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I DON’T SEE him die again.
I close my eyes at the moment the trigger presses back, and when I open them, it is the other Tris who lies on the ground between the dark patches in my vision; it is me.
I drop the gun and sprint toward the door, almost tripping over her. I throw my body against the door, twist the handle, and fall through. My hands numb, I press it closed behind me, and shake them to regain feeling.
The next room is twice as big as the first one, and it, too, is blue-lit, but paler. A large table stands in the middle, and taped to the walls are photographs, diagrams, and lists.
I take deep breaths, and my vision begins to clear, my heart rate returning to normal. Among the photographs on the walls, I recognize my own face, and Tobias’s, and Marcus’s, and Uriah’s. A long list of what appear to be chemicals is posted on the wall beside our pictures. Each one is crossed out with red marker. This must be where Jeanine develops the simulation serums.
I hear voices somewhere ahead of me, and scold myself. What are you doing? Hurry!
“My brother’s name,” I hear. “I want to hear you say it. ”
How did she get through that simulation? Is she Divergent too?
“I didn’t kill him. ” Jeanine’s voice.
“Do you think that exonerates you? Do you think that means you don’t deserve to die?”
Tori is not screaming, but wailing, the whole of her grief escaping through her mouth. I start toward the door. Too quickly, though, because my hip slams into the corner of the table in the middle of the room, and I have to stop, wincing.
“The reasons for my actions are beyond your understanding,” Jeanine says. “I was willing to make a sacrifice for the greater good, something you have never understood, not even when we were classmates!”
I limp toward the door, which is a pane of frosted glass. It slides back to admit me, and I see Jeanine, pressed against a wall, with Tori standing a few feet away, her gun high.
Behind them is a glass table with a silver box on it—a computer—and a keyboard. The entire far wall is covered with a computer screen.
Jeanine stares at me, but Tori doesn’t move an inch; doesn’t seem to hear me. Her face is red and tear-streaked, her hand shaking.
I have no confidence that I can find the video file on my own. If Jeanine is here, I can get her to find it for me, but if she’s dead . . .
“No!” I scream. “Tori, don’t!”
But her finger is already over the trigger. I launch myself at her as hard as I can, my arms slamming into her side. The gun goes off, and I hear a scream.
My head hits the tile. I ignore the stars in my eyes and throw myself across Tori. I shove the gun forward and it slides away from us.
Why didn’t you grab it, you idiot?!
Tori’s fist connects with the side of my throat. I choke, and she uses the opportunity to throw me off, to crawl toward the gun.
Jeanine is slumped against the wall, blood soaking her leg. Leg! I remember, and punch Tori hard near the bullet wound in her thigh. She yells, and I find my feet.
I step toward the fallen weapon, but Tori is too quick. She wraps her arms around my legs and pulls them out from under me. My knees slam into the ground, but I am still above her; I punch down, at her rib cage.
She groans, but it doesn’t stop her; as I drag myself toward the gun, she sinks her teeth into my hand. It is a different pain than any blow I’ve ever received, different even from a bullet wound. I scream louder than I thought possible, tears blurring my vision.
I have not come this far to let Tori shoot Jeanine before I’ve gotten what I need.
I yank my hand from between her teeth, my vision going black at the edges, and with a lurch, smack my hand around the handle of the gun. I twist, and point it at Tori.
My hand. My hand is covered in blood, and so is Tori’s chin. I hide my hand from view so that it’s easier to ignore the pain and get up, still pointing the gun at her.
“I didn’t take you for a traitor, Tris,” she says, and it sounds like a snarl, not a sound any human can make.
“I’m not,” I say. I blink the tears down my cheeks so that I can see her better. “I can’t explain it right now, but . . . all I’m asking is for you to trust me, please. There’s something important, something only she knows the location of—”
“That’s right!” says Jeanine. “It is on that computer, Beatrice, and only I can locate it. If you don’t help me survive this, it will die with me. ”
“She is a liar,” says Tori. “A liar, and if you believe her, you are both an idiot and a traitor, Tris!”
“I do believe her,” I say. “I believe her because it makes perfect sense! The most sensitive information that exists and it’s hidden on that computer, Tori!” I take a deep breath, and lower my voice. “Please listen to me. I hate her as much as you do. I have no reason to defend her. I’m telling you the truth. This is important. ”
Tori is silent. I think, for a moment, that I’ve won, that I’ve persuaded her. But then she says, “Nothing is more important than her death. ”
“If that’s what you insist upon believing,” I say, “I can’t help you. But I’m also not going to let you kill her. ”
Tori pushes herself to her knees, and wipes my blood from her chin. She looks up into my eyes.
“I am a Dauntless leader,” she says. “You don’t get to decide what I do. ”
And before I can think—
Before I can even think about firing the gun I’m holding—
She draws a long knife from the side of her boot, lunges, and stabs Jeanine in the stomach.
I yell. Jeanine releases a horrible sound—a gurgling, screaming, dying sound. I see Tori’s gritted teeth, I hear her murmur her brother’s name—“George Wu”—and then I watch the knife go in again.
And Jeanine’s eyes turn into glass.