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Group Roleplays > Divergent Roleplay

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message 1: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
In this dystopian world there are five factions: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). At the age of sixteen, you are made to choose one, one that you will remain in for life.

The world is changing - rebellion is afoot. Will you stay under the covers or get up and fight; fight for a different world? And are you one of the hunted ones - ones that they call...Divergent? If so, it is dangerous for you so be careful. You don't know who you can trust.

You can be:

a.) a sixteen year old making their faction decision
b.) a teenager already having chosen a faction
c.) a member of a faction for a while
d.) other (but specify)

Give your name, age, faction and the above details required.


Name: Aria Bradsford
Age: 16 going on 17 (Not the Sound of Music song, guys! :D)
Bio: Was a member of the Amity faction when she decided to become Dauntless. Has just finished her ceremony - her parents refuse to have anything to do with her now she had chosen a different faction. Is now going to have her first ever day as apart of the Dauntless complex. But will she find the freedom she'd been searching for in such a cruel world?

message 2: by Rachel (last edited Jun 11, 2012 03:31PM) (new)

Rachel (rachelm15) | 81 comments Name: Gavrila (Gav) Houston
Age: 18
Bio: Once a Dauntless, always a Dauntless. She's been this ever since she was born, she has known this is her path. Gav takes in the new recruits and trains them, but is also secretly finding the Divergent, and helping them keep their identities a secret.

message 3: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 869 comments Name: Faith Wentworth
Age: 16
Bio: Having just left her old faction (Erudite) for Dauntless she is trying to mend the differences between Erudite and Dauntless. She is also going through Dauntless orientation/training at the moment.

message 4: by Rachel (last edited Jun 11, 2012 03:33PM) (new)

Rachel (rachelm15) | 81 comments Gavrila Houston

The factions were chosen not even ten minutes ago. I stand over to the side, watching as the sixteen year-olds are either rejoicing with their families, or crying out of shame. The poor souls. Families never solve anything, no need to cry out of their shame for you. I tried to mentally send the advice out. But of course, what whack job has that power?

I'm standing at the edge of the commotion with the other two trainers, waiting for the new recruits to gather. One by one, new members cluster around us. I'm one of the guides, and judging by the group, they'll need a hell of a guide to whip them into shape. I pity most of them who look like they could shit a brick. I can't imagine why they picked the Dauntless. Its not all fun and games, you know.

I clear my throat loudly, and the chatter all stops at once. I smirk at their horrified faces when they take in the guides attire. I prefer to keep it subtle, while my other two associates snicker mercilessly. Gavin and Molly may not be my friends, but us Dauntless need to stay united. We don't have friends in this faction, but that doesn't mean we aren't family.

"Yo kiddies, shut up before I shut your traps for ya!" Gavin screams when the talk starts back up. His blonde hair was gelled up in deadly looking spikes. His snakebites gave off a weird look on his shadow, and his black leather screamed bad ass. I must say, if I didn't know Gavin, I might of been scared senseless of him, even though I'd never admit to it. I was required to be brave, courageous, and fearless.

"So, follow us." he demanded, and trailed towards the crossroads. None of us guides turned around to see who followed.

We led the recruits up the winding stair case in an abandon building in the city. Once we had reached the entrance to the roof of the building that overlooked the railroads, the non-existent chatter took up storm again.

"SHUT THE 'F' UP!" Molly screamed, obviously ticked off at the kids. Her black bob whipped in the wind. The moon cast an eerie glow over her, making her many piercings glint in the light. She looked creepy to the kids because I saw their eyes go wide...well most of them that is. The brave wouldn't show their fear of Molly.

The trains' oncoming horn sounded in the distance. Everyone was looking wildly at each other. I suppose they hadn't ever heard the train so loud or up close before. Wimps. I couldn't help but smirk at they're expressions. If I didn't know any better, I'd say their faces would hold that look for eternity. An eternity of fear, now that would be funny to see.

As the train passed by underneath, Molly and Gavin motioned for me to go on with it. I saw many of the kids shift their stares to me. I was the only guide who hadn't said a word. Ruthless or not.

"Jump." I said, and did a backflip off the ledge, and plunged into the darkness below. I landed with a soft thud on the back of the train.

I couldn't decipher the difference of the trains' screams from the children's above. I crouched down low to avoid being swept off by the wind. I heard a thunk next to me, and then a small whimper. I whipped my head around. In the faint street lights, I could make a out a form desperately holding onto the edge of the train.

"Help! Please!" I heard a cry. I rolled my eyes, but went. I knew I wasn't supposed to help, but nobody had to know.

I grabbed her hand, and pulled her easily up form the crevice, and setting her on her feet. I may be small, but like hell was I fierce. I raised my eyebrows at her shocked expression.

"Wipe that look on your face, it'll give you wrinkles." I said, and walked off to the new people who had just arrived. I could feel her stare on my back as I sauntered off. Yes, I was confident, in this place, it was one of the only things that kept you alive.

message 5: by E.E. (new)

E.E. (latinlovertothee) | 28 comments I haven't read this series/book. Is it worth it?

message 6: by Melissa (last edited Jun 11, 2012 05:25PM) (new)

Melissa | 869 comments Faith Wentworth

I stared after the girl who had pulled me up, I had gotten lucky if it had been one of the other two Dauntless I doubt I would have been pulled up. I knew that all the new recruits probably looked like scaredy-cats and me needing help just to get on the train hadn't earned me any brownie points, but it wasn't my fault I had gotten pushed over the edge of the building.

I walked on weak legs after Gavrila, figuring that following her would be the safest thing to do... relatively. "Um, thanks for helping me..." I trailed off as she turned and gave me a death glare. Her lip curled up "don't mention it, literally don't tell anyone. Also don't expect any more help if you want to stay with Dauntless, toughen up."

I swallowed and nodded, there were more thumps as the other recruits landed on the train, a few of them moaned as they landed wrong and twisted an ankle. "Oh, you're still alive." The boy who had pushed her off the building said in mock surprise. I bristled and clenched my fists, not bothering to hide my fury.

message 7: by Rachel (last edited Jun 12, 2012 09:23AM) (new)

Rachel (rachelm15) | 81 comments Gav Houston

I felt a twinge of guilt after I got done glaring at her, and saw her flinch. I hadn't meant to scare or frighten her. But she needed to know the deal, plus I had to keep up my facade of nonchalance towards the girl.

"What's your name?" I asked after a few moments of tense silence. She obviously wasn't going to leave, and Molly and Gavin were on another section of the train humiliating the recruits. Poor things.

She looked up at me wide eyed, surprised I had actually talked to her. "Faith Wentworth." she murmured, averting her gaze from my penetrating one.

"Nice. Call me Gav." I replied, raising my eyebrows when I saw her mouth agape at me.

"What? Am I really that good looking?" I asked sarcastically.

"N-n-n-no! Its just...I didn't expect you to be friendly!" she stammered, looking alarmed at my comment.

I snorted at that and let out a good hearted laugh. "I was joking hon, no need to look so flabbergasted!" I reassured her.

I saw her shoulders visibly sag in relief. I shook my head in amusement. She grinned, more at herself than me, proud of herself for making me laugh.

"You know, we're about to get off, take my advice and jump in the hole." smirking at my vagueness and the utter confusion on Faith's face, I walked off to find Molly.

I spotted her on the next train cart, laughing obnoxiously at something Gavin said. I rolled my eyes, and jumped over the crack onto the cart. Once I landed, they're eyes shifted up to me. They waved me over and I came somewhat unwillingly.

"What?" I asked.

Molly laughed at my annoyed expression. "You're always so grouchy when the faction choosings come. You need to chill babe." Gavin said, and laid down on the train bed.

I rolled my eyes and added, "We're about to jump off you know." he furrowed his brow and looked around at our surroundings. "Oh yeah, I guess we are, huh? In about five, four, three, two," he cut off and sprinted across the metal top and jumped gracefully off the side.

I heard Molly mutter, "Show off," but she followed after his lead off the side. That left me to tell everyone else, great. I thought bitterly to myself.

"Hey! Everyone! Meet us by the alley if you don't land in the hole, if you're not already in it, now jump!" I screamed, capturing all their attentions.

I ran towards the edge of the fast speeding train. The wind was whipping through my brown hair, making it tangle across my face. I slowed at the edge and caught Faith's eye, which were wide staring at me for reassurance. She was the only other one close to the edge ready to jump. I smiled the tiniest of smiles towards her and dove off the edge, giving it a full body twist.

message 8: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 869 comments Faith Wentworth

I watched Gav twist over the edge and took a deep breath before following her over. I screamed at the top of my lungs my long black hair whipping around as the wind cut through it. I grunted as I hit the net rope and immediately rolled off to the side to avoid being jumped on.

"A little help?" I squeaked out and felt a couple of hands tug me off the net by my upper arms. "Thanks" I wheezed, trying to get my breath back.

"C'mon rookies! Get your arses over here we're entering the compound now!" the more pudgy Dauntless Molly shouted at us as the remaining recruits fell onto the net.

As we walked underground many of the new recruits stopped and gaped at the Dauntless HQ. Gav and the other Dauntless smirked at us, watching the varying emotions slide across our faces. "It's kind of late today so we'll let you get some rest, but Hell starts tomorrow and only gets tougher." Gavin barked at us and Gav broke away to show us the dorm room.

message 9: by Rachel (last edited Jun 12, 2012 09:40AM) (new)

Rachel (rachelm15) | 81 comments Gav Houston

"Okay, if your a girl follow me. Boys follow my man Frankie here." I said slowly, as if I was talking to kindergartners. I mean...some of the intelligence levels in these people I could question their real age, but that'd be rude.

I winked at Frank who glowered at me. I had totally just embarrassed the poor big guy. Too bad he was a big softie underneath billions of tattoos on his skin.
I walked down the cave-like corridors, not bothering to see if they followed. The ones who wanted to live always followed.

I stopped in front of the big swinging metal doors and turned around to face everyone. "Kay, I'm Gav. I'm not your bestfriend, so just kick that thought out of your mind just because I haven't threatened you yet. I need to save up that energy for the next couple of weeks during your training, now don't I?" I smirked evilly at them. This was required in the handbook for trainers, you needed to make them frightened of you. I just toned it down, unlike Molly and Gavin.

"Girls who changed from their factions, line up on the left side. Girls who were already Dauntless, right." I waited as they all scurried and ran into each other, trying to be quick about moving. What I really wanted to do was laugh at how skittish they all were.

I saw Faith on the left side, and I immediatley wondered what faction she came from. Then I was confused, I had never cared about another recruits origins, why now? I shook my head, and pulled out a pen and my clipboard. I walked over to the left side of the room, my combat heels clicking on the marble floor.All terrified eyes were on me.

I wasn't even that scary looking. Compared to most of the people here, I could pass off as completeley normal. I mean my light brown hair was toothpick straight and down past my shoulders. Sure, I wore ripped jeans, combat boots, a tight tee, and a leather jacket. But that sounded...normal, right? Plus, I only had two tats and they were hidden and my makeup was only mascara at a reasonable amount. Also I barely have any piercings. One on each ear, and a belly button. Normal, I know.

I stopped in front of the first girl on the left side of the hall. She had bleach blonde hair, and her clothes screamed Amity. I actually didn't mind Amity to much. "Name?" I asked, even I could hear the boredness of my tone.

"Aria." she replied confidently. I nodded my head, but didn't write it down. "Yes, but what do you want your name to be? Once you choose there isn't any going back." I held her stare and I felt her cower a bit under my intensity.

"I want to be...," she started.

message 10: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Aria Bradsford

The first thing I thought about the Dauntless complex was that I never seen a place more akin to a jail in my life. The place was awash in shades of greys and the kind of shade of blue you see in the shadows under the eyes of people who have past sleepless nights.

None of this boded well. But it had been my choice to leave everything I had ever known to come to this hellhole. Because I'd had no other choice.

"Name?" I blinked. A young woman with caramel coloured hair that swung at around her shoulder blades - wearing one of the most badass outfits I'd ever seen - and sporting a face that echoed her boredom loud and clear.

"Aria." The name came out automatically, the sound rolling off my tongue like the name of my street, the name of my school or even timestables my father had drilled into my head as a child.

But like all these things, it belonged to my old life. I realised my mistake when the young woman sighed, and nodded slowly as if I was some kind of retard. "Yes," she said patiently, "but what do you want your name to be? Once you choose there isn't any going back."

She stared me down and I stared back, but I wasn't there. I was by the lake behind my neighbour Keegan's house. We were sitting side by side by the lake, having snuck out of the weekly youth meeting. The meetings were meant to make us active peacekeepers and leaders in the community, but they were as boring as hell.

"Do you ever wonder what we mean?" Keegan had asked, flinging a pebble into the middle of the lake. I'd given him a quizzical look and he'd elaborated. "What we've been created to be. What we are?"
I'd shrugged. "I'm meant to be pure of heart."
He'd looked confused. "How do you know, Aria? How can you know?"

I'd laughed at him. No one ever asked questions like that in Amity. "Because that's what 'Aria' means," I'd teased. "'Pure'. Mother says she named me that so I would keep the piece in my heart as well as in the world."

Keegan had gazed at me long and hard before shaking his head slowly. "You don't look like an Aria."
I'd been miffed. "What do you mean by that?!"
He'd shrugged, his gaze drifting to the spot where his pebble had sunk into the depths of the lake. "I dunno. You look more like a..."

He'd murmured a name and the sound of it had been chilling. Almost like he'd peeled away a piece of me, like he'd done something terribly wrong but also terribly right.

"What does it mean?" I'd whispered.
"New beginning." He'd smiled at me sadly. "To me you look like a new beginning. A new start."

I squared my shoulders and looked the Dauntless woman straight in the eye, tearing myself away from Aria and becoming my own new beginning. "I want to be Zara," I said. "Zara Ford."

The woman stared at me for a few seconds more, before scribbling the name down. My name now, in black and white as if personified. I breathed in a deep breath. She raised an eyebrow.

"Well Zara Ford," she said. "Welcome to Dauntless." And I nodded, retreating back into my line, my old life well and truly like the pebble Keegan had thrown. Lost and slowly sinking beneath the surface.

message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (rachelm15) | 81 comments Gav Houston

I liked this Zara girl a tad bit more than the others. For one, she didn't cry when I looked at her like one girl named Hannah did. She also didn't puke when I asked for her name, like this Joelle had done. To be quite honest it offended me solely based on the fact that I had actually made them feel sick. And by what...I had done nothing. Truly remarkable. This must be a new record for a trainer.

Faith had chosen to keep her name the same. Heavens knows why, I'd hate that name. The purpose of faith defeats anything I've ever taught myself. It goes against logic and anyother reasoning you have.

I had assigned the girls to their dormitries, and tried my hardest not to slap some of them doing so. Honestly, even the rude insolent girls that were obviously trash didn't have the decency to address me by my name. Maybe I didn't try hard enough, but before they knew it my hand shot out like a cobra and struck some bimbo's face. I'd be lying foolhardily if I said I felt bad. More than anything, it felt rejuvenating.

I might of pulled a few strings to put Zara and Faith in the same room. But if anyone asks, I most definitely did not do such a thing. That would be an act of kindness. What kind of Dauntless preserves acts of kindness? Not me, of course not. That would be blasphemy to think such rash thoughts. Kindness, please, I would never do that.

After all of the girls went to bed safely in their rooms, I felt drained. I walked slow, zombie-like back to my own room on the other end of the compound. I had never enjoyed calling this place home, but I didn't really have any other choice, did I? If I moved to another faction, I would've been disowned. Back then, I hate myself for being weak as to letting my parents control my decisions. I hadn't been put into Dauntless, Dauntless wasn't the faction that showed up on my test results at all...let's just put it that way.

Feeling more than tired, I tried not to think about the petty girl drama going on inside the recruits hallway and dorms. As I crawled into bed, I tried not to let my mind stray to that. It gave me a headache if I thought about that too much. Of course if someone killed that group of bimbos, maybe I wouldn't almost be growing grey hair. But of course that would be like saying I would get beat in a fight by one of them. Some things in life are just to unlikely to dwell upon.

message 12: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford (used to be Aria Bradsford):

The next day started early - really early. The sky was just lighting up with a hint of gold, mainly awash in shades of red and orange when the woman I'd seen the day before - Gav...Gav Something (I hadn't been paying attention) - came hurtling into the dorm.

"Everybody up !" she shouted, opening the curtains on the lone window and turning on the overhead lights. Groans sounded from the beds around me and muttering...shuffling began as all the girls, bleary-eyed, sat up on their elbows or blinked at Gav with something like 'someone kill this bitch' in their expressions.

"You have a big day ahead of you," she continued. "Get yourselves dressed and cleaned up and a Dauntless member will escort you all to the dining hall when you're all ready. Make your beds - no one cleans up after anyone around here!" She directed a hard look at the Abnegation girls, who would probably have offered in a heartbeat. "Now get up and out of here!"

I made my bed, ignoring the chatting around me and focusing on my actions as if holding onto a lifeline. Two girls started having a cat fight. Another girl was crying for her parents. A group of girls had hogged the showers. I considered helping...when I remembered.

Zara Ford didn't resolve fights that broke out between two girls over the hairbrushes - she wasn't an Amity.

She was a Dauntless.

I ignored the others whilst I dressed in the clothes that had been unceremoniously dumped on my bed by a Dauntless woman after Gav had left. They were black - black pants, black top and a cotton black jacket and a pair of soft black shoes which looked like ankle boots but were also kind of like converses. They were comfortable and I donned them with relief. At least I wouldn't have to wear my Amity clothes.

We filed out of the room and into the awaiting corridor. A group of Dauntless' - you could tell them by the tattoos, the black and leather and of course the signature swagger in the way they held themselves - awaited us: a middle aged woman with a streak of gray marring her black bobbed hair, an approximately 23 year-old guy with three silver piercings in his right ear and a younger guy with a leather jacket and ash-black hair.

The woman came over to us and wrinkled her nose. "Newbies," she muttered. She had a smoker's voice, rough and raspy. "Just what I wanted!" She turned to the guys and snapped, "Liam!"

The guy with the ash-black hair rolled his blue eyes and pushed himself off the wall. "Coming, Jen."
Jen turned back to face us, her voice stern. "Instructor Liam will lead you to the dining hall. You will have twenty minutes - no more, no less - to eat your breakfast. You will then have a series of training sessions. There will be no excuses. Those who fail to arrive at training will be escorted out."

And everyone knew that 'out' was a fancy term for 'alone and factionless'. And that was suicide in a world where no faction meant no food, no shelter, no anything.

Liam took over, waving us on. "To the hall!" he called out. The girls fell into step behind him, everyone dead silent. Jen's speech had been the perfect damper. I kept my gaze on Liam, studying his air of purpose, his way of acting. He was Dauntless. He looked content, satisfied with who he was and where he was.

I had to believe I had made the right choice. There was no other option.

message 13: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (rachelm15) | 81 comments Gav Houston

Walking towards the kitchen, I saw Liam walking with the recruits. I smirked when I saw more than half were ogling him.

"Liam babe!" I called out across the kitchen. Liam turned and gave me a mischievous smile.

"Gavvy babe!" he called out with a small laugh. I snorted and ran over to him and practically knocked him over when I jumped on him.

All the girls, who were now seated at the wooden tables were staring at us oddly.

"'Ello girls, this is my brother Liam, in case you hadn't noticed. He's gay." I said as a matter of factly.

"Gav, don't be so blunt about it." Liam whispered harshly into my ear, shoving his elbow in my side.

"Ow! No need to be rough about it! I thought you would've been tired from all of that roughness by the sounds coming from your room last night." I smiled sweetly while his face turned an ashen color.

"You could hear that?!" he said above a whisper, and all the girls looked at him confusedly. To say he was red was an understatement; it was more like a firetrucks red brilliance times a hundred.

"Bye, Li-Li! Be careful next time I heard Dave likes it a tad bit too much, if you know what I mean." I winked and then left the cafeteria to go set up the knife throwing lessons for today.

message 14: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford (used to be Aria Bradsford):

I made a mental note never to mention anything that I wished to be kept a secret in front of a Dauntless. Liam's ears turned red at the tips, and I couldn't help but think that it was a shame he wasn't into girls. He was hot. Really hot. But I mentally shrugged and wished him luck with a sister like that. He needed it.

Breakfast was a selection of different cereals, toast and different spreads. I barely ate though, my stomach churning. A shadow passed over me and I looked up to see the other guy who had been with Liam and Jen before. He was tall, and up close he seemed younger than I'd first thought. He took a seat opposite me and I stared unabashedly.

"I'm Derrick Grayson." I blinked, surprised when I realised he was speaking - not to mention addressing me.
His voice was low and mellow and I watched as he gave me a knowing smile. "You do know you were staring, right?" His tone was amused.
I gave a rueful grimace. "Sorry." I considered keeping my mouth shut but said what was on my mind anyway. "Are those piercings real?"

Derrick chuckled and I caught the curious looks I was getting from the others. I let a curtain of my dark hair fall over the side of my face to hide my burning cheeks. "Yes. They're real as they get."
"Cool." I meant it and I squinted at one of them. "One of them has an engraving on it. What does it say?"

Derrick's gray eyes appraised me and I felt self-concious. He was definitely not gay, that was for sure. He lifted a hand and traced the miniscule words with his fingers.

"Aequam memento rebus in arduis servare mentem," he said, his voice rising and falling softly. I listened to the words, feeling as entranced as I had when Keegan had whispered the name I had grown to call my own. "Each ring is engraved with a few of the words and together they make up the full phrase."

"What does it mean?" I asked, curious. He cocked his head.
"A loose translation would be 'Remember when life's path is steep to keep your mind even. '"
I frowned, trying to make sense of it. Derrick watched me, his mouth twitching at the corners. "Any luck?" he said, his tone slightly teasing.
I narrowed my eyes. "I'll figure it out."
"Let me know when you do..." He trailed off and looked at me expectantly.

"Zara Ford," I said, holding out my hand. He took it in one of his own and shook it firmly.
"Well, Zara Ford." He was smiling slightly. "You are an interesting young woman. You're not from Dauntless, are you?"

I shook my head and he seemed to be thinking. "Not're too curious. And not Erudite-" I frowned and he smiled a little. "Not that you're not intelligent but you haven't lecture me on the piercings so I'll take that as a no. You're either Candor or Amity, but I have a feeling you could lie if you wanted to." He pursed his lips. "Amity. I'm going with Amity."

I took a sip of what looked to be milk and raised my eyebrows, impressed. "Impressive," I said. His eyes bored into mine, his smile sweet and sincere.
"It wasn't too hard. Just takes some trial and error." He looked over his shoulder and then, got to his feet. "I better speak with the was nice talking to you, Zara."

I nodded and watched as he left to talk to Jen. He was nice. I noticed that he was genuine too.

"Wow." A girl next to me raised an eyebrow. "You've got guts talking to Derrick. Not many newbies would try."

The girl introduced herself as Faith and set down her breakfast things to join me.

message 15: by Melissa (last edited Nov 24, 2012 12:14PM) (new)

Melissa | 869 comments Faith Wentworth

I sat down next to Zara and started eating. I could feel her staring at me and turned to look at her. "What? Is there something on my face?" I asked curiosly, I didn't want any enemies so I kept my tone in check. "Why didn't you change your name? I would have if I were you, no offense." I smiled, I had figured that someone would ask that sooner or later. "Well you're supposed to have a name that goes with your faction, right?" She nodded and I continued, " and dauntless is all about courage right?" again she nodded. "Well in my eyes you have to have faith to be couragess." Zara looked at me questioningly. "Well, take when our instructors jumped onto the train. They had the courage to do that because they had done it before and had faith that they wouldn't die. It was a lot harder for us to do it because we had never done it before and therefore didn't have faith that we wouldn't die."

Zara nodded, "that makes sense I guess". I smiled and bit into my bagel. "I wonder what kind of training they will make us go through." Zara said. I shrugged, I was a little worried about that. Back in Erudite once in a while there would be an article concerning faction initiation and some of the dauntless related articles seemed pretty harsh. "Nothing too bad, they wouldn't want to kill us on the first day....right?"

I looked over at the instructors and most of them seemed to be surveying us with an evil glint in their eyes.

message 16: by Booknut, Head Moderator (last edited Jun 18, 2012 05:02AM) (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford (used to be Aria Bradsford):

The training room looked lethal. That is the only way to describe it without sounding crazed. Growing up, I had always been told stories of how the Dauntless were often ruthless and weapon-obsessed and I had found these stories fascinating. But those stories had been told to highlight the need for peace - an Amity must - and when I grew up I didn't heed them anymore.

Turns out they were right. But I squared my shoulders. I was here for a reason - to start over, a new beginning. Picturing a blank, endless expanse I schooled my features into what I hoped resembled calm and joined the rest of the newbies.

Derrick was standing at the front of the training room, his arms crossed, watching as a giant of a man with the beginnings of a beard herded us into lines like sheep. Black sheep, seeing our dress code, but sheep nevertheless.

"Allllllllll - righty! " the giant shouted, grinning a grin so fierce a weedy looking boy in the front took several steps back, his eyes wide. "I see we've got ourselves a fine bunch of turtles 'ere - all ready to be tossed into the oceans of Dauntless-ness!"

Not only was I pretty sure that 'Dauntless-ness' wasn't a word, but I also knew that baby turtles, once they'd left the egg, had to waddle their way to the ocean alone - unaided - and most of them were eating by birds before they made it.

So if his analogy was meant to comfort, it failed majorly when said in the presence of anyone with any knowledge of biology.

"For those who don't know, this," the giant gestured wildly to Derrick, "Is Derrick Grayson, your other instructor. You can call him Sir or Grayson. Derrie, Rick or Ricky are not permitted." Derrick glared as the newbies chuckled. The giant grinned. "And I'm the best instructor Dauntless have-"
"And unfailingly modest too," added Derrick.
"And my name is Paul Rayes - but you can just call me Sir or Paul."

"Now!" Paul clapped his huge hands together. "Over to the archery bay!"

The group followed him over to a large section where along one wall was an assortment of shelves containing arrows and bows and something that looked like arm guards. A fake set up - meant probably to look like an open field - was set up with identical targets at least three feet away from one another.

Paul walked up to the wall. "These here are the practice bows, arrows and these," he pointed to the arm guard thingys, "are bracers. Don't want to have raw and bleeding arms? Wear one."

He got us lined up in small groups - one group per target, with there being five targets in all. Faith and I were separated and I ended up in a group of four. Two boys and one other girl with mousy brown hair and big eyes. Derrick and Paul went around handing out the gear. The Dauntless kids got to work, at ease, whilst the instructors helped out the other kids.

I spied on the way Derrick was putting on a boy's gear, strapping on the bracers and showing him the basics of loading the bow whilst Paul's back was turned. Obviously Paul, for all his mirth, expected us to be apt at this.

"First UP!"

The first newbies stepped forward and began to take aim. A few fumbled, some hands were shaking so hard the bow itself began to vibrate and one girl was staring at the target with fear clearly written all over her face. Fear of failure.


They shot. Two missed. One hit the side of the target and they smiled, relieved. The other one - a born Dauntless - hit just outside the inner ring receiving a clap on the back from Paul. Derrick stood, expressionless, watching it all - once in a while lifting a finger to trace one of his earrings absentmindedly.

"NEXT!" Paul shouted. Though why, I couldn't understand. We were all close proximity. "Anyone who failed to hit the target please rejoin the line. You will keep trying until you hit it or..." He let the words trail off.

The girl with the mousy stepped forward, her grip tight on her bow. Faith was also up, as were two other boys. "Take AIM!" yelled Paul.

Bows raised. Eyes focused. Lips quivering, bitten down on. Nervous shifting of feet.


Faith hit the target dead centre. I had to hold back the natural applause...this wasn't Amity. Perfection was expected, not applauded. I settled for smiling at her. She smiled back. The mousy haired girl missed. The two boys managed to nip the edge of the target and hit it. Lucky.

"NEXT UP!" His volume never wavered. This man was a machine.

The boy in front of me stepped up and my nerves started in. I couldn't do this. This was against everything I'd ever been taught. NEVER EVER use weapons. Words were weapons; we used them to fight wars with. I clutched the bow tightly. I was so doomed. I'd never shot anything in my life, but I had to now. I just HAD to.


Three hits this time, and one just miss. I breathed in. And out. And in again. Praying someone would interrupt this training session and get me out of having to-


Limbs shook. I walked forward, my body numb and feelings disconnected. I held the bow. I couldn't bring it up. My parents faces wavered before me. I clenched my teeth. I had to! I wasn't Amity anymore!

"A problem GIRL?"

I gasped, looking up to see Paul staring down at me. I looked sideways and realised, to my utter mortification, that everyone else had released their arrows. The whole group was staring at me - part sadly, part with resigned understanding. I bet I knew what they were thinking.

She's weak.
She's done for.
She's Amity.

"I..." I swallowed.
"Yes?" Paul's voice was stern.
"I...I've never done this before. Ever."
"And?" Paul laughed, and it was slightly mocking. I cringed.
"I've been taught...never to...use...weapons."

I can't believe I said that. I sucked in a breath. Paul froze and then leaned in close, breathing hotly in my ear.
"Then you better UNLEARN it, girl." His gaze was piercing. "You're Dauntless now. Act like it. Or you won't have a faction to learn ANYTHING from. Got it?"

I nodded, shaken. He gave a nod, as if deciding he had scared me thoroughly. I saw Derrick make a move from the corner of my eyes - as if he was about to get up from his lazying position. But I just gave Paul a determined look and said, "Clear as crystal. Now please move - you're blocking the target."

A few of the Dauntless kids gasped at my rudeness. I waited to see what Paul's reaction would be.

He laughed. A genuine laugh and clapped me on the back. "Spunk!" he said, chuckling. "Alrighty, then girl - go for it! I bet you won't even clip the edge of the target. Just don't mistake me for it!" A few of the older kids laughed nastily. Derrick remained stoic. I face the target and recalled every ounce of my motivation.

My father, tell me I was worthless if I didn't speak up.
My mother, comparing me to so-and-so's daughter.
My faction looking up at me with blank faces...turning away from me as one.
Keegan in their midst.

I took a breath.

I aligned my body so it was perpendicular to the target; my feet shoulder-width apart. I loaded the bow, placing the shaft of the arrow on my arrow rest and the back of the arrow to the bowstring’s nock – after which I raised the bow and drew it in one, fluid motion.

I drew my string hand towards my face, eyes never wavering from my target.

Pulled it back.
Relaxed my fingers.
And let it fly.

The arrow whizzed through the air and it sunk into the target – at dead centre. I sucked in a breath, feeling drained...drawing on all those memories had left me feeling hollow inside.

I was Dauntless now. Fully Dauntless. I looked at my hands and could almost see the invisible imprint of the weapon. There was no turning back now.

Paul was laughing and going on about it and then summoning the group over to a display on one of the many battles fought by the Dauntless - going into the theatrics of it and calling Derrick up to help re-enact it all out. I stood at the edge of the group. I dropped the bow and hugged myself as I watched Paul demonstrate a martial art movement on Derrick, as if from a distance.

I was lost. Who was I really? Did I even have a choice anymore - had I made the right choice?

When they tell you tales of the choosing ceremony, they always tell you about the crowds. The expectations. The outfits. The announcer. And then how you will stand on a stage and choose a faction. You will place your slip of paper down and you will walk off the stage to your new faction.

They never tell you about how life changing it is. And they never tell you about the nagging doubt that will haunt you for the rest of your life. The questions. If I could go back and change my mind would my life be the same? Would I be the same? The sleep lost over whether or not this was the right choice. They never tell you about any of it.

And that is their biggest mistake.

When the training session was up, I couldn't help but look back at the arrows sticking into the targets. The targets reminded me of bodies and I raced over to the station and began yanking the arrows out, throwing them into a pile. It was lunacy, really, but I felt compelled to.

"You don't have to do that, you know." Derrick's voice was low and calm.

I stared at the last target, the one in front of me. I gripped the hard plastic of the arrow length in my hands and yanked it out with more force than necessary.

"I know," I replied. Quite calmly considering my inner turmoil.
"Why are you doing this?" I wasn't quite sure what the 'this' he was referring to was, but I answered anyway.

"Because there is a difference between bravery and ruthlessness - between being dauntless and being heartless."

And with that I left the pile of arrows lying on the ground and headed out of the training room to shower before lunch.

message 17: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (rachelm15) | 81 comments Gav Houston

I was waiting for the girls to get done with lunch in the cafeteria, so Molly and I could begin their next lesson- hand to hand combat. Personally, it was one of my absolute favorites. It took determination, courage, intelligence, agility, and well, ruthlessness.

I had met up with Paul and he was blabbing on and on about some girls who had 'spunk'. I rolled my eyes when he had actually used that word. Some people shouldn't use certain vocabulary. When I asked who it was he said, Zara and Faith. I smiled a small smile and had said, 'I knew they could.' before walking out of the training room and coming back to where I was now.

"Take up your trays ladies, let's go!" Molly yelled irritably next to me. She was so melodramatic.

At the sound of her voice, most of the girls scrambled up out of their seats and threw away their trash and put away the trays. "Line up over here!" Molly instructed, motioning to us.

Faith and Zara were the first two in line and gave them a small secret smile, before turning my face back into its normal bored look.

"As you girls know, hopefully, the next training session is combat." I paused as the groans and moans started and I wanted to snap at them. Instead I picked at my nails and waited for them to get it out of their systems.

"Are y'all pansies done whining yet?" Molly said menacingly, causing some girls to flinch. Molly gave out a satisfied smirk and then nodded her head ofr me to continue.

"As I was saying, Molly and I will be partnering you up. Once we get into the training room you and your partner will learn the basic stuff before we have the battles." I saw Molly's smirk widen at the battles. Oh how she loved those.

"Let's go!" Molly said cheerfully, now excited to see girls getting beat up. I rolled my eyes and fell in step at the end of the line, going to the combat room.

message 18: by Booknut, Head Moderator (last edited Jun 28, 2012 04:53AM) (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford (used to be Aria Bradsford):

The woman instructor, Molly, seemed eager to have us girls bashing the hell out of one another. A little too eager if you asked me - she should have at least seemed slightly concerned. But, as I quickly learned, concern, fear, empathy and logic where four (normal) things that the Dauntless had extracted from their thought and action processes.

"Combat!" Molly said it with something like relish. She eyed us like I'd seen my neighbour in Amity's chubby son eye a plate of donuts - hungrily. "It takes skill to use a bow and arrow - but it takes guts and bravery to be able to knock down your opponents one by one like dominoes!!"

"We'll be teaching you a few basic moves." This came from Gav, and she seemed a bit more composed than the grinning Molly. "Swipe. Punch. Jab. And kick. Those are the basic aggressive moves. "
She then continued. "Duck. Curl. Squat. Cross. And roll. Those are the basic defensive moves."

She then demonstrated them, one after the other, as if fending off an invisible opponent. When she finished, she said, "You'll need to not only use those methods but you'll need to analyse your opponent. Like a checklist, you'll need to mentally tailor your methods to the attacker in question. Use their strengths against them and exploit every weakness. If they're strong, the cross method won't work - your arms won't hold the weight well and they'll win. So be careful which methods you pick."

Molly took over, rubbing her hands together. "I'll now pair you up." She started barking out a bunch of names from a clipboard in front of her. And then...

"Zara Ford...and Kayla Flemming!"

I looked around for my partner and immediately spotted her - a tall, lethal looking blonde girl, with sharp features and a glare that could have melted an ice cap at a mile off. Kayla was such a sweet sounding name.

It didn't suit her at all.

I walked over to her and watched as she stared me down old Western-movie style, her blue eyes drilling holes into my forehead.

Maybe I should introduce myself. Worked in Amity.
"Umm, hi - I'm-"
"Save it, Pixie!"

I was definitely in Dauntless - an Amity member would never have been so impolite had another person greeted them.

Kayla Flemming also obviously felt the need to spit every word instead of speak it. She was 100% venom and I had no idea what I had done to incur her wrath.

"I'm gonna smash you into the ground so hard, you won't know what hit you!" She leered unpleasantly at me.
"I really don't think that is the objective of this," I muttered.
"READY GIRLS?" Molly was eyeing us with mad glee. "Group 9, you're up first!"

I glanced at Kayla. "Who's Group 9?"
Kayla smirked, her eyes narrowing. "WE are, Pixie." I was a little disgruntled by her obvious disdain for my height. I mean, I wasn't that short! "Get ready to scream for mercy!"

Kayla missed her calling. She should have been a grim reaper.

message 19: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford (used to be Aria Bradsford):

By the time we finished fighting, I was covered in bruises and had a long scratch - thanks to Kayla's wicked-sharp nails - across my right arm that had beads of blood quivering at the surface of my broken skin. I was lying on the ground, my vision shifting - Kayla's hand pressed tightly against my windpipe.

She was feral. So much for the 'duck, roll, punch' regime we'd been taught. Kayla preferred 'scratch, slap, pull, bite, kick'. Unfortunately. I hadn't had a chance. I'd defended myself well for the first half, until she stepped on my hand, causing pain to shoot through me.

She'd stepped on it again, and when Molly broke us up - slapping Kayla on the back like a proud mother hen - she advised me to "Put ice on that". Ice? I stared at my hand, wincing and biting down hard on my lip as my bones protested. I think she broke it. Ice would do naught, but here at Dauntless I guess 'Suck it up' was the official motto.

message 20: by Booknut, Head Moderator (last edited Jan 11, 2013 01:55PM) (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford:

I sat in the med bay, holding - you guessed it - an icepack, to my swelling hand. Without giving me a chance to explain what had happened, the medic Dauntless had tossed the pack at me and had said, "Hold it to it for half an hour. Swelling should go down, soon."

And then she'd left to deal with a guy whose left rib was broken, protruding from his chest.

Surprisingly, after a few minutes of sitting there with my hand getting colder, but no less painful, Derrick entered the bay. He spoke quietly with one of the medics before walking over to me and glancing at my hand.

"What happened?" he asked, fiddling with one of his earrings as he took a seat opposite me. "Run into a wall?" He grinned at me, teasing, but I frowned.
"No. Unless Kayla Flemming is made out of bricks, which would explain a lot."

He leaned forwards and his eyes narrowed as he inspected my hand. "Take off the icepack for a sec."
"No." I cradled my hand. "It numbs the pain."
"Yeah, but it looks like it's not doing a crack job at fixing it. Now, take off the icepack and lemme see."

I sighed in frustration, but did as I was told. Derrick grabbed my hand and started prodding it. I hissed and tried to tug it out of his grip, but it was like trying to tug your hand out of iron shackles. Not happening.

"Does it hurt here?" He prodded at the base of my index finger.
Wince. "Yes."
"Here?" Derrick nudged the back of my hand.
Hiss. "Yes."
His mouth twitched as he reached out to put pressure on my wrist, eyes meeting mine. "How about-"
"YES! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes - everywhere hurts! Thank you for your medical analysis!" I tugged and he let go of my hand. I slapped the icepack back on and let out a sigh of relief. "And yes, I know that the icepack isn't helping. But the medics refuse to listen to me."

Derrick leaned forward, his elbows on his knees. "Maybe I should strap it up for you. No way are you going to pass Combat is your hand is in that state. Strapping it will condense the pain, make it easier to deal with as well as absorb some of the shock from hits."

message 21: by talltyrion (new)

talltyrion | 708 comments Name: Mariah Wagner, previously Maggie Wagner
Age: Sixteen
Bio: Originally from Erudite, but never quite fit in, so she became Dauntless in hopes of finding where she belongs. Very insignificant and easily overlooked. She is struggling with Dauntless initiation the most.

message 22: by Booknut, Head Moderator (last edited Jan 28, 2013 07:59PM) (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford:

I eyed him uneasily. "Promise you won't poke it again?" I asked, clutching the icepack to my hand.

Derrick bowed from the waist up, holding a hand over his heart. "I solemnly swear to not poke, prod or nudge your grievous injury." He glance up, arching an eyebrow. "Now can I strap it? Haven't got all day, y'know."

Grudgingly I dropped the icepack from my hand, placing it in my lap as he got up and headed over to the glass cabinet on the side of the med bay. He came back holding a bandage-looking thing and a silver clasp-clip thing. My medical knowledge was astounding, to be sure.
Gently clasping his fingers around my wrist, he began to strap it tightly. I winced at intervals, but as he neared the end of the strip of bandage, the pain lessened and I gave my flexed my fingers, surprised at the improvement.

"There. Done." He let go of my wrist after using the silver thing to hold the end of the bandage in place. "How's it feel?"
I shrugged. "I won't know until I hit someone, I guess."
Derrick smirked. "Well, I'd offer to be a practice dummy, but I've had enough bruises for one day."

"Spoilsport," I teased, smiling. I hadn't smiled properly since I'd left home, but there was something winsome and charming about Derrick that put me at ease.

message 23: by talltyrion (new)

talltyrion | 708 comments Mariah Wagner:

I watch closely as the girl named Faith steps up to her opponent, a wicked looking girl called Ridley. I'm worried about Faith, though I don't even know her, but Ridley looks strong and I don't want Faith to end up in the medical bay with her friend who ended up on the wrong side of Kayla Flemming's fists.
I spent years watching Faith, not as a stalker or a lesbian wannabe, but just because she inspired me. I was always the one who blended in with everyone else and never had any real friends, but she was above things like that. She seemed like she'd be a good friend, but I never spoke to her back home.
After her bull's-eye shot, I thought she might really be cut out for Dauntless, but Ridley seems to be the type who doesn't admit defeat until she's taken a good bite out of her competitor. She's also a big fan of punches to the face, and within a few minutes, she's got Faith staggering backwards, clutching at her bloody nose and struggling to see as her left eye swells shut. One more harsh kick to her stomach, and she's down.
I look at Molly, expecting her to declare Ridley the winner and send Faith after her friend, but she just stands there, arms crossed and face contorted in vicious glee. Meanwhile, Ridley is closing in, her only injury a blue-black bruise on her cheek that is stark in comparison to her flushed skin. She kicks Faith in the stomach again, then a third time, and I find myself rushing forward to Molly.
"Make her stop it!" I say, incredulous. By this time, I doubt Faith can even see through the gushing blood and rapid swelling.
Molly looks at me and then at the match, taking her time in swiveling her head a few degrees. She sighs like this is paining her, then moseys over to the girls.
"Enough. Very good, Ridley. Faith, go to the medical bay and mop up that oozing mess of a face before you get blood all over my training center."
She leads her victor to the rest of the group, praising her. Everyone else look vaguely interested or terrified.
Once they're gone and announcing the next pair, I hurry over to Faith, who's still on the floor but has managed to sit up. Without a word, I put my arm around her shoulders and help her stand. We limp out as fast as we can, and no one pays us any attention.
In the bay, I quickly explain what happened to a bored looking medic and let him start cleaning up the blood. Satisfied that this is all I can do to help, I start to walk away, but Faith croaks, "Hey. Thank you for doing this."
I manage a grin back at her and say, "Yeah, no problem." I didn't really expect her to thank me, but it's nice that she did. I head back to the training room as I see the girl who got beat up by Kayla rush over when she sees her friend. I know she'll be okay.

message 24: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 869 comments Faith Wentworth

I groan and collapse as Zara flits around me, at least I think its Zara. I may have trouble seeing until the swelling goes down. "What the hell happened to your face?!" Yep, definitely Zara. "Ridley happened." Zara gasped, "but she's got like twelve inches and a hundred pounds on you!" She started muttering, "I knew they were going to be brutal, but not that brutal. Sheesh." Her voice got fainter and I hoped she was getting an ice pack for me, or something to take the swelling down.

message 25: by Booknut, Head Moderator (last edited Jan 31, 2013 02:40AM) (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford:

When Faith was rushed into the med bay, it didn't surprise me that the medic Dauntless on duty barely batted an eyelash over Faith's battered face and the way she winced in pain whenever the medic prodded at her ribs. I left Derrick when an older Dauntless approached, holding my strapped hand to my chest as I sat on the edge of Faith's bed.

"What the hell happened to your face?" I asked Faith jokingly, trying to make her smile. It worked - her lips creaking into the curved shape, blood springing to the cut and bruised surface.
"Ridley happened." Her voice was barely a croak.

I frowned. "What does she look like?" I asked, staring down at my hand and trying to recall.
"Big, blonde and has a hawk nose."
The image clicked and I felt my eyes widen. "That one! But she has to have at least twelve inches and a hundred pounds on you. I knew they were going to be brutal but that...Molly should have broken things up."

I glanced back at Faith, to see that her swollen eye was now shut, her forehead gleaming with a thin sheen of sweat - a pained moan escaping her parted lips. No medic in sight...again. Sighing, I slipped off the bed and grabbed my ice pack from where I'd left it on the chair. Squeezing it to get the crystals working, I placed it against Faith's ribs - holding it in place for her.

message 26: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 869 comments Faith Wentworth

"Hey did you see what happened to that girl who brought me here?" I croaked. I think Zara nodded, but it was hard to tell since my eyes were almost swollen shut. "Well it might be the concussion talking," I joked, "but I think I know her from my old faction." "You're not sure?" Zara asked skeptically. "Well it's not like we were friends, if she is who I think she is I'm surprised she's here. She was always so shy, I wonder why she chose to go into Dauntless."

"Are you sure you should be talking so much? You're lip is busted up pretty bad." Zara said as she moved the ice pack a little to the left causing me to let out an "oof" of pain. "Sorry." She said apologetically. I grunted and swallowed painfully. "Thanks for staying with me and getting the ice pack." I got out through my split lip.

message 27: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford:

I shrugged off her thanks, shifting my grip on the ice pack. "No worries," I told her quietly. "I know...I know that this is Dauntless and all, but back in-" I lowered my voice. "Back in Amity we cared for people. We looked after the sick, helped the injured. Here things are...different."

message 28: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 869 comments Faith Wentworth

I didn't reply, things were different here in Dauntless. My breathing was ragged and my ribs ached, I was really gonna make sure that Ridley chick got some payback for this. Beating someone half to death really didn't seem like the brave thing to do.

message 29: by talltyrion (new)

talltyrion | 708 comments Mariah Wagner:

I take my time walking back, in no hurry to see someone else beaten senseless. This is cruelty, no sugar coating it. I remember back to grade school, when we learned about people called gladiators who were forced to fight one another for entertainment. Now we're those gladiators, except some of us are fighting willingly, gladly. I'd expect it from the Dauntless-born initiates, but I didn't think the others who were raised differently had this kind of bloodlust buried in them, stuffed down for sixteen years until now, and they're more than happy to show it.
In Erudite, we were taught to look at everything rationally. Never under- or overestimate anything or anyone. Keep a cool, logical air about you. When you look at things that way, you can justify otherwise seemingly ludicrous happenings almost without thinking about it; you just know why people do certain things, even if it seems wrong.
Now I apply this to Faith's match. Our trainers are supposed to teach us to fight, to defend ourselves and our allies. Is putting us against each other a surefire way to achieve this goal, or perhaps just a warped sense of the world? The rational part of me wonders, questions everything.
But this isn't Erudite, and I am not rational Maggie anymore. Am I?

message 30: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford:

Faith drifted off to sleep, her chest rising and falling naturally and a little colour had seeped into her pale face. I felt comfortable enough to leave her, passing the stoic medics and rows of beds dressed in identical white sheets. I was surprised to see Derrick leaning against the wall opposite the med bay entrance when I came out; he glanced up when I walked past and fell into step beside me.

"Molly sent a message 'round," Derrick told me quietly. "Early morning training session. It'll contribute to your overall rank, so grab something to eat and get some rest."

I bit my lip. I'd be surprised if I could keep any food down - the thought of fighting again made me feel like spewing my guts out.

message 31: by talltyrion (new)

talltyrion | 708 comments Mariah Wagner:

Tonight, at dinner, I notice that Faith is not the only one missing. While I procrastinated returning, taking the long way back to the training room, several others must have been sent down to the medical bay via a more direct route. The girl who helped Faith after I left--Zara, I heard someone call her-- is here, though.
She seems fine now, apart from her bandaged hand. I stir my soup absentmindedly, then decide to introduce myself. If she helped Faith, maybe she won't bite my head off on first contact.
I walk over and sit down beside her. "Hi, it's Zara, right?" I ask cautiously. "My name's Mariah, I brought Faith down to the med bay; I just wanted to say thanks for taking care of her. I was worried when Ridley... You know."
She looks a bit surprised that I'm here. "Yeah, sure." she says. "She'd have done it for me." Zara seems as wary of this conversation as I am.
I smile uncomfortably. We sit in silence for a moment, then I say, "Well, I should go. Just wanted to thank you." I get up and study her. "It was nice talking to you. You seem... More humane than the others. Good to know I'm not the only one."
I leave without another word. I probably just screwed up any chance of an acquaintance with Zara, something I tend to do with everyone I meet. Social awkwardness, what a bitch you are. Oh, look at that, someone spit in my soup bowl while I was talking to Zara. Wonderful.
This day sucks.

message 32: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford:

When Mariah left I let out a small sigh and stirred my now cold soup, watching the chunks of potato bobbing on the murky surface. After Derrick's announcement about Molly's training session in the morning, I'd lost any appetite I'd previously had, my stomach a massive knot of nerves and conflicted emotions.

You're not in Amity anymore I told myself sternly, lifting a spoonful of soup to my lips...simply to let it drop back into the bowl. Yep. Definitely not hungry.

message 33: by talltyrion (new)

talltyrion | 708 comments Mariah Wagner:

The next morning, I'm roused from a fitful sleep by the girl who sleeps in the top of our bunk bed, who clearly isn't worried about who she steps on to climb down. The room is full of anxious initiates who are all changing into dark clothing, as per usual, but it's quieter than most mornings. Hardly anyone is boasting, or threatening, or making idle chitchat, but I guess that's no wonder. I can practically feel the fear and nervousness circulating through the air, like blood through veins.
I'm just as nervous and frightened as everyone else, if not more. We all know that this early training session will be contribute its part to our overall scores, and those with the lowest scores will be cut from the initiation process. They'll be turned out into the streets, factionless and shameful.
I can't be one that goes. Being factionless means being unwanted, unloved, unworthy. I was already doing poorly, and my trip to the med bay with Faith and the detour on the way back damaged my score even worse. If I don't do well today, I may very well be packing my bags soon. Dauntless initiation is hard, it's meant to single out the most ruthless, tough, strong kids, and toss out everyone else, like old leftovers.
I can see now that this Dauntless isn't the faction we were raised to expect. In the manifestos, Dauntless is made out to be courageous, yes, but not in the way we're being trained. Dauntless is supposed to be about overcoming fears and those little, ordinary acts of bravery. And that sure as hell isn't what it's become.
I can't let myself be one who leaves.

message 34: by talltyrion (new)

talltyrion | 708 comments Mariah Wagner:

Another fight. This one will help decide who goes, and those who win their fight will probably stay. So my only chance of redeeming my score will be to get paired with someone worse or only slightly better than me, or for me to not get beaten too badly. Which requires me to either get paired with someone who might go easy on me, or miraculously turn into a kick-ass fighter.

In other words, I'm probably screwed.

I peer over the heads of everyone in front of me to see the board, where Molly's writing names side by side. She's paired Ridley with Kayla, the other ruthless girl, so I guess that's good. At the very least, it ensures that I don't end up like Faith.

Speaking of Faith, she's actually here today. She and Zara are farther to the front then I am, but on the edge of the group, and I can see that Faith's face is still blotchy and spotted with bruises, but at least it isn't covered in blood anymore. They seem to be trying to remain stoic, but I wouldn't doubt that they're as scared as I am.

Up front, Molly gives a partner to the kid whose name is just before Zara's. The list isn't alphabetized, but her name is still fairly low on it. Then Molly moved aside, onto the next pair, and we all see the name next to Zara's: Mariah.

Me. Dammit.

message 35: by Melissa (last edited Apr 22, 2013 11:14PM) (new)

Melissa | 869 comments Faith Wentworth

I feel like I was hit by one of the speed trains but I can at least look my instructors in the eye now. They paired me with a girl twice my size again but this time I got in enough punches that she went down with a spray of blood.

I should be feeling great right now, and I do in a way. But I also feel sick, they aren't teaching us anything, the only thing we're doing is beating the crap outta each other. At least by winning my rank should stay solidly in the middle and I won't be in danger of becoming factionless.

Even so, I suppose this is better than what's up next. Next come the simulations.

message 36: by Anna (new)

Anna (SylviaGrant) | 160 comments Name: Dorthea Hudson
Age: 18
Bio: will add to my bio.

message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Name: Nicholas "Nico" Hanes
Age: 18
Bio: Chose the Dauntless over his original faction Candor. At first, he was ignored because of his height (short), but soon became a feared competitor.

message 38: by Booknut, Head Moderator (last edited Dec 20, 2013 02:56AM) (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford:

"Well," Mariah muttered, shifting slightly so that her back faced Molly as she spoke. "This sucks."

I couldn't help but agree. Why do I have to fight Mariah for? I liked Mariah. And I could at least count on the fact that the girl didn't hate my guts. Which only made facing off against her worse.

"What the hell are you two idiots waiting for? A sign from the freaking heavens?" Molly yelled from across the mat.

Mariah grimaced and took her place opposite me. I rolled my shoulders, swallowing down the nausea as I forced myself to visualise all the fighting techniques I knew.

I have to hit but not hurt.

Being Dauntless was one thing. Being heartless was quite another.


Mariah jabbed at my midsection - I jumped out of the way, circling around to her back with my arms flying up in a defensive position. Damn. The girl could fight, but the speed of her hit caught my attention. It was fast. True. But not as fast as I knew Mariah could hit.

She came at me again, her knuckles grazing the edge of my jaw. Holding back the urge to cry out, I tolerated the quick flare of pain, using my knee to trip her up. Mariah tumbled to the mat...managing to get in a roll so that she only bruised herself slightly.

"I want to see blood, ladies!" Molly sang from the sidelines. Mariah rolled her eyes subtly. I bit back a grin.

Hurt me, I mouthed as she feigned a brief headlock, which I ended with a well-placed elbow to her stomach.

She shook her head slightly, coming in for a punch to the shoulder which I felt all the way to my bones. Frustrated, I let out a brief exhalation, before launching myself at her, tackling her to the mat.

"Hurt me!" I hissed in her ear as I pretended to pin her down. She put on a good performance, struggling and making grunting noises at random intervals.

"Not a chance," she replied through gritted teeth, throwing me off her and getting to her feet.

Damn it. Amity had raised me to be patient, but I needed this match to end soon. I wasn't going to hurt a friend.

I had no other choice but to taunt Mariah into hitting me.

Narrowing my eyes I waited until Mariah swung at me - ducking under her outstretched arm to come within inches of her, feeling a wave of guilt as I punched her square in the mouth. There were a few muffled gasps from those gathered around us as blood flowed from Mariah's lip, dripping onto the mat.

"That's more like it!" Molly crowed.

Mariah stared at me with wide eyes. I raised an eyebrow. She swiped a hand across her mouth, before stalking over to me and aiming a solid punch at my gut.

Ooomph! All air was sucked out of my lungs as I doubled over, shooting out a hand just in time to break my fall as I fell to the mat. The shock of the fall jolted up my arm and I shut my eyes as the pain flooded me.

Don't faint, don't puke, don't faint or puke...

"What are you doing, girl?"

Huh? Blinking through the fog of pain surrounding me, I realised belatedly that Molly wasn't talking to me. She was talking to Mariah, who stood over me, panting...her mouth painted a bright red as the cut on her lip bled slowly.

"She's down." Mariah gestured at me. "I'm done."

There was a long silence.

"Done?" Molly stepped onto the mat with ease as she closed the distance between her and us in less than a few seconds. "Done? You're not done, you brat, until I say so. Are we clear?"

"Yes." Mariah seemed to find it difficult to say.
"Yes, m'am."
"Very good."

Molly nodded. Then, she walked over to me.

And with her steel-tipped boot kicked me hard in the ribs.

Mariah made as if to stop her, but Molly shot out an arm, grinning as I lay gasping on the mat, my right side on fire. "Nuh uh. I'm not finished, you see. A fight is done, you lot," she continued, turning to face everyone, "when your opponent cannot move. Cannot breathe, cannot feel anything but pain."

She crossed to my other side and before I could move she aimed another swift, hard kick to my ribs again. The world spun, and I could have sworn I heard a crack as one of my ribs cracked under her enthusiastic administrations.

"This is how you win." Another kick to my side, followed by her foot crushing down on my battered back. "This is how you fight-"

Molly's foot lifted from my back as Derrick's voice rang through the training room.

"Enough?" I could hear the pout in Molly's voice. "But I have a lesson to-"

"Enough." Derrick sounded calm, but it was an icy calm that sent goosebumps across my skin. A deadly calm before the storm. "Did you think about what your actions will result in, Molly? A broken initiate cannot fight. A broken initiate serves no purpose. We learn from injuries acquired through fighting. Pain without purpose is simply torture. Nothing is learnt through torture."

Molly was silent for a moment. "Fine," she finally said, tone petulant. "You, girl. Take her to the med bay."

Hands slipped under me, and I let out a soft moan as pain flared to life. "Come on, Zara," Mariah's voice murmured. "Come on. We'll get you patched up."

message 39: by talltyrion (new)

talltyrion | 708 comments Mariah Wagner:

Zara and I slowly make our way to the med bay. She's still doubled over and I'm supporting most of her weight, which sends a wave of guilt through my gut. "Zara, I'm so sorry," I say in a hushed voice, even though we're way out of anyone's earshot. "Oh, why didn't you just take me down?"

"You know why," she groans. "You're not ruthless. I couldn't just..." She breaks off in a coughing fit, which obviously doubles her pain, and I see a dribble of blood slide down her chin.

I frown, hobbling a little faster now. "That doesn't make sense. Every fight you lose puts you further down on the "stays" list and closer to the "goes" list. You can't possibly want to be factionless. You don't owe me anything..."

"I do," she says. "You helped Faith. You wouldn't even try to hurt me."

"Because I'm not a masochist." We reach the medical bay. A medic looks up from his game of solitaire and nods his head at an empty cot, making no move to help me. I scowl at him and deposit Zara on the bed as gently as I can, grunting under her weight. We didn't do much heavy lifting back in Erudite.

Zara's eyelashes flutter, and I can tell she's losing consciousness. The medic snaps on gloves and starts his examination; he doesn't even need to ask what happened. "Yeah, well, they are," she mutters.

message 40: by Booknut, Head Moderator (last edited Dec 20, 2013 04:51PM) (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford:

Four broken ribs, a collection of brilliantly coloured bruises, a sprained wrist and a killer headache. All gifts from Molly, whose very name was enough to spike my anger to new heights.

"You shouldn't be up," Faith fretted a day later as I hobbled alongside her and Mariah on the way to breakfast.

I winced silently as a passing Dauntless member brushed against me, sending pain through my bruised side. "My ribs are healed," I managed, "and the medics kicked me out of the med bay. I'll live."

Mariah rolled her eyes. "Yeah, but in what condition?"
"BBB," I replied with a half-grin.
"Bruised. Battered. And bloody."

She shook her head as Faith bit back a laugh. "Glad to see you two have completely lost it."

"One too many hits to the head," I joked as we walked through the dining hall doors.

Breakfast was a tense affair. I could feel Molly's glare burning into my back from where she sat with the other Dauntless trainers, and I knew Mariah could feel it too as she sat beside me, shoulders hunched up. Faith sat across the way, sneaking looks behind us every now and then.

"She looks like a rabid dog," Faith muttered as she took a bite out of her thickly buttered toast.

"Fitting," Mariah replied. "So, so fitting."
I poked at the scrambled eggs on my plate with my fork. "Her bite is definitely worse than her bark."

"Then bite back." Mariah's gaze penetrated through me, utterly sober. "Stop taking hits and start giving them."
"I did-"
"No, you didn't," she said, talking over me. "I don't know how they did things back in Amity, but you're in Dauntless now. Molly isn't going to sign a freaking peace treaty anytime soon. You have to prove that you're better than her, Zara."

I looked over at Faith, who shrugged lightly. "Mariah's right, Z. You need to get your Dauntless on."

Mariah choked on her milk. "Sorry. 'Get your Dauntless on'?!"
"I think it should be our motto." Faith's eyes twinkled with amusement.
"Talk like that will get you punched for sure."
"Molly would make a great ambassador for it," Faith continued. "She could make little badges and everything!"

message 41: by talltyrion (new)

talltyrion | 708 comments Mariah Wagner:

"Ah, yes: join the losers' club now!" I shake my head bitterly and set down my glass, turning serious. "We can't let them beat us into becoming factionless. Logically speaking, those at the bottom of the food chain right off the bat stand a much higher chance of plummeting in the social ranks. It's so much harder to crawl back up to the top once you've hit rock bottom. If we start to fail now, we fail on all counts. Someone's gotta go in the end. I can't just sit around and watch it happen to us!"

Faith nods at me. "You're right. I just don't know how..."

" do that without becoming brutal antagonists?" Zara finishes for her. "I know."

We sit in silence for a minute, pondering. "You know," I say slowly, "studies have shown that when you change your physical appearance, your personality will follow suit. Maybe if we start to look like Dauntless, we'll fit in better. We won't look like ignorant transfers anymore."

Faith starts to grin. "Makeovers? Zara, you up for it?"

message 42: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford:

"I want a tat!" Mariah called out, her hair whipping behind her as she ran ahead.

Mariah and Faith had gone all out with our 'transformations'. I'd sat on my bed at the compound as they'd attacked my face with eyeliner and glittery eyeshadow, before taking a straightening iron to my normally limp hair. Although they'd given the same treatment to themselves, I still felt a

Probably a side effect of having grown up in a faction where wearing lip balm was looked on as a crime of selfishness.

"What would you get one of?" Faith asked, looking slick in a shimmering silver cami with a leather jacket over the top, paired with dark rinse jeans.

Mariah frowned, nose wrinkling. "Dunno. Something Dauntless-ish." She shrugged, one sleeve of her off-the-shoulder top shifting slightly as she moved. "Like a weapon. Or a lion. Or a lion carrying a shot gun."

Faith and I laughed. "What would you get, Z?" Faith asked.

I thought hard for a moment. "Something to do with water," I finally said, the memory of the lake and Keegan rising to the surface of my mind. "Something to remind me of why I'm here. So I'll never forget."

message 43: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 869 comments Faith Wentworth

What had happened between Zara and Mariah still made me sick to the stomach. They were friends for crying out loud and I had transferred to Dauntless because I valued bravery over knowledge, but this? This wasn't being brave this was being a bully. I shook my head, that was something to think about later when I wasn't in danger of being factionless.

"Well, if I got one I think I would get interlocking rings." I said thoughtfully, pushing my mind away from the possibility of being factionless.

"Interlocking rings? Doesn't seem very Daunless-ish to me." Mariah said, one brow raised.

"Says the girl who wants a shot gun toting lion to be permanently inked onto her skin." I retorted with a smile.

Zara snapped out of her dazed look and laughed along with Mariah. "Okay, I'll bite why choose that out of everything you could get for a tattoo?" Zara asked. She still looked pretty beaten up but I didn't dwell on that for long. It only made me angry.

"Each ring would represent a faction's ideal. I like to think we each need to value personally what the factions do." I said, blushing a little. I hadn't ever shared that with anyone before. Back home, or at least in the place I lived with my family, I probably would have been slapped for something like that. Or at least had my curfew shortened.

message 44: by talltyrion (new)

talltyrion | 708 comments Mariah Wagner:

I glance thoughtfully at Faith. "I like that. It's perfectly rational, and it shows good taste."

"Like your machine gun lion?" she asks, grinning.

I duck my head in embarrassment. "I was kidding. I don't really want that as a tattoo...but I do want one."

Faith turns to Zara and starts jabbering about the tattoo she wants. I take the time to attempt unsuccessfully to wipe some of the glitter off my face. As I struggle, my brown-almost-black hair falls in my eyes and I have to stop walking to tuck it behind my ears. It was plain before I let the girls get their hands on it, but now it falls down my back in unmanageable waves and curls. Such a thing would have been nearly unheard of in Erudite; most girls kept their hair either short or in tight, practical buns. I liked mine long solely because I could hide behind it that way.

message 45: by Booknut, Head Moderator (last edited Dec 30, 2013 02:29AM) (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford:

About an hour later, Faith, Mariah and I were heading out of the tattoo parlour - grinning madly at eachother, the feeling of having done something Dauntless, was invigorating to say the least. I felt as if I could face down a hundred Mollys.

Okay. Maybe not. But I still felt pretty good.

"Show me yours again, Z," Faith urged. Shaking my head, I tugged my shirt sleeve down my right shoulder, revealing the inked design there.

It was a drop of water, outlined in a deep blue. Inside of it, connected to the outline, was a bird in flight. Freedom. Freedom to choose. Keegan would have found it appropriate.

And at the thought of Keegan, the smile slipped from my face.

"It's gorgeous," Faith said. "Are you gonna show us yours, Mariah?"

message 46: by talltyrion (new)

talltyrion | 708 comments Mariah Wagner:

I feel my face grow red as I pull down my shirt sleeve to reveal the raw new tattoo on my left shoulder blade. "Don't laugh." I twist my head to look at it, while Zara and Faith crowd in around me to see.

Faith breaks into a huge grin the instant she lays eyes on it. "You got a lion after all!" she squeals. "What's it holding?"

My face gets redder as I reply. "It's blue topaz. My birthstone. It's meant to represent courage and overcoming fear. That's what Dauntless is supposed to be about, right?" I pause and bite my lip. "I know it's cheesy..."

Zara looks up at me and shakes her head. "It's great, Mariah," she says with a reassuring smile. "Very Dauntless. Molly would be proud."

"Oh, god, Molly," I groan. "Let's hope she never sees it. I'll never hear the end."

Zara, still smiling, starts to make a comment on the kind of tattoo Molly would approve of when she's interrupted by a gang of Dauntless boys in black tanks who wolf-whistle at us as they pass. One even winks at me before turning back to his friends, laughing.

Faith and Zara share a bemused look with each other before bursting out into laughter. I don't join them, only scowl and yank my shirt back up to cover my skin with more force than strictly necessary. I know my face must be cherry-red by now.

"Lighten up, Mariah," Faith laughs. "They're just having a bit of fun. It happens."

I raise an eyebrow. "Would you believe me if I told you that that never happened to me once before now?"

Zara shrugs at me. "We're Dauntless now. People do stuff without having a reason. It's not like in our old factions, where everything had a purpose. Besides," she says with a glint in her eyes, "it's fun like this. I love it--not having a reason behind everything you do. The Dauntless do what they want. It's a different kind of freedom here."

message 47: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 869 comments Faith Wentworth

It was a little hard at first not to make fun of Mariah for actually getting a lion tattoo but after the catcalls from the boys it was easier. "So what should we do with our new found freedom?" I asked with a spark of amusement. "We've still got a little time before we need to be anywhere."

"Why don't we check out the wall?" Zara suggested and I have to try not to shiver. Maybe now was the time to fess up over my fear of rock climbing. Heights were okay and rocks were okay on their own but put them together and you get many many many ways to slip to your doom hundreds of feet below.

I shook myself out of my rock climbing induced mini panic attack and smiled uneasily. "Why don't we do... anything else?"

message 48: by talltyrion (new)

talltyrion | 708 comments Mariah Wagner:

I nod vigorously, eager to stay off the subject of heights. "Good plan. Stay away from the wall. Good." I swallow a little too quickly and disguise it as a cough. Thankfully, I don't think either of them notice.

"Gah, don't be so boring," Zara teases, swinging her arms around both our shoulders. "We should do something. Live a little, not just dress the part."

A smile curving my lips, I strike a mock Thinker pose. "You know, I did hear the Dauntless-borns talking about some kind of initiation today. Sounded like it was a tradition or something. We could see what they're planning," I say, feeling excitement coil in my stomach at the prospect of adventure. Half of the feeling is nerves, but it's a good sort of feeling all the same.

"Ooh, yes!" says Faith. "I bet they do something really cool."

"It'll be dangerous," Zara adds with a wild grin. "Almost certainly death-defying. It's how they get their thrills here."

"We," I correct her. "We're Dauntless now. This is our thrill. Let's go take it."

Laughing and talking, the three of us trudge off to find the Daunless-born. It was my idea, after all, and I laugh and talk with Faith and Zara just as animatedly. But I can still feel it, steady, primeval, destructive in my core. The fear. I am adamant in my refusal to give in to it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't burn inside me.

message 49: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Zara Ford:

The Amity side of me was digging in her heels at the thought of being a part of any Dauntless, death-defying initiation. But the girl who walked between two of her fellow initiates, her new tattoo still stinging against her skin, wasn't Amity any longer. And she welcomed the new, the unknown, and the thrilling with all the enthusiasm of a true member of Dauntless.

"So where are we headed?" I asked Mariah.

"I heard a bunch of Dauntless-borns talking 'bout how they were going to gets on the train to that empty Hancock Building. Whatever this tradition thing is, it'll be there."

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