A/N: Despite what you all might think, this is not my first fic, nor will it be my last. :) I have another pen name, one that I don't feel compelled to tell you all, and I have over 10 stories on that one. I'm sure my review count is into the thousands between those stories. So please don't think of me as a newbie to fanfiction. I've been here since '04. Just enjoy the story, and any reviews are greatly appreciated:3

PS: I don't own Max Ride or any other characters. I do own this plotline, although I'm sure i'm not the first to think of it. :P


Chapter 1

I woke up to the nerve-raising feeling that I was being watched. Silently, without moving, because I'm just good that way, I opened my eyes warily and looked around. I didn't like what I saw. Sometime while we were sleeping, Erasers had snuck up on us, surrounding our camp. Gazzy was supposed to be the watchman right now, but a quick glance showed him fast asleep on the job. That's what I get for letting an 8-year-old—even a genetically altered one—stay up past midnight.

I tensed, about to jump up, when a boot suddenly came down onto my neck, applying enough pressure to ensure that if I moved, my throat would cave in, but not so much that I couldn't breath. Without thinking, I reached my foot out and kicked awake the first flock member I could reach; Fang.

He opened his eyes—just as silently as I did, I might add, although that's not very hard for Fang—and immediately jumped up, fists clenched for a fight. One of the Erasers barked, and I noticed three of the wolf-thugs grab him instantly. He struggled, and his movements woke the rest of the flock, but the Erasers had him in a tight grip, securing his arms and head, and forcing him to the ground so he couldn't kick them. I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach; this wasn't going well.

The rest of the flock jumped up as well, and instantly Erasers moved forward to apprehend them. Nudge managed to do a jumping kick and knock one unconscious, but more surged towards her and she was overcome. Gazzy looked horrified, but he remembered my lectures and tapped Iggy's hand twice, signifying an Up and Away. I wanted to cheer them on, but before they got two feet of the ground Erasers tackled them. Angel put up a magnificent struggle, and they only quieted her by angrily reminding her of my position.

Dang wolf-men.

I craned my head to see who was holding me, wanting to move but unwilling to risk losing my only supply of oxygen. My wings were pressed tightly up against my back as I was forced to remain on the dirt floor. The Eraser who was keeping me under control wasn't as seamless as the others, as I noticed by his irregular blotches of fur.

Then he looked down over his boot at me.

And he smiled.

And I felt my world grow cold as I looked into his dark, unforgiving eyes.

"Hello, Max," Ari drawled.


A/N: This fic is going to be about 20 chapters long, and they're all really short, like this one. Sorry about that, but I just finished all three books (for like, the fourth time), and I'm in the mood for short chapters. Thanks for getting this far! Reviews are appreciated! (Flames are cool too. I'm not one of those people who flip out if someone critisices a story)