Fang felt a cold jolt, then dismissed it. Max wasn’t dead. He would know, somehow. He would have felt it. (pg 353)
“We are here to kill you,” the Flyboys intoned all together.
“Then you’re out of luck,” Fang snarled, and opened fire again. Another ten Flyboys dropped, hitting the ground with somewhat sickening crunching and splatting sounds.
So the Eraser robots say they’re going to kill them, but they don’t, instead letting Fang shoot them. That’s… not very smart.
Then Fang says that it seems as if the Eraser robots are trying to capture them, which makes about zero sense. The Eraser robots say that they will torture him publicly and then make him take back everything he’s said, which also makes about zero sense and Fang points this out.
Apparently JPatterson thinks that making his heroes point out how horribly he’s written his villains makes his heroes look good and not him look bad.
Fang continues shooting, and…
“Hey!” shouted the Gasman from above. “Watch that thing!” Fang looked up to see the Gasman pointing to two holes in his jeans–Fang had shot him right through his pants, but amazingly hadn’t hit him. (pg 355)
Meanwhile, the Eraser robots continue to say how they’re going to do bad stuff to Fang and his group while literally doing nothing to accomplish this. Fang thinks that he needs a way to take out all the Eraser robots at once; apparently Iggy’s magical bombmaking skills have not been used recently.
Fang sees the ocean and begins flying that way, telling the Eraser robot that he’s one of many. Why did he say this? No idea.
We’re back with Max, as Marian Janssen has her stop fighting with the superhuman (referred to as Omega by the book; I’ll start that now). Apparently it is now time for a race.
“Begin where you are,” intoned the Director [Marian Janssen]. “Run to the opposite castle wall and back, four times. May the better man win.”
I gritted my teeth. The Director was a sexist pig on top of all her other faults. (pg 357)
Okay, I don’t have anything to say about this, but remember it. Okay?
The race itself is written in the most dull, lifeless way possible, and then at the last moment Max begins flying. She flies low to avoid the electrified net in the air, which is just now being mentioned and apparently is not visible, for Max only knows about it via her clone.
She wins the race, of course.
Marian Janssen is mad and disqualifies Max for flying, and now it is time for a test of strength.
I am weirdly, wickedly strong, and not just for a girl, not just for my age. (pg 360)
So a couple of pages ago, Max points out sexism, then says how she’s more than strong “for a girl.”
Does not compute.
Max continues on about how strong she is and how she’s stronger than about any adult. Why she’s this strong, I don’t know, and how she’s this strong when she has hollow bones, well.
Max is outmatched by Omega, though.
I couldn’t believe I was going to lose a strength contest to a boy. (pg 360)
Also, I just want to take a moment to point out how silly this situation is. Apparently the best way to demonstrate a superhuman is to have them do basic tasks against another experiment of yours whose virtues you’ve never extolled. Heck, the race wasn’t even timed!
When he was pronounced the winner, he looked at me with those weird, expressionless eyes. I didn’t think he was a robot, like the Flyboys, but I did wonder if his emotions had been designed out of him. Of course, with a guy, how could I tell? Ha ha! (pg 361)
I just… I can’t understand what Max’s ideologies are when it comes to feminism. That’s not to say that she’s sexist, or that anything she says against guys is as harmful as prejudice against girls (I think I may have implied/said that in the past, though)–I just don’t understand.
Not to mention the disconnect between how she’s theoretically a feminist and yet is frequently racist, or even kind of ableist in relation to Iggy. Did she only take the time to learn feminism via her magical education?
Then it’s the test of intelligence! Max tells us how she’s really bright, but not booksmart, and how she’s only educated via TV and Jeb. Evidently Jeb is a feminist or something, because last I checked TV’s still got quite a bit of sexism ingrained in it.
Max is angry that the questions are mathematical (calculating the weight of the place’s walls) and supposedly not useful, because when she’s captured by the bad guys and facing her doom this is what she cares about.
Also, pointing out again how silly this is. Want to show how smart your superhuman is? Put him against some random experiment! Don’t bother to time him or anything.
Angel uses her mind control to make the mutants start fighting each other, and this is apparently enough of a distraction for Max’s group to escape.
I mean, I don’t know how big this area is, or how many mutants there are, but they’re not even fighting the bad guys–they’re just fighting each other. That doesn’t seem like it would turn everything to chaos or anything.
As the Eraser robots begin trying to stop the mutants, Angel directs the mutants to attack the Eraser robots. Why she came up with the idea of mind controlling the mutants but not having them attack, you know, the bad guys, I’m not sure.
I also want to point out the fact that the mutants are unhappy because they’re not being treated like people, and that Angel is literally controlling them. The book does not address how creepy and unsettling this is.
As Max begins fighting an Eraser robot (which gets her in the head with the butt of its gun, which would make me assume its gun is loaded with lethal ammunition, which makes me wonder why they don’t have rubber bullets for crowd control), Jeb appears and tells her to hit the base of their spines. Max does so, and this causes the Eraser robot to short out.