A/N A know it's been a LOOOOOOOOONG time since I updated, but… hmmm… I don't really have any excuses. Sorry! I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but this takes place after book 3. Also, there might be some misinformation, but that's because I haven't read Maximum Ride for a long time.

"Max! Max, wake up!" I heard a voice yell in my ear.

"What?" I still hadn't fully awoken

"You started yelling like a mad man!" I suddenly realized who it was yelling and rolled away as fast as I could. I stood up and got into a fighting stance, then fell to the ground in pain. After months of being beaten up by Fang, my body felt like… well, like I had been being beaten up for months.

Jeb had gotten up and was walking toward me slowly, as if I were a wild animal that might attack him if he made any sudden movements. I would have attacked him sudden movements or no, but I could barely move.

"Max, please calm down!" Jeb pleaded.

"Oh, yeah, I'm going to listen to you, after you killed the flock and then injected me with some tranquilizer," I retorted.

"Let me explain. If you don't listen up I'm gonna have to paralyze you with this!" As if to emphasize his point, Jeb pulled at needle with what looked like a ten-inch tip.

I eyed the needle warily and said grudgingly, "Fine!"

"First of all, I need to explain some things. Itex has not been destroyed. You may have destroyed the Director, but she was just a distraction. Itex still has an even more powerful Director. Next, you may have noticed that I am not a regular weak human anymore. I fooled Itex into thinking that I work for them, so they…augmented me. Remember Omega? Well I'm similar to him, but not as brainless."

I sighed, then asked, annoyed, "Explain why I care about any of this. As matter of fact, I'm outta here." I jumped up to my feet, ignoring the horrible pain that coursed through my entire being. I tried to away but Jeb was too fast.

He jumped on me and wrestled me to the ground. I bit him, but nothing seemed to affect him. Jeb pulled out the aforementioned needle and stabbed it into my arm.

You would think that after months of being beaten by Fang, a needle would seem like nothing, but you're wrong. Believe me, I felt that giant needle.

I tried to squirm away from Jeb, but the needle took effect fast. I could feel everything, but I could not move. It was one of the most terrifying sensations of my life, and that's saying something.

"Okay. You listening?" Jeb didn't wait for a response (mainly because I couldn't give one) and continued talking like nothing had happened. "So… Where was I? Oh yeah. After I was augmented, Itex started sending me out on… tasks, which I am trying hard to forget about. They were very bloody. Mainly they were just testing me to see how good an assassin I was. After many of these said tasks, they gave me my last mission. It was too find you and your flock."

The moment he said "your flock" I started trying to tune him out. Which is virtually impossible when you're paralyzed.

"Maximum, by the way, you will only be paralyzed for one hour. I don't want you worrying about that," Jeb said, and truth be told, I had been starting to worry if I would be nothing more than a lifeless shell for the rest of my life. "But back to the past. I was sent to find and capture the flock."

I felt my heart start to fly. Jeb had said, "capture the flock." not "kill the flock". Maybe I had been right when I had thought the flock wasn't dead. I was starting to get interested in what Jeb had to say to me.

"Yes, you heard me correctly. The flock is not dead. After I shot them in the wings, a group of Flyboys, as you call them, caught them as they fell injected them with some tranquilizers, and brought them back to Itex base somewhere in the Rocky Mountains," Jeb explained all of this to me as if he was eager to finally tell someone that the flock was alive.

And then I realized. The whole flock wasn't alive. Fang. Fang was lying dead…somewhere. I realized that Jeb had moved Fang's body while I had been unconscious.

"Maximum, I am about to unparalyze you with an antidote. You should know that if you do try to move, I have another tranquilizer in my belt."

Jeb moved toward me, antidote in hand. He drew close and quickly jabbed me with the needle. For some reason, I hardly felt the needle pierce my skin. Then I realized that my body was no longer in immense pain.

"The paralyzer also had a ingredient that healed you. How it works is way beyond me," Jeb explained, as if reading my mind. "Maximum, are you thinking of running?"

"No," I responded. I did not know if I entirely trusted Jeb, but what choice did I really have. Anyway, I wanted answers.

"The reason I unparalyzed you is because this next piece of information might be hard for you to absorb," Jeb informed me.

"Well get on with it then. Piss or get off the pot!"

"Mind your tongue, Maximum Ride! You may forget, but I am your father."

"Yeah, yeah," I responded sarcastically.

"Fang is not dead. What you shot was a clone."

A/N I'll try to update faster this time. Scratch that. I will update faster next time.