Raf was right…We didn't have to worry about too much butt kicking...because the Erasers had their hands full with the Ghosts, Storm's flock and all the experiments Bree and I set loose. We finally reached Ana's supposed cell, we had to rattle a few skull to get the location. But when we opened it, she wasn't inside. Fear struck me. Had they gotten away with her? I heard a yowl and the sound of a rattling chain. Bree and I followed it to a large room, stained from bloody fights, probably a training room for Erasers. There on the far end were my parents and an obedient Eraser who held Ana on long chain leash. She looked different than I expected. Her fur was a pale grayish blue and not as shaggy as mine, her eyes a bright yellow tainted with red and orange. She had the striped raccoon tail like me. Her claws were longer, too and white patches of fur draped over her long fingers. Black patterns on her fur made her look like a strange tiger.
"Nice pet," I said, crossing my arms.
Lee Ann looked at me ruefully, "PC…we didn't want this for her…she was supposed to remain human."
"It's your fault she's this way; if you had just—" I cut John off.
"If I would have done what you wanted. I would be dead anyway and who knows how long you would've kept Ana human. If you wanted it that badly you shouldn't of tried to break me."
"It doesn't matter now…the damage is done and now that your usefulness has expired, I think it is time you were put down for good and what way is more fitting than to have you sister do it," John said, spitefully.
I narrowed my eyes at them, and growled. "If that's the way you want it…Bree, stay out of this…this is a family affair."
"I'll do my best...but I make no guarantees." I nodded and got down on all fours. The Eraser smiled and let Ana off her leash. She roared and charged at me with great agility and grace. I did the same… but not as gracefully. Speed is very effective in a fight it. really starts things off with a bang…
The two of us leaped at each other. Using my weight I pushed and pinned Ana to the floor. She yowled and squirmed under me.
"Ana! Listen to me!" I said, trying to hold her down. "Calm down…I'm not going to hurt – AH!" Ana bit my hand, digging her teeth in, and I recoiled. She wiggled out from under me and began to circle. I had to find some way of bringing her to her senses or at least knock her out. Her movements were more animal-like than mine. She had completely mastered four legged movement. She watched me closely and I think the human part of her was plotting. I growled at her and arched my back. Then like blue and silver lightening she attacked. Ana lunged forward biting my arm, then rolled onto her back and shot her head up, towards my throat. I felt the pressure of her teeth around my windpipe, but I didn't feel them pierce the skin. I slashed her with my claws, hard enough for her to back off, but not to hurt her. I guess my fur was thicker around my neck, making it hard for a throat bite. Ana didn't circle and went for another attack and then another in succession. She swiped me with those clawed hands of hers. The force was staggering…she was testing me before…now she was serious. I got to my feet, thinking that I would have more of an advantage on two legs. Ana got onto her feet; she was a bit wobbly, but she could stand.
"Look, John, she's learning!" Lee Ann pointed out excitedly. Ana and I locked hands and put our strength to the test. "Come on, Ana!" Lee Ann shouted. She was strong…stronger than I thought. Ana gave me a toothy grin and bent my hands back. I tried getting away, but her grip was firm. Ana made me sink to my knee and there she pinned me down, under her padded foot. She began to have at me trying to claw my face. I put up my arms for protection.
"ANA!" I grabbed one hand. "STOP!" I grabbed the other. She roared and hissed at me, trying to pull away. "Come on, Ana! Listen to my voice…Remember who you are…what you are!" I shouted. She started to back way from me. I slowly got up and still held her hands. Ana closed her eyes and roared, something was going on inside her head. She yanked her hands away and held her head. "Fight it, Ana! Fight!"
…..What's happening? …Must kill rival…in my territory….tear to pieces, defend….I saw PC in his cat form standing there, his forearms bloody…he was talking to me his voice soft….Defend…rival comes to take territory….NO…attack, hunt, feed….STOP IT!...ATTACK!
Ana stopped squirming and stood still. "Ana? Talk to me," I said gently. I approached. "Ana?" She hooked her claws into my shirt and looked up at me.
" RAAAAWWWWRRR!" she roared and hurled me across the room . She got down on all fours, and then lunged at me. She grabbed me by the shirt and flipped, throwing me back over her, to the center of the room.
"PC! GET UP!" Bree shouted. I moved quickly, but not quickly enough. I was on my knees when she bounded up and fixed her teeth on the nape of my neck. It was another tactic used by lions in order to paralyze their prey; she was trying to snap my spinal cord. Fortunately for me, Ana was winding up with more fur in her mouth than flesh. She gagged, but still tried to inflict damage by pulling on my fur. I yowled and was able to break way. Ana spat the fur out of her mouth and we charged in on all fours again. This time I pinned her. "Ana, listen to my voice…listen to me," I said softly. "Remember….please try…your name is Ana Skynard…You live on Hollywood street in Rhode Island, you're 13, you hate spiders and you shared a pet cat with your big brother…the cat's name was Pogo." I rattled on about everything I knew about Ana. Hoping something would stick in her head…something would make her remember, that even though she had an animal like body she had a human soul and mind. She roared again and threw me off, then jumped up and stomped down on my chest. I grunted and I felt the air rush out of me. Pain intensified as she forced her weight down on my chest. "KILL HIM NOW!" John ordered. Suddenly, Breeaka rushed in and wrapped her arms around Ana and she began to talk about her, in a calm voice.
Not listen! Kill…kill…kill? No…I'm not an animal…I may look it, but I know I don't sound like it….I have a voice…I have a name…what is that name? My name is….my name is….ANA!
Ana stopped squirming and stood limp in Bree's arms, her hair draped over her face. I was beginning to worry that this was a repeat from last time. Then something wet fell on my face. A whimpering sound came from Ana and she began to cry. She took her foot off my chest and slowly sank to the floor. Bree rocked her gently.
"Ana?" I asked.
She looked at me, tears streaming down "Yes? I-I'm here…Seth." She reached out and gave me a hug. She cried and I stroked her hair and fur.
"Shhhh," I said. "It's okay…no one's going to hurt you anymore…speaking of which." I looked over to where my parents were supposed to be standing. I growled in my throat. "Bree, will you take care of Ana? I've got a score to settle."
"Try not to do anything stupid."
I grinned. "You got it." I took off down the hall.
It didn't take me long to find my parents. I saw them retreating down a corridor and pounced on Lee Ann.
"STOP RIGHT THERE!" I snarled. Lee Ann froze and so did John.
"Please Seth…don't do this," Lee Ann cried.
"You know how many times I've said that to Whitecoats. They never stopped and at this moment. Neither should I." Lee Ann wailed in fright.
"You will do nothing…or I swear I will put a bullet through you like the animal you are," John said, pulling out a small pistol.
"Psh, you think that little pop gun is going to stop me?"
"There's only one way to find out…please, Seth," He said, his hand trembling. "Don't push me. I don't want to have to say I murdered my own son."
"Oh, so I'm your son now."
"Seth..." he warned. I backed off of Lee Ann and stood up.
"Put that away…I'm not going to hurt you," I said dismissively.
"What did you say?"
"I said I'm not going to hurt you. Why? You may be asking? Because, even though I may not like you that much anymore…you're still my parents and besides it's like mom said when you guys locked Breeaka away to die…death is too good for you."
"You know, you and your friends haven't accomplished anything…this facility will be rebuilt and it will start all over again."
I nodded "Yes…I expected that much…but you see, when this facility is rebuilt, me and my friends will be waiting…when you want to start round two. And I will be a thorn in your side until I have no breath left in me."
"PC! We've got to get out of here…reinforcements are arriving!" I heard Bree shout as she ran toward me .
"That's my queue, see you around." Then I heard a clicking sound and then a bunch of successive clicks. I turned around and saw John frustrated pulling the trigger. I frowned playfully and shook my head. "It works better if the safety is turned off." Then I dashed down the hall and met up with Bree and Ana.
"Yeah someone must've phoned a lab nearby. We need to get out of here before they swamp the place." We ran through a maze of halls and finally we made it outside. The area looked like a battleground, carcasses everywhere and the building itself looked like it have been through a war. We ran into the woods and kept running until we arrived at the Spot. There the other experiments were waiting for us. It was great to see everyone again and I never thought that everyone would be happy to see me. There we all rested and celebrated our little victory.
That night was cool and full of stars. I had left the celebration, which included mostly telling stories and sharing food, to check on Ana, who sat on the cliff's edge. I sat next to her.
"The stars are pretty, aren't they," she said.
I nodded. "Yeah."
"What's going to happen to me now?" she asked.
"Well, we will have to rebuild the Network and since I don't think we will be under threat for a while…I can probably teach you how to use your form more effectively."
"Will I be able to shape shift like you?"
I shrugged. "I don't know…maybe with time. I think."
"I thinking about changing my name."
"Yeah, I mean all of you have different names than your original ones. Mom and Dad started calling me SaphFire."
"SaphFire? Whitecoats aren't really that original are they."
"I kind of liked it for a bit…but I think I would like something more…realistic."
"Yeah, Blue Cat," Ana said with a smile.
"You don't expect ME to call you that? Do you?"
"PC," she said irritated.
"Oh come on, I'm just playing with you, BC."
Suddenly, we both turned around to see Bree standing behind us.
"I'm… going inside to get some more food. I'm still hungry," she said hastily and walked back inside the cave. I stood up and brushed the dirt off my pants.
"Hey," I said.
"Hey," Bree said. "Was Ana okay?"
"Yeah, she's fine…she just informed me that she is going by the alias, BC for Blue Cat." "BC, huh?"
"…Copy cat. You know, there is something that puzzles me. You were before Jeb so many times and yet you didn't try to kill him."
"I couldn't… even if I had the chance…it's not my place…He can only be touched by one person and one person only."
"Maximum Ride," I said.
"I see," she nodded. We stood side by side looking at the stars.
"They're pretty, aren't they," I said. Bree nodded. "Kind of like you."
Bree cocked her head to one side. "Is that supposed to be a pick up line?"
I frowned "Yeah…It sounded lame ,didn't it." Bree grabbed my shirt and pulled me close to her. I held her tightly. " Bree, I love you…I wanted to say that for a long time …but for some reason I never could…when I thought you were dead… I almost thought that I lost my cha—"
Bree put her finger to my lips and said. "You never had to say that to me, Seth…you know why? Because you SHOWED me...and for me, that's enough."
I smiled. "Same here. You wanna try that kissing thing again?"
"Sure," she said softly. We leaned into each other and kissed passionately, for a few minutes give or take and when we broke away I said, "I take it back…kissing isn't overrated."
Bree grinned. "I agree."
After that night, we began to rebuild the Network. We set fire to our old safe houses and disappeared off the School's radar. We even added some members to our Network and became known as the 13 Ghosts. I was number 1, Breeaka 2, Mercy 3, Reynard 4, Olga 5, Rashmed 6, Chris 7, Card 8, Gozbud 9, Feather 10, Rafmire 11, Torrin 12, and when Ana is capable, she would be dubbed Blue Cat, number 13. We are the 13 Ghosts, if you ever need help, we will be there...Oh and one more thing ...Go Get'm MAX!... You may not know us…but we know you, we have your back and we hope you stop the School for good…..
All original characters Purple Cat
Random Erasers, Land Sharks and Howlers
Random Onlookers, Whitecoats, Drivers and Security Operators.
All original Maximum Ride Characters James Patterson
Where'd You Go Fort Minor and Holly Brook
Pretty Fly (for a white guy) The Offspring
Bad Day David Powter
Harder to Breathe Maroon 5
Captain Hampton and the Midget Pirates Aquabats
Stay with You Goo Goo Dolls
It's Only me Barenaked Ladies
Move Along All American Rejects
What Hurt's the Most Rascal Flatts
Over My Head(Cable Car) The Frey
Jumper Third Eye Blind
The Real thing Bo Bice
Once again thank you to all who supported this series, either by commenting or giving it a casual glance. As usual I would like any positive feedback you can give me. Again thanks for the support.
I really enjoyed this