Retribution

Chapter 21

Ahsoka POV

"Prepare to launch extraction teams," I say.

"Sir," Rex says. "It is still early in the games."

"And there are only six left, four of which want to kill our soldiers," I snap back.

"Right," he says. "My apologies Commander."

"It's fine," I say. "Rex, get the 501st to the ships and head to the middle of Panem. Captain Rogers, get your Commandos into their ships and head for the Capitol. Complete radio silence until I give the word. You will have a small amount of time to get the jobs done. Rex, I want you, Fives, and Echo inside that dome once you blow the wall. Cody and the others will give you cover on your way back to the gunships. Steve, you and Bucky will get the mentors out. Katniss, Johanna, and Finnick should all be in Katniss's room. You have to be sure and get Katniss out of there with Artemis. She will be of no use to us without that baby. She will die. Understood?"

"Yes sir," they both say in unison.

"Go," I order and they are off.

They leave the room and I pull up the secure line to Katniss's communicator. I contact her and the screen pulls up a hologram of her sitting on a couch with Artemis beside her.

"Sgt. Everdeen," I address her.

"Yes Commander Tano," she replies.

"The time has come," I say. "Send the bread and gather your things."

"Yes Commander," she replies.

"And Katniss," I say.

"Yes Ahsoka," she replies.

"Stay safe, and may the force be with you," I say.

"I will," she says with a smile and the transmission is cut.

Katniss POV

After sending in the bread I call Finnick and Johanna to my mentor room. Both of their tributes had fallen in the games up to this point so they were just hanging around. The walk in and see me putting a blanket around Artemis, ready for quick transport if necessary. She is still asleep, and I set her back down on the couch where she was.

"I saw the last sponsor gift," Finnick says.

"Direct orders," I say and pat my pocket that holds my communicator.

"Then the time has finally come," Johanna says. "No more living a lie."

"We must proceed carefully," Finnick says as he sits down next to me.

Johanna follows and I look at the letter that I typed up. It was addressed to Prim and had specific instructions on it.

Prim

Things are about to unfold in a way that you won't believe. No matter what happens, I need you to push me away. To become angry with me all the time. For your own safety, act like you hate me. We will all meet soon, Artemis will get to know her Aunt.

Katniss

I hit the send button and lock the door to my mentor room.

"May the force be with us all," I say while looking at the screen.

Kim POV

We make our way farther into the depths of the enclosement that we are in. Always keeping on the alert, knowing that someone is in here, ready to kill. We are creeping through a cave area, that is swarmed with bats. There are plenty of pools to the right of us and some go very deep. One particular sinkhole went so deep, I could barely see the bottom.

"Keep on the alert," I say quietly.

"God," Tris says. "This place gives me the creeps."

"Well well well," a voice calls out. "Death gives people the creeps all the time."

Tris and I go back to back, scanning the area for the voice. It was definately female.

"So," I call out. "Happy to be alive."

"Oh yes," she says. "Very pleased and excited to make it back to my district. My partner and I have had the best spot in the games. Very well adapted to the environment, avoiding the dangerous animals, and staying away from the other tributes. We have managed to kill two already, and now we are about to add two more to our tally."

I frantically search around for the voice, trying to find the source. We are very vulnerable standing in the middle of a dark cavern, not being able to see our attacker.

"Tris we have to move," I say through gritted teeth.

"One second," she says.

I can tell that she can see something. I feel her body tense up and her pull back the string of her arrow.

"Any last words," the voice rings out.

"Bye someone," Tris says and lets her arrow fly.

It hits something with a thud and a cannon rings out. The hologram shines on the wall, showing Fierro from 6 was eliminated. Tris had killed him, and I don't know how. She was able to pick him out in the dark, and fire without him seeing.

"Impossible," the voice cries out.

I now know that it is Elphaba from 6. I scan to my right and see a figure crouched behind a rock, not facing me.

"Wrong," I say and fire an arrow.

My arrow finds the target and the figure slumps to the ground and a cannon rings out.

"Anything is possible," I say as Elphaba's picture flashes against the wall.

Ron POV

I had been tailing the girls for quite some time now. After tying up Elsa and stowing her behind some bushes, I followed the girls into the depths of the night. I kept my distance, making sure to not get too close. The had settled in the cabin when the cannon parade had gone off. During that time I received a sponsor gift. I knew that it wasn't from Katniss because I knew who would be sending me this gift. The only thing inside was a note and a handgun.

Their plan is in motion, do not lose them

Kim POV

We finally made our way out of the night. There were stairs that led up to a more lit area. The rest of the labyrinth hadn't been as scary. Only a few animals roaming around, but none seemed to want to bother us. There were only four more of us in the arena, and we soon would be out. I began to think of Ron. Could I really leave him here? To fall into the clutches of the Capitol and be tortured. But then I remember the night of the interviews and how he took all we had and crushed it into a little ball and threw it out. My heart hardened and I followed Tris up the stairs. After exiting the stairs, we came upon a rotunda that led to three different points. One went outside the dome and two led into the environment. The heat was already present and I was starting to sweat.

"There is a map over here," Tris said and we walk over to it.

They had a map of the circle and where the edges were. The rendezvous point was against the back wall, directly straight from our position. The problem was that the paths that led there curved around the dome like a circle. We would have to choose one path or the other. The area of the extraction point was labeled Rattlesnake Canyon.

"Damn," I say.

"What," Tris asks.

"Rattlesnakes," I say pointing to the extraction point. "That killed the girl from my district last year. She was a good friend of mine."

"Well, we will have to be careful," Tris says.

I take a look back at the map and study the two paths. One leads through an area that has numerous large mammals and only one true predator, the bobcat. The other leads to an underground tunnel that looks to be filled with venomous animals. There is only a small tunnel that is on the mammal path. The only problem with the mammal path was that it was twice as long as the other.

"Tris," I say. "How much time do we have."

"Not a lot," she replies.

"So we have to take the shorter path," I say.

"Looks like it," she says. "If we are careful, we will have no problem."

I nod and we start down the path.

Ron POV

I listen to their entire conversation and figure out the information that I need. The extraction point is the Rattlesnake canyon. They are taking the short path that leads through a tunnel with numerous species of poisonous snakes and lizards. If one of them could get bit, that would be amazing. One less to take out. Once they leave and start down the path I follow.

Kim POV

The desert is hotter than I thought. We walk in the open sun for about 5 minutes and my shirt is already soaked through. I am glad I still have my hat, or I wouldn't be able to see a thing. We walk through the rocky path and hear no form of life except for the occasional call of a bird, but we know they are there. All the predators that are gathered here are designed for stealth, not noise. We made our way along the path and soon found ourselves at the opening of the tunnel. Peering inside, I saw that it was dark and only slits of sunlight shown. I began to step towards the tunnel when Tris stopped me.

"We are being followed," she said.

I tuned my ears and listened for anything. There was a faint sound of footsteps on sand.

"Think it's an animal or tribute," I ask.

"I don't know," she says. "But whatever it is, it's coming this way."

We take off into the tunnel, hoping to lose whatever is chasing us.

Ron POV

Damn, they heard me.

I was trying to stay as quiet as possible, but that Prior girl has good senses to her. They take off into the tunnel and I wait until they are a good ways in before following them. I don't want them to think that I am chasing them, maybe they would believe that it was a stray animal. I enter the tunnel and prepare for the ensuing battle.

Kim POV

There are snakes everywhere. I can see many in every crevice, on the ground, in the rocks, everywhere. The good thing for us is that we are flying by them. The easiest way to get through there was a dead sprint, so that's what we did. Many of them snapped at us, but none were fast enough. We came out of the tunnel and into an open area. In front of us is a pair of columns with the words "Rattlesnake Canyon" written outside of them.

"Ready," I ask.

"Let's do it," she says.

We run into the canyon and wait for extraction.

Ahsoka POV

"They are in position," I say into my communicator. "Jam all TV, radio, and communication frequencies. Rogers and Rex, begin your assault.

Katniss POV

They had just entered the canyon. The time was almost now. The only problem was that Artemis was getting fussy.

"C'mon baby," I say trying to calm her down.

"Try singing," Johanna says. She is obviously having trouble coping with young children.

"Alright baby, how about a song," I say.

I need another story

Something to get off my chest

My life gets kinda boring

Need something that I can confess

'Til all my sleeves are stained red

From all the truth that I've said

Come by it honestly I swear

Thought you saw me wink, no

I've been on the brink, so

Tell me what you want to hear

Something that will light those ears

Sick of all the insincere

So I'm gonna give all my secrets away

This time don't need another perfect lie

Don't care if critics ever jump in line

I'm gonna give all my secrets away

My God, amazing how we got this far

It's like we're chasing all those stars

Who's driving shiny big black cars

And everyday I see the news

All the problems that we could solve

And when a situation rises

Just write it into an album

Send it straight to gold

But I don't really like my flow, no, so

Tell me what you want to hear

Something that will light those ears

Sick of all the insincere

So I'm gonna give all my secrets away

This time, don't need another perfect lie

Don't care if critics ever jump in line

I'm gonna give all my secrets away

Oh, got no reason, got no shame

Got no family I can blame

Just don't let me disappear

I'ma tell you everything

So tell me what you want to hear

Something that will light those ears

Sick of all the insincere

So I'm gonna give all my secrets away

This time, don't need another perfect lie

Don't care if critics ever jump in line

I'm gonna give all my secrets away

I finish the song and there is a giant explosion. The feed to the TV is cut and we are sitting in the dark. Suddenly there is a pounding on the door and it soon breaks through. In walks a man with a blue jacket.

"Steve," he yells. "They're in here."

Another man walks in with the same sleek blue jacket, but had a white star on the chest of his.

"Thanks Buck," he says. "I'm Captain Steve Rogers with District 13, and I am here to get you out, so let's go."

He leads us out of the room and into the hallway. Farther down the hallway there is a ferocious battle between some peacekeepers and what I'm guessing are Rogers's troops. We make it to the end of the hallway and there is a hovercraft waiting for us by a hole in the wall. We all climb in and Captain Rogers says into a wrist communicator,

"Mockingjay and Company are secure. Commandos return and let's get the hell out of here."

His troops all return, while firing down the hallway at the oncoming peacekeepers. The assortment of men are varied. One of them has a handlebar mustache and a bowler hat. Another is an African American male speaking a different language to another man. There are many others and when they are all in, the craft takes off and speeds into the countryside.

"Commander Tano," Rogers says.

A hologram fills with the young woman, and she smiles when she sees us all safe.

"Good," she says. "Welcome to the revolution. You should arrive at thirteen in about an hour and a half. Kim and Tris won't be far behind, we have our 501st on it right now. Great work commandos, first round is on me tonight."

A great cheer goes up in the hovercraft. I look at the hologram and meet eyes with Ahsoka. She looks at me and then Artemis sleeping in my arms. How she managed to stay asleep is beyond me, but the little girl managed it. She smiles and nods at me and the hologram disappears. Here begins our new life.

Kim POV

We come to a dead end in the canyon and start to wait for the arrival of our evacuation. We search the area and manage to rid it of any snakes that are hanging around.

"We did it," I say.

Tris smiles and I let out a huge sigh of relief.

"Oh the games aren't over yet," a mans voice rings out.

Ron's voice. He appears at the opening of where we came in, with a gun in his right hand. We both start to reach for our bows when he stops us.

"Ah ah ah," he says. "Now that would end your life easier. Why you wouldn't get to hear our marvelous story."

Our? I think. Then it hits me. Guns have never been permitted in the arena, the only way that could have gotten past was though the President.

"You're working with Snow," I say harshly.

"Ah," Ron says. "A very observant one you are Kimberly."

"Why would you betray Katniss and us like that," I spit.

"Well Ron wouldn't," Ron said.

Wait.

"What do you mean Ron wouldn't?" I ask.

"Really Kim," he says. "I would have thought you'd figured it out sooner."

He pushes a button on his wrist and everything changes on his body. His skin turns blue, his voice changes, he develops a nasty scar across his eye, and his hair turns black.

"You see Kim," he starts. "When we first intercepted the transmission of your little rebellion, we had kidnapped Ron. He is sitting in a nice Capitol cell. We then used our brilliant technology to create a fake identity. I then ended your relationship on National TV, and got your stylist killed. My actual name is classified but my code name is Drakken. And now, you both die before you can even help with this so called revolution."

Just as he says that, a giant explosion erupts and a giant hole in the wall behind us explodes. Out of that hole comes five soldiers decked in all white uniforms. Not peacekeeper uniforms though, this looks like sturdier armor, and they have all sorts of colors on them.

"There they are," one of them yells.

Sheets of gunfire go past us in Drakken's direction and he takes cover behind a rock. The troops usher us over towards the hole and I take one last look at the dome we were in and think of Ron. How was I going to get him back, and what if they kill him. I glance over to where Drakken was hiding and saw him poke up from behind the rock and fire his gun. And then everything went black.


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