EA/N: Hello everyone who might be reading this, I'm Fin (Call Me Fin) and I'm very happy to present to you the first chapter of a new story myself and 26 others have been working very hard on. If you've never seen one of these before, this is how it works. We have 26 very talented authors and 26 very unique tributes. Each author is in charge of writing for one tribute and that author will write their tribute's Reaping, Capitol chapter and, if they're lucky enough, a number of Games chapters. All our authors, and the lovely tributes they created, are listed on our profile.
Due to the fact that we are new to this and are just starting, at this point I can't guarantee regular updates, but as soon as I can work out a schedule I will let you know.
Now, onto why you're here. This chapter was written by my wonderful partner, Kitty, otherwise known as Rebirth Of A DemenKitten. We'd appreciate some feedback if you have the time!
"Waiting for the end to come, wishing I had the ted strength to stand, this is not what I had planned." - Linkin Park, Waiting For The End.
The weather outside matches my mood perfectly.
The slap of rain hitting the building, the bolts of lightning striking at random, even the hard gales blowing everything around.
It is the same as me.
But instead, instead the rain is saltier, the bolts of lightning are me, striking at random, and the gales are instead us. Blowing the cycle of the Games to a halt, and in a different direction.
I tear my eyes from the window, finding Peeta's face looking worriedly at me. In his arms is our daughter, Willow. Her chubby four-year old hands are curled around his dark green shirt, and her small face is scrunched up with worry. The same worried look Peeta has on his face. "Are you okay? Do you need to see Dr. Aurelius? I think he's here, I can go get him before the meeti-"
I cut him off. "I'm alright. Let's go."
He simply nods, grabbing my hand and leading me towards him and Willow andaway from the window. I take it without hesitating, softly putting my other hand on Willow's cheek.
She smiles at me and puts her hand on mine.
For Willow and Rye, I think. Her face, Prim's, appears in my mind. For Prim.
"Are you okay?" Peeta asks, concern clear in his voice.
"Yes, let's just get this meeting over with."
He doesn't reply, instead he leads us out of the room. Leaving the room I notice the weather. It has calmed. The clouds are slowly turning lighter and the sun is shining brightly. Peeta puts Willow on the ground, telling the guard on duty to take her to the nursery until the meeting is over. Willow and the guard leave quickly as she takes the man's hand and runs forward.
Willow would want this.
Rye would want this.
Prim, she deserves this.
She'd want this.
As we open the door, I see Johanna, Haymitch, Beetee, Annie, and Enobaria all sitting around a table, two seats left open next to each other. No one is speaking or moving. I sit between Beetee and Peeta and place my hands on my stands in the middle of the room, her eyes have grown cold since the last time I've seen her and her hair is cut to her chin. Finally, after a few minutes, she speaks, getting straight to the point. "We all know why I've summoned each of you, so I'll get right to it." She takes a breath. "Each of you has the choice whether or not to have another Hunger Games using Capitol children or not. Everyone must answer this question, no one may abstain from the vote."
We've known this for almost five years.
I've also known my answer for five years.
"No," Peeta's the first one to speak. I knew what his answer would be. I've known since the second I heard the proposal. "Never! I vote no to ever having another Games - with the Capitol children or without Capitol children."
"Well," Johanna says rather quickly. "I don't see why not. Snow has a granddaughter that we can use, I vote yes."
"So do I," Enobaria says seconds later, her voice steady. "Let them see how fun the Games are. Give them a taste of their own medicine."
Peeta looks slightly hurt by their words, looking around the room expectantly at the rest of us. "This, this is why we rebelled!" He slams his hands on the table as he says it. "To stop the Games! Not to turn around and send kids back into the arena!"
Annie looks at the ground. "I vote no too, Peeta." She looks up at us, and then looks down, muttering Finnick's name and a few indistinguishable words.
"No," Beetee says next. "As Peeta said, it would set a bad precedent. My vote is a no. No Capitol Games."
There was a pregnant pause, neither Haymitch or I spoke up. I stare down at my hands. Yes - yes - yes. That was my answer, but something in the back of my mind was screaming at me to say no and to forgive the Capitol for creating the Games and put it in the past.
But then Rue's, Willow's, Rye's, Finnick's, Mag's, Prim's, and everyone else's face showed up in my mind. They deserve vengeance. They, the Capitol, deserve to be punished for their actions. They deserve to be sent into the arena.
That was my final answer.
"Yes," I finally said. "They deserve one final Games."
We all turn to Haymitch. He looks at us and says in adamant, "I'm not mentoring those Capitol brats."
It was yes.
The Capitol will have one final Games.
The Capitol Games.
"Thenit's settled." Paylor says- a hint of disapproval in her voice, but the smile on her face provesotherwise. "We'll have one final Hunger Games."
We all stand up, Johanna and Enobaria looking proud of their answer, while Annie, Beetee and Peeta all look worried. This shouldn't be happening, this wasn't supposed to happen. It was written all over their faces.
The voice in my head screams louder – whyis its question.
For them, is my only answer.
Katniss Everdeen, City Circle.
The crowd below us is separated into different age groups, just like the district Reapings crowds were. The same depressing looks, with sunken faces and thin bodies. This isn't the Capitol anymore, I thinkto myself. Several citizens have dark circles under their eyes, hatred or fear glowing in them. No extravagant outfits, no hair is dyed, tattoos are covered by dark clothing, and smiles are replaced by nonchalant frowns. If someone were to come today, right this moment, they'd easily think of the districts years ago and not the wealth and quirky Capitol.
Now you think of happy faces and mostly filled bellies in the districts, and depressed Capitolites.
You could almost laugh.
I turn my attention towards Peeta, who is looking at the Capitol citizens with pity and sorrow. He wants to help them all so badly right now, I know he does. But right now, he cannot. I put my hand onto his, smiling softly at him.
He looked at me. "
Why did you say yes?" His eyes ask. We'd had this argument a thousand times since that day, and I'd told him the same thing every time.
"For Prim, and everyone else." Is what I want to answer, but I choose to avert my eyes to Paylor, who is walking up to the stage now.
Cameras instantly turn to the President. She wipesher hands on the bottom of her dress, standing up at the stand. She nods towards all of us. Us being the ones who voted for the Capitol Games to begin.
The lights beam on the stage, and I know we are about to start.
"First and for most, I would like to welcome all of you here today, and thank you for your co-operation. Today is a sad day, a day where another twenty-five lives will be ripped away from us. Twenty-five citizens of our future will perish, and for once, it's not the district's fault. Today is the fault of the Capitol, because for seventy-five years we in the districts were punished for something those of us today had no part in." Picture of victors flash onto the screen over her; quick snaps of tear filled faces from their games of long deceased tributes join them.
Paylor continues her speech, each word becoming sullen and dismayed. "How is that fair? We suffered for seventy-five years, all because our ancestors made a choice. I guess you could say we have been extremely forgiving and fair, only awarding you one single Hunger Games as punishment as opposed to the seventy-five we received. This Game will be a tribute to those we lost during the rebellion that stopped the District Games, to honour their sacrifices. They died to protect others, and for that we will always be thankful. And it is because of those losses, that we are holding one more Games, one more battle, and we will have one more Victor. Twenty-six brave children will go through what our district kids went through for seventy-five years, and they will realize what it means to suffer."
This is fair, I tell myself, reminding myself they deserve worse.
Paylor replaces her emotionless face with a familiar simper that everyone is used to seeing at the Reapings, the same face Snow used to make. "But enough of that sad stuff, let's get this going shall we? I would like to introduce to all of you the people who will have the honour of choosing the lucky twenty-six tributes. As you know, each district will have two Capitol representatives, so it's only fit that a citizen from that District reap those tributes. Behind me, we have twelve brave Panem citizens, who have received the honour of being here today. Each of these twelve people has been directly affected by the Games, whether a family member was a Victor, or they're a Victor themselves. Without further ado, let's meet them! From District One, we have the beautiful niece of the ever famous Cashmere and Gloss, Satin Nelyn! From District Two, the mysterious Enorbia Dante! District Three brings us the ingenious mind that is Beetee Latier! District Four brings us the gorgeous Annie Cresta! District Five with the polite Breccen Godfrey! District Six has the razor-edged woman herself, Alyna Megruff! District Seven, the sharp-tongued Johanna Mason. District Eight brings us the sweet little Matthias Alsack! District Nine, shows us the handsome Ajax Saffra! District Ten has our resident cowboy, Blye Cranos! District Eleven has the spacious Surge Meleta! And last, but certainly not least, representing District Twelve and Thirteen, the courageous Katniss and Peeta Mellark! There you have it folks, the brave group of people who will be choosing your tributes! If you may, Satin, go ahead and start us off!"
This is fair, this is what they would've wanted; one last Games, the final Games.
I tell myself this after every name that is called, every past victor, every relative of a Victor... they wanted this, they wanted this last Games, one final Game. They deserve this.
They deserve everything they get coming, all of them.
Still, the small voice in my head screams "No!"
Or maybe it was the look in Peeta's eyes that said it.
What have I done?