This people, is the end. It's been over two years, and I hope this (massive^^) epilogue will do the rest of the story justice.

Three months after Alma Coin's death.

« Chimp, tell me one of those big heads you work with is also a caring gentleman. »

Paylor blinked. Her mother had a knack for making her brain go blank.

« 'Cause if you keep walking out of these meetings with anymore gray hair, » the dark-skinned woman teased, « I can kiss goodbye to the thought of grandchildren. »

Paylor cracked a smile. « We were with representatives from Six. The laws are too lax regarding Human medical trials, so – »

« I've been reading about those ! » Kashmira said, brandishing her glasses like a sword. « Medical testing on so many people, children ! And thank goodness for that cloning technology, or who knows what those monsters would have done to innocent babes. »

Having one person that didn't let her finish her sentences kept Paylor humble. She smiled fondly. Her mother had taken better than expected to the Capitol, diving into archives and records with unrestrained glee. Paylor's chest tightened in guilt whenever she set foot in the luxurious rooms that had become her temporary home, but for now, she had no time to set up new Headquarters.

« I hope you're executing at least those who were responsible for Six, Chimp. »

Paylor shook her head, making her mother huff loudly. She didn't have energy to spare for anger. What she needed were solutions, solutions, solutions. And for now that meant an end to medical testing and the majority of the research. She wanted the same level of care available to middle-class Capitolites available to all, and it would take all their resources.

« We're putting an end to the testing. Research will resume, ethically, once there are enough Capitol-standard hospitals and doctors to guarantee that children born today will live to see a hundred. »

Her mother eyed her shrewdly. « You may get pregnant at fifty with that fancy technology, but I'm not getting any younger. »

Paylor rolled her eyes. Her mother was barely fifty herself. And children… Ha. Paylor wished she had time to sleep.

« What about the people whose livelihood testing was, Paylor ? » Kashmira added, concerned deepening the lines on her face. « I do like ethics a lot, but if it gets people to starve… »

« No one's starving, Ma. We've set up minimum rations, not unlike Tesserae, but for everyone. » Paylor took a deep breath. « No one's ever going to starve again in Panem.»

She was President. Those weren't just empty words. It felt so good. She'd just dye the gray hair.

« You expect people to go back to their shitty jobs if you give them enough free food to fill their stomachs ? »

Paylor chuckled ruefully. « That'll be the topic of the next meeting, Ma. »

Freeing Eight from the Capitol's hold had been much easier… But much fewer people were dying, hope ran strong, and Paylor was determined to hand over a solid, happy Panem to her successor. Ten years until the next, the first, elections. She didn't dare think how many meetings that would add up to.

« Did you see the new uniforms Eli made ? The woman approved...»

« Her name's Effie, Ma. » Paylor chided gently. « Let's go see Eli's work. »

Taylor Eli was the only man from home she'd made part of her new team. No matter how much she'd have loved to have Marko among her advisors, or Big Loomer as a bodyguard, they were needed in Eight.

« It's perfect, Mrs. President,» Effie announced, clapping her hands. «It's brand new, and district, but also stylish and charismatic. Quite perfect for our new start ! »

Paylor smiled. Even without her wigs, makeup and over-the-top clothes, Effie Trinket was a force of nature.

« Wait, » Paylor said. « Before you show us your work… » She took a longer look at Effie, who wilted slightly, betraying how exposed she felt in her simple yellow dress. « How are Capitolites coping ? »

Paylor had outlawed fashion. It had seemed like the only way to avoid a new bloodbath. Broadcasted on every Television of Panem, they'd set fire to immense piles of outrageous clothes and expensive perfume bottles, the wigs and hats, the expensive scarves and dyed feathers. A few tractors had come all the way from Nine, and with them they'd crushed bracelets, necklaces and a hundred different types of shoes.

They'd exorcised inequality.

And the violent display, combined with the knowledge District taxes wouldn't be lining any Capitolites' pockets anymore, had blessedly lessened the demands for Capitol blood.

« It's hard, but people are less scared now that they know they're not going to be arrested. I… I don't get told many things… I'm a rebel. » Her smile was proud, but it felt hollow. Paylor could imagine how painful it was to be trapped between two worlds and belong fully to neither. Effie's smile brightened, taking almost fierce proportions. « Project Empathy is a big, big success. There are fewer complaints about everyone having to get a job. » Effie frowned. « I didn't get the opportunity to check this month's enrollments.»

« Five thousand are leaving for the Districts, including over four hundred medical personnel, » Paylor said. « Classes are starting in two weeks, and we have six-thousand already enrolled. »

Capitolites were free to live and be protected under law, but every able-bodied adult was to serve for a time in the Districts. Those currently with no skills would study, either medicine, psychology, or related fields, and join the teams working hard to dress the gaping wounds left by the war.

« Glynn told me she could finally retire, » Effie said with this time a true grin. « Project Empathy was her and Mags' baby. She was singing on her way to see DeCharon. »

Paylor laughed. General Garren had pulled a right face when Glynn had left her seat and kissed Paylor firmly on the mouth. Fours –and a dash of Capitol theatrics-. But Paylor could understand the old woman's relief. Thirst for vengeance would still burn bright for months to come.

Project Empathy's goal was to erase over a century of propaganda and both Capitolites and District people that the others were just as human as they were. The focus of the videos and interviews was on rebuilding rather than guilt, and Paylor had been pleasantly surprised by how many Capitolites were happy to go help.

« So here are the uniforms, version five, and hopefully the last, » Effie said, beaming as she lead Paylor to the display.

Paylor eyed Eli's work appraisingly. The two-piece uniforms were a soothing dark blue, designed to enable to wearer to take a beating without damage, but without the ostentatious look of the classic peacekeeper padded wear. Paylor could see the Capitol's touch in the hems, trimmings and pockets, which had been designed to look stylish. It lacked the intimidating sharpness of the Homeguard's red and black, and it was nothing like the overlarge impersonal whites worn by peacekeeper shock-troops.

Better still, every weapon would be easily accessible, but also clearly on display. Yes, Paylor could learn to trust those uniforms.

« I showed pictures to General Garren, and Thirteen's spokesman, not at the same time obviously, » she added in hushed tones, « and they both think they're good. » Effie grimaced. « I didn't dare tell them it'll be the same uniform for peacekeepers, Homeguard and Thirteen's soldiers. »

« Garren already knows. He's refreshingly reasonable for a Capitol officer… » Paylor wiped sweat off her brow, biting back a sigh. A third of peacekeepers were still missing. Paylor wasn't too concerned by those who'd gone underground in Two and lived as civilians. It was those who were hiding in the Districts, and those who harbored strong anti-rebel sentiments. She didn't want a repeat of the tragedy in Seven : where a band of peacekeepers turned bandits had killed and pillaged before they'd been stopped.

« We're getting peacekeepers into constructions, » Paylor added. « Two's Colonels volunteered the idea, to give an option to those who wanted out. We're matching their salaries and the men and women don't mind so much as long as they don't have to fear being murdered by the locals. »

Four's and Thirteen's soldiers wouldn't be enough to stop crime from spiking, but luckily many rebels were out of a job, so Paylor had decided to just set up recruitment barracks in every District.

Paylor gave Effie an encouraging nod when she realized the woman had something on her mind.

« If the uniforms are done, then I can… I'll have time to… » Effie inhaled sharply. «Is there room for one more on the Avox project ? Do you think I could help with - »

Effie's unexpected shyness, heavy with sadness and guilt moved Paylor to grasp the woman's shoulders.

« Hey, they'll be lucky to have you. Cressida and Pollux have made it their primary mission. For now we're regrowing tongues and contacting families, and seeing how we can put those who wish to to work. There's quite enough work to keep you challenged. »

Six months after Alma Coin's death.

Caesar –Petronius, he really needed to think of himself as Petronius-, watched entranced at the hot debate unfolding around him.

The staff from FLASH, One's now disbanded Academy, and Two's Annex, had gathered in the former Games Tower and were pooling together their resources on child psychology, which were stunningly extensive. The controversial use the knowledge has been put to was unfortunately polluting the exchanges.

Yes, One trained whores, Two cultivated a child's agressiveness and thirst to prove himself until he was fit to enter an arena, it's hardly news to any of you, get over yourselves.

FLASH's people weren't even trying to conceal their percieved moral superiority.

Caesar could see this was going to be a waste of time. Paylor and Plutarch had had the right idea, and there was a swathe of screwed up kids that needed attention all over Panem, but they'd not pushed hard enough.

He stood up and left. They probably wouldn't notice his absence for another half hour. He kept his ears sharp, half-expecting a chair to fly.

The Victors had been summoned to the Capitol on DeCharon's request. If anyone had both experience with keeping a room in line and handling traumatized youngsters, it was Two's mentors. Caesar didn't doubt that Lyme would feel up to the task. Plutarch was dreadfully underutilising his Victors.

He quietly entered DeCharon's workshop. And stopped. The sight before him felt like a punch to the gut.

Cashmere, as beautiful as he remembered, Gloss, Cecelia, Seeder, Blight… they were, asleep ? Caesar hadn't bothered to check where the bodies had gone, but DeCharon obviously had found them, and fixed them as best he could. Trapped in clear ice, they looked almost alive.

Caesar blinked back an unexpected tear. He'd put so many hours in each of their angles, he'd learned to know them so well, to brush up every one of their mistakes, to distract buyers and sponsors when it truly became too much, to keep the illusion going. It had been the way things were. He'd been good at it. He'd grown fond of them, as much as he'd dared. He'd not expected them to die.

Mags was staring at him through closed eyes. He swallowed. Her he'd dangerously failed to read. She'd seemed so seamlessly part of the Games, the stabilising force that made his job so much easier. He loved sane victors. And –

He gaped when he saw Finnick. How-. He'd forgotten how young the boy had been.

« There was a project to boost fetus attractivity, involving Finnick's DNA. With the fresh DNA, DeCharon managed to fix the damage done by the mutts when they retrieved him from underground. The other casualties of Squad 451 had no such luck.»

Caesar stiffly turned to face Mercury. He'd been high with adrenaline and too eager for someone to admire what he had done to keep his mouth shut. But he was alive, so either she was still grateful for her escape, or she had figured he was more useful alive than dead.

He opened his mouth to talk of the orphans and shut it again when he saw Lyme, her expression carefully blank, but her palms pressed against Brutus' ice tomb.

What a waste.

« Will there be a memorial ? » Caesar breathed.

« No, they're for us, » Mercury said, her eyes flickering to Beetee who was crying silently in front of Wiress' still form. That woman had never looked so peaceful. Caesar shivered at the tiny smile tugging at her pale lips.

« Feeling a glimmer of empathy yet ? »

« I am doing my very best for our new government, » Caesar replied with a nervous smile. His jaw clenched. « I never wanted this, the Quell. I suggested he just kill the Mockingjay, spike her with drugs and have her kill Peeta and then commit suicide. Destroy her image. The Quell was Plutarch's idea. » He'd never wanted this.

« I've kept your secret, Petronius, have I not ? » Mercury replied with a stiff smile of her own. « Now what brings you here ? »

« I have former Career trainers settling grudges instead of figuring out a plan to help war orphans. I hoped to convince Lyme and Bahamut to put their mentoring knowledge to good use. I'm certain they'd be invaluable assets. »

« So now you're saving war orphans… » Caesar tensed but he detected no sarcasm in her tone. « Just do your best, Caesar. If they find you out, say I knew. I'll do what I can. They're not imprisoning the parasites who raped Victors again and again... » Mercury swallowed back her anger. « It'd be ridiculous if they executed you now that you actually have the power to help turn Panem around. »

Caesar breathed a little easier, reminded once more why he'd smuggled that woman out of her cell.

« Come, » she added, dragging him past Annie and DeCharon, up to Lyme.

The burly woman's eyes flashed at the interruption.

« Lyme ?" Mercury said. "The experts from the three Career centers are throwing blame around when they should be drafting guidelines to deal with war orphans. Petronius and I agree that you and Bahamut would be uniquely qualified to help them find a solution. »

Lyme said nothing for a while. Caesar flinched when she slowly cracked her knuckles.

Finally she tore away from Brutus. « Where are they ? » She asked coolly.

Caesar pitied the person who'd get in her way.

Nine months later. 1st winter of the New Republic.

The apartment was too big for a woman alone, and it looked barely lived-in, obsessively clean. District Five had been less ravaged than many, but here the very air tasted like death.

« Please tell us your story, » Cressida said softly.

« You'll lie and twist and change, » the woman spat. « That's what you've always done. »

« Not I. You know who I am. »

« You're the camera behind the Mockingjay. » Deena Foster acknowledged. Her lips curled. « You're Capitol. You want people to think we've forgotten all the crimes. »

« Nothing has been forgotten. Very little has been forgiven. You'll notice I'm here, instead of soldiers. You're not to be flogged, or avoxed. »

« But I will be punished, » the woman mirthlessly said. « I killed five men. Five soldiers. » Defiance burned on her face. « Peacekeepers. »

Cressida watched this short wrinkled woman at the dusk of middle-age, wondering once more how Deena had had the strength to hang the bodies of five fit men to a factory wall. They'd caught Deena when she'd come back, to tag Never Again under the bodies.

« Your punishment will doubtless be community service of some kind, probably for ten years or so. »

Deena laughed, an incredulous throaty laugh. Tears shone in the woman's eyes.

« Darling, how is that punishment ? All my life I melted ores and welded steel in a building that barely let sunlight through, and the heat… I didn't get along with my boss, I never got promoted, so when I became a mother, I had to work nights too. I barely saw my children grow. »

Cressida gently grasped the woman's hand. She'd never thought she'd feel safe, so close to a woman who'd shot five men in cold blood, but the last two years had changed everything.

« It'll be punishment, compared to the lifestyle people will be granted now. But our goal is to help you, and everyone else, rebuild their lives. »

Cressida knew how hard it was for people who'd always lived in fear of cruel punishment to envision rehabilitation. Even to her, it sometimes felt like a naive dream, to expect people to behave if they weren't afraid. But it was the core of Project Empathy, and she truly wanted to believe.

« What did you give up ? » Deena asked.

« Money, entertainment, luxury, diversity in food and drink, clothes, cosmetics, gadgets… Air conditioning… Electricity at night… Power is being rationed. Many Capitolites are asked to move in together, to free space for avoxes, as refugee camps..." Cressida was careful not to make it sound like she wanted pity. "I already worked, but those who did not have to make something useful of their time now. »

« And is that punishment ? Giving up things we've always lived without ? »

« No, it's not punishment. It's simply fair. You know, rebels in the Capitol were executed too. We were just lucky to be born on the favored side. »

Deena barked a harsh laugh. « I know. At least in there." She said, tapping her head. "I watch TV. I might even believe it. » She shook her head, her teeth bared in anger. « When I was fourteen, I was a bright girl. I wasn't going to finish in welding. No, I'd be doing engineering. Except, I wasn't allowed to do the exam. See, Wyatt had mouthed off, said something rebellious, maybe done something. We never found out, cause he got avoxed fast. Since we were his classmates, they said we should've known and told on him. So we got banned from sitting the exam, and none of us ever got another chance. » She exhaled bitterly. « Did Capitolites too, keep getting punished for things they didn't do ? »

« Less. But enough to make sure rebel thoughts were discouraged by everyone and not just the Homeguard. » Cressida smiled sadly. She'd heard Deena's tale, a thousand times, told by a thousand avoxes. It didn't get any easier. « Deena, tell me your story, it's important. If it helps, think it as part of the punishment.»

Deena swallowed. Cressida gave her time, and finally, the woman started speaking.

« My daughter, we… we buried her five years ago. No whispers of rebellion back then. Not that I heard… She… she'd caught a peacekeeper's eye. Usually, that doesn't end in death, and us girls… Well, we learn to be tough, don't we ? But this time it did, » Deena said, shaking with anger. « My sons didn't come back from the rebellion. I sometimes let myself dream they're just lost and they'll turn up, » she whispered. « My man… the winter go him. Three weeks ago. » Deena lifted reddened eyes towards Cressida. « What's left for me but to finish the fight ? I saw one of them, he whistled when a pretty girl went past. She was just minding her business, and you should have seen the fear in her eyes. I want to have faith in the new laws, Cressida, but that's someone's daughter. I did what I should have done years ago. »

« Boys whistle girls a lot, » Cressida muttered. But she knew it didn't matter. Not when the whistles had lead for years to so much more. "I'm very sorry for your loss," she said more loudly, hoping Deena would hear that she was genuine.

And most in the Districts would side firmly with Deena. If it wasn't daughters, it was sons who'd been badly beaten, even crippled, for sometimes no reason at all. Somehow, Cressida had to use this interview, and the interview of the peacekeepers' families, and the dozen other interviews she would make, to help make Panem safe without using fear or threat. Panem had only ever known fear and threat.

The more she talked with Deena, the more she struggled to see a clear difference between the rebels who'd killed for the Mockingjay and their freedom, and this widowed mother who felt the war wasn't over. Every crime of the sort reminded her how fragile their new peace was. For all their claims of reviving democracy, they couldn't do so while the majority believed that exterminating over three-hundred thousand people, and salting the ground in the Capitol and District Two just to be safe, would be the best way to go.

« How do you feel, about the boys who burned down the housing of the Capitol doctors and psychiatrists sent to train on-site field medics and counselors ? »

Deena stifled a sob. « They killed more students, more of us, than Capitol folk, didn't they ? Miss, on good days, I think doctors are wonderful. On bad days, I see Capitol folk with power, coming to tell us what to do and how to think. » She took a deep breath. « Never Again, Cressida. Never Again. »

They had to fix the people's trust in authority. How did you fix trust ?

But Cressida had to believe. Little by little, they would heal Panem.

Fifteen months later. Reaping Day by the pre-Rebellion calendar.

Johanna watched as a team of fuzzy monkey-mutts assembled the long banquet tables.

No Hunger Games. Never again. Banned. Paylor had even managed to get Katniss on board and sell the idea to the whole of Panem in her Mockingjay dress. Johanna licked her lips. No Capitol teenagers crying for their mothers on television. Pity. Johanna sighed. Even her own vindictiveness felt half-hearted now. She blamed the Doctor McCay for having sucked the fight out of her with her therapy tricks.

« Gah. »

Caspian gurgled like the baby he was, pointing at the mutts in delight. In another year, he'd want a mutt plush-toy. Ugh. Hadn't anyone told him how his daddy had died ?

« No, Cas, mutts are bad. Say baaad, » Johanna cooed, after checking Gale still wasn't around. He'd never let her live it down.

She wrinkled her nose when the boy drooled at her. There, she'd done her Auntly duty, now Annie couldn't say she wasn't trying.

« Children now, they won't be scared of mutts, » Annie said, smiling thoughtfully at the scene.

Johanna nodded, at a loss. Mutts were everywhere now. Somebody somewhere was paid to make them look cute, but they were still mutts. And they'd started doing all the jobs that required muscles but very little brains. Like those big ax-wielding squirrel mutts. Ax-wielding squirrel mutts. After a few weeks of craving brain bleach, Johanna was slowly getting used to them.

The whole of Panem was. Instead of having thousands of people break their backs to rebuild half of Panem, Seven's forests, Two's mines and who knew what else, were manned by workers controlling a half-dozen mutts each, like some Capitol board game.

Talking of board games… Annie lowered Caspian back into his crib. Johanna turned away when the baby yawned. Damn he looked like Finn. Annie had come to Seven, ostensibly because it was getting too hot for the baby in Four, but the real reason was that Johanna had given a thousand and one excuses not to see Caspian. Because she'd feared right. He looks like Finn.

But seeing the kid… Johanna had expected to hate it, instead… it was complicated. She was glad Annie had come.

« Another game ? »

« I'm tired of letting you win, » Johanna declared. Maybe she should bother reading the rules this time. « When's the food coming ? » Would there be mutts doing the service too ?

No Hunger Games, but nobody had been crazy enough to deny the Districts the yearly feast –with bonus fireworks-, which would celebrate not having Hunger Games.

But to Johanna it was one more big neon sign that said 'What the fuck are you still doing here, Jo ?' It wasn't just this new Seven full of mutts, trauma counselors, and its Victor population of one. Everything was… off. And not just in Seven. Every day on TV something new popped up. Like District One. It was going through a complete change now that luxury Capitol-style had fallen out of favor. Making tapestries and picture books about the war and just about everything else, putting fancy memorials in everyone's back yard, and board games. Plutarch had probably figured that with less working hours people had to be distracted in the evenings or they'd plot.

« Beetee and Gale are leaving tomorrow, » Annie said with a small smile that tried to be innocent and failed. « You could go to Two with Gale. »

Johanna narrowed her eyes. Annie was brittle and breakable, or full-on crazy, one minute, and the other she looked at you like you wore your inner thoughts on your shirt. Creepy.

« I like Gale, » Johanna said, feeling she had to clear things up, « because he's one of the few people to whom I can say I hate the Capitol without getting a whole speech about how I'm not supposed to. »

« I hate the Capitol too, » Annie said, her eyes focusing to reveal her Career gaze, the one that hid the grief nobody really wanted to think about. Johanna winced. « The old Capitol. The Capitol Caspian's growing up to know will be good, » Annie said, lighting up with motherly glow and everything that made Johanna itch to run away.

She'd stayed with Annie a good two hours. Could she leave without losing her friend badge? Where was the bloody food ?

She lit up when Beetee and Gale showed up, with no shirt (Gale, not Beetee). « Mutt got your shirt ? » Those mutts were getting increasingly helpful.

Gale scowled, a small smile on his lips. Johanna could sniff an embarrassing story a mile away.

She smirked. « Don't tell me a kid asked you to give him your shirt and sign it. »

« It wasn't a kid. It was a very respectable grandmother, » Beetee deadpanned.

« You hero, you, » Johanna teased, clasping her hands to her chest. She was glad Gale was slowly getting over his guilt over Primrose's death. Jo loved Katniss like a sister, living through a war together did that to a girl, but she wished Katniss would just accept his apologies.

Gale glowered but then his lips settled into a broad smile and Johanna had to appreciate the way his muscles bulged as he crossed his arms across his chiseled chest. « Jo, I'm sure many kids would love to have your shirt. Don't be selfish. »

Oh, you want to play it like that ? It would have been rude to tell Annie that she liked Gale because he, among their tribe of fucked up Victors and friends, was fun.

Year 5 of the New Republic.

« General ! » Mayor Werner called.

General Garren stood up, his documents forgotten. Werner was from Thirteen, with an almost robotic efficiency and deference. Werner didn't shout.

« Katniss Everdeen has been kidnapped, » Werner breathlessly said.

Garren stiffened, fighting the urge to sit back down. For years, he'd feared something like this would happen. The young woman had been all to eager to forget it all and lose herself in the rebuilding of District Twelve, but her stubborn insistence at being left alone did not make her any safer.

« Peeta and Haymitch ? »

« Safe. Understandably distraught. Katniss was snatched on her way home to the Village. This was a professional job. »

Even better.

« Reinforce security, call either the President or Heavensbee, and give me all the intel you have. »

They had to avoid a Panem-wide panic.

« Dead ? Sixty-seven are dead ? » Garren said blankly. These people had been spread out over the whole of Panem! « Any pattern, aside from being Capitol born ? »

« There was a note : they all had paid for intercourse with a Victor. The majority had done so multiple times. They were all murdered by a mutt during the night. » Werner, already nervous, looked ill. « Some… gruesomely. »

Sponsors. Garren frowned. Then the motive was clear and the pool of culprits suddenly narrow. Either a Victor, a loved one, or maybe a former escort. And the kind to leave a note. « Any possible link with Katniss Everdeen's abduction ? »

The videos of Katniss scowling at a camera, captioned with 'she's fine'. 'Still fine'. 'I won't hurt her, I'm just making a point'. were fraying his nerves. Some sociopath seemed to be intent on showing off at how good he (she ?) was at escaping capture.

It could be worse. At least there was no ransom demand, no panic-inducing videos sent to the Districts, and Katniss Everdeen wasn't hurt.

But General Garren was feeling toyed with.

« We're on it, Sir, » Werner said.

He was back less than an hour later.

« Sir, Enobaria has information from us. She said to call her back. »

Garren picked up the phone and dialed. « Enobaria, General Garren speaking. You had information ? »

« I do. Please catch Wolfe, or he's going to become even more insufferable. I don't know where he has Katniss, but I'm sure Beetee can trace back whatever Wolfe did to control the mutts. »

Garren's lips twitched into a stiff grimace. « You knew Wolfe had kidnapped Katniss, and you waited- »

« No, I learned yesterday that Katniss had been kidnapped, General. And I learned less than three hours ago about the mutt-assassinations. You never did make it public, » Enobaria said, sounding mildly amused. « And I know Wolfe. It's him. Lyme always practices with a mace when she feels embarrassed, so it seems she's come to the same conclusion as I. Good luck finding him, General,» Enobaria said merrily.

Garren stared incredulously at the phone. She'd hung up on him. She -. He took a shaky breath.

Victors. Maybe this was why Coin had wanted to eliminate them…

« Don't be a coward and show yourself ! » Katniss screamed, punching the door.

Wolfe opened the door. Her shaking was becoming alarming. He didn't want her to have a fit.

« You. » Katniss said, her anger replaced by shock. « What ? »

Wolfe smiled, swallowing back a sigh. It stung that she'd never registered him as a threat. He gestured to the couch in the large room. He hoped she was grateful : it hadn't been easy to find such a nice abandoned apartment. The view over Three was breathtaking, unfortunately he'd had to bar the windows to make sure she didn't foolishly try to escape.

« What's the point of being the Mockingjay, Katniss, if you let them cart you home the moment the interesting decisions start being taken ? »

Making retroactive punishment illegal… Paylor was such a disappointment.

Katniss stared flatly at him. « Do I look like a politician ? Didn't I do enough already ? You should feel lucky to be alive, Career. »

Stupid outliers.

« I'll have you know that every Career victory since Enobaria's was used to turn the outer District's anger into coordinated rebellious action. I volunteered because Mags personally came to tell me I had to win : so that you outliers would stop lazying about and do something. »

Katniss groaned, finally sitting down. « Fine, I believe you. » Did she ? Already ? Where had the fight in her gone ? Wolfe was almost disappointed. « Did you have to kidnap me, since it obviously has very little to do with me? »

« Yes. » They'd finally realize they shouldn't have ignored him so long. « Don't worry, they'll catch me soon. »

« You need a hobby. » She was so furious it was impressive she hadn't attacked him yet.

« Don't be rude, » Wolfe chided, his amber eyes sparkling. « You'll be happy to learn every sponsor who bought a Victor and who failed to make themselves very useful in the last five years is dead. »

His announcement had the desired effect. The girl's arrogant posture cracked and she stared at him like she'd just discovered he existed. In a way, Wolfe guessed that she had.

« That's… impressive, » the twenty-three year old breathed. Stiff like a marble statue, she was so transparent, those dark eyes devoid of horror or sympathy for the dead, that set mouth curling in disappointment because she knew a good person should feel bad.

« Victors should watch out for each other. Finnick, Cashmere, Gloss and so many others deserve to rest in peace. » Wolfe deeply enjoyed seeing her flinch and yet not contradict him.

« Do you plan on killing anyone else ? » Katniss said, frowning warily.

Wolfe mustered his best innocent smile. He'd looked everywhere, but he'd never found who had killed Phoenix, Lyall, Domitia and the rest of their family. The murders in One were shrouded in the same fog. The chaos of war had saved the culprits. It had infuriated him, sharpening his thirst for vengeance day after day, until he thought he would go truly mad. Lyme had convinced him to let it go. He still looked, and failure remained a distasteful prospect, but he was more at peace. It had been war. Those murderers could have been anyone.

As for the other people Wolfe could kill... Who wasn't so much an issue as how. He'd have to find something even more elegant than hijacking the mutt controls. « Right now, not really. I'll have to think about it. »

The New Republic did not torture. General Garren therefore resigned himself to stand proud in his blues and glare ineffectively at the lithe man before him.

He'd bowed when he'd been arrested, for fuck's sake.

Wolfe's smirk was maddening. Garren was keenly reminded of the Hunger Games, the distasteful ostentation of it all, but also the danger, the superstars. Wolfe behaved like a book villain come to life. He was too handsome, too sleek, and he reeked of madness.

« I have a twenty-page report on everything that's wrong with the mutt control systems and your safeguards. » Wolfe's soft insolent tone made clear that Garren should feel honored by the company. « I dare say seventy Capitolites of very dubious value is quite a fair trade. It is after all such a huge security breach. »

Garren counted to three. This.. this egomaniac had murdered and kidnapped rather than simply tell them that he wanted a job in intelligence and security. Garren's father, wise from decades of lawyering for the wealthiest, had been full of stories about prideful, outrageous men, but Wolfe outstripped them all. What would Garren tell the grieving loved ones?

« The report will indeed be valuable. Your intelligence also will, if you see fit to respect the law, » General Garren said through clenched teeth.

« So, » Wolfe said, drawing the words out like he had all the time in the world. « Have you made the deaths look like an accident yet, or will you tell the people the truth ? »

Garren repeated the question to the President when she dropped by.

« No, » Paylor said. « The truth is the best policy. You're going to get a tracker and start hunting the dissidents still hiding in the wilderness, since you have such strong feelings about justice. It's dangerous work, but assuredly nothing you can't handle. We'll even give you a couple of minions. »

Garren's eyebrows flew up at the choice of words but Wolfe eyed the President appraisingly.

« If I say no, Madam President ? »

Stop smiling, you little shit.

« You're getting a tracker and a you'll be flexing your muscles fixing the dam in Five with a hundred other criminals. Don't think you'll be you allowed enough freedom to stage a revolt. » Paylor smiled thinly. « And Lyme will be pissed at you. »

A flash of anger erased Wolfe's smirk. He chuckled ruefully, granting the President a nod. « Fine. When do I start ? »

Garren shot Paylor a resigned look. Working for someone competent and sane was the greatest blessing a man could ask for, but just this once, couldn't they just have Wolfe avoxed and be done with it ?

Year 10 of the New Republic

A very regal Seeder gazed fondly upon them, a magnificent black panther, Chance, at her feet.

« Stay still ! » Johanna huffed.

Annie couldn't, her attention stolen away by the thousand statues and unending alleys. They'd done it. They'd finished it. The Tribute Project, all 1800-ish of them, with their very own portraits, quotes, stories and families. Almost two thousand memorials, every one unique, all laid out in the arena of the 33rd, Seeder's beautiful grasslands.

The other arenas had been dismantled, recycled, erased, but Seeder's was to be their memorial, with Victor statues guarding every gate and crossroad. And because they'd needed an even number, a statue of Fife Chican, buried as Deirdre in Creneis Town, gazed down at the passersby from the Northern entrance.

The statues looked happy. Or at least not sad. That's why Annie couldn't look away. DeCharon, all of them, had outdone themselves. Annie wanted to talk to the tributes, to spend time by every one of them. She'd hesitated to come, but now she couldn't wait to find Barnacle. She knew he'd be smiling, and that she'd be able to handle it. She hadn't had a panic attack in four years, Finn would be proud.

« Is Daddy here ? » Marquise asked.

Annie squeezed her daughter's hand. Annie had been stunned to a daze when the doctors had told her they could try to make her pregnant using Finn's DNA. Having the procedure fail the first two times had been so hard that she had almost given up, for the sake of her own sanity. Caspian didn't deserve a mother locked in grief. But then Jo had volunteered to be her surrogate for a third try, and Annie had found the courage to try one last time. Marquise, all bouncy copper curls and inquisitive gazes, was her little miracle.

« Caspian, hold your sister's hand and go find your father and Mags. Read to her of Four's Victors, and if the speech isn't over yet, go find Delfina, and the rest of our allies. »

« Am I the only one who doesn't get this obsession with parading the dead ? » Johanna said.

Annie giggled. Jo was worse than Caspian and Marquise. She just couldn't stay quiet. « We ship our dead away, to free them and us. But of all the memorials, this one is the most important. »

« It's bloody creepy. I don't need a reminder ! »

Johanna squawked in protest when Beetee swatted her with his cap.

« Everyone else does, » he said. « Now be quiet, I helped write that speech. »

Johanna glared and then suddenly edged away from Annie.

Annie turned and beamed when Mr. DeCharon joined their group.

« This is beautiful," Annie said. "You've always done such great things, but this - . I'm going to rent a tent and spend a week just reading them all. »

A rueful laugh behind her, made Annie realize that Lyme was pale as a sheet, Bahamut and Enobaria were as stiff as stone, Katniss looked ready to bolt and Peeta had her hand in a death grip. Haymitch was alarmingly green and even Wolfe, his tracker-bracelet well in sight, was keeping busy looking for clovers in the grass. Jo was still sulking, and Mercury alone had a huge smile on her lips.

« Please buy a tent for two, Annie, » Mercury said. « I want to read all of them too. »

Enobaria muttered something Annie hoped her children would never overhear.

Annie smiled at Mercury. « I'd be happy to. »

« I wanted to ask, » DeCharon said softly, « What would she like as a memorial ? She adamantly refuses to consider anything other than a District Four sendoff ritual. Which is quite fine, and her body will be treated according to her wishes, but she's a prominent rebel and political figure. There must be a memorial. » DeCharon's lips twitched. « At least one. »

She was Glynn, standing across the alley from them, arm in arm with her daughter, her twinkling hazel eyes daring Death to come within ten feet of her. Annie giggled guiltily. Glynn would hate them for even having this conversation.

Finally, Paylor arrived, leading a group of officials through the main gates and up to where they were all waiting. Cressida directed the cameras, her sure gestures cutting through the chilly air. Annie couldn't believe how fast time had gone. How much the world had changed.

This would be Paylor's last speech as President. She would hand the Constitution of the New Republic to Aston Jeffery, elected the previous week. But first Paylor would bring ten difficult, and astonishing years to a close by telling them to remember.

Annie had to smile as Jeffery waved at the crowd. He was likable, he really was. What an odd trait for a President to have, but of the three that had been considered, he had been the one Annie had voted for too. Jeffery was a jovial, deep-voiced man born of District Six. He had been avoxed at age thirty, doing drudgery for a Capitol law firm. He'd become one of the most popular judges of the New Republic, and he had been one of the first to fully support Paylor's rehabilitation programs.

Annie happily clapped along with the crowd as Paylor stepped onstage.

She had faith in the future now. They really had won.

« Nori has the best memorial, » Marquise declared.

« It's the only one made with that opal-like stone and it's full of jewels. It's almost not fair, » Caspian added, the question all over his face.

« Nori liked being noticed and found beautiful, » Annie said, her throat constricting. « She'd have liked this. I hope they all would have. »

A strangled laugh built in her chest when she spotted Finnick in the central square. He'd never been so clothed in real life. The resemblance was painful and he was so achingly beautiful. But the message was clear : there were so many things to remember him by, his looks shouldn't come first. The statue's hand was outstretched towards an empty space, and Annie realized one day her own statue would reside here.

She shuddered despite herself. « Let me introduce you to some people, » she told her children, drinking in every drop of their delight.

This was how it should be. Understanding, remembrance and respect. Manageable grief.

She found Plutarch before one of the memorials. An elfin-looking little boy with a heart-breaking smile. Petrel Zander, District Four, tenth Games. He'd been twelve. Volunteer. 'I wanted to be a hero'. Annie inhaled sharply. He had to have been Mags' first.

« If not for him, I may never have become a rebel, » Plutarch said wistfully. « I sponsored him when I was nine. »

« You became a rebel because of this guy ? » Caspian said, now fascinated. « When you were nine ? »

Annie sat on the grass, leaving the bench to Plutarch. « Why don't you tell us about it, we have time. »

Plutarch smiled. « It all started in a hospital. I was eight, and I took Mags, she'd won not long before, to the zoo. Just the two of us, and we bought ice-creams. I never told her, but I always considered it my first date. » He pulled a sad face. « Such a pity she wasn't interested.»

Marquise giggled and Annie grinned, hugging her two treasures close.

Year 20 of the New Republic

Plutarch walked slowly, leaning on his cane. For once, not even Victoria cracked a joke about his age. His three children, now well into young adulthood, were too busy drinking in the sights and sounds.

Creneis Town was charming on any sunny day, but El Cambio made it come alive like nothing else. Plutarch did not focus on the dancing couples and merry musicians, instead his eyes fell on the candle shop by the sea. Next to it, an artisan sold carved toys and miniature boats crafted with exquisite details, and after that a woman sold ice creams and colored dresses. Even Charles was too young to realize how mind-boggling all this would have been before the rebellion. Artisans had been those too unfit to work, the old, the sick, mothers who had to stay home. The shops in Creneis had been few, selling only the barest necessities. If not for Reaping Day, there wouldn't even have been the tiny shop selling pretty clothes that now had become a candy store.

He knew Mags had tasted her first real candy in the Capitol.

If only you'd been here to see it all, Mags. You'd have felt like dancing among the youngsters.

Plutarch was thrilled to see tanned women wearing silk scarves and chiming bracelets, and tattooed men having traded their work clothes for a wide array of sleeveless jackets and colorful shorts.

Fashion had been outlawed by necessity, but slowly it was returning in all of Panem. Plutarch wondered if he'd live to see hospitals offer alterations in Eight or Eleven.

His dream had always been to make the whole of Panem like the Capitol. The very best of the Capitol, where keen minds worked hard and people were free to live their lives as they chose, in luxury.

He laughed when he saw a little boy showing off mutts trained to play the drums.

« Dad, there's something in the water, » Victoria called, hurrying back by his side.

Plutarch frowned. Slowly, the music stopped, policemen edging closer.

A white boat unlike any they'd seen before had appeared behind the reefs. It had neither sails nor masts, and was large enough to house a hundred people. It slowed, dropping anchor, and soon an orange lifeboat was rowing towards them.

« That's new, » a familiar voice said. « A secret Capitol project ? »

Plutarch squeezed Rhapsody's hand affectionately. « I hope so, » he said weakly.

Chatter and some music resumed, but almost every eye was on the strange boat. Somehow, Plutarch and Rhapsody found themselves on the first line on the beach.

Ten people, lead by an excited bald men, jumped off the boat, hands quite visible.

Wilderness survivors who'd patched up a ship ? It sounded just as ridiculous as anything Plutarch was coming up with. Those people's clothes were odd, very odd, but definitely good quality.

« Over here, » Rhapsody called, gesturing them forward.

The ten hesitated briefly when they noticed the policemen closing in, hands on their sheathed weapons, but the bald leader beamed.

« Back off a touch, please. » Plutarch told the officers. « They don't look like trouble yet. »

He blinked when the man started talking. He couldn't make any sense of it, and yet he was almost certain it was English. He could recognize some words, just not –

« ¿Hablas español? » Rhapsody inquired after a confusing moment.

The man lit up even further. « Enrica ! » He called to the group behind him.

This time, Rhapsody and the woman seemed able to understand each other.

Plutarch watched nervously as Rhaspody's eyes became wider and wider. Who were these people ?

Finally Rhapsody let out an incredulous laugh.

« Alright, » she said, turning back to Plutarch and the growing crowd of onlookers. « These fine people are from a place called Europe, across the ocean. »

The beach erupted in chatter, suddenly people were pressing closer to get a better look at the strangers.

« Their records say we were crazy savages with nuclear weapons, » Rhapsody continued. « The last time they came, their ships landed here a century ago, and never returned, except for one. The survivors said the others had been bombed and massacred. It does sound likely, » Rhapsody said with a lopsided smile. « We'd need to comb the records.»

« Soy Desmond, » the bald man said, sticking his hand out eagerly.

Plutarch shook his hand and smiled, happy to do something. "I am Plutarch." He frowned when he saw one of the men take out a… a small phone ?

« They're calling across the ocean, » Rhapsody breathed after Enrica had explained.

Plutarch blanched. That kind of technology, mobile communication, Internet... It had all been lost after the Cataclysm. Those Europe people still had it ? What about weapons? Did they have long-range missiles ? Combat planes? All those things Panem could never match...

Desmond yelped in surprise when he saw a mutt scurry by with a bundle of rope. « What's that? »

Definitely English, how peculiar. Maybe the language had simply diverged too much over the last century, unlike Spanish which had been passed down unchanged in District Four families and among Capitol scholars.

From the look in Desmond's and Enrica's eyes, biology in Europe had taken as much of a blow as weapons and electronics in Panem. Plutarch smiled once more, happy to see the technological field somewhat leveled. Conquerors would be a nightmare, but friendly neighbors sounded like a nice adventure.

« They came to establish communications. » Rhapsody said, her own excitement mounting as she translated. « There's no ship aside from this one, and they don't mean to come live here, just talk. They say there are eight million people in Europe, and seven more scattered in Africa and Asia, at least that they know of, and that while they don't want to disrupt us, they'd be thrilled to get their homeland in contact with us. »

Fifteen million ? Incredible. Panem would not reach two million for another generation at least.

Plutarch nodded dumbly. « They and their crew can come back to the Capitol with us. I'm sure Creneis can find a spot for the ship. Send for a hovercraft,» he told Charles, a shadow crossing his expression. « We'll need to quarantine them.» Who knew what kind of bacteria and viruses they were carrying ?

Plutarch shook his head. « They think we're murderous savages but they come with no weapons? Are they criminals who had no other choice ? »

« I'm not sure that's polite talk for a first meeting, » Rhapsody pointed out. She nevertheless turned back to Enrica.

« Okay, » she said after a while, trying hard not to laugh. « These people don't believe in weapons. Like, their countries have almost completely banned them, and Enrica told me, very seriously, that they were certain that the records were exaggerated and that we had to be civilized. » Rhapsody's smile turned wry. « Plus, there's a huge money bonus proportional to the population discovered when they establish contact with a new group. »

« You told them we're over one million ? »

Rhapsody nodded. « Why do you think they're jumping around like kids ? » She swallowed. « So, we trust them ? »

Plutarch's lips twisted. « Let's monitor the coasts and keep the bombs ready, just in case. But, I hope they're nice, » he added brightly.

« All right then! You can start playing again and change sails, » Rhapsody shouted, turning towards the thick crowd. « You'll be seeing these guys on TV with explanations and everything. Panem's not the only place with humans, and they seem nice ! »

The cheering was deafening, barely tinged with the suspicion that would have won over just ten years before. El Cambio's atmosphere was partially to blame, but Plutarch couldn't help feeling a huge sense of satisfaction.

And elation.

Europe. Plutarch had one last trip to make before he died.

Year 50 of the New Republic

Enobaria loosely held Mercury's hand, and tried to distract her by tugging on her fingers. It was useless. The Games had her riveted. The woman's free hand was scribbling notes so fast Enobaria wondered if Mercury hadn't had her fingers enhanced in secret.


Enobaria sighed and put her feet on Bahamut's chair. Her mentor raised his eyebrows, all but asking if she wanted a reaction. Enobaria mimed fencing and smirked when he flipped her off.

They'd dueled for old time's sake the week before. It had been one of the most mortifying –and inescapably hilarious- moments of their lives. They were the saddest Careers Panem had ever seen.

Enobaria hoped that now that medical research was once more a thing –just without the desperate people lining up to be lab rats – a fit ninety would become a reality. Enobaria's muscles had packed their bags sometime in the last decade. A fit eighty was already nice, but when you could expect to make it past a hundred nowadays…

Bahamut had now the distinction of being the oldest victor. Beetee had died at the venerable age of eighty-nine, making fun of himself on his deathbed in Europe as his body burned up from acute food poisoning. His last words were 'I'm glad my curiosity was the thing that killed me', because of course he'd say shit like that. Enobaria dug her nails in Mercury's hands and didn't even earn a scowl. Barely a wince. Threes.

Haymitch had died peacefully in his sleep, probably just to spite Effie who would wake the dead whenever she caught Haymitch drunk after the rebellion. Wolfe on the other hand… He'd finally run out of luck chasing down Panem's most hardened criminals, sticking himself in trouble even his silver tongue couldn't get him out of. Enobaria laughed softly. Even Katniss' grand-daughter had Wolfe's biography hidden under her bed. Avenging Victors, bad boy criminal fighting crime, and how could anyone with such a cute smile be truly evil ? Wolfe had fulfilled his life ambition : he wasn't about to be forgotten. At least not by teenage girls thirsty for adventure.

Enobaria stole a glance at Johanna. That bitch had made the service mutts put all the food on her side. Gale had fried himself during forcefield tests five years before. He'd always felt the need to compensate for something by taking risks… Johanna still brought him up in almost every conversation. It seemed that despite four breakups, she'd never really managed to get rid of him. Enobaria kicked Bahamut's chair.

« Please get some food over ? » She said, putting on her best damsel in distress air.

Bahamut was enough of a dear to indulge her.

She bared her teeth when Johanna glowered at her. Gale had been a decent guy, which was why Enobaria kept any comments she could have made to herself. People just didn't appreciate how hard she worked at being nice.

Lyme had hunted down Wolfe's murderers, because that's what mentors did. She'd left the bodies, alive for questioning, right in front of the Presidential Palace, just so no-one could say she had issues with the modern Justice System. Enobaria had to admire her for it. Lyme had left for Europe when she'd hit ninety, following Plutarch's, Glynn's and Beetee's steps, travelling until death found her. Legend said she'd been eaten in Africa by some crazy mutt-men, but Bahamut had admitted she'd keeled over after having drunk her weight in local alcohol at some religious ceremony. Apparently Africa was big on gods, although they couldn't agree on which god was the right one, and one side was adamant that they had just one god when it really sounded like three.

Enobaria had managed through twenty pages of the Bible before giving it to Mercury and asking her to give her a short, intelligible version when she was done. She'd soon discovered spirituality wasn't her thing. And that one god still sounded like three. Even Mercury couldn't give her a straight explanation.

Katniss and Peeta sat next to Annie, with their two children and three grandchildren. It seemed that while Marquise and Caspian had a life, the Everdeen had to always move in packs. In the end, they and Annie were the only ones who'd trusted themselves enough to reproduce. Enobaria had asked Mercury if she wanted to adopt, then Enobaria would be able to babysit regularly without having to get too involved in the kid thing, but in the end they'd settled for three fluffy squid-like mutts that came straight from the experimental vats. They were scary intelligent, and Enobaria had even caught Mercury trying to teach Ursula to read.

« Annie, do those tattoos mean something ? » Mercury asked, her eyes still on the Games. Four's division looked like someone had mistaken them for canvas and painted all over them.

« Did they pay you to write a book on those or something ? » Enobaria teased.

She winced when Mercury's nails dug into her palm. « This is History, pay attention. »

Bloody Threes.

The second Talent Games had all the Districts going crazy. They lasted for the whole month of April, where six teenaged volunteers of every district had to wow the crowds and judges and they were playing for real. No matter how carefully the rules were drafted, the children made it brutal, collecting burns and massive bruises, as they went all out in all kind of races and competitions that mixed physical skill, technical knowledge and raw intelligence. The first week was basically training days, with mock competitions until alliances, 'teams', were made. No one had died, yet. Sponsors weren't going to happen, not while the Constitution stood, but Enobaria could tell there would be a mentoring system by the fifth Games. Prizes were plentiful, the obligatory banquets bountiful–

« Johanna, try to snatch the chips again and I'll chew off your fingers, » Enobaria snapped. « You've got your own. »

In the end everyone went home reminded that every industry, every job, has its beauty to it.

Suck on that, Snow.

Year 100 of the New Republic.

It used to be called Reaping Day. People used to be terrified. The only thing Callie had in common with the kids back then were the two hours she'd spent making sure she looked her best.

She rubbed her knee vigorously, hoping no one could see the dirt stains. Maybe she shouldn't have picked up the dog for one last hug after he'd been out in the rain…

Now they called it Names Day now. Some of the names everyone knew. Katniss, Peeta, Snow, Mags, Finnick, Paylor, Plutarch, Alma Coin... Others had briefly slipped her mind, Beetee, Valerian, Glynn, Marquise, Lyme, but Callie knew exactly where to go in the libraries if she wanted to learn things about them.

Callie craned her neck every time, because she knew at least three people with each of those names. Well, not Snow.

How exciting it must've been, to live those times. Now everything was rather boring. She wished she'd one day meet a boy half as handsome as Finnick. She wouldn't even mind if he turned out to be younger than her.

She pushed her bangs out of her eyes. Now that she was twelve, she'd been allowed to pick her first industry. Her stomach churned from excitement as she headed towards the trains. She'd be coming home only twice a month, and she was a bit on the fence about that, but it'd be in those blue hovercrafts she had watched land in the field behind her house since she'd not even known how to say hovercraft.

She'd dreamed of flying in one since forever.

« Callie, Your application to Nine has been accepted, » the policeman said, handing her her official card.

Callie had already known, but she cheered all the same. 'I'm in !' She texted Mom. Her family thought she was crazy, but the idea of riding huge tractors and overseeing the machines in mills was the coolest thing. Besides, Callie wasn't exactly the best in her class, but Nine wasn't really popular so she wouldn't have to battle too hard to get a good job. Maybe if she found something she was good enough, she might sign up for Nine's Talent Games team. It'd be a dream to make it in.

As soon as she got on the train, she looked at the available talks for the kids –there were over a hundred-and-thirty of them just from District Ten - going off to Nine for their first internship. Callie could already tell she'd make the most awesome friends. It sucked that neither Emil, Plutarch, nor Cimbeline had been at all interested by District Nine. Losers.

One topic caught her eye. 'Don't forget the little sisters. Primrose Everdeen, Esperanza Abalone : the families behind our heroes.'

Callie sniggered at the thought of Leda swooping to save her. Leda would try her best, for sure, but she was so awkward and skinny. Six's hospitals were really the best place for her. Everyone, Leda herself included, had wanted her in Three or Five, but Callie hadn't been surprised when Leda had switched again and again before finally settling in Six. Leda always had that huge toothy smile on her when she spoke of the bacteria she worked with. Ugh. Callie was probably the one who'd end up saving her.

Callie excitedly perused the flyer of the talk. She hoped the speaker would make it lively and use the time to help them all get to know each other.

Callie fiddled with her auburn ponytail as she hurried towards wagon 5, wondering if she could manage a braid that looked like Primrose's Reaping Day hair. It was so pretty. She always loved seeing pictures of rebel heroes when they were her age.

It must have been so exciting to live back then…


Don't go yet! I did my part guys, now it's your turn^^ Please review!

I don't hesitate to edit chapters when it comes to typos and details (especially since I don't have a beta and am often impatient to publish), so don't hesitate to say if I've left a loose end or if something doesn't make sense.