Maximum Ride: School’s Out–Forever Spork Part 4: Special Edition

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Join me (EmotedLlama), GhostlyOtter, and NekoShogun, as we go through chapters 34 and 35 of Maximum Ride: School’s Out-Forever!

Chapter 34

Take! Crack. That! Crack. Max! Crack.

GhostlyOtter: What? …What? I’m so confused.

So Max could fly at the speed of light, eh?

NekoShogun: Don’t you just love it when first person books go third person?

EmotedLlama: And for a villain, no less.

Snarling, Ari leaped forward again, smashing the bo across his opponent’s back. The heavy wooden stick, taller than he and as thick around as his wrist, made a dull, sickening sound.

NekoShogun: What’s a bo?

GhostlyOtter: Body odor.

The Eraser dropped to the mat and lay there, groaning thinly.

GhostlyOtter: Thinly? This makes no sense, guys.

Next!” Ari growled.

Another member of his team morphed and sprang into the circle with him, his own bo at the ready. Ari went into attack mode, the blows of the heavy staff sending shock waves up his arms.

EmotedLlama: I still can’t get over the fact that these Erasers morph.

He had clocked Max at more than two hundred miles an hour.

GhostlyOtter: Two hundred miles an hour?

EmotedLlama: Because going nearly twice the speed of the fastest bird which probably evolved to be as fast as it can possibly be is totally plausible.

GhostlyOtter: Especially when you’re the size of a person.

He’d also seen the delight on her face, seen her hair whipping around her head like a halo.

GhostlyOtter: I whip my hair back and forth!

EmotedLlama: Remember, folks, Max is just that amazing and angelic that her hair resembles a halo!

Jeb just kept giving the flock more gifts. And what had he given Ari? Unnatural, painful, heavy wings. He’d thought he wanted to fly, to be more like the flock. But having wings grafted onto an Eraser’s body wasn’t even close to what the flock had. Gall rose in Ari’s throat, burning him, and with a roar, he smashed his bo down 0n the other Eraser’s head.

EmotedLlama: Oh wow, boring and cliche character development! How wonderful.

He would do that to Max, he thought. She was fourteen, and he was only seven,

EmotedLlama: And yet you in no way resemble a seven-year-old.

NekoShogun: Wait, he’s only seven? EmotedLlama, I am very angry right now.

GhostlyOtter: It’s okay. *Pats NekoShogun’s head*

but he was three times as big as she was.

GhostlyOtter: Okay, how tall is Max? Because only if she was two feet tall would that ever make sense. I’m forever picturing Max as two feet tall from now on. It actually makes the flying make sense!

He had huge muscles and a wolf’s power–a wolf’s nature too.

GhostlyOtter: Teeny little flock, they’re so cute.

Jeb had said it was necessary. Jeb had said to trust him. And look where that had gotten him. He had huge painful wings. And Max was still laughing at him. Well, those days were over.

EmotedLlama: I could do without the sentence fragments.

Soon he would be the golden boy, and Max would be a distant memory of an experiment gone bad.

It had been approved by the higher-ups.

It was a done deal.

“Next victim!”

EmotedLlama: So, they have perfect knowledge of where Max is, and are planning on killing her, but haven’t? Whaaaaat? (And Ari is learning to fight with melee weapons instead of, you know, shooting Max?)

Chapter 35

The first two addresses in Washington hadn’t panned out, but Fang’s map code was still the only thing we’d been able to come up with. And we had found that photo of the Gasman at the second address. At least, I was pretty sure it was Gazzy. So maybe it hadn’t been a complete waste.

EmotedLlama: You know, I’m now wondering why the picture was even there. I blame the book for being so crazy that I don’t even think of these things.

At any rate, we had two more addresses to check out. No information about me or my possible parents had turned up yet. I tried not to mind.

“Wait, Total!” I said, as I pulled on my new jacket. It had big hidden slits for my wings,

EmotedLlama: Hidden slits?

GhostlyOtter: How do you hide slits? And how do you hide wings?

and I wondered where Anne had gotten it. Bird Kids “R” Us?”

EmotedLlama: Shut up, Max. You grew up in a cage; I am not buying your pop culture references.

Total kept trying to leap into my arms, determined not to be left behind.

NekoShogun: Total is a ridiculous name for a dog.

“Total? Maybe it would be better if you stayed home,” I said, zipping up. “You know, maybe guard the house or something.”

Total stood still and looked at me. “That is so condescending,” he said.

GhostlyOtter: Max, stop being a jerk to your dog.

NekoShogun: I like this dog. I feel it can understand the misery I feel whenever Max is on the page.

EmotedLlama: I’d be tempted to like him if I wasn’t stuck wondering where he got the word condescending from. I mean, a talking dog who grew up in a cage has a great vocabulary?

Angel went and put her arms around him. “She just meant because, you know, you’re so fierce and stuff, and have great hearing and those big teeth,” she said soothingly.

NekoShogun: If a dog can use the word condescending, I think he’s smart enough not to fall for that crap. Just saying.

Inwardly I rolled my eyes. “Yeah–not because you’re a dog or anything.”

NekoShogun: I feel for you, Max. I’m totally rolling my eyes right now. Inwardly.

GhostlyOtter: How does she do that? Is that another mutation; does she have eyes on the inside of her body?

Total sat down, looking just as stubborn as Gazzy did sometimes. “I want to go with.”

EmotedLlama: Because dog faces can be equated to human faces.

GhostlyOtter: That is such a stupid simile. It’s just so unspecific; “oh yeah, we’re comparing this undescribed character to another undescribed character.”

Fang smirked at me over Total’s head. I breathed out heavily.

“Fine,” I said tightly, and Total leaped into my arms and licked my cheek. I was gonna have to talk to him about that.

GhostlyOtter: I’m just thinking, what if Total can’t talk and Max is just crazy? Or if nobody exists and Max is crazy?

Five minutes later we were airborne and headed to DC.

“So, Angel?” I said, looking over at her. She was gliding through the night sky, her eight-foot white wings looking like a dove’s. “Have you picked up anything from Anne, about anything? Anything off?”

GhostlyOtter: How do they hide eight-foot wings?

EmotedLlama: And you know, so far we only know that Angel, Fang, Max, and Total are here. Are Iggy, Gazzy, and Nudge also present?

GhostlyOtter: Who cares.

NekoShogun: They’ll show up when they need to.

“Not really.” Angel thought.

EmotedLlama: Thank you, omniscient narrator, for telling us this.

GhostlyOtter: Wait, did I miss something, is Max psychic?

EmotedLlama: No, she just knows things.

GhostlyOtter: That’s dumb. This whole book is dumb.

“From what I can tell, she does work for the FBI. She does care about us and wants us to be happy. She thinks boys are slobs.”

“I’m blind,” Iggy said irritably. “How am I supposed to make everything all tidy?”

EmotedLlama: Because we couldn’t tell how you were talking (re: the adverb “irritably”).

GhostlyOtter: We have to keep being reminded how he’s blind, too.

NekoShogun: We do, since he acts just like everyone else.

“Yeah, because you’re so handicapped,” I said sarcastically. “Like–you can’t build bombs or cook or win at Monopoly. You can’t tell us all apart by the feel of our skin or feathers.”

GhostlyOtter: Skin?

NekoShogun: Max, is that you? Let me feel your face.

EmotedLlama: You know, this makes me wonder why Iggy is blind in the first place. It never hinders him, making it a completely useless and pointless character trait.

GhostlyOtter: It’s so they can have a token disabled character.

NekoShogun: I hate token characters. By definition, a token character is nothing more than one or two defining characteristics that exist solely to define said character. When a character is done right, they’re not token, they just are.

Gazzy giggled next to Iggy, and Iggy frowned.

I turned back to Angel. “Anything else?”

“There is something she isn’t telling us,” Angel said slowly.

EmotedLlama: But you don’t know what it is because your mind reading has no real rules, I’m assuming.

“But I don’t know what it is. It’s not even clear in her mind. Just something that’s going to happen.”

EmotedLlama: I rest my case.

All my senses went on alert. “Like what? Is she going to turn us over to the whitecoats?”

GhostlyOtter: My senses are on alert. Suddenly, I can t0uch everything!

“I’m not sure she even knows what whitecoats are,” said Angel. “I don’t know that it’s something bad. It could be, like–she’s going take us to the circus or something.”

“Wouldn’t that be redundant?” Fang muttered.

EmotedLlama: I swear, can’t these kids not be angsty for just one second? Or angsty in a sensical way?

“Hmm. Well,” I said. “I know how easy it’s been to relax there, guys. But let’s try to keep on guard, okay?”

“Okay,” Angel said.

“I’m chilly,” said Total.

My eyes narrowed.

Angel smiled at me.

“You’re wearing a fur coat,” I pointed out.

“It’s chilly up here.”

EmotedLlama: But there’s no wind that prevents you from talking or anything because.

I gritted my teeth, unzipped my coat, zipped Total into it, and tried to ignore how the boys were snickering.

EmotedLlama: Why is there snickering? And why is it only the boys? Doesn’t Nudge find this mystery humor humorous as well?

“Much better,” he said happily.

“Yo–first address is down there,” said Fang, pointing. “Showtime.”

EmotedLlama: I have nothing to add, but it’s here the chapter ends.

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