She lived in a world of ashen air where shards of shimmering glass would swim through the ash from the skies. Cradled in chaos and nurtured by bombardments, she was but a feather wafting through the breath of flames. A home reduced to rubble, a brother killed by gunfire, and a life turned to hell by the torches of revolt. She, the silent watcher, witnessed the bodies break and the skies glint with the gleam of falling devastation. She saw a world ravaged by rampage. War is the ever lasting signature of humanity after all.
As the world waned into smoke and death, Helena thought she was going to observe the final extermination of humanity. That soon the glowering red guns would grow silent and all that would be left of the flickering flame of the species would be a landscape of ruins and corpses. But the silence never came, humankind's abominable screaming was preserved despite the streets shaped by dead hands reaching out to an empty sky. As soon as the cries of bloodshed had begun, they were broken underneath a boot of iron.
Her brother had been one of them, a child aroused into an insatiable hunger to destroy a city of glass. She never ran with the rebels, the ones who she saw chained to one another before a finale of bullets and blood. But she ran by her brother, cleaned him when he came home beaten and covered in soot. Came rushing to his room when his night terrors would cling to his voice in the dead of night. Stayed with him until he was able to finally fall to exhaustion. She ran with him right up to the day she watched from the shelter window as the ground around him became nothing but shrapnel.
Who should she hate?
The rebels who persuaded her brother with their pristine promises of a fucking better future? The Capitol who placed the mine beneath the earth where Wynn had been standing in retaliation for the rebellion? No, neither of the answers were strong enough to secure the sin of hatred. Ripred would want her to not dip her heart into darkness and askew her emotions by the negativity of hating another human being. However, even if she sings Ripred's name in soft tunes of adoration before bed, her heart is and was already decided. Helena Crane hates humanity.
That's what brought her out of mere observation. Her brother was dead but the war still waging when she had come across him, some man alive on a street of broken buildings and bodies. He was clutching as his stomach while scarlet burbled out from between his fingers. She kneeled down next to him and ran her fingers through his hair just like she used to do for her brother at night. Listened to the words that the dying always seem to need to say, and let him find harbor in her eyes. He might have lived if she had taken him to a doctor, but she didn't.
"We're so pitiful aren't we? Humans." She said softly to the man. "And still Ripred gives us, the undeserving, mercy in the greatest gift of death. Be free of the flesh that makes you not a man, but a monster."
She drove the knife she kept for protection into his heart and then left. Walked down that road of rubble as a shadowed angel silhouetted by the bleeding sky of smoke. And she didn't stop, she entered this contract with Ripred wholly. She battles the beast of mankind by freeing the souls trapped within them. Peacekeepers, rebels, civilians, all injured in humanity's favorite game of war. All people she has purged. Even with the Capitol victory, her work hasn't stopped. She might be small, almost breakable by a breeze. But she lives and works without any waverings of fear, certain in the path she has chosen.
While the world literally rebuilds itself, she exists as District Eight's personal raven. She finds the fallen ones, with their hands still alive reaching to the same empty sky as the dead. At least they know that the truest of powers lives beyond the boundaries of earth and mortals. Helena had been complacent during the war, just watched as life turned on life with screaming steel. But the battling awoke something inside her, called her to take up this mission for Ripred. She has no ties nor tethers to the trivialities of humanity's bickering sides. She is no rebel or patriot. She is a devout follower of Ripred, and nothing more.