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These Are The Names, Chapter 11 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
These Are The Names, Chapter 11
The Sixty-Fifth Games have the same number of tributes as usual, but from the parade on, only one of them has been featured: the beautiful young boy from District Four, Finnick Odair. Even the District Twelve tributes are split on the subject -- Treeza is quite twitterpated, and Chicory hates him on sight. Meanwhile, sponsors are deserting other districts right and left to sponsor Four, and Effie decides that she and Haymitch will need to bring in more money.

Chapter Eleven
Haymitch and I finally get a small list of people we might be able to count on. Lepidus still has a soft spot for Twelve, and for Haymitch particularly, and his house has been doing well this year. His old hair stylist, Medusa, is also having a banner year, and would probably sign over her entire life savings to him if he asked her for it.

Haymitch says he doesn't know why this is true, but I did spend time on the prep team. I know that he told Ausonius Glass -- who always had a penchant for physically bullying the other members of the team -- that any injury done to the preps or stylists was going to be visited back onto him. Haymitch might or might not remember doing that. He certainly doesn't think it was anything special, and it's of a piece with the way he treats everyone he decides is under his protection. But for Lepidus, Atilia, and all of the District Twelve preps who were with him through his Games and the year afterward, it was an unparalleled act of valor, which they tell to newcomers in hushed and awed tones. ("And he doesn't even want a thank you for it!") The newcomers tell more newcomers. By the time I came on board, the re-telling practically had him holding a pure silver sword over Glass's head and giving a soliloquy about the dignity of honest labor. Knowing Haymitch, it was more likely a quick shove and a drunken rant about leaving his people alone, but I don't see any harm in letting people believe the stories.

I'm sure Haymitch would object if he knew how mythical it's gotten, but the tellings all include a caution not to mention it to him, lest he be embarrassed. It's a good caution, and I don't tell him about it, though my fear isn't of his embarrassment. My fear is another blow up like the one at the lake shore, about it being naïve and stupid to believe things like that. There's no reason to make the style team cry.

I'm not sure Haymitch sees himself any more clearly than they do, anyway.

At any rate, I tell him that he should call them, since they're his friends. For my part, my old friend Junius has had a good year working in a genetics lab. He developed a miniature lion that's all the rage in the designer pet crowd. His wife is a socialite with connections to everyone who's anyone, and I promise to use them. I also promise to vet them before I use them.

"I just don't want another one like the guy this morning," he says, shuddering as we watch the silent feed from the training room, where one screen shows Finnick Odair alone at the spear station. Most of the boys have shed their shirts, but he hasn't. It doesn’t help. Several girls (including Treeza) are at the nearby knot-tying station, not tying much of anything. On another screen, I can see Chicory throwing knives. He's not bad at it, but he loses concentration frequently. We can't see directly what he's glaring at, but I don't think it's a very hard guess.

"Is that the boy from Eight that he's talking to?" I ask, and flip through my guidebook. "Batten Stone."

Haymitch frowns. "Yeah, I think it is. If they stick together, I'll talk to Woof about an alliance. Or Cecelia, I guess. Woof wasn't looking very good at the parade. Did you see him?"

"No. But there was a rumor that he had an accident. It was on the news last fall. I didn't hear everything about it. I wasn't paying attention. I'm sorry. I was still mostly worrying about your accident."

His eyes flicker up to mine, then go back down. "What kind of accident did Woof have? Was it like mine?"

"No. It was something to do with the river up there in Eight. I can find out if you want."

"No, I'll take care of it. You go get those sponsors if you can."

I stay a few minutes, watching our tributes falter in training, then go off on my errands. Junius is a dead end, as his wife and her socialite friends are all abuzz about District Four. District Twelve is so far out of fashion that they treat even talking to me as a great service they've done for the less fortunate. On a whim after I leave, I go to Evasius at the Gab to get him to get my wig on the fashion pages, and he's a better lead. Apparently, the high level cosmetologists are desperate for another tribute to grab the spotlight -- one whose face isn't so beautiful that it needs no make-up. They want someone whose look they can sell. I give them Treeza, who is lovely but even prettier with a bit of mascara and some glow effect highlights. They're even fonder of Chicory, since the distinctive olive shade so common in District Twelve's mining population can be mass produced as a body spray, and any hair color can be dyed black. "I can work with that!" a young owner enthuses over a picture I show him. "If he wins, I could sell that look for a long time. They did when Haymitch won, you know. I was just his age, and I had my hair permed and darkened, and I covered up my freckles for weeks."

I nod, and decide not to share the reasoning with Haymitch. I think he would be less than thrilled by it… but it's not actually dangerous. Wanting to look like someone isn't the same as wanting to touch that person.

When I get back to the apartment, the children are up from training. I know this before the elevator doors open, because I can hear them screaming at each other, though the words aren't clear until it opens up and I see Chicory storming around and ranting.

" -- going to follow around that stuck up little -- "

"Finnick is not stuck up!" Treeza yells. "He's sensitive. He doesn't want to train with you because you're a jerk!"

"He thinks everyone ought to be falling over him, but even his own district partner doesn't want him. I talked to Dempsey. She says at home everyone always gives him what he wants, too, but she's not into that."

"He's very hurt about that!"

"You didn't even talk to him! You just stood there with those other loser girls and giggled at him."

"How long has this been going on?" I ask Haymitch quietly, slipping into the dinette chair across from him.

"They came up on the elevator fifteen minutes ago, and they were already fighting. With each other." He grimaces. "On the bright side, Lepidus came through. Medusa, too, though she really doesn't have that much money."

"You don't understand!" Treeza screams, and stomps off to her room.

Chicory grumbles, then turns to us. "He probably can't even fight, you know," he says. "He didn't go to any of the stations where he'd be fighting with people. He probably just gets stupid girls like Treeza to do his fighting for him."

"I wouldn't count on that," Haymitch tells him. "He may just not be tipping his hand… like I told you not to do. Mags knows that strategy well."

Chicory gives a disdainful sniff. "Yeah, well, maybe. But I still bet he's never risked getting that tiny little nose broken. Bet he'd snivel like a merchant girl if he found out that someone had the gall to hit him."

Haymitch catches his arm as he goes by. "First of all, my ally was a merchant girl, and Maysilee would have put you down in about ten seconds, with a whole lot less sniveling than you're doing. Second, you don't know any more about this kid than Treeza does, and if you start acting on your assumptions instead of the facts in the arena, you're dead. Third, picking fights with your district partner is a stupid way to spend your training time. Now go upstairs and get cleaned up for dinner."

Chicory grinds his teeth. "He's going to get all the money. They're going to give him everything. It's not fair."

Haymitch nods. "Yeah. I know. The Games aren't fair, and I'm sorry about that. But don't pick a fight with someone who only exists in your head."

"But -- "

"I'm trying to keep you alive as long as possible, Chicory. You understand that, right?"

"Yeah, I guess."

"Then act like it, and do what I tell you."

Chicory grinds his teeth, and goes up to his room without saying anything.

"Was I like that when I was seventeen?" Haymitch asks. "I don't remember. Of course, I was probably drunk, which tends to fog the memory."

"You were drinking at seventeen?"

"The year after the Games? Oh, yeah. As much as I could." He shrugs. "I don't remember being that big an idiot, though. Were you an idiot when you were seventeen?"

"Well, I did risk my job to clean up a man I never met that year."

He grins. "Yeah, I guess you did. I forgot how young you were. What about when you were twelve? Were you like Treeza?"


"Yeah?" His smile gets broader, and I can't help but return it. "What guy did you decide was too sensitive to talk to you?"

"Parmenas Palmer." I sigh dramatically. "He was the cutest thing I ever saw, and I was sure we'd sign a permanent marriage contract the second I worked up the nerve to say hello to him."

"Did you ever?"

"No." I laugh. "What about you? What girl was making you crazy back then?"

"At twelve?" He shrugs. "I was pretty much a one-girl guy before the Games. It was always me and Digger. She was my best friend until we were big enough for anything else."

"You never even daydreamed about anyone?"

"Sure. But I was a guy who sometimes had to wear his mother's old clothes to school and kept his shoes together with packing string and good luck. I was too busy being amazed that Digger would bother with me to put much energy into wondering about anyone else."

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought that up."

"Don't worry about it. I can't remember the last time anyone asked about her." His eyes go far away for a minute, then he brings himself back. "Thinking of old friends, how did you do with yours…?"

I fill him in on the day's sponsorships. He tells me that Cecelia actually came to him about an alliance between Chicory and Batten, and that the girl from Seven, Eloise Tate, is also interested, so we'll get to work with Jack Anderson. He's got the papers ready. I go up to the Gamemakers to file them.

The next two days are the same, though with less luck in terms of sponsors. Treeza has fallen in with the group of young kids, much to Haymitch's distress -- the young ones are almost always killed quickly if they're not allied with older kids. Chicory's group goes through training together, and Haymitch is cautiously hopeful, as Batten seems to have good sense. The second day of training, they stop wasting their time glaring at Finnick Odair and actually work on their skills.

Although a half-hearted effort is made to give air time to other tributes, the coverage still seems to be mostly about Finnick, and the District Four chariot is used as the main graphic for the Games, zipping by under official reports, trailing text in its wake. People speculate about what kind of life he has at home, with a mother who could head straight out to sea while her son is in the Games. Some are firmly in the camp that he has a happy home ("Look how self-assured and confident he is!"), and others believe he seems terribly lonely ("They haven't even interviewed any of his friends"). A growing group of people on the street seem to be taking up Chicory's attitude, that he's most likely spoiled and unpleasant, and they're countered by increasingly shrill screams about how he's really isolated by his beauty.

"You notice that no one's asking about him," Haymitch says while we watch late night coverage. "That would spoil all the fun of guessing."

For his part, Finnick does seem to be unwelcome with the inner district kids, which is very stupid -- an ally with that much money coming in would easily keep them going for a long time. He spends some time teaching the giggling younger girls about knots that aren't in the book at the knot-tying station, but doesn't make any moves toward an alliance with them. Chicory makes a snide comment at dinner about wasting a training day playing string games with little girls. He approaches Chicory's group on the third day of training, just before evaluations, but they turn him away.

"Are you crazy?" Haymitch asks when Chicory gets back to the apartment. "I really want to know. That kid would guarantee you camera time and sponsor gifts."

"He can't do anything but tie knots and look pretty," Chicory says. "They'll probably kill him at the Cornucopia."

"Yeah, well, he's in with the Careers now -- the papers are filed, no matter what Dempsey wants -- so they'll get all of it."

"The sponsors aren't going to care about them after he's dead. Which he will be. He probably just played Cat's Cradle with the judges."

If he did, he must have played it well. He's awarded a nine. It's not the highest score in the pack -- that goes to Swather, who gets an eleven, and there are two tens as well -- but it's higher than our tributes. Chicory gets an eight, and Treeza gets a three.

Chicory makes a crude suggestion about what he really did to impress the Gamemakers. Haymitch sends him to his room to cool off. Treeza takes the opportunity to eat the desserts that he leaves behind. She seems untroubled by her low score.

The next day is interview prep day, which means I spend a lot of time teaching Treeza to walk in high heels. It's becoming a yearly ritual, since none of the girls from Twelve seem to ever wear them, and I'm developing a pretty good script for it. At least Treeza doesn't need to be talked into them, despite her discomfort at the parade. She sees right away how much better her dress works with them. (The dress needs all the help it can get. Therinus has continued his "conceptual" theme and made it out of an actual coal sack. I promise Treeza that I'll bring her nice jewelry from home to spruce it up for tomorrow, and I'll think of something wonderful for the prep team to do with her hair.) With Chicory, it's all about sitting still and looking interested for more than an hour while the other tributes are speaking. The boy from Twelve gets the distinction of speaking last -- an advantage in terms of memory of the interview itself, but a distinct disadvantage for the time before, when the camera has many opportunities to catch him fidgeting.

I don't know what Haymitch has coached them on for their interviews, though he had Chicory for a very long time, and they both looked grumpy when they were through. We have a decent enough dinner, and we watch television for a little while. The Games coverage is trying to correct the earlier excess and stir up interest in the interviews with other tributes, so they get a little boost from that.

I spend the night finding interesting ways to style the wig I have in Treeza's haircut, and finally settle on free, breezy curls, dotted with sparkling gem clips. I try to think of something to do with jewelry that Therinus will let me get away with. At some point in school, I remember hearing about coal and some kind of jewel. I decide that will be the theme. I'll make the coal sack sparkle, like the coal inside is being turned into jewels. I'll use some decorative wig pins for it. Therinus won't like it, exactly, but I think I can spin it as being an excited elaboration on his "vision." Treeza will enjoy anything that sparkles. Haymitch will tolerate it as well as he can. Maybe Therinus will be so upset that he'll quit. I have my eye on District Three's stylist if he does.

At the interviews, I sit between Haymitch and Mags Donovan from Four. Mags keeps getting Capitol Dreams runners coming in with messages about sponsors, right up to the moment that interruptions are banned in the audience. On Haymitch's other side, Jack Anderson is watching all of it with a wary eye. Last year, his first as a mentor, he was a wreck and Blight handled everything. This year, he's considerably calmer. He tells Haymitch that he has a live-in assistant at home, who's been keeping him grounded.

"How'd you swing that?" Haymitch asks. "They were pretty strict about non-relatives when I was asking."

"Well, you know," Jack says, looking down. "Play nice with them, you're allowed the occasional perk. Linden's really just an old friend. The Gamemakers said he could stay as long as he… had an identifiable function."

"That simple, huh?"

"Probably not for you," Jack says. " You'd already annoyed them. I'd done exactly what they wanted me to."

Cecelia, sitting on Jack's far side, puts an arm over his shoulder and musses his hair fondly.

The audience lights go out, and the stage lights up, showing the tributes sitting in their semi-circle. I try to hold back a hiss -- at some point after I left, it looks like Therinus had all my baubles removed from the dress. Treeza looks heartbroken.

Caesar does his usual patter, then starts introducing them. I think I've come around to Haymitch's opinion of the interviews. The District One and Two kids' bragging about their surefire strategies goes out of my head as soon as it goes in. Three is marginally better. Dempsey from Four goes right back to strategy.

Caesar reaches Finnick. He makes a great show of scratching his head. "I think I might have seen you a few times during the lead-up events. Finnick Odair, right?"

"Guilty," Finnick says.

"Well, you certainly made an impression at the parade. Were you surprised?"

"Aw, no. Happens to me all the time. Makes it very hard to do my job. The fish are scared of all the cameras flashing, and they get really tired of the reporters asking them about me."

"So you help your family with the fishing business?"

"Well, you know, when I can spare time away from the mirror. It's so hard to pull myself away some mornings." He grins at the audience, and most of the ones he didn't already own now belong to him. It's not that his joke is all that funny. It's that he's told a joke at all, and is acknowledging the craziness around him. It's okay, he seems to tell them. We all know it's silly, and it'll be our little joke, right?

Beside me, I can see that Mags has her fingers crossed so tightly that her knuckles are white. I realize that this whole business is a strategy -- to make light of it all in order to defuse the tension.

It works. The audience laughs. Finnick waves to them jauntily, and they clap.

"So, is there a special girl at home?"

"Come on, Caesar. I just turned fourteen last month. My dad's not going to let girls in the house for another two years. And Mom says she plans to sit out on the porch with a trident in her lap when they do start coming around."

Caesar throws a few more softballs about what Finnick would like to do if he wins, and I notice that, as the interview goes on, each answer comes off as just slightly younger than the one before it. (He wants to buy a dog of his own if he wins, and when he gets a lot older, maybe a car.) I glance over at Mags. She's watching him very intently, and when he finishes, she nods grimly, looking pleased. On my other side, Haymitch's expression is unreadable. Jack sighs and shakes his head. He leans over to Haymitch, and I hear him whisper, "They're going to eat him alive." Beyond him, I can't see Cecelia clearly.

Caesar is always careful about the amount of time each tribute gets, and during the actual show, they're equals. Eloise from Seven makes people smile with a story about a bird she once tried to catch while she was out at a logging camp. Hiram Lender from Nine makes a bombastic little speech about the impressive skills he's been hiding so far. Swather counts on his size to be intimidating, but spends his time talking about a poem he once read (this makes Haymitch grin; I guess he's read the same poem, which is about "a dream deferred"). Treeza is actually rather charming in her interview, playing up her own youth, and even managing a flustered flirt in Finnick's direction. Caesar reaches Chicory last. Beside me, Haymitch mutters, "Stick to the script."

I don't know what the script is, but Chicory steers well clear of his opinion of any other tributes, instead talking about the backbreaking work his father and brothers do, and how he feels like they make him strong. On the whole, he comes off well.

Not that anyone would know it from the recaps. Everyone gets a little quote, but the analysis is squarely on Finnick. Everyone seems to have a story about what he is "really" trying to convey with the quips about his youth. Capitol boys roll their eyes at the idea that a boy who's reached fourteen isn't seeing anyone (it does seem a little farfetched, but I know things are different in the Districts). Girls have created a girl at home out of thin air, who is pining for him. Adults deem his parents' overprotectiveness unhealthy, and District mores are dutifully tut-tutted. I can imagine Miss Meadowbrook watching back at Capitol Dreams, rolling her eyes at how very seriously District boys take these things.

Haymitch and I try to distract the kids from the constant barrage of coverage, which isn't easy, as Treeza has her own theories about Finnick's life at home and feels the need to share them with us. Chicory just glares throughout the broadcast, no matter what stories from home Haymitch tells to get his attention away.

We send them to bed and say goodbye, since the stylists will be here to collect them in the morning, and we won't see them before they go.

"They did as well as they could, didn't they?" I ask Haymitch.

He nods. "Yeah. But tomorrow's when it starts, and Treeza's little group is pressuring her to go for the damned Cornucopia. I shouldn't have let them be her allies."

Treeza wouldn’t have much of a chance either way, and we both know it, but neither of us says it. If Chicory can get over his fixation on "the pretty boy," he might do better. "I'm glad she hasn't really processed it all," I say. "I'm actually glad she's had a little fun indulging a crush."

"I just hope he's not the one who kills her."

I stay up with Haymitch, watching television and trying not to remember that the children will most likely die in a few hours. I doze off, and when I wake up, I'm in my room, wrapped in a light blanket. I haven't slept here often -- he usually likes me to go home -- and I don't really recognize it for a few seconds.

The children are already gone, taken away from the roof to fly off to the arena. Haymitch and I have breakfast together, not talking, then I go off to the escort meeting to cover any etiquette issues this year, and he goes straight to the Viewing Center. I join him there just before ten. The screens are blank, except for the main broadcast screen, where Claudius Templesmith is nearly salivating over the Games to come.

I sit and wait for the countdown to begin.
26 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2014 09:23 am (UTC) (Link)

You're milking the suspense

You're writing Finnick as a pretty boy, not dangerous at all; he's a far cry from the gigolo-killer who we're used to seeing him as. And then the chapter ends right before the start of the Game. Agggh!

Twenty-three other tributes are in for a rude surprise. Including both of D12's tributes, I fear. Because for Finnick, the odds ARE ever in his favor.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2014 12:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: You're milking the suspense

At least once he gets that trident, they are.

Haymitch is trying his best to keep the kids from going in with this fake image that Finnick (to be perfectly frank) is giving a hard sell on, but he's having no luck at all.
redrikki From: redrikki Date: June 3rd, 2014 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gee, why would an exceptionally pretty little boy stake pains to try to make himself sexually off limits? It's amazing how Effie really just doesn't get it. Of course, no one else from the Capital does either, so wasted effort I guess.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2014 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Effie's been raised in the Capitol, and for all her good traits, she buys the culture hook, line, and sinker. She's probably been raised to think of the way Finnick's parents protect him as "sex negative." I mean, she is a woman who thinks that, if she has no compelling reason to not have sex, she's more or less obliged to.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2014 10:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
This seems a little awkward: instead talking about the backbreaking work his father and brothers do, and how he feels like they make him strong

I'm not sure what the second part is supposed to mean?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2014 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
It meant that he got strength from his father and brothers, but you're right -- the antecedent is more logically the work they do.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2014 10:37 pm (UTC) (Link)


Is really an incredibly perceptive person who really "gets" Haymitch, being able to imagine both what the more basic reality was behind the standoff with Glass while also understanding that Haymitch doesn't have an accurate self-image.

I also agree that it's a nice kind of silver lining that Treeza really enjoyed her last week on earth without obsessing about her imminent, painful death. She was lucky that she got to focus her mental energies on her new crush.

But what you dropped about Woof's situation really worries me.

And poor Jack, with everyone understanding what he's having to go through, but not talking about it. And Mags doing her level best to protect Finnick, but it's not going to work...

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2014 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Effie...

Haymitch's powers of perception definitely don't extend to the man in the mirror, any more than Katniss's will, later on. For a guy who Snow feared enough to make a statement by killing his family, he seems not to have any idea that he has worth.

Woof's accident really was an accident. He seems kind of out of it by the 75th Games, though, so I figured I'd have something happen to him.

And Jack. Oh, Jack. He has a pretty damned good idea of exactly what Finnick is facing in a couple of years.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: June 4th, 2014 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Damn, Therinus, you can't even let her have sparkly jewelry on what's probably the last night of her life? Like someone else said, though, at least she's having fun crushing on Finnick, which must be a lot pleasanter than what the others have gone through. Mags has to be both elated at the prospect of having a winner and scared silly about what will happen to him if he does.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2014 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Therinus and a lot of stylists are probably caught up in the competition with each other, and not really considering how the tributes feel at all. He's just worried about his "vision" being seen with no interference. (I think of some of the designers on Project Runway -- particularly Olivier or Ven -- who get flustered by the real woman challenge because they don't want breasts interfering with the shape of the garment. Um, guys? Garment < person in it.)
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 4th, 2014 04:22 am (UTC) (Link)

Don't think I'd forgotten Finnick is the one who ends up killing Treeza with the trident. Fern, you manage to break me every time you re-introduce the past tributes.

Haven't commented on your stuff in a while bc I'd been missing out. Spent the past week catching up with the last three stories just so I could get caught up with this one, and gosh darn. How do you do it????

I've also re-read Golden Mean and Narrow Path and I can't wait to see how this kind of flirty relationship grew into one where they needlessly annoy each other. It's obvious Effie still cares for him in Golden Mean, but Haymitch's attitude towards her has changed quite a bit. Although, I don't believe Haymitch one word when he says (in Narrow Path, I think?) he wished him pushing Effie away was some grand scheme to keep her safe from Snow, when subconsciously or not, that's what it probably is.

-dragonzair (too lazy to remember my password to log in)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2014 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Haymitch has crappy self-understanding. That's one of the things that makes his POV kind of fun. :D Something will happen, though, that will strain their relationship. Not yet, though. (On the other hand, there's also the simpler part that they have to re-build said relationship every year after months apart, leading excessively separate lives.)

Actually, Haymitch is grateful that Treeza isn't speared by Finnick... though Chicory lives longer.

From: (Anonymous) Date: June 4th, 2014 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh god you're right!! It was Chic who was in the net D:
From: queen_bellatrix Date: June 4th, 2014 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)

Typos and Feedback

As much I could. Missed an as before the I.

wanting look like someone You're missing a to before look.

Therinus won' t Just wanted to point out the space between the ' and the t in won't.

strategies, goes out Don't think you actually need the comma there, unless there was supposed to be more to the sentence that got lost in editing?

seems to tell them Just missed the period after them.

I love to watch Haymitch and Effie working together, complimenting each other, and very, very slowly rebuilding/adding to their friendship with each games. I especially liked the moment where they're talking about being twelve and seventeen, partially because they were fantastic stories on both ends that added some desperately needed levity to the Games, and partly because they brought home that with the way their friendship is facilitated through these brief periods at the games, they're just getting to basic friendship things five years in!

Gah, poor Finn and Jack. There were so many instances in this chapter that made me shudder, I couldn't even start to list them. But, tell me Haymitch gets what Jack is saying and he's going to start getting some Victor support while in the Capitol. And Finn's interview was brilliant strategy and made me want to pound my head against the desk and scream. I can't begin to fathom being sixteen and being told you have to sleep with someone, with no ways out, no matter how much you want one. Are you thinking Doolin may have been a victim of Finn, at some point, simply snapping under pressure? Because to lose a parent and then still have to do that because you have more family; I don't even have vocabulary that's not curses.

My favorite moment in the interview was his parents' supposed responses to girls; what fantastic people, the both of them (I was sitting there going: why are you making us like Doolin with his eventual fate; why? and then grinning because it's just such a dad response, and the trident comment made me laugh, for so many reasons.)

Your Haymitch continues to be awesome, especially with his snark getting showcased in this one. Particularly awesome was his: "Are you crazy? I really want to know." to Chicory. And his lecture to Chicory; thank you so much for making that happen as that was what I'd been wanting to say to the kid for two chapters! And what fantastic shades of Rona scolding the boys to boot. (And then in yourbrilliant way, you made me feel bad for the kid with his legitimate observation that it wasn't fair how Four would be getting all the money.)

I also have to mention as a sidenote that I love how mythologized the Glass incident is getting, though I agree with Effie's thoughts regarding Haymitch's perception of it and the wisdom of not telling him. I have to agree with the other person that said how perceptive Effie is in regards to Haymitch.

What are you thinking happened to Woof; from what I could see from the books, I'm thinking a fall in the river with a concussion and then maybe a chill that made him vulnerable to stroke?

A couple of other things on the question front, as I actually seem to have managed enough brevity to have comment space for them:
The transition from the powder he took in HT to the pills here; I'm guessing the powder only stayed effective through so many failed courses, and then only a total withdrawal would turn off the neurotransmitters, and since he wasn't withdrawing, something to satisfy the craving was the best bet?
And Gia staying out to sea: are they just afraid that if she's seen widely on camera, Snow and his croanies won't accept the lookalike explanation and will take it out on Finn? If so, that puts them in a damn pickle when he actually wins, because having her always out to sea would get as suspicious as having her on camera.

Oh, I have to say: I love what Effie tried to do with Treeza's dress; much, much clever than Therinus's vision, and just so kind, knowing how much she liked shiny things. And yeah, I'm beginning to share Effie's view that it's almost better that she didn't internalize and just got caught up in a crush, because I can't really see any scenario where a twelve-year-old could survive the arena.

Am so looking forward to the next few chapters, especially more with Cecelia and Jack!!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2014 04:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Typos and Feedback

Thanks. And yes, that comma was an edit survivor. :eyeroll:

Haymitch was already suspicious about Jack suddenly having lots of girlfriends in the Capitol, so yeah, he gets it. Unfortunately, there's not a lot he can do about it.

I was trying to decide what issue of great importance Haymitch and Effie should discuss, but doggone it, they insisted on being silly.

I think Woof's accident is something like that -- something that makes him a little confused and disoriented.

The transition from the powder he took in HT to the pills here; I'm guessing the powder only stayed effective through so many failed courses, and then only a total withdrawal would turn off the neurotransmitters, and since he wasn't withdrawing, something to satisfy the craving was the best bet?

I'll have to think of something that happens to the anti-addiction medicine (would that such a thing actually existed!). The difference is that what he's taking now suppresses the urge to drink. What he's taking by GM actually absorbs the toxins so he can drink like a fish and not get drunk. In other words, one is medicating at least part of the real problem. The other is a prophylactic (albeit one that comes in handy when Snow tries to poison him).

And Gia staying out to sea: are they just afraid that if she's seen widely on camera, Snow and his croanies won't accept the lookalike explanation and will take it out on Finn? If so, that puts them in a damn pickle when he actually wins, because having her always out to sea would get as suspicious as having her on camera.

Yeah. I mostly have to play keep away with Haymitch, who would certainly recognize her, but it's more than possible that Snow does see her and know her, and doesn't worry all that much about issues of due process. He could kill Doolin outright, and still have utter control over Gia.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 4th, 2014 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
What has become of young Harris whats-his-name? Who is the male mentor for Div 4 anyway??
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2014 04:56 am (UTC) (Link)
He's the other mentor in D4. I haven't really needed him yet, but he'll make an appearance in the next chapter.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 4th, 2014 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Do I get the feeling that Harris is due for an unpleasant end before CF? He's certainly deady-bones by the end of the war...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2014 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
He's still around (as one of Haymitch's allies) in my story The Golden Mean, but yeah, he definitely doesn't make the end of the war.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 4th, 2014 12:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Waiting for the countdown to begin ...

This was brilliant, I'm already SO excited for your next chapter. I've wanted to read a believable take on Finnick's Games for so long now so this is like pure wish fulfilment for me.

I love how you are showing Finnick's innocence and natural charm, I hate fics where 14 year old Finnick is pretty much the same as Quarter Quell Finnick (before Katniss gets to know him). The real tragedy of Finnick is what the Capitol did to him pre-Quell, not his death in the rebellion (although yes, that's tragic too!) ... and the worst thing is that to the Capitol and a lot of Panem, Finnick was the embodiment of what a Victor should be. He didn't even have the luxury of being able to mourn his losses openly as Haymitch did, he not only had this ongoing abuse but had to look like he was enjoying it.

I can't wait to see where you go with this ... I have my box of tissues at the ready!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 5th, 2014 02:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Waiting for the countdown to begin ...

I feel terrible for Finnick in the books. I don't forget that he became a victor by some really brutal tactics -- basically, it was Rue's death over and over -- but what they did to him after? :shudder:
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 5th, 2014 11:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Waiting for the countdown to begin ...

Reading "your" Finnick's story so far makes me think of Gale and Katniss' goodbye in the Hunger Games - the "it's just hunting ... How different can it be? ... If I can forget they are people it will be no different at all" dialogue.
I'm really interested to see how the sponsor bias towards Finnick tips the competition, we know he got the most expensive present ever in the Games history but how did the lack of food/shelter etc affect the other tributes? Was the trident because Finnick needed a weapon and he was good with that or because the Capitol wanted to watch a display of athletic prowess with that particular weapon?

Ahhh, I can't wait for the next installment!!
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 6th, 2014 01:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Waiting for the countdown to begin ...

Speaking of the trident; in your fics, wasn't it Blight who actually sent Finnick the trident after his tributes died?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 6th, 2014 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Waiting for the countdown to begin ...

It has been in a few ficlets. I haven't decided whether or not to make it official.
redlily From: redlily Date: June 8th, 2014 11:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Remind me -- at what point does the nickel drop for Haymitch re: Finnick's heritage?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2014 11:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I never mention it Narrow Path (shockignly, because I hadn't thought of it yet ;p), but he does see Gia a few years after the war, and everything snaps into place. He doesn't know it through canon time.
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