Sorry for the lateness! The internet went out Tuesday and Wednesday, I was busy Thursday and Saturday, and I forgot Friday. Better late than never, I guess.
The flock get fed by robots, and along with human food they get birdseed, which is apparently the funniest thing ever because the flock all begin laughing and making jokes. In other news, JPatterson still has no idea how to pull off suspense.
Anyway, Gozen comes in and tells the flock that they’re now going to be auctioned off, and also that there’s a hurricane hitting Miami and that the city has been evacuated. Why is this auction taking place in the middle of a hurricane? No, that was an actual question. Please answer, because I haven’t the foggiest.
The flock meet the Uber-Director, Max calls him both UD and BoxBoy, is predictably idiotic, the Uber-Director predictably finds her inane snark horribly insulting, and of course is silenced by her wit.
And that’s the chapter. Bleh.
So the auction starts, and apparently the Uber-Director’s plan was to put the flock in a conference room with nothing but Gozen to stop them from doing anything, including talking or moving about or generally trying to sabotage things. What I take from this is that JPatterson has no idea how to write intelligent villains.
“Silence!” the UD said again as the people on the screens began to murmur to their unseen partners. He spoke to them: “As you can see, they are functional, with a limited, though useful, intelligence.”
“Limited intelligence?” I broke in, outraged. “Bite me! You’re the last person to talk about limitations! At least I can… swim! And fly! And digest by myself!” (pg 225)
Remember, we’re supposed to like Max, she who would insult people based on their physical disabilities.
Oh, and then Gazzy does something.
I swear to you, it was literally a green mushroom cloud. (pg 226)
Given Gazzy’s name, I think you can figure out what’s going on. I’m not wasting any more words on this.
Max talks about how the flock generally act ridiculously through the auction, then worries about the hurricane.
I’d flown in some pretty intense storms, but if we’d been outside now, we would have been splattered against the building like gnats. (pg 227)
And then, showing JPatterson’s incredible skills of foreshadowing, the windows implode.
The flock take cover under the room’s table, and
“There’s a hurricane report on TV,” she [Angel] said. “It says it’s almost a Category five, and they think it was caused by global warming.”
There was that global warming again!
“There have always been hurricanes,” I pointed out.
“Not at this time of the year. Plus, there are many, many more of them now, and they tend to be stronger and more destructive,” Fang told me.
I looked at him. “Okay, maybe global warming is bad,” I admitted. (pg 230)
Remember, they’re in a small room in a skyscraper open to a hurricane. And they’re talking about global warming.
This is the most contrived, ridiculous, horrendous, idiotic writing I’ve ever read.
Apparently Iggy and Fang had torn their coats into ropes while the auction was going on. How did they not get noticed, and why did they do that in the first place? JPatterson logic!
They use these ropes to keep Total and Akila tethered as they get buffeted by winds through the skyscraper, eventually crashing through to a balcony.
Fortunately for the flock, they quickly end up in the eye of the storm and on ground level. Akila is missing, and this combined with Angel’s broken arm really sets Max off and she flies up at Gozen, who is wrapped around the Uber-Director, who is falling out of the skyscraper.
“I saw the UD shout, “Don’t let go!” though I couldn’t hear him. (pg 238)
I’m glad Max has her priorities set to “lip-read” as she goes to fight the big bads in the middle of a hurricane.
Max kicks Gozen’s arm, which makes him, a robot, lose his grip and fall away. Right. She then lets the Uber-Director die as well, because he’s “a machine, someone’s consciousness hooked up to a bio-mechanical body.”
Oh, and then Akila falls out of the sky and lands on Max! What a lucky coincidence!
The flock stay in the eye of the storm until they can get out of the hurricane. Given that it was category four going on category five, I’m pretty sure that would mean waiting for it to get over the ocean and then flying through a gigantic, still-formidable storm. But what do I know?
Max goes “okay global warming is bad I’ve learned my lesson” because who didn’t see that coming? and then the chapter ends. It was literally half a page, by the way.