A Peacekeepers Nightmare

Chapter 25:Monsters

We get up with the sun, and return to the road.

We expect to see some more of what we previously saw; what we found was much worse.

Off to the side of the road, sprawled across the ground and soaked in blood, we found the corpses of a family. A husband, a wife, two boys, and one girl. The children can not possibly be older than fourteen, if that.

The husband lies face down in a dried pool of his own blood, a bullet hole carved firmly from the back of his skull. His wife lies nearby, also shot in cold blood. By the looks of the rest of their family, it is clear that they got off lucky.

The oldest son, who looks sixteen, is tied to a tree with his head slumped down presumably in death; by the position he is in suggests he was forced to watch what happened next.

His younger brother lies decapitated nearby, and next to him is their equally dead sister. The way her clothes are torn off implies a gruesome story; it is clear that before she died she suffered a fate worse than death.

Even if the culprits were not obvious, they carved the words 'rebel justice' over the head of the sixteen year old.

With sickened horror, I fall to my knees and vomit on the ground. I can feel the bile burning out of my throat, and I can feel the anger and hatred burning in my chest.

I am not the only one to do so.

Even if we had time to bury the dead, we do not want to hide this. We want everybody to know what kind of monsters these rebels are.

Honors calls to one of the other partisans. "Brutus, get the camera out."

Brutus, who confirmed last night that he was named after the deceased Victor, takes the camera that he told me last night he stole from a rebel reporter whom he mugged two weeks ago. While he is still shaking, he is able to set it up.

From behind the camera, Honos explains what the rebels did here. He makes sure the carving the rebels left is caught in the recording.

After we finish recording, we untie the boy and place a jacket over his dead sister.

As we are untying him, the boy begins to move. He's alive!

Upon seeing his dead family, and remembering what he witnessed possibly even hours ago, the boy feints from shock.

Honos, who is still shaking with terror, carries the boy in his arms.

We walk away from this foul place, further down the road. Eventually, the person walking point bids us stop. To the side of the road, less than ten miles away from the dead family, we find the perpetrators.

They are about six rebels, so we easily outnumber them. I can see that their District 13 uniforms are splattered with blood. From their conversation, we can confirm that they are the monsters who murdered a family in cold blood. After making sure there are no other Rebs else around, Honos whispered to me.

"Are you up for some revenge?"

I nod.

We all agree on how we are going to attack, and quietly we get into position.

Once he gets the O.K. signal from the others, Honos gives the signal.

"Death to traitors!"

The six bastards have just enough time to turn around and reach for their weapons before they are shot multiple times from various directions. I think their deaths were too quick; under the Panem legal code they would have been burned at the stake for what they did to the little girl.

We gather up the belongings of the dead rebels; this includes backpacks full of spare District 13 clothing and supplies, munitions and grenades, District 13 machine guns, and blood splattered personal possessions that clearly belonged to the boy's family.

We load the latter into into a backpack, which we place on the back of the unconscious boy that Honos carries. The six rebels are given shallow graves in their camping place, and we move off again.

The sun is going down, and it is midnight when we reach the outskirts of the Central City of District 2.

Even from here, I can see the lights shining from the Acropolis. That great fortress is a pillar of hope. It is a sign that Mom and Annona are safe.

I mist keep them safe.

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