"GET DOWN," I yell.
An explosion goes off near us as we advance towards the nut.
The plan had worked perfectly. The bombers came in early to seal off all the entrances to the mountain except for the main one, and all the air ventilation shafts too. I spent all morning trying to coax them out of the mountain. They eventually came too, and I thought it would be an easy victory for us. That was until one of them shot me, then all hell broke loose.
The bullet went through my side, but continued straight through and didn't hit any organs. Tris killed the man that shot me and dragged me behind a wall and patched me up quick. After her protests of me continuing, we charged forward. Hiccup and Astrid were on my left and Tris was on my right. Ahsoka had gone back to command when it seemed like there would be no response from the mountain. Now she was stuck there while we were in a hell hole. Shots were being fired in all directions and I got orders from Ahsoka through my headset.
"You have to get into the nut and clear it out, it's the only way!"
So we were advancing towards the nut. We had just started towards another building when I saw a rocket fire into the one we just came from. The explosion knocked everyone off their feet and everything went fuzzy. There was a loud ringing in my ears and I couldn't hear any of the battle or voices around me. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. I could see Tris trying to talk to me, but I couldn't hear her. Then the ringing stopped and I was back in. I heard screaming and I looked over to my two other recruits. Astrid was shielding HIccup who was grasping his leg.
I run over to the two and my stomach lurches. Where Hiccup's foot should have been, was only a red mass.
"WE HAVE TO GET HIM BEHIND COVER," I scream.
Astrid nods and we both grab one of his arms and start dragging him towards a wall. Tris is covering us as we move and once we all get behind the wall, I examine his leg.
The only thing there is half of his calf and a shattered bone.
"We have to get the excess off and stop the bleeding," I yell. "Tris hold him down, Astrid keep him distracted. I don't have any painkillers out here, so this is going to hurt a lot."
The both move towards the front of him. Astrid goes over to his head and grabs one of his hands. She starts talking to him, but the battle around us is so loud that I can't hear what she is saying. Tris kneels on the upper parts of his legs and puts two hands on his shoulders.
"Katniss," Tris yells. "I don't know if I can hold him down by myself."
She had some validity to her statement. HIccup wasn't as thick as some other of the boys, but he was still decently tall and had some muscle to him.
"Holy Hell," a voice said from behind me.
I turn around and Ahsoka is standing right there with a smoking gun in her hand.
"What the fuck happened?" she asks, rushing over to me.
"Rocket went off by us," I say as I try to sterilize my field knife. I always bring some rubbing alcohol with me, just in case.
"What do I need to do?" Ahsoka asks.
"Hold his shoulders down tight," I say with a grim look on my face.
She understands and slides over to Tris, and says a few words. Tris nods and slides down to his torso and puts all of her weight there, especially on his upper legs. Ahsoka puts her weight on his shoulders and looks back at me and nods.
I take a deep breath and start cutting. The scream that follows will never leave my subconscious. After I finish the job and tie up the stump tight, I start putting pressure on the leg.
"We need to get him out of here," I yell to Ahsoka. "He is gonna bleed out if we don't."
Ahsoka nods and starts talking into her comm frantically. I can hear Astrids soothing words and I look over at Tris. She is staring at me with fearful eyes.
"Hey," I say to her. "You alright?"
"Yeah," she says. "I've just never seen a field amputation before."
Bullets rake above us and we all dive for cover. Soon, a couple medics from the 501st come over and take over the job from us. They prepare to move him and Astrid looks from Hiccup to me.
"Astrid," I say. "We need as many people to fight if we are going to win this thing. If you can't go, I understand. But he will be alive when you get back."
She turns to Hiccup and starts whispering in his ear. He looks up at her and nods, kisses her cheeks, and motions for the medics to go. The medics take off with a few other members from the 501st protecting them. Astrid turns around and wipes a tear off her face. She unsheathed her axe and looks at me.
"Let's kill these bitches," she says.
Tris laughs out loud and charges forward. For the rest of the battle, the Capitol never stood a chance. Astrid fought like ten women and I don't think that Tris missed a shot. We pushed them back until we were at the mouth of the entrance. They retreated inside and everyone paused waiting for instructions.
"Are all the innocents out?" Ahsoka asks into her earpiece.
Captain Rogers responds with, "Yes sir."
Ahsoka turns to me. "We have to go in. The bombers won't penetrate that mountain."
"What about blocking the entrance?" Tris says from behind us, gun pointed at the entrance.
"We want to try and take as many prisoners as possible," Ahsoka says.
"Why," Astrid asks, cleaning off her axe.
"Because we aren't like them," I say quietly and Ahsoka nods.
"Well," Ahsoka says. "Let's go."
We all advance towards the entrance slowly. We get there and Tris turns on the light of her gun to peer inside. There is nobody in the mouth of the cave.
"1st unit," Ahsoka calls out. "Advance."
A group of infantry heads into the mountain and we follow. We get to a large cavern and there are tunnels all around us.
"Split up into squads and clear the tunnels," Ahsoka commands. "It will be close combat so don't waste a shot and make sure you know who you are firing at."
Everyone breaks off and the Mockingjay squad takes the tunnel to the far right. Tris takes point with Astrid right behind her. I bring up the rear, watching our six. We move down the tunnel further and my heart is beating out of my chest. I hate fighting in close combat, to have to see the face of your enemy up close before you struggle for your life. The images haunt you. It is also extremely dark. The only sources of light are from our guns. I have a light mounted on my bow of course, and I made sure to only bring regular arrows into this small space. If I made a mistake in choosing an arrow, we would all be dead.
We keep walking until Tris holds up a hand to stop and slams her body into the right side of the tunnel. We all do the same and look towards her. She peers around the corner and looks back at us. She starts to signal with her hands. First is two fingers as if they are marching and then she expands her hands. This means that the tunnel leads into an opening. Then she flipped her hand down and waved it, the signal for infantry. She then held up one finger and then made a circle. So there were ten soldiers in the small opening that were coming. Ahsoka signaled for us to turn our lights off. We did so and we could see the faint light coming from the next.
Ahsoka crept towards the front and took out a smoke grenade. She pulled the pin and rolled it inside. When it burst there was general shouting from the other room and bullets ripped the wall in front of us. We were all behind good cover. Once the bullets stopped, Ahsoka signaled for Tris to do what she does best. Tris set up her gun just around the corner and peered down the scope and fired ten times.
She leaned further around the corner and looked back at us.
5 hours later
It was a long and hard time clearing those tunnels. After it was all said and done, we as a whole had only taken fifty prisoners, while the casualties reported were well over 300. We came out of that mountain dirty, tired, and very distressed by what we saw. They didn't stop fighting. We had them surrounded and on the run, with no possible escape, and they never stopped. I couldn't understand for the life of me, why they didn't stop.
We had just re entered the town square when I doubled down in pain. The adrenaline had worn off and the wound in my side started throbbing. Ahsoka was immediately by my side, as was Tris and Astrid.
"What's going on?" Ahsoka asks frantically.
"She got shot earlier," Tris explains. "She probably is feeling the effects now that she doesn't have anything else to focus on."
The helped me up, while I was moaning in pain. They carried me towards a medical tent and I was placed on a bed. I looked to my left and saw Hiccup with his eyes closed and a very concerned Astrid hovering over him. The doctor came over to my side and started to examine the wound.
"Is Hiccup okay?" I ask feebly.
He looks up at me and glances over to him. He smiles and looks back at me, "Yes, he is just asleep. You saved that boy's life with your field amputation. It wasn't the cleanest thing, but given the circumstances, it was better than I could have hoped for. Now for you, I am going to give you a sedative and we are going to get you back to thirteen."
I nodded and then the whole world went black.
Katniss was out like a light on our trip home. I was half listening to Ahsoka on the victory and the assault on the Capitol being next after we all had time to recuperate. I kept staring at Katniss and the wound in her side. It didn't look bad in the moment that I patched her up, but when the doctor examined it, it was so much worse. I was sitting by her and I look over to the other side of the hovercraft to find Astrid with her head on Hiccup's chest. He was whispering softly to her and she had tears in her eyes but a smile. He had woken up not too long ago, and he must be in extreme pain, but he was staying awake for Astrid's sake. I hope to have someone like that again in my life, but I know that I never will. With my history, I was destined for a life alone, hopefully staying in touch with Kim, Katniss, Ahsoka, and heck even Astrid. We had formed a bond on the battlefield. We had started out rough, not liking each other. Then when we were in the thick of things, there was a sort of understanding between us.
We started our landing in thirteen and I saw Kim and Ron standing in the hangar. Suddenly Katniss began to stir and I looked at her.
"Where are we," is the first question that she asked.
"We just arrived in thirteen," I say to her. "We got everyone out alive, but strangely, no one seems to ever come back unscathed in our group."
She laughed and sat up. I hovered over her, ready to catch her if she couldn't take the pain. She was tough though, and through the pain I saw a gritted determination. The hovercraft landed and the door opened. She stood up and walked, under her own power, out the door.
Who the hell was this girl, I thought to myself as I followed her out.
When we both got off the craft, the first thing that she did was sprint towards Kim and Ron, or should I saw Artemis, who had a giant smile on her face. Katniss scooped her up and she gave a squeal of appreciation. Katniss hugged her little girl to her chest and simply enjoyed her company. I made my way over to Kim and Ron.
"How did it go?" Kim asks.
"Well," I say. "It was awful. The fighting was brutal. Katniss got shot in the mid-section. I don't know how she is walking right now. Johanna died before we arrived, which is sad, but we picked up some new recruits."
"New recruits?" Kim asks and then Astrid comes out of the ship supporting Hiccup.
I motion them over and they slowly make their way here. Hiccup seems to be protesting as much help as he is getting but Astrid is having none of it. They get over to where we are standing and I introduce them.
"Astrid and Hiccup," I say. "Meet Kim and Ron."
"Hey," Astrid says.
"Oh look," Hiccup says sarcastically. "Now everyone can see the gimp."
Astrid punches him in the arm, "Cut that out. We are going to get you all fixed up and then people won't even know that you don't have a leg."
Kim and Ron had still said nothing at this point so I nudged Kim into speaking.
"Oh yeah," Kim says startled. "Hi, and welcome to the team."
At that moment, Katniss comes back over and immediately scowls at Hiccup.
"What the hell are you doing here?" she asks irritated. "You should be in the hospital, not wandering in the hangar."
"I could say the same for you," Hiccup replies and it gets a chuckle out of me.
Katniss is not as pleased with his answer, "I'll take care of myself. You however are missing a foot."
"Missing a foot, what do you mean?" Hiccup says playfully as he looks down to his leg. "OH MY GOD. When did I lose that!"
Everyone is laughing hard at this point as Hiccup fakes fainting and sobbing into Astrid. Heck, even Artemis is laughing at this.
"Ha ha, very funny," Katniss says, not amused. "Now march."
"Don't you mean hobble," HIccup retorts which brings more laughter out of everyone.
"Oh shut up," Katniss says and Artemis giggles at her. "Wow, taking their side baby?"
She looks down at little, innocent Artemis who is laughing simply because everyone else is. The smile that Katniss gets in return, breaks her scowl and a smile comes on her face.
"Wow," I say. "The Capitol needs to forget their weapons. All they need to get Katniss distracted is a bunch of smiling babies."
Katniss only shakes her head at this and leads Hiccup towards the hospital with him spouting off harmless jokes every now and then, while Astrid looks at Artemis longingly.
"What did you say her name was," Astrid asks Katniss, gesturing to Artemis.
"Artemis," Katniss says and upon hearing her name from her mom, Artemis coos and looks up at Katniss.
"Ah," Astrid says. "The Greek goddess of the Hunt."
"How did you know that?" Katniss asks with a smile.
"Astrid and I found a couple books about mythology from past places," HIccup explains. "We found books on Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology. I myself like the Norse better."
"Oh," Katniss says. "And what would be the equivalent of Artemis in Norse?"
"Equivalent is not what I would go with," HIccup says. "There was a great warrior in Norse mythology, a valkyrie, named Lady Sif. I would have to say Sif is the name you want to go with, for a girl in Norse."
"Maybe save that for your own daughter," Astrid says to him and Hiccup blushes, which makes everyone laugh.