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Chapter 32 Summary

Cinder does not return to the apartment until she is sure that Adri and Pearl have left. Then she limps up the stairs, ignoring the pitying looks from the other inhabitants of the building, all of whom are leaving for the ball. She goes to her room and collects the few belongings she plans to take with her when she flees. She stores Iko’s personality chip and Peony’s ID chip in a compartment inside her cybernetic leg.

Before making her way to the car, Cinder stops in her workshop. She cannot take most of her heavy tools, but she rifles through her shelves for a few odds and ends. In the process, she finds her little foot; it is too small for her but she had worn it for years. She told Iko to throw it away long ago, but Iko must have saved it out of sentimentality.

Cinder is about to leave when she hears a strange beep. She looks around for its source and eventually realizes it is the old netscreen she installed with the direct communication chip she found in Kai’s android, Nainsi. Cinder fiddles with the screen to get the video working, and she is surprised to see a disheveled girl on the other end, sitting in a room surrounded by wires and computer parts. The girl looks just as surprised to see Cinder. “Why aren’t you at the palace?” she asks.

Cinder is not inclined to trust the strange girl, especially when she reveals she is Lunar. At first, Cinder is worried the girl will try to control her mind, but then she remembers that Lunar powers do not work through video. The girl is unsure of herself, and rather weepy, but she reluctantly explains that she is a servant—a slave—of Sybil Mira, the ambassador of Queen Levana. Hurriedly, the girl explains...

(The entire section is 469 words.)