The chapter starts with Nudge telling Fang that Angel’s “like a little sister, like everyone’s little sister.” No duh, Nudge!
Anyway, Fang reassures Nudge and suggests they learn flying from the birds! And apparently it was the longest “speech” Nudge has ever heard Fang speak. Considering it’s about 50 words, that’s saying something. Fang then runs and jumps, flying towards the hawks in a “hawk ballet.” Because a bunch of birds flying with a bird-kid looks so much like a ballet to an undereducated bird-kid, right?
Two nice, sort of sad pages and the chapter ends. If only the rest of the book was written like that!
Aaand we’re back to Maximum Snark (haha I’m so funny for making up a nickname just like Max does–just for the record, this is a purposefully bad nickname)! She’s traveling through the woods, pressing her hand against her wound–and apparently every time she jostles the injury, blood oozes out of it.
But no pain or anything. Because she’s a bird kid, or something?
And Max is being SUPER careful for a bunch of “gun-carrying clowns”, even half-expecting them to bring dogs. Okay, likely a sensical way for a paranoid bird-kid to act, even if her other behavior isn’t consistent with that persona.
So Max is angsting and angsting and waaah, and then it rains. Because of course it does!
Then Max sees lights, and once she gets ten yards away (the prose specifies exactly this distance, so I guess it’s important) realizes it’s a house. Any guesses as to whose? Ella, of course! It’s not like we can have Max finding someone she doesn’t know, or something, because that would just be too bad!
After Max mentally accuses Ella of having 1.6 siblings (what does that even mean?), Ella leaves the house with her dog and Max moves towards her.
We’re back to Angel, and after a bit of linear thought a couple of scientists come to get Angel. Apparently she bit one of the other scientists and got hit for it, and the scientists don’t like that because she’s Subject Eleven (capitalized because it is in the book)! Regardless, though, one of the scientists takes her blood (for the fourth time, and while my knowledge of whatever subject is relevant to this is limited, I don’t understand why they’d need so much blood) and the chapter ends.
And now we’re with Iggy and Gazzy, and Iggy is saying to nobody how careful they’re being… just because, apparently. The prose is hinting some sort of great plan (oh man, I can’t take the suspense!) and then Gazzy goes out a window and flies! And that’s the chapter, really.
Back to Max again, as she’s talking to Ella and feeling all ashamed for asking for help (you know those bird-kids who were endlessly tortured and tormented have such a sense of pride!). And as Max is following Ella inside, she suddenly becomes really afraid or something?
Guess what. I hesitated. Here was the moment of decision. Until I stepped into that house, it could still turn and run, escape. Once I was in that house, it would be much harder. Call it a little quirk of my personality, but I tend to freak out if I feel trapped anywhere. We all do–the flock, I mean. Living in a cage during your formative years can do that to you. (pg 89)
Oh man, that last line is just too good! Let’s play a game with it, shall we?
“You know, we tend to be pretty humble. Living in a cage during your formative years can do that to you.” “Oh, hey, we’re not much for the pop culture references or anything. Living in a cage during your formative years can do that to you.” “I’m really not that sexist or anything. Living in a cage during your formative years then being saved by a guy can do that to you.”
Okay, I think that’s enough.
Showing a nice amount of sense, Max gets over her horrible trauma of being stuck with the girl she just saved! and goes inside. And apparently Ella has only a mom, no dad. Why she needed to specify that… I really don’t know. And she acts pretty calm for someone who just found out this mysterious girl who saved her from bullies has gotten shot–certainly calm enough to “stride into the house” (I changed “strode” in the original version to “stride” to keep with the present tense racaps).
And then, upon realizing there’s BLOOD on Max’s wound, Ella yells for her mom and the chapter ends.
Now we’re with Iggy and Gazzy, who are finishing their traps for the Erasers (just a trip-wire bomb, NBD for an 8-year-old and a blind kid!). Gazzy hopes that Max has already rescued Angel and imagines Angel being dead.
Something interesting I’ve noticed: everyone refers to the scientists as “whitecoats”. Max’s narration, the third person limited perspective, everything. Now, my question: why? Where did this term come from? Why is it used by all the bird-kids, even in third person narration? Since it’s used as a slang term, it’s odd for the non-Max narration to use it (even with the close-up perspective) and it doesn’t seem like a logical thing to call them.
Oh, of course. Logic. There’s no logic in bird-kidland!
So they fly up to go back home, and Iggy says how he wished they could have used “Big Boy” but they’ll actually have to see the bad guys to use it.
…So why did he bring it up in the first place? Oh, and then this:
Maybe tomorrow, the Gasman said encouragingly. “We’ll go out and see what havoc we’ve wreaked.”
“Wrought,” said Iggy. (pg 92)
So the bird-kid who’s been second-hand internet-educated (assuming the others read to him) for a few years is correcting the other’s grammar.