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HG: The Hanging Tree, Chapter Two - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
HG: The Hanging Tree, Chapter Two
Okay. Back to the tour!


Chapter Two
The train depot for District Eleven is a wooden shack, far inside the fence. It isn't until I disembark that I notice a set of rods on either side of the tracks.

"What's that?" I ask Gia.

"Shock bars," she says. "In the big districts, where the main lines run in from the fence, sometimes people damage the tracks. Accidentally, of course. The rods are there to make sure the tracks stay viable. I highly recommend not going anywhere near them."

I think of Digger, slowly cooking from the electricity coursing through our fence. I push the thought away. "Is that why the tracks are mostly outside the districts?"

She nods. "Better safe than sorry."

"Mm-hmm."

She turns to me. She's painted up again, and wearing Capitol clothes. She's not wearing a wig, but her hair is pulled around and shellacked up into heart-shaped fans. She still looks pretty, but it's hard to figure her as the same person. "Now, smile and be polite, and don't make waves. If we can get through the speeches, maybe Chaff and Seeder can make it to the banquet."

"Right." I pick up the box of cookies from the Mellarks, and try to find a place for it. Gia takes it and moves it to her bag.

"I'll send that on ahead," she says. "Come on, now. Big smile."

I try it.

She winces. "Maybe not. You look like a crocodile when you do that. Maybe just try not to look annoyed. You're coming to see your friends."

I try not to look annoyed as the local delegation herds us into a pair of long black cars and drives us, under sullen armed guard, into the small collection of ancient looking buildings that serves as District Eleven's main town. The largest -- and, by the looks of it, oldest -- serves as the local Justice Building. We quickly pass a solemn crowd outside, most gathered as far under drooping trees as they can get. We're let out behind the building. It's actually hot outside, even this deep in winter. Lepidus has me in a sweater and woolen pants, and I'm sweating buckets. Fabiola spritzes me with cool water. Somewhere, I can hear the faint sound of the crowd, and then we're marched inside.

That's when everything changes.

Armed Peacekeepers line the large center room, and a frightened-looking woman in a cheap pink dress comes forward. "Welcome to District Eleven," she says, and looks over her shoulder. "I hope you'll enjoy your visit. I'm Mayor Myrtle Grandee. We're a little behind schedule, so you'll need to go out right away." She looks at the Peacekeepers quickly, then back at me. "Are you prepared?"

"He's prepped," Gia says. Her voice is strangely tight.

I turn to look at her, and I see that Peacekeepers have moved in behind her. Their guns are out. Others are surrounding Lepidus and my preps.

"He's prepared," Gia says again. "Go on, Haymitch. You know what to do."

I look at the Peacekeeper behind her. He smirks.

"Haymitch, the cards in your pocket have the speech," Gia says. "You just go on out there, and give it. And after, we'll all get ready for the banquet."

"What's going on?" I ask. It's obvious, but it's the only thing I can think of to say. I can't think of anything I've done -- at least since I got on the train -- that would suddenly make them pull guns on Gia. "Gia, what's happening?"

"You're giving your speech," a Peacekeeper says. "And someone out there thinks you might be prone to writing things on your own. Best to stick to what other people write."

I am shoved forward, and all I can see is my book of poems… the ones Plutarch was going to pass to people who liked things like that. The one I wrote in anger during long, drunken nights. They know about it. Gia gave it to Plutarch Heavensbee, and now they know.

He betrayed us.

I hit the door and it opens. On a huge screen across the square, I see myself staggering out, eyes wide, skin pale, sweat pouring down my neck. Flanking the screen are smaller ones, showing four children. Two girls, two boys. I remember something about them, but I don't know what. Did I kill them? Did I kill this district's children?

I don't think I did, but I suddenly can't remember anything except my knife going into someone's neck, coming out with strands of tissue attached to it… then not coming out at all the next time. I feel like I killed everyone with that knife. The other tributes. Gia. Danny. Mom and Lacklen. Digger. Everyone.

The crowd cheers on command.

For the first time since I left the arena, I consciously bring it to mind. I remember not being able to sleep, panicking because I couldn't remember how Digger wore her hair. Maysilee woke up and held me tight, and I remember that embrace now, the way her hair smelled, the way her ragged fingernails felt pressed against my neck. We promised each other that we'd look after one another's families, if one of us survived. I don't think she'd quibble about including Gia in that group. Maybe she'd even include Lepidus.

I swallow hard, straighten my shoulders, and make myself go to the podium, where the mayor is holding out one shaking hand.

I don't know where I find my voice to start speaking, but I do. I read Gia's cards carefully, not meeting anyone's eyes, or looking directly into the camera (I don't want to look up and be staring at myself). Gia has remembered the names of the four tributes -- Huller and Cotton (who were supposedly my allies, through Chaff), and Sage and Wakerobin, who I barely met, though Gia is good enough at her job that she has produced specific things about them for me to "recall." I did actually talk to Huller and Cotton, but I don't add anything to Gia's cards.

I behave myself.

I see that the square is surrounded by Peacekeepers as much as the rotunda inside is.

Somehow, I make it to the end ("Even though I've had a hard time of it these past months, I am grateful for the advantages that the Capitol has given me, and grateful to the tributes -- and the people -- of District Eleven"). Mayor Grandee gives me a plaque commemorating my victory, with the congratulations of District Eleven on it. I don't know what I'm supposed to do with it.

I'm herded back inside.

The Peacekeepers surrounding my team lower their weapons.

"What's going on?" I ask Gia as soon as we've gotten moving toward the room where I'll be prepped for the banquet. "Where's Plutarch Heavensbee?"

She frowns, then seems to get what I'm saying. "Plutarch's where he's supposed to be -- on the train, helping with the plans."

"But -- "

She puts her hand over her mouth and makes a show of giggling. "Oh, it seems that someone noticed your talent might have… well, had a little help. I told them you were just too busy to come up with anything entertaining. But someone has a silly idea that we hid your real talent."

I don't dare stop walking. So Plutarch didn't betray us… but someone is suspicious. Suspicious enough to keep all of us under guard. "Well, that's dumb," I say as loudly as I can without actually looking like I'm trying to get attention. "Anyone who knows me knows I don't have any talent, anyway, unless you count drinking. Is that a talent? Because I can drink you under the table for them, if they really want to see it."

Gia gives me a look of perfectly genuine annoyance. "I don't think so, Haymitch."

"Maybe they should have a drink. Mellow them out a little bit."

"Maybe you should just get to prep."

"How much more prep do I need?"

"Ahem," Lepidus catches up to us. "I may have, um, underestimated the climate difference between Twelve and Eleven. You're a little… well, somewhat the worse for wear. Come now, boy."

He nudges me out of Gia's orbit and up a rickety staircase. My preps are waiting in a room on the second floor, and I'm grateful for a cool sponge down. Lepidus frantically goes through suits, trying to find something lightweight enough to get me through the evening, and Medusa treats my hair -- which is going into tight ringlets and thoroughly destroying her plan for it -- like a medical emergency. Water is forced down my throat as though I've been wandering in the desert for months.

Lepidus finally settles on a pair of light colored cotton pants and a dark red silk shirt. He tries to put a giant cravat around my neck, but I convince him that it would be too hot.

"It needs… something," he says. "Jewelry, maybe? No, a hat…"

By the time he finishes with me, I have a slouchy straw hat, a garish ring, and a chain around my neck. I look like I should be playing a second rate hoodlum on a Capitol crime show. Maybe I just came into some money after fencing stolen goods, and now I'm trying to impress the boss's moll, guaranteeing me a quick death, with my body thrown in the lake.

There's a knock at the door. Gia comes in without waiting and looks at me, trying not to smile. "Ah," she says. "You know, they say you should always take off one accessory before you go out. Why don't we lose the gold chain?" She takes it off without waiting for Lepidus, who could certainly point out that she looks like she's wearing the whole accessory drawer at the moment, then hands me a brown bag.

"From Chaff," she says. "He didn't get an invitation to the banquet, but sends his thanks for the cookies."

I look inside. It's another loaf of the sweet brown bread he sent me. It's wrapped in a piece of paper.

I take it out, wondering if it's a message -- it would be pretty brazen to send me one here, even if Gia's with us -- but it looks like a recipe.

For your friend Danny, Chaff has written. We heard him say that he wanted the recipes. Expect them everywhere. This is Seeder's personal recipe. Enjoy it while it's warm!

"Well," Gia says. "I think he looks just perfect. You did a lovely job, Lepidus." She puts a hand to her mouth, alarmed. "But my goodness, the four of you look dreadfully hot. You'll need to clean yourselves up a little before you go in. I need to prep Haymitch on the banquet, anyway."

Fabiola frowns. "Well… I suppose we should. You'll make sure he brushes his teeth if he eats any of that bread?"

"Of course."

"Will she need to tuck my shirt in and tie my shoes for me, too?"

"Only if you untuck or untie," Lepidus says. "And I advise you to do neither." He raises an eyebrow. "Maybe one of the girls should stay. For propriety."

"Don't be ridiculous," Gia says.

"I'm talking about image. People talk, Pelagia."

"People always talk. It's what they do. Now, go, get ready."

I wait until Lepidus and the preps are gone. "What's that all about? Rumors? And one of the camera girls said… something."

She sighs. "I was involved with my victor in District Seven. Everyone knows it."

"So?"

"So… it was a scandal. Not that we were involved -- I can do as I please, as far as that goes -- but when I tried to get permission for him to move to the Capitol with me… it didn't go over well. Suddenly… let's say I know something about what the news can make up on very little evidence. That's how I ended up in Twelve."

"I'm not him."

"No. But I did live with you for three weeks."

"I was barely functional."

"I've kept a lid on how badly off you were." She sits down. "Caesar Flickerman is helping to stomp the rumors whenever he can. He likes you a lot. But they're out there."

"If it got you in trouble, why did you come out?"

"Because you needed someone on your side with a little firepower." She shrugs. "I don't have much. But what I have is yours."

"Thanks." I take out the bread and break it in half, meaning to give her some to go on, though I'm not sure if she can actually eat in the corset she's wearing. Something falls to the floor.

I reach down and grab it. It's a small, rolled up bit of paper.

"Oh, this looks good!" Gia says enthusiastically. I've never had District Eleven bread before."

I take her cue and praise the bread as well, while I unroll the paper. It's in my shorthand. The symbol for stairs, four times. A clock. A hand. A shoe. A bug with a line through it. Not anything that actually looks like those things, of course, at least not explicitly. It wouldn't have been very quick if I had to carefully draw things. But I know what they are.

I close my eyes and picture the ride around the Justice Building. There is a clock, not working, up at the top of a tower. I'm guessing four staircases. The hand has to be Chaff. The shoe… Seeder's talent is dance. And no bugs. That would make sense.

I haven't been able to teach Gia the code yet, so she just looks at it curiously. I fold my left hand down as far as I can and turn the arm around so it looks like a stump, then nod up at the ceiling while she goes on about how delicious the bread is, and nods.

We spend the next half hour actually prepping for the banquet. Gia makes me practice small talk, which I'm not very good at. She turns on some music to make sure I actually do know how to dance (she's satisfied with my ability to pick up steps quickly, but hopes they won't try anything too complicated). Finally, she gives me a frank list of subjects that I'm forbidden to discuss, including the situation in District Twelve, how it really feels to be in the arena, and what I really think about Snow and the Capitol. She gives me a sympathetic look -- I'm guessing she has the same restrictions -- but there's no room for discussion. During this, we eat the bread. Gia rips Chaff's message in half, and we each eat part of it.

We go downstairs.

The banquet isn't as lavish as a Capitol banquet would be, but it's got more than enough to eat. Someone has brought in a side of beef, and the whole hall is redolent of its roasting. Around it are the fruits of District Eleven -- apples, pears, peaches, and of course the standard potatoes and carrots. There are other things I don't recognize, but I try to taste a little bit of everything, and compliment as many people as I can. After we eat, the floor is cleared, and a band starts to play. There seem to suddenly be a lot of giggling girls. Some might be from Eleven, but others, I figure for Capitol liaisons. One of these practically jumps on me and drags me out to dance.

"I love the victory tour!" she says. "Last year I danced with Brutus. You're much more handsome."

"Um… thanks."

"I loved it in the Games when you hunted down that girl from One. She was crazy, wasn't she?"

"Yeah, I…" I try to pull away, but she has an iron grip on my hand.

"And when you kept running after taking an axe! Do you have a scar? Can I see it?"

"They cleaned up the scar," I say. "I should dance with everyone…"

"Oh, there are plenty of songs. And who says we just have to dance?"

"Um… I do."

She frowns. "Aren't I pretty enough?"

"You're very pretty. But I… I have a girl back home."

"Oh, a new one? That hasn't been on the news. What's her name?"

"I don't think she wants to be in the news," I say, and pray that no one will press further. I should have asked Kay Donner if I could say we were dating. It would make these vultures happy. Then again, given the last time Kay dropped by, it might not be the best of ideas.

The girl finishes out the dance with me, but seems put out by the whole subject. I'm grabbed by another girl, this one with a somewhat franker offer of what she wants to do with me, then by a third, who is at least more subdued, and mostly wants to know if I really learned that I loved Maysilee or not at the end. I assure her that I loved Maysilee very much. She doesn't ask about Digger, even though Digger's death made the news.

One of the native girls from Eleven (or at least, so I assume) gets hold of me next. She wants to know everything about the arena, because she's afraid she'll be reaped. After that, there's a girl from the Capitol -- who may actually be a young woman with a job here; it's hard to tell -- who says she's written a movie where Maysilee and I both lived, but had to be moved to different districts, but we find each other again as adults. What would I think of a movie like that?

Gia cuts in halfway through the song. "Enjoying yourself?" she asks.

"Oh, yeah. Talking about dead girls I love is always a good time."

"I'm sorry, honey. It'll be over soon."

"Until District Ten."

She doesn't bother to argue. "A girl named Calico is going to ask you to dance," she says quietly, pulling me a little closer. "She'll suggest that you go off to get some air. Go with her."

"I thought I wasn't indulging."

"You're not, but if you can handle people thinking you are, I'll cover for you while you're out… getting air. It's more or less expected that an escort would do that, anyway. And you have someplace to be, and people you want to talk to. Are you all right with it?"

I think about it. Given the way they've been showing me on television anyway, I guess adding "promiscuous" to the list isn't going to do any more harm than has already been done.

The next girl isn't Calico -- it's a Capitol girl who works as a secretary to the seed master and plans to visit my arena and cry over Maysilee's death site next month -- and neither is the one after that, who's drunker than I normally would be. I am in the process of trying to pry her hand off my belt buckle when a hand comes between us, followed by the body of a slim girl. She is one of the most beautiful girls I've ever seen, with dark brown eyes roughly the size of dinner plates, and black hair braided through with gold ribbons. She pushes the Capitol secretary away and gives her a nasty looking smile.

"That could get you in trouble," I say.

She shrugs. "I'm in trouble a lot. It's practically a second address. I'm Calico Rays."

"Haymitch."

"Yeah, I recognized you from the poster outside." She sneaks in closer, so aggressively that if Gia hadn't told me she was going to do this, I'd probably be trying to defend myself out of habit. She presses her lips to my face, just beside my ear. "They're upstairs waiting," she whispers, then moves just a little bit and kisses me properly. It's the first real kiss I've had since before Digger died and I suddenly wish I was really going to "get a little air" with her.

Instead, I just follow her out, while people snicker behind my back. I see Gia moving in to do something to cover for me, but I don't know what. Calico leads me quickly up the stairs to the prep room. She leans against the door and pulls me to her. "You're going to take the stairs at the end of this hall. Then go to the right, and you'll find another set in the middle of the hall. The door is shut, but it's unlocked. Go up two flights."

"Thanks."

She kisses me again.

"What was that for?"

"Sorry. Probably shouldn't have, but I wanted to." She winks. "I'll go in there and make a little noise -- "

"What?"

"My boyfriend's waiting. I'll get grief about that last kiss later." She winks. "Go on, now. We'll be the talk of the tour until you hit your next stop, I'm sure."

She opens the door and disappears into the shadows of my prep room.

I follow her directions upstairs.

The building is old and decrepit, and I have to look out the window once -- very carefully -- to get my bearings. I'm toward the front, the side where the crowd was gathered. There are a lot of closed doors in this hallway, and I can't very well just go along rattling them, so I have to count on some kind of spatial sense to get the right one, since they aren't marked. That would be too easy. I finally get to the one I estimate to be under the tower, and I try the knob.

It turns.

The staircase here is obviously disused. Old paintings of farms and great houses lean drunkenly from the wall. It all smells faintly of cinnamon, or at least something that reminds me of cinnamon. It makes me think of Danny's place, which is weirdly comforting.

At the top of the second flight of stairs, there are two doors, but between them, there's a trapdoor in the ceiling. A ladder is already down from it, and I climb up. I've barely cleared the door when Chaff grabs me in a hug. "How are you doing, Abernathy?"

"I'm good, I -- "

Seeder takes me and hugs me even tighter. "I've been so worried."

"I'm okay," I say. "Really, I am."

Seeder leans in and smells my breath. "Well, at least you're not drinking."

"You sound like Gia."

"Bless that girl if she's got you sober."

Chaff rolls his eyes. "Personally, I don't know how you're doing it. I'm bringing you a couple bottles of good stuff next summer."

"Thanks."

"You are not," Seeder says. "Bad enough you do it without keeping the boy on it." She pulls over a crate for me to sit on. "We got your note. Things are that bad in Twelve? Hangings?"

I nod. "Mostly kids from the Seam. Looks like they're trying to stir up old troubles."

"Are they succeeding?" Chaff asks.

I nod. "We're definitely not all working together anymore. It's a bunch of town rabble-raisers, a bunch of vandals from the Seam, then me and Danny trying to… you know… think bigger."

Chaff nods like he's seen it all before. "The Capitol knows how to play that game. No one's rich here, exactly, but you can work up north in the hills, or down south where you'll bake all day in the hot sun. And there's orchards and fields, too. In Four, they have the fisherman and the sailors. In Three, it's engineers and factory workers. Paper mills and lumberjacks in Seven. I bet it's the same everywhere. And I probably ought to give you a heads-up -- if they manage to get along with each other, they're going to take a nice long look at your big house in Victor's Village. It's the Capitol's nuclear option, but I doubt they'd refuse to use it, if things looked bad."

"How'd they build it to work like that?"

"They didn't," Seeder says. "It's just something that's there, and they exploit it."

Chaff sits down. "Now, fond as we are of you, we didn't call you up here to catch up or talk political theory. We can do that next summer."

"And hold onto that," Seeder adds. "Remembering that you're going to see your friends will help."

I try not to think about this.

Chaff goes on. "The word went out pretty naturally that your friend wants recipes. So you're going to be presented with recipes from the victors everywhere. You look on every recipe for a feather or flying or some other damned bird thing -- those are the victors who are on our side. In districts where there's more than one, they'll put on one symbol for each of them."

"Isn't that kind of… obvious?"

"Yeah." He sighs. "If anyone asks, they're about remembering your friend. The one the birds attacked. Are you clear on that?"

"You want me to use Maysilee's death as a rebel code."

"I'm sorry, honey," Seeder says. "It's just --"

"No. Maysilee would like that, actually. She was a rebel before I was."

"Good."

"They have… well, I wrote poems. It really sounds dumb, saying it like that, but -- "

"But they're on their way to Capitol rebels," Seeder says. "We know. I had a chance to read a few when I saw Plutarch earlier."

"Boy's a piece of work," Chaff mutters.

"He's risking a lot to get rebellion going in Snow's back yard," Seeder says crossly. "They may not hang Capitol rebels, but they do send them off to re-education camps if they get caught. We've lost a few that way. I don't know what they do to them in those camps, but they come back… wrong. And totally loyal to Snow. Plutarch knows that, and he's risking it anyway."

"Doesn't make him any less a blowhard," Chaff says.

Seeder shakes her head. "It doesn't matter. Haymitch, you gather up the information you get on the tour. Give the recipes to your friend like they expect you to. And he can send Chaff the information with an order of those hermit cookies, because I plan to order them every month, and it has nothing to do with the rebellion. We'll take care of it from there. It'll be our first actual census of rebel victors. We can't exactly talk much in the Capitol, so there's a lot of guesswork."

"Okay."

Chaff reaches into his pocket and pulls out a key. He hands it to me. "This is the key to this building. I've sat on the local council lately, so I had one, and I copied it. If you get a chance to come down here -- you may be able to work it out with workers from Six -- then this is where you'll come. Right here to this room. I'm the only one who comes up here -- I say it's a thinking place -- and I sweep it for bugs every month. So far, they haven't thought of it. Just send me word by the cookie express first."

I pocket the key, having no intention of using Danny to get word to them that I'm taking an illegal, unauthorized trip. I don't actually intend to take an illegal, unauthorized trip. But who knows? I might need to.

Seeder looks out a dusty window. "You better get back downstairs," she says. "Don't forget to collect Calico, if you can pry her out of that other boy's arms."

"Okay."

She squeezes my hand. "We will see you next summer," she says. "It's messy and just as terrible as you think to be a mentor. But we're all in it with each other, and we help each other as much as we can if the worst happens."

"When it happens, you mean?"

"Generally speaking," Chaff says before Seeder can spin something more positive. "Every mentor loses at least one tribute, and most lose both. There's no good about it. But you're not alone for it."

I nod. We don't say goodbye. I go back down the ladder, collect up Calico from the prep room, where I see someone else quickly climb out the window, then take her back downstairs. Cameras flash at me. The night goes on, and at the end of it, Gia finds me, guides me through the goodbyes, and gets me back to the train.

We head on for District Ten.
8 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 31st, 2013 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Several Questions

First, is Calico the eventual mother of either Rue or Thresh and Winnow?

Second, I'm quite curious about Chaff's relationship with alcohol and with Haymitch in that respect. From what I know of him (basically from your stories), Chaff strikes me as a hard drinker, but not an alcoholic (though heaven knows, that's a fine distinction). And he obviously can't know that Haymitch is an alcoholic at this point in time. Does he come to realize this? Regret his small role? Or...not, since all Victors go through so much trauma and have their own coping strategies,etc?

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 31st, 2013 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Several Questions

Calico isn't anyone's mom, as far as I know... just a young cousin of Seeder's who helps out when she can.

I'm not sure Panem's concept of alcoholism is especially clear. D13 forcibly drying Haymitch out, and Katniss and Peeta's tendency to just take his booze away, suggest that they don't really have a clear understanding of the nature of the disease. I'd guess there are people (like Mrs. Everdeen) who've seen enough to know that people get physically addicted, but their observations may not be universally accepted. So Chaff might well not even realize it when Haymitch is completely drowning in the stuff.
From: queen_bellatrix Date: December 31st, 2013 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Just a Couple of Catches and Review

I try not to look annoyed as the local delegation herds us into a pair of long black cars and drive us, Should drive maybe drives here, since herds was a plural? Or, you could just take out the us after drive; I think that would keep it as singular? I'm not entirely certain; something about that sentence is reading a bit off, imo, today.

You did lovely job, Lepidus. I think you missed an a, there.

A girl named Calico is going to ask you dance, I think there needs to be a to before dance?

My love for Gia grows with every chapter. I know that, inevitably, Glass will be back for the games, but I don't want to loose her that quickly; I just keep thinking: Couldn't he have a good escort, just for the first year?:) I love how much like an older sister she is, and the clear implication she just wanted to smack him in that exasperated but fond way siblings have with his whole speech about drinking people under the table. Also, I love the distinction/backstory you gave with Gia and Blight; the fact that she's perfectly free to get involved with him (and I'm sure a number of escorts do get involved with their victors, no matter how briefly), but that he can't truly be with her, and that she's shamed/punished for wanting it is so deeply hipocritical and cruel, but makes such perfect sense in Snow's government; does it essentially go back to what Caesar told Peeda in Cards, about the Victors needing to be seen in the Districts, living the dream of victory?

And I love what you're doing with Haymitch, showing his maturity/the effects of the arena, but also have these flashes of snark that are reminiscent of older Haymitch but still so quentissentially sixteen-year-old boy, like the drinking thing.

I'll be very interested to find out just how they suspected Haymitch's talent; did they search his house and see the notes that weren't in his hand? Or does Snow just have an intuition? I'll be morbidly interested to see why he makes Gia leave, whenever he does. Because while she is helping Haymitch, she also is leverage, as demonstrated so well with the guns, and Beckett destroyed the last of his leverage with Digger, and even if Snow thinks there's something with Kay, she's well on her way to destroying that, too.

I love Chaff and Cedar so much the more I read of them; and Chaff agrees about Plutarch! I mean, I know he goes to reeducation, and I feel bad for him and to some degree agree with Cedar, but ultimately, I always fall in to Chaff's camp.

I love what they're doing with the recipes, both as a way to get info, and because it's just such a nice thing to do for Danny; I also love how it explains how Peeda knows so much about all the breads in HG!

Also, the way you tied everything up with Golden Mean, with the guns being drawn, and Haymitch not remembering, was perfect, and had so much more impact, having met these people, than it did in GM; watching Gia's absolute cool under pressure was amazing, and I don't think I quite breathed until he got it together and I knew everyone would be all right. Also, just complete brilliance to have the forgetfulness about the Eleven victors from GM be explained by a flashback; from the moment he met Cotton and the others, I wondered how you were going to explain that.:)

Edited at 2013-12-31 10:23 pm (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 1st, 2014 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Just a Couple of Catches and Review

Thanks, as always.

does it essentially go back to what Caesar told Peeda in Cards, about the Victors needing to be seen in the Districts, living the dream of victory?

That, combined with the fact that she's a Capitol girl, and while a Capitol citizen might have her fun with a district boy, they aren't for taking seriously. The Capitol is supposed to above the districts, after all.

I'm not sure yet how Snow found out for sure about Haymitch's actual talent, unless the bugs picked something up. But I think plain old suspicion -- Haymitch did threaten to kill him -- would lead him to believe that something else was going on. He might well think Haymitch was fashioning weapons.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 2nd, 2014 12:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Gia is so clever and melancholy and kind. I also love cheeky Calico and the back-and-forth between Chaff and Seeder. Thanks for a great chapter!

- emkay
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 2nd, 2014 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm enjoying Gia at the moment. :D

Chaff and Seeder must have been a godsend for Haymitch in the time after the Games.
mirandabeth From: mirandabeth Date: January 4th, 2014 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I love this! I know it's all going to go to hell eventually (among other things, I don't know if you intended this one, but there's something pretty ominous about Haymitch thinking that anything "isn't going to do any more harm than has already been done") but it's so satisfying watching them work against the system.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 4th, 2014 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Haymitch should definitely learn not to tempt fate like that.

I like the rebellion better in its floundering around stage than I do at its full-blown, "Why, sure, we'll totally hang out with Alma Coin" stage.
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