Realizing that she has letumosis, Peony begins to scream, telling Cinder to back away so that Cinder doesn’t get the disease. Cinder checks her own skin, wondering if she brought the plague home from the market. She calls an emergency hover while Peony starts to cry. Cinder apologizes, worried that she is the reason that Peony is sick.
Cinder’s concern for her stepsister again illustrates her selflessness. She’s not worried that she has the disease herself; instead, she’s worried that she might be the reason Peony caught it.
Suddenly, emergency androids arrive. Cinder directs them to Peony, and they ask if Cinder has had contact with Peony in the past 12 hours. She says yes, even though she knows that she might get shipped off to the quarantines—but if she lies, she could spread it to others. The med-droid pulls out a syringe and tests her blood, but after a minute it informs Cinder that she doesn’t have letumosis. Cinder is relieved that she isn’t going to die, but she’s overcome with dread as she watches the med-droids take Peony away.
Cinder thinks not only of Peony in this moment but also of society as a whole. While she could lie and say that she wasn’t in contact with Peony, she knows that it is more important to protect other people to whom she could spread the plague than to protect herself. Given the name, the quarantines are likely a facility where sick people are kept isolated from the general population. It’s implied that this is where the emergency androids are taking Peony.