In which we learn that Dauntless like to play capture the flag…
This time, the chapter starts with Tris going to sleep and then being woken up by Eric, Four and others. Before that we find out that Tris actually beat someone in a fight (Myra), but she doesn’t feel triumphant because it was too easy. I would say that for someone who never fought before, she should feel good regardless of the opponent’s strength.
Tris is a bit slow getting up (brain damage?) and of course, Eric antagonizes her. She’s glad that she sleeps fully clothed which is weird because in the previous chapter she changes her shirt. Also, doesn’t she sweat at night? Anyway, they go to the tracks and there is a pile of guns and paintballs waiting for them. Oh, great, they are gonna play paintball or something. I played once and my only memories are that it hurts like hell if you’re too close. And that I have terrible aim.
Eric asks Four when is the train coming and this conversation happens:
Four checks his watch. “Any minute now. How long is it going to take you to memorize the train schedule?”
“Why should I, when I have you to remind me of it?” says Eric, shoving Four’s shoulder.
Thank you, book! I forgot that Eric is a douchebag. It’s great that I get a remainder of this every chapter. Anyway, I thought Eric was a transfer from Erudite, so memorizing stuff like train schedule should be a habit of him. This book hates consistency.
Four gets on the train, and Tris follows him without waiting for her friends.
Four turns around as I fall into stride next to the car and holds out a hand. I grab his arm, and he pulls me in. Even the muscles in his forearm are taut, defined.
So, I guess he has a daily exercise routine, but failed to mention that to the initiates. There is one thing I’m certain of: you can’t even well-defined muscles if you don’t exercise often. Or you can take steroids.
They are going to play capture the flag (a Dauntless tradition), so they have to split into 2 teams each containing an equal number of Dauntless born initiates and transfers. Guess who are the team captains. Eric and Four. I bet Four wins. They are dividing the transfer and Four picks Tris, Christina, Will and Drew. So, he basically chose Tris’s friends. Boring. How would have been if Tris was on the same team as Peter and Molly? We would have had real conflict, and nobody wants that.
Tris is trying to figure out why Four chose that particular initiates. Honey, he probably likes you and wants to be around you. It’s not so hard. But, of course, she comes up with a theory that he mostly chose people with narrow frames which supposedly are faster. And that means, Four is smarter that Eric. Yeah, I don’t get that either.
There’s some bickering between Eric and Four, and Four’s team gets out the train first to hide their flag. For the first time, Tris lands on her feet after jumping and she’s feeling Dauntless. That’s like the second time ever she jumped out of a moving train, but apparently she’s a quick learner. Right. One of the initiates, Marlene, asks Four where did he hide the flag during his initiation. He brushes her off, Tris is happy about that. Another Dauntless initiate has the answer though, because his brother was on the winning team, so they all had to the Navy Pier, at the carousel.
No one objects, so we walk east, toward the marsh that was once a lake. When I was young, I tried to imagine what it would look like as a lake, with no fence built into the mud to keep the city safe. But it is difficult to imagine that much water in one place.
This is a major geography fail. Marshes form at the edge of lakes and rivers, because they are a type of transitional land between dry land and deep bodies of water. Marshes need a lot of flowing water, or the whole ecosystem fails and the land dries. So, no lake, no river, no marsh. Also, if they had such a huge marsh they should have plenty of fish to eat. I don’t get why they have a fence around it. It’s not like the marsh is growing and only a fence would stop that.
They are also close to the Erudite sector because we need a remainder of Tris’s brother and she needs to remember not to think of him. Dull.
We walk across the bridge. We still need the bridges because the mud beneath them is too wet to walk on. I wonder how long it’s been since the river dried up.
FUUUUUUUU! *bangs the head against the keyboard repeatedly*They get to a desolated area, with crumbling concrete and broken glass. I don’t know why nobody is using the materials from the abandoned structures. Don’t they reuse materials?
Marlene wants to use a flashlight, but the other Dauntless-born initiate, Uriah, teases her. Because it’s brave not seeing on what you’re stepping and it’s not likely that a glass injury will make you go slower.
I have realized that part of being Dauntless is being willing to make things more difficult for yourself in order to be self-sufficient. There’s nothing especially brave about wandering dark streets with no flashlight, but we are not supposed to need help, even from light. We are supposed to be capable of anything.
Why do you use guns if you’re not supposed to need help? Or any kind of weapons for that matter? Being self-sufficient doesn’t mean renouncing tools. It means making the best of a situation using the tools you have at your disposal without the help of other people. The Dauntless are idiots. They are actually slowing themselves by refusing to use flashlights.
I like that. Because there might come a day when there is no flashlight, there is no gun, there is no guiding hand. And I want to be ready for it.
If you want to be ready for that, do something then, B. Train daily after that joke of Dauntless training is over, practice meditation, think of nasty situations and how you would get out. Preparedness is more mental, but of course you also need the physique to help you.
They get to the carousel and Four advises them to develop a strategy because “We may not be Erudite, but mental preparedness is one aspect of your Dauntless training. Arguably, it is the most important aspect.” So, I guess they are all part Erudite. Are they all Divergent or what? What does Divergent mean really?
Everyone starts talking over each other, trying to come up with ideas, Four just sits and watch the stars, probably bored, like any good leader would do. Bla bla bla, he distracts Tris and that’s when she has a brilliant idea: climb the Ferris wheel, so she could see the other team. I searched and I found out the Ferris wheel is only 46-meters tall. Let me show you the view from the wheel:
The buildings in front are so huge, you can’t see past them. If I were the other team, I would have hidden the flag in one of the abandoned buildings and then go look for this idiots. Tris goes towards the Ferris wheel and she’s certain it won’t fall under her weight. You know, those structures need maintenance, otherwise they rust and the metal crumbles when you touch it. Especially in a wet environment.
She starts climbing and Four follows her, because as I said he wants to spend time with her, not lead the team. He asks her what she’s doing, she tells him she “seeks higher ground.”
I see his smile in the dark.
If it’s dark you can’t see. Maybe you think he’s smiling, or sensing he’s smiling, but you’re definitely not seeing.
He doesn’t look at me the way Will, Christina, and Al sometimes do – like I am too small and too weak to be of any use, and they pity me for it. But if he insists on coming with me, it is probably because he doubts me.
I’m annoyed by this whole self-deprecating attitude Beatrice is parading. And when did her friends looked at her that way? She doesn’t deserve those friends. Four asks her what’s the purpose of the game in her opinion and that’s the way we find out that teamwork is not a Dauntless priority anymore, even though it used to be. Cool, the town security is in the hands of some people who don’t even know how to work with each other.
Tris is energised by the height, but Four is afraid of it. There some skin contact, as Four puts one of his hands on Tris’s hip to stabilize her, and she almost stops breathing. Almost, but not quite, as I still have 2 thirds of this book to read. They reach a platform, but surprise, there is a building blocking the view. I would say there are several building, not just one. She climbs even higher, probably 2-3 meters higher, and now the building is not in her way and she sees the skyline. What the fuck? Logic be damned.
Anyway, she sees a light on the ground, coming from the park at the end of the pier. Because the other team probably wanted to hide the flag at the carousel too, but got bored and stopped in the park. I was actually hoping that the light came from someone else, and there would be something interesting happening. Not gonna happen! The two of them start climbing down, but one of the bars breaks and Tris is dangling to her death. This book is just teasing us. I don’t get why would she die if she falls from 100 feet and she didn’t when she jumped 7 stories (about 70 feet) from a fricking moving train.
Guess how Four is helping her? He starts the Ferris wheel. HE STARTS A FERRIS WHEEL WHICH HAS BEEN RUSTING FOR DECADES! That wheel should have disintegrated into pieces from the movement. And why is it still connected to electricity? Electricity isn’t magic, it has to be produced and paid for. He could have easily climbed up and helped her regain footing. But no, let’s start the wheel, make a hell lot of noise and maybe kill Beatrice. Which didn’t happen. She got closer to the ground, jumped and evaded one of the cars. They laugh because that’s what you do when you almost die.
“You could have told me that the Ferris wheel still worked,” I say. I try to sound casual. “We wouldn’t have had to climb in the first place.”
“I would have, if I had known,” he says. “Couldn’t just let you hang there, so I took a risk. Come on, time to get their flag.”
Who doesn’t love a guy who has such disregard for someone’s personal safety? Someone whom he likes. It’s one thing to almost kill yourself, but it’s a totally different thing to almost kill someone else. And, btw, if both of you are such geniuses, why didn’t you check if the wheel works before climbing?
He kind of drags her to the others, to tell them the good news. The only ones left are Christina, 3 Dauntless-born initiates and an older Dauntless girl? WHAT? Where did that older girl come from? Well, she’s the voice of reason and ask what were they thinking turning on the wheel because it attracts attention. Apparently, that girl lost 3 years in a row. Why is she there? I thought this was a game for initiates and trainers. They didn’t say the picked “the oldies” anywhere.
Tris comes up with a strategy: they divide and some attack the front, and others sneak behind the other team. Apparently, Christina doesn’t recognize Tris anymore. Fuck knows why because she didn’t do anything extraordinary. And everything goes according to plan, and Christina snatches the flag because she’s taller and the flag was on a branch.
“Come on, Tris,” she says. “You’re already the hero of the day. And you know you can’t reach it anyway.”
She gives me a patronizing look, the way people sometimes look at children when they act too adult, and snatches the flag from the branch.
I don’t get Christina’s attitude towards Tris. I mean there is nothing in the previous chapter that would suggest such a sudden change. I mean Christina knew Tris was smart from the first train ride. Finally, they return to the compound.
Peter, Molly, and Drew sit across from the members in the corner. Their chests and backs are splattered with blue and pink paint, and they look dejected. They speak quietly, sneaking looks at the rest for us, especially Christina. That is the benefit of not holding the flag right now – I am no one’s target. Or at least, no more than usual.
Oh, so now it’s actually good that you didn’t snatch the flag because you’re not a target and Christina is. And why is Drew upset? He was in the winning team!!! Uni-dimensional characters are the worst.
Tris befriends Uriah and Marlene, who notice she’s like Erudite smart (yeah, don’t make me laugh too hard), and they fool around with a paintball, Uriah getting paint on all of them. I guess those two are good guys, not evil like Peter. There isn’t a lot going on in this chapter, maybe just some advancement in Tris/Four romance.