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 The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93

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Amortentia

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PostSubject: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:29 pm

Fic Title: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games
Author: amberg93
Fandom: Hunger Games
Format: Novel
Genre: Action
Rating: PG-15
Word Count: 46,169
Warnings: Violence, some suggestive themes, language
Characters: Original Tributes
Pairings: Random tribute pairings
Status: Not finished
Summary: It's only the second time that the Hunger Games have rolled around and 24 tributes are going in to fight to the death. Who will come out alive and how will they do it?


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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:29 pm



Chapter 1: District 1 Reapings

Holly Edwards

Much later than usual, 17 year old Holly Edwards sat up in her bed. Running her hand through her blonde curly hair and glancing at the clock to get a look at the time, she smiled a little as she realized that this was it. This was the big day, reaping day.

Since seeing the Hunger Games the year prior, Holly had been training to get into shape and to be able to enter. These games, though they might have been devised for purposes of punishment toward the rebels – which her family had luckily never been involved with – were a chance for change. If she could win, her whole life would be thrown upside down and like the winner last year, she'd be living a life of ease with no worries about anything in her future. Who didn't want that?

And so, Holly was determined to get into that arena and to kick some ass. Volunteering had been explained as an option last year, but was one that no one took and she didn't foresee herself having a lot of competition as a volunteer this year either. Besides, she could take on anyone who might try to get in her way.

Stepping out of bed, she went downstairs to find her parents sitting around the table and talking about the reaping, sounding as sure of Holly as she was of herself.

“You know, after I win, we'll all be able to live a real life of luxury,” she commented to her parents, taking a piece of bread and eating it. “Well, except Vicki, she can find her own way to happiness.”

“Holly! Come on, you can't just leave your sister behind,” her mother chided her, causing Holly to roll her eyes. “Now go get ready, you know that the reaping isn't too much later and if you're going to the Capitol today, you need to look your best. Get your sister up while you're there, too. She'll need to get ready to look her best as well.”

“Mom, if I woke her up years ago to get ready, she still wouldn't manage to look her best,” Holly replied, rolling her eyes as her parents protested once more and sent her upstairs after she finished eating a bit more of her breakfast.

Heading over to the closet that she shared with Victorya, who was already stirring anyway and had taken over the bathroom, she pulled out a dark blue dress. It wasn't as fancy as the pink one that she could see laying out on Vicki's bed, but it had a good neckline and accented the slight figure that she had. Pulling on some matching shoes, she left her hair in it's natural curly state – figuring that it'd do her better for people to have something to always recognize her by.

After Vicki was all dolled up and Holly gave a few snippy remarks, the whole family headed down to the district square where they had met last year for the reaping. Making her way to the area of the 17 year olds, Vicki and Holly instantly went to opposite sides of the ropes.

As the mayor took the stands and read the entirely boring Treaty of Treason and went on about the festivities of the day, Holly stood there impatiently. “Hurry up already,” she murmured under her breath as the mayor finally went to sit down at the Capitol escort came up.

“It's an honor to be here in District 1 again, choosing this years tributes to compete in The Hunger Games,” the silly girl dragged on, her accent almost unbearable and reminding Holly of what a kitten must sound like if it had a human voice. She said her name, but that was also unimportant to Holly and she was convinced that 'kitten girl' was just as suitable. “We'll start with the ladies.”

As her hand dipped into the bowl, Holly barely paid attention. The name that was read was not her own, but she waited for the proper moment of the silly 13 year old, who looked as if she were about to be ill, to be introduced.

“Do we have any volunteers?” the escort's kitten-like voice rang out.

“I volunteer!” Holly said, proudly stepping up and toward the stage. Her eyes sweeping around the crowd, daring anyone else to step up and even attempt to take her rightful place.

No one challenged it and so Holly moved onto the stage, taking the place of the grateful looking 13 year old who had the craziness to thank her on her way down. “Please, like I'm doing this for you,” Holly replied harshly, rolling her eyes.

“And what would be your name?” the escort asked her curiously, smiling at her and then glancing toward the cameras happily.

“Holly, Holly Edwards,” she replied, standing proud and flashing a glance toward the cameras. “The next winner of The Hunger Games.”


Tyler Hale

Tyler Hale awoke unhappily, his dad barking at him to get up (or, actually, telling him to get his lazy ass out of bed). He sat up to appease the older man, but as soon as he walked out, he fell back onto bed and groaned. There was no avoiding it, today was the day that he'd been dreading for about a year now. Reaping day. Where his family expected him to be volunteering to go off and fight to the death and those ridiculous Hunger Games.

To him, the games were something that were to try and be avoided. If he were to have his way anyway, but his father was persistent about him joining and he'd been training since the first games were announced. It seemed that The Games were a way for situations to be better in his family, so they were something that he needed to be doing. In reality, the only reason why he even trained was for the possibility that he might get reaped.

No way he was volunteering today. If he didn't and went back home, he'd just tell his family he wanted a final year to perfect his skills and say for sure that he was going to win. His grandparents, at least, wouldn't begrudge him that. Sometimes, he was certain they were the only people that cared about him in his house.

Forcing himself out of bed as he heard his father shout at him, he made his way over to the bathroom and washed his face, brushed his teeth, ran a brush through his hair and then put on his reaping outfit. The suit had once been his father's and the light gray, though it suited him well enough in the sense of fashion, wasn't his first choice. Adding the white shirt underneath it, he felt a bit monotone, but he pulled on the black dress shoes that he had to wear with it nonetheless.

All dressed, he made his way to the kitchen where the family was sitting around having breakfast. Unfortunately, as he ate up the cheese and bread that was on the table, all anyone could seem to talk about were the upcoming games.

“So, Ty, today is the big day,” his mother said, in what might have been an encouraging voice. That is, if it weren't for the forceful undertone implying that there wasn't much of a choice in it being so.

“I guess it is,” he replied, his voice deprived of any emotion as he took a drink out of his cup. This was the last thing he wanted to be thinking about as he tried to eat.

“You never know, maybe someone else will want to go in,” his grandmother said, trying to be encouraging to Tyler. It might have been encouraging too, if it weren't for the reactions his parents gave about him taking out anyone else who attempted it.

The rest of the meal continued in this way until it was time for them to finally make their way to the town square. Thankfully, Tyler ditched his parents after being checked in and made his way over toward the group of 17 year olds, standing next to a group of acquaintances from school.

He watched the mayor get up, read the treaty and let his mind wander to what he was going to do with the rest of his day. Though, he finally tuned back in as the escort – a strange looking woman with bright blue hair and a hot pink suit, with a strange voice that was almost childish at the pitch it was in, introduced herself as Dauntra, the District 1 escort.

As she called the female tribute's name, an unlucky and scrawny looking 13 year old girl named Jewel, he could only think that she wouldn't last past the bloodbath. However, as volunteers were called for he heard a voice ringing out a few people away from him and he recognized the speaker as she took the stage.

Holly Edwards. She went to school with him and he pitied whatever fool had to put up with her until they died. Loud mouthed, arrogant, bossy, self-centered... hot, despite the modest curves. Okay, that part wasn't to be pitied as much. Still, he wasn't jealous of whoever got stuck with her. Although... he'd bet that a make-out session with her wouldn't be something that he'd ever regret from what he heard and-

“Tyler Hale,” Dauntra's child-like voice rang out and interrupted his thoughts.

For a moment a brief bit of confusion passed through his brain, but he quickly set his jaw and walked up to the stage being careful to keep his face clear of any emotion as Dauntra asked for volunteers to take his place. When none came, he could only think that his parents must be happy not to have to worry about him not going.

“Then, it is my honor to introduce our District 1 tributes, Holly Edwards and Tyler Hale!” Dauntra exclaimed happily, grinning widely as she motioned for the two to shake hands.

Without hesitation he stepped slightly closer to Holly, holding out his hand for her to shake and being a little surprised at how strong her grip actually was despite her small size. She flashed him a wide grin for the audience to see, but raised an eyebrow at him in challenge.

“Looks like it's you against me, Blondie,” he said quietly as he stared back, not blocking down. Not wasting the opportunity to let his eyes look down her dress from his vantage point either. Well... who could blame a guy?


Holly

Seeing Tyler's eyes wander down didn't bother Holly, looking at him and figuring that it might even do her some good that he figured that she was attractive. “Too bad they couldn't scrape up a bit better competition,” she replied, her tone a false sweetness as they stepped apart from each other.

As the peacekeepers escorted her to the Justice Building, where she'd have her visitors, Holly was pretty sure that she'd ally up with Tyler for the beginning at least. Last year, it'd proved beneficial for the strongest to stick together first and weed out the weak and though Tyler Hale might not be her first choice, he'd be a good enough one. At least he'd been training.

As her parents stepped into the room, bringing her sister with them, Holly turned her thoughts away from Tyler.

Both her mom and her dad came forward to hug her, which she returned because she figured that it would make them happy or whatever. Vicki, meanwhile, stood by and looked around the room with curiosity.

“Don't worry, I've got this in the bag,” Holly told her parents, entirely confident in herself.

Vicki snorted and rolled her eyes. “Sure you do. I bet you five dollars you don't last halfway without someone sticking a knife in you for your big mouth.”

“Too bad I don't have a knife on me, or I'd stick one through you,” she replied darkly to her twin. “This is exactly why you aren't going to get any of my winnings.”

“Girls, come on now!” her dad said sternly before looking over at his younger daughter. “I know you'll do great, Holly. You've been training and you're ready. Just don't get over cocky. You are still my little girl and I'm counting on you coming home.”

“Please, like anyone else stands a chance,” she answered, settling back into the couch and changing the subject to something else until it was time for the Peacekeepers to come fetch her family. Finding that she had no more visitors after they left.


Tyler

As he was being escorted into the Justice Building, Tyler couldn't help but think about what the Games would hold for him. Despite the comments that Holly made, and he was sure that he'd be in for a lot more of them, he was sure that he'd probably end up being stuck with her as an ally. Meaning, she'd approach him and he'd not turn her down because turning down Holly was probably a sure way for him to get a knife stuck somewhere in his body. Also, it never hurt to have a strong person to count on for the first week or so.

Making his way into the room that the Peacekeepers directed him into, Tyler sat down on the couch and waited for his visitors. Finding that his parents were the first ones to come in, neither one of them looking the least upset that their son was going off to kill a bunch of other children and possibly be killed himself.

“Now, you listen here boy,” his dad started speaking the second he walked into the room. “That Holly girl is a lot tougher than you are. God only knows why you couldn't be stronger, but you stick close to her and when the time comes, off her while she's sleeping. She's about your match in everything but actual physical strength. If you need to, just tackle her and take her out that way. Either way, keep an eye on her or she'll put a knife in your back while you aren't looking.”

“Thanks for the advice,” he replied with a slight sarcastic edge to his tone. Anyone could figure that out.

“And remember, it's not just your life on the line but our future happiness as well.” Was the great wisdom his mom had to add before the two of them took their leave, way before designated time and without even giving him a hug or anything.

Next, his grandparents came in, looking grave. They both gave him hugs and tried to give him actual advice that might be of some help in the arena. More than that, they sat down and talked with him about just life and how much they'd miss him and be rooting for him. They actually gave some encouragement to him and gave him final hugs before the Peacekeepers came for them.

No one else came to see him and soon enough he was stepping out of the building to be reunited with Holly, who ignored the cameras entirely as she made her way to the train. Following behind, he kept the same emotionless expression until they stepped inside.

Watching as the blonde that was inches shorter than him looked in his direction. “So, are you going to be smart and stick with me or am I going to have to hunt you down?”

And so, the first part of the career alliance began.


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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:31 pm



Chapter 2: District 2 Reapings


Ruth Ellison

Despite the fact that today was much different than usual, Ruth didn't find herself going out of the way to act differently. She got up at the same time that she would usually get up, got dressed into her normal clothes and made her way to the kitchen to eat. Her grandparents and her sisters were both there as well, just as they would be any other morning.

They greeted her and she took her seat, eating the small amount of food that was allotted to her and not talking to anyone. Her family shared the mentality that they would not let the Games run their lives. Already, she'd lost both of her parents in the rebellion and she wasn't about to let the Capitol take away anymore. She would not live in fear of the Games, there was no point to it. She wasn't volunteering and if she were to get reaped, there was nothing that she'd be able to do about it anyway. No need to let her whole day be spoiled by it.

Only one of her two older sisters, Rosie, had to worry about the possibility of being reaped because she was 17. She was a bit more fragile than Ruth was, but she could still handle herself. Anyone could after what they lived through in the rebellion. More likely than not, though, they'd both be coming home tonight. After the victor last year had come from District 2, she'd heard lots of talk of training taking place.

Once her meal was finished, she still sat at the table and talked with her sisters and grandparents.

“Now, I don't want to bring this up,” her grandmother said after a while of chatter. “But, if either of you is to get reaped, who would you like to come and see you?”

“Everyone,” Rosie replied without too much thought on the matter, perhaps she'd thought about it before. “I want to see as many people as I can, my friends and you all.”

There was a nod around the table, showing that they all understood the request and would honor it if they needed to. Then, everyone turned to Ruth, waiting for her answer so to be able to agree to whatever request she might have.

“No one,” she answered seriously, receiving looks of hurt from her family. “If I'm about to go off to that arena, I don't want to see anyone beforehand.” It wasn't the last place she'd want to see them and wouldn't be the last place she'd want them to see her face-to-face. She could sense the reluctance as her family agreed to the wish.

When the time came, everyone got up and went to go get changed into their clothes for the reaping. Ruth pulled on her gray skirt, black blouse and made sure to put her hair up as well, taking a look at herself in the mirror and figuring that she looked well enough to go.

Separating from her family once she reached the square and walking over to the 15 year olds that were already standing in the proper square, letting her mind wander as the mayor took the stage and introduced himself before going on to read the Treaty of Treason and blabbing about how great a time this was and what was owed to the Capitol. God, if he wasn't a puppet for the Capitol, she didn't know who was.

As the escort finally made her way up to the microphone, looking absolutely ridiculous with her facial tattoos and hair an unnatural shade of white, she decided to pay attention.

“Welcome, it's my duty as the District 2 escort to pick our tributes. After such a successful run last year, I should hope many of you would be pleased with the honor of being a tribute,” Lida told them, whose name Ruth remembered from the previous year. “First things first, we'll find ourselves our lovely lady tribute.”

Watching the bright yellow fingernails of her hand dip into the bowl, Ruth wasn't too worried about her name being called, but she did hope that it wouldn't be Rosie. It wasn't. Instead, she heard her own name being read out in that high pitched accent.

Freezing momentarily, she was unsure that she'd heard right, but she quickly shrugged and made her way up on the stage, staring off into the distance as Lida asked for volunteers. None came forward.


Dmitry Ruqar

Dmitry woke up to his father yelling about something or other, which wasn't uncommon. It seemed that even on one of the biggest days of the year, he still wasn't going to have any sort of deviation from the normal grief that would come from his father. Today was possibly the last day that he'd ever have to sleep in and there he went, ruining it.

Lying in bed, Dmitry tried to go back to sleep, but he knew that it was going to be no use. His father was still only a room away, having a yelling match with whatever girlfriend had come home with him last night. Ever since his mother had died five years ago, pretty much all his father ever did was yell. It was getting a bit ridiculous.

He had a few hours before the reaping took place and although he was only 13, he knew that he would be volunteering today. He didn't think he could handle the idea of being stuck with his dad and following in the career path that he had him set on. If he could get in the Games and win them, his whole life could be different. Or, he could die and his life could end all together.. which still would be better than this.

Not even bothering with breakfast, Dmitry instead devoted his time to taking in all the belongings in his small room. This could be the very last time that he saw it and he wanted to make sure that he remembered it. That and he had to pick a token still, deciding on the small wooden car that his mother had made him when he was just a child. It wouldn't be of any help in the arena, but it would remind him of his mother and that was good enough for him.

As the yelling finally ended, he decided to get up and take care of all of the things he still had to do hygiene wise before putting on his reaping outfit. It was simple, a worn button down shirt that was white and some khaki pants that were still a little too big on him because they'd once belonged to his father. A quick run of his hand through his hair took care of that problem and he decided that there wasn't much more that he could do.

Finally, making his way out he saw that his father was dressed to his best as well. Though, he apparently wasn't too impressed with Dmitry's outfit as he had to comment, “Is that really the best outfit that you've got? If you're going to be volunteering you could stand to look a little better. The whole country is going to look down on me.”

“Of course, look down on you,” Dmitry muttered under his breath, not bothering to give more of a response than that as he made his way out of the house with his father and toward the square where the reaping would be.

He finished checking in and then made his way toward the back where all the 13 year olds were standing together. He didn't bother looking around for acquaintances, just facing forward as the program began. Keeping his eyes forward for the most part, but not on the mayor as he started his speech about the Treaty and the Games, but on the victor from the year before.

District 2 had won last year and it had made the year here easier, with gifts of food and he was planning on doing the same again. On making District 2 better. He paid minimal attention as the reaping for the girl took place, glancing up to see who his competition would be and finding he wasn't scared of her, she barely looked like anything.

Once the boy's name was pulled, it wasn't a moment after Lida asked if there was any volunteers before he stepped forward. “I volunteer,” he said, listening to see if anyone would object – and while he could hear some of the audience unsure if this was a good move, he stepped forward anyway.

No one else argued it, so he took the stage and introduced himself. “Hello, I'm Dmitry Ruqar.”

Lida seemed pleased and introduced both himself and Ruth as the tributes. “I give you our tributes for this year's games, Ruth Ellison and Dmitry Ruqar! May the odds be ever in your favor, District 2.”

He stepped forward afterward to shake hands with Ruth, who didn't seem like she was even paying attention. All the better for Dmitry, one less person he had to worry about.


Ruth
While she was convinced that the 13 year old that stepped up to volunteer with the games probably had a gear or two loose in the head, Ruth wasn't too caring about him. She could outsmart him no problem, he had the I.Q. of a goldfish.

Being escorted to the Justice Building, Ruth entered the room where visitors would have come to see her if she was going to have any. Luckily, her family respected her wishes and she spent the hour alone, thinking up her plans about what was going to happen in the arena and how she was going to survive. Her intelligence was going to have to be key, she'd have to play it smart to outlast the other tributes. That and sneak around as much as possible, especially when the crazier ones went on their sick little hunting spree. If she played it right, she wouldn't have to kill to come home, or wouldn't have to kill many people anyway.

She found herself glad that her family wasn't here to see her sitting here, planning on living while 23 other children died so that she could survive. She only wished that they wouldn't have to see it either. That wasn't something that could be helped though. Now she was in the games and nothing that she might want to do couldn't change the outcome.

“Gotta sit back and enjoy the ride,” she told herself, quoting one of the things that her father had liked to say right before going to do something incredibly dangerous. Ironically, it was one of the last things that she'd ever heard him say because he died going out to fight with the rebels just after uttering that line. Hopefully, using it wouldn't cause her the same fate.


Dmitry

Being escorted into the Justice Building, Dmitry took a good look around, knowing that this could have been where he would have had to report to work someday – or a Justice Building in some district around Panem – had he not been volunteering for the Games. However, for better or for worse, his life was on the path of being changed forever now and there was nothing that could be done about that.

As he was lead into the room where whoever wished to say goodbye to him would come in and see him, he sat down on the couch that was provided and got comfortable. He didn't expect an onslaught of visitors. Everyone had known that he planned on going to the Games and most people had already wished him their goodbyes because they just thought that it would be weird to go and say goodbye at the Justice Building.

The one exception to that rule was his father, who came in and took a good hard look at his son. Apparently, he already had the impression that Dmitry was doing something wrong. Which was kind of impressive, considering that the only thing that he'd done this far in the games was introduce himself and volunteer to go into the arena.

“Don't underestimate your competition,” his father told him seriously and harshly. “You're not better than they are and just because you look stronger doesn't mean they can't outsmart you.”

Dmitry sneered at the advice, not thinking it of a real possibility. Who had to worry about the 'smart' kids when there were sure to be guys that were much taller than he was and had more strength, the kind that could lift a heavy rock and crush you with it. “Sure, sure, anything else you want to say?”

“That you'd better not insult your mother's memory,” was the short reply that he gained from his father before he turned on heel and left.

“Pfft, me insult her memory, look at you!” he called after the older man, thinking of all the ways that his mother would be insulted by the way that his father lived. He bottled his anger up though, knowing that it wouldn't do him any good to have it out in the open. Not when he was about to go into an arena where a bunch of people could kill him.

After the hour in which people were supposed to visit was up, he made his way outside and toward the train, his face expressionless as he walked past all the cameras and onto the train where the victor from last year, Rosemary, was waiting as well as Lida.

Immediately, talk of getting one of them home started and Dmitry found himself listening. After all, having the only victor thus far on his side couldn't cause any harm and with how passive Ruth was, it didn't seem like she was any competition at all.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:13 pm



Chapter 3: District 3 Reapings

Vixen Hesper

Vixen woke up much earlier than she would have on a normal day. Why? Because today was going to be the biggest day of her life. She was going to volunteer for the Hunger Games today and she was going to start on the path to becoming victor of said games. She'd seen how the life of Rosemary, the victor from last year, had changed so drastically since she came out of the arena. She'd seen the fame, the glory, the admiration that people had for her. All of it was just something that she craved so badly it hurt, she didn't just want to prove herself. It was a need, to show the world and especially her family that she was so much more than what they thought of her as.

If she was going to win the Games and her parents' favor, she would need to do so by being her best. She'd been training ever since she'd heard the announcement of the first games, but she didn't volunteer last year because she wanted to watch the first games and see what they would be like. After watching the first games and training all year, she had a pretty good idea of what she needed to do in order to win and Heaven help whoever thought they could come in the way of her winning because they had another thing coming.

Making her way over to the small bathroom, she took care of her dark red hair, brushing it out to make the waves seem softer. It was her whole plan, appear soft and girlish. Of course, volunteering was going to make some people question this, but once they looked at her freckles, baby face and petite body, it'd probably be hard for anyone to take her seriously. Good. The more they underestimated her, the better.

Luckily, as she made her way over to the kitchen only Viral was awake and getting himself some food. Her older brother was possibly the only person in the world that actually cared for her, despite the fact that he was remarkably successful and completely genius in the inventions that he'd created. He was only 19 and still lived at home, but he was still very down to earth despite his success.

"Hey Vixen," he greeted her, smiling a little. He knew that today was the day that she was going to volunteer for the Games and seemed to be one of the only ones that cared about the small possibility that she might not be coming home. Not that it mattered all that much because she'd win even if he didn't believe in her, but a part of her admitted that it was nice not to have the whole world rooting against her. "Shouldn't you be trying to catch some more sleep before the big day?"

She shook her head as she took a seat at the table, eating some of the cheese that was out. Luckily, her family was one of the better off ones in her district, so they didn't have to worry about food being short. Which meant that she could usually get away with eating without her parents and she did so as often as possible. "Need to get a fresh start to get done everything that I'll never have to do again."

When she was rich all by herself, she'd live in the Victor's Village and do whatever she liked, get up whenever she liked and not have to do the stupid chores that were forced upon her by her parents. In fact, she'd hire someone else to do them for her. However, today she wasn't a victor yet and her parents didn't care if she was volunteering for the Games today, she still had to get the cleaning done around the house.

Once said cleaning was finished, it was almost time for the reaping, so she went ahead to go get her reaping outfit on. Since she knew for sure that she'd be going to the Capitol, she needed to look her best. After pulling on her light green frock - which complimented her red hair and hazel eyes beautifully, if she did say so herself – she got on the moccasins that she planned on wearing with it and her pearls as well. She ran a brush through her hair again and made sure that she was looking her absolute best before she met up with Viral and her parents, to walk with them down to the square where the reapings were going to be held.

Getting checked in, not that anyone would be able to doubt that she was here after she volunteered, she walked away from her family to go stand with all of the other teens aged 15 years old, waiting for more of them to show up. As far as timing went, her family had gotten there early. So, most unfortunately, they had to wait for all the others to show up and then get themselves checked in.

The same boring start greeted her as their mayor got up and talked for what felt like forever about the Treaty and blah blah blah. She felt like time must have stopped momentarily, but finally their escort got up and introduced himself as Dorin. Watching as he reached his gray tinted hand into the glass ball that contained thousands of slips of paper.

"Mila Pich," his voice rang out and a 16 year old stepped forward after a few moments of hesitation, looking very unsure of herself. Could anyone be more pathetic? "Would anyone like to volunteer in her place?"

The question was out as soon as Mila had taken the stage and Vixen wasn't about to waste her time, now was when she got her chance to volunteer, so she stepped out of her group and toward the stage. "I volunteer as tribute!" she exclaimed, walking straight up to the stage without even acknowledging the rest of the crowd.

Dorin seemed a little unsure as he looked at her, probably thinking that she was a little too frail to be volunteering. "Alright little lady, and what would your name be?" he asked.

"It's Vixen, Vixen Hesper," she replied sweetly, flashing a smile to the crowd to try and win them over early on.


Nathan Travers

As Nate woke u,p he had the feeling that he was forgetting something important about the day, but with a single look around the room that he shared with his three brothers – one of whom was also sharing the bed that he'd just been asleep in - he realized what it was. None of them had been woken up early today because today was the day of the reaping and it was a day to spend time with family. Just on the off chance that they might actually be reaped, which he hoped no one he knew would be. After watching the games last year, he knew it wasn't something he'd wish upon anyone.

Getting out of bed, he went to the bathroom and stepped out into the living room to find that his sisters were both awake already and neither one of them looked in a good state. The second that he walked into the room, both girls rushed over to his side.

"Why are you two up so early?" he asked them. "You can sleep in, you should sleep in. You don't have school today."

"We're scared that someone might get reaped today," answered his six year old sister, Natalie, confided in him. "I had nightmares about it last night."

Nate was in a tough position here, he couldn't promise that no one that they cared about would get reaped. In fact, if he were honest with himself even he knew that the odds weren't entirely in their favor. Both girls were too young to have to worry about it, but Nolan was 12 now, Neal was 14, he was 16 and Noah was still a month away from his 19th birthday... meaning he was able to be reaped as well. Then there was Felicia, who was 15 and his girlfriend that his sisters had come to love just as much as one of their own. There were a lot of people they had to worry about.

"Well, how about we get you some breakfast and take advantage of your day off by taking you outside to play after you get dressed?" he said instead, trying to get her mind off of it. This seemed like a good idea for the two girls and once they had breakfast together, he held true to his word and took the six year old and the nine year old outside to play with an old soccer ball that they had.

It was an hour or so after they had started playing that Felicia turned up, looking as beautiful as ever even not dressed in her best clothes, though he could tell that she was nervous about the reaping today as well. He tried to make light of the situation though and invited her to play ball with them.

"Uh- sure, I guess," she said with a shrug, although such things usually weren't her cup of tea and after about ten minutes she went to go sit down on his front step. He turned the game over to his sisters and went up to sit down next to his girlfriend, wrapping an arm around her shoulder as she moved to rest her head in the crook of his neck.

"It'll be fine," he told her, although he did know that there was the chance that either of them could be reaped. "You'll be fine."

Felicia wasn't really in the talking mood though and didn't respond, perhaps because she knew that he could be lying. Perhaps because she always hated showing vulnerability in front of others, himself included. Whatever the reason, she stuck as close to him as she could and spoke very little while she was there with him. Seeming entirely reluctant to let go when the time came for her to head home and get ready for the reaping.

He made his way inside after that, helping his sisters to get ready before going and pulling on his nicest shirt and gray sweater vest, pairing them with the single nice pair of black pants that he had. Once everyone in his family was ready - all five of his siblings, his parents, and his two sets of grandparents - they all set off toward the square where the reaping would be held. Meeting up with Felicia, who hr couldn't help but notice looked stunning in her reaping outfit, he walked up with her until they had to go separate ways because of their ages.

During the reading of the Treaty and the introductions, Nate couldn't help but steal glances in his girlfriend's direction, hoping that she wouldn't be picked. Adding on to that silent prayer that his brothers wouldn't be picked either. He found himself holding his breath as Dorin reached into the reaping bowl for the girls and was relieved as the name read out didn't match Felicia's. Looking over at her, he could see her letting out a sigh of relief as well.

Now, as the volunteer stepped forward, he found himself hoping that as Dorin went to select the boy tribute, his brothers could be spared as well. And as Dorin read the name out, he found that they had been. The problem was, he hadn't.

Shock registered first in his brain, unbelieving that his name had just been read. Somewhere in the crowd he heard a very familiar voice cry out in protest, though he did his best not to think about that as he made his way onto the stage. It was better him than any of his family, better him than his girlfriend. Still, he couldn't help but hope a volunteer would come forward and take his place. No one did.


Vixen

As Nathan stepped onto the stage and no one volunteered for him, Vixen was already writing him off in her mind. Through the announcement of the tributes, to the shaking of the hands with the guy, she was mentally sizing him up. He wasn't that tall, didn't look to be all that strong. All that she really knew about him personally though was that he was that annoying Felicia's boyfriend, with whom she was in classes with at school and who gushed about him annoyingly to her friends while sitting right in front of her. No matter, she'd be able to take him out easily because of that. He had a large family and probably was too worried about them thinking him a murderer to do well in the games.

Smirking to herself as she was lead to the Justice Building, she started to make herself a mental plan of how she'd be able to win the games. Waiting for her first visitor to come and see her off, she already started thinking about what kind of people she'd need to join in order to carry out her game plan. Nathan was not one of the people she'd ally herself with in a million years. He'd probably be too busy crying over his girlfriend anyway.

When the door first opened, she was mildly surprised to see her parents come in. She hadn't expected them at all. Though she couldn't imagine that they'd have anything good to say and it turned out that she was right.

"We're just here to tell you that if you don't win, you'll have disgraced the whole family," her father told her seriously, cutting straight to the chase.

"So, what we're saying is... you'd better win or we'll be ashamed of even your memory for the rest of our lives," her mother tacked on helpfully.

"Well, thanks for that," Vixen replied, wondering how in the world her parents ever even managed to raise two children when they clearly didn't care that much for either of them.

As soon as they left, Viral stepped in and he was carrying a small wooden ball. She recognized it as one that they had used to play with together when they were younger. He held it out to her and she took it, looking over it curiously and wondering for a moment why she would want it.

"I figured that it could be your token in the arena," he told her, sitting down on the couch next to her. "I know that you're going to win. You can handle anything that they throw at you and I know you've already been planning out your strategy for ages now. Just remember your brother when you're big and famous."

She gave him a rare smile, "I'll make sure that I do that. Any last minute advice that you want to throw at me before I leave?"

"Do what you do best, don't doubt your instincts," Viral answered with a nod. "I'll be cheering for you back home and if you need anything, I'll be happy to give up some money to sponsor you. I've been talking you up around the factory too, I think that you'll find many sponsors willing to help you out."

"Good," she replied, nodding. Sponsors had proved to be almost a game changer at some points and while she was sure that she could win if she was just taking on the other tributes, having food and weapons sent to her could never hurt.

The rest of their time was spent talking about what would happen after she won and after he left a few of her friends, more like followers actually, came to wish her luck and gave her hugs and other nonsense before she was finally allowed to step out and go to the train. Heading straight toward her destiny as winner of the Hunger Games.


Nate

After being escorted into the Justice Building, Nate took a deep breath. The goodbyes that he was going to have to say, they weren't going to be easy. Still, he couldn't let himself get too worked up because there would be cameras covering him as he left and the last thing he'd want was for all of Panem to think him the weakest link already.

That didn't make it easier as first his grandparents and brothers came in, telling him that the family visit had to be split in two because there were just too many people to bring them all in at once. He said his goodbyes to them, forgiving Noah as he apologized for not stepping up and taking his place.

"I understand, it's a tough situation," he replied, giving his brother a hug. Most people wouldn't step up into someone else's place when they'd been reaped, especially when they were as unprepared as his brothers were.

"I still should have done something," Noah tried to apologize again. "I was just shocked."

Nate shook off his apology and gave a final round of hugs before they were told by the Peacekeepers that their time was up and his parents and sisters came in. Both Natalie and Nadia were crying as they walked in and he could see his mother tearing up as well. Going over to hug them all, he tried to convince them that he would be okay.

"Hey, don't worry about me," he told both of the young girls, looking them square in the eyes. "I'll be alright." Even if he died, the statement would still hold true. He was going to be alright in the arena and if he were to die... death didn't scare him.

"Promise you'll come home?" Nadia asked him, still crying as she clung to him.

"I'll do my best," he answered honestly, not willing to say for sure that he would. Finding himself surprised as Natalie reached up and stuck her favorite wooden top in his hand, telling him to take it with him. Touched, he thanked her and gave her a kiss on the head.

When his parents left, surprisingly his next visitor wasn't Felicia, but her parents. Who had stopped by to wish him luck before he left. He accepted their wishes and thanked them respectfully, promising them as well that he'd do his best to come back.

Once they left, Felicia came in and immediately ran into his arms. She was sobbing as she clung to him tighter than he'd ever felt her hold on. This was the first time he'd ever seen her cry so freely. It went on for minutes before she finally said something. "Please, please, stay."

His heart sunk as he held onto her and kissed the top of her head. "I can't, you know that," he answered. "But who says that we'll never see each other again? If I die over there, I'll just be waiting for you somewhere else."

She pulled away from him, staring at him in frustration as tears continued to stream down her face. "That isn't good enough!" she cried angrily, not angry at him. Angry at the situation, at the possibility of losing him. She reached up and took his face between her hands. "You promise me, Nathan. Promise me that you'll come home!"

Gently, he pressed his lips against her own. "I'll do everything that I can."

"You'd better," she said, her tone falling apart as she pressed her lips against his own once more, desperately. "You'd better come home to me. I'll never forgive you if you don't."

And just like that, their time was up. The peacekeepers came in and actually had to pull her away, which she resisted as she tried to hold onto her boyfriend.

Nate walked out of the building and tried to clear his head, clutching the wooden top in his hand and hoping that he wasn't about to break the hearts of all the people he loved. The Games were on and he was going to do everything that he could to come back home to his family and his love.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:14 pm



Chapter 4: District 4

Rea Sikes

Even on a day like today, a holiday in Panem, Rea had the misfortune to be woken up just after the sun rose by her dreadful mother. Not deviating her usual way of barking at her to get her worthless, disgusting butt out of bed. She was just lucky that today she wasn't also throwing anything. By the sounds of it though, she was far too hungover to actually be of any real threat this morning.

Climbing out of bed, she headed straight for the kitchen, where she knew that she'd be expected to get out breakfast for herself and her mother. They had a small fish that they were able to split between the two of them and some partially stale bread made from her tesserae grain that was going to have to do. They were lucky to even have the fish, since technically she'd caught it herself and that was definitely not allowed. No one would miss this one small fish though, so she doubted that she'd get caught. They might have more money to spend on food if her mom didn't spend it all driving. They both did work, after all, although Rea only worked after school.

She cleaned and scaled the fish before taking the meat off of it and dividing it equally between her plate and her mothers. Also giving them each, equal, yet small, pieces of bread. Setting them down on the table in their usual spots. There were four chairs at the table and though her father had passed away a while ago, they left his seat empty. Also, they always left her brother's seat open, even if he was very much alive and just gone off happily married to someone.

As her mother came in and sat down at the table, Rea could smell the alcohol on her and she wished that she might be sober more days. At least when she was sober, she was nice. Unlike now, where the older woman sneered at the food that had been prepared for her. She took out that stupid flask that she usually had with her and took another swig.

“Well eat up, if you want to call this sad excuse of food a meal,” she told her daughter. “You've still got to do your chores before school.”

“We don't have school today,” Rea replied, not surprised that her mother would forget that it was reaping day. “It's reaping day.”

“Oh right, well I guess that just means you have to make sure the house is extra clean in case you get picked.”

That was the helpful response she got from her mother. She tried to see the best in everyone, she really did, but sometimes her mother made that task nearly impossible. How could she treat her own daughter with such lack of care? She did have the possibility of getting reaped today, of going into those terrible Games and all her mother had to say was that she should clean extra well. She didn't talk to her for the remainder of the meal and then, unfortunately, did go ahead and get to work on all of the chores that she usually did in a day before school. She was thinking about not doing anything extra when her mother came in to yell at her about it, so she ended up spending all of her time cleaning until it got to the point where she really did have to go get ready for the reaping.

Her mother might be abusive, but she didn't want to be embarrassed by her daughter and her lack of proper hygiene. So, she got in the bath and washed up before she got dressed. Her black curly hair stayed down as it always did and she then went to work in picking out her best outfit. There really wasn't much to choose from, so she ended up going with her white dress. It had sleeves long enough to cover the scars left on her arms thanks to her darling mother, but a tight bodice that would enhance her figure. It stopped just before her knees and allowed her muscular legs to be shown off and paired it with a worn pair of black flats, her only pair of nice shoes.

After she was ready, she and her mother made their way toward the center of the district. Along the way they ran into Zax and his family and she was happy to be able to talk to him and forget some of the troubles of the day. They were both 17, so even once they past the point of signing in, they walked over toward the area of 17 year olds and stood together. They weren't dating, though there was something a bit more than friendship between them. Which was probably why, as the mayor started out on the Treaty, she reached and took his hand in hers, holding onto it tight.

She found her heart beating a bit faster as their escort, who had introduced herself as Kacia, reached into the reaping ball that contained her name more than a couple of times. Her fear being confirmed as she heard, “Rea Sikes” announced over the microphone into the square. Feeling scared as she glanced up at Zax in hope that she had heard wrong. However, he was looking at her sadly, his eyes tight.

Shakily, she let go of his hand and made her way up on the stage. Standing there as Kacia introduced her and asked if there were any volunteers to take her place. Silence came from the crowd and Rea realized that she really was going in.


David Cutglass

David was looking forward to sleeping in on reaping day, really sleeping in and just enjoying the lazing about that he was able to do before the reaping took place. He was going to spend time with his family and his friends and enjoy it. The first part of his day came to a stop a bit early, as his little brother Benjamin came and pushed at him.

“David, get up, get up,” he exclaimed, trying to shake his brother awake. “Get up. No one else is awake and I'm hungry.”

He groaned in response but sat up nonetheless. He loved his brother more than anything, but why he felt the need to wake him up instead of his mother, he had no clue. “I'm getting up, I'm getting up,” he replied, yawning. Possibly it was because they shared their room and it was just easier to get him up. Whatever the reason, this lead David out of bed sooner than he would have liked.

Making his way into the kitchen with the five year old, he got out a small amount of goat cheese and bread and fed it to the child, getting himself some while he was at it. Judging by the sun, it wasn't all too much later than when he usually would have had to get up on a normal day. The five year old had an impeccable internal clock.

“Can we play some games before the reaping?” Benjamin asked hopefully, looking up at him with big eyes.

“Yes, we can play some games before the reaping,” David answered, smiling a bit. He may have looked tough on the outside, but he loved his family more than anything and spending time with them was something that he always valued. Being the oldest guy, without a father around, he kind of stepped into that role anyway. Always doing his best to make sure that his siblings were doing well and that his family had enough.

As they finished eating and got out a worn deck of cards to play Go-fish with, Agnes and his mother rose out of bed and came in to get their meal as well.

“Ooh, are you playing a game?” Agnes asked. “Can I play too, after I finish eating?”

David smiled slightly and nodded. “Of course, I need someone else to beat,” he said teasingly, to which Benjamin protested that he was currently winning. “Oh, look at that, you are.”

After a few rounds, they switched games and sat around talking until it was time for all of them to start getting ready for the reaping. David was the only one old enough to worry about it, so priority was placed on him getting ready and looking his nicest.

After washing up, he pulled on his nicest blue shirt that was form fitting as well as his black pants that did well to show off his muscular legs. Adding a cravat to the outfit that was a matching teal color, pairing them with his black combat boots and deciding that he looked good enough. Once he was done, he helped Benjamin finish getting ready as their mother finished up getting herself ready.

Letting Benjamin hold onto his hand on the way to where the reapings where taking place, he separated from his family only when he had to and then went to meet up with his best friends. Cain and Arthur, who were already standing in the group of 16 year olds, Arthur's fiancee Shay also standing next to them.

“Hey guys, ready for this?” he asked them, trying to make the situation a bit lighter. “It's the one day a year we get to see if 'the odds are ever in our favor'.”

This earned a laugh from his friends and they chatted until the time came for the reapings to start. His mind wanting as soon as the reading of the Treaty started, just because listening to it once was more than enough for any person. He was just glad that his siblings were still too young for him to have to worry about them being reaped, the possibility was pretty much one of his biggest nightmares. The idea that someday little Benjamin might have to grow up and be put into an arena to kill people.

As Kacia reached her hand into the bowl to pull out the name of the girl tribute, David hoped that Shay and none of his other friends would be reaped. Finding that for at least this far, the odds were in their favor as Rea Sikes was called forward.

The odds couldn't always be on ones favor though because as soon as Kacia reached into the bowl of male names, she brought up the paper and read off the name on it. “Arthur Hish.”

He turned in a mild horror to see his best friend, who was drained of color and shaking already as he pulled Shay's clinging hands off of him and headed up to the stage. Immediately, David saw that Arthur wouldn't be able to last in the arena and then what would happen? Shay would be destroyed, Cain would be devastated and he would be depressed himself.

That was why, when Kacia asked for volunteers, he couldn't help but start to walk forward toward the stage. “I'll volunteer,” he said, ignoring the way that Arthur shook his head to tell him not to.

“How lovely! What is your name, sir?” Kacia asked, her bubbly voice bright as her blue eyes.

“David Cutglass,” he replied, looking anywhere but out toward the crowd where his family was in tears, where his friends were shaking their heads. This was what had to be done, he at least stood a chance.

“I give you the District 4 tributes, Rea Sikes and David Cutglass!”


Rea

As Arthur Hish got called onto stage, Rea was pretty sure that her District partner would be little help to her in the arena. He wasn't all that strong looking and he seemed like he was about to pass out as he stood up on stage. She knew him to be a nice guy though and that he was engaged, which did not make things better. It'd be so difficult to hurt someone that was so in love that they were getting engaged at 16.

It was not made better as David stepped up and volunteered for his friend. Well, he would be better as an ally. It was obvious that he was strong and if they teamed up, they might be able to stand a chance in the beginning. Still, she knew that she'd have a hard time with hurting someone who was selfless enough to step up and sacrifice himself for his friend. Hopefully the odds would be in her favor and she wouldn't have to kill him.

After they shook hands, she was lead into the Justice Building where people would come to say goodbye. The first visitor that she had was her brother, Rik. Who might have brought his wife with him, but had apparently decided that it was just better to see her alone.

First things first, he went forward and gave her a tight hug. Brushing back some of her curly hair and sighing. “You've got a shot at winning,” he told her. Not that she would win, but that she had a shot.

“You're smart, you've got great aim and always have,” he went on. “You should find people to ally up with at the start though, to make sure that you get set to at least get some sort of weapon. Besides, it can't hurt to be safe from the initial murders.”

Rea nodded, this was all stuff that she'd gone over in her own mind. “Thank you. I love you Rik.”

“I love you too, Rea,” he answered, proceeding to give her more advice as the meeting went on. She listened to all of it, trying to retain as much as possible for the time where she'd be planning out her game strategy. If her brother cared enough to tell her this, she cared enough to listen.

When he had to leave, it was Zax who came in next. They'd never precisely defined their relationship because they'd kissed in the past, but had never done anything more. That's why she wasn't all that surprised when the first thing that he did was come in and press a deep kiss against her lips.

“I know you can do this,” he told her. “We've still got to figure out this crazy thing between us. So, you've got to come back.”

“I'll come back,” she told him. “After all, nothing can be worse than what I've already been through.”

Zax looked grim for a moment and then nodded. “Well, that much is true,” he said, taking his hands in her own as he sat down on the couch with her. “I'll be rooting for you though. So will lots of people. I've got faith in you.”

Rea smiled and hugged him, closing her eyes. “Thank you. It's good to know that people are going to be cheering for me.”

“All the way to the Victor's Village,” he told her. And they spent the rest of their time talking about how she'd win and what they'd have to do once she got back. Neither one of them speaking about the possibility that she might not come home.


David

Although David had volunteered for his friend, he knew that the nice guy behavior would have to stop there. Not for the cameras, but he couldn't afford to play nice with the other tributes in the arena. He was going to come home and help out his family still, come home for Benjamin and Agnes and his mother. Besides, he didn't step up to die in Arthur's place, he stepped up to come home alive in Arthur's place.

He gave a polite smile to Rea as he shook her hand, noticing that she seemed to be mentally sizing him up and not liking what she was seeing. Good, it was just as well that she knew beforehand that he was better than she was.

As the Peacekeepers came to lead him away into the Justice Building he got prepared for what was going to be one of the most difficult parts of the Games. Saying goodbye to his family and knowing that little Benjamin was going to watch him kill people. Hopefully it wouldn't make him think less of his older brother, hopefully he'd understand.

Which was why as soon as the time came and his family entered the room, he picked Benjamin up first. The poor kid was already crying and trying to cling to him. “Hey, listen here Benji, I'm going to be coming home. Don't you worry about me. I just want you to know that whatever you see on T.V., whatever I do, it's because I'm trying to get home to you. Okay?”

The five year old nodded, not really understanding what his brother was saying yet. Probably because he couldn't remember the games from the year before. “But why can't you just stay here?!”

“Because we both know that I'm much better at athletics than Arthur, okay? I just want you to always remember, be yourself and you will prevail,” he answered, hugging the small child, who continued to cling to him even after that.

So, he said the rest of his goodbyes to his family, stressing Agnes also to not take too much that was happening on the screens seriously. He kissed her forehead and moved onto his mother, letting her know that he loved her and that he'd do everything to come home. The rest of their time was spent joking around as much as possible until the Peacekeepers came to fetch his family. All of them left crying, causing an uncomfortable pulling in David's chest. He really wished that they wouldn't have to watch this.

Next came Shay, Arthur and Cain. Shay ran to him first, hugging him tightly. “Thank you, thank you so much,” she told him, knowing that if it hadn't been for David she'd probably be losing her fiance.

Arthur still looked pained as he looked at his friend, like he wished that he could stop him from going still. “You didn't have to do that you know, I could have gone.”

David knew otherwise though, knew that Arthur was so frightened of death that he wouldn't have been able to survive in the arena. “We both know that I've got a far better shot in there,” he teased, although there was the truth under the statement. “Besides, can't let you just go on to be rich and famous, can I?”

Cain chuckled a bit and then shook his head, amazed that David could make jokes at a time like this. “You're something else, Cutglass. I don't think the other tributes are going to know what to do about you.”

“I'm counting on it,” he answered with a chuckle of his own, sitting back down on the couch and trying to get the group to fall into easy conversation. It might have worked, had Arthur not been feeling so guilty over the whole situation.

“Do you have a token yet?” his friend asked him, waiting for a response. When he shook his head – honestly, the thought of a token wasn't something that he'd been entertaining that much since everything happened – Arthur reached back behind his neck and unclasped a tiny golden necklace that had a small fish hanging from it. “Here, take this then.”

Reaching out, David grabbed it and examined it for a moment, knowing that it had to be worth a lot. He didn't deny the token though, knowing that it would help ease the guilt of his friend. “Thank you, it'll be my token,” he told him sincerely, putting on the necklace right then so that he wouldn't lose it.

The final goodbyes were said just about on time because the Peacekeepers came to fetch them next and then David was being lead with Rea toward the train that would be taking them to the Capitol. He didn't look back as he stepped on, knowing that while his heart might be at home, his head had to be in the Games from this moment on.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:55 pm



Chapter 5: District 5 Reapings

Rose Jan

It was well past the normal time at which Rose would awake when sunlight came streaming straight into her eyes, alerting her that the day was already underway. Usually, at about this time, she would have been at school on a normal day. Today, she realized, as she sat up and rubbed her eyes, was not a normal day. Though the reason why took a bit longer to come to her mind.

Oh, right, today was reaping day. Well, that at least explained why she was allowed to sleep in, but now she might as well get up. Heading over to the bathroom, she started on her morning routine. Her long red hair was a tangled mess and it took her much longer than usual to get it all combed out and make her way to the kitchen.

Her mother hadn't forgotten that today was a big day though because as she got into the kitchen there was a more elaborate meal laid out than usual. Not that money was a problem in her house, her mother came from a family that owned one of the starting power plants of the district and her father was a doctor.

“All of this for me?” she asked, raising an eyebrow at her mother as she took a seat and started in on the eggs.

“Well, better safe than sorry. Reapings don't care who they pick.” And that was all that was said on the matter as they ate their food together. It did leave Rose thinking, about the chance that she might be going to the Hunger Games. Somehow that didn't scare her much, she was sure that she could do well and come out alive if it came down to it. The idea of killing other children, that she wasn't so high on, but if you looked past it, it'd be an adventure of a lifetime.

Maybe when she was a bit older she might like the idea more than she did now, since she did still have three more years after this when she could get reaped. It wasn't her ideal life and she wasn't about to just go jumping up and volunteering... but it wouldn't be the end of the world to get put into the Games.

As she finished up her breakfast, her Uncle Bob came out of his room reeking of alcohol. He only lived with them because he had such a hard time keeping his own place to live and Rose wasn't a fan of him. In fact, it was because of him that she decided that she was going to go and see her friends before she had to go get ready for the reaping.

Heading over to Sally's house, she was surprised to see that Sally wasn't her usual cheerful self. Instead, she seemed to be thinking hard about something, which only made Rose curious.

“What are you thinking about?” she asked the other girl.

“If I get into the Games, I think I could win. I mean, I'd just join the biggest alliance and stick with them until I had to kill them,” Sally said, thoughtfully. “I'm strong enough, I could do it.”

However, Rose saw some serious flaws in this plan and didn't even know why she would be wasting her time thinking about the Games in the first place. Well, she did know why, but it wasn't what she came over here to talk about. She didn't want to get into a fight though, so she simply nodded. “Want to spend some time outside?” she asked, hoping to get the subject elsewhere and enjoy their freedom.
And so, they went outside and walked around until it was time for Rose to leave and head back home to get dressed. Washing up a bit first, she did up her red hair into a simple, but classic up-do. Then she pulled on her nicest dress, a green that matched her eyes perfectly and paired it with her nice black shoes.

“Oh, Rose, you're incredible,” her mother said as she stepped out into the living room.

“Thanks Mom, you look great too,” she answered, meaning it. Her mother was still young from having her in her teens and she did look stunning in her nicest reaping dress as well. Her Uncle Bob couldn't but helped, but they made their way over toward the square where the reaping would be anyway.

After making sure to check in with the Peacekeepers, Rose walked over to her designated age group, seeing that Sally was already there and standing with her. Through the opening of the ceremony, Rose thought about all the things she could do if she were to be reaped.

When the District escort stepped forward, he introduced himself as Timon and pulled out a name from the reaping ball on the side of the girls. “Sally Clunear.”

Beside her, Sally stepped out and made her way up to the stage where she stood looking sure of herself. All that Rose could think though was how many flaws there were to Sally's plan and how she could do better. How she wouldn't get killed like Sally would. She could come home.

That was why, when volunteers were asked for, she stepped forward. “I volunteer,” she said in a level tone, starting straight up to the stage and ignoring the look that she was given by Sally. This was for her own good.


Carson Medawar

Carson awoke abruptly, sitting up in his bed and breathing deeply. He'd been having a nightmare, a nightmare about being in the Hunger Games. Today was his first reaping day and at only 12 years old, he knew that he was a very safe person. At least, but normal standards. He only would have one entry, but that didn't mean there was no way that he'd be picked to go into the arena and as much as he hated to show fear over something, the thought was horrifying to him.

Deciding that there was no point in going back to bed, he sat up and looked around his house. He was a lucky person, his father had gone into being Mayor after the rebellion was over and so he lived a life with many more luxuries than most people. For instance, a staff that could always cook him food whenever he woke up.

Which was why he made his way straight into the kitchen to take a seat at the table, where the cook asked what he would like for breakfast. His answer was that of the usual breakfast that he'd have any other day, feeling like eating different wouldn't help convince himself that things weren't all that different.

He was surprised and unimpressed when his sister Cheyenne, who was 10, came downstairs only a few minutes later, glaring at him. “You were yelling in your sleep. It woke me up,” she told him sourly.

“Wouldn't want to interrupt your beauty sleep, would we?” he asked sarcastically, biting into his food as it was placed in front of him.

“At least I've got some beauty,” she retorted before asking the cook for some pancakes. “What were you even dreaming about anyway?”

“That's not your business,” he answered and refused to say anything more on the subject. The last thing he needed was for his baby sister to think that he was a baby and hold this over him forever.

She rolled her eyes and sighed. “Whatever. Since you're up you can tell Mom and Dad that I'm going over to Stephanie's until the reaping.”

“You know they don't like you going off to places by yourself,” he told her. “Besides, I'm going over to Kyle's later. I can't think you'd go bother people this early.”

The siblings' banter continued until they had finished their food and then went back to their separate rooms until it was an acceptable enough hour for them to go and see other people. His mother insisted on taking both himself and Cheyenne to their proper destinations and giving them times when she'd be back around to pick them up so that they'd be able to get ready for the reaping.

Hanging out with Kyle, they decided to go outside and play some ball with their time. While they were doing so, Kyle brought up the thought of reaping day. It was hard to get away from it with it coming up so close.

“Do you think whoever gets picked from here could actually win?” he asked curiously.

“I don't know, I guess it depends,” Carson shrugged, trying to act like he hadn't put a bunch of thought into what could happen if either one of them got picked. “We'll just have to wait and see later.”

“Yeah, I guess so,” Kyle replied and they went back to throwing the ball around until Carson's mother came to fetch him home to bathe and get dressed for the ceremony.

After he was all washed up, he got into his nice white shirt and black and white diamond patterned sweater vest and khaki pants along with his black shoes. He was ready before Cheyenne was even though she didn't really need to look all that special because there was no chance that she'd get reaped.

He immediately headed over to stand with Kyle after the whole family made their way out to the front of the Justice Building. The two of them chatted with each other until the ceremony started and Carson tried to keep his mind off of the possibility that he might be picked. While he watched a girl name Sally get reaped and then another girl named Rose step up and take her place, he found himself wishing under his breath that he wouldn't get picked.

Not Carson. Not Carson. Not Carson. Oh heck, might as well throw a 'Not Kyle' in there too, but mostly, not Carson.

He must not have been praying hard enough because the next name that Timon was reading was, “Carson Medawar.”

For a moment he was frozen in shock. Were they freaking kidding him right now?! Did no one hear the 'Not Carson' about a million times?! Taking in a breath, he masked his face and started up toward the stage. When he arrived and looked out at the crowd, he could already tell that there was no way someone was going to volunteer for him despite the fact that the crowd was grumbling about the unjustness of the situation.

“Ask for volunteers!” his father demanded of Timon, though he stayed seated where he was supposed to be.

“Do we have any volunteers?” Timon asked, looking out at the crowd. The answer was dead silence. Everyone knew he was the son of the Mayor, no one wanted to step up.

“Er- I guess that's that then,” Timon said, a bit uncomfortable at all the silence. “I give you the District 5 tributes, Rose Jan and Carson Medawar.”


Rose

Despite having planned out things the second Rose stepped forward, she couldn't help but feel bad as Carson got reaped. He was the Mayor's only son and at 12 years old she had a feeling that he wouldn't last past the bloodbath. Obviously the Mayor tried to push some for someone else to come forward. Oh well, it looked like being the child of the Mayor didn't spare you from getting picked. Besides, given that he wasn't going to be living that long, she wouldn't have to be the one to kill him.

After shaking hands with the kid, which only made her realize once more how tiny he was, she glanced out at the crowd for a moment before she got lead back toward the Justice Building. Lead into a room that she'd never seen before, she took a seat on one of the comfortable looking chairs and waited for her visitors.

She was surprised as her parents turned out to come in first. Both of them, which wasn't something that ever happened. Usually Helen would be with her dad, despite the fact that the idiot woman still hadn't realized that she was his daughter. For once though, she wasn't anywhere around and Rose was glad. It wasn't her wish to see Helen before she left.

Her dad stepped forward first to give her a hug. “Why'd you volunteer? Sally could have handled it,” he said, not understanding why his daughter would want this.

“She didn't have that great of a plan,” she answered. “She could die and I can do better than she can.”

When her mother stepped forward next to hug her, she seemed to understand where Rose was coming from on this front because she didn't say anything to her that might be negative. “You are so brave for doing this.”

“I didn't say she wasn't brave,” her dad put in, sounding a little offended. “I'm just not sure you realize everything that could happen to you out there.”

“Terrible things can happen around here too,” her mother retorted, no doubt thinking of the way that very same man left her after getting her pregnant to go off with her supposed best friend.

“I'm just worried for her is all,” he replied, looking at his daughter. “I know you've got a lot of knowledge, I just don't want you to go in there with illusions of how it'll be. You'll have to kill people, kids even, like the Mayor's son.”

“I know,” Rose told her father. “And I'm ready to do what I have to do to get home.”

The remainder of their time was spent giving last minute advice to her, whatever they could think of off the top of their heads. After that, Sally came in to see her next.

“Why did you do that?!” she asked immediately, frustration clear in her voice and on her face. “I was going to have it. I could have won!”

“You just aren't as prepared as I am,” Rose answered, trying it will her friend to see things her way. “I didn't want you to go off and die while the whole country sits back and watches.”

“And what makes you think that you're so sure to come home?” Sally demanded, clearly not appeased yet.

“I will, okay? Don't worry about it. I've got a plan and I'm going to use it to win,” she told her, completely serious. “I've thought a lot about this and you know my mom taught me to properly defend myself since Uncle Bob doesn't exactly count for protection around the house. I know about camouflage too and some healing things I picked up from my dad.”

Sally was silent for a moment and seemed to accept that this might be true, that Rose might have a better chance to live than she would. “Well... may the odds be ever in your favor then,” she said, smiling a bit at Rose.

“Who needs odds? I've got skill,” she laughed in response to her friend and they joked around a little bit more before she had to leave.


Carson

Carson took in a shaky breath as he sat down in the room where he'd have to say his goodbyes to everyone. He might have a shot, if he played it right. He didn't really have any experience with weapons, but if he could get his hand on at least a knife, he might be able to do something. Without knowledge of edible plants or how to trap food, he'd have to try and grab something for eating as well.

When his family came in, even Cheyenne couldn't manage to say anything bad to him. For a few minutes they all just sat in silence, clearly still shocked that this was going to happen. Even more, he could see that they were all mentally preparing themselves for the fact that he was most likely not coming home. Overall, the mood was extremely gloomy.

“I love you,” his mother said, being the first to speak and going over to sit down next to him. She was tearing up as she looked at him, trying to keep her composure as she said what he was sure was, in her mind, her last goodbye to her son. She swept him up into her arms and gave him a tight hug, kissing the top of his head and ruffling his hair slightly.

“I love you too,” Carson replied, though he felt cheated that his family would count him out already. Part of his mind realized that they were right to do so.

His father followed suit next and came to sit by him, giving him a hug and telling him that he loved him, saying his final goodbye. It took a lot out of Carson not to cry now, starting to feel like he might actually be dying in that arena. Like he'd never get to grow up and do everything that he wanted.

“You go get them, Carson,” Cheyenne told him, giving him a quick hug and she sounded close to tears as well. “Give em your all.”

“Thanks, I will,” he answered. “You know that I love you, Chey.”

She nodded, tears in her eyes. “I know. I love you, too.”

And after they left, Carson was met with both Kyle who wished him luck – though also seemed to be saying goodbye to him as well. Strangely enough, his third visitor was none other than Stephanie, Cheyenne's best friend. They didn't even know each other all that well, so he had no clue why she was here.

“Hi,” she said shyly, looking a bit embarrassed at even being there. “I just wanted to come and wish you luck. I wanted to let you know that I'll be cheering for you.”

He blinked, still surprised that she was there. “Well... thank you?” he said, still a bit unsure of what had made her come and see him off.

“I also wanted to give you something, for you to take into the arena, if you didn't already have something, I mean...” she trailed off, suddenly looking unsure.

“Oh, no, I don't have anything... I guess no one thought about it,” he said, frowning slightly. Why would she think about it? She was a nice girl and a good friend to Cheyenne, did that mean she was obligated to do this sort of thing. He felt guilty to think that had Stephanie been reaped, he wouldn't have gone to see her.

“Cheyenne and I made some bracelets the other day,” she said, holding out a string bracelet that had been woven together. “This one was mine, but I can make a new one and Chey will wear hers and I can give one to everyone else that will be cheering for you. It'll be like we're all a team, rooting for you.”

He found himself touched at her thoughtfulness. “Thank you, I'll wear it with me,” he told her, taking it and tying it on, managing to do so just before the Peacekeepers came to fetch Stephanie.

Not even two minutes later he found himself walking out of the Justice Building and toward the train that'd be taking him off to the Capitol. He tried to look around the familiar District, wanting to keep it all in his memory, but unfortunately his path was blocked most of the time. His last time seeing District 5 had probably been on his way to the reaping. Now he was off to live in the Games and possibly die there too.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:53 pm



Chapter 6: District 6 Reapings


Isemet Flyheath

It was no surprise that, even on a day with such importance as today, Isemet's morning started off with her three year old little brother coming in and jumping on her. She adored the child to death, but sometimes his over zealous need for everyone to be awake when he was wasn't quite as endearing as his other attributes. Still, who was she to deny a toddler?

Slowly rising up with a huge yawn, she got out of bed to help with Izik. Being the only female in the house since her mother had died in the rebellion, she did her best to try and help out with him as much as she could. The thought that he was going to grow up without a mother was terrible enough, but she wanted to try and minimize the pain as much as possible.

"Want to get some breakfast?" she asked, idly wondering what kind of food they even had in the house currently. Her father worked at one of the factories that built hovercrafts and her brother worked alongside him. Between the two salaries they made enough to scrape by, but that didn't always mean that there was enough to go around. As a toddler, Izik needed new clothes and shoes often and they'd long gotten rid of Zan's old things. Some of the clothes that were Isemet's were useable, but not many as she was obvious a different gender and she'd been a bit smaller in size than Izik was. Also, they were still a few days away from payday, so the money from the last time was pretty much gone.

"Yea. Food," Izik nodded happily, taking hold of one of Isemet's fingers and making their way to the kitchen. He climbed up into one of the rickety chairs and sat at the table, waiting for Isemet to find something to eat for the two of them.

Looking inside the cupboards, she noticed that there really wasn't much to pick from, other than some of the homemade bread from the tessrae grain that she got from signing up extra into the reapings. So, she pulled out some of the bread and a bit of the oil and gave it to Izik, who happily devoured it despite it's taste.

She joined him in eating the rough bread and oil, trying to figure out what she had to get done today before the reaping. With the way that they kept the house clean on a daily basis, there wasn't much cleaning to be done or anything like that. So, she figured that she'd spend it with Izik and Zan and her father. Might as well, one never knew what reaping day could bring.

"That was yummy," Izik said, causing Isemet to smile and shake her head. "Can we pay a game now?"

"Yes, we can play a game, Izik," Isemet answered. "But let's go outside so that we don't wake up Dad or Zan, they deserve to sleep in for once."

So, they made their way outside into the small backyard that they had and played a game of tag and another game of hide and go seek where Izik was happily allowed to win. Then for a while they watched the clouds go by until it was time for Izik to go down for a nap, so that he'd be awake during the reaping.

Isemet took the time to go bathe and wash up, wanting to look her best for the reaping even though she hoped that she'd have no reason to need to. She brushed out her curly brown hair and pulled it up into a nice do that her mother had shown her. After that she went ahead and got on her best green shirt and paired it with her nicest pair of brown pants.

When she was satisfied with the results, she made her way out into the small living room where her father was all ready and so was Zan, who had apparently gotten Izik awake and ready as well. Her father gave a small smile as he looked at her. "You look beautiful."

"Thanks," Isemet responded sincerely, taking Izik's hand and walking with him out of the house until he was too tired to walk and asked to be carried. At which point she picked him up and carried him until they checked in and she had to go over to the other 14 year olds. "Dad, wait. If I have to go... don't bring Izik to see me."

If her father thought this was a bad idea or an odd request, he didn't say anything but instead nodded and agreed before she was able to walk over toward her age group. During the Treaty she found her mind start wandering toward what it might be like if the rebels had actually won. Maybe her mom would still be alive if they'd managed to win the war and do it sooner. She stared down at the ground lost in her thoughts even after the Treaty of Treason was done being read.

"Isemet Flyheath!" Were the two words that pulled her out of her thoughts, her head shooting up to see that the district escort, a small woman with large bright green hair and an ugly suit was holding a slip of paper in her hands and looking out into the audience.

Realizing what this meant, Isemet made her way up on stage, staring at the ground the entire time and hoping that someone would step forward as the escort called out for volunteers. Even without looking up she could tell, no one was stepping forward.


Robbie Niart

Robbie woke up a lot later than he usually would, allowing a rare day of being able to sleep in. Used to long hours at the factory, he didn't get much chance to sleep in. He could tell that when he woke up he had to have been asleep for several hours more than usual and his body felt a bit stiff because of it, clearly not used to the amount of time that he'd been allowed to be asleep. Even on Sunday, the day of the week that he got off, he didn't usually sleep in.

Sitting up slowly, he stretched out and gave a big yawn. Despite sleeping hours past what he usually slept, he had a feeling that his body could stand for even more. He wasn't about to give in though, knowing that it would only cause him troubles tomorrow when he went back to his normal sleeping schedule.

Making his way into the living room he saw both his mother and little sister were already awake and dressed, meaning that they'd both been up for a while and hadn't felt the need to get him up.

"Why'd you let me sleep so long?" he asked them, making his way over to the kitchen to grab something to eat. With how much he worked and how much his mother worked, they had enough money to make sure that they always had some food in the house. It wasn't always the best food, but it was always food nonetheless. It also allowed them to be fortunate enough not to take out tessera, therefore not putting him at higher risk of being taken away.

"You deserved it," his mother answered with a shrug. "You never sleep in."

He didn't really give an answer to this, as it was true that he never did get to sleep in. Still, there was good reason for it. Those reasons being the food that he was now eating and Aleksis, who was sitting on the couch next to his mother. Ever since his father had been killed to make an example of the Capitol's power, he'd been working to provide as much as possible for his family.

"Besides, you've got to go back to work tomorrow," Aleksis threw in. "It's like the one day where you can sleep in."

Again, he couldn't argue with that. Still, the whole thing messed with his internal clock. Looking outside, he could judge that it had to be almost afternoon already. How he'd managed to sleep that long was completely beyond him. "How much longer until I have to get ready for the reaping?"

Glancing at the clock on the wall, his mother gave him a surprising answer. "Only about an hour."

Wow, he really had slept in. Though, since he planned on coming home tonight it didn't really matter all that much. Besides, with all the work that he'd have to do tomorrow because of the lost work of the day off, the sleep might have even been beneficial.

He took the hour before he had to get ready to sit down and have some nice conversation with his mother and his sister, not really going on about much but just catching up, which wasn't always easy to do with all the work that they did normally.

When the hour was up, he went along and washed up as good as he possibly could and then went to throw on his best clothes. His best clothes being the white button down shirt that he owned and the gray dress pants, paired with the one pair of dress shoes that he owned. Thinking he was ready, he made his way out to the living room where his mother was waiting.

"Oh no, you need a tie on," she said, holding out a gray one that he recognized. Despite his protest, she forced it onto him anyway before they were allowed to leave the house.

He found himself angry as he walked down toward the square where the reaping was going to take place, Angry that he had to be dressed up and forced like a sheep into a pen hoping that he wouldn't be picked for the slaughter. Hadn't the Capitol taken enough from him when they'd taken his father? Wasn't that enough? Why did they insist on doing this to their people as punishment. Surely there could have been better things.

This train of thought continued all the way through the reading of the Treaty of Treason and through even the introduction of the Capitol escort, Novia. He watched another 14 year old girl get picked, recognizing her from before he quit school. Also because he knew that her mother had been lost in the rebellion as well. It was sick.

Watching as Novia made her way over to the reaping ball containing the names of all the boys, he wasn't even thinking about getting picked. His mind was still on how sick this all was. Which might have been why he didn't see it coming when Novia's high pitched voice read out, "Robbie Niart."

He gave no visible reaction to this news, determined that he wouldn't let the Capitol make a spectacle of him. Instead, he walked silently up to the stage and stared out into the crowd without really seeing them, his face still emotionless as Novia asked if there were any male volunteers.

As with the females, no one stepped up. And so, Novia made her announcement. "I give you the District 6 tributes, Isemet Flyheath and Robbie Niart."

The two went to shake hands and Robbie barely paid attention, which might be why he didn't notice how Isemet was barely there as well.


Isemet

As soon as Robbie got reaped, although she was doing her best not to pay attention to him, Isemet realized that she had to hope that other people might be able to take him down. He was big and looked much older than she did, prehaps 17 or so, despite the fact that they shared an age. At the same time, she knew that she was bad for wishing that someone might be taking him out, knowing that he had lost one of his parents in the rebellion as well.

Still, he was unfortunately her competition and since she wanted to come home, it meant that he wouldn't be able to. At least she could imagine him dying with honor. If she died, she would hope that she would die the same way. Luckily, she was going to try her best not to die and that wouldn't be a problem.

As she got lead to the Justice Building, she finally looked up a bit, having never been inside before and wanting to know what it looked like. Being lead into a room that had better furniture than anywhere that she'd been before, she waited for visitors to start to show up.

First, her father showed up alone, honoring that Izik would not be allowed to see her. Which was a good start, but she wanted even more than that. "Please, don't tell him where I'm going."

"The Games are required viewing, you know that. How will he not find out?" her father asked, the despair a bit obvious in his voice. The thought of losing his only daughter, the one that reminded him of his deceased wife, obviously very difficult.

"Just try and keep him from watching as much as you can. Cover his eyes when I'm on screen or something. He's only three, it can't be like he understands everything that's going on," she answered. "I just don't want him to see me in there." Heck, if she could she'd have no one she loved watching her in that arena.

The man gave a nod, still looking pained and then made his way over to give his daughter a hug. "I believe that you can do it," he told her. "You're so smart, I know that you'll make good choices to stay alive."

"Thanks," she answered, hugging him back. She was already forming herself a strategy, so she was thinking that he might be right about that. "I love you."

"I love you too," he said, taking a deep breath. Though he still seemed to be getting very choked up. "Good luck in there baby, you were always smart enough to succeed and you still are."

In only a few short minutes, their time was up and next came Zan. Who also came first and hugged her, wishing her luck and sharing that he loved her. However, he also had something else with him, something that was going to be very important to her.

"Here, Dad told me to give it to you," he said, holding out a necklace with a humming bird on it that she recognized as being passed along through her family. "It's a family heirloom and we think it'll bring you luck."

Her breath caught at the sight of it and she did find herself feeling a bit choked up now. "Thank you," she said, turning around so that Zan could fasten it on her neck.

"I heard about what you asked for Izik and I promise that we'll do our best to make sure that he doesn't have to see you," he continued after he had fastened the necklace behind her neck.

She smiled at her brother, glad to see that he was on her side and he gave her a few last minute tips before his time was up and her two best friends, Milena and Taila, were inside saying their goodbyes tearfully and wishing her all the luck in the world. And while she wouldn't need all the luck in the world, she was still sure that she was going to need some of it.


Robbie

Although his face stayed carefully blank of emotion as he was on camera and even in front of the Peacekeepers, Robbie couldn't help but worry about what would happen to his family. He knew that his mother would still have a job and still be able to bring in money, but not enough to keep up the current lifestyle that they had. True, with one less person in the house that would be one less to feed. Still, he was worried about Aleksis. He didn't want her having to take out a job, but the last thing that he wanted was having to make his mother take out an extra job either. He was the one who was able to do all the work and he should be the one doing it.

So, when the Peacekeepers let his family in to say their goodbyes to him, it was difficult not to worry about them. Since his father had died he'd been the one that took care of them and now there was a possibility that he might never come back to do so again. The thought made him so angry that he just felt like getting up and throwing something.

"Robbie, don't you worry about us," his mother said before anything else, seeing the anger raging in her son's eyes. "You need to worry about getting home and if you're too busy thinking about us and how we're going to get by, it'll distract you."

Aleksis made her way over to sit next to him on the couch, reaching for her older brother's hand and looking like she was moments away from tears. "Yeah and you have to come home to us."

"It's just so sick!" he burst out, his anger flaring up as he took in the sight of his mother and his sister. Although, he was smart enough to keep his voice down into an angry whisper. "They don't even care what could happen to you or to me or to anyone!"

"No, they don't," his mother agreed, a hint of pain showing through. Not just from her son, but from the loss of her husband too. Also the worry that the Peacekeepers outside might hear him and that wouldn't be good for anyone. "But you need to get past this anger for now and channel it into how you're going to fight in the arena."

"Great, so I get to go kill other people who have the same problems. Just so some snooty people can have some entertainment," he muttered. "Listen, you know where my money is and even if I'm not showing up for pay day this week, I still have some money coming to me. Make sure that you get it and make sure that Aleksis stays in school, I forbid her to quit and try to find a job."

"Of course she'll stay in school," his mother replied, cutting off Aleksis before she could say anything. She then stood up and made her way over to her son, giving him a tight hug and a kiss on the cheek. "You go out there and show them what you're made of."

Aleksis moved in to take her mother's spot just afterward, looking incredibly scared still and starting to cry. "You come home, Robbie. I love you."

"I love you too," he answered just as the door swung open and the Peacekeepers told them that it was time for them to leave.

No one else came to visit and Robbie made his way out of the Justice Building silently, his mask back up in place as they were led to the trains that would take them to the Capitol. No one had a right to know what he was thinking about and he made a vow to himself right then that no one would.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:02 pm



Chapter 7: District 7 Reapings

Mandy Stevens

It was bright and early when Mandy woke up and got out of bed, humming to herself as she pulled on the same clothes that she always wore to start her day as she went downstairs to the apothecary shop that her parents owned. Before school every morning she always helped to gather new herbs that might be low on or go to buy some when it was applicable.

She just loved going out to gather up plants early in the morning, after the people who worked in the lumber yards had gone to work but before the rest of the general population. Today though, with reaping day upon them, most everyone was still asleep. Which was fine by Mandy, it made her smile to be outside without any other disruptions.

The birds were singing, the air was fresh and the smell of pine just as overwhelming as it ever was. She continued to hum as she went out to her favorite spot and started to gather things. It was simply lovely outside and the blooming flowers made her smile. It was difficult to be anything but at ease with tasks like these.

Once she'd gathered everything she needed, she headed back home to see that people were starting to rise and that her mother was getting breakfast out for them. For the most part they had lots of meals that were made primarily of plants and a kind of bread, which was why it was no surprise that this was the case today as well.

She helped to finish setting everything out and then went to wake everyone else up. Her four siblings got out of bed and they all sat down to eat together. Unsurprisingly, the topic of conversation did end up going to the upcoming reaping.

“As we all know, four of you have a shot at being reaped today,” her father said. “Which, we're glad that we're past the times of all five of you being eligible, but we can only hope that we'll be blessed enough to have a repeat of last year and have all of you saved.”

“That we can,” her mother echoed. “Regardless of how things come out today, I think it's best for all of us if we spend our day together before the reaping and after. It's an important day for family.”

Mandy had no complaints about this idea as she loved spending time with her family. The youngest of all five children, she looked up to all of her siblings. Even Candice, who pretty much hated her for her bubbly and optimistic personality. The idea of just spending an entire day with her family without them working was a fantastic idea.

So, they spent the day together, just enjoying each others company and having fun. At some point it had to stop though because they all had to get ready for the reaping. Mandy went to the room that she shared with both of her sisters after she had gotten washed up, pulling on her beige dress and brushing out her strawberry blonde locks. The freckles on her face standing out in the mirror, but there really wasn't anything that she could do about that.

After everyone was ready, they walked in a group toward the center of town. Mandy staying close to Michelle, who was the only sibling that was just out of reaping range with her 19th birthday falling two months ago.

After checking in, Mandy walked toward the group of 14 year olds and went to stand with them, trying to take deep breaths. She already felt nervous as she stood there and waited for the reaping to start. Saying a quick prayer as the Mayor got up to start talking, hoping that none of her siblings of friends would be picked from the reaping. As the reading of the Treaty started, she couldn't help but listen to it. It was amazing to her, what they'd given up because they had no choice.

Her eyes grew wide as their escort stood up, her bright purple locks, unnaturally pale skin, and bright yellow dress almost too much to take in. “Welcome, it's such a great pleasure to be back in District 7. I'm Astra and I'm here to pick the lucky tributes to represent District 7 in this year's Hunger Games,” she flashed a wide smile out toward the crowd that caused Mandy to freeze in panic. “So, let's find out which lucky girl will be going to the Games.”

It felt like the world stopped as Astra reached in and pulled out a slip of paper, reaching into the microphone in that chipper voice. “Mandy Stevens.”

The blood drained from her face and she started to shake, feeling like she couldn't breathe. She breath coming out raggedly as she stared up in horror, another girl standing next to her pushing her to get her moving. She made her way up on stage, still shaking so horribly that it didn't seem real.

Astra looked a bit displeased, wrinkling her nose as she took in Mandy. “Well, do we have any volunteers to take this lovely lady's place?”

Somewhere in the crowd she heard Michelle shouting. “Candice! Candice!” However, Candice didn't step forward. No one did and Mandy was left standing there, barely keeping herself from crying.


Aidan Steele

Earlier that morning, on the other side of town, Aidan was taking the time to sleep in. Usually off to work at the lumber yards early in the morning, he took his day off to catch up on the sleep that all too often ended much too soon for his taste. It was late morning by the time that he got out of bed and went to see what his family was up to.

They'd already eaten breakfast, but had saved him some and were sitting together having what appeared to be a serious conversation. Given today's upcoming reaping, he could only assume that would be what they were talking about. However, he was convinced that they didn't have to worry because he was pretty positive in the hope that Sara wouldn't get reaped. True, they were both 18 so their chances were a bit higher than some, but still.

After he grabbed his food, he took a seat and joined in the conversation. Watching the Games last year, he wouldn't wish that on anyone. “Well, let's not dwell on it too much,” he said after a while. “We've still got time before we have to go and we shouldn't spend it talking about it.”

“Yeah, you're right,” Sara agreed with a nod. “Let's just relax and spend our day together.”

“Good plan,” her mother agreed and changed the subject right after, to stories from when they were children. And then just stories about their days, funny things from Sara's work at school, things that happened to Aidan when he was at work, etc.

Time seemed to fly by as they told their stories until it was time for all of them to go ahead and get ready, Sara using the bathroom first to wash up and then Aidan getting his turn, after which he went to his room to put on the reaping outfit that he'd worn the year before as well. The simple white shirt and dress pants that looked nice on him but were obviously nothing fancy.

As Sara got finished up and ready to go, his family left their small house and started into town. When they got checked in, he walked with Sara over to the group of 18 year olds that were up near the front. It was only a few moments later that Aidan's best friend, Elijah, came up and joined them.

“Hey guys, ready to get this over with?” he asked, looking a bit tense but otherwise pretty alright.

“Of course, who isn't?” Aidan replied, glancing up to see that the ceremony was starting. Through the long reading of the Treaty of Treason, he kind of lost interest and instead focused on hoping that his sister wouldn't get picked, nor would Elijah's girlfriend or any of his other friends. It was a lot to ask for, but hopefully the odds would be in his favor as Astra went up to pick the girl.

Watching the girl who did get picked, a 14 year old that he recognized as working at the apothecary shop, he couldn't help but feel bad. The way that she shook as she walked up on stage and even without looking at the huge screen that provided a close up, it was easy to see that she was close to tears. How could a poor girl like that even stand a chance in the Games? The sad answer was that she couldn't.

As Astra went to pull out the name of the boy that would be joining Mandy, he hoped that it wouldn't be himself or his friends. He was lucky that it wasn't.

“Oakley Seveal.”

Oh no. He recognized that name all too well. His 12 year old neighbor, the one with four younger sisters and a sick mother. The one whose father had died in the rebellion. The one that was already trying so hard to provide for his family. Who would take care of them if he was gone? How would his sisters manage? His mother?

Before he was fully aware of what he was doing he stepped forward, ignoring Sara's protest. “I volunteer!” he said, before Oakley could even reach the stage. Climbing up onto it and walking straight up to Astra. “I'm Aidan, Aidan Steele.”

Astra at least looked pleased at this turn of events, noticing how strong Aidan was. He might be an actual competitor. “Lovely. It's my pleasure to introduce the District 7 tributes, Mandy Stevens and Aidan Steele!”

Afterward, Aidan moved forward to shake Mandy's hand. The poor girl still looked seconds from tears and was shaking, though she did look at him in a way that he couldn't really describe at the same time. Admiration, possibly. Her hand trembled in his own and he gave it a reassuring squeeze, even though somewhere in his mind, he knew that this girl was not going to be coming back home.


Mandy

As Mandy watched the 12 year old who had been reaped step forward, she couldn't help but feel like it wasn't at all fair for him, despite the fear that she had herself. That was why when someone stepped up for him so quickly, she felt almost relief through her fear. That such a fragile boy wouldn't have to go into that terrible arena. It was bad enough that she was going and she was scared entirely. Still, she couldn't help but admire the way that Aidan had stepped up for someone else, someone not even related to him. Which was why as she shook his hand, through her fear, she still tried to send the message that she just was in awe and admiration of his bravery to do such a thing.

The reassuring squeeze that he gave her hand made her heart do something funny, but with how scared she felt, her heart was doing many strange things right now. Still, she'd never as much shaken a boy's hand before and the novelty of it wasn't something lost on her.

As she was lead into the Justice Building she couldn't help but break down and cry once the Peacekeepers had left her in her room, tears falling freely. It seemed silly, to be scared like this, but she couldn't help it. She was going to die. She was never going to have children of her own, never get to be an aunt. She was never going to get to grow up.

When her family came into the room, she flung herself into her mother's arms and cried with her mother, her other siblings trying to get them both to calm down. When they finally pulled away, Mandy was still crying.

“Now you listen to me,” Michelle said, coming in and grabbing onto Mandy's shoulders. “You can't go In there like this. Convinced that you're already going to die. You're smart, you know all about plants and getting yourself food off of the land and you might be able to get through without killing anyone if you play it right.”

As she was about to protest, her brother stepped up and agreed. “She's right, you can't go in there defeated. Please don't make us watch you die a minute into the games without anyone thinking anything of you. You've got to promise us that you won't just go in there and stand back and let yourself die.”

Sniffling, Mandy nodded. “Okay, I won't.” Though she still knew that she had no chance of coming home either way. Which was why she went around her family and gave hugs to everyone, telling them how much she loved them. Even Candice, who was obviously better suited for the Games and who had refused to step up and take her place. She couldn't blame her for that though, this wasn't something that people stepped willingly into. Well, except Aidan, but he had done that with noble reasoning that not all people were capable of.

When they left she had a few visitors that were her friends from school, who wished her luck. Her best friend giving her a necklace made out of tree bark and telling her to use it as her token. She accepted it and cried some with her before her time was up and all too soon, she was done saying her goodbyes.


Aidan


As he was lead into the Justice Building behind Mandy, he couldn't help but notice that the poor girl was crying already. It made him feel bad that no one had been there to step up in her place. Sitting down in the room that the Peacekeepers had led him to, he really started to realize what he'd just done. Not that he could bring himself to regret it. Still, he'd just put himself into a position where he'd have to kill other people in order to come home.

As his family walked in he could see that they were all very distressed about what he'd done. Still, he knew that it was the right thing and he knew that they were aware of that as well. “Look, I couldn't let him go in there.”

His mother gave a long sigh as she came to sit down next to him. “I know. You're a very brave person, Aidan. I just, I wish that this had never happened. I'm worried about you. There will be people in there who just love to kill.”

“I know that, but I think I can hold my own and get out of there without having to do too much killing,” he said, though even that wording was terrible. The idea of any killing wasn't for him, but if he wanted to get home he'd have to do it. Still, he could save killing for the type of bloodthirsty people. It wasn't like he'd be killing the Mandy girl that he'd been reaped with.

Sara still looked uneasy as she went over to her twin and hugged him tight. “Aidan, I love you. I'm just scared for you.”

He hugged his sister back and tried to reassure her. “I know it's scary, but I'll be okay. I love you too, Sara.”

“Here, I want you to take this with you,” she said, taking off her favorite ring and handing it to him. “I brought a chain too, so that you can wear it.”

He took the ring and the chain and smiled at his sister. “Thank you Sara, this is exactly the thing to remind me of home.”

His dad was the first one to start trying to offer him advice about what he could do and different things to be on the lookout for. All of which he listened to, but as time started to grow short he said his goodbyes to his family a final time and hoped that it wouldn't be the last time that he saw them.

Next came Elijah, who said his goodbyes to him and made him laugh some before giving him some actual good advice as to what to do when he got there. He knew that he was going to miss the other guy and also wished him luck, just in case he'd never see him again.

Finally, in came Oakley and his family. His four sisters running over to Aidan right away and hugging him thankfully. “Oh thank you,” the oldest one cried, actually tearing up.

Oakley looked sad as he looked at Aidan, though obviously grateful still as well. “You didn't have to do that for me.”

“No, I wanted to do it,” he told him after he gave brief hugs back to the four children. “You should stay here and take care of your family, they need you.”

Oakley's mother, despite her sickness, still had to be at the reaping and was very emotional. “We owe you so much. I promise, we'll try and do whatever we can to help your family if they need it. Thank you, for saving my boy.”

“Really, it's okay,” he said, knowing that the woman had to feel terrible and not wanting a sick woman to be wasting her energy worried about him with five children to look after.

“We'll all be rooting for you to come home,” Oakley told him. “Good luck.”

Aidan expressed his thanks again and shook hands with Oakley before they were called away by the Peacekeepers.

After that it was time for him to leave and as he walked out he noticed that while he managed to get through his goodbyes without tears, Mandy's face was red and blotchy. Still, there was something about the way that she walked out that made him think that she hadn't given up entirely yet. Somehow, he couldn't help but think that it was good news.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:58 pm

Chapter 8: District 8 Reapings

Daphne Richards

In the impoverished part of District 8, where the textile workers were housed in downtrodden apartment buildings, Daphne Richards awoke bright and early as she was accustomed to despite the fact that she didn't have school today or that her father didn't have to get up to go into an early shift at the textile factory. It was a habit that was hard for her to break, even when she didn't have to be awake.

Knowing that she had a while still before she had to get up, she laid in bed and thought about the possibility of being reaped. At 13 her name wasn't in the reaping nearly as much as it might be for other people, but with the tesserae that she'd had to take out both years for all the members of her family, it made her feel like she had a much higher chance of being called. The idea was absolutely frightening, especially after seeing the games that had taken place last year. There would be people there that just loved to kill, that were just aching to splatter the blood of whoever entered that arena. How would she live against people like that?

She shook her head, trying to clear it of the thoughts that entered her mind. She could hear her little brother, Nave, stirring on the other side of the room that she shared with both the small boy and her father. It was probably from lack of ever being able to sleep in that Nave didn't wake up her father despite the fact that they were sharing a bed.

“Hey, little guy, wanna go grab some food?” she asked, watching as the six year old hopped out of bed, rubbing his eyes and letting out a huge yawn.

“Yeah, I do,” he answered, reaching for his older sister's hand. “What can we eat?”

“Let's look and see,” Daphne answered after she stepped into the small kitchen. Searching through the cupboards, all there was was the sad amount of grain and oil left from her tessera for the month. So she made them some bread and gave a bit of it to Nave, before taking a bit of it for herself.

She knew that Nave didn't really understand why they weren't in school today, instead seeing it as more of a day off without a real reason besides to gather in the center of the District. It was good that he couldn't remember what had happened the previous year, she wouldn't have wanted him to. She just hoped with all her heart that he'd never have to be reaped into the Games, though she had to admit that if circumstances were the same as they were now in 6 years, the odds wouldn't be so much in their favor.

After Nave was done eating, she agreed to keep him entertained by playing hide and seek inside their tiny apartment. It didn't really matter that they were inside because outside there was barely even grass, let alone trees or anything to be hiding behind. Besides, people didn't take too lightly to the common areas being taken up.

Obviously their game didn't end up lasting too long, since there was only a limited amount of area to play in. Still, it lasted long enough that their father was up and alert by the time that they were done. Nave still needed to have a bath before the reaping took place and she would need one too, so while her father took care of giving Nave a bath, she straightened things up around their apartment.

Once the bathroom was free she went ahead to go and have her bath, making sure to wash up as best she could despite the fact that she was really hoping that she wouldn't be going anywhere near Capitol. Still, after she'd washed herself and dried her hair to a fair enough extent, she stepped into the clothes that were one of the very few pairs of nice things that she owned. The buttercup colored dress suiting her pale skin, wavy brown hair and wide hazel eyes very nicely. She paired it up with the pair of white sandals that she owned, glad that she wouldn't have to walk all that far for the reaping because pretty as the shoes might be they weren't the best for long trips.

Once she was all set and Nave was all set as well, the family walked together so that they wouldn't be late. They had to wait in line before they were able to get checked in and once they did, Daphne had to say goodbye to her family and walk over to the area where the 13 year olds were standing. She said hello to her friends, trying to make small talk with them but found herself too nervous to do more than listen as they spoke until the ceremony actually started.

Nerves built up in her stomach and she found herself expecting the worst as the mayor finally stepped down and the escort, a young man with bright red hair and a suit that was blindingly white, introduced himself. “Hello, I'm Jorrin and I'm so happy to be back in District 8 to find our tributes for the year. First things first, let's see which lady shall have the honor of being our tribute.” He reached into the glass ball and pulled out the first paper his hand touched. “Daphne Richards!”

Despite expecting the worst, Daphne still had a reaction of shock. She began to shake so badly that it probably wasn't normal or healthy, tears streaming down her face as she started up toward the stage. With the crying and the shaking, she almost collapsed on her way up the stage. Jorrin looked a bit unsure of what to do with all the tears, cameras all over zooming in on Daphne's face.

“So er-, do we have any volunteers?” Jorrin sounded hopeful as he looked out into the crowd, wanting anyone to come get the sniveling girl off the stage, who continued to cry steadily. “Anyone?”

His question was met with nothing but silence on the part of the audience, who continued to look up at the crying Daphne.


Zane Nicklesen

Not too far away from the apartment where Daphne had gotten ready the very same morning, a young man of 16 years awoke in an identical tiny apartment. Both of his parents worked in the textile mills not too far away and he was likely to go there after he finished school as well. It was likely where Chaeli would end up as well.

Still, unlike at the Richards' residence, in his house the sleeping in had been taken advantage of by all members of the family. None of them rising until it was late mid-morning, at which point it was kind of necessary to get up. Everyone getting out of bed at the same time and making their way into the small kitchen to sit down at the sagging kitchen table. Even with the income of two parents, Zane had been taking tesserae out because with a family of four and needs like clothes and want of actual food – which was quite expensive – the extra grain and oil did well for his family.

This morning they all had some cheese and bread for their brunch. Things with more protein would be coming that night for dinner, what sad amount of meat that they could afford, for instance.

“Thank you,” he said to both of his parents. He was just someone who didn't take things like food for granted.
“You are very welcome, Zane,” his mother replied. “Now, obviously we've got things to do today that we can't skip out on...”

“I wish we could,” Chaeli sighed unhappily. “I don't want to have to go and sit through that boring ceremony.”

Chaeli was too young to be worried about the reaping, since she was only 10 years old she still had a full two years before the reapings would really become her reality. For now, she was safely out of their reach.

On the other hand, Zane realized that it was possible that he might be the person that was picked from the crowd. At 16, with the way that they'd implemented the number of entries to tip the scales for older tributes to be more likely to be picked, plus the entries for the tesserae, he figured that his name was in there probably more than an average 16 year old. Despite that reality, they never talked about it when the reapings were mentioned. Maybe no one wanted to jinx the possibility of having him be picked. Possibly, they were playing the out of sight, out of mind card and figured that if they didn't say it out loud that they wouldn't have to think about it either.

“Now, now. It won't be too long and then we'll be able to come back home and enjoy the day off that we've been granted,” his mother replied, trying to smile slightly.

“And what shall we do with that time?” his father pressed, obviously trying to keep up with the optimism. It seemed that they were determined to keep out of the mention that Zane had the chance, however small, of not coming back home with them tonight.

So, together they went about as normal of a day as possible until people had to start getting ready for the reaping. It was like what a normal day off would be in their family, although it was hard to miss the underlying feeling of nerves and fear despite how hard they all tried to act normal.

Zane was first priority, of course, since he was the only one who had a chance of being reaped and sent off to the Capitol. So, he got himself washed up and then put on his father's old light blue dress shirt and paired it off with a pair of slightly worn black pants. He ran a brush through his shaggy brown hair and considered that to be good enough in the means of getting ready.

He made his way to the living room after that and waited for everyone else to be ready as well. Once they all reemerged in their best clothes, they started on their journey into the center where the reapings were to be held. Splitting up only when Zane had to go and join the group of other teens that were 16, seeking out his friends and standing with them. They all had chatter about who they thought might volunteer, if anyone were to volunteer, their plans for the rest of their night and the assignments that they were working on at school.

They only were silent once the Mayor got up to read the Treaty of Treason and drone on about what a special day this was. It was made worse by the fact that the Mayor had a monotone voice, one that was easy to get lost in. It was almost a relief by the time that Jorrin took the stage to pick a girl from the reaping ball.

Zane watched the average looking 13 year old make her way up the stage, a bit worried about the girl with the way that she shook and sobbed so heavily. This was obviously not going to be a tribute that was coming home to her family, if she was reacting so terribly to the reaping. Worse, no one stood up to volunteer and so the poor girl just stood there crying away as Jorrin went to go grab the next name.

“Zane Nicklesen.”

Zane froze for a moment, slowly blinking and hoping that he'd heard wrong. However, with the way that people turned to look at him he knew that he hadn't. So, still feeling confused and almost out of his body he started on his walk up toward the stage. How had this happened? Well, he'd known it was possible. Thought about it today even with his family. He just hadn't expected that it would actually happen. Oh no, he couldn't go in, he wasn't ready for this.

His worries carried him through Jorrin asking if there was a volunteer to take his place, clearly there wasn't, even through Jorrin presenting Daphne and himself as the tributes for this year and not seeming overly thrilled about it. In fact, he was only brought back to reality as he was told to shake hands with Daphne, finding that his own sweaty palms were met by her moist ones. Looking at her she seemed as scared as ever and was still crying silently, although not as obviously as before.

The Games had only just technically started and already he felt sick.


Daphne

Even with the cameras on her, Daphne couldn't stop herself from crying. She knew that it'd probably make her look like a weak link to other people, like someone who couldn't handle the games. However, she knew that she couldn't handle the Games. She was sure that she wouldn't be coming home.

It made her sad to think, as she shook hands with Zane, that he likely wasn't coming home either. At least if he had, their district would have benefited from it. Her family might have gained something if Zane were to be victor, but he wasn't tough looking at all and seemed about as nervous as she was. Okay, maybe not quite as nervous as she was, but still a level of nervous nonetheless that wasn't reassuring.

Her shaking continued even as the Peacekeepers lead her into the Justice Building and she was grateful when she was finally inside a room that she'd be saying her goodbyes in. Falling onto the nearest chair and trying to gain some composure before Nave and her father arrived, not wanting to be totally falling apart on them.

As soon as they walked in though, Nave running to her and jumping up on her lap to hug her, she couldn't help the tears as they continued to flow.

“Don't cry, sissy. Don't cry,” he told her, hugging her tighter. “I love you, sissy.”

“I love you too,” Daphne choked out, hugging the six year old for dear life. How was it fair that she'd never see him grow up? That he'd have to grow up without a sister and a mother? How was this right?

Her father seemed to be struggling to keep himself in line even. “Daphne, you need to try and stop crying. I know it's hard, but you have to try.” He walked over to stand next to the chair that she was sitting in, running his hand over the top of her hair like he'd done when she was a scared child.

Sniffling, she tried her best to start the tears slowing down. “I'm going to die,” she said, pathetically, to her father.

“Don't you talk like that,” he told her. “Like you've given up on your life already. Don't do that.”

Taking the deep breaths in that her mother had once taught her, the ones that were supposed to help soothe. It didn't help though that Nave kept rubbing her back as he hugged her, clearly trying to be helpful. The 6 year old was trying to help her, how sad was that on her part. When she thought that she was calm enough to speak, she attempted it. “Okay, I won't.”

It'd be impossible to try and not fall back into her tears all over again, but her father was right. She shouldn't just fall down and give up right here before she even tried to live. How could she just go down without any sort of fight at all? Her life wasn't worthless.

“That's my girl,” he said, tousling her hair slightly. “I love you, Daphne. You use the skills you do have; your resourcefulness, your creativity, the ability to stay out of sight, use them all and try to live.”

“I love you too, Daddy and I will,” she said with a nod, giving Nave another tight squeeze and clinging slightly to the small child. She never wanted to let go.

It was almost too much when the Peacekeeper came in and told them that they had to go now, wishing that she just could hold onto her brother forever and never have to leave him.

Next up were her friends from school, who did practically nothing useful at all, except cry and hug her and tell her how much they were going to miss her. These behaviors did nothing to boast confidence, although she did know that they were right.

One of her closest friends, Envy, asked the toughest question. “What are you going to do?”

“I'm going to go in there and give it my best shot,” Daphne answered. “I know I can't survive, but I can't give up either. I can't have my family watch me give up and die. I want my death to be worthwhile, or go down fighting.”

“Well, I wish you luck and I'll miss you,” the other girl replied and gave her a hug.

She was the last visitor that Daphne had before she was escorted out of the Justice Building and though she was as scared as ever and kind of felt like crying all over again, she didn't allow herself to do so. After all, she wasn't going to be able to be a watering pot this whole time.


Zane

After the handshake with Daphne, both tributes were lead into the Justice Building and thought Daphne went into her private room crying, part of Zane was still in shock that this was happening at all. He just still couldn't wrap his mind entirely around the fact that he was going to be in those awful Games. It felt like it was still happening to someone else.

The second it started to feel real was when his parents and Chaeli walked in through the door. Chaeli was crying and his mother seemed like she was about to join her, his father obviously deeply troubled as well. For a moment they just all stood there, staring at one another, but then Zane walked over to them and allowed himself to be wrapped up in a group hug.

“Oh sweetie!” was all his mother could manage to say, tears freely coming down at this point.

“I'll be okay,” he lied to his family, for their benefit although within a few moments it was clear that they didn't actually believe him either. No one was reassured by the words he spoke and he couldn't exactly blame them.

“Son, we want you to know how much we love you,” his father said after the group had finally pulled away slightly. Although they were still all standing very close to one another in a little circle. “We know that you're not a killer, but we're still going to be hoping you come home.”

Zane gave a small smile, though his fathers words weren't any more comforting than the lie that he'd told. He couldn't kill someone even when his life did depend on it, he had to be one of the least violent people that there ever was. Not to mention his complete incompetence with any weapon and lack of any upper body strength... well, the odds were not in his favor. “I hope to come home too.” Was what he said instead though. “I love you all.”

Once more, he found himself in a group hug with his family and he didn't ever want to let go. He didn't want to have to go off to the Games. He didn't want this to be the last time that he'd ever see his family. Didn't want this to be the last hug that he'd ever have. Mostly, he didn't want to be alone in the world for his last weeks in it, because although there'd be no shortage of people in the Capitol and during training and even in the Games... they'd never be company for him.

When his family had to leave, he felt himself get choked up. But he still had other visitors after they left, people from school and such that he said his goodbyes to until the hour was up and he left the room where he was going to have last seen so many people that he loved.

Walking with Daphne, past all the cameras and toward the train that would take them to the Capitol, he couldn't help but think that the odds were not in District 8's favor for a winner this year.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:00 pm

Chapter 9: District 9 Reapings

Emma Maize

In a small house in District 9, the Maize family got up later than what they were used to. Reaping day was one of the only days a year that they got to sleep in and they would have been fools not to take advantage of it. Sure, the reason why they were getting the day off wasn't ideal, but it wasn't their style to waste a good day of sleeping in and getting some much needed extra rest. See, although her family wasn't immune from the reaping, actually having two children eligible, they weren't ones to throw a big fit about it either. More often than not, her family was easy going. They didn't stress about things very often and it was easy to see where Emma got her lighthearted nature from. She was raised to be calm and relaxed.

When she finally rose from her sleep, in a room that she shared with her two brothers – who shared a mattress together in the opposite corner – she yawned and stretched, not bothering to try and get a read of time from looking out the window or anything since they'd pulled their shutters about as closed as they'd ever be able to get. Instead, she glanced up to the clock that was hanging by the door and found that it was a few hours later than her usual wake-up call. Not wanting to disturb her brothers, she went ahead and made her way out into the kitchen to find some food.

Well, it wasn't like she didn't know what she was going to find food wise. Despite the fact that they were the district of grain, they didn't get to keep hardly any of it and what was kept in the District went into shops like everywhere else. Which meant that as Emma went to find breakfast, she had a sad selection to choose from. She did manage to find some food though and sat down to eat it, her parents soon waking up and joining her.

"Good morning," her mother said, taking a seat as her father grabbed the two of them a small bit of food as well. "Did you sleep well, Emma?"

"I did," she replied with a nod. "You know I can never be unhappy when I get to sleep in."

Her father chuckled. "Isn't that the truth? We could all use more days to sleep in."

"That we could," Emma agreed. "Even more often could we use a whole day off. What are we going to do with such an abundance of free time that we were granted for such a lovely reason?"

Her brothers joined them at that moment, laughing as they caught Emma's comment and taking their own seats at the table to grab some food as well. "It's so difficult to chose when we have a whole day of uninterrupted fun ahead of us," her younger brother, Brayden, replied.

"Well, personally, I was thinking that a few family things were in order," her mother suggested. "It's been too long since we all just spent the day together."

It was generally agreed that it was a good idea to spend the day together and they found activities to occupy the time until they'd have to get ready and then go down to the stupid reaping. In Emma's opinion, the highlight of the day was definitely the rounds of charades that they played which had her in hysterics from the way that her brothers tried to act everything out. Overall, she was in a fantastic mood until the point where she had to get ready for that stupid reaping ceremony.

She washed up, putting her dark red hair up in a simple do that would keep it from falling in her face. Then she pulled on her best tan pants and white ruffled top, pairing it with her only good shoes that were black and once belonged to her mother.

She was the last one ready in her house, so once she came out of the bathroom all dressed, they made their way toward the town square so that the reaping would be taking place. Emma and Brayden separated from the rest of the family once they had been checked in and headed to their age groups. Emma sought out her friends and joked around with them even after the official ceremony had started, making faces at the backs of unsuspecting Peacekeepers. The only time that she actually stopped was when their district escort, a tiny woman with hair that was crazy big and super orange skin, named Zania.

"Well, isn't it just lovely to be back in District 9 again," she said, her voice high and her smile obviously fake. "Let's see which lucky girl shall be this year's tribute." She reached one of her orange hands into the glass ball and pulled out a single name, bringing it up to open and read. "Emma Maize."

Emma looked up and realized that it was her name being called. This was so strange, she hadn't actually thought that she was going to be picked. Still, there wasn't much that she was able to do about it now. With her head up high she walked up on stage, leaving behind all of her emotions and her hopes right then. There was no way that she was going to get someone to volunteer for her, she was 18 and as strong as anyone else that might be picked. It was pretty much set that she'd be going and dying in that arena, but despite that, it wasn't in her nature to be a person to just sit back and die. She wasn't going to cry her eyes out, as some tributes had done last year and were sure to do this year, when they were picked. Crying wouldn't make the situation better, so she didn't bother with tears.

"Alrighty, is there anyone that would like to take this lady's place?" Zania asked out to the audience.

Emma was expecting the silence that followed after that point. Just as she'd already known, there was no one to come and take her place.


Gabe Mead

In the Mead household, located not too far from the Maize home, things were a little bit different. Possibly because five year old Haci just couldn't handle all the extra sleeping in, despite the fact that she rarely got to do so. Which was why she was running around the house around the same time that she normally would have been if today had been just another day of her life. Such running around awoke her older brothers, 17 year old Gabe and 11 year old Cadel.

Cadel got up right away, giving up on the idea of sleep at this point and deciding that he'd just keep Haci entertained and find some food. Gabe, on the other hand, took his pillow and put it over his face. He didn't go to school, working full time instead and it wasn't something that he enjoyed. The long hours wore him out and his job was actually very physically demanding, so hell if he was going to be getting out of bed just because Haci couldn't sleep anymore.

He managed an extra hour after Cadel and Haci had left their room before he was bothered again. Haci jumping on top of him and shaking him. "Get up! Get up! There's stuff to do before the reaping!"

Groaning in response, Gabe wondered why he even had to be up yet when he knew already that there'd be hours before they had to even start getting ready. "Fine, fine, I'll get up in just a moment," he told the five year old, who ceased to jump on him and happily ran off, satisfied that her brother would keep his word.

When he did drag himself out of bed and make his way into the living room, he saw his mother raise her eyebrow in amusement. "I hope that Haci didn't tell you that we wanted you up."

He sighed as he realized that his younger sister had probably gotten him awake with the purpose of going outside and playing with her or something like that. "Yes, she did. She said there was stuff to do before the reaping."

"There is stuff to do!" Haci insisted, running up to her brother. "Playing with me is stuff to do."

"And why couldn't it wait just a few more hours?" Gabe asked, yawning as he went to go and grab himself some food now that he was up.

"Because, silly, if it were to wait that long you'd have to get ready and not end up playing with me at all," the five year old answered, nodding seriously. "This way you'll have plenty of time to play outside with me and get ready for the reaping."

He couldn't really argue with his sister, so instead, he just finished the food that he had and gave into her wishes. Heading outside and playing a few games that allowed Haci to run around and get a lot of her energy out of her system. There were other kids that she could have played with, kids her age even, but she was kind of a lonely child that didn't much talk to others outside the family. Which was what led Gabe into the duty of playmate many times, since although Haci would settle for Cadel, she seemed to have a greater attachment to Gabe.

Luckily, after a while, he was saved by his mother calling them in for a quick lunch before they had to go and get themselves ready. Given that Gabe was the only one that was actually at risk of being reaped, he had the highest priority in getting ready. He was hoping that he wouldn't need to be ready for anything, but his mother insisted that it was much better safe than sorry.

So he pulled on his best pants and nicest shirt and combed his dark brown hair out of his light brown eyes, looking better than he did any other day of the year. Once that was finished, he went ahead and headed back out to the living room where his father had the reapings of another district on the screen, watching as two tributes were picked. He didn't really pay much attention though, figuring that it didn't really matter that much.

After his mother and Haci joined the group, Cadel having been ready soon after Gabe, they walked together as a family down to the square. Gabe was the only one to part ways with his family and he went to join the other 17 year olds that were standing around, having to look for a few minutes to find his friends in the group but then heading to stand over by them. Although they were usually a talkative bunch, they didn't have much to say today and so they stood back and watched the speech and the reaping of the girl from the district, who Gabe didn't really recognize.

As Zania made her way over to the glass ball that contained the names of the eligible males in the district, Gabe wasn't worried so much. As soon as Zania read out the name though, he knew that he should have payed more attention to the T.V. before.

"Gabe Mead."

He stepped up onto the stage and tried to keep a straight face, figuring that this was just a challenge and he wasn't a person to back down from one. Still, a small part of him did hope that by some miracle someone would step up.

"Do we have any young men that would like to volunteer?" Zania asked, with a tone that was easy to tell that she was hoping for some excitement to come from the people. Once more, nothing but silence greeted her. "Then, I present to you the tributes of District 9, Emma Maize and Gabe Mead."

Gabe did the polite thing next and moved to shake Emma's hand, not really having an impression of her. Somehow, he didn't see her as the type that would try and kill other people even if it was her only may to survive. Then again, he could be wrong about that. He supposed he'd just have to wait and see.


Emma

As Gabe was called up to the stage, Emma had a vague feeling of knowing him from around the district, but still wasn't able to recall much about the guy that she'd be going into the arena with. While they shook hands, she figured that he was nice enough. At least he wasn't some poor 12 year old or someone that was the sole supporter of his family – so far as she knew anyway. He had at least a decent shot at survival, which was probably more than most of the children standing in the square could say, so she couldn't bring herself to feel bad for him.

When it was time for the Peacekeepers to lead them to the Justice Building, she couldn't help but briefly think of how many times she'd made faces at the backs of the same people that were escorting her currently. In the past it had been for humorous purposes, to be funny, but now she wanted to make faces that wouldn't be funny in the slightest. She refrained from doing so, however, and was glad when she was left in her room by the men and women that were guarding her.

She looked up as the door opened and her first guests, of course her family, came in to visit her. Normally such lighthearted people, they were silent as she was. It seemed like everything was frozen for a moment, all emotion suspended as they looked at her. Then, she was standing and they were rushing over to her. Even with the hugging, it still felt unreal.

"You know that I can't kill people," she told them, not wanting it to seem like she was giving up, but not wanting them to have false hopes about what might happen either.

"Who knows," Brayden said, looking grim, but trying to cheer her up. "Maybe you'll make it for a while still. Maybe the odds will be in your favor." Even trying to help, he didn't suggest that she'd make it home because to make it home there'd have to be some killing going on at some point and they knew Emma wouldn't sacrifice who she was to come home.

Giving a sad smile, she shook her head slightly at her younger brother. "Well, the odds aren't doing be that big a favor right now."

Her mother gave her a kiss on each cheek before hugging her tightly again. "You are incredible and brave and I want you to know that I admire you for who you are. I could never be disappointed in you dying as yourself. I love you, my baby." Tears started flowing down her face before she was even done with her goodbye.

"Thank you," she told her mother, hugging her back once more. "I love you, too."

Her father, wasn't as good with words and simply hugged her and said to her, "I love you, Emma. You're so brave and wonderful, the best daughter a man could ask for."

"I love you too, Dad." She hugged him back and pressed a light kiss to his cheek before she went to hug her other brother, who also had a simple goodbye.

After her parents were done saying their goodbyes a few of her closest friends came in to see her off, telling her how much they loved her and that they were going to miss her and be hoping that the odds would be in her favor. She tried to get them to laugh, not wanting the last time that she spent with them to be all completely miserable. Her best friend came in last and offered her the token that she'd be taking with her into the arena, a necklace braided out of wheat twigs. Thanking her once more for the beautiful token, she gave her a tight hug and said her goodbyes.

Before she knew it, her hour was up and it was time for her to get moving. Time for her to leave behind District 9 forever and she knew it, but she tried to keep her emotions under control. After all, there was no use crying over spilled milk. In a no-win situation, she was just going to do whatever she could do to go down being completely herself and knowing that no matter what these Games did, they wouldn't be able to change her.


Gabe

After shaking hands with Emma and being lead into the Justice Building room where Gabe would be saying goodbye to his friends and family, he started thinking about what it would take to win the Games. Last year, the winner had killed most of the tributes personally, but he was pretty sure that it would be possible to not have to kill the majority of the other tributes in order to win. Not if he let some picking off happen early and just stick back.

He was still in his thoughts when his family entered the room to say goodbye to him, his mother already near tears. Haci ran to throw herself at him, climbing right up into his lap and clinging to him like she'd used to do a few years ago as a toddler.

"Gabe, listen to me, I think you have a chance at this," his father told him, not willing to believe that his son's death was a certain thing. "You just need to get yourself a weapon at the start and some water. You could find food if you needed to do so, but you'll need something to defend yourself with. Don't try to get everything, just a good knife or something would suffice."

He nodded, taking in his father's advice and agreeing with it wholeheartedly. "Thank you, Dad," he said, not able to move with Haci in her current position.

"I love you, Gabe," the small girl whispered, not moving.

"I love you too, Haci," he replied, reaching up to ruffle her hair slightly.

"Just promise us that you'll be smart about this, don't let people get under your skin. We believe that you'll do fantastic," his mother said, though her voice was still shaky and tears were clear in her eyes.

"Yeah, big bro, we all know that you're good enough," Cadel added with a nod. "I've been telling people all these years that you were the best."

"And I am," Gabe teased back, trying to keep things from getting all out depressing. Still, at some point they did seriously have to say their goodbyes and he did manage to peel Haci off long enough to give everyone in his family a brief hug and let them know that he loved them before the Peacekeepers came back to take them out.

Afterward, Gabe's best friend Jared, came to visit. "Well, looks like you're going to be famous after all," the other guy teased him.

He laughed, "I always told you that I would be."

"Yeah well, I bet that you can't survive all the way to the end," Jared said, his tone still joking.

Some people might have thought it a terrible thing to say, but Gabe saw what his friend was doing there. After all, it was a well known fact that he couldn't ever say no to a bet or a challenge, always wanting to prove other people wrong about him and what they thought. "Please, I'll take that bet and when I come home and I'm reach and famous and getting all the ladies, you won't hear the end of the 'I told you so'."

Jared grinned, glad that his friend had picked up on the humorous way to try and motivate him to come back home. "I guess we're just going to see," he answered. Though, he did turn serious now. "Seriously though, make sure that you do come back home."

"Come on, you know me, I'll be back before you want me here," he told his best friend, willing the answer to be true. "Just sit back and watch me shine."

The other guy chuckled and they joked around, finally giving each other half a hug when it was time for Jared to leave. After Jared left a few other friends came in to say goodbye and then the hour was completely gone.

As Gabe walked out of the Justice Building, not too far behind Emma, to be escorted to the train he thought about what the Games would bring for him and hoped that it would only be the things that he'd just told his best friend would come of them. He still felt just a bit too young to be done with life yet. But then, wasn't everyone in the Games a bit too young to be done with life?

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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:01 pm

Chapter 10: District 10 Reapings

Marisa Kirisame

In a small house in District 10, Marisa was awoken slightly later than usual as her twin sister, Remiu got out of the bed that they shared. Today was a day when she got to sleep in, and goodness knew how rare those days were, so she didn't immediately get out of bed as soon as she was awoken. Instead, Marisa laid under the covers with her eyes shut for another good long while, feeling like now was as good a time as any to laze around.

In fact, she didn't get out of bed until Remiu came back in and told her, “I've got some food out, Marisa.”

At that point, it was just as well to get up and get some food. Besides, no one else would eat if she was still laying in bed so it was all the more reason to just get up and get it. “Okay, I'm up,” she said, throwing the covers back and getting out of bed.

She didn't bother getting dressed yet, heading into the kitchen where her father was sitting at the table and waiting for both of his daughters before they'd start eating. It wasn't like there was a lot sitting out, just some bread and a small amount of greens. However, they always ate together as a family, no matter what the size of the meal that they were consuming.

“I'm glad that today is good weather,” Remiu said as she glanced outside the window. “It'd make this whole thing worse if on top of picking us to die, they got us sick with colds first from standing out in the rain.”

That actually made sense, given that in a few hours they'd all have to stand like cattle out in little roped off squares by age and wait for someone to get picked to go to the slaughter. If it had been raining it wouldn't have made much of a difference for the people who had to stand outside, although there probably would be something done to make sure the precious name slips didn't get ruined and that the Capitol escort wouldn't have to be subjected to getting wet by district rain.

“Like today is all that great anyway,” Marisa replied, taking a bite of her bread. “I highly doubt rain or shine is ultimately going to make that much difference.”

“Okay, that's enough. Let's talk about something else,” her father said forcefully, having a strong hate of the Games and never liking to talk about them. Worse was when they had to watch them, the anger toward the Capitol soared in her house last year and she was sure that it would again this year as children slaughtered other children mindlessly.

“Fine,” Marisa shrugged, not really caring either way what they spent their time talking about. “How about we talk about what we're going to do until we have to get dressed up like dolls for the store.”

It turned out, that just like the year before, her family didn't really do anything specific. They just went about their day as they would normally, talking, cleaning, spending time outside and all that jazz. That was until they did have to go get ready and try to 'look their best' for the reaping.

Marisa got cleaned up moderately, refusing to go all out for this silly event, and then put on her black dress with the white lace on it. She paired it with a white apron as well, which completed the look that she was going for, leaving her blonde hair hanging down without doing anything to do. Remiu cleaned up a bit nicer than she did, putting her dark black hair up and putting on a dress a tad nicer than the one that Marisa had picked.

Once they were both finished, they walked with their father toward the square where the reapings were to take place. It didn't really matter to her that they were some of the last to arrive, her father getting directed off to the side to watch on one of the large screens as she and Remiu made their way over to the 13 year olds and waited for this stupid event to start. She didn't care enough to listen to the speeches or whatever, talking with her sister quietly the whole time instead.

Only when the district escort got up, a tall and thin man with dark skin and so many tattoos it looked a bit crazy, to introduce himself did she start paying attention. “Hello, it's a great honor to be back. As you'll probably remember, I'm Cy,” he said, his voice higher than many girls that she knew. “So, to get this rodeo started, we'll pick which little lady will be coming on up.” He reached into the glass ball and pulled out a single slip. “Marisa Kirisame!”

Marisa, realizing that her name had been called and that people were looking for her, shrugged and waved her hand up. “Yo! I am here! I am here!” she called, walking out of the group of 13 year olds and making her way up to the stage.

“It's nice to meet you Marisa,” Cy said, politely, though he did seem to like her. “And would anyone like to take Marisa's place as tribute?”

No one stepped up to do so and Marisa was okay with that, she could manage.


Jester Hayes

Earlier that morning, Jester awoke a bit earlier than he expected. However, he didn't see the point in trying to go back to bed, when his body was clearly ready to get up and start the day. So, he got up and out of bed and decided that he was going to go out for a run. It wasn't so terribly early in the morning that he wouldn't run into anyone while he was out, but it was still nice enough that it wouldn't be too hot while he was running. So, he got himself dressed in his everyday clothes and headed out, the rest of his family still sound asleep.

He didn't go all that far, although he might have if he'd eaten first before heading out. However, such a thought hadn't occurred to him before he left and now he was pretty much starving. So, he ended up heading back home to try and find some food. By the time that he arrived, he found that the rest of his family was awake.

“Ah, there he is,” his mother said as he walked through the door. “I figured you'd be out for a run. Well, breakfast is ready, if you'd like to come and eat.”

“Thanks, I was just coming home for food,” Jester replied, taking his seat at the table. Food wasn't something that was all that grand around these parts, but still, it was what he'd grown up on and therefore he had no problems eating whatever was placed in front of him.

“So, think you'll be able to spend some time with us today before the big reaping ceremony?” his father asked jokingly.
Jester chuckled and nodded. “Yeah, I think I can pencil you guys in for some time.”

His older brother, Nyx, smiled a bit as he rolled his eyes. “Thanks bro.”

“Anytime,” he replied teasingly, starting to eat. Really, he had no clue what his family had in mind as for spending some time together, but he figured that it was no big deal for him to do just whatever they wanted. After all, after the reaping he'd be able to hang out with his friends in the coming days and do whatever he wanted, so that was no big deal.

“Good, it's been a while since we last got to spend time together,” his mother said in approval, finishing up her food and waiting for everyone else to do the same before she cleared the table. “And you two are both so busy that it's hard to keep up with you sometimes.”

“Hey, don't blame we,” Nyx said, holding up his hands in surrender. “Blame Mr. Popular over there. I'm beginning to think that there isn't a 15 year old in the district that he hasn't tried to befriend.”

The 15 year old grinned and shrugged. “Well, what can I say? It never hurts to have some friends to keep around for a rainy day.”

His father shook his head in amusement as he watched his two sons. “Honestly, the way the two of you go on. Though, I'd have to side with Nyx on this one, you do always seem to have a rotating group of friends.”

Again, Jester didn't see any problem with this. “Like I said, it doesn't hurt.”

The conversation continued from there, shifting into friends in general and then onto things like school and work. Ending up on the new girl that Nyx had some interest in, something that his mother was very excited about. She was always pressing to see if either of her sons had gotten girlfriends yet.

They continued on that subject, unfortunately, until they had to get ready for the reaping. Jester went ahead and pulled on his nicest shirt and dress pants, pairing them with a good pair of shoes. When he looked in the mirror he was convinced that he looked good so, he made his way out into the living room to meet his family.

He was the last one to arrive, so they went ahead and made their way outside to start on this short walk to the square where the reaping had taken place the year before. The only difference being that after his family got checked in this year, he was the only one to walk forward and go into his age group. He grinned as he saw his friends and went ahead to stand by them, joking around until the ceremony started at which time they were quiet although he didn't think anyone started paying attention until Cy stood up to reap the girl from the district.

Jester didn't really recognize the girl that got picked, although he thought she had to be either very brave or very stupid to just call out like that, like she wanted to be seen like that. Oh well, it was her life. He wasn't surprise that no one stepped up to take her place when Cy asked for volunteers.

His eyes drawn up on the stage as Cy went over to grab a name out of the glass ball that held his name and many others in it. “Jester Hayes!” Cy's voice rang out.

For a moment he stood there in surprise, but then he decided that it wasn't that terrible and got up to the stage. The more that he thought about it, the more he was sure that he might actually have a shot at winning this thing, after all, he had some skills. Which was why he wasn't disappointed in the slightest when Cy called out and asked if there were any volunteers and no one stood up to take his place.

“I present the tributes of District 10, Marisa Kirisame and Jester Hayes!” Cy said with a grin, gesturing to both Marisa and himself.

He stepped forward to shake the 13 year old's hand, noticing the determined look in her eye and realizing that Marisa might end up being some actual competition in this race to survive. Oh well, he thought as he shook his hand, he was certainly going to be able to outsmart her. He had no worries about that.


Marisa

As Jester was called forward to be the male tribute, Marisa realized that he was a competitor and would certainly be someone who would fight for his life. That was okay though, she was a fighter as well. After she was lead away from the stage by the Peacekeepers and toward the Justice Building she got ready for what was sure to be the most difficult part of the games, saying goodbye to her family.

It wouldn't be so hard if she didn't know already that they were both going to be crying and such. Even though she was much better suited for this than say, her sister, they'd still be very upset and make saying goodbye a difficult thing.

So, after she was lead into the room where she'd be saying her goodbyes she sat down and tried to get herself in the proper mindset to do just that. Even with the head start of mental preparation, she wasn't quite prepared when her father and her sister came into the room. As she'd suspected, her father was already in tears as he walked over and swept her up into his arms.

“Oh Marisa,” he said, hugging her a bit tighter. She understood why he was so upset, after all, she was supposedly a splitting image of her mother and they still didn't know what had happened to her. Although, it was suspected that she had died in the rebellion.

“Look Dad, I'll be fine,” she told him, hugging him back though. “You know me, I'm not scared of anything and that includes these Games.”

“It's just not right!” he said angrily, still holding her closer. It was a well known fact that her father and her sister both hated the games with a passion, but as to Marisa it didn't really make all that much difference. Even now as she was going into them she didn't hate them with the same sort of passion. “I know that you're a smart girl and that you'll do alright, I just wish that you could be staying here instead.”

“I know,” Marisa replied. “I'll be smart and I'll survive. It'll be okay. Besides, we both know that I've got a better shot than Remiu.”

“Well, yes,” he admitted a bit begrudgingly before giving her a kiss on her forehead. “I guess all that's left to say, is good luck.”

After he moved away, Remiu came and took his place. Her twin giving her a tight hug as well before she reached into her pocket and pulled out something. “Here, I brought this for you to take with you,” she said, holding out the doll in offering. The doll in question was none other than Alice, which had used to be a favorite of Marisa's. She was hand sewn, and had blonde hair and blue eyes just like Marisa. She even wore a dress with an apron on it, although Alice's dress was blue with pink lace.

Marisa felt touched that Remiu had thought to bring Alice to her and gave her sister another tight hug. “Thank you, so much.”

They spoke a little bit longer until the Peackeepers came in to say that time was up, at which point Marisa's visitors left and she had to wait until the hour was up before she could leave the room despite the fact that no one else came to see her.


Jester

After the hand shaking and the introductions, Jester and Marisa were lead toward the Justice Building where they were supposed to say their goodbyes to their families. He wasn't really looking forward to that part, knowing that his parents would be worried about him going off to the Games even if he did have confidence in his abilities and even if they had confidence in his abilities.

He took a seat on the couch of the room that he was lead to and waited for his family to come see him. As he'd suspected, his family came in and was all teary, even Nyx had some tears in his eyes. His mother hurrying over to him to take him in her arms and kiss the top of his head repeatedly.

“I love you,” she told him, obviously fearing for her son's safety. Which, he could understand in these circumstances given that he was going off to fight to the death and all that.

His father came around to clap him on the back of the shoulder. “We all love you,” he said. “And we wish you all the luck in the world.”

“Not that you'll need it,” Nyx tried to joke, wanting to make his brother feel better about the situation, possibly wanting to feel better himself about the situation.

“You're right, I'm all skill,” he replied with a grin. “Honestly. I love you guys too, but I think that I can really win this thing.” It was crazy, considering that he'd go up against people probably that had been wanting this chance and that might have even trained, but he really thought that he had a shot at winning and he wanted his family to know that.

“We think so too,” his mother said, encouragingly. “I'm just going to miss you so much while you're gone.”

“I'll miss you too, but when I come back it'll all be for the better,” Jester told them, trying to get them to see this as better than the worst that could happen to him.

His family was still tearful as they gave him more hugs and tried to be there for him, but eventually they did allow him to joke around a little bit before they went had to leave, giving him a final run of hugs and 'I love you's before they set off.

A few of his friends visited after that, stopping in to joke around and say their goodbyes and he had visitors up until the last minute before he had to go. After saying all of his goodbyes he was even more sure of himself and how well he'd do. So as the Peacekeepers came to lead him away to the train, he felt confident that this wasn't going to be the last time that he ever saw District 10, in fact, he was sure that in a few weeks he'd be coming home all over again but this time he'd be a victor.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:46 am

Chapter 11: District 11 Reapings

Autumn Follier

In one of the many small houses, if one could call them that however optimistically, Autumn rose much later than what she was accustomed to. In fact, it was only the second time – past infancy – in her life that she'd ever had such a late rising. The only other time had been exactly a year ago when the first reaping had taken place in Panem. Sleeping in was a luxury that almost no one got to have because everyone was expected to start working in the fields early in the morning and go until fairly late at night.

So, it was something to be happy about when such an opportunity presented itself. She wasn't the only one that would be taking advantage of the chance for a bit more sleep. Her brothers had also been sleeping in and she was glad about it, the ten year old twins worked much too hard already. It was a blessing that they weren't eligible for the reaping, even if she was. If her brothers were ever reaped she didn't know what she'd do. Her loyalty to her family was one of the strongest things that she felt and she'd do everything in her power to make sure that they survived and did well.

Unfortunately for Autumn, after she woke up she didn't have much time to do anything but eat food with her family before they had to start getting ready for the reaping. They lived a fair distance away from where the reaping would take place and therefore they'd have to leave early enough to walk all the way to the square and not be late. With so many people in the district, it was good to get there early to get checked in because the strict Peacekeepers did not take lightly to late comers. In fact, depending on what mood you were in, you could very easily end up in a lot of pain.

“Autumn can you help get your brothers before you get ready?” her mother requested of her, still in the process of getting dressed herself.

“Of course I can,” she replied with a nod, figuring that she would be the last one to get all set anyway. After all, despite the fact that she was the only one with a chance of winding up in the Capitol, she was quicker to get ready than anyone else in the house and would still manage to look her best.

“Why do we have to get ready so early?” Jax whined after coming out of the bath and being taken by Autumn to get all dressed up as Kaylan went on to have his turn getting all scrubbed up.

“You know why, Jax,” Autumn said firmly. “We can't be late and we've still got quite a distance to travel before the reaping begins. The last thing this family needs is trouble from the Peacekeepers.”

The ten year old sighed and grumbled something about the stupid reaping that Autumn couldn't help but agree with. She didn't bother telling him off, figuring that it would be no big deal on a day like today and knowing that he was smart enough never to repeat the words in public.

Once Jax was all ready in his best clothes and Kaylan was done washing, Autumn was allowed into the bathroom to get cleaned up herself as her parents took care of helping Kaylan look presentable. She scrubbed away the dirt that came from working in the orchards and sweating heavily under the sun, pulling back her dark auburn hair up simply but nicely before putting on the asymmetrical white shin-length dress that was her best. The single necklace that her mother owned ended up on as well, her silver flats completing the look.

Once she was satisfied with her appearance, she made her way out to the rest of her family so that they could leave the house. During the long walk they talked about their plans for the rest of the night and for the days coming, not really thinking about what might be going on if Autumn were to get reaped.

When they finally arrived in the square they were still a bit later than most people, meaning that her family had to be directed to the side streets after they'd actually got checked in. While Autumn went to go stand with the other 15 year olds, immediately trying to find her best friends Liana and Seri. She did manage to spot them in the crowd and was glad to see the other girls.

“I can't wait for this to be over,” she told them. Never bothering to hide the fact that she was openly disgusted with the idea of children being forced to kill children just for the entertainment of others. It was sick.

“That makes everyone,” Seri replied, her voice low.

As the speeches started and their mayor got up to talk, all the attention wandered away from what was going on. Autumn spent her time hoping that she would be safe, that her friends would be safe, more importantly. Which was why when their district escort got up and introduced himself as Ambrose.

“Well, it's a pleasure to be back in District 11, picking out two young tributes to represent us this year. That being said, we'll pick our female tribute,” he walked over to the reaping ball and picked out the first name that his fingers encountered. Undoing the paper, he read the name. “Autumn Follier.”

For a moment Autumn was standing there in a surprise, but that moment was brief and she quickly put on her most determined face as she started to make her way out of the group and up onto the stage. Her face stayed calm and collected despite the fact that she was pretty certain no one would be volunteering for her. She just didn't want to appear like she was someone weak.

As Ambrose introduced her officially and asked for volunteers, her cool demeanor persisted, even after the expected happened and no one stepped up to be a volunteer in her place. Well, she supposed it was much better her than her friends.

Skyler Marks

A fair distance away from the Follier residence, Skyler was the only one sleeping in that morning. As an only child though, it wasn't that surprising that he should be alone in this. His parents had risen early simply out of habit and were taking the time to spend together, just the two of them before their son awoke and they'd have to spend the day getting ready for the reaping and then actually going to the reaping.

Not that they usually didn't get enough alone time. In fact, in his entire life, Skyler hadn't had very much time spent with his parents at all. Even last reaping day, though they had said some words to him after the reaping and taken place and they had eaten together, they ended up trying to send him away at some point. It wasn't that they didn't love their son, it was just that they loved each other more and would much rather spend their time together.

Skyler had long since grown used to this treatment, which was why he was surprised that when he did finally awake and go to get some breakfast, that his parents sat at the table with him and actually tried to talk with him about things.
“So, Skyler, we figured that since we don't have long before all of us have to start getting all ready for the reaping, we'd spend some time talking,” his mother said, giving him a bright smile as if this was a gift or something. The sad thing was, it kind of was.

“Okay, I don't really know what to talk about...” he said, despite the fact that he never really spoke to his parents all that much at all. Long ago he'd once waited for the days where his parents would ask about his life, the people that he talked to during the time that he actually got to go to school – not that he had any real friends - but at 16 he'd sort of given up on the idea that his parents would actually be interested. In fact, he was saddened that it took the fact that he might be thrown into sadistic killing games for his parents to even want to talk to him.

“Well, we'll figure something out,” his father commented and started in on some random topic that related much more to his mother and father than it did to Skyler.

However, Skyler went along with it because he did want to talk to his parents, even if it was just because they thought that he might get taken away today. It was kinda sad that this was what it took, but a part of him had always stayed the same little child that wanted the attention that his parents never seemed to give enough of.

Still, the time did come for all of them to go ahead and get ready for the reaping. His mother was allowed to bathe first, with the excuse that she was a woman and therefore would require more time to get ready. Skyler went next and then put on his single pair of good clothes, the exact same ones that he had worn to the reaping the previous year. No one would care or even remember anyway.

He ran his fingers through his coarse black hair as he stared at his reflection in his window. Things wouldn't get any better than this. Although they didn't live quite as far as some other people from the area where the reaping would be taking place, Skyler and his family still left fairly early to get to the reaping before it got all crowded up.

After being checked in, Skyler made his way over to the group of 16 year olds and simply stood by himself. He wasn't really by himself, there were plenty of other teens around him, but he didn't group up with any of his acquaintances. If any of them were to get reaped, he wouldn't want to be standing close enough to have to witness their horror. He stood silently through the speeches that started out the reaping ceremony, silently through Ambrose getting up and picking the Autumn girl that he couldn't say that he even recognized from around the District. At least she didn't seem frightened of what was coming, if anything she seemed cool and collected.

He wondered if he could be so cool up on that stage, seemingly unfeeling about the predicament. Perhaps he shouldn't have been wondering because just at that moment, Ambrose's clear voice rang through the area. “Skyler Marks.”

The answer to his question immediately obvious. No. No, he couldn't be cool and collected like Autumn. Denial was the first feeling that overcame him and then fear. He wasn't cut out for this, he couldn't even bring himself to step forward for a moment although the people next to him were looking at him expectantly. Taking in a shaky breath he started to make his way forward, stepping up on the stage and praying that someone might step up and take his place by some sort of miracle.

“Do we have any volunteers?” Ambrose asked, looking out at the audience.

Skyler was sure that the hope that he felt, the almost desperate hope, showed pathetically on his face but he'd never been all that good at just hiding off his emotions. No matter how much he tried he couldn't manage to hide the disappointment that he felt as no one stepped up to take his place and he knew that he'd be the one going into the arena.

He waited until he was directed to shake hands with Autumn and then stepped forward to do just that, finding that while his palms were sweating and his heart was racing just knowing that he was going into the arena, even up close he couldn't seem to sense any of the same anxiety that he was feeling. Well, he supposed that of the two of them it was already pretty obvious which one of them had a better shot going into the Games.

Autumn

When the name of the male that would be joining her in the arena was called, she felt slightly unimpressed as she watched Skyler make his way up on stage. Obviously frightened and not doing all that well at even attempting to hide it. She couldn't really say that she knew him, his face not even having a place in her memory. Unfortunately, she felt like the audience was likely to feel the same way because besides his obvious fear, there really wasn't anything remarkable about the kid, she noted as she shook hands with him. He was of an average height, had a thin frame and dark hair with dark eyes, nothing for the competition to be scared of.

Worse, his palms were sweaty as they shook hands which was understandable but still gross. She kept her mask on as she was escorted by the Peacekeepers into the Justice Building. Saying goodbye to the people that she cared about wasn't going to be an easy task, not in the slightest. However, it needed to be done and she really did think that she'd be coming back home.

So, when the door opened to the small room that she was being kept in and her family was let inside, she stood up to greet them. Jax and Kaylan ran straight over to her and both attempted to hug her at the same time, grabbing on tightly.

“I love you,” Jax said.

“You're going to win, right?” Kaylan asked, looking up at her hopefully.

She gave a slight smile as she looked down at both of the twins. “I love you both, so much and of course I'll try to win.” She didn't want to lie and say that she would win for sure, even if she felt confident that she could. The last thing that she wanted was to accidentally die and then have her brothers have a tougher time with it because they were holding onto an impossible promise.

Her mother and father came up to join in the hug, both looking very teared up. “I want you to keep my necklace and take it with you,” her mother said, looking very serious.

Autumn was shocked as she looked at her mother. “But Mom, it's your wedding necklace!”

“I know, I want you to be wearing it,” she replied, simply but forcefully.

“We both love you so much,” her father added, before starting to go into different things that might be helpful in the arena for her to know.

When her family had left, next came in her best friends, who wanted to see her off. Both girls immediately ran over to her, hugging her tightly.

“We think you can make it,” Liana said encouragingly. “You're the strongest person that I know. If anyone stands a chance, you do.”

“Totally, we'll both be your biggest cheerleaders. No one could do better than you,” Seri added, nodding with what she was saying to make it true. “And then we you come back you can tell us all about the crazy things they wear in the Capitol and we can go back to making fun of everything just as we always have.”

Leave it to her best friends to actually cheer her up before she went off to a televised fight to the death. “Thanks you two,” she laughed slightly, hugging them again. “I'll miss you while I'm gone and you know I love you both.”

“We love you too,” Seri replied.

“And we'll miss you while you're gone too, it just won't be the same without you,” Liana told her.

And then it was times up for them as well and Autumn had no more visitors, waiting until it was time to leave before she was escorted away. From this moment forward the Games were on and she wasn't afraid to start playing.

Skyler

Goodbyes on Skyler's end were going down a bit differently than they had for Autumn. His parents did come, but it seemed that they were incapable of saying anything so for the longest time they just sat there silently. He had so much to say to them, but he didn't even know where to start. It had to be obvious to everyone in the room that they wouldn't be seeing each other again. He didn't really have any skills that he would be able to use to help him in the Games.

“Look, son,” his father finally said, breaking the uncomfortable silence and pulling Skyler out of his dark thoughts. “I'm sorry that we never spent more time with you. Your mother and I really do love you.”

The woman nodded in agreement. “We were just caught up in ourselves and we should have paid more attention to you.”

A part of Skyler was furious, it took him going to his death for the two of them to realize that they probably should have paid more attention to their son. That he was going to die and they weren't going to have known all that much about him, or not nearly as much as they could have known anyway. However, anger wasn't really what Skyler was best known for. So, he got up and made his way over to his parents, hugging them both.

“I love you,” was what he said instead, not wanting to the last words that he said to them to be bad. If this was what he was going to get, he was going to go with it and try to be happy.

They hugged him back and felt extremely guilty that they'd wasted all these chances. Still, even with their goodbyes ending tearfully, showing that they cared about each other, the time did come when his parents had to go. After they had left there were no more visitors and Skyler was lead out of the Justice Building. While he walked out he looked around the District that often seemed more like a prison than anything else and realized that he was going to miss his home. The Games were starting and this was his last chance to do anything here, so he wasn't about to waste it.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:39 pm

Chapter 12: District 12 Reapings

Violet Collins

In a small house in the Seam, Violet Collins awoke early in the morning. She tried to leave the bed which she shared with her younger sister without disturbing the other girl, grabbing her clothes out of the small closet that they kept and trying to keep quiet enough that she wouldn't disturb her older brother who was still lived at home. Her parents were still sleeping as well and so she made sure not to disturb them either as she went outside to the small garden that her family kept.

The garden was her favorite place in world. She loved the idea that she was making something grow, even more the things that she was making grow were able to help out with her family. They weren't the type to be rich. In fact, even with both of her parents going to work each day, her older brother Thistle, who was 16 this year had taken out tesserae since her other brother had been 18 last year and only could take it out once. No one would let Violet take it out, which was just as well because she had been so scared watching the first games that she had spent the whole time curled up in her mother's lap, burying her face in her shoulder and wishing that she was somewhere else.

At only 12 years old she was about as safe as a person could be, her name only going into the reaping once. Still, she was nervous about today and she tried not to think about it as she worked on the small garden. After a while of that though, as the sun started rising higher in the sky, she went inside to help her mother with breakfast. It was a modest meal, but then all the meals around the Collins house were modest, but it got everyone fed after they came out of their rooms.

No one wanted to talk about the reaping, all worried that Thistle might be forced to go into the arena and even a smidgen worried about Violet having to go in, although that fear wasn't nearly as strong. Instead, they tried to have lighter and happier conversations.

“So, Vi, how is our garden coming along?” her mother asked with a smile.

“It's coming along well,” she answered, smiling a bit herself. “I think that it's going to be even better than last year.”

“Of course it will be,” Thistle said encouragingly. “You're just a natural little gardener.”

Violet smiled at the praise, though blushed slightly. “Thanks, but it really has a lot to do the plants and the Earth itself.”

After that the conversation shifted over to her little sister, Fuchsia, who was still thankfully three years too young to be entered into the Games. They sat around and talked all the way until it was time for people to start getting ready for the reaping, all of them needing to wash up. They fit lunch in the middle of the bathing schedule and Violet got cleaned up after eating, going to put on her best clothes.

The pale and worn dress that had once belonged to her mother didn't fit quite right on her, but it was the best that she had and she paired it with her white shoes. Her dark brown curly hair was pulled back and help up by a pink ribbon that matched her dress, her wide brown eyes staring back at the small mirror with the fear that she felt openly displayed.

She tried to calm herself as she stepped out of the bathroom and let Thistle in to get ready, waiting in the living room with Fuchsia until the whole family would be ready to go. Once they were, they started on their walk to the square that Violet usually enjoyed being in. Right now though, she was terrified and she clung tightly to her mother's hand the whole walk there. After they got checked in she headed over to the other group of 12 year olds, standing with some of her neighbors from the Seam.

As soon as the mayor's official talks began she felt her stomach twisting in nerves, staring ahead uncomfortably. Though she knew that the talks were long and boring, somehow they seemed to flash by in a moment and all of a sudden what she'd been most dreading was happening.

The district escort, a short and thin woman with golden skin stepped up in an absurd black outfit that she thought was supposed to be some kind of nod toward the coal mining that took place in District 12. “Welcome everyone. As you may remember, I'm Varvara, the District 12 escort,” she said this in a cheerful voice, but it was obvious that her smile was forced and that she was none the happier to be in District 12 as the people were happy to have her there. “Let's start out with the ladies, shall we?” She walked over toward the reaping ball and reached in, pulling out a single piece of paper. “Violet Collins!”

Her heart stopped in an instant, or at least it was the way that things felt. All the color drained off of Violet's face as she felt her terror rise within her. Many people around her looked at her out of concern, worried that she might faint or something. She found herself unable to move, to blink, to do anything. Everything was frozen in terror, the fact that her name had been called seeming like a cruel trick of fate.

Despite that, she'd have to go up there. The peacekeepers finally located her and grabbed her forcefully by the arms, carrying her up on stage. She didn't fight, she couldn't fight or resist at this point. Instead she trembled as she was set on the stage in front of everyone. This couldn't be happening, not to her.

Varvara looked at Violet and frowned openly, not liking the way that the small child looked. She turned to the crowd and asked in her high pitched, overly cheerful voice for volunteers. “Would anyone like to step up and take the place of this young lady?”

Violet was too gone to even hope that someone might take her place, which was probably a good thing because no one did step up and take her place. No one said anything at all. Although they did clap as they were supposed to, however unwillingly. There was no one coming to save Violet Collins.

Joel Rodgers

In the same morning, in residence above the butcher's, Joel rose a bit later than what he usually had to. The 13 year old was the only one of the three children that was young enough to be worried about the reaping, although his family had done what they could to protect him from it. They didn't have to take out tesserae so that wasn't a problem for them and he was only 13, so as far as they were concerned, the odds were in their son's favor.

Once he woke up in the mid-morning, he made his way over to the kitchen where his mother had put out some of the meat that hadn't been bought and was about to go bad – which was usually how they got their meat in this house – for a brunch given how late he'd slept in.

His mother pressed a kiss to his forehead as she gave him a plate. “Don't be nervous about today,” she told him, seeing that he seemed more tense than usual. “The odds are in your favor.”
Joel gave a weak smile though, knowing that even if the odds were in his favor it didn't mean that he wasn't able to have his name drawn out of the reaping ball. Still, if both he and his sister had made it out last year, he did have a good shot of doing the same thing all over again this year. He just had to believe that it was possible.

“Thanks,” he said with a smile. “Where's Dad?”

“Oh, he's just out making a couple of special deliveries. I know it's reaping day, but some people really needed to do business. He'll be back soon though, he's already been gone a while,” she answered, sighing slightly.

Everyone knew that reaping day was a day to be spent with family and his mother was disappointed that they currently weren't doing so. Both of his older sisters were off with their husbands, and in the case of his oldest sister, her own toddler. So, that left just Joel and his parents to spend the day together as they had the year before and he was actually kind of looking forward to just being able to spend time with them without having to worry about customers or school the next morning or whatever else that usually intruded on their time together.

“Well, then how about we just sit down and talk while we wait for him to get back,” Joel suggested, happy to see that his mother was pleased by the idea with the way that her face lit up. He knew that his mother just missed her children most of the time and wanted to spend more time with them than what she was able. It was made worse by the fact that her youngest child was the only one left living at home still.

They started talking about school and his sisters and just what would happen for the rest of the day after they got back from the reaping. Funny enough was that even after his father got home, they didn't stop talking about the same things. In fact, they continued on the path that they were already on until it was too late to put off getting ready any longer.

He took himself a bath and got all cleaned up, going to put on his best clothes that had once belonged to a cousin of his who had outgrown them. Once his blonde hair was brushed and his white shirt was all buttoned up nice, his dress pants put on and looking quite good for being handed down, he added on the best pair of shoes that he had and made his way into the living room.

His mother teared up as she saw her baby boy, just as she had last year and gave him a tight hug. “Oh Joel, good luck,” she said, although she'd been telling him earlier that the odds were in his favor.

“Well, I've already got the odds in my favor, so let's hope that luck is in on it too,” he said with a smile and just like that they were getting ready to head off to the square.

As he said goodbye to his parents, he went over to the group of 13 year olds and found his friends from school to stand with. They chatted idly about the weather and school assignments that they would have to do when they went back. However, once the mayor took the stage they went dead quiet and faced forward, hoping that this terrible time would be over with as quickly as possible.

When Varvara took the stage to pick a girl, he was surprised when he heard the name that came from her lips. He recognized it as belonging to a sweet, shy 12 year old from the Seam that he'd seen at school before. She was about the most gentle person that the world had ever seen and it didn't surprise him that she was having trouble stepping forward. It wasn't even really a surprise when the Peacekeepers had to step in and actually bring her up on stage forcefully. However, a part of him was hoping that someone would step up and take her place. It was just pathetically sad when no one did. His mind was still on the unfairness of the situation as Varvara made her way over to the other reaping ball.

“Joel Rodgers.”

The name rang through the square and Joel looked up in surprise and horror. How was this possible? The blood drained out of his face quickly and he clenched his hands into fists, walking up on the stage and feeling like his whole world was falling down around him. In fact, it kinda was. The odds had been in his favor, the odds had been in Violet's favor. It seemed like the odds were not in the favor of District 12.

The crowd was clearly unhappy as it looked at its two tributes, both young, both weak, both certainly not coming back home.

“Do we have any volunteers?” Varvara asked, the hopefulness in her voice impossible to miss. And when no one stepped up, Joel couldn't help but feel a bit relieved even. After all, it wouldn't have been fair that someone would step up for him and not for Violet. Yes, he was every bit as weak as her and he stood no more chance than she did, but something would have felt wrong if he didn't have to go and she did.

He was every bit as terrified as she was as they went to shake hands, but he wished he could offer her some console. There was none to give though because he knew the sad truth that applied to the both of them, they were both going to die.


Violet

There was an almost numbness to Violet right now, which was probably a good thing as she stood on stage. She just barely managed to make herself shake hands with Joel and as she looked at him, she realized that he was every bit as scared as she was. She noticed that he wasn't much older than she was, the thought struck her that he realized he didn't have much of a chance either.

It was only once she was led to the Justice Building that things became real. She was led into a room and once the Peacekeepers left, she burst into tears. This was really happening, she was really going to die and there was nothing that she could do to stop it. She couldn't fight, she couldn't kill and she most certainly couldn't watch other people die right in front of her.

When her family was let into the room, immediately her mother rushed over and hugged her tightly while Violet cried into her arms. She'd never be able to see them again. She'd never get to grow up and have her own family. She was never going to see that garden bloom or get to hold a baby. Everything that she'd always hoped for in her life was never going to happen, this was it. At 12 years old, her life was going to be completely over, it was as simple as that.

"My baby, my baby," her mother repeated again and again, holding her close and stroking her hair. Pressing frantic kisses to the top of her head as if this would be able to spare her daughter's life in some way or another, although they all knew that it wouldn't.

Her father was even choked up, sitting down on the other side of her. “Violet, we want you to know that we love you so very, very much.”

She looked up from her mother's shoulder and flung herself into her father's arms, sniffling. “I love you too, Daddy.”

Fuchsia managed to nudge herself in there as well, gripping onto her big sister and holding on tight. “Violet, I love you,” she said, crying herself.

She picked up the small girl and cradled her close, holding on and telling her how much she loved her and all the things that she wanted for her in life. And when Thistle came over to say goodbye, she told him all the things that she hoped for him as well. The same went for her oldest brother, clinging to each of them and making sure that she said everything that she'd never get a chance to say again.

These were her last moments with her family and she wanted to make them count, she wanted them to know how much cared about them, she wanted them to know that she'd be in a better place and never forget them. She wanted them to know that she would always love them.

And soon, oh much too soon, she was tore apart from her family. She sobbed as they were taken away, as she saw their faces for what she knew was going to be the last time. All that she could do was cling to the necklace with the dried flower on it that she'd been given before they left, her final piece of home.

Joel

As Joel was led off the stage, he felt each step he took as another one closer to reality. While he was on stage it was terrible and he realized what was happening, but it still seemed like it was happening to another person. It was once he started to the Justice Building that things started to feel like they were actually happening to him.

It was hard to take his mind off of the unfairness of this situation as he was lead into the room where he'd say goodbye to the people that he loved. He had what, two entries? And Violet had one? How had that worked? It felt like a conspiracy or something and he wished that it could be changed. Now, he was never wanting to wish this sort of a death upon anyone. It just seemed wrong though, that a girl as sweet and shy as Violet was going to that arena.

Not that it was much better that he was going in. He was just as far from a fighter as Violet was. It just wasn't in his nature to do anything destructive actually. Though, he didn't mind dying as much if it was in the place of one of his friends. Maybe that was the mentality that he should be keeping, that because he was going one of the people that he cared about wasn't.

His mind was taken off the subject entirely as his family walked in, his mother already in hysterics as she threw herself on him and told him repeatedly how much she loved him and how unfair this was.

“Joel, I can't believe this,” his oldest sister also was crying, hugging her younger brother tightly. “It's just so unfair.”

“I know guys,” he told them, trying not to break down and cry himself although it was becoming increasingly difficult. “I love you all so much and I want you to know that.”

His father tried to clear his throat unsuccessfully. “You're the best son a man could ask for,” he told him sincerely. “And I want you to know that I am so proud of you.”
This was the highest compliment that Joel could receive and so he hugged his father tightly and thanked him earnestly. “I love you and you have no idea how much that means to me.”

He said his goodbyes to his sisters, to his parents and he held on for as long as he could. However, the time did come where they really had to leave. Where it couldn't be put off any longer and he told them one last goodbye.

When the time came, he walked out of his room and joined Violet. It was easy to tell that they were both in the same mindset. They both knew that this was going to be the last that they saw of District 12 and of their families. Seeing her red, poofy eyes, he again felt the urge to try and say something to make her feel better. Instead, all the happened was that as they walked out into the cameras – where people were so eager to see the children about to be shipped off to their deaths, he found that he started to cry too.

The Games were beginning and he was on his way to his death, unfortunately so was his fellow tribute.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:09 pm

Chapter 13: The Chariots

The Capitol

“Hello and welcome all to the chariot presentation of the tributes of the 2nd annual Hunger Games,” Milena Starbright's voice filled the squares and houses of every District in Panem, as she sat in front of a camera in a booth that overlooked the arena the City Circle where the tributes would ultimately end up. There were cameras stationed all along the ride that would bring the tributes to the Circle and that was where Melina would be watching as she made her commentary that would be played along with the clips of the tributes.

She was the official commentator for the Games, the one who did the daily recaps for the students that would be in school or for those who had to be in work, as well as the only person that the tributes in the arena would hear from at the start and end of the Games. It was an honor to have such a big and important job and she took it very seriously. She was a part of these Games and she wanted to make sure that she helped to keep the recaps exciting and interesting. Her bright, peppy voice was a signature that no one forgot from the last Games, nor could they forget her skin which was dyed a light pink. This year her hair was a bright white, as opposed to the deep magenta that it had been the year before.

“Last year we had some stunning outfits,” added her co-commentator, a young man named Loxias Rollhaze. He wasn't the one heard in the arena, but the residents of Panem recognized him just the same for his helpful input into the commentaries that Milena always did. His bright purple hair and many tattoos leading some people of the Districts to believe that Loxias wouldn't know anything about fashion or stunning things. “Let's see if this year those stylists will have the same luck, or if they'll flop just as bad as the rest.”

“Only time will tell,” Melina added. “Now, as you all remember this is our first glance at the tributes outside of the reapings and this is where some impressions upon the crowd might be even better to be made. Let's see who pulls the crowd there way and who might get off to a rocky start.”

The District 1 chariot finally pulled forward, with both Holly and Tyler inside of it and they were naked, for all intensive purposes. There seemed to be a bit of cloth that was skin colored on each of them, more on Holly than on Tyler, obviously, but still. They were each covered in glitter and rhinestones, sparkling under each and every single light they passed. The crowd roared with approval, the outfits appealing to all the members of the audience in the Capitol.

“Well, I'd say that so far the District 1 Tributes are off to a good start,” Loxias said with approval. “And might I add they are a couple of good looking teens.”

“If you'll remember Holly stepped up to volunteer quickly,” Melina reminded the audience. “Obviously she's got a plan and you can tell that she's looking pretty great.” The camera zoomed in to get closer up to the faces of each tribute. Holly having a self-satisfied smirk on her face as she looked out at the crowd, acknowledging but not giving the pleasure of waving. Tyler also looked pretty smug standing there next to Holly, although there was a distance between the two of them that was reasonable to tributes about to die. “Now, Tyler was reaped from the audience, but he seems to be in the same mind-set as his fellow District tribute.”

“Maybe he was going to volunteer too,” Loxias threw in.

“Possibly, either way the crowd is eating them up and I'd say that they've made a good impression, not just here, but everywhere in Panem,” Melina wrapped up just as the District 2 chariot followed and the camera switched to them. “Ah, and here comes District 2, as you all remember, last year a District 2 victor took the crown. Will it happen again this year?”

The cameras did their close up of the two tributes. The two of them weren't dressed identically though, Ruth in a long and flowing dress that seemed to have the texture of marble and did do great things for her figure. However, she looked bored with the whole thing, not acknowledging the crowd in the slightest, her face in an emotionless mask. Dmitry on the other hand was in a suit that was a dark gray, with a light gray overcoat and what appeared to be sparks coming off of it. He was acknowledging the crowd, nodding in their directions and giving slight smiles here and there. Which the crowd seemed to appreciate, although they didn't seem quite as taken with District 2.

“So far, the crowd isn't enjoying these tributes as much and I have to say that I don't think it's because of their fashion, let's face it, District 2's stylists did a spectacular job,” Melina said, as the cameras panned over the outfits as best as they could.

“I agree with you,” Loxias put in. “I think the real problem with these tributes is Ruth, who just kills the entire mood brought on by her dress. Dmitry is gaining a little bit of crowd favor, though although he's a volunteer, I just don't see him as someone all that memorable. Ruth's reaping and her reaction are entirely forgettable. I don't see either of these tributes doing great in terms of sponsors if they don't turn their acts around.”

“I don't see Ruth doing well at all, the act of ignoring the audience last year was only done by the most physically intimidating,” Melina added. “Obviously, she's not.”

But the camera moved on to the District 3 chariot, holding Nathan and Vixen. Vixen also seemed detached from the audience, but not in the way that Ruth did. Instead, she seemed almost hostile and intriguing, like she knew that she wasn't paying the audience on mind and it was on purpose. She and Nate were in matching outfits that seemed to wow the crowd much better than they had last year. Covered in head to tow in black with wires around them that actually gave off some light, making them look very much like a piece of electronics. Nate seemed to be politely acknowledging the crowd, giving a few smiles and waving a couple of times, like he didn't want to overdo it.

“Wow, I've got to say that District 3 has really taken the crowd with their outfits, absolutely sunning,” Loxias put in.

“And the tributes themselves seem fair interesting. Vixen was a volunteer, as you'll remember, but she seems to be playing her attention to the crowd in a 'want what you don't have' kind of way, only making them want her more; which I think is an excellent strategy to take. I foresee her doing very well with the crowd later on. Meanwhile, Nate, the reaped tribute, is actually giving that kind of attention that the crowd does really seek from their tributes,” Melina commented. “I think that so far, they're setting themselves up to do well in terms of audience draw, but it'll be the interviews that will either keep helping them, or hinder them.”

That was the last word before the District 4 chariot started to roll forward and David and Rea were revealed in their outfits. The crowds immediately took to the tributes in their well designed outfits. Rea's formfitting dress made her look a bit like a mermaid, one who was absolutely stunning. She gave smiles and waves to the crowd, although they weren't that huge, she was still obviously trying to get people to like her. David's suit looking like it was covered in fish scales with added seashells on the shoulders, the color suiting his profile nicely and he certainly wasn't afraid to play up the crowd, wavily happily toward them and giving smirks and smiles, the girls particularly charmed by his good looks.

“I have to say, the crowd is loving these tributes,” Loxias smiled, as he himself was finding himself a fan. “Not only do they look stylish in their outfits, but I'd swear that all the females in the crowd are looking for a smile in their direction from David.”

“I think you're absolutely right about that, the crowd does seem really taken by them,” Melina said. “Honestly, both of these tributes look like they'll do great in the Games. Not only is David charming the crowd right now, but it's easy to see that he's of a fairly decent size. And though Rea seems a bit more quiet and reserved, there is something about her that makes me think that we shouldn't be counting her out either.”

“I'd say not either,” Loxias agreed. “The crowd is loving her too, if not as much. Personally, if I were going into the arena with them, I'd keep my eyes on both of them because with how the crowd is liking them, I'm sure that they're going to have an easy time pulling in some sponsors. Never underestimate what sponsors can do. Remember last year where the winner became the winner because of her sponsors.”

“Right you are,” Melina nodded. “We'll just have to see how well they do in interviews, but if they come out like this again... I'd say that they are people to watch in the Games for sure.”

The attention once more shifted as the District 5 chariot came out, carrying Carson and Rose. They were wearing interesting costumes, Rose in a dress, Carson in a suit and each were light gray. Each the dress and the suit seemed to have the transmitters used in the electricity coming from them, creating a look that they were having mixed results from with the crowd. It looked cool enough, but seemed a bit awkward to some, like not enough had been done. Rose kind of looked a bit above it all as she rose through in the chariot, giving curt nods here and there as she went along and occasionally raising her hand in a wave. Meanwhile, little Carson gave his biggest smile and tried to wave at the crowd.

“Interesting costumes, I'm not quite sure what to make of them,” Loxias stated as he took them in. “I think the concept was pretty good, but the execution was a bit flawed.”

“A bit like the tributes, I'd say,” Melina stated. “While I can understand what Rose is doing, I'm not sure that it's the best approach to take, she's put herself in that Ruth situation from earlier where she just doesn't have the means to back up what her approach is. Meanwhile, Carson is failing to be charming if that's what he's attempting. He looks a little like he tried to put on his dad's shoes and step up into the plate.”

“He is the son of the Mayor of District 5,” Loxias turned to Melina. “So, that might have something to do with it. Either way, I can't say that either of these tributes is making more impression on me right now than they did on their reaping. Carson's parents are possibly one of the only interesting things that the kid has going for him so far.”

“Like I've been saying, the interviews will either prove us right or wrong and Carson is one of the ones who should be hoping to have us proved wrong,” Melina said.

Both commentators looked up at the screen to see the District 6 chariot coming out with Isemet and Robbie. Isemet seemed to be in a dress made out of different road signs; stop sign, caution sign, yield sign, etc. The dress was a bit showy, but did alright with crowd reactions. Meanwhile, Robbie's outfit had him covered in car parts and a steering wheel on his head. That wasn't doing so hot with the crowd. Though maybe that had something to do with the fact that Robbie stood there glaring forward and looking a bit scary. Isemet wasn't exactly playing up the crowd, but at least she wasn't trying to ignore them, a small smile on her face as she gave a couple of nods here and there.

“Now, while I think that Robbie's outfit is a bit of a disaster, I do think this kid might do well,” Loxias said, looking over at Melina. “I mean, the kid just seems very strong, very threatening. He doesn't need to look at the crowd to get their attention. As you mentioned with Ruth's plan earlier, Robbie is someone who could pull this off.”

“I'd have to agree with that assessment,” Melina concurred. “I do see Robbie being one of the stronger candidates. I'm not quite sure what to make of Isemet though. The girl does look pretty enough in her dress, she just kinda seems one sided. Didn't make an impression on me during her reaping and still doesn't make much impression. Maybe the interviews will turn that around though. For now, she's doing okay pulling off her outfit. If I were her, I'd be watching out for my District partner though.”

As the District 7 chariot pulled out it was met by screams from the young women in the audience. Both Mandy and Aidan were pretty much naked, some vines and branches tangling around both of them with leaves conveniently placed to protect modesty. Perhaps if Mandy hadn't looked so uncomfortable, standing stiffly and trying to make sure that she was covered completely, she would have done better. However, 18 year old Aidan with his years of lumbering drew lots of attention from the crowd, obviously muscular and fit. He grinned out at the crowd and waved, charming his audience.

“Oh wow,” Melina said as she took in the crowd's reaction. “That's the way to make an entrance. I'd say that Aidan , first looks absolutely desirable and second, is playing up his crowd just right. Look at that smile, fantastic. If you thought all the ladies were going to be stuck on David, I think that the District 4 tribute has some competition. Let me tell you, my heart is melting with that grin.”

“Wait, did you just see that?” Loxias asked, not referring to the flowers that were being thrown in the direction of the District 7 chariot, but something else.

“See what?” Melina asked, confused as she stared at the screen where Aidan was still making the crowds go wild.

“Can we get a replay?” Loxias prompted, bringing up a moment from just a few moments earlier where Aidan turned to Mandy and said something to her, which appeared to be somewhat encouraging because for the briefest second his hand could be seen giving hers a squeeze before he let go and turned back to the crowd. “Believe it or not folks, I think he was trying to help her. Look, obviously she's not demanding the attention he is, but she's stood up a little better and is actually attempting to wave and smile.”

“How curious, Loxias,” Melina commented, frowning slightly. “I don't think that's going to help him if people focus on it. Though, I'd say that so far the crowd still loves him. I guess we'll have to see the long term results later.”

Their attention finally turned to the District 8 tributes, as the chariot was pulling out, holding Daphne and Zane. These two as well were wearing matching outfits. Each of them were wearing outfits made out of various types of fabric, showing off the many skills of the District. Daphne's dress and Zane's suit complimenting each other well, though not really impressing the crowd who thought them mediocre at best.

“While I'll say that the craftsmanship in these outfits was good, they just fall flat,” Loxias said, not looking impressed at all. “Next to some of the other outfits that we've seen this year, it just isn't enough.”

“Worse, these tributes are just standing there like deer in metaphorical headlights. If you'll remember both were reaped and Daphne cried the entire time. I almost wish she was crying now, at least it'd give people something to look at other than a girl just standing there looking like she has no clue what to do,” Melina said. “Although, if you look at Zane, he looks a bit like he's going to be sick, so maybe District 8 will bring us some action yet.”

“Honestly, I have nothing to say about these two, other than I wouldn't be putting my money on them,” Loxias concluded, writing them off.

They moved on as quickly as possible once the District 9 chariot started in, carrying Emma and Gabe. Emma was wearing a dress that was covered in all different kinds of grains that looked very nicely made and did do alright with the crowd, the wheat headband holding back her curly hair. Gabe stood next to her in a matching suit made with various grains. Each of them were giving the crowd their attention, smiling (although a bit more forced on Emma's side), and waving politely out to the people who didn't love them as much as other tributes.

“Now, I think we see the importance here of wearing an outfit with confidence,” Loxias' voice came on over the image. “In terms of great made outfits, these outfits are not necessarily better made than the District 8 outfits, but the way that the tributes are pulling them off makes the crowd like the outfits more.”

“Not to mention like them more,” Melina added. “And that's always important. While the Games aren't a popularity contest, it never hurts to be popular. So, if I were a tribute from District 8, I'd take some pointers from District 9. Because honestly, neither Emma or Gabe look like they have that big of an advantage on Daphne or Zane except for the fact that they know what to do in front of a crowd. It's not rocket science here people.”

“Indeed not,” Loxias agreed. “I do have to say though, out of the two of them I wouldn't count out Emma. She does seem like someone who might put up a fight and heck, I'd say that even Gabe could stand a fighting chance. What's really going to sort them out from people are their training scores and their interviews.”

Next the District 10 chariot came in, causing a bit of laughter from the crowd. Jester was dressed like an old fashioned cowboy, hat and boots included in what he was wearing. The thing that got the audience to laugh though was the rope that he held, which was tied around the waist of Marisa. The poor girl was dressed in a short little cow outfit with matching cow ears and boots and completed with a choker that even had a little bell on it. Despite her outfit, she looked out at the crowd with confidence and even winked and waved out to all the citizens. Jester was also playing up the crowd, tipping his cowboy hat and occasionally pulling on the rope attached to Marisa.

“Oh, that is brilliant,” Loxias chuckled a bit himself. “I love this and the crowd clearly loves it too.”

“Not only are their costumes humorously brilliant,” Melina started, a smile on her face as well. “But these two are really working the crowd. I'm sure we all remember Marisa's unusual reaction to her reaping, that really made her stand out in the mind of the audience and now she's doing it all over again by playing up her part. Jester displays an equal level of confidence that I'm a bit surprised to see.”

“Well, it's like we said earlier, the chariots really give us the first luck of how these tributes are going to deal with the Games and I'm now taking Jester a lot more seriously,” Loxias said. “This kid had more to him than we thought and he is hilarious, I think he'll do fine with audience favor.”

Next came the District 11 chariot, carrying Autumn and Skyler. Each of them were in costumes made to resemble wheat. Autumn's short dress actually looking good on her, the fit very flattering on her and the wheat that was tied in her hair and into a necklace just adding to the overall style of the look. On the other hand the look kinda fell short on Skyler in his suit. Despite being fitted to him it just didn't do the same kind of justice. Though again, that might have something to do with the way that things were being worn. Autumn held her head high and smiled a bit as she rode past the audience, where Skyler stood far apart from her and looked out at the audience with a bit of fear and lots of nerves. The crowd wasn't impressed with either of them so much after who they'd followed.

“I have to say that this design idea worked much better on the dress,” Melina started. “Clearly the dress is much cleaner and just has a better overall look. Though, I have to say that it does look a bit like the District 9 designs, which was probably an accident. However, it is not helping Autumn and Skyler as they seem to be almost copying the other District.”

“That was poor planning,” Loxias threw in, shaking his head in disappointment. “Skyler is not helping his case either by the way that he's acting. Unfortunately for Autumn, what little attention she might get isn't going over too well because she looks like she showed up to the party in last month's fashions. Both of them are going to need to really step up their game during the interviews and get some pretty good training scores if they want to make an impression with this audience.”

“For their sake, let's hope that they manage,” Melina added. “And finally, we have the District 12 tributes leaving. If you all recall, last year they didn't do too hot in terms of fashion or in the Games at all, let's see if it's going to be a pattern.”

The District 12 chariot pulled out with Violet and Joel inside. Neither one of them looking at all comfortable as they were both in skimpy looking miner's outfits that the crowds were entirely unimpressed with. Violet looked like she was trying to keep herself covered up as much as possible and Joel was so stiff from uncomfortableness that it was obvious to everyone watching. Both of them seemed to be ignoring the crowd, or at least trying not to focus on the fact that they were being paraded around barely dressed.

“Ouch, I'll say that it is off to a pattern,” Loxias said, literally cringing. “I can't believe how terrible those outfits look. Really, they're dreadful and made worse by the fact that they're being worn by a 12 year old and a 13 year old.”

“I can't see this being any help to anyone,” Melina agreed. “And it seems like both Joel and Violet are practically having repeats of their reapings. As I'm sure everyone saw, Violet had to be dragged onto the stage because she couldn't move and both Violet and Joel looked white as ghosts standing up there. I'm going to call it right now, that District 12 will certainly not have a victor this year either.”

“I'm going to have to agree with you,” Loxias nodded. “Just not cut out for it, it seems. Which is such a shame, but who knows maybe sometime it'll change around.”

Both announcers fell silent as the chariots went ahead and finally reached the City Circle and gathered around as the President went up to give his speech about the Games. The camera still occasionally flickered toward the tributes and when it was time to go they went around each time once more to all the chariots to give a final look.

“Well, that's all for our show tonight folks, but we'll be back in a few days to go over training scores and then things will really get rolling,” Melina said, smiling directly at the camera. “I think we've all seen some amazing standout tributes tonight and I know we're going to have a great Games ahead of us. Goodnight everyone and may the odds be ever in your favor.”

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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:11 pm

Chapter 14: Training Part 1

Training Center: The Capitol
Day 1


Holly Edwards

On the ride down to the training center from their room, Holly was already talking to Tyler about what they needed to accomplish during training today. They'd done fairly well at the opening ceremonies, the crowd finding them a pleasing couple of tributes – and Holly realizing that Tyler definitely wasn't too sore on the eyes – and that could do them well in terms of sponsors. However, what they really needed was to start finding people that they wanted to ally themselves with for the first part of the Games.

“Okay, we need to find who we want to ally up with us,” she told Tyler, stepping out of the elevator and not being surprised that they were the first ones there. Allowing the number of her district to be pinned to her back. “We need to find people who will help us seek out the weak first.”

“So, we watch how people do during training and approach them when we have free time,” Tyler suggested with a shrug.

“Fair enough,” she nodded, watching as some of the other tributes started to arrive. In her head making a list of the people that looked intimidating enough and the ones which she wouldn't, under any circumstances, even acknowledge before she went to killing them. Most of these tributes looked like sorry nobodies, as if they'd never even picked up a weapon before.

She and Tyler started over to the knife throwing area, where it was obvious that she was slightly more skilled than Tyler was at using the weapons. She glanced around at some of the other tributes, watching as they made their way to the different training areas. A couple of tributes in particular sticking out in her mind as possible allies.

“Come on, I think I know who we should talk to first,” she said, throwing her last couple of knives before moving on.

Robbie Niart

Obviously the point of the Games was not to make the tributes feel good or special, but already Robbie hadn't been enjoying the Capitol. He didn't enjoy being dressed up like a doll and paraded around in a stupid outfit for the people to judge and mock him. He definitely hadn't enjoyed having to go to the remake center and be 'perfected' for the people of the Capitol, whose standards he apparently didn't meet.

He'd been mostly ignoring his fellow tribute, not seeing the point in paying attention to her. They were most likely going to die anyway and it was bad enough without forming attachments to other people. He'd already decided that there would be no alliances for him, they were just a bad way of getting hurt. When it came time for the training to actually begin, he wasn't really all that worried about it. He got dressed and waited for Isemet to be ready before they'd be escorted down to the training center. He listened as they were explained about stations once all the tributes had arrived.

And though he was pretty good at such things already, he decided to first head over to do some hand to hand combat while no one else was practicing. He'd move onto other skills that he didn't already have, later on. For now it couldn't hurt to brush up on something that would surely come into play in the arena. Physical strength was a good aspect of his life gained from the crappy job that he had to work, he just had to get better at aiming weapons that he'd have to use to survive.

He'd just finished up when he saw the two blonde District 1 tributes approaching. He planned on avoiding them, though they seemed to be walking right toward him. Great, he didn't really want to deal with either one of them. Though he was pretty sure that he knew what they were going to be talking to him about, which made him dislike their presence even less.

“So, Robbie, is it?” the girl asked, looking the picture of innocence, though he didn't buy it for a second.

“Yes,” he said shortly, hoping that they'd get the hint that he wasn't interested.

“I'm not sure that you noticed but Tyler and I were making a little alliance and we were just wondering-” she started, though he cut her off before she could continue.

“Fuck off,” he spat at her and turned to walk away. Like Hell if he was going to join their little sick, mindless killing group. They could do it without him because he wasn't pathetic enough to sink to that level. Sure, he'd have to end up killing people if he wanted to go home, but he wasn't about to hunt them down like animals. That was just sick and he didn't want to be involved in killing the 12 year olds or whatever either. If he was going to kill anyone, he'd be trying to kill this annoying blonde girl.

As he went to walk away, he felt her hand on his shoulder, trying to force him to turn back around. Though she wasn't that strong, not nearly strong enough to turn him around, he did note that she had more muscle than he'd have thought. Still, he was set on ignoring her when her little guy friend stepped in front of him to block his path. Great, just fantastic. Rolling his eyes, he turned to face the crazy lady.

“You should know,” she began, her tone icy as she glared at him. “I'm going to kill you and I'm going to kill you very soon. No one talks to me like that and gets away with it.”

“Whatever you wanna tell yourself, Barbie,” he replied, pushing past her to walk away. God, who would want to team up with that nightmare anyway?

Skyler Marks

Since Skyler had been taken onto the train to the Capitol, he'd found his life much different. It was like the point was to give the kids about to die the best days possible – with anything they could ask for, save the people they cared about, only a word away – before they went ahead and made their last days a complete and total Hell.

He was nervous as he had to make his way down to training, not really having had much interaction with Autumn thus far, having figured that it was just better not to. They were there to try and kill each other, after all, why would it do any good to get close to anyone?

After everything about the training had been explained, he went ahead and started off over at the knot tying station, figuring that it was better than going straight to weapons or something like that. Besides, if he lived past the bloodbath, it'd be useful to know how to catch some food. Or try to set up something that could catch a person. Turns out he didn't have a lot of natural talent though and it took him a while to even start getting the knots down.

“This is hopeless,” he sighed, finally walking away to try and start on camouflaging. At some point he'd have to pick up the weapons, start working on learning ways that could kill people... the thought wasn't a good one. He was pretty sure the only way that he'd be able to kill anyone would be if it was absolute need be – he'd never be able to just track someone down to kill them, or even attempt to kill them without them doing anything to him first.

He was so screwed for these Games. Still, he couldn't waste the time that he had to try and learn some new skills or something.

Marisa Kirisame

Although Marisa and Jester had fun together at the chariots, playing the crowd in their favor and being what their escort called, adorable, she hadn't really been spending all that much time talking to him or anything during meals. It was just that, although he seemed like a nice guy, she had more important things to worry about besides being friends with the competition. Heck, she didn't even want to get involved with an alliance, which is something that Jester had sort of hinted at for her. No, alliances were a stupid idea in her book.

On the first day of training, she woke up and focused completely on what kind of skills that she would need to be working on. While the instructor had explained the different stations, she took her time looking at them and figuring out what would be best to learn. Bow and arrow seemed like something that he'd be very good at, so she figured that she'd go ahead and get some time in there, but do so later. She did have a little bit of experience with it already, so it would be better to learn something new.

What caught her eye first was the spear training, figuring that it could be quite useful to get to know. So, she got herself a lesson – which she wasn't too keen on being told what to do, but in this case it was kind of needed – and started to practice.

Finding that she was actually kind of good at it, glancing around at the people who were also using the spears and finding that even the most talented among them – David – didn't scare her in the slightest.

“Bring it on,” she muttered, taking another spear and throwing it right at the target and managing a close hit. People should be scared of her, that much was for sure. Even the people that she could see forming alliances, she had no reason to fear them. She'd take down their alliances and manage just fine by herself.

Autumn Follier

Ever since the reaping, Autumn's life was obviously started down a very different path. It'd been crazy since she'd arrived in the Capitol and now things were about to get crazier. Although she and her district partner had rarely interacted with each other, it was weird to think that if he wanted to come home he'd have to be dead within a few weeks. She tried not to think about stuff like that though and it was easy to push it out of her mind when things like training came up.

Although she did have a little bit of knowledge on archery, she knew that she'd have to learn other skills while she was training because there was no saying that there would be a bow in the arena and even if there was... there might only be one and she might not be the one to get it. So, when they were dismissed she went to go and practice with knives, after all, those were not of short supply last year in the arena. So it might be nice to have some sort of knowledge about them.

As she was practicing, she noticed another tribute come up and join her, though they didn't speak. Still, she recognized her as the girl tribute from District 5. In silence, they each worked on throwing knives for a while to get better – or, Autumn tried to get better because the other girl seemed to be pretty good.

“So, what do you think about the District 1 tributes going around and trying to round up people?” the other redhead asked after a little while, seemingly out of the blue.

Autumn looked up and glanced over to see the two blonds talking to the District 2 male, who seemed to be pushing his case. She frowned and shook her head. “I think that they're being completely crazy and anyone who wants to pair up with them is clearly a bit deluded as well.”

The other girl nodded. “Agreed. They'll all kill each other the second they get a chance to. I'm Rose, by the way.”

“Autumn,” she answered, with a nod. Realizing that maybe, she didn't have to be entirely alone for the first part of the Games. After all, with the crazies teaming up, it might be good to have some back up as the Games began.

Dmitry Ruqar

It was obvious to Dmitry that if he wanted any chance in lasting in these Games, from the start, he'd need to team up with someone until the pool was weeded down a bit. From the short amounts of time that he'd spent with Ruth, it was clear that he wouldn't team up with her because she was of no use at all to him. When it came time for training, he figured that it would be the time to go ahead and get an idea of which people would be the best to team up with initially.

It didn't take him long into training to pick Holly and Tyler. They were already looking for people, it seemed, and he thought that he could convince them to let him in too. After he saw them finish talking to the District 6 tribute, who apparently didn't give the answer that they were looking for, he made his way over to the pair.

“I want to join you,” he told them, standing tall and looking confident.

Holly snorted and rolled her eyes as she looked at him. “And why should we let you?”

Though he noticed that Tyler at least seemed to be giving him a slightly curious look, clearly not counting him out like Holly was. Though, he had a feeling that whatever Tyler might think, it wasn't something that mattered. It was obvious that Holly was the one who needed to give the approval.

He walked over to the area that had bows and picked one up, stringing it expertly and hitting a target dead on center. Looking at Holly, she still didn't seem too impressed.

“Well that's lovely, if there are multiple archery sets in the arena and if you can fight to get one,” she responded coolly.

“Fine,” he said, stalking over toward the knives, picking one up and hitting dead center on the target as well without much concentration. That should impress her some, if he was skilled in two weapons to hit the targets in the center. It might make her see that he could, in fact be useful.

Now, she was evaluating him and though she turned to Tyler for about five seconds she didn't say anything or ask for his opinion. Instead, she nodded. “Okay, fine, you can join us.”

“Glad to hear it,” he replied. The first part of his plan was now set into motion and he couldn't wait.

Carson Medawar

From the moment that Carson had stepped onto the train. He'd been working hard to try and get people to see him as more than just a scrawny 12 year old who didn't have any survival skills. He knew that training was his chance to go ahead and try to prove some people wrong. Training, he knew, was his chance to really draw some attention to himself as more than just a weak and easy target. Problem was, he didn't really have any skills that would benefit him in doing that.

So, as the stations were explained he figured that he'd have to try and visit almost all of them at least once and learn what he could from them. The only thing that he knew that he'd have some degree of skill at was the slingshot, for he'd used one before.

“Come on Carson, you can do this,” he told himself, walking over to the swords and trying to pick one up, almost dropping it in the process. Well... that was smooth. He glanced around, hoping that no one would notice his mistake. Luckily, no one seemed to have paid him any mind. Setting the sword back, he decided that maybe he'd start with something a little easier to master.

Edible plants, for instance. Yeah, that's where he'd start. He'd work his way up later. Glancing at the bracelet that was still tied around his wrist and thinking about how he'd have to, to be able to go home to the people who were cheering for him. He didn't want them to be disappointed, after all.

Vixen Hesper

On an important day like today, Vixen was up before her escort came to get her, knowing that today was the day when she'd be able to pick who she wanted as an ally. She already knew that she'd want the strongest group there and that she'd want to have some control over it. Although she didn't think that her District partner was harmless, she didn't think of him as the sort of person that she'd want to ally up with. Besides, if she killed him in the arena things could get awkward back home. Best to ignore him as much as possible.

When they were in the training arena, she went ahead and started over toward the dart blowers, figuring that practicing with them could be helpful. Doing well in hitting all of her targets and noticing that she was starting to get a little bit of attention, good. The point was for others to approach her. And then she'd work her way into control.

As she made her way over to the swords and handled them with skill, she knew that she was going to get the attention that she wanted and sure enough not even a few minutes later, the small group that she'd seen forming was on their way over. All of them picked up swords and started to use them, though it was easy to see that the girl was the weakest with the weapon.

Still, she turned to talk to her. “I can't help but notice you're a bit trained,” she commented.

“Apparently a bit more than you,” Vixen replied, earning her a glare from the blonde.

“With a sword maybe, but I could still easily kill you in five seconds with plenty of other weapons,” she answered coolly.

“Yes, I'm sure,” she said, but knew that this was definitely the group that she was going for. “So, was there a reason why you came over here.”

“No,” the blonde girl snapped, using a bit more force than necessary to ram the sword straight into the human silhouette.

“Don't be unreasonable, Holly,” came the voice of her District partner, who cut off the head of his target before setting the sword down. “We're forming a little alliance to start things up, have the strong stick together, and we just were interested if you'd like to join.”

“No one asked you, Tyler,” the girl argued back. “Obviously she's not interested and we could do better than her anyway.”

“Actually, I am interested,” Vixen replied, causing Holly to give her a glare of death while Tyler shot Holly a smug look. “Count me in.”

“Fantastic,” Holly said sarcastically, picking up the sword again and hacking into the dummy while muttering.

Daphne Richards

Since Daphne had left her District, she'd been doing her best not to shed so many tears. It was difficult, since she knew that every day brought her closer to her death and she was terrified for that. At least her district partner, Zane, seemed to be in the same mindset. And although they weren't exactly friends, they did talk to each other sometimes. Neither one of them was a contender in the Games, so they didn't mind comforting the other briefly.

Still, when it came to training they weren't planning on going through it together. And all she could think as she stood there looking around at the other tributes was that there was a good chance that she wouldn't last more than three days with these people. The ones who looked so eager to kill others, the ones who had the skills to kill others.

She would have to try and get some knowledge about weapons, at some point it would certainly be helpful. However, despite that, she found herself gravitating toward the camouflaging station, wanting to perfect that skill. Let's face it, her best offense was going to be a fantastic defense. Being able to hide would be what preserved her life, next she'd have to learn about what foods she could and couldn't eat and then she'd worry about trying to get a handle on at least one weapon in case she'd be able to get her hands on one. Given that such a thing was unlikely, she didn't feel such a rush to get started on that.

Rose Jan

Although Rose was aware that she wasn't the strongest contender in the Games, since she'd gotten to the Capitol she'd done her best to go ahead and try to survive. During the Chariots, she'd tried to come off well, though it was difficult when some tributes seemed to naturally win the crowd over from their fashion. Still, she knew that she had her shot at the interviews to try and get the crowd to be on her side and she'd take it then.
Another important aspect of staying alive would come in during the training and she was well aware of it. During the first part of the day she did talk a bit with Autumn while they were training with the knives, though they went different ways after chatting for a bit. Since Rose decided that she did need to get some hand to hand combat training in, although she knew that she was smaller than most of the other tributes.

She did learn something, although she figured that it would be better to try and avoid hand to hand if it were possible. Knives were really what she was good at, anyway. Spears were also an acceptable alternative.

When it came time for lunch, she went ahead and got her food before deciding to go and settle in next to Autumn, taking a seat across from her. Most of the tributes were sitting by themselves, save the ever forming group of tributes that were to be working together like a bunch of hunters.

“You know, we could form an alliance too,” she said after a few moments of silence, glancing back at the other girl to see what she thought.

“Really?” Autumn frowned, looking like the idea conflicted her.

“I mean, for the first part of the Games at least,” Rose clarified, knowing that alliances could never last that long. “Why should we all just be alone and waiting for the big group to make their moves?”

The other girl considered this for a moment and nodded. “Seems like a plan to me,” she said. “It would be nice not to be completely alone against the big pack.”

“Glad you agree,” the District 5 tribute said with a smile. “I say we continue training separately though, that way we can each pick up the skills that will be useful and then people won't really suspect that we've teamed up.” Although, eating together could be an indication, she doubted many people were even paying attention to them when there was the larger group to worry about.

“Okay, let's do it,” Autumn agreed with a nod. A small alliance forming between the two of them with hopes that they'd both survive the first part of the Games.

David Cutglass

It should come as no surprise that David had been excelling since the Games started, or the Pre-Games rather. He'd made a splash at the opening ceremonies, with crowds eating him up, his escort thought that he'd be doing well with the sponsors when it came time to it and he knew that he would be great when it came to training. In fact, he was confident that he could win the whole thing.

By the time that training did start up, he ignored the other tributes and went to work. First going over to the weights and using a pretty heavy amount of them, intimidating some of the other tributes. He went on to practice with the spears and impress the trainer there even and then made his way over to practice some hand to hand combat, which he also did great in. His morning filled with excelling in everything that he tried. Therefore, when it came time for lunch, he was not surprised at all to find the small group that he'd noticed forming approaching him.

The blonde girl from District 1 taking a seat across from him, clearly the leader of the little posse, although he could already tell that the redhead from District 3 was trying to make herself just as important. This was the sort of group that could be beneficial to him. Not because it'd help him take out competition, but because last year he'd noticed that a small group had formed and taken control of most of the supplies, which ultimately turned out to be the most helpful to the winner. He could just go ahead and get with them for that and then book it out of there.

“Well, hello there, beautiful,” he said with a slight smirk, not missing the way that the guy from District 1 sent him a slight glare. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”

“Aren't you the charmer?” she asked, her tone a bit flirty as well though she didn't look too impressed. “I'm sure you've noticed that we're seeking out some of the more elite tributes.”

He glanced at the group, unsure that the boy from District 2 fit the qualifications, but whatever. “I did happen to see that. And you want me to join? So that you'll have at least one helpful guy to round off your group?”

The District 2 tribute didn't seem to mind this jab, but he could tell by the way that the District 1 guy's jaw hardened that he wasn't impressed. Looking at Holly, it was a bit hard to tell what she thought.

“Okay, it's obvious that you're stronger than anyone here and bigger, though I wouldn't say that it makes you better than Tyler or whatshisface,” she said, rolling her eyes. “I wouldn't let them team up with me if I didn't think they were useful enough.”

“Dmitry,” Tyler supplied, looking a bit better now that someone had defended him.

“Are you in or not?” the redhead demanded, trying to take control of the situation, earning her a dark look from the blonde again.

“Yeah, sure, I'm in,” he shrugged, already thinking about how he could use the group. This would possibly be his smartest move of the Games.

Ruth Ellison

It had been obvious since the second that she stepped onto the stage that Ruth didn't really care about winning crowd favor. Her life wasn't some twisted show for them to control all that they wanted. Yes, they could force her into the Games and yes, they could dress her up in stupid outfits and parade her around. It didn't mean that she was just going to go along with it and smile and wave like some Barbie doll.

It sickened her that people were doing just that, more that some people were actually seeming to enjoy this. Who would want this? What kind of screwed up person was enjoying this? Not her, that was for sure. She kept her distance from her District partner, kept her distance from everyone actually. When training started, she didn't talk to anyone or attempt to make friends or partnerships. What would they do in these Games anyway besides get you killed?

Instead, she went around trying to learn all the useful skills that she could. She spent time learning to start a fire, spent time learning how to throw some knives and some spears and then spent a lot of time learning what she could do with rope. Rope was one of her favorites, you could set traps with it for both people and animals and you could use it to secure things. It was necessary to be good with it for her strategy to work. So, she was still at the ropes station when time for the night was called. And tomorrow when training started back up again, she was sure that she'd probably try and perfect some more on those skills. Possibly, she'd try to learn some new ones, but probably not. Her plan was already set and she just needed to make sure that she'd be able to follow it.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2nd Annual Hunger Games [HG - PG-15] - amberg93   Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:18 am

Chapter 15: Training Part 2

Training Center: The Capitol
Day 2

Zane Nicklesen

Things really didn't go all that well for Zane since the reaping. His district partner, Daphne, was in the same situation. They hadn't received lots of crowd favor during the chariot rides, thus far their escort and mentor seemed completely unimpressed with either one of them and possibly the worst part was that he both known and understood why that was. They were both scared and on day one neither of them had excelled during the training hours that they'd put in.

Honestly, Zane didn't have high hopes for today either. Yesterday he'd spent time trying to tie knots – which had been very difficult for him - and learning about camouflaging. Today, he was pretty sure that he was going to spend his time in other non-confrontational stations. He'd have to learn about the edible plants and that stuff, which would be nice to know if he lived past the Bloodbath to get to know it. Then, fire starting was another skill that he'd have to pick up before the day was over.

Not so much of a big day. If he mastered the other two things then he could head back to the stations from yesterday, but that wasn't likely to happen. He didn't bother talking to other tributes, knowing that he'd be no use to anyone in that arena and not wanting to get to know the other young teens that were most likely going to die. After all, at the end of this there was only going to be one of them left standing and the other twenty-three would be long gone.

It was better not to know them and it was better for others not to know him, since he'd be one of the lost.

Mandy Stevens

In Mandy's time at the Capitol thus far, she'd learned mostly that she'd been right to know that she wouldn't be coming home. However, she'd also learned that her district partner, Aidan, had a very good shot at making it home. He'd dazzled the crowd in the chariot, he'd shown off impressive skills in the training center the day before and more than that he'd proved to her that he truly was an awe inspiring individual.

The way that he'd helped her out and made her feel better during the chariots, the way that he'd stepped up for his neighbor to go to the Games, just everything proved that he was an amazing guy. She was glad, it gave her all the more reason to want him to win.

Her own training, thus far, had consisted of avoiding the violent stations. She'd steered clear of the weapons, favoring the edible plants station – although she hardly had learned anything there because she knew almost all the plants that were laid out – the camouflage station, and had even attempted to learn about rope tying. The problem was, now that she'd learned all of that – there was only one more station that left no weapons being involved.

So, after they were dismissed, she went ahead and made her way over to try her hand at fire starting. After all, if she managed to get away from the Cornucopia and into the arena away from the initial massacre, she'd need to have a fire at some point... possibly. Oh well, it couldn't hurt to learn it. Though, she did find her eyes drifting over to Aidan, who had taken straight to the swords and was currently showing impressive skill at it. Finding herself smiling as she watched him, though the idea of him using the weapon on another person was repulsive, again she found herself glad that he had a shot at winning.

Gabe Mead

Although things hadn't gone exactly smashing at the chariot rides, Gabe wasn't about to give up on his luck. Sure, some of the other tributes had won favor right off with the citizens of the Capitol, but he thought that he'd done alright with his presentation. Mostly, he was just focused on using training to the fullest potential. There were so many skills that he still needed to gain and he wasn't about to just let all the chances to learn them pass away.

Yesterday, he'd mixed and matched what he'd tried to pick up. He'd learned how to start fires, how to throw knives, practiced in some hand to hand combat and attempted to pick up knot tying – which had turned out a lot more difficult than he'd imagined it would be. Today, he figured that he should learn more about weapons that he hadn't already. He wasn't sure if archery was going to be his thing, but he'd attempt it. Definitely, he'd need to practice with some swords and it'd likely do him well to get in some spear practice as well. If he still had time after that, he'd figure out what else he could do.

Watching some of the other tributes, for instance the group that had formed the day before which seemed to be pretty imposing, he knew that he had his work cut out for him. Though, he wasn't stupid enough to think that all of the strongest tributes were going to end up in the group that was led by the District 1 tributes. In fact, he felt like some of the stronger ones weren't joining them. A few stuck out in his mind, the District 6 tribute guy, the District 7 tribute guy, the District 10 girl had been awfully imposing as well. Still, they weren't in that group.

Ah well, the alliances that were formed would likely crumble anyway, so he had no worries about not being in one. In fact, it was probably to his advantage not to be in one. Which is what he told himself as the tributes were dismissed to do as they pleased, deciding that hand-to-hand was the way to start out his day.

No, he wasn't out of this just yet.

Isemet Flyheath

Since Isemet had arrived in the Capitol, she'd been doing everything that she could to insure her own survival. Although the chariot rides hadn't exactly made her a crowd favorite, she knew that she hadn't bombed it either. Her district partner, Robbie, was quiet and angry in her books and she didn't waste her time bothering with small talk with him or anything. It was just as likely that he'd snap her head off or something if she even attempted. Besides, she knew that he was a no go as far as an ally. It was obvious that he was a more of, to each their own, type of guy.

Still, the idea of allying up with someone was comforting. Of course, she had no illusions that this alliance could last until the end, but it'd be nice to have someone to count on for at least part of the Games. The day before in training she'd kind of observed the other tributes while she wasn't actively in training, trying to learn her way with knives, fire starting and archery. It'd been impossible not to notice the group that was forming together, but even if she had a chance she didn't think that she'd want to be with them.

No, there was a perfect ally somewhere in this room and she'd find who it was. For now though, she figured that she might as well do some more weapons training. It wouldn't hurt to try and have a handle on most things, since she didn't know for sure what would be inside the arena for her to use. She picked up a sword and tried to work with the heavy weapon, wanting to get the hang of it to the best of her ability as she could.

Alliances could wait until later on in the day, or even until they were in the arena if need be. Though, it'd be trickier to form them in there, so that'd probably be better if it were avoided.

Nathan Travers

Although things in the Capitol hadn't exactly been going amazing for Nate – how could they be when he was being sent to his death? – he did have to say that so far he was doing everything in his power to live up to his promise to Felicia. He thought about her often, wishing that he could be back in District 3 with her instead of in this terrible place. His thoughts often wandering to his family as well, to what they were doing and how they were getting along. During his time in the Chariots, he thought about his family and Felicia's huddled around a screen together – no doubt that they'd all want to be together to watch the Games this year – watching him being paraded about in a stupid outfit. He'd wondered what they'd thought and if they were holding up okay so far.

The first day of training, he'd spent his time trying to pick up on the skills that he'd need to survive, to go home to his family and to the girl that he was in love with. He'd practiced archery, which he seemed to have some talent with, learned about fire starting and had tried his hand in some hand to hand combat. All the while he forced himself to do the best that he could, knowing that these were the skills that he'd either live or die because of. Today, he was going to learn more about different weapons and definitely about plants, though if he had time he'd certainly try and fit some knot tying into the mix as well.

His thoughts didn't even wander to the other tributes. Although these people would be standing in his way of going home and he'd have to face them to get there, right now they were not his focus. If he didn't improve his skills, when he did come up against them, he wouldn't stand a chance. So, he didn't give a damn about their alliances that were forming or how well the people around him were doing whatever. Intimidation wasn't going to get to him. He couldn't let it get to him. This was the only time he had to try and learn as much as he could and he wasn't about to waste it.

So, once they were dismissed, he wasted no time in getting started with his training. Screw everyone else, he was going home if it was the last thing that he did.

Emma Maize

For Emma, she knew that the Games were a death sentence for her. She'd had no illusions about this and so she wasn't really fighting hard to stay alive. She'd gone through the Chariots and been herself. She'd mostly just talked with her escort and stylist when she needed to talk to someone because she did like talking, but it wasn't something that she was all that fond of.

Training was a tricky situation. She wasn't someone who just wanted to lay down and die without doing anything, but she wasn't about to become some monster for the entertainment of other people. So, she'd spent her time mostly going to the stations that required no weaponry because she didn't think that she'd need it. When would she get her hand on a weapon anyway? More importantly, why would she get her hand on a weapon? Possibly she'd get a knife to use for non-killing purposes. Either way, that wasn't reason to practice throwing them.

A lot of her time had also been spent watching the other tributes. A couple in particular, ones like her. Ones she knew that wouldn't kill anyone; the boy from district 5, the girl from District 7, both tributes from district 8, the tributes from district 12. It about broke her heart trying to watch the two 12 year olds of the group. It was wrong watching the boy from 5 try to learn how to handle weapons, just sad. Part of her felt a need to try and protect him, but she didn't think that it'd do good. Instead, her attention was mostly on the other 12 year old, the girl from District 12 who seemed to be talented with camouflage and have a talent with plants.

This girl, looked smaller and weaker than anyone she'd ever seen and she knew that she'd have to end up talking to her, trying her best to save this little girl. The problem was, she knew that she'd never be able to do so and it about broke her heart. It broke her heart to know all these children were going to be dying and there was nothing that she could do but not kill them herself. That was the sick world she lived in and the terrible reality that she had to face.

Rea Sikes

Although it was not the ideal to be here in the Capitol, on her way to the Hunger Games, part of Rea was glad for this. It meant that she could be away from her mother. Away from the swearing, the drunkenness and most of all, the abuse. Of course, there was always a price to pay for such things and she certainly was paying her price. She was about to go into an arena and try to kill people and have to survive attempts of others to kill her. The Games were already on and she knew that it was more important than ever to do her best.

During training the day before she'd worked on improving skills with weapons. She'd also kept an eye on the forming group that was the largest, the one that would help to be a part of for the first part of the Games. She decided that today she had to get herself a ticket into this group, to be safe for at least the first part of the Games. The problem was, she wasn't sure how to do that. To her, it looked like they had pretty much made up their minds as to who they wanted already. It seemed like her District partner, David, was the last one that they'd invite in. But if the District 2 guy could get in, she would too.

Still, she decided after practicing some spear throwing, that she was just going to go up and try to get in. She walked over to the group, or about half of the group, that was currently practicing some archery. “Hello,” she said, standing as tall as she was able as she addressed them.

The other tributes turned to look at her, the blonde girl from District 1, the one she was sure was named Holly, looked her over and snorted. Meanwhile, the girl from District 3, the one with the red hair, was looking at her as well.

“Yes?” Holly asked, still looking at her without much care.

“I was wondering if you had room for another person,” Rea said, trying her best to look tough enough to make them want her.

“Well-” the District 3 girl, whose name Rea thought might be Vixen if she remembered right, but quickly got cut off by Holly.

“You're not in charge,” she snapped. “It's not your choice who we take or don't take, so can it.”

“Oh please, like you're such a great leader,” Vixen shot back, glaring at the other girl. Obviously the two had some differences, which might just work to Rea's advantages.

“Ladies, ladies, let's not fight,” her District partner, David, spoke up coming up to her. “She is from District 4 after all and from what I've seen, she might have some talent.”

“Sure, talent, let's see it,” Holly said, her voice dripping with sarcasm and anger underlying. She could already tell that this girl wasn't one to be trifled with.

“Okay, I'll show you what I can do,” she said, starting over to where there were blow guns, picking one up and hitting the target in the center three times in a row without even blinking.

Once she was finished she turned back to the group, seeing that Vixen and David were nodding in approval, along with the District 2 guy and the District 1 guy even looked a little impressed. Holly didn't seem all that moved, but she took a look around at the rest of the group and apparently figured that she had no other choice.

“Ugh, fine, whatever,” she said, not bothering to hide her distaste. “You're in. Yippie.”

Joel Rodgers

The second day of training wasn't anything that Joel was looking forward to. Mostly because the first day hadn't gone well for him at all. He'd learned that he was terrible at fire starting, didn't really even have that much skill in camouflage, and couldn't even use a slingshot to hit a target in the center. Really, if he'd had any thoughts before that he might be coming home, yesterday would have killed those.

He didn't think that he would be though. In fact, mostly he spent his time thinking about people back home and how much he'd miss them. Sometimes he wondered about death. What would it be like? Would it hurt to be dead? Would there be anything. He wasn't looking forward to it, that was for sure, but it wasn't really an option for him. It was all just depressing, being here and knowing that every hour brought him closer to his death. Worse, was the fact that he knew and Violet knew that she'd be facing the same fate. Their escort and trainer didn't even have faith in them.

Today, his plan was just try and improve on what he'd work on yesterday. Not that it would matter much in the end, he'd much rather just spend his time alone than with the people who would eventually kill him. If he was alone he could just lose himself in memories of home and stay like that. Stay thinking about his friends, about his family, about the cute girl in his class that he'd been crushing on for forever and now would never get to tell her. There were many better places that his mind could be. However, as the day started, he found it having to be on attempting to start a fire, a task much trickier than he'd ever realized.

Like he said, at the end of the day it wouldn't matter though. He'd be dead and whatever he did or didn't learn... it wasn't going to buy him much time.

Aidan Steele

Thus far, Aidan thought that he was doing pretty well in the path to keep himself alive. He'd gotten a good reaction during the Chariot rides, he'd proved himself to be a strong competitor during training to the Gamemakers and as he went in for the second day of training, he felt certain that he'd continue to prove it. The only thing was that he realized that while he had the aspects of physical training down, handling weapons and the like, he wasn't so set on basic survival skills.

There were two options for this problem, he could either try to learn all the basic survival skills that he could today... or there was the second option. He'd been watching Mandy, who he couldn't help but feel the need to help and protect, as she'd made her way around the training room yesterday. She had a knack for the simple survival skills. As he trained today, he continued to glance over at her from time to time and realize that she really had a chance of keeping someone alive so long as they had the proper protection. Really, they could make a perfect pair. He would be the person that kept them from getting hacked up, but she'd be the person to find what to eat, how to hide, how to build a shelter. Not only that, but she was trustworthy, dependable and overall someone that would make the ideal ally. He'd never have to worry about her killing him in his sleep or something.

So, when lunch time came around he walked over and took a seat next to her. Watching as she looked up with an expression of what he would describe as wonder. “Hey,” he said, giving a charming grin.

Suddenly her cheeks turned a light shade of pink, though from what he didn't know. It did suit her though. “Hi,” she said shyly. “I didn't expect you to sit with me.”

“Yeah, well, I got lonely yesterday,” he said, realizing that some other tributes were glancing in their direction curiously. “So, I noticed you training today and yesterday.”

She looked surprised, but also a bit pleased at this information, the pink on her cheeks darkening for a moment. “Why?”

He smiled slightly, figuring that it would just be better to get to the point with her. “Mandy, you've got some real skills that I could use,” he told her, honestly. “I was wondering if maybe you'd like to partner up with me.”

Once more she looked at him in surprise and possibly a bit of confusion. “Me? I can't use weapons, I'm going to hold you back and-”

Shaking his head, he cut her off. “Mandy, you know more about plants than anyone here, you've got good camouflage skills, you'll keep me alive when we're not fighting. Please, say yes.”

He watched her as she bit down on her bottom lip, clearly still surprised with his request. After a moment or two though, she nodded slightly. “Okay,” she said, though there was still a hesitation there that he couldn't fully understand.

Either way, he was sure that he'd just made a good choice.

Jester Hayes

While Jester had done well in the Chariots with his little display with Marisa, the two of them hadn't really been getting along too well, or talking much for that matter since then. During training they didn't talk to each other and yesterday he'd spent him time seriously training up on weapons that could be useful to him in the arena. Technically, all of them could be useful but he'd need to pick a focus if he really wanted to excel at anything. So, he mostly had picked up on the spears and the axes, taking some time for hand to hand combat and regular knives as well. Though for the second day of training he knew that he'd have to find himself an ally. Not for the fact that he thought that he needed one to win, but he knew that for a while an ally could advance him and then at the right time he could ditch them and have gotten so much further because of it.

The problem was picking out who would be a good ally. The large group that had formed was pretty much filled with most of the best people to be allied up with, other than that he could see a few small partnerships forming between others. That left very slim pickings for who he could team up with, less when he considered that not everyone would be up to making themselves an ally. He ruled out tributes mentally as he practiced with the spear some more, glancing around to see who else was even there.

Finally, he decided that the girl from District 6 would be as good an ally as any, watching her as she worked with her current weapon. By the time that lunch came around, he'd made up his mind and he approached the table that she was sitting at alone.

“Mind if I take a seat?” he asked, smiling slightly.

She glanced up at him and seemed slightly hesitant, but shook her head just the same. “No, go ahead.”

“Thanks,” he replied, sitting down and starting on his food. “I'm Jester, by the way.”

“Isemet,” she answered, still looking at him as if she was trying to figure out what he was up to.

“Nice to meet you,” he said politely. “So, I don't want to seem too forward or anything, but I think that by watching you train, we might make a good team in the arena.”

“You mean you want to ally up?” she stated, raising an eyebrow at him.

“Why not? Couldn't hurt to have someone to help you out for a while, could it?” he countered, shrugging slightly.

For a moment she seemed to think about this, weighing the options. “Alright, I think that maybe we could work together. What's your plan?”

He grinned, happy to have gotten his first part out of the way and starting in on what he was planning for the arena.

Tyler Hale

From the minute that Tyler agreed to be teamed up with Holly, he knew that he'd pretty much have to do most things her way. Though he really wasn't all that upset about it, in his opinion most of the time Holly probably was doing what she could to get them further in the Games. Though, he did know that part of her plan had to factor in him dying and certainly part of his plan factored in her dying. Still, he put up with her bossiness and attitude.

Mostly he focused on training, which Holly did a bit of as well and it was obvious that he was right for sticking by her because he was pretty sure that she could kill someone with almost any weapon that she got her hands on and do it quickly. Their group had pretty much formed itself and he wasn't entirely pleased by all the people involved. Especially not David, who just seemed like an arrogant jackass to him, but when he'd brought it up to Holly, she hadn't cared. Personally, he just thought that the guy was more trouble than what he was worth.

When they took on Rea, he knew that Holly was upset about it, clearly feeling like she'd been forced into things. Which, she kind of had been but she couldn't always get her way. While Vixen and David talked and Dmitry and Rea ate, he figured it'd be the best time to talk more with Holly.

“You know, I still think we should have tried to get Aidan to join us,” he told her as he took a seat next to her, eating some. “He might be of some help.”

The blonde rolled her eyes and turned to him. “Tyler, we've been over this, I said no. Which should be enough for you, but since it's not, I'll remind you why I said no. The guy is a complete loser and the way that he keeps tabs on the girl from his District is pathetic. Bet you he's gonna think that she's some sort of attribute or something.”

“You're not always right about everything,” he said, annoyed at her condescending attitude.

“Oh really?” she asked, sarcastically challenging him. Glancing behind her to where Aidan just took a seat with Mandy. “He's teaming up with her, like she'll be some sort of help or something.”

He glanced back and saw that she was actually correct, grumbling slightly as he realized this.

Holly shot him a smug look. “What was that you were saying?” she asked him, smirking.

“I was saying shut the hell up,” he said, wondering why in the world she had to be so annoying about everything.

She laughed at that, grinning at him. “Please, we both know that won't happen,” she said. “Now come on and finish eating, we've got some more training to get in before our private sessions tomorrow.”

Violet Collins

Training really hadn't been anything for Violet. She knew that she was going to die, so knew that she wanted to die quickly even. She didn't want some long drawn out death, didn't want her parents to see that or her other loved ones. More than that, she didn't want her final hours spent in terror, in fear of what would happen next. Still, she wasn't sure how to guarantee the death that she wanted. If she just ran into a fight, she could end up with a drawn out death, a painful death that would leave her screaming as she left the world. That was not what she wanted her parents to see.

During training, she spent her time with the plants and at the camouflage station. Yesterday, she'd eaten her lunch alone and tried to draw it out as long as possible. Not because of the fancy foods – she'd much rather be at home eating the simple meals that she helped make possible – but because going back to training was just a terrible thought. Today, she'd felt the same upon waking up. Going into that room, having people stare her down as she just went on doing her simple skills without interest in weapons while they tried to hack up dummies was not what she wanted.

By the time that lunch came on day 2, she was more than ready to just be done with all of the training. Once more she took a seat by herself, starting to pick at her food. What surprised her was when someone came up to sit across from her. Glancing up she saw the tribute from District 9, the tall one who seemed just as soft hearted as she was. What she was doing sitting there though, she had no idea.

“Hi, I'm Emma,” she introduced herself, holding out her hand.

“Violet,” she replied, giving a small smile as she shook hands with the other girl.

There was a silence for a few minutes as the older girl just stared at her, which made her slightly uncomfortable. Worse, she could see the pity that the 18 year old was feeling for her. Nothing could be done though, so she ate her food.

“I want to help you,” the other girl said, finally.

“Help me?” Violet repeated, perplexed with the idea initially, but suddenly seeing this as an opportunity.

“Yes, I want to help you, I just can't stand the thought of you going into that arena and just being...” she trialed off, cringing and Violet wondered why she was the one that would draw the care from the other girl when there were many others like herself.

For a long minute she was silent, wondering if the other girl would help her if she asked her request. “I think I know a way that you can help,” she said, feeling a bit shy suddenly.

However, Emma brightened up, clearly on board with the idea of being able to do some good. “Really? You'll let me help you live in the arena?”

She sighed and shook her head. “No, that's not what I meant,” she said, moving forward to explain because of the look that Emma was giving her. “I want you to kill me.”

The District 9 tribute stared at the girl in terror. Clearly wondering what in the world sort of request that was. “What?! You want me to what? Why would you even? I can't even...”

“No, you don't get it,” she said, shaking her head as she looked sadly at her. "I want to die thinking of home. I know I'll never go back, but when I close my eyes, it's printed on the inside of my eyelids. And that's how I'll be standing when we rise up there. I don't want to see where I am, I don't want to see the blood, I want to see home. But please, make it quick"

“I- I don't know if I...” Now the other girl looked very uncomfortable, a bit close to tears herself.

“Please,” she practically begged. “If you don't do it, someone else will and they could make it drawn out and painful. I don't want the time to think of anything but home, I don't want to make my last few hours a drawn out terror.”

She could tell her words had broken the other girl, who now had tears in her eyes. “I'm never going to be able to live with myself after this,” Emma said.

“I'm sorry,” Violet apologized, reaching to take her hand in her own. “Thank you though, for helping to give me a final wish. To not have to experience the arena.”

The other girl looked like she regretted her choice already, but obviously was still going to do what the other girl had asked. “I wish it didn't have to be this way,” she admitted quietly after a long silence. “I wish that your wish wasn't that I kill you.”

“I wish that no one had to kill anyone,” was Violet's response.

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