As Cinder starts to wake up, Dr. Erland assures her that she’s going to be all right. Kai, who has just walked into the lab, helps her sit up. Cinder is grateful that her gloves and boots are on, so that Kai can’t see the metal underneath. When she asks what Dr. Erland what he did, he replies that he was simply adjusting her spine. Cinder waits for him to tell Kai that she is a cyborg, but he doesn’t.
In this exchange, both Dr. Erland and Cinder are concealing aspects of her identity from Kai, which will force both of them to keep up the ruse going forward. Dr. Erland’s willingness to conceal information also alludes to the possibility that he’s hiding other aspects of his and Cinder’s identities as well.
Kai helps Cinder to her feet and asks what she’s doing there. Dr. Erland lies again and says that she’s there to look at a med-droid. Kai is confused, but he doesn’t question the story. He asks if Cinder has had a chance to look at Nainsi, and Cinder promises to take a look at Nainsi as soon as she can. Kai then asks Dr. Erland if he’s made any progress. Dr. Erland assures him that they have a potential lead, and that he’ll keep the prince posted. Cinder tells Dr. Erland that she’ll be back to look at the med-droid again tomorrow.
The more that Dr. Erland and Cinder continue to lie, the more they’ll be forced to keep up the ruse later, illustrating the problem with secrecy and manipulation. Dr. Erland isn’t being fully open with Kai about their progress, giving him false hope that they might have an antidote to letumosis.