I watch as the Dauntless initiates slowly move from a leisurely walk to a full on sprint out the door. The leaders ahead of me called out orders to keep up and I obeyed. My feet hit the dirt road harder than expect when I leaped from the stone steps of the hub. The few transfers sped up and I followed along, my feet carrying me. It felt like I was flying as I passed each initiate, doubling their speed.
In every person is an inner drive to be the best and that drive is stronger in others. It's impossible to survive without it. You would think that with no limits you would cease to strive, but as I fly through each street I realize that no limitations only push my to find a limit.
I finally see the two leaders slow down when we reach the area below the train platform. Their chests shrink and expand slightly as they grip the columns that support the platform. One of the leaders, a younger man with a shoulder length beard and a bald head turned to all of us.
"Climb!" He shouted, his voice scratchy and rough like sandpaper.
I looked around at everyone else and they looked stunned. Climb the poles? I'm the first to follow the order and get a foot hold on one of the closest poles. I stick my hand into one of the many nicks and crannies of the surface and pull my self up. I repeat the process, trying not to focus on the chance of falling. I'm about a foot from the top when I look down for a split second. I panic when I see the drop. I squint my eyes shut and climb higher and higher. When I reach the platform, I pull myself up on my stomach and scoot away from the edge.
I'm the third initiate to reach the top, the other two being Dauntless. The girl with the tattoos I watched at the choosing ceremony was one of them. She scanned her eyes from my feet to my eyes with a look of distain on her face.
I squinted my eyes at her and had to physically bite my tongue to keep myself from spitting out an insult.
"Transfers don't make it, you know." She hissed.
"We'll see." I looked away from her and focused on the incoming train.
We were all on the platform except for an Erudite girl I don't remember watching at the choosing ceremony. She's still only halfway there.
The rest of us line up on the edge of the platform and I see the lights of the train approaching.
"Get ready to jump!" The other leader shouted.
I bent my knees and prepared myself for jumping. The train came closer and closer until it was right in front of us. They all took off running to keep up with it and I had no issues matching it's speed. I saw a button by one of the doors that had arrows indicating the opening of the doors. I slammed my hand on it and the metal doors slid open, but I couldn't swing into them without a grip. I spotted a handle close by and used it to swing myself into the train.
The leaders had already gotten into the train before me or anyone else. They leaned against the cold, metal walls that supported the train.
"You're fast," the other leader remarked, looking at me in the eyes.
"Thanks." I nodded.
Her head was shaved on the left side, letting the other side of her blackish-brown hair grow down to her shoulder. She kept her skin covered except for her face. Nothing, not even her neck or wrists were exposed. Head to toe in black was the Dauntless uniform.
The tattoo girl was right after an Erudite boy, letting the rest follow them.
A skinny Erudite girl who I watched choose, put her glasses in her pants pocket and cleared her throat.
"Um, what about that other girl who was still climbing? Is she going to be coming later?" She asked, her voice low and scratchy.
The man chuckled darkly and shook his head slightly, uncrossing his arms.
"No, she's obviously not fit for Dauntless if she couldn't do something as simple as climbing a pole and running." He scoffed.
"So what's gonna happen to her?" The Erudite boy asked worriedly.
"She becomes Factionless I suppose." His voice was casual as he thrust the bad news upon him.
His eyes widened and his brow furrowed worriedly. She was special to him, I could tell.
"Maddie." He whispered to himself.
I slid down the steamy walls of the train and closed my eyes, forcing my brain to drown everything else out. Maybe I can start over here, forget about everything here, lose myself in the confinement of the Dauntless compound. Maybe I should pick a new name, that way even I can't recognize myself.
I never enjoyed my name Viola. Simply because I hated the noise of the instrument of which I was named. My mother used to tell me stories about her and her 4 siblings playing together back in her small Candor home. How they would dance to the music of my mother playing the Viola and since she was the oldest, they would beg her to play song after song until her fingers hurt from pressing down on the strings, causing callouses to form on her nimble hands. Maybe people are like hands in way that after repeated wounds they begin to callous and shut out the world.
The train bumped up and down on the metal tracks and kept the eerie silence in the train car. When I opened my eyes, everything was a slight tint of blue. I rubbed it away with my palms and studied the people around me. There aren't as many initiates as I thought there was; there's only 12 transfers. There are 16 Dauntless borns as well, but I don't count them as competition because surely, they'll separate us in training due to their overwhelming advantage.
My eyes are drawn to the one boy in Amity yellow who sticks out like a sore thumb in the sea of dark colors. His long, blonde hair is embellished with a few braids here and there. A Candor girl I remember from school glides past him and is heading towards me.
Her light, caramel hair is in it's short pixie cut and all spiked up. Her bright blue eyes clash against her golden skin tone. I watch her sit next to me with a small smile.
"May I sit with you?" She asks, already sitting.
"Yes, you may." I nod.
She smooths out her short, black dress and adjust the white sweater that's pulled over it. I stare at her worn in black flats that look to small for her.
"I honestly cannot remember your name." She laughed.
"Is that an invitation for me to tell you?" I asked.
She tilted her head and smiled.
"I though that was implied." She spoke softly.
"Viola," I said hesitantly," but I'm gonna try to change it."
"What's wrong with it?" She asked.
"I don't know, it just doesn't suit me." I shrugged.
"What name would suit you then?"
"Maybe Jennifer....or maybe Elaine." I subconsciously bit my lip as I thought.
"Eh," she scrunched her nose, "those are boring."
"Now tell me the truth." I said sarcastically.
"Sorry," she giggled, "Candor brain."
"Happens to me all the time."
We sat in silence for a while, listening to the sounds of life inside the train car.
"Oh! I just realized that I didn't get your name." I turned to her, suddenly remembering.
"Rona." She smiled.
"That's a unique name." I announced.
"My father came up with it. He said it's a lyric in an old song." She explained proudly.
"Wow." I studied my old sneakers.
"I can tell that you don't want to talk anymore." She stated it like it was a fact.
"Oh," I scrambled to make her feel better, "no, I was just making a comment. I-"
But I'm terrible at lying.
"Candors shouldn't lie." She raised her eyebrows.
"I try to lie sometimes, but I'm just horrible at it." I stare off into space as I talk.
"Then you're the ideal Candor."
"No, the ideal Candor is someone who is willing to stand around and watch people pour out their deepest secrets." A Candor boy with matching golden skin and blue eyes stands over us.
"Quint," she sighed, "you scared me."
"Sorry." He stood next to her crouched body and held the grab bar for support.
"What do you mean?" I asked him, sitting up.
"About making people spill their darkest secrets." I scrunched my eyebrows together.
"They do that sort of sick torture, and that's just the initiation process." He jutted out his jaw and shook his head, looking out the train window.
"Initiation process did you say? That's what they do?" Rona asked him.
"Oh yeah," he looked like he could spit he was so angry, "those sadistic, evil, invasive-"
"He doesn't like being a Candor." Rona finished for him.
"I'm not a Candor anymore, I'm Dauntless now." He looked at me and I nodded.