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Chapter 15: Newfound Friends

Syminara's Point of View

We finally get to the Careers' hideout just before it gets pitch black. It's a cave carved into the mountainside with the supplies from the Cornicopia piled high in the back. There's backpacks, weapons, food, blankets, and a bunch of other things. I gratefully sit down and lean back against the cool cave wall. I'm tired, every muscle is aching, my stomach is grumbling loudly, and my mouth is bone dry. But I'm grateful for the rest. Then Shelby says, "Slave! Move toward the back of the cave. Hirton here will guard you for the night. Right Hirton?" Hirton looks tired, but nods enthousiastically saying, "Of course Shelby!" I then realize that he probably likes her, but she is using him. Poor kid! Wait, what am I saying?! He's a career, I shoudn't feel bad for him. I just limp over to where a stash of plastic is and sit down by the cave floor. Shelby says, "Make sure she doesn't eat or drink anything Hirton!" Hirton nods and sits by me in the dark cave. Soon after I can hear the soft snoors of all the Careers except Hirton. He sits across from me and looks at the pile of food longinly. But then again so do I. I am starved! Hirton looks at me and says, "I'm sorry about the Careers. They can be so mean sometimes." I don't "believe what I'm hearing. He feels sorry for me! "Why do you feel sorry for me?" I ask him. He just shrugs. "'Cause you're a victim of these cruel people." He says. I am so surprised! "Then why are you with these cruel people." I ask him. He gazes at Shelby longingly, and I get the idea. He's only hear for her. Too bad she doesn't like him. "If she doesn't like you, why are you still here?" I ask him. He shrugs and says, "I don't want to be without her. I really love her. You may think she is cruel, but she can be so nice!" I find that hard to believe. "But I don't like how she's treating you." He says. I snort and say, "Yah, that's gonna change her mind." He looks at me and says, "I like you Sym. You seem nice." I smirk and say back, "Yah, I'm a very likable person." "No, you just have a sort of pull of gravity around you." He says. I think about this. Is that why Josh likes me. I didn't know. All I knew was that I needed to get back to him. "Look are you gonna help me get back to him, or are we gonna have this conversation all night?" I ask him. He thinks about it for a second and then says, "I'll help you on one condition." I nod as if saying alright. He takes a deep breath and says, "I want you to kill Shelby."

"What?!" I practically shout. Hirton shushes me, but nobody wakes up. "I said I want you to kill Shelby Newlace." He whispers. "Why?" I whisper back. He takes a deep breath and says, "Because its obvious she doesn't like me and if she doesn't like me then I don't want her to be here anymore." I understand now. "Oh, okay. If you help me escape, I promise I will kill her for you." I say. He nods and seems relieved. We devise a plan for getting out. Everything is falling into place.

Josh's Point of View

"Hey wait!" The little boy from Eleven says. "What?" I ask him. He stops and says, "Maybe I can help you." "Again, WHAT?" I say. He shuffles his feet around and says, "Well, you are looking for your district partner right?" I can only nod. "Well, she saved me from the Careers once in training and I feel like I owe her. I just thought that rescuing her would be the right thing to do." He says. Well this was a surprising moment. I let out a breath and say, "Sure why not?" He smiles and says, "I'm Jeffery!" I smile and say, "I'm Josh." This wasn't turning out to be such a bad day after all.

Jeffery and me started climbing the mountain after I had stabbed an already dying monkey. Not much of a catch if you ask me. It turns out Jeffery actually managed to get something from the Cornicopia. He got a small backpack containing a leather handled knife (which I used to kill the monkey), a sleeping bag, some dried beef, and a water bottle. "So how did you get past the Careers at the Cornicopia?" I asked him. He bit off a piece of monkey meat and said, "Well it wasn't that hard. It was sitting right in front of my plate." I nodded. I remembered the only thing that was in front of my plate had been a loaf of bread. The male from Ten had gone for it and had been stabbed by Brawn. I shuddered a bit at the memory. I bit and chewed a piece of monkey meat. It wasn't half bad. If only Sym were here.

It was getting to be dusk so soon, so me and Jeffery planned to eat something, and find some water before we started climbing up the mountain. Jeffery started the fire while I found us something to eat. I spotted a colorful bird and prepared to throw my knife into its head, when a scream ripped through the air. It sounded like a little boy scream. I ran back to where our campfire had been and say the male from Five hanging over Jeffery who was sprawled on the ground. I barely have time to do anything before the male plunges the knife into his back.

"NO!!!!" I yell. I launch myself at him and he sprawls to the ground. I've knocked his knife out of his hand and he struggles to get it. Before he can do anything, I slit his throat. He goes limp and I throw his body into the jungle. I run over to Jeffery who still has the knife in his back. I slowly pull it out and he gives a small whimper. "Jeffery..." I whisper to him, "You'll be okay, I know you will be." He gives a little nod and whispers, "Josh, please tell Sym I'm grateful for what she did...and I'm grateful for what you did....being my ally and all." He smiles again and his eyes close. The canon echoes through the air. My eyes go wide and I set him gently down. I take a deep breath and take the knife that came from his back. The hovercraft will be here soon to pick the male and Jeffery up. Better get going.

Syminara's Point of View

We waited until it was quiet to try to escape. But we never got the chance. Lily woke up and called Hirton over. Luckily she didn't see we were trying to escape, so I sat down and looked like I was gonna die. Hirton had been nice and given me some of the Careers food. Only a little bit off the top to make sure they didn't notice. A couple apples, some pieces of dried beef, and a couple crackers. It didn't satisfy my hunger, but it sure did stop the grumbling. I wish Josh were here. I wondered how he was doing. I hadn't seen his picture in the sky at all, so he must not be too bad. Anyway Hirton says we will try tommorow, later at night. He doesn't know how much this will mean to me when I finally escape.

Read Chapter 16!

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