Okay, so thanks to everyone who gave me support for this story. I'm really excited to write it. I think it'll be really great. It should switch between Max and Fang's POVs. I hope you like it.

By the way, I decided to go with a combination of both the first and the second plot choice (for those who don't know, I asked for help in an AN on my other FanFiction.), just to keep you on your toes. ;) It's more of the second than the first though. There will be some fluffy Fax later, don't worry. Here's how this works: I have the prologue. Next chapter, I skip back a little-not as much as I would have if I went with the first choice-then we go forward until it catches up to the prologue and passes it. It's the perfect combination of both of my ideas. I am very happy.



The impossible, unstoppable Maximum Ride is gone. I felt her leave, all those days ago. Maybe she wasn't really there to begin with, just a heroic lie, a mask of relentless leadership that has slipped away. Oh yes, she's gone along with all of the rest of them. I'm the only one left. The incredible Maximum Ride is alone and broken, and I can't fix her. I'm fighting just to get through today. I rage against the tide of memories threatening to overwhelm me. It's too much, to the point of physical pain.

Yes, this is what I've amounted to. How can I save the world when I can't even save myself? I'm not that Max any more, not his Max. I've become no better than a pathetic damsel in distress, but I don't get a knight in shining armor. I'm not allowed that luxury. There's just me, myself and I. Just me, because I let myself believe it. I let myself believe that we could have it all.

Was I ever that naïve? I can't see it; I barely remember that girl. That girl was the proud, fiery Maximum, the one who was ever paranoid, ever strong. I was meant to last forever. We were meant to last forever. I guess sometimes forever only lasts a day, whatever that means. I'm starting to sound like Fang. Oh God, just thinking his name hurts. It's a rippling, swelling pain in my lower abdomen.

I'm kneeling on the floor, clutching my stomach, tears stream down my face. How did this happen? I know why. It's because I believed it. I honestly, truly let myself forget. I didn't live up to my duty. I should have protected us, kept them safe. It was my job, my right. Now it's gone, over.

I spend every night in crappy motel rooms and occasionally trees, for old time's sake because the old days are definitely over. Forever didn't last long enough. They're out there, my Flock. They're out there, probably living happy lives with happy people. It hurts, hurts because I want that for them. It hurts because if I found them, and if they were happy, I'd leave. I'd walk away, or rather, fly away. I'd turn my back on my family because it's what I do. I can't save myself. I can't save the world, but I have to save them.

But I don't know if they even want to be saved. They chose this. They made deals. They got away. I stayed behind, and when they were all gone, no one needed me anymore. I escaped. There were no deals prepared for Maximum Ride. I was too dangerous, not to be trusted. The scientists finally learned something after all.

I convulse again, trying desperately not to think about him, about that beautiful lie. We were supposed to stick together, but I don't begrudge him anything. I always wanted him to be happy. He's probably living somewhere happily. That was the plan anyway. If we hadn't have been captured, I would have let them go. The Flock deserved more than me. They deserved families who loved them. I'm sure that's where he is, with his real family.

I shouldn't be bitter. It's best this way. They all probably think I'm dead. It's a clean break. I shouldn't be around to mess up their lives anymore. The scientists really only want me anyway. I make the perfect test subject now because nothing matters any more. The Flock doesn't need me. I'm beginning to think that maybe I needed them more than they needed me; maybe that's how it was all along.

In my mind's eye I see a flash of jet black wings. Oh Fang. Pain washes through my body. He left me. I guess I always thought that, when it came down to it, he'd stay. Maybe I had visions of him and me taking on the world together. How wrong I was. I think I always assumed that none of them would ever actually leave. I believed that our bond was stronger than blood. At least I know it was their choice. This was what they wanted.

None of this changes the fact that I lost. The undefeatable Maximum Ride lost to her greatest enemy, herself. I let myself hope, the worst thing possible. I gave myself room to believe that maybe the world would leave us alone and, as soon as I did, they pounced. They ripped us apart. The inevitable finally happened, but I had no time to prepare.

There are those who would tell me to get over it. Isn't it better to stop lying to yourself? No. Let me tell you, it's not. Nothing could be worse than where I am right now; on the dirty floor of a crappy motel room, broken, bruised, and bleeding, alone. The lie is better, even when you're a bird-kid, even when you're the unbelievable, unbreakable Maximum Ride. As hard as it is to admit, I'm only human, deep inside where it counts. I'm only human, and sometimes, humans have to lie to themselves. I have to lie to myself.

Even now, when I have nothing left, I'm lying. I keep telling myself that I'll find them. I tell myself that the scientists will stop hunting me. I say that I'm strong enough to win. I make myself believe that I'm not already going down. I lie and lie and tell myself that one of the Flock will show up. I hope and pray that when I finally lose for good, one of them will come through that door. I tell myself that, if that happens, everything will be better. Mostly, I lie to give myself a reason to fight each and every day.

I lie to myself so that I'll believe that I am that amazing Maximum Ride, that she's not dead, but the truth is, this is all I am. I, the once great Maximum Ride, have nothing left. I gave the very last drop of all I had, all that I was, to give to keep them safe. I'll never know if it was enough because the whole truth is, I'm dying. In a few minutes, none of this will matter, all that I was and everything I have left will cease to exist; I have the marks on my neck to prove it.

Yeah, I know. Please don't hate me. Just go with it and review, please. Next chapter's Fang…