So as per summary Katniss shoots President Snow and not Coin. Coin survives. But all is not as it seems…
The story is a bit slow to start so I hope it isn't too boring and people stick with it.
Constructive criticism is welcome; reviewing is encouraged along with all the rest of the shabang.
Disclaimer; I do not own the Hunger Games or any characters you recognise from it etc.
An eerie quiet stretched on as Katniss Everdeen notched an arrow in her bow. Her face was impassive, her expression calm and collected. She inhaled as she pulled the string back until it was taunt like she had done a thousand times before. To kill a bird as it fled the cover of the bushes after Gale had startled it with a rock or to kill Cato in the arena; what did it matter anymore?
Survival had been the spurring force each time. Kill to live.
Snow's face leered at her where he sagged against the pole he was tied against. He didn't seem at all afraid to die.
Katniss inhaled again deeply; the crowd inhaled with her. Coin watched the proceedings closely; eyes trained on Katniss as she lined up the arrow.
But Snow's earlier words hiss in her mind, his words falling from his thick lips like poisoned darts; but this time they were that much more deadly. This time they were the truth.
Katniss' thoughts drifted back to a distant memory.
She was in District 13, trying to busy herself anything to keep thoughts of the torture she knew Peeta was enduring out of her mind. She barged into the control room.
The guard sighed despondently. He had told her time and time again that she must follow the timetable printed on her arm but Katniss had never paid attention to it. She didn't want to follow the routine of this underground warren where people scurried along artificially bright corridors like rodents, all alike in their uniforms.
She wanted to feel the sun on her back, the solid weight of her bow and arrow in her hands, the hum of excitement that would thrum through her blood at the chase.
She wanted Peeta. There had to be something they weren't doing.
The guard opened his mouth to once more direct her back to the hospital ward where she would be out of the way at least if she didn't want to follow her schedule.
"It's alright," Plutarch said, dismissing the guard with a wave of his hand.
"But President Coin said…" the guard had begun.
"Yes and I said it's alright," Plutarch cut across him. The guard hesitated, glaring at Plutarch and then glancing unsure at Katniss.
Katniss stood silent and unmoving.
Once the guard left Katniss turned to Plutarch.
He was sitting at the table, a book open before him and a glass of amber liquid and ice in one hand.
He frowned up at Katniss; clearly displeased that she was making so little effort to be cooperative.
"Where's Coin?" Katniss demanded.
Plutarch's frown deepened as he swirled the liquid in the glass contemplatively.
"I don't know," Plutarch replied.
"Have we got anymore news about Peeta?"
Plutarch glanced up at her, considering her; there was a hint of pity on his face.
"No more news," Plutarch finally replied.
"Well what about the footage we have of him, surely Beetee can find out where it is being sent from and find Peeta with it,"
Plutarch finished off his drink in one huge gulp before setting the empty glass down on the table, the ice left rattling with the impact.
"It doesn't work like that. And even if it did what use would it be to us to know where Peeta is. He is no doubt in the heart of the Capitol somewhere. In other words he is untouchable…as of yet," Plutarch explained.
Katniss' hands balled into angry fists at her side.
Plutarch went back to reading his book, though he rapped his nails against the table in a neat drumming rhythm that voiced his irritation.
At what though Katniss wasn't sure.
"You must kill the head," Plutarch murmured.
Katniss looked at him perplexed. He didn't seem like he was speaking to her at all but reminding himself of something as his eyes examined the pages before him curiously.
Plutarch turned the book to face her, tapping the page.
Katniss looked at the page and then at Plutarch.
"It is a lesson that a wise man taught his students... If you walk among the long grasses where snakes lie hidden you may get bitten. If this does occur you must kill the snake immediately, by spearing it through the head or cutting the head off for if you strike any other part of the body you will only injure it and it will surely heal and bite you once again."
The wind whistled softly in Katniss' ears. She needed only a second in her head to calculate it as she moved her arrow a fraction to the right so it wouldn't be affected by the breeze.
'Kill the head'
She released the arrow, feeing for a second, the power surge through her arm as the arrow was propelled through the air; fluid, silent and deadly.
The cheer had gone up before the arrow had even hit its mark. Snow slumped down, the arrow protruding from his chest.
President Snow; the symbol of all that they had hated was gone. Their liberation felt complete. Some cried, some danced, some tried to get towards the now dead president's body so they could tear it apart like rabid animals.
Katniss calmly lowered her bow.
Snow was dead.
But…he wasn't the head…not anymore. His regime of power had ended the moment the Capitol had been infiltrated.
Katniss glanced up and met the cold calculating gaze of President Coin. Coin looked back at her knowingly.
Katniss walked across the stage. Many called out thanks to her, praising her as their heroine.
Katniss felt uncomfortable with it.
She had killed a man; for at the end of the day although he was a giant in the eyes of others he was only a man, susceptible to the same selfish traits as all other humans.
Peeta met her as soon as she passed safely through the doors of the Presidential building away from the rejoicing crowds.
"You did it," he said, a note of incredulity to his voice as if he didn't quite believe she would do it. Katniss nodded, gripping the bow tighter in her hand. Peeta enveloped her in his arms.
Katniss returned the gesture after a moment, inhaling deeply. He was dressed in crisp clean clothing and he couldn't have been near a bakery in months and yet Katniss could still catch the scent of freshly baked bread, of mixed paints, of…Peeta.
She held him tighter. It didn't matter what they did to him, any of them…Katniss would find him and bring him back, whether it be from the very heart of the Capitol or from the murky depths of his hijacked mind.
She heard footsteps approaching and she relinquished her fierce hold on Peeta. She knew who it was before he even appeared at her side.
Haymitch looked at her; his grey eyes surveying her as if for the first time.
It was the first time he had looked at her like that; like he couldn't understand her.
"You did it," Haymitch echoed Peeta's words.
Peeta threw an arm around Katniss' shoulders, an easy grin on his face. "She did," he confirmed.
A whole other stampede of footsteps could be heard as Coin having finished giving her liberation speech to the newly freed people of Panem, was coming to congratulate Katniss on a job well done.
"Yeah, well I had a little help," Katniss said, meeting Haymitch's eyes she handed him the bow.
Haymitch took it from her and looked at it.
Beetee's work was unmistakable. That bow had been programmed to kill Snow.