So Wanderer is still in therapy at the beginning of this chapter, and the assumption is that she’s been going through everything with Kathy for a few hours by this point.   I’m not really sure what they’ve been talking about, though, because the first thing mentioned in this chapter regarding Wanderer’s problems is the exact same thing they left off on last chapter.  Maybe they took a nap for a few hours, and then came back to it, and that’s why they’re “no closer to an answer than before”.

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Anyway, Kathy makes a new suggestion; that perhaps Wanderer doesn’t have enough friends (since she has absolutely none and doesn’t speak to anyone outside of her work), so she should get some.  Surely social interaction would bore Stryder into submission, because everyone hates social interaction, even if she did just say that human hosts need it.  She reasons it out that Stryder would be bored if Wanderer socialized because she gets bored when Wanderer teaches, but I’m not sure that’s a sound correlation, because Stryder may just really hate history.  It’s less likely that she hates social interaction.  But who knows; maybe she’s right, and it is a good point that it would keep Wanderer from focusing only on her problems with Stryder, at least.  So, friends it is!

No, wait, maybe Wanderer should go one step better and GET LAID!! Yes, sex is the solution to ALL LIFE’S PROBLEMS, so how has this not been brought up before??  I’m so very confused by this section.  How much of a nympho is Meyer that she thinks the sex drive in humans is THAT strong?  I mean, sure, it’s a strong drive in us, but she says she’s “never seen or heard of their equal“, when I’ve heard of a few species with higher sex drives than us…and I don’t know how it could be so difficult to “conquer the mating instinct” when you’re in the middle of war and the occupation of a planet.  I think you’d be a little too distracted to be thinking about sex all the time, and even then, humans can control themselves, so it can’t be that bad.  Maybe there’s just something wrong with me that I don’t think about “mating” with every individual I pass, which seems to be what Meyer is implying here.

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“Believe me, the humans noticed when you didn’t.

Didn’t what?  Conquer the mating instinct?  How did they notice that?  And if you mean noticed when you didn’t have sex, again, how?  What kind of humans was this woman meeting that took such an intense interest in the sex lives of others??  Is this Sex and the City, all the time?  Because life doesn’t really work that way!  At least not for everyone!   Unless the aliens, upon entering their host bodies, started randomly raping people on the street because they couldn’t control their sexual urges, I can’t see how anyone would notice anything about them in terms of sex.  I certainly don’t notice it about people I’m not intimate with, unless we’ve outright discussed it.

Anyway, Wanderer admits she’s never been sexually attracted to anyone as yet, and this whole thing is a little awkward for me for some reason; I think I feel awkward on Wanderer’s behalf, because this stuff usually doesn’t make me feel weird.  Kathy says, “Trust me.  You’d notice”, meaning she would notice if her body had “responded” to anyone on “strictly a chemical level”, which again implies that when a human finds someone attractive, the sexual urge is so strong they can’t help themselves…which, again, is not my experience with humans; at least not without the actual promise of sex looming, which isn’t the case if she’s talking about just “coming across” people.

Also, how has Wanderer never been part of a species that would have had a mating instinct?  Bears do, at least in mating season, and I can’t even remember all the other things she’s been, but I’m sure some of them do too, so shouldn’t she be at least a little familiar with it, beyond Stryder’s sexy dreams of Jared?  Maybe they’re just not good enough, because the emotions and instincts of humans are sooo much stronger, all the time, in every way.  Meyer keeps shoving that idea down our throats, so I’ll go with that.

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Stryder and Wanderer are both disgusted by Kathy’s suggestion that Wanderer “look around for that (sex) specifically“, which is totally reasonable, because yeah, that’s just…no.  Then Kathy pisses Wanderer off by suggesting Stryder’s controlling her again, so Wanderer lashes out at her about her “partner”, shit gets awkward, and then Kathy starts suggesting that maybe Jared will be found, and then she and Jared can get back to boning.  Neither Wanderer nor Stryder are happy about this; Wanderer cause it’s a bit too fucking weird to think of being that intimate with her host’s boyfriend when she’s seen her host’s memories, and Stryder because she feels that Jared becoming a host and having to deal with a soul as she does would be killing him.  Which is reasonable.

Wanderer takes off out of Kathy’s office and into the street, intending to head home but somehow getting lost even though her home is super close and she’s been there for months.

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I guess she’s just super distressed to the point of not knowing which way is up, which makes the people she passes whose judgment she’s so worried about (because they claim to be a completely non-judgmental species so she should definitely have to be worried about that) not “polite” for ignoring her panic and suffering, but actually complete assholes because they don’t even attempt to help someone obviously in need.  Who cares if it’s that she’s having trouble adjusting to her new host (if that is, in fact, what they think); help her!  That would be the decent thing to do! Loving species, my ass…

Anyway, she eventually gets turned in the right direction and heads toward home, but she starts to feel sick on the way.  Though she can see the door of her house, she decides it’s much better to throw up in public on the sidewalk, like normal people, so she stops at a well-trimmed hedge (these people care about their property! Even better!) and barfs all over it.  Luckily for her, the Seeker that was present when she initially woke up after her insertion shows up just as she starts vomiting, so she gets an audience for her illness! Yayyy!!  Of course, the sight of said Seeker causes her to throw up even more, which given how much of a bitch she was in the previous chapters, makes perfect sense…even though the Seeker is actually being nice in this scene.  It’s also at this point that we learn that the story is no longer taking place in Chicago…or at least I didn’t notice that until now, if it did come up before.  So I’m not really sure where we are anymore.

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Anyway, Wanderer realizes that if the Seeker has come to see her, it must be because of something to do with Jared/Jamie, so she starts to panic and question the Seeker on her presence, completely losing any semblance of self-control and grabbing the Seeker by the collar of her shirt as she does so.  The Seeker amazingly lets that slide, and they go back and forth a bit about whether or not Wanderer should go to a Healing facility (remember how in chapter 3 I said they probably even cure colds?  Point for me!).  Wanderer keeps being incredibly rude and actually violent (at least in her own head), and somehow manages to justify all of that to herself even though the Seeker has expressed concern for her here, so she turns and walks back to her house, her decision about not going to a Healer final.  “I need no Healer, she says, speaking once again in a manner that no normal person would.  Ahh, I love you, dialogue.

Because this is apparently a completely normal thing in the world of Stephenie Meyer, the Seeker starts following Wanderer, so she just leaves the door of her house open when she enters, since she knows the Seeker will come in anyway, even if she closes it.  Why the hell is stalking such an acceptable practice here, to the point that a person has reason to think, ‘Oh, I might as well just leave my door open; they’ll come in anyway’??  I’d say it’s because they’re both aliens and the aliens are supposed to be all peace loving and wonderful, so there’s no threat to it, but the last time this happened was between two humans, so that doesn’t work…and besides, the Seeker is clearly the villain in this story, at least to Wanderer, so she’s not one I can even imagine Wanderer would feel safe with!  Especially since Wanderer describes her as “the most confrontational soul I’d come across in nine lives”.

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After sufficiently boring the Seeker by standing at the sink for a bit (no wonder she’s so pissy all the time; she must have zero patience if she gets bored that easily…or maybe, Wanderer, it wasn’t that she was bored, it was that it was fucking awkward being in a silent, tense room with you), Wanderer and the Seeker get to talking again.  First, the Seeker insults her a bit (cause that’s an awesome thing to do when you’re “comfortably nestled” into someone else’s couch, in their home that they didn’t verbally invite you into), though she claims she means no offense, so that might just be Wanderer twisting everything in negative ways again because she’s already decided she hates this woman.

Then Wanderer returns to questioning the Seeker about why she’s there.  She finds out that the Seeker didn’t get her email about Jamie because she didn’t check her email, which shows some serious intelligence, since her reasoning for coming to visit Wanderer is because she’s made no headway on the case of Jared (she is apparently the one ‘assigned’ to find him), and keeping up to date on the method of communication Wanderer uses to give her information about Jared might have been a good idea.

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At this point, apparently Stryder has succeeded in speaking for Wanderer – which it was just mentioned hadn’t happened yet and would be bad if it did – trying to downplay the information in the email so that the Seeker won’t put too much stock into it.  Wanderer allows this to happen because her pride is more important than letting anyone know she needs help; another great lesson from Stephenie Meyer.

The Seeker is kind of glad there’s someone else to find, since it means the world isn’t completely at peace, and that pleases her.  I can completely understand why; if they did achieve complete peace, and rid the Earth of all ‘wild’ humans, what would the individuals with the Seeker Calling do with their lives?  Switch to a different Calling, somehow?  More likely, they would start stirring things up that destroy the peace, because they are more violent and confrontational than the others of their species, and they require the drama.  Then Earth would be covered in another batch of creatures just like humans again, who are generally good but find their society tarnished by the more violent and confrontational individuals who start problems and wars!  Everything comes full circle!  Can’t imagine how anybody could have predicted that.

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Apparently, the Seeker has made such a bad impression on Wanderer that she actually begins to side with Stryder, and they have an internal conversation about not going further with the denial of Jamie’s existence, because it would be too obvious.  So now Wanderer is protecting Jamie!  Shit just got real.

Wanderer and the Seeker have a discussion about lines and road maps, and the Seeker insults her because it’s apparently the only thing she’s good at, so Wanderer starts to ignore her, and thinks about the ‘lines’ she’s seen for herself.  She starts to figure out what the lines mean; they’re lines to Jared and Jamie’s location, obviously, but apparently not in the way she once thought, though the complete answer is interrupted by Stryder’s blocking it.  How the hell did she never consider before that that’s what the lines were for?  How dumb are these aliens??

The Seeker comes back with another obviously completely necessary insult about expecting more of Wanderer, Wanderer shoots back a sharp retort, and then we get back to MORE FUCKING TALK ABOUT THE SEE WEEDS.

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Dear god, when will it end?? This is all just a bunch of random crap history about the See Weeds that nobody gives a flying fuck about! Let it go, Meyer; I know they’re the ONE alien species you actually bothered to make up rather than stealing it from Earth’s biology and pretending it’s something different, but for the love of god, please realize they are not interesting, and no one cares!!  The only important part of this entire page about the See Weeds is this line:

A thousand sentient beings, closing their eyes forever rather than accept us.”

How completely self-absorbed must these aliens be that that was not an obvious sign to stop doing this?!  The humans were willing to both kill and die rather than be taken over by you, and it’s not the first time, because your last hosts did the same thing, and I’d be willing to bet the same thing has happened before, too!  When will you realize that you’re not bringing peace or happiness to anyoneLeave them alone! If they were there first, it’s their planet, their species, their bodies, and you need to fuck the hell off.  You are not ever going to be more deserving of their bodies than they are, and if they’d rather die than deal with you inserting yourselves into them, you need to smarten the hell up, open your eyes and see what you’re doing.  See how much anguish and destruction you’re causing with your ‘peaceful’ ways.

And how the hell did you improve their planet, if you’re using that as the excuse as to why you’re taking over Earth?? They’re fucking plants, rooted in the ground; I’m pretty sure they weren’t at war or screwing each other over in some way that would make them ‘not deserving’ of their own goddamn planet, as you put it, so how the hell did you justify stealing their bodies?  Especially when you saw them commit mass suicide over that and you didn’t even give a shit about that beyond that it was a ‘waste of bodies’, which proves that you don’t care about anything else at all, you’re just willing to go wage war on a species, drive them to suicide, and consider it a loss for your own selfish reasons!  Hypocritical bastards.

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Anyway, Wanderer manages to turn the snarky remark by the Seeker about the See Weeds back against her, because apparently it was the Seekers’ faults that the See Weeds killed themselves, though I’m not even going to bother getting into why, because I just do not care at all.  Having the blame put back on those in her Calling appears to shake the Seeker, so Wanderer tries to get her to leave, but the Seeker makes it clear that she’s got nothing better to do, and is, therefore, probably going to just continue stalking Wanderer.

And that’s that.  All in all, nothing much really happened in this chapter, when I think about it.  I’m guessing it’s supposed to set the groundwork for things later on, but…meh.  It wasn’t at all interesting, especially because the goddamn See Weeds were in it again.  The only good part about it is that now that I’m finished it, I’m officially over 10% done this book.

…Oh god. x.x

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

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