Convergent (Divergent Fanfiction)
This is based off of a Divergent group story I once did with four other authors; it was deadpooled after 8 chapters as the main author went MIA. I'll be continuing this version of the story on my own. It takes place in an alternate timeline.
coming closer together, esp. in characteristics or ideas; united
New Candor-turned-Dauntless initiate Markus Woodley only wants to survive initiation and prevent being turned factionless, but things rarely ever remain that simple.
The Aptitude Test
"No. I'm nervous what my results will be," I reply honestly.
My father is a high-ranking Candor official who carries with him a lot of authority. While some of my other Candor buddies have had to take the bus or walk to school, my father is driving me in his sleek, silver car; one I am more than happy to show off to my friends.
"You have every reason to be nervous," my father says, turning the wheel as we pull in onto school grounds. "I won't be happy if you transfer, Markus."
"I know," I reply. "But you know I'll pick whatever my test results tell me."
"For your sake, then, it better be Candor," my father growls.
I nod at him. "I'll see you at home, Father."
I swing the car door open and step out lightly. Maurice, another Candor, waves to me at the school entrance, beckoning me forward. I rush over to him, looking over my shoulder as my dad drives the car out onto the street and moves away from the school.
"Hey," I greet as me and Maurice enter the school.
"Excited?" he asks as we move down the corridor to our first class of the day.
The aptitude test, which tells us sixteen year-olds which faction we have highest aptitude for, will only take place after lunch.
"Of course I'm excited. Nervous, too," I reply. "This test is going to tell me what kind of life I'd be most suited for, I'd be stupid to not be nervous."
"Beats me. Look at Vincent, he doesn't seem nervous at all," Maurice complains.
He points down the hallway, where Vincent, our fellow Candor; though a fellow Candor that me, Maurice and our group of friends have made clear we do not like; is leaning against a locker, flirting with a doe-eyed Amity girl.
"Like I said, only people who are stupid aren't nervous. Vincent's proof of that. Come on, let's get to class before we're late again," I spit.
When lunch is over, the factions sit in the cafeteria at their long tables.
The Erudite table is just a sea of blue. All of them are hunched over open books and notes covered in messy scribbles; studying madly. What could they possibly be studying for; it's not like anyone can prepare for the aptitude test in any way; no one knows what will be tested, and older faction members who have already taken the test are forbidden to tell any under seventeen-year old what goes on in there. Besides, I have a hunch that they change the test each year, but I might be wrong, given that no one under seventeen knows what will happen in the test in the first place.
The people at the Amity table are bubbly and lively, all smiling and grinning to each other, engaging in encouraging conversation and wishing each other luck for their tests. Maurice, our two friends Dmitri, Nikolai and I make sure to give them shrewd and contemptuous looks. As Candor members, our biggest enemy is Amity, seconded by Abnegation, mostly because Amity are willing to lie and deceive to uphold peace, which, as Candor knows, only creates more problems.
"I bet half of them don't even really mean what they say when they wish each other luck," Maurice scowls.
"That goes without question," Dmitri mutters darkly. "Look at them."
"They hide their true intentions with false smiles and faked pretenses of goodwill, just to preserve a flimsy excuse of peace based entirely on a foundation of lies," Nikolai grunts, eyeing them suspiciously.
The Dauntless table is, as ever, full of Dauntless who are talking at the top of their voices, cheering boisterously, playing cards and laughing wholeheartedly. Out of all the other factions, I have to say Dauntless feels the most similar to us. Honesty is very similar to bravery. After all, you have to be brave to be honest. Without courage, how would anyone be able to tell the truth in a difficult situation when lying would make it so much easier?
My eyes slide from Dauntless to the last table in the room, closest to ours, Abnegation. The Stiffs sit quietly on their own, either looking up at the sky, staring into space, or looking down at their intertwined fingers as they wait patiently. Very few of them are actually engaging in conversation or any sort of entertainment to pass the time. They're like robots, and it always bewilders me how anyone can live like that, keeping all their secrets to themselves, such that they cease to be human, only meant to serve others with their own ability. Their own lives don't matter to them. It's mostly the part where the Stiffs keep their secrets to themselves, and always quickly look away, as if wounded, when anyone talks to them, that makes me feel nothing but contempt towards them.
It's not just Candor that walk over the Stiffs. The Noses and Dauntless do too.
I crane my head as I hear two Abnegation sitting behind me talking to themselves in low voices.
"How are you feeling?" the one with the blue-green eyes asks.
"Let's not talk about me. What about you?" Katrina says back.
I roll my eyes, putting my head in my hands to try and block out the conversation, because their timidness is killing me.
"No, no, I want to know about you."
"No, it's okay. Tell me about yourself."
"Oh, will you two just shut up already? It's not like either of you have anything to say about yourselves anyway," Maurice snaps at them.
The two girls jump, startled, and they look away hurriedly.
"Give them a break."
Maurice turns, his mouth open to retaliate, but he falls short when he sees the person who just spoke up to him is, most uncharacteristically, an Amity girl.
"If I think they're annoying, I should voice out my opinion, rather than keep it within myself and lie to them by making them believe I do not find their conversation sickening," Maurice retorts to the Amity girl. "Unlike people like you, of course, who would 'give them a break' so as to uphold a sense of peace that never existed in the first place."
The Amity girl flicks her dark black hair out of her eyes and says nothing.
Maurice snorts. "Typical. Honestly, you Stiffs and Amity are so introverted that it sometimes makes me nauseous."
The girl glares at him but walks away.
"See? You know she was going to tell me how much she hated me and what I was saying, but she kept that opinion to herself and walked off, denying me the truth to keep peace. These Stiffs and Amity are so predictable," Maurice rolls his eyes.
One by one, people filter out of the room as test administrators call their names. I watch as Dmitri leaves first, followed by a large group that includes Vincent and Mary. As the people come and go, finally, the test administrator announces my name.
"From Candor, Nikolai Tyler and Markus Woodley."
A Stiff administrator leads a group of ten; consisting of two members of each faction; out of the cafeteria, where ten rooms are separated by mirrors. Nikolai nods at me reassuringly; he enters Room 1 and me in Room 3.
Inside, it's an Erudite administrator waiting for me. Good, cause it's better than an Abnegation one.
My administrator is a short, stout man with tanned skin, bushy eyebrows, a square jaw and a shining bald head. He gestures for me to sit down in a chair next to him and I do so.
"Drink this," he orders, handing me a small vial of some strange liquid.
"Why? What is this?" I ask.
"Drink," he orders again.
I tip the vial back and pour the liquid down my throat as he adjusts and attaches wires to my forehead and chest, connecting them to a bunch of technological equipment laid out on a table next to him.
"It's a serum," he finally explains, showing the familiar Erudite characteristic of his faction that makes him unable to resist sharing information and knowledge.
He takes the empty vial from me. "Close your eyes. Open them when you're ready."
"Ready for what?" I close my eyes anyway.
I wait for the Erudite administrator to explain what I'm ready for, but this time, he doesn't. I wait a few more seconds before opening my eyes.
The Erudite man is gone. I'm alone in a wide room with mirrors surrounding me. The wires on my head and chest have vanished. So has all the equipment.
"This is something," I mutter to myself, getting up from the chair and studying the place, scratching my head.
The more I turn around, the more my reflection seems to duplicate in the mirrors on the walls.
I look down and find two tables, spread out in front of me. A hunk of cheese is laid out on the first table, a sharp knife on the other.
"Choose," a woman's voice says from behind me.
I whirl around but no one's there. Swallowing, I turn back to the two tables. "Choose?"
"Choose," she repeats.
I hesitate, my hand hovering over the knife. My father always taught me, a weapon is handy in an emergency. Choosing the cheese is just an illusion of softhearted-ness, picking the pacifist method over the violent one. It takes courage to be honest and with that in mind, I select the knife and pick it up in my hand. The hilt feels foreign in my fingers, but I grip it firmly, sure of my decision to be correct.
The sound of a deep growl shakes me from my thoughts and I whirl around again. This time, there is someone behind me. It's a dog, with a pointed nose and brown fur.
It growls at me, displaying a row of sharp teeth, dripping with saliva. I gulp and walk back slowly as the dog mimics me, moving forward, its eyes never leaving me. I know its intent; it's going to attack me.
My back bumps into the tables behind me. I chance a glance behind. The cheese has disappeared.
The dog barks loudly and that's when it pounces.
The dog jumps onto my torso and I fall back, tripping over the table and collapsing onto the ground. I grunt and force the dog up. It snaps its mouth and barks loudly in my face, droplets of its saliva coating me, blinding my eyes. I push its head up, so its fangs and teeth are far from my face and throat. Brandishing the knife, I sink it into the dog's neck.
It's growls subsides and with a defeated whimper, it sinks back onto the ground.
I hurry back to my feet, panting heavily, wiping my face of sweat and saliva.
Such a shame. I was actually a dog lover.
The room around me melts away and I find myself sitting back in my father's car. The man in the driver's seat turns around. It isn't my father; I recognize the facial features of Alfred Kang, current representative of Candor.
"Markus, tell me, this is important. Do you know this man?" he asks, holding out a small poster.
I'm more shocked by the fact that I'm sitting in my father's car with Alfred Kang for no reason whatsoever, but I know the aptitude test is designed to throw candidates off balance, to see what sort of aptitude their subconscious has. So I take the poster and study it.
I don't recognize the man in the mugshot, but I get the strange sense that I do, however, know him.
"Well? Do you?" Alfred spits, grabbing me by the shoulders. "Markus, answer me! Do you know him?"
"I...I think so," I mutter, startled by his sudden violence.
He relaxes. "So...you know him?"
"Yes," I say. "I'm not lying, sir."
"I know you're not." Alfred shoots me a weird smile and when I blink, the car has disappeared.
I'm standing on an empty beach. Behind me is the entrance to a dense forest, in front of me is the ocean. Waves of saltwater lap at my feet and I pick up a small green bottle from the sand.
There's a note inside. I chuckle to myself, sliding the note out by holding the bottle upside down. It drops into my hand and I unfold it tentatively.
You have been stranded on this island for life. Which would you prefer to have - a companion, or fresh drinking water?
"That's a stupid question," I mutter to myself. "What use would a companion be if I die of dehydration? Drinking water it is!"
I hear something land onto the beach in a thud behind me. I whip around and smile as I look at a small bottle of water, lying in the sand.
I step forward to pick it up when I hear someone else whooping. Vincent runs in from the other side of the beach. It takes me a moment to see that he's running towards the only bottle of fresh water left on the beach.
"That's mine!" I yell.
I reach down and pull off my shoe. When Vincent gets close enough, I pull my arm back and throw. My shoe flies in the air and nails Vincent in the temple. He falls to the ground, eyes rolling back in his sockets, knocked out cold.
I whoop and cheer just as the sand and beach disappears from beneath me. Finally, my surroundings take shape. I'm standing in the middle of Candor Headquarters.
Alfred is here again. He stands next to me, next to a girl who is being held down in a chair. All around me, there are Candor members seated in rows of chairs, watching us.
"Markus, you're here. Good," Alfred says.
I look at the girl in the chair. With a start, I realize she's the girl from Amity, who Maurice insulted. She is strapped to the chair by ropes. I see the chair is connected by a bunch of wires and thick cables.
It's an electric chair.
"All of us are gathered here today to witness the execution of this convicted murderer," Alfred announces to the room as a whole.
He holds out a poster. It's the same poster of the man that he'd shown me in the car.
Alfred beckons me forward. He points to the Amity girl, then at the poster. "Markus, since you know the man in this picture, can you verify for us...is this that man?"
"What?" I laugh a bit to myself, confused.
It was clear to me that the Amity girl sitting in the chair right now is not the man in the poster. That's when I realize this is another test.
I look at the man in the poster and, to my surprise, I realize: the man in the poster is my father.
I look at the Amity girl, and back to my father's picture. If I let Alfred execute the innocent Amity girl, would that save my father from execution?
"Markus, well? Is this the man we've been looking for?" Alfred prompts.
If Alfred means to execute my father, I won't let him. Even if it means exchanging an innocent girl's life for his.
"Yes," I lie, for the first time in my life. "That's him."
Alfred nods. He snaps his fingers. Someone throws a switch and I watch, horrified, as the Amity girl jerks around in the chair, volts of electricity pulsing through the cables and into her body.
I hear an audible snap as her neck breaks and the chair crashes to the ground.
My eyes fly open. It takes a while to get my heart rate to drop to its usual pace and when it does, I turn to see the Erudite man taking the wires off my head and chest.
"I have your results," he says.
"Well? Read them," I prompt.
"You have a strong aptitude for Dauntless," the man says.
My jaw drops. "D-Dauntless?"
"Yes," he says. "There were four scenarios in the aptitude test. Taking the knife and killing the dog ruled out Erudite and Amity. If you were Amity, the knife and killing the dog would never be an option. If you were Erudite, you wouldn't have killed the dog; you would have knelt on the floor to calm it down. Thus, the first test showed you had aptitude for Dauntless."
"Telling Alfred about knowing the man's identity ruled out Abnegation; if you were Abnegation, you'd lie to protect the unknown man. Telling Alfred the truth, however, showed you had aptitude for Candor. On the beach, choosing water over companionship and attacking Vincent showed aptitude for Dauntless. And letting the Amity girl die in place of your father ruled out Candor completely. Thus, your strongest aptitude is Dauntless. I must add, however, you were close to getting Candor, but Dauntless is still the stronger aptitude."
"So I must transfer?" I ask.
"It's up to you. You can stay in Candor if you wish. However, I'm not going to tell you what you want to do. It's up to you, as I said," the Erudite man says.
"Thank you. I think I know what I'll do," I say, getting off the chair. "Thank you, Mr...?"
"Clinton. Daniel Clinton," he says, shaking my hand.
"Well?" my dad asks as we sit at the dinner table later that night.
The two of us are the only occupants of our house in the Merciless Mart, Candor Headquarters.
I swallow a mouthful of rice. "I had strong aptitude for..."
I am about to say Dauntless, but I catch myself. I lied to Alfred in my aptitude test. It may not have been real, but my subconscious made that choice, meaning I wasn't all black-and-white Candor as I thought I'd been.
If I told the truth to my father that I'd gotten Dauntless, I'd only be reinforcing the idea that I was Candor. If I lied and said I'd gotten Candor, it meant that I was continuing to betray my rules of life, the rules that had been nurtured in me after growing up in Candor.
Choosing Day was less than 24 hours away, and I was torn.
"Well?" my father prompts. "Don't lie!" he adds.
"I...I got Candor," I lie.
My first, real lie, if the one in the test wasn't counted.
My father nods, satisfied. "So you know what you'll pick tomorrow."
I eat another mouthful of dinner, but my appetite is gone. I'd lied, again. If I ever needed more proof that I was not as Candor as I'd believed previously, there it was.
I'd decided. Tomorrow, I was going to choose Dauntless.
On the bright side, at least Candor and Dauntless aren't enemies.