Matchmaker or Max's Adventures in The Crafty, Hectic Mess of Acquiring Keen-love through Electronic Resources.

Disclaimer: Do I look like an old rich guy to you? No? Didn't think so.

Chapter One:

It was a yummy kind of sunset. The kind that God must have had for breakfast, the early morning sky was painted a scrumptious array of ripe strawberry pinks and luminescent blueberry smears whilled around sweet smelling orange and dotted with white speaks of glittering sugar. To top it all off the sun had seen fit to add a dollop of golden butter that had melted across the entire picture, making the dusk glimmer with departure of a long fulfilling day.

Maximum Ride closed her eyes, trying to ignore that inching feeling in the back of her mind, the one remaindering her to wake up the flock, to get everyone moving. The one saying their lives were in peril and she was an idiot for sitting here, enveloped in the bliss of morning. She should be worring about breakfast and getting the flock on the move, or scanning the perimeter with her eyes for signs of enemy attack, or searching the web for information of rouge sects of the broken Itex. She should be being responsible.

Instead Max just closed her eyes and sighed, welcoming the sun's gentle embrace as it warmly stroked the left side of her upturned face, trying desperately to ignore the world.

It didn't work.

Max sighed, giving up the fight for relaxation and aloud her thoughts to return to the complications at hand. Letting her thoughts turn to her position as headmistress for her under-staffed, under-funded school for gifted children.

Max smiled a little at the thought, better low on help and staff then prisoners of a unnecessary war run by crazy mad men.

At least it seemed the war was won they were winning. Better to win then lose, of course. Particularly when it came to your life and the lives of your family.

And her family had grown. Over the past seven years they had gone from a flock of six to one of dozens., a warring troop of hybrids, mostly avian, but not all, trying to eliminate the last of their tormenters.

But what worried Max the most, more than running the scariest army in history, more than begin responsible for so many lives, more than saving the world, what worried her the worst was what they were going to do with them all afterward. What? Open a orphanage for the less fortunate hybrids? Continue living off the land, hiding from mankind? Most of them were well over twenty years old. Was this all that life had in store for them? A future of such agony? Or maybe, just maybe, Dr. M could come up with a treatment for hybrids like she had for the expiration date. But could they really do that? Lose their wings? Become normal?

Max sighed deeply, she loved her flock, original, extended, all of them. They were a family, a rather dysfunctional one, but still family.

Speaking of dysfunctional, Max thought, I've got to figure out how to control thing around her.

It seems that no matter how hard she tried she just couldn't keep any amount of control of the whole of the flock. They were either overly-tired or over-worked or completely out of control. Like yester day when she'd caught Iggy organizing a game of tackle football in the cavern center the moment a visiting representative of the government had arrived. How great that had looked! How were they supposed to keep peace if the government wouldn't take them seriously? They didn't need to be fight two wars right now! Fang had practically bowled the pour man over for heaven's sake!
Fang… Half the time Max wasn't sure what she was going to do with him and yet she was sure she wouldn't be alive, or at least not sane, if it wasn't for having him around. And then there was just something almost… alluring about his dark, depthless eyes and mysterious nature. Something that almost made you want to reach out and…

Max shook her head hard. She didn't have time to daydream about anyone right now; much less her second-in-command of what just might be the most important mission anyone had ever undertaken.

Besides, it was high time she went to bed.

After gently shaking awake Silver, who was running this fraction of the flock through the evening patrols today, checking to make sure Force, one of the newer recruits, had started on breakfast for the night flyers, and seen the patrols off into the night, Max laid her head down and closed her eyes, ready for well deserved rest.

Before she could even hope to begin a dream, Max was awakened to the blaring of an insistent buzzing in her left ear. It took her only a groggy moment to realize she had left her headset on, a security precaution devised by Iggy after he was put in charge of the 'smarty-pants' portion of the flock. After a large yawn she finally tapped the device. "Yeah?" She mumbled through another yawn. It wa apparently a very soft acknowledgement because whoever was on the other end of the line continued talking, Max struggled to catch up. "… acutely direct. Max this could be bigger than big, not kidding. You've gotta see this. Max? Max are you even listening to me?"
Max yawned and considered telling Iggy, for it was his voice that had awakened her, to go to hell and leave her be. Instead, she sat up from her cot and rubbed her eyes. Then, catching site of the watch still on her wrist groaned. "Iggy," she growled "Do you have any idea what time it is?"

There was a slight pause from Iggy's end. "Um... around midnight, why?" Max sighed. She'd barely closed her eyes. He did realize that she had to be up, resuming duties at four AM right? Max suppressed a groan. Ever since he discovered coffee around nine years ago, Iggy had apparently developed the ability to run on caffeine alone, a ability that didn't seem to hamper him in anyway. It was actually very useful, to have someone who never had to sleep. Problem was, people who didn't have to sleep tended to forget that other people did occasionally require the odd few hours of rest.

Suppressing yet another yawn, Max pushed herself out of her army cot and felt around for her jacket. She was mostly awake anyways. "Fine, I'll be there in five minute. And Iggy?" Max said curtly into the mouth piece.

Iggy responded with a grunt of acknowledgment.

"This better be good." Max said.

Three caves down in his lab, Iggy smiled and replied. "Oh, trust me. It is."

"Fine, five minutes." And with that, Max shut off her radio and pulled on her red leather jacket, a present from Angel last Christmas, and took a running start into the evening air.