"Let him go!" I screamed, watching as Ari struck Fang hard on the face. Two erasers were holding Fang up now, keeping him still as Ari beat him up.

"Let him go?" Ari paused, and Fang's head slumped slightly, his dark hair covering his eyes. Ari slunk over to me, eyes narrowed as he looked at me coolly.

"Let him go?" he said again, smirking, "Oh, I don't think so. You see-," he strode over and grabbed Fang's hair, pulling it so that he could slowly rake a claw along Fang's neck, "You see, in this mutant we have a rather valuable hostage." He grinned sinisterly, and kicked out. I could hear something snap. Fang's leg now hung at an odd angle. He made no noise. I think he was unconscious.

"Take him away," Ari barked. I struggled as hard as I could, they were taking Fang, they were kidnapping him, but Ari made a signal, and the erasers chopped at my neck. I fought to stay awake, but then blackness overcame me.

"Max? Max?"

I groaned, and sat up shakily. Gazzy's face came into focus, peering at me anxiously. Then, slowly, I remembered what had happened.

"Fang? Fang! Where is he?" Gazzy's big, blue eyes filled with tears.

"I don't know, Max. They've got him!" I jumped to my feet and surveyed our battle ground. Nudge was leaning against a rock, talking quietly to Iggy. Angel was paddling in the water, a troubled expression on her face.

"Okay, guys!" I shouted, drawing their attention, "U and A! Now!"

Fang crouched, still and silent, in a large, dark cage. He closed his eyes, trying to prevent the wave of memories that threatened to over take him. The whitecoats didn't really want him, he was just a hostage, bait for Max and the rest of the flock, but that wouldn't stop them from experimenting on him.

"Experiment F235BW!" rang a sharp, cold voice. Fang tensed, but he was unable to move much. Large hands grabbed him and took him out of his cage. He tried to fight against them, but he was soon hit over the head, causing him to be knocked unconscious.

"Max? Where are we going?" Nudge's voice had taken on a particularly whiney tone. We were flying- I don't know, somewhere. I never learnt geography, kind of came hand in hand with growing up in the wrong sort of school.

"To save Fang," I said. It had become my mantra. Save Fang Save Fang Save Fang. Like, you know, I was a cheerleader and was cheering for my favourite team. Except I wasn't a cheering cheerleader. I was a mutant trying to rescue her best friend.

"You said that last time!" Nudge moaned.

"Well, you know what?" I said angrily, "We haven't done it yet, so it's still kinda top of my to-do list!" Nudge recoiled slightly, as if I had slapped her. I winced, instantly regretful.

"Hey, Nudge. It's okay, sweetie, I'm sorry."

"We want him back too, Max," Iggy said quietly, coasting towards me.

"I know." We flew on in silence for a bit, until Angel piped up:

"Is this what it was like when I was at… when I was gone?"

She didn't want to say The School, and I could see why. Just imagining Fang there, after she had been there herself…

"No," said Gazzy slowly, "I mean, I don't think so, 'cause Max, Nudge and Fang left us behind."

"Oh," Angel said simply, and we moved on.

When he awoke, Fang was lying on a cold, metal table with a large scar on his arm. It seemed as though his arm had been opened, then stitched back up again in a hurry. He tried to sit up, but he slumped back before he even tried. A door banged to his left as a whitecoat hurried in, a clipboard in one hand and a pencil in the other. The whitecoat walked briskly over to him, and poked him with the pencil. Another door opened, and Ari slouched in.

"You weren't supposed to be in here!" hissed the whitecoat angrily.

"The director said I could," Ari hissed back. The whitecoat marched out, looking ruffled. Ari crept closer to the table.

"Hello Fang," Ari said, grinning down at him. His mouth was slightly open, showing his yellow, rotting teeth. "Did you miss me?"

Fang snarled slightly. Ari laughed.

"You have no idea how much of a kick it gives me to see you like this. Helpless little birdboy!" he cooed. Then his face began serious. "You know why I hate you right?" Fang shook his head a little, eyes still trained on Ari. It was not a good idea to let your guard down when you were immobile and an enemy was standing over you.

"You have Max," Ari said simply. Then his eyes became hard. "You have Max!" He reached out, and scratched Fang, a long, hard scratch, right down his face. Fang groaned in pain.

"Did that hurt, Fang?" Ari breathed, "Did that hurt, birdboy? 'Cause guess what? It's about to get a whole lot worse."

Maximum Ride.

What is it Voice? 'Cause I'm kind of preoccupied right now.

To save Fang is not your destiny, Max.

Yeah, right.

I scowled and flew on, so the flock couldn't hear me and think I was randomly muttering.

You have to save the world, Max. Fang is not important right now.

Like heck he is!

Rescuing Fang is a trap, Max.


"Max?" Angel was flying next to me. I obviously hadn't seen her creep up behind me.


"We will rescue him," she said, and she slipped a small, trusting hand into mine. We flew together, our wing beats in sync, not caring about the Voice, on our way to save Fang.

And save Fang we would.

Okay, so that's Chapter 1! What do you think? I honestly can't remember if the Voice comes before or after the beach scene, so I bunged it in anyway. Please tell me what you think!

Maximum Ride © James Patterson. I do not own it.