Marla and the Narrator are in her room at the Regent Hotel. He is fighting to stay awake. He takes some pills to help him. He remarks on how his situation has changed so dramatically. Before, he wanted to sleep more than anything. Now, he can’t afford to sleep. With a few hours still left in the night, he and Marla decide to go bowling. As he had entered the hotel lobby on his way in, the desk clerk said, “Good evening, sir.” The Narrator is aware that Project Mayhem has eyes everywhere he goes.
That morning, the Narrator arrives at work to find police and firetrucks outside the building. One of the office windows is completely blown out and smoke billows out from it. The Narrator knows his boss is dead. He knows this because Tyler knows this. Tyler killed his boss. He realizes that the police will be looking for him. He was the last one in the building before the mechanic picked him up from work. He had smelled gasoline on his hands. He knows that his boss’s computer monitor was drilled into with a jeweler’s drill and the cathode ray tube inside it was filled with gasoline. When his boss sat down to turn on his monitor, it had exploded right in front of him.
The Narrator boards a city bus and leaves the scene promptly. As the bus gets farther from his office, the Narrator notices that everyone on the bus has a shaved head. They are all Project Mayhem or fight club members. The bus stops at the end of its line, where it would normally turn around and circle back on its route. The driver tells the Narrator, “Mr. Durden, sir, I really admire what you’re doing. You’re a brave man for making yourself a homework assignment.”
The men stand up from their seats and begin to approach the Narrator. The mechanic is there among them. He has a knife. “You said it yourself. You said, if anyone ever tries to shut down the club, even you, then we have to get him by the nuts,” he says.
The Narrator can hear police sirens getting closer. Perhaps he is saved. He can explain everything to the police and tell them about Tyler. A squad car pulls up and two officers get out. They ask if they have cut him already. They are space monkeys too. A warrant is out for the Narrator’s arrest, so it must be done quickly. The officers board the bus, remove their hats, and tell the Narrator that it’s an honor to meet him and that they’re really sorry they have to do this. The Narrator tries to reason with the men, telling them that castration is no longer required. They tell him that he said that he would say that. He dashes to a bus window and begins trying to climb out. The space monkeys grabs his legs and he dangles upside down out of the window. An ether soaked rag is put over his face and he passes out.
The Narrator wakes up on the burned-out concrete floor of what used to be his condominium. He gingerly checks to make sure he is still whole. He is. He thinks about what his life has become. He has no job, his boss is dead, the police are looking for him, and Tyler has been taking over his life. The Narrator peers over the edge of the building. He’s fifteen stories up. He thinks about jumping, considering what is left in his life. He realizes that Marla is still out there and possibly in danger. She needs to be warned.
He makes his way to the lobby of his old building where he sees the doorman who never liked him before. He is missing three teeth. He asks the Narrator how he’s doing and does he need anything. The Narrator calls Marla at the Regent Hotel. She is not in the mood to speak to him but he convinces her to meet him. Knowing their conversation is probably being monitored, the Narrator tells Marla to meet him where they first met. She understands. The doorman asks if he needs a cab to get where he’s going. The Narrator responds that it is a nice night and that he will walk.
He arrives at First Methodist, the church where and Marla first met at the support group meeting. Marla is waiting for him there while a support group meeting is in progress. She slaps the Narrator across the face and tells him that he killed someone. She has called the police and they are on their way. The Narrator says the police probably aren’t coming for him. He says he knows about his boss. Marla says she saw him shoot a man tonight. She followed him to the Pressman Hotel tonight and watched him shoot the mayor’s special envoy on recycling. The Narrator/Tyler was a waiter at a murder mystery night event at the hotel. “And you don’t have cancer!” she yells. Everyone at the meeting stops what they’re doing and looks at them. The Narrator yells back that Marla doesn’t either. He says he is trying to save her life. She asks why she needs saving at all. He explains that she has seen Tyler do too much. He has reason to eliminate her. She asks why he cares what happens, why she should believe him. He responds that he thinks he likes her. He leaves, saying, “I have to take care of Tyler Durden.”
The Narrator begins to remember the details of the murder he committed at the Pressman Hotel. The special envoy’s name was Patrick Madden. Madden was compiling a list of fight club locations for the mayor. The Narrator suddenly remembers all of the things that Tyler knows. He becomes aware of why he created Tyler. Tyler loved Marla. After meeting Marla, the Narrator or some part of him needed a way to be with her. Tyler was that way. If Tyler loves Marla, it means that the Narrator loves Marla.
Wracked with guilt about Madden’s death, the Narrator goes to the Armory Bar and registers to fight every guy at that night’s fight club meeting. As he struggles through each fight, taking on more and more injuries he remembers Patrick Madden’s murder. Mrs. Madden thought her husband was just playing dead. As she knelt down by her husband and saw that he wasn’t moving she became frightened. Then she saw the blood pooling around him and up onto her dress. She began screaming.
The Narrator keeps fighting. His injuries become more severe. He loses half his tongue when his teeth come down on it, biting it in half. His collarbone is broken. He falls to the floor, wishing to be dead. If he were dead he could then leave Project Mayhem.
This segment highlights two murders that have occurred by the Narrator’s hands, though they were committed under the guise of Tyler. Upon going to work the Narrator realizes that Tyler has killed his boss. The Narrator wanted to quit his job. By killing his boss, Tyler gave him little choice. He can no longer work there. He’s a wanted man. It also continues the extremism of Tyler’s ideology. Losing Bob made him feel guilty enough, but now people in his life are dying by his own hand, even if he has no wish for them to die.
The Narrator laments the loss of his boss, even stating that he "kind of liked" him. By killing him, Tyler has not only made it impossible for the Narrator to continue working, he has also removed a competing authority figure from the Narrator's (and his own) life. Tyler seeks to be the only authority figure, and to do this he must take over the Narrator's body and mind completely. The obstacle of any other authority figure undermines his goals.
When he is cornered by the space monkeys on the bus, the Narrator assumes the worst. These men will castrate him. However, when he wakes up in the remains of condominium, he is unharmed. Tyler has made his message clear: if you try to shut him down, there are repercussions. However, Tyler's threat has a catch: the Narrator's body is his body too. Castration would affect both of them. Instead Tyler uses their relationship to his advantage to set up the world as he sees it. The Narrator has become something of a fly in the ointment, a voice of doubt that needs to be silenced. In order for the total acceptance of Tyler's ideology to be complete, the Narrator's persona must be removed.
He meets Marla back at the support group where they first met. He is returning to the beginning where it all began so he can set it right. He tells her that she is not safe and confesses, somewhat half-heartedly, how he feels for her. He has a potential reason to continue with his life, and that reason is Marla. But he cannot be with her until Tyler is dealt with. Marla becomes the savior figure that Tyler once was. Where she was first seen as dark and nihilistic, she is now a path to a life the Narrator can see worth living. Tyler has become the dark and dangerous figure.
The Narrator then remembers Patrick Madden and how he died, making him responsible for yet another death, this time directly. Racked with the guilt of all that he is responsible for, he goes to the Armory Bar and registers to fight everyone there. Once again, the Narrator invites the possibility of his own death, to help him escape. He endures severe injuries, finally collapsing on the floor. He wants to go to sleep again, but he doesn’t want to ever wake up. Yet, he must, because if he sleeps continuously Tyler takes over completely.
At this point in the novel, the narrative becomes reminiscent of the split-personality classic The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson. The narrative stays with the original personality, the "good" one, while he tries to correct and prevent the evils of the alternate personality. Tyler's physical threats to the Narrator particularly echo moments in the original novel and modern adaptations, such as the BBC miniseries Jekyll, in which Mr. Hyde sets rules for Dr. Jekyll and threatens to harm their shared body if Dr. Jekyll tries to tie himself up at night or otherwise restrict Mr. Hyde's behavior.