The children meet a mysterious man, who seems to be the only one in the shelter.
The mysterious man that they meet picks up a biscuit, welcoming them to "Shelter B06-32". They all immediately think that he is Minerva. The children are shocked to find another human being after a while, but quickly pick up on his bad manners. Don wonders why he is holding a broken teacup when a broken teacup would be empty and useless. Gilda thinks that his way of dressing is lazy but thinks better of it and calls it "individualistic." Nat and Thoma think he is a "weird guy". Alicia and Chris think he is quite disappointing given their expectations, whereas Mark is a lot more interested in the cookies he has. Gilda thinks that he is not what they expected of Minerva at all, she and Anna wonder if it really is him. Ray stays silent.
Emma finally asks if he is Minerva, and the man says "no". He smiles and says it is too bad that he is not William Minerva. Ray asks him to call Minerva, and he responds saying that he is not here. The man says it is a shame as there are no Minvervas in the shelter either. Alicia and Chris break into another panic like in last chapter, and Ray tells them to calm down.
Ray speaks to the man again, he says that he does know who Minerva is and asks if he knows where he is. The man replies "No idea, man!" and Ray asks who he is and what he is doing her. He does not give his name and says that he is their senior, pulling out an identical pen to Emma's. They wonder if he is from the same house, but he says he is not.
He pulls up his shirt to show a code on his abdomen reading "ETR3M8", and explains that he came from a plantation called "Glory Bell" and escaped it thirteen years ago with his friends, thanks to the pen from Minerva. Some of the children take a liking to him as he is in the same position as them. He says that he is the same as them and came here while searching for Minerva, but when he reached the shelter, Minerva was nowhere to found, and when he waited a long time, he decided to live here, while no trace of Minerva came, he thinks that he is a "dirty liar", which causes the Mark, Chris and Alicia to break into hysterics again.
He says that despite that, he is grateful for the shelter, as there are all the basic necessities such as water, food, electricity and a suitable living space, along with a lot of information about their world, and gives a bit of praise to Minerva for that.
Emma asks where the rest of his group is, and he says that all of them are dead and that he is the only survivor. The children do not know what to say, and the man tries to lift them up by saying it happened a long time ago, it does not work that well though. He says that now that he has given up looking for Minerva, he is just taking his time and living an easy life. He changes the topic and asks what sort of group they are. Before they can answer, however, he infers that they are from Grace Field House, there are fifteen of them and they escaped a week ago and says he could tell at a glance that it was obvious.
He then says that what he wants to know is how "a bunch of total suckers like you chumps" managed to survive for this long without any child dying. He says that as he said before, it is a shelter with everything necessary, but the stocks are limited. He says that he does not want to share any of the resources with anyone, and declares that the shelter is his home as he is older and arrived first. The man states that they will all die sooner or later because they are all weak.
He says he can tell just by looking because he believes it is obvious that they have never come close to the brink of death, and are just naïve, he thinks that no matter what they do it will be impossible to stay alive in this world. Ray asks if that is why his friends did not survive, and he responds with "Exactly.", because they were all wimps, until he was the only one left.
He says that the only trick to stay alive is to "drop the dead weight". The man believes that comrades mean dead weight, hope is dead weight, and caring is dead weight. All of it weighs them down. Emma slams the table shouting that he is wrong, and quickly pulls out a gun and captures her, holding the gun to her head. He says that the worst type of dead weight is a group of "clown" passing as "chums".
He commands them to hand over the pen, and tells them that he will keep it so they can never return to the shelter, he says that they will all have to leave because he does not want anyone weighing him down. And if they don not give him the pen, they will all die, immediately.
In this chapter we have the following Research Elements: