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Chapter 27 Summary

The quarantine warehouse is much more crowded with letumosis patients than on Cinder’s first visit. She rushes inside and searches for Peony, who now shows all the signs of stage four letumosis: she is blue and has cracking skin and yellowed fingernails with blackened tips. Cinder tries to make Peony sit up and drink the vial of antidote. Peony is too incoherent to respond.

Cinder’s attempts to help Peony are interrupted by a series of communications from Adri. Cinder is too busy to answer, but Adri keeps trying. Annoyed, Cinder switches off her comm link. She holds the vial to Peony’s lips and begs her to drink, but Peony does not do it. She mumbles for her mother and loses consciousness.

Cinder begs her sister to wake up so she can drink the antidote and dance with Prince Kai at the ball. But it is too late. Peony cannot swallow the medicine, and she dies. Soon a med-droid appears with a scalpel, ready to cut out Peony’s ID chip. Cinder cannot stand the idea of some fugitive Lunar adopting her sister’s identity, so she orders the med-droid away.

When the med-droid refuses to back down, Cinder attacks and disables it. Then she cuts out Peony’s ID chip. As she does so, she tells the android that the chip belongs to Peony and her family, not to anyone else. When this ghastly task is over, Cinder is badly shaken.

On her way out of the quarantine area, Cinder sees Chang Sunto, the little son of the baker from the market. He is in the late stages of letumosis and is somewhat delirious. As several more med-droids advance on Cinder, she presses the antidote vial into Sunto’s hands and makes him drink it. Then she runs outside with Peony’s ID chip clutched safely in her hand.

Cinder’s attempt to flee is interrupted by the arrival of a hover. A group of androids disembark and order her to stop running. Cinder is confused. She thinks she is in trouble for taking Peony's ID chip, but this does not make sense; nobody could have responded to this crime so quickly.

Eventually Cinder realizes that Adri sent the androids. Apparently Adri was furious when Cinder ignored her messages, so she leapt to the conclusion that Cinder was running away from home. Adri reported Cinder to the authorities as a runaway cyborg. The androids arrest her for violating the Cyborg Protection Act, which places her under Adri's authority.