District 13 is not dead. In never has been and I'm not really sure if it ever will be. I've had to lived in this district for about a week and a half now. Sometimes... all the time... I think of Peeta. How he could be dead, dying, crying out my name. And look at me. I'm lying in a warm bed under some desolate forest. Worst of all when I do think of him I cry. I hate crying I'm pretty sure it's the worst feeling in the world. Like someones trying to tear my heart out of my chest. Every once in a while I'll try to look on the positive side. Prim is always saying it can help me. Being positive and all. She tells me to list out five good things when I think of one negative thing. I take a deep breath.
1. I have Prim. She never died in the 74th game. She never died in District 12. She never died.
2. Gale works here. It's comforting to see a familiar face sometimes. Other times it's not.
3. I'm not dead. I'm not sure if this one is a blessing or a curse.
4. Mom is here along with that dumb cat that can never die. Still this one can also go either way.
5. I met Peeta...
There I go thinking about him again. I try to redirect my mind. Mentally mapping the layout of District 13 sometimes helps calm me down. I havn't seen much saying I've been in the hospital since I got here. I would rather be with Prim and Mom in one of the tiny apartments they have here. Instead I get room 533 all to my, super spectacular Miss. Mockingjay, self. If I walk down the hall four doors I'll find Finnick. Physically he's fine now. Mentally? Well that's an entirely different case. He only mutters about Annie. About how much he fears for her the same way I fear for Peeta. How he is in love with her as I love Peeta. And how people tell him she's probably gone. Just like people talk about Peeta. Occasionally I'll stumble into his room where he's tying knots in a piece of twine. I've been learning from him because it makes time go by with a little less pain. And there are other rooms in the hospital. Other patients not that they are as top priority to the doctors as us. For some reason they want to force us, the victors, to be alive. I can see why the want Beetee. He's smart. The moment he was conscious they wheeled him into the depths of District 13. I haven't seen him since, but rumor has it that they expect he'll be paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life. But then I think about Finnick and I. Why are we important. Kendra Nest, my personal doctor, says they want to keep the "Mockingjay" in good condition. They aren't doing a very good job of that as of late since I've been vomiting since I saw breakfast. Dr. Nest tells me that they don't have a diagnosis yet, but they are narrowing it down.
When I think about it Kendra reminds me of Cinna. I've noticed when she gets upset all of that frustration goes into her work. Or if you walk into the same room as her you can't help but calm down. I can't entirely explain it, but even if Cinna is... gone... with Kendra I feel part of him are still alive.
My thoughts are interrupted with the door opening letting in the bright florescent light. I instantly dashed under my covers to flee from the brightness. At first I wasn't sure who walked in. I listened closely for a minute. The heavy footsteps made their way over to a chair in the corner of my room. Then after plomping down a long drawn out breath was released from my visitor. I recognized the tone. It was Haymitch making time in his "busy schedule" to visit me. It's not much of a surprise. He does this everyday with general updates on ever thing. Then he'll complain about the lack of alcohol here and then sleep in the chair for an hour. The same thing everyday yet I feel he's not telling me information. Maybe he feels like he's doing a favor. Maybe he's torturing me. Either way the less I know the more I stress.
"So how's our little Mockingjay?" he says with a signature grin, overflowing with sarcasm.
I can't help but glare at him as I emerge from my covers. "Well your Mockingjay feels like crap," I answer raising my voice more then necessary.
"Still sick, sweetheart?"
"Yeah. But you know Kendra. She says-"
"Save your breath I've hear the speech before," he said cutting me off, "No tempter. Nothing that seems wrong. But still you still feel sick to your stomach with no appetite."
I let out a small laugh under my breath at Haymitch's imitation of Kendra. For a second I could take my mind of everything.
"Well sick or not, sweetheart, meetings are still required. We all just want to sit and stair at your pretty face. You know you might be like the little poster child for rebellion or something."
"I know," I said coldly turning away from him. Getting out of bed for a meeting was the last thing I wanted to do at the moment. Than I asked the question. Like I do everyday when I know there isn't more to our conversation. I turn back and look Haymitch directly in the eyes. "Is there any news on Peeta?"
"Sweetheart, you are becoming predictable and predictability is death in this world," he exhaled a deep breath, "Although... I assume you have the right to know."
"Know what?" I questioned.
"The Capitol pronounced him dead at 6:42 this morning."
I heard a scream. I think it was from myself. Before long I was gasping heavily with tears streaming down my face. My heart pounded like a drum being beaten. "No," I started. "NO NO NO!"
Haymitch got up and slammed the door shut. "Will you be quite!" he screamed over my yelling. I did. "Now listen to me carefully," Haymitch whispered grabbing my shoulders. He glanced back at the closed door as if he was afraid we are being spied on, "We think that Peeta is still alive. Everyone knows that he is the perfect bate for you, Katniss. Killing him would be a huge mistake. We also have reliable inside information that there has been talk of a Project PA. We can only assume that means Peeta and Annie."
I looked at him trough the tears. "Are we going to rescue him and the others?" I ask. I sound like a small girl. The kind that would walk up the streets begging for food in District 12. The kind I use to be.
"I'm not sure. The idea is just that... an idea. Coin doesn't want the mission to happen, but there are many in favor. We have plenty of volunteers for the trip."
"Count me in."
"You can't be serious. Katniss you-"
He must have saw the look in my eyes. The kind that would never back down. Haymitch tried to open his mouth again but nothing came out. In frustration or some other emotion he stormed out of the room once again slamming the door.
The days passed like years. With broken hearts me and Finnick spent a lot of time in each others company. The more I tied knots the more the last of Cinna's flame like nail polish chipped away. The days fell into a horribly boring routine. I would mainly just see Kendra, Prim, Finnick, and Haymitch. Occasionally Gale came,but normally he was kept busy "maintaining official responsibilities" as he called it.
Then I got my first call to help with the war. The first one that didn't involve a pep talk of a meeting from some officers who had no clue what they where doing.
"Now Katniss just read the script over there and look directly into the camera." Coin was directing me over the a spot with an X drawn in the dirt. We all stood above District 13 in a forest. The leaves had mostly fallen off the trees since winter would be approaching soon. Coin was trying to have the victors rescued from the arena filmed for some sort of media attack on the Capitol. Unfortunately I was first to film. I went over to the X and stood up as straight as I could. I was shivering like crazy due to the weather. Not to mention the "mockingjay armor" I had to wear made it already cool.
"Okay," I said as my voice trembled slightly. I'm not sure if it was due to chills or nerves. For some one who has been the highlight of Penam's media for over two years I do hate cameras. The camera man, in his beetle like outfit, sent the signal that we where once agin rolling. I opened my mouth and began to read the que cards in a shaky voice. "People of Penam...I am Katniss Evergreen…"
I only made it thew about a minute and a half before I came to Peeta's name on the script. I couldn't take it. My eyes started watering up and my knees became weak. Before long I fell to the ground sobbing. I was upset because I was worried for Peeta but also in the back of my mind I was upset with myself. Why was I so weak. I had never let emotions get to me like this before. Suddenly, I felt a soft hand on my shoulder. I looked up and saw Kendra looking down at me. After a short talk it was agreed that the other victors would go before me.
Finnick was up next. He did fine using all those years in the media and scandals to his advantage. I think even Coin herself was holding back a tear. Once he was done Beetee wheeled himself up to the spotlight. He delivered his lines in a emotionless monotone voice but at least he delivered them. Then it was back to me.
I was hesitant to get back in front of the camera. I would take a few steps forward then stop and take a few more back. Finally Coin gave her hawk like glair at me. Clearly she felt like she had better things to do then babysit me. At last Haymitch came up to me and whispered harshly, "Get a grip over yourself, Katniss! Go out there and read that script before I..." His words muttered out but I got the message.
I hated giving in to Haymitch's orders but I could tell I had no choice. "People of Penam," I began to read. Stupid script. Stupid Haymitch. Stupid life. I ignored the script and started ranting. "We should not... no... will not tolerate the Capitol any longer. They kill us... They steal from us. And what do we get? More of our children murdered for their enjoyment? I say it's time to speak up and take action. To say what we think about how they treat us without fear. I once read of a nation long ago that had several fundamental rights. One of them was the freedom speech. As for the people of the Capitol and all who alley with them... you disgust me. While people in the districts starve to death you eat till you are full. And then you threw it up again to eat more. Then there is you, Snow... oh I have not forgotten about you. You stole Peeta away from me. You took Annie away from Finnick. And you have been responsible for more deaths then just the children in the games. You are a murderer. I promise not only will I kill you personally for all the deaths you've caused, but also I'll make it slow and painful. And everyone out there... to you I am this great and powerful Mockingjay... but really I'm just a girl named Katniss Everdeen. I've been on fire and survived the Hunger Games twice. I have even had the the opportunity to fall in love with Peeta Mellark. And all before the age of eighteen. I have been through more and have seen more than all of the Capitol combined. Good-bye Penam and trust me the odds are no longer in your favor."
As the cameras stopped rolling I made a beeline for the entrance to District 13, Kendra tailing me by a few steps. I couldn't help but stop in my tracks and glimpse at Coin's astonishment before I left.
After the video aired I was occasionally called into an actual meeting every once in a while. Just the general ones. None that ever dared to mention the captured victors. That was until about a month later when I found myself following Haymitch blindly.
"Where are we going?"
"Shh," he hissed at me, "I'm taking you to a meeting because I feel you have a right to know what's happening first hand."
When I stepped into the room it was clear that the others didn't expect to see me. Instantly everyone except Coin rose to their feet.
"Why is she here, Haymitch?" questioned Coin as she shoot me a glare.
Ignoring her question, Haymitch motioned me to sit down and began talking. "We have confirmation from the inside that Project PA means both Annie and Peeta are alive... for now anyways. We also have reason to believe the other victors are alive as the Capitol is not withdrawing that information to the public. Now according to our sources they are in a guarded area beneath the Capital. I have the blueprints right here. Now I suggest we go there and get back what is ours."
There is a cheer among the crowd of officers. I look further down the table and see Gale. He is not cheering along.
Coin clears her throat hushing the crowd. "I agree," she said,"My conditions are you take a small hovercraft along with a group no more then five people. Any more then that would leave little room on the craft and make the mission very difficult when you try to carry it out. Are there any volunteers?"
Practically everyone's hands rose at once. Haymitch let out a long drawled out breath. "Okay," he finally said, "It's clear all of you wants to be of assistance but we need a small group." He looks at me in the eyes. "Katniss, you're still hospitalized most of the time so you're out. We need someone strong and smart. Gale." My head turned towards him and I could read his expression perfectly. He clearly did not seem thrilled but the invitation did not surprise him. "Anyways," he continued, "Gale, you have no choice, you're in. I also want to recommend Dr. Nest to attend the mission. We don't know the health of the prisoners or if anyone will get injured in the mission. I think it's only fair if you pick the last two people for the mission, Coin. Oh and by the way, I'm going to lead this thing."
Looking at the head of the table Coin was not breaking eye contact with Haymitch. She was annoyed with him for becoming a self appointed leader who already choose over half of the team. Then she motioned to her right where I saw a two figures. The first was a small girl, probably an inch or two shorter then myself. Her golden blond curls cascaded down till her mid back. She starred at me with crystal blue eyes. Beside her was a boy. The appeared to be siblings shearing the same features except his curls where kept shorter.
"Noel. Allen. You will go with them," she ordered as she stood up to leave. "And Haymitch.... the hovercraft will be prepped to leave in five days. Plan wisely. Meeting over." And she left, the door slamming behind her.
Soon people where clearing out of the room. I sat puzzled that the meeting blurred over so fast. It didn't take long for a hand full of people to determine Peeta's fate. Haymitch's hand was on my shoulder.
"Let's get you back to the hospital," he tells me. I follow his hand not resisting. But in my mind I know for a fact that when that hovercraft leaves in five days, it will leave with me on it.
I had started to count down the days until the craft would leave. I also counted the hours as I tried to create a plan to get into the mission. Suddenly there was a light tapping on my door and Kendra entered the dark room.
"Katniss, sweetie," Kendra said in an uncharacteristic sweet voice. I had heard this voice a few times before but one thing was certain. Something was wrong. "We have the results back from your last test."
"Finally," I say sighing. But then I quickly remember something isn't right and I look up at Kendra. "Is-is something wrong with me?"
She shook her head. "No."
"Then what is it? Can it cured before the mission?"
"I'm afraid that it will be longer than two days until you will feel back to your old self again."
"Then what is it? What kind of test was it? Just tell me something!" I demanded.
"Katniss, the test turned out positive."
"That great," I said sarcastically, "So what is wrong with me?"
"Katniss, I don't know how to tell you this, but what you took ... it was... a pregnancy test."