I looked around frantically for whoever it was that was talking to me. I determined that the voice was either a boy or a really boyish sounding girl, so it definitely wasn't Jasmine. (Unless she could make her voice sound way different than it was...) Plus, I thought I detected a slight lisp.
"Who's there?" I called out into the darkness. I thought I was facing the direction where the voice had come from, but I didn't know for sure.
"I can assure you I'm not your enemy, Maximum." he said, sounding like he was behind me.
"And how can I be so sure? For all I know, everyone's my enemy." I said defiantly.
"You and I both know you don't believe that, Maximum. While there are people who would prefer your existence to be a short one, there are people who love you very much and would do anything to protect you." his voice was calm, light, and his way of talking was waaaaay different than anyone else's I had ever met. So, basically, I had no idea who he was.
"Who are you?" I asked, stopping short of a yell.
"Calm down, Maximum. I only wish to speak with you." his sounding so calm made me want to strangle him, whoever he was.
"Who are you?" I repeated, yelling this time.
"You don't recognize me? I'm hurt."
"Trust me, when I'm done with ya, you will be hurting." I growled. I heard him chuckle. There was a moment of silence where I scanned the dim building, trying to see him. It was like he was invisible or something, because no matter how hard I looked, he wasn't there. "Who are you?" I screamed, hoping my persistence would pay off.
"I'm known as N1C01_43 to the scientists, but you call me by many names." he paused as I tried to figure out who it was. It didn't sound like Jeb or Fang or Iggy or...well, I guess it could have been Gazzy playing a trick on me, but I never remembered anyone calling him N1C01_43... "The most common name you use when referring to me is 'The Voice'," my breath caught in my lungs. If this was Gazzy playing a trick on me, I was going to pound him to within twelve inches of his life. I heard him chuckle again and regained my composure.
"No, Maximum Ride, I am not the Gassman." Okay, so I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised when he read my mind, since if he was The Voice, he did it all the time. I took a deep breath then began speaking.
"You have 3 seconds to explain a lot of things," I said, still trying to find him. If this was what he really sounded like, I had to know what he really looked like.
"I shall answer all the questions I can, Maximum." he said. It sounded like he was on surround sound so I didn't know where to look for him.
"Is that how you really sound?" Yes, that was my first question. Why? Don't ask.
"Yes, Maximum Ride, this is my true voice." he replied with yet another chuckle.
"Then why don't you sound like that in my head?"
"Because I didn't want you to know how I really sound until we spoke in person."
"How come Jeb can do The Voice voice?" I wondered if that question made any sense.
"Jeb has always been able to use the same voice I used when speaking to you telepathically."
"Then why did you sound that way in my head?"
"I thought using his voice would make you feel less apprehensive about it. Apparently you didn't know about Jeb's other voice at that time, though, so the effort was a bit in vain, I suppose." I was wishing he would talk normally, because all of those large words were making my brain work too hard when it was already reeling.
"Why have you been in my head?" I asked probably the biggest question yet as loud as I could. There was a pause before he answered.
"That question has a much longer answer than the others, Maximum." he said softly.
"I have time." I folded my arms over my chest and glared around the room. Whether that was a lie or not I wasn't sure, but I really wanted the answer to this question, and I was going to get it. One way or another.