So our favorite characters have now entered the library. I wonder what kind of information Max will find there which will aid her. Maybe “the institute” will have a book called ‘Evil Co: A tale of Genetic Engineering for cruelty, profit and fun!’ wedged between the copies of Where’s Waldo and Goosebumps.
Inside, the library was awesome. None of us had ever been inside one, and we were staring like the out-of town yokels we were.
Really, Max? You mean that kids who grew up in a lab have never been inside of a library? Whoa, that exploding sound you heard? That was my mind being blown. Next you tell me you’ve never been to Paris or driven a bus loaded with explosives.
Max, being the brilliant leader she is, just steps up to the counter and asks about a place called “the institute”. Okay, she isn’t quite so straightforward. She says she’s looking for some institute but doesn’t know its name or where it’s located and she wants to borrow a computer to look it up. The guy behind the counter directs her upstairs but warns her she’ll have to sign in.
Drats, foiled again by the librarian’s assistant! And here max was going to log in without entering the time, date and her name on the fill sheet located on a nearby desk. Why then there would be dozens of googled terms which would go unaccounted for! Confusing things like ‘where is the institute that green lit a stupid genetic engineering project to make the most irritating kids ever’ or ‘what is the taste of purple?’
Fang grumbles, they ride up in an elevator and max sweats because she’s in an enclosed space. Once on the proper floor, Max signs in as Ella and smiles at the clerk. Then they spend the next hour doing searches for institutes in New York.
Surprisinly, Max doesn’t just happen upon it right off. Nor does she manage to stumble onto it on the third, magical attempt. Instead she fails to find anything and makes the computer crash. She does this somehow while entering a search which brings up orange lettering that says ‘fail, fail, fail’ and she gets mad. Which makes sense, because if you’re using a computer from the seventies, complete with orange CRT monitor, you deserve to have it shut down and call you a failure when you make it surf the internet.
And then it’ night time and the library is closing. Gasman wants to sleep there because it’s so quiet but Max says they can’t. She sees some guard spot them who then comes over. There’s something in the way this guards walks that sets off Max’s alarm bells. You mean aside from the way she’s leveling her gun at you?
Upon seeing this guard they decide it’s time to run. Luckily, suddenly running when you spot someone in uniform is the opposite of suspicious. Surely that library guard won’t give chase thinking that they’re trying to steal books or something.
We kick off the next chapter with Nudge asking if they can take the subway back to Central Park. Max informs us that they’ve decided to sleep in the park because it’s dark and has trees. Sure, that seems like a perfectly good plan. I mean, it’s not like the “erasers” managed to find you in the middle of the park or anything. All the plant life nearby gives off gaia-waves which must interfere with the tracking chips. Then Max says that they’ve only got eighteen blocks to go but reconsiders paying for the subway when she see Angel.
“It’s only about eighteen blocks to walk,” I said. But Angel was starting to fade too—she wasn’t back to a hundred percent by a long shot. “Let’s see how much it would cost.”
Oh, so she was perfectly fine to fly from California to New York without incident but walking wears her out? Is she carrying a couple pallet loads of lead around? Did Max force her to run laps around the library while she was using the computer? How can the kids have enough energy to fly but not walk?
So they go down to the subway and Max starts complaining about the fares. Apparently, it’s free for kids under forty four inches but even Angel is already over four feet tall. And that makes the subway fare twelve dollars. Surely that means now they’re going to be broke.
Oh noes! What about all the cookies Max wants to eat? What about the hotdogs and banks and shopping they want to do? Damn you public transit for taking these poor kids money from them! Oh wait, nevermind. It seems Max has decided they should all just hop the turnstile and screw New York law.
Once inside they wait at the platform for ten minutes while no train comes. Then they hear voices coming from one of the subway tunnels and Max sees the flicker of a torch. Having the brain of a bird as well as the wings, Max decides that she has to investigate. So they all hope down to the tracks and wander into the tunnel. I’m hoping he next chapters starts off with them being run down by an uncaring conductor.