Okay, so this is a Maximum Ride/Twilight Crossover. I'm making this up as I go along, so I hope it's not bad.

Max POV

Self preservation. The strongest instinct and the centerpiece of humanity. The core of every thought, moral, action, and decision. The essence of everyone's past, future, and present. The very shadow that clings to our soles, curling around our ankles.

Well, I, the very untraditional Maximum Ride, have screwed self preservation over. You would think, growing up the way we did, that self preservation would be all we had, the very guideline of our existence. What can I say? They are so much more important. When a whitecoat came to me with the question, the answer was obvious. So the flock was set free while I remained captive.

Flashback

"Max" The retched whitecoat said to me, not even looking up from the clipboard he held in his hands. "From our observations we have found you and the other avian experiments intolerably uncooperative"

Well, duh, I wanted to scream. 'Hey, Max, it's your turn for the dissection table. We just need to look at the inner structure of you arms, so we'll be looking in both of those. Oh, and we ran out of knock out gas, and painkiller, for that matter, so you'll have to do without that.' 'Yes! Just let me out of this amazingly comfortable dog crate and show me the way. I'm so excited! Hey, I'm allowed to scream, right?' I mean, come on! We sure as hell were not going down without a fight!

"Therefore," the whitecoat continued, "We will keep one of you and exterminate the rest."

My thoughts immediately jumped to the flock. Especially Angel. I couldn't let them kill her, but I wasn't going to leave her by herself. My mind, and heart for that matter, was going a million miles a minute, searching for loopholes, for anything.

"I'll make you a deal," I began, using the only bearable option I could see, "How about you keep me and release the rest of the flock. I will do everything you say without a fight, and you can tell the others I'm dead so they won't try to rescue me. You will never touch them again, they will never see you again, and you get your experiment. I can grantee that if you kill them, I will go kicking a screaming all the way. It's your choice." I tried to keep my voice even, but venom seeped into my last sentence.

The whitecoat was quiet for a while, but rather he was thinking or listening to something in his earpiece I wasn't sure. Finally he spoke. "We will take this deal, Maximum Ride, and look forward to your cooperation." With that he turned to the door.

"Wait!" I shouted, making him turn back to me. "When you tell my flock that I am dead and they are being released, give Fang this," I plucked a feather from my wing and handed it to the whitecoat, "And tell them I said this…"

End Flashback

That was the last I knew of them. The whitecoat came back later, said they had been released, and took me for more experimenting. The days went on rather repetitively after that, in a blur of bleakness, terror, and pain, and the strong stench of blood.

The only reason I still know how old I am was because Jeb would always wish me a happy birthday, and actually give me a day of relaxation. At first, I could never stop thinking about the flock, but I managed to stop myself after a while. Whatever happened to them, I would never be with them again. I never asked about them, but I overheard a few things in the beginning, but after a year, the rest of the flock was forgotten. There was only me.

The thing I had heard was that they programmed fake memories of when I was exterminated into the whitecoat that informed the flock of my death, me giving him a feather and begging him to pass on my final words to my flock, all set up for Angel. It was both saddening for me that she had to see that, and yet relieving, because they wouldn't doubt that I was dead and come back.

I never lifted a finger against anything they did to me. I was terrified that they would track down the flock and either kill or capture them if I broke my side of the deal. Ari was still around to, and they had managed to extend his expiration date by a few years, so I often saw him wandering around the school, usually following Jeb. I never really took much notice of him, to focused on all the experiments on me, ect. I never expected him to end the way he did. The experiments were actually useful, at times. They got some better scientists, who were always giving me new powers, and almost never screwed up. Once a day I was taken into a field with high feces and an electric net over the top so I could train.

I was sixteen when Ari came to me one day, leaning on the top of my crate and leaning down to whisper to me. "I've got my expiration date again, and I want to get out of here. But I need your help. Are you game?"

I didn't even hesitate, even though a small part of me was shouting that it was a trap. "What's the plan?" I eyed his neck, and sure enough, I saw small black numbers.

"In three days time, I will take you to your training. Beforehand, I will turn off the electricity in the netting. Can you carry me over it?" He asked. Huh, not a bad plan.

"Yes," I responded with absolute confidence. And with that, Ari just nodded and kicked my cage before walking away, probably because there was a whitecoat rounding the corner. I saw him give Ari a look, but then he returned his attention to me. Great, another experiment. I wondered idly what power it was this time.

A few days later, Ari came to take me to training. He grabbed my arm and I walked the familiar route to the training grounds. It went very smoothly after that. I trained a while to warm up, then, without any warning, I grabbed Ari and flew straight through the netting, which was in fact un-electrified.

I poured on the speed, and the school was far behind us before long. I was free. Free. After so long of accepting my fate, it felt like I was suddenly turned back into that fourteen year old version of myself, strong and impenetrable. Accept, I was so much stronger. This was the part where Ari and I finally landed.

"So, Max, what all powers do you have?" Ari, who was much happier free, asked me a few days after out escape. "I was always wondering with how much they were experimenting on you."

I blocked out the memories of the stiff table and the bright light shining on me while masked whitecoats stood over me. "Well, I can lift 2000 pounds, and can fly normally carrying 1000 pounds, I can fly normally for 3 days, and with super speed for 2. My speed reaches 700 miles a minute while flying, and 600 on foot. All my senses are super-boosted, compared to before, I can move items with my mind, control the elements, and my newest power yet, I can change items into other items."

Ari just gawked at me for a moment. "…How much energy do you use to do these things!?" he asked, flabbergasted.

"Hardly any. I was specially trained to be able to use my powers like you can flick your finger. Without much energy, concentration, or difficulty." I marveled once again at how amazing my skills were. It certainly wasn't worth all I had been through, but it was pretty dang close.

It wasn't long after that that Ari's expiration date kicked in. I gave him a burial ceremony, and then tried to figure out my next move. I wanted to look for the flock, but I wasn't sure if that was a good idea. If itex was looking for me, and I was with the flock, they would find us all. On top of that, they thought I was dead. I wasn't even sure if I myself could handle being with them again after so long of erasing them from my mind.

Then, a light bulb went off in my head. I would look for Mom. Maybe the flock was with her… maybe. Just maybe. I flew straight towards Arizona, pouring on all my speed.