Fallen from Grace (Hunger Games)

68th Hunger Games

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23. Game Over

    “Ow . . .” she hissed as she applied the cream to her wound on her chest. The peach colored cream smeared over her red and infected wound before she spread the medicine on her hands and applied them to her back. It hurt to touch at first and then sighed with relief when the pain began to die the more she added the ointment on her back. Once she was done, she checked the wound she had on her head when she was trapped under the rubble and tenderly poked the wound.

    She winced for a second before applying the cream there too. Emily wiped the cream on her pants leftover from her hands when longer bits of her hair fell over her face. Geez, her hair must look like a train wreck. When Emily ran her hand through her hair it felt like most of it ended midway down her neck. She was curious how much longer it would be if her hair didn’t curl.

    Wonder how big of a fit Winnow would throw once she got back. Emily smiled at the thought then immediately dropped it. Not ‘if’, ‘when’. As if, in her brain, she was able to keep her promise no problem. As if getting out of the arena alive was a sure thing . . .

    Emily looked to her side, half expecting him to be there to comment on her odd choice for a haircut but was disappointed to see packs with the numbers 1, 2, and 4 on them.

    She turned away to her pack to find a new sports bra bundled in a ball. She pursed her lips and lightly pulled at the back of the band, feeling it just barely keeping hold. Emily was rather surprised it managed to stay in one piece as long as it had with everything she had gone though. The redhead let out a sigh, hoping the Capitol changed the cameras to the Careers for the time being and pulled her shredded sports bra off and quickly into a new one. She swore if she got out alive and all of Panem DID see her breasts, she’d never leave the house.

    Emily then heard a ruckus from below and peeked her head out of the window to find the Careers walking around in the street. “How the FUCK did she beat Fir?” the pretty one from One cursed.

    “Dumb luck, maybe,” the boy from One shrugged. “She’ll sooner or later die of some natural cause. If not, there’s four of us left and she could barely beat four of us last time in the sewers.”

    Emily pursed her lips and slipped away from view and waited for them to disappear around the corner. She ran her hand on her arm when she felt a bump in the shape of a toothpick under her skin. She looked down at her arm and a red dot where the needle shot her and implanted the tracker still remained. Emily blinked at the lump before she pulled out her knife and pointed the blade over her arm; count to three . . . one . . . two . . . Emily stuck the knife to her arm, forcing her lips shut to not let out a sound as she cut a hole in her arm and picked the tracker over her skin to the side as it slowly slipped toward the cut. Her blood ran down the side of her forearm and dropped against the floor as the redhead allowed a quiet cry here and there. Once it peeked out of the wound, she pulled it out and the cannon fired.

    BOOM

    She tossed the tracker aside and pulled her medicine to her and applied it to her arm, the pain slowly soothed away and the blood stopped flowing within seconds. The cream smeared the blood on her arm in a dark pink shade as she pulled herself back up on her feet and ran down the hall for a new place to hide and plan out how to take down the Careers herself. Maybe, if she was lucky, they’d kill each other and she waited until only one of them was left.

    OR . . .

    She could somehow do it herself. The Careers never stuck together when it was only them. And the cannon fire called for her death, so they wouldn’t suspect she was out and about. She only hoped they’d break apart and she caught the ones she could handle.

    Emily slipped into a room with a large metal box in the corner. She peeked inside and found clay pots inside; she turned around to find a smaller box outside on the wall with switches and dials on it. When she approached it and studied the box, she found a temperature dial and a lever. The buttons were lights in red and the whole control box looked filthy. She pulled the lever down and the door of the large metal box closed shut and locked with a clang. The smell of gas followed after and the room grew warmer, fire consumed the window inside the box and then it all stopped.

    She looked back at the control box, the green lights turned red one by one until the last one and the lever moved back up and the door unlocked and opened. Another look at the control box and she noticed another dial with a timer. She raised a brow and tossed the packs except her own to the ground before she sat down and went through what the Careers had received.

    District Two had some sort of brace that attached across one shoulder to the thumb, almost like a ridiculously longer fingerless glove. It was made of a soft material for comfort, but she was suspicious of what it was possibly used for. It was something one of the Twos NEEDED so it couldn’t be good. The other thing in the pack was a needle with some sort of medication bubbling inside. She should just get rid of both of them.

    Emily walked over to the pottery oven and showed the cloth brace in a big pot with a slender neck and pushed the medication out of the needle. The redhead whistled a soft tune as she thought of how to lure the Careers into her trap. And, possibly, succeed. Hopefully they were stupid, desperate, and blood-thirsty to lack any thought.

    She then heard something click and zoom mechanically. Emily’s eyes shifted around the room and found nothing suspicious or dangerous. At least nothing that could physically harm her. The redhead took small steps to the door and looked around the corner, nothing. The clicking and zooming close by her reached her ears again when she walked away down the hall and looked out the windows.

    The Twos walked together. The Ones were nowhere to be found. They were talking amongst themselves, planning on how to off the Ones while it was just them against each other.

    And then the manholes blew out and broke through a window across the street. Green gas spewed from the sewers and the Careers immediately ran into the building Emily hid in. Okay, that was easy. Getting their attention to come into the second floor was her issue. She could always make a lot of noise, but would they really be curious enough to see what the ruckus was?

    The Eight tribute went back to her stuff (and stolen goods) and went through the One pack. A small knuckle gauntlet was all the way at the bottom with a button at the handle. She gently pressed the round button when she knuckle gauntlet opened up with clicks and transformed into a bow. Her fingers hesitated over the curve of the bow, remembering how Liam handled his weapon and how he held himself as he aimed; how he appeared invincible and strong . . .

    The sixteen-year-old pressed her pam to her forehead and let out a quiet sigh. It wasn’t a secret that she missed him. One would have to be an idiot to not see that. She took in a deep breath and exhaled a sigh through her nose as she leaned back on the wall. Emily knew she was too distracted with his death in mind and it wasn’t an appropriate time to mourn, but it fueld her need for vengeance.

    Not her fault.

    Their fault.

    Not her fault.

    Their fault.

    Their fault.

    Their fault . . .

    Emily pushed herself off the wall and tugged the pack closer to her, took out the arrows and placed them in a neat pile, then took out a metal plate. She brought it level to her face and a projection lit up in front of her; her first reaction was to toss it away to the fire pit of an oven. It rolled about until it dropped flat on its back when the projection turned on again and took a better look of it.

    Then an idea hit her. It could be done.

    Emily got back on her feet, pushing the bags into a corner to the control box and went out the door with a bow in hand. The girl took some pieces of rubble from the size that she could carry in her pocket and took soft steps down the stairs as she followed the conversation between the Twos. Emily fished a piece of rock in her pocket and pulled it back to the wire of the bow, spun around the corner and released the rock aimlessly, then hid behind the corner again.

    The sound of a crackle and clunk quietly echoed down the hallway and ceased the Twos’ words.

    Okay, now the risky part . . .

    She took in a deep breath, her heart raced against her chest, readied another rock, and spun around the corner. The Twos faced her direction and saw Emily appear; she released the rock and managed to hit the guy in the eye before she turned away up the stairs when the Careers ran after her.

    “How is she alive!?”

    “She won’t be for long.”

    She made it up the second floor and ran toward her trap and looked back when they turned up from the stairs. The redhead bolted into the room and the Careers followed after her when the sound of something breaking reached their ears. They looked inside when the redhead came to view in the metal box frantically looking around for an escape.

    They chuckled musingly and dragged their feet to her. Emily looked to them with fearful eyes and pressed herself against the shelf of vases to shrink into the wall. “Game over.” They walked through the door when it appeared she was glitching like a corrupted photo. And then there stood projections of the Careers that replaced Emily’s figure.

    The door closed behind them with a clang and they turned to look through the burned window to the redhead playing with the control box. Emily glanced over to the Careers demanding they open the door, but no sound reached her ears. She only smiled at them, her eyes screaming malice. She turned the timer dial and turned up the temperature, then pressed the button to begin the process.

    Emily smelled gas and she saw in their eyes they could smell it too. She pulled her pack over her shoulder and waved them goodbye and turned away to the door when fire consumed the window and cooked flesh and burned hair reached her nostrils halfway down the hallway.

    BOOM

    BOOM


    Two more to go . . .

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