Maximum Ride Chapters 33 & 34

We remain with Gasman and Iggy in this chapter. They’ve retreated to the cabin which is, apparently, not the house they live in. Wait, why do they have two houses? How, do they have two houses? Is there a big niche in the realstate market for penniless children?

Oh, it seems this cabin was made over eighty years ago for loggers and now it’s fallen apart. Which brings me to the question of why they’re using it? Gasman says it makes an awesome club house. Again, and I can’t stress this enough I stress, why?

These kids grew up in a lab! How do they know about things like clubhouses? Did the scientists let them watch nothing but Little Rascals rerun? Was Nick at Night the only channel they could watch? Did they school them on societal norms of children from ninteen fifty to present? And after living in hiding since they escaped, isn’t the idea of a secret base kind of redundant?

‘Heyy Iggy, come check out this broken cabin I found.’ ‘Why?’ ‘because it’s cool. It can be our secret base!’ ‘The house already is our secret base.’ ‘Well, I mean like pretend and stuff.’ ‘So you want to pretend to get away from everyone and hide, something we already do?’ ‘Yup.’ ‘Sounds retarded, I’m in.’

“So Phase One is complete,” said Iggy, sitting in a broken plastic lawn chair. He sniffed the air. “We haven’t been here in ages.”

“Uh-uh,” said the Gasman, glancing around. “In case you’re wondering, it’s still a dump.”

I like how they’re acting as if they have a plan or something. It’s amusing to watch the kids treat murder and violence like a children’s game.  Never mind the genocidal vibe that I’m getting from these kids.

“We have to eliminate the Erasers,” he murmured. “So they can’t ever hurt us again.”

“So they can’t ever take Angel again,” the Gasman said, his eyes narrowing. “I say we bomb the chopper.”

And the creepy vibe is now here to stay, never to leave me again. Now I can’t help but picture Iggy, sitting in a low backed chair with his wings lazily stretched out while other winged people surround him, kneeling. Gasman is laying prostrate on the floor as Iggy tells him that to complete his coming of age ceremony he must kill and skin one of the “Erasers”, then he will be part of the flock.

Almost as though Jimmy realizes that he’s being incredibly dull, one of the “Erasers” appears. He does the three little pigs line and Gasman starts looking for a way out so he starts checking the windows.

Heart pounding, the Gasman quickly scanned the room. The door. Two windows, one in the main room and a tiny one in the bathroom. He doubted he could fit through the one in the bathroom, much less Iggy.

Wait, what? I thought this was a cabin made eighty years ago for loggers and then abandoned? I don’t know if you’re familiar with history or not, Jimmy ol’ boy, but indoor plumbing was something of a luxury back then. That’s assuming this takes place in ’05 , right around the time this was written, that would place the cabin as a relic from 1925. Or, if this is a “near future” scenario that might make the cabin as new as 1935. You know, right around the time plumbing was spreading beyond urban areas. I can totally see the loggers installing a bathroom in a rural area that had no water hookups. I guess people back then were just big damned optimists.

Gasman decides to sneak towards the window in the back, knowing that Iggy will follow the imperceptible sound. Wait, how do you know that kid? Did Iggy become Daredevil in between the start of this book and now? Because I thought it was beyond dangerous to let him do anything without a seeing-eye-moron. Then again, in the most recent chapters Iggy has been able to detect slight vibrations and hear minute sounds. Maybe Jimmy had just gone through his catalogue of Ben Affleck films and thought that blind super power thing was super neat.

While they try to sneak away, there’s a loud crash and the door breaks.

Crash! The door burst open, splintered wood flying through the air like darts.

See? That’s about the laziest writing I’ve ever seen. It’s like Jimmy thought he was doing sound effects for comic book panels. Next are they going to get in a fight like this? ‘Bam! Gasman struck the Eraser with his fist. Pow! Iggy joined in and kicked him in the face.’

Being as the door is blocked, Gasman decides that, yes, now is a good time to be getting through that window. Maybe stopping to watch the door get crashed into and then explode was a luxury he couldn’t afford. But he stops himself from diving through the glass—damn!—when a wolfman suddenly appears outside the glass.

Now that they’re trapped, it looks like Gasman will have no choice but to surrender. On the upside I guess he’ll get to go join his sister and await Max’s rescue. Or Gasman suddenly decides this will turn into a fight to the death. Really? So the kid who wants to see his sister alive would rather die than be captured. Maybe Gasman follows a strange honor code and it demands he kill himself .

I have to say, Max sucks as a leader. These kids would be better off following Colonel Kurtz than her. She left Iggy and Gasman behind because they’re slow. Fair enough except that she’s not really in a hurry to get to Angel. Secondly, if the “Erasers” knew where to find her then their home is probably compromised and it’s time to move on. The simplest solution would be to have Gasman and Iggy head towards a known destination, like the lake she sent Fang and Nudge to, to wait for them to return. Then at least they wouldn’t be so easily taken and used as bait.

Onto yet another chapter in which we switch perspective. Now we’re back with Nudge and, presumably, Fang. Apparently she woke up four times before she opened her eyes. Then she didn’t really wake up, did she Jimmy? That’s more like she drifted in and out of sleep. I know it’s nitpicking but you don’t get any leeway from me Jimmy.

Nudge then fully wakes up, I guess, and looks around. She notices Fang isn’t there and immediately jumps to the conclusion that Fang has been captured and left her all alone. Within minutes she’s crying on national television and telling everyone watching that she just wants her family back just as Fang returns from a beer run.

After Nudge stops her panic attack, she looks outside and sees the hawks flying. They so beautiful that she gets distracted and forgets all about being alone. Then she notices that Fang is flying among the hawks. Without pausing to think that maybe Fang would prefer to be alone and not listen to her mindless jabber, Nudge leaps into the air and joins him.

What’s the first thing that should come to mind? Should she ask if Fang has seen Max? Maybe ask if there’ve been any signs of the wolf men nearby? Nope, none of those pressing matters are on her mind. The very first thing she says is that she’s hungry.

“Morning,” he said.

“I’m hungry,” said Nudge.

He nodded. “Town about three minutes away. Follow me.” He tilted his body in a new way that led him up and away without moving his wings. It was cool, like a plane. Nudge tried it, but it didn’t work as well for her. She would practice.

So Fang tilted his body and flew upwards without moving his wings. Either he’s developed the ability to fly unaided like Superman or Fang has learned how to harness his high carbohydrate diet’s major side effect. ‘Fang…’ ‘It’s Captain Flatulus now.’ ‘Whatever, could you stop stinking up the airspace?’ ‘Captain Flatulus, away!’

They fly into town and, somehow, go completely unnoticed by the few townsfolk below. Sure, most people would be oblivious but there’s got to be one person who sees the shadow pass overhead, wonder if that means rain and looks up to see a couple of kids flying around. But no one notices them and that land at a fast food dumpster, grab a bunch of stuff and take off.

You know, Jimmy, you could have simply said they took food from a McDonalds dumpster and I would have inferred that they flew there and back. There would never be anyone reading this who would stop because they didn’t see how they got breakfast and return the book for a refund. It’s not exactly a show stopping detail that makes or breaks the story.

They lay down in the sun after eating and just soak up some rays. Fang wants to get to work on his base tan before the summer season gets here. That way he doesn’t get burned while he’s out at the beach. Then Nudge asks if they’re going to go look for Max. Fang says, yes, they will go look for Max because she probably ran into…something. Gee, do you think? You sure she didn’t stop somewhere to file her taxes, drop off the dry cleaning and maybe pick up a carton of cigarettes?

The two then leap out of the cave, with minimal motivation at this point, and fly in the direction they came from. As though the plot wasn’t already as murky as pond water filled with ink, Nudge yells something as she leaps out that makes no sense.

“Tarzan!” she yelled. Whatever that was supposed to mean.

Yes folks, it was so stupid and nonsensical that even the author didn’t know why he wrote it. So instead he hung a lampshade on in and hoped that no one would notice.

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