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|“||It'll be okay, Max. I'll be with you always, no matter what. And Max—I believe in you. Forever.||”|
IS THE END OF MAX AND FANG ... THE START OF MAX AND DYLAN?
Early on in the novel, Max is suffering from mild depression at her mother's house. She reveals that Dylan is becoming more wise to her, and learning to fight from her, as they have an early physical disagreement. Dylan finds her in a tree, and kisses her, prompting the fight. Back inside, the Flock is hanging low, until Angel (who Max says has been "sweet" to her since Fang left) notifies everyone that Jeb Batchelder and Dr. Hans Gunther-Hagen are coming. Max is informed that she is to be the leader of the new generation of mutants, the Gen77 kids (the Flock was Generation 54, and the Erasers were generation 17), who have powers similar to the Flock's, as well as being heatproof, seeing thermal images, and more. Dr. Gunther-Hagen, despite warnings from Jeb, says that Max will have to breed soon, preferably with Dylan. Dr. Gunther-Hagen says that emerging civilizations are better with a line of leaders in a family, as in a king and queen; otherwise there will be a struggle for power. Dr. Gunther-Hagan continues his case until Dr. Martinez puts the conversation out of the question.
In the later chapters, Fang creates his own flock, which is dubbed "Fang's Gang." The first member, Ratchet, is a teenage boy who has enhanced senses, and so has to wear sunglasses and sound-blocking headphone so that he can handle being in places that would normally be thought of as eerily quiet. The second member, Star, is "rail thin" with blond hair and "cold blue eyes." In the first encounter with Star, it is learned that she almost wrecks a restaurant after finding out they didn't serve hamburgers. She and Ratchet don't see eye to eye, which is proven when Star threatens to "cut him off at the knees without a blink." She spent ten years in a Catholic school. Another new character, Kate, is Star's friend from school, although they are total opposites. She has "thick, glossy black hair that won't stay behind her ears, supermodel cheek bones, and an easy smile." She seems to be the peacemaker between Ratchet and Star. The last member is Max II, who has renamed herself to Maya. There is another male member, but he is not shown until after chapter 23. His name is Holden Squibb, and he is described as pale, with lots of scars, and looks like a 10-year-old. He has the regenerative powers of a starfish. All of the kids in the group are teenagers, because Fang doesn't want to worry about them.
The Flock later goes to visit a Gen77 school at Dr. Martinez's request. They barely escape being shredded in a booby trap around the school. Dr. Gunther-Hagen is missing after the plane crashes, and after an unsuccessful search for his body, Max and Dylan, later joined by Angel, go to check out the school anyways, where they are ambushed by some kids. The kids are described to have a slit going all the way around their heads, with lots of eyes that constantly are looking around. Basically, they have 360 degrees vision. The trio heads back to Dr. Martinez's house, and encounter the computer hacker in the desert. He is under the Doomsday Group's "spell," and disappears into the desert ranting about "killing the humans" and the "planet cleanse," leaving the group depressed and shaken.
When they return to the house, Max finds the Flock in a moody state, with everybody acting strange. She finds out that Iggy and Ella have also been sucked into the Doomsday cult. Ella encourages them to head out to her school later to check it out. When they are there, they pretend to be into it, but are really disturbed by the people all around with "glassy eyes and creepy smiles on their faces." Iggy later opens his wings, and the cult members gather around him, saying that they want to be like him, that he is the future, and that they will even gouge their eyes out to be like him. The Flock then drags him out of there, and stick him in a cold shower as Angel "mind hacks" him. He wakes up and at first doesn't really seem to remember what happened to him. They venture out into the desert to find Ella, and find her with some other cult members, sitting around a campfire singing cult related songs, all headed for the Gen77 school. They kidnap Ella, and Angel succeeds in "mind hacking" her and freeing her from her trance. They stay out there for a night, and when they wake up in the morning, Ella is gone. She left a message scratched out in the dirt: "I was meant to have wings."
They get a message from Fang, asking them to come meet him. They head over there, and they meet at a restaurant. Fang's Gang and the Flock meet and do not get along well; there is also a rift between Max and Fang. They eventually agree to go out to a Doomsday Group rally in France. They go there and find out that the rally is being held over a sewer system rigged full of bombs. They try to evacuate everybody while Gazzy tries to disarm all the bombs. Later, Max and Maya fight off Mark, and he falls to his death; Max looks at his body down below, and sees a few wires sticking out of him. A little bit later, the bombs go off. Though not all the normal people are able to make it to safety, the genetically enhanced ones make it out pretty much unscathed. Gasman and Fang later come to Max saying that Angel is missing. As they try to help out and search for Angel, they are really sad about the destruction, seeing so many lives lost. Eventually, they end their search, and Fang's Gang leaves.
In the epilogue, called, "Famous Last Words," Angel is alive in an unknown place, hooked up to a bunch of machines, with people whose minds she cannot read. Someone speaks to her with the Voice, telling her that she is "superior." She cries, and silently apologizes to Max. The last words of the book are, "At least she was still human enough to cry."