Last time, Wanderer/Melanie were about to die, but crazy Uncle Jeb saved them. Something tells me things are about to get worse for our “heroes,” though.
Wanderer/Melanie immediately ask if Jared and Jamie are with Uncle Jeb. He says no, but I am not convinced. And you shouldn’t be either! He also gives a really lame excuse for leaving them, so it’s very super duper mega obvious that he does not trust Wanderer/Melanie and knows that there is a soul in the body.
“Look,” Uncle Jeb said after a moment. “I, uh, have something to take care of. You rest for a bit, and I’ll be back for you.”
To kill you. Or at least that’s what I think he’ll be back for.
Now Wanderer narrates the story as “we,” by the way. Or at least she has started to since they almost died, so don’t get too confused if I throw some quotes in and she’s going, “We this, we that blah blah.” Anyway, they angst about Jared and Jamie and wish they were dead because life is pointless without them. So they’re depressed and sleep for a little again, and when they wake up, they hear Uncle Jeb talking to other people. Apparently there are like eight people with him! I bet they’ve all baked cookies or something for Wanderer/Melanie…what? They’re an angry mini-mob? Oh, okay. Surprise, surprise.
One of the men even has a machete. Yikes! Even though this is clearly a Bad Situation, Melanie is fucking stupid.
I saw horror, but Melanie saw all this with wonder, her mind boggling at their numbers. Eight human survivors. She’d thought Jeb was alone or, in the best case scenario, with only two others. To see so many of her kind alive filled her with joy.
Don’t worry, Wanderer points out that she’s being an idiot, but does Melanie listen? Sort of. But there are dumber things to worry about. Wanderer suspects Jeb and the others have only left them alive to torture them, specifically Wanderer for her secret. She tells us that she’s thinking this secret and that she’s hidden it from Melanie behind, you know, their mind wall.
Melanie was hardly even curious on the other side of the wall; she made no effort to break through it.
Wanderer also thinks about how much torture she’ll be able to endure, and apparently that part of the thought process is something Melanie has access to because she’s like, “Just tell Uncle Jeb that I’m here!’
Oh, really, Melanie? You’re going to have a member of the alien race that your uncle has been suspicious of since the beginning tell him that actually you’re still aware and hanging out in the body alongside her? Do you really think that’s going to fly?
Luckily, once Wanderer points out that that would only make them think she was a Seeker, Melanie realizes that telling Uncle Jeb the truth probably wouldn’t go over too well. Jeb does, however, step in when the man with a machete makes moves to kill Wanderer/Melanie. Melanie’s aunt also suggests that they could learn a lot about the alien, and after this Melanie starts asking about how the family is doing (because she’s an idiot). So her aunt comes over, slaps her, and says she’s not gonna be fooled by a parasite.
They blindfold Melanie/Wanderer to lead her back to their camp. On the way there, Jeb explains he’s not doing this out of sympathy but out of curiosity. Ooh mysterious. Anyway, after lots of walking and lots of thinking basically the same thoughts over and over again about whether it would be easier to kill themselves than be tortured, their blindfolds are removed, and now they’re in a cave of sorts. With loads of people! Seems like the human race ain’t doing so bad after all.
And…SOMEONE WHO THEY RECOGNIZE IS IN THE CROWD! Bet you can’t guess who it is…
It’s Jared. And he’s not too thrilled about the situation. He’s no longer all jokey-jokey. He means business this time. Melanie, again, is stupid and tries to run over to him with her arms out (I guess to hug him), and even though Wanderer tries to stop her, she can’t. Jared smacks them and they fall ON THE GROUND.
Ug, and you can tell it’s a Stephenie Meyer book because here we go with the beautiful nonsense.
Jared was walking toward us, and his face was the same as those of the barbarians in the desert—only it was beautiful rather than frightening in its fury.
Wanderer correctly wonders if his beauty means anything when he is clearly about to kill them.
From the crowd, a doctor steps forward and begins examining Wanderer/Melanie. Oh, also, they see Melanie’s cousin Sharon in the crowd, but no sign of Jamie yet. The doctor seems alright, he says “her” instead of “it,” so there’s that.
Suddenly, though, Jared speaks up.
Jared answered through his teeth. “I’ll tell you the problem, Doc. What’s the difference between letting you have it or Jeb putting a bullet in its head?”
I trembled. Jeb patted my arm.
The doctor blinked again. “Well” was all he said. Jared answered his own question. “The difference is, if Jeb kills it, at least it dies cleanly.”
Basically the doctor’s argument is like, “But this is for science! Maybe this time we’ll get it right and remove the soul successfully or learn something new!”
All of a sudden Wanderer/Melanie start to pass out, and as they do they ask for Jamie, and Jared says he’s fine…and that’s how this chapter ends? God, nothing at all funny happened but also nothing interesting. Talk about a snooze cruise! Sorry, y’all!