Syzygy by Sanraita

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Adventure, Romance
Published:2009-04-10 20:48:44
Updated:2009-09-09 18:39:33
Packaged:2021-04-22 02:42:59
Summary:Max is back and kicking butt along with the flock. But what they need to do is suicide. How can the possibly win? Max knows one thing. Someone isn't going to make it out alive. Nothing can ever be easy, can it? FAX! IggyxOC Beware: Hilarity will ensue!

Table of Contents

1. 1 Truth or Dare and Dreaming
2. 2 Dreamwalker and Natalca
3. 3 Wings
4. 4 Love, Movies, and Sight
5. 5 Boyfriend and Powers
6. 6 The Date and a Mysterious Message
7. Lissa and Humiliation are Hilarious
8. Blowing up Schools
9. Bubbles
10. Serena
11. Another Prophecy?
12. Fight Like You've Never Fought Before
13. Fang's Gone?
14. Fang's Back!
15. Pinecones and DNA Pinecone DNA?
16. Surprise! Not a good one
17. Death
18. Oh, crap, RUN!
19. More Mysteries for Max to Stress Over
20. Nairobi, Africa
21. Final Battle
22. Epilogue
23. AN
24. AN again

1. 1 Truth or Dare and Dreaming

Well, this is my first fanfic, so bear with me. There will definitely be lots of fax. And two new characters. See if you can guess which one is me.

Disclaimer: Nope, not mine. *This suddenly sinks in. Runs to room to cry eyes out. Gets over it.* yeah, a clue might be that I'm a girl, not a middle aged man.

Syzygy Chapter one


"Max Max Max Max! Can we please play truth or dare? Everyones bored, even Fang said he'll play. Ppppllllleeeeeaaasssseee?" Angel and Nudge sprinted into my room.

Well, no, mine and Fang's room. Angel and Nudge insisted on sharing, and so did Gazzy and Iggy. We're staying at Mom's () house while her and Ella are away on a vacation.

"Sure, girls. We'll play in the living room." I told them, quickly covering my ears to drown out their squeals of joy. Ouch. How did their voices go so high?!

I jumped of the bed and walked to the living room, while Angel and Nudge ran past me. Everyone was already there, waiting for us. I sat down on the couch next to Fang.

"Okay, who will start? Maybe Max should, 'cause she's the leader. Or maybe Iggy, because he doesn't usually start this game. Oh or maybe Angel because she's the youngest. No, I know, Fang should! He never, ever, EVER starts because he doesn't talk a lot. It doesn't help that he goes invisible. And he always wears black, we should make him wear white for a change. He'd be so ma"- Iggy mercifully slapped a hand over Nudge's mouth. She was the only person I knew that could go from "who will start" to Fang's choice of clothes.

I looked at Fang. His expression was a mix between annoyance and amusement. I think Nudge's rant over his wardrobe amused him. He caught me watching him, and wrapped an arm around my waist, pulling me to him. Oh, yeah, I forgot. Fang and I are a couple now. (A/N All together now, AWWWWW! Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

"Agh!! Nudge, that's disgusting! Ewww!" Iggy suddenly yelled. I whipped around to discover Nudge grinning evilly at a shocked and disgusted Iggy.

"She licked my hand! She licked me! Nudge if you liked me that much, you could have just told me." Iggy exclaimed.

Out of nowhere, Fang burst out laughing. Soon we were all rolling on the floor laughing at Iggy's expression.

"All right, now if you're all done laughing at my expense, can we please start the game?" Iggy asked venomously.

"Okay, Gazzy you can start." I told the Gasman.

Gazzy got an evil glint in his eyes that I had learned to fear the hard way. The hard way being getting my alarm clock blown up.

He turned to Fang and grinned. "Fang, truth or dare?"

"Dare." Fang said bravely.

"I dare you to go put on a pink shirt. And I know you have one, because Max bought you one for Christmas last year. Oh, and you have to wear it for the rest of the game."

Fang groaned, but slowly got up and went to put on the shirt.

"He's going to get you for that, you know." I told Gazzy ominously.

"Oh, I know. I just want to see him in something other than black." He said brightly.

Fang walked back in to the room then, and I burst out laughing. I had forgotten that the shirt had words on the front. It said, real men wear pink. Like Fang would ever say that.

"Enough with the laughing at me. It's just a shirt. Now, Iggy, truth or dare?" Fang asked.

"Truth." Iggy replied.

"Okay, what would your dream girl look like?" Fang asked after some thought.

"She'd be tall, with greenish blue eyes. Her hair would be blond, just a bit darker than Max's, and shoulder length. Her skin would be tanned, and she'd be pretty strong, for a human girl." Iggy said quietly.

We all gaped at him in astonishment. We definitely had not expected him to know that much about how he'd like his girlfriend to look. He must have thought about this before. Or maybe he had already met this girl…..Oh. That must be it. Our pyromaniac Iggy was lovesick. Interesting.

He seemed to snap out of the reverie he was in, and turned to Nudge, presumably for revenge. Nudge shrank back a bit from Iggy's positively evil expression. He definitely had something good, and Nudge was not going to like it.

"Nudge, truth or dare?" Iggy asked innocently.

"Dare." Nudge said meekly. (A/N I know that she would probably pick truth in this situation, but I had a good dare.)

"Nudge, I dare you to go dunk your head in the toilet. Your whole head." Iggy said. Yep. Definitely out for revenge.

Nudge moaned. "That's disgusting! Max, do I have to?" She whined.

"Yes, Nudge. You're not getting out of this one." I told her firmly.

She walked to the bathroom dejectedly. 5 minutes later, she came back with dripping wet hair.

"Oh. My. God. That was the most disgusting thing I have ever done. I hate you, Iggy." Nudge said unhappily.

"Well, you're the one who licked me. And look at the bright side, now it's your turn." Iggy supplied.

Nudge visibly brightened at remembering it was her turn. "Yay! Max, truth or dare?"

"Dare." What can I say, I think truth is wimpy.

"I dare you to kiss Fang." Nudge said. "On the lips!" She added hurriedly as I leaned towards Fang's cheek.

I changed course and pressed my lips to his. I could feel his longing as I leaned back. I gave him a look that said later, we can go as far as we want. He nodded.

I smiled and said to Angel, "Truth or dare, Angel?"

"Truth." She answered.

"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I asked her wryly. I already knew the answer to that question. I had been there, along with Fang and Iggy.

"Um, I think it was when we lived in Colorado at the "E" house. I got dressed and came out of my room for breakfast and then realized that I had forgotten to put on pants." Angel said, turning bright red.

We all laughed for a minute, and when we had caught our breath, Angel faced Gazzy and asked him, "Truth or dare?"

"Dare." Gazzy said. Poor Gazzy, he had been lured by the adorable face and had forgotten how diabolical his sister could be.

"I dare you to go put on one of Nudge's tank tops and a mini skirt."

Gazzy drew in a long breath in shock, then got up with Nudge to go change into one of her shirts and skirts. A couple minutes later he came back with a blacka nd white checkered skirt and a bubblegum pink tank top. In short, he looked like a fashion model gone wrong. It was hilarious.

"Miss America had better watch her back with you around, Gaz." Iggy choked out between laughs. (A/N I forgot to say that Angel has been sending him mind pictures of Fang and Gazzy)

Gazzy sent a glare in Iggy's direction, which of course was lost on him. Soon, after a couple more wisecracks and laughing spells, I told everyone to get to bed.

"Okay, Max." The three youngest chimed together.

Once they had left, I looked at Fang and Iggy. They looked back at me.

"Well? I thought I just told you to go to bed. What are you waiting for?" I asked impatiently.

"You're telling us to go to bed at the same time as the little kids? That's an insult to our age and status!" Iggy exclaimed, offended.

I internally banged my head against a wall. Stupid, immature, annoying, teenaged guys!

"Iggy and Fang. Have you two lost your minds? It's 12:00 pm! Suck up this "insult to your age and status" and get your butts to bed before I put them there permanently!" I growled.

Fang got up slowly and stretched. "Well, Iggy, we might as well go to bed as the hissy lady here said before she spazzes again and wakes up the younger kids, shall we?" He said very slowly and talked as if I wasn't standing right there.

"I suppose so, old chap. We don't want the hissy lady to ruin her pretty face snarling at us, either. Besides, I am a tad bit tired." Iggy responded, talking in a British accent.

I rolled my eyes at the two of them before following them down the hall. Fang turned into our room, and I started to follow him, before I rememberd that I wanted to talk to Iggy about his description of his dream girl.

"Iggy, can you come in our room for a minute? I want to talk to you about something." I whispered, because Gazzy was sleeping.

"Sure, Max." I could hear the surprise in his voice. He probably had no idea what I wanted to talk about.

Iggy POV

I was lost in my thoughts about my dream girl. The truth was, that girl was real. Well, sort of, at least. She was the star of my dreams every night. She came to me and talked to me in my dreams. The scary thing was, she told me she was a real person, and she had the power to come to people in their dreams. Possibly even more scary was that I was in love with her, and I hadn't even properly met her. I had given the best description of her I could during our game earlier. She wasn't very clear in my dreams. I remember the first night she talked to me…..

I was dreaming about blowing something up, when I heard a voice.

"Hello, Iggy." It said.

The voice was female, and if I concentrated, I could see a fuzzy figure walking towards me. It was getting clearer. Now I could see dark blond hair, tanned skin, and a tall body. Somewhere in the back of my mind I realized that whatever I had been blowing up was gone, and everything was white except for the form standing directly in front of me now. The girl was probably 14 or 15, maybe 16. Her hair waved down to her shoulders, and her eyes were a surprisingly pretty greenish blue. She was wearing a tank top and jeans. I noticed her arms were strong, and what I could see of her legs suggested the same thing. The way she held herself hinted at a strong fighter. Her face was very rounded, not in a fat kind of way, though, and her forehead was broad. Her mouth was curved up in a casual smile, with her hair tucked behind one ear. She was beautiful. Not in the absolutely perfect way, but more of a sweet prettiness that was beautiful in her own way. It was love at first sight. I would kill anything that hurt this girl.

"Who are you?" I asked incredulously.

"My name is for you to find out on your own. I am 14, just as you are. And I am not a figment of your imagination. I am as real as any of your flock. I live in Canada, and was recently mutated along with my best friend Natalca. I can enter people's dreams, and she can sense life forms near her. It is literally impossible to sneak up on her. I know from experience." She said with a laugh.

Suddenly a picture of a different very pretty girl filled my mind. Her hair was blond also, but with more brown. Her eyes were a striking emerald green, and her skin was more tanned. She was tall, but shorter than my mystery girl. She looked to be the same age, too, maybe a bit younger. Her hair went to her chin and framed her face nicely. She had a tank top and jeans, too. She looked strong, too, but not as strong as mystery girl. Her face was much more angular and smaller. She was smiling a smile that seemed to suggest that she knew something you didn't. She was beautiful, too. Also not in a perfect way, but in her own way different even from mystery girl. I felt a connection to this girl, similar to the way I felt about my flock, but not like I felt about mystery girl.

The image disappeared, and I was faced with my mystery girl again.

"That was Natalca. We are like sisters to each other, because neither of us have any family since they kidnapped us when we were 10. We have the same bond you do with your flock. We would both have died long ago if it weren't for each other. We have saved each other's lives many times over." She said.

I knew what it was like to lose your parents and not have any family. Only another orphan could have detected the note of bitterness when she spoke about her family.

"Why are you here?" I asked curiously.

"To warn you. You are no longer safe. The apocalypse is coming, and Natalca and I are part of the prophesied 8 that will stop it, along with you and your flock. Tomorrow morning we will start on our journey to your home. Then we can figure out the details of our situation and how to save the world. I know I probably seem like a crazy whacko, but you have to trust me. It is imperative to the world's survival. Now I will leave you to sleep and think about what I have told you after one last thing. This is your first clue to my name. It begins with an 's' and ends with an 'n'."

Then mystery girl had disappeard and I had fallen into a dreamless sleep for the rest of the night. She had continued to come to me every night since then, and that had been week ago. She had given me small clues as to her name, but I still hadn't gotten it. I hadn't even guessed, because the ones I came up with didn't fit her. We hadn't talked any more about the saving the world business, we just talked about our lives and our interests. Getting to know each other. She had told me the other part of the prophecy. It was that "one of the two would come together with one of the six". She told me that the best she could make of that "cryptic crap" (I like this girl more and more) was that either her or Natalca was destined to fall in love with one of the flock.

Max's voice brought me back out of dream land.

"Iggy, can you come into our room for a minute? I want to talk to you about

something." She whispered.

"Sure, Max." I whispered back. I had no idea what Max would want to talk to me about.

I walked across the hall into her and Fang's room. She sat down on the bed and pulled me down next to her. I did so. I could hear the shower running, so Fang must be taking a shower.

"Iggy….that girl you described earlier..she's real, isn't she?" Max asked softly.

What?? How could she know about my mystery girl?

"Yes, Max, she is real. And incredibly important to our and the world's survival. Can I wait to explain until Fang is here?" I answered her.

"Of course, Iggy."

As soon as Fang got out of the shower, Max told him to come listen to what I had to say. He sat down at the end of the bed, leaning against the footboard.

"Go ahead, Ig." Max told me.

I explained to them about the girl in my dreams and her friend Natalca. I told them about the prophecy. When I was done, they gaped at me in unmasked shock.

"Wow." Max finally choked out.

"How long ago was that, Iggy? When are they going to get here?" Fang asked, once he recovered.

"A week ago. I'll ask her tonight when they'll get here."

"Okay, Iggy. Thanks for telling us." Max said quietly.

I nodded and left their room. Once I was in my own bed beside Gazzy, I began using all my tricks to fall asleep. I really wanted to talk to the mystery girl. I was really actually pretty tired….

"Iggy? I'm back." She said.

"Hi. When are you going to get here?" I asked.

"About noon tomorrow."

If my eyes could widen in my sleep, they would be like ostrich eggs now.


"Uh-huh. Is that a problem?" I could hear anxiety in her voice.

"No! No, that will be fine. I just didn't expect you to get her so soon."

"Well, I should let you sleep now. It's pretty late. Here's your new clue. It's an Irish name, even though I'm Canadian."


"Bye, Iggy."

Well that's chapter one. Good? Bad? Okay? If you read this chapter, it would be great if you could tell me so I know how many people read it.

If you have any guesses as to the mystery girl's name, do tell. The first person to guess right gets the next chapter dedicated to them.

Come on, press the little pretty button that says "Review". It won't bite. Unless, of course, you are a mad scientist from the School. Then it will happily chew your head off.

Thanks for reading,


2. 2 Dreamwalker and Natalca

Onward with the second chapter! This chapter will have some proper Fax, and hopefully some humour.

Since no one guessed the mystery girl's name, this chapter is dedicated to XxNaomi-chanxX, my only reviewer. Thanks!

Disclaimer: No, not mine. I definitely don't have the skill to write those books and infatuate hundreds of teens around the world.

Syzygy Chapter 2

Max POV (After Iggy left)

"Well, that was interesting. Do you think we should trust his mystery girl and Natalca?" I asked Fang.

We were lying in our bed beside each other. Actually, I was about half beside him, and half on top of him. His arms pulled me closer into his side.

"I think..I think we should. I could see in the way Iggy was talking that him and the girl have gotten to know each other pretty well. And I could tell that Iggy believed everything he was telling us was true, including that they are to help us save the world. I also think that if we didn't trust them and left before they got here, Iggy would leave and go find them so he could be with his dreamwalker. I trust Iggy."

"Dreamwalker. That's a much better name than mystery girl. You have positively become a chatterbox lately. But I think you're right. If we are to save the world, they are going to be extremely helpful."

And that's when the Voice decided to make its debut appearance.

Hello, again, Maximum.

Voice. Welcome back. Are you going to actually going to degrade yourself so much as to help little old me?!

I'm going to ignore that sarcasm, Max. I'm actually here to talk to you about Dreamwalker and Natalca. You can trust them. They are just like you. Taken from their parents and mutated. Though I don't know exactly how they were mutated. But I do know that they hate the whitecoats as much as you do and want them dead as much as you do. You must take them in and treat them like they have been part of your flock since birth. And be prepared for rapid mutating when they get to you. Their closeness to your flock will have them mutating in ways unknown. Oh, and I know it seems like Dreamwalker is the leader of the two, but it is not so. They work together as team with no leader. Be careful not to talk as if Dreamwalker is the leader. Natalca will get severely ticked off.

I laid there in stunned silence for a long time. That was possibly more information than the Voice had ever given me before. It must be incredibly important that we trust them. Huh. Suddenly I was vaguely aware of a hand waving in front of my face.

"Max? Hello? Maximum Ride. This is earth to Maximum Ride. What's it like on the moon, Max?" Fang was saying.

"The Voice was talking to me."

"What did it say?"

I repeated exactly what the Voice had said.

"You know, all this thinking is making my brain hurt. Can we focus on something less stressful?" Fang asked softly, running his fingers down my cheek.

"Go for it." I whispered, before kissing him full on the mouth.

One of his hands was around my waist, pulling me on top of him. The other was on my neck, keeping my face to his. My hands knotted in his hair. Fang's lips were so soft and sweet. I loved him so much. Fang rolled over so that he was on top of me, and I could feel his body press against me. We stopped for a minute to get his shirt off and, let me tell you, that made my day.


I jumped, and Fang rolled off me.

"Max? What's wrong? Did I bite your lip again?" Fang asked me frantically.

I would have laughed at the memory if I still wasn't so in shock at the Voice's volume and what I could swear was anger. We had been deep in a make out session, when Fang had accidentally bit my lip. I'd never let him hear the end of it. I shook my head at Fang's question.

Voice? What did I do? I called tentatively. I had not forgotten the horrible brain attacks it could give me.

I'm not really angry, Max. I just needed to get you to stop. Tomorrow is an eventful day, and it's 1:30 now. Go to sleep now, Maximum.

"The Voice wants us to stop and go to sleep now.

"Humph. Okay." Fang faked irritation and laid down beside me.

Now that I think about it, I was actually pretty tired………..

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!

I woke up to the incredibly irritating beeping sound of my alarm clock. I groaned and turned it off. It was 9:30. I rolled out of bed and gave Fang a kick to get him moving.

"Get up, you lazy lump. We have to go get groceries before lunch time." I told him firmly.

He just moaned and put a pillow over his head. I went over and pulled the blind open, letting the sun shine right in his face. I ripped the pillow out of hands and gave him another not so gentle kick.

"All right, all right, I'm up, hissy lady." Fang grumbled, trying to annoy me by using my name from the night before.

"Now, if you two are done flirting, can I come in?" Iggy asked from outside the door.

"We are not flirting!" Fang and I yelled at the same time.

I saw the doorknob twist and frantically gestured for Fang to put on a shirt. No need for others to know what we did at night. Even though Iggy was blind, you could never be too safe.

"Oh, Iggy we came up with a name for your mystery girl. Dreamwalker. It's obviously not her real name, but it's better than mystery girl." I told him as he walked in.

"Hey. I like that. Anyway, she told me last night that she'll be getting here around noon today." Iggy said.

"Today?!" Fang and I exclaimed.

"Yup. So I think we should try and clean up the house a bit, don't you think?" Iggy asked brightly.

"Clean the house? You can't even see the dirt, Iggy!" I said, confused.

"He can't, but Dreamwalker and Natalca can. He wants to impress them." Fang explained.

"I will never understand the male gender. I should have given up long ago. But whatever, Iggy. If you want to clean the house, that's fine by me." I told him, exasperated.

"Thanks for offering your help, Max, I'm honoured!" Iggy sais sarcastically. "Hey, Fang, do you think I can borrow your laptop? I want to research names starting with 's'."

"Sure, Ig. I'll tell you what it says." Fang replied, taking the laptop of the bedside table.

Iggy POV

Hooray! Fang was going to help me figure out Dreamwalker's name! I really wanted to surprise her with knowing it when they got here. I was sure I would know it was her name when I heard it. Max had gone to the grocery store after grumbling about Fang not coming to help her carry the bags. I told her that my cause for Fang was much more important. She looked at me like I was crazy.

"Okay, here's a few. Saffron, Saralyn, Shaelyn." Fang read aloud.

Saffron? Definitely not. Saralyn? Close. Shaelyn? Don't think so.

"Nope. Anymore?" I asked.

"Um……Oh, here's one." When Fang said the name, I knew I had found my dreamwalker's name. It fit her perfectly.

"That's it! Thank you so much, Fang! I owe you one!" I shouted as I ran out the room.

As I ran past mine and Gazzy's room, I stopped and asked him what time it was.

"10:30. Iggy, what's the rush?" he asked curiously.

"I'll tell you later, when Max gets back." I promised him.

Wow, we'd been on the computer for a while. Right now I had to find Angel and tell her not to say anything to the others about Dreamwalker and Natalca. Yes, I'm going to keep calling her Dreamwalker until she gets here. I want it to be a surprise for everyone, except Fang, obviously. I want Max to tell everyone else about the two newcomers, because if Fang and I try, we'll screw everything up like the male non-leaders we are.

There was Angel, sitting on the couch, waiting for me. (A/N She would know he was coming because she would read his mind. Not because she can suddenly see the future. Sorry, just wanted to get that out there.) I could hear her breathing patterns.

"Angel! Please, don't say anything to Nudge and Gazzy about Dreamwalker and Natalca." I said bluntly.

"Okay, Iggy. I'll try to keep it a secret." She answered quietly.

"Thanks, Angel." I gave her forehead a quick kiss, and left to go clean my room. I didn't want Dreamwalker and Natalca thinking we were a group of pigs.

An hour later, 11:30, I heard the front door open. Max was back. I had been listening to music, but we had to tell Nudge and Gazzy about the newcomers, so I walked down to meet her in the kitchen.

"Max! It's 11:30, and Nudge and Gazzy have no idea what's happening." I told her.

She exclaimed a quick swear before hollering down the hall, "Flock meeting! Get into the living room, pronto!"

Fang poked his head out of their room and said, "Over-dramatic much, Max? Sheesh. You sound like the sky is falling."

"Maybe it is, Fang. It doesn't matter now. Just get over here." Max told him.

Fang walked down the hall followed by a very wary looking flock. Haha! They thought they were in trouble for something!

"Whatever it is Max, I had nothing to do with it, I swear!" Nudge said. I could tell she was scared.


"No one did anything, Nudge. I just have something to tell everyone. Well, no, more like you and Gazzy." I reassured Nudge.

Everyone sat down in the living room, and I began telling them about Dreamwalker and and Natalca. When I was finished, the three youngest gaped at me, Angel included. She must not have gotten the whole story.

"Max, why did Dreamwalker come to Iggy? Why not you? You're the leader, after all." Nudge asked me slowly.

"Huh. That's a very good question. Do you know, Iggy?" I asked, turning to Iggy.

"Yeah, I asked her that one night and she said that she felt like Max had enough to stress about already, and too many people in her head. She could have gone to Fang, but decided he probably wouldn't like that. She didn't want to burden the younger kids, so she came to me." Iggy explained.

"But how did she know I had a Voice in my head, and how did she know Fang wouldn't want her in his head?" I asked, totally confused.

"They were mutated at a School in Canada, and all the Schools know about us. She had a mind reading friend there, and he heard what the scientists were thinking. That's how she knows about the prophecy, and all about us." Iggy explained again.

"Interesting. Well, we should probably go outside and wait for them, now that everyone knows about them." I said, going into leader mode.

A School in Canada? Were they everywhere?

Yes, Maximum. There are 3 in every continent, evenly distributed between countries. So in North America, there is one in the USA, one in Canada, and one in Mexico. The voice supplied.

We walked outside to wait on the porch. It was not even 15 minutes before Angel exclaimed excitedly, "I can hear their minds. They're thinking that they are 10 minutes away!"

Everyone was visibly more excited after that outburst, even Fang. We wanted to meet these new members of our flock already, and we weren't the best in the department of patience. Iggy was listening intently, trying to hear footsteps, or a car motor. Dreamwalker never told him how they were travelling. Fang was sitting on the porch railing, swinging his feet impatiently. I was pacing back and forth, all but pulling my hair out. Nudge was literally bouncing up and down, searching the horizon, looking for a car, or the human figures we were so desperately awaiting. Gazzy was flying up in the air, using up his energy that way. Angel was the only one sitting quietly, because she was listening to their thoughts.

Finally, finally, we could see two forms jogging towards us from the north. We all unfolded our wings and flew over as fast as our wings would take us.

When we landed in front of them, we could easily tell from Iggy's description which was Dreamwalker, and which was Natalca. They were just as he had described, and just as pretty. I pitied all the female flock members, myself included.

Dreamwalker stepped forward and held out a hand to me. "Hello, Max. We've been waiting a long time to meet you." She said, smiling.

I shook her hand, and then Natalca stepped forward beside Dreamwalker. "Hi. I'm Natalca, obviously."

I shook her hand, too. The atmosphere seemed kind of tense, as if everyone didn't know what to do. At least that's how it was until Angel bounced forward and looked up at Dreamwalker. Dreamwalker knelt down so they were eye to eye.

"Hi, I'm Angel! I can read minds!" She said brightly.

"Hi, Angel. It's nice to meet you." Dreamwalker responded, giving Angel a hug, which Angel returned happily.

Gazzy then walked up to Natalca, and hugged her. Natalca seemed surprised, but willing to hug him back.

"I think it's cool that you had a little brother! I'd like a little brother, too." He said, smiling up at her with all his little 8 year old charm.

"You know, little brothers aren't as cool as you think they are. Mine annoyed me to no end. But I still do miss him, so I guess he couldn't have been all bad." Natalca told him, smiling.

Those two conversations had erased all the tension. Everyone began talking to Dreamwalker and Natalca at the same time.

As we walked back to the house, walking because Dreamwalker and Natalca were exhausted from walking all the way from Canada, Dreamwalker turned to Iggy and asked, "Any guesses as to my name yet, Iggy? You haven't even guessed yet."

"I know what your name is. Your name is Shannon." Iggy said with a triumphant smile.

Good? Bad? Okay? Reviews are fantastic!!

3. 3 Wings

This chapter is dedicated to bookworm () because they were the only one who guessed Shannon's name. They guessed Sharon.

It has been brought to my attention that I should tell you fantastic readers what the title means. Syzygy is a real word. It means 'conjunction of opposites'. How that ties into the story, is for me to know and you to find out. Hehehe. *Smiles evilly*

Disclaimer: If you still think I'm a middle aged man, try calling this number: 1-800-therapist.

Syzygy Chapter 3

Iggy POV

"I know what your name is. Your name is Shannon." I said triumphantly.

I had the fantastic experience of hearing Shannon's sharp intake of breath. She was shocked, I could tell. I heard another gasp, coming from Natalca.

"How? How did you know?" Shannon asked, still in shock.

"I just know these things." I told her, smirking.

She hit my arm, knowing I wasn't telling her something.

"He went on the Internet and searched female names starting with 's'. Apparently, he just knew when he had found the right name. He said it fit you perfectly." Fang explained, that little betrayer.

"Traitor." I muttered, too low for Shannon and Natalca to hear.

Or so I thought.

Shannon and Natalca laughed, and Natalca managed to say through her laughter, "At least he tells the truth!"

We (the rest of the flock) stopped dead. We stared at them. We weren't used to people being able too hear as well as us. It didn't help that we hadn't known if their senses were as sharp as ours. Apparently they were.

"What?" Natalca asked warily. "Did we sprout horns or something?"

"You…you could hear Iggy say that?" Max asked them incredulously.

"Of course. Our senses are as good as yours." Shannon said, surprised.

As Max, Fang, and I digested this, the little kids accepted it immediately. We neared the house, and soon we were sitting inside, talking about our lives.

"Iggy said that you could sense life forms around you. Can you explain that a bit? Wow, I sound like a reporter." Max turned to Natalca.

"Yeah, I just close my eyes and all these red forms appear in the shape of whatever living things are near me. That includes plants. Like if I close my eyes now," she closed her eyes, "I can see the silhouettes of 7 people around me, and a mouse behind that baseboard, and a plant in the corner. And the whole forest and beyond." Natalca opened her eyes and continued. "It's very handy when you're in fear of being snuck up on all the time. By Erasers and so called 'friends' with water balloons." She gave Shannon a meaningful look.

Shannon just snickered and explained to everyone, "My power is being able to enter and manipulate people's dreams, as Iggy has experienced. I can talk to anyone who is asleep on this continent, plus show them images or make them have a nightmare or give them a happy dream if they are having a nightmare. It may come in handy if I can manage to scare all the scientists at the school with a horrible nightmare." When she said my name, she smiled and lifted my hand to her face so I could tell. My hand lingered there maybe longer than necessary. How I wished I could see her face. Natalca, too.

While my hand was still on her face, Shannon fell to the ground with a shriek of pain. Natalca soon followed with a pained shout.

"What's going on? What's happening?" I asked, in a panic.

Angel quickly sent me a thought 'video' of what was happening, so I could understand. Their backs were arched off the ground, and they were clutching their stomachs.

"What the hell is happening to them?!" I yelled.

Max suddenly leaped forward and grabbed Natalca, and Fang followed her lead by grabbing Shannon and racing out the door to the porch outside. They set the two girls down and stepped back.

Max quickly told us what was happening. "Their nearness to us is causing them to mutate and become like birds, like us. They're growing wings, the Voice tells me."

They were growing wings? Cool! That would have been my first thought had I not been so worried. This wasn't exactly a medical procedure practiced all over the world that was totally safe. This was probably the first time someone had actually grown wings rather than having them from birth, like us. So much could go wrong. They could die if-

"Iggy, they won't die. Don't worry." Angel murmured, taking my hand.

I would have believed her if she could actually have known this. Worried thoughts continued to circulate around in my head until Max whispered, "Look."

She pointed to Shannon's back, where two little wing tips were poking out. They continued to sprout out of her body until they were 13 and a half feet long. She groaned and made me crazy, hearing her pain. Soon, the same wing tips were coming out of Natalca's back. They, too, soon grew to be 13 and a half feet long. Both sets of wings were pure white, whiter than Angel's, if that's even possible.

"Now the colour will come." Max said, obviously quoting her Voice.

Sure enough, Shannon's wings were turning a light dusty orange, then got brighter and brighter until they were a gorgeous rusty red colour. Then Natalca's turned cream, then a yellowish cream, then beige, then yellowy beige, almost like honey. They were beautiful. By now, Shannon's rusty red feathers had very small dapples and streaks of black and white. If the light hit the feathers right, they turned the colour of fire. Natalca's feathers now had the same very small black and white streaks. When the light hit them, they looked like honey with gold hints.

Slowly, very slowly, Shannon and Natalca got up and stared at their new wings in absolute awe and astonishment. For a full 5 minutes, they stared at each other's and their own wings, stretching them and folding them, trying to get used to them. It was a good thing Max and Fang had taken them outside where they couldn't knock anything over. They had lost all sense of balance, as if they had just spun around in circles and were dizzy.

Finally, Natalca managed to say weakly, "Um, wow."

Shannon laughed and said to her, "You just grew flippin' wings, and allyou can say is 'Wow'?"

Natalca nodded and said, "Yeah, pretty much. So, anybody want to teach us too fly?"

Fang POV

"Yeah, pretty much. So, anybody want to teach us to fly?" Natalca asked.

I looked at Max and shared a look with her. Oh Dear God. It had taken forever to learn to fly, and it hadn't been pretty. I sure hoped had a big first aid kit.

Max volunteered, and I followed suit. Iggy said he'd go make lunch for the younger kids, and then come out o the porch and watch. Well, the others would watch. He would listen to them scream when they started falling, because they surely would. Then Max or I would have to swoop down and catch them. Joy! (Sarcasm there, folks!)

Soon Max was explaining how to take off. Taking off was the hardest.

"Max, why don't we just carry them up there, then let them fly? We can teach them to take off after." I suggested.

"Okay, good idea, Fang." Max grabbed Natalca, and I grabbed Shannon.

I could hear Iggy gritting his teeth as I held her. He was jealous. Leave it to Iggy to be jealous because I was carrying her. Jeez. I mean I liked Shannon and Natalca a lot, they were smart and strong. But not at all like I liked Max. She was special. That reminds me of what I have to do later…(A/N it's nothing bad, don't worry.)

"Okay, now Fang is going to let go, and you have to snap out your wings and flap like crazy. Don't worry about falling, he'll catch you if you start falling." Max was telling Shannon. I guess Shannon had volunteered to go first, so they could watch each other. Crap, I had zoned out again.

"1…2….3!" Max counted.

On three, I let go of Shannon completely. She let out a yelp, then snapped out her wings before she fell too far. She flapped her wings madly, her eyes wide as saucers. I guess to someone who wasn't used to being this high, this was pretty high. Pretty soon she got the hang of it, and started to actually try steering, instead of concentrating on not going SPLAT on the ground. She tilted her body, thinking that was how to turn. Not so.

"You have to dip your right wing to turn right, left to turn left!" I called to her.

She did as I instructed, and made a perfect turn. I gaped. Yes, me, the emotional rock, was showing a heck of a lot of emotion. She shouldn't be able to do that. She should be plummeting to Earth right now, me racing after her. Not even Max or I had done that well our first time. Apparently, she was a born flier. She was also past her fear.

"This is so cool!" Shannon yelled, ecstatic.

"Okay, now do what I do!" I shouted to her.

I flew off really fast, Shannon racing after me, blond hair streaming out behind her. I dove suddenly, and she overshot it a bit, before diving after me. I looked over my shoulder, and laughed at her face. Her eyes were wide again, but she was smiling so widely I just knew she was having more fun now than she had ever had before. I levelled out and made a very sharp pinwheel turn. Shannon followed my path perfectly, if a bit wobbly. I barrel rolled, and I could see she was a bit scared to try that. I called encouragement back to her, and she tried it and did it without even falling a foot.

"Now let's see if you can land!" I yelled over my shoulder, Shannon nodding in assent a fair ways behind me, giving me space so she could see how to do it.

I dove downward, and at the last second pulled up and extended my legs in front of me, landing without a scrape.

Shannon hesitated a bit, but soon decided she trusted me to catch her. She dove as fast as I had, and pulled up a little too soon, but that was easy to understand, and stumbled a bit when her feet hit the ground, also very understandable.

"Want to go back up and watch Natalca?" I asked.

She nodded. I stepped forward to pick her up again, but she shook her head.

"I want to try by myself." She said.

I nodded and took a running start before leaping into the air and flying up. Shannon followed, definitely not perfectly, but reasonably well. It hit me again how she shouldn't be that good at flying already. She should have fallen many times by now. We sure did when we learned to fly.

When we reached Natalca and Max, Shannon said to Natalca, "It's 100 times more fun than it looks, and not as hard as it looks."

Max counted to 3 again and let Natalca drop. Natalca yelped just as Shannon had, then flapped as fast as she could, looking at the ground like it was full of Natalca-eating monsters. No, that was exaggerating. But she looked as scared as Shannon had been. Pretty soon she had flapping down pat, and she attempted a turn. Her turn was flawless. What the heck was with these two?! It was as if they had been born to fly. Max did the whole follow the leader bit again, and Natalca followed Max's movements as well as Shannon had followed mine. Shannon and I went down with them as they landed, Natalca landing pretty well.

Iggy POV

Max and Fang volunteered to teach Natalca and Shannon to fly, for which I was grateful. I wasn't too keen on repeatedly racing after the two of them, and hearing them scream and being worried I'd miss them because I'm blind. But I wasn't too keen on Fang carrying Shannon, either. I gritted my teeth in annoyance. Anyway, now I was inside making quesadillas for everyone. I folded the very last one and hurried out to the porch so Gazzy could tell me how the flying lessons were going.

"Shannon just landed. She didn't fall once, not even when she did a barrel roll. We weren't that good when we first learned. Now her and Fang are going back up to watch Natalca. Max let Natalca go. She's flapping really fast. Now she's turning. Okay, Max is playing follow the leader like Fang did with Shannon. Max is going really fast, and Natalca's keeping up with her pretty well. Now they're diving. Pinwheel turn. Barrel roll. Landing. Wow. Natalca didn't fall once, either. Her landing was pretty good. Oh, looks like they're coming back over now." Gazzy told me, giving me the play-by-play.

"Hi, Iggy! What did you make? It sure smells good." Shannon said, inhaling deeply.

"Quesadillas. Have you had quesadillas before?" I asked, trying to strike up a conversation.

"What the heck is a quesadilla?" Natalca and Shannon asked in synchronization.

My head whipped back and forth between where I thought the two of them were. "Did you plan that or something? Jeez."

"We think a lot a like sometimes. And other times we couldn't think more differently and try to take each other's head off." Shannon told me brightly.

Natalca snickered and then said, "That is so true. We're having a good day today. Usually we'd be arguing heatedly about something or other by now."

I chuckled at their casual banter and then answered the original question, more or less.

"This is a quesadilla." I said, waving their plates under their noses before setting them down on the porch table, where we were eating lunch.

"It looks edible." Natalca said slowly, playing with me.

"It smells edible." Shannon said just as slowly, playing along with Natalca.

"I don't hear a fuse about to blow up." Natalca drawled.

"I don't feel any disturbing things coming from it." Shannon said warily.

"Shall we risk our lives, and taste the blind guy's concoction?" Natalca asked Shannon.

"I say we do it." Shannon said after much "thought".

They picked a piece up and put it in their mouths, chewing slowly and then swallowing. They looked at each other and nodded.

"It tastes edible, too." They said together, hurriedly eating the rest of their quesadillas.

Everyone laughed at their little show, and then began eating. After everyone was done eating, I cleared the plates and took them to the kitchen, along with Shannon.

"Thank you for lunch, Iggy. It was delicious." She said, then leaned up and kissed me before walking out of the room.

Duh duh duh. How was that chapter? Reviews are absolutely fantastic. Sorry about the lack of Fax. Next chapter will have lots of fax, I promise. Don't kill me, I'm to young to die!

4. 4 Love, Movies, and Sight

I want to warn you, I will not be updating as much during the week. You may get 1-2 chapters out of me. On the weekends, though, that's a different story.

Thank you to all my lovely reviewers.

Alex Ride

NOtalka ()




Disclaimer: Not mine. Got the idea yet? Yes? Good. I will no longer be writing this.

Syzygy Chapter 4

Shannon POV

OH MY FREAKING GOD! I just kissed Iggy. Kissed him. What's he going to think about me now? What have I done?

I was pretty much hyperventilating while I searched for Max. Yes, me, Shannon, hyperventilating. It does happen. That's sarcasm for ya, people!

I stopped in front of Max and Fang's room, and knocked. I had heard stories of Max walking in on Fang changing from Nudge. I did not relish the thought of doing the same thing.

"Come in." Fang called.

Fang. Darn it. I had wanted to talk to Max alone. Oh well. I pushed the door open and walked inside.

"Hey, Shannon. What's up?" Max asked me with a smile. I guess she was still going out of her way a bit to make Natalca and I at home. On that note, where the heck is Natalca? Oh well, I'll find her later.

"Um." I said nervously, glancing at Fang.

"Oh, uh, I'll go help Iggy wash the dishes." Fang said, understanding that I wanted to tlk to Max.

"Wow, there's something you don't see everyday." Max said.

I raised an eyebrow at her.

"Fang volunteered to wash dishes. Usually I have to force him to do chores." She laughed.

I laughed nervously, still standing by the door.

"Okay, what's up with you?" Max asked gently. She gestured for me to sit beside her on the bed.

I sat down, then stared at the wall. Max waited for me to start talking.

"Max…how did you tell Fang you loved him?" I blurted.

Oh, crap. Smooth, Shanny, smooth. It came out totally sounding like I had a crush on someone. Which I did, but I wasn't going to tell her that right away.

"Iggy, isn't it?" Max asked slyly, ignoring the question.

"Maybe." I mumbled, looking at the floor. I wasn't blushing, at least.

"That's great, Shannon. Iggy's always been alone. He's never had a girlfriend before. And don't worry about him not liking you. He loves you. I know that for a fact. It was so obvious when he told Fang and I about you and Natalca. He talked about you like you were some forgotten goddess. If for some reason we hadn't trusted you, and had left before you came, Iggy would have left to go find you two."

"Really? Thanks, Max."

"Of course. I'm not going to let my sister's love life fall apart just because you're not sure he likes you. Sheesh, do you really think I'm that mean?" She replied, smiling.

I smiled back at her, and told her wholeheartedly, "You are not mean. Far from it."

I turned and left the room, still glowing on the inside, for two reasons. One, the main reason, Iggy loves me!!! Two, Max called me her sister. That made me feel a lot more at home.

I ran into Fang on the way down the hall. He smiled and said, "Someone's happy."

"No, I'm miserable." I said sarcastically.

"Iggy likes you. A lot. I was just talking to him about you."

"Thanks, Fang."

Iggy POV

Fang had said that he could tell Shannon liked me. That sure made me happy, let me tell you. But then he said that Max and him were going into town on Saturday to go for supper and watch a movie, and that he thought I should invite Shannon and make it a 'double date. Heck, if Natalca found someone in two days, she could join the party too!' (He's quoting Fang.) But I don't have the guts to ask her on a date. I mean, all I have to go on is Fang's instinct.

I heard Shannon's footsteps, yes I had memorized her footsteps, turn into her and Natalca's room. Then I heard running footsteps coming down the hall to my room. Max barrelled through the door and tackled me.

"You will ask her out! I will make you! She was just talking to me about you. She loves you, too, Iggy!" Max growled.

"All right, all right! I'll go ask her now, if you'd be so kind as to let me up, your Highness." I told her sarcastically.

Max let me up and then watched me walk to Shannon's room. My palms were already sweating. Oh god, oh god, what if she says no? What if Natalca's in there? I found myself hoping desperately that Natalca was in there, so I wouldn't have to ask her. I knocked on her door, and Shannon called out, "Come on in."

I walked in and heard only Shannon's quiet breaths, which were suddenly getting faster. Weird. But no Natalca, damn you, Natalca, why'd you pick now to disappear?!

"Oh, hi Iggy." She said awkwardly. She was probably remembering lunch.

"Um, listen, Shannon, Max and Fang are going on a date Saturday, and I was wondering if maybe you'd like to go with me and make it a double date?" I asked in a rush.

There's no going back now, Iggy. Make the most of it. I told myself that over and over.

"Sure, Iggy. I'd love to go with you." She answered happily.

I found myself walking towards her. Subconciously, I realized what I was doing. I leaned down and kissed her, right on the mouth. Her lips moved against mine softly, and I breathed in her scent. I pulled away, and wished desperately I could see her face. I wanted to see the beautiful smile I knew would be spreading across her face. Oh, why did I have to be blind?

Suddenly there was something hard against my back, and it felt like carpet. Then I blacked out. The last thing I heard was Shannon shouting my name in fear.

Agh! That was the first thing I thought when I came to. My eyes, they were on fire! owowowowowowowow!

Then I heard Angel's voice say, "He's awake."

"Iggy? Iggy, can you hear me?" Shannon was saying gently.

I groaned in response.

"I'm going to take that as a yes." Max said.

The pain was fading, and I decided I could talk without screaming.

"What the heck happened?" I asked hoarsely.

"Well, first, open your eyes." Shannon told me excitedly.

I realized my eyes were closed. I opened them, and shouted out in absolute shock. I COULD SEE!!!!!

"I can see!!" I yelled happily. "How did this happen?"

Max explained this time. "Well, Angel says the last thing you thought was how much you wished you could see. Shannon was apparently thinking the same thing. We think the combination of your desire to see, and Shannon wanting you to see, brought on Shannon's new power. She can heal wounds."

I looked at Shannon, who was bending over me, smiling happily. "Am I ever glad I fell in love with you." I told her.

She smiled, and the others all exclaimed, "Awwww!"

I looked around taking in what everyone looked like. Angel, Gazzy, Nudge, Max, Fang, Shannon…where was Natalca?

I voiced my question, and suddenly the mood went grim.

"We don't know. We haven't gone looking yet, because you passed out. But now that you're okay…" Shannon trailed off.

"Yes, of course, go!" I told her. She was obviously really worried. This must not be Natalca's normal behaviour. Shannon smiled gratefully and ran out the door, Max and Fang going with her.

"Not at all. She wouldn't leave without telling someone, and she likes us, so why would she go anywhere?" Angel filled me in.

"You don't think she got kidnapped?" I asked, concerned.

No one answered.


The three of us took off and soared up high where we could see the surrounding land.

"Over there! I think that's Natalca. There's someone with her." Fang and I followed Shannon's gaze.

"Let's land and go meet them on foot. We don't know if this person knows about our wings or not." I ordered, going into you-better-listen-or-else mode.

Fang and Shannon nodded. We landed in a clearing not far from the Natalca and the unknown person. We ran to intersect them, and soon found them. Standing together was Natalca and a 14 or 15 year old boy. The boy had blond hair, and was pretty tall. His eyes were blue, and he was talking to Natalca, who was pointing in the direction of the house. Then they noticed us. I was incredibly tempted to make a smart remark involving the words "lovebirds" and "couple", but I refrained, because Shannon was rushing forward to stand in front of Natalca.

"Natalca! Where have you been?" She cried.

"I went for a walk in the forest, and found Curtis." She said. This was obviously a cover up story. Under her breath she added, to low for Curtis to hear, "I sensed him walking around in the forest. It seemed like he was lost, so I went to help him. We…got talking."

Shannon gave a nod and turned to Curtis. "So, what were you doing here?"

"I was going for a walk, too, and got lost. Natalca found me and was giving me directions when you showed up." Curtis explained.

He seemed nice enough, but it took a fair bit for me to trust a person. Once Curtis was on his way, I got everyone moving.

"Okay, well, it's going to get dark soon, we should get a move on. This way." I said briskly.

Everyone followed me, and it really was getting dark. Eventually we made it to the house. We all sat down in the living room. Iggy included, but we were going to find out what happened with Natalca first, then tell her about Iggy.

Natalca POV

Once I got rid of that Curtis jerk, we all sat down in the living room. I felt really bad about disappearing like that, but I couldn't get that guy to stop hitting on me!

"So, Natalca, what exactly happened?" Max asked me.

"I was still outside on the porch, by myself, and I could sense that jerk out in the forest. He seemed lost, so I decided to go see if I could help. At that time I didn't know he was such an idiot. He kept hitting on me, and I was trying to tell him that I didn't like him, but he just wasn't getting it. Then you showed up."

"Since when did he become a jerk? He seemed nice enough." Shannon said.

"Yeah, keyword: seemed. He was all sweet when you guys came along, but he wasn't very nice to me." I retorted.

"Your hair looks very nice today, Natalca." Iggy suddenly said. Everyone suppressed laughter.

"Thanks." Then I realized who I was talking to, and that his eyes were focusing on me. "You can see!" I exclaimed.

"I developed healing powers." Shannon explained.

"Really? Cool. That's great for you, Iggy." I smiled.

Then Nudge piped up. "And Shannon and Iggy are together now!"

"Oh, really? Well, Shannon, you've finally scored!" I laughed.

Shannon hit me upside the head, and I, not to be outdone, whacked her with a cushion. She, being Shannon, did not just take the hit like a lady. Oh, noooo. She had to hit me right back. Soon it escalated into a full out pillow fight, involving everyone.


I walloped Shannon's face.

"You should start running now, sister dear." She informed me. I recognized that glint I her eye. It meant, I know something you don't, and you aren't going to like it.

I turned and sprinted for the door, Shannon racing after me. I saw her whip something out of her pocket, and I gasped and ran for my life. She had a water gun. Oh, jeez. I felt a stream of water hit my back, and I yelled bloody murder back at her. I ran out the front door, and zoomed around the corner of the house. A hose. Bwahahaha. I grabbed it and turned the water on. Shannon was screeching around the corner, and I turned pointed the hose at her and squeezed the trigger. When I let go, she was standing there with a mixture of shock and rage. Mostly the latter. Maybe I should stop laughing and get a move on…nah. She looked to funny for me to start running away. That was what I thought before she started yelling. Once she started yelling, I thought, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh CRAP! She's going to kill me!

I ran away as fast as I could, Shannon right behind me. I rounded the second corner and then felt a whole lot of water soak me completely. I looked up and saw Angel laughing maniacally. Shannon had tricked me. While she had stood there, supposedly shocked, she had been telling Angel to get a bucket of water to pour on me from the window. Laughter erupted from behind me, and I turned to see Shannon laughing her head off at me. Then I started laughing at her. She was just as wet as I was. I went over to her and held up my hands in truce. She nodded, and I told her my plan. She grinned her evil grin.

10 minutes later, we raced back into the house with our arms loaded with water balloons. We soaked everyone, and then Max went and got her camera from it's safe place on the couch. She had been taking pictures of everyone during the pillow fight and water fight. Well more like water slaughter. (A/N hey, that rhymes)

She showed us the pictures. There was one of Iggy smashing a pillow into Fang's face, and one of me whacking Shannon. Then Shannon whacking me. Angel hitting Gazzy. Iggy hitting Nudge. Me sprinting out of the house, Shannon spraying me with her water gun. Shannon getting soaked by my trusty hose and moi. Moi getting soaked by that little traitor, Angel, with Shannon laughing in the background. Then Shannon and I attacking everyone with our artillery of water balloons. I smiled sadly as I looked at them. This was more fun than Shannon and I had ever had, next to flying. It was really pretty sad. Shannon saw the look on my face and nodded. She knew what I was thinking, and agreed.


As I was showing everyone the pictures, I thought about how little alone time Fang and I had had recently. Not much. I would have to fix that tonight.

"Angel, Gazzy, Nudge, bed time." I said firmly.

They groaned but obeyed, getting up and trudging down the hall to their rooms. That left Fang, Iggy, Natalca, Shannon, and me.

"Well, guys, should we watch a movie or something?" I asked them.

I got a variety of yes's and sure's and okay's and one shoulder shrug. Guess who that was. If you guessed Fang, ding ding ding ding ding! You won nothing! Congratulations.

"Thanks for all that enthusiasm, Fang!" I said sarcastically, rolling my eyes.

"Your welcome, Max. Glad to know I please you." He answered.

I sighed and went to the movie shelf. There was a shelf labelled "Ella" and one labelled "Mom". I decided to go with the Ella shelf. I scanned the titles, looking for something that sounded interesting.

"Anyone know what Twilight is?" I asked. I read the back, and it sounded decent.

Shannon's and Natalca's heads snapped around to stare at me.

"You…you haven't heard of Twilight?" Shannon stuttered out. Natalca just gaped at me as if I was insane.

"Uh, no. Should I?" I asked, confused.

"Yeah, it just came out, and it's pretty darn popular. Shannon and I are obsessive over it. We must have read the books at least 7 times, but we've never watched the movie, since we're always on the run and can't exactly lug a TV all over the place." Natalca enlightened me.

"Well, okay, let's watch it." I decided.

I popped in the DVD player, and then went to the couch and plopped down in Fang's lap. Shannon was sitting snuggled up with Iggy, who couldn't stop staring at her since he could actually see her now.

Natalca sighed and leaned back in a recliner. I guess she was probably feeling lonely. Shannon heard and pursed her lips, but didn't move.

I felt Fang's arms wrap around me and I turned my head and kissed his cheek. I saw Iggy tighten his grip on Shannon, and she pressed herself closer into his side. The opening credits began, and we started to focus on the movie.

One and a half hours later, the movie ended. It was a fantastic story. I loved it. Natalca and Shannon evidently agreed with me. The boys, I'm afraid, were a lost cause. They didn't understand what was happening, and didn't care enough to ask.

"Well, it's 11:30. Should we go to bed now?" I asked Fang. He nodded.

"Fang and I are going to bed." I announced to no one in particular.

Shannon and Natalca said they would go to bed, too, and Iggy decided to turn in as well, rather than be up by himself. As Fang and I walked away, I turned and saw Iggy kiss Shannon goodnight. He pulled away, and they smiled at each other. I grinned. They were so cute together. I did feel bad for Natalca, though. She had to be lonely. She was such a good kid, I was sure she'd find someone soon.

Fang brought me out of my own little world by waving his hand in front of my face.

"Maaax. Come back to the present, please." He was saying.

I shook my head and grinned. "I was just thinking how cute Iggy and Shannon are together."

"I agree."

I walked over to my bag and grabbed my pajamas, and Fang grabbed his. I faced the wall, and so did he. I was still pulling my shirt over my head when I heard him climb into the bed. I turned around and walked over to him. I was going to climb over him to my side, but he grabbed my wrist and pulled me down on top of him. He wrapped his arms around my waist and I put mine around his neck. I belatedly realized he didn't have a shirt on. Aha. That was how he changed so fast. I put my finger on his bare chest and raised an eyebrow.

"What? It's more comfortable without a shirt." He explained.

I rolled my eyes but let it drop. He pulled my mouth back to his. I felt his tongue run along my lip, and I opened my mouth. I felt his tongue come in my mouth slowly, then he started exploring. I laughed, he tasted like quesadillas. Bad idea, I almost choked on his tongue. He pulled away and looked at me.

"You taste like quesadillas." I told him.

"And you think you don't?" He retorted.

I laughed and he rolled over so he was over me.

"No choking this time." He ordered.

"Yes, sir!" I replied.

He rolled his eyes but resumed where we left off.

Ooh, that was the longest chapter yet! Yay! Reviews are absolutely fantastic! And if you need more incentive than that, I will torture Fang!!

Fang: Torture? Please REVIEW!! She has a pink shirt and is grinning evilly! AGH! Not pink hair dye! Nooooo!

Lol. Anyway, any ideas on how Natalca should meet her match? I know everything about him, but can't figure out how to get them to meet.

Thanks for reading,


5. 5 Boyfriend and Powers

Me: Never fear, SanraitaFang is here! *Fang runs and hides.*

Me: Get out here, you idiot!

Fang: But..but..My hair…*points to head, which is bright pink*

Me: Ah, that was so fun.

Fang: I hate you.

Me: That's great Fang. Now you can go running to Max to save you from the evil fanfiction writer!

Fang: Grrr. *Stomps off angrily*

Me: Oh how I love messing with people. Anyway, here's the fifth chapter. Hope you like it!

Syzygy Chapter 5

Iggy POV

Oh, it was fantastic being able to see! I could see Shannon's smiles, and Natalca's smirks. It was also great finally finding out what everyone else looked like now. I mean, Angel had sent me mental images, but it wasn't the same as actually seeing them.

It was 9:00 in the morning, and I was still in bed. I was awake, I just didn't feel like getting up. My door creaked open, and Shannon poked her head in, a grin on her face.

"Would you like your breakfast brought to you this morning, Your Majesty?" She asked me playfully.

"Hey, that sounds good." I replied.

She took two steps into the room with a tray of food, and the delicious smell wafted over me. "To bad it's not going to happen!" She said, running back out the room. "You'll have to get up and come to the kitchen if you want food!" Shannon called over her shoulder.

Ooh, that annoying, diabolical, evil, beautiful, sweet…I gave up trying to vent my anger that way. It just didn't work. I groaned and rolled of the bed. Gazzy was already up, I noted, seeing the other side of the bed was empty. I quickly dressed and stumbled down the hall and stairs. I was still groggy.

"Food! Give me food! Iggy hungry!" I moaned, walking into the kitchen with my arms in front of me like a zombie.

"Well, zombie, er, I mean Iggy, you'll have to get your own food all by yourself. You're a big boy now." Natalca told me, smirking. Remember how I said seeing her smirk was fantastic? Well, I sure don't think that now. It meant that she was directing an insult at me. Then I caught a glimpse of Shannon and what was in her hands in a mirror. She saw me looking and winked. I smiled and didn't respond to Natalca. I would get my revenge soon enough.

"Hey, Natalca, can you show me where the salt is?" I asked casually.

She nodded and went to get it from a cupboard, while Shannon stole into the room quietly and poured vinegar all over Natalca's eggs. I stifled a chuckle, and Natalca looked at me like I was losing my mind. Then her eyes narrowed and she closed her eyes. Shannon was just leaving the room, and obviously Natalca would know if something was up if Shannon snuck into the kitchen. She opened her eyes and walked over to her food suspiciously. She sniffed it, and then roared, "SHANNON!"

Holy crap, I did not want to be in Shannon's shoes right now. Shannon walked casually into the room, and looked at Natalca curiously.

"What did I do now?" She asked, faking innocence.

"Oh, don't play innocent with me, you egg spoiler!" Natalca shouted, before leaping at Shannon.

Shannon took of running, laughing her head off at the same time. I saw Fang coming down the hall, and Shannon ducked behind him and cried, "Save me, Fang! Natalca's trying to kill me!"

"What exactly did you do to piss Natalca off?" Fang asked.

"Who cares what I did?! She's going to kill me slowly and painfully, then bring me back to life and kill me again!" Shannon exclaimed, dodging as Natalca dove at her.

"Well, since Max is in bed, and I am therefore law enforcer, I deem you, Shannon, guilty for something terrible. Therefore I will have to help the victim!" Fang told her, grinning.

He turned on her, and she yelped and ran back down the hall to me.

"Get a bucket of water ready at the window to my room." She whispered as she passed me.

I smirked inside. Poor Fang. He had just been trying to help Natalca. Now he was in for it. I really didn't care if Natalca got soaked, frankly, because she deserved it for her earlier comment. Fang and Natalca raced past me, and Shannon threw the front door open and shot into the sky, Fang and Natalca hot on her heels.

I ran to the bathroom and grabbed a bucket from under the sink, probably the same one Angel had used to soak Natalca the night before. Poor Natalca. Talk about adding insult to injury. Hmm. I bet Shannon would be surprised if her plan backfired a bit.

I grinned and stood by the window, waiting for the very recognizable flash of red that was Shannon's wings. There! I threw the contents of my bucket out the window. Shannon shrieked and turned to glare at me. Heheh. Then I realized that that glare was positively evil, and began to fear for my welfare. I heard the front door open, and some laughter with it. Probably Fang and Natalca laughing at Shannon's situation. I could hear Shannon calling up the stairs, "You really shouldn't have down that, Ig. I'm afraid I can't let that go unpunished."

"All right, enough with the soaking each other. It's too early to deal with this." I heard another voice say from down the hall. Max.

I came out of the bathroom only to belatedly see a fist flying at my face. Uh oh. This couldn't be good. Shannon's fist connected with my face, and it HURT. Ow.

"Shannon! Didn't you hear me?" Max yelled.

"Yeah, I did. But you never said anything about punching each other." Shannon answered innocently.

Max groaned and rubbed her forehead.

Just then, Natalca moaned in irritation. At what, I didn't know. We turned to look at her curiously.

"It's that Curtis guy. I can sense him coming here. What doesn't he get? Is it the word 'I', 'don't', 'like', or 'you'? Jeez!" She exclaimed angrily.

We followed as she went to stand in front of the door. "Don't wait here, go hide in the kitchen." Natalca told us.

I was the last one in the kitchen, and I was barely in before I heard a knock at the door. Natalca opened it and said icily, "Yes?"

"Oh, hey, Natalca, I was wondering if you'd go to a movie with me."

"Are you INSANE? I told you before, I. Don't. Like. You. Is that so hard to understand? Go ask some other poor girl to go! NOT ME! Got the idea yet? Yes? Good! GET OUT OF HERE!" She exploded furiously.

"Oh, come on, don't play hard to get. You know you like me. Just say yes, and I'll prove it to you." He started to lean into her face. She took a step back, and then pulled her fist back and decked him. Curtis fell to the floor in shock.

"Come on, babe, your still playing hard to get! Loosen up a bit!" Curtis persisted. Not such a good idea.

The look on Natalca's face must have been something to see, because Curtis shrank back as if slapped. Nope, I was wrong. She hadn't exploded before. That was only smoking. Now she exploded.


Suddenly Curtis was flying through the air backwards, as if thrown. But Natalca hadn't moved an inch. What the heck?

"Telekinesis." Max whispered. Her voice must have told her that.

I could see Curtis running away down the road, terrified. Haha. What an idiot.

"Natalca? Are you okay?" Shannon was saying, concerned.

I turned from the window to see Natalca still at the doorway, but on her knees and breathing hard. Huh? What exactly did I miss here?

"The Voice says that she used a lot of energy throwing that jerk out of here. It takes more energy to move bigger things. Eventually, she'll be able to move bigger and bigger things as she gets stronger with her new power." Max said, enlightening us all.

"Max? What was all that screaming about?" Nudge asked, emerging from her room with Angel and Gazzy behind her. They looked at Natalca like she was live stick of dynamite that they might set off at any moment.

"A particular guy made Natalca very angry, and she discovered a new power. She can levitate stuff." Max explained.

"Cool!" They exclaimed.

Natalca rose and smiled at them. She then got a look that told us she was concentrating very hard at something. Then Angel rose slowly into the air. Natalca turned her upside down, and Angel laughed.

"This is fun!" She cried.

Natalca put her down and then turned her gaze to something in the kitchen. Her plate of eggs flew up into the air and then over to the sink, where it dumped the vinegar soaked eggs. Then it made it's way over to the pan of eggs, and some of the latter jumped out of the pan and onto the plate. Then the plate came to Natalca's waiting hands.

"So, now can I eat my breakfast without anything major happening?" She asked sarcastically.

Max nodded and Natalca began making eggs fly to her mouth. She discovered a slight problem when the eggs got close to her mouth. To levitate something, she needed to see it. But she couldn't see the eggs because her nose was in the way. She gave up and took a fork and ate the old fashioned way.

Then there was a knock at the door, for the second time today.

Natalca growled angrily, "I swear, if it's that idiot again, I will break his neck."

Max walked to the door and opened it. It wasn't Curtis, but it was another guy around the same age.

"Um, hi. I just wanted to apologize for that idiot who was just here. I felt bad about it and wanted to tell the girl that I will make sure he doesn't bother her again."

Max was obviously surprised. "Oh, uh, I'll go get her." Max walked to the kitchen and motioned for Natalca to go to the door.

"Hi." She said to the guy at the door.

"Hey. I just wanted to say sorry about that jerk who was bothering you. You won't see him around here again."

"Oh, thanks. Hey, what's your name? I'm Natalca." She told him pleasantly.

"I'm Jamie Joel. J.J. for short." He answered.

"Well, do you want to come in for a minute, J.J.?"

"Sure. Thanks."

Shannon POV

Later that night, everyone was in the living room. Natalca and J.J. had talked for more than two hours. In the end, J.J. had asked her if she'd like to go to a movie or something with him, and she'd said yes. Fang had 'just happened' to walk by at that moment, and told them about the double date on Saturday. Now it was a triple date. Then J.J. had to go.

We were going to play 'I have never'. I was putting logs in the fire while Max explained the rules to everyone.

"Okay, so if Fang said, "I have never put a van up on two wheels." I would have to take a coin, because I have. Plus anyone else who has. The first person to ten coins loses and is declared the craziest." She said.

Okay, I think I followed that. Grr. The stupid log wasn't catching fire. I stared at it, willing it to start burning, not that would do anyth-Holy Crap! Did I do that?! The log was suddenly burning madly. It was probably just a coincidence, but I decided to make sure. I willed the log to stop burning, because it wouldn't if it had just been a coincidence. Which it probably was. Or so I thought, until the log stopped burning. I gasped out loud. Everyone stared at me.

"I..I have a new power. I can control fire."

They digested this while I experimented more. I discovered that I could also make a flame in my palm, and control water. Jeez, was today international 'New Power Day' or something?

"I have never gotten kidnapped, other than at birth, and that doesn't count." Fang said.

Everyone grumbled about that. Fang was the only one who hadn't gotten kidnapped at one time or another. (A/N Or at least that I remember.)

My turn. I racked my brain for an idea. "I have never been out of North America."

Max, Nudge, Angel, and Natalca took a coin.

The game continued until Fang was declared craziest because he got ten coins first, with Iggy at nine. Then we decided we should go to bed, but as I was walking into mine and Natalca's room, Iggy called to me, "Shannon, come here a minute!"

I walked out onto the porch with him, where we sat on the swinging bench together.

"Shannon, I wanted to give this to you." He said, pulling a little velvet box out of his pocket.

Iggy handed it to me, and I opened the top slowly. Inside were the two prettiest pieces of jewellery I had ever seen. One was a ring. The band was made of two silver wings that came together at the top to hold a small but gorgeous dark blue sapphire. I loved it immediately. The other was a necklace. The chain was silver, and the pendant was a pair of wings with diamonds set in each one, and a sapphire in the shape of a heart in between the wings. This sapphire was exactly the same shade as the ring. It was beautiful as well, and sapphire was my birthstone.

"Oh, Iggy, they're beautiful!" I breathed. I could feel tears forming, I was so happy. "Thank you so much."

I picked up the ring and put it on the third finger of my right hand. It looked like it had been made for my hand.

Then I went for the necklace. Iggy beat me to it, and I held my hair out of the way as he fastened the clasp. As soon as he was done, I turned around and kissed him. He kissed me back, and we kept kissing until I was getting dizzy from lack of air.

"I love you." Iggy told me softly. A thrill went through me at his words.

"I love you, too." I whispered.

"We're the two in the prophecy, aren't we?" He asked quietly.

"We must be."

"Fang bought Max a necklace and ring, too. They're almost identical, but the wings are different, on the necklace and ring. Plus Max's birthstone is emerald. If J.J. and Natalca get serious, Fang and I will get him to buy her the same design, too…hey, what's her birthstone?"

"Zircon, in April."

"Okay. We should probably get to bed now, too. We want to be rested for our date tomorrow, don't we?" Iggy smiled.


Everyone had just gone to bed, except for Iggy and Shannon, who were outside.

Fang came up beside me. "Let's go flying, Max."

I nodded, and we jumped out the window of our room.

We flew in silence for a while, until we came upon a small meadow in the forest. Fang pointed, and I nodded again. We landed, and laid down beside each other. We gazed up at the stars for a while before Fang sat up and looked at me.

"Max, I have something for you." He said mysteriously. He brought a small velvet box out of his pocket.

He gave it to me and I opened the top curiously. Inside was an absolutely beautiful ring and a gorgeous necklace. I stared at them in awe. I picked the necklace up slowly, and admired it. The chain was silver, and the pendant was two wings sparkling with diamonds. Set in between the wings was a glittering dark green emerald. My birthstone. Fang took it gently from my hands and fastened it around my neck. I stroked the emerald on the necklace as I took the ring from it's spot. The band of the ring was silver, like the necklace, and shaped like two wings that met at the top to hold another shining dark green emerald in place. I slipped the ring onto the third finger of my right hand. I turned to Fang and gazed at his face before leaning forward and kissing him passionately. He wrapped his arms around my waist, and my arms locked around his neck. I was incredibly happy at the moment, and pulled back.

"I love you so much, Fang." I told him.

"I love you, too, Max.

Fax will be happening very often, now.

AWW! So cute, aren't they?

Next chapter will be up soon, I promise!

Go to my profile for pictures of the rings and necklaces.

May is emerald, and September is blue sapphire, just so you know.

Action will be happening soon, I swear!


Lol. The last one was random. I couldn't think of anything that started with x. You did notice the pattern of the sentences, right?

Thanks for reading,


6. 6 The Date and a Mysterious Message

Chapter 6 is dedicated to Malaika Anystazya because she's my friend. (Not to mention she forced me to…lol)

Syzygy Chapter 6

Natalca POV

Oh, god, Angel and Nudge were dragging us to a dress store! Apparently the dinner was going to be all fancy, so we (Shannon, Max, and I) were being forced to a dress store. Oh, joy! Not. Evidently, Angel and Nudge thought Fang, Iggy, and J.J. were capable of finding their own tuxedos, along with Gazzy, lucky them.

Now, I was in a dressing room with Shannon and Max on either side of me. Nudge and Angel were creating a hurricane, throwing dress after dress over the door. We had decided that our dresses had to match our necklaces and rings, so I was being thrown teal dresses, and Shannon was drowning in sapphire blue dresses, while Max fought her way through emerald green ones.

After what seemed like countless stores and thousands of dressed, Angel and Nudge decided on one. Yes, they decided. I didn't even get a say on it. Jeez, dictatorship! I had to hand it to them, though. They did a good job. I looked pretty good in it, if I do say so myself. Which I do. The front was a v-neck that didn't go too far down, thank god. It was very form fitting, and made me look taller than I was. The bottom went to my ankles. It was the prettiest shade of greenish blue, and Shannon and Max loved it, too. I could even hide my wings in it.

Shannon got a gorgeous sapphire blue dress that went to her ankles, like mine. All it had for straps was a sparkling silver band that went around her neck. The skirt was tight, fitting her body, also like mine. It had a small slit going up her left leg, and it looked fantastic on her.

Max..Max looked absolutely beautiful. More so than Shannon and I, and we weren't ugly by any measure. It was emerald green, and had spaghetti straps. Around her waist was a thin, dark green sash, and the tails of the sash hung down her left side. The skirt was also tight, like Shannon's and mine.

"You guys look so good! The boys will love it! Now let's go buy the dresses and get out of here so we can do your hair! Oh, I'm so excited." Nudge exclaimed.

After the dresses were bought, Angel and Nudge literally ran to the clearing we had landed in, and we had to sprint to keep up with them. Jeez, was it so hard to slow down? At least the boys didn't have to have their hair done by an eleven and six year old, but they had to drive because J.J. was with them. Haha.

We leapt into the air, and I took a moment to look at my wings, glinting in the sun. I wouldn't have asked for any different colour. I loved my wings, and I thought the colour reflected my personality, sweet like honey when I wanted to be, but darker and more fiery when I was mad. The light beige colour reflected the first trait, then the darker gold streaks represented my temper. Shannon's also showed her personality. They were fire red at first glance, meaning her anger and fire. Not to mention control over fire. Then if the light hit her feathers right, you could see lighter orange and yellow, showing that if you got on her good side, she had a gentle and caring part to her, too.

Soon, the Martinez's house came into view. Angel and Nudge began to fly faster, way over eager if you ask me. Max must not let them dress her up often. I had some sympathy for them but the second they came at me with scissors, that changed.

"Oh, no, you are NOT cutting my hair!" I told them firmly.

"Please? We won't do anything drastic, we promise! We'll on trim it. Please, Natalca?" They turned the Bambi eyes on me. Oh Dear God. How did anyone resist them?

"All right, fine! Just be careful!" I pleaded. Crap, I was going to regret that.

"Yay!! Nudge, you get to work on that, and I'll do Max's now. Shannon's is the most presentable at the moment. She'll have to wait." Angel declared.

Nudge began cutting my hair. I could see little tufts of hair falling to the ground, and I stiffened. I liked my hair the way it was, what was wrong with it?

"We can make it better, that's what's wrong with it." Angel said, smirking.

"Shannon, can you hold her hair like this while I get the barrettes?" Nudge asked Shannon. Barrettes? I was not going to like this.

Shannon nodded, that little traitor. She knew I wouldn't like barrettes. She was out to get me! Agh! Okay, maybe that was a little overdramatic. But she was condemning me knowing full well what she was doing. I glared at her, and she grinned.

"Brat." I muttered.

"Stick in the mud." Shannon countered. (A/N that means to be the only one going against something.)


"Annoyingly one track minded teen girl."

"All right, Shannon. Thanks." Nudge came back, ending our little insult war. Shannon smiled and sat back down.

5 minutes later, Nudge declared she was done. She handed me a mirror, and watched my face intently.

"What do you think?" Nudge asked.

"I think: Holy crap, you should be a hair stylist. You did a fantastic job, Nudge!" I turned and gave her a huge smile.

She had just made my hair a little shorter and taken care of all the split ends. My hair now looked like Alice Cullen's from Twilight, except not spiky, and hanging down, slightly wavy. She had put a little teal barrette in my hair, pulling one side back a bit. My bangs were all pulled to the other side.

I glanced at Max, and I could feel the shock on my face. Um, wow? There Angel was, six years old, making Max's hair all crimpy, and brushing her bangs back on top of her head, then pinning them there with a teal barrette. It looked fantastic, and yet it was so simple.

Shannon took my spot in Nudge's chair, and let her hair be layered and then Nudge put a sapphire blue hair band in, which I knew would match the dress perfectly. Finally Angel and Nudge released us to go put our dresses on, and I gratefully escaped the smell of hair spray. Shannon and I turned into our room, and threw on our dresses quickly, and Shannon fastened her necklace in place, and slipped her ring on. I glanced in the mirror, and was amazed again at how good Shannon and I looked, for being dressed by an eleven year old and six year old.

There was a knock on the door, and then Angel burst in shouting, "They're coming!"

For one panicked moment, I thought she meant Erasers, but then realized that she meant the boys. How the arrival of three teenaged guys could amount to the same level of panic as a group of, say, fifty Erasers, I did not know.

Shannon and I walked calmly out of our room, and Max strode out of her room jut as casually. Nudge and Angel were more excited than we were, and we were the ones going on the date, for Pete's sake!

Max, Shannon, and I began talking about where the boys could possibly be taking us, because they hadn't told us, when they burst through the door.


"Where are they? Oh, right in front of me, look at that!" Iggy said, laughing at himself.

Fang's eyes found me, and his eyes bugged out a bit, before he controlled his expression. I stifled a giggle, and noticed J.J. looking at Natalca in a similar fashion. Iggy was staring at Shannon in shock, before he slowly walked to her and wrapped an arm around her waist. She looked blissfully happy. J.J. was coming towards Natalca, and they smiled at each other. Oh, so cute!

Then Fang quickly walked over to me, and pecked me on the lips, before wrapping an arm around my waist. He looked stunning in a black tuxedo, and Iggy and J.J. probably did, too, but, frankly, I didn't care. I only cared about Fang. J.J. put his arm around Natalca, and she shared a look with Natalca. I didn't catch the meaning of the glance, but Shannon smirked. The six of us filed out of the house and into the car, with Fang driving, and me in the passenger seat. He had to let go of my waist, so settled for my hand. Shannon was sitting in Iggy's lap, and Natalca was in J.J.'s lap, so everyone fit. Technically, anyway. We were relying on Natalca to say something if a cop was coming.

"So, anyone going to tell me where we're going?" Shannon asked hopefully.

Hope didn't cut it. The three guys shook their heads fervently.

"Fine then. I was going to tell you our surprise, but since you won't tell us yours, I won't tell you ours." Shannon said, smirking slightly.

I wasn't catching on. What surprise? I decided not to say anything, because apparently Natalca got it.

"Yeah, too bad for you guys. It's such a good surprise, too." Natalca sighed. Shannon looked at her and giggled.

"If only they knew." She said.

Oh, I see now. We didn't have a surprise, but we were going to trick them into thinking we did, so they would tell us where we were going. It still wasn't working. The boys shook their heads, and Iggy mimed zipping his mouth shut. Wouldn't that be nice.

"Humph." Shannon grumbled, faking anger. We laughed, and she smiled.

We drove for another hour, before we finally stopped in front of a huge stone building.

"Anomichi's?" Natalca gasped. (I totally made up that name, let's pretend it's an incredibly expensive and fancy restaurant.

J.J. smiled, and Iggy grinned at Shannon's dumbstruck face. Apparently I was the only one who hadn't heard of the place.

"Anyone care to enlighten me?" I asked sarcastically.

"Why don't you wait and see?" Fang said. It was a statement, not a question.

He put his arm back around my waist, Iggy and J.J. doing the same. We walked up the marble steps to the building's huge front doors, and a doorman seemed to appear out of nowhere, opening the door with a small bow and nod at us. It seemed rude not to say anything, so I murmured a thanks as I passed him. Shannon smiled at him, and Natalca nodded at him. He stared at us, as if politeness was totally unheard of to him. Well, really, what would I know about these kinds of places? I had been on the run my whole life, remember?

As soon as our group had set foot inside the door, there was a woman to take our coats. She took them and hung them up. Once she was gone, another appeared to take us to our table.

"Reservation for 6, under Ride?" She asked Fang. Wow, she wasn't even hitting on him! I liked this place.

"Yes, thank you." He answered.

"Right this way." The woman said warmly. She took us to a round table that was pretty private, in a corner. We sat down, and she handed us menus.

"Justin will be right with you." She smiled and left.

"Um, wow?" I said, awestruck.

Fang smiled and said, "Yeah, that's what you'll say until you try to pronounce the names of these dishes." He was staring at the inside of a menu.

I opened mine to discover the titles of the dishes were in Italian. At least it explained what they were in English, or else I would be in hot water. I scanned through the items, and gave up trying to decide and just closed my eyes and pointed at a random place on the menu. Before you start looking at me like I'm crazy, it works! Now you're looking at me as if I've lost my mind anyway. Oh well. Hey, cool, I got lasagne!

Shannon noticed my method and resorted to doing the same thing. She got chicken scallopini, whatever that was. She shrugged and closed the menu. Soon, everyone used my method. Natalca got spaghetti. Soon a waiter came and took the menus from us, taking our orders at the same time. 'Justin', apparently. Justin poured us some water and brought us some bread, then left.

Iggy and Fang gave J.J. a meaningful look, and he turned to Natalca. "Will you come outside with me for a minute?"

She nodded, not knowing what to expect. They left, and Shannon and I turned on Fang and Iggy.

"What are they doing?" Shannon asked.

"Natalca is currently getting two very special pieces of jewellery. Zircon, for April." Ig told us.

"Already? How do we know they're going to stay together?" I asked, worried.

"Oh, trust me, J.J. is perfect for Natalca. Plus, he has a secret of his own." Fang told me mysteriously.

"But he's human. He can't come with us if we have to leave." I stated.

"Um. About the human thing…." Fang trailed off.

"He's not human?" I exclaimed.

"Can we wait until they're back?" Fang asked me uncomfortably.

"Okay, I guess so." I replied.

Soon Natalca and J.J. came back, both smiling radiantly. It killed me not knowing what was going on. Instead of driving myself out of my mind, I focused on Natalca's new necklace and ring. The necklace was exactly like Shannon's and mine, with small differences, one being the stone was a teal zircon. The ring was the same, too, also with just a few differences. The stone was the same shade of teal zircon, matching the dress perfectly.

Fang gave J.J. another pointed look, and J.J. cleared his throat.

"I'm an experiment, just as you are. I can turn things to stone." J.J. said, incredibly to the point.

"Wow, to put it bluntly." I choked out.

Natalca was still smiling. She must have already known. Shannon was grinning, because I knew she liked J.J. as a friend. Fang was looking sheepish, and so was Iggy. J.J. began explaining what had happened to him, and it was very like what happened to the rest of us. He had been experimented on, escaped, been on the run since a young age. As he had said before, he could turn things to stone, and back again. Eventually our food came, and we ate in silence, still getting used to this new information. As we began getting up to leave, the Voice chimed in.

See that woman over by the door, Maximum?


She was once a whitecoat, but left when she discovered what the School was doing to innocent kids. Don't worry, you can trust her. Actually, you HAVE to trust her. She is here to help you. You'll see how.

Well, okay then. No warning, no nothing. Just trust that random stranger by the door, Max.

I told Fang what was going on, and he passed it around the circle. I walked over to the woman, and she saw me and sighed in relief.

"Maximum! Here, take this. Now I have to go, I'm afraid. I can't help you anymore than that. Goodbye, now."

"Um…" I said uselessly as the woman walked quickly out the door.

Fang snatched the paper from my hands and read it quickly. He sucked in a breath quickly. I took the paper from him and read it for myself. I gasped. It was a list of all the locations of the Schools that we had to destroy. We needed this like we needed air to breathe. Secretly, I was glad that we now had a mission to do. I had felt vulnerable and useless before.

"Ahem. What does the paper say?" Natalca demanded impatiently.

I silently passed the paper to her. She read it slowly and drew in a long breath. Then she passed it to Shannon, who's eyes widened after she read it. She passed it to Iggy, and he gasped in surprise. J.J. just stared at the paper in shock when he read it.

Maximum, the longer you stand here, the more children are being experimented on. The Voice so kindly reminded me.

"Okay, guys, we have to get home and get ready to blow some buildings to bits!" I ordered, switching to leader mode.

I turned to J.J. "What about you? Are you coming with us on our mission?"

"Just try and keep me away." He replied with a grin.

"Okay, let's blow this joint!" I said.

We walked out of the building, and then drove off quickly. I decided we should try and call the younger kids, so they had time to pack.

"Anybody got a cell phone back there?" I asked hopefully.

J.J. handed me his.


He nodded, and I began dialing.


"Nudge? It's Max. We're coming home a bit early, because we now have a mission. We have a list of all the locations of the Schools and I plan to use it."

I heard Nudge sigh in relief. "Oh, good. I was missing blowing up Schools and fighting Erasers."

"We'll have plenty those, Nudge. There's 21 Schools to blow up. So start packing, and if Gazzy has any extra time, tell him to start making some bombs."

"Okay, bye Max."


I gave J.J. the cell phone back, and Fang picked up the speed a little. In about 45 minutes, we were home. We ran into the house, and the six of us quickly changed into suitable flying and fighting clothes. I left a note with the three dresses (we couldn't take them with us) that said, Hope these fit Ella. I'll explain later.

Then Fang grabbed J.J. and we launched ourselves into the night sky. Ahh, I loved flying.

Now I needed to figure out where we were going. I opened the paper and looked for the first place on the list. Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Okay, I could do that. I glanced over at Gazzy and Iggy, who were making bombs, just like I told them to. We flew for many hours, but eventually Fang's arms were going to fall off from carrying J.J., so we landed in back of a hotel. Yeah, we were taking a hotel because we didn't feel like roughing it. Jeez, we're turning into softies!

Fang led the way inside and stopped dead when he saw who was at the desk. It was, much to my eternal irritation, Lissa. Grr, why did she have to be here?

I stalked up to her and said coldly, "Five adjoining rooms, please."

Lissa glanced at me, then totally ignored me by turning to Fang.

Fang POV

Oh, crap, oh crap oh crap oh crap! Why did she have to be here? I stopped dead, and Max strode past me angrily. She stalked up to Lissa, and said venomously, "Five adjoining rooms, please."

Lissa ignored her and turned to me. Oh, damn it, that was going to send Max into a blind rage.

"So, Fang, how's it going?" Lissa twirled a piece of hair around her finger flirtatiously.

"Max was talking to you, Lissa. I'd answer her."

"She's talking to me, but I'm not talking to her." Lissa said sweetly.

"If you value your life, you will answer my question and leave my boyfriend alone!" Max exploded furiously.

"Boyfriend? What? I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, Max, but he's my boyfriend, we just got separated for a while. Actually, isn't he your brother?" Lissa persisted stupidly.

"Are you really so stupid as to believe that? Fang and I are not brother and sister, we're boyfriend and girlfriend. Fang never even liked you. Now give us the room keys!" Max spat icily.

"Oh, sorry, Max, but I can only give you 4 rooms. Hope that will be adequate." Lissa replied sarcastically, flipping the four room keys to the nine of us.

"That was the worst mistake you have ever made, Lissa." Max sneered.

Max stepped forward, and punched Lissa straight in the nose over the counter. Lissa gasped and staggered backwards.

"Bye." Max called sweetly as we walked away. We all glared at Lissa as we passed, Shannon even kicked over the garbage can for extra emphasis on the 'we hate you' bit.

"So, uh, who exactly was that?" Natalca asked.

"That was Lissa, an extremely annoying girl from our time at a school in Virginia. She somehow deluded herself into thinking she was Fang's girlfriend. Fang hated her. I really hated her. And I thought I'd never have to deal with her again. Not so, apparently." Max explained.

"Ah." Shannon nodded.

I stopped in front of our four rooms. "Okay, how are we doing this?" I asked. Nudge and Angel immediately bounded up and took a key, towing Gazzy with them. "Look, Gazzy, this one has a cot! You can stay with us!" Angel cried happily.

"All righty, then. That solves that." I handed Shannon and Iggy their key, and Natalca and J.J. theirs. Fang and I walked into our room, and I set down our stuff. I had barely done that much before Nudge, Angel, and Gazzy burst through the door.

"Max, this place has a pool! Can we go? Please? Everyone has bathing suits." Nudge pleaded.

"Okay, fine. You can start heading down there, we'll be there soon."

They squealed and left the room. I went to Shannon and Iggy's room and knocked. "Come in." Shannon called.

I opened the door and said, "We're going down to the pool. You coming?"

"Definitely! I can practise my water controlling!" Shannon cried excitedly. Iggy nodded and I left. I went across the hall to Natalca and J.J.'s room. Again, I knocked and got told to come in.

"We're going to the pool. Want to come?" I asked them.

"I wonder if I can levitate water. Yeah, we'll come." Natalca answered. Jeez, could Shannon and her think more alike?!

As I left, I heard J.J. wondering out loud, "I wonder if I can turn water to stone. Hm."

"You better not turn the pool water to stone." Natalca warned him. "I would like to go swimming without suddenly being encased in stone."

When I got back to mine and Fang's room, Fang was already changed and waiting. I grabbed my swimsuit and went to the bathroom to change. When I came out, Fang was nowhere to be seen. That's what I thought until he wrapped his arms around me from behind.

"Dang you and your invisibility." I muttered.

This chapter was getting to long, so the pool part will be in the next chapter.

Can I get 5 reviews for this one? Pretty please with a cherry on top?

Thanks for reading,


7. Lissa and Humiliation are Hilarious

Okay, just to warn you people, I have a slight temper. So when someone very rudely tells me to update because I got my "5 stupid reviews", I will get ticked off. Immensely so. Especially when I was pretty proud of myself for updating, and then they go on to say, "Why does it have to be so dang hard to get people to update. Jeez." Yeah, that's an absolutely fantastic way to make me update! Not! Okay, rant over. *Coughs*

In other news: I was really slow updating this time for 4 reasons.

My computer crashed Thursday.

I was gone Friday and Saturday.

I got home and my really old gerbil that I really loved died. *Sniffles*

Then I got very sick. I was puking all night and could barely talk.

So in short, I will update in all my spare time now, to make up for this. Don't kill me, I'm too young to die!! Lol.

Thanks to ErikNightLover, NOtalka, FAXloverTotheMAX, MaxRideLuvr, bookworm, Alex Ride, and XxNaomi-ChanxX. These people make up my reviewers. Thankyou!! Okay, long Author's Note over.

Syzygy Chapter 7

Fang POV

"Dang you and your invisibility." Max muttered. I snickered and let go.

We walked out of our room to meet Natalca and J.J., also coming down the hall. We began walking, and soon Shannon and Iggy raced out of their room to catch up to us. I saw a glint in Shannon and Natalca's eyes, which probably meant they were planning something evil. Wow, Shannon and Natalca working together on something like this. You don't see that very day. Usually if it involved a fight of some kind, (A/N water fight, foodfight, etc.), they immediately went at each other.I had better steer clear of them.

"Hi." Shannon greeted us.

"Welcome to our tribe of mutant pool goers." J.J. joked.

"Oh, hilarious, you idiot." Natalca muttered, rolling her eyes.

J.J. just laughed at her expression, and Shannon smiled.

Secretly, I was very glad Natalca and Shannon had come to our flock. They would help us a lot in Itex's downfall, and, frankly, they completed us. We had always thought our flock was totally complete, that it wasn't missing anything, but we were wrong. Shannon had changed Iggy a lot, in a good way. She was like his other half, the half no one realized was missing. Natalca and J.J. also completed each other, just the way Max and I completed each other. No one was a loner anymore. J.J. was also a part of the flock now, even though I knew he still felt like an outsider sometimes. Natalca would help with that, I think.

Of course, I would never voice any of this out loud.

We were just reaching the lobby, where, shudder, Lissa would be, when Max whirled on her heel and stuffed us all back down the corridor.

"What are you doing, Max?" Iggy asked, bewildered.

"Well, Iggy, it seems that she is rather forcefully shoving us back where we just came from." Shannon told him sweetly. "And, might I add, Angel, Nudge, and Gazzy are still over there, if it's someone from Itex!"

"Oh, shut up, you two! It's nothing bad. I just want to annoy Lissa some more." Max explained.

She told us the plan, and terrifyingly scary evil smiles came over Max, Natalca, and Shannon's faces. God, Lissa was doomed with these three around.

Max spun back around with an evil giggle. We followed, Iggy, J.J. and I wrapping an arm around Shannon, Natalca, and Max. Oh, this was going to be fun. We were going to remind Lissa that she was boyfriend-less, and with no mercy.

We sauntered into the lobby, and I flopped down on the couch, pulling Max with me. As she landed, she caught my face and kissed me, obviously trying to rub it into Lissa's face that Max was with me, and she was not.

J.J. took Natalca over to a bench that was in clear view of Lissa. Natalca snuggled into his side, and he kissed her hair, before taking a necklace that Nudge gave Natalca because it matched her eyes. It was just a prop, really. He tied it onto her neck, hands lingering on her skin longer than necessary. Natalca turned and kissed him, also to rub in Lissa's face. We had noticed Lissa looking J.J. over.

Then, my favourite. Iggy lead Shannon over to a fountain, where she sat on the edge. Iggy sat beside her for a moment before standing back up and taking the velvet box that had held her necklace and ring. He then dropped to one knee in front of her, and I stifled a chuckle. I could see Shannon making herself cry, so it looked like she was crying of happiness. I could see Iggy was talking to her. Then he stood up and grabbed Shannon, pulling her into a long kiss.

Obviously, Iggy hadn't really proposed to her. It was all an act. But Lissa didn't know that. I stole a look at her face, and it was hilarious. I so very nearly started laughing then, but Max saw my expression, and squeezed my finger, telling me that if I ruined it now, she would cheerily kill me, then resuscitate me and kill me again. Cheery, isn't she?

Lissa's face was a mix of outright rage and blunt shock. It was like a starving guppy that had food waved in front of it's nose, then taken away. Lissa compared to a guppy? Now there was a good comparison!

Suddenly I heard a click, and I tensed. Clicks meant guns cocking. Guns that wanted to blow me and my flock to pieces. Then I saw Max's self-satisfied smirk, and I realized she had practically given me a heart attack when she took a picture of Lissa.

"Jumpy, aren't we?" Max commented very quietly.

I ignored her. I was watching Lissa out of the corner of my eye. I think she was catching on that we were faking. No duh, Lissa, you idiot. Took you a while. Then she caught sight of something, or someone, over by the doors.

"Steven! I've been waiting for you for a while! What took you so long, sweetie?" Lissa squealed, running over to a blond haired guy by the doors.

I noted with satisfaction that this "Steven" guy didn't look so overjoyed to see her. Poor guy, having Lissa after you every minute of your life. Lissa threw herself into his arms, and he caught her, but he held her away from his body slightly. Haha, Lissa was such an imbecile.

"Uh, Lissa, there's something I have t say to you…" he began slowly.

I snickered. Lissa had no idea what was coming. I could tell, and I think Max could, too, that the big break up line was coming.

"Lissa, I don't like you the way you like me." He blurted.

I rolled my eyes, and Max snorted. Smoooooth, Steven, smooooth.

"Huh? Oh, I get it, you like me even more than I like you! Oh, Steven!" Lissa babbled.

"Um, no, Lissa, I mean, I don't like you at all. I don't want to be your boyfriend. In fact, I never did. You're hyperactive, not really smart, not very pretty, and don't have a very clear image of yourself. Bye, Lissa. It's over." By the end of that little speech, Steven was angry and on a roll. He must have been trying not to hurt her feelings before. Don't know why he bothered. He turned and walked away.

Lissa was left standing in the doorway, shocked and humiliated. She took one glance at Max, Natalca, J.J., Iggy, Shannon and I before sprinting out of the hotel. As soon as she was gone, we burst out laughing in uncontrollable laughter.

"That was hilarious! Max, did you get a picture?" Natalca asked through her giggles.

"Oh, yes! That was too good a chance to pass up!" Max assured her.

"Oh, my god, did you see the look on Steven's face? He absolutely loathes her!" Shannon exclaimed.

"I don't blame him!" Iggy cried.

That sent us all into another round of laughter. Eventually the giggles stopped, and we made our way to the pool, to explain our absence to the kids. As soon as Max opened the door, we were bombarded by three kids, all of which had tears running down their cheeks from laughing so hard.

"Max, that was the funniest thing I've ever seen! Angel sent us mind videos from your head! Oh. My. God. Lissa's face was priceless. I wish someone had a camera!" Nudge squealed.

"Actually, Nudge, I did have a camera." Max said, holding up the camera, which was displaying Lissa's shocked face.

"Perfect!" Angel cried.

Suddenly, Iggy and J.J. were flying through the air, towards the pool. The water rushed up and met them head on, soaking them. Good thing the pool was deserted. They yelped, and I heard laughter from behind me. Oh, crap, I forgot about Shannon and Natalca. I raced behind the water slide, where I hid from their sight. I watched as Max and Nudge were dunked, then Angel and Gazzy. I knew I didn't have much time before they realized I was missing, and Natalca would find me with her life-form sensing thing. I didn't want to get wet. The diabolical duo. The troublesome two. The twin terrors. I really didn't want to get wet. The criminal combo. The corrupt couple. The dreadful deuce. I really didn't want to get wet. The monstrous match. The terrifying team. The painful pair. I very much did not want to get wet. Hm, it was almost fun coming up with insults for them. But do I ever get my way in this kind of situation? No.

"Fang! I know where you are! Come out now!" Natalca ordered.

"No! You'll just levitate me." I answered.

"I can see your feet." She told me. Crap. I was being lifted into the air, and I saw the dangerous delinquents smiling triumphantly at me. Crap.

She brought me over to the pool, and then Shannon's power over water got me. I was soaked from head to toe, just like everyone else.

"I hate you two." I growled.

"Sure, sure." Shannon teased.

I groaned and floated on my back for a while as the younger kids went down the water slide. Max floated beside me, and soon I sensed we were not alone.

"Hey guys." Max greeted.

I was right.

"Hey." Shannon said.

I knew it was probably Shannon and Natalca.

"Um, we were wondering if you guys could help us learn to fight better sometime. I mean, we can take care of ourselves, but it's always better to be even more prepared." Shannon asked us.

I started to tread water again, as I looked at Shannon and Natalca. I could tell they were nervous, because Natalca was levitating water, and Shannon was making it swirl around her hand as if it was a snake. They probably didn't like coming to us for help. They were proud.

I beat Max to the answer. "Of course we will. I want to see how well you can fight. How about as soon as we get back to our rooms?"

Smiles spread across their faces, and Natalca said that would be great, and they swam off to go practice playing with their powers.

"I wonder how good they are at fighting. They look pretty darn strong, every bit as strong as I am. They move really fast when they want to, and I can't think of any obvious flaws with either of them. Except, of course, that Natalca could render you helpless in the air,
and Shannon could burn you or drown you." Max pondered out loud.

"Don't let them fight each other." I said quickly, before she could get ideas on how we were going to test them.

"Why? Wouldn't that be easiest?" Max asked, confused.

"Max, they'll tear each other apart. They're probably perfectly evenly matched. They act like sisters, and no sibling will ever admit defeat to another sibling. They'll keep fighting until they can barely move from various injuries." I explained. Maybe I made it a little over dramatic, but it got my point across.

"Ah." Max said.

"What time is it? The slide's blocking the clock from my view." I said, wondering if we should get the kids to bed. We had a long day tomorrow, and they needed all the energy they could get.

"10:00. Yeah, the young ones should get to bed now. Angel, Gazzy, Nudge! We're leaving! Time for bed!" Max called.

"Okay, Max." Angel answered.

We left the pool, and soon found our rooms again. We all said goodnight to the younger kids, and then Max and I went to get Shannon and Natalca, after changing back into our clothes.

"Why don't we ask J.J. if he wants to come, too? Iggy might as well, since now he can use his sight." Max suggested.

"Sure." I agreed.

Soon we were all together in a group. Then a thought occurred to me.

"Max, where are we doing this?" I asked.

"I saw an exercise room by the lobby. It has an open space in the middle for doing laps and such. We could use that." J.J. supplied.

"Oh, good, that'll work perfectly." Max replied.

We set off back towards the lobby, and thank God Lissa wasn't on duty. It was some old man. We opened the exercise room with our card key, and noted that someone had set up mats in the middle. Even more perfect.

"Great! Okay, Shannon, you fight Fang, Natalca, fight Iggy. I'll be watching both of you. Then J.J. can fight me. Okay?" Max directed. "Oh yeah, and no powers!"

She received a round of nods and yes's, so I went over to where Shannon was standing. I stood about 7 feet back from her, then attempted to tackle her. No such luck. Jeez, Max was right, she was fast.

Shannon had nimbly jumped out of the way, then spun so she landed right where I had been on the ground. I had gotten up, and was currently throwing a punch to her head. I wasn't going all out on her, yet, just testing.

Shannon whirled, hearing my fist going through the air. She caught my hand and twisted, so I had no choice but to either let her twist it until it broke, or yank it away. I gave a sharp yank, and her grip slid just a bit, but enough that she knew she couldn't hold me for long. Shannon gave up on the twisting bit and resorted to a really painful kick to my chest. I stumbled back a bit, and decided that there was no more mercy for this particular girl. I launched forward in a roundhouse kick, but she was suddenly gone, which I had anticipated. She leaped forward from behind me, trying to tackle me. It would have worked, too, except that that's what I knew she would do, so I stepped aside. She twisted in midair, throwing a punch at me as she flew by. I dodged and waited until she landed on her feet, 5 feet from me. I aimed a kick at her head, and she ducked and swept my other leg out from underneath me. It was a good move, but I landed on my hands in almost like a handstand, a kicked both feet at her this time. She dodged, barely.

I heard Natalca groan. "Fang, you really shouldn't have done that." I guess Natalca and Iggy had stopped to watch.

Huh? Why shouldn't I have done what?

Then Shannon jumped forward in a front handspring, her feet catching me in the face. Ouch. Where the heck did she learn that? I feinted to one side, and then leaped the other way. Somehow she knew I was going to do this, and did a back handspring into my chest. My breath was knocked out of me immediately. I fell to the ground on my back, still in shock that Shannon could do that. She took advantage of that and pinned me down, grinning devilishly. Oh, typical. No warning that she's pro at gymnastics. Oh, no, you can find that out the hard way, Fang.

"Okay, that's enough. That was really good, Shannon. The gymnastics will definitely be handy. You are as good as Fang, Iggy, and I are. I do have a few moves I could show you, though." Max told Shannon.

"Great." Shannon smiled.

"Yeah, I agree with Max, Shannon. You're strong and fast, plus the handsprings really throw a monkey wrench in any plans the opponent might have had. There isn't much for us to show you." I agreed.

"Thanks." Shannon said.

Iggy POV

Note to self: Watch out for Shannon's handsprings.

I was glad that I didn't have to fight Shannon yet. I didn't want to be trying to hurt her, plus I loved to sit back and watch her in action. Sight was still new to me, so I still marvelled at the speed and strength of my flock. Now I had to fight to Natalca. Oh, fun. I knew that Natalca was a good fighter.

I stood away from Natalca and watched her. She gazed back, waiting for me to make the first move. I made a lunge at her, and missed, as I had expected. From there on, the fight progressed very much like Shannon and Fang's.

That was until Natalca changed her style a bit. Suddenly my punches were being met by karate blocks, and she was throwing karate kicks and punches at me. Soon she had me pinned, as I was definitely not used to karate.

"Gymnastics and karate. Interesting." Max said slowly.

"Yeah, we both took a bit of karate, but I started before Shannon, so I know more. But I don't know any gymnastics." Natalca explained.

"Huh. Well, we should probably go to bed, seeing as we'll be flying non stop tomorrow." Max ordered.

"Yes, ma'am." I saluted and walked out of the room, Shannon by my side.

Max rolled her eyes, and everyone followed us.

Half an hour later


I changed into my pajamas and settled down beside Fang in our bed. His arm wrapped around my waist, and I noticed that he had ditched his shirt again.

I turned and kissed his lips, meaning for it to be just a small kiss. But that never happens with us. He lifted me up so I was lying on his chest. Granted, it was much harder than the bed, but I still much preferred it to the bed. My hands moved to lock in his hair, and I swear I could feel him smirk against my lips. Not that I cared, I was where I wanted to be. I felt his hands leave my waist and come to the front of my shirt. He undid the top 5 buttons, which pretty much defeated the whole purpose of the shirt. I shivered, and now I knew he was smirking. I pulled back, rolled my eyes at him, then resumed kissing him. His tongue touched my lip, and I obeyed, opening my mouth. His tongue entered my mouth, and this time he shivered. Hah.

Then he rolled so I really couldn't escape now, even if I wanted to. I then surprised him by wrapping my legs around his waist. Jeez, if the younger kids came in now, they'd be permanently damaged!

Then suddenly he rolled off me, back onto his back, beside me.

"Now we should really sleep." Fang whispered.

I smiled and closed my eyes, soon falling asleep.

Was that good? I had fun writing it, even if it wasn't very good.

Can I raise my goal to 8 reviews this time? Yes? Yay!

Over and out,


8. Blowing up Schools

Hello again, dear readers! This chapter is dedicated to NOtalka, because she's my friend and helped me write this story. I bet her ego is building while she reads that last sentence. 

There will be some Eraser action this chapter.

Syzygy Chapter 8


Sunlight. Bright. Ow.

"Wakey, wakey, Max! It's time for a fun filled day of flying non-stop!" a voice said beside me. Hm, who could that be? Sarcasm, if you didn't catch that.

I groaned. "Too tired. Go away."

Then I felt lips on mine. As soon as they were there, they were gone. My eyes shot open, to find Fang looking down at me smugly.

"Cheater." I muttered.

He just grinned and walked over to the door. When he opened it, three blurs of movement ran in and started jumping on the bed, laughing and smiling at my expression.

"Come on, Max! We want to go get breakfast! We're hungry!" Nudge cried, ripping my blankets off me.

"Fine, fine. There's a continental breakfast downstairs, we'll go as soon as you three go get the others." I told them wearily.

They grinned and ran out to go get everyone else up in the same 'pleasant' manner as they did to me. Lucky them. *Snicker*

I had just finished getting dressed when Angel, Nudge, and Gazzy forcefully towed a sleepily protesting Iggy, Shannon, Natalca, and J.J.

Their expressions ranged from sleepy to irritated, from shocked to amused and back again. It was hilarious.

I laughed, and Fang smiled.

"If you think this is funny, your sense of humour is very twisted." Shannon informed me.

"I think if our positions were reversed, you'd be laughing, too." I told her.

"If only." She said.

I reached over to my bedside table, grabbing my camera. Click!

"Oh, no, you didn't!" Naralca moaned.

"Oh, yes, I did!" I mimicked her. "All right, let's get downstairs and have some breakfast. We have a long day ahead of us."

Now, numerous waffles, muffins, and pancakes later, we were in the air, trying to find something to end the boredom.

"Ooh, I know, let's play fast mouth!" Nudge suggested. No, more like demanded.

"Okay, that's where someone says a word, and you have to repeat it and add a related word, right?" Natalca asked.

"Yep. Nudge, you start." I told Nudge.


"Turtles, green."

"Turtles, green, apple."

"Turtles, green, apple, orange."

Half an hour later, it was just me, Shannon, Natalca, and Fang left. Yeah, Nudge lost! Amazing, I know.

"Turtles, green, apple, orange, fruit, tree, wood, crate, School, horrible, Erasers, pencils, paper, sheets, bed, home, Virginia, Lissa, idiot, terrible, um, Fang's fashion sense!" Shannon recited.

"Thanks, Shannon, thanks." Fang rolled his eyes.

My turn. "Turtles, green, apple, fruit, tree-"

"You missed orange." Natalca said, grinning.

"Crap!" I cried.

Natalca concentrated. "Okay, my turn. Turtles, green, apple, orange, fruit, tree, wood, crate, School, horrible, Erasers, pencils, paper, sheets, bed, home, Virginia, Lissa, terrible-"

"Missed idiot." Fang informed her.

"Aw, dang it." She cursed.

"Turtles, green, apple, orange, fruit, tree, wood, crate, School, horrible, Erasers, pencils, paper, sheets, bed, home, Virginia, Lissa, idiot, terrible, my fashion sense, black." Fang said perfectly.

Shannon then missed 'home', and Fang won.

Maximum. Look to your left. My Voice told me urgently.

My head snapped to the left, and I gasped. Ordinary, harmless, building in a forest, right? Try barbed wire topped, chain link, electric fences. Erasers marching in the yard. Warning signs everywhere. Oh, yes, very harmless.

Thanks, Voice.

Your welcome, Maximum.

"Dive, guys! Don't let them see us!" I shouted.

We dove into the forest, and I turned to Angel once we landed. "Did anyone see us?" I asked worriedly. Shannon and Fang's wings didn't exactly blend very well.

"No, not that I can hear." She said after a moment.

Then I turned to Natalca. "How many Erasers?"

"I think about a hundred. They're not all close to the School, though. There's about twenty or so that we'd have to go hunt down, because Iggy and Gazzy's bomb wouldn't reach them." She answered.

"Okay. Let's go to the very edge of the clearing, then Iggy and Gazzy can do their thing. Be on guard, though, some Erasers will be after us." I instructed.

Everyone agreed, and we set off at a run to the building. In five minutes, we were there.

"Max, wait. What if there are some experiments in there that are like us? That can function and can take care of themselves? Are you sure we should blow them up, too? That could be us in there." Fang wondered out loud.

"Crap, I hadn't thought of that. You're right, if we blow them up, it will haunt me forever. Angel, check their minds. Are any of them like us?" I turned to Angel.

She thought for a moment.

"Yes, Max. They're as smart as we are, and they won't go rampaging through cities killing people, either." Angle told me grimly.

"Crap." I said again. After some contemplating, I said to Angel, "Tell them that we are here, and that if they can free themselves and get out of the building, they'll be free." I said carefully.

They cannot come with you.

Huh? Why? They could help us. I argued.

No. They were created without any sense of loyalty. They will turn on you at any moment's notice, plus their DNA makes them your natural enemy. They have cat DNA. Get too close to them, and it will turn into a fight to the death between you. You MUST trust me on this.

Um, okay, then. Thanks, I guess.

"Angel, tell them also that they will have to fend for themselves. They can't come with us." I told her briskly.

She looked like she was going to ask why, then thought better of it. She went back to talking to the cat experiments.

"They say that once we hear alarms blaring, we're clear to throw the bomb. They'll be out of there. They also want to talk to us. They have to warn us."

I bit my lip. "Fine. We'll wait."

I turned to Fang and told him what the Voice had said. I warned him to control himself when we were talking to them. He nodded.

Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

"Okay, I think that's the alarm! Go to it, Iggy!" I commanded.

He grinned and threw a small object over the fence, and Gzzy launched another.

BOOM! followed by BOOM! told me that the bombs had worked. I didn't know, because I had shielded my eyes at Iggy's warning.

Iggy and Gazzy slapped high fives, and I raised my head. Holy crap. Those bombs sure worked well. There was just a crater where the School had been before. I supposed I should be glad, but it kind of seemed morbid. Tha feeling disappered when Natalca shouted that the twenty Erasers were coming.

I turned and prepared myself to kick some Eraser butt. As soon as the first emerged from the forest, I punched him a good one in the face. Then a hard kick to the ribs, a karate chop to the head, and he was out like a light. There was pretty much two Erasers for everyone, with one extra, so I took the time to watch everyone else. This was like a practice session. Hardly enough Erasers to go around. Then I heard a crunch behind me and did a spinning kick to the Erasers head, which knocked him out right away. Softie.

I watched Shannon do a handspring into an Eraser, who flew backwards into a tree, unconscious immediately. Shannon laughed. And she told me I had a twisted sense of humour. Natalca was having fun teasing an Eraser, sticking her tongue out and then dodging the furious punch easily. Typical Natalca for ya. J.J. was turning his Erasers to stone, with some concentration, I could see. Angel's were running around pounding their chests with their hands like gorillas, then dropping dead. Pretty soon, all the Erasers were dead or unconscious.

"Having fun?" A cat-like voice asked. The cat experiments.

I saw a girl with white blonde hair drop from a tree. Another girl followed, a very tall brunette. The blond was short, and had a tail. The tail was striped like a tiger's…Oh. She had tiger DNA. Her eyes were a fierce green, and they were almond shaped, like a cat's. her ears were slightly pointed.

The tall brunette had the same eyes and ears. Her tail was long and black. A panther.

"Yes, actually." I answered coolly.

"We'll stay over here, so we don't try and kill you, and vice versa. I am Bethany. Obviously, I am a tiger." Blondie lashed her tail, accenting her point.

"I'm Madison. I am a panther. We are here to warn you about Itex's latest experiments. They are being trained to kill you, and they all have cat DNA. Panthers, jaguars, lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, bobcats, lynxes, and so on. None of them have brains advanced enough to know anything but how to hunt and kill you. Beth and I were the first, before they started tampering with the experiment's minds. The only weakness these cats have is a fear of water and fire, like most cats." The brunette told us.

"The only other thing we can tell you is this. The experiments can also turn into whatever cat's DNA they have. Like this." Bethany warned.

Then they both turned into these freaking huge wildcats. Beth was a huge tiger, and Madison was a sleek black panther. Everyone flinched a bit. Then they turned back into humans.

"We will go now. Goodbye." Then they turned and dashed into the trees.

We were all silent, trying to wrap our heads around this news. Freaking cat DNA! Jeez!

"Well, that's one down. Only twenty to go." I managed to choke out.

"That's a fantastic pep talk, Max. Keep it up." Iggy said sarcastically.

"Shut up, Ig. Now it's on to Canada." I sighed.

"Jasper, British Columbia." Natalca and Shannon muttered.

"Oh, yeah. That's where you came from, huh?" Iggy remembered.

Shannon just nodded.

Maximum. Don't fly there. You will want all your energy for this battle. The experiments roam the mountains there, a bomb will only destroy the building. You must take a plane.


Trust me on this, Maximum.

Fine. I agreed grudgingly.

"Apparently Voicey wants us to take a plane." I said, irritated.

"Well, Phoenix is only about half an hour from here. Should we take a plane from there?" Natalca suggested.

"I guess so. Let's go." I leaped into the air, snapping out my wings and soaring upwards.

I glanced back to make sure everyone was in the air, and almost laughed. Individually, all our wings were gorgeous. But when you see them all together, it's still pretty, just very….colourful. There was everything from Shannon's red, to Fang's black, to Natalca's honey, to Angel's white. We were quite a crew. Fang still had J.J., of course.

I saw Iggy and Shannon fly off to the right a bit, a little ways from our group. I could see them talking, but I couldn't hear them.

Iggy POV

Shannon and I were a little distance away from the flock. I had led her over to here to ask her something personal.

"Shannon, tell me about your family." I asked gently.

"My family? Why do you want to know about your family?" She asked, totally confused.

"I want to know how families work, what they are supposed to be like." I explained quietly. "When I found my parents, they wanted to display me like a circus freak, just to expand their bank account."

"What? That's horrible!" She exclaimed angrily. "How could they do that?! What kind of parents would do that?"

"What about your family?" I pressed.

"In my family, I was the youngest. My brother, Chris, is ten years older than me. He would be 24 now. Tegan is 15 years older than me, now she'd be 29. I loved them both so much, even though they were so much older than me. My dad is Alex, my mom is Melanie." She told me sadly.

"Then, just before I was taken to the School, Tegan told my family that she was having a baby. It was going to be a girl, and her name was going to be Nathalie. I never even got to meet her. I never heard from my family ever again, never talked to them. I didn't want to go slinking back to them as a mutant. It would put them in danger, plus I could never leave Natalca."

"Oh, Shannon, I'm sorry." I tried to comfort her.

"That's okay. It does help to talk about them. I think…..I think that I'm going to send them a letter. Not saying what happened, or that I'm coming home, just telling them that I'm safe, not to worry about me, and that I still love them." She mused.

"I think you should. They probably went out of their minds when you disappeared, and that was only 4 years ago. They'll still be wondering where you are." I supplied.

"Thanks, Iggy." Shannon told me warmly.

"My pleasure."

Then I flew closer to her, and grabbed her hand.

"You'll always have me." I assured her.

She smiled, and we flew back over to the others. Half an hour later, we were just touching down on the outskirts of Phoenix, soon to be stuffed into a tin can with wings! Max flagged down three taxis for the nine of us. Max, Angel, and Nudge went in one, Fang, Gazzy, and I in the second, and Shannon, Natalca, and J.J. in the third.

Natalca POV

"Natalca, do you think I should tell him about…her?" Shannon asked.

J.J., Fang, Iggy, and Max were discussing something outside, but Shannon and I had climbed into a taxi when Shannon said she wanted to talk to me about something.

"Who? Iggy?" I checked.

"Yeah. I'm just not sure…" She thought aloud.

"Yes, you should. He'll feel like you're keeping secrets when he finds out. He will find out, you know." I advised.

"I guess so. All right, I'll tell him on the plane." She sighed in surrender.

Then J.J. crawled into the car next to me, and all thoughts of Shannon were gone. J.J. took my hand, and I smiled at him. It was just a fifteen minute drive to the airport, but I was happy to sit there for a very long time, my head resting on his shoulder, our hands entwined. I knew Shannon would be rolling her eyes right about….now. I watched out of the corner of my eye and was proved right.

Pretty soon the ride was over and we were at the airport. We paid the taxi driver and walked into the gigantic airport. Everyone but the three youngest were on edge and jumping at the smallest thing. It would have been funny, if I wasn't one of the jumpy ones.

"Boo!" I jumped at the sound of J.J.'s voice in my ear.

"Don't do that!" I cried.



He took my hand and kept it until we were going through security. I glanced at Gazzy and Iggy and hoped to God that they had used all their bombs on the School. Apparently so, as they got through easily. Nudge was stopped for having a sharp hair clip. Oh, please. A hair clip! Sheesh, security was tight these days.

"Please remove all…" I tuned the guard out and put all my metals into the little bucket on the conveyor belt.

"Over here, miss." A different guard called to me, waving me through a metal detector. I was clean.

J.J. was declared metal-free, also, as was everyone else.

As we boarded the plane, I realized with relief that the plane was pretty empty. Then that

feeling disappeared as I saw how small the plane was. We had to fly to Edmonton first, then fly ourselves to the mountains around Jasper and find the School. Good times.

There were four seats in every aisle, two on each side. J.J. and I had two beside each other, and Fang and Nudge were three aisles ahead, and Shannon and Iggy were three aisles back and diagonal. Angel and Gazzy were in the very front, and Max sat across from them by herself.

Iggy POV

Shannon and I sat down in our seats in the back of the plane.

"Iggy, when you asked about my family, there's something I didn't tell you." She said very quietly.

I turned my head and looked at her in concern.

"Whatever it is, Shannon, it doesn't matter to me. I'll still love you." I tried to reassure her.

"I know, Iggy, it's just hard to talk about for me. But I have to tell you. You'll find out either way, so I might as well prepare you." She explained. "Here, take this sleeping pill, and I'll just show you the memory in your dreams."

I took the pill, and was out cold in 5 minutes.

I was dreaming about Shannon, and Itex, and other things I couldn't make out.

Then everything went that familiar white, and Shannon stood in front of me.

"This is when I was first taken to the School with Natalca. The light blond haired young woman is my other sister, Serena. The rest you should be able to figure out. You'll see everything from my point of view."

Suddenly Shannon was gone. I was being shoved down a dark lit hall, and it looked like death row. I heard whimpers beside me, and figured out it was Natalca. Then I was thrown into a prison cell, Natalca beside me. Another female was thrown in. She must be Serena.

The scientists and Erasers that had brought us here left, and Serena scooted over to me, or Shannon, really, I guess.

"Whatever happens here, Shannon, always remember that I love you very much, and I will always be your sister. Don't give up hope of escaping. Think of Tegan and the baby. Think of Chris. Think of Mom and Dad. Don't let them down. Get out of here if you have the chance, don't wait for me." Serena said, tears running down her face.

She leaned forward and hugged me tightly.

Then the prison cell was gone, and Shannon was back. "Now, I'll show you the second day."

The cell came back. I could hear voices, getting closer from down the hall. Two big Erasers stopped in front of our cell, with one whitecoat. They opened the door, grabbed Serena, and closed the door again. Serena's eyes locked with mine, and she screamed at me, "They can never tear us apart! No matter what! Don't lose hope, and remember me! I will always be your sister! Shannon!"

And she was gone, pulled down the hall and out the door.

Then I was back to looking at Shannon. "I never saw Serena again for the rest of that year. I was sure that they must have killed her. I couldn't get into her dreams, and Natalca couldn't sense her. That was the worst year of my life. Then, one day, Serena came back."

I was in the cell again. Two whitecoats were leering in at me and Natalca, and there was someone behind them. One asked, "Ready to meet your new and improved sister, Shannon?"

The door opened with a metallic grating sound, and a young woman walked in.

"Serena!" I/Shannon cried out. Shannon leaped forward toward Serena, but Serena slapped Shannon, knocking her to the ground.

Shannon stared up in shock. "Serena?"

"Hello, again, little sister. So nice to finally see you again. Meet the new me." Serena said silkily.

Then she whipped out a vicious looking sword from her robe. That's when I noticed the muscles in her arms. This Serena was much stronger. She stepped forward and proceeded to cut Shannon's face to ribbons, and give her some deep cuts all over her body. Even though this was a memory, I could feel the vast sea of pain and shock that opened up. She was in a lot of pain, both physically and mentally.

Serena strode out of the cell, then turned and smiled evilly. "Oh, and I'm Serena Janssen now. Second in command to Marian Janssen, the leader of Itex. Bye, little sis. Sleep well."

Then the memory was gone, and Shannon was back in my dreams.

"I never saw Serena again. I almost convinced myself that she hadn't come back, but then I'd see the almost healed scars from her sword. Then, the day Natalca and I escaped, I saw her again.

"Shannon! You will be hunted down until we find you! You will never have any peace. You are no sister of mine. Any relative of mine would accept a position of power among Itex's ranks. You are no sister of mine." She yelled at me as we an away.

Her words have haunted me ever since. You are no sister of mine. I don't know what they did to her, but that was not my sister Serena. They must have really messed with her mind to ever get her like that."

Then I woke up to find Shannon crying silently next to me on the plane. I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her into my body. I stroked her hair until she was calm again.

"Shannon, I am so sorry for that. I swear, if we see Serena there, I will find out what they did to her, and get her back to normal. I promise." I whispered.

I glanced up to see Natalca watching us. I guess she must have known Shannon was going to tell me this. She started to get up, but I shook my head at her. Her eyes narrowed, but she sat back down.


I looked out my window and I could see the lights of a big city. Edmonton. We had arrived.

Review, please! They may make me feel better. I'm still sick. I hate being sick.

I could swear there was something I was going to say here….Oh well.

Signing off,


9. Bubbles

Thank you to K.K. I overreacted. I apologize.

I also realize I made a very, very stupid mathematical mistake in the last chapter. Jeez, and my friends call me a calculator! My math teacher would have my head over the door for this one. I said that each person would have 2 Erasers, with one extra. Last I checked, 9 x 2=18. 18 + 2= 20. there should have been 2 extra. Oopsy daisy.

I have a new profile concerning if J.J. should get wings or not. Please go vote!

Onward, men!

Syzygy Chapter 9

Iggy POV

I had been to focused on comforting Shannon before to really figure out what this meant. Not anymore.

Her own sister. Her freaking sister is second in command of Itex. This was going to hurt Shannon so bad if we had to kill her. I would try my best to find out what was wrong with Serena and fix it.

"Iggy? Don't tell the others. Please." Shannon pleaded quietly.

"Of course not." I assured her.


I kissed her cheek and she smiled.

"I love you so much. You know that, right?" Shannon asked softly.

"I know. And I love you back, don't worry." I whispered.

"Ahem." I turned to see a stewardess standing beside my seat.

"So sorry to interrupt, but you need to fasten your seatbelts and prepare for landing shortly, lovebirds. Guess you were to caught up in each other to notice. We're here." She said rudely.

Shannon's eyes narrowed, and I winced. That was not a good move, lady.

"I see the screw-up fairy has come to visit with you often."

"Ex-cuse me?"

"Which word did you not understand? Idiot? Stupid? Bug off? Idiot?" Shannon asked, glaring.

"You witch!"

"I don't know what your problem is, but I bet its hard to pronounce. You just don't go around calling people witches. It's not very bright. Not that you could make that distinction anyway."

The rude stewardess, 'Avery' her nametag said, stomped off furiously. I turned and stared at Shannon.


"Remind me to stay in your good books." I told her.

She grinned and looked out the window.

"Jeez, Shannon, tearing apart the flight attendants piece by piece isn't very nice. Work on your people skills." Natalca walked up, wagging a finger. She was talking in a high-pitched, old lady voice.

"Oh, shush. You would do the same thing." Shannon reminded her.

"Yeah, probably." Natalca agreed. "Anyway, I'm supposed to tell you that as soon as those plane doors open, get out of here. Max is practically jumping out of her seat, she's going to bolt. Fang isn't much better. They're not waiting."

"Okay." I nodded.

A familiar voice suddenly called out, "Miss, sit down! We're landing. Do you want to be thrown to the back of the plane?"

Avery was back. Oh, sheer joy.

"Oh. Nevermind. If you're with them" she jabbed a finger at Shannon and I "you can hurt yourself all you want. The more pain, the better." Avery sneered.

"I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid." Shannon called sweetly.

"Oh, shut up, you-" Avery was cut off by a man's voice.

"Avery! What is going on out here? Why are you yelling at the passengers in such a rude manner?" An older man demanded.

"I-I'm sorry, Mr. Johnson!" Avery stammered, trying to save herself.

"You were already on probation, Avery! That was your last chance. You're fired!" He yelled angrily.

Avery glared at us, and Shannon stifled a giggle. I rolled my eyes. Erasers, irate flight attendants, oh, that's all a piece of cake. Dresses, dancing, and high heels, on the other hand….

Natalca went back to her seat, and soon the wheels of the plane touched down. Max had her backpack all ready to go, and was sitting on the edge of her seat, back like a board. The doors opened, and the flock were the first passengers off the plane, out of there in a flash.

"Okay. It's about 9:00 now. Let's check into a hotel, get some supper, and go to bed. We have a very full day tomorrow. Does anyone happen to know where a hotel might be?" Max asked.

"Um, excuse me, I heard you say you were looking for a hotel. There's a Days Inn right beside the airport." A woman nearby said helpfully.

"Oh, thanks." Max smiled.

"Happy to help." The woman said, walking away.

"Okay. Let's go." Max tried again.

We all began walking towards the door, when suddenly there was a security guard in front of us.

"Where are your parents?" he demanded harshly.

"Oh, Nick, Jeff, Tiffany, Ariel and I were here to pick up Samantha, Nathalie, Jamie, and Zephyr. We're staying at the hotel next door." Max lied, making up names for Shannon, Natalca, and J.J.

"Really. I'll just accompany you to your hotel, then." He told Max, smiling a smug smile.

Natalca's eyes narrowed beside me, she did not like this guy.

"No, I don't think that will be necessary." Max declined.

"I'm not coming because I'm worried about your safety. I'm coming because I don't trust you." He explained flatly.

"Jeez, prejudice!" Shannon muttered to me.

"What did you say?" the guard barked suspiciously.

"I just said that it seems very weird for a guard to be so interested in a couple of kids. Ariel, doesn't that seem weird?" Shannon asked Angel, stressing her name. She was obviously trying to convey a message.

"Yes, you're right, Samantha." Angel agreed. She looked like she was concentrating very hard.

Abruptly, the guard turned and left.

"Good job, Angel. Mind controlling 6-year olds are scary." Max congratulated Angel.

Angel nodded, then turned to Shannon. "I can't hear your mind."

"What?!" Shannon exclaimed, totally surprised.


"I can't hear your thoughts. You're a complete blank. I can't figure it out." Angel continued.

"Okay, that's weird. I'm calling to you in my head right now. I'm not setting up any shields. As far as I know." Shannon said, confused.

Tell her to try Natalca. The Voice told me.

"Angel, try Natalca." I commanded.

Angel gasped. "I can't hear her either."

"Well, I don't know. Let's go, before another whacko guard comes." I decided.

Everyone strode quickly out the sliding doors, Natalca checking for guards with her power every so often. I searched the side of the street next to the airport. There! The Days Inn was just down there.

I pointed, and we silently began walking down the sidewalk, when suddenly J.J. crumpled to the ground. And Natalca and Shannon had absolutely nothing to do with it. Now that was a shocker.

He gasped and his fists clenched.

"J.J.? What's wrong? Are you okay? J.J.?" Natalca asked frantically. Hey, even Natalca can get frantic! Look at that. Usually she leaves the freaking out to me.

Slowly he stood up, clutching his stomach. "I'm fine. I don't know what that was. Let's go." J.J. choked out, trying to get the attention off him.

Natalca frowned, but didn't say anything. Shannon narrowed her eyes, clearly still concerned and not trying to hide it. I was still worried, too, to tell you the truth. We continued into the hotel lobby anyway. There was a teenage guy at the counter, and Fang sighed and held out his hand. I rolled my eyes, but understood. I handed him the MaxRide card, and he stalked up to the counter.

"4 rooms, please." He said coolly. The guy was lucky Fang had even said please.

"Sure." The guy smiled pleasantly, then began typing away at the computer.

I could tell Fang was taken aback at the guy's pleasantness. He and I both were expecting him to start hitting on me, Shannon, or Natalca.

"So, sight-seeing in the mountains, are you? Have you been to Jasper before?" The guy asked. I would have thought that maybe he was hitting on Fang, but there was no mistaking the pure neighbourly friendliness in the guy's voice.

"Um, yes, we're on vacation for a while. We have never been here before, except for those two." I stepped in, gesturing to Natalca and Shannon, who were watching us curiously. "They're actually Canadian."

"Oh, that's nice." The guy waved at them, and they waved back tentatively. "Here's the room keys. Enjoy your stay!" He smiled, and I thanked him.

Once we were out of hearing distance, I said, "Well. He actually didn't hit on anybody. That's a record! It's amazing! Are all Canadians like that? If so, I am so not going back to the US."

Shannon laughed. "Canadians are definitely not all polite. But it is a stereotype that we are. Maybe there's some truth to that."


We were just outside of our rooms when J.J. shouted and fell to the ground. Again. And, again, Shannon and Natalca had nothing to do with it.

He's getting wings. My voice oh so helpfully told me. It couldn't have told me before. Oh, no. No warning for Max.

"He's getting wings." I relayed to everyone else.

Natalca gasped and looked back down at J.J. The same little wingtips were poking out of his back that had been coming out of Natalca and Shannon's. Soon, they were turning silver-grey. Black streaks then appeared. Now they looked like stone, which fit, I suppose.

J.J. POV (Hey, I haven't done this yet!)

Ow. That hurt. A lot. Now, if Natalca told me to suck it up, which would be so like her, I would flip out. When you have two freaking limbs pushing and pulling out of your back, it's going to hurt. Just a little FYI for you. Finally, finally, they were out and it was over.

I stood up shakily and looked at my fancy-shmancy new wings. Now I wouldn't have to have Fang carry me. Yes. They were silvery-grey, and reminded me of steel. Cool.

"I have wings." I stated the obvious.

"Noo, J.J., I was sure that was another head growing out of your back, and you were groaning because of starvation. No freaking duh you have wings! I can't move because of them." Shannon told me sarcastically.

She was right. I hadn't exactly folded my wings in yet. Shannon and Natalca were pinned against the wall by them. I smirked inside, having made a plan.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Natalca, am I pinning you down? Oh, how inconsiderate of me!" I exclaimed, faking incredible chivalry.

As I turned to let Natalca out, I pressed my wing down on Shannon harder. Ha. Get out of that using your tongue, Miss Sarcasm.

"J.J., you idiot. Let me go. It will not be pretty when I get my hands on you otherwise." Shannon snarled, glaring.

"Oooh, scary kitty cat. Don't scratch me!" I faked fear.

She growled and struggled against my wing.

"Careful, Shanny, don't hurt yourself." I taunted.

Judging by her expression, that wasn't the smartest thing to say. Her glare turned terrifying, and her voice was dangerously soft. If it was possible, sparks would fly from her eyes. Hey, I wonder if that is possible for her.

"Maybe I can't get away from you now, but in you dreams, you're helpless against the horrible nightmares I can give you." She hissed.

Crap. I hadn't thought of that. My wing faltered for a moment, and Shannon felt it and slipped away, before tackling me to the ground.

"Now who's helpless?" She asked, pinning me down.

"I hate you." I said.

"Okay, don't kill him, Shannon. He needs to fight tomorrow." Max ordered, grabbing Shannon and hauling her off me.

"Be grateful." Shannon said, before whirling and stalking into her room.

Shannon POV

Oh, what and idiot. I wasn't really mad at him though. I was struggling to keep from smiling. I knew my face had been scary anyway. I could have just threatened to burn him, but that wasn't nearly as much fun.

15 minutes later, Natalca waltzed into mine and Iggy's room. Iggy was with Gazzy, building bombs.

"This hotel is weird." She announced.

I raised an eyebrow. She elaborated.

"My room had a beanbag chair." She explained.

I glanced up, looking around the room. "Nothing of interest here."

"Hey, you have a bigger closet than us! Hey, what's that?" Natalca's brow furrowed, and she reached into the closet. When her arm came back into view, it was holding a long, glass tube. It was almost as tall as me. Then she pulled out a black, round, base type thing.

"Help me." She demanded.

I put my book down and went over to her. We deduced that the tube sat in the base, and the cord obviously went in the wall. We found an on switch, and I flipped it. Nothing happened.

"Okay…that's not very exciting." Natalca said.

"Wait, what's this?" I pointed to a small sign on the bottom of the base.

On closer inspection, it turned out to be a sign that warned you not to put the contraption near anything electrical.

"Water! That's what we need!" I exclaimed. It made perfect sense.

"Water? When did water come into this?" Natalca questioned. Okay, maybe not perfect sense.

"Why would it not be able to go near electricity if it doesn't have water in it somehow?" I explained.

"Okay…I think I follow you." Natalca said slowly.

"Good. Then you won't yell at me if I break it with the water, because you agree." I checked.

"Heck no! If it short-circuits, I blame you entirely!" Natalca shook her head fervently.

"Yeah, that's what I thought. I'll get some water." I rolled my eyes.

I got up and went to the bathroom, then stopped and looked for something to put the water in. then, I realized that I didn't need to put it in anything. Power over water is very handy sometimes. I grinned to myself and turned the tap on. Before the water hit the sink, I began levitating it out the door to Natalca. She caught on to my plan and took over, levitating the water into the tube. Pretty soon, the whole tube was full, and I came back out.

"Now, we flip the switch on, and hope it works." I directed.

"Hm." Natalca didn't sound like she trusted me on this. Jeez.

"Oh, come on. What the heck can happen? Don't you have any faith in me at all?" I teased.

"One, it could blow up in our faces, or short-circuit the entire block. Two, I do trust you, just not entirely on this. Three, I still blame you completely." Natalca retorted.

"You could go on forever with the 'coulds'. Just sit back and watch, nonbeliever." I told her.

I pressed the little switch into the on position, and I admit, I flinched a little. The contraption made a low rumbling noise, and I was worried for a split second before I saw the show. Now I knew what the machine was. Natalca gasped and murmured in awe, "A bubble lamp!"

"Oh, that is so cool!" I exclaimed.

Bubbles, millions and millions of bubbles raced up from the bottom and popped at the top. They moved so fast, my eyes couldn't even follow them. There was also a light bulb in the base, so the bubbles changed colours. Red, blue, green, gold, silver, purple…it was beautiful.

"I wonder…" I muttered to myself.

I leaned forward and pressed my face against the cool glass. The bubbles rushing past gave it such a cool effect.

"Try this!" I ordered Natalca breathlessly.

"Awesome!" She cried. Then, "Can you imagine how stupid we must look?"

I laughed, then said, "Yeah, first they'd get a fantastic view of my butt, then they'd see us with our faces pressed against the glass, watching bubbles. Yup, we are officially insane."

"You mean we weren't before?"

"Good point."

Natalca grinned and stood up, putting her ear in the top of the tube.

"Listen to this!"

I copied her and smiled. I could here every individual bubble pop, and it sounded weird and cool at the same time.

Natalca kneeled back down and stuck her face next to the glass.

"Hey, I can see your legs!" She informed me.

I sat back down, and out my face across from her's.

"Haha, your eyes look huge! And your nose looks tiny! You look like an alien!" I laughed.

"Oh, it's always nice to know I look like an alien." She sighed.

Pretty soon, we were helpless on the floor, laughing our heads off and making jokes at the same time.

"Now what if someone came in?" I asked her between laughs.

"They'd see us on the floor dying a horrible death of laughter. Hm, they'll have to pop all the bubbles to avenge us."

I mimed trying to poke all the bubbles that streamed inside the tube. It was an absolutelt impossible task. I would have popped about 1 out of every hundred that went by. This action just made us laugh harder. Talking was impossible.

Just then, as Natalca and I were absolutely beyond talking of any sort, J.J. and Iggy walked in. Crap. Now someone knew we had lost our minds. I wonder if they'll visit us in the insane asylum?

Iggy POV

Woah. Freaky. Shannon and Natalca were rolling on the floor, in a fit of laughter.

"Okay, I don't think I want to know. But I'll ask anyway. What the heck?" J.J. asked warily.

"It appears that our girlfriends have gone insane. Should we try and help them, or ditch them while we still have the chance?" I asked J.J.

"Oh, that is so not funny." Shannon wheezed.

Then Natalca shrieked something incoherently, but Shannon understood and laughed even harder if that was possible. It sure didn't seem like it. Tears rolled down their faces, and their faces were bright red. I exchanged a look with J.J., and he understood. We leaped forward, me grabbing Shannon and him grabbing Natalca.

"They're taking us to the madhouse, Shannon! My last words are: Don't forget the cheese flavoured bubbles!" Natalca shrieked.

Shannon closed her eyes and clutched her stomach. She looked like she was going to implode with the force of her laughter. I looked at J.J., and he raised an eyebrow in confusion. Cheese flavoured bubbles? Pardon me? He seemed to say. I shrugged, as lost as he was.

"Goodbye forever, my insane friend. I hope you enjoy your days in a padded cell. Never for get the bubble flavoured cheese!" Shannon yelled as J.J. dragged Natalca out the door.

I shook my head. What had those two eaten today? They were acting like they were on a sugar rush. IT was enough to make you really stop and think, Why am I in love with this psychotic female again? But I knew I could never leave Shannon.

Once Natalca was gone, I lifted Shannon onto the bed and held her there. She regarded me silently, except for the occasional giggle. She seemed calm enough, so I laid down beside her, my arm around her waist so she couldn't escape and go find her other psychotic partner in crime, the despicable Natalca.

"Why are you looking at me like that?" She suddenly asked me.

"I'm trying to decide what the heck to do with you. And which question to ask first. And trying to figure out why your suddenly so hyper." I answered.

"Well, while you're working on that, I'll just go outside…" She tried to slip away from my arm.

So not happening. I tightened my grip, and she sighed.

"I'm not insane, you know. I'm still me." Shannon told me irritably.

"I'm not so sure…" I murmured warily.

Then I leaned forward and kissed her lips. She stayed frozen for a second, totally surprised. Then she responded like I knew she would. Her arms wrapped around my neck, one hand in my hair. I smirked, and she felt it. She bit my lip. That was her form of revenge, since she didn't want to pull away and smack me. My arms snaked around her waist of their own accord. It was kind of uncomfortable, the way we were lying, so I pulled her onto my chest. Her arms tightened, and so did mine. I touched her lip with my tongue, and she obeyed my request shyly, as usual. She hadn't got it into her head yet that she didn't need to be afraid of letting me go to far. I wasn't going to push her. My tongue gently pushed its way into her mouth, and her tongue met mine happily. Then I rolled over, catching her by surprise. I had her pressed into the bed now.

Then I heard the door open, and I jumped away from her, like I had been shocked.

"EWWW! They're kissing! My eyes!!" Gazzy yelled. He yelped and ran out of the room.

"Hm. Looks like someone else has a similar method for calming their girlfriends down." J.J. said, smirking.

"Yeah, so? At least we're not all secretive about our relationship." Shannon retorted.

"Anyway, we're going for supper. If you two are done, we can go now." Natalca informed us.

Yay! I'm finally done this chapter! It took me forever!


You know you want to!



10. Serena

Hello again, faithful, loyal, trustworthy, fantastic, awesome, fabulous, great, wonderful readers!! Why am I buttering you up, you ask? Well, I am going to tell you my news *Looks down at floor and mumbles out*: I won't be updating often. I'm on vacation for two weeks. You will be extremely lucky if you get 2-3 chapters out of me. I think. I'm going to be out doing all kinds of crazy, exhausting, awesomely cool fun things while everyone else back home is at school. Yes, I put that in just for you two, MaximumTwilightRider and Talka:). Anyway, please don't kill me! I'm trying! I'm typing away at quarter after 10! Go me! Woo! I have to get up early tomorrow! Oh, joy! Are you tired of exclamation marks yet?! No?! Yay! I like exclamation marks! I think I'm hyper again! Yes, pretty sure! Now, I know Talka:) is laughing right now, and MaximumTwilightRider is groaning in extreme exasperation! Yay, I'm a mind reader!

Okay, I'll get on with it now. I lied last chapter, I said there'd be Eraser action, and there wasn't. Woopsy daisy! *Dodges hard, sharp, potentially painful objects thrown by readers. Oh, dear, Talka:) did you just throw a bubble at me?*

Okay, I promise, I won't get off track this time. Here is the tenth chapter. I started typing this on Thursday...I bet it won't be up until way next week...Okay, right, tenth chapter! I saw that bazooka and duct tape, Talka:) and MaximumTwilightRider! You can't fool me! Bwahahaha!

Talka:) and MaximumTwilightRider now have a strait jacket and an ambulance..hey, if I'm going to an insane asylum, you two are sure as heck coming with me! Is that a sledgehammer and a body bag?! Oh dear God. I'll begin typing now. Wait, one last thing! If the chapter comes up all pushed to one side, I don't know what I pressed! I'm not a computer technician! If not, then pretend you didn't read that last sentence and congratulate me on my amazing abilities...with computers....Talka:), you're scaring me! Put that down!

Syzygy Chapter 10 ooh, double digits! Agh, MaximumTwilightRider, careful where you point that thing! You could take my head off! You're nodding slowly like I am four years old. What? That's the point?! Agh! My one sane friend has lost her mind! Talka:), careful your face could freeze like that! Oh, god, I should start typing now!

Fang POV

"Wake up, Fang. We have a School to go blow to pieces! Fun, fun! Okay, I'll drop the 5 year old voice if you get up." Max told me.

I groaned and rolled over. Hm, our positions seemed kind of reversed this morning. Two days ago, I was the one getting Max up.

I muttered something incoherent that was supposed to be, "Leave me alone." But I started coughing half way through. Uh oh.

"Fang! Are you sick?!" Max exclaimed in disbelief.

"No, no, I can't be sick.." then I subsided into a fit of coughing and snuffling.

"You're sick, and don't try to deny it. I'll go get Iggy." Max said, walking out of the room.

Five minutes later, Iggy sauntered in the room, followed by Shannon.

"So, little Fangie is sickie, is he? Stick out your tongue and say ahh!" Iggy said snidely.

I snarled at him as effectively as I could with a sore throat and wild cough. Not to mention a case of the sniffles. Wow, did I just say a case of the sniffles? Maybe this sickness comes with delirium, too.

"Haha, Fang can't even snarl at me. That was more like a purr, I'm afraid." Iggy laughed.

"You are so dead, Iggy." I croaked, trying to roll off the bed towards him.

"Oh, no, you don't! You are staying here until I figure out what medicine to give you." Max growled, holding me down.

"Who's side are you on?!" I asked her, irritated.

"Whichever side keeps you from hurting yourself!" She retorted.

"Shannon?" I asked hopefully.

She was standing behind Iggy, so he couldn't see her. She winked and then said, "Sorry, Fang."

I smirked inwardly. Shannon moved silently, which was saying something, with Iggy. She conjured up a huge sphere of water, and then said, "Iggy."

Like a complete idiot, he turned to see what she wanted. Shannon smashed the water into his face, and he spluttered, "What the heck was that for?!"

"Fang can take you out any day when he's better, and you know it. Be glad that's all the revenge you'll get. He would make it much worse, but I love you, so I'll be nice." She said sweetly.

"Humph." Iggy grumbled.

I smirked outwardly this time, and Iggy glared. "So you have to get someone else to solve your problems now, do you, Fang?" He asked angrily.

"Enough! Iggy, just figure out what's wrong with him. There's no need to make me and Shannon punish you. Fang, quit aggravating Iggy and just let him check you over." Max steamed.

Iggy sighed dramatically and moved forward to feel my throat. I was having a very hard time not smacking his hand away. It's kind of a built in reflex to protect your throat when you're fighting. Max saw my expression and gave me a look that said, Just calm down! It's Iggy, not an Eraser!

Shannon also saw my face and mouthed, Don't worry, once you feel up to it, you can throttle him as much as you want. Just don't kill him, please.

Finally Iggy was done poking around at my neck. "You have an infection in the gland right here" he poked just under my jaw, and not very gently, I might add "so you should take ammoxacillin." Iggy directed.

(A/N I only know the ammoxacillin thing because I just had an infection there, and that's what I took for it. I'm no doctor, either, so if I get something wrong, just pretend for the sake of the story.)

Max opened our first-aid kit, and rummaged around in it a bit. Finally, she held up a little bottle full of red and yellow pills. Oh, crap, not pills. I hate pills.

"This stuff?" She asked.

"Yep. He has to take three a day. Have fun with that, Fang." Iggy smiled devilishly and strode out of the room.

"Damn him." I muttered.

Max rolled her eyes, and Shannon smiled. Max then began twisting the lid off the bottle of pills. Or trying to, I should say.

"It's not coming off! Why isn't it coming off?! Stupid lid!" Max growled.

She looked like she was going to hurl it across the room, so Shannon intervened.

"Here, Max. Let a person without anger management problems handle it." She said, grinning.

"Fine. But let it be known that I hate bottles." Max grumbled.

Shannon took the bottle and had it off in less than two seconds flat. She smirked and handed it back to Max.

"What the heck. I hate you." Max told her.

"Uh huh. Sure you do. You see, you have to push down on the lid and turn at the same time. It's called a child-proof lid. Apparently it's Max proof too."

Max sighed and fished a pill out of the bottle. Oh, no.

"NO WAY! I am not taking the freaking pill! My body can fight off any illness by itself! Put that down!" I yelled.

"Suuuure. You're taking the pill, Fang. Accept it and take it like a man. Or are you just a little boy?" Max asked condescendingly.

"Fine. But I won't do it happily." I grimaced.

"You don't ever do anything with any emotion, so this won't be any different." Shannon remarked, before walking out of the room.

I stuck my tongue out after her. Before I said Iggy was devilish. He's nothing compared to her.

"Jeez, Fang. No need to be so childish." Max reprimanded, grinning.

I glared at her, then an idea popped into my head.

"At least get me a glass of water to wash it down." I told her.

"Okay." Max agreed suspiciously.

She grabbed a glass from the bedside table and strode into the bathroom. Then she came back with a full glass and handed it to me. I took it before allowing a devious smirk to fill my face. I splashed the whole glass on her, and it was a pretty big glass. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to watch her face. I grabbed the pill bottle and leaped out of the bed.

Natalca POV

I walked out of our room to see a weird scene. Iggy was walking out of Max and Fang's room, a self-satisfied look on his face. That was never good. 5 minutes later, Shannon came out of the same room. What the heck?

She saw me and motioned for me to be quiet. Then she mouthed, Go back into you room and watch through the crack inbetween the door and the door frame. Don't ask, just do it. Trust me.

I raised an eyebrow in confusion. I repeat, What the heck? But I did as Shannon instructed. I've learned. Shannon grinned excitedly, and pressed herself against the wall beside the door. I closed my eyes and felt the red forms of Shannon on the wall, Iggy in their room, Max in the bathroom, and Fang laying in their bed. Nudge, Gazzy, and Angel were in their room playing cards. And I knew J.J. was behind me in our bed. Lazybones.

Careful. I could tell him, and he'd turn you into stone. Angel warned in my mind playfully.

Whatever. Get out of my head.

Why does everyone always tell me that? It's not fair! If you had this gift, you'd want to use it too! Angel grumbled.

Fine! You can stay for now, but if I tell you to leave, you leave. I ordered.

Okay! Hey, wait a minute, I can hear your mind! Why now, and not before? Angel asked, confused.

Hey, you're right! I wonder- I never finished the thought, because suddenly Fang was barreling throught their bedroom door, smirking like a maniac. I was beginning to wonder about that boy.

Shannon smiled wider, and then Max raced out the door, hair wet, water droplets spraying off her.

"FANG! You are so history, buddy!" She shrieked, furious.

Once again, what the heck? I was so lost.


I streaked after Fang, wanting to strangle him and then cut him to pieces and burn those pieces. Then I'd dance around his pyre and laugh like a demon.

Maximum. Stop. You need to get a move on and get to the School. You need to have this finished by nighttime, or the cats will have a huge advantage on you. They have heat vision in the dark.

I skidded to a stop and yelled for Fang to get his butt over here this instant.

"We need to kick our butts into gear. We HAVE to have this job done by tonight. The cats have heat vision. Which reminds me. We need to separate into teams of three to take these cats down. How about....well, Angel can control them, she's safe. Angel, go with...Nudge and Fang. J.J. can turn then to stone...that's very helpful..go with Natalca and Gazzy. Shannon, Iggy, you're with me." I decided.

"Why do we need to split up?" Nudge asked, confused.

"Because, by the sounds of it, these cats are much stronger than the Erasers. We're safer working together, and there's less chance of one of us getting kidnapped." I explained.

What about Fang, Max? He's sick. Angel asked worriedly.

He'll be okay. You can help him if he needs it. I'm hoping that if he drinks something, the cough will go away.

"Are we all in agreement?" I checked.

"Yes, ma'am!" Everyone saluted me.

"That's my flock. Okay, guys, up and away! Scratch that, let's get outside first!" I laughed.

We walked down the steps towards the lobby. Or some of us did. The sensible ones who are trying to stay under the radar. This is all for you, Shannon!

Laughing, Shannon jumped up on the banister and slid down it to the bottom, four floors below. She giggled the whole way down.

"Incoming!" Natalca shouted, before racing after her on the railing.

Iggy and J.J. looked at each other before following them, J.J. sitting right behind Iggy.

"They should make this an Olympic sport!" Iggy cried as he streaked downward.

Fang chuckled and mimed a reporter. "And here we see a fourteen year old girl, first name Shannon, going for first place in banister sliding, here at the 2010 Olympic Games. Can she do it?"

"Those four are going to get us kicked out or given a fine or something." I grumbled.

I started walking again, but I was the only one. Fang, Nudge, Gazzy, and Angel leaped onto the railing and sped down. Fang turned and smirked at me.

"Idiots." I said to myself before giving in and sliding down myself.

When I got to the bottom, I saw the friendly guy from yesterday talking to Shannon. Uh oh. I hoped he wasn't hitting on her. Iggy alone would pulverize him. Nevermind what Shannon would do to him. Yikes.

I could hear what he was saying when I got closer. "Isn't that so much fun? I do that all the time. Oh, I see the rest of your family is here. Have a good vacation in Jasper." He waved and went back to the desk.

"He wasn't hitting on you, was he?" I asked.

"Heck no. Some people can actually talk to other people of the other gender without hitting on them. Amazing, I know." Shannon rolled her eyes.

"Anyway, are you trying to get the Erasers to find us? Sliding down banisters isn't very inconspicuous." I scolded her.

"Huh, I was pretty sure our cover was blown when J.J. grew wings in the middle of the hall on camera." Shannon retorted, smiling.

"Camera? Crap. Okay, you're forgiven." I told her, rubbing my forehead in exasperation.

We strode out of the hotel and walked around back where we could take off without being seen. Once we were in the air and on our way, Shannon and Natalca got very quiet and brooding. I suppose they didn't really want to go back to the place they tried to escape from in the first place.

I flew over to the two of them, where they had been talking quietly. I slid up quietly beside Shannon, her red wing almost touching my tan one.

"Can you lead us to the School? The rest of us don't really know where it is." I asked.

Natalca nodded, and they sped up so they were at the front. Shannon corrected our direction a bit, but she stayed silent the whole time. Natalca's lips twitched in a worried frown. What is wrong with those two? You'd think they might be slightly excited to blow up their former prison.

After half an hour of flight, Natalca called back, "It's just down there. We think we should land here and start looking for the cat experiments."

Once again, Shannon was absolutely silent. You'd think she was Fang, except that she's female. I was seriously starting to get worried about her.

As we descended, I called to Angel in my mind.

Angel, can you check what Shannon's thinking about? Don't let her know you looked, though.

She's thinking about someone called Serena. She misses her and is worried about her. No idea who Serena is, though. Her thoughts aren't very coherent.

What about Natalca?

Natalca's worried about Shannon and what Shannon will do if we come across this Serena, and what seeing her will do to Shannon. I don't understand.

Neither do I, believe me. Thanks, hun.

You're welcome, Max.

Serena? It was not ringing a bell.

As soon as everyone had landed, we split into our three groups.

"Guys, let's meet by the School when you can't find anymore. Or when Natalca and ANgel can't sense anymore." I directed.

Fang, Nudge, and Angel headed off in one direction, and Gazzy, Natalca, and J.J. went off in another. My group went the third direction.

"Serena?" I asked Shannon quietly.

Shannon whipped around to stare at me, her eyes wide. Iggy inhaled sharply. Hey, wait, Iggy knew about this Serena person?

" do you know anything about Serena?" Shannon gasped.

"I was worried about you. You weren't talking. I had Angel read your mind. Who is she?" I asked gently.

"She's my sister. She was kidnapped along with me and Natalca, but they did something else horrible to her. She turned evil. She tried to kill me. You see this scar? Serena gave it to me. You'd think I'd hate her and want to kill her. But to me, she's still my sister, just brainwashed. I can't fight her. That's the whole problem. If she comes and fights us, I'll get everyone hurt just because I'm to weak to fight her. I should just let her kill me so she won't hurt everyone else." Shannon's voice was suddenly fierce as she explained who Serena was to me.

"NO! You will not let her kill you! I don't care if you don't fight her! We'll take care of her ourselves if she's a problem! I will not let you sacrifice yourself!" I shrieked in shock and outrage.

At the same time, Iggy exclaimed, "NO! You are not leaving me! I won't let you! I'll kill Serena myself!"

"Fine. I won't let her kill me. Let's just hope that we never have to deal with her at all." Shannon conceded.

We walked in silence for a few minutes, before Iggy grabbed us and pulled us to a halt.

Just through there. There's something there. Iggy mouthed.

Shannon and I nodded, and Shannon made two fireballs engulf her hands in preparation to roast some cat butt. I clenched my fists and prepared to fight. Iggy stepped forward silently, and we followed. He peered between two branches of a tree, and then turned to Shannon and I.

"A girl, her tail is sandy coloured. Cougar, maybe. Or lion. I guess we'll find out." He whispered.

Shannon nodded, and we prepared to leap out of our cover on three.




We leaped forward, and Iggy tackled the girl, who shifted to a cougar in the blink of an eye. Iggy clung to her back, making it very hard for her to fend of my fists and feet and Shannon's fire. I landed a few good punches and kicks, but it was hard when the cougar had claws. Suddenly Shannon motioned for Iggy and I to get out of the way. When someone who controls fire tells you to get out of the way, you get out of the way. We dove aside as Shannon blasted the cat with a blazing inferno. The cat dropped, dead.

"Yikes." I said.

"Mm, dinner!" Iggy said, licking his lips.

"Ew. I would feel bad for killing it, but it didn't have any coherent thoughts anyway, Angel's telling me. She says it's thoughts even as it was dying was Kill. Kill. Kill birds."

"That's actually pretty sad. The whitecoats can take away a person's mind like that. It's scary." I shook my head.

"No kidding." Shannon agreed.

Shannon POV

"Let's keep moving. We want to get this done soon." Max said.

We ran off in another direction. Not five minutes later, Iggy stopped again.

"Three are coming fast. They're hunting us, it sounds like. Get ready." Iggy warned.

Iggy and Max stepped away into the bushes, out of the way of the fire I was about to unleash on our furry friends, but close enough to help if I needed it. Three big cats suddenly bounded into the little clearing, surrounding me. The biggest was a tiger, and I couldn't help but think of Beth and Madysyn. (Angel had said afterwards that Madysyn was thinking about how we would probably spell her name wrong, so we now know how to properly spell a panther's name. We are SO advanced.)

The second one was grey and spotted. A lynx. The third was long and yellow with black spots. A cheetah. I would have thought they were cool if I hadn't been about to kill them. I was just summoning the fire inside me, but the tiger suddenly snarled and smirked, if a cat can smirk. I stoppped, because that was more than these cats were supposed to be capable of. What the heck?

My confusion washed away when the tiger morphed to her human form. She had long white blond hair, she was short, and she was familiar. Bethany.

"Bethany. You betrayed us." I growled.

"Oh, no, I'm just about to kill you because I love you sooo much!" Beth said sarcastically.

"Did Madysyn turn traitor like you? I would hope at least one of you would be smart enough not to make my family angry." I said icily.

"Do not talk about that idiot around me! She was a useless cat. She would not betray you like she should have. I should have killed her when I had the chance." Beth answered, disgusted.

"So one of you was smart. Wow. You'd think being in your presence would be enough to make your idiocy rub off on a person." I smirked.

"You moronic fool. You have no idea what a huge mistake you're making, not giving yourself up to help Itex." Beth steamed.

"Jeez, you're not very original. 'You have no idea what a big mistake you're making'. That's such a cliche." I shook my head in disapproval.

"I give you full marks for ignorance. I'll give you one last chance. Give yourself up now, or die. Don't expect anyone to come running to your aid. You're totally alone." Beth threatened.

"If I throw a stick, will you leave?" I asked viciously.

"You wretch! Are you implying that I am a dog?" Beth snarled in disbelief.

"You're ugly enough to be one." I retorted.

Beth morphed and roared in anger before leaping at me. She was doomed from the beginning. The lynx and cheetah followed her lead. They might as well have thrown themselves off a cliff. My fire surged up and swallowed them easily. I closed my eyes at the gruesome sight before me. The charred and blackened bodies of three large cats is not exactly gorgeous. Nevermind the smell.

Max and Iggy stepped out of the bushes, and they looked as stunned as I felt.

"She betrayed us, that bi-" Iggy was silenced by Max's hand.

"I don't care if the little kids aren't here. You still aren't allowed to swear." Max reprimanded.

Iggy stuck his tongue out at her, and I sighed.

"Can we please get out of here? Before I puke?" I asked wearily.

Max glanced at me and my ashen face before nodding and walking on. I tell you, killing a person who actually knows whats happening and has coherent thought is not a picnic, psychologically.

"Don't feel bad about killing that traitor. She deserved it, and besides, it's better you kill her than she kill one of us first." Iggy comforted me.

He wrapped his arm around my waist, and l Ieaned into his side.

We walked on.

Fang POV

I know it was stupid, but I was worried about Max. Like she couldn't take care of herself. Blame the hormones. Or this stupid sickness. I coughed again.

"Are you sure you're okay, Fang? You keep having these coughing fits." Nudge asked me, concerned.

"I'm fine, Nudge." I croaked.

She gave me a look that said she didn't believe me and would continue worrying. Whatever.

"Up here. It's thinking that it can't wait to kill something." Angel made a face.

We crept forward, and then I leaped onto the cat's back. Oh, fantastic. I was wrestling with a lion. That goes against the grain. Under most circumstances, I'd run from a lion. Oh well. I aimed a punch at the base of the cat's skull, and it yelped and went still. Oh, I love nerve clusters. They make everything soo much easier.

Over the course of an hour, we took out six other cats, besides getting a wonderful view of the mountains. Mind control can be handy sometimes.

"Should we get back to the School now? I can't sense any more cats except for four. Natalca, J.J., and Gazzy are taking care of two right now, and they're not having any trouble. Max, Shannon, and Iggy have the other two covered." Angel informed us.

"Oh, um, yeah, I guess so." I consented.

We leaped into the air and flew back to where the School sat, totally unsuspecting. We landed, and were soon joined by J.J., Gazzy, and Natalca. They had a few cuts and scrapes, and Gazzy had a black eye.

"Where's Shannon when you need her?" I chuckled.

Natalca picked up a pinecone and threw it at my head.

"Touchy, aren't we?" I grumbled.

"More like about to fall over from exhaustion. Levitating these gigantic and freaking heavy monsters is very tiring, contrary to popular belief." Natalca snapped.

"Not to mention turning them to stone. God, they're so darn big!" J.J. complained.

Natalca and J.J. collapsed together on the ground, heaving sighs of relief.

"Well, I guess we'll wait for the other three before we blow up the School." I decided.

"Deal." Gazzy agreed, flopping down beside me.

Ten minutes later, I was getting worried.

"Where could they be? What's taking them so long?" I asked no one in particular.

"Right here." I heard Max say wearily.

Max, Iggy, and Shannon stumbled into our clearing. They looked like they were three zombies who had just carried an elephant ten miles. Shannon's face was deathly pale, and she looked like she was going to pass out. Iggy was..indescribable. Let's just say bad. Max looked like she just had a brain attack three times worse than she ever had. And that's bad.

"What happened?!" Natalca exclaimed.

"A case of Iggy not watching where he was going. There was a pit in the ground, and he fell in like the idiot he is." Max said shortly, obviously at the end of her patience.

I raised an eyebrow, and Shannon elaborated.

"The pit was big enough for him to fall in, but it was very narrow at the bottom. His ankle got caught. It was more like a crevice than a pit. And it was too narrow to spread his wings and fly out. So we tied a rope under his arms and pulled. We got him out, but broke his ankle. So I had to heal it, which drained my remaining energy." She said.

"And then she threw up twice on the flight here. It was like pigeon poop, but way worse. I hope no one happened to look up at that particular moment. That would be gross." Iggy stuck his tongue out in a disgusted expression.

Shannon crumpled to the ground and laid there, quite happy to have a break.

"Oh, and you remember Beth? She betrayed us. She also tried to kill us. Like that was going to happen." Max grinned from her place on the ground.

"Too bad Beth failed me. I will not repeat her mistake." A voice said behind us.

Shannon shot up, adrenaline powering her body. Natalca jumped up beside her, like she had been shocked. Everyone else whipped around and confronted the woman standing there.

"Serena." Shannon said coolly.


Her sister. Angel told me. She was turned evil when Shannon and Natalca were still at the School.


"Oh, hello, Shannon. So nice to see you. Or should I say, so nice to kill you. Oh, and Natalca, too. How nice. It's like a reunion. Except that it doubles as a funeral." Serena said with fake pleasantness.

"And I thought I was going to blessed and never see you again. Damn it." Natalca swore.

"Shut up, you little witch. You can't fight me, and you know it. That's goes for you, too, Shannon, dear." Serena snapped.

She took out a wicked looking sword, and this turned out to be a signal of some kind. Cats leaped forward, pinning down everyone but Natalca and Shannon. These cats were bigger and stronger than the others. Then the absolute scariest creature I have ever seen stalked up to Serena's side. It had the body of a panther, but it had razor sharp horns and claws and teeth. It's tail had a barb on the end, and spikes lined the rest of the tail. Then it was as big as two Serenas on top of each other. The muscle that covered the entire body rippled as it roared the most terrifying roar I had ever heard.

Shannon POV


Why did she have to show up? My life was finally starting to look up, and then she had to show up and ruin everything. Screw you, Serena.

The cats had everyone but Natalca and I pinned down, and Serena was smiling an evil smile. It meant that she had us right where she wanted us, and we could do nothing to stop her. The demonic creature beside her licked it's chops.

"J.J., Natalca, Shannon, Fang, Angel, give up. Your powers will not work on these cats or on yourselves, in Fang's case. We are protected against you powers. Darn, eh? Too bad." Serena gloated.

You are no sister of mine. You are no sister of mine. Serena's words repeated inside my head. I felt like I was balancing on a wire. I could fall one way or the other. No more balancing. One way or the other. One way, how could I hurt my own sister? I could let her kill me, so she'd leave everyone else alone. Everyone else could live a normal life on their own, without me leading Serena to them. They could be happy.....But she seemed bent on killing Natalca too, which would be like killing me twice. I'd leave J.J. to grieve because of me. And Iggy would forever hate me for leaving him alone, and Max would be furious. But I'd be dead, her anger couldn't touch me. If I was dead, there would be no more running away, no more mad scientists, no more guilt or fear or anger or homelessness or starvation. Death would be peaceful and painless. But how did I know Serena would leave the rest of the flock alive? I didn't.

I'm Shannon. Shannon doesn't give up and wither away. She fights to the end and goes down throwing punches. Shannon is the one with the fiery anger, and the one that looks fear in the eyes before punching it's lights out. She isn't scared of anything but losing her family or being responsible for their deaths. That's Shannon in a nutshell.

I'm Shannon. That's me. I go down fighting. That means not giving up. In that instant, I made my decision.

"Serena. You have five seconds to let everyone go and get out of here. You are nothing but a mouse-hearted weasel, a fake who lets everyone else do your dirty work for you. Like right now for instance. You're going to have that abomination kill us while you sit and watch and take credit for it. You are a COWARD!" I was yelling by the end, having made myself furious.

Serena was stunned for a second, before trying to retaliate. "Sister dear, throwing tantrums isn't going to help."

"Don't you ever call me your sister again. I am no sister of yours!" I warned.

"All right, that's enough from you. Any last words before Wolverine takes you out?" Serena asked icily, stroking Wolverine's side.


Serena raised an eyebrow in disbelief.



Serena smirked as my hands began burning with fire.


Her smirk grew in anticipation of killing me.

"One last chance, Serena. I'm warning you."

"I think I'll take my chances."


I lunged. She stepped aside, as I knew she would. I rolled and came up standing in front of a tree, which was my plan.

"I'm disappointed, Shannon. I suppose I'll take you out myself. I expected more." Serena shook her head.

I kept her talking while I burned through the trunk of the tree behind me.

"So sorry to disappoint you, Serena." I glared.

She struck at me with her sword and lunged at the same time. I stepped aside, and the tree began falling exactly where Serena was. Unfortunately, she dodged and the tree missed. Crap. Then I got another idea. My water power had always been more like a prank power than anything. Knowing Serena, she probably only protected herself against my fire. I concentrated on making the water inside me as cold as possible. When I was satisfied, I pushed it all at Serena. She gasped in shock and stumbled backwards. Her robes were soaked, which would keep her cold.

Her lips slowly turned blue, and I smirked internally.

"Cold, Serena?" I asked innocently.

She glared the best she could in her situation, before saying, "You almost had me beat, Shannon, but not quite."

Then she disappeared.

Serena could teleport.

Okay, I had something I wanted to say, oh , yeah, this is really short, deal with it. Bye. I'm in ahurry.

11. Another Prophecy?

I'M HOME!!! MUAHAHAHA! All my friends should now go cower in a corner because their maniacal friend SanraitaFang is back.

Many apologies for last chapter.

ONE: I took REALLY long to post that chapter, I'm really sorry. I'll hopefully have the eleventh up soon.

TWO: I got a review saying I copied MR4 with the whole 'Iggy falling in pit thing'. I suppose you have a point. I wasn't thinking of that book when I wrote that though. It was the only way I could think of to get Iggy to break his ankle. Other than tripping on a root. That's just stupid. Iggy wouldn't do that. And I also didn't feel like sitting there for 10 minutes when I had 20 minutes to type that chapter.

THREE: The whole fight between Serena and Shannon was kinda poorly done, in that Serena could have easily killed everyone with Wolverine. But I needed to get her to teleport, and I obviously couldn't kill off the flock.

FOUR: MaximumTwilightRider, I apologize for my misake. I hope you know what I'm talking about. Everyone else, it's not important.

I GOT FIFTY REVIEWS! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! This chapter is dedicated to Malabsorbent for giving me my fiftieth review.

I also apologize for the idiotic beginning Author's Note last chapter. I was very hyper and half out of my mind. Actually, more like all out of my mind.

I'll get on with it now. I bet you're all wondering what happens now that Serena can teleport.

Syzygy Chapter Eleven

Natalca POV

Serena can teleport.

That despairing thought circled around and around in my head as I watched Shannon straighten with wide eyes full of surprise and suppressed fury and frustration. This was not going to be good. If Serena could teleport, how could we ever kill her? She could always just teleport as Shannon or Max or me or whoever was just about to finish her off.

Shannon closed her eyes and clenched her hands. Iggy got up and went over to her. That's when I realized that the other cats and the horrible Wolverine thing had disappeared with Serena. Huh. How did that happen? I was beginning to notice a pattern. Every time I notice something, a question follows. Lovely. Solving problems is not my thing. I leave that to Shannon. Or whoever else happens to be with me.

"Shannon? I won't ask the cliché question, 'are you all right, because you obviously aren't. But it's okay. We're all alive and well. That's more than I was hoping for. We all thought we were dead, Shannon. You saved us. Or Serena's ignorance and your cunning saved us. Whatever." Iggy said, putting a hand on her shoulder and forcing her to sit down beside him.

Her face was even paler than before, as impossible as that sounds. Except her cheeks, which were flushed red, as they always were whenever she was either extremely angry or upset. I think it was a bit of both here, though mostly anger. It seemed she had gotten over her sister feelings for Serena, because I recognized the look in her eyes when she really wanted someone dead, and it had blazed furiously a few moments ago.

I slowly stood up and came over to sit beside Shannon, grabbing her other shoulder and shaking it gently.

"Hey. Don't blame yourself for her getting away. No. That's not what's bothering you, is it? I know you too well. It's her finding us that you blame yourself for. Don't you dare try to tell me that it is your fault. I'm here too, remember? She would find me as well as you, wherever we were. If you're blaming yourself that way, you can only blame me as well. And besides, even if neither of us was with these guys, she's second in command to Itex. She'd have to kill the flock anyway. We have nothing to do with that. So stop blaming yourself!" I demanded not-so-gently.

Iggy gave me a look. In short, it said, Watch it. She's still mad. She could blow at any moment. And be nice, could you?

I stuck out my tongue and gave him a look that said, I know her better. I know how to try to get her to see sense. And I am being as nice as I'll be at the moment.

He narrowed his eyes but said nothing. It was good Shannon had her eyes closed. She would have been irritated if she saw us conversing about her like she was a zoo animal on display or a four year old whose parents were arguing about her punishment.

But still she stayed silent. Even after I shook her again. Her eyes opened and she glared at me, but, frustratingly, she said zip.

Finally realization dawned. About time, idiot, I told myself.

"That's not what's bothering you. Or that's not all. You think she could have killed you. You think she wanted you to best her. You actually think you made a mistake just now. You know Shannon, sometimes I could just about throttle you. Like now, for instance." I hissed.

I was really angry now. She was suspicious that Serena had tricked her, that Serena had wanted Shannon to win so Serena could test her without killing her after. How could she not see that if Shannon had not played into Serena's hands, we would all be DEAD? Agh, Shannon, you're so difficult!

"I fell straight into her trap. Now she knows I can control fire and water! I have no hidden ace up my sleeve, Natalca! She knows my powers, and she knows my personality. She knows my weaknesses and strengths. She knows exactly how to arrange my end. I'm the only one who could ever defeat her, and I've failed! You can't tell me I haven't, Natalca. I swear, I will flip on you if you try." Shannon snapped.

Everyone else had followed me and was seated around us in a small circle, like a meeting of the government or something. Actually, considering our sanitation and outfits, it was more like a tribal council in a native tribe.


Uh oh. Shannon was mad at Natalca, and she was blaming herself. Shannon had just spoken to, or more like exploded at, Natalca. I figured someone should step in now before Natalca made Shannon so angry that she couldn't see logic. Not that she could at the moment anyway, but I could always try. I was just opening my mouth, as was Iggy, when Fang of all people cut in.

"Stop it, Shannon. If you hadn't "fallen into her trap" we would all be dead. You did nothing you shouldn't have. In case everyone hadn't noticed, which many of you obviously didn't, Shannon was in Serena's list to 'give up, your powers won't work'. She already knew about Shannon's new power, and Natalca's, for that matter. And besides, if Max blamed herself for everything she's gotten us into, she'd be ready for a madhouse. And anyways, you have nothing to blame yourself for, so it's a moot point. We're alive." Fang tried to reason with her.

I almost made a snappy retort to the madhouse comment, but decided this wasn't the time.

"Fine. Fine. I don't feel like arguing with everyone. But you're not going to change my mind. Plus, I'm also worried about meeting her again. It probably won't be that soon, and by then I might have changed my views and she might be like my sister again. I might not be able to kill her. It's eating me alive." Shannon exhaled.

"I have no answer to that. If we stay and talk about this any longer, Natalca's going to blow a fuse. Oh, too late. We still have a school to blow up, remember?" I reminded them.

Smiles lit Gazzy's face, but Iggy was too irritated and worried about Shannon to be excited. Which was saying something. Together we all walked to the edge of the forest, where the School was, on the side of a mountain. Iggy walked with Shannon, his arms wrapped around his waist. J.J. had Natalca in a similar situation, but it looked almost more restraining than comforting. Then Angel and Natalca froze.

"It's another cat!" Natalca growled.

"No! I mean, it is, but it's Madysyn! She's back!" Angel explained hurriedly.

"Madysyn? I didn't think we'd ever see her again." I said.

"I didn't think you would either. But apparently we were both wrong. I have come to give you another piece of critical information, and tell you that I will be helping you along your journey. I will keep my distance, and travel differently, but I will be there every time a School is to be blown up. I will help as much as I can." Madysyn appeared from through the trees.

I studied her more closely this time. She had chestnut brown hair that hung straight down to her shoulders, with small waves. (Does that sentence even make sense? Oh well.) Her head was squarish, and her arms were thin but strong. Her panther tail waved back and forth wildly, and her almond shaped eyes darted from face to face.

Silence met this statement. We're not a 'dramatic gasping' group. Finally I spoke up.

"Okay…..I guess I can't object to another helping hand. But what's this information? And how'd you know where we were?" I asked.

"The information I have to tell you is another prophecy. The first one has been fulfilled. The apocalypse has been slowed down, thanks to you. One of the two" she looked at Shannon "has come together with one of the six." Madysyn pointedly looked at Iggy.

"Hmm. What's the new prophecy?" I wondered out loud.

Madysyn's voice grew chilling as she recited the lines she had obviously memorized from many hours mulling over them. "This one is much more cryptic and misleading. Do not expect to understand it until it has happened.

A great liability will be the beginning of the end,

Old relationships you will nurse and mend,

One shall be on death's door by the traitor's hand,

But shall be given a chance by the master of land,

Three months shall join and save you in your moment of need,

And when you lay dying, broken and bloodied,

Rely only on the greatest syzygy to give you life again."

Following that onslaught was a very long silence.

Then Natalca said slowly, "Okay, I was lost the third word. I think some of us need a dictionary. Shannon?"

Shannon turned to give Natalca a withering look before explaining. "A great liability would be a big weakness."

"Anyone have any idea what a syzygy is?" Madysyn asked hopefully.

"I do, actually. And that's the line that scares me the most. A syzygy is a conjunction of opposites. Two opposites coming together. Like an eclipse, with the sun and moon. Or even something simpler like hot air and cold air making steam. So I have no idea what the greatest syzygy could be. It could even be some kind of catastrophe." Shannon said quietly.

"That explains some things. But not everything. A traitor?" J.J. piped up.

"Yeah, that's worrisome too. Could it be Beth?" Nudge put in.

"I killed Beth. So unless she can come back to life, which would be really bad, it can't be her." Shannon said logically.

"Madysyn, you never answered my second question." I glanced at the cat girl, who was leaning on a tree.

"How I found you? That will be explained in time." Madysyn answered.

"Helpful." I complained.

"She sounds like Shannon when she wouldn't tell me her name." Iggy commented.

Shannon smiled but said nothing.

"Should we get a move on before the School gets an army together?" Natalca asked impatiently.

"I guess so. Let's go, guys." I ordered.

We finished our walk to the clearing, where Iggy and Gazzy began talking quietly about which bombs to use.

"We don't want to blow a hole in the mountain, remember, guys." I said.

"Way ahead of you, Max." Gazzy grinned, holding up a black device that looked quite destructive.

Gazzy launched it at the building. And when I say launch, I don't mean launch as in some fancy-shmancy launch pad and a big red button to push. I mean throw it. Just wanted to be clear.

"Duck if you value your life." Iggy stated calmly.

Then he grabbed Shannon and hauled her to the ground, shielding her with his body. J.J. pushed Natalca to her knees and enveloped her in stone grey wings. I was watching this with a skeptical expression, thinking that Shannon and Natalca probably didn't appreciate being treated like they were made of glass and couldn't take care of themselves. Then Fang pulled me down and forced me against him, my face pressed into his chest, his arms keeping me held tight to his body.

Nudge, Gazzy, Angel, and Madysyn huddled down behind us six, and then the building exploded. They must have had it on a timer. What's wrong with a good old bomb that explodes on contact? Jeez.

Finally the idiot I called Fang let me up. I faced him and snarled furiously, "What the heck was that for? You don't think I can take care of myself?"

I saw a familiar look in his eyes. I would have groaned out loud, but that would ruin my whole furious act. It was the look that said that I would not budge him and I might as well not even try.

"Yes, you can take care of yourself, Max. But I'm a guy, and guys have an overpowering instinct to shield their girlfriends. You can argue as much as you want. It's not going to change anything. I'm still going to protect you." He said calmly.

I hissed out a reply. "If you think I'm going to stand by and let you treat me like I'm some girly-girl who shrieks at a spider, you-"

"Drop it, Max. I'm the stubborn one, remember?" He interrupted me.

I clenched my hands but said nothing. I noticed Natalca and Shannon looked like they were having similar problems.

Shannon POV

"I know you can take care of yourself, Shannon. You've proved that many times. But I have instincts." Iggy said, trying to appease me.

It wasn't working.

I took a deep breath. "Iggy, please just try to deny that particular instinct, okay? At least a bit."

"I'll try. But no guarantees. Don't get mad, but what's so bad about me wanting to keep you safe?" he asked.

I almost moaned. How could he be so blind? Um, no pun intended…

"Iggy. It makes me, and Max and Natalca by the looks of it, feel useless, like we have to have someone look after us all the time. We feel like we're going soft. We've all had much worse than a bit of shrapnel fly at us. We've seen and felt and heard worse. And if your goal is to keep me safe, you're never going to succeed. This family is never going to be completely safe." I attempted to make him see reason.

Key word: Attempted.

"I'm afraid I don't understand, but I'll take your word for it. Will it make you feel better if I say that your not going soft? It's just your boyfriend getting overprotective." He grinned.

I shook my head and smiled. "I agree with the overprotective part. Look, I'll try not to get mad if you try not do it often."

Iggy nodded.

"Two down, nineteen to go!" Max yelled.

"Max, keep up pep talks like that, and we're all going to ditch you." Natalca called.

Max picked up half a brick and hurled it at Natalca's head. Natalca ducked and laughed.

"Well, Madysyn, I guess we're on to Mexico now. According to my all-powerful list, Monterrey harbours the next School. We'll see you there?" Max asked.

Madysyn had bee so quiet, I had forgotten about her. Now she spoke up again.

"Yes, I'll find you there. Goodbye for now." And with that, she shifted into a huge black panther and bounded off down the mountain.

"Okay, let's go find a hotel. Good thing the Max Ride card never runs out." Max jumped into the sky, her tan wings glinting in the setting sun.

Fang followed, his black wings looking purple. J.J. leaped up after them, his stone grey feathers…shining. That was the only word to describe them. Iggy pulled me up with him, never letting go of my hand the whole flight.

"We're staying in Jasper tonight. Let's land behind that hotel there." Max pointed, and we descended.

Gazzy POV (ooh, Fancy. Lol. Shutting up.)

I walked dejectedly into the room Angel, Nudge, and I were sharing.

"Gazzy? What's wrong?" Nudge asked me.

I guess I looked as sad as I felt.

"I guess I'm just sad that we have to leave and go save the world again. Why can't we just live a normal life? What's so hard about that?" I lied.

I thought I did a pretty good job of lying, but I had forgotten about Angel. Curse all mind readers.

"Gazzy, you can't lie to me. It's pretty easy for a mind reader to know when someone's lying, and you're lying now. Spit it out." Angel demanded.

I glared at her, but gave in. "It's Iggy. He used to be my best friend. He'd spend all his time with me. We'd talk about bombs or go blow something up when Max was gone. Now he spends all his time with Shannon. It's not just Iggy anymore. It's Iggy and Shannon. If he ever even comes to talk about bombs, he brings Shannon. I want the old Iggy back."

"Oh, Gazzy. I'm sorry. But you can't blame Shannon. He loves her, so of course he wants to be with her all the time. And she loves him, so she's not complaining. Maybe Iggy'll get over it. They are only fourteen. Maybe once they've been together for a long time, he'll stop following her around. I don't know." Nudge offered.

"I understand, I guess. I'm trying not to blame Shannon. It's not her fault, but…" I trailed off.

"Go talk to Natalca. She knows Shannon really well. Maybe she'll have some advice." Angel advised.

"Okay. I'll go try. If J.J.'s not there." I agreed.

"Deal." They said together.

I left the room feeling a bit better, but not a lot. Conveniently, J.J. and Natalca's room was right across the hallway. I knocked, and Natalca's voice floated out to me.

"Come on in."

I opened the door and stepped inside. Immediately I started looking for things to blow up out of habit. Then Natalca brought me back to earth.

"Oh, hi, Gazzy. What do you need?" She asked.

Natalca was lying propped up on the pillows on the bed, reading a book. I heard the shower running, so presumably J.J. was taking a shower. Perfect.

"Um, I just wanted to talk to you about something." I started, unsure how to continue.

"Hey, someone's coming to me? Now that doesn't happen often. I'm not exactly gifted with words." She laughed. "Here, come sit down."

I walked over and plopped down where she gestured, right beside her. I looked at my hands nervously.

"So what did you want talk about?" Natalca pressed gently.

"Well, Iggy hasn't really been the same since Shannon came. He's always around her, and he used to spend all his time with me, building bombs and stuff. We were always together. He was like my best friend, and now he barely ever comes to make bombs, and if he does, Shannon comes, too. He also kinds treats me like I'm younger now. I wish he'd be more like he was before." I told her, pouring it all out.

She was quiet for a minute, but then she laughed. "If Shannon heard that, she'd be horrified. She'd feel guilty and force Iggy to stop magnetizing to her. If you're worried that she's purposely keeping Iggy to herself, she's not. He just really likes being with her. And she definitely doesn't mind."

"What do you think I should do?" I asked.

"I think…you should tackle the problem head on. None of this skirting around it. Wow, I actually just gave a cryptic response. That's a first." Natalca smiled.

"What is that supposed to mean?" I groaned.

"I think you know. You just don't want to." Her eyes twinkled.

"Fine. I'll think about it." I grumbled.

I got up and left, thinking hard about what she had said. Tackle the problem head on. Shannon was the problem, right? Natalca obviously didn't mean tackle Shannon to the ground, though, being Natalca, she probably would love that. She was also right. I knew what I had to do, I just didn't want to do it. She meant that I needed to talk to Shannon herself. Fantastic. Hopefully she won't tear me to shreds when I get up the courage to talk to her.

Natalca POV

Well that was interesting. I'm still half in shock that he came to me, though. Weird. I was still wondering if I gave him the right advice, when J.J. came out of the bathroom, wearing his pajamas.

"Was someone in here? I could hear voices." He asked.

"Shannon. She just wanted to talk. Serena's still kind of haunting her. She hates the fact that 'that horrible witch of a person' is her sister." I quickly covered. I sensed that Gazzy didn't want anyone else to know about his problem.

"Oh. Yeah, that would be pretty bad. I don't blame her." J.J. agreed.

He climbed into the bed beside me, laid on his stomach, and put his arm over my waist, like he did every night. I was like his life size teddy bear. If Shannon was a mind reader, she'd be getting a hilarious mental picture right about now. But she's not. Thank God. I shudder to think the havoc she could wreak reading thoughts.

J.J. pulled me back to reality. He tightened his arm around my waist and brought my body closer to him. I looked at him.

"It's cold in here. You're nice and warm." He confessed.

"You only think it's cold in here because you just got out of the shower, and knowing you, you didn't make it very hot." I rolled my eyes.


Then J.J. pulled me really close. He turned onto his side so he could reach my mouth with his. I closed my eyes and kissed him back. Then I felt his tongue in my mouth. I almost smiled thinking about how easy it would be to bite it right now. Then I lost coherent thought when his tongue touched mine. This was pure heaven. One of his arms was around my waist, keeping my body close. The other was on my face, caressing my cheek. My right hand was on the back of his neck, and the other was in his hair. Muahaha. No getting away now. Okay, I wonder if kissing makes everyone hyper. Probably not. That would be so typical of me.

My train of thought (if you could call it that) flew out the window when J.J. flipped back onto his back, bringing me onto his chest. Hallelujah. He turned his head so he could get closer, and I turned the other way. Then I started to feel the buttons of his shirt pressing into me. It hurt. Or at least that's my excuse. I started unbuttoning his shirt, and he shrugged out of it when I had all the annoying little buttons undone. Much better. I smiled involuntarily, and J.J. felt and laughed, pulling his head away from me.

"What?" I asked indignantly.

"I was worried you'd reject me, tell me to stop or something. And here you are." He gestured to me, lying happily on top of him.

"What? Why would I push you away? Who am I to do that?" I asked, not believing that he thought I didn't like him that much yet.

"I can see that now."

J.J. ended our little conversation by rolling over again. He gave me one last passionate kiss before rolling off and back onto his side of the bed. Then he laid his arm back over my waist where it belonged.

"I love you." I whispered.

"I love you, too, Natalca." He answered contentedly.



And then I was happier than I'd ever been. I knew I loved J.J. more than anything else, and now I knew he loved me back. Things like that tend to make a girl happy.

I realized that I never had anything like that happen between Natalca and J.J., so I decided to fix that.

Let me tell you, making a prophecy is freaking hard!

I also realized that I got the birthstones messed up. I said that Natalca's birthstone was Zircon in April. Oopsie. It's supposed to be December. My bad.



12. Fight Like You've Never Fought Before

The crazy lunatic everyone calls SanraitaFang has arrived! *Evil laugh here*

I'm sure there was something important I was going to say here. Really important. Oh well. It'll come to me soon enough. Hopefully..

I'm going to try and do Nudge's and Angel's point of view sometime. I may need reminding.

Syzygy Chapter 12


Fang woke me up again with his coughing. Way to go, Fang. Now I can't get to sleep because I started thinking about that irritating prophecy. It occurred to me later that I didn't even know where these prophecies came from. How'd I know they weren't total gibberish? Because the last one came true, that's how.

A great liability. I would think it would be Iggy's blindness, but he can see now. I couldn't think of any others. Maybe Fang's sickness..but it hadn't been that bad before. It didn't exactly classify as a great liability.

Old relationships. I could only think of me and Sam, Fang and Lissa, and Mom and Jeb. None of those made any sense. Fang hates Lissa. Mom and Jeb don't hate each other, but if they got back together, how could that help us? And I didn't really trust Jeb in the firs place. Me and Sam? Uh, no. I'm with Fang, and I do not have any urge to track down that idiot that kissed me in Virginia. No thanks.

"Max? What time is it?" Fang rasped.

Or at least I think that's what he said. It's kinda hard to understand him when he has a sand paper throat and stuffed nose.

"The time? 4:00 in the morning." I yawned.

"Did I wake you up?" Fang asked sheepishly.

"Yeah, about two hours ago. I can't stop thinking about everything that's been happening lately." I admitted.

"You mean like Serena and Beth and Madysyn and the prophecy?" He asked sleepily.

"Yes, but even farther back. Like how Shannon came to Iggy, then Shannon and Natalca showed up, we went on the date, we met Beth and Madysyn, killed Beth, met Serena, learned Serena could teleport….the list goes on and on. Our lives have been a whirlwind since day one." I told him ruefully.

"I'd offer my views and calm you down by kissing you, but my throat hurts and I don't want to give my sickness to you." He sighed.

I frowned. His voice had broken and cracked and rasped painfully many times during that very small sentence. He was getting worse.

"I'll get you some water." I said, getting up and slyly grabbing the pill bottle as I went. Good thing his eyes were closed. When I got to the bathroom, I turned the water on and undid the lid to the bottle. I grabbed a pill and smashed it into dust in my palm. Then I filled the glass with water and poured the dust in. He wouldn't be able to see that the liquid was slightly discoloured now, in the dark.

I came back out and handed the glass to him, which he drank gratefully. He didn't even notice the difference. Sucker.

I climbed back into the bed, and felt Fang's forehead. Hot. Very hot.

"Fang!" I whined. "Why didn't you tell me you were feverish?"

"Because I'm not." He denied.

"Whatever. When you're worse in the morning, you can't say I didn't warn you." I said firmly.

Fang grunted in agreement.

And then I fell asleep and didn't wake up again until morning. Or later in the morning, I should say.

"Max! Can I come in? I should check on Fang." Iggy called through the door.

"Yeah, sure."

Iggy opened the door and walked through, his brow furrowing when he caught sight of Fang's flushed face.

"Don't tell me he's feverish." Iggy groaned.

"Yup. And the coughing's worse." I filled Iggy in.

"I'm not feverish." Fang complained stubbornly.

"Sure you're not." Iggy rolled his eyes.

Fang glared at him, and Iggy ignored it and came over to lay his hand on Fang's forehead.

"You're feverish. Don't deny it, it's settled." Iggy told him sternly.

"I'm not feverish." Fang repeated obstinately.

"Stop being an idiot, Fang. Or I guess that's pretty hard for you…." I snapped.

"Where's Shannon? Don't you have her leash on?" Fang jibed at Iggy.

"Shannon, J.J., and Natalca are taking the younger kids to breakfast. They're hoping you'll be up in time to bring the Max Ride card before they get kicked out for having no money. And when Shannon hears that particular remark, she's going to tear you to shreds. Say your prayers." Iggy answered.

"I'll change and go down and meet them, then." I said, grabbing my clothes and heading to the bathroom to change.

Ten minutes later, I was walking into the restaurant in the lobby. It had a continental breakfast, and I saw Shannon waving at me.

I went over to her, where she was putting two tables together for the nine of us. Everyone else was at the buffet line, happily piling their plates high with food.

"Fang has a fever." I told Shannon.

"Uh oh. Probably because he's not taking the pills like he's supposed to." She suggested.

"Yeah, that's probably why. But I'm worried. If he gets really sick, we'll have to wait around for him to get better, or take him to a hospital. And that would raise a lot of unnecessary questions." I said, worried.

"Hm. I don't know, Max. Try crushing the pills and slipping it into a glass of water. He most likely won't notice." She offered.

I grinned. "That's what I did last night. He didn't notice a thing. I'm going to try and do that all the time now, but he's pretty observant. It won't take him long."

Natalca weaved her way through the other tables and came to sit beside Shannon. Angel soon followed, and then Gazzy and Nudge, and finally J.J.

"So, any new ideas on the prophecy?" I asked hopefully.

"Zip." Gazzy said through a mouthful of food.

"Nada." Nudge said.

"Zero." Angel supplied.

"Nothing doing." J.J. put in.

"Nope." Natalca chirped.

Shannon made a big fat zero with her hands.

"That's so helpful, guys! I would have never thought of all that myself! Fantastic!" I cried, faking happiness.

"Glad to know we helped you." Fang suddenly appeared behind me.

"Scare me half to death, why don't you." I muttered.

"He's still feverish, but he all but tried to take my head off when I told him to stay in bed." Iggy explained, coming up behind Fang.

"I'm not-" I slapped a hand over Fang's mouth.

"Yes, you are. End of discussion." I glared.

His eyes narrowed in annoyance, but he said nothing. Good for you, Fang.

"Come on, Fang. let's go get some grub." Iggy insisted, grabbing Fang's arm and dragging him to the buffet table.

"Idiot. I don't understand why he keeps insisting he's not feverish. It's stupid." I grumbled.

Shannon dropped her fork halfway to her mouth. She gaped at me, then let her head fall back in despair.

"Um….Shannon, the food is supposed to go in your mouth." Natalca oh-so-helpfully told her.

Shannon shot Natalca a look that basically said, Not now. Then she turned back to me. Maybe she was going to explain her sudden episode.

"I know why, Max. And it's not good." Shannon shook her head morosely.

"Do tell." I said impatiently.

"Fang's very sick, right? And he knows it. And he hates being weak, so he's not telling anyone. He sees it as a weakness. A great weakness." Shannon explained, trying to lead me in the right direction.

It worked.

"The great liability. Oh my god, how can it be coming true so soon? Jeez. We have to be extra careful now. We can't risk him getting kidnapped or something." I gasped.

"Oh, that is sooo not good." Natalca closed her eyes.

"Ya think?" Shannon snapped.

"Calm down. At least there's no Erasers in range." Natalca said.

"Well, hurry and eat. I want to get out of here soon." I directed.

Fang and Iggy returned. Iggy had a sickened look on his face. He must have overheard us talking about Fang. Good. I didn't have to tell him. What I didn't understand was why Fang didn't tell us. Why did he have to keep it to himself? I thought some angry words unrepeatable with a mind reader beside me.

Pretty soon everyone was done, and we checked out and left. As we flew, I made one of my famous executive decisions.

"Let's hop on a plane in Edmonton. The sooner we finish off north America, the better. Serena will definitely be spreading the word that we're out destroying the Schools, not to mention Marian Janssen. It will take Serena longer to tell Europe and Africa and so on, so may catch those ones unaware. As for Monterrey, well, let's just say, practicing your fighting would be a fantastic idea right about now." I half-smiled.

Fang POV

I hoped we weren't making a huge mistake, going to Mexico when they were unquestionably ready for us. And I also understood the first line of the prophecy now. I wasn't sure whether to groan or jump for joy. Not that I'd actually do either. I coughed, and Max flew closer, lowering her voice so the others couldn't hear. Nudge shot us a look, wondering what we were up to.

"I know that you've just fulfilled the first line. It's pretty obvious. You're getting worse, and that's about the only liability we have right now."

"I won't deny it. But you will not leave me behind while you go take down Monterrey. Not going to happen." I told he firmly.

Her eyes narrowed, she didn't like the idea of having me out there, fighting Erasers in the condition I was in, when she couldn't watch over me like a hawk. She was going to need every ounce of strength in her body to beat the School. Unfortunately for her, that wasn't going to change anything.

I also knew that she had slipped pill into my water last night. Max didn't know that I knew, and I wasn't going to tell her. The thing was, this sickness was a lot worse than I let on. I needed that medication. But I wasn't going to give in now and let her ffed me those freaking pills three times a day. Uh uh.

An hour later, we landed in Edmonton. Again. Sigh.

Angel POV

I was going to make sure Gazzy talked to Shannon today. I knew he was putting it off, but that wasn't helping anything. Especially when I knew what Shannon was thinking. Yes, I could hear Shannon's mind again. Anyway, that's not the point. The point is that Shannon has no idea that she's monopolizing Iggy. He doesn't, either. The minute she understands what Gazzy's saying, she'll try her hardest to get Iggy to go be with Gazzy again. She'll be mad at herself.

"Okay, Angel, do your thing." Max grinned.

I smiled in anticipation. I loved being allowed to use my gift. I turned to the person at security who checks the boarding passes and so on. None of which we had. She probably wouldn't be too endeared to us if she knew our past. So I get to convince her that we're harmless kids trying to get home to Monterrey.

"Hello, kids. Can I see your boarding passes, please?" the woman asked brusquely.

"We don't need boarding passes." I told her sweetly.

Her eyes glazed over, and then she said, "Oh, yes, of course! Go right ahead."

We walked right through security, and onto the plane. Three cheers for mind control!

"Mind control is so handy sometimes." Nudge commented as she sat down beside me.

Nudge, Gazzy, and I had one row, Shannon and Iggy beside us, Natalca and J.J. behind us, and then Fang and Max over and behind us. You may be wondering how we fit three in one row. Well, there's a handy-dandy row of three, so we took that.

"Want to play tic-tac-toe?" Gazzy asked hopefully, producing a tic-tac-toe board out of his backpack.

I smiled when I saw it. I had gotten it for him last Christmas. The board and pieces were made of sand, compressed so much that it stuck together into a solid. The pieces were the best part. They were little angels. Three black, three…sandy coloured. Wow, original, aren't I?

"Sure, Gaz! Let's have a mini-tournament. I'll play you, and the winner plays Angel. No mind control, okay, Angel?" Nudge made sure I promised not to control their minds. Darn.

Nudge picked the sandy coloured angels, and Gazzy the black. We played slightly differently, where if no one has won when all six pieces are on the board, you start moving the pieces to other squares instead of putting more on. It was actually really fun.

After a very long match, Nudge didn't see Gazzy's line of two and didn't block it. Gazzy won.

"Prepare to lose, Gaz." I commented, cracking my knuckles.

"God, what happened to my sweet little sister?" Gazzy asked, leaning away from me in mock fear.

"Hey, what are you guys doing? Oh, tic-tac-toe!" J.J. leaned forward and watched through the crack between the seats.

"Who's winning?" Natalca asked J.J.

"Um, Gazzy, by the looks of it." J.J. gave her the play-by-play of the game.

Soon, Gazzy won. Oops. Oh well.

"Hey, do you two want to play a game?" I asked, handing the board over the seats.

"Okay. Thanks." Natalca smiled, obviously happy that she got to play J.J.

"You're going down, girl." J.J. warned playfully.

"We'll see about that, buddy. Don't get too cocky." Natalca scolded.

"Sure, sure."

Nudge, Gazzy, and I laughed as we listened to their banter. They continued badgering each other the whole game. They acted like they were brother and sister or something, except that J.J. had his arm around Natalca.

"Wow, J.J., are you blind? I think you are." Natalca gave him an evil grin, then put her black angel in place, winning the game.

"Oh, shoot. I call a rematch! You fixed the game somehow!" J.J. cursed, then started laughing as his accusations got incredibly far-fetched.

"Muahaha. Bow down the diabolical Queen Natalca!" Natalca crowed.

"If you're queen, then I'm king, which means that I have as much power as you. Guards, behead this woman!" J.J. laughed.

"You idiot. Hey, Shannon, want to play tic-tac-toe with Iggy?" Natalca called.

"Hey, that'll be fun. Sure." Shannon took the board and grabbed the black angels, and Iggy took the other ones.

Five minutes later, Shannon exclaimed an ecstatic and somehow devilish 'yes!' I took it that Shannon had won.

"What? How did that happen?" Iggy cried, staring dumbfounded at the board.

A disbelieving Iggy, irritated J.J., and sulking Fang later, I began to see the buildings of in the distance. Monterrey.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we will be landing in Monterrey in exactly five minutes. Enjoy your stay in this Mexican city, and have a good rest of the day." The voice of the pilot came over the speakers.

A good ten minutes later, due to strong headwinds and the optimism of the pilot, we finally landed. That flight had been five hours long. I was starting to get claustrophobic, so I couldn't imagine how Max was feeling right now. I found out pretty soon.

The second those doors were opened, Max was off like a bullet. I would know. Fang was not far behind. Neither was Shannon. She didn't exactly love cramped spaces, either. As we walked out of the airport, Fang asked Max what we were going to do now.

"That's a very good question, Fang. Let me talk to my Voice for a minute." Max sat down on a bench and massaged her forehead. Her voice must be giving her trouble again.

I didn't bother to listen in and see what the Voice was saying. Instead, I focused on trying to figure out the date. Dr. Martinez and Ella should be home soon. And they had Total with them. I really missed him. The Martinez's had been going to England, where Akila happened to be with the crew of the Wendy K. So Total decided to go along.

I was pretty sure it was June 18th, three days after they were supposed to get home. I would have to remind Max to call them later.

"Okay, guys. It's 3:00, so we're going to go find the School. If we find it before it's getting too late, we'll attack. They probably will expect us to come tomorrow. But I don't really like the idea of fighting in the dark." Max sighed.

"Do we have any idea where the School is?" Shannon asked.

"Voice says its down south, south of the city. Conveniently, we're in the southern part of Monterrey. So let's start looking." Max told us.

"Should we split up again? Angel and Natalca can sense the Erasers, so they should be in opposite groups." Fang suggested.

"Okay, sure. Fang, take Angel, Shannon, Nudge, and..that's it. I'll take Natalca, J.J., Iggy, and Gazzy." Max said in her leader voice.

"Let's go, guys." Fang called, already in the air.

Shannon leapt up after him, Nudge and I following.

"Where are we going to look?" Shannon asked Fang.

"Um. Let's try going straight south, but to the left. Max will see and go to the right." Fang decided.

We flew on in silence, our eyes raking over the landscape beneath us. Why couldn't they ever make a School in a city for once? It's always near the city, but never in it. Idiots.

I was lost in my own thoughts when Shannon shrieked my name, and I felt a bullet graze a section of skin from my ear.

"Ouch! Straight down there! I can hear their thoughts." I cried.

Why wasn't I paying attention? Now we had three snipers trying to hit us, and dodging bullets and trying to talk to Max at the same time is pretty hard.

Max? Max? Max!

I'm here, sweetie, did you find it?

Sort of. We're being shot at by three snipers. So we suspect we're close.

Oh! Okay, we'll be there in no time!

Yipe! That was close! Bye Max.

A bullet had barely missed my head, again.

"When they stop to reload, dive to the ground. Got it?" Fang asked.

"Got it!" Nudge squeaked as a bullet flew past her leg.

The bullets stopped, and we dove as fast as we could. Which is pretty fast. We landed in the bush, and soon we were joined by Max's group.

Shannon POV

"Angel? Natalca? Anything you can hear that sounds suspicious? That would tell us where the School is?" Max asked hopefully.

"I can hear people thinking about the latest experiments. That sounds pretty promising. But I don't know exactly where." Angel cocked her head at Natalca.

"That way." Natalca pointed.

She led us through the bushes and soon we came to the building that couldn't be anything but the School. Erasers. Cat-human thingies. Electric fences. People in white coats scurrying around, giving the Erasers knives. Fun. It was a good thing our group had some strong powers. Levitation, fire, water, turning things to stone, mind control, metal control, and invisibility were all pretty handy in a pinch.

"Okay, guys, here's the brilliant Maximum Ride plan. Grab a partner, and stick together. Other than that, CHARGE!" Max yelled, laughing at the end.

Yes, she was laughing in the face of the worst fight she'd ever been in. So was everyone else. Nudge and Angel teamed up, Iggy and Gazzy, Max and Fang, Natalca and I, and J.J. was on his own. We had decided to go with the people we worked with best.

Natalca and I raced off, going for the cats because we were one of the stronger teams. Max, Fang, and J.J. also went after the cats. Iggy, Gazzy, Angel, and Nudge happily took the Erasers.

"Shannon!" Natalca yelled. "Quit zoning out!"

"Sorry." I muttered, roasting a cat that leapt at me from behind.

We fought back to back, the easiest way for us. Our backs were protected this way. The only downside was that we couldn't leap back and it was easier to surround us. Which was what they were trying to do.

"Let's separate and attack together!" I cried as a leopard tried to claw my head off.

"Good idea!" She yelped as a stray claw caught her shin.

I quickly healed the cut, and she nodded her thanks. A lion reared up and roared at me, trying to scare me. Not happening, buddy. As he opened his mouth to roar again, I blasted fire into it. So much for him.

"Nice. Now we have to dance around a smoking lion body. Lovely." Natalca grumbled.

"Oh, shut up."

A smaller bobcat came stalking up, and Natalca gave it an evil smirk before levitating it and throwing it into the large tiger behind it. As the two struggled to get up, I set them on fire. That is not a pretty sight. Just so you know. Ech.

"Natalca! Behind you!" I shouted as a jaguar tried to tackle her unsuccessfully.

These cats really weren't very smart. A very idiotic panther came walking up to us in plain sight, and very slowly, too. I almost burned it to ashes, then realized who it must be.

"Madysyn!" I greeted her by saving her neck, killing the cat who tried to leap on her back.

Madysyn shifted to human and grinned. "How's it going?" She asked.

"Great. Just kicking butt, as usual." I grinned back.

"Hey, can you go fight with J.J.? He's by himself." Natalca asked her.

"Sure. I'll go find him."

Madysyn turned into panther form and bounded off to find J.J. We fought silently for a few more minutes, before I heard a shriek. Nudge!

I whipped around to discover a half human half spider monster chasing Nudge around.

"There's more." Natalca breathed, nodding towards a door to the School. The same spider monsters were pouring out.

"Crap. Let's go." I said, racing to go confront the new attackers.

We found out pretty quick that they weren't as scary as they looked. They were fast, yes, but not very nimble or smart. Their eyes were not good, and neither was their hearing. The joints in their legs were incredibly fragile, and if we hit the base of their necks, they went down dead. Easy-peasy.

There were only about twenty of the spider people, and Natalca and I finished them off quickly. It seemed like the fight was going our way, but there were hundreds of them and nine of us. Plus we were getting tired. I glanced over at Fang, and his face was pale and sickly. He wasn't doing so good. We had to finish this, and quick.

Suddenly, Angel was in my head.

We have a new plan. Force them back towards the School. Iggy and Gazzy will give the signal, and you get away fast. They'll throw a bomb, and hopefully it will kill the remaining experiments.

Okay, Angel.

I looked at Natalca, and she smirked. She had gotten the same message, and she had a plan. Oh, goody. Her plans are definitely always smart and logical and fool-proof. Of course they are. Sarcasm. I love it.

"Follow my lead!" Natalca told me, before sprinting away from our attackers and towards the School.

I knew what she was doing.

We reached the building and turned and tried to look terrified and trapped. Apparently it worked, because the cats formed a snarling circle around us, and we watched as they all tensed to leap. As soon as they were in the air, we spread our wings and flew up and out of the way. The cats were stupid enough to claw at the air where we had been, which was filled now with other cats. One cat tried to swipe at us, hovering in the air, laughing at their stupidity, and accidentally raked a fellow cat. The other cat clawed back, and soon they were all involved, fighting each other. About five of the fifteen were killed by each other, and seven more were wounded so it was easy to kill them from the air. The remaining three Natalca threw against the brick building, and I blasted them as they lay stunned.

Suddenly another shriek pierced the air. This time it was Max, and it was more of a rage-filled roar than a shriek. Our heads snapped around, and I gasped at the sight before me. Fang was lying on the ground, a bullet buried deep in his thigh. A pool of blood was forming, and he was gasping for air, barely able to stay conscious between his sickness and the pain in his leg. And that wasn't even the worst of it. When I saw the worst part, I snarled furiously and ran as fast as my legs would take me, which was pretty fast. But not fast enough. Max was pinned down by the despicable Wolverine, and the others were swarmed by Erasers and cats so they had no choice but to stand and fight. Natalca and I were they only ones that could help, and we were too far away to do anything. Serena strode up to Fang and carried his now unconscious form back into a chopper. As she walked away, she turned and smirked at me. That only made me even more furious, and Natalca looked like she was going to punch a wall. We were still sprinting, but it was no use. The chopper was long gone. Max struggled harder, and Wolverine seemed to remember her and get off her before disappearing after the chopper. Was he under orders not to kill us?

This wasn't good. Not good at all. Fang was gone.

UH OH! What will they do now? Oh, yeah, I know what happens. But you don't! muahaha.

I also want to say that I don't mind negative reviews. They tell me what I need to do better, or work on, or whatever. Any review makes me very happy. I can't stress that enough. It doesn't matter who it's from or what it says.

Wow, I sound like a fortune cookie there.


13. Fang's Gone?

HI! Lol. Me again. Last chapter was kinda boring until the end, but it was more of a filler than anything else. Also, please don't rip my head off because Fang got kidnapped!!!!! He'll be back soon. This chapter/next chapter sort of thing. *starts backing away as readers pull out scary pointy painful looking things* Lol, okay I'm done.

No I'm not. I need to vent my anger. My teacher blew up at me and another kid for no apparent reason. Let me elaborate. I was handing the other kid a dictionary, and he didn't get a good enough grip, so it dropped. The menopausal teacher thought I threw it and started screaming at me. Then he exploded at the other kid when the kid tried to explain.

If someone knows this teacher's mental state, please tell me. It can't be good.

Men, charge!

Syzygy Chapter 13


"No! No! NO!" I screamed in fury.

Fang couldn't be gone. What would I do without him? I vowed that I would save him, and soon.

Shannon and Natalca reached me, swearing and punching anything standing in their way.

"I swear to God, Max, I am going to kill Serena next time I see her! She will not get away with freaking shooting Fang. Her days are numbered. She will not taint the air by breathing in and out for much longer." Shannon seethed furiously.

Natalca just stood there with her eyes closed. "They're going straight north-east. Almost a beeline to Europe. My God, I hate Serena. She purposely left us up so we could run to try and save Fang. She knew we were too far away. She was teasing us! Witch." Natalca vented.

"Shannon, Natalca, go fight. Take your anger out on the Erasers. Imagine that they are Serena. I'm going to go find Iggy and Gazzy and make them make a bomb that will obliterate this whole place and some." I fumed.

"You got it." They said together, turning to the nearest Erasers, killing them immediately.

I was right. Their rage would make them fight stronger, which would speed up this whole freaking process.

"Iggy! Gazzy! Give the signal! I want this place demolished now!" I demanded.

"OUT OF THE WAY!" Gazzy yelled.

Wow, what a signal. Angel and Nudge retreated from the Erasers and scrambled out of the way. J.J. and Madysyn looked at each other and raced away from the School. Shannon and Natalca took longer. Shannon did a spinning kick to one's head, and Natalca punched the other's lights out. Then they sprinted away.

Iggy took the bomb and threw it. It exploded on contact. Yay, the old-fashioned way! It was an absolutely huge explosion, and it fried the Erasers and left the School as a smoking crater. Much better. Iggy and Gazzy slapped high fives and started talking excitedly, but I had no time for this kind of thing.

"Madysyn! Natalca thinks they're taking Fang to Europe. We're going to get on a plane, so you might as well come with us. There's no way in hell we're flying across the ocean when we have to save Fang as soon as we get there." I was all business.

"Um, actually, I'm not going to fly there. I'm taking a different route." Madysyn admitted.

"Okay….then we're out of here!" I jumped into the air, a determined expression on my face.

"What do you mean they're taking Fang to Europe? Hey, Fang's gone?!" Nudge cried, wide-eyed.

"Yeah, Shannon's sister shot him and kidnapped him." I said angrily, taking my anger out on Shannon.

"Hey! Don't blame what that witch did on me! I hate her even more than you, Max! She is not my sister in my books!" Shannon snapped, having been made angry by my remark.

"She is your blood sister! You can't deny that! Maybe I shouldn't even trust you! Maybe you're a double agent, working on Serena's side. I wouldn't be surprised, right now. You were the only ones who could save him, and you didn't!" I hissed.

"How can you even think that?! I've proved I'm not a traitor many times, Max. So had Natalca. You have no right to be blaming us!" She snarled.

"I have no right? I have no right? Do you think rights actually matter in this world? Stop being blind and face the world, Shannon!" I said acidly.

"STOP IT!" Iggy suddenly exploded. "Max, you can't blame Shannon and Natalca! You saw their anger and you saw them run! It's no one's fault other than Fang's own! If he had taken the pills like I told him to, he'd be here!"

Iggy was obviously feeling like he was missing an arm. That as the problem with all of us. We didn't feel whole without Fang. But that didn't mean I was going to give up the fight.

"Who are you to be talking? Shannon owns you. You're blinded by your own love for her! Of course you're going to defend the traitor! Maybe I shouldn't trust you either! Maybe you're on her side!" I yelled, getting angrier by the second.

I didn't want to fight anymore. I wanted to be alone, to think. So I flew using my warp drive, leaving the others far behind me. I continued to fly while I thought about what I just did. I was obviously not being fair, now that I actually thought about it. Shannon couldn't be a traitor. I knew that. But I couldn't accept that Fang was gone. Then I slashed at Iggy with that last remark, and that must have hurt. I had never called any one of my flock a traitor. I shouldn't in the first place. But I did, and I was sorry. I also was sorry for what I said to Shannon, but I wasn't the best at apologies.

I flew for maybe two minutes before I came upon Monterrey again. Crap, I had to stop. I couldn't fly past the airport. I sighed and landed behind a hotel near the airport. I walked slowly into the airport, then sat down on a soft, purple, couch. I would see them as soon a they came in, and I would be ready to apologize. Hopefully. I blew some air out noisily from my cheeks, and let my head flop backward onto the back of the couch.

"Having some trouble?" A voice asked.

I picked my head up only to see a teenage boy beside me. Great. Americans were flirty, Canadians were polite, what were Mexicans?

"Um, yeah. I've been up all night preparing a surprise party for my boyfriend. He's coming in from….England." I lied.

I hoped the remark about my boyfriend would deter him from asking me out or something. Not so.

"Huh. If he expects a party when he gets back, he's obviously not a very nice guy." The boy scoffed.

"Excuse me?" I said incredulously.

He had no idea who my boyfriend was, and hadn't I said surprise party? This particular Mexican was an idiot.

"Oh, forget about your boyfriend. I'm much better than he is." The guy said, moving closer.

"Wow, you have a swelled ego, don't you?" I snapped.

"Hey, watch it there. I can't always control my hand. And I have a mean backhand." He narrowed his eyes.

"Are you threatening me? No wonder you don't have a girlfriend." I snarled.

"You little bi-" the dude started, but never finished.

I punched him, and I heard a satisfying crack. He recoiled from me, holding his nose, glaring at me.

"What's going on here?" A security guard materialized in front of the couch.

"This guy's harassing me! He threatened to hit me!" I squeaked, playing the part of a terrified little sissy.

"You, come with me. Miss, if you're all right, I'll take this man and leave you be." The guard gave me a warm smile, and I almost snickered. Instead I nodded.

The guard walked away, and I laughed to myself, earning a few stares. Then my laughter dried up when the flock walked through the doors at the front. Angel, Nudge, and Gazzy looked slightly wary of me, and Natalca looked weary and frustrated. Shannon and Iggy, on the other end of the scale, looked mad.

I stood up and walked over to them, not meeting their eyes. "Shannon, I'm sorry about what I said. I didn't mean it, I'm just sort of…lost, I guess, without Fang. It's hard on me to lose my right hand man and boyfriend at the same time." I apologized.

Shannon sighed and looked me in the eye. "I'm sorry, too, Max. I shouldn't have snapped at you, but Serena just makes me so angry."

I smiled at her, and she smiled back. All was forgiven. Then I turned to Iggy. He looked at me with a hurt expression. I stepped forward and hugged him, whispering that I was sorry.

He hugged me back, and said, "It's okay, Max. I understand. I think."

"Now we're all straight, let's get on that plane! The all-powerful piece of tree says that the Schools in Europe are in Ireland, Spain, and Turkey." I grinned.

Fang is in Turkey. My Voice told me helpfully.

"According to the Voice, Fang is in Turkey. We'll start there." I said.

"More tin cans. Oh, I jump for joy." Shannon groaned.

"Suck it up, O Claustrophobic One." Natalca hit her arm, and Shannon grinned.

I rolled my eyes at them and strode up to the security line, which was handily nearby.

"Boarding pass, please." The man asked holding out his hand.

I looked at Angel, and in half an hour we were on the plane without any trouble. As the plane took off, an older woman behind Natalca and J.J. began groaning. Natalca turned around in concern and asked what the problem was.

"My ears! They're popping horribly. Darn all you young people! It's not fair that your ears don't hurt! You must have better seats! I want a refund!" The old lady said furiously.

The woman had about half a point. It almost wasn't fair that our ears didn't hurt, but we went through a lot to be like that. And we did not have better seats.

"Um. I'm sorry to hear that, but there's really nothing I can do." Natalca tried to sound sincere, but when she turned back to J.J., she was trying to smother her laughter.

Iggy POV

Something is wrong with that girl. And for once I don't mean Natalca. I mean Shannon. She was looking out her window, brooding. When I talked to her, she didn't exactly keep the conversation going. She was quicker to angry and didn't have any patience. In truth, she was like Max after a brain attack.

She's thinking about Serena and how she's going to be able to kill her. She's trying to come up with some kind of plan. Talk to her. Every second she spends thinking about Serena, she's that much closer to losing her mind with frustration.

Okay. That was sudden Thanks, Angel.

"Shannon. Forget about Serena for two seconds. Get your mind off her." I ordered.

She sighed and turned away from the window. "Sorry, Ig. I'll try to be more sociable." She smiled wryly.

Our flight was eight hours, and let me tell you, Max was about to jump of the plane and fly the rest of the way. Gazzy was at a loss of what to do to calm her down, so I switched places with him after five hours.

As I got up to let Gazzy sit own beside Shannon, I saw him swallow apprehensively. "She doesn't bite. Or not hard, at least." I teased.

"Iggy! Oh, what's the use? Just get out of here and go distract Max." Shannon ordered me.

"Distract Max? That I can do. Unless I'm not allowed to blow anything up…" I trailed off.

"Iggy!" She snapped.

"All right, all right! Keep your hair on." I snickered.

Gazzy POV

If I didn't fess up to Shannon now, Angel would kill me, then bring me back to life and kill me again. And I wasn't exaggerating. That's what she told me. Everyone thinks she's soo sweet and sugary. That's not true. Under the cute layer, there's a diabolically evil layer.

I sat down, and Shannon smiled. "Max is really on edge, isn't she?"

"Yeah. Tried to take the stewardess's head off when she told Max to tighten her seatbelt. Barely stopped her in time." I grinned.

"Yep, that sounds like Max. She's not too worried about Fang, is she? I mean, if she is, I don't blame her. I'd be crawling the walls if they took Iggy. But I don't want her to be too worried. Fang is tough. He'll be okay until we get there." Shannon's smile disappeared.

"I hope so. I miss him already." I frowned.

"On the bright side, at least we can stop stressing about trying to figure out the great liability. That was giving me a headache. Now we can focus on the old relationships! Yay!" Shannon pretended to be excited.

"Yes, that's sooo much better and less-headachy. Of course." I laughed.

Shannon gave a small smile, and I decided it was now or never.

"Shannon..I wanted to talk to you about something." I started quietly, not looking at her.

"What is it, Gazzy?" She asked softly.

"Um, well..okay. Ever since you came, Iggy's been hanging out with you all the time. I feel like he's forgotten about me. I don't blame you, I just…" I trailed off, not knowing what to say.

"Oh, Gazzy. I'm sorry." Shannon breathed, hugging me.

I hugged her back, and felt tears tugging at my eyes. I refused to let them out, because I wasn't sad. I'd told Shannon how I felt, so everything would be okay now, right? Shannon pulled away from me and faced me, looking into my eyes with a fierce determination.

"Iggy will be making bombs with you again soon, if I have anything to say about it. Though I'm sure Max wouldn't mind if the bombs were put on hold…" She grinned.

"Thanks, Shannon."

"You're welcome, Gaz."

Three hours later, I saw the lights of Istanbul, Turkey. Finally. Beside me, Shannon was losing her mind. I should rephrase that. She lost her mind hours ago. Now she was trying to keep from racing up to the pilot and forcefully shoving him up against a wall and quadrupling the plane's speed. Yes, that was a lot more accurate. I can't imagine how Max must be, if Shannon was this bad.

"Calm down, Shannon, we're almost there." Natalca said from across the aisle.

"Calm down? Calm down? How can I calm down?! I'm stuck in a flying death trap that should be hurtling to the ocean and sinking like a rock in all logical sense! If we blow an engine or something, we're as good as dead!!" Shannon hissed, pretty much shouting by the end.

"Excuse me, is this you first time flying?" A friendly stewardess asked Shannon.

I didn't blame the woman for thinking that, considering the way Shannon's knuckles were going white from gripping the arm rests, and she was staring out the window with a strange look on her face. It was the kind of look that said, If you tell me the plane blew a fuse and we're crashing, I will not hesitate to murder the pilot and then promptly jump out the window, after having a hissy fit at the crew for letting us crash. Are we clear?

"No, it's not her first time. She's flown a few times before. But this is typical. She has a freak out every time. I tried putting her in an aisle seat once, thinking that would help if she couldn't see how high we were. But nooo. She flips out on me for taking away her escape exit, the window. She's really just very, very, very claustrophobic." Natalca lied smoothly.

It wasn't totally a lie. The part about being super claustrophobic is true.

The stewardess raised an eyebrow, but not in a disbelieving way, just surprised. "Like the tall blond at the front. She's really having a hysterical fit. Jeez. You'd think someone had her strapped down and was torturing her. Anyway, if you're okay, I'll move on." She said, glancing at Shannon.

Shannon gave a stiff nod and the stewardess sighed and walked farther down the aisle.

"Look, Shannon, we're going down. Five minutes, I bet." Natalca tried to distract Shannon.

"Yeah, does five minutes really mean ten minutes, like last time?" Shannon asked.

"No. It means we'll be down in five minutes so calm down- Oh, screw it. Enough with this babying! Stop hyperventilating and sit tight like a woman, not a baby! I don't know why you're so worked up!" Natalca snapped, exasperated.

And, true to Natalca's word, (Wow, there's a change! Natalca was right! Good thing she's not a mind reader, she'd kill me.) we landed in five minutes. Or close enough.


Finally. We made it to Istanbul. Those eight hours in that flying hunk of suffocating metal had been hell. Before the wheels of the plane even touched the ground, I had my bag and my seatbelt was undone. I was going to be the first one off that plane, and it didn't matter if I had to jump out when the hatch wasn't even half open yet. For four reasons.

Every minute spent on that plane, it seemed to get smaller and hotter.

I could save Fang when I got off.

See above reason.

Fang was here!

The woman at the hatch, presumably the co-pilot or some other fancy title like that, was shocked and tried to grab my arm as I darted off the plane, Shannon not half a step behind me.

Once I was off, I stopped suddenly, breathing in the fresh air. "Ahhh." I sighed.

Then I was bowled over from behind.

"What the-" I started to try and beat whoever was on top of me, kicking at them.

"Ow! Stop it Max, it's me! I crashed into you because I was running so fast." Shannon apologized.

"Oh. Sorry. I guess you're as claustrophobic as I am?" I guessed.

"Oh, yes. Very much so." She grinned, standing up.

"That makes three of us." J.J. groaned, coming up behind us.

"You, too? I didn't hear you complaining." I said.

"That's because he's the suffer-in-silence-and-don't-tell-his-girlfriend-he's-claustrophobic type." Natalca explained.

"Are we going to go get Fang now?" Angel asked sweetly.

I started to say, Heck yes! Let's go! Bur the Voice decided to stick in it's two cents.

No, Max. Spend the night in a hotel and attack the School in the morning. You need rest, and as much as you might like to deny it, you know I'm right.

I hate you. Screw you, Voice. We're going tonight. I argued, trying not to think about the brain attacks it could give me.

Trying not to think about them doesn't make them go away. The Voice told me severely.

Then my brain exploded. I felt like someone was driving screwdrivers through my skull. When it was over, I whimpered pathetically in my head.

You WILL stay in hotel tonight. The Voice ordered.

FINE! Have it your way! I hissed.

"Max? What are we doing now?" Iggy's voice interrupted my fight.

"We're going to stay in a hotel tonight and rescue Fang tomorrow. If we don't, the Voice will make my head explode and then squash my brain into a milkshake." I grumbled, giving everyone a disgusting mental picture.

(A/N Oh yeah, I have no idea if there's an airport in Istanbul. But I'm going to say there is. And if there isn't, well, you can go build one if it matters that much to you!)

We walked out of the airport onto the busy streets of Istanbul. Joy. Now to find a hotel and someone who can speak English. The eight of us…wow, that seems so horrible to think that there's only eight of us now…the eight of us walked for another five minutes before finally Nudge spotted what we thought was a hotel. Of course, none of us could even read the name of the hotel, but oh well. It would have to do. We walked in warily, and I went to the front desk, trying not to feel self-conscious in my North American clothes.

"Hello. Do you speak English?" I asked slowly.

"Yes, I speak English. Are you visiting Istanbul?" The man asked, smiling.

"Um, yes, just passing through, actually. We need…four rooms, please. Adjoining, if possible."

"Sure thing. Here are the room keys." The guy said, handing me the cards.

He talked with a heavy accent, but he knew American expressions. That was kind of suspicious. Or maybe I was just paranoid.

"Angel, Nudge take room 432. Natalca and J.J., take 431. Shannon and Iggy, 434. Gazzy and I will take 433. Okay?" I asked.

I got the usual yups and yeahs and okays that I always get, with the one shoulder shrug missing. I had no idea how much I would miss seeing that shoulder shrug. Even the other sounds of agreement were subdued with sadness for Fang.

We trudged up the four flights of stairs to our rooms. "Gazzy, Nudge, Angel, bed." I ordered.

"Can we stay up tonight? Please?" They gave me the Bambi eyes.

"No! Do you want to get Fang tomorrow or not? If you can't fight, we can't save him!" I told them, trying to guilt them into going to bed.

"Come on, guys. I bet I'm going to fall asleep soon anyway, and Natalca and Iggy don't look much better. We're going to bed soon, too." Shannon reasoned.

"Okay, fine." Gazzy muttered, going off into our room.

Nudge and Angel sighed but obeyed, leaving the hall and going into their room.

"In Shannon and Iggy's room, right now." I demanded of the rest of them.

They looked at each other but got their butts moving, only to flop down on Shannon and Iggy's bed moments later. And I'm telling you, fitting five very tall people on one double bad when they all want to lay down is not very spacious. My head was on Iggy's knee, and Natalca's head was on my stomache. Shannon was squashed up between Iggy and J.J., her back pressed into J.J.'s side. Natalca was laying across J.J.'s torso, and he tickling her side, making her giggle. He reached down to her foot, and she started laughing uncontrollably.

"So, all the whitecoats need to know is that Natalca's ticklish, and we're all screwed. Fantastic." Shannon grinned at Natalca's death glare, which was slightly ruined by the fact that you could easily tell she was on the verge of bursting out laughing.

Natalca reached across J.J. to grab Shannon's foot, which she began to tickle mercilessly. Shannon yelped and yanked her foot away. Natalca growled and sat up, lunging at Shannon. Soon they were both laughing at each other. Shannon poked Natalca right under the ribs, and Natalca jumped and then retaliated by spitting on Shannon's face.

"Eww! Natalca, you're disgusting!" Iggy grimaced.

"You think that's bad? You should see what else we do to each other!" Shannon laughed.

"Okay, that's enough! I brought you in here for a reason, and it wasn't to goof off!" I grinned.

"No goofing off? Why, how can you expect that of us?" J.J. asked, pretending to be astonished.

"Have you been replaced with a clone or something? Don't you know us well enough to know that command is futile? God." Iggy shook his head in disapproval.

"NOO! Not the goofing off! Take anything but that! Here, take Shannon!" Natalca yelled, grabbing Shannon and shoving her at me.

Shannon caught herself and turned to me with big eyes. "N-no..goof..goofing…off? Max, could you.. do th-that to us?" She pretended to sob between words, flinging herself at Iggy, who caught her and pretended to rock her back and forth.

"Oh, dear God, you four! Stop it and be serious for half a second, or I'll tape your mouths shut! You won't be able to make any jokes then!" I threatened.

Shannon turned her face from Iggy's shoulder to stare at me with an expression that made me want to run to her and comfort her and tell her it was okay. It was heart-breaking.

"M-Ma-Max. How-how can y-you threat-threaten me? I thought you loved me!" Shannon was shrieking by the end.

I wouldn't be surprised if Angel or Nudge or Gazzy came running in to see what was happening. Shannon truly sounded like I'd broken her heart.

"Shannon! Are you trying to wake the entire hotel up?!" I whisper/yelled.

"She raised her voice at me!" Shannon's sobs escalated, and she turned to Iggy.

Iggy looked at me, at my exasperated-bordering-on-angry face.

"Don't worry, Shannon, she gets mad at everyone. She never has any fun." Iggy stage-whispered behind his hand.

Shannon's eyes grew really, really wide, and she repeated Iggy's words in disbelief. "No fun?"

"No fun." Iggy repeated.

Shannon buried her face in Iggy's chest, and sobbed uncontrollably. Wow, that girl can really make herself cry on command.

Natalca looked at Shannon, then at me, then at J.J. "They're scawing me. Make them stop!" She ordered in little girl voice.

"Shannon, Iggy, Max! I demand you stop scaring this poor, innocent, little girl! You're going to give her nightmares!" J.J. told us in his best impression of a father protecting his daughter.


"Okay, okay, calm down! What are we talking about?" Iggy asked, attempting to appease me.

Shannon rolled off Iggy, and I internally smacked my head against a wall. There was a big wet spot on Iggy's shirt the size of both my fists beside each other. Idiots.

Iggy noticed and grimaced. "Nice, Shannon. Now I have to sleep with a wet shirt."

"You're welcome, Ig." Shannon replied sweetly.

I barely kept from screaming at them again. "Seriously, you two. You're going to give me a brain complex. Anyway, I want to talk about tomorrow. The Voice told me a bit about what will be guarding the School, and it's not good. There's four different things we're up against. Good ol' Erasers, the cats from Jasper, the spider thingies, and another type of experiment. They're a third dog, a third snake, and a third bird. I call them Slashers. They're really strong, and very deadly. In any other case, I'd just have Iggy and Gazzy drop a bomb on them. But Fang's in there. So Natalca, Shannon, and I will go in and get Fang. Preferably before the Slashers and Erasers and such know we're there. If they do find out we're there, give them hell. Make sure they can't spare very many to go after us. We have no idea what kind of shape Fang's going to be in, so let's hope he'll be healthy enough to escape. Natalca, Shannon, Fang, and I will get out, everyone'll get away from the building, and then we'll annihilate the building and everything in it."

Natalca piped up with a question. "If Fang's in a cell, how are we going to get him out?"

I took a deep breath "One of three ways. One, Shannon can melt the bars with fire. Two, we can find a whitecoat with a key and knock him out, take the key, and get away. Three, we break the bars down using sheer force."

"What do we do if you get caught?" Iggy asked.

"You get away from there, and we'll break out ourselves. You will not risk yourselves for us." I ordered, giving him my best steely glare.

"You do know that there's no way in hell we're leaving there without you. I don't care what you say. Either we're all caught, or none of us are. The younger ones will agree with me." Iggy said, making it clear that the topic was not up for discussion.

"Fine. Whatever. We just won't get caught." I retorted.

"Fine." Iggy answered.

"It's ten. We should go to bed. See you in the morning." I yawned.

"Goodnight, Max." They chorused.

I left the room, and heard Natalca say goodnight to Iggy and Shannon, and her and J.J. came out after me.

Shannon POV

The others left, and Iggy yawned. "Should we go to bed now?" he asked wearily.

"Yeah, I guess so." I agreed, climbing under the covers, still in my clothes.

"Aren't you going to change into pajamas?" he asked.

"I don't have any energy left. Screw pajamas." I cracked open an eyelid.

"Okay, then."

He scrambled into the bed beside me, and I sighed. "What?" Iggy asked.

"I'm just disappointed in myself." I grinned.

"Why is that?" he asked warily.

"As soon as you climb into the freaking bed, my heart rate goes sky high." I told him, smiling.

"What, I'm that good looking?" he teased me.

"Yeah, let's go with that." I agreed.

"In all seriousness, why does your heart beat faster?" he questioned.

Great. Iggy has the Spanish Inquisition. Just great.

"Um…because I love you and I'm anticipating things?" I said, but it came out sounding like a question.

"What kind of things? These kind of things?" Iggy interrogated me, leaning over me and touching his lips to mine.

"Yes. Exactly those kind of things." I replied, slightly breathless.

"That's a good sign." He murmured, before leaning over me again and properly kissing me this time.

I dragged my arms off the bed, suddenly full of energy again. I wonder why? Oh, yeah, because my boyfriend's kissing me with a scary determination, that's why. I locked my arms around his neck, making sure he was trapped and there was no hope of escape for him. He grinned against my lips. Iggy's hands rested on my hips, and it sent a shiver up my spine. I squirmed slightly, and he moaned.

"Did you just have to wear such a hot tank top today? Are you trying to drive me crazy?" he groaned in my ear, resting his face on my cheek.

"Yup. I live to make you insane." I replied, before using one of my hands to pull his mouth back within reach.

I tilted my head slightly, so we could get closer. I felt his tongue touch my lip, and I granted his request confidently for the first time. Then I felt his tongue enter my mouth, and I wanted to sigh with happiness, but that would mean choking on his tongue. Bad idea. We've learned from experience. I guess Iggy was getting uncomfortable, all twisted around, so he just laid down on top of me. I was squished into the mattress, but I didn't mind.

"This shirt's getting cold." He whispered, nodding his head towards the tear stain I had made.

It was all part of the grand master plan to stain his shirt. Bwahaha.

"Then take it off." I murmured, knowing that's what he wanted me to say.

His arms reluctantly left my hips and went to pull his shirt off. I helped, undoing the buttons, while he shrugged out of it.

"Much better." I breathed, tracing his chest.

His hands returned to my hips, and I replaced my arms around his neck.

"We really should go to bed now." Iggy muttered.

"True." I said.

I leaned forward, giving him one last loving kiss, wrapping my legs around his waist, which surprised him, and then pulled my mouth away. I untangled my legs from his body, and he rolled off me.

"Goodnight, love." Iggy whispered to me.

"Goodnight." I murmured back.

WOW. That was a long chapter. Holy crap. I hope I get some reviews for that!

I also wasnted to say that I have nothing against Americans or Mexicans or Canadians or Turkish people. I'm just trying to write about them the way Max or whoever would. All clear? Good, good.

Love you all,


14. Fang's Back!

*SanraitaFang makes her gallant entrance* I enjoy these Author's Notes. Lol. I don't have much to say here, other than this: I DO NOT LIKE IGGY MORE THAN FANG!!!!! Okay, now that I said that, let's get on with it.

Syzygy Chapter 14


It was 8:30, and I was waking everyone up. There was no mercy for the unfortunate ones who tried to sleep in. AKA, Shannon, Iggy, J.J., Natalca. Cups of water, yelling in their ears, jumping on the beds, like I said, no mercy. As I poured some water on Natalca, Gazzy came in.

"Are we going to save Fang now?" he asked.

"Yup. As soon as lazybones gets up." I replied.

Natalca came up spluttering and choking, and I snapped a picture. "What the heck was that for?!"

"Get up." I said simply before continuing on to Shannon and Ig's room, taking my camera with me.

Angel giggled in my head, hearing my plan. Muahahaha. I opened their door, and, seeing them, let out a small laugh myself. They were snuggled up, Ig's arms around her waist and her head on his shoulder, both of them on their sides. Perfect. I crept up beside them, snickering. The beds were sort of weird, because there was a sheet that people were supposed to lay on, but the maids didn't tuck it under the bed, they just let it hang loose. I positioned the camera, preparing to snap a few pictures of them. I took one of them just lying there. Ah, sweet blackmail. Then I grabbed the edge of the sheet on Iggy's side and heaved. As planned, the sheet flipped them both unceremoniously on the floor. I rapidly took pictures. Shannon's eyes flying open and discovering that she was sprawled on the floor with a spread eagled Iggy crushing her. Iggy flushing red and scrambling off her. Iggy rubbing his shoulder, which he landed on. Shannon trying to catch her breath because Iggy's elbow had impaled and winded her. Then both of them turning to me first with confused expressions, then turning livid.

"Max, you really shouldn't have done that." Shannon told me sweetly.

"Bah, you're not that scary." I replied.

"Careful, Max. She didn't exactly sleep well. I don't think she's in the mood." Iggy informed me.

"What's she gonna do, throw a tantrum?" I teased.

"You just wait, Max, you'll see. And you won't be smiling." Shannon smirked.

"Does she always come up with revenge plans that fast?" I asked Iggy.

"Let's just say that I wouldn't be surprised if she dreamed about putting honey in Natalca's hair when she's sleeping, or putting buckets of water over doors." Iggy shook his head, his messy blond hair falling in his face.

I grinned and told them the schedule. "The game plan for today is: You two get dressed, we go down and get a few muffins or something, then we go get Fang. In between beating some Erasers senseless, of course. Now hurry up and get changed."

"Uh, Max, I don't think either of us are doing anything until you leave." Iggy told me, raising an eyebrow.

"Good point." I blushed and left.

I could hear Shannon laughing behind me. "Shut up, Shannon!" I yelled back.

"Make me!" She called.

I turned on my heel and began walking back to their room, but Ig heard my footsteps and shouted wearily, "Hey! Stay out there! One, I'm changing. Two, I do not need a catfight at this time in the morning. Three, good luck shutting Shannon up. It just doesn't work. Four, she's in the bathroom. You can't even get to her. So just drop it, okay?"

"Touchy." I muttered.

"I heard that."

I rolled my eyes and didn't say anything, walking back to make our two resident fashion obsessers hurry up.

"Move it, you two." I said, banging on their door.

"We're moving, we're moving!" Nudge shouted, opening the door and coming out.

Then Iggy and Shannon emerged, J.J. and Natalca following. I smothered a giggle when I saw J.J. and Natalca's wet hair. Natalca narrowed her eyes and gave me a look. One word, buddy, and you're history.

And after some weird Turkish breakfast food, we were on our way to save Fang. Finally. I was pretty much jumping out of my skin with adrenaline.

Hey, Voice! You want to tell me where the School is? I asked hopefully.

Not a chance, Maximum. You can figure this out yourself. I don't want you getting too dependent on me. The Voice told me smugly.

Oh my God. Did you just express emotion? I'm so proud, Voice! You're learning! Congratulations! I told it sarcastically.

I didn't get an answer. Of course. When I want information, it doesn't give it to me. When I want silence, it talks. Murphy's Law.

"Angel, any idea where we should be going?" I asked out loud.

"Um, how about right down there?" Angel pointed.

I sighed. My brain is dead today. Barbed wire, dirty white brick building, warning signs, Authorized Personnel Only signs, iron gate, no, this couldn't be the School. But it almost seemed to easy. I mean, we just happened to fly aimlessly in the right direction? Oh, screw it. If it was a trap, we'd fight our way out. If it wasn't, then this whole debate was pointless and just stress-inducing.

I frowned, but angled my wings down a bit. "Natalca, where's Fang? Which building?" I glanced at her.

"The small one. Most of the Erasers are in the big one, but there's a fair amount of the Slasher thingies in the small one." Natalca answered.

"Okay, that's convenient. Almost too convenient." I shook myself and made a plan. "Iggy, Gazzy, Angel, Nudge, J.J. You guys drop a bomb on the big building. The Slashers and remaining Erasers will go after you, leaving Natalca and Shannon and me home free to find Fang. We'll get out, then we drop a bomb on the small building, and take care of any stragglers. Got it?"

"Yup. Just remember, Max, Serena could be here. Be careful." Iggy warned me.

"I know. Since when are you telling me what to do?" I asked sharply.

"I'm not! I'm just making sure you've thought of everything. Being you, you're very likely to rush in and forget everything because you're too focused on Fang. I'm making sure you don't get hurt. Fang would murder me if you got hurt." Iggy raised his hands in surrender.

I swallowed and then took a deep breath. I signalled for Shannon and Natalca, and then we raced off for the small building. The others waited until we were a safe distance away, then happily released a smoking device on the big building. It went down in flames, and the last thing I saw was a Iggy and Gazzy slapping high fives before I faced the hall Natalca and Shannon and I had landed in.

I looked at Natalca, and she nodded and took the lead, taking us further and further into the heart of the building. We stayed silent until Natalca froze and turned wide eyes to us.

"Serena." She breathed.

I glanced at Shannon. Her fists were clenched, and she was breathing faster.

"Where?" I breathed back.

"Going to Fang's cell. With two Erasers." Natalca whispered.

"Take us there. We'll knock Serena unconscious before she can teleport, and then take care of the Erasers." I murmured.

She nodded and began walking again, leading us through a few turns before giving a gesture that clearly meant Serena was around the next corner. I clenched my teeth and Shannon grimaced. Then we leapt around the corner. Shannon hit Serena right over the head with a piece of metal that was on the ground. There was actually a lot of metal all over the place. This building was really run down. Serena crumpled to the ground, unconscious. Point for the good side! The two Erasers turned on us, snarling, like they actually thought they had a chance. How naïve. We finished them quickly, intent on getting to Fang. Shannon took a piece of rope that Serena had with her and tied Serena up. Then she fished around in Serena's pockets until she found a key that looked promising. She handed it to me, and I took it gratefully before putting it in the lock of the steel door. Steel. What was a steel door doing in a ramshackle place like this? Add that to the list of puzzles for Max to pull her hair out over later.

The key turned, and I was suddenly overcome by a great desire to throw the door open and run in and throw myself at Fang. But I had to be quiet, so I slowly creaked open the door. And came face to face with an iron pipe that was speeding towards my face. I ducked, and then straightened to give a shocked Fang a questioning look.

"I come to rescue you, and you greet me by trying to knock my head off? That's not very gentlemanly, you know." I tsked tsked, and then hugged Fang fiercely.

"Max…I missed you. I was trying to get out by myself, but, as you can see, that wasn't working very well." He nodded towards a pile of bonds that had been broken.

"It took me forever to break those, but I finally wore through them. And then you came." Fang whispered.

"Okay, not to be rude or anything, but we have to go!" Shannon cut in.

"All right, all right, keep your hair on." I muttered.

"Nice to see you, too." Fang told them sarcastically.

"Pardon us for trying to get out alive. There'll be plenty of time to get reacquainted later." Shannon replied curtly.

"You should be a business woman." I told her.

"I am. I'm in the business of saving the world."

I sighed and started at a run for the outside door. And we almost made it, too. But, as usual, Serena had to show up and ruin everything. She was suddenly standing in front of me. Damn all teleporters.

"I thought you hit her a good one!" I hissed to Shannon.

"I did! It's not my fault that she never stayed unconscious for long." Shannon hissed back.

"Why, what do we have here? Is that me little sister and her little friends again? Children, first grade is down that hallway there. Run along now, kids!" Serena put on a sickly sweet voice.

"Oh, boy, Serena, do I ever plan to run along. After you're dealt with. And for your information, 'dealt with' is translated into 'dead'. Understand?" Shannon snarled.

"You never were very good at controlling your temper. But that will change once you're dead. Then you won't have a temper to control. Anyway, let's get on with this." Serena advanced on Shannon, but Shannon stood her ground, making two formidable fireballs. Fang disappeared, going invisible. Natalca levitated herself, floating a foot or two off the ground. I leaned forward, almost feeling left out. I didn't really have any cool powers.

Your time is coming.

Huh? Oh, whatever. I'm busy. I thought at the interrupting Voice.

"Give it up, Serena. You can't beat all four of us. Just let us go, and we won't beat you to a pulp." Shannon said softly.

When Shannon was yelling, she was lethal. When she was quiet, it was suicide to mess with her.

"Awww, my wittle sister is twying to be scawy! That's so cuuute!" Serena gushed.

"Oh God, Serena. Stop trying to fight with words. You're too scared to do anything but stand there and insult me. It's getting tiring. Fight like a real person." Shannon sighed.

"You asked for it." Serena said simply, leaping at Shannon.

Shannon nimbly stepped out of the way, and shot a fireball at her sister. Serena dodged, but her hair got singed in the process. She came up hissing like an angry cat.

Shannon backed Serena into a corner, with some difficulty, and set Serena's clothes on fire. Serena growled and swatted at the fire, trying to get it out. Meanwhile, Natalca was checking that no one else was going to drop in on the party.

"200 Erasers coming at us. We should get out of here, now!" Natalca cried.

Shannon turned back to a furious Serena and hissed in her face, "Do you see now that you are no match for us? I sure hope so. Otherwise, you'd have to be a complete idiot. Bye bye, now, Serena. Your crib is in that room there." And with that, Shannon gave a hard shove that sent Serena flying into an open cell. Shannon hurriedly closed and locked the door, and then whirled around to start running.

"Hurry, let's get out of here, before Serena figures out she can teleport out of there. Let's go!" She exclaimed.

And did we ever go. We sprinted out of there like we were on fire. And we were in pretty good spirits, too, until we got outside, and found our flock pinned against trees by five of the huge cats from Jasper. This is getting familiar. And that was bad enough. But no, that's not all. SERENA was standing there, smiling maliciously at us.

"I suppose my clone did its job well. It let you knock it out, and tie it up, before easily escaping and delaying you at the door." Serena shook her head in disapproval. "Beaten by a clone. What is the world coming to?"

"Your death." Shannon snarled.

She was probably getting very sick of tossing insults back and forth like a tennis game, so I cut in.

"Enough is enough, Serena. Let's finish this, now." I crouched forward, quite prepared to tackle her, but she had other ideas.

"I don't think so." And she nodded her head at us, like she was signalling somebody to do something to us…oh.

Four cats leaped out from behind Serena, from the forest. A jaguar, a mountain lion, a tiger, and a leopard. Great. They ran at us, obviously going to pin us down like rag dolls. But Shannon, Natalca, and I snapped our wings out and flew out of the cats reach. I stared down at Fang, wondering why in the heck he had come up into the air, too. I gave him a look that said as much, and his answering look pretty much said that he was barely strong enough to go invisible, never mind fly. Crap. So Fang was trapped under a black jaguar, and the other three were swiping at us, trying to grab a foot to drag us down. We weren't exactly in a great position. I caught sight of Natalca concentrating hard on Serena, probably trying to levitate her. Shannon's hands were engulfed in fire. I glanced at the rest of the flock, pinned against the trees.

Max! Iggy has a bomb in his hand. He can throw it, if you'll get out of the way. Angel informed me hurriedly.

Really? Tell him that I could kiss him, and just to throw it. The less warning Serena has, the better.

Okay, Max.

And Iggy threw the bomb straight at Serena. She caught it, and stared at it incredulously for a moment before throwing her head back and laughing. Laughing? Um…then I got a better view of the object. It was a pinecone. Iggy had diabolically stuck the teeny-tiny bomb in a pinecone beforehand. Oh, Ig, I love you!

"A pinecone? A pinecone? That's actually pretty sad, really. I mean, come on. What damage is a pinecone going to do?" Serena smirked.

She turned it around in her fingers, and I almost groaned. Her finger caught on a small black object, and her eyes narrowed.

"What's this? A hidden bomb? Well, I have to admit, that was pretty clever. But not clever enough." And Serena dropped the bomb and teleported away.

Damn it. Damn it! How does this always happen? We're always so close, and then she gets away. I mean, seriously, is that fair at all? My thoughts were interrupted by a hand grabbing my arm and hauling me away. Fang. Oh yeah, there was a bomb! Momentary lapse in sanity, there, people. As I flew away like a maniac, the flock following, I swore.

"So those cats disappeared with her? Again? You know, she could have had them rip our throats out. But she didn't. It's almost as if she wants to just have us at her mercy and then let us go so she can hunt us down later. Argh." I vented.

"I have absolutely no comment that wouldn't teach the younger ones a whole lot of new, colourful words that Max would kill me for later." Shannon snarled.

Behind us, the bomb exploded. It wasn't a huge explosion, but would have gotten Serena if she had stayed around to enjoy the surprise.

"So, where now?" Fang asked.

"We have Spain and Ireland left in Europe. I guess it doesn't matter which we go to now. Anyone have any particular urge to go to either right this moment?" I asked.

"IRELAND!! Ireland is so cool! Let's go there now! Please?" Nudge pleaded with me.

"Sure, Nudge. We'll head to Ireland now." I agreed.

I began to head in the direction of the airport, but my neighbourhood Voice decided to cut in.

Max, you can't take a plane for a while. The CIA is tailing you. They reviewed the tapes of all of you getting on planes and travelling all over the place. They think you're terrorists or runaways. You're going to have to go camping.

The CIA? Oh, God, can't they mind their own business? I grumbled.

But I gave in, and started flying in the direction of Ireland. Dublin, to be exact.

"Apparently the CIA is after us. If we take another plane they're going to arrest us, so we're hoofing it now." I told everyone.

"No more hot showers? Darn, I was so enjoying that." Natalca rolled her eyes.

"We're going camping! Yay!" Nudge and Angel squealed.

"Yup, camping." I plugged my ears to try and drown out their high pitched noises of happiness. It didn't work.

And so, after four hours of non-stop flight, Gazzy, Angel, and Nudge were going to drop out of the sky pretty soon. So I decided that this was as good a time to stop as any other. We landed in the forest somewhere in Austria. We lay down, using our backpacks as pillows, or each other. Natalca's head rested on J.J.'s arm, and Ig's head was on her side, with Shannon's head on his stomach, her back to the ground. Fang and I settled down beside each other, our heads on Shannon's side. I'll bet we looked pretty darn funny. Angel, Gazzy and Nudge took one look and abandoned their backpacks and came to join our dog pile. Nudge and Angel giggled and put their heads on my stomach, snuggling close for warmth. Gazzy put his head on Ig's thigh, setting his legs over top J.J.'s shins. Yup, we looked like a pile of newborn kittens, cuddling up, trying to keep warm. Then Iggy stared laughing at something Shannon had whispered to him. And I mean laughing hard. Shannon started laughing herself, at the feeling of Iggy's body shaking, and then Fang and I were as helpless as them, feeling Shannon shake under us. Then Nudge and Angel started giggling, and then Gazzy, and then J.J., and then Natalca. We were hopeless. Utterly and completely hopeless.

"Goodnight, everybody." I whispered when our laughter had subsided.

And then I fell asleep to the sound of Fang's even breathing.

Serena POV

There they were, lying on the ground like on big happy family. Grr, it was so unfair. Why did Shannon get to be so happy? Just another reason to add to the list or reasons to kill her. But then I remembered what was in store for them, and I grinned in anticipation. IT was going to be good. I'd get to stand by and watch Shannon scream in pure agony, and stupid little Natalca, too. And the tall blond guy, the one Shannon was with. How could she have a boyfriend when I didn't? Once again, so unfair. But they wouldn't be together long. Pretty soon all they'll be able to think about will be about the red hot pain flashing through them, and how they want to die so it would be over. But I won't let them get away that easy….

Oooh, Serena meanie! But you already knew that. I'm sorry this took me sooo freaking long to put up! I could make up some excuse, but I don't have one, so…yeah, I was just being lazy.

Bye bye,


15. Pinecones and DNA Pinecone DNA?

Just for your information, I'm being forced to write this chapter right this minute. Not mentioning who is doing the forcing. Ah, screw that. NOtalka is very vocal about what she wants. So here it is.

By the way, I finally discovered what's wrong with the way I format everything. Apparently sentences that would end in a period, like the one Fang says *points downward*, would actually end in a comma. Well, now I've got it under control. And, just so you know, it drives me crazy. Even more crazy than I already am.

Syzygy Chapter 15

I was dreaming about burgundy bananas (don't ask, I really don't know) when I was shaken awake by a strong hand. Fang.

"Max, get up. It's important," he murmured in my ear.

I shot up into a sitting position. What? We're all trained to react immediately to being shaken awake. I glanced around, saw no immediate danger, and turned back to look into Fang's face. I gave him a questioning glance.

"I was already up when Angel woke up. She said that she can feel…God this is hard to explain…like an evil presence where she should hear the thoughts of a person. Like, she doesn't know what they're thinking, but she can feel that they are there, and they're evil." Fang tried to explain.

"I understand. Where is she?" I glanced around.

"Right here, Max," A sweet little voice said behind me.

I twisted around to look up into Angel's face. "Hi, honey. So someone's out there? Are they after us?"

"Yes to the first, I think so to the second. But I'm not picking up any emotions of speed or anything, so it seems like he's just watching us or something," Angel shrugged.

I looked around the forest furtively. "That close?"

Angel nodded.

"What's happening?" Natalca yawned.

"We need to get our butts moving again. Wake up everyone else," I commanded.

Natalca nodded and turned back to J.J., shaking his shoulder and calling his name. Eventually he woke up and told her to stop yelling in his ear, which she responded to by smacking him. Then she went and not-so-gently kicked Shannon. She shot to her feet, eyes flying around the clearing, looking for the Erasers. Then she saw Natalca grinning madly and groaned.

"Idiot," Then Shannon tackled Natalca and they rolled around the clearing, each trying to kill the other. I rolled my eyes at the sisterlike friends and went to rouse Iggy.

"Ig, hey Ig, wake up." I said, nudging him with my toe.

Groggily he opened his eyes. "Shannon?"

"Oh, yes, of course! No, I'm Max, you dimwit. Now get up," I demanded.

He stretched his arms and rose to his feet, saying, "Another day under the duress and force of the whip wielding Max."

I rolled my eyes again and went over to Gazzy and Nudge. "Hey, troopers, up and at 'em."

Nudge woke up first and looked at me with her brown eyes. "We're leaving already?"

"Yup. Angel senses someone near here," I told her.

And right then, Natalca raced to my side, hair flying. Shannon was behind her, looking around with anger and defiance in her eyes.

"There's someone out there. I'm not sure who, and whoever it is knows how to block my gift, at least partly. They gave me a really bad migraine when I focused in on their figure. I don't know how they did that mentally, but they did. They're powerful, Max. We gotta get out of here, now!" Natalca cried.

I spread my wings without another word and shot into the sky, my flock following me. I saw everyone casting looks of fury around at the forest, trying to see the person spying on us. I saw Natalca grab her head and moan, and then J.J. was talking to her softly.

Fang flew up to my side and asked, "Are we still going to Dublin?"

"Of course. I'm not letting some anonymous person barge in here and change everything. I don't care how powerful they are," I scoffed.

Why the heck would Fang ask that crazy question?

Then he sighed in relief and said, "Just checking you weren't replaced with a clone in the night."

Ah. And for once, we flew for a few hours without Nudge telling me she was hungry. I guess she was too worried about our tracker to say anything.

"When do you think we're going to get there?" Shannon asked, flying close to me and lowering her voice.

I thought about it for a sec. "I don't know. You went to school, your geography is better than mine. I really don't know where we are."

She smiled. "We were just in Austria, so we still have to get across France, the English Channel, and England. Then we'll be in Ireland. I'd guess that's about 1200 miles, which would be about..." she screwed her face up as she thought. I could practically see the gears turning. "1930 something kilometres. I don't really know how fast we travel, though."

I looked at her. "Remind me to ask you questions like that more often. You know a heck of a lot more about it than I do."

She laughed. Then I answered her question. "I think we travel at about 150 kilometres an hour. I can go well over 240 with my warp speed. You do the math."

(A/N The speeds were a complete and total guess. All I knew was that they travel much faster than cars, so…but I know my math is right, at least. Math is my thing.)

Shannon sighed and out a hand to her forehead. "Umumumumum. Almost 13 hours. Okay, I answered my own question. Thanks so much for your help, Max. But I think we need to hurry or stop or something, because Natalca's going to drop out of the sky soon. J.J.'s calming her down, sort of, but…" She glanced back at Natalca, who was red in the face and biting her lip, her eyes hard.

It was about 9:00 in the morning, so if we flew for the thirteen hours straight, we would get there at about 10:00 pm. But I knew we would have to stop for food, and maybe I would split the thirteen hours into two days journey so we weren't wiped when we got there.

"Yeah, okay. Thanks, Shannon." I said.

Shannon slowed and so she faded back into her place beside Iggy. That was when I heard the shriek. I whipped around to see Angel barrelling at me. She grabbed me, and our weight made us fall several feet. Then I heard the familiar sound of a bullet whizzing through the air. This was almost like déjà vu.

Angel looked at me and asked breathlessly, "Are you okay?"

"Yes, thanks to you," I said shakily.

She let go of me and I straightened out. My gaze raked the ground as I searched for the source of the bullet. Then Fang silently pointed, and I groaned. It was one of those stupid Flyboys. It had a gun. Was that what had been following us? I was running from that?

"No, Max. That's not what I can feel following us." Angel answered my thought.

"Well, darn, then." I muttered as I flew down in unpredictable spirals and rolls, making it impossible for the Flyboy to shoot at me again.

I touched down on the ground, and then launched myself at the robot. I grabbed his outstretched arm and pointed it at the ground just as it fired the gun. That was close. Then I front snap kicked his chin, making his head snap off his neck and going flying off into the trees. I dropped the hunk of metal and turned back to the rest of the flock. Fang looked bored, no surprise there, Iggy looked interested in the robotic components of the Flyboy, also no surprise, and Shannon looked like, Can we go now? Natalca was throwing pinecones from the ground at a tree with her levitation. J.J. was climbing a tree. Gazzy, Angel, and Nudge were playing hopscotch. Yep, that's my flock. A sniper? Yawn.

"Let's go." I commanded, leaping into the air.

Everyone glanced up at me and then launched themselves into the sky. We flew for a few minutes, and then I heard Shannon yelp. I glanced back at her and saw her rubbing the back of her head. Then suddenly she dove into a nosedive, swooping down and catching something. When she came back up, she had a pinecone, and the look on her face was murderous.

"Natalka, dear, to you happen to know how that came to hit me, of all people?" Shannon asked, deceptively mild.

Natalka looked at her and said sweetly, "Why, no. I was juggling them and then one just flew out and bonked you on the head."

"Ha ha, hilarious." Then Shannon tackled Natalka in mid air and they both started to plummet, hitting and kicking each other the whole way. About twenty feet from the treetops, Shannon let go and swooped back up, then as Natalka raced after her, began throwing pinecones at her.

I rolled my eyes and turned back to the front. "Seriously, how old are those two?"

"That depends. Do you mean physically, mentally, or in dog years?" Angel asked.

"Hm. Let's go with mentally." I decided.

"Mentally, they are about five when with each other. Individually, they are about twenty." Angel declared.

"Okay, then. I still think they act like four year olds." I laughed.

"Let me guess. You're talking about us?" Natalka asked, flying beside me.

Her expression was just a little bit to innocent.

"Yes, we are." I told her.

"Well, I guess we're going to have to punish you for that." Shannon said, pulling up on my other side.

I narrowed my eyes at her suspiciously, wondering what they were up to. Then they started pelting me with pinecones. I gave a yelp and let myself drop a few feet. Two pinecones whizzed over my head, and then they fixed their aim. I dove and swooped and rolled, trying to unpredictable, but they just dove and swooped and rolled with me. Then they laughed and began attacking the rest of the flock. When they finally ran out of the cursed pinecones, they stopped their attack and continued flying as if they had been flying silently for the last half hour.

"And together, they may be five, but they are also an unbeatable and scary team." Iggy groaned, rubbing his arm.

Everyone continued talking, but I was lost in thought. Shannon and Natalca and J.J. were just as strong as the rest of us, and the rest of us had bird DNA, which gave us our strength. They didn't have bird DNA. They had never actually said what they were given. I voiced my question.

"Shannon, Natalca, you don't have bird DNA, but you're as strong as us. What DNA do you have?" I asked.

Natalca and Shannon immediately sobered and looked at each other. Then Shannon looked back at me. "They never told us, and we never figured it out. All we remember of making that…change from human to whatever we are now is that it was painful, and I remember hearing the whitecoats talk about our DNA. So they definitely did something to it, but we have no clue what."

"My voice said you grew wings because of your proximity to us. J.J., too. I wonder what that means." I mused aloud.

It means that they didn't get DNA added. The Voice suddenly put in.

I gave a start. I had been caught up in my thoughts.

Hi, Voice. Want to tell me anything else while you're around? I asked sarcastically.

You can figure it out for yourself, Maximum. You don't need me for this one.

Well, humph.

"The Voice now says that you didn't get DNA added. So you can scratch that possibility off the list." I said.

Fang glanced at me. "If they didn't get it added, did they get it taken away?"

My eyes widened. Was that possible? It was sure a good guess.

"I don't know. Is that possible?" I wondered out loud.

"Well, a person's DNA makes them who they are, like it gives them all their personality traits, like brown hair and green eyes or whatever, right? So if they got some taken away, would it mean that they would lose some traits and become…plainer?"

"Lovely wording." Shannon muttered. "But you're right. I think it probably is possible. They expected us to die. So it must be something kind of weird. And that definitely qualifies. But I think I remember learning somewhere that you must have a full string of DNA for your body to function completely properly. But our bodies changed because of our proximity to you. Do you think that our DNA was adding traits from our surroundings?"

I was silent for a moment. That sure sounded logical. Then Nudge broke the silence, and for once, it was not to say she was hungry.

"I think she's probably right. Maybe you got to be stronger than an average human from being close to Erasers." She suggested.

We all looked at her.

"Nudge, you're a genius!" Shannon and Natalca yelled, darting over to Nudge and giving her the closest they could to a mid-air hug.

Nudge looked happy, and at that moment, I was happy, too. Shannon and Natalca had finally figured it out.

"Do you think the same is true of J.J.?" Iggy asked.

Yes. The Voice said.

I thought you weren't helping. I thought smugly.

I'm not. And I got the strangest feeling that the Voice was winking. How the hell could a voice wink?!

"The Voice says yes." I told everyone.

J.J's face broke into a huge grin, and I couldn't help but feel happy for the three of them.

(A/N I have no idea if the DNA taking away thing is even true. Just pretend it's possible, okay?  And shut up, MaximumTwilightRider and NOtalka)

"Now that we have all that figured out, can we please stop in this town for food? And Natalca's giving herself a headache again trying to see where our follower is." Nudge said.

"All right, all right. Land behind that restaurant there." I pointed, and we all picked up the pace a little at the thought of food.

Soon we landed behind the restaurant, and we hurried in, practically drooling. The girl at the front that sits people was a redhead. I wanted to puke. I gave Fang a look and stalked up to her. Once I was close enough, I wanted to slap her. Aside from being a redhead, her clothes were freakishly see through, and her top was low. Not to mention the disgustingly teeny-tiny mini skirt.

"For nine, please." I said, barely masking my contempt.

I heard Fang stifle a chuckle, so I aimed a backwards kick to his shins, not taking my eyes from the girl in front of me. She glanced up, looked me up and down, looked at the people behind me, most likely noticing the three younger kids.

"I'm sorry, but can I see proof that those three are your kids and that the others are not accomplices?" She asked, not very politely, and not sounding sorry at all.

I smirked internally. Fang and I had practiced this for just this sort of occasion. He came up beside me, putting his arm around my waist and pressing a ring into my hand, which I slipped onto the third finger of my left hand. The waitress couldn't see this exchange because she was standing behind a counter.

"Is there a problem?" Fang asked coolly.

"Apparently she wants proof that Ariel, Zephyr, and Tiffany are our kids, and that Samantha, Nathalie, Jeff, and Jamie are not accomplices in kidnapping them." I said, laying my left hand on Fang's shoulder, slightly fluttering my fingers so the ring glittered.

I saw her eyes flicker to the ring, and the slight colour in her cheeks. Then she controlled it and said evenly, "I still need proof."

"Ariel, Zephyr, Tiffany, come here, guys." I called.

Angel obediently bounced up beside me. "What, Mom?"

Then Gazzy stepped beside Angel, and I gestured to their faces. "Can you not see the similarities?"

Then Nudge bounced up, and I stroked her hair. "Tiffany is adopted." Then I gestured to Shannon, Iggy, Natalca, and J.J. "Samantha is my sister, and Jeff is her husband. Nathalie is Nick's step-sister, and Jamie is her husband."

"I see. Well, come on." The waitress said, annoyance clear in her voice as she stalked off to show us to the table.

I rolled my eyes and mimed throttling her behind her back to everyone else. They snickered, and when the girl turned, they looked at her innocently.

We ordered and ate in silence, too busy eating to talk. Our waiter obviously didn't speak English, so we had to point at what we wanted. He looked amazed at how much food we were eating, but we were used to that by now. When we finished, we got up and left. As we walked out the door, I murmured to the flock, "Did anyone happen to notice where we are?"

"I saw a sign that said something about Belgium, I think." Gazzy said.

"Okay…why did the girl at the front speak English and not Belgian, then?" I asked.

"Belgian is not a language, Max. The waiter was speaking Dutch or German or something. That's what they speak here." Shannon told me smugly.

I stuck my tongue out at her. She laughed.

"Are we going to stop for the night?" Fang asked.

I glanced at the sky. It was getting dark. We must not have been flying very fast.

"We should have gotten there by now." I sighed. "But yeah, let's stop. How much farther if we're in Belgium?"

"Belgium's about halfway." Shannon said.

"There's a hotel." J.J. pointed.

I nodded and then we were walking over to it. Inside, I said, "Let's just get two rooms with two double beds each, okay? I don't like the idea of being split up with this person tailing us."

Everyone nodded in agreement. They didn't like that idea, either. I it my lip as I approached the guy at the desk. I sure hoped he spoke English.

"Hello. Do you speak English?" I asked.

"Yes, I do. Visiting from somewhere?" the man asked.

"Yes, from Canada." I said, since Americans were probably stereotyped over here.

"Canada is such a beautiful country. I take it you need some rooms for the night. How many would you like?"

"Yes, thank you. We'd like two rooms with two double beds each, just for tonight, please." I said.

"Of course, miss," he said.

Then he handed me two key cards, and I thanked him and our group went up the stairs to the second floor. Outside our two rooms, I divided us into two.

"Okay…Angel, Nudge, Gazzy, Fang, and I will go in here, and Iggy, Shannon, Natalca, and J.J. can go in there. All right?" I decided.

They nodded and Shannon took one card and went into the other room, Iggy, Natalca, and J.J. following her. I unlocked our room and stepped inside.

"Home sweet home." Fang said, brushing past me.

I looked around. It was actually a nice hotel. Cool. I herded the other three inside, and then shut and dead bolted the door. Yes, that's just how paranoid I am. There was a couch and two beds. Perfect.

"I call the couch!" Gazzy yelled, leaping onto it and then turning to us with his hands out as if to defend it.

I raised my eyebrows. "You can have the couch, Gaz."

He relaxed at my words and plopped down on his back. Angel and Nudge squealed and then started jumping on their bed. I turned my eyes to the ceiling and sighed.

"Angel. Nudge. Please. Just go to bed." I pleaded.

They took one look at me, then started jumping from bed to bed. That was when I got annoyed.

"Guys! Go to sleep, now! Or I'll tie you down and duct tape your mouths shut!" I threatened.

"Okay, Max," they said, crawling under their blankets.

When I turned back to Fang, he was already under the covers in our bed. I sighed and rubbed my forehead before settling down beside him.

"Goodnight, everyone." I said in the silence.

Oh My Freaking God Please Don't Kill Me. I know, I say that every time. I guess I'm saying it again. That took way too long. I really hope this isn't becoming a habit for me. Eek. I guess I need motivation. MaximumTwilightRider threatened my life with her long range bazooka if I don't have this up by the time she's back from camping. Well, it's up, and you're not back, so I guess I can call off the funeral. Yippee!

Now if only swimming lessons were as easy to fix. I hate them. I'm in the very last level, at least, so I don't have to go back next year. But I fractured my ankle, and swimming seriously hurts. But I still have to go. Curses.

It's my birthday today!!!!! Yayayayayayay! I got my ears pierced. It's soo awesome.

Okay, I'll stop typing and actually go post this now. I'll have to play some inspiring music as I do it, because this is a great occasion. The long awaited chapter is FINALLY up!


16. Surprise! Not a good one

*Tries to inconspicuously sneak in and fails miserably as she gets hit with many different objects from angry readers*

Yes, I know this took incredibly unbelievably long! I KNOW!! But this time I have excuses!! *wiggles eyebrows*

I was away for a week at horse camp. They don't exactly have computers in a cockroach-ridden little cabin.

When I got back home, I had about three days before guests started arriving for my sister's wedding. Which means I was being the inviting hostess. Well, really my parents were the hosts, but still! I have cousins! And someone has to look after the baby. And set up the big white tent and cook food and clean house and decorate house and all manner of other trivial things.

I was also the DJ for the wedding. I had more than two hundred songs to download! And put on mp3s, and figure out how to work the complicated sound system thingamajigger. I think it was called a mixer?

And being DJ, it also means I can't go inside to go to bed until all the partiers do. We were up until 5:30 in the morning. The freaking SUN was coming up!! They also convinced me to drink a cooler. Underage drinking. So wonderful.

Finally, all the guests were gone, five days later.

I left to Wisconsin Dells and Mt. Olympus theme park for a week. Had a guy stalking me. Hey, at least he was cute!

Now I have four days before I leave to karate camp. SO you won't get another chapter until I get back, probably.

On with the story. The story that all but rules my life. Damn story.

Syzygy 16Natalca POV (that night, same time as Max and others go to bed.)

"I'm thinking that if Erasers burst in right now, I might lose it and explode. God, I'm exhausted." I moaned, flopping down on one of the beds.

"I'm with you there, friend." Shannon sighed, collapsing on the other bed.

"Sissies." Iggy scoffed.

Shannon and I shot up in synchronization and demanded furiously, "What did you say?"

"Sissies." J.J. said clearly, enunciating every syllable.

Shannon slid off the bed and stalked towards them, me behind her with my hands on my hips. I couldn't see, but I knew her eyes would be flashing, making it look like sparks could fly. And I also knew that my eyes were blazing with anger as we prowled slowly over.

"Want to say that one more time?" Shannon asked, deadly quiet.

J.J. looked slightly worried, but Iggy was not. "Once again I say, sissies."

"Tsk, tsk, you do not know us at all." Shannon shook her head before smashing her fist into Iggy's face.

I know she didn't do it as hard as she could, because she could easily break his nose. But obviously she's not going to do that to her boyfriend, no matter what he says. Well, maybe that's not entirely true. But you know what I mean. Iggy stumbled back but didn't clutch at his face like an idiot. Instead he glared playfully at Shannon before tackling her into a bed. She gave a shriek that dissolved into laughter as he tickled her. J.J. looked at me, and I said icily, "Don't even think about it."

But of course he didn't listen and charged me, his momentum taking us into the other bed. I screeched and battered at him with my hands and feet, but he ignored it as best he could and proceeded to tickle me.

"J.J.! Stop it!" I yelled.

He laughed, and then I got an evil smile and his smirk faltered. Then he was flying into the wall, courtesy of my wonderfully handy gift. He hit the wall with a thump, and he slid to the floor with a pained expression.

"Ow." He grumbled.

I glanced over at Shannon, who was still shrieking, and Iggy, who was laughing. Then Shannon managed to yell, "Iggy, stop it right now, or I won't kiss you for a week! And I mean it, you know I do!"

Iggy's eyes widened and his face looked devastated. He immediately scrambled away and made 'surrender' gestures wildly with his hands. Shannon laughed and sat up.

"Okay, now that I have defended my reputation by punching Iggy, can I please go to bed without anymore teasing?" she asked.

"That goes for both of us." I yawned, crawling under the covers.

Ig and J.J. nodded, and Iggy turned the lights off. J.J. came over to me and flipped the covers back so he could lie beside me. I moved over and set my head on his chest. Then he tipped my face up so his lips could reach mine, and as soon as they touched, Shannon shouted at us, "No making out over there!"

My face heated up and I turned to glare at her. "Careful. If you say that, you can't kiss Iggy."

"Who said that?" Shannon smirked and then pressed her mouth to Iggy's.

"I did."

"Well, you don't count."

"Really?" I said, picking up a pillow and preparing to hurl it at her.

Then J.J. grabbed my wrist and spoiled all our fun.

"Stop. Now I want to sleep. I'm beginning to wonder if you should be in separate rooms." He grinned, pulling my wrist down to rest over his heart.

"Goodnight, everyone." Iggy said quietly, effectively shutting any further talk up.

Then we all promptly fell asleep, not really realizing how tired we were until we closed our eyes.

Shannon POV

"Ugh. I am not a morning person." I groaned as Iggy forcefully pulled me out of the comfy bed.

"So I noticed. But hurry up, or Max is going to leave us behind." Iggy said.

"Where are we going?" I asked.

"To the restaurant downstairs. Come on, it's an all-you-can-eat buffet." Iggy wiggled his eyebrows.

That got me up. I was hungry. I scrambled out of the bed and danced over to him, giving him a quick kiss before twirling out the door to meet Max and Fang. When Max saw me, she rubbed her forehead and said, "It's to early for dancing. Stop it."

"Oh, leave her alone. She's actually happy this early in the morning. It doesn't happen often." Natalca said.

I laughed and stopped dancing, settling for a walk. We all went downstairs and happily stuffed ourselves on eggs, bacon, French toast, donuts, waffles, etc. And nine syrup intoxicated bird kids are a force to be reckoned with. So, this time it wasn't just me dancing. It was Max, Natalca, Angel, Nudge, Gazzy, and I. Basically everyone but the older guys. Grouches.

"Seriously, guys, do you really want to draw that much attention to us?" Iggy asked, catching my wrist as I twirled past him.

"Okay, he has a point. Stop, you five. You can do all the tricks you want once we're in the air." Max said, biting her lip on a smile as Angel and Nudge collided.

We reluctantly stopped and followed as Max and Fang, talking quietly, led us outside. We walked out behind the hotel, and then we leaped into the sky, the warm air helping us to soar gracefully and effortlessly. Max set the pace, and it was faster than normal. She was either really on edge and wanting to get there already, or that syrup was having a huge effect. I'm betting on a mix of both. I beat my wings in synchronization with Natalca beside me, and Iggy on the other side. It was an instinct, what can I say?

Iggy's thinking that your punch really hurt. Angel suddenly popped into my head.

I laughed. Thanks, Angel. And I suppose you know what I'm going to say now?

Get out?

Smart girl.

Angel sighed and left me alone. Now, I could make a smart remark to Iggy, but I didn't feel like it. Which was saying something, because usually I never pass up the chance to tease someone. I was just kind of…apprehensive of something. The syrup buzz had worn off. Now a feeling like something was going to happen, like we had to be careful what we said; someone might be eavesdropping. I sighed. There was no reason for me to feel like this, so why couldn't I shake it off?

"What's wrong?" Natalca asked sharply.

"Nothing, nothing. Just thinking how much I love flying and how I can't understand how we lived through being earthbound." I covered quickly.

Her eyes narrowed, and her face became suspicious. Iggy took one look at her face, and instantly his 'something's up, what is it?' expression appeared.

"You're lying." Natalca said flatly.

"I am not! If that's not what I was thinking, I don't know what I was." I denied.

"Angel agrees with me. You. Are. Lying."

"Damn it." I muttered. "I just feel like something's going to happen. But it's nothing. And don't you give yourself a headache trying to figure out where our follower is."

I gave her a stern look, and she turned and sighed. "Fine. But you having feelings has turned out badly before."

"I know." I muttered.

We flew in silence after that, for probably two hours, before Angel was biting her lip and all but freaking out. Not that I'd ever seen her freak out. But her eyes were flitting about nervously, and her face was pale and drawn. She was talking to Max, and I could tell her voice was worried and maybe a bit scared.

"Max? What's going on?" Iggy called to her.

Max turned her head to look at us. "Angel says that the person following us is really close now. Like almost right below us, except off to the right, in the trees. And giving off more evil vibes than ever before."

"So what are we going to do?" Nudge asked.

"Keep flying, but pay attention." Max said simply.

I grinned. Nothing could ever shake Max from whatever she was after. This time, nothing could keep her from getting to the Ireland School.

"You know, I bet I know who's following us." Natalca commented.

My head snapped around to stare at her.

"Who, Natalca?" Max asked quickly.

"Serena. It makes sense, doesn't it?" Natalca shrugged.

"No. It's not her." I said before I could stop myself.

Everyone looked at me.

"I don't know, Shannon. I think"- Max began.

I cut her off. "It's not her, Max. She's always been able to completely block our gifts. Natalca and Angel shouldn't be able to sense her at all. And she wouldn't follow us. I think it's pretty obvious to our follower where we're going. She would just teleport there and meet us. With an army. And I know my sister. No matter how twisted she is now. She'd send someone else, or she'd be with someone else. She definitely wouldn't be alone. Serena might have ordered this person to follow us, but I can guarantee it's not her."

"She's right." Fang said softly.

Max sighed and asked, "Okay, if it's not Serena, who the hell is it?"

But no one answered her question, for two reasons. One, no one knew. Two, Angel started pointing and shouting excitedly.

"There's Madysyn! And there's someone with her!" Angel cried, pointing down.

We all looked, and sure enough, there she was. Jumping up and down and yelling and gesturing at us, dark hair flying in the wind and black tail lashing. But she didn't look excited to see us. She looked worried.

"Dive! Quick! Evasive action!" Max yelled.

We didn't ask questions. I swooped and dived and rolled and pinwheeled like my life depended on it. Which, sadly, might be true. As I got lower, I could hear what Madysyn was screaming at us.

"Get out of the air! GET OUT OF THE AIR! He'll SHOOT you! Get DOWN HERE! HURRY!" and other stuff to that effect.

Deciding I was close enough to dive without getting shot, I tucked my wings in shot towards the cliff she was standing on. Then Iggy was at my side, his eyes flashing around, trying to see what was going to shoot us. My feet touched the ground, and then Iggy tackled me to the side and a gun shot made a hole in the ground exactly where I had been standing.

"Thanks!" I said breathlessly, scrambling up as the others landed.

"In the forest!" Max shouted, sending us all racing to the safety of the trees. Well, it was safer, at least. Bullets still peppered the trees.

I leaped behind a boulder, and Iggy, Natalca, Nudge and J.J. joined me. The others scrambled behind another boulder, and Madysyn and…who the heck is that? She was with a guy. A guy our age, by the looks of it. He had dark brown hair, almost black but not quite. Tall and strong. Handsome. I couldn't see his eyes from my vantage point, but judging by the hair, they were probably dark. I took that in in about half a second before returning to our sticky situation. Then the bullets stopped, and there was a huge….silence.

"He's done. He won't try anything more, because he can't come after us. He knows we'd beat him." Madysyn's voice broke the tense silence.


"He who?" I asked carefully.

"You mean you haven't noticed him following you?" the guy asked.

"We knew someone was following us. Not who." I answered truthfully.

"Well, his name is Taren, and he's evil. He's after you. Last time I saw him, he was getting very cozy with that dark-haired psycho killer chick. Don't know her name." The guy replied.

"Serena." Shannon answered automatically. Then she continued gravely, "She's my sister. We were both caught when I was ten, and they did something to her, I don't know what. Next time I saw her, she was a crazy bitch."

He blinked, shocked. That's when I noticed the eyes. They were bright, electric blue. A contrast to his dark hair. But it looked good on him.

"Don't worry, nothing will surprise you after you've spent about five minutes with us." Fang commented. Then he demanded, "But what do you mean, last time you saw him? How do you know so much about him? And what's your name?"

"He's my father, I hate him, and my name's Regan." The new comer said simply.

My mouth dropped. Madysyn grinned, her tail waving in amusement.

"Let me elaborate." Madysyn smiled. "Regan is not human, if you hadn't figured that out. Anyway, he was at the Spain School, and then he escaped. I met him, and we've been travelling together ever since. Stop backing away and relax, Max. He's no Eraser or anything else that's going to kill you. He's here to help us. He's on our side."

"If he's not an Eraser, and he's not like you because he has no tail, what is he?" Iggy asked.

Madysyn just looked at Regan. His blue eyes intensified, and then he turned into a wolf. Not like an Eraser. Like a werewolf. Chocolate brown fur and black paws. Claws and teeth and muscle.

"Cool!" Gazzy yelled.

"Seriously, that's awesome!" Iggy shouted.

Shannon rolled her eyes at her childish boyfriend and said, "All right, I have to admit, it's neat."

"Are you a werewolf? 'Cause I watched a movie with werewolves in it, and they could do that. There was a guy named Quil who had the same chocolate brown fur. But I like dark chocolate better, actually. Milk chocolate is too sweet. White chocolate-"

"Nudge, shut up." Natalca told her.

"Shutting up." Nudge grinned.

Then Regan turned back to human form and said, cutting off all our questions, "Now, before you swamp me with questions, yes, I'm a werewolf. Really, I'm just like Madysyn except that I have no wolfy type things on my human body."

"Is anyone else worrying about our sniper? I mean, this is all very neat, but shouldn't we get out of here?" I bit my lip, with my usual amount of paranoia.

"Finally, some sanity!" Fang muttered. "I think we should get moving again."

"Wait one sec. I have one more question. Nope, two more." Shannon held up a finger and turned to Madysyn. "How'd you know he was going to start shooting?"

"Because he was shooting at us when we caught sight of you in the air. We ran to the trees, and went up on that rock where you'd see us."

"Okay. And you said last time you saw Taren he was getting cozy with Serena. What the hell does that mean?" Shannon demanded, looking at Regan.

"They're engaged." Regan replied flatly.

Okay, how does that work? Shannon and Regan looked the same age. How could her sister be with his father? And where was his mother?

Shannon opened her mouth, closed it, and opened it again. "What? Wait. Just how old is your dad? How old are you? And where's your mother?"

"Taren's twenty-six. I'm fourteen. My mother had me when she was twenty-three, and Taren was thirteen. Yes, that's gross, I know. But Taren's not human, either. He's half robot, and he ages one year for every two we do. So his body was thirteen, his mind was twenty-six. I've never met my mother, that's just what Taren's told me. And that really might not be true, but I'm pretty sure it actually is. I have no idea who my mother is. No one will tell me. I just know she's still involved with Itex and all them." Regan told me.

Shannon raised her eyebrows and said, "All righty then. And don't think I haven't noticed the way you move around Madysyn. You're her boyfriend, aren't you?"

Madysyn grinned and said, "Yep, he is."

"So if you have a baby, will it be half wolf and half panther?" Nudge asked eagerly, not at all ashamed.

"Uh…" Madysyn went still. Regan went deathly pale.

"Can we please go now?" I asked impatiently, sparing the couple from further embarrassment.

In answer, Shannon spread her wings and shot into the sky.

Only to come shooting back down as a bullet went flying by her head.

"Okay, flying is officially out." I commented.

"No, really?" Shannon rolled her eyes.

"You can fly through the forest, can't you?" Madysyn asked.

"Yes, we can. Let's go." I commanded.

If I thought the flock was dirty before our forest flight, it was nothing compared to after. Shannon's long hair was totally full of twigs, and Natalca had pine needles in her clothes. Angel had scratches covering her…well, angelic face. Gazzy's pants had a rip in the leg. My hair was a mess. Iggy and J.J. looked like they'd been put through a wind turbine. Nudge…well, let's just say that her hair was even frizzier than normal. And somehow, Fang was completely neat and tidy. Go figure. Madysyn and Regan were waiting for us when we arrived, still in panther and wolf form.

"So once we blast this school, we're done with Europe." Regan said happily.

"Don't we still have Spain?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.

"No, I kind of…burned it to the ground when I ran away." Regan admitted.

"Okay, that puts us ahead of schedule." I said, before an Eraser burst through the trees.

Followed by many more and my favourite person on Earth, Serena. And a guy I didn't recognize but knew must be Taren. I could see the similarities. Same eyes, same nose, same face. But where Regan's face was warm and inviting, Taren's was cold and cruel. And I could definitely see traits that didn't come from Taren.

"You keep popping up like a bad penny." Madysyn told Serena, switching to human.

"Ooh, nice kitty." Serena taunted.

"We have no time for games. Look who else is with them." Taren interrupted.

Serena's eyes scanned us, and then narrowed to cat-like slits as she gazed at Regan. "Ah, yes. Regan. What a pleasure to see you again. I see you've met some of the other doomed rebels. Including my dear sister, Shannon."

Serena turned and glared icily at Shannon, who glared back steadily and said, "I wish I could say it's nice to see you again, but it's not. So why don't we just get started? Then you can teleport away to wherever the hell you want, and we'll continue on our way, thank you very much."

"Oh, but I'm not done yet. Nope, not nearly. You see, Shannon, I know there's something bothering you."

Natalca POV

"Oh, but I'm not done yet. Nope, not nearly. You see, Shannon, I know there's something bothering you." Serena smirked.

I snuck a glance at Shannon. It was true, something was bugging her. Serena, Iggy, and I were probably the only ones that could tell. And I could tell that Shannon didn't like the idea of Serena knowing something she didn't.

"I'm rather disappointed in you. I thought you were cleverer than that. Or maybe you just don't want to believe it. Anyway, Regan reminds you of someone. Someone you know very well. But who is it? Who could it be? Any last minute guesses? No? I'll give you a hint."

Serena's next words made Shannon and Regan stumble back a few steps and blink. No one was as surprised as they were.

"Regan is your nephew."

There was a silence, where we all put two and two together and got five. It all matched up, but it didn't really make any sense at all. Then Shannon found her voice, and did she ever use it.

"Oh, no, the hell he isn't! Is your head screwed on backwards?! It must be if you think I'm going to believe that!" She hissed.

But I could hear the tremor in her voice that meant she knew it was true. For once, Serena was telling the truth.

"Oh, don't be stubborn. We both know how many times that has gotten you into trouble. And we both know I'm not lying. Regan is my son." Serena smirked.

Oh, surprise!!! Muahahahahaha. Cliff hangers are wonderful, don't you think? Well, no, you probably don't, but I do!

How many people did I surprise?

17. Death

Hey! This chapter was quick! Savour it while you can.

Syzygy 17

Natalca POV

Oh. MY GOD. All the swears and exclamations in the world didn't begin to cover my shock. Or Shannon's. Jeez, she'd just discovered that Madysyn's boyfriend was her nephew! And Regan. Poor guy, now he knew his mother was a hateful witch. And that Shannon was his aunt. That's kinda weird, you know? Shannon will flip out if he calls her Aunt Shannon…okay, I think shock also makes me hysterical.

Shannon, on the other hand, was managing to control her shock. Sort of.

"Okay. So he is. Big deal. It doesn't really make a difference, you know. But I would like to know one thing. I don't remember hearing you were pregnant."

Serena looked taken aback. Clearly she had expected a violent fit of temper, or outright denial, or speechlessness. She definitely had not expected Shannon to brush it off like that. Except that she hadn't just brushed it off. Since I knew her well enough, I could see that she was having a freak out in her head. On a scale of one to ten, ten being fainting, except that Shannon had never fainted as long as I knew her, this one was an easy thirty-two.

"Well, since you're about to die, I suppose I can tell you. Give you one last present before you die a very painful death." Serena smiled maliciously. "I'm sure Regan told you about his father being half robot, and only aging one year for every two that passes. So Taren was twenty-six, and I was twenty. Not twenty-three, like we told him. Now you're wondering how the heck that's possible, because we got caught four years ago, and Regan is fourteen. Well, the truth is that we weren't caught four years ago. We were caught fourteen years ago."

Now that really made no sense. If we were caught fourteen years ago, I'd be twenty-four. And so would Shannon. And Serena would be thirty-seven. Oh, god, this hurts my brain, I have no patience, and I'm sick and tired of not knowing what's going on! I was about to scream at Serena, and then she spoke.

"Now you all really want to know how that works. I suppose I'll tell you…" Serena mused, drawing it out and watching in amusement as mine and Shannon's faces became increasingly angry.

"They didn't just make me stronger and better overnight. Oh, no. It took ten years. Ten years you don't remember because you were locked away in a cryogenic chamber. Really, you've both been around for twenty-four years. But your bodies and minds act only fourteen, because they were frozen in an ice chamber. And if you did the math, which I'm sure you did, you know that I should be thirty-seven. But I'm not. Because I will never get a day older."

"Yes, because I'm going to kill you!" Shannon screamed furiously.

She flew at Serena like a wraith, out for blood. Her fists held two twin flames, and she looked murderous. But of course that stupid guy Taren had to calmly reach out, snag her wrist, and throw her to the ground. God, he really was part robot. Then the horrible Wolverine stepped out of the shadows (damn it, why didn't I sense him?!) and put his massive paw on Shannon's chest, effectively holding her to the ground.

"No, not because you're going to kill me. Because I don't age anymore. A perk of being a hybrid. So do you have it all figured out now? Or shall I explain again?" Serena asked, not waiting for an answer before she said, rubbing it all in, "We really got caught fourteen years ago. Natalca and you were ten. I was twenty. I got changed to the stronger, better me in the next ten years, and you two were put in the cryogenic chamber. While I was still changing, I met the human Taren. I got him involved with Itex, and then I got pregnant. Regan was born, and then he was ten when they awakened you two again. Then they sent him to Spain with Taren, away from me, so he would never realize I was his mother. He spent the next year there, and turned eleven. Then you two morons escaped, and you know all about the next three years, I'm sure. In the meantime, while I was searching for you, Taren and I found each other again, and now we're engaged. Aren't you so happy for me?"

"Yeah, maybe he'll take it upon himself to kill you." I muttered.

Unfortunately, Serena didn't hear me.

I glanced at Taren. He was as good as a traitor in my opinion. He had been a normal human that could have helped us, but then he fell for Serena. Traitor! I caught my breath. The next line in the prophecy! One shall be on death's door by a traitor's hand. Could that be Taren? God, we had to keep our distance. Hey, wait. There's a line before that one. Old relationships you will nurse and mend. Old relationships…oh, god, no! Serena and Taren had been separated for a while, hadn't they? Then she'd been out looking for us, and she'd found him again. They'd mended their relationship…god damn it! I should have seen that before!

Angel! I called hurriedly.

I heard! I'm telling the others! She answered quickly.

Good girl, Ange. I congratulated.

The others, thank goodness, gave no sign of anything, not letting Serena know that her gloating had helped us. But who was going to 'be on death's door?' Judging by Shannon's current state of mind, I was pretty sure I knew who, and I didn't like it.

"Now that you know everything, let's begin." Serena smirked again.

The Erasers surged forward, and we ripped into them with an anger usually reserved for Serena. We were all furious. Then I heard Shannon scream, and I whirled to go help. She was facing off against Serena, but Serena had a sword, and had given Shannon a deep slash from her hip to knee. Shannon stumbled and almost fell, but like hell she's letting that stop her from killing her sister. As Shannon shot a column of flame at Serena, I raced up beside her and said, "Congratulations on your engagement, Serena. Here's my heartfelt gift."

Then I levitated a nice big boulder and hurled it at her. It caught her shoulder and spun her, but she just launched into a spinning back kick that I dodged. I glanced at where Shannon had been standing and found it empty. Damn it, Shannon, I didn't come to switch opponents, I came to help.

Angel! Tell Shannon to be careful! I yelled in my head.

On it! Here, I'll make a link between your minds. Angel answered.

Then I was swamped by whole new round of thoughts. Not mine. Shannon's. And they were F-U-R-I-O-U-S. Most of them were screaming that Taren and Serena were finished, history, dead, etc. I didn't waste time.

Shannon, you moron, leave Taren! You're in no state to fight him! I screamed.

No! It's my fault they're together. My fault we're in this situation. If he's going to hurt anyone, it's going to be me! She shouted back.

No! Oh, no, Shannon! Don't you understand? He'll kill you, and then kill someone else as well! You're not saving anybody!

Liar, you know I am. I'm bringing on the 'master of land's' new power. Besides, I hopefully won't get killed.

You idiot! You know as well as I do he's way strong!


Agh! Shannon, I swear to God I'm going to kill you if he doesn't!

That's nice. Then Shannon ignored my furious yells and went to go find Taren.

I looked around for her, and I saw a glimpse of the beginning of their fight before Serena painfully brought my attention back to our fight. Shannon snuck up on him and brought her fists down hard on his head, and then he spun and backhanded her so fast it was just a blur. An inhuman blur. Superhuman speed. Fan-tastic. If I thought a wounded Shannon didn't have a chance before…

Then suddenly I was thrown to the side. My head snapped around, and I snarled at Serena. Except it wasn't Serena, it was Max. And she was growling viciously. What the hell? Then I realized she wasn't growling at me, she was growling at Serena behind me.

"Go, Natalca! Find Shannon!" Max shouted.

I shouted a thanks and ran, dodging Erasers and flock members and feeling like I was in one of those dreams where you can never run fast enough. Oh, if only this was a dream. Jeez, I don't think I could take it if Shannon died. So I pushed my legs faster than I'd ever run before, streaking past fights like a jet goes by clouds. Finally I caught sight of them. Shannon was standing a fair ways back, clearly trying to figure out his weakness, if even had any. Then suddenly he leaped forward and punched her, then lunged back to his spot, faster than I think I could go on a sugar rush, hyper drive, extreme anger, and flying with Max's superspeed. Yep. That's how fast he was.

That was when I think Shannon lost her mind to her temper, which means she gets impulsive and blinded by her own rage. It's usually not a good thing. She charged straight at him, and I got about half a scream of warning out before the knife Taren had whipped out glinted in the sun as it sliced through the air and straight towards her body. Shannon saw it at the last mille-second. Which wasn't soon enough. Knowing she couldn't avoid it, she went for revenge. The knife buried itself deep in her chest, and I watched helplessly, still sprinting, as blood spurted out and then gushed down her front. She didn't scream like I thought she would. Instead, she did possibly the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. Too bad she wasn't going to live to see the aftermath.

Where the knife was buried began to glow orange, and then the blade and hilt of the knife were also white hot and glowing. I skidded to a stop, wonder making my limbs cease to move. Then the knife started to burn. But it didn't shrivel up and wither away like a normal burning thing would. No, the knife was clean and pristine inside it's burning cocoon of flame. Then her hands became flaming balls of fire, like I'd seen so many times before. But this red was tinged blue, and I knew it was hotter than anything she'd ever conjured before. Her tightly shut eyes suddenly flashed open, and they weren't their normal greeny-blue. They weren't anything normal, not at all. I gasped and fell to my knees, a stupid but understandable move on my part. You had to be there to understand just how amazing it was.

Where her irises should have been, well, were, I suppose, were two burning twin flames. For about half a second she stayed like that, her eyes literally burning, her hands fireballs, the knife aflame, her body lying on the ground. Then the scariest thing she'd ever done, she did. Out of her chest ripped an absolutely huge geyser of flame, and as I watched, it got bigger and bigger before it suddenly erupted in an explosion bigger than any of Iggy and Gazzy's bombs had ever made. The hues of orange and red and gold and tints of blue were more formidable than anything that had ever threatened me before. And somehow, this was typical of Shannon. To go out with a boom. A big boom. The blistering heat blew my hair out of my face and heated my body. The fire couldn't quite reach me, and it didn't quite reach the person beside me, either. I hadn't noticed Iggy there before, but he was there now, and my heart went out to him. His shoulders were shaking, and I could see him furiously blinking back tears that threatened to overflow. He stared at the explosion with a look I'd never really expected to see before. Anguish, revenge, and…guilt. I thought and saw all these things in about a quarter-second, the flame was still billowing out of Shannon's body, and then I saw it shoot forward and swallow up the person who had caused all of this to happen in the first place.


I wouldn't have even known he was in there, the way the flames obscured his body from view, except for the screams. The screams of pure fear, shock, disbelief, and AGONY. I knew we wouldn't be seeing Taren again. He was history, as Shannon would say.

Then my gaze was brought back to Shannon, because I'd heard a sound. A crackling. Like lightning, almost. A small smile graced Shannon's face before she closed her eyes and her face went blank. Then another explosion ripped out of her body, this one even bigger than the first. It raced out in every direction, setting the forest aflame on every side and roasting all the Erasers like she'd flipped the switch from 'warm' to 'crispy'. But somehow the flame split in front of me and streaked past on either side, just making me hot while it obliterated our enemies. And it wasn't just an explosion, either, like I'd thought. It kept coming, kept streaming and crackling past me.

Some distant part of my mind wondered if everyone else was okay. The rest of my mind was wailing pitifully, praying that this was a dream and I'd wake up to find Shannon smirking down at me and asking if I needed a nightlight to keep the nightmares away. But I knew I wouldn't. This was too real. The heat, the flame, the colours, the sound…no dream could be like this. Unless Shannon was giving it to you. Then it could be as real as she wanted. But I also knew she would never be cruel enough to make me dream about her dying.

Gradually, the flame became less angry. It went past me slower, and not as hot, like it was Shannon's life slowly draining away. I shuddered. I did not like that thought. Finally the fire stopped entirely, and I shakily got to my feet, then started moving more urgently. Beside me, Iggy gave a moan and shot to his feet, racing forward, bee lining for Shannon's cor- bee lining for Shannon. I stumbled after him, feeling sick to my stomach. Iggy fell to his knees at Shannon's side and bent over her face, whispering words I couldn't hear from where I was but could guess the gist of. I stumbled my way over there and slumped to the ground much like Iggy, grabbing Shannon's limp hand and finding that it was still warm from the fire that had fought it's way out of her. Iggy stroked her pale face and whispered her name, as if that help. Then suddenly a voice rang out in the smoking, actually, still burning, clearing. Serena. Big sigh. Wait, why didn't she die?!

"She killed him. She killed Taren! She deserved to die! She should be glad she died from that knife, instead of what I would do to her." Serena snarled, before disappearing, teleporting to somewhere hopefully very far from here.

No one seemed to care about Serena at the moment. The others quickly surrounded Iggy, Shannon, and I. J.J. put his arms around me and held me close, trying to calm me. Weirdly, I was calm. No, not calm, numb. Not thinking, not comprehending, not understanding. Shannon couldn't be dead. She just couldn't. Life without Shannon was…unimaginable. Madysyn knelt by Shannon's head, and I could see her shoulders shaking. Regan held her like J.J. held me, whispering sweet nothings to her that she didn't seem to be hearing. Max slid slowly onto her knees, eyes wide and staring straight into Shannon's closed eyes. Fang silently held her to his side and stroked her hair, but I could see the emotion in his face, as well. Nudge had tears falling from her eyes, and Gazzy was clinging to her side with wet eyes. Angel was outright bawling. I guess that wouldn't be very fun, hearing Shannon's thoughts as she died. I guess the mind link between Shannon and I faded.

Iggy bent his head and lightly touched his lips to her waxy forehead, which sent us all over the edge. Fang was the only one not crying. Max, Regan, J.J., and I all quickly wiped our tears away, leaving streaks on our faces and making the blood on our hands turn pinkish. Iggy's tears were slowly leaking down his face, rolling down his cheeks and staining his shirt. Nudge, Gazzy, and Angel did nothing to stop their tears, letting them drip to the ground. Madysyn was sitting at Shannon's head, and her tears fell from her face to hit Shannon's forehead. Weirdly, they sizzled and evaporated when they touched her skin. I squeezed her hand, wondering how they could evaporate. Her hands were cold. Gently I touched her forehead with my fingers and found it still hot, almost like she had a fever. And where Madysyn's tears had hit Shannon's skin, the colour returned from the pale waxy white to the normal light tan. But she was still…unmoving.

"The prophecy. Old relationships you shall nurse and mend. Serena and Taren were brought back together because of Shannon and I. One shall be on death's door by a traitor's hand. I think we understand that one. But shall be given a chance by the master of land. This would be a great time for that." I whispered.

"That's me." Madysyn closed her eyes.

I stared at her.

"My new power is controlling the ground. I got it when I met Regan. And I was trying, trying so hard to kill Taren with it before he could kill Shannon. But it wasn't working. It was blocked, just like all of yours. How they found out about it, I have no idea. But it's my fault Shannon's…" Madysyn couldn't finish the sentence.

"It's not your fault." I sighed. "It's mine. If anyone could convince her to leave Taren to someone else that wasn't hurt, it was me. And I didn't. I couldn't. She didn't listen."

"It's no one's fault. This was what was meant to happen. The prophecies have always come true before. There was no way to save her." Max said softly.

"Except that I was supposed to give her a chance. And I didn't. It is my fault." Madysyn insisted brokenly.

This whole time, Iggy had said nothing. Now he raised his head, and I almost fell backwards when I saw his eyes. They were tortured. The eyes of a man who had lost his only true love. Anguished, grief-ridden, burning alive…and they belonged to Iggy. Laughing, grinning, joking, funny, Iggy.

"She deserves to be buried." He said in raspy croak.

"I can do something better." Madysyn said, not raising her eyes from Shannon's face.

The ground surrounding Shannon started to move. Then it made a small, half foot wall around her. Slowly, starting at her feet, the rock covered her entire body, encasing her in the ground. As it got to her neck, Iggy bent down and kissed her mouth one last time. I swallowed and squeezed her hand, then reached out my other arm and smoothed Shannon's wild blonde hair down, tucking it behind her ear, like she always did when she was self-conscious or nervous. Madysyn stopped the rock and reached her hand in, touching Shannon's face gently. Soon, everyone was coming around to say their goodbyes.

"She was always making jokes and trying to cheer us up. And she definitely had a sense of nobility and what was right and wrong. Except when it came to humiliating Lissa." Max said, giving a small hiccupping laugh and choking back a sob. "I wish there was something I could put in with you, Shannon, but I have nothing. Oh, wait."

Then Max bent and picked up a semi-charred pinecone. I smiled and almost laughed at the memory of Shannon and I hitting Max with the pinecones.

"You always made me smile, and I wish I'd gotten to spend a little more time with you, time that wasn't spent fighting for our lives or giving ourselves headaches over a prophecy." Fang told Shannon's body.

He reached into his pocket and drew out a black object that glittered in the light. When I looked closer, I realized it was a claw. Or a…fang? It was perfect. Fang set the black fang beside Shannon, and then sat back, clenching his jaw, Fang's equivalent of tear-filled eyes. He squeezed Max's hand, and she swallowed.

"I m-miss y-you al-already. I loved you like a sister I'd known since I was born." Angel choked out, her voice growing stronger by the end. "And since you died saving us, and I love you, and you deserve it, Celeste will keep you company."

I felt a whole new round of hot tears race down my cheeks as Angel positioned her little white angel-dressed bear next to Shannon's head.

"I loved having you around. You changed Iggy so much, and Max is right when she says you tried to keep the mood light, always making jokes. You made a joke when we all thought we were about to die. Of course I'll never forget about you. We'll all be thinking about you when we blow the last school to pieces. We'll be thinking about you when we finish Serena for what she's done. Goodbye." Nudge sobbed.

She reached up and took out a pink hairclip that I recognized. It was the one she'd had when the security guard told her it was too sharp. Shannon and I had thought that was hilarious. And it was so Nudge. Nudge put it in, and then Regan spoke.

"I only just met you about two hours ago. In that time, I found out you were my aunt, and what you'd gone through as a child. What made you who you were. That bright, brave, smart, pretty, strong, and witty girl that gave Serena such trouble. The girl that had such a strong relationship with Natalca, and such a powerful love for Iggy. I liked you right away, and now I have to say goodbye." He said sadly.

He looked around, looking for something to put with her. His eyes found something, and I looked where his gaze was. And smiled. It was perfect. A bright blue flower. An iris, I think. Almost the exact colour of his eyes. Regan got up and went over to it, bringing it back and setting it by her hand.

"You always did whatever you could to help one of us. I loved you like a sister." Gazzy said shortly before bursting into tears.

Then he reached into his back pocket and drew out a red wire from one of his bombs. Good thing he didn't try to put a real bomb in there. He curled it up and carefully put it beside Shannon's other hand.

"You were the second person I ever met that was a hybrid like me. I knew you meant a lot to Natalca, because she immediately introduced me to you, and you immediately struck me as the kind of person that would have a strong friendship with Natalca. I feel like I'm missing a body part right now. I miss you." J.J. bowed his head and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath before standing and looking around.

A sad smile transformed his mouth for an instant, and then it was gone. Concentrating hard, he looked at a still burning flame and turned it to stone. Then he jogged over and picked up the stone tongue of fire. I smiled despite my mood. Shannon would love it if she could see it.

Madysyn took a deep breath, pulled herself together and said firmly, "This is my fault. You'd be furious with me if you were… No, actually, you probably wouldn't be furious. Somehow you'd find a way to blame yourself and make me feel better. You'd also say that none of us could have done a thing to stop Taren. You'd be determined to make sure none of us felt guilty, when really you should be angry. One of the things that kept me going, kept me travelling to each school, was wanting to see you guys again. Watch how happy you were together and how you all knew each other inside and out, how you trusted each other with your lives. I can only hope that I haven't ruined that by not saving you. I'm sorry."

Then she looked at the ground, and my eyes widened at what she was able to do. Slowly, she compressed some sand into a hard block, and then shaped it into a very life-like panther, no bigger than my hand. It was so beautiful, and so perfectly Madysyn.

I decided that it was my turn.

"How do I even begin? I knew you since kindergarten, Shannon. We were best friends for years. We got captured together. We huddled in that cold little cell together and kept each other from going insane or breaking down in a crying fit. We each stayed strong for the other. Then we got mutated together. Then we walked from Jasper to Arizona together, and met the Flock. We fought so many Erasers together, and saved each other's hides so many times that I can't even count them all. We fought and teased each other twenty-four seven. We don't need words to communicate. We always know what the other is going to say or do. Remember when you baked cookies that one time? And when the recipe said double everything for a big group, you were so tired that morning that you even doubled the temperature." I stopped for a moment to smile and laugh. "And the sound of the smoke alarm going off, and those charred cookies, were a better surprise than any cookies anyone could ever have baked. Because it was something to laugh about, and have a good time teasing you about. It was a funny memory. A memory I will never forget as long as I live. Just like there is no way I'll ever forget a second we spent together, whether we were arguing angrily or fighting or teasing or about to pass out with exhaustion or starvation, or laughing about something, or one of us was bandaging the other's injuries, or we were comforting each other about something, or whatever we may have been doing. No one, no one, can ever replace you, Shannon. And hopefully I'll see you again, when we're both finished with this life." And then I told Madison what to etch into the wall.

She and Regan raised their eyebrows but said nothing. Everyone else smiled at the memory. I watched with a sad grin on my face as Madysyn carefully made a carving in the inside of the wall, by her face. It was a bubble.

Then I, Natalca, burst into uncontrollable tears. I turned and buried my face in J.J.'s shoulder, and he held me and rocked us both back and forth.

Oh, god, how could Shannon be gone? How the hell would I ever learn to deal with not having her around? I didn't think I would. I'd always be plagued with her loss. The truth about losing someone is that you don't fill the hole their loss makes in you heart. It isn't patched, or fixed, or replaced. You learn to live around it. And you never really stop missing them. You just try to think and talk over the sadness. That's how me and the flock have lived our whole lives. I don't recommend it.

"Shannon, the only way I'm going to survive the rest of my life is by telling myself every minute, no, every second I spend on this earth, the closer I am to seeing you again. To being with you. To touching your face and feeling your skin. To seeing your smile spread across your face. Even to seeing you punch someone's lights out, seeing you in action and as strong as ever. To hearing your voice, whether it's angry or calm, happy or sad, sarcastic or heartfelt. If I didn't know I'd see you again someday, there's no way I'd live another mille-second here. Oh, Shannon, I miss you already." Iggy moaned, his voice sadder than anybody I'd ever heard.

Then he reached into Shannon's bag, which he'd brought over. Inside, he retrieved Shannon's sapphire ring and necklace. He slipped the ring onto her finger and laid the necklace over her neck, the sapphire resting in the dip of her pale throat.

Then Madysyn finished with the tomb, covering Shannon's face.

"And this is my second gift, the only thing I can do for you." J.J. said softly.

And I sat in helpless amazement as J.J. covered the tomb in a layer of dark blue rock. Sapphire.

That put absolutely everyone completely over the edge. I felt J.J. soaking my hair with his tears while I sobbed into his shoulder. Gazzy and Nudge and Angel went to Iggy and hugged him hard while all four cried their eyes out. Madysyn and Regan clung to each other for what looked like dear life, tears running down their faces. Max was crying hard against Fang's chest, and his face was buried in her blonde hair, but I could see his body shaking.

Around us, the fire Shannon had created continued burning. Overhead, grey clouds gathered and started raining on us, soaking the rest of us to match our faces and washing the remaining dirt and blood off us. I lifted my face and tipped it up to look at the grey sky. I felt like screaming at it to give Shannon back to us. But of course it wouldn't do anything. So I just let the falling water wash away my tears and drench my clothes and hair, not that that really mattered when Shannon was gone.

Above us, lightning flashed and then thunder made a rumbling boom to accent the warning that a serious storm was on it's way. And t fit our moods perfectly. It was almost like the sky was crying over Shannon too, and the lightning and thunder was saying that it was angry she died. Normally, we would probably be scrambling for cover right about now. But that was the last thing on our minds.

Shannon had been so many things to us. A friend, a sister, a lover, an aunt, though I don't think that's how Regan thought of her, a fighter, a protector, a comforter, a joker, and she didn't ever get truly angry with any us, except that once with Max. God, I missed her.

Everything I had thought in the last half hour was the logical part of my mind. The rest of my mind, the loudest part, kept wailing and screaming the same two words over and over:

Shannon's dead.

Duh duh duh. Okay, you know what's pathetic? I made myself cry. Seriously. Is that sad or what?

Go to my profile and look at the poll. It's really, really, important to the story!! It'll change the rest of the plot!! GO VOTE!!

Was I being a bit overdramatic and dragging it out this chapter? Please tell!


18. Oh, crap, RUN!

I'm becoming obsessed with fanfiction all over again. That's good for you; it means I'll update sooner. That's bad for the rest of my family, because it means that if they want the computer, they have to fight me for it.

Now. Let's see if I can do this WITHOUT making myself cry again. I mean, REALLY! It's pathetic!

*starts singing* It's never too late…. Sorry, I'm listening to a song and I know every single word, so it's kinda hard not to start singing with it. It's an awesome song. Never Too Late, by Three Day's Grace.

Syzygy 18


Jesus, this sucked.

Iggy's an empty shell. Hollow, emotionless, sad, robotic. He grieves for Shannon every damn second. Though I don't blame him. I did love Shannon. I miss her, and it's like a slap to the face every time I think about her and realize she's really and truly gone. And that's Shannon. I can't imagine losing Fang. That would destroy me. And that's exactly what Iggy's going through. And what can we do to help? Virtually nothing.

Natalca's not really any better. And I seriously can't begin to fathom what she's feeling. They were like sisters since kindergarten. They were inseparable twins. It's like losing your best friend and only sister at the same time. Plus, even both those descriptions don't describe what they were to each other. It's sort of like Fang and me, not needing words and knowing the other inside and out. But we're boyfriend and girlfriend. And somehow, just their powerful friendship seemed even more rare and valuable. I mean, high school kids go through many boyfriends/girlfriends. How many twin-like best friends does a kid go through? Not many. And it's hard to replace a friend.

I say again, this sucked.

We had moved from Shannon's tomb into the semi-cover of the trees. The thunderstorm had gotten more powerful. The trees were creaking and moaning, and the raindrops were like needles on my face. Lightning still flashed overhead, and I was getting more and more worried about it hitting a tree near us. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get Natalca and Iggy to leave Shannon. They were still beside the sapphire tomb, huddling together while they…did whatever the hell they were doing. To me, it looked like they were just sobbing. And I knew we had to get moving. Onto the next continent, which would be Africa. Serena already had a head start. And the longer she had to prepare for us, the more I felt like we were on a suicide mission. I did miss Shannon. Really, I did. But staying here moping about wasn't doing anything. It wasn't bringing Shannon back, it wasn't saving the world, it wasn't preparing to fight Serena, it was wasting time. Besides, Shannon would be furious of she knew we were still here grieving about her.

"We need to get out of here." Fang murmured beside me.

"I know." I sighed. "I feel like such a horrible villain, telling them to leave when they're…like this. But we have to get a move on."

"Let me try." Fang said, standing and leaving the trees, striding purposefully over to them.

Fang POV

I knelt on the wet, sandy ground beside Iggy. I thought about touching his arm, but that would probably freak him out worse than my words. I'm not exactly the touchy-feely kind of person.

"Iggy." I said quietly.

"Go away, Fang."

"Not likely. And do you really think this is what Shannon would want?" I asked, cutting straight to the heart of the matter.

"What do you mean?" Iggy bluffed.

"You know exactly what I mean. Sitting here in the pouring rain, crying over her. If the majority of people out there are right, there's a heaven. And I'll be damned if they didn't let Shannon in there. So if she's there, she can see us right now, and hear me talking, and she knows that you're wasting time moping around. And you know she would be angry." I reasoned, not entirely expecting his reaction.

"I'm not wasting time! She's dead! What the hell else would you be doing if it were Max lying in there? You can't expect me to just say, 'bye, Shannon, see you in the afterlife!' and then jump up and continue on as if she's not gone! Be reasonable!" Iggy exploded.

"Okay, okay." I tried to appease him. "I didn't mean it like that. But she died protecting us. Protecting you. So that you could go on with your life and save the world like we're supposed to be doing. She didn't die so that you could lose your mind to sadness. That's the last thing she wants for you. I think that if I were dead, I'd want you to go kick some Eraser butt for me. And that's what we plan to do. So we're leaving. You can come with us, and honour her by doing what she meant for you to do by dying, or you can stay here and make her angry so she'll be disgusted with you when she sees you in the afterlife, if you'd like. Which one is it going to be?"

Iggy lifted his head and glared at me. "You can be very persuasive when you want to be, Fang. And you're right. I just feel like a total jerk, leaving her."

"When a loved one dies in a normal family, Ig, the rest of that family doesn't go and camp out in the cemetery. And I swear we can come visit as often as you like once we're done with Itex." Max said, coming up beside Natalca.

I hadn't noticed before, but Natalca had been listening the whole time, but hadn't said a word.

"Natalca? Are you okay?" I asked.

"Fine. Just thinking. But we do have to get moving. Let's go." She shook herself and stood.

"Up and away gu- Oh. Madysyn and Regan. We'll see you there?" Max asked wearily.

"We'll be running right below you, Max. Just try to keep us away." Madysyn tried for a grin.

"Okay. Up and away." Max called again.

We slowly rose into the sky, each of us looking at the sapphire tomb. Then Max shot forward, and we had no choice but to follow. Regan turned into a wolf and Madysyn went into panther form, and we were on our way.


"Max?" Nudge asked quietly, not meeting my eyes when I look at her.

"What, Nudge?" I asked wearily.

"Can we stop? I'm really tired, and we're hungry."

I sighed. She was right. We'd had a long day. We hadn't been far from Dublin when…when we met Serena and Taren. It was a small ten-minute flight to the city, where we quickly destroyed the deserted building and left. Apparently Serena had had all the Dublin Erasers with her when she attacked us. And the person following us was gone, so that must have been Taren. Now we were flying to Alexandria, Egypt, Africa. And I had no idea where we were. I would ask Shannon, but for obvious reasons I couldn't do that.

"Does anyone know where we are?" I asked.

No one said anything.

"All right. That looks like a town down there. We'll stop for the night. And I can still see Madysyn and Regan. They'll see us, and maybe they'll stop here for the night, too." I decided.

Landing in this particular town proved to be difficult. There were people everywhere, so it was hard to find a deserted place. But we did, finally.

"Rome." Natalca said flatly, pointing to a sign that clearly said 'Rome'.

"Okay, that's handy. Now does anyone see a hotel? I'm not hoofing it tonight."

Gazzy answered my question, saying, "That looks like a hotel. And there's Madysyn and Regan, waving at us."

Sure enough, the familiar tall brunette girl and the familiar tall blue eyed boy were gesturing at us to come over there. We went over there.

"Hi, guys. We're stopping here." I told them.

They nodded, and we went in the building. I pulled the MaxRide card out of my pocket and went up to the desk, too tired to put my usual venom in my voice when I said to the female clerk, "We need two rooms, each with two double beds, and one cot, please."

She looked surprised at my weary tone, but she did as I asked and gave me the card keys. I handed one to Madysyn, Regan, J.J., and Natalca, telling them to share their room. I kept the other key and we silently went up the stairs to the third floor, where we went into our separate rooms. I picked the room with the cot, and said quietly to Fang, "Angel and Nudge are going to have to live with the cot."

"I'm sure they'll be okay." Fang assured me.

He and I quickly claimed one bed, and Gazzy pulled a vacant-eyed Iggy over to the other bed. Angel and Nudge curled up on the cot.

This sucked.

The next morning, after breakfast, everyone seemed in much better spirits. Of course, no one was back to how they were before…but it was a lot better than yesterday.

"Okay, everyone. I found a map. We're in Rome, which is right here" I stabbed the map with my finger "and we have to get to Alexandria. Right here." I poked the map again. "We'll get there at about noon, I think. We'll have a bit of a break, and then we attack the School there. Got it?" I checked.

"Clear." Madysyn chirped.

"Understood." Nudge and Gazzy chimed in.

"Let's go, then." I half-smiled.

The flight was quiet. Everyone was lost in their own thoughts. Then I started seeing pyramids. I was pretty sure that was a good sign we were almost there.

"And here we see the famous pyramids of Egypt!" J.J. said in a reporter's voice.

"Oh, I hadn't noticed." Natalca rolled her eyes.

I felt a relieved smile spread across my face. It felt so good, hearing their banter, and knowing we were making some progress. The only sad thing was that I know Shannon would be right in there, bickering away as well. But at least Natalca was starting to get back to her old self.

Another half hour, and I saw a sign that declared Alexandria was 25 miles from where we were. We wouldn't be long now.

"Fifteen minutes, guys." I called.

A few weak cheers erupted behind me, and this time I really couldn't stop the smile that spread across my face. Sure, they weren't jumping up and down with happiness, but it was a start. Yesterday, my words wouldn't have even been acknowledged.

And, true to my word, we landed in Alexandria fifteen minutes later.

Hey, Voice. Any hints as to where I should look? I asked hopefully.

Hope wasn't adequate. I didn't even get an answer. Then Madysyn aka big huge panther ran up to us. Regan followed, his eyes darting around, looking for possible enemies.

"I think I know where the School is. Actually, I do know where the School is. Regan and I ran right by it." She said breathlessly.

"All right, that was easy. Lead the way!" I smiled.

She gave me a smile in return and turned around, setting off at a jog because of all the people around us. She weaved around buildings and down alleys and darted past people and generally seemed to be a pro at sneaking around in cities. We almost lost her a few times, but Fang seemed to be as good at it as her and always kept us going in the right direction. And then we were crouched in the bushes, staring out at a building that sat in a valley of sand, almost completely hidden. I knew that there was no way a human would even notice it unless they pretty much fell into the valley. Which made it easier if we were going to bomb it. Which we were.

"Ig, Gaz, do your thing." I commanded.

Silently they reached into Iggy's backpack and brought out a formidable looking black box. Iggy was just winding up to hurl it when Angel gave a squeak and grabbed his arm, stopping him. We stared at her.

"Angel?" I asked carefully.

"There's a magnetic field thingy around the building! I can hear someone thinking about it. If Iggy throws it, a thousand Erasers are going to be on us before the bomb even explodes!" Angel explained quickly.

"Oh. Well. Crap. Of course there is. Nothing can ever be easy." I grumbled. "Nudge, can you break the device if it's metal?"

"I can try. But I need to see it." Nudge told me.

"If Angel sends you a mind picture…"


I looked at Angel, and she concentrated on Nudge, sending her a picture of the alarm from whatever sucker's mind she was reading. Nudge closed her eyes and breathed evenly and deeply, before her eyes flashed open a few minutes later and she said triumphantly, "It's broken."

"Great job, Nudge. You, too, Angel. Throw it, Iggy." I ordered.

He threw it. It exploded. The building went up in flames. So that should give me the same sense of victory that it always does. But I wasn't feeling it. I had a weird feeling in my stomach instead. Worry. Something wasn't right here…only, what wasn't right?

"Oh, shit! Run!" Natalca shrieked suddenly.

One look at her panicked face was enough to have us all scrambling out of the bushes and running like madmen to nowhere in particular. Then there was another explosion behind us, and I whirled around, wondering what that was about. When I saw it, my heart sank and I wanted to scream. We were idiots. The bushes we'd been hiding in were burning down to a crisp, and there was an army of Erasers, cats like Madysyn, Slashers, and the spider thingies. And at the front of the army, guess who? Right. Her.

"I wasn't paying attention, I wasn't watching, this is my fault!" Natalca berated herself.

"No, it's not. We were dumb. She knew we were coming. Of course it wasn't going to be that easy." I told her.

I knew what had happened. They'd sacrificed one Eraser. Left him in the building and told him to think about the magnetic field thingy that might not even be real. We'd thrown our bomb, blew up an empty building, and then they appeared from wherever they'd been hiding.

"Yes, you were dumb. So tell me. How is my sister doing? Is she happy in her nice little crypt?" Serena asked us viciously.

Instead of letting her words cut me, I let them fuel my anger. Beside me, Iggy was seething. Natalca was clenching her fists and her eyes were blazing furiously. Fang was a silent and still as ever, but I knew he was enraged inside.

"She's having fun preparing yours, I think. And she's running out of time." Madysyn hissed angrily.

"Ooh, is little putty-tat angry? Oh, save me from the scary little kitty!" Serena said with mock fear.

"No one's going to save you, Serena. Or had you forgotten that Taren's dead?" I growled.

Serena's lips lifted in a snarl and her eyes narrowed to slits. "Funny. But you won't be laughing for much longer."

Then she gave a small nod, and the army rushed forward. I tensed for a fight, but they weren't fighting us. They had rope. They were going to tie us up. Oh, so not happening. I punched the Eraser that was trying to grab my wrists. He stumbled back, but two more took his place. I kicked them each in the chest, but more swarmed me. They forced me to the ground, on my stomach. Some held me down while others tied my ankles and wrists. I gave a shriek of anger, then looked around at the others. Madysyn and Regan were still fighting, but it was a lost cause. As I watched, Madysyn was forced down and a weighted net as thrown over her panther body. The same thing was done with Regan. I turned my head, searching for Fang. He was tied up and snarling at the Erasers like a demon. Iggy and Gazzy were doing their best, throwing punches back to back. But they, too, were thrown to the ground and tied up. Natalca was fighting like a banshee, and screeching like one, too. J.J. was bowled over from behind, and as she turned to help him, another caught her from behind. Soon they were hog-tied and furious just like the rest of us. I looked for Angel and Nudge, and found them both staring sadly back at me.

So why was Serena trying to catch us now, instead of killing us? Unless she had just been trying to get Shannon killed, by making the rest of us fight for our lives. Hm.

"Shannon would be disgusted with you. She died so you wouldn't. But here you are, and I can assure you that your breaths are numbered." Then she gave a devilish smirk that had me gritting my teeth, and turned and her heel, sashaying away, calling over her shoulder, "Knock them out."

The Erasers followed her instructions perfectly.

When I came to, I was in a cell. Fabulous. Beside me was Fang, sitting up and looking around with a venomous look on his face. I stood up and went to the bars at the front of the cell, looking out, wondering if I could see any of the others.

"Right here." A voice croaked.

I looked at the source of the sound and found Natalca looking wearily back at me. Beside her, J.J. stirred and then sat up with a look of bewilderment on his face. I looked around the rest of the room outside my cell and found that it was circular, and there were cells on every part of the wall. And I could see into every one, except the ones on either side of me. Which meant I could see Angel and Gazzy still asleep across from me, beside Natalca and J.J. Nudge and Iggy were on their other side, and Iggy was awake, Nudge asleep. I heard sounds of someone moving in the cell next to Fang and I, so Madysyn and Regan must be in there.

"Home sweet home." J.J. muttered.

"If this is home, I'm moving." Madysyn commented.

"I'm with you there." Iggy said, probably one of the first things he'd said that wasn't completely bitter in a very long time.

"Well, if we're going to get out, we need a plan." I stated.

"Bust the bars down and run." Natalca suggested.

"And kill a few Erasers on the way." Fang added.

"But of course." Natalca laughed. She actually laughed. She was getting better.

"Seriously, guys." I tried.

J.J. looked at me. "You have a problem with the violent and not-so-sneaky attempt?"

"Yes, my problem is that it's not going to work." I retorted.

"She has a point." Iggy allowed.

"Do any of your powers work?" I asked, trying for sanity.

Natalca looked at J.J. and narrowed her eyes. After a moment, he began floating. She looked back at me.

"Mine sure does." The surprise was clear in her voice.

I turned to Fang to ask if his worked, but he wasn't there. I raised an eyebrow.

"Okay, his works. Quite well." I said.

Fang shimmered back into view and smirked. I glanced at J.J. He looked at the bars of their cell, and suddenly they were stone instead of metal. J.J. turned them back to normal and gave me a grin.

"I think we can safely say-" I began.

"Shh!" Natalca hissed.

I gave her an inquiring glance, but she just shook her head and gave the door a defiant look. Seconds later, it swung open to reveal…Marian Janssen. Great.

"I told you that you never had a chance of eluding us. And now look where you are. Caught. In a cage. Again." Janssen said coldly, standing in front of me, on the other side of the bars.

"And I told you we'd never give up. And guess what? We're still not giving up." I growled back.

"Take the tall dark boy, and the tall blonde boy, to Sector Seven." Marian snapped her fingers, and Erasers stepped into the room.

One unlocked our cell, and grabbed Fang, pulling him out. Two others stood by the first one, making sure Fang wasn't going anywhere. Three more went to Iggy and Nudge and roughly brought Iggy out.

Marian then commanded, "The black girl, too. Take her to Sector Two."

Nudge was taken out of her cell.

"Take the older dark haired boys to Sector Four."

The Erasers that had Fang, Iggy, and Nudge left, and more piled in, taking J.J. and Regan out into the hall and to 'Sector Four'.

"Take the two young ones and the tall brunette to Sector Six."

Madysyn, Angel, and Gazzy were taken away.

"These two may go to Sector Three, but not right now. Later." Marian decided before breezing out of the room, the remaining Erasers following her.

I looked at Natalca. "Home sweet home."

She burst out laughing, and I joined in. Then her brow furrowed.

"Max, I think I just figured out what the next line in the prophecy means!" she said excitedly.

"Which one? The 'master of land' one, or the 'three months shall join' one? I still don't get how three months can join." I shook my head.

"I do!" she cried. When she didn't continue, I gave her a look. "Don't you see? Fang, Iggy, and J.J. gave us each a ring and necklace of our birthstone. Our birthstone is determined by what month we're born in! You, me, and…" she swallowed "and Shannon are supposed to join and save us all! Somehow."

I blinked. That made sense. Except that one of those three wasn't saving anybody anymore. But that had to be it, didn't it? Shannon just wasn't supposed to go off and get herself killed. Maybe Natalca and I could still do it. Maybe.

"I think you're right. We just have to do it without Shannon." I said her name carefully.

"Yeah. I think we should bust out of here right now." Natalca said suddenly.

I raised an eyebrow. "Wouldn't it work better when we're all together?"

She looked triumphant. "Exactly!"


Natalca gave an exasperated sigh. "That's what they will expect. If we make a break for it when they aren't expecting it…Plus, they took everyone to do experiments, obviously. Which means everyone's concentrating on them. And in my experience, the Erasers don't usually stick around for the experiments. Once we're out, Angel will hear us, and she can tell the others to run, and we'll all get out. Somehow."

"That's so crazy that it just might work." I smiled. "But how do we get out?"

"Uh…when a scientist walks by outside, I'll levitate his keys in here, unlock the doors, and voila!" Natalca suggested.

"It might work better if we get the whitecoat in here first, knock him out, and then take the keys. Less chance of him noticing and finding out our plan. Flying keys are kind of conspicuous."

Natalca made a face at me. Then she smirked and asked, "How do you propose we get him in here?"

I wracked my brains. "I'll scream, make it sound like someone's killing me. He'll come in here to see what the problem is, and then…"

"Bang!" Natalca finished.

"Exactly. Now let's hope a whitecoat comes by soon."

We sat there for probably half an hour, absolutely silent, waiting. Finally a stupid whitecoat approached. I grinned at Natalca, and she smiled diabolically back. Poor whitecoat. Well, no, I have absolutely no sympathy, actually. Then I started screaming.

"Ahhh! Get away from me!" then I settled for agonized screams of pain, and Natalca gave me thumbs up.

I heard pounding footsteps, and then the door flew open and a balding whitecoat ran in. I broke off in my screaming, and Natalca used her telekinesis and threw him headfirst into the cement wall. I cringed. Even for a whitecoat, that looked painful. But at least the keys were in an obvious enough spot, sticking out of his pocket. Natalca grinned and brought them over to her door, grabbing it with her hand and then quickly putting it in the lock and twisting frantically, letting herself out. She darted over to me and hurried unlocked it, and then we ran. Natalca would know if someone was coming, so we were pretty safe in that department. But still we ran as quietly and quickly as possible, and I called to Angel in my head.

Angel? Angel!Max?

We're coming to get you, hun. Me and Natalca. Tell the others, and be ready. I commanded.

Ooh, another cliffie. Is anyone mad at me for killing Shannon? I hope not. And she may be back….duh duh duh. Maybe, maybe not. We'll have to see, won't we?

Oh, I love putting you people in suspense. Don't be angry. It gives me a sense of power. Being the youngest in my family, I don't get that often. Unless I terrorize my friends. Which I have never done. I hope. Hm.


19. More Mysteries for Max to Stress Over

I'm baaack!! Shocker. I'm spoiling you guys. Four new chapters in four days….it won't last. I'm warning you now.

I stupidly didn't click the little button that says 'display poll on profile'. I fixed that. NOW you can go vote.

Syzygy 19

Okay, Max. Everyone's ready. Angel told me.

We're coming up to Sector Seven. Tell Fang and Iggy to make their move in about seven seconds.

Got it.

Seven…six…we were about thirty feet from the door…five…four…fifteen feet…three…two…one.

The door burst open and two bloody and bruised bird boys sprang out.

"Iggy! Bomb! Now!" I shouted.

He grinned and reached into his pocket for some kind of destructive device that the whitecoats had failed to find. He threw it in the still open door, and BANG. So much for those whitecoats.

"Fang, go get Madysyn, Gazzy, and Angel! Then get outside!" I commanded as we ran.

He gave a reluctant nod and looked at Iggy. Ig tossed him another tiny little bomb. Jeez, this kid had them everywhere! Then Fang disappeared around the corner, going to Sector Six.

"Natalca, Iggy, find J.J. and Regan and get out of here! I'll get Nudge!" I ordered firmly.

I knew they didn't like the idea of leaving me alone, but they couldn't argue with me. Iggy threw me a bomb as they ran, and I hurriedly caught it as carefully as I could. With Ig, you never know just how dangerous this kind of thing is until it explodes. I turned and sprinted as fast as my legs would go. Finally I got frustrated. Alarms were blaring, and there was smoke everywhere. It wouldn't be long before the Erasers were after us. I needed every ounce of speed I had. I leaped into the air and snapped my winds out, keeping them half closed so I wouldn't rip them off on the walls but could still fly. Then I used my super speed. In seconds, I was giving Angel instructions again.

Tell Nudge two seconds! I called to Angel.



Nudge broke the door down, and dove out of the way as I threw the bomb at the room. It exploded, rendering the once spotless white room to a smoking, ash-covered hole.

Except that two Erasers had been hot on Nudge's heels, and the bomb hadn't got them. One grabbed my ankle and threw me to the ground. I rolled and sprang lightly to my feet. I knew I could easily deal with two Erasers, and was throwing the first punch, when that plan was shot down in flames.

Fifteen more Erasers came barrelling around the corner, completely surrounding me.

Nudge was a bloody mess, but she picked herself up and started to come up behind the Erasers, and by the look in her eyes I knew she was out for blood and nothing was stopping her.

Except me.

"No, Nudge, go! Find the others! Go!" I yelled.

She stopped, but made no move to leave. Five Erasers turned and began advancing on her.

"NUDGE!" I shrieked angrily. "GO!"

She bit her lip, but turned and ran to the outside door, barrelling into it and then into the night sky outside. I turned back to the Erasers still crowding me into the wall.

"Now, where were we? Oh, I remember!" I said, before kicking an Eraser in the face and hearing the crunch that meant I'd broken his noise.

He clutched his face, and I punched him in the gut. He fell to the ground, unconscious. I was almost having fun as I pummelled the Erasers, except that there was a lot of them, and one of me, and I knew they would overwhelm me pretty darn soon.

Then the red light above the door started flashing, and the doors started to mechanically close, very slowly, and very ominously.

I sucked in a breath, and muttered a swear. I knew what was happening. I'd seen it often enough, when I was still at the School in Arizona. When experiments escaped, the doors went on lockdown mode. Which meant that nothing else could get out, and nothing could get in. The doors would lock shut, and nothing would open them except putting the right code in the little digital box. I was willing to bet only two people knew that code. Marian Janssen and Serena. And once those doors were closed and locked, a big sheet of foot-thick, heavy-duty steel would slam down in front of them, just like you always see in the movies, except for real.

And that meant that I had to get through the door before it closed. Chances of that were slim to none. Chances of escaping after they closed: Absolutely nada.

So I made a split second decision.

"Oh, look at the time! Sorry to leave so soon, but-" Then I ran.

And I mean ran. As in all out, for the money, lung bursting, as fast as I can. And it didn't look like I was going to be fast enough. The screeching alarms began to sound like laughter. Laughing at me because I was going to be trapped inside the School.

I shook myself. Like hell I was admitting defeat that easily. The door was about a foot open, and I was still about a hundred feet away. I needed something to wedge the door open. I looked wildly around at the floor as I ran, looking for something I could throw that would land in between the door and the doorjamb. But of course they kept this School in top shape, shiny floor, spotless walls, bright lights…nothing lying around. Desperately I tried to remember if there was anything in my pockets, but I knew there wasn't.

The door had about half a foot to go. I was fifty feet away. Then something flew threw the air, and I grabbed it without thinking. It could have been a bomb, it could have been a knife, it could have been some new type of really teeny-tiny mutant. Okay, the last one was pretty unlikely, but still.

I didn't even look at what I caught, I just threw it. As I let go of it, I realized that it was about as big as a quarter, whatever it was. I doubted it would be able to stop the door. I longed to spread my wings and use my super speed to get through the door, but the damn hall was too narrow, I would just fall to the ground. There was no room to flap. And what were the chances my aim was actually good enough to land something quarter-sized between that door?

I watched as the object I'd thrown arced through the air and sped towards the door. From where I was, it actually looked like it would make it. I pushed my legs harder. It hit the floor a foot from the door. My heart sank.

Except that it skidded across the newly waxed floor and got caught by the door. The steel door slammed down hard on it, making a hollow echoing sound. But it didn't crunch through it and shut. It stopped.

It worked! Ten feet and I was there, and I'd be through the door, and I'd be free! I heard sounds behind me, and resisted the urge to turn. I was almost there! And I knew those sounds. Those were the sounds of Erasers realizing that their prey was escaping. But then I hit the door with my body, swinging it open. On a whim, I reached down and grabbed the thing that had saved my life. Then I opened my tan wings and soared high into the sky, where no Eraser could touch me.

"Max!" A relieved shout reached my ears.

I looked around wildly. I recognized his voice, but I couldn't see him. Then he became visible again, and I sighed.

"I thought you were caught! The door was shutting, and you weren't here yet…oh, Max." Fang murmured, flying over me, our wings beating together.

I glanced up at him. That was admitting a lot, for Fang. He must have really been worried.

"They'll never catch me. I'll always get out. And where is everyone else? Why aren't you with them?" I asked sharply.

"They're safe. They're behind that pyramid, there." Fang pointed to a triangular shape off in the distance. "I was coming back for you."


"Yes?" he asked innocently. He knew what was coming, I could tell.

"You moron! You know you shouldn't have risked yourself to come back for me! Better one of us caught than two!" I scolded.

"I wasn't leaving you behind," he said stubbornly.

Then he came closer, and I felt his lips touch my hair. I twisted my head around, and then I found his lips with my own.

"It was sweet of you to come back. Thank you." I whispered, surrendering that particular battle.

A triumphant look came into his eyes, and then he soared away from me.

"Fang!" I shouted angrily.

He tricked me. He knew I would give in if he kissed me. Grr.

"Yes, Max?" a voice asked in my ear.

I sighed and looked at where the voice came from. He loved playing with his invisibility.

"Let's get moving. The Erasers will be after us." I told him.

"They're on lockdown. No one's coming after us."

"All right, fine, but I still want to get away from he- Fang, where are we?" I asked suddenly.

We'd destroyed the Egyptian School. But we were obviously still in Egypt, there were pyramids.

"Cairo. They built another School in Cairo. The woman that gave us the paper must not have known that." Fang answered.

Then we got to the pyramid that the Flock was waiting at, and we landed silently. As soon as my feet touched the sand, I was tackled by the three youngest.

"We thought they had you, Max!" Nudge cried.

"But then Angel told us you were with Fang, and we knew you must have gotten out." Gazzy told me.

"Marian Janssen's really mad. Apparently our powers weren't supposed to work. Serena told her that we wouldn't be able to use them. So either something's wrong with Serena, and she's too shaken to make the shield thinger, or it's just not working anymore. You know, Shannon blasted Taren right through his shield. Maybe she broke whatever was not letting us use ours." Angel mused.

I blinked. Why hadn't I thought of that? My thoughts were interrupted by a large explosion. I whirled around and was surprised to find that the School I'd just broken out of was going down in flames.

I raised an eyebrow and looked at the grinning Iggy and Gazzy. Iggy waved a pad with a button at me.

"Manual explosion." He said, like that explained everything.

"Iggy…" I warned.

"Once I press the button, the bomb goes off. Understand?" Iggy asked like I was four years old.

"Yes, Iggy, I get it." I snapped. "But when'd you put that in, and how did you have that without the whitecoats finding it?"

"Whitecoats are idiots. They never find my bombs. And I put it in while we were running to get J.J. and Regan." Iggy told me.

"Did it kill Serena and Janssen?" I asked hopefully, looking at Angel.

She pursed her lips and said, "Nope."

"What? Why not?"

"They got out before Iggy blew it up. They got out just after you, actually." Angel told me.

"Great." I sighed. "Let's go into Cairo, stay the night, and then we'll go to wherever is next tomorrow."

An hour later, I was sitting in a hotel room that Fang and I were sharing. Fang was showering. He beat me in and locked the door while I pounded on it, telling him I was flock leader and therefore had dibs on the bathroom. He told me to go tell that to Gazzy and Iggy and use their shower.

So now I was lying propped up on the bed, appreciating the relative silence that let me just think. I needed more time like this. Sighing, I let my head fall back against the pillows, and I blew some air out of my cheeks. Then I remembered the mysterious object that had saved me today. Where the heck had it come from? Had someone thrown it to me? If so, who? And what was it, anyway?

I curiously reached into my pocket and brought the object out into the light. I opened my hand, expecting a rock or something. When I saw what it was, I froze. My hand limply fell to the bed, and it rolled out of my palm and onto the bedspread. I just stared at it, knowing exactly what it was, but not understanding how it could be here in my hotel room. I continued staring at it, trying to tell myself that it just reminded me of that, it wasn't really it.

But I knew it was. There was no mistaking it. But how could it be here?

It should be in a different continent. It should be in Ireland, Europe. It should be in a totally ravaged and burnt up clearing. It should be stuck under an impenetrable layer of blue rock and ground. It should be on the finger of it's owner, forever staying there. But it wasn't. It was here with me.

It was Shannon's blue sapphire ring. The one Iggy had given her back in Arizona. The one she had worn to that triple date that had started this whole crazy mission. The one that Iggy had slipped on her limp finger and the one that had been encased in the ground. There is no possible way it could be here.

But it sure was. It wasn't a copy. It was a custom design, different from Natalca's and mine. There is not another like it in the universe.


Slowly I reached for it, almost hoping that if I touched it, it would disappear and prove I was just imagining things. Carefully my fingers brushed over the delicate silver wings that made up the band. My fingers trailed around the circle until they stroked the beautiful dark blue sapphire held by the tips of the wings. And no matter how many times I blinked, it was still there, cold and hard under my careful touch. Not breathing, not believing, I picked it up and gazed at it. I mean, what else could I do?

The water shut off, and Fang walked out of the bathroom, in black pajama pants. He saw me staring at the ring cupped in my hand. He couldn't see the ring, just my face. He raised on eyebrow and looked at me like, Okay…care to explain?

Silently I beckoned him over, not trusting my voice. Slowly, he came over to me, not knowing what I was up to. When he was close enough, I wordlessly held up the sapphire ring that should not be here!

His jaw dropped. Yes, Fang's jaw dropped. Not a lie. Then he closed it and opened it again, his mouth forming words but no sound came out.

Finally he settled for, "What the hell?!"

I swallowed and said shakily, "This is what flew through the air and saved my life."

He just stared at the ring, then at me. "What?"

"I wasn't going to make it through that door, Fang. I needed something to wedge it open. There was nothing on the floor, and I had nothing in my pockets to throw. And then this went flying in front of me. I grabbed it without thinking and didn't even look at it before I threw it. It stopped the door, and then I grabbed it and put in my pocket as I ran out. I took it out and looked at it for the first time a few minutes ago."

"Oh," was all he could muster.

"And you saw it just as clearly as I did. Iggy put this on her finger. There is no humanly possible way it can be here!" I said, frustrated.

"We're not human, Max." Fang said quietly, his dark eyes staring straight into mine.

I knew what he was saying. But I refused to believe it.

"She's dead, Fang. You know she is. Someone" my voice broke and I choked back a sob. This was not the right time to lose it. "Someone must have broken through the sapphire. It's probably pretty valuable. It'd be a good find for a hock shop."

"The School is not a hock shop." Fang commented.

"What about Serena? Maybe she went back. Maybe she broke in there and…well, I don't know what she'd do."

"Why would she do that? To pay her respects? I doubt it. Unless she destroyed the tomb as revenge for Shannon killing Taren. She was probably pretty shaken." Fang suggested.

"Yes. Yes, that must be it. Oh, Fang, I'm going to kill her. Shannon was her sister. Couldn't she leave the" I swallowed and then forced the word out "body alone?"

"There's a lot of things Serena can't leave well enough alone." Then his eyes became calculating. "Max, take the ring to Nudge. See if she can sense what happened."

That was a good idea. That was a really good idea. But it would be hard on Nudge. She'd have to sift through everything Shannon had done while wearing that ring. That doesn't exactly help a person get over a death.

"Yes, it would be hard on her. But she can take it. We need to know, Max." Fang told me.

He was right.

"All right. I'll go get her. There's no need for the others to know." I bit my lip in apprehension. I didn't know if I'd be able to handle knowing what happened.

"Are you sure about that? Iggy? Natalca?"

"Let's find out first, then tell them." I decided.

"Okay." Fang agreed simply.

I slowly slid off the bed and walked out the door and into Angel and Nudge's room.

Oh, shit. Angel. Mind-reader.

Oh, yes! She was playing chess with Gazzy. Of course she was searching his mind. Which meant she was totally oblivious to everyone else. But just to be sure, I shielded my thoughts as best I could.

"Nudge? Can you come into my room for a minute, sweetie?" I asked softly.

She looked up from watching the chess game and said, "Sure, Max."

I could hear curiosity burning behind her words. Nudge stood and followed me into our room, where I sat on the bed and told her to sit as well.

"Are you mad at me?" she asked, her voice scared.

"What? No, Nudge, I'm not mad. I'm-"

"She needs you to touch something and see what you can sense. Something that might be kind of hard for you. Hard for all of us, actually. Just show her, Max." Fang interrupted.

"Show me what? What's going o-" Nudge cut off abruptly when I held up the ring.

I told her how it saved me and that I needed her to find out how it came to be in that School. And already Nudge looked about to cry. And already I could see she was getting her hopes up about the unthinkable.

"Okay, Max."

Nudge POV

Oh, god. Okay. Okay. I can do this. I lifted my hand and gently touched the surface of the sapphire.

I was immediately whisked away on a journey I wished I never had to take. First it showed me Iggy buying the ring. Okay, we need a fast forward button. Then it showed me Iggy and Shannon on the porch swing back in Arizona, and I felt tears leaking down my face. Shannon opened the little black box, and I could see the wonder and surprise and happiness on her face. Then she looked at Iggy, and all I could see on her face was love. He put the ring on her finger and fastened the necklace around her neck. Then she turned around, and they were kissing.

It had me bawling.

They loved each other so much, and now they'd never be together again on this earth. It was so sad.

I really wanted a fast forward button. I didn't want to see this. One, it was kinda private to them, right? Two, I didn't need to see this. It wasn't helping us find out how the ring came to save Max. Three, I was going to have a nervous breakdown if I saw much more of this. Each time I saw Shannon's face, heard her voice, saw them so happy together, it was a blow to the face.

And it kept coming.

The date. Back when everything was happy, and if someone had told us one of us would be dead in a week or two, we would have scoffed at them. After howls of derisive laughter.

Max, Natalca, and Shannon looking so pretty in their dresses, wearing their necklaces, and rings. And the way Iggy and Shannon looked at each other, the secret looks of love they shared…and the way Iggy was happy and laughing and making jokes and goofing off. So different from now. He was almost emotionless now. Except for sadness, of course. He had lots of that particular feeling.

After the date. I could see Shannon's tanned fingers putting the ring and necklace back in the little box, and gazing at them for a moment before snapping the box shut and putting it away.

And then it stayed in that box for a while, until they were making fun of Lissa and Iggy 'proposed' to her. I could see the way they looked at each other while Iggy was on one knee, and that was no trick.

I really, really, wanted a fast forward button. But I didn't have one, so I committed myself to watching vigilantly, because I knew the ring hadn't been brought out again after that, which meant we were getting close to…

Oh, God, I couldn't watch this. Iggy was taking the sapphire ring and necklace out of the box and putting them on Shannon in her little crypt. A fresh round of hot tears raced down my cheeks, and I felt someone pull me to them, and hold me. Well, my body. Because that's not where I really was. I was back at Shannon's 'funeral', and it was ripping my heart to shreds, seeing and feeling it all over again. The way Iggy was in pieces, and Natalca was almost catatonic. It was horrible. I watched Iggy lay the necklace over her pale throat, and I watched him touch the sapphire one last time. Then he slid the ring on her finger, and then Madysyn closed the tomb up. This time, instead of sealing Shannon away from me, it sealed the others away from both of us. Well, her and the ring. But I was kind of one with the ring right now.

There was silence, and then the ground around us turned that familiar dark blue, telling me that J.J. had turned it to sapphire. Everything was tinted softly with that dark blue, including Shannon's pallid face.

Then it all changed. I wasn't watching everything like it was a movie anymore. Things just came in little flashes, barely long enough for me to identify what the heck they were before they disappeared. Definitely not long enough for me to figure out what they meant.

A familiar face, someone I knew, but not clear enough to know who.

A dark tunnel. A cave?

Dark blue.

Fire. A lot of really hot fire

Drips of something hot that hurt when it touched…me? Or the ring? Whichever.

Then water. Lots of cool water.

And then I was shot back into my body, where I opened my eyes and proceeded to bawl my eyes out for probably half an hour straight. I was sandwiched between Fang and Max, each holding me and trying to wipe the river of tears off my face. When I thought my voice would obey me, I began talking.

"I saw everything since Iggy bought the ring. I couldn't skip ahead, no matter how much I wanted to. I saw us bury her, and I saw the tomb go blue. Then everything changed." I stopped, trying to fight back the new round of tears in my eyes.

"Changed how?" Max asked softly and gently.

"Everything before was like a movie, or clear pictures. Then it all went weird. I was just seeing flashes of things, barely long enough to recognize what they were."

"What did you see?' Fang asked quietly.

"None of it makes any sense. First I saw a person. Someone I know I've seen before, but it was too blurry and fast. I don't know who. Then a dark tunnel of some kind, like a cave or something. Then dark blue. Oh, it must have been blue sapphire. But why would I see that? And then I saw fire. Really close, and really hot, and it was everywhere. And then I felt something drip onto…my…skin, and it was hot and it hurt."

"Your skin?" Fang asked.

"Well, I don't know. I thought I was just seeing pictures, but that one touched me, and it hurt. I don't understand it anymore than you do." I said, frustrated.

"Okay. What next?" Max gently prompted.

"Water. Cool water, and it felt good. That was the last picture." I told her.

"All right. Thank you, Nudge. You did really good." Max told me, her face soft.

"Can I stay here with you guys for a little while? I take it you don't want the others to know." I guessed.

"No, we don't." Max said, looking at Fang, sharing a glance. "And of course you can stay with us for as long as you want."


I was bursting to talk about this with Fang, but not with Nudge. So I waited until she decided she was okay and went back to her room. Then Fang and I looked at each other and I mouthed, Wow.

"No kidding." He murmured.

"So did you understand any of that?" I asked, getting up and going to my bag to grab pajamas.

He faced the wall as he spoke, letting me change. "Not really. A face…who's face? A tunnel seems totally random. And more blue sapphire? And how could Nudge feel something drip onto her? A ring can't feel that."

"You know, I think I know what it means. It's just out of order." I said.

I turned around and climbed into the bed, and Fang shut out the light and joined me. I rolled so I could face him and said, "Fire, and something dripping. I bet someone melted through the sapphire with fire. The liquid sapphire would have dripped in. And a face. The face of whoever broke in. And dark blue must have been the rest of the tomb after the person shut off their blowtorch or whatever. The water. That person might have taken the ring and washed it. A tunnel. Well, the tunnel could be a lot of things."

Fang looked at me. "You're brilliant."

But not right. The Voice interrupted my internal celebration.

"What do you mean, I'm not right?" I asked furiously.

Fang looked at me like I was crazy.

"Not you, the Voice." I said impatiently.

I mean exactly what I said. That's not what happened.

Then what happened?

Complete silence.


Nothing to say here except….nothing.


20. Nairobi, Africa

Syzygy 20 (ooh, twenty chapters!)

Fang POV

"Max?" I asked.

Her eyes were glazed over, so I knew she was talking to the Voice. Well, judging from her outburst, she was yelling at the Voice.

Then she snapped out of it.

"Sorry. The Voice is being its usual incredibly annoying self." Then she sighed and explained, "It says I'm wrong. That's not what happened. But it won't tell me what did happen."

That was when our door burst open. Both Fang and I leaped to our feet and into fighting stances. Then we realized it was Nudge.

"I figured out whose face I saw." She said breathlessly. "I was concentrating really hard, and then it just clicked. But I still don't understand the rest."

"Who'd you see, Nudge?" I asked, before she got completely off topic.


I stared and remained motionless. Max went rigid and asked very quietly, "Are you sure, Nudge?"

"Yes. I know it was him." Nudge assured us.

"But why? Why Ari? He's dead." Max wondered, frustrated.

"So is Shannon. Maybe that represented her going to heaven or the afterlife or wherever dead people go." I suggested.

Max looked at me. "Yeah, that must be it. Did you have any other sudden epiphanies, Nudge?"

"No. I just wanted to tell you that. Goodnight, guys." Nudge said before disappearing back into her room.

"Well." Max said.

"Well." I echoed.

The rest of that night was spent in fitful sleep.


Fang was asleep. I wasn't. I was lying awake, my mind going to fast for me to fall asleep. I couldn't shake the feeling that I was missing something really obvious. But I couldn't figure it out. Something about seeing Ari, and then all that other stuff had me thinking. About what, I don't really know. I wasn't thinking about anything in particular. I just kept circling back to the thought: Why Ari?

I didn't sleep well that night, needless to say.

Iggy POV

Angel had come into mine and Gazzy's room to tell me that Fang, Max, and Nudge were keeping something from us. And she knew it had to do with Shannon and Itex and Ari. I cannot see how those things relate in any way. Neither can she. Which meant I was confronting Max. So, in the morning, I went into their room and faced her, arms over my chest and feet apart. Fang looked evenly at me, and she watched me warily.

"What are you keeping from us?" I asked sternly.

They were silent. Then asked quietly, "We're not keeping anything from you, Iggy."

"Yes, you are. It has to do with Shannon, and Itex, and Ari. Angel isn't completely oblivious when she's playing chess, you know."

They didn't say anything. Then Fang turned to Max and looked at her imploringly.

"It's not fair to keep it from him. He'll kill us when he finds out." He said.

"And, if you'd kept your damn mouth shut, he might not have found out." Max grumbled.

I said nothing as she reached into her pocket and brought something shiny out. I couldn't see what it was until the familiar gem sparkled in the light. Then I lost all coherent thought, and speech, and I leaned back heavily against the wall.

"I know you want me to explain, but first, go get the others. I don't feel like explaining this again." Max commanded.

I couldn't move. I couldn't think. Fang sighed and rose, leaving the room. When he came back, everyone else was with him.

Their reactions to the sapphire ring were a lot like mine. When all of us had regained the power of speech, Natalca and I shouted together, "What the hell?"

"I thought you'd say that. But this ring saved my life. I wasn't going to make it out of that School. The door was closing too fast. Then this came flying through the air, and I grabbed it and managed to use it to stop the door until I got there, long story short. As I was running through I picked it up. I looked at it just last night after we got here. So I asked Nudge to touch it and see what she could sense." Max looked at Nudge. "She saw a face. A familiar face. Ari. Then she saw a tunnel, maybe a cave. And then dark blue, everywhere. Probably blue sapphire. Next, she saw fire. And something hot dripping down onto her. And then cool water. No, I don't understand any of it."

Her gaze raked over us, eyes hard. And I could barely register her words. I had put the ring on her finger. It should still be there. How could it not be?

Serena POV

"Serena, you know that you are completely to blame." Marian said to me icily.

She meant the stupid bird kids escaping. Was it really my fault that I was distracted? My fiancé had just died. Although love wasn't exactly encouraged here. She probably thought this was good punishment for that.

"Yes, I know. My mental shield had a crack in it, so they were able to use their powers. Because I was distracted."

"No! Not because you were distracted. Because you were careless! We had them, Serena, we had won! But then you got cocky and let them get away. Or maybe it's not because you got cocky. Maybe you're so stupid and useless that our little discovery the other day has shaken you up so much." Her words were like the crack of a whip.

Our little discovery. And I had so conveniently managed to put that to the back of my mind. But now she was shoving it in my face again.

Through clenched teeth, I hissed, "That has nothing to do with it. I'll catch them again, I swear I will."

"Oh, I think that has everything to do with it." She muttered. Then she glanced down at the papers in her hands and spoke again before I could respond. "And you're right, you will catch them again. Sooner than you think. We have plenty enough Erasers to take down ten mutants, if you take them all with you. Which you will."

She paused to look up at me, and I said incredulously, "All the Erasers? Isn't that a bit much to catch them?"

"You're not actually catching them. They are becoming to big a threat to our plans. I've had enough. You will rid us of them for good. Terminate them. Kill them."

I was silent for a moment, thinking how much I would love to kill them. Then I said, "Even to kill them, I won't need all the Erasers. Not if the mutants can't use their powers. I'll have my shield back to normal soon."

"No, you won't. I taught you how to make that mental shield, Serena. I know more about it than you. Once it's broken, it can't be made again in the same mind. That's why you had to do it instead of me. But we have no one else I trust enough now. They will use their powers, and you will still kill them. You leave tonight. Hunt them down. Dismissed."

You can run, but you can't hide, Max, I thought happily.


Everyone was still staring at me because of what I'd told them.

"Anyone have any show-stopping suggestions?" I asked hopefully.

"Who's Ari?" Madysyn asked.

"My half-brother. He was an Eraser, and, in short, he died saving me." I answered.

"Then I bet Nudge saw Ari because Shannon's found him in the afterlife." J.J. said, just as Fang had.

"That's good. She has someone." Natalca said quietly.

After that, everyone left. They were all quiet, thinking about what Nudge had seen and what it could mean. Then I decided that we should probably move on to…I reached into my back pocket and brought out the crumpled up list. After Alexandria was Nairobi, Kenya.

"Fang, we need to leave." I stated.

He looked at me. "What's next?"

"Nairobi, Kenya. About two days flight from here, I think."

An hour later, we were flying over the southern border of Egypt, into Sudan.

"Don't you think we're being kind of predictable, by going in order of the list?" Iggy asked.

"But the whitecoats don't have this list. And how are Serena and Janssen going to get there before us?" I asked in return.

"Max, there's this really cool piece of advanced technology called a 'telephone'. You should try one. They're very convenient." Natalca said sarcastically to me.

"That's a good point. And Serena can teleport. But still. Probably all the Schools know we're coming." I argued.

No one answered me. I glanced down below us and was glad to see Madysyn and Regan almost flying over the ground down there, legs a blur.

Nothing happened the rest of the flight, until we stopped for the night somewhere in the lower half of Sudan. Madysyn and Regan came to our clearing, and Madysyn was limping a bit. Not much, but enough I could tell something was up.

"What's up?" I demanded.

They shifted to human, and Regan said to me, "She stepped on a piece of glass. Her foot is cut up."

"But I'll be fine. I can still run and fight. It's nothing. He likes to blow things out of proportion when it concerns me." Madysyn rolled her eyes.

Regan said nothing, and I tried not to think about the fact that a cut foot wouldn't be a problem were Shannon still with us. All of us laid down on the ground, falling asleep quite quickly, considering how tired we were.

In the morning, I felt like I was a whip-wielding monster as I kicked everyone awake.

"Go away, Max." J.J. grumbled at me, slowly opening his eyes.

"You know, you, Gazzy, Iggy, and Nudge are beginning to sound like a broken record. Now get up." I ordered.

Once in the air, I looked up above us. They were a lot of clouds, but the sun was shining relentlessly in the blue sky. The earth beneath us was brown and cracked, and I could see the shapes of animals crowded under the shade of the sparse trees.

"Max, how much longer?" Nudge asked.

"Uh…" I wracked my brains for any promising landmarks I'd seen recently. "Two hours?"

Two hours later, I called, "Okay, so I was wrong. Another half hour. Iggy and Gazzy, you've got bombs ready?"

"Of course we do. Don't you know us at all?" Gazzy asked incredulously.

"Just checking."

I looked at Fang beside me and sighed. We'd had so little alone time recently. Then I remembered something. The whole reason Natalca and I had planned that escape from the School in Cairo.

"Oh, I get it now!" I said excitedly.

Everyone looked at me.

"Natalca and I broke out of our cells and got everyone out, and then Shannon's sapphire ring saved me. Natalca and I are two months, and then Shannon's ring is the third. Three months shall join and save you in your moment of need. Natalca and I thought we'd change it to two months. But it really was three!" I explained.

"So maybe the prophecy isn't all screwed up. Maybe it was supposed to be like this." Angel suggested.

"Except that the 'master of land' was supposed to give Shannon a chance." Natalca put in.

"Oh yeah."

"And we still have no idea what the greatest syzygy is, do we?" Iggy grimaced.

"Nope." I agreed.

And in another half hour of discussing ideas, we'd come up with nothing. But we had arrived in Nairobi, at least. As my feet hit the ground and our two shape-shifting friends joined us, I sighed. Fang looked at me questioningly. I sent him a look saying, It's all getting so repetitive.

"And we've only taken down seven Schools. We still have fourteen to go." He murmured to me.

"Damn. Really?"

When he nodded, I sighed again and looked at my group. They didn't look tired, which was good. Everyone was energetic and healthy.

Hey, Voice? Will you tell me where this School is?

No, Maximum. Just that you better hurry.


No answer. I rubbed my forehead and said out loud, "There's ten of us. Split into two groups, and we'll find it that way."

They all looked at each other, and the final groups ended up as Natalca, Madysyn, Regan, Nudge, and Angel. The other group was Fang, Iggy, Gazzy, J.J. and I. My group set off into the air, and Natalca's group went on foot in the other direction.

With my birds eye view, I could almost see all of Nairobi. But not quite. And nothing was jumping out at me.

Think 3D, Max. The Voice suddenly said.

3D? What do you mean? Then I got it.

"It's underground, guys." Where, I didn't know.

Look to your left. What's the first thing you see? The Voice sighed.

I looked. And I saw a big white building with a dome on top. A church.

It's under the church?

Again, no answer. That usually meant either it wasn't going to give me any info, or I was right. I was going with the latter.

"Apparently it's under the church." I said aloud, changing course and heading for the white building.

"And that in itself is a huge sin. Doing all those experiments and making people's lives a living hell is definitely not a churchy kind of thing." Fang commented.

"I agree."

Angel? Are you there, sweetie? I called.

Here, Max.

Do you see the big white building with the dome on top? The School is under it. I told her.

Okay, Max.

See how easy that was? She doesn't ask questions and make everything complicated. She just does what I say. A few certain people could learn from that. Cough. Fang, J.J., Natalca, Iggy, Shannon, virtually everyone I knew over the age of twelve…

Once we were all together again in front of the church, J.J. asked the question we were all thinking.

"So, how do we get under the church?"

"Does anyone see a big flashing sign that says, School Entrance Here?" Regan asked.

"Uh, no, I see a whole bunch of signs that say, Repent! The Lord Is Forgiving! and all that stuff." Natalca gave half a grin.

Fang solved the problem by shoving the wooden double doors open and going inside. Once inside, after we all shuffled in after him, he strode purposefully up to the only guy in there, the priest. Great. I could already see how well this was going to go. Not well at all.

"Is there a basement under this building?" Fang asked, cutting straight to the heart of the matter.

The priest blinked at him and then said, "You should not wear all black in a church unless you are in mourning, young man. Pray to the Lord-"

(A/N All right. Just to be clear, I mean ABSOLUTELY NO OFFENSE to churches and priests and Jesus Christ and all religious stuff. I'm just writing it as Fang and the Flock would see it. And I don't know a whole lot about how a church works anyway. Okay? Are we good, or am I going to get angry people swearing at me? )

"I won't be praying to anybody ever. Just answer the question and leave us alone." Fang told him testily.

"Young man, you should-"

"Answer the question." Fang was really angry now.

The priest was silent. His eyes shifted to the rest of us standing behind Fang. His eyes landed on me, and I resisted the urge to sigh.

"Young lady, please tell this young man to kindly leave the sacred building."

"If you'll answer the question, we won't bother you again." I told him evenly.

The priest looked back at Fang and nodded. "There is a basement. The stairs are right there. The people in white go down there all the time."

Well, that sounded promising.

"Sir, you should really get out of the building. We have information that a bomb is going to go off here today. You've got to get out and make sure no one else goes in." I said, making a spur of the moment decision.

We couldn't effectively blow the School up without blowing the church up. So we'd have to make it look like a terrorist attack or something. The poor priest stared at me.

"Please, sir. I'm not making this up." I continued.

Finally, I saw him cave. He shuffled towards the door, and we followed. Once he was out, we hurried away and into an alley where we took off into the sky. Once we were high enough not to be noticed, we stopped and Iggy and Gazzy decided what bomb would destroy the School but not any other buildings. Once they were ready, I nodded and they dropped the bomb. The church/School went down in flames. Once it was sufficiently destroyed, we flew out of there and on to Kitui, a city about an hour away. We didn't want to stay in Nairobi where it might be possible for the priest to describe us to the police and for the police to find us.

In the air, Angel suddenly gasped and fell a few feet in surprise. I glanced at her, and saw her eyes were wide, staring, and vacant.

"Angel?" I asked frantically, slowing so I was beside her.

She looked up at me with frightened eyes. She looked completely panicked.

"They're coming!" She whispered.

"Who's coming? Angel, are you okay?" I demanded.

"The Erasers."

Another cliffie. Don't you love me?

Can you guys do me a favour? Predict what you think what Nudge saw means and tell me. I want to know how predictable I am.


21. Final Battle

Syzygy 21


I blinked. She was so scared because of a group of Erasers? Something wasn't adding up here.

"The Erasers?" I asked slowly.

"The Erasers." Angel was back to normal, her sweet blue eyes defiant, but still slightly anxious. "As in, all the Erasers. Every single one from the three schools in Africa. And that's thousands, Max. Maybe tens of thousands. There's too many minds for me to count."

"Let me take a wild guess at who's leading them. Hm, let's see now. Could it be…Serena?" J.J. asked sarcastically.

"Yeah." Angel said shortly. "But I can read her mind now. She's thinking about how she screwed up because of their 'little discovery' and now our powers will work. That's good, at least."

I bit my lip. This wasn't going to be good. I looked at Natalca. "Can you sense them yet?"

She closed her eyes, then opened them. "Oh, shit, yeah. There's a mass just flooding into my range."

"How far away?" Fang asked her, all business.

"Three miles."

"Crap, let's go!" I shouted, leaping into the air.

Madysyn shot a look at Natalca. "Which direction are they coming from?"

And, coincidentally, that's when both Angel and Natalca gasped and Angel almost fell over.

"Every direction." Natalca moaned.

Everyone looked at her sharply.

"We're surrounded." Angel sighed. "Completely. Madysyn and Regan can't get out. And they've got guns; they'll shoot us right out of the air. And they're not here to catch us. They're here to kill us. Terminate us."

Oh, jeez. Fang looked at me. I gazed back, and then gave a tiny nod, looking back at everyone else.

"Then we fight." I said casually, like it meant absolutely nothing.

Smiles broke out everywhere. Iggy and Gazzy slapped high fives. Angel and Nudge did a little dance. J.J. lifted Natalca and swung her around. Madysyn and Regan just watched, as Fang and I did.

"Okay, if you're all done celebrating, we can strategize now." I said acidly.

They stopped and immediately became serious.

"If they have guns, fighting from the air is out." Fang said.

I nodded. "They're in a complete circle? There's absolutely no opening?"

Natalca and Angel nodded solemnly.

"Great." I muttered. "Then get a partner, like we did that other time. And stay together, obviously."

I stepped over beside Fang, and J.J. took Natalca's hand. Regan and Madysyn moved closer together, and Gazzy and Iggy started talking about bombs, leaving Nudge and Angel.

"How far away now?" I asked.

"Half a mile. Look around you, Max." Natalca told me.

I did as she said, and swallowed hard. It was like a swarm of bugs. Big, hairy, dangerous, bugs. I could see the Erasers, coming quickly from all sides. They covered the half mile easily, stopping about three meters away from us. The wall of Erasers was at least five hundred thick everywhere I looked. They were spaced out, ready for a fight. This was going to be tricky. Then the dark haired menace we all loved so much appeared.

"So, I'm sure you've figured out why we're here." She began.

"Because you can't wait to be obliterated?" I asked snidely.

"Oh, hahaha, so funny!" Serena put on a fake school-girl voice. "Because we can't wait to obliterate you, Max. All of you. Quite convenient how the cat and the wolf decided to travel with you, isn't it?"

I looked her over more closely. Always best to know the enemy. She was dressed in a skin tight black cat-suit, her long dark hair tied back in a messy bun. Her tall body was slim and muscled. Strong. But under her eyes were dark bags, like she hadn't been sleeping well. Angel had said something about a 'little discovery'…I wonder what it was?

"Has anyone else noticed that she has problems with family? First she leaves her parents and brothers and sisters, then her fiancé dies, and her sister, and now she wants to kill her son. Serena, you have issues." Natalca hissed.

Serena shrugged, which was very un-Serena-ish. But I didn't have time to dwell on it, because then she shouted, "Kill the mutants!" and all hell broke loose.

I launched myself at the nearest Eraser, and Fang covered me from the behind, his back touching mine as he went invisible. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched what everyone else did. Natalca was launching rocks and splitting their skulls easily. As I watched, she laughed as she managed to hit two Erasers with a particularly large rock. J.J. was being creative with his gift, preserving energy by turning only select things to stone. Like the Eraser's gun, or legs, or arms, or head, or even the air in between himself and the Eraser. Madysyn was making the ground pitch and roll under the Erasers, so they fell, making it easy for her and Regan to pounce on them and rip their throats out. Iggy and Gazzy were happily hurling bombs left and right. I could only hope they didn't hit one of the Flock. Nudge was controlling their guns and hitting them with them. I knew she wouldn't dare shoot one, for fear of missing and hitting someone on the good side. Angel was, of course, controlling their minds and making them drop dead.

And even with all of our deadly gifts, I knew this was not far off from a suicide mission. There was a very large chance we wouldn't make it out of here alive. But we had to try. Then I felt a sharp pain explode in the side of my head, and I whirled to discover what had hit me.

Oh, joy. Serena.

I shook my head angrily and then sent a kick at her head. But she wasn't there anymore. I looked around furtively. And then a finger tapped my shoulder from behind. I spun, seeing an evil smirk before she disappeared from there, too. It went on like that for a very long time, her teleporting behind or beside me and then punching me when I turned only to teleport away again. Finally I got frustrated and didn't turn around. I just waited. When she kicked the back of my head, I feinted to the left, making it look like I was going to turn. She fell for it and teleported in front of me, where I smashed her face in with my foot.

Then she brought out a knife and things got a little scary. I had no gift to protect myself from that. Various cuts and bruises later, I saw a shimmer of displaced light from behind Serena and held in a grin. When the invisible Fang kicked or punched her head, she pitched forward out of surprise. And of course, she put her hands out to catch herself. And she'd been standing very close in front of me.

And guess what was in one of those hands? The knife. Right.

I heard a strained No! from behind Serena, and I think I heard a shriek rip out of my chest before the knife sliced through my jacket and shirt and into my chest. In my state of pain and surprise and shock, I wanted to laugh at the irony. This was exactly how Shannon died. Were we cursed to die by knives or something?

As I fell to the ground, I saw Natalca quickly take Fang's spot battling Serena and Fang race to me.

"Max! Oh, Max, stay with me! You'll be okay, I promise, Max." Fang said, his voice soft and firm.

But I knew he was lying.

"Liar." I croaked. "I have a knife in my chest, and Shannon is definitely not around to heal me. But I'd rather die in a fight than in a hospital as an old hag."

And then I died. I felt my consciousness slip away, and I heard Fang scream my name, and I heard the furious roar of revenge that erupted out of him as I died.

Fang POV


Max couldn't be dead, she couldn't be! Frantically I wiped away some of the gushing blood before deciding that was a lost cause. I put two fingers just below her jaw on the side of her neck, searching for a pulse. There was none.

Maximum Ride was dead.

Or so I thought until I felt the absolutely faintest, smallest, ghost of a pulse. I could barely feel it, even with my mutant senses. But it was there. I pressed harder, and felt it beat again, very faintly and very slowly. But it meant she was alive, and that was good enough for me. She must have passed out.

I leaped to my feet and searched for Serena. She almost killed Max, which meant I had something to settle with her. I saw her fending off Natalca with…another knife? God, where the hell did she hide these things? I ran over there, noting with satisfaction that her back was to me. Again. I went invisible and made sure not to do the same as last time. I didn't want Natalca stabbed as well. I was just about to tackle her when five Erasers, all with guns that they held to my head, grabbed me. The barrels were digging into my skin, and it was actually pretty darn uncomfortable.


"Nudge!" I yelled, since she was the closest to me.

She spun around and her eyes widened. I heard them cock the guns and prepare to shoot just before all five guns flew into the air and snapped in half. I wrenched myself out of their grasp and shouted a 'thanks' to Nudge before proceeding to attack all five Erasers at once.

And normally, that would work just fine. But these Erasers were smarter than normal. They grabbed me again, and one whipped out a knife and held it to my throat, the blade pressing into my skin and making it hard for me to breath. But he didn't slide it across my throat and kill me like he was ordered. Instead he looked uncertainly at Serena. She saw me held with the knife at my neck and yelled back, "Leave him alive. Disable him, hurt him, injure him, but do not kill. That is for me to do!"

That sounded like it was going to be a hell of a lot like torture. Back to the first fourteen years of my life we go. Great.

The Erasers got these evil grins on their faces, and then the other four brought out the same razor sharp daggers as the first one. The first one lifted his knife from my throat, only to slash it right down my face, hairline to cheek to jaw. Nice.

But I stayed silent and just glared at them. I saw Iggy wince and start to run to me, but then he was attacked by a group of them and obscured from my sight. And my attention was drawn back to the knives anyway. One was making a bloody path down from my shoulder to wrist, and another felt like he was trying to cut my leg off, the way he was stabbing it. Normally, this would hurt. A lot. But I was too concerned and worried for Max to feel it. And then I caught sight of Serena, with no one attacking her. She was striding over to Max, and she looked out for blood. Well, more blood.

Scratch the 'concerned and worried' part. Make it 'panicked and unable to think anything but MAX!'

Now I couldn't see anything but Serena's demonic face and Max's limp body on the ground. I struggled hard against the Erasers holding me, but it was no use. They just held me tighter. I saw Regan look towards Serena and Max and streak over and tackle Serena to the ground, his jaws snapping inches from her neck before she shoved him off and stood. I wanted to watch, but then blinding pain and red hot agony flashed through me, and I couldn't see anything. An Eraser had made a huge, deep, slash from my collarbone to stomach. They let me go, and I took one stumbling step towards Max before pitching to the ground. The Erasers laughed at me, but I wasn't giving up that easily. I forced myself up on my hands and knees and started crawling. But that didn't last long, either. The last thing I saw was a figure off in the distance, and it looked like they were stumbling weakly towards us. But nothing other than that registered in my brain as unconsciousness overwhelmed me.

Iggy POV

Things were not looking good. Max had been stabbed in the chest, but was only unconscious, because she had a pulse. I checked. But an unconscious Max wasn't a helpful Max. And five minutes later I'd seen Fang fall to the ground, crawl a few inches, and then pass out.

It had been an hour since Fang had gone down, and in that time Nudge and Gazzy had gotten caught and, in Serena's words, 'disabled'. In my opinion that meant tortured until the victims are unconscious. In a bloody, bruised, vile way.

So, Angel, Natalca, J.J., Madysyn, Regan, and I were the only ones still standing. And I knew we needed a plan, and fast. We were all back to back, in a tight little circle, with the Erasers surrounding us. And we were injured. I was barely standing. Natalca had earned herself a broken leg, courtesy of Serena, but she was still standing, sort of. She was doing the stork.

"Hold them." Serena ordered suddenly.

All the Erasers dove. We had no chance of escape. When the dust we'd kicked up in the struggle finally settled, each one of us was pinioned by a group of Erasers. And then a slice of pain erupted on my arm. As my head whipped around to find out what had sliced me, another Eraser slashed my leg, hip to knee. And it continued like that for a while, until the Erasers that had restrained me were now holding me up. As my head slipped to the side, I saw the others in just as bad shape as me, and worse. Unable to watch as they were slashed to ribbons, I turned my head the other way and looked over at the horizon. It was dusk, and the sun was just above the horizon line. But that wasn't what caught my attention. What did catch my attention was the figure of the person steadily stumbling in our direction. It looked like a girl. A girl that was injured but determined. Not that I really cared. The only people I cared about were in the hands of Erasers, so that was my biggest concern at the moment.

And then I passed out.


Where am I?

That was my first thought when I came to.

I must be in heaven, I thought groggily.

Then I looked around at my surroundings and knew this was definitely not heaven. It wasn't hell, either, because my Flock was here, and they couldn't be in hell. I was still alive.

And I wasn't sure if that was reason to cheer or groan, because there was currently a knife at my throat and another….sticking out of my chest?

How am I not dead?

Memory came flooding back to me. The knife plunging into my chest. No one could survive that blow. So how in hell am I still alive? I looked down again, and my jaw dropped. My chest was healing. I kid you not.

The blood was drying up and not flowing out. The tissues and muscles were sewing themselves back together, and the skin was closing and healing, with a thin pink line the only evidence that I'd ever been stabbed. The knife hit the ground with a thud.

Okay. I was alive. I was healed. All good things. So let's not question them and just get the important part. The part where I figure out what the hell is going on around here, and how we're getting away.

Looking around, I found out that we were all held in a line at the mercy of Serena. Everyone else was unconscious, except for Fang, who was stirring. Suddenly his eyes shot open and met mine. In the second before we both turned away, we each conveyed the message: Oh, shit. What now?

"So, mutants, how do you like being completely at my mercy?" Serena asked us coldly.

I didn't answer. I was too busy staring at the rest of my beat up flock. They didn't look so good. But thank God Natalca and Regan were waking up, and Madysyn and Iggy started blinking spastically not long after. I turned the other way and found Angel's beautiful blue eyes staring back at me, and another pair of the same blue eyes beside her. Gazzy. Beside them was a slowly stirring Nudge and disoriented looking J.J.

Then Serena brought my attention back to our situation.

"And now I'm going to kill you." Serena declared.

"But why?" I asked, trying to buy time.

"Why?" she cocked an eyebrow.

"Yes, why. The whitecoats brainwashed you, why not brainwash us?" I asked.

She blinked, and a thoughtful look came over her face. I wondered if I had just condemned us to become mindless robots.

"I honestly don't know. But I also honestly don't care. Because this way, I get to watch you die." Serena said, back to her evil witchy self. Then she turned to an Eraser beside her and snapped, "Give me your knife."

Huh, she had finally run out of her own. Look at that, we accomplished something! Make Serena run out of knives by getting stabbed: Check.

But then she was holding the dagger in her hands, and she looked determined, and murderous. Her dark hair was blowing in the wind, and the setting sun was casting shadows on her face. She looked like a dark angel or something. Except that Serena could never be called an angel. Slowly she walked over to me, gloating without even saying a word. Standing before me, she carefully positioned the knife over my heart, the sharp tip pushing slightly into my skin.

"Any last words before I drive this straight into your heart and kill you?" she asked it sweetly, like she was asking me if I would like a cookie, but her face was demonic.

In answer, I spat in her face. Reflex reaction. She hissed and brought the knife up, the blade glinting in the sunlight as if reminding me that knives were serious bad luck for my flock. Just as she stopped raising it, and as she prepared to plunge it into me, and I started to have déjà vu, a voice cut through the air, sharper than any knife Serena could have stabbed me with.

"Are you going to start without me?"

Like everyone else, including Serena, my jaw dropped wide open. I admit it. I recognized that voice, but I couldn't believe it. I didn't believe it. It was the same sometimes sweet, sometimes angry, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes caring voice that had started this whole thing by calling Iggy's name in his dream. But I still didn't believe it. So I turned and looked, expecting anything but what I saw.

I could barely make out her face, because the setting ball of fire we call the 'sun' was right behind her, outlining her body and casting the front side of her into shadow. But I could just barely make out a few details. She was dressed in the blue tank top and dark jeans that she had died in. Her long blonde hair was blown out around her head and behind her shoulders, looking like a golden halo. She stood tall and proud, legs straight and easy, arms folded across her chest, greeny-blue eyes flashing with flaring anger. The sun was setting behind her, and she stood directly in its glow, looking for all the world like an angry angel come down from heaven. Around her neck the sapphire necklace glinted and sparkled, reminding us what happened to her and how she should be in the ground.

But she sure as hell wasn't. Her skin was as tanned as always, and she was almost glowing. Definitely not a dead corpse.

And somehow I knew it wasn't a clone, either. No clone could ever capture that girl's…essence…like that. It really was her.


But there was no time to ask questions, because she was in motion. I think she knew from the start there was no chance of beating all the Erasers, but she was going to try. Fire raced from her outstretched arms to the hordes of Erasers, roasting them. As she whirled and spun and jumped and punched and kicked, I caught a glimpse of her wings. The right one looked fine, but the left was at an awkward angle and had dried blood crusted over the feathers.

"How…how…what…" Serena babbled in front of me.

"How what? How did I get out? Out of that stupid little cell you locked me in to waste away?" Shannon's angry voice snapped.

Serena just stared before saying, "You're a clone. You must be."

But Shannon wasn't answering anybody. She just kept shooting fire at everything in sight, excluding the flock. But I could also see how much the continuous flame was costing her. Her movements were less precise and less coordinated the more fire she used. Out of the several thousand that had originally attacked her, she had brought the number down to one or two thousand. And now she was spent, but still fighting.

"Give up." Serena commanded.

"Not likely." Shannon grunted, launching herself at Serena.

As they tumbled to the ground, Shannon wrenched one hand free and conjured a raging fireball. Just before she smashed it into Serena's face, ten or so Erasers pulled her off Serena. Serena still had the knife, so when she shot to her feet, she proceeded to slash Shannon's face, and then arms, and then legs, and then chest. But she didn't kill her. And all the while, Shannon was shooting fireballs at her, which she just dodged.

Once Shannon was sufficiently as beat up and bloody as the rest of us, Serena gave her one long glare before going back to me.

"Drop them." Serena commanded.

The Erasers dropped us. As my body hit the ground, I tried to get away, or move, or do something. I really did try. But it was no use. I couldn't move my own body. The blood pounding in my ears and the pounding of my own heart was almost equal to the pounding pain covering every inch of my body. But not quite. And it was almost loud enough to drown out the screams of my flock as Serena stabbed me. But, again, not quite.

I felt the knife slice through my skin, and then cut straight through the flesh underneath. I got a strange sense of déjà vu. Hm, I wonder why…

But I couldn't die. I just couldn't. I had to be there to get everyone else out. They were my responsibility. I couldn't let them be killed. I couldn't.


More than anything, anything at all, I had to save Fang. I had to stay alive so I could protect him. And how could I leave him alone without me? He'd fold in on himself, become an empty shell and probably never speak another word as long as he lived.


Fang, oh, god, I love you. I'm coming back, I am, I won't die. I can't. I'll come back. I'll save you and the others. I'll get us all out.


And then I felt the weirdest sensation tingling over my skin. All over me, from my toes to my eyelashes to every single cell in my body. It was like water was being poured over my body, water that was neither hot nor cold but was burning hot and ice cold at the same time. And all around me was black, and in my ears I could hear the sound you hear when you stick your head out the window of a car. Roaring, whistling wind.

Suddenly all the blackness disappeared, replaced by a scene. A familiar scene that I understood immediately. Serena was standing before Shannon with the dagger. Shannon was glaring at her defiantly, but she had tears streaming down her face. Not from fear or pain, but from grief. Her eyes flashed away from Serena, and I looked where she was looking and wanted to throw up. There was the body of Iggy, limp and pale.


Then Serena raised her arm, and I hurriedly looked away. I couldn't watch Shannon die a second time, thank you very much. But looking away didn't block the screams. And they weren't the screams of pain you'd expect to hear. They were screams of torture and immense mental pain. She'd watched every one of us die, including Iggy, who was like her soul mate, and Natalca, her other half.

Wherever I was, I was looking down at the scene, as if from the sky. And I couldn't close my eyes. So when I looked away from Shannon, I caught sight of the rest of my flock. Or their bodies, at least. All of them, everyone, dead. Limp, pale, motionless.

Including Fang. His black hair matted with blood and rivulets of blooding still dripping down his face, his body stretched out in a lunge, straight towards me. He must have tried to go to me, and Serena killed him. We were all dead. There was no second chance, no miraculous coming back to life, nothing. It was over, Itex had won. And maybe that was a good thing. We'd never have to run again. Never have to wonder where our next meal was coming from. We could have peace. Just give in one last time and let the rest of the world deal with Itex…

Let the rest of the world deal with Itex? What was I thinking? The rest of the world were civilians. The only people that could ever stand up to Itex was me and my flock. And we were dead, we'd lost, it was all over, and now the rest of the world would pay for our screw ups.

I felt worse than I ever had before. The world had depended on us, and we'd let them down….

Oh, Fang. You can't be dead. I love you.

That was my last thought before the absolute weirdest thing happened. A flash of bright light, and then there was a line connecting us all. A line of white light, shimmering and blinding. From me to Fang to Iggy to Shannon to Natalca to J.J. to Regan to Madysyn to Angel to Gazzy to Nudge and back to me. Our bodies were in a circle, and then the white light intensified until I couldn't bear to look at it anymore. Instead I concentrated on Fang's face. But then the line of light connecting us all grew bigger, and bigger, until it was like a wall. And it wasn't white. It was teal, and then dark blue, and then emerald green, and then black, followed by army green, stone grey, bright electric blue, bright orange, pink, light blue, coffee brown, and then straight white again.

About three seconds later, I heard a crackling in the air, and for the first time I noticed Serena standing in the circle of our bodies, looking clueless. Then the crackling got louder, and I heard one loud, sharp crack, like the clap of thunder right above your head. The wall of light slammed shut into a dome of flashing energy, enclosing Serena inside it along with the flock's bodies. Then suddenly it exploded, and all I could see was white light, zooming into every inch of space that I could see, in every direction. After the white light, there was just more blackness, until suddenly I could see again. But not up from in the sky like before. I was seeing the sky, the orange streaked clouds from the setting sun. And I could feel. I could feel the dry blood on my body and the earth under my back and hear leaves rustling in the wind. Slowly I sat up, not knowing where I was.

Heaven? Afterlife? The Other side?

But then I knew. This was not heaven or whatever. This was the real world. This was Earth. The bodies of the Erasers, and the charred ground was exactly as I'd left it. Wildly I looked around for everyone else, and was relieved when I saw them sitting up and staring around with the same disoriented disbelief on their faces as I'd felt on mine. Without a word I stumbled over to Fang. He silently held out his arms for me, and I gratefully tumbled to the ground again, letting him catch me and hold me to his chest and press his face into my hair. We didn't need words to express our relief and love and happiness that the other was alive. Once I was satisfied that I'd squeezed the life out of him, I lifted my face from his bloody chest and looked around. I saw Natalca and J.J. on the ground, holding each other and looking like they didn't plan to ever let go, with her arms tightly locked around his neck and his arms holding her close. Madysyn and Regan were actually about half-standing, and locked together in a close embrace that would put Romeo and Juliet to shame.

Angel, Gazzy, and Nudge looked speechless as they hugged each other. Then I looked around for our surprise guest and her boyfriend. In other words, Shannon and Iggy.

Finally I saw them standing about two feet apart, just staring at each other. Shannon's long blonde hair was blowing in her eyes, and Iggy slowly raised his hand to tuck it behind her ear. But he didn't drop his hand, he just left it there, and Shannon leaned her face into his palm. She looked like she was blissfully happy, like she couldn't care less about all the things in the last hour or two that didn't make an ounce of sense. He looked like he was in shock. Slowly Shannon lifted her own hand and laid it over Iggy's entwining their fingers, and then they both broke down. They fell to their knees in front of each other, knees touching. Then Shannon leaned forward and pretty much tackled him. Iggy managed to hold them upright and hold and kiss her at the same time, somehow. Normally, I would get mad at them for making out like this in front of the little kids, but right now it was only fair. Then Shannon pulled away and laid her head on his chest, her arms holding him tight and his face buried in her hair. When they finally parted and Iggy settled for just having his arm around her waist, they turned to us, and Shannon almost looked sheepish as she met my eyes. Slowly everyone came into one tight little group, everyone's eyes mainly locked on Shannon's face, the face they all thought they'd never see again. But now they were.

"Shannon?" Natalca asked weakly.

Shannon lifted a hand and gave a small wave. "Hi."

She didn't seem inclined to explain how the hell she was here, so I asked.

"Shannon, you were dead!" I blurted.

She looked at me. "Yeah, I was. I suppose you want to know how I'm here, huh?" When we all nodded, she continued, "Well, you were right, I did die. I went to the afterlife, and met Ari."

She seemed to be testing us, as if wondering how much we knew and how much needed to be explained.

"Ari told me that I wasn't supposed to have died. I was supposed to kill Taren without dying. But I screwed up" she gave a rueful grin "and got myself killed. So Ari told me that if I stayed dead, and I quote, 'Things won't happen the way they are supposed to and the whole world will die. Basically Madysyn won't have to save you, because you're not there to get in trouble, and that leads to more stuff I can't tell you without letting you know too much.' So the master of land did save me after all."

Shannon gave Madysyn a smile, which she returned happily.

"Then Ari sent me back. Sent me back to Earth, back into my body. Which was in a beautiful blue sapphire tomb, filled with things that let me know just how much you guys missed me. Thank you for that. I brought it all with me in my backpack. But anyway, I managed to use my fire to melt through the sapphire and get out, thankfully."

"And the hot drips Nudge saw was melted sapphire hitting you." Angel said suddenly.

Shannon looked at her. "How'd you know about that?"

"When Nudge touched your ring, she saw a whole bunch of things. One of them was something hot dripping onto her skin. Your skin. And your ring ended up in that School how?" I asked.

"I even have burn marks from that sapphire." Shannon rolled her eyes, gesturing at some burns on her arm. "As for the ring, I'll get there, okay? After I got out of the tomb, I knew you'd gone to Africa, so I flew there. When-"

"You flew there after cooling the sapphire and your skin with some water." Angel inserted. "You were thinking about it, that's how I know."

"Uh, yeah. When I got to Cairo, I got caught. They couldn't understand how I was alive, and didn't want to tell too many people, so they locked me away in a cell. Only Marian Janssen and Serena knew I was alive." Shannon stopped and looked at me. "And then I saw you running down that hall, and you needed something to stop the door. All I had to give you was my ring, so I threw it, and thankfully you caught it."

"Why the hell didn't you tell me you were there?!" I exploded.

"Because then you would have gotten caught, and I didn't want that. I found out about Serena going after you, so I broke out and came after you. In my brilliant escape plan, which was just break the bars down and run, my wing got shot. So that slowed me down quite a bit. I hijacked a jeep and drove most of the way here, and then I…well, I hit a tree, if you can believe that in this almost treeless place. I walked and ran the rest of the way here, and then I found Serena attacking you guys."

"When she stabbed me. I should have died." I realized.

"Yeah, that was me. I didn't have enough energy to heal you right then, just enough to keep you alive, which meant you went unconscious. Then when you came to, I healed you completely." Shannon explained.

"And the weird explosion of light there? The fact that we're alive? All that? Do you know about that, too?" I asked.

"Nope. Not a clue. Did everyone else see that, too?" Shannon asked.

"Yep. And did you notice how when the line of light changed colours, it was to colours specific to each of us? Like first it was teal, for Natalca, then dark blue, for Shannon, then emerald, for Max, then black, for Fang, then army green for Iggy, then stone grey for me, and then electric blue for Regan, orange for Madysyn, pink for Angel, light blue for Gazzy, and coffee brown for Nudge. What was up with that?" J.J. asked.

"Like somehow we saved each other." Fang commented.

Suddenly Shannon, Natalca, and Madysyn all said the exact same thing, saying, "We did."

Everyone else stared at them, with their crazy grins. And then I had a leap of intuition, and I cried, "The greatest syzygy!"

The three girls nodded like bobble-heads, and slowly looks of understanding dawned on everyone else's faces.

"So, basically what you're saying is that the greatest syzygy is male and female love?" Iggy asked, his brow furrowed.

"Yes, Iggy, exactly! My love for you, your love for me, Max and Fang's love for each other, J.J. and Natalca's love for each other, Madysyn and Regan's love for each other, and Angel, Nudge and Gazzy's love for everyone saved us. Like our love was too strong to be killed." Shannon exclaimed.

"Well, now, if you're all done celebrating, I can kill you." A voice interrupted us.

Serena? Seriously? Everyone just turned and glared at her. This was Shannon's fight.

"You and what army, Serena?" Shannon asked smugly.

She was right. The Erasers had been fried by the white light explosion. So why wasn't Serena dead?

"Just because the Erasers are gone doesn't mean I won't kill you, little sister." Serena hissed.

"I'd like to see you try."

Serena gave a screech and flew at Shannon. Shannon easily pinned her to the ground, her anger giving her strength.

"And now is my payback for everything you have done to me, and the flock, and for what a horrible mother you've been to Regan, and for being such a bitch!" Shannon yelled furiously.

And then Shannon sent a burst of flame straight at Serena. The flame was so hot that it vaporized her right on the spot.

No, it didn't. I'd like to say it did, but it didn't. But it did kill her, that's for sure. We all quickly turned away from the burning body and faced each other.

"Now can we please have a moment of peace for once in our lives?" I muttered.

I looked at Fang. At his perfect face, at his dark hair and olive skin and beautiful smile. Quickly I leaned over and pressed my lips to his, loving every second of it.

"I love you, Fang." I whispered.

"I love you, Max," he whispered back against my lips.

AWW! So cute!

Anyway, that was the final battle. At least for now…

IMPORTANT! I DARE YOU TO READ IT: There will be ONE more chapter after this one, just tying up loose ends and explaining whatever mysteries I've forgotten in this chapter. That will be the LAST chapter of Syzygy. BUT there will be a sequel. I'm not sure what I'll call it yet, but when I do know I'll post it here.

If anybody has any questions about something I forgot to explain, please tell me and they'll be explained in the next chapter!

Can you PLEASE review this chapter? It's kinda the MOST important chapter in the whole story….


22. Epilogue

Me again!! Duh. Anyway, this is the final chapter of Syzygy, and it has two twists I HOPE none of you are expecting.

NOtalka, be warned. There's lots of what you're always complaining about. It involves me an someone else…

Syzygy 22

"So now does that mean that the whole damn prophecy is done? That we're done saving the world?" I asked hopefully, not even sure who I was asking.

The prophecy is done, but there are Schools still standing, and Marian Janssen is still alive. The Voice told me. And if you believe anything, anything at all, believe this: There will be more prophecies. You can trust me on that.

What, I can't trust you on everything else?

Of course you can. I'm just trying to emphasize my point.

So we needed to continue on to the other Schools, and somehow take care of Marian Janssen.

Voice? Where is Marian Janssen?

I can't tell you that, Maximum. It would completely change the future, and yours is fragile enough already.

Oh, that's not depressing at all. I thought sarcastically. How do you know so much about the future, anyway?

Silence. Then, after I'd given up hope of an answer, it did answer, startling the crap out of me.

Because I'm in a very good place to see it quite clearly. And for once, I thought I could detect a bit of nervousness in its voice.

What do you mean? You're in my head, aren't you? I asked, confused.


Slowly, I thought, So you get a clear look at the future because you're in my head?

Yes, Maximum.

I could tell that from the tone of voice, it wasn't going to answer any more questions on the subject. So I changed topics. Only after he answered did I realize they weren't all that different.

Voice, where do the prophecies come from?

I can't tell you that either. So if anyone asks, I did not say what I'm about to say.

Okay, just hurry up and say it!

The prophecies come from you, Maximum.

For a moment I was speechless, and in that moment of silence, I noticed people were talking to me and waving their hands in front of my face.

"Guys, I'm talking to the Voice. Just wait a minute." I told them quickly.

What the hell do you mean, they come from me?! I exploded.

I told you your turn was coming, didn't I?

You mean… I couldn't even put my thought into words.

Yes. Your new power is being able to see the future, in a manner of speaking. You see what's going to happen and make the prophecies. Right now, it's subconscious. You don't even know you're thinking them. But I can hear them, and Itex can hear them in ways I won't tell you. You'll understand it better next time it happens.

Oh, cool!

Except that it was kinda weird. But it was better than nothing, right? It was something. And it was actually pretty cool. Seeing the future…

Then I snapped my mind back to reality and prepared to tell everyone else about my conversation with the Voice. Until I found Angel already telling them.

"…she can make prophecies! Like, she'll go into a trance or something and then say the prophecies! Oh, hi, Max!"

"Yeah, hi, Angel." I said, smiling.

She grinned back, and then everyone started asking questions about my power, which I didn't even understand very well myself. Once I'd finally convinced them that they knew as much as I did, I said, in a good mood, "Let's go to Kitui, like we originally were, and find a nice hotel there. We deserve it."

Everyone cheered, except for Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent, who just gave a small grin. Feeling like I was on top of the world, I leaped into the air, spreading my wings and soaring blissfully into the air, everyone following me just as happily. I was just about to say something when Natalca gave a laugh and said, grinning, "Uh, Max? What about Shannon?"

Oh, yeah. Her broken wing. Right. I glanced back at the ground and laughed when I saw what the resourceful invalid had done. Beneath us Regan and Madysyn were in wolf/panther form, and clinging to Regan's back was Shannon. Long hair whipping in the wind, body poised like she was a jockey on a racehorse. She looked up at us, and seeing that we were watching her, she gave us a big smile and lifted on arm to wave happily. We waved back, and then I think everyone realized just how lucky we were to be alive and started laughing and doing tricks and flips and doing everything someone as happy as we were would. Even Fang.

I put my arms out and did a few flips, laughing the whole way. Iggy nose-dived straight at Shannon and Regan, and Shannon got his intentions and stood up as high as she could, and as Iggy swooped by, he gave her a light kiss on the lips before soaring back up, and I thought I could almost see tears of happiness in his eyes. He'd just gotten Shannon back, I guess I didn't blame him. Madysyn gave a yowl and then leaped as high as she could into the air, batting her paws at an invisible object. Regan howled and leaped over a fallen tree, making Shannon yelp and then subside into laughter.

Fang flew up beside me, his face glowing with the same happiness that the rest of us were feeling.

"Everyone's so happy." I murmured.

"I wish we could always be like this."

He was right. How long would this last? Not long, I knew that.

"Yeah. So what do you think we should do now?" I asked.

"What do you mean? Max, we haven't won. All we did was get through the prophecy alive, foil their attempts to kill us, and kill Serena. Oh, and figure out your power. The whole 'saving the world' thing isn't over yet. Not until Marian Janssen is dead, and we've made certain that the whole company is dead and not ever coming back. And that may take a while." Fang told me.

I sighed. "I know. It just seems like we did something, like we won. But I know we haven't, not yet. But that doesn't mean I won't celebrate!"

I did a nose-dive at the ground, pulling up at the last second, and laughing at the head rush it gave me. Then I noticed that we had arrived at Kitui. I signalled for us to land, and we swooped down in an alley and then walked out, looking for a decent hotel. After much searching, we found a four star hotel that wasn't horridly over-priced. Once I'd managed to get us five rooms, we all went up to the third floor and piled into mine and Fang's room.

"So, Max, do you have my ring?" Shannon asked me.

"You bet I do." I reached into my pocket and then handed it to her. She happily slipped it onto her finger.

"So let me get this straight one more time." I began. "Nudge saw Ari, then a tunnel, then dark blue, then fire, then the drips, then water. Ari because you met him in the afterlife, but what was the tunnel?"

"Oh, I know. When Ari sent me back, I went through this really dark tunnel type thingy before I was back in my body. The dark blue was the sapphire tomb when I woke up, the fire was me burning my way out, the dripping was melted rock hitting me, and the water was me cooling myself off and the tomb, so I could grab everything from inside." Shannon explained. "Speaking of which…"

she reached into her backpack and one by one started bringing out the objects we'd left with her. First was my pinecone.

"Max." Shannon hugged me quickly.

Second was the black fang that Fang had put in.

"Fang." Shannon put her arms around him and hugged him, and to my surprise his arms came up and he hugged her to. Amazing.

Third was Angels's white bear, Celeste.

"Angel." Shannon gave Angel a hug and told Angel, "You can have her back if you want. I'm not exactly dead anymore."

Angel gave her a glare and said, "I gave her to you because I love you. I still love you, so she's still yours."

Woah. Determined little six year-old.

"Thank you, Angel."

Next was Nudge's pink hairclip.

"Nudge." Shannon grinned and hugged the younger girl.

Then came Regan's bright blue flower.

"Regan." Shannon said, hugging him and saying, "I'm ignoring the fact that you're my nephew."

Sixth was Gazzy's red wire.

"Gazzy." Shannon gave a fond smile and gave him a hug, too.

Then was J.J.'s stone flame.

"J.J." she laughed, going to him and hugging him.

And next was Madysyn's sand panther.

"Madysyn." Shannon laughed, hugging the tall brunette.

And then Natalca's bubble carving.

"It took me a lot of concentration to get this out without breaking it, Natalca." She told Natalca, hugging her quickly.

The last thing was the necklace Iggy had given her. She gently touched the sapphire before giving Iggy a long hug.

"Anybody want to play cards?" Gazzy asked excitedly.

Once everybody said yes, he brought a deck of cards out of his pocket.

"Where the heck did you get a deck of cards?" I demanded.

He just shrugged. Hm. Learning from Fang.

After a long and hilarious game of poker, the obvious winner had every single chip. Guess who that was. If you guessed Iggy, you're wrong. It was Fang. Of course he had the perfect poker face. No one could ever tell if he was bluffing or not. And whenever we tried to judge if Shannon was bluffing or not, she just started laughing at us. Every time. Her and Natalca made a conspiracy half way through, putting their hands together and pooling their chips. I told them that was cheating. They told me that was improvising.

"Okay guys, it's ten. Angel, Gazzy, Nudge, bed. And is it to much to ask that the rest of you will go to bed as well?" I wondered.

"Yes. Way too much." Shannon assured me.

"Dang. But we have a long flight tomorrow. We need lots of rest." I tried to reason with them.

Shannon wasn't moved. Neither was Natalca. Bu the others were, and J.J. and Iggy dragged the two girls off with them. As Iggy pulled Shannon out the door, I called to her, "Shannon, why can't you just heal your wing?"

Shannon paused to call back, "Because there's too many broken bones. I mean, I am healing it, right now, I was we speak. But it's taking a while, because pretty much every bone in the wing was shattered. It'll be better tomorrow, but I don't know if I'll be able to fly."

Then they left to their room, and I turned back around, only to collide with a wall. Except walls weren't warm and didn't smell like Fang. I looked up into his face and smiled, before he leaned down and I leaned up, pressing our lips together softly. I pulled away and climbed into the bed, and Fang followed me. Then I rolled so I was facing him, and restarted our make-out session, tangling my hands in his hair and pulling myself up onto his chest. I was so damn happy right then.

If only I knew…

Shannon POV

Iggy pulled me into the room after him, and I didn't resist. I was looking forward to be alone with him. Without a word he laid on the bed and pulled me down on top of him. I grinned before happily introducing our mouths to each other. Iggy snaked his arms around my waist, and I locked my hands behind his neck.

"Oh, god, Iggy. I missed you so much. It was the only thing that kept me going when I needed to find you guys." I whispered against his lips.

"I missed you too, love, more than you can imagine." Iggy murmured back.

I would have responded, but right then my lips and tongue got very busy. Carefully Iggy rolled over, pressing me into the bed and covering my body with his. Feeling bold and blissfully happy, I wrapped my legs around his waist. He moaned, and I smirked.

The next morning, I woke up and immediately felt around for Iggy.


Then I realized I could hear the shower running. Duh. He was in the shower. I sighed and rolled out of bed, then extended my wing so I could look at the damage, or what was left of it. The hole was gone, but it still hurt. Some bones were still broken, apparently, despite my healing.

Then the water shut off, and Iggy walked out, hair dripping wet, and body wrapped in a towel.

"Nice." I rolled my eyes.

He grinned, and I knew one of his infamous head-in-the-gutter remarks was coming. "Oh, come on, you like it."

"Uh huh, sure. Now get dressed." I commanded, walking into the bathroom myself and shutting the door. I looked in the mirror and sighed. My hair was a rat's nest, and it looked like it wasn't going to be fun getting the knots out. Great. I took my brush and tried to pull it through. Nothing doing. I gave up and settled for putting it in a bun.

"Ig, I'm coming out." I warned.

"You do that."

I pushed the door open and walked straight into Iggy's chest.

"Is there a reason you decided to stand directly in front of the door?" I asked.

"Well, mainly because I knew this would happen." He told me, putting his arms around my waist and kissed me quickly before opening the door and pulling me out after him.

In the hall Madysyn, Regan, Fang, and Angel were talking. When they saw us, Madysyn said, "We're waiting for everyone else to get up."

"I can see that. But why wait?" I said, giving an evil grin.

"I totally agree." Natalca said, emerging from her room and joining us.

"Shall we?" I asked her.

"Why not?" she grinned, and then we ran into Max's room.

We went up to her bed, and I smiled. She was fast asleep.

"3…2…1…" Natalca whispered.

On three, I sent a steady stream of water into Max's face, and Natalca levitated a pillow and whacked Max repeatedly with it. Of course, she was awake and giving us a death glare immediately.

"If you do not stop in two seconds…" she warned.

"Then what?" I asked playfully.

"Then I attack you both." She told me.

"Bah." Natalca scoffed.

"1,2!" Max counted Natalca-style, which was as fast as possible.

Then she leaped at as both, but Natalca just levitated her body into the air. Max glared down at her.

"Get ready to go for breakfast, and we'll leave you alone." I told Max.

Then we left.

Fang POV

Poor Max. Natalca and Shannon had gone to give her a wake up call. I could predict how that was going to go.

An hour later, we were all sitting at a table in the restaurant downstairs. Our waiter was a guy, and I immediately didn't like him. He was already hitting on Madysyn. Regan was seething.

"What can I get for the beautiful girl?" the guy asked, giving Madysyn a flirtatious smile.

"First, you can cut the flirting crap and do your job. I'll have pancakes." Madysyn snapped.

The waiter looked taken aback. Ha. He started to say something to her, but Regan cut him off.

"I'm her boyfriend. And I'm giving you one warning. Don't mess up again, kid, or you'll regret you ever met me." He snarled.

"And what'll you have?" the waiter asked meekly.


Then the waiter, James, his name tag declared, looked at Max, and gave her the same smile. My arm around her tightened.

"Don't even start." I hissed.

"I'll have the pancakes as well." Max said.

I think James got the message after that. None of these girls were single, thank you very much.

Another hour passed, and then we were in the air. Flying west, according to my handy built-in GPS.

"Max, where are we going?" I asked.

She gave me a smile and said, "Back to Nairobi. We're going to take a plane from there to Cape Town in South Africa. Then we're going to the amusement park there."

I was surprised. No, shocked.

"Max, are you feeling all right? You are voluntarily getting on a plane? And why are we going to that amusement park?" I asked.

She made a face and said, "Yes, I'm voluntarily getting on a plane. I hardly believe it myself. And we're going to the amusement park because the kids need a break. All of us need a break. And the last African School is in Piquetberg, which is right beside Cape Town. I figure a small detour won't hurt."

"Famous last words." I muttered.

But I agreed with her. The constant fighting and flying and even the emotional wear and tear, and the stress of all the crazy mysteries was wearing everyone down. It would be nice to relax a bit. One more hour, and we were in Nairobi again. I couldn't help but snicker when I remembered that annoying old man in the church. I wonder what he thought when the church blew up.

Using Angel's mind powers, we hopped on a plane to Cape Town. The flight was about three hours, and Max and Shannon were freaking out by the end. They shot off that plane once it landed like it was on fire or something. Which was very possible if you have jumpy Shannon around. Once everyone was off the plane and gathered on the streets of Cape Town, Max told everyone else why we were here.

"We're going to an amusement park." She said bluntly.

Everyone was enthusiastic, that was for sure. But I have to say that the most enthusiastic was not who you'd think it would be. It wasn't Angel. It wasn't Nudge. It wasn't Gazzy.

"Oh my God, Max, I love you! You're the best!" Shannon yelled, dancing around like she'd won the lottery.

I looked at her. "You like rides?"

"Yes! I love them! They're the best! The best kind are the upside down ones, and the roller coasters, and the Slingshot." Shannon smiled.

"Okay then…." Max said, leaning away from her.

"Yeah, she loves rides. She goes on all the crazy ones, the upside down, throw you around, plummet at the ground, scream your head off, puke when its over kind. Except she's weird, because she doesn't scream. She laughs. Like a maniac. And she's never thrown up from a ride as long as I've known her." Natalca roller her eyes.

"Yup, that's me." Shannon giggled.

"Oh, god. A wired Shannon is a scary thing. At least Natalca's not hyper." Max groaned.

"Yet. Just get me some sugar, and Shannon and I will be four years old again." Natalca assured her.

"Let's go. Before my common sense returns."

"What common sense?" Natalca, Shannon, and Madysyn all jibed at exactly the same time.

"Hardy har har." Max rolled her eyes.


I rolled my eyes at them, but inside I was smiling and laughing. They were quite funny, those three girls.

"So. Does anyone happen to have any idea where Ratanga Junction is?" I asked.

Everyone looked at me like I'd grown horns.

"That's the name of the amusement park." I explained.

They relaxed. But no one volunteered any directions. Except Shannon. And I wasn't sure whether to listen or not, with the hyped up state she was in. Turned out it was a good thing I listened.

"It's that way. Past that big building there, over that hill, past the lake in the middle of the city, and there we are." She said matter-of-factly.

I stared at her, as everyone else did. "Shannon." I asked carefully, wondering if she'd gotten another power, or what. "How do you know?"

She raised an eyebrow and smirked, saying smugly, "Just because I'm hyper doesn't mean I'm an idiot. Try reading that sign."

I looked where she was gesturing and internally banged my head on a table. I was so stupid. There was a huge sign that showed a map of the city, and where Ratanga Junction was. Shannon burst out laughing at my expression. I stuck my tongue out at her.

After about half an hour of walking and jogging and a few, well, no, several wrong turns, we were finally inside Ratanga Junction. Everyone was looking around with awe clear on their faces. Even me. Even Fang. It looked pretty darn cool. Roller coasters, go karts, bumper cars, water slides, everything.

"Okay. Who likes the crazy rides, and who likes the slower rides? I think we should split into two groups, and then join at the end and do the good ones over again. Sound good?" I asked.

Everyone nodded. In the end, the two groups were Shannon, Iggy, Natalca, J.J., Fang and I going to the crazy fast rides, and Madysyn and Regan said they'd go with Angel, Gazzy, and Nudge to the slower rides.

My group set off to the roller coasters, and I smiled in anticipation.

"Let's go on that one!" Shannon said excitedly, pointing to a ride.

My smile disappeared, and then I sighed and smiled again, giving in. She was pointing to the absolutely scariest ride in the whole damn park. It was called Hades, and it was a roller coaster/haunted house. I wasn't worried about the haunted house part, but I was worried about the seatbelt in pitch-black darkness part. Talk abut mutant bird kid nightmare. Oh well.

"Okay, let's go!" I cried, breaking into a dead run towards the line.

The huge, long, line. It would take freaking forever! Then I looked at Fang and got an idea.

"Fang, go invisible and sneak into the line. Then we'll come and claim you've been there the whole time and was holding a spot for us." I commanded him.

He grinned and disappeared from view. I waited until I saw him become visible again in front of a man who had his back turned and probably wouldn't even notice. And if he did, I wished him good luck getting Fang out of that line. I grinned and ran beside the line, ducking under the metal bar and joining Fang, explaining to the other disgruntled people that 'he was there the whole time! He was saving us a spot in line!' And they didn't argue. Good for them. We were a pretty big group, and teenagers at that. There was one other group of teenagers, a group as big as us, three guys, three girls. I saw one of the guys eyeing us, as if weighing the odds of winning a fight against us. I watched as his eyes travelled over Fang, Iggy, and J.J., with their tall, muscled bodies. I knew he probably thought they were a bigger threat than Shannon, Natalca, and I, but he had three girls that would be no prob for just one of us, never mind three. Actually, every one of us could easily take the whole group.

"Six more!" The attendant at the front called.

Our group jumped forward and through the little gate thingy, Shannon and Iggy happily taking the front car, Natalca and J.J. behind them, and Fang and I behind them. With a jolt, the ride started, beginning with a straight down drop into blackness, making the two girls behind Fang and I scream. At the bottom of the drop, I saw the bright white flash, and laughed. It had taken a picture. But my voice was whipped away as the ride pulled up and then rocketed on a straight-away, before coming to a bone-jarring halt. Mist seeped out from under doors, and disembodied moans floated out from hidden speakers. Then two sets of doors flew open with a bang, making the girls behind me squeal in fright. Out of the doors to mummies fell out, stopping inches from my face.

I was unimpressed. Oh well. It was fun, just not scary. And I could hear Shannon and Natalca laughing, and I figured they were laughing at the fakeness of it all. Then suddenly the train of cars shot forward, on a crash course of spirals and loops and drops and things that I have no name for. It was pretty good.

After that ride, we went on one called the Riptide. We managed to sneak to the very front of the ride, so we didn't actually know what the ride was until we were strapped in. Except for Shannon. She said she'd been on this one once before, and that I was just going to love it. That meant that she wasn't telling me something, and that I was going to kill her for reasons I did not yet know. Never a good thing. We were all in a line, side by side, and then it started. It raised us into the air, and then our seats started spinning. We went high into the air, and then we started swinging around in big loops. Once, twice, three times around, before a voice through a speaker asked, "Are you ready?"

A few girls screamed a 'yes', and then I saw what the surprise was seconds before it hit us. Jet streams of water shooting fifty feet into the air, each fountain feet thick, so there was no hope of not getting drenched as we sped towards the water. It was ice cold as it hit my body, instantly soaking us all. Once through, I screamed, "Shannon, I am going to KILL you!!"

I heard a laughing, "I know!" before we were put through what felt like a washing machine again. It went on like that a few times before stopping and letting us off. Once we were back onto the cement ground again, I stalked over to Shannon, expecting her to take off running.

"Yes, Max?" she asked sweetly.

"You are dead." I hissed, charging at her.

That's when she decided to run. She sprinted away from me, weaving through the crowd, all of us racing after her. I guess I wasn't the only one angry about getting wet. Natalca had a death glare plastered across her face, and Fang looked murderous. But I'd lost sight of Shannon. Natalca closed her eyes and then gestured at a hedge. She was hiding in a hedge? Not very original. But we ran over to it anyway, and Shannon shot out from it and started racing away from us again. Then Fang went invisible, and I saw his plan. There was a hill in the middle of the park, just a small one, with a ride on top. Shannon was running around one side, and I knew Fang was taking off around the other side, going to head her off. The rest of us went the same way Shannon had, so we wouldn't tip her off. When we rounded the corner, I saw Fang, holding Shannon's arms pinned to her sides from behind, and her snarling something in his ear that made him laugh. We ran up, and I glared at her and said, "That was not smart, Shannon. And if we weren't surrounded by civilians, I would kill you."

"If we weren't surrounded by civilians, Fang would be on fire right now." Shannon retorted.

"I think I know what we should do to her." Natalca grinned evilly.

Shannon just looked at her defiantly.

"Is there a problem here?" A security guard suddenly appeared behind Fang, looking down at him severely.

"Can you tell him to let go of me?" Shannon put on a fake girly-girl voice and batted her eyelashes at him. I wanted to smack her.

"Young man, let go if the young lady immediately!" the guard growled.

Fang let Shannon go reluctantly and folded his arms across his chest.

"Will you be okay, or should I have a talk with him?" the guard asked, not-so-discreetly laying his hand on the hilt of his baton.

There was a glint in Shannon's eye, and I thought she was going to say yes, you should, but then it faded and she shook her head, saying sweetly, "No, we'll be okay."

The guard nodded and left. Fang glared at Shannon. She gave him a sweet smile and said, still in her fake, high-pitched, girly voice, "How can you look at me like that? You were hurting me!"

Then she started laughing, and I couldn't help it. I shook my head and started laughing as well. Fang just sighed, and Iggy rolled his eyes. Natalca and J.J. started laughing.

"Where now?" I asked, looking around for another ride.

And so passed that night. When we met up with the others, we only had about ten minutes before the park closed, only enough time for one ride. We chose the go-karts. Guaranteed fun on a track as complicated as the one here was. Once all eleven of us were each seated in a car, the guy lifted the pylon, and we were off in a cloud of dust and screech of tires. Each one of us had it floored and was still trying to coax more speed out of the little cars. I had been in the front of the line, with Fang beside me, and we were neck and neck. I glanced over at him, just in time to see him wrench the wheel over and ram me into the side.

"Hey!" I shouted at him, grabbing the wheel and slamming him into the side as well.

Since my car was pressed up against his, there was an opening for a car to slip through. Natalca saw it and zipped through before I could close the opening. Behind me I heard a reckless yell, and then Shannon nudged, no, pushed my car aside and wormed her way between Fang and I, zooming up beside Natalca. The two of them glanced at each other, narrowed their eyes, leaned over the wheel, each trying to get even an inch ahead of the either, both without any success.

I slammed my foot down on the accelerator, hoping I could convince the car to go faster. Fang was pulling ahead, slightly. All right. If speed wasn't going to work, I'd have to use cunning. As we came up to a hair pin turn to the left, I drove the car right along the edge, then hugging the rail on the turn, gaining some ground on Fang, and catching up a little to the still tied Shannon and Natalca. Around some more turns and loops and up a few ramps, and I got frustrated. Which meant I got rough. I slammed my car into Shannon's bumper, pushing her into the wall. She furiously turned her wheel and hit me back, and then Natalca joined the fun, hitting me and making me hit Shannon, who hit Fang. Fang gave a growl and shoved Shannon, who hit me, and then I hit Natalca. It looked like it was going to be a tie, until Iggy came up beside Shannon, barely squeezing through. Shannon rammed him and he rammed her back, making all of us hit each other with the domino effect. That's when I saw the finish line up ahead, and the track got a heck of a lot wider, which meant Madysyn and Regan could squish in our little cavalry line as well. More competition. Great.

The only evidence we were even there was the cloud of dust behind us and screeches of metal grinding metal. Everyone was determined to win. We were all bent over the steering wheels, hair whipping back in the wind, eyes narrowed against the wind and flying dirt.

Twenty feet…come on, faster…ten feet…gogogogogo!…across! And I had no idea who won, it had seriously looked like a tie. We were all still arguing when an irate ride attendant came stalking over, his face beet red and furious. We looked at him questioningly.

Turns out we were all disqualified for 'rough play' and kicked out for the remainder of the night. Which was five minutes. Outside the gates, we waited for Angel, Gazzy, and Nudge, all of us still wired and hyper, laughing and smiling about nothing in particular. When the kids came out, we started walking on through the parking lot, and then I looked at Fang, feeling like we deserved some alone time. Since that seemed quite unlikely in the current circumstances, and I was feeling bold, I leaned over and kissed him on the mouth, not caring that people were watching us. I heard the rest of the flock collectively say, Awww!, and Gazzy yell disgusting!, but not even that could disturb me at the moment. I really didn't care.

Until I heard a sharp bang and thought someone was shooting at my flock. I quickly pulled away from Fang and looked around, then realized that the crazy display of colours in the sky was fireworks, signalling the end of the night at Ratanga Junction. If it was possible, my mood bounded even higher, and I felt like I was soaring in the sky, enjoying the bliss that was sometimes overshadowed with fear of getting caught by pursuers.

"And that completes it." Fang murmured, voicing the thought every one of us was thinking.

It was perfect. For once in my life, I was happy. I had no niggling concerns in the back of my mind. No concerns, no worries, just peaceful happiness. I wished we could always be like this. Always have no fear, just be happy and deal with what came at us with humour.

And I wished that feeling could have lasted a hell of a lot longer than it did.

THE END!!! The end of Syzygy!! PLEASE tell me what you thought of it as a whole! Thank you.

The next story, the sequel, will be called either Ebony Moon or Immortal Moon, one of the two. Watch for it! I'll post a thingy here when the first chapter is up, okay?

I can't believe it's over. And I'll probably still be thinking about it all the time. *sigh*

And a big hand to all these people, especially MaximumTwilightRider and NOtalka. I think you know why.



girl you don't know (awesome pen name, whoever you are!)

By Grace Alone

Black Blood Crimson Roses




Janelle (how ya doing, sis?)




Alex Ride







And this chapter is dedicated to , because they're awesome. They gave me such great reviews, and stuck with me for the whole story. Thank you!!

23. AN

The sequel will be called Ebony Moon! Watch for it! And I'm trying to hurry, really, I am! But my keyboard isn't currently working, I'm lucky I can even get this up!


24. AN again

The first chapter of Ebony Moon is up!