This is the Revised Version of the Revised Version of Project: Phoenix, although it probably has another name…

Sorry to anyone who liked it, but it's going to be better this time! I know, that's what I said last time I rewrote this story, but I solemnly swear that I am up to no- I mean I solemnly swear I will do a better time writing this story this time around!

/

"Max?" Angel said, trying to get my attention.

"Yes sweetie?" I replied while effortlessly gliding closer to her.

"I was just wondering if we could land and grab some food. We haven't eaten since breakfast. It's already five in the afternoon."

"Sure thing, come on guys, lets land." I called to the rest of the Flock. All six of us aimed downward and prepared to land. We'd been flying four six hours straight trying to get as far away as possible from Jeb and all the other crap we usually contend with. I flew down in a lazy spiral, gracefully landing on my feet on a worn down asphalt road. The Flock followed suit. I shook out my legs to try to get out the pins and needles out of my feet while drawing my wings back and folding them neatly in the indentation between my shoulders.

"Where are we?" Iggy asked.

"I have no idea whatsoever." I replied, shading my eyes against sun.

"I think we're in Maine…" Fang interjected.

"How could you possibly know that?"

He said nothing, but pointed to a wooden sign behind me that read: "WELCOME TO TENANTS HARBOR, MAINE!" Underneath the text was a fading, painted Barn Owl.

"Ah." I replied simply. "Now, there should be some kind of gas station or restaurant around here."

Nudge tapped on my shoulder. "I think I saw a store or something about a mile back," she told me.

"Lead the way."

The Flock and I started to trek across the uneven ground. I was careful to make sure my mud splattered combat boots didn't get stuck in a hole. Raising my head, I noticed a Barn Owl, just like the one on the sign was perched on a tree near us. The forest that surrounded us was thick, except where the road cut through it. The owl gave a cry and took off the branch, speeding into the setting sun. Gray clouds covered the normally azure sky. We had been flying just underneath them for a great deal of our journey. A snowflake began to drift down from the sky and it landed on my jacket.

"We need to find shelter soon." I told my flock. "It's starting to snow."

We sped up, and finally reached the store ten minutes later. It was a red brick coffee house called The Cottage. The snow was beginning to fall thickly around us. The dim lights from the shops' ceiling seemed cozy compared to outside. The heating was on and we all breathed out in a sigh of relief as we warmed up. There was no one else in the shop except for a girl and a boy a few years older than us. The girl was behind the counter, and was wearing a green apron type thing over a red shirt and black jeans. Her auburn hair was tucked up into a gray fedora, with only a few strands hanging down. The boy was mopping up a spill, had blue hair, and also wore jeans, but they were faded and raggedy. A long sleeved, button up shirt covered up his arms.

"Hello, how may I help you?" The girl asked. As I got closer, I noticed a nametag on her apron that said her name was Phoebe.

"Nah, we just kind of came here to warm up." I replied with a smile.

She smiled back. "Trust me; you're not the only person to have done that. The weather up here can be really brutal, but you get used to it. Hey, Karac! She said to the boy. Why don't you set these guys up with a hot chocolate?"

"Oh, we don't have any money." I said.

"Don't worry about it, our family own this store. We've been giving people free drinks since before my and Karac were born!"

"It's true." Karac mumbled from the corner. His voice was deep, which fit his fit, muscular, and tall physique. I shook my head getting all thoughts about his appearance out of my head. He went over to a large espresso machine and grabbed six white porcelain cups. The delightful smell of chocolate wafted over to us and Gazzy, Nudge, and Angel quickly grabbed the first three cups. Fang, Iggy, and I took ours semi-tentatively. Phoebe directed us to a couple of couches in the back. She grabbed a cup herself and sat down with us.

"So, what brings you guys to our little shop?" Phoebe asked, taking a small sip from her mug. "We don't get very many here in the Harbor, and never a group as young as you! How old are you three?" she gestured to me, Fang, and Iggy.

"Eighteen." I quickly lied as Nudge started to open her mouth. "We're eighteen."

"Hm, well you do look like it. I'm nineteen, and Karac is eighteen like you guys." She looked over at the three kids. "It seems like you guys need more hot chocolate."

They had already finished their first cups and weren't showing any signs of unconsciousness, but I still didn't really trust the two young adults who conveniently had a store right where we'd landed. Phoebe got up and took the three empty cups that were lying on a small oak table in front of the plush brown couches.

"Can I get you guys anything else? We have a bunch of bakery goods we were going t have to throw out, but you can have them if you don't mind them being stale."

Nudge took that as an invitation to start blabbing. "We don't mind at all. We've eaten a lot worse than stale bagels like that time we ate a ra-"

"No we don't mind." Angel interrupted, stopping her.

"I'll go get them for you then." Phoebe replied cheerfully. Karac took the cups from her as she went back behind the counter. I noticed his walk for the first time. He did a kind of slow, shuffle, almost as if it was uncomfortable to walk.

"Are you okay?" Gazzy asked rudely. "It looks like you hurt yourself."

"Nah, kid. I'm fine. It's just this weather, freezes up the joints and all. It's no problem." Karac replied good humouredly, but he still mumbled.

"Here's those bakery goods." Phoebe interjected, popping up from behind the counter. She held a few pans full of scones, bagels, and the like.

I still couldn't believe how good these people were being to us. I just knew on the inside that this was definitely going to end well.

/

If any of you had read my previous version of this, you probably know who Phoebe and Karac are, but hey, they're different already!