Disclaimer: No, I still don't own this. It's a sad, sad story that I don't own it, but I'm dealing.

Author's Note: I know that I'm a terrible person. I'm running out of excuses. If someone – anyone – reviews this and tells me that they are reading, this will once again be updated on a regular basis. If there are no readers – well, I'd love to continue it but I've got several other stories that have readers. So if you're reading – a new reader or an old reader – drop me a line, because reviews make me a better author. And a faster author.

Location: Undisclosed

He knew that he'd lied to the Director of Itex; he knew what grave of an offense that was with a project as special as the six bird children were. Ter Borcht knew that if word got out – if he was found out – he'd be worse than dead.

Itex had eyes, ears, surrounding everything. Every room felt as if it had shrunk, he could not breathe. They would find him out, it was only a matter of time – and not only one lie, but two. The lies were not the only problem that haunted the scientist's mind and gnawed at his consciousness. No, there were other problems at hand that haunted him now.

He'd told her that a 'new scientist' – a younger, inexperienced one – had been on duty when the experiments had broken loose, but the forming bruise on his skull was the proof of the lie. He was the one who had been on watch; he was the one who had let the experiments slip through his fingers.

And then there was the second lie; the grave lie, the one that would get him worse than killed.

He'd told her that the experiment on the bird children had gone as planned. He'd told her that yes, the security equipment he'd implanted on them was in place.

It was supposed to work as an anklet would on a criminal on parole – stop outside of the boundaries and an alarm went off – except it would be different with this particular piece of equipment made for the bird children. Step outside of the School and the bird children would lose their wings. They would not be able to fly, they would be paralyzed as soon as they left the parameters. In effect, if the bird children were ever to escape they would be grounded, stuck. It would go off slowly so as not to drop them from the sky – damaging the experiments was not the way the scientists wanted to go. It would affect them from youngest to oldest, one by one.

It would have been one of his greatest inventions, if not for several things.

The seed of suspicion had been planted within the experiment's minds. The fools who had done the youngest's implantation had not done it well; she'd noticed the placement of the device when the others had not noticed theirs. If they noticed – if they tried to tamper with it and succeeded – all would be lost.

And then there was the fact that they'd escaped: not something any of them had been banking on. It was supposed to be tested the next day, early in the morning, under a controlled environment.

There was the fact that he'd forgotten the most important part of any tracking device – something to track them with. He'd been working on the assumption that six grounded bird children would not be a difficult subject to locate. With the luck of the scientists who were no looking for the 'Flock', as they called themselves, he had been very wrong.

Then there was the eldest. Maximum. A problem child, she was.

She was the wild card.

And that – that was Ter Borcht's biggest fault of all.