Empty Minds

What if your memory was erased and the next thing you knew, you were shoved into a completely different faction to your own? Would you find a way to survive? Or would you find more?

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1. Prologue

“Name?” The droning voice of the monitor beeped out a request for my identity. It was horribly dreary in the compound, no colour in sight. That’s what you get for committing a crime against your own faction. ‘Faction before blood,’ they say.

Sharply I gave a fake name, “Chloe Brown,”

The machine beeps off-key and a light flashed red, “Name?” It repeated.

Sighing, I relented, “Aurelia Dempsey,” What was the point of asking my name if they knew it anyway? I guess they just wanted to rub in my crime.

“Charge?”

When will the machine ever shut up?

“Treason against Amity, and disruptive activity,” I said, imitating the computer’s dull monotone.

“Disciplinary Conduct?”

“Three hundred hours of compound service during confinement, followed by reassimilation,” It was the standard punishment for treason; I don’t know why they even bothered asking.

Thinking back on it, saving my sister and ensuring her safety was worth getting my memory erased afterward. And there are some things I saw that I am eager to forget. Like the vacant, staring eyes of Jax; his gaping stomach wound burned into my mind.

“…Alternate Identity?”

I shook my head to realize the voice had been repeating itself over and over, awaiting my reply, “Alannis Darcy, of Dauntless,”

It was strange to think that would be my new name, not Aurelia. No more would my full name be scolded when I was in trouble. And being integrated into a new faction was something I could never get my head around. From Amity to Dauntless, what a transition.

I never truly was ‘peaceful’, I never truly fit in. Peace never got anyone anywhere when it came to standing up for themselves or others. No, the hero always took action and fought for justice. Not that I’m saying I’m a here, far from it. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to hold a knife again, not even the memory serum could take that away from me.

Why would they put me in Dauntless? Where it was easy to ask questions? Why not Abnegation? Where everyone was so accepting and selfless?

“Aberration Code?” The computer interrupted my thoughts once again.

Taking the small, white paper from my bland, grey jumpsuit, I slipped the tag into the mouth of the machine. An accepting beep echoes around the room, and I received my tag again.

The doors flung open and the rest of us ‘criminals’ looked up to see a squadron of Dauntless as they stalked into the room. Each of them wielded guns and a scowl. That’s what I was going to be like, what I would turn into. A woman wearing Erudite blue walked among them, carrying a chrome briefcase. I assumed it held the memory serums.

“Aberrations!” She addressed us in a cold tone, as if the word was poison on her tongue.

I never liked that word. It set us apart like we were aliens, or vermin. Unwanted. Never intended to exist. Each of us turned our heads to face her.

She angled her head as if she were the queen of the room. But really, she would be nothing without her armed henchmen.

“Once I have injected you, a guard will guide you out into your holding cell. From there you will be distributed to your allocated factions,”

I rolled my eyes. Just like an Erudite to use big words to sound intelligent. How arrogant. My desk was in the centre row of the room, so I would get to see what they do with the others before they came to me.

The first person they came to was a restless looking man with a scar through his eye. He glared at the group as they approached him, but made no effort to move. When the first Dauntless reached for him, that’s when something snapped and he lashed out. The man landed his fist square in the Dauntless’ nose, lunging for his gun.

Quicker than it started, the Dauntless had everything under control. The first Dauntless whacked the man in the jaw with the butt of his gun, and shortly two more held him subdued. As fast as lightning, the Erudite woman whipped out a syringe and injected it into the inside of the guy’s elbow. Immediately he went somewhat limp, and the two pinning him down guided the man through the grey double doors.

“We advise you to stay calm, unless you desire a repeat of the previous incident,” Said the woman, smoothing out her blouse. Next they turned to a quivering woman. She shrunk away from them as they approached.

“Please don’t. I can’t forget my children, or my husband. Please,” She begged through sobs. None of the Dauntless appeared to have sympathy; instead they looked at the Erudite woman expectantly. The fearful lady was quite a contrast from the aggressive man.

The Erudite woman took out another syringe, and nodded to her Dauntless lackeys. They then restrained each of the mother’s arms, ignoring her intense trembling. She begged and pleaded some more, but her cries were no use.

Her last words were, “If you take a person’s memories, you change who they are completely,” Her eyes settled on me before they rolled back into her head and she went limp. Two more Dauntless hauled her droopy form through the doors, just as the previous two returned.

One by one, the room emptied out. Gradually the unit moved closer to my desk. I pondered on how to handle myself. Freaking out only caused harm. And pleading was absolutely pointless. One thing was for sure, I wanted them to remember me.

As I wondered this, I barely registered the Erudite and her Dauntless helpers drawing nearer and nearer. My shoulders jolted at the sound of heavy boots thudding to the front of my desk. I looked up and stared at the group. It was my turn.

“Amity huh? Never though one of you’d be in here,” One of the Dauntless commented gruffly, causing his mates to snigger.

“Shows how much you know about my faction then,” I replied, staring evenly at the man.

“He narrowed his eyes at me, “Be a peaceful little girl and give us your arm now,”

“Bet you feel so good about yourself, robbing people of their life, and who they are. Bet you feel so powerful,” I switched my attention to the Erudite woman. She shifted her gaze arrogantly but her solemn expression flashed with uncertainty. I could tell she wasn’t used to being questioned like this.

“It is my duty to serve each of the factions, regardless of moral beliefs,” Her response was calm, yet there was a strain in her voice.

Then I saw it.

The fleeting flicker of colour behind her eyes. If I hadn’t have been challenging her at that moment, I would not have recognized it. Anyone else would have missed it. But not me, I’ll never forget the sporadic twitches of the Dauntless soldiers during the raid.

I should have known they would be under a simulation. No one would want to be here, doing this job, with their conscious mind.

“You’ve got no idea what you’re doing, do you?” The chair creaked as I leant back, propping my feet onto the desk.

“Eradicating imperfections in our society,”

“How?”

“By correcting genetic behaviour in each of the factions,”

"Genetics? I don't understa-"

"I've said too much. Come around here so we can give you the solution," The Erudite demanded, cutting off further questions.

Rolling my eyes, I rose off the chair and purposefully took my time sauntering around the desk. I would stretch the remaining time I had to the last second.

"Just one more thing," The air was pushed from my lungs as two Dauntless shoved me to the wall. As if they feared I would suddenly make a break for it. As if I had a chance. The woman, (whose nametag read 'Magnolia'), sighed impatiently but motioned for me to continue.

My chest heaved as I prepared for my final words, "You never truly take our memories," And then the world as I knew it faded to white.

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