Later that day, D-503 waits in the secret corridors beneath the Ancient House. 16:00 has come and gone, and I-330 has yet to arrive. Suddenly, she appears behind him. He is overcome with joy and questions “What formula could explain this whirlwind that clears my soul of everything except her?” I-330 leads him away through the door from which she entered.
When D-503 questions “what formula could explain [the] whirlwind that clears my soul of everything except her,” he acknowledges logic’s inability to answer life’s unknown questions.
D-503’s record resumes 24 hours later as he contemplates what unfolded next. He feels as though “a bomb had exploded in [his] head.” The record continues: initially, he imagines that the rebels blew up the Green Wall while he waited for I-330 in the corridor, but she says they have not. In fact, she says, they are now walking beyond the Green Wall. D-503 observes the intensity of the natural world around him. He sees the thin doctor next to I-330. The two of them drag him forward and lead him to a crowd of hundreds of hairy, naked people.
I-330 leaves D-503, and he is alone. Suddenly, he sees her above the crowd, perched upon a yellow rock. She addresses the masses, announcing their plans to steal the Integral. When the Integral takes off, it will be the rebels will be on board—not the One State loyalists. She tells them the Integral’s builder—D-503—is in the crowd, and everyone chants “All hail the Builder!” D-503 feels good to be “the number one.”
D-503 frequently evokes the color yellow to describe people and objects that threaten the One State’s absolute power, so the fact that I-330 sits upon a yellow rock aligns her with rebelliousness and subversion. When D-503 enjoys being seen as “the number one,” it reflects his growing appreciation for individualism and personal accomplishment.
The crowd places D-503 on the rock next to I-330. They both drink from a wooden cup. D-503 sees the words MEPHI inscribed on the rock. D-503’s memory now becomes fragmented. He remembers seeing S in the crowd and worries, as S is a Guardian, and it would be bad if his people saw them beyond the Wall. I-330 smiles, which calms D-503.
When D-503 drinks from the same cup as I-330, it symbolizes his transformation from a loyal cipher to a disloyal person with free will. D-503’s anxiety upon seeing S reveals that he’s still not fully comfortable with this transformation, however.