Welcome, one and all, to The Pinnacle Games! These are going to be much, much different than any games before this, and I hope you enjoy! Please read the Prolougue and Rules before entering!
Shortly after the events in Mockingjay, the Districts started sending out expeditions around the world to find other human civilizations. They found a few large ones, mainly in Europe, China, and South Africa. One of the larger ones was located in Nepal, near Mount Everest. The team leading the expedition was in favour of the Capitol and the Hunger Games, and wanted it to take power again. By Mount Everest they found a large village with over a thousand people. Due to it's isolation, many were not even aware that Panem existed. Anyways, when the expedition saw Everest and the village, they got an idea. They desided to try to reinstate the hunger games, thousands of miles away from Panem. They went back and took the standard amount of tributes, two from districts 1-12, male and female, leaving out the Capitol and District 13. They took them to a secret base in the Capitol, and prepared them for the games.
In these games, the goal is not to be the last one standing.
The goal is to climb Everest itself.
1- Entering tributes
1.1: Please enter 2 tributes, one female and one male.
1.2: Please do not make them from the same district.
1.3: Please include name, District, gender, weapon choice, and characteristics. Other info is welcome, but optional.
1.4: Reservations last for 24 hours each if you reserve 2 tributes, and 48 hours if you reserve 1 tribute.
2- The Games
2.1: The goal of the game is to be on the first team the first to summit everest. You'll want to enter strong, durable tributes for this one.
2.2: Once all the tributes are entered, I will randomly divide them into 4 groups of 6. These wil be their expedition teams. The goal is to find their team, and proceed to the Base Camp. They must stay with their team until they reach Base Camp, and then they are free to do as they please, although they probably won't separate. The chances of summiting Everest solo... Not very high.
2.3: 8 sherpas have been hired to lead the expedition teams, two to each team.
2.4: The trbutes will be randomly placed in the village to start. they must find their team members, and try to get to Base Camp as quckly as possible. They must then proceed up Everest.
2.5: As usual, the tributes are allowed to kill eachother. Small stashes of weapons have been hiden aound the village. Sherpas and the other people in the village are fair game.
2.6: The sherpas know about the games, at least partially. They know that they are leading a dangerous expedition up Everest, and that they might die. Some of the villagers have been informed about the games. Some have been persuaded to help the tributes, other persuaded to kill them.
2.7: There will be no pre-games, and no events after the games. The tributes have all gone through three months of vigorous training to prepare for Everest, but there will be no training scores.
To recap, the tributes are in teams of 6. They have two sherpa guides, and they must make their way up Everest, enduring attacks from other tributes, mutts, and the natural hazards of Everest. The first team to make it to the summit wins it all, and survives. In a way, these games will be harder than any other on the tributes. In just five days, a collosal storm will hit Everest, almost definitely killing everyone on her. Instead of just trying to survive, they must now race. They must race against eachother, and the clock, to the top of the world. That, or die.
Let the Pinnacle Games begin.
|Name||District||Gender||Climbing Team #||Kills||Final Ranking||User|
|1||F||3||Sweet, Kestrel, Rosemary||5th||Clove1001|
|Venus Olympus||10||F||1||Sarah, Mars||Victor||Anon...|
"Tribute died due to Everest's extreme conditions (Includes mutts)
^Tribute killed directly by gamemakers
+Multiple tributes died at once.
Bangdau Sherpa (sherpa)
Mahzim Renan (sherpa)
Kami Delal (sherpa)
Salla Ramm (sherpa)
Yann Jimau (sherpa)
Apa Bahadur (sherpa)
Ang Jeto (sherpa)
Jangbu Sherpa (sherpa)
Basically a cross between a gorilla, and orangutan, a tall human, and a tiger. It is 7 feet tall, and it will kill anything it sees. It has red fur, and has fangs like a tiger.
They attack in swarms, and are meant to disorient a tribute. Some can bite, and the bites are infected with bacteria that can kill a tribute.
This year, I'll do sponsoring a little differently. Instead of giving each tribute a certain amount of money, I'll allow you to give each of your tributes one item every day. You can save them up, for example, if you don't buy anything on days 1 or 2, you can get 3 items on day 3. The items have to be reasonable, and I'll be the judge of that.
I will start when I have all the tributes!
The "gamemakers" are using the town hall as headquarters, and they have brought their announcer, the yogurt fanatic with them.
"Welcom, one and all to The Pinnacle Games, here in Nepal! Did you know they have yogurt here!? It's AMAZING! WAY better than in the Capitol. HEY, YOU, BRING ME SOME KEY LIME YOGURT MIXED WITH A BIT OF THAT GRANNY SMITH APPLE YOGURT THAT WE FOUND AT THAT COVENTION IN FRESNO, NOW!!! Ah, thank you. NO WAIT, IT'S CHUNKY, JUST LIKE LAST TIME! DON'T YOU EVER LEARN, SHELDON? That's better. Now, where was I? Oh yes, the games. Well, you all know what to do. Find your little climbing teams in a huge, chaotic town before sundown today, then climb the tallest and most deadly mountain in the world while avoiding bloodthirsty tributes and horrible mutts before and deadly storm strikes in just a week. Easy as that! Oh yeah, if your team doesn't get there first, we'll incinerate you. Now, I must be off. A local villager is going to teach me how to make traditional Tibetan frozen yogurt! Did I mention I LOVE the stuff?!"
Twenty-four hovercrafts appear simuntaneously over the village on the Nepalise side of Everest. The tributes are dropped off in different locations, and they wait. There are no platforms this time, but they have to stay in their general area until the gong rings. When it does, the tributes look around. It's minus 35 degrees, and the tribtues are freezing. Up above them, twenty-nine thousand feet above sea level, lies the pinnacle of the world, one of the most famous and deadly mountains on earth.
And it's the one they have to climb. That, or die.
Let The Pinnacle Games begin.
I started outside of a small inn, so I have a direct view of Everest. They showed us pictures in training, but they just don't prepare you for the real thing. It's huge, beyond huge. And this is only the bottom. The top is covvered with clouds. I waste no time. I run through the streets looking for Team 2.
Me, Rosemary, and Aaron from Team 4 are together in a small shack, along with Digit from Team 1. The gong has sounded, and the three of us race towards eachother. We decide not to mess with Digit, as he's found a small sword in the corner of the room. We race out, and in the streets we see some of Team 3 getting together. Phantom and Sweet from Team 1 are fighting side by side against Team 3. Four of them are there now, and one of their sherpas has located them. They are still missing one sherpa and one team member. Phantom and Sweet can't hold them off, and they are overcome. Colbie knocks Sweet to the ground, and finishes her off with a knife. Thunder rumbles in the sky. I get it. They are using thunder as a cannon this year so the locals won't know what it is. The locals that see the fight have fled, and now I wonder if they have law enforcement in Nepal. Hopefully the gamemakers won't let them get involved, but you never know.
Almost all of our team is ready, except for Jet and Sarah. Our sherpa has found us, and we are beginning to hike to Base Camp. The village is only two miles away from the bottom, so we begin to run across the narrow path in the snow. We are all equiped with parkas and climbing gear, but we are still freezing. We can hear a number of tributes behind us, and we try to run, but our gear is too heavy.
"Come! We must hurry if we are to make it to our camp!" yells our sherpa, named Yan Jimau, who hasn't even broken a sweat.
We pick up the pace, and before you know it, we arrive at base camp.
Of all the places the gamemakers could have placed me, It's in a pile of snow.
I'm a mile away from the village, and I'm soaking from the snow that has gotten into my parka. I can already hear the yells of tributes, and i'm muttering curses as I hurry over to the village. It takes fifteen minutes with all the gear I have on, and when I get there, I waste no time. I run around searching for my team, but they're nowhere in sight. I see a man who looks like a sherpa, and I run up to him.
"Umm, excuse me, do you know where-"
"Where your group is?" he cuts me off. "Yes, I know a tribtue when I see one. I am Apa Bahadur. You are in Group 3?"
"Yeah. I can't find them."
"They may already be at Base Camp. Follow me, I will take you there."
Sarah from Team 3 has been cornered by team 1. She ahs a bow and arrow, and tries to fend them off. She pegs Hunter from 7 in the neck, and he goes down. She shoots arrows at Jupiter and Griffin, and hits them in the leg and the shoulder. Venus throws a knife, and hits her in the thigh. She crumples to the ground. Venus proceeds forward, and stabs her with a spear. Team 1 is almost all together, but they are on teh far side of the village, and they haven't found their sherpas. Their mood lightens when Miley receives a shield, but thats the end of the good news for Team 1.
I've met one of our sherpas, Kami Delal, and we also met up with Swell from 4. We run around one of the busier parts of the village, and it's hard to move through the crowds. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot Jet from 6, and he is armed. We have no weapons, and I whisper to Kami.
"Another tribute's right over there. Keep walking!" He glances in Jet's direction, and turns back to the path in front of us. He hasn't spotted us yet, and I see an axe hanging on teh wall of a building. I grab it. This is a great time to eliminate Jet. I start walking in his direction. Swell and kami see what I am doing. Kami nods, and continues walking. When I am ten feet away, I throw the axe. He whips around when he spots me, and swings his shield to deflect the axe. It ricochetes off his shield, and hits a man in the back. He falls down, and people turn to us and start screaming something that sounded suspiciously like "police!"
He has a saber, one of those curved swords you see in pirate movies. He jumps at me, and bangs the hilt on my head, and then slices at my knees. He lunges at my gut, and strikes me hard. My last sight is a Nepalese law enforcer rushing towards Jet and his sherpa.
Me and kami are running now, trying to get through teh crowds that are now panicking. Behind us I see some of Team 4 fighting with Gimli from 8, who is in our group. He has an axe, and runs Lily through with it. We keep running, and eventually find Mars and Vixen, and Gimli is close behind.
I've separated from the main part of Team 4 to hunt Griffin from Team 1. He's with Jupiter and they are scouting for climbing supplies and weapons. I have a spear, but they are already stocked with weapons. Both have arrow wounds, and are going reletively slow. I'm on the second floor of a small building I snuck into, so I have a great view of them, and a good range for throwing my spear.
I know I won't be able to get both of them, so I go for Griffin. The window is open, and I prepare to throw the spear. I wind up, and chuck it out the window. It hits Griffin in the thigh. He screasm in pain, and shouts at Jupiter to go on. He's not dead, and he has seen me now. He draws his sword, and limps towards the building.
I rush downsatirs into some sort of kitchen. I grab a frying pan and run outside. He stabs blindly with his sword, and I dodge his strikes easily. I bang him in the head with the frying pan, and he crumples to the ground. I must have hit him in the temple, because I can't feel a pulse. Thunder rumbles in the sky, which must be a substitute for cannons.
We are still at Base Camp, and we are all grumpy.
The wind is too strong for anyone to start a fire, and we have little supplies. We can only hope that Jet brings some when he comes. IF he comes. We've already heard several thunder strikes, any one of them could have been Jet's. We've received several sponsor gifts too. I receive a sword, Kestrel gets a vile of poison, and Max gets what looks like an old, shabby hockey helmet. We think It's a joke at first, but then we realize it comes with night vision goggles, a heating system, it's own oxygen tank, a radio and a GPS, and on top in a hidden compartment is a collection of throwing knives. EASILY the coolest sponsor item I've ever seen.
Team 4 has assembled. Gem, Rosemary, and Aaron were togather from the start, and they found me and Winter as well. Our sherpas, Ang Jeto and Jangbu Sherpa are also here. We are on the trail leading towards base camp, but we have to go slowly. Police officers are in the woods. I'm guessing one of the tributes didn't do a good job at keeping the secret of the hunger games. That, or they stole some yogurt from the announcer.
Back at the village, we saw a good portion of Group 1 together. Jupiter Digit and Venus were together, with one sherpa. That would mean all the groups are together. Miley was nowhere to be seen.
I`m thinking about this as I hear a rustle in the bushes. The rest of the group hears it too. We slowly draw weapons and face the direction where we heard the sound. The rustling stops. Probably just a rabbit or something.
`We are close to Base Camp. You may want to draw weapons now. Other teams may be there," says Jangbu.
"But aren't we the only Team so far to-"
Something slams into me midsentence, and i am knocked to the ground. What do you know, It's Miley. She has a hammer in hand and swings it at my face. I feel a jabbing pain, and everything goes black.
Miley is gone as quick as she came, and the rest of Team 1 is not far behind. All the Climbing Teams are now headed to teh Nepalise Base Camp. They are using different routes, but are all heading to the same place, and will arrive by sundown.
At about 21:00, ever tribute and sherpa recieve a copy of a note, floating down from a golden, not silver parachute. It says:
Congratulations for making it this far, tributes! Just a little reminder, if you do not reach Base Camp and find your team by 24:00, we, the Capitol, will incinerate you! Now continue with your silly games while I gorge myself on this DELICIOUS frozen yogurt, made by the wonderful local elder, Mr. Yow G. Urte!
Almost everyone is at Base Camp now, but there is no fighting. Everyone is exhausted, and no one is in any shape to fight. Besides, we all want to conserve energy for the days to come. The groups make their camps as far away from the other groups as possible. Some of the more peaceful tributes even risk going and conversing with tribtues from other groups, such as Digit. The tension does not go away though, and we all have to prepare to start climbing tomorrow.
The pictures just don't do the mountain justice.
We get our first good look at the mountain, and it is unbelievable. It's massive, I just cant't describe it. A feeling of hopelesness consumes me. How can we possible climb this thing? It just doesn't seem possible. But that's what we have to do if we are to survive.
I hate police officers.
They weren't exactly gentle when they arrested my and Apa, and my wrists still hurt from the handcuffs. Luckily, Apa knew the police chief, and was able to convince him that there was no way an innocent little kid could have possibly threw that axe at that man, and the let us go. We hiked up to Base camp slowly, wanting to conserve energy. When we got the note, we started running. The trail we were taking was rocky and uphill, and it was at least three hours to the camp.
We recieved another golden parachute, this one with a stopwatch counting down from fifteen.
Apa saw the watch in my hand.
"Come! We must hurry! We are almost there!" He shouted.
We picked up the pace, and when we got to the top of a small hill, we could see Base Camp. The watch was at four minutes.
We started sprinting. I was using every ounce of my energy.
Come on. Almost there.
A border made out of stones surrounded Base Camp. We were twenty yeards away.
Thirty seconds. Come on.
Just then, gasoline started shooting out around me, coming from hidden squirt guns in the rocks and trees. The border was so close.
Apa jumped over the border, feet in front of me, as I triped over a rock. He rushed forward, and dragged over the border just as the clock hit zero, and the trees beyond the border erupted into an inferno.
All the tributes have arrived at Base Camp. There is no fighting, as all teh tributes are preparing for the climb tomorrow.
To be continued...
Someone from team 1 is about to die.
That's why I've been given the poison. The sponsors want me to poison their food. I walk over to the camp, and see a water bottle lying on the grond. I uncap it, and pour a tiny bit of the clear liquid into it. I hear a rustling sound in one of the other tents. I don't hesitate. If i get caught, there's no way I can defeat al of them. I take off towards my camp, hoping they drink the water soon.
Our team is the first to leave Base Camp. none of the other teams seem to bother us, probably still exhausted from yesterday. It's not just the long hikes wearing us down, it's the altitude. It's already thousands of feet higher than in Panem, and we haven't even begun the climb. All the other sherpas from all the teams have arrived, most of them were doing a sweap of the city to make sure they had everyone in their groups. We've met our other sherpa, Salla Ramm. I'm glad we have her as our sherpa, 'cause if we run into any of the mutts we were told about, they'll go crying to their mommies. Salla is about as ripped as you can get. She looks like a female G I Joe. Anyways, we make a quick exit out of camp, trying to get a head start ont the other teams.
I'm just waking up when I hear Max screaming.
I rush out of the tent to see Miley from Group 1 attacking Malt, Max, and Kestrel. She's an amazing fighter, and disarms Max in no time flat. She stabs Malt in the ribs, and falls. Kestrel is no match for her, and she goes down with a wound to the arm. Me, Jet, and our sherpas are soon running into the fight as well. Max grabs a knife from the hidden compatment in his helmet, and charges Miley. She has a wicked grin on her face. She punches Max in teh face, and grabs his knife, and points it at his neck. At that exact moment, Miley colapses to the ground, and she doesn't get up.
We look around at eachother, bewildered, wondering what happened. I turn to Kestrel, and she holds up her vile of poison, with a grin on her face.
Our team leaves at the same time as Team 3. Most of the routes used before Panem have been wheathered out or covered up by the weather, so it is now much harder to climb, and most of the routes are remote, and even more dangerous than before. Our sherpas will take us on the South Col route until we reach the death zone, and then we will use smaller routes to the top. From what we've heard, Group 2 is taking the North Col route, and Group 3 is taking diverse route in between our routes. Group 1 was planning on climbing on routes around Nuptse and Lohtse, but after the death of Miley, they have stayed behind, and will now have to take a quicker route.
Our route will consist of a lot of hiking, and will be longer than the South Col Routes, but not as long as it was a few hundred years ago. We've been hiking for about an hour along the main trail without mishap before we hear the yeti.
It's a faint howl, barely noticable. The trbutes dismiss it as the wind, but the eyes of our sherpas widen. They obviously recognize this sound, and they run. We race after them leaving the main trail, and heading into a rocky area. We hear the howl again, and this time it's louder. A minute later we hear it once more, and this time, it is right behind us.
We get our first look at the thing. It's about twenty meters away, and it s huge, at least 8 feet tall. It's redish brown in colour, and looks like a giant ape. It has huge fangs as long as an arm. It's roar is a shrieking sound, like someone scraping their finger nails against a chalk board. It charges at us, and we all run. Vixen shoots an arrow at it, and Gimli throws an axe, but it won't stop. I duck behind an outcropping of rocks, and wait for it to charge by. When it does, I slah my sword at it's meaty leg. It snarls, and turns around at me.
I dive under it's legs as it tries to tackle me, and luckily it's not agile. I get up and run, and luckily the beast turns. But it turns right at our sherpas, our best chance at making it up Everest. The beast charges towards Kami and Salla, and they both dive out of the way into some snow banks. We continue to pelt it with arrows and dodge it's clumsy strikes, but it's only a matter of time before one of us makes a false move. And it's me that makes that false move. It bats me away with it's huge hands, and rushes in for the kill. I brace myself, but as it is two meters away, it stops in its tracks. Two arrows sprout in it's neck, and an axe hits it's head. Slowly it falls rowards me, and I just role out of the way when it hits the ground with a collosal thud!
Our sherpas have decided on the South Col route, the fastest but also one of the most dangerous routes to the top. We have to pass over the Khumbu ice fall, a frozen waterfall with creveces, thin ice, and incredibly tricky pasages. It didn't look so bad when they showed us pictures in training, but now that I have seen it with my own eyes, I'm incredibly thankful for our sherpas. They know everything about this place, and without them, we would already be dead.
We have a number of laders to get across the creveces, and we need it within half an hour of climbing. It's about five meters wide, an we won't risk trying to jump. Apa lays out the ladder and makes sure the ice on the other side is thick enough. He gives us the thumbs up, and we crawl across one by one.
We continue climbing the waterfall for an hour, using the ladder every once in a while.
Group 1 is the last to leave, as we stayed behind after Miley's death. We will be climbing closer to the North Col route, but not going on the main path. We take various trails, climbing up adn rappelling down small ridges as neccesary. It's grueling work, but after about three hours, we make a temporary camp, and take a short break.
We've started up the Khumbu ice fall, and we can see Team 3 up in front of us.
"They're ahead of us! We need to go quicker!" shouts Winter.
We charge forward, but our sherpas call us back.
"We need to pace ourselves. Remember, we have plenty of time to gain ground, and the icefall is not a place to rush," says Jangbu.
We slow down, but try to go quicker than usual. We climb, crawl, and hike onwards until our path is blocked by a huge crevece, at least twenty feet across. We go up to the edge, and look bellow. It's just a big black abyss. Our sherpas lok unconcerned, and sytart laying across the ladder. Ang goes first and starts crawling across, and in no time flat, he is across. Gem and Winter go next, followed by Rosemary. Jangbu nods at me when the others get across, and I start across the ladder. Jangbu is a few feet behind me, and we almost at the other side when we hear a crack. Ang's eyes widen, and he comes to teh edge of the ladder.
"Quickly! The ice is breaking! Come across, now!"
Both of us pick up the pace, and I am relieved when I make it to the edge.
"Wow, that was a close one. I'm just glad that-" The ice cracks, sending me and Jangbu tumbing into the abyss. Jangbu jumps to the edge, and gets a handhold on the ice. I fall until I land on a ledge, ten feet bellow. The others have lowered a rope to Jangbu, and he is slowly climbing. the secng he gets to the top, Winter sets up the ropes, and starts rappeling down.
"Get the harness on, quickly!" she shouts when she reaches me. I click in my harness to the ropes, and just as we begin climbing, the ledge gives way.
My harness isnt in completely, and I begin falling slowly, trying to get a grip on the rope.
"Aaron, grab the rope!" she calls from above me.
"What do you think I'm trying to do?!"
"JUST GRAB IT!"
My harness slides clean off the rope, and I make one last desparate attempt to grab it. I miss, and I tumble into the darkness bellow.
After we hear the thunder, we continue on, luckliy with no more casualties. We are even farther behind Team 3, but that has just made us more determined to catch up. Onward we go.
As night falls, we are in high spirits.
We've climbed and hiked the whole day, but we have a feeling we've covered more ground than any other Team. Our route is a long one though, and we have to keep moving if we are to win. Despite all the good news, there is some tension in teh camp. We've already lost half of our team members, and Digit even talked about possibly deserting. I'm pretty sure he was joking, but you never know.
As night falls, the teams slow down, and begin to make camp. There has been only one casualty on the mountain today, but tomorrow, expect more bloodshed. Much more.
To be continued...
Our team continues up the South Col, Team 4 close behind us. We are at the top of the icefall, and are diverting to a smaller path for a while until we lose Team 4. They don't look like they are in any shape to fight though, and another thunder tells us that someone has just died. We try to go quickly to lose any pursuers, and we run for half an hour straight. We stop at the end of one of our trails. It's blocked by a slab of rock, so we'll have to climb up it. It's right then when we check to see if everyone's here.
Everyone is, except Max, who is nowhere to be seen.
First off, let me say I was against taking Max.
We found him just laying on teh ground at the top of the icefall. His team was in such a hurry they probably just forgot him. We took him with us, but resisted and just wouldn't stay still, and eventually we had to gag him to shut him up. We found some cables to tie him up with, but he kept on squirming. His team, Team 2, is nowhere to be seen. Jangbu carries him on his shoulder like he weighs no more than a rag doll. We plan to use him as ransom. We have so few supplies and people, we need everything we can get, even if we have to kidnap people to get it.
Sure enough, within an hour Jet from Group 3 comes running towards us, sword in hand.
"Stop, or he dies," says Rosemary, holding a knife to Max's throat.
Jet stops in his tracks, but the rest of his team is right behind him. They draw their weapons, and the two groups face eachother.
"What do you want?" asks Kestrel.
"Your supplies. Your food. And any other equipment you have. That, or the boy dies." I'm surprised to find myself answering.
Keeping her gaze on us, Kestrel takes off her backpack. Colbie and Yann do the same.
"We outnumber you. You give Max back as soon as you get the equipment, or things wil get ugly," says Kestrel severely.
"Okay then," replies Rosemary. They toss us their backpacks, and we pick them up. Rosemary gets ready to release Max when thunder booms in the sky. We look around at eachother, but then we realize it's just natural thunder. It sounds different than the cannons. Team 3 is distracted, and Winter charges at Jet. Our shepas draw crossbows and load them. We attack before they even realize what's happening. Jangbu fires his crossbow and hits Yann in the heart. Jet throws a knife that hits Rosemary in the arm. She drops Max, but he is trampled as our team charges. Jet fends off Winter with a sword, and Ang tackles Apa with his bare hands. Apa shoves him to the ground, and Jet pushes away from Winter and the team retreats. Colbie grabs Max's arms and drags him away, aided by Apa.
Our two teams have taken different paths, both close to the South Col route. Max is unconcious and barely breathing. He was trampled during the fight, and we think he has a serious head injury. Once we're sure Team 4 isn't following us, we stop. We turn to Apa, who has the most experience with these kind of things. He looks gravely at us.
"There is little we can do. He has lived a good life, but it is his time now," he says to us.
Sure enough, we hear the lighning within the hour. The hovercraft picks up his body and we carry on.
Our group treks onward up the mountain. Group 1 is close behind us, but we managed to maintain the lead. We've just heard the thunder in the sky, so we can asume Groups 3 and 4 have met up.
I bump into Gimli, who hass bumped into Kami. We stop in our tracks. In front of us is a huge slope covered with snow. It goes up for about a two hundred feet. It looks like a great place to go snow boarding, but the sherpas have a worried expression on their faces.
"We must split up, and climb the slope apart from eachother. We can not risk putting all our weight in one spot. Avalanches are common in this terrain." says Kami.
We start up the steep slope slowly, spreading far apart. We are careful not do disrupt the snow. Even the slightest movement could trigger an avalanche. Dark clouds start to gather over the mountain. Our sherpas look at the clouds nervously, but keep climbing. Lightning flashes in the sky, followed by thunder. (The natural kind, not the substitute for cannons). We quicken our pace, but the lightning continues to strike around the mountain, becoming more continous by the minute. We smell ozone in the air, but continue on. We are about 20 meters from teh top, and we go as fast as we can. Lightning completly lights up the sky. Suddenly Vixen screams.
"My hair! What's happening?" her hair starts to stand up. The other are confused, but I know what this means.
"KESTREL! GET RID OF YOUR BACKPACK! IT'S ATTRACTING THE LIGHTNING!" I scream. She rips off her backpack, and her metal sword into the snow, and we race to the top. Lightning strikes again in the distance, and part of it branches over to us, and hits the sword. Before we can say anything, the snow under our fett begins to crumble, and it feels like the whole mountain is falling apart.
We hear it before we see it, hundreds of tons of snow and ice rumbling down the eastern part of the mountain. We are in its path, and we dive under a legde of rocks to get out of it's way. The snow flies over us, and I'm praying the thin layer of rock over our heads doesn't break. It doesn't. Minutes later, the snow stops. We're not trapped in, but the snow pile in front of us is at least six feet high, and it takes an hour to dig ourselves out. We survey the damage. This face of the mountain looks completely different. Any rocks, ropes, tracks in the snow are gone. As far as we can tell, we just caught the edge of the avalanche, so we skirt around the edges and continue our assent, nerves rattled by the disaster we narowly avoided.
It looks like I'm the only one who made it.
I climbed out of the snow pile I was stuck in, hoping to find familiar faces. No one. The avalanche swept us all down hill, tossing us around like rag dolls. I finally find my sherpa, Salla, and we are relieved to see eachother. Salla has an emergency kit, including a long, thin pole used for searching for people burried in the snow. She gives me a pole, and start poking in the snow. It's madness in my opinion. How are we supposed to find people burried in the snow this randomly? The area the avalanche struck is huge. Nevertheless, I keep searching. Salla gives a yelp of alarm, and I turn to see Kami standign behind her, bruised, but alive. It looks like he gave Salla quite a fright.
We can't find teh ohter trhee anywherte. We search for hours on end until we collapse from exhaustion. Any thunder claps could have been lost in the avalanche, so we won't find out until tonight. My sherpas convince me to carry on, and I know its too late. Sherpas would only abandon a member of their team if there was absolutely no hope whatsoever. I try to keep the tears from falling, and we carry on.
I'm cold, hungry and tired. I can't even remember who I am, or what I'm doing. For the past hour, my life has been a small air pocket in a snow pile.
I begin to remember the avalanche, and my team, and the games. I can barely move a muscle without pain shooting through my body, but I can't stay still. How much air do I have? Will I freeze to death if I am trapped here to long?
When I finally find the strength, I rise to my feet, but I bonk my head on the ice above me. the air pocket is only five feet high, so I have to crouch. I begin clawing at the snow above me with an ice pick, and try to reach the top. The snow is still soft and easy to dig through, but no matter how much I dig, I can't seem to reach the top. More and more sunlight begins to seep through, and that keeps me going. I realize something is blocking the sunlight, and I stop. It's a little black dot I think, and it's growing bigger, like it's coming towards me from the surface. All of a sudden it breaks through, and jabs into my temple, and I black out once again.
"I found something! Over here!"
Salla and Kami wanted to carry on, but I insisted on looking, one more time. I can feel something with my, pole, and I'm sure it's human flesh. What are the chances that I would have found someone? They rush over to where I am standing, and Kami grabs the pole. He takes one poke and immediatly starts digging. We have no shovel or any other tool to dig with, so we use our hands. Time becomes meaningless as we struggle to find the person under the snow. I loose all feeling in my hands, and we are half dead from exhaustion when we see a glvoe sticking up. We dig some more, and we find Swell, unconcious but alive.
As night fell on the mountain, and the dead tribute's head's lit up. Max fro Team 3. And yes, Gimli and Vixen from Team 2. Mars and Swell were the only two left, along with their sherpas. They made camp for the night, preparing for the next day. Little did they know that tomorrow, their numbers would be reduced almost in half, and the final push for the summit would begin.
Let the Pinnacle Games begin.
To be continued...
We climb early today, trying to keep ahead on Group 3, who has fallen behind ever since we killed Max. We've reached the Death Zone, the area over 25,000 feet above sea level. According to Jangbu, Our bodies are slowly starting to die, and unless we reach the summit soon, we will perish. There will be very little hiking from this point forward, and mostly climbing and rappeling.
We reach the top of a large cliff, and we see it. It's the Hillary Step, and beyond that, the summit. It's not even a mile away, but it's all uphill, and up here, every breath feels like you're breathing in knives, an your muscles are ready to give out. Nrmally, we would be able to make the final ascent today, but the wheather has gotten bad. It's the start of the monsoon the gamemakers warned us about, and apparently tomorrow it will strike with full force. It's tempting to just rush to the summit, but our sherpas hold us back. Through the thin clouds, we can just make out Groups 1 and 2 in the distance on the North Col, doing basicaly what we're doing. They're not actually making any ground, just trying to endure the wheather and survive until tomorrow, when the real ascent will begin.
The monsoon has begun, and we take shelter in a cave. It looks like the avalanche took out Team 2, but we're not quite sure. The Hillary Step is visible now, not a mile away.
"So close, and yet so far..."
It's tempting, just to try to rush to the top, take our chances at victory, but we rstrain ourselves. Everest was not to be underestimated. Our biggest adversary isn't the Capitol, or fellow tributes, or even the mutts, like the Sasquatch we have spotted a few times over the week. No, our most dangerous foe is the mountain itself. Mother nature is harsh, unforgiving, and impartial. We are totally at it's mercy, and every time a tribute dies a horendous death, it reminds us of it all over again.
We set up our "camp" (which is little more than our rucksacks, a tent so small a child could barely fit in it, and two sleeping bags), near the edge of a cliff, somewhere near the South Col. The mood is grim, and we know we're in trouble. Team 4 has pulled ahead, and when we make the final ascent tomorrow, the chances that we can pass them are incredibly low. Our only options are to split up and try to join another team so we can win with them, or do what the other teams won't dare to do, to try to climb today during the beginning of the monsoon, and risk getting blown off the face of the mountain by 100-kilometer-an-hour winds.
The winds aren't as bad on the North face of the mountain as they are on the South, so we've deided to split up into two groups. Me, Venus, and Mahzim will leave at once and make an attempt to reach the summit. If we fail, we'll either be dead, or we'll turn back, and the other group consiting of Jupiter and Bangdau will make an assault.
Jupiter and Bangdau escort us up the mountain until we reach a huge wall of rock. This marks the beginning of the Hillary Step, the final leg of the mountain. Jupiter gives us a grave nod.
"Good luck," she says. And with those two words, they turn back.
Mahzim, our sherpa, takes a pick axe, and uses it to grab on to ledges on the rock. Using this, her hands, and some more climbing tools we aren't familiar with, she starts climbing the ridge.
Her speed is unbelievable, she moves up the cliff like a mountain goat, finding ledges only centimeters thick. When she reaches the top, she secures our lone rope to an outcropping of rock. She gives us the thumbs up, and we attach our harnesses and begin to climb, Venus right behind me.
What would take Mahzim seconds takes Venus and me minutes. Despite our three months of vigorous training, we just can't compete witht the sherpas amazing strength and agility.
"Hurry up Didgit!" grumbles Venus from behind me.
I know I'm going slow and all, and fumbling witht the lines, but her comment strikes me in a bad way.
"I'm going as fast as I can, Venus. Stop whinning and focus on your own climbing!" I snap back.
She gives me a rather annoyed look, but she says nothing else and goes back to climbing the seemingly endless mountain.
We reach the top long after Mahzim, and we waste no time. We hike and climb on. After ten minutes of this, we all hear a faint buzzing sound in the distance. Me and Venus dismiss it as the wind, or the pressure on our ears doing something, but Mahzim's eyes widden in fear. She starts running towards another cliff, not nearly as high as the last one, but a vertical drop. She runs toward a small cave, no more than a dent in the rock, and signals us to hurry. We take cover in the cave, from whatever Mahzim is hiding from.
"Okay, what are we doing here? We need to keep going!" I yell in frustation.
"Did you hear the buzzing sound a while back?" asks Mahzim.
"Yeah... What was that?" replies Venus.
"They were- they are- Snow Gnats." says Mahzim. She sees the confused look on our faces and explains. "They're not just bugs. These are Himilayan Snow Gnats. They can grow to the size of small bats, they can survive in almost any condition, and they travel in swarms in the millions. They eat anything they can find, they've been known to destroy thousands of miles of crops, worse than locusts. And when they a living animal, they eat it alive, swarming it and tearing apart flesh and devouring it like pirahnas."
Our faces turn from confusion and slight ammusment to fear and disbelief.
"That sounds fun," Venus mutters under her breath, just loud enough for us to hear.
"We have to stay here until the swarm passes over us," says our sherpa.
We all get cozy in the tiny crevice when a horible thought comes into my head.
"Wait. What about Bangdau and Jupiter? They don't know about the swarm, and they're wide out in the open! The swarm is flying right into our camp!" I yell frantically.
"There is nothing we can do for them but pray the Gnats don't find them," replies Mahzim without much hope.
We wait for what seems like hours untilt the swarm has past. The Gnats rely mainly on sight, which isn't that good, and according to Mahzim, they ccan't recognize any sound but of their own kind, so its safe to talk. Once they have passed, we rush out, and hurry back to camp. The decent down the cliff takes much less time, so we get back to the camp in no time.
What used to be the camp in now nothing but wreckage. The Gnats came here all right, but theres no sign of Jupiter or Bangdau, so there is hope that the escaped.
No such luck. We find what is left of them about half a mile away from camp. Bangdau's corpse has been stripped to the bone, but Jupiter's is much more gruesome. Huge chunks of flesh remain on the body, blood is pouring out all around her. Most of her organs reman, pecked and bitten at by the gnats. Bones, skin and muscle in strewn around camp. The stench of rotting body reaches our noses and we turn away. There's no way to help them, and we silently continue on.
"What a horrible way to die, being eaten alive by buggs. We're just lucky it wasn't us."
The wind is really picking up now, and we take cover behind a snow bank. We are so weak that I have no doubt the winds could blow us right off the edge of the cliff if we go out there, so we have to be careful.
The wind continues to grow stronger, and we begin to tie all our loose items down. The wind refuses to calm down, and we loose any hope of climbing today. We try to get comfy and wait until the storm lets up. After about an hour, the wind looses it's power and calms down. We get up from our makeshift bunker and begin to organize our stuff for the climb tomorrow.
"Hey Rosemary, pass me those ropes will you?" I ask.
"Catch," she says, and throws the bundle of ropes to me. A huge gust of wind catches the ropes mid-air, tossing them away from us and off the cliff.
"The wind! It's starting up again!" screams Winter.
There's no way this can be natural. It must be the Gamemaker's work, trying to catch us off guard.
Rosemary and the sherpas dive into our shelter under the snowbank, and me and Winter rush to join them. We are fighting against the wind, and it picks up speed once again. We loose our footing and get blown away. The drop off is only ten yards away, and the wind is getting stronger. Gem and I thrash around trying to grab a handhold as the wind pulls us closer to the edge of thousand foot cliff.
Feet away from the edge, I grab onto a chunk of ice and hold on for dear life. Winter grabs my foot, half hanging off the cliff. And and Jangbu are slowly walking towards us, with safety lines and ice picks. Ang reaches out to me, and with my spare hand I grab on.
"Help! I'm loosing my grip!" yells Winter, panicking.
Jangbu dives towards her as the wind pulls her away, grabbing ahold of her arm. Jangbu's safety line is tearing, and he knows it.
"Jangbu, let go or you'll pull us both down!" screams Winter, trying to get her voice over the wind. Jangbu refuses, even though it might cost them both their lives. Sherpas will never abandon another climbing, even if it means their possible death.
"No! I can pull you up!" Jangbu yells back.
"You're line is tearing! Just let me go! We're both going to diw, or it could just be me! Please let go!" With her free hand, she punches Jangbu's arm, forcing him to let go. And she falls, hitting the side of the cliff on her way down, snapping her neck and breaking her.
Jangbu yells in frustration, and backs up. The two sherpas pull me back to the shelter, and the wind instantly dies down.
So it was the Gamemakers who did this. I curse them silently. How can they do this? How can they justify killing innocent people like this, terrifying them and then slaughtering them like animals in District 10. Why? Why? Why...
The sun sets as the fourth day of the climb ends. The weather has let down, at least for now. Normally, climbers start their final ascent at night, as to return to Base Camp in daylight. But for these climbers, if they make it, they will be taken back to Panem, rich and famous. If they do not make it to the top, they will die. Sounds simple, right?
The alliances of all four Groups are crumbling. Tributes have every right to abandon their groups now, and try to allign themselves with another group. So who will panic and run? Who will betray and decieve? And who will stay loyal to their allies and sherpas to the end. This last day will test the will of the remaining 9 tributes. It will bring out the best and worst in everyone, and ultimately, it will decide who has it in them to survive one of the most treacherous, desolate, unforgiving places on this earth.
The Pinnacle Games have begun. And now, they will end.
To be continued...
DUH DUH DUH!!!!!!!!!! (Scary music plays in the background.)
Day 5, Part 1: The Betrayal
"GGOOOOOOOODD MORNING TRIBUTES!" The voice of that derranged yogurt-loving announcer rings in our ears, startling us and getting us out of our "beds" in no time flat. "As you all know, this is the last day in our little games, and for some of you, your lives. Now, I have my SCRUMPCIOUS frozen yogurt waiting, so I need to go. It's been nice knowing you all, goodbye and good luck, etcetera, etcetera... Oh, one last thing. I'm in a generous mood today, so I ahve decided that all the victors will recieve a LIFE TIME supply of Key lime FROZEN yogurt! How's that for a prize?! Now I really must go. My yogurt awaits me!"
We scramble to get our things in order. We must climb as soon as possible to get a head start on the others. It looks like all the Teams are pretty much equal, both in size and distance covered. Nine of us are left, but with all the hostility the Teams have been showing to eachother, I highly doubt we can all unite and all survive. I have a feeling a good number of us are going to die today, and the others know it too. I can see it in their eyes and their faces...
I've had it.
If we had done it my way, we would already be on our way home, sipping tea while covered in blankets, in a luxury hovercraft going srtaight to the Capitol. But no, we had to play it safe, and now we don't stand a chance. There just isn't a way to beat the other teams now, we're so far behind. If I'm going to make a move, it has to be now.
The others will be awake soon, so I waste no time. I start collecting supplies, food, climbing equipment, and an assortment of weapons. I sneak over to where Kestrel is sleeping. I kneel down, and slice the knife across her throat. I cover her mouth, but she doesn't make noise. I stab her once more, and once I am sure she is dead, I move on to the sherpas. No point in letting them live, they know the mountain like the back of their head.
I raise my knife towards Apa. As I bring it down, a hand grabs me. It's Apa's! He was only pretending to be asleep. He jumps up, and twists my arm so i drop the knife. I kick him in the groin and he looses his grip. It's a cowardly move, I know, but I'm panicking. I grab what I can, and take off into the snow.
We take off as soon as the sun rises. The summit is less than 200 yards away, but most of that is straight up. The final climb starts with a rather flat hike through a piles of snow and mud. Me and Kami take the lead, Salla and Mars are right behind us.
I take out a pick axe and start hitting the ground. According to the sherpas, this place is peppered with hidden crevaces, covered with a thin layer of ice. I find nothing until the flat stretch of land ends and gives way to a rocky hill, probably about forty-five degrees. Me and Kami hit at it until the ice is cleared away. It's huge, and it extends all the way to the hill. There's no way around it so we set up the ladders. Salla and Mars are coming up behind us, and they're running. And only then we realize something is wrong.
Salla has three parallel gashes on her forarm, almost like something was clawing at her. A faint roar echoes behind them, and we realize what is happening.
The Sasquatch-like apes we met on day 2 have caught up with us.
Salla rushes forward "CLIMB!" she screams.
"No, there's no time! We have to jump for it!"
Huh. Easy for them to say. They're grown aduts in top condition. They've been climbing since the day they could walk, so this is cake for them. The chasm is six feet across, and there are no handholds on the hill. Kami goes first, and he doesn't even use his hands. He clambers up like a mountain goat, and Salla follows, doing it as easily has Kami. They extend their arms for Mars. He backs up slowly, then bolts forward. He clears the crevace, but the sherpas have to catch him. They motion for me to follow. I leap for it, and they catch me just fine. The ape thingies- what are their real names- are right behind us. I saw them on Day 2, but they still scare me to death.
The eight-foot beast men, three of them this time, are red in colour. They look like apes mixed together with saber tooth tigers, with huge talons and fangs. The skin on their back almost looks like scales with hair on them. That with their snake-like tongues seems to make them look almost reptilian.
After we get a good look at them, we scramble up the rocks as fast as we can. I pull out a crossbow and shoot arrows, and Kami does the same. They do nothing but anoy them, and the first two only have to step across the giant crevace. The ice gives way under the third, and the other reach out to grab it's arm, but he falls into the black abbyss. The expression on their face seems like sadness, greiving for their lost partner. They seem inteligent, almost human.
That fact doesn't make us feel compassionate towards them. They are still deadly, and for whatever the reason, mabye because of the Gamemaker's influence, mabye pure instinct, they are determined to kill us. Arrows pierce thei skin, spears puncture their flesh, but it barely slows them down. Terror shoots through me. These things are jacked, they look like they could rip me apart with their hands. I clamber up the hill, trying not to slip. The beasts follow, launching themselves up the rocks.
Me and Apa are all alone, wasting no time at the final climb. We leave all the food behind, as we won't need it any more. If I ever eat again, It'll be in the Capitol, and all the sherpas either get a free house in the Capitol or a truck load of money here.
Apa urges me to give it my all, pushing and pushing me to climb and trek faster. In the final stretch, we'll almost certainly run into the other teams, so we take a few weapons too. Apa uses a crossbow, I take a machete.
Almost immediatly after climbing a small cliff, we get a little surprise. It's Team 2, and they're runing like their lives bepend on it.
We dive behind a snowbank, and Apa loads his bow.
"Why are they here?! I thought they took the North Col route!" I whisper slash hiss to Apa.
"Many of the rotues cross eachother throughout the final stages of the climb." He replies. "They must have taken some wrong turns."
Well, it looks like we have the better weapons, so we show ourselves. They barely gance at us and they run right past us. We catch up to them, and I practically have to tackle Mars before they respond.
"What are you guys running from?" I ask.
"Can't explain right now!" pants Mars. "Just get the h**l out of here! It's right behind us!"
With that, they take off. Puzzled, we run behind them. I look back constantly.
"What are they running from? Another group?"
When I finally do see what they're running from, my eyes dialate in fear. It's this huge, hairy thing chasing us and screeching. I pick up the pace, but It's hopeless. We can't outrun it, and It's gaining ground fast.
We woke up late, so we had to leave with haste. The path we chose was basically a very long, very tirring trek, but It'll still be shorter than climbing all day. We stop to rest about halfway up, and I review the climb so far in my head. It was, well, interesting...
We had barely gotten out of camp when, right as we were about to make a turn around some rocks, another tribute leaped out in front of us, holding a knife. Quick as lightning, she stabed Mahzim in the arm, and our only sherpa crumpled to the ground. The mystery tribute turned to us.
"Going somewhere?" she asked, smiling menacingly at us.
I reached for my sword, but with dismay I realised it wasn't there. I must have left it at camp! Didgit was just as helpless.
"What do want?" I yelled, gritting my teeth.
The tribute looked amused. "It's the Hunger Games. What do you think I want?" With that, she lunged at me, and I dove to the side. She anticipated my move, and was on me fast.
"Nighty night!" she said with glee, raising the dagger to finish me off.
I saw something to my left. In my peripheral, I could make out a human form, not Didgit or Mahzim. It was sneeking towards us, not making a sound. I quickly avverted my gaze back to the girl with the knife. I had to keep her distracted, just for a few seconds...
"Wait." I said. "Who are you? What Team are you from?"
"Like I'd tell you. Now stand still so I don't make a mess."
The human, a male I could see, hip-checked the tribute hockey jock style, sending her flying towards the ground. Three more people followed him, weapons drawn. The girl started running, up towards the summit. The four new people made no attempt to pursue he, instead helping Didget up and treating Mahzim's wound. I recognized them as Team 4. No one else has this many tributes left.
"Who was that girl?" I ask one sherpa, who identifies himself as Jangbu.
"Colbie Cain, from Team Three. Apparently she betrayed them, and now attempts to climb alone," he answers. "Complete foolishness if you ask me. No child can summit this mountain alone. She is strong, yes, but the chances are very, very slim."
No child can summit this mountain alone. Just another reminder of how helpless we are before the Capitol. Great morale booster too.
As soon as we get organized, the two Teams take off. The other Team has a pair of binoculars, and they say that the other two Teams have also alligned. We lost our sightlines of them a few hours ago, so we don't know where they are now, but it seems like it's now Teams One and Four verses Three and two.
We are on the Hillary Step now, and our North Col route is quicker than on the South Col, but the other two Groups have a head start. I loose track of how long we climb, hike, and rappel for, but finally, we reach the home stretch, and we can see the top.
It is partially covered with clouds, but we can just make out the Summit. I see flags, ripped and torn, waving on the summit. Most are Nepalise, but there are other emblems too, from long ago from nations that existed before Panem.
It has begun. The final leg of this incredible journey. We give it everything we have, and often the tributes pull ahead of the sherpas. Thy warn us to slow down and pace ourselves, but we are panicking and running ahead.
We only stop when we reach the top of a rather large cliff. The summit is in sight, but that's not what catches my attention. Other than the summit, we are on top of everything. I can see for probably hundreds of miles in each direction, and to the north, I see it.
"Rosemary! Rosemary, we summited Lohtse! Let's get going, the summit is right-"
Gem sees what I saw and stops short. It's the monsoon, an undescribably enormous wall of black cloud. It stretches as far as the eye can see, and It's atleast twice the size of Everest. That may not seem like much, but trust me, when you get on the mountain, you'll know that's high.
Everyone else catches up, and they gape at the monstrous storm. It's barreling right towards the mountain at who knows how fast.
"We're running out of time!" Jangbu whispers., fear clouding his eyes.
To be continued...
Day 5, Part 2: All Fury Unleashed
The end is coming. I can feel it in my bones, and so can everyone else. We climb silently, hoping, praying that we reach the top before the other two groups, who have apparently alligned themselves.
There's an even ratio of tributes and sherpas now, just me, Jet, Swell, and our guides, Apa, Salla, and Kami. Colbie has gone AWOL on us, and everyone else is dead. The other groups have Didgit, Venus, and Mahzim from Group 1, and Gem, Rosemary, Ang, and Jangbu from Team 4.
The silence is broken while we are trekking through some deep snow, by a howl coming from down the mountain. A shiver goes down my back. I know that sound.
I freeze up, unable to move, as the memories of those beasts, those things resuface in my mind. But then, Kami's screams break me out of my trance.
We're on the Hillary Step now, and we are gasping for breath. We only have one mask, and the tributes take turns breathing from it. The sherpas haven't even broken a sweat, and no wonder. These mountains were their childhood playgrounds.
In the short moments without the filtered oxygen, every movement is like a guided tour through a world of pain. Through the fog I catch glimpses of the other two Groups on the far side of the mountain. Or am I haullucinating? Apparently it can happen, when your brain is so oxygen starved, everything just stops working, as if your body is malfunctioning.
A while later, the relentless snow we knew so well has finally stopped, and so has the wind. Everything becomes deadly silent, as if the gamemakers want to give us a clear view of the summit, only to take it away from the froup that fails.
Two more are coming up from behind Kami, and they don't look happy. Apa and Salla rush toward Kami, trying to pry him free of the beats iron claws. It's suicide, but they are sherpas. They would never leave one of their own unless it was absolutely futile. That's pretty much what the situation looked to me, but if they thought there was a chance, there was.
All three sherpas have machetes and knives and are hacking away at the yeti-like creature. Salla turns to us, and shouts, "Go to the top! We'll hold them off, but you have to get out of here! It's all up to you now!"
Me, Jet, and Mars take off up the slope, and newfound energy rushing through us, adrenaline pumping. The Summit is so close, we can see it clearly. The other Team is approaching, the two slopes starting to become one. On the very top, a large boulder holds the flag of Nepal, torn and battered, just waiting for us to swipe it from it's place.
Tributes everywhere draw their weapons. If there was the slightest hope that the tributes bond together and win as one, that hope is gone now.
We stand ready, waiting for someone to make a move. I break the ice, and rush forward towards the flag. A knife whizzes past my ear, but I keep running. Mars and Swell take off as well, and soon, everyone is making a break for the summit. I grab onto the ropes leading to the summit, and no one seems to see me! I am almost there, and i reach for the flag. I feel a jab in my back, and I scream out in pain. I loose my grip on the ropes, and fall down, my vision failing me.
I see Didgit falling from the ropes, collapsing on the ground.
Falling, falling, falling...
My vision goes red, as blind rage fills me entirely. I am the last on my Team. Everyone i've known for the past week, people I've cared about, all dead. Mahzim is fighting for her life with Mars, and now Didgit is dead.
I will not let them die in vain.
I punch Gem in the gut, throwing him down. an arrow pierces my shoulder, but the pain barely registers. Me, Jet, and Roesmary are all battling, trying to grabv the ropes. Each of have a knife, and I give Rosemary a slash on the cheek. She hits me with the hilt of her knife, but I don't back off. I lunge, but she knocks away my weapon. She raises hers, preparing for the kill. She doesn't seem to remember we're technically on the same Team, but now isn't the time to give her a lecture.
It's a complete madhouse on summit. All alliances formed earlier, all the shaky relationships built over the last four days, gone in an instant. At this rate, no one will make it out alive. We need to work together.
"Swell! Swell!" I shout blindly, trying to get her attention in the chaos.
"I'm over here!"
I hear her shout, and I make a beeline towards her. I reach her, and I knock Jangbu Sherpa away from her.
I get straight to the point. "We can't do this individually. We need to work together. Alliance.?"
We look eachother in the eyes, and at that moment, I know. No words need to be spoken. We are together until the end.
"Let's go." Two words later, and we make a run for the summit, of the highest point on earth, trying not to be killed.
I'm hidding behind a snow bank, waiting for a chance to run to the flag. No one can see me, and even if I was in plain sight, they probably wouldn't acknowledge me. They're to busy tearing eachother to pieces, not remembering that one tribute is not here.
Two of the sherpas have taken down Rosemary, and she is on the ground, bleeding. Gem is desperately holding off Mars and Apa Bahadur. Jet and Swell are together, trying to reach the ropes.
I wait patiently, not rushing. I don't plan on being on a Team with someone. There will be only one victor in these games, and if that's not what the gamemakers had in mind, to bad for them.
The pain is unbearable. I'm fighting to stay awake, trying to inch my way to the ropes, But then what? I can't climb up, I've probably lost half my blood. It's all around me now, surrounding me on all sides. It trickles into my eyes and mouth, and in all the pain, I can only make out one clear thought.
I want to go home.
To my bed, my house in District Seven. I want to smell the scent of fresh pine, I want to hear my mother's voice one more time. I want crawl under my covers, tune out the world, and stay there forever.
But instead, I am here.
In this cold, unforgiving, dessolate wasteland, crawling towards my innevitable death. The odds are against me, but I can still try!
Then, like an angel coming to my rescue, Gem, my sole friend in these games, lifts me up onto my feet.
"Come on Rosemary, I'm not letting you go now. Now lets do this!"
I put my arm around his shoulder, and together, with me limping, we make are way to the Summit as one.
Thanks to the Sherpas, I don't need to worry about Rosemary, but I'm panicking now. It's all a blurr now, and people, blood, and snow have become one. I swing my arms around wildly, when I hear a sickening yell. It's Mars! Blood is pouring out of his neck, and I realise I did that. I must have caught him with the knife! He sinks to his knees, and he looks me in the eye.
He coughs up blood, and says to me, "H-how c-c-could you..."
He collapses, and is still.
The fighting has pretty much stopped. Venus has come to our side, and It's just the three of us, along with Rosemary and Gem, holding eachother up, terror in their eyes.
"Please, let us live! We- we can win together, all f-five of us if- if we t-team u-up together," stutters Gem, begging for mercy.
Me, Venus, and Swell look at eachother. Swell smiles, and I nod.
"Of course. Come on, we'll help you guys up the ropes. The Sherpas look confused and on edge, expecting more fighting, but it doesn't come. They get the ropes ready, but just before we start to climb, a voice comes from behind us.
"Well well, look what we have here. This should be fun!"
It's Colbie Cain, and she has a sword in her and. We loom at eachother desperately. All of us are now weaponless. She reaches behind her, and pulls out a bag. She dumps it out, and in it are all our weapons! She must have somehow gathered them up while we weren't looking!
"Let's get started!" she yells viscously. Then she moves forward towards us, her gleaming sword in hand.
"Put down the weapon, and we can all win together!" I am surprised to hear myself, speaking boldly.
"That's just the thing. I don't want to be on a team with you filth. You will all die at my hand, and there is nothing you can do about."
Before we can say a word, she leaps with incredible agility towards a weaping, deffenceless Rosemary, and, with cold blood and pure hatred in her eyes, stabs her in the heart.
I wasn't too concerned about Colbie showing up, until she pulled the sword.
And even then I was keeping my cool. We outnumbered her, and even 1 on 1, most of us could take her.
When we realized she had taken all our weapons, I started to freak out a bit, but we still had strength in numbers.
But when she killed Rosemary, that's when I started to loose it.
When Colbie stabs her, Gem wasted no time injuring her. He's unarmed, and he knows he's next. He kicks her in the face and tackles her to the ground, and Gem is no featherweight. Colbie lands a blow in his gut, and he retreats towards us, limping in pain.
"Make a move for the flag, and I will kill you," she says with a twisted smile. "Now everyone, back away from it. NOW!"
We have no choice, we step away from the clump of rocks on which the flag stands. We are all dead exhausted, Jet has collapsed to his knees, and Venus is gasping for breath. Gem just stands there rigid, a look of pure, unrestrained hatred on his face.
She then climbs the ropes, facing us, taunting us with the sword, waving it in out faces as she reaches for the flag, to end the games.
She killed her, she killed her...
I'm seeing red. Colbie's words barely register. Rosemary's death is still fresh in my mind.
She was my friend, my one friend in these games...
As Colbie reaches towards the flag pole, my decision is instant. I barrel towards her, knowing it will probably cost me my life, but I will not let Rosemary's muderer win.
Colbie sees me, and slahes at me. I dodge, and realize I am not alone. Swell, Venus and Jet are all running with me, as if we had a collective brain flash. I see a spark of panic in Colbie's eyes, but it is gone in a flash. She raises her sword, and stabs towards Jet. It hits him in the chest, and he stumbles back. Venus launches herself at Colbie, and jumps on her back. I look at Jet lying on the snow, and I gasp. It wasn't a light cut. Blood is spilling everwhere, and I can tell he is close to death.
I remember Rosemary, her face when she was killed. I will avenge her.
Even if it kills me.
Now! You have to do it now!
Once again, I run towards Colbie. Venus rolls off her back, seeing what I am trying to do.
But I don't stop. I grab Colbie, and with all my might, with every ounce of energy I have left, I hurl her off the mountain, the cliff six thousand feet above ground.
And me with her.
I stand there, dazed with shock. How did that just happen? Gem had sacrificed himself for us, for Jet, who he could have let die. But he didn't. He took Colbie, his District partner down with him, and had saved us all.
Swell's voice jolts me back to reality. "Venus! Help me with Jet!"
Together, we drag him up the ropes. I reach towards the flag, the flag that cost so many their lives. I take one last glance at the world's pinnacle.
What a beautiful place...
And then, after days of suffering and death, and heartbreak and relief, triumphs and failures, betrayals and bravery, on one of the world's most formidible places, I grasp the flag.
Thanks for reading!
"CONGRATULATIONS, JET, SWELL AND VENUS! You all did great, performed admirably, etcetera, etcetera... Now, you enjoy the sixteen hour trip back to the Capitol in a cramped, humid hovercraft while I enjoy some more YOGURT!!! SHELDON, HERE NOW! GET ME THE GRANNY APPLE SMITH AND KEY LIME PIE FROZEN YOGURT, NOW!!! And NO chunks! Mix in some of the Tibetan snow berry yogurt too will you, I love that stuff, and I LOVE FROZEN YOGURT!!!!!!!!!!!"