I was left alone on my steel bed in what appeared to be a small room. There were no furnishings, apart from a few Capitol emblems and machines that monitored my condition. Nobody came in for about fifteen minutes, and when they did, I became more confused that I already was. It seemed that they had expected me to be alive. That they knew I wasn't dead. So then why was I here?
The man who came into the room didn't say a word to me. I made no move to speak to him either. He fiddled with some dials and switches on my monitors, and then left. He must be an Avox. Otherwise he surely would have spoken to me.
About ten minutes later, another person entered. This time, a woman. A man followed closely at her heels. She was holding a clipboard in her manicured hands. The man who accompanied her swung a keychain round his stubby fingers. The beeping from the monitors increased in speed as they approached me. The woman smirked.
'Tell me, Katniss,' she began, in an accented voice, 'Do you have any idea why you're here?'
I remained silent. I wasn't going to answer these people's questions. Not while they had me imprisoned. When I didn't give any indication that I was about to reply, the woman raised her eyebrows, scribbled something onto her clipboard, then continued to address me.
'I'll tell you why you're here then, Katniss, if you're not prepared to speak with me. You're here, Katniss, because you have information that we need; information on the Rebels. And believe you me, we intend to get it. By whatever means possible.'
I gulped. And it must have been audible, because the woman gave me a sickly sweet smile, and then continued to speak.
'Tonight, we'll be conducting an interview with you live on television. It will be compulsory viewing. It will be broadcast to every television set across Panem. And you, Katniss, are to behave yourself. Do you understand? Because if you try anything stupid, your friend Peeta will be dead.'
As soon as I woke up, I was on my feet. Despite the pain that shot up my leg when I stood, I steadied myself against the bed, and then started for the door. I could tell that I was no longer on the hovercraft because there was no rocking motion, however I still felt dizzy. I assured myself that it was probably just the effects of the drugs I had been given wearing off. Nothing permanent.
I found the door locked when I reached it. Letting out a frustrated grunt, I slammed my fist against the door, once, twice, three times, until someone came to unlock it. I wasn't surprised to see Haymitch there, when the door opened. He stepped quickly into the room and closed the door behind him.
'Put these on,' he said, handing me a bundle of grey clothing, 'You're about to be briefed.'
Haymitch left the room while I changed, and met me outside my door in a hallway.
'I'm guessing we're in District 13 now?' I asked, tiredly.
'You guessed correctly. That's what you're about to be briefed on. Things aren't run the same here as they are in District 12, Peeta.'
'How can we be in District 13? This place was destroyed years ago. And why couldn't we just go back to 12?' I asked, becoming agitated.
'You'll hear all about that when you're briefed.'
First they told me that District had been surviving underground since the uprising all those years ago. I could handle that. That was fine. Yes, it was shocking, but it was still fine. But then came the news that nothing could have prepared me for.
'Peeta, we're very sorry to inform you that you will not be returning to District Twelve anywhere in the foreseeable future,' One of the men in the briefing room said.
'Why not? What if I don't want to stay here?'
'Peeta, District Twelve no longer exists. The survivors all reside here now.'
'Survivors?' I choked out.
'What's that supposed to mean?' I yelled, smashing a fist onto the table that sat in front of me.
'Like we said, we're very sorry to have to tell you all this,' a woman began, 'Peeta, your family didn't make it out of District Twelve in time.'
'Well then let's go and get them!' I said angrily.
'I'm afraid we can't, Peeta. They're dead.'
And that's when I ran.
No-one came after me, for which I was glad. I don't know what I would have done to them. I couldn't handle being around people at the moment. Perhaps the only person I could think of who would have any positive effect on me was Katniss. She was the one I needed. But there was no way for me to get her. I let out a sigh. I shouldn't be thinking of Katniss right now. I should be grieving for my family.
Falling back onto my bed, I saw something flash in the corner of my eye. A television screen, mounted onto the wall. I sat bolt upright as it flickered to life. Onscreen, was Caesar Flickerman's face, smiling widely.
'Here with us today – the day after contestants were removed from the Quarter Quell – is Katniss Everdeen. A round of applause for one of the winners of last year's Hunger Games!'
I froze. Katniss. The crowd went wild at the mere mention of her name. I held my breath as I waited to see what sort of condition she was in; waited to see if she was okay. The camera panned to her. She didn't sit on a couch dressed in pink like she used to. There was no softness to her now. She was dressed in a tight black dress. For a fleeting moment I wondered who had picked that out for her. My lip curled in disgust. This wasn't Katniss. She held her body stiffly, as if somebody had frozen her limbs into place, and the expression on her face was blank. But she looked healthy. Physically, anyway. There was no telling what was running through her head right now, although it was probably along the same lines as what was running through mine: confusion, anger, and fear.
'So, Katniss, tell me, how do you feel, being one of the victor's two Games in a row?' Caesar asked. The audience's applause was deafening.
'I wouldn't expect any of you to understand what it feels like,' Katniss replied coldly.
Caesar gave a genial laugh, and continued his interrogation of Katniss.
' Well, Katniss, since you and the other remaining tributes were removed from the arena, there has been a quite considerable backlash from the surrounding Districts. What have you got to say to them?'
He gave her a pointed look, and held the microphone out to her. Katniss stared down the camera. It was as if she were making direct eye contact with me.
'I've got to say, Caesar, that the Capitol wants this all to stop. They want the Districts to stop their Rebellion. And I've got to say that because they're forcing me to. What I want to say is tha-'
Two guards who were standing on the side of the stage rushed forward and grabbed Katniss' arms. There was a short scuffle, and the two men began to drag Katniss away. The camera cut back to Caesar who looked only mildly flustered.
'That will be all for tonight, citizens of Panem. Goodni-'
Then there was a yell that could only have been Katniss.
'REBEL!' She screamed, at the top of her lungs. Then the screen went black.
I let out all my breath at once and fell back against the bed, tears in my eyes.
AN: Well, there you go. That one's a little longer. Still not as long as I'd have liked, but I felt that that was the right place to finish the chapter at it. Things are about to get going! So review and let me know what you think! Many thanks to those who reviewed the first chapter and to who put it on story alert. Hope you continue to enjoy. (: