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Welcome to the Rejuvenation Games, the 3rd and final installment of my Justice Games series.
Now, there is a reason these will be called the Rejuvenation Games. For these Games, past Tributes from The Abyss of Insanity, as well selected Tributes from across the Hunger Games Role-Playing Wiki will be revived and pitted against 30 Reaped (submitted by Users) Tributes, making the total count of competitors 60 in total.
Each week, I´ll be posting the Abyss of Insanity Tribute and the Selected Tribute for the spot to be in these Games, starting with the Capitol pair and all the way up to District 14.
Comment and tell me if you don´t want your Tribute in these Games, and I´ll take them off.
- 2 Reaped Tributes per user. There is no restrain on how many Tributes a user can have in total however, when considering the Rejuvenated Tributes as well.
- Reservations lasts for maximum a week. However, remember that the Games won´t acually start right off the bat, so it may be better to wait it out.
- I will be doing Reapings, Chariots, Training and finally the Games themselves. These will probably take very long to finish once I start them, so please do not lose your patience.
- Advice often and in-depth, or your Tributes will have a bigger and bigger chance to die the longer they go without any advice. Cheering is also important, as it lets me know whether you´re reading or not.
- Please no hate in the comments.
- Don´t get mad at me if your Tributes die, it may very well be your own fault for not advicing or cheering, so take that into consideration.
- Please, this is the internet, not real life. If you get mad or sad because your Tributes died, remember this is just the internet and take and couple of deep breaths.
|C||Furcifer Soror||18||Sickle, throwing knives||Kiesha Orval||18||Crossbow, knife|
|1||Luigi Wilkins||17||Sword, throwing knives||Jake Seeku||18||Spear, throwing knives, whip|
|2||Jace Larke||18||Throwing knives||Gypsy Xenon||15||Kama, dagger|
|3||Ikaika Mathilda||14||Throwing knives, sickle||Maala Mathilda||12||Crossbow, axe|
|4||Caspain Lotuscloud||15||Axe, swords||Alvida Pearl||16||Sword|
|5||Crayolaya Licorice||17||Spear, bow, trident||Zoey Proasheck||16||Knives, traps|
|6||Star Sunkin||14||Blowgun, bow and arrows||Luna Sunkin||15||Spear, throwing knives|
|7||Max Calloway||14||Spear, blowgun||Mia Reeme||14||Throwing knives, bow|
|8||Xavier Sharma||14||Whip||Allisa Dove||17||Knives|
|9||Brandon Ivery||15||Sword, throwing knives||Laurel Cinders||15||Crossbow, hammer|
|10||Henry Punch||17||Fists||Lexi Greenway||14||Bow, mace, throwing knives|
|11||Crimson Typhoon||14||Bow and arrows, sword||Nikhita Akshaya||16||Bow and arrows, spear|
|12||Drago Fire||18||Sickle, iron knuckles||Burma Slate||14||Throwing knives|
|13||Duanex Yuki||17||Bow, harpoons||Allanah Grace||14||Crossbow, bow and arrows|
|14||Trey Shields||13||Sword, long knives||Amelia Steeltoe||15||Sword, throwing axes|
|Capitol||Ward Teel||13||Daggers, knives, double swords||Fairy Luck||17||Shruiken, blowgun|
|1||Zaphire "Zaph" Beux||17||Dagger, spear||Glow Décor||15||Spear, bow and arrows|
|2||Shadow Nightshade||17||Trident||Shermaine Wilson||17||Double swords, martial arts|
|3||Kronos Blade||18||Stakes, poison, sickle||Amme Ilorenzo||18||Sickle, whip|
|4||Alexander Snapper||16||Trench knife, trident||Katarina Seacrest||14||Axe|
|5||Day Whisper||14||Hammer, jagged dagger||Detria Glace||14||Throwing knives, blowgun|
|6||Buck Rockwell||16||Spear, rock, sword||Saadia Gaena||12||Spear, knives|
|7||Viggo Flame||17||Bow and arrows, throwing knives, fire||Pandora Raven||16||Whip, trident|
|8||Banette Tsukomogami||15||Traps, needles, knives||Ahri Transia||17||Knife, sickle|
|9||Milo Amaranth||16||Spear, throwing axe||Savannah Darnell||12||Blowgun, knife, double-sided knife|
|10||Kwartz Diodin||12||Scythe, axe||Helena Krisp||18||Katana|
|11||Shylock Bloodroot||18||Sword, sickle||Melly Reesha||12||Blowgun|
|12||Falk Avian||13||Bow and arrows||Cleo Salazar||16||Pickaxe|
|13||Radiant Tayz||16||Throwing knives, fists, knives||Tyra Crust||16||Bow and arrows, dagger|
|14||Parasto Fulton||15||Knives||Piper Quinn||18||Bow and arrows|
Pledge system. I'll update later.
Sword - 1250$
Hook Sword - 1500$
Knife - 500$
Throwing knives (6) - 1150$
Thowing knives (12) - 2300$
Matchete - 1100$
Sythe - 1000$
Sickle - 800$
Whip - 700$
Bow - 2000$
Arrows (12) - 1200$
Bow and Arrows (12) - 3200$
Crossbow - 2300$
Slingshot - 350$
Trident - 3500$
Spear - 1000$
Mace - 1700$
Axe - 2500$
Awl - 700$
Blowgun - 1000$
Darts (12) - 600$
Poisoned Darts (12) - 1200$
Hatchet - 1500$
Tomahawk - 1500$
Daggers (2) - 1100$
Hammer - 900$
Katana - 1200$
Canteen (Empty) - 50$
Canteen (Water) - 100$
Canteen (Soup) - 400$
Sleeping Bag - 500$
Rope - 200$
Bag - 700$
Small Backpack - 500$
Medium Backpack - 750$
Big Backpack - 1000$
Night-Vision Sunglasses - 2000$
Bag of Apples (15) - 1000$
Packet of Beef Strips (5) - 800$
Pack of Dried Fruit - 300$
Large Pack of Dried Fruit - 600$
Slap of Cheese - 1000$
Loaf of Bread - 1100$
Poison - 1200$
Tent - 3000$
Iodine - 500$
Matches - 700$
Burn Medicine - 1500$
Band-Aids - 500$
Anti-Infection - 2700$
Camouflage Paint - 2400$
Blanket - 400$
Mentor Letter - 100$
Family Letter - 350$
Map Of Arena - 4000$
Tribute Sensor - 3500$
(The Arena will be revealed after the training scores have been released. Just kidding, I´ll start it now.)
This year´s Arena (or rather, Arenas) is rather complicated. In honor of the Rejuvinated Tributes, who are revived from previous Hunger Games throughout Panem´s history, the Arenas of this year will also be revived, sort of. The whole Atena consists of four zones, each of which is a smaller Arena from a Hunger Games before. Each of these zones have induvidual envirements, traits, animals, mutts and resources. Also, as an additional effect to spice up the Games, at one point during eahc day, the Zones will be closed off from eachother with forcefields. They are visible though, to avoid dousins of Tributes dying from running into them. The time when the forcefields are put up can change from day to day though.
The Savannah Zone - 400th Annual Hunger Games
This Zone comes from the 400th Hunger Games and is in the exact center of the Arena. This is where the Cornucopia is located, and also where the Bloodbath is hosted. This is a barren, inhostile landscape with open fields and few places to hide. The tall grass offers some concealment, but there are no large trees or landmarks to hide out in, like mountains or rocks. There are no waterways in the Savannah, and can therefore be difficult to survive in this Zone for extensive periods of time. Also, natural predators such as the lion, rhino, cheetah ect. prowl the Zone and can quickly kill unsuspectful Tributes if they´re not careful. However, if you know how to find it, food is plentiful in the Savannah. The plantlife might seem dried-out at first, but edible and nutrient roots galore as well as other food plants. Also, if you feel up for it, or you´re a good hunter, you can hunt for zebra or meercat. Except for the animals, there are no muttations in this Zone, making it one of the safest places to stay. However, the lack of water and hiding places can make you very vurnerable for attacks.
The Mountainous Zone - 16th Annual Hunger Games
This Zone is pretty much the polar opposite of the Savannah Zone (Sorry for the unintentional pun.) It is freezing cold, rocky and difficult to manuver around without breaking your neck. The mountains are like a maze as well, everything looks exactly alike and there are no distinctive landmarks, which can make it easy to get lost. The only landmark is a ginormous glacier at the very top of the highest mountain peak, but as the Games go on, will start to melt and crash down into the Zone. The mountains have plenty of survival resources however, so if you can get over it´s tricky landscape you can make good use of it. First of all, it has multible small streams or rivers of fresh, cold water flowing at the bottom of the valleys between mountains. There are mountain goats and small rodents to hunt as well, even though both of them can be quite tricky to find and catch. You can find lots of edible plants as well, and only about two species of poisonous ones. Beware however, as one of the most dangerous muttations in the whole Arena live in the Mountainous Zone, the Nettlebane. The Nettlebane is a cross between a mountain lion and a diamond rattlesnake, a fierce combo. It lurks inside the mountain caves in packs, and make quick and gruesome work of any Tribute foolish enough to walk in their territory.
The Mangrove Zone - 77th Annual Hunger Games
This is can be one of the safest Zones, and it can be one of the most dangerous Zones, depending on how you look at it. On the first part, the Mangrove Zone has the most amount of water of any of the Zones, in the Magrove you literally can´t avoid it. There is also a lot of edible plantlife as well as pacifist animals to hunt for in the thicket. There is only one specie of muttation to speak of, and very few natural predators. However, when we look at the bad side of this Zone, it can be up to you whether you feel like it´s safe anymore. The water in the Zone is grimy and infested for the most part, but there are a few clear streams if you look close enough to find them. There are a lot of edible plants, but there´s arguably even more poisonous plants and greens which look very similar to the edible ones. Even though there are a lot of animals which are easy to hunt for and kill, there are two species of animals which can be dangerous to humans. One, the alligator. This beast lurks in the reeds and mud in the waterways and can quickly sneak up on you, then bite you and force you into the murky water, where it drowns you and then eats you. Second is the Dragonsnapper Frog. This frog might seem harmless, since it´s only about as big as the back of your thumb, but in reality it is highly venomous and will attack on sight. It attacks by spraying a poisonous gas into the air around it, which can go into your body and kill you in a matter of a few hours, if your body is in top shape.
The Rainforest Zone - 185th Annual Hunger Games
The Rainforest Zone is one of the most exotic Zones, but also one of the most overused. It is rather simple, even though it might seem complicated at first. The Rainforest has some type of waterway basicly everywhere you see, so it´s not very difficult to find it. However, some water might be infested with bacteria and a lot of it contains the Slaugtherfish mutt, which is a hybrid of a piranha and a swordfish. This Zone is the most variable and rich when it comes to plantlife, this means it´ll be easy to find something to eat, but hard to see the difference between poisonous and edible since there are so many different species. The lushious and thick plants makes hiding a breeze however, but it also makes it difficult to orientate inside the jungle. The climate is very hot in this Zone, which means you have to constantly stay dehydrated or it can do nasty things to your body and mind. The large trees in the Rainforest can make for very good hiding places or camps, but you have to be very careful so yuo don´t fall down, since the vines and branches are very slippery. This Zone is not for the faint of heart, but if you get used to it, you can live for very long at peace as long as you stay away from poisons, muttations and the omnipresent heat.
The Forest Zone - 74th Annual Hunger Games
The final Zone, and probably one of the most (in)famous Arena sin the history of Panem, the Arena of Katniss Everdeen´s first Games. The Cornucopia is located besides a large, blue lake with flat ground towards it. Around the Cornucopia compound there is a forest, a cliff and a steep drop into a large wheatfield. The forest leads down to a large valley, and it is very dry and hard to find water in. Overall, the Arena has very little water supply, save for the rainwater, the lake, a few streams and some ponds at the end of the valley. There are very few mutts to speak of, except Jabberjays, Trackerjackers and the Flarehounds, packs of bloodthirsty crossovers between wild dogs and large black bears. They are very difficult to kill and are next to the Nettlebanes of the Mountainious Zone, the most dangerous muttations of this year´s Games. There are very few poisonous plants in the Forest Zone, since of course, the only one is the Nightlock plant. The rest of the plantlife is mostly edible, but some can cause great damage, leaving a Tribute vurnerable to attacks from Tributes or muttations. This Zone is probably the most plain at first, but it´s acually very dangerous. It is a classic, but very much disliked amongst the Gamemakers since it was after all the Arena Katniss Everdeen won her Games in.
This concept and idea is credit to Kaeghan-Is-a-Tribute. I was not the first to do this. Please credit Kaeghan-Is-a-Tribute if you too use this section in your Fan-Games. (This only shows the Top Ten Capitol favorites, so don´t get offended if your tribute isn't on here. I will update this every day, or if one or more of the current favorites dies.)
|1st||Shermaine Wilson||District Two||4/1||Incredible score, leader of the Careers|
|2nd||Kronos Blade||District Three||3/1||Incredible score, ruthless killing monster|
|3rd||Jace Larke||District Two||10/1||Amazing score, brother of Yuniare Larke|
|4th||Katarina Seacrest||District Four||10/1||Amazing score, cousin of Oceania Seacrest|
|5th||Fairy Luck||The Capitol||20/1||Three kills already, home favorite|
|6th||Shylock Bloodroot||District Eleven||9/1||Amazing odds and score, mysterious|
|7th||Buck Rockwell||District Six||11/1||Got a kill, overall likeable and strong|
|8th||Pandora Raven||District Seven||12/1||Great score, total badass|
|9th||Tyra Crust||District Thirteen||4/1||Unexpected score, interesting|
|10th||Xavier Sharma||District Eight||67/1||Low score, but is capable and good at surviving|
(Written in 3rd Person perspective. From the Capitol and up to District Six.)
The Capitol (3rd Person)
The haunted, misty air of the Capitol swirled around the air, encasing each and every one of the city´s people in thick mist. Everywhere in the city, people were coming out of their houses, a grim and sullen air surrounding the extravagantly dressed people. Some had thick purple hair that went all the way down to the ground, like some extreme version of a bridal veil. Some people had deep tones of green, blue and magenta in their skin, making them look like twisted cartoon characters. The city itself was like a summer garden, in full bloom and alive with colors. Still, the people were as grim as ever, even though the surroundings were cheery and enticing. It doesn´t take too long to understand why they were all in such a mood. It was that time of the year, where blood was to be shed for their entertainment. But they weren´t entertained anymore, the Hunger Games did nothing but take their children and murder them brutally. Kids and teens walked together with their parents, crying into their shoulders, dreading the hour to come. Because what if? What if, against all of the odds, they were picked? What if they were picked to get slaugthered while their family and friends could do nothing but sit and watch in horror? Even though the chances for one induvidual to have the misfortune to get reaped, someone had to had their name get read out every year right? Just because the chances were small did not make them nonexcistent. The giant crowd of at least thirty thousand Capitol citizens were starting to file into the City Centre, the pride and joy of the Capitol and it´s grandest sight. But even that had been taken from the people of the Capitol, because they just couldn´t bring themselves to enjoy the sights of a place where children were sent to their deaths. Soon, the entire City Centre was filled up with people, and high above, on the tallest balcony, a figure graciously rose from it´s throne, looking down on all of the Capitol´s population. A dark, pale-skinned woman dressed in all black. This woman is Ariadna Blackwater, ancient decesdant from Pomona Blackwater.
"Welcome, people of the Capitol, welcome to the very start of the 475th Hunger Games of Panem! In two weeks from now, thirty children from each of the fifteen Districts will compete in the Hunger Games, a battle royale of survival, where the Victor stands with the ultimate prize of all; life. But this year will be a Quarter Quell, and not just any Quell too. These Games are the Rejuvination Games. In addition to the normal thirty Tributes, thirty additional Tributes will be rejuvinated from previous Hunger Games. That makes the total Tributes up to sixty. Sixty enters the Arena, but only two may come out alive. Yes, two Victors, seems fair enough that there will be double Victors since there is double Tributes. Now, let the Reaping of the Capitol´s representatives begin!"
Ariadna Blackwater finishes her speech, and sits down prompty back on her throne. Her words are starting to etch into the people´s heads, and not only the Capitol´s population. No, every single soul in Panem is watching from their television devices at home or at the despective Districts square, on a large screen. Every single man, woman and child are watching, and they are all horrified to their bones. Sixty Tributes. The prospect of two Victors seem like a disgustingly bad trade. The chances will be ever smaller for survival, and even some of the kids planning to volunteer in Districts like One, Two or Four seem uncertain about the odds. The President seem bored in her seat, and she quickly commands the Escort of the Capitol to start. The Escort seems more animal than human, with scaly, green skin and a split tongue. The snake theme is very popular in the Capitol at this time, every single person who means something is doing it. The snakewoman steps forward in her place besides Ariadna and speaks in a loud, clear voice.
"Let the Reaping begin! And as always, ladies first!"
She smiles at the crowd in the City Centre, her severed tongue hanging out loosely. She walks with small steps to the reaping bowl to her left, it´s filled to the brim with small white notes. She digs her arm deep into the bowl and finally selects one of the notes at the very bottom. The whole City Centre goes quiet as she unfolds the paper and finally speaks out the words sealing one poor souls fate.
Most of the people in the seats let out a consoled breath, exspecially the children standing in line, roped in. Many of the little girls had started drying, happy to had been spared for yet another year. But one of the older girls was not so lucky. Kiesha is in total shock, her pupils hardly visible and her whole body shaking. It was her final year. Why her? She had already planned to celebrate with her parents and her friends that she was safe, forever. But fate had it in for Kiesha. Still, she tried her hardest not to cry. Even though she knew she was not a contender just yet, she had already started fighting for survival. Her feet carry her promptly towards the grand staircase to the Escort, she was smiling and waving at her. Kiesha knew that this woman wasn´t even feeling a single bit of remorse at her, only excitement to see the first competitor in the Games up so close. Kiesha wasn´t able to see her parents anymore, they had dissapeared in the crowd by now. But she could still hear their cries of agony, even from here. Everyone else were completely silent. She climbed the stairs and the Escort quickly grasped her by the shoulder and shoved the microphone in her face.
"Congratulations Kiesha Orval! How do you feel?"
Kiesha however, kept her mouth shut and didn´t udder a single word. The Escort was first persistent on getting an answer out of her, but had to give up after a while. She quickly moved on to the next reaping bowl, the male´s bowl. As she digged her hand into the paper notes, the crowd yet again fell silent. The children looked even more nervous, though the girls looked relieved that they were not picked. The snakewoman finally decides upon one of the notes at the top and unfolds it quickly, and yet again sends a child to it´s death.
Once again a wave of relief stretches across the City Centre as dousins of boys, from the twelve year olds who were here for their first time, to the older, who had done this multible times. But just as when Kiesha´s name was reaped, one stood out from the crowd. Furficer looked around him, more frustrated than nervous, that of all the children to be reaped, it just had to be him. And it was his last year as well. He cursed his luck as he half-walked, half-stomped up the staircase. Ariadne was still not amused it seemed, she had a rather bored look at her and she was only watching the proceedings half-heartedly. Furcifer stooed besides the Escort, on her right side. When he also recieved a microphone and a question, he followed Kiesha´s example and didn´t say anything. Now the Escort seemed to be slightly offended at this behavior from kids from her District, she knew this made her look like a fool in front of the entire Panem. She quickly shifted the focus onto the Quell twist previously mentioned by Ariadne, the Rejuvinated Tributes.
"Now, aren´t you people excited to get to see who were the lucky two Tributes from the Capitol to be rejuvinated from the dead? Well, here they are!"
It did not seem like the people were excited at all, but the Escort pretended everyone had shouted and screamed with glee, it seemed. She waved her arms towards a door behind, and out walked two kids, a boy and a girl. The boy was very short and small, hardly even 5´1. He looked just as nervous as any child would be in this situation. He was wearing a hardsome black suit with a small bowler hat over his styled brown hair. The girl next to him looked like his polar opposite. She had dramatic, flowing pink and black hair in a complicated braid down her back. She was at least sixteen years old it looked. She was wearing a pure, shock pink ball dress that fell all the way down to her feet. She also looked very nervous, but managed to hide it a bit at least. Oddly enough, they both had strange, surgical wounds next to their ears, stitches that went all the way up into their scalps. The Escort took the word again, and directed the attention once again to herself.
"Ward Teel of the 44th Hunger Games!"
She poined to the young boy in the suit, who made a weird twitching motion, persumably a smile.
"Fairy Luck of the 310th Hunger Games!"
The pink-haired girl smiled nervously at her crowd as her name was said, her legs shaking.
Kiesha and Furcifer quickly scanned their more experienced competiton in the Games to come. Ward did not too impressive, neither of them could ever imagine him acually making it through the Bloodbath in the Games he was rejuvinated from. But the Gamemakers just have had a reason to rejuvinate him, instead of one of the other hundreds of dead male Tributes from the Capitol. Fairy was not too difficult to imagine coming relatively far, with her beauty and grace she must have had bucketfulls of sponsors in her Games. But why didnt´they rejuvinate the girl from the Games three years ago, the one who got Runner-up? There was something about Fairy that wasn´t quite right. Then Ariadne suddenly raised up from her seat, and Kiesha, Furcifer, Ward and Fairy all placed themselves in a line and stood rock still.
"Now that we have reaped our Tributes and presented our Rejuvinated, that concludes this Reaping. Congratulations to the Tributes for this great honor. Be sure to tune in for the next Reaping, taking place in District One. Good night, and may the odds be ever in your favor."
District One (3rd Person)
A humid breeze flies swiftly throughout the luxury District, District One. Just like in the Capitol, around noon, people are swarming out of the many villas and houses in the District. But unlike in the Capitol, the people are smiling, happy and at peace. Sure, some of the younger kids look a little worried, hiding behind their parents, biting their nails. But they know that even if they do get reaped, there is most likely someone out there who will volunteer for their place in the Games. And it´s not like they lack training, as kids from the ripe age of ten are enrolled in the Career Academy, located in the exact center of District One, it doubles as a school during day time. But after school is out, a lot of pupils return after dinner or so to train with professionals in the Hunger Games, and even a few of District One´s own Victors. They are some of the most prized people in District One, all of the people, from children to old men and woman are proud of their preformances in the Games. They are objects of idolizations from younger teens, who strive to become like them. These kids are usually refered to Careers, both from the mouths of the Capitol, the richer and the outlying Districts alike. They are called this because it´s their whole life purpose and goal to win the Hunger Games. Dying in the Games is part of the risk. You can easily spot the Career children out from the rest of the kids. They wear confident smirks and wink at eachother, to great contrast to the worried-looking kids who obviously have no training or do not want to become a Tribute.
One of these so-called Careers is eighteen year old Jade Seeku, who has already arrived at the District One square, before the other kids. She is eyeing the stage with a gleeful look. She wants dearly to climb those steps after she volunteered, and feel inside, that she is a Tribute. And not just a normal Tribute, no, she would be a Victor and a star in the Capitol. She had always wanted to be a stylist, from when she was five years old and playing dress-up with her dolls. She was known to have a keen eye for fashion and the latest trends. No wonder, Jade was very popular among the boys as well, who fell by her feet with only a glance. But once Jade started to train at the Careers Academy, her ambition shifted. At first she was reluctant, she didn´t want to get dirty or exausted and get her make-up destroyed by sweat. But her father was persistent and finally she had to give in to the pressure. The arugment that her mother would had wanted it stung the most, and she knew he was right. She wanted to make her proud, at least. When she started to train however, everything changed. She loved it, feeling her raw power grow with every day and getting to beat up the guys who told her she would never be as strong as they were. Oh boy were they wrong. Soon Jade was the star of the Career Academy, and her mentors, trainers and father urged her on to volunteer. Of course she had to. She had stayed patient until this day from when she was sixteen, this was her last reaping and her time to shine in front of all of Panem. Now Jade stood in the roped-off area of the girl potensial Tributes and waited it out until the rest of District One had filed in. She shouted at and waved to her father when he arrived, and he waved heartily back at her. When the Square was all filled up, the beautiful Escort mounted the stage and everyone went quiet and directed their attention towards her. "Welcome, District One, to this most glorious day! I am Evaine Mejai, your most glorious escort, here to bring you the Reaping of the 375th annual Hunger Games! Now, as you all know, this year will be special, as both the Tribute pool and the Victor pool is doubled! I hope you are all just as excited as I am, now let´s get the show on the road!"
Evaine certainly did know how to talk to the people, as mostly everyone shouted back at her to express how excited they were. Jade did too, of course. Evaine shone her bright white teeth at them all. She wore not very much, as it was very hot in District One in the middle of the summer and it wasn´t like her to not show off her body. She was wearing a deep purple dress which barely covered her in each area, and which gave her both style points in the Capitol´s eyes and lustful glances from the men in the crowd.
"Ladies first, as always!"
Evaine said as she strutted to the reaping bowl to her left, in which the names of hundreds of girls from all across District One were written on small paper notes. She grasped her hand into the bowl and trashed around for a great time, before pulling a single note up and showing it to the crowd. Everyone looked excited rather than nervous, to contrast with the Capitol and the outlying Districts. After everyone had gotten a look at the note, Evaine unfolded it and read the name scribbled down. Dousins of Career girls braced themselves to make to move to volunteer, uncluding Jade.
"I VOLUNTEER!" "I VOLUNTEER!" "I VOLUNTEER!!"
From every single angle around Evaine, crazed and desperate-looking teenage girls screamed out to her, begging to become a Tribute and participate in the Games. But somehow, Jade Seeku stood out to the Capitolian Escort, and she grinned as she realized she had found her pick. She pointed directly at Jade and told her firmly to get up on the stage. The girl reaped, another Career girl, looked sullen and annoyed that she had been reaped, so that she couldn´t volunteer or stop anyone from volunteering from her. Jade however, was giddy with excitement, and walked confidently up to the stage and took her place next to Evaine Mejai, her heart a ticking bombshell of euphoria. She had done it, she had volunteered. She saw the proud face of her father in the back line of the Square, his face shiny with fresh tears. Jade waved at some of her trainers and friends, smiling her brightest smile. Evaine the Escort looked happy on Jade´s part as well, and congratulated her.
"Congratulations to District One´s newest Tribute! Now then, what is your name honey?"
Jade answered back gladly, and the crowd cheered for her, except the dissapointed-looking girls at the front, who shot angry glares at Jade instead.
"Now it´s time for the boys! Are you ready?"
The crowd jeers to Evaine´s tune, and she swiftly makes her way to the bowl on her right side, where the notes for the boys in the District lies. She takes even more time on picking this time than with the girls, wanting to build up suspence among the audience and succeeding in that as well. The crowd is cheering and the many Career kids are itching to get their chance at volunteering. Finally Evaine pulls a paper slip out and reads it out to District One.
Similar screams and shouts from volunteer follow, which soon turns into an absolute mess. The boys start yelling at eachother, claiming they were first to volunteer. The arguments soon blossom into small skirmishes and fights, which the adults urge them on. This is part of the show in some Career Districts every year, the battle to acually become a Tribute in the first place. But one of the boys stick out like a sore thumb, and that boy is Luigi Wilkins. He doesn´t scream or shout, but instead he walks right up on the stage, like he already won the reaping before all the other Career kids. When the crowd finally notices that Luigi already has mounted the stage, they all go quiet when they see who it is. Mostly everyone knows him. The loner, slightly creepy kid who lost his parents in that horrible accident, when he was only a little kid. He was never quite right afterwards, though still a feared student in the Career Academy. Evaine looks surprised at Luigi´s appearance, since she did not acually pick him out to be the volunteer for the Games. Instead of asking questions, she just smiles him and asks him politely what his name is, even though everyone knows it.
"Erm, what is your name sweetie?"
Evaine doesn´t ask more, and Luigi takes his place on her right side, waiting patiently for the other half of the show. The other Careers in the crowd are roaring with outrage that Luigi wasn´t even picked, he just walked up on the stage and got accepted as Tribute. Evaine looks a bit nervous, but Luigi himself doesn´t seem affected at all. Peacekeepers warn the kids to calm down, or there may be consequences, and they do, but grudgingly. Evaine tries to steer the attention back to the twist of the Games, the Rejuvinated Tributes from District One.
"Are you ready to see which Tributes from the past are coming back to have another shot at winning District 1 great honor?"
"Then I present them gladly to you all, here they are!"
Evaine waves her arms towards the door leading into the Justice Building. The great metal door opens and out walks two kids who the crowd instantly recognizes. The boy is Zaphire, who was famous for almost winning the 325th Hunger Games, coming in third place. He died so his ally and boyfriend in the Games, Kisagari Momo could win. Their love story touched the entire Panem, and it´s not too hard to understand why such a popular Tribute would be revived. The crowd is cheering and screaming his name, and Zaphire is waving and smiling back politely. The girl Tribute is also very iconic for the District One citizens. Glow Décor, a wildcard in the 222nd Hunger Games. She was one of the weakest Careers, with only an eight in training and bad odds compared to the others in her alliance. She got no kills in the Bloodbath or the days following after. But when there was about ten tributes left, she murdered all her allies and showed her true colors. Her brutalily made her the biggest contender in the Games, but she ended up in sixth place when the Tribute who later was crowned Victor lured her into a trap and killed her on the final day. "I present to you, Zaphire Beux of the 325th Hunger Games and Glow Décor of the 222nd Hunger Games! The reaping is now over, but be sure to tune in on the next one, set in the second Career District, the Masonry District Two! Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor!"
District Two (3rd Person)
The dust in the air settles around on the people slowly drawing out of the military bases, like metal to a magnet. Both woman and man, they are all dressed in the white armor of the Peacekeepers, either they are real Peacekeepers of the Capitol or currently in training. They are filing out of the military barracks in straight lines with stone faces. They march determinedly towards the very center of District Two. Children and teenagers do the same, except they slowly come out of the school or the Career Academy. There are mostly younger kids in the school, while the older children march out of the Career Academy, ready for the important time in store for them this day. Like in District One, you can already tell which kids are planning to volunteer, with their confident behavior and bulging muchles under their clothes. The rest of District Two are also looking greatly forward to the reaping. Maybe because their child, cousin of friend is planning to volunteer, and they dearly want them in the Games so they can show the whole Panem what they´re worth. And even if you don´t know anyone who´s gonna volunteer, there is still the Rejuvinated Tributes. Everyone is pretty certain who is gonna be Rejuvinated, at least one of them. It was leaked from the Capitol by accident that the girl Tribute to be revived would be Veronica Mordekaiser. And now District Two is waiting in suspence to see if the rumors are true or not. All of District Two want to see Veronica again, as she was so close to Victory last time and they feel like they were cheated for their glory when her "ally", the boy from District 4 betrayed her and killed her, before she could do the same to him.
While nearly all the other kids marching together in unison look either excited or scared of the looming presence of the reaping, Lace Larke looks neither. He already knows what is going to happen today. He is about to be reaped, and there is nothing he can do about it. From the moment when his sister Yuniare won her Hunger Games, his fate was sealed. Both of them enjoyed training for the Games together, and after Yuniare won her Games, the Capitol soon became interested in Jace. He was a promising Tribute, and one who the Gamemakers soon were determined to have them in their Games. He was loved by the Capitolians, and became a star simply for being Yuniare´s brother. If only he had understood where his life was going back then, maybe he could have stopped it. But now it was too late for regret. He had gotten comfirmation from Capitol informant that he was going to be reaped, even though he had the least possible amount of names in the bowl for an eighteen year old. If anyone tried to volunteered, they would not be allowed, the Capitol was too obsessed with Jace for him to not go into the Games. Jace curses the day when he was interviewed after Yuniare´s victory. Even though he is reluctant to the Games, he knows he will have a good shot at winning them. However, with the recently revealed twist of double Tributes, he is not too positive about his odds anymore. He sighs as his feet carry him to the Square and into the roped areas with the hundreds of other kids. The crowd is puzzled, and so is Jace, because the stage is empty.
"Wwwwelcome, District Two! This is your host with the most (of everything), Vaarg!!"
Suddenly a figure swoops down from the stage roof, with rope around his waist. The figure lands somewhat elegantly on the stage and gives a small bow. He is wearing nothing but a huge brown-greyish wolf pelt which covers his whole body and makes him seem at least hundred pounds. Vaarg the Escort then bows again to make the crowd applaud, but everyone merely stare at him in shock. District Two´s previous Escort retired last year, after 40 years in the service. They had heard rumors about the new Escort being slightly eccentric, and new Escort often try to impress the audience in their first year, but this was something new completely. Vaarg looks slightly embarrassed when nobody responds, instead he quickly starts the program.
"Now that everyone is here, let the reaping commence! Just like last year and the year before that and the year before that, the ladies are up first!"
He has a hard time walking with his ginormous wolf pelt, but he slowly makes his way to the girl´s bowl and quickly snags one of the white notes. The crowd stand in military firmness and waits patiently for the name to be called, even the Career kids are standing their ground, much difference from District One when everyone was fighting and cooing at eachother before. Vaarg takes a deep breath and udder two words, a name.
Just like in District One, dousins of girls shout out to take this Ayla girl´s place in the Games. But contrary to in District One, these girls are formal and they do not start to scream and kick at eachother. They simply stand their ground and wait for the Escort to give his blessing. Except one girl. Gypsy Xenon is not calm at all, instead she is gleaming with confidence and open hatred towards the other girls in the crowd. She is one of the younger Career girls, hardly even fifteen years old and still just as ready for the Games as any of the older girls. She has been training for as long as she can remember at the Career Academy, and her techniques with all kinds of blades is feared and respected. While all the other girls stand calmly and wait Vaarg´s decition, Gypsy is gritting her teeth and wait impatiently for his decition. Vaarg takes note of this, and therefore points her out amonst all the other Career kids.
"You there! Congratulations on becoming a represasentative for District Two in the 375th annual Hunger Games!! Come up on the stage to me, please."
Gypsy can feel her heart almost exploding inside her chest, and she tosses her arms in the air and screams of delight and happiness. The other girls in the crowd merely look oddly at her with not much feeling showing up in their face, except a bit of annoyance and dissapointment. Gypsy is extatic and runs up the stage to Vaarg´s microphone. She snags it away from him and announcher to all of District Two who she is.
"I am Gypsy Xenon, Panem! I have trained day and night through years and years for this moment, and now it´s finally here. Ladies and gents, feast your eyes on the future Victor of the 375th Hunger Games!"
District Two politely applauds Gypsy, even the other Career children do. Gypsy takes a deep bow before scooting off to Vaarg´s left side with a big grin on her face. As Vaarg moves up to the boy´s reaping bowl, Jace braces himself for all the attention soon to be called to him. Vaarg unfolds the note and reads Jace´s name in a clear voice, you can hear how unsurprised he is at it. Everyone in the Capitol know that Jace would be this years District 2 male in the Games, many months before this moment.
Jace sighs as he walks up to the stage, with a heavy heart. He can hear Yuniare crying in the back of the crowd. She knew this was coming though, and has already given Jace his token for the Games. His silver cross necklace which is dangeling from his neck, the very same Yuniare had in her Games. She just hopes that the lucky charm will be enough to save Jace, too. Vaarg gestures Jace to move faster, they are on a tight scedule, and Jace starts to half-way run, half-way walk up to the stage. He takes his place next to Vaarg and clutches his silver cross, tears bulding up in his eyes. Why did he have to be so stupid and egoistic? If only he could reinvent time, go back and save all of this from ever happening. He is broken out of his mind when Vaarg takes the word again, and the door to the Justice Building.
"May I present, the Rejuvinated Tributes of District Two! Shadow Nightshade and Shermaine Wilson!"
For a moment, the crowd freezes, surprised that the Veronica Morderkaiser rumor proved to be false. Then they regain conciounse and salutes Shadow and Shermaine. Even though Veronica was not revived, they are not dissapointed in what Tributes they got. Shadow Nightshade became runner-up in one of the first ever Hunger Games, the 4th Hunger Games. He was almost District Two´s first Victor, back in a time where Careers were non-excistent. Most Tributes back then averaged a four, as many had injuried and scrupels from the war. Shadow got the best score of all the Tributes, with a decent seven. He somewhat dominated the Games, if you could call it that. He finally died after multible stab wounds from the Victor in the finale. Shermaine is a different story. She became one of the most well-known non-Victor Tributes in the 100th Hunger Games all through the 200th Hunger Games. Her cold, and slightly mean-spirited nature made the Capitol love her, even though she didn´t like that they did. Her brother was also a Victor, which made people think she would siege the Victor´s crown for sure. It helped her a lot in her Games, granting her a lot of sponsors. Even the Gamemakers favored her a bit. She led the Careers with an even hand, but ultimately got betrayed by her two closest allies, who she thought was her friends. They tortured and killed her in the night, and this was a huge shock in the Capitol. It even caused the Gamemakers to kill Shermaine´s two old allies themselves, so neither of them won. Shermaine and Shadow takes their places next to Gypsy and Jace. While the four of them size eachother up, Vaarg addresses the crowd and concludes the reaping.
"Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor! Tune in next time, for the District Three reapings and Rejuvinated Tributes show off!"
District Three (3rd Person)
Once again, this time in the Technology District Three, around noon, the citizens of the District start to move out of their houses. District Three used to be a fairly rich District, and far back in the day it was even a Career District. But when they were still the Capitol´s puppets, and District Three was sadly way to confident in their chances of battling the Capitol. They got crushed when they tried to get control over the District and give District Three it´s own government. After that followed the Great Depression, when people lost their jobs due to heavy drinking after their loss of independence. The District got less support from the Capitol, until the point where nobody could afford the simplest thing as food or shelter. Therefore the population went down greatly, from maybe around twenty thousand all the way down to ten thousand. Even though they were greatly down, District Three managed to build itself up to what it is today. Not as rich and wealthy as it once was, but at least stable, where people don´t drop dead of starvation every minute in the streets like in other Districts. But they can´t avoid the reapings. Miserable-looking kids and worried-looking adults fill the dirty streets towards the Square, where the Escort is waiting patiently for them to come to her, ready to destroy two children´s futures and kill their families.
Two of these kids stick out in the blooming crowd. It´s a small girl, hardly even twelve, who is almost completely bald, with only a few tufts of hair sticking out at odd angles. And there is a boy, around the age of fourteen or fifteen, holding her hand and whispering under his breath. Both of these children have a very odd feeling about them. Their skin is as pale as the moon and they have big bags under their eyes, they look very shabby. The kids are Ikaika and Maala Mathilda, the two last survivors from their family. Maala and Ikaika´s family was riddled with disease and misery for as long as both of them can remember. Their father had AIDS and their mother vitiligo. Ikaika and Maala have AIDS and brest cancer, respectively. They always knew that their mom and dad would never make it. When Ikaika was eight and Maala six, their father passed away. He was struck with a cold, and because of his weak immune system thanks to his AIDS, he had zero chances of surviving. Their mother killed herself in the same suicide as Ikaika tried to kill himself as well, but he miraculously survived after heavy treatment in the hospital of District Three. And so Maala and Ikaika´s lives have been riddled with dread and death, and their fates are also a diagnosis, there is no way they can survive in the long run. But both of them have a plan, in which the other knows nothing about. They both plan to volunteer, win and get themselves and their sibling cured in the Capitol. As the reaping Square, come into sight, they tense up and dread what is about to happen. They will have to leave everything behind and gamle their own lives for salvation from the disease.
Nero Reeds is looking greatly dissapointed and sullen when she looks down at the crowd assempled reluctantly under her feet. She wanted to Escort for District Three, but instead she is given this lowly bunch of losers. She hates it, but she knows that if she makes a good impression and does her job right, she might get a promotion to District 4 next week. So she plasters her most winning smile onto her face and starts the show off.
"Helloooo District Three! Are you ready for the reaping of the 375th Hunger Games!? Well I sure am, so let´s get started!"
District Three slightly murmurs their agreement, even though they would rather drink bleach than be here right now. Nero takes that as a "YEAAAAH" and moves on with her program.
"As always, ladies first!"
While nearly everyone in the Square is holding their breaths, Maala isn´t even flinching. She is going to volunteer anyways, she won´t care if she gets reaped or not. She catches the eye of Ikaika in the boys section of the Square and wink at him. She smiles nervously at her for a second, before directing his attention to the stage once again. Nero struts to the ladies´ bowl, and quickly takes one of the notes and unfolds it in one fluid movement. The crowd is tensing up now, and the girls in danger are making whimpering noises. Maala wished they´d stop, because she´s gonna save their asses anyways.
Maala doesn´t hesitate one second.
Everyone goes quiet as she utters the words confidently and starts walking up the stage without another word. The little girl Maala´s age called Rea is silently thanking Maala for saving her, but is unable to say anything. The rest of District Three watch as Maala mounts the stage dumbfunded. Ikaika is staring at his sister, internally screaming for help, but his opinion has only been stronger. How can be not volunteer now and let Maala die? He remembers another one of the twists for these Games, there can be two Victors. The two of them can win, together, and become cured of their illnesses. They can live normally in District Three again, and never have to go to that wretched orphanage ever again. The thougth of them living together, safe from their diseases and free to finally live life to it´s fullest almost brings Ikaika to tears. He hooks himself back to reality though, wipes his tears away and waits for the Escort to get to the boys´ bowl and his time to volunteer. Before the Escort takes the word, Maala catches Ikaika´s eye and winks smugly. He smiles slightly and returns the gesture.
"Wow a volunteer! What is your name dearly?"
Says Nero with disgustingly faked enthusiam to Maala. Maala keeps her poker face and doesn´t let anything show behind it.
Nero congratulates her once more and then quickly finds another note with a name, this time in the boys reaping bowl. Once again the crowd goes completely silent, not knowing that whoever gets reaped won´t go into the Games anyways, as Ikaika clears his throath. He´s starting to get unsure on whether he should volunteer. But then he thinks about his loving, dear little sister who has always protected him and all the training he has put into this, and he is certain again. Nero reads the name on the paper with a high-pitched voice.
And once again, one of the Mathilda siblings break the silence.
The entire Square goes silent, even Nero. They are all staring down Ikaika, who is silently walking up the stage stairs. One volunteer from District Three hasn´t happened since they were a Career District, two volunteers have never ever happened in the history of the Games. Maala feels like screaming as she watches her brother mount the stage and take his place next to Nero, just a few metres away from Maala. She tries to catch his eye and ask why did he do it, but Ikaika seems very fixated by his shirt all of a sudden. Nero doesn´t look like she knows how she is even supposed to respond to this. In the end her shocked grimase turns into a sickeningly sweet smile, and she asks Ikaika the normal question.
"And what is your name shortstuff?"
"Oh wow, is this your sister? How very brave of you, don´t want your sister to get all the attention now do you?"
Nero points at Maala and then bumps Ikaika jokingly in the shoulder. He doesn´t respond at all, and neither does Maala, so she moves onward with the reaping before things start to get awkward. Like in both District One and Two, the doors to the Justice Building starts to slowly open up as Nero yet again takes the word and directs the crowd´s attention to the two kids moving out of the building.
"And now, let me present you all the Rejuvinated Tributes of District Three!"
She waves her arms at the two figures now moving into the sunlight, so the District 3 citizens can have a proper look at them. As Maala and Ikaika recognizes them, they catch eachothers eyes in a reflex of fear. It can´t be... But it is, Amme Ilorenzo and Kronos Blade, one of the most legendary Tributes of Panem and the most well-known ones from District 3 by far. Amme was a top threath in the 45th annual Hunger Games, she was almost drowing in sponsors. Not only because the District Three Chariot won by at least a mile, but also because she got a whopping 10 in training, the highest from District Three in years. She proceeded to dominate the Games from the get-go, and by Day 10 she had at least 70 percent of the kills in the Games. However, the finale went horribly wrong with her. Unwittingly, she picked a fight with the other finalist, her previous ally and fellow female Tribute from District 2, in a swamp area. She ended up dying to the swamps currents and poison rather than her opponent, which was very dissapointing, as the other girl who ended up winning hadn´t gotten a single kill since the Bloodbath and she only had an 8. Kronos was another story completely. Everyone in District Three both know him and fear him, he is the subject for many citizen´s childrens nightmares, his legend lives on. God knows how many lives he had claimed, like he revealed in his interview. After his interview was over, a Peacekeeper squad raided his house to find a torture dungeon in the cellar, with body parts and torture instruments scattered around. They identified one of the bodies as his own father, who was believed to have run away. Some of the bodies were the corpses of teenage girls who had dissapeared mysteriously, but some of the bodies were too mangled or destroyed to identify. When the audience got whiff of this, it caused Kronos to be the biggest threath in his Games, not only because of his skills with killing but also because the sponsors were fighting over him. However, his preformance was dissapointing. He died at Day 3, when there still was a good fifteen Tributes left, because a large alliance of eight Tributes managed to trap him and kill him before he could get his hands on them. But now that he is back, one can expect Kronos to be careful of that. he is sure to be a threath.
Maala and Ikaika are staring at their more impressive oppoents, while Amme and Kronos and not even glancing at them. They know that once the Games start, their two puny District partners are free kills for them. As the crowd takes in the terrifying image of these illness-ridden kids being ripped to pieces by Amme and Kronos, Nero Reeds have already left without knowing. Probably to start on the bag of alcohol she brougth with her. Ikaika, Maala, Amme and Kronos stand awkwardly on the stage for a bit, before Peacekeepers shove them into the Justice Building and tell the crowd to clear out and go back to work.
District Four (3rd Person)
A storm was starting to build up out on the clear, blue ocean. Dramatic grey clouds were marching towards the coast and the docks of District Four, and waves were growing in size with every minute. Workers on the docks and fishermen who have just arrived back home after several days and night on the sea were trying to get the last bit of work done before the Reaping, and most importantly, before the storm hit the shoreline and made serious problems for them. It wasn´t often, but it still happened that people died in storms like these. Mostly drunken idiots who didn´t know what they were doing, but it was better to be safe than sorry. As the fishermen and sailors started to make their way towards the District Four Square, the wind became increasingly violent and they had to draw up their jackets to shield them from the wrath of nature. Heavy and hot rain poured down like a waterfall, this would be a long Reaping day. The rest of the District´s population, the elderly or the children, those who did not work, didn´t look too happy about the weather either. They were cloaked in rain-resistant jackets and coats, murmuring to eachother about what bad timing the monsoon had this year.
The increasingly bad weather didn´t have any effect one some of the kids though, they were still just as cheerful as they were when they woke up today. As expected, they were all wearing the standard District Four Career Academy uniform, which all the students wear when they are going to sermonial things at the Academy like the enrollment seremony. They had probably come straight from the Academy, putting in some last-minute training and getting some final advice from their trainers and teachers. Probably about seventy percent of these kids were itching to volunteer, and the rest were probably just excited to see their friends volunteer and test their luck and skill in the Games. However, there were of course exceptions. Like a boy called Caspian Lotuscloud. He wasn´t paticulary fond of the Games, but he still trained at the Academy like the other kids. He was kind of an outsider, as people often found him annoying and hard to deal with. Sometimes Caspian became a bit depressed from this, never having something you´d call a real friend, that was why he kept training, to keep his mind off his loneliness. The other Career kids often mocked him for being such a wuss, and not being interested in the Hunger Games for the most part. This had pushed Caspian into making a decicion he thougth he´d never ever even think of. He had made his minde up however, he was gonna volunteer for the Games and prove all the other guys wrong. When he think of their dissapointed faces when he is chosen Tribute and not them, he smiles with glee. He was a bit scared of the Games, but they were nothing he couldn´t handle. Caspian was capable of high-skilled weaponry and great strength, there wasn´t much the Games could prove to challenge him with.
Meanwhile, at the docks a very peculiar ship had just arrived. It was a very old ship, wooden and very, very big. It was easily the most impressive ship in the harbor, and people stopped and stared at it when they passed. Never in their life had they seen such a magnificent ship, maybe they wouldn´t even again, even. However, a sinister black flag was flickering in the wind at the top of the huge mast. A black flag with a white skull with a pair of entwined bones underneath. The international symbol of pirates. Just as all the people had huddled into the reaping Square, as on que, the doors down to the lower leves of the ship opened and out came a prominent and feared figure. Alvida Pearl, probably the only sixteen year old who could sport such fear in District Four´s hearts ever, even the older men who had toughened up durings decades out on the sea. She was an infamous pirate on the Panemian sea, who was accompanied by at least fifty pirates on her grand ship. It wasn´t completely known how Alvida became one of them, because not too long ago she was just a normal girl in District Four. However, her parents suddenly dissapeared one day, and so did she. Her parents have never been heard of since, but Alvida became the leader of the pirates of District Four. She was probably here to load up on supplies again, as she usually did about every two months. As Alvida jumped off the ship´s deck, a very grandeur pirate shouted at her.
"O Alvida, do you want any o´ us to come with yeh?"
"It´s ok Roderick, I´m fine on my own."
Then she walked off towards the Square, unknowing that it was reaping day, and none of the market stalls were open. Her very precense caused the crowd to bend off and allow her an easy way to the Square. She shot them evil looks when she could, and she barked with laugher as she watched them squrim and try to hide themselves away. Boy, did she love the pirate life.
Slowly, the muttering, sulky crowd buldt up into the entire population of District Four was huddled in raincoats, holding umbrellas, in the Square, watching as the Escort made her appearance. She looks positively grotesque, with skin pale as snow and eyes the sizes of dinner plates, with flowery tattoos that flows down from her eyes like some kind of permanent tear marks down her cheeks. She was wearing some sort of gown, but it was entirely transparent showing everything underneath it. The public wonders why even bother putting on a dress that just makes you naked anyways. She speaks in a dull, clear voice that doesn´t tell anything on what kind of person she is, or anything about her at all. It´s a wonder why she would have the Escort job for District Four when she had this little impact and charm on the crowds.
"Welcome, people of District Four. Today we celebrate the loss and gain of the great Panem War, where innocent people lost their lives because of the District´s sins. But the Capitol has mercy, and so they will accept your regret by letting two of your children become stars in the Capitol, of the Hunger Games. In two week´s time, the Games will start and you will all suffer for the pain you inflicted upon the Capitol and Panem itself."
And like this she continued, for at least five minutes, drooling on. The Career kids at the front row were starting to get more and more impatient about the Escorts speech that just wouldn´t end. The rest of the people in the Square were just staring at her, dumbfunded. Last year they had had just a normal Escort, albeit a bit too enthursiastic to the point of it being slightly annoying. But this was something different entirely, and most of District Four were already hoping that this new Escort would be fired so they could have someone normal (at least in Capitol means) next year. Now the Escort had continued on her speech for at least ten minutes, and the crowd was not very impatient, exspecially the children eligible for reaping, most of them just wanted it to be over with soon. One of the kids in the Square, a certain redheaded pirate girl to be exact, suddenly broke into a run and jumped up on the stage. Before the Escort could even take her eyes off her speech to see her, Alvida punched her clean in the face with enough force so she toppled to the stage floor. Everyone in District Four went silent instantaiously. Alvida was smiling confidently at all of them and shoved the escort off the stage to applause of the crowd. The Career children were looking at Alvida with fear and dissapointment, as the Capitol would surely make her be a Tribute now with that of an prefomance in front of the cameras. Surely enough, Alvida picked the microphone up from the floor and shouted into it.
"Yes, I´m Alvida Pearl, the Pirate Queen of the Panemian sea. And I´m also this years girl Tribute from District Four, pleased to have your attention!"
The Career kids and their parents were in an outrage, that some girl could just run up and punch the Escort in the face before someone had been reaped, and then announche herself Tribute without even volunteering. The rest of the crowd was also muttering about how unfair this was, that the other girls didn´t even get a shot at volunteering, but Alvida once again silenced them.
"And now, since our beloved Escort is a little busy at the moment, me, myself and I will announce my District Partner-to-be!"
Alvida struts towards the reaping bowl to her right, and swiftly picks out one of the many notes of potensial Tributes, written in tired handwriting. Then she reads it out loud for the entire District Four to hear.
Everyone´s eyes lock onto Caspian as his skin turns pale as snow in winter. None of the Career kids show any sign of wanting to volunteer, possibly intimidated by Alvida, who would be their competition in the Games. Caspian certainly is a bit afraid of Alvida as well, but not the Games. He has trained for them after all, and he knows he can emerge victorious if he plays his cards right, Alvida is just a minor obstacle for him. He burshes his hair out of his eyes before walking confidently through the crowd, with everyone staring him down, including Alvida. Caspian suddenly wonders why no Peacekeeper has ran up and arrested Alvida for assault, maybe they were getting bored of the previous Escort, who was now lying on the dity, wet ground completely knocked out, as well. Nevertheless, Caspian shrugs it off and walks up to the stage and takes his place next to his new District partner. Then one of the doors to the Justice Building open and a teenage boy peeks his head out.
"Umm, where is Triana? Is this our queue?"
He adresses one of the Peacekeepers guarding the building, but the white armored man doesn´t answer. The boy shrugs his shoulders and apparently takes the Peacekeeper´s muteness as a yes and stands out. A girl follows him outside. For a while the crowd is stunned at their appearance, it takes a while for them to process that they must be the Rejuvinated Tributes of their District. Alvida and Caspian sizes up their newcoming competition with smirks on their faces. There´s Alexander Snapper of the 345th annual Hunger Games, it´s now exactly thirty years ago since he participated and perished in the Games. He was a big shot, like most of the Careers in most Games. He had a very... close relationship to his District partner at the time, Violet Pike. They became the most popular Tributes in the Games, however their love was just fabricated for the crowd to give them sponsors. And when the time was right, Violet killed Alexander after they had had sexual intercourse during the final night of the Games, making Violet the Victor and Alexander the loser. The girl, who was at least five inches shorter than Alexander, was Katarina Seacrest. She was very famous, or rather, infamous, as the very loved Victor Oceania Seacrest´s cousin. Katarina had been one of the permanent residents of the District Four´s Insane Aslym. She had been driven mad with jealousy at Oceania´s victory, and tried to kill her. When that failed, she instead volunteered, wishing to destroy her cousins honor and make herself even more famous than her. Her cracked and twisted look on the Games made her a threath in the Games, but she did not earn many sponsors. But even so, she managed on her own, pretending to be weak and sick to ward off her oponents. She had countlesss allies during her Games, but none of them lasted more than one night with her. In record time, thanks to her, the playing field was shrinking to only four Tributes when there had only been five days in the Arena. The Gamemakers had to do something to stop her from destroying the Games, and so executed Katarina by making the earth under her feet crumble and she died as she fell into the Arena catacombs.
Now that she was back, one could see the worry in Caspian´s eyes. He had only heard whispers and rumors of Katarina when he was growing up, but seeing her in the flesh was something different. He wanted nothing but to run and flee from the sight of her, however Alvida didn´t look as fazed as him. She looked interested, she had been presented by a real challenge. Alexander was instead of focusing on his District partners fully intent of winning the crowd on his side, waving and smiling and using all of his charm on them. He would have nothing to do with Caspian, Alvida or Katarina, he was only in for sponsors in the Games. The crowd loved him, and he was already sure at least someone of them would give him a whirl at the Games. The Peacekeepers started getting pushing, and ordered Alexander, Alvida, Caspian and Katarina into the Justice Building to start getting ready to travel to the Capitol.
District Five (3rd Person)
"And with that, the reaping of the Tributes and show-off of the Rejuvinated for District Five is concluded! Have a good day folks, and happy Hunger Games!"
The overzelious Escort Alice Scythe then turned away from the crowd and walked promptly into the Justice Building, with Crayolaya, Zoey, Day and Detria trailing behind her. Then the doors closed and they were all plunged into darkness. Alice swore and jumped for the light switch. None of the kids had been inside the Justice Building, but none of them could say they were very impressed either. Day even snorted as he saw the grimy, gloomy walls and broken-down furniture for the first time. Neither Crayolaya or Zoey looked impressed either, they were mostly just trying to relax their brains to keep themselves from freaking out. They had been reaped, Zoey could understand because she had taken tesserae for years by now and had buildt up a good load of notes in the reaping bowl. But Crayolaya thougth it was so unfair, he had only had the minimum of notyes yet still he was picked, despite District Five´s rather large population of twenty-one thousand. The Tributes were chatting on, mostly out of nervousity. Detria wasn´t however, she was completely silent and didn´t seem to even be present. She was touching her lips, where Koto had kissed her just before she had been ushered into the building by the Escort. When he saw she had been Rejuvinated, he had ran up the stage and pressed his lips to hers. Detria could still hear his screams from outside. She wasn´t quite sure what it meant, but she was sure that she wanted to see Koto again, her only friend. But to do that she would have to survive the Games, she couldn´t fail like last time. God had given her a second chance, how could she give it up?
Alice Scythe was leading the Tributes and the Rejuvinated throughout the grimy maze of the Justice Building, careful not to touch anything with her newly polished nails. There was nobody here at all, except the Escort and the new offering to the Capitol. After what seemed like at least a good half an hour, Alice suddenly turned a corner and wiffed them all into an empty office. It had certainly seen better days, the work desk was seeping with mold and the furniture which looked like it was once very fancy was attacked by termites. Day, Detria, Crayolaya and Zoey simply stood awkwardly and looked around, not sure what they were supposed to do.
"Now, you´ll wait here until it´s your turn to say goodbye to whoever has come to see you. When it´s your turn, I´ll wave you out of the door, and afterwards you will all be escorted to the train. Good luck!"
She winked at them and then slipped through the door, closing it was a firm snap. The Tributes looked nervously at eachother, put out to a beat for what to say to the others. It was finally Day who tried to strike up conversation.
"Sooo, lookin´ forward for the Games, hm?"
If the situation wasn´t awkward enough already. Now Crayolaya and Zoey were scared to look up from their own shoes. Day would slap himself if he could for saying something that tactless. The only one who did not seem too bothered by it was Detria, who was following a bug on the wall with her eyes, she looked like she either didn´t notice or didn´t care about anything wrong with Day´s words. Day was about to open his mouth again to apologize, but then Alice stuck her head inside the office and ordered him outside to say goodbye. His stomach twinged with dread. There wouldn´t be anything there anyways, he had died decades ago, in the 113th Hunger Games. He felt very sad, thinking about everyone he had ever loved, who were now long dead and gone, taken by Father Time´s greedy hands. What if he hadn´t been reaped all those years ago, and still loved them? He would be dead now as well, but at least he would have been there with them, through good or bad. He remembered at the reaping, how he was amazed at how nothing had changed in District Five for two hundred years. He wondered how his mother and father had taken the loss of his life. Had they cried when they realized that he would never ever come back home? How had his sisters ben doing without him, had they been able to live how they wanted to? But what does it matter anymore? Day sighed and walked to the doors out to the nobody who was gonna say goodbye to him. But then Zoey reached out her hand and placed it on his shoulder. Day is taken aback at this, and turned briefly towards her.
"I know you don´t have anyone anymore, but I just want you to know that I care abut you, even though we´re in the Games and we´re not supposed to."
Day is even more taken aback by her words of kindness. Zoey cares for him and feels sympathy for him even though she has never met him or even heard of him. Then he went through the doors and was greeted by Alice the Escort. She bluntly told him that there wasn´t any reason to delay since nobody was gonna show up to say goodbye anyways. She ushered him out through another door right away, where Peacekeepers escorted him into a car. He plumped in and looked around him, he had never sat in a car before, when he was reaped last time they had a horse cart like in the rest of the District. It was modern, probably constructed for the Capitol by District 6, the Transportation District. The seats were a lot smoother than any old, stinking horse cart. Day supposed he had to wait in the car for his fellow District partners to get done with their goodbyes. He wondered if Detria had anyone she loved who was alive, who would come to hug her and tell everything was ok. Day was ashamed to admit that he had no idea what Games Detria had been Tribute in, or anything about her at all. There was something funny and a bit off about her behavior, Day thougth, something in the way she responded to others and their moves.
Meanwhile, Crayolaya had already finished his final goodbyes with his lover, Trixie. She was crying and screaming for him, while Peacekeepers were forcing her out of the doors of the Justice Building. Crayolaya only looked sadly at her, with tears in his eyes, knowing there is nothing he can do for her. He damned the Capitol´s name for doing this to him, for doing this to Trixie as well. He wanted to destroy them, forever, but his memories of last time he had tried such an act still burned inside him. Literally. But this time it would be different. Crayolaya wasn´t at the complete mercy of the Capitol anymore, in the Games he had the choice to fight or die. Last time, he was to die without any chance, but he still survived miraculously. Even though Crayolaya was a survivor, he could still not save Trixie, he wanted her being dragged away by the Peacekeeper squad. Then Alice the Escort waved him out of the door and out into the blight sunlight. She carefully escorted him into the car, and Crayolaya plumps down on the seat next to Day. The two of them simply sit awkwardly, staring out of the windows and for the most part ignoring eachother, to the point where it seemed like they were alone in the car. The Peacekeeper driver at the wheel was watching them from his left hand mirror.
Just when Crayolaya had sat himself in the car, Alice took out Zoey, which left Detria alone in the Mayors office in the Justice building. She didn´t seem to mind though. Zoey went on reluctantly with Alice, but she tugged the readhead with her through the door anyways. Beyond the doors Zoey met what she already knew was going to get, silence and not a single soul except hers. The Escort looked around awkwardly, avoiding Zoey´s eyes, they were filled with tears. She knew her parents wouldn´t come, even before she had stepped through the doors. Neither Maria nor Anya never seemed to care for her, she was just a hurdle for them, a struggle. Even when she tried her hardest to make them love her, she couldn´t, there were too many other starving mouths to feed with her along. She hated them all for stealing her parents from them, all the children in the institution. They cried in the night for their mommy and daddy, there was never enough food for the kids who were always craving more. They wanted more and more of Maria and Anya´s attention, so Zoey never got any for herself. She wondered where her parents were now, what they were doing. They had not attended the reaping either. If only they had been there for her when she was reaped, maybe she could have the strength to hold back her tears. Zoey stood in the room, all alone except for the Escort, who was trying her hardest to be invisible for her. In that moment, Zoey wished that she could prove her parents wrong, that she did deserve attention, that she was more than just another one of their children. She had trained hard for years now, to prove that she was worth their attention, to prove that she wasn´t weak. She was udderly shocked when she was reaped, but she knows she can make it through this. Then she can leave Maria and Anya behind, wishing they had paid more attention to her, their own child. Alice announched that the time was up and guided Zoey through the building and out into the car, where she joined Day and Crayolaya in sitting mute, without saying anything. She caugth Day´s eyegaze at times through. The driver at the front was starting to get impatient. However, it was only Detria left for her final goodbyes anyways. They would soon be at the station, and then, at the train.
Detria watched the old, wrinkled man in front of her with a confused look on her face. The man was crying big, wet tears. Detria looked awkward and confused at the situation. It wasn´t until the old man moved closer that Detria recognized him, thanks to his eyes.
"Koto? Is that you?"
The old man hiccuped on his tears.
"Yes Detria, it really is me."
Detria suddenly looked distraugt and shifted her gaze away from the crying man. She looked down on her hands and flexed her fingers, as if seeing them for the very first time. She looked up again and tried to keep hersself from crying like Koto.
"It really is you... I never realized how much time has passed since that time..."
She remembers it like it was yesterday. Shouts and nervous laughter all around her. She caugth the glance of Koto from the male´s section of the reaping. He smiled at her. She merely nodded. A person jumped on-stage and announched the reaping of the 399th Annual Hunger Games for officially open. The crowd gives a minuscule fake applause, and the Escort bows to them. Then a boy who Detria can´t remember the face or name of gets called. He starts crying on stage, screaming for his parents. He´s maybe thirteen or fourteen years old. Then Detria´s own name is called. She gets called to the stage, and she of course adblidges. She remembers standing there, with the sniffeling boy next to her, and the crowd saying their silent goodbyes to them. Then the two of them gets ushered into the very same building she is in now. Then, in the same room as she and the old man Koto is in now, the younger Koto came through the door. He is crying like the boy on stage, but Detria keeps her cool. Until Koto kisses her.
The flashback is so strong Detria only realizes she is back to reality when Alice the Escort called her from the door, telling her that the five minutes were up and it was time to go. But she didn´t want to. Detria suddenly reached out and hugged Koto, the old man embraced her and cried into her shoulders, like he was the child. "Don´t worry, this time it´ll be different. I´ll come back for you"
Alice got annoyed with the time they were taking, and two stern Peacekeepers pulled Koto and Detria from eachother. Detria cried out for Koto as he was pushed out of the room and to somewhere unknown. From this point on, Detria was determined. Determined to come back from the Games, free from the Capitol´s clutches. She was gonna make Koto happy, her only friend who had waited all this time for her to come back to him. She was not gonna let him down after all this. The Games had nothing on her.
District Six (3rd Person)
The doors to the Justice building slowly creaked open, it seemed they had not been looked at since very long ago. The newly reaped Tributes, Luna and Star, had tears in their eyes as they went into the building. The old Tributes from previous Hunger Games, the Rejuvinated, were not as fazed as them. They had been through this before. Buck was smiling to himself, while Saadia´s only expression was silent determination. The whimsical stylist, a young man in his late twenties, was wearing a ridiculous fairy costume. He had told them that this was becuse he wanted to show his support to his favorite Tributes this year, Fairy Luck. Apparently this man was Fairy´s biggest fan, and throughout the reaping he had looked very sullen, like some mute riot that he wasn´t picked as her Escort. The unusual crowd made it´s way into the Mayor´s office, a room that was slightly more fancy than the others in the building. The other rooms and hallways stinked like rot and fungus, while this room was practically odor-free. The furniture was very outlandish and fancy for the Tributes, but it was nothing when it came to Capitol standards. The whimsical fairy Escort was laughing to himself at District Six´s mayors poor taste in housing. The Tributes, exspecially Star and Luna, were looking around the room with awe in their eyes. Even though Saadia and Buck had been here before, it was still a very long time ago for them.
Saadia had been Rejuvinated from the 66th Hunger Games, almost three hundred years ago from now. She had been a mayor underdog, but was still somehow one of the Capitol´s favorites. For the most part, it was because they felt very bad for her. Saadia´s distant father, in his fit of grief, had believed Saadia was the reason his wife left him without as much as an explaination. He hated Saadia, and in the end, decided to kill his own daugther. But she fought back, and instead of her dying, she killed her father. She was then, after being pleaded innocent by the Peacekeepers since she was acting in self-defence, moved to an orphanage. There she lived, until she was tragically reaped when she was only twelve years old. At her reaping, she had played this card very well, and started crying about her father and mother, causing her to get a lot of sponsors even then. She milked this for all it was worth in the interview as well, and when the Games finally started she had so much help with sponsors she didn´t even need to attend the Bloodbath or any Feasts. However, she was finally murdered, after having all her supplies taken away by a pack of mutt wolves. Her killer was a day later crowed Victor of the Games. Saadia´s preformance in her Games were nothing incredible when compared to other Tributes from other Districts, like Career districts, or District Seven, who often had very impressive Tributes, but Saadia stuck out since she did well to come from District Six. District Six didn´t usually have very high-ranking Tributes, so she stuck out in that regard.
Buck, however, was not just Rejuvinated because he had done well despite being a District Six Tribute. He had been a fearsome threath in his original games, and some even valued him to be one of the biggest contenders. He had participated in the 350th Hunger Games, the 14th Quarter Quell, where the Tributes did not get training scores or odds of winning. There was also no Bloodbath, instead they had to fight eachother in small one-on-one arenas until only six remained. These six were then to fight to the death in one last gladiator match. Buck became one of the final six as well, but at the final gladiator match, where everyone thougth he´d dominate, went horribly wrong for him. He was outnumbered and outsmarted by the Tribute pair from District Fourteen, and effectively killed before he could as much as scratch them. The pair from Fourteen were the last two remaining afterwards, and the boy ended up winning the Games overall. His death was very dissapointing in the Capitol´s eyes, as he was ranked 4th as best Tribute overall in the rankings, while the District Fourteen Tributes were only at 15th and 13th. Even Buck himself was dissapointed by his performance, now that he was back however, he was determined things would go differently this time. This time he wouldn´t let himself get outsmarted, and he had already, from the moment he had woken up in the Capitol´s labs, began plotting his victory plan for the Games. Sponsors were already valuing him as a hot pick for the Games to come, and he had gotten a lot of cover in the gossip-and games magazines. Buck knew this publicity was only positive, as the more sponsors he could salvage the better his odds would be.
"Now you! Girl with the red hair! You´ll get five minutes to say goodbye to your family, come with me."
The surrealistic Escort in the fairy costume lurched forward and grabbed Luna at the shoulders, and then whiskered her away. Star tried to reach out to her and hold her hand, but the Escort brushed him aside and pushed the crying and trashing Luna through a sidedoor. Luna already knew, just like Zoey, that there would be nobody on the other side of the door. Her parents had disowned them and kicked them out of the house a long time ago now, after the incident. Luna still couldn´t understand how it had happened, in one moment her and Star´s plan was going perfect, like in a movie scene. But in the next, their plan failed horribly, and Opalia was lying dead at the bottom of the stairs, her head smashed like a rotten tomato, blood everywhere. She remembers it very vaguely, maybe because her brain has tried to forget it out of shame and bitterness. As Luna looks around in the simple room she is in, she wonders whether Opalia would be here, saying goodbye to her, if things were different. Even though she was strict, Luna knew Opalia really cared for her and Star, and would do anything to protect them. The fluttering Escort behind her was looking around impatiently, like he was waiting for someone to appear. Maybe he thougth that Luna´s family only was a little late, but as the minutes dragged on, he understood that nobody would ever come. Luna was sobbing on the floor, as she tried to apologize to her parents under her breath. After the five minutes were up, the Escort grabbed Luna by the arm and half-way gestured, half-way pulled her out of the room and out in District Six´ streets. A car was waiting by the steps of the door. Luna dragged herself down them and fell into the back seat of the car. Not even a minute later, she had cried herself to sleep.
The Escort then re-entered the room, where Star, Saadia and Buck were in, they were all a good distance from eachother, tyring their best to ignore the rest. The fluttering Escort made a grab for Buck, but he quickly punched him in the face before he had even opened his mouth.
"I know where I´m supposed to go, you think I´m stupid? Dumb old cunt."
Buck then proceeded to kick away the Escort´s unconsious body and slant into the room, where he found a middle-aged woman sitting in silence at the table. The woman was Buck´s mother, but she was not saying a word to him at all, or achknowleding that her son had walked into the room, after being dead for 25 years. Buck simply stares at her. Finally she raises her head and locks her cold, grey eyes onto him, with a frown on her face.
"So, you´re back."
Buck simply nodded to her in response, before she continued.
"Don´t think even for a second I have forgiven you, for what you did to Joshua. You got what you deserved."
Buck grinned at her words and suddenly lunched out at the woman at the table, who didn´t seen fazed at all.
"Then why did you come here, you mouldy fraud?"
Buck´s mother didn´t say a word to response, only stared down her son with her cold, dead eyes. Inside her mind was years and years of dissaproval and hate, boiling inside her, ripping her to pieces every day of her life after that day. She remembered the neighbours talking, that was the worst part of it. Her Joshua was her favorite, he was always so kind to her and helped her whenether he could. Ever since her lover had left her and their two kids, Buck and Joshua, she had started to smoke heavily. It helped, really, to forget the pain after that bastard took the love she had given him and threw it back into her face. Buck always sided with his father, that she had been horrible to her lover. Maybe Buck was right, but she would never admit it, exspecially not to herself. So one day, Joshua comes home, in the arms of some of his friends who found him, beated up on the streets. They told her it was Buck´s doing, that the two brothers had had a fight. Joshua´s head injury had been so severe, he never became the same as he had been ever again. After that it was her who had to care for him, not the other way around. He became a vegetable, to put it short, someone who would never really understand anything. It was that day she disowned Buck, and put him in a foster home, she couldn´t bear the sight of him ever again. But now he was here again. She gulped down before answering Buck, whose face was only a few inches away from her face.
"I´m not here because of you, but because of Joshua."
All of a sudden, Buck´s confident facade dropped, and his look of surprised shined through. Why would his mother ever want to come see him off, for Josh´s sake?
"The other day, it was one of those rare moments when Joshua seemed like himself again. He was smiling, not just sleeping like he usually does. And then he suddenly started talking to me. About you. How he missed you Buck, how he loved you. He asked me where you were. I couldn´t even stand the thougth of telling him the truth, that you were dead... And now, that you are back, I want to say goodbye to you from Joshua."
And that exact moment, when Buck feels like breaking, is when the freakish Escort jumps into the room and drags Buck with him out. Just as the door closes, Buck catches the eye of his mother. They are filled with tears, and so are Buck´s. The Escort doesn´t seem to notice, and simply orders him into the car, where he sits next to the sleeping figure of Luna, whose face is pressed against the cold window. Buck stars to wipe off his tears, as he doesn´t want the cameras at the train station or his District partners to see them.
Meanwhile, Star was sitting alone in the room, where his loved ones were supposed to come to say goodbye to him. But Star isn´t stupid, he knows that Luna is the only one who loves him now, and that nobody could ever forgive them for what they did to Opalia. Exspecially not their parents. But he had hoped that at least some of the people they know on the streets would come, that someone in District Six at least cared for them that much. But that was only wishful thinking, and after only three minutes, Star couldn´t take sitting in silencing and waiting for someone who would never come. He asked the Escort to take him to the car, he said it would just be a waste of time to sit around here. Star tried to hold back tears, as gruesome flashes and images of what could happen to him and Luna in the Games soared through his mind. The Escort agreed and pulled him with him out through the door to the streets. Star smiled when he noticed Luna, sleeping against the window. There was a slight awkward moment when Star locked eyes with Buck, and he saw he was crying. That wasn´t expected, Buck was probably the last person Star thougth he would ever see cry. Buck slid a bit to the left, so Star could sit besides Luna. Star sat down on the soft cousion seats and leaded back, trying to forget everything about this day.
After a very brief moment, Saadia also entered the car and sat down next to Buck, not looking at anyone of them. She was focusing on a patch of air outside of the car, and ignoring them completely. Saadia didn´t want anyone to ever know who she had just met in that room. Someone she thougth she´d never see again.
(Written in PoV perspective. Two Rejuvinated males PoV, two Rejuvinated females PoV, two Reaped males PoV and two Reaped females PoV.)
District Seven (Viggo Flame´s PoV)
The train doors silently closes behind me, and the train instantly begins to move. I almost lose my balance, but I hold onto the door handle. My District partners have already boarded the train before me, so I´m guessing our Mentors are waiting for me now. I wave my hand in front of a peculiar steel door, like the Escort told me to do, and it slides open. I walk through it, and instantly get teleported into luxury like I have never seen before. When I was reaped for my original Games, the train didn´t look near as amazing as this one. Technology has really come a far way while I was dead. Futuristic chairs and tables with blue lights at the brims of them. The room is heavily lit with neon blue lights from lines in the walls and the ceiling. The room is very wide and sretches very far. My District partners, Mia, Max and Pandora are all sitting at an ornamate round table in the center of the room, with two women who I can only assume are my Mentors-to-be. I realize that the reason why there are two women and not a man, as they usually have one Mentor for the boys and one for the girls, is because there is no male Victors alive. The thougth makes me shudder. I´ll just have to hope that I can break that link. One of the Mentors, a middle-aged dark-skinned woman waves me over at the table, and I quickly walk up to it and sit down on one of the free chairs. Even though the chairs look awesome, they are hard to get comfortable in. The middle-aged woman nods at me, before her collegue speaks up.
"Alright boys and girls, you know why you are here. You are to fight to the death on TV for the amusement of some rich snotbags in the Capitol, there is no nice ways to put it. My name is Maiken, I am the Victor of the 471st Hunger Games of Panem, and I will be your Mentor."
Maiken takes a short break, before she gestures towards the middle-aged woman in the seat next to her, the other Mentor.
"This is my fellow District Seven Mentor, Thistel. She won the 442nd Hunger Games, back when she was only twelve years old."
Thistel doesn´t smile at all, it seems. I google her, I can´t even imagine her winning the Games when she was only twelve years old. Neither can my District partners it seemed, they all look at Thistel in surprise. Mia even whispers hastily to Max as they look at her in disbelief. Maiken looks pretty fit and strong, but Thistel doesn´t look anything out of the orginary. The only one at the table not eyeing Thistel as their new God is Maiken and Pandora. Pandora doesn´t seem fazed at all, it doesn´t look like she´s even paying any attention, like this tiny meeting is under her notice and it´s doesn´t matter. Her arrogance annoys me, she acts as me, Mia and Max are under her notice. I just hope that arrogance will get her kill sometime in the Games, because she doesn´t seem like one I would wanna mess with. Thistel brings me out of my thougth again when she takes the word.
"Mia and Max, you have both been Reaped this year, while Pandora and Viggo have already been in the Games at one point. I will take you freshly Reaped ones under my wing, while Maiken will take care of the veterans, alright?"
Both Mia and Max looks delighted that they get Thistel to Mentor them spesifically, and I feel envy inside of me. Why do they get the badass? Maiken looks cool and all, and I´m sure she won her Games fairly, but I want to learn more about Thistel. How could a mere twelve year old could win the Hunger Games, yet seem like a bloodthirsty, kill-crazy psycho? Anyways, Thistel speaks up again. Mia and Max eye her desperately and drinks in each and every one of her words with fire in their eyes.
"Mia, Max, would you both please come with me? We´ll chat privately in the lounge, and talk a bit on strategies for you two. Maiken will be here with Pandora and Viggo."
When Thistel rises form the table, so does Mia and Max instantaniously. It´s like they´re little toy soldier, the way they obey Thistel´s every word. Kind of cute, even.
"Yes! Of course!"
Max says, then the three of them, with Thistel in the front and Mia and Max trailing behind, marches out of the room, through a door I persume leads to the lounge. There was no lounge when I was Reaped, all that time ago. Maiken coughs to get me and Pandora´s attention, but I´m the only one who turns to her, Pandora is still not looking out way, just out of the window in a dramatic demeanour.
"Alright you two, we´ll be discussing strategies for now. But before we do that, we´ll look through the other Districts´ Reapings and you tell me which Tributes stick out from the rest to you. It might seem weird, but trust me, this is not as useless as it seems. The biggest threaths and contenders in the Games are usually unveiled at the Reapings."
Maiken then flicks a streamlined remote control at one of the walls, and a flatscreen television pops out of it. I´m amazed at how far techonology has come, even thougth it seems like only yesterday I got Reaped, and the train ran primarily on steam power. The screen goes black, before a shining seal appears on-screen. It´s the seal of the Capitol. How Pandora seems interested, even though I´m not even sure she knows whats going on. The seal dissapears and we get a good wiew from the camera men´s point of view of the Reaping ceremony in the Capitol. There is a female commentator who is very good at her job, she highlights the most important parts and make some quirky one-liners here and there. The Reaping begins when the President herself, Ariadna Blackwater, officially opens the 475th Hunger Games and announches the Reaping to start. First a girl with rainbow-dyed hair and sharp eyes get called out, and naturally nobody volunteers. Just like in outlying Districts most people in the Capitol value voluneering as suicide. Next up is a pale guy, maybe about my age, who gets Reaped. They show both of their faces, and flash their names under. The cameras make sure to get some good shots of their family crying in agony in the crowd, screaming for their children. I feel like vomiting. Then, after some dilly-dallying on the President´s balcony, they reveal the Rejuvinated. Nothing too special, a young, frail-looking boy and a pretty girl with shock-pink hair. The Reaping is concluded, and the seal reappears before it is gone again, this time replaced with a new seal, District One´s seal.
The Reaping continue like this at a steady pace, but I quickly grow bored of the procedure. I try to follow suit however, Pandora only watched half the Capitol Reaping and then stopped trying, it seems. She is busy with slicing up her arms with a knife she found. Maiken doesn´t seem to notice, I do, but I don´t really care if that bitch wants to hurt her chances even more by injuring herself. As I watch the reaing in a half-dozy, I have to agree with Maiken, some Tributes stand out to me, and if I should take my Mentors advice, those are the ones I should watch out.
A very pretty girl from District One naturally volunteers, she seems like the stereotypical Career slut to me. But the guy from her District is much more intriguing. He doesn´t engage in a brawl like the other Career teens his age for who is going to volunteer. He just calmly walks up on stage and takes his place. The Escort even accepts that as a volunteer. The guy seems more machiene than man, in his demeanour.
There´s a sibling pair from District Three who both volunteer , even though they´re painfully young. There´s also some kind of air of gloom around them, I can´t really explain it with words. They both look imcredibly weak and sick, I don´t get why they would volunteer.
The infamous serial killer Kronos Blade, who was believed to have tortured over thirty people in his own basement was Rejuvinated for District Three. His gruesome smile makes me shiver. I remember having nightmares of that guy when I was a kid, I would dream that he would track me down in my foster home and kidnap me.
There´s a redhead girl from District Four who acually punches the Escort off the stage and runs the Reaping herself, she proclaims herself as the female Tribute instead of volunteering. I´m impressed by this girls moxy, she is easily the Career who has stood out the most to me.
Just like in District Three, the District Six Reaped Tributes are siblings. But they didn´t volunteer like the ones from Three. If it wasn´t for the fact that they are siblings and that´s kinda tragic, I would never have noticed them in the flow of Reapings.
I watch my own Reaping, or rather, when Mia and Max get Reaped. They both cry and snivel, and they don´t stick out to me at all, so I don´t think any other Tributes will ever notice them. Then I watch as me and Pandora get revealed to the crowd. They show open disgust about me, they know all about my pyromanic tendencies and they think that I should have been hanged years ago. I don´t really care too much about District Seven, I´ve never had too strong of a connection to it or its people. I try to imagine myself as another Tributes watch my Reaping, and try to think how they would value me as. Would they not even notice me or remember me, or would I stick out in their minds as someone to remember? I don´t know.
The rest of the Reaping are nothing but a blur, and the only ones that latch onto my mind are a fierce-looking female from District Eight, a Rejuvinated, and sturdy-looking blonde girl from District Fourteen who volunteers. I recognize her last name, Steeltoe. It was the last name of a Tribute in the Games two years ago, Brock Steeltoe. He died on the fourth day, if I remember correctly. I´m guessing the girl is Brock´s brother.
After the District Fourteen Reaping has concluded, so has our video. The seal of Panem covers the screen as the last fanfare of the anthem rings out, before it goes black. Maiken clicks on the remote control again and the tv screen sinks into the wall, it is impossible to see that it was even there. Then she looks back at me and Pandora. I look back at her, while Pandora has already left the room a long time ago. Maiken sighs and sits down next to me.
"I know of the kind she is, I was very much like her when I was in your places. Hopefully she´ll start accepting my help soon, or I fear she won´t last too long out there. Now, why don´t you tell me about some of the Tributes you made notice of."
I nod and start to tell her about everything I could remember.
"Well, there´s the District Three pair, the young siblings. And the girl from one of the Career Districts, the one with the blonde hair. Kronos the serial killer from Three. The redhead Four girl. Another sibling pair, this time the Six ones. And the girls from Districts Eight and Fourteen."
As I say this, I suddenly remember the boy from District Two as well. He seemed like a classic Career in looks, but he was Reaped, but volunteered, and that´s unusua enough for me to remember him.
"Oh, and the guy from Two who was Reaped."
Maiken looks straight into my eyes, and then nods approvingly. Just then, the door into the lounge opens and Mia, Max and Thistel walks back into our room. Max and Mia both look extremely excited, while Thistel is just like normal, non-smiling, but still an aura of protection around her. I wonder who Mia and Max noticed exspecially in the Reapings, I wonder if they picked me out as a potensial threath? I bet they also noticed Kronos form Three just like me, he is probably the most famous Tribute to ever have been in the Games. I didn´t stop having nightmares about the guy until a few years back now. Mia sits down next to me, while Max sits down at the other side of the table. Pandora has still not returned, I can only assume she is in her room right now. Thistel and Maiken then looks sternly at the three of us, before Maiken surprisingly smiles at us. I really hope that´s a good sign.
"Now you´re free to do anything you´d like on the train. There´s buffés basicly everywhere you turn, there is a balcony on the second floor and the lounge is just up ahead, as Mia and Max already knows. Your rooms are in the hallway at the other end of the entrance to the train. If you want any kind of additional advice from us, just seek us out and ask us anything, we´re here to help you. Now, dismissed!"
District Eight (Ahri Transia´s PoV)
"Welcome to the District Eight train to the Capitol. Tributes, please do enjoy your trip onboard. Estimated travel time will be 20 hours. We will arrive in the Capitol tomorrow at 9 o´clock. Your rooms are down the left hallway, while the lounge and dining room is on your right. Have a good trip with District Six Transportation A/S!"
The announcher cuts off just as the doors leading to the platform slides shut behind us. One of my newly Reaped District Partners, Alissa, flinches and lets outs a small scream. I faceplam, while my other Reaped District Partner, Xavier tries to calm her down. I look around at this disorted gang of Tributes. Alissa isn´t a crybaby, I was surprised even to see that she didn´t cry a single tear at the Reaping. However, she seems to be a bit of a loose cannon, at least in the emotional department. She´s a bit too sentimental for my taste, she even tried to make friends with me after the Reaping. I just slapped her, that shut her up good. Xavier is very caring, and kind. Someone to easily manipulate for my own gain, I think. However, I don´t think he´ll be as easy to trick as he looks. That glint in his eyes... that´s the spark of someone who hasn´t given up to the Games just yet. Finally, there´s Banette. Creepy dude, he doesn´t say much at all. I don´t think he´ll be too dangerous in the Games, he might maybe make it out of the Bloodbath just because he looks like a weak target and most Tributes, including me, will go for the biggest contenders first. But other than that, he doesn´t seem to have much going for him. He´ll die on his own, if I don´t get to him first.
We stand around in the hallway awkwardly for a while, before a soft voice calls out from behind another one of those slide-doors. Judging by the announchement, that door leads to the lounge and dining area.
"Come here, Tributes. I would want to talk to you all."
Xavier is the first one to do as he´s told to. He walks up to the slide-door and starts by trying to find a doorhandle or lock on it, but to no avail. The he starts to try to force it open with his bare hands. grunting as he does so. I can´t help but laugh at this little comedy show. I can hear soft laugther from through the door as well, I guess our Mentor is having a laugh as well. Just as Xavier tries to force the door open one last time, the door slides open with ease and he trips and falls in his confusion. I step over him, careful to hit his face with my heels, and I prance into the room, Alissa and Banette trailing behind me. This room hasn´t changed much since my last visit here, it is still very glamourous, yet still has the futuristic style that is signature to the Capitol. There´s cakes and snacks on every surface except the floor, a large, beautifully carved dining table in the middle of the room and huge windows showing us an excellent view of the wilderness outside. I wonder how many District we have passed since the train left the platform. Just then, I spot something that almost looks like a city passing the train, and a large gate that reads "District 7". There are trees everywhere, and in the distance I see a large tree slowly falling down, and then a large crash. The lumberjack District, huh? I wonder how those guys will do in the Games. I can´t really remember any of the Tributes for Seven though, so I guess they won´t really matter.
I turn around in annoyance and see it´s Banette speaking in a low, monotone voice. This surprises me, I´ve never heard him speak before. I thougth he might be mute or something. Xavier, who had been staring down in his own lap, looks up. His smile looks very strained.
"Yeah Banette? What´s up?"
"Where is the guy who told us to come here? You know, in the hallway?"
An awkward silence follows. I realize there is nobody else in the room with us, yet I can remember for sure a voice calling us to come here. What is going on? Just as I´m about to shout at the mystery person to come forward, he does. The slide door opens and in the doorway there´s a thin, silken-haried man. Alissa, who was closest to the door, screams and jumps back towards me like she has been electrocuted. The man is wearing a patchy tux that had seen better days and a silly tophat. He was leaning against the wall with his eyes closet and a cheshire grin on his face. I swear to God, if this is District Eight´s lame excuse for a Mentor, I´m gonna wring his neck right around his head!
"Who-who are you?"
Alissa asks while shaking. The man doesn´t answer, he just keeps smiling like a mad person. I just stare down him. My guess is that he´s either our Mentor or an uninvited guest on the train. Then the man kicks off against the wall and comes towards us with sharp steps. Alissa and Xavier back off further away from the man. I don´t, I stand and wait for him to come closer, until he is only about a meter away from me. Banette hasn´t backed off either. I decide to confront this oddball.
"You still haven´t answered Alissa´s question, Cheshire Cat. Who the fuck are you?"
The Cheshire Cat smiles even more broadly and then opens his eyes. There are none, only white eyeballs and no pupils. I hear Alissa scream behind me, I barely resist the temptation to turn and punch her in the face. I´m disgusted as well, but I won´t fucking scream. Xavier runs out of the door, into a the hallways. Banette is the only one who doesn´t seem fazed by the man´s bizarre "look", if you could call it that. Before anyone of us can say anthing, he finally answers the fucking question.
"I am Sylvester Velvet, your Mentor for these Games. I am sad to inform that my fellow collegue Hilda passed away a few months ago, so you´ll all have to do with me. I am the Victor of the 463rd Hunger Games. And if I hear one word about my appearance I will personally make sure that person is gutted and fed to the carps of my mansion pond. Got it?"
I snort as a response. No way this freak is gonna boss me around. I think I´ll have to get down and dirty with him to have him on my good side though, if I play this right I´ll get all the sponsor gifts in the Games! Xavier, Alissa and Banette will just have to starve out then, hah! I silkily make my way up to him, and make sure to pout my mouth and bat my eyes. Nobody can resist this one. I pull up my already short skirt a bit, so he can get a small sneak-peek. He looks befuddled at me with his white eyes, I can see sweat starting to build up on his forehead. Perfect. When I´ve come close enough, I lean in towards him and whisper in his ears sensually.
"Why don´t we skip the bullshit? Both of us know that you want to fuck me dry, so why don´t you just come and get it? I think we´ll say my room, don´t you agree, mr. Velvet?"
I then lead him away to the confused and disgusted looks of my District partners, while both me and Sylvester chuckling.
Shit. I look at the clock on the wall of my room. How long did I even sleep? It´s almost nine o´clock, the time when they said we´d be arriving in the Capitol. I look to my left and see Sylvester still sleeping soundly in my bed. I smile to myself, if I won´t be showered in sponsors in the Games then I´m gonna eat my hands. The sex with Sylvester was probably the worst I´ve ever had in my life, and I´ve had plenty of bad times in my days. He screwed me raw three times last night. I lick my lips and taste semen on them, I hastily brush it away with my hand.
I have to get ready, and fast, the train will reach the platform in a matter of minutes. Milking my Mentor is not garenteeing sponsors, this was only to assure I would be the only Tribute from District Eight to get gifts. I have to impress the audience itself with my... talents. If I dress sluttily enough, I bet even the poorest guy in the Big C will at least gift me a fucking tampon in the damned Games. I get up from the bed and open up the clothes cabinet, it´s the size of a door, at least on the outside. On the inside it looks like it´s even bigger than my whole room. I walk inside, and take some time to awe and wonder at all the different clothes and accessories. Hey, a girl´s got to have her girl time sometime, right? I start to pick out the most alluring outfit I can find, and soon I am left with a mini-mini skirt, black stockings with laces, blood-red high heels, a tigth, sexy v-top that shows as much cleavage as possible and some matching black gloves. It´s not perfect, but it´ll do in a pinch. Let´s see those horny Capitol guys resist this!
"Atttetion all passengers, we are now approaching the platform in the Capitol. Please make your way to the entrance hallway. I hope you all have had a pleasant travel with District Six transporation!"
When I get to where we boarded the train a day or so ago, I feel my District Partner´s disapproving looks at me. I just giggle softly and smile at them, but it turns into more of a leer than anything. Oh, let´s see you guys with your morals, they won´t get you far when I´ve stolen every sponsor in the Capitol from you! Sylvester jogs up to us, out of breath. He looks like a complete mess after last night. He notices me and he starts to gasp for air even more, I give him a little knowing giggle and wink at him. I can feel his heat from over here. He approaches me, and just as he´s about to reach out to grab my ass, the doors slide open. I shove him away and jump swiftly out of the train and straight onto the red carpet, literally. There are cameras everywhere, I feel the blitz burn into my eyes. But I keep myself smiling and waving at them, I know this is my moment to shine. In case my Chariot will be udder shit, I have to make a good impression here and now. Alissa, Banette and Xavier are following me hesitantly, I can see they are inexperienced in the spotlight. I laugh, smile and show off my curves to all of the crowd. I make sure to get a good look on the men around me, and I`m pleasant to see they look hungrier than a pack of starved wolves. I know I must be completely stealing the spotlight away from my District partners, but I don´t care, it´s their fucking problem they didn´t think ahead anyways. This is my moment.
After a long and tiresome walk down the carpet for all the cameras and eyes to soak me up, we get escorted into another car, just a lot more luxurious than the one in Eight. It´s completely white, very long so it takes up a whole street at once. I am giddy with excitement as I watch the Training Center building from a distance as we close in on it. This is going to be interesting.
District Nine (Laurel Cinders´ PoV)
I blink as my eyes adjust to the sudden light in my room. It´s painfully bright, all this high-tech lighting from the Capitol, I can´t stand it. Slowly my eyes adjust to my nightlamp and I get up from the very comfortable bed. I know I shouldn´t really do this, I´m gonna need some sleep for tomorrow when we´re gonna arrive in the Capitol. But one of the Mentors told me that there would be some videos of previous Games in the lounge for anyone to watch at their pleasure. I didn´t think of it much back then, but when I woke up just now I realized. All the recordings of the Rejuvinated Tributes, maybe my biggest threaths in the Games, will be in those videos. To know both the strengths and weaknesses for all of the All-Star Tributes is valuable information that could help me a lot when I´m in the Arena. So I´ve decided to sneak into the lounge now, because I don´t think I will have time to do it tomorrow morning, not if I´m gonna look through all of the Rejuvinated Tributes´ Games. But I´m not too sure whether it´s allowed to walk about the train at night, and in case it isn´t, I´m gonna make sure nobody will ever know I was up.
I drag on a basic white nightgown and some fuzzy slippers, then I open the slide-door out of my room and sneak out of it. I look both ways to make sure nobody´s around. I´m the only one in here, and I can hear the soft snores of the others in their rooms. Perfect. I walk on tip-toes to the end of the hallway and through the entrance part of the train. I then mke my way through the dining area and open the door to the lounge. Just like the last time I was here a few hours ago, there is a large red carpet over the floor, a cushion-like couch that´s circeling a table, a brilliant view of the widlerness as we zoom past it, and of course, a large flat-screen television embedded into the front windows. I sit down on the couch and start to flick through all the recording of the Games with my remote controller. These videos are dated all the way back to the first ever Hunger Games, over four hundred years ago. Each of the videos have a tag that shows the estimated run time of each of them. They are all over three hundred hours long, since these are the complete Games after all, and I can´f find a kind of run-down they have at the Victor´s interview every year. I look down on the notebook I brougth, here I have scribbled down all of the Games I want to check out. When me, Brandon, Savannah and Milo were watching the recap of the Reapings, I was careful to jot down all of the Rejuvinated´s original Games, so I know what to look for. I doubth I will have time to watch all of these Games, so I´ll have to choose what Tributes I want to find out more about.
I decide to start with Helena Krisp from District Ten. She was one of the few Tributes that caugth my eye when I watched the Reapings recap. Not only because her flaming red hair and that she seemed to only wear red. No, she seemed to draw a lot of respect from the crowds in Ten. I decided to see why. As the video is loading up, I see that Helena´s original Games were the 726nd Hunger Games, that´s about fifty years ago. When the video is completely loaded and buffered, Panem´s seal appears as well as the title of the video, "The 726th Annual Hunger Games of Panem". The first thing to be shown is the Reapings, but I mainly just skip all of them except Helena´s. The Reaping seemed at first to go normally, until the Escort called out the name "Helena Krisp!". At that, everyone fell silent, even the announchers seem at a loss of words. Then they start to blabber about how Helena died in an explosion just a day ago. The Escort is just about to call a different name when Helena stumbles up on the stage, scratched, bruised and dirty. The rest of the Reaping proceeds in total silence.
Next is the interviews, training scores and chariots. In the chariot department, Helena and her District Partner doesn´t do too hot. They both get put in ridiculous cowboy outfits to symbolize District Ten´s main industry, but it looks hideous. I flip through the rest of the chariots after they start to bore me. Next is the training scores to be displayed, and after skipping to Helena´s score I am surprised to find out she scored a 9. That´s impressive, since she is after all not from a Career District. In her interview she uses this to her advantage. As always she is dressed in full red, a blood-red ball gown and a pretty hairpiece shaped like a teardrop. Throughout the entire interview she boasts about her score and saying it is just the tip of her iceberg, that she could have done better if she had really tried. Finally, the part I´m really curious on, the Games themselves.
As the bloodbath starts, Helena remarks herself out of the ordinary at once. She has joined the Careers´ alliance, and makes no fewer than three kills in the Bloodbath. However, throughout Day Two and Three, all of her allies die off, either by the massive flood summoned by the Gamemakers on Day Two and other Tributes focusing the Careers heavily. Day Four, Five and Six are all very quiet, with only one death throughout all three. Then, everything goes haywire on Day Seven, when there´s a Feast, where special pendants are placed at the Cornucopia. What makes the Feast special is that if Tributes don´t get their pendants and put them on by sundown, they´re instantly electrocuted. Helena is able to steal half of the other Tributes´ pendants, while securing her own. Six out of twelve Tributes die of electrocution, while another two die at the boy from District Nine and Helena´s hands, which means there´s only four Tributes left. They are Helena, the boys from Nine and Seven, and the girl from District Three. At Day Eight, the girl from Three is the first to drop out of the final four, as she gets ambushed and stabbed by Helena while running away from the Nine boy. Next is the Seven male, who dies when another Gamemaker trap, this time acid rain, melts him in a matter of minutes while Helena and Nine had the wits to hide in water. Then there´s the finale, Helena versus the Nine boy. They dual in the treetops of the Arena, jumping back and forth, slashing at eachother. For a while, it seems Helena has the upper hand, she even manages to slice off her opponents left foot in the battle. But then he does a desperate but smart move, he throws his only sword at the branch Helena is standing on. It cuts straight through, and Helena falls to her death. The Nine kid is crowned Victor. I turn off, since I don´t have any interest in watching his Victor´s interview anyways. Then I turn on the 310th Games, Fairy Luck from the Capitol´s Games.
I continue to tick off Rejuvinated Tributes off my list as I finish watching their Games. It is a long and tiresome process, and watching all the kids and teens being murdered over and over again isn´t really pleasant. The death of Zaphire Beux from One even makes me vomit, watching him impale himself with a rusty sword makes me squirm, I´m not sure if I´m even gonna forget it. By the time I notice now late it is, I´ve ticked off Kronos Blade from District Three, Katarina Seacrest from Four, Viggo Flame from Seven and countless others. I see on the clocks on the walls around me it´s already almost morning. Outside I can see the first grey sunlight stratching over the horizon, chasing away the darkness all around.
Just then, I hear the light thud of naked feet walking across the floor and I quickly turn around in surprise. I let out a puff air of relief when I see it´s only Savannah. The little girl at first looks scared of me, but I quickly apologize for scaring her.
"Sorry about that, it just that I wasn´t expecting company at this hour."
"No, it´s ok. I couldn´t pretend to sleep anymore so I thougth I might as well get up."
I smile at her. She is a kind girl, I feel very remorseful for her ever being in the Games before, and now has to go through it once again. I just wonder what made her so special to the Capitol and the Gamemakers, since there has been a plentiful bunch of District Nine Tributes that have done good, some even winning, however that´s long ago. Yet she gets Rejuvinated instead, a weak-looking twelve year old who is as cute as a button, but I can´t imagine her being any impressive. I think Savannah´s Games were pretty ancient, somewhere around the 60th Games ever, about four hundred years ago now. It´s creepy having someone who allegedly died four decades right in front of you, as if nothing ever happened and time was just a myth.
"Can I sit with you? I see you´re watching old Games. I know they´re morbid, but I guess they can help us, so we know something about the other Rejuvinated?"
I´m caugth off by her sharp intuition, but I don´t let it show. Instead I just pat the part of the sofa next to me and gesture her over. She smiles broadly, a heart-melting smile, and sits down next to me. Then we continue to watch Games after Games, and she hides her face in my shoulder when things get scary or gory. Then, in the middle of Shermaine Wilson from District Two´s Games, I notice that Savannah has fallen asleep on the couch. I kiss her on the forehead and pull a very soft blanket over her, so she can rest comfortably. I frown at the screen in frustration, there is something wrong with it, the video has frozen completely at the very end, when she is dying on the ground. Some other Tributes are shown contructing something in the background while she is slowly bleeding out, but the footage has completely frozen, but then the sound is gone too. I feel a bit creeped out now, so I turn off Shermaine´s Games. The sound works for a few more seconds. Just enough for me to hear a whiss, a loud explosions and screams of pain. The clock shows it´s nearly five in the morning. Our Mentors told us that the train would arrive in the Capitol around nine o´clock. I know I should get some rest as well, but there is something else bothering me. Savannah´s Games. The puzzle of how she could ever be chosed by the Gamemakers and Hunger Games- fans intrigues me, and knowing myself, I won´t rest until I have an answer. Savannah´s Games were the 67th Hunger Games. I find it on the screen and then turn it on. I hesitate for a bit, maybe she doesn´t want me to watch her Games, maybe it´s too personal for her. What if I see something I don´t want to see? I brush the thougth away and start the video.
Her Games start just like all the others I´ve watched. First the Reapings, where Savannah obviously gets reaped to be the female representative for District Nine. She is crying, and the announchers go on and on about how this will decrease her odds, and they even make jokes about her being as good as dead already. They make me so angry, I want to throw something at the screen. I control it though, and continue to watch. A lot of the stuff is very uninteresting. I even skip all of the Chariots, since I don´t think they really show too much about the Games anyways. Finally, I skip to the part where the training scores are revealed. Most of the other Tributes, except the Careers, get an average five to six, or maybe even seven, as usual. But when Timothy Beckens, the main announcher and interviewer, reads off Savannah´s score, his eyebrows dissapear up his hat as he udders the simple word. Twelve. Savannah scored a twelve, and the announcher even has to take a break. Me too, I pause the video and look at Savannah in amazement. How the hell did she get a twelve, the highest possible score, a score that´s so rarely seen in Games it´s called nearly impossible? Suspencefully, I continue the video to find out what in the world Savannah did to earn herself a twelve.
However, at the Bloodbath, I instantly understand something is wrong with the video. The footage is distorted and it´s hard to see what´s going on. I can barely see the outline of the twentyfour Tributes, standing in the classic circle around the blurry grey mass that is the Cornucopia. The sound is off too, the announcher´s voice is slower and has a weird buzzing sound in the background. Just as the timer goes down to zero and the gong that signalizes the Games to start rings, the screen flickers off and goes black. Muffled screams and explosions can be heard in the background, then the seal of Panem appears. What the hell was that!? Did the Games just end, or is it the footage that has been destroyed somehow? I try multible times to restart the video, but with the same results. I scream as a hand shakes at my left arm, and I get relieved to see it´s only Savannah who has woken up. Then she looks me dead in the eye, with a scary look in her eyes, and a knowing smile on her lips.
"We don´t talk about the 67th Hunger Games."
District Ten (Kwartz Diodin´s PoV)
The train doors open, and a fresh breeze flows past my face. I smile, the air inside the train is so compressed and forced- at least, that´s how I feel it. It´s good to finally fill your lungs with proper, natural air. The train´s at a halt right now, since we need to refuel, so I´ve decided to take a small break from everything. I jump off the entrance and land on the soft, dirty ground. We´re right outside of some fields it seems, I think it´s a District even, but I don´t know which. My bet is either District Nine or Eleven, since we haven´t been traveling for too long yet and they have large fields of nothing there I´ve heard. I draw my hand through my hair and take another blessed gulp of fresh country air, just like what it´s like back in District Ten. It´s odd, even though it´s been so long since I ever lived a normal life, I can still remember everything vividly. The rolling plains of grass, the cattle´s noises throughout the day, long days of work in the mill and the barn. Laughing with my friends, playing soccer on hot summer days, and the warm bed that awaited me when I came home to mother and father. They are dead now, and so are my friends, everyone that was ever part of my life. Time has taken them, but spared me for one reason or another. Maybe it´s God´s will, or maybe some other higher power in life that made me a favorite in the Capitol´s eyes, so I was Rejuvinated and given a second chance at life. But it´ll be a hollow replacement, since everyone I knew will be buried deep under the ground already, and I can´t get them back.
I feel tears pressing on, and I let them flow for the first time since I woke up in the Capitol´s labratory. I´m finally alone for myself out here, where nobody can see my tears. Luckily there isn´t a single camera on board the train, and it´s long until we arrive in the Capitol´s train station. But I´m even more worried about my fellow District Ten Tributes´ seeing my tears. They are my competition already, and I don´t have plans to ally with any of them. The faster I face that we are rivals in the Games, the better it´ll be for everyone. Nobody will have to be backstabbed, nobody will be betrayed...
Even though I won´t ally with my District Partners, they are nice people I think. Henry can sometimes be a bit of a hardass, and he takes most things in life very seriously. He´s a boxer, and kinda violent for the most part. But I know he´s kind, deep down, but he has a lot of issues. Lexi is such a warm and nice person, to everyone, even Henry when he´s angry and sullen. She has a very special power with her, that she can make anyone feel better about themselves, she can make me even realize that all hope isn´t lost. When we boarded the train, I think she could see that I was holding back tears, so she hugged me, completely out of the blue. I never thougth too much about it, but I think that she really does care for me, even though she had never met me before today. And then there is Helena, my fellow Rejuvinated. From the moment I met her, I´ve made the decition to avoid her at all cost. When we were waiting to say goodbye to our family in the Justice Building, she pulled out a syringe while Lexi was out. Then she stuck it into her arm and started to leech blood. Then she started dripping the blood directly out of the syringe, into her mouth. I felt like throwing up my kidneys at that point. I also know for a fact that she was with the Careers in her original Games, so I wouldn´t dare myself to trust her farther than I can throw her. She´s just another psycho Career-wannabee, and I don´t want anything to do with her.
"Hello, Kwartz! What are you doin´ out here?"
I freeze. Just my luck. I turn around slowly, horrified, and Helena stands there, a big goofy grin on her face. My legs are shaking as I watch her walk closer to me, she has to be at least five inches taller than me. I remember, in my Games, there was one Tribute who died before the Games even started. She died on the train from her District to the Capitol, the Peacekeepers suspected her District partner, but it was never solved since the training started just afterwards, but everyone knew that he did it. He killed his District partner, even before the Games, to have a head start. As Helena comes closer to me, I scream and run away from her, away from the train as well. I turn around and see her chasing after me, she is a lot faster than me. Just then, I slips and my left foot gives away, and I crash into the hard ground. I yelp in pain when a sharp rock scratches up my side and left arm. I look up, and see Helena over me. This is it, this is the end. It´s gonna end even before I´m in the Arena. At least there is nobody I love who are alive, who´ll be saddened and grieve for me.
"Don´t worry pal, I´m not gonna hurt you."
I look in shock at Helena, she is smiling at me. And not like some psycho wondering how good their knife would look in their next victims throath, no, it´s a genuinely caring smile. She lends me my hand, but I hesitate. I still don´t trust her one bit, this could be a trick to make me trust her before she kills me.
"C´mon, the train is gonna leave without us if you don´t hurry."
I take her hand, and she lifts me up with surprising strength for a girl. Then she points at the train, it´s about to take off again. We run as fast as we can to it and barely manage to tumble into the entrance before it starts moving at it´s usual breakneck speed. We both lie on the floor for a while, trying to catch our breaths. There´s hair in my face, but I don´t know if it´s Helena´s or mine. Helena finally speaks after at least two minutes of heaving on the ground.
"Well, I guess you can say that was pretty derailing!"
She starts to laugh heartily of her own joke, which is probably the worst joke I´ve ever heard. Then I start laughing, too! We both laugh like madmen on the floor, and I have to hold my stomach because it hurts so much from laughing so hard. Then the slide door opens and Lexi stands there, half a smile on her face, looking puzzled. She pulls me and Helena up, one at a time.
"What were you two up to out there? You almost missed the train!"
She tries to sound serious and worried, but I can see her smiling. I wave my hand at her like it´s nothing.
"We were just getting some fresh air. Wasn´t we supposed to meet our Mentors for dinner about this time though?"
Helena and Lexi´s eyes widen in horror, and both of them drag me and hurry for the door into the dining room. There´s three people already sitting at the table, a man and a woman I don´t know, and the last is Henry. I wake at him, and he nods at me in return. The table is decked extravagant fashion, with food I´ve only seen in my wildest fantasies and memories. Rich, creamy soups. Colourful desserts that look like they´ve teleported here from some distant fairytale land. And meat in thin slices swimming in a sea of heavenly sauce. In my last games, I felt really sick at the train, so I didn´t eat anything. But now I can finally let go to my stomach´s desires. I half walk, half jog to the table, with Helena and Lexi behind me, and sit down next to Henry, oposite to the man and woman that I assume are our Mentors. The man is a middle-aged chubby man with a bald patch on his head and a kind look on his face. The woman couldn´t be anything but his polar opposite. She has short white hair, can´t be older than twenty years old, and looks more like a military officer than a Mentor. She stares all of us down with her sharp eyes. I avoid her gaze and concentrate on my food instead. It´s the starters, a burning red soup with delicate vegetables and soft bits of salmon. There´s also something that looks like seafood, but I can´t place the taste, I don´t think I´ve ever had it before. I look at my District Partners. Lexi is politely eating her soup, while Helena seems to be drinking it straight out of the bowl rather than eating it. Henry hasn´t touched his soup yet. A few moments of awkwardness, and then the stern-looking female Mentor takes the word.
"Alright, you four. My name is Ysolda, I am one of your two mentors. My collegue is Toer."
She gestures to the middle-aged man next to her.
"Kwarts, Helena, you know the drill. It is time to discuss strategies for the Games. First of all, I want to ask everyone if you have a wish to get coached seperate from the others?"
Her tone tells me she is not someone to mess with, ever, if you don´t want her to brutally stab you while you sleep. I am the first to speak and answer her question.
"No, Ysolda. I don´t have anything to hide."
"Neither have I."
I´m halfway surprised that none of us want to hide something from the others, now my trust for them deepens even more. They really aren´t out to kill me, at least not right now. Ysolda doesn´t look too pleased by our answer, while Toer looks indifferent. He takes a huge gulp off his glass of red wine. Great, now we´ll have mrs. Military Govenor and a drunk. Ysolda then starts to laugh, surprisingly. I´m confused at first, but then her laughter ceases and she turns back to her bossy self.
"Oh well isn´t that all sweet and dandy? That you all want to be together in this, that you want to be friends in the Games, that you don´t wish for eachothers downfall? Well listen up little assholes, but that ain´t gonna last very long once you´re in there. The best we can hope for, is that two of you will make it and win the Games, and those odds are smaller than your brains. Even if one of you survive, which I highly doubt, the other three will die. I´ll be surprised to see even one of you little shits making it out of the Bloodbath, if that´s gonna be your attitude. You don´t win the Games by making friends and sticking together. No, you win by being the most skilled, the most ruthless, and the most cunning. Judging by that, I wouldn´t put my money on any of you, even if my life depended on it."
After her speech, I sit in silence with my District Partners around the table. Toer has emptied his bottle and has gone off to find stronger stuff. I can see tears in Lexi´s eyes, even from here, I´m sure Ysolda can see them as well. Helena looks taken aback, but she´s not crying. Both her and I already knew this, we were just too scared to face the facts. Henry has raised from the table and is walking out in the hallway, probably on his way to his room. I wonder if even he, the tough boxer guy, is going to cry after that. Ysolda looks pleasant with the impact she made, she lights herself a cigarette and leaves the table as well. When she´s at the door to the lounge, she turns around and looks me right in the eyes.
"Keep your eye on the prize, Kwarts. The most important thing isn´t to participate, it´s to survive."
Then she slams the slide door behind her, and me, Helena and Lexi are left in the silent room all by ourselves.
District Eleven (Nikhita Akshaya´s PoV)
The shower´s rain pours over my body, enveloping me in it´s currents. I can´t remember how long I´ve been in here, but all I know is that I don´t want to go back out there again to the others. I need time to think, away from all of them. My plan has gotten slightly flawed yeah, but my original goal still stands. To put an arrow into the dark, corrupted heart of Ariadna Blackwater. I think of all the lost souls of my people, all the men, woman and children slaugthered, I should have died with them. I was spared for my beauty alone, while they were all murdered. Even my foster parents weren´t able to see me as a real daugther, they lied to me, I don´t think parents should lie to their kids, no matter what the cost. Even though getting Reaped wasn´t something I saw coming, at least now I have an exclusive ticket straight into the heart of the enemy, the Capitol. My only fear is if the President knows what I´m planning. Her spies could have been anywhere in District 11, maybe she is plotting to get the Gamemakers to destroy me the second I´m in the Games at this very moment. While I´m lost, deep in my thougth and plans, I suddenly hear a few sharp knocks on the bathroom door. I sigh, before I get up form the floor and wrap a soft towel around my body and answer the door. When it slides open, I see it´s Crimson. He looks surprised and embarasseed at me, my guess he didn´t expect me to be naked.
"Uh, I just wanted to ask you if you could meet me at the lounge later tonight? There´s something I really have to talk to you about."
I try to pry under his skin, to see what his motives are. But I can´t get a good look in his eyes because he´s comstantly staring down at the floor.
"Are you hitting on me or something? Because if that´s so, then you should know I´m not a girly-girl like that, and I don´t have plans for romance or any of the sort."
He looks even more embarassed now, and quickly waves his hands at me while blushing like mad.
"No no no! Nothing like that! I just need to talk to you about something. About the President."
Then he bolts down the hallway and leaves me standing in the doorway puzzled. What did he mean? What does he know about the President or anything at all? A few seconds ago, I would never have turned up in the lounge to meet him, but now I have a strange feeling it might be worth something for me to go. I sigh, and turn heel the other way and slide the door shut again.
I quickly shift my eyes at the clock on the wall. It´s now eleven. Crimson didn´t say when he wanted to meet me, but I´ll have to go soon or I might miss him. Right now however, all I want to do is lie here in this bed, with nothing on my mind and no need to do anything. I could use some time to think about everything right now, because no matter how hard I prepared to do this, I´m extremely nervous. I´m nervous that something will go wrong, that some new element of the plan will catch me by surprise and ruin everything. I´m nervous for what Crimson knows, that it might put a stopped to my plan. Maybe this is a trap, that he´s a spy for the Capitol? He could lure me into the lounge and get me to tell him everything, and then a squad of Peacekeepers will run down the door and execute me on the spot. However, there was something about Crimson that seemed like he was genuinely scared about something, he seemed honest with me. And I always know when someone is lying, and unless he is some sort of snake-tongue God of lying, I don´t think he could even think about lying without me knowing. This makes me feel more confident with my meeting with him. If things go sour, I´ll have to make a run for it. But on this train there´s little room for escape.
I put on my normal-looking, wide grey dress and wash my face. I don´t bother on putting shoes on, the train´s floor adepts to our body temperature so it´s never cold anyways. Then I slide open the door to my bedroom and journey out in the hallway. I see that Crimson´s door is open, I peek inside and find it empty. He must already be in the lounge, waiting for me. I listen at the doors of the others, I don´t hear anything. That doesn´t surprise me, these doors are soundproof. I take small steps, careful to not land with my heel too hard on the floor, and go into the dining room. It´s strangely eerie at night. The buffet table is decked with fantastic food, dessert, dinner, snacks and lunch. The windows show a beautiful starry black night in the wilderness. I can see the borders of a closed-off District in the distance. I´m about to sneak further through the train to the lounge, when I hear a sound behind me and turn around. A shadowy figure is standing with it´s back against the door, a cigarette in mouth. When a beam of moonlight comes through one of the windows, I see it´s Shylock. He steps forward and looks sternly at me.
"What are you doing out here this late at night?"
I gulp my breath down, but I hold my breath. There has always been something scary about Shylock to me, but at the same time, something oddly charming. He´s got style, I can give him that.
"Just business. Why are you up so late though?"
He smiles at nobody in paticular, like I told him a joke or something. I regain some of my courage.
"What´s so funny?"
He turns and looks me right in the eyes again, a strange glint in his eyes. I back off slightly, but then I see I´ve backed straight into a low table and I tumble over it and collide with the floor. I yowl with pain and start to get up, but Shylock carefully picks me up and helps me regain my footing. I blush even though I don´t want to, and even though I don´t like him. But there is something about him that makes me nervous. Then he walks out of the room and into the hallways again, snickering to himself. I wonder what he really was doing this late at night.
When I sneak into the lounge, I see Crimson on the couch in front of the huge television. Only he´s asleep, so I quickly shake him awake. He certainly looks like he could need some sleep. I, however, am used to being up late at night, training for the day when my plan would come into motion.
"Wh-what is it? Who´s there!?"
"It´s Nikhita. You asked to talk to me at about this time earlier?"
He seems to recognize me, and he gulps and starts to blush once again. I wonder how much blood would come out if I cut up his cheeks.
"Oh yeah of course. By the way, I hope you don´t mind me taking Melly with me, right?"
I then notice another person, who was hiding behind Crimson on the couch. It is indeed little Melly, who was for some reason Rejuvinated for the Games. I´m not too sure that I trust her, since everyone knows that the Tributes who were Rejuvinated were the most famous, the best of the best. If a twelve year old would be that impressive, she either have to be a complete psycho or have some sort of hidden talent or secret. Maybe it was just her charm that made her so well liked, because she is a very likeable kid. But I have made a pact with myself to never trust anyone in the Games. My mission is more important than any of the other´s poor fates.
"I guess not. So, what was it you wanted to talk to me about?"
"Um, it´s about the President. I know what you´re planning on. You´re planning to murder her, for whatever reason."
Quickly, I rise up from my seat and press my hands against his windpipe and force him to the floor. He looks shocked at me and starts flailing to get free. Melly starts screaming and tries to force me off Crimson. How did me know? Is he really a spy, like I thougth? My plan can´t fail now, I´ve dedicaded by whole life to it. There´s no way I´ll let puny little Crimson destroy everything.
"What do you know!? Tell me, or I´ll rip out your throath and Melly´s as well!"
"I-I don´t know anything! Please! I just overheard you talking in your sleep! Please, don´t hurt me or Melly!"
Crimson has started crying, and so has Melly. She is begging me to let him go, and after a while of thinking I do. He harks and slumps onto the couch, massaging his throath. I suddenly feel bad for threathening them and hurting Crimson, but I still don´t trust his explaination. I was never the forgiving type anyways.
"You´ve been eavesdropping on me? Both of you?"
"Well, I didn´t want to hear, I just did when you took a nap when we first got on this train. I told Melly because she was curious about it."
That is true, I did take a quick nap when the train started it´s journey. That still doesn´t justify him scaring the shit out of me just for this. Melly still seems terrified of me, and keeps herself far away from me. I feel bad for scaring her now, she´s not the one sneaking around, listening onto other´s business. I turn my attention back again to Crimson. He´s still rubbing his throath, maybe glad to still have it intact.
"But what did you want to talk to me about my mission? Are you gonna tell on me or something?"
He looks scared at me with a desperate chime in his voice when he answers.
"No no! It was just... I think I agree on most of what you say and think. I, no, we want to help you with your plans. To k-kill the President."
I let myself glide into my own mind for a second at his words. This is something I´d never anticipated. Someone acually believe in me, someone acually have the same believes like me and want to be a part of the Revolution against the President. My words, althougth spoken while asleep, have inspired both Crimson and Melly here to want to rebel against the Capitol. I never thougth I could do something like that. Still, I´m not too sure if I want to accept their help just yet. To set two more people into the plan could set it all up in flames, more ways for the Capitol to destroy it, more ways for the President to set out spies. How can I know if these two kids acually already are spies? That they are wanting to get into the mission only to exploit it to the President and her men?
"Sorry, I don´t take requests. This is more important than any of our lives, this is for the freedom of the whole of Panem. I can´t put that in jeopardy."
"But we want to help miss!"
I´m surprised to see it´s Melly who is speaking. I don´t think I´ve heard a word from her, ever. She looks at me with a determined look, like her eyes are on fire. This girl really does care for my cause, and I know a spy´s eyes and motivation when I see it. This isn´t it. Melly is to be trusted. I smile at her for the first time, a genuine smile.
"Alright then. But you, and Crimson as well, have to promise me that this will be more important to you than anything else in the Games, ok? My motivation is sound, but I´ll be always doubting yours unless you dedicate everything to this cause!"
They both answer at the same time, which lures out another smile on my lips.
They both direct their hands at me, and I shake them. It´s officially a deal. They´re part of a rebellion now, there´s no taking that back anymore. They´ve commited to this now, I just hope they´re up for the task. But if it really must come to it, if they´re not completely in for the kill on the President, I won´t show them any mercy. Not even Melly.
District Twelve (Drago Fire´s PoV)
The flames are growing in size with every second as I stand in awe and horror and watch from the steets. I never intended for this to happen. I don´t remember anything of my thougth process, or how I even got here. What is happening to me? I´m a monster, a fucking monster, this isn´t right! I turn and run away from the searing flames burning the building down, and every memory that was ever there. I can hear screams from inside the inferno as I run. Who have I killed? Tirana, the little neighbour girl who is always so nice to me? Her parents maybe, Cloud and Ica? Or anyone else, because I can´t identify anything familar around me. Every house is identical, but only one is seared up in flames. Oh god, what have I done!? Why does this keep happening? Why do I have to bear this curse? It´s not fair. As I run through the streets wildly in the night, I feel a sudden, gruesome pain in my leg. Flames, just like the ones I was responsible for, run through my legs and up my body. I scream, but nobody is around to hear me. The flames dissolve me in a horrible pain. Just then, I fall and my eyes open.
I sigh out in relief when I realize I´ve woken up in my bedroom. There is a small window of calm with me, until I realize that this is a bedroom in one of the Capitol´s trains, and I realize where I am going. I start to feel anoxious again, like I´m trapped. Now I don´t even remember where my dream took place. But I remember the terror, and all the flames all around me. These dreams have been following me at night for as long as I can remember, ever since the first time this happened. I have tried to control it, tried to not let it control me, but my vision and judgement gets whiskered away every time it happens. I wonder sometimes if I´m sane, if I´m even human. The sunlight is bright and beautiful as it falls through the heavy curtains and into the room. Today is the day when we´ll be arriving in the Capitol, to get ready for slaugther. But for now, all I want to do is lie here and forget every single one of my problems, just for a little bit. I don´t even realize I´ve dozed off again until I feel someone shaking me awake.
"Dude, wake up! We´re about to arrive at the station, you´ve got to get up now!"
It´s Falk. He looks worried down at me as he tries his hardest to get me up. I push him away and smile at him, he´s a good kid. At first he looks serious, but then he smiles back at me and his playful nature comes back again. I prop myself up and sit on the side of the bed.
"Don´t worry mom, I´m up, geez..."
I toss away the bed sheets and stand up. Falk collapses laughing against the wall as I do. At first I don´t get why he´s so amused, until I realize I´m completely stark naked. I blush and cover myself up with the bed sheets again.
"Jesus, Drago, there are some things I don´t want to know about you! Get some clothes on, for fucks sake!"
He points me at the closet in my room, still trying hard not to fall over from laughing so hard. I grunt and push him aside, before I open the closet. I wrinkle my nose at all the weird clothes inside, it wouldn´t kill them to just have a normal white shirt and some jeans in here. The clothes look more like costumes than attire, but in the end I manage to dig up a somewhat normal azure-blue shirt and something that look like pants, but feel very weird. I´m relieved to see that they´re not transparent at the very least. Then I take a shower for a good four mintes. When I´m all dressed and cleaned up, Falk waves me out in the hallway and I follow him. We meet up with Burma in the hall, while Cleo is nowhere to be found. Burma is dressed in a light, pretty summer dress. She looks embarrassed and awkward at us, even when Falk tries to spark a conversation with her.
"So, you´re ready for the Capitol?"
She swallows hard and looks a bit green.
"I´m ok, I guess.."
After that we all just kinda stand around, waiting for our Mentor to come, she was supposed to accompany us, but we wait and wait for her. Finally, after the train has stopped completely, and we´re probably at the station, she stumbles into the room. She´s a total mess, there´s nothing else to it. Her hair is frizzy and stands up like a porcupine. I don´t think she has showered for at least a week, she stinks out the entire train. She also hasn´t changed clothes, she is still wearing the rags from yesterday. You would think she could at least have made an effort in looking decent for today, but I guess that´s not the case. Out of all the Victor´s in the recent Games´ history, I´m of course stuck with her. Joy Easterbrooks, Victor of the 454th Hunger Games, thirtyfive years old, notorious drunk and drug addict. She won her Games on mere luck I´ve heard, and she has never been quite right after her victory. Apparently she suffered heavy phycological trauma in her Games, which has caused her to try to drown it away with morphling and alcohol. I feel sympathy for her, but that still doesn´t excuse her ruining District Twelve´s Tributes´ chances every year, because of her own damn problems. Joy is drunk again, I can smell it, and she is rambling on like a lunatic.
"Alrighty children, it´s.. it´s time f-for the...uh, wait what is going on?"
Burma turns away from her, trying to ignore her it seems. I´m tempted to do the same, she is abandoning us already, so I don´t see any reason to try to get her on our good side. Falk however, pats her on her shoulder and speaks to her in a calm demeanour.
"It´s time for us to show ourself to the Capitol for the first time, Joy. Come on, let´s go outside and meet the crowd, alright?"
I nod in agreement, and grab Joy by her left arm, while Falk takes her left. We then escort her to the train door, with Burma behind us. I can already hear the roar of the crowd outside, nothing I´ve trained with in prison could prepare me for this. This is the Games´ first hurdle. Just as the doors start to open, Cleo appears next to us. She is wearing a wide, gothic black dress with her hair put up in a high bun. She looks elegant, yet fierce. The Capitol is gonna love her. She looks irritated over something, and pushed Burma out of her way and slowly acends the stairs and walks out to the platform. I carefully help Joy down the stairs with Falk helping me, Burma following us close behind. The intense flashes of the cameras all around me cause me to let go of Joy´s arm. My first reaction is to try to shield my eyes for the lights, but I know better than that. Instead I try to adopt a winning smile and wave at the crowd, they are cheering and chanting. It disgusts me, that these are the people who enjoy this gruesome competition, that they are part of the reason I´m here in the first place. But I have to get them on my side, or else I won´t last long. I look to my left and see Falk doing the same as I do, smiling and using all his charm and spunk to win them over. He´s doing a good job too. Burma is quiet and seems to pretend like the crowd even excists. Hopefully they´ll think it´s confidence and that means she´ll be a real contender. But I see terror, not moxy, in her eyes. Cleo is a whole different story. Her dark, sophisticated beauty is dragging all the attention off of the rest of us, we´re no match for her. The crowd loves her. I can´t see Joy anywhere, I wonder where she went off to. However, it´s better for me that she´s not in the spotlight with us anymore, so people´ll take District Twelve seriously.
In what seems like no time at all, we´ve completed our spotlight show in the train station and our ride to the Training Centre is waiting for us. It´s a slick, snow-white car that´s twice as long as any car I´ve ever seen. It oozes with luxury and elegance, and somewhat lacks the bizarre elements that the Capitol loves so much. The cameras are still following us, but when I climb into the car´s backseat, I´m finally relieved off their and the crowd´s pressing eyes. Cleo jumps in and sits next to me. She raises her eyebrows at me and snorts.
"How´s that for a first impression? Good luck getting anything in the Games with your weak-ass performance, some of the pebbles on the ground were more enticing than you!"
I blush and try to ignore her, and she laughs haughtily. Then Falk and Burma climbs into the car as well, and we´re off. It feels like the car is moving with the speed of light, it´s so fast that the city passing us outside of the window is just a blur of colors and people. It feels like I´m flying. Cleo isn´t saying anything, and neither is Burma, but Falk is hooting and laughing. I look a bit questioning at him, but he just throws his arms up and shouts out of the window.
"Woo! District Twelve coming through!"
I think some people on the streets shouted back or waved, but the car is moving so fast I have no idea. Cleo looks disgrunted at Falk.
"Please, we all know you´re a complete moron, no need to testify."
Falk doesn´t even seem fazed, he doesn´t hesitate to retrot at her.
"Shut up, goth girl. I guess you haven´t looked in a mirror this morning, but you look like something that got dragged out of the sewers!"
Surprisingly, that shuts her up. For the rest of the ride, she sits quietly with her eyes closed. Falk got her good this time, but I´m not too sure she is the person to mess with. I wouldn´t be surprised she´ll go for him first in the Games, just because of what he said. She doesn´t seem like the most stable person. I open the window to get some fresh air and a break of my District Partners for a bit. The air smells weird, it´s like it´s stained by something. It´s like I´m down in the coal mines back in Twelve. I really miss the fresh air in the woods outside my District, but I haven´t been there since before they locked me up. That´s one good thing with the Games at least, plenty of fresh air. Then I see a massive black building towering far over the rest of the city. It´s shaped like a giant T. I see lots of cars identical to ours outside of the building. I guess this must be the Training Centre, our stop. Sure enough, the driver parks our car besides another car, and we are ushered outside. There waits at least five Peacekeepers, who follow us in guard through the doors of the Training Centre. Everywhere, people are gathering. It takes a few seconds for me to realize that all of these people are my competition, the rest of the Tributes from all over Panem. I see everything from little twelve year old girls to buff, eighteen year old guys who look like they could rip off my whle arm with their left hand. Everyone are wearing identical black jumpsuits, with their District number on their chest. We are given the same jumpsuits and taken to a dressing room by the Peacekeepers. Burma and Cleo in one, me and Falk in another. The suits looks very uncomfortable, but in reality it´s very flexible and feels good on your body. Before me and Falk are allowed to leave, they attach on a metal board on our backs. Something in the suits have to be magnetic, since they stick to us no problem and they don´t fall off. When I turn in the mirror, I see the plate is a screen which showcases the letters "Reaped". Falk has the letters "Rejuvinated" on his back.
When we get back to the lobby, all the Tributes, including Burma and Cleo, have formed a circle around something or someone. Falk looks like he recognizes the strange ritual.
"Oh shit, the welcoming speech is about to start! Come on, Drago!"
He drags me by the hand up to the others, and we find a spot in the circle. I´m standing right next to a girl with freaky rainbow hair. Guess she´s from around here, a Capitol Tribute. Now I see what is calling everyone´s attention. It´s a woman in a red jumpsuit, tall and fierce, she reminds me of an amazon. She clears her throath to call everyone´s attention.
"Alright, Tributes. Welcome to what will be your home away from home while you´re in the Capitol, the Training Centre. You´ll be staying here for a week until the Games start, and this week will be very important. First, there will be three days where you will be training in the Gym in the basement. Down there you can find a training station for any kind of survival skill or weapon you could think of. On the third day of training, you will each be called in to a private session by the Gamemakers. They will evaluate your potensial and give you all a score depending on that from one to twelve. A high score is not a garantee for success, and a low one of not a garantee for failure. But it is a nice pointer for sponsors to find out who they want to put their faith in. The following evening, the scores will be published live on television in all of Panem. The day after that, you will have some time to practive for your interview. On your final night here, the interviews will be held. They are a seremony broadcasted live from the City Circle. They are important because they can help you show off your angle in the Games, let the audience know a bit more about you. A good interview can earn you just as much as a high score. Now, it´s time for you all to get to your apartments. There are fifteen floors in this Centre, excluding the Gym, each representing a District. It´s easy to get around, just click the button marked with your District in the elevator and it´ll take you straight there. Alright everyone, I´ll see you in training! Dismissed!"
District Thirteen (Radiant Tayz´ Pov)
The cameras are finally finished eating us all up, and I quickly step into the train doors. I am relieved to finally have all the cameras off my ass, they started when we drove up to the station and didn´t stop for one second until now. My District Partners quickly ascend the stairs as well, and then the sliding doors start to shut. The cameramen and reporters take as many blitzing pictures of us before the doors are completely closed. After that, things quickly get awkward. We stand in the slightly tight entrance hall of the train, waiting for something to happen. My fellow Rejuvinated Tribute, Tyra and I, have already started to formulate some sort of plan against the others. We both have agreed that the best thing to do is weed out the Reaped at first, as they are the weaker in compartison to the Rejuvinated. It´s nothing against Duanex and Allanah, but I think a Rejuvinated ally will be far more valuabe in the Games than them. Besides, Tyra is pretty similar to me. We were both so very close to our victories, and our Games were only a year apart. She was a Tribute in the 149th Hunger Games, while I am from the 150th. Or, if you would call it by it´s proper name, The Abyss of Insanity. The Games that changed the country of Panem as everyone knew it as.
The Games themselves were gruesome, each Tribute were given a special pendant that ticked down how much time they had left before deadly poison from their collar would suffocate them. The only way to extend the time was to collect special vials of liquid that was a temporary antidote to the poison. So many Tributes died in the first three days, it almost seemed like the Bloodbath hadn´t ended. I still remember the death of my long-lost brother Wire, at the Bloodbath. That´s something that still haunts me, even when it´s been so long since then. Anyways, by the time for the fifth day, there were only ten Tributes left out of the thirty-two originally in the Games. I had was allied with Kwarts from District Ten, and we had to deal with the damned Careers left, Shermaine and Vanity, as well as the Rebels, Day from District Five, Claire from Six and Piper from Fourteen. In addition, Alexander, the boy from Four, and Sash, the guy from Eleven, were also alive. It was the bloodiest finale in those times´ modern Games history. I barely managed to save Kwarts from Alexander before killing him, but I couldn´t save him from the Career girls. They took him away and made me watch as they drowned him. However, at that time the Rebels came to my rescue. Together we got both Shermaine and Vanity. I teamed up with them to hunt down Sash, but he was already attacking us. He tried to sneak up on us, but Claire punched him in the jaw, knocking him down a hill and into an acid lake. By that time, I wouldn´t be able to kill any of my new allies, even if I wanted to. We cooked up a plan together instead, to escape the Arena. But then, all I remember is a sudden and brutal attack, and that I died...
But the memory feels odd to me. It feels more like it was something that happened in a dream than an acual memory. And I think it´s weird how I can´t remember anything about our plan either. Fishy even. I´ve decided to try to get an alliance with my old allies, Day and Kwartz when I get to the Capitol. Maybe they can help me remember something, so we can restart our plan. I recall with sadness when I saw that Claire had not been Rejuvinated with me. When the scientists in the Capitol woke us up, I saw Day and Kwartz in the two wards next to me. Then I saw someone who looked a lot like Claire, but it was a different girl. I don´t know whether or not Piper was Rejuvinated. I think Tyra will be a great addition to the Rebels. I don´t know much about her though, so I will have to be careful around her in case her motives with allying with me is not completely honest. She is standing right next to me now, away from Duanex and Allanah. Her attitude and look is strong. I don´t know much about my other District Partners, the Reaped ones. Duanex is a real loner, the classic buff, silent Career boy. He looks very strong, and will be a great threath when the Games comes. Allanah doesn´t seem like she could ever hurt a fly. She is shy, an introvert. She has sort of a melancholic air about her. I don´t what her past looks like, but I´m betting that it can´t have been pleasant.
"Hey Radiant. Wanna come with me later to the lounge? I think we should try to get some free time to talk in privacy."
Tyra whipsers to me, while looking barefully behind her back to make sure nobody is listening in. Allanah is playing with her hair, but Duanex is looking at us from across the room. But I don´t know if he heard anything.
"Yeah, alright. After we´ve been introduced to the Mentors. I wonder who they are."
"I hope they´re better than the Mentors we had at least, we could have gotten more help out of a limbless fly than those thugs..."
I laugh, while Tyra gives a small humorous chuckle. I do remember the Mentors I had in my original Games, which were the same as Tyra, since her Games were only a year apart from mine. It was a frail, elderly woman well up in her eighties, with limited hearing and sight called Ava. She was little to no help, and she was mostly asleep both on the train and in the Capitol. The other was a fifteen year old boy who had just won the Games before Tyra. He had won his Games solely because all the other Tributes were wiped out by a easily transmittable disease, while he stayed alive by eating nutrient-rich mold and staying away from everyone else. I think I had more of a ring on what to do than he did, and he mostly stayed in his room and cried.
"Tributes, please assemple in the dining hall."
A cool woman´s voice speaks to us from the speaker system, I look at Tyra and nod. She nods back at me in silence. We´re a team now. I slide open the door I know leads to the dining hall. It looks somewhat the same as all those years ago, but different as well. Times really have changed. The look and feel of everything is somewhat... alien. I can´t really explain it, but it´s not hard to see that a lot of time has passed. The dining table is decked for dinner, even though it´s only three o´clock. Our Mentors are already seated by the table. I walk up to them and sit down next to a man who looks to be in his fourties or fifties. He has a certain twinkle in his eyes, and a playful smile, he looks warmly at me like he has known me all his life. Our other Mentor, a very young woman, probably not a day older than twenty, smiles weakly at me from across the table. Tyra sits next to me, while Duanex and Allanah sits down at the other end. The kind-looking man leans backwards on his chair and takes the word.
"Alright, everyone. My name is Gareth, and this lovely woman is Miane."
He points at his collegue, before continuing.
"You all know why you´re here, even though Duanex and Allanah are new to the business. You´re here for entertainment, and entertainment only. This isn´t some weird dream, this is a game of life and death. So if you don´t wish to die, I suggest you play by the rules. So, I ask you all, do you have any skills I should be noting for myself?"
He takes a drag off his cigar and looks at us with half-closed eyes. Miane seems to be scared to make eyecontact with any of us, I can tell she feels bad for us though. I raise my hand, and Gareth smiles at me.
"Ah, perfect! Radiant, what are your strong points?"
"I have a good throwing arm, with knives. And I´m pretty clever."
I make sure to stay confident, so he won´t think me as weak. I´m not too confident, so it´s hard for me to boast about myself like this. He nods approvingly at my direction, before turning to Tyra.
"And you, Tyra?"
"I´m fast, very fast. And I´m adept in both climbing and swimming, so I won´t have trouble getting used to the Arena´s envirement and hurdles."
She talks fast and with force, Gareth grins at her and gives her a thumbs up. Even Miane gives her a compelled look. It´s amazing how she can impress someone with only words. Gareth then turns his attention to Duanex. Duanex flips his black fringe out of his eyes and sighs.
Gareth tries to pry him for more additional information, but either he doesn´t want to tell, he doesn´t want the others to know his strengths or "strong" is all he is. But somehow I doubt that, Duanex looks like a real Career Tribute, someone who has multible talents. Finally, there´s Allanah.
"Now, last man standing. What do you got for me Allanah?"
His tries at making her talk is futile, nothing seems to work on her. Neither humour, kindness or agressiveness. I wonder what she could be hiding, but there´s also a part of me that doesn´t want to know. Finally Gareth gives up, and sinks down into his seat again, throwing his outburned cigar on the floor. An Avox hurries over to pick it up, and then quickly leaves. Miane coughs to either clear her throath or remove the awkward air around the table.
"Alright guys, you must be very hungry by now. So, dig in!"
The night hours are ticking closer and closer, and so is my appointment with Tyra tonight. After dinner she requested that we would meet in the middle of the night, at three sharp, in the tribute lounge. I´m guessing what she wants to talk about is our alliance, and what our strategies should be in the Games. I´m still not completely sure on my choice to ally with her. She is a good tribute, someone to respect and take with grave seriousness, but also someone to be careful around. I´m a pretty good people-person, but parts of Tyra remain a mystery to me, and vagueness can be dangerous. The thougth of allies bring me towards thougths about Kwarts, Day, Piper and Claire, my old allies in the Abyss of Insanity. Flashes of horrible scenes of trauma and bloodshed swim through my brain, and one sticks out specifically. The moment I realized that Kwarts was dead, and that I could not be able to save him like he had done before to me, that I would never make it up to him, when Vanity forced his head under the water while I was sitting there, screaming for them to stop. Shermaine was holding me firmly, and I couldn´t do anything while they slowly drowned Kwarts. I remember the last time he caugth my eye, I could carely see with all my rage and tears clouding my vision. It was a look of regret, but also reassurance. Like he was telling me it was ok, that it wasn´t my fault that he was going to die. I think it was at that moment when I realized I didn´t just want to win, I wanted to do something other than that. I wanted to change everything, so that kids just like Kwarts and Wire wouldn´t have to suffer this misery.
That´s exactly why I have to be careful around Tyra. She seems like she´s ambitious, which is a problem. I´m not back to survive this shit, I´m back because I want to save Kwartz. It may be odd, but I think I even care more for him than I ever cared for Wire. Maybe because Wire was so quickly introduced to me, just to have him ripped away from me the moment we truly got to meet. I bonded with Kwartz, we formed an alliance, but more than that, we became friends. Like the kind of friends who would always have eachother´s backs, who would die to save the others. But I didn´t do that, I couldn´t save him, even though I promised him just that.
"Radiant, I´m not sure if you´ll understand this, but I´m scared ok? It´s so few of us left, what if we´re the only ones left? What if the Career girls attack us?"
"Don´t you worry, Kwartz. I promise, whatever comes in our future, I´ll always protect you. You don´t have to worry, just think about how dashing you´re gonna look in your suit when you´re being interviewed about your Victory!"
Then he laughed, and we hugged, before we continued through the dense jungle Arena.
Suddenly, there´s a soft knock on the door. I quickly look at the clock, it´s ten minutes past three. Tyra, lounge. I get up from the bed in a half-asleep stasis and drag on my clothes from yesterday, a white-grey shirt and some pants. I don´t bother with socks. Then I answer the door. Yup, there she is, standing outside of my door. Tyra looks nervous, something I didn´t think she could even be, and she is constantly looking over her back.
"Let´s just talk here, I can see you´re tired."
My eyes slowly adjust to the bright light outside, so I can see her more clearly. Then I answer in a slow, groggy voice, like syrup.
"What´s up Tyra? What did you want to talk about?"
"The Abyss of Insanity."
I´m surprised, but I keep myself from looking the part as well. Right now I just want to go back to bed, and get ready for tomorrow.
"Get to the point. What about it?"
"I´ve just been to the lounge, and confirned my suspiciouns. The Abyss of Insanity has completely dissapeared from all records, and there are no 150th Hunger Games. All of the Tributes in them, including you, were Rejuvinated from other Games throughout the history. Your ones were the 16th Hunger Games. I don´t know what is going on, but I need to know something, it might be vital for both of us surviving. What did happen in those Games?"
New Games? Abyss of Insanity gone? What is happening? Even though I´m confused, I can´t help but link this to my loss of memory. My mouth falls open of horror. Tyra looks at me kinda scared.
"What is it Radiant?"
"I don´t remember."
Tyra looks annoyed at me, and starts to tap her left foot on the floor.
"Don´t try to be cheeky, I know you got a sudden realization right now. What is it?"
"That´s exactly it. I don´t remember anything about the Abyss of Insanity. But.. but that´s impossible! I totally remembered after we arrived here!"
"Radiant... You know what this means?"
I know the answer even before she tells me. My ears aren´t coresponding well with the rest of my body, but I can still hear her shaky voice as the truth escapes her mouth.
"The Capitol is trying to delete all evidence the Abyss of Insanity ever excisted. Even the Tributes´ memories."
District Fourteen (Piper Quinn´s PoV)
"Tributes, dismissed! Go back to your living quarters!"
Our Mentor, Azalea, waves us away and walks off, through a door that leads to the Mentors´ bedrooms I think. We´re left in the dining hall, I, Parasto, Trey and Amelia. It´s kind of awkward between us, really. I don´t know what to do right now, and neither does the others. Amelia seems to have put it in her own head to not even look anyone else in the eyes, before the Games. But in the Games, eyecontact with Amelia might be my last sensation. Parasto isn´t very friendly either. He seems like someone I´d like to know at first, at the Reaping he was accompanied with two birds whom he seemed to be familar with. He certainly charmed the crowd, and maybe even the Capitol. But towards his District partners he´s cold as stone. Trey is the youngest between us, only thirteen years old. For some reason, he reminds me of someone I knew a long time ago, from before I got Rejuvinated. But that person was calm, and warm, while Trey is often mean-spirited and cross with everyone, I don´t think I like him too much. Not enough to kill him though, he´s still only a kid. I want some allies for the upcoming Games, but I don´t think it´ll be Amelia, Parasto or Trey. Then, I flinch as a sharp voice rings in my ears.
"Translation: GET THE FUCK TO YOUR ROOMS!"
I gulp and start to run/walk out of the room, with my District partners wavering behind, but soon following afterwards. When I go into the hallways with the rooms, I see the room with the sign saying "Rejuvinated Female: Piper Quinn". I slide the door open and fling myself down the bed. The door automatically closes behind me. I´m not sure whether that´s consoling or creepy. The bed is soft, I feel like I´m quite literally melting into it, slowly but surely. I don´t even notice how tired I am after this day before my eyelids shut and I drift away.
The wind is settling around me, like a cold, bitter cloak protecting me from harm. My scream is stuck in my throath as I keep up the pace I´ve held for far too long. The undergrowth rips past me. Thorns all around me puncture my skin and blood drips down my face and into my eyes, but my legs keep on running. Excited voices and sharp footsteps thundering after me right behind me, almost so close I can feel their ragged breath on my neck. Then I suddenly fall forward and tumble down a hill, screaming as stones and plants rips my legs up and create scars that will never leave. I hear laugther and excited yells, just as my body breaks down at the end of the hill. There´s water right next to me, a lake or something, with crystal-clear almost see-through blue water. I caress it´s surface gently as the voices come closer and closer. I´ve given up.
"Hey Shermaine, what should we do to her?"
"The same we did to her pathetic little friends,Vanity, the girls from Zero and Thirteen. Make her pay for what she´s done."
There´s a scary pint of pure hatred and malice in that voice, I don´t like it at all. And if I should judge by what they say, then I should be afraid. They want to see me punished. Someone grabs my sore hands and pull them up to my back, and something that feels like rope is being tangled around them. Now I´m stuck. I don´t have the energy to scream, and if I did, who would save me? Nobody would, everyone who has ever cared for me in this Hell of a place are dead. Maia, with her sweet laugther and resourcefulness, Reyna, who was always so sure I could win and who I promised I would get home. But now I´m here, bundled on the ground and ready for slaugther. What happened to that promise I made?
Just when I feel a cool blade against my ear, screams and scuffling bring me back to reality. I wiggle around and see someone standing over the two girls on the ground, panting. He looks like a god where he stands, like he is the King of the world and everything it contains. Then he looks directly at me. I can practically feel his brain thinking from over here. Then he uses his short sword to cut away my ropes and he lifts me up. I now recognize him. He´s the boy with the strange golden eyes, Day Whisper. He drags me with him, and I use all my tapped strength to follow him. I hear a cannon, and I hope it was from either the blonde or vicious girl, but I don´t think that was true. I hear a triumphant roar from behind me, and I know they are both still well alive. I look up at Day, who seems to be shining in the moonlight piercing through the bushes. I must be seeing things, my brain is still confused and traumatized after the events of today. Day catches my eyes and smiles at me, then quite suddenly, I feel like I´m falling.
I scream and hit the floor hard with my head first. I quickly look around, and try to see through the mist of confusion the blow to my head created. I´m quickly relieved when I see I´m still in my bedroom in the Capitol´s train, and not in the freaky jungle in my dream. These horrible dreams have been following me at night ever since I was Rejuvinated, and I don´t understand why. They are horribly vivid, like I am aually right there. It felt like I was acually being roped and tossed to the ground by those girls, and my ears are still tingeling from all the loud noises. The dreams are just dreams though, that I have to constantly keep reminding myself every time I fall asleep. Because somehow, they feel more like memories, and unlike other dreams, they don´t dissapear from my head after a few minutes. No, I can remember everything I saw in the dream and everything I thougth. And the two girls I mentioned, I have met them from dreams previously. Maia and Reyna. I know nothing about them, except that Maia loves to read fiction, and Reyna is a very good cook. How do I know these things about people I´ve only met in dreams? Am I going insane? Was the trauma from my last Games so mad, that I have turned completely crazy? Because in turn of being able to remember memories of my past that never happened, I also can´t remember anything about my past anymore. It´s like I opened my eyes for the first time when I woke up in that Capitol lab, but when I talked to the other people there, I found out that we´ve all been revived from the dead after dying in the Hunger Games. But I don´t remember anything...
Suddenly, I hear someone knocking on the door. My mind blank, I rise up from my bed and look through the convenient peekhole in the door. It´s Amelia. I don´t even think about it, instead I just open the door for her. I´m curious about what she wants. She tramps into my room without saying a single word. Then she sits down in the chair at my make-up mirror. I close the door, before turning my attention to Amelia again.
"What is it? You can´t just waltz into someone´s room like that, without a good reason..."
"I need help, and I don´t know who else to turn to."
I´m taken aback by her attitude, she seems scared of something. She doesn´t meet my eyes as she says it, but I know that she would not ask for help from anyone unless it was really serious. Out of nowhere, large, wet tears start to force themselves out of her eyes and splash on the carpet. She looks totally broken, like she has no idea what to do. I go to her and hug her. I can feel her sobbing under my arms.
"It´s ok...It´s ok...Nobody´s gonna hurt you, it´s ok..."
I whisper in her ear softly and try to calm her down, and she does, slightly. She has stopped shaking and crying, but still looks distressed.
"What is going on, Amelia? What do you need help with?"
She hesitates before she answers me in a quirreling voice, like a wounded animal.
"He tried to kill me! Please, you have to help me!"
Now I´m really interested in what all of this is about. Is Parasto or Trey trying to murder Amelia? That seems unlikely, even though Trey seems kinda tough I don´t think he is smart enough to commit a murder on the train and get away with it. And everyone knows that if a Tribute tries to snuff out a competitor before the Games, they´re already as good as dead. The Gamemakers would never let a cheater win. Then I notice blood flowing down Amelia´s face from her head. I almost scream until I realize that people might come and see it too. And if whoever tried to kill her came here and saw her talking, he could try to kill us both. Amelia has started crying again.
"Come now, you. Let´s get you cleaned up."
I lift her up from the chair, she is barely able to stand up. I then escort her to the bathroom and then into the shower. I feel a bit awkward taking off her clothes, but I just try to ignore it and focus on something else. Then I turn on the shower and help her wash away all the blood.
Just as I turn around to get a towel in one of the closets, I hear a sound I feel like I´ve heard before. For some reason, I´m able to pinpoint what sound it is. The sound when someone draws a weapon. I hear wet footsteps coming my way. I drop my towel, and slowly turn around with my hands in the air. There she stands, completely naked and wet, with a huge, sharp knife in her right hand, poised to stab. I try to trick my mind into thinking that her attacker has come back, and that he is behind me, but I know that is untrue. There never was any attack, Amelia made it all up and played the part of a desperate girl to get me off my guard, unarmed and alone. Now she is going to kill me, but I won´t stand idly by and get killed. I scream a sort of battle cry and run for the door to my bedroom. I can hear the knife flying through the damp air, but it only graces my leg. I keep running through my bedroom and for the door. It´s then when I realize Amelia isn´t following me, or trying to kill me at all. The knife is still lodged into the floor at the same place. When I peek into the bathroom, I can see why. Amelia is lying face up on the hard floor with an expression of horror, her face covered in blood once again, and her neck sticking out in an unnatural angle. She must have slipped on the wet floor, before she could reach the knife again. I guess I should had put up a "Caution! Wet floor!" sign. I didn´t slip because I was still wearing my night slippers, which absorb water.
I keep myself calm all the way to Azalea´s room, when I finally break. I wail and cry to her, about how Amelia tried to kill me and then she fell and died herself. Azalea only listens for a while, until she opens her eyes and looks harshly at me.
"You do know what this will look like in the Capitol´s eyes? Murder, that´s what."
"But I didn´t mean for her to die! I wasn´t the one who killed her!"
"But can you prove that?"
I freeze, and realize she is right. When the Capitol gets informed of Amelia´s death, it will look like cold-blooded murder and there´s nothing I can say to convince anyone. More and more tears spill out of my eyes when I continue to think about my desperate situation. If I try to cover up her death, the Capitol will know sooner or later. And if I come clean, the Capitol will know at once, but that won´t exactly help my case in any way.
"I have an idea."
Azalea surprises me, she didn´t strike me as a person who acually cared for me, or Trey, Parasto or Amelia. But I guess now that she only has three Tributes, she´ll try even harder before. Azalea might not be a very nice person, but she is serious in her career as a Mentor.
"We disguise Amelia´s death as suicide. We´ll rig the body and the bathroom where she died. Make it look like she took a dip the bath, cut her wrists and died of blood loss. Luckily, there are no cameras in the bathrooms, so the Capitol can never know for sure what really happened there, which makes it easier for us to hide it. I´ll be your alibi if they ever question you, since it was of course your bathroom she "killed herself" in."
I feel a bit calmer now, since I´ll have Azalea on my side whatever happens when the Capitol realizes one of the Tributes died even before the Games. Even though I´m saddened by Amelia´s death, my mind can´t help but wander off into uncharted territory.
Only 59 left...
(Three days of training for the Tributes. Written in PoV perspective. There will be five PoV´s spread across all the three days of training, but no PoV´s will show what happens in the private sessions with the Gamemakers, as those will only be known for the Tributes involved in them.)
Ikaika Mathilda´s PoV - District Three
The glass doors to the elevator opens smoothly like water, and when I step out together with Maala I get the first look at the Training Gym. It´s ginormous, probably bigger than District Three´s town square. It´s at least eight metres up to the ceiling, and the walls are brick-red and streamlined. Everywhere I look, I see some sort of complex training equipment. There are more weapons than I ever thougth existed here, rope courses that look like they´re made for monkeys rather than humans and treadmills that go more upwards than forward. I feel exausted just by looking at them. All the other Tributes have formed a large circle in the middle of the Gym compound. I realize that this will be the first time we´ll be face to face with eachother, with we I mean the Tributes of course. No glamorous costumes or cocky attitudes at the Reaping to hide behind, all wearing the same uniforms we got when we came here. I feel a bit scared about exactly that. Just then I feel Maala´s soft hand intertwined in mine, and she gives me a small reassuring squeeze.
"Don´t worry Kai, we´ll come through this. This is nothing compared to the Games, you know."
Again I am astonished by my sister´s confidence in all of this. She hasn´t cried a single time, not even when she saw that Kronos Blade (3) had been Rejuvinated at the Reaping, she just looked even more determined. I never knew she was going to volunteer, if I knew, I would never had let her. But as always, Maala seems to have a mind of steel and even though I try to act like a tough, protective big brother, she is the most grown up and responsible. Pretty much, she´s my big sister, even though she´s two years younger than me.
She drags me with her to the crowd of other Tributes. A lot of them are here, but I can see some Tributes that are missing, so at least we´re not the last to arrive. Maala and I take our place as far away from the other Tributes as possible, next to the District Eleven Tributes. The little girl from Eleven gives us a small nod. I´m not sure if that´s meant to be friendly or challenging. I´m left to stand next to Shylock (11), who, to be honest, terrifies me. He´s the representation of every single older kid who has ever bullied me. He´s tough and intimidating, wears a black leather jacket and has hair that´s halfway colored red. Basicly, trouble in human form. Maala gives me a small smile to show me that everything is ok, before her face falls back into the usual unemotional mask.
Slowly, the final stragglers arrive and join the tense circle. The last ones to arrive are the female Tributes from District Eight and Fourteen, and Kronos (3), our dearly loved District Partner and serial killer. A cold shudder flows through my spine at the sight of him. His looks are handsome, but everyone knows that´s how he tricked all those girls he tortured and killed. He takes his place a few steps away from the main circle, closest to the Career Tributes. Even they look a little tense around him. Now that everyone is here, we all wait in silence for something to happen. I think the woman we met in the lobby when we first arrived is going to show up, but more than that I don´t know. Finally something happens, and I was right, it´s the woman from the lobby who walks out of one of the elevators. She pushes some Tributes away and takes her place directly in the center of our circle, just like before. She softly taps her foot at the floor, and a podium for her to stand on rises up until she´s at least a meter taller than the tallest Tribute.
"My name is Iris, and I want to welcome each and everyone of you, to the Training Gym. This is a statement of the Capitol, traditional training and high-tech gear mixed together to create the most advanced gym in all of Panem. And it´s all for you Tributes. Over the course of the next three days, you´ll be able to roam free around here as you´d like. You can choose exactly what program you want, what trainers you want to help you and what weapons you want to try. There are a few rules to follow though. First of all: do not engage in any type of combat with another Tribute, you´ll have plenty of time to kill eachother in the Arena. If you want a sparring partner, ask a trainer to help you. Order proper lines in front of the training stations. If I hear other Tributes complaining about any bad manners, I will personally ban that Tribute from the Gym. No exceptions. There is an infirmary here if you happen to get injured, and they can fix almost every injury there is, so don´t worry. Everyone eats lunch in the cafeteria at two sharp every day, except the last day, because that is when you will have your private session with the Gamemakers. At two on the last day, the Gamemakers will call you in, one by one, into the Gym alone, where you´ll have five minutes to impress them with your skills. They will evaluate your potential and give you a training score that varies from one to twelve. Sometimes the smartest thing to do is not aim for the highest score, even, as then you can become a target for the other Tributes. Now that I´ve explained it all to you, you´re all free to go wherever you please."
Then Iris steps off her podium and it sinks into the ground again. I watch her as she walks up some stairs leading to a sort of balcony overlooking the Gym. There are loads of people in large, pruple robes. The Gamemakers. I suddenly make eyecontact with one of them, an elderly woman, and I turn away from her gaze. Most of the Tributes have disbanded the circle now, everyone going their seperate ways in the massive Gym. Of course, all the Tributes from Districts One, Two and Four huddle together and move like a pack, the Careers. Other than that the District Eleven Tributes are also moving around like a unit. Most of the others are alone. I look to the left and see Maala is gone. For a few moments I get worried, until I see her waving me towards her from across the room. I run up to her and find myself at some sort of station involving a computer.
"What the hell, Mal? I got scared, don´t run away from me like that again!"
"Not now Kai. We have to start training. What do you say about a little intelligence test?"
She points at the shining computer, the same kind we make in the factories back home. Intelligence test, huh? I don´t understand how this will help us get ready for the Games, but I guess some relaxation will feel good for my brain right now. Maala writes in my name at the screen, and a counter appears. After the counter has gone from five seconds to zero, the first question appears.
1. What is the difference between poison ivy and ivy?
I use a few seconds to think about my answer, before I type it in. Maala looks around the room next to me at the other Tributes.
Poison ivy is a plant in the family Anacardiaceae, while ivy is in Araliaceae. Also, ivy is long since extinct, while poison ivy is common in Panem.
I smirk in my breath as the screen lights green and it moves onto the next question. I continue to roll through the quiz, and I notice they´re almost all about things that can prove helpful to know in a Hunger Games Arena. I guess Maala was smart to go to this station. I look over at her and grins, she just smiles at me and continues to keep an eye on the others spread across the room.
Day Whisper´s PoV - District Five
"The simulation will start in three, two, one..."
The announcher goes quiet, and silence fills my ears in the battle simulation room. I´ve got to admit, I was pretty exited about trying this training, since this is new for me, they didn´t have this kind of technology in my previous Games. I´m alone with a dagger in my hand, waiting for the simulation to start properly. I see the line of Tributes standing in line to try it out as well. The Rejuvinated girl from District 2, Shermaine (2), tried to cut the line, but she stopped when I threathened to yell for a trainer. I don´t think she would fancy getting banned for the Gym very much. I see my new ally Detria standing outside as well, but not in line, just to see how I do. I smile and give her a thumbs up, she just opens her mouth awkwardly in a half-smile and then looks away. I see Shermaine flipping me the bird, which causes me to imitate killing her with a stick which in turn causes me to slip out of concentration mode for a few seconds. Just enough for the simulation to start. Suddenly, a see-through hologram of a male Tribute is running at me with a giant battleaxe in his hands, ready to swing it at me and end my life. I barely manage to dodge his massive weapon, before stabbing him in the side of the head. The hologram dissapates before my eyes, and before I know it, another hologram is shooting at me from a distance with a bow and arrows. I fluently dodge every single arrow, though a few were a bit too close for comfort. I notice the hologram Tribute is all out of arrows, so I make my move. I run at him and tackel him to the ground, before I slice his stomach open. The whole hologram slips through my fingers like non-excisted water. An axe almost hits me in the arm, and I turn to see another hologram throwing axes the size of boulders at me.
After endless hologram Tributes, each with their unique weapon, I finally get hit in the throath by a throwing knife. The hologram Tribute dissapears and my survival time appears on a screen in the middle of the room. Nine minutes. I don´t know if that´s good or bad, but it sure does sound impressive to me, so I´ll take it. I return the knife to the trainers at the station, and rejoin Detria, who has sat herself down on a bench beside the rope courses and weaponry section of the Gym. I´m sweating a lot and I´m panting to catch up to my breath.
"Could you please try to keep it down, Day? You´re making me nervous."
I flinch at Detria´s words. What the hell is she talking about, being nervous? If she had been nervous would have done some sort of training by now. I glare at her, but then quickly stop. She doesn´t look like she has realized she´s being rude to me, instead she looks indifferent and then shifts her gaze towards other Tributes moving around the Gym. We sit like this for a while, so I can catch back up, before I rise up and look for other stations to try out. Detria stands up as well, and she walks next to me as I take a few rounds around the Gym, mostly just to observe the other Tributes in action. There is a lot of fierce competition this year, I can tell, and not just from the Careers. They´re all at the weaponry stations, and have been there for most of the day really. Their alliance is massive, I can count at least ten Tributes and more than that. They´ll all be mayor threaths in the Games, and they know it. They all glower in an aura of confidence and brutality as they stab and destroy the training dummies with strength and elegance. It seems it´s my old pal Shermaine (2) from before who´s leading them, thougth the others seem to be mostly independent. My hands hurt into fists of tension as I watch Luigi (1) rip a dummy´s head the size of a watermelon in two with his bare hands and throwing it through half the Gym. In the Arena, that dummy´s head could be my head. Some Careers stick out to me, except Shermaine and Luigi. The cheerful, albeit noisy redhaired girl from Ten, the quiet, but deadly boy I think is called Buck (6) and the exotic-looking, beautiful girl from District Three. Me and Detria hurt heels around so we don´t come close to the Careers, and somehow end up at back at the rope courses.
From when we get there, I see about four Tributes standing around, one of them in the process of starting a round of rope swinging. It´s a small girl, probably one of the youngest Tributes, with long blonde hair. Her allies are encouraging her, while she´s very worried.
"No, I can´t! I´m too scared! What if I fall down!?"
The oldest of her allies, the redhead girl called Zoey (5) reaches up and pats her on the back, while trying to motivate the little girl. The other allies, a brown-haired boy in his young teens and another little girl with unnatural ice-cold grey eyes merely watch at the struggle.
"Come on Savannah, you were confident in this before we got here! Come on, I´ll catch you if you fall, don´t worry!"
The girl who´s apparently called Savannah looks down on Zoey again, this time she doesn´t seem to be on the verge of crying anymore. Zoey gives her a reassuring smile, which Savannah returns and then starts the rope course without a single word. As me and Detria watch, I have to say I´m impressed, the girl is really good to be as young as she is. Her hands move quickly between the ropes and she swings herself forward with strength, but maybe it´s more that she´s so light. I could probably lift her while being in coma. Within a minute, she has finished the rope course and her allies start to cheer for her. I get a bit caugth in the moment and start to cheer as well. Detria looks at me like I just had stripped naked in front of everyone. Zoey, Savannah and their allies stop their laughter and all look at me. I quickly stop clapping, I can feel my face flaring up in embarrassment. But I´m surprised to see Zoey walk up to me with a smile on her lips and her hand out to greet me. I quickly wipe my hands on my Tribute uniform and shake her hand.
"Haven´t seen you since the Reaping, Day! I don´t know where you were the whole Train Ride, but you sure know how to hide well!"
I look over at Detria for a second, she looks indifferent as always. But I can feel something else from her. Mistrust towards Zoey.
"Heh yeah, I just needed some time alone..."
"Yeah I know, it´s good with some alone time. Hey, I was wondering, would you and Detria like to train with us?"
I´m taken aback by her offer, and I quickly get an urge to say yes. More allies is always good, and Zoey and her bunch seems like good people. But as I watch Detria look more and more uncomfortable, I realize I can´t say yes. Detria strictly told me that she would not ally with more than one person, ever. She said that it is important with trust between two people, a stronger bond if you´ll say that. The more people, the more conflict and spite it´ll create.
"Eh, sorry. I think me and Detria are better off on our own. But thanks for the offer, and good luck with the climbing!"
Zoey looks a bit saddened, but still smiles brightly at me while waving goodbye as I take Detria with me and leave them at the ropes.
Tyra Crust´s PoV - District Thirteen
"The thing about this machete is that it is exceptionally curved, making it hit harder than most other of the kind, but it´s not as sharp. So even if you´re not able to slice off an opponent´s head, you can knock their brains out!"
I give a small nod to the trainer as a thank you for the lecture, then I feel the blade in my hands. He is right, the machete is very heavy to be a bladed weapon, yet it does not feel very awkward or hard to move. It flows swift through the air like a fish in water, but with deadliness like a shark. I close the world outside and start to focus solely on one thing, the training dummy right in front of me. I imagine it as one of those disgusting Careers, the one that killed me my last Games, the horrible brute from District Four. I imagine his leering face when he realized he had defeated me, and when he started to abuse my half-dead body with my still-beating heart in it...
I scream as the machete cuts straight through the soft metal of the dummy, sending it clattering to the ground in violent explotion of sound. As the noise subsuids, I can´t hear anything, all sound in the whole Gym has stopped. When I raise myself up I see everyone around me are staring at me, especially the trainer and my allies. Radiant looks flabbergasted at me, with his mouth hanging open. Piper looks scared more than anything, while Kwartz tries to look indifferent, but I can see in his eyes that he´s deeply impressed. I don´t think Kwartz trusts me too much just yet, I´m sure he´s still uncertain on allying with other people. When me and Radiant approached him, we had to convince him pretty strongly before he´d ally with us. He didn´t believe anything about the Abyss of Insanity when Radiant and I tried to tell him about it, he insisted that he´d been Rejuvinated from the 324th Hunger Games. But when Radiant told him about his dreams about things that happened in the Abyss of Insanity, he quickly agreed to ally without another word. I bet he has had the same kind of dreams, that Radiant and Piper has had as well. Weird and dark dreams that seem more like a recap of the past than acual dreams. When we asked Piper she agreed a lot faster than Kwartz, more out of fear than anything I think. But when we tried to ask her about the unfortuneate, or rather fortuneate, demise of her District Partner Amelia Steeltoe, she didn´t dare say a thing. Either she is very distraugth by her death, or she was the one who killed her. Still, I don´t believe for a second her death was suicide, she did Volunteer for the Games to avenge her brother, not a very likely person to kill herself.
"Hey Tyra, do you wanna move onto another station? I think the Careers are coming this way..."
Piper whispers to me nervously as she looks over her back. Indeed, the massive Career alliance are walking to this station from the bow and arrows station. They´re not exactly friendly, and I´d rather not start a feud with them before the Games. But a part of me really wants to go up there, and tell them what I think about them. That they´re pathetic, low-life bastards who should never have been born. Instead I whisker with me Radiant, Piper and Kwartz away towards the Battle Simulator. The line has thinned out now that the Careers have had their go at the station, right now it´s only Viggo (7) standing there, while another Tribute I can´t see clearly is fighting inside the simulator. I sit down on one of the benches. Radiant sits down with me, while Piper and Kwartz stands closer to the simulator, to see what´s going on inside, I persume.
"Radiant, wanna have a go at the sim after the District 7 guy is done?"
Radiant grins and nods at me, then he stands up and walks up to the others. They´re cheering whoever is fighting on, apparently he or she´s doing really great. After a while my curiosity gets the better of me and I join the others. I can now see why they´re so impressed. A girl with striking white-grey hair is duking it out in there, and she´s probably one of the best ones I´ve ever seen. She is wielding a whip, a nichle weapon that a lot of people underestimate, but this girl shows them exactly why they shouldn´t. She moves flawlessly among the sea of hologram Tributes trying to hack and slash her down with their swords, and smashes them with her whip while avoiding their blades. Her movements are so fast that I can barely see her anymore, just a big ball of whipcracks shooting around. Not long afterwards, all the holograms have been anihilated by the girl and she´s standing alone in the glass room. Then her survival time flashes on the big screen. Twentyfour minutes. Almost half an hour of intense fighting. I don´t even wanna imagine what she is capable in the Arena. Viggo starts clapping, my allies as well. I even give her a few claps to show that I´m impressed. But the girl just walks out and hands her whip back to the trainer without acknowledging her applause. Then she meets up with Viggo, looks like they´re allies.
Radiant looks very impressed, and so am I. He whispers into my ear.
"Tyra, should we ask them into our alliance? The girl will certainly prove useful, you know!"
I agree, and all of us walks up to Viggo and the girl, who have quickly moved to the treadmills next. They´re about to start their session, so I quickly run up to Viggo. He looks at me coldly for a while, like he´s suspicious of me for something. He still shakes my hand.
"Viggo Flame, District Seven."
"Yeah I know. Tyra Crust, District Thirteen."
The others have caugth up to me now, and are standing a bit behind me, like they´re afraid Viggo will attack them.
"What do you want, Thirteen?"
The girl joins us adruptly, without even introducing herself. She has a very peculiar facial expression while talking to me, like she just noticed some dirt under her nails. Up close I can see she has creepy and emotionless grey eyes that seem like they can read minds. Her hair isn´t really white, it´s more of a light shade of grey. I´m so distracted by her bizarre appearance, I didn´t even notice that she asked me something.
"I´ll only ask you once more Thirteen. What the fuck do you want with us?"
I answer in a voice just as ice-cold as hers.
"To ask for an alliance between you and Viggo, and me and my alliance. Now, what is your answer, greymane?"
The girl´s face flushes in a deep red color at my comment. Radiant looks horrified at me. Viggo stands in the background, oddly enough he seems amused by me. Piper and Kwartz look bleaker than ghosts where they stand, as far away from greymane as possibly. Before I can even react, the girl throws her fist out and aims a punch straight to my jaw. I yell and fall hard on the floor, my jaw feeling as though it´s shattered in a thousand pieces. Blood is gushing down from my cheeks, she cut me with her nails too. I stare angrily at her, there she stands looking malicious down at me, she reminds me of that Career boy. There is no remorse in her eyes. She likes to watch me in pain. I want to stand up, to punch her back, to hurt her as much as I can. Greymane leans down to me so she´s looking right in my eyes, before she stroaks her hand across my face. I shudder and try to pull away, but she holds my face in her hands.
"Too bad such a pretty little face can be broken so easily, right? And for future reference, the name is Pandora Raven, torturer and machochist supreme. Don´t let me catch you call me greymane again, or I might break more than your jaw."
Then she gives me a gloating smile before walking off with Viggo, while the two of them are laughing. Kwartz and Radiant lift me up together, and soon I´m standin up again. Piper runs to find a trainer to escort me to the infirmary, but it´s not my jaw that I´m thinking about now, even though it hurts like hell. I think I might have met the Victor of the Games, but I won´t let that happen. If nobody else will go for her, I will. She will never have a moment to rest while I´m after her.
Jade Seeku´s PoV - District One
"Jade! To your left!"
I drink in Luigi´s (1) words and turn to the left just in time to see a hologram throwing axe soaring towards me. I quickly deflect it with the back of my bow, before I fire an arrow towards the perpetrator. It flies directly into the hologram´s shin and he tumbles down to the ground. Then I fire another arrow, which pierces it´s temple, and it dissolves into the air in a matter of seconds. I look at Luigi and give him a thumbs up as thanks for the heads-up, he nods at e before continuing to bash down at his opponents with a longsword. When I realize no enemies are coming towards me right now, I decide to take a break and observe my allies fighting all around me. Shermaine (2) and Zaphire (1) have teamed up and are holding back their attackers with good skill. Shermaine is a wondermaiden with her swords, she´s tactical in her technique and always knows when to strike. Zaphire has incredible accuracy with his spears, he seems to always be able to hit his targets no matter how far away they are. Buck (6), Helena (10) and Duanex (13) have teamed up together, since they´re all Career recruits, and they´re all doing great. Duanex´ brute strength is very useful, he´s able to destroy the holograms with a single punch, even. Buck´s efficiency with weapons is great as well, no matter what weapons he gets handed he always does well. Helena´s cheerful attitude is something that surprises me, she doesn´t seem as detemined to win the Games like the rest of us. But when she is fighting, you can see that she acually is very determined. What she lacks in direct strength and weapon mastering she makes up for with consistentcy and great morale, as well as teamwork. While the others do battle with the holorams, me and Luigi, who have teamed up for this training, are left to do nothing but watch. I guess it´s not too bad, I get to keep my hairstyle in one piece while all the others soon look like vile animals. But then I hear the draw of a blade behind me and I turn around. At least eight hologram Tributes are circeling me and Luigi, and everyone else are busy. Eh, I guess I might kill away some time while I´m already here.
A few minutes later, all the hologram Tributes suddenly stop in their tracks and start to evaporate. Amme (3) starts to blush where she stands in the middle of the room.
"Sorry guys, I guess I must have scraped against a sword or something..."
Shermaine puts her hand on Amme´s shoulders and gives her a reassuring look. It´s not too often you can see Shermaine being kind, I´m kinda amazed, even. Usually she´s cold, ruthless and unforgiving, but I guess she has some ray of light inside her after all. I just wonder if that´s going to become a strength or a weakness in the Games.
"It´s ok Amme, you did well."
Everyone in our alliance has gathered in the middle of the room now, to see what our survival time is. The screen flashes a bit for a while, before it shows us our score. Fourty minutes! I fistpump in the air and we all cheer. Shermaine acually smiles, for once in her life maybe. Even Luigi looks a bit happy, he usually acts more like a machiene than a person. Outside the line with Tributes is completely empty except for a gloomy guy with red-pinkish hair, probably because of how long we took, there´s not a lot of Tributes who´d spare that much time on waiting in line. I think the boy in line is the District Eleven Rejuvinated, but I´m not entirely sure. I´ve kept an eye on him during training, he´s a real loner, only keeps to himself, but very talented. I would ask him to join our alliance, but I already know he´ll decline. Shermaine takes the word once again, and I take my mind off the Eleven boy.
"Alright, nice job everyone, that was some quality teamwork. But there are a few flaws I want to point out in our formation before we move on to the next stations I´ve planned out. First of all, Helena."
She points at Helena, who looks a bit worried back, but still smiles.
"I want you to focus on more fighting instead of worrying about everyone else in the alliance. I saw you ran over to Alexander (4) when he and Caspian (4) was cornered, but in doing that you left your team vurnerable for attacks. This practice was to train everyone in managing small battles, and you were not to take part in Alexander and Caspian´s battles. I urge you to fix this in the future, but except that, you´ve done exceptional. Keep it up!"
Helena flushes up in a deeper red than her words at Shermaine´s words. Buck and Duanex look a bit sullen at Helena, like they´re blaming her for something. Then Shermaine suddenly points at Gypsy (2), who looks cross back at her.
"What is it, warmonger? Both me and you know that I did excellent, so don´t you dare bullshit me, I had no flaws!"
I smirk under my breath at Gypsy´s attitude. She´s a very good fighter, probably among one of the best we have in the alliance, but maybe a bit too hotheaded. She tends to be overconfident and cause arguments, and sometimes she makes mistakes because she´s careless. She also seems to have a grudge against Shermaine for some reason, probably because she didn´t get to become leader. Still, Gypsy can be kind when she wants to and she´s unchallenged in weaving speed and strength together.
"Don´t worry Gypsy, it´s mostly problems we´ve already talked about. You´re too reckless. Back there, you tried to attack twelve holograms on your own. If Shadow (2) and Alvida (4) hadn´t pulled you back you would have ruined everyting. However, your fighting is amazing and you do well under pressure. Just be sure to be a bit more smart when in battle, alright?"
Gypsy shoots daggers from her eyes at Shermaine, she looks as if she´s on fire. But in the end the fire soothes down and she sighs.
"Alright, warmonger, I´ll work on it."
"Finally, I´d like to bring the attention of Jade and Luigi, please."
I gasp in surprise and look up at Shermaine. She looks at me strictly. Luigi, who is standing besides me, isn´t reacting if you look at his face. But I know deep down he´s surprised and curious as well. I can´t really recall anything we two did directly wrong. Not any flaws or mistakes were made, if you ask me. But Shermaine thinks differently, I guess. I cough to clear my throath.
"What is it, Sher?"
"First of all, don´t call me Sher. It´s Pain or Shermaine, nothing else. And second of all, both you and Lugi were slacking away. While we were working hard to hold the holograms abay, you two were standing the background and only observing. If you had observed a bit better, you would have seen that more holograms had spawned behind you and you would have been able to fight them away faster. Note this, both of you, that I will not tolerate laziness for anyone."
I sigh, and so does Luigi. Everyone are looking at us with judging eyes. Now that I look back, I have to agree that I did slack off when I saw there weren´t anymore enemies to fight off. If I had paid attention more, I would have had things to do. Still, it doesn´t stop me from being embarrassed in front of everyone in my alliance. But I know Shermaine is only doing her job as the alliance leader, I can´t be harsh against her, even though she is harsh towards me. I think Shermaine noticed the look on my face, because she walks up to me and gives me a small smile. She quickly falls back to her normal cold attitude though.
"Alright, everyone, nice job. We´re done here now, so let´s scram. Our next stop is the ropes course, before we can all return to our apartments for rest."
Then she gives everyone a thumbs up and lead us out of the simulator. When I walk out, a bit behind everyone else, I pass the boy from before, District Eleven. He catches my eye, I see intense and pure hatred in them. I flinch and break eyecontact, but keep walking. When we´re half-way to the ropes course, he has entered the simulator. What was up with that?
Parasto Fulton´s PoV - District Fourteen
I swing my sword through the air, it´s heavy but I can manage. It clashes against the trainer´s sword in a shower of sparks that almost make me pull away, but I keep myself in the fight. The trainer is staring me down with a determined look, but I retaliate with a even fiercer glare. This time he swings at me first, towards my right side. I quickly deflect it, but I have to use all my strength to pull it away. He swings at me again, again and again. I deflect his sword wherever it pops up next, but I know I can´t keep this up much longer. My arms feel heavier and heavier with each time I lift my weapon, while he doesn´t seem to break a sweat at all, through the whole battle. I feel my allies´ eyes on me as our swords keep clashing in the middle. I feel my face burning and dripping with sweat, it´s starting to pour into my eyes more and more. Then, I swing my sword once again, but my feet tangle themselves together and I start to fall forward. The trainer immediately steps back and I crash into the hard floor. My sword is still in my hands, sticking together with sweat. I pant and try to catch my breath when the trainer gives me his hand and lifts me up.
"Your swings are too weak, Parasto. You need to use more force. But also, sometimes you use too much force and tire yourself quickly. Improve that, and I´m sure you´ll be a good swordsman."
He looks strictly at me, but I think his words are meant to be kind. And I take them very seriously, he´s right, when in the Arena, the abiity to wield a sword can be vital.
"Thanks, I´ll be sure to try harder next time. Bye!"
Then I wake goodbye to the trainer and scoot over to where the rest of my alliance is, the plants and greens survival station. It´s sort of like a quiz, but alos equal parts memory game, which makes it confusing. I tried it a few times before I went to train with swords, but I scored very low. If I´d been in the Arena, i had died because I failed to see the difference between the uneatable, poisonous Hemlock and the edible Finlock plant, which look very similar to eachother. Right now it´s Lexi (10) who´s testing herself, but she is doing badly, and soon after starting she fails the quiz with a very low score. Just then Milo (9) notices I´ve returned.
"Oh, there you are, Parasto. I was going to get someone to fetch you soon, you´ve been gone at the sword station for a long time."
I wonder how much time though, when I was fighting the trainer all measurements of time didn´t seem important.
"Yeah, got a bit caugth up in the action I guess."
I sit down on one of the benches near the station and observe my allies as they take turns on the plant quiz. I´m satisfied with the size of our alliance, even rivaling the Career alliance this year. But sometimes it´s not too smart to have this many Tributes who could betray eachother at any time, clumped together. But overall, I´m happy with a big alliance, it´ll make it harder for the Careers to corner us all and pick us off early, since we are after all the Anti-Careers. With as many as we are, it will be hard for them to pin us down quickly because we can put all our forces together and overpowerthem briefly. If they underestimate us it´ll be ever more in our favor. Most of the Anti´s this year consists of Tributes from outlying Districts who have joined us for protection since they wouldn´t fare well on their own. We have Ward (C) and Kiehsa (C) from the Capitol, both who don´t really have any specific strengths, especially not Ward, but I think they´ll still be strong allies and very useful. If not for anything else, at least as meatshields. Then we have one of the Reaped from District Five, Crayolaya (5). He´s mostly unimpressive and he hasn´t done much of training at all, but he´s a good morale booster for everyone in the alliance. His ability to stay positive throughout anything, even when we first saw exactly how many Careers there are this year. We have the District Seven Reaped pair, Mia (7) and Max (7). They mostly stay together the two of them, maybe they´re even more than allies. Nevertheless, they are nasty good with axes to not have much training in the Games, only the standard kids in Seven get just from being from Seven. Next is the crybaby of the alliance, Alissa (8) from District Eight. She is mostly a sniveling coward who has little to no skill in anything notable, but I still feel pity for her for some reason. Like the pair from the Capitol, she´ll make a good meatshields if we can´t use her for anything else. Then there are a total of three Tributes from District Nine, Milo (9), Brandon (9) and Laurel (9). We asked their final District Partner, Savannah (9) for an alliance, but she seemed to already be in one, so she declined. Brandon and Laurel are surprisngly pretty good at knife throwing, and Milo is a good co-Leader. He´s alright in a lot of weapon skills, even though he doesn´t excel in any of them. In addition he´s very fast.
Then there´s Lexi (10), the Reaped girl Tribute from District Ten. She hasn´t excelled in anything I´ve seen yet, but she is a quick learner and a very friendly soul. I just fear someone might try to take advantage of her kindness in the Games, but I´ll see to that wont happen. Finally, our elected Leader Drago (12) from District Twelve. He´s probably our most skilled compatant, since he trained for the Games before he volunteered. He´s tall and tough, and a great and charismatic Leader who´s not afraid of taking chances, like when he let Ward in our alliance. I trust in his judgement though, even though I don´t trust in his sanity, since he can´t shut up about dragons for some reason. Those beasts were extinct long before Panem even was founded, yet he always goes on and on about searching for them.
Finally, there´s me. When Drago and Milo asked me to join their alliance, I was at first sceptical. In my last Games, the ones I was Rejuvinated from, an alliance only hindered me. I had allied with my District Partner Joselyn and the guy from Six, and they were the reason I died in the first place. Our alliance fared well at the start, we survived together by being smart about things and not rushing in. But at the last night of the Games, when we had co-operated on killing the District One male, they turned on me and killed me. They had been in cahoots from the beginning to betray me. In the end Joselyn went on to win, or so I heard from Azalea, my Mentor for these Games. So when Drago asked me to ally with him and possibly put me in danger of being betrayed again, I wanted to declinde at first. But then I looked into Drago and Milo´s eyes and saw no evil in them. I remember when I first agreed to ally with Joselyn and the District Six guy, I had seen something flicker in their eyes. I should had said no back then, but I was so happy to have made allies that I didn´t think about it. Now that I´m here, I realize I made the right choice in agreeing on this alliance. It might not be much, but it is some protection from the Careers and that´s all I really asked for.
"A message to all Tributes! Private training sessions are about to start. Everyone, form straight, organized lines into the elevators. The Avoxes inside will take you to the Gamemakers´ private Gym. From there on, you will be called in one by one, going from the Capitol and ending with District Fourteen. Males are called first, then the females. Reaped Tributes are called before Rejuvinated. Good luck!"
´Guess this is it. Just remember what the sword trainer said, and you´ll be fine. I try to tell myself to stay calm, but in reality, I´m scared as hell. I just have to keep my cool and remember everything I´ve learned form these past three days and everyting I remember from my past Games. Get a good score, don´t embarrass yourself. Simple as that.
The Career Alliance
Luigi Wilkins (District One), Jade Seeku (District One), Zaphire Beux (District One), Glow Décor (District One), Gypsy Xenon (District Two), Shadow Nightshade (District Two), Shermaine Wilson (District Two), Amme Ilorenzo (District Three), Caspain Lotuscloud (District Four), Alvida Pearl (District Four), Alexander Snapper (District 4), Buck Rockwell (District Six), Helena Krisp (District Ten), Duanex Yuki (District Thirteen)
Bold: Alliance leader
District Five, Six, Nine and Twelve Alliance
Zoey Proasheck (District Five), Saadia Gaena (District Six), Savannah Darnell (District Nine) and Falk Avian (District Twelve)
Bold: Alliance leader
Kwartz Diodin (District Ten), Radiant Tayz (District Thirteen), Tyra Crust (District Thirteen) and Piper Quinn (District Fourteen)
Bold: Alliance leader
Kiesha Orval (Capitol), Ward Teel (Capitol), Crayolaya Licorice (District Five), Max Calloway (District Seven), Mia Reeme (District Seven), Alissa Dove (District Eight), Milo Amaranth (District Nine), Laurel Cinders (District Nine), Brandon Ivery (District Nine), Lexi Greenway (District Ten), Drago Fire (District Twelve), Parasto Fulton (District Fourteen)
Bold: Alliance leader
District Six Siblings
Star Sunkin (District Six) and Luna Sunkin (District Six)
Bold: Alliance leader
District Three Siblings
Ikaika Mathilda (District Three) and Maala Mathilda (District Three)
Bold: Alliance leader
District Eleven Alliance
Crimson Typhoon (District Eleven), Nikhita Akshaya (District Eleven) and Melly Reesha (District Eleven)
Bold: Alliance leader
District Five Alliance
Day Whisper (District Five) and Detria Glace (District Five)
Bold: Alliance leader
District Seven Alliance
Viggo Flame (District Seven) and Pandora Raven (District Seven)
Bold: Alliance leader
Fairy Luck (Capitol), Burma Slate (District Twelve) and Allanah Grace (District Thirteen)
Bold: Alliance leader
Furcifer Soror (Capitol), Kronos Blade (District Three), Katarina Seacrest (District Four), Jace Larke (District Two), Xavier Sharma (District Eight), Ahri Transia (District Eight), Henry Punch (District Ten), Shylock Bloodroot (District Eleven), Cleo Salazar (District Twelve), Trey Shields (District Fourteen)
Training Scores and Odds
(They range from scores one up to twelve. One being unrepairably bad, and twelve being impossibly good. Odds are calculated by looking at a Tributes´ training score, alliance, likeabilty in the Capitol, District, competition and overall potensial.)
|District||Reaped Male||Reaped Female||Rejuvinated Male||Rejuvinated Female|
|Capitol||Furcifer - 5 - 60/1||Kiesha - 3 - 68/1||Ward - 2- 80/1||Fairy - 8 - 20/1|
|District One||Luigi - 9 - 15/1||Jade - 8 - 17/1||Zaphire - 10 - 10/1||Glow - 7 - 22/1|
|District Two||Jace - 10 - 6/1||Gypsy - 9 - 15/1||Shadow - 8 - 20/1||Shermaine - 11 - 4/1|
|District Three||Ikaika - 4 -60/1||Maala - 5 - 60/1||Kronos - 11 - 3/1||Amme - 10 - 13/1|
|District Four||Caspian - 8 - 18/1||Alvida - 9 - 15/1||Alexander - 10 - 10/1||Katarina - 1 - 100/1|
|District Five||Crayolaya - 4 - 69/1||Zoey - 6 - 43/1||Day - 4 - 59/1||Detria - 3 - 72/1|
|District Six||Star - 4 - 65/1||Luna - 4 - 65/1||Buck - 9 - 11/1||Saadia - 2 - 80/1|
|District Seven||Max - 5 - 60/1||Mia - 3 - 70/1||Viggo - 8 - 21/1||Pandora - 10 - 12/1|
|District Eight||Xavier - 4 - 67/1||Alissa - 5 - 62/1||Banette - 6 - 38/1||Ahri - 7 - 29/1|
|District Nine||Brandon - 4 - 60/1||Laurel - 2 - 79/1||Milo - 5 - 59/1||Savannah - 1 - 100/1|
|District Ten||Henry - 9 - 17/1||Lexi - 3 - 70/1||Kwartz - 3 - 74/1||Helena - 10 - 15/1|
|District Eleven||Crimson - 4 - 62/1||Nikhita - 7 - 32/1||Shylock - 9 - 9/1||Melly - 4 - 70/1|
|District Twelve||Drago - 8 - 25/1||Burma - 3 - 69/1||Falk - 5 - 62/1||Cleo - 6 - 42/1|
|District Thirteen||Duanex - 10 - 7/1||Allanah - 5 - 60/1||Radiant - 9 - 15/1||Tyra - 12 - ´4/1|
|District Fourteen||Trey - 6 - 40/1||Amelia - 0 - 0/0||Parasto - 4 - 70/1||Piper - 6 - 43/1|
(The death chart won´t be updated before each new Day in the Arena has ended. This is a precausionary measure to avoid people simply looking at the death chart to see if their Tribute survived/killed someone, rather than reading the Games.)
|Placing||Tribute||Killer||Cause Of Death||Assist||Day|
|60th||Amelia Steeltoe - District Fourteen||---||Broken neck||---||Train Rides|
|59th||Henry Punch (10)||Zaphire Beux (1)||Throath punctured||None||One|
|58th||Alexander Snapper (4)||Maala Mathilda (3)||Skull cracked, inner bleeding||Ikaika Mathilda (3)||One|
|57th||Alvida Pearl (4)||Glow Décor (1)||Throath slit||None||One|
|56th||Glow Décor (1)||Luigi Wilkins (1)||Arrow into the heart||None||One|
|55th||Burma Slate (12)||Fairy Luck (C)||Shruikens in the back, bled out||None||One|
|54th||Allanah Grace (13)||Fairy Luck (C)||Shruiken into back of the head||None||One|
|53rd||Mia Reeme (7)||Fire||Burned to death||Viggo Flame (7)||One|
|52nd||Max Calloway (7)||Fire||Burned to death||Viggo Flame (7)||One|
|51st||Shadow Nightshade (2)||Caspian Lotuscloud (4)||Cut in the side, bled out||Viggo Flame (7)||One|
|50th||Kiesha Orval (C)||Cheetahs||Bled to death, eaten||None||One|
|49th||Cleo Salazar (12)||Cheetahs||Ripped in half||Day Whisper (5)||One|
|48th||Furcifer Soror (C)||Shermaine Wilson (2)||Sword through neck||None||One|
|47th||Zoey Proasheck (5)||Helena Krisp (10)||Arrow into left eye||None||One|
|46th||Crayolaya Licorice (5)||Melly Reesha (11)||Temple severed||None||One|
|45th||Ward Teel (C)||Ahri Transia (8)||Throath slit||None||One|
|44th||Trey Shields (14)||Jace Larke (2)||Scimitar into neck||None||One|
|43rd||Falk Avian (12)||Cheetahs||Eaten alive||Helena Krisp (10)||One|
|42nd||Banette Tsukomogami (8)||Fairy Luck (C)||Beheaded||None||One|
|41st||Viggo Flame (7)||Xavier Sharma (8)||Stab wounds, bled out||None||Two|
|40th||Duanex Yuki (13)||Buck Rockwell (6)||Pierced through the head with a spear||Helena Krisp (10)||Two|
|39th||Zaphire Beux (1)||Jace Larke (2)||Hacked in the stomach with an axe||None||Three|
|38th||Jace Larke (2)||Gamemakers||Head trauma||None||Three|
|37th||Fairy Luck (C)||Gamemakers||Head impales by a branch||None||Three|
|36th||Caspian Lotuscloud (4)||Nettlebane mutts||Guts spilled, blood loss||None||Three|
(This shows where all the Tributes are, who they are with, what supplies they have and what state they are in (injured, poisoned ect. This will also show if they have gotten the flag. I will remove Tributes from the chart when they die.)
|Lugi Wilkins - District One||Forest Zone||Gypsy Xenon (2)||Rope, water canteen (x5), matches, sheet of plastic||Minor injuries||No|
|Jade Seeku - District One||Forest Zone||Kronos Blade (3)||Rope, water canteen (x5), matches, sheet of plastic||Gashed leg||No|
|Gypsy Xenon - District Two||Forest Zone||Luigi Wilkins (1)||Rope, water canteen (x5), matches, sheet of plastic||None||No|
|Shermaine Wilson - District Two||Savannah Zone||Amme Ilorenzo (3), Buck Rockwell (6), Helena Krisp (10)||Everything||None||No|
|Ikaika Mathilda - District Three||Forest Zone||Maala Mathilda (3)||Empty canteen||Minor arm injury||No|
|Maala Mathilda||Forest Zone||Ikaika Mathilda (3)||Empty canteen||None||No|
|Kronos Blade . District Three||Mountainous Zone||Jade Seeku (1)||Stakes||None||No|
|Amme Ilorenzo - District Three||Savannah Zone||Shermaine Wilson (2), Buck Rockwell (6), Helena Krisp (10)||Everything||None||No|
|Katarina Seacrest . District Four||Mangrove Zone||None||Bread||None||Yes|
|Day Whisper - District Five||Mangrove Zone||Detria Glace (5)||Spear (x2), mechanical snare, pack of dried meat (x6), knife||None||No|
|Detria Glace - District Five||Mangrove Zone||Day Whisper (5)||Spear (x2), mechanical snare, pack of dried meat (x6), knife||Cut in leg||No|
|Star Sunkin - District Six||Mountainous Zone||Luna Sunkin (6)||Nothing||None||No|
|Luna Sunkin - District Six||Mountainous Zone||Star Sunkin (6)||Nothing||None||No|
|Buck Rockwell - District Six||Savannah Zone||Shermaine Wilson (2), Amme Ilorenzo (3), Helena Krisp (10)||Everything||None||No|
|Saadia Gaena - District Six||Mountanous Zone||None||Blanket||Frost damage||No|
|Pandora Raven - District Seven||Rainforest Zone||Savannah Darnell (9)||Matches||Overheating||No|
|Xavier Sharma - District Eight||Rainforest Zone||Ahri Transia (8)||Nothing||None||Yes|
|Alissa Dove - District Eight||Mountainous Zone||Brandon Ivery (9), Laurel Cinders (9), Lexi Greenway (10), Drago Fire (12)||Nothing||???||No|
|Ahri Transia - District Eight||Rainforest Zone||Xavier Sharma (8)||Backpack, dried fruit pack (x2)||Leg cut off, massive bleeding|
|Brandon Ivery - District Nine||Mountainous Zone||Alissa Dove (8), Laurel Cinders (9), Lexi Greenway (10), Drago Fire (12)||Nothing||???||No|
|Laurel Cinders - District Nine||Mountainous Zone||Alissa Dove (8), Brandon Ivery (9), Lexi Greenway (10), Drago Fire (12)||Nothing||???||No|
|Milo Amaranth - District Nine||Mangrove Zone||Parasto Fulton (14)||Nothing||None||No|
|Savannah Darnell - District Nine||Rainforest Zone||Pandora Raven (7)||Nothing||Injured, stable||No|
|Lexi Greenway - District Ten||Mountainous Zone||Alissa Dove (8), Brandon Ivery (9), Laurel Cinders (9), Drago Fire (12)||Nothing||???||No|
|Kwartz Diodin - District Ten||Mountainous Zone||Radiant Tayz (13), Tyra Crust (13), Piper Quinn (14)||Nothing||None||No|
|Helena Krisp - District Ten||Savannah Zone||Shermaine Willson (2), Amme Ilorenzo (3), Buck Rockwell (6)||Everything||None||No|
|Crimson Typhoon - District Eleven||Rainforest Zone||Nikhita Akshaya (11), Melly Reesha (11)||Bow, arrows (x6)||None||Yes|
|Nikhita Akshaya - District Eleven||Rainforest Zone||Crimson Typhoon (11), Melly Reesha (11)||Bow, arrows (x6)||None||Yes|
|Shylock Bloodroot - District Eleven||Forest Zone||None||Nothing||None||Yes|
|Melly Reesha - District Eleven||Rainforest Zone||Crimson Typhoon (11), Nikhita Akshaya (11)||Bow, arrows (x6)||None||No|
|Drago Fire - District Twelve||Mountainous Zone||Alissa Dove (8), Brandon Ivery (9), Laurel Cinders (9), Lexi Greenway (10)||Nothing||???||No|
|Radiant Tayz - District Thirteen||Mountainous Zone||Kwartz Diodin (10), Tyra Crust (13), Piper Quinn (14)||Nothing||Bruises on back||No|
|Tyra Crust - District Thirteen||Mountainous Zone||Kwartz Diodin (10), Radiant Tayz (13), Piper Quinn (14)||Nothing||None||No|
|Parasto Fulton - District Fourteen||Mangrove Zone||Milo Amaranth (9)||Nothing||None||No|
|Piper Quinn - District Fourteen||Mountainous Zone||Kwartz Diodin (10), Radiant Tayz (13), Tyra Crust (13)||Nothing||Burns on both arms||No|
The Rejuvination Games Part I - Nowhere To Run
(Day One to Three.)
Day One - The Bloodbath
Dark, powerful winds whip across the vast landscape just as the audience all over Panem gets the first look at this year´s Arena, something the Capitol audience have been excited to see for weeks, while the rest of Panem haven´t been too happy about it. First, the cameras pan over the first Zone, the Mountainous. The towering, beautiful mountainpeaks takes all the viewer´s breath away with it´s raw beauty. The barren rocks lie still while the larg pine trees sway gently in the powerful wind, they are just as mighty as the mountains themselves. Deep in the caves however, one can see blood-red eyes shining in the dark, entrancing the audience while they wonder what this might be. Then the cameras fly through the other Zones, one by one, earning ooo´s and aaa´s from the Capitol and fear from the Districts. The neverending Savannah, the exotic Rainforest, the onomious Mangrove and of course, the infamous Forest Zone, more commonly known as the Nightlock´s Arena, because of it´s ties to Katniss Everdeen and the Second Rebellion. Finally, the cameras zoom out and shows off the whole Arena in all it´s beauty from the skies, and everyone can see how the Zones are clearly disfigured from eachother, and the whole Arena is shaped like a pentagon. After that, the footage cuts to the dramatic circle of Tributes, standing around the golden Cornucopia in the middle of the windy Savannah Zone. While the Hunger Games fans in the Capitol and some in the Districts are cheering, the general population, especially the ones who know someone in the Games, are staring at their tv-screen with a grim expression. Like it or not, the Games are starting. One minute.
Ahri (8) is staring around, with a smirk on her face. She already knows what her gameplan for the Bloodbath is. Get in fast, grab a weapon and get out just as fast. Her dark hair flickers through the air in a storm of red, even though her Mentor braided her hair into a ponytail, Ahri quickly loosened it. Next to her she can see Brandon (9) to her left, and Saadia (6) to her right. Ahri then focuses on the Cornucopia itself. There it is, the weapon she knows is for her, and her only. A long, slender knife, perfect for stabbing from behind. Other Tributes might go for a sword, since it is better in direct combat, but for Ahri, that knife is perfect.
On the other end of the circle, Falk (12) is gesturing to his ally Savannah (9), who is standing just a few pedestals to his left. He´s trying to share information with her, what he is seeing from his end, since his pedestal is located directly in front of the opening of the Cornucopia. From there, Falk can see exactly where each type of supplies are. Weapons are located at the very inner of the horn, while survival items like tents, canteens, ropes or matches are stacked against it´s walls. The smaller and less valuable supplies are on the ground outside of the Cornucopia, tempting the Tributes to come closer and dare to pick them up before they go, daring them to dance with death. Falk tries to signalize where they should go, since neither he nor Savannah can see Zoey (5) and Saadia (6), from where they stand, but Savannah doesn´t understand what her ally means.
Glow (1) is tensing up, watching the other Tributes in her vicinity with a gleeful smile. Her pedestal is located right next to Laurel (9) and Ikaika (3)´s pedestals, and Glow is gonna be sure to make use of this when the gong rings and starts the Games. Both Laurel and Ikaika are underdogs in the big picture, the kind of Tributes which Glow feeds on. A strong Career, she won´t show them mercy and if they even dare to get close to her or try to run for the supplies, she´ll cut them down like dirty garden weeds. From where she stands, she can also see two of her allies. Helena (10) and Alexander (4). Even though she can also see Duanex (13), the deciever from District One is not stupid enough to think of him as an ally, with the reveal of the second Twist. She is even plotting to take him out early, instead of the easier victims Laurel (9) and Ikaika (3).
The blue eyes of Milo (9) dart around him hastily, taking in the image of all the other Tributes in the circle around him. From where he´s positioned he cannot see anything of the inside of the Cornucopia, just the back of it, which could have be quite a hinderance if he was planning to go there. But he´s not. Milo has discussed the plan for the Bloodbath with his allies so many times in training, he can memorize it word to word. First of all, disperse from the Bloodbath and try not to get yourself killed. Stay away from the Careers at any cost, and don´t go into any combat if you don´t have to. Meet up with everyone else afterwards, maybe break out into smaller groups if neccesary. But above all, the golden rule is simple: Don´t run to the Cornucopia. Milo has faith in this plan, but he still feels the want to run to the supplies because he knows how useful they will become later. Even though it´s tempting, he also knows it is a great risk and risks are what he wants his alliance to avoid.
In the Gamemaker´s Headquarters, the many people dressed in purple robes are staring intensely at their computer screens. Some are standing up, observing the holographic map of the Arena with beady eyes, keeping a close watch at the countdown and the Tributes around the Cornucopia. Just then, a dark figure in long and hooded purple robes enter the room through the elevator. All the Gamemakers qucikly face the figure and give him a honorable salute.
The figure smiles at them before gesturing at them to sit down again. The robed person almost floats to the hologram map and stares down at the Tributes. His lips flesh out in a grisly smile as he taps his finger at one of the tribute pedestals, the only one which does not have a Tribute on it.
Fairy (C) adjusts her ponyhail and lets it fall down her shoulders.
Jace (2) braces his knuckles and blocks out the rest of the world.
Large, wet tears drip down Alissa´s (8) nose.
A shadow of regret flies over the face of Caspian (4), which doesn´t completely dissapear either.
Lexi (10) gulps down and starts to tip-toe on her pedestal nervously.
Pandora (7) catches the gaze of Viggo (7) and they quickly nod at eachother.
Tyra (13) stands completely still, not even moving her eyes and her breath completely silent.
Maala (3) tries to reach out her hand to her brother, to give him some form of encouragement, but she can´t reach him.
Katarina (4) braces herself and gets ready to run, but to destination unknown.
At that exact time, all the Tributes leap off their pedestals at the same second and everyone starts to sprint in every direction. However, while most of the Tributes run directly towards the Bloodbath, but not before Xavier (8), Shylock (11), Katarina (4) as well as Luna (6) and her twin Star (6) have already dissapeared into the tall grass of the Savannah. Meanwhile, the rest of the Tributes are running towards the golden horn, ready to fight for their lives over the supplies.
Henry (10) is running towards an axe lying in the mouth of the horn, for some reason it is not on the shelves like the rest of the weapons, and Henry is planning to put use of this. Everywhere around him, the chaos of Tributes all trying to get to the horn first are screaming and shouting. Henry sees his opportunity and lunges forward and graps his axe with both of his hands, but soon realizes this might have been a deadly mistake. He can no longer see where he is and who the Tributes around him are. To swing at someone can be fatal, if they turn out to be a Reaped Tribute. He stands at point blank, staring around and trying to find a way out of the mess he has landed himself in. Just then, he hears a peculiar sound of something moving very fast through the air. He turns around, but not quick enough, because the spear is already far too near to dodge. Henry screams one last time as the spear digs itself into his throath and sends him to the ground bleeding fatally. Zaphire (1) grins as he rips his spear out of Henry´s dead body and then starts to look around for more compelling prey.
Maala (3) and Ikaika (3) have managed to meet up in the chaos of the Bloodbath, but not grabbing much at all. Maala is holding a small survival knife, made for crafting, not fighting, and Ikaika has managed to scrape with him an empty metal water bottle grasped in his hands. Maala gestures Ikaika to run at three, but what they don´t know, is that behind them, another Tribute is already planning to make a move at that time. Just when they start to run, they have already been ambushed and jumped upon. Alexander (4) roars as he jumps off the crate he has been standing on and florishes his trident at the two siblings. He jabs his trident at Ikaika, and he barely manages to dodge the deadly weapon, but one of the points puncture his arm. He screams and falls down in the grass, and Alexander raises his weapon to deliver one last strike to end his life. But he hadn´t counted on Maala. She slams into Alexander from the side and throws him to the ground. Before he can do anything but stare shocked at her, she takes Ikaika´s metal bottle and hits Alexander hard in the forehead with it. She screams in rage and keeps hitting him, until the skin is ripped off and his skull gives an unpleasant crack. Before they can find out whether he´s dead or just passed out, Maala takes Ikaika by the hand and together they run away from the Bloodbath through the Savannah.
At the very center of the Bloodbath, outside of the horn, all the Career Tributes have gathered. Even though they were all friendly towards eachother in training, now the tension has never been higher. The twist has changed their alliance into two independant teams, each who want the other´s downfall more than anything. Shermaine (2) and the Rejuvinated Tributes stand on one side, while Gypsy (2) and the Reaped Tributes stand on the other side. Right now, they are merely sizing eachother up, trying to read the other´s mind. Suddenly, Gypsy stands forward and takes the word.
"So, Warmonger. Looks like we´re rivals, huh?"
Shermaine nods at her with a knowing and cunning smile, without letting her grip off her swords.
"Yes, it does. And don´t call me "Warmonger", it´s either Pain or Shermaine, got it?"
At that, Gypsy steps forward and spits at the ground in front of Shermaine, while smiling a gloating smile. She spits again for good measure.
"I call you whatever the fuck I want, Warmonger. Now, let´s settle this like civilized humans. Last alliance standing gets the horn."
Shermaine smirks, something that surprises everyone in the group. They seem to have all forgotten about the rest of the Tributes who are trying to scrape with them as much supplies as possible while the Careers are occupied.
"Fine. Mark my words though, I´ll cut you down, each and everyone of you, and you can´t beg for mercy anymore."
At that, there is sudden movement behind Alvida (4), who is standing on her own a bit away from Gypsy and the rest of her group. Before she has even time to cry for her, a sharp dagger is drawn across her throath, sending gushes of blood over Jade (1), who immediately starts screaming. Alvida drops to the ground, and her behind her stands Glow (1) with a bloodthirsty grin on her face. Jade keeps screaming even more and runs towards Alvida, but she is long gone. Now all of Gypsy´s gang turn to look in horror at what Alvida. Glow (1) teases them all by showing tongue at them.
"Wow, pathetic little Career wannabees! Can´t even protect your own ally-"
She is quickly cut short as an arrow shoots out and penetrates her through her chest. A bullseye, straight through the heart. She drops to the ground coughing and hissing. Luigi (1) lowers his bow without a single sound, not a single drop of remorse showing in his face. Both of the Career groups are now in complete chaos and blindly start to attack eachother. Shermaine and Gypsy quickly find eachother and meet swords, their teeth grit with hatred towards eachother. All the other Careers jump onto their previous allies as well, until the whole scene is an outright brawl.
Meanwhile, the alliance of Fairy (C), Burma (12) and Allanah (13) have all met up a bit away from the Cornucopia. They all have weapons each, Fairy a set of shruikens, Burma some throwing knives and Allanah a bow but no arrows. Neither of the girls have managed to get any kind of survival items, but weapons is of course a lot more useful if they have to engage in combat. But without their knowing, Fairy is already plotting against the two other girls, and they are already in big trouble, even though the Careers are occupied. Their minds are both set on getting out of the chaos around them, while Fairy´s are not about getting away, but fighting. Just as Burma turns around to watch the Careers duke it out, Fairy takes her chance, and quickly throws two shruikens into her back, throwing her bleeding and screaming her into the grass. Allanah quickly looks around to find the attack, but then quickly realizes when she sees the shruikens in Burma´s back, that it was none other than Fairy. Allanah tries to run away, but Fairy throws her last two shruikens at her. One flies into her right calf, and the other sticks into the back of her head. She falls down next to Burma, screaming just like her. But nobody comes to save them, and Fairy quickly steals their weapons and runs off through the grass.
As the Career´s fight goes on, two Tributes have somehow managed to sneak into the Cornucopia in a search for something. Viggo (7) and Pandora (7). Viggo has come up with a plan to put the Bloodbath out of commition quickly, and Pandora has agreed to follow it through. All they need are matches, and after searching for a little while, Viggo waves at Pandora with a pack of them and a large grin on his face. Then, just as quickly as they arrived, they sneak out of the horn, miraculously managing to not alert the Careers of their presence. Outside again, Viggo grins as he lights the matches one by one, and drops them onto the dry Savannah grass. In a matter of seconds, tall, powerful flames spread across the Bloodbath area. It doesn´t take long before the whole place is in even bigger chaos than before, with Tributes getting lit on fire left and right, screaming for help that never comes. Both Mia (7) and Max (7) already lay on the ground, burning to death, while their alliance run for their lives against the burning inferno that Viggo has started. But the fire isn´t done just yet, it starts licking it´s way through the grass towards the Career alliances who are still fighting. Viggo and Pandora scamper through the burned grass and fast multible corpses.
Shadow (2) and Caspian (4)´s swords meet at the middle, each of the boys are trying desperately to tip the other one of of balance so they can finish the fight. The boys are complete equals in strength and skill, but they keep jabbing their swords at eachother, neither one of them giving up just yet. But hile all their allies have backed off, having seen the deadly fire moving towards them, they are ignorant to it and keep clashing swords like their lives depended on it, which they do. Shadow raises his arms to deliver yet another strike from above, but suddenly starts screaming as flames start to move their way up his legs. He starts yelling for help and jumping around, trying to fend the flames away. Caspian doesn´t hesitate at all, and quickly swings his sword at Shadow´s side. The sword digs in deep before Caspian´s rips it ut again. Shadow tries to bring Caspian with him in death, but his last strike misses and he´s quickly engulfed in flames as tall as trees. Caspian quickly backs off and runs towards Gypsy (2) and the rest of his alliance, while they turn tails and run through the grass, away from the flames.
Kiesha (C) has managed to get away form the Bloodbath, and is running through the tall grass of the Savannah. She has nothing with her, since by the time she had managed to get into the Cornucopia, the fire started, and she had to get out immediately. The tall grass is almost as tall as she is, she can berely keep her head over the tip of it. She can still hear the screams and yells from the Cornucopia, even though she has managed to run pretty far away from it. Up ahead she can see the end of the barren landscape around her, and the start of another landscape. Large mountains tower above her, and she knows that that is where she wants to be, away from other Tributes, safe inside the caves. But what Kiesha isn´t thinking about is the fact that someone is stalking her right now. A creature is lurking inside the grass, camoflagued by it´s fur. A cheetah. Just as Kiesha passes it´s hiding spot, it pounches out and straigth onto her. Kiesha screams and tries to run away, but the cheetah is too fast for her and has taken her back in a matter of seconds. The poor girl from the Capitol can do nothing but lie down and scream for help while the cheetah starts to claw and bite at her. Soon more cheetahs have gathered around her, and they too sink their fangs into her. One of the fangs puncture her mayor leg arterie, and Kiesha knows it´s over. Slowly, all her blood is drained and the cheetahs are left with nothing but a dead shell to feast on.
Back at the Cornucopia, Tyra (13), Radiant (13), Piper (14) and Kwartz (10) have finally met up, after many minutes of running around, trying to find one another. They don´t have much in the way of supplies, since the Careers battling had been blocking the only way into the horn for the whole Bloodbath, but they have managed to scrape with them some. Tyra has found herself a quiver full of arrows but no bow, Radiant a pack of dried meat and a bread. Piper didn´t find anything at all, but Kwartz managed to steal a small knife from the Anti-Careers. Tyra raises her hand to signalize that she wants to say something.
"Alright guys, nice job. Now we just have to work to get our asses out of here, before we get killed by the Careers. Luckily they´re still weakend from the fire, but we don´t have much time. Let´s go!"
Piper, Radiant and Kwartz nod to show that they agree, and then all of them start running away form the horn, up north. None of them have any idea what to expect in this kind of Arena, but they know that they have to get out of the Savannah. The Careers are bound to make it their camp spot.
"Detria! Come on!"
Day (5) shouts to Detria, who is starting to fall behind him. They´ve just finished rouding off a good bunch of supplies, including a mechanical snare, two small spears, a survival knife and six packs of dried meat. The rest of the Tributes still at the Cornucopia are also trying to run away, but every one of them are going faster than Detria. She can´t keep up with Day, who is sprintting through the grass, and it was only a matter of time before someone would take advantage of her lack of speed. That someone is already lying in wait in the canvas behind a group of rocks, even. Cleo (12) is watching the girl from District Five with hungry, beady eyes, with a sword clutched in her hands. Just as Detria passes by and therefore shows her back to Cleo, she lunged forward with her sword in her hands, screaming a warcry. Detria quickly throws herself to the left, Cleo´s sword slashes the ground where she was just standing a few seconds ago. Day is now running back to save Detria, but for all he knows, it might already be too little, too late. Cleo swings her sword at Detria again, this time cutting into her leg and sending her screaming into pulses of pain. Another slash, this time narrowly avoided, but Detria knows she can´t keep it up. As final resort, she throws the survival knife she found at her opponent, hoping to chase her away. However, the knife does a lot more than that, lodging itself into Cleo´s temple, she immediately starts to scream and roar. Before she can harm Detria anymore, Day appears and thrusts his spear straight through Cleo´s stomach, and she slumps down onto the floor. Day tries to get Detria up from the ground, but she starts screaming more because of her leg injury. But he´s not one to give up on his allies, Day instead uses all his strength to heave Detria onto his back, and then run as fast as she can take out of the Savannah, far away from the Bloodbath. However, Cleo is still barely concious, and isn´t even able to scream as cheetahs fly onto her and start ripping her to pieces with their sharp claws.
Very few Tributes are left in the Bloodbath now except for Shermaine´s Careers. The Anti-Careers have already ran away when they lost Mia and Max to the fire, Gypsy´s gang of Careers are also gone. Shermaine gazes around her, like a queen on her throne, surrounded by her allies. It is then she notices Furcifer (C), who is making a run for the grass, with his arms full of weapons and a tent. However, his abuandance of supplies is too heavy for him, and when he runs too fast, he trips and falls head-first down in the grass. Shermaine smirks and quickly runs up to Furcier, without him even hearing her footsteps. He is just about to get up from the ground when he notices a shadow over him, but by then, it is already too late. With a forceful movement Shermaine thrusts her sword straight through Furcifer´s back, killing him instantly. She then rips her sword back out again, sending his spine flopping out of his body. She kicks him away and signalises her allies to come with her. She has just noticed some very juicy-looking prey.
Zoey (5), Saadia (6), Savannah (9) and Falk (12) are trying desperately to keep up their pace, but the Careers are all too fast for them. They know that if they just can reach the part of the Savannah which isn´t burned down, they can conceal themselves in the vegitation and maybe get away. But the grass seems miles away and the small alliance isn´t able to get there fast enough. Falk, who is at the back of the group, turns his head just in time to take in the image of Helena (10) loading her bow and shooting an arrow at him.
At his yell, Zoey, Saadia and Savannah throw themselves down. But just as Falk is about to duck, he realizes it´s too late. The arrow burrows itself into his neck and spine with a gruesome snap! Saadia scream and try to pull Falk with her while they continue to run away. The Careers are closing in, and Helena is loading another arrow, this time aimed directly at Saadia. Saadia sits there as the arrow comes closer and closer and closer...
Zoey throws herself in front of the arrow, and it flies directly into her left eye, sending a spray of blood over Saadia. Savannah reacts quickly, she grabs Saadia by her arm and drags her with her. The Careers are happy to take out both Zoey and Falk. Shermaine gives Helena a thumbs up. Amme (3), Zaphire (1) and Buck (6) gestures towards to keep chasing Saadia and Savannah, but Shermaine pulls them away with a smile on her lips.
"It´s no use. Even if we catch them, it doesn´t matter. They´ll die off on their own anyways, no reason to waste our time on them."
The Careers watch as Saadia and Savannah keep running until they´re impossible to see in the sea of the golden grass.
While the Careers are away, mayhem has re-erupted at the Bloodbath. Nikhita (11), Melly (11) and Crimson (11) are all chasing after Ward (C) and Crayolaya (5), who have formed an temporary alliance. The two boys have managed to steal all of the District Eleven´s supplies and are now trying to get away from them. Nikhita is furious at them and is trying to catch them as soon as she can, she knows the Careers will be back any moment from their own chase. Ward and Crayolaya make a run for the grass together, and Melly makes one last effort to get at them. She throws a pebble, it only hits a pedestal, and Melly, Nikhita and Crimson realize it´s worthless and they have to focus on get out of the Cornucopia arena as soon as possible. However, the pebble Melly threw turns out to be a lot more useful than it seemed at first. The pebble bounches off the metal pedestal and like in a dream, hits Crayolaya in the skull, and he drops to the floor. A few seconds later, Ward also drops dead, but this time, from a knife lodged in his back from Ahri (8). Ahri then quickly takes the supplies Ward had in her backpack and runs out of danger, her red hair florishing behind her in the wind.
"See you later suckers! Thanks for the food!"
Nikhita quickly scavenge the supplies from Crayolaya´s body, and she drags Crimson and Melly with her out into the wild grass.
Inside the Cornucopia itself, Trey (14) has taken refugee behind a pyramid of crates from another Tribute, who has been hunting for him for almost the whole Bloodbath, Jace (2). The big, burly boy from District Two is prowling the inside of the horn, knocking away shelves and crates in search for Trey, and grasped in his hand is a large scimitar, ready to slash and hack at sight. Trey sits petrified in his hiding spot, trying to keep himself from shaking and hacking teeth. Jace is coming closer and closer, and Trey realizes he has to run now, or the Career will ultimately find him and take him down. So when Trey sees that the Careers are no longer blocking the mouth of the horn, he takes his chance and storms for the exit. Jace sees him and starts shacing after him, but Trey´s small shape is an advantage for him this time, he´s a far better runner than Jace. But Jace is also a decent at throwing knives, so instead of prolonging the chase he takes aim and chucks his scimitar at the running boy. The weapon swoops through the air and hooks itself into Trey´s neck, killing him instantly. Jace quickly grabs a few weapons from the shelf next to him before running out into the Savannah and away from the Cornucopia. Just as Shermaine and her Careers are finished looting Zoey (5)´s body, they see him dissapear into the horizon. That´s when Shermaine sees that Falk (12) is still alive somehow. Sighing, she grabs his unconsious body by the arms and drag him out to the grass. She knows she can´t kill him personally, since both her and Falk are Rejuvinated, but there are other ways of disposing of someone. When the deed is done, she returns to the horn, hearing Falk´s screams from the Savannah, while hungry cheetah tear him apart.
Day One - Post-Bloodbath
The Rejuvinated Careers have returned back to the golden horn, exausted after the tough battle and prolonged chases. They´re all very pleased with what they have managed to get though. Except from mostly everything that was originally in the horn, including weapons, food and water, utility items and lots more, they also managed to eliminate a decent amount of the competition. Zoey (5), Henry (10) and Alvida (4), as well as a lot of other Tributes. However, they´ve also suffered their own losses, namely Glow (1) and Alexander (4). Buck (6) was the one who found Alexander with his skull bloody and cracked open. Buck´s fists are shaking from the memory of seeing his ally´s cold corpse. Alexander was more than his ally, even, he was his friend. It doesn´t seem fair. He doesn´t have anything against Glow dying, he never trusted her, that was how she became such a well-liked Tribute, for betraying all her allies and brutally murdering them, after all. But Alexander was different. He wasn´t the usual cocky Career bastard, the kind of allies who always pushed Buck around in his first Games simply for not being from a Career District. He was kind and loyal, even though he was sometimes a bit threathening and unpleasant. Suddenly he looks around at his allies scared, maybe he was thinking that they could hear what he was thinking. Instead they´re just standing around like all of them have done for the last few minutes. Most of the Careers managed pretty well in the Bloodbath, not many with too bad injuries. Zaphire (1) got a pretty nasty slash in his leg, thanks to Kronos (3), who was the last Tribute left in the Bloodbath. Shermaine and the others had to chase him away because he wouldn´t give up the horn without a fight. In the end he gave up, figuring he was outnumbered.
Suddenly, all the Careers flinch as the cannons start being fired off. They all count them inside their heads, all the way from one cannonshot up to seventeen. Seventeen dead Tributes, just on day one, eighteen if you include Amelia (14). They all sit in silence once again. Finally, the camera pans out and leaves the Careers alone.
On the other end of the Arena, in the middle of the thick and moist Rainforest Zone, Viggo (7) and Pandora (7) and running through the wilderness, Pandora using the knife she nicked while they were escaping the Bloodbath to cut through the worst of plantlife. Both of them are sweaty and exausted, the heat is murdering them slowly. Viggo and Pandora realize this, that they could be in deep trouble if they don´t find a place to crash soon. Salvation comes in the form of a lushious stream suddenly flowing between their feet. It´s warm as summer rain, but still water. The two thristy Tributes quickly plunge their heads into the water and gulp down as much as they can manage without drowning, then dip out again.
"Oh my god that feels good!"
Viggo yells out into the jungle. Pandora can´t help it, she starts to laugh out of relief, and soon both of them are lying on the ground, laughing.
"The fire boy needed some refreshments, huh?"
They both get up again and sit down on some rocks by the stream, their thirst need fulfilled but still exausted after the long journey to where they are now. Viggo soom realizes that he could not continue traveling even if he wanted to, so he just starts gathering some large, peculiar leaves from nearly bushes and start making some sort of place to sleep. Pandora at first looks quiestioning at him, before sighing and helping Viggo with gathering more leaves.
The Reaped Careers have to admit defeat. They have retired into the Forest Zone of the Arena, which felt a lot more like home for most of them instead of the barren and inhospetile Savannah. Many of them have suffered heavy injuries, most promimently Jade (1), whose arm has a large gash in it and it has started to swell up. Gypsy (2) has also gotten a severe concussion when she was hit with the hilt of Shermaine (2)´s sword, she is trashing away in her sleep on the ground, with Luigi (1) taking care of her. Caspian (4)´s left leg has angry blisters after his duel with Viggo´s fire, while Duanex (13) is the only one who escaped the Bloodbath unscaved. They´ve set up camp and organized the little supplies they managed to scrape with them. Some rope, five liters of water in canteens, a box with matches and a stretch of plastic. Luckily, each of them managed to get at least one weapon for themselves. Jade a bow and a quiver full of arrows, Gypsy has her sword, Caspian has a spear and a short sword, Duanex a dagger and Luigi a bow, but no arrows, since he used them all in the Bloodbath. They sit huddled on the ground, with the large plastic sheet over them on a pair of sticks to protect them in their sleep if it starts to rain. The night has already started to creep closer and closer, as they used the most of the day to travel into the Forest Zone from the Savannah. While they are all sitting in silence, everyone knows what they are thinking; they don´t have any food, and none of them have any experience with hunting. Unless they get sponsors or Lady Fortuna smiles to them, they will have a tough next couple of days.
Luna (6) and Star (6) are also in tough times, but at the other end of the Arena, in the Mountainous Zone. They were some of the Tributes who ran away the moment the Bloodbath started, not wanting to take any risk by going into the combat. But now, they might have to face the consequenses of that decition, since they are left without any supplies. Both are exacusted and heated out because of all the walking in steep terrain, for hours they´ve been hiking up the same mountain which seem to never end. In the end, Luna calls out to her brother, who is a bit farther down than her.
"Star, we can´t keep this up! Whether we like it or not, we have to stop and rest."
Star´s breath heaves and he takes a while to answer her back.
"I don´t have anything against that. Sh-should we just camp right here then?"
As to answer him Luna sits down on a nearby rock and tries to catch up with her hurried breathing. Star walks up to her and sits down next to her. From here they can see the distant Savannah. There´s still smoke in the sky after the fire.
Ahri (8) is in trouble, and she knows it far too well. Something in the jungle is after her, while she runs she can feel the creature come closer and closer in the murky water. The jungle is too thick to traverse, so she has to stick to the river she is in, but there is something hunting her, something unknown, something dangerous. Ahri pants and keeps sprinting as fast as she can through the swamp-like river, clutching onto her backpack with both of her arms. She managed to get out of the Bloodbath just after killing Ward (C) and stealing his stuff, but the backpack is very heavy and it blocks her from going as fast as she has to to get away from whatever is after her. But then she sees her salvation. A patch of jungle which is not overgrown with plants and weeds. But just then, something grabs at her left foot and sinks it´s fangs into it. Ahri screams and turns around, she can finally see the thing that has chased her. It´s a hideous, scaly fish which is about the size of a dinner plate, but with razor-sharp teeth. It has a large beak-like something coming out of it´s head, like a thin sword. Ahri grabs at the fish and tries to pull it off her leg, but to no avail. She pulls out her knife and plunges it deep into the fish tearing it apart from the inside, but the fish´s body is still holding onto her foot. Ahri lies in the water and pulls and pulls at the fish´s corpse, but it´s teeth is not bulding. In the end she realizes what she has to do. Ahri grabs her knife with shaking hands and starts to cut at her leg, right over where the fish bit her. Ahri screams and wails in pain while she cuts deeper and deeper with her knife, straight into the bone. She can barely see or hear anything, but keeps at the work, knowing it has to be done to save her life. Then she has to start jabbing the knife into the bone of her foot to pry the bones open and crack them up. Her screams echos through the thick jungle. Finally, after half an hour of excrutiating pain, she falls unconsious down in the river, while her left foot slowly drifs with the river´s stream.
At that time, Xavier (8) pokes his head out of the bushes by the riverbank. His eyes trail across Ahri´s body and then latches onto her severed foot farther down stream. He jumps down into the water, but careful not to walk into the deeper sections, he knows how life in a river works. He sneaks up to Ahri and fumbles with her pulse. He then pulls out a small dagger and places it against her throath. But in the last second, Xavier pulls the blade back again and puts it in his pocket. He just made a decition which would change him forever. He wraps some bandages around the stump where her foot used to be, and then grabs Ahri by her arms and starts to drag her into the bushes and out of the river.
In the mangrove, Katarina (4) is moving flawlessly through the dark and dirty water, tossing waterlillies and other aquatic plants away as she swims through the muck. Like a few other Tributes, she does not have anything at all from the Bloodbath since she ran away, but at least she has her life. And Katarina knows her time to show what she is made of will come sooner or later, to show the Capitol that she is better than her cousin, better than her. Oceania´s victory drove Katarina into total despair, but nobody cared about her, they only cared about being proud of Oceania, celebrating Oceania. Katarina would like to sink her knife into her cousin and murder her, to finish her legacy so her own can start for real. Last Games was just the warm-up round, this time Katarina is truly playing to take it all. The glamour of winning doesn´t really match her current state though, swimming through a grimy swamp with no advantages other than her reputation and guts. Just then, Katarina hears hurried footsteps and splashes at the other side of the foilage. She quickly slips into the water and swims up to land, and peeks through the canvas of plants. There she sees a large group of Tributes, gathering around a small bundle of crates from the Cornucopia. She doesn´t recognize any of them on sight, but she knows that there´s only one group except the Careers with than many members, the Anti-Careers. Her interest temped, Katarina sneaks a bit closer so she can hear what´s being said.
Drago (12) steps forward as the leader of the alliance, speaking to all the faces in front of them. Some look scared, some look determined, and some just look very tired. Milo (9) takes his place next to Drago, being co-Leader after all.
"Alright guys, nice work back there! Just keep it up now, we´ve got a long night before us. Alissa, could you take the first shift with me?"
"Sure thing Drago!"
Alissa grins at him, even though it will mean she´ll get less sleep than the others. She walks up to Crago and gives him a high-five, and they laugh together. Milo looks awkwardly at both of them, he was always the more serious kind, both in his previous Games and in training. Most of the others in their alliance are also looking a bit sullen, like Milo, but some are laughing with them as well. Drago puts on his serious face again, and gives everyone before him a stern face. But then his face cracks up into a smile.
"Now now guys, don´t be so moody! We survived, and that´s what important! Let´s take one day at a time, eh? Keep our morale up?"
At that, Brandon (9) steps forward with an expression of disgust on his face.
"What about Kiesha (C)? What about Ward (C), Cray (5), Max (7) and Mia (7), huh? Should they also just take one day at a time too? You´re just gonna stand there and pretend nothing happened to them, that they´ve just gone to some kind of vacation? We watched our friends die today, and you sit there and talk about morale!?"
Drago´s face freezes in sort of a grimase at Brandon´s speech. Nobody else is saying anything, the ones who were smiling just seconds ago are staring blankly and the ones who were already a bit grumpy just seem even more tired. Even though nobody is saying anything, Drago knows that they agree with Brandon. Brandon steps forward again and now stands just a few centimetres away from Drago, who is not catching Brandon´s eye.
"What do you have to say, Drago? What´s the matter, huh? Got nothing to say-"
Parasto (14) puts his hand on Brandon´s shoulder and gives him a warning and stern look. Brandon looks at him back with a cold expression.
"Stop it, Brandon. Give him a rest, he didn´t mean it. We´re all sad about what happened today, but this isn´t how you ougth to show it."
Brandon snorts and storms off with, throwing a blanket over his head and lying down on the ground. Laurel (9) walks to him and sits next to him, not saying anything, but looking at Parasto and Drago with a cold glare. Drago sighs and then claps two times to get everyone´s attention back.
"Alright then, go to sleep, you guys. Me and Alissa will have the first shift. In three hours we´ll switch it around, so Lexi (10) and Milo (9) has the next one. Then after that, it´s Laurel (9) and Brandon (9)´s turn. Parasto (14), you´ll have to be alone on shift the last three hours. Now, mush mush, off to sleep!"
Tyra (13)´s eyes flicker in the flames of the fire in front of her. She volunteered to take first shift for her alliance, while they all sleep. Her feet are hurting like someone has stabbed them with a thousand needles at the same time, because of far they have traveled in one day. They are in the Mountainous Zone, in a damp and lushious cave, filled with vegitation. All the entrances except one has been sealed off, so the cave is difficult to see and even harder to reach from the outside. Tyra just hopes it´ll be enough to keep the other Tributes at bay if they come to get them. In a corner Tyra and her allies have stashed all of their supplies. A quiver full of arrows, a packet of dried meat and a large bread and a small steel knife. It´s not much at all, but it´s all they´ve got, so they´ll all have to do with that. While Tyra sits there, she can´t help but ponder on what the next day will have in store for her and the others. They don´t have much food, not even enough for everyone for one day, and no water at all. That will have to be her number one priority, to find resources for the others and her. Outside the dark has infested the whole Arena, turning it pitch-black and even more threathening than before. In a few hours, or even minutes, the Fallen will be shown and everyone will know how many and what Tributes are left in the Games after day one. Tyra is just happy everyone got out alive and well, without any injuries to speak off at all, really. Kwartz (10) suddenly opens his eyes to reveal he had been awake for a long time now. Tyra gives him a small smile.
"Hey, little guy. Ya know, you should really get some rest now. I´m on shift so you can sleep, so just close your ryes and relax.."
Kwartz stands up and walks up to her, and then Tyra sees he has tears in his eyes. His voice is low and quivering like a string. Tyra is surprised, she has always viewed Kwartz as very tough for his age. But even tough kids cry sometimes.
"Tyra, I´m scared. At-at the Cornucopia, when we were running, I saw Helena (10). I saw her shoot down a boy and a girl who were trying to run away, but I remember her from the train. She was so nice..."
Tyra gives a small sigh to nobody in paticular. Why does this have to happen? Why does kids have to grow up so fast, all thanks to the Capitol? Even herself. Tyra then does something she something she didn´t even know she was going to, she rose up and hugged Kwartz, and patted him on his head.
"There, there Kwartz. It´s nothing to worry about, I-we will protect you. Me, Radiant (13) and Piper (14), we´re here for you. It won´t be like last time." Large tears splash down, but Kwartz seems to have calmed down a bit. He hugs Tyra back warmly and gives her a small nod, before lying down on the floor again, right next to Piper and Radiant. After a while, he has fallen asleep and is snoring soundly, while Tyra sits by the cave walls. She is crying.
Ikaika (3) takes Maala (3)´s hand and starts to drag her upwards. When she is far enough up, and her arm can´t take anymore, Maala lets go of his hand and grabs the branch with both of hers. Then she sits down, a bit uncomfortably, onto the treebranch together with her borther. They´re both panting and heaving after their breath, but smiling at eachother. They did it, they survived day one. It´s a small start, but at least they´re both still alive. They watch carefully over the forest under them for any Tributes lurking around, but they know that they are safe from now. Sadly enough, Ikaika managed to lose his survival knife while they were running away from a ravenous swarm of Tracker Jackers, but they still have Maala´s canteen, the very same she used to murder Alexander. Ikaika can´t help but look over at her sometimes, wondering why she wasn´t faced at all when she smashed Alexander´s skull in at the Bloodbath. But at that exact time when he is on the verge to ask her if she´s ok, the sky lights up in a glorious shine in the form of Panem´s seal. The Fallen are about to show. Ikaika and Maala both focus intensely on the sky as they are shown in cronological order, from the Capitol to District 14, Reaped Tributes and then Rejuvinated ones.
Shylock (11) sits on a tree stub and gaze up at the night sky, luminated with Panem´s seal. He is sitting gently from a large leaf filled with water, with his branch at his side, working as a club in case of any attacks or ambushes. He came here after a whle day of tirelessly walking into the Forest Zone, but he is not completely dazed out like the rest of the tributes, He brushes his red fringe out of his eyes just as the first portrait is shown, Furcifer (C). Shylock merely looks expressionless at the face of the boy. Then follows Kiesha (C) and Ward (C), all from the same District, Shylock looks to be just as affected about their deaths as Furcifer´s, meaning nothing at all. Then comes a surprise for every single Tribute except the Careers, even to Shylock, Glow (1) is shown in the sky. Even though he´s surprised, Shylock doesn´t show it much, just a small grunt. After that comes Shadow (2), the least impressive of the Careers. None of the Rejuvinated Tributes are even slightly surprised, since he did win one of the earliest Hunger Games, where Careers as they´re known of today didn´t even excist. But a lot of the Reaped are shell-shocked to see two Careers bite the dust on day one. Another surprise, Alvida (4) is then shown, one of the Capitol favorites to win after all, and one of the bigger threaths of all the Tributes. Shylock only snorts when he is shown the faces of Crayolaya (5) and Zoey (5), both commonly stated as about average Tributes, and average Tributes never last very long. After that the next ones to be shown are Mia (7) and Max (7), yet again, not a big surprise, but a large gulp in the throath for the Anti-Careers especially.
Even though she has just been confirmed that all of her District Partners are now dead, Fairy (C) doesn´t seem to mourn them at all. Her cheerful and humble nature seems to have been completely wiped off the map, instead there´s a new Fairy, a cold, determined one. She has concealed herself in the tall grass of the Savannah, as far away from the Careers´ camp as possible without venturing into one of the unknown Zones. Her shruikens and throwing knives are lying in the grass next to her, in case a Tribute or the cheetahs would try to attack her. She has already disposed of the useless bow with no arrows by snapping it in two with a rock. Fairy´s attention is called back to the Fallen as he next Tribute is shown. It turns out to be Henry (10). Fairy quickly breathes out at the relief that such a powerful threath is gone from the player field. Fairy looks slightly surprised to see that no Tribute from District Eleven has perished just yet, but it is quickly gone as the next Fallen ones shows up, Falk (12) and Cleo (12) from District Twelve. But then, something catches Fairy´s attention, a rustling sound in the grass behind her. She quickly grabs her shruikens in her hands and stands up, ready to attack at any second. She stands in battle formation for longer than she can think of, for long that she thinks that the danger has passed and is about to lower her weapons when a shadow leaps out of the grass and onto her. Banette (8) is wielding a dagger in hs right hand, poised to stab. Fairy screeches and tumbles into the grass, Banette chasing after her. But after only a few seconds he in ontop of Fairy again, and jabs his dagger down at her. She quickly reflecs the blow with her shuriken, but barely, and Banette once again stabs at her. In a moment of desperation, Fairy grabs the hilt of his dagger and manages to knock it out of his grip, throwing it far away into the savannah. Banette´s eyes widen in horror.
"Game over, freakshow."
Fairy punches him in the face and while he´s distracted, quickly slices straight through his spine with her shurikens, sending sprays of blood in every direction. He starts to jerk and twitch, before his head falls off his neck and lands with an unpleasant thud on the ground. His body follows seconds later. Fairy´s fatigue finally gets the better of her, and she falls unconsious to the ground next to Banette.
On the other end of the Arena, in the Rainforest Zone, Nikhita (11), Melly (11) and Crimson (11) all sit in silence as they take in the last few Tributes to come off dead in the Games´ first day, Allanah (13), Trey (14) and Amelia (14), though she is not shown in the Fallen, but everyone counts her as one of the Fallen. Eighteen Tributes are down, and the seal of Panem dissapeas just as the last tune of the Anthem fades out into nothingness. Melly (11) has already fallen asleep on the soft, moist ground. They´ve made their camp right next to a stream, so they have acress to fresh water throughout the day. Nikhita gave herself guard duty, ready with her bow in case someone would come. However, she has very few arrows and has to use them sparingly or not at all. Crimson took up an interesting offer, to try to craft arrows out of the lumber around them. Nikhita is sceptical, but she is open for new things. She has to do everything in her power to win these Games, so she can have her shot at the President, quite literally. Her whole life has led up to these next weeks, the weeks where she will once and for all avenge her people who were slayed. She will slay Ariadne Blackwater, and end her legacy. She hates to view it that way, but in the end, Melly and Crimson are no more people than tools for her. She likes them, but for her to carry out with their plan, it is unlikely they´ll be able to help her through with it all. But if they are really intent to help her, she just hopes their devotion is stronger than their need to survive. If worse comes to worse, and Nikhita herself dies, she knows she would want either Crimson or Melly to win, so someone can finish the deed and see it through. Whatever the cost, by the end of these Games, Ariadne will lie dead by the hands of the Rebellion.
Nikhita looks over at Crimson, who´s sitting down and staring dream-like up at the starry night sky.
Crimson looks back at Nikhita with a very peculiar expression on his face, she can´t quite figure out what exactly is going on in his head. Crimson looks up again at the sky for a while, before answering.
"It´s just-erm...The sky, it´s beautiful, isn´t it?"
Nikhita sighs and lies down next to Melly for some sleep, giving Crimson her bow without an answer. The sky is beautiful, but what if she was looking at the sky as a free woman? What could be more beautiful than that?
Savannah (9) and Saadia (6) are sitting huddled together under a blanket in the shadow of one of the great mountains in the Mountainous Zone, trying to keep warm by sharing body heat, though they are both as stiff and cold as ever. Saadia´s teeth are clattering even though she´s trying her hardest to stop the noise, Savannah is just sitting in silence under their shared blanket. The night in this Arena is ruthless and unforgiving to it´s inhabitants, which Savannah and Saadia get to experience in person now. Neither of the girls got anything at all out of the Bloodbath, except their blanket, which is why they´re in such a desperate situation. The blanket can keep them a bit warm, but it´s food, water and weapons which is the biggest problem. If they were to be found, they would be dead and there is little they can do to stop it. if they keep at this for the next few days, they´ll be dead by dehydration anyways. To make the night go a bit faster, Saadia decides to try to spark up a conversation.
"So, uh, Savannah.."
"How did you get an 1 in traning? I mean, how did you score so badly when you did go good in the Gym?"
Saadia looks a bit embarrassed at her question, like she is going to offend Savannah, she is blushing like mad. Savannah just smiles and looks dreamy out into the open mountains.
"Oh I just kinda gave the Gamemakers a taste of their own medicine, if you get what I mean..."
Saadia doesn´t understand at all, but she just nods and goes back to huddle against Savannah´s warmth, trying to conserve her energy as good as she can. Even though it´s freezing, in just a few minutes, the two girls are sound asleep under their blanket, while the merciless winds whip through their heat.
"Detria, don´t you think it´s well time to rest now? Come on, lie down with me."
Day reaches out his hand, but Detria quickly rejects it and he pulls it away.
"No, Day. I´ll keep watch, just sleep. For both of us to rest at the same time is a death wish."
Detria (5) stares out into the black abyss of the swamp with Day on the ground besides her, trying to fall asleep as hard as he on the wet sponge-like ground. He has his spears with him in his hands all the time, in case they are to be attacked at night. Detria has already set up the mechanical snare she managed to get hold of in the Bloodbath, it is lying in wait to spring onto anyone who steps on it just outside of their camp. Their camp is well-concealed inside the plant canvas, impossible to spot from the murky river. The meat Day managed to scrape with him is lying safely in both of their sight, so no Tribute can just barge in and take them. They both know how crucial food will be to surviving in the Arena, without it they would not last very long. What´s more important though, and their first priority to find the next day, is water. The water in the swamp can be filled with bacteria which are most likely dangerous since it is the Hunger Games after all, so there is no sense in trying to drink that. Detria sits in her position, keeping watch over the river. Just as she´s about to turn and ask Day something, she find that he has already fell asleep. She sighs and finally goes to sleep when she isn´t able to wake him up. However, she isn´t able to fall asleep at once, instead she lies on the ground for half an hour before finally slipping into her dreams and nightmares.
Jace (2)´s eyelids are closing at a steady pace, but he´s trying desperately to keep himself awake for just a little longer. He has taken the risk of camping in the Savannah Zone, even though the Careers have made their obvious camp at the Corncuopia, as always. Jace´s weapons lie in a large, unorganized pile next to him in the grass. A large axe that has to be held with both of your hands, a battleaxe. Two great swords, perfect for brutal stabbings and slashing. A complete set of throwing knives, with small holes in them so they fly like birds through the air into their targets. Even though his weapon collection is impressive, Jace did not grab any survival supplies at all, and he´s now paying the price by having to endure the bitter cold nights in the Savannah Zone. An hour ago he heard some scuffeling maybe a kilometre away from his position, and then a cannon, but he was too exausted to go check it out. He´s pondering on who might have died, the Tribute in question was naturally not shown in the Fallen motage since they died pretty much as it was happening. Soon Jace feels himself slipping away and in the end he gives in, letting himself fly into his dream´s open arms.
In a small cave in the Mountainous Zone, Kronos (3) is sleeping soundfully. His dreams are soft and warm to him, but terrifying and gruesome to others. He´s dreaming of off-cut limbs, agonizing screams and wails, beheaded infants in jars. All the things Kronos loves with a passion. Pretty girls screaming for their lives at the hands of him, stakes being softly grinded into his father´s hands. A smile creeps itself onto his lips as he remembers that wonderous day, the day when he started his new life as a new person. Kronos is excited to finally have come back, to have been Rejuvinated, a great reward for his great deeds. He has come back from his sure and iminent death, to bring suffering onto even more poor souls. His precious stakes are resting beside his sleeping form, ready for action. He has already gotten hold of the mysterious glowing, green substance that was hidden away in the Cornucopia, waiting for him, and him only. If they think they know pain, they have no idea what´s coming for them next...
End of Day One.
Alliances after Day One:
Zaphire Beux (1), Shermaine Wilson (2), Amme Ilorenzo (3), Buck Rockwell (6) and Helena Krisp (10)
Luigi Wilkins (1), Jade Seeku (1), Gypsy Xenon (2), Caspian Lotuscloud (4) and Duanex Yuki (13)
Alissa Dove (8), Brandon Ivery (9), Laurel Cinders (9), Milo Amaranth (9), Lexi Greenway (10), Drago Fire (12) and Parasto Fulton (14)
Kwartz Diodin (10), Radiant Tayz (13), Tyra Crust (13) and Piper Quinn (14)
District Six and Nine Alliance:
Saadia Gaena (6) and Savannah Darnell (9)
District Three Siblings
Ikaika Mathilda (3) and Maala Mathilda (3)
District Six Siblings
Star Sunkin (6) and Luna Sunkin (6)
District Eleven Alliance
Crimson Typhoon (11), Nikhita Akshaya (11) and Melly Reesha (11)
District Five Alliance
Day Whisper (5) and Detria Glace (5)
District Seven Alliance
Viggo Flame (7) and Pandora Raven (7)
District Eight Alliance
Xavier Sharma (8) and Ahri Transia (8)
Loners (No Alliance)
Fairy Luck (C), Jace Larke (2), Kronos Blade (3), Katarina Seacrest (4) and Shylock (11)
Just as morning breaks and the sun rises up on the horizon, the Rainforest Zone lives up to it´s name, it starts to pour down. Just besides the great, warm river Ahri (8) lies unconsious still from the previous day´s events. Xavier (8) is sitting at the riverbank looking over at the steady stream of water which is being enhanced by the pouring rain. He has managed to bandage Ahri´s stump of a foot with some exotic-looking leaves, while organizing all the supplies she had in a small pile hidden in a small grove a few metres away from them. Ahri suddenly starts to grunt and roll over, and she opens her eyes. When she sees Xavier next to her, she quickly fumbles for a weapon at the ground around her, but can´t find anything. She tries to get up and run, but she quickly falls down again. It is then when she notices her foot, or rather, where her foot was supposed to be.
"Aaaaah! What the fuck!?"
She screams and scratches her leg, like she is trying to find her foot, wherever it is hiding. Then, she turns her head slowly at Xavier, with a dangerous glint in her eyes. She lunged forward and starts to crawl towards him, her voice hissing with anger.
"You fucker! You did this to me, didn´t you? You cut off my fucking foot, just for fun! I´ll kill you, I´ll kill your whole family!"
Xavier doesn´t panic, instead he just gives a small, soft laugh and shakes his head.
"Oh Ahri, do you really think you´re in any condition to fight me, you can barely walk. Think about it, I´m Reaped, if I had wanted you dead, I would have killed you yesterday when you were lying unconsious in the river!"
Ahri doesn´t seem pleased with her answer, she looks even angrier now. She grabs a rock and throws it at Xavier, who just simply waves his head to the side to dodge it. The rock flies straight into the bushes and out of sight. Suddenly, voices can be heard from the other side of the bushes in the river, and splashing footsteps. Xavier quickly dives down and pushes Ahri with him, who has stopped screaming.
"I´m telling you Pandora (7), I know I heard something over here just now! What if it´s the Careers or something?"
"Bah, those baboons? It´s Shermaine´s Careers that´s threathening, luck for us they´re Rejuvinated like us. i saw we turn back now, go back to camp, we don´t know what´s lurking in these waters.."
Xavier sticks his head out of the bushes and gets greeted with the view of Viggo (7) and Pandora slowly making their way up through the river, against the stream. They´re heading straight for him and Ahri. Xavier grabs a rock from the ground, and then quickly throws it in the other direction, away from them. It takes a sharp sound when it hits the water, and Pandora and Viggo quickly turn towards it. Pandora seems uncertain and uncomfortable, while Viggo just looks more eager after finally having something to do. They have done nothing but gathering resources all morning, so he´s impatient to have something to do. Pandora, on the other hand, isn´t as enthusiastic and would rather be staying in their camp.
"Did you hear that? The same sound, only this time, it´s coming from over here!"
"Please, Viggo, let´s just go back. If I fucking die, it´s all your fault."
The two Tributes pass right by Xavier and Ahri´s hiding spot, and for a split second, Ahri is afraid they´ll hear her, but then she comes up with a plan. While Xavier is focused on keeping sn eye on them, she is going to call for their attention.
"Hey, you two! Yes, you two right there! Help me!"
Xavier looks at Ahri with big eyes and quickly clamps his hands in front of her mouth, silencing her. But the damage is done, Viggo and Pandora quickly run straight for where the two of them are hiding. Five metres, four metres, they are closing in. Ahri wants them to find Xavier, so they can kill him for her, she grins at him with a devilish look on her face. Xavier, in a moment of desperation, grabs Ahri´s throwing knives and starts blindly throwing them through the canvas. A scream like one million needles through someone´s arms echo through the jungle. From through the bushes, Xavier and Ahri watch as Pandora lean over Viggo, who´s lying in the water, pleading him. The water has turned a murky dark red, spreading from where the knives struck Viggo in his chest.
"Please god, no, no! Viggo, come on, stay with me! Just hold on, I´ll find some plant or something that´ll help, don´t worry.."
"Let´s get out of here, now."
Xavier quickly grabs Ahri by her arms and manages to get her up on his back with surprising strength. Ahri doesn´t object at all, knowing what a distressed state Pandora must be in now. Back in the river, the last flow of life start to drip out of Viggo while Pandora fumbles helplessly with trying to keep him alive. Viggo uses his last strength he has left to hold Pandora´s hand.
"Just leave me, I´m going to die and you know it. Get as far away from here as you can, take the knives from my body. Stay alive, Pandora."
As Viggo´s cannon signals his death, Pandora screams loudly of anger, grief and frustration. Her eyes are filled with tears, but not just sorrow. Anger as well. She whispers a chant under her breath to nobody in paticular, but the Capitol can hear it all. An ominous promise.
"Mark my word, Eight, I won´t rest until you´re both dead by my hands. You haven´t seen the last of me."
Fairy (C) wakes up in her tree in the Savannah Zone to a light bleeping noise from above. Not long after killing Banette (8) and falling unconsious, she woke up to find herself being hunted by a pack of bloodthirsty cheetahs, the kind that ravaged at the Bloodbath. Fairy barely managed to get away from them by finding one of the few trees in the Savannah and climbing into it, fooling the feline creatures to prowl right past her. She has been sleeping for a bit longer than she wanted, so she is rather happy about something waking her up. At first she wonders where the sound is coming from and what is making it, until she recognizes the bleeping noise from her past Games. A gift from her Mentor, with something purchased by a sponsor. Fairy sits up and watches as the small parachute sails down from above and lands gently in her palm. It is very small, barely bigger than a sparrow. Fairy wonders what type of gift it is, why it is so small, and how it will change her situation. She hastily opens it, but to find it only contains a small white note. She picks it up and reads the words on it, her heart freezing to stone as she does so.
"Having fun breaking the Twist rules? You have hereby been marked with the flag, hopefully this will stand as a reminder for the future that we don´t find rulebreaking acceptable. You have been warned."
Fairy looks down onto her Tribute outfit to see that blood-red words are forming on her chest. A d, then an e, and then an a, all the way up until two words shine at her with their sinister message.
Fairy gasps for air as she realizes the gravity of her mistake. Just then, she graces her finger against a small thorn in the bark, and immediately screams in pain from it. Pulses of nerve-wracking pain flow through her, soon she hurts so much she is uable to speak or scream, or do anything at all. She lies on the branch like this for half an hour, before finally the pain starts to leave her body and she feels remotely fine again, but the shock still lingers in her. She realizes she can´t risk trying to travel somewhere today, if someone were to find her she would be dead before they even got hold of their weapons. Like it or not, she has to stay in her tree today. Fairy adjusts herself on the branch, trying to find a comfortable sleeping position without getting hurt from her flag. Tears flow down her cheeks as she cries hrself to sleep, the memory of the pain destroying her mind from the inside.
Having just woken up, Luna (6) and Star (6) have already started moving again. They´re both very frozen after the gruesome, chilly night in the mountains, but now they´re fixed upon moving out of the mountains to find somewhere safer to stay. Star (6) has trouble moving his limbs sometimes after all the damage from the cold winds, but both of them are doing alright for now. Luna is leading the way down the mountainside, down where they came from yesterday. From where they are they can see over almost the whole Arena, they are planning to travel to the most inhostile-looking Zone they can see, the Forest Zone. Luna is holding Star´s hand and careully guiding him over the large rocks in their path. To their left is a huge cliff that leads straight down for at least three hundred metres, certain death for both of them. Luckily, they both have rather good balance and is able to keep at their toes around the boulders around them. But without them knowing it, the mountainside under them is starting to crumble as they walk over it, courtesy to the Gamemakers. The day has been a bit too quiet for the Head Gamemaker´s taste, and now they´ve been ordered to spice things a bit up. Luna turns her head and gives Star a little smile, which he returns, before she steps over another boulder and pulls him with her. But just as they step down again, the rocky ground under them suddenly makes a booming crack. Luna screams as she is thrown off her feet and starts to slide down the mountain, with Star right after her. The siblings yell of the pain of being scraped by the rocks and boulders as they continue to tumble downwards. Soon large cracks and rifts appear in the mountain, the whole thing is shaking and is being ripped off from the inside.
"Luna! Watch out!"
Star yells a warning to his sister, because a large piece of the mountain has been ripped lose over him and it´sn starting to roll down with them. Only problem, it is heavier than them and therefore rolls faster. Luna screeches, she knows that if they don´t do anything soon, they will be crushed by the boulder from above. Star does the only thng that makes sense in the situation, he throws himself forward and catches Luna. But now they are headed directly for the cliff, directly into death´s waiting arms. Just as the tumble down into the abyss, Luna manages to hang onto a large green vine hanging down the cliff. They both sighs just as the boulder passes them by and they watch the outer crust of the mountainside crash into a valley. Luna starts to slowly climb down the vines until both she and Star are temporarily safe on a small ledge. They both sit down next to eachother, heaving for their breaths and coughing.
"Whew, we´re never doing that ever again..."
Luna grins tiredly, before giving her brother a high-five.
"Yep. Let´s just, you know, stay here for a while, to, to get ready. We´ll just have to get out of the mountains later today."
Not before long, they have both fallen alseep on the ledge, keeping themselves close together, even while sleeping.
Katarina (4) eyes all the supplies in front of her with greedy eyes. Four large breads, at least five water canteen but with two of them being almost empty and some long lengths of rope. But Katarina knows that the Anti-Careers might be back at any time, and taking too much stuff will alert them that someone is stealing from them. Suddenly, she hears noises and footsteps in the bushes outside of the clearing, so Katarina hasily grabs a small part of one of the loaves before diving out into the river again. Just when she´s out of sight the Anti-Careers stomp into their clearing again, all of them looking exausted and hungry. Katarina decices to sit and observe them some more before she makes her escape.
Even Drago (12) seems less like his spunky and cheerful nature, all of the Tributes in the clearing are panting and sweating from the heat of the Mangrove. None of them look very happy at all. Lexi (10) and Laurel (9) and clinging onto a few branches and sticks in their arms. Lexi has smeared mud over her torso to try to hide the fact that she has large red letters there spelling "DEAD END". Parasto (14) is heaving two water canteens in his hands, full of disgusting, dirty swamp water. Brandon (9), Milo (9) and Alissa (8) are sharing on the load of carrying a large fish-like creature. Parasto has a large gash on his right leg, which is bleeding openly, even though he has tried to use some leaves as band-aids. He and Alissa and Milo drop the fish creature down on the ground, sending a small tremor through the ground, shaking up the sponge-like dirt. Drago (12) clears his throath openly to signalise that he wants to say something, and the Anti-Careers turn their attention to him.
"Alright, team. Nice job today, we´ve got some good supplies to work with now. The fish is hopefully edible, we´ll have food for the next few days. We´ve also gathered water, so we should be good to go."
Again, Brandon (9) is the one who speaks up against Drago. He looks at the alliance´s leader with a questioning glare, full of spite.
"But what if the fish isn´t edible? The bread we have is never gonna last for all seven of us. And we have no garantee that it´s safe to drink the swamp water either, it looks pretty scetchy to me, at least. Our canteens might not even last for the next twenty-four hours. Also, what if we get attacked? We only have two knives, so if Shermaine (2) and her Careers show up, we´re fucked!"
Drago looks coldly down at Brandon. They have started to form a sort of rivalry, both trying their best at gaining the trust of the alliance as the wiser and best leader. While Brendan is more tactically advanced, Drago is a lot more experienced in combat and that sort of things. They are like polar opposites, yet they´re on the same team. Katarina snickers while watching the two boys argue over everything, the more they argue, the more split they´ll become, and thus, the easier it will be for Katarina to pick them off one by one. Drago and Brandon´s argument starts getting more and more rough, until Drago raises his fist and hits Brandon straight in the face, knocking him out cold at once.
Laurel screams and barely manages to catch Brandon before he hits the ground hard, she looks furous at Drago. Drago looks like he´s on fire, his eyes burning with hatred. Milo is gaping at him, Alissa has started crying once again and Lexi has joined Laurel in trying to wake up Brandon. Parasto walks straight up to Drago without saying anything, and then slaps him clean in the face. Drago yelps, but then looks like he´d just been woken up from a terrible nightmare, his face alive with horror. Parasto looks coldly at him.
"You needed it. Now go and see to your alliance, instead of punching them, maybe?"
"Yeah...I think I´ll do that.."
Drago runs up to Brandon and starts to help the others with bringing him back to the present. Parasto stands besides them all, with an odd facial expression, like something out of a mystery novel. Katarina grins her evil grin, before dissapearing under the marsh currents. She swims through the muck with surprisingly strength and grace for such a young girl, and in no time, she has returned to her hide-out in the reeds. It´s a small den, easily concealed by the riverbank. She ducks under the water once again and swims down to the entrance of her den, before swimming up again into the compressed air of the cave. There she sits down in comfort and starts eating her stolen piece of loaf.
In the Forest Zone, Maala (3) and Ikaika (3) are out trekking through the barren woods, keeping a low profile, since they do not know what kind of threaths are lurking out in the forest. Maala is holding her metal water canteen grasped in her hands, as kind of a substitute for a real weapon, while Ikaika has ripped off a stick that he has sharpened with a few rocks earlier in the day, when he woke up. They´re both looking very uncomfortable and scared in their envirement, since the bushes and trees around them are perfect for hiding out in. Maala holds Ikaika´s hands steadily though, and she guides him through every danger that they might face. Like the one behind them right this instant. Without them knowing, Shylock (11) has managed to sneak up on them with light, creeping steps. Then, out of nowhere, he coughs loudly to grab their attention. Maala and Ikaika instantly freeze, and turn on stop slowly to face Shylock. At sight, both of them immediately start screaming. They turn around again and starts running through the woods as fast as they can, away from the threath of Shylock. But then Ikaika slips and falls down, landing face first on some rocks. Maala gaspas and quickly starts to drag him up, but too late. Shylock has returned, with an expression of annoyance on his face.
"Will you two knuckleheads hear me out? I´m not gonna kill ´ya."
The siblings try once again to start running, but then Shylock has already grabbed their shoulders to prevent them from doing so. Ikaika screeches and tries to wrestle his way free, but Maala has already stopped moving and is now just staring up at the giant over them.
"Stop it, Kai. Let´s hear him out. If he wanted to kill us, he would have done it by now."
"How the hell are we supposed to trust him, Mal? He´s Rejuvinated, we´re Reaped, he can kill us in two seconds!"
Shylock snickers a bit under his breath at Ikaika´s comment. Then he falls back into his usual sullen look.
"Sorry, kid. I don´t kill kids unless I have to."
Maala quickly gives Ikaika a burning look to stop fighting, he gives up and looks up at Shylock too, with a terrified look on his face, like a cornered rabbit. Shylock sighs and lets go of their shoulders. Maala breifly massages her shoulders before returing her attention to Shylock.
"So, what do you want with us? An alliance, because in that case, the answer´s already a n-"
"No, not an alliance. I wanted to talk to you two, simple as that."
Ikaika seems to only get more and more nervous as Shylock is talking, and a few times he even gestures to Maala if they should run, but she is firm and just shakes her head at him. Shylock quickly looks over his head as to check if anyone is around, before looking down at Ikaika. He crumbles under the much older boy´s gaze.
"You, Ikaika was your name?"
Ikaika nods as to answer, his whole body and mind still wants to flee over everything else.
"I would advise you to stop relying so much on your sister. I saw you guys back at the Bloodbath, you killed good ol´ Alexander (4), only you didn´t do anything, Ikaika. Maala killed him. You were a coward and put your sister in deep danger because you were weak. Never let that happen again, you promise me that?"
Ikaika looks down at the ground, sobbing great wet tears all over his face. Maala has fallen back into her simple, expression-less face. Her eyes haven´t left Shylock alone since he first approached them. They´re looking for any kind of indication that he is lying, that what he really wants is to kill them as soon as they have let their guard down. Shylock looks uncomfortable at Ikaika crying, so he leans down to him and gives him a small reassuring pat on the shoulder. Ikaika just looks even more terrified. Shylock now looks at Maala, who looks back with just as much force.
"You there, Maala right?"
Maala doesn´t answer him, which is as good as a yes for Shylock.
"Anyways, you heard what I just told your brother. My advice to you, don´t let him just sit in the background and let you do all the work. You two need to work as a team, instead of one being a protector and the other being a victim. If you don´t work as a team, you´ll never win this game."
Maala is still glaring at Shylock with sharp eyes, not saying anything. Shylock smiles a small smile and then turns heels around and starts to walk back into the bushes. Ikaika is still frozen in his position, but Maala snaps back into the present and quickly chases after Shylock.
She ignores the call of her brother and runs through the wilderness. After not long, she finds Shylock again sitting besides a large tree, looking surprised to see her again, though he quickly pretends like he´s not.
"What is it? Don´t make me change my mind about killing you two."
"Why didn´t you kill us in the first place? Instead, you give us advice about teamwork, it doesn´t add up. What do you gain with that?"
Shylock smiles once again, he looks over to his left like in a dreamy state. You can see in his eyes that he´s not looking at the trees and bushes at all, but something has triggered his memories.
"It´s just...I wanted to be helpful I guess. I´m not in these Games for anyone at all, nor am I here for myself. The only person alive when I was reaped that loved me is long gone now, I don´t want to return to the District that scolded me for my father´s mistakes. A convenient scapegoat..."
Maala sighs and leaves him alone to his thougths, rushing back to Ikaika as fast as the wind. Back by the tree, Shylock still sits lost in his thougths. A tear rolls down his right cheek, soon joined by others.
"Alright, everyone. We´ve got some rest after ysterday now, I think it´s well time we acually start doing something. Buck (6), you´ve assembled the list I talked about?"
Buck sits himself up and nods at Shermaine (2), before waving at her with a piece of cartboard that seems to be from the packaging outside of the food supplies from the Cornucopia. There are scribbled words onto the sheet of cartboard, but they are very hard to read. Shermaine smiles at him briefly.
"Good job, may I have a look at it?"
Buck nods, and walks up to hand her the notes. She quickly skims through them and smiles at him again, before ordering him back to his place. Buck´s notes are a careful recreation of where all the Tributes went after the Bloodbath, in what direction. Just then, Zaphire (1) jumps out of the tall Savannah grass, looking exausted. He lies himself down besides the others, who quickly flock around him to hear what he has to say. Helena (10) pours some water over a piece of cloth and puts it on his forehead, he flinches of the cold but then sighs of relief. Shermaine leans down to him.
"Nice field work, Zaph. So, what did you learn from the Arena? Where does the Savannah end?"
Zaphire gasps for air for a while, before answering with a shaky voice.
"Well, I took a long loop around the whole thing. In every direction, the Savannah just kinda ends...And then another type of envirement starts. There was a jungle-like place, towards the south. A cold place with lots of tall mountains, to the north. A rual forest in the east, and a swamp in the east. I don´t know how big they are, but I´m betting at least as big as the Savannah."
All of the Careers start to drink in this new information. Five Arenas, in one big Arena. Shermaine smiles, and shows everyone the list that Buck had handed her before.
"Then it´s good that we´ve got this then!"
Amme (3) looks a bit questioning at the simple piece of cartboard, and smiles weakly at Shermaine, like she is asking if this is a joke or not. But Shermaine is as serious as always, a little excited it seems, as well. Amme isn´t alone either, both Helena (10) and Zaphire (1) also look very sceptical to how some cartboard is going to be of any use except to light a fire. As an answer, Shermaine hands Amme the notes.
"Just read it! Don´t you see?"
Amme reads it quickly, and as she does, her expression turns from some small sliver of curiosity to being just as happy as Shermaine is. She runs up and unexceptedly high-fives Buck, only he wasn´t ready for it so she instead high-fives his face. She clasps her hands over her mouth in horror and quickly helps him up, and Amme is surprised to see him laughing.
"Aren´t you angry I face-slapped you?"
Buck just starts to laugh even more, and soon Amme can´t help but giggle as well. Soon Helena joins in as well, her bubbly laugh echos through the air. The laughter is contagious and then even tired and exausted Zaphire chuckles a bit. The laugther goes on for minutes, the only one not laughing is Shermaine, though she is grinning at bit awkwardly, she it´s been a long time since she´s done it. But then it fades away faster than a sunset in the winter.
"Moving along, that piece of cartboard is acually very valuable information. This morning I instructed Buck, who has the best memory of us all, to write down notes on what direction each and every Tribute took off to, after the Bloodbath."
Buck blushes at the compliment and laughs nervously.
"Eh, it was nothing, I just tend to have a good image of the past I guess. But as Shermaine said and you all probably understand by now, this is information we can use to find the other Tributes faster."
Amme, Helena and Zaphire congratulate Buck on a job well done, Zaphire even stands up and shakes his hand firmly before lying down again. Buck takes all the encouragement with a big grin, but under the mask he´s very unsure. The situation he´s in reminds him too much of the situation he was in in his last Games. He was allied with the Careers, and there wasn´t any apparent rivalry in the alliance. Everyone were more like friends than competitors. But in the end, both Buck and his allies understood that only one of them could ever survive, and turned on eachother. What followed was possibly the bloodiest day in the Hunger Games´ history, except for the 67th Hunger Games. Buck shakes himself out of his own thougths and comes back just as Shermaine is discussing with the others.
"Ok, so according to Buck, Gypsy and her gang went about north-east to here, so they have probably ended up in either the swamp place or the forest. I think it´s more likely they´d camp in a forest than a swamp though, since it´s generally safer. There are some other Tributes worth trying to pin down, but for now, the Reaped Careers are our biggest targets. Also, they should still be pretty shaken up after our fight yesterday."
The others nod in agreement to her statement. Shermaine then grabs her swords and raises them above her head, staring around at her allies with a fierce kind of glare. She is ready to go to war.
"Alright! Grab your best weapons and let´s go!"
Buck, Amme and Helena both shout back and raise their own weapons, Buck a sword, Amme a sickle and Helena her bow and arrows as well as a katana. Zaphire looks distraugt at them, maybe even a little jealous.
"I guess I´ll stay behind and hold the fort up. I won´t be of much use anyways."
Shermaine smiles sympathetically at him, before asking him to be careful. Then she leads the group through the Savannah towards the north-east direction, wavering their weapons as they run through the foilage.
The creeping jungle is flying past Savannah (9) and Saadia (6) while they run through it like scared rabbits from the fox. Something is after them, something they can´t identify, something dangerous. That something has followed them ever since they got into the Rainforest Zone from the mountainous Zone in the early hours of the day. They had come to this Zone because of the heat and plentiful rainshowers, but now they´re being chased by something that exceeds the cold in the mountains as a threath. Savannah is trying to keep Saadia running, but she was badly damaged by the frost through last night. The creeping, loud thuds of the creature moving towards them comes closer and closer by the minute, neither of the girls will be able to keep running away from it forever. Vines and branches lash out and cut through the two girl´s skin as they trash through them, desperate to get away from the unknown beast prowling after them. The creature is getting more and more excited and moves faster and faster the slower Savannah and Saadia goes, until it is less than four metres behind them. Savannah understands that neither of them can keep this up, and does something desperate. She grabs Saadia by the arm and yanks her with her, down a steep hill. The girls whelp as they roll down, getting deep cuts from the rocks and sticks on the ground. At the end of the hill, Saadia and Savannah lie down, trying to catch their hurried breathing. They can´t hear the creature´s threathening footsteps or heavy breathing anymore, but every bit fo common sense in them tells them that it is only a matter of time before it´s hot on their trail again.
"Savannah, I-I can´t keep this up..."
Savannah looks at Saadia with sadness in her eyes, the large, bleeding wound in her side very apparent. Savannah knows this as well, either they try to fight back the creature or they die trying, there is nothing else to do. So when the monster, finally revealed to be a giant cougar-like creature with blade-like claws, breaks through the bushes and starts moving down the hill to them, Savannah doesn´t start to run again. Instead, she gets up and pushes Saadia behind her, away from the creature. Savannah then picks up one of the sharp rocks she hurt herself on previously from the ground, without losing eyecontact with the beast. The rock still has blood on it. Saadia backs farther and farther away from the pair until she has her back against a tree, watching in horror as her ally and the cougar circle eachother. Their eyes locked, their movements mechanical-like, the two fighters are determined to come up on top. For Savannah, it means to save herself and Saadia, but to the cougar, it means more meat to sink it´s teeth into. The two of them are sizing eachother up, before the courgar unexpectedly leaps forward with it´s teeth bared at Savannah. Savannah has few seconds to react, she flings herself to the left, bringing her out of the cougar´s way. The beast roars and pounces towards her again, but this time, Savannah is not fast enough. She has just got up to throw herself away from it again, but then the cougar has already reached her. She screams as the creature sinks it´s fangs into her side and tosses her through the air. She hands hard on the ground with a crunch. Saadia screams and tries to get up from her position, but she is in so great pain she can´t stand up. The cougar moves slowly over to Savannah´s form, he wants to savour this and enjoy it. Savannah is slowly slipping into unconsiousness, she knows she has to act fast to save her skin. And that´s exactly what she does. The cougar is right over her now, it raises it´s blade-like claws at her and slashes down. Just as the knives are about to hit Savannah, she uses her last bit of strength to aim her rock at the creature´s head and dig it between it´s eyes. The cougar roars and screeches of pain before it starts to fall, directly on top of Savannah.
A booming sound echoes through the Arena, and Saadia yells for Savannah, but nobody answers. Saadia finally gets up and runs to her ally and the cougar´s lumping mass. She uses all of her power to toss the animal off Savannah, to unveil her ally, almost completely squished and bleeding under it. Savannah´s eyes are closed and Saadia starts to cry and speak to her ally with a shaky voice.
"Savannah? Please, answer me if you can..."
Savannah still just lies on the ground, not a word uttered. Saadia´s tears splash on her still face.
"Answer me! Please, Savannah! SAVANNAH!"
Saadia cries and cries and keeping yelling and screaming for Savannah, but she never answers, and after endless minutes of hoping, Saadia has to understand that Savannah is gone. She lets go of her hand and gets up with much struggle. She isn´t able to run anymore, instead she walks as fast as she can away from the cougar and Savannah, crying for her fallen friend.
The brilliant afternoon sun is shining on the horizon, down on all the Tributes going about their business in the second day of the Games. Radiant (13), Tyra (13) and Piper (14) are trekking through the Mountainous Zone, heading back to their cavern after a rather uneventful day of gathering some supplies in the valley. Radiant is holding a large amount of wood from the pine trees in the Zone in his arms, barely managing to keep them from falling down. Tyra is holding a bow she crafted from the same trees as Radiant got his wood from, it is not very professional work but it´ll do in a pinch. She has the quiver of arrows from the Bloodbath strapped over her right shoulder. Piper has gathered a lot of edible plants and berries in the empty plastic pack that used to hold their dried meat. They gave the dried meat to Kwartz (10) before they left so they could use the packet to hold whatever they found on their journey. The three of them are panting and sweating from the exausting trip down into the valleys and now right up again into the cold and steep mountains. Radiant is in the front, leading Tyra and Piper, who are both a lot more worn-out than him. In the valley they encountered some mountain goats, which they thougth at first would be easy game to hunt. But after Tyra shot a few arrows at them, they went completely ballistic and started chasing them. They barely got away with their lives.
"There it is!"
Piper calls out to the others and smiles, because she is pointing at the cavern they had turned into home in the Arena. It´s a small hole in the mountain rock, and even though it might look like it would only hold about one person, it´s very roomy on the inside. It would be impossible for anyone but themselves to see the cave from the outside, since the entrance is so small and difficult to spot. It was a miracle Radiant even found it when they first came here yesterday, in the night. Radiant and Tyra smile back at her. Kwartz is standing in the entrance, waving at them and grinning. He´s happy they´re back now, even though he had his knife he had been dead scared someone would stumble on his hiding place the whole day. Tyra, Piper and Radiant are mere metres away from the cave and Kwartz, when a booming sound echoes through the mountains. The rocky ground underneath them starts to shake violently, and they are thrown off their feet and fall down. Kwartz screams as he too is flinged down over to them, out of the cave. Then it starts collapsing. The once sturdy ground under the mountain has been triggered to crumble, and the large piece of the mountain in front of them starts to crack up and fall. Tyra instinctively grabs hold of Kwartz and Radiant, and Radiant grabs hold of Piper.
Without hesitation, they all start to scramble down the mountain again, where they first came from. Large pieces of boulders and rocks roll down with them, they barely dodge away from them. And so the four Tributes keep half-way rolling and half-way sprinting downwards, away from the cave which they used to call home. In the end, they finally tumble down into a clump of trees just as the mountain gives one last booming sound like a fading explotion. They are all wheezing and coughing from the real-death experience, but none of them are very injured, except for Kwartz, who has a large scrape over his left cheek. Tyra is the first one to recover, she gets herself up and then proceeds to help the others up as well, one by one. When they´re all up on their feet and relatively unshaken, they start to check out where they are. Soon, after walking around in circle they conclude that they are trapped in some sort of mini valley, with large walls of boulders and rumble in every direction. Put simply, they are trapped. There are a few trees here and there, but nothing else. Tyra sighs and sits down with hopelessness in her heart. Radiant and Piper are trying to find a way to climb the walls around them, to no avail. Kwartz is sits down next to Tyra without saying a word. After a while, Radiant and Piper walk up to them, their hands scraped up and their eyes filled with the same hopelessness as Tyra and Kwartz´. Radiant suddenly starts to rip his own hair and yell out in frustration.
"No way out! Nothing but rocks and boulders! What are we supposed to do now!?"
Piper sobs and tries to calm him down. Tyra and Kwartz just sit on the ground with the knees against their bodies.
"Please, Radiant! Just keep your cool, there´s no reason we should give up already! There has to be some sort of way to get out of this hole, we just have to be smart and-" "Piper, give it a rest."
Piper flinches at the sharp words from Tyra´s end. She hasn´t opened her eyes yet, she still sits in the same position, like a small infant. Piper looks even more distraugt, now that she knows Tyra has given up too, who used to be both her, Radiant and Kwartz´ safe way to land in difficult situations. But Piper too, understands the gravity of what they have landed themselves in, literally. All they have left from the mountain collapse is Piper´s plants, which can only keep them alive for so long. And then, they will soon feel the effects of hunger. But what will take them first is thirst. There are no waterways, no streams and no ponds in the hellhole they´re in, all they can do is hope for rain. In the end, both Piper and Radiant join Tyra and Kwartz, Piper crying into her own knees while rocking backwards and forwards.
The Reaped Careers are still lying low at their makeshift camp in the middle of the Forest Zone. Their small bundle of supplies are stacked in the middle of their camp, with some patches of leaves used as beds. The night is closing towards the Arena, so they´re all getting ready to fall to sleep, but first, they want to see the Fallen of the day, so they are going to stay up a few more hours. Luigi (1), the one in the alliance with the least injuries from the Bloodbath, has volunteered to take first shift as a lookout and guard, while the others continue to rest. Gypsy (2) is still struggling to concentrating and keeping herself awake for more than a few minutes because of her concussion. Jade (1) has managed to treat the wound she had gotten on her leg, it´s not bleeding anymore but still restricting her movement. Caspian (4)´s leg is also damaged, but he has a large burn on it instead, though it is not a crucial as other injuries. It still hurts whenever he moves around though. Duanex (13) got a few cuts in his face and back, but other than that, he is okay and doing well. Morale, however, is very low in the whole alliance. Everyone expected them to do a lot better than this, and how they´ve let them all down, let themselves down as well. They haven´t done anything noteable at all through the whole day, except to eat up all their food and try to regain their energy. But in the Capitol, people are already excited about this alliance, because they´re about to get some prime action. Unknowing of them, the Rejuvinated Careers are heading straight for their location, with weapons at the ready. Their excited murmurs flow through the forest like a ghostly whisper. Luigi is the first to spot them, from his location up in a tree he sees them coming fast through the undergrowth. He quickly makes his way down the tree and runs up to his allies.
"Quickly! Get up, get up! We have to get out of here, before they come!"
Jade (1), Caspian (4) and Duanex (13) rise up from their makeshift beds and look shocked and disbelieving at him. Luigi looks more and more desperate by the second. That´s when everyone can hear the clattering footsteps of the Rejuvinated Careers, and panic arises. Jade starts screaming and running in circles, before Luigi gives her a slap to wake her up. Gypsy grunts as she slowly awakens to see her entire alliance in chaos.
"Hey hey hey! What the hell is going on here!?"
Luigi looks at her, and mouths at her. "Shermaine". Gypsy´s mouth clutches down into a growling snarl, she is still hungry for revenge. But even she has to understand that she cannot get even with Shermaine (2) when she is still suffering from her concussion. Luigi nods at Caspian and together they lift up Gypsy between them and carry her with them as they start to flee deeper into the forest. Jade has already gathered all their remaining supplies in her arms and is ready to go. But it is too late, because it´s none other than Shermaine herself who steps out into the dim light of the dying sun with a grim smile on her face. A few seconds later, Amme (3), Buck (6) and Helena (10) have arrived as well, eyeing their ex-allies with grins on their faces. Shermaine taps her foot and sighs under her breath.
"Trying to run away, huh? And you call yourselves Careers? Pathetic scum. If you want my respect, drop your stuff and face us. And Gypsy, hiding behind two men doesn´t seem quite like you, why don´t you come and take me on?"
Gypsy flushes red in her face from the comment and starts to try to break free from Caspian and Luigi´s arms. They barely manage to hold her back from running straight into Shermaine. For what seems like infinitive, the two alliances stand in a limbo, neither of them wanting to make the first move. The Reaped poised to start running at any given moment. while the Rejuvinated have their weapons drawn, ready to fight it out until their enemies all lie dead. Then, out of nowhere, a large bolt of lightning flash across the sky and rain starts splashing down. Caspian and Luigi sees their oportunity just as Shermaine and her Careers all look up at the sky at the same time.
At that, Jade, Caspian, Luigi and Duanex all start running at once, while Gypsy has already fallen asleep once again. Shermaine´s eyes light up in fury and anger.
"They´re running away! Get them!"
She roars and starts chasing after them, with all her allies soon joining her in the pursuit. Helena (10) is loading her bow, and starting to aim at the back of Luigi. But just as she´s about to fire, another lightningbolt knocks her out of her game and the arrows shoots lazily past Luigi and into some bushes. The Reaped are running like mad through the undergrowth of the forest, dodging low branches and trees as best as they can. However, the Rejuvinated aren´t holding anything but their light weapons, so they move considerably faster in the long run. Especially Duanex is falling behind his allies more and more, and the Rejuvinated are coming closer and closer. Finally, he yelps, Helena´s arrow had hit straight on mark, right into his ankle. He falls to the ground, screaming and clutching his ankle.
Luigi turns his head around and looks him in the eye, but he knows it´s already too late. Duanex´ death will be the one to save all of the other´s lives. He turns around and keeps sprinting just in time to miss when Buck thrusts his spear right into Duanex´ face and then pulls it roughly out, sending a spray of blood over Buck´s gleeful face.
Meanwhile, the Reaped Careers are running as fast as they are able to. The Rejuvinated then start to turn to the direction back to the Savannah, just as a giant hovercraft sends down it´s grasping metal claw to carefully pick up Duanex and send him away into the afterlife.
As the vicious thunderstorm continues to roam wild across the Arena, with every single Zone soon doused in rainwater and lightning, Nikhita (11), Crimson (11) and Melly (11) have managed to stay clear of the dangerous lightningbolts flashing across the sky by hiding out inside a large fallen tree. It´s giant, with a large, hollow inside perfect for hiding. They´re safe from the rain as well, and now they sit huddled inside it, waiting for the weather to loosen and let go. The raindrops are pounding on the hollow tree, creating loud noises inside the tree. Nikhita is clutching her bow in both of her hands, and her arrows lie right next to her, ready to be draw into the bow at a second´s notice. She, Melly and Crimson used the second day of the Games to scout ahead around in their Zone and find out more about what kind of dangers lured in it. Crimson also managed to use some slippery tree bark to carve out some arrows for Nikhita to use for her bow. Many hours to went into trying to make the hand-crafted arrows areodynamic, which was a lot more difficult than both Crimson and Nikhita ever imagined. Melly used her great knowledge of wild plants to gather a large batch of so-called Cloudberries, somewhat of a specialty to the field Melly works on back in District Eleven. She also found other plants which she encountered in some of the stations she tried out in training, and which she is sure is indeed non-poisonous. She carefully gives a weird black and egg-shaped berry a sniff before popping it into her mouth, grinning as she feels the sweet and sugar-like taste.
"Here, have some of these."
She hands both Nikhita and Crimson a handful of the sweet berries. They both look a bit sceptical at them, but Melly just opens her mouth and shows them that she approves of the berries.
"Don´t worry, they´re edible. Quite good, even!"
That makes them try it out, and after tasting the berries, both Nikhita and Crimson quickly asks for more, grinning like idiots at the wonderful taste. Melly is a bit surprised to see Nikhita smiling, the first time she has ever seen her smile. She is usually so serious, so focused on the cause, as she calls it, she forgets to take pleasure in the smaller things. Crimson is a bit too serious sometimes as well, but he has yet to confess his allies into his past, even though both of them has tried to get something out of him many a time. Then, the seal of Panem appears on the sky, barely visible behind the grey thunderclouds. Nikhita calls out to her allies and point up at the sky, soon they´ll know who died today. They know that at least one Tribute died, but other than that, the thuderstorm has drowned out all sounds. The anthem echoes through the thunder, it´s louder than usual so the Tributes can acually hear it over the vicious storm. Nikhita, Melly and Crimson watches closely at the sky as to not miss anything. Melly´s mouth opens as Viggo (7)´s face is shown, quite a surprise to a lot of Tributes and a reminder of the let-down to his sponsors in the Capitol. Nikhita nods, satisfied, while Crimson just looks darkly at the sky, wanting to know if there were more casualties. And there is, Duanex (13) is shown next, a much larger surprise to the other Tributes than Viggo was, as he did get some of the best odds and scores in the Games overall. And then the show is over, Panem´s seal reappears only to disappear when the anthem finally ends. Crimson sighs and lies himself down inside the tree. Melly yawns loudly before crawling close to Crimson, and soon both of them are sleeping soundfully. But Nikhita isn´t sleeping, she glares out of their hiding place with a glint in her eye.
"You watch your back, Ariadne. I`m out to get you..."
Back at the Cornucopia, Zaphire (1) is sleeping, snoring, in his fouton on the ground. Even through the thuderstorm he hasn´t woken up once, he has been thrashing around for a long time now. He´s dreaming, but not exactly. They´re more like nigthmares.
A boy lies on the ground, bleeding out of his many wounds. Zaphire recognizes him. It´s Kisagari. Zaphire screams and runs towards the boy on the ground, but ropes suddenly bind him in place. He yells and tries to rip the ropes off of him, but he can´t do anything. People swarm around Kisagari, who is unconsious. They kick him, mock him and call him things like faggot, queer and homo. Zaphire screams for his love to wake up, to get up and fight back, but Kisagari is soon drowned down in hands and feet beating him up. Zaphire cries and sobs as his boyfriend´s body evaporates into nothingness, and the people start to come towards him. They laugh at him tied up, and start to beat at him too. Their hands and feet and shoulders smash into him, he screams but nobody stops. The people tell him things.
"You´re an abomination."
"You should never have been born."
"I hope your parents are proud of you, you´re a disgrace to everyone."
The voices keep hammering him, but not as hard as the fists and knuckles do. Zaphire screams and screams, but can´t wake up or get free.
Meanwhile, right over him, the real threath stands, watching Zaphire thrashing around in his sleep. It´s Jace (2). He is holding his large, double-edged sword with both of his hands, ready to swing it down at the boy under him and end his life. He has a big burlap bag slung over his shoulders, but he is faltering in his escape from the Cornucopia. Then he makes up his mind, and raises his sword. But just then, something puts him off his game once again. Footsteps through the tall savannah grass, and excited-sounding voices in the dark. Jace looks grudgingly down at Zaphire, before making his escape, running away from the Cornucopia, right as Amme (3) cheerfully walks up to Zaphire and kisses him on the forehead. Helena (10), Shermaine (2) and Buck (6) soon follow afterwards. A couple of metres away, hidden in the grass, Jace watches them with a dark gaze, before whiskering away further into the Savannah.
Day (5) and Detria (5) are both sleeping somewhat peacefully through the storm, about as peaceful as they could ever be in the Hunger Games. Neither of them have done much at all on the second day of the Games. While a lot of ther tributes have been going through a lot fo action on this day, neither Day or Detria have been into much of it. They´re sleeping in a small grove, very difficult to see from the outside and very hard to find from the treetops thanks to all the canvas around them. The moist, hot air of the Mangrove makes sure so they don´t freeze during the overwise cold night of the Arena as well. But then the momentary peace is broken as a sharp thunder booms across the Arena, shaking both Day and Detria awake. Day looks very shaken by the noise, yet Detria only looks up to the sky and shrugs.
"Looks like the Gamemakers don´t want anyone to have a easy night."
Then she lies down again, and closes her eyes. Day however, doesn´t lie down again just yet. He looks at Detria with a puzzled look, like something is bothering and nagging in his brain. Day carefully pokes Detria in the back with his finger, to call her attention. She takes the hint and gets up again, staring at him with an expressionless face. When she looks at him, Day starts to blush.
Day pulls his hands across his neck awkwardly, before looking back into Detria´s eyes. She quickly looks the other way.
"I don´t really know how to put this, but...How are you able to stay so calm? We´re in the Games, after all."
Day then qucikly shifts his eyes down into the dirt, maybe thinking that she would take offence in his question. Detria only looks even more questioning at him, her eyebrows arching down. Even Detria doesn´t know a very easy answer to that question, but as she ponders on how to answer it, she starts to think backwards into her past.
A soft summer breeze flies through the air, a very big contrast to the gloomy air of the annual Reaping. Detria is walking through the dirtied, grey streets of District Five, her mother holding her hand gently. Detria smiles a bit at her, and she smiles back, but then they both fall back into the freezing emotions of the Reaping. After walking for a while, they end up in the District square, a murky and grey place just like the whole rest of Five. Her mother kisses Detria goodbye before she goes to get herself pricked and put in line. The Peacekeeper woman quickly pierces her finger with the needle, and Detria puts her finger down on the form. The woman then usheres her forward and into the line with the other fourteen year old girls. She can see some other girls from her school, they start to giggle and laugh when she arrives. Detria just keeps her eyes on the stage and ingores everyone around her as good as she can. From the other side of the other kids she can see Koto. He smiles to her, a kind of fake, plastered-on smile, because this is no occation to be smiling on. The rest of the process is one big blur for Detria. The Escort is now about to call the names. Detria starts to think about something entirely different, but then she is brought back when she hears her own name.
Detria´s world freezes in that exact moment. She can hear her mother´s desperate cries and screams from the crowd somewhere. She looks to her left and see Koto standing just as frozen as she is. Slowly, Detria walks up to the stage and gets greeted by the Escort. She asks for any Volunteers, but of course, there is none. The boy is called, he´s about Detria´s age. Again, no Volunteers. Detria keeps herself completely calm and collected for so long, even when saying goodbye to her mother in the Justice Building. Detria doesn´t want to break her mother´s heart even more by crying and showing that she is scared. She just hugged her tightly. Koto comes too, the only person except her mother who has loved her. Again, Detria was determined not to cry at all. But then Koto leaned in closer and closed his eyes. Before Detria even knew what she was doing, she was doing the same and their lips meet.
"Please don´t leave me, Detria. You´ll win, right?"
But she wasn´t able to get his wish granted. Detria died, and let Koto down. But in these Games, she got to see Koto once again. He was an old man now, while Detria is still frozen in time since that day all those years ago. But she has a chance now, to make it right again, to return to her friend.
Day looks curiously at her, but Detria doesn´t say anything more, and in the end, he gives up and goes to sleep. A few minutes later, Detria also lies down, her heart confused. She knows the answer to Day´s question now. Determination. That´s the only thing that keeps her from breaking down.
The thunderstorm still booms through the Arena, but most of the Tributes have finally managed to settle in and sleep. Though there are a few exceptions, namely Kronos (3). The infamous serial killer is sneaking through the swampy water of the river in the Mangrove Zone. In his hand is something that no other Tribute have gotten a hold of yet, and neither will they ever get it. It´s a curious metal canteen, since instead of being empty or filled with water, it is filled with a dark green substance. It could have been mistaken for swamp water if it wasn´t for the fact that it´s glowing slightly in the moonlight. Kronos is grinning to nobody in paticular as he makes his way through the river towards his goal, the Anti-Careers. Without their knowledge, he has stalked them through the Zone for the whole day, with the intentions of finding out as much as possible about them. He knows that there are five Reaped Tributes in the alliance, and two Rejuvinated. He also knows that they don´t much a lot in the way of supplies or resources, but that isn´t his goal to begin with anyways. Instead, he sneaks out of the river and into their camp. They´re all sleeping soundfully, but knowing that he doesn´t have any weapons on him right now, Kronos is careful to not wake them up. Instead he finds their supplies, and unlocks the canteen with the mysterious substance. He starts to pour the odd mixture over the bread and plants of the Anti-Careers, laughing a bit to himself as he does. He silently thanks his Mentor, who was the one who arranged for this secret weapon to be sneaked into the Games in the first place, before sneaking out of the Anti-Careers lair and out into the river again. He starts to make his way back to the Mountainous Zone once again. Meanwhile, Kronos´ substance is starting to affect the food of the Anti´s. With nobody to see it, the bread and berries briefly turn into a toxic bright green before the liquid ha completely taken over it, when it turns back into the normal colors. Without their knowing, the Anti-Careers are sleeping peacefully with a toxic trap right next to them, disguised as their best friend in the Arena, food.
End of Day Two.
Alliances after Day Two:
Zaphire Beux (1), Shermaine Wilson (2), Amme Ilorenzo (3), Buck Rockwell (6) and Helena Krisp (10)
Luigi Wilkins (1), Jade Seeku (1), Gypsy Xenon (2) and Caspian Lotuscloud (4)
Alissa Dove (8), Brandon Ivery (9), Laurel Cinders (9), Milo Amaranth (9), Lexi Greenway (10), Drago Fire (12) and Parasto Fulton (14)
Kwartz Diodin (10), Radiant Tayz (13), Tyra Crust (13) and Piper Quinn (14)
District Three Siblings
Ikaika Mathilda (3) and Maala Mathilda (3)
District Six Siblings
Star Sunkin (6) and Luna Sunkin (6)
District Eleven Alliance
Crimson Typhoon (11), Nikhita Akshaya (11) and Melly Reesha (11)
District Five Alliance
Day Whisper (5) and Detria Glace (5)
District Eight Alliance
Xavier Sharma (8) and Ahri Transia (8)
Loners (No Alliance)
Fairy Luck (C), Jace Larke (2), Kronos Blade (3), Katarina Seacrest (4), Saadia Gaena (6), Pandora Raven (7), Savannah Darnell (9) and Shylock (11)
A beautiful shinnering sun rises over the brittle trees in the Arena, speading it´s brilliant light throughout all the Tributes inhabiting it, marking the break of a new day in the Rejuvination Games. The cameras start to zoom in and focus on the Anti-Careers group, who are still sleeping peacefully, not realizing that their biggest threath is amidts themselves. The food that Kronos (3) tampered with only the previous night still lies in the same place, in the middle of the ring of Anti-Careers fast asleep on the ground, but with a big and easily overlooked detail to it. The food has been poisoned, without anyone but Kronos and the audience´s knowing. Different from the others, Parasto (14) has already awakened, even though it´s only about six in the morning. He is yawning and barely keeping himself away, since he did not get a lot of sleep during the nigh, and thanks to the early rising the of the sun, he can´t now either. He looks over at all his allies, lying in a circle. Drago (12)´s snores are so loud it´s a miracle the Careers haven´t heard it yet and come running. Brandon (9) and Laurel (9) are lying close together, hands intertwined, maybe hinting towards there being something romantic between them but there is no way to be sure. The others, Lexi (10), Milo (9) and Alissa (8) are all clumped together in a smaller circle around a tree. Parasto smiles, but it quickly fades as he realizes the severity of the situation. Day Three, and neither he or his allies have died yet. It´s more than he could ever have hoped for, but the memories of the prevous Games he was in still haunts him. Parasto knows far too well that alliances are never forever, but for now, he wants to stay with his group. There are still a huge amount of Tributes still in the Games, and breaking apart from them this early wouldn´t be benefitial.
Suddenly, Parasto jumps when a paticular loud snore from Drago is set loose. It feels as thougth it´s powerful enough to make someone deaf at a close range. Slowly, Brandon and Laurel´s eyes open into slits and they look around to find out what caused the noise. Brandon snorts and quickly closes his eyes again when he sees it´s just Drago, Laurel catches Parasto´s eye and gives him a small smile before going back to sleep. Parasto grins back at her, and then walks to the bundle of supplies and plants to check up on it and make sure nothing is stolen. Yesterday, they found a piece of one of the loaves had been ripped off. It caused a bit of infighting because Brandon started to blame Drago for that too, and they started to fight again. Only when the others managed to find out that it wasn´t anyone in the alliance that had stolen it, thanks to some recollection of where everyone had been, did they stop. But some lasting peace between them is hard to find. Now the supplies are back to normal again, or so Parasto thinks. Without knowing the danger of it, he takes a small piece of one of the loaves and quickly eats it, sighing as he finally gets something to eat. But then, his eyesight start to go blurry and out of nowhere, he falls down again in an unconsious, sleep-like state. The early morning sun shines on his body, and as the cameras zoom out once again, his eyes twitch for one last time before he´s gone into his sleep.
Ikaika (3) and Maala (3) are still sleeping soundfully at one of the many of the Forest Zone´s tree´s trunk. The pair´s metal canteen, this time full, because yesterday they spent the day with trying to find some water. In the end, they found a rich, freshwater pond at the very bottom of the valley they are in. The tree they´ve camped by is a sturdy oak tree, at least twelve metres in the sky. Through the time they´ve spent by it, Ikaika and Maala have learned how to climb it and utiltize all it´s perks to survive. Maala was clever enough to figure out that they could use the tree sap to camoflague themselves with the tree, since when the sap is dried up in the sun it turns dark brown. Ikaika has also broken off two small outspringing branches from the tree and strapped shards of a rock onto the tips of the sticks. They now work as the siblings´ only weapons in the Arena. Their usefulness in acual combat might be questionable, but both Maala and Ikaika know that it is their only bet for weapons as of right now. Meanwhile, in the depths of the Mountainous Zone, something is moving out of it´s horrid caves. The Gamemakers have found a new way to spice up the early stages of the Games up, the Nettlebanes. The fabled mutts of the Mountainous Zone, a gruesome creation created to destroy and torture Tributes, the whole pack has started to slither out of their caves, slowly moving down the mountainsides. The mutts are equal parts mountain lion and equal parts snakes, with a snake head and torso, and legs and backpart like a lion. They growl under their breath as the pack moves downwards and through the deep valley of the Mountainous Zone. They passs the sinking hole where the Abyss, Tyra (13), Radiant (13), Kwartz (10) and Piper (14), are located and keep going until they are prowling through the undergrowth of the Forest Zone. That´s when Ikaika´s eyes open. His face wears a smile, but it is wiped away and replaced with an expression of horror as he shifts his gaze to the ground under the tree. Countless Nettlebane are circeling around the tree trunk, with a hungry expression in their faces. They have yet to see Ikaika and Maala up in the tree, but their aumented noses can smell them. Ikaika has to hold his hand in front of is mouth to keep himself from screaming. He jabs his finger on Maala´s forehead, to wake her up. Maala opens her eyes and is just about to say something to Ikaika whe his expression causes her to close her mouth again. Without saying anything, Ikaika catches her eye and points under them. Maala looks down and sees the Nettlebane, but is smart enough to not scream.
The siblings sit in silence in their tree, trying to find a way out of the Nettlebanes´ way. All they have is a full water canteen and two makeshift spears crafted from mere wood, absolutely nothing compared to the hunger and sheer power of at least a dousin of half snake-lions. Maala catches her brother´s eye, and whispers to him in a voice almost as quiet as the silence around them.
"We have to wait it out, Kai. Just, don´t attract their attention. I don´t think lions are very good climbers anyways."
Ikaika nods at her as a sign that he approved of her statement. Then the two of them proceed to stare down at the beasts under them, snarling and coiling their tails.
As the sun keeps shining over the Arena, slowingly lighting it up and calling all it´s Tributes to wake up and embrace a new day of being alive, the Reaped Careers are still in deep sleep. They have retreated to a small grove, sheltered in a cluster of large trees. handily, right next to their camp is a deep pond, filled with freshwater that will undoubtably come in handy for them. They are all shaken where they lie. Gypsy (2) has recovered somewhat from her concussion during the last night, but it might still come back to haunt her in days to come. Jade (1) has managed to heal her wounded leg a bit last night, by making bandages out of leaves from the trees, which have stopped the bleeding, but the chance for infection is very high. Caspian (4)´s burns have not gotten any worse, and dipping his leg in the water pond has helped a bit, but it is in no way healed and will require a lot of care in the coming days. Luigi (1) is the only one of them who came out of both the Bloodbath and yesterday´s skirmish somewhat unscaved, the only marks on his body are a few bruises on his back and a few cuts in his face. Throughout the early morning hours, the sun progressing through the day, the Careers slowly start to wake up and start up again. They walk around their camp like zombies, none of them saying anything, maybe scared they´ll trigger something in one of their allies and make them snap. Or maybe they are just too shocked after yesterday´s events, the death of Duanex (13) and the loss of their old camp as well as their dignity. Gypsy is fiddling around with some of the alliance´s rope, but without doing anything really. Her allies doesn´t make her do anything though, they just let her sit in silence. Jade (1) and Luigi (1) are just doing routine things, switching out the old leaves they used as a fouton for the night with new leaves from the trees over them. Caspian (4) is using the freshwater pond in the area to relieve himself of his painful burns, though it doesn´t stop the pain permanently. Overall, there is a dark feeling of despair in the alliance, driving them farther and farther away from eachother by the minute. Even though they are Careers, they have been outclassed and outshined by their Rejuvinated counterparts in every way possible. They got the Cornucopia, they got the kills and they embarrassed them by running them down in their own turf and killing Duanex.
In their deep dreams of shame, the Reaped Careers don´t even understand that they are once agan in deep danger. No matter where they hide, it seems to always be following them. Unknown to them, the Nettlebanes have moved on from asaulting the Mathilda siblings and are moving through the forest, pretty much straight for their location. Finally one of the creatures sticks it´s ugly, morbid snake head out of the bushes and growls for the other´s to follow it´s lead. It has spotted four juicy-looking Tributes to devour. Soon the whole pack has moved out into the open, slowly closing in on their prey. But they don´t jump on them just yet, they want some playtime as well. The Nettlebane which seems to be the pack´s leader, the one who was the first to discover the Careers, make it´s way to Jade´s sleeping figure under her leaves. It pulls it´s snake tongue out and slowly licks her over her face, sending her screaming out of her dreams. Nettlebane tongues are littered with microscopic hook-like hairs, so in one lick a good portion of the skin in Jade´s face is already gone. Jade looks up in horror at the animal above her, who seems to be enjoying itself, then starts screaming even more. Her screams have already awakened Luigi, Gypsy and Caspian, and they too, see the beasts for the very first time. Surprisingly, Gypsy is the first one to act. She speaks in a calm, soothing voice to her allies, all of whom are staring in silent horror at Jade´s ripped off face and the Nettlebanes themselves.
"Luigi, come with me and grab everything we own. Caspian slowly make your way over to Jade and take her with us. Then, when I say so, we run like hell. Sounds alright?"
They all nod in agreement, and Luigi and Caspian start to move to their goals with movements that are in slow motion. The Nettlebanes watch them, while the leader is still poised over Jade, who has finally stopped screaming, at least. While Luigi and Gypsy are packing away everything they have in supplies, leaves and fresh water, Caspian is walking towards Jade and the Nettlebanes. He puts his hand on her shoulder softly, before whispering to her in a hushed voice.
"Okay, Jade. Just steady your breath and come with me, everything will be alright. Just breathe out and don´t say a word, then stand up."
Jade whimpers and says something back, something that sounds remotely like "okay". She starts to calm down, but her face still stings in pain after being quite literally ripped off. After maybe a minute, she feels safe to stand up again and so does. The Nettlebanes have not moved at all while the Careers have been moving around, maybe it´s because they´re waiting for the perfect time to strike, or maybe it´s other reasonings. Caspian and Jade start to walk backwards together to Gypsy and Luigi, who are already ready to go with the supplies slung over their shoulders in convenient packs of leaves. But one small twig on the ground is all it takes. Caspian falls back, but as he does, his foot crunches down on a small twig. The whole Career alliance freezes at the sound, but the Nettlebanes do the opposite. The leader roars a gruesome roar and then pounches onto Caspian and Jade. They start screaming, and soon Gypsy, Luigi, Jade and Caspian are all running through the woods in full panic, the Nettlebanes straight on their neels. Branches swing through their way, cutting and scraping through their skin, but nobody stops the run. In the back, Jade finds it harder and harder to remain concious and finally slips away and falls down. Caspian pauses and runs back to help her up, but that was proven to be a deadly mistake. The Nettlebanes qucikly run him down and pin him to the ground under their bodyweight. They have completely ignored the unconsious Jade, while already starting to devour Caspian. Luigi and Gypsy look back at their two allies, but knowing that they are already as good as dead, they just keep running. But Caspian´s pleas follow them.
"Please! Help me! I thougth we were allies, I thougth we were friends!? PLEASE!"
Somehow, Jade wakes up to the horrible sight of Caspian´s stomach being ripped open and his intestites swimming on the ground in blood, then the sound of his cannon. She barely keeps herself up, almost slipping into unconsiousness. Caspian is holding on, but in a few seconds, he will be dead and the Nettlebanes will move on to Jade. But she still has some fight in her. She can´t get up, so she starts to crawl into the canvas, just as they fling Caspian´s body away. Their snake nostrils start to sniff in the air, but Jade´s ripped-up face is at an advantage for her, since the smell of her blood mixes up with the smell of Caspian´s blood. She grunts when she starts rolling down a sudden hill. After a brief tumble she crashes into a tree trunk, but Jade is too scared and pained to be able to scream anymore. She sits against the tree for many minutes, not being able to stand up or even open her eyes. She just sits there, trying to steady her breathing. She would be such an easy target.
"Hello there, Jade."
Jade opens her eyes, now she can scream. For above her stands Kronos (3). He hasn´t drawn any weapons yet, but Jade is not going to give him that oportunity. She gets up using all her strength, but then immediately falls down again out of fatigue. Kronos stands there, watching her with a small, charming smile. He sits on on his knees in front of her and hands her his water canteen. Jade looks sceptical, but knows that if he had wanted to kill her, he would have done so by now. His smile looks so genuine, like he cares for her, that Jade acually smiles back before taking a huge gulp of water. Kronos brushes her cheek with his hand, and she starts to blush without wanting to. Then he grabs her by her hands and heaves her up from the dirt.
"Why don´t you kill me...I am Reaped, you are Rejuvinated..."
Kronos gives her another one of his charming smile, before kissing her on her cheek. Jade looks like she is about to faint once again.
"Oh Jade, I´m just a good samaritan, always out for helping people in need."
And with those words, he starts to walk together with Jade away from the tree, she limbing and leaning against him, and him being like a sturdy pillar for her to stand against.
At the Cornucopia, the Rejuvinated Careers are up and raring to go out and hunt. Shermaine (2) has already formed her "troops" together for them to trek out into the Savannah and look for Tributes. However, what she doesn´t realize is that there are not that many Tributes still habitating the Savannah. Except for them, there is only Fairy (C) and Jace (2) left, but they don´t know this yet. Shermaine wears a rare smile as she gazes over her allies, all looking eager to start hunting for the competition and heighten their own chances in the Games. The only one who doesn´t look very pleased with the early movements is Zaphire (1), who hasn´t recovered yet and has made bitter remarks all morning at his allies. Shermaine and Amme (3) have done their best to comfort him, but fact be that he is very frustrated at his lack of getting in on the action in the Games. He´s pouting and complaining constantly, something which everyone else find annoying, especially Buck (6), who has formed sort of a dislike towards Zaphire. While the girls all halfway understand his frustration, Buck is not so understanding, and often teases Zaphire about himself going hunting and not him. Helena (10) has pretty much watched from the sidelines at all the fighting, she knows that this is how the Career alliance starts to shrivel away in the first place. Without even knowing it, she has already started to plan when to leave. The cameras love the drama going on, and are zooming in on Zaphire and Buck as they get into yet another little scuffle.
"Hey, Zaphire, why don´t you ready your spears, we´re going soon! Oh, that´s right!"
Zaphire growls and tries to grab Buck´s foot, but he sidesteps the swipe and continues to mock him.
"Too slow! No wonder Gypsy (2) managed to slash you! Poor little Kisagari, his boyfriend was too damn slow to save him!"
At those words, Buck realizes he has said something horribly wrong. Helena claps her hands in front of her mouth and tears starts to form in her eyes. Amme just looks stunned, while Shermaine´s expression is blank, but one can´t know what lurks under the surface. Zaphire´s face has been drained of colour, his eyes are glazed over and empty. Buck puts his hand on Zaphire´s shoulder.
"Dude, I´m sorry. I shouldn´t...I-I´m sorry.."
Zaphire lies down on his blankets again, not saying a word and not even acknowledging that Buck apologized, not acknowledging anything at all, it seems. Amme quickly leans down and tries to hug him, but he pushes her away and rolls to the side. Buck looks very shaken, and he tries once again to reach out to Zaphire with his hand. But his hand is quickly slapped away, and Buck is left with a sinking feeling in his stomach.
"Let´s just go, what Zaphire needs is time."
Shermaine says, and her allies nod to her statement. Then they all walk on through the grass, leaving Zaphire finally able to let his tears roll down his face. He´s not even scared of the Capitol seeing him as weak anymore, finally he can let his feelings flow. His screams piece the hot Savannah air, but it attracts more than the Capitol´s sympathy. Jace (2) was lurking in the background of the Cornucopia the whole time, and starts to sneak towards the unsuspecting Zaphire. Through his sorrow and misery, he can´t hear the rustle of grass being stomped by boots. And by the time Jace is already over him, it´s too late when he realizes it. He opens his mouth to scream, but Jace raises his battleaxe and aims it at his stomach. The blade of the axe cuts straight through Zaphire before he can even scream. Jace rips some of Zaphire´s guts off his axe before jolting it out of his victim, giving the blood a way out. Zaphire goes limp and Jace quickly tosses his body away. Jace drags his bulking and bloody axe with him into the grass, as the Careers start to run for the Cornucopia, having heard the cannon. Buck is the first one to break through the canvas and see the gruesome sight of Zaphire cut in half on the ground, spewing intestites and blood over the grass and everything.
Buck screams as he runs towards Zaphire´s body. Shermaine, Amme and Helena follow him, their faces bleak and eyes wide in grief. Amme´s face is a big green from the shocking appearance of Zaphire, his legs spread away from his torso, arms and head. Everyone are crying as they lean down to look at Zaphire, his scream still showing on his face. Buck´s face is distorted in rage and grief, as he roars out into the sky.
"Zaphire, I´m so sorry. I-I never wanted this! Fuck you Capitol! Fuck all of you!"
Helena and Amme look in horror at Buck thrashing around, screaming curses and banging his fists in the ground. Shermaine is still silently watching Zaphire´s body. She shows no emotions, but inside her, she feels as though her heart has been stolen. Zaphire was the one person in the Games Shermaine truly trusted. She felt strongly connected to him, like he acually understood her. There was something special about Zaphire, something that wasn´t present in Amme, Helena or Buck for her. But she keeps her tears and feeling for herself, while the others let their own flow free. Then a Hovercraft appears so suddenly over Zaphire it startles all of them, before lowering down two metal claws. They clamp down on ech of Zaphire´s body part, and starts to rise it up again into the veicle. Buck seems to finally have calmed down from his fit, while Amme and Helena are still sobbing into eachother´s shoulders. They all watch as the Hovercraft flies over them for a few seconds, before dissapearing into nothingness.
Little do they know, they´ll soon have their own revenge, and more. Because the winds in the Savannah Zone are stirring up, getting ready to unleash their full potensial. As the winds get stronger and stronger by the minute, the Careers retreat into the Cornucopia to shelter, deeming it too unsafe to continue hunting out in the tall grass. However, the two other Tributes who were located in the Savannah, Fairy and Jace, are not so lucky. With no shelter, Jace is trying desperately to cling onto the ground and clutch his weapons as hard as he can. But the winds are getting stronger and stronger, transforming into something that is nothing but natural, it´s Gamemaker created. A giant, neck-curling hurricane, moving through the grass and sweeping it away and up. When Jace realizes that he should had ran away when he could, it´s already too late. His screams are drowned down by the boom of the hurricane as he is sucked into it´s vortex. His body trashes around inside the winds for a few brief seconds, before he is slinged into the air and lands with a crunch on the hard ground. At that exact time, the same thing happens to Fairy. The whole tree which she had called home for her stay in the Arena is ripped from the ground, with her still in it. She screams and tries to get out, but she is too far off. The tree flies into the hurricane, and then gets spewed out again, Fairy clinging onto it for her dead life. But when the tree lands, she is not quick enough and the branch she had been poised on cracks and flies towards her. Before she can even open her mouth to scream, the branch impales straight through her face and she dies instantaniously and falls off the now-demolished tree. In the Gamemaker´s Headquarters back in the Capitol, the Gamemakers high-five eachother for a job well done. The hooded figure whom is the Head Gamemaker grins mischievously and claps twice.
"Nice job team! We really shook them out of their nests there! Now, call it off, and we´ll do a small recap of how the day is going for the rest of the Tributes."
A female Gamemaker with purple starts to woop, and soon all of them join in and clap. The Head Gamemaker smiles a bit, before he turns away and walks out of the room. The glass doors shoot away from him and he starts to walk quickly through a long hallway. He is soon joined by an excited-looking, young woman with a clipboard and horn-rimmed glasses. She looks up at the Gamemaker in admiration.
"Wow, that catastrophe was amazing! The way it was executed, it was just marvelous! You´re amazing, A-"
She freezes mid-sentence and looks horrified up at the Head Gamemaker, whose smile has dissapeared as quick as it appeared.
"Don´t. Ever. Address. Me. By. That. Name. One of the few, simple rules you have in this job, and you managed to fuck it up Tiana!"
Tiana shrinks down like a small mouse caugth by the cat and shifts her eyegaze away from the Gamemaker. She is full intent on observing her shoes, it seems. Her face is crimson colored. Her voice is shaky and quivering like a bow string.
"I-I´m so-ory, Head Ga-ame-m-maker, I didn´t mean it..."
"You know what this means, right? Your head will join those of all the other useless assistants I´ve had who can´t follow rules."
Tiana starts crying and sobbing, clutching onto the Head Gamemaker´s robes like a little child. He merely looks annoyed by her tears and quickly slaps her across the face. Tiana looks like she is in complete panic now, and her face is melting because of all her make-up. The Head Gamemaker claps twice in his hands and two Peacekeepers instantly appear behind her, like they were just created out of thin air. The Peacekeepers grab Tiana by her arms and start to take her away, while she is still crying and screaming.
Katarina (4) flies through the water gracefully, like a bird through the southern winds. Her arms and legs both move flawlessly around, without faltering one second. She swims so silently that the fish surrounding her don´t even mind her, she is just one of them now. But in her stomach, chaos is brewing. Katarina hasn´t eaten anything but the piece of loaf from yesterday in at least twelve hours, and she needs some kind of nourishment soon or she will face the consequenses. So for now, she is full-on focused on finding something to eat. She swims up to the surface and gulps the air in again, but movements by the riverbank catches her eye. She slips down under the surface again, but not too far, so she can see what is about to unravel up on dry land. Kronos (3) and Jade (1) are standing there, holding onto something while dragging said object away. Katarina´s curisoty is awakened, and she dips her head lightly out of the water to take a closer look at what the odd pair is doing. She almost gasps in surprise when she sees that the object that Jade and Kronos are dragging across the ground is a Tribute, Alissa (8) to be exact. Kataina quickly catches herself and dips down under the surface again, just in time. Jade points out the rippeling water surface to Kronos.
"Look, right there! I think I heard something!"
Kronos chuckles a bit, before continuing to drag Alissa across the ground, who seems to be in a Snow White-esc sleeping state.
"Probably a pike or something, don´t worry about it, love."
Jade grins at him and she leans onto his shoulder. He twists his neck and kisses her, and Jade gladly returns the favour. Then she grabs hold of Alissa´s left leg and starts to help Kronos with dragging her again. Katarina lies dumbfunded right under the surface, trying to process what she just saw. She waits patiently until Jade and Kronos´ voices and footsteps can´t be heard anymore, before she dips her head out of the water and starts to climb onto the riverbank. She lies down on the moist dirt and starts to catch up to her breath after being under the water for such a long time. As she does, she continues to ponder on what what she just witnessed could mean. In the end, the cameras lose interest in her as she dives into the water again, headed for her underwater den, her home.
The Abyss are still stuck in their limbo of a hole, where they have been trapped for the whole of today as well as last night, with no apparent way out. They have no food to speak of, since they lost everything they owned when the mountain collapsed, but they have had enough of rainwater since the thunderstorm last night. But stuck without a reliable source of food and no weapons at all in a trap with no way out is taking it´s toll on all the Tributes in the alliance. Piper (14) has been able to use her skills in gathering to find some berries, but Radiant (13) decided that they´d better save them for more desperate times since nobody can be sure whether they are edible or not. Kwartz (10) have had been very distraugt since the collapse, since he was so close to perishing in it, and has been mostly asleep since they arrived in their new prison. The grim situation they have been placed in have formed a rift between all the members of the alliance, which is tearing them farther and farther with each passing hour. Tyra (13) has started to distance herself away from her allies, even though she is supposed to be the leader, her friendship with Radiant has started to shrivel and die. Piper is distancing herself from everyone, and have become a lot more jumpy and nervous. Kwartz seems to be asleep mostly all of the time, but all of his allies know that he pretends to sleep a lot of the time, to avoid them. In the Capitol, everyone are expecting for one of them to snap and start to murder the others, but oddly enough, it has not happened yet. Even though all of the Abyss of Insanity Tributes are gathered at their makeshift camp in the middle of the hole, none of them are talking. Kwartz is pretending to be asleep as usual, while Piper is fickling with some light orange berries she had found. Nobody says anything at all, when suddenly, Tyra stands up and adresses to the group.
"I know what you´re all thinking. We´ve started to drift away from eachother, and it´s all because of this situation we´re in. I have to admit, I have had the thougth of ditching you guys and trying to escape on my own, but I know better than that. We have to stick together, or not at all. I say we pull it together!"
Piper only looks down at her berriers, not even shifting her eyes up to Tyra. Radiant also looks downwards, but he also looks shocked about Tyra statement about betraying them. Kwartz just continues to pretend to sleep under his sheet of leaves.
"What the fuck, Tyra? You-you were planning on betraying us? Well, I´m done here, I´m not gonna sit here in the company of a psycho!"
Tyra stares coldly at Radiant, as he gets up and starts to walk away from the rest of them. Piper looks up at him with a scared look, Kwartz has even awakened from his pretend slumber to watch him. But before he can even pass the circle of trees, Tyra jumps up and runs over to him. He turns around and yelps, but he knows neither of them have any weapons to speak of. Tyra stares directly into his eyes, and no matter how much he tries to wiggle away, she does not relent her pursuit.
"Where are you going to go, then? You are trapped with me, Piper and Kwartz whether you like it or not. And the Twist makes you unable to kill any of us without dying yourself. Do you really want that, or a way out of this? Cause both you and I know the only way we´ll survive this is through co-operation."
For at least a minute, the entire alliance stands in silence after Tyra´s words, even Tyra herself. Finally, Kwartz is the one to break the silence, to everyone else´s surprise.
"I agree with Tyra. We can´t kill eachother, so we might as well co-operate. And weren´t we all an alliance, too? Or was it just a strategy to go farther into the Games?"
At his words, Piper suddenly bursts out into tears. Tyra, Radiant and Kwartz all stare at her dumbfunded by her reaction. Piper hickups and sobs through her tears.
"I`m so sorry, I-I´m so foolish...I have to admit, i thougth the same as Tyra did. But, but I would never do it! We´re a team, we have to stick together!"
Radiant looks darkly at them all, with a regretful expression. Tyra feels as though she already knows what he is going to say.
"I had the same thougths as Piper and Tyra as well. But now I see things differently! We have to stick together now, like Kwartz said.."
Suddenly, Radiant goes silent. Tyra and Piper look questioning at him, where he stands, with a dark expression on his face and his eyes hidden under his fringe. He gasps, as sudden memories start to flood into him. Memories of that day, when everything turned bad, and when he was changed forever. He stands silently, as he starts to relive that horrible day. His allies watch, transfixed at him, as his eyes darken and he starts to cry. His memories have started to come back to him now, even though he lost them at the train somehow. Tyra walks up to him and puts her hand on his shoulder. She has a very peculiar facial expression as she looks at him. Radiant snaps out of his transe-like state and looks down at her and smiles. Tyra grins too. Radiant waves at Piper and Kwartz.
"Come guys, we have a lot to discuss now that we´re a team again!"
Piper starts to cry once again, even though she had just managed to stop. Kwartz puts on a brave face and jogs to them. Then he unexpectedly hugs Tyra around her waist, pressing his face into her stomach. Tyra doesn´t hesitate before she returns the hug. Radiant laughs a bit, and he joins in the hug. Piper smears her tears away before she too joins the group´s embrace. Soon they are so clumped together, Radiant loses his balance and all of them tumble and fall to the ground. Instead of awkwardness, they all start to laugh, Kwartz the highest, Piper still sobbing under her breath. The laughing mess on the ground that is the Abyss of Insanity alliance start to fade into the distance as the Capitol´s Gamemakers lookse interest in the situation. They had hoped for more drama, or maybe even a bit more death and betrayal. Many of the viewers in the Capitol look dissapointed at their screen, but soon light up as they realize what Tribute is focused on next.
Throughout the whole night of the second day and the daylight hours of the third day, Savannah (9) has been unconsious from her encounter with the cougar muttation. Her gashes and bruises hasn´t healed a bit, and thus she has remained in this state, barely hidden under some brush, right by the hill where she and Saadia (6) tried to escape only the last day. The moist and stinking fumes of the jungle vaft around Savannah´s face, but she still doesn´t wake up from her Sleeping Beauty-like sleep stasis. The bleeding from her stomach has stopped, since the cougar mutt´s fangs did not sink too deeply she is not in any immediate danger from bleeding out. But infection spreads very easily around the Mangrove Zone, so if she doesn´t wake up soon she might just die from brutal infections. Several sponsor gifts have been delivered to Savannah´s location today, they all lie in a small heap next to her body. Her fragile chest slowly rises with an uneven tempo, but who knows for how long. Finally, a small tropical-yellow fly lands softly on her nose, and it is the small tickling sensation it brings that finally wakes her up. She is barely able to open her eyes, since they have been shut for so long. She waves her left hand around her face to chase away the little fly. It zooms off, which is the detail that finally makes Savannah realize that she is awake. She jolts up and looks around. She sighs in relief when she sees that she has not been captured, nor is she surrounded by enemies. A small part of her was even worried that she´d wake up in some heavenly space, but she could still feel her injuries so she already sort of knew that wasn´t true. She blurts out a few words, directed to herself more than anyone else.
"How long was I asleep for..."
Savannah didn´t exactly expect to be given an answer, but that´s what she got.
"Around sixteen hours, I believe. You really should have found yourself a better hiding place before you decided to hibernate though."
Savannah looks confused and shocked around her, but she is still to drowsy to fully understand that someone acually answered her question. Her confused mind is able to get that it was a female voice, though. She clutch her eyes almost shut and looks around her. Right before her she can see something silvery-grey right in front of her.
She is just able to udder the words before she dumps down again on the ground, unable to keep herself up for too long with her limited energy. Her eyelids fall down again and she is already about to fall asleep again, but a harsh voice cuts through her brain.
"Hey, don´t you dare fall asleep again after I´ve stood here waiting for you to wake up for so long!"
A hard hand slaps Savannah across the face, and she jolts up once again, this time angry. She kicks and punches around her with slow movements. She opens her eyes again, and she can finally see the mystery person who had kept her company. Pandora (7) sighs when she notices Savannah is up and running again, and quickly hands her a big leaf filled with water and a dried strip of meat. The hungry little girl grabs them swiftly and starts to stuff her face with the meat and loosen the drougth in her throath. Pandora merely sits and watches her while she chows down the meat and slurps the final droplets of water. Then the two girls sit in silence and waits for the other one of them to speak. Savannah looks shocked and worried at Pandora, while Pandora just looks puzzling at Savannah´s scars.
"Who or what gave you those?"
She points at the fangmarks in Savannah´s stomach arena. Savannah just shrugs, before answering.
"Oh, it was some sort of muttation. It attacked me and Saadia, and I fougth it. I don´t remember much more."
Pandora looks very impressed at Savannah, to have fougth a mutt and obviously won at the age of twelve. Pandora starts to rummage in one of the pockets on her jacket, until she finds a peculiar-looking mix plant leaves and berries. Then she picks up a rock from the ground and starts to smash the leaves and berries into a black and green mush. Then she gives a big glob of the disgusting mix to Savannah, who looks unsure what to do with it. Pandora takes one herself and starts to smear it on the various bitemarks around her body, starting with the marks in her stomach. Savannah groans out of relief until Pandora has put on a thick layer of the plants and berries on the wounds, before going on to treat the rest of the wounds. When it´s all done, Savannah´s eyes start to droop again, and after not many seconds she has already fallen asleep again. Pandora smiles a bit to herself and lifts the tiny girl onto her back, being careful to not cause more damage to her wounds. Then she starts to jog carefully, as to not disturb Savannah, through the tropical canvas.
After a somewhat long journey, Pandora finally sits down and pants of fatigue, Savannah safely asleep on her back still. She has parked right under the shade of a willow tree, lightly swaying in the warm breeze. Pandora carries Savannah lightly to the trunk of the tree, which is hidden away deep inside the vegitation of the jungle, safe from harm. The little girl still hasn´t woken up. Pandora sits down next to her, to stay guard of her while she sleeps. But after only a few minutes, she falls asleep as well. The two newfound allies snore in synch where they lie under the willow tree.
In the Mountainous Zone, on the same ledge where the cameras left them last time around, lies Luna (6) and Star (6), sweating heavily under the glowing sun. They have both been perched up on the ledge since they arrived there last afternoon, when the boulders started falling down and the mountainside collapsed. The siblings are both lucky they did not die in the incident, but they are very unlucky for being where they are, trapped with no food, water or shelter. The Gamemakers have pretty much left them alone, since they are not very interesting to them and most Capitolians view them as side-characters. Luna and Star are salvaging this freedom however, since it means they are not the target for a lot of action.
Star is sitting at the edge of the stone plate, staring out over the vast Arena. From where they are, he can barely see all the way to the start of the Rainforest Zone, located at the other end of the Arena. The sun is starting to move away from the centerpoint of the sky, signalising the start of the afternoon. Luna sit next to her brother on the ledge, but instead of staring out, she´s staring at him. Both of their faces are like grimaces, stained with the tough life in the Games. Luna has used some climbing vines she found after the Bloodbath to tie up her hair into a ponytail, which is a lot more practical. Star has a big scratch across his face from when he tumbled down the mountain yesterday. Luna reaches out her hand towards Star, and he immediately grasps it in his own hand. The two siblings sit like this, their stomachs growling for food and their throaths sore with thirst, for hours at an end.
The arrows zooms through the air and penetrates the target on the tree with a loud thunk. Melly (11) starts to clap enthusiastically, until Nikhita (11) gives her one of her familiar looks to stop it. Crimson (11) also looks impressed and grins, but he is too busy fickling with something inside the hollow tree that´s the alliance´s base. Nikhita lowers her bow and goes to get her arrow out of the tree. She puts it back into the quiver over her shoulder blades, before she gets greeted by a hug from Melly. The little girl has taken a great liking to Nikhita, and even though she thinks Melly can be a bit too clingy sometimes, Nikhita appreciates the kindness. Crimson is a different story. He mostly shuts himself away from the two girls and ponders on making up plans for the alliance. Throughout the third day, he has mostly stayed by himself, but he did help Nikhita in setting up some makeshift training grounds for her. Melly has been in the area around their camp, forging for anything edible she recognizes, including the berries she scavenged yesterday. Thanks to this and the multitude of rainwater that came with the thunderstorm the previous night, the group has currently everything they need to survive. But boredom has struck both Nikhita and Crimson, both of whom are just itching to be able to do anything out of importance in the Games, since they have been pretty much left alone since the Bloodbath, and even then, nobody even approached them. Melly has salvaged this peace, and has made herself pretty comfortable, but Nikhita and Crimson know that the tranquility is only an illusion. At any time, the Gamemakers can decide to shake them up a little bit, either by activating a trap, send muttations their way or lure other Tributes to where they are hiding. But there has been a good amount of death today, even Melly understands that, because they have been left alone, and four cannons have been fired. Crimson peeks his head out of the hollow tree trunk and shouts at Nikhita and Melly.
"Hey girls! Come over here for a sec!"
Nikhita just shrugs and slings her bow over her back. Melly grabs her hand and they walk together over to Crimson, who is looking very stern and serious. Melly climbs into the tree, and Nikhita soon follows. It is very tight, but the three of them are barely able to squeeze into it all at one time. Nikhita stares at Crimson with a blank expression, waiting. Melly lies her head in Nikhita´s lap comfortably.
Crimson removes his hands dramatically from the inside bark, as to reveal something.
Crimson has carved something into the bark, they´re inscriptions that are forming a picture together. They look like something out of a fairy tale book, or a legend. It takes a while for Nikhita and Melly to see, but there are three figures on the inscriptions. One weilding a thin bow, one who appears very short in comparison to the others and one who has a knife in his hand, poised towards a tree. It is very beautifully done. Melly stroaks across the bark with her hand, then pulls Crimson to her and hugs him.
"It´s amazing, Crimson! You´re a really good carver! Maybe you can teach me to do that stuff?"
Crimson seems overwhelmed by the response, and he barely manages to pull away before Melly squeezes him to death. Nikhita also puts her hand onto the carved bark, admireing the crafthandship. But unlike Melly, she fully understands what it is supposed to mean. It´s them, and they are now carved into Panem history. Even though the Games might end, the Arena will still be used as a tourist attraction later on, especially since this is such an important year for the Hunger Games, a Quell. And they can´t remove or change anything to it, it would be complete blasphemy in the Capitol´s eyes. Nikhita smiles, and leans in to join Melly and Crimson´s conversation. They are talking about his carving skills.
"So Crimson, where did you learn that? I take it you weren´t born with a carving knife in your hand."
Nikhita asks, and Crimson grins a bit. Then his smile dissapears, and he takes on a thougthful expression. His voice goes low and hollow.
"My friend from before learned me to do it. He- he was very talented."
Melly doesn´t notice that Crimson is distraugt, and leans into his lap with a big smile on her face.
"Maybe your friend can learn me to carve, then? He has to be, like, a master or something!"
Crimson spits out, and silence falls in the hollow tree. Melly looks at a loss of words, and Nikhita too. Then Crimson wiggles free of Melly´s embrace and crawls out of the tree. Melly looks like she is on the verge of tears, but Nikhita pulls her to herself and holds her. The little girl sobs into Nikhita´s chest. Nikhita watches as Crimson dissapears from her line of vision, he walks away from the tree and out into the thick rainforest. When he´s at least four metres away from camp, his tears finally starts to overflow out of his eyes, and his screams piece the air around him. They echo through the jungle, scaring birds into flying away. His lips form one word, a name, while he screams, he repeats it over and over and over again under his breath.
"Come on, you retard! I can´t walk on my own when my foot is rotting in a fucking river!"
Ahri (8) stumbles forward on one leg while dragging the other with her, with Xavier (8) far ahead of her. He looks grumy and frustrated at her moaning. Since they started to run away from Pandora (7) after Xavier killed Viggo (7), the relationship between the two allies has become more and more toxic. But Ahri knows better than to challenge Xavier. Even though she is confident she is more profecient than him, she can´t stand up without leaning against anything and she would not last very long in a fight. Xavier knows this too, but he still keeps Ahri with him, when he could, and in the Capitol´s viewpoint, should have killed her a long time ago. But it seems as though Xavier has other plans, but what does plans could be, nobody really knows.
Suddenly, Ahri´s hand slips off the rock she was leaning on, and she starts to shake. She yelps as she falls head first. But right before she hit the ground, Xavier grasped hold of her hand and steadied her. Ahri looks surprised, before she smiles, the first smile for her in too long. Xavier even smiles a little, but then, Ahri gets washed over by unpleasant memories, and her expression turns sour again. She slaps Xavier´s hand away.
"Get off of me! I can walk, just fine, by myself!"
But as she says that, she loses her balance and falls again, this time too quick for Xavier to react. Xavier expect her to start shouting again, but she lies completly silent.
"Ahri? Hey, Ahri?"
She ignores Xavier, and she loses herself completely to her own memories.
"Why can´t you do anything right, Diane!?"
Diane screams and cries, but the man over her continues to slap her. He kicks her in the stomach, forcing the air straight out of her.
"I´m sorry, father! Please, stop!!"
She cries and cries for the man to stop, but he never does. Again, and again, and again he slaps her, until she falls unconsious.
Diane wakes up again, hours later, to the smell of food from downstairs. Eva isn´t in bed with her, she must have had gone down for breakfast. Diane can hear laugther and the clinking of glass around a table. She drags on her raggedy clothes, like she does every day, and walks down the stairs. There she can see her father and Eva around the table, and her mother serving them food. They all wear smiles on their faces. Her father´s eyes go up from his food, and he sees Diane by the stairs.
"So, you´re here, huh?"
It´s like the whole room got thrown into a winter storm. Diane´s mother and Eva also look at her, but with no laugther or smiling anymore. They don´t greet her, nor do they ask her to sit with them. Diane already knows her place in the happy family.
"I´ll get to work then."
"Yes, Diane. You do that."
"See you tomorrow, Diane."
Then she walks out of the door and out into her world. It´s cold outside at this time of the year, when the snow hasn´t completely melted yet, and winter´s grasp is still in the air. Diane looks around her, before she starts to walk to work. It is a long walk, but not many people are outside this early. The people who works in the factories usually lives there, so she never sees them, except for the kids, because they have to attend school first. Diane finally arrives at work. Her boss nods at her and points her to the changing room inside an old shed.
After a quick change, Diane is no longer Diane. She is the beautiful Ahri Transia. A deceiver, the girl of your dreams, as well as the girl every woman wants to become. It´s a lie, though. No woman would want to be Ahri Transia, but all men want Ahri Transia.
All at once, Ahri is brougth back to reality. She sees Xavier´s face swimming in front of her. He drags her up from the ground and holds her around the shoulders. Ahri leans on him and they slowly move again, to a destination unknown.
In the Rainforest Zone, at the Anti-Careers´ camp, everything is gone. The small fire which was lit only last night, is all shrivled up, and the rest of the firewood is gone. The whole alliance´s small stash of supplies is gone, but not the small pyramid of food. It´s still intact, with all the loaves of bread gone though. The most promiment thing that is missing from the camp, however, are the Tributes themselves. Everyone are long gone, to somewhere unknown, except that the Capitol does know. But then, out of the blue, the bushes near the edge of the abandoned camp rustles and someone pokes their head out. It´s Parasto (14), who fell asleep in the bushes and therefore wasn´t taken away when the others were. He looks around himself, trying to orient himself on where he is, but in his confused mind only one thing makes sense. Food. He spots the abundance of food left untouched a few metres away from him, and instantly his energy is revived. He leaps to the food and lifts a few strips of meat up and sniffs them with a misty expression on his face. He lifts his hand up, dangling the meat over his mouth. He is just about to take a big bite off the delishious meat when he is forcefully pushed to the ground. Parasto yelps and kicks around him furiously at his mysterious adversary, he can´t see him in his confused mindset and the compressing darkness. His foot makes contact with his foe´s stomach, and Parasto snatches the strips of meat from off the ground. But once again, he is stopped from eating it, this time the mystery person pins him to the ground and tosses the food far away.
"I wouldn´t do that if I were you. It´s poisoned, and the reason you got knocked out in the first place."
Parasto yells and screams for his meat, but the stranger doesn´t budge and keeps him in a tight lock on the ground. Parasto keeps tossing and thrashing around until he´s exausted once again. That´s when his mind finally relaxes and he sees who the stranger is, and it´s no stranger at all.
Parasto barely recognize his own raspy, sore voice. Milo (9) drags his hand over his forehead and pulls his eyes up in the sky.
"Yeah, it´s me. And not to bother you or anything, but you should get up and take a look at our camp."
Milo doesn´t smile or laugh, he keeps himself serious as he finally lets go of Parasto. The boy massages his shoulders a bit before Milo drags him by the hand up in a sitting position. Parasto gasps as his eyes slowly adjust to the darkness and he sees what is left of the Anti-Career´s camp. Ripped clothing and blood stains litter the ground, and the fire has been stomped out.
Parasto crawls forward and scrapes around to find anything familiar to hold onto. Milo looks sternly at him without saying a word, like a teacher who shows his pupil a painful lesson. Parasto walks quickly a few rounds around the campsite, before he returns to Milo, desperation painting his face. Milo sighs and leans into a quick hug with his ally, but he breaks away from it after only a few seconds. He looks awkwardly at Parasto, who seems to have completely broken down, too much to cry.
"Well, Parasto, my hunch is that the food was poisonous, like I mentioned. We all woke up pretty early today, and everyone quickly went to go get some food. Drago (12) found you passed out besides your sleeping place, so he put you in some bushes to get some rest. Drago started sharing the loaves with everyone when I went off to find more firewood, since we were running kinda low. That´s when I heard loud screams and mysterious noises, so I ran back again to camp. But when I got there, it looked like this. But I know who did this, because it certainly wasn´t the Gamemakers."
Parasto shields his face from the cameras when it becomes too much for him. He starts crying. Milo looks awkward again, and nudges a few inches away from Parasto.
"So, who do you think did this, then?"
To answer, Milo simply scraps his foot across the leaves on the ground, to reveal the moist, dirty ground underneath. The consealed dirt forms letters, written words by the kidnapper. Parasto is near to fainting when he realizes what the words mean. They are simple, yet threathening, and reveal too much of his and Milo´s allies´ kidnapper for him to be able to be brave.
"Happy hunting, boys. Love, Kronos."
The cameras pan down again, and focuses on Saadia (6). The little girl is still inside the Mountainous Zone, at her and Savannah´s (9) old hiding place in the rock formation. She has nothing on her except the blanket, which she managed to salvage from when the muttation attacked her yesterday. She has managed to treat her minor injuries with some herbs she was smart enough to know how to use properly, but other than that, she is still traumatized from the previous day. Saadia hasn´t done much the whole day, except walk aimlessly around in the mountains to try to find some food to survive on, and mourn Savannah. For in her believes, her old ally is dead. Saadia wasn´t able to see the Fallen show last night, since she had to hide away from the Sunkin siblings from District 6. Even though they looked friendly, Saadia has made a promise with herself to not ally with anyone anymore. She has to come back again this time, it won´t be like last time. Because her mother is back, her mother is really back. It´s wasn´t like Saadia´s many dreams of it happening, and when she woke up, she still thougth it really had happened for a few blissfull minutes, before she realized it was impossible. But not anymore. As Saadia huddled herself in her blanket and prepares to see the faces to be shown in the Fallen tonight, her thougths land on her mother and she musters the first smile she has smiled in what seems to be forever.
On the complete other side of the Arena, Shylock (11) sits in his hideout, watching the stars in the skies move while sipping to a leaf filled with fresh river water. He has been left completely alone by both the Gamemakers and the other Tributes for a whole day, in which he is grateful for, since he knows that tomorrow will not be as calm. But for now, he is relaxing in his temporary state of peace. Then, the National Anthem of Panem booms throughout the entire Arena, sending the viewers in the Capitol into a nationalistic and happy mood, but the Tributes and their families into a grim, yet hopeful mood. Maybe they will recieve the message that their chances are better now, yet still close to impossible. The beautiful, glittering image of Panem´s sea fill the sky, and all the Tributes, including Shylock, lean forward and concentrate extra hard. The first face to be shown, which is a shocker for plenty of the Arena´s inhabitants, as well as the few viewers who had been unable to watch the Games before this moment, is Fairy´s (C). Her beautifully braided hair flows across her face in the wind, or so it seems like. Then she is gone, forever. Another shocked, Shylock even gasps as Zaphire (1) is the next one out. His haugthy and handsome face stares down at all the Tributes, unaware that he is now dead, before he too, is gone like Fairy. Yet another surprise washes over Shylock and the others, as one of the most threathening competitors of the whole Games, Jace (2), fills the evening sky. His death was very unpopular in the Capitol, which caused criticism towards the Gamemakers, since they were the ones to kill him, even though their original intended target was Fairy, because of her mysterious alleged "powers". The final death, and another big threath and Career, is Caspian (4). His death was probably the least impactful of all the fatalities of today, as he was seen as the least threathening Career Tribute this year, even though he outlived his District partner, Alvida (4), who was one of the fan-favorites. The last tune of the Anthem finishes and the invisible hovercraft dissapates, and the stars glow bright once again. Shylock sighs and throws his head back to lean against the tree´s trunk. He gets up on his feet again and walks in the direction of his sleeping spot, a small patch of soft, dark-green moss under a sharp ledge in the scenery. Shylock slips down into the grove and snuggles up in the moss and leaves, and not before long, he is fast asleep.
The wind flurries past him as Day runs through the streets. Mocking shouts and yells for him to stop are thrown after him, but he doesn´t falter. His golden blonde hair shines in the moonlight, making him visible to his assailants behind him. He laughs and flips his chasers the bird.
"Is that all you´ve got? I could have outrun you guys without any limbs!"
Day (5) cackles as he moves farther and farther away from the people chasing him, they are panting and wheezing for air and realize they´re not going to be able to catch up to him anymore. But just as they have given up, Day suddenly slips on something and he crashes into a brick wall. He slides down again and lies down on the ground, unconsious. The assailants notice this and run towards Day with new inspiration running through them. When they arrive, Day has gotten back to his sense somewhat. He can barely see the six grinning figurines leaning over him.
His voice is groggy and unstable, he begins to crawl across the muddy concrete. The ones who were chasing him starts to laugh hysterically at the sight of Day wiggling around like a disoriented bug. They all wear big grins, and the biggest one, who is the leader, steps forward with a large bat in hand. Day doesn´t have time to react before the bat comes hurling down on him. It hits him straight in the stomach, and air and blood is forced out of him. The crack from one of his ribs breaking shatters the air, and it mixes together with the gang´s laugther.
Punch after punch, kick after kick, the gang continues until Day is reduced to nothing but a bloody lump on the ground, shivering with pain. The leader gives him one last kick in the shins before he bends down and spits in Day's face.
"That was for stealing from us. Maybe you'll have second thoughts next time."
Then they're gone, just like that. In the aftermath Day is left hurting with every movement and barely being able to see through all the blood in his face. His breathing is shallow and it's getting increasingly difficult to draw breatn for him. Day knows he's dying. Then his blurred vision sees something at the alley's end. A long mane of blonde hair and an unclear face stares at him. The girl running towards him is the last thing Day sees before he finally pass out.
"Day. Day! Wake up!"
Day's eyes flicker awake and he is greeted with the girl's face. He smiles sheepisly at her and closes his eyes again. The girl rolls her eyes and slaps Day clean across the face. He finally seems to have properly woken up. His eyes finally focus on the girl, and a flow of recognition goes through his face.
"Sunlight? That you?"
Sunlight smiles warmly and hugs Day, he hugs back but quickly lies down as the pain from the gang's violence before draws back again through his body. His eyes flies over her face, like he can't believe she's really there.
"I thought you were dead Sunny! Where were you, I was so scared!"
"I'm sorry Day, I never meant to scare you. But, me and my family had to go into hiding. The Capitol is after us, but don't worry, we're safe here."
Day sits up again despite his pain and looks around the room. It's dark, with the curtains drawn. He can smell pine trees and hear birds. They're in the wilds outside District Five, he can tell that much. Day smiles and focuses on Sunlight again.
"Where are your parents Sunny? Are they here?"
Sunlight merely looks down and bite her lips, and Day immediately understands that they're dead.
Sunlight gives Day a small peck on the cheek and walks out of his vision. Day never thought he'd see her again, the girl of his dreams and who never gave up on him, no matter what bad things he did. Because she knew why he stole and raided, not for evil or for the kick of it, but for survival. Even when nobody else did, Sunlight believed in him. Day just wished he could have repaid it to her in one way or anything. And now he's even deeper in depth to her, for saving his life. Sunlight returns with a bowl of lovely-smelling, creamy soup. Day simply lies down on the bed while Sunlight feeds him his soup. Then she changes his bandages and sits down in a chair right next to him. Even when he fell asleep, he knew Sunlight would stay with him to protect him.
Day gasps as his eyes flicker up. Flames are crackling and burning all around him, searing up his body from the core. Sunlight is standing over him, the fire and the blood all over her golden hair. She smiles one last time before the inferno swallows up her face and leaves Day screaming on the ground.
Soothing hands close around Day's face and lifts him up. Detria's face swims in front of his eyes before finally focusing on her. Day's face is riddled with confusion as he tries to understand what just happened to him.
"It's ok, Day. The visions.. They're gone now."
Tears burst out of his eyes and flow down Day's cheeks as he clings to Detria for protection. She hugs him and holds him close. Then, she starts singing. It's an old song from District 5, a song to calm children or make them sleep, an unlifting song that promises something better on the horizon.
"Don't you cry little finch"
"The dark skies will all go away"
"You don't have to cry anymore little finch"
"The birdsong will return"
"There's nothing to fear little finch"
"You're here with me now"
After a while, Day seems to finally have returned to his senses. Detria gives him one last kiss on the cheek before she stands up and starts fiddeling with a dump of exotic plant leaves. She is grinding two stones against eachother, trying to create a spark to light the fire. Day sits himself up and walks up to her just as the leaves ignite with the help of the small spark. Detria smiles weakly at him and flings more leaves onto the fire as it starts to build up.
"How did you know about my visions?"
Detria's face darkens for a brief second, and she looks seriously at Day.
"I've had them too. Every night since I was Rejuvinated. I think it might be some sort of sadistic shit the Gamemakers have implanted in our brains. So we remember why we are brought back, so we don't immediately wish the sweet release of death again. Every time I fall asleep, I relive that Reaping, and when Koto kissed me and when I was waiting on the train. It tears me apart, but keeps me from killing myself. It's effective, I'll give them that."
Then the two of them simply sit in the quiet darkness. Day turns away from his ally. He brings his hand to his face and gently streaks it across where Detria kissed him. He still looks to be close to tears, but his eyes burn with courage. Detria simply looks out into the dark swamp. She's thinking about the dead shown in the sky while Day was having visions. Fairy, Zaphire, Jace and Caspian. All big threaths, but now all of them are dead. Detria glances over at Day, who has fallen asleep again with his knife clutched in his left hand. He reminds her of Koto, and she hates herself for it. Koto is the only thing that keeps her together, but the more she thinks about it, the more the hope of him remembering her or even being alive slips away. Day is all that she has left now. She lies down and joins Day in his sleep, but is tossed into horrible nightmares.
End of Day Three and end of Part I.
Alliances after Day Three
Shermaine Wilson (2), Amme Ilorenzo (3), Buck Rockwell (6) and Helena Krisp (10).
Gypsy Xenon (2) and Luigi Wilkins (1)
Milo Amaranth (9) and Parasto Fulton (14)
- Members missing: Alissa Dove (8), Brandon Ivery (9), Laurel Cinders (9), Lexi Greenway (10) and Drago Fire (12)*
Kwartz Diodin (10), Radiant Tayz (13), Tyra Crust (13) and Piper Quinn (14)
District Three Siblings
Ikaika Mathilda (3) and Maala Mathilda (3)
District Six Siblings
Star Sunkin (6) and Luna Sunkin (6)
District Eleven Alliance
Crimson Typhoon (11), Nikita Akshaya (11) and Melly Reesha (11)
District Five Alliance
Day Whisper (5) and Detria Glace (5)
District Seven and Nine Alliance
Pandora Raven (7) and Savannah Darnell (9)
District Eight Alliance
Xavier Sharma (8) and Ahri Transia (8)
Jade Seeku (1) and Kronos Blade (3)
Loners (No Alliance)
Katarina Seacrest (4), Saadia Gaena (6) and Shylock Bloodroot (11)
The Rejuvination Games Part II - Undone
(Day Four to Six.)
The Rejuvination Games Part III - Dead End