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By:Veronica Roth

I hear but do not hear the gunshots, and the shouting, and the running footsteps. I hear but do not hear my heartbeat. I crouch next to the shaft of light she dropped and pick up the flashlight, intending to just grab it and keep running, but in its glow I see her face. It shines with sweat, and her eyes roll beneath her eyelids, like she is searching for something but is too tired to find it.

One of the bullets found her stomach, and the other found her chest. There is no way she will recover from this. I may be angry with her for fighting me in Jeanine's laboratory, but she's still Tori, the woman who guarded the secret of my Divergence. My throat tightens as I remember following her into the aptitude test room, my eyes on her hawk tattoo.         



Her eyes shift in my direction and focus on me. Her eyebrows furrow, but she doesn't speak.

I shift the flashlight into the crook of my thumb and reach for her hand to squeeze her sweaty fingers.

I hear someone approaching, and I aim flashlight and gun in the same direction. The beam hits a woman wearing a factionless armband, with a gun pointed at my head. I fire, clenching my teeth so hard they squeak.

The bullet hits the woman in the stomach and she screams, firing blindly into the night.

I look back down at Tori, and her eyes are closed, her body still. Pointing my flashlight at the ground, I sprint away from her and from the woman I just shot. My legs ache and my lungs burn. I don't know where I'm going, if I'm running into danger or away from it, but I keep running as long as I can.

Finally I see a light in the distance. At first I think it's another flashlight, but as I draw closer I realize it is larger and steadier than a flashlight-it's a headlight. I hear an engine, and crouch in the tall grass to hide, switching my flashlight off and keeping my gun ready. The truck slows, and I hear a voice:


It sounds like Christina. The truck is red and rusted, an Amity vehicle. I straighten, pointing the light at myself so she'll see me. The truck stops a few feet ahead of me, and Christina leaps out of the passenger seat, throwing her arms around me. I replay it in my mind to make it real, Tori's body falling, the factionless woman's hands covering her stomach. It doesn't work. It doesn't feel real.

"Thank God," Christina says. "Get in. We're going to find Tori."

"Tori's dead," I say plainly, and the word "dead" makes it real for me. I wipe tears from my cheeks with the heels of my hands and struggle to control my shuddering breaths. "I-I shot the woman who killed her."

"What?" Johanna sounds frantic. She leans over from the driver's seat. "What did you say?"

"Tori's gone," I say. "I saw it happen."

Johanna's expression is shrouded by her hair. She presses her next breath out.

"Well, let's find the others, then."

I get into the truck. The engine roars as Johanna presses the gas pedal, and we bump over the grass in search of the others.

"Did you see any of them?" I say.

"A few. Cara, Uriah." Johanna shakes her head. "No one else."

I wrap my hand around the door handle and squeeze. If I had tried harder to find Tobias . . . if I hadn't stopped for Tori . . .

What if Tobias didn't make it?

"I'm sure they're all right," Johanna says. "That boy of yours knows how to take care of himself."

I nod, without conviction. Tobias can take care of himself, but in an attack, surviving is an accident. It doesn't take skill to stand in a place where no bullets find you, or to fire into the dark and hit a man you didn't see. It is all luck, or providence, depending on what you believe. And I don't know-have never known-exactly what I believe.

He's all right he's all right he's all right.

Tobias is all right.

My hands tremble, and Christina squeezes my knee. Johanna steers us toward the rendezvous point, where she saw Uriah and Cara. I watch the speedometer needle climb, then hold steady at seventy-five. We jostle one another in the cab, thrown this way and that way by the uneven ground.

"There!" Christina points. There is a cluster of lights ahead of us, some just pinpricks, like flashlights, and others round, like headlights.

We pull up close, and I see him. Tobias sits on the hood of the other truck, his arm soaked with blood. Cara stands in front of him with a first aid kit. Caleb and Peter sit on the grass a few feet away. Before Johanna has stopped the truck completely, I open the door and get out, running toward him. Tobias stands up, ignoring Cara's orders to stay put, and we collide, his uninjured arm wrapping around my back and lifting me off my feet. His back is wet with sweat, and when he kisses me, he tastes like salt.

All the knots of tension inside me come apart at once. I feel, just for a moment, like I am remade, like I am brand-new.

He's all right. We're out of the city. He's all right.         






MY ARM THROBS like a second heartbeat from the bullet graze. Tris's knuckles brush mine as she lifts her hand to point at something on our right: a series of long, low buildings lit by blue emergency lamps.

"What are those?" Tris says.

"The other greenhouses," Johanna says. "They don't require much manpower, but we grow and raise things in large quantities there-animals, raw material for fabric, wheat, and so on."

Their panes glow in the starlight, obscuring the treasures I imagine to be inside them, small plants with berries dangling from their branches, rows of potato plants buried in the earth.

"You don't show them to visitors," I say. "We never saw them."

"Amity keeps a number of secrets," Johanna says, and she sounds proud.

The road ahead of us is long and straight, marked with cracks and swollen patches. Alongside it are gnarled trees, broken lampposts, old power lines. Every so often, there is an isolated square of sidewalk with weeds forcing their way through the concrete, or a pile of rotting wood, a collapsed dwelling.

The more time I spend thinking about this landscape that every Dauntless patrol was told was normal, the more I see an old city rising up around me, the buildings lower than the ones we left behind, but just as numerous. An old city that was transformed into empty land for the Amity to farm. In other words, an old city that was razed, burned to cinders, and crushed into the ground, even the roads disappearing, the earth left to run wild over the wreckage.

I put my hand out the window, and the wind wraps around my fingers like locks of hair. When I was very young, my mother pretended she could shape things from the wind, and she would give them to me to use, like hammers and nails, or swords, or roller skates. It was a game we played in the evenings, on the front lawn, before Marcus got home. It took away our dread.

In the bed of the truck, behind us, are Caleb, Christina, and Uriah. Christina and Uriah sit close enough for their shoulders to touch, but they are looking in opposite directions, more like strangers than friends. Just behind us is another truck, driven by Robert, which carries Cara and Peter. Tori was supposed to be with them. The thought makes me feel hollow, empty. She administered my aptitude test. She made me think, for the first time, that I could leave Abnegation-that I had to. I feel like I owe her something, and she died before I could give it to her.

"This is it," Johanna says. "The outer limit of the Dauntless patrols."

No fence or wall marks the divide between the Amity compound and the outer world, but I remember monitoring the Dauntless patrols from the control room, making sure they didn't go farther than the limit, which is marked by a series of signs with Xs on them. The patrols were structured so that the trucks would run out of gas if they went too far, a delicate system of checks and balances that preserved our safety and theirs-and, I now realize, the secret the Abnegation kept.

"Have they ever gone past the limit?" says Tris.

"A few times," says Johanna. "It was our responsibility to deal with that situation when it came up."

Tris gives her a look, and she shrugs.

"Every faction has a serum," Johanna says. "The Dauntless serum gives hallucinated realities, Candor's gives the truth, Amity's gives peace, Erudite's gives death-" At this, Tris visibly shudders, but Johanna continues as if it didn't happen. "And Abnegation's resets memory."

"Resets memory?"

"Like Amanda Ritter's memory," I say. "She said, ‘There are many things I am happy to forget,' remember?"

"Yes, exactly," says Johanna. "The Amity are charged with administering the Abnegation serum to anyone who goes out past the limit, just enough to make them forget the experience. I'm sure some of them have slipped past us, but not many."

We are silent then. I turn the information over and over in my mind. There is something deeply wrong with taking a person's memories-even though I know it was necessary to keep our city safe for as long as it needed to be, I feel it in the pit of my stomach. Take a person's memories, and you change who they are.         



Swelling inside me is the feeling that I am about to jump out of my own skin, because the farther we get outside the outer limit of the Dauntless patrols, the closer we get to seeing what lies outside the only world I've ever known. I am terrified and thrilled and confused and a hundred different things at once.