Flames and heavy black smoke from the wreckage obscure our view. Did they hit the hospital? Must have, she say grimly.
As I hurry towards the ladders at the far end or the warehouse, the sight of Messalla and one od the insects emerging from behind an air duct surprises me. I thought theyd still be hunkered down in the alley. Theyre growing on me, says Gale.
I scramble down the ladder. When my feet hit the ground, I find a bodyguard, Cressida, and the other insect waiting. I expect resistance, but Cressida just waves me toward the hospital. Shes yelling, I dont care, Plutarch! Just give me five more minutes! Not one to question a free pass, I take off into the street. Oh, no, I whisper as I catch sight of the hospital.
Some people say they think our government is bad? Well check this out; 16 year old Katniss Everdeen is visiting a hospital to give the injured and dying people of District 8 hope. But when she is done, Capitol planes sent from President Snow attack her and her crew. Katniss and Gale shoot them down, but they find the hospital in ruins. Katniss records her own message for the capitol. MockingJay by Suzanne Collins.
Oh, no, I whisper as I catch sight of the hospital.
Or what used to be the hospital. I move past the wounded, past the burning plane wreck, fixated on the disaster ahead of me. People screaming, running about frantically, but unable to help. The bombs have collapsed the roof and set the building on fire, effectively trapping the patients within. A group of rescuers has assembled, trying to clear a path inside. But I already know what they will find. If the crushing debris and the flames didnt get them, the smoke did.
Gales at my shoulder. The fact that he does nothing only confirms my suspicions. Miners dont abandon an accident until its hopeless. Come on, Katniss. Haymitch says they can get a hovercraft in for us now, he tells me, but I cant seem to move.
Why would they do that? Why would they target people who were already dying? I ask him.
Scare others off. Prevent the wounded from seeking help, says Gale. Those people you met, they were expendable. To Snow, anyways. If the Capitol wins, what will it do with a bunch of damaged slaves?
I remember all those years in the woods, listening to Gale rant against the Capitol. Me, not paying close attention. Wondering why he even bothered to dissect its motives. Why thinking like our enemy would ever matter. Clearly, it could have mattered today. When Gale questioned the existence of the hospital, he was not thinking of disease, but this. Because he never underestimates the cruelty of those we face.
I slowly turn my back to the hospital and find Cressida, flanked by the insects, standing a couple of yards in front of me. Her manners unrattled. Cool even. Katniss, she says. President Snow just had them air the bombing live. Then he made an appearance to say that this was his way of sending a message to the rebels. What about you? Would you like to tell the rebels anything?
Yes, I whisper. The red blinking light on one end of the cameras catch my eye. I know Im being recorded. Yes, I say more forcefully. Everyone is drawing away from me-Gale, Cressida, the insects”giving me the stage. But I stay focused on the red light. I want to tell the rebels that I am alive. That Im right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women, and children. There will be no survivors. The shock Ive been feeling being to give way to fury. I want to tell people that if you think for one second the Capitol will treat us fairly if theres a cease-fire, youre deluding yourself. Because you know who they are and what they do my hands go out automatically, as if to indicate the whole horror around me. This is what they do! And we must fight back!
Im moving in toward the camera now, carried forward by my rage. President Snow says hes sending us a message? Well, I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that? One of the cameras follows as I point to the planes burning on the roof of the warehouse across from us. The Capitol seal on a wing glows clearly through the flame. Fire is catching! I am shouting now, determined that he will not miss a word. And if we burn, you burn with us!
My last words hang in the air. I feel suspended in time. Held aloft in a cloud of heat that generates not from my surroundings, but from my own being.
Cut! Cressidas voice snaps me back to reality, extinguishes me. She gives me a nod of approval. Thats a wrap.