Note: Okay so in this Alec and Ben were both in Max's unit. This first chapter is set one week before they escape. I know there are other Max and Alec at Manticore stories but I hope that this is at least a little different.

Max lay a little restless in her bunk. Jondy was actually sleeping for once, but Max couldn't. She fidgeted a little and propped up on her elbows, taking in her unit mates. They were all asleep. Jondy slept in the bunk next to her. Jondy was the only other one that didn't sleep like Max. She and Max usually stayed up way into the night talking.

On the other side of Jondy was Zack. If they had a leader, Max thought it would be him. Physically he was the strongest of all the boys. He was the one that looked out for them.

On her other side was two boys that were identical to each other in looks. But only in looks. Right next to her was Ben. Ever since she could remember Ben had been telling stories. Ben was kind of quiet otherwise though.

On the other side of Ben was his twin, Alec. Alec was kind of the opposite of Ben in everything but looks, though. Max had come up with Alec's name after something she had heard one of the guards say. It was after Alec's mouth had gotten him into a little bit of trouble. The guard had warned him of what might happen if he continued being a smart aleck. Max had actually named him after that.

Max wasn't sure why Alec and Ben were both in her unit. She had heard of the other twins, but as far as she knew, Alec and Ben were the only ones in the same unit.

Max's gaze sharpened on Alec's form when she noticed something was off about him. She checked the door before quietly slipping out of bed and going over to his. She noted with fear how his hands were trembling. He was moving his head restlessly in his sleep. She looked around nervously, remembering what Ben said about what they did to them when they got like this. She went quickly to Ben's bed, intending to wake him up when she heard footsteps outside the door. She ran quickly back to her bunk, and sighed when they moved on. When she got back up and checked on him, Alec had quieted down, and she let out a relieved breath, deciding to talk to him the next night.


She didn't get the chance to talk to Alec, though. It was the next morning during the lineup that it happened. She and the others knew that there was something off about Alec.

He was a little sluggish that morning. He fell out soon after they had been woken up seizing violently. Max and the others watched helplessly as they drug him away.


"I'm going." Max said that night to Ben. Ben was extremely worried.

"I'm coming with you." They snuck quietly out of the room and down the hall. What they saw when they found Lydecker was horrific. Alec was lying on a table. The Manticore doctors were around him holding bloody instruments.

Max and Ben went back to their unit. Ben was horrified at what they had done to Alec, of course. He didn't understand it. He went up to the roof. He said he was going to ask the blue lady why she didn't protect Alec. Max and the others stood by the windows and heard him screaming up at her.

The next day, though, Ben was actually happier. When Max asked him about that, he swore to her that Alec was alive. That he could feel it. Max wanted to believe it, but after several days and no Alec she wasn't so sure. And then she had her own worries to deal with. Her hands had started shaking as well. This time, however, when she fell out, they were all a little shocked when Zack attacked the TAC leader that was about to take her away.

The escape obviously wasn't planned and Max and Zack both noticed how hesitant Ben seemed.

"What is it?" Max asked quietly.

"We can't just leave Alec behind."

"Alec's dead." Zack whispered harshly. "Come on." After one more hesitant glance to were they had come from, Ben followed them down the hallway and towards freedom.