I Am Both

4: Tradition

Days turns into weeks and training have become a lot harder. It is like Four and Eric expects us to be much better at fighting after just one fight. Maybe I have at least. I am trying not to get my hopes up. It's not just me who's improving, though. Tris, while not ready for a proper fight yet, has indeed improved since the first day. During the night after Eric gave me a few pointers on how I could fight better, I saw Tris by the punching bags. Eric was nowhere in sight. I and Tris agreed that we would practice together from then on after dinner and before breakfast. It's easier to train when you don't have to practice on dummies all the time. I've beaten Tris in every practice fight we've had. I tried to help her, but it doesn't seem to work that well.

One night I feel like I need a break from practice. Tris doesn't agree with me and heads towards the training room like usual. I, however, walked to the Pit. Due to the initiation and the extra training I haven't had the time to socialize. I never really socialized in Erudite either but I want to change a lot about me if I'm going to stay in Dauntless. Being more sociable is one of them.

The sun has recently gone down and the Pit is crowded by Dauntless members. This is clearly a party, although I do not know what it is about or who it is for. I decide not to question it and walk over to the bar. I am lucky I have the perfect timing. The stools by the bar are all occupied, but someone just left. I take it as fast as possible before anyone else could even think about it. The menu above the different beverages list a bunch of drinks I've never even heard of, but I know they are all alcoholic. I settle for just some water. I am pretty sure initiates aren't allowed to drink alcohol.

"Wuss." I hear someone mutter beside me. I roll my eyes and look at the culprit. Just my luck. It's the great leader: Eric! Why do I always find myself in these types of situations. I just wanted to socialize with Dauntless members, not scary Dauntless leaders! He doesn't even look at me while he drinks his beer from the bottle.

"Excuse me?" I ask him. He stops drinking and finally turns to look at me. I shouldn't have said that. I am scared of what he might say to me, but I do not let it show.

"Water?" He asks in a skeptical voice. My gaze does not leave his as we commence a staring battle. I shrug and give him a 'So what' look. "It's almost as if you regret not choosing Erudite." Oh, right. Water is the symbol for Erudite at the choosing ceremony. I guess old habits die hard. "You don't regret choosing Dauntless, do you?" I look at him with a stern look that matches his. Then I give him a small smile.

"No" I answer him. He raises an eyebrow at me in disbelief but then averts his gaze somewhere else. I get my water from the bartender and I start to drink it. Eric gets up from the stool and prepares to walk away until stopping and turns to look at me.

"You better not lie, initiate," He warns me. "Dauntless is not a place for the weak." Then he walks away and blends with the crowd. I loose sight of him and return to drinking my water. Even though my only reason for going to the Pit was to socialize, I quite enjoy the peace I have. It isn't quiet, though. Between the music and the people's talking and laughter blaring in my ears, it's quite a miracle I actually heard Eric. Someone takes Eric's previous seat beside me and orders a drink.

"I heard your conversation with Eric before," He tells me. How could he hear it? Does he have super hearing? "I do not know if that was really brave or really stupid." He gets his drink and chugs some of it down his throat. He is wearing traditional Dauntless clothing: black t-shirt and black pants. Nothing special. His skin is dark brown and he has no hair. He seems young, but I am not too sure. He is attractive, though.

"I wouldn't call it a conversation," I tell him. "Just passing remarks." He chuckles at me.

"I like you, initiate. I'm Zeke." He informs me.


"So, why are you not with the other initiates?"

"I don't think any of my friends are here tonight. All other initiates are just assholes." I remember Peter, Drew, and Molly. They could be kicked out of Dauntless or die and I wouldn't care.

"You know, I and my friends are doing some sort of tradition tonight. Want to join us?" He asks me. Seems kind of suspicious.

"Depends on what." I do want to know what I am getting into before agreeing to anything.

"Does it matter? If you truly are Dauntless, just go with the flow." Zeke gets up and walks away, giving me a little time to decide. My mind tells me it isn't wise to follow someone who I just met, but my gut keeps screaming 'Why not?'. I run after him and out of the Pit. What have I just gotten myself into?

I am surrounded by Dauntless members on the roof of the Dauntless headquarters. I don't know what we are doing here. The wind keeps hitting me with chilly blows and I realize I should have brought a jacket.

"Here it comes!" Someone yells. Everyone gets ready to hoist themselves onto the train which is heading this way. It is slowing down for us but, like the first day, it doesn't stop. I run together with everyone else and manages to get into the cart without help. Training my muscles have really paid off.

All of us are in the same cart now. Some managed to jump into later cars, like me, but we all walked to the front cart where we would get information.

"The game is simple." A blonde woman tells us. "Someone dares you to do something, you take a drink from a bottle," She holds up a beer bottle to show us. "And do the think someone challenged you to do."

"What if you don't want to do it?" Someone, probably an initiate as well, asks. I now realize I am the only transfer here. Everyone else is either fully-fledged Dauntless members or Dauntless-born initiates.

"Then you're out of the game. You are also known as the coward." She tells us. No way I will be branded as a coward. "I'll start it off!" She scans the cart for possible candidates. She finally settles her eyes on Zeke. "Zeke! I dare you to proclaim your undying love to a random Candor." Zeke takes the bottle from the woman's grasp and takes a drink.

"Come on, Shauna! That is way too easy." The woman, Shauna, just shrugs back at him.

We arrive at the Merciless Mart, which is Candor headquarters. It is a large building, more than 15 stories tall, with letters 'MERC IS MART' on it. It was once called 'Merchandise Mart' but that was a long time ago. People call it the Merciless Mart because of Candor behavior. They give the truth to anyone, not caring about others emotions or opinions.

We are lucky we arrived an hour before curfew - which is something Dauntless usually breaks - because otherwise Zeke wouldn't proclaim his love for a random Candor. Zeke, along with everyone else, walks inside. The Candors are a bit surprised to see us Dauntless inside their building. Especially at this time. Zeke finds a young girl, probably at the age of 18, and begins to talk nonsense to her like 'How her eyes sparkle in the moonlight' or 'How her hair is as radiant as the sun'. He didn't finish his proclamation before the girl slaps him and starts to yell at him. Zeke didn't seem to mind, however. We run out of the building before we would attract any more attention to ourselves. All of us all laughing, including me. That was really fun to look at. We now have to do challenges close to the railroad from now on, until the train arrives at least. Zeke looks around for his target. His eyes settle on mine. Oh, crap.

"Clo," He says. All eyes turn to me and I wait for the challenge. Better to get it over with. "I dare you to-" he trails off as he scans his surroundings. His eyes widen with realization. "-take one of the coals from the Dauntless bowl in The Hub." A couple of 'oohs' echoed through the crowd. The Hub is where the Choosing Ceremony was held and it is not far away from here. I take the bottle from one of the Dauntless members and let the liquid burn my throat, but I do not mind.

"Bring it on!" I tell him and the Dauntless cheer. Time for a real challenge.

The Hub is, of course, locked, but I won't let that stop me. I need to find a way inside somehow. I promised them that I would go inside alone and bring with me a coal piece form the bowl. I look around the building if I see any open windows. Apparently, this is my lucky night. One of the windows on the side of the building is open. The only problem is that it's really high up. I can probably crawl inside it if someone could lift me up.

"Zeke!" I tell him in a loud whisper. He now looks at me and I point to the window. He must know what I am thinking because he is now in a position below me, ready to lift my foot up. I put my right foot on his hands and he lifts me like it's nothing. The ledge of the window is now breast hight for me and I crawl inside. I plunked down on the ground without any problem, but it did make a loud sound. I freeze as if someone would get me. No one is here, though. It's just an empty lobby. Good thing there is no alarm in here, otherwise I would be screwed. Still, I am pretty sure that if I was spotted I wouldn't be turned in. Abnegation is in charge of The Hub. If one of them found me I would just convince him or her to let me go with a warning.

The Choosing Ceremony is held on the twentieth floor. I would use the elevator, but I suspect that it would be too loud. I take the stairs like all Dauntless usually do anyway.

On the fourteenth floor, however, I stop. I hear some voices down the hall. I should ignore them, but I just can't help it. I walk down the corridor and stop once the voices become clear.

"Are you certain?" A male voice asked. I recognize it. That voice belongs to Max, the Dauntless leader. What the hell is he doing here?

"Yes. Two of your transfer initiates this year had to have their results put in manually." That's my mom! Jeanine Matthews, the Erudite faction leader. I haven't heard that voice in weeks. I now remember that, even though she hates Divergents like me, she is still my mother. And I miss her. But two initiates with manual results? I know one of them is me, but who is the other one?

"I assure you I will find out if those two are Divergent or not. It could just have been a mishap during the tests."

"I wouldn't count on it."

"What do you want us to do if they do turn out to be Divergent? One of them is, in fact, your daughter." I become more and more terrified after every word that they say.

"I do not care. I raised her to believe Divergents are a threat to the system. Kill her. She will understand." I can't take it anymore. I proceed with my mission and head to the Choosing Ceremony.

Once I am there I slunk onto the ground and try to cope with what just happened. My own mother wants me dead. Those two sentences keep repeating in my mind. 'Kill her. She will understand.' I understand that she wants me dead because I am Divergent. What I don't understand is why she wants me dead even though I am her daughter. My breath starts to even out as I make my way to the bowls. It seems like only yesterday when I let the blood drop onto the sizzling coal. Now they are unlit and cold. I grab one and hurry downstairs. I can still hear the voices on floor fourteen, which is a good thing I guess.

Once I reach the lobby, I discover a new dilemma. How do I get out of here? I used Zeke before, but now I got nothing. Maybe, now that I am inside, I can unlock the doors. My calculations were correct. The door opened and it revealed a bunch of Dauntless members who cheered for me when I raised my hand with the coal in it in the air. But I am not smiling. 'Cause I keep hearing 'Kill her' in my head. It is unbearable. But still, even after the conversation I overheard before, I cannot help but finally feel like a true Dauntless.

I know this is shorter than the other chapters, but I actually wrote this entire chapter in one evening. I am now tired and I don't wanna write anymore. I also have a test tomorrow. Yay... This chapter was inspired from the scene in 'Four' where Tobias went through the same thing. It is where he got his back tattoo. I hope you enjoyed that chapter and I will update again in two weeks (hopefully).

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