Chapter 9 Summary
Book Two of Cinder begins with the viewpoint of Dr. Erland, who stands staring at a computerized bioscan of Cinder’s body. She has just been injected with letumosis, and he is eager to see what will happen next. The plague pathogens are tagged with markers that make them visible to the scanner. Onscreen, many little dots move through Cinder’s veins, beginning the process of infecting her. Absently, Dr. Erland mutters that each dot is “like a vicious green firefly.”
Li and the other assistant are not terribly interested in the progress of the plague through Cinder’s body, as it is something they have seen many times before. However, they are very interested in her hardware, which is among the most complex cybernetic systems they have seen in the research subjects that have passed through their laboratory. They comment that the sale of her parts will more than cover the expense of the payout they will give to her family for signing her up. Dr. Erland disapproves of these callous comments, so he glares at them. They do not seem to notice.
After a while, the two assistants find a small metal box that is plugged into Cinder’s nervous system. They lean in close to the screen to examine it. Neither of them has any idea what it could do. Dr. Erland says uncertainly that it may help correct for a spinal cord injury.
When Dr. Erland returns his attention to the “vicious green fireflies” on the screen, he notices that one has disappeared. Soon another green dot vanishes from the screen, and then two more. The assistants check for evidence of immune system activity, and they find it “going berserk.” This is completely unexpected—to the assistants, at least. After all, Cinder has not received the trial antidote yet.
Dr. Erland asks a med-droid to draw more of Cinder’s blood and then to wheel her into a different examining room. Li protests that the other room is not a quarantined room, but Dr. Erland says it does not matter. “She won’t be contagious,” he says, heading for the door.
On his way out, Dr. Erland tells his assistants to order the med-droid to untie Cinder after they move her. The assistants protest, pointing out that she looks strong, and that she disabled two med-droids. Dr. Erland does not seem worried, and he assures them that they do not need to fear for themselves. He is planning to speak to Cinder alone.