I push my way through the crowd of Dauntless gathered at the bottom of the compound. Today was the Choosing Ceremony, and almost everyone has shown up to get a look at this year's initiates. Tomorrow, training will begin, and we'll see who is really cut out for this fraction. For the small group of sixteen year olds standing at the top of the building, the next month or so will be hell. Guns. Knives. Beating each other senseless. Your worst nightmares coming true.
This for me, however, means a lot of headaches. As instructor, it's my job to whip them into shape. The long weeks up ahead hold a lot of injuries, broken futures, and worst of all, having to work with Eric. I see he's already there, leaning casually against the wall. His cruel, Erudite eyes trained on the initiates above. Already looking for someone to crush. He sees me and smiles in a twisted, challenging way.
"Everybody make room! Instructors coming through!" Lauren shouts, and the mob parts, creating a small path for us. I am greeted with cheers and clasps on the back. People respect me, ever since I was ranked first in my own initiation two years ago. Ever since it became known I have only four fears. Eric abandons his spot against the wall, looking agitated. He hates that. He hates me, and the fact that I can steal his job-his power-at any moment. The feeling is mutual.
People step out of his way, too. But out of fear rather than respect. He is a ticking time bomb and they know it. He stops next to me, staring at the black net spread over the ground.
"So, partner," his voice is dripping with fake friendliness. "Who do you think the first jumper will be?"
I shrug. Probably a Dauntless-born, I really don't care.
"My money is on Zeke's brother." Lauren grins. "He starts training this year, remember?"
I zone out for the next few minutes. I've been doing that a lot lately. Really, I've been doing it for two years. When I first transferred to Dauntless, it was meant to be a haven. My promise land. The second chance I needed to finally escape Marcus. I changed everything from my hair to my name, erasing all traces of the past. After a long, hard battle, I had finally made the cut. I was finally a Dauntless, and this was supposed to be my new life, my new home.
After spending a few weeks here, I realized it was not the sanctuary I had dreamed of. It was not a place for noble, courageous soldiers. It used to be, but not anymore. That image had died a long time ago, killed by people like Eric.
Now, the word bravery had been redefined. It no longer meant standing up for what's right, or protecting the innocent. That had been torn apart and left aside. Now bravery, was just another word vicious.
The thought had deflated me, and I was no longer proud to be part of the "chivalrous" fraction. I tried to get used to it. I tried to like it that way, but I couldn't. I thought that maybe time would help. But soon weeks turned into months and months turned into a year. Nothing changed. My life soon lost its color. I lived but I wasn't alive. I had friends, but I didn't care. I stopped caring; I fell asleep.
But soon, after I'm done training the initiates, I'm leaving and never looking back. I'm going to be fractionless, I know. But the idea doesn't sting like it used to. At least I'll find purpose again.
My thoughts are interrupted my someone yelling,
My head snaps up. And I realize what they're talking about. The first initiate is about to jump. I squint, trying to get a better look. At the top of the building stands a dark figure. Way too small to be Zeke's brother. Way too small to be anyone I know. They take a few steps back. Getting a running start, and then plunging off the side of the building.
She-I'm guessing the initiate's a girl based on size- makes no noise on the way down. Not a scream, not even a little yelp. The air around me is completely silent as she drops, which is very rare for this fraction. No one moves, no one breathes. I start to wonder if I suddenly went deaf, but then the silence is finally broken when she hits the net. The crowd erupts into cheers.
She laughs, a little hysterically, but happy too.
She rolls over, almost hitting the floor, but I catch her just in time. I feel some sort of electric shock, and help her to her feet. She wobbles a little but doesn't fall. I'm impressed. In my initiation, I was one of the last to jump. I screamed all the way down and almost threw up when I hit the bottom.
She doesn't look like she's going to throw up. She doesn't even look that scared, more…Adrenaline. Her cheeks dark red and gray eyes bright and piercing. She's alert; awake. She's bursting life.
I've been watching her too long, I realize. I snap out of it, hearing Lauren beside me.
"-A Stiff, the first to jump? Unheard of."
My eyes travel to her clothes, and I notice the dull, gray fabrics of my old fraction. The life I've been hiding from since I was sixteen.
An Abnegation transfer.
Recovering from my stunned moment, I quickly reply,
"There's a reason why she left them, Lauren." I turn back to her. "What's your name?"
"Umm…" she hesitates. I know the feeling. This is her second chance; her old Abnegation name might not go well with her new life in Dauntless.
"Think about it." I say, and grin. "You don't get to pick again."
Well, except in my case. But I didn't choose the name Four-people just started calling me that.
"Tris." She replies with confidence.
I try to figure out what that's short for, but Lauren says,
"Tris. Make the announcement, Four."
Addressing the crowd, I turn around and yell,
They cheer again. I hear screaming above me. Someone else comes crashing into the net, but I hardly notice. Instead, I am watching Eric. He's already eying her like a tiger on its prey. My stomach drops. That sick, sadistic look in his eyes. The wicked twist of his mouth. It's the same look he gives me every day. It's the same look he gave my friend Amar.
Right before he turned up dead on the railway tracks.
He catches me watching him, and I give him a look of warning. I put my hand on her back.
"Welcome to Dauntless."
I hope she makes it through. I hope she turns out to be stronger than she looks. And I really, really hope she has enough sense to stay away from him.
Her stormy eyes meet mine. For a second, I feel the atmosphere around me shift. Something stirs inside me. A place in my chest buried so deep, I forgot it was there. Something changes.
I wake up.
A/N: My first Divergent story! No, I'm not going to do the whole book from Four's POV. There's enough of those already. This is just a one-shot. But if you like it, I can make more. Ever heard of "Freed Four"? It's a short scene from Divergent that the author released-Four's perspective. In it, he talks about how he was planning to leave Dauntless. He talks about how he stopped caring, but then Tris came along. I quote,
"She's small but strong. Her bright eyes demand attention. Looking at her is like waking up."
So, if you were wondering, that's where that came from.
Like it? Please review! :D