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Repost: The Narrow Path, Chapter 22 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Repost: The Narrow Path, Chapter 22
An added conversation between Haymitch and Effie, a little more talk about Haymitch's committee, general smoothing.

Chapter Twenty-Two
I grab the guard beside me, who is raising his sidearm, and hurl him into one of the others, grabbing his knife away from him. I am not fighting to kill -- there's been enough of that -- but I'll do it if I have to, if it means keeping Katniss alive. Somewhere above the fray, I see her on the screens. She bites at her shoulder, but Peeta gets his hand in and keeps her from taking her nightlock pill. Then I am drawn back into the fight.

Johanna appears beside me, wielding Gale's knife. I tell her to keep them alive if she can, and she responds by switching the knife's direction and butting a guard in the head with it. Some flash of motion catches my eye, and I see Annie dragging a guard back with her belt. She grabs him by the hair and slams his head into a wall, then takes his gun and holds it on another guard. On all of the screens, Katniss is screaming for Gale to kill her as she is dragged back into the mansion over the heads of people thronging up onto the terrace, but since he is intent on tackling a guard with a large gun pointed at her, I don't think he intends to play along.

It seems like a long time while it's happening, but I guess we can't really have been fighting long when Paylor's team emerges and starts breaking it up. There are no casualties, except the dignity of a large man who's apparently been taken out of commission by Tazzy Vole, who I didn't even see run in.

Well, the large man, and Coriolanus Snow, who is hanging dead on his post when Paylor gets the terrace cleared. I'm not exactly broken up about it. In fact, I don't care one way or another, which surprises me after all this time. Whatever made Snow a bogeyman was gone weeks ago.

Paylor runs up to the podium where Coin was standing and uses the microphone to order, "Heavensbee! Get the cameras on me!"

Plutarch closes the cameras on her, and apparently turns the volume up, because when she speaks again, it is so deafeningly loud that everyone forgets we're in the middle of a melee.

"ENOUGH!" she says. "We are not re-starting this war, not today. President Snow is dead. President Coin is dead. Katniss Everdeen will be tried. It will be done through legal channels. We aren't animals. We aren't going to turn on each other. I want every person in this square to go help someone else up and then go home, wherever that is. The following people report immediately to me, so we can get some kind of working government." She takes a deep breath and starts listing people. I make the cut, as do the other rebel victors and Gale and Plutarch and Fulvia. Enobaria gets a call, and looks surprised. Paylor also lists several commanders from Thirteen, members of her own staff, and a handful of Capitol civil servants who have managed to avoid Coin's purge.

I take her advice and help up the kid who I was fighting with. He looks bewildered, but then, we all do when they first throw us into the fight.

"Go back to camp," I tell him.

I wait until I see him moving, then gather myself and head for the main doors of the mansion. Peeta is already there waiting for me. A bloody bandage is wrapped around his hand. He doesn't explain it.

"They took Katniss," he says.

"I know," I tell him.

"No. Not Paylor's people. Coin's people. They took her before we could get anything organized. Effie got knocked out trying to get to her. They locked the door. I couldn't get through."

"We're not on separate teams," Paylor says, opening a door to the conference room beside us. There is still a cup of coffee on the table from this morning's meeting. "Come inside. We're all going to talk." She looks over my shoulder.

Peeta and I go in. Effie is sitting there, shaking. She has a bruise on the side of her face. One of her high heels is in her hand. She's holding it like a bludgeon. She blinks and looks up. "Haymitch... Peeta..." Her eyes go wide. "They took Katniss!"

"I covered it," Peeta says and sits down beside her. He calms himself by making a fuss over her. I join him. It seems like as good an idea as any.

The remaining people on Paylor's list wander in, looking dazed. Effie was not on the list, but Paylor sees that she's calming Peeta and me down and lets her stay.

The victors (and Gale) gather in the corner where we are. The people from Thirteen are knotted up by the door, glaring at us. The Capitol bureaucrats huddle protectively by the window. Paylor's rebels, mostly from Eight, are whispering urgently to each other.

Paylor goes to the head of the table. "I haven't had to do this since they took away my kindergarten class, but if you people don't mix on your own, I'm going to assign seats."

No one makes a move.

Paylor promptly starts counting us off, sitting us around the table so no one is sitting with peers. Even Effie is given a seat, between a soldier from Thirteen and one of Paylor's people. I am between a low ranking bureaucrat from the Capitol and Soldier McCanley, who I briefly remember meeting in the Command bunker during the bombing.

Paylor sits down. "Please don't make me do that again." She sighs. "Before our victors revolt, and with good reason, I want to address the situation of Katniss Everdeen."

"She murdered Alma Coin!" someone from Thirteen yells.

"Yes. We saw. And she will get a trial." Paylor looks at me.

"They all knew!" McCanley blurts beside me, gesturing vaguely at Peeta and Johanna, who are separated by two people on the far side of the table. "Why else would they all be there, ready to fight?"

"We're always ready to fight, honey," Enobaria says, standing up and baring her teeth.

Paylor doesn't look at Enobaria. She looks at me.

I turn to Enobaria. "Sit down."

I have no reason to believe that she'll obey me, but by some miracle, she does.

"Who knew what is a matter for the courts to determine," Paylor says. "As well as the question of motive, and of Miss Everdeen's mental state. She was ordered to fire the last shot of the war, and it will be the last shot. She is safe now, in the training center, and she will remain safe. Right now, we have a serious problem. There is a vacuum in the leadership -- "

"Aren't you leading?" one of the bureaucrats asks. "I thought you were leading us now."

"I'm running a meeting," Paylor says. "I will run for the position when the time comes, but this meeting is about establishing the legitimate government of Panem as of this moment. I don't have any expertise in the law, but I think Mr. Latier knows something about this subject?"

Beetee nods, but speaks uncertainly. "I can tell you the laws of Panem, but there was a regime change, and the laws of Thirteen were somewhat different."

"Where are they the same?"

Beetee squirms a little. "Unfortunately, both are rather murky about succession. Both called for the president to name a successor."

Paylor swears under her breath. "Did either have a contingency plan for emergencies, if the president was unable to act?"

Beetee closes his eyes, and I imagine him going inside his head and running his fingers over his vast internal library. He shakes his head. "Both governments strongly resisted clear lines, other than bloodlines, and quite honestly, even that was not entirely approved. There's always been a rumor that Snow had his son killed because he had some kind of legitimate claim and people liked him better. Coin died childless. Snow's granddaughter is nine. And missing, at the moment."

Johanna turns paper white, and I wonder if she's finally realized what she called for an hour ago. She says nothing.

"It probably wouldn't be a good bet, anyway," I say. "It would endorse one or the other."

A soldier from Thirteen gapes at me. "We just won the war for President Coin! How can you suggest that someone following her would be equivalent to someone following Snow?"

"Because she wanted to start the Games again," Peeta says, before I have a chance to point out that I never gave a rat's ass about Coin. "She was exactly the same. And maybe you ought to get that through your head."

"Maybe you ought to stop talking for your girlfriend."

"Katniss was right," Gale says. "If Coin was really talking about starting the Games again --"

Paylor slams a heavy tray down on the table. "No. We are not doing this. Not today. Not until we have a working, stable government."

Plutarch clears his throat. "If I may, Commander Paylor?"

"Please," she says.

He stands up. "I think we need to accept that what we create today will be temporary. If we sit in this room and impose a permanent government, then we are no better than our predecessors. I suggest that we create an ad hoc committee from the group you've called here to handle basic governmental responsibilities and set up elections -- not just for president, but for a legislative body with members to be elected from the districts, first order of business to create a workable constitution."

"That sounds a little sketchy," Beetee says. "We're going to have a government of the first twenty names Commander Paylor remembered?"

There is a strange quiet after this, then Effie giggles. Peeta catches it. The laughs are alone and aberrant for a moment, then it starts passing around the room, earning more goodwill than Beetee intended. It's an odd and frightened laugh, but it's a shared one.

"All right," Paylor says when it passes through her. "All right, it does sound sketchy, but we will choose an absolute date to end it. That day, the elections will be held, and we will pass into a new government. In the meantime, we have to keep the country functional, or we'll end up back at war. We'll want to make sure immediately that people know that normal, decent behavior is expected. Laws against things like murder and rape and assault are all in force, and will remain in force throughout the transition. Make it clear that we are not an anarchy."

Fulvia steps forward. "As a producer, I suggest that you maintain the practice you established here, of having representatives of all the factions as often as you can. And that we all make a particular effort to be seen and heard cooperating with each other."

"I'm not just giving in to you!" a Capitol bureaucrat squeaks.

"I said cooperating, not agreeing. And I think we can at least all agree that we need to get water running in the mercantile district, get the fires out in the woods north of District Eleven, and dispose of the dead in whatever way seems right to their districts! We can't just leave the body parts in the vault where the street cleaners dumped them."

There's no argument to be made with this, though I can't think why none of that has been done in the weeks I've been out. The only thing I can imagine is that Coin was so focused on her purge that she forgot to actually govern.

Paylor nods. "Is there anyone here who refuses to serve on an ad hoc committee?"

Gale raises his hand. "I... I shouldn't. I think I designed -- "

She cuts him off. "It's a matter for another time, and the fact that it weighs on you makes you ideal. You know what's at stake. Will you serve?"

He looks at his shoes and nods.

Peeta begs off, and is allowed to, on the grounds that he knows nothing about government, wants to watch over Katniss, and thinks he can be of more use helping on the ground, working with the people to try and calm them. "They're scared," he says. "I can do more to help them than I can help write a legal code."

I raise my hand. "Commander Paylor, I don't know anything about -- "

"I need you here, Abernathy." She glances in Enobaria's direction, and I realize that what she wants me for is keeping peace among the victors, at least. Good luck with that.

Two soldiers from Thirteen are allowed to leave, and one of the Capitol bureaucrats, though promises are exacted from all three of them to behave as role models. Effie smiles and says she knows she wasn't invited.

I shrug. "As a member of this committee -- whether I want to be or not, apparently -- I nominate Effie to keep us all on schedule and behaving right."

"That's not a bad idea," Paylor says. "Would you be willing to serve as a secretary and etiquette consultant? I think we all may be a little rusty, and it really does help to have some boundaries." She grins. "And heaven knows, we'll need someone to keep Soldier Abernathy on time."

The members who are excused leave. Peeta tells me that he'll be in the Training Center, as close to Katniss as he can get. I tell him to get whatever information he can, and I'll meet him there later.

"Mr. Mellark?" Paylor says. Peeta turns. Paylor smiles. "Do what you can to calm people down, if they'll let you. But don't put yourself in needless danger."

"Yes, ma'am," he says, and leaves.

I'd rather be going to look after Katniss myself, and possibly seriously injure whoever made her scream the way she was screaming on the screens over my head, but Paylor is right. Paylor is saying what Prim said: Someone has to put the fires out. Our unlikely little team of arsonists is all we have.

We start with Fulvia's priorities, creating an emergency response committee to work with the military and civilian forces in the Districts and the Capitol to deal with fires and other natural or war-caused disasters. Gale offers to head up a committee to bury the dead in the Capitol, and proposes a monument to them. This latter is deferred to the presumed incoming government. Beetee takes on infrastructure troubles, like downed power and communications. Annie, who has had a good relationship with the Capitol merchants during her saner moments, proposes a street clean up to get downtown working again. She's offered leadership of the committee, but says that someone else will need to do the heavy lifting.

"In a literal sense, anyway," she says. "I'm not taking any more physical tasks."

"You need to pull your weight!" one of the remaining bureaucrats says.

"I'm happy to help Panem," Annie says. "But my first responsibility is to my baby."

Johanna stands up. "I'll do any physical work Annie's supposed to do, plus whatever I need to."

"We can all pick some up," I say. "You don't have to do everything."

Paylor smiles broadly. "Thank you for sharing your good news, Mrs. Odair. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel better knowing it."

"Me, too," Annie says. "And I mean to stay healthy and... right in my head. So I need to be doing the right things."

We move on to getting the schools running again, and the district industries, and a dozen other things I haven't ever felt the need to think about before. Committees are duly formed. I am somehow on one involving transporting refugees. Every hour, we release something on the news about a committee that's been formed. That's Plutarch's idea. He thinks that it will help if people know we're doing something. Paylor asks him to implement any other ideas he has for calming people down.

By the time we leave, he seems to have been proven right. People are dazed and wounded and deeply troubled, but on the street, it's quiet. Weeping shopkeepers are clearing broken glass. From the time Gale's committee was announced, people have been arriving to volunteer for burial and cremation duty, and Gale leaves us to take responsibility for them and get them organized. Johanna, who's on an entirely different committee (the one about district industries), goes along and starts to help. Annie pushes Beetee's wheelchair, and I walk along beside Effie, not holding her hand, though it occurs to me that I probably could at this point and no one would think twice.

We get to the Training Center as the sun sets, and find Peeta down in the lounge. He's obviously agitated, but he's made himself useful helping Ruth Everdeen, who is keeping herself busy checking and changing bandages on outpatients' wounds. She finishes securing a bandage on a small boy, then comes over to us, looking lost. "Haymitch, what is it? What is happening here? I had to keep them from taking my girl to prison. I had to say she was crazy! Is she crazy, Haymitch? They won't let me see her. What happened this morning?"

"We need to find a private place to talk," I say. There really isn't much here. The lounge is full of tired-looking soldiers and stunned civilians. Effie goes to the guards to try and get us permission to see Katniss (Ruth bitterly wishes her luck). I finally steer Ruth to the elevator, signal to Peeta to join us, and take us down to the training level.

I don't think twice about the rows of weapons on the walls or the human-shaped training dummies that still wait mutely in the shadows. I've seen them for years. Peeta has seen them twice and isn't particularly disturbed. Ruth puts her hand over her mouth and gags. "This... this is..."

"Think of it as a gym," Peeta says.

"A gym where they practice murder?"

He nods. "But still a gym." He sits on a bench beside the weights, under a wall full of throwing knives. "This doesn't seem to be the best place to talk without cameras," he tells me.

"Plutarch's the only one who'd think to get a feed from down here, and he knows."

"Knows what?" Ruth asks.

"Why Katniss killed Alma Coin."

It is a long conversation, a confusing one, trying to untangle all the threads that led to this morning, all the choked up allegiances that Katniss's arrow cut through this morning. Peeta tells her about the meeting, about Coin's desire to re-start the Hunger Games. I turn over in my head whether or not to tell her the truth about the rest. About the double-exploding bombs, and the panel that was taken off of our hover craft.

In the end, I tell her. I feel she is owed the truth about what killed one of her daughters, and has turned the other into a prisoner. I stress that it's not something we should talk about until we have proof.

She goes still and quiet as I speak, sitting primly on a weight bench, and I think I may have made a mistake, that I may have sent her into another tailspin. When I finish, she stands up, her eyes dull.

Then she grabs one of the throwing knives from the wall and rushes at a training dummy, stabbing it over and over, keening, yelling incoherently.

Peeta, who hadn't suspected about the bomb before, is still able to respond first. He comes up behind her and catches her wrist, gently prying the knife from her hand. She turns to him and starts weeping.

He hands me the knife absently and rocks her until she stops crying.

"What are they going to do to her?" Ruth finally asks.

"I don't have an answer," I say. "We're not going to let them kill her, but so much depends on..." I grimace. "On the politics."

"She was ordered to execute someone who was held guilty of the crime that you say Coin committed. So she executed the person who actually committed it. That has to be all right."

"We don't have evidence. There was no trial. There was no conviction."

"And there wouldn’t have been," Peeta says, dumbfounded. "How can you say that? If Coin really did that -- and I believe it -- then why would she ever have let herself be tried? Snow wouldn't have if he'd still been in power. He was sure never tried for anything when he was President."

"I'm not saying I agree. I'm saying that's what the argument's going to be. That she took the law into her own hands."

And she did, I realize. She's guilty as sin on this, and if we don't want to become Snow or Coin, we have to let her be judged by the rule of law.

I grind my teeth. The trial has to happen, but I'm not averse to using any legal trickery we can think of to get her properly exonerated. She deserves a statue in every town square, not a windowless cell.

"And what am I supposed to do?" Ruth asks. "You tell me that, Haymitch Abernathy. You tell me about the politics of how I'm supposed to not talk about what that evil woman did. Go ahead. Tell me to be quiet about who murdered my daughter."

I don't tell her anything of the kind. I just tell her to wait for evidence.

When we get back upstairs, Plutarch has arrived. He's re-wired the cameras in Katniss's room in the Training Center, and we watch her lying silently on the bed, dressed in a paper hospital gown.

"I need to see her," Ruth says.

"We're not being permitted," Plutarch says, grimacing. "I'm working on it. Right now, she's safe. She won't be if we start another war to get in to see her."

Katniss drifts to sleep. The only way to tell is that her vital signs are being monitored.

We are instructed by the guards to return to our homes. No one wants to go back to the mansion.

Annie puts an arm over Ruth's shoulders. "I have an apartment here in the Capitol. Well, Finnick did. I have the entrance code. Why don't you come stay with me? I know I'd feel a lot more comfortable having someone around who understands medicine right now."

"I... all right," Ruth says. "Thank you."

Peeta asks Plutarch if he has somewhere they can continue monitoring Katniss on visual. Plutarch and Fulvia have a video feed to their apartment at the lake (if it's still standing), not far from Effie's place. They offer to let him stay there. He accepts, claiming he sleeps better when he can check on her.

I go home with Effie. We don't really have much to say to each other tonight, but I'm glad to hold onto her until we're both ready to go to sleep. She goes to her room. I stay on the couch. We don't discuss this.

She gets up very early in the morning, agitated and shaking, convinced that the apartment building is going to fall down and no one will come to help us. She wants her pills, but she's out of them. Are they going to take her pills away?

She starts pacing the apartment, grasping at her little keepsakes, looking for her cat until I remind her that Solly Vole still has it. Then she sits down in her chair and cries inconsolably until she falls asleep again. When she wakes up, she remembers none of this. She is in better spirits by the time Paylor calls her and asks her to set a schedule of committee meetings. She does this before she even gets dressed, sitting at the table in her lacy blue robe with a glittery towel wrapped around her curls, calling committee members or sending out messengers for the ones who didn't leave proper contact information. She mutters about the necessity of this for a while, and I just stand at the kitchen sink, listening to her go on and feeling so relieved to hear her sounding normal that I almost cry. I stop myself by leaning over to kiss her mid-rant.

She smiles, keeping her eyes closed for a minute after we part. Finally, she takes a deep breath and says, "I need to finish the schedule. You're free for a three o'clock with the refugee committee, unless you have other plans?"

"I didn't have anything specific in mind. You just tell me where I need to be, and I'll be there."

"All right. I can get you space in the Training Center offices, so you can check on Katniss when you're done."

"Thanks."

"I'll try to get there while you're meeting with Moneta Brooks this morning --"

"With who?"

"Moneta Brooks. She's run a social services agency down near the docks for years, and she's been helping people find temporary housing. You'll want to talk to her about the refugees before you meet with your committee. I set it up while you were in the shower. I just assumed… did I overstep?"

"Nope." I look at her schedule for me, and I kiss her again. "Pencil yourself in sometime, though."

"Oh, I have you from supper on."

"Good."

"But we're both at work right now."

"In our pajamas."

"You should change. Moneta will probably expect a suit or a uniform."

I opt for a suit. I'm done with uniforms. Moneta Brooks turns out to be a fountain of information about who the refugees are and where they come from and where they might like to go, if they don't want to stay. I ask her if she'd join the committee meeting. I decide that everyone on the committee can vote for new members. Moneta is approved by six out of eight votes (the two dissenters are loyalists from Thirteen). I ask if we can also recruit some extra help, since the sheer numbers of people applying for travel permits will keep the nine of us busy until we die. The biggest problem will be the orphans. The Capitol has been artificially separating families for so long that a lot of grandparents, aunts, and uncles don't realize they have orphaned relatives, and many won't take them. Meanwhile, there's interest from district parents who've lost children in adopting Capitol children who lost parents, but the Capitol members of the committee balk at this, (probably rightfully) considering it an attempt to re-educate the children. Nevertheless, the kids need homes, and we take it upon ourselves to find them.

There's some discussion of whether or not Snow's granddaughter will show up in the flood of orphaned children, and what should be done with her if she does. I just hope she's smart enough to lie to all of us and get cleanly out of the Capitol, if that's what she wants to do. I have no ill-will against a curly haired little girl.

The meeting ends without a lot accomplished, though we at least agree on how many people we'll need to keep the travel station open several days a week.

No one is allowed to see Katniss that day, though we all watch her at Plutarch's. She's doing nothing. Paylor agrees to let our committees meet here, though some of our colleagues are less than fond of the environment.

Paylor herself is trying to work with the law enforcement teams from Thirteen who are managing Katniss's imprisonment. They think she is being held in luxury, being given full meals and all of her medications, though she has been refusing the morphling. Allowing visitors to someone who has quite publicly assassinated their president offends their sense of justice.

I go to Annie's place to explain this to Ruth. She doesn't take it well, though at least she doesn't stab anything. Annie has other visitors. This place was Finnick's den in the city -- the place where his less public business was conducted... the sort of business that became very public when he broadcast it in Beetee's airtime assault.

Apparently, the location was known to several of the "workers" in the area, though they didn't know he was in their line of work. He had come down before or after his "dates" to give them clean clothes, money for medicine, and food. They are now coming by on a regular basis to take care of Annie, and she is feeding and clothing them, and trying to convince them to try new careers. Tazzy and her friend Juniper are here, taking full advantage of the opportunity. Both are practicing moving around in demure business clothes, and Annie is trying to teach Junie to do her hair and makeup more subtly. Annie's hands are steady, and in the whole time I'm there, I don't see her cover her ears or try to hide once.

She walks me down to the ground floor. "There are so many of them," she says. "I never knew there were so many. Those poor children."

"Be careful Annie. They aren't all like Tazzy and Junie."

"And Finnick?"

"And Finnick."

"I know. I’m not naïve. And if I were, those two girls would make sure nothing happened, anyway. Not to mention Johanna, at least when she's not otherwise occupied with the various charms of District Twelve."

"Gale?"

"Partly. I don't know what's going on there. I don't think they're together, exactly. But I think she's enjoying his family, too. When I see the little girl, I think about the way Johanna was those first few days in the arena."

"That was an act," I say.

"Was it?" She shakes her head. "I'm not so sure anymore. Finnick was never sure. He always said he thought the act came later. Jo will never admit it."

"Finnick was the one who read her first."

"As strong. As determined. But not as a cynical nihilist, which is what she pretends to be." She smiles. "He never thought a person was weak just because she was afraid and cried."

I think of Finnick, and about his absence, and the image of the bloody trident comes into my head again. I make it go away. I won't make Finnick into a ghoul.

"Thanks for taking Ruth Everdeen in," I say.

"I wish I couldn't imagine what she's going through. But I'm very, very aware of what would happen to me if I lost my child after losing Finnick."

I kiss her cheek and head back to Plutarch's.

Paylor has set elections for February 1, a little less than a month and a half from now. Plutarch and Beetee are using the airwaves to encourage people to get involved -- to run for positions themselves or throw their support behind candidates. Plutarch is gathering actors to do a quickly staged play about a particularly exciting election that he's found somewhere in one of his historical tomes. He asks Peeta to act. Peeta declines.

I call Delly Cartwright over to keep him company, but it's not company he needs. She points out that all he wants is to see Katniss. "But if you have something else for me to do," she says, "I need it. I have nothing."

"Would you be willing to go back to Thirteen?" I ask.

"What?"

"Work with Dalton. He knows his way around there. Get everything you can on Alma Coin."

Delly nods. "Katniss had a reason, didn't she?"

"A few of them."

"Yeah. Me, too." She promises to head back on the first train, and contact Dalton as soon as she gets there.

The next day, Katniss's dependence on the morphling they've been feeding her for her injuries becomes clear. She has been refusing it, despite the deep lacerations on the new skin on her back. Around the middle of the day, she starts crawling around her room, searching the carpet for stray pills.

Ruth makes a plea for them to do something about the morphling problem. This gets a better response. I think they'd like to start cutting down on the cost of taking care of her.

Paylor is still working on getting people into the room without simply giving orders to people over whom she has no technical authority. She is also trying to quell vengeful demonstrations in the Districts. None of them, at least, seem angry at Katniss, but it's a tinderbox out there already, with embers under the fuel, waiting for a breath to start them up.

Around midnight, Peeta asks if Plutarch and Beetee can send videos into Katniss's room, as they were sent when he was held there.

"But I don't want to send anything bad," he says. "Just something to help her."

Plutarch promises to try, though Katniss, honestly, doesn't seem to recognize anything in her surroundings. She hasn't seen the people who've come up to clean, and has utterly ignored the occasional broadcasts on the television. She may as well be the only person in the world.

In the morning, Plutarch agrees to let Peeta send her something.

The something he chooses to send is the oddest thing I can imagine: a small painting of a dandelion, scanned and sent over the cables.

As I expected, Katniss doesn't register it. She doesn't even react when she passes the screen.

Peeta sighs. "I thought she'd know that one," he says. "I guess... I guess I can't help from this far away." He sits down miserably.

An hour later, Katniss starts to sing.
7 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
redrikki From: redrikki Date: January 22nd, 2016 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are all the details about the committees and their work in the original? I can't remember but its excellent world-building either way. I also liked Effie's late night break down. I don't know why, but it seemed plausible to me, as did her refusal to acknowledge it the next morning.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 23rd, 2016 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I added some detail to the committee work (the whole conversation about Effie helping to schedule). I think Effie may actually have been sleepwalking during that breakdown; she really might not remember it the next morning.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 23rd, 2016 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Missing an opening quotes
"We're not on separate teams," Paylor says, opening a door to the conference room beside us. There is still a cup of coffee on the table from this morning's meeting. Come inside. We're all going to talk." She looks over my shoulder.

Missing an s, unless Delly's had a sex change in the last chapter that I missed ;-)
I call Delly Cartwright over, but he doesn't really seem to need company.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 23rd, 2016 06:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, worse than that, it's an orphaned pronoun. Haymitch is talking about Peeta.

And that was really unclear.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 23rd, 2016 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought this was great. So much information and world building but not cluttered or boring at all. ~Karen
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 27th, 2016 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I also love how Haymitch clearly has the respect of everyone in the room, especially the victors, even Enobaria, but doesn't really see it. ~K
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 27th, 2016 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)
He really does, and always has, but he's been so conditioned by his life that he just can't see it.
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