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HG: The End of the World, Chapter Thirteen - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
HG: The End of the World, Chapter Thirteen
Haymitch is in the arena, and has realized (by witnessing a death) that the water is toxic, which means the plants probably are as well. He builds a shelter and watches the night report of the deaths (including Gilla and Beech), and wakes up to the sound of another cannon.


Chapter Thirteen
I leave my shelter carefully. It's decently hidden, but not perfect, and it's more than possible that someone could be lying in wait. Personally, if I had it in mind to kill someone in a woven shelter, I'd block the way out and burn it, but that could just be me.

I check around the shelter. There are no broken twigs, footsteps, or disturbed dew. I seem to be alone.

It only takes a few minutes to unweave the shelter. No reason to leave a trail of breadcrumbs. I let the greenwood spring back into place, and scatter the other branches randomly.

I won't know who the cannon fired for until night, and I can't think about it. It won't do any good. Depending on how quickly people figured out about the food and water yesterday, it could be another bad day. Or we could all be far enough apart that it will be safe. It could go either way.

I take a few swallows from my water bottle. I don't know where, or if, I can refill it, so I'm going to be stingy. The food, I know I'll need to be stingy with. There's nothing to eat, and I'm not counting on Drake to send me any parachutes, no matter what Gia said. I restrict myself to one strip of dried beef for breakfast. I've had worse days, though I'm starting to think that spending the last week stretching my stomach may not have been the best idea I ever had.

This early on the second day, only the real die-hard fans are watching the live show. Mandatory viewing tonight will only show highlights. I'll have to come up with something to make the reels, but for now, I don't have to be in a rush.

Something skitters above me and I look up. There's a small, golden squirrel in the trees, looking at me with wide eyes. Squirrel is decent meat, and Digger says that most meat is good as long as it's not diseased, at least if you cook it completely. I decide not to try it. I don't want to light a cook fire, and besides, if the Gamemakers made water that can kill a person in seconds, I don't put it past them to make the animals diseased, too. Maybe you eat the squirrels and then go crazy or something.

I briefly consider trying to tame one of them. A boy three years ago who was working alone got some camera time when he made a pet of a wild dog in the arena. It even defended him from one of the other tributes. Of course, it was a Capitol mutt, and it turned on him in the end, but he did get a lot of face time. The audience thought it was cute.

I doubt I can sell "cute" to the audience. I decide to leave the squirrel alone to go about its squirrely little errands.

I eat my breakfast as slowly as I can, trying to trick my stomach into thinking there's more of it (Mom taught this trick to Lacklen and me years ago, and it almost works, sometimes). I want to move toward the edge of the arena again today -- away from the mountain. Deeper into the woods. Same as yesterday. I might actually follow the poison stream. It has to go somewhere. That's not going to get me camera time. Maybe I should hunt for some mutt lair. The big ones have lairs that probably go down into the work area, where they can be released at the best moment.

I shake my head. I have to stop thinking about the work area, or things beyond the arena. Getting out would be great -- for about ten seconds, before the retaliation would come.

I do wonder how the mutt releases work, though. Who keeps them? What do they do when they're not needed up here? How do the Gamemakers control them and make them retreat when it's time?

It would be totally useless information in my current situation, but if I ever make it out of the arena, I want to find out. I guess it would be totally useless outside the arena, too, but that never stopped me before.

I start walking after I decide I can't stretch breakfast any further. I walk all morning without seeing any other tributes, or any mutts. Unbelievably, I am starting to get bored. I'll have to add that to the list of things I never suspected about the Games: When they're not actually deadly, they're deadly boring. It will go right next to finding out that the person who called my name at the reaping is the nicest person in the Capitol, and the green-haired guy in the lit-up suit is the smartest.

Lacking anything else to do, I decide to annoy Drake. "Hey!" I call to the sky. "Can you send me a book or something?"

I don't expect a parachute, and I don't get one. What I do get is another of those little golden squirrels. It comes out from under a bush.

"Hi," I say to it.

It sits up on its haunches and chitters loudly.

I tense. The branches of the bush start to shiver, and I hear rustling from another bush behind me. I turn around so that they're at my sides, and I can see them.

The world explodes in golden fur.

Squirrels leap out the bushes. I count ten at a glance, then I have to stop counting, because they're on me. One bites my ear, tearing off a piece of the earlobe. Another is trying to gnaw through my pant leg, and a third has dug its teeth into my side.

I grab the one at my ear and fling it away, ripping another piece of flesh with it. I throw off the one at my side, and stab down at the one on my leg. The knife is sharp, and splits it open easily. The carcass falls to the ground.

There is no thinking after that. The mutts leap at me, I slash at them. As far as I have a plan, it's to not let them near any major arteries. I take a lot of bites, and I can only hope the squirrels aren't actually diseased. There are at least two bites on my face, which will scar if I live, I guess, but I can't worry about that at the moment.

It occurs to me that this attack is probably being played for comedy -- the smart aleck boy being taken down by a pack of cute looking squirrels. I am not going to be a punchline. I'm not going to let them hurt Mom and Lacklen and Digger by making my death into a running joke through the Games.

I lose track of time during the attack. Everything in the world is the pack of squirrels biting at me. I slash them, cutting them in half, flinging them away.

Then, as suddenly as it began, it's over.

The forest is silent. I am standing in the middle of a rough circle of carnage. I count thirty-two squirrels, but a few more are mangled, and I'm not sure if they're more squirrels, or just pieces of the first ones I counted.

I'm bleeding freely in at least two dozen places, but none of them seems very serious. I'm alive. They didn't make me a joke.

I go to the bush, the one the first squirrel came from, and I hack at its branches with my knife, cutting it away at the base. Under it, I see a hole lined in concrete, leading down into the darkness -- a path for the squirrels to come up. A mutt-way. I cram as many branches as I can into it. Let them try and send more through those tunnels. I do the same to the other bush.

I doubt I've made a dent in their system, but I feel better.

I go to a rock, sit down, and dig out my first aid kit. I use some of my precious water -- almost half a bottle -- to clean each of the wounds. I can't wait on that. If I start thinking I can, all I have to do is think of the District Six girl, and the infected wounds from her whipping. Ruth was far too late for cleaning to do any good. Dying of an infection from rodent bites wouldn't be any less embarrassing than being eaten by squirrels. I put a little of the ointment on them as well. There's no explosion of pus, but I hope it will help them heal.

There aren't enough bandages for all of the bites, so I prioritize the ones that bled the most. I'll have to keep checking them. The earlobe looks the worst. One of the squirrels managed to get a little snack, and I guess I'm stuck with that. Bandaging it isn't easy, either. There's barely anything to stick the bandage to.

I guess I better avoid the squirrels in the future. I should probably also avoid telling the Gamemakers that I'm bored.

I spend most of the afternoon resting, re-gathering my strength. My muscles are stiff around a lot of the bites, but there's nothing for it. I'll just have to work through it.

I eat my supper there on the rock (I allow myself two strips of dried beef), looking out over the forest. I can still see the mountain the distance, poking its head up over the tree line. I try to remember how volcanoes work. It should bulge before it goes off. There should be a little bit of work-up -- tremors, maybe some gas releases. Then again, it's not a real volcano. It's a Gamemakers' volcano, which means it will probably go on and off with a switch somewhere, at whatever time they think is opportune. What that time will be, I have no way of knowing. I don't know where anyone else is, or what they're doing. I haven't seen anyone since Sigh Tomby died.

After a while, I decide to climb a tree and see if there's anything visible. I want to know where everyone else is -- partly because it's safer to know where people who want me dead might be hiding, and partly, I admit to myself, because I'm tired of being alone. I don't want an ally that I'll only have to kill, but the strangeness of going more than a day without seeing a single human face is starting to get to me. I hate most people, but I guess I'm used to having them around to hate.

Climbing is difficult, because all the little bites sting like fire when the muscles move around them, but it's no good to let them slow me down. I climb as far as I dare, before the trunk gets too thin to hold me without swaying enough to let anyone in the vicinity know that I'm here. The tree is on a slight rise, so my vantage point is actually pretty good.

From here, I can see that the forest curves around the meadow like an arm, with the volcano a raised fist at one end. Something is glinting in the sun, and I realize with a start that it's the Cornucopia -- I've traveled quite a long way since yesterday. It looks like a tiny piece of scrap metal twinkling on the ground.

There's some motion in the trees about halfway between me and the mountain, but I don't see any other signs of life. If I didn't know there were twenty-seven tributes still here -- no, twenty-six, I remind myself, thinking of the cannon that woke me up this morning -- I'd believe I was completely alone in the world.

I remember a novel I read once. It took place after the Catastrophes, but before the in-Gathering, and it was about a man who was the only survivor of a plague on an island. At first, there was plenty for him to do, taking care of the remains of his people -- he built a huge pyre, and even made a monument to them. He had to come up with ways to survive on his own, with all of the conveniences gone. So for a little while, he kept himself sane. Then things started to crack. He'd been wandering from house to house, sleeping in a different bed every night (that was the title of the story, I remember -- "A Bed For The Night") and he started to hallucinate his neighbors. At first it was just an elaborate game of pretend because he was lonely, but he started to believe it. They started to appear to him, and he fixed their houses, and had conversations with them. They had their own trials and tribulations, and somehow, it was always the narrator who they came to with their problems. He got married and had a family. He became a local hero, and eventually became the mayor. Only there was a telephone in his office that was always ringing, but he kept avoiding picking it up. It turned out that it was a symbol in his mind for the repeated attempts being made from the in-Gathering team from Panem (well, it wasn't Panem then, though it wasn't the country here before it, either) to reach survivors. Finally, the point of view switched to one of the rescuers, who found the man in the abandoned town hall in the empty city. He was amenable to going, but of course insisted that, as mayor, he should see to it that the thousands of people he was responsible for got out first. Especially his wife and children.

I shudder. When I read the story, it seemed crazy. Danny said it made sense to him, but I figured that was just Danny. He was a social person, and I wasn't. He got bored and restless any time he didn't have company. That was why he hated doing assignments alone. I wasn't like that.

In the end, though, I guess we're all like that. It's what Mom said about living in the out-districts. It's probably why the in-Gathering worked as well as it did. After a while, people must have needed to find each other more than they needed anything else. It keeps people in the districts, and it keeps the districts connected to the Capitol, even more than the danger of being bombed or occupied. Communications among the districts are all routed through the Capitol. Losing touch with the Capitol would mean losing touch with everyone.

I think about the girl from Six, and the four tributes all slaughtered on the first day. They tried to find a way around the communications problem. They paid for it.

I want to hate the Capitol, but I can't quite do it anymore, not after meeting quite a few perfectly decent people who live there. There may be Peacekeepers and politicians, but there's also Caesar Flickerman and Gia Pepper, and my preps (dumb as grass, but decent). There's the boy who wanted send Lacklen a pair of glasses, and the old women weeping over Gilla.

I decide to hate President Snow and the Gamemakers for now, and figure out who else I specifically need to hate later, if I get out of here.

The sun is getting low in the sky, and I decide to look for a good place to shelter. I start heading off in my usual direction. I've been walking for about ten minutes when it starts to rain.

I jump back when I feel the first drop, expecting it to be acid from the stream. It's not. It's just cool, clean water. The storm picks up, and it starts pouring down, a cold, refreshing shower. I dig for my half-empty bottle, open it, and let the rain refill it. Then I stand there, my head tipped back, letting it wash the day's grime off of me. A few of my bandages fall off, but I don't care. If they start bleeding again, I'll tear off part of my shirt and use it to re-bandage.

I don't know why they've decided to give us a gift like this. Maybe the audience doesn't think it's very interesting to watch people die of dehydration. I'm sure the other tributes weren't as lucky with supplies as I was, and more than a day without water would make them confused and lethargic. I amuse myself by imagining the Gamemakers being yelled at for making a boring arena where everyone dies before there's any real conflict. I don't really care why it's raining. It is. They're not going to make us die of thirst, and I can keep my bottles full, and keep my wounds clean.

After the storm, I find a little cave and settle in for the night. I come out to check the sky for the day's losses. There was only the one cannon, and there's only one death today, the remaining District Eight girl, Poplin Denker. I think she's the one who was wearing the floaty red gown at the interviews. I remember thinking that Digger would have liked her dress.

I don't sleep very deeply. The ointment I put on the squirrel bites is healing them quickly, and they itch like crazy. Besides, I can't be sure that there's nothing in this cave hiding mutt-ways. The Gamemakers don't usually attack tributes in the middle of the night (the audience is asleep, too), but since I jammed up the mutt-ways back at the bushes, they could decide that I don't even deserve a televised death.

In the morning, I wake up to another rainstorm. I use this one as a shower, stripping down to my underwear (there are still cameras around) to clean off the rest of my body. The bites have healed a lot overnight, and I actually feel pretty good, though I nick myself with the knife a couple of times while I try to maneuver around it. I touch my face, thinking I'll probably need a shave and wondering if I can do it with the knife, but my skin is smooth. I realize that the preps never shaved me, either. I guess that shot they gave me has suppressed hair growth, too.

I wonder if they gave the girls anything to suppress girl issues. I don't think I ever saw a girl trying to deal with what Digger calls "the monthlies" on television. If they did give them something, I'd guess that, given Digger's constant grumbling on the subject, every girl in Panem would be begging for it.

Not that they'd get it. Keyton's Apothecary has trouble getting headache medicine in, let alone anything more complicated. That's why Ruth spends half her life mucking around with forest plants.

I put my clothes back on -- they're damp, but I don't care -- and straighten my hair out as well as I can. Hopefully, there will be something less embarrassing than mutt squirrels to get camera time on today.

I continue my walk. I'm beginning to wonder if the forest will ever end. It didn't look this big when I climbed the tree. I have to be walking in circles somehow, even though I always keep the mountain at my back. A cannon goes off just after noon, but it's the only one I hear all day. The audience must be getting restless by now.

It's late afternoon when I stumble into a tall, tightly-woven hedge. I try to pull apart the branches, but it's no use. The hedge is thick and prickly, and, given everything else in the arena, most likely poisonous if I cut myself on it. I step back, frustrated. Not only is the hedge crossing my path here, it seems to go on for a long way in both directions. If I go to the right, it will lead me back to the meadow. Left will take me toward the stream. I'm not sure what's on the other side of the stream, but there has to be something.

I turn left.

It takes me about ten minutes to reach the stream, which dives under the hedge. I can hear it rushing on the other side, and I guess there's a waterfall.

I have to go upstream a little bit to find stones to cross on, but I do find them. I cross the stream into a new part of the forest, and turn back downstream. I end up back at the hedge, and keep following it until sunset. I see no one all day, and, though I spot what I think is a mutt raccoon of some kind, it leaves me alone. I think the Gamemakers are trying to see if it's possible to literally bore me to death.

Of course, they came close with the squirrels, when I got bored enough to demand a challenge. I do not express my boredom out loud this time. They'd probably send venomous bunny rabbits who'd make me go crazy and tap dance myself to death.

I settle down in the shadow of the hedge when night falls. The day's only casualty was one of the boys from Ten, Wyland Belcher. His is the only face I have seen since last night's broadcast. I wonder what he was like. I try to remember him from training, but all of that seems to be a very long time ago. Was he the one who rode a horse alongside a herd of cows that was being moved from place to place? Or did he talk about staying up all night with the sheep? I can't remember.

I manage another thin sort of sleep. I dream that the Gamemakers are wandering around the arena, and President Snow is scolding them for not having enough deaths for two days straight. Drake says they should kill me next, maybe with warrior leprechauns. The boy who was waiting tables at my evaluation stares at everything, gape-mouthed. He takes home a pet squirrel.

I wake up the next morning to what I think at first is another cannon. It's a deep, rumbling, booming sound, and when I open my eyes, the sky is red with what I at first take for dawn.

It's not the cannon, and it's not dawn.

The Gamemakers have set off their biggest toy. The volcano, now several miles distant, is spewing liquid fire into the air. Ash billows up, and lightning flashes through it. I can hear something sizzling, and I see that, over the mountain, there's a strange hole in the sky, edged with fire. Much of the ash is escaping through it, though around it, a ring of ash falls like black snow. I have made it a good distance, but even here, there is some ash fall. I wet my shirt and put it over my face, the way the miners do to keep from breathing in the coal dust if their equipment breaks down (which happens pretty regularly)… not that this helps after several years, but maybe it will help until the Gamemakers tire of this challenge.

I climb the tallest tree I can find. I'm lower on this side of the stream than I was before, and I can't see everything. The rise I was on at first on the far side blocks some of my view. But I can see lava trailing down the sides of the mountain, and the edges of the woods starting to catch fire. There is a lot of motion in the treetops now. People are running through the woods.

The volcano isn't just there to kill people.

It's there to force us into each other's orbit.

I'm far enough out that I don't run into trouble with other tributes all day, and their plight is probably much more interesting than mine, since they don't bother to send any mutts. I take my shirt off after a while and tie it around my nose and mouth, keeping it wet with water from my bottle. I know they won't let the forest burn entirely, so I figure I'm safe from the fire this far out. Sure enough, the rain comes a little bit after noon, dousing the forest fire. The volcano is still spewing out lava, but when I climb another tree, I see that the Gamemakers have trapped it somehow, and are guiding it out toward the meadow. It seems to be forming a thick disk at the base of the mountain.

They have effectively shut down the arena outside the forest.

Everyone left is here.

It's not until the rainstorm that the cannons start to go off. I guess it took them that long to sort out the dead. It booms twelve times, almost cutting the remaining field in half.

When night comes, I watch the faces in the sky through veils of floating ash. Four of the five remaining Career girls are dead -- everyone but Filigree, who probably just scared the lava into retreating from her. They also lost one boy, Sabinus Malton. I wonder if the girls and boys were traveling in separate packs. I guess I have no way to know that. Either way, their pack is down to five. The other seven are spread out among the districts, though the remaining two from District Eleven == Huller Green and Sage Sanders -- are both killed. I think of Huller offering to be my ally, because Chaff said I was the one to beat.

He is dead now, because the audience was bored.

Boredom is a more powerful emotion than people generally give it credit for.

I realize that, with the rest of the tributes in the forest, I'm more or less trapped if I stay this close to the hedge. I sleep one more night in its shadow, and in the morning, after another rainstorm, I head out into the woods.

The plan -- such as it is -- is to find another tall tree on the rise and see if I can find the end of the hedge, or any way through it. The only thing I can think of is to actually burn it. I don't know what I'll find on the far side.

I have been walking for less than an hour when I see the first human beings to cross my path since Sigh Tomby.

There are three of them, all Careers, all bigger than I am. It's the two arrogant boys from Four -- Kavan Carroll and Donnell Moran -- and the last tribute from Two, Crispus Bidwell.

They are all dirty and their clothes are badly singed, but they seem to be healthy and in good shape.

Bidwell grins, and I realize that they mean to kill me, right now. Drake would love that -- me getting killed by someone from his district.

I tighten my grip on my knife.

The world descends to flashpoints. Carroll is leaning in. He will come first. Bidwell is trying to get around behind me -- I can see the slight shift in his weight. Moran is relaxed. I'm easy prey.

He's the weak point.

I rush him.

I don't think he's even realized that I've taken the initiative when the knife rips through his carotid artery, dousing me with his blood. He falls to the ground and somewhere in another world, a cannon goes off. I've killed someone. I don't have time to think about it.

Bidwell runs in. I feel his hand on my arm and I swing wildly to that side. I connect with the blade of his knife somehow -- I don't think I could do it again if I tried -- and knock it aside. He doesn't lose his grip on it. There's a sharp pain in my shoulder, and I realize that he's actually bitten me.

I elbow him in the face and bring my knife around in a sharp arc. He manages to duck most of it, but a line of blood blooms across his abdomen.

I see Carroll trying to sneak around behind me, and I turn the fight, so Bidwell's in the way.

Bidwell stumbles on something. I don't waste time. I bury my knife in his neck.

This is my first mistake, and I know immediately that it's also my last. The knife doesn't want to come free.

Carroll jumps me from the side, knocking me over, pulling my hand away from my knife. He is a lot bigger than I am, and a lot stronger. He pins me down and kneels on my chest. I see his blade glinting in the sunlight. I can almost hear Lacklen in my head, asking how I'm going to get out of this. I remember my flip answer -- that if they trap me this well, I guess I'm not getting out of it.

I try uselessly to grab at his wrist, but he flings my hand away like it costs him no effort at all.

"What's the matter?" he asks. "Did you just turn a hundred percent stupid?"

I struggle to get free.

Carroll raises his blade again, and I know that I don't have a chance.

Then the knife falls from his hand, and he drops forward over me, convulsing wildly.

I push him off of me. A sharp needle is sticking out of the back of his neck.

I look up.

Maysilee Donner steps out of the shadows. "We'd live longer with the two of us," she says.
15 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 27th, 2013 01:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Haymitch's investigations into the mechanisms of the arena remind me a bit of "Cabin in the Woods." Although it's possible that (if it survived the Catastrophes) the movie is required watching for all aspiring Gamemakers.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 27th, 2013 01:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I've never seen it... maybe I should!
redlily From: redlily Date: August 27th, 2013 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Maysilee. Oh noes. I hoped she'd live a little longer. I know that's irrational.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 27th, 2013 01:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, she's got a few chapters left.
cleindori From: cleindori Date: August 27th, 2013 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Ack -- so good, and yet so distressing. How do you do this to us, Fern?

I'm really loving how you're writing Haymitch's ability to think "meta" about the whole thing. Katniss would never spend time in the arena thinking about where the mutts come from, or what shots are given to the tributes to stop different issues that might arise...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 27th, 2013 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
It really isn't Katniss's thing, is it? They have similar personalities in a lot of ways, but Haymitch is relentlessly big-picture oriented when it comes to the Games or the war (though I think he realizes that he needs to do more little picture thinking after he gets to Thirteen and realizes what a blunder it was to trust them). Haymitch would have been a terrifyingly good Gamemaker if he'd been born in the Capitol.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: August 27th, 2013 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
What's that saying about war being boredom punctuated by moments of terror? Haymitch would endorse that, I'm sure. Wrenching how he spends the day realizing that he isn't really cut out to be solitary when he's going to spend quite a few of his subsequent years in just that state. I did like his snarking that Filigree probably just scared the lava away from her, also stopping up the mutt passage, although he's probably depriving himself of screentime by doing so.

I wonder what Albinus thinks of all this? I'm genuinely curious, but can't imagine what it would be. A combination of grudging respect plus complete exasperation, would be my guess, and perhaps a bit of sour speculation about how long Victor!Haymitch would last post-victory, what with the "dates" and all.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 27th, 2013 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Much as I'm an introvert, I don't think anyone is actually cut out for total isolation. Haymitch later makes sure that no one is in the line of fire around him, but he does pay a pretty heavy psychological price for it. It's interesting to me that he's much more on the ball in the Capitol, surrounded by the other victors and given a purpose.

Albinus probably figured the Capitol would send a fireball after Haymitch clogged up the mutt-ways. Haymitch is probably lucky they didn't -- he's supposed to be thinking of the other tributes, not the Gamemakers, as the enemy.

Edited at 2013-08-27 02:18 pm (UTC)
sonetka From: sonetka Date: August 28th, 2013 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I have a feeling that in any other year, Haymitch would have been toast (almost literally). But considering the size of the arena, the speed with which the tributes were dying, and Haymitch's viewer appeal as The Cocky One, they probably just gritted their teeth and sent a memo that all underground passages were to be closed the second the mutts came back in, and if any tribute poked his nose too far in, slam the door on his nose for good measure.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2013 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
They also probably hid them a whole lot more carefully in the subsequent arenas. No camouflaging under bushes -- real hidden traps that seal up before and after use and are invisible. (What Haymitch feared in the cave that night, only they hadn't started doing it yet.)
redrikki From: redrikki Date: August 27th, 2013 01:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Once again, I am struck by your world building. Katniss never really thought about how things came to be, how the arena works, etc., but you've used Haymitch's insights so well as a way to explore all that. I especially liked him thinking about the book and the fact that you came up with an entire plot line for a made-up book just so you could make those points.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 27th, 2013 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I kind of want to write that book now, too.

I think Katniss was so focused on survival, and hadn't been given any reason to think about anything else (her mother didn't exactly spend her time encouraging her to push herself in school), that she simply never considered much beyond the immediate need to survive and protect the people around her. In some ways, it puts her in a better position to see the real horror of the war faster than Haymitch does, but it does mean that she's almost never going to just get curious and say, "Hey, I wonder how that works!"
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 28th, 2013 04:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm starting to see why Snow treated Haymitch as such a threat. He's probably one of the first tributes to obviously consider the Gamemakers (and by extension, the Capitol) his primary antagonist. I'm sure they don't have to deal much with tributes actively trying to neutralize their traps.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2013 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
And I think the real danger with Haymitch is that it doesn't even occur to him to think otherwise. He doesn't come to a revelation that the other tributes aren't his enemies. They never were. Revelations can fade in time, lose their power. Innate knowledge of right and wrong is harder to overcome.
mollywheezy From: mollywheezy Date: September 5th, 2013 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Exactly.

Awesome Maysilee moment!
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