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By:Veronica Roth

"I know that, I was just being polite-"

"Politeness is deception in-"

"Yeah, yeah, I know." Christina rolls her eyes.

Her mother and sister, I notice, look at each other with something like wariness or anger or both. Then her sister turns to me and says, "So you killed Christina's boyfriend."

Her words create a cold feeling inside me, like a streak of ice divides one side of my body from the other. I want to answer, to defend myself, but I can't find the words.

"Rose!" Christina says, scowling at her. At my side, Tobias straightens, his muscles tensing. Ready for a fight, as always.

"I just thought we would air everything out," Rose says. "It wastes less time."         



"And you wonder why I left our faction," Christina says. "Being honest doesn't mean you say whatever you want, whenever you want. It means that what you choose to say is true."

"A lie of omission is still a lie."

"You want the truth? I'm uncomfortable and don't want to be here right now. I'll see you guys later." She takes my arm and walks Tobias and me away from her family, shaking her head the whole time. "Sorry about that. They're not really the forgiving type."

"It's fine," I say, though it's not.

I thought that when I received Christina's forgiveness, the hard part of Will's death would be over. But when you kill someone you love, the hard part is never over. It just gets easier to distract yourself from what you've done.

My watch reads twelve o'clock. A door across the room opens, and in walk two lean silhouettes. The first is Johanna Reyes, former spokesperson of Amity, identifiable by the scar that crosses her face and the hint of yellow peeking out from under her black jacket. The second is another woman, but I can't see her face, just that she is wearing blue.

I feel a spike of terror. She looks almost like . . . Jeanine.

No, I saw her die. Jeanine is dead.

The woman comes closer. She is statuesque and blond, like Jeanine. A pair of glasses dangles from her front pocket, and her hair is in a braid. An Erudite from head to foot, but not Jeanine Matthews.


Cara and Johanna are the leaders of the Allegiant?

"Hello," Cara says, and all conversation stops. She smiles, but on her the expression looks compulsory, like she's just adhering to a social convention. "We aren't supposed to be here, so I'm going to keep this meeting short. Some of you-Zeke, Tori-have been helping us for the past few days."

I stare at Zeke. Zeke has been helping Cara? I guess I forgot that he was once a Dauntless spy. Which is probably when he proved his loyalty to Cara-he had some kind of friendship with her before she left Erudite headquarters not long ago.

He looks at me, wiggles his eyebrows, and grins.

Johanna continues, "Some of you are here because we want to ask for your help. All of you are here because you don't trust Evelyn Johnson to determine the fate of this city."

Cara touches her palms together in front of her. "We believe in following the guidance of the city's founders, which has been expressed in two ways: the formation of the factions, and the Divergent mission expressed by Edith Prior, to send people outside the fence to help whoever is out there once we have a large Divergent population. We believe that even if we have not reached that Divergent population size, the situation in our city has become dire enough to send people outside the fence anyway.

"In accordance with the intentions of our city's founders, we have two goals: to overthrow Evelyn and the factionless so that we can reestablish the factions, and to send some of our number outside the city to see what's out there. Johanna will be heading up the former effort, and I will be heading up the latter, which is what we will mostly be focusing on tonight." She presses a loose strand of hair back into her braid. "Not many of us will be able to go, because a crowd that large would draw too much attention. Evelyn won't let us leave without a fight, so I thought it would be best to recruit people who I know to be experienced with surviving danger."

I glance at Tobias. We certainly are experienced with danger.

"Christina, Tris, Tobias, Tori, Zeke, and Peter are my selections," Cara says. "You have all proven your skills to me in one way or another, and it's for that reason that I'd like to ask you to come with me outside the city. You are under no obligation to agree, of course."

"Peter?" I demand, without thinking. I can't imagine what Peter could have done to "prove his skills" to Cara.

"He kept the Erudite from killing you," Cara says mildly. "Who do you think provided him with the technology to fake your death?"

I raise my eyebrows. I had never thought about it before-too much happened after my failed execution for me to dwell on the details of my rescue. But of course, Cara was the only well-known defector from Erudite at that time, the only person Peter would have known to ask for help. Who else could have helped him? Who else would have known how?         



I don't raise another objection. I don't want to leave this city with Peter, but I'm too desperate to leave to make a fuss about it.

"That's a lot of Dauntless," a girl at the side of the room says, looking skeptical. She has thick eyebrows that don't stop growing in the middle, and pale skin. When she turns her head, I see black ink right behind her ear. A Dauntless transfer to Erudite, no doubt.

"True," Cara says. "But what we need right now are people with the skills to get out of the city unscathed, and I think Dauntless training makes them highly qualified for that task."

"I'm sorry, but I don't think I can go," Zeke says. "I couldn't leave Shauna here. Not after her sister just . . . well, you know."

"I'll go," Uriah says, his hand popping up. "I'm Dauntless. I'm a good shot. And I provide much-needed eye candy."

I laugh. Cara does not seem to be amused, but she nods. "Thank you."

"Cara, you'll need to get out of the city fast," the Dauntless-turned-Erudite girl says. "Which means you should get someone to operate the trains."

"Good point," Cara says. "Does anyone here know how to drive a train?"

"Oh. I do," the girl says. "Was that not implied?"

The pieces of the plan come together. Johanna suggests we take Amity trucks from the end of the railroad tracks out of the city, and she volunteers to supply them to us. Robert offers to help her. Stephanie and Rose volunteer to monitor Evelyn's movements in the hours before the escape, and to report any unusual behavior to the Amity compound by two-way radio. The Dauntless who came with Tori offer to find weapons for us. The Erudite girl prods at any weaknesses she sees, and so does Cara, and soon they are all shored up, like we have just built a secure structure.

There is only one question left. Cara asks it:

"When should we go?"

And I volunteer an answer:

"Tomorrow night."




THE NIGHT AIR slips into my lungs, and I feel like it is one of my last breaths. Tomorrow I will leave this place and seek another.

Uriah, Zeke, and Christina start toward Erudite headquarters, and I hold Tris's hand to keep her back.

"Wait," I say. "Let's go somewhere."

"Go somewhere? But . . ."

"Just for a little while." I tug her toward the corner of the building. At night I can almost see what the water looked like when it filled the empty canal, dark and patterned with moonlit ripples. "You're with me, remember? They're not going to arrest you."

A twitch at the corner of her mouth-almost a smile.

Around the corner, she leans against the wall and I stand in front of her, the river at my back. She's wearing something dark around her eyes to make their color stand out, bright and striking.

"I don't know what to do." She presses her hands to her face, curling her fingers into her hair. "About Caleb, I mean."

"You don't?"

She moves one hand aside to look at me.

"Tris." I set my hands on the wall on either side of her face and lean into them. "You don't want him to die. I know you don't."

"The thing is . . ." She closes her eyes. "I'm so . . . angry. I try not to think about him because when I do I just want to . . ."

"I know. God, I know." My entire life I've daydreamed about killing Marcus. Once I even decided how I would do it-with a knife, so I could feel the warmth leave him, so I could be close enough to watch the light leave his eyes. Making that decision frightened me as much as his violence ever did.

"My parents would want me to save him, though." Her eyes open and lift to the sky. "They would say it's selfish to let someone die just because they wronged you. Forgive, forgive, forgive."

"This isn't about what they want, Tris."

"Yes, it is!" She presses away from the wall. "It's always about what they want. Because he belongs to them more than he belongs to me. And I want to make them proud of me. It's all I want."         



Her pale eyes are steady on mine, determined. I have never had parents who set good examples, parents whose expectations were worth living up to, but she did. I can see them within her, the courage and the beauty they pressed into her like a handprint.