Heyo y'all, I'm back with another chapter. Since reading it again I've suddenly had a burst of interest in this series again. So I'm just gonna take a quick peek at my books and hopefully re-build all of my lost knowledge and conspiracy theories. Anyway, I hope you like it!
The next morning, Four wakes us up early and, after a small breakfast, leads us to a room filled with targets along one wall, as well as punching bags to one side and a fighting ring in the middle. "This is the training room. For the next week, you will be spending the majority of your time here. Line up across from the targets!" We do, and Four passes us loaded guns. "The first thing you'll learn today is how to fire a gun. The second thing is how to win a fight. Watch me as I fire," he says, firing off three quick shots. They all hit the center of his target.
"But what does firing a gun have to do with being Dauntless - being brave?" John says, holding back a yawn.
Four walks over to him and puts his gun to John's head, clicking a bullet into place. "Wake up, idiot," he snaps. "You're holding a loaded gun. Act like it." The brief fear visible in John's eyes goes away as soon as Four puts the gun down, but I can tell he, and his brother, are rattled.
Four looks around at the rest of us. "Well? What are you waiting for?" At his words, we all immediately turn to the targets. The rest of the initiates start firing immediately, but I take a moment to imitate Four's stance, grasping the gun carefully in both hands before starting to fire. The recoil takes me by surprise, the gun jumping back as the bullet hits somewhere above my target. But, I'm closer than anyone else has gotten so far. Four paces behind us, occasionally adjusting stances. I keep firing, and five shots later, I've grown accustomed to the recoil. My feet are planted, my arms steady. I squeeze the trigger, and a hole appears in the outer ring of the target. I look around, and a fierce satisfaction goes through me as I realize no one else has hit the target yet.
Four stops behind me, glancing over my stance and examining my target, almost as if he's making sure one of the people next to me didn't hit mine by mistake. His eyes shift back to me, and he nods subtly, before resuming his pacing. I take that as my cue to keep firing. Five shots later, I've hit the center, again before anyone else.
When we break for lunch, I'm the back of the group. I feel a hand on my shoulder, and turn to see Four standing there, saying, "Well done."
He said 'well done'! To me! After I said all those things to him! Maybe I should apologize to him? Nah.
After lunch, we walk back into the training room to see Four standing by the punching bags. He waves us over, and we each stand by a bag. "I told you this morning you would learn how to fight. Watch me," he says, starting to demonstrate a few punches on his bag. As in the morning, I try to imitate Four's stance before starting to hit the bag. The punching bag moves slightly, as I start to hit it harder. The sound of skin meeting leather surrounds me.
As in the morning, Four paces behind us, correcting stances and form. He never stops behind me, which I guess means my stance doesn't need correction. I keep hitting the bag while keeping note of whatever adjustments Four makes to the others. We're probably going to have to fight tomorrow, and it would be useful to know the other's' weaknesses.
Sure enough, just before training's over for the day, Four walks in front of us, saying, "Tomorrow, you're going to start fighting each other. Make sure you know your own strengths and weaknesses, they may save you in a fight. Your ranking for stage one is determined by how you do in the fights, so you have to fight to win. Got it?"
We all nod, and he lets us go free.
That evening, my muscles getting sore from firing the gun, and from attacking a punching bag all afternoon, Tim approaches me as I start on my dinner. "I hear you totally reamed out Four yesterday," he begins. "Not many people have the guts to do that."
I shrug. "What can I say? He was being an asshole." I glance over at Four; he's sitting with two other members, a guy with dark skin and a girl with a winning smile.
Tim follows my gaze, and says, "Ha, he's probably telling them how he got reamed out by an Erudite!" At my questioning look, he continues, "That's Zeke and Shauna, both Dauntless-born. They met Four during initiation, they both have siblings choosing next year." As I watch, a fifteen-year-old boy looking similar to Zeke bounds up to them, poking Four in the shoulder and sitting down. "That's Uriah, Zeke's kid brother. Lynn, Shauna's sister, is probably off sitting and moping somewhere."
I look back at Tim. "Do you know if he was a transfer or not? Four, I mean."
He nods. "Yeah, pretty sure he was. Don't ask me where from, though, or what he was called before 'Four,' all I know is the initiates went to do the fear landscapes before dinner, and when they came back to the dining hall, Four was being called Four, and they were all wearing black clothes, so that won't tell you anything."
I feel the satisfaction spread through me. I was right, he was a transfer! And, the name Four probably originated during the fear simulation, so I'm most likely correct about it being his number of fears. Now, the question is, where did he transfer from? I think back to Choosing Day last year, how I watched the ceremony with the rest of my faction. Who were the transfers to Dauntless? Besides Eric and another Erudite boy I barely knew, there were three Candor boys, an Amity girl, and a scrawny Abnegation guy. The Abnegation, Tobias, I think his name was, was the big upset in the ceremony, as his father was one of the heads of the faction. My parents actually celebrated his transferral, because it introduced doubts in the city about Marcus Eaton's treatment of his son; another way the Erudite can attack Abnegation and remove them from power.
I don't know what faction Four came from. He could easily have been Erudite, Candor, or Abnegation.
Maria approached me after dinner, saying, "Thanks for standing up for me against Four yesterday."
"No problem. I thought that I," I reply. Next to me, Tim winces. "What's wrong?" I ask him.
"You just called Four a bully, that's what. I have a feeling he's going to find out about that at some point, then it won't be pretty for you," he replies.
I scoff. "I'll be fine, how would he hear about this?"
"I don't know, maybe one of the hundreds of Dauntless around us who respect him a lot? Who tends to tell him when he's being dissed?" he says.
"Anyway, Emily, I wanted to ask you if you wanted to get a tattoo with us," Maria broke in, gesturing to Anna who was standing a few feet behind her.
I ponder it for a minute, then say, "Sure! Tim, you want to come?"
He nods eagerly. "Yeah, I'll come!"
We walk to the tattoo parlor together, Tim leading the way. As we walk, I ask Tim, "Have you gotten a tattoo before?"
"Yeah, last year," he answers.
"What is it?" Maria asks.
To respond, he pulls the shoe and sock of his right foot. On the ankle, there's a version of the Dauntless symbol, not bound by the customary circle. He points to it. "Most Dauntless-born get their first tattoo as a dare, but I never accepted any dares. By the time I was fifteen, everyone I knew had a tattoo, so I figured it was about time for me to get one, too."
"It's nice, I like it," Anna says.
"Thanks," he replies, pulling his sock and shoe back on and starting to walk again.
We reach the tattoo parlor, and Tim opens the door, saying, "Hi, Tori!" A Dauntless woman standing at a small counter looks up from her drawing. There are a few grey streaks in her hair, and as she lifts her arm in a wave, I see a tattoo of waves on the underside of her bicep.
"Hey, Tim! Back for another one, finally?" she says jokingly.
"Yep! And, I brought friends," he answers, gesturing to the three of us.
We all nod. "Ok, which one of you is going to get the Dauntless logo? One of the transfers always does," Tori says, looking over us.
Maria raises her hand, saying, "I am."
"You're Maria?" Tori asks. Maria nods, looking slightly unsettled. "Where d'you want it?"
"Here, on my shoulder," she replies, pointing with her left hand to a spot on her right shoulder.
I hear Tim whisper next to me, "She probably knows Maria from Four, apparently, they're good friends." I nod, indicating I heard him.
"And what about you? What are you getting?" Tori asks, turning to me. My eyes skim over a few of the tattoo designs on the wall before they settle on one of a dragon, its wings shaped like those of a bat, large, yellow-green cat-like eyes standing out amidst the black of the design. Its long tail curves and spirals over the paper.
"I want.. This one," I say, pointing to the dragon.
Tori nods. "And where are you getting it?"
I point to my upper arm. "The body here, with the tail running down my arm to my wrist, wrapping around it. Could you do that?"
She smirks. "Course I can do that! C'mere, sit down. Bud!" she says, turning and shouting down a hallway in the back of the shop.
A man pokes his head out. "Yeah?"
Tori points to Maria. "She wants the Dauntless logo on her right shoulder."
"On it!" he said, instructing Maria to sit down in a chair.
I roll up my sleeve, exposing my right arm to the chilly air of the room. I grin at Tim, who gives me a thumbs-up as the needle starts buzzing.
Forty-five minutes later, I get off the chair, my arm and back still stinging a bit. Tori wraps it up, turning to Tim. "Now, what tattoo do you want?" she asks him.
"Do you know how to do a red-tailed hawk?" he asks.
She grins. "I was wondering when you would finally get one of those. Where do you want it?"
He pulls his shirt off. "On my back, there," he says, tapping an equivalent spot on my back, right between my shoulder blades. "Only, reaching from there," he adds, tapping four inches to the right of the first spot. "To there," he finishes, tapping four inches to the left of the original spot.
"K, got it," Tori says. "This design good?" she asks, pulling out a piece of paper, depicting a hawk in flight, it's tail a rusty red color.
Tim grins. "That's perfect, Tori!"
"Now get in the chair," she says, pointing to the chair I just got out of.
I glance over at the other chair, to see Anna sitting in it, Bud tattooing her wrist. As I watched, a phoenix began to take form in the black ink, encircling her wrist like a bracelet.
Don't forget to sling any comments and critique my way, thanks guys!