Lauren's group walks for another week and passes through Sacramento.
Along the way, our heroes see a dog with a child's hand and forearm in its mouth. They even see a group of children huddled around a campfire having a cannibal feast—eating a severed human leg.
But for the most part, Lauren's group doesn't encounter any trouble.
On the other side of Sacramento, Bankole reveals that he owns three hundred acres of land in the hills on the coast near Cape Mendocino. He wants Lauren to leave the group and come with him to that land, where he says his sister and her family are living. She tells him his sister will think he's crazy because of Lauren's age, but Bankole claims he won't mind that. He says the land is secluded and has dependable wells for water.
Bankole further describes the situation on his land. There, he says, his sister and her husband do odd jobs for cash, and they raise three kids.
Lauren answers Bankole's proposal by saying she's serious about Earthseed. She says he can help her start the first Earthseed Community—something purposeful and constructive in a world that's falling apart.
Bankole seems amused by Lauren's plans to save the world, so she warns him not to laugh.
Bankole agrees and asks how Lauren plans to make people live according to her teachings.
Lauren says she doesn't know, but she needs a home base, and she wants Bankole to take her seriously. He does.
Lauren also fills Bankole in on her hyperempathy syndrome. She wants to know he can accept this fact about her before they decide to stick together.
Bankole's intrigued and says that he's read about the syndrome. Lauren warns him she might not be able to protect him if he's hurt, because she'd be hurting too. Bankole thinks in that scenario, she still might be able to find a way, and he promises to teach her how to use the pain medications he carries.
Lauren asks if Bankole still wants to marry her. He laughs and tells her he wouldn't let her get away. Aww.