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Relieved that Asher has received a good Assignment, Jonas waits as the other Elevens in front of him receive their Assignment badges and think about whatever training lies ahead of them. When Fiona is called, she serenely receives the Assignment of Caretaker of the Old, and Jonas prepares himself to go next. However, the Chief Elder then calls number Twenty, Pierre, and the crowd hushes as they realize that something strange has occurred. Jonas is stunned and hopes wildly that someone has made a mistake, but even his group leader looks worried. Ashamed, he sinks into his seat and wonders what he has done wrong.
By the time of the last Assignment, the audience's applause is expressing confusion and unease, and Jonas is humiliated and terrified. After the applause dissipates, the Chief Elder apologizes graciously to the community and to Jonas in particular for causing them anxiety, and she calls him to the stage. He walks clumsily to the stage, and she tells him that he has not been assigned because he has been selected to be the next Receiver of Memory, which astonishes and awes the audience, although he does not understand.