Everything seems to explode at once. The ground explodes into showers of dirt and plant matter. Trees burst into flames. The Gamemakers must be adding some kind of effect, turning it around. I wonder if there will be a victor of the seventy-fifth hunger games. Do I even care? I can't find a reason in my confused and foggy mind as to why I should survive. Oddly, I don't feel scared of dying at all. Instead, I feel… numb. All I want is for the pain to end.
For what feels like days, I am only aware of the pain in my head and the ache in my abdomen. The throbbing of my head is overwhelming and I know I will lose my weak grip on consciousness soon.
Without warning, a hovercraft materializes above me. The claw drops down from the underside and lowers until it is directly above me. The metal talons open and grasp me. I want to scream. In pain, in anger, in frustration. And in fear, of who or what awaits me. I can only wish that I die before I find out.
I am not surprised when the face that greets me is Plutarch Heavensbee, head gamemaker. He reaches his hand out, as if to strike me, then his fingers gently slide my eyelids shut. My heart is pounding so hard that I feel blood begin to stream from the wound on my wrist. I silently thank Johanna for this excellent injury as I pass out.
When I swim back into semi-consciousness, I am lying on a padded table. There is a pinching sensation of tubes in my right arm. I am still mostly unable to move. My arm, however, has regained some motion and it flops across my body. I have little control or feeling in it, no proof that I even have fingers. Someone is trying to keep me alive., probably to torture me further. I manage to swing my arm around until I rip the tubes out of my other arm. Some machine starts beeping loudly, but I can't stay conscious long enough to know who it'll summon.
Eventually, I wake fully and am able to open my eyes. I feel another hand in mine and sit up, to find Peeta sitting in a chair next to my bed, asleep. At the sudden jolt, he starts. "Peeta! I thought-" He interrupts me with a kiss. I pull away after a second. "I thought I would never see you again," I whisper.
At that moment, Haymitch walks in, with Plutarch Heavensbee. I flinch as they approach me, still convinced they are going to hurt me, or worse, hurt Peeta. "It's ok," Peeta reassures me as I begin hyperventilating. Haymitch sits on the edge of the bed and I wince in pain. "Sweetheart," he begins, "I'm going to explain what happened. I don't want you to ask any questions until I'm through. Ok?" I nod.
He tells me that there was a plan to break us out of the arena and the tributes had varying degrees of knowledge on it. Plutarch has been in an undercover group for years, aiming to overthrow the capitol. They got Haymitch, Finick, Beetee and me out of the arena. The hovercraft belongs to district thirteen, which apparently, still exists. Meanwhile, all the districts of Panem are in full-scale rebellion
"You didn't tell me." I croak
"No," he says
"Neither you nor Peeta were told, we couldn't risk it," says
"Why did Johanna try to kill me?"
"She didn't," says Peeta softly, "she knocked you out and cut out your tracker."
We sit in silence and I stare blankly at the ceiling. Plutarch leaves and a few minutes later, there is a knock on the door. Haymitch opens it and a woman in a white coat walks in.
"Hello, Katniss," she says brightly. "I have the results from your blood test. You had a miscarriage in the arena, but your hormone levels are still high, so I'd like to do an ultrasound scan." Peeta squeezes my hand at the news. I'm surprised at how much it hurts to have what I already knew confirmed.
"I'm sorry," I tell Peeta.
"No," he says firmly, "it's not your fault." I know he's right, but I feel guilty, like I could have prevented it somehow.
The doctor returns with the machine and squirts the gel on my abdomen. She opens the lid of the computer thing and uses the probe on me. I hold Peeta's hand tightly in mine. I can't read her expression, but then, a look of shock appears on her face. "Katniss, you were carrying twins. One of them has survived."