TEAM 13 : DAY X
George : Conor
The first thing he noticed was the silence.
The forest was never silent.
It was quiet sometimes, sure, but birds tended to be… noticeable, one could say, in their desire to be noticed by other birds.
But right now?
He walked more slowly.
And then he stopped.
The trees didn't so much open to a clearing as they came to a complete stop, a line in the metaphorical sand that was far too obvious. On one side the forest surrounding the northern boundary of Panem.
On the other?
Well, to him it looked a bit too much like farmland.
He glanced about wearily, eyes peeled on the horizon: he may see District 13 as an ally, but there was no guarantee they saw him the same way.
There—to his left—something moved.
He watched it.
It seemed to watch him.
He turned, looking for any other movement, any animals.
That… that wasn't good, actually.
For all living things to stop, to not go towards the rolling waves of grain (or, actually, corn) just in front of them and partake to their hearts content…
He held up his hands.
The thing which had moved didn't move again.
He considered taking a step forward, then reconsidered.
Instead he shouted.
"Hello! I'm from District 12! Name's Conor! What's up!"
He took a step back.
He decided to wait.
It was nearly half an hour until there was movement again—two bodies barely visible above the corn.
"Conor?" One of them shouted.
"Are you looking for District 13?"
What an odd question. Still, no reason not to answer honestly.
"I wanted to know if they wanted in on the rebellion."
The two were dressed in more military gear than Peacekeepers, but they seemed friendly enough. They'd led him further into the corn, telling him to mind the turrets, before leading him under the corn. There, they explained, was the remainder of District 13.
"…These past hundred years haven't been easy on us, you know." One of them—called himself Johnson—said. "We, we're not quite the size we used to be."
"Well, it doesn't look like you're starving." George said, remembering the field of corn and the lack of anything similar in 12.
"Hunger wasn't an issue."
"At least," Barden, the other soldier, said, "not physical hunger."
Johnson rolled his eyes.
They kept on going down.
"You want us to join an existing rebellion?" Doctor White asked as he went over "Conor Kint's" entry forms.
"It's been a very, very long time since an internal rebellion has been successful. One might even say a century's worth of time. And even then…"
"Been an even longer time since an external one did anything at all."
"We almost did." White said. He glanced up at Conor. "Before you were born—75 ADD."
"Internal disagreements over how we should go about it. A sort of miniature civil war, actually."
George leaned forward. "So then you don't want to join?"
"That was never the issue." Dr. White glanced at Johnson and Barden. "He's fine. Relatively healthy but not suspiciously so, otherwise seems to be who he claims to be, not crazy."
"Right, let's get you set up then." Johnson said.
"And then who do I talk to about the rebellion?"
"Well, it's not like there's a deadline, is there?"
"Yeah, there kind of is." George said. "Which is kind of why I want to talk to someone now."
Johnson and Barden glanced at each other.
"We can take you to our superior, I suppose. You could try to convince him."
"Fine, lead away."
They did so.
After several minutes of silence, however, Barden looked over to George with a countenance of, if anything, true curiosity—a far different emotion than the sort of dead-eyed humor he'd expressed before.
"There's actually a rebellion? And you actually think it might succeed?"
George grinned. It was the kind of grin one developed after suffering for far too long. "I can just about guarantee it."