Hi, it's me again, Max 2.

It hasn't been to long sinse you last heard from me, but what with all the grivous injuries and the recouperation I just haven't found the time to sit down and chronicle my new life situation.

It began about three weeks ago, when the other Max and I had had a confrontation in the Itex building. She and I were fighting, a very intense fight at that. Being an almost exact copy of her, it was basically like I was fighting myself. And she her.

I would have won, but for some reason the other Max just had something in her that I didn't. As I lay on the floor gasping for beath, one of the other bird-kids, (the one they called "The Gasman"), had set of a bomb which knocked everyone one in the room out cold. It had also blown a hole in the wall that lead outside. When I came to, Max and her Flock had left, and I was left in the room with a bunch of scientists and some rather angry Erasers.

Neadless to say I didn't stick around to find out how the scene was going to end.

I made my way to New York, where I had a run-in with some rather disturbed boys who had a bone to pick with the other Max. They beat the living snot out of me and left me to die. Fortunately, a young Police officer, Marie Frizzelli, found me and took me to her father, Ronnie, a retired surgeon. He took care of my wounds, and let me stay at his house.

I still can't really figure him out, even though I've lived with him for a week now. He so differnt from anyone else I've ever known.

Did I mention he knows about my wings?

That's right, he has absolutly no problem with the fact that I have avian DNA in me. I can only guess that he must have seen stranger things in his life. I mean, my first reaction to seeing someone with wings on their back would be either, 1.) freak out and faint, 2.) call a newspaper, or 3.) call Aminal Control. Eventually I told him the rest of my story; how I was created, the training I had, and even some of the missions I had before that last one.

But I'm getting off track.

Sinse that whole incident I've been force to reexamine my life. I don't know what I'm going to find, but I hope it helps me understand Max and Ronnie.

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"Max, hurry up, the bus is already at the corner!" Ronnie called to me from the window, "You'll miss it if you're not ready yet!"

I hurried into the other room, new clothes on my back as well as a new backpack Ronnie had bought me. Why all the bling, you ask? Because I'm on my way to school. Why am I taking the school bus instead of flying? Because I'm trying to keep a low profile. If somebody else saw my wings, they'd try to tell somebody else, and it would continue on this long chain that would eventually bring Erasers down on my sorry neck. I won't bore you with the boring details of how I got talked into it, but lets just say, at Ronnie's insistence, that Marie talked with some people she knew at a local school and was able to get me in.

"I still don't know why I even have to go to school," I said.

"Becuase as long as you live here you have to get an education," he answered. Calmly, but giving no room to argue. "Besides, I'm sure that the people who created you couldn't have taught you everything about human behavior, or relationships, or who knows what else. I think it would do you good." He gently pushed me towards the door and said, "Make a few friends, huh?"

After that I headed down the stairs and out the front door, making my way up the street to catch the bus before it left without me. I barely made it before the doors closed.

It must have been one of the last stops before the school, because the bus was about 85, maybe 90% full.

I looked around at the kids who were already on the bus before I got on. It was fairly of what you would find on a public school bus. Mostly kids sitting in their respective cliques; talking, listening to their Ipods, or even making out behind the seats in some cases.

You may not know this, but I don't like enclosed spaces that much. Neither me nor the other Max and her crew does. For that matter neither do we like enclosed spaces with a lot of people in them, either. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I wasn't that comfortable when I got on the bus. I nervously made my way to the back of the but, trying not to be noticed, looking for a seat as I went.

"Hey," someone to the side of me said, "there's a seat right here." She was about sixteen years old, had red hair, and was smiling and patting the seat next to her, gesturing me to sit down there.

"Um, thank you," I said nervously, cautiously sliding into the seat next to her.

"My name's Kadie, what's yours?" She asked politely.

"Maxine Smith," I said, giving her the name I had used for the transfer slip, not bothering to look at her.

"Maxine, that's such a nice name," she said.

"Just call me Max," I blurted out absently. Why did I just do that?

"Ok, Max it is then," she agreed, taking it in stride. "So, what school were you at last?" she asked.

"Not a good one," I said, staring down at the floor of the bus, recalling what the School was like.

"Oh," was all Kadie said, not quite sure how to respond to a statement like that, her bright green eyes now looking at the floor as well.

When the bus pulled up to the school Kadie and I stood up and got off the bus together. I don't know why, but somehow, I felt less anxious with her.

"Do you know where your first class is?" As nice as she was, she sure asked a lot of questions.

"I think so," I said, nodding my head slightly.

"Do you mind if we walk there together?" she asked carefully.

"Um, no, I guess not," I said, and we both walked through the front entrance.

As we stepped inside, I immediately noticed the sterile, antisepticy smell that saturated the halls. It immediately brought up memories of the School. I forced them back down, trying not to lose it in the middle of a crowded school.

"Are you all right?" she asked. "You looked like you were gonna be sick or something."

"It's nothing, just getting over a little stomach bug," I lied. I might have been able to open up with Ronnie, but that was as far as it went for now. "I'm fine now."

"If you say so," Kadie said. She stopped in front of one of the many non-descript doors that schools are famous for, next to learning, of course. "Here's your class."

"Thanks," I said briefly.

"Will I see you later?" she called from down the hall. I thought about her question for a second. Of course there would be times durning the day where we would pass by each other in the hall, that was inevitable. But would she see me again before I left for home...?

"Maybe," I said, opening the doors to the classroom.

"Ok, see you later!" she called as she headed for her next class.

---------

The rest of the day was pretty much par for the course. None of my classes were really that hard, but tried to get a few of the answers wrong so nobody would suspect anything. No point in anyone getting any ideas, right? Eventually the bell rang and everyone headed out the doors and to wherever their homes were.

I met up with Kadie again as I was walking out the front door.

"Max!" she called, running up to me. "Where were you, I didn't see you partically all day."

"I..., I guess we don't have any of the same classes," I offered helpfully. That was, however, a lie. In truth I had actually tried to avoid talking to anyone and everyone I could between classes.

"That's to bad, I would have asked you sooner if we did."

"Ask me what?" I asked. I didn't really like it when people spung things on me out of the blue.

"I wanted to if you had any plans for tomorrow night. My church has a youth group on Fridays and I was wondering if you wanted to come. I would have asked you before class started, but I didn't think of it untill after second period."

I don't know about you, but I've never really been what you would call the "religious" type. I mean, I knew about most of the popular religions and faiths, but I never really felt like any could apply to me. I guess the School didn't think it really applied to the "soldiers" it created.

I decided to let her down easy.

"Um, thanks for the offer," I said, trying not to sound to callous, "but I think I might be busy tomorrow."

"That's okay," she said. I guess she took it better than I thought. "It's an open offer, just give me a call when you're ready and I'll take you."

"Sure," I said, walking away.

"Wait, you're not going to take the bus?" she asked quizzically.

"No, I think a walk would do me some good," I said as I headed dpwn the street. When there was no one looking, I ducked into an alley and spread my wings. In a few seconds I was high above the roofs of the buildings and soaring back to the apartment. Today had been a pretty good day; I was able to make a friend, nobody had blown my cover, and I was flying. I kind of felt bad about lying o her to get out of her offer, but I'm not ready to start socializing at this point. (It would mean I'd have to open up.) Aside from that, not a single bad thing happened.

Could you ask for anything better?

Well, I guess you could if you wanted to, but for me, I'd felt better than I had in a long while. Only time will tell how my life plays out from here.

Fin.

Author's note; For this story I decided to have Max 2 in a stteing that people could easily relate to and understand. That, and the story kind of had to match the title. I also, for the time being, wanted to keeping her indecisive. Firstly, because this story happens no more than a week at most after the first one I wrote. Second, I think there is the possiblity for more character progression over a longer period of time. That said, I only plan on making this a finite series, more than likely less than ten stories. Please tell me what you thought, I might use good ideas in future stories. (No slash/gay parings or explicit adult content)

Also, I have been asked (by Ellie Ervin) whether Kadie is the girl that Fang kissed in School's out-Forever. She is not. If you'll remember correctly, that happened in Washington DC, whereas this story takes place in New York. They are two completely different girls, and should be treated as such. Thank you.