Faction Before Blood
"But…but she's my sister," I said as if that sentence alone would clear up any misunderstanding about where my loyalty lies, but it didn't. Not when you were arguing with Jeanine Matthews. Then nothing would help your case. Nothing at all.
"And she is also a Divergent rebel. So therefore, in order to…contain…Divergent rebels we need information about them. The way they think; the way their minds work. And who is more suited to go undercover as an Erudite spy than you," replied Jeanine as if it was the simplest thing in the world. And maybe to her, it was.
We were in the middle of a war; a war between Erudite and Abnegation; a war between the two factions that both welcomed me and cared for me. But I was starting to wonder if Erudite was in the wrong.
I understand that Erudite wanted advancement in technology, but was it necessary to wage war against the Abnegation to get their point across? No. It was illogical. Why cause such tremendous damage to the city and then later pay for the expenses of fixing it up again? Why wipe out an entire faction just to prove your point? No, it wasn't wise to do that. It wasn't the smart thing to do. It was the egotistical way of dealing with things. And I wasn't sure I liked it.
"What's so bad about Divergence anyway?" I asked, crossing the line, but I needed to know, I had a right to know, "I've done the research on it and all I've found is that the Divergent get inconclusive aptitude test results and have the ability to manipulate simulations. How is that dangerous to anyone? How does it start a war?"
Jeanine looked at me with those cold eyes of hers behind the think frame of glasses. She looked like she was studying me; trying to get inside me head and read my thoughts; know my motives. I felt naked, bare, exposed. It felt like she could snap me in half with the blink of her eyes, and then she looked away. She turned her back to me and spoke in a low voice.
"Do you know what the meaning of 'faction before blood' is? Do you know why people came up with that term?"
She didn't give me time to reply. Instead she turned around and looked me right in the eyes.
"It means that when you become a faction transfer you leave your old faction behind. You leave your old life and your old family behind. They are nothing to you anymore. And they will never be anything to you ever again. They are dead to you, as you will become dead to them. Your new faction becomes your family. We are your family, Caleb. Erudite is your family now."
"I understand, but what does that have to do with–"
"Where do your loyalties lie Caleb? Which side are you on? Because I'm beginning to get the feeling that you don't trust me. You chose Erudite over Abnegation and your family and we willingly accepted you. You chose us, so now your loyalties lie with us. Or are you a traitor? Do you not believe that Erudite is the right side in the war?"
"It's not that I don't–"
"Because I can guarantee you, Caleb, that Erudite is right in this war. We are, after all, the most intelligent. Do you think I would be stupid and not do what is best for this city? Do you really believe that? Are you siding with Abnegation? Are you going to become a traitor?"
I sighed. Was I really going against my faction? Was Jeanine really the bad guy? It made sense what she had said. Jeanine wasn't stupid, she was anything but. She wouldn't do anything that she thought was bad for our city. She was too smart for that. Why would she lie to me? I had no reason to doubt her or her motives. I was a fool for doing so. After all, what she said was right. Faction before blood, and I chose Erudite. They were my new family now. No matter what conflicting emotions I was experiencing.
I sighed again.
"I'm not a traitor," I said barely audible to hear, but Jeanine heard me, "I'm not siding with the Abnegation. I chose Erudite and this is now my home, my family. I belong here."
A sinister smirk spread across Jeanine's face.
"That is what I thought. So, are you going to spy on Beatrice Prior for us?"
I knew what I had to say. I knew there was no other option.
"Good. You have chosen well, Caleb Prior. You have made the wise decision."
I turned around and headed towards the door. Just as I was about to turn the corner, I heard Jeanine whisper the words that would haunt my memory for a very long time.
"Remember Caleb, faction before blood, faction before blood."