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Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports

There's one last chance to save the world in MAXIMUM RIDE: SAVING THE WORLD AND OTHER EXTREME SPORTS, the closing chapter of James Patterson's thrilling trilogy. The time has arrived for Max and her winged 'Flock' to face their ultimate enemy and discover their original purpose: to defeat the takeover of 'Re-evolution', a sinister experiment to re-engineer a select population into a scientifically superior master race...and to terminate the rest.

Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel have always worked together to defeat the forces working against them-but can they save the world when they are torn apart, living in hiding and captivity, halfway across the globe from one another?

Chapter 5

We’d never been to Dallas before, and the next day, we decided to visit the John F. Kennedy memorial, as part of our “Highlights of Texas” tour. Or at least the other kids had decided, and they had outvoted me and my wacky “lie low” suggestion.

Now we wandered around the outdoor site, and I have to tell you, I could have used a couple of explanatory plaques.

“This thing is going to fall on our heads any second,” Total said, examining the four walls towering over us and looking around suspiciously.

“It doesn’t say anything about President Kennedy,” the Gasman complained.

“I guess you’re supposed to know already when you come here,” Iggy said.

“He was a president,” Nudge said, trailing one tan hand along the smooth cement. “And he got killed. I think he was supposed to be a good president.”

“I still think there was a second shooter.” Total sniffed and flopped on the grass.

“Can we go now?” I asked. “Before a busload of schoolkids comes on a field trip?”

“Yeah,” said Iggy. “But what now? Let’s do something fun.”

I guess being on the run from bloodthirsty Erasers and insane scientists wasn’t enough fun for him. Kids today are so spoiled.

“There’s a cowgirl museum,” said Nudge. How did she know this? No clue.

Fang opened his laptop to a Dallas tourist site.

“There’s a big art museum,” he said, with no convincing enthusiasm. “And an aquarium.”

Angel sat patiently on the ground, smoothing her teddy bear Celeste’s increasingly bedraggled fur. “Let’s go to the cowgirl museum,” she said.

I bit my lip. Why couldn’t we just get out of here, go hide someplace, take the time to figure everything out? Why was I the only one who seemed to feel a pressing need to know what the heck was going on?

“Football game,” said Fang.

“What?” Iggy asked, his face brightening.

“Football game tonight, Texas Stadium.” Fang snapped the laptop shut and stood. “I think we should go.”

I stared at him. “Are you nuts? We can’t go to a football game!” I said with my usual delicacy and tact. “Being surrounded, crowded, by tens of thousands of people, trapped inside, cameras everywhere—God, it’s a freaking nightmare just thinking about it!”

“Texas Stadium is open to the sky,” Fang said firmly. “The Cowboys are playing the Chicago Bears.”

“And we’ll be there!” Iggy cheered, punching the air.

“Fang, can I talk to you privately for a second?” I asked tersely, motioning him out of the memorial.

We stepped through an opening in the cement wall and moved a couple yards away. I put my hands on my hips. “Since when are you calling the shots?” I demanded. “We can’t go to a football game! There’s going to be cameras everywhere. What are you thinking?”

Fang looked at me seriously, his eyes unreadable. “One, it’s going to be an awesome game. Two, we’re seizing life by the tail. Three, yeah, there’s going to be cameras everywhere. We’ll be spotted. The School and the Institute and Jeb and the rest of the whitecoats probably have feeds tapping every public camera. So they’ll know where we are.”

I was furious and didn’t know what to think. “Funny, you didn’t look insane when you got up this morning.”

“They’ll know where we are and they’ll come after us,” Fang said grimly. “Then we’ll know where the tornado is.”

Comprehension finally dawned. “You want to draw them out.”

“I can’t take not knowing,” he said quietly.

I weighed Fang’s sanity against my determination to remain the leader. Finally I sighed and nodded. “Okay, I get it. One major firefight, coming right up. But you so owe me. I mean, my God, football!

Copyright © 2007 by James Patterson

Read by Valentina de Angelis

Valentina de Angelis co-starred with Joan Allen and Sam Elliot in Off the Map, directed by Campbell Scott. She has appeared on television in Law & Order: SVU and Love Monkey. She has also appeared in over fifty commercials, narrated voice-overs, and did a guest stint on Saturday Night Live. She read Maximum Ride #2 by James Patterson for Hachette Audio.

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