Hey all!

Apologies for the super-long break in things. End of the year shit and whatnot. Now that I'm out of school I hope to be able to update all of my fics much more frequently. Now then, time to FINALLY get back to seeing what they've been up to.


Renegade

Jasmine POV

"Hey, are you in? Hello? Jasmine?"

"Shut up, I'm busy."

God dammit, the little idiot thinks he can just talk in my ear all he wants. Does he know how hard it is to blend in here? Especially when you're over six feet tall and quite intimidating. At the very least this uniform conceals my face so I can at least pretend to be someone in charge. People tend not to question people who act in charge, even if they're not. Little tip I learned a long time ago.

District 11 is one of the most heavily guarded in the nation due to being the biggest. A riot here would be bloody on both sides. Which is why I'm just hoping to snatch Cameron and DJ's mother before they're killed and just go. Shawn's already put them on their toes, but fortunately I've been here since before then. Regardless, they're on high alert. The only thing that's kept me alive is me giving off the impression that I belong here.

"Hey, look, we're running low on time. Aren't you supposed to be getting over to the torture room?"

"Shut up, Sam. I'm busy," I whisper.

Yeesh. He needs to learn when not to talk. I mean, yeah, he's the only reason I actually managed to get inside due to his position on District 11's Peacekeeper team. Some kind of technician or guard or something. But he's going to blow everything before I even get the chance to get them out of here if he doesn't stop talking into the earpiece. This operation is shaky at best and downright moronic at worst. It basically hinges on my personal knowledge of Lightning's incompetent way of running this place and that's about all. We're hanging on by a fucking thread here.

I can't let Shawn down.

I stride confidently past Peacekeepers milling about. They're on the lookout for suspicious activity. But as Lightning's in charge here, the Capitol didn't see fit to give him anyone who was actually intelligent enough to not follow everything he says blindly.

So basically. Whole bunch of guards. None of them are bright enough to fix a lightbulb.

"Are you authorized to be in here?"

The guard stands at the door to the interrogation room. I walk up to find that I'm a head taller than him. "Are you questioning me?" I spit. "I have clearance to be in here and I don't need you standing in my way! Got it?" I bark.

The guard gulps and stands aside. I have to fight to keep from snickering.

Works every time.

I tuck my hands behind my back as I examine the vent system. Sam had better be in position or else this is going to blow up in our faces. Literally.

I remain in the back. In one of the cells on the other side of the glass is a shivering, bruised, bleeding boy who looks terrified out of his wits. Lightning is circling around him like a bird of prey.

My eyes find the other cell, and the dead woman inside with a pool of blood around her.

I nearly vomit, but that wouldn't exactly do wonders inside my helmet.

They haven't even been here long! They were only taken two days ago, around when Dawn and the Martins were scheduled to be executed! Why they didn't try to do the same thing here is anyone's guess.

Lightning continues pacing. "I keep thinkin' that there's something you're not telling me, shrimp!" He grabs Cameron by the chin. "I keep thinkin', 'Lightning, why do you keep doing this? It doesn't look like he knows anything. Why don't you just kill him?'" He releases his hand and looks him in the eyes. "Lightning's kinda starting to think this is just a waste of time. So I'll kill you slowly like the lady, I guess. Maybe get something to eat. Lightning don't like blood all that much but he'll do what he has to."

He closes his hand around the boy's throat, and I rap sharply on the door. He needs to get in here for the plan to work. I glance around. Four guards, all big and brutish. Figures he'd have them around. Moron wouldn't know subtlety if it smacked him over the head. Well...subtlety DOESN'T smack people over the head but...whatever.

Lightning turns, rolling his eyes. "What do you want? Lightning's busy beating this shrimp up when he did absolutely nothing. What's the problem."

"Sir, if you could come out here for a moment-"

"Lightning don't take orders from you! YOU take orders from ME!"

"Sir, why do you insist on referring to yourself in the third person?"

He snarls and curls his fists before kicking open the door, clearly furious at being interrupted.

"It's ready," Sam whispers in my ear. I don't respond. I can't afford to.

"Who the hell are you and what are you doing here?" Lightning demands, walking up to me. He looks up at me in surprise. He probably hasn't had to talk up at someone before. It's probably a new experience for the bugger.

"I'm a Peacekeeper, same as yourself," I retort. "He obviously doesn't know anything and it'd be more efficient to just kill him already. He's suffered enough. What'd you do, pull his fingernails out?"

"Put needles beneath his nails," Lightning corrects as if it's an important point to argue about. "There's a difference."

My eyes glance to Cameron again to see that his fingers are indeed bleeding something terrible. Poor soul...I'm going to get him out of here. Just another minute.

"That's not much better, mate."

"What's it to you how I run my business?" Lightning asks, pulling out his gun. I don't look at him, instead determining how long it would take to knock out the guards' visors before Sam activates the gas. Two of them are wearing helmets, two of them aren't. Ten seconds at the most. Lightning isn't wearing a helmet, which means I'll just have to kill him personally.

"No sir," I say, pretending to stare at the floor. Lightning nods in satisfaction and puts his gun back down.

"Good. Now if you'll excuse me Lightning has some torturing to-"

The gas leaks into the room and I spring into action. One guard's head against the wall, cracking the visor. The second one with a visor fires his gun and I yell out as pain pulses through my arm. I ignore it and kick him out from under his feet and breaking his visor.

The sound of laughing fills the air as the two other guards fall to their knees, laughing uncontrollably. I quickly knock them out, no sweat.

Lightning fires off a couple more rounds, his face glistening with sweat. I run to the door but he slams me in the back with his full weight. With a snarl I turn around and throw a few punches at him, which he returns. He tries kicking my legs out from under me. I nearly fall to the ground.

Quickly, I punch him in the throat. With a small "gak" sound, Lightning falls to the ground and finally succumbs to the laughing gas, flailing around on the floor uncontrollably. I quickly take one of the visors and open the door to Cameron.

"Who...are you..." he wheezes weakly. I don't respond, instead placing the helmet on him so he doesn't have to worry about breathing.

"I'm here to help," I say. "Come on. Let's go."

The sound of uncontrollable laughter grips the entire section of the facility. I can hear the approach of helmeted guards. I lift Cameron onto my back and run towards the planned exit.

The sewer system wouldn't have been my first choice for an exit. Hell, I hate it being so cramped in there.

But that doesn't matter. My job is my job, and this kid needs to get out of here. No matter the cost.


Renegade

Shawn POV

We had to kill the mom today.

It wasn't what I wanted to happen at all. No one would want that. We'd hoped to get all three of them out of there alive. But Mrs. Martin had been shot pretty bad and she knew that she'd only slow us down. Just as selfless and foolish as her daughter apparently. I just need to keep myself distanced from it and I won't feel bad about being the one to pull the trigger.

The girl, Dawn, has been a wreck. It's been twenty-four hours since we rescued them and twelve hours since we had to kill her best friend's mom. Poor girl...I know how it feels to lose shit. The three of us are sitting around the fire. The rest of our men were killed. Apparently some Peacekeepers here can actually aim for shit.

Why am I thinking about this so matter-of-factly? I can't just shut off my fucking emotions, can I? All the Martins are dead, all my men are dead, and here I am making jokes. What the hell, Shawn?

I sigh and sit down next to the girl. Better try to at least get her to go with us. Her parents are probably dead by now as well. I'm not sure what I should say though. That Bridgette would be proud of her? For getting both of her parents killed and leaving her best friend running from Peacekeepers? At the very least I have Jasmine. She has nothing.

"Hey," I say softly. Dawn stares into the fire, not looking at me. Dave is sharpening a knife. It's pretty clear he's just busying himself.

"What do you want?" she responds, a slight sniffle entering her voice.

"Just wanted to talk," I reply quietly. "Look, I'm not really one for comfort."

"Everyone I know is probably dead," she says. "Bridgette, her parents, my parents...she sacrificed herself for something. But this wasn't it."

"What was it for then?"

"Not...this." Dawn gestures around. "I thought that her sacrifice would make a difference." She puts her head in her hands. "It's just made things so much worse...I thought we were being optimistic. Were we just that naive?"

I sigh, and look her in the eyes. "Let me tell you a story. Words are empty, I know. But it's better than just saying 'I'm sorry for your loss,' right? Dave, you can come over if you want."

"Pass."

I turn to Dawn and clear my throat. "I've been with this resistance for a few years now. I started like you did, with someone I know being reaped into the Games. Namely, my brother. I was born in District 10. I knew there was no way he'd win. Sure enough, he died in the Bloodbath. We mourned." I sigh. "But I thought that was the way things had to be, and I'd never known anything different. So while I was saddened by his death I didn't really blame the Capitol for it.

"That is, until at the end of the Games. The Head Gamemaker wanted to add an extra layer of drama and shit. He decided to bring back all the dead tributes for the grand finale as corpses. As zombies." I look at her. "I had to see my brother's body being controlled like some kind of drone...I...I was young. It freaked me the hell out." I shudder. "I hated the Capitol for doing that.

"They didn't use that gimmick again. Not out of morality, mind you, but because the Capitol thought that seeing all the contestants doing a zombie walk looked absolutely ridiculous and goofy." My temper rises. "And my brother Lane's body came back with his head cut off, which certainly wasn't how he died!" I snarl.

"That's terrible," Dawn chokes out. "I...I know we've both lost a lot."

I nod. "I know. So I decided to try to run away. They would've killed me but I'd been training some in self-defense, just...just in case. I managed to get out and was picked up by the resistance. I was weak. Mourning. They helped me heal." I stand, and extend my hand towards her. "And now I'm going to help you, okay? If you'll let me."

Hesitantly, Dawn takes my hand and I pull her to her feet. I grin. "We'll give 'em hell, okay?"

She nods, a determined look on her face. "Okay. What's the plan?"

I exchange a look with Dave. I grin sheepishly. "We, uh...we run."

"I thought we were going to give them hell?" Dawn asks. "What happened to that?"

"We lost more men than we planned on," Dave explains. "The plan was just to get you back to District 13 via hovercraft but the Capitol's locked down. We're pretty far away."

"I don't think we've spoken," Dawn says, walking over to shake hands with Dave. "Where are you from?"

"District 5, the works," Dave spits. "I wanted out a few months back and they were happy to take me. Just...keep all that gunk away from me."

"Don't know why he chose this assignment if he hates getting dirty," I joke, making sure my gun is loaded. "But anyway, here's the plan."

I sit down. Dave and Dawn follow suit.

"We need to get out of this district and quick. We're low on ammunition, which could be a problem. Actually? We can just take Peacekeeper guns. They're easy to use. Don't know why they're so terrible at hitting people but that doesn't matter. So we stow away on a train and just get as far away from the Capitol as we can."

"Uh, problem?" Dave folds his arms. "We have to go through District 2 and the Capitol to get there. They'll be on high alert."

"Which is why we have to move quickly," I say, pulling out a map of the surrounding area. "You'd be surprised how dim some of these guards are. You just put on a Peacekeeper uniform, act like you belong there, and they don't question you."

"Do you think there's actually a uniform my size?" Dawn asks, gesturing to her tiny frame. I bite my lip.

"Uhhhh...good question. Very very good question. I'm probably..." I scratch the back of my head, flaking dandruff over my shoulders. "Uh...I don't know. Maybe we get on and then sneak you on board. I know the layout of these things. At the back there's a door guarded by four or five Peacekeepers. Easy pickings. We let you on, then jump off whenever we can."

"These trains go at like two hundred miles per hour," Dave points out. "We'd be flattened."

"We'll improvise," I say calmly. "Now, is everyone ready?"

Dave rolls his eyes. "We can't take them all on ourselves. This is a ridiculous plan and you're going to get us all killed."

"Do you have a better idea?" I ask, slinging my bag over my shoulder and starting to walk away. Dawn follows, snickering with a new resolve and sense of humor.

Dave opens for a mouth for a moment, closes it, and follows.


District 2 Victor/Peacekeeper

Jo POV

I lean down over the bloodied corpses in the woods, examining them. The bullets were at a close enough range to pierce through the armor. I was led to believe that these renegades were snot-nosed cowards who had a much bigger bark than bite. But no, these shots were clean and efficient. I lean down, allowing my usual indifference to compel me. It won't matter whether I find them or not. The end result will be the same.

I finger my handgun, trying to remain casual. In reality it's a bit of a nervous tic. I don't let anyone know that. To them I am cold and unforgiving. Which I suppose is true.

I quickly check the standings on the Games. Day 8. Eva's messing around with those two brats. I recall my interview last night. Blaineley listens somewhat to my problems but I know that she would sell me out for a good story. The Capitol is full of two-timing bastards who would do anything to get out of boredom. I'm constantly surrounded by other Peacekeepers that I supposedly "command" but whom I suspect would turn on me the instant I show any sign of being anything but a machine.

They weren't exactly subtle. They should be relatively easy to follow. I was told that they may or may not be part of some kind of resistance. Capitol grew sloppy if that's the case. Aren't they supposed to put this kind of shit down before it starts? It hasn't even been 25 years yet and they're already having to blackmail people to do their dirty work. Oh, of course they want to be all "we can't let the people know we're weak" or whatever but how does sneaking around the districts using a small force to ask questions about where people went any better?

Lightning wasn't of much help when he tried to contact me. The comm came on and all it was was him laughing like a lunatic. Fucking moron. At the very least we managed to kill some of them. Pity it wasn't public. That would quell any rumors or thoughts of rebellion.

I tap my handgun again.

My comm comes on.

"Sir! We've found another body!"

I turn away from my subordinates and hesitate before responding. "Understood. Who is it?"

"It's the last remaining Martin. Bullet through the head and wound in the stomach. Looks like they couldn't take her along."

"Ruthless," I growl, turning to look at the body of a Peacekeeper. "Do we have an ID on who the two are?"

"One of them. Dave Adams, fled from District 5 just recently. Rather out of character for him."

"What about the other?"

The voice on the other end takes a while before responding.

"We don't know. We ran facial recognition and he's not in any of our records. He might be pretending to be deceased."

Idiot.

"If he were pretending to be dead," I say slowly, as if explaining it to a child, "then that fact would still be on our records! Who is he?"

"We don't know. Fortunately, we HAVE notified the entire area to be on the lookout for him."

"Anything else?"

"We also have the names of the people who rescued Cameron Wilkins."

"Excellent, but that's not my job," I explain, trying to keep the condescension out of my voice. "District 11 is nowhere near here. Lightning can handle it."

Pft, yeah right.

The voice on the comm sighs. "Very well, sir. Your orders?"

"Hang tight. I gotta get in their head. See what they'd do. I'll get back to you."

I turn off the device and look around.

If I only had two men escorting a fragile teenage girl to god-knows-where with only limited ammo, what would I do?

Well, for starters, I'd find more ammo. And District 2 is just southeast of District 7. Trains pass through all the time. And as airtight as the Capitol claims to be on security, their trains could use some better protection. Apparently Antonius is more concerned with creating more weapons than actually implementing them.

So, assuming that they manage to bypass security on a train, where would they go? All trains lead to the Capitol, which I highly doubt would be a desirable place for renegades to visit. No, they'd need to either exit before the train lets them off, or just travel wherever the train takes them.

It'd be a pain in the ass to organize a nationwide train search at any rate, so the sooner we find them the better. All trains heading out of District 7 will need to be stopped and searched. The border between Districts 7 and 2 must be guarded.

They must not leave, to possibly regroup with the terrorists from District 11.

I start relaying the orders, barking them out out of habit but not really feeling them.

I check my tablet again. Eva's still alive.

Good. She'd better win.

I look at my hands, and around me at all this shit I have to deal with. My thoughts stray to Antonius's arrogant smirk and psychotic gun fiddling.

Then again, maybe not.


Gamemaker

Chef Hatchet POV

I've found that the key to lying effectively is to tell the truth as often as possible. You acquire a reputation for being honest, people will be more inclined to believe you. Won't question you. Had to backstab a lot of people to get the Capitol to trust me, but I'm finally next in line to the position of Head Gamemaker. It's been twenty-three years but finally everything's going good. No jinxing it though.

The Games are stupid. Why punish the districts? That'll only just rile 'em up and make 'em ready for some rebellion. You slip once, the spark will catch and suddenly everything's up in flames. Fuckin' loons, the lot of them. Antonius just wants to stay in power and doesn't actually understand how to rule. With any luck the coup will be quick and we'll be able to peacefully repair conditions with the districts.

I fold my arms, staring at the data I've collected. There are a lot of players on the board here. I don't even know why Billy selected Trent to help. Fuckin' idiot didn't even do anything 'til he went bonkers. Really, all I could do for him was just make sure muttations were slightly less aggressive and hopefully avoid him. Even then Chris is breathing down my neck like a fuckin' piranha. Fucking hate that guy.

An alert on my earpiece and Billy's voice comes through.

"Sir, we've got a problem."

"What kind of problem? Not sure what you're talking about, boy."

"This is a secure line, B's made sure of it. Speak freely."

I groan and close the door to my room. "What is it? We found out?"

"You know Scarlett?"

"Yeah."

"She knows that we exist and says that if we don't do what she says she has a way to expose us."

I don't respond for a while. I look again at the data I collected, then at the picture of Scarlett.

"You still there?"

"Yeah yeah," I respond offhandedly. "This puts a wrench in things. Does she know I'm in charge?"

"No, we're keeping that from her. I don't know why she hasn't threatened us into telling her. Maybe it slipped her mind?"

I shrug before realizing that he can't see me. "Dunno. Keep an eye out. This might change things. If she knows who we are then any murders could be traced back to us. And she won't keep using us forever. We have to have a backup plan in case things don't work out."

"The Games are set to conclude soon. We're down to the final five. I think that we could at the very least recruit the victor. Hell, I wish we'd have thought of it sooner. All those years Mike and Brick could've been helping us were spent drinking away their sorrows and shit."

I growl at his carelessness. "You do realize that you could be heard by other people?"

"Relax, boss. I've got this. You just keep doing what you're doing and come up with a contingency plan, got it? Got it. Anyway, Billy out."

The rat hangs up before I have the chance to get in a final word. Rude bastard.

I sigh and look over everything. Assuming that we can get our hands on the victor and turn him or her to our cause, what good would that do? We're still trapped here, with limited time left before that bitch decides we're no longer useful and rats us out. We're trapped here as long as she has leverage on us.

Unless...we make her "leverage" seem fake. In the case that we're going to be discovered, I'll step forward and claim that I falsified records to scare people. That Miller's team was a ragtag group working on their own. I'll need to plant evidence that I falsified the documents without actually falsifying the documents. It'd be sacrifice, but at any rate it'd probably set her back, maybe give us time to haul ass out of the Capitol need be. My last report to District 13 was optimistic, would be a pity to come back with our tails between our legs but it'd be something.

I'd be dead, but hell. I don't got much left to live for.


start C:/program/insur/log

A crew member died today. Slipped and cracked his head against the side of the ship before drowning. We couldn't save him.

I feel terrible about it.

People keep dying wherever I go and there's nothing I can do about it.

It's been merely a week since we first set sail over the ocean. There has been no insurrection or Capitol troops following us for an ambush.

I'm not used to it.

I miss him. At least he could make me feel safe.

But escaping my district meant that I could never see him again. I chose that.

I wish I didn't. The insurrection only wanted me for their own selfish reasons.

Hell. They were in the pocket of District 13, who made it clear that they would support us as long as they weren't directly implicated in anything.

Maybe I shouldn't be talking about this. I don't know who's going to pick this up.

But I want to talk about my thoughts, and no one here really wants to hear that.

I probably don't have to use this journal. It's fairly worthless.

But no matter what anyone says, I still do miss him.

But he's probably moved on.

And as hard as it's going to be, I'm going to have to as well.

Fuck.

This trip is going to feel even longer than I thought.

We're getting queasy for some reason and none of us are really sure why. According to our resident scholar transportation didn't use to be as smooth and seamless, and that "travel sickness" was a thing. Considering the materials used to make this boat were the bare minimum the insurrection could have provided, it's not too surprising.

I really do hate them.

Both sides of the conflict.

Hopefully when we hit land the people there will be less selfish and greedy.

But I wouldn't count on it.

user_signout: nltl


By the way:

Shawn is the Agent Miller referred to on multiple occasions during FDTD.

Ezekiel's last name is Miller.

During the Final Five Special it was stated that one of Zeke's cousins had gone into the Games and died, and that another of his cousins had gone missing soon afterwards. ;)