All the World's a Cage

Maiyri
This is a silly little story that focuses on what would really happen if MR wasn't a perfect verse for its 'good' characters. Yes it's got an OC. Yes the OC is a birdkid. Yes the OC is a fucked up birdkid who featured in the previous story.

Jimmy Patts currently has custody of Maximum Ride and Co., however this should probably change as soon as possible before something like MR5: Space Wings comes out. Title's a play on words. I'll write a drabble, theme of your choice, if you can tell me where it comes from.

For Epitome of Randomness because I just found out that you've recced half a dozen of my stories. Yay!

--

I only wanted to escape my cage. I wanted to know that there was something more than the six sides of the steel mesh box that my life and my existence were defined by. If I wasn't in my cage then I would soon be returned to my cage. If I was in my cage then I would be there until someone remembered me and came to do their latest experiment on me.

We knew of escape, the nameless but numbered faces that would peer out of their doors with fear when someone came. We dreamed of it as we slept, and we slept all the time. That was our escape.

I did not dream of escape.

I did not dream of the world outside - the world from which the Whitecoats came.

This was my existence. I dreamt of a better one.

Let me tell you about the time I escaped.

--

It was easier than I had expected. They had ways of stopping us from escaping our cages, ways of stopping us from leaving the rooms we were kept in. I knew of locks and their keys. Keys. Shiny keys.

I stole one. Nobody noticed. They had faith in their alarms.

I knew of the alarms, the wailing noises that came when something bad was happening. The sound of impending doom. The sound of someone escaping.

They only had one alarm. One alarm that I couldn't set off if it was already going. Right?

It was easy.

I just used the key. I got out of the cage that defined my existence. I set the others free too, although some were dead and some were dying and most were in pain. Some clambered out. I don't know what happened to them all.

We ran. We scattered. Some of us must have escaped, because there are faces I haven't seen since and escape is a reason for the Erasers to kill.

I reached the fence and jumped free of it. I crashed into the bushes and kept running once I found my feet. Nothing mattered but getting away.

I wanted to see this world that the Whitecoats came from. I hoped so much that it would be better than the world I knew.

It wasn't.

There was the heat. It was worse than anything I've ever been tested to in the environmental room. There was nothing but the heat, everywhere I went, nowhere to hide from it.

There was the thirst. I was always thirsty in my cage. But they'd give me water twice a day and it was enough. There was nothing here to drink. There was just endless dirt.

There was the hunger. The bushes were no good to eat. I tried, chewing one. It tasted worse than anything the Whitecoats had made me swallow.

There was the endless open sky. I'd dreamed of it. I'd dreamed of being free of four walls. I hadn't known it would be so big and scary. There was nothing. For as far as I could see there was nothing at all.

I wished I was back in a place that I knew.

But I kept walking because I was scared of the Erasers.

I walked all the way to a road. I didn't know it was a road of course, but I walked to it. It didn't look like anything else I'd seen before, and it didn't look like the dirt and bushes of the world outside. I wondered if it was made by Whitecoats like I was.

It was.

There came a roaring noise. It didn't start out that way. It started out like the swish of clothes. Then it got louder. I was really scared, and so I ran to hide. I saw it coming.

I watched it pass by.

I sat in horror.

I hoped it wasn't true. It couldn't be true. The world outside, the world I had dreamed of could not be this horrible.

But it was, because another one came. And another. And another.

I forgot my hunger and my thirst. I forgot the heat and the big huge scary open sky. Because there was nothing to be afraid of anymore. There was nothing to hope for either.

Another one came, and I curled up under a bush to sleep. I was tired. I didn't know what to do. Another one passed with a rush of air.

Another metal box, blasting along the road. A metal box with a person inside. A cage with wheels.

This was worse than my cage. My room. I knew my cage and my room.

I didn't know this world. I wanted to go back to what I knew.

I cried.

--

I woke up in my cage. I'd never been so happy to see it. I knew that I'd be fed here. I knew that I'd have water to drink. I knew that it wouldn't be too hot or too cold. It wouldn't be too big or too small, even though sometimes I wished I could stand up more often.

Quietly I wondered how big those cages on wheels outside were.

The Whitecoats moved me soon after I got back. I was put into a room with a few others that were a bit like me, but not quite. I didn't like them much. All they thought about was escape, about defying the Whitecoats.

I couldn't explain to them why I didn't want to escape. I couldn't explain to them why I always did what the Whitecoats said.

They didn't believe me. They didn't understand. They hadn't been outside like I had.

They didn't know that the world was horrible outside, more horrible than anything in here. I wished that the others, BarBar and Neemik and Dake and Such would behave like they were supposed to.

Of course they didn't.

They just named me Jedat and told me that I was a Whitecoat Lover and ignored me.

I just shrugged and slept and dreamed of a better world. One I hoped I'd get if I behaved enough for all of us. I didn't think it would work. I had enough hope left to try.

Escape was no way out.