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HG: The Hanging Tree, Chapter Six - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
HG: The Hanging Tree, Chapter Six
Haymitch knows that Gia has to leave, and that Blight has set up her escape just outside district Four. Unfortunately, when they get there, the train is boarded by Peacekeepers.

Chapter Six
I go to the window. We're too high above the platform to jump.

"Haymitch -- "

"Come on," I say, and grab her hand. I pull her up a few cars. It's closer to where the Peacekeepers are, but there are also stairways down to the ground between some of the cars. They'll be guarded, I'm sure, but…

We pass the prep car. I stop and open the door.

"What is it, Haymitch?"

"I need something here," I say.

I don't turn the lights on. I've spent enough time in this room that I can find my way around in the shadows. I pull Gia in and hide her in the dark beside the door.

Medusa's cart is against the far wall. I break the lock on the top drawer and pull out the knife. It fits as easily into my hand as it did in the arena.

Gia grabs my arm and whispers, "Haymitch, what are you doing?"

"I'm getting you out of here."

"It's --"

"It's an arena. I know how to deal with that."

"You can't let them catch you. They'll make you disappear."

"Well, they're sure as hell not catching you," I say.

Two Peacekeepers run by, and I push her down under their sightline.

I open the door and slip out into the hall. The Peacekeepers are searching our personal quarters first. That's good. The ones who went by are probably headed for the last car, but they're too late.

I put my finger over my mouth to indicate that Gia should be quiet. She rolls her eyes at me.

The first staircase we come to is impossible. I peek out the window of the nearest car. Six guards are gathered there. I hope the rest aren't like that, or we're going to have to risk jumping out a window. Luckily, the second only has three guards. I point to them from the car we're looking out of.

Gia leans in and whispers urgently, "Haymitch, you can't kill them. It has to look like it was just me."

"I could come with you."

"If you don't get back on this train, they'll punish your district for it. Your friends. Maysilee's sister. They'll burn it all."

I realize she's right. I also realize that I hate the Capitol. The hate is a tangible thing, an active thing. I grind my teeth. "Let's get you safe, and then I'll… I'll come up with a cover story."

"Whatever it is, it has to be something that I could do."

I look around the car. It's a lounge. The bar is locked up. I could break in easily enough, but it would make noise. There's a broom left behind by the maintenance crew, and a chair I might be able to brain someone with, if I had a good angle.

My eyes drift down to the floor, and I see Gia's shoes. I remember Maysilee, heading off for her interview practice with Drake. I told her those spike heels would make fine weapons.

I look up. Gia must be remembering it, too. She takes off her shoes and holds them up like clubs. I grab the broom in one hand and the knife in the other. I'd rather use the knife. It's more certain.

But Gia's right -- anyone who's ever met her would know she couldn't do it.

I tuck the knife into my belt. I don't know who else we'll see by the time we're through.

We go to the door. She shakes her head slightly and points me to the shadows.

She hurls her shoe out into the night. It splashes into a puddle.

One of the guards cocks his weapon, and looks in the direction of the sound. If he had a brain, he'd alert the whole crew, but he doesn't. He signals to his friends to flank the door, then sneaks off into the shadows by himself, probably imagining the glory of bringing in their dangerous rebel all alone.

I wait until he's out of earshot, then go to the door and swing the broom handle quickly, once to each side, dropping the two remaining guards to the ground. I look up the train. Little groups of guards are gathered at the various exits, but these two went down so quickly that no one notices. There is a little strip of woods. Through it, I can see the moonlight glinting on River Bay.

I get down to the ground and nod for Gia to follow.

We slip into the woods. Just as we hit the shadows, I hear someone call out. They've noticed the fallen guards.

I grab Gia's hand and pull her deeper into the woods.

When we get to the edge of the bay, Gia pulls me to a stop. This isn't a beach. It's a boggy swamp. Fireflies dart around, and some kind of green vines hang down from the trees. "Haymitch, you have to go back."

"Not until I know you're safe," I say.

"Haymitch--"

"I mean it. I'll come up with something. I'll tell them I was looking for you, too. But I'm getting you to whatever Blight set up. You're a city girl. You won't last five minutes if they're looking for you."

She nods. "Okay. Thank you." She looks around. "Ollie said to look for the fairy-slippers. Those are flowers that grow around District Seven, but not here naturally. Kind of a bright magenta."

I don't see anything at first. We make our way along the swampy banks, going the same direction as the river. After about five minutes, Gia spots the first flower. It's nestled in the mud. I would have thought it belonged here. There's another a few yards beyond it.

"There you are."

I stop.

The Peacekeeper who ran into the woods ahead of us is standing in front of us now, his gun raised.

"I can explain," Gia says, putting a kind of embarrassed giggle behind her words. "It's just… the smell of the flowers, all the growing things… You know how it is. We just wanted to get away. I hope we haven't caused any problems."

The Peacekeeper moves closer. "Lady, you have no idea what's coming. You--"

He stops mid-sentence as Gia brings her shoe around in a hard arc, smashing into his head. He trips back, dazed, then Gia reaches over and grabs my knife. Before I realize what she's doing, she's cut his throat.

"Gia--"

"I'm sorry, Haymitch. But I had to. He saw you with me."

"But -- "

"I'm not a saint. And it's better that I did it. I'll be gone. You won't be guilty of anything."

She heads off along the trail.

I look at the dead Peacekeeper, and I'm back in the arena, staring at Crispus Bidwell, at Donnell Moran.

I follow her.

The trail of flowers goes down beyond the lights of the fueling station, into a cove draped with vines. Beyond the vines, I see the tiniest hint of a flickering flame.

Gia stops at the boundary. She wipes her hand on her skirt, leaving a red smear. "I think this is it."

"Let's find out. It could be a trap."

I lift up the vines. There is a raft floating in the lagoon, tethered to a tree on the muddy bank. On it is a lantern shaded by a net.

Something moves through the water and I put myself between it and Gia, but when it emerges, I see that it's a man. He rises up, water dripping off him in a river, and looks at us. He's pale-skinned and red-headed, and his skin has the look that Danny's does when he spends too much time in the sun -- rough and peeling. He smiles.

Gia nods.

The man picks up a handful of flowers and sets them on the raft. "They're far away," he says. "No one ever comes down here. I thought I was just taking one?"

"Just me," Gia says. "Haymitch is going to go back."

The man frowns. "You better work your way back upstream, before they decide to have a closer look in the direction you're coming from."

"I'll just swim out and let them rescue me," I say. "Stupid drunk Haymitch tried to swim the Bay."

"Well, watch out for the gators." He grins obnoxiously.

"The whats?"

"Don't worry. There aren't many this far north. They like warmer water. And they're probably well-fed enough to ignore you."

"Listen," Gia says, "we're nervous enough."

The man laughs. "Aw, just breaking the ice a little. I haven't seen a gator up here in years, and I sneak up at least a few times. The best shellfish are up here, and it's easy to slip the mines on a little raft. Then just pole up the shallows, and there's a fortune to be made."

"Who are you?" I ask.

"Names are tricky things," he says. "It's usually better not to ask for them." He leans over the lantern and puts it out, leaving only the full moon dappling down through the vines for light. "And now that you've found your way, I think it's best to get rid of the clue, don't you?"

"Yes, I think so. Ollie said that he coded me as a kind of fish. What kind did he say I was?"

"A fine catfish filet," the man says. "But you certainly look tastier."

"Maybe I should go with you after all," I suggest.

"Blight's not paying me enough to smuggle a victor." The man gets onto the raft. "Sorry, but it's true. If you want your friend to get out safe, the best thing you can do is get far away from her, and if you happen to see a gorgeous redhead wandering around in District Four in the future, know that you've never once in your life met her, and you won't know her name. Are you good on that, kid? Because this is a wash if you're going to be playing a lovesick puppy."

"He's looking out for me," Gia says.

"I know. And I respect that. But he needs to understand that you're going to disappear. After tonight, there will literally be no Gia Pepper to be found. She won't exist. Do you understand that, kid??"

"I'm not an idiot."

He looks at me through squinted eyes. "No. You're not an idiot, are you?" He shakes his head. "Look, Blight and I go way back. We've been trading back and forth for years. He started trading with my dad on his victory tour. I won't let anything happen to her. And I won't do anything bad myself, since I can see that look in your eyes, like, 'Who the hell is this and why should I trust him?'"

"Well, who the hell are you, and why should I trust you?"

"Because Gia trusts Blight, and Blight trusts me."

"And that's as good as it's going to get, isn't it?"

"That's all I've got to offer." He looks up at the moon. "We haven't got long before they realize that Gia's not the only one gone. Say your goodbyes. I'll… I'll see about some crawdads. Way over there." He slips back into the water and swims for the far end of the lagoon.

Gia takes my hand and sits down on a moss-covered rock. I sit beside her. There's still blood on her skirt, but the trek through the swamp has mostly washed it off her skin. I hate that she had to do that. I think about Maysilee and her blow gun. I want to run into the woods and find the end of it all.

"It'll be all right," she says. "Haymitch, you'll be all right."

"Yeah. Sure."

She puts her arms around me and holds me, not like she did in District Six, but like she did when I woke up screaming after Digger died... a comfort in the cold. "Promise me something," she says. "And I mean it -- a sincere, real promise."

"What?"

She pulls away. "Don't you ever climb that hanging tree again. I know it's horrible back there. I know you're all alone, and I'm not going to pretend that Snow's not just going to keep on coming for you. But don't do his work for him. You promise me that I won't be watching the news some night, just to hear someone make a joke about you falling out of a tree or off a balcony. Drinking yourself to death. Promise me I won't ever hear that."

I open my mouth to promise her, but I'm not sure it's a promise I can keep. Nothing comes out.

She puts her hands on my face. "Haymitch, please. I need you to promise."

I can't say anything for a long time. I just look into her green eyes, pleading with me. I memorize them, so that when I start looking for a new hanging tree to climb, I'll remember them, and stop. "I won't kill myself," I whisper at last. "I…" I look down.

She bites her lip. "Haymitch, finish. Please."

"I… promise."

She nods. "Then I'll be okay."

"When we finish it -- all of it -- will you find me again?"

"If I can."

I nod. "I wish you didn't have to go."

"Me, too. Not least because I know what's waiting for you in the Capitol. Don't let Snow get you started 'entertaining.' Do whatever you need to if it gets you out of it. He'll start testing the waters while you're in the Capitol this time. Make sure he knows the water's rough, okay?"

"Okay." I let go of her hand and stand up. "Gia, I'm sorry. If I hadn't written that stupid book, if you hadn't needed to come out and… babysit me…"

"I came because you needed someone. And as for your book? Plutarch is going to get it into the right hands. You'll see. Things like that, they don't make a difference you see right away, but they do make a difference."

"But if you hadn't hidden it -- "

"Then they would have gotten me on something else," she says firmly. "They've been watching me. I knew that going in."

There's a motion in the water, and the man from District Four resurfaces. "You'd better hurry," he says. "The lights have gone on up the track. They know you're missing."

I nod and look at Gia again. "Good luck." I turn to go, then turn back. "Can I kiss you goodbye?"

"Yes. I'd like that."

I kiss her. It isn't furtive or strange, like it was in District Six, but it's also not real for her. I know that, even though she kisses me back this time.

When we part, she smiles at me. "Someday, some girl is going to be very, very lucky."

"Right," I say. "Until they kill her." I look down. The knife I took is beside the rock, that last bit of the arena. "You keep the knife," I say. "In case of… gators. Whatever they are."

"I'll do that."

A heavy hand falls on my arm, and the man is looking at me apologetically. "I know it's hard, kid, but we have to get you far away. Can you hold onto me and hold your breath?"

I nod. "Goodbye, Gia. And… thanks."

It doesn't seem to be enough, but I can't think of anything else. She stands there looking at me, her eyes shiny with tears. I think I'll be seeing them in my head for a very long time. "Wherever I am," she says, "and whoever I am, I'll love you. You'll remember that, right?"

I try to say that I will, but there's a large lump in my throat, and I can't speak, so I just nod.

"Stay here," the man tells her. "I'll be back in five minutes, but we're not leaving until the train is gone."

He holds out his arm. I grab it and hold my breath, and then I'm being dragged through the water at high speed. We surface quietly twice to take a breath -- the look on his face is enough to tell me not to gasp -- then finally surface far away from the lagoon.

"Be careful," he whispers, close to my ear. "Wait two minutes, then start yelling for help. Can you keep afloat for two minutes?"

I nod.

"I'll take care of her," he says, then disappears under the water. I see him surface once, and don't see him again.

I tread water, which I'm not very good at, though Digger taught me a long time ago. I can see the train now, and the tracks, lit up for miles. People are rushing around, guns raised.

By the time I feel like it's safe to shout, it's not an act. My legs are worn out and I feel like I'm going to go under.

Someone yells, "There he is!" and then there is a flurry of activity. A small hover-craft comes out over the bay, like the corpse collector in the arena, and I latch onto it. As soon as I'm up, a Peacekeeper shakes me violently, and then the world goes red, then black.

I wake up in my carriage. The train is moving again. Two Peacekeepers are standing by my door, and a third is at the foot of my bed with a syringe. "Where is she?" he asks.

"What?"

"Pelagia Pepper. You helped her off the train."

My brain is fuzzy. I don't know what they've given me. But I hold onto one thing: They can't follow up on where Gia has gone. "I don't know," I say. "I saw she was off the train. I thought I saw her shoe… by the water. And footsteps going upstream." I think of her there in the lagoon, the tears in her eyes, begging me not to climb the hanging tree. It gives me an idea. "I… I thought she might have drowned. She kept talking about the Mississippi. I thought she jumped into it! I know she was upset in District Six. I tried to find her. Really. Only I don't swim, and --"

I see the Peacekeeper's fist twitch, but he doesn't raise his hand at a victor. "I think you're full of crap," he says.

"It's the truth," I say. "I just wanted to find her. I'm sorry if you wasted time getting to me. I wasn't thinking."

"Where did she go?"

"I don't know! Are you going to drag the bay? She could be hurt!"

"There's no reason to drag the damned bay. She made a run for it. Killed a Peacekeeper in the woods on her way out. Good man. He had a mother he was taking care of. Does she have connections in the out-districts? Or does she think she does? Because if that's where she's going, if she's running off with some romantic notion of joining the raiders, she's going to get a rude awakening. They aren't exactly gentle with women, if you follow. So if you're worried about her getting hurt, you tell me if she went off with them."

"I don't know! I really don't!"

The Peacekeeper turns to the guards. "One of you -- we have intelligence about a camp about forty miles north of here. She could have signaled them from the train. Burn it to the ground… kill all of them. And anyone with them."

"No!"

"Why? Is your girlfriend with them?"

"No, but why would you kill all those people?"

He snorts. "Most of them are escaped convicts. And before you get pretty ideas, most of them were in for crimes like murder and arson and assault and rape -- they're not nice guys just waiting to give you and your little friend a hand. Ask your friends in District Eleven -- they get stolen from all the time. And not just the crops." He looks back at the guards. "What are you waiting for?"

One of them stammers, "I thought you were just trying to get him to…"

"No, the camp is getting wiped out anyway. Sooner rather than later, but hey, one less rat's nest out there. I'm not going to cry about it."

I sink back into the pillows. "What am I going to do without her?"

The Peacekeeper snorts. "You're going to keep doing what you've been doing, though I'll bet your new escort won't be quite as accommodating. You're heading for prep now, and they'll get you cleaned up, and when we get to District Four, you're going to act like nothing in the world is wrong. Are you clear on that?"

I'm clear enough on what he wants, but I'm not sure I can do it. My legs feel like they've been coated in rock, and my heart seems to be pumping cold water through my body. "I -- "

"You're going to do it," he says. "Or I promise you, you'll regret it. I can contact Lucretia Beckett in Twelve at a snap of my fingers. Tell her to investigate anyone close to you, in case they helped. Do you want me to do that?"

I shake my head.

"Then get up and get to prep. Now."

I force my legs over the side of the bed and grab blindly at a table to steady myself on the moving train. No one offers to help me.

I make my way up to the prep room. If Medusa has noticed that her knife is missing, she says nothing as she washes my hair in warm water. Fabiola wraps warm towels around my head, and pours hot tea down my throat. Igerna frets at the state of my skin after my time in the bay. They don't gossip. They don't talk to me. But every now and then, I feel a slightly longer, reassuring touch. I'm glad of it.

Lepidus doesn't talk to me much as he dresses me, either. It will be a cheerful kind of green sweater today, and apparently, I won't need any outerwear in District Four.

I ask for the kill list. I know both boys from Four were in the pack that attacked me when Maysilee saved me, but I don't remember which of them I killed, and which she did. It's the first time I'll be in a district where I killed one of their kids. I wonder if Medusa has another knife with that boy's name on it. Lepidus doesn't know what I'm talking about, but when he sees that I'm getting wound up enough to start picking wildly at my clothes, he runs to the media room for a copy of the highlight reel. I don't watch as he fast-forwards to the battle, and can't stand listening during the attack, but he's able to tell me that it was Moran I killed. He was the first to attack. Then I killed Bidwell, from Two. Then Maysilee shot Kavan Carroll.

"How do I talk about that?"

"I have Gia's cards," Lepidus says. "They've been read, of course, to make sure she wasn't leaving you a message, but… she'll get you through."

I take the cards and hold onto them for dear life. Gia was careful, as always, with the words. She doesn't have me directly addressing the fact that the boys are dead because they attacked me. I'm to praise their strength and stamina. I have heard victors give this speech in Twelve every year. I guess I can do it. I also guess it won't stop them from hating me -- it never did in Twelve -- but I can do it.

We pull into District Four late in the afternoon. I can see the ocean, but we are behind schedule, and the tour of the beach that Gia had set up for me is cut out. I will speak to no one.

The Peacekeepers all but shove me out of the train and onto the platform, and I am locked into the car on the ride to town.

The car finally stops outside a building made of stone that's been painted a bluish color, with fading tile fish catching the sun. No one opens the door. I can see a group of Peacekeepers gathered at the entrance to the building, along with many Capitol attendants. And…

I close my eyes, willing away what I'm pretty sure I'm seeing, but when I open them, it's still there.

A man breaks away from the group. He is wearing a severe, sleeveless suit -- a kind of a tunic with metal belt fasteners around it. He can't be young -- before Gia, he was the District Twelve escort since they started having regular escorts -- but he's altered himself so much that it's hard to tell. His skin is pulled up tight, and his face is tattooed to look like a jeweled skull. His hair is green (today) and swirled up like whipped cream on top of a poisoned dessert.

He clicks something he's holding, and the door unlocks. He opens it.

"Hello," he says coolly. "I take it you're my new victor. My name is Ausonius Glass."
13 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: queen_bellatrix Date: January 21st, 2014 09:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Typos/review

One of the guards cocks his weapon, and look in the direction of the sound. I think look needs to be looks, here?

There is little strip of woods. I think you missed an a before little.

When we get to the edge of the bay, and Gia pulls me to a stop. I'm not sure if you meant to take out the when or the and in this sentence; I think it got a bit garbled in editing.:)

"I think is it." There maybe should have been a this between is and it?

I see that's a man. I think that's here might should have been that it's?

Promise me something," she says. You're missing the opening quote before promise.

I've read this twice, and I still can't fully articulate everything I want too.

The entire Gia/Haymitch interaction...I'm so, so glad she's free, and in 4, and just generally all right. But damn it, I'm crying miserably; I knew I shouldn't have read this before I slept.:) On a purely selfish level, I'm going to miss her so much. (I'm terribly afraid any request from me in your next open call's going to be Gia-heavy.) But, even more, I'm miserable for Haymitch. You were talking somewhere (I can't remember whether it was in your comments to AO3 or LJ) about how much Haymitch likes Gia, and what might have happened on both their ends if there hadn't been the age disparity there was. And Gods, it's so blindingly obvious in this chapter, with the fisherman's comments about lovesick puppies, and so many things in their goodbye, and it is just so monstrously unfair. I want the power, just for two seconds, to go back to an earlier fic, find Snow's first appearance and reach through the screen and claw his eyes out. One of the things I love that you're exploring is how Snow's psychopathy, like that of all dictators, makes him create a means of destroying himself. I love that there's no mechanism in his brain that goes: "Damn, maybe I've broken the kid enough and should stop before he snaps like a rabid dog."

And you have no idea how much I loved the promise she exacted; whether he found other coping mechanisms later, I love that it was this first promise that let him hold on and not suicide until, in the worst scenario, Kattniss and Peeda came along. And I love how realistic the limits of it are; itmay've kept him from suiciding, but after she left, nothing was keeping him from drinking. I just keep thinking (and I know we've talked about this before) how much different everything would have been if Snow hadn't made her leave.

As much as Gia says her firepower was small, I have a feeling we're going to see just what an impact she had on Beckett, especially; the woman's going to go completely batty. I also love the understatedness of Gia's heroism; saying her firepower's small, and coming to help Haymitch, even though she knew she was being watched. Because in this government, as Haymitch notes so much about Peeda in GM/NP, actions like that are as revolutionary, if not moreso, than firing a gun.

And Glass; you've had one line, and my hatred for you is a fierce and burning thing.

I loved the entire escape sequence. And especially the moment with the knife; the way she steps forward, both to protect him in a legal sense as well as a moral one. Just a beautiful moment, and the entire action bit was coreographed astoundingly.

And the way the preps, vapid as they are, rallied around Haymitch in the wake of everything was deeply moving.

Also, I like Finn's dad.:) If it indeed is Finn's dad? And am getting very worried about Gia again, because her description seems very similar to Annie's.

Thank you so much for not killing Gia, and I really will try and make my next review less all over the place.

Edited at 2014-01-21 09:36 am (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 21st, 2014 03:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Typos/review

Thanks for the catches, as always. (And get that Gia-heavy request ready -- after all the technical help, I'm reserving you the first request.)

Even with the age disparity, if they'd waited a few more years, I think things might have been different with them (though it would have run her into the same trouble she had with Blight). But there weren't a couple of years to wait.

There is one point when he tries to break his promise, but Effie saves him.

I was going to have Haymitch kill the guard, but I realized that Gia wasn't about to let him really go back to the arena like that.

And yes, that was Finnick's dad. That's why Blight mentioned trading with that crook, Odair. They're old friends.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 21st, 2014 01:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Wow

I am VERY pleasantly surprised to see that Gia made good her escape. Sad as everything about it was, and sad as everything we know is coming, it's the best possible outcome we could realistically hope for.

So...I take it that Gia will eventually be Finnick's mother?

And we already knew that Glass would be horrible going in, but the physical description makes my flesh crawl.

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 21st, 2014 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wow

I take it that Gia will eventually be Finnick's mother?

That's the thought.

I didn't know what Glass looked like until I started describing him.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 21st, 2014 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wow

So does Snow know/suspect that Finnick is the son of two rebels? Is that why he gets thrown into the arena? Does Haymitch suspect? Do Gia and Haymitch ever meet again later?

...I suppose these are challenge calls, not really comments :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 22nd, 2014 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wow

If she survives the war, she probably does contact him. I think she does.

But a fourteen year old kid getting reaped in a career district where there were most likely eighteen year olds wanting to volunteer? Yeah... there's definitely something hinky there.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: January 22nd, 2014 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wow

I'd wondered about that before (whether it was a slipup on Collins's part or if Finnick was just so good that none of the eighteen-year-olds seemed likely to do better). I wonder how they'd keep people from volunteering? Some trademark Capitol subtlety, no doubt.

Excellent chapter -- I was shocked that Gia got away in the end but wow, it's going to be hard for her, having to erase herself that way. I wonder what watching the Games will be like for her in the future -- knowing all the things she knows and not being able to tell a soul.
redrikki From: redrikki Date: January 21st, 2014 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
And now I want to know what happened to Gia. Did she get away to safety in 13 or elsewhere? Is there a reason she never contacted him after the war? Are there still people living in the out districts by the 75th?

Also, liked the brief cameo by Finnick's dad.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 21st, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
She may contact him after the war -- there's a pretty big time skip between the last chapter of Narrow Path and the epilogue -- but they just don't reconnect. That's a lot of water under the bridge. She stays in District Four under a new name.
mirandabeth From: mirandabeth Date: January 21st, 2014 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that chapter was excellent!! Loved working out whether Gia was going to end up as Finnick's mother - I seriously got so excited working out he was due to be born not too long after when this story is set. Although, I always assumed his parents were dead before Katniss meets him (since Mags is "half his family" and if you take Johanna literally I read Annie as being the other half), so I probably shouldn't wish that on Gia.

I love that Finnick's grandfather was a victor too - makes even more sense out of Finnick being reaped young in a Career district.

So good! And for some reason it hadn't even occurred to me that Gia would have to be replaced by someone. I hate Glass already. Mentoring's going to suck even more than it would naturally, with him around.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 21st, 2014 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ack, that line does read as Finnick's grandfather, doesn't it? I meant it that Blight had started trading with Finnick's grandfather on his (Blight's) victory tour. I'll see if I can clean that up.

I haven't decided exactly what happens to Finnick's parents (Gia being one of them), but yeah, I got the impression that they weren't in the picture for him.
mirandabeth From: mirandabeth Date: January 21st, 2014 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, sorry, that probably does make more sense.
akilika From: akilika Date: January 24th, 2014 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
The fact that they're both redheads made me worry that they were the Capitol escapees that Katniss had witnessed prior to the Hunger Games... and that Gia would be her (and, probably, Peeta's and Haymitch's) personal Avox, which is just the kind of mindscrew I can see happening.

(I've not read all of your stories, so I wasn't sure what else you'd written on her.)


...ah, looks like the Avox was named Lavinia. I'd forgotten that! (Haven't read the books in a while.) So I guess that's that. :)
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