"let's go" a set of hands push me out the door a peace keeper no question i sigh
"walk" i look down sickly clean white hallway, the smell of paint lingers "I said walk" the peace keeper says harshly, i obey.
.I hear the screams once again this time coming out from the next room. four peace keepers rush out of a room blocking our path. i see that they are holding someone covered in patches and blood, screaming "get off" kicking and waving her arms to get free.
"GET OFF ME!" i see a hint of the girls face, Johanna!
"Johanna?" her screaming stops for a moment turning her body toward me.
"Peeta!" she looks as if she seen a ghost, then i know they are trying to kill her.
"get off her" i elbow the peace keeper heading into the group of peace keepers in front of me. trying to grab a hold of johanna and run.
"knock them both out now!" i here someone yell. a sting of pain goes through me once again and everything goes dark.
. . .
my eyes open from the pain. a group of doctors surround me. I look down seeing again i'm strapped down into a chair. my surroundings have changes the walls are green the room empty with no other chairs or windows, only a huge white screen covers one wall in front of me.
my head is pounding. these doctors wear masks covering their lips so all i see are these foreign eyes staring at me, one with blue eyes, a women maybe? comes up with a needle full of yellow liquid.
"no" i don't want to be drugged again , fear runs through me. try to break free but it's no use.
"we should of done it when he was out"
"we need him awake, Presidents orders."
I scream but, I know no one is coming. the doctors pin me as i try to dodge the needle. i scream and i scream. trying to stop them to the point my throat hurts.
"keep his arms still!" a male voice says. i watch as the needle pierces my skin the yellow liquid draining into my body. I go numb. the hands turn into snakes, the walls are melting. i'm paralyzed with fear a clip starts to play on the wall that's not melting.
Trees, so many trees, I see myself, the careers, and Katniss.
Katniss in trees the tracker jackers nest falling on to me. Katniss cutting the nest, but...i see her jump down from the tree running. she tried to kill me...I see here run toward me knife in her hands, with a mutt like smile.
"Katniss?" I back away slowly.
her features change in and out. "It was all an act" she smiles. and her skin peels away into a mutt.
Her arrow pointed up into the force field, "It was all an act" is whispered over and over again.
I Scream, stop it please I can't take please!...
I find myself leaning against a brick wall, my hands bound behind my back, it's cold but i'm soaked in sweat ,my feet are bare with strap marks around my ankles. I try to sit up, but my head starts to spin, i give all my energy trying to get a glimpse of what i'm in. i'm in some sort of cell. there are no walls? only a white floor and a solid grey bricked wall behind me, but the room is dim. i try to look up again this time going slowly to look on the right side of me. peace keepers with guns an empty cell visible to me. to my left another cell, empty.
"She is out cold now sir," a voice say coming from a near by hallway, footsteps coming closer into my view. Five peace keepers holding what looks like a boy. his hair all shaved off from his head.
"unlock the force feilds for cell number one" say a peace keeper. he doesn't even bother to look at me. can he see me?
"yes sir." the peace keeper to my right heads to the empty cell. doing something but i dont have the strength to keep watching.
I hear a thug. I look up once more seeing the peace keepers close put the unknown prisoner in its cell.
"make sure when she wakes up she doesn't try anything" all the peace keeper nod heading out the door. leaving me with this stranger.
She? I finally get a look on the girls face. The soft features too feminine to be a boy, my eyes widen, it's Johanna. She filthy and covered in bruises. Leaning against the only wall in the cell. I try sitting up once again this time I succeed. I lean my head back against the wall looking toward Johanna.
"it was all an act" a fait whisper says, Katniss?
"Peeta?" I jump making me wince. Johanna is awake. She looks weak, I never seen her like this. it shocks me that not to long ago she was this tough girl who didn't give a damn about anything.
"I'm sorry" she sounds horse. I'm confused.
"we should of told you" she coughs up blood. Told me what?
"Right, you don't know"
My heart quickens not from excitement but with fear.
"Haymitch said that it was better that you didn't know" she breathes getting tired from speaking.
"tell me what?" I ask . I try not to sound harsh but I couldn't help my self. She shakes her head.
She sighs "We all knew we were all going to escape at some point."
She catches my attention so I don't dear interrupt .
"Katniss told Haymitch to keep you alive instead of her," she pauses "the only reason he kept that promise was so she would go on to be the mockingjay, she didn't know anything about this I swear to you, I thought she didn't care about you but, seeing how she reacted to you being in danger I knew."
She coughs "Anyway the plan was that, Finnick, Katniss, you and I were supposed to get out from the arena and head to district 13 but, when the wire cut, i tried to cut out our trackers, Katniss thought i was trying to kill her and the Enborina came in and knocked me out and now war is starting, the uprising is here."
"You're telling me that Haymitch had this plan all along?"
She nods "Plutarch was in on the plan as well" her face grows sad "You deserve to know" she whispers. Leaning her head back against the wall closing her eyes.
I look down at a spot on the ground. He lied to me... all this time he knew, he could of got us out but he didn't! And Katniss knew the promise I told to haymitch was a lie. Range fills with in me. I can't take it anymore! The lying, the secrets! I thought he was my friend! i'm so angry i can't even react to anything anymore
I look to the empty cell next to me. why is threecells?
I hear the foot steps of returning peace keepers.
I watch as two of them head toward my cell. They press something but I don't know what. The force fields turn off. Leaving them to come and get me on the ground.
I don't ask where I am going, because I don't care, I'm so done with everything.
A wheelchair waits for me at the doorway. I look over at the two peace keepers
"sit" one of them says harshly. I obey.
I get rolled down a long white hallway and get turned to the right into another room. This time it looks like a dressing room?
"get him ready" I look behind me seeing my prep team in chains, being pushed into the room.
The peace keepers leave the room but they stand near the door way.
Portia comes up to me pushing me in front of a mirror. My face dirty and bruised dried blood in the corner of my mouth from my busted lip.
"You knew didn't you? About the rebellion,? " she looks at me through the mirror, with sad eyes while my prep team looks at me as though I'm alien, as if they never seen this side of me.
"Yes" Portia answers.
I sit in silence as my prep team works on me. I don't have the energy to talk and i'm just so frustrated. A peace keeper tells me I will be doing an interview with Caesar Flickerman about the recent Hunger games.
Ms.Everdeen cares for you, and that will kill her little by little not being able to get to you.
This interview, is to be broadcast to all of Panem, so If district 13 has a network that means Haymitch will see me as well Katniss. District 13 are the rebels. So that means Katniss would be among them.
Once my prep team is done with me my face is flawless with no trace of damage on my skin. I look like i never been in the games at all, if only that were true. I wear simple capital clothes.
The peace keepers roll me down the long hallway again, leaving me prep team behind in the dressing room.
"can you stand?"
I nod as we roll into a TV set. Two stairs on a stage with cameras all around them catch my view. there isn't a crowd because this is to be a recorded segment. Caesar is already seated on of the chairs talking to a camera preparing for my interview.
"Now joining me Peeta Mellark" Caesar booms with a fake smile as I rise from my wheelchair.
I make my way to the stage trying to be care with my fake leg. I am greeted with a simple hand shake and I take me seat.
"So Peeta welcome back"
I smile slightly trying to look as normal as possible. "I bet you thought you'd done your last interview with me, Caesar."
Caesar nods "I confess, I did" he pauses "the night before the Quarter Quell... well, who ever thought we'd see you again"
I almost laugh but, I keep calm. "it wasn't part of my plan , that's for sure" I frown. Caesar leans in a little. "I think it was clear to all of us what your plan was. To sacrifice yourself in the arena so that Karniss Everdeen and your child could survive."
Oh right we are pregnant. "That was it. Clear and simple" I look down tracing the upholstered pattern on the arm of the chair. "But other people had plans as well"
I can imagine Haymitch, watching me in a room, drinking his whiskey. There's a long silence that follows. "why don't you tell us about that last night in the arena?" Caesar suggests "Help us sort a few things out"
I nod but try to find my words first, how do I explain hell on earth?
"That last night... to tell you about that last night... well, first of all you have to imagine how it felt in the arena. It was like being an insect trapped under a bowl filled with steaming air. And all around you, jungle... green and alive and ticking. That giant clock ticking away your life. Every hour promising some new horror. You have to imagine that in the past two days, sixteen people have died- some of them defending you. At the rate things are going, the last eight will be dead by morning. Save one. The victor. And your plan is that it won't be you"
i try to keep it together, it's so hard talking about this, all of panem is watching now listening in how horrible the games really are.
"Once you're in the arena, the rest of the world becomes very distant," I sigh trying to think of more to say. "All people and things you loved or cared about almost cease to exist. The pink sky and the monsters in the jungle and the tributes who want your blood become your final reality, the only one that ever mattered. As bad as it makes you feel, you're going to have to do some killing, because in the arena, you only get one wish. And it's very costly."
"It costs your life," for a moment I forgot Caesar was speaking to me.
"Oh, no. It costs a lot more than your life. To murder innocent people?" I shake my head. "It costs everything you are."
"Everything you are" I hear Caesar repeat my words. And again silence fills the room, I see as all these capital people are tuning into with their full attention, so this is what it feels like to have a little control.
"So you hold on to your wish. And that last night, yes, my wish was to save Katniss. But even without knowing about the rebels, it didn't feel right. Everything was too complicated. I found myself regretting I hadn't run off with her earlier in the day, as she had suggested. But there was no getting out of it at that point."
"You were to caught up in Beetee's plan to electrify the salt lake" Caesar says
"Too busy playing allies with the others. I should have never let them separate us!" I almost scream. But I calm myself "That's when I lost her"
"When you stayed at the lightning tree, and she and Johanna Mason took the coil of wire down to the water," He clarifies.
" I didn't want to!" I burst out once again. "But I couldn't argue with Beetee without indicating we were about to break away from the alliance. When that wire was cut, everything went insane. I can only remember bits and pieces. Trying to find her. Watching Brutus kill Chaff. Killing Brutus myself. I know she was calling my name. Then the lightning bolt hit the tree, and the force field around the arena ...blew out."
"Katniss blew it out, Peeta" Caesar reminds me "You've seen the footage" so it's true that wasn't a lie, that means the ruins she was walking in, must be no it can't be.
It was all an act
My body stiffens "She didn't know what she was doing. None of could follow Beetee's plan. You can see her trying to figure out what to do with that wire" I snap
"All right. It just looks suspicious," He looks unconvinced
I raise from my chair and lean into Caesar's face, my hands lock on the arms of his chair.
"Really? And was it part of her plan for Johanna to nearly kill her? For that electric shock to paralyze her? To trigger the bombing?" i find myself yelling, feeling the betrayal finally hit me.
"She didn't know, Caesar!" Neither of us knew anything except that we were trying to keep each other alive!"
He places his hand on my chest pushing me away from him
"Okay, Peeta, I believe you." i withdraw from Caesar, and i pull back my hands running them through my blond curly hair, slumping back in my seat. He is quiet for a moment studying me carefully.
"What about your mentor, Haymitch Abernathy?" I feel my angry come back again. oh the words that would come out of my mouth if i weren't thinking right now.
"I don't know what Haymitch knew." I lie
"Could he have been part of the conspiracy?" He asks
"He never mentioned it." I say because it's true
"What does your heart tell you?" he asks still on this topic.
"That i shouldn't have trusted him" I pause "That's all"
Katniss in her mutt like stage pops into me head. was it all an act? I mean she acted like she liked me during out first games and fooled everyone, maybe she did it once again.
"We can stop now if you want" Caesar snaps me out of my thoughts
"Was there more to discuss?"
"I was going to ask your thoughts on the war, but if you're too upset..." he trying to stop the interview it's obvious.
"Oh, I'm not too upset to answer that" i take a deep breath looking right into a camera, imagine all of panem watching me.
"I want everyone watching- whether you're on the capital or the rebel side- to stop for just a moment and think about what this war could mean. For human beings. We almost went extinct fighting one another before. Now our numbers are even fewer. Our conditions more tenuous. Is this really what we want to do? Kill ourselves off completely? In hopes that-what? Some decent species will in herit the smoking remains of the earth.?"
"I don't really... I'm not sure I'm following..." he's confused.
"We can't fight one another, Caesar," I explain "There won't be enough of us left to keep going. If everybody doesn't lay down their weapons- and i mean, as in very soon - it's all over, anyway"
"So... you're calling for a crease-fire?" he asks
i sigh "Yes. I'm calling for a crease-fire," i'm getting exhausted from all these questions.
"Now why don't we ask the guards to take me back to my quarters so i can build another hundred card houses?" i try to sound sarcastic but fail.
Caesar nods turning back to the camera. "All right. I think that wraps it up. So back to our regularly scheduled programming" he says with a big fake smile.
all the cameras shut off immediately. i raise up from my chair seeing the worried look of Caesar.
"That was a big mistake Mr. Mellark" standing in the door way stands President Snow. He gives me a look of evil. he looks over to one of my gaurds.
"Give him another dose, seems the first has no effect."