Maximum Ride Chapters 99 & 100

So now Max is considering staying in the cathedral. She says there are choir lofts way up that they could hide out in and just spend the night. Of course cathedral architecture was just one of the many subject that Jeb forced her to cram on before he disappeared. Then, as she turns to Fang, that plot advancing pain hits her again.

The images came, sliding across my brain like a movie. There were architectural drawings, blueprints, what looked like subway lines. Double helixes of DNA twisted and spiraled across my screen, then were overlaid with faded, unreadable newspaper clippings, staccato chunks of sound, colored postcards of New York. One image of a building stayed for a few seconds, a tall, greenish building. I saw its address: Thirtyfirst Street. Then a stream of numbers floated past me. Man, oh, man, oh, man—what did it mean?

Really, Max? Are you going to play that stupid with us? Because even Angel’s teddy bear could tell you what all that means. It means the author couldn’t think of a plausible way for you to find the “institute” so he dumped the knowledge in your head.

Which brings me to my next point. Why is Max trusting the disembodied voice? First there was the bank card they left her but didn’t offer the PIN. Now it’s giving her the address for the next plot point. Something it would have presumably had well before now and should have offered right away. The delay would only serve to convince me that there’s a trap and that voice was busy setting it all up.

Now of course Max has to talk about the sudden headaches she’s getting. It’s like every stupid thing that comes up is an entry in a high school textbook. ‘You’ve just stumbled upon the next plot point. Now organize in groups and discuss.’

Blah blah blah, Fang wonders where the building is, blah blah, Max isn’t quite sure, blah. Fang says they should probably walk around looking for this building. Yeah, why not Fang. What better way to find someplace than to walk around looking for it like  a damn tourist? Sure you could consult something like, say, Google maps at the library and get an idea what businesses are on the street. That way, you aren’t exposing yourselves. But then again, I haven’t been drinking bleach and studying old episodes of Leave it to Beaver.

Max then says that they’re all nervous but maybe the “institute” will have the answers to the questions they’ve had. You know, questions like…er. What questions did Max and them have again? They wanted to know who their parents are, that’s one question, but beyond that? Oh, Max mentions the might find out about the “mysterious director” too. You know, the “director” who’s had so much impact on the story. At this point I’d say Gabby is more influential than this “director”. At least people mention Gabby more than twice in the first book. Max says that, though they may find these answers…

On the other hand, it felt like we were voluntarily going up to the School and ringing the doorbell. Like we were delivering ourselves to evil. And those two feelings were pulling us all in half. You never know until you know, my Voice chimed in.

Yes, you never know until you know. Wow, that’s so faux zen it actually hurts. You know what else Jimmy? You can’t walk if you’re sitting, you’re never sated until you eat and you don’t learn unless you learn. Any other dippy aphorisms Jimbo?

The next chapter has  Gasman asking if they have money now. Wow, these kids are damned slow. Max found the bank card chapters ago and they’re just now realizing it? I can’t wait for the realization that Angel was kidnapped to dawn on her. ‘Hey, wait a minute! I was kidnapped by erasers!’ ‘Oh my god! That’s right! We need to go rescue you, Angel! Quick, to the feathered moron mobile!’ Fang turns out to be the voice of reason when Max asks him if they should use it.

“Well, we need money, for sure,” he said. “But it might be a trap, a way for them to track where we are and what we’re doing.”

Yes, so throw it away and forget about it. You don’t need money for anything that I can see. Does the “institute” require a toll to enter? Do they need change to get in? Maybe they’ll have to bribe the security guard by giving him a burrito. But Max is convinced they need money and the voice tells Max it’s okay and she can use it once she figures out the password.

We had to have money. We could try begging, but we’d probably get the cops called on us ASAP. Runaways and all that. Getting jobs was out of the question also. Stealing? It was a last resort. We weren’t to that point yet.

Really, Max? You mean like how you stole a van, a debit card and two hundred dollars? So what you’re saying is you weren’t at the point where stealing is acceptable, you just did it because you really, really wanted cash. So they go to an ATM to attempt a withdrawl.

This bank card would work at any number of different banks. Taking a deep breath, I  swerved over to an ATM. I swiped the card and punched in “maxride.”

Wait, how do you know it’ll work at more than one bank? Maybe it was issued by some obscure little branch that only let’s you use it at their ATMs. What else did Jeb teach you in the short time he was with you kids anyway? Did he also teach you how to disarm a nuclear warhead?

Max keeps trying stupid pins and passwords while whining about the “institute”. She complains about not knowing their real birthdates and then says that the “institute” didn’t register them with Social Security so they aren’t retiring soon. And how do you know that Max? Did they tell you this or are you just making assumptions again?

Then, because even Jimmy is getting sick of this crap, Angel has a revelation. She suggests Max try ‘mother’ as the pin. It works and Max once again withdraws two hundred bucks. Max asks Angel how she knew, Angel says it was just in her head and then Max whines about the “scientists” again.

Once again, Fang and I looked at each other but didn’t say anything. I didn’t know what was on his mind, but I was thinking again about how Angel had been at the School for a few days before we rescued her. Who knows what happened there? What kind of foul, disgusting experiments? Maybe they’d planted a chip in her too.

Or worse.

Oh, scary. Or maybe they implanted a chip in her a long time ago and didn’t need to bother putting a new one. And how come you didn’t ask her what they did to her in there? You’d think Max would care enough to listen and that Angel would talk to Max about it. You know, if they were really as close as Max says they are. Again, I think Max is a liar and would be better pff spitted and left in a rotisserie than in charge of a pack of earthworms let alone superpowered kids.

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