Chapter 19: Ky
Oria Province has begun to descend into chaos in the weeks following the mutation’s initial outbreak. Ky flies low in a supply ship and sees looting and panic. He is both glad that the residents now know what it’s like to be afraid like he does, but also upset that this is happening to them because of the Rising. The pilots are instructed to drop all supplies at the City Hall, which Ky doesn’t like because it means many in the burrows won’t benefit from them and may starve. When Caleb suddenly appears ill, though, they are instructed to return to base without dropping their supplies. Ky checks on Caleb and sees that he’s sick, and wonders how that's possible. He locks the hold so that Caleb can’t infect them.
Caleb speaks from inside the hold and asks Ky to write something down. Ky agrees in exchange for some information. He asks what was in the boxes that Caleb carried during supply drops. Caleb admits they were full of tissue preservation tubes meant for Society residents. The Pilot uses them to gain people’s trust; he himself knows that the tubes are useless—the Rising has no way to bring people back from the dead—but plays on people’s ignorance of this. Ky’s commander orders them to stop talking, but they continue over him. Caleb says that he and the Pilot are both from Camas and that he grew up on the military base where the Pilot was stationed. The Pilot would bring people from the Society to the Otherlands. Ky expresses skepticism at the existence of the Stone Villages or the Otherlands, but Caleb insists they’re real, and that the residents the Pilot took away were the ones who carved the mural in the hold of their ship. As they talk, Ky realizes from Caleb's voice that he is going still, which alarms him. Caleb asks Ky to write down everything he’s said about the Pilot, and that he believed in him until the very end. Then he stops answering. Ky and Indie argue briefly about whether or not they believe in the Pilot like Caleb. Ky has reservations, but Indie is faithful. They momentarily reflect on how their relationship could’ve been different if not for Ky’s love for Cassia.
Chapter 20: Cassia
Cassia and the rest of Central have been confined to their apartments for weeks following the plague’s mutation. She trades her food rations with the Rising guard at her door to gain access outside. She heads to the Archivists’ hub and finds that it’s been entirely cleared out both of people and artifacts. She is joined by the head Archivist, who tells her that the Archivists have chosen to move in light of the mutation’s fast spreading. The head Archivist delivers the last two verses of Cassia’s Emily Dickinson poem to her and says that her grandfather’s microcard has arrived for her in Camas, to which transportation has been arranged at the Gallery. Cassia confirms that it was the head Archivist who took her poems from the box in the lake. When she leaves, Cassia reads the end of the Dickinson poem and is shocked to see that it talks about “Death [usurping] my premium” (p. 230). She decides to take the arranged passage to Camas. On her way to the Gallery, she sees that the pieces of white wall used to construct it are being taken back to City Hall. She moves quickly and finds Indie waiting for her in the Gallery. They board Indie’s ship and take off, with Indie flying and Cassia in the cargo hold. Cassia sees notches carved into the hold’s wall. Indie invites Cassia up into the cockpit and Cassia gets to see the world from a plane for the first time.
Chapter 21: Xander
Xander checks the mutation victims, none of whom are improving. Very few new patients arrive because none have been leaving, except for those who’ve died. On his break, he finds Lei in the cafeteria with the lights off, looking at the Hundred Paintings on the port, particularly one featuring a girl in a white dress catching fish on a shoreline. They talk about the painting for a moment, and then Xander realizes that Lei is in terrible pain. She lifts her shirt to reveal the red rash of the mutation. Xander brings her out into the courtyard and hooks her up to a nutrient bag. She asks to hear a story and he tells her a short, uninteresting one. She returns with one about an aberration and a Society citizen/pilot who fell in love and were the first to vanish to the Otherlands. Some parents would even trade as much as possible to have their children sent to safety out there. Xander doesn’t understand. Lei tells him that there are places beyond the Provinces; the world is not flat, but a stone that rolls through the universe, with everyone holding on.
Once she’s still, Xander places Lei on a stretcher in the patient ward, despite the lack of space. He gets the idea to print out all of the Hundred Paintings and string them up above Lei and the other patients, in case they are still able to see them. He also speaks to Lei in the hopes that she can hear him. When he finally leaves to go sleep, he’s intercepted by Indie, who tells him to come with her to see Cassia and help the Pilot find a cure. Xander is hesitant, but Indie insists.
Chapter 22: Ky
Indie wakes Ky in his quarantine cell and tells him that she’s retrieved Cassia from Camas. He’s thrilled and thanks her repeatedly. They run for the ships. Ky is aware that he’ll need to maintain his distance from Cassia to avoid infecting her. When they arrive, Ky learns that it’ll be the Pilot himself, not Indie, taking him and Cassia to the Otherlands. Indie leaves before Ky can protest this.
Chapter 23: Cassia
The Pilot locks Cassia, Xander, and Ky in the ship’s cargo hold and takes flight. Ky tries to get out to avoid infecting the other two, but they explain that they both have the red mark of immunity. They check Ky’s neck and see that he doesn’t have the mark. Over the speaker, the Pilot helps Cassia locate her grandfather’s microcard and has her look through it. It documents his entire life and concludes with his favorite memories of each of his family members: the day he met Cassia’s mother; his first argument with his son, Cassia’s father; Bram’s first word (“more”); and the “red garden day” with Cassia (p. 263). Cassia can’t quite remember what the memory of her is from. She tells the Pilot as much when he asks. The Pilot admits that the head Archivist helped him come by the microcard, as well as an enclosed message from Cassia’s father, encoded by Bram, that says he’s proud of Cassia for being braver than he was.
The Pilot says that he’s received conflicting advice from two sources regarding Cassia, Xander, and Ky. One person thinks they should be jailed and questioned (Cassia believes this person is the head Archivist). The other unidentified person thinks they could be crucial in finding a cure for the mutation. The Pilot, seeming calm but determined, asks Cassia the meaning of her song lyrics, “Newrose, oldrose, Queen Anne’s lace.” Cassia explains that it’s just a poem with no literal meaning. He suspects that the gatherings at the Gallery had treacherous intentions. Cassia insists that her actions were innocent, and Xander and Ky corroborate this. The Pilot suspects all three of them of suspicious activity, from deaths in the decoy camps to the explosion in the farmers’ village to the boy who died by the blue pills in the Carving. Cassia wants to know if the Pilot trades the tissue sample tubes, and he confirms that he does so in order to maintain loyalty. Cassia, Xander and Ky piece together that the plague is waterborne, which explains the increase in illness following the mysterious poisoning of the lakes in Central. The Pilot, seeming desperate, accuses the three of conspiring against the Rising and possibly even withholding a cure for the mutation. He tries to incentivize Cassia to confess by showing her an image of her parents on the port. They have gone still. The Pilot also reveals that Cassia’s great-grandmother, her grandfather’s mother, was the Pilot a long time ago. She is dumbstruck by these revelations.
The ship flies lower. Ky wants to run, but Xander insists on staying to help find a cure. When they land, Cassia attempts to persuade the Pilot that they’re innocent, offering explanations for all that he’s accused them of. She gathers that the person who advised him that they could help find a cure was Indie, which the Pilot confirms. He says that Indie doesn’t have the mark of immunity but that they’ll “do [their] best to keep her flying” (p. 274). Meanwhile, Ky begins to show signs of weakness. The Pilot says that the people in the stone villages are immune to the plague and have lived outside the Society their entire lives. He says that a second group of villagers has recently joined the first there, and Cassia assumes this is Hunter’s village from the Carving. The three agree to help the Pilot find the cure.
Chapters 19-23 Analysis
Part 4 of Reached opens with Ky’s conflicting feelings about what the Rising has done to the terrified people of the Provinces. On the one hand, they now feel as afraid as he’s often felt. On the other, this is because of the Rising’s actions, whereas his fear was the fault of the Society. This provides yet another disquieting parallel between the Society and Rising. Ky’s satisfaction at seeing the former-Society citizens afraid is a perhaps-understandable reaction to the shattering of the utopian illusion under which they used to live, an illusion that had never swayed him. Yet, at the same time, his guilt that their fear is the Rising’s doing demonstrates his desire for the Rising to work (as he works for them directly) and his concern that it might not be the salvation that everyone originally thought.
Ky and Indie’s relationship continues to flicker with hints of suppressed romance despite the telling kiss they shared in Chapter 16. After Caleb goes still, they reflect on how things could’ve been different if Ky’s heart was not faithful to Cassia. In Chapter 22, they share additional moments of intimacy as Ky thanks Indie for having brought Cassia to him. This is bittersweet and somewhat ironic in that his excitement stems primarily from Cassia’s presence but manifests positively toward Indie.
Condie also further develops the subtle intimacy of Xander and Lei’s relationship in Part 4. Amidst the tragedy of Lei’s stillness (and also because of it), Xander expresses great care for her wellbeing, keeping her company as she falls victim to the illness, and especially hanging the paintings over her bed. In this way, Lei becomes the first character to whom Xander develops a close and perhaps subtly romantic connection after losing Cassia—ironic given that he didn’t read Cassia’s sentiments for him to move on and find someone else that she wrote to him in her letter.
The Pilot’s desperation in Chapter 23 neatly personifies the chaotic and terrifying state of the Rising in the face of the crippling mutated plague. While he existed primarily as a calm voice of reason and necessary change until this point, we now get to see him speak more candidly, revealing just how frustrated and afraid the mutation has made him. He even goes so far as to try (unsuccesfully) to link together Ky, Xander, and Cassia’s past actions into a plot against the Rising, demonstrating a misguided paranoia. This stands in stark contrast to the organized, put-together leader that he was at the beginning of the story.
Near Part 4’s conclusion, we learn that Cassia’s great-grandmother was once the Pilot of the Rising. This is a crucial bit of information that pieces together many mysteries that the reader has wondered about since Matched: chiefly, Cassia’s grandfather’s intentions in giving her the compact with the poems inside. It now becomes clear that her grandfather knew all about the Rising from his mother and hoped that Cassia would be able to join it the way he and her father did not.