Book 2, Chapter 23


The group continues on their journey, stopping frequently so that Julian can move around and relieve herself. On one of these stops, Rolf pulls Theo aside to have a conversation. Rolf tells Theo that they cannot both be leading the group. Theo retorts that the group is so disorganized that it hardly warrants a chain of command, but he says that Rolf can be the leader as long as he does not expect total obedience. Rolf then tells Theo that he wants to take over driving. When Theo laughs, Rolf offers Theo a position as his advisor in exchange for his future cooperation. Theo takes this opportunity to urge Rolf to seek the Warden’s help. Rolf reveals that he does not actually believe Julian or the child would be in danger from the Warden, but he wants to be the one who presents his child to the world. Rolf believes that once he reveals that he alone has the ability to repopulate the world, the people will make him Warden. Rolf tells Theo that, as Warden, he would not do anything about the penal colony, the Quietus, or the Sojourners. Rolf only shows insecurity when Theo brings up the possibility of his baby being born a monster. Theo tells him frankly that it might be better if the baby were born abnormal; the Warden will never give up power, not even for the potential father of humanity. Theo points out that the Warden only needs Rolf’s sperm, not him. Rolf will probably be used as a breeding experiment and disposed of when he is no longer of any biological use. Before Rolf can respond, Luke, Miriam, and Julian return and the group sets out again.

(The entire section is 572 words.)