|The Final Straw
Author: KuroNeko-Alice PM
In the land of Panem, something big is about to happen. The first Quarter Quell. Most districts are already rebelling, they just need a good time to strike. The Hunger Games. But for the unsure districts, will this years game be The Final Straw? AU, can also be considered a crossover with Hunger Games. Character Death.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Parody - Natsume H. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 12,876 - Reviews: 3 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 05-23-12 - Published: 04-25-12 - id: 8059933
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Okay, guys. Second chapter, and I hope you like it. The main story takes place eight years after the prologue, so consider this '8 years later'
Disclaimer: I don't own Gakuen Alice, Vocaloid, or Hunger Games.
The rebels had been planning this attack for years, spending their time recruiting more and more allies. Already, Districts 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 were openly against the Capitol. All they needed was a bit more time and evidence to convince the rest of the Districts. It was decided that the best time for the upsurge rebellion was during the games, when the people of the Capitol's attention were solely focused on their T.V. screens. It had been known for months now, who would be the distractions, the martyrs; unlikely to be spared in the onslaught and at the mercy of the enemy when the rebels attacked. The tributes. And the Districts hated the Capitol that much more for it.
In, 24 hours they'll be laying flowers on my life, It's over tonight
I'm not messing, no I, need your, blessing, and your promise to live free
Please do it, for me
-24 by Jem
All around Panem, televisions flicker to life. It is sudden, and startles many. Some wonder what it means, as others sit down to watch the program that wouldn't turn off. A man, familiar from the games as interviewer, appears on the screen and speaks in a cheerful voice.
"I hope you all haven't forgotten! This year is the mark of the twenty-fifth Hunger Games, which means..." the unseen audience fills in the answer for him.
"The first Quarter Quell!" The screams and cheers of the mob behind the cameras quickly catch the attention of the viewers. Shock registers on more faces than possible to count. They had forgotten. The stage where their children's blood fell would now have a special rule. Faces tighten in hostility as another man takes the previously occupied podium. A man who went by the name of President Kuonji, the bringer of hatred and violence. Behind him, a younger man, a boy really, dressed in a white suit follows him carrying a simple wooden box. The anthem of Panem ends, and Kuonji begins to speak.
He starts with the Dark Days, the reason the Hunger Games were created in the first place. When the way the Games would be played were decided, it was decreed that every twenty-five years would call for a specialized version of the killing games to remind the people of Panem of those killed during the Districts' rebellion.
Thousands of people watched in disbelief. How in the world would adding special rules to the horrors dissuade people from rebelling? Those who did not watch the president in hostility watched in fear. What was going to happen? What should they expect?
"We finally honor our first Quarter Quell," says the president. The boy holds out the box, and Kuonji opens the lid. The onlookers see envelopes, meant for centuries of Hunger Games, but they wouldn't allow it. The president removes an aged envelope clearly marked 25, and opens it, removing a small square of paper.
"..." The audience and onlookers watch with bated breath.
"On the twenty-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that they forced brother to fight against brother in the first rebellion, the tributes from each district must be relatives." A horrified silence hung heavy in the house of every citizen of every district. 'No. This cannot be happening. They wouldn't do something so cruel.' Even the rebels' minds cried out in disbelief. Then, the reality of the situation hit home. Brother against sister. Niece against uncle. Nephew against aunt. Cousin against cousin. The tributes would have to watch their own family members be murdered, right in front of their very eyes. The man who had started the television broadcast took the now empty podium.
"As a reminder that the rebels are only making the situation worse for all districts, President Kuonji has made another change to the age limit." Once again, the rebels froze, unable to turn their gaze away from their televisions. Eight years ago was the fist time Kuonji had changed the age limit. Two years later, he'd changed it again. Another two years passed, and again. But two years passed and no such announcement had been made. They had thought he'd let them by. The last time he had changed it was now now three years ago. So he was changing it again.
"First, the age limit has dropped another year. The Games are now open to children from eight to eighteen years of age." He paused to give time for that to sink in. "Second, I will explain how the reaping will be done tomorrow. (A/N: Yes, I know that in the real series this was announced months before the reaping.) There will be one ball instead of two, and it will have every name that meets the requirements inside. On the back of each paper will be the names of the relatives, who are of the opposite gender of the child chosen, that are of age. The names on the back are just to ensure honesty, for the relative accompanying will be decided on by said child's parent. If there is only one potential companion available, so it shall be them. It is also accepted that any legible relative can volunteer to be the companion, in which case the parent need not choose. That is all." And each screen across the country went black.
A girl with pink hair smiled at the man beside her. He stood a head taller than her, with long, purple hair tied into a ponytail.
"We'll be safe, right cousin?" The man nodded, and they walked off as if nothing had been shown, no monstrosity had occurred. They assumed they were safe, because their district wasn't a rebel one. How wrong they were, to think they were safe.
A young girl, barely a teen, sat with her her arms crossed and a scowl directed at the now blank screen. Next to her sat a young adult man, with strawberry-blonde hair that reached his shoulders and green eyes.
"What is the old coot playing at?" The girl demanded, flipping her black hair. "It's almost like he's asking the districts that are still faithful to his cause to join the rebels!" The man shrugged.
"I don't care, so long as I'm not a tribute, and that's not gonna happen." He replied, and she nodded in agreement.
"So what did you think of the broadcast?" A young man asked his friends. They all seemed to be caught off-guard, except for one who shrugged.
"Who cares? It's not like our opinions matter, anyway. All I care about is the rebellion that's coming up in, like, a week!" He was hushed by his friends, "Sorry."
"Oh idiot nephew of mine!" A monotonous voice called toward the group of boys, "Hurry up, your mom's having hysterics! We need to calm her down, don't we?" Under the sarcasm was a threat, and the boy who had said he didn't care gulped, and ran toward his aunt.
In a large building where all the children of the district worked, they had stopped to huddle together and whisper conversations to each other.
"Who do you think will be chosen?"
"It has to be one of us, we're all the people in this district who are in the age group."
"Oh, I hope it's not me."
"Of course it won't be you, stupid! You're an only child!"
"But my aunt's of age, she's just sick right now. You know, Meiko?" A hush fell, and all the children with relatives huddled close to each other. Sister with brother, uncle with niece, nephew with aunt, cousin with cousin. They temporarily forgot the cooties virus going on, just to warm up the shiver passing through. A pair blondes, twins, grabbed each others' hand and pressed as close as possible to each other, feeling something that they were undoubtedly afraid of. A certainty that it would be them.
A girl with unruly, shoulder length blue hair sobbed as her siblings sobbed: loud and wet. They huddled together in a clump, trying to warm themselves as a blast of cold air invaded the house, but it was not for that they sobbed. A man enveloped them all in a warm hug.
"Calm down." he stated, but their bodies refused to listen. "Calm down," he repeated, "crying won't solve anything." And they slowly ceased, clinging to the large man. It might've been comical, two girls and a boy ranging from the ages of thirteen to nine clinging to a man much larger than them, but it wasn't. For they were scared out of their minds.
"Uncle Serio..." The boy whispered, containing his tears. "Promise you won't let me go. I don't want to be a tribute." The big man looked his nine-year-old nephew in the eye, and said "I promise. Now hush." And they stayed in each other's embrace for a long time after.
Four people were frozen to the couch, unbelieving. Two adults, and two teenagers. The smaller teenager, a girl with long cyan hair in two pigtails, sobbed and clung to her older brother, a more muscular boy with blue hair.
"Calm down," he said, patting her head. "We won't know who goes until tomorrow, and if we are chosen, we'll be together." The girl calmed down, and the parents got up from the couch and hugged their children.
Two adults thundered into their house out of breath, and took in the scene before them. An older teenager sits on a chair, writing a thesis for school, and a girl, almost but not quite a teen, sitting on the floor on the other side of the room reading a book. The same thing the couple's children had been doing when they left for work.
"Didn't you two see the announcement?" The father broke the silence, and both parents glanced at their television. Their hopes were dashed when their daughter answered.
"Of course we did, father." She spoke crisply and monotonously. "What, did you think that we'd be crying our eyes out and hugging each other?" Her usual flat voice dripped in sarcasm, and the adults flinched. That was exactly what they had thought they would find. The teenage boy sighed in annoyance and brushed back his black hair.
"Well, we're not and never will be caught dead doing that, so would you please keep it down? I'm trying to work on an assignment here," and turned his attention back to his paper. The parents glanced at their daughter, who had already went back to reading, with her short black hair obscuring her face, and sighed, retreating from the room. When they had heard about the broadcast from one of their co-worker's hysterical children, they had come rushing back in hopes of being allowed to act like parents. It seems that they were mistaken.
"Sister..." a boy with blonde hair and blue eyes started hesitatingly, clutching his pet rabbit closer. In front of him was the open doorway of a wooden building, and inside was a girl with dirty blonde hair. When she heard him, his voice filled with fear, she dropped what she was doing quickly and spun on her heel to face him.
"What's wrong?" She questioned, her loud voice laced with worry. She walked quickly towards him, covering the distance and putting her hands on his shoulders, staring straight into his eyes. Confused blue eyes met frightened ones, and the rabbit hopped out of his arms as he threw them around his older sister. She hugged him back, confused.
"Sshhh... Whatever it is, it's gonna be okay. Nothing's gonna hurt you..." She tried to calm him down, but he only shook his head and held her closer, crying. She was confused, but her friends Kaitlyn and Kaitlyn's uncle Matthew (he's only a year older than her) skidded to a stop in front of the building she was in. Matt's usual tendency to be annoyingly invasive towards his niece was seemingly forgotten, and they seemed scared stiff. In fact, they seemed much closer than they usually were. "Okay, what's going on?" The fifteen year old's voice shook as she held her brother close.
"You didn't see the broadcast?" Kaitlyn asked, almost surprised.
"What broadcast? I've been in here this whole time, and you know they don't have T.V. in here. What's this about?" she demanded. Kaitlyn and Matt glanced at each other, then the niece stepped forward and grabbed the older girl's arm.
"Come on, Ranjo. Let's go to your house. Your mother must be hysterical right about now. Bring your brother, there's something you need to hear."
A girl stalked out of her house, furious that her hysterical family was ignoring him. No, they were too all over the place and freaked to even think about him. She ran towards a large white building, her short dark brown-almost-black hair flowing behind her, hazel eyes narrowed in rage. She threw open the door of the building and went straight to the stairs, climbing three at a time. She didn't even take the time to notice that the lobby was empty, she just went straight to the third floor. When she got to the door she was looking for, the fifth door on the left, she slammed it open. The second the door opened she heard a quiet sobbing sound coming from the bed to her right, and she headed straight towards the sound.
"Sister...?" The boy in the bed asked, surprised. She inwardly rolled her eyes, of course she was here. The rest of their family had each other to cling to. He needed someone to be there, too.
"Of course I'm here, idiot," she said gruffly. She didn't like all these mushy emotions going around ever since that announcement was broadcasted, but emotions like that were the stuff her younger brother needed, and if he needed it, she provided it. She held out her arms, and he crumpled into them, sobbing loudly.
"You're-" he cut off, then continued, "you're one of the small amount of girls of age in this district, and I don't- I don't want you to be a - a..." He stopped, unable to continue.
"Idiot brother of mine," she muttered in his ear. "You know I'm going to be the female tribute. I can't let our snarky, spoiled, fragile sisters go, and we're the only family that currently has girls from the age group. I'm just worried that they'll make you be my companion tribute as well." He pulled away and looked at her.
"As long as you're with me, I don't care whether or not I'm a tribute. You'll be there to protect me." He smiled at her, and she pulled him back into a hug, burying her face in his blonde hair.
"You stubborn, optimistic, foolish, son-of-a-bitch..." she muttered thickly. She wanted to tell him, remind him that these games don't turn out like they do in fairy tales. That he's sixteen and he has to stop thinking she can protect him, but she just couldn't. Not to the person who only had her to call his family.
"Sis, it's time to come in now!" a boy called from the house. When he received no reply, he stalked out, heading towards the forest. He whistled, and a brown haired head popped out of nowhere.
"Hey, you came to get me!" the girl exclaimed happily. Her hazel eyes danced, and she ran to hug the turquoise-eyed boy. He ducked out of her way. "Aww..." she pouted.
"You're such an imbecile, you worthless twit," he sighed, nearly expressionless.
"What did I do wrong now?" she exclaimed. She was perplexed, and it wasn't just laced in her words, it was written across her face. Her brother surveyed her, surprised but refusing to show it.
"No one's told you yet?" He questioned, dryly. She shook her head, puzzled. Huh, that's surprising. All of her friends usually made sure she was the first to know everything. He walked up to his sister, with leaves in her hair and dirt on her hands and on the knees of her jeans, and unconsciously grabbed her hand. She was utterly surprised, but she smiled, completely happy, and squeezed his hand, holding it with both of hers.
"What's wrong?" She questioned, curious. He sighed, then brought her hands to eye level, comparing his older sister's hands to his own, infinitesimally larger ones. He didn't want to bring down her sunny smile, but he had no choice.
"There's something you missed... an announcement..." he trailed off, and was suddenly engulfed in a hug.
"Tell me later, once you've calmed down," her voice came from around him, enveloping in warmth. Slowly, hesitantly, he wrapped his hands around her.
"Okay." His voice seemed so small, and they held each other closer.
A girl sat at a small, round table, sipping tea out of a porcelain teacup and brushing her strawberry-blonde hair out of her face. In the room with her was her mother, younger brother, and her uncle. She ignored all three of them.
"Stop thinking you're safe just because you admire the president!" Her uncle's voice broke through her barrier, and she set down her cup, glaring at him.
"He wouldn't make me, a loyal follower of his cause, a tribute in these games!" Her shrill voice pierced the room, and her mother and brother flinched.
Yes, yes he would, kid/honey," her uncle and mother spoke together, one annoyed and one whispering. Even her kid brother nodded in agreement.
"Well then, we'll see, won't we?" She replied snobbishly, and resumed sipping her tea.
When the broadcast ended, an adolescent boy stood in his house, in the dark alone with his realizations. Shit, was all he had time to think before a ninety pound something hit him hard. Unsurprised, he wrapped his arms around his kid sister, feeling her deep, controlled breaths. He smirked when he realized how hard she was trying not to cry, but the smirk vanished quickly.
"Listen to me," he whispered, and she looked up at him, her huge eyes staring straight into his calm ones. "We both know that it's gonna be us. Whether it's fair or not, Kuonji will make sure of it," she nodded, already aware of it. "That's why we need to have the largest advantage possible," she shook, afraid of what he was implying, and he stroked her long, soft, raven hair. "Listen, we have to pretend. It's important. We have to pretend that we don't like each other, hate or fear each other or anything. That way, the other tributes will underestimate us, thinking we're two separate groups by ourselves. Do you understand?" When he received no reply, he pulled her away from him and bent to get down to eye-level. She really was much shorter than most children her age, something that could be considered either an advantage or disadvantage, depending on how you thought about it. "Do you understand me?" he said, more forcefully as he stared straight into her eyes. They were red from the effort of not crying, but not a tear had been shed and her whole attention was focused on him. She trembled, staring at him, then slowly nodded.
"I- I understand big brother," her soft voice cracked, and she threw her arms around him again. He kept quiet for awhile, then spoke his thoughts.
"It sucks that today has to be such a crappy day for you," he muttered, and she shook her head. She knew it was his way of apologizing, and she wouldn't accept an apology from him when it most certainly wasn't his fault.
"I don't care about that. This has always been one of my least favorite days of the year," and she buried her head in his chest. After all, it didn't matter to her that that day marked the end of her seventh year, meaning that she was now exactly eight. All it meant was they were both now legible to be tributes, a fact Kuonji most likely already made sure of. No one would save them from the event tomorrow, just like it had been since their mother had died, so long ago that the young girl had no memories of her. All they did was hold each other, knowing that when the sun rose in the morning, the performance would begin.
A/N: Gosh... *scratches head* now I feel kind of mean... well, I basically introduced every person who would be tribute, but I did my best to not make it obvious which characters are where, and who they are. I'm planning on only having five OC's, and only three are really important. The OC's include Kaitlyn, Matthew, Ranjo, and two others I'll leave for you to guess. ;D
PM me if you think you know who's who (don't give me Persona, I GAVE you that one!), and if you liked it, please, review. I'd love to hear from you!