Sweeping, swooping, soaring, air-current thrill rides—there’s nothing better. For miles around, us were the just things in the infinite, wide-open, clear blue sky. You desire an adrenaline rush? shot tucking her wings in, dive-bombing for about a mile directly down, climate whoosh! wings out, take an air present like a pit bull, and hang on because that the drive of your life. God, naught is better, an ext fun, much more exciting.

Okay, we were mutant freaks, we were on the lam, yet man, flying—well, there’s a factor people always dream around it.

“Oh, mine gosh!” the Gasman stated excitedly. The pointed. “A UFO!”

i silently counted come ten. There was nothing wherein the Gasman had actually pointed. Together usual. “That to be funny the an initial fifty times, Gazzy,” ns said. “It’s gaining old.”

the cackled, numerous wingspans far from me. Yes nothing prefer an eight-year-old’s sense of humor.

“Max? just how long it rotates we get to DC?” inquiry Nudge, pulling up closer come me. She looked tired—we’d had actually one long, ugly day. Well, an additional long, ugly work in a whole collection of long, ugly days. If I ever actually had a good, simple day, I’d probably freak out.

“Another hour? Hour and a half?” i guessed.

Nudge no say anything. I actors a rapid glance in ~ the remainder of my flock. Fang, Iggy, and I were holding steady, however we had mucho de stamina. I mean, the younger collection also had actually stamina, especially compared to dinky small nonmutant humans. Yet even they provided out eventually.

this is the deal—for anybody brand-new on this trip. Over there are 6 of us: Angel, who six; Gasman, period eight; Iggy, who’s fourteen, and blind; Nudge, eleven; Fang and also me (Max), we’re fourteen too. Us escaped from the lab whereby we were raised, were given wings and also other assorted powers. Castle want united state back—badly. However we’re not going back. Ever.

ns shifted complete to my other arm, happy he no weigh much more than twenty pounds. He roused slightly, then draped himself throughout my arm and also went back to sleep, the wind whistling with his black color fur. Go I want a dog? No. Walk I require a dog? also no. Us were six youngsters running for our lives, not learning where our next meal was coming from. Can we purchased to feeding a dog? Wait for it—no.

“You okay?” Fang cruised up together me. His wings to be dark and nearly silent, like Fang himself.

“In what way?” ns asked. Ns mean, there to be the headache issue, the ch

ip issue, the Voice-in-my-head-constantly issue, my healing cartridge wound. . . . “Can friend be an ext specific?”

“Killing Ari.”

my breath froze in mine throat. Just Fang can cut ideal to the love of the issue like that. Only Fang knew me the well, and went the far.

once we’d to be escaping native the Institute, in new York, Erasers and also whitecoats had displayed up, that course. God forbid we need to make a clean getaway. Erasers, if friend don’t understand already, room wolflike creatures who have actually been chasing us constantly since we escaped native the lab, or college as we call it. One of the Erasers had been Ari. Wednesday fought, together we’d combated before, and then suddenly, with no warning, ns was sit on his chest, staring at his lifeless eyes, his broken neck bent in ~ an aer angle.

the was twenty-four hours ago.

“It was you or him,” Fang stated calmly. “I’m happy you picked you.”

ns let out a deep breath. Erasers simpled every little thing up: They had actually no qualms about killing, for this reason you had to lose your squeamishness around it too. But Ari had actually been different. I’d known him, mental him together a tiny kid ago at the School. Ns knew him.

Plus, over there was the last, awful bellow native Ari’s father, Jeb, echoing after ~ me again and also again as I flew with the tunnels:




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“You eliminated your own brother!”

2

that course, Jeb was a lying, cheating manipulator, for this reason he could have simply been yanking mine chain. However his anguish after he’d found his dead son had actually sounded real.

and also even though ns loathed and despised Jeb, i still felt together though I had actually an anvil on my chest.

You had actually to do it, Max. You’re still working toward the greater good. And also nothing can interfere with that. Nothing deserve to interfere through your mission to save the world.

ns took one more deep breath v clenched jaws. Geez, Voice. Next you’ll be telling me that to make an omelet, I need to break a couple of eggs.

i sighed. Yes, I have a Voice within my head, i mean, one more one as well as my own. Ns pretty certain that if friend look up the word nuts in the dictionary, you’ll uncover my picture. Just one more fun function of my mutant-bird-kid-freak package.

“Do you desire me to take him?” point of view asked, gesturing towards the dog in mine arms.

“No, that’s okay,” ns said. Full weighed almost fifty percent of what angel weighed—I no know how she’d carried him as much as she had. “I know,” ns said, brightening. “Fang will certainly take him.”

I gave my wing an extra beat and surged up over Fang, our wings sweeping in rhythm. “Here,” i said, lowering Total. “Have a dog.” Vaguely Scottie-ish in size and looks, complete wiggled a bit, climate quickly settled into Fang’s arms. He gave Fang a small lick, and I had to bite the inside of my cheek to store from snickering in ~ Fang’s expression.

I increased a bit, flying the end in front of the flock, emotion an excitement overshadowing my fatigue and also the dark load of what had happened. We were headed to brand-new territory—and we could even find our parental this time. We had actually escaped the Erasers and also the whitecoats—our previous “keepers”—again. We were all together and also no one was badly wounded. Because that this quick moment, i felt free and strong, as if ns was beginning fresh, anywhere again. We would uncover our parents—I might feel it.

i was emotion . . . I paused, trying to surname this sensation.

ns felt type of optimistic. Regardless of everything.

positive outlook is overrated, Max, claimed the Voice. It’s better to face reality head-on.

i wondered if the Voice can see me rolling mine eyes, indigenous the inside.

3

the had acquired dark hours ago. He should have heard by now. The fearsome Eraser paced roughly the small clearing, and then unexpectedly the revolution in his ear made that wince. He pressed the earpiece that his receiver and also listened.

What the heard made him smile, in spite of feeling like crap, despite having a rage so fierce that felt together if it were going to burn him up from the inside out.

one of his men saw the expression ~ above his face and motioned the rather to it is in quiet. That nodded, said “Got it” into his mouthpiece, and tapped off his transmitter.

that looked end at his troop. “We obtained our coordinates,” the said. That tried to stand up to rubbing his hands together in glee yet couldn’t. “They’re top south-southwest and passed Philadelphia thirty minute ago. The Director to be right—they’re going to Washington DC.”

“How heavy is this info?” among his Erasers asked.

“From the horse’s mouth,” he said, starting to check his equipment. He rolling his shoulders, grimacing, climate popped a pains pill.

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“Which horse?” asked one more Eraser, was standing up and fastening a night-vision monocle over one eye.