Home > Insurgent (Divergent #2)(7)

Insurgent (Divergent #2)(7)
Veronica Roth

He pulls back, just a few centimeters. I almost don’t let him get that far.

“This isn’t what you came here for,” he says.

“No.”

“What did you come for, then?”

“Who cares?”

I push my fingers through his hair, and draw his mouth to mine again. He doesn’t resist, but after a few seconds, he mumbles, “Tris,” against my cheek.

“Okay, okay.” I close my eyes. I did come here for something important: to tell him the conversation I overheard.

We sit side by side on Tobias’s bed, and I start from the beginning. I tell him how I followed Marcus and Johanna into the orchard. I tell him Johanna’s question about the timing of the simulation attack, and Marcus’s response, and the argument that followed. As I do, I watch his expression. He does not look shocked or curious. Instead, his mouth works its way into the bitter pucker that accompanies any mention of Marcus.

“Well, what do you think?” I say once I finish.

“I think,” he says carefully, “that it’s Marcus trying to feel more important than he is.”

That was not the response I was expecting.

“So . . . what? You think he’s just talking nonsense?”

“I think there probably is some information the Abnegation knew that Jeanine wanted to know, but I think he’s exaggerating its importance. Trying to build up his own ego by making Johanna think he’s got something she wants and he won’t give it to her.”

“I don’t . . .” I frown. “I don’t think you’re right. He didn’t sound like he was lying.”

“You don’t know him like I do. He is an excellent liar.”

He is right—I don’t know Marcus, and certainly not as well as he does. But my instinct was to believe Marcus, and I usually trust my instincts.

“Maybe you’re right,” I say, “but shouldn’t we find out what’s going on? Just to be sure?”

“I think it’s more important that we deal with the situation at hand,” says Tobias. “Go back to the city. Find out what’s going on there. Find a way to take Erudite down. Then maybe we can find out what Marcus was talking about, after this is all resolved. Okay?”

I nod. It sounds like a good plan—a smart plan. But I don’t believe him—I don’t believe it’s more important to move forward than to find out the truth. When I found out that I was Divergent . . . when I found out that Erudite would attack Abnegation . . . those revelations changed everything. The truth has a way of changing a person’s plans.

But it is difficult to persuade Tobias to do something he doesn’t want to do, and even more difficult to justify my feelings with no evidence except my intuition.

So I agree. But I do not change my mind.

CHAPTER FOUR

“BIOTECHNOLOGY HAS BEEN around for a long time, but it wasn’t always very effective,” Caleb says. He starts on the crust of his toast—he ate the middle first, just like he used to when we were little.

He sits across from me in the cafeteria, at the table closest to the windows. Carved into the wood along the table’s edge are the letters “D” and “T” linked together by a heart, so small I almost didn’t see them. I run my fingers over the carving as Caleb speaks.

“But Erudite scientists developed this highly effective mineral solution a while back. It was better for the plants than dirt,” he says. “It’s an earlier version of that salve they put on your shoulder—it accelerates the growth of new cells.”

His eyes are wild with new information. Not all the Erudite are power hungry and devoid of conscience, like their leader, Jeanine Matthews. Some of them are like Caleb: fascinated by everything, dissatisfied until they find out how it works.

I rest my chin on my hand and smile a little at him. He seems upbeat this morning. I am glad he has found something to distract him from his grief.

“So Erudite and Amity work together, then?” I say.

“More closely than Erudite and any other faction,” he says. “Don’t you remember from our Faction History book? It called them the ‘essential factions’—without them, we would be incapable of survival. Some of the Erudite texts called them the ‘enriching factions.’ And one of Erudite’s missions as a faction was to become both—essential and enriching.”

It doesn’t sit well with me, how much our society needs Erudite to function. But they are essential—without them, there would be inefficient farming, insufficient medical treatments, and no technological advance.

I bite my apple.

“You aren’t going to eat your toast?” he says.

“The bread tastes strange,” I say. “You can have it if you want.”

“I’m amazed by how they live here,” he says as he takes the toast from my plate. “They’re completely self-sustaining. They have their own source of power, their own water pumps, their own water filtration, their own food sources. . . . They’re independent.”

“Independent,” I say, “and uninvolved. Must be nice.”

It is nice, from what I can tell. The large windows beside our table let in so much sunlight I feel like I’m sitting outside. Clusters of Amity sit at the other tables, their clothes bright against their tanned skin. On me the yellow looks dull.

“So I take it Amity wasn’t one of the factions you had an aptitude for,” he says, grinning.

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