| INCOMPLETE FANFICTION
This fanfiction has not yet been finished.
Now that Max is dead, the new generation of bird kids is losing hope. To solve that, scientists have made new mascots to replace the Flock, and with the power to control them, too. Sad for them, the prized bird girl escapes. Guess what, she's also a Minddrinker.
Ava Memory has never left the School before. She and her friend, Ian Kane, were created in the School and had lived there all their lives. That is until Ava leaves.
This takes place about 200 years after Nevermore, not accounting for Maximum Ride: Forever. This also involves a sci-fi series written NOT by James Patterson, known as the Voyager Agency. In case you didn't know, Minddrinkers are people who can read minds and shape-shift. Most cannot fly, though. Enjoy!
P.S.: If you want to read more about Voyager Agency, there's a handy-dandy website you can visit: http://stopazwolf.weebly.com/voyageragency.html.
Prologue: The Wrong Idea, to be Kind[edit | edit source]
One The day Maximum Ride died was the worst. She was a leader, a role model, and the only hope any other human-avian hybrids had for being normal. Basically, the whole of the human-avian hybrid society lost hope the day Max died. Still, not all human-avian hybrids gave up hope. Two human-avian hybrid scientists (go ahead and laugh, I know how ridiculous that sounds) created two bird kids, both having the power of Minddrinkers, and having the power to transform their appearance and powers to match the original bird kids, Maximum Ride, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, The Gasman, and Angel. The two tributes were made, one female posing as Max, Nudge, and Angel, and one male posing as Fang, Iggy, and Gazzy. They would be made to be able to transform into any of the bird kids they represented. They were raised outside of society to protect them. The spot that was chosen was Death Valley, California, eight miles north of the Bad Water Basin. The Avian Memorial Project was born. Of course, such an amazing achievement could not avoid setbacks, could it?
Two "Look at Female Subject Twelve. It's not dead yet!" James shouted excitedly. It had been two months since they created the twelfth female embryo for the project. Two months of grueling effort to keep this twelfth female embryo alive. The last eleven died before getting to this stage, and James Anderson, the head of the Avian memorial project, did not want to see another wasted opportunity. Besides, the REA was paying for this project of his, and they were getting impatient with his failers. "Yes, I can see that," Jeb Batchelder replied enthusiastically. "We finally made some progress. Isn't that great, Ari?" Ari nodded and went back to his job. He mostly cleaned the lab, since he had no education, but Jeb still loved him enough to keep him around. After all the effort the whitecoats had made to make Jeb and Ari alive again, there was only so much you could do. "Do you think we are going to make it?" James asked. "I mean, we'll need both a Male and a Female Subject for this project to work." "I think it'll work. If it doesn't, we'll make more to make sure it does." Jeb replied. "I'll get to preparing more Subjects," James decided. Jeb nodded. If they were going to make redundancies, he wanted the others to be interesting. "Let's make the next ones have other abilities. I'll design the next one and you can design the one after that, and we'll see from there." James nodded enthusiastically and left the embryo lab prepare. Jeb couldn't wait to get started on the next batch of bird kids. They'll be better than Maximum Ride ever was, he thought. Better than anything before them.
Part One: The Escape[edit | edit source]
Three Ava longed to fly. She wanted to leave the School. She wanted to learn. All those things would have been possible for any other kid like her, but she was trapped in this horrid place. They poked needles in her, they forced her to change forms, "be Angel," "be Max," "be Nudge," and other nonsense. And she wanted to leave this behind. "Subject Twelve, come with me to the lab," said a young scientist named Stacey. She was one of the starfish people who can heal almost instantly. "I'm going take some x-rays. It will just take a minute." Ava never liked these tests, but x-rays were the least painful. They didn't take long, but she still wanted to leave the sick School. Can they stop, can they stop, make them stop! If anyone could help, it was her brother. Not her real brother, she doesn't have one of those. The other half of the Avian Memorial Project, "Male Subject Eight" as they called him, or Ian, as she called him, came to her rescue. Though he was a year younger than she was, he could comfort her easily. "Let's go play in the yard. I bet they will let us fly this time.” Ian's perfect Gazzy style smile calmed her down. Having Minddrinker telepathic abilities were also super useful. “…And you had better behave; this car is made of carbon fiber, the strongest and lightest material known to man. If you even try to escape, you will never be allowed in a car again. Also, no dessert for a month. I'm only trying to help you, you know that.” The rules delivered by the only whitecoat she trusted, Jeb, were clear and simple. They were going to take her on a ride around the desert in the night, and they were going to bring her straight back to school. Ironically, the school was in Death Valley, exactly where Max and her flock's school was. So much for a memorial. Not that Ava knew anything about Max or her flock. "Can I leave for one second? I really want to learn how to fly," Ava pleaded, but she already knew the answer. "No.” Said Jeb, irritated. "Please," Ava gave him the Bambi eyes. "No." "Please." "No." "Please." "No." "Oh, really," Ava commented. "You are too important to be led outside. You will be able to go when you are old enough," he answered. But Ava didn't buy that explanation. She was thirteen, old enough by her standards, and she wanted to breathe fresh air. She could also read a higher goal behind Jeb's words than to protect her. His mind was very good at hiding his direct thoughts, though everyone was. "I'm old enough and I know you know so as well. You could let me out, and no one would blame you. You know I would never tell.” She expected a promise is a promise, but Jeb couldn't betray the School in that way. He would never do that in a million years. "No is no, Twelve. I'm just trying to protect you," he responded. Still, she could read his insincerity behind his words. More like, she could detect them from his thoughts. I wish could really truly be sincere about something. If only someone could tell the truth to me. I really need to know something.
Four Ava stared out the window. Water fell out of the sky, the window felt cool to the touch, and the sky was covered by the clouds like a blanket. Percy came in with a syringe. "I'm going to perform some tests. Then we can discuss the rain if you like," she said. "What's rain?" asked Ava lazily. She had never seen or heard of such a concept, living her whole thirteen-year life in the driest desert in America. "Look out the window," Percy indicated as she stuck the needle in Ava's arm. "The water that falls from the clouds is called rain. Some places get a lot of rain, but we get very little.” Percy took the needle, packed it and instructed Ava to swallow a nasty red pill, and started to leave. "I want to go outside and play. I want to fly.” Ava asked, but Percy just left without acknowledging her. Then they took Ava and Ian to the huge indoor playroom, with a tremendous tall ceiling. "I bet I can beat you!” Ian shouted. "Since I am older, I will fly first," countered Ava. The bird kids chased each other around, flapping their wings wildly, but since they were never taught, they couldn't actually fly. Ava's Angel style pure white wings looked soft and fluffy. Ian's Fang style black wings looked dark and menacing. The whitecoats watched the two silly bird kids run and sent Ari to taunt them. Ari was going to fly, and hover over the bird kids. "I see Ari is approaching," Ian said, Ari walked in and spread his lopsided wings. He made sure the bird kids were watching, and flew into the fifty-foot celling of the gym, but did not fall. Both Ian and Ava studied Ari closely. This had happened multiple times. Every time, the kids would fail to learn to fly. They were not going to let the whitecoats get that satisfaction again. Ava flapped her wings, trying to mirror Ari. Ian flapped his wings, copying Ari's actions perfectly. After five flaps, Ian kind of caught air and went up. Ava could sense the whitecoats' surprise, wonder, and anger all bubbling up. The one named Percy who had been talking to Ava earlier picked up a strange gun and fired at Ian.
Five Ava was in a very bad mood. Ian had just beaten her to flying, and then they took him away! They took him away! Then they stuffed her into a dog crate, too. Ava didn't know much about normal, but she knew that it wasn't normal to sleep in dog crates. This felt wrong. Ava was led to the lab the next morning. She wanted to leave, to fly away, and actually fly. But she had to sit and wait for the arrival of another whitecoat. She moved her tan wings around to make herself comfortable. This whitecoat was one she had never met before. Maybe she was a new one, like Stacey. Her brown hair was cut short around her neck. She had pale skin, and Ava could not read hostility in her thoughts or see any in her dark blue eyes. Ava could sense that the whitecoat could read and control minds like her. How amazing. The new whitecoat stepped towards her. "Hello, my name is Audrey. Could you come with me please?" she kindly asked. Her thoughts were better than Jeb's. They were sincere, and from what she sensed, she was going to let her leave. Ava silently leaped from the bed. This was a double agent whitecoat. She loved this. Audrey led Ava to a white Camry, just like all the other Camrys in the lot. They got in and for the first time in Ava's life, the drove off in the middle of the day. They arrived at a small camp in a forest after two days of driving, flying, (where Audrey carried Ava since Ava couldn't fly) and walking. Ava saw other mindreaders like her, but no winged kids. They walked down different paths, but when they walked near a nice cabin without a roof, she saw Ian talking to one of the mindreaders. Wait, Ian isn't that old, Ava thought. This person was Iggy, one of the original bird kids. They said he was dead, Ava puzzled. Aubrey walked into the cabin, and Ava saw more bird kids. She saw one just like her, tan wings, blonde hair. Her name was Max. She should be dead, too, Ava thought. Audrey stopped and smiled to Ava. "Welcome to Voyager Agency," she warmly announced. "This is your cabin. These are your cabin mates. Make yourself comfortable. This is your new home, and these are your new friends."
Six Ian looked up into the whitecoats' eyes. There were more than he had ever seen a single time. "Eight, why did you decide to fly?" asked one named Jacob. He was old, bald, and short. "Wait, how did you even learn?" asked Percy. His short hair was brown and pink. "Did you even know before today?" asked Stacey. Her short black hair was in spikes with blue tips. "Did you teach subject twelve?" asked Calvin. He was wearing reading glasses. "Eight, do you know how much trouble you are in for flying?” Jeb asked. His lab coat was all dirty from who knows what. "You weren’t supposed to learn until you were fourteen!" "Eight, you mean nothing to us!" spat Brianna. Her red hair made her look like she was on fire with rage. "Brianna, don't say stuff like that.” Jeb prompted. "The subjects actually have value." "Ah, did you tell her to leave?” Taylor came in, short of breath, her green hair in a mess. "Subject Twelve is missing!” All the whitecoats gasped and looked very scared and worried. A mass wave of emotions hit Ian, and he wanted to scream. He didn't, of course. "Why, why did she leave? Why did she have to leave today?” Ian asked. None of the whitecoats answered. In fact, they seemed surprised that he could talk at all. When are these people going to treat me like a real person? Ian thought. Suddenly, they strapped Ian to a chair, and they numbed his whole back. Brianna came and held a huge chainsaw. Thoughts of revenge and anger echoed in all the whitecoat's heads. Brianna moved the chainsaw closer, and Taylor came forward with some antiseptic wipes. Ian felt a nick at the point where his wings met his back. The cold feel of the wipes confirmed his worst fears. The whitecoats had cut off his wings. Oh Ava, where are you when I need you! Ian thought desperately.
Seven Oh Ava, where are you when I need you! Ian thought desperately. Ava jumped out of bed, falling out of the top bunk. All her breath was knocked out of her, but she had matters that were more pressing to deal with. Ava's dream really freaked her out. "What's wrong, Ava?" she heard Gazzy say. "Nothing," Ava numbly replied. Ava impassively got out of the cabin and walked to the gathering room for breakfast, in her pajamas. She didn't really care. "We are going to teach you to fly," the flock announced. "Kathryn told us you hadn't learned, yet," Ava decided to take her mind off her dream and fly. They went to the roof and pushed her off ten times, but every time Ava needed someone to save her. She couldn't take her mind off the dream. Also, she noticed they would call her Max, or Angel, or Nudge. I need a new look, she thought. "Look out, Max!” Gazzy suddenly screamed as he rammed into—you guessed it, Ava. She fell off the roof and flapped her wings steadily like they had told her to. She raced up into the air and stayed there. As long as she kept flapping, she kept flying. "Ava, you're flying! You are doing a great job!” Max exclaimed. "This feels great," Ava, answered. The rest of the day, they had fun flying. It was a new thing for Ava, so she really enjoyed it. When it came time to dinner, Ava felt like she was part of the team – the Flock, that is. They told stories of fun times, sad times, and just random times they had. Telling stories of Ian reminded Ava of her dream, so she decided to tell the Flock about Ian's wing problem. "Why would they want his wings off?" asked Iggy. Turned out Iggy was blind for a while, but he was healed later on. "I thought he was supposed to be a bird kid, like us. He couldn't be one of us if they hacked his wings off." "Do you think that really happened?” Nudge wondered. "It could have been just a dream.” She suggested. "Nudge, we could all be a dream by what you're suggesting!” Angel retorted angrily. "Sometimes dream are really visions of the future or past. You should know that by now!" "Angel, you don't need to overreact now.” Fang soothed. "All we need is a good plan to put into action." "Yeah," Max agreed. "You don't have to worry about a thing. Well, maybe your look." Iggy giggled. "I keep on thinking you're Angel, especially now you learned to stop constantly changing forms." "I can help you with that!” Nudge said excitedly. "Here we go again," said Gazzy, rolling his eyes.
Eight Ava stared at herself in the mirror. She was a new person. Her new light brown hair was shoulder length. Her eyes were dark green. She had a line of reddish freckles across her nose. She had owl type wings, brown, white, and black, with noise reduction built into their shape. She liked her form. She picked it herself. Nudge came in to check on her. "How's the planning been?” Ava asked Nudge. "We are still trying to find a way to get him out without needing to fly," Nudge explained. "None of us could carry a twelve-year-old Fang, Gazzy, or Iggy. He would be too heavy." "Well, tell me when there are improvements,” Ava added. Nudge handed her a sandwich and left. Ava stood, fine-tuning the form she was going to have for the rest of her life. That night, she couldn't really sleep. When she did, she wasn't sure, if she was really sleeping, or if she was having waking visions. She saw Ian, as he usually was. Then he turned, showing big, ugly red scars down his back where his wings were. She saw Taylor put something in his mouth, and immediately Ava saw the scars healing as if Ian was a starfish. Ian's wing bones started growing back, and feathers began to grow patchily. Ava sent Ian a message of her new form, and Ian suddenly changed his form, too. Turning around, Ava saw Ian was trying hard to look as if they were brother and sister. Ian's wing bones were in the shape of owls' wings as well, and the new primary feathers were brown and white. His eyes were olive green, and he also had freckles. The only difference was his hair. Ian chose a dark brown for his hair, but it seemed that Ian wasn't trying to send an image. Ava could hear one word echoing through her head, help, help, help!
Nine Ian heard the whitecoats approaching. He quickly changed from his new form to his Fang form. Jacob walked in, with a girl behind him. Ian could almost see the waves of excitement coming from the whitecoat. He recognized the thought patterns coming from the girl. She was— "Male Subject Eight, meet Female Subject Fifteen,” Jacob announced. "She's only six years old, so be careful with her. I'll be back to check on you both." And with that, Jacob locked the door behind him and 'Female Subject Fifteen' looked expectantly at him. She looked like a mess, shifting from one form to another, like every other second. Ian couldn't tell what she exactly looked like, but she knew that blonde hair, those fluffy white feathers, and the chocolate brown eyes. Fifteen was a complete copy of Ava. "Are you Subject Eight?" asked little Subject Fifteen. Her voice reminded Ian of everything he and Ava ever did together as little six and seven-year-olds. They even gave each other names then. "Yes, but I prefer to be called Ian,” Ian answered. "Would you like your own name?" he asked back. "Oh, no. You should not have any name that they didn't give you," Said Fifteen stubbornly. "My name is Female Subject Fifteen, and if that is too much for you, then you can call me Subject Fifteen of just Fifteen. I am not going to call you anything the whitecoats didn't name you." Ian was just about ready to scream. The little brat was eating up everything that the whitecoats were telling her. This girl was going to need some work. With a start, Ian noticed the girl could change forms, but she wasn't reading his mind, or sending him mental messages. I guess she isn't a copy of Ava. She's just a new experiment. That night, Ian and Fifteen were stuffed into separate dog crates, unlike the times when Ian and Ava slept together. At least they are not replacing Ava altogether. And with that good thought, Ian dreamed of all the good times he and Ava had together. He just wished he could know those times were not all over.
Ten That morning, Kathryn enrolled Ava for school, stating that Ava needed sufficient education. Ava's full name was now Ava Patricia Memory. Ava was enrolled in the eighth grade, and quickly accelerated due to her Minddrinker skills. She still wished she could go and rescue Ian herself. She already updated the flock about Ian's superfast growing wings. They finalized a rescue plan almost immediately. After eating a quick breakfast, Ava flew to the Maximum Middle School. She was enjoying the thrill of the wind soaring past her light brown hair when she saw the most horrible thing ever – a campus looming in the middle of a parking lot, cars parked side by side in the simmering heat. "Is that the middle school?” Ava asked nervously to Nudge, who was showing her the way to the school. It's not that bad, Nudge thought jokingly. They don't even have needles! Ava decided that in the middle of Virginia, the school couldn't be worse than the school in Death Valley. As soon as Ava landed, Nudge said a quick goodbye and flew away. As Ava ventured into the school, she was bombarded with thoughts and emotions. She was surprised how hard it was to function with everyone else's thoughts in her head. All the people but Ian into the School had Psychic Blocks that concealed all thoughts, leaving only pure, lightweight emotions. The real world was not like that at all. Ava arrived at her first class, physical education. They were having her and the three other bird kids fly around the fields today. Ava was the fastest, sneakiest, and she had the longest wingspan by far. A fine math class followed by a nice lunch and a fun world history class made Ava forget about the art project Ava had to get ready for this class. They were drawing a realistic drawing of an idol or role model. Thinking on her feet, Ava decided on drawing Max when she was about fifteen with graphite. Ava had problems drawing Max. No matter how hard she tried, Ava couldn't get her eye, or nose, or lip, or hair, or neck, or, or, well, you get it. Ava wasn't happy with the way Max was turning out to her drawing. "How can I get my nose straight?” Ava shouted. The other students stared at her. "I meant Max," Ava mumbled. It was hard to remember that she was not drawing herself, but that she was drawing the famed Maximum Ride. Why my lips are so HUGE, thought Ava impatiently. The day finally ended, and Ava flew back to North Dakota. She went home, did her homework, and basically did what she felt was normal for school kids to do on school days. She had never slept so well before in her life.
Eleven We flew towards Death Valley, even though none of us really wanted to go back to that dreaded place. Who knew what kind of stupid things kindness can do to you. Have a hard heart, the Voice teased. Since the time I learned that it was actually Angel, I have ignored it more easily. "Hey!” Angel shouted. I guess she got mad at that comment. I couldn't really blame her. "I didn't mean any harm, sweetie," I told her. I really love Angel. We arrived at school much sooner than I had anticipated. It was afternoon. We got some lunch, Gazzy bought some glue at a convenience store, and we launched into action. I'm not sure how you can make glue into an explosive, but a hundred years of experience taught me to stop wondering and just believe. Gazzy and Ig will find some way. We landed on the roof of one of the School's buildings. There were so many, I couldn't help wonder about what other experiments, animals, or people would be in them. I guess we were going to find out. "Seven o'clock, a dude in white Camry," Fang reported. He is the best. "I see him too," I added. "He is coming—" "Guys," Gazzy interrupted. "That's Jeb driving, and Ari is in the back seat." My blood turned cold. Jeb Batchelder, my father turned double agent turned whitecoat again and then died. Ari, the brother I had seen die twice. Wait, three, no, I have seen him die three times. Three times! Now, they were back, and I had no idea what to do. "Guys," Angel explained, edgily. "They want to know how we didn't die. They want to study us. I want to leave, now.” By now, the word study was a synonym for dissect, destroy, or hold captive. Being studied was not something I ever wanted to experience ever again. "Jump!” I immediately shouted. We flew off the roof and landed safely on the roof of another building. There, we got into the building and stood face to face with myself. "Oh, crap,” I whispered. Well, let's pretend that's what I said.
Twelve Right in front of me was myself. Literally. She was a lot younger, like maybe nine years old. She's not you, the Voice said. She's an experiment that came after Ava. She was there to replace Ava if Ava was ever to fail. Her name is Subject Thirteen. If there was anything that could twist my mind even more than an encounter with Max II, it was an Ava II. The girl, Thirteen, changed her form to look like Nudge. She was creepy, but definitely, an Ava clone. If Ava wasn't already a clone. "Follow me," Thirteen said forcefully. "They want to see you, now.” I pretty much assumed that "they" were whitecoats. I was very wrong. Two other girls, looking like Angel and me, grabbed our arms and dragged us into a room. In the room were Jeb and Dr. Martinez, waiting for us. "Oh, great," I blurted. "Ah!” Dr. Martinez shouted. Apparently, Mom was being held hostage, too. I had thought she had died many, many years ago. I even went to her funeral. I guess no one stays dead for long, these days. "Mom!” I shouted. "Don't worry; we'll get you out of this!” I desperately tried to believe myself. Then, suddenly, my mom morphed into Mr. Chu! This wasn't my mom! This was a creature that can turn into my worst nightmares! "You're right, Max." the creepy thing replied. "I can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. Your choice." It has been so long since we had been in life-threatening situations like this one that we all stopped for a moment. We all ran the other way, out the door, onto the roof, up and away from this despicable new school. Finally, we landed in the caves Fang and Nudge had found those years ago when we saved Angel. None of us seemed to notice when they took away Fang, but as soon I did another head count after we freaking ran for our lives, he was missing. We'll come back for him soon, the Voice told me. "Flock, up and away!” I shouted. We all flew back to Voyager Agency, all except Fang, trapped in that new repulsive school. We'll come back for you, I thought. Yeah, we will, Angel added.
Part 2: Rescue[edit | edit source]
Thirteen Ian's mind practically blew up. They brought him into a room lined with psychic block alloy, explaining he was going to meet some new friends. There, he saw four other Ian's. Rather, Male Subjects. He realized that most of them were younger than he was, by a lot. All these boys were created after him, therefore somehow different or better. One of them could change into inanimate objects, one could make himself float without using his wings, and one of the boys could conceal his thoughts without using one of the white helmets or small black necklaces. "Hey, there's an older Male Subject," the one who could float said. "I'm Subject Eleven. What's your designation?" Ian looked at him, curious of all the new people like him. "I'm Subject Eight, but I like to be called Ian." He thought about his name, his identity for a little. "Ian Kane," he made up the last name Kane on the spot. "Please, I know I shouldn't use a name a whitecoat didn't give to me, but Ava, I meant Subject Twelve, gave me this name." Subject Eleven smiled. "That's fine, Ian. You probably met the crazy Belle, or Female Subject Fifteen. She is the pet of Calvin. They say he gave her special powers. By the way, you can call me Joey Verity." "Verity means truth," said a different boy. He had his head buried in a book. Ian smiled at the casualness of the boys. Everything was different but better. The other boys had names, too. It almost felt like being any part human made a need for a cool name. The boy who could change into inanimate objects was named Quincy, while the one who could conceal thoughts was Sean. There were two others, Firefly, and Klaus. Firefly had glowing wings and Klaus liked reading and could read faster than any other being on the planet. All the boys in the room explained all their relationships to each other, and to the room next door, which held the Female Subjects. Quincy said they met the girls about once a week. "Hello," the whitecoat Calvin smiled. "Today is mingling day. Come on, let's head to the gym." "Are all of the girls as crazy as Belle?" Ian asked as the other whitecoats ushered the six boys into the other room. "No," Quincy answered. "Belle is as crazy as they get." The other room was twice as large as the first, but with fewer windows. These two rooms were bigger than any room Ian had seen before. Percy took him to the various labs, but none of them was this enormous. An Ava came up to Ian and smiled. "Remember me, Eight. It’s Fifteen, and I'm glad you've finally joined the program." "So cool!" Quincy said. "Belle, you have to stop being so crazy." There were five Female Subjects in all, just like there were five Male Subjects in the other room. The first floating boy Joey was talking to another Female Subject. She was younger than Ian, maybe 10 years old at most. Ian decided to join them. "Hello, Joey. Who's this?" Ian asked. "This is my friend, Brianna Cannon, technically Female Subject Sixteen," he explained. "Brianna, say hi to Ian Kane. He's Male Subject Eight. He's the oldest one here." Brianna nodded. "Nice to meet you, Ian. I hope you have a good day. It's not that bad here." Ian nodded. "Okay. What do we do here?" Brianna shrugged. "Just talk. What did you expect? Come on. Let me show you the others." Ian followed Brianna and Joey to meet the other Female Subjects. There was one who was shining lights out of her hands, one who was talking in the voice of Jacob. One of the Female Subjects didn't look like Ava. She had dark curls, blue eyes, and smoky gray wings. She looked with her deep blue eyes into Gazzy blue ones. "Who are you?" She asked. There was a steely quality to her voice. "Don't mind Tangerine," Joey told Ian. "She's mean to everyone." Ian nodded. "Let's just have fun."
Fourteen Ian was having fun with Joey, Brianna, and Klaus when it happened. Percy walked into the room. "That's enough!" Percy shouted. "Bring Male Subject Eight to my lab." She stormed out of the room, leaving a pile of papers behind. Stacey grabbed Ian by the arm. "No, don't take him!" cried Joey. Joey floated quickly to Ian and grabbed his arm. Ian held on. "Please, don't take me!" Ian shouted at Stacey. He tried to drag his feet. Still, Stacey force-marched Ian through the gym door and down the hall. She opened the door to her lab and pushed him in. "Stay here, Ian," Stacy commanded. "Well, it's not like I have a choice," he said, but then faltered. Stacey walked out of the room. "Wait, come back!" he called to the door. "Did you just call me Ian?" She didn't answer as she disappeared down the hall. Ian just stared after her. None of the Whitecoats know what I call myself. Why did she call me Ian? Ian went to the door and tried to open it, but there was one of those electronic locks on it. They only opened for the Whitecoat's bracelets. Ian sat down. Stacey was gone, but he felt a strange calm. He realized that Stacey didn't usually interact with the Subjects. Stacey was a lab Whitecoat, so Ian didn't usually see her. That probably isn't even Stacey, he thought. Maybe that's Ava coming to rescue me!
Fifteen After the first week of school, Ava felt in stride with the world. It was Friday, after all. But still, she missed Ian. Ava missed the way he felt when he slept next to her, the way he stroked her feathers, and the way he smiled when she made a difficult situation not difficult at all. Basically, Ava really missed him. When Maximum Ride came back that night and announced that their mission failed, and they'd lost Fang, Ava really felt miserable. They were going to rescue him tomorrow, but that didn't really help. There was also a math test on Monday if that didn’t dampen your mood even more. "Oh Ava, it's okay," Angel said. "You can come with us to rescue Fang if you want. Then you can help us find Ian, too." Ava nodded to that plan and went to bed. The next morning felt hectic, but breakfast was calm. In Max's cabin, there was a kitchen, so Iggy cooked breakfast. Ava never had such a tasty breakfast before, but considering what she had been eating at the School and at school lunches, anything was awesome. "Does bacon, waffles, and syrup always taste this good?" Ava asked. Max smiled. "When Ig's cooking, everything is good." "Haha, but don't try Max's cooking. It could kill you!" Iggy said. But it wasn't Iggy. Gazzy had said that. "You think you're so funny," Max said. They set off for the School. Ava felt nervous about seeing the School again. All those years of being experimented on, all those tests, and the unpleasant thoughts raging off the whitecoats made Ava worried. If they couldn't get Ian or Fang out, Ava might not have the guts to try again. "It'll be okay," Angel reassured. "Everything's going to be alright."
Sixteen To be continued...