A/N: I thought I should just tell you that this story will be in my own style, not James Patterson's. But I will try and keep the characters in character. That's a strange sentence. Lol. Yeah, so my writing probably won't match JP's but I will try. Thanks. I hope you enjoy. . .
Disclaimer: I'm only going to say this once, so pay attention. I do not own Maximum Ride. I'm not going to repeat myself on every chapter. Enjoy . . .
Chapter 1: The meeting
The director took in the faces of the people surrounding her. She was at the head of a large conference table. Every chair was taken and everyone was looking intently at her. It was time to get this meeting started.
"We have decided that Maximum Ride and her 'flock' have become a danger to Itex and everything related to Itex. Therefore, I would like to suggest we act immediately to prevent them from destroying what we have worked so hard to achieve," the director said professionally.
Immediately the room was full of voices. Some people were throwing out suggestions; others were talking animatedly with their neighbours.
"We should exterminate them immediately," a pale woman called out.
"Don't you think we've tried?" a man said to her. "They keep escaping."
"We could lure them into a trap," another woman suggested. Her beady black eyes shone with pleasure at the thought.
"Enough," the director said in a firm voice. The room immediately fell quiet and all eyes turned to her. "We have already decided on what we are going to do." The room was suddenly full of curiosity. "We are going to erase their memories and plant false ones. Then we are going to relocate them to Australia. They will be placed in school and will never know that they are avian hybrids."
"What about their wings?" the pale woman blurted.
"We will use our state of the art virtual reality system to give them the illusion that they have no wings. They won't be able to see them or feel them. We will plant a chip inside them so the system will work when they leave. No one will know they have wings," the director answered confidently.
"How will you create false memories?" a man asked.
"Lots of research has been done in that field. We have a specialist doctor who will perform the procedure. The only catch is that it will take about a year to accomplish. What happens is that using brainwashing and other techniques, the doctor will first strip them of their memories. Special drugs are given to them throughout the procedure. Then the doctor will implant memories. It is a delicate process but I have been guaranteed it will work."
"Why Australia?" the pale woman asked again. She seemed to be full of questions.
"They have never been to Australia before. They aren't likely to have anything familiar there that could trigger their memories. They will be separated, of course."
"How will we keep an eye on them?" the woman with the beady black eyes asked.
"They will be placed into families that are actually our employees. They will report back to us. This way we should know if anything is going wrong."
"Why can't we just kill them?"
The director let out a breath. "We have decided that they are somewhat important. We would like to keep them alive. But we don't want them interfering. Plus, after the By-Half Plan has been successful we might have use for them. China is still interested in weapons. "
The table nodded at large. "The plan is to be put into action immediately. We will capture the avian hybrids and sedate them until the process is complete. That is all," she said, standing and walking out the door. The room stared after her, not sure what to make of the whole meeting.
Meanwhile . . .
I stared at the happy faces surrounding me. Okay, so they weren't that happy. Grungy, yes. Happy, not so much.
"Maaaax," Nudge started. "I'm hungry."
I had been hearing this statement over and over, but no matter how many times I told them that dinner wasn't here yet, they kept asking.
"Fang will be back any minute," I told her for what felt like the hundredth time. I was trying my best to stay patient, but it wasn't working very well. Actually, I was surprised I hadn't snapped by now.
"But I'm hungry now," she complained. I was so close to snapping. I felt my jaw tighten and my eyes go hard. I really hoped Fang would be back with the food soon. I was about to snap.
Nudge seemed to read the distress in my eyes because she backed off. She smiled apologetically and quickly made her way over to Angel. I glanced up at the sky. Night had fallen and we'd only just set up camp. Fang had gone off to find a supermarket and we were waiting 'patiently' for his return. We were all starving after flying all day. But we had needed to cover some serious ground.
"Fang!" Angel cried, leaping up and looking hopefully towards the sky. She must have felt his mind approaching because I could see anything yet. Wow, that was a weird sentence. Mind approaching? We were some really whacked out kids. Angel's head swivelled and she looked at me with a grin on her face. She must have been reading my thoughts. I allowed myself to half smile, then returned the direction of my gaze back up to the sky.
I could see a shadow descending quickly towards our camp. I was surprised at the sudden relief I felt when Fang came into view. It's just because he has food, I told myself. There's no other reason.
He landed lightly and silently on the ground and then walked into the middle of our little camp. He started handing out various packets of food.
"Finally," I moaned as he handed me some food. I ripped open the packet and practically inhaled the contents. He handed me over another packet as soon as I was done with the first one. This time I ate slower, trying to enjoy the food.
"I got a map as well. I thought we could try and work out where we're going to go from here. It'll be good to actually know where we are, instead of just winging it," he told me. He really was becoming a chatter-box. But he was still as logical as ever.
I sat down, my back pressed up against a tree. Fang sat down beside me and pulled out the map. He rested it on our knees in front of us. I was really aware of how close we were. I could even feel the heat coming off his body. I looked down at the map, trying to distract myself from that train of thought.
Before I could even try and figure out where we were on the map, I heard a strange whizzing sound. I looked up and surveyed the area. I glanced at the flock members. Everyone was okay, Angel was even sleeping. Wait a second. I squinted at Angel. She was lying in a strange position to be sleeping. Then I saw something sticking out of her neck. It looked like a dart.
Another whizzing sound issued and I looked around for the source. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the Gasman get hit with something and slump over, unconscious. I jumped up and faced the outskirts of our camp. Someone or something was shooting tranquilizer darts at my flock. Fang was standing up seconds after me and we both scanned the forest.
"Let's get out of here," I told him, starting to panic.
Another whizzing sound and Iggy was hit. I started grabbing our packs, but it was too late. Everyone in the flock had already been hit, except for me and Fang. We couldn't see our attackers, so we couldn't fight them. There was another whizzing sound and I felt something slam into my neck. I was instantly dizzy and tired and I dropped to the ground. I was going to get the bastards who did this to me and my flock! They were going to pay.