Allegiant Chapter 16: Fourbias
Fourbias wakes up in the middle of the night, and wanders into the Atrium. There, he runs into old not-dead mentor Amar.
“You’re not nearly as vigilant as you used to be,” Amar says from behind me. “Followed you all the way here from the hotel lobby.”
“What do you want?” I tap the tank with my knuckles, sending ripples through the water.
“I thought you might like an explanation for why I’m not dead,” he says.
“I thought about it,” I say. “They never let us see your body. It wouldn’t be that hard to fake a death if you never show the body.”
“Sounds like you’ve got it all figured out.” Amar claps his hands together. “Well, I’ll just go, then, if you’re not curious. . . .”
For a minute there, I really did think we were going to get away with that basically being the end of it. “You faked your death. Cool story, bro.” [Matthew says: Me too! Ariel and I are so desperate for this story to end already, we’re willing to take Teeanger Sarcasm at face value. Either that or we’ve gotten way older than we want to admit.]
Amar runs a hand over his black hair, tying it back with a rubber band. “They faked my death because I was Divergent, and Jeanine had started killing the Divergent. They tried to save as many as they could before she got to them, but it was tricky, you know, because she was always a step ahead.
First you go and put your hair in a man-tail, then you waste my time by giving me some basic ass information that any moron could have guessed. I do not like you, Amar.
Fourbias reasonably asks if maybe some other people we actually think are dead really aren’t, like Tris’ mom.
Amar shakes his head. “No, Natalie Prior is actually dead, unfortunately. [Matthew says: Why is this supposed to be so startling to everyone? We SAW her get shot.] She was the one who helped me get out. She also helped this other guy too . . . George Wu. Know him? He’s on a patrol right now, or he would have come with me to get you. His sister is still inside the city.”
Fourbias realizes that George is Tori’s brother, the one she told Tris had been murdered all the way back in the first book. But Tori is dead. I can’t muster up any energy to feel bad about this given I had no emotional attachment whatsoever to Tori. Like, I can appreciate this is a sad fact and their reunion would have been nice for them and all without the book spelling it out for me. [Matthew says: Naturally, this is Divergent‘s cue to spell it out for us.]
I can’t imagine it. There were just a few hours between Tori’s death and our arrival. On a normal day, a few hours can contain long stretches of watch-checking, of empty time. But yesterday, just a few hours placed an impenetrable barrier between Tori and her brother.
Both of us are quiet for a while. George will never get to reunite with his sister, and she died thinking he had been murdered by Jeanine. There isn’t anything to say- at least, not anything that’s worth saying. [That just about sums up the entire series, really]
This feels a lot like when I try to get my fiance excited that new episodes of Scandal are on by just repeatedly emphasising how excited I am no matter how long he just stares at me blankly.
Amar explains that the woman who told everyone she’d found his dead body had her memory altered by, you guessed it, a serum! Basically fuck science, magic instead.
Fourbias reminds me of something I probably should have made fun of on my own – this is the second time he’s been tricked into grieving someone’s death when they were actually still alive, and he’s pretty fucking annoyed about it. This is a pretty reasonable thing to get fed up with. If one person you love faked their death and then surprised you by being alive, yay, but by the second time it’s like, “Can we all just fucking knock this shit off?”
But as I look at him, my anger ebbs away, like the changing of the tide. And standing in the place of my anger is my initiation instructor and friend, alive again.
“So you’re alive,” I say.
“More importantly,” he says, pointing at me, “you are no longer upset about it.”
With that resolved, it’s time to talk about more serious matters like whether or not Fourbias will stay at the airport with Amar and friends.
“There’s nowhere better out there,” he says. [Matthew says: CHICAGO JOKE: This is the only time in history someone has said this about O’Hare.] “All the other cities—that’s where most of the country lives, in these big metropolitan areas, like our city—are dirty and dangerous, unless you know the right people. Here at least there’s clean water and food and safety.”
Amar also tells Fourbias that Evelyn is putting Marcus tomorrow, and they’ll be able to watch it from their monitors. I actually think Fourbias’ feelings are handled pretty well here:
“I knew it was coming—I knew Evelyn would save him for last, would savor every moment she spent watching him squirm under truth serum like he was her last meal. I just didn’t realize that I would be able to see it, if I wanted to. I thought I was finally free of them, all of them, forever.
“Oh,” is all I can say.
I still feel numb and confused when I walk back to the dormitory later and crawl back into bed. I don’t know what I’ll do.
One more thing before I leave you, am I the only one who finds the phrasing that she “would savor every moment she spent watching him squirm under truth serum like he was her last meal.” Shouldn’t it be, “Like it was her last meal” as in she’s savoring the moment of tormenting Marcus the same way she’d enjoy a meal…not that Marcus is the meal?