Jacqui has never had an ideal life, but she truly sees humanity take a turn for the worse when Alyssa steals water for Garrett. First, Jacqui is betrayed by Henry—sold out for a sip of water. Then, Jacqui witnesses Kelton kill two men who were trying to attack Alyssa. Previously, she had seen Kelton as the epitome of an Eagle Scout, but now she realizes even the most gentle people are capable of killing. After that shock, she stands by as Alyssa steals the last glass of water from the two dead men’s mother. Alyssa—the peaceful, nonviolent high-achiever—slaps an older woman and steals the last bit of water from her. Even though the water is for Alyssa’s dying little brother, it shocks Jacqui that Alyssa would condemn someone else to death by taking her water. Alyssa’s last shred of faith in humanity is crushed when a wildfire shifts course and blazes between the group and what had been their source of water, the reservoir. She truly feels like the world is against them now.
As each of these terrible things happens in front of Jacqui, she comes to a realization about humanity and about herself. Jacqui knows that she is minutes away from death. She knows that the cup of water Alyssa carries to Garrett may be her only salvation. She knows that she could overpower Alyssa and steal the cup of water. Yet, Jacqui finally decides to act unselfishly. She states, “I won’t take it. Because even though I’ve seen everyone around me lose their humanity today, I realize that in that moment, I have finally found mine.”