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Welcome to our next read-along section, Initiates! This section of chapters is pretty intense, so enjoy and let's discuss in the comments!
Catch up on previous sections here:
After promising Tobias she won't leave him, Tris slips away from him after he falls asleep. She goes to get Christina and tells her about something the Abnegation were about to do which caused the attack in the first place, information only Marcus knows. Christina believes her but tells her not to do anything stupid. Tris insists that she is going to visit Caleb with the Abnegation and just wanted someone else to know the information before she goes.
I walk toward the exit. I hold myself together until I'm through the door, and then I feel the tears come.
The last conversation I'll ever have with her, and it was full of lies.
Then Tris runs to Erudite and turns herself over.
The Dauntless traitors take her and she sees none other than Peter coming out of the elevator.
He takes her to a 6 by 6 foot room with cameras in every corner, and then she begins to panic.
I have to make a plan. If I can make a plan, I won't be so afraid.
But there is no plan. No escape from deep in Erudite quarters, no escape from Jeanine, and no other escape from what I've done.
I forgot my watch.
Tris' greatest regret is not turning herself over to the Erudite but rather that she cannot tell what time it is, which is likely to drive her crazy.
Shortly, Jeanine arrives flanked by Peter and a few other Erudite, then proceeds to give Tris a little tour.
She takes Tris to a room with a large metal table and a machine: her execution room.
Jeanine reveals that her and her scientists will be studying Tris' Divergence in order to create a simulation that controls the Divergent population. Then when they are done, they will execute her. Tris tries to hide her fear:
"I knew what would happen when I came here," I say. "It's just a table. And I'd like to go back to my room now."
"Let's make a deal," I say. "If I cooperate, I get to see the scan."
"You will cooperate whether you want to or not."
I hold up a finger. "That's not true."
Then Tris notices the similarities between her and Jeanine, temporarily distracting herself.
Jeanine finally agrees to let Tris see the results of all the tests since Tris will be executed anyway.
After the MRI, Tris goes to the lab to see the results. Tris notices that there is an empty chair in the room still turning. Somebody had just left.
Jeanine then has her Erudite lackeys reveal in their classroom-like setting what is unique about Tris' brain.
They state that Tris' brain indicates that she is not reward motivated but is good at directing her thoughts and actions towards her goals. They now know how to modify the next simulation serum to target this trait, so Tris departs with Peter.
As they walk down the hallway, Tris sees "him."
"What did you do?" I mumble... As he passes me he stretches out his hand. He wraps it around my palm and squeezes. Squeezes, then lets go. His eyes are bloodshot; he is pale.
"What did you do?" This time the question tears from my throat like a growl.
Tobias looks over his shoulder at me. "I asked you not to do this. You made your decision. These are the repercussions."
Once they get back to Tris' cell, Peter asks why he came too.
Before he leaves, Tris asks Peter if he can find out what they are going to do to Tobias.
"Why would I do that? Why would I do anything for you?"
Oh, man... This chapter!
Soon Tris is taken to Jeanine and the first thing she asks is, "Where is he?"
"I see no reason to provide that information," says Jeanine.
Jeanine won't tell her without changing their agreement, so Tris proceeds.
"Aren't you supposed to be running a faction and planning a war?" I say. "What are doing here, running tests on a sixteen-year-old girl?"
"You choose different ways of referring to yourself depending on what is convenient. Sometimes you insist that you are not a little girl, and sometimes you insist that you are. What I want to know is: How do you really view yourself? As one or the other? As both? As neither?"
I make my voice flat and factual, like hers."I see no reason to provide that information."
I hear a faint snort. Peter is covering his mouth.
Then Jeanine injects Beatrice and a simulation begins.
Tris is on a bus with her mom, who is oddly praising the Erudite. Tris cherishes these moments she gets to see her mother. As they get of the bus, Tris says "Mom? ... I love you." And then the window next to them explodes at Tris' command.
"You'll have to do better than that," I say to Jeanine.
She says, "That was only the beginning."
That night Tris dreams of her mother in the Amity orchards picking apples. But shortly, Peter comes to escort Tris to her next "appointment."
But they go to her execution room. Tris is terrified and tries to fight Peter off as he straps her to the table at Jeanine's command.
Jeanine won't tell her what's going on because "This is entirely separate from the agreement."
They bring Tobias in and he reveals that Jeanine wants to know about the factionless safe houses. Tris is injected with an undiluted fear serum that will overwhelm her brain with terror so that Tobias will tell Jeanine what she wants to know.
In the simulation, Tris hears constant screaming and sees Tobias fighting the Dauntless guards holding him back, but then he points a knife at his stomach. Tris yells at him to stop but he says, "I'm doing this for you," and then stabs himself. Birds begin to peck away at him as he lies bleeding on the floor. Tris is convinced it is all real because she can't break free from the table, until...
"Sedative," a stern voice commands.
Tris sobs with relief, and Jeanine lets Tobias and Tris hold each other for a moment so that he will tell her the locations of the safe houses.
Tobias is escorted out but Jeanine stays with Tris.
"While you sleep, we will be performing a short procedure to observe a few things about your brain. It will not be invasive. But before that... I promised you full transparency with these procedures. So I feel it's only fair that you know exactly who has been assisting me in my endeavors." [Jeanine] smiles a little. "Who told me what three factions you had an aptitude for, and what our best chance was to get you to come here, and to put your mother in the last simulation to make it more effective."
She looks toward the doorway as the sedative sets in, making everything blur at the edges. I look over my shoulder...
The next morning Tris wakes up thinking of Caleb's betrayal and how she didn't know before. Then Peter comes to escort her to the showers.
On their way there, Tris and Tobias see each other in the hallway and Tobias breaks lose, grabbing Tris and running to a control room. While they are in there, Tobias reveals some important information to her:
Tris doesn't think she will be able to make it two more weeks and begins to cry.
"Tris," he says sternly. He never coddles me. I wish that, just this once, he would coddle me. "You have to . You have to survive this."
Tris doesn't want her life anymore but wants to be with her parents. Tobias says that he knows he can't force her to but she will survive, because that is who she is. Then she kisses him, like she used to, "when [she] felt sure of [them]."
Then the Dauntless traitors come into the closet and Tobias turns his gun into the hand of the nearest one.
Tris jerks awake in another experiment room, with Peter on her left and Caleb across from her.
"Did you ever leave Erudite?" I say.
"It's not that simple," he starts. "I-"
"It is that simple." I want to yell, but instead my voice comes out flat.
Caleb tries to justify his actions to Tris by saying that this situation is bigger than anyone knows and he had to do this.
"This isn't about Erudite; it's about everyone. All the factions," he says, "and the city. And what's outside the fence."
"I don't care," I say, but that isn't true. The phrase "outside the fence" prickles in my brain. Outside? How could any of this have to do with what's outside?
Something itches at the back of my mind. Marcus said that information the Abnegation possessed motivated Jeanine's attack on Abnegation. Does that information have to do with what's outside, too?
I push the thought away for the time being.
Tris continues to ask him when he betrayed them and Caleb says he has always been Erudite. She wants to tear him to pieces.
Then Jeanine comes in and says that they have discovered that Tris has an abundance of mirror neurons, which allows her to imitate behavior easier than most and gives her a flexible personality.
Tris blows the results off externally by saying she just wants to go back to her cell, but really she wants to cry in peace.
Tris suddenly awakes to Tobias shaking her shoulder and telling her they have to go now. He pulls her to her feet, making her wounded shoulder throb. They run for it and Tobias shoots the two guards they meet. Eventually they have to stop running so Tris can catch her breath. She has a realization and then kisses him.
He pulled me to my feet with my right hand. The real Tobias would have remembered the wound in my shoulder.
Then Tris spawns a knife in her pocket and wills her leg to be as hard as diamond. She thrusts the knife towards her leg and the blade bends.
She wakes to Jeanine's cries of frustration.
"What is it?" She grabs Peter's gun out of his hand and stalks across the room, pressing the barrel to my forehead. My body stiffens, goes cold. She won't shoot me. I am a problem that she can't solve. She won't shoot me.
"What is it that clues you in? Tell me. Tell me or I will kill you." ...
"You think I'm going to tell you?" I say. "You think I believe that you would kill me without figuring out the answer to this question?"
"You stupid girl," she says. "You think this is about you, and you abnormal brain? This is not about you. It is not about me. It is about keeping this city safe from the people who intend to plunge it into hell!"
I summon the last of my strength and launch myself at her...
"Pain can't make me tell you. Truth serum can't make me tell you. Simulations can't make me telll you. I'm immune to all three. ... You have failed. You can't control me!" I scream, so loud it hurts my throat. I stop struggling and sag against Peter's chest. "You will never be able to control me." ...
Tris goes back to her cell feeling triumphant and also thinks of her parents, filling her with grief.
Peter wakes Tris later and reveals that her execution has been scheduled for the next day at 8 am. Jeanine hasn't developed a serum but will continue experiments on Tobias.
Tris contemplates what is going to happen when she is killed and decides that all the loose ends will be easily tied up. Then she speaks to Peter:
"I could have forgiven you, you know," I say. "For trying to kill me during initiation. I probably could have."
We are both quiet for a while. I don't know why I told him that. Maybe just because it's true, and tonight, of all nights, is the time for honesty. Tonight I will be honest, and selfless, and brave. Divergent.
It is maybe the first time I've seen Peter truly be Dauntless.
That night, Tris dwells on the fact that she is going to die the next day. While crying, she contemplates life after death and forgiveness.
I suppose that now would be the time to ask for forgiveness for all the things I've done, but I'm sure my list would never be complete. I also don't believe that whatever comes after life depends on my correctly reciting a list of my transgressions-that sounds too much like an Erudite afterlife to me, all accuracy and no feeling. I don't believe that what comes after depends on anything I do at all.
I am better off doing as Abnegation taught me: turning away from myself, projecting always outward, and hoping that in whatever is next, I will be better than I am now.
I smile a little. I wish I could tell my parents that I will die like the Abnegation. They would be proud, I think.
What else did you like in these chapters? Let me know in the comments!
Our next section is Chapters 35-40, so I will see you next week, Initiates!