Retribution

Chapter 26

Katniss POV

Dead. Prim is dead. Those are the only words that keep running themselves through my head. I cannot focus on anything else. My little sister, who I spent so long trying to protect, is dead. I don't know what to do, what to think. I can feel myself slipping away into darkness when a shaking sensation comes over me.

"Katniss," a voice says. "Katniss!"

I look up and there is a girl with black armor on and bright red hair.

"KATNISS!"

"Uh," I manage a noise to acknowledge the voice.

"Listen to me," the voice says. I don't think that I can at this point. "Do not let yourself go. Think of Artemis."

Artemis, my little sweet baby. I have to get to her. I have to hold her. I have to feel her warmth. I can't let myself go, I have to protect my baby. I stand up, with tears in my eyes, and look towards my group.

"Let's move," I say and keep walking.

Suddenly Captain Rogers has a beeping on his communicator. He looks down at the message and rushes into our group.

"We have incoming bombers," he says.

"There is a bunker this way," Paylor says.

We take off, sprinting towards the direction that Paylor says. We hear the Capitol hovercrafts overhead and machine gun fire is traded between the rebels and the Capitol aircraft. Bullets rake the ground in front of us, separating the group momentarily. We take cover behind what remains of a building. I have Kim and Tris beside me, and Captain Rogers, Johanna, Finnick, and his group are on the other side. There is a set of stairs that leads up to the top of a building that gives way towards the streets. The bombers fly overhead and don't drop their bombs here, but I hear them dropping not far away.

"Where are they going?" Tris asks.

I look at their path and my heart drops.

"They're heading towards the hospital," I say. "C'mon."

I sprint over to the staircase with Kim and Tris hot on my tail. I ignore the yells from Rogers and move up the stairs. I get to the top and stop quickly when a strafe of machine gun bullets run across the top of the building. I notice that a machine gunner is killed in the process and I start to take over.

"Tris get to that machine gun and start pouring fire at those hovercrafts. There are only three and we need to take them out. Kim, look to reload her when she needs it, but when you're not, start firing as well. Ahsoka said the guns wouldn't do much damage, but any amount can count. I'll start with my arrows."

They nod and we jump up onto the roof. The hovercrafts had just finished another run on the hospital and were circling back for one last hit.

"They're turning around," I say. "Get ready."

Tris jumps into the chair behind the machine gun and grabs the trigger. Kim grabs extra belts of ammo for Tris and sets up behind a wall, waiting for the hovercraft to circle back. I step out from behind the wall and pull out one of my explosive arrows.

"Katniss get some cover," Kim yells but I ignore her.

The hovercrafts are almost on top of us and I pull back on the string of the arrow. I take aim at the lead hovercraft and wait for the right moment. Tris starts firing at the hovercraft on the right and Kim does the same. Machine gun fire rakes in front of us from the hovercrafts and I stand my ground and fire my arrow, leading it perfectly. The hovercraft in the front explodes and crashes into the hovercraft on the left. The one on the right goes down as well, bullet holes litter the cockpit window. The planes crash into what I hope are abandoned buildings and the air raid is over. Tris lets out a whoop of success as does Kim. I smile and then feel a sharp pain in my right leg. I look down and see that my leg has been shot through at least four times. I knew that I wouldn't come out of here unscathed. Luckily none of the shots are life threatening, they simply will be very painful for a while. My adrenaline is still pumping, so the pain is not as bad as it will be. I pull out my emergency medical supplies that everyone has on their back and grab some painkillers. Morphling, the most dulling painkiller out there. I pull the cap of the needle and jab the shot into my left leg. I push in the plunger and almost instantly, the pain is gone. I know that it will wear off in a while. I look over and Kim and Tris are staring at me with fearful eyes. They must've been watching when I administered the shot myself.

"Don't worry, I'm fine," I say to them.

Kim doesn't say anything but Tris laughs out loud.

"Tris," Kim repremends. "Katniss just got shot."

"Yeah," Tris says through the laughter. "And she took it without saying anything, and then gave herself a dose of painkillers. Damn Katniss, you are the toughest and luckiest fucker that I have ever met."

I laugh out loud too and Kim looks at us like we are both on drugs, which only causes us to laugh more.

"Lighten up Possible," I say. "We are all alive."

My communicator lights up again and I see an incoming message from Ahsoka. I answer and the hologram pops up again.

"Ahsoka," I say.

"What the hell were you thinking!" she yells at us.

"I uhh," I say, knowing that this was coming eventually.

"No," she says. "No excuses. We will talk about this later. You are to go back to Captain Rogers immediately, that is an order."

"Yes sir," I say and before she cuts the feed I ask. "What about the hospital?"

She looks up at me and sighs, "you should go see for yourself."

I look back in the direction of the hospital and see nothing but smoke. I have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I wrap a quick tourniquet around my leg and start limping down the stairs. Kim and Tris are right behind me, ready to catch me if I fall. I make it down the stairs and come face to face with a very upset Captain Rogers. Before he begins to talk, I brush past him and make my way to the direction of the hospital.

After coming out from the building across the hospital, I almost fall to the ground. The hospital is up in flames, no hope for anyone inside. I get closer and drop to my knees, tears streaming down my face. Kim is also crying and Tris has a stone look on her face.

"Katniss," the head of my camera crew says. "Can you tell us what you see here?"

I turn around to look at the voice. They have two cameras pointed at me in front of the hospital. I take a deep breath and prepare my message.

"I want all of Panem to know that I am alive. The rebellion is alive. The Capitol today has ruthlessly bombed a hospital. Full of innocent men, women, and children. There will be no survivors. If you are holding on to the fact that the Capitol can still spare you, then you are telling yourself a lie."

I turn and see one of the hovercrafts burning in front of us.

"I have a message for President Snow. You can take our rights, destroy our districts, and kill our loved ones, but do you see that?" I say and point to the plane. "The flame is burning bright and strong, and if we burn, you burn with us."

With that I become increasingly tired and drop to the ground. I can hear Kim and Tris's voice but before I can respond, I black out.

Kim POV

The hovercraft came to pick up our group and waiting aboard was a very angry Ahsoka. She was about to start yelling at us, when she saw that Katniss was brought in on a stretcher. She took command then, ordering the medics around, getting the pilot to 13 as fast as possible, and even administering some medical aid of her own. Once we reached 13, she was out with Katniss before I could even stand up.

I am currently in my room, cleaning up from battle. The gun felt foreign in my hand, but that was something that I would have to get used to. I am not anywhere near the shot that Katniss is, so another weapon would be nice. I step into the shower and let the hot water pour across my back. I have bruises from the battle that I didn't even know I got. I guess slamming into the ground a buildings takes a toll on the body. The dirt washes out of my hair in numerous quantities. After I am all clean, I just stand there with only my thoughts. I always think better in the shower, but today for some reason, I can't focus on anything.

"Kim," a voice calls out. "It's Tris."

"In here," I say. "You can wait or come in, you are like a sister to me."

She steps into the bathroom and sits on the counter, facing away from the shower. The curtain is a dark blue, so there is no seeing through.

"What's up?" she asks casually.

"Well a lot of shit that I really don't want to deal with," I snap, getting frustrated for some reason.

"Neither do I," she says. "Do you miss him?"

"You have no idea," I say and then stop suddenly. I can't believe those words came out of my mouth.

"Tris, I'm so sorry," I say quickly.

"It's okay," she says. "I know what you mean. I miss him a lot as well."

"Hey," I begin to try and lighten the situation. "Tell me something that not many people know about you."

"Okay," she says. "But you have to go next."

"Sounds good," I say.

"My real name isn't Tris," she says. "It's Beatrice."

"Why did you change it?" I ask.

"It represented my old life," she begins. "With my family. Once they were gone, I wanted a new beginning. When I got to the academy, they asked for my name. I knew that I had only had one chance to change it, and I did."

I turned off the shower and peaked around the corner of the curtain.

"Can you hand me my towel, please?" I ask.

She asks me my towel off and I start to dry myself. She steps out of the room so I can change. I am about to change into comfortable clothes but then I notice that Tris is in her casual uniform. With the jacket, but still.

"Why are you in uniform?" I ask through the door.

"Oh yeah," she says. "Ahsoka wants us in command. She said there was no rush, but Katniss would be showing up. Apparently she has been healed enough to walk, so naturally she is doing so. She is due to pick up Artemis any second and we are to travel to command together as soon as she knocks on the door."

"Okay," I say. "Gimme a second."

I pull on my sleek, black uniform and pull on the lightweight jacket with my name and rank in gold on it. I step out of the bathroom to find Tris sitting on my bed, playing some sort of card game. I walk over to my dresser and grab a pair of socks. I go and sit down on a chair near the table that is in my small unit, for what reason I don't know, and begin to put on my socks and boots.

"Alright Kim," Tris says looking up from her game. "Your turn."

"Okay," I say. "I have been friends with Ron since I was four years old. For all that time I only knew him as a friend. He was there through the few boyfriends that I had, and always went out of his way to try and make me happy. Then came time for the annual Miner's dance when we were 16. In district 12, it's a huge deal, and who you go with speaks volumes. There was a new boy that I had met, Eric was his name. Then I noticed something weird with Ron. He became sad, depressed, and almost lonely. It was true that I was spending a lot of time with Eric, and kinda leaving him out to dry. He didn't have any friends, so he spent most of his time alone. I visited him once to check up on him, and he was really depressed. I did something horrible too, I told him that it was time that we needed to grow up and move on with our lives. I never saw him in a romantic way until the night of the dance. I was there with Eric, and it never felt right. I couldn't get into anything, not dancing, not socializing, not anything. I tried to figure out what it was, and then I knew. I was in love with Ron. I abandoned Eric at the dance and ran to Ron's house. When I got there, his house was empty, but I found a note in his room. The note was addressed to me and it was his love confession. He said how he fell in love with me since he first saw me. The thing that made him most happy was seeing me happy, so he went out of his way to do so. In the letter he said that he couldn't take it anymore and he was going to kill himself, but he said that he would always love me. I knew exactly where he would try to do it, so I got there as fast as possible. When I reached there he was just about to hang himself, when I stopped him, confessed my love for him, and kissed him. We have dated ever since."

Tris's eyes are in awe as I confess my story. Before she has a chance to answer, there is a knock on the door. Katniss walks in with Artemis on her hip and looks at us.

"The plan to break out the hostages is beginning, we are needed in command now."


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