Steel Heart by The-Vegetable-Queen

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Romance, Tragedy
Published:2007-09-12 22:38:14
Updated:2007-11-12 16:12:25
Packaged:2021-04-22 00:41:45
Summary:Max has her world ripped from beneath her, and she hardens her heart. When the whitecoats make her a vampire, she escapes and acquires a friend. Max & Bella find the Cullens. X-over after MR3, Twilight AU from before Bella moves to Forks. MxF, BxE

Table of Contents

1. Interruption
2. Immobile
3. Stone
4. Innocent
5. Venom
6. Agony
7. Nectar
8. Convergence
9. Collision

1. Interruption

A/N: This is my first story, so bear with me. It will eventually become an alternate universe crossover with Twilight. Here comes Chapter 1! Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Maximum Ride. I do, however, own this plot. So no stealing!


A sudden updraft caused me to soar upwards. I relished the feeling of my wings stretched out as far as they could go to catch the wind. They were like downy sails on either side of me. It was almost worth the years of pain, physical and emotional, for this. For this feeling. For… flying.

And let's not forgot the flock. They were everything that I lived for. I got up in the morning to protect them, be with them. I loved them more than life itself; I loved them more than the world, the sun, and the sky…. Sweet, mischievous Gazzy… adorably caring Angel… lively chatterbox Nudge… devious Iggy… and… and… Fang….

My thoughts turned towards the brooding teenager on my right. Fang seemed different than usual. Somewhere between Anne's house and here, he had changed. He was still silent most of the time, but nowhere near as closed off. Every once in a while he would glance over at me, and our wingtips brushed feather-light on every down stroke. I would have said something, but it kind of made me feel… good, the attention, all warm inside. I briefly entertained the idea that I had feelings for Fang, but squashed them down quickly, before Angel could pick up on it.

Having just left Dr. Martinez's – oops – Mom's home (It feels so great to be able to use the phrase "my mom"!), the flock and I were flying in a straight line across, Fang and I in the middle, Iggy, the Gasman, Angel, and Nudge flanking us. Total was in my backpack, having found out about the baby carrier from Gazzy. We weren't headed anywhere, really – just North.

Fang was giving me another one of his odd looks, when Iggy, on my other side, stiffened and snapped his head up.

"Do you hear that?" Hear what? What could possibly bring me down from the high of having a mother and a sister and the way Fang's glances made me feel? Suddenly, though, a droning buzz became apparent. We had gathered together and hovered, back-to-back, at Iggy's first sign of stress… though I can't say we were prepared for what happened next.

From out of the thick trees below us burst the most flyboys I had ever seen in my life. I doubted that all the Erasers I had ever seen could add up to this amount. We had to fly away; there was no way we could fight this many!

"Let's go!" I called out, not letting any of my panic show through. I had to be strong for the flock. Could we get away?

Apparently not. With astounding speed, the flyboys were upon us. Keeping an eye on the others, I flew into battle with thoughts only for the safety of the flock. I slammed a kick down hard on the base of the nearest flyboy's spine, remembering their weakness… though it seemed that it wasn't one anymore. Was this a newer version? These flyboys had their guns attached, but didn't seem to want to use them. The robot before me seemed to almost smirk before slamming his fist into my head, sending stars spinning around my skull. The legions of flyboys around us took this opportunity to swarm. I was dimly aware of the rest of the flock succumbing, but I kept fighting. Lashing out blindly, I was hurting myself more than them on their shiny metal exteriors, but I couldn't stop, my rage at their interruption of my own private heaven was unforgivable.

A fist grabbed my own. My leg was ensnared. I strained against the flyboys, beating my wings furiously. Panic enveloped my mind, I was intent on freedom, and it was all that I focused on. So consumed was I by this that I poured on my super speed without a thought. The sickening crunches and pops that followed from my trapped limbs seemed to echo around me. I stopped struggling immediately, and the robots fully restrained me. I felt lightheaded and fuzzy. My mind registered that I should be in pain, but I didn't feel anything. I looked down at my body. I saw only the white of bone and the red of blood before tumbling into darkness.

A/N: The next few chapters are going to be kind of dark, but it'll make sense soon… with the introduction of a character we all can relate with. You'll see! If you review, please give me some constructive criticism or tell me what you like about it so far. It'll make my writing better in the long run!

2. Immobile

A/N: Thanks to everyone who has reviewed so far. I hope you guys like this chapter!


A haze surrounded me, dark and comforting. I wanted to stay like this forever, halfway between waking and sleeping. It was a void that wanted nothing from me, no one to save, or to take care of, no responsibility. But… I wanted those things… didn't I? Something half-remembered passed before my eyes. Urgency drifted over me. I had to wake up. There was something that I was supposed to be doing….

Pain shot up through me from my leg, traveling from my shin to my toes to somewhere over my heart. It cleared my head enough that I could take in my surroundings, though I still couldn't move. A stale smell caused me to groan internally. The school. I could never forget that hospital-like odor. The familiarity of it brought all of my memories back in a rush. The flock! I had to get to them!

My escape plans were interrupted by steady footsteps drawing nearer. I tried to get up, raise my head, twitch my fingers, anything! I felt a heavy numbness all over my body; I was detached, somehow. The owners of the feet stopped near to where I lay on the cold cement floor.

"What happened to this one?" It was a hard voice, unfeeling, as if I were an object instead of a living, breathing human being lying as if dead at his feet. An equally uncaring, though clinical voice reached my ears.

"Dislocated knee, hip, elbow, and shoulder. Multiple compound fractures. Torn muscle and tendon." She paused before letting the first hint of emotion color her tone. "Stupid thing practically did this to itself," the second voice added with venom. I felt hate rise deep in my soul for every scientist that had ever had anything to do with this. They were heartless, soulless, all of them; yet we were the ones treated as less than human. My heart broke for all the children like me; the ones that had been born as less, when they were so much more, more than any scientist that created, defaced, or destroyed them ever could be.

"What have you done for it?"

"We've fixed the dislocations…" there was a pause and the rustle of papers told me that the woman was probably checking notes. "There's not much we can do for the torn muscle and tendon; we'll have to restrain it so that the healing process isn't interrupted…" more rustling. "The fractures have been set, though some of the bone splintered and had to be replaced… all in all it should be able to walk again."

"The injuries you described seem substantial."

"At least it won't have to hop." She replied with a sadistic giggle. The second voice really needed to get the 'devoid of emotion' thing down better. Every once in a while her totally deranged side showed through. Even though she was so obviously evil, I hated the man more. His voice was dead. It didn't sound as if the world rested on whether or not I was able to walk again. Was he really that uncaring? Or… was I no longer any use to them?

"Put it in with the others. And give it another shot of that new serum."

"Are we terminating this one, also?" My heart froze. Termination? Also? Oh, please no, no, no, no, NO! Not the flock! Please, god, no, not the flock!

"No. This one might still be useful. I just want it to hear them die."

I wanted to rip them into pieces. Everything would be right in the world if I could just snap their scrawny necks…. But, no, they should probably have to suffer first.

Hard metal arms came around me and shifted my body so that a syringe could inject a thick liquid into my neck. My limbs, which had started to tingle, once again fell limp. I was carried into a small room across from the larger one I'd been in.

Horrified gasps accompanied the flyboy's entrance. The flock was alive! Relief flooded through me. I wondered what I must look like, lying limp in its arms.

"The corpse of your leader." Came his flat voice. Corpse? No! I was alive! There was a shocked silence.

"I don't believe you." Fang. He was so strong….

"Believe what you want. The rest of you are next." Notake me instead…. Iggy was keen to stay on the subject of my death, his voice high with barely hidden hysteria.

"Why would you fix her up and then kill her? You're lying to us. This is just another one of your sick, twisted, tests!" He spat the words out as if they'd burned him. They probably had – his heart.

"Her body will be used for dissection once you are terminated." There was probably a white coat feeding this guy lines, he didn't sound preprogrammed… WHAT?! Dissection? I AM STILL ALIVE!!! I wanted to shout at them for believing his lies.

The robot dropped me unceremoniously to the floor. Pains lanced up my arm, burning. No one moved. I was so proud of my flock, not letting the white coats see them break, though I could practically feel the ground shake with their silent sobs. I couldn't wait for the flyboy to leave so that they could see I was still alive.

As soon as the door locked behind him, however, they pressed in. Arms and faces were all around me. I could tell Gazzy had wrapped himself around my leg, sobbing into my jeans. Angel ran her trembling fingers through my hair, soft whimpering sounds escaping. Nudge, Fang, and Iggy were gripping me but hadn't said any thing… yet. I thought defiantly. They'll get Angel and Gazzy out of this pity party.

"I tried to read her mind, but I couldn't… if she's not…" a sob interrupted her. "If she's not…" Angel gave up. "Then she's not thinking." Her words broke through the older children's stupor. Nudge threw herself across me, burying her face into my stomach. Tears soaked through my shirt. Iggy bent his head over my shoulder, resting his forehead rest against me. Fang gently grasped my hand and checked my pulse. Finally, some sense! They would realize that I was fine and stop breaking my heart with the waterworks. I didn't know why Angel had been unable to read my mind, but I assumed that in her grief, her powers had slipped a little. I was waiting for Fang to tell the others that I wasn't dead. What was he waiting for?

Fang's sob ripped through the air. How could he be mistaking me for dead, too? They had to realize I was alive. How could we get out of here if they were all mourning my nonexistent death?

The door was wrenched open with a BANG! I could hear marching feet, and the sweet smell of unwashed bird kid was overpowered by that strange, sterile odor. First Gazzy, then Nudge and Iggy were dragged away into the opposite corner of the room. Angel cried out as she, too, was dragged away from my body, grasping at my hair. Fang who was still huddled protectively over me, curled his body over to whisper into my ear.

"I knew this wasn't going to end well, Max. I wish I could have told you before you died, but I love you." I felt the ghost of a sensation, his lips over my own, before he was wrenched away.

I was strangely calm. This had to be a dream. This couldn't be happening… could it? I knew, though, deep inside. This was real. This was the end of everything I ever cared about. The end of my world.

"Restrain them." Save the world, Max. A memory of Jeb, my voice, drifted through my mind. I had to get up. I had to move, right now! I had to save the flock! "Ready." Guns cocked. Panic consumed me. I had to save them, save them, save them, save them, save them, save them, save them, save them! Move! I tried to force my body to move, it wouldn't respond. Move, move, please, god, I have to save them. This isn't supposed to happen!

"Fire." M y heart stopped. Shots rang out. I couldn't breathe. This… isn't… happening… IT WAS MY FAULT! I couldn't lift a finger to come to my flock's rescue. They had… had… died. Because of ME. Because I was too weak. I hated myself. Self-loathing and grief filled me, and I was sure I was radiating it from every pore. I let it come. I deserved it. It… consumed me.


The bullet pierced through me, leaving a trail of fire. I knew I was dying, but I couldn't bring myself to care. All I could think about were the others, who I knew were lying dead or dying beside me… and Max. The thought of her death had tormented me moments before, but now it comforted me. Now, I was going to join her, wherever she was.

I was dragged outside; I could smell the fresh air. I was happy about this, dying outside of the stifling School. I pitied Max for having had to do it there. This was so much more bearable. I realized that the flyboys had left our bodies out in the woods. Solemn trees rose around me as my lifeblood poured out onto the forest floor. The last thing that I saw before losing consciousness was a pair of bright red eyes that quickly deepened to black… along with the rest of my vision.

A/N: I hope nobody cries during this chapter….

3. Stone

A/N: This chapter is sad, too. But I promise everything will be peachy in a few more chapters!

And, for clarification, in the last chapter, Max was unable to move because of the "new serum" those sadists injected her with. And those last two paragraphs were written in Fang's point of view, but I guess they would fit almost any flock member.



There should have been silence – what was that sound?

Bump… bump…bump… bump…bump….

Oh… right… my heart….

Bump… bump…bump….

It was amazing that it was still beating. I felt like it had been ripped out, stabbed to a bloody pulp, then stuffed back into my chest.

I should be the one that's dead….

But I was still alive. My heart, it was still beating, still pumping blood. It was rock hard, like granite. This stone heart lay heavily in my chest, filling my eyes with images of their faces, my ears with their words… especially his

"I love you, Max…."

At least stone didn't ache like flesh. Nothing ached anymore. I didn't feel… anything…

Hands passed in front of my face. I saw Nudge's smile.

Voices called my name. Gazzy's sweet tones asked for food.

Needles pricked my skin. I felt Iggy's questioning touch.

Time passed. I didn't notice.

I had died with my flock.

So why was my stone heart still beating?

More days went by. I didn't care.


A familiar voice roused me slightly from my stupor, enough so that I could hear what was happening.

"Batchelder, your little 'save the world' plan has fallen through. Look at this experiment."

"You weren't supposed to kill the other hybrids!" His shock at my condition was evident in his tone.

"In your notes, you described that its attachment to the others was distracting it from its mission." A note of hysteria crept its way into Jeb's next words.

"You were only supposed to capture them, and send Max to training!" Huh. Jeb betrayed us again. Funnily enough, I really didn't care.

"It does not matter. This one was damaged during the capture anyways. We'll have another do the job."

"But Max is supposed to do it!" The first voice was clearly getting annoyed with Jeb.

"Your 'Max' has lost the will to live, I'm afraid. She's on suicide watch and needs to be fed intravenously. This experiment is good for nothing but testing out things too dangerous for viable mutants." There was a slight pause, and then the cold voice hacked out a humor-less laugh.

"What's funny?" Jeb ground out, an edge to his voice.

"We told the other avian hybrids that we were going to dissect this one. We actually might." He let out another coughing chuckle and then disappeared from view. Jeb looked after him for a few beats, then turned his tortured gaze on me, piercing into my eyes.

Before this, I had heard everything as if I was underwater. Clarity punched through my defenses now, and let the pain run wild.

"Max." The name felt like a jab to my heart. "I'm so sorry." I moved my hands to cover my ears, blotting out this traitor's words. He realized this and hurt splashed across his features, before quickly being masked behind his kindly-doctor face. He spoke in my mind now, determined to get his point across.

I didn't mean for this to happen. This hurt even more, him breaking into my last safe place, my mind, where I'd been reliving my days with the flock. Jeb knew this, yet continued. What's worse is… is… they didn't just kill the flock, Max. While I went to… to… send your whereabouts…

'Betray us.' This thought echoed, and I was sure Jeb heard it.

Yes… I'm so sorry… When I came back to your mother's house… they were gone, even that old dog, and the house was in ashes.

This blow sent me beyond pain. I knew the thick, stone exterior around my heart had shattered, leaving me a mangled and bloody mess. I didn't hear anything else Jeb said… I was sinking, my head was swirling, and I had lost everything… a black shroud surrounded me.

A/N: Oh, Max, always the drama queen. She hasn't lost everything. She still has…

Hah! I'm not telling you now; you'll have to wait until the end of the next chapter!

4. Innocent

A/N: This chapter is in third person, not Max's point of view. The characters are original, but they won't last long, so… don't get too attached. I just thought the story was a little choppy and needed something.


Amber paused in her march to look back at David. She smiled at her new husband. He hadn't wanted to take this hiking trip, but he'd done it for her.

Dave would do anything for Amber.

Noticing gaze on him, Dave adopted a limp and a mournful expression.

"Are we there yet?" Amber grinned at his whining tone.

"Only five more miles." Dave groaned and staggered over to lean his full weight against Amber. She struggled, giggling, to hold up both of them before collapsing and sending them both sprawling into the undergrowth. She rolled over on top of him and planted a slow kiss on his lips.

"Wow," he murmured, dragging his face closer to hers, "this is really starting to look up."

They were kissing passionately when Death arrived.

Noiselessly, the two figures crept closer.

" Ooh, I hope we aren't interrupting anything." Her mate grunted. "These two had better taste better than all those kiddies. They were gross-tasting."

"I still can't believe that you bit all those kids and then spit them out. And you left them! We're going to be losing territory to those munchkins now!"

"You worry too much, love. Let's just enjoy lunch."

The pair descended to feed.

A/N: See? Dead already. I just wanted the dead hikers in the next chapter to seem less like cardboard cutouts. They now have thoughts, feelings, and

Romantic Interludes

Also, this is like an official in-story statement that THE FLOCK IS NOT DEAD. You know, since apparently no one reads my author's notes. Don't worry, I still love you guys.



5. Venom

A/N: Okay, my shiny little readers, NOW IS THE MOMENT YOU HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR! The first entrance of Twilight! Actually, it first appeared at the end of chapter two, but I don't think anybody got it because y'all are wailing about how I killed the flock, etc., etc. I will clarify. Fang (or whoever in the flock) is BLOODY. HE SEES RED EYES DARKENING TO BLACK. Get it now? –eyebrow waggle- At least Fang and Iggy/Angel (haven't decided) are vampy. Maybe all of them are. Depends on how attached you guys are. Tell me who you want to survive in reviews! And no Martinez/Ella. They are dead. That's final. They were way too mushy in MR3 and totally made the story sissy.


Blood. It ran across my body, rivulets streaming over my nakedness, down the leather straps binding me, dripping past the edge of the metal table I was on. A scalpel pressed into me, slicing, rending my flesh. I didn't flinch. I didn't struggle. What was the point? My unresponsive state had been my last hope. My reasons for living had died, and now all I wanted to do was join them….

Each stroke of the knife was about an inch from the last. The wounds curled across my arms, up my legs, over my torso, but leaving my hands, feet, face, and neck unscathed. More blood oozed from my now-healed leg as the white coat proceeded to mark my thigh.

Pain shot up my bones; the knife had slipped deep into muscle.

"Careful! This test is incredibly important!" Hmm. Someone other than the saddo with the knife was in here. I twisted my head to look.

There were scores of people watching knife-happy friend and I. We seemed to be in a large theatre of some sort, with rows of seats progressing in height as they moved away from the stage-like platform that held my torture rack

Now there's a funny thought… I can see it now… my name in lights on broadway:

"Mutant Mutilation," starring Maximum Ride

White coats filled the seats, a sea of faces staring out at me. It looked as if the entire faculty if the School had shown up just for this. I picked out faces, familiarly frightening ones. I had spent my childhood being tortured by these nuts, and now their features seemed to twist into terrifying reminders of their deeds. There was the woman (second row, fourth from the left) who had shoved food through the bars of our crates every afternoon at two, sickeningly indifferent to our pleas for more. There was the man (thirteenth row, in the middle) who had attempted to improve Iggy's sight, instead causing his blindness. Never an apology, never any sign that ruining a little boy's sight meant anything to him! Their faces were blank as my blood began to pool around the metal table. How could anyone be so heartless? So cruel? A new hatred for these people rose in me.

A shudder ran through me as the scalpel cut through me again; I needed to keep my emotions under control, or the full force of the pain would hit me. Seeking respite, my eyes turned back to the crowd.

Ah. There was Jeb. Daddy dearest. He was the most soulless of the bunch. I thought about blowing him a kiss in all my bare, bloody glory, but then realized that I was strapped down.

Suddenly, our eyes locked. His seemed to hold immeasurable sadness, while I like to think that mine were burning a hole in his forehead. I didn't get mad – I just fed the loathing I already felt for him. Abruptly, he stood up, making his way towards me. I was caught between terror and hope; terror that he would torture me, and hope that, once more, he would free me. His steps grew closer and my breathing erratic. His eyes weren't focused on me, though, they were looking… beyond… he walked right past me.

A mixture of intense relief and disappointment washed over me. My breath whooshed out in a gust. Jeb seemed to by whispering agitatedly to someone behind me, out of my range of view. Their conversation cut off abruptly, and Jeb hurried out, slamming a metal door behind him with a clang of finality.

Sometime between our stare-down and Jeb's departure, the scientist had stopped cutting me. I slowly became aware that silence had fallen, too. The person behind me cleared their throat; I stiffened. His voice rang out through the auditorium.

"You have all been gathered today to witness a groundbreaking test. This will be the starting point for many new mutations, perhaps those of humans and an entirely new, undiscovered species!

We will shortly begin spraying a substance over experiment AH700329, in an attempt to place it in her bloodstream. The cause for this is to find the effect it has on the body.

A week ago, the sentry robots in the woods near our establishment found the remains of two hikers. They had received severe trauma to the neck, but not bad enough for it to be what killed them. Traces of the fluid we are about to administer were found near the wound. While analyzing it, we realized this substance had never before been found or documented. Further examination showed that the bodies were also drained entirely of blood!" Excitement seeped into his bland tone; gasps echoed around the room. What, were these people vampire hunters as well as mad scientists?

"We hypothesize that these deaths have been caused by a new species of mammoth leeches!" I guess not….

"The actual cause of death, though, is about to be determined. It could have been blood loss, or… perhaps… this liquid could actually be venom!" I felt my stomach slide into my toes. They were going to put leech venom in me! This was a new low.

"Either way, we are about to find out. If the fluid kills this hybrid, it is venom! Now, are we all ready to commence?" He clapped his hands and a trolley rolled up next to me. Suction cups were placed at my temples, and a gun-like object was aimed at my skin. I was going to be sick. I wanted to be with the flock, but this was a terrible way to die! Set aside so that these sadists could make mammoth leech hybrids? I don't think so! As I struggled at my bonds, a high, clear voice traveled across the room. It was the bread-and-water lady, with a question.

" Isn't AH700329 classified as indispensable?" The horrible man behind me just laughed. I tore at the leather bonds with new fervor.

"I assure you, doctor," he replied when his mirth had receded somewhat. "This mutant is entirely dispensable. No more questions? Very well. Begin."

It was so abrupt that I didn't even have time to react. The white coat twitched the trigger, and the fluid misted out over my torn body, seeping directly into my bloodstream.

A/N: Oooohh! Max is going to change!!! FINALLY. Anyways, in case anyone is hesitant, just review and help me out with my writing! Or, just tell me what you liked/hated!

6. Agony

A/N: Please review to tell me who you want to survive in the flock. I kinda want to kill off a few of them, but that didn't seem to go over so well with you guys, so tell me what you want. Anyways, enjoy!

I writhed upon the table, straining against my bonds. Another shriek rips through my cracked and bleeding lips. Pain like I had never felt before in my short life washed over me. Limbs stretched, bones cracked, muscles bulged. My body did everything it could to escape the never ending torture. My throat was raw from the screams my agony had brought on. Fire raced through my veins, scalding every nerve. I felt the pain in every facet of my body, even the tips of my fingers.

And yet… It was if my agonized body belonged to someone else. I felt the pain crashing into me in never ending waves, yet I was aware of what went on around me. Maybe it was because I knew that the death I yearned for was not far away, or that I had known so much pain throughout my life that this new torture was made more bearable.

Either way, I could feel the days passing, scientists moving around me in a blur. One stayed by my side the entire time, jotting down notes on a clipboard while I shouted for death to take me. After he reached the end of a page, he would rip it off and place it in a file that he kept in the cavernous pocket of his white lab coat. He slept for only a few hours every night because of my cries, but even that surprised me. How could someone sleep when a bleeding, naked girl was dying in front of them? How could anyone stand it?

Two days after the misting guns had first squirted the venom over my cuts, they returned. My throat had already swollen closed, and all I could do was croak feebly in protest as more of the horrible stuff coated me. Fresh layers of a more violent pain assaulted me; and I lost consciousness.

My crusted eyes fluttered open before rolling back into my head. Damn it! I'd thought I was dead. It couldn't be long now, though, it had been awhile since the venom had entered my system; and I knew from the bright morning light filtering in through the skylight that I had been out for a day or more.

The pain grew more fierce as the hours wore on. My body had stopped convulsing, but now I couldn't move at all. Bones cracked and seemed to reform beneath my skin, especially those in my twistedly disfigured arm and leg, the limbs that had been injured in our capture. My muscles sang with agony as if I had done a thousand repetitions of a thousand pounds, and sprinted miles upon miles. Skin burned with the sensation of hot wax spreading across me, needles pricked throughout my scalp. Cold seeped through me, and the fire in my veins seemed to turn to ice.

I was sure during my last two days of my torture that I was decaying in front of my audience. Their wide eyes seemed to confirm this. I knew that my life was drawing to a close. White coats bustled in to see the finale, even more than those that watched the beginning. I could practically hear my heart slowing, and I smiled. I felt every feather of my wings beneath me, and hoped that they would still be with me, wherever I was going. Most of all, though, my final thoughts were of my flock. Where we had been, the memories we had had, and where we were going together. I hoped it was somewhere good, if heaven turned out to not exist. The pain ebbed, my body stilled, my smile grew. The voices of the white coats rose around me as I shut my eyes. Heartbeats came fewer and farther between.

Bump… Bump… Nothing.

I waited to feel my flock around me.

"Experiment AH700329 has gone into cardiac arrest. Time of death 3: 54 P.M."

I opened my eyes and sat up.

A/N: Score! Sorry this is a short chapter, and sort of boring, but NOW MAX IS A VAMPIRE! Also, I liked that ending a lot. Y'know, they said she was dead, and then she wakes up. What did you guys think? Was it clear? Please review!

7. Nectar

A/N: I added another chapter; "Innocent." Go back and read it! MRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMRMR


It lasted for one second, maybe two.

Then came the uproar. The multitude of scientists around me burst into sound. We were all wondering the same thing: why wasn't I dead? In those brief moments of quiet my mind had twisted in confusion. I should have been with my flock. My heart had stopped; I knew that for certain. Its comforting thumping was gone, and it now laid -as heavy as steel- in my chest.

My thoughts didn't stay there for long.

They lingered only to warn me of the most delicious scent I had ever smelled. My mouth watered at the thought of what the food I was smelling might taste like.

Then conscious thought fled. All I had left was instinct; the instinct to find and eat the source of that scrumptious smell.

Two white coats rushed for the exit. I leapt nimbly to my feet and raced for the door, banging it closed. Turning, I surveyed the room before me for the food.

Hey, I was hungry. When had I last eaten? Five days ago?

But several things became apparent in the blink of an eye.

The first was that the scientists who had been making their way toward the door seemed not to have moved hardly at all, their feet about six inches from where they had been.

The thick leather straps that had bound me were lying on the floor in pieces. I must have really worn them out when the venom was coursing through me… right?

I looked to the whitecoats throughout the room.

My eyes widened.

What was happening? I was sure that I had lost my mind. Or maybe I really was dead, and this was the afterlife. All I knew was that what I was seeing couldn't be true back when I was alive.

Imbedded deeply into the chest of every person in the room was a glowing sphere. These weren't actually light though… it seemed almost as if they were sucking the light from the air around them. They were all varying shades of gray and black.

Instinctively, knowledge sprang into my mind. I was more wary of each person the darker their light got. But I wasn't afraid.

I knew that no matter how smart these people were – they were the dregs of humanity. Heck, I'd spent enough time in their company to know that most of them had no humanity. What kind of normal person could do what these freaks had done?

But what happened next pushed those thoughts from my mind.

A burning sensation seemed to writhe its way up to the back of my throat. I was so… so…


"Would you like a glass of water, Maximum?" The man that had sat by my side for days swallowed hard and made his way closer. His words trickled out like molasses, and he seemed to be moving in slow-motion. His light was darker than most in the room. My entire being focused on him… particularly the veins jumping at his temple and neck. I could practically smell this man's overpowering fear. He stopped five feet away.

"Would you like something to drink?"

I couldn't stand it any longer. All of my control was gone. Lunging at the white coat, I dragged my face to his neck and felt my teeth pass through his flesh as if it were liquid. His… blood… poured down my throat, satisfying the barest needs of the crawling monster inside of me.

It was the best thing I'd ever tasted… better than homemade cookies, even. Tangy and salty, warm and fresh… it was heaven. I needed more.

I dropped the empty husk to the floor and reached for another person. And another. And another. And another.

They all had darkness emanating from their chests… until they were dead.

Screams echoed all around me. Unadulterated terror had infused the scientists. Now they were the ones hunted and killed without mercy. During my rampage, I didn't think about the people I was killing. I didn't think at all.

Finally, the thirst was slaked. The dead woman in my arms slid to the floor. I glanced around the room.

I had killed and drunk the blood of every scientist in the room in under ten minutes. What looked like around a hundred bodies littered the floor. I didn't feel any remorse for their deaths. Why should I?

These were my hunters, my jailers, and my torturers. They had killed my flock.

My flock. The first twinge of regret pierced me. If their really was a heaven, I'd never be able to join my flock now.

The fact that I was now apparently superhuman and had just drunk the blood of over a hundred – well, not innocent – people didn't matter. My thoughts were in turmoil, jumping from one plan of action to the next.

I should just end it all, I thought. There was nothing left to live for… No! That was selfish, I had to free the other experiments!

I turned to the reflective metal door to leave, and for the first time became aware of the state I was in.

I was totally naked, but that's not what concerned me. My skin, normally deeply tanned from time outdoors, was as white and bone and covered almost everywhere in shiny, raised scars. They were all that remained of the oozing slashes that had decorated my skin, except for the dried blood that was still caked on.

That's not all that was different. My hair was blonder, and when I ran my fingers through it, felt softer and thicker than before. Stretching my wings out slightly, I was relieved to see that they looked relatively the same… though they did seem sort of glossy.

Then my gaze settled on my face.

My eyes stared back at me like twin pools of lava. They seemed to reflect the sweet nectar I'd just sucked from my victims… they were windows to the pain and hurt inside me.

Tearing myself away from the image, I turned to my most pressing problem: finding some clothes. A slow smile spread across my face as I once again regarded the dead woman.

Well, she wasn't using them anymore.

I stripped the white coat and tugged on the loose black slacks and turtleneck she had been wearing.

As I looked over the room one last time, a thick file lying next to my first victim caught my eye. Its tab read:

Experiment AH700329 "Maximum Ride"

A cursory glance through its contents proved that the file was not something I wanted lying around. It included photos, quotes, eyewitness accounts… practically my life story.

I pulled on the man's lab coat and shoved the file inside its cavernous pocket.

Grasping the handle of the door, I gave a hard tug, expecting – even after all the superhuman stunts I'd performed in the auditorium – for it to swing open slowly.

That was not what happened.

The handle crumpled in my grip, and the massive steel door soared across the room. I turned to see a whole in the wall where it had punched through.

What had this venom done to me?

I shoved the questions from my mind and left the auditorium, turning into a long hallway lined with dog crates. It didn't matter what happened or why – I would be dead soon anyways.

The crates were small, and their occupants cowering from me in my white lab coat. I pinched the locks between my fingers, and they crumbled into dust.

"Leave here," I whispered to each mutant escapee, "Never come back."

A few thanked me. Most just ran. I smiled after them. They had a chance. Maybe not a huge one, what with their mutant deformities, unstable DNA, and their penniless, parentless state. But hey, anything was better than this hellhole. I turned to the last cage.

"Max." I froze, not believing my ears.

"Total?" I ripped the cage door off and flung it behind me. Careful not to use any of my new strength, I gathered him into my arms.

"I thought you were dead!" A heaving sob ripped out of me and I buried my face into his furry back. He squirmed around to lick my face. For once, I didn't mind.

" Max, they're all gone! We're the only ones left!" Total wailed.

"I'm going to make sure nothing ever happens to you, Total." He smiled sadly and nodded.

I couldn't kill myself, not when another flock member needed me. After he was gone, though….

But there were things I had to do first.

I continued down the hallway, marveling at how far each step took me. As I went, I slid the tiny dog into the pocket opposite the file, where he promptly fell asleep.

Huge metal doors rose in front of me. Were these the ones I was looking for? I wanted out of this place. I opened them and poked my head through.

No, this wasn't the exit. This was even better.

Rows and rows of flyboys extended as far as the eye could see. Remembering my new strength, I wrapped my arms around the nearest one and squeezed. Dust.

I turned them all into scrap metal. This was revenge.

Suddenly, though, I couldn't take the suffocating hospital smell and the gray walls anymore. I punched my way through the walls into the fresh forest air.

And then I was running. I didn't know where I was going… but I knew that I was never coming back.

A/N: I know where Max is going! She's heading to Arizona to see if what Jeb said about her mom and sister is true. Get it? Hope you liked this, because I totally poured my heart and soul into it. Also, go back and read "Innocent." It's a new chapter.



8. Convergence

A/N: This chapter is in Bella's point of view. This story will always be in either Max's POV or Bella's, and you'll be able to tell by the MR or TWILIGHT at the beginning of the chapter. I know this is sort of prose-y, but Bella's in severe emotional distress. I hope you enjoy this, and don't hate me for killing somebody else. It was necessary.


I was doing it for her. My mother, I mean. I think it's kind of funny, how things turned out, because of that. Well, not funny. Ironic is a better word for it. If I hadn't been trying to be noble, we'd still be together.

But I was.

And we aren't.

The sky was pure blue, not a cloud in sight. The sun beat down on us as we hefted my last suitcase into the diminutive trunk of my mother's red Mazda.

Renée wouldn't let me drive. She insisted that since this would probably be one of the last times she got to drive me around, she was going to make the most of it. Would it have made a difference if I had been driving? I like to think that it wouldn't have… but still, I wonder.

She had a picture of Phil taped to the dashboard. It gave me strength to resist when she begged me to stay.

I wish I could burn that picture now.

I thought I would be making her happier if I left. She would be able to travel with Phil instead of staying with me and missing him.

We turned onto the next road, making our way closer to the airport. Craggy canyons rose on our left, and the flat, endless expanse of desert lay to the right. The dead of winter never brought snow, not in Phoenix. Instead it sank temperatures down from the hundreds we suffered through in the summer to about the low seventies.

Everything stood out in the yellow of sand, the green of cacti and undergrowth, and the endless blue of the sky and occasional oasis-like sinkhole. Even the road was the pale gray of time and sun-worn asphalt. That's probably why the little black shape stood out so much.

You'd think we'd have been able to see him a mile away, what with the road's obvious flatness, and the sharp decline on one of its sides. But that was the reason we didn't. Renée only had to hold the wheel straight to keep from going over the edge, and she took advantage of that; memorizing my face and asking me to reconsider. I did the same.

I should have been watching the road. I was the responsible one. I could have prevented it.

But I didn't.

How could I have known? Known that, in trying to make her happy, I would kill her?

"Bella, you don't have to do this."

"I want to go." It wasn't necessarily a lie; I did want to be out of the way for her and Phil to be happy.

She turned back to the road with a frown… and gasped. My head whipped around in time to see the tiny black dog in the middle of the road. Renée dragged on the wheel to swerve out of the way.

And then we were falling

Would I have swerved right instead of left? I like to think that it was so split-second that neither of us would have been able to stop the car from careening over the side of the cliffs.

But you never know.

A/N: The black dog is Total. You'll see how Total ends up in the middle of the road in Arizona in the next chapter. The whole crossover thing becomes apparent then, too. Love you, buh-bye!

9. Collision

A/N: This chapter sort of explains how what took place in the last chapter came about. I hope you guys like it!


I dunked my white lab coat into the tiny sinkhole, rubbing at the bloodied collar.

I guess I'm a messy eater.

Total grumbled into my lap, complaining about something. The file lay beside me.

My thoughts wandered over the events of yesterday. After escaping the School, I had run. Faster and farther than ever before… but still, I ran away. I didn't know where I was going.

Once I was a few miles away, I tugged off my jacket and shirt to spread my wings, Total wrapped safely in my arms.

And then…

I stood there. In only my bra, wings poised for flight. Ready to leave the Earth and all of my troubles below.

But I couldn't.

My steel heart weighed me down; anchored me to the ground. It was as if my flock and Ella and my mother were holding tight to my ankles.

Whatever the reason, I couldn't get off the ground. So I kept running. My feet pounded deep into the ground as I neared my unknown destination, stopping only to let Total run around when he woke up. Miles and state lines slipped away in an instant beneath me.

And then, I was there. My ending point was their house… or what was left of it. My mom and Ella's tiny home was in ashes.

Was I really such a glutton for punishment? Or did I just not trust Jeb?

I hope the first, Maximum.

Oh, god.

You have every right to hate me…but I'm going to do everything in my power to help you, Maximum. And I won't bother you, unless it's to do that.

I would never be free of him! Total, in my arms, let out a plaintive howl at the sight of their home.

In a desperate attempt to escape, I started running again. And it being Arizona, I ended up in the desert.

I fell to my knees and sobbed tearlessly. Total licked my face, and for once I didn't mind. When I stood again, my fears, memories of my flock, and overwhelming grief were locked away. It would never break me again.

And now here I was, doing the laundry.

"Max, I'm hungry."

"I offered to find you something."

"You offered to catch me some desert rat."

"I'm sorry, Total, but we can't go to the grocery store right now." I did not need a repeat of the bloodbath that had happened at the School.

"Why not?" Total's stomach was making him testy. And… I couldn't bring myself to tell him what had happened to all those white coats.

When I didn't answer, he turned and stalked away. I sighed and dipped the coat again, ruminating over our next plan of action. My thoughts drifted as I pondered the deep blue of the water before me, working relentlessly at the stain. It looked as if a piece of the sky had fallen to the earth.

I figured this was as close as I would ever get to the sky, now.

That was when I heard it.

The squeal of tires, Total's bark, and a woman's scream.

I was on my feet and running instantly. I took in the scene before me. Total was unharmed, staring in horror at what he had caused.

A tiny red car with two people inside was pitching over the edge of the cliff.

I ran faster, my feet working like pistons, sand spraying upon impact. I leapt over the chasm towards the car, which seemed to be moving so slowly it lay suspended in the air between the two cliffs,

And then we collided. My body crumpled the back half of the car's right side. The cliff turned the entire left side to scrap metal. Time seemed to stop. I swung my feet down to push off. With the crack of stone meeting stone, we were propelled to the opposite ledge.

Lifting the car off of me like it weighed nothing, I wrenched the passenger door off.

I knew whoever had been driving wouldn't have survived the cliff face.

I dragged a teenaged girl, maybe a few years older than me, into the scrub. She was unconscious, and a web of crimson spread from a gash on her forehead.

As soon as the blood registered in my mind, my world narrowed to the thirst that consumed me. I wavered. The pulse in her neck jumped.

I lunged and sank my teeth into her.

A/N: Uh-oh, Max bit Bella! Ah, I really don't like this chapter. The writing juice just wasn't flowin'. That's also why it took a while for me to update.Review suggestions for making it better, okay? Actually, that reminds me that I need to thank you guys for reviewing! I really love hearing from you!