After their romantic session, Tris and Tobias make their way back into the dining hall. They’ve spent the last two hours in Tobias’s bed—now, everyone else has left the testing room and gone to their dormitories.
Tris and Tobias are alone, symbolizing the intimacy and solidarity of their relationship. Instead of aligning with the Dauntless faction, Tris and Tobias have formed a “faction” of their own.
Tris meets up with Christina in the dining hall. She tells Tris that she’s planning on becoming a trainer like Four. Christina asks Tris which part of the fear simulation gave Tris the most trouble. Reluctantly, Tris admits that she was frightened of sex.
At this point, Tris’s fear of sex is almost a distant memory—she’s moved past it in real life, not just a simulation. It’s also telling that Christina—seemingly the friendliest and most moderate of the recruits—decides to follow in Four’s footsteps.
The recruits then hear a microphone: Eric is ready to make an announcement. He explains that the top ten initiates will choose their future professions. The top initiate, he says, is Tris. Tris is thrilled with this news—she now feels that she belongs in Dauntless, whether she’s Divergent or not. She’s also happy to see that Uriah, Will, and Christina are also in the top ten, along with Peter. Numbers 11 and 12 are Molly and Drew, both of whom Tris despises. Molly and Will kiss to celebrate their success, and Tris does the same with Tobias—it is the best moment of her life, she thinks.
This is the highpoint of Tris’s relationship with the Dauntless community. Although she’s had doubts about the ethics of Dauntless before, Tris is pleased with herself for finishing at the top of the rankings, and she has certainly formed some close friendships with Christina, Uriah, and Will. For the time being, then, there’s no real conflict between Tris’s desires and the desire of the Dauntless group, and so she feels like she finally has a secure identity and community.
As she kisses Tobias, Tris realizes something: Eric and Max are working with the Erudite to develop serums that can control people and track their movements. Tobias can see that something important has dawned on Tris, but he can’t figure out what it is. Tris whispers that she’ll have to tell Tobias later, when they’re in private together. Privately, Tris thinks that she’s discovered how the Erudite are going to manipulate the factions into fighting against Abnegation.
It’s clear that the novel is approaching a climax, as Tris has a sudden epiphany of just how Erudite is planning on starting a war between the factions. Fittingly, this device is a kind of mind-altering serum—the same device that’s been a part of most of the novel’s major plot points, and a crucial aspect of this society in general.