Study Guide

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment Violence

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To them, we're six moving targets—prey smart enough to be a fun challenge. Basically, they want to rip our throats out. (P9)

The Erasers sure know how to have fun… not. Their favorite activity involves hunting down the flock members and trying to kill them. No wonder the flock members aren't all that into hanging out with them.

Tears were streaming down my cheeks, their salt stinging where the Eraser had raked me with his claws. Moving automatically, I got the first aid kit and started cleaning the Gasman's scrapes and cuts. I looked around. Nudge's cheek was bleeding; some shrapnel had burned her as it flew past. For once she wasn't talking—she was curled on the couch, crying. (9.4)

Ouch, those are some brutal wounds. The Erasers don't go easy on the flock members just because they're a bunch of kids—and they especially don't go easy on Max. They'll kill her if they're given permission to do so.

But every time she stopped running, a sadistic whitecoat—Reilly—zapped her with a stick thing. It jolted electricity into her, making her yelp and jump. She had four burn marks from it already, and they really, really hurt. What was worse was that she could feel his eager anticipation—he wanted to hurt her. (16.2)

These scientists are the worst. They're willing to hurt a little girl repeatedly just to run her through a barrage of tests. No wonder the flock members won't trust them no matter what they say—we don't either.

I moved fast, fast, fast. With no warning, I snapped a high kick right into the lead jerk's chest. A blow that would have only knocked Fang's breath away actually seemed to snap a rib on this guy. I heard the crack, and the guy choked, looking shocked, and fell backward. (21.17)

One of the perks of being a human-avian hybrid is that Max has some cool powers, like super strength. It comes in handy when she's rushing in to defend a girl who's being ganged up on by a bunch of brutes.

Years of Max-enforced training kicked in as adrenaline sped through the Gasman's body. Door blocked. Window blocked. They were surrounded, with no clean escape available. It was going to be a fight, he realized, already preparing himself.

More than likely a fight to the death. (33.20-21)

The Gasman is only eight years old, but he's no stranger to danger—or to the idea of fighting to the death. He's not even all that scared when the Erasers drop down from the sky. He just gets ready to kick some serious Eraser butt.

"Guess what?" the first Eraser asked with a pleasant smile. "We got the little one—they don't need you two alive." They laughed, the sound like deep bells ringing, and then their faces began to change. (36.5)

Wow, those Erasers sure are gleeful that they've received the orders to kill Iggy and the Gasman. They obviously don't have real consciences at all—they just want to chase and kill some prey.

The thing about airbags is that when you hit something at fifty or sixty miles an hour, they inflate with enough raw force to slam you back against your seat like a rag doll, possibly breaking your face. Which is what this one had done to me, I concluded, trying to stem the gush of blood from my nose. (58.2)

Ouch. It's a good thing that Max is no stranger to physical pain, because getting into a car accident at top speed has to be pretty rough. Still, she manages to soldier through it… even though she gets captured by the Erasers.

I grinned evilly. Then I leaned over and chomped hard on Ari's fingers. He sucked in a deep breath, then yelled in awful pain. I gathered my strength and bit down harder, until I actually felt my teeth break his skin, tasted his horrible blood. But you know what? I didn't care. Seeing Ari hurt was worth it. (64.6)

Yikes. Max isn't one to engage in unnecessary violence, but desperate times call for desperate measures. When she's cornered by the scientists and about to be torn to bits by Erasers, of course she's going to take out some of her aggression on Ari.

Then Ari bent over Fang's body, his muzzle open, canines sharp and ready to tear Fang's throat. "Had enough," he growled viciously, "of life?"

Oh, God, oh, God, not Fang, not Fang, not Fang—(116.23-24)

Those Erasers are not kidding around when it comes to gratuitous violence. Ari may have known Fang as a kid, but he's this close to killing him. It's a good thing that Jeb shows up when he does—otherwise Fang would definitely be dead meat.

Ari gagged and started to go down. I threw myself at him, grabbing his head, and we fell as one in slow motion. He was huge, heavy, and we dropped like lead. Wham! Butt, back, head… I held on tight—as Ari's neck slammed against the hard side of the tunnel. I heard a horrible, stomach turning crack that vibrated up my arms. Ari and I stared at each other in shock. (130.36)

Well, that was unexpected. Max means to hurt Ari so that he can't capture or kill the flock members, but she is completely shocked when he ends up breaking his neck. Killing someone… well, that's a more serious responsibility than she bargained for.

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