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HG: The End of the World, Chapter Twenty-Six - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
HG: The End of the World, Chapter Twenty-Six
Okay, I've been putting this chapter off because I really, really didn't want to get here.

But it had to come.

Haymitch has just ordered his friends out of his life, and told the Peacekeepers not to let them near his house. Merle Undersee snuck Digger in, but Haymitch ordered her away again. He knows she's hurt, but figures better hurt than dead.


Chapter Twenty-Six
The Peacekeepers are apparently zealous about their duty, because I see no one for the next week, except for brief glimpses of Merle Undersee working on the grounds. I always wait for him to leave before I go outside.

Sometimes I don't get around to going outside.

My days are simple. I sleep until mid-morning -- it gets later every day -- and then I get up and take a long shower. I've gotten to like some of the settings I ran from in the Capitol, like one that shoots hard jets of water, alternating between scalding and freezing. I stand there and let it hit me until my skin starts to turn red. I don't know if I get particularly clean from this. When I'm finished showering, I put on whatever clothes are closest at hand. Most of them have made their way out of the closet and onto the floor, and I walk over them. What do I care? They're Capitol property, and if I die, they'll just be taken back to the Capitol.

Not that I don't enjoy them. Sometimes, I get drunk and try all of them on, even the crazy ones. Nothing is as crazy as Capitol wear, though. Things like that aren't allowed in the districts, probably to our benefit.

Mostly, though, I wander the house, a glass in my hand (sometimes a bottle), and I look out the windows, and I end up in front of the television. I'm still a favorite topic of comedians and sketch troupes, who play me as drunk out of my mind and bragging about how smart I am. The scripted shows are starting to catch up, editing in topical jokes or commentary, though most of them were in the can before all this started. There are even rumors that the stupidest show I've ever seen -- a daily soap opera called Seagull Point, which is about kids who are too rich, too fashionable, and too bored -- is going to do a whole plot about how one of the misery-laden characters becomes famous and then loses everything and becomes a drunk. Having watched four episodes now, I can pretty much guarantee that the main girl (who might be very pretty under the wigs and makeup) will somehow or other make everything okay, at least until it's time for the next plot to gin up.

I should watch. Maybe they'll have some tips about how everything can be all right after watching your little brother get impaled on national television, and having the president threaten to kill everyone else. I'm sure that somehow or other, the answer will involve skimpy clothes that tend to land on the floor at least twice an episode.

Sometime in the evening, I generally fall asleep on the couch, or maybe pass out. I'm not always clear on which it is. I dream about the arena. I see Maysilee's mockingjay rising from the volcano, but I am choking on the ash, and I can't tell anyone about it. When I finally find my voice, there's no one left to tell. Sometimes I wake up crying. Other times, the dream just fades into an endless walk along the cliff. I know Maysilee is behind me, and if I turn, I'll see her rotting in her grave clothes, still stained with long congealed blood. The fact that I never turn around to look at her in the dream doesn't change the fact that I know this.

If I drink enough, I can sometimes just pass out into the blackness. Maybe I dream, maybe I don't, but I don't remember it, and I don't wake up from it.

My bottles are starting to get lighter. I will need to find out where I can re-stock. My food is still fine. There's still more from the initial stock of the house than I ever had at one time before. Some of it may even be going rotten, and the breads are stale. I don't want to go to town. I don't want to find the bank, which is where I can access my salary. I don't want to go up to the discreet little building where they sell liquor. I don't want to go to the butcher for meat, even though I can. I definitely don't want to go to the bakery.

Finally, on a morning where I have a pounding headache, but no particular dream fragments in my head, I decide that I have to at least run my errands. If nothing else, I owe Merle for the gardening he's been doing, even though I haven't talked to him while he does it, and I have to go to the bank to access the money. I don't like owing people.

I put it off still, taking another long shower and trying out a few different outfits. I settle on jeans and a red shirt made of some kind of soft and smooth material. There are sunglasses in a drawer, and I grab a pair, because even walking by the windows is enough for the sunlight to attack my eyes. I imagine it feels something like my knife felt to Filigree.

I shudder. I haven't thought about that much since I got home. Other things in the arena, sure. The tendons in Crispus Bidwell's neck. Sigh Tomby's melted face. Maysilee. Always Maysilee. But not that fight with Filigree. Not sitting there in wait, trying to figure out the best way to kill the crazy bitch.

I feel my mind circling in on it. I push it away, but it keeps trying to sneak in. The fight with the Careers was self-defense. What I did to Filigree was premeditated murder.

Of course, she was pretty enthusiastically trying to do the same to me, as my gut tends to remind me if I drink enough to actually throw up.

I am standing at my front door, my hand raised to the doorknob. I make myself reach the rest of the way, turn it, and step outside.

It's a very hot July morning, and I'm already queasy from the hangover. I'm glad I didn't eat anything, or it would be all over my porch.

I go to the front rail and lean over the rosebushes, just in case, but nothing happens.

"You okay?"

I look up -- the world swims for a minute, then steadies -- and find Merle, who was apparently working next door, doing something that didn't make much noise. "I'm fine," I say. I head for the porch stairs and go down onto the green, trying to look like I'm not dizzy, like my head isn't filled with crushed up rocks, like my throat isn't clogged up with volcanic ash.

I've made it about halfway to the Village gate when I hear a little hum beside me. Merle is trailing along, driving an electric cart.

"I'm headed into town," he says. "Want a ride?"

I want to say no, but I don't. My gummed up stomach is protesting the walk already, and it gets the final vote. I climb in beside Merle. "I didn't know you drove up here."

He shrugs. "Once a month, I come up with the weed killers. It's better not to bounce them around in the wheelbarrow, so we rent this from the mines."

"Oh."

"Everyone will be glad you're up and about. Your girl's just about crazy worrying about you, you know." He gives me a reproachful look. I don't answer it. He continues. "Every day when I get back, she's all over me to see if I've seen you. Don't worry. I haven't told her about you being drunk. That's your business -- "

"Gee, thanks."

" -- but if you ask me -- "

"I didn't."

" -- you need to come into town more. My mom always says, if you're going to drink, drink with someone. Drinking alone is bad news."

"You asking for an invite?"

"Me? No. I don't drink."

"Why am I not surprised?"

He frowns. "What do you mean?"

"You're just… pretty chipper for someone stuck in District Twelve."

"I like District Twelve." We leave the narrow path that forms the neck connecting the town to Victor's Village, and come out onto the beginning of Main Street. We pass a few run down shacks. Merle waves to an old woman, and she waves back. "See, everyone here is mostly nice." He catches my look of disbelief. "Okay, maybe not everyone. But even the ones who aren't naturally nice have to be nice sometimes, because of the rules."

"The rules."

"Yeah. Like, you bringing food to people when they get married, or saving up to get bread and salt for them when they have a new house."

"I thought that was just down on the Seam."

"Nah. We do it in town, too. No one can afford a whole can of salt alone, though." He shakes his head at the absurdity of such extravagance, then says, "Well, I guess you could, now."

"Great. That'll be my purpose in life. I buy salt for people when they get houses."

"See? Now, you're talking."

"I was being sarcastic."

"You shouldn't be. It would be a good thing to do."

We arrive at the Square. Merle swings us past the shoe store and waves to the pale blond boy at the door. The boy -- Eli Cartwright, I remember -- grins and waves back.

"He's my cousin," Merle says. "Well, second cousin, I think. And removed somewhere." He shrugs, and I think of Maysilee saying that she nibbled on Eli Cartwright's earlobe last year. I can't imagine her with him. "Where are you going, anyway?"

I look up. I've almost forgotten, but I manage to say, "Bank. I don’t know where it is, though. I didn't know we had one before."

"Basement of the Justice Building. We all have to go in to take care of loans and taxes and things." He swerves around neatly and stops in front of the Justice Building. I try not to think about the banquet on the night of my return. Merle sizes me up. "Can you find it on your own? Do you need help?"

I get out of the cart. "I'm fine," I say. "I'll ask someone if I can't find it."

"Just go down the stairs you see when you first get in. There are signs in the basement."

I nod. He drives off. Too late, I realize that I didn't explicitly instruct him not to tell anyone I was in town. I guess I better finish up quickly and get on to my next errand before he sends half of District Twelve to the bank.

It's not hard to find my way once I get inside. At the place where I'd normally turn right to head down for tesserae registration, across from the Peacekeepers' headquarters, I turn left and go down the stairs. There's a dingy hallway with efficient but ugly signs to the District Twelve Bank of Panem. Signs hang above various windows indicating tax payments, loan payments, loan applications, and default. An old merchant I don't know is at the last window, looking like a supplicant, while a Capitol liaison listens dispassionately to him. The window just beyond it is "withdrawals." No one is staffing it.

I go up to it and ring a bell.

No one comes right away.

"…and I can make it if I just have another month!" the old merchant says, and I can hear a quaver in his voice. "Come fall, we'll have plenty of customers getting ready for winter. Everyone will need new coats!"

"You are three months behind in your taxes, and your inventory loan hasn't been touched," the liaison says. "You are in default."

"Isn't there something I can do?"

"We will seize your merchandise. That should cover the outstanding debt on it, and the building will revert to government ownership -- "

"But I live in the apartment over it!"

"Then perhaps you should have been more diligent in your payments."

I frown. "How much does he owe?"

The merchant draws up his shoulders. "I don't see how that's your concern."

"I could maybe spot you until you get on your feet."

"That is not permissible," someone says, stepping up to the withdrawal window. "Only a signed borrower may pay loans."

"He would. I'd just be loaning it to him."

The man behind the window wrinkles his nose. "You are not an authorized lender."

"Fine, I'll give it to him."

"You are also not authorized to make grants."

"It's my money!"

"It's all right," the merchant mumbles.

"What do you sell?" I ask.

"Winter coats."

"Fine. I'll buy them all. Give them to the people at the community home and down on the Seam."

The merchant flushes and shakes his head. "You can't. There's a limit per customer."

I grind my teeth. "That's stupid."

He manages a sheepish, shamed smile, and ducks out.

The man at my window clears his throat. "May I help you?" he asks, as though haven't already had a conversation.

I take out what seems like an astronomical sum to buy my groceries and some liquor, and to pay Merle for the gardening, but it barely scratches my salary for the month, even after the fine. I hold the money in my hand for a long time. It seems to weigh a lot. And it doesn't do much good -- it's not really mine if I can't do what I want with it. I toy with the idea of saying I want to have a coat shop as my talent, then giving it back to the old man to run, but I have a feeling they'd find a way to stop that. I can't think of any victors who have shops for a talent. I can't think of any of them who do anything useful, actually.

Including me. I will probably be as useless as the rest of them.

I go back outside. My head is still pounding, but it seems much less important than it did before I had my little lesson in the economics of District Twelve. I wonder how any of the shops stays in business.

I am thinking about this and not looking up, which is why I don't see the line of people at the bottom of the steps of the Justice Building. I nearly walk into Danny Mellark before I realize anyone is there.

He grabs me, turns me around, and sits me down on the steps. The rest of them surround me. Digger is in front of me, her arms crossed over her chest, looking furious. Ruth, her lips pursed in disapproval. Maysilee… Kay… her hands on her hips. Merle, with his innocuous smile.

"I should fire you," I tell Merle.

He shrugs. "I'd still be up on the green every day, and I'd still check on you for Kay."

I look at Kay.

She shrugs. "Maysilee would come back as a haunt and kill me if I let you get away with this."

"It wouldn't be any of Maysilee's business," I say, and get up.

Digger shoves me back down. "You listen to me, Haymitch. No more of this. No more holing up in your place and drinking. No more shutting us out."

"You don't understand."

"The hell I don't," she says. "I loved Rhona and Lacklen, too, you know."

I look at Danny. "Do you have something to add?"

He shrugs. "No, I think the girls have pretty well covered it."

"And you?" I ask Ruth.

"Half of what they're giving you for that wound doesn't go with alcohol."

"They're not giving me anything. They didn't send me home with anything at all. So don't worry about that."

I get up again. This time, Digger doesn't shove me down. She grabs hold of me. "Will you listen, at least? We love you. Especially me, but all of us."

I somehow doubt this of Ruth and Kay, who barely know me, and Merle, who works for me. Actually, I kind of doubt it about Danny, who's my friend, but that's about it. I don't think either of us is about to lay down his life for the other one.

"I've listened," I say. "I'm done listening. Just stay away, okay?"

I push past them and stumble out toward the Village. Digger runs after me and keeps pace, even though I don't answer her, right up until we get within sight of the gate. "Just stop," she says. "Stop it, Haymitch. Now."

I do stop. I don't know why. The smart thing would be to keep on walking.

She takes my hands, then changes her mind and puts her arms around my waist. I can't respond. The best thing to do would be to pull away. Push her physically away from me and get her crying. Maybe say something really cruel.

My arms go around her. I hold her so tightly that I'm afraid of breaking her bones.

"I love you," she says against my chest. "I love you, and I can't let you do this to yourself."

I finally manage to pull away. "I can't let you die," I say.

I do push her away, but gently, and I go into the Village. The Peacekeeper at the gate smirks unpleasantly in her direction. I turn around and look at her standing on the far side, the guard holding her back. I want to tell him to let go and let her come to me. But that's not the smart thing. I can't ever let them see that she means anything to me anymore. I'm just another spoiled victor who can't settle for some district girl.

I turn away and head for my house. I'll do my errands some other day -- some day when Merle isn't out here spying.

I get inside, and the smell hits me. Not death and rot, like in the house back on the Seam, but a kind of awful sick smell nonetheless. I look around to see if I've thrown up on the floor, but I don't see anything. It's just the smell of me. Of everything I've been doing for the last week.

I start to clean. One rotten thing at a time. Spilled food. An overturned bottle. Empty food boxes and plastic wrappers. The blanket on my couch seems to be the source of the odor. I put it in the washing machine and figure out which buttons to push. It starts churning around.

I go back to the living room and open a window, then go upstairs and start picking up the clothes I've strewn around. I feel better. My head is clearer. I'm not sure why. I've been living in this for a week now, and I haven't gotten sick from it. There aren't any bugs crawling around. No vermin. And it's not like anyone is going to see it.

Still, I'm disgusted with myself, so I keep going.

It's late afternoon when I manage to get everything in some kind of order. It doesn't look like domestics have been through any time in the last ten years, but nothing's on the floor, and the garbage is bagged up. The washing machine has finished, and the blanket is now in the dryer. The sofa kind of stinks, too, but I don't know what to do about that, except let the air in from outside, and sit somewhere else until it fades.

I make myself a sandwich for supper, and I'm careful to put my dishes in the sink when I'm done. I may wash them tomorrow. Mom would like that, I think.

Maybe that could be my talent. Washing my own damned dishes like a real person.

There's a knock at the door.

"I told you guys not to come!" I shout.

"Open up, Mr. Abernathy."

I groan. I haven't heard her say much, but I know Lucretia Beckett's voice. I open the door. "I'm not doing anything wrong," I say.

"Of course not." She steps inside. "But it seems your girlfriend is missing."

"What?"

She sighs dramatically. "We went to check on her at the Community Home -- apparently there was a scene of some sort at the bank -- and, oddly, she isn't anywhere to be found."

I know where she most likely is -- off in the woods, hunting -- but I just shrug. "Well, she's not here."

"I'll have to look around. The gate guard said you were embracing her rather intensely. She wouldn't be here to warm your bed for the night, now would she?"

"Even if she were, which she's not, it's my house."

"The Victors' Village is reserved only for victors and their families. Any bedwarmers you have in will be expected to be out before curfew."

"She's not here."

"I'll have a look around anyway," Beckett says. She makes a great show of tossing things out of the way in the laundry room while she searches, and opens the pantry, and looks in my study, as if Digger might be hiding in the file cabinet. I hear her upstairs, but I don't bother to go with her. She's not going to find anything.

I stay in the living room and look out at my garden. The fence is catching the early evening light, the barbs on the wire throwing out occasional sunbursts.

I hear Beckett talking as she comes down the stairs. She's got a communication device of some kind, and she says, "I see… is that so?" She puts down the antenna and clips it to her belt, then comes into the living room.

I look at her. "What?"

"Well, everything's been covered. And it turns out, your girl has a habit of going out hunting, which isn't legal."

"I have no idea what you're talking about," I lie.

"She's in a lot of trouble, if she is." Becket comes over and stands beside me. "I wonder what you could do to take that trouble off of her."

One hot hand comes up and touches my thigh.

I push it away. "What the hell?"

"I could call off the search teams now." She puts her hand back, this time a little higher up, her fingers stroking me. "It's up to you." Her gaze flickers up and down my body and she grins unpleasantly. "And I see you have a few ideas of how you might repay me."

I step away from her. "I'm not interested, and Digger wouldn't thank me for it, anyway."

She laughs and claps her hands. "Not interested? Oh, I think you may have to learn to get around that."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing. I've just heard you have some sponsors in the Capitol who can't wait for the Victory Tour to come through."

I think of Drake, setting up dates while he was supposed to be collecting up sponsors. A picture starts to form in my head. I go cold. "Get out of my house."

Her laugh dries up, and her voice becomes cold. "You don't want to do this, Abernathy."

I turn away and look out the window again. I see motion toward the back of the garden. A small figure near the fence.

On the other side of the fence. The wire bends, and I see Digger start to climb.

I try to get away from the window, to steer Beckett's attention anywhere else, but it's too late.

She goes to the window. "Oh, dear. What's this? It looks like someone neglected to turn the fence on."

I try to say something, but I can't. I pull off my shirt. "What you want… " I say. "I'll do…"

She laughs at me and turns her back, pulling the communication device off her belt. "Headquarters? The fence seems to be off…"

I don't stay to wait.

I bolt for the back door and nearly leap down the steps.

"Digger!" I yell. "Digger get down! Get down!"

I see her look up at the sound of my voice, but there's wind blowing through the grass and the trees and the plants, and instead of getting down, she stops about halfway up and looks at me, puzzled. She raises her hand -- What?

The fence comes alive.
17 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
redrikki From: redrikki Date: October 7th, 2013 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn. I knew this was coming, but the bit immediately proceeding with Beckett trying to blackmail him into sex made it extra-special awful. And now he'll still have to see that woman on a regular basis and know that she wants to rape him and purposely murdered his wife. I was also struck by all the rules regarding banking and merchants. The whole system is clearly set up to ensure that these people fail.
vytresna From: vytresna Date: October 7th, 2013 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I sincerely hope that Haymitch is somehow responsible for the fact that she's not at Twelve within Katniss's memory.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2013 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Unfortunately, I established that she was just sent to another district. Now that I've "met" her, I'd like to do something a lot more drastic.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: October 7th, 2013 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Did you establish the circumstances of the transfer? Those at least could be unpleasant enough to make her take a step back.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2013 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
That they fail, and that the fail in such a way that they're beholden to the state for everything. It's a handy little system if you're living off kick-backs and double-dipping, probably.

And yes, rape is exactly what she tried to do to him. At least he didn't buy her insinuation that a physical response meant he was "really" interested.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: October 7th, 2013 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
After this (and whatever may have happened during the Victory Tour, perish the thought) I'm not a bit surprised that Haymitch was living in such a sty by the time Katniss and Peeta came along. What better, survivable way to fend off his, um, suitors?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2013 01:34 am (UTC) (Link)
That's a good bet. Make himself completely undesirable to these parasites, and maybe they'll stay away.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: October 7th, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ow, ow, ow.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2013 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah.
From: queen_bellatrix Date: October 7th, 2013 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh God. I'm crying at my computer. And the next chapter is just going to be worse.

Please, will we see at least a bit of Digger in the nine chapter one about Danny? And guh, I want to see the full-length one about the first rebellion so much now, because what Beckett did there would set the district off like a powder keg. It's interesting, because she has the same problem as Snow in terms of going completely overboard. If she'd just let Digger get down and then turned on the fence, she might have been far more successful at achieving her/Snow's aims; I'm not sure Haymitch would have been nearly so inclined to open rebellion if he'd had a wife who he'd nearly seen die, especially if Beckett turned a blind eye to him being with that woman. But she's put him in a position where he has nothing to lose, and it's for such a petty reason, at least if I'm reading it right that she chose to turn on the fence because of his refusal? She's like a child whose smashing someone else's toy out of spite. How you've made me loathe a peacekeeper more than Thread, I don't know, but I'm fantasizing about this woman being mauled by muts right now, and Thread looks like a kindly grandfather in comparison!

I've known you were building toward this for a while, and the only thing I could think, at the end of the last chapter, was that he never got to buy her her dress. Or let her have a meal where she went away entirely satisfied, and there's all that food just sitting there, practically rotting. This man's guilt complex is going to be intense beyond belief. I couldn't entirely see how you were going to mesh this with Golden Mean, since, even though she's important there, he makes a comment in the beginning that goes something like he thought at sixteen that she was the love of his life but never had a chance to find out; but I see exactly, now. He was so guilty he almost had to minimize her role in his life as he aged or he would have lost his mind.

Anyway, this is an incoherent mess, but I knew if I put off commenting, I'd forget; I've done that with so many of the chapters recently, for which I apologize.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2013 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the reminder about the dress. I think I will bring that full circle.

I agree that the tendency to overreach -- both with Beckett and Snow -- is the fatal flaw of the villains. It's amazing it took as long as it did for the whole country to blow up. I'm not sure Snow will be happy with Beckett here -- not only did she remove his final piece of leverage against Haymitch (at least as he sees it; I don't think he ever really understands -- and neither does Haymitch -- that Haymitch is perfectly willing to risk himself for random strangers, let alone his friends), she also tried to sample the goods that he'd rather reserve for the sponsors. Of course, I doubt Haymitch would ever share that piece of info. It would have to be caught by the bugs for anyone to know.
redlily From: redlily Date: October 8th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I've read a lot of your comments about how Snow kind of treated the Victors in a stupid manner -- do you think that's a flaw of THG universe, or is it believable at the end of the day?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I think, historically speaking, that it's very believable. People get drunk on power and do stupid things, hence the frequent revolving door revolutions. If Snow were smarter, there'd be no story to tell, because it's his insane abuse of authority (then Coin's) that drives everything that happens.
vytresna From: vytresna Date: October 8th, 2013 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've noticed that's been a theme with you since you started doing the Teddy fics: The Revolution That Didn't Know When To Stick A Fork In It. I wish more people would use that theme; seems to have fallen by the wayside since the French Revolution was a fashionable setting.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2013 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
The French Revolution -- not to mention several lovely twentieth century revolutions -- really freaks me out because they're so frequent that they say something really terrifying about human nature. You start out with reasonable people who have perfectly reasonable grievances, a perfectly understandable cause, then somehow, the other side becomes completely dehumanized, and the guillotines come out (or the firing squads, or the secret police, or whatever lunacy seems sane to the people in charge). And once that happens, it's really hard to put the genie back in the bottle. It's endless unless the people on the winning and losing sides and the leaders both forcibly put a brake on it and say, "War's over. Let's get back to peacetime."

One of the reasons I respect John Adams was that, after the Boston Massacre, he defended the British soldiers, and won on the cool-headed facts of the case, above his cousin's incendiary rhetoric... and that, even after he'd instigated the Declaration of Independence and served in congresses, and maybe after he was president (I'm not sure of the timing), he said that defending them was the most important thing he'd ever done for his country.
maidenjedi From: maidenjedi Date: October 7th, 2013 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh damn. Fern, you are an incredible writer, and I don't know how you got through this. So impactful.

I've always appreciated how your stories take a given world and build far more intricately within that framework than the original author. Thank you so much! (an odd statement on a sad chapter, but still)

I wonder something. Was this on Snow's orders, or was this Beckett taking her assignment a little too seriously/zealously? Did she have carte blanche? It seemed very much like they hit Haymitch hard enough that even Snow would back off until Haymitch had a legitimate slip back into rebellion. Beckett appears to act here on her own accord, which makes her possibly even more evil than Snow, because if I read that right, she did this because Haymitch wouldn't bribe her with sex. She didn't kill Digger because of Haymitch's rebellion. Snow would see this as collateral damage in the grander scheme, I imagine, but he can't be happy about vigilantes in his ranks, either.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2013 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I think she was given carte blanche, but the Capitol wouldn't be pleased with how she used it here (though you can be sure they'll circle the wagons rather than give a district reason to believe they can complain about the Capitol).

Haymitch convinces himself in the intervening years, I'm sure, that it's all about the force field in the arena. I doubt it actually was.
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