Chapter 6 Summary
As Cinder walks home, the interface in her brain repeatedly replays the horrible images of the last few hours. Just before she reaches her building, she stops in her tracks, overcome with dizziness and a desire to vomit. She is about to face Adri and Pearl. “What am I going to tell them?” she asks.
Iko does not have an answer, and neither does Cinder. The two of them make the long climb to Adri’s apartment in silence. When Cinder steps through the door, she is surprised to see her stepmother and stepsister sitting on the couch, with two med-droids beside them. At first, Cinder thinks they may be infected, but then she sees that they are both holding cloths over their mouths. This suggests that they are still trying to protect themselves from infection.
Adri’s eyes are red and she says stiffly that she has been informed that Peony has letumosis. Furiously, Adri says that Cinder is responsible for this misfortune. After all, Cinder was in the market during the outbreak earlier, so she probably carried the virus home. Everyone knows how contagious letumosis is; if Cinder had cared about her family, she would have stayed away. “How could you be so selfish?” Adri asks.
Cinder explains that she is not infected, and that she would never have hurt Peony. “I love her too,” she says. But Adri is too overcome by her own grief to acknowledge Cinder’s. After all, a cyborg’s feelings are “just…programmed.”
Adri says that she wishes her husband had never chosen to adopt a cyborg. He did not explain his choice to her, and she cannot understand it. Nevertheless, when he died of letumosis, she honored his wishes and kept Cinder with the...
(The entire section is 445 words.)