The flock, Total, and Akila: James Patterson's.
Heather, Volar, FOX, and octopus boy: Mine.
I sat down at my desk in my history class, pulling out a piece of lined paper for note taking. I scrawled the header across the big white space at the top.
Heather Lankin, 9-25-38
The 2010 Apocalypse.
I started doodling in the corner. I knew this lesson better than Mrs. Vale did, but I would pretend I didn't. I was also curious, what would her version of the story be? Would she have anything accurate?
Two minutes later, she came through the door, looking like she would give anything for a cup of coffee.
"Okay class, sit down." I saw the few kids still standing take their seats.
"As it says on the board, today we are going to start studying the 2010 apocalypse. Does anyone know anything about this?" I was surprised; quite a few kids raised their hands.
"Yes Drake?" The teacher pointed to the kid next to me.
"It had to do with Maximum Ride, and a factory, like Itex or something, right?"
Mrs. V smiled approvingly. "Yes Maximum Ride was the main protagonist in the war, but there were others. Fang-" She glared at the kids that giggled at the name. "Fang was the second main fighter. He started what is called the Child Revolution. He told kids through the internet what was happening to the world, and recruited them to help. There were four other main fighters though, Iggy, Nudge, The Gasman, and Angel." She again glared at the gigglers.
"Now can anyone tell me what was special about these six kids?" Everyone in the class raised their hand, even I did, just to follow suit. The teacher pointed to the boy in the back corner.
"They were, like, mutants; they had wings and were only 98 percent human." He said, seeming to only be interested because of the "mutant" part.
"Good, Tom." The teacher continued. "Yes, they were not human; they were given 2% bird DNA at the lab where they were created. They escaped from the lab, and then learned about the lab's plot against the world." I gritted my teeth. She had made the School sound like a nice wittle kidergateners toy lab.
"We are still not sure exactly what that was, but we are pretty sure it involved the old theory of global warming. The lab would give the people they wanted to survive the ability to handle the increased heat."
"On September 26th 2009 the flock, as they called themselves, invaded the main headquarters of Itex. They weren't alone though. They had recruited many experiments to fight with them, and some of the kids recruited by Fang helped too. The fight was hard; they were outnumbered three to one. But the flock was able to take down the leaders of the organization, thus destroying the only people that knew the full details of the plan."
"None of the invaders made it out alive though. They managed to save the world, but they couldn't save themselves. Itex had their own fighters; they were wolf / human hybrids. Does anyone know what these are called?" I decided to raise my hand this time; I didn't want to seem like an idiot.
"Yes Heather?" I help up my pink eraser trying my best to keep all the sarcasm to myself, and Mrs. Vale laughed.
"Yes they were called Erasers. We believe that this term was used because they were known for 'erasing' other creatures. Even though the flock were very good fighters, they refused to use weapons, unlike the erasers."
"Okay there is only a few minutes left, any questions?"
"Weren't there reports about them in the news?" The girl three seats away from me asked.
"Please raise your hand, and yes there was, but there hasn't been for nearly eight years. There used to be people that claimed they saw one of the flock, but this is impossible. Proof has been found for each of the flock's deaths at Itex." She glanced up at the clock, seeing there were only a few minutes left, began to rush. "Okay, remember class, tomorrow is Ride day, so it's half day, and we will be covering this again in more detail." The bell rang, and I might have heard the teacher say goodbye, but I was already out the door.
I ran into the woods behind the school, sprinting until I was out of view of my classmates. I opened up my white wings, and jumped into the air, pointing myself home, before beginning to think about my day. The school had gotten some parts right, but most of it was wrong; scientists are so easily deceived. I mean if they weren't Mom and the flock would have never escaped from the school in the first place. Only Max, Fang and Uncle Gazzy actually died in the fight. Iggy, Nudge and Mom made it out.
After that the remainder of the flock just kept on the move, never staying in one place for more than a day. That worked fine, until Iggy hit a tree, and needed help. The closest house was dads, and he was more than happy to help. After a week Iggy was better, but mom didn't want to leave, and Dad didn't want her to. Nudge and Iggy went off on their own. The last time I saw them I was four. Their expiration dates hit eight years ago. I guess that's why the reports ended
I knew mom all the way through the first ten years of my life. I still missed her every day. She had expired two years ago. She taught me a lot before than though. She taught me to fly, how to breathe under water (the only one of her powers that I inherited), and about her past and what I was. Oh, and all those normal human things.
Every night she would tell me a story about the flock. She new everything that had happened; even if she hadn't been there, she had read minds of people who had. My favorite story was of when she pretended to be a traitor. I must have begged her to tell me that story a hundred times. I also liked hearing about Total. I was disappointed the teacher had not even mentioned him.
I skidded to a halt in the woods behind my house, nearly tripping over a moss-covered log. Running head-long into the house, I nearly tripped again over Mom's old dog, Volar (emphasis on old.) Dad was sitting on the couch, working on some papers with a whole bunch of numbers on them. I sat next to him, and Volar sat next to me, fluttering the tips of her six foot wings. She looked like Akila, but was Total's size, and had his wings. She could fly with them when she wanted to, but I could tell she felt out of place above the ground. This is where she had gotten her name from, Volar means fly in spanish. I scratched her behind the ears with one hand, as I pulled out the paper I was taking notes on at school.
I had written down the jist of what Mrs. Vale had said; but I had also in spare seconds been writing in what she didn't say. She never mentioned some of the other "bad guy" mutants beside erasers. In fact Max and Uncle Gazzy had been taken down by improved Omega's. Fang had been killed by a new species. The flock had called it FOX, Feline Oryx Cross. It had cat-like reflexes and pointed teeth and claws. The Oryx helped balance out the DNA in some way, and allowed it to eat grain. But it had an odd side effect. All of them had gray-yellow hair, long curving horns, and a light layer of fur. Otherwise they were human like, and extremely clever.
There were also the other good guy mutants, which the teacher did mention in passing. Some of them were other avian hybrids, but not all of those were like me and the flock. Mom was good friends with one of them. She had feathers covering her, and she actually did eat worms and birdseed. Her eyes were also a birdlike all black. Another more major mutant was octopus boy. He could change his skin color and texture and, theoretically he could grow his arm back if he lost it. Unfortunately speech was impossible for him, but he and the rest of the flock had gotten along through hand signals and pointing.
But it wasn't the words on the page I was interested in. It was the picture I had drawn in the corner. Most my papers had drawings like this on them. Almost all of them had the same basic thing; me and my mom flying together. But in this one I had added Volar flying next to me, and in the distance five more winged forms. I extended my wings and looked at them. Maybe today would be the day. I had been planning this since the day mom died. I had an ability no one else in the world had. It felt wrong for me to be living in a house where trite human things mattered. The world may need to be saved again, and I should be prepared. I loved my dad, but I couldn't stay here. I had known for two years, that and some point I would just have to spread my wings and fly.
I took one last look at the living room I had known for my whole life before walking up to my room and taking the note I had wrote a year ago for this day, and placed it on my bed. I took some clothes, a picture of mom, dad, Volar, and I; paper, flint, my pocket knife, and a map and shoved it into my empty backpack, which I hoped would never hold school supplies again. Dad would understand; he had known mom well enough to see my view here. I wanted to take advantage of my wings. I wanted to live like the flock had and fly. The world would never be saved forever, and I was the last one left with an advantage at saving it. Or maybe I wasn't. That was another thing I would have to figure out.
I had been thinking about this day for so long, the impact of how big this was had already hit. I opened my bedroom window, and took one last look back, knowing I would remember this forever, and hoping I didn't remember later that I had ever-so gracefully tripped over my own feet before I flung myself out the window, and opened my wings with a big 'swoosh.' With a few down strokes I was in the sky, and as long as I was there; I would be free forever.
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