1: Choices

Scene starts inside the kitchen of tiny modern house.

*A family is sitting at a white table silently eating. The young daughter is chewing her bread nervously when her father speaks up.*

[Father] I know your mind must be filled with confusion about today, but remember all you have to do is weigh the odds and reason should guide you to make the right decision.

*Her twin brother besides her looks up.*

[Brother] I am not nervous father. Remaining within Erudite is a clear answer for me. It is Xiao Hui you should talk too.

*The older man turned to his daughter, who was not looking up from her plate.*

[Father] Xiao Hui, you have not spoken since your test results came out. I assumed it was from the fact that you had been given Erudite as a result. Is this not the case?

*Xiao Hui’s mother frowned.*

[Mother] Xiao Hui, tell your father your result.

*She put down her bread.*

[Xiao Hui] The test result was inconclusive. My instructor urged me to not consider the results towards my aptitude within the faction system.

*Her brother smiled.*

[Brother] You are divergent! We have so few of them… To think my own twin would be so radically unique.

*Her father frowned.*

[Father] Quiet, Xiao Min. Respect your sister.

*Her mother reached across the table to squeeze her hand.*

[Mother] You have nothing to worry about. As a divergent you can still function within the faction system. You must choose which faction aligns closer to your strongest ideal.

*Xiao Min snorted.*

[Xiao Min] That’s right. Your odds of becoming a factionless only increase by 40%. It is not the worst scenario.

*Xiao Hui swallowed the bread like it was a lead rock. 40% increase of becoming factionless. Society was basically saying they would not kill her, because she could not succeed anyways.*

[Father] Xiao Hui, if you are that nervous it would indicate you are considering other options besides Erudite. What other areas did you test positive for?

[Xiao Hui] My score reflected traits from all five factions. In ranking order Erudite and Dauntless tied for first. Abnegation only slightly higher then Amity and Candor.

[Xiao Min] Was the difference that great?

*Xiao Hui nodded.*

[Xiao Hui] Abnegation, Amity and Candor barely spiked on the board. The instructor noted that in the end they should not be considered.

*Her father smiled.*

[Father] Then the choice is simple. You stay in Erudite. Although the test may say your brave, you are not stupid. A job of security would bore you immensely.

*Xiao Hui nodded.*

[Xiao Hui] Yes, father.

*Her mother smiled.*

[Mother] What ever you choose we will be happy. Your father and I were transfers to Erudite after all. We understand the issue of misplacement.

*Xiao Min looked up from his almost gone plate.*

[Xiao Min] I forgot you two were transfers. How did Xiao Hui measure high on Dauntless when you two came from Amity and Candor? Statistically, there should be a Dauntless member.

*Her father shook his hand no.*

[Father] Xiao Min, how many times do I tell you that factors change in the equation with Divergents. When the genes mix the result is not so conformed.

*Her brother nodded. Her mother stood up and gathered their breakfast plates.*

[Mother] My Xiao Hes’ day is coming. You two go on now.

*The two children got up from the table, kissed their parents on the cheek and ran out the door.*

[Father] Sweetheart, you look worried.

*The woman sat down at the breakfast table and took his hand.*

[Mother] I do not think Xiao Hui will choose Erudite. She is too stubborn.

*He smiled sadly at her.*

[Father] A trait she got from both of us.

*He took her hand in his and kissed them.*

[Father] Xiao Hui’s life became instantly more complicated once her test results came out as Divergent. Although she is no longer at risk of dying every faction will look down on her. Maybe Dauntless can be a faction that she can shine in. Every gem needs to be polished and every man needs a trial.

*Her mother sighed.*

[Mother] Yes, but she is not a man.

*He looked down at the table.*

[Father] No, she is not.

Scene shift to choosing ceremony.

 *Hui He is sitting in the audience with her brother Min He. The two of them are looking around for their parents. More and more families pore into the auditorium.*

[Min He] Xiao Hui, do you see mom and dad?

*She shook her head no.*

[Hui He] It is probably mom. She insisted on looking perfect for today’s event.

*Min He stood up and pointed. Their parents were walking quickly to the stage. Their mother sitting down on one of the chairs off to the back side and their father who stood waiting for the signal to give a speech. Erudite was speaking first this year.*

[Min He] Look at Dad. He is sweating already.

*She pulled him back down into his seat.*

[Hui He] Min He, you know dad is not a fan of public speaking. Don’t be rude.

*He rolled his eyes, but shut up. The lights on the auditorium flickered alerting everyone to quiet down. Their father coughed and began to speak.*

[Father] Every citizen at the age of 16 must choose what Faction they will be a part of. It is a time of confusion and of enlightenment. As adults we see you are fit to make the choice on telling us where you want to be in the future. As children you see us fit to help you make that choice. This day is about both of us fulfilling our roles and making a choice. In Erudite we make the choice to seek out knowledge as the base of our understanding. That the disconnect that plagued our world in the past came from misunderstandings. The only solution to conflict is logic. If that is something you believe then you are suited to join us here in Erudite. We welcome you as you find your place. Whether it is as a teacher, a researcher or in my case a Tinkerer, you will have a place amongst us. I know it seems hard that we value Faction like Blood. You may even find it harsh that what defines us as individuals is that we are limited to one choice. I assure you that you are right. It is harsh. The world is harsh. That is the very reason why we adapted to this. Looking out I see a group of young individuals strong enough to declare that they are here to survive this harsh world. They can make choices. When you choose today, you choose to keep society going. Thank you.

*Erudites stood up and clapped. The other factions looked at each other confused, but clapped along anyways.*

[Min He] He toned down the fancy rhetoric this time.

*Hui He sighed. This was his toned down. She tuned out throughout the other speeches, not coming back until her she heard her brother’s name. Hui He watched him walk down the stairs to the bowls that had been placed on the stage while she thought about her future. To no surprise he quickly slashed the knife and dropped some blood on Erudite. Her father stood up and hugged him.*

[Father] Hui He Powell.

*She quickly walked down the stairs and onto the stage, not even hesitating before cutting her hand. That’s when she stopped. The world feeling like it was spiraling around her. If she chose Erudite she would stay with her family and the books she loved. If she chose Abnegation she could help others. If she chose Amity she would finally get a tan. If she chose Candor then maybe her personality would be a little more forthright. However, Dauntless was the place of possibilities. Hui He closed her eyes and stuck her hand out. The blood dripped onto the hot coals. Cheers went up in the stadium.*

[Father] Dauntless.

*She could hear the strain in his voice, so she didn’t look up at him. Instead she turned around and walked to Dauntless. Zoning out as they tugged her into a chair. Hui He felt a punch to her arm. She turned to see a boy sitting besides her.*

[Boy] Hello, fellow transfer.

*She nodded and he turned to watch the rest of the ceremony. Hui He staring aimlessly at her mother’s sad smile. When the ceremony was over Hui He felt herself being tugged away by the Dauntless crew. She was unable to say goodbye. Instead she ran after the fit Dauntless crew towards the railway. Shocked to discover that she would need to climb up the rails.*

[Dauntless Guy] Come on Recruit!

*Hui He pushed the sleeves of her dress up and started to climb. She was not the most physical person and by the time she reached the top she realized that a train had past her and most people were running to jump on it. Hui He took off towards the train. Already everyone was already on it and the track a head of her was disappearing. That’s when she saw her. Bryony Banner. A fellow Erudite transfer and her worst enemy. When she saw her she noticed that she was trying to close the door to the train. Hui He felt nothing but anger as pushed herself even faster. She saw a Dauntless guy stick his head and hand out.*

[Dauntless Guy] At the end of the platform jump!

*Hui He pushed herself to pick up speed as she jumped off the edge; her hand barely finding his. She was pulled up into the car in an instant.*

[Dauntless Guy] Today’s your lucky day, recruit. You made it on the train.

*Hui He could hear the laughter. She stood up and brushed off her dress.*

[Hui He] Naturally.

*Bryony scoffed.*

[Bryony] You should of saved yourself the embarrassment and stayed in Erudite. There your Father can cover for your flaws.

*Hui He turned to look at her. A young girl in the train frowned.*

[Girl] What’s your problem, Erudite girl. The point of the Faction system is to encourage other people to find their place.

[Bryony] And you are?

[Girl] Catarina Webb.

*Bryony went to respond when a Dauntless woman pushed through the crowd.*

[Woman] Recruits, get prepared.

*They turned to see Dauntless members jumping off the train onto roofs.

[Hui He] Of course.

*Bryony smirked and got ready to jump. Hui He watched everyone jump until she was the last one.*

[Hui He] You can do this.

*Hui He ran forward and jumped. She hit the ground hard. Someone pulling her up.*

[Catarina] I guess we know you are a good jumper.

*Hui He laughed.*

[Hui He] Thanks.

*The two of them walked over to the crowd forming by the edge of the roof. A Dauntless instructor was waiting for them by the edge.*

[Instructor] My name is Adebowale. For those of you who are too scared to try and say it right can refer to me as Instructor. I will be in charge of you while you are being trained for Dauntless. Before you guys can begin you must first enter Dauntless. Our faction will only take the strong and the brave. You have passed the basic physical requirement of getting on a train. Now you must pass the basic brave requirement: jump off this roof.

*Everyone began to whisper. Adebowale looked at them annoyed.*

[Adebowale] No volunteers? Fine then. Transfers step forward.

*Thirteen kids pushed their way through the crowd to stand in front of Adebowale.*

[Adebowale] You have more to prove then the others. You will jump first. Starting with those wearing my least favorite color, blue.

*Bryony and Hui He stepped forward. It was natural that Dauntless would pick on them.*

[Adebowale] Which one of you wants to jump?

*Neither one of them volunteered.*

[Adebowale] Alright, since the Erudite transfers are busy weighing the odds of how likely it is there is something below there I will pick. The Asian one will jump. The other one will go next.

*Hui He crawled up onto the ledge and sat down. She looked over the edge and gulped.*

[Adebowale] If you won’t jump you’ll be pushed.

*Bryony smiled and ran forward pushing her off. Hui He yelled as she fell forward. She landed on the net in a horrible position. A tall man pulled her off of it.*

[Dauntless Man] So he had you pushed?

*She nodded.*

[Dauntless Man] What’s your name?

[Hui He] Hui He Powell.

*He turned around.*

[Dauntless Man] First one over, Hui He.

*They all laughed and clapped. She waited by the side until everyone else fell down and they all went as a group into a dimly lit basement room. The room was filled up with bunk buds and perfect black sheets.

[Dauntless Man] My name is Leo. I am also an instructor to you new recruits. This room is were all of you will be living. Girls will take the bottom bunks and boys will take the top. The bathroom is co-ed showers through that door. All of you go choose a bed and change into the Dauntless uniform that has been provided for you.

*Everyone quickly ran to pick a bed. Hui He felt her hand being pulled by Catarina. She chose a bed by the corner. Hui He took the bed next to her.

[Catarina] Above us is John Jones. He came from Candor with me.

*Hui He nodded. This was the boy who helped pull her up.*

[Hui He] Hui He Powell.

*He shook her hand and then swung up to grab his set of Dauntless clothes.*

[Catarina] I bet you think his name is funny. We all laugh about it back in Candor.

*John jumped off the top bunk and pulled Catarina into a head lock. She pushed him off and they laughed.*

[John] Catarina here is just jealous that I was being talked about and not her.

[Catarina] Yea right, loser.

*A young asian boy in simple Abnegation beige knocked on the steel of Hui He’s bed.*

[Boy] Do you mind if I take the top bunk?

*Hui He shook her head. It would seem that her parents were right. There were still racial tensions. He wanted to be with someone familiar.*

[Hui He] Sure.

[Boy] Thank you.

*He leaned up and grabbed his Dauntless clothes.*

[Hansuke] My name is Hansuke Abe.

*Catarina leaned forward right into him.*

[Catarina] Abnegation? That’s rare.

[Hansuke] Putting others first is another form of bravery.

*She rolled her eyes.*

[Catarina] Whatever you need to tell yourself.

*Hui He stepped out of her dress and Catarina grabbed her chest. She shrieked.*

[Catarina] Who knew these blue dresses could hide so much?

*Hansuke grabbed her arm.*

[Hansuke] It isn’t polite to touch people’s chest without permission.

[Catarina] I already have a father.

*Everyone cracked up laughing and hurriedly changed into their clothes. Catarina eyeing Hansuke’s perfect twelve pack. After they were changed they followed everyone out to drop their clothes into the return bin. Then they were taken to a practice room.*

Scene shift to large warehouse filled with training mats.

[Adebowale] This is the testing ground. All initiates will be trained and tested on combat, marksmanship and other Dauntless skills. The scoreboard on the wall will show your rankings throughout training. The higher the score the more choice you will have within Dauntless. As it isn’t fair to test you transfers against natural Dauntless born, you will be trained in this room; while, Dauntless born will be trained in the room over.

*A Dauntless woman opened the warehouse doors to the left and started to call the Dauntless born through. Thirteen frightened children left standing there in a nervous state. Leo stepped forward.*

[Leo] The first part of your training will consist of a basic combat crash course. Left foot forward, 90 degree angle. Right foot behind at a forty five degree angle.

*Everyone immediately shifted their stance. Adebowale began to casually walk towards the back of the group.*

[Leo] First you will all throw a series of punches, then elbows, palm strike, front kicks, side kicks, roundhouses.

*For an hour the small group went over different drills and combinations. You could tell who was lagging behind who in physical shape. Bryony and the majority of the Candors’ were the first few to tire out. By the end of the hour, it seemed only five of them were left: Catarina, John, Hansuke, Hui He and a girl from Amity. However, while the majority had stuck through by sheer stubbornness Hansuke and the girl from Amity seemed comfortable with the physical rigor of the first task. Unlike, the majority of transfers -the largest amount being from Candor- they had been raised within a faction that displayed a certain commitment to physical endeavors. Erudite and Candor transfers were not used to doing physical activities. Adebowale clapped his hands to signal for them to stop.*

[Adebowale] That’s enough. All of you line up at the edges of the mat.

*Those who had been sitting down stood up and headed for the edges of a large square matted area. The five who had been fighting to go on looked at each other like they all should of just bowed out. They were exhausted. Their instructor Leo stepped onto the matted area. He crossed his arms as if to seem tough.*

[Leo] Over the course of the next few weeks you will all be in physical conditioning. This includes a regiment of physical strengthening, war games, weapons training and most importantly of all combat training. What you just did is a warm up the Dauntless parents give to their children. The goal is to make you more capable then Dauntless children.

*Adebowale stepped onto the mat.*

[Adebowale] Today we will assess which people out of the lot of you that has a potential to be a capable Dauntless member.

*Leo pointed to large male Amity transfer.*

[Leo] Step up.

*The Amity transfer quietly stood up and walked to the left side of the mat. Adebowale turning to point at Hui He. His dislike for Erudite was going to be a problem.*

[Adebowale] Blue.

*Hui He calmly walked onto the mat. If there was anything she would not do is fear an unsolved problem. She put her guard up immediately and waited for the suspected match to be called. It made sense to her that Dauntless would initiate in a hazing ritual of new recruits. Large fighting the small seemed like a standard practice among historical militant groups.*

[Adebowale] Begin.

*Hui He did not move from her spot. What benefit would come from a short thin girl running at a large teenager who grew up doing physical labor? None. She waited for the Amity transfer to realize he could move first and he walked over and swung at her. Hui He stepped to the forward right and shifted her left arm forward slightly to block his arm. During the drill training Hui He had remembered her mother’s insistence on having Min He and her doing morning stretches. She had said that a calm mind cannot come without a calm body and soul. Their father had said this was a result of her being a transfer to Erudite. Her mother had insisted it was prudence to be knowledgeable in multiple areas. Hui He distinctively falling into a defense mode. She had no problem either blocking his attempts at attacks or side stepping them. The problem for her was that she had no idea how to strike back.*

[Adebowale] Stop running away. Hit him back.

*Hui He side stepped one more time before pivoting her foot to kick him in the lower back. She watched him take a few steps forward before turning back around to lunge at her. Hui He side stepped to the opposite direction. She was surprised to see that he had begun to understand how she was dodging him. The Amity transfer threw out a low punch as she side stepped. Hui He barely finding time to lower her arm to block. The force of the punch had her backing away a few steps. Her face white when she realized he was already retaliating with a roundhouse. Hui He did what she had seen in one of her mother’s books. With no idea whether it would work or not, she crouched down to avoid the kick and swept her right leg out to kick him in the lower leg. Hui He standing up shocked when she watched him fall back on his back. Leo walking forward and lifting her wrist upwards.*

[Leo] The winner of the first match.

*Hui He, breathing heavily, turned to look at everyone. She seemed even more shocked then they were. Hui He stumbling forward when Leo pushed her off of the mat. She watched him walk back towards a disappointed Adebowale. What exactly did he have against her? She watched the rest of the transfers go through their hazing. Hui He surprised by the ferocity of Hansuke’s and Catarina’s match. Out of the entire lot, theirs was the only one that seemed like a real fight. Both earning warm praise from Adebowale and Leo. After the matches they headed for a large room that seemed to function as a cafeteria. Everyone gets a completely filled up tray and heading towards a long metal bench to sit. Hui He watching everyone dig into their food. Hansuke and her exchanging uneasy glances.*

[Catarina] Do you two not like the food?

*Hansuke shook his head.*

[Hansuke] No, I’m sure it’s good.

[John] What’s the problem?

*The Amity transfer from before slid over closer to them.*

[Amity girl] He’s probably just not used to all that food. Abnegation don’t eat meat or have meals of this size.

*John looked at her in shock.*

[John] And how would you know that?

*Leo sat down across from Hui He. He placed his steel tray down hard on the table.*

[Leo] Amity does not deliver meat to the Abnegation pick up zones.

*The girl nodded her head in agreement.*

[Amity girl] Exactly.

*Catarina looked at Hansuke mockingly.*

[Catarina] Come on now, recruit. You have to eat your meat.

*Hansuke glared at her. He chose to point out Hui He.*

[Hansuke] I will when she does.

*Hui He looking at him in shock. That was very un-Abnegation of him. What was his problem with meat? Everyone now turning to look at her untouched plate.*

[Catarina] Why aren’t you eating?

*John looking over at the Amity girl.*

[John] Erudite gets meat delivery, right?

*She nodded her head.*

[Amity girl] They do.

*Hui He looked at her food un-easily. Leo chiming in once again.*

[Leo] I’ve never met an Erudite whose eaten that much food at once. Leave her alone for a few minutes and she will come out of shock.

*Catarina cracked up laughing.*

[Catarina] Are you too busy having your head in books to eat?

*Hui He nodded her head. That was a fair enough way to phrase it. Although, it was more like her becoming accustomed to her natural forgetfulness towards scheduled eating times. There was just always something else to do.*

[Hui He] I guess.

*The table leaned in closer as she picked up her fork and knife. As soon as they saw her take a bite they turned to watch Hansuke try meat for the first time in his life. He did not seem to be a fan of it. Catarina pointing out that he chose to eat everything, but the meat on his tray. Hui He turning to look at the silent Leo.*

[Hui He] Where you Dauntless born?

*Leo turning to look at her annoyed.*

[Leo] Why would you ask something like that?

*Hui He shrugged,*

[Hui He] Why not?

*Leo put down his fork and knife. Everyone shutting up and turning to watch the exchange.*

[Leo] You are in Dauntless now. I suggest you get rid of that habit of yours wanting information.

*Hui He looked at him in shock.*

[Hui He] Why would you assume this is about wanting information? Exchanges between superiors and subordinates are often welcomed in society. Is it not appropriate to ask about your superior’s background?

*Leo picked up his tray.*

[Leo] No.

*Everyone watching him walk away and leave the table. Catarina turning to look at Hui He.*

[Catarina] You argue like an Erudite.

*Hui He looked at her confused. She couldn’t understand how this was an example of her Erudite-ness.*

[Hui He] I don’t understand.

*John looked at her sympathetically.*

[John] Who taught you what was expected social structures?

[Hui He] A book.

*The entire table cracked up laughing. Hansuke leaning forward sympathetically.*

[Hansuke] Normally, you would wait a little before asking personal information.

*Hui He blinked a few times.*

[Hui He] Oh.

*Hui He found herself being pulled into Catarina. The girl was messing up her hair and laughing. A sense of uneasiness creeping over her as dinner passed over quickly. The five of them, including the now named Amity transfer Aviva, headed to the tattoo parlor. Catarina wanted a bird tattoo on her right pelvis. Everyone taking their time browsing through the options. Hui He deciding to get four sets of broken and unbroken lines tattooed on her left wrist. Catarina looking over from her chair.*

[Catarina] Why would you get a pattern of lines for your first tattoo?

*Hansuke, who had been sitting next to her bickering, looked over as well.*

[Hansuke] I’ve seen those somewhere….

[John] There in a set of childrens’ books. The group written by that woman in Erudite.

*Aviva turned suddenly interested. *

[Aviva] How shocking. I never pegged you for the children book fan.

*Hui He was going to argue with them when she realized it may be better to just let them assume. She had no desire to clarify what they meant or the fact that her mother had been the one to write the series of books they were talking about. She had loved to sneak in little things like the lines in the images for her stories.*

[Hui He] Just go back to your own tattoos.

*Everyone casually laughing through the remainder of events that night. All of them quickly falling into sleep.*

-End

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Tris Picks Dauntless

 

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