Retribution

Chapter 34

Katniss POV

I look down onto the street and see a large barbed wire fence. Inside are many people roaming around, trying to get out, and even more dead. We approach the gate slowly, making sure that there are no guards around. This looks like a prison, but not for criminals, for ordinary people. There are children and women inside along with the men. Many look like they were thrown in there in the middle of the night, still sporting their pajamas.

I hear a gunshot to my right and whirl around to face it. Tris stands there with a smoking barrel and a dead peacekeeper ten feet away. She glances over at me and turns back to the prison. I walk towards the gate and see a man standing there, so skinny that I can see every rib on him.

"Sir," I say quietly. "What is this?"

"Katniss?" he asks weakly.

"Yes," I say. "It's me."

"I can't believe it," he says. "Katniss Everdeen here to rescue us."

"What is this?" I ask again.

He seems to be in a state of bliss at this point. "Katniss, Katniss, Katniss."

Suddenly he slumps over onto the ground and I let out a small shriek. I can't see the man breathing anymore.

I turn and see our team all around the fence, some talking to the prisoners, others just trying to keep it together. Tris is kneeling on the ground next to a corpse of a little boy on the other side of the fence with her eyes closed. I check to see where Ahsoka is and walk over to her.

"Ahsoka," I say. "What do we do?"

"I don't know," she says. "I don't know what this is. Don't know what to do with any of the people. Don't know if we can even handle this."

"We can't leave them here," I say. "Can we?"

"I'm not sure," Ahsoka says. "I don't want to leave them, but we don't have a lot of people on our team."

"Let's at least open the door," I say. "We can sort it all out then."

Ahsoka nods and we move towards the gates. I get close to them and find the pad lock.

"Gold 7," I call out. "I need your sword."

Hiccup comes forward and lights up his sword and cuts through the pad lock. I open the gate and step inside. I can see barbed wire fences spanning down the length of at least four blocks. Inside there are small houses with people pouring out of them.

"What the hell is this?" Tris says out loud.

"I have no idea," I say. "But I'm gonna find out."

I walk towards a man and a woman coming out of one of the huts.

I can hear an order from Ahsoka as I walk away, "Spread out. Help as much as you can. Try to keep them in here until we can find a solution. Be on the lookout, there may still be peacekeepers here."

I get to the couple and say, "Hello. My name is Katniss Everdeen and I am here from District 13."

"Katniss," the woman says. "My god, you really are here."

"What is this," I ask.

"This is a prison camp," the man says sullenly. "After District 2 fell the Capitol started putting people in here. They needed to have us out of the way so they could set up those nasty traps. The guards knew that the armies were approaching and received a message from Snow himself. He said take what ammo that you have and shoot the prisoners. Burn the food and lock the doors and make your way to the Mansion. They are making their last stand there."

"They just shot a bunch of you?" I say incredulously.

"It's not like they were any worse before," the woman says. "We barely got enough to eat, we were beaten for almost no reason at all, and they made us set up half of those traps. Sometimes the traps misfired and they didn't want to waste any valuable Peacekeeper life."

"Thank you," I say. "We will try and get you any help that we can."

I go over to Ahsoka and start talking quietly.

"It's a prison camp, but they aren't criminals," I begin. "They are just ordinary people. The Capitol detained them to prepare for the invasion. They said that their guards executed all that they could this morning before they burned all the food, locked the doors, and left for the mansion."

"That's awful," Ahsoka says. "I can't even imagine."

"We can't let them leave," I say firmly with tears in my eyes.

"Why not?" Ahsoka asks.

"We can't take this many people back," I say. "The Capitol would know that we are moving them. We can't let them go back on their own because all the pods aren't deactivated. The safest place they are right now is here."

Ahsoka looks around and I do to. I can see Hiccup and Astrid standing by the door, keeping people from leaving, trying to assure them that their leaders would make a decision on how to get them safe.

"Look," I say. "Call in a supply drop, get a unit of medics and troops up here, but we have to have them stay here."

"Okay," Ahsoka says. "Go ahead, I'll make the call."

Tris POV

I go back to a time where things are simpler. Away from this little boy I see lying on the ground. I dream that I am back in my home in District 2. My mom is there, cutting my hair, telling me how beautiful I look. My dad is picking me up and hugging me tight, telling me that I am daddy's little girl. My brother, lecturing me on how to be polite but smiling while he does it. I try to forget the image engraved in my mind of this little boy, but the picture keeps coming back.

I move away and over to Katniss. She had just ended a conversation with Ahsoka and was having trouble with what is going to happen next.

"What's up Gold 2," I ask.

I notice there are tears on her face.

"I have to tell them they have to stay in this place. We can't take them with us, and the road back is not safe," she says.

"Ah," I say, not wanting to press the subject.

"Here goes nothing," she says. "Gold 6 and 7, come in," Katniss says in her comm.

"Go Gold 2," Astrid responds.

"Don't let anyone out," Katniss chokes out. "We have to keep them here until more help can arrive."

"Copy," Astrid says.

Katniss looks at me and I nod. She takes a deep breath and walks on top of one of the buildings.

"Attention!" she yells. "Attention everyone!"

All of the people look towards her and I start gripping my gun a little tighter. We don't know how these people will react to this news. They could be really angry, angry enough to kill us and leave the prison.

"I want you all to know that we are here to help the people of Panem," Katniss says. "But our group cannot do that alone. There are too many of you, and too few of us."

The crowd starts to get a little restless at her words, trying to guess what they mean.

"Therefore we need you to stay here until help arrives."

The crowd starts screaming at that point and advancing slowly towards us.

"We have already radioed in a supply drop for this area and we have medics and a larger squad on the way. Our mission is to get to the presidential mansion. The road back is not safe for you to take alone, it is not clear of all the pods."

The people are very upset at this point. Katniss seems to be done with her speech and I can see tears flowing from her eyes. Katniss sits down on the roof and puts her head on her knees.

Thankfully, the supply drop comes at that exact moment and crates of food start raining down from the sky. The people become distracted from their anger and start catching and opening the crates.

"Alright Gold Squadron," Ahsoka says through her comm. "Let's move out."

We all get to the front gate and pull the doors shut. We find another chain and lock up the door. Everyone breathes out slowly and begins to walk away in silence. Then gunfire starts raking the street in front of us.

"FIND SOME COVER!" Ahsoka yells.

I slide over to behind a slab of upturned concrete and thrust my shoulder into the ground, so much so that it hurts. Katniss slides down next to me and Ahsoka follows.

"What's everyone's 20," Ahsoka asks into her comm.

"Gold 4 and 5 are in a building on the right side of the street," Kim says.

"Gold 6 and 7 are behind a fence of sorts," Hiccup says.

"Alright," Ahsoka says. "Sending a field commander towards your position."

Ahsoka turns to Katniss and I, "Congratulations Gold 3, you are now a field commander. Go and help Gold 4 and 5. Gold 2, you have 6 and 7. I'll stay here and try to identify some of the shooter's positions."

"Yes sir," I say and race off to my right.

I dodge through assorted things on the street while making sure that I don't get shot. I get to the door on the building and knock three times.

"Thunder," I say.

It is our code word. If the response is Flash, I know that they are in there. It also lets them know, that I am a friendly.

"Flash," a voice says from the inside and the door swings open.

I jump inside and find Ron and Kim sitting on the ground, guns pointed outside the windows. I make my way over to the view from the windows and walk back out of the windows line of sight.

"Gold leader," I say. "I am in position."

"Same Gold leader," Katniss says.

"Alright," Ahsoka says. "We have a peacekeeper squad dead ahead. I'd say about 50 men, assorted weapons, and one field commander. If we knock him out, the rest will be easy pickings."

"Where are they located?" I ask.

"About 100 feet up the street," Ahsoka says.

"Okay," I say. "Why don't I take Gold 4 and 5 on the rooftops? That way we can cover you guys while you make a ground assault."

"Not a bad idea," Ahsoka says. "Alright let's get it done."

I signal for Kim and Ron to follow me and we make our way upstairs. Luckily for us, they have a ladder that leads right to the roof and in no time, we are outside. I check over the roof on the house that we are on and have an excellent angle on the incoming squad of peacekeepers.

"We are in position Gold leader," I say.

"Well," Ahsoka says. "Let's light 'em up."

"Open fire," I yell to Kim and Ron and we start tearing them to pieces.

The rest of the group charges up the middle and we have little to no problem handling the peacekeepers, the rest of the assault on the Capitol will be a piece of cake.


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