Well, this chapter didn’t start how I expected it to. I expected a lot of whining from Wanda about the Healer killing himself, but that’s not what happened, and you’ll see why in a little bit. And don’t worry; true to form, it’s a stupid, stupid reason.
So instead of the whining, we start this chapter with Wanda listing off a bunch of female names as she tries to guess what the human host’s name is, because apparently she hasn’t woken up yet, even though it’s been hours since the removal. So maybe there was whining, we just missed it, but I still don’t think so given what’s to come.
In the time since the removal, Doc removed the coverings from the holes in the ceiling of the hospital to let some light in, which I’m only mentioning because Meyer did, so it must be important, right? It seems he has to go outside and climb up the mountain every time he wants to take them off or put them on, so it’s going to be fun for him doing that all the time, since they can only really do the removals at night as that’s the only time they can safely abduct the aliens…but hey, whatever floats your boat.
I have to say, though, I think the only reason Meyer actually mentioned that Doc did that was so she could attempt to explain how Wanda knows what time it is. That’s a lot of work for what is a pretty unimportant bit of information, in the grand scheme of things.
Anyway, Wanda’s petting the human and saying female names, as mentioned, trying to get her to wake up, while Doc sleeps and everyone else does whatever they’re doing elsewhere. Wanda thinks about the guy that shredded himself, wishing she could have explained to him why she was doing what she did, because she thinks he might have understood and let the body live if she’d had a chance to explain that it was about love. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the souls are all about love and wondrousness; we’ve heard this before. I don’t care anymore.
“The request would probably have made little sense to him, though. The body was his body, not a separate entity. His suicide was simply that to him, not a murder, too. Only one life had ended. And perhaps he was right.“
What. The. Fuck. No, Wanda. No, no, no. Why are you still claiming that the body belongs to the alien that invaded it?? You have contradicted this viewpoint SO MANY TIMES! You are planning to have yourself removed BECAUSE you believe that Stryder’s body belongs to HER, because it FUCKING DOES! How can you still be claiming this? It was not and would never have BEEN his body, and while maybe he could have thought it was, because your kind are fucking selfish morons, YOU CANNOT SAY HE WAS EVEN POTENTIALLY RIGHT IN THINKING THAT. HE WAS NOT. He destroyed a HUMAN’S brain, and the HUMAN was the one that owned the body. It was DEFINITELY murder, just as it would be if you destroyed Stryder’s brain, and you damn well know it. Why would you even be DOING these removals if there was “only one life” in there??
“At least the souls had survived. The light on his tank glowed dull red beside hers; I couldn’t ask for a greater evidence of commitment from my humans than this, the sparing of his life.“
…Wait, what? Okay, I’m glad she’s finally giving the humans credit for something, but how is this possible? How could the alien have survived after shredding the human’s brain? She just said, in the paragraph before this one, that he would be committing suicide, and that he would see it as taking only one life – his own. If he doesn’t die from the shredding, then how is it suicide or taking anyone’s life but the human’s? This makes no fucking sense!
EVERYTHING Wanda has said about the shredding so far indicates that it leads to the death of the alien too. Like I said, she just said it was suicide, and it was precisely what she was worried about with the Seeker; that the Seeker would kill herself before Wanda had a chance to remove her. Want proof? Here you go; this is in the first paragraph of chapter 52:
“I wasn’t sure if she had any idea of what I was going to do, and I didn’t want to give her any reason to kill her host and herself.”
And that’s not the only other time it’s mentioned that the shredding kills both. So why, all of a sudden, has that changed? There is no reason why the alien should have survived here! This is what I was referring to in the beginning of this recap as the stupid reason why Wanda isn’t whining about the man shredding himself; because the alien didn’t actually die for some stupid fucking reason, only his host did, even though everything we’ve been told even in this same goddamn chapter states that he should have died! FUCK, I hate this!
On top of all this, though, I also hate that Wanda is a hypocritical enough person that she thinks the humans are horrible because she thinks they want to kill the aliens to save themselves, and when it’s that kind of situation she thinks they should want to save both…but she’s not really upset about this death because the alien didn’t die, just the human did. So, what; she’s exactly like she thinks the humans would be? Yeah. Fuck off, Wanda.
Wanda continues to list off female names to the unconscious woman, as we’re informed that her vital signs were all normal after the chloroform wore off, but none of Doc’s efforts to revive her were successful regardless. Wanda begins to wonder if the reason she’s not waking is because she’s “gone” already, meaning it’s too late for her to come back because she was not a resistant host like Stryder and Lacey.
This leads her to worry that Stryder wouldn’t come back either, because she wonders if maybe Lacey was an anomaly (again, Lacey cannot have been the first this procedure was ever performed on, if they know how to do it so well, so she should know whether this is true or not already), but Stryder assures her that she’s not lost. Wanda can tell Stryder is worried too, though, so she promises her that she (Stryder) will stay there, which is pretty much a way for her to silently say that she won’t have herself removed if there’s a chance Stryder won’t come back if she does. Awww. Except I don’t feel anything at all because I hate her (Wanda) too much.
More names listed as Wanda gets emo because her plan hasn’t turned out how she wanted, but considers that at least she gave the humans a way to help themselves if they were ever taken. Not really, though, because the aliens are the only ones who survive this if it’s not successful in bringing back the humans, and the humans aren’t going to be wanting to go to this much extra effort just to keep the aliens who stole their bodies alive, so it’d really be easier and safer for the humans just to kill them. So this would help no one but the aliens in any way at all. Kinda stupid to think it would do otherwise (if the humans don’t end up making it).
Wanda decides to change gears in her efforts to wake the woman by talking to her instead of just listing off names, but she starts doing so by trying to make her feel guilty about how depressed her friends will be about the woman not waking, because it’s just another bad thing in a string of bad things that have happened to them. Yeah, guilt would really make me wanna wake up, Wanda. Good plan.
She tells the woman how nice the people in the caves are and that they’re her family now, and then when that’s not successful, she thinks about how attractive the woman is, then begins to beg her to wake up. She tells her that her friends need her help, especially Doc, for her medical knowledge, except she says it like this:
“You’ve been a Healer for a while now; some of that care for the well-being of others must have rubbed off on you.“
I am only willing to accept this as an okay statement if she meant that in the sense of medical care, not caring for the well-being of others in general. Otherwise, I would have to stab her for once again acting like humans don’t care about others. So let’s hope Meyer meant it the first way.
Wanda switches back to listing off names again for a minute, then lets her mind wander, speaking her thoughts out loud as she does so. She ponders about what will happen if Kyle doesn’t come back, wondering if they will have to find a new home somewhere else, and lamenting that she couldn’t really help the humans even if she ‘could‘ stay (-_-), before commenting that maybe Kyle won’t mess up, and everyone will get to stay where they are.
She laughs at that idea, because she doesn’t think it’s possible for Kyle not to screw up, since he’s careless on raids and such, but of course we know nothing bad will happen with Kyle, because there aren’t enough chapters left in the book for any more big climaxes (or Meyer’s idea of them, anyway).
Wanda knows that she has to stick around at least until the situation with Kyle is resolved one way or the other, though, because until then, the humans will need her eyes to get them out of any situations that might arise with Seekers.
“It might take a long time, and that made me feel warmer than the sun on my skin. Made me feel grateful that Kyle was impetuous and selfish.“
Wow. You’re happy that the people you supposedly care for could be in danger, because it means you get to stick around longer. YOU are making the decision to go, not them, but because you don’t want to go soon (even though you rushed everything so you could, supposedly), you’re happy that they may have Seekers after them because then they’ll need you. Really, wow. You’re grateful that Kyle put them in danger. And you have the nerve to call him selfish?
He was going to find the woman he loves; you did stupid things for “love” (I use the quotations because since she’s become annoyingly obsessed with Ian, it seems her ‘love’ for Jared has completely disappeared) too, you horrendous bitch. How dare you pass judgement on him for doing the same, especially when what you’ve just said right here is far more selfish than what he did. You’re really just a shockingly bad person.
“‘I wonder what it’s like here when it gets cold. I can barely remember feeling cold. And what if it rains? It has to rain here sometime, doesn’t it? With all these holes in the roof, it must get really wet. Where does everyone sleep then, I wonder.’“
There are a few things potentially wrong with this. I took a quick look into the climate information for the area where Wanda claims to be, and what I found just doesn’t add up with what she’s saying here. Now I won’t pretend to be an expert on this, but I looked at a few different sites for comparison of data so I could have a bit more of a comprehensive idea here, and what I found just doesn’t work with what she’s saying.
In the Arizona desert, which is where I understand Wanda to be from what I’ve read, the temperatures are obviously very high during the days, but can get as low as freezing in the valley areas at night, which would mean that Wanda would have, at least when she was wandering around lost before Jeb found her, experienced cold at a time recent enough that she could remember it. In fact, if that did happen, she would have experienced many more problems at that time than she did in this book.
Now, there are times of the year when the temperatures don’t significantly drop at night in the desert, but those are generally during the summer monsoon season, when – you guessed it – there are a fair amount of thunderstorms there. No, the desert does not ever get a lot of rain, but it does get some (enough to make it one of the wettest deserts in the world, if I’m looking at this properly; it says Phoenix is in the Sonoran Desert, and it seems they are quite close to Phoenix), so if it’s summertime (which she says it is), Wanda should already have experienced rain there, and if it’s not, then she should have experienced cold (and there’s also rain in the winter, but we’ll just pretend it’s one or the other for Wanda’s sake). So either way, these questions are stupid.
On top of that, she’s been in the caves now for months, and while the desert can go a stretch of months without receiving any rain, it’s highly unlikely that with the length of time she’s been there, it hasn’t rained at all. Besides, if it hasn’t, I’d wonder how they haven’t have more problems with drought; those underwater streams would not be fed by much if nowhere in the surrounding area had any rain coming in at all, and they seem to use a lot of water irrigating their crops. They’re supposedly in the middle of the desert, remember. But hey, that’s also potentially possible, so nitpicking.
Either way, these questions are stupid to me. Even if they were valid, though, I’m surprised she’s never thought of or asked these things before; it’s not like the others wouldn’t have dealt with this stuff by now. And really, I’m not sure why Meyer is even going on about this stuff. It’s just further proof that neither she nor her editor (still hard to believe she had one, but I know she did) did any research on anything she claimed in this book, and it’s not plot relevant.
Oh, wait, it is, because Wanda’s blathering on about weather and how curious she is to know the answers to her stupid questions leads her to say the word “summer”, which makes the woman she’s talking to twitch a little. Golly gee, how exciting.
She says it takes her by surprise when the woman twitches because she had forgotten about her as she “sunk into the melancholy that was always conveniently near these days” (agggggh my overwhelming hatred of this whiney fucking bullshit; once again, why does anyone like a character like this?! She’s not 14, she should be out of this emo stage!), but she can’t have; she was literally JUST TALKING TO HER, asking her if she was curious about these things! She didn’t have time to stop thinking about the woman before she twitched! This was just another excuse to whine! WHY DO WE NEED THOSE?!?
Wanda looks at the woman, but she’s completely still again, so she thinks she might have imagined the movement she felt. She tries to figure out what she could have said to make her twitch anyway, just in case, so she starts blathering on about change, then decides that the woman must not like change when she doesn’t respond to that, so she asks if the woman wants summer to last, and her eyelids flicker.
She asks if the woman likes summertime, and her lips twitch, so she repeats the word “Summer”, assuming it to be the woman’s name, and tells her to “come back” and open her eyes. Her eyes begin to blink rapidly, so Wanda calls to Doc to wake up, and tells him that she thinks the woman is coming around.
She keeps talking to the woman, calling her Summer and trying to encourage her to come around, until she notices that the woman is grimacing in what looks like pain, so she asks Doc to bring the No Pain. Before Wanda can get it, though, the woman grips Wanda’s hand and opens her eyes. Wanda tries to comfort and relax her, but the woman begins to panic, crying out and pulling away from Wanda.
Doc is there too, at this point, and he tries to calm the woman down, assuring her that no one will hurt her as she squeezes her eyes shut and curls into the mattress. Wanda tells him that she thinks the woman’s name is Summer, and Doc reminds her about her alien eyes, which are reflecting the sun from the holes in the ceiling. Oh, so that’s why Meyer bothered to have Doc go to all the trouble to take the coverings down. Great. Totally worth it.
Wanda lets go of the woman’s hand as she begs them, saying “not again”. Doc tells her his name and that she’s going to be fine, but he calls her “Summer” in the process, which causes her to cry out at him, telling him not to call her that. She says it’s not her name, it’s the alien’s, and Wanda feels guilty about getting the wrong name. Stryder tries to make her feel better, telling her it’s not her fault because Summer is a human name too, but I get the guilt here. That would feel pretty shitty, hopefully for more than one reason, but probably only one in Wanda’s case.
Doc promises not to call her Summer anymore, and asks what her name is, but she says she doesn’t know. She continues to panic, asking what happened and begging Doc not to “make her be someone else again“, so he continues to try to calm her down, promising that no one will make her be anyone but who she is, and that her name will come back to her in time.
The woman demands to know who he and Wanda are, telling him that she saw Wanda’s eyes, so she knows she is one of the aliens. Doc explains that he’s human, like she is, and shows her his eyes for proof, then tells her there are lots of humans there that will want to meet her too. The woman cringes and says she’s afraid of humans, so Doc reminds her that she’s not, the alien who used to inhabit her body was. He tries to remind her of the time before the alien was in her, when she was a human, and assures her that she is one again.
She continues to be upset about not remembering her name, but Doc just reaffirms that it will come back to her in time. She verifies that he’s a doctor, then tells him that her alien was too, and that her name was Summer Song. She asks who she is, and Doc assures her they’ll find out.
Wanda starts to leave the room, planning to find one of the human women to help Doc deal with the woman, and the woman notices, panicking again about the fact that Wanda is not human. Doc tells her that Wanda is a friend, and that she shouldn’t be afraid of her because she helped him bring her back.
The woman asks where her alien is, saying she was afraid because there were humans, as Wanda leaves the room. Doc answers, telling her that Summer Song is going to a new planet, and then asks the woman if she remembers where Summer came from before coming to Earth. The woman tells him that Summer was a Bat, then asks where she is, and that’s all we get to know about that conversation, because then Wanda is too far away to hear anymore.
Wanda is, of course, not surprised to hear that the woman’s alien was a Bat, given the name (because remember, the Bats all sing and whatever), but she is surprised when she finds that every area she goes to in the caves where there would normally be people is empty. There are clear signs that people were very recently in all those areas, but they aren’t there anymore, so Wanda starts to worry that they may have evacuated without her and Doc. Well, that’s stupid.
Luckily, Wanda realizes that it would have been stupid of them to leave Doc behind, and Stryder reminds her that Jared, Jamie and Ian wouldn’t have left her behind either, so we’re spared some of the drama here…but Wanda’s attempts to find everyone still take more than a page, even without that, and that seems very excessive to me, so I’m going to skim this.
Sooo blah blah blah, no one in the kitchen, Wanda is hungry but is not going to do anything about it so what was the point of mentioning it, Wanda worries that maybe they didn’t evacuate soon enough and the Seekers got in, Stryder reminds her that if they had, they’d still be in the caves looking for other humans, and they would have heard something besides, but Wanda thinks they may still be looking, so she feels she has to get back and warn Doc so they can get out…then Stryder’s upset, thinking that Jared and Jamie might be gone, and Wanda’s upset about everyone else because she has so many friends cause she’s so popular.
Wanda decides that if need be, she’ll hunt all of them down and steal them back, because she won’t let the aliens take her family, and I can’t wait until we hear about how great the aliens are the next time, so I can remember how for a moment here they were the enemy again, but then she changed her mind like she always does. She says if she had any doubt as to where she stood, this moment would have erased them, but she’s said shit like that before and gone back on it, so it really means no more to me now than it did the other times.
Finally, Wanda hears the sound of voices down the hall from where she is, so she presses herself against the wall, into the shadows, and she and Stryder discuss where it sounds like the sounds are coming from. Shit is said here that is supposed to make me feel good, like she and Stryder are now really a team, but I was supposed to think that before and Wanda betrayed that repeatedly, so Meyer, please stop trying. It’s too late for this shit. You can only pull this so many times before no one fucking cares anymore.
Wanda creeps down the hallway, thinking about the voices she hears and wondering if the fact that they’re familiar is a good sign or a sign that the Seekers just perform really fast insertions (that’s fucking ridiculous given the production that her insertion was; why were we ever supposed to believe this was some sort of fast paced street procedure, Meyer, after the way you laid it out in the beginning of the book?), and this is all just an effort by Meyer to produce dramatic tension, but it really isn’t successful at all. I don’t feel tense, I feel bored. Move on, Meyer. Hurry up and get to the end of this.
When Wanda gets to the doorway, she’s happy to realize that the voices are angry, because of course that means they can’t be implanted, because only humans get angry. Yeah, we’ve seen such proof of that in her and the Seeker. Absolutely.
She realizes that Kyle must be back and hurries into the room, feeling relieved that everyone is safe, but unhappy that Kyle being back means she’s going to ‘have to’ go. Stryder tries, once again, to convince Wanda that she’s still needed more than she (Stryder) is, but Wanda shrugs that off, saying she could find excuses to stay forever, but she won’t with Stryder as her prisoner. Again with the thinking this when it applies to Stryder, but not to other human hosts, for some reason…annoying. And I’d like Wanda to give up on this plan now, since we know it won’t happen and I’m sick of all the conversations where Stryder tries to beg Wanda and she says no for reasons that she doesn’t even believe in.
Wanda sees Kyle pinned against the far wall, clearly protecting something behind him and pleading to the group to calm down. He tells Jared to back off because he’s scaring “her”, and then Wanda sees a face appear behind him for a second (with black eyes; why do they not look alien?), which means Kyle did find Jodi. So then…why is everyone angry? Is it just because he left and endangered them? That’s a valid reason, but couldn’t they deal with that after they deal with the girl who’s obviously with him?
If she’s not an alien somehow (which wouldn’t make any sense), it’s really cruel to put her through this instead of just getting her integrated and then freaking out on Kyle when he’s away from her, and if she is an alien, then they really should probably deal with her before dealing with Kyle anyway, for the safety of everyone there.
And if she is one and she’s there peacefully with Kyle for some reason, for one it will need to be explained how that’s possible (and if it’s another convenient thing like “Oh she was a resistant host because she loved and remembered him too much, and her alien fell in love with him too and always wanted to find him but couldn’t, so yayyyy”, I’m going to end up in an institution), and two, why would everyone freak out about it? The situation was worse with Wanda; at the time Wanda showed up they couldn’t do the procedure to remove the alien, and now they can.
So to sum up, if they’re mad because of Kyle endangering them, they should wait to freak out at him until the girl he’s brought (presumably Jodi) has been dealt with, and if they’re mad because he brought an alien home, that’s stupid because they’ve been through worse before, and she’s no threat to them if she’s alone, he’s clearly protecting her, she’s clearly afraid, and they can remove her alien anyway now. So, explanations at some point, I hope. Jared, at least, should not be mad, yet he seems to be one of the most angry people present.
Apparently Sharon and Maggie are there too, despite that they disappeared for a long while, but they’re only there because they don’t like happiness but they’re “at home with fury“, supposedly, which is so incredibly stupid and is obviously just another chance to remind us that they’re evil bitches, in case we had forgotten. Lacey is there too, and she’s also angry for some reason, even though none of this is really her business, so…yeah. This is all just one giant mess.
Kyle notices Wanda at the back of the room, though, and calls out to her, asking her if she could come give him some help (bold question), and then that’s the end of the chapter. And I don’t really know that there’s much else I can say for now, until we see where this goes, so…there you have it!
(See Mike’s take on this chapter at http://emptystress.wordpress.com!)