I polished my automatic rifle and slung several chains of ammo over my shoulder. "Ya got your arrows, Catnip?" I asked as Catnip put her quiver over her shoulder and picked up her bow.
"Yeah." She replied.
"Camera crew at the ready?" Boggs asked taking one last look at the holo before closing it and stowing it in a backpack.
"Yes, sir." Cressida called.
"Odair? Mellark?" Boggs asked Peeta and Finnick who were chained together.
"This hotness is ready to roll!" Finnick called causing most of us to roll our eyes.
"Ready, sir." Peeta replied. He glanced at Catnip earning a glare from me. My eyes bore into his daring him to make a wrong move.
"Let's go down North Fifth Ave." Boggs called as we began marching toward the center of the Capitol. We stopped under the balcony of an apartment building. Finnick moved to the front of the line, his trident at the ready. "Aim. Fire!" Boggs called. Finnick threw his trident at a certain brick causing it to explode with flying glass. "COVER!" Boggs called as I shielded Catnip from the shards. "Odair?" Boggs asked.
"Oh yeah!" Finnick cheered standing in the street raising his trident and flexing his muscles for the camera crew.
"Good shot." Cressida remarked.
"Thanks." Finnick said winking. Pollux playfully smacked his boss and flexed his own muscles. Cressida laughed and took his hand. We walked several blocks before we paused yet again as Boggs double-checked his holo. I could hear Cressida ordering her camera crew to set up for the next shot. Stopping for them was intensely annoying, but complaining would only aggravate my Catnip. I gripped my rifle and scanned the area for soldiers or peacekeepers.
"Hawthorne and Mockingjay!" Boggs called. Catnip and I moved to the front of the line. "Do you see that?" I looked at the flickering silver spot on the sidewalk.
"Yessir." I said. Catnip loaded an explosive arrow and I cocked my gun. "Aim." I directed. "Fire!" Catnip launched her arrow and I fired. The pod was a large mine that blew the sidewalk to bits in a three foot radius. Once again, I shielded my Catnip from the debris. Suddenly I saw Peacekeepers out of the corner of my eye. "Cover!" I called. "I'll take this Capitol scum!" I began firing on the peacekeepers. "HELL YEAH! AAAW YEAH!" I cheered once the three bodies were riddled with bullets. Suddenly an explosion rocked the ground behind us. I swore and jumped on Catnip.
"GALE!" She snapped.
"I ain't letting them hurt you." I breathed. Catnip rolled her eyes.
"It was one of those fake bombs." She whispered. I bit my lip before her lips met mine.
"I got ya, Catnip - I got ya - my Mockingjay -" I breathed as I kissed her urgently and held her against me. "My Catnip -" I breathed trailing kisses down her throat.
"They have the picture already." Mellark said grumpily. "You can stop now."
"Shut up, baker-boy." I snarled as I helped Catnip to her feet.
"Cut it out, kids." Boggs called.
"Yessir." I called. I looked through the scope of my gun and took out an ornate windowsill just for the hell of it.
"Mellark, you're on the next pod." Boggs called. I cursed earning a slap from my Mockingjay.
"He can do it." Catnip said. "You don't get all the combat shots, you know."
"I know, Catnip." I muttered. Peeta shot at at a blinking light near a door to an office building and it let out smoke. We coughed and put our gas masks on. "Way to stink up the place, Breadboy!" I coughed.
"Shut up, Hawthorne!"
"OH GOD, MY NUTS ARE DISSOLVING!" Finnick screamed.
"That's gross, Finnick!" Catnip yelped.
"Pollux told me he got that on film." Cressida pointed out. Once the smoke cleared, we were still joking about Peeta dropping a stink-bomb on us when Boggs had us stop to check his holo.
"Good. We got most of this street. I think we can set up camp somewhere around here in a few hours." He stepped back on a cobblestone that exploded and launched him several feet back and spraying the rest of us with bright red blood.
"BOGGS!" I screamed. "CATNIP, STAY WITH HIM, I'M GONNA GUARD YA!" Catnip ran to Boggs who was laying on the ground, his legs blown off. Catnip tried to wrap a tourniquet around his limbs, but he shook his head. I saw several Capitol soldiers and took them out with one explosive arrow. "Catnip - Boggs -"
"Guard the Mockingjay. You've watched over her - good job, son." Boggs gasped.
"Yessir - thank you -" I said choking back my tears. "Thank you, sir." I held my commanding officer's hand as he passed the holo to my Catnip. When Bogg's grip went slack, I helped Catnip stand up. "We gotta move on, Catnip. He done gave that to you." She nodded. No matter what happened now, I would follow my commanding officer's last words. I would guard my Catnip even more than I ever had.
The battle sequence will differ a bit from Mockingjay from here on out.