Back on Earth, Titus falls back into his old routine of chatting with his friends. He sees his family, but doesn’t really talk to them. His father doesn’t talk much, and his mother spends most of her time with Smell Factor, sometimes taking him to work with her. Titus spends most of his time watching a show called Take What You Can Carry. Sometimes, Titus goes outside on errands, where he sees lots of “upcars” and suburbs “stacked on top of each other.” He’s very glad to have friends, since “friends are worth your weight in gold.”
Titus is emotionally distant from his family, and it’s not hard to see why—each family member is so immersed in his or her feed that they have little time to wonder about their family members. Similarly, Titus has only the most clichéd sentiments about his friends he doesn’t even get the idiom right (usually, it’s “friends are worth their weight in gold”).
One night, Titus goes to a party at his friend Quendy’s while her parents are at a “choking party.” Before the party, Titus reunites with Violet. He uses his parents’ upcar to pick her up and drive her to the party—she doesn’t have a car of her own. In the car, Violet explains that she was homeschooled, so she doesn’t go to many parties. Titus is surprised that Violet doesn’t go to School™.
The characters’ parents, like the characters themselves, seem to find perverse pleasure in grotesque acts of violence like choking. Notice, also that in the future, people go to a corporatized, commodified version of school—unless, like Violet, they opt out (and this would seem to be the reason why Violet is so much smarter and more articulate than the people around her).
Violet asks Titus if he thinks things will be different. Titus isn’t sure what she means, but says, “It’s good to have people again.” Violet explains, “We’ve all been through this big thing together. It’s got to change us somehow.” She rests her hand on the back of Titus’s neck.
Violet and Titus seem to share a desire for something to happen. They don’t want to go back to their ordinary, apathetic lives, suggesting they’re somehow discontent with what their society has to offer them.