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“A replacement, eh?”
“Oh yes. Solider Leeg 2… so sad. So tragic.” Nothing about Plutarch’s expression look sad, and nothing about him speaks tragic.
“When do you need the replacement?” I ask, my pen in hand, the other gripping the clipboard.
“Soon, today hopefully. I promised Katniss a speedy replacement.”
Katniss. Just her name makes me grit my teeth. Everyone in District 13 is so intent on saving her life. That is, everyone but me. Katniss Everdeen just isn’t worth it. I wonder how someone like her ended up being the face of rebellion.
I look up from my clipboard. Plutarch is carefully watching me. “Don’t you have somewhere to be?” I gesture to the schedule printed on his arm. “Training, perhaps?”
“Of course.” Plutarch frowns but quickly replaces it with a curt nod. His chair scratches the floor as he pushes it back and stands up. The door closes behind him as he leaves my office.
“Katniss Everdeen.” I sneer to myself. “Lets see how far they are willing to go to protect her.”
I phone in the nearest solider. “Bring me the Mellark boy.” I demand roughly.
He arrives shortly, accompanied with 2 guards. Heavy manacles rest on his wrists. After the guards give me the key to his manacles I tell them to wait outside my office. “I can handle things in here.” I say.
The guards look at me quizzically but don’t object. They file out.
I focus on Peeta now. He raises his eyebrows but doesn’t say anything. I try to keep my devoid of any emotion as I unlock his manacles. They drop to the floor with a clunk. I don’t flinch.
I look back up to Peeta’s waiting eyes. “They needed a replacement solider.” I explain.
“…and you wanted me?” Peeta finishes.
I shrug trying to keep my cool. “The propos needed some heating up.” I rip of a chunk of paper and write the number 451. Pressing the paper into his palm, I lead him to the door. “Your guards can escort you from here.” Peeta says nothing.
I’m in a hurry to close the door but Peeta won’t budge.
“Move it boy.” I growl, giving him a light shove. But despite being help captive at the Capitol, Peeta is strong. He holds his stance.
“There’s more.” Peeta looks up at me expectantly.
I’m about to deny this and to tell him to get out of my office; when I realize he’s right. I do have something more to say.
“Just…” I let out a frustrated sigh. “Just do what you came here to do.”
“What I came here to do…?” Peeta is confused, and I take advantage of the moment. By the time he has registered what I’ve said I’ve pushed him out the door.
I don’t relax until I’m across the room and sinking in my overdone plush chair.
Then I allow myself one rejoice. “Katniss Everdeen.” I mutter to myself darkly. “The Mockingjay who couldn’t save the rebellion.” This is followed by a cold laugh; and this time; I don’t try to cover it.
* * *
Bogg’s is filled with anger, anger that I’m not ready to handle.
“I told you.” I say just as aggressively. “I sent Peeta to you.”
“But why?” Bogg’s voice catches at the end.
“Plutarch comes in saying you need a replacement, and I’ve gotten on for you, and then you complain to me -“
“A solider! A solider! We wanted a solider!” Bogg’s screams in my ear. I’m talking on the phone, but I can just imagine his face, beet red, from frustration and anger.
“No one starts as a solider.” I snap. “Train him.”
“But why Peeta? You’re well aware of the danger he posses to Katniss.”
Yeah, I think to myself. To much.
“President Coin!” Bogg’s gives out an exasperated sigh. “How could you be so… naive?”
I’m still pondering this when Bogg’s end of the phone goes dead. “How dare he insult me?” I scowl. “Of course I know the danger he is to Katniss. That’s why I sent him there!” I sit silent for awhile, absorbing my thoughts. “Maybe its time to play a different act. Maybe its time to try a different angle…” Once again I’m surrounded by my cold, dark thoughts.
A smile breaks my face. I’ve done it again. I’ve found a solution. “Maybe…” I whisper to myself. “Maybe its time to let Katniss kill herself.“