There's a human cry from below. "Someone's still alive," I plead.
"No, Katniss. They're not coming," says Gale. "Only the mutts are."
Unable to accept it, I shine the light from Cressida's gun down the shaft. Far below, I can just make out Finnick, struggling to hang on as three mutts tear at him. As one yanks back his head about to take the death bite, something bizarre happens. It's as if I'm Finnick, watching images of my life flash by. The mast of a boat, a silver parachute, Mags laughing, a pink sky, Beetee's trident, Annie in her wedding dress, waves breaking over rocks. Then it's over.
I'm snapped back with Gale pulling at me to leave him behind. My mind reaches for Finnick, to protect him like I've failed to for so many people. Boggs. Those people in the District 8 hospital. Rue. My father. Everything around me is moving slow. And that's when I do it.
I open my eyes. Everything is unfamiliar. My mind numbly takes it all in. Snow is gently falling outside the winow. The room's color color schemes are simple and the furniture is plain. I allow myself to breathe out. This isn't the Capitol.
I turn. A wide-eyed Peeta stares down at me. He seems almost normal. Didn't he just try to strangle his star-crossed lover?
Katniss walks in with a tray of food. "Finnick," she smiles, "you're finally awake."
"What do you mean finally?" I ask dumbly, "Where am I?"
"You're at my house," Katniss says, bringing some food to me. "We brought you here after we took the Capitol. After," she hesitates, seems like she's struggling to get something out, "never mind."
Peeta senses my confusion and adds, "You were just discharged from the hospital a few days ago. This is the first time you've been conscious in a few months."
"Wait," I say, "what do you mean we took the Capitol? And a few months? You guys are just lying to me, right?"
"Finnick?" Katniss says slowly, "What exactly do you remember?"