I fall through the air. Seconds later, I hit something hard. I feel a hand pull me across the net.
"Can't believe it." A voice says. "A Stiff, the first to jump? Unheard of."
"There's a reason she left them Lauren." I look up for the first time since I hit the net. A handsome guy, probably a few years older is pulling me across the net, to the ground. "What's your name?"
I hesitate. Beatrice doesn't sound right anymore.
"Think about it. You don't get to pick again." I am surprised to see him smiling.
"Tris. Make the announcement, Four." The girl, apparently Lauren says.
"First jumper-Tris!" The boy, Four says. He turns to me. "Welcome to Dauntless."
I smile and join the other Dauntless while the other initiates jump. Soon enough, everyone is on solid ground and the Dauntless born and transfers split. Dauntless born go with Lauren, and transfers with Four.
Once we take a tour of the pit and the chasm, we go to the dining hall. Christina and I find ourselves sitting at a table next to Four, me in the middle.
I pick up a piece of meat, between two pieces of bread. I am unsure of what to think of it.
"It's beef. Put this on it."
Four tells me. He passes me a bowl of red sauce.
"You've never had a hamburger before?"
"Stiffs eat plain food."
Four tells her. I begin to eat. After a minute, a Dauntless leader walks in.
I ask Four.
"His name is Eric. He's a Dauntless leader."
"But he looks so young!"
"Age doesn't matter here."
I'm curious of what does. Eric comes over to the table I'm at and starts talking to Four. I don't pay attention. Eric leaves shortly after arriving.
"Are you friends?"
I ask Four.
"We were in the same Initiate class. He transferred from Erudite."
"Were you a transfer too?" I ask curiously.
"I thought I would only have trouble with the Candor asking questions. Now I've got Stiffs too?"
"It must be because you're so approachable. You know. Like a bed of nails." I reply.
He just stares at me. "Careful Tris." A Dauntless member calls him and he leaves.
"What?" I ask Christina, who is staring at me.
"I have a theory."
"And that is?"
"That you," she picks up her hamburger, "have a death wish."
***Skipping Stage 1 of training, you should all know how it goes***
"Today we are starting stage 2 of training." Four announces to the initiates. "Stage 2 is mental. You've ever heard the phrase 'face your fears'? We take that literally here. Each one of you will go through one of your fears to prepare you for stage 3."
Four takes the initiates, one by one into a room. They all come out looking scared to death. Four appears. "Tris." I get up and follow him into the room. He explains how the simulation works and inserts the syringe into my neck. "Be brave Tris." Is the last thing I hear before everything goes black.
Seconds later, I am outside the fence. A fire starts up on my right. I look to the sky. A black cloud is cawing at me. I stand there for a second. Crows. They start flying at me and I run, but my feet shortly get stuck in mud. I'm sinking. "Quicksand." I mumble to myself. I pull myself up and run from the crows. One lands on my shoulder and I hit it as hard as I can. They keep attacking. I notice the fire again. I pick up a branch that has caught fire. It is very large. I think I'll be able to fight the crows with it. I swing the branch around in the direction. Soon, all of the crows are gone and I wake up from the simulations. I jump up.
"Congratulations Tris. You have one of the best times so far today." Four says to me.
"Thanks." I reply. Then a question comes to mind. "How long was I in there?"
"Okay." I start to exit the room when I feel a hand on my shoulder. I jump and turn around. Four is standing there.
"Don't tell anyone I said this," he whispers in my ear, "but Peter got 18 minutes." I sigh. I know Peter is always better than me at everything, but I still would like to beat him in something. "Try to get out faster next time. Bring him down." Four turns away like nothing ever happened and continues to set up for the next simulation. He notices me watching him in shock. The instructors aren't supposed to tell the initiates to bring down other initiates. "What are you waiting for? Get out Stiff." I roll my eyes as I walk out of the room.
"Hey Tris!" Christina exclaims as she sees me walk out of the room. "How was your fear? How awful was it? Is the simulation really as bad as Molly makes it look like it is?" She says as she points to Molly who is shaking in the corner. "And one more thing, what does Four do to you? Does he make fun of everything that happens and-"
"Christina!" I exclaim. "Calm down. My fear was awful. I guess it depends on what your fear is for the awfulness of the simulation. And, Four didn't make fun of me and I got attacked by a bunch of crows." Christina hasn't gone yet and she seems really scared.
"At least it's not as bad as" she mumbles something inaudible.
"What was that?" I ask.
"Nothing." She replies, obviously having an idea of what her fear will be.
"Christina." Four announces from the room. I give her arm a reassuring squeeze and push her up to the room. The door closes and I start to talk to Will, Al, and Uriah until Chris gets back. About a half hour later, Christina comes out.
"You okay?" I ask, putting my arm on her shoulder. She jumps back. "It's alright. You're not in your simulation anymore."
A few more initiates go and then Four comes out and dismisses us back to the dormitories.