So: we don't exactly pick up where we left off in Pure. We ended Pure with Pressia, Partridge, Lyda, El Capitan, Illia, and Bradwell at Ingership's house. But fast forward in time a little bit — Bradwell, El Capitan, and Pressia are at OSR Headquarters, and Partridge, Lyda, and Illia are being looked over by the mothers.
At this point, OSR isn't a cruel organization anymore; it's been transformed into a will work for food sort of thing, where El Capitan provides food and shelter in return for people's services. Basically, El Capitan is building an army while Pressia and Bradwell are trying to figure out more about the Dome.
Bradwell found black boxes at Ingership's farmhouse, and they all store information about the world. Yeah, like the whole world: there are just tons and tons of facts. But there's also a black box that Bradwell named Fignan that he can't open—he assumes it holds some kind of different information.
Meanwhile, back with the mothers, Partridge and Lyda are being kept safe. But the mothers don't exactly like Partridge because he's male, so he doesn't get to do much. Lyda, on the other hand, has been trained to be a fierce warrior like the mothers.
So here's what happens: El Capitan stumbles upon a bunch of people who worship the Dome, and they tell him that there's The New Message. A child has been "made pure" by the Dome, and she carries a message that asks for the wretches to send Partridge back to the Dome. Either they comply, or the Dome starts murdering people.
Meanwhile, Bradwell and Pressia figure out that Fignan stores all of Ellery Willux's secrets after they unlocked Fignan by reciting all seven members of The Seven.
Partridge and Lyda get to work on maps of the Dome in a subway car (one of their temporary homes), and they are at this point deeply in love. Bradwell, El Capitan, and Pressia travel to find Partridge though, because they need to tell him about The New Message. They meet up, and Partridge realizes he needs to give himself back to the Dome to save everyone. He needs to "lead from within," and stop his father (who is dying) from finding the reversal to Rapid Cell Degeneration.
But of course, Special Forces come to ruin their day, and the whole gang gets in a royal rumble with them. Eventually, Partridge and Lyda are able to escape to an abandoned house where they have sex — Lyda ends up staying with the mothers later on, while Partridge gives himself up to the Dome.
Bradwell and Pressia escape the showdown, but El Capitan has a near-death experience with a remote spider-bomb. Luckily, his brother Helmud is able to dislodge the spider from El Capitan's leg and save the day. Bradwell and Pressia also have a near-death experience after almost drowning in cold water, but it's all good… they're totally in love at this point and save each other.
Back in the Dome, Partridge has been confined to a house with fake surroundings; it's a lot like the rehabilitation center that Lyda was confined to in Pure. He then meets his new stepmother, Mimi, and his new stepsister and fiancé, Iralene. The problem is that Iralene and Mimi are much older than they look; they are cryogenically frozen in capsules so that they can stay young. All of this was planned by Ellery Willux. Oh, and Iralene is completely cuckoo… which scares the heebie-jeebies out of Partridge.
Going back to the gang outside the Dome: they all figure out that the formula that Willux is searching for can be found in Newgrange, a Dome in Ireland. The only way to get there, though, is by airship. Conveniently, Willux hid the only unguarded airship in the Capitol Building, because he figured no wretch would make it there alive.
And what do you know, the gang makes it there alive, and El Capitan actually understands how to fly the thing.
The gang crashes the airship in Ireland just miles away from Newgrange. El Capitan gets a concussion and accidentally tells Pressia that he loves her, which creates a whole new dynamic between the three (since Bradwell also loves her).
Oh, and at around the same time Lyda finds out she's pregnant. And Partridge? He gets his memory erased by the Dome so he doesn't remember anything from his escape. Things are going fantastic.
But have no fear: Bradwell and El Capitan kiss and make up, and Pressia is able to retrieve the formula from Newgrange. And with the help of Iralene (who is much smarter than she appears), Partridge is able to figure out what happened to him before they erased his memory. He doesn't completely remember, but he finds a piece of paper he wrote before surgery that outlines everything that happened. His last mission is to kill his father.
The book ends with three key events: Pressia find Bradwell and El Capitan being killed by vines of a tree; she frees them both. El Capitan is okay, but Bradwell is pretty much dead. And since Pressia can't bear to see him die, she injects his birds with the serum from her mother's vial. All the sudden he has gigantic wings and has been pretty much been turned into a monster.
Lyda, on the other hand, escapes from the mothers—who have waged war against the Dome (but in particular, men). Our Good Mother has vowed to kill Partridge, so Lyda gives herself up to the Dome. She wakes up in the rehabilitation center in a ward close to Ellery Willux's. Partridge sees her before he meets with his father; he mostly remembers who she is and he leaves her a gift (a paper snowflake made from his list of memories), then he goes into his father's ward. He hesitates, but then decides to kill his father by poisoning him.
- We open up book two of the trilogy at OSR (Operation Sacred Revolution) headquarters: Pressia has just made a mechanical arm for a boy named Perlo.
- Good news, though: El Capitan has turned OSR into a sort of homeless shelter; he's banished the Death Sprees and mandatory enlistment at age sixteen, and has replaced them with promising food for those who volunteer.
- Looks like someone is building an army.
- Apparently the Dome has been releasing more Special Forces. That's no good.
- And Partridge, Lyda, and Illia are being protected by the mothers. That's right, the mothers are back and ready for action.
- Pressia's heard reports that Lyda is learning how to fight—awesome—but Illia is struggling because of the ash in the air.
- By the way, it's winter right now. Winter isn't just coming; it's here.
- Partridge is also protecting vials that contain an important ingredient for the reversal of Rapid Cell Degeneration.
- Pressia finally finds Perlo and gives him his mechanical arm. He's pumped, as you could imagine, and tells her she could maybe make one for herself.
- Bradwell then approaches Pressia. Ooh, ooh: are they married now? Do they have kids? Did they fall in love instantly?
- "But it's not like that between them anymore" (1.26).
- Aww, man.
- Don't worry: Pressia is still totally crushing on him right now. She just doesn't want to admit it.
- Plus, Bradwell's been super busy. He's been studying these doohickeys called "Black Boxes" that they found under the farmhouse. These things aren't just ordinary black boxes though, because one of them bit Bradwell. Wait, what?
- Bradwell admits that it bit him when he was talking about Pressia, and then he shows her to it. He says its name is Fignan.
- What? Why do boxes have names? Why do they bite? Why do they follow Bradwell around at night? What. Are. These. Things.
- Did you miss Partridge? We know we did. Well, Chapter 2 opens up with him locked underground making maps of the Dome. Good old Partridge: nothing has changed.
- He's also written down every single word he could remember that his mother told him before she died. He feels as if they're all coded, like the Swan Wife Story.
- One of the mothers, Mother Hestra, is his own personal guard. They've been living nomadically—going from place to place to stay hidden.
- Partridge thinks about how his father abused the power of brain enhancements and how Rapid Cell Degeneration might even happen to himself.
- Then he remembers: ooh, he has the vials from his mother's house.
- Hey, here's a good idea. Why not test it out on something? Like, oh, a beetle.
- Oh my god Partridge, you're just absurd.
- So he tries to pour some of the serum on a beetle, but beetles can sting you. So yeah, he gets stung and cries like a baby.
- But don't worry: he caught the beetle in the leg with the serum just as it scurried away.
- Mother Hestra comes to check on him after hearing him scream; they talk about leaving in the morning with Lyda and maybe Illia — Illia has been going crazy, probably because of the trauma she's already suffered.
- Mother Hestra leaves, and Partridge hears a low, heavy rasp in the dirt. It's the beetle.
- Or should we say, super-beetle. The serum worked; its leg became gigantic, while the rest of its body stayed the same.
- The result is an awkward looking beetle with a giant leg, but either way, Partridge recognizes that it's a whole new species now.
- This sort of reminds us of Special Forces.
El Capitan (New)
- Back to the always-entertaining shenanigans of El Capitan and Helmud.
- Helmud saved El Capitan's life in Pure, so now El Capitan lets his brother fiddle with things to test him; he gave him a knife recently, as if to say, go ahead and kill me. It'll be easy.
- Oh, what a jokester.
- Today though, Helmud is shaking more often than not. That's ominous.
- While outside, El Capitan hears something: a group of Special Forces. Recently he's noticed that the Special Forces aren't as strong and creature-like as the last ones. It seems like they're programming has been rushed.
- Psst, probably because it has been.
- The group he sees runs away, but when he turns around he finds a skinny, very human looking one. This one is fresh out of the oven.
- It pops a dagger out from its toe—El Capitan thinks he's about to get gutted—but then it draws a message in the dirt.
- El Capitan reads it: "Hastings."
- Uh oh. We remember Hastings. He was Partridge's roommate from inside the Dome.
- Hastings also draws a cross, similar to the one at the end of The Message.
- El Capitan follows Hastings (we're just going to assume it's Hastings) through the woods. They arrive at their destination, which has a view of the Dome.
- Outside the Dome, El Capitan sees people arranging timber on the ground. It looks like they're building a fire.
- Pressia is with Bradwell in a morgue. This is where Bradwell lives: mmm, romantic.
- There are newspaper clippings and The Message taped on the wall.
- The bell that Pressia gave Bradwell at the end of Pure is being used as a paperweight. Oh, come on man: do you love her or not?
- As they're walking around, one of the Black Boxes motors past their feet like a dog. This is so weird.
- Bradwell then shows Pressia the rest of the Black Boxes: Alfie, Barb, Champ, Dickens, Elderberry, and, of course, Fignan,
- Yep, he named them all.
- But wait, the boxes have brains: inside them, they've stored history. That's right, ancient history, cultural history, everything.
- Except for Fignan: he stores secret history.
- If you ask the box anything, it will answer it for you; for example, Bradwell asks one what the universe is, and it projects a beam of light showing the planets and moons orbiting the sun.
- But what's going on with Fignan? Well, one day Bradwell was rambling on about Pressia to the boxes (because he talks to them like they're people), and Fignan opened. It started beeping, repeating the word seven.
- After some brainstorming, or should we say, arguing, Bradwell decides to talk about Pressia to Fignan again. But with Pressia in the room. Because this is totally a flirtation technique.
- He mentions her eyes and her hair and gets all gushy. He tells her he may or may not have mentioned her lips too. Aww, yeah.
- But then he remembers: he mentioned the swan pendant too.
- At the sound of "swan," Fignan light ups and repeats the word. Seven seven seven seven seven seven seven. Like the countdown of a game show.
- Bradwell doesn't understand, but Pressia believes it has something to do with The Seven people who have the scars on their chests.
- That's right, that small group formed from The Best and the Brightest—the group we learned about in Pure.
- At this, Bradwell says, "Ellery Willux." A green light blinks. He then says "Aribelle Cording." Another green light.
- Pressia adds "Hideki Imanaka," which turns on another green light. This gives her more hope about her father, who she hasn't met yet.
- The problem is, they can't figure out who the last four are. Caruso, the man who Aribelle lived with, probably knew. But El Capitan and Bradwell found out that he killed himself.
- Bradwell is pumped up, but Pressia gets mad at this and yells at him to focus on the suffering in the present. What a Debby Downer.
- To segue from this awkwardness, Bradwell decides to show Pressia a dead body… which is a fantastic way to impress a girl.
- The body is of a fifteen-year-old boy who was fused to a tricycle when the Detonations hit. His cause of death: his leg exploded and he bled out. A box filled with metal and plastic was found near him.
- Bradwell believes the Dome killed him.
Lyda (Metal Tubes)
- We are finally shifted back to our fourth narrator for now: Lyda. She's being bathed by the mothers.
- Recently, Illia has been telling a story about the woman and the man.
- Lyda is told to fully submerge herself in the bath; it's filled with a serum that masks the human scent.
- Illia's bath is water because she won't be traveling with Lyda. Illia needs rest.
- Lyda remembers her mother saying, Your father has passed on.
- In Illia's story, a woman works as the keeper of knowledge and a man told her to protect the seed of truth, which would grow into the next world.
- The woman and man loved each other, but the man is going to die (yep: this is in the present tense).
- But the woman must survive because she is the keeper of knowledge. She then marries someone who has connections so that the seed of truth can live.
- Then she says, "The End is coming," which is creepy. But she's referring to the Detonations. (5.32)
- Oh, and the man with connections is Ingership. And Illia's the keeper of knowledge. Yeah.
- Illia starts flopping out in her tub, getting angry and saying she couldn't deliver the truth to dead people. She starts muttering to herself about missing the truth and missing art and wanting to die.
- Lyda is totally rattled so she submerges her head under the serum for some quiet time.
- Partridge has been having dreams about seeing his mother in the academy. He knows she's dead, but then her eye will blink.
- He meets up with Lyda and they get ready to move out; when he sees her he winks at her, and she winks back. Oooooh!
- Once they start making their way, they have to stay single file. No talking. What is this, elementary school?
- Partridge sneaks a kiss when Mother Hestra isn't looking. Score.
- Lyda talks about how Illia was babbling about the seed of truth and whatnot, then Partridge tells her about how he experimented with the vials.
- Lyda remembers when Arvin Weed, the nerdy kid from the Dome—whose parents, as we learned from Aribelle, are allies with the outside—won the first prize at the science fair for making a serum that regenerated a mouse's leg.
- Look out folks: Partridge is about to have a lightbulb moment. Stand back.
- So it all makes sense now: his father already has one of the three ingredients that he needs to reverse Rapid Cell Degeneration. Partridge has the second, and we don't know where the third is.
- Partridge realizes he needs to get inside the Dome to get the truth out.
- Right on cue, a Dust emerges from the earth and lunges at Lyda. Partridge pretty much drop-kicks it in the face.
- It starts to come back, but Mother Hestra snipes it with a lawn dart from a long distance. She'd be a good Call of Duty player.
- They finally reach their destination: a row of fallen prisons. Under the ground is a dark tunnel leading to a subway train. All aboard!
El Capitan (Pyre)
- El Capitan is pondering the meaning of Hastings. Is it a hidden message? Is it a name?
- Hint: It's a name.
- By the way, he's planning on keeping the whole Hastings encounter to himself.
- He approaches the people making what seems to be a pyre; three girls are sitting on the ground making up a song.
- One girl tells him that there is a girl with The New Message: proof that they can save them all.
- Oh brother, these people are Dome fanatics: people who worship the Dome because they think it's benevolent.
- El Capitan gets frustrated with their jibber-jabber, so he demands them to show him the girl.
- He also tells them to stop building the pyre, which they're planning on using for what seems like a sacrifice. The girls say they're preparing the girl with The New Message.
- Helmud doesn't like this. El Capitan can hear Helmud's penknife open.
- Anyway, just as he starts to leave with one of the girls, she tells him to look behind him: black spider-like creatures are crawling out of the Dome.
- Arachnophobia time.
- El Capitan knows he needs to get back to the group, but he needs to see this girl with The New Message.
- He learns the girl's name: it's Margit.
- They arrive at the house the girl with The New Message is in. She is claimed to have been made Pure, even though she wasn't born in the Dome.
- Margit tells him that her name is Wilda.
- El Capitan asks her if there's, "Something you want to tell me?" Helmud's hand suddenly appears holding a small boat made from wood. It's beautiful, and he is offering it to the girl as a gift. (7.86)
- Wilda accepts the gift as Helmud says, "Tell me… tell me." (7.87)
- Bradwell suggests Pressia ask Fignan about her parents. She doesn't have the nerve to.
- Bradwell also realizes that Pressia was probably fluent in Japanese, since she was raised there. She just doesn't remember it.
- A knock on the door: an officer is calling Bradwell because El Capitan ("Cap" as Bradwell refers to him) wants to see him.
- Pressia randomly remembers the words Seven swans a-swimming. Okay, so we recognize this as the lyrics from the "Twelve Days Of Christmas," but this has a weird undertone of significance in her situation.
- Pressia asks Fignan about her parents, and its arm darts out and pulls her hair.
- She snoops around Bradwell's office a little bit, and then takes down the newspaper clippings.
- The article reads: International Cadet's Drowning Ruled Accident. The boy's name was Ivan Novikov.
- Hmm. Aribelle said "Ivan" was one of The Seven back in Pure.
- Pressia reads the rest of the article. Apparently Ellery Willux, who was another Cadet, tried to save him. This was all recalled by another person, Cadet Walrond.
- Okay so let's go over this: we know Ellery Willux and Ivan were in The Seven, and Cadet Walrond was a friend of Bradwell's parents.
- By the way: Seven swans a-swimming. Think about it in conjunction with the article. These people were all swimming, and they referred to themselves as swans.
- Bradwell finally walks in on Pressia talking out loud to Fignan. He tells her he's going to the city to check out the girl El Capitan found.
- Pressia tells him that she's going with him.
Lyda (Subway Car)
- The subway car is Lyda and Partridge's home for now. Partridge feels like it's torture to be alone with Lyda but not able to kiss her. D'aww, what a lovebird.
- Though Mother Hestra won't let them near each other, Partridge is able to convince her to let them work on maps of the Dome.
- Lyda thinks about how Partridge wants to get back into the Dome with her. It makes her feel like she's not alone.
- But then she realizes she's basically trapped in a subway car.
- On the way to find El Capitan, Pressia asks Bradwell how he got the scars on his face.
- Oh, he just got attacked by groupies when he was younger. No biggie.
- Sometimes you find the weirdest things, just looking out the windows. Pressia sees a snowman. Then she sees a spider on the snowman.
- Oh god: now there are so many spiders. They're all over the car too.
- Bradwell punches the gas of the car and it shakes off the spiders. They make sure to yell at El Capitan for not explaining that they were robot spiders.
- They're now in the area that Pressia grew up in. She remembers counting telephone poles and saying Itchy knee. Sun, she go. She doesn't understand why.
- Pressia brings up how Bradwell has been using the bell as a paperweight.
- When they reach El Capitan they talk about the spiders: they're probably how the dead boy got his leg blown off.
- El Capitan shows them to Wilda; he points out Margit and Margit's blind friend, but no one cares about those Dome worshippers.
- Then Wilda recites the message. It's pretty hard for her to let out and she starts crying in the middle, but here's the message in its entirety:
- We want our son returned. This girl is proof that we can save you all. If you ignore our plea, we will kill our hostages one at a time.
- She then makes a cross on the center of her chest and marks it with a circle.
- Margit and the blind girl start going bananas, saying they need to find the son so that they can all be saved, while Wilda starts screaming the message over and over.
- Somebody control these crazy kids.
- Luckily, Pressia is there to save the day. She lets Wilda hold her doll-hand, and then rocks her back and forth like a baby.
- While all of this is going on, Bradwell and El Capitan are thinking about The New Message, along with The Message. They both have twenty-nine words in them.
El Capitan (Spiders)
- The girls are getting pretty annoying now, so El Capitan threatens to shoot them. They creepily accept death though, and egg him on.
- He doesn't shoot though, especially because spiders are starting to crawl towards them.
- One of the spiders latches on to Margit; it pierces her skin, and she seems happy that it "chose" her.
- El Capitan, Pressia, and Bradwell (who is holding Wilda) make their way to the car, but as they approach it a man runs towards them, screaming. A spider is on his leg.
- Pressia tries to save him, but then notices the timer is counting down from six seconds. Ruh roh.
- El Capitan picks her up and saves the day, but the man's leg explodes.
- Everyone gets in the car but El Capitan, who is laboring a bit from saving Pressia from the explosion.
- Just as he's about to get in, he realizes there's a spider piercing his skin. It reads 7:13:49, 7:13:48.
- Looks like El Capitan has seven hours left to live.
- In the car, Fignan is putting on a mini lightshow for Wilda to distract her. This Fignan thing is interesting.
- Pressia then sings Wilda a lullaby to help her sleep; it's kind of creepy though because it's about "the ghostly girls" who haunt the shore in tattered school-uniforms.
- Once Wilda falls asleep, Pressia sees her trembling. Maybe that's the first sign of the testing they did to her in the Dome.
- Bradwell parks on a hill in the Meltlands, and everyone gets out to wait for the mothers. Wilda crawls into a gazebo and Pressia follows.
- After asking Wilda some uncomfortable questions about inside the Dome, Pressia asks her if she knows how to swim.
- Transitions are weird.
- Pressia sees Bradwell and asks him about the Cadet who couldn't swim. Bradwell knows she was snooping around.
- They play the blame game (like they always do), and then Bradwell talks about Arthur Walrond and the Cadet who drowned.
- His theory: Walrond knew that Willux actually murdered Novikov. But he couldn't accuse Willux, so instead he praised him sarcastically in the article, calling him a hero.
- After story time, they exit the gazebo and see one of the mothers: she's fused to her child, and as tough-looking as ever.
- If you're wondering what happened to El Capitan and the spider, we are too. It seems like he just hasn't told anyone about the spider yet.
El Capitan (Basement Boys)
- So yeah, El Capitan's leg hurts a lot right now. And to make things worse, "Basement Boys" ambush the group being led to Partridge.
- Basement Boys were teenagers when the Detonations went off. They were fused to their video game controllers, and refuse to make an alliance with the mothers.
- El Capitan can barely walk at this point, but he's forced to take cover and fight the boys. The mother gives him a blow dart, and he is able to nick one boy in the ear.
- They fend the Basement Boys off, but the mother was hit in the shoulder with a poisonous arrow. She tells the group to go on without her and that the mothers will find her.
Partridge (Two By Two)
- While working on their maps, Partridge and Lyda talk about Christmas. Partridge complains about how he had to go to the zoo with another family, and Lyda complains about getting a snow-globe.
- There's a knock, and Mother Hestra tells them she has to go outside. Boom: time to kiss.
- Lyda and Partridge kiss— typical of them—and then El Capitan enters the subway car, followed by Bradwell, Pressia, and Wilda. The gang's all here.
- El Capitan fills Partridge in on the whole New Message thing, and also lets him know about Hastings.
- He also recited The New Message for everyone, and Lyda recognizes the cross as the Celtic cross. Partridge is too busy feeling woozy with nervousness.
- We can't blame him, though: he's kind of the subject of The New Message.
- They then talk about Wilda; Lyda and Partridge are confuzzled by how she looks Pure.
- Pressia asks her a few more questions about the Dome. Apparently the experiments left her without a navel.
- So what's the plan going to be? Does Partridge go back, or does he stay? And should Partridge try to unlock Fignan?
- El Capitan has the answer: look in the box, dude.
Lyda (Snow Globe)
- Okay, what's in the box?
- Well, first Fignan had to prick Partridge for a sample of his blood. Standard procedure, you know.
- Partridge remembers the names of two other people that formed The Seven: Bartrand Kelly and Avna Ghosh. But who's the last?
- Pressia looks at Bradwell: come on man, it could definitely be Arthur Walrond.
- Lyda thinks that might be what Illia meant when she said I miss art. Not like arts and crafts, but Art Walrond.
- Ahhh, so many twists.
- Anyway, they try out the seven names, and sure enough, Arthur Walrond is the last one.
- But nothing happens. Just a green light. They assume he's programmed not to work in front of people who are from the Dome (cough cough, Partridge).
- Oh, and Special Forces is on their way.
- Partridge takes out a map and shows everyone how to get into the Dome, and then he gives the vials to Pressia.
- Lyda doesn't want to go with him, but she knows she has to.
- Both Partridge and Lyda give themselves up, but it's not that easy. The Special Forces soldiers want the others.
- One of the soldiers looks at Partridge with a tilt of the head; it's Hastings.
- The rest of the gang climbs out of the tunnel, and the soldiers order them to be executed.
- Partridge gets a little bit angry and charges one of the soldiers. It's basically David vs. Goliath here, and Partridge gets pinned pretty easily.
- They start a count-up (why not countdown?) to 3, and at 2, someone gets trigger-happy. A gunshot.
- Boom. The soldier pinning Partridge slumps over dead.
- A frenzy of bullets fly through the air — automatic weapons.
- Meanwhile, Lyda is running away from a soldier. She stops suddenly, takes out a spear she made, and stabs him in the throat. Looks like all that training paid off.
- Partridge starts to run, but is tackled again by a Special Forces soldier. Except this isn't just any soldier. It's Vic Wellingsly, a member of The Herd who hated Partridge.
- Luckily, Hastings strikes him from behind and Partridge is able to escape. Hastings isn't too big of a soldier though, so that might not be a great battle for him.
- The chapter ends with Lyda entering a roofless house.
- The machine-gun fire? Basement Boys. How did they get guns? Who knows?
- Pressia finds El Capitan ducking for cover, and she asks him why he's limping. He lies to her again, but she's not fooled. It's a spider.
- All the sudden, there's a massive explosion.
- Not El Capitan though: phew. The Special Forces are just bringing out the big guns.
- Pressia and El Capitan are separated, and El Capitan vows to bring Wilda to a medical outpost.
- Helmud waves at Pressia: it's possibly a last goodbye.
- Lucky for Pressia, the mothers come in for backup, and Bradwell escapes the subway car with Fignan and the maps.
- Ugh, but watch out for the pesky Dusts. One grabs Bradwell by the leg.
- No worries though, Pressia plunges a stray lawn dart into its ribs and they get away.
- Warning: this chapter is Rated R. That's right. Mature audiences only.
- Partridge follows Lyda into the abandoned house without a roof and they go upstairs. Why not?
- They find a bed and pretend it's a real bed with pillows and sheets; but it's not, it's actually just a bedpost and a mattress.
- Then, to spare you all the details, they do the dirty.
- Bow chick bow bow.
El Capitan (Sing, Sing, Sing)
- We get El Capitan's memory of the Detonations: he survived by drinking water from an old water tank and ate canned tangerines.
- Now in the present, he's able to carry Wilda across a riverbank, and as he wades in the water he thinks about the spider in his leg.
- Think the water could fry it?
- Nah, it didn't. One hour left.
- He makes it a few more paces after the river and can't find the strength to go on. He tells Wilda to run without him, but she needs to sing so that no one shoots her at the Headquarters.
- But she's not singing. Why isn't she singing?
- All the sudden he hears The New Message, but she's singing it. El Capitan feels like he's at peace now. He's ready for the end.
- But apparently Helmud isn't. Sneaky Helmud pulls out his penknife and shows it to El Capitan. He's going to try to whittle that spider out of his leg.
- El Capitan figures it's their only shot, so he agrees. Check out how the chapter ends:
- "Helmud takes just a bit of the word this time—"Shhh. Shhh. Shhh."—and keeps digging" (19.40).
- Okay, so you can probably guess what that last word was. But wow: Helmud to the rescue.
- Good thing Pressia and Bradwell are now on their way to find El Capitan. Too bad they take a detour to try Fignan out again.
- This time, when they enter the names, Fignan beams an image of man's face. It's Arthur Walrond.
- Fignan matches Bradwell and Pressia to "Otten Bradwell" and "Silva Bernt."
- Arthur does the whole, "If you're listening to this I'm already dead" thing, and then says that the box contains all of Ellery's ideas.
- He also says that the box will lead them to the formula, and that the box is a key.
- Oh, and time is of the essence… so they need to get a move on.
- Speaking of time, El Capitan is getting open leg surgery from Helmud right now.
- Bradwell and Pressia then fight about the truth.
- Pressia wants to be cured of her disfigurement, and Bradwell wants the Dome to face the wretches as they are. Typical Bradwell and Pressia.
- Partridge is now waking up, and finds Lyda looking out the window.
- She breaks the news to him: she's not going with him into the Dome.
- As you could imagine, Partridge is devastated.
- He looks out the window and sees Hastings, and then Hastings sees him. Looks like it's time to go back.
- But before he goes, he makes one last move: he gives Lyda the music box.
Pressia (Ghostly Girls)
- Back to Pressia and Bradwell: they're still trudging along, trying to get to the medical outpost.
- Pressia starts to sing that creepy Ghostly Girls song again because why not, right?
- Coincidence: the river they are approaching is the same river the Ghostly Girls were rumored to have drowned in.
- What's even worse is that they have to cross the river, because the beasts in the earth totally want to eat them right now. Plus, there's no bridge.
- Remember, it's pretty much winter right now, so the water and wind are freezing.
- Bradwell puts Pressia on his back because she can't swim, and they make their trek.
- What's that? A hand? Pressia feels a hand grasp her ankle and she panics, pretty much drowning herself and Bradwell.
- When all hope seems lost, she feels something push her to the surface. Is it Bradwell? Nope.
- She thinks it was a Ghostly Girl.
- Bradwell then picks her up and tries to carry her to safety because she's too cold to function. Unfortunately, so is Bradwell. They don't make it too far.
- Bradwell tells Fignan to go get help while him and Pressia huddle under a tree for warmth.
- She whispers that "itchy knee" thing we saw earlier because that's all she can think about. Then Bradwell responds, "Sun, she go?"
- Don't you just love when people finish your sentences?
El Capitan (Boar)
- He's alive. Yup, Helmud saved the day— the spider is deactivated and on the ground.
- He still can't put any pressure on his leg, but luckily Wilda shows up with two recruits from OSR—Darce and Riggs.
- El Capitan orders them to send out orders to find Bradwell and Pressia; but they don't have walkie-talkies because they're new recruits.
- He then orders the faster of the two (Darce) to run back to the outpost and send out a search for Pressia and Bradwell; meanwhile, Riggs is to be his crutch on the way back.
- Meanwhile, Wilda picks up the spider parts. Oh well, she lost her boat so El Capitan figures she can take those if she wants.
- About midway to the post, Wilda flashes her flashlight on a wild boar. Not a good move.
- The boar pounces at her and El Capitan tries to shoot it, but he can't put weight on his leg, so he misses.
- Just as the boar is about to gobble up Wilda, a bullet sears through its leg and it cowers off.
- Turns out it was Fignan. Wow, this robot is just the best.
Lyda (Wire Cage)
- Lyda is waiting for the mothers; she feels tough and strong, but she misses Partridge already.
- Yeah, that's about it.
- Wondering how Partridge and Hasting are doing? They're walking back to the Dome in silence. Got to love reunions.
- Partridge is trying to extract Hasting's human side but it doesn't seem to be working. He gets him to remember the girl he went to the dance with, but Hastings still seems too robotic.
- They reach the Dome and Partridge is tackled by a bunch of Special Forces soldiers. So much for being best buddies.
El Capitan (Swallows)
- El Capitan is just chilling in a folding chair, waiting for Riggs to help him out with his wound.
- Riggs comes back with a jug of alcohol and bandages—El Capitan was sort of hoping they'd send a real medical professional.
- While he's being worked on, El Capitan asks Riggs what people think of him — it's starting to matter to him now.
- Would Pressia have waited for El Capitan by the smokestack?
- It's cold. Bradwell's asleep. Pressia's dying. Oh boy.
- So Partridge isn't doing so hot right now; he's in a white room with technicians and doctors, and they're running all sorts of tests on him.
- They're also trying to regenerate his pinky, which he doesn't want them to do.
- Good old Arvin Weed stops by a few times. One time he winked at Partridge. Think he likes him?
- After almost a month goes by, Partridge hears his father say that he needs a baptism. Huh, a bath doesn't seem too bad.
- Oh, wait. Yep, they're waterboarding him. Badly.
- The chapter ends with Partridge unable to breathe for air.
- Speaking of bad breathing, Bradwell isn't doing to good. He's basically in a coma because of the hypothermia.
- But at least Pressia got better. She's been studying the notes from Fignan every day, and El Capitan has been helping people with spiders stuck in their legs.
- Pressia keeps going back to the same footage that Fignan has: her mother and father in a field with other cadets.
- But the weird thing is, when her mother smiles and waves at the camera, she's holding Ivan Novikov's hand, not Hideki Imanaka's hand.
- Even though Bradwell's in bad shape, she still talks to him in his slumber. She doesn't tell him about the missing children though, and the children that the Dome have sent back. They call them "Purified," because they weren't born pure, but made pure.
- Bradwell mutters "Willux" under his breath.
- Pressia tends to him, and as she's taking care of him she sees part of a painting on the wall.
- She brushes the moss away, and there are paintings of girls. The Ghostly Girls.
- It dawns on her that Willux murdered them (as he did, pretty much the rest of the world), and she needs to get into his mind to uncover the truth.
- Lyda has Cot #9; she's living with the mothers.
- She also has Freedle, and she's been training very hard to fit in with the mothers.
- But Illia isn't doing too well. She's a lot like Bradwell… except she's definitely a goner.
- Lyda gets to see her one last time, and she tells Illia that the seed of truth is in good hands—by the way, the seed of truth is the collection of black boxes.
- Just as she's about to die, Illia says, "If I'd had a daughter…" (30.23)
- She dies, which we see coming. But it's still sad.
- Lyda thinks about Partridge again, and thinks about how she might be erased from his memory.
- Meanwhile, Pressia is snooping around with all of the notes that Arthur Walrond left in Fignan.
- Willux wrote down random numbers, names, even poetry. One poem in particular is pretty romantic, and is most likely directed towards Pressia's mother.
- Bradwell is doing a little bit better too; he can walk around and eat a little. But that's about it.
- Pressia notices that Willux had the name Brigid in the middle of his notes somewhere, which doesn't make too much sense, because she wasn't born yet. Hmm.
- She goes on a huge brainstorming quest to figure the whole thing out: what's with Ivan Novikov holding her mother's hand? Was Willux jealous of him? Did Ivan have the formula? Did Willux really kill Ivan? Ah, so confusing.
- She decided to take a break for the night, but it's cold so she cuddles with Bradwell for warmth. Except he's asleep, so that's a little weird.
- He jokingly points out that she's taking advantage of him. Whoops, looks like he was awake the whole time.
- When Partridge wakes up, he's warm and can smell fresh-cooked food.
- Wait. He's still in the Dome. The weather outside the window is the same as inside the room; the outside must be fake.
- A woman walks in and gives him breakfast: her name is Mimi.
- Apparently, Mimi is Willux's newlywed wife, and she loves Partridge.
- But she's extremely creepy and has crazy mood-swings. She seems like she wants to torture him more than love him.
- She also has a daughter named Iralene who is playing the piano downstairs. Yay, a new sister!
- Partridge and Mimi exchange a few passive-aggressive and just plain old aggressive words, then she walks out and winks at him. Boy, this woman is creepy.
El Capitan (Stiches)
- Thirteen spiders in one body: a new record! El Capitan has been operating on hundreds of people with spiders in their bodies, and Helmud is actually a huge help now. What a guy.
- El Capitan decides to go for a walk outside, and a boy approaches him with more Dome propaganda. He talks about how they've been purifying husbands and wives and whole families, not just kids.
- But the first family they took was unworthy, so they killed them. Yeah, makes total sense.
- El Capitan pretty much mocks the kid the whole time.
- After hearing enough of the crazy kid, El Capitan walks back to the tent and orders the soldiers to put the spiders in a bag. Explosives and metal can come in handy, after all.
- Wakey, wakey Partridge: it's time to talk to your new sister.
- Iralene looks young and beautiful, but she's very timid.
- Since Partridge is thoroughly creeped out (as he should be), he decides to ask about his father. He's very sick. But don't worry: Iralene has supreme confidence that he'll be okay.
- By the way, she's totally coming on to Partridge. Ugh.
- Finally, Partridge realizes that he might need Iralene to escape, seeing that she's crazy in love with him. He tells her he needs to get to Durand Glassings, his old history teacher.
- She tells him she won't tell a soul; but also gives him a gift. She tells him to follow the music, and that she doesn't actually play the piano.
El Capitan (Free)
- El Capitan is going boar hunting.
- He sees a face on the window of his truck; it's Hastings.
- El Capitan exits the truck, hoping Hastings hasn't been reprogrammed to kill him, and Hastings etches out another message on the ground. Set me free.
- He then grabs a huge boulder and gives it to El Capitan. He kneels down, ready for the blow.
- But wait. El Capitan isn't going to just kill the dude. He's valuable. So he grabs some sedatives from the truck, and puts Hastings to sleep. Nighty night.
- Bradwell and Pressia are splitting up the work to figure out what Willux's notes meant: Bradwell is working with the wording, and Pressia's working with the numbering.
- Pressia mentions her old friend Fandra, who Bradwell used to know. Apparently she was one of the last people to explore an underground passage.
- Unfortunately, she was one of the last because she got lost and probably died.
- They decide to go for a walk to get some fresh air, and they have a huge brainstorming session.
- Pressia talks about pi (no, not pie), and how Fignan has the symbol of pi on his back.
- They end up linking pi with circles, and then with Domes. They figure out some of the random numbers were coordinates for the constellation called The Northern Cross, or, Cygnus.
- Apparently the name Brigid means "fiery arrow," and links to a saint who was involved in blacksmithing and fire.
- They also link Partridge's middle name (Crick) and Sedge's (Watson) to the founders of DNA. And that links to the snakes Willux drew that looked like double helixes.
- Great stuff here… but it's confusing and, as of now, meaningless.
- They finally give up brainstorming and Pressia decides to break off from Bradwell to visit Wilda.
- Just before she goes though, she asks him about the whole itchy knee, sun, she go thing.
- Ah ha, it was Japanese! Apparently Pressia was counting.
- Partridge is pretty done with this house, so he decides to open the door to his room. Except it won't open. It's locked from the inside.
- Luckily, he's able to find a piece of plastic that allows him to turn the knob. He exits the room, and walks into a nice room with paintings and a wool carpet.
- In the kitchen, Mimi is making muffins. In the other room, Iralene is "playing" the piano. Ah, what a nice family.
- But then he steps on the wool rug. It still feels like cement. It's fake; in fact, the whole house is fake. The only thing that isn't fake is the piano.
- Partridge decides to explore a little bit, and he runs into a rooms labeled Specimen One and Two, Specimen Three and Four. He opens one up and finds huge capsules labeled Iralene Willux and Mimi Willux.
- The capsules are cryogenic chambers to keep them young.
- So maybe Iralene isn't sixteen, which is what Partridge originally thought. And she's definitely real.
- Mimi is in her chamber, but Iralene isn't. He decides to go into the dark basement because he's Partridge and he has tons of common sense.
- But what do you know: Iralene is actually in the basement.
- He tries to talk her into escaping with him, but it's no use. She knows she's going to stay.
- But she does give him a uniform to wear to "fit in," and the key to unlock his electric shock neck-brace.
- He climbs out the window at the end of the chapter, pleading her to come with him. She doesn't, so he climbs out, only to see a building with dark windows.
- Quick check on Wilda: she's in her bed, and still trembling.
- Pressia goes back to the cottage where Bradwell is, and she finds him and El Capitan talking. They're hunched over Hastings, who they were able to debug. They successfully took out his ticker.
- Hastings is pretty out of it though.
- Pressia has a thought about the constellations: maybe they're coordinates. Maybe the formula can be found there.
- Surprisingly, El Capitan jumps to it: he knows a lot about stars.
- Really? El Capitan knows about stars?
- He talks about the Cygnus and how it was an important constellation.
- They decide to look at Willux's love poem again to see if it has any clues. It does. It mentions something called The Holy Mound, which must be the location of the formula.
- After some intense brainstorming, they conclude that they need to search for holy sites — and voila, ten come up.
- Wait, no. They didn't want ten. They wanted one.
- Bradwell to the rescue, though. They wanted ancient cites, not just regular holy cites.
- The search then dwindles down to only one: Newgrange. Which, by the way, was one of the ancient Domes that Glassings mentioned in Pure.
- So that's the place: they're going to Newgrange. But they need a plane. And there are no planes left anywhere. Bummer.
- But there is at least one airship, seeing that The Message was delivered via airship.
- Hastings wakes up conveniently at this time and tells them he has maps in his head.
Partridge (Paper Snowflakes)
- Partridge is running around the Dome, pretty aimlessly. He recognizes it all, but people are probably looking for him already.
- He hears a noise behind him: it's just a moth, phew.
- But wait, insects don't really exist in the Dome. What's a moth doing here?
- He then sees a beetle. Partridge thinks they're tracking devices, like the spiders.
- While running around town he sees an elementary school with paper snowflakes taped to the windows. Aw man, he promised he'd make Lyda one for Christmas.
- A few guards walk by, but no one sees him.
- Then there's a hand is on his shoulder.
- It's just a boy with freckles: he introduces himself as Vinty Firth, whose father's name was on the Cygnus list.
- Vinty tells Partridge to follow him; Partridge is cautious (for once), but Vinty says he's Cygnus, and they've been waiting for him.
- Finally, some allies (we think).
- Along the way, Partridge keeps asking Vinty questions. But none are answered.
- Eventually, they have to sneak into an elevator filled with people (strategically placed people), then peel out of the elevator towards the academy.
- Once they get to the academy, they sneak backstage behind the theater. There, Vinty leads them into a trapdoor that goes underground. Uh, oh. Don't know about this one.
- Partridge realizes he might be doomed, and this is a trap.
- Wait, nope. It's Glassings. Hooray!
- Partridge hugs Glassings and gets really emotional; Glassings was the closest thing to a father he ever had.
- Vinty leaves and Partridge asks about the revolution strategy.
- Here's the catch though: according to Glassings, all of the adults in the Dome already know the truth. Ooh, that's a tough one to swallow.
- Pressia's been working with the spiders; she's making them into hand grenades.
- El Capitan left with Hastings, but Bradwell and Pressia are planning on going with them to find the plane. El Capitan insists he be the pilot, seeing that his father was in the air force and that he used to learn things about flying when he was young.
- Bradwell starts talking about a dream he had: he was flying too, but he didn't have wings in his back.
- He was levitating above a river and saw Pressia struggling in the water, so he dove deep to save her. But she was fine; she was actually singing. But then she looked at him with a look he couldn't read.
- Pressia thinks she can read Bradwell, and she tells him he's still staying true to what he promised her grandfather.
- But that's not true, as we all know. He starts to say it's really because he… but then she interrupts him. No saying the "L" word here.
- Then she gives him a look he can't read.
Partridge (Beautiful Barbarism)
- Back to Glassings and Partridge: Glassings is just about to tell Partridge something important, but Partridge stalls him. Ah, come on man.
- They talk for a bit, but then Glassings gets to the good stuff. They need Partridge to assassinate his father.
- Things just got pretty interesting.
- But Partridge doesn't want to do it at all, because if he kills his father, then he becomes a murderer. Oh, the struggles of being a hit man.
- Glassings somewhat talks him into it though; he talks about how Willux thinks he can manipulate Partridge, and how he's already manipulated Arvin Weed, the genius.
- Partridge decides to turn himself in, and leaves through the trapdoor.
- Before he left though, Glassings tells him that if he'd have a son, he'd want someone like Partridge. Pretty much the same speech we got from Illia when she was talking to Lyda.
- So Willux owns a fleet of airships. Good old Hastings filled us in with some good information.
- They're all on their way to find the airships in the black sedan the Dome gave to Ingership, but Hastings can only give them limited information due to his behavioral coding. Unfortunately, he is still loyal to the Dome, but has to fight it.
- Of course, Bradwell doesn't trust him.
- They pass a bunch of fast-food places on the way, and they talk about Cygnus. Apparently, Cygnus was also a Greek Myth about two friends named Cygnus and Phateon.
- The two friends had a chariot race, but they flew too close to the sun (sort of like what Icarus did), and both crashed down to the earth.
- Cygnus was okay, but Phaeton was stuck under the roots of a tree in the ocean.
- Zeus gave Cygnus a choice: either live forever, or turn into a swan so that he could retrieve Phaeton's body and give him a proper burial. The problem is, if he turns into a swan, he'll only live as long as a swan.
- Cygnus chose to be turned into a swan, and Zeus was amazed by his unselfishness, so he created a constellation in the image of Cygnus — a swan.
- Anyway, this story relates to Ivan Novikov's drowning. Hmm, maybe Willux really was trying to save him?
- Back to the plot: they're driving towards an amusement park, but the car gets caught on something: that's right, a trap made from the remnants of a teacup ride.
- El Capitan is furious that his car just got damaged, but something worse is happening. The ground is rumbling below them.
Partridge (Christmas Tree)
- When Partridge wakes up, he's face-to-face with Julby Hollenback, a five-year-old girl.
- The Hollenbacks are a family that Partridge used to stay with for Christmas vacation. The night before, Partridge knocked on Mr. Hollenback's door to turn himself in.
- After some chitchat about Jarv, the youngest in the Hollenback family who was taken away due to bad behavior, Julby tells him that a girl is waiting for him in the kitchen.
- Whoops, it's Iralene.
- But it's okay, Iralene says that they're going to a party.
- Ohhhhh noooo. Engagement party. Partridge's father is setting up Iralene and Partridge to be married.
- The chapter ends with the Hollenback family going cuckoo for Coco-Puffs over the engagement, and Julby tearing down pictures from the walls. Nice family.
Lyda (Dwarf Deer)
- As she's hunting in the woods with Mother Hestra, Lyda takes a shot at a chubby dwarf deer with her spear. Unfortunately, she hit it in the ribs… so now it's going to suffer.
- Luckily, Mother Hestra is there for the kill shot.
- Why did Lyda miss, even though she's been trained so well? She was thinking about Partridge. Oh boy.
- But then she looks at the dead deer and realizes it was pregnant. She vomits.
- Mother Hestra, the very wise overseer of Lyda now, knows why Lyda is feeling woozy. Lyda is pregnant too.
- Mother Hestra tells Lyda that she has to tell Our Good Mother and await her judgment. Oh Lyda, things aren't going to well for you right now.
El Capitan (Eyes)
- Back at the amusement park, the ground is still shaking and Hastings won't get in the car. That is not amusing, Hastings.
- All the sudden, eyes pop up from the ground: hundreds, maybe thousands of them.
- Hastings shoots at the eyes, but the ground rumbles louder. Good going, Hastings.
- The Dusts then start to emerge from the surface.
- Hastings rips into them with bullets, but they don't do anything. Basically, these are zombie-Dusts. Which is about the scariest thing we've seen yet.
- But when one of the Dusts loses its eye, the other ones all start to feed on it. Looks like the eye is the human part they need to get at.
- Everyone gets out of the car and makes a run for it; except Pressia. She's stunned. Frozen.
- Luckily, El Capitan and Helmud come to the rescue and makes her snap out of it. Helmud also gives her a little swan he's made.
- Aww, Helmud's adorable.
- They're all running away at this point: Pressia is stabbing the eyes in the ground, while Helmud refuses to give El Capitan his whittling knife.
- El Capitan figures he should let Helmud try to stab the Dusts.
- So, El Capitan and Helmud are now running around stabbing eyes in the ground. They make a pretty good team.
- Pressia gets really pessimistic, but El Capitan says he's only going to go down shooting.
Pressia (Crazy John-Johns)
- Right back into the action: Pressia gets nailed in the back.
- Then her three vials fly out,
- A Dust then reaches out for one of the vials and crushes it with his hand.
- Oops, that Dust's hand is about to get pretty big now that we know what the stuff in the vials can do.
- The Dust is about to crush Pressia, but El Capitan takes him out with one shot.
- Meanwhile, Bradwell is stuck shooting Dusts while the ground is cracking below him. It's about to crumble, but Hastings swoops in and picks him up.
- But unlucky for Hastings, the ground gives way.
- One of Hastings' legs falls through the trap while the rest of his body stays above. His leg is stuck in the ground.
- And since he's a Special Forces soldier, the only thing he's programmed to do is save himself.
- That's when the programming gets really bad; he pulls himself out of the trap, but his leg is ripped off with it. Ouch.
- The gang looks like they're pretty much done, but then music starts playing from a PA system.
- Bullets (which turn out to be BB's) rip through the Dusts; the amusement park people must be helping.
- Pressia runs to the amusement park's fence and sees a girl with gold, ragged hair: it's Fandra, her childhood friend.
- It's a great reunion. Everyone is all smiles, and Fandra tells Bradwell that more people survived because of him and his underground passage. He's a part of "New History."
- So this is all well and good, but how's Hastings doing? He's missing a leg…
- Partridge is being taken to his father by Iralene and a guard named Beckley.
- Apparently, Partridge's story has been leaked to the press as: Partridge meets Iralene at dance, shows off to her, falls into a coma because his something went wrong, she stayed by his side the whole time, and now they're engaged.
- Yay propaganda.
- Also, Iralene is super-jealous of Lyda.
- They take a monorail to Ellery's sick ward, and on the way he has to pretend he's engaged to Iralene.
- Ellery is extremely ill now and only being kept alive by machines; he's happy that Partridge is there to see him.
- Another father son bonding moment coming right atcha.
- Ellery tells Partridge that he's a hero in the Dome, but Partridge tells him he wants to be a leader.
- Which is what Ellery's been waiting for his whole life: Partridge wanting being a leader.
- The only catch: Partridge needs to be wiped of his memory of being outside the Dome.
- Yeah, that sounds totally fair.
- Partridge calls his bluff, but Ellery reminds him that Arvin Weed can almost do anything because of his intelligence.
- Hmm, Partridge needs to lead, but he doesn't want to forget what happened outside the Dome — even if it was scarring. What a predicament.
Pressia (Duct Tape)
- So everyone's going to go into the amusement park and ride the roller coasters and be a happy family, right?
- Err, nope. The survivors in the amusement park aren't too found of El Capitan, seeing that he used to be the head of OSR. He's not allowed in.
- Also, everyone thinks Bradwell is a prophet. So there's that.
- As they're bringing Hastings in on a stretcher, he tells them that he actually knew the destination of the airship the whole time. Ugh, that liar.
- But we feel for him; he just saved Bradwell and lost his leg doing it.
- Hastings gives Fignan the directions, and tells them that Ellery doesn't have anyone guard it because he figures no wretch would make it there alive. Well, that's reassuring.
- Hastings is then brought in to be worked on, and Fandra tells Pressia she's happy to see her and Bradwell together. Except they're not. So, that's sort of awkward.
- Yep, Fandra knows Pressia and Bradwell are in love, but they just won't admit it.
- El Capitan, Bradwell, and Pressia walk for about an hour, and they decide to rest.
- Pressia tells Bradwell about fireflies: after the Detonations, people tried to chase them and catch them, but when they did, they'd get radiation poisoning. They'd die quickly and violently.
- How does this relate to anything? Well, Pressia feels like they were only trying to grasp something beautiful in such a terrible world.
- All of this thinking makes her think about her mother's death: she feels responsible. After all, she was the one who technically dealt the finishing blow.
- Bradwell is able to console her, because he's awesome.
- Then they kiss and stuff, and they pretty much confess their love to each other.
- It's Partridge's engagement party. Hooray?
- Basically, everyone and their mother is at the engagement party. Even Foresteed, the man who is slated to take over the Dome after Ellery — that is, if Partridge doesn't take over.
- Mimi is there too, along with Iralene. Oh, and Arvin Weed is there.
- Partridge tries to get to Arvin, seeing that he might be Partridge's only hope, but people keep distracting him.
- He hears people congratulating Arvin too, which might be bad. Partridge wonders if he's already figured out the cure for Rapid Cell Degeneration.
- No one knows what Arvin has accomplished, though: they just know he's accomplished something. These people are such puppets.
- Partridge is just about to approach Arvin, but Foresteed starts to talk to him. He knows about the memory loss procedure Partridge needs to have done.
- Foresteed calls Partridge some nasty names and tells him he'll never rule. Seems like a nice guy.
- Finally, Partridge gets to Arvin (who was trying to get out of the party).
- Arvin won't tell Partridge his accomplishment, but he winks at him. We don't know if that's a good wink or a bad wink.
- He ends up whispering that his accomplishment is even worse than the cure. Oh boy.
- At this point, we don't know if Arvin is on Partridge's side, but he seems like his only hope. If he's lucky, Arvin might be able to do the procedure without erasing all of Partridge's memories.
- Then Iralene approaches them and acts like her normal, strange self. She's been taking lessons with teachers (and even Arvin) in the hopes of being able to engage in intelligent conversations with Partridge.
- She can't get any stranger. She really can't.
- Lyda is living in an old strange room beneath a candy factory now; Mother Hestra spent the day talking to her about pregnancy. Things aren't looking too good right now for Lyda.
- She wonders if she wants her child to be Pure or not. She also doesn't want Partridge to know that she's pregnant for two reasons.
- One: it'll distract him from his mission.
- Two: She wants him to return to her out of love, not obligation.
- She takes his music box and listens to it one last time. Then she buries it, along with her hope that Partridge will come back for her.
- Oof, this is a sad one.
Partridge (Seven Simple Truths)
- Now, post engagement party, Partridge has to walk Iralene back to their house. Instead of letting her go back to her ice-chamber, he tells her to stay with him for the night.
- Iralene is super pumped, but for the wrong reasons.
- Partridge has her turn the cameras off (which again, excites her), but then starts asking her for information.
- According to her, people say things in front of her because they think she's stupid and can't comprehend anything.
- She's also stumbled upon capsules in the floor below that hold Ellery's "relics," or people that he wants alive, but not actually living.
- Basically, trophies. For example, he'd like Bradwell as a relic.
- Partridge tells her to go to bed and dream for once, and while she's sleeping, he snoops around for something that can remind him of his past, just in case.
- He finds her identification card: it was issued eight years ago, and it says she's sixteen. That means that Ellery must have picked her for Partridge early on, before the Detonations. Hmm.
- Partridge finds a pencil and a receipt in her purse and starts writing.
- He writes down seven truths: he escaped the Dome, he's in love with Lyda, he's pretending to be engaged to Iralene, there are living people frozen in capsules, trust Glassings and not Foresteed, he don't remember any of this because Ellery is evil, and take over and lead from within.
- He needs to put the paper somewhere where he can find it after the procedure—he ends up putting it in the bathroom in a place that he needs to look to fix the toilet.
- Then he breaks the toilet.
- Ahh, toilets. What can't you do?
- All the sudden, Iralene starts screaming in her sleep, so Partridge wakes her up. She had a nightmare about both of them being very small, and people forgetting about them.
- Partridge consoles her and she feels better, but she wants the cameras back on because it helps her feel safe.
- Out in the wilderness, Pressia wakes up and hears El Capitan singing. He's on guard, but also singing a sad love song.
- She takes over guard for him, then decides to do some research with Fignan. She looks up Newgrange again and learns about how the winter solstice occurs on December 21st.
- But she also learns that in Newgrange, the sun shines directly into a chamber for only seventeen minutes during the winter solstice.
- And then the lightbulb goes off in her head.
- She runs to Bradwell and El Capitan and reminds them about how Art Walrond said, "Time is of the essence" in the message.
- That must mean they need to get to Newgrange for that seventeen minutes, because the formula is probably buried there.
- Easy peasy. Oh wait: December 21st is in three days… so they need to get moving.
- On their journey, they have to cross a dam. El Capitan has an are we there yet moment, and Fignan shows them that they're about eighteen miles away from the directions that Hastings gave them.
- Bradwell recognizes where they are on the map: they're near D.C.
- And you know what else is near D.C? The Capitol Building.
- That's right, Ellery put the airship in the Capitol Building.
- But, since they have such great luck, a beast pounces at Pressia on the dam. She almost falls off, but Bradwell catches her while El Capitan wrestles the beast.
- Bradwell comments that saving her was romantic, but El Capitan just defines it as chivalry.
- We're starting to get a sense of El Capitan's soft side now.
- Lyda has to tell Our Good Mother that she's pregnant now: ruh roh.
- She misses Pressia and Illia, especially because some of the mothers don't appreciate her.
- So, she tells Our Good Mother, and that kind of sets her off.
- Like, a lot.
- Our Good Mother screams that Partridge raped Lyda, and that she will lead an attack on the Dome once and for all. She is going to kill Partridge.
- Lyda, as you can imagine, is absolutely mortified.
- When he wakes up, Iralene is gone and the room has been transformed into a beach setting. That would be bad if it's always a beach setting, but Partridge hid the paper with his memories in a different rustic setting.
- The guards come to pick him up, and an hour later he's in the operating room.
- He's ordered to be strapped down. Sounds a bit harsh.
- Then Dr. Arvin walks in. Huh, guess Arvin is a doctor now.
- Partridge's only hope left is with Arvin, so the only thing he can do is speak in code. But Arvin doesn't seem to want to talk.
- He finally starts to get put under, and starts screaming about how long he has to swim to the ocean floor: meaning, how long does he have until his memory is completely wiped out?
- Arvin pretends like Partridge's hallucinating for the security cameras, but then starts to talk about how Partridge's pinky should grow back in about a week or so.
- Bradwell and Pressia talk about God's existence and whatnot. You know: the usual.
- They then climb the Washington National Cathedral to get a better view of where they are. The airship is right out in the open.
- They start to make their way towards the airship by climbing a large mound of rubble. But then Bradwell remembers something. Something really bad.
- Oh right, they're in the same area as the National Zoo.
- Right on cue, they hear a roar; a gorilla bursts out at them.
- But it doesn't attack them. It just kind watches them, sadly.
- With that out of the way, they trek up the rubble to the airship. They've finally made it, but the chapter ends with them hearing a grunt and three cries.
- Omg, let's hope it's a golden retriever with three small puppies.
El Capitan (Clouds)
- They're all in the airship now, and El Capitan is in the cockpit. He's the best man for the job, but boy, he isn't too sure how to fly the thing.
- By the way, he saw Pressia and Bradwell kissing the other night. Ooh, awkward.
- He starts using Fignan to figure out how to fly the airship, and Fignan spews out a bunch of flying terms that are confusing. El Capitan doesn't really understand them, but pretends like he does.
- So El Capitan does what most of us would do: he presses the button that makes the ship start.
- We have lift—uhh, nope. We don't have liftoff.
- Three beasts are pounding the ship, and El Capitan can't seem to lift the ship off the ground.
- Finally, Fignan spews out directions that show him the exact controls. He clicks all the buttons and lifts all the levers, and finally the ship starts to move a little.
- He also flicks a switch without trying to, which starts an alarm. Luckily, it actually scared away the beasts.
- The airship lifts and though the steering levers are hard to handle, he's able to get the hang of it. El Capitan is flying now; he thinks about how he finally isn't worthless.
- Ah come on man, we all love you.
- Beautiful Barbarism: the last thing Partridge remembers.
- When he wakes up, Iralene is right in his face, feeding him lies. Telling him that he tripped on ice after the dance, and that Hastings accidentally skated over his pinky.
- She even tells him that his father loves him and hopes he gets better. Another lie.
- And that's the lie that sets him off: he knows his father would never wish him well. Something's fishy.
- Oh, and he also gets a voicemail from his father saying that he's being picked to be the successor.
- He does remember something about Iralene though: he remembers secrets, promises, and a piano.
- Welp, Partridge got wiped of his memory. But there's still hope; he still remembers beautiful barbarism, and certain words and images set him off: fan blades remind him of being chopped to pieces.
- So now that Lyda's having a baby, the mothers have been treating her better. Brown-nosing at its finest.
- Lyda tells Mother Hestra that she's thinking of leaving, but that's probably not going to happen.
- Lyda tries to plead with Mother Hestra, telling her not to attack the Dome. But it turns out the mothers aren't planning on attacking the Dome. Huh?
- They're planning on attacking the Deaths—or as we call them, men.
- Uh, not good.
- Looks like it's going to take the airship gangabout thirty-four to fifty-six hours to get to Newgrange.
- Apparently this is quality time for Pressia and Bradwell to hold hands and feel sentimental.
- For a moment, Pressia feels like it's a small miracle to be up in the clouds.
- Partridge and Iralene are on their first date now, how cute.
- But Partridge is still super confused, especially because of Beckley, his guard.
- When he swims with Iralene, he doesn't feel like he loves her. But still, he feels like he must have at some point. After all he did propose to her.
- Their next date is the zoo. Partridge still feels like something isn't right.
- Oh, and there's a beetle behind Beckley's seat that Partridge notices. Remember, the Dome doesn't really have insects, and those beetles are tracking devices that people like Glassings use.
- Another weird thing: Partridge feels really strong, which doesn't make sense for someone who was just bedridden.
- A sprinkler goes off and he thinks about bloody mist; yep, he still has his memory, he just can't figure out everything.
- Glassings randomly stops by to say hi.
- But Beckley points a gun at him and tells him to leave, and Partridge is baffled. It's just his history teacher?
- But Glassings does give him a valuable bit of information: he says it's nice to see him now that he's back.
- Partridge thinks: back? From where? Glassings seems to have planted something in his head, which is good.
- When the finally leave, Partridge kisses Iralene, but he doesn't feel like he loves her. He feels bad, but says they have time to build on their relationship.
- She understands though, and she tells him they don't have much time.
- The mothers are planning their attack on the Dome, and Lyda decides to use this time to bond with Mother Hestra.
- Mother Hestra has the words The dogs barked loudly. It was almost dark burned into her head because she was holding a piece of paper with those words. Apparently she had been a writer during the Before, and this was a part of one of her stories.
- The story was about her sister who was killed by the government. Mother Hestra didn't have the nerve to publish it though, so it's a permanent reminder of cowardice.
- She shows Lyda two things the mothers found while looking for the others: the maps Lyda and Partridge drew, and the robotic spider grenades.
- The plan: use the grenades to destroy the points of weakness of the Dome.
- Lyda tries to outsmart Mother Hestra by telling her that the maps were decoys, but there's no fooling Mother Hestra.
El Capitan (Blurred)
- El Capitan is only 17.2 miles away from having to land the airship and, of course, that's when disaster strikes. The airship starts to malfunction.
- After trying to finagle the airship in different ways, El Capitan decides the only thing he can do is try to land it.
- And boy do they have a rough landing.
- El Capitan smacks his head on the ceiling; his vision goes black as he calls out for Pressia.
Pressia (Blow To The Head)
- Don't worry, the vials are okay. And so are Pressia and Bradwell. But El Capitan? Yeah, he pretty much is out cold.
- But then he wakes up.
- Any guesses on what he does?
- He kisses Pressia and says I love you, Pressia Belze.
- Ohhh, boy. Ahhh, jeez. There's going to be some tension from now on.
- So Bradwell flips out a bit and punches something. He then confesses his love for Pressia, but feels awful for not doing so before.
- He's also seriously angry at El Capitan.
- Pressia is confused and very shaken up, but she tries to focus on the mission. She tells Bradwell she's leaving and he's staying.
- And yeah, that doesn't go over well; Bradwell starts to talk about his parents' deaths. He didn't just know they were shot in their beds. Bradwell found them shot in their beds.
- Pressia feels bad, but still says she's going and he's staying.
- Bradwell gives her Fignan and she leaves the airship; she tells Bradwell she wants to see him again, and he returns the sentiment.
- Definitely not your typical love scene here, folks.
- Partridge and Iralene have rigorously scheduled days: he feels physically tired, but almost from grief.
- One day he finally convinces Iralene to let him go to the academy to show her around.
- He shows her his bedroom, and memories of before the dance flood into his head. He even remembers dreaming about Lyda.
- Then Iralene tells him they have to be alone together.
- They go back to Partridge's room, and she flicks on the old farmhouse on the hologram thingy-mabobber. Hopefully Partridge remembers now.
- But he doesn't; he's confused as anything, and Iralene starts crying. Then she starts sobbing.
- Oh my god, someone get her a box of tissues.
- This is pretty depressing, because Iralene is risking her life.
- She then blurts out everything; that they erased his memory, that his father will kill him, and that he was never in love with her.
- She tells him that he needs to find whatever he hid in the room, and that they don't have much time.
- Pressia is running now because she doesn't have much time, but she keeps tripping on roots. Clumsy girl.
- But wait, the roots are alive. In fact, this time she falls the roots trap her, and vines prick her skin.
- She feels like this is where she's going to die, but Fignan somehow takes out a knife and starts chopping the vines. Huh, that's convenient.
- She gets back up and starts running again; she only has about five hours left.
- On the way she notices that all of the insects on the leaves look the same. That means that some of the Irish probably survived, and they have the intelligence to breed things.
El Capitan (Brothers)
- El Capitan wakes up from his little nap, and he realizes he kissed Pressia in front of Bradwell. Whoops.
- No one is in the ship anymore, and he starts to think about how he's a failure and how no one loves him—but we still love you Cap.
- Helmud calls El Capitan "Cap," without it being an echo. Wow.
- Then Bradwell enters the ship.
- They bicker at first, but Bradwell tells El Capitan that he's staying behind because he feels like they're brothers.
- So they've already kissed and made up at this point (thank you Bradwell), so Bradwell tells El Capitan to eat. Meanwhile, Bradwell will check the outside of the ship.
- El Capitan's still concussed so he can barely stand, and he suddenly hears Bradwell shout.
- Bradwell's gone, and El Capitan is out of commission right now. Uh oh.
Lyda (Chirrups and Grunts)
- The mothers are ready to attack the Dome, and Lyda is having none of it. She feels guilty.
- They bring catapults out to the Drylands, and kaplow; they start pelting the Dome with the spider grenades.
- It doesn't seem to be working, but then Special Forces soldiers start flushing out of the escape door.
- But the mothers are planning on wreaking havoc from inside the dome.
- Lyda feels so guilty at this point — bodies being blown up and shot everywhere — that she decides to run. She runs as fast as she can down the hill to the Special Forces soldiers.
- She gets shot, but luckily only in the leg. The chapter ends with her being carried towards the Dome.
- Partridge thinks that Iralene is having a nervous breakdown, but still, for some reason he believes her.
- He starts to frantically search the room; where would he hide something? Let's check the bathroom!
- Sure enough, Partridge finds the piece of paper he was looking for, and he reads the seven truths.
- Mind blown.
- He's flustered. Like, really flustered. And to make things worse, Iralene gives him an envelope that Glassings gave her. An envelope with a capsule of poison in it.
- Partridge takes the capsule but tells her won't kill his father.
- Iralene tries her very best to sway him, which is heart-wrenching because we know how happy she was to be with him. Iralene a tragic character.
- She tries showing him the chambers people like her are being frozen in. While searching the chambers, he finds Jarv—one of the Hollenback's kids.
- Then Iralene shows him another chamber: Odwald Belze, Pressia's grandfather.
- Partridge doesn't know him, but then he has a memory: a small eye that clicks open. It's Pressia's doll hand.
- Finally Iralene puts her hand on a metal door guarded by an alarm system—she wonders who's on the other side. And we're wondering too.
- Pressia reaches Newgrange; it's still in tact.
- So she's there in time, but she has no idea what to do. She knows Fignan is a key, but what kind of key?
- Right on cue, Fignan starts to beep and move toward the center of the Dome; he starts digging in the dirt and uncovers spirals in the ground.
- Then a voice is heard. Ugh, not now.
- Pressia gets nervous and grabs Fignan, and then runs back for cover. She sees a man.
- And in situations like these, you really have no time to think—she grabs Fignan and bashes the man's head.
- Okay, so the man's unconscious, so now it's Fignan's time to shine — literally.
- Fignan shines a light on the spirals, and then starts to unlock them. A metal box emerges, and Pressia opens it up.
- Inside the box is an envelope labeled Cygnus, and a blue slip of paper. The paper has the formula written down on it.
- Pressia begins to run but then sees the man stand up. She should probably apologize.
- But Fignan scooters over to him and grabs his hair to test the DNA: it's Bartrand Kelly, one of The Seven.
- Selfishly, Pressia asks him where her father is; he stares in awe that she's actually there. He says the name Emi Brigid Imanaka, but then she runs away.
- She hears more voices and is grabbed by a group of people. Bartrand yells at them to let her go, and she sprints to the exit.
- Then she finds a horse.
Partridge (Lyda Mertz)
- Partridge's head is spinning; he sees images of El Capitan, of Lyda with a shaved head and spear, and of beasts. But he can't make any sense of it.
- Iralene hands him a message from his father, and he's to be taken in for testing soon.
- Or, most likely, for death.
El Capitan (Vines)
- Bradwell's still gone, and El Capitan can't find him. He's still searching though.
- El Capitan then comes across boot tracks in the woods and he sees Bradwell; he's bound by vines puncturing his skin. He looks dead.
- But he's not, just really, really close to being dead.
- El Capitan heroically grabs Helmud's whittling knife and starts to cut Bradwell free.
- But the vines just regrow every time they're cut. Then El Capitan starts to get bound himself.
- He thinks how they'll both die there like brothers.
- He then hears galloping and sees a creature charging towards them. For him, it's a personification of death, but for us, we know it's Pressia.
- El Capitan and Helmud brace for death, then Helmud starts singing beautifully like he used to before the Detonations.
- Apparently, Helmud had a magnificent voice before he was fused.
- Helmud, you never cease to amaze us.
- Lyda wakes up being sprayed by water, and she sees a white jumpsuit: yep, she's back in the Dome.
- She's still pregnant though, so that's good.
Pressia (Promise Me)
- As Pressia's horse is galloping along the path, she comes up to Bradwell and El Capitan; they look like a three-headed groupie.
- She takes El Capitan's knife and searches for a root. She finds it, and the vines start to come loose.
- El Capitan is able to stagger away, but Bradwell is in bad shape. There's too much blood.
- Pressia is beside herself; she can't let Bradwell die.
- But he's dying, and he doesn't want any help from her. He seems at peace.
- But Pressia, who still has selfish tendencies, does what we all wish she wouldn't do. She takes some of the serum from the vials and injects him with it.
- Yeah, and she injected the birds in his back too. Hmm: we wonder how that's going to turn out.
- The chapter ends with Bradwell writhing in pain — alive — but with six wings ferociously fluttering on his back.
- From what we can infer here, it looks like Pressia gave him humongous wings.
- He basically looks like a dragon.
- Reminder: this chapter is titled "Partridge (Kiss)." Last time we saw this exact title (in Pure), Sedge's head exploded and his mother was killed by the collateral damage.
- So what we're saying is, watch out.
- Partridge doesn't exactly trust Iralene, but he still takes the pill with him.
- She tells him that Ellery wants to use Partridge's body—that's right, Partridge's next procedure is meant to be a body transplant.
- As they're walking through the hospital ward, Partridge asks to see Dr. Weed. They refuse him.
- He also sees people scattering about; apparently, they are trying to decontaminate a girl who left the Dome. Lyda.
- This triggers his memory a bit, so he demands to see her. They refuse again.
- Then Partridge gets angry. And you wouldn't like him when he's angry. He begins to use his strength to overpower the doctors — flipping them over his back and whatnot.
- He enters Lyda's room and asks the doctor what happened. He tells Partridge that she's pregnant.
- More memories flood into his mind, especially the one about the snowflake he promised to make her for Christmas.
- So he takes his seven truths paper, bites the edges and folds it until it looks like a snowflake. He exits the room and gives it to Iralene, telling her to give it to Lyda.
- Iralene consents, and Partridge realizes how smart she might actually be… because she's been distracting the guards the whole time.
- Finally, Partridge enters his father's room. His father asks for forgiveness and for Partridge to love him.
- Yeah right. It's poison time.
- Partridge leans over and gives his dad a big old smooch, shooting the capsule to the back of his father's throat.
- An envelope is thrust into Lyda's chamber and she opens it up; a paper snowflake.
- She trembles and it falls to the ground.
- The last chapter: we end with Pressia kneeling beside Bradwell, whispering "itchy knee," and him responding "she go."
- But let's be serious people, the guy is like a dragon now. He's going come up big in the next book.
- The end. Get ready for the last book, Burn.