Study Guide

Ship Breaker Chapter 17

By Paolo Bacigalupi

Chapter 17

  • Nailer thinks that the ruined metropolis has lots of scavenge, but Nita tells him not to bother, explaining that they'd have to fight the locals for rights to scavenge. Then she calls the locals savages. Whoops… Nailer takes offense.
  • They pass platforms and boats and scrap yards, and then jump off before they get to the rail yards.
  • Nita says they need to head to the docks to see if there's a clipper with a captain she can trust; they make their way through the streets, trying to avoid turning into easy marks.
  • To get to the docks, they have two choices: ford the river or pay for a water taxi. After they buy water to drink, they ford the river. (Oregon Trail anyone? Anyone?)
  • Nita doesn't like how dirty the water is, but Nailer tells her to suck it up.
  • As they cross, Nita asks Tool why he doesn't have a patron, someone to whom he is loyal, and Tool says he just doesn't, but Nita thinks that's not true. Nailer recalls that half-men like Tool are used for violence and that they usually have patrons.
  • Nita wonders who Tool's master is, but he evades the question. A discussion about half-men ensues, revealing that Tool thinks they're far more human than Nita.
  • Once they cross to the docks, they enter the swarm of dock activity.
  • Nita thinks that one of the clippers might be hers, but after a quick look, she sees that it's not. The trio decides to come back the next day. They bed down and decide to find work at the docks so they can make money to buy food.

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