Prim stands before the holographic tv, arms outstretched and eyes alight with a feeling I cannot place. Not quite panic, or fear, yet perhaps curiosity?
“It just turned on!” She exclaims. “I didn’t touch it, I swear!”
A breath catches in my throat. The last time I recall that happening was the year of the quarter quell.
As though reading my thoughts, the screen switches from its previous broadcast of district 2. The familiar sound of a pirate transmission fills the room, like a radio caught between stations. My heart skips a beat. I exchange a glance with Peeta, and know that his thoughts lie in the same place as mine: Beetee.
Yet as the screen lights up, it is not Beetee who stands by the capitol seal, but instead an unfamiliar woman. Her hair is dark, almost jet-black, and her expression fierce. With her lips thinned and brows furrowed, she stares directly toward her viewers. Like a snake. Subconsciously, my hands begin to shake. It is at the same instant as Peeta grabs my hand, that Finnick enters the room. His hair is windswept and his cheeks flushed, as though in a rush.
“Oh thank goodness you’re here,” He says, launching into speech. “They told us all to go home, forced us to, supposedly the capitol have an announcement.”
“Finn,” Peeta begins, as feel his hand slacking slightly against mine. “Who do you mean by ‘they’?”
“I-I’d never seen them before. They were dressed all in white, some kind of armour, and had these huge guns. I think they called themselves peace-“
“Peacekeepers,” I mutter, pulling free from Peetas grasp.
“You know them?”Finnick asks, though I only half hear him. I’m almost at the front door when I feel a hand on my shoulder. He merely brushes my skin, using no force at all, yet it stops me dead in my tracks.
“Katniss,” Peeta whispers, and I can tell how hard he fights to keep steady. “Maybe we should listen. We can’t leave the children here alone, not with them outside.”
I know instantly that he is right, as always. Peeta, constantly putting others before himself, has yet again proved stronger than me. I nod, and follow him back through the house.
Prim opens her mouth to speak, however is intercepted by the reporter.
“Hello,” She says, addressing her audience. A single word, yet she presents it with such force and brutality, that I dread to hear what she says next. “My name is Commander Bourne, and I stand here today, in the Captiol-“ She motions towards the seal beside her, as though we had somehow forgotten the dreaded Capitol. “-to bring you upsetting news. Your president, Paylor, has been assassinated.”
Finn gasps. Tears spring into Prims eyes. Peeta and I, however, stand motionless. My breathing grows heavy and jagged, as I gasp for the air surrounding me. Bourne, however, leaves no time for remorse. Which is almost a shame, as nothing can prepare me for what comes next.
“As a result of this,” She continues. “Your new leaders are to be myself, and my second in command, soldier Gale Hawthorne.”