Retribution

Chapter 7

Katniss POV

"Shhhhh baby," I try to calm Artemis down. "Hey baby, calm down please."

Artemis had been crying her head off for quite sometime now and I am starting to get worried. She is crying so much, that she is losing oxygen because she won't breath through cries.

"How about a song," I say, "Will that make you better?"

She keeps crying, so I start to sing.

"This is a old song," I say, "Some of it is in the Hebrew language. I read it in the archives that Capitol provided me once." I begin to sing softly to her.

Many nights we've prayed

With no proof anyone could hear

In our hearts a hopeful song

We barely understood

Her crying has almost stopped so I keep singing.

Now we are not afraid

Although we know there's much to fear

We were moving mountains

Long before we knew we could

There can be miracles

When you believe

Though hope is frail

It's hard to kill

Who knows what miracles

You can achieve

When You believe

Somehow you will

You will when you believe

She has stopped crying altogether, and is looking wide eyed up at me. I continue singing,

In this time of fear

When prayers so often proved in vain

Hope seemed like the summer birds

Too swiftly flown away

Yet now I'm standing here

With heart so full I can't explain

Seeking faith, and speaking words

I'd never thought I'd say

There can be miracles

When you believe

Though hope is frail

It's hard to kill

Who knows what miracles

You can achieve

When you believe

Somehow you will

You will when you believe

A-shir-ra a-do-nai ki ga-oh ga-ah

A-shir-ra a-do-nai ki ga-oh ga-ah

Mi-cha-mo-cha ba-e-lim adonai

Mi-cha-mo-cha ne-dar-ba-ko-desh

Na-chi-tah v'-chas-d'-cha am zu ga-al-ta

Na-chi-tah v'-chas-d'-cha am zu ga-al-ta

A-shi-ra, a-shi-ra, A-shi-ra.

There can be miracles

When you believe

Though hope is frail

It's hard to kill

Who knows what miracles

You can achieve

When you believe

Somehow you will

Now you will

You will when you believe

You will when you believe

Artemis looks up at me with a wonderful look of awe and happiness. I start to set her down in her crib so I could call Prim and see about setting up a lunch. Just when I pick up the phone, I am amazed at what I hear.

"Momma," Artemis says reaching her arms up at me, wanting to be held.

I verbally gasp and almost start crying. This little girl just called me "momma". I can't believe it. This never happens. This girl is almost twelve months old, and she already producing sound. It must be because of the special medicine she received in the hospital. I decide that no bad can come from it, but make a mental note to address it later with a nurse.

"That's right," I say through my tears of joy, "Your momma is right here."

I pick her up and she smiles, back to being able to play with my braid. When I compose myself enough, I pick up the phone to dial Prim. I wait as it is ringing and when it picks up I hear a man's voice.

"Hello," he says.

"Hi John," I say into the phone. John is Prim's husband, and supposed to be at training. "Running a little late for the training I see," I say jokingly.

"Well it doesn't start for another ten minutes, but if I am late, Plutarch is going to skin me alive. I'm guessing you want to talk to Prim," he says.

"Yes, that would be wonderful," I reply. Artemis is still fascinated by my braid and I smile at her.

"I'm guessing this is about the new news in your life. Don't worry, I haven't told her yet. I figured you might want to do it. I'll go get her," he says.

"Thanks John," I say.

I wait about a minute before another voice picks up on the line. It sounds very sleepy, almost like it woke up from a nap.

"Hello," the voice tiredly says.

"Good to see my sister is keeping up with her sleeping in habits," I say teasingly.

"Katniss!," Prim says, "I almost forgot, I was going to call you this morning to set up our lunch. You got to it first though, which is weird. What's the occasion?"

"What," I say, "I can't call early so I can talk to my sister."

"You sure can," she says back, "even though you have never done it."

I can hear the smile behind the voice and know that she is only joking.

"So," she continues, "you clearly have some news. I'll be over in fifteen minutes, then we can go to lunch. See you soon Katniss."

"Alright Prim," I say, "I'll see you soon."

I hang up the phone and look at Artemis. She had been playing with my hair until now, and she looks up at me. I smile and look down at her.

"You are gonna get to meet your Aunt Prim today," I say sweetly to her. "She is just going to love you, and probably going to spoil you to the moon and back."

Artemis smiles and says, "Momma."

"Yes," I say, "I am your momma. Don't you ever forget it."

I take Artemis's stuffed lion into the living room with me and sit on the couch. Artemis is playing contently with the lion, so I let my mind wander. It was just last year when Prim had gotten the diagnosis. She was 21 and wanted to have a child with her husband. They had been married for about a year, and were going to have no trouble supporting another person. They tried and tried but nothing would happen. They went to a doctor and received some awful news. Prim had been told that she wasn't able to have children. The doctor said that it was due to not having enough food in middle development. That time was parallel to when my father died. When my mother clocked out, I had to support the family, and even when I got good at hunting, we didn't always have full stomachs. I blamed myself, and Prim obviously saw right through it. She said not to blame myself, but I did anyway. That was a factor of me almost losing it at the end of last year's games.

I am awaken from my daydream when a voice rings through the penthouse.

"Katniss?" Prim asks, searching for me.

"I am in the living room," I say, waiting for the reaction.

Prim walks into the living room and immediately stops. Her eyes dart from me to Artemis back to me.

"Katniss?" Prim asks warily.

"Hey baby," I say to Artemis, "this is your aunt Prim."

Prim is still wide eyed and not breaking contact with me. Artemis reaches out for Prim and I carry her to Prim. Prim takes the baby and asks,

"Katniss, is this yours?"

"She," I correct, "She is mine."

The squeal that erupts from her mouth can probably be heard by everyone in the training complex.

"OH MY GOD KATNISS," she screams.

I laugh at the look of pure joy in her face. Another person that Artemis has seemed to bring back to life. Artemis looks startled at the immediate noise and calls out for me with a cry. Prim looks she touched a burning object and quickly hands me back Artemis.

"It's okay baby," I say to Artemis, "your aunt is just really excited to see you."

"Katniss, why didn't you tell me? When did you get her? How? When has she been able to speak? How old is she? What is her name?" Prim's questions go on and on.

"Woah," I say, "One at a time here. Her name is Artemis Rue Everdeen, and she is about one year old. She has been able to talk since today from all the Captitol medicine they used to keep her alive. I got her when I first arrived to the Capitol on the train, but I had decided to adopt at the beginning of the summer. Her mother took off right after the birth and she was going to be an orphan from birth. I talked to President Snow and he said that if I decided to do a bunch of interviews with her, that she would be safe from the Reaping. When I said yes, they sent me maternity pills to raise my hormone levels like I would if I was having the baby. They then did a procedure to where they injected the baby with my hormones, to make it seem like I was the actual mother. I didn't tell you because I wanted it to be a surprise and I believe it worked."

"Katniss this is great!" Prim exclaims. "I get to be an aunt. I'd never thought that I would live to see this day. From what I can see, you love her more than anything, and she seems to return the feeling."

"It is truly an upside to life," I say, looking down at little Artemis. "C'mon, let's go get some lunch."

Kim POV

We arrive at the bottom floor of the training center and notice that we are only the second pair that has arrived. The first pair immediately starts up a conversation.

"Kim," Tris says sweetly, "how nice to see you."

"Tris," I acknowledge, "how nice to see you as well Tobias."

"Kim," he says, "looking ravishingly beautiful as expected."

"Hey now," Ron says defensively.

"What are you gonna do about it klutz," Tobias fires back, knowing that Ron can't do anything.

"Maybe give you a preview of the upcoming games," Ron says as he starts walking towards where Tobias stands.

Fighting is strictly illegal between the tributes before the games. This is only this way so that everyone will be able to walk unharmed into the games. Just for a better show at that, but rules are rules.

"Ron stop," I put a hand on his chest. "Forget it, it means nothing. Let's go over here," I say, pointing to a corner on the far end of the room away from District 2.

Ron reluctantly comes, and we move over to the other side of the room. We reach the other side of the room and I look over my shoulder and find Tris and Tobias laughing.

"I guess we figured one thing out Four," Tris says, "All we have to do is get rid of Kim and that team is out. Ron is so whipped that he would probably kill himself if she would die, just to be like her."

Tobias laughs and Ron whips around so fast even my reflexes can't catch him. He seemed to move faster than light across the room and sets a punch on Tobias that knocks him to the ground. Tobias looks dazed and confused along with everyone else in the room. This includes District 6 and 8 who have just showed up. Elsa, the beautiful blonde, looks appalled, but her partner, Henry, is admiring Ron's work.

"Damn," he says, "you socked him pretty good. That was pretty speedy as well. Why don't you come and find me during training, I got to ask you guys something."

He finishes and walks over to the training room has just opened. Tobias spits a dirty look at Ron and stalks toward the sword area, where he begins to decapitate dummies at will. Elsa, Fierro, and Elphaba also walk into the training complex, along with the other tributes that have arrived. The are all looking at Ron and Tobias, wondering what happened. Tris lingers however, and looks Ron up and down with an intrigued look. I don't like the look in her eyes. It is the look of reevaluation and finding acceptance. I quickly try to deter her off Ron,

"Four," I ask, "What some little pet name you have for him?"

"Hmm," Tris replies, still deeply in thought. "Oh yeah, the instructor at the academy gave him that. Supposed to be the best student ever in four categories of training. Swords, knives, hand to hand, and bravery. The academy tests you on your fears, what you are afraid of and what you are not. Well see ya around Ron," she says way too sweetly and walks into the training center, and immediately goes to the rock climbing wall, scaling it with ease.

I try to examine the motives behind Tris' last comment. See you around Ron? What does that even mean? Is she coming on to him or something? I don't know so I say to Ron,

"Why don't you head to a training station. I'll go talk to Henry from 8 and see what he wants."



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