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Chapter 8 Summary

While unconscious, Cinder has a nightmare about burning up in a fire. She has some variation on this dream every time she falls asleep and she often wonders why. She lost her hand and leg in a hover accident, so it would make more sense to dream about that than a fire.

Cinder awakes to find herself tied to an examining table in a brightly lit medical laboratory. She struggles but cannot pull free of her restraints. When she turns her head to the side, she sees her reflection in the mirror that lines one wall of the room. Her gloves are off and her pant legs are rolled up, exposing the distasteful fact that her body is largely machine.

The voice of Dr. Erland greets Cinder through a speaker and promises not to “take up too much of [her] time.” Cinder, who knows that he is going to kill her, struggles more violently. She says that she is not here willingly. Dr. Erland’s voice replies that this does not matter; it is her legal guardian's choice that counts.

The testing begins with a scan called a ratio detector. A med-droid opens a panel on the back of Cinder’s head and sticks a two-pronged metal device inside. Cinder does not have any nerve receptors in her brain, but it disgusts and infuriates her that someone is poking around inside her head. She shouts that this is wrong, but nobody bothers to reply.

When the scan is complete, a holographic image of Cinder’s body appears on a netscreen in the corner of the room. She stares at it, taking in the image of the controls in her head, the wires running down her body, and the metal hand and leg. She is surprised to see that she has several metal vertebrae and ribs, and a partially synthetic...

(The entire section is 459 words.)