I didn't aim for Elsa. No, I would take my chance with the shot that Elsa would put out. I aimed for Indiana. The toughest competitor left, and I certainly wouldn't mind taking that out. As soon as I let the arrow go, I knew it was dead on. Elsa had also fired, Tris was in the process, and Indiana was cracking out his whip. The four things that happened collided with each other all at once. I felt the severe pain that usually came with a direct hit. Elsa must have hit with her shot. I saw my arrow go straight through Indiana's neck while another entered his chest. Both Tris and I shot to kill the large bulk of a man. Indiana's whip strike was rendered useless as he was hit and the whip fell to his side as he hit the ground. I also went down, losing feeling in my right leg. I saw Elsa retreat into some bushes across the way and start firing again. Tris shot another arrow in the vicinity of Elsa and dragged me to cover. There was an entrance to the bottom of the Desert so she dragged me inside there. Her and Elsa exchanged shots for about a minute before the doors sealed us inside the building. As soon as the doors shut, Tris came hurriedly over to me. She examined where I had been hit. Upper right leg, but missing the main artery I had there. A cannon sounded and Indiana's picture flashed above the sky.
"Kim," Tris says.
"Yeah," I reply wearily.
"You have to keep your eyes open," she instructs and I nod. "We have to pull the arrow out."
I nod and she peels off her long sleeve shirt. Mine was still in the bag that I had on my back. She ripped a sleeve off and fashioned it into a tourniquet.
"No," I say. "Use my t-shirt. Don't waste yours."
"The way I see it," she says. "We are already at the dome, and it is pretty warm up there. So, I don't think that I will be needing that shirt."
She wraps the sleeve tight on my upper leg. She twists the shirt into a long cylinder and offers it to me.
"This is going to be painful," she says. "I'd bite down."
I take it and put it in my mouth.
I nod and she pulls. The pain is excruciating. This hurts more that getting shot. I bite down on the rag so hard that my teeth hurt.
God, a direct leg shot. I had just finished conversing with district 2 and had returned to my mentor room. I had Artemis on my lap, feeding her a bottle when the scuffle happened. KIm was smart to aim for the boy. He would be a bigger threat in the long run than Elsa. She does sacrifice her leg for it, though. Once the bow fight is over, and Tris has Kim safely inside, I look for something to heal the wound. I start in the medicine area. They have the medicine that they gave to Peeta in my games that healed his sword wound overnight. It is very expensive, however. My tributes had money to spare, so that was not an issue. Just the thought of using the money now, when they could need something later is what is crossing my mind. The people from 13 never said when to send the rolls of bread. But I would still have a lot of money left and I would bet that the order would come soon. Only 13 more tributes left, it was getting down to crunch time. I ordered the medicine and had it ready to send in.
"Hey sweetheart," I say to Artemis.
She looks up at me and I smile at me.
"Do you want to send Kim-Kim a gift," I ask.
She brightens at the name and I laugh. I grab her little hand and guide it over to the computer screen. There is a button that says 'send' and I touch her fingers to it. On the screen, the parachute appears to Tris and KIm.
"Good job Artemis," I say.
She smiles up at me and then lets out a huge yawn.
"Oh I bet you are tired."
I get up and close the door, adding a sign that says to send any messages through my computer. I order some food and it appears magically on the table, a snack for when Artemis is asleep. I grab a blanket and her toy and lay her down on the couch next to me.
"Ready for your song?"
A single thread in the tapestry
Though its color brightly shines
Can never see its purpose
In the pattern of the grand design
And the stone that sits at the very top
Of a mountain's might face
Does it think it more important
Then the stones that form the base
So how can you see what your life is worth
Or where your value lies
You can never see through the eyes of man
You must look at your life
Look at your life through Heaven's eyes
A lake of gold in the desert sand
Is less than a cool fresh spring
And to one lost sheep and shepherd boy
Is greater than the richest king
If a man loses everything he owns
Has he truly lost his worth
Or is it the beginning
Of a new and brighter birth
So how do you measure the worth of a man
In wealth or strength or size
By how much he gave or how much he gained
The answer will come
The answer with come to him who tries
To look at his life through Heaven's eyes
And that's why we share all we have with you
Though there's little to be found
When all you have is nothing
There's a lot to go around
Know life can escape and be blown about
By the winds of change and chance
And though you never know all the steps
You must learn to join the dance
You must learn to join the daaance
So how do you judge what a man is worth
By what he builds or buys
You can never see through the eyes of Earth
Look through Heaven's eyes
Look at your life
Look at your like
Look at your life through
She is fast asleep by the time I am done and I smile at my daughter. This is truly the best gift I had ever received.
A parachute appears to us, while sitting in the main part of the inside of the bottom exit of the dome. Tris goes to get it because I am still sitting by the wall with my leg in trouble. She opens up the case and pulls out a small canister. She also has a note with it and she reads it aloud,
"Apply generously and stay alive."
"Oh thank you Katniss," I say and she walks over to me.
She applies the medicine to my wound and I suddenly feel ten times better.
"We need to get some better cover," Tris says. "Do you think you can walk?"
I nod and she helps me stand up. She is supporting me as we move farther into the building.
"We need to get topside," she says. "With your leg in that condition, I don't want to be underground in case we need to escape."
She means when the message comes from thirteen. I almost reject the statement about to say that I am perfectly fine and would be able to fight, but the look she gives me makes me agree. We move slowly into the building and it becomes increasingly dark. We turn a corner and find a wooden bridge. The next room it leads into is dark but there are lanterns everywhere. There are large tree trunks, water, and muddy areas. Everywhere around us are animal noises. From toads, to water splashing, to hissing that scares me.
"A swamp," Tris says breaking the silence.
"A what," I ask.
"A swamp," she says. "We have a couple in two. It is a watery area with a bunch of plant life and many animals. There were warnings about the swamp though. Said there was a large species of animals in there that were very dangerous. Called an Alligator, I think. Just be on the look out."
We follow the bridge that twist and turns through the swamp. It is very dark out so every step we take is carefully placed. Wouldn't want to find a spot where there is no plank and fall into the dark depths of the water.
"Of all the places she had to choose," I yell out.
These girls were very important to the cause and they were wandering into one of the most dangerous places in the arena. Not only was the wildlife there, but also two very dangerous tributes.
"We have to get them out now," I say and look to Captain Rogers.
"Sir," Rex says urgently.
"What," I reply back, not wanting more news but expecting some.
"There is a huge skirmish on pachyderme hill."
The battle does not surprise me. It is the scale of the battle that surprises me. Seven tributes were fighting on what looked like pachyderme hill. Seven, like the blood bath all over again. Three were already dead: Bella from 1, Daniel from 4, and Gretchen from 10. Four were still fighting viciously. I noticed that Ameer, the boy from 11, was sneaking up on Catherine, the girl from 4. He got up behind her and before she could sense him, he snapped her neck, leaving her dead. There was a bow battle going on between Harry from 3 and Christoph from 7. Both behind trees and firing wildly, no one seeming to hit anything. Then Christoph manages to hit the leg of Harry and he fell from behind his tree and right into the line of fire for Christoph. The next arrow shot was a killing blow and Harry was gone. It was down to two. The faced off in the center, each one staring each other down. Christoph was down to his last arrow and Ameer had a knife, ready to let it fly.
"What do you think you're gonna do with that, negro?" Christoph asked.
I can't believe he just pulled a race card. I had never heard such an insult in the games. People usually just killed without talking, it was better that way, helped you keep your emotions in check.
"Man shut the hell up," Ameer replied and threw his knife.
Christoph let his arrow fly and they were both hurtling towards their targets. The both hit dead on and killed each other. Seven dead, in a matter of minutes. There was a huge outcry from many mentor rooms as they saw their tributes die. Many of the district's chance had been wiped out by that fight. 18 tributes were dead, only 6 remained. Districts 1,3,4,5,7,9,10, and 11 were out of the running. I still stare at the screen with disbelief. Caesar is saying on the national feed that it is the largest group of deaths outside the bloodbath in hunger games history.
We have reached a cabin of sorts in the swamp and there is a cot. Tris says I can rest here for a while and she pulls up a rocking chair so we can both take watch, eat a little of the Tapir I still have, drink some water, and just sit for a couple of minutes. That's when I hear the cannons. Seven, all in a row.
"Holy shit," Tris says.
The images of the fallen are being shown on the wall of the cabin. With all the buildings, the gamemakers must have personal image projectors for us. Bella, Harry, Daniel, Catherine, Christoph, Gretchen, and Ameer were all dead.
"That's 18," Tris says.
Only six of us left. This games has gone very quickly. My guess is that we have only been in the arena about 2 days. The animals and ferocity of the tributes have been very deadly. The message from 13 has to be coming soon. I notice something outside the cabin. There is a t-shirt floating in the water, blood stained. Then I hear footsteps coming on the path away from the wooden bridge, leading to another part of the underground.
"Look," Tris says.
A parachute is coming down and falls on the ground. It is filled with 13 rolls of bread. The sign, we have to be at the edge of the desert dome in less than 24 hours or we will have missed our window.
"That's good," I say looking at Tris. "But we have company."