I had wanted to call this conspiracy and then something else and then last stand... but I'll settle for something simple. Anyone else say that Nicolett is a cute name? My fellow marching band member has that name and it's adorable! Anyone would love her if she weren't hanging out with that - nm.

So please enjoy!


Because This Is My Name


I lost. The bitterness of defeat is engraved in my mind and those fools I dared to call my family. The men in white coats, the false mothers who gave me kind smiles and pats on the head. I wanted to show that I was so much better that my family raised me better than the girl I shared my face with. Yes, I was her clone but we were nothing alike.

It still burns when I look in the mirror; her face staring back at me, my defeat, my pride was shot down that day. But realization came with it. Those fools I dared to call family were nothing more than faceless beings.

I tried to run away. I did. I took Nick, Alice, Nicolett, Avi, and Jeremy with me. (That's Fang, Angel, Nudge, Iggy, and Gazzy clones to you.) I tried. No, I can't say that… We tried. Jeremy was torn apart by Erasers the moment we tried to get away. Avi… Avi hadn't gotten used to being blind… in fact… he never got used to it and he drove himself mad before throwing himself off a cliff… wings tucked in...

So the four of us continued to run. Four of our original six… How could the other Max's family grow while mine shrinks? Do I not deserve a family?

But we ran, we ran until we could run no more.

And then the dreams came.

"What are you doing here?" I shouted at the familiar face. She laughed so kindly and understanding.

"We're all connected by dreams." Max told me in a knowing voice. "Drop your guard, there's nothing to worry about here."

"Except that this is a nightmare." I muttered and she laughed once again.

"If it was, Jeb would be in it." We both giggled. "How are you?" Max asked me as we sat on an invisible building ledge in our white world.

"Fine." I replied gruffly.

"No you're not. You have to remember, I'm Max too so I can read my face just as well as you can read mine." The kind smiles reminded me of the White Coats and I glared at her. "What?" Max was taken aback.

"Stop smiling like that! I may be your clone but you're not my mother! Your little world is perfect Maximum Ride! Your family's not dying! You're not falling apart! You're not-! You're not-!" I was screaming and sobs were suddenly getting stuck in my throat.

"What?" Her gaze was guarded. "You?"

"Yes!" I yelled and I felt tears streaming down my face. "I will always be Maximum Ride II the replacement that failed. The one who lived in the shadow of the real one and the one who lived through the punishment of my failure. I can't change my life!"

"But you could change your name and start over."

"I can't! I can't change who I am! I was born and raised to be Max Ride II! It was engraved in my mind to take my name in honor! And those faces cheered me on always saying 'two is better than one!' This is my only name and it hurts because I know in my lifetime I won't be able to have another!" The strong fierce Max II has fallen. The sobs keep coming and the tears won't stop falling.

Silenced followed and she made no attempt to comfort me. Good.

"I've been dreaming for quite a while." Max began staring at the white around us. "But they're your memories." A sad gaze fell across her features. "I saw the day you were born and how tiny you were." A soft smile. "You grew up more rapidly than me 'cause the White Coats wanted another one just like me after I went missing. I knew your name was engraved in your mind, your heart, your body, your soul but I wanted to try. I saw how they hurt you and turn around and give you the most encouraging smiles… But it was those smiles that encouraged you to be my clone, those smiles that made you want acceptance. So when the world became blank and I saw you sitting my first thought was, 'I want to greet her with a smile.' Of course I never got quite that far…" I cracked a small smile.

"I've got to go." Max whispered as she stood up. She patted my hair gently. "I'm being woken up for my watch." And I watched her run off into the distance.

We were captured a couple days later and shipped off to Europe. It was a concentration camp really but for unwanted experiments… the obsolete…

We saw Max come in with missing members sometime later (you lose track of time here), a family as small as mine but Fang was replaced by Ari. Had she purposely tried to make our family even? They began whispering silently to each other. Had they seen us? Were they plotting our demise?

I want to greet her with a smile.

What false words. I passed by Max later on that day; Nick had been taken away for his early expiration. You didn't greet me with a smile.

Alice and Nicolett were next, my family was dying but Max's wasn't. Had she conspired against me? Had she known that defeating me was my greatest downfall? The hold I used to have over the White Coats and now their hold over me. I hated it, I hated her.

The White Coats lead me to a small dark chamber I was one of the last, I stood proudly knowing well that if I believed in God I'd join him with the rest of my family.

Don't hate her, The Voice told me gently. Jeb. The last voice I want to hear before I die. She just wanted to greet you with a smile.

A tear fell down my cheek as gas began to fill the room.

I've fallen so far to use her as a scapegoat. I wanted to hate someone, why not the person who looks just like me? I want to say she planned this, the end of my family. Do I truly not deserve one even though I tried to steal hers? She didn't do it, it was merely a coincidence.

But there are no coincidences.

Jeb always had things planned twenty steps ahead, so why not this too?

I can't breathe anymore, I'm going to die soon, my knees are crumbling beneath me. I'm feel like I'm falling asleep, I wonder if I'll see those night stars again…

We're back in that white room. She must be sleeping. "Welcome back, Max." She greeted me with the kindest smile.

"I'm sorry, Max, but I have to go, see you around?" I attempted to return the smile but I know it came out sad. She saw it and her smile became false. She wanted to comfort me but we both knew where I was going.

"Be safe." The white room turned dark and illuminated with stars. "Have a nice flight." She waved me off and I found myself flying away from my maker.

"Max! Max! You're back!" Alice's voice reached my ears as I soared upward. I could feel like I was leaving my body behind. I felt it heave it's last breath, I felt it beat its last pulse and at last I could live with my family within the clouds and stars where a kind smile watched over us.


Three guesses to who the smile belongs to! Myrah will probably get it. Dunno, it's like an either or thing. But you'll have to guess. But here's hint (it has to deal with the sky). So who else caught the Crucible semi quote? I did! 'cause it's the most memorable quote I can remember from it.

UGH! Why isn't the bolding working?!

Please Review

Adieu
Nightwing