This is another one of those chapters that I absolutely dread writing the recap for.  Ugggh, it killed me, and I know it’s going to take a long time to recap it, even though it wasn’t as long a chapter as some have been in the past…it was just so poorly written it hurts.  What hurts the worst, though, is that for a while I had noted a bit of improvement in Meyer’s writing, but then in these last two chapters, she just threw that down the drain in favour of writing some of the absolute worst dialogue and least believable scenes I have ever read in my life.   God help me.

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Starting in the middle of a scene again, Wanda is still somehow holding onto Kyle as the ground crumbles around them.  Someone has responded to her calls for help; who wants to guess who it is?  No, no, silly people, it’s not Jared; Jared is a dick now, remember?  No, it’s Ian, of course, because if it wasn’t the brother of the person Wanda is attempting to save, we wouldn’t get some of the very worst lines of dialogue in this chapter.  Yay, I’m so glad he’s here.  Please allow me a moment to remove the fork from my eye before I continue.

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So Ian shows up with the rifle, which he didn’t have before, so he must have….what; heard her screaming and then went off to find Jeb so he could get the gun before seeing what was wrong?  Smart move; she could have been dead before he ever got there, if Kyle’s plan had been successful.  He should have just yelled out to Jeb, if Jeb was close enough, or woken Jamie to go get Jeb while he went to find out what was wrong with Wanda, since he obviously expected that it was a problem with Kyle.  He could have at least distracted or fought with Kyle enough to keep Wanda from dying until Jeb got there with the gun if he’d done that, but noooo, he had to waste time getting the gun himself.  Stupid.

Anyway, he shows up with the rifle, but then he sees what’s going on and throws the rifle to the floor, because he realizes it’s just a little bit useless in that situation.  He starts toward Wanda, but she tells him to get down to disperse his weight, which I feel like Ian should have been smart enough to have figured out on his own, and Wanda probably wouldn’t have been that smart because so far any intelligent decisions she’s made have been based on advice from Stryder…but hey, whatever; Meyer needs her to look smart for a minute before she spends the rest of the chapter being a complete and utter moron.  Yep, you can really tell how much I liked this chapter.

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Ian takes Wanda’s advice and starts “scuttling” across the floor toward her, reminding her not to let go, as if that would be helpful advice.  He gets behind her, pushing her closer to “the” rock, whichever rock that is, since for once Meyer doesn’t go into explicit detail on something, and somehow reaches past Wanda to grab onto his brother.  He pulls Kyle up, which apparently smashes Wanda’s face into the pillar on the side that was already “scarred” (surprised it scarred so quickly; that’s a fast healing injury), and then Wanda wriggles out from between Ian and the rock and crawls backward toward the door.

Okay, give me a second here to try to figure out what’s going on, since I couldn’t picture this at all while I was reading it.  So…last chapter, Kyle hit his head on the pillar and then went unconscious, so he couldn’t have moved very far from a position that would have him slumped against the pillar, but then Wanda wrapped her leg around the pillar to use it as an anchor to pull Kyle up,  somehow, despite that Kyle should still have been too close to it for that, and then she flattened herself against the pillar at the end of that chapter, which I can’t understand at all…and then when Ian shows up, her leg should still be wrapped around the pillar at the same time as she’s somehow pressed up against it, so Ian slides in behind her and grabs Kyle, which…pushes her face against the pillar?

The only way I can picture that working is if she’s curled up in a ball facing the pillar, with her leg wrapped around that way, but even then, I can’t see how her face would hit the pillar if that was the case.  Maybe I’m just reading this entirely wrong, and someone else could picture it easily, but it’s not making sense to me.  I know it’s not overly important, but it’s bugging me that I can’t make sense of it, and I feel like it doesn’t add up with the injury to her leg, and the side of her face that gets hurt, and…I don’t know.  I’m gonna stop thinking about it now.

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So anyway, Ian drags Kyle around the infamous pillar while the floor continues to crumble away, but conveniently it stays intact around the pillar and forms a new shelf there, so Ian and Kyle don’t fall in.  You’ve gotta love when things work out just the way you want them to, don’t you?

Ian gets Kyle to the doorway, then asks Wanda what happened.  She tells him the combined weight of her and Kyle was too much, so the floor gave in, and I’m pretty sure that much was obvious, Wanda, so stop being a procrastinating idiot.  He asks what they were doing near the edge, and she doesn’t respond, instead having a conversation with Stryder in her head about what will happen.

Stryder wants Wanda to tell Ian the truth of the situation, even if that means Kyle ends up getting shot by Jeb, kicked out of the caves like was threatened to him before, or beaten by Ian, and Wanda thinks she doesn’t mean it, but I kind of really hope she does.  He tried to kill you, Wanda; why the hell shouldn’t you want him gone, whether dead or otherwise?  He’ll only try to kill you again if he stays!  And of course Stryder’s mad at you for risking your lives for him!  That only makes sense, especially since you directly ignored her wishes to do so!

But no, Wanda thinks it doesn’t make sense at all for Kyle to be punished for his actions because he’s “one of them” (the humans) and she isn’t, and that is the fucking stupidest bullshit I have ever heard.  Meyer, I don’t care how much you’re trying to make Wanda seem like a selfless martyr who puts the safety of the humans before herself now; doing these things is making her the LEAST BELIEVABLE CHARACTER EVER!

Much like this one.

Much like this one.

Kyle tried to kill her; it doesn’t matter if he’s one of them, he’s a fucking murderer!  Yes, it’s true that that wouldn’t have been the case with any normal alien, but she has been accepted by the group, and he knows that; he already knew what stood to happen to him if he did anything to her, and he decided to anyway! He actively risked his “spot” in the caves just so he could kill you, Wanda!  He knowingly made that decision! It does not make less sense to lose him than you in that circumstance!  Why is this so hard to figure out??

The only thing Stryder has to say in regard to the “one of you” comment is that they have a life there too, though, so once again she doesn’t mention the most important things she could have…butttt, this is all just so Wanda can make another self-deprecating comment about herself that’s designed to make us feel bad for her anyway, which I fucking don’t, so who cares.

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I will say, though, that if saving Kyle’s life had been a strategy on Wanda’s part, it would have potentially been quite smart, because she could have told everyone what he did to her (which wouldn’t be hard for them to believe), told them what happened with the floor, and told them she saved his life (which Ian could back up, since he was there for it), and then they could get rid of Kyle for doing what he did to her, and at the same time, the people who didn’t trust her might trust her more, and the ones who did would do so even more, because she was willing to risk herself to save a human instead of harming them.

However, that’s not at all what Wanda does.  No, instead she decides to completely deny that Kyle did anything to her, because she doesn’t want him to get in trouble.  What. The. Fuck.

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For one, who the hell is going to believe you, Wanda, given the state you’re in, the fact you were alone with Kyle and they know damn well what Kyle would do given that opportunity, and that Kyle will probably admit to what he did when he wakes (if he ever does) because he never pretended that wasn’t what he wanted, and he’s gonna be pissed you’re still alive?!

Secondly, again, why the FUCK is she protecting Kyle so much?  Even she must see how stupid this is!  She knows Ian doesn’t believe her that Kyle did nothing; he makes that very clear in the conversation they have!  So why keep it up?  All that does is reinforce to Ian and everyone else that she is capable of lying!  The one thing you had going for you, Wanda, was that they (however wrong they may have been) thought you weren’t a liar, so they could rely on what you said as truth!  Now you’ve gone and made it very clear you’re willing to lie to them!  You are the biggest fucking idiot on the planet!

Of course, that will never come down negatively on her, because she’s Everything Wonderful in the World, but it really fucking should!  Uggh, this book, and these characters.  Go to hell, all of you.

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So yeah, Wanda and Ian talk about what happened, kind of, except that Wanda keeps saying Kyle didn’t do anything to her, even as Ian looks at all the damage she’s taken, most notably on the back of her skull from where Kyle smashed it into the floor, which doesn’t add up with her story.

Ian is displeased with the fact that she’s lying to him to protect Kyle, because he knows Kyle tried to kill her, and he even somehow figured out exactly how Kyle was going to do it, though I see nothing that should have made that clear to him.  When he realizes what Kyle was going to do, he lets go of him and pushes him away in disgust, then cuddles up with Wanda, which feels strange to her.

He says he should kick Kyle back over the edge himself, and of course Wanda says no, but Ian says it’ll save time since Jeb made the rules clear on what would happen if anyone in the cave tried to hurt anyone else.  Apparently there will be a tribunal.  How formal.

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Wanda tries to pull away, but Ian is rapetacular, so he doesn’t let her go, he instead tightens his grip on her.  Wanda doesn’t feel scared by him holding her, but it feels upsetting to her because it “throws her off balance”, and I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be because she feels somewhat attracted to him and doesn’t understand why she feels that way, or if she’s just plain uncomfortable with the fact that he’s cuddling with her clearly against her will, since she tried to get away.  I know reading that made me uncomfortable for the latter reason.

Wanda says that no one broke the rules, the floor just collapsed, and reminds Ian that Kyle is his brother, but Ian says Kyle knew what he was doing, just as I said, and that he may be his brother but she is his ‘friend’ (his stuttering over saying that is clearly meant to indicate he sees her as more than a friend, but Wanda doesn’t pick up on that at all), and he did what he did, brother or not.

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Wanda tries to deny that anything happened again, and then says that Kyle is human, so the cave is his place, not hers, and Ian must be as annoyed as I am by her continually saying shit like that, because he snaps back at her:

We’re not having this discussion again.  Your definition of human is not the same as mine.  To you, it means something…negative.  To me, it’s a compliment – and by my definition, you are and he isn’t.  Not after this.

I…take issue with this.  Wanda responds that being human isn’t negative to her now that she knows them, which…eh…she still makes some pretty bitchy comments about humans that make it sound as if she views them pretty negatively, but at the same time, I will give her that she wasn’t calling Kyle human as an insult there, so Ian’s response that her definition of them is negative does not fit there at all, in my opinion.  It just isn’t relevant to what she’s saying at the moment.

Besides, there is an actual definition of what a human is, and she most certainly does not fit it, whether she’s in a human body or not, so she is right that he belongs with the humans more than she does…except that that misses Ian’s point entirely, which is that Kyle denied his humanity by being willing to take a life the way he did.  Ahhh, I can see two sides to all of this, so I’m just gonna stop now, I think.

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Wanda reiterates that Kyle is Ian’s brother, and Ian says that is “A fact that shames me“, and once again, Meyer, REAL PEOPLE DON’T TALK LIKE THAT.  Especially not after what they’ve just gone through.

Wanda pushes away, and luckily Ian lets her go this time, though possibly just because she moans in pain because her leg moves.  Ian asks her if she’s okay, and she says she thinks she is but they have to find Doc, and she’s not sure if she can walk because of her leg, which she hit when she fell.  Right, that’s believable.

Ian looks at her leg (apparently it’s the right one that’s hurt, which makes the pillar scene even harder for me to imagine), and she tells him the pain is at the back of her thigh, just above the knee.  She says it’s not broken, just sore, and he says it’s at least a deep muscle bruise, which makes the previous chapter make both more and less sense at the same time, depending on what point you’re at in the chapter.  It definitely doesn’t add up with how she supposedly did all that stuff with Kyle using her leg, but now can’t even walk on it, though.  This shit is so inconsistent.

I know, it's hard to believe Meyer's writing could be inconsistent.

I know, it’s hard to believe Meyer’s writing could be inconsistent.

Ian asks how the hurt leg came to be, and she lies again about landing on a rock when she fell, which Ian obviously doesn’t believe, but he gives up on trying to get her to tell the truth and just says they should get her to Doc.  Wanda argues with that too, saying Kyle needs Doc more than she does, but Ian’s having none of it.  He says he has to go find Doc or some help anyway, because he can’t carry Kyle that far, but he can carry her, so he’ll take her first.

Wanda thankfully decides not try to argue with him anymore, because she wants to see Walter before he dies anyway, which she hopes hasn’t already happened. Ian ducks out and gets the gun again, which makes Wanda frown because she doesn’t like that it reminds her that she’d wanted the gun before when Kyle was attacking her.  Oh, give it a fucking rest with the nonviolent shit, Meyer; this is really getting incredibly exhausting.  Yes, we get it, she doesn’t like guns or violence, but she was fucking in a life or death situation, and she hasn’t yet been out of it long enough to see her desire for something that would have saved her life as a bad thing!  Fuuuuck, I am SO sick of this!

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Ian hands the gun to Wanda and she lets it fall into her hands instead of gripping it, because AGAIN WITH THE ANNOYING FUCKING NONVIOLENT SHIT, and then decides it’s a “suitable punishment” that she should have to carry the gun.  A punishment for WHAT?!  Spending an entire day comforting a dying man?  Taking a bath and washing your clothes?  Almost being killed by Kyle?  SAVING KYLE’S LIFE??

What the hell is this shit?  There is NOTHING believable about the idea that she’d think she deserved punishment for anything that’s happened here! And if it’s about the fact that she saved Kyle’s life, but because no one will believe he wasn’t trying to kill her, he’s going to be punished, then I’m going to fucking stab this book.  I swear, I’ll do it.

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Ian laughs at the idea that anyone could be afraid of her when she won’t even touch the gun, then he picks her up and starts carrying her toward the hospital wing.  He questions her on a few other things like her wet clothes and missing shoe to try to get her to reveal the truth of what happened, but she doesn’t bite, so he tells her he’s glad she wasn’t hurt worse.  She still doesn’t answer, though, because she’s afraid if she says anything it’ll give away the truth, despite that she knows he already knows.

They run into Jeb, who apparently looks curious and not concerned, angry or afraid for her, which kinda pisses me off because it is, once again, not believable, not consistent with his character so far, and frankly a very stupid reaction to have to her being clearly injured, especially since his next line reveals that he knows what happened had to do with Kyle.  Not only that, but that Ian had told him it was about Kyle before getting the gun, since he alludes to Ian being “right”.

But even once he acknowledges this, Jeb still only looks fucking curious, and then asks about Kyle, because he didn’t hear a gunshot.  Wanda says he’s unconscious, and tells Jeb that he needs to warn everyone that part of the floor collapsed in the river room.  She tells him that Kyle needs Doc because he hit his head trying to get out, and I don’t know why, but there’s just something about this dialogue from her that feels so fake to me.  Maybe it’s just that I know she’s lying, but I think this is the most truth she’s told so far, and it still feels wrong.  It’s probably just that it’s bad writing.  Yeah, that must be it.

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Jeb raises his eyebrow impossibly high, which seems to indicate that he doesn’t believe Wanda either, even though as I said, that’s the first time she’s actually given the truth of any of it (since she didn’t mention what happened to herself at all), and Ian says that’s the story she’s sticking to, so Jeb laughs and takes the gun instead of pursuing the conversation any further, then laughs again at how willing Wanda is to give said gun to him.

I’ve got to say, it’s really bothering me how easily these people are laughing in this situation.  An important room is now destroyed, Wanda is injured and was almost killed, Kyle is unconscious and could die, and even if he doesn’t he’s an attempted murderer, and everyone is just smiling and laughing and the most emotion that’s been expressed is curiosity?  What the fuck is wrong with these people?  This would have to be one of the biggest events that has happened here, and certainly one of the most dangerous and potentially more dangerous in future, so why the hell is Jeb especially being so casual about it?  Agggh.  Ridiculous, unbelievable characters.  I’m so done with this book…

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Jeb says he’ll have Andy and Brandt help him carry Kyle down to Doc, so Ian warns him to keep a close eye on Kyle when he wakes up, which Jeb agrees to do, then leaves.  Ian starts to hurry toward the hospital wing, and Wanda makes more stupid comments about Kyle being hurt that make me hate this book, and then worries about him even more silently.

Luckily, she worries about other shit too, which is ever so slightly less annoying, but then Stryder steps in continuing to only fucking worry about where the hell Jared is and if he’ll “know her” (Stryder) when he sees Wanda, and sweet fucking LORD I cannot STAND how repetitive and pointless this book is!! Holy shit, Meyer, talk about SOMETHING FUCKING ELSE for a change!! Why the hell, after almost dying, and with everything else going on, can you not let Stryder talk about ANYTHING except the same shit about Jared she’s talked about for the past however many fucking chapters?! Good fucking lord, let this end, please! I can’t take it anymore!

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Jared and Doc are still in the same place when Wanda and Ian get to the hospital wing, and Walter is still asleep, and it seems none of them have any idea that anything happened.  That seems incredibly odd to me, given that no matter how big this cave system is, I’d think they’d hear something like the entire floor caving in in one room, but apparently not.

Anyway, Ian lays Wanda on the cot next to Walter’s again, so Doc asks what happened and starts fixing Wanda up right away.  Jared is frozen in surprise, so he doesn’t say anything, and Ian and Wanda answer Doc’s question at the same time, but with different answers.  Ian says “Kyle”, and Wanda, predictably, says “The floor”, and thank god she got cut off there or I would have had to hurt someone for having to hear about that from her again.

Doc looks confused, so this time Ian explains, but he does so in a way that should appease Wanda because he doesn’t directly blame Kyle for anything, he just says that something hit Wanda in the head that wasn’t the floor, and gives Doc a look that tells him the truth.  He lists all of Wanda’s injuries for Doc, and then mentions that he shouldn’t have bothered pulling Kyle out of the hole.

Doc probes around to see if anything else is wrong with Wanda, and hits the spot where Kyle punched her in the side, which she reacts to.  Apparently, the injury to her side is bad enough that it causes Ian and Jared to hiss again, because we’re back to that stupid shit, and then Ian angrily “guesses” that Wanda fell on a rock, which she says is the case.  Stupid bitch, no one believes you and you’re just making this worse for yourself; give it up.

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Ignoring her stupid lie, Doc says her rib might be broken, and that he wishes he could give her something for the pain, but Wanda says not to worry about that and asks how Walter is.  Doc says he hasn’t woken up because it will take time to sleep off the morphine he was given, and then goes back to examining her.  Wanda says she’s okay, and Doc says she will be, but she’ll have to rest for a while.  He says he’ll keep an eye on her.

Ian says “Not here“, and then explains that Jeb and the guys are bringing Kyle, and he doesn’t want Kyle and Wanda in the same room, which Doc agrees with.  Ian says he’ll get a place ready for her, but he’ll need Doc to keep Kyle in the hospital room until they decide what to do with him.  Wanda tries to protest, but Ian silences her, and then Doc agrees, and says he’ll tie Kyle down if Ian wants.  Ian says they will do that if they have to.

Ian asks if it’s okay to move her, but Wanda says she wants to be there for Walter, to say goodbye.  Ian asks Jared if he can trust him, which makes him angry at first, probably because he thinks Ian is insinuating Jared is less trustworthy with his own girlfriend than Ian is, and Jared now knows Ian’s got a thing for her (though it’s for Wanda, not Stryder), so he thinks Ian means it in that way…but Ian clarifies that he means that he doesn’t want to leave Wanda unprotected while he finds a place for her to stay, and he doesn’t know if Kyle will be conscious when he gets there, so he wants to make sure there are two people (Jared and Doc) to deal with Kyle if he gets out of line.  He doesn’t want Jeb to have to shoot Kyle, because he knows it’ll upset Wanda, and he’s afraid if it’s just Doc, Jeb may have to do that.

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Jared is still angry, but he says Doc won’t be on his own, so Ian reminds him how hard the past couple of days have been for Wanda, to elicit some sympathy from Jared.  Jared angrily nods, Doc reminds Ian he’ll be there, and then Ian tells Wanda not to be afraid, kisses her forehead, and leaves.

Jared and Wanda are both shocked by the kiss, but I am not; I’m more like Doc, who just seems to feel it was kind of an awkward and potentially bad thing for Ian to have done, at least in front of Jared.  Kinda a dick move, Ian, even if your intentions toward Wanda are good.  And even then, she’s not been very receptive to your advances, so…it’s just all around a pretty bad idea.  Wanda’s too tired to care what Jared and Doc think of Ian kissing her, though, so we also get no insight into what she really thinks of the situation herself.

Jared is about to say something to Doc, but then Jeb and four other guys show up with Kyle.  They put him on a cot, with Jared and Doc’s help (because he’s apparently that heavy; it takes 7 guys to lift him, yet one girl can somehow hold her own against him…), and then Doc questions Wanda on how long Kyle has been unconscious (her guess seems wrong, but that may just be me).

Jeb decides the best thing to do is pour water on Kyle’s face to wake him up, which works, and I find that incredibly fucking hard to believe, because I’ve seen people pass out from serious concussions before (which this should be, given how it’s described, but watch it not be for convenience sake), and that’s just plain not enough to wake them, and not a good idea, besides.  But whatever, Meyer; it’s your completely nonsensical book.

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Kyle immediately starts asking where “it” went, and mumbling about the floor, which terrifies Wanda, but Jared steps in and tells Kyle it’s okay, and that he’s safe.  The fact that he does so by standing between Wanda and Kyle’s cots with his back to Wanda, refusing to look at her, makes it feel as though he’s silently telling everyone he’s taking Kyle’s side, which is even more dickish than he has been so far, but I may just be reading too much into this.

Apparently, Jared is standing facing Kyle but has his hand on Wanda’s cot at the same time, and I absolutely cannot make sense of why he’d do that, but it makes Stryder long to touch him.  Wanda begs her not to do that (even though she should have control since it’s sooooo hard for Stryder to take control, apparently…oh wait, no, she’s around Jared, so it should be fucking easy, unlike that life or death situation earlier that would have, you know, KEPT HER FROM EVER SEEING JARED AGAIN…sorry, I’m still not over that), but Stryder says Jared won’t hit her.  Wanda isn’t willing to risk it, though, so despite Stryder’s yearnings (and Wanda’s too, apparently), they don’t touch him.  Wanda tells Stryder to give Jared time to get used to them, and to wait until he really believes Stryder is there.  Yay for momentary intelligence.

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Stryder is displeased with that idea, but she concedes, and then Kyle sees Wanda and starts complaining that “it” didn’t fall.  So, y’know, as I said would be the case, all those lies about Kyle not trying to hurt her were for fucking nothing, because he just gave himself away right there.  Good job, Wanda; you just made yourself out to be a liar for someone who made his intentions toward you clear immediately after becoming conscious.  You’re a smart fucking woman.

That’s the end of the chapter, but before I go, I have a question: Where the hell is Jamie throughout all this? He was sleeping with Ian, so if Ian heard Wanda screaming, Jamie should have too, or at least been awoken when Ian got up in a rush to go find Jeb and the gun so he could go to Wanda.  More than that, if Ian could hear Wanda screaming, both he and Jamie should have been able to hear the floor giving in, and I’m pretty damn sure Jamie would want to find out what the hell was going on there if he heard that.

Oh wait; he’s probably a heavy sleeper again in this chapter, conveniently.  That must be it.  But even then, it would have been smarter for Ian to wake Jamie and have him go get the gun from Jeb while Ian went to Wanda to make sure she was okay, but he couldn’t possibly do anything that intelligent.  Also, why hasn’t Wanda asked where Jamie is?  She just about died; shouldn’t she be wanting to see Jamie, who she apparently loves so much?  Or are we back to how only Jared matters?  I really hate these people.  So much.

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With that, I’ll end this, because fuck.  Juuuuust fuck.

(See Mike’s take on this chapter at http://emptystress.wordpress.com!)