Once again, GhostlyOtter and NekoShogun join me, EmotedLlama, to go through the entirety of chapter 12.
“We clear on plan B?” I asked, raising my voice so Fang and Nudge could hear me over the roar of the wind.
We were headed into the sun, south south-west. Leaving the Sangre De Cristo Mountains behind, streaking through the sky at a steady ninety miles per hour. If we hit a nice air current, we could add twenty miles per hour to our speed. The glory of flight.
EmotedLlama: How does Max know how fast they’re going? Also, going at 90 MPH would mean they’re traveling at the speed of the third fastest level flight bird. Add twenty miles, and they’re going faster than any bird. Somehow, I don’t think that’s possible.
GhostlyOtter: And how are they talking at that speed?
NekoShogun: At that speed, how long before they reach the sun? The sooner they burn up, the sooner I get to go home.
Fang nodded. God, is he ever the strong and silent type.
GhostlyOtter: I misread this as “God is ever the strong and silent type.”
NekoShogun: Me too!
“Uh-huh,” said Nudge. “If we get separated somehow–though I don’t see how we could, unless maybe one of us gets lost in a cloud or something–do you think that could happen? I haven’t ever been inside a cloud. I bet it’s creepy. Can you see anything inside a cloud–”
EmotedLlama: I’d like to go to a cloud.
I shot her a look.
NekoShogun: I saw “I shot her” and got excited for a moment.
She paused, then quickly finished. “We meet up at the northmost point of Lake Mead.”
EmotedLlama: Funny, that. I looked up Lake Mead on Google Maps, and it would appear there is no north point. It turns into a river.
I nodded. “And where’s the School?”
“In Death Valley, eight miles due north from the Badwater Basin.”
EmotedLlama: …The secret facility is in a national park. Brilliant.
GhostlyOtter: They’re rich, they do what they want. Remember the chimpanzees?
Her mouth opened to add more, but I raised my eyebrows at her.
EmotedLlama: Because you can see that when traveling at 90 MPH.
I love Nudge, Nudge is a great kid, but that motormouth of hers could have turned Mother Teresa into an axe murderer.
GhostlyOtter: What? I kind of doubt that, you know.
NekoShogun: What’s a motormouth?
GhostlyOtter: A motormouth is someone who talks a lot. Everyone knows that.
EmotedLlama: Say, how does she know of Mother Teresa? I don’t know much about her, certainly not enough to make this remark. Maybe I don’t hang out in the right Internet places…
“You got it,” I said. “Good job.” Did you hear that address?
EmotedLlama: Yes we did.
Could the School be located in a more perfect place? Death Valley. Above the Badwater Basin. Like, when we get there, we’d see a road paved with good intentions and have to cross the river Styx to get in. Wouldn’t surprise me.
EmotedLlama: Oh, so that’s why the School is in Death Valley. So JPatterson could make a quick quip about it.
GhostlyOtter: I’m not sure what I’m reading here. That is so cheesy.
NekoShogun: Does anyone else think it would be interesting if it was in Hell, Michigan? Just saying. Google Earth it, kids.
NekoShogun: “–blew the pages forward and suddenly the book was ending. Thank God, in all his silent strength.”
–was undoing my braid–
NekoShogun: That’s much more boring.
GhostlyOtter: What? I look over your (EmotedLlama) shoulder and I see “chunks”. What is this?
(GhostlyOtter and NekoShogun literally ROFLed over this.)
–of long hair whipped–
NekoShogun: Oooh, chunks of hair!
GhostlyOtter: I whip my hair back and forth.
NekoShogun: I’m pretty sure you only get chunks of hair if a hot glue goes very, very wrong.
GhostlyOtter: It’s the bird genes. Her hair is falling out; that’s gonna be feathers soon.
–annoyingly across my face. Note to self: get hair cut.
EmotedLlama: Should’ve done that before they left.
The Gasman and Iggy had been none-too-happy campers when we’d left, but I thought I’d made the right decision. That was the problem with this leader stuff. It didn’t come with an instruction manual. Given what Angel was facing, their being unhappy was the least of my concerns.
EmotedLlama: Say, just what is Angel facing, anyway? We haven’t heard much about the School or what horrors go on there.
I glanced over at Fang and saw that his face looked serene, almost–well, not exactly happy.
EmotedLlama: Serene doesn’t mean happy.
Fang’s never happy–but just really calm. I edged closer to him.
EmotedLlama: I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that “but” should not be there.
“On the plus side, flying is just really, really, cool,” I said, and he looked at me with a half smile–
GhostlyOtter: He’s just all serene and calm, going at 90 miles per hour.
NekoShogun: It’s the wind; it’s making it look like he’s smiling by pushing his face back. And what about how they’re talking? They sound like stereotypical teenagers, despite the reminders that they grew up in a lab every paragraph.
EmotedLlama: Beware the HALF SMILE OF UNDERSTANDING!
His dark wings moved powerfully, glinting faintly purple in the sunlight.
GhostlyOtter: That is so stupid sounding!
The wind was whistling–
EmotedLlama: Really? Whistling, to describe the sound of WIND AT NINETY MILES PER HOUR?
–in our ears; we could see everything for miles. It was like being God. I imagine.
NekoShogun: No, God doesn’t talk that much. He’s strong and silent, remember?
Oh, yeah. “On the minus side,–
EmotedLlama: Who says “minus side”?
–we’re mutant freaks who will never live a normal life.”
NekoShogun: Living a normal life is overrated.
GhostlyOtter: At ninety miles per hour.
NekoShogun: And so the air flow around his body was disturbed and he fell to his death, and we all learned a valuable lesson: don’t shrug in the air.
(At this point, we decided to stop and have cupcakes. I, EmotedLlama, continued alone in the normal spork fashion.)
Max angsts about how the School will have had Angel for seven hours (even though they’d have to get Angel there first, which would take a few hours) and Nudge talks about how she found files about them on Jeb’s computer including names of what Nudge believes to be her parents, who supposedly live near where they are, but Max says no to going and finding them. And so the chapter ends–expect a foray into the third person when I get back in December!
Oh, but before I go, I have to give you a quote, courtesy of GhostlyOtter on the subject of the bird kids’ (you know what, the book eventually starts calling them the flock or something, so I’m just going to use that from now on) wings, that somehow manage to fold up and extend under shirts:
“They’re special edition wings.”