The novel starts out with commentary about black being the absence of color.
Ruby is out by herself on the streets of Los Angeles. She waited a long time to get a cop alone and find the gaps in their barricade around the city. She carefully makes her way back to the latest warehouse the group has been staying in. She doesn’t use her flashlight on her gun in the darkness. ON the way back, she sees three agents - Sen, Ferguson, and Gates - eating most of the food they found in a store and planning to bring back very little for the waiting kids and agents. Ruby overhears they have a plan, so she follows quietly behind them. She calls out to Sen, who sends the others ahead. Ruby gets in her mind and sees they plan on trading the kids for freedom. She quickly puts in a memory to cover the past few minutes before they go inside, but Ruby notes to tell Cole about it.
Once inside, Ruby sees Cole hasn’t returned yet. She sees her friends, but ducks down a hallway to freak out. Liam joins her and tries to comfort her. They agree that whatever decisions they need to make, they will make together. Cole returns with Senator Anabel Cruz who was with the Federal Coalition and contacting other countries for help. He thinks she will be an asset to their cause, but the agents are iffy. He hands over some food to the kids and then has Ruby share what she learned. She maps out the gaps in patrols and the reach of the EMP that killed the power in the city. She signals to Cole and he acknowledges. Before slipping into a dark hallway, Ruby sees the agents gathered with the backpack containing Lillian Gray’s research for the cure. Cole pulls her into a closet and she breaks down. She tells him the agents’ plan to turn them in for the reward money and to use it to strike against Gray. Cole already suspected the agents’ betrayal and had two Greens memorize the research. he wants Ruby to use their remaining three hours in the city to convince the agents that the Ranch isn’t worth it and they should head to Kansas City Headquarters.
After going through the agents’ minds, Ruby goes to get Clancy ready to leave. She cuts his zip ties and gives him a bucket of water and clean clothes. Cole has to calm her down when Clancy doesn’t understand why she is still mad at him about Jude. Cole assures her Clancy will be bound and gagged in the trunk once they get to a working car. Cole splits everyone into groups to go through one of the three unguarded locations. Ruby is with him, Liam, Chubs, Vida, and Clancy. She refuses to let Nico go with them. They carefully make their way, but when they reach the highway, there are soldiers. They drop to the ground and stay as quiet as possible. A metal sheet almost falls (which would attract the soldiers’ attention), but Liam catches it and holds it steady with his abilities. It turns out the soldiers were only meeting to switch shifts and take off shortly after. They reach Glendale when the sun is up and find a parking lot. Liam immediately chooses a blue sedan that will be good on gas. He pops the lock with a coat hanger and hot-wires it. Cole turns it off and tells him to take an SUV incase they need to go off-road. Ruby is going to be driving a red truck with only Clancy and Cole as passengers. She wonders why Cole isn’t worried about Clancy controlling him. they take off. When they reach Burbank, Cole seconds Ruby’s suspicions that it is too quiet. Suddenly a Hummer comes out of nowhere and smashes into the SUV Liam is driving. It rolls completely over and lands back on its tires while Ruby slams on her breaks. Cole immediately gets out and his rage gets the best of him. He sets the Hummer on fire and kills the men that were in it. Ruby goes to the SUV to check on her friends who are all alright. Cole tells them the Hummer exploded from a lucky shot to the gas tank. They head to the truck where Clancy has gotten his hood and watches them. Liam, Chubs, and Vida get in the bed of the truck and are covered with a tarp. Ruby and Cole get in the cab. Ruby notices Cole’s ticks that she has seen from other Reds. She realizes Clancy has also picked up on it and has gotten in his head. Ruby hits Clancy in the temple with her elbow to knock him out and Cole injects him with something to keep him that way. Cole explains he has trouble controlling his rage and it is getting more difficult. Ruby admits she feels the same about her abilities. They have three more vials to keep Clancy under until they get to the Ranch. Cole points out it would be easier to kill him, but Ruby reminds him Clancy is the only one who knows where Lillian is. They both want the cure more than they want Clancy dead. Ruby is surprised to finally have found someone who feels the same way she does about her abilities.
Down the road, they stop in an abandoned town to ditch the truck and get new vehicles. They find a motel with dusty cars in the parking lot and pull over. Ruby notices a small stone house covered in graffiti and goes to check it out. Liam comes up and points out a crescent moon. He tells her it is one of the many symbols Clancy had taught to the East River kids; this one means a safe place to sleep. He points out two stacked inverted V’s that point in the direction the kids travelled and letters for their first initials. Cole whistles for them and Liam heads over to the sedan Cole picked out. Cole insists Vida drive to give Liam’s shoulder time to heal. He already has Clancy in a new truck and they take off with Ruby driving it. She watches the signs from East River kids as she drives and Cole sleeps. She goes off the highway to follow them thinking some kids need help. When she sees a Z she thinks of Zu and continues to follow the arrows. She turns down a muddy road that ends up being a driveway. Cole wakes up and isn’t happy they war off track. Ruby explains her hunch and then takes Vida to search. They get in the garage where there is evidence kids have been there recently, but the door to the house is padlocked. Ruby finds a small shoe with pink laces, but doesn’t remember it until Cole is already driving away. Ruby jumps out and a shotgun is fired. She calls out for Zu. She is about to give up when Zu runs to her. Liam and chubs come to greet her and Ruby studies how thin she is. Twelve other kids come out from the trees and Cole acknowledges they’ll need another car.
Kylie explains Zu’s uncle was not at his house and they had to leave in a hurry. They followed the signs until they met up with Tommy and his group. Cole explains where they are going and what they intend to do. Liam is worried about the kids being turned into soldiers against their will, but Cole promises they don’t have to fight (or even stay). Liam agrees it is probably better than starvation. They pack up and head out with the car Kylie drives added to their caravan. In Lodi, they come to a bar among warehouses and go behind it. Cole enters a code to get in and leads the way to a hidden trap door. Ruby is hesitant to enter another tunnel, but eventually does. An agent named Dolly shows them where they will sleep, but Cole pulls Ruby away for debriefing. Dolly explains the other agents came and took all their supplies from them before heading to Kansas HQ. Cole explains and Ruby apologizes for not making them go straight to Kansas. Cate is furious they sent away trained agents. Ruby fires back at her and Cate storms out with Vida following. Dolly opens the door for Senator Cruz and more children. Nico starts bawling when he sees Cate. Ruby goes to find her friends and overhears Vida telling them what happened with the other agents. All are surprised she kept it from them. Ruby sneaks away to the showers.
By the time Ruby wakes up the next day, Cate and Dolly are already gone. She runs into Vida, who understands why she didn’t tell her about Sen and the others. Vida gets angry and storms off when Ruby mentions Zu. Ruby finds Liam in the kitchen trying to go through what little food is left. He asks what happened to her the previous night and she says she was too tired to find them. She explains that she meant to tell the others about the agents sooner, but it slipped her mind with all that has been going on. She went to Cole for help because he knew the other agents and could give another opinion of the situation. They start making out (agreeing to only do what Ruby is comfortable with) until Cole comes to get her to feed Clancy. Cole leads her to a room and pulls a red box to reveal a secret door. She goes down the hall and unlocks the door at the end to the two cells inside. She gives Clancy a bologna sandwich through the grate. Clancy can tell she is upset and prods her. He says they are going to do something to the kids at Thurmond. HE tells her she is going to have to be a leader and gather kids in order to stop the camps. Ruby is infuriated at his insinuation that she use her abilities on the kids to make them loyal. Clancy says not everything at East River was fake and he’ll be waiting for her.
Cole promises to look into Thurmond, but has to get base set up and kids taken car of. Ruby finds her friends all sitting together eating spaghetti. She notices they go quiet when they see her. She gets herself a plate and joins them. Liam talks about him, Ruby, and Vida making a supply run, but Zu protests his leaving the Ranch. Vida gives Chubs his lenses in frames from an extra set of reading glasses. Zu says she briefly met Liam’s mom in Arizona. She was helping kids. Zu told her Liam was safe. Vida goes off on Zu and tells her to start speaking. The others defend Zu, and Vida takes off. Ruby goes after her. Vida asks how Ruby can replace Jude with Zu. They talk about Jude and how they both have overwhelming guilt about his death. Vida asks Ruby to forgive and talk to Nico, who feels guilty about loosing his only friend. Ruby thinks she hates him. Zu approaches and Vida apologizes to her. The three of them go to catch up.
Cole wakes up Ruby while she is having a nightmare and sleepwalking. He tells her he was training. She wants to be stronger to protect everyone, so she agrees to train with him. He tells her not to tell anyone. They start sparring and he has her practice moves to get them right. Later, Ruby goes to talk to the rest of the kids about how they can free the camps. She notices Liam and Kylie are both missing. She tells the kids to split up into small groups to brainstorm ideas. Chubs comes up to her and says she is keeping Liam at a distance and acting odd with her disappearances. Ruby becomes even more furious. She points out she is the only one that can take care of Clancy, and she has to train harder than anyone else so she can teach the others. She is upset Liam snuck out with training or weapons. She tells him she can’t lose anyone else. Chubs points out how messed up Zu is and they need to find out what happened to her. Ruby wonders if it was a mistake to bring the kids, but Chubs reminds her they can’t protect them from the world. He wants to be around to see his parents and not have to hide. Liam returns with boxes of supplies and reminds Ruby he is the most qualified person to make runs. Cole drags him into the office and starts yelling at him. Ruby steps between them and says Liam should be quartermaster. Cole isn’t convinced and starts listing off chores Liam has already completed. He takes them to the “garage” (door leads to a tunnel that takes them to a large warehouse). Liam starts looking at the cars and is excited when he finds a off-roading motorcycle. Cole calls them over to where there are daily food rations from China. He tells Liam if he cleans out the garage, he can be quartermaster. Ruby tells them she may have an idea of how to get more kids.
While the other kids are brainstorming, Ruby goes into the hallway behind the secret door. She waits as long as she can handle the panic attack before she turns on the light. She goes to the next door to talk to Clancy. He challenges her and she makes a feeble attempt to get into his mind. He sees what she is trying to do and challenges her. She unlocks his cell for a second to surprise him and uses the opportunity to get into his head. She sees a lot of random images and scenes, but by the end, Clancy shows her a computer where he types a password into a website. He acknowledges her before she gets out of his head. Ruby leaves and goes to their only computer with Cole and Nico. They start going through Clancy’s files and Ruby points out a Thurmond folder. They find an evacuation planned for March of that year and realize Gray plans to clear out the camp and destroy it. Senator Cruz joins them as they go through more files. Cole points out Thurmond is their endgame, but they will need to practice on a smaller, closer camp. Senator Cruz suggests Oasis in Nevada where many members of the Federation have kids, including her. Cole tells Ruby to write down everything she remembers about the plan to liberate Thurmond she gave to Alban. He goes through the other kids’ ideas. She gives him the details and sees him watching a video of a Red being experimented on. He tells her to work on finding Lillian Gray, and she acknowledges.
Ruby goes bak to their room and finds Liam lying in the dark after cleaning the garage all day. He gives Ruby a Beach Boys CD that has their son (Wouldn’t It Be Nice) on it. HE asks if making him quartermaster was her way of keeping him out of the fight and suggests they might not need to physically fight. Ruby knows there will be a violent fight, and she won’t be able to keep him from it. They start making out and undressing each other when someone comes to get Liam to fix a broken shower. A piece of paper falls out of his pocket and Ruby picks it up. It is a note Liam wrote to himself in case Ruby alters his memories again. She puts it in the CD case and tries to calm herself before he gets back. When he does return, it is time for them to go to Cole’s meeting. Cole explains Ruby’s plan to send kids into the camps with glasses that have tiny cameras installed. For Oasis, they have to be kids that have never been in a camp before or they will just be sent back to wherever they were registered. The others will then move in and use the camp’s own transportation to move the kids out. They will be given a chance to fight or to find their parents. Liam suggests they share footage with media sources to make people aware of how awful the camps really are. Cole points out that action could compromise their location. Senator Cruz says she has secured supplies from Canada. Liam will lead a team and Ruby volunteers to go as well. Nico suddenly freaks out. Ruby rushes over to him and he shows them video of the agents being caught, including Cate. Vida is furious, especially when Cole says they can’t go after her. Ruby freaks out and goes to the gym. She gets on a treadmill and turns it up as high as she can. when the belt stops suddenly, she barely catches herself and her legs give out. Cole helps her, but makes her walk out on her own. He says he will take care of Clancy and she tells him to take Chubs with him. Zu comes to see her as Cole leaves. Ruby tells Zu about her relationship with Cate and then asks who helped Zu, obviously she had lost that person. Zu writes down his name: Gabe. Zu lies with Ruby in the bed and cries while Ruby still feels restless.
Early the next morning Ruby wakes up and finds Cole on the treadmill in the gym. She grabs a pair of gloves, but he warns her he isn’t in a good mood. She waits until he stops running and comes over to put gloves on himself. He ends up wailing on her and she goes into his mind to stop him. She sees Cole’s memory of his father threatening to hurt Liam with a hot iron until his mother promised to do as he told her. When he puts the iron back on the board, she hits him with a frying pan. Cole reaches out to catch Liam and then the kids leave with their mother. Ruby comes out of the memory and Cole says they shouldn’t fight anymore. Later Chubs finds Ruby and tells her the others left on a supply run. They go to see Clancy and take him food. Chubs waits behind the door while Ruby goes up to the cell. She lets him talk until Clancy is upset and he starts talking about the invasive procedure to cure the kids that currently have abilities. He agrees to show her how he knows it isn’t something simple that could keep future generations from horrible pain. She goes into his head realizing she can tell when he fabricates his memories. She feels the awful pain he was put through with his father’s approval. Afterwards, Nico was the one to take care of him.
Ruby does her best to play it cool once she is out of Clancy’s head. She finds the part of his mind that controls his emotions and gets stuck there. He says “mirror” and she realizes how to get out. She uses the opportunity to get into a memory focusing on his mother. She sees him mess up her mind and then the League agents chase him off. Ruby is thrown out with force and Clancy screams for her to get out. She goes out the door and Chubs helps her the rest of the way. Ruby spends the next few hours teaching some of the kids that volunteered for Oasis some self defense. When Cole arrives, he announces the others are back from their supply run and everyone goes to the garage to help unpack. Afterwards, Cole tells them his informant didn’t have the info he was looking for. Ruby tells her group she wants to take Vida to Kansas to get Lillian Gray. Cole refuses to let Ruby go because they need her there. Chubs offers to go and reminds them he is still a skip tracer. They all agree to the plan. Liam plans to search for the tribes. While Cole, Liam, and Ruby are unloading the weapons they brought back, Liam sees the giant bruise Cole left on Ruby and walks away. She goes to follow him but stops by their room first. Chubs is sleeping, but Ruby sees a box of hair dye on the bed. She goes to the bathroom and hears Vida telling Zu that her fear of speaking only hurts herself and lets the bad guys win. Ruby joins them as they bleach Zu’s hair to dye it pink.
Ruby lies in bed a few hours waiting for Liam. When he doesn’t show up, she goes to the garage to find him working on the motorcycle. She tries to talk to him, but gets the impression she isn’t wanted. When she starts to excuse herself, Liam tells her he is naming the bike Lovely Rita. He tells her it was strange being able to use a burner phone to talk to his mom and stepdad, Harry. She asks about the scar by his mouth, but he thinks Cole gave it to him. Some of the other kids are painting white crescent moons on things to help the tribes find them. Ruby realizes Liam is keeping secrets from her. The next morning, Vida and Chubs leave. Chubs is nervous and Zu begs them both not to go. They promise tor return. Cole comes to get Ruby so Nico can show her that some of their files have been transferred using FTP to another server. He says another Green must have done it. Cole leaves to help sort out the groups that are leaving. Ruby goes to the whiteboard to add notes to the Thurmond plan. Nico hesitantly points out the flaws at Ruby’s request. He then points out the flaws in Liam’s plan. He intends to hide a flash drive in a pair of glasses and go to the camp to upload a Trojan before they arrive. Ruby is very against the idea. She apologizes for how she has treated Nico, but he can’t forgive himself. He points out they didn’t really gain anything from their return to LA HQ. Ruby promises they will make it right somehow.
Cole is with Senator Cruz when Ruby finds him and starts yelling at him for planning to send Nico into Thurmond. Senator Cruz worries they won’t be freeing the kids at Oasis. Cole reassures her before sending her away. Ruby begs him to try Liam’s plan of getting evidence of the abuse out to the parents and the public. He shows her a picture of dead kids lined up to get buried in a ditch. Ruby recognizes a girl from her cabin, Ashley. They speculate the PSFs might be lowering the population before migrating them. Ruby gets sick. They agree to not tell anyone Ruby is the one going into Thurmond. Kylie brings back two sets of kids over the next few days. A boy named Gav is used to being the alpha and is a nuisance until Cole straightens him out. Mike finds them with two other East River kids. Ruby isn’t thrilled and wants to keep Clancy a secret from them, but Liam already told them. They just want him to stay locked up. Tommy and Pat are taken to Nevada and eventually make it into Oasis. The glasses do their job and they get the layout. They clear out the garage to simulate the scenario. When Liam and his friends start laughing between runs, Cole takes him and Mike off the team. Liam is even more furious when Ruby is too relieved to stick up for him. She tries to go after him, but he just says he gets it and storms off. By the time they are done practicing, Zu and Ruby just find a note that Liam has left to find Liv. Ruby shows her the note Liam left for himself and says he deserves better than her. Zu points out Liam might have worried about Ruby being forced to take his memories. Zu says she trusted Ruby because when they met, Ruby wasn’t going to let Zu get caught with her. They sleep, but Ruby is so stressed that she sleep walks. Zu takes her back to bed. The next morning, Ruby leaves with the Ops team.
The kids sit in the desert waiting for Ollie’s signal that the right truck has arrived. When it does, Ruby stops it and gets in the front while the rest of the kids get in the back. As rehearsed, Ruby controls the driver and they quickly start taking out the PSFs. Zach goes with Ruby to the control room. She gets in one controllers head to get codes while Zach makes the security footage loop. As they go to join the others, Liam appears with Alice, a reporter from Amplify, and is almost shot. They all make their way to the cabins and the doors are opened. None of the kids will leave. Ruby calls out for Rosa Cruz and says her mom is waiting for her. The other kids follow after her. They load everyone in the truck (including Liam, his bike, and the reporter) and get out. Zach drives through the gate to get them out.
In Reno, they transfer to a Greyhound bus Senator Cruz arranged to have there for them, and Zach drives them back to the Ranch. Rosa runs out to meet her mom and the other kids follow. Cole sends them to the kitchen for food. He then turns to Liam and tells him to leave. When Liam refuses, several other kids speak up about how they helped him. Cole agrees to let them stay, but insists they have to have permission to leave the Ranch. Ruby tries to get away from them all to be alone, but Liam follows her. He explains he had to do what he did so kids can have a life after they are free. He realizes Ruby plans to be the one to go into Thurmond and tries to talk her out of it. She decides she owes the girls at Thurmond her life and tells Liam not to wait for her. He leaves her alone saying he might not. The next thing Ruby knows, she is in Alban’s office with Vida, who has returned with Chubs and Lillian Gray
Ruby spends the next few days in Lillian’s mind trying to sort out what Clancy did to her. Liam and his followers spend all their time in the garage. Senator Cruz thinks Lillian is a lost cause, but Ruby isn’t ready to give up. When Cole mentions Alban, Lillian starts rattling off medical terms and then falls asleep. Ruby goes into her mind and sees pieces of coherent dreams. She thinks Chubs might be able to give her some insight. Nico finishes the Trojan and is trying to find a way to fit it into a set of glasses. He also tells Ruby more information left one of the laptops via email. He doesn’t think it has anything to do with Liam and Amplify because all their contact was done in person. He shows her the propaganda Amplify put out to inform the masses of the camps conditions, but the comments seem to indicate no one believes the videos are real. He thinks Ruby’s plan is their only option to free Thurmond. Ruby sees Chubs is in the room with them and goes over to him and the books he is studying. She comments about him not working in the garage and he says they are all on the same side. He then asks about how different Oranges have manipulated people. Nico tells them Clancy was able to use other people to listen in on conversations and move them around, but it really drained him. Chubs explains he thinks the different Oranges used different systems of the brain to do what they do to people. He is trying to figure out which system Clancy messed with in Lillian’s brain so Ruby can fix it. He also thinks the barrage of images Ruby sees in Lillian’s awake mind is her defense against Orange kids. Vida comes to tell them they need to see what is going on in the garage.
The kids have set up a make-shift studio in the garage and Zu is waiting to be interviewed with Liam reading off what she writes. Ruby pulls her aside to make suer she is prepared for her face being put on TV. Zu already knows the risks but wants to help anyway she can. Once the interview starts, she starts answering the questions - first on paper, then with her own voice. She tells them about escaping the camp in Ohio and then her skip tracer friend, Gabe, who was killed accidentally while trying to help her. When she is done, everyone celebrates. Ruby thinks Clancy might have disabled Lillian’s ability to speak rather than her memories. She tells Chubs she might be able to fix it by getting in her mind and using her own brain system for words and speech to jump start Lillian’s (the mirror clue Clancy gave her). There is a loud bang and Liam opens the loading doors to let in Olivia and Brett with their group of kids from Nashville. Brett tells them the Children’s League is taking credit for freeing the kids from the Oasis. Everyone is furious as they tune into the radio to hear it for themselves. Ruby calms them down by pointing out it takes the heat off them. Ruby and Chubs go to Lillian’s room. Ruby gets in her mind while Chubs asks her question and she answers. She finds the wall and smashes it. She wakes up on the floor and Lillian thanks her. Ruby looks for cole and finds him talking strategy with Clancy. She listens in and realizes the cure is just another way to control the kids. She wonders if she made a mistake. Ruby goes to the computer room to find an ariel printout of Thurmond. Cole gives her a burner phone and she talks to his stepdad, Harry, for the first time. Harry and his old army friends had their own op and rescued the League agents. Ruby is able to talk to Cate who says they are on their way to the Ranch, but the connection drops. Ruby goes to the Thurmond printout and starts labelling everything. Dr. Gray is surprised by the size and cruelty Ruby describes. Cole asks her what she wants in exchange for the cause and cure of IAAN. They go to Alban’s office and she tells them she needs to do the operation on Clancy in a sterile hospital and then she wants to take him and leave to live a normal life. Ruby almost objects, but decides Clancy has proven he can’t be trusted with his abilities. She goes to tell Vida that Cate is alright and then she sees the kids on the news. They listen in and Ruby realizes Liam was right about needing the world to accept them. Vida points out that even though Liam was right, so was Ruby. The video doesn’t have the call to action they need. When the news switches over to footage of the League’s Kansas City HQ burning, Ruby goes to find Cole. Harry is on the phone and says they found two survivors that claim the attack came from kids - Reds.
Cole wants to investigate a camp in Idaho that Clancy says was used to train Reds in order to get Senator Cruz the proof she needs to convince the Coalition they need to act. Ruby agrees on the conditions that the Thurmond Op isn’t affected and Cole tells the kids he is a Red. He agrees to tell Liam first. They go over the plan to get Ruby into Thurmond, which will require her to jump into the mind of every PSF she meets immediately. She says she can do it. Later on at the meeting, Cole has already told Liam the truth, so Ruby avoids him. Lillian explains Agent Ambrosia was added to the water supply to try to counteract the biological warfare effects. IAAN shows that electricity in the kids’ brains work differently and spikes to give them the abilities. Which abilities they get depends on their genetics and other environmental factors. The cure is really just a chip implanted in the brain to control the electric flow and would have to be maintained every few years. Alice suggests they go to different water treatment plants for proof. Cole suggests his mission in Idaho and Liam volunteers to go with him. Ruby says she wants to go, but Liam points out that Cole only needs one other person. Ruby leaves and goes to the computer room, wanting to tear up the map of Thurmond. She reminds herself it is the right thing to free the kids there. Liam comes in and she apologizes for not telling him about Cole. She explains why. Liam sees the map and finally grasps how large Thurmond is. They make up and profess their love for each other. Nico comes in to find them making out, so they go to find a private location. One the way, they run into Chubs, who seems twitchy and nervous. Vida walks past them and Ruby realizes they have been having sex. Chubs says there is no emotional attachment, just a coping mechanism. Ruby and Liam lock themselves in a room and have sex.
Ruby and Liam wake up the next morning and she walks with him to the tunnel so he can leave with Cole. She tells Cole to look out for Liam. Cole tells her to get the other groups ready to leave and to tell Harry they need more C4 and the bus rentals are a no-go. She locks the runnel behind them. Lillian follows Ruby around for hours. Alice comes up to Ruby to tell her Lillian want to see her son in exchange for more information. When Lillian approaches Ruby about it, Ruby eventually agrees to let her see him, but not interact. She agrees to answer all of Alice’s questions and do exactly what Ruby says. Ruby has her wait in the hall while she goes in to give Clancy his lunch. He tells Ruby he would like to have her on his side when he brings the world to its knees. He says hello to his mother, who is gone before Ruby gets back to the door. Vida wakes Ruby to tell her they got a message that one of the Stewart boys is dead.
Ruby rushes to the computer room and everyone tries to keep her from seeing the pictures. Nico shows them to her and she clicks through to see one of the boys already dead from a bullet through the neck. Another Red lights the body on fire. She is able to get a good enough view of the face to see it is Cole. Nico runs to Alban’s office to get the phone. When he gets back, it starts ringing. Chubs answers to find it is Liam calling from a payphone. Ruby delivers the news about Cole. Liam is ashamed he had to leave his brother behind. Liam says he isn’t coming back. Zu bets him to come back, but the answer is a dial tone as the pay phone’s time runs out. Ruby says she needs a minute to figure out what to do. She realizes this is what Clancy wanted when he planted the ideas in Cole’s head. She screams into Liam’s hoodie and then goes to the door, but something is holding her back. The next thing she knows, she is holding a gun to Lillian’s head.
Realization of what is going on comes to Ruby just before Vida tackles her to the ground. She explains what has happened and how Clancy has been using her to send out communications. she tells Chubs and the adult women to take the kids to nearby buildings outside the garage because their location has been compromised. She sends them along with the Thurmond map and the promise she will be right behind them. Ruby races down to Clancy’s cell. Nico is already there with Cole’s keys. He admits he sent Cole to die and had Ruby send the camp the warning they were coming. Nico begs Clancy to leave and to stop ruining kids’ lives rather than the people who actually hurt them. Lillian comes in as they hear people coming in. Clancy says he called his dad to get him out. She shoots him.
Lillian shoots Clancy in the shoulder and then leg. The PSFs start to come, so Ruby takes the flash drive from around Nico’s neck and locks him in Clancy’s cell. She tells him Harry knows the plan. She drags Clancy to the hallway and shuts the door so it is hidden. She gets on the ground and lets the PSFs take her. They scan her face and drug her. She lets her mind spread to all of them and tells them she is a Green before she passes out. When Ruby wakes up again, she is in the infirmary in Thurmond. Dr. Fremont is there with a few PSFs and O’Ryan, the camp controller. The doctor uses a white noise machine and announces he is trying the Green frequency first. Ruby thrashes herself around. When O’Ryan insists on hitting the Orange button, Ruby gets inside Dr. Fremont’s head to make him push the wrong button and think it is Orange. One of the PSFs is sent to get her a uniform. While she changes, she is able to transfer the flash drive from her boot to her new shoes. A PSF leads her back to her old cabin, practically dragging her. When she is out of camera sight, she elbows his throat and goes into his mind to change his pace. She notices the changes and has to remind herself she is getting out of there. She sees Reds have taken the place of some of the PSFs.
Ruby makes the PSF think he was punishing her the whole trip. When he leaves her in the cabin, she waits for the other girls to show up. They are surprised and happy to see her. Ruby tells them a nurse got her out and she hid. They ask about Ashley, but Ruby lies and says she doesn’t know. She tells them what it is like outside Thurmond. Ruby notices Sam paying special attention to a certain Red. She asks about Sam’s limp, but another girl tells her it was a snakebite and Sam won’t talk about it. While working in the garden, a PSF picks on Sam for talking to Ruby. Ruby makes him urinate in his pants and trip as he runs away to clean himself. Sam asks Ruby to fix her mind, but Ruby is unsure. That night lying in bed, Ruby goes into Sam’s mind and releases her memories. Sam reaches down from the top bunk and Ruby takes her hand.
During the hour between work and dinner, it is Ruby’s turn to tell the story. She changes it from the usual fantasy to have the heroine go back and rescue the rest of her family. They are led to dinner shortly after and Ruby pushes Sam and screams at her. Ruby is plucked out of line and taken through the kitchen to a blind spot for the cameras. Ruby gets in the woman’s mind and has her switch clothes. Ruby sends her out to the garden to work. She makes her way to the control tower and manipulates a Red’s mind to get in. She is able to install the Trojan on the computer before O’Ryan catches her. She is surrounded and tries to take all their minds, but O’Ryan punches her in the face and uses the white noise to disable her.
Ruby wakes up with her hands zip tied behind her and her legs to a chair. O’Ryan takes out his baton and breaks her shin. She refuses to answer his questions. She uses the PSF to shoot him and he gets the PSF in retaliation. Ruby knocks the chair over and moves over to O’Ryan’s body to get his knife. She cuts herself free and takes his gun to the wall opposite the door. Someone comes in and she sees it is Liam just before the power goes out. He rushes to her and apologizes for not returning right away while also scolding her for going back to Thurmond. He calls Harry who comes to help. Ruby insists she has to walk out. They support. her. Harry’s place is taken over by Vida as they follow the thousands of kids making their way to the meeting place. Alice did everything she could to get parents to show up, but that also alerted the government. A line of officers with riot shields and guns separate them. One of the officers drops his shield and walks over to a little girl calling to her mom on the other side. He gives her his armor and takes her to her mom. The other start letting the kids through. Ruby is put into an ambulance and the EMTs start to take care of her. She finally lets herself break down.
Ruby wakes up in the hospital and her Grams walks in. She asks about her friends and her grandma gives her the phone number Liam left on a piece of paper. Grams tells Ruby her parents are there and want to see her. Ruby agrees and releases their memories. After everyone leaves that night, she calls Liam. The next morning, they all meet at the hotel for the conference and Ruby gets to see her friends. Senator Cruz lays out the plan that kids eighteen and over will decide if they want the cure. Anyone under eighteen will have their parents decide. If they decide to keep them, they will have to live on reservations their whole life. Chubs interrupts and points out the flaws in the plan. Senator Cruz encourages him to continue. Ruby watches Clancy walk out and follows. He still has plans to get back into power. Ruby removes Thurmond, experimentations, East River, and all the bad from his memories. As she gets ready to go back to the conference, Liam, Chubs, Vida, and Zu come out. Liam lead them to the parking garage and points out they will all be split up soon and this is their last chance to all be together. Ruby tells him to just drive and get lost and the others agree.