Epilogue: Trouble Rebels
The 64th Hunger Games were a blur for Cressida. She and Castor watched it with a Peacekeeper breathing down their necks. She forced herself to cheer and clap when Finnick Odair was crowned Victor. Marianne dragged her to the shops to buy Finnick Odair merchandise. "I told you to root for District 4! Oh my gosh! Finnick is so hot and sexy!" Marianne screeched one day as they were on the commuter train coming back from the Central Capital Mall. Cressida nodded.
"Yes, he's very handsome." Marianne blinked and stared at Cressida who's smile couldn't hide the sadness in her eyes. Suddenly Marianne wrapped Cressida in a hug. "Cressida - I'm so sorry - I shouldn't be talking about Finnick in front of you when you lost your boyfriend!"
"I - thanks, Marianne." Cressida said quietly. She knew it would be the closest thing to sympathy Marianne would be able to manage.
After that year, Cressida went to Film and Photojournalism school. She kept in touch with Castor and the Smiths even after she moved to another part of the Capital. Meanwhile, Tom was working his way up in the ranks of the government as an accountant. Eventually Cressida landed a job with the Secretary of Communications. Ironically enough, her first government assignment was coordinating the filming of the opening ceremonies for one Hunger Games.
"We have a new camera-man for you, Ms. Wilson." An administrative assistant said at the door. Cressida nodded.
"Thanks, Avery!" She called. "Come in!" She called coming out from behind her desk. The door opened slowly. Cressida gasped. Pollux was standing in the doorway in an Avox uniform holding a portfolio of photos he had taken while working in the sewers.
"Pollux?" Cressida asked quietly. He looked around the office Cressida had inhabited for the past three years and smiled. "Yeah - I'm an assistant production director now." She said shyly. Pollux stared at her once again feeling like his fourteen year old self seeing Cressida all dressed up for the first time. She was wearing a pressed deep-purple suit-skirt. Her hair had been shaved and vines were tattooed on her head as it was an unspoken rule that higher-ups had to have alterations of some kind so there was no question that they conformed to the Capital culture.
"Well, may I see your portfolio?" She said, her professional demeanor taking over. Pollux gave it to her. "These look nice. You've been transferred for one year now?" Pollux nodded. Castor had written that he, the Smiths, Tom, and even Beetee and Wiress had paid Pollux's way out of the sewer system. "How have you trained for this position?" Cressida asked. Immediately, her face flushed realizing Pollux couldn't speak. Pollux smiled at her and pulled out a notepad.
I have been studying manuals of different video cameras and I have had prior electronics experience. Cressida nodded.
"Well - it looks like you're a good fit for our position." She handed Pollux some forms to sign stating that income from his work would go to the Capital as he was still in their custody and that he would not copy documents, write, or otherwise communicate confidential information he would be privy to in his line of work. She smiled at him and reached for his hand. Pollux felt her thumb brush the back of his hand during their handshake. He smiled at her and left with his Peacekeeper escort.
He started small with filming interviews and filming meetings for the department's records. After one year he began to do projects filming different officials' publicity stints. As an Avox, he was an integral part of the planning meetings as the officials would discuss how their stint would calm the increasing unhappiness in the districts without the fear that he would spread the word to others.
He and Cressida were looking at their latest video shoot when Cressida's communication device buzzed. She opened a picture message and smiled at the familiar code. Pollux looked at it and smiled. Meet outside your office. Twenty minutes with your best camera-man. Can't wait to show you your next project. Tom. Cressida and Pollux packed their video equipment and Cressida opened a file cabinet where she kept her secret stash of documents. They walked to the back of the building. Tom waved at them from a government-issue Sport Utility Vehicle. "Hey, Cress!"
"Hey!" Cressida called.
"Come on! I have a story breaking in my department! You guys need to get on it!" Tom called. Cressida and Pollux got into the car. Tom slammed on the gas and turned a corner. For anyone watching from the office windows, the SUV turned the corner as a semi-truck carrying metal pipes for a new sewer-line came down the street. The SUV appeared to be nearly crushed. An ambulance showed up a few minutes later and pulled three figures out of the crushed car seconds before it burst into flame.
"Way to make an exit, little bro!" Cressida opened her eyes. She was laying on a bed in a room about the size of a bedroom. Instead of her suit, she was wearing a simple grey dress. She turned her head to see Pollux on another bed to her left. He was wearing a similar grey t-shirt and slacks. She put together that they had been treated for their wounds from the escape stunt. Castor waved to her from a chair next to his brother's bed. "Welcome aboard District 13 Airlines where your IV drips were completely complimentary." In spite of herself, Cressida laughed.
"Our parents would kill you if they knew you totaled a government car, Tom." Cressida said sitting up to look at Tom who was sitting cross-legged on his bed, a cast on his left arm.
"Our parents probably think we're dead, Cress. They think Pollux is dead too." Tom explained.
"Yup. You're dead." Castor said confidently. "I was watching the TV broadcast while you were all out." Pollux sat up and poked Castor. "Oh - right." Castor handed Pollux a notepad. "I think yours got burned up along with your uniform, bro." Pollux shrugged.
At least I'm here. With everyone. Pollux wrote and smiled.
"Yeah, everyone meaning Cress." Castor quipped. Pollux scribbled something on a piece of paper, wadded it up and threw it at Castor's face. "Hahaha 'shut up, big bro.' Funny, Pollux." Castor said reading the paper before throwing it back.
"Did you guys get my equipment?" Cressida asked once the twins stopped poking and making faces at each other. She shook her head. After nearly ten years, some things never changed.
"Yeah." Castor held up Cressida's briefcase and camera bag. "Your documents are in here. Here's the plan: We're headed to District 13. We're going to shoot video for the rebellion, first documenting what they're doing in Thirteen then hopefully we'll break into the districts. Cressida, you as the boss-lady will report to the rebel command. Little bro and I are your camera people." Cressida laughed.
"What about Tom?" Cressida asked.
"I'm keeping the books for the rebellion." Tom explained. "I'll have to show you my cubicle sometime, sis." Cressida laughed.
"Well, guys." Cressida said smiling. "Looks like the Trouble Triplets are back in business!" Pollux laughed and slapped his brother on the back before giving both him and Cressida a thumbs-up.
"Hey, last time I counted, there were four of us now!" Tom protested.
"Oh - Ok, the bean-counter's obviously right." Castor muttered. "Cress, Tom, come here!" The hovercraft had touched down and they were about to disembark the plane. The four of them formed a circle. "Hands in the middle like old times." Cressida and Pollux gripped hands and smiled at each other. "Stop that, you two!" Castor groaned good naturely. "One... two.. three... four..."
"GO GO GO GO TROUBLE REBELS!" they all cheered before the doors to the hovercraft opened. Tom, Cressida, Pollux, and Castor all grabbed hands after grabbing their personal items. They disembarked cheerfully and confidently. No matter how the rebellion turned out, they knew they would make a difference together.