Tris goes to bed, planning to tell Tobias what she’s discovered tomorrow. The next morning, she wakes up to find Christina and Will getting dressed. She says her friends’ names, but they don’t hear her. Tris realizes what’s going on: Christina and Will have become zombies: sleepwalkers. Tris wonders if Tobias is under the influence of mind control as well. She senses that, in spite of what he told her, Tobias is Divergent, and thus immune to the serum like herself.
Roth plays up the suspense as Tris misses her opportunity to talk to Tobias. Her mistake was to think that the Dauntless government would wait before activating its mind control program. In spite of what Tobias himself has actually told Tris, she prays that Tobias is Divergent. Once again Divergence is presented as not just an especially complex personality type, but as an actual mental (and even physical) state different from the majority of other people.
Tris quickly gets dressed, mirroring the movements of the people around her. She realizes what’s been going on. The new recruits were injected with mind-control serum as soon as they became Dauntless. The entire faction has been converted into an army of soldiers, loyal to whomever controls the serum. Tris tries to hide the fact that she’s immune to the serum by mimicking the movements of those around her.
Tris needs to conceal her independent self by blending into the group. Tobias’s advice to Tris is especially relevant right now, as he’s always encouraged Tris to hide her abilities so that she can surprise her opponents at the perfect moment—and this is exactly the strategy that Tris is about to use.
As she and her peers march through the halls of headquarters, Tris tries to scan the room for Tobias. She notices Tobias, looking as blank-faced as anyone else. As she approaches Tobias, she squeezes his hand, and he squeezes back, proving that he’s not a zombie. Tris breathes a sigh of relief: Tobias really is Divergent.
It’s telling that Tris and Tobias can communicate with something as minor as a hand-squeeze; in only a few weeks, they’ve developed their own personal language, and their own “group solidarity,” based on Divergence and free-thinking.
Tobias, Tris, and the others board a train. As they prepare to get on, Tobias whispers for Tris to run. Tris refuses, though, she needs to stay around to protect her family. The train takes the soldiers to Abnegation, where Tris finds hundreds of other Dauntless soldiers, marching in the same rhythm. To her horror, Tris sees Tori pushing an Abnegation leader to the ground. She hears gunshots—the Dauntless zombies are preparing to kill the people of Abnegation.
It’s becoming increasingly clear what’s going on: the Erudite and the Dauntless government are cooperating to attack Abnegation, the current governors of the city. Just as Peter and his peers tried to attack Edward, the top-ranked recruit, so Dauntless and Erudite are working together to eliminate their most powerful enemy.
Tris sees Eric approaching Tobias. Eric leers at Tobias and whispers, “No one’s going to remember that I came in second now, are they?” Eric prepares to shoot Tobias in the face. At the last minute, Tris raises her own gun and shoots Eric in the foot. Tobias draws his own gun and shoots at Eric’s followers. Together, Tobias and Tris run away, but before they’ve gotten far, a group of soldiers stops them, wounding Tris in the shoulder. Eric, bleeding from his foot, identifies Tris and Tobias as “Divergent rebels.”
In this scene, Eric seems especially pathetic—he’s still so obsessed with the rankings, after all these years, that they’ve driven him to take part in this murderous plot to divide the city. Tris chooses not to shoot Eric anywhere lethal—she’s still reluctant to take a human life, in spite of all the encouragement the Dauntless (Eric included) gave her during training.