| INCOMPLETE FANFICTION
This fanfiction has not yet been finished.
Is Maximum Ride really forever?
Angie IV has always longed to leave the cold, incapacitating land of whitecoats, clones, and other copies of herself. Now armed with the mission to capture the flock for Jeb's third clone, she finally has the chance.
But will she go through her mission? Or will the product of the School always find a way to escape?
Takes place after Maximum Ride Forever.
Part 1: Forever Edit
"Hello?" Max said, walking into the large, dark room. They said there was someone there she wanted to meet
In the center of the room, there was a girl, about five years old. She had curly blond hair and blue eyes, but the strangest things were the swan-like white wings on her back.
"Hi Max," the younger girl said. Everything about her, her face, hair, voice, was exactly like Angel's. Except for one thing.
"Goodbye, Max," the little Angel said. She moved faster than seemingly possible, and before Max knew it, the little Angel had jumped up and planted a solid kick on Max's forehead.
Whitecoats descended from the shadows. One human-avian hybrid down, six more to go.
"Nice one, Angie IV," Jeb's third clone complemented.
"Let me capture Phoenix," Angie IV said. "Don't let another Angie take her."
"Of course," Jeb's clone promised, waking away with Max's body bag.
But Angie wanted to leave. She wanted to meet the real Angel. And she wanted to kill all of Jeb's clones for all the original Jeb did against the Flock.
I woke up the way I usually do. I got out of bed, go dressed, and jumped out the window and off the cliff.
You probably think I'm totally insane, but Mom decided she wanted to live at the top of a cliff, so we have to jump off to get breakfast.
I flew to the town square, which is pretty much right under my cliff. I went to Iggy's shop and bought plate of pancakes, with plenty of syrup.
"Good morning, Phoenix," Iggy greeted. He's almost like an uncle to me, and I love him.
"Hi Iggy. How's your day going?" I asked. Suddenly his face turned dark.
"Have you seen your mother today? No one has seen her this morning," Iggy informed me.
I shivered. "What do you mean?" I asked. Even though I'm only six years old, this didn't sound very good to me.
"She's probably run off to do something," Iggy admitted. He didn't look anymore relaxed.
"I'll go ask Dad," I said, flying off to find him.
What happened to Mom anyway? I thought as the wind whipped through my black hair. It seemed impossible that anything could happen to her. Maximum Ride was the stuff of legends, the invincible leader that saved the world. Okay, I'll admit that that is mostly legend, and I'm sure Mom didn't do half the things the boys tell me, but she couldn't get hurt, could she?
It suddenly started raining. I looked around, realizing that dark clouds had covered my field of vision, and I had no idea where I was.
Then I heard the voice of a younger girl from behind me.
"Please Phoenix, help me. Don't let them find me, please. My life depends on this."
Max opened her eyes to see the bars of a cage. She thought she'd never see that sight again, since even the whole world had ended.
"Hi," a young Angel-looking girl said. She had a whitecoat behind her.
"What are you doing to me!!" Max screamed. "Who are you people?"
"You can call me Angie II," the Angel-looking girl replied. "Come."
The whitecoat unlocked the door to Max's crate, and Angie II guided her out. She was surprisingly gentle, for a minion of the School.
They led her out into a hallway, and into another room, this time without any dog crates. The whitecoat left and locked the door, but Angie II stayed.
"He's gone," Angie II whispered. She looked relaxed.
"What do you mean?" Max puzzled. "Is that a good thing?"
"Jump and hit that fire alarm," Angie II instructed, pointing. "That will release all the locks and we can get out."
"Get out? What do you mean? Are you trying to trap me?" Max asked.
"The fire alarm. We can leave," Angie II insisted.
Max thought it over. Escape was important, but how much did she trust this Angel clone, especially since she captured Max. "How do I know I can trust you?"
Angie II shrugged. "You don't really have a choice. But if we get caught, it's my fault, I promise."
Max hit the fire alarm, and all hell broke loose.
I looked behind me and saw a young version of Auntie Angel. She looked bruised and beaten, with a distressed look on her face.
"Please, Phoenix, don't let them hurt me," the young Angel begged. "You know how they're monsters."
I took her hand, and together we slowly landed. The wind started to pick up, and she gave me her jacket.
"No, please, you look like you need it," I said, stroking her wet wings. "Who's going to hurt you?"
The look of terror on the young Angel's face made me wish I hadn't asked. "Whitecoats."
The air seemed to get colder around us as I heard that. "Whitecoats?" I whispered.
I'd always thought Whitecoats were monsters Uncle Gazzy and Iggy made up to scare me. I never knew they were real.
The young Angel nodded fiercely. "Yes. Do you know anywhere to hide?" she asked me.
I looked around, and spotted the caves where Uncle Gazzy brought me to play. "Over there," I said, pointing to the dark shapes in the mountain a maybe fifty meters away.
We trudge through the thickening rain, the water like needles on my exposed skin.
"Are you sure you don't want my jacket?" young Angel asked again.
I shook my head. "Let's get you out of this rain.
We reached the biggest cave just as a streak of lightning flashed, followed almost immediately by the boom of thunder. "What are you going to do now?" I ask the young Angel.
"As soon as I can, I'm going to rescue the one they call Maximum," she said firmly. "I only captured her so they'd let me go, but only after did I know that she's really nice."
My mind spun. Mommy had been captured, like by Whitecoats? "Wait, what? How's that possible? Bring me with you," I shouted at her.
"Slow down," she advised. "First, my name is Angie IV. Second, we can't fly out there in the rain. I'd kill us with the leftover acid and radiation." She said it so mater-of-factly that I didn't know what to say.
"Let's just rest, since you're coming with me," Angie IV decided. "You might want to tell Fang where you're going, so he doesn't have a heart attack."
No Longer Home Edit
As soon as the rain paused, I left the cave. "Wait for me here," I told Angie. "I shouldn't take too long."
She nodded briskly. "Good luck."
I leaped into the air, unfurling my black wings. I soared quickly, reaching the city in a few minutes.
I ran across the town, bursting into Uncle Iggy's shop. His eyes look towards me, even though he shouldn't be able to see me. He's blind, you know.
"Uncle Iggy, where's Dad?" I asked him as soon as I saw him.
He looked confused. "Fang said he went back home to find you," Iggy said. "He hasn't come back."
I jumped almost straight up, reaching my little arm out to catch the sill of my window. I beat my wings hard, rising up the sheer cliff face. I grabbed the edge of my window sill and swung myself into the open window. I always keep that window open.
I looked around my room, but Dad was no where to be found. I ran out, heading for his and Mom's room.
"Dad, are you here?" I called. He wasn't there either. I headed down stairs.
"Dad," I yelled while descending down the stairs in twos. "I'm here now. I need to tell you something."
My voice echoed in the hall, the only sound responding. I leaped down the last five steps. Where was Fang, anyway? He couldn't be gone, could he?
I ran into the kitchen, still calling. "Dad, come on, where are you?" I shouted frantically.
I turned around and saw a boy standing in the doorway. He was probably around twelve years old.
"Hi," the boy answered. He had long dark hair and eyes that were too familiar.
"W-what? W-who are you?" I stuttered.
"I am the one who will take Fang away," he promised.
Max leaped out of the room faster than a missile. The alarms screeched loudly, making her heart beat faster and faster. Lights flashed, making Max dizzy, but she didn't care. She kept running, not even checking if Angie II had followed. At the end of the hallway stood a big door labeled "Fire Exit: Alarm Will Sound."
Not that that mattered. Every alarm was already blaring, and it wasn't like every whitecoat wasn't heading towards Max. She had no time to lose. She ran into the wall at top speed, the door crashing open.
And she ran directly into Jeb Batchelder. At least, someone who looked a lot like him, because he was dead, wasn't he?
Angie II stopped behind Max. She grabbed Max's sleeve, just like Angel would have done when she was that age. "Max, why?" she asked in a small voice.
"Everything will be alright," Max whispered back. She stared at Jeb, at the eyes she knew too well, at the welcoming smile that he always had when she was little. At least, back then, Max knew that smile was genuine.
"Wise thing to say, Max, since even I'm fine, despite what your friends did to me," Jeb said. He grabbed Max's other hand, and immediately she flinched, pulling her whole body back.
"Don't touch me, you, you spawn of Satan!" Max yelled. She turned back to see whitecoats surrounding her. Spread throughout, little Fangs and Angels were smiling smugly. Only Angie II was scared, maybe because she had aided in this disaster. "Oh, ah…"
Angie II gripped Max's hand really hard, and a single thought rang through Max's head. "JUMP!"
Angie II sprang upwards, and Max followed, unfurling her wings in the tight space. Instead of crashing into the roof, she ascended into an open vent. Angie II continued ascending until there was an intersecting pipe, and then she landed.
"I'm not exactly sure where these end, but well find a way out at some point, right?" Angie II flashed that childish optimistic smile.
“I sure hope you’re right…” Max said, sighing.
Falcon II Edit
"Hi, Phoenix," the boy said. He looked suspiciously like Dad if Dad was twelve years old.
"W-what a-are y-you doing here?" I asked him. He shook his head.
"I can't take you, that's Angie IV's job," he replied. I stood there, suddenly frozen. I remembered Angie IV's face, scared and desperate. She wouldn't turn me in, would she? I'll have to go back and find out.
"You're not taking anyone," I said recovering from the shock. "We're not that easy to take."
"Angie IV took Max," the boy said, as if trying to unnerve me.
I already knew that. "Yes, but that doesn't matter," I quipped, jumping back. I grabbed the handle of the sliding door, and opened it, leaping into the backyard. With that, I flew into the air.
Please, Dad, stay away. Don't let this psychopath take you away, I urgently though. I counted to three before I heard his response.
Phoenix, you're safe. I was so worried about you, he thought.
Where are you? I'll come and find you, I respond. Don't come here. It's not safe. There's a weird guy who looks like a twelve-year-old version of you who claims he's going to take you away.
I'm at Nudge's house. Angel's there, and so is Iggy, he thought. Did you find out where Max was?
I shook my head, even though he wouldn't have seen it. Um, a friend of mine said they took her. I'm not sure where.
Bring your friend," Dad suddenly added.
Are you sure? I asked.
Positive. Where is your friend?
I know where she is. I'll go get her, I decide.
Thank goodness the rain had stopped. My wing muscles already hurt from whatever chemicals were in the rain from earlier.
I took the familiar path to the mountains, glancing behind me every so often to make sure there weren't any weird clones following me. The sun seemed to stay in the sky, thank goodness, and the rain didn't look like it was coming back anytime soon. I soon as I touched down on the ledge outside my cave, Angie IV tackled me in a hug.
"You came back!" Angie IV squealed. I hugged her back.
"Of course I did," I said. "Dad said you can come."
She looked surprised. "Did you tell him who I was?"
I bit my lip. "No. But you're a good guy, so it's fine," I assured.
"He might not see it like that," Angie pointed out, staring at her feet.
"I'll convince him," I said. "Come on, let's go." I pulled her out to the ledge and jumped off, pulling her with me.
"Hey," she squealed, pulling out her fluffy white wings in a hurry. "That wasn't nice."
"Let's hurry," I said. "We don't know when that weird Fang clone will find Dad."
"The one responsible for Fang is named Falcon II," Angie IV said. "He's such an asshole."
"What does that mean?" I asked. I'd only heard Max say it once, and she wasn't exactly in the mood of explaining anything at the time.
"Don't worry about it," Angie replied, flying towards the general direction of town.
"Okay," I said as I guided her to Aunt Nudge's house.
Max's Escape Edit
That's all Angie II thought. Run as fast as you can. Run as far as you can. Keep Max's hand in yours. Run, run away from the School, from the resurrected Jeb, from the resurrected Ari who only ever treated us as playthings. School is hell. Save Max above all things, Angie II thought, trying to convince herself that she wanted to go against her programming, that she needed to go against her programming. Run, run, RUN!
"Do you know where we're going?" Max asked.
Angie II looked behind her to make sure that was Max, and not someone else.
"No," Angie answered simply, looking for any exit markings above doors. "I'm just as much a prisoner here as you were."
"But you're their personal hit men!" Max exclaimed. "You were allowed to roam and capture me!"
"That wasn't me," Angie II said, taking a right. Max followed. "That was IV. She's different..."
Angie looked behind her, staring hard at Max while trying to keep her pace. "After she captured you, she was told to take Phoenix. Alive."
"Phoenix? My baby?" Max asked. "No! She can't!"
"And she won't. Turn left, I think this way leads out," Angie responded, turning back around to check that they were where they needed to be. "We had a plan. Well, Angie IV, VII, and Falcon III, V, VI, and I did. The others are beyond our control. Angie IV was told to take you so we could gain the Whitecoats' trust, but after that, we are sworn to protect you. And all other recombinant life-forms. After all, we have more in common with you guys than you think."
Max was silent. Angie II looked behind her again to check she was there.
They reached the end of a hallway and pulled open a huge heavy door. Light blazed in from the outside world. Outside light. It's so beautiful, Angie II thought. It dances, it shines, it-
"Now what?" Max demanded. "Where are we going?"
"Now we're out. It's your turn," Angie II said. "I've only been out once before."
"Okay then, follow me," Max said.
Max immediately jumped into the air. She always felt more safe in the sky. After all, she was designed to fly.
Angie II followed hesitantly, apparently not as accustomed to flight as Max was. Fine with me, Max thought. She didn't fully trust the Angel clone, anyway.
Max looked down, finding no familiar landmarks around the School building. "Are we in Death Valley?" Max asked.
"No," Angie II replied. "We aren't in what used to be California. We're on one of the other islands, near the one you live in. California's been uninhabitable for years."
Max nodded, remembering the stupid underground base they stayed in for the first few years of her daughter's life. Phoenix, Max realized. Where is she? Is she safe?
"Um, what is Angel like?" Angie II asked.
"Excuse me, what?" Max asked.
"Could you tell me about Angel?" Angie II asked again. "I've never met her before, but I've always dreamed of meeting the original."
Max remembered the young Angel, the six year old Angel, the girl that she loved the best. So innocent, so perfect, so mischievous. Then she changed. Max didn't know who to talk about, her Angel, or the leader of the world Angel.
"Angel, she's a mischievous girl, partly because she could read minds," Max said.
"That's one trait they didn't let me have," Angie II said wistfully.
They. She's always talking about they, Max thought. "Angel is my favorite member of the Flock, well, other than Fang and my baby," Max said, deciding to talk about the old Angel, the Angel she knew. "Before Phoenix, Angel was my baby."
"Jeb said you were very protective of Angel," Angie II said. "He said the best way to bait your flock was to capture Angel, until that wasn't possible anymore. Then the best way was to capture you."
"Wait, capture me?" Max squeaked. "Does that mean...?"
"They're planning on capturing your whole town," Angie II said without hesitation. "Starting with you."
Max couldn't believe what she was hearing. "You mean the Flock are coming. Right now?"
Angie II nodded. "Most likely. It was all part of the plan." She stopped just behind Max. "That is why we must get back to your island as soon as possible. It is about a day's travel by boat."
"Flying is faster," Max said hesitantly. At least she hopped.
"Let's get going then," Angie II said, flying ahead. Apparently, she did know the way.
After Phoenix ran off, waiting for her to come back felt like an eternity. And the others were definitely not helping.
Fang paced around Nudge's tree house until she made him stop. And even then, his nervousness didn't go away. He let Nudge do all the talking, as usual.
"Angel, can you hear Phoenix?" Nudge asked. "If you can hear her, maybe you can keep track of where she is."
"Nudge, it doesn't work that way!" Angel screamed. Angel was so much less agreeable now. Quickly, Fang cast that thought out of his mind before Angel punished him again for having disagreeable thoughts. Though she promised she wasn't spying in everyone's head anymore, there was still that trained fear, that sudden scare of disappointing Angel.
"Angel, please, do something. I cannot imagine Phoenix being captured. Imagine what Max would think?" Nudge ranted.
"I'm doing way more than you can imagine," Angel bit back. "And I'm pretty sure Max has been captured, so don't get me started on what she's thinking."
Nudge did talk too much, but in times like this, Fang didn't just prefer Nudgechannel to silence. It was the only way he could keep his sanity.
Of course, he would never tell Nudge that. If he did, she'd never, ever shut up.
Please, just have Nudge shut up. I can't find her through all the noise, Angel begged to Fang. Her blue eyes looked up at him and for that second, Fang almost thought Angel hadn't changed. That she was still the sweet, semi-creepy little girl who cuddled in Max's lap. But the steel that followed the eye contact reassured him that that was definitely not the case.
"Nudge," Fang muttered. "Please. A little peace."
"Fang, you remember where she said she was?" Nudge nudged.
Fang rolled his eyes. "I told you already, She didn't tell me where she was."
Nudge wasn't convinced. "Areyousure? 'Cause-"
"SHUT UP!" Iggy yelled, getting off the couch and expertly maneuvering to the fridge. He grabbed something small and sweet-smelling and stuffed it into his mouth without another word.
"Iggy, the stress eating..." Angel started. Iggy waved her off.
"I know, I know. Stop bothering me." Iggy walked next to Fang and sighed. "You think your little girl can find her way back? 'Cause honestly, that's all that matters. No mind tricks could help her if she was lost." Angel shot him the bird.
Fang nodded. "She's coming. I know it."
Iggy's sightless eyes cut through Fang. "Are you sure?"
Fang stopped. He was sure, right? He had faith in his little girl, his little Phoenix, right? "Yes," Fang decided. "She will find us."
"If you believe it," Iggy said, "I'll believe it, too."
To be continued...