Previously, Jeb began to take Melerer on a more complete tour of the absurd cave that they live in. This cave is more ridiculous than Lady Gaga but in a less awesome way. Also, Jamie, the doctor and Ian joined them on the tour.
Melerer claims to be too distracted by the doctor and Ian to pay attention to the rest of Jeb’s tour, yet she proceeds to tell us about the cave in the same amount of detail that she did when she was paying attention. No fucks are given by me.
Oh my God. Last chapter I joked that Jeb was going to show Melerer the cave’s arcade or something, but he actually shows her a fucking “rec room”. THIS PLACE IS BEYOND RIDICULOUS! There is even a second bathroom! Some houses don’t even have two bathrooms, but this cave does! Aladdin’s Cave of Wonders X ridiculous bullshit = this fucking cave.
The doctor and Ian apparently behave themselves and don’t attack anybody, but Melerer is super confused by their conversation:
Their comments revolved around names I didn’t know and nicknames for places and things that might or might not have been inside these caves. I couldn’t understand any of it.
That’s just how I feel about this book! Wooooah. It’s like Meyer knows she is writing confusing drivel and is winking at me with this sentence!
They walk through a lot more tunnels and eventually stop in the hospital wing where the ominous doctor works. I still don’t quite get why he is so ominous, but I feel like we’re supposed to be terrified along with Melerer of this dude, so okay. I have to admit, though, I do totally get why Melerer freaks out and thinks that they’ve lured her into a trap. Very suspicious! Hilariously, though, they haven’t, but Ian is basically like, “That would have been brilliant!! Why didn’t I think of that?” So obviously he’s a suitable love interest already.
Towards the end of the tour, the doctor asks about the medicine that the souls use, and Wanderer explains she doesn’t know anything about it because she’s not a healer. She also mentions that they don’t come to change the planet the creatures the souls inhabit live on, they come to experience. However, medicine takes precedence, so that is one of the things they change.
After the tour is done, Jeb leaves Jamie with a rifle to guard Melerer. I guess this is part of some big plan of his or something because he pushes the issue even when Melerer freaks the fuck out over Jamie holding a gun and the potential to get hurt if someone comes after Melerer. Jeb’s like, “My house, my rules, BAI!”
Jamie again asks the most interesting and sensible questions of the book. The most interesting factoid we find out is that the souls at first came in spider-like bodies to begin conquoring earth. This was brilliant! Most people I know are terrified of spiders!
But wait…what….the spiders can build their own ships?
The Spiders were our best engineers— the ships they made for us danced nimbly and undetectably through the stars. The Spiders’ bodies were almost as useful as their minds: four long legs to each segment— from which they’d earned their nickname on this planet— and twelve-fingered hands on each leg . These six-jointed fingers were as slender and strong as steel threads, capable of the most delicate procedures.
How big are these spiders? I’m so confused about how they’re going about building ships! Are they adorable tiny spider ships?? I would like to know more about this, please. She tells us all about their fingers and legs but now how big they are! They must have been pretty hard to detect if they supposedly helped the souls infiltrate Earth, right? Oh wait…
About the mass of a cow, but short and lean, the Spiders had no trouble with the first insertions. They were stronger than humans, smarter than humans, and prepared, which the humans were not….
WHAT?!? How the…I mean, no, no I wouldn’t exactly be prepared to fight weird spiders who are the size…no the mass of a cow, but what?!
The spider invasion story makes Jamie sad, and he cries a bit, and Melerer ends up holding/comforting him until Jeb comes back. Wanderer tells them both her name, and Jeb starts calling her Wanda for short…and for some reason Jamie exits the scene. Well, Meyer’s reason is so Jeb and Wanderer can talk more, but the actual reason in the scene is unclear.
Apparently, Jeb heard all the stories Wanderer told Jamie, and he’s interested in them as well. Wanderer is super flattered when Jeb tells her she’s a good storyteller. Then Jeb starts trying to figure out why exactly Wanderer came to find them as he genuinely believes she’s not a Seeker. Jeb talks out every single thought he’s had about Wanderer, and after all of Meyer’s excessive writing, he basically comes out and says that from what he’s observed, the souls now have basically become humans and actually have human feelings. Because of this, he believes that Wanderer loves Jared and Jamie.
He also somehow figures out that Melanie is probably still in there too. Because why not.
Wanderer and Melanie argue a little over whether or not Jeb’s realization actually changes anything and if anyone else believes them.
She thought about the way the other humans looked at Jeb. Right. She sighed. But I think Jamie… well, he doesn’t know or guess, but I think he feels the truth.
Jeb talks to Wanderer for hours about the different creatures she’s lived as, and Jamie shows up as they’re (FINALLY) about to talk about the dragons…which are apparently made of jelly. Oh my God what even?
“Yeah,” Jeb told him enthusiastically, “but not the lizardy kind. They’re all made up of jelly. They can fly, though… sort of. The air’s thicker, sort of jelly, too . So it’s almost like swimming. And they can breathe acid— that’s about as good as fire, wouldn’t you say?”
I think Meyer was on acid when she wrote this. Jelly dragons. Jesus Christ, this book.
Wanderer explains that she got her name because she hasn’t been able to settle on a planet she actually wants to stay on permanently like most souls do after a shorter period of time. Apparently most only try between 1-3 different species than they were born into while many just stay whatever they were born as. Melanie gets jealous that Wanderer is holding hands with Jamie and that he’s really warmed up to her.
After talking for awhile longer, the doctor shows up to take a shift keeping an eye on Melerer. For some reason this terrifies them, even though the doctor just goes to sleep and Jamie and Jeb are like, “it’s cool.” At the end of the chapter, Melerer hears the doctor snoring…but someone is in the room with her!