"It's called Hijacking. They pump a person full of tracker jacker venom and then play video for them while torturing them. The idea is to break the person down so completely that they will be consumed by fear and rage."
"They programed him?"
"He threw a knife. He tried to kill a nurse and he keeps hurting himself. We can barely get an IV into him because he will rip the line out and take the needle to his face."
"Cato spent his childhood going through a rigorous career school where he was tortured on and off to increase his pain tolerance. He also spent a year of his life regularly sedated. He built up an immunity. Best guess they have been doing this treatment for little over a week, since the last propo."
"You are telling me that the monster we have in our medical facility is the best option coming out of hijacking?"
"Best? No. But he has a coping mechanism he used after the games."
"We can't have him harming himself regularly. We can't have a mentally unstable man with his skills in district thirteen."
"He doesn't do it when Prim is his nurse." A third voice.
"He has a bond with the children of twelve. They used to even him out when he couldn't do any of his other 'coping mechanisms'. Put a kid on Cato guard until he can be better treated." the third voice offers.
"We don't know if he can ever be treated. The groundwork for this kind of torture reversal just doesn't exist."
"How about we keep him from cutting himself to ribbons first and then we talk about mental health Bee."
"We need him Haymitch. The revolution needs both of them. If only to keep her motivated."
Cato is sick. They tell him that his friend is sick and needs friends. Rory wants to help. Turns out helping is easy. He sits with Cato in the hospital. They eat together without utensils, eating with his hands is fun. Rory talks and Cato listens. Pasley comes sometimes and tells Cato stories.
Prim brings the cat, Buttercup one day. Cato and the cat stare at each other. Madge comes by one evening so Rory can go to dinner. She is hugging Cato and crying when he leaves.
The doctors don't have to bandage him up as much. They let Cato walk around as long as Rory, or Prim, or Pasley, or one of the other kids walks with him.
Cato starts doing push ups in the morning.
"You saved us." Rory tells Cato. "We all had escape routes to the fence ready and so many of us got out when the bombed twelve."
"Good." Cato responds evenly.
"Am I helping?"
"Yes." Cato doesn't like to Rory. He smiles at his friend and Cato's eyes crinkle slightly.