Chapter 45:Fateful encounter
Authors Note:The story isn't over just yet.
All around me, the battle rages on. Much of the city is outright aflame, and several buildings are collapsing.
At one point, we have to crawl around a burning tank.
We make our way to a courtyard just four blocks from the President's Palace, and grizzly fighting is going on all around.
I see one Peacekeeper taking cover behind a knocked over statue, fighting off eight rebel soldiers. I decide to give my comrade a hand, so I take up cover behind a fountain and together we are able to kill the eight rebels. This gives the peacekeeper enough time to take cover next to me before more rebels arrive.
"Hardley. Is that you?"
I can hear that this is Montgomery's voice, so I respond. I am relieved that one of my friends is still alive through all of this, so much so that I do not care how he recognized me.
We can only exchange a few more words before another throng of rebels show up.
Since they are firing at is in a way that prevents us from sticking our heads up to fire back, we throw our grenades at the rebels.
Four grenades are enough to kill many of the rebels in the courtyard and put the rest off guard long enough for us to gun them down.
Before more Rebs can come to the courtyard, we sprint across it. Of the buildings here, only one of the doors are open. Since neither of us had the time to learn lock picking, we go through the open door.
Inside, it is clear that the rebels decided to loot the place. But apart from the fire, there is no sign of murder or more sinister rebel activities having taken place here; it looks like the former occupant already left.
In any case, the building is on fire so we force ourselves up the stairs to the third floor where the walls were blown away by artillery shells, turning the floor into a roof.
Since we see the rebels before they see us, we throw our last grenades at them. Once the courtyard is secure, we force ourselves to keep marching in spite of exhaustion. Since it is safe for now, we talk while forcing our way back down the stairs and out the front door of the building so we can be on the street.
"So, where are the others?"
"Jacobine's fighting to secure the Capitol Airstrip, Helena's back in District 2, and Aric gto injured so he is being treated in the hospital."
"I hope its not serious."
"Not at all, just a bullet in the foot. He'll live."
As we talk, I can tell by Montgomery's voice that he is still horrified by what happened to his home. Some of the dead civilians might be people he knew. His ability to hold together is admirable.
Once on the street, we reach a foxhole that was fashioned out of sandbags. It is clear that the rebels made this. Inside are five rebels, all asleep. Perhaps these rebels were exhausted from fighting non stop for two full days. In any case, they have weapons and therefore need to die.
We have no grenades of our own, and what ammunition we still have can not be wasted.
We take out our knives, and Montgomery circles to the other side of the foxhole. Reaching across, we each stab one rebel in the throat so they can not scream and awake the others. We repeat until they are all dead, at which point we steal their grenades.
After some more walking, we hear the sound of gunfire. Sneaking carefully so as to avoid detection, we we reach a barricade. On the side of the barricade we approached from, two rebels are firing at an unknown number of peacekeepers on the other side.
These rebels are not regular grunts. Their uniforms indicate they are from some sort of Special Operations division of the District 13 army. Though I can not see their faces, I can tell both can not be much older than eighteen or nineteen.
But there is something about them that is not quite right about them.
One of them runs our of ammo, and they both set their guns down and turn around to reload. This is when I see who they are.
Standing in front of me are the two people who killed my cousin and caused a rebellion; Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark.
They do not reach for their guns, but Katniss already has a bow out and an arrow notched.
She fires before I can react, and the arrow hits me in the chest. Not paying attention to what is going on around me, I sit down and collapse onto my back.