Hello! I don't know if anyone will remember, but I had this story on here before. Well, it's back and revamped! So, to past readers, I hope you'll like the newer version! To new readers, just enjoy!

Title: Experiment Encounters

Rating: PG (Mild violence)

Genre: Fantasy/Mystery/Adventure

Summary: Maximum Ride and the Flock have always known what cruelty was; they grew up at the School. They know all about the hideous experimentations that go on, and what comes of them. They know who performs and runs these experiments. What they don't know is there's a bigger Plot beyond the School and Institue. With the meeting of a new 'experiment' and powerful new enemies, Max and the gang slowly embark on a journey of uncovering the truth behind their own hideous-creation. There's a much greater power working all lives.

Disclaimer: I don't own Maximum Ride, or anything out of the book. I do, however, own everything in this story not mentioned in the book. The plot, the characters, all mine!


Chapter One

The Institute for Higher Living, Lower System, New York

Jeb Batchelder, Captain of the Life Team, Lead Director for the Higher Living, emotionless leader in what he himself knew was a sick and twisted game of life, did not know what to do. For the first time in his new life, he was stunned. The only thing he could do was stare unblinkingly down the tunnel his Max has just disappeared down.

After a few moments, he blinked.

Once, twice.

What was going on?

His mouth hung open slightly.

What was he thinking?

His brow furrowed as he turned his gaze to his own hands. His fists clenched and unclenched in a nervous sort of way, one of his old quirks. He thought he had gotten rid of that habit.

It was a sign of weakness. He was weak. What was he doing? Standing there, mouth agape, staring at nothing. He was a man of action, and action was what he should be taking!

So what's stopping you?

His glazed eyes suddenly hardened, brow furrowing not in confusion but rage. Nothing was in his way. True, the Flock had once more escaped, taking a fair amount of information with them, but that was merely a minor setback.

Right now, he needed to swing into action. Orders were to be given, and an investigation was in store. He had to find out how the Flock had gotten in, strengthen the weak points, and get rid of the weak. Further more, the Flock was once more running amuck. They had to be captured.

Jeb's eyes flashed as these thoughts ran through his mind. Fists clenched, he turned slowly, ready to move. His hardened gaze found its target; a small group of Erasers had gathered just behind him. The imbeciles should have been chasing after the Flock by now! What were they doing instead? Standing around, not even transformed, and staring in shock at the ground.

With a sneer Jeb took one swift step towards the pathetic cluster. His eyes flicked across all their forms. Not so much as a flinch! Honestly, they were specially trained killers! By now he expected each and every one of them to feel his cold gaze. They would most definitely need a talking to. Exactly what held their attention so?

As if in answer to his question, an image flashed behind his eyes. A small boy waved his hands frantically in front of a smiling face. His eyes glimmered with delight.

Ariā€¦

Jeb took no further steps. His hands fell limp against his sides, face softening. Glazed eyes drifted slowly down to lock onto the very thing his Erasers gawked at. The unmoving form of Ari.

As he stared helplessly at his son, Jeb couldn't help but pray. Pray that Ari would suddenly pull himself up. Pop up, like he used to years ago, before Jeb had left. Jump up giggling and throw his arms around his 'papa'.

The truth was, Ari wasn't a child anymore. No, the form lying on the floor was far from the picture in Jeb's mind. Ari's body had slowly taken on the resemblance of a human once more, though it was not that of a sweet seven-year-old. It was strong, manly. It was quite still.

It was his fault.

A rough tap on his shoulder pulled Jeb quickly from his thoughts. His head turned slowly towards the Eraser behind him.

"Yes?"

The Eraser blinked at him, taken aback somehow. "Sir, um, what should we do now," It stuttered, still blinking stupidly.

Yes, what should be done now?

Standing around reminiscing of the dead will get you nowhere.

This thought rang clear in his clouded mind. Slowly recognition flooded his senses again. He became aware of the fact that he was kneeling next to Ari. Swiftly he stood up, turning to face the Erasers. Recognizing that their leader was ready for action, they quickly stood at attention.

"Alright, I want all of this taken care of. Obviously the Flock has once again escaped us, but that can be dealt with later," As his stern gaze passed over the group, he noticed a few growls at this. That was better, "Right now the focus will be on the Institue."

The group of Erasers split as Jeb began to walk forward. A little hesitantly, they followed. Some glanced back at Ari. All kept their distance from Jeb.

"I want a search done of the building," He began to speak again, "Inventory shall be taken, all the rooms searched. Gather everyone for assistance. We'll meet for a progress report in fifteen minutes. Lab X. Do I make myself clear?" The Erasers grunted in agreement. One spoke.

"Sir, what about the body?" It was the same idiot who had roused the Director from his thoughts.

Two Erasers nearly ran into Jeb as he stopped abruptly. He was quiet for a moment. Thinking, they could tell. Whether or not he was angry they could not.

After another second or silence, his voice came dark and whispering. "Burn it."

Five minutes later Jeb was walking hurriedly away from the now-departing group of searchers. He had given them their instructions, now he had something of his own to take care of. His destination was Lab X. One experiment was on his mind.

Quite frankly, he could care less about any of the other experiments. Normally it would faze him thinking of the experiments running amuck in the real world. Why, there was a great possibility someone would spot them! Yet at this moment, all he cared about was Lab X. Which, in time that surprised even him, he had now reached.

What appeared to be a vast metal elevator door stood in front of him. No button was apparent on either side of the door, only two small painting. Jeb slid the painting on the right upwards. A keyboard popped out of the square space in the wall. He anxiously typed in his code.

The metal door slid silently away. Behind it lay Lab X, exactly as he had last seen it last. Computers hummed merrily, papers were still scattered atop the various counters and worktables. The table in the middle of the room, complete with restraints and monitors hooked to it, still had the clipboard lying on its edge.

Eyes scanning the whole room, Jeb smiled slightly. Everything was as he had left it. He really had nothing to worry about.

There was just one part of him that worried over something he knew was impossible. Perhaps the Flock had discovered the secret. Then they would most certainly make an attempt to liberate Experiment A.

He was being paranoid, and he knew it. He actually preferred the word cautious. Chuckling to himself he crossed the room at a leisurely pace. He came to another metal door.

Nothing to worry about, but a peek wouldn't hurt.

Once more entering a code, Jeb waited at the door slid away with a hum. His eyes took a moment to adjust as he stepped through the opening. The room was fairly small, and half of it was completely dark. Its occupant liked that.

Across the back wall was a large cage. Much nicer than what the other experiments were contained in. Six feet by six feet, very spacious. He was always telling the experiment how special he was.

A faint light spilled across the cage; simulated moonlight. Experiment A liked that, too. It shimmered across the front of the cage, though the back was bathed in shadows. Through these shadows Jeb could make out two glittering eyes. His experiment was awake. Good.

"Hello, Luxlucious." Jeb saw the eyes flash momentarily. He was quite certain he heard a hiss.

A smooth voice spoke, void of emotion. "Good evening, murderer."

Jeb merely smirked.


Right, so you know the drill Read and Review, constructive critisism is very welcome, along with praise. Thanks!