In chapter 21, Lev and CyFi arrive in Scottsburg, Indiana, but Lev has become suspicious of CyFi's behavior. Over the previous two days, something has seemed off. His voice isn't quite the same, and his eyes are different somehow. Lev even notices that CyFi's walk is different: it is no longer the strut that he's become used to, but more of a shuffle.
When CyFi talks, his speech patterns have shifted. Lev realizes that he has dropped his "Old Umber" patterns and now sounds like any other kid Lev might know. His voice has also picked up a menacing tone.
Suddenly, CyFi disappears into a Christmas store and steals a gold ornament from a tree, slipping it into his coat pocket. He continues to chat with the saleslady about how his mother would particularly enjoy a nutcracker. Lev finds this bizarre because CyFi has two dads and no mother.
When they leave the store, CyFi bolts down the street. Lev finally finds him at a deserted playground. CyFi is curled in a fetal position, and his face is twitching. His hand quivers, and he grimaces in pain. Lev presses him to disclose what is really happening, and eventually Cy tells him that he never steals. Instead, the temporal lobe he received still belongs to the Unwind, and the boy has been influencing Cy's behavior. He realizes that the boy is hurting and hopes that if he can get back to Joplin, where he lived, that it will help the Unwind to move on.