Ruby is in the garden at Thurmond when the “white noise” goes off making all the girls fall down sick. She wonders who did what for their punishment this time. It is overwhelming this time and Ruby can’t respond to the person saying her name.
Ruby was ten when Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration (IAAN) starting killing off kids her age. She watched a girl in her class, Grace, die suddenly in the middle of lunch at school. The adults did everything they could to hide information from the children. Ruby accidentally found a list of symptoms to watch for which mostly revolved around behavior changes. President Gray made a statement about lives lost, but the government was really worried about the children that survived.
Kids that survived were crammed onto buses with their hands bound after being kept awake for a long time with bright lights. Psi Special Forces (PSFs) were among them to keep them in line. When they arrived at the camp, another PSF came onto the bus to bark orders. One boy tried to rebel and was beaten. Ruby was ushered into a group and looked back at the others that came off the bus. A boy said something to the girl in front of him and she ran as soon as she was off the bus. The boy said something to the guard and she used her gun to kill herself. He yelled for everyone to run and continued to ensue panic. Ruby just stared at him, knowing she didn’t have anywhere to go. A PSF called for restraints for an Orange, and Ruby started to notice the children were marked by color. The Oranges all wore the same mask; the Reds were cuffed and chained together. The new kids were taken inside and put into groups. A girl (a tag on her clothes said Samantha) held Ruby’s hand while they waited their turn to be called individually into an office. Samantha went first. Ruby was put into a room where a man waited for her behind a computer. He looked up her file and was annoyed she wasn’t reclassified. He had her lay down for a CT scan. When he touched the back of her neck, Ruby was flooded with memories that were not hers. She saw the man’s personal memories and then some of the other children that were classified. A Yellow kid destroyed the machinery. Blue stood for telekinesis. A Red boy made pencils burst into flames. Green were kids with enhanced memories and intelligence. Ruby kept repeating she was Green until the man classified her with a green “x” across the shirt he handed her. Ruby realized she missed her one chance to run.
Ruby and Samantha are put into the same cabin and assigned as bunkmates. They are worked like slaves while their parents are told they are being rehabilitated. There is only one story of success, Clancy Gray (the President’s son), and his picture hangs all over the camp. Sam tells Ruby they will get out one day and be able to do whatever they want. Ruby is convinced she will be fine if she follows Sam and she does for five years. One day, Ruby is tired from lack of sleep and a fever. She is working in the Factory next to Sam lacing and polishing boots for the PSFs. One notices Ruby moving slow and starts messing with her. He presses himself against her back and tells her to watch him. He dumps out a finished bin saying all the perfect boots are wrong. Sam says it is her bin he dumped out. She expects Ruby to back her up, but Ruby can’t let them find out she is not really Green. Sam is taken away for punishment and returns to their cabin two days later. Sam wants to be alone after she scolds Ruby for not standing up for herself. Ruby touches Sam’s shoulder and gets flashes of her memories. When they are over, Sam asks if Ruby her name and if she is new to the camp.
After passing out from the earlier white noise, Ruby wakes up in the infirmary with dried blood on her face. Dr. Begbie unstraps her from the bed and asks a few questions. Ruby speaks for the first time in a year (since she erased Sam’s memories of her) to tell her she doesn’t normally react that bad to the white noise. Cate Begbie hands Ruby her clipboard before leaving her curtained off from the others. Ruby reads the doctor’s warning that the “calm control” was altered to find hidden Reds, Oranges, and Yellows. She has attached a bag of two pills for Ruby to take before bed so she can help her. If Ruby stays, they will kill her the next day. Ruby eats the note and sees that her actual chart says another girl fell on her and gave her a concussion. She hides the pills in her sports bra and allows a PSF to lead her back to her cabin. The other girls were concerned, but Ruby goes quiet again and heads for her bed. Sam is sitting on her top bunk with her new friend, Vanessa. Ruby feels bad she erased the best parts of Sam, but is glad they won’t be able to tie her escape to her. After everyone is asleep, Ruby takes the pills one at a time.
Ruby wakes up and falls out of bed spasming. The other girls hold her down and hit the emergency button. When she wakes up again, Dr. Begbie puts smelling salt under her nose to get her lucid. Ruby looks around to see they are in some sort of storage room with Dr. Rogers, who gives her scrubs to Ruby. Dr. Begbie ties Dr. Rogers up with duct tape. Ruby puts on the scrubs and a mask. Cate helps her out of the infirmary telling everyone Dr. Rogers is sick, and she is taking her home. A PSF stops them in the parking lot, but Cate convinces him to carry Ruby to her Jeep for her. They make it through the guard post and Ruby falls asleep while they are driving away.
When Ruby wakes up again, they are in a different car with a boy (also an Orange) named Martin sleeping in the backseat. Cate explains he was smuggled out using a medical waste box. Ruby feels guilty for leaving the others behind. Cate explains she is part of the Children’s League. They are working to save what little is left of the ten to seventeen population in America. John Alban, an advisor to President Gray, tried to spread the news of what happened to the children. When the government stopped him, he started the Children’s League to help them. Cate explains that Ruby will have to start over, but the future needs her. She gives Ruby a necklace with a “panic button” (hold for 20 seconds and the tracker will activate). When Cate touches Ruby’s arm, Ruby gets flashes of her memories. One is of Cate in a room that is on fire with a silver door labeled 456B. She can’t get it open. Cate doesn’t seem to notice and tells Ruby she was brave to leave with her. Ruby thinks of all the Reds, Oranges, and Yellows that were brave and fought back and how none of them lived. When the radio finally picks up a station, there is news about the chaos in America. Cate explains President Gray has shut down congress and voting until things are resolved. Some kids marched on the capital, but weren’t successful in destroying the government. People are breaking laws to hide babies and feed families. Martin wakes up and says his dad was killed in a riot at his grocery store. He tries to mess with Ruby’s mind but she can feel and does her best to stop him. He is excited to stop the camps and help the other children through violence. Ruby is more hesitant. She refrains from asking Cate about the fire.
As they continue down the road. Cate has Ruby move to the backseat to hide from the minimal traffic. Even the small towns didn’t survive as people lost jobs because the government couldn’t afford to pay for anything. Martin tries to get Ruby to use her ability by making her angry. He explains that he manipulates peoples’ feelings. When they stop, Cate rushes out to meet a man named Rob. Ruby notices red on his sleeve. She feels a headache coming on and tries to back away, but ends up tripping. Rob catches her and she sees his memories of killing two kids. He gives Ruby and Martin back packs and tells them to shower and change at the rest stop. Martin showers first. Ruby grabs food from the abandoned shelves and goes through the door marked “employees only” with plans to run away. She finds another kid.
The little girl with rubber gloves is surprised to see Ruby and starts to run. Ruby follows her out the backdoor and into the trees. They come to a small line of houses that are in bad shape. The girl gets into a black minivan and locks the doors. Cate, Rob, and Martin are out looking for her and calling her name. As people approach, the girl pulls Ruby into the backseat of the van and puts a sheet over her. Two boys, Liam and Chubs, get in the van and start driving. Once Ruby realizes that she will only bring these children trouble, she shows herself. Liam swerves when he sees her in the rearview mirror and pulls the car to a stop. Chubs is upset the girl, Suzame, picked up a stray when they wouldn’t let him have a box of kittens. Ruby apologizes and tries to leave, but the sliding door won’t open. Liam asks if she wants to return to the Children’s League, confirming Ruby’s suspicion that they aren’t what they seem. When she says she doesn’t, he gets the van moving again. He introduces everyone and says they will drop her off at the next bus station. Zu hides from the gold SUV speeding towards them as a bullet soars through the back window.
Liam slams his foot on the gas and they take off. When Ruby looks behind them, she sees a woman in a red truck is now directly behind them. A man with a gun is hanging out their window. Rob and Cate follow in the SUV and Cate shoots and kills the man in the truck. Rob uses the SUV to take out the truck and they continue after the minivan, dubbed Black Betty. Liam says he can’t concentrate. he stops the van and has Ruby take over driving, saying it is like riding a bike. She hesitates until the SUV that flew past them turns around to come back for them. It isn’t long before the SUV is following them again. Liam sits on the door and knocks down a tree between the two vehicles. Rob hits the tree and the SUV ends up on it’s side. The van ends up with a flat tire, so Ruby pulls off on the next ramp. She punches Liam in the arm because driving was nothing like riding a bike. They get out of the van and Liam starts to change the tire while Chubs reads a torn up book. Ruby finds an old newspaper that has printed the same picture of Clancy Gray that was hanging up all over Thurmond. Ruby takes the clothes out of her backpack and Liam shows her how to find trackers sewn into the seams. She uses Chubs sewing kit to remove them. When they are ready to go, Chubs closes the door in Ruby’s face and demands to know her story. The three of them came from a camp run out of an old school in Ohio and contained around three hundred kids. They escaped. Ruby tells them she came from Thurmond, which housed around three thousand kids. She tells them she was in the tower and saw some codes so the League took her out of there. She is surprised she when they confirm she was there six years (as Sam suggested) when they tell her the current year. She says she doesn’t know Martin’s story. Ruby hates Chub’s looks of pity as they get back in the van. Liam asks if she has a last name and she says no.
Ruby wakes up with Chubs watching her and mentally kicks herself for falling asleep. He tricks her into proving she doesn’t have a photographic memory (like she said she did as a Green) while he blames her for the League being after them before he goes to join Liam and Zu. They are checking out an RV park in East River, West Virginia. As they search, Chubs explains they are looking for the Slip Kid’s East River. The leader is said to have slipped away from the PSFs several times and is able to get letters to kids’ parents secretly. They plan on getting their friend, Jack’s letter to him. Jack didn’t leave the camp with them and they want to deliver the letter for him. Ruby and Zu are in a camper when Ruby sees a camera on the dashboard. She tries to destroy it, but fails. Zu takes off one of her rubber gloves and fries the camera. They get out and see all of the dashboards have cameras similar to the ones at Thurmond. As they drive away, Chubs says skip tracers (bounty hunters) are probably after them because they are worth ten thousand dollars each. After a while, Liam tenses and points out to Ruby they are being followed. He gets in a lefthand turn lane to get on the highway and a pickup truck goes to turn right. A Volkswagen goes to turn in front of them and Liam lets the driver go first. The truck goes from playing music to blaring white noise as the Volkswagen stops right in front of them. Ruby tires blasting their own radio to block out the sound as the kids collapse around her. One man tries to grab Chubs, but Ruby claws him until he drops him half out of the van. The other man tries to get Liam from the driver seat. Ruby punches the guy in the face, but the first man grabs Zu. She tries to wake Liam, but he is out cold. The man with the Volkswagen uses the white noise machine and is able to grab Ruby. He uses an orange device to identify Liam. There is a crash and Ruby is able to get the machine and beat her captor with it. She touches him and pictures him disappearing into the woods and waiting an hour. When she lets go, he does it. Ruby finds Zu not far from the impact of the two vehicles and the dead truck driver. Ruby carries her to the van and then gets Zu’s gloves back to her. She gets Chubs back inside, Pushes Liam out of the driver seat, and gets them moving again.
About ten miles down the road, Ruby pulls into a rest stop while the boys start to wake up. Ruby gladly gives up the driver seat and tells them a modified version of what happened, giving all the credit to Zu. She thinks the white noise was worse for them because they hand’ t experienced it before. Liam and Zu go out of the van while Chubs helps Ruby clean up her wounds. He points out that she lied about Zu killing the man that grabbed her and is thankful Ruby said he was only knocked out for Zu’s sake. She tells him about the orange device that seems to be able to ID them with just a quick flash. Chubs tells her the PSFs are particularly interested in catching Liam because he was the one behind their breakout. As they get back into the van to leave, Ruby ends up in the front passenger seat. They try to use a map to figure out where they are and Liam realizes Ruby is from Virginia based on her knowledge of historical locations. He puts it to a vote and Chubs is the only one who doesn’t want Ruby to stay with them. Realizing her grandma might bot have survived this long, Ruby agrees to stay with them. Liam tells her about the British (odd because US borders have been closed since everything started) skip tracer, Lady Jane, that has been following them since their escape. Ruby recognizes her description as the woman who was driving the red pickup truck Rob took out. Later they drive past several motels until they find one with the vacancy sign on. Liam drives them around back then leaves them in the van to break into a room. Chubs holds Ruby back to tell her the right thing to do would be to sneak out in the middle of the night. He goes to join Liam and Zu in the room. Ruby takes the opportunity to see what book Chubs has been reading. It is a copy of Watership Down by Richard Adams (novel about rabbits fleeing from man invading their homes). Ruby’s dad used to read it to her.
After Zu and Chubs shower, Ruby takes over the bathroom. She goes through her backpack and finds a red dress Zu must have put in from the trailer. She also finds another panic button necklace. She decides to keep it in case she can’t protect her new friends, figuring the League is better than the PSFs if they get caught. She starts to cry uncontrollably after showering. Liam comes to check on her and give her a pair of his extra socks. She thanks him and he awkwardly rambles away until Chubs chides him for it. While sleeping in the only bed together, Ruby is pulled into Zu’s nightmare. The school she was at had smoke coming under the door of the room they slept in at night. All the kids get out of the building and start running for the gate. Zu sees another Asian girl, but they are separated in the crowd. Liam and Chubs are in the tower trying to turn off the electricity to the fence, but one kid is fried and others are shot down even if after they surrender. Zu is pushed into the snow until Chubs turns off the power, Liam grabs her, and they leave. A total of about twenty kids made it out. Liam comforts Zu when she wakes up. After calming her down, he sits by the bed and watches the door. Ruby wakes up early and finds Liam syphoning gas out of cars and into a gas can with his Blue abilities. Ruby is surprised at how skilled he is at it. He explains that he had time alone to practice before he was taken to camp. They bond over the Doors and Allman Brothers while Liam continues to collect gasoline.
They do their best to put the motel room back in order before they leave. Zu and Chubs fall asleep in the van and Liam has Ruby crawl up front to read road signs. She asks about Zu’s nightmares. Liam tells her they are usually about their escape or how her family gave her up because they were scared of her. She was in the first wave and what they did to her keeps her from talking, though she might again someday. A newsman comes on the radio to talk about bombings in NYC where President Gray is rumored to be hiding. Liam and Chubs explains there is a small surviving piece of government on the West coast call the Federal Coalition, but they really aren’t any better than the rest of the groups. Liam stops at a Waffle House and leaves them in the van to go inside and order them food while Zu works on math problems. When he comes back, he quickly moves the van into an alley to hide from the British slip tracer. Liam tells Ruby their only lead is “EDO” which Zu spells out for her. Chub reminds them Ruby said she was an expert at cracking codes. She suggests it stands for an area code and the “o” means zero. She remembers it was her area code. Liam starts up Black Betty to take them t a place he has hidden before. Around Harrisburg, Virginia, the highway is closed and they are forced to take the back roads. They pass by a fenced plastered with fliers of people whose parents are looking for them. They reach a trashed Walmart about ten minutes away from Ruby’s parent’s house in Salem. Liam goes to make his way inside and Ruby follows. Ruby has a bad felling once they are inside, but Liam insists they continue. He sees a familiar campsite in the store and then they both see the symbol of the PSFs on the wall in fresh paint. Suddenly, they are knocked to the ground and slid across the floor towards the cash registers. Suddenly, Zu is there with her hand on a register causing the electricity to go crazy. When the register looks like it is about to melt, Chubs pulls her off. The four of them find themselves surrounded by four other kids dressing in black and pointing guns at them.
The boys lower their guns when they realize they are all kids. There is some argument about who started the altercation, but Ruby ends it by saying they were just looking for a place to stay. They all sit in the boy’s camp and the leader, Greg, tells them they were being transferred when their bus flipped in a storm and they escaped. Greg hand starts on Ruby’s foot and moves up her leg. When it hits her knee, she sees his memories. One has his friends, Kyle and Kevin, leaning over some device that looks like a clock radio. The numbers on it climb, but she doesn’t see where it stops. Chub takes Greg’s hand off Ruby. When Greg comes out of his daze, he says Felipe Marco (Yellow) told them about the Walmart. Liam travelled with him in the past. Greg insults Zu and Ruby wants to punch him. Liam asks her to take Zu away. Ruby removes Zu’s glove and takes her hand to go for some girl time. They get themselves new clothes and then Zu picks some out for the boys. Ruby finds Zu a pink pair of rubber gloves that she loves. They meet Liam and Chubs at their own campsite. Liam says he sent Ruby with Zu because she was distracting the boys. they offered to give more information in trade, but Liam turned them down. Ruby asks why he is looking for the Slip Kid. They both lie and say it is to get home.
After Liam and Zu are asleep, Ruby listens to the boys in the next tent talking. She gets up and goes to keep watch and finds Chubs already watching. She makes her way over to him. Neither of them trust the boys and both know Liam is too kind hearted to see it. Chubs explains his father is a surgeon and his mother worked for the government. The only way they could communicate with each other while he was in hiding was in book reviews. Ruby is amazed at the cleverness of the code. He tells her his real name is Charles. While Chubs and Ruby fight off sleep, Ruby racks her brain about eh “EDO” clue. She remembers the clock radio in Greg’s memory and thinks it is 540 AM Radio station. She wakes up Chubs and they check out the radio in the back. They hear a frequency meant for Psi kids and then a voice saying they are at Prince Lake, Virginia. Liam wakes up to see them ecstatic. Rub tells him to get Zu.
Chubs tells Ruby about Jack as they travel towards Prince Lake. He was a lovable guy, but was shot during the escape. Ruby goes to open his letter, but Liam yells for her to stop. He pulls over at a rest stop even after Chubs points out it might be a good idea to read it. Liam storms out of the car. Chubs tells Ruby to go after him so she does. Liam tells Ruby his sister died of IAAN. He joined the Children’s League after his brother and hoped to make a difference (though his stepdad saw through the League’s propaganda). His brother’s kill list sent Liam running and he was caught by PSFs. He wants to find the Slip Kid because he wants to help more kids escape camps. Ruby tells him to stop wondering off on his own. Liam goes to reach for her and she backs away knowing she can’t control her power. Ruby trips and Liam catches her.
Ruby goes through a few of Liam’s early memories and a few more recent. She slaps him to break the connection and panics that was the wrong thing to do. Luckily, he remembers her. They start heading back to the van, but a skip tracer is waiting and hits Ruby in the face with the butt of his rifle. Ruby manages to stay conscious. Lady Jane is there with a partner and they already have Chubs and Zu tied up. Liam offers himself for the freedom. Lady Jane declines, planning to take them all in and then go to Prince Lake (the boys at the Walmart filled her in) to round up the Slip Kid and his followers. She calls to Ruby to come to her first. Ruby slowly approaches and knows she will have to use her ability in front of her friends. She knees Lady Jane and then grabs her by the throat. She erases her memories of them and the boys at the Walmart. She has the bounty hunter wander into the woods. Ruby crouches down and tries not to faint. She thinks her life with her friends is over.
Ruby remembers the night before her tenth birthday. Her mom was upset because they couldn’t throw her a birthday party. Ruby starts asking about death and her mom gets angry when her dad answers. As they start to fight, Ruby locks herself in her room. She comes out in the middle of the night to find her parents sleeping in their room. She kisses each of their cheeks and gets an odd flash of images. The next morning, Ruby wakes up and goes to the kitchen. She finds her mom making bacon instead of the traditional chocolate birthday pancakes. Ruby asks to stay home from school and her mom freaks out. She thinks Ruby is a random kid that snuck into their house. She locks Ruby in the garage. After a while, Ruby’s dad comes out and says they will take her to the police station (he is a cop) to find her parents. She overhears her mom on the phone with someone telling her Ruby is her daughter. When the PSFs come, Ruby thinks they are police officers and goes right to them. They grab her by the hair to take her away. Ruby wakes up in the backseat of the van and hears Liam and Chubs arguing about getting rid of her. Ruby cries and makes her way out of the van. She prepares herself to leave them. Chubs tells her they were arguing about Black Betty, the van. Liam tells her they will always want Ruby with them. She confirms his suspicion that she wants to find the Slip Kid to learn how to control her Orange powers. Liam goes to find Zu. Ruby wonders if this is what the rest of their lives will be like. Chubs points out it might change in the future. As they sit around a campfire, Ruby tells the others about her life at Thurmond. She tells them how she pretended to be Green from the start and how messed up the other Oranges were before the Red, Oranges, and Yellows were taken away. Liam points out they have only made it as far as they have because Ruby joined them.
Ruby tries to sleep in the van like the others, but can’t seem to. Liam touches her neck to let her know he is awake too. She plays with his hair and he takes her hand. He asks if it is difficult to control while touching. She tells him when she’s tired or upset her head feels a certain way and then it is hard to control. He asks if she has ever been in their heads. She admits to seeing Zu’s nightmare and Liam’s memories at the rest stop. He asks about her life, but takes back the request. He want to tell her everything and keeps some secrets at the same time. He is embarrassed, ashamed, and feeling guilty about what he did in Ohio. Ruby tries to reassure him he only did what he thought was right. They decide to let Chubs and Zu sleep a few more hours before they head out on foot. When they wake up, Liam and Ruby let go of each other’s hands and Liam wakes up the others. They say goodbye to Black Betty and Zu puts four flowery weeds on the windshield. Ruby finds the panic button in her pocket and is relieved to have it. They walk through the woods keeping the highway in earshot. They hear a loud crash. Liam and Ruby go to investigate. They see two groups dressed in all black to to rob a semi-truck that has flipped on it’s side. They have a knife to driver’s palm and Ruby screams. The men leave the driver and put Liam and Ruby on the ground. They take the letters from Liam and then read the addresses. One guy, Mike, recognizes Liam. They had travelled together previously. A Herculean-sized boy thinks they should follow the rules, but Mike points out their rules only apply to adults. Mike offers them to go back with them. Liam turns him down until Mike says he is with the Slip Kid.
Mike leads the way to a campground with kids everywhere. They take their boxes to food storage for a girl named Lizzy to take care of. Mike then takes them to meet the Slip Kid. Clancy Gray immediately recognizes Ruby. Not only is everyone looking for her, but he has read her file several times. He blurts out her entire story until Liam pushes Clancy away from her. Clancy recognizes Liam from his file as well. He speaks inside Ruby’s head to apologize and shows her an image of him on his knee handing her a rose. The next thing Ruby knows, they are outside their assigned cabin and she has her head against Liam’s chest. She tells him she needs to get away and leaves her friends behind. She finds an abandoned dock and lies down on it. When Ruby hears the cowbells, she returns to the group. Liam is waiting for her with a bowl of chili while Chubs takes his food to hide in the cabin. Zu introduces Liam and Ruby to her cousin, Hina, a Green who was at the Ohio camp. Zu goes back to playing with kids her age. She later beckons Liam to dance with her. Liam later uses his power to pull Ruby to him so they can slow dance. When the fire is put out, Ruby can see Clancy watching her from across the fire pit.
Liam goes through the woods on Security detail. Chubs works in the garden, and Zu is put into classes. Ruby gets stuck in the pantry putting away and keeping track of inventory. Clancy comes to pull her out of there. He doesn’t know why Mike gave her the assignment when he told him not to give her a job. Clancy wants her to work with him and shows her images of them working together. He quickly realizes Ruby doesn’t have control over her powers. He offers to teach her so she doesn’t have to go through the self-learning he did. She says she’ll think about it and he turns to go back to his office. Ruby’s head and guy have conflicting opinions. She goes down to the dock to think, but Chubs is already there. She tells him Clancy’s offer and he tells her she has to take it to fain control. They go to lunch together and watch Liam and some other security guys play hoverball (football with no hands). Liam is awful, but making friends. Ruby wonders if she and Chubs need to be more social. The next morning, Ruby waits outside Clancy’s door while the head of security, Olivia, asks for a lot of people for a run. She asks him to check with his source for information, but he says it is too dangerous for him to leave. He sends her away to plan the hit and tells them to leave the Psi symbol, but not to carve it into people. He invites Ruby in and says he will have to show her his story. She sees him go to camp and get experimented on. She sees him going around the country to speak publicly about rehabilitation. He uses his powers to influence his dad. When President Gray finds out, he sends the secret service to kill Clancy. Clancy runs away and starts East River. He then shows her own file and she reads the League planted the frequency to find hidden Red, Orange, and Yellow kids. When Ruby asks why, Clancy tells her the Reds were not killed. They were taken to become an army for President Gray. Ruby is furious and tells Clancy to teach her.
As Clancy shows Ruby around the camp, she is surprised at how people are drawn to him. He solves problems, visits a sick boy, and teaches a history class. Ruby tells him she is ready to learn. They spend hours a day in Clancy’s office while she tries to get inside his mind. He shows her on other people how he does different things - making them do or feel as he pleases. Thinking of her parents and Sam, Ruby explains she wants to be able to stop herself from erasing people’s memories of her. As Clancy touches her arm, she realizes she wants it to be Liam, but can’t be with him until she learns. After several failed attempts at keeping Clancy out of her memories, he suggests she think of something or someone she wants. She thinks about Liam and her going to a picnic at her parents house and everyone she loves is there. When she feels Clancy trying to get in, she uses her mind’s hand to push him away. She wants to try again, but an alarm goes off. Clancy checks surveillance cameras and sees a middle aged couple in hunting camouflage. He sends Hays to take care of it. Once Ruby gets the idea that she can use different methods, she starts to experiment with getting into Clancy’s head. He has her practice on others and then without touching people. A girl, Kylie, comes to yell at Clancy for denying her request to leave East River. He sends Ruby away to explain to Kylie. Ruby finds Chubs at the dock; he has been skipping his garden duty for weeks. He yells at Ruby because they have been there for a month and haven’t made an attempt to get home. After he storms off, Ruby goes to rinse her face at the showers. On her way out, she runs into Liam, who introduces himself.
Liam’s joke about forgetting Ruby because they have been away from each other so much makes her cry. He carries her back to their cabin and holds her on the futon. Suddenly, Zu busts in with her cousin, Hina. Kylie’s request to go tribal has been approved. Zu is going with them to California to be with Hina’s parents. They say their goodbyes and Zu asks Ruby to come find her when it is all over. She has something to say to Ruby, but doesn’t quite know how to say it yet. Ruby promises. Chubs suggests they follow them before they get too far. Liam wants to stay. Chubs accuses him of wanting to be the hero rather than actually helping people. Chubs storms off to the cabin and Ruby sends Liam the other way to cool down. When Liam returns, he and Ruby join an apologetic Chubs on their porch.
Ruby is worried about Zu out on the road without her to protect her. She has trouble concentrating during her lessons with Clancy and he kicks her out. She tries to apologize, but he sends her away for the next few days. When he is ready to talk to her, he apologizes for his behavior. He was jealous his only real friend was so focused on someone else. She says she will forgive him if he lets Chubs use the computer to communicate with his parents. Clancy agrees to let Chubs use it if Ruby shows him how to erase memories. She agrees and asks if they can do it later because she is supposed to meet Liam. With his hands on her face and in her hair, he convinces her it won’t take long. She starts thinking back to when she was ten, but suddenly, Clancy is kissing her. A voice tells her it is what she wants, but she quickly realizes it sin’t her voice. She wants Liam. She is unable to get free and freaks out. There is an exploding pain and she forgets everything that just happened.
When Ruby wakes up, she is still in Clancy’s office wondering if it really happened. He tells her he wasn’t able to figure out how she erases memories. Ruby says she needs to go find Liam and Clancy explodes with jealousy. He tells her she is above a Blue because she is Orange and was given those powers for a reason. Clancy saw that she wants Liam and tells her she will never be able to be with him because she is afraid of her abilities. When he tries to Ruby back to him, she elbows him in the face and leaves. She rushes into the woods to be alone, but Mike sent Liam after her. He stays with her despite her protests. She hits him to try to get him to leave. When he doesn’t, she kisses him. She remembers Clancy kissing her and when she pulls back, she can tell that Liam saw the memory. He tells her to pack and goes to find Chubs. Ruby finds Chubs in the cabin and tells him everything as they pack. When Liam arrives, they leave down a narrow path. Clancy, Hays, and a few other boys are there to stop them from leaving.
Chubs, unaffected by Clancy’s mind control, tells Clancy about his disgusting self. Clancy makes an obscene comment about Ruby and Liam goes to hit him. Clancy freezes Liam in place while Hays repeatedly punches him in the face. Olivia and Mike come to see what all the commotion is about. When Chubs and Ruby try to go to Liam, they are held back and then hauled away to their cabin. Mike blames Ruby for ruining Liam’s happiness at East River. Chubs sticks up for her. When Olivia brings Liam in, she lays him on the bed and takes Chubs for medical supplies. Ruby tells him about erasing people’s memories of her. Liam tells Ruby he wants to be with her no matter what and he will never forget her. Mike is planning to help them escape.
Chubs returns and he and Ruby clean up Liam as he sleeps. Lizzie from storage comes running in to get Ruby saying Clancy is bleeding and convulsing. She and Chubs both know it is a trap. She goes anyway, positive that she can beat him this time. When they get there, Lizzie drops to the ground crying over the empty space she thinks is Clancy’s body. Ruby tells him to send her away then she attacks Clancy. She is able to get into his head, but he throws her out quickly. He freezes her against the floor as PSFs raid the camp. Clancy sends them away from the storage room and wonders why his Reds were not sent. Ruby realizes Clancy has been manipulating his father for a long time. He wants to take the army of Reds to kill his father. Chubs comes and knocks Clancy off of Ruby. He drags her out and gets her under their dock to hide from the PSFs while she slowly regains control of her body.
It is morning before Chubs and Ruby are brave enough to risk getting out of the water. They don’t see anyone at the camp and head for Clancy’s office. He left Ruby a note to say he cares about her, but she points out the laptop and tells Chubs he has fifteen minutes of battery left. He tries to locate Jack’s (took a bullet to save him) dad and posts the message for his parents. Ruby looks out the window and sees Liam making his way back to the camp. Ruby runs out to greet him. He explains Olivia and Mike carried him out and a few other members of the Watch made it out. Olivia found a car, but Liam left them to come back for Chubs and Ruby. While the boys sort through canned goods, Ruby uses the last of the life in the laptop to call her parents house. She hears her grandmother’s name, also Ruby, on the answering machine and pretends for a second it is her they are talking about.
Liam finds them a car. He wants to drop Chubs off at his Aunt’s restaurant as his parents instructed, but Chubs insists on delivering Jack’s letter. After waiting for an hour with no PSFs arriving, Chubs goes to the door. Jacks dad answers and shoots Chubs in the chest. Liam and Ruby get Chubs back to the car and get out of there. Liam looks for a hospital while Ruby tries to keep Chubs alive in the back seat. Their car breaks down. Ruby holds down the panic button. They come and pry her off Chubs. Liam promises they will go with them if they save Chubs. Ruby is carried away after being sedated.
Cate and Martin are with Ruby when she wakes up. Martin is annoyed at Ruby for running away when she could have been useful. Ruby looks into his mind with a simple touch. She sees him deliver explosives and ready to kill his backup because she had second thoughts about blowing up a large, populated building. Ruby wipes his memory and asks him questions until he runs out of the room crying. Cate doesn’t have any information on Chubs, but tells Ruby if she runs, they will kill Liam. Ruby tells Cate she will stay if they let Liam go and never go after him again. Cate agrees and Ruby warns her not to go back on her promise or she will destroy the entire organization. Ruby goes to see Liam. He tells her the League will do everything they can to keep them separated. She tells him she would do it all again just to meet him. He comes up with a story about them meeting in a normal world. Ruby kisses him and takes away his memories of her. She makes him think Chubs made it home and promises herself she will get him out too. Cate comes in the room and tells Liam he was in an accident. His brother, Cole, arranged to have him sent home. Liam tries to refuse the money Cate gives him, but he takes it when Ruby hands it to him. She watches him leave and knows part of her is going with him.