A/N: April 2021: I cannot believe I have been working on this for 7 years. And I am still not finished. It is a clear showing of the growth of my writing skills through the chapters. At least, I hope it gets better. I am going back and editing some of the earlier chapters just to fit the way I've developed Amelia's voice. That being said, thank you for checking this fic out if this is your first time. If not, thank you for the support.
I've always known the plot and plan for how this fic is going to end. That being said, it's gotten a lot darker than I anticipated. I suppose that's expected as you grow and keep at it. If you have questions or want to talk about it, you can find me on tumblr. My username is asirensrage. I also have a bunch of snippets from other people's POV on there.

This is going to use a mix of the books and movies. It takes place before Divergent starts but is going to be canon-compliant.
A HUGE thank you goes out to my beta Sarah (aka Vorazlov28) and to Lauren for her inspiration. All recognizable characters belong to their own authors (aka Veronica Roth).

WARNING: This is not going to be a happy story. It gets darker as it goes on. The dynamic and relationship between Amelia and Eric is not a healthy one. At all. Don't be fooled by it.


"I think I'm drowning
Asphyxiated
I wanna break this spell
That you've created

You're something beautiful
A contradiction
I wanna play the game
I want the friction

You will be the death of me"
- Time is Running Out by Muse


Seclude [si-klood]
verb (used with object), se·clud·ed, se·clud·ing.
1. to place in or withdraw into solitude; remove from social contact and activity, etc.
2. to isolate; shut off; keep apart: They secluded the garden from the rest of the property.

Seclusion:
1. the state of being private and away from other people.

Chapter One

I am in the middle of typing up a request when two men try to walk into the office behind my desk. There's an appointment booked in five minutes but that does not give them free access.

"You cannot go in there," I say. I do not look away from the screen, but I can see them stop and turn towards me.

"Why not?" one of them asks.

"Because she is in a meeting." I finish the request, ending it with a signature that gives my name and status. Not that it is necessary. Everyone here knows who I am now. It is useful, but unnerving considering how many people try to use me to get to know Jeanine, to put in a good word for them. I never have. I do not believe in riding on other people's coattails. I gesture towards the chairs that line one of the walls in front of my desk. "Wait there. I will let her know that you are here."

I send the request off, keeping a copy for Jeanine and myself before finally looking up at them. The black clothing labels them as Dauntless and I recognize Max, one of the leaders of the faction, instantly. He acts as the representative of the leaders of Dauntless. He is usually the only one seen at any of the meetings between the leaders and representatives. The other one is new. He's taller than Max with short blond hair that's shaved at the sides but is longer at the top. If the black did not label him as Dauntless, the ridiculous hair did. Only Dauntless refused to have normal hairstyles. His face is familiar though. They move away from the door and towards the chairs but they do not sit.

I stand and move towards the door to the office behind me. I knock once and wait for the voice bidding me enter before I open it. I step into the office and look at Jeanine who is sitting behind her desk. She looks almost severe with the hard-pressed lines of her blue suit. Her gaze is sharp behind her glasses and even though her face relaxes into a smile when she sees me, her grey eyes remind me of steel that's ready to cut down anything in her way. It is terrifying.

"Yes?" she asks. I ignore the scientist that is sitting across from her as he turns towards me.

"I apologize for the interruption," I say, "but the Dauntless are here to see you."

"Ah, yes. Thank you, Amelia."

I nod and close the door. I can feel eyes on me and the hairs on the back of my neck rise. I look towards the Dauntless to see the new one staring at me as they talk quietly. It feels as though I am under a microscope, another specimen to be examined. I want to run far away from it.

Suddenly, I know why he is familiar. He used to be Erudite. He is near my age, older, but I remember him from before he transferred. He was skinnier back then, not as tall or tattooed as he is now, but other Erudites feared him. It is no surprise that he ended up in Dauntless.

I met him once before his transfer. I needed a book for a report and he had it. I introduced myself and asked to borrow it. He gave it to me. I returned it the next day but since then I could often feel him watching me. At least, until he left.

I sit down at my desk, ignoring his stare as I look at the schedule for the day. Jeanine only has this meeting left for the morning but there are more documents that I need to send out and delegate. I want to sigh. The amount of paperwork feels never-ending and I am tired of seeing the same things over again. I don't though. Everyone has their place in the search for knowledge at Erudite. The door behind me opens and the head scientist and Jeanine emerge.

"We should have a prototype within a couple of weeks. I'll put my best on it."

"Thank you, Gregory. I knew I could count on you." I watch as the man shakes her hand in goodbye. He does not greet the Dauntless, does not even look at them as he scuttles out of the room. Despite the fact that the Dauntless are supposed to protect us, people are still afraid. I do not blame them. Jeanine, however, has no such fear.

"Gentlemen," she greets and the men walk over towards her. "Good to see you again. Please, come in." She moves aside, motioning for them to enter her office.

They walk past both of us and my attention turns to Jeanine as she says my name. "Amelia, hold any calls. Also, arrange for lunch to be brought to us today. You and I must speak."

I nod and make a note of it as she closes the office door. The fear that her last sentence spikes in me is not useful but I cannot help it. Why does she want to talk to me? There are only two reasons; I did something wrong as her assistant...or she knows.

I call the cafeteria quickly, ordering lunch and by the time I hang up, I've calmed down. My mind is whirling through the possibilities of what she wants but I do not let it control me. I turn back towards my next task, another document that requires me to look through the research given to me and organize it into what Jeanine will think will be useful before sending it to her for approval. Some of it is on Abnegation and some is on Divergents. This is not good.

In the back of my mind, I wonder if all my efforts to hide are in vain. I am smart. I knew when it was offered that my position was the most dangerous place to be...but it is also the safest. I am Erudite. I am Divergent...and I am Jeanine Matthews's assistant.