Preface: The Encouter
After Tris has taken her final test and her legs finally stop shaking, she takes a deep, staggering breath and is filled with immediate relief. Eric approaches congratulating her profusely.
Tris nods politely, unaware of his gun cordially stashed in his halter. "Thanks- thank you."
"There is one more thing before you can go and get ready for the welcoming banquet," he says beckoning to one of many the unfamiliar people behind him. A woman with blue hair hands him a small black case. Eric takes out a syringe attached to a long needle. Tris immediately tenses. The orange-brown liquid in the syringe reminds her of what they inject them with before simulations. "At least you aren't afraid of needles," he says. "This will inject you with a tracking device that will be activated only if you are reported missing. Just a precaution."
"How often do people go missing?" She asks, frowning. "Not often." Eric smirks reassuringly. "This is a new development, courtesy of the Erudite. We have been injecting every Dauntless throughout the day, and I assume all other factions will comply as soon as possible."
"Why is it starting at Dauntles if it isn't even tested properly?" Tris knows she shouldn't let him inject her with anything, especially not anything developed by Erudite, maybe even by Jeanine. However, she also knows she can't refuse
"Where's Four?" She continues, searching the heads of the crowd.
"Around, probably getting his," He chuckles mockingly. "You still not over that little crush of yours on him or something?" Then suddenly and all at once, it registers,
One: Colored serum contains transmitters.
Two: Transmitters connect the mind to a simulation program.
Three: Erudite developed the serum.
Four: Eric and Max are working with the Erudite.
"I don't think…" Tris ignores him backing away from him and the approaching women, she stumbles back into two Dauntless chests who reach out to grab her arms. Eric's hand wraps around the hilt of the gun.
Then the lights go out!
There's a bright flash of red, a stumble and screams. The lights flicker then flood the room with light.
The room is practically empty only a small amount of people left, the remainders look around dazed, confused gathering from their spread locations, until Tris gasps. "Mom, Dad, Caleb what're you doing here? How did you get in?" She pushes through the group and embraces her mom and dad, wondering whether she should the same for her brother, but settles for a tight smile and nod. The remaining Dauntless stare at the materialized group Caleb, Natalie and Andrew Prior, Marcus Eaton, Susan and Robert Black and Cara.
The only unrecognizable are two young girls dressed in a somehow charming mixture of Dauntless and Amity clothes clutching handheld guns expertly. "Everybody freeze!" One of the girls' shouts, flipping her generous auburn hair out of her eyes. "Stay calm, let us explain and then we can get moving."
"Cara!" Will exclaims taking a determined step forward.
"Or." The girl continues aiming challengingly at Will's leg and chuckling, "I'll shoot and then you'll listen, but that wouldn't be as fun."
"Stop, Will, I'm fine." It was true, besides looking shaken and confused. No one in the group had not a hair out of place or clothing item disheveled. Four who was uncomfortably being thanked by his initiates a measly few seconds ago, looks around confused, gun out- until his eyes land on his father. Their eyes meeting for a millisecond before Four looks away glowering and makes his way to Eric's side.
"What's going on here?" Eric points his gun at the other girl with jet-black bangs who glares openly at him. Tris jumps slightly away from him remarking at his quick reflexes-
"We're not here to hurt anyone or attack, we're here to collect. These guns are just a precaution." The auburn says cutting Tris's train of thought short. "I'm Alexandra and this is Violet," She jerks her head to the steely girl.
"We've been sent by the Dimensional Universal Time Travelers- DUTT, to assist you." Violet nods slowly lowering her gun.
Four follows suite staring shocked now, "A- Alexandra...?" He murmurs almost unsure.
"Glad you remember me. It's Four now is it?" She smiles. Four grins back an actual grin swiftly putting his gun back in his halter, Tris throws him a confused look which goes unnoticed.
"What are you doing?" Eric demands shoving at Four with his shoulder. "Put your gun back up."
"She won't shoot, though I don't know about her friend." Four nudges Eric embodying him to put his gun down. Eric doesn't budge he recognizes Alexandra just.
Images flash of her rapidly, unclear almost blurry. It's of an initiation many moons ago with her, she looked different now but somehow the same. The most striking difference her eyes once blue, now green seemed to change her whole bearing from a strong-minded, generous, badass in initiation to this auburn, innocent face with only a familiar, mischievous glint of trouble in her eyes to remind him. He remembers the day where she supposedly jumped and died in the Chasm, from stress of being number 1 and continuous rumors about affairs and divergence that endangered her life.
He remembers not caring; he became number 2 and had one person left to beat for the number one position.
She speaks again. "Tris, Four, Christina, Will, Eric, Marlene, Lynn, Zeke," She pauses then says a little too engaged. "Peter Hayes." Said Dauntless raises an eyebrow at her. "Oh, and Uriah we need you to come with us." They all approach gradually to them.
"Yes!" Uriah shouts clapping his hands. "I thought I was left out… where we going?" Uriah charges towards the group until Zeke grabs him by his neck collar. "Why should we?" He questions, this whole situation screamed dangerous.
Violet sighs. "Why do people always ask us that? Why? Who? Where? Can you guys just come with us?" Huger Games crew all over again. Alexandra as if sensing her thoughts nudges her jauntily in the gut.
"Let's just do this, it'll be great." Violet continues her voice forcefully upbeat as she throws three small, spherical purple balls on the floor, they roll then stop, then move again aligning to form a triangle. Suddenly, in the middle of the air a large gaping purple, black portal opens lightly sucking inward.
"Okay, jump through." Violet shouts over the whirring sound, hair flying. Everyone stares gaping at her casual tone then at hole in mid-air.
"What, are you crazy? No way!" Christina backs up standing almost behind Will, in fear of getting swallowed up by it.
"We need a portal to get there." Violet says.
"A portal?" Cara asks. "Is that what that is? Because it looks like a black hole, what happened to the other one..."
"It won't hurt and lasts about five seconds." Alexandra adds, but it does nothing to the retreating group. Violet purposely catches Tris' eye.
"What's on the other side?" She questions taking a few steps forward.
"You'll see when you get there, it's life or death. It's important."
The young woman nods more curious and suspicious than scared before glancing at Four, he nods, they walk through together. Natalie and Andrew follow with Caleb and Marcus on their heels.
"Oh crap, seriously we just graduated." Christina says tugging on Will's arm and grabbing Cara's hand. "So much for parties, cake and jumping from trai-" Her tirade fades as they're engulfed.
"This is going to be great." Uriah declares grinning, he releases himself from Zeke's grasp and jumps forward head first. "Uriah!" Zeke groans tailing him with Tori.
"Uriah… could… get hurt." Marlene cringes grabbing Lynn who doesn't resist following her friend.
Robert and a reluctant Susan follow. "Wait, is this really the smartest choice." She trembles as her brother holds her, and they slowly walk towards it. "The first portal looked way better, it showed a clear vision to the destinati-"
Peter and Eric don't move. "Come on, they all went through," Violet motions coolly. "it's perfectly safe."
"No." Eric says gun bouncing between the two females. "Now how the hell did you get in here and what do you want? Where are the other leaders?"
"I never liked you in the books anyway." Violet doesn't hesitate shooting Eric in the leg her gaze icy. "Now get up and go through it!" She barks.
"You little-" He cries from the floor. "I don't even fucking know you." Eric yanks out the stick- a Dauntless computer-generated bullet- before firing lamely at her. She barely dodges it blanching at him for the very much real bullet.
"Ass face." She clutches at the graze on her arm, blood dribbling through her now ripped arm sleeve before kicking Eric in the stomach.
"Now!" she kicks him again. "Go!" again, "Through!" and again.
Eric grabs her by the ankle pulling her down and punching her hard. They wrestle for a while before she manages to tackle him into the portal.
Alexandra looks at Peter who's still staring at the portal wearily. "You are coming."
He scowls at her, but certainly doesn't want a repeat of Eric and considering he doesn't have a gun this is the alternative. Alexandra stares dreamily at him until he disappears through.
If only he existed during my century, she shakes her head to rid herself of these thoughts. Focus on the on the job.
She does a quick run through of the Dauntless building, calling out to see if anyone that shouldn't be here is left behind. As the portal approaches, she pats herself down to find a singular blue cube, it's a centimeter in size but withholds a whirling smoke of dark blue. Alexandra crushes it under her sneaker then takes off in a full sprint barreling through the portal. The blue fog spreads swiftly through the town, all its people appearing frozen. The portal vanishes along with her and the other twenty people.
A weird tingling sensation rushes through Alexandra's body leaving her insides filmy and soft. It sends her flying, she smiles and laughs at the feeling. Then altogether it stops sending her out onto a wooden floor, Alexandra remembers herself enough to land firmly on her feet.
The room was irregularly large shaped systematized; with large sofas, love seats and multiple single chairs that surrounded a large coffee table in a semi-sphere. A large flat screen TV sits on one of the beige walls facing the living room furniture and an air conditioner occupied the top corner of the right-side wall.
There were three doors on opposite sides of the room; one, opposite from the TV leading to a vast hallway of bedrooms and entertainment rooms. Another to the bathrooms. The final door a meter left from the TV is the kitchen.
Besides the single, ample window with transparent curtains that shone light but showed no outlook to the outside world, the thing that stood out the most was the book on the table. Next to the book lies two large bags, both big and brown but one strewn with pouches.
As Alexandra finally emerges everyone stares at her. She notices Eric slumped on a chair cradling his jaw and Uriah his head. "All good?" Violet asks.
She nods reaching out to check her partner's arm which is already healing on its own, "Everyone will be frozen for weeks."
There's a heartbeats worth of silence.
"Can one of you please tell us, what's going on?" Tris finally voices what everyone's thinking.
"We're from a century decades before your time but also decades ahead." Alexandra starts moving to the center of the room. "
"We're sent between futures, pasts, and alternate universes to prevent anything that shouldn't be happening from happening." Violet adds. "Unfortunately, a lot of things happen in the world that affect all other worlds."
"Its like the butterfly effect."
"Yes…" Violet answers in response to Cara. "But on a multi- universal scale."
Christina raises her hand. "Sorry, but anyone want to tell the rest of us what the butterfly effect is?"
Cara seems thoughtful. "The textbook I read informs that it's the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system, can result in large differences in a later state."
"Anyone want to explain what it means in English?" Uriah mimics raising his hand as well.
Caleb steps forward. "It's in reference to an old age concept, imagine a butterfly flapping its wings but somewhere far away it somehow causes a tornado." They listen with rapt attention as Caleb explains crossing his arms as he narrates. "Of course, that single act is literally impossible it acts as a way of saying small events or actions can, serve as catalysts to starting circumstances and or conditions."
"Well," Christina sighs. "Damn it what the hell did we do?"
"W-Why are you here?" Eric asks stumbling to get up. Violet jabs her thumb reproachfully at her arm. "Real bullets in that gun you had back there?"
Alexandra interjects, seeing the mess of confusion on everyone's faces. "Something happened in Tris' past for her to decline the serum that would be injected in her and Eric, you were going to kill her." The air is immediately tense.
"You were going to kill her." Four questions jaw set.
"How dare you." Mr. Prior stands from where he was sitting, swaying. The portal having not completely worn off.
"You won't touch our daughter." Mrs Priors gradually slides Tris behind her shielding her protectively, said girl flushes knowing well she could handle Eric by herself. Everyone seemed to be banding against Eric expect, Marcus and Peter who smartly kept quiet.
"Hey, stop," Alexandra shouts forming a barrier between Eric and the group. "Come on, that's why we're here to change that, that one choice in Tris past that changed everything in everyone's lives and we're staying here until we finish that book." Everyone eyes the book on the table.
"What's in it?" Uriah stares skeptically at the book.
Alexandra cautiously moves away from the now calmer group, lifts the book with the Dauntless sign on it from the table, until it rests beneath her eyes as if trying to be dramatic. "This is Tris's life in a book."
All eyes fall on Tris, who can only stare at the suddenly massive, intimidating book. It was abruptly turning to something menacing, revealing and unbearably embarrassing. Tris thinks of all her private thoughts, her and Tobias, her whole life exposed to everyone.
Everyone will hear. Everyone will know.
"We have to read every single word."
"All… of it?" Tris asks after a long time.
"Unless you want to die, yes." As the words sink in Alexandra puts the book down and reaches for the bag, without the pockets producing many notepads and pens. "These are yours, they're to take notes and make observations on everything. You need to fill a page a day." Murmurs of disapproval run through the room as she distributes them.
"We also need you to make notes on where you think it all went wrong." Violet says looking at each of them. "This is serious guys, we need you all to make sure you try your hardest in figuring this out. This could turn out badly for everyone if you don't."
She claps loudly startling everyone. "Let's get started."
Marlene settles down on one of the love seats Uriah stretches over the rest of the couch laying his head on one of the many throw pillows in Marlene's lap. Lynn sits on a single chair alongside them envy filling her as she rests her head in her propped hand.
Christina immediately beckons Tris to her so there's no debate on whether she and Tobias sit together. Tris throws him a weak smile before she sits with Will, Christina and Cara and Tobias with Zeke and Tori. Susan and Caleb simultaneously sit in a loveseat then awkwardly evade the other, as old feelings resurface. Mr. and Mrs. Prior sit in the last love seat at an acceptable distant from the other. Peter, Eric and Marcus take single chairs. Alexandra excitedly sits next to Peter scooting her chair close to his. Violet and Edward take the remaining two.
Love seat: Marlene and Uriah
Love seat: Susan and Caleb
Love seat: The Prior couple
Large sofa: Tris, Christina, Will and Cara
Large sofa 2: Four, Zeke and Tori
Single chairs: Peter, Marcus, Eric, Robert, Alexandra and Violet.
"Okay who'll read first?" Alexandra asks never taking her eyes off Peter, he slouches in his seat frowning.
"I think I should read the first chapter to the book about me." Tris says holding out her hand.
Violet shakes her head. "Sorry, you're not allowed to read at all I'm afraid. This book is you, you mess up a single, measly word and it could change the whole book." Violet sits with the book opening it herself.
"You only read when we find the problem, so we can correct this thing."
Tris pauses at her words. To change her whole world… She wondered idly. There would be a whole lot to lose, but there'd also be a lot to change for the better as well. Tris contemplated this as she wrote her name on the front of the pad, like everyone else. Then on the first page she wrote Day 1, and underneath scribbled a quick note on her effect on the book, and the butterfly effect.
She takes another deep staggering breath, feels the shaking return in her legs and knows this is another situation she could change if she wanted to.
"Here goes nothing."
The people in this are Caleb, Natalie and Andrew Prior, Tobias/Four and Marcus Eaton, Susan and Robert Black, Cara and Tori, Tris, Christina, Will, Eric, Marlene, Lynn, Zeke, Peter and Uriah. Theirs also two OC's in which I carefully made up. I plan to actually finish this unlike other people who write about finishing the Divergent trilogy and don't.
I do not own the Divergent trilogy. *Runs away wailing*