, listen closely for anyone or anything trying to come in." Angel nodded, walking beside Iggy.

"This place kinda looks like an arcade, sweet!" Gazzy said excitedly only to receive several glares. "Oh yeah, sorry." His voice dropped to a whisper.

"I know the password." Nudge's voice reached my ears and I suddenly realized she was in front of me, typing on the computer. "It's telling me the password because it's waiting for you to type it in." She pressed enter and the screen went black. Great, now what? Nudge stepped back and a red code was in the middle of the screen.


Nudged typed in the code on a different computer and white letters illuminated the screen. "File cabinet seven, third drawer, make it quick, the computer is recognizing that the computers upstairs are sending guards down here." Nudge pointed to the filing cabinets against the wall.

"Fang! Help me!" I ordered in a hurried whisper but Fang was already yanking out the drawer. "Nudge shut the computers down and get Gazzy to barricade the doors!" Nudge nodded as I sprinted to the files. "Any luck?" I asked as I started at the back of the drawer. Fang shook his head, his fingers flipping through the files.

And then something caught my eye. "What the hell? My music box?" My eyes widened because wedged between the files was the music box I received on my fifth birthday, or at least make believe fifth birthday. The box was almost swallowed as the files pressed against it wanting more room. I snatched it out, seeing the code on the bottom of the box.

Fang shoved the file cabinet closed and followed me to Angel. "Report." I ordered, clutching the music box tightly, my knuckles turning white.

"Erasers are coming through the way we came, no one's paying attention to the door behind the curtain but…" She trailed off, staring at the large blue curtain that took up the whole wall of the three-story room.

"But what?" I asked urgently.

"They are behind the door too and they want out." The curtain opened and cages were stacked to the ceiling with experiments dying and screaming, begging for freedom. A girl only fourteen was curled in a ball, speckled gray wings coming from her back, how many more of us are there? I saw the door through the glass pane that separated us from the experiments and a glass door that would lead to it. And of course, it was locked.

"I'm on it." Iggy waved his hand, kneeling before the door.

"The barricade will last three minutes tops, we've got to get out." Gazzy and Nudge came running up. I glanced at the members of the flock and clutched the box tighter. Pressure, not what I needed.

"We need to set them free, Max, please!" Angel pleaded, Iggy swung the door open and the screams multiplied in volume.

"Iggy! Work on the next door, everyone else, unlatch as many cages as you can!" Stop the screaming, my head pounded, I never liked the screaming, it was like a distant memory, it was a painful memory and I didn't want it.

Nudge shrieked when Erasers began to reach the bottom steps to the computer room. "Everyone, out now!" I ran through the exit, the flock and experiments following close behind.

Make a left, said The Voice calmly. I turned sharply; I had no time to argue with it. Now a right.

An emergency exit. I crashed through it and burst out onto the late night New York streets. Our large group ran some distance before slowing to a fast walk until we reached Central Park.

"Okay, everyone accounted for?" I asked, eyeing our large group.

"We lost a couple still in that place but their expiration dates were already visible." The fourteen-year-old girl spoke up for her group as the flock walked over to my side. "Thanks for freeing us but we'll be fine now that we're free." She smiled bitterly, leading the group away from Central park.

"Well," I said, watching the experiments leave, they were at a huge distance now, "that went well." I couldn't tell if my voice was sarcastic or not.

"Max, let go of the box, you'll break it or your knuckles first." Fang told me gently, prying my fingers from its hold.

"I'm beat!" Nudge yawned loudly as we walked down the New York streets, recieving looks. "And we stink!" She scrunched up her nose as the smell of the sewers lingered on our clothes. "Can we go someplace with a shower and a place to do laundry? Please, please, please?"

"Another time, I know, I want a bath too, believe me, a long hot bath to get all this grime off, but we need to find shelter, that's more important than your B.O."

"But it's not my B.O!" Nudge complained. "It's – it's the stupid sewer where people dump all sorts of gross stuff down!"

"Well, if it helps, I bottled some essence, I was thinking of making it into a perfume, Eau D'Nudge. A perfect fit." Iggy grinned. I laughed lightly as Angel giggled and Gazzy snickered.

"Gross! It so doesn't smell like me!"

"It does right now." Gazzy pointed out. He flinched as Nudge nearly hit him. "Hey stating a fact, deal with it."

"Aren't you going to open it?" Fang asked me as the flock lay sleeping. We were sitting in the same place as when we talked about stargazing. My legs were swinging over the edge out of nervousness, my hands trembling as they held the box.

"Just a little scared. What if they're not really my memories, or what if makes me forget, or-"

"Open it." Fang said gently, kissing me softly on the lips. "I'm not going to let anything happen." He picked me up and set me in his lap, his large hands covering my own as we opened the music box together. A soft tune began to play but I knew it by heart, Ave Maria by Schubert. The mirror on the lid lit up like a screen and an eerie blue light filled it. The screen went black and red letters slowly passed by on the screen.

You got what you wanted but you're also getting more than you bargained for.

I shivered and a shock went through my hands and up to my mind, my fingers slipped from the box, Ave Maria ringing like a sad lullaby, and Fang calling out my name, asking what happened. Darkness closed around me and it felt like a dream.

"We'll get out of this, so don't give up Iggy!" A young girl's voice cried out and I knew it was mine. The room was dark except for three lights where a girl and two boys were tied to separate chairs. It reminded me of an interrogation room, only that the table was on the side and it held a ton of needles instead. I winced at the sight.

My younger self screamed in pain as red yellow liquid was injected. She began coughing violently, her body suddenly a deathly gray. "I'm on fire! Someone put it out!" She shrieked but the boys could do nothing. The boy with strawberry blonde hair was crying as a pearl like liquid was injected into him and his movements became still. And the boy with black hair was coughing up blood into a bucket just after an orange liquid was injected. I flinched, remembering the pain. It burned like fire and I had been stuck in a burning building before. It burned like a thousand swords laid in the coal by the blacksmith suddenly stabbed you, and the lungs burned but it felt so much cooler than the skin. I could feel the strain on my vocal chords, my blood cells dying, my vision was getting blurry, and then, relief.


"I'm going to take you away." Jeb smiled down at me as he lifted me from the cage, my small hand gripped his white coat firmly.

"Not without Fang and Iggy." I protested. Jeb shook his head. "I'm not leaving without Fang and Iggy!" I glared at him

"They have to stay, a new experiment will be joining them soon and they have to keep her company."

"She's replacing me?" Tears were welling up in my younger self's eyes and I felt hurt.

"No, no, no! She'll never replace you!" Jeb comforted.

"But – but I want Fang and Iggy to come with me!"

"It's hard to sneak off with three people, Max." Jeb shook his head. "And Iggy's in the middle of an experiment right now. By the time he comes back my window of opportunity will close." Jeb gazed at me sadly and I felt guilty but I shook my head. The rattling of a crate caught our attention. Fang was gripping Jeb's pant leg tightly, a tear beginning. "I can take him, Max, and I'll tell Iggy that I'm taking good care of you two but we need to leave now."

My lip trembled but I nodded. "I'll see Iggy soon, right?"

"Max," Jeb began, unlocking Fang's cage and Fang grabbed my hand, squeezing it. "I just don't know."


"Welcome to your first day of College, I'm Professor Camems. Students claim I'm the hardest teacher and I am so I expect the best out of all of you."


"Wow! You aced the exam! I can't believe it! You're going to have a doctorate! Man, I did so poorly through all the years that I can only have my Bachelors. Ms. Valedictorian, what are you going to do?"


An image of Jeb in a blank white room popped up. "Your memories will continue in a bit but I want to make this clear. I implanted memories of you in college, whether you actually went or not, is up to you but you have a doctorate degree in .I have ensured the fact that as long as you remain with your family, your family will remain in a constant danger, every breath could be their last. For your family's safety you will have to leave them and come work for Itex, I have set up a job for you, and don't worry, I'll find you. Say goodbye to them Max, and soon, for you'll never see them again."


"That essay was so hard!"


"I wonder how Iggy is…"

"Max, Max!" A hand shook me awake. I opened my eyes only to find they wouldn't focus. Oh, I felt tears run down my face, that's why. A sob escaped my mouth and I clamped a hand over it.

I remember it all now and at a cost. Had I not known, would the flock still be in danger? What good are memories anyway? Aren't the meant to be forgotten?

I sat up slowly, the tears still streaming and a hand still clamped firmly against my mouth. I couldn't lift my head, the memories and knowledge that filled my mind was so heavy, the weight burdened me, it burned me and tore at my feelings.

Leave the flock? How? We had finally learned to trust each other, the had finally accepted me… we were finally a family.

"Oh my gosh, a shower! This feels so good!" Nudge squealed after we snuck into a high school locker room. "No more yuckiness and I can burn those clothes here and now!" I nodded at her words as Angel hummed out loud.

I don't want to say goodbye…

"So what do you say? We go and have a day of no worries, ice cream, sodas, and junk food and crash in Central Park?" I asked as we walked down the street where the skyscraper stood.

"Sounds like a plan." Iggy grinned. "Oh, hey Gazzy, what's that? Angel, I think it's pink, Nudge, it's really cool!" Iggy and Gazzy grabbed Angel and Nudge's hands and lurched across the street.

"Either I'm missing something or I've completely lost my mind."

"Aren't the two the same thing?" Fang arched a brow.

"Oh ha ha." I glared, stopped only a few feet from the skyscraper. Fang was a few yards behind me, looking at me. No, not at me. What's he looking at?

"Max!" He cried out, running towards me. What? I felt the ground shaking and Fang's weight knocking into me pushing me away from the skyscraper. I felt air rushing past me and realized that Fang had snapped open his wings. He landed on a rooftop across the street, watching the skyscraper trembling, chunks of steel and cement falling onto the ground before completely collapsing to the ground, a dust of cloud filling the spot and the streets. "Scared me there." Fang muttered, leaning his forehead against mine as he wrapped his arms around me.

"Mmm." I agreed, it meant yes but I'm sure he caught that. "Playing hero again?" I asked after a while, my own arms wrapping around him.

"As long as you're playing the heroine." A small smile reached him lips and a nearly grinned like a madwoman.

We kissed, each of us in pure bliss causing thought and reason was driven from my mind

But one thought remained, it was a thought I could not think about until later, long after I had gone:

It's like the song, our love is the sweetest sin.


Finally! This chapter was a booger to get out! Yes, this is the end of Part one of my series. I should have the new story coming out soon because I have the first two chapters readily written so I can take it easy a little bit. But the more you review the sooner I'll post it :D

Sorry, no challenges for the final chapter.


Create A Chain

Chapter 1: The Price To Remember

Sounds like a catchy new toy, right? Wrong. It's just as serious as important as Jeb calls it, a game of chess. To create a chain you must first know what chain you're making. For example, Itex is creating a chain of events that will happen in the near future that will destroy the world. The stupid voice inside my head is linked by a chain, forcing us to be together. And the flock, the flock is a great chain, the links firmly together, forming a bracelet. But any person with enough knowledge of jewelry or hardware knows that chains can break.

I broke the chain.