Retribution

Chapter 10

Katniss POV

I wake up to the sound of a faint crying. I wonder what the noise is. I sit up and find another person next to me. Kim is still asleep on the couch and then I remember.

"Artemis," I say with a start and rush to my room.

I get there and Artemis is crying profusely. I haven't fed her in a while so she must be so hungry. I can also tell that she needs a diaper change.

"Oh," I say "I'm so sorry baby. Momma is here, don't you worry."

She calms down at the sound of my voice and I fulfill my duties as a mother. I change her diaper first and then feed her. She eats hungrily and while she is at it I read a parenting book on certain stages for babies. I read on when babies are to switch to bottle feeding and see that it is around her age. I make a note to start making some formula and putting them in bottles to try and get her on the bottle. When she finishes eating, I slip my shirt back to its original position and look down at my daughter. She is starting to grow some hair and it is a dark brown color, just like mine. It is almost like Peeta and I had a daughter. I glance up at the clock and gasp. Training starts in half an hour and I don't even know if my tributes are awake. I rush to their room when I hear voices coming from dining room. I walk out and sigh in relief. Kim and Ron are both dressed and eating some breakfast, chatting about certain skills.

"Good morning," I say as I go over to a chair and sit down in it.

Artemis coos a good morning of her own.

"Good morning to you as well," Kim says. "Good morning Artemis."

Artemis smiles at Kim and Kim smiles back. Ron looks over and smiles as well. What good parents would these guys make.

"Okay," I begin, "You guys will have half a day of training today and then your personal evaluations. You will be ranked on a scale on one to twelve, with twelve being the best. The higher the score, the more sponsors that I can get, and that could be crucial to your survival."

"What should we do," Ron asked.

"Anything that you want," I say. "Your overall goal is to make sure the gamemakers remember you."

I look up at the clock and see that it is time for them to head down to the training area.

"Good luck," I say.

They both get up and walk to the elevator. The must be nervous, I know I was when I had the evaluation. Of course, I hope that they wouldn't do what I did and insult the gamemakers. I have reasoned that the giant fire that got me treed by the careers was due to my little stunt. I hope that they do not make the same mistake but from what I learned from watching Kim, I'm not ruling out the possibility. I look down at Artemis and she is content playing with my braid.

"C'mon sweetheart," I say, "Let's trying feeding you with a bottle."

Artemis coos and I walk to the other room with her to fetch a bottle.

Kim POV

The first half of the training day was uneventful. I hit some more stations but mostly everyone was nervous for the personal evaluations. Once the lunch bell sounded, everyone filed out of the training room and the Avoxes prepared it for evaluations. They served us any food we wanted but I wasn't very hungry, my stomach had butterflies in it and I thought I was going to throw up. After lunch they started calling names in for the evaluations. The eventually got to my name and I stood up to go to the room.

"Hey Kim," Ron said.

"Yes," I asked, my heart pounding.

"You'll do great," He says, "I love you."

I walk over and give him a kiss

"I love you too," I say and walk into the training center.

The gamemakers are at strict attention and paying attention to every move. This is not like what Katniss said about them being drunk. Plutarch stood at attention in front of them all and proceeded to speak.

"Mrs. Stoppable you have ten minutes to show us your chosen skill," He says and I nod at him.

My original plan was to shoot some arrows at random targets around the room, that is what I am best at. I begin to walk over to the rack with the arrows when little Rue pops into my mind for some reason. My blood begins to boil and I glare up at the gamemakers, these pigs killed an innocent little girl. I know now what I am going to do. I grab two practice dummies and walk over to the camouflage station. I grab the paint and begin to draw on the dummies. I know I am running short on time and once I am finished painting the dummies I grab a sheet and write a very specific set of words on it. I run over to the station with spears and grab one. I carry my supplies to the center of the room and place the one dummy standing over the other, spearing the dummy. The gamemakers stand up and some shriek. I have painted Rue on the dummy being speared and Snow on the one attacking. On the dummies I have written Capitol on Snow's and Panem on Rue's. I take the sheet and lay it down in front of the scene that I have created. The banner reads The odds are never in our favor. The buzzer sounds, signaling the end of my time, and I bow for the gamemakers and storm out of the room.

Katniss POV

The two children come back to floor twelve and Ron seems upbeat but Kim seems sullen. After dinner we go to the living room to watch the scores come in on how the tributes did.

"Alright Possible spill," I say suddenly.

"It's Stoppable," she murmured under her breath but not quiet enough for me not to hear it.

"Yeah and so is he, so this is an easy way to tell you two apart. So what happened at training," I ask again.

Ron speaks up first, "Well I set up some of the dummies in spots around the room and got a sword and chopped away as fast as I could. I think they were impressed with my speed."

"That's good Ron," I say and turn to Kim, "Now what did you do?"

Kim looks at me like a child that got their hand caught in a cookie jar.

"I umm," She begins, "I painted two dummies like Snow and Rue, wrote Capitol on Snow's and Panem on Rue's and had the Snow dummy spearing the Rue one. Then I painted the odds are never in our favor on a banner and placed it in front of them."

"You did what?!" I yell.

I look at Kim with rage in my eyes. Kim has just put not only her life, but Ron's and my little girl's also. There is no way Snow would think that Kim would act alone. He would think this would be a seed that I planted in her head. He wouldn't kill me though, he would come after the ones I love. Prim and Artemis were in grave danger all because Kim got angry at the gamemakers for Rue's death. I am mad at them too, but I keep it to myself. That is the way I can protect my family.

"Do you realize what you have just done," I fire.

Kim is slowly sinking back into her chair, trying to disappear.

"You think that Snow will think that this is amusing? That he will have a good laugh with you about it at your Victor party? You won't be getting a Victor party because he will have you personally killed in the games. Ron as well," I say.

Kim has tears forming at the corners of her eyes. Ron looks at her and starts to become angry at me.

"What is the point," he asks. "Our lives are already a living hell as it is. We are going to be forced to brave the elements and kill people. I don't think that they can make it any worse."

"You have no idea," I say and that wipes the look right off his face. "C'mon, let's watch the scores and see how many sponsors that you have managed to lose."

The recap of the scores begins just after I grab Artemis from her nap. I grab a bottle of formula and feed her on the couch while watching the scores. It's weird how she has this calming effect on me, because my breath becomes steady and I am no longer fuming when she is in my arms. There are only a few tributes that I care about in the scores, and I jot down their scores along with the notes I have taken on them already. Tris and Tobias are the first on the list and Tobias scores a ten and so does Tris. Expected from top notch careers. Henry and Elsa who are next on the list score very differently. Henry, or Indiana as he likes to be called, scores a ten which is unusual for a district 8 boy, but Elsa only scores a five. This might impact her sponsors a little, but her looks will still bring in a lot of cash. I can draw up two conclusions about Elsa. One is that she is just a pretty face and will die quickly unless protected by Henry and my tributes, or she is playing the dumb blonde role and is really a stone cold killer.

"If you are going into the alliance with Henry and Elsa, watch that girl. I've got a funny feeling that she could pull a Johanna move," I say.

"What does that mean," Kim speaks for the first time since her story.

"It means that she plays dumb and weak at the beginning to get people to underestimate her, but turns out to be a stone cold killer," I say and Kim nods.

Then district 12 pops up and Ron's face is on the screen. Caesar begins to read off scores for my tributes.

"From district 12, Ron Stoppable with a score of nine."

I am pleased with Ron's performance. That is a high score and should get a little sponsor money to make up for Kim's mistakes.

"Good job Ron," I say and he beams with pride.

Kim gives him a halfhearted smile and stares down the screen waiting for Caesar to read off her score.

"From district 12, Kim Stoppable with a score of twelve."


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