These are my first Games, so I will be very pleased if you joined!! :)
I will be writing these Games in POVs of the tributes, and I will be writing about some more than others, though I will try and write as many POVs for each of them as possible.
I am writing this in the future - Katniss was killed instead of Rue so there was no rebellion, and the Games continued as normal as ever, though the Gamemakers have increased the number of Victors so that the audience have more to talk about and bet on.
This time, there can be four winners.
- You can only enter four tributes
- You may give advice and sponsor (I will only let you use three parachutes)
- I will try and write to the best of my ability (which I hope is good enough to enjoy!)
- Please no getting angry at tributes death.
- No swearing or spiteful words about me or any other users or tributes!
- You can advertise your own Games here, but message me before doing so, and only do it once!
- I will only be writing about reapings, but I will be posting private scores first, and then onto the Games
- There will be a surprise twist, though it will be revealed later!
- If you have any ideas for storylines with your tributes, leave me a message!
Name: (First and Last)
Fears: (Must have 1)
Weapons: (In order of prefrence)
Backstory: (Doesn't have to be long, but include info about family members)
Alliance: (E.g. Careers, others from district etc.)
Picture/Description: (It can be a picture or it can be typed)
What will they perform in private training?: (I will be basing scores on this!)
Bloodbath Strategy: (optional)
|Nymph Meré||18||1||Female||Poison, axe, plant ID||PumPumPumpkin :3|
|Petri Lindroos||17||2||Male||Sword, knife||Icanhasnofriends|
|Scarlett Winters||17||2||Female||Trident, throwing knives, traps||ConspiracyKiller825|
|Nick Maclachlan||14||3||Male||Long range weapons,knives,fists||AwesomeAiden|
|Beemo Xra||14||3||Female||Spears, traps||Blue-Ribbonz|
|Kalmah XXIV||17||4||Male||Trident, machete, spear||Icanhasnofriends|
|Gaara Ryûghan||13||5||Male||Spear, throwing axes||RainbowShifter|
|Katarina Seacrest||14||5||Female||Axe, treachery, deception||Xbilliex|
|Star Sunkin||14||6||Male||Blowgun, Bow and Arrow||Blue-Ribbonz|
|Luna Sunkin||15||6||Female||Spear, throwing knives||Blue-Ribbonz|
|Brandon Ivey||15||7||Male||Sword, throwing knives||MyWorld|
|Alyssa Mason||15||7||Female||Axe, throwing knives||Moviestarplanetxox|
|Yoshi Holiday||14||8||Male||Throwing knives, sword||MyWorld|
|Rebekah Ure||12/13||8||Female||Hands, blowgun, teeth||Blue-Ribbonz|
|Matthew Haper||13||9||Male||Throwing knives, bow||Lexis2685|
|Pharmacy Rivera||16||9||Female||Throwing knives||PumPumPumpkin :3|
|Blaine Fitz||16||10||Male||Axe, throwing axes||ConspiracyKiller825|
|Rubin Jett||17||11||Male||Sword, knife, scythe||ConspiracyKiller825|
|Aislyn Latona||17||11||Female||Bow, sword||*Kyoni~Kara*|
|Trent Greer||16||12||Male||Throwing knives||A wikia contributor|
|Amy Clarke||17||12||Female||Bladed staff, H-2-H combat||Xbilliex|
|Crimson Typhoon||14||13||Male||Bow, H-2-H combat, sword||AwesomeAiden|
|Shyvana Feuer||18||13||Female||Axes, hand-to-hand combat||PumPumPumpkin :3|
The Arena is the shape of the ying-yang symbol, and reasonably large. It has a tropical climate and environment. At the left-side circle (in the ying-yang, it would be the black dot), is the Cornucopia, with the tribute platforms all around it. However, the Cornucopia is based on a tiny island in a huge lagoon and tributes must swim to reach it, and tributes unable to swim are likely to drown in the water.
Outside the lagoon, there is a small, sandy shore before you reach the second half of the ying-yang shape. On this half, there is tropical forest where many animals can be found to eat, though mutts often appear here. Towards the left of the forest, there is a second shore that breaks off abruptly into thick coral in a lagoon (the second dot, In the ying-yang symbol it would be the white dot). This coral is a good source of seafood, but some of the sea plants are dangerous, and shark mutts can attack tributes here.At the back part of the arena, there are mountains (the brown bits on the pic), that are about a mile wide each. They are mostly rocky mountains, but melting snow high up is a good source of water. Birds, small rodents and mountain goats populate the mountains. These animals are plentiful, so the mountains are a very good source of food. However, there is one ferocious lion cross grizzly bear mutt that patrols all mountains and can easily kill tributes unless they are good fighters and armed. As the lagoon and ocean are both saltwater, the only way to get clean water is from dripping leaves and the scarce rainfall and the melting snow off the mountains. However, some backpacks contain filters that do not use fires to turn saltwater into drinking water, though there are only two of these filters.
Tributes in just italics are the ones who have been killed.
Careers: Odin Amarth (1M), Petri Lindroos (2M), Beemo Xra (3F), Alyssa Mason (7F), Scarlett Winters (2F), Pharmacy Rivera (9F), Amy Clarke (12F)
Leader: Odin Amarth
D4, D10 + D11:
Oceania Seacrest (4F), Kalmah XXIV (4M), Alexandria Maydon (10F), Blaine Fitz (10M), Rubin Jett (11M)
Leader: Oceania Seacrest (4F)
Co-Leader: Rubin Jett (11M)
D5, D6, D8, D12 + D13:
Gaara Ryughan (5M), Luna Sunkin (6F), Star Sunkin (6M), Rebekah Ure (8F), Trent Greer (12M), Crimson Typhoon (13M)
Leader: Gaara Ryughan (5M)
Co-Leader: Luna Sunkin (6F)
Nymph Meré (1F), Katarina Seacrest (5F), Yoshi Holiday (8M), Matthew Haper (9M), Aislyn Latona (11F), Shyvana Feuer (13F), Brandon Ivey (7M), Nick Maclachlan (3M)
Private Training Scores
Hope I haven't been to harsh! Things that were more interesting and impressive got the higher scores.
|Odin Amarth||1||Male||Spear throwing, combat||10|
|Nymph Meré||1||Female||Poison skills, cunning||10|
|Petri Lindroos||2||Male||Sword fighting||9|
|Scarlett Winters||2||Female||Throwing knives||5|
|Nick Maclachlan||3||Male||Sit around, then suddenly attack a dummy and throw long distance weapons.||8|
|Beemo Xra||3||Female||Created and blew up a bomb trap, attacked dummies with sword.||11|
|Kalmah XXIV||4||Male||Close trident combat, trident throwing||9|
|Oceania Seacrest||4||Female||Fighting with trident, a secret rebellious act that Gamemakers prefer to keep secret||8|
|Gaara Ryughan||5||Male||Throwing axes different distances, Gauntlet obstacle course||12|
|Katarina Seacrest||5||Female||Manipulation skills||10|
|Star Sunkin||6||Male||Use darts on fire to create the illusion of stars being in the sky and use a flaming bow.||12|
|Luna Sunkin||6||Female||Spear skills, camouflage, poison with paint and fire to create toxic gas.||9|
|Brandon Ivey||7||Male||Show skills with weapons, but doesn't want a high score that brings attention||5|
|Alyssa Mason||7||Female||Throwing knives||5|
|Yoshi Holiday||8||Male||Look weak, but still show throwing knives skills.||4|
|Rebekah Ure||8||Female||Looked weak, shot a pathetic arrow between two pipes.||4|
|Matthew Haper||9||Male||Bow and Arrow work, showed throwing knife skills||6|
|Pharmacy Rivera||9||Female||Throwing knives||5|
|Blaine Fitz||10||Male||Attacking dummies with axe, killing in different styles||11|
|Alexandria Maydon||10||Female||Scaring Gamemakers, secret rebellious act||9|
|Rubin Jett||11||Male||Attacking dummies with axe sword, killing in different styles||11|
|Aislyn Latona||11||Female||Sword fighting, archery, plant ID, obstacles||10|
|Trent Greer||12||Male||Speed agility, throwing knives||7|
|Amy Clarke||12||Female||Bladed staff combat, manipulation||9|
|Crimson Typhoon||13||Male||Hit moving targets with bow, slice dummies with sword.||10|
|Shyvana Feuer||13||Female||Brute strength, sword fighting||8|
District 1 - Odin Amarth
Today is my last reaping. I've waited long enough, and I know that if I do not become a tribute, I will never bring glory to District 1, as the God Odin brought glory to his people. I line up alongside many other hopeful children, and let my Father take my blood sample. He's a Peacekeeper if you hadn't guessed. I hardly ever see him, but whenever I'm at the Reapings he's always there, and this year is no different. I am ordered to stand at the correct age row as our wildly dressed escort appears on stage. She looks excitedly over the crowd, her gaze catching mine.
“Let's start with the girls!” Ruby announces, reaching her hand into the Reaping bowl. She draws out a small slip, her claw-like fake nails making it a struggle to unravel the paper. “Nymph Meré!” She calls out. Everyone looks to the girl stepping out of the crowd. Everyone knows who Nymph is. She's the forbidden daughter of a master and a servant, and the crazy girl who stills has tea parties with imaginary friends. “So, are you excited?” Ruby asks cheerfully. Nymph glares at the woman in shock. Ruby points the microphone in Nymph's direction. The crazy girl screams down the mic, making the whole crowd wince and cover their ears. “Okay, now for the boys...” Ruby stalls the picking, thinking there would be volunteers. I know it is either now or never. “I volunteer!” I yell. Nobody else seems to be wanting to volunteer, but then who would want to compete against a psycho like Nymph? Ruby calls me up to the stage. “And what's your name?” She asks.
“Odin Amarth.” I answer. As Ruby announces us as the official tributes for District 1, I look over at my father. I can see that he is finally proud of me. Maybe I will bring glory to Odin and to my district.
District 2 - Scarlett Winters
My boss wishes me good luck before I merge into the huge crowd of District 2 kids. I see lots of panicked 12-year-olds, believing they will get reaped immediately. But they won't. I could laugh at the fact they don't know their future. But I know mine. I had requested my name to be rigged, after all. Maybe they are scared that they do not know what will become of their futures - but how would I know? I've always known my future. I've always known my job, but they haven't. It's just one of the side-effects of telling lies to District 2, I guess. Our escort, Maximus Estes, appears on stage with a beaming grin on his face. He is wearing a ridiculous suit the colour of blood. Or wine -- whatever floats your boat. "Welcome to the District 2 reaping of the 121st Hunger Games!" The crowd roars with delight, but others roll their eyes carelessly. I just stand still, not caring, keeping to my cover. "As always, ladies first!" He announces. He puts his hand in the bowl, drawing out a short slip. "Scarlett Winters!" I run immediately up onto stage excitedly, before anyone can volunteer instead of me. "So, Scarlett, are you looking forward to the Games?" He asks, handing me the microphone to speak. I smile sinisterly. "Yes. I am very excited." I reply, handing the mic back to him. He nods appreciatively, and then begins to pick out a male's name. I scan the crowds, analyzing all the boys who might make worthy opponents. I spot the son of someone I killed when I first began my job with the secret organization. He had no idea what happened to his father. We framed him for it, which became kind of a joke between me and my boss. The son was put in prison, not even arguing against the accusation made against him. His father deserved to die, anyway. He told the truth to his wife about our organization, and we heard him do it. We hear everyone's conversations, we follow their lives, all the time. So he had to die. I continue to look over the crowds, feeling like Victor already, as Maximus calls out the male tribute's name. "Petri Lindroos!" The boy's name is Petri. I never knew that, despite the fact I framed him for his father's murder. Petri walks up on stage, his fists clenched until his knuckles turn white. But his face is calm, his posture collected. He looks horrifyingly similar to his father. Perhaps killing him will be easier than it was to kill his father. Maybe I can lie about his death, and say he was killed by someone else. I realize how much lies District 2 has been told by me, by my organization. So many kids, told lies by their parents who don't even know they're doing it. But District 2 has always been that way. It's just a pile of lies, stories and secrets. Here, some people say that the truth hurts, but in fact, the truth kills.
District 3 - Beemo Xra
I meet up with my friends ready for the Reaping. They're nervous and slightly afraid. We line up in the crowd, surrounded by hundreds of other girls our age. My best friend hugs me and wishes me good luck, and I return the favor. For some reason, the Reaping this year feels different. I don't know why. A huge female Peacekeeper taps us in order as we are being 'too noisy', which angers me and as they turn around, I make a face behind her back. My friends giggle, and I smile with them. Our escort tests the microphone, and I point out to my friends that she has dyed her skin slightly pink! We are about to laugh when a Peacekeeper gives us sharp looks, which almost instantaneously shuts us up. Every time I look at those white-uniformed soldiers I always see my brothers, who I have not seen since I was nine. A shiver runs through me as I recall Jake being whipped to death, and my other brother Finn being dragged away to imprisonment. I still do not understand what happened that day - I just know that I was kept in my house alone - when I was not at school, which I learned to value and treasure, because that's where I met all my friends and forgot what happened in my past, even though the death of my brother hurt me a little more every day. My friends and I fall silent as the escort announces the 121st Hunger Games, and dips her hand into the Reaping bowl like she's picking out sweets from a jar. "Beemo Xra!" She calls out, her eyes wandering the crowd in search of me. I feel like I have been stabbed in the chest, covering my ears in the hope that it is not real. My friends start sobbing around me, all of them hugging me tightly, I never wanting to let go. The female Peacekeeper takes hold of my arms, and drags me up to the stage, kicking and screaming like a banshee. Our escort is wide-eyed at the drama I am creating. "So, are you looking forward to competing, Beemo?" She asks stupidly, putting a hand on my shoulder. I shrug it off. "Get off me you pink freak," I mutter. She looks deeply offended, and shuffles away in her heels, quite disgusted by my attitude. I couldn't care less now that I'm going into the Hunger Games. "Let's begin with the boys, shall we?" Our escort says hastily. She draws out a slip and skim reads it. I can tell she has sight issues because she holds the paper so close to her face she might as well stick it to her eyeball. "Nick Maclachlan!" A black-haired and olive-skinned 14-year old emerges from the thick crowd of boys that look almost like his clones. He trots up on stage, and our escort is reluctant to say anything to him. But, out of the little kindness she has, she points the microphone at him. "So, Nick, do you reckon you are experienced enough to win these Games?"
"Yes. Oh, and by the way, I love the Capitol," He says, quite clearly sarcastic. I laugh, but our escort doesn't get it, and makes a strange face like a confused puppy. She ignores it and continues, still working it out in her mind. Nick and I exchange glances and smile at each other.
"And here we have our District 3 tributes for the 121st Hunger Games!"
District 4 - Oceania Seacrest
Peacekeepers give me strange looks when I turn up at the square for the Reapings. They haven't seen me since last year, when I won my other Games. I laugh at how ridiculous they look, perhaps more ridiculous than all the freakishly ugly Capitol people. I remembered my nutty cousin, Katarina, and wonder if she ever recovered from the fact that I beat her. I'm a Victor already, though the Capitol let me be put in the Reaping bowl still, for whatever reason they have. I get lost in the crowds, and Hestia and Cleo appear on stage. They're twins, I think, because it appears like I am seeing double. They are wearing the same dresses, have the same hairstyle, the same perfect makeup - and the same amount of stupidity. "Hey guys! Are you excited?" Hestia questions, expecting a huge cheer. There is silence, except for the sea waves crashing against the beach nearby. "Well, let's start with the boys!" Cleo announces. Her sister elbows her crossly. "No, we're doing girls first!" Hestia argues. "Boys!" Cleo screams, her winy voice making the whole crowd cover their ears in the hope that it will shield them from being deafened by these monstrosities. "Girls!" Hestia slaps her sister on the arm, making Cleo shriek. "MAKE A DECISION!" Someone yells impatiently. All of us are wanting to get these Reapings over and done with. The girls make faces at each other, Cleo sticking her tongue out in a most undesirable fashion. They're lucky that the camera crew can edit this out. Hestia reaches her hand into the girls' bowl, and Cleo picks out the male's name from her bowl. "Kalmah..." Cleo hesitates, showing her sister the slip. "What's this word?" She whispers, showing her twin. "It's a number, you idiot!" Hestia hisses. "Kalmah XXIV!" They finally announce together. They let the boy come up, skipping his short interview. "Okay, the girls now..." Hestia begins, reading her slip. "Oceania Seacrest!" I blink, disbelieving. I'd been Victor once. Why would the Capitol make me compete again? Peacekeepers push me out of the crowd, and Hestia claps her hands when she realizes that I am a celebrity. "What a surprise!" She says gleefully. I stand next to Kalmah, who pulls a sinister finger across his throat, miming my death.
District 5 - Gaara Ryûghan
I scowl at the Peacekeepers who stab a needle into me for my blood. I'd kill them all if I got the chance. "Good luck," One of them said. I ignored them, telling them to push off. I shoved my way past the line of kids, getting into the right age group. Romulus takes his spot on stage, talking happily with the Head Peacekeeper, like the two were old friends. Perhaps they were. More children were here this year, due to the new eligible children. They all looked so innocent - just like I used to be. But I'm not like that anymore. I'll happily kill people, and I haven't even been reaped. Yet. I drove all my family, my friends out, just so that I could have the best chances of becoming Victor. It would be worth it for life-long safety within my District, and the Capitol would love me. I'd be a young winner, the everlasting sign of glory and honour for District 5. What could be better than that? Removing people from my life was definitely worth it. "Okay, District 5! We're back for another year of the Hunger Games! I wish you all luck," Romulus begins. I can tell his a nice enough person, but I could easily imagine him being killed in two seconds flat...by me. I've trained in secret for years, preparing myself for the only destiny I could ever want. To win the Hunger Games. "Right, ladies! You first!" He smiles as he picks out a card with a girl's name on it. "Katarina Seacrest!" He calls. A psycho, smiling girl with curly brown hair appears on stage. I've never seen her before, but I can tell that she's completely mental because she's wearing the District asylum uniform. A straightjacket. Romulus' expression clearly shows that he is worried, and looks over his shoulder just to check that the Peacekeepers are there. "So, Katarina, how are you?" He asks, his voice wavering uncomfortably as he gets unnervingly close to the crazy girl. "I'm fine," Katarina smiles, staring into Romulus' eyes like a demon. Our escort smiles weakly, and hurriedly walks away from the female tribute, and to the male's bowl. "And your male tribute will be..." He reads the card happily, expecting no more drama, but I raise my hand and yell. "I VOLUNTEER!" Romulus looks up from the card, and sees me heading up to the stage with a beaming smile. Finally, I would get my chance. "And what's your name, young man?" Romulus asks, handing me the microphone. "Gaara Ryûghan," I answer proudly. I can see Katarina staring at me enviously in her straightjacket. "And why have you volunteered for the Games, Gaara?" Romulus questions curiously. I smile.
"Because the only reason for my existence is to kill."
District 6 - Luna Sunkin
Star and I line up together, and the female Peacekeeper gives us both sympathetic looks. She knows that we are siblings, and the only thing we have left is each other. She wishes us luck, and I thank her from the bottom of my heart. It is rare that we are shown any sign of affection from people, especially Peacekeepers. I hug my brother and let him go to the boy's crowd. I squeeze in between two extremely tall girls, who are supposed to be my age, though I doubt they are. It is unlikely that me and my brother will be reaped, as I only have four slips in the reaping bowl, and Star only has three. We've managed to get by without tesserae, so compared with many other kids, we're less likely to be reaped - but that might just be me being optimistic. Tatiana, our District escort, appears on stage in a beautiful dress. She's always been like that. She's got lovely green eyes, and long blonde hair and always has the nicest clothes on. Tatiana must think us like dirt, because of our itchy brown cotton factory and school uniforms. Nobody in my District can afford much clothes, and it's a luxury to have more than two outfits. "District 6, we're here for another year's Reapings! May the odds be ever in your favor!" She starts, two slips of paper already in her hands. "And the male tribute is Star Sunkin!" My brother emerges from the crowd, and I scream his name, running out to him. The female Peacekeeper that had been so kind to us held me back, but I kicked and hit her, wanting to be released from her grip. I wouldn't let my brother die, after the years we'd spent keeping each other alive. I wasn't going to give up on him now. He was more important to me than my own life. Tatiana begins to get uncomfortable with the chaos, so quickly begins to read out the girl's name. "Lucy-"
"I VOLUNTEER!" I scream. The whole crowd looks shocked as the female Peacekeeper lets me go. I sprint up onto the stage and wrap my arms around my little brother. Tatiana 'ahhs' at us like we are cute puppies. Tears are streaming down my face, but I know what I must do to protect my brother. "Are you two siblings?" Tatiana asks softly, bending down to our height. If it weren't for her heels, she would probably be smaller than me anyway. Star nods. "What's your name, pretty?" She asks me.
"Luna. Luna Sunkin. You're not going to split us," I reply protectively.
"Don't worry, you two can stay together..." Tatiana promises. She looks deeply at me, which unnerves me a little. "Your eyes are very blue... like the ocean. Very beautiful," Tatiana comments. I don't know what to make of her compliment, but nod appreciatively. I push my hair behind my ear nervously. "And here we have brother and sister, Star and Luna Sunkin, District 6 tributes for the 121st Hunger Games!"
District 7 - Brandon Ivey
The familiar sight of Peacekeepers and our district escort at the Reapings does not faze me. I’m fifteen, so I’ve been present at the Reapings enough times to understand what’s going on. If I ever got reaped, I’d do it for my family – not for the winnings, not for the fame or fancy home in the Victor’s village. I couldn’t bear to lose my family, and I’m sure they couldn’t bear to lose me. Knowing I’d die and cause them so much grief would only make me feel worse. If I won, I’d be saving my family from that. The wind is cold as the huge open area outside the Hall of Justice, the thick forests of trees creates a disturbing rustling noise that sounds similar to the sharpening of blades. I cast a glance at my shivering Mother in her thin cotton uniform. We are too poor to buy anymore clothes. My sisters would be delighted to get more dresses if I won. I smiled to myself at the thought of my siblings opening a new wardrobe full of wonderful clothes, just for them. I’d have to win for that to happen though. I am snapped out of my thoughtful mind as our escort shouts down the microphone. I think he’s a bit deaf, but he’s better than those annoying twin escorts from District 4. He doesn’t announce the Reapings, and immediately goes to picking out names. He’s a man of few words, you could say.
“Alyssa Mason!” He calls. Everyone turns their heads to face the infamous Alyssa, better known as Lyss. Her aunt was a Victor, and a very intelligent person. If her niece had the same intelligence and logical thinking, she’d be a definite contender for victory. “Brandon Ivey!” It took me a moment to realise that was my name. A sea of faces stared at me, their glares making me want to scream and just disappear. My mother begins to sob as Peacekeepers push me up onto stage. “Here you go, District 7! Your official tributes!” My mother screams my name, asking our escort to pick another name. She runs through the crowds, disappearing in a sea of pale children. Peacekeepers find her quickly, and grab her by the arms, kicking her to the floor.
“Stay down, woman!” The Head Peacekeeper booms, his baton at the ready, despite the fact five other trained soldiers are beside him with guns.
“NO! He’s my son! Please! He’s just an innocent boy!” She cries desperately, holding onto the Peacekeeper’s hands in the hope he will have at least a tiny bit of empathy. He pulls his hand away, leaving my mother to sob on the cold, hard ground.
“The Districts gave up their innocence when they rebelled. Keep quiet, lady!” The Head Peacekeeper replies as my mother gets to her feet. The look on her face shows nothing but anger and revenge. She scratches at his un-shielded face, leaving a line of blood on his cheek. He punches her in the shoulder, knocking her backwards.
The whole District gasps, but nobody retaliates. I can barely breathe with shock. Tears begin to appear on my face, but I wipe them away, not wanting to seem weak to all the other boys. Peacekeepers restrain me too, and take me to the Train where I am to go to the Capitol. As the doors close, I hear a gunshot.
District 8 - Rebekah Ure
Today is my first reaping. But I’m not scared. The sight of all these thick necks to squeeze makes me kind of happy. Plus, getting reaped for the Games is the only place that I can kill without being thrown in prison for it. Our fat-necked District escort, Ceres Sorcera, appears on stage, dressed in dung-coloured brown jumpsuit that somehow matches my scratchy woollen clothes. I could happily choke her. She looks like a huge mouse, and her voice isn’t too far off the noise that they make, either.
“Hello, District 8!” She says squeakily. I wonder how the older kids can bear listening to her every year. I’d run right up on that stage and strangle that voice of out of her – but Peacekeepers block my path so there’s no hope of that. Plus, the Capitol is watching. I’m not sure they’d support me after killing one of their own citizens. “Let’s begin!” She announces, but she’s not very good at announcing things. She speaks in a mousy whisper all the bloody time. Her shout is like normal speaking level! “And the female is...Rebekah Ure!” She says happily. I shoot out of the crowd before anyone can even turn around to look at me. Ceres smiles at me like I’m a model on a catwalk as I appear beside her on stage. “So, Rebekah, are you excited?” She points the microphone at me like an interviewer.
“Excited to kill, if that’s what you mean,” I reply, laughing. Nobody laughs with me. Even Ceres is slightly startled at my reaction. She moves on quickly, getting as much space between me and her as possible. Now I definitely want to choke her.
“Yoshi Holiday!” She calls. A blonde-haired boy with a strange green uniform walks up. He is frowning, and seems constantly angry. “Yoshi, are you excited, too?” She asks him the same question.
“Same as Rebekah. I just want to kill,” He mutters. Ceres squirms uncomfortably between the both of us. Yoshi and I smile at each other. It seems we both want to choke the life out of Ceres Sorcera.
District 9 - Pharmacy Rivera
My servants say goodbye to me as I make my way to the crowds gathering for the Reapings. Everyone stares at me as I walk up to get my blood taken. They probably haven't seen me in about a year and a half. I've been living off my scams for that long, anyway. But I'm rich enough now that nothing seems to be able to touch me. Not even the Hunger Games. But I'm going to volunteer, and get even more money so I can become the richest person in my District, and perhaps control most of it. Now that would be fun. But being rich is boring. You get everything served to you on a silver plate - life's too simple! I prefer to have that rush of running away from thugs and the adrenaline you get when you steal some food to stay alive. Yes, it's a bit dirty and tough, but it's fun! That's why I'm volunteering for the Hunger Games. I'll be living an adventure again. It doesn't sound so bad when you think about it. People are going to think I'm crazy. But I'm not. I just got bored of riches, and I can't exactly donate my money. It's mine - why would I share it with anyone else? The escort appears on stage in a rather crude little black dress. I'm probably richer than she is, and she's from the Capitol!
"Good morning, District 9!! Here we are for another Reaping. May the odds be ever in your favour." She selects a boy's name first. "Matthew Haper!" A red-head comes out of the crowd. I laugh at him. He sticks out like a sore thumb! People don't dare tell me to stop laughing at him, though Matthew casts me an annoyed glance which I just snigger at. When I volunteer, I think I'm going to be the one who kills him. "Ok, now for the girls...." There is a long pause. "Tania-"
"I volunteer!" I yell. Everybody turns around to face me. Some smile, some frown with confusion, others just stand there shocked. I run up on stage like I'm a Victor already, a beaming smile on my face. My escort kind of smiles, but then her bright face fades as she looks at the crowd. They are all staring at me with anger and shock. Perhaps they feel like I am being selfish, by entering the Games to get more money. I don't care what they think. They can think what they like, because I won't be seeing them ever again.
"And what's your name, dear?" Our escort asks like I'm a child.
"Pharmacy Rivera, darling." I answer back. She smiles weakly, and then turns to the crowd with a clearly fake grin on her face.
"And here we have, Matthew Haper and the volunteered tribute, Pharmacy Rivera! Good luck, both of you!"
District 10 - Blaine Fitz
I call my little sister downstairs. She trots down the stairs in a little floral dress. Our mother knitted it especially for her little girl, though she never saw her daughter in it. She gives me a high-five, as we always do when we meet. Her little fingers only stretch half of my palm. I crouch down to be at her height, and she blinks nervously. I think I intimidate her in my Reaping clothes. I always wear the same – a dark grey top and a black jacket, and black trousers. I’ve always tried to look my best, just in case I get reaped. But this year, I know I will become a tribute. Nobody in District 10 will volunteer. I’ll be the first in decades.
“Where you goin’, Bwaine?” She asks worriedly, biting her lip as she realises that I am in Reaping uniform. I grin at the fact she still cannot say my name properly.
“I’m going on a little trip, Gabriella,” I lie guiltily. Her expression shows me that she is confused.
“Can I come, Bwaine?” She pleads, holding onto my hand. “Pwease?”
“No, Gabriella. You must stay here with Pap. This is a big boy’s trip,” I explain to her. She scrunches up her face crossly, a deep frown on her face. I roll my eyes. Now is not the time for a tantrum. Two years ago, she threw a huge tantrum and the Peacekeeper’s came knocking to check that I hadn’t stayed at home to avoid the Reapings. I can’t have that again, or I’ll be on their record as a troublemaker. “Gabriella, I think I hear your dolls calling!” I suggest, mock gasping. She forgets my ‘trip’ and runs upstairs to see if her dolls really are calling her. I am going to miss her little red cheeks, and her innocent comments that would be ignorant and stupid from anyone but her. I never really have proper conversations with her, and the only people I really talk to are my friends.
I dash out of the house before my little sister can chase after me. I know that I might not see her again, but I will do whatever it takes to keep her and Pap alive, even if it means scarring myself for life in the Hunger Games. I’ve already lost my mother, and I refuse to let anyone else in my family die of something I can prevent. I run to the Hall of Justice, and I realise I am among very few late stragglers. The Peacekeepers practically stab the blood sampler into me, and give me a good lecture about time. Some recognise me as the boy that was late two years ago. I can see them warning the Head Peacekeeper about me. I take my place in line, ignoring them. My friends spot me, and smile weakly. I’ve told them what I’m going to do, but they won’t stop me. They know I have to do this, for my family.
The Mayor of District 10 gives us the same boring lecture about the Capitol, and the video alongside the anthem is played. At the end, an image of last year’s escort appears, and he announces that the old woman has passed away, at long last. She annoyed me so much, with her whiny voice and sagging, wrinkled face that has been infused with about a hundred doses of Botox. The Mayor introduces our replacement escort, Aster Clelia, the infamous daughter of President Rome. I’m not surprised she’s a replacement. She’s known to be the daddy’s girl of the Capitol. She’s the only person the President is remotely kind to.
“Hello, everybody. Thank you for such a wonderful speech, Mayor! Come on everybody, let’s show him some appreciation!” She claps her hands in appreciation, but nobody joins her. She has a lot to learn about the relationship of the Capitol and District 10. Everybody hates the Capitol, and supporters are practically shunned. She blushes sheepishly and begins to select a tribute’s name. I’m not sure if she’s picking out the boy or the girl – but she’s new to this so I don’t mind. “Alexandria Maydon!” There is a long pause. Nobody emerges from the crowd, and Peacekeepers all around the square are given images of the girl. It seems she has chosen to run from the Reapings. Though everyone knows that running is impossible, especially here. Electric, thick-wired fences run all the way around the District, and there are slim chances of getting out without being fried by the voltage.
“Where is Miss Maydon?” Aster asks stupidly. The Mayor whispers something in her ear, and she nods. “Okay, everybody, while Miss Maydon is found, I will call the second tribute.” She reaches her hand into the reaping bowl, and studies the paper in her fingers carefully. “Keld Orford!” She calls. My friends glare at me, though I am just waiting for the right moment. As everybody turns to face the unfortunate 12-year-old, I shout our escort’s name.
“I volunteer!” I yell. Aster looks at me in surprise, but welcomes me onto the stage. Little Keld gives me a nod of thanks, though I’m not doing this for him.
And what’s your name, young man?” Aster asks me, her thick Capitol accent showing through. I struggle to make out her words with the accent, but I manage to guess what she might be saying.
"Blaine Fitz,” I reply. Suddenly, a scream comes from behind the crowd. A fifty-strong troop of white-uniformed Peacekeepers arrive, bringing a girl in handcuffs up to stage. Our escort goes pale. Maybe she thinks that the girl she has picked out is a criminal. But she’s not. Alexandria is just rebellious, that’s all.
Get off me, idiots! I can walk up by myself!” Alexandria shouts at them. They back away, but are in constant grabbing distance. Aster shuffles closer to my side of the stage, avoiding the black-haired, black-clothed Alexandria. We look like twins, with me in my black Reaping clothes. But it’ll create an impact for the Capitol, like the whole thing was planned. I smile to myself as Aster announces us as the official tributes, and thanks everyone for being such a wonderful audience.
District 11 - Aislyn Latona
Hey how you doing? It hurts me to part with my three remaining siblings, and my grandmother gives me a shaky hug from the crowd barriers. I have my blood taken and form my part of the line of other girls my age. I see Dedrik, my 19-year-old brother holding our grandmother's hand for comfort. His Reapings are over. He doesn't have to worry about being a tribute any longer, though Liana and Crist are too young to enter. But their time will come soon, and it will shock them. But I will comfort them, and make sure they are kept safe. Dedrik has refused to let us take out tesserae, to keep us all safe. I hate parting from them at the Reapings. I'm the only person in our family who's actually eligible for the Hunger Games, so it scares me that I will not get to say goodbye to them.
Our funky-looking District escort appears on stage. He always wears some kind of tie-dye, and this year is no different. A rainbow coloured scarf hangs around his neck, and he has been dressed in a rather vibrant purple suit. The Capitol fashion is queer!</span></p>
Hello District Eleven!” Everyone cheers. He’s a nice man, our escort. We may dislike the Hunger Games, but he has always tried his hardest to keep our tributes alive, and is often the reason for our tributes surviving the Bloodbath. “Welcome to another Hunger Games! I wish you all luck for this year, and may the odds be ever in your favour.” He draws a slip from the boy’s bowl. “Rubin Jett!” A normally skinny, brown-haired boy steps up on stage. He looks like one of those people who is quiet, but frightfully hard-working. He could definitely be competition. “Rubin, I wish you luck. Have you got family supporting you?”
"No,” He replies. “My brother was killed in the Hunger Games.” Our escort looks sympathetically at Rubin, and I feel sad for him. I know what it is like to lose a sibling, and the pain that it causes between families.
“Well, Rubin, I wish you lots of luck. Now let’s see who will be joining you this year.” The escort picks out a second name. “Aislyn Latona!” I feel like I have been stabbed in the chest, and I can see my siblings start to sob. None of them can save me. Rubin looks me over. I am sure he is wondering if I am a threat to him or not, but I could never kill my district partner. He’s the closest thing I’ve got to home now.
“So, Aislyn, have you got any family supporters?” Our escort asks carefully. I nod.
“My brothers and my sister, and my grandmother.” Our escort smiles thankfully - at least he hasn't made the same mistake with me. Family is a very touchy subjects for many people in the Districts.
“And here we have, Rubin Jett and Aislyn Latona, District 11 tributes for the 121st Hunger Games!”
District 12 - Amy Clarke
I hurry to the Hall of Justice. I was going to be early, but in District 12 it doesn't really matter whether you're on time or not. The Peacekeepers here are so incompetent that girls like me are hired to keep everyone in order, but secretly. The familiar face of my top-boss, the President Rome, is on screen. The escort gives me a funny look, like she recognises me, though I doubt that very much. I used to come from District 1, and the escort there is much more famous than the freakish woman here. The other hundreds of kids arrive, and I am put in a special area that is close to the stage, for the most presitgious children in the District. Alongside me is the Mayor's children, a few high-placed Merchant children and a second member of the team that I work with - the only other eligible people from my 'organisation' if you could call it that.
I've been bored with my team for months now, though I don't think I could go back to proper missions. All I've been doing is interrogations of suspected criminials. I've been doing them too long to get the same adrenaline rush that I used to get with proper tasks, but I will do as the President tells me, for that is the job of the Districts: to serve and to obey. I am half-daydreaming about going back into action as our escort taps the microphone. It screams in the speakers, and everyone winces, though I keep my stock-still position, not showing any weaknesses before I volunteer for the Hunger Games. That's one thing the President cannot tell me to do. It's the only option I have, to make my life more interesting. And he won't help me get back to missions, so maybe if I become Victor he will see that he cannot control me any longer.
"Welcome, everybody. Please wait quietly while your wonderful Mayor gives us the speech," our escort, Rosa Florie begins. She steps back from the cameras as Mayor begins the familiar speech that he gives every year. I have heard it told many a time at home in District 1, but the Mayor here says it with sadness, and with emotion lacking in his tone. It seems District 12 is definitely not a supporter of the Capitol, as my District has been for over a century. "Thank you, Mayor, for that wonderful story." Rosa claps modestly, not expecting anyone to clap with her. She finishes quickly, and picks out a slip.
"Boys first, this year!" She explains, scanning the paper. "Trent Greer." I turn my head to an unfamiliar boy in the crowd. He his smiling, slightly laughing but drops his smiling face when Rosa looks at him in disgust. He isn't bad looking, though his poor rags of clothes are somewhat different to the fashions of the Capitol. "Hello, Trent!" He grins back, and I think Rosa is surprised to see such a cheery face at the Reapings, when most kids here are practically breaking down, trying to keep tears streaming from their face. "Well, it's nice to see a happy face," Rosa admits.
"It's nice to see you too!" Trent replies. I cannot decide whether he is being sarcastic or not. I will have to analyze him in training - his big build and broad shoulders show all the signs of a fighter.
"Okay, girls! It's your turn!" Rosa continues, a beaming smile on her face. Trent has brought happiness to the saddest days of the year. "Alexis Jocasta!" The crowd moves to make way for the young girl, but before she can reach the stage I scream out 'I volunteer!'. For the second time today, Rosa has the look of shock but glee on her face. It's been forever since anyone volunteered in the Hunger Games. The last person do volunteer was Katniss Everdeen, in the 74th Hunger Games. Her little sister was traumatised at her death, but I laughed because District 1's Cato became Victor instead. Katniss was just another girl sent for slaughter. But I won't be. I run up on stage, a confident walk in my pace.
"Well, what's your name?"
"Amy Clarke," I answer shortly. Rosa tilts her head, expecting more of an answer. But I am a girl of few words, so I shall keep to that motto. The fewest words can say the most, but give away the least about a person. Perhaps tributes will find me more of someone to be scared of if they do not know my strengths, my weaknesses, or my character. It will make it so much easier to frighten and surprise people away from making any attempts at attacking me.
"District Twelve, please give a round of applause for Trent Greer and Amy Clarke." A few monotone claps sound, but it comes from the Mayor and his family. Nobody else responds. "Come on District 12, show some respect for your volunteer and tribute!" Rosa urges desperately. People look up at her. The whole crowd puts their fingers to their lips, and raises them in the scarcely seen three fingered gesture. A rush of adrenaline surges through me. Rosa falls silent, and Trent stands still, knowing the gesture is not for him. I return the gesture, with a meek nod of my head. Maybe I underestimated the kindness of the District. I'd always thought my home District so much better, but now I see that the people here are some of the most honourable, selfless and respectful people in all of Panem.
District 13 - Crimson Typhoon
I run through the corridor of many apartments. The halls all seem the same in District 13, except from the 'road' numbers at the end of each corridor. I can't believe I still live in the dated underground bunkers that once held many soldiers and nuclear weapons - but the rooms are now like cells for the people to work in.
I'm frightfully late to the Reapings, and the Peacekeepers are already on my case. If I don't volunteer in time, I won't get to save Connor. I won't save the only friend I've ever had. But I will save him, even if it means fighting to the death in the Hunger Games. I don't care whether I die or not, I just need to save him. He's the person who helped me become strong, and forget about wanting to commit suicide. My District threw me out after I was supposed of having 'magic' in me, only welcoming me back when I could get picked for slaughter in the Hunger Games. Connor's the only person who ever really believed in me. It might sound all soft and pathetic, but wouldn't you feel the same duty to save your friend?
"Boy! What are you doing!" A Peackeeper yells at me. I stop like a rabbit in the headlights. "You're late. Don't let me catch you late again, lad. You'll be in cuffs before you can say 'i volunteer'." Some Peacekeepers are light on the District 13 people on Reaping days, but others are painfully strict and practically lock us in our houses, for fear that we will commit some kind of mass crime. Our Mayor has already given the speech and shown the promo video, and the escort is about to read out the girl's name.
"Shyvana..." The escort pauses. I'm not sure he's the smartest of people, when he's unable to read out a surname. "Feuer?" He guesses. A red-head girl emerges from the multi-coloured haired crowd. District 13 is much more eccentric than many others, if you hadn't guessed. The girl is dressed in a simple black tie-top that goes across her shoulder, and our escort nods at her surprising fashion sense. Reaping day is the only day that us kids get to put on normal clothes, and not just the horrific grey bulgy uniforms that we are forced to work and 'play' in, though in my case, I never spend much time playing. Shyvana steps up onto the stage.
"Well, Shyvana, what do you have to say to your District and the audience?" She nods. She is handed the microphone with a rebellious glare in her eye.
"District 13 and the Capitol! I am doing this, not of my own asking, but of the Capitol's bloodthirsty request. You don't know what the Capitol is doing and has done to District 13. Have you not noticed the changes? Once, we were stronger than the Capitol itself. What happened to us? Nobody suddenly becomes weak - for years we lived in peace, without the tyrannical reign of President Rome. Why have you all given up? We were once so powerful. What happened to our glorious city of hope? We could have been the spark of the fire that all the Districts haave been waiting for. The Capitol has hurt so many of us - both in the Hunger Games and wars we didn't wish to fight. They killed my father. Listen to me, and realise that none of us are weak - we have just stopped trying. Begin a rebelli-" Peacekeepers rushed on stage and punched Shyvana on the cheek, instantly knocking her out. Obviously they were done with this outspoken girl, even though her speech would be edited out from the Reaping videos. I know who Shyvana is. She's the orphaned daughter of a high-placed soldier, a man who was killed in a war. It was no wonder she was trying to raise the Districts against the Capitol. I couldn't live with them killing my close family members. That's why I must volunteer for Connor. To save him. She didn't get a chance to save her close ones, so it makes me the more eager to take advantage of the oppurtunity I have been given, whether or not it shall be a successfull risk to take.
"Let's continue. Boys now," Our escort adds hastily. A slip is selected, and he takes time reading it. "Brahmos-"
"I VOLUNTEER!" I yell with highest volume I can reach. Our escort welcomes me on stage and a 12-year-old heaves a sigh of relief as he realises I have taken his place. I nod at him, and he smiles weakly at me. In some ways, he reminds me of Connor. But I will probably never see Connor again. The last time I saw him was when he was captured, and I was told I must volunteer for the Games or he would be killed immediately after the boys' name was called out.
"Well, what's your name young man? You are brave to volunteer," Our escort states, handing me the microphone hesitantly. He often does interviews, but I'd be sceptical of handing me the mic after Shyvana's outbreak of rebelliousness.
"That's a very interesting name. Well, Crimson, have you got anything to say to the District 13 crowd?" I nod my head, not quite sure what I'm doing. I take the microphone in my hand, shaking.
Shyvana's right. We could be so much more than an oppressed city. I'm risking my life to save the life of my friend. They are oppressing me right now, and I can't do anything about it. But you can." Peacekeepers take my arms and take me to the train, not brutally beating me, but with batons poking into my sides just in case I decide to break out like my fellow District partner had. But she was right, and I totally agreed with her. Maybe if i won, I could organise a rebellion, within the secrecy of my Victor's village home.
|9||Matthew Haper||Impaled in the head||Odin Amarth||26th|
|7||Alyssa Mason||Sliced down the ribs/poisoned||Nymph Meré||25th|
|3||Nick Machlachlan||Stabbed in the chest||Luna Sunkin||24th|
|12||Amy Clarke||Poisoned/face burnt away by acid||Nymph Meré||23rd|
|8||Yoshi Holiday||Stabbed in the chest with a goat-horn knife||Shyvana Feuer||22nd|
|7||Brandon Ivey||Stomach sliced open||Timor Cat (mutt)||21st|
|11||Blaine Fitz||Knocked unconscious, drowned||Kalmah XXIV||20th|
|2||Petri Lindroos||Bled to death||Injury||19th|
|12||Trent Greer||Stabbed in the chest||Luna Sunkin||18th|
|6||Luna Sunkin||Knocked unconscious and drowned||Trent Greer||17th|
|11||Rubin Jett||Speared in the back||Pharmacy Rivera||16th|
|10||Alexandria Maydon||Slit throat||Pharmacy Rivera||15th|
|9||Pharmacy Rivera||Torn apart by a shark mutt||Shark mutt||14th|
|11||Aislyn Latona||Trident through the neck||Oceania Seacrest||13th|
|2||Scarlett Winters||Strangled to death||Rebekah Ure||12th|
|5||Gaara Ryughan||Sliced through the heart||Kalmah XXIV||11th|
|1||Nymph Meré||Speared in the stomach||Odin Amarth||10th|
|8||Rebekah Ure||Speared in the chest||Odin Amarth||9th|
|4||Kalmah XXIV||Cut through the throat with a scythe||Katarina Seacrest||8th|
|5||Katarina Seacrest||Impaled by Shyvana||Stalagmite/Shyvana Feuer||7th|
|4||Oceania Seacrest||Stabbed in the heart repeatedly||Star Sunkin||6th|
|6||Star Sunkin||Slit throat||Shyvana Feuer||5th|
Day 1 - Bloodbath
Aislyn Latona D8
Sixty seconds. I've only got sixty seconds to scan the area. All I can see is a huge lagoon around the tribute platforms. Sixty. At the centre of the platforms is a tiny island holding the huge Cornucopia. It's a very strange shape this year. It's a huge glass structure with one entrance that is also the only exit. Fifty seconds left. There are steps that stretch around it that hang precariously on the side, leading up to a roof-garden if you could call it that. Forty seconds left. I assume that there will be valuable and the most useful supplies on the roof-garden, though the trees growing on it hide the precious items. Thirty seconds left. My heart starts racing, and I can see other tributes readying themselves for the first day of the Hunger Games. Twenty seconds left. I spot a bow hanging from a branch on the roof garden, though it is too close to the steps. It's too dangerous. I'd be dead in five minutes up there. Ten seconds left. At the centre of the Cornucopia are a whole pile of small knives, backpacks and survival supplies. It seems all the weapons are on the roof. Nine seconds left. I wonder how I am going to swim to the small island, but I decide that I will grab anything dead tributes' will leave with their corpses. Nine seconds left. To both sides of me are Careers. I better keep out of their way. But how am I even going to reach the island? My swimming is awful. Eight seconds left. My heart is beating at an alarming rate, and I have to breathe slowly to calm myself. It seems the seconds keep ticking past. The gong sounds. There are a few shouts of surprise, and I dive into the water. The cold shock of the icy waves made my body stun for a second. I open my eyes, but unbearable salt water gets into them and I just have to swim forwards, in the hope I will not collide with another tribute. My lungs contract too quickly, and I cannot hold my breath longer than ten seconds. I rise up, and take a huge breath. Some tributes are struggling in the cold water, as I am. A few have already made it to the island, and have grabbed weapons. Clearly they're Careers. I dive back under, and just hope I'll survive.
Suddenly, a spear sails through the water beside me. Part of the blade catches my ankle, and I scream, but revolting water fills my mouth. I grab the weapon, and go back up to the surface. I cough up water and salt and I could almost puke. Odin Amarth is standing by the shore with evil eyes. I take one look at him and swim away. I know I am weak but I've no other choice. I see a small range of mountains in the far distance. It'll be about a 1800 metre swim, but I can make it. I will make it.
Odin Amarth D1
I watch disappointedly as my spear sails past Aislyn. I know that I have missed, but at least I have injured her slightly. I still have my gallant sword, at least. I charge back to the Cornucopia, knowing other tributes will make it to the island soon. I am glad that the Careers' have excellent swimming ability for we have been able to reach the supplies all the more quicker. I have doubts about the girl from District 7, however. She hasn't made it to the island yet, and I'm kind of hoping she has been killed. She has one of the most annoying voices I have ever come across. And in District 1, there are so many.
"Odin, watch your back!" My ally Petri yells at me as he begins to pile up supplies on the rooftop. He has already taken all the water bottles up there, alongside the weapon stash. Coming up behind me is a boy I am unfamiliar to, and he is armed with a huge throwing knife, which surprises me as the only weapons are on the rooftop. I ready my sword, and take a slash at him. He craftily doges my attack, and makes a jab in the direction of my stomach. I manage to jump out of the way just in time. I am much taller than he, but he is at the perfect height to stab me in the heart or stomah. I retreat a little, waiting for him to come to me. He propels his knife forwards in the air, and it just skims my shoulder. I heave a sigh of relief to know I will not be killed at his hands. I glare at him as he knows he is defenceless, and I still have my sword. I punch him on the temple, and he his knocked immediately to the hard ground. I point the sword at his neck, drawing droplets of fresh blood. He begs whole-heartedly for mercy. I shake my head, and bury the sword in his forehead. Blood seeps out like a food, and I draw back my weapon to assist Petri up on the rooftop. My first kill is complete.
Oceania Seacrest D4
I am one of the first non-Careers to reach the island. There are only three or so tributes here, but soon many will be arriving. I spot most of the weapons on the rooftop, but a tribute is up there already. Perhaps I can take him on. I run past Odin and his opponent's corpse, and head straight up the steps. I violently push the tribute down, and he collapses in bewilderment, like he never saw me coing. I take a backpack while I still have time. I spot a trident close by that has been annoyingly indented in a tree, probably to cause more drama in fights between tributes. I struggle to pull it free as my opposing tribute gets back to his feet. I scream at him, but he ignores me and continues to get closer, armed with a sickeningly sharp knife that he has handily just picked up. My heart is racing, and I don't know what to do next. Should I abandon the trident and run? But it's the only way I can protect myself - but is it worth the risk?
I've won before. I can do it again. I yank the trident out with all my might, and the end of the handle knocks the oncoming tribute in the face. It knocks him out and I smile a little. I don't bother killing him because Odin is running up the steps to come to his ally's aid. I take the trident and backpack and jump off the Cornucopia rooftop. I land with a hard thud, and my knees buckle. A shooting pain runs up my left ankle. I limp to the shore of the island, and scan for a part of the ocean that isn't occupied by a tribute. There is only one direction - and that leads directly to the banks of a forest. There will be a long swim to reach it, and it might cause my ankle more pain. But if I've learnt anything from my last Games, it's to never give up. I see if there is any blood around my leg where I damaged it, but it is relieving to know that there is no red liquid. I grasp my trident tightly in my fist, and sling the fluorescent green bag on my back. It is lightweight, but I can hear the tinkling of metal inside which sounds promising. With my eyes open for danger, I dive back under the cold sea.
Alyssa Mason D7
For some reason I am taking forever to reach the island. I've passed about six other tributes, and one with an ankle pouring out blood into the cold saltwater. When I reach the shore, I see that someone is already dead. Matthew, I think. I ignore his pale corpse and run as fast as I can to the Cornucopia, but someone blocks the path I have taken. A girl, I thin named Nymph, is reaching to get a fallen backpack that is hanging hopefully from the side of the Cornucopia. She spots me and screams. Her defeaning yell makes me stunned for a second. She runs up to me, and shoves me to the floor, yelling about someone stealing her teapots. She knocks me in the face, punches my stomach and then stands on my calf with her huge boots. They have some kind of studs on them. Holes are left all up the right side of my calf, and the pain is unbearable. Blood covers the whole of my leg as I am left yelling in the dirt - calling help from my allies. Nobody returns my call. My enemy sprints back to her backpack, and pulls it down. The rip of fabric echoes in my ears. Out spills a few knives, about fifty darts, a bottle of purple poison and a sturdy metal slingshot. Nymph's eyes widen in surprise of sudden luck. My heart thuds, and I know it could be the last time my heart beats. I yell and scream, and stumble onto my left foot, only to fall down again. Now I really am in trouble.
I see Odin up on the rooftop, and I call his name desperately. He spots me, helplessly sprawled about the ground. He shrugs and continues helping his closest ally: Petri. I know he has never liked me, but I figured he'd at least try to save me. The freakish, psychotic girl named Nymph is approaching. There is nothing I can do as she spreads the kife with a deep-purple liquid. She slashes the weapon down my ribs. I sceram with pain. I can see my blood-red ribs barely holding in my major organs. The purple liquid makes my organs contract and become a shrivelled shape. My lungs get smaller and smaller, and I can feel the life literally escaping out of me. It feels like I am drowning. My head thuds, and the last thing I hear is my cannon.
Star Sunkin D6
My sister and I swim side-by-side as we make our way to the island. Despite our age differences, I am the faster swimmer and Luna struggles to keep up. I pull her above surface so she can catch her breath back. We’ve not been swimming in years, and we’re out of practice. A few are dead already, and the sight of their lifeless corpses laying on the island scares me. There are about six of us still in the water, or swimming away. The rest are fighting for supplies with no avail. Luna and I bob above the surface, deciding what approach to take. If we wait too long, the Careers will have full control of the Cornucopia and there will not be enough tributes left to keep them busy.
“We’ve got to get backpacks, at least,” my sister suggests. I shake my head. The backpacks have been mostly taken, or kept hidden by the Careers. A girl named Pharmacy has been appointed to keep them in a separate pile on the rooftop, though a few have been accidentally cast out into the ocean, or been randomly placed in the water by the Gamemakers. I shake my head. “What are we going to do, then?” She asks hopefully. I don’t know. I haven’t a clue, and my legs and arms are starting to tire of keeping my body afloat. Suddenly, a voice calls our name from the nearest shore. It’s Rebekah, I think, and she’s got a backpack. She’s standing beside Trent Greer and an unfamiliar person. I drag my sister forwards, and we swim as fast as we can with what energy we have left.
As we reach the shore, Rebekah runs into the water, yelling our names. We are too far to understand what she’s saying. Luna tells me that she is warning us of something. I turn my head and an angry tribute is swimming towards us like a shark. We suddenly realise that he is not a member of our alliance. I push Luna ahead of me, and she runs up onto the sand, weighed down by the water that is pouring off of her. Rebekah takes her hand and gives her a knife from the backpack. I am still ankle-deep in the water, and the tribute is coming after me quicker than I can run. He draws out a crossbow.
“RUN STAR!” Trent yells as he grabs my arm and pushes me forwards. The tribute stands stock-still in the water and reveals a crossbow. It’s much better than the simple knives we have. He loads it, and takes a shot at Trent. Thankfully, it misses.
“I’m gon’ kill you!” The boy yells. “Nick’s going to kill you!” The tribute yells. Nick Machlachlan. That’s his name. Luna runs up to him with her knife, dodging arrows. She stabs him in the chest in a vicious rage to protect our alliance. He draws his terminal breath, and falls into the water. An airship flies overhead to pick up his body. My sister turns around to face me.
"Luna..." I begin. I can't believe she's just killed someone.
Blaine Fitz D10
I've made it to the banks, but not of the Cornucopia island. The Careers were swarming and had already made a kill there, so I'd swam as far away from it as possible. There was no hope of retrieving anything now, but at least I'd managed to find Kalmah (4M), Alexandria (10F) and Rubin (11M) on the way. But Oceania was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps she had been killed, or escaped...
I don't know. I've never been in this situation before.
"Where is she?" Kalmah asks impatiently. We are totally unprotected here on the shore, and the Careers could swim over at any moment, or we could be ambushed by other alliances. All I could think of was to find a place to stay in the forest while we figured out a plan to get weapons, supplies and Oceania.
"I don't know where she is! I haven't seen her anywhere. But we've got to get moving - other tributes will be on the hunt," I answer him quickly. I'm not sure what to do as leader of my alliance. Oceania was our best chance of getting past the first few days, and without her, we were no better than any other alliances. We had no advantage. I'd seen another alliance group on the other end of the banks, and they had weapons. Good ones. One of them had already made a kill, in plain sight. It wouldn't be long before they came after us as well.
"Well, we've got to do something!" Alexandria exlaims. "We can't just stay here out in the open!" It seems I am not the only one that is freaking out.
"I agree," Rubin adds shortly. Up until now, he's not said a word to any of us.
"Let's get going then," I decide. Kalmah rolls his eyes crossly and makes the way through the undergrowth. I am definitely not cut out to be the leader of an alliance. I just hope that we can find Oceania in time.
Petri Lindroos D2
I wake up with a pounding headache. Scarlett is sat beside me with a pot of cream. It's kind of a white colour, though someone's blood has stained it. I frown. How has one of the Careers become injured? I sit up abruptly but Scarlett pushes me down forcefully. Amy Clarke is standing over us both, and Odin is talking with Beemo about something.
"Stop pushing me!" I yell furiously, as Scarlett pushes me down for the second time. My head is searing with pain, but it's not enough to keep me from fighting in the Hunger Games. Pathetic headaches won't kill me.
"Well, unless you want to bleed to death I suggest that you stay down, Petri," Scarlett says sarcastically, smearing some of the white-red cream onto my left temple. It seems I am the one that has been injured... but how? I can't remember fighting with anyone. Amy hands Scarlett a yellow and white pill to give to me. I swallow it reluctantly. How can I trust either of them? How do they know if it's the right pill to take?
After about five minutes, the headache is gone. Odin hands me a backpack and his sword. I grab a knife too but leave it hanging solidly on my belt in case I need it.
"What happened to me?" I demand angrily, wiping away dried blood from my head.
"You were hit in the head with the end of a trident," Amy explains, biting her lip to stop herself laughing. I glare at her, and she stops.
"We're going to find the girl that attacked you - Oceania," Beemo tells me happily, sharpening the silver spear that is locked tightly in her grasp. "Or do you want to keep watch with Amy?" She has an absent-minded look on her face. Her light blue hair comes across her forehead, and she looks oddly pretty. It makes me unnerved. I blink. I will not fall for whatever plans she has set for me. It seems like the Careers are not the strongest alliance - yet. "You coming with us?" Beemo asks.
"Oceania won't stand a chance," I smile.
Brandon Ivey D7
To be honest, I am completely surprised at myself. I've managed to survive the Bloodbath, and escape the island, without confronting anybody else, though I kind of wish I'd made up an alliance. I begin trekking through the forest, and pick up whatever might help me make weapons or find food. I grab a sharp rock, and a thick branch that might serve me as a spear if I modify it. As I search for a good tree to climb, I file the top of the branch to a sharp point. It might not be the best of weapons, but it'll do. At least I have something to protect myself with. Content with my make-shift weapon, I grab a branch of one of the trees. The foliage here is all very tall, and most of the bushes stand over my head, most of the trees reaching well over fourty feet. I'm sure the Gamemakers are hiding creatures somewhere in these thick jungle canopies, though I doubt they'd introduce them so early on. I hoist myself up onto the fourth branch up of a small tree, and sit down quietly, waiting for the night to come. If I'm lucky, I might get a parachute after the Fallen are shown. I trust my mentor enough to know he'll help me when times get tough, but the chances of getting one now is unlikely. If I stick it out, I might get to kill a tribute and then steal their weapons! I smile at the thought of my ingenious plan.
Suddenly, I hear a faint noise. It sounds like something big. Is it a mutt? I ponder the question, holding my spear tightly. From the undergrowth, a dark-haired rat-like creature scuttles across the skinny branch opposite me. I heave a sigh of relief that it's not big enough to kill me. Light flashes in my eyes, and I look up to the sky to see if it is the sun. But any sunlight is shrouded by the tree canopy. I look back at the rat. In it's mouth it holds something shiny. I jump over to it, holding on like a monkey to get a closer look. I capture the creature in my hands. It squirms and squeaks, but I stab it through the stomach, and it dies immediately. The blood soaks all over my fingers, but I am glad that I at least have some meat that I can cook when evening comes. I grasp the shiny item that the rat corpse still holds in its mouth. It looks like some sort of key to a doorway - or maybe a safe of some kind? I rub the blood off the item, and stuff it in my pocket. A key! What possible use could I have of a key? But this doesn't seem like a common coincidence. Maybe the Gamemakers have something planned for us tributes...
Nymph Meré D1
I meet with Mother on the beach. The glass house is empty now, except for one sleeping girl. I decide not to wake her - Mother's always been my good conscience. I smile as she helps me pack my bag, though it's a struggle as it's ripped and the darts keeping slipping through. I groan, and give up, tossing the bag aside till later. My mother begs for a cup of tea, but I can't see any of her favourite herbs around to make it with. I collect some firewood and begin attempting to light a fire. Mother chats to me happily, telling me that whatever tea I make is delicious. I blush at her compliment. At last, the kindling I have collected begins to glow and I coax it to catch onto the dry sticks I've laid out. Soon, a thick golden glow is blazing in front of me. I've nothing to hold my water in, so there's no chance of making Mother's tea. But the Voice my head tell me I can. It whispers around, discussing the best way to collect water. It mentions the girl on the glass house rooftop, and I shake my head. But it keeps screaming at me to go and steal weapons from her. Mother looks sad, and is flopping lazily on the sandy bank of the lagoon. Knowing I am defeated, the Voice instructs me to grab my weapons and get some supplies.
Armed with a slingshot, poisoned darts and sturdy knife I swim over, making sure I keep my whole body underwater as long as possible. I occasionally surface to have a silent breath, and I sometimes look over my shoulder to check that Mother is faring okay next to the fire. The Glass house is silent, except the slow, annoying hum of the girl's snores. I tiptoe up the steps, and search around their piles of supplies for a water bottle.
Suddenly, a frightful yell comes from the beach. It's Mother, and she's pointing out a group of people, all armed and with disappointed but bloodthirsty looks on their face. The Voice tells me to run, but I need to get a bottle.
"RUN!" It booms at me. I cover my ears with my hands and keep rifling through the pile with my feet, quietly - though a metal knife wallops against a sword and sends a ring through the air, immediately waking the girl. She looks at me in surprise and grabs the closest weapon to her. The Voice stops yelling at me and softly murmurs that I should kill her. Quietly, and before the armed group can reach me. The girl runs at me. I don't think she has spotted the group on the other side of the shore, who are now shouting and pointing. They've discovered me, and it won't be long till they've swam over and are attempting to kill me.
Amy Clarke D12
I hadn't even seen her coming. I must have drifted off to sleep while the rest went hunting. Nymph comes running at me with her knife that is dripping with blood. I assume Alyssa's, though she could have been killed by anyone. She was always going to be the weak one. I grasp a knife like her's, though I make sure I am within arm-length of a spear, just in case. I run at my enemy, and she dodges me. I turn and see a blade coming towards my face. It just skims my cheek, but rips off some of the skin with it. I feel blood dripping down my face, put I push on knowing this injury won't kill me. I run at the girl again, but she twists her body an awkward way and brings a fist to my shoulder. I am knocked back onto the floor, and it takes me a while to get my vision into focus. But I don't have a while. Nymph is already preparing her slingshot to take an aim at me, but I roll out the way, the poison splashing onto my face as the dart lands solidly in the ground. My eyes widen. My cheeks are already bleeding - the acid in the poison makes them burn, and it literally feels like my flesh is melting away. I hear footsteps and yelling nearby. My alliance has come to my rescue. I heave a sigh of relief, but they are not here yet. Nymph looks panicked, but stuffs a water bottle under her arm, her weapons still in hand.
"AMY!" I recognise Odin's voice. "Just hang in there!" Pounding footsteps rattle the whole of the Cornucopia.
"Burn," Nymph says briskly. I frown, and run at her with my knife, but she leaps out of the way and knocks my weapon out of my hand. I scream. The poison is melting into my muscle now. I can't take the pain any longer. My freakish enemy takes hold of a bottle of poison from our supply stash, and cocks her head like a confused puppy. "Hot water makes you burn," She whispers, and tips the whole pot on my head, fingering the bottle tentatively. I scream, and can see her jump down from the Cornucopia just as my alliance arrives on the rooftop. In one dive, she is gone, but she's made her mark. The poison is cutting away, fizzling my flesh and rotting my face right down to the bone. Scarlett shrieks as she sees the state of me, and Petri drops to his knees in fear. But Odin is near tears. It's unlike him. He cradles my head in his hands, and I drop my shoulders back onto his lap.
"Amy, you'll be fine," Odin says quietly, though is voice is wavering. I smile, though half my cheeks have disappeared, leaving hot red flesh hanging off the bone, bubbling like soda. "Hey, Pharmacy, grab those bandages, please," Odin orders calmly.
"It's okay, Odin," I murmur. Even speaking hurts. My hair falls in burnt tresses around me. The poison is working it's way to my skull. There's no hope for me. Odin refuses, and still wraps my head tightly in white bandages. They immediately become clogged with liquified skin, twitching muscle and veins that hang like threads. The acid completely burns away the bandages, and they just fall back in Odin's hands. I smile at him. "Win for me."
"No, you can win this, Amy, okay?" Odin is convincing himself more than he is convincing me. He rests his cheek on mine. This is strange, but perhaps a good way to go.
"Let me go, Odin. Please."
Yoshi Holiday D8
I shudder. The night has been cold, and I've only got my jacket for extra warmth, but it'll keep me alive, at least. My backpack that I fished from the ocean has been my life-line. It helped me float to the shore when i could not swim - it must have some kind of buoyancy fabric in it. Inside, there was a 100m length rope, an empty water skin, one single lighter and a stretchy plastic canopy that I assume could be used as either a shelter, or something to wrap yourself in for warmth. I have stretched it across two trees to shield me from most of the weather, though the humid forest still makes things damp whatever the weather may be. I also used it to conceal the smoke from the fire during the night, which could be a life-saver in the Arena.
I untie the rope that has kept the sheet over my head and stuff it in my backpack. Quietly, I butt out the dying embers in my fire with my black boots. I smile contentedly to myself as I whisper goodbye to my camp. I begin to trek through the Arena.
I am being sure to leave a trail of burn marks on certain trees so I can find my way back, though I am careful not to do this too often as it could waste the gas in the lighter, and could make my path traceable. I check that my footsteps are not left dented in the mud - people could quite easily track me. I hop over logs and dodge twisted roots emerging like zombies from the sodden forest floor. I can feel my lips getting dry and cracked. I haven't had a single sip of a drink since the day I left the Capitol, except accidentally swallowing some of the salty water in the ocean while escaping the Bloodbath. All I can think of is clear, icy water...
I shake my head into focus. My eyes are becoming constantly blurred and my head is thumping like a herd of elephants are thundering around up there. "Yoshi!" I hiss crossly. I cannot let this thirstiness stop me finding the very thing I need. Water. I must keep myself going. I enjoy watching people suffer, but not myself! I sieve the dry mud through my fingers. They fall like sand back to the floor. There is no water here. I start to walk slowly downhill, as I've been stumbling up slopes for the past half an hour.
My feet start to ache terribly. I am sweating excessively because of the humidity, but I cannot afford to lose anymore liquids, and I have to stop myself from going to the toilet to save whaterver I can. I pass leaves dropping with condensed water, and I store it carefully in my water skin, ensuring that each droplet enters the open cap. I do not drink any of it, however. I will save it until I really need it. I move past the leaves quickly as the landscape is levelling out, much to my delight. My legs need a little rest, even if they keep moving. I'm sure I'm getting near some kind of river, or lagoon, as I can hear the splash of water against rocks. A clearing opens up in the thick bushes, and I can see water. The sight of so much fresh water makes me dizzy. But then I realise it's not the sight making me dizzy. It's dehydration. I feel woozy, and my tongue stops salivating. My headache rattles terribly, and I yawn deeply. I've no time to realise what is happening to me, because that's when I black out.
Katarina Seacrest D5
I see an airship fly over the Cornucopia. The Careers have just lost their second member. I smile. That gives me more time to take out Oceania before they can start searching for her again. I've seen that Nymph girl. She's a definite threat. Two kills already, I think. But I won't take her on as a target. I've already got to find Oceania. I know she's injured, I saw her limp away from the Bloodbath like a wounded animal. I tie up my hair with a skinny jungle vine to keep it out of my face as I follow someone's tracks. I'm not sure who's tracks they are, exactly, but from the size of the shoe makrs I'm guessing it's a big girl, or small boy. Oceania's always been a bit taller and longer-footed than the other girls, so I really hope that these are her tracks. My only misson in these Games is to kill her.
I look up to the sky, and hear the birds fluttering overhead. Something has startled them to fly away. Maybe a tribute? I hope. I crouch down to the ground, and much to my delight, there are clear signs that somebody has been there, and recently.
There are fresh indents in the mud, and a few heavier footprints left. It seems that my 'lovely' cousin has been limping her way through the Games, probably on her right foot from what the tracks show me. I laugh. My chances of killing her are as high as ever, especially considering I have a huge, curved knife that could easily hack her to death. The thought makes me gleam with pride and excitement. I can't wait for the moment when I will see her blood on my hands, and her ugly face in the sky. She beat me once. She will not beat me again. I follow the tracks as far as I can, but the ground starts to dry out the further I follow them, and the tracks start to fade along with the moisture. I punch the ground as I realise that I've lost whoever I've been following. I scream out loud. All I want is ONE kill! Is that too much too ask?!
"Hey, calm down!" Someone yells from the trees. I look up and see nothing but birds. I definitely heard a voice, though. I can see rustling leaves up there, but the thickness of the canopy forbids me to see any kind of mutt, or tribute, or any animal! My frustration mounts as the voice continues.
"I've seen you. Tracking. I'm not a stupid person," The voice says. I narrow my eyes, and spot a shadow in the trees. I have my target, though the person is so high up I would never be able to reach them with my curved scythe. But they gcould easily send a spear plummeting down towards me.
"What's your name?" I demand furiously.
"Aislyn. District Eleven," She replies. I smile. She's a loner too, though a bit dumb, despite her claim that she's not stupid. I think she somehow got injured too, and swam to the mountains... But if she... that means that... It means that I'm there too! Oceania... she was... she went the complete other way! That means I've been tracking the completely wrong person! I yell, and thrust my scythe in the air. Aislyn catches it in her grasp, almost magically as it glints in the little light that is thrusting through the canopy. "So, Katarina, how about an alliance, huh?"
Shyvana Feuer D13
I collapse on a dry log that is handily placed in a small clearing. I've been searching for kills all day, but this arena is huge. I got half way up a mountain on Day 1 and killed a goat. Other than that, I've seen nobody. But at least I've managed to craft two knives out of the goat's sturdy horns. I pick out the remaining chunks of the goat meat that I cooked, and munch slowly on a particularly soft piece, savouring every bite. At least I won't die of hunger here. I examine my backpack for the second time, just to check that I hadn't left anything up on my old mountain camp. I heave a sigh of relief. Everything's there: the torch, the small bottle of iodine, the blowgun, the night vision glasses and an extra jacket. I think it's one of the best in the Games. It gives me the ability to search during the night, and the jacket has definitely helped during the frosty nights. It even ensures the safety of whatever water I drink! I climb up a tree and have a few minutes' rest. I have trekked down a mountain, after all. Though all I've seen are birds and the Arena, but no potential kills unfortunately.
Suddenly, I hear a groan from nearby. I scan the tree canopy and the ground around me, but I see nobody. I swiftly drop back down to the ground, and ready my ivory-knives, as I call them. Another groan echoes through the forest. I pull myself through tough thickets of brambles and thorns. A white dog-rose attaches itself to my trouser leg, but I don't have time or the effort to pull it off. I continue through the undergrowth until I come across heavy tracks; like someone has practically dragged themselves away from me. I smile. Perhaps this will be my first kill? I run alongside the tracks, but I am wary, as this 'groaning' could just be a Johanna Mason move. Then the groaning gets louder, and louder. I assume this is not a trap. Only people in real pain and distress would cause such a noise. But then it falls silent. I dart my eyes across the never ending green of the forest. There is no sign of life anywhere.
"Help..." Someone murmurs. I pull away at bushes, and spot the boot of a tribute. I grin, and rip away at the plants, until I finally reveal a male tribute. It's Yoshi Holiday (D8). "Please...mercy..." Yoshi moans. I'm not quite sure what he means by 'mercy' considering we're in the Hunger Games. I sit beside him, though I don't think he can see me as his eyes are closed with either exhaustion or dehydration - or both. "Mercy," He whispers. He can barely move his lips. He's as dry as a bone and the humidity hasn't seemed to affect his sweat levels. Probably because he's dying of thirst. It just seems to easy. I have always questioned why the districts have never rebelled against the deaths of innocent people that takes place ceremoniously every year. Why are we just letting the Capitol control us like we are cattle? Cattle sent for slaughter...
"Sorry, Yoshi. It's the Hunger Games. The Capitol just wants to see the murders of innocent young children. See you when I die, yeah? Hope you like this, President Rome. Does death make you happy?" I say normally. I hope they see what they are causing. I say 'sorry' to Yoshi in my head. He will just be another piece in their Games. I plung the ivory knife into Yoshi's head, and it's over immediately for him. I'm doing this for my own survival. And he would have died anyway, either by dehydration or another tribute. I remove the weapon from his chest just as the cannon sounds. Something scratches my hand. It's the dog rose that caught on my trouser leg. Only now it is soaked with blood. "I hope his death is worth your happiness, President."
Rubin Jett D11
One day has passed and we still haven’t found Oceania. It seems that Blaine Fitz has become our leader. I’m not cut out to be the head of an alliance, anyway. Though Blaine doesn’t seem exactly fitting of it either. Kalmah is forever getting annoyed with him, and Alexandria struggles to keep peace between all of us. I don’t think this alliance is going to last long without Oceania. We’ve taken camp near the shore against Kalama’s wishes. And mine. It’s too dangerous to camp near the Cornucopia where the Careers are, and there is another alliance on the other side of the Cornucopia Island. It is definitely too risky here, though I won’t say anything. I choose not to get involved with problems – they just get me into trouble.
"Guys, we've got to make a move," Blaine suggests, picking up his weapon and backpack. I am happy that we have been able to arm ourselves, at least. Though Kalmah was given the weaker share of the weapons, much to his dismay and Blaine's delight. He and Blaine positively hate each other but if we find Oceania maybe she can help us.
“Why?” Kalmah objects sarcastically. He knows why, he’s just choosing to be an annoying... maybe I’ll stop there. Bad language doesn’t fare well with sponsors.
“Because we need to find Oceania. Problem?” Blaine answers coolly. Alexandria looks up from the ground warily. If those two were to break out in a fight, she’d have no choice but to run. I could easily come after her, though I’ve come to like Alexandria as a friend. But if the time came, I would definitely kill her. I lost my brother to the Hunger Games, and I will not lose myself to a stupid and brutal battle. But I doubt Alexandria will make many kills. She’ll use her intelligence to survive, I reckon. Just like a girl in the 74th Hunger Games... I can’t remember her name, but most of the tributes named her Foxface.
“Let’s go,” Alexandria agrees, starting to head deeper into the forest. I follow quickly, standing beside her so we can scan for Oceania more easily. Kalmah and Rubin split off to different ends of the line - Kalmah stands next to Alexandria, and Blaine stands next to me. He’d be a nice person if he wasn’t in the Hunger Games, I think. We get on well, though I could never call him a friend. Not in these circumstances.
After ten minutes of searching, we hear a cannon. We follow where we heard the noise, and to my surprise, we see a young boy, Yoshi, I think, being raised up into the sky. His murderer has left already, though we are careful not to come across them. I think we are all desperately hoping that Oceania is nearby. Our alliance speeds up the search, and it isn’t long before Kalmah gives a shout.
“Over here!” He calls. Alexandria is the first to run over, and I see her face fall when she reaches Kalmah. I run over. There is no Oceania, but there are fresh tracks, which suggest that someone has been here recently. That gives us all enough hope to carry on. “It might be her,” Kalmah suggests. Blaine narrows his eyes.
“I doubt that. There are so many of us left, and a cannon sounded a second ago. They could just be on the hunt,” Blaine objects. I roll my eyes. He’s just got himself into more trouble. Kalmah would rip his throat out right now if they weren’t allies. They won’t kill each other till the numbers of tributes fall to at least twelve. They are both of use to each other. Alexandria waits for the arguing to begin, but Kalmah seems to have quietened now that we have a chance of finding Oceania. “But let’s follow them anyway,” Blaine decides wisely. Kalmah and Alexandria seem to be the better trackers, so they lead us on which gives me and Blaine a chance to talk. He is an okay person to be with, but I wouldn’t exactly want to fight against him – I’ve always been skinny because of my lack of food. But Blaine – he’s well equipped to kill me now if he wanted to. I’d put up a fight, though I doubt I’d stand much of a chance.
“Who do you think we’re tracing?” Blaine asks. I wonder why he would want my opinion on things.
“Don’t know,” I reply. Blaine begins to pick some berries off a bush. I analyse them carefully as he collects a few of them to fill up his pouch. Just as he is about to put one in his mouth, I suddenly realise what berries they are. “Don’t eat those,” I interrupt. He looks at me, confused. “Nightlock.” Blaine chucks them out of his hands, and rubs his hands all over his trousers and jacket to get the deadly berry juice off of him. Without me, he’d have made a brutal mistake. Stupid Blaine. Some people just don’t learn.
“You’re kind of smart. Thanks,” Blaine says quietly. I can tell he is shaking. I think he is realising that he could die so easily – even without the threat of tributes. He is definitely not the smartest person in this Arena, but he is strong and makes a good ally. I just hope we find Oceania soon so that he doesn’t break out into a war with Kalmah. I’ve never trusted that boy. He has that kind of look on his face that suggests he’s a cold-blooded killer on the inside. But he seems to only have one mood at the moment – anger. I make a mental note to keep one eye open at all times. All of a sudden, Alexandria gives a pleased shout.
“I’ve found her!” She yells. We all run over, but poor Oceania is lying helplessly behind a thick bush. “What’s wrong?” Alexandria asks our ally. There comes no reply, and the Arena is as silent as ever. This strong Victor has been reduced to a vegetable, dying slowly on the ground. She is emaciated and deadly dry. Her collar bones are almost cutting through her skin, and her face is just skin and bone, dark shadows around her eyes where her bones create shadows. Her cheeks are sharp-edged and a small flap of skin stretches over them like the tightened skin of a drum. I hand my dehydrated ally a water skin and she sips carefully. Everyone sits around her, as Alexandria points out her leg. Oceania’s ankle has swollen to the size of a rugby ball, and she has clearly ripped her trousers to make the fabric fit around her red swelling. I wonder how long Oceania has been lying here – and surely it couldn’t have been Oceania who caused that cannon to sound? “What happened to you?” Alexandria enquires worriedly, sharing her dried beef with our injured ally.
“I escaped the Cornucopia... I jumped... Twisted my ankle, I think,” Oceania stutters croakily, wolfing down Alexandria’s beef hungrily. How has she survived two days with a badly twisted ankle? “I ate all the food in my backpack and drank most of the water,” She explains. She is refreshed enough to speak properly. I question whether we should have even bothered searching for her. With that ankle, she’ll use up most of our food and water supplies, and possibly medicine supplies if we receive or retrieve any. “But my ankle swelled after swimming away from the Cornucopia. I made it to a tree, but I couldn’t climb, so I rubbed dirt all over my face and masked the fresh linen scent of my clothes with dung. Tributes that couldn’t stand the smell were turned away,” Oceania finishes quietly. I hadn’t even noticed the terrible smell, but now it was so pungent we all had to hold our nose. “Thanks for looking for me guys. I thought I was a gonner.” Kalmah smiles.
This is the first time I have seen him show any sign of happiness. But this is not the happiness of finding our leader, but happiness that he knows there is one less tribute to worry about. Alexandria jabs him in the elbow.
"Well, you're safe now."
Trent Greer D12
Our alliance gathers in a small camp in the very depths of the woods, marked by deep grooves made in the trees. We foraged for most of Day 1 in pairs, and agreed to meet back here as soon as we could. Crimson and I went off together and Gaara decided to go with Rebekah. Star and Luna paired off together of course, though poor Luna still hasn't recovered from her first kill. I never expected her to be so protective of her brother when that tributer was coming after us... She was the one I thought most unlikely to make a kill.
Rebekah, despite her young age, has taken up the position of Co-Leader seeing as Luna isn't quite up to the job. She's a nice girl, Rebekah, though something keeps bothering her. She's not one to voice her feelings out loud, though I can definitely tell there is something wrong. Our whole alliance seems to be depressed. I decided to cheer everyone up as we share our retrieved food and supplies.
"Is that goat?" Rebekah asks Crimson as he reveals a small pouch of chunky red goat meat. It was mine and Crimson's main kill; that mountain goat is going to last us all at least another whole day, though I don't know how we are going to cook it. Crimson nods and gives her a handful of pieces. She smiles thankfully and trades the goat meat for a whole bird breast. "Gosh, I love goat meat so much! It's rare in my District - but way better than Capitol food."
"Anything is better than the Capitol food!" I joke. Nobody laughs, but I can see Star grin a little, and Rebekah bites her lip to stop herself giggling. I know I have probably offended possible sponsors, but I don't mind as long as this miserable atmosphere disappears from the alliance.
"Anyone want something to drink?" Gaara says. Proudly, he reveals two full water skins, and his partner Rebekah also shows her two water bottles as well. Everyone shares a sip of the cold liquid, savouring every last drop. Our alliance seems to be good at foraging, though Star and Luna have collected near to nothing. They have a few cocoa leaves, seeds and bark. I have no clue why they've collected all of this from a cocoa tree, but I hope that it will come in use if we get really hungry.
"Are we going to make chocolate?" I grin cheerily. Star snorts at my joke but Luna doesn't even look up. She's been staring at the ground the entire time, moving her hands against each other like she's washing them vigorously. Everyody smiles at my little joke, but the atmosphere isn't any different. Rebekah and Gaara decide that everyone's got their fair share of food, water and weapons - so it is only a matter of time before we begin searching for tributes or new places to camp or find resources. "No, seriously what are those for?" I continue cheerily, packing my share of the supplies into my backpack. I've got a half-full water skin, four throwing knives, goat meat, cocoa bark and leaves, Capitol dried beef, a pair of socks, darts and a sturdy metal slingshot. Luna suddenly coughs, and begins to speak an answer.
"Cocoa leaves, seeds, fruit and bark can be used to treat anxiety, fever, fatigue and coughs. With extensive skills in natural medicine, it can be turned into a treatment for kidney stones, cuts and burns. If made into chocolate, polyphenols in the chocolate can help prevent heart disease if eaten in the right quantity." She finishes quickly, and goes back to staring at the floor. She has a very strange sentiment, but I thank her for sharing her cocoa with us. Everyone is a tiny bit shocked at Luna's sudden communication, but we don't have time to stick around and dwell on it. There are shouts nearby and Gaara and Rebekah agree that we should move on.
"Come on everybody, we can't stay here," Rebekah urges softly. Almost in unison, all my allies sling their backpacks on and ready any weapons they have; ready for if there are any ambushes. We leave in a neat line, and I fall back to walk beside Luna. She stumbles with her head down, her hair covering her face completely.
"You're quite smart with plants," I comment quietly. Luna continues walking at a steady pace. "Pretty too." I stroll off, turning my head slightly to see her reaction. She is finally looking up.
Beemo Xra D3
Things haven’t been the same since Amy’s death. That’s two of us gone already. Alyssa and Amy. Things couldn’t have gone worse for the Careers – and Petri is still suffering as a result of his head injury. I’ve been given the job of applying new bandages to his head every time the wound starts to bleed again. I don’t mind doing it, but I kind of hate listening to Petri moan about it. I reckon he has a concussion. He keeps having dizzy spells and feels sick while we’re out tracking tributes. Odin has decided to keep Petri at the Cornucopia, as of my advice and his judgement. I and Scarlett have decided to have alternate shifts as his companion – I made a point to Odin that Petri shouldn’t be left by himself. That Nymph girl could easily come back and kill him, just like she did to Alyssa and Amy. Odin was distraught at Amy’s death. I have no idea why, but they seemed to talk to each other a lot, and they were always laughing at each other’s cheesy jokes. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I reckon Odin was falling for Amy without even realising. Poor him. To have your crush killed must hurt. But life’s life, and you just have to get on with it.
“Scarlett, I’ll take shift,” I say gladly. Scarlett nods and grabs her weapons. She hops down from the Cornucopia and meets Odin and Pharmacy by the shore. Petri leans back against the roof-garden tree where they very trident that injured him once was. He is looking very peaky, and I see that his bandages on the left side of his head are completely wet through with blood. I wrap them off, and toss them aside. Petri holds a hand to his head, but is too nauseated to care about how much blood is leaking over his hands. I decide to take emergency measures, and smother the whole of his temple with a white cream labelled:
I’m hoping it means that it will seal wounds, and Petri gives a happy sigh. It gives me little flutter in my tummy to know I’ve made someone at least a little bit better. I re-wrap Petri’s head with fresh, clean bandages.
“Thanks, Beemo,” Petri murmurs with a wavering voice. His hands are shaking. He has got a fever, I rip off fabric from a spare supply sheet on the resource pile. I wipe the dirt and sweat off his face that has appeared over the past day and a half. He groans as I rub his cheeks off. I feel like a complete idiot, looking after a vegetable like Petri. But an ally is an ally, so I'll do whatever it takes to make sure I keep him alive.
“No problem,” I reply sheepishly. I’d rather be out with Odin and Pharmacy, with people that could protect me – but I had to at least be nice to our injured ally. I hand him some dried beef and we eat quietly. I give most of it to Petri; he needs it most. He has a drink, and pops some red berries in his mouth like a five-year old with sweets.
“You could be a nurse, if you win,” Petri comments, lying his head down to take a little rest. Colour has returned back to his face now that he’s got some food in him. I laugh kindly at his suggestion, like we are two kids having a joke at school.
“Nah. I don’t want to be in a uniform like all the others," I reply. I could never imagine being in a sanitised, starchy blue dress, white cap and apron. For a few minutes, Petri falls silent so I pack away the first aid kit and set his weapons aside.
“There’s nobody like you, Beemo.”
Aislyn Latona D11
My homesickness and longing for my family is constantly hurting me - I can't go on like this. Loneliness is something I've not properly experienced before; I've always been around my friends and family... Now it feels like I am the last person on earth with sanity. But I am not alone. I have Katarina with me. We've been allies since earlier this morning. I don't know how strong as a person she is, but she's helped with my ankle. One of the Careers cut it with a spear, which I retrieved and used as my own weapon. Dedrik taught me to fight with some weapons when he was going through training with his secret Resistance, but I'm not exactly the best in battle. Maybe if I survive, I can fund some of the training and weapons secretly, and persuade new rebels to join us. I've lost most of my family to the Capitol. I will not lose Dedrik, Liana, Crist or Grandmother. They've all I've got left...
"Aislyn, stop daydreaming and help me with this, will you?" Katarina hisses bitterly. She's cutting down some branches with her scythe. I swing down from my treetop look-out and camp, and hold the wood still while she cuts through it. "You're ankle's gone red," my ally comments sourly. She's angry about my injury. I didn't exactly tell her about it when we first got into an alliance together. She keeps telling me to get healing plants or something, but neither of us know the right ones. There's nothing I can do for my ankle except cleaning it with whatever water I can find. But condensed water isn't going to keep my ankle from getting infected, or spreading blood poisoning around my body.
"We've got to light a fire, which leads other tributes to thinking we're camping here. While the fire burns up, we can get away from here," Katarina explains when I ask what she is doing. She is surprisingly smart, though her fiery and unpredictable temper scares me and I don't know whether to be nice to her, or just keep a strong cover-up to make sure she stays fearful and loyal. I have no clue, but anyone is better than nobody. Without her, I'd be dying of loneliness and homesickness right now, but she's been asking to move for the past few hours and it is becoming terribly irritating. I don't see why she is so desperate to leave when we are very safe here, on the far side of the Arena. The mountains hide our camp, and no smart tribute would make a journey to kill us. No one has any way of tracking us either, as the ground is hard and dry here. What footprints we do leave are swiftly covered up with leaves and crumbling stones. We're pretty safe, though Katarina seems insistent on moving. She must have a motive.
"Why do we have to move?" I question.
"Everyone has their own problems. My cousin is mine."
"Your cousin is competing with you?!" I gasp, surprised. They had probably planned for Katarina to team with me, and now they might kill me! Her cousin could have been watching us both all along! I hold up my spear, and Katarina retaliates with holding up her scythe. "Don't kill me. I'm useful," I say defiantly. Katarina furrows her eyebrows, like she is deeply confused.
"I'm not going to kill you. I hate my cousin. I want to kill her before anybody else can. And you are useful, but not with that ankle. We need to find the Careers - they might have a medical kit. We'd kill them first, obviously," Katarina says casually. She rolls her eyes as I lower my weapon. I don't see how you could ever hate your family. My people mean more to me than anybody or anything else in the world. I would never kill them, even if it meant my own death. I couldn't do anything to save my parents or three dead siblings. I have a chance to save Dedrik, Liana and Crist. And Grandmother, of course. I won't let this opportunity pass me by. I may not be the best fighter, but I have survival skills. And hope. That is a stronger weapon than anything else in these Games.
"Let's go," I agree. Katarina seems shocked at my sudden consent of the move. "Bring it on, Careers."
Kalmah XXIV D4
Oceania lays sleeping against a tree opposite me, in broad daylight while everybody else is searching for water and food. What a stupid Victor to have as part of our alliance. Maybe if I win, I can ask the Capitol to see if they will let me test some of the Victors. I wonder what has brought her to become such a weak person, when she is the strongest among her district. And Blaine is getting on my nerves. Whatever I say, he always has something to say against it. He's such a biased bastard. Gave me a crappy throwing knife to defend myself with, when he knows my preferred weapons are a trident, a machete or a spear. My pentagram necklace token would be better than these pathetic knives. I've used better in my Father's laboratory. A scalpel would be perfect - just enough to get past the thick layer of fat, skin and muscle. Enough to severely injure, and kill eventually.
If I could just cut him in the top thigh where the main artery is, he'd die so slowly I'd be able to get away without him coming after me. And Oceania wouldn't mind a slit neck, either. The faster the death, the quicker time I am to becoming Victor. But I will keep with my alliance as long as I can, because they will provide me with food and water until I don't need them anymore. Alexandria seems to be getting annoyed with me for arguing so much with Blaine, but she doesn't comment. She knows her place, but I'm sure she'll break out quite soon. I can easily imagine her to go into a huge killing spree - or maybe that's just me being too bloodthirsty. I don't know. My bloodlust is turning me into an insane person. Rubin seems sane, maybe I stick with him, he can teach me to calm down a little.
"Kalmah, wake Oceania. We need to give her some water," Blaine orders me, as he carries a deflated water skin in his hands. Alexandria trails behind him nervously.
"Don't waste supplies on her! We've lost her already. Come on, face it, Blaine. That ankle won't do anything to help her or us. She's just an extra load," I argue crossly. Blaine ignores me. He's taken this Co-Leader position way too seriously. Rubin should have been co-leader, like everyone agreed in training. But he had to be the supreme one, didn't he? What a jerk. If I came from his District, I'd be experimenting on him as soon as he came into my sight.
"Kalmah, stop it, please. You'll only cause trouble," Alexandria says quietly in my ear. I brush her away crossly, and kick Oceania's foot to wake her up. As much as I hate Blaine ordering me about, Alexandria still has her sanity, and the smartest person (except from me) in this alliance. Stuff Oceania and Blaine. They can die beside each other, for all I care. They're both lost souls, if you ask me. My irritating ally lets Oceania drink most of the water in the skin, and soon it is empty. Blaine chucks it at me. I catch it, and give a sarcastic smile. Alexandria sighs sadly.
Suddenly, Rubin shouts from his tree-top look out. He swings from branch to branch like a monkey, and slides down the main trunk. He lands with a neat jump, and presents a shiny piece silver. of It looks like the familiar metal in the Capitol, mainly used for cutlery. But this isn't any sort of cutlery. It is a key.
"Well, what is it for?" Oceania asks Blaine, her throat recognisably sore in her voice. I roll my eyes. She's perfectly conscious, she can understand everything that's going on here. If she just got some sort of headache, then she'd be a bit dazed and distracted. I'd be in a perfect position to kill her. But other than her ankle, she is fine. I just have to wait until her condition worsens. I pray to God that nobody sends her any medication for it. Now that would really scupper my plans.
"I don't know. But it looks like it's from the Capitol," Blaine answers. He's just stating the obvious. I'll kill him first, as soon as this failure of an alliance breaks up.
"Well, obviously, you idiot," I mutter harshly under my breath. He glares at me, and Oceania and Alexandria raise their eyebrows. Rubin stands quietly with the key firmly held in his grubby fingers. Dirt crawls under his nails, and mud is smothered across his hands, arms and face. His hair is greasy and clogged with brown filth. We must all look like him, though I haven't seen a mirror for almost three days. The last time I saw myself was the evening when I was interviewed. Even then, the stylists blocked my view. I wonder what they thought of me now, my whole image completely trashed by the Capitol.
"Shut up, Kalmah," Blaine replies. Rubin explains where he found it.
"I was up in the tree, and a rat carried it in its mouth. I strangled it, and it dropped the key immediately. I picked it up, and then showed you guys," Rubin continues quietly. He's not exactly a big speech speaker. He's hardly said a word since the day we formed an alliance.
"Did it not come with a message, or anything like that?" Oceania asks hopefully. I can see optimistic faces all around. I think Oceania's wishing for a parachute with medicine in. Rubin shakes his head, and everyone's face falls.
Brandon Ivey D7
The first thing I do when I wake up is scrabble around my pockets for the key. I heave a sigh of relief. The cold metal is still in my pocket, warmed by my body heat. The Gamemakers still have given no clues as to its purpose, which is making me more and more anxious. Surely they would have given an announcement by now? It's been at least a whole day since I received one. Do other tributes have their own key too? I rub my blurry eyes. I have slept late into the day - the sun is directly above me and the forest is glowing with the green light of the leaves. My mentor has yet to send me any weapons. If I do not get some soon, I will not survive. How will I protect myself? Well, maybe I can ask to form an alliance with any tributes I come across? That might work. Or am I being inexplicably trusting?
I grab my home-crafted wooden spear, and stuff my sharp rock into one of my jacket's pockets. I'm starving hungry. The rat I killed yesterday made me feel sick when I tried to eat it raw. I gagged and just puked when I swallowed. If I could just find a cave of some kind to cook the rat meat I have left; then I won't die of hunger. I swing down from the tree I slept on, and begin trekking downhill. I've seen a far shore from my tree, and I doubt many tributes will attempt to travel at least four miles on foot. From my reckoning, I'll have at least four or five hours left of daylight - that is plenty enough to get to the beach and set up camp.
I put a solid foot on harder ground and begin the arduous task of travelling up and down hills, past multiple tributaries and fallen trees. The upturned roots on the ground make me careful where I step. I stop to retie my shoe laces. That's when I hear a horrifying growl, like a whining but fearsome cat. I jump up, and search around for the creature. The growl echoes through the air, and sends a bloodcurdling chill down my spine. I recognize the noise. It's a Timor Mountain Cat. They were engineered to track escaped district citizens in the forests and mountains and then attack when they came into sight of a human. I am as good as dead, especially with this rubbish wooden spear. It's useless to put up a fight.
Suddenly, something leaps out from the coppice of clumped trees. A red-silver creature flashes over my head, a glint of white catching the sun on its head. The macabre mammal lands with a soft thud back on the ground. I am all of a sudden face-to-face with a blood-stained Timor Cat. It's whole muzzle is smothered red with fresh animal blood, its muscular body tensing and dense. It's metal-like claws are poised, ready for attack at any moment. It makes a leap at me, and I force a sharp rock into its eye. It whines and growls at me as the eyeball rolls next to my foot. A dark, blood-clotted hole is left in its head. But this creature is not giving up on me yet.
With a swipe of its beastly paw, it catches me on the cheek. Deep wounds appear on the right side of my face. The animal seems almost revengeful, and happy about my pain. It makes another lunge at me, but this time, it misses my head. It takes me a while to realize what the animal has done to me.
It has it something much worse. My body becomes oddly light in an instant. My organs spill out in front of me, and the Timor Cat devours them hungrily as the light fades from my vision.
Nymph Meré D1
Twilight is closing in, and the Voice is warning me to get out of the water. I’ve had a small swim to clean myself off. Mother has not spoken to me since I killed that girl at the glass house. I think she is angry with me, because I murdered someone. I scream her name, but the Voice tells me stop as I will get caught. I dunk myself under the surface. Salty water fills my mouth. The Voice orders me to close my jaws. I do as I am told, and resurface. I spew out the sordid water in huge bursts around me. This voice is getting on my nerves. It is constantly telling me what to do, and I cannot stop myself from obeying it. I am a girl possessed.
I climb back up the banks, my whole body soaking wet and my hair straggly. Each strand is sprinkled with bright white bubbles and small dots of dried salt. My backpack and water bottle are tossed across the sand. I have yet to fill the precious bottle with clean water. Mother and I have only come across salt water, and the Voices refuse to let me spend time looking for something to filter it with. The Voice senses something will dramatic happening soon, and I should be preparing myself. Mother is sitting on the beach, waiting for me to haul myself next to her. With the weight of the water and my clothes, gravity is pulling on my joints, more than usual. It’s become a huge effort to take a few steps.
But the Voice does not care.
"Get moving! There is something special nearby! Move your sorry arse!" I groan, and Mother gives me a warning look. I don't know why, but whenever the Voice speaks to me Mother's body becomes mangled and distorted into unrecognisable shapes. It makes me shiver and shudder. It makes my blood boil. "For God's sake, Nymph! Move! You haven't got time to sit around!" The Voice repeats itself over and over, getting louder each time. I ram my fingers in my ears to shut it out. But the Voice just keeps increasing in volume. I scream and scream until my voice is hoarse and my throat is burning with pain. Finally, the Voice falls silent. Mother warns me not to be too loud, as it could bring people who want to steal our teapots and special tea-making supplies. Against my own wishes, the Voice forces me to head into the deep forest. Dark skies are forming overhead, and the fading light makes it near impossible to see. "The Darkness is your friend. Use it, and you can boil your water to purify it." For once, the Voice has a reasonable suggestion that I am willing to listen to.
Despite my painfully heavy body and the constant pleas of Mother who is begging to stop, I continue on through the forest. I listen to every snap of the twigs, and my heart races. This unfamiliar darkness is like no other. There is no moon to shine on the leaves - just blackness. Nothing else. The Voice is panicking too, and is my only source of constant direction. I wonder what the other tributes are doing in this strange, sudden midnight black."There is someone over there. But they are sleeping. Kill them and move on. One less problem." The Voice commands furiously. It orders me each way, left-right, forward-back - until my boot knocks against a solid being. The Voice is silent. I know what I have reached.
I sit down beside the sleeping body, being careful to make silent movements. In the darkness, I cannot tell whether it is a boy or a girl, or what they even look like, but they smell horrid and night flies have swarmed around it. I recognise this kind of smell. It is the same stench that Mother had... when she... when she passed. I hold my fingers to my nose, and begin to start walking again.
"Stop! The corpse has an important item!" Ah, so the Voice isn't entirely silent then. I return to the cadave, and gingerly fumble through the pockets of the deceased person. At last, I find a sharp-ish, cold item. The moon has appeared at last. I lif the unrecognisable item to the sky. It is a key.
"I'm so proud of you, Nymph. Let's have a cuppa in the morning?" Mother suddenly walks up behind me, also taking a look at the silvery item. I nod in silent agreement, and begin my trek away from the disgusting dead body that I have just stolen from. There is something about this key that makes it special, but what I cannot tell. Nor can Mother or the Voice. They seem to be my only comforts in these Games.
Tributes, we come to you with an important message.
Recently, we have placed two keys among you. These keys can be used to find gateways out of the Arena, and to home. Those who escape are going to be two of the four Victors.
But these Gateways are impossible to find without a map. When dawn arises, two maps will appear at the Cornucopia. The key-holders must take their keys to the Cornucopia, where they will place it alongside one of the maps. But you cannot do this without help, for the journey will be treacherous. We Gamemakers will grant you the present of Protection - a precious gift that will stop any other tributes from attacking you. This means that you cannot die at the hands of another tribute. You are the Protected.
For the lucky Protected, you must go to the Cornucopia to place your keys on a silver table. Once placed, you may not touch the keys or the maps as they surrounded by powerful force-fields.
For the other tributes, you have the option of attending this special Feast. The Protected MUST attend or face immediate death. For those of you who are attending, you are required to stand on the pedestals you originally stood on. At midday, a countdown will begin from one minute. When the gong sounds, you must fight to get one map and one key for the chance of early freedom. For the unsuccessful survivors, you must continue in the Games until the last two tributes remain.
Only two people may exit these Games through the Gateway. And only two people are the Protected. After this announcement, we will show them in the sky.
Rubin Jett, D11
Nymph Meré, D1
Good luck tributes, and may the odds be ever in your favour.
Day 3 - The Feast
Pharmacy Rivera D9
The announcement surprised us during the night yesterday. Why would the Capitol let two Victors come out - and early? President Rome must have something in mind. Not just for them, but for us all.
"We've got till dawn, but we better get moving. Anyone could arrive during the night," Scarlett says when everyone wakes up the next morning. She's very good at making plans. She's always thinking ahead. She is a valuable ally to have, though I can't ever imagine her being a Victor. Preisdent Rome would never trust her, especially seeing as she worked for an 'organisation' back in District 12. It's funny what people will admit to when they are scared.
Beemo finishes wrapping Petri's new bandages while Odin gets everyone to organise supplies. He grabs two medicine kits with about three rolls of linen for Petri's bleeding wound, along with a water bottle for each of us. For weapons, I make sure I get a couple of throwing knives, though Beemo also equips me with a slingshot and fifty darts. Everyone gets their fair share, and a backpack to carry it all in. Petri is made to take care of himself on the journey, as Beemo won't be able to protect him forever. Odin is making a decision whether to go north - to the mountains, or go east or west and stay in the forest. There's no chance of us going south - it's just water, and the thin line of shore in the distance would not be safe. The Gamemakers could easily pull some kind of trick to kill us off - like a tidal wave or something.
"Go north. Most tributes don't go too far up that way because of the mountains, but if we stay in the middle of the forest, we'll have enough space between us and the Cornucopia to be safe but still have time to get to the Feast by midday. It won't be a problem if we stay on guard, though I'd still be wary. On our last search we saw fresh tracks quite far out. Someone is moving about nearby. There are two of them together, from my reckoning." Scarlett debriefs us on the plan. Odin nods his head in approval of the idea, and we get moving as soon as we can. I sling my backpack on and fall back in front of Odin and behind Petri. I assist him past certain tricky trees that overhang in midair. The gnarled branches stretch across our paths, and I am forced to cut them with my knives. I struggle through about a metre of thick branches, tree sap coating my fingers and knives. Graduall it is getting harder and harder to force my way through the undergrowth.
"Stop a minute, Pharmacy. Let's all take a rest. We're far enough in the forest already," Beemo says, taking a look at our surroundings. It is hard to tell what time of day it is - the deep canopy means only a greenish light emerges from the sun - and I can't even see where that is because all of the trees, leaves and branches block the view. Tracking the time will be hard unless the Gamemakers help us with a timer. Odin sets down his bag but his spear is gripped tightly in his fist, his knuckles moon-white with the constant, angry pressure. We camp out a little, sharing some food we have and drinking from our water bottles. We are not prepared to face anything in the forest. We have only been here a couple of times.
Petri's bandages are being replaced as we speak, and there hasn't ever been this much blood before. All this travelling has tired him out, and I think his heart is working harder than it should be. Beemo's hands are completely covered over with fresh, red fluid.
We all know that Petri's condition is worsening. You can see it. He's got all the symptoms of a concussion and without medical help it will not get any better. Most of all, Odin knows it. We might as well kill him to save time. We can't waste precious medical supplies on him. No matter how hard Beemo has tried, nothing has made Petri get any better. Even the Capitol medicine has made no difference to his condition. His cannon will be going off before the end of the day.
"Petri, I think you need to sit down," Beemo orders. Petri plonks himself on the hard ground. He's shaking feverishly all over and the blood is practically streaming from his wound like a river. Beemo adjusts his position so his head is upright. He cannot even hold the water bottle to his lips to drink. Scarlett helps nurse Petri by applying wound sealing cream, dabbing at his head and applying another roll of new bandages. If he loses anymore blood, he'll pass out. Then it'll be up to his sponsors to save him.
Katarina Seacrest D5
Aislyn is getting increasingly on my nerves. The Feast will only tire her out and her ankle means she probably won't survive it. I question whether to go alone, and split the alliance. I never wanted to team with her anyway. She took my scythe! I didn't have any choice. It's all her fault. But I am definitely going to this Feast, whether or not Aislyn comes with me.
Unfortunately, Aislyn is annoyingly likeable and is willing to help me with anything. We both pack all of our stuff which is pathetically little and begin our journey. We are silent all the way to the Feast. Aislyn is shaking. She is inexplicably nervous. I smile a little. I pray to God that she dies in the Feast, so I can have better chances of getting at Oceania.
"What are you smiling at?" Aislyn snaps irritably. Her stress is getting into her head. She is in no way capable of fighting loads of other tributes. She cares too much about her stupid family. Always worried, always wondering if they are still worried about her. I don't care about my family to be honest. The only person I am really bothered is my ghastly cousin. If I get the chance, I will kill her. No question. I'd rather die knowing I had her blood on my hands than knowing she had got away without justice. She beat me once, she will not beat me again.
"Nothing. The forest is just so quiet. I'd have thought the Gamemakers might send us together to speed things up."
"Maybe. But I doubt they'd want to risk killing anyone before the Feast."
Suddenly, the anthem begins to play. Both of us are surprised. The anthem finishes hurriedly and then an image of the head Gamemaker, Ajax Maximus, appears up in the sky. An unfamiliar and strangle clean-shaven face is new to me. His sharp features are reminiscent of a bed of nails. I am warmed by the thought of him sinking through nails, his body covered in blood as he dies slowly, tiny pinpricks of pain appearing all through his body and sinking painfully through his heart...
His face and the background are dark to show up in the bright late morning light of the Arena's atmosphere. He looks like the devil, shadowed in darkness. His expression is eerie, like he is happy to see us but brings us terrible news. I can only hope it does not involve my chances of killing Oceania.
"Tributes - we have decided to revoke the freedom of coming to the Feast. I - and my fellow Gamemakers - have decided it would be best if your attendance was mandatory, along with the Protected, who still bestow the marvellous gift we have entrusted them. See you at midday, or face immediate death. Good luck, tributes, and may the odds be ever in your favour."
This news makes no difference to mine and Aislyn's plans. It only means I know for certain Oceania will be there. More chances to kill her, I think.
Aislyn and I hurry downhill as we can hear lapping waves. We are close to the Cornucopia. We brush past sharp trees and bushes, crawling under branches and leaping over logs. Until at last we reach the shore. The Cornucopia is standing tall on the island with an eerie emptiness. I grin. My secondary target, the Careers, are nowhere to be seen. Aislyn and I nod at each other, split paths and head over to our respective pedestals. I can't wait till the action begins.
Crimson Typhoon D13
The announcement causes many of us to be shocked and mostly furious. Our alliance had planned to stay out of the action, and wait until the end when the last two Victors were to be crowned. Maybe one of them might be us, but Rebekah is hiding something and keeping a secret from us might be the cause of our alliance breaking apart. Trent told me so. He's a good guy. It's going to be a shame if he dies. I'm going to miss a lot of my allies, actually. Luna was nice in training and i chatted to her quite a lot, but she's gone a bit psycho so it seems like Luna Sunkin died on Day 1. Poor Star won't stand a chance in the Feast now that she has gone. Without her, he would have died on the beach when we first met up. He's got nobody to protect him but us, and I think that most of my allies will die. Just like Connor. But he won't die. He is safe, because I volunteered. At least, if I die today, I know he will be out of trouble.
After today, there will be only tributes left. No allies. it saddens me to know that when the starting gong sounds, all of the allies that have become my friends will become my enemy. Nobody has made any plans to stay together, but I sincerely hope my friends will at least try and save me if I get in trouble.
"Come on, guys. The sun's rising so I think it's almost midday," Gaara says, looking up to the sky. Rebekah agrees that we should get moving, but slowly in case there are too many tributes at their pedestals already. "Do you think the Careers will be there?" Gaara asks as we pack up our weapons. We set off hurriedly, leaving nothing behind for any tributes that survive this second Bloodbath-Feast.
"No. They will have packed up their stuff already if they have any sense," Star says quietly. He nudges his sister forward, who has been stumbling and scuffing her feet along the wet ground. Luna shrugs him off snappily. She is like somebody possessed. The old, kind Luna was someone everybody could talk to. Now she's like a zombie. She hardly speaks, and walks with a strange and depressed hunch. Nobody except Star has mentioned a single word to her. I think Trent has had a brief chat with her, but none of us have time to think about it. We've made it to the Cornucopia.
Two tributes are already there - Aislyn Latona and Katarina Seacrest. Both forces to be reckoned with. But Aislyn isn't what I thought she'd be. She was one of the strongest in training, from my opinion anyway. Now she's got a half-limp and is sitting with her feet dangling in the water waiting placidly on her pedestal for the cannon to sound. There are other tributes emerging from the trees. A small, tense alliance is on the far shore. I don't recognise them. A loner is swimming up to her pedestal, too, but she'll stay in the water until everyone else gets here. People could easily attack each other, right here, right now.
Everyone knows we might never see each other again. I big goodbye to Trent, Star and Gaara first. I hug Rebekah quickly and warn her to stay safe. She wipes back tears. At her young age, it is understandable why she is upset. She has the least odds of surviving, of seeing the sun go down tonight. Luna is familiarly staring at her feet, so I wish her good luck, though I won't see her again - except for seeing her face projected in the sky. We split paths. My heart aches to know I'll either die today, or survive and be totally alone until a Victor is crowned.
Alexandria Maydon D10
Kalmah has gone. He disappeared not long after the Announcement. He went to go and fetch some 'firewood' and never came back, taking his weapons and supplies with him. Thankfully he did not take any of our supplies. But it's for the better. Oceania is relieved that he is gone, but no more so than Blaine, who seems overjoyed at our ally's departure from the group. This means it will be harder to protect our leaders as Rubin and I agreed, though I doubt Kalmah would have been of much help. Kalmah will no doubted go for either Blaine or Oceania now. I never trusted him anyway, but his disappearance has made it much easier to get to the Cornucopia in time. Without his anger issues and constant arguments with Blaine, it's been all plain sailing and we are just waiting for midday, when we will venture out to our pedestals.
I've spent the whole morning laying on the beach alongside my allies, almost sunbathing. I mostly stay in the shade. I prefer the dark - it's much cooler and less of a hassle to deal with compared with intense heat. The weapons are beside us, just in case any tributes decide to make a pre-attack to the Feast. I have been mostly weak all my life - from the constant illness and painful suffering I experienced. But today, I can show people how strong I have become. Maybe if the Gamemakers see how strong I am, they can see how strong the Districts are. Maybe they might stop the Games... I don't know. They are so heartless they wouldn't care about the common deaths of children, would they? I am determined not to please them with the deaths of innocent people. I will survive, but I will not kill. It will ruin the plans I made from the start. Do not kill, do not please the Capitol.
The sun is rising, and I warn my allies to take their places in the circle around the Cornucopia soon. Most tributes are arriving now. The Careers are just across the shore from us, but with a weakened and half-dead Petri I doubt they will come anywhere near us. Aislyn and Katarina are sitting placidly on their platforms. Young Aislyn is kicking her legs in the water, sending white droplets of spray water all around her. Katarina is looking just as childish, with her hands causing chaos on the smooth surface of the huge lagoon. I roll my eyes.
Another alliance has turned up on the opposite shore, but they are too far away for me to recognize them, though among the group I spot Trent Greer. It wasn't so long ago that were talking about an alliance, until Trent felt sorry for the younger tributes like Rebekah and Star, so he teamed with them instead. It will be a shame to lose him, but I am preoccupied with protecting our leaders. Thanks to some wealthy sponsors, Oceania has been sent vital medication and her ankle is almost back to normal. Except for some redness and stretch marks, she is mostly fine and able to walk without my help. She will make it through this. Something in my gut tells me she will.
"See you later guys. My pedestal's all the way over there," Blaine points out. It's on the far side, near Trent's alliance. "I better go now." We all nod at him, and he dives under the water. I am sure I will see him again, though where I do not know. I hope I do not see his face in the sky tonight.
"Yeah. I better go too. See you there," Oceania concludes. I hug her and tell her to meet with me if she can, so I can protect her. She shakes me off lightly. "I'll be fine, Alexandria. Watch out for those Careers," my leader whispers. The whole lot of the Careers are glaring straight at us, like we are something to be made a meal of. As soon as Oceania is out of sight and climbing up to her place, I talk to Rubin before we finally split paths as well.
"You take Blaine, I'll take Oceania. See you there. Oceania must get through this, and so must Blaine," I say to him. Under my breath, out of the cameras hearing, I say, "They are the only hopes of a rebellion."
"And what makes you think that?"
"They care too much. If they see the devastation at this Feast... and if we show them protection... they will avenge us. Oceania is too nice for her own good. She won't let the Capitol or President Rome get away with this. Nor will Blaine."
"I like your thinking, but you are too optimistic for your own good." And with that, Rubin dives into the water until his figure is just a spot in the distance.
The Feast Begins
Shyvana Feuer D13
With confidence in my stride, I walk up to the shore of the lagoon. From what I can see, most of the tributes are here already. There are exactly six empty pedestals. A shiver runs down my spine. Each pedestal, empty or occupied, is labeled with the tribute's name, among them is Yoshi's. A sudden pang of guilt rushes through me. I wonder if the Gamemakers or the Capitol feel at all guilty for these murderers of innocent people. But this has been going on long enough for them not to care, and I know by the end of today most of these tributes will be dead, scattered across the ground and floating on the surface of the water like pieces of driftwood.
It is almost midday. The sun is bright, and high above us. The beginning of the end is near. I take a quick dive and swim up to my place. My name is flashing in a ring around it in blazing white squares, casting strange, jagged reflections across the seawater. The tributes either side of me eye me up carefully, making important decisions. A Career tribute, I think named Petri, is on my left side. His head is securely bandaged up but it is soaked with blood. His face is pale and he is shaking feverishly. He won't even need a tribute to kill him, though he'll be lucky to get a quick death. His passing will be a result of his own weakness.
On the right of me, there is the infamous Nymph Meré. She's made two kills already, the most made by a tribute in these Games so far. I suddenly realize something. I know why the Gamemakers are doing this. The Bloodbath didn't bring enough deaths. They want more blood. And that's what I'll give them. A final tribute arrives to place the key on the table at the centre of the Cornucopia, and swims to his pedestal, that is flashing with the name 'Rubin Jett' in huge red pixels. He is one of the Protected. But not for long, he won't be.
"Tributes, welcome to this very special Feast. As of exactly now, the Protected will no longer be defended from the other tributes. Good luck, all of you, and may the odds be ever in your favour."
The timer begins.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Bring it on.
Blaine Fitz D11
The gong goes off so suddenly I barely have time to keep up. People dive into the water all around me and so I follow swiftly after them. I plunge into the freezing cold lagoon. I can barely see anything in this salty liquid. Over the days, the water has darkened and is a brownish-green colour now. The putrid water covers my whole face and fills my ears. My body becomes insanely heavy. I take a few strokes but find that it is a great struggle. Something his holding me back. My coat is caught on something. I raise my head above water, and see the solid body of my ex-ally. It's Kalmah, come to get me. And he has a rather sturdy and silver - probably donated - trident. He must have loyal sponsors. I rip my jacket off and swim as fast as I can away from him, but my ally is a much stronger swimmer.
The shadow of my ally beneath the surface looks like a hungry shark bulleting towards me. I splash about like a distressed seal, in the hope that it might throw him off. But Kalmah just keeps swimming, until his whole body collides with mine. He grabs hold of my arm and tugs me beneath the water. Rubin is in the distance. I shout at him to help, but with all the commotion I am making only revolting sweater fills my mouth. I croak and spew out all the liquid I have swallowed. Kalmah is gaining strength by the second. He yanks me under the surface and I am too weak to fight back. The air is getting further and further away.
I writhe in Kalmah's firm grip, and turn to face him. A look of utter pleasure appears on his face. I am losing air, and quickly. My lungs are contracting, squeezing the life out of me. I need oxygen. Now. I attempt to kick my enemy in the face, but he dodges it and kicks me back in retaliation. Precious bubbles escape from my mouth and more liquid clogs my throat. I cough it back up, but only to inhale more. Kalmah is winning. I thrash about, and my opponent can no longer keep control of me. He releases his hard clench, and I barely escape.
I shoot up to the surface and I gasp for fresh air. But so does my ex-ally. He smiles at me from about a metre away. He makes a few swipes at my face with his fist and I block the first few punches because he can't keep himself afloat and attack. But then one huge, sudden blow comes at me. He kicks me in the stomach. I am winded for a few seconds and all this water means I cannot breathe at all. While I am weakened, Kalmah whispers something to me. I can feel his legs moving about in the water trying to stay buoyant.
"I always hated you." A wave of panic floods through me. I stand practically no chance. I must swim away, get to shore before Kalmah drowns me. But I can make no movements. My lungs have got too much water in them and I am being dragged downwards by gravity. "Goodbye. You'll drown before you wake up." Kalmah cuffs me round the temple. This is the end. I won't even hear my own cannon. Everything suddenly goes black.
Petri Lindroos D2
“PETRI! Get off your podium!” Beemo’s voice yells at me from across about fifty metres. Between her and me are two tributes. One of them is floating unconsciously on the surface of the water, the other is swimming away rather hastily. Beemo disappears into the water too, white spray shooting up where she dived.
In less than thirty seconds, Beemo is floating in the water beneath me. It seems I still have one ally, at least. A girl to my right has already left her pedestal and is swiftly making her way to the Cornucopia. Meanwhile, I’m still stood here, with no clue as to what I’m doing. “PETRI! Please, get down from there!” Beemo has dived under too, and is dodging a floating body. Their cannon hasn’t sounded yet. They must be unconscious.
My ally suddenly grasps my hand and pulls me into the water. My whole body becomes heavy, and my head is rattling. My bones are shaking and my heart is racing so much it feels like it’ll die of exhaustion. The fabric wrapped around my head is becoming increasingly lighter, and looser. Beemo doesn’t seem to notice.
“Come on, follow me Petri. We’ve got to get to Odin, Pharmacy and Scarlett. They need us,” Beemo begs. “Please, just swim a little.” I breaststroke across about ten metres, after which I stop. Everything is going grey. The light is fading and even Beemo, who is screaming in my face, is fading. The bandages fall onto the surface. They float away and I smile weakly at Beemo. She is shaking me by the shoulders, pleading me to move. I can feel liquid stream down the side of my face.
“It’s okay, Beemo. I’ll see you later.” Beemo bites her lip, and releases her grasp on me. I kind of want her to stay with me until the end, so I don’t die alone. But I know she must go, or risk facing the end herself. The last image I see is my remaining ally desert me. And the last thing I hear is my cannon.
Star Sunkin D6
Luna pulls me up on the shore. We are panting and barely breathing. My heart is racing, but we’ve no time to rest. Other tributes are arriving, and running up to the Cornucopia table. It is placed right at the centre. The small island the Cornucopia rests on has got smaller since the first Bloodbath.
“Luna, come on.” I get to my feet and my sister follows quickly. Trent is next to us, running up to the table too. He has a look of determination on his face. Luna suddenly stops. She tilts her head in a crazed way. My eyes widen. She is going into go into one of her psycho moments, like she has since she killed Nick Machlachlan. Trent can see it too. “Luna, no!” I yell at her, checking for signs of danger. People run past us carelessly. They have no time for my mental sister.
Luna draws out her knife. It has a special jagged edge, for cutting through hard substances. Trent starts running. My sibling follows after him and I have to run, as someone is coming at me too. My pursuer gives up when I dive back underwater. They run off, and I can see Trent defending himself against Luna, who is slashing at him with her knives. He runs to the opposite shore, and I swim over to keep up with them, but safely keeping my distance. Trent yells at her to stop but she just keeps going. She won’t stop trying to attack him. He sprints to the water, and my sister quickens her pace also. He dives under and appears about fifty metres from the shore. Splashes of water are sent everywhere, and I dive under the surface, swimming speedily towards them. I can’t stop Luna, but I can at least try and prevent Trent’s death.
My male ally jumps up on a random pedestal. Luna scrambles for a foothold, and Trent tries to push her down but she sends a fist into his foot. He jumps up yelling with pain. She jumps up with ease. Luna’s face darkens. She propels the weapon at him and buries the knife in his chest. Trent, with his last movements, punches her in the face, and wraps his arms around Luna tightly. Blood seeps into her clothes and into the water as they fall down to the bottom. “TRENT!” I yell. His cannon sounds. But he’s not done yet. A second cannon goes off about a minute afterwards. I search around for anyone that might have died. Then I realise something. Luna must have blacked out when Trent punched her. She could be...could have drowned.
I dunk my head underwater and get to my drowning sibling as fast as I can. Trent's body is nowhere to be seen. I dive to the bottom, and see them both resting almost peacefully on the seabed. I unfold Trent's arms that have clasped my sister down. Her mouth is open. I bring her up to the surface and attempt to squeeze the water out of her. But she makes no movements. I check her pulse. But there is nothing to check.
My sister is dead, drowned by a dead man.
Rubin Jett D11
Death. Death everywhere. And there is only water. A few floating bodies here and there. I must get off my pedestal. I'm out in the open. I need to get moving. But the sight of corpses bobbing along makes me freeze. My whole body is paralysed.
Blaine, the person I was supposed to protect, is gone. I've got to kill people here? I can't do that. Not with all this water. I've never swam in my life. I barely made it out of the Bloodbath - Alexandria was the reason for my survival on the first day. She helped me to shore, practically keeping both of us afloat. If I just find her, maybe she can help me and we can stay allies once more.
But I can't find her anywhere. The water is overwhelming, my vision is blurry at the sight of this terrible scene. Death and water. Practically my worst nightmare. I can't think straight. I need to get my head in the game.
'Come on Rubin! You can do this! Avenge your brother.' Optimistic thoughts come from nowhere.
The prize doesn't seem so far away now. Not far at all.
'Just find Alexandria and you'll be fine.'
I shake off my nervous thoughts and catch a glimpse of Oceania making her way to shore. Alexandria must be somewhere near. I bend my knees, ready to jump. I hold my arms above my head as I've seen people do before they dive. I can do this. I will do this.
Suddenly, my breathing is strained. My stomach feels empty but something seems to be pulling on it. I look down. The head of a spear is just poking through my T-shirt. So, this is how I'm going to die. I turn my head. Pharmacy Rivera immediately comes into view. I narrow my eyes at her and she smiles. I fall back into the water, searing pain running through me and an unbearable stinging feeling stabs at my back. The spear has almost gone through me completely, leaving a huge hole in my stomach.
Pharmacy swims up, and brutally wrenches the weapon out of my centre. As she swims away, her shoe butts me in the face. Blood stains the water and turns a red colour, the sunlight casting a strange, wine-coloured filter into the water. So, this is the end.
Pharmacy Rivera D9
Rubin was such an easy kill. I can't believe he stood right out in the open like that, frozen. But I have to get rid of targets to win. Nobody will stand in my way. I take a breather for a second, scanning the area while I keep myself above the water. I haven't taken time to listen to the amount of cannons fired, but there must be at least three or four dead already.
I've never been a very good swimmer but I don't think Rubin could swim at all. When he fell - he didn't even try to keep himself afloat. He just let himself be enveloped by the water, and let himself become a victim to my spear. I paddle over to a girl who seems like an easy target, but with my head underneath the surface so she can't spot me straight away. I think her name is Alexandria Maydon, the Goth that was a bit of a sore thumb in the training centre.
She is surprised and frightened to see me when I come straight up behind her. But she is not what I thought she'd be like. She immediately sinks under the surface with a great splash in a frenzied escape. A minute later, her head pops up near a pedestal, a trail of white water behind her where her rough swimming caused chaos in the wave motions. I chase after her but I'm a terrible swimmer so by the time I get there she has hidden away. She could easily kill me now if she wanted. Why isn't she making an attack already? Her own stupidity makes me almost laugh. But now is not the time for jokes.
I reach the pedestal that my target has cowered behind. She is wide-eyed with a fear that reminds me of a rabbit at the end of a gun. I take my chances and make a leap at her. If I can hold my breath long enough, maybe I can drown her. But somehow, she gets out of the way and climbs up the pedestal with great difficulty and strain. I eye her up cautiously. How can I possibly attack her from down here? It doesn't look like she has any weapons. If I climb up, then she will be defenceless. Now is my chance. I unhook my knife from my belt, and secure my spear into the long-length sheath that hangs over my back, and begin climbing up. My opponent glares at me in horror as I come face-to-face with her on the pedestal.
"Please, don't hurt me. I won't hurt you. Please, I beg you!" I won't let her get away from me. I need to eliminate my targets. Then I can win. I leap up, and hold my knife to her neck. "Please. We can be allies? Please. I only want to survive. Just please, don't kill me. I won't attack you, I promise."
"No promises can be made in the Hunger Games." I slit her throat and blood spurts in my face, landing on my lips and in my mouth. I spit it out, gagging. The metallic taste holds itself in my mouth. I scratch my fingers along the rough surface of my tongue to get rid of some of the taste, but it is no use. Fearing for my own safety, I watch as my dead enemy's body collapses on the surface of the lagoon, and I jump in the opposite direction. BOOM! That must be Alexandria's cannon.
I wash my mouth out with the repulsive water. Salt water seems like a welcome relief from someone else's blood. I find that the water level has risen greatly. It's at least eight or nine metres deep, when before it was only about five or six. I move as fast as I can towards the shore, but something brushes past my ankle.
I dunk my head underwater to see if any tributes are attacking me from the seabed. Thankfully, there seems to be no danger. I continue on my path. For a few minutes, I am left in peace, dismissing the incident as just seaweed or some driftwood sailing by.
Suddenly, something bites my leg. I scream, but water fills my mouth and I begin to sink underneath the surface. I focus on keeping my head above water, but whatever bit me is coming back for more and the pain of the wound in my leg is overpowering. 'It' takes a huge chunk out of my right thigh - my bones only hanging on by the muscles around it. I groan in unbearable pain. Other tributes see my utter distress, but leave me alone. Whatever is trying to eat me must be a mutt of some kind. Curse those sick-minded Gamemakers.
I thrash about my arms and last working leg, making jabs in the water with my knife. But it is no use. The sea-mutt tears off my right arm and blood spills everywhere, the blood-curdling snap of bone ringing in my ears. The gristly muscle hangs lifelessly on the water, bobbing like a line from a fishing hook. The mutt pulls away at the flesh and muscle until the only thing left of my right arm is the shoulder bone, which is barely keeping itself together. Fracture lines run all across it like the cracks you would find in the wall of an old house.
I see flashes of silver, and sharp, blade-like teeth in the water beside me. And a fin. And a tail. It must be a shark mutt, or some kind of homicidal piranha thing. I cry out for help but nobody comes. I feel as lonely as the last person on earth. With my last arm and leg, I stab the mutt in the tail but this only angers it more and makes no difference. It rips off my leg in a vicious rage until I am just a floating dummy, half-submerged in my own pool of blood.
The shark mutt nibbles at me, almost playfully, as I now have no defence against it. Along with my limbs, it swallowed my knife, but thankfully not my spear. Each time it takes a bite out of me the darkness gets closer, the ominous crunch of bone on teeth the last things I'll ever hear. I can take no more. It is a wonder I haven't bled to death yet. I know I have no hope. But I don't want to die at the hands of a sick, murderous Capitol creation. I will die with dignity. With my last, weakened and severely injured arm, I remove the spear from its scabbard. I whisper goodbye to my family, and the mutt seems to back away slightly as I make peace with myself. The Gamemakers must be watching this. With one last dignified move, I drive the spear into my heart.
Oceania Seacrest D4
I jump behind the Cornucopia. There are some tributes here already, none of them I recognise. My three friends, Blaine, Rubin and Alexandria are all dead. I watched as each one of them was picked off by other, stronger tributes. I count the belated cannons as I wait.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
That's seven people dead. I pray that Kalmah is among them, but I didn't catch any glimpse of him except when he drowned Blaine. I can't stay here, thinking about death all the time. I must get moving if I want my key to freedom.
I check my ankle. The swelling has disappeared, it is red but I can walk on it. I have very helpful mentors, and very rich sponsors. I wonder how my mentors are fairing, trying to keep me alive for a second time. I can survive this, by myself now. The Careers have only just made it to the island, and they won't be leaving until they know that all the threats have gone. No-one in the Careers died, except Pharmacy obviously. She killed two of my allies. She deserved it. I thank the Gamemakers before making a move.
"Where do you think you're going?" A voice snarls behind me. The beautiful brunette from District 11 is stood behind me, a confident look on her face. I don't understand why she is taking me on, when everyone else knows I am a Victor. Nobody except Kalmah and Katarina have made any plans to kill me. But they are insane. Why is a normal person thinking murderous thoughts to kill me?
"Just about to win these Games," I mutter back. She sends her spear sailing through the air, and I return the attack with my trident, catching her on the arm. She yelps like a wounded puppy. Both of us are lacking in weapons now. Her spear is behind me, my trident is behind her. Thank god I'm good in hand-to-hand combat. I punch her on the cheek, and she falls back onto the ground, stunned. She shuffles around for my trident. She is inches away from the weapon that is so precious to me. I made my first attack with that weapon.
I kick her in the ankle which pulls up her trouser leg. A deep but clean cut is festering on the side of her ankle. A weak point. I wonder if my cousin had anything to do with this. Just as Aislyn's fingers slip past the trident, I snatch it out of her hands. I dig my heels into her stomach and she struggles to breathe properly. I hold the tip of the middle spike in the trident to Aislyn's tanned neck. Her emerald green eyes blink like a kitten at me. She must be a popular and pretty girl back in her district.
"Before you kill me, you need to know something," She says suddenly.
"Well, get on with it. And don't think I'll let you get away by sharing information with me," I growl at her, pressing the trident harder. Small beads of blood appear at the tip of the blade. She swallows anxiously.
"I'm bait. Katarina will come after you. She'll hear my cannon and know where you are," Aislyn explains, her voice wavering. Tears are appearing in her eyes. Sympathy will not get you anywhere in the Hunger Games. I'm not sure Aislyn realises that.
"Why are you helping me?" I snap crossly, narrowing my eyes. "Shyvana was going to be my ally, until she made other decisions. She talked about a rebellion, and keeping you alive, because you'd be the symbol of rebels. The leader of a revolution against the Capitol." My eyes widen at the thought of plans being made to keep me alive. I should have accepted Shyvana's offer of an alliance. But it is too late now. She could be dead for all I know. A aching pain in my heart makes it harder to kill Aislyn. She might have a lovely family back home. And, she's helping me escape my mental cousin. "Please, just get it over and done with. I want this." She whispers silent prayers and goodbyes to her family. I have to hold back the tears. Such an innocent girl. But I can't let myself die. Not now, anyway.
As of Aislyn's command, I push the trident into her neck. She dies instantly and her cannon sounds. I wince at the sound of another death. I know Aislyn tried to help me, and explained the revolution, but I had to kill her. The Capitol would have made sure she died if she had any plans in a rebellion, anyway. I'm at risk too, now. Aislyn definitely had something else on her mind. But I will never know.
I take my trident, and Aislyn's spear, and take a look at the scene around me. Two Careers have stayed allies, and are keeping watch of the keys. Katarina will no doubted come after me now, especially seeing as I'm out in the open, and the sun is changing direction. My shadow that I've been hiding is getting shorter. Anyone might spot me now. There's no hope of getting a key, but if I can stick it out maybe I have a chance at winning these Games too. I scarper, the rebellion and Aislyn on my mind.
Scarlett Winters D2
And there goes another cannon. Oceania's made a kill, and ally Pharmacy made two clean kills before she got torn apart by a mutt of some kind. Which means the Gamemakers aren't just playing around anymore. Eight people have died in the Feast so far. That leaves only twelve tributes left, four of which will eventually become Victors.
From my position at the back of the Cornucopia, I have watched as the blood and horror began. I've never been much of a swimmer so I was safe as everyone was focused on the prize. I recalled Johanna Mason when jumping off my podium. I saw Pharmacy die due to attacks by a mysterious creature - why wouldn't the tributes think I'm dying too? I feigned being mauled by a mutt, and gradually made my way up to the island without anyone thinking twice.
I've managed to make my way to the island without anybody seeing me, though I'm not entirely sure. There's no safety guarantee in a Feast.
There are about four tributes I don't know the location of. One young boy swam off when two of his allies died, and Oceania scarpered from the scene not long after. Beemo and Odin seem to be protecting each other. I assume that they have decided to stay allies, against all odds. Especially seeing as Odin was having weird dreams about Amy. But their alliance means I am by myself now. I hook my throwing knives on my belt and grasp my trident.
Good, Beemo and Odin are distracted by a few oncoming tributes. They won't even see me coming. I'll just get the key and the map, and get out. Not taking any risks. This is just like a mission, back home with my organisation. But taking on this task will be harder than anything I've ever done before.
I make a speedy sprint for the table as Beemo and Odin fend off attacks from a rather scary looking boy. I think his name is Kalmah, though I haven't taken time to leearn any of my fellow tributes' names. The key is now only fingertip length away. I can do this.
Out of the blue, a muscular arm wraps around my neck, and pulls me to the ground. I hit the earth hard. I make attempts at thrashing at my attacker with my trident, but whoever is attacking me is too close. With my back to the ground and my main weapon useless, I struggle to reach my throwing knives that hang tediously on my belt. My enemy sits on my stomach, and holds me down while her fingers wrap around my throat, squeezing harder each time I inhale hair. I don't recognise her face, but she is young. Maybe only twelve or thirteen. But God, she's strong. Her fingers are like metal, hard and resilient. Her knees are on my arms. I'm paralysed, pinned down by a girl years below me.
I wriggle and writhe and do whatever I can to escape but this girl has arms of steel. Her smile forbids me to think she is sane.
"You're neck - it's so - squeezable," She pants excitedly, her grip getting ever more tighter. My face runs purple all over. My eyes widen and I try and throw her off but with each movement I make, more air is crushed out of me. I hear the crack of bone, and then a blazing pain that runs down my back. I'm certain that I've popped out a disc in my spine.
I feel like Alyssa before she died. Nobody came to help her even when she screamed.
Kalmah XXIV D4
Beemo and Odin sure put up a fight. I heard that cannon and knew I wouldn’t be able to hold them off. I’ve made one kill – most delightedly Blaine flipping Fitz. Rubin and Alexandria are both dead, which leaves only Oceania from my alliance. Oceania was a coward. She ran when she saw me arrive at the cornucopia.
“Odin! Watch out!” Oh, my target is getting attacked by his district partner. I ease up on my attacks as the Two Allies ignore me completely, preferring to take on a girl instead. How pathetic. That makes things a bit easier for me. Beemo goes over to help her ally, while I sneak up to the table. Damn. The Two Allies have somehow managed to hide both maps and both keys. A body lies next to the table. I don’t recognise who it is, as their face is all purple and swollen. Someone has made a kill, and recently, because whoever’s body this is, it is still wet from the lagoon and still at normal temperature. The murderer of this person cannot be far away.
I’ve got to get out of here. There’s no time to look for the items now. There are too many people to take on, and with one machete, a knife and a backpack, I doubt I will stand much of a chance. Either way, I'll still become a Victor once I eliminate every single tribute in these Games.
Not thinking twice, I run up to the roof-garden of the Cornucopia. Everything is still up here. The Careers were smart and haven’t left their unused backpacks to be taken by other tributes. They’ve hidden them.
I turn the whole roof-top garden inside-out and there is no sign of any backpacks, except the ones dangling from the tallest trees that line the edge of the rooftop. I’m not the best climber and I’d be putting myself at more risk of injury than getting supplies. Perhaps it’s not such a good idea to be up here. This is such a waste of time, and I'm starting to doubt whether the Careers did this or whether the Gamemakers are making it harder to gather decent supplies.
Just as I’m about to jump down, I hear footsteps coming up the stairs. Whoever it is, they are in a hurry and really tired. It’s definitely a boy. But they are weak and don’t seem to be asking for a fight. They must have run up here in the hope of safety, as I did. I jump behind a bush to conceal myself, and peer through the leaves to get a good look at this boy.
I instantly recognise him. He’s the District 5 boy – Gaara. I remember him going into his private training, looking weak and pathetic and then coming out with top marks. How he got a score of 12, I will never know. I still question how I only got a 9, when the weakest are getting the highest scores. Which means he could be a much stronger or more tactical tribute than I first thought. I’ve just got to wing this attack. No plans, just go for it. I love the thrill of battle, and making plans only makes it boring. Well, this should be fun.
I bounce up from my hiding place, and Gaara is exasperated at the sight of me. The thought of fighting me must scare him. After all, I am the best tribute in these whole Games, even if the Gamemakers underestimated me in private training. Gaara holds up a spear, and I laugh. We’re in close-quarters combat which means that a spear will only make his fight against me tricky and cause it to be harder to make strategies.
Gaara raises his spear and I laugh, taunting him. His short hair,small size and skinny figure means that I am almost certainly going to be the winner of this fight. I swing my arms with my machete, and it catches him on the ankle. He yelps, drops his weapon and falls to his knees. He clutches the area where blood is pouring out of him. The white flash of bone as he screams means my machete must have cut him pretty deep.
I kick him in the face, and he screams and yells as he rolls into a holly bush. Thorns and spikes attack him all over, and I just watch as blood seeps out of him through millions of tiny holes in his skin. He is momentarily blinded when two holly leaves stab him in the eyeballs. He screams again, and batters about the place. He is completely blind now.
Now is my chance. I take my machete and cut him so deep that I can see his beating heart sliced in two by my weapon. I draw out a huge 'K' for Kalmah in his chest. Now and forever, his body will be marked by his killer.
Crimson Typhoon D13
That's nine cannons now, which means there aren't many of us left, but Beemo and Odin are holding me off from any chance of victory. Beemo's taken me on as target, while Odin deals with two girls - one of which is Rebekah.
My opponent isn't so good at hand-to-hand combat as I am. I kick-sweep her legs and knock her down easily. She crashes to the ground with an almighty thud as I make my way closer to the table. But Beemo is strong, and isn't giving up just yet. Her main forte is long-distance combat, which isn't exactly the best strength to have at this point in time. Almost silently, she runs up behind me and jumps on my back. I know she could easily stab me right now.
Intentionally, I drop to the ground and Beemo gives out a wail to Odin. She is crushed beneath my back for the meantime. Odin is only just holding off his district partner, Nymph, the second girl. The look in his eyes shows sorrow, yet he attacks his supposed partner like she's just another piece of meat sent to the butchers. But I have other things to take care of. Beemo is writhing like a snake beneath me and her legs are kicking me so hard I'm winded. I roll to my side, gasping for air. I can almost feel a huge bruise appearing on my side. Beemo needs time to gather herself, also, and draws out a knife while I lay sluggishly on the ground, breathlessly trying to get back on my feet.
Beemo takes aim with her knife, and raises it above her shoulder. She throws it solidly at me, and I just have time to jump out the way. A rush of air zips past me as the knife just skims my ear, cutting off a few hairs from my head. Her eyes gleam with adrenaline. I wrench the knife from the wet ground, and run at her.
But I'm coming head on to her. I know I've made a mistake. Before I can stop her, or myself, a fist knocks me powerfully on the eye. My vision is blurred, but it feels strange to have normal vision in the other eye. Beemo gleams with pride, and steals the knife away from me without a second thought. I can't believe what's happening. I'm getting beaten.
I regain a firm fighting position, with my arms up so she can't make anymore punches to my face, which are usually the fatal hits. She copies me, almost like a mime as we circle each other. We're like two lions in the coliseum. It doesn't take a second thought to realise that's pretty much what's happening here. We're just two player in a morbid game which takes place cermoniously in a huge stadium every year.
I kick Beemo in the stomach, and she falls, groaning. The crunch of bone suggests I may have broken one of her ribs, or at least damaged her muscle. She yells for Odin to help, but he is thankfully preoccupied with Rebekah.
Without hesitation, I sprint to the table, only to discover the whole surface completely bare, only with the stands where the maps and keys were once placed. Odin and Beemo are good allies - not just in terms of loyalty, but in terms of strength and strategy. I know there's no time to stay. I'd be risking a secondary attack from both the Two Allies. Beemo will be back on her feet soon, and Odin will come after me once he's dealt with Rebekah.
I don't even know why the Capitol are making us do this. Why don't they just kill us all and randomly select one of us to live? Why am I being put through this? What is the point in my survival here?
I push my thoughts away. Out of sight, I dash up the glass stairs of the Cornucopia and jump behind the thickest bush I can find on this huge roof-top garden. I distinctly smell blood, and the irritating buzzing of flies nearby leads me to believe that there is a corpse somewhere about here. The tribute who did this must have moved on already, considering they haven't made any leaps at me yet. I pull back the bushes slightly, so I get a view of the fights down below. The mutinous thoughts of the Capitol return.
This bloodlust is stupid, and uncalled for. I should be dead. Why are the Capitol putting me through this before I die? Why don't they just gun down 26 of the District's children and take pleasure in that? Why are they torturing us?
Beemo is searching for me. She knows I must have wimped out, because now she's assisting Odin with tackling both his district partner and Rebekah, the young girl I once thought the weakest.
This Feast has changed my old ally. There is something in her now - that wasn't clear to any of us in our alliance. Trent was right. Rebekah was hiding something, and now she's utterly transparent. Rebekah has an evil glint in her eyes, her expression always angry, her fingers curled like she has the everlasting urge to strangle someone. Attacks and defensive moves fly at Odin, and he's unable to cope with this chaos and panic. Rebekah wasn't like this before. She can't have been evil before the Games. In her interviews she seemed so placid, so innocent... Now all I see is a young, bloodthirsty young girl, forced to kill. Being manipulated. This wasn't her choice.
Maybe Shyvana was right, back at the Reapings. The Capitol can't control us forever. It's not right. It shouldn't be like this. The districts should be free to lead themselves, as District 13 once did. My grandmother once said to me: 'Even before the district was captured, there was no peace in District 13. Arguments raged as there did in any other place in this world. But we were free, and that's what made it such a wonderful place to be and live. But now, there is only one solution. The only way to deal with our restricted world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.'
I'm sure Shyvana must have gotten advice off of my grandmother. Everything about my district partner breathes rebellion. She has a purpose. But I still question mine.
Recalling those wise words makes me realise my reason for survival. To rebel.
Odin Amarth D1
Damn, there are so many people dead already. I've lost count of the cannons - I've been too busy with tackling my own fights. I've got to get through this, for Amy's sake.
There are still two people attacking me and Beemo.
A young girl that doesn’t seem any older than twelve is making desperate attempts to injure Beemo. Unfortunately, her lack of weapons means her punches and kicks are useless.
Meanwhile, my District partner screams at me to get away, to stop ruining her life. To cease my destruction of her teashop. I ignore her chilling pleas. This could just be a way to weaken me with guilt, or throw off my plans to kill her. As much as I hate this, my district partner has always been psycho but she’s not stupid. She’s deceptive in so many ways.
Her fast actions and gymnastic dodges means it’s hard to get a good shot at her. But I am just as fast. I hold my hand close to the tip of my spear, so it becomes more like a sword. Her deft slingshot is impossible to use when I am moving. Her vision and mindset is too crazed to make any attempts at an accurate shot. My spear is as useful as ever. I can win this. There’s no chance of her beating me now. I’m prepared. She is not.
I jab at her side, and it catches her on the ribs, but doesn’t quite sink in. She jumps back, and the tip exits her body. Blood drips from the point. Nymph doesn’t even so much as flinch. It’s as if she doesn’t care. She smiles, and then fixes a poisoned dart to the slingshot.
“Come at me, bro,” She jeers in a slang voice, holding the slingshot up. I narrow my eyes, dropping to the floor as a dart sails past me. The high-pitched zap of it bulleting through the air makes me wince. I have to roll out the way as a second dart zips past. Nymph pauses from her attacks as I get to my feet. Maybe she is planned for this.
A third dart whizzes past my head. I flinch, knocking my head to the side to get out of the firing line. Nymph has come so close to killing me. But I have to get through this. I promised Amy I would. You can’t break promises.
“I am not your brother,” I breathe eventually. “You’re going down.” I hear Amy’s voice in my head.
“Ooh, I’m so scared,” Nymph mocks sarcastically. She prepares a fourth dart. This fight will be her last. I hold my breath for a second as I hurl my spear through the air. It glides easily through the air, and lands directly in Nymph’s stomach. Beemo catches my eye. Nymph doesn’t seem surprised. She holds the spear, draws it out and whispers a single word, her sarcasm still eminent. “Congratulations.”
Her terminal breath almost makes me relieved. But I must get on. Beemo is getting knocked over by the girl from eight. I rip the spear from Nymph’s stomach and drag it over to Beemo. I toss it to her and Rebekah goes down in an instant. BOOM! It’s Nymph’s cannon.
Rebekah lies flat on the ground, the spear wavering loosely from just below her heart. She hurriedly whispers goodbye to her family, wheezing between every word. Beemo and I stand over her. Amy told me to stay with people until they died – it would bring both me and them comfort. The 12 year old lies crying on the ground, tears streaking down her face. Beemo nudges me that we need to go.
I shake my head as the young tribute says her last words.
“I-I-It’s my birthday today,” She smiles weakly. “My death day, too.” Her innocent whispers will ring in my mind for the rest of my life. Her cannon seems a little silenced as Beemo digs the spear into the ground.
“Odin. Please, let’s go. We’ve got the key and map,” Beemo hisses. She begins tearing up the ground with the spear. Soon, two silvery keys and solid paper maps are held in her hand. “Catch.” She tosses one of each over to me. “It’s over.”
Day 4, Evening - After the Feast
Katarina Seacrest, D5
I missed my chance. I missed one of the easiest opportunities to kill my estranged cousin. Aislyn’s dead too – though I was always going to murder her in her sleep, anyway. It’s not like the alliance would have lasted long. Aislyn was too nice. She valued people too much. Never before have I met someone who cared so much about her stupid family.
Speaking of family, I saw Oceania sneak away after killing my pathetic partner, too. But she must have been injured as she was weaker than at the first Bloodbath, so I presume some helpful medicine must have healed that up for her. If you can't tell, I'm angry. The Capitol do everything they can to save their stupid Victor.
Meanwhile, I’m still struggling to decide what to do next. After my cousin got away and Aislyn’s cannon blew, I swam away. I don’t know why. Something inside me urged to get away. And the urge was so strong I couldn’t ignore it. Something twisted inside me as each of those cannons went off. It wasn’t guilt – it was more like pleasure. But with the amount of deaths, there was next to no chance that I could even attempt to get the key and map.
Instead, those darn Careers grabbed them and left. When Oceania’s blood is on my hands, I’ll move onto them. I’ll track them down and kill them whenever I get the chance. My scythe won’t hold up against their spears. Plus, Beemo’s pretty good with traps. She may not have set any yet – but I watched her in training. There’s no doubt she’ll be a hard target to take down.
Currently, they are not my problem...yet. I’ve tiredly walked back up the hills, sharpening the tip of my scythe with a sturdy rock as I go, keeping my mind of the unbearable cramps in my stomach and legs. Every now and then I hear a faint noise, and swerve round to see what it is, groaning at the pain I feel in my chest. Every time, I get my hopes up – thinking it might be Oceania, unguarded and alone. Breathlessly, I drag myself on, never giving up. From what I know, her whole alliance was massacred in the Feast.
I laugh a little to myself. I want nothing more than to see my cousin in pain, after what she did to me. Nothing can change that. Even if the pain is only mentally, her agonized expression will be pleasing. Her tears are worth as much to me as gold. Her blood will be beyond the worth of anything. No money or jewels can pay for her death. It will mean everything to me.
To see her face in the sky before I die, to see my hands caked with blood, to see her corpse rising lifelessly – helplessly – into the airship will make me cry tears of joy. That is my dream. To die knowing Oceania got what she deserved.
It is only a matter of time before my dream becomes a reality.
Shyvana Feuer D13
The still and quiet of the Arena has returned after the final airships take to the skies. The Capitol emblem painted on the bottom of the ships almost makes me sick. I can’t believe the deaths of people make them happy – make them laugh. I never managed to get the key and map, which may have disappointed my sponsors – but I was able to watch, even if the morbid scene sickened me.
I kept behind a podium, where nobody could properly see me. I watched the sibling set face pain and suffering. Luna Sunkin died, and her brother’s sanity with her. It’ll be a wonder if he manages not to get PTSD, after watching his own sister die. I’ve seen people suffer the consequences of war, and it seems like the effects of the 121st Hunger Games are no different.
But I have no time to worry about unimportant people.
I watched with gritted teeth as Aislyn declared everything that I had tried so hard to keep a secret. Oceania’s life has been put at risk. The Gamemakers and the President must have heard it, after all. I knew I was wrong to trust Aislyn. Her strange attitude towards the Capitol made that point obvious. I can’t believe it’s only just hit me. Aislyn knew that if she got Oceania involved with a rebellion, her chances of survival would be destroyed also.
Maybe her short alliance with Katarina changed her.
But Aislyn’s dead, and we weren’t allies. She means nothing.
But Oceania is alive. We’re not allies, but we have connections now. She knows everything. And I can’t stop her from blathering about it. She could destroy everything if she really wanted to. This is why I needed her to not know, or for me to explain it to her gradually, like I had first planned in training.
The only way I can stop her is to either kill her or become allies with her. I couldn’t possibly kill her. I’m not like that. But allies with her? She could attack me at any moment during our alliance. And who even says she’s going to agree to be ‘friends’, especially now that the numbers are dwindling so low?
Four more deaths and four lucky people will be free, forever. I must be one of those people – to bring justice to those that killed my father. Maybe Oceania will have some sympathy with me.
If we ally at all, Oceania will be my last hope. If I die, then she must be the leader of the rebellion.
It seems simple. But first I need to find her.
Star Sunkin D6
I've never felt so lost... so alone in this world. I've barely been able to keep my mind off my sister. For years, she's always been there. Always been beside me - she never left - even at the Reapings. She became like a twin to me, inseparable. Even when she couldn't cope with the fact she'd killed someone, she was still there. She was still herself - still had some of her sanity left. Despite her problems, she was still my sister and I loved her.
But something must have clicked inside her at the start of the Feast... something must have spurred her on to kill Trent. He'd always been so nice to the both of us; to everyone in the alliance. He had done nothing wrong, and neither had she until they both killed each other. My closest relative, and one of my only friends... dead in a matter of minutes. What could he have done to make my sister do such a thing?
I wander the forests alone, with no clue where to go next, constantly trying to focus on a task, not on the images of my sister. The Fallen are not yet shown. I have no idea if any of my alliance members are alive. Is it just me? Am I the last person to survive?
Suddenly, I blank out and all I can see is Luna, standing on the podium with Trent in front of her. The scene is being replayed, fractured and distorted. But it is clear what is happing. Luna stabbing Trent, Trent drowning my sister as a last, brutal act. Each time, I see their faces, pale and white... their bodies floating to the seabed. Red water washes around me, the metallic taste of wine-red blood in my mouth, stuck on my tongue.
Then the green of the forest returns, though I can't quite see straight. My breaths are quick and uncontrollable. Hyperventilation makes me collapse on the ground. Hand to my chest, I wheeze and struggle to control myself. I'm shaking all over. This hasn't happened before.
Everything seems darker, louder... more dangerous. The birds singing are like drums in my head, pounding away like a punch to the face. The trees are black and ominous, branches like fingers, scratching away at my face. I scream, holding my hands against my ears, rocking back and forth. Flashbacks just keep playing with my sanity. And I can't control them. Tears stream down my face as my whole, crooked life blazes like flames before my eyes.
We've both done bad things in our lives, but only to support each other. We stole things to survive, but we did it for each other. Luna must have seen dangers I couldn't. She wouldn't commit a crime like this, unless I was in real danger. But maybe her insanity had drove into her head, infesting her mind like a parasite. Like my flashbacks are doing to me.
Luna Sunkin would not have done that. She would not have killed an innocent person. My ally died only an hour or so ago. But my sister died on Day 1.
Oceania Seacrest D4
I can’t believe secrets have been kept in the Hunger Games. How did Shyvana manage to stop the Gamemakers knowing? And why did she trust Aislyn with all that information – especially when they weren’t even allies?
So many questions run around in my head. I need water. I need to keep moving, too. Katarina could be getting closer as we speak, and Kalmah can’t be far away either. How have I come to the centre of three people’s lives? What makes me so special, so much of a target?
I brush my way past a thicket of bushes, thorns digging into my jacket and gnarled branches catching on my belt loops. I pick off thorns from my trousers and pull off leaves from my T-shirt, untangling vines from my hair. The forest is thicker – more dense and dangerous. The Gamemakers must have changed it around while we were in the Feast. The water was deeper too, especially around the pedestals.
'Everything happens for a reason, Oceania' I think to myself.
If the Feast began at midday, then it should be about two in the afternoon. The sun won’t be setting for a good few hours if the Gamemakers are keeping the day lengths the same. That gives me enough time to find a water source and camp. Maybe, if the water source is a river, then I can do some fishing. Even a small salmon would feed me for days. I know that it will put me in danger, as other tributes will also be looking for places to drink and eat and camp, and Katarina could track me easily in the wet mud that usually banks rivers. But the thought of fish and clean water is just too tempting.
I unzip my jacket as a thick, muggy fog begins to hang in the canopy. I retie my shoelaces, tucking the extra bits into the side of my shoe. I continue on, wiping the sweat off my head and hoping that dehydration won’t be the reason for my death. To keep myself entertained, I dream up imaginary realities where everything is peaceful, and safe... with no Hunger Games.
Though however hard I try to distract myself, I keep finding myself thinking about the true reality of my life. My cousin is hunting me down like an animal, and my ex-ally has turned into a psycho who happens to be also out to murder me. Then Aislyn tells me all this stuff about a rebellion and I have no clue as to what the Gamemakers or the Capitol are going to do with me. The President has probably planned something extra special for me, just to please the audience. I question whether the Capitol citizens will be pleased with the death of one of their Victors.
But until that point, I will keep surviving. I am determined to get to the final six, at least. I've made it to first place once. I think I can do it again, if I really try.
I pray that my cousin and my ex-ally aren’t alive. But I won’t know until tonight; when the Fallen are shown. I wonder whose face will be in the sky first: Shyvana’s, Kalmah’s or Katarina’s. Or mine?
Kalmah XXIV D4
She will always hate me. And I hate her back.
That's why I'm tracking Oceania Seacrest. It keeps me busy and she's more experienced here than I. She will no doubt lead me to water and possibly food. The thought of this means I'm a little wary about killing her. Maybe I'll just follow her for a day or so and then kill her, when the need for deaths from the Capitol audience gets to a critical point.
I've still got the knives I was given by my (thankfully) deceased ally, Blaine. I was beaming with pride when I drowned him. A smile crosses my face as I replay the images in my head. I scratch my knives along the bark of trees, in the hope that there might be water - like there was in the 75th Hunger Games. So far, no fresh water rivers, lakes or ponds have been spotted. I hope that Oceania isn't far. She might be my ex-ally, and my prey to kill, but I need her. I need her to stay alive just for another day more - until I can get my strength back up. The Feast has completely used all my energy and it is getting increasingly hard to pick my feet up.
Almost by coincidence, I spot a fresh footprint in the dirt ahead of me. Broken branches and crushed leaves are further up. They lead uphill. I roll my eyes at the thought of climbing up mountains and steep hills. I follow the obvious tracks.
Wait. Obvious. Nobody smart would leave obvious tracks. On my journey, I've stomped and turned to confuse any people who might be tracking me. I've stepped on hard plants and mosses to stop making footprint marks.
Obvious tracks lay a path for a trap. And I'm the victim of this trap. How could I be so stupid?
Suddenly, a twig snaps and I flinch. I whip my head around. A hot feeling of anger burns in my veins.
Oceania Seacrest stands there, a silver-green trident in her grasp. She is poised for attack, and I am practically defenceless. My knives will not reach her before her trident reaches me. That thing has been with that bitch since the start. I should have known she'd be better armed than I am. How could she have tracked me so easily? I relay my steps, my actions. Of course. I'd left deep wounds in trees, in an attempt to search for water. I'm such an idiot. Why would I be so careless?
With a stare of cold ice, Oceania glares at me from about three metres away. The three points of her weapon shine in the green light, shooting a glaze-green reflections in my eyes. I take a step backwards. Oceania copies, keeping her solid stature.
Maybe I can trick her. Or injure her at least, while I make a sharp getaway. I remember her ankle. Even if it has mostly healed, it will still be a weak spot. An Achilles' heel. I smirk and Oceania narrows her eyes.
Soon, this anger will be ended with Oceania's death.
Crimson Typhoon D13
I daren’t stop. Not for a second. My legs are burning with lactic acid, and my bones ache with all the walking and climbing. Sweat makes my clothes stick to my hot body like glue. I can’t stand the feeling of my trousers chafing against my thighs. I feel like huge weights are crushing my shoulders, pushing me down to the ground. But I can’t stop. I need to reach the bottom of the mountain before sundown. It’ll be safe there. None of the other tributes will be going there. I’m sure. If there are any mutts left, the weak and tired tributes will want to get their strength back up with food. I’ll take the risk of starvation. I’ve got water. That’ll keep me going long enough. Dehydration kills faster than starvation. I’ll be fine.
As I’ve trekked higher and higher, I’ve noticed something startling. Something obvious to the careful eye. The trees are denser, thicker, as an odd orange-purple sky glows above the arena. The flowers that once completely covered the forest floor have died out, wilting in the humid air. A horrid, muggy greyness sticks in the air. I am hoping that it does not cover the whole of the forest. These dead flowers can only bring more death. Without plants to eat, animals will starve. That means no more food for the tributes at all.
Luckily, I still have some small reserves from when our alliance traded. My goat meat has completely gone. I ate that before the Feast, to give me some energy. I traded a chicken breast with Rebekah. It is still raw, wrapped in a torn part of my T-shirt. It got a little salty in the sweater during the Feast. I hope that will at least preserve it for a little while longer. As soon as I reach the mountain, I will light a fire. I’ll cook my meat and find a safer place to camp.
Suddenly, a disturbing screech rings through the forest. I immediately recognise it. It’s Luna.
Wait, no... Luna was killed in the Feast. I saw her corpse drift by like a casual swimmer. I made my escape immediately after. I don’t know how she got killed, or even who did it, but I know for sure that she’s no longer breathing. It must be Star, then.
A chill runs down by spine. A second scream shatters the tranquillity of the forest, completely destroying any hopes that Star was ok. Is he getting attacked? Is there a mutt roaming the undergrowth, stalking and killing tributes? I bite my lip and continue moving. Even though we’re split apart and presumably no longer allies, I hope Star survives. He was a friend, once. He’s the same age as me. Plus, he reminded me of Connor. I can’t bear to think of Connor getting hurt. That’s why I’m so worried about Star. Even though he’s my competition, and one of my targets, he doesn’t deserve to die. Like nobody in this arena should. Nobody should die.
A wrench in my heart makes me a little emotional. I can feel the odd stares of cameras on me. I hate the fact there’s no privacy or safety here. If only the Capitol knew what was going on in my head - in Shyvana's. Rebellion seems to be the hot topic of my mind at the moment. I couldn't feel stronger about rebellion right now. Star and Luna should have grown up together, as siblings, as normal kids. Like I should have. Connor's the closest thing I've had to a brother. If it weren't for the Capitol, I could still be back in District 13, growing up with him. I don't want it to be this way. I want the Districts to live in peace. I can't stop thinking about the chance - the risks - of rebellion.
Beemo Xra D3
Odin debates the course we should take. We’ve made it to the bottom of the mountain. We wouldn’t have made it here this quick if we didn’t have the map. It’s showed us a few handy shortcuts that I know the other tributes would find life-saving. The pitiless mountain looms over our heads, circled with grey clouds and caked in an icy, arrow-like peak.
We’ve argued over this about fifty times. Odin’s reluctance to take the quickest but steepest route leads me to think he has a fear of heights. He wants to take the slowest route, which uses a steady path to make our way up. The gates are placed somewhere high in the clouds, where the only thing you can see for miles is ice. It’s daunting, but I’m willing to face the danger if it means my escape from this hellhole.
“Beemo, it’s safer to take my route. Look. The curve of the path won’t exert us, and it’s not steep so it won’t be that dangerous,” Odin begs pleadingly. I shake my head. I want to get out of here as soon as possible. Odin’s route might take two days. We don’t have that kind of time. Things are already tense and dangerous. It’s only going to get worse when someone is killed.
“No... As much as I think your plan is a good idea, we won’t stand a chance. We’ll be seen climbing and other tributes will be after us quickly. We’ll be at the gates by tomorrow evening if we take the steeper way. Plus, it’s shrouded with the trees and stuff. It’s better for hiding, for camping,” I reason. Odin bites his lip. He knows I’m right, but there’s something restricting him. “If we tie a rope around each other, we’ll find it easier to climb as long as you’re below me,” I comment, hoping it’ll reassure him. It doesn’t work.
“What if I fall, Beemo? You’re not strong enough to catch me. You can’t hold my bodyweight for more than a second,” Odin moans. He’s looking frantic. He’s shaking at the sight of the rocky climb. I don’t know what to do with him.
I’ve debated leaving him for a while since the Feast. He’s a good fighter, but he’s too good. He could easily wipe me out during the night. He might not care who takes the early Victor place beside him. All my instincts go against what I’m doing. I should have left, a long time ago. He could push me off the mountain if he liked. I’d be dead with shock before I hit the ground. But my heart is telling me to trust him. To stay, so that we can walk to safety together. Never before have I been so emotionally conflicted about something.
“You won’t fall. Not with me,” I whisper quietly. I look up at him as he stands up, tapping his foot on the ground. He stares up. He stares down.
“I can’t do this,” He says firmly. He plants himself on a log, biting his nails and shaking his head.
“We can do this.” I pause. “We can do this together.”
Shyvana Feuer D13
I’m afraid, both for the rebellion and for Oceania. She and Kalmah have been fighting now for at least five minutes, and neither seems to be winning. My dirty clothes and grubby face means I am in perfect camouflage. The bushes provide a good hiding place for me to watch this fight. From a safe distance, I look on at the leader of the rebellion.
Oceania has a ghastly smile of pretend sympathy fixed on her face as she smacks the trident into Kalmah’s stomach. His wheeze sounded like a vice and been tightened over his chest. For a moment, Oceania steps back, expecting him to react immediately. She has her trident in both hands; held firmly against her body, poised to stab at any moment. A demonic leer spreads across Kalmah’s face as he presents a knife. His eyes glow with an icy glare, his steely grey eyes always on his opponent.
In a split-second action, Kalmah raises the knife above his head. The whoosh of the weapon sails past Oceania’s head, barely missing her forehead. Instead, it leaves a small line of blood at the top of her ear. Red beads appear one by one. Kalmah realises he is completely powerless now. With frantic, darting eyes, he bites his lip and runs backwards.
His steps lead to solid wood. His back smashes against a crippled tree. A venomous stare is shot at Oceania as Kalmah drops to the ground, slouched against the trunk like a tired child in class. What is he doing? Has he completely given up? Oceania takes a step forward. Her trident gleams. Her face is a mask of determination. Without a second thought, she thrusts the weapon forward.
And misses. Kalmah has ducked his head.
The devil boy rolls to the side with a hostile snarl, anger poisoning the air around him. Slyly, he swipes his legs across the ground. It catches the Victor on the ankles. She yelps like a puppy. Oceania crashes against the hard ground. We are on slopes. Gravity pulls her down the hill. She tumbles to the bottom, stones scratching against her body, vines twisting her weak limbs and gnarled tree branches tearing apart her clothes.
Kalmah follows her steadily. I can see the poor girl attempting to get up. She writhes in agony, breathless with excruciating distress. Poison-like pain seeps through her quickly. Her glassy, dizzy expression presumably means she can’t see anything. Kalmah reaches her. He waits a minute, weighing up the situation. Oceania squirms in pain at his feet. He smiles. A stream of blood streaks down her neck. Kalmah laughs sinisterly, revealing a second silver knife that has been jammed in his pocket all this time. My eyes widen. I thought he didn’t have any weapons! How could I let this happen?
I rush down the mountainside, catching my feet on roots. I have no idea where this idea came from. But I do it as quietly as possible, seeing as Kalmah is distracted. Oceania looks up, shocked at my sudden appearance. It doesn’t take her long to realise what I’m doing. While her attacker focuses on his beaten opponent, I tumble forwards and punch him solidly on the jaw. He shrieks and I grab Oceania’s arm. She screams in unbearable pain, tears pouring down her cheeks. I urge her forward, down the hill where I know there are caves to hide in.
Kalmah lunges at me. I plant a solid kick in his groin. He collapses to the ground, rocking back and forth. I don’t have the time to kill him. It's my only choice to leave him. Oceania is dragging herself towards the caves and I don't think twice about killing Kalmah. I sprint after her and offer my shoulder for support.
I help my new ally through the endless thickets of tangled bushes like spider webs. Carpets of moss and decay mean our footprints leave a deep trail in the soil. Rotting leaves and dead branches increase in numbers as we reach the darkened holes in the landscape. Arched willow trees with knots of rainforest vines cover the screaming, open mouths of the caves. With Oceania clinging onto my shoulder, I cut through the bush.
The entrance is like an empty, black hole. The silence is unbearable. We carry on through the shadows and into and ink-coloured maze of tunnels, sprinkled with crystal spikes buried deep into the hard rock.
“Stop,” Oceania croaks. I set her down against the curved wall. I check our surroundings. An eerie green gloom fills the tunnels. Up on the roof of the caves, there are squirming glow worms. “I need...” Oceania breathes loudly. Her soft, pained voice echoes. The noise bounces off the curved sides. My eyes adjust to the hazy green light. “I need to rest.” I nod my head, and lie down beside her.
I can’t believe I just did that. I saved a Victor’s life. But why do I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything, haven’t achieved anything? Kalmah’s alive. That’s not what I wanted. Oceania’s injured - badly. That’s not what I wanted either.
“Are you ok?” I ask worriedly, examining the contorted body beside me. Oceania nods weakly.
“Thanks,” Oceania whispers, like she doesn’t want anyone to hear. “You saved my life.”
Katarina Seacrest D5
If it wasn’t for the fact Oceania’s here, I might be enjoying these Hunger Games. The whole forest is just one giant hiding place. The nights are kind of horrible but the days are nice. Almost like a holiday. But I'm starvinng and all the mutts must be either in the water or on the mountains because I haven’t seen any. There’s been a few rats but they’re such a measly size it isn’t worth the energy to catch them. Except the rat that is Oceania. She's definitely worth catching.
Actually, now that I think about it, this place is crap. And annoying. Really, really annoying. It’s so easy to hide in here that it’s impossible to find Oceania. This Arena is huge. I could be here for days, if we weren’t all trying to kill each other. It’s dusk already. A hazy purple sky darkens the forest. Night comes quickly here, I’ve noticed. If only the Gamemakers gave us a few more meagre hours of daylight, then I would have probably found Oceania by now. Idiots.
The blackness is thick tonight. Or is that just muggy air?
All of a sudden, I hear a whimpering nearby. It’s definitely a boy. If he’s injured or in pain, Oceania must have something to do with it. I pick my way through grey-green vines and come across a boy. His face is pale and white against the darkness. It’s hard not to miss a glowing face. A shiny trident is by his side. It’s obviously new. Stupid mentors. They don’t send me anything at all. Lame.
“Who the heck are you?” I snap bitterly. He smiles a venomous smile. His pearly white teeth almost glow in the darkness. His evilness will be of good use if he becomes an ally. That’s an if. It’s definitely not for certain, considering he’s been pathetically weakened. Aislyn was just the same. What is it with me and finding weaklings?
“I'm Kalmah. You gonna kill me?” He asks, steadily getting to his feet. I can see the pain behind that devilish smile.
“Nope,” I answer. He raises his eyebrows sceptically, but still seems interested.
“What do you want?” He questions sourly, preparing himself for a fight. I pull the scythe out from my pocket. It is a bit blunt, but it will do. I’m not sure either of us want to fight, but that’s just the way it is in the Hunger Games. I’m tired and angry that he hasn’t given me any leads yet.
“I want Oceania. I want to kill her.” Kalmah laughs and nods his head, like he has the exact objective that I do.
“Same. Don’t kill me and I’ll tell you where she went,” He suggests thoughtfully. I ponder this deal. I’ll let someone get away, just for a single clue as to where Oceania might be. “Deal?” He says, dropping his trident slightly. I loosen up the grasp on my cold scythe.
“Deal,” I agree firmly. He points down the hill, to where the forest is more dangerous, more mysterious. It’s even darker over there. It seems this midnight black is like fog – it gets thicker and thicker as you go through it. “Thanks.” I walk off, pretending like I’ve forgotten him. I hear him heave a sigh of relief.
That’s when I turn. I swerve my whole body back to face him, and swing my scythe through the air. It shoots cleanly. I hear the rip of flesh and crack of bone. Then comes the uncontrollable flow of blood, splashing against the ground in a torrent of red. His whole body drops to the floor. His trident is no longer clean and shiny. It’s stained all over with fresh blood. A large but expertly clean cut lines his throat. It is slightly curved - the shape of the weapon that inflicted the wound.
I must have aimed pretty well. My scythe is on the floor, seemingly dropped out of Kalmah’s flesh when it hit the solid bone. I pick the weapon up, and also take the boy’s knives, trident and backpack. He was well armed. I wonder why he never used it all.
Stupid boy. Everyone knows never to trust a Seacrest.
The Fallen of Day 4
- Blaine Fitz
- Petri Lindroos
- Trent Greer
- Luna Sunkin
- Rubin Jett
- Alexandria Maydon
- Pharmacy Rivera
- Aislyn Latona
- Scarlett Winters
- Gaara Ryughan
- Nymph Meré
- Rebekah Ure
- Kalmah XXIV
Odin Amarth D1 + Beemo Xra D3
Dawn’s first rays of sunlight strike my eyes. The heat and humidity of the forest is long gone. The canopy is just a carpet of green below this huge mountain. Up here, it’s colder and refreshing after the days of sticky wetness that was mostly everywhere in the thick jungle. The grey of dawn has clears to reveal a clear, untouched blue sky. Odin is still in the shadows – shaded by one of the last trees on this mountain. I nudge his arm gently and his eyes open.
His gaze drifts from me to the sunlight and for the first time in a while, he wakes with a smile on his face.
It's nice to wake up to a cloudless sky. The grey-green of the jungle has disappeared and I couldn't be more grateful. A cool breeze flows through the air and I know that today is the best day for climbing the vast rock faces of this huge mountain.
My ally hands me a bottle of water and I drink thirstily. We've been rationing most of the water until now, but we're so close to the Gates it doesn't matter anymore. She shares out some of the little food we've got. I get the larger portion. Beemo has done this since the end of the Feast. She claims I'm the bigger person and I need more energy. But she needs it just as much as I do.
"Have some more of mine, Beemo," I offer, holding out a few strips of dried meat (I think it's goat, but I'm not sure). My ally shakes her head, holding up her hands in refusal. She's too gracious to accept. I roll my eyes as Beemo packs our supplies up. I sling the backpack over my shoulder as Beemo quickly ties the rope around us both.
She puts her right foot on a jutting rock, looking for places to put her hands.
"Wait," I object suddenly. Beemo tilts her head, dropping back down to flat stone.
"What is it?" She asks tiredly.
"Let me go first."
I never expected Odin to get over his fear so quickly. I mean, I knew he would - but this quick? I guess I wanted him to still be afraid so I could help him. So I would have a reason to talk to him. But he has got over his fear somehow. It disheartens me to know he did it by himself. He doesn't need me.
He's about two metres vertically away. He slips a couple of times but always regains his position. He constantly looks down. I'm not sure whether it's to see how far up we are, or to see that I'm okay. I hope its the latter.
Yesterday, we climbed in utter silence. I occasionally gave him some enouragement, but even that didn't take a lot of talking. Odin still needed all the help he could get. Now he doesn't need it at all. However, Odin is talking frequently today. I find it hard to hear him, as the wind carries his voice away and he's facing the wrong direction for me to hear him.
"BEEMO?" He shouts down.
"YES?" I yell back, pausing in mid-climb. My left hand is above me, my right sort of horizontal. My feet are placed on the same wide rock, my knees bent for balance. Odin's pretty much in the same position.
"CAN YOU CHECK THE MAP PLEASE?" Odin bellows with all his might. Both our voices are getting hoarse. I sigh. He couldn't have picked a worse time to check the stupid map. I release my right hand from its grip on the stone. I'm holding on by one hand. My palms and fingertips are sore and red, the skin flattened from putting so much pressure on it. I crack my knuckles to free them up a bit. Gingerly, I reach into the pocket of my trousers and unfold the map. The wind stills. Perfect. Now it won't blow away.
I examine the crinkled paper.
"WE'RE ABOUT TWO HUNDRED METRES FROM A BIT OF FLAT LAND. THE GATES ARE SOMEWHERE UP THERE," I answer back. We're a lot closer to the Gates than I first thought... I had guessed about five hundred metres, maybe even six.
Clearly, I'm not very good at guessing.
Star Sunkin D6
It’ll all be over soon.
I can feel it. There’s an aching feeling in my chest. I know that this is a signal that it’ll be done soon. The Games will end and I will be free to live my life.
But what is life when you’ve lost everything so dear to you? I could end it myself. I could just use my weapon – and then the last two boys become Victors. It’s either me or them. They deserve to win more than I do. They’d make better use of their lives, of their rewards. I’ve got nothing left. Money, fame, fortune... it means nothing to me now. Without Luna, there’s no point in living. She was my life. I wasn’t there when she died. I left her to die alone.
Most of my alliance is dead. They died alone as well. But Crimson’s alive, at least. He’s a good guy. But then appearances can be deceiving. I thought Trent was a nice person. Clearly I was wrong. He killed her without hesitating, or even trying to talk to Luna. I know she went a bit... off the rails ... but she didn’t deserve that. Not from someone we thought our friend.
Crimson would make a good Victor. The ladies would love him. The President would find him nice, which means that he wouldn’t threaten him. And he’d make a great role model for District 13.
Odin... well I don’t really know Odin. The Capitol would definitely like a Career Victor. They’re always the most handsome, the most confident, and the better of all the Districts. He’d just be like a Capitol teen, born in the Districts. He’s practically a Victor already – having a map and an ally. He could be being airlifted home right now.
It’s impossible. There’s no way I could kill either of them. Both mentally and physically. Even with my mental moments, I still know the difference between right and wrong. I still have my morals. Crimson would struggle to even punch me, I’m sure. He pitied me during training and I doubt much has changed. Odin would definitely murder me. He’d chop me up like steak at the butcher’s. Maybe I’ll just let the Gamemakers decide what to do with us.
Luna may have lost her life. I may have partially lost my mind, but I can’t kill myself. I haven’t even attacked a single tribute. I’m not going to murder anyone. I haven’t yet and I never will.
Crimson Typhoon D13
There are seven of us left. That means only three people need to die for this hell to be over.
Odin and Beemo are guaranteed their place amongst the Victors. They have been luckiest in these Games, when everyone else has suffered so greatly. Star especially. I hear his screams at least once every hour. I fear that he is screaming at nothing - a sign of pure insanity. And the hours are so many today.
The day has lengthened out. Today has been very slow, and silent. Everything seems quieter, more hushed and mysterious. Perhaps the Gamemakers are waiting for chaos to break out. They must be making the Arena quieter. Maybe it will enable us to hear each other, so we are more likely to be able to see our opponents, increasing the chances of a fight. No hiding anymore. No doubt they'll use some kind of natural disaster to make us run. Like animals in a cage. They'll push us together until all hell breaks loose.
And then it'll be over. Three more people dead in the space of a day, and four others get to go free. But there is no freedom in this life. You are caged as a celebrity, open to everyone's eyes. Nobody is protected from the Capitol's grasp. Nobody can escape. And I definitely cannot escape the horror that has taken place here.
Not even Shyvana. She can focus on the rebellion as much as she likes. But she won't forget. I'm not sure I want to forget. I want to remember the reason why I am rebelling. But Odin and Beemo and whoever else becomes Victor - they will try. They will try and fail.
The Capitol decides the future of the tributes. And our future will become our pasts. And they, without doubt, remind us of what the Victors try to forget.
Oceania Seacrest D4
I'm weakened all over again. As soon as I recovered from a busted ankle, I'm almost beaten to death by Kalmah. And I have to be saved, once again. How am I supposed to win now? Nearly all my body is bruised and bloody. The cuts haven't even scabbed over yet. The cave conditions aren't making the healing process any faster. Shyvana doesn't have any supplies to help either. She has a knife but what's that going to do? I'm useless.
"Where do you want to go next?" Shyvana asks, gazing out at the cave mouth. The dripping walls distort the green light. Strange shadows crawl along the ground. Some drift across Shyvana's face. Her expression goes dark.
"Somewhere dry," I say sourly. Shyvana hushes me. I roll my eyes. I'm annoyed with my 'ally', and I have good reason to be. I may have been defeated very quickly, but I could have handled myself. I was made to be weak. My sponsors have all probably given up on me, despite my Victor title. But I guess I'm not a Victor anymore. I'm a tribute for the second time. I'm going to die here. I know my injuries aren't going to heal by the time I need to fight.
"Oceania. We've got to go. Now," Shyvana whispers, hoisting me to my feet. I frown in confusion and groan with pain. "Come on! There's someone coming," She explains worriedly. I hadn't even noticed. With my arm over her shoulders, and her arm supporting me, we hobble to the gaping mouth of the cave.
Suddenly, an ominous, black shape blocks our path. They are twiddling a blood-stained scythe in their hand, a strange evilness emanating from them.
"We meet again, cousin." I recognise the voice immediately. Katarina.
With lightning reactions, Shyvana pushes me out of the way. It's enough to make me fall to the floor. My vision is slightly dazed as my head knocks against the hard stone. I hear the aggressive grunts from Katarina and Shyvana as feet and fists land on each other. Then I hear a shriek from my ally and the thud of a collapsing body. Heaving breathing echoes through the caves, accompanied by the chilling laughter of a winner.
"Now it's your turn, Oceania," my demon of a cousin snaps. I manage to regain my vision. It's focused once more. I pull myself up, but I'm too weak to bounce to my feet. Katarina is storming towards me and Shyvana runs after her at an alarming rate. My ally kicks Katarina in the back. She lurches forwards, waving her hands and putting them in front of her. I close my eyes. I know where she is headed.
The shriek of Katarina is hidden under the shattering noise of bone. Shyvana's relieved breathing does not comfort me at all. I open my eyes cautiously.
Barely a foot beside me is the dangling body of my cousin. A stalagmite has stabbed through her centre, bits of rock split off into her flesh. Her limbs hang lifelessly as the colour drains from her skin. Blood flows gradually down to the cave floor. A messy red pool surrounds the sharp rock emerging from the ground.
Katarina glares at me, coldly. Her last emotion fades and she coughs up a river of red.
"Any last words, bitch?" I hiss icily.
Through bloody teeth, Katarina says, "Burn in hell."
My cousin is dead. Another opponent is eliminated. But where does that leave me? I'm the weak one here. And Shyvana is the last person I need to get rid of to win a second time. It's either me or her. But if I die, her plans for rebellion die with me. But I know that Shyvana won't let me win.
Beemo Xra + Odin Amarth
“Admit it, Odin. We’re lost,” I sigh quietly. Odin gazes around hopefully. His face falls when he confronts the fact we are hopelessly astray from the path.
“We can retrace our steps, and then see where we went wrong,” he answers confidently. My knees are aching and my muscles are now straining. We’ve been going since early morning and my eyelids are falling sleepily. We must have been awake since at least 6am. He begins to stare at the map, walking slowly backwards. He can’t possibly think that we’re on track. We reached the summit of the mountain about an hour or so ago and the map said we were only 100 metres away.
Oh, I forgot to mention. I twisted my ankle on the way up too. I caught it on a rock and the rope pulled it sideways. It’s been painful every since. But the scary thing was that Odin immediately stopped climbing to check on me. His hands were shaking when we reached a ledge to stop. After I convinced him that I was ok, he attached the rope and everything. Then he began climbing, consistently asking if I was ok and going at a very slow pace.
And he hasn’t stopped since. He’s been so... obsessed with making sure I’m alright. And it’s getting a bit weird now.
“Odin, please. Let’s just rest,” I beg him, sitting on the ground. He turns around and looks at me sadly.
“No. I’ve got to get you – I mean us – safe. We can’t stop,” He gabbles quickly. I don’t understand why he won’t just take a break for a bit. We’re certain to reach the Gates. Other tributes can’t possibly have got up this mountain without rope.
Every time I look at her it’s so hard to take my eyes away. She looks tired, but strong still. But I know that strength will not last long if we don’t find the gates, especially with her ankle in that state.
“I’m sure we just need to take a few steps back and we’ll be fine,” I explain to her. She looks doubtful. She closes her eyes for a few seconds and pinches the bridge between her eyes.
“Odin,” She says firmly. “I’m tired. Can we please just rest for a little while?” I shake my head, my hair tossing across the side of my face. I push it back slowly. “I can’t go on.”
“Yes. Yes you can. And you will.”
I can’t take this anymore. I unfold my own map that’s been shoved in my pocket. The paper is crinkled and the ink has faded a little. The ‘X’ is clearly marked directly in the middle of the mountain. I run my finger along the path we’ve made. We’re only about 150 metres east of the gates.
I start walking the right way and Odin looks astounded. He grabs my arm forcefully. I glare at him.
“Where are you going?” He asks brusquely.
“In the right direction,” I reply, smiling. He lets go of my arm and I walk away.
I watch her storm away from me. I feel like a right idiot. I didn’t want to seem stupid in front of her and now I look like a complete and utter dumbass. I only wanted to look ‘smart’ and ‘strong’ for the cameras. But that’s just not me. That’s Beemo.
I just want to be like her. I just want her to like me. We can’t stay ‘allies’ all our lives. And when we win, we’ll be more connected than ever. We’ll have to be friends, at least. Even if she doesn’t want anything more than that.
But I can’t stay here by myself. As much as I hate being shown up, I don’t want to get lost and have no hope. I quickly trace Beemo’s steps and reach her.
Odin found me then. Of course I waited for him. He’s my ally. I couldn’t leave without him. The Gates seem to be in the same place from the maps we share. I couldn’t just leave him to go round and round in circles until someone else dies. I just want this to be over and done with.
Anyway, I need him. The Capitol citizens will love it if we stand united as we step into freedom. They’ll see how strong we are together. But ‘together’ could mean anything. They could start speculating about ‘love’. But that’ll make us even more popular. And Odin isn’t so bad.
“Hey!” He calls behind me. I grin at him and point in the direction of the clearing. “How far?” He asks hopefully.
“Six metres,” I reply.
We run together. We run in the sunshine, the sun beating on our glowing faces. It’s over. It’s finally over.
I hold Odin’s hand as we approach the gate. His hand is strong, and supportive. The doorway is hidden by vines, but even through the green darkness of the forest I can see silver bolts and wood panels, the metal reflecting the little light that pokes through the trees. We brush away the twisted, hanging plants, and we find ourselves stood in front of a rustic, arched door. There is only one, with two locks in the middle, the bolts on either side.
Odin faces me, and I smile. My smile has meaning, for once. Odin squeezes my hand as he twists the first key into the lock. A relieving click rings in our ears. I push my own key in the door, tossing aside my map. Odin does the same.
To think those items had so much worth. People died for them. People killed others just so they could get out. The Feast seems like a million miles away as the door opens, revealing a long hallway, lit up with golden light and paved with heated glass panels. This hallway looks so futuristic, especially after the days we’ve spent in the nature of the forest. I’ve never felt so glad in my whole life.
I unhook my backpack and throw my weapons into the trees. I hear them fall and grin. Odin copies me and we laugh together. If someone finds them, they might have a chance at winning too.
Odin draws me in for a friendly hug. I bite my lip to stop myself crying with happiness. His warmth is unfamiliar but it comforts me. We draw back. Odin laughs and so do I. We’ve come so far in the last few days. Even if it scars us for life, we’ll have each other.
As we take a few steps together, I stop dead in my tracks. What if this is a trick? The Gamemakers wouldn’t let us go this easy, would they? It must be rigged. Knives or arrows are going to spring out the walls and stab us both.
“What’s wrong?” Odin asks, worry in his voice. We face each other. I look up at him with fear.
“I’m afraid. I-I can’t do this,” I stutter, walking back. He pulls my arm back to him. He smiles and I’m calmed. But it’s not enough.
“You don’t need to be afraid. You’ve got me.” He brings me close and I smile at him. We take a moment; to calm my nerves and his.
Eventually, we stand facing the doorway.
Hand in hand, we step into the golden light. So this is what freedom feels like.
Shyvana Feuer D13
I sit down beside my ally as she cries. She holds her head in her hands as tears stream down her face.
“Oceania, let’s go,” I suggest quietly, pulling her arm slightly. She shakes me off, but gets up anyway. She seems to be stronger now that everyone who was hunting her is gone. She stands opposite me, fear and anger in her eyes.
“So, are you going to kill me or what? Just get it over and done with.” She turns her back, expecting me to murder her just like that. I touch her shoulder and looks back defensively. “Shyvana, just do it already,” She snaps firmly. It’s like she wants me to kill her. But I don’t, and I won’t.
“No,” I say steadily, picking up my weapons and walking towards the mouth of the cave. Oceania looks surprised, but follows after me.
“Why?” She asks quietly when we enter the green environment around us.
“I think we should let fate decide our destinies. I don’t want to kill you, Oceania. And you know why. I trust you won’t kill me either, considering I saved your life...” I pause. “Twice.”
An announcement begins above our heads, though I can’t see any images. The thick canopy blocks the sky. All I can hear is the booming voice of Ajax Maximus.
“Good afternoon, tributes! We would like to announce that the first two Victors have made their way through the Gates. That leaves only four of you. Here are the survivors so far:
Crimson Typhoon D13
Star Sunkin D6
Oceania Seacrest D4
Shyvana Feuer D13
May the odds be ever in your favour.”
Oceania grimaces. I’m not sure she likes being this close to freedom, yet so far. But to be honest, I don't either. Victory seems so far away right now. My thoughts aren't really priority at the moment, though. I need to keep Oceania alive as long as possible. She could be leader of a rebellion, and so could I – but both with different jobs. Now, there’s no chance of us both making it through. The Gamemakers must decide who will win, and who will lose.
“Oh god. It’s near the end,” Oceania cries, her pace slowing. Neither of us know where to go, what to do next. The Gamemakers must be expecting that announcement to spur us on. To encourage us to fight. To end this cruel torture. “Shyvana, even if... one of us doesn’t make it...” Oceania begins softly, lowering her weapons slightly. There’s no need for them anymore, really. “I just want you to know that I’ll be your leader. I’ll do whatever it takes,” Oceania explains. I could almost cry. I’m so glad that even if I pass, there will be someone that shares my opinions. Someone that will help me achieve peace once again.
However, if Oceania dies and I become Victor, I’ll do whatever it takes too. Whatever it takes to destroy the Capitol, and obliterate all those who stand in my way.
Star Sunkin D6
I sit on the ground, my eyes closed. I slow my breathing and imagine a better place. I refuse to let the images of Luna get into my head. I try and shake the fuzzy pictures away but they drill into my mind until it’s impossible to drive them out. I scream and shout but each scene still plays in my mind like a torturous movie.
“Star! Star! Help me!” Luna screams my name from the pedestal. I’m directly opposite her, but she’s out of reach. I claw at the air but no matter how hard I try she gets further and further away. I watch her screaming mouth fill with blood. She coughs it onto my face and I rub it off. But when I turn back, she’s gone. Instead, the Cornucopia has disappeared and in the middle of the island is a gravestone.
I daren’t get close. A strange, jagged shadow hangs over it like a dark ghost. Inscribed in the cold stone is the name:
Tears roll down my cheeks. It’s not the fact I can see Luna’s grave, it’s what the rest of the headstone reads.
Betrayed' by her own brother, a person who will not die to save his own sibling’s life'
All I can think is that I should not be seeing any body’s gravestone. I should be dead, locked in a coffin as a white corpse. Luna should be the person stood here right now. I don’t deserve this life. I’m cursed with these images... I’d rather be dead.
Suddenly, something snaps me out of my vision. I hear innocent sniffs ... like someone has just recovered from crying. And soft voices. Calm voices. It’s been a while since I’ve seen anyone in reality. But this reality is scarier than being in my traumatic world with Luna. I crouch behind a bush, watching carefully for the tributes.
From behind a thick tree emerge Shyvana Feuer from District 13 and Oceania Seacrest from District 4. The old Victor is sniffling. She’s puffy-eyed and clearly quite distressed. No doubt they had something to do with the last cannon that went off about an hour back. Neither of their weapons is bloodstained, but Shyvana looks like she took a few hits from someone. Her cheek is slightly bruised, and her hands are shaking. She’s still recovering. She’s like me every time I come out of the... moments... I have.
“Oceania, it’s ok. Katarina wasn’t right in the head... she’s in a better place now,” Shyvana says quietly. They’re both quite shaken by an ‘event’ whatever that might be. One of them must have killed Katarina.
“But what are we going to do? The Gamemakers will kill one of us off in a horrible way,” Oceania sobs, rubbing her eyes with her arm.
“How do you know that?” Shyvana asks worriedly, stopping their walk abruptly. Oceania looks at her ally sadly.
“Because I’ve seen it done before.” Oceania bursts out in a flood of tears. She must be recalling the time in her previous Games when a tsunami of white acid burned everyone in its path. Oceania was the lucky person to escape. Only part of her skin was burned away – on her stomach. A skin graft from the Capitol fixed it, but ever since she’s kept it covered up.
Shyvana falls silent. Even she cannot think of a way to respond. Now is the time to leave. I turn to face uphill, and get to my feet, making sure I’m concealed behind a tree. I keep an eye on Shyvana, who’s probably the person to be afraid of. I step forwards quietly, still with my gaze locked on the two girls. I take a couple quick steps, being careful that I don’t make a sound.
On my next move, I land my foot on a strange root and fall flat on my face. I yell in pain. I see Shyvana’s face become alert and aware in an instant. I jump to my feet and begin sprinting into the depths of the forest.
“You there!” Oceania yells as Shyvana begins to follow me. I hear fast footsteps and eager shouting. Even a half-crying Oceania manages to keep up with her sporty ally.
“Stop! We’re not going to hurt you! We’re the last ones left!” Shyvana shouts. I ponder what she might mean. The last ones? I hadn’t seen the last Fallen announcement... so she might be right.
“Slow down!” Oceania calls with a strained voice. I slow down to a jog... and gradually down to a walk. “Finally!” Oceania jokes, laughing a little. I don’t know what to make of these two tributes. They have no reason to kill me. Shyvana puts a hand on my shoulder.
“Who are you then?” She asks, interested. She plonks herself down, leaning against a tree. Oceania copies, but sits opposite her apparent friend. How could their friendship work in a situation like this?
“I’m Star. From District Six,” I reply cautiously. Shyvana’s face falls in sympathy.
“You lost your sister, didn’t you?” She says quietly, looking down at her feet awkwardly. I nod. Shyvana says nothing, and takes out a water bottle which she offers to me. I shake my head, closing my eyes for a moment. When I open them, the two girls are gone. The forest has disappeared. I’m stood back at the pedestals. Luna’s running ahead of me, her face fresh and alive. She’s running head on at Trent.
“NO!” I scream. I sprint forwards, and push her out the way. I steal her knife, and run at Trent myself. I stab him through the heart, and kick him until he rolls down the bank into the water. Luna begins screaming too, tears rushing out like a flood.
“What have you done!” She yells angrily.
“I was protecting you!” I claim. But this only aggravates Luna.
“I thought you were with me!” She booms, punching me on the cheek. Her voice isn’t hers anymore. It’s Shyvana’s. And the body floating in the water isn’t Trent. It’s Oceania, lying dead at the base of the hill. This hasn’t happened before. My visions have been caught between reality and the torturous world...
And now I’ve killed someone in both worlds.
Shyvana Feuer D13
Despite the ‘strong’ image I’m supposed to have, I can’t contain myself. I have waited years for the right person to take the place as leader. And as soon as I find the perfect candidate they’re murdered right in front of me. How am I supposed to have hope? My eyes flood with tears and a cold dampness rushes down my hot cheeks. I glare at Star with hatred, anger and all those feelings that are going to force me to kill him. There is no other option.
He looks so innocent – with his face buried in his hands as tear droplets slide down to his wrists. He’s rocking back and forth like a frightened baby. Well that’s what he is. The baby of SATAN! He destroyed my future. I will fucking destroy his. I reach for my knife and run up to him. He screams something about Luna. I slap him round the face and he whines like a wounded puppy.
“Shut up you fucking bastard!” I drop to my knees, pulling his head back. I cleanly swipe across his throat. I’m almost pleased to feel the red liquid gush all over me. I relish in his dying gurgles as he drowns in his own pool of blood. I stand back up, walking away from his body. I abandon Oceania, too.
I take a few deep breaths, wiping away tears and blood from my face. I lift the knife up to eye level, and wipe the blood across my chest. Then I cut the soft skin – ever so slightly, but deep enough to leave an everlasting scar. I want my body to be marked. I want it to be known how much pain I have been through. I want to show President Rome that I will be strong, even through this dark oppression.
I toss the knife away. I don’t care where it goes. I’m Victor now. I’m supposed to be happy. But I’m not. I wouldn’t be feeling this right now if it wasn’t for one person; the one person that I only truly want to kill. I look up to the sky. It is beginning to crackle – the signal that an announcement will be made soon.
“Tributes-,” an elated, male voice begins. Ajax Maximus, no doubt.
“NO! NO! You CANNOT call me that anymore. I’m NOT a TRIBUTE. I am SHYVANA FEUER. AND YOU WILL FEAR ME. YOU WILL NOT FORGET ME EVER AGAIN.”