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The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
HG: The End of the World, Chapter Eleven
Just a couple of corrections on the last chapter. I've been working with CF for the details of Haymitch's Quell, but forgot to check THG for the details of the training center and interviews. Oops, the stage is right at the training center. So, no car. They just go to the lobby to get ready.

Also, I'm sure Drake would prevent discussion of Haymitch's girl, so his preps (and probably everyone else in Panem) figured out that the "friend" interviewed was really his girl, but the coverage didn't actually say it.

Chapter Eleven
The forty-eight of us file out onto the stage. It takes a long time, because they want everything to look graceful and rehearsed. The techs apparently practiced with Capitol models earlier to get the timing right. A junior producer goes down the line and verifies the pronunciation of everyone's name, even though they've already used them on several occasions.

"Mr. Flickerman wants to be sure," she tells me when she gets to me. "No one else has checked, and it turns out we've been saying it wrong for one of the girls from Three since the reaping."

"And he cares?"

"Oh, yes. He cares."

She nods toward Caesar Flickerman himself, who is bantering with the crowd as we're lined up. He is a strange looking man, whose age I can't even guess. He always wears the same flashing suit, and his skin is caked with make-up. This year, his hair, lips, and eyebrows are dark green, but that's the only difference I ever remember seeing. He's been doing this at least as long as I've been alive, and he never changes, which in the Capitol must be some kind of criminal activity, since everyone else changes their mind about looks every five minutes. Mom once said people in the Capitol would immediately strip and wander around naked in the winter if a stylist came on live television and told them it was the latest thing.

I think Caesar Flickerman would just keep wearing his flashing suit.

I am dead last, which I guess is better than being lost in the middle. People will remember the first and the last. I do the math in my head -- with each tribute speaking for three minutes, that's two hours and twenty-four minutes to start with. Add in Caesar's patter to the audience and transition times between us, and I'm betting they've scheduled a three hour block for the interviews.

It's mandatory viewing, so people will be gathered around televisions and public screens all over Panem. I'd probably be in the square if I weren't here, complaining about losing three hours to this nonsense. Mom would have a sweater on, and hopefully someone would give her a place to sit. Lacklen and I would play hangman in the dirt, or maybe Danny would come out and come up with some more interesting way to pass a few hours. Digger would do a commentary on everyone's clothes. I decide she'd like the girls from District Three, the boy in Seven, and the willowy girls from Eight, at least in terms of their outfits. She'd probably pretend to think Huller and Cotton were cuter than our tributes.

I'm pretty sure she'd actually like what I'm wearing, except that I'm wearing it as a tribute in the Games. I don't think anyone I know is joking around this year. The tributes' families never do. I think Digger is probably watching at the Community Home with Mom and Lacklen, and I doubt any of them are joking about clothes. Gilla's friends at the Home are probably gathered around as well. I wonder if they're looking at each other weirdly, knowing that if one of us lives, the other dies.

I don't know where Danny will be. Probably with Ruth, who's likely with the Donners. I guess it's probably Maysilee he's hoping will live. Most of my town friends will be with her. I can imagine some of the less savory people on the Seam betting on how sophisticated I'm going to pretend to be.

As the District Ten group is led out onto the stage, Maysilee leans over to Gilla. "We'll have a long wait," she says. "Try not to fidget. The audience at home won't see, but the rich people here in the Capitol will. Do something so it doesn't look like you're bored."

"Like what?" Beech asks.

"Tell yourself a story," I suggest.

"What kind?"

Maysilee shakes her head. "We have a trick in the shop, to learn all the customers. Think of their names, and one thing that you'll remember about them and link to their names. Like, you could look at me and think, 'Maysilee. Maybe she's going to win. Maybe-Lee.' 'Filigree isn't filled with glee.' Or something like that, so you remember the sound of a name."

"What good is that going to do?" I ask.

"It's something to do for two hours and twenty-four minutes," she says, smiling around clenched teeth.

I can see Gilla and Beech already trying it, so I guess there's some merit.

A few minutes later, we are led to the stage, where we take our seats. Caesar Flickerman welcomes us and all of Panem to the Opening Interviews and states the rules like no one has ever heard them before. He does his best to make this part interesting and brief, then moves on to the interviews.

I try to pay attention. I even play Maysilee's game for the first few districts. Filigree Simms -- Filigree seems… to be as crazy as I thought she was in training. Caesar brings her forward and asks her about her score of eleven, and she responds by making threatening moves in his direction, then pretending to laugh it off. Jasper Fields, her first teammate, makes it easy by talking about how he feels he can win… but the image in my head when I make that connection is his quick, sidelong glance at Filigree, as if asking her permission to say anything like that. Glory Marshall is wearing some kind of shiny necklace that catches the light, and that makes "Glory" easy to remember without a mnemonic. She's one of the redheads, and she brags about all the weapons she's good at. They're all ranged -- she'll be no good close up. Moonstone Gill is the last District One tribute, the other redhead. He more or less tells Caesar that he's counting on his alliance.

District Two is usually the dangerous district, and it doesn't sound any different this year, though, like idiots, they tell everyone exactly what they're good at, and Pomponia Graff actually says what kind of land they're hoping to run for, if it's available. None of her teammates even has the decency to look embarrassed. If I were home, Digger and Lacklen and I would be talking about how easy it will be to avoid them. Mom would tell us that it's probably harder than it sounds. I honestly don't think it will be. These guys are good with weapons, but they're no one's brain trust.

District Three had its first winner just a few years ago, and he did it pretty spectacularly, but these kids look kind of defeated already. A boy with the unlikely name of Sigh Tomby makes some effort to stir the crowd with the memory of how clever their mentor was, but I get the impression that all of them know the Gamemakers are no longer going to put electronic equipment in the arena to be appropriated.

Except there has to be electricity somewhere. I frown. Something powers the arenas. Nothing in them works naturally. There has to be a nearby power source.

I start to push this away, but Mom's face floats into my head again -- not imagined, but remembered. She told me not to throw away anything my mind tosses at me, and I realize I've been doing nothing but that. I can't imagine what good it would do me to find a power source. I don't know anywhere near enough about electronics to do what the District Three victor did. But my mind snags on it, and I am turning it over for the next several tributes' interviews. I hope they haven't said anything important.

I tune back in when Wren Hall from District Five says something about capturing solar power. Maybe she means to cook something, or distill water. Whatever it is, it sounds like she's just told everyone that she means to park herself in one place and put up equipment as a handy guide to finding and killing her.

I find myself getting frustrated as Caesar makes his way around the huge semi-circle of kids, all happily telling each other and the Gamemakers exactly how to kill them, or at least how to avoid being killed by them. I guess I should be grateful, but I'm actually annoyed. No wonder the Capitol doesn't feel very threatened by the districts. I can just imagine us planning a rebellion, and going on national television to explain where we're keeping our arsenals and just which awesome people are in our spy networks, and what kind of information they can provide. We probably did. This kind of idiotic bravado is probably what got us into this mess in the first place.

A few of the tributes don't go this route. I wish I believed it was because they were being smart, but I have a feeling it's just because they don't feel like they have anything intimidating to say. Madeline Frye from Seven and Poppy Denker from Eight both try the giggly girl act, complimenting Caesar's weird looks. Clovis Wilbore from Ten tries to act like Caesar's best friend. He plays along, making it seem like it's a great honor to be giggled at and treated familiarly. I decide that Caesar Flickerman is the smartest person on the stage.

Chaff was decent to me, so I listen more respectfully to the tributes from Eleven, though I don't think he's prepped them any better than the others. One of the girls, who has the unusual name of Wakerobin Moore, says that she's very good at identifying plants. The other one, Sage Sanders, stupidly brags about her skill with the throwing spears, guaranteeing that people will play keep-away with her, since she's tiny and not very strong otherwise. Huller and Cotton both try to be intimidating, without much success. Caesar prods all of them to talk about their families, and Huller actually does for a minute, then he seems to remember what I guess to be the same instruction Beech and I had about boys needing to look tough.

"And now," Caesar says, "our final District -- last but never least… District Twelve!" He holds out his hand to Gilla and she stands. I can see that she's trembling. Caesar actually puts his hand on her shoulder to steady her as he brings her forward a few steps. He touches something on his collar, and it doesn't come over the loudspeakers when he says, "It'll be all right, honey. Relax." I only hear it because I'm close enough. I wonder how many of the others have gotten similar messages. He turns his microphone back on. "Ladies and gentlemen, Gilla Callan!"

He starts her off slowly, asking her what she's been enjoying in the Capitol -- I've noticed him doing this with other nervous tributes; it must be a particularly easy question to field. Gilla answers that she loves wearing pretty clothes, then segues into talking about our little fashion show in the apartment, and how they played at it in the Community Home back in Twelve. Her voice is shaky, and she's obviously following instructions on what to talk about, but Caesar reacts to her like she's the most brilliant speaker in history.

"Ah, a budding fashion model!" he booms after she timidly says that she's painted her lips with berry juice sometimes. "You're certainly pretty enough for it."

She laughs. Actually laughs. "No. I just… well, Digger says it's fun to get prettied up sometimes."


"She's my friend. She looks after us at the Home a lot. She's probably rooting for Haymitch, though. She's his girl." Gilla puts her hand to her mouth. "Oh, no! I wasn't supposed to talk about that."

"Ah-ha!" Caesar says, waggling his eyebrows. "Forbidden gossip from District Twelve! You know, I have it on good authority that the Community Home kids get all the best gossip. What else can you spill for us?"

Gilla laughs more and blushes. "I don't know anything!"

He deftly directs her back to talking about herself and her life. By the time she finishes, she's come off as a normal, happy girl -- the sort sponsors might well take to, not wanting her to die.

Beech is hopeless. He isn't scared, but his brief, uninspired answers about strategy -- which all boil down to "I'm really strong" -- wouldn't fill up his three minutes without Caesar doing a lot of mugging for the cameras in between, and repeating the answers in different words, like, "So, what you're saying is, you've done a lot of heavy lifting at home?" Beech confirms these re-statements quickly, but doesn't elaborate, no matter how much Caesar prods.

He introduces Maysilee next. I can tell that she's trying to get him to notice her pin and ask about it, but he carefully avoids the subject, making sure she's not given a chance to make a political statement and be booted from the interviews. I don't know how they'd do that live. Maybe they'd just cut to something else for three minutes. Maybe they'd just remove it from the recaps. Maybe the Capitol has some way of making people forget that they've ever heard something.

Whatever they would have done, Caesar Flickerman does not give Maysilee an opening to sabotage herself.

"Do you know you have a fan club here in the Capitol after the parade?" he asks.

Maysilee looks mortified. "Because of the costume?"

"I think because of the girl in the costume. I know people want to know who she is! Don't you folks want to know who the lovely Maysilee is?" The audience cheers wildly. I see some boys waving signs that have her picture on them.

"Well," she says. "For starters… I don't usually go around half-naked. I guess that might be shocking."

There's laughter from the audience.

Maysilee doesn't return it. I am surprised -- she's run meetings before, gathered up groups. But she's not even trying to connect to the audience, even though they want her to.

"Also," she says, "I'm not a miner. I wouldn't have been. My parents own a sweet shop. I, uh…" She seems to lose track of what she's saying.

"Well," Caesar says, "someone as sweet as you, I bet you help a lot in that business! Do you watch the counter?"

This seems to knock her back onto her path. "Yes! Yes, I watch the counter, and I make candies. You haven't lived until you've tried our sarsaparilla candy. And my daddy ships out of district!" She gives a big wink. This gets another laugh, and this time, she returns it. I relax a little bit.

"I'll have to give that a try!" Caesar says. "Now, it's interesting what you said, about how having a shop means you're not going to be a miner."

Maysilee gives a sad smile. "It's like that in Twelve. I wish it weren't. We all keep our distance so much. It's silly! There's no reason I couldn't be a miner -- I'm strong!" She flexes her muscle. "And I bet Gilla would make a fine shopkeeper, maybe a haberdashery or something. There's no reason we can't all talk to each other. It's crazy that we don't. There aren't enough people in District Twelve to have two bunches of us that hardly say 'Boo' to each other. So if you're watching at home, we're all together up here. You should watch together there. And say hello."

"What a lovely idea," Caesar says. "We should all try to get along better. Can we all give a hand to Maysilee's idea?"

There's surprisingly enthusiastic applause from some people in the Capitol audience.

He asks her what her strengths in the Game are, but doesn’t push her for strategies. She mentions vaguely that she's good with shelter and has "pretty good" aim. She doesn't mention anything about stealth, which means there's going to be at least one other person in the arena who has a brain.

Caesar finishes with her and sends her back to her seat. "Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached our final tribute. Haymitch Abernathy!"

I go forward and stand beside him. "Hey, Caesar," I say. "I feel like I know you after two and a half hours."

He laughs. "And now I get a chance to know you! So, Haymitch, what do you think of the Games having one hundred percent more competitors than usual?"

I have a choice here. I could say something important, like Maysilee did. I could try for sympathy. I could try to look superior by talking about how forty-seven of us are going to die (though that would certainly get me cut from the line-up). Instead, I say what I've been feeling for the last two hours, watching everyone on the stage give away secrets and generally throw the Games. I shrug. "I don't see that it makes much difference. They'll still be one hundred percent as stupid as usual, so I figure my odds will be roughly the same."

It's the right choice. At this point in the evening, the audience wants something to laugh at. They've had it with earnest pleas for people to get along, and pitiful little kids who are certainly going to be dead by this time tomorrow. They've had it with threatening giants from the career districts. They want someone to knock everything into a hat and poke a little fun at the proceedings, and they laugh uproariously. I grin at them. In doing this, I glance up at the screen, where coverage has temporarily cut to President Snow, who is decidedly not laughing. He sees himself, and paints a smile onto his face. I guess he doesn't think it's time to make fun of the Games.

Caesar, who has been laughing with the crowd, notices this as well. "You know, with this many, and a lot of very smart Gamemakers, it won't be a lark."

"I know," I say. "But I've been thinking of ways to solve problems for a long time. It's just one more problem. Well, maybe a few more than one." I grin at the audience again, and they clap. It's interesting. It's like turning a switch on and off. This far up the stage, I can see Drake down in the front row, sitting by Gia. The stylists are off in their corner, and I can't really get a good view of them. Drake is not laughing or clapping.

Too bad -- he can't very well do anything about it at this point.

Caesar waits for it to stop, then says, "Most people haven't been wearing their district tokens yet, but I've heard you haven't taken yours off since the train. Do you want to tell us about it?"

"My girl gave it to me," I say, looking straight at Drake, daring him to make me stop. "It's indigo. That's her name -- Indigo. Everyone calls her Digger, though, like Gilla said."

I wonder if Caesar will mention that the audience has actually met Digger, if my preps were telling the truth. He doesn't. Instead, he goes on. "So you have a best girl. What about your family?"

"I got my brother and my mom. If I get out of that arena, I plan to get Lacklen some glasses. I figure he probably can't see me right now, unless he's on top of the television." I decide not to mention that Mom's dying. Dying is personal in a way that bad eyesight isn't.

Caesar gives me a measured look, and I'm guessing that he's seen Mom on television and knows how things are. I think I'm glad that he's on my side. He doesn't press. "Word is, you're pretty smart. What's your best subject in school…?"

This leads into less loaded territory, and I tell him how Maysilee's family helped me get into the academic classes. I say I like literature. This seems to confuse the audience, which is losing them. I elaborate, saying I like stories about gory battles and knights and dragons. This seems to be more understandable to them. They make movies about that kind of thing. I consider annoying Drake one more time by reciting a poem on stage -- "Ozymandias" comes to mind -- but my three minutes run out before I can.

We're directed to stand up for the national anthem, then the interviews come to a close. There's less of a fuss about how we get off the stage. The lights are off and a curtain has come down from the rigging. Drake and Gia and the stylists descend on us and herd us to the elevators. As soon as the doors close, Drake turns on me.

"You were told not to bring up nonsense from home."

"I got them laughing. They remember me."

"They remember that you're a clown, pining away over some girl back home. Do you know how hard I had to argue for them to just say that girl was a friend of your family's?" He turns on Gilla. "And what was with the giggling and gossip? I told you to play the orphan card. It was your best bet for sponsors."

"Leave her alone," I say.

"I'm her mentor, not you."

"You haven't taught us anything. If we'd done what you'd said, we'd all sound like those District Two idiots."

"Those District Two idiots," he seethes, "are heavy favorites to win the Games."

"Haymitch and I got tens," Maysilee says. "The best they had was a nine, and it was the girl from One who got an eleven."

"The people placing bets know the difference between having skills and having the will to win this thing. Both of you proved tonight that your heads aren't even in it. You're giving sermons, and the genius here is cracking jokes. I'll be lucky to find someone to send either of you a bottle of water." The elevator door opens, and he practically shoves us out and onto the couches. "Go ahead," he says. "Watch yourselves." He shakes his head. "I can't even stay here tonight. Pelagia, you go over it with them."

"Albinus, the Games start tomorrow."

"I know. And I can't do a thing for any of them. I doubt I'll be seeing them again." He goes back the elevator.

Gia follows him. "You can't just leave them! You're their mentor."

He presses the button for the elevator and looks over his shoulder at us. "Load up at the Cornucopia," he says. "Then try and get lost. It's the only chance any of you have." The doors open and he disappears.

Gia smiles at us awkwardly. "Don't worry," she says. "He'll come around. And he'll get you sponsors."

"Why would he bother?" Maysilee asks. "It's not like it's his district he'd be letting down."

Gia doesn’t answer this. "Come on," she says. "Let's watch the recaps. Personally, I think you all did beautifully."

The recaps aren't the full show. That will air again in late night, when we'd better be sleeping. We each get a little snippet. They seem to have liked my insult to the other tributes, as that's what they play. Maysilee jokes that she's not always half naked. Gilla laughs wildly. Beech mutters something and Caesar picks up the rest of his section.

The coverage goes to the street, and I guess this is the broadcast that goes to District Twelve, since it's all about us. Despite Drake's worries, Maysilee's fan club is very excited, and are taking her advice to heart, even though it had nothing to do with them. They are making a great point of trying to get along with the other fan clubs.

"There you have it," I say. "It's a real revolution."

She makes a nasty gesture in my general direction.

It seems I also have a fan club now. Some of them are very silly girls who must be driving Digger crazy, but there are also some boys who say they like to read. One of them is wearing glasses. He takes them off and says, "I need a new pair, so I'm going to send these to his brother! I got a brother, too."

"Will they let him do that?" I ask Gia.

"I don't know. I've never heard of it being tried."

I shake my head, wondering at the Capitol, where people think nothing of sending us off to kill each other, but are touched enough by an offhand joke to offer to send expensive things to our families.

The telephone rings and Gia picks up. She speaks softly so as not to disturb us while we watch an entire phalanx of silly girls gush over Beech, and several old women weeping over Gilla. I have a feeling Drake didn't even think to ask them to be sponsors, because they're all but begging to be allowed to give her money.

The coverage cuts back to the studio just as Gia gets off the phone. She comes over to Maysilee and says, "I'm sorry, honey, but the Gamemakers have vetoed your pin in the arena."

"What? But…"

"They say it's an extra weapon, or a tool."

"It's not a weapon! And I can't think what I'd use it for as a tool. They just don't like it because -- "

"-- because they're afraid of birds," I finish for her. "What are you going to do? It's not like it means anything." I cup my hands by my ears to remind her that people are listening.

She glares at me, then rips the pin off her dress, taking a large piece of silk with it. She throws it across the room and storms out.

Gia picks it up. "I'll just… take care of this. Make sure it gets back to… to District Twelve. One way or another."

I nod, and follow Maysilee. She's in the kitchen. I turn on the water.

"What's that for?"

"I don't know. Maybe it's hard to hear over."

"Why would you say that?" she asks. "I mean, what does it matter now if they do hear something?"

I turn up the water and lean in, pretending to hug her. Well, actually hugging her, I guess, but pretending to mean it. I whisper directly into her ear. "How long do you think it will take them to figure out that your sister and your friends know that symbol, too? Unless it's not a symbol. Unless it's just a pretty pin that you picked up somewhere."

"But I want people to know. I want people to fight."

"We're nowhere near fighting. Let it go, Maysilee. If you win this, you can pick it up again and poke it straight through Snow's eyes. But not yet."

She nods. I can feel the motion of her hair against my face. She pulls away, wiping her face, then goes back to the living room.

"I'm sorry, Gia," she says. "It's just… it was a present from my parents. I think it belonged to my grandmother or something. I guess I didn't want to disappoint them by not wearing it."

"I'm sure they'll understand, dear. For now, it's in my keeping. I won't let anything happen to it."

Maysilee nods.

There is nothing else we can say to each other. Gia sends us to bed and tells us to try and sleep.

Beech is snoring within the hour. I don't know how long I listen to him before I finally drift off. In my dreams, I find myself sailing with Odysseus on the wine dark sea. My brother, wearing the glasses that the boy on the street wants to send him, says that he can see the whole world. Digger appears as Athena -- "Hey," she says, "I even have the gray eyes for it!" -- and tells me to follow the thread. I try to argue that we're in the wrong myth for that, but she laughs it off, the same way she laughs it off when I tell her she should take fancy classes.

I wander from island to island all night, and I know it's the arena, and all of the monsters are mutts they've sent against us, but I can't seem to do anything about them.

I am exhausted by the time Lepidus and the preps arrive to wake us up. The girls have already been taken to their hover craft. I complain that it's a waste of money to bring us all in separate hover crafts, but at least there's room to eat something, and choke down some really strong coffee. There's not much time, though. The arena must be close. The windows go black.

Lepidus tells us that the stylist generally goes with the tribute into the launch room for final prep, but obviously, he can't be with both of us. I tell him to go with Beech. I can handle getting dressed by myself.

We find my launch room first, then Beech and Lepidus leave. I put on the year's uniform, which is waiting for me in a box. Nothing special. A tee shirt. Khaki pants. A jacket. I probably won't need the jacket right away, but I put it on, since it will be hard to handle at the Cornucopia.

My fear is starting to creep up on me. The world is coming to me in those slow, photographic flashes again. I see the lights around a small round platform come on. A red flashing light under an intercom. A voice says to go to the tube.

I go to the platform. My eyes dart around the launch room, taking in the discarded box (I note this in great detail for some reason) and the hairbrush and grooming supplies that I didn't bother with on the dressing table. I see the clock ticking its way down. Every second seems to register itself in my brain.

The tube comes down around me, and the platform starts to rise.
14 comments or Leave a comment
sonetka From: sonetka Date: August 18th, 2013 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Gilla answer that she loves wearing pretty clothes -- I think you need an "s" in there :).

Those interviews were great, and heartbreaking -- I loved Haymitch's running analysis of the other tributes (in a way, being from District 12 has one big advantage -- you can watch everyone else make the interviewing mistakes and figure out how to avoid them). Gilla was such a thirteen-year-old, poor kid. And I'm glad Gia is sort of making up for Albinus's completely halfassing his mentor duties. Haymitch wanting to recite Ozymandias is very, very Haymitch. Though the feed would probably have cut off before the pivotal lines, because the Capitol feed is just wonky that way.

The backstory you've given Caesar certainly deepens things as well. Why yes, you would know about gossip in community homes, wouldn't you?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 18th, 2013 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Got the "s", thanks.

I think 12 has a big advantage in the interviews. Peeta wouldn't have been able to do half as much if they'd been from D6.

Yeah, that Capitol feed sure can go wonky. And at highly specific sorts of times, too.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: August 18th, 2013 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is Albinus actually trying to get them killed, or is he just indifferent/ incompetent? (Feel free to take that as a rhetorical question).
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 18th, 2013 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

I Think...

That he's both indifferent and stuck in the paradigm of District 2. District 2 plays the Games in a very specific way, starting with the fact that District 2 PLAYS the games. They train. They volunteer. The volunteers are always 16 or over. Their mindset has a measure of choice and desire. They always start out with lots of allies. They always get lots of stuff from the Cornucopia.

So here's a District 2 mentor with kids who haven't trained, who are too young to do well, who are not prepared mentally, who wouldn't do well with allies. Unless you're sensitive enough to realize that they need non-standard advice and care enough to try to think outside of the District 2 box, this is what you get. Plus he's an A-hole, of course.

Sara Libby
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 18th, 2013 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I Think...

Plus don't forget that Snow is selling him (the "dates" he'd been on during training). Even if Snow hasn't specifically asked him to behave a certain way towards the D12 tributes, the forced prostitution has got to be messing him up.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 18th, 2013 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Sara hits it on the head here -- these are not the tributes he's remotely suited to mentoring. He's looking for Brutus, and gets Haymitch.

And since he doesn't have any connection to them, he probably doesn't care all that much.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: August 19th, 2013 10:26 am (UTC) (Link)
*nods* That makes sense.
jedinic From: jedinic Date: August 19th, 2013 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
It's getting so intense!!! I love this!

A couple of feedback points:
- Most of the other tributes seem to have names with 4 syllables, and there are few surnames longer than 2. i.e. A lot of the names sound very similar. (Perhaps on purpose?)

- Would they trust a tribute alone with a hairbrush and grooming supplies before the arena? What's to stop him swiping a blade or other weapon?

I can't wait to read more!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 19th, 2013 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)
They can probably blow someone up who doesn't have the proper weight on his platform. ;p

From what I can pick up in the books (where so few of the characters have both names... aagh!), it looks like everyone got an Anglicized (or Scottish or Irish sounding) name at some point, even if it isn't necessarily logical for them. God knows why. I mixed it up a little, giving D8 some Jewish last names and D3 some Indian ones (mangled, as they would be by being spelled by American English speakers for a while). The two syllable name seems pretty common in the Anglo-Scots-Irish last-naming world. They seem to have more fun with first names. Plants, cloth, birds, cowboy names, famous electrical engineers...
redrikki From: redrikki Date: August 19th, 2013 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love how you set up things in this chapter. I mean, you have the roots of Haymitch's planning in the revolution and poor Maysilee's death by bird here too.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 19th, 2013 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
And likely the stuff Fern has happening to Haymitch once he becomes a victor, too. (Don't know whether you've been following her other Haymitch fics, so.)
vesta_aurelia From: vesta_aurelia Date: August 20th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC) (Link)
"How long do you think it will take them to figure out that your sister and your friends know that symbol, too? Unless it's not a symbol. Unless it's just a pretty pin that you picked up somewhere."

With this in mind...was it Plutarch who let Katniss keep the pin, with Haymitch arguing for it? Cinna? A conspiracy of all three?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 20th, 2013 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Plutarch is the one who probably let it in. Young head Gamemaker Seneca Crane may not have recognized it, and that might have been the argument in favor of it -- "Gosh, your honor, no one recognizes that old thing anymore." And if they grilled Katniss, they'd never learn a thing, since she didn't know anything.

But Haymitch must have gotten a heck of a surprise when his tribute turned up with his ally's jewelry on!
mollywheezy From: mollywheezy Date: September 5th, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Haymitch really is smart . . . And I never would have made the connection that Haymitch would recognize Maysilee's pin on Katniss when he sees her. Brilliant!
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