“Why couldn’t you get shrimp? Is it out of season?” I ask.
“Oh, Katniss, we haven’t been able to get any seafood for weeks!” says Octavia. “You know, because the weather’s been so bad in District Four.”
My mind starts buzzing. No seafood. For weeks. From District 4. The barely concealed rage in the crowd during the Victory Tour. And suddenly I am absolutely sure that District 4 has revolted.
Do these three genuinely not know about the revolts, or are they lying? Either way, it’s very clear what is actually going on. And it’s not weather related.
I begin to question them casually about what other hardships this winter has brought them. They are not used to want, so any little disruption in supply makes an impact on them. By the time I’m ready to be dressed, their complaints about the difficulty of getting different products — from crabmeat to music chips to ribbons — has given me a sense of which districts might actually be rebelling. Seafood from District 4. Electronic gadgets from District 3. And, of course, fabrics from District 8. The thought of such widespread rebellion has me quivering with fear and excitement.
Me, too! It’s good to know that other Districts are rebelling. It’ll give the people of District 12 hope to do the same if Katniss can get the word out! She’s kind of the only one that knows.
Haymitch and I can speak in a kind of shorthand now. In a few minutes I’ve updated him and he’s told me about rumors of uprisings in Districts 7 and 11 as well. If my hunches are right, this would mean almost half the districts have at least attempted to rebel.
Yeesh, even more! I wonder how many guys the Capitol has. Like, if every district rebelled at the same time, would the Peacekeepers be spread too thin? It was easy for them to overcome District 8 because they were the only ones. But would such widespread chaos be enough? Could they stand a chance? Of course that’s what happened last time, isn’t it. They all tried to rebel at once, and got defeated.
Also, where does Haymitch get his information? He always seems one step ahead. Maybe he’s just observant like Katniss.
“So you think Thirteen was really destroyed? I mean, Bonnie and Twill were right about the footage of the mockingjay,” I say.
“Okay, but what does that prove? Nothing, really. There are plenty of reasons they could be using old footage. Probably it looks more impressive. And it’s a lot simpler, isn’t it? To just press a few buttons in the editing room than to fly all the way out there and film it?” he says. “The idea that Thirteen has somehow rebounded and the Capitol is ignoring it? That sounds like the kind of rumor desperate people cling to.”
“I know. I was just hoping,” I say.
“Exactly. Because you’re desperate,” says Haymitch.
I don’t argue because, of course, he’s right.
I don’t buy it. There’s something going on there. There’s just got to be.
Each shot is met with a huge reaction from the crowd. People screaming and cheering for their favorites, booing the ones they don’t like. Having voted, and probably bet on the winner, people are very invested in my wedding gown. It’s bizarre to watch when I think how I never even bothered to try one on before the cameras arrived. Caesar announces that interested parties must cast their final vote by noon on the following day.
Wow how did I not guess that Katniss’s wedding dress would be a show for the Capitol in itself? They always need something to vote and bet on, don’t they?
President Snow goes on to tell us what happened in the previous Quarter Quells. “On the twenty-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that their children were dying because of their choice to initiate violence, every district was made to hold an election and vote on the tributes who would represent it.”
What the…fuck? Now that is hugely fucked up. What criteria would they base it on? How did the voting system work? I feel like everyone would vote for the better-off people. Like, if they had done that this year, I feel like people would have voted for Madge. Not that that’s entirely okay, it’s still fucked up and twisted, but they probably wouldn’t have much of a problem sending the girl who has money and food to eat and has never had to sign up for tesserae. And I wonder what it was like for the victor when he/she finally made it home.
“On the fiftieth anniversary,” the president continues, “as a reminder that two rebels died for each Capitol citizen, every district was required to send twice as many tributes.” I imagine facing a field of forty-seven instead of twenty-three. Worse odds, less hope, and ultimately more dead kids. That was the year Haymitch won…
Oh man, imagine the Cornucopia at that one! And how the fuck did Haymitch win? I’d like to FIND out. And based on what President Snow said, two rebels died for every Capitol citizen. How many people died in the rebellion? I guess if the entire District 13 was (allegedly) blasted off the map, it much have been a lot.
Without hesitation, he reads, “On the seventy-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot overcome the power of the Capitol, the male and female tributes will be reaped from their existing pool of victors.”
WHAT THE FUCK, so these people who have already survived the Hunger Games once will have to go again? And there will be people of all ages, too, which is weird. It’s a great way to send the message they’re trying to make, but GD IT!
Then I get it, what it means. At least, for me. District 12 only has three existing victors to choose from. Two male. One female…
I am going back into the arena.
AND KATNISS IS GUARANTEED A FUCKING SPOT IN THE GAMES FUCKING JESUS CHRIST HOLY SHIT SNACKS. When I wondered aloud a few chapters back whether we’d see another Hunger Games, especially this being the Quarter Quell, I didn’t think we’d be ACTUALLY SEEING IT. LIKE WE’D BE ACTUALLY IN IT. AGAIN. And Haymitch has already been through not just a Hunger Games, but the last Quarter Quell! He might have to do a second one! Or Peeta! And they’re not really going to need mentors since they’ve done it already. And the tributes for the Games next year will have two less mentors (well, one less in the district of the victor)!
This is just all kinds of fucked up.