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CHAPTER THIRTY

TRIS

Watch Divergent 4: Ascendant (2017)

“HAVE YOU BEEN in yet?”

Cara stands beside me, her arms folded. Yesterday Uriah was transferred from his secure room to a room with a viewing window, I suspect to keep us from asking to see him all the time. Christina sits by his bed now, grasping his limp hand.

I thought he would have come apart like a rag doll with a pulled thread, but he doesn’t look that different, except for some bandages and scrapes. I feel like he could wake up at any moment, smiling and wondering why we’re all staring at him.

“I was in there last night,” I say. “It just didn’t seem right to leave him alone. ”

“There is some evidence to suggest that, depending on the extent of his brain damage, he can on some level hear and feel us,” says Cara. “Though I was told his prognosis is not good. ”

Sometimes I still want to smack her. As if I need to be reminded that Uriah is unlikely to recover. “Yeah. ”

After I left Uriah’s side last night, I wandered the compound without any sense of direction. I should have been thinking of my friend, teetering between this world and whatever comes next, but instead I thought of what I said to Tobias. And how I felt when I looked at him, like something was breaking.

I didn’t tell him it was the end of our relationship. I meant to, but when I was looking at him, the words were impossible to say. I feel tears welling up again, as they have every hour or so since yesterday, and I push them away, swallow them down.

“So you saved the Bureau,” Cara says, turning to me. “You seem to get involved in a lot of conflict. I suppose we should all be grateful that you are steady in a crisis. ”

“I didn’t save the Bureau. I have no interest in saving the Bureau,” I retort. “I kept a weapon out of some dangerous hands, that’s all. ” I wait a beat. “Did you just compliment me?”

“I am capable of recognizing another person’s strengths,” Cara replies, and she smiles. “Additionally, I think our issues are now resolved, both on a logical and an emotional level. ” She clears her throat a little, and I wonder if it’s finally acknowledging that she has emotions that makes her uncomfortable, or something else. “It sounds like you know something about the Bureau that has made you angry. I wonder if you could tell me what it is. ”

Christina rests her head on the edge of Uriah’s mattress, her slender body collapsing sideways. I say wryly, “I wonder. We may never know. ”

“Hmm. ” The crease between Cara’s eyebrows appears when she frowns, making her look so much like Will that I have to look away. “Maybe I should say please. ”

“Fine. You know Jeanine’s simulation serum? Well, it wasn’t hers. ” I sigh. “Come on. I’ll showyou. It’ll be easier that way. ”

It would be just as easy to tell her what I saw in that old storage room, nestled deep in the Bureau laboratories. But the truth is, I just want to keep myself busy, so I don’t think about Uriah. Or Tobias.

“It seems like we’ll never reach the end of all these deceptions,” Cara says as we walk toward the storage room. “The factions, the video Edith Prior left us . . . all lies, designed to make us behave a particular way. ”

“Is that what you really think about the factions?” I say. “I thought you loved being an Erudite. ”

“I did. ” She scratches the back of her neck, leaving little red lines on her skin from her fingernails. “But the Bureau made me feel like a fool for fighting for any of it, and for what the Allegiant stood for. And I don’t like to feel foolish. ”

“So you don’t think any of it was worthwhile,” I say. “Any of the Allegiant stuff. ”

“You do?”

“It got us out,” I say, “and it got us to the truth, and it was better than the factionless commune Evelyn had in mind, where no one gets to choose anything at all. ”

“I suppose,” she says. “I just pride myself on being someone who can see through things, the faction system included. ”

“You know what the Abnegation used to say about pride?”

“Something unfavorable, I assume. ”

I laugh. “Obviously. They said it blinds people to the truth of what they are. ”

Watch Divergent 4: Ascendant (2017)

We reach the door to the labs, and I knock a few times so Matthew will hear me and let us in. As I wait for him to open the door, Cara gives me a strange look.

“The old Erudite writings said the same thing, more or less,” she says.

I never thought the Erudite would say anything about pride—that they would even concern themselves with morality. It sounds like I was wrong. I want to ask her more, but then the door opens, and Matthew stands in the hallway, chewing on an apple core.

“Can you let me into the storage room?” I say. “I need to show Cara something. ”

He bites off the end of the apple core and nods. “Of course. ”

I cringe, imagining the bitter taste of apple seeds, and follow him.

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