Home > Allegiant (Divergent #3)(10)

Allegiant (Divergent #3)(10)
Veronica Roth

“Can’t be,” Uriah says, shaking his head. “There has to be something else.”

“Or there’s nothing,” Zeke suggests. “Those people who put us all in here, they could just be dead. Everything could be empty.”

I shiver. I had never thought of that before, but he’s right—we don’t know what’s happened out there since they put us in here, or how many generations have lived and died since they did. We could be the last people left.

“It doesn’t matter,” I say, more sternly than I mean to. “It doesn’t matter what’s out there, we have to see it for ourselves. And then we’ll deal with it once we have.”

We stand there for a long time. I follow the bumpy edges of buildings with my eyes until all the lit windows smear into a line. Then Uriah asks Christina about the riot, and our still, silent moment passes as if carried away by the wind.

The next day, Evelyn stands among the pieces of Jeanine Matthews’s portrait in the Erudite headquarters lobby and announces a new set of rules. Former faction members and factionless alike are gathered in the space and spilling out into the street to hear what our new leader has to say, and factionless soldiers line the walls, their fingers poised over the triggers of their guns. Keeping us under control.

“Yesterday’s events made it clear that we are no longer able to trust each other,” she says. She looks ashen and exhausted. “We will be introducing more structure into everyone’s lives until our situation is more stable. The first of these measures is a curfew: Everyone is required to return to their assigned living spaces at nine o’clock at night. They will not leave those spaces until eight o’clock the next morning. Guards will be patrolling the streets at all hours to keep us safe.”

I snort and try to cover it up with a cough. Christina elbows me in the side and touches her finger to her lips. I don’t know why she cares—it’s not like Evelyn can hear me from all the way at the front of the room.

Tori, former leader of Dauntless, ousted by Evelyn herself, stands a few feet away from me, her arms crossed. Her mouth twitches into a sneer.

“It’s also time to prepare for our new, factionless way of life. Starting today, everyone will begin to learn the jobs the factionless have done for as long as we can remember. We will then all do those jobs on a rotation schedule, in addition to the other duties that have traditionally been performed by the factions.” Evelyn smiles without really smiling. I don’t know how she does it. “We will all contribute equally to our new city, as it should be. The factions have divided us, but now we will be united. Now, and forever.”

All around me the factionless cheer. I just feel uneasy. I don’t disagree with her, exactly, but the same faction members who rose up against Edward yesterday won’t remain quiet after this, either. Evelyn’s hold on this city is not as strong as she might like.

I don’t want to wrestle with the crowds after Evelyn’s announcement, so I weave through the hallways until I find one of the staircases in the back, the one we climbed to reach Jeanine’s laboratory not too long ago. The steps were crowded with bodies then. Now they are clean and cool, like nothing ever happened here.

As I walk past the fourth floor, I hear a yell, and some scuffling sounds. I open the door to a cluster of people—young, younger than I am, and all sporting factionless armbands—gathered around a young man on the ground.

Not just a young man—a Candor, dressed in black and white from head to toe.

I run toward them, and when I see a tall factionless girl draw back her foot to kick again, I shout, “Hey!”

No use—the kick hits the Candor boy in the side, and he groans, twisting away from it.

“Hey!” I yell again, and this time the girl turns. She’s much taller than I am—a good six inches, in fact—but I’m only angry, not afraid.

“Back up,” I say. “Back away from him.”

“He’s in violation of the dress code. I’m well within my rights, and I don’t take orders from faction lovers,” she says, her eyes on the ink creeping over my collarbone.

“Becks,” the factionless boy beside her says. “That’s the Prior video girl.”

The others look impressed, but the girl just sneers. “So?”

“So,” I say, “I had to hurt a lot of people to get through Dauntless initiation, and I’ll do it to you, too, if I have to.”

I unzip my blue sweatshirt and toss it at the Candor boy, who looks at me from the ground, blood streaming from his eyebrow. He pushes himself up, still holding his side with one hand, and pulls the sweatshirt around his shoulders like a blanket.

“There,” I say. “Now he’s not violating the dress code.”

The girl tests the situation in her mind, evaluating whether she wants to fight me or not. I can practically hear what she’s thinking—I’m small, so I’m an easy target, but I’m Dauntless, so I’m not that easy to beat. Maybe she knows that I’ve killed people, or maybe she just doesn’t want to get into trouble, but she’s losing her nerve; I can tell by the uncertain set of her mouth.

“You’d better watch your back,” she says.

“I guarantee you that I don’t need to,” I say. “Now get out of here.”

I stay just long enough to see them scatter, then keep walking. The Candor boy calls, “Wait! Your sweatshirt!”

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