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HG: Golden Mean, Chapter Twenty-Two - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
HG: Golden Mean, Chapter Twenty-Two
The district 6 morphling has just sacrificed herself for Peeta, drawing an end, as far as the Gamemakers are concerned, to the night's violence. When the tributes have settled in, they switch to a broadcast of the musical sensation, Star-Crossed. Which is exactly what Haymitch thinks it is.



Chapter Twenty-Two
After the battle with the mutts, the kids may be physically tired, but I’m too anxious to go back to sleep, at least not without chemical help, which Effie has instructed the attendants to withhold while she gets a few minutes of sleep herself. I'm not the only one too wound up to sleep. The telephone rings about twenty minutes into the musical, and I find Prim on the other end, embarrassed as only a girl of thirteen can be. It's got to be five-thirty in the morning there, but I know perfectly well that she's not just getting up.

"Haymitch! Can't they stop playing this?"

"Sorry, Sweetheart," I say. On screen, the actress playing her is dancing through a flower-strewn meadow, on her way to help a sick old woman. I wait to see if there is a wolf in the offing somewhere, but he seems to be absent (at least until the upcoming Reaping scene, I suppose, where the part will be played by whoever's playing Effie). "Capitol entertainment is one thing I can't explain. Or control."

She makes a disgusted little squeaking noise. "Ed Mellark says that girl doesn't even look like she farts properly."

In the background, I hear Ruth yell, "Primrose!"

"Sorry, Mom!" she calls back, then whispers, "Well, she doesn't. Ed says he doesn't want to see it when Peeta starts walking on the river or whatever he's going to do."

"Ed's over there?" I ask.

"He was until a few minutes ago, with Delly and Mr. and Mrs. Mellark. They wanted to do all the interviews together. I think they want us to all be in the same place if... if something exciting happens. Anyway, the Mellarks went home to get some sleep since everyone seems okay. Are they okay, Haymitch?"

"As okay as they can be, honey."

She commiserates with me about the play for the next five minutes (her character is actually dancing with a giant butterfly), until the attendants come by and remind me sharply that sponsor phones are not for personal conversations. I hang up, and momentarily want to be there at the Everdeens', no Games going on, just watching this insane musical and laughing about the butterfly. I doubt Katniss will be in a laughing mood when we pull her out of the arena, so I probably won't even tell her about it, but I imagine her into the scene, cuddled up with Peeta, groaning elaborately at Bellona Baynes's overdone iciness while Peeta cringes at the sappy ballad his actor has just entered singing, as he is the first to arrive for the Reaping and he "has a feeling" that it's him and just wants to "love that one girl" before he dies.

They'd hate it. I hate it, too, but I want them here with me, so we can hate it together. Johanna and Finnick and Mags and Seeder and Chaff, too. Hell, Berenice can come. Peeta'd want her there. She'll be as sober as she can be, and she can finger paint the television. I decide to stop before I imagine us into breaking the overcrowding codes. I'm sure Thread has ways to control imaginary crowds.

The music picks up, and the raucous Reaping scene begins with a duet between Effie and me, as she scolds me for being a drunk, and tells me there's more to me, and I should know it and I tell her to stop nagging, because a drunk is all I am. It ends with a balletic dive from the stage. This gets sarcastic applause from the mentors in One and Two. Toffilis, who's managed to drag himself out of bed somehow (Harris and Jack have both gone in), rolls his eyes.

I go to get something to eat, but as I pass the lift, the door opens, and Plutarch Heavensbee glares out at me. He nods into the elevator, and I go in with him. We go back up to the penthouse. The worker ant techs have changed shifts, but they don't look any different. Other than Plutarch, the Gamemakers aren't there.

"Enjoying the show?" Plutarch asks. "Star-Crossed, I mean. It was quite a sensation. Fulvia had a hand in it."

"Never saw anything like that butterfly dance back in District Twelve," I say.

He puffs up. "Yes, that was my nephew's choreography. And the music for the whole thing was written by young Julian Day, though Fulvia adjusted the lyrics a bit, to fit the images we want to project."

"How do you mean?"

"Well, among other things, he seems to have envisioned Primrose as some kind of comic relief, instead of the healer most of the country sees her as. She was making jokes every other minute. Also, he wanted to have her be frightened. The original opening number was a nightmare sequence, if you can imagine it. We need people to see District Twelve as brave and upright. That's why Fulvia added the bit where Effie sees you as a hero who's just fallen on hard times. Too much of Panem still just sees you as an amusing drunk, which is an image you have not done much to correct." Plutarch purses his lips, clearly still annoyed at this concept. "Julian was very taken with District Twelve, as I understand it." He looks like this is something he will never particularly understand. "We need to talk in my office." He opens the door and practically pushes me in. Jack Anderson is in a chair, snoring. Harris is making a superhuman effort to keep his eyes open, and the District Three stylist, Nerilla, is curled up under the window.

"One more," Plutarch says and disappears.

"One more?"

"Toffilis," Harris says, and yawns. Guess he'll just order him up here. He can do that."

Sure enough, five minutes later, Toffilis is marched in. Plutarch calls for a pot of coffee.

"Don't you need to be babysitting your arena?" Jack asks. "It might start raining blood on my tributes, or gassing Harris's."

"They're going to have to figure the arena out," Plutarch says brusquely. "It's a relatively simple design, and I believe Wiress already has it, though she seems to have trouble making herself understood without Beetee fully conscious. Once they figure it out, they'll have no problem avoiding the traps until the hovercraft arrives."

"Which is when, exactly?" Toffilis asks.

"I don't have an ETA. I expect within five days."

I force myself not to try and strangle him. "You expect?"

"I wondered why no one had asked me about the arena before our meeting," Plutarch says. "Apparently, some false intelligence was floating around about the South Seas. Luckily, our friends weren't foolish enough to go in without surveillance, and they found half of the Panem Navy patrolling the area."

"Panem has a Navy?" Harris asks, and I can almost see the wheels in his head turning. I think in District Four, they assumed that, if they got past the boundary mines, they'd be clear in the ocean.

Plutarch looks chagrined. "Well... let's say that half the Navy is not a particularly dire threat, unless you're trying to do something sneaky. The point is, they were testing for a leak. They'd have found one if a commander called Boggs had not been particularly alert. That said, the rescue craft is significantly off course."

"Are you telling me that arena isn't in the South Seas?" Harris asks.

"It would have been very difficult to build this particular arena in a place where we couldn't properly anchor it. And really, an island would be a foolish location. There's far too much support needed around an arena."

"Where is it? What is it?" I ask. "Don't tell me it's closer to the Capitol than to Thirteen."

"The arenas are built with visitors in mind," Plutarch reminds me. "Of course it's relatively close. There were a few far away in early years, when we used the natural environment more than the constructed one -- the first Games were in the Amazon basin -- and now and then, they've used ruined cities in Europe and Africa, but the constructed arenas are all easy tourist destinations in out-district areas of Panem. They're easier to control, and the forcefields keep out the more dangerous out-district elements."

"There really are out-district people?" Nerilla asks. "Like in the shows?"

"Not all like in the shows. They're hostile and barbaric, and I do not recommend going out there to find out for yourself. They're short on women." He lets this sink in. "Now, before we are further derailed, will you explain Wiress's notion of the bread?"

"Well," Nerilla says, "bread is one of those common arena gifts -- expensive, but common -- so Beetee and Wiress guessed that no one would question it. They were able to tell Finnick, Seeder, and Johanna. So when the rescue is four days out, we send bread to Finnick from district Four. He'll know that it means help is coming. Then we can somehow use District Three bread to count hours, but I'm not sure how that works."

"District Three bread is in small rolls," Plutarch says. "We'll use them to count down and signal."

This seems to me a half-baked plan -- so to speak -- that could go wrong a hundred ways, not the least of which would be Beetee or Finnick dying. "Wouldn't it make more sense to code messages with gifts?"

"Gifts go through a lot of hands," Plutarch says. "Too risky."

"And why didn't I know about this?"

"Do you have any idea how closely you're watched, Haymitch? I already stuck my neck out following your orders about making sure Peeta stays alive, and this is the first time since Beetee thought of it that I've had a chance to call everyone together without it being noticeable."

"My orders?"

"When someone threatens to 'cut my damn throat' if I don't comply, I tend to consider it an order." Plutarch turns decisively to address the whole room. "We will, of course, also need to consider our evacuation of the viewing center. It will need to be simultaneous with the break from the arena, or we risk sabotaging one or the other. I have a craft of my own, suitable to get us to a rendezvous point which is, in fact, an island, where we will regroup with the tributes from the arena. There is a fully equipped medical hovercraft waiting for us there, in case of injuries."

"So, what's the plan for our evacuation?" Jack asks.

"On screen, you will see Beetee working with the wire he has been provided. Ignore whatever he claims to be using it for. It will have to be midnight. Come to the roof in the hour before -- one at a time. Cause no alarm. Just start calling in your spellers."

"What about Effie?" I ask. "If we disappear, they'll grab her for sure."

"Effie Trinket is a Capitol citizen, and not part of this business. Snow knows he has no reason to mistreat her."

"Except to get us to make a mistake!" I pace across the room. "And what about Portia? They've already arranged an accident for Cinna, and she's locked up in the Justice Building. Effie's trying to get her out --"

"Then Effie will need to succeed. There is no way we'll be able to manage a jailbreak at the same time."

"So you want Effie to stick her neck out, and then you're going to leave her here?"

"Where, precisely, do you think she'd rather be? Or do suggest we remove her from her home against her will?"

"And Peeta's preps? You said Fulvia's taking care of Katniss's."

Plutarch glowers at me. "Who else do you want me to bring along, Haymitch? Those children you visited, maybe? Or the young couple who want you to save Katniss and Peeta? Perhaps Julian Day? Snow's granddaughter, Prisca? Maybe we should bring Snow himself along, while we're at it. Or we could just airlift the entire population of the Capitol out, and they can all start over somewhere else."

"I'm talking about people in the line of fire."

"And I am talking about an already delicate operation that cannot absorb more complications. If Effie isn't able to sponsor Portia successfully, she will most likely be deported to District Three. As to the beauticians and the medic on Peeta's prep team, I hardly think Snow will concern himself with them. They're not important, in the grand scheme. I wouldn't trouble Katniss's team if Cinna hadn't explicitly requested it."

"And our Avox, Darius? He's Katniss's friend."

Plutarch looks at me like I'm something nasty he's found on his shoe. "I wonder, Haymitch, how dedicated you are to this rebellion. This isn't about keeping up your social connections in the Capitol. We'll all be losing people. I have a family myself. I'm sure that my nephew's career will be destroyed. My apprentice Gamemakers will be questioned harshly. Fulvia's brother is in debtors' prison, will almost certainly never be released. We can't rescue everyone. We don't have the resources. I arranged to make sure Peeta Mellark remains alive, and you've seen what that has cost so far. How many more will you sacrifice to remove people who are not, in all likelihood, in mortal danger?"

I don't say anything. There's no argument with this on a logical level. But I decided that even if I have to take a page out of Katniss's book and drug Effie with sleep syrup, she and Portia will be on the rooftop with me, and if Plutarch doesn't put her on his transport, I'll leave Plutarch behind and learn to fly the thing myself.

Having decided this, I feel considerably better.

Plutarch lays out the rest of his delicate choreography, which will undoubtedly fail to happen as planned, then releases us, saying obscurely that, given the positions of the tributes, nothing of consequence will happen until six in the morning, and we should get some sleep while we can. He instructs us to go down separately, as it would be obvious if we all arrived in a pack.

Effie has returned to my station when I get back, though she's asleep with her head on the table beside the phone. I wake her up. Her wig is slightly askew, but I can't see the hair under it. "Go to bed, Effie," I say.

"You left the phone attended," she says, straightening the wig and looking at me crossly.

"Sorry. Got called in by the Gamemakers. Well, Plutarch Heavensbee, anyway. He says our bank account is pretty low. And he won't send Katniss clothes."

Effie makes a disgusted little sound. "Really. The poor girl is nearly naked in there. Did any sponsor call while I was sleeping?"

"The only call I got was from Prim."

"Oh. She's a sweet thing, isn't she?" Effie starts going through our donations on the boards, probably trying to make them add up to a tee shirt. "I do like her when I go visit Twelve."

"Effie, have you ever thought of living someplace like Twelve?"

Her hand flutters over her heart, and she says, sarcastically, "Haymitch, what are you proposing?"

"Nothing. Just wondering."

She considers it. "I can't see why I'd give up everything I have. My work is here, such as it is. And I have to admit, I'd be very uncomfortable if everyone could see my real hair. I'd feel as naked as Katniss must!"

I consider pressing further, to see if she'd really object to being kidnapped, but I can't think how to do it that wouldn't be suspicious, particularly since she obviously has an inkling that I'm involved with someone else, and probably a pretty good idea of exactly who. Instead, I tell her to get more sleep, and she tells me to get some, and we argue about who will be spelling who until we decide to just stay up together and watch the musical.

Fulvia apparently stopped re-writing before the end, because the last half hour is actually watchable, and the "Nightlock" number, with six separate plots being sung around the image of Katniss offering up the berries, is kind of terrifying. Peeta is singing about his death wish, and Katniss about how she refuses to live without him. I am contemplating suicide (I'm not really following why), and Effie is trying to sing me out of it. Ruth and Dannel -- who are best friends in the play, though in real life, until the Reaping, they hadn't spoken for years -- are singing out their mutual grief, while Mirrem sings wistfully about having his children, but never his heart. The "cousins" are singing about how life would be without family, and Prim has a haunting song about becoming an only child. If I didn't know who these people were in real life, and exactly how they must be feeling about this, I'd probably be impressed.

At about five, the show ends, and I go to sleep with my head on the table until the anthem plays, announcing the start of live coverage. They don't waste time with recaps or studio analysis, because Chaff and Earl have woken up to a nightmare.

I have seen a lot of mutts in the last twenty-five years, and none of them inspire warm feelings in me, but this thing has to be the largest mutt I've ever seen. Claudius cheerfully describes it as another "literary" mutt, this one a dragon. Personally, I think it looks like pictures of dinosaurs I've seen, but I'll go with dragon if that's what Claudius wants to call it. It's a huge, bird-like thing, with sharp claws and a tearing beak.

And it breathes fire.

The Muttation Appreciation Society must be going crazy for this thing.

It seems to have woken up just as coverage began, giving a flaming roar and taking to the skies above Chaff and Earl's camp. They'd have been flash-fried if Chaff hadn't been awake and keeping watch. He grabs Earl and does even wait for him to wake up before dragging him to cover under the heavy forest canopy.

"This won't last!" he yells, pulling Earl up a hill. "The thing can burn the canopy away."

"The hell..." Earl manages, panting. He stops running and breathes heavily, hands on his knees. "I can't just keep running, Chaff. Neither can you."

"You have a weapon?"

Earl shakes his head. "We can come up with something. Let's break another tree. Spear." He mimes throwing one.

Chaff obviously has his doubts, but neither of them is in any shape to run forever. So he finds a thin tree, and between them, they manage to snap it in two, leaving a sharp wooden point. Water gushes from the stump, then peters out.

"You take it," he says. "I only have one hand -- that thing's too heavy to work without balance." He pries one of the sharp splinters off the side of the stump, using his foot for counter pressure, and wields it like a knife. It was his smart hand he lost, but he's made himself learn to compensate.

Earl has the spear balanced nicely. He was a spear-man in his Games, if I recall. As he watches, the leaves above them go up in flames, and sharp talons descend. Chaff swings with his knife, drawing blood. Earl pokes at the creature with the makeshift spear, but can't get a clear throw.

"If we were out on the beach," he says, "I could hit him from the ground."

"And he could broil us while you're trying!"

Earl considers this. "Right. Yeah. Don't need to slay the dragon. Just keep him off us. Except that we can't do that if it's alive, so maybe we better slay it."

"Oh!" Chaff exclaims in disgust. "Was it your Games where you were slaying half the arena just to keep it off you?"

"There were a lot of mutts!"

"And you went out hunting them. You were crazy. Crazy's going to get us both killed."

"You have a better idea?"

Chaff grumbles, then says, "Fine. The beach. But stick close to the trees."

They make a run for it. The dragon follows them.

Once they reach the beach, Earl hurls the spear at the creature... and misses. The dragon burns it to a stick of ash.

Chaff grabs his arm and says, "Come on. We've got to get somewhere, fast."

As if to punctuate, a jet of flame comes at them. They dive for the trees. Earl starts to head east.

Chaff grabs him. "No! Just before our friend woke up, I heard something over there. Buzzing. I got close. There were tracker jacker nests in the trees."

Earl looks west, toward where the dragon is systematically burning down lines of trees. "Well," he says, "we can't go the other way. I'll try not to upset the bees."

"Wasps."

"Whatever. Maybe our friend will bake them for us. Think we could eat them?" Earl sets off at a jog, his earlier weariness absorbed in the rush of adrenaline. Chaff follows, looking nervously up at the trees. There are definitely nests up there, but I don't see any tracker jackers crawling on them. They're asleep.

The dragon comes to the edge of the wood, then, for no reason I can see, turns around and goes back to its lair.

"What an exciting chase to wake up to!" Leontius Bidwell, Claudius's early morning replacement, says as we return to the studio. "Welcome back to the Seventy-Fifth Annual Hunger Games!"

He goes on to re-cap yesterday's events, and again, they try for interviews in the street. They manage to scare up people who claim these are the best games ever, and they're terribly excited, but I can't help noticing that they keep looking nervously off-camera. I wonder who's been brought along to make sure they give the right answers.

On my screens, I can see that Katniss and Peeta are still sleeping. They've both been digging at their rashes. So has Finnick, who I can see on Harris's screen, though he hasn't been doing it in his sleep. I don't think he's slept at all, though he's nodding groggily as he weaves a basket to keep himself awake.

Coverage shows the Careers, now being guarded by Cashmere, sleeping peacefully. Cashmere is singing quietly to herself, the one song of hers that almost reached the level of a hit (a brainless little dance tune that had a quick run in the clubs during the Games the year it was out.

Wiress is awake in Johanna's camp, muttering "Tick-tock, tick-tock," and singing "Hickory Dickory Dock." She watches the smoke rise from the fires where Chaff and Earl were, and sings, "The clock struck four, the mouse said no more" then lets her voice trail off, whispering, "Tick-tock."

In her tree, Faraday Sykes is muttering in her sleep.

Coverage returns to the studio, where Leontius has invited in several muttation experts to talk about the dragon.

I fall asleep at the table, and don't wake up until nine, when there is a lot of noise in the room. A hot geyser has just erupted in the middle of the Careers' camp. Gloss gets a nasty burn, and they're lucky that's all it is. The whole area is filled with them, and everywhere they try to go, it seems there are walls of hot water shooting up around them. Somehow, they manage to dodge them, running a little bit to the south. Leontius shows this on the map.

I frown at it, and think "Tick-tock." The dragon, at six in the morning. At the base of the circle. Right before the dragon, Chaff heard tracker-jackers in the area where he and Earl are now. The blood rain last night, followed by the fog, followed by the monkeys, as Katniss's group worked its way around the edge of the circle. And now, nine o'clock, and geysers.

By luck, Earl and Chaff, and now the Careers, have moved backward.

In the opposite direction from the way the disasters are moving.

"What is it, Haymitch?" Harris asks beside me.

I switch my screen to show the main broadcast, where the map is still hanging, then hold up my watch. "Notice anything?" I ask.

Harris swears under his breath.

Tick-tock.

Yeah, Plutarch -- very easy once you figure it out. Except that there's nowhere else to go, and if you escape one horror, there's a good chance of running into another.

I don't have time to think about it much, because Katniss wakes up around nine-fifteen and demands that I send her ointment for her skin. Her exact words are, "Hey, Haymitch, if you're not too drunk, we could use a little something for our skin!" This gets a laugh in the room, including from me, largely because she has so easily expanded the word "we" to include Finnick, and seems not to even have noticed that she's done so. I send the order to Plutarch. Luckily, the sponsor calls have been coming in while I was sleeping, including a second huge donation from Adamaris Brinn. Wouldn't want the lovely boy scarred, of course. I don't argue with it.

The ointment is the regular stocks, so Plutarch just has it dropped. Katniss and Finnick smear it on, then, because they are both still children no matter what they think, decide to scare Peeta with their painted faces. Harris's phone and mine don't stop ringing until ten.

By then, I'm wondering what the next disaster will be. Sure enough, we start to hear a rushing sound. The camera goes to Faraday Sykes, who has been gathering fruit from high in the trees. She frowns, then screams and tries to scramble down from her perch, to get somewhere she can run.

The camera shows the spread of the woods. From the top of the hill, there is a huge wave cresting. I have no idea where it's coming from -- most likely the clockwork, so to speak, under the arena.

It crashes down, taking everything along with it. Faraday is thrown high into the sky as it hits her tree, and falls down into the canopy, skewered on a treetop. The wave rolls over her.

The cannon fires.

We get a long dissertation from Leontius about exactly how the wave worked, and a brief mention of Faraday's victory long ago.

When we return to the arena, Katniss, Finnick, and Peeta are all gathering their things, which were nearly dragged out to sea. Well, out to small, shallow lake, anyway. Katniss retrieves her mockingjay pin, thankfully, but lets her ruined clothes sink. She suddenly stops and moves slowly back to the boys, signaling them to fade into the jungle.

"There," she says, pointing her chin toward a spot down the beach. The camera shows it from a vantage point close to her. All they'll be able to see are three bloody figures staggering up the beach quite a ways away.

"Who is that?" Peeta asks. "Or what? Muttations?"

Katniss draws her bow, and I will her not to fire. She's too far for a clean shot, but this particular alliance is going to be prickly enough without it starting that way.

I look at Harris's screen, which shows Finnick.

On the main screen, one of the red figures starts dancing around in an animated, angry way.

Finnick laughs and runs out onto the beach.

"Johanna!" he calls.

A moment later, our team is together.
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Comments
torturedbabycow From: torturedbabycow Date: February 8th, 2013 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, Johanna was one of my favorite moments again. Animated angry dance!

I'm also siding with Plutarch here, despite my love of Haymitch's "fine, I'll do it my damn self" attitude. They really can't bring everyone with them - and in hindsight, District 13 really isn't such an improvement over staying in the Capitol within Snow's clutches, at least not for the Capitol citizens. I think if TeenageGirlHaymitch is Katniss, maybe TeenageBoyPlutarch would be Gale? ...Okay, and now I'm imagining some very strange slash fic, so I should probably stop before I get in too deep. I meant Gale as in the strategic and harshly practical type, not Gale as in the first leg of the love triangle! Yeesh, that train of thought got very very derailed. Though it is an amusing lens for how Plutarch got all huffy about trying to safe Effie...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 8th, 2013 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd be with Plutarch, too, except for the fact that Haymitch is only really asking for people who they're directly attached to -- Effie, Portia, Peeta's preps. They'd certainly be on a list for retaliatory strikes.

As to the derailment, er... Well, I had intended to give Haymitch a clueless love triangle of his own to mirror Katniss's clueless love triangle, but I must admit, I never thought of Plutarch as part of it!
sonetka From: sonetka Date: February 8th, 2013 08:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear God. I realize it's life or death here, but could Haymitch by any chance pass on a few of the reviews of Star-Crossed? Or do a recap himself later on -- maybe during the epilogue of the last book? I must know more of this.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 8th, 2013 02:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heheh. I was enjoying myself a little too much there. I had to stop myself or I'd have recapped the whole thing right here. ;p
sonetka From: sonetka Date: February 9th, 2013 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Any chance of an interlude where we can read the Capitol newspapers' reviews? :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 9th, 2013 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Probably not in the story proper, but once I'm finished, I may do it just to amuse myself. :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 8th, 2013 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Star-Crossed"

Yes Fulvia, Julian wanted to make the Reaping number a nightmare sequence. He has a better understanding of district life than you ever will and no propaganda agenda.

Your description of the ending number sounds like the "Les Miz" style, which certainly is quite powerful.

Do you think Effie's real hair is like Tonk's real hair? Mousy brown?

And yeah, Plutarch and Haymitch are both right. It's a miracle that Effie survived the whole mess, and we all know what happened to Portia :(

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 8th, 2013 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: "Star-Crossed"

I was thinking more the quintet from West Side Story, but something like "One Day More" would work, too. That sort of number.



Plutarch and Fulvia seem to be under the impression that in order to be brave and upstanding, girls must be Mary Sues, and boys must be either completely sappy (this Peeta would not laugh at Katniss's discomfort about Finnick and Chaff) or "troubled" but heroic underneath it.

I think of Effie's hair as pretty normal, maybe strawberry blond, but kept brutally short so she doesn't have to fuss with it under her daily wigs.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 8th, 2013 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was a really fun to read. Your musical idea is awesome. I laughed really hard thinking about Prim and the butterfly. And I absolutely loved Haymitch trying to figure out how Effie would feel about being kidnapped. Plutarch quite annoys me though, he did in the books as well. He just seems to treat life as one big arena and he doesn't really seem to understand or care how the rebellion will impact people. I'm surprised Katniss or Haymitch have never just decked him. Anyway, great job and thanks!
Robin
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 9th, 2013 03:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Plutarch annoys me, too. He's a real enough sort of character, but the sort that annoys me in the real world. I may have Haymitch find a reason to deck him at some point. He's probably lucky Katniss was too weak to fight on that transport, when he said maybe she could be on his new singing show and sing something cheerful. (Though from the point of view of a reader looking for clues to the future, it suggests that Katniss is not exactly disliked by the public for what she did.)
shortysc22 From: shortysc22 Date: February 8th, 2013 08:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another great chapter! I like how Haymitch wants to save everyone and Plutarch has no clue what it's really like in the Districts and why Haymitch wants to save them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 9th, 2013 03:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I think they're speaking entirely different languages there.
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