I let the arrow fly, see it hit its mark and vanish, pulling the thread of gold behind it. My hair stands on end and the lightning strikes the tree.

Catching Fire, Chapter 26

District 1 explodes.

St. James House owns the district's finest wineries. The most exclusive, expensive champagne produced by the ancient house is called Luxe and sells at 20,000 sesterces. Winners of elections, hoverball tournaments, and the Hunger Games are often seen on television, drenched in Luxe champagne that bursts from diamond encrusted bottles after a vigorous shake.

When Katniss's arrow strikes the forcefield, District 1 bursts in the same way, drenching the district in blood, and fire, and vengeance.

The rebels have prepared for this moment for decades. They have weapons from District 3, commissioned with money from the Luxe and Plat fund and smuggled into the district on the tribute trains, where no one would think to look. They have leaders trained in combat and tactics. Washouts from the DAEYD, who served the Capitol and serviced the elite until their beauty and novelty faded. But their knowledge and training never did. They have a plan. Take the district block by block. Barricade the trade streets. Shut down the guilds. Corral the Peacekeepers into the central square and fix every gun barrel on them. Collect their discarded weapons, accept the surrenders, march the prisoners of war into a large silk warehouse.

As for the Victors? They had eyes on the Village. Gleam was harmless. Song had a family and wouldn't risk their lives doing anything foolish. Luster would cower in his palatial estate like the craven he was, sue for peace and pardon. If there was one thing the monster was known for, it was his desire to live and the cunning to know when the odds were stacked against him.

Katniss's arrow hits the forcefield, and the plans go to shit within seconds.

Because the District 1 rebellion had not accounted for the rage and fury of three generations. Three generations of children being sold, assaulted, pawed, and broken. Three generations of workers losing fingers and eyes and hearing, begging on the streets as the Great Houses wined and dined on their hills and in their villas. Three generations of their girls and boys finding ways to commit suicide while maintaining deniability on live television, so they didn't have to face after.

District 1 explodes.

There is not just one rebellion in District 1. There are a dozen. Rebellions of the workers and the goldsmiths, the spicers and the tanners, the Great Houses who lost as much as anyone during the era of the Games. They have no plans or leaders, just one goal.


They march through the streets, smashing windows, burning shops, dragging collaborators into the streets with their families and shooting them as they beg for their lives. Peacekeepers mow down a dozen, then a dozen more, and a dozen more, but still they pour into the streets and clawed their way forward. The negligible Peacekeeper force in District One is torn apart, literally. White-clad arms and feet and heads lie on the cobbled streets for days.

The Head Peacekeeper is strung up on a tree, a diamond stuffed down his throat. His deputy, who took advantage of his position on too many young, beautiful boys too many times, is castrated before he's hung.

The Victors die too. Song and her husband are executed side-by-side. They find Gleam hiding under a desk in the DAEYD. The liberated cadets find a chain and lash him to one of the great entrance pillars below the engraved words of the Treaty of Treason. The instructors are locked inside the gymnasium.

It takes three attempts to properly bomb the DAEYD, but when it's done, nothing remains of that house of horrors but smoking rubble and charred bones.

And Luster? The mob finds him before the rebel leaders do. True to form, they find him alone in his study, sipping a pour of eighteen-year-aged bourbon from District 7. They drag him out of his mansion, strip him naked, and cane him down the hill, laughing and jeering.

The graphite compressor! they chant. To the graphite compressor!

And only now he shows fear, keening and wailing and begging for his life, sobbing as he stumbles on the Street of Spices and again on the Street of Stones. He beats his hands bloody on the metal of the tube as they shove him in and close the massive steel hatch.

A press of the button. A whir of machinery. The begging turns to an animal wail, and then suddenly silence.

A diamond pops down the shoot. Dull and pocked with flaws. Worthless.

The rebel leaders are furious, and a bit frightened. "Are you sure it was him?" they ask a hundred times. "Are you absolutely sure it was him?" The Victor was cunning and cruel and it wouldn't be beyond him to switch out a body-double with promises of rewards and riches, obscuring the truth to his servant of what was coming. And the rebellion itself shorted out the security cameras at the very start of the uprising, so there's no visual proof.

But the victim of the mob was the right age and the right coloring, and there's no sign of the Victor of the Thirtieth Hunger Games in the coming days. The fear dies away, and thoughts turn to putting out the fires, cleaning the streets, cataloging the dead.

On the day Katniss sends an arrow through President Coin's heart, the District is once again thrown into disarray. In the scramble following the power vacuum, a single gondola slips down the canal, under the ruined Bridge of Lovers, and out into the shallow sea.

No one notices.