Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Re-Read: Chapter Twenty One- Named

"In the dark, every noise sounded like an attack."

Wanderer falls into step with Jeb as they continue on the tour of the caves. Doc and Ian fall in step behind them, and Jamie finds himself in the middle. Though there are sights to see in the cave, from the waist-high corn to the rec room, Wanderer finds her attention drawn to the three people behind her. To her surprise, the two men are well behaved, but in the darkness of the caves, the slightest noise, even innocent chatter, puts her on edge. The tour continues peacefully until Jeb announces their location, the medical area. Wanderer and Melanie are both in shock that they were lured so easily to this place and Doc seems to share their sentiments. Jamie is quick to reassure Wanderer that they do not mean to harm her, though Ian points out that were that their purpose, it would have been a pretty good plan. Jeb continues on about the medicine, or in their case, the lack of medicine since the Souls destroyed human medication. Doc inquires about "alien medicine," but since Wanderer is not a Healer, she does not know how they work, only that they do. 

Upon reentering the garden, Jeb ends the tour, sending Ian and Doc off to "do something useful." Jeb has a job for Jamie and the two follow as Jeb makes his way to the sleeping quarters. Stopping in front of the apartment with the green screen, Wanderer moves inside while Jeb sets Jamie up for guard duty. Before heading off, Jeb hands Jamie the rifle, sending Wanderer into a fit. In the end, it is Jeb's house and he'll do what he wants. When Jamie and Wanderer are alone, he orders her into the room before stationing himself outside the entry. He stands for a few moments before pacing, but after a few turns, Jamie sits down by the room's entrance. After a few hours, Jamie asks Wanderer about the planet she was on before coming to Earth. 
"I told him about the See Wees' waterlogged planet. I told him about the two suns, the elliptical orbit, the gray waters, the unmoving permanence of roots, the stunning vistas of a thousand eyes, the endless conversations of a million soundless voices that all could hear."

Entranced by the story, Jamie wishes to hear about the other planets, so Wanderer tells him about the Bats on the Singing World, the Mists Planet, and the Planet of the Flowers. As more stories unfold, Jamie asks how they came to be on this planet and Wanderer begins to tell him about the Spiders. Though the Spiders were "coldly analytical," their species welcomed the Souls' occupation the most. Wanderer goes on to describe the first insertions, how "they were stronger than humans, smarter than humans, and prepared...," but she stops when she notices the tears falling down Jamie's cheeks. 

Melanie scolds Wanderer, who apologizes to Jamie, though he takes it in stride. Cautiously, Wanderer moves to wipe the tears from his cheeks, leaving her hand to cradle his face. He resists her for a moment, but quickly moves into her arms before breaking down into sobs. Wanderer wraps her arms around him and apologizes for the invasion, for her being the one to take over Melanie, and for bringing his sister back here. They continue to hold each other until Jeb reveals himself, scolding Jamie, not for embracing Wanderer, but for leaving the gun unattended. Jamie stands to go, but turns around to ask her name, which she gives in a whisper before he disappears. Jeb, having positioned himself in Jamie's vacated spot, asks if he can call her Wanda since "it flows easier." She concedes, taking it as a kindness and knowing that she has a friend in Jeb. 

1 comment:

  1. Please continue with these chapter re-reads. This helps motivate me to finish!