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MAXIMUM RIDE PDF

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THE IDEA FOR the Maximum Ride series comes from earlier books of mine called When the Wind. Blows and The Lake House, which also feature a character. Maximum Ride James Patterson. Books. The Angel Experiment File Type: pdf. Download File. Maximum Ride Forever. File Size: kb. File Type: pdf. THE IDEA FOR the Maximum Ride series comes from earlier books of mine called When the Wind Blows and. The Lake House, which also feature a character.


Maximum Ride Pdf

Author:KERA POTTORFF
Language:English, Spanish, Dutch
Country:Belize
Genre:Children & Youth
Pages:411
Published (Last):09.01.2016
ISBN:631-3-31074-796-9
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PDF File Size:12.54 MB
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To the reader: The idea for Maximum Ride comes from earlier books of mine called When the Wind Blows and The. Lake House, which also feature a character. To the reader THE IDEA for the Maximum Ride series comes from earlier books of mine called When the Wind Blows and The Lake House, which also feature a. the Maximum Ride books are not the same Max and kids featured in those two books. Nor do Frannie Angel A Dictionary of Angels, including the fallen angels .

Sweeping, swooping, soaring, air-current thrill rides there's nothing etter! As usual! Did I want a dog 4o! Did I need a dog Also no! I sighed! It would all e worth it the o ent he got his claws on Ma.

Bet's show these to Ma.! Bet's see, al ost lunchti e! Right under the school! It was cool! She was grinning! JG hat night, at e.

More silence! I scowled! And eing here! So he'd thought aout it and decided to go, and here we were! I had no idea what would happen! I rang the doorell! I can tell! I'd seen it a hundred ti es! Anne didn't! Sure, Dad had said to ring Ma.

She could read to hi! I put on an innocent 0,ho, oi 0 e. I leaped up, an. I ad it it! I let 'e rip! In a split second I opened that door and whirled to run right into the headhunter! I wasn't sure e. Sure, let's add so e Erasers to the i. Bet's get a head start! I edged closer and tried to hug hi without getting our wings tangled! So e i portant pu22le piece! H5 I shot toward the ground at two hundred iles an hour! I ean it! I'll wait! She's right here,0?

She was his oss, the one who was running things! And I was etter at it! I slowed, and ti e slowed with e! HC 0Ma. I guessed "ang was re e ering the each incident too!

Ari turned at the last inute and caught it right in the u22le! So eti es? Ari hated that! I don't care aout the! In the eanti e, get so e rest, eat so ething! Dad was going to help! I grinned at hi!

I could no longer hear otal! She was peering down an. HH At last, at last! She would e all his! In the eanti e, Ari had decided to celerate! It was huge! It was so aweso e! It would e great to e ale to listen to cool usic all the ti e! Alar s sounded! Ari sighed! I ust want to 6uit running! Don't e late! In the ne. I had scared hi! I had scared the all! I was supposed to e the solution, not the prole! So eone said, 0Shh, shh! I nodded into "ang's shoulder! I was so e arrassed!

I stared at Angel! Angel shrugged! A ga2elle! I' sure we were all screa ing in our heads! She laughed! Angel was laughing! I needed to sit down! And landed in water! I glanced around we were all here! Much too s all to e Erasers! And hu an, not ani al! Angel snuggled up to e on one side, and otal curled up ne.

I was watching and eing! A trans itter! I did! And we did! I had to! I understood! I turned to "ang! I' ust the hired help! I didn't respond! She got e! It was, well, adorale! I ignored it! Bine doesn't see too ad! I laughed! Ari s iled! Ari ust snarled at hi! Ari hesitated!

Ari, 2ip! It had 4ews 5C "lorida painted on the side! Re e er 0 01uh! Bittle Echos aren't designed to hold si. And their wings! And a dog! In general, the si. I let out an i pressed whistle! I decided to let her do it, then lecture her later!

A win-win situation! Riding in a stolen car with a si. It was weird! I wasn't stupid! So I had to deal with Ite. And still I was helpless! I saw that other Ma. All according to plan! So gross! Bittle weirdo! She would do so uch etter on her own! I didn't get it! I re e ered passing out! I still had wings! I needed to die, right now! At least that I could re e er, right then!

It was ind-lowing! I rela. I hadn't e. I didn't understand how could? I'd een e. She tried to push e toward the e. It was total cra2iness! Each person here, e. I was still holding Angel, who was struggling uch harder than I thought she would! I gaped at hi! It was the other Ma. I was e. She's no good! She's got an e. So weird! I dropped down onto her, sitting on her sto ach, and punched her right in the nose!

She winced, her head whipped to the side, and then lood spurted out her nose! She's going to win! She's a person! Across the roo? It also showed!!! It was Dece er! Flag for inappropriate content. Related titles.

Jump to Page. Search inside document. Erin Mcfadden. Stacey Salvilla. More From IonCiubotariu. Venera Radulescu. Bradu Dana. Ayame Delano. Popular in Technology. Nipuna Thushara Wijesekara. Nayuki Hara. Kevin Che.

The CSS Point. Ashish Chugh. Gokul Krishnamoorthy. Christopher Daniels. Giri Thirtha. Unlike the bird kids flying in traceable patterns overhead. Devin had seen the posters, the advertisements. The bird kids were ill-conceived accidents. He, Devin, was truly an evolved human. Using the bird kids to promote their own agenda was a typically selfish, shortsighted thing to do. It was a joke. A joke that could not be perpetrated without this flock of examples.

And the flock could not survive without its leader. Once again Devin raised his arm and closed his left eye to focus through the gun sight on his wrist. He angled the Glock a millimeter to the left and smoothly tracked his target as she arced across the sky.

One breath in, one breath out. Her tawny russet wings glowed warmly in the afternoon sunlight. Behind her, the Gasman made squealing-brakes sounds as he dropped his feet down and slowed drastically. Watch gravity in action! I rolled my eyes. Even from this high up, I could hear the exclamations of surprise, the indrawn gasps that told me our captive audience below had noticed one of us dropping like a rock.

Basically, they were trying to tell the whole world about the dangers of pollution, greenhouse gases, dependence on foreign oil — you get the picture. Already, more than a thousand scientists, teachers, senators, and regular people had joined the CSM. One of the teacher-members had come up with the traveling air-show idea to really get the message out.

I mean, Blue Angels, Schmue Angels, but flying mutant bird kids? Come on! So here we were, flying perfect formations, doing tricks, air dancing, la la la, the six of us and Total, whose wings by now had pretty much finished developing.

If Baryshnikov had been a small, black, Scottie dog with wings, that is. Hanging out with the CSM folks had some benefits, chiefly food and decent places to sleep. I explained all this in earlier books, if you want to go get caught up. My heart gave a little kick as I saw how the sun glinted off his deeply black feathers.

Which matched his eyes. And his hair. One side of his mouth moved: He shrugged. Fang, Iggy, and I are all fourteen, give or take. Nudge is eleven, roughly. The Gasman is eightish. Angel is somewhere in the six range. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Angel dropped down onto me with all her forty-one pounds of feathery fun. What are you doing, goofball?

Then I heard it: In the next second, Total yelped piercingly, spinning in midair, his small black wings flapping frantically. But Total had taken the hit. I heard applause floating up to me — they thought this was part of the act. Then, I looked down at the limp black dog in my arms. They got me. Maybe a few bad words.

Maybe grunting sounds. Quickly I shifted him this way and that, scanning for wounds. He had both ears, and his face was fine. I patted along his wings, which still looked too short to keep him aloft. Bright red blood stained my sleeve, but so far he seemed to be in one unperforated piece. Nothing broken.

Then I found it: He wagged it experimentally, outrage appearing on his face as he realized a tiny chunk of flesh was missing near the tip. Those scoundrels will pay for this!

Fang swerved closer to me, big and supremely graceful, like a black panther with wings. Oh, God. Forget I just said that. A look passed between me and Fang, full of suppressed humor, relief, understanding, love — Forget I said that too. I shifted into battle mode.

Maximum Ride 07 – Angel

You gotta fly on your own. He flapped frantically, then with more confidence, and rose to keep up with us. Now we gotta go take him out. She gave me a sweet smile that melted my heart, and I tried to remember that this kid had many layers, not all of them made of gumdrops and roses.

Among the many genetic enhancements we sport, the mad scientists who created us had thoughtfully included raptor vision. I raked the land below, almost a mile down, and traced the area where Fang pointed. I saw him: He was tracking us, and we began our evasive actions, dropping suddenly, swerving, angling different ways, trying to be as unpredictable as possible. And why was I only giving Iggy instructions?

So this was more of a fun challenge than a scary, death-defying act of desperation. The two things often look very similar in our world. Seven, six, five, I counted silently. When I got to four, the window exploded outward, knocking me head over heels. She flashed glowing white teeth and tossed back her perfect, auburn hair as she ushered us through the heavy wooden door. Fact of life. We were in a big office building in Hollywood. Call me quirky. A member of the CSM had a friend who had a friend who had a cousin who was married to someone who knew someone at this huge, important Hollywood talent agency and volunteered us for an interview, without asking us.

The CSM thought we spokesbirds were doing a bang-up job of getting their message out. Emphasis on bang, given the suicide sniper. But more on that later. Come in! She blinked when Total trotted in after us, a small white bandage still covering the tip of his tail.

The other two guys introduced themselves, and we just stood there, unsmiling. Actually, Nudge smiled a little. She loves stuff like this. Angel was wearing a pink tutu over her jeans. My clothes were at least clean and not bloodspattered, which is about as good as it ever gets with me. Can we get you something to drink? You kids hungry? Steve looked taken aback. Growing kids! He reached over and tapped a button on his desk, which was so big you could practically land a chopper on it.

How about some drinks and snacks in here? I made a mental note to practice doing that in a mirror the next time I saw one. It seemed a useful skill, right up there with roundhouse kicks. We sat, making sure no one was in back of us or could sneak up on us. I was wound so tight I was about to break out in hives.

A young guy in a purple-striped shirt came in with a tray of sodas, glasses of ice, and little nibbly things on several plates. Jeff straightened and left, closing the door quietly behind him. You kids want to be big stars, eh? Steve recovered quickly. I almost snorted Sprite through my nose. You guys could do anything, be anything. You want your own movie? You want flock action figures?

You want to be on T-shirts? You name it, kid — I can make it happen.

The Gasman slapped it. Steve smiled and seemed to relax. There was dead silence for a few moments.

Sharon blushed hotly and looked anywhere but at Steve. One of the other agents coughed. You want to be an action figure, right? What can I say? We have that effect on grown-ups. Even on other kids. Well, okay, on pretty much everyone. We were created to survive, not to be the life of the party. This shrimp is awesome. He gestured to his pale blond hair, pale skin, unseeing blue eyes. He had drunk four Cokes in about four minutes and steadily worked his way through a plate of fried something-or-others.

Now he felt all eyes turn to him, and he looked up, the expression on his face making me shiver. Fang sighed and wiped his fingers on his black jeans. He looked around the whole room, at the four agents, at the younger kids having a ball with this, at Total slurping Fanta out of a bowl, at me, sitting tensely on the edge of my chair. Fang slid the door open. It was windy on the balcony, and he raised his face to the sun.

I hustled the rest of the flock outside, then turned and waved lamely at the four openmouthed, big-shot Hollywood agents. But then, you already knew that. No pressure or anything. The bullets whizzing past, the sniper, the exploding building? My pool of patience, never deep on the best of days, became yet shallower. Trying not to cry, she flopped down on the hotel bed. I sat down next to her and rubbed her back, between her wings.

I know it sucks. He was lying on the floor, half beneath our coffee table. My mom had gotten him some little Transformer cars, and he was rolling them around, making engine noises. Yes, he could best most grown men in hand-to-hand combat and make an explosive device out of virtually anything, but he was still eight years old.

Or so. I always seemed to forget that. I was torn. Someone had made him. That someone was still out there and possibly had made more things like him. On the other hand… the CSM was really counting on us to continue the air shows. These shows were taking place in some of the most polluted cities in the world: My mom was a member of the CSM. She was helping the flock any way she could. How could I tell her that I wanted to bail?

I may be fabulous in a lot of ways, but I know I have a couple tiny flaws. One of them is a really bad knee-jerk reaction whenever anyone tells me no about anything. I raised my chin and looked him in the eye. The flock, being smarter than the average gang of winged bears, went still.

Slowly, I stood up and walked closer to Fang. I heard the connecting door between the two rooms ease shut with the caution of prey trying hard not to attract its predator. He let out a breath slowly and clenched his hands. His hands unclenched as he weighed his options. Brigid Dwyer, the eighth wonder of the world, was part of the CSM.

That was why Fang had agreed to just one more — so he could get all caught up with his favorite brilliant, underage scientist.

I walked stiffly to the bathroom, locked the door, and turned on the shower as hard as it could go. Then I buried my face in a fluffy towel and shrieked like a banshee. So it was nothing new that I lay awake for hours that night, turning this way and that. Little bit of insider bird-kid info for ya there. Right now I was flopped on my stomach, my head hanging off the side of the bed I was sharing with Angel.

My wings were unfolded a bit, and I reached around to pull a twig out of my secondaries. I know, just another typical romantic story about the boy next door. Then Jeb see description above disappeared, and I became flock leader.

Maybe because I was the oldest.

Or the most ruthless. Or the most organized. But I was the flock leader, and Fang was my right-wing man. This past year, things had started to change. In the midst of all this, Fang had kissed me. Several times. So now I was freaked and tempted and terrified and worried and longing — and also angry at him for even starting this whole thing to begin with. Again, his fault. And now I was trying to brush my hair, you know, when I thought about it, and looking at myself in mirrors, wondering if I was pretty.

A year ago, when my hair got in my eyes, I hacked it off with a knife. The only thing important about my clothes was whether they were too stiff with whatever to move fast in battle.

And Fang had been my best friend and an excellent fighter. Now everything was upside down. I pressed my face into my pillow and squelched some extracolorful words. Iggy can feel colors.

Nudge can draw metal stuff toward her and hack any computer. Gazzy can imitate any voice, any sound, with percent accuracy. His other skill is unmentionable. I can fly faster than the others, and I have a Voice in my head. And, you know, six-year-olds are famous for having excellent judgment and decisionmaking skills. I rolled over a bit. Brown and brown. I believe I have. Those chocolates? There was no hope.

So there you have it, the extent of my charms: And he loves you. Not Angel. Hate crying. Hate feeling sad. Am not even too crazy about feeling happy.

So all this — the vulnerability, the longing, the terror — I desperately wanted it to all go away forever. But right now, I needed Angel to shut up. I could be like a junior bridesmaid. Total could be your flower dog. How does she know this stuff? Not in a box, not with a fox!

Now go to sleep, before I kill you! I guess there might be bigger burgs in like China or something, but boy howdy, Mexico City seems endless. Wonderful would be meeting us. So we were over a ginormous open-air stadium, the Estadio Azteca, which held about , people.

Every seat was filled. Around us, mile upon mile of densely packed buildings stretched as far as we could see, and we can see pretty dang far. She was holding her nose with one hand. The people in the stadium were looking up to see us silhouetted against a thick gray sky. But it was not a cloudy day. The thing is, with nineteen million-plus people and four million-plus cars and a bunch of businesses making stuff, Mexico City is incredibly, horribly, nauseatingly polluted. Which was why the CSM wanted us to be there — to bring international attention to it.

When Dr. Now we were wondering if we were going to raise that number to half a million and seven. We split apart in a sixpointed star, with Total in the middle, and the crowd below went crazy. Like a huge, rolling wave of sound, the chants came to us.

The future is now! Kids rule! He had his own fan clubs and everything. Girls sent him ridiculous e-mails about how wonderful he was, what a hero, etc. It was enough to turn your stomach. He and I suddenly soared upward, facing each other, about two feet apart. The crowd below gasped, and I knew it looked impressive as all getout.

Total hovered way above us, like a star on top of a Christmas tree. A hundred yards below us, Nudge, Gazzy, and Angel were a triple stack of bird kids, centered one over the other, moving their wings in unison: Fang, Iggy, Total, and I counted to ten, then angled downward also: Supposedly they were going to give us some kind of award. Amazing had said earlier, pushing her, yes, red hair out of her eyes while Fang watched her with interest.

Who, exactly, had gotten up the nerve to speak to Congress? That would be moi. It had been all I could do not to trip Brigid on her way out. Which was stupid, because why did I care? Never mind. Forget I asked. The field below — big enough for the World Cup, the Olympics, and anything else where , people suddenly needed to be at the same place at the same time — beckoned us.

There was a line of uniformed security guards hired by the CSM ringing the perimeter to protect us. I saw Nudge, Gazzy, and Angel land flawlessly and wave at the crowd as a hundred thousand cameras flashed.

The crowd was roaring too loudly for us to hear guns. It was, pretty much, the most nightmarish situation I could possibly imagine, without literally involving a dog crate. The actual nightmare part. An impossibly big open stadium in impressive but noxious Mexico City. The cast of characters: The flock, Total, Dr. Amazing, and some very nice Mexican officials who wanted to give us an award. Plus a TV crew. The plot: Just wait. Total, Iggy, Gazzy, and Nudge were working the crowd like old hands, bowing and soaking up the applause.

Gazzy was spreading his wings and doing little six-foot hops into the air, and each time the crowd roared even louder. Finally, one of the assembled officials tapped on a microphone located at the center of the stadium. Brigid Dwyer stood next to them, ready to give a speech about the CSM and what it was trying to accomplish worldwide. Then Brigid took the microphone and waited for relative quiet.

Gazzy saw them first: We had a second to exchange glances, thinking the same thing: Where had they come from? The officials, Brigid, and the TV crew gazed openmouthed as at least sixty slim, dark figures hit the ground and headed for us.

I sized up the situation in an instant: It was like old times. They were just so — so dang adorable, sometimes. We were a tiny bit out of practice. Liquid-fire adrenaline surged into my veins, making me jittery and lightning fast.

Maximum Ride 07 – Angel - PDF Drive

As soon as one was within striking range, I jumped up and out, both feet forward. They connected heavily, slamming the New Threat in its middle. It doubled over but snapped upright quickly, its dark hood slipping back to reveal a weird, humanish face.

Humanish except for the glowing green laserlike eyes. I landed, spun on one heel, and snapkicked backward as hard as I could. I caught it in the shoulder and heard a crunching, breaking sound. With its good arm, it swung at my head, much faster than a human could and with more force. I leaped backward just in time, feeling the barest brush of its knuckles against my cheek.

A second one rushed up, followed by a third. One grabbed me from behind, tearing my jacket — my new jacket that my mom had given me. Brand-new, not from Goodwill or a Dumpster. Now I was mad. A split-second glance revealed that the flock was doing what it did best: No one needed help, so I balled my fists, put my head down, and went after my attackers. These skirmishes always seem to last much longer than they actually do.

I felt like I was punching and kicking and swinging and whaling for two hours, but it was probably about six minutes or so.

During that time, I figured out that these New Threat thingies had a couple vulnerable spots: If you brought both hands down in a chopping motion right on top of their heads, their heads actually split open into several metallic strips, like a sectioned orange. Okay, a really gross orange, but you get the idea.

Another vulnerable spot: One good strong kick, and they snapped like balsa wood. In less than ten minutes, thanks to us and the hired security force, the grassy lawn looked like a combination of an army field hospital and an automobile chop shop. Brigid and the officials were white-faced, huddled together by the podium. A quick inventory of the flock revealed the usual bruises, bloody noses, and black eyes, but nothing serious.

Fang came up to me, his face grim, his knuckles raw and bleeding. I knew what he was going to say. She nodded tensely, struggling to maintain her cool. Right now I was hungry and a little shaky from the drop in adrenaline. I pushed my hair out of my eyes, and just then noticed that Dr. I felt like a truck driver next to Brigid Dwyer. A truck driver with bad hair, a black eye, dried blood around my nose, and ripped and bloody clothes. The houses were packed tightly together here, and the streets were full of dogs and cars, the yards strung with lines of clean laundry.

I automatically scanned the area for possible hiding places, points of vulnerability, whether the windows were breakable, whether the trees would get in our way.

Fang got out first, raked the area with his stare, and determined that it was safe. The rest of us piled out quickly and hurried to the back of the house. I felt tired and irritable and, worse, kept sensing Brigid looking at Fang. I just wanted to eat about three banana splits and then collapse.

Warm yellow light spilled out a window, forming a slanted rectangle on the grass. Just as we reached the back door, it swung open. I stopped so suddenly that Angel bumped into me. I got on the balls of my feet, ready to leap into action if someone dangerous was behind that door. At first all I saw was a silhouette. At the same moment, a delicious, familiar scent wafted out into the warm night air. Chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven. The silhouette was my mom, Dr.

Valencia Martinez, and she was smiling at me. And the world seemed loads better. He tipped back in his chair and patted his stomach, now full of enchiladas, tacos, chips and salsa, and cookies. I beamed at her. She quickly pushed a couple tortilla chips into her mouth, her eyes wide. Ella and I have been stuffing envelopes and making phone calls for the CSM in every spare minute. Then I felt guilty. The fact was, my mom had had Ella in the normal way.

I had been an egg donated to science and was fertilized in a test tube. Neither of us knew the other existed until this past year. And now, no matter how much we cared about each other, it was still too dangerous for me to live in one place for any length of time. Being with my mom would also mean putting her and Ella at risk. I slowly let out a breath, not looking at him. I would never get used to seeing him again, after thinking he was dead for years.

Eight months? Time was so — stretchy, in my life. Somehow my mom trusted him. And I trusted my mom. But that was as far as it went, despite the fact that as far as I knew, he was my biological father, the other half of the test-tube cocktail that had produced me.

But I never, ever thought of him as my father. His hair was starting to go gray. None of us had ever reacted well to the amusing notion of having grown-ups decide things for us — like our future, or what we did, and so on. Jeb was used to it, having heard it from me since I was about three years old. I heard the eagerness in her voice, and groaned to myself.

I hated to rain on her parade, but she knew this was crazy. There was no way we could go to some school somewhere. It was like, regular usual nightmare, plus homework. Nudge turned pleading eyes to me. It would be nice to be in one place for a while, and learn things. Remember the suicide-sniper guy? Guarantee our safety? How can you even say that with a straight face? And the woman who runs it is one of my friends from college. This policy has paid off for me any number of times.

The next person I trust after me is Fang. He will not break under torture; he will not sell me out. Flying alone at night. Nothing but you and the wind. Soaring way above everything, slicing through the air like a sword.

Up and up until you feel like you could grab a star and hold it to your chest like a burning, spiky thing… Oh, the poetry of a bird kid. Remind me to collect it all into one emotional, mushy volume someday, under some fake, poetic-sounding name, like Gabrielle Charbonnet de la Something-Schmancy. I saw that name on a backpack in France.

Poor kid. I wheeled through the sky, racing as fast as I could, my wings moving like pistons, up and down, strong and sleek. Breathe in, breathe out. Everyone was back at the house, asleep, I hoped. But right now I needed some time. Some space. Some breathing room. School was never actually a real choice. Frankenstein wannabes at the School had created. That pretty much cemented us to one road in life, one fate: Why did the rest of the flock keep pretending that we had choices?

It was a waste of time. You think I liked being the heavy? And Fang. He usually supported me. Which I appreciated. Sometimes that sounded really good. But how long could that last? Sooner or later, Nudge was going to want new shoes, or Gazzy would run out of comic books, or Angel would decide she wanted to rule the world, and then where would we be?

Stupendous and then making hot, dark eyes at me. It was enough to make a girl nuts or more nuts — Pssshh! It took several seconds for the pain neurons to fire all the way from my right wing to my befuddled brain. I was plummeting to the ground. I sent all available power into my unharmed wing and desperately tried to get some lift, managing to look like a dying loon, rising awkwardly a few feet, then sinking, all the while spiraling down like one of those copter toys.

This was it. I felt sorry for whoever would find me. I thought about everything I had left unsaid to virtually everyone in my life, and wondered whether that had been a good — Boing! The impact jolted my hurt wing, making me wince and suck in a breath, and then I was bouncing again, not so high, and again.

I pulled my injured wing in tight, feeling warm, sticky blood clotting my feathers. A couple more bounces and I managed to stand up, looking around me wildly.

There were about a hundred of the New Threat guys, standing around the trampoline, watching me bounce, as if I were a mouse and they were all cats, honing in on me with bright eyes. They tipped me off the trampoline and immediately surrounded me, eight deep, not taking any chances.

There were too many of them for me to realistically break free. This is probably how most humans feel all the time. It sucks. My family had no idea where I was. My right wing had a big hole in it, and one of its bones was probably broken.

Instead, I pushed and shouldered and kneed these things away and curled up on my left side, keeping my injured wing carefully on top. Just — killing machines with delicate heads and ankles. Kind of geeky. Machine geeks. Now they had a name, at least in my head. I was very tired. And I went to sleep. The next thing I was aware of was the pain in my wing. It hurt so much that I wanted to cry.

Or at least whimper loudly. I loved that name. I opened my eyes and coughed. I was on a blanket on a floor. The floor was shifting subtly in a way I immediately recognized: I was on a boat. I got to my feet, trying to keep from shrieking in pain. He was stocky and wore glasses and the kind of plain, navy Chinese jacket you see in old movies. Thick black hair was brushed back severely from his face. Could I — oh. Max no fly. Chu, seeming to grow more and more agitated.

My group will survive the apocalypse. We are the only ones who will not become extinct after the world leaders succeed in their quest to destroy one another.

My lightning-fast reflexes had let me whip my head to one side as he lunged forward, but he still gave me a good clip on the cheek. Slowly I straightened, feeling my cheek burn, my rage growing. We can use you on our team. But if you keep up with the wisecracks and your stupidity, you will soon be eliminated. There will be no room for you in the new world. So all I can say is, Bring it! Instead, the man leaned closer. He smelled of cigarettes. But my scientists will enjoy taking you apart to find out what makes you tick.

Chu was practically steaming with anger, but he stuck to his script. What I say is true.

Max (Maximum Ride, Book 5)

It is as real as the pain in your wing and on your face. And speaking of pain, Maximum… you should know that we are experts in the art of persuasion. Guess who got the better deal here? I landed on my hurt wing, of course, and winced as I rolled to a crumpled stop. My hands were bound behind my back. I got to my knees as soon as I could, then to my feet, feeling shaky and ill.

My wing was streaked with clotted blood. I was lightheaded and starving. My face hurt, and my cheek was swollen and warm. The flock and I all have an acute, innate sense of direction, so after a minute I turned and started trotting east. Once I reached the safe house, I headed for the back door, which was locked, of course, because I had gone out through a second-story window hours before.

My plan to be all sneaky so that no one would notice I was missing had been blown to heck. Sighing, I turned around and headed for the front door.

This whole sucky episode ended with my having to actually ring the doorbell at the front of the house with my shoulder. Total even barked like a real dog. A curtain twitched, and then my mom opened the door, her brown eyes wide.

She patched my wing while she and Jeb tried unsuccessfully to find out what had happened. I wanted to mull things over for a while, maybe do some research on the Chu-ster, so I just mumbled something about getting hit by a stray bullet in a freak accident. I instantly interpreted that to mean three days. Later that day, the CSM moved us to another house, this time in the Yucatan, which is a jungley part of Mexico.

But what did the air quality matter, anyway? By the afternoon of the first day, the flock was staying out of my way. They went out and did flocklike things. Total was practicing his takeoffs and landings, both of which he still sucked at. I warned them to be careful, to be on guard, not to stay out too long. They were fine. Had no problems. Did not get shot at. Did not get kidnapped and taken to see a short, angry Asian man.

I stayed home and was forced to heal. He smiled and raised his eyebrows at me. Where did you hear that name? Later I watched my flock fly away without me, off to have loads of bird-kid fun. My mom stood there. I felt a little bad about snarling. Me, my mom, and Ella spent all afternoon in the kitchen, chopping up things, stirring, mixing. My mom showed us how to tell when onions had cooked enough to be sweet, and how to tell when meat was done usually I just try to wait for it to stop moving.

Typical family stuff. With a nonflock family. His face was flushed, hair permanently tousled from the wind. Nudge, Fang, Iggy, Angel, and Total all crammed into the kitchen and stared at the wooden spoon in my hand. I heard someone murmur something about ordering a pizza. And that was how I spent my three days of forced rest.

The flock saw all the Mayan wonders of the Yucatan, and I learned how to cook something besides cold cereal. So there was much amazement all around. But my wing healed, and soon it was time to leave. I was thinking of maybe going to South America. But the flock had different ideas. The team leader glanced up from the radar images on his desk.

He sighed. The history of these genetic mistakes was a litany of embarrassing failures. Even Itexicon — with its massive, global resources, the years of research, the trillions of dollars spent — had ended up a shattered shell, unable to stop six children. And the Erasers!

People were still making jokes about them. All of which the mutant kids had already defeated. Since then, it had been basically the same old, same old — one generation of enhanced individual tracking and killing machines after the next. Given all kinds of fancy names, tweaked this way and that.

None of them seemed up to the task. The team leader was truly surprised that Devin had failed. Truly, truly surprised. Devin had never failed at a job for as long as the team leader had known him. However, there did seem to be a sufficient quantity of version 5.

Someone like him. The team leader shook his head. Just surveillance at this point. So did Mr. In one of the western states with all the ninety-degree angles. Many mushy tears, soggy hugs. All that stuff I love. Watching me. What is on his freaking mind?! My mom had gotten her some stuff to put in her hair, and now it floated around her face in delicate, caramel-colored tendrils.

Delicate, caramel-colored tendrils. We all got ready. We were wearing clean clothes. We went to school with various levels of enthusiasm. The school was long and low and spread out, painted in dusty pastels so it coordinated with the desert. It was not fenced in. There was a ton of open space around it, plenty of places to take off from, land, escape from.

Jeb stood by the car, knowing better than to try to hug any of us good-bye. I was almost inside when he called my name.

YVONE from Indiana
I do enjoy reading books upside-down. See my other articles. I am highly influenced by hare coursing.