“Violet, sweety its time to get up,” my father’s voice carries throughout the house, surely coming from his regular place at our kitchen table. The smell of sweet syrup wafting up with it to meet my nose making my stomach turn sour.
“Coming!” I’m not sure why I expect my answer to sound any different today as if the decision I must make would somehow change my very being. It feels as if it should.
I force myself from my bed, turning back to glance at the bright red covers and yellow sheets, the colors always too bold to reside in a place to sleep in my opinion.
Putting my thoughts aside, I mechanically get dressed, opting for a tank top, being persuaded by the first hint of warm sun peeking through my window in weeks.
Things I didn’t think I could preemptively miss staring at me, creating a hole in my chest. Tears well in my eyes as I take one last survey of my room and close the door on my childhood.
At some point last night I had made the decision that I must leave.
“Vi-” I cut my father’s call off short, pacing into the kitchen and giving him his customary hug.
“Good morning, girly,” he speaks into my ear. The smell of him envelops me, trees and grass and the plant-based detergent that all families in Amity use.
“Morning, daddy.” My response, in front of anyone but my family would make me feel childish, not at all the brash girl of 18 that I am to the world. But here, in the kitchen I’ve eaten in for all my years of life, in the arms of my father, it feels right.
“Come on, the food will get cold if you two don’t hurry up,” my mother teases.
At this we both let go, him flashing me a soft smile that I mirror.
“Someone’s just jealous,” he whispers to me with a wink.
“Come here,” I turn and say, listening to the warmth of my mother’s laugh as I give her a hug as well. I catch a glance at the clock from over her shoulder and a fresh wave of panic shoots over me, making me pull away too quick.
“Uh, did anyone notice the time?"
At my comment, a harsh horn blares through the house three times. The signal from the trucks that they’re about to leave.
"Oh, shoot. You didn’t even get to eat,” concern laces the face in front of me, her hands still placed on my shoulders.
“Its alright, Hazel, she can just eat when we return. We’ll make it a family affair, maybe even invite over all the kids, I’m sure Violet will be wanting to ask them all questions on the initiation process considering how recent they went through it.” My father’s assurance, though calming to my mother, only brings me a new wave of guilt as we rush out of our house.
Not our house anymore, but theirs.
+ + +
People fill the large room quickly, forcing the bulk of Amity to take a seat sooner than they’d like. My parents and I lay claim to a set of seats towards the front, as customary for families of an ancestry such as ours. Our lineage has sat in these seats every year for as long as the ceremony has existed. Most of my friends, Beck especially, are located near the back, left to work their way up with more and more faithful generations.
If my blood is to land anywhere else but in the bowl of soil today, I will be a shun on this tradition, casting my family and their next offspring to the farthest most chairs from the center.
My palms sweat as I watch Marcus Eaton make his way to the small raised platform, this year being Abnegation’s to host. My mind trails off while he speaks of the formation of the factions, having heard this many times before. My parents sit at my right, leaving me the aisle seat so I may rise uninhibited when my name is called.
This also leaves me with my left to the Abnegation and to their left the Dauntless. Even in the midst of a serious occasion, I see many them struggle to stay still, their legs bouncing and hands twitching, much like mine do now as well.
Am I really to join them? Am I to cast aside my comfortable life for one of- what? Brutality? That is at least what my parents and peers whisper when the black-clad soldiers walk past us. My faction sees Dauntless as a group of overly pierced neanderthals with a killing streak. Not exactly the kindest view, but a long-held stereotype nonetheless; one that has stopped any transfers from our faction to theirs in the past 30 years. Even then, it’s unsure if the Amity even made it through their initiation, some gossip saying as much as that the poor man died before he stepped foot into their compound.
I’m ripped back into reality as I hear his name and turn to watch him rise from his seat. I feel his eyes land on me but can’t allow myself to meet them, knowing their intensity with make me question my decision. Nevertheless, his hand grips my shoulder gently as he walks past, making my stomach flip.
He steps with confidence, his body well built, muscular from all his work on the farms. I hear feminine whispers around me, no doubt admiring what we can all see. I watch him take the knife, its place in his hand so foreign that even he seems taken aback by it. He hesitates for a moment, and I can tell that the weapon has managed to scare him.
He cuts the skin on his palm, turning so I can no longer see the red puddle forming, and swiftly lets it fall into the bowl in front of him.
Only, it makes a splash when it hits.
The room goes still.
What? No, no that’s not right. The Beck I know is Amity incarnate.
Surely enough, he takes the bandage given to him and walks to a separate group than from which he came. One that is covered in blue.
No, he was supposed to stay, to make up for my leaving. He was supposed to be the one to explain to my family that I did this out of nature, not hate.
My mother squeezes my hand as I rise and a see a confident smile on her face. It makes my heart palpitate.
I walk to the bowl on legs that would shake if I was any less shocked. Meeting Marcus’ deep blue eyes, I feel myself take the knife from him but don’t mentally comprehend what it is that I hold. So this is what a weapon feels like.
The handle of the blade is one of polished wood, the metal a shining silver. Nothing like the butter knives my family uses at the dinner table.
The Abnegation leader gives me a nod as if telling me to choose already, and with that, I slice my palm. A sting spreads its way up my arm, but I pay it no mind. I watch as the blood pools in my palm, only I can’t do as Beck did, allowing my choice to be made with my backed turned and head down.
No, the bowl I need sits in a direct line with the seats my faction takes.
My arm doesn’t wobble as I extend it and let my blood sizzle on hot coals.
+ + +
thanks for reading! so sorry this took so long to update but i have been in such a slump recently.
The wind whipped around me, tangling my bright yellow dress around me. My heart jumped to my throat as I expected to land on the cold, hard ground. I was starting to regret my choice. Even if the aptitude test said I was Dauntless, I should’ve stayed in Amity. Being here, they were going to kill me!
I almost let out a cry of relief when I felt a net underneath me, catching me from falling further down the what looked like bottomless abyss. I crawled to the edge of the net, my whole body still shaking. The initiates trainer waiting for me was full of tattoos, had his hair shaved on the sides, and had a piercing through his eyebrow. He looked like the poster child for Dauntless, and if he didn’t look so young, I would think he was the Dauntless leader.
He eyed my clothes with a raised eyebrow. “Did you fall into the wrong faction?”
I shook my head. “No, I chose Dauntless.”
“An Amity choosing to be Dauntless? Interesting,” he noted. “What’s your name, Pansycake.”
I winced at the Dauntless nickname for Amity before responding, “(Y/N).”
“Even sounds like an Amity name,” he muttered before turning to the rest of the initiates who had already jumped and announced, “Our next jumper, (Y/N)!”
He roughly pulled me from the net just in time for another initiate to come flying down from the building. Once all the initiates had jumped, we followed our trainers into the Dauntless city. I marvelled at the place, I had never seen where the Dauntless lived before. Not even in pictures really. Understandably so, Dauntless and Amity weren’t exactly the closest of factions.
“Dauntless initiates, you’ll follow Lauren. New initiates will come with me,” the trainer who had caught us said. “We won’t start your training tonight, but we’ll get you settled away and show you around.”
The initiates broke in half and the newbies followed our leader around the city. I took this moment to look around and take in my fellow new Dauntless members. There was a number of blue bodies (the Erudite), few black and white (the Candor), but of course no grey (the Abnegation) and only one yellow, me.
We were finally led to the room where the initiates would be staying. Our leader turned to us before allowing us to enter.
“Before you really get into this,” he started, “I have to warn you that the Dauntless training is not an easy task. Just because you’re new to the faction doesn’t mean we’ll be taking it easy on you. We’ll be training you just as hard as we train our Dauntless initiates. If you don’t measure up, if you step out of line, if you refuse to keep going after we’ve told you to, you’re out. No ifs, ands, or buts. If we don’t think you’re cut out to be Dauntless, you’re done. If anyone wants to leave now, we recommend you do so you don’t waste our time.”
I pretended not to see the eyes darting towards me before quickly looking away. Instead, I held the trainer’s eye contact. He was definitely being less subtle about thinking I was going to fail, but the joke was on him. His doubt in me was only going to push me more, to make me want to pass and become a full Dauntless member. I wasn’t going to fail, not if I had anything to do with it.
When no one stepped away or responded, he spoke again, “Good. Now, go rest. We start right after breakfast tomorrow morning. You’re all gonna want to be well rested and ready to go.”
Despite how hard I tried, I just couldn’t sleep. I was staring at the ceiling for hours, listening to my fellow initiates sleeping heavily around me. I couldn’t stop thinking of the day before, when I chose Dauntless. Every time I closed my eyes, I could see my parents faces. Part of me wished I’d open them again and it would just be the day before the ceremony, and all of this would be some sort of nightmare, but of course that didn’t happen.
I gave up trying to sleep. I silently pulled myself up out of the bed and slipped on the jet black Dauntless clothes that were provided for us. They were a little tight, but it seemed like that was the Dauntless way, too.
I silently creeped out of the room, making sure I didn’t wake any of the other initiates, or that none of them got up to follow me. The last thing I needed was some Candor or Erudite trying to prove themselves early by attacking the Amity. I had heard stories like that before.
I walked to the chasm that we had been shown on our tour of the Dauntless city. Although I could hear the water crashing down below, it still felt like yet another bottomless abyss. Looking down into it made me feel dizzy, but I swallowed my fear and sat myself up on the railing around it. I wasn’t going to pass the initiation if I backed away from my fears now.
“What are you doing up, Pansycake?”
I turned to see the trainer from earlier approaching me. Instead of shying away at the nickname, I scowled at him.
“You can’t call me that,” I said. “I’m Dauntless now, like you.”
“Technically you’re not. You haven’t passed initiation yet. You could be factionless by this time tomorrow.”
I scoffed. “I’m sure you’d like that, but I won’t be. I intend on passing the initiation, with flying colours if that’s possible.”
“Watch it, you’re starting to sound Erudite.”
He pulled himself up onto the railing next to me with ease. He sat so close I could almost feel the warmth from his skin. I tried to repress the shiver that was coming up my spine.
“Why aren’t you in bed?” he tried again.
I shrugged. “Just couldn’t sleep. I figured getting to know my possible new home would be better than laying in bed all night. Besides, maybe the fresh air will knock me out.”
“Or the fear of the Chasm will.”
I was trying my best to avoid looking down into the Chasm, but as he mentioned it I couldn’t help but letting my eyes flicker down. Sitting on the railing, I could finally see the bottom, and I could see that it was full of sharp rocks. I felt my stomach lurch and my head begin to spin, but I couldn’t prove weakness now. I simply looked back up at him.
“It’s not that scary,” I said, hoping my voice sounded as even as I wanted it to.
He snorted. “You’re really trying, Pansycake, aren’t you?”
“Stop calling me that,” I hissed. “Even if I fail the initiation, I won’t be Amity anymore. I’ll be factionless, which means that no matter what, I am not Amity, which means I am not a Pansycake.”
He put his hands up in surrender. “Okay, geez. Calm down kid, I’m just trying to have some fun with you. We’ve never had an Amity initiate before, this is all new to us.”
“I’m not a kid,” I huffed. “Not to you anyways, you look like you’re close to my age.”
“I’m 18,” he said. “But I’m still your superior, which means you’re still a kid in my eyes.”
I sighed, frustrated, and rolled my eyes. I was getting sick of this guy. And now I had to train under him? It was going to be a brutal few weeks.
“So, what did your people think when you chose Dauntless?” he asked. “I can’t imagine the peaceful being angry like ever, but I also can’t see them being too happy that one of their own chose violence over peace.”
I looked down into the Chasm, the nauseous feeling starting to subside. Falling down this Chasm would’ve been much easier than having to relive the day before, where I betrayed my parents and my faction by choosing Dauntless over Amity.
“It’s not like no one has ever chosen to leave Amity,” I responded. “It’s just…a lot of them tend to go to Abnegation or Candor. Selflessness is seen as the closest thing to peacefulness, and the Amity also value truth over everything else. I went into my test thinking I’d come out as one of those. I always followed by what my parents taught me, what the faction taught all of us. I thought it was simple that I would get one of those three factions.”
“But you didn’t.” His voice was no longer harsh and teasing. It was light, almost understanding. I wondered if my brutal initiation trainer was a born Dauntless.
“When the test ended, the woman who administered it to me was shocked. She was also Amity, a family friend, actually. She kept looking over the results, muttering to herself that they must be wrong. Of course, to me, worst case scenario was I didn’t test for any faction. That I was some freak who would never fit into any of the factions, that I was meant to just be factionless for life. But when I asked her what my results were, she looked at me and said, ‘Dauntless’.”
He let out a bark of laughter. “Really? She was panicking because you were Dauntless?”
“The Amity seem to think that if one of their own is tested as Dauntless, then they somehow taught that person wrong. I’m sure you can vouch for the fact that there are very few Amity born Dauntless. I mean, I’m the only initiate from Amity here. It’s as rare as an Abnegation testing for Dauntless. Of course, me being the first one in who knows how long, it was a big deal. I didn’t tell my parents, I begged her not to, either. She struggled with the decision, but said she wouldn’t as she isn’t allowed to anyways.”
“So they found out at the ceremony.”
I nodded. “I kept saying I couldn’t tell them what my results were, and that they’d know by the time I chose. They were so excited that they had themselves convinced I had gotten Amity. Or maybe they were just nervous about losing their only child that they had to convince themselves that they wouldn’t. When I dropped my blood onto the Dauntless coals…I swear, I could hear my parents hearts break.”
Well, I could hear my mother’s anyways. My father…I could already hear the angry yelling. I was glad I had been whisked away before they had the chance to really say anything to me.
“What was their reactions?” he asked. I was so lost in thought I had forgotten he was there for a moment.
“Mom is a born Amity, so she understood. She cried a lot and hugged me so tightly it felt like she was crushing every bone in my body, but she understood that if I tested for Dauntless, that I should choose Dauntless…my father on the other hand…he didn’t even hug me goodbye. His face was so red with anger, I was sure if I was there another moment he would’ve yelled at me.”
“That doesn’t sound very peaceful of him.”
I looked down at my lap. Did I tell this complete stranger, that had done nothing but taunt me since I got here, the biggest secret of my family? What exactly could he do? It wasn’t illegal what my father did, just wrong. The worst that could happen, maybe he became factionless. Maybe that’s what he deserved.
“My father isn’t a born Amity,” I revealed. “He didn’t even test for Amity. He’s from Dauntless, tested for Dauntless, but chose Amity.”
He looked at me with wide eyes, disbelief written all over his face. “What? Why would he…no one ever does that. Especially not a born and tested Dauntless. They’d choose Erudite, maybe even Abnegation before Amity.”
“Apparently he was just in love with my mom,” I responded. “They met in school, they were the same age. The day they got tested, they met up with one another in private to discuss the results. When they found out they had been tested for their own factions, they were both disappointed thinking they’d never see each other again. The day of their choosing ceremony, my dad chose Amity to be with my mom. He’s good at pretending to be peaceful in public but…when he was angry…he was angry. He always took it out on me and mom, but because mom is a born Amity she doesn’t do anything about it to keep the peace. I feel so terrible for having to leave her behind, but I had to get away from him.”
“You chose faction over blood, as you’re meant to,” he said. “At least you’re out of there.”
I didn’t realize I had been crying until he touched my face. I jerked away at first, until I realized he was using this thumb to wipe the tears from my eyes. I was happy to be away from my father, but I hated having to leave my mother. I wished nothing more than to go back and get her, to somehow sneak her into Dauntless, but I knew this wasn’t the place for her. She loved Amity, and, despite how he was, she loved my father. She was so caring, so selfless - a true Amity.
“You’re pretty tough for an Amity girl,” he told me. “Standing up against your father by choosing the faction you tested for over the one he probably threatened you to stay in. That takes guts.”
I scoffed through my tears. “More like cowardice. I was looking for a way out, not looking to stay true to what I tested for.”
“But getting away from that scenario is tough, whether you want to believe it or not. You got guts, kid. I think you’ll make it here.”
I smiled and wiped my face dry using the sleeves of my shirt. “My name is (Y/N). You can call me that, you know. We’ll be equals once I pass the initiation.”
He laughed. “And there’s the cocky attitude. You’ll definitely be a great Dauntless. Since you’re so hellbent on being equals, you can call me Eric, but only in private. Don’t want the other initiates knowing we’ve gotten close or else they may think I’m playing favourites.”
I raised an eyebrow. “You think we’re close?”
“I think I’d like to get close.”
My face heated up at his words and I had to look away. I was grateful for the gust of wind that blew at that moment, cooling me down.
“I’d like that, too,” I decided. I put a hand over my mouth to stifle the yawn that came suddenly.
“Tired now?” I sheepishly nodded. Eric jumped off of the railing and offered me a hand. He helped me down, making sure I was safe on the ground before letting me go. “We have training after breakfast tomorrow. Come find me in the dining room, I’ll be sat with the other trainers and the Dauntless initiates. You’ll be seen as pretty daring sitting with us.”
I smiled and nodded, stifling another yawn as I did so. Eric laughed and wished me a goodnight before heading back towards his own home. I watched him go for some time before I excitedly hurried back to the initiate room, but trying not to make the excitement seem so obvious. Maybe I would like being a Dauntless after all.
Well, Sare’s run into a wall of complications with Epic games, and so, if any of you guys happens to play Fortnite, or Dauntless, or use the Epic Games Store in general, I’d like to ask if you could pitch in and help her make it to the threshold!
Code in question is there, but in case image isn’t loading up or it’s hard to read, said code is SATYN. Thanks again!
Will. Dull-eyed and mindless, but still Will. He stops running and mirrors me, his feet planted and his gun up. In an instant, i see his finger poised over the trigger and hear the bullet slide into the chamber, and i fire. My eyes squeezed shut. Can’t breathe.
The bullet hit him in the head. I know because that’s where i aimed it.
A/N: There’s classics that never go out of style, and then there’s sparring turned making out. Enjoy…
Word count: 1390-something.
Warnings: No explicit smut, but it does have a bit of a sexy moment.
When the training season came around, everyday felt like a week; today had been particularly annoying. As it was usual, some of the transfers who didn’t seem to know their place had tried to mess with you, so you had to scare them into place; then, Max had called you to his office, and assigned you your weight in paperwork due that very week. And, as if that weren’t enough, you had headed to the training room that evening, wanting to vent some steam off, and the knives were all over the floor, soaking with someone’s sweat.
You picked them up and placed them on the bench where Eric was sitting, wrapping his hands up. With a huff, you took a sit and began cleaning the knives with a gym towel.
“It’s not hard, you know,” you complained. “Just pick the knives up, then wipe your fucking sweat off them."
When a few of them were clean, you placed them on a bag and got up.
Eric snorted, "God, you’re annoying.”
“You love me anyway.” You eyed your boyfriend over your shoulder, walking away from him.
Speak to Admiral Janek Zai in Ramsgate to hear more about the former Seismic Brigade and how you can join forces to uncover the source of the new Behemoth surge (hint: the Maelstrom is up to no good, as usual).
GO ROGUE OR GO HOME
Starting April 30, get a new contract quest each week for five weeks that offers both Hunt Pass XP and Seismic Intel as a reward for completion. Handing in Seismic Intel to Admiral Zai will provide the Ostians with invaluable information in combating the new Behemoth threat, and hint at what may be on the horizon. Here’s how to participate:
Speak to Admiral Zai in Ramsgate to gain access to your first Seismic contract quest. Open the store to select the contract quest to “purchase” (it’s free). Complete Seismic contracts and hand in Seismic Intel to learn more about the growing threat. Finish all 5 Seismic contract quests to learn the root cause of the aetheric eruption in Ostia.
ON THE PASS
The arrival of a new Ostian faction ushers in a distinct mercenary aesthetic to the Rogue Elements Hunt Pass. Seismic Slayers are renowned for their military might and combat prowess, and flaunt angular designs in both their weaponry and armour sets.
Additionally, cosmetic armour returns to the free track with the launch of the Rogue Elements Hunt Pass. Look for it at level 50.
TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS
With this patch we’re unveiling four new Trials challenges, starting on May 7. Adept Slayers who’ve braved Escalation hunts may recognize a few modifiers, as well as a familiar face from Shock Escalation …