A/N: My first Maximum Ride fic. I have NO idea where this idea is going, but the more I thought about it and tried to resist the urge to be a nerd, the more I failed -___-; So, I hope you enjoy it, as I'll try to stay as true to the characters and general plot as possible, and all that good stuff. There's a book or two that I've missed out on, too, so don't be surprised if it doesn't follow along as closely as it should, I'll warn you now. But I ask you to bear with me here...this isn't easy, lol.

Disclaimer: I do not own Maximum Ride(c) nor any of its characters, plots, text, merchandise, or even a book. (Memory and library only I'm afraid, heheh.) All orginal characters that are NOT in the book are mine, and if you steal them, well...I wouldn't want to be you when I or my team finds you. All credit for the actual stories goes to James Patterson, blah blah blah, 'kay we're good.



Lab #5, Pueblo, New Mexico

"We've lost contact with the subjects approximately 63 hours ago," a whitecoat reported. "The last that we had of them was when they passed over our base in Idaho. From there, the signal faded out." She looked up at the man in charge. "That is not a good thing, Director."

"I don't need you to tell me that," he said, with the faintest warning in his voice. "They'll show up eventually. They cannot hide forever."

"But they CAN cause a lot of trouble," she protested. "Sir, I implore you - at least FIND them."

"Please be quiet, Dr. Keyes." The Director massaged his brow. "I will admit that they have carved quite a path over the past few months, but, they are still useful. We'll leave them be for a bit, and that will be that." He turned his cold stare upon her. "Now. What of the latest mutations?"

Dr. Keyes clenched her teeth angrily, but replied, "The Erasers have reached a limit. Fifteen came out of the latest by-birth and injection program, but I'm afraid only four survived it, with varying...results."

The Director raised an eyebrow at the way she said it. "How do you mean?"

Dr. Keyes folded her arms and paced. "I mean that normally for this batch, they are much stronger than they were - better flight, better transformations, enhanced abilities, not so bulky. These four each have a great ability with a great flaw. One of them, the weakest, almost didn't make it, but his brain-power is astounding. We tried a few new techniques this time around."

Both waited in the silence. Then, the Director smiled. "All right. We'll go look for the birds. I want to see an assessment of these four, and if they make it, set them in charge of the Eraser teams. They will hunt them down for us."

Dr. Keyes blinked, hesitated, then nodded. "As you wish, sir."


Back at her office, Dr. Keyes flopped down beind her desk and fumed, raking her hands through her blonde, tight hair-do. Who did he think he was? SHE was the scientist, not him! Thought he was so damned smart just because he made more money just to sit around on his bum all day! Keyes cleaned her glasses furiously with the corner of her white labcoat and massaged the bridge of her nose, vying for patience. No, she was little more than an intern here, looking for a better spot...

On the desktop was her computer, with a file pulled up on the bird-human recombinant experiments that they'd been chasing for close to a year now. She hadn't been around at the time, to see their development, to have a hand in it, and it was something that she wanted very badly. Especially...this one. The computer pulled up the third of the six mutants, the second largest. Her eyes darted over the profile and description, swallowing the information hungrily, then began to dissect the more-recent photo of him flying with the flock on the right side of the female leader.

The freak resembled a long shadow in the sky of which he soared, everything about him powerful and imposing, from the massive wingspan to the dark eyes that burned from his handsome face. Dr. Keyes leaned forward, propping her elbow on the desk and her chin on her knuckles. Yes...that one. She wanted that one.

And she would have him.

Dr. Keyes hit a 'Call' switch on the other end of the desk. "E4. The Director is requesting an assessment. Be ready to begin in two hours." And do well, so you can bring my new pet to me.