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CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

TRIS

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THE HOSPITAL IS packed with people, all of them yelling or racing back and forth or yanking curtains shut. Before I sat down I checked all the beds for Tobias. He wasn’t in any of them. I am still shaking with relief.

Uriah is not here either. He is in one of the other rooms, and the door is closed—not a good sign.

The nurse who dabs my arm with antiseptic is breathless and looks around at all the activity instead of at my wound. I’m told it’s a minor graze, nothing to worry about.

“I can wait, if you need to do something else,” I say. “I have to find someone anyway. ”

She purses her lips, then says, “You need stitches. ”

“It’s just a graze!”

“Not your arm, your head,” she says, pointing to a spot above my eye. I had almost forgotten about the cut in all the chaos, but it still hasn’t stopped bleeding.

“Fine. ”

“I’m going to have to give you a shot of this numbing agent,” she says, holding up a syringe.

I am so used to needles that I don’t even react. She dabs my forehead with antiseptic—they are so careful about germs here—and I feel the sting and prickle of the needle, diminishing by the second as the numbing agent does its work.

I watch the people rush past as she stitches my skin—a doctor pulls off a pair of bloodstained rubber gloves; a nurse carries a tray of gauze, his shoes nearly slipping on the tile; a family member of someone injured wrings her hands. The air smells like chemicals and old paper and warm bodies.

“Any updates on David?” I say.

“He’ll live, but it will take him a long time to walk again,” she says. Her lips stop puckering, just for a few seconds. “Could have been a lot worse, if you hadn’t been there. You’re all set. ”

I nod. I wish I could tell her that I’m not a hero, that I was using him as a shield, like a wall of meat. I wish I could confess to being a person full of hate for the Bureau and for David, a person who would let someone else get riddled with bullets to save herself. My parents would be ashamed.

She places a bandage over the stitches to protect the wound, and gathers all the wrappers and soaked cotton balls into her fists to throw them away.

Before I can thank her, she is gone, off to the next bed, the next patient, the next injury.

Injured people line the hallway outside the emergency ward. I have gathered from the evidence that there was another explosion set off at the same time as the one near the entrance. Both were diversions. Our attackers got in through the underground tunnel, as Nita said they would. She never mentioned blowing holes in walls.

The doors at the end of the hallway open, and a few people rush in, carrying a young woman—Nita—between them. They put her on a cot near one of the walls. She groans, clutching at a roll of gauze that is pressed to the wound in her side. I feel strangely separate from her pain. I shot her. I had to. That’s the end of it.

As I walk down the aisle between the wounded, I notice the uniforms. Everyone sitting here wears green. With few exceptions, they are all support staff. They are clutching bleeding arms or legs or heads, their injuries no better than my own, some much worse.

I catch my reflection in the windows just beyond the main corridor—my hair is stringy and limp, and the bandage dominates my forehead. David’s blood and my blood smear my clothes in places. I need to shower and change, but first I have to find Tobias and Christina. I haven’t seen either of them since before the invasion.

It doesn’t take me long to find Christina—she is sitting in the waiting room when I walk out of the emergency ward, her knee jiggling so much that the person next to her is giving her dirty looks. She lifts a hand to greet me, but her eyes shift away from mine and toward the doors right afterward.

“You all right?” she asks me.

“Yeah,” I say. “There’s still no update on Uriah. I couldn’t get into the room. ”

“These people make me crazy, you know that?” she says. “They won’t tell anyone anything. They won’t let us see him. It’s like they think they own him and everything that happens to him!”

“They work differently here. I’m sure they’ll tell you when they know something concrete. ”

Watch Divergent 4: Ascendant (2017)

“Well, they would tell you,” she says, scowling. “But I’m not convinced they would give me a second look. ”

A few days ago I might have disagreed with her, unsure how influential their belief in genetic damage was on their behavior. I’m not sure what to do—not sure how to talk to her now that I have these advantages and she does not and there’s nothing either of us can do about it. All I can think to do is be near her.

“I have to find Tobias, but I’ll come back after I do and sit with you, okay?”

She finally looks at me, and her knee goes still. “They didn’t tell you?”

My stomach clenches with fear. “Tell me what. ”

“Tobias was arrested,” she says quietly. “I saw him sitting with the invaders right before I came in here. Some people saw him at the control room before the attack—they say he was disabling the alarm system. ”

There is a sad look in her eyes, like she pities me. But I already knew what Tobias did.

“Where are they?” I say.

I need to talk to him. And I know what I need to say.

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