Before being confronted by Leon or Archie, Jerry must first confront himself. His body repels against him, as does his mind. He feels sick and he cannot sleep. He knows that what he has done is significant, and he knows that he will probably pay a price for it. He doubts his decision to prolong the ordeal, and part of his pain and insomnia is due to simple fear. Turning it over and over in his head, he finds no answers, only that unsettling feeling in the bit of his stomach that will not go away.
Jerry's decision is polarizing. While Brother Leon and Archie are angry at his defiance, other students at school admire him. This does not make the fear or the doubt subside, though, as Jerry realizes that his refusal has taken on a whole new meaning. Goober is particularly upset, and Jerry tells him: "It's not The Vigils, Goob. They're not in it anymore. It's me." The poster inside of Jerry's locker sums it up perfectly: Do I dare disturb the universe? Disturbing the universe of the school is precisely what Jerry is doing, and at his own volition, although he does not know exactly for which purpose yet. All he knows is that the way things are, with Archie and Brother Leon controlling, manipulating and terrorizing students is wrong. Jerry once again refuses the chocolates during the roll call, taking it upon himself to, somehow, make the world a different place.
The Vigils and Archie are still at work, issuing assignment, traumatizing students and teachers. In Chapter 20, Archie's loyalties come into question. Although he conceived of the assignment to plague Brother Jacques, he also betrays The Vigils and his own assignment, giving Brother Jacques the means to get revenge. It is clear that Archie will do anything to cause chaos or problems, even if it is helping a teacher get the best of The Vigils. To Archie, it is all a game, and he changes sides in conjunction with his whims and in accordance with what he thinks is most amusing. The reader is left to wonder how Archie will react upon hearing that Jerry has defied him and that for the first time, a student has not obeyed an assignment. By now, the reader knows that to Archie, nothing is sacred, which means that the consequences for disobeying him could reach new and dangerous heights.