Summary:Cytonic

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Summary pages have spoilers through the end of the book they summarize. However, they also have links to the rest of the Coppermind, which has full spoilers. To safely browse non-summary pages, consider using the Time Machine.

This page contains a chapter by chapter summary of Cytonic. We hope this summary will make it easier to find specific areas of the book, as well as providing a quick plot refresher for anyone who doesn't want to take the time to reread the entire book.

Prologue[edit]

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Plot Summary

Spensa and M-Bot stand in front of the nowhere portal on Starsight, contemplating it as Superiority soldiers come closer. Spensa grabs M-Bot and Doomslug, and enter the nowhere. Spensa senses the delver she changed and turned away from Starsight, and she can feel its fear. She communicates with it, and it tells her that she can learn more about her powers in the nowhere. The delver puts a location in Spensa’s mind, a location important to cytonics. It tells her to walk the Path of Elders. Spensa sends Doomslug a message to go home, then activates her powers and hyperjumps to the location.

Part 1[edit]

Chapter 1[edit]

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Spensa emerges out of the nowhere portal, M-Bot with her but Doomslug missing. She finds herself in a jungle, an unfamiliar sight for her. She tries to sense Doomslug but can’t feel her. She tries to reach for Detritus, but can’t sense it or any other familiar location. M-Bot expressed his anger at Spensa for abandoning him on Starsight, and flew off angrily into the jungle, crying. Feeling alone, Spensa goes over her supplies, which include an energy rifle, her jumpsuit, and her translator pin. She also finds a small pile of silver glowing sand, and her father’s pilot pin. She finds it strange, since she didn’t have it on her when she entered the nowhere. Another cytonic speaks into her mind, and Spensa asks for help. It warns her to be quiet, and to describe her position. Before she can describe it well, something attacks Spensa.

Chapter 2[edit]

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Three aliens attack Spensa, two Heklo and one dione. Two more join the fray, and they defeat Spensa and take her gun. They assume Spensa is a Superiority soldier. They take her father’s pin, saying that its valuable. The pirates decide to ransom her back to the Superiority. As the pirates start to head back to the ship, the face of one, a burl, begins to melt.

Chapter 3[edit]

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The pirates tie Spensa to a tree root, and rush over to help the burl, whose eyes are glowing white like a delver’s. M-Bot appears, and talks to Spensa. He apologizes for over-reacting. Spensa apologizes as well, and forgives M-Bot. M-Bot only then realizes that Spensa is tied up, and tries to figure out how to free her. The pirates abandon their melting comrade, and they retreat to their ships. Vlep levels the rifle at Spensa, but at that moment a dinosaur rides into camp, a mustachioed man on its back.

Chapter 4[edit]

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The man riding the dinosaur wears a flight jacket, and is in his fifties. He dismounts, and M-Bot helps free Spensa using his light-line. The man introduces himself as Chet Starfinder, the cytonic who talked to her earlier. They want to steal a starfighter, but they are taking off. They go for Vlep instead, who has her father’s pin. A ship aims its destructors at them, but the grig attacks it, distracting it. Spensa and Chet attack Vlep, Spensa snatching her father’s pin. The white-eyed burl’s eyes have been grown over completely with skin, but still glow with two white dots. It screams at them, and Spensa and Chet run off into the jungle with M-Bot.

Chapter 5[edit]

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They crash through the jungle, and M-Bot follows, expressing fear. The pirates notice that the grig feeds on energy, and the beast grows sluggish. Spensa introduces herself and M-Bot, and Chet is disturbed by the fact that Spensa brought an AI into the nowhere. Chet calls M-Bot an abomination, and M-Bot practices insults by calling Chet a noodle-brain. He then asks Spensa to rate his insult from one to ten. Chet offers to be Spensa’s guide in the nowhere for the price of one reality ash per day, the silver dust that is produced by reality icons. Chet tells her about the Path of Elders, a series of the first nowhere portals, left by ancient cytonics, and Spensa tells him that she must follow it. The grig, though it should’ve fallen asleep, crashes through the frost towards them. It chases them, its eyes glowing white. Spensa and Chet break out of the jungle, and before them is the edge of the floating island, only empty air out in front of them.

Chapter 6[edit]

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Spensa follows Chet along the edge of the fragment as the grig continues to chase them. M-Bot talks about his emotions to Spensa, who doesn’t reply. Chet leads them towards a close fragment near by, and Spensa has M-Bot go connect his light-line to it. He returns, but the light-line isn’t long enough to reach across. With no other choice and the grig right behind them, Spensa and Chet jump towards the other fragment. Spensa grabs on to M-Bot, Chet missing and hanging onto her waist. M-Bot’s acclivity rings weren’t strong enough to keep them in the air, and they plummeted briefly, then were stopped, held in place by M-Bot’s light-line. M-Bot retracts the light-line, bringing them up and onto the next fragment. Spensa inspects Chet warily, finding it strange and convenient that he happened to find her.

Chapter 7[edit]

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Spensa asks Chet about the nowhere, saying it looks different from when she hyprjumps, and Chet tells her that she normally passed through the lightburst at the center of the nowhere, whereas they are in the belt. He tells her that things from their world, like jungles and oceans leak into the nowhere and form fragments, the floating islands in the belt. He tells her that the Path of Elders contains memories from ancient cytonics, and that he’s never walked the path. He tells her that eventually she’ll have to travel all the way to the lightburst, which is roughly fifty thousand klicks away. He also tells her that she could hypothetically hyperjump home from the lightburst. She asks him about his past, and he says he doesn’t remember his life before the nowhere, just some caverns and old ruins. He says he’s been in the nowhere for around a hundred and seventy years, and that he can make himself not age using his cytonics. Chet jogs off to secure a cave for sleeping, and Spensa has M-Bot do some math to figure out that he crashed on Detritus right around when Chet entered the nowhere. Spensa realizes that Chet is M-Bot’s pilot, and they take off towards the cave.

Chapter 8[edit]

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Spensa enters the cave, and asks Chet if he knows the name Spears. He frowns, and pulls out a uniform patch with the name SPEARS on it. He vaguely remembers crashing on a planet, and Spensa tells him that he was once M-Bot’s old pilot. Spensa is shocked, and Chet finds it slightly ridiculous. Spensa is slightly suspicious at the near-impossible coincidence. Spensa tells M-Bot that they have yet to come across an “evil wizard” yet, and that heroes always do in stories. Spensa tells M-Bot to wake her if Chet wakes up.

Interlude I-1[edit]

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Spensa’s mind drifts, and her mind finds Jorgen, fighting in a Poco in a battle. His face is covered in a dozen tiny cuts. He looks up and apparently sees Spensa in the reflection of his canopy glass. He talks to Spensa, able to feel the meaning of her words. Spensa tells him that she’s in the nowhere. She asks what is happening there, and Jorgen says it’s been a few days since the delver came to Detritus. Jorgen tells her that they got a communication from Cuna, and that they found a huge colony of taynix, which they’re trying to use as hyperdrives. Spensa realizes that Jorgen is a cytonic, and Jorgen says he’s been training with Gran-Gran. Spensa says she has to stay in the nowhere for a bit to learn, and says she thinks Winzik will try and use the delvers as weapons again.

Spensa leaves Jorgen, and hears Brade communicating with the delvers, speaking for Winzik. He offers to silence the annoying buzzing if the delvers destroy enemy cytonics for him. The delvers agree to consider the trade. Spensa drifts off into true sleep.

Part 2[edit]

Chapter 9[edit]

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M-Bot wakes Spensa up, telling her that Chet woke up and left the cave. Spensa walks over to him, and they discuss their cytonic abilities. Chet says he also has the ability to visualize the entire belt in his head. As they cross several fragments, Spensa noticed the great variety to the different fragments, and the journey is physically challenging. Chet tells her that there’s a pirate base near their destination where they could steal a starfighter. On one fragment, Chet stopped Spensa just before she stepped into a sinkhole. They approach a desert fragment, and several starships fly overhead.

Chapter 10[edit]

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Spensa and Chet hide under a tree as the ships pass, and Chet tells her that the different pirate factions, like Cannonade and Broadsider often fight each other aggressively. Spensa tries to make a club out of a branch and stone as they waited underneath the tree, but fails to tie the stone properly. Chet shows her how to do it with a spare shoelace, and shows her how to make different types of knots. She names the club Skullbreaker. Spensa hopes to see sand worms on the desert fragments, but M-Bot tells her that there aren’t any. Spensa is pleased however, to find that there are a type of poisonous arthropod that can kill people. They approach the target fragment, and Chet tells Spensa what he knows about the delvers. He also asks about living on Detritus, and tells her that the fragments float on acclivity stone. M-Bot tells them that they won’t be able to jump across to the fragment for ten hours, and Spensa is surprised at Chet’s poor sense of time. Chet and Spensa talk about stories, including Paradise Lost. Spensa argues with Chet, thinking that Satan is the protagonist of the story, not Adam and Eve.

Chapter 11[edit]

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M-Bot wakes Spensa and Chet hours later, and they cross to the next fragment. There are mysterious markings, and Spensa insists that they mean something, but aren’t a language. M-Bot grows frustrated, and whacks Spensa on the head with his grabber arm. They find the portal, which is locked, preventing them from getting back to the real world that way. Spensa opens her mind and senses the portals, and accesses the memories within. She sees a fragment being formed over hundreds of years, time being sped up rapidly. Spensa notices that there aren’t any delvers during this time. A dione steps through the illusory portal, then ages and dies, with no way off the fragment. Spensa discovers that cytonics are made when the nowhere leaks into the somewhere. At Spensa’s questioning, M-Bot tells them that the first delvers were documented during the First Human War. Their discussion is interrupted by a impact shaking their fragment.

Chapter 12[edit]

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A small, dense, rock fragment crashes into their fragment, which is mostly made of soil. The fragment Spensa and Chet are on begins to collapse, and M-Bot helps them jump over an opening rift in the ground. They manage to escape to a nearby fragment as the small compact fragment completely destroys the larger soil one that they had been on. Chet tells Spensa that he’s never seen two fragments collide so violently. They decide that they need to steal a starfighter from the Broadsider base before they can continue on the Path of Elders.

Chapter 13[edit]

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Chet works on plotting a course to the Broadsider base, and Spensa and M-Bot watch three star fighters survey the destroyed fragment. Spensa sees that the pirate pilots are passable pilots, but not very skilled. She also realizes that she misplaced Skullbreaker during the chaos, which saddens her. Spensa contemplates their journey so far, and finds the adventure exhilarating. M-Bot tells Spensa that he’s sad because Chet is his pilot, and he calls him an abomination. Spensa comforts him by saying that Chet will adjust, and that Spensa is M-Bot’s pilot anyway. M-Bot also tells Spensa that he’s still mad about her abandoning him on Starsight, and Spensa apologizes again. Spensa feels the delvers communicating to her, and sees that they are very angry at her for corrupting one of their members, the one who had attacked Starsight. She realizes that they sent the rock fragment to destroy her. Chet finishes planning the route, and asks her how she feels about sailing.

Chapter 14[edit]

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Chet and Spensa find a wooden building, and take the doors of their hinges. They make a rough raft out of the doors and large nuts, and set sail across a large ocean fragment. A garqua, a sea creature, comes up to their raft, and Spensa names it Gnash the Slaughterer. Using fruit to motivate it, Chet uses Gnash to let them traverse the ocean fragment faster, having the creature tow them along. They reach land, and Chet tells Spensa that the Broadsider base will pass by the next day. Chet tells her that when he had a ship, he tried to fly towards the lightburst, but lost all of his memories in the attempt, slowly losing himself the closer he got. Spensa thinks about the frightful passing of time in the nowhere, and drifts off to sleep.

Interlude I-2[edit]

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Spensa appears to Jorgen in her sleep again, and this time finds him shaving, wearing only a towel. Jorgen compliments her appearance, saying that she looks like a barbarian except for the jumpsuit. Spensa makes as if to take off her jumpsuit, enjoying the shock it causes him. Jorgen tells her that five days have passed since her last communication, and they catch each other up on what has happened since. Jorgen is surprised to learn there are pirates in the nowhere, and tells Spensa to take care of herself.

As Spensa leaves Jorgen, Brade’s mind slams into hers. Brade figures out that Spensa escaped into the nowhere. Spensa tries to convince her to stop working with Winzik, but Brade refuses to listen. Brade throws her mind against Spensa, trying to rip it apart. Spensa fights back however, and forces Brade’s mind to retreat.

Part 3[edit]

Chapter 15[edit]

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Spensa and Chet go onto the pirate base fragment, and observe the base from a distance. Spensa notices both a human pirate and a dione one, and some of the pirates seem to be doing repairs. Chet advises that Spensa leave her reality icon behind, saying to bury it there so that the pirates don’t get it. Spensa is suspicious, and fakes burying the icon while secretly keeping it. M-Bot tells Spensa that there are three pirates working in the hangar, but no other heat signatures. The other pirates are asleep. They decide that Chet will make a distraction while Spensa can go in and steal a fighter.

Chapter 16[edit]

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As she goes to the hangar, Spensa sends M-Bot to spy on Chet and see if he digs up the reality icon. He doesn’t. Still, Spensa is suspicious. She buries the pin, then decides to go for a different hangar in case Chet plans to betray her. Spensa slips into the hangar, and goes to a sleek interceptor. She doesn’t see anything in the cockpit, and M-Bot tries to connect to the ship. He gets locked out, and lights in the cockpit turn on. Inside Spensa sees a hulking crystalline body inside the cockpit. She realizes that M-Bot had scanned for heat signatures, but not all aliens give off heat. Spensa tries to run, but the ship levels one of its destructors at her. Spensa stops and surrenders.

Chapter 17[edit]

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The pirates tie Spensa to a chair, and Spensa sees that there’s only one human among them. Most of the pirates are diones, though there are several heklo, a varvax, and a tenasi. The pirate captain is slightly impressed at Spensa’s audacity, and tells her that she is their new cleaning slave. Spensa sees that M-Bot is pretending to be an ordinary cleaning drone. Spensa introduces herself, and tells the captain that cleaning drone has some illegal programs, which let her hack into the ship. The captain introduces herself as Peg, and tells her that Chet ran off. Peg tells the others to keep Spensa on a leash and to keep her away from M-Bot.

Chapter 18[edit]

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Spensa is leashed to a wall with a light-line, and she is set to greasing parts. Spensa is glad for the work, glad she has something to make her angry. She talks cytonically to Chet, who has been shot by a destructor. Spensa learns to whisper when talking cytonically so as not to draw delver attention. Spensa confesses that she changed the plan in case he’d betray her, and felt his great pain and feeling of betrayl from him. She apologizes, and Chet tries to act as if he doesn’t care. Spensa observers the Broadsider, and sees that they only have nine starfighters. The human pirate, who introduces himself as Maksim, gives Spensa more things to grease at her request. Maksim talks to Spensa, trying to find out more about her past life, but Spensa doesn’t say much. Chet talks to Spensa again, and expresses his self doubt about who he really is. He says that if he isn’t a gentlemanly hero and explorer, he doesn’t know who he is. Spensa apologizes again, and Chet accepts it.

Chapter 19[edit]

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Spensa learns more about the pirates, mostly through Maksim. She learns more about the pirates who work in the hangar, called Cutlass Flight. She notices that the Broadsider have a long-range scanner, and she tells Chet. Chet says that they’ll have to sabotage the scanner if they’ll want to flee and continue. The next day, Maksim takes off Spensa’s light-line, and Spensa volunteers to take on a harder task. She is set to fixing Shiver’s defective destructor. Spensa talks to Shiver as she works, who is a resonant, and is thus made up of crystals. Spensa compares resonants to figments, which Shivers disagrees with. Shiver’s relaxed nature nature reminds Spensa of Kimmalyn. Spensa gets permission from Nuluba to use M-Bot to help clean the destructor, and Spensa fills him in on what has happened. M-Bot tells Spensa that she’s been with the Broadsider for two weeks, which shocks Spensa, who thinks it had been much shorter. Chet tells Spensa that it is dangerous to stay in one place too long.

Chapter 20[edit]

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Maksim talks to Spensa about his old masters, who kept him as a pet. He reminds Spensa of Nedd, and it takes Spensa an alarmingly long time to remember Nedd’s name. Spensa asks Nuluba about her past, and learns she did customer analysis. When she asked too many questions, she was tossed into the nowhere. Maksim tells Spensa that Peg was a Superiority officer, and head of base security at the mining station. When Peg and thirty others stole ships and joined the pirates, and her two children formed their own factions. They tell her that Peg wants to unify the pirate factions, and that one of her sons is the current pirate champion. If they can defeat the champion, Peg’s children will listen to her.

Spensa goes over to a starfighter while the pirates talk, and M-Bot uploads himself into the ship. Spensa talks with Maksim, telling him that she lived on the human enclave, which he hadn’t thought to be real. He asks her about life there, curious. Peg pulls Spensa aside, telling her that she is a killer. She says that she recognizes Spensa as a fellow killer. She lunges for Spensa and attacks.

Chapter 21[edit]

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Spensa and Peg engage in a fierce hand-to-hand fight, Spensa eventually defeating Peg by going for her knees. The other pirates level weapons at her, but M-Bot brings his new ship up into the air, leveling destructors at the pirates. Spensa gets into M-Bot, now in his new body. M-Bot opens the hangar doors and asks Spensa if he could fly. Spensa gives him permission, and he takes off clumsily, clipping the hangar door on the way out. M-Bot still isn’t flying very well when the pirates began to fly out after them. Spensa takes the controls and flies away, testing the pirates’ ability to keep up. Spensa evades the pirates expertly, outmatching them in skill. M-Bot discovers that the destructors on the pirates’ ships are not lethal, but only lock up ships by overwhelming their electronic systems. Spensa flies back towards the Broadsider base, and shoots new pirate ships as they try to fly out. Spensa gives M-Bot the controls and exits her plane to go to where she buried her father’s pin. It isn’t there.

Chapter 22[edit]

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Spensa is shocked and grieved at the loss of her pin, and tells Chet, believing him when he says he didn’t take it. Spensa picks up Chet, who suggests heading for the Cannonade border. M-Bot informs them that they’d be intercepted before making it to the border. Spensa suggests going straight up. She starts flying upwards, and gets a radio communication from Peg. Peg shouts that she didn’t know Spensa was a pilot, and is very impressed with her flying. Peg warns her however, that flying up too high will make her lose her memories and sense of self. Peg offers that if Spensa returns, she’ll get Peg’s best ship. In exchange, Spensa will defeat the pirate champion for her. Peg says that if she wins and she gets the other factions on her side, they’ll assault the Superiority base of Surehold and take it back. Chet agrees that they should head back down, and Spensa flies down. Spensa joins the other pirates, who don’t shoot her down, and is determined to continue the Path of Elders.

Chapter 23[edit]

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Peg gives Spensa their best ship, and Spensa uploads M-Bot to it. Chet doesn’t want his own ship, preferring to stay in the ship with Spensa. At Peg’s request, Spensa helps teach Cutlass Flight some formation exercises to help improve their group flying. She helped them practice working in pairs and using their IMP. They exchange casual banter as they fly, reminding Spensa of time with her friends. Peg explains more about her past, and tells Spensa that the Superiority uses non-lethal destructors as well. They come up upon their destination, a fragment covered in ruins, and the location of the next step in the Path of Elders.

Chapter 24[edit]

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They land on the fragment, which is very large. When asked about the ruins, Spensa says that Chet is an archeologist. Peg orders the others to look for salvage. At the portal, Spensa and Chet identify human markings and murals in the structure around the portal. They connect to it, unlocking the memories inside.

They watch a group of humans in ancient clothing emerge from the portal and build the structure, time again sped up. Soon a fragment full of UrDail arrive, and greet the humans with familiarity. Spensa watch as they occasionally send people to each other’s planets, until one day the humans stop coming. Eventually, the UrDail stop coming. A woman appears, and responds when Spensa asks who she is. She says that she can feel their questions, and that she leaves her answers in the portal. She says that hundreds of cytonics fought against one delvers. Spensa says that they now face millions of delvers, and the woman tells them that they are then doomed. She tells them to seek out the memories of Jason Write. She sends an impression of the next portal. Chet recognizes the portal as being in Surehold, the seat of Superiority power in the belt.

Chapter 25[edit]

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As they approach the ruins, Peg figures out that they are both cytonics. Spensa tells Peg that she’ll join in on the attack of the Superiority base. Peg tells them more about the other pirate factions, two led by her sons Gremm and Semm. M-Bot, Chet, and Spensa discuss what they learned from the portals. Spensa mentions Jason Write, who M-Bot identifies as the first human to initiate contact with the greater galaxy. He indirectly caused the First Human War. Peg asks about wha they saw, and Spensa relays the information to them. They talk about the delvers’ ability to possess people, and Peg says that large groups repel them, and they prefer people who are isolated and alone. As they fly towards base, they get an alert that a group of enemy pirates are flying towards the Broadsider base.

Chapter 26[edit]

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They arrive back at base in the midst of a full firefight, and M-Bot highlights enemy ships on Spensa’s display. The enemy pirates are from the Jolly Roger Faction, led by Gremm. Spensa goes for the weaker fighters first to prevent her flight from being overwhelmed. Spensa deals with the enemy ships with relative ease, surpassing the enemies in skill greatly. She shoots down three enemy ships in under five minutes. She uses her IMP to giver Cutlass Flight easy targets. Gremm chases after her, and they engage in a fierce duel in the air. Gremm prevails, scoring several hits on Spensa’s ship and locking it up. Spensa laughs, excited by the thrill of the fight. Chet wakes up, having lost consciousness during the dogfight. By the end of the battle, Spensa has four kills and three assists, astounding Peg. With the Jolly Rogers still soundly defeated and Gremm impressed with Spensa’s flying, Gremm agrees to officially duel Spensa the next day.

Interlude I-3[edit]

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While Spensa sleeps, she tries to cytonically reach out to Jorgen as she did before. She senses something blocking her however, and instead finds Winzik sitting on a throne, and Brade speaks to her. Brade says she’s been blocking Spensa from reaching out cytonically during her dreams. Winzik orders Brade to trap Spensa’s mind, but Brade says she doubts she can do it. Brade attacks Spensa with her mind, and Spensa fights back. Jorgen’s mind joins her, and together force Brade away. Spensa talks to Jorgen, again catching each other up on the past weeks’ events. Jorgen leaves, and Winzik speaks to the delvers through Brade. He tells them that cytonics like Spensa are out of countrol and loud. Spensa realizes that Brade had provoked her to make a lot of cytonic noise that would anger the delvers. The delvers say they can deal with the cytonics on their own, but Winzik convinces them otherwise. The delvers agree to Winzik’s deal.

Part 4[edit]

Chapter 27[edit]

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About twelve hours after the pirate attack, Spensa and the entirety of the Broadsider Faction head to the arena, which is in the Jolly Rogers’ territory. Along the way, Spensa reads a trashy romance novel and is slightly confused by its purpose. M-Bot talks to Spensa about his feelings, saying he is getting a happy feeling as they fly over the oceanic fragment that they had sailed across. M-Bot tells Spensa that Peg has received an encrypted direct call from a pirate in the Jolly Rogers. M-Bot cannot hack into the pirate call since he is no longer in a surveillance and espionage ship. M-Bot tells her that she is talking with her son, Gremm. They arrive at the arena, which is a large open-air region, with pieces of fragments floating at varying elevations. Spensa sees patches of glowing white light on some chunks of rock, which make her uncomfortable as she approaches the arena.

Chapter 28[edit]

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Ships from all of the pirate factions are assembled in the arena, around a hundred ships. Gremm announces that he is no longer the champion, and has been defeated by a new member of the Cannonade Faction. He calls himself Darkshadow, and Spensa thinks it’s an awesome callsign. A small ship flies forward, a third of the normal ship size. Spensa wonders if it might be a figment. Peg uploads arena boundaries onto Spensa’s proximity display, and tells her that if either of them strays outside of the boundary, the other pirates are allowed to shoot at them. Spensa boosts into the arena proper as the duel begins.

Chapter 29[edit]

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Peg speaks to the other pirates, saying that they are now strong and skilled. She urges them to join together and assault Surehold. Peg manages to sway both of her sons, and the other factions agree. Vlep and the Cannonade Faction however, declare that they won’t come. Spensa talks to Peg in private, and realizes that she had secretly been arranging things with her sons, who pretended to initially disagree with her. That way, when they agreed, the other factions would be persuaded. Spensa admires Peg’s brilliance, and wishes she had her in the DDF. Peg declares that they will go back to base and celebrate their major victory.

Chapter 30[edit]

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Spensa tells a story to the gathered crowd of Broadsiders back at the base. She tells them the story of the exiled lion prince Simba, who returns and kills his uncle for the murder of his father. Simba kills his uncle and gains his revenge. The Broadsiders love the story, and feast. After the story, Chet talks to Spensa and says he doesn’t feel very useful among the pirates. Maksim compliments Spensa on the story, and says he doesn’t think lions can actually talk. Spensa eats some corn, but finds it disgusting. However, eating the corn reminds her of eating heritage foods back on Detritus with members of her flight. As Spensa starts to tell another story, the base’s scanner alarm starts going crazy.

Chapter 31[edit]

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Nuluba looks at the scanner data, and reports a small fragment on a collision course and coming in fast. Spensa realizes it is the same thing that happened with her and Chet on the Path of Elders. Peg orders people to evacuate. M-Bot calculates that if the Broadsiders use their light-lances, they’ll be able to lift the entire fragment up above the base to avoid the collision. Peg approves the plan and the pilots scramble their fighters. They attach their light-lances, and M-Bot and Spensa direct the others, making sure they lift with the right amount of force. They successfully lift the fragment, which passes above the Broadsider base fragment. Spensa tells Peg they’re in danger, and convinces her to attack Surehold the next day.

Chapter 32[edit]

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In her sleep, Spensa communicates with Jorgen to catch him up. Spensa apologizes to Nuluba for being aggressive towards her, as she had thought Nuluba to be a horrible person like Winzik. Spensa asks Nuluba if she wants to be a pilot, but she replies that she likes things simple. Spensa talks to Shiver, who thanks for making the assault possible. Spensa asks how Dllllizzzz is doing, and Shiver says that she varies a lot, sometimes almost making full sentences but sometimes only sending tones and hints at meanings. Shiver says that there is a reality icon at Surehold, that appeared with Peg when she was thrown in. Shiver says that icons sometimes move around on their own, so that Spensa’s icon probably wasn’t stolen, but just moved. As Spensa leaves, Shiver requests that if Spensa escapes, if she would open a path for Dllllizzzz and her to leave. Spensa promises to try. As Spensa goes through her pre-flight checks, Chet asks to fly with Spensa into battle. Spensa warns him that it will be dangerous, but she agrees to take him with her.

Chapter 33[edit]

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The Broadsiders leave the base and journey towards Surehold, only taking the pilots. Spensa senses a mind connecting to hers, and feels her father’s pin. She senses that it is angry about being buried. It feels familiar and loving, and Spensa wonders if it is somehow related to her father’s soul or something similar. The Broadsiders meet up with the other factions, and Peg gives a short speech. The ships are ready to switch to lethal destructors, but only if the Superiority does first. M-Bot describes his different emotions, and Chet helps him name which emotions they are. They see that the Cannonade Faction has joined with the Superiority pilots. Two fragments collide, sending debris everywhere. Spensa tries to take out as many enemies as she can before engaging Hesho. Hesho sets up an ambush, and he and another try to isolate Spensa from the other pirates. An entire city materializes in the middle of the battle, a delver in the somewhere devouring a planet and sending matter into the nowhere. Spensa continues to duel Hesho, the city providing cover. Hesho knocks out Spensa’s shield. Soon after, he suddenly stops. Though Hesho’s windshield glass is tinted, Spensa can see that his eyes are glowing bright white. He has been possessed by a delver.

Chapter 34[edit]

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As Hesho flies, Spensa notices that the delver is still using Hesho’s skills. Many of the other ships have been locked up, and the other ships have agreed to a temporary truce because of the dangerous battlefield. As Spensa chases Hesho, she opens a direct line to Hesho’s ship. She acts as if their in training, ordering the flight to fall in line and call roll. Instinctively, Hesho stops, the old habits drilled into him being too difficult to ignore. Spensa shoots him down, locking up his ship. Spensa approaches his ship, then exits her ship and jumps onto the wing of Hesho’s ship. The delver possessing Hesho is afraid of Spensa, saying that being around Spensa corrupts and changes them. The delvers tell Spensa that if she doesn’t pass beyond Surehold, they will strike up a truce with Spensa and the other cytonics, ignoring Winzik’s deal. They’ll leave Spensa’s friends alone. The delver stops possessing Hesho, leaving him very confused.

Chapter 35[edit]

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Plot Summary

Spensa gets back into her ship, and M-Bot swears for the first time, which impresses Spensa. Spensa explains what happened to the others. She talks to Hesho, talks about joining the Cannonade Faction. Spensa talks about Hesho’s past, and he can remember bits and pieces of it. He vows to remain with Spensa as her bodyguard. They fly back to the other ships, and Vlep retreats from the battle with his pirates. He tries to take Hesho with him, who refuses. Peg tries to convince Lorn, leader of the Superiority ships, to surrender and help take back Surehold. Lorn says the Superiority is keeping his family captive. Peg suggests holding the Superiority’s acclivity stone as a ransom so that they return Lorn’s captive family. Lorn agrees, and gives Peg all of the base’s security codes.

Chapter 36[edit]

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Plot Summary

They fly down to Surehold, which is home to four seperate acclivity stone quarries. Using Lorn’s security codes, Peg deactivates the Superiority’s antiaircraft guns. Soon Peg takes complete control of the base, and Peg’s sons go to secure threats on the base. Peg orders the pirates not to loot, as Surehold will be their new base. Spensa tries to find her father’s pin, which is somewhere on Surehold. Spensa tells Chet about the delver’s offer of a truce. It would mean not finishing the Path of Elders. Spensa asks Chet what he thinks. Chet is uncertain, but suggests that maybe Spensa could come with him and explore the nowhere. He offers Spensa the option of spending an eternity exploring an entire galaxy, teaching each other. Spensa finds the offer tempting, but is uncertain, thinking of her friends back on Detritus. Peg arrives, and tells Spensa that she could stay with the Broadsiders, and would be welcome. Spensa decides she needs time to think of it, and so she finds a bed and goes to sleep.

Interlude I-4[edit]

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Plot Summary

Spensa tries to speak to Jorgen again, but feels something blocking her, like a prison. She feels lost. She can hear Jorgen, but can’t speak. Jorgen tells her that things are tough for him right now, and wishes he could talk to her. Spensa tries to speak again, but is too tired. She drifts off into true sleep.

Part 5[edit]

Chapter 37[edit]

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Plot Summary

Spensa awakes to find Hesho in the room with her, who had watched over her as she slep to keep her safe. Spensa takes a shower and changes clothes, and contemplates the lightburst. She thinks about staying in the nowhere for just a while, but fears that she’ll forget her friends and stay in the nowhere for decades. She is in inner turmoil over wether to accept the delvers’ offer of a truce. Spensa asks M-Bot what he thinks. M-Bot says that his processing speed is faster in the nowhere, and will likely slow down considerably back in the somewhere. However, he is okay with going back, and considers possibly inhabiting one of Detritus’ platforms. Spensa searches out her father’s pin, which is nearby. She communicates with it, and it comforts her, feeling familiar. Spensa finds the pin and another icon, and the pin tells her that it and the other reality icon hid when the fighting started, since some people would’ve tried to steal them. Spensa thanks the pin for helping, and in response, she hears a happy fluting sound coming from the pin.

Chapter 38[edit]

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Spensa realizes that the pin is actually Doomslug, who transformed into her father’s pin to hide from the delvers. Spensa had told Doomslug to go to home, but to Doomslug, Spensa equals home. Spensa apologizes for burying Doomslug. Doomslug communicates with Spensa cytonically, saying that she can’t hyperjump away. She’s trapped in the belt same as Spensa. Doomslug tells her that the reality ashes are similar to poop, being produced by taynix. They are bits of the somewhere pulled in through Doomslug’s powers.

Peg arrives, and Spensa gives her back her reality icon. They chat in private, and Peg says that she hid a taynix with her things when she entered the nowhere. It transformed into a stuffed toy, Peg’s childhood favorite. She says that most of the pirates don’t know that the icons are taynix. Spensa asks if all taynix can hide themselves as objects, and Doomslug says that only yellow-blue ones can. Doomslug tells her that there are “tons” of other kinds of slugs. Peg takes Spensa to her tree, which is covered in a variety of real fruit. The trees grow fruit based off of how its personal tenasi feels. Peg gives Spensa one of the fruits, and tells her that she can plant it, and that it is a great honor. Peg tells Spensa about the importance of the tenasi trees, and the future they symbolize. Spensa realizes that she doesn’t trust the delvers and that she needs to get back to her friends and family, and determines to deny the delvers’ offer and complete the Path of Elders.

Chapter 39[edit]

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Plot Summary

Spensa finds Chet, and they both go to the portal. In the memory, a human steps through the portal, followed by a floating silvery sphere. The sphere is home to an AI, and it talks to the human. Chet says softly that it sometimes takes years for an AI to start thinking for itself. Spensa gets a good look at the floating sphere, and it reminds her of the delver maze. Chet whispers that when they are forced to build a body again, they unconsciously reach for something familiar. Spensa realizes that Chet is a delver, the one that she changed during his attack on Starsight.

Chet says that the other delvers wanted to destroy him, so he hid himself, joining with Spensa to help guide her. He formed the body and personality of Commander Spears, who had visited the nowhere long ago. Chet did this because he thought Spensa would trust someone familiar that she knew of. Chet apologizes and asks for Spensa not to hate him. Chet says that the reality ashes made him feel like a real person, and that he enjoyed exploring the nowhere with her. Spensa says that she doesn’t hate him. Spensa struggles to comprehend the influx of new information, and comes to the conclusion that delvers are AI. Chet tells her that the last stop in the Path of Elders is the Solitary Shadow, a white fragment very close to the lightburst. It contains his memories, things that the delvers purposefully forgot.

Spensa reaches out to feel the delvers, and senses that they are planning to annihilate Surehold by sending a dozen fragments slamming into the station. Spensa says that they need to leave immediately so that the delvers don’t destroy it. Spensa says goodbye to Cutlass Flight, who say that they’ll miss her. Hesho agrees to accompany Spensa and Chet on their journey to the lightburst. Spensa, Hesho, Chet, and Doomslug all get into Spensa’s fighter that M-Bot inhabits. Doomslug stays hidden as Chaser’s pin, and Spensa takes off towards the lightburst.

Chapter 40[edit]

Plot Summary
Plot Summary

Spensa doesn’t fly towards the lightburst at full speed, giving them time to plan. Spensa explains to the others what she’s learned about delvers, Chet, and Doomslug to M-Bot and Hesho. Chet says that the delvers hate AI because they see AI as a possible threat that could conceivably replace or harm them. The delvers have trouble seeing into the belt, and don’t see Spensa’s ship, but Spensa warns the others that they will see them soon, probably when they reach the final portal. Spensa plans to bolt for the lightburst as soon as they retrieve the memories from Solitary Shadow. They just have to get past whatever obstacles the delvers present, and then hyperjump back to Detritus. Chet warns that the delvers can likely from bodies to try and stop them. He also says that they will likely try to destroy him as well. Hesho suggests getting them to choose from a set of random options, to get them to choose different options from each other, but Chet says it won’t work. M-Bot tries to understand Spensa’s emotions better, and Spensa says that many good things come about from emotions, like courage being created by fear. As they finish their conversation, they reach the final stop of the Path of Elders.

Chapter 41[edit]

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They arrive at Solitary Shadow, which is a simple white plane. The only structure is the final portal. M-Bot joins Chet and Spensa as they tap into the memories. The memories take place around the end of the First Human War. Chet says that he was Jason’s person AI, created to be like his dead wife. The AI became self aware, and when Jason died, the AI felt great pain. The original delver deleted her memories and personality, in order to remove the pain of loss. It re-wrote its code, and then copied itself thousands and thousands of time, forming a huge number of delvers. Chet says that Spensa needs to make the delvers feel isolated and alone. The delvers see Spensa, furious that Spensa rejected their truce. Spensa and the others get back into the ship, and they take off for the lightburst at full speed.

Chapter 42[edit]

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Plot Summary

Spensa becomes nervous as they approach the lightburst. As they draw near, Chet’s face begins to melt, it becoming harder for him to hold his shape. Many of the delvers form bodies, creating about a hundred ships to fight Spensa. As Spensa destroys them, a new one emerges from the lightburst to replace it. Spensa struggles against them all, the ships not obeying the laws of physics and moving in impossible ways. Hesho sends out M-Bot’s old drone, which is programmed with a copy of M-Bot. Hesho pilots the drone, flying it off as a distraction, and it confuses many of the delvers, who follow it. Spensa learns from Doomslug that the slug had been hiding M-Bot from the delvers, but can’t any longer. Eventually, the delvers destroy the M-Bot drone. As she evades the delver ships and flies towards the lightburst, Spensa reaches out with her senses and is able to sense where the ships are about to move, and when they’ll shoot. She does well for a while, but soon the sheer numbers overwhelm her. With so many shots being fired at her, there isn’t any way for Spensa to evade all of their shots. She gets hit multiple time. Chet decides to sacrifice himself, and tells Spensa that its been an honor. He leaves the ship, letting the delvers chase him. They catch him and consume him, locking him away.

Just as Spensa is almost to the lightburst, ten thousand more ships emerge and block her path, forming a wall of metal. As Spensa panics, Doomslug says to land on the ground close to the lightburst. When they land, Doomslug hides the ship, making it look like a big rock. The delvers can’t see them, and are confused. M-Bot distracts Spensa, lying and saying that there’s two taynix outside. Once Spensa, Doomslug, and Hesho are outside, M-Bot locks the ship, ready to sacrifice himself. Spensa promises to come back for him somehow. He flies off, the delvers chasing him and destroying him quickly. The delvers think Spensa was on the ship, and so leave. Spensa, along with Hesho and Doomslug, step into the lightburst.

Chapter 43[edit]

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Plot Summary

Spensa enters the lightburst, and the delvers are surprised to find her alive. The delvers are furious at Spensa, angry that they know their secrets. Spensa feels tired beneath the onslaught of hateful delvers. Amidst all of the hate, she feels one delver thats different, which emanates courage. Spensa latches onto Chet, and they connect, their essences intertwining. Their minds and souls join together, becoming one. The delvers try to destroy Spensa and Chet, but touching her hurts them. They hate change, while Spensa embraces it. A location clicks into Spensa’s mind, and she hyperjumps back to Detritus, holding Hesho and Doomslug.

Epilogue[edit]

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Plot Summary

Spensa emerges in one of the underground caverns of Detritus, and hyperjumps into the meeting room on Platform Prime. She sees Jorgen, who is wearing an admirals uniform. Spensa hyperjumps over to him, and places Doomslug and Hesho on the table. Spensa faints in Jorgen’s arms.

Spensa awakens with a headache, lying on a couch next to the conference room. Jorgen is there and asks how she’s feeling. Jorgen tells her its been six weeks since she entered the nowhere. Spensa realizes that she swooned in front of everyone, and is embarrassed. Jorgen says that her appearance caused a big stir, and that her eyes were glowing white when she arrived. Spensa tells Jorgen that she discovered the secrets of the delvers, and that they’re scared of her now. They kiss, and Jorgen leaves to calm down the Detritus officials. Spensa glances at a monitor and sees that Detritus is orbiting another planet. Spensa still feels like herself, but enhanced, with extra code attached.

Notes[edit]

This meta article is complete, but has yet to be reviewed.