Truth is the Key

This work in progress is about a Candor who needs to understand what is happening in their war riddled world. This is how they get some answers through Tris and Four's trial during Insurgent.


2. Thank you for your honesty

The tiered seats that surround the walls are completely pack and more spectators have spilled out to create a huge loop around the Candor seal in the centre of the room where the trial is taking place. I had predicted this larger than usual turnout today so I got here earlier than most to ensure that I got a good seat to see those being questioned. Rumors had briefly spread among a few that they were divergent or something and were able to withstand the effects of serums. If that is the case then I want to be able to see their reactions so my seat should give me one of the best views.

The two people that Erudite have been searching for, calling themselves Tris and Four, walk into the centre of the of the room with a few of their fellow Dauntless. I’m sure that those aren’t their real names; who would name a child after a number? Everyone strains forwards to get a better look at the fugitives who seem to have willingly handed themselves in for questioning.

Niles, our usual interrogator, introduces himself and then calls this ‘Four’ to the chair first. I look to the girl while her friend is being injected with the truth serum. She shudders a bit as the plunger goes down. That’s a bit odd. I thought that the Dauntless initiates were injected with the Fear serum all the time. Surely she should be used to people being injected by now?

Lost amid my thoughts, I miss the well-practiced introduction of the interrogation that Niles is required to say. I assume that he also asked for a name because the next thing I hear is “That is a nickname. What is your real name?”

“Tobias” is his reply. So Four isn’t his name after all. It doesn’t look as though that his real name was widely known because a girl next to Tris, if that’s her name, looks bewildered and elbows her.

“What are the names of your parents, Tobias?” Niles asks.

“Why is this relevant?” Tobias says after he seems to be trying to stop himself from talking. My fellow Candor start a wave of muttering and whispering across the room. It appears that very few, if any, were expecting some kind of resistance like I was, although that isn’t very surprising. The person that told me of Tobias’ suspected divergence doesn’t talk to many people and the one who the divergents ‘powers’ with serums disappeared not long after I spoke with them.

Niles asks Tobias again before he answers with “Evelyn and Marcus Eaton.”

I know the name Marcus Eaton very well, as does the rest of Candor. Marcus Eaton is the most influential leader of Abnegation and our government. The Erudite leader, Jeanine matthews, tried to tell everyone the truth about Marcus and the cruel things he did to his son who now appears to be this Tobias.

After every one has quietened their outburst, Niles questions Tobias’ transfer. Tobias doesn’t seem to like this topic at all as he starts snapping and glaring at Niles. He is clearly trying to resist the serums power over him. His breathing is quickening and his checks are reddening. These must be the symptoms of resistance. I would be taking notes but I have to blend in with everyone else. If I start acting as an Erudite would, questions of my loyalties would be raised, as they are with Tobias right now.

Eventually, he answers.

“To protect myself. I transferred to protect myself.”

“Protect yourself from what?” Niles asks.

“From my father.”

Silence falls down upon us. Nobody says a word as we try to process what has just been said. Marcus Eaton, our respected leader, was horribly cruel to his son. Jeanine Matthews was telling the truth after all; she shouldn’t have been wrongly accused of lying to take control of the government.

“Thank you for your honesty.” Niles says and the rest of Candor follows.

Niles questions about his loyalty again before asking about what happened during the attack on Abnegation. I lean forward slightly. His answer should shed some light onto what I have tried to piece together.

“I was not under the simulation, at first. It didn’t work.”

“What do you mean, it didn’t work?” Niles says after a small laugh. I would have thought he might have guessed why Tobias has been able to resist a bit by now.

“One of the defining characteristics of the Divergent is that their minds are resistant to simulations, and I am Divergent. So no, it didn’t work.”

More murmurs spread throughout the room as another revelation came into our lives. Most people around here don’t believe that Divergent people actually exist, so I suspect that the rumors about him being Divergent were probably stopped early on. The faction leaders aren’t very keen on the Divergent population and have often tried to make them appear as fiction.

Niles tries to get everyone’s attention by raising his hands so that he can continue but to no avail. After a while he takes a different tactic.

“If you don’t quiet down, you will be asked to leave!” He shouts above the clamour of whispers. As the noise recedes, he continues with the interrogation.

“Now, when you say ‘resistant to simulations’, what do you mean?”

This time, Tobias answers with ease. He is clearly not trying to fight the serum at all with this question. Maybe it’s because it isn’t a personal question that would reveal something about his past?

“Usually, it means we’re aware during simulations. But the attack simulation was different, using a different kind of simulation serum, one with long-range transmitters. Evidently the long-range transmitters didn’t work on the divergent at all, because I awoke in my own mind that morning.”

“You say you weren’t under the simulation at first. Can you explain what you mean by that?”

“I mean that I was discovered and brought to Jeanine, and she injected a version of the simulation serum that specifically targeted the divergent. I was aware during that simulation, but it didn’t do much good.”

Looking around me, everyone is hooked on every word Tobias says. Hopefully no one will notice if I take some notes because this is really interesting stuff about the serums. I heard that a large part of the Erudite initiation tests is about the serums so if I can understand this, they would surely let me join Erudite when this is all over. The more I can learn now, the better chances I have at succeeding.

“The video footage from the Dauntless headquarters shows you running the simulation. How, exactly do you explain that?” Niles asked, sounding as if he had had this question practiced and ready. This was something that many people had wanted to know ever since our leaders told us about the footage. I’m so glad that they are honest and tell us when things like that are discovered or my brain would have rotted long ago. Quietly taking the lid off my pen, I start to write as Tobias speaks.

”When a simulation is running, your eyes still see and process the actual world, but your brain no longer comprehends them. On some level, though, your brain still knows what you’re seeing and where you are.”

I can barely write this down fast enough. I am quite tempted to call out for him to go over this again and talk a bit more slowly but that will draw far too much attention to me and my Erudite ways, as well as be interrupting an important interrogation so I keep my mouth shut and keep on scribbling.

“The nature of this new simulation was that it recorded my emotional responses to outside stimuli and responded by alerting the appearance of that stimuli. The simulation made my enemies into friends, my friends into enemies. I thought I was shutting the simulation down. Really I was receiving instructions about how to keep it running.”

As Tobias draws his explanation to a close, Niles asks another question.

“We have seen footage of what ultimately happened to you in the control room, but it is confusing.” That would be putting it mildly. We have all seen the footage ourselves, they showed it in a group meeting, and none of it makes any fathomable sense. “Please describe it to us.”

“Someone entered the room, and I thought it was a Dauntless soldier, trying to stop me from destroying the simulation. I was fighting her and … and then she stopped, and I got confused. Even if I had been awake, I would have been confused. Why would she surrender? Why didn’t she just kill me?”

He stops for a second, looking around the room until he sees Tris. She looks back at him looking rather flustered and nervous, her checks shining red. When Tobias progresses talking, his voice is much softer than before, as if trying to understand something.

“I still don’t understand how she knew it would work. I think my conflicted emotions confused the simulation, and then I heard her voice. Somehow, it enabled me to fight the simulation.”

I think that Tris is the ‘her’ that he keeps talking about. Considering the way Tobias is looking at Tris, and the way that she appears to be blinking back tears caused by the memory, I think they must be more than friends.
“I recognised her, finally,” he continues, “We went back into the control room and stopped the simulation.”

“What was the name of this person?”

“Tris. Beatrice prior, I mean.” So Tris is also a nickname and I was right that she was the person he was talking about.

“Did you know her before this happened?” Niles asks even though, seeing as he said he recognised her, that it is highly probable.

“Yes.” I am right again.

“How did you know her?

“I was her instructor. Now we’re together.” And again. It seems that I am getting better with my presumptions.

“I have a final question. Among the Candor, before a person is accepted into our community, they have to completely expose themselves. Given the dire circumstances we are in, we require the same of you. So, Tobias Eaton: what are your deepest regrets?”

The room when silent again while we waited with anticipation as to what was to be said.

“I regret…” He sighs and pauses, as if taking a moment to compose himself. “I regret my choice.”
“What choice?” Niles sounds as curious as we all are.

“Dauntless. I was born for Abnegation. I was planning on leaving Dauntless, and becoming factionless. But then I met her, and … I felt like maybe I could make something more of my decision.” Tobias says while Beatrice looks at him with wide eyes. This must be the first she has ever heard of this. “Choosing Dauntless in order to escape my father was an act of cowardice. I regret that cowardice. It means I am not worthy of my faction. I will always regret it.”

No one seems able to say a word as Tobias finishes. The silence encases us. Eventually someone whispers and everyone follows.

“Thank you for your honesty.”

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