Prologue One

A Cannon in the Wind;

The 5th Hunger Games

Luciferous Kronin, President of Panem

It's the final three.

This year, the arena is a wide, spacious plains with practically nowhere to hide. The flowing grass beneath the remaining tributes is a bright green that almost distracts me from the blood stains. Almost. The girl from District 1 lies not too far away from the other two tributes, bleeding to death, a knife literally stuck in her back because of her conniving ally.

I chuckle. She was a fan-favorite, the District 1 tributes always are. I know the citizens of the Capitol were disappointed to see her go. With her soft blue eyes and her long flowing hair, she was the most attractive tribute this year—and she made it to the finale mostly because of the surplus amount of sponsors she received. It's a shame that she wasn't smarter; she should've known that the District 2 boy had always been a bit jealous of her.

After a minute or so, the girl finally stops fighting death, and her cannon booms.

She lost the game.

And now, there are two.

The scrawny weakling from District 3 looks at the boy from District 2 incredulously, horrified that he'd suddenly kill his ally. I scoff at that. Why wouldn't he kill his only real competitor and ensure his victory?

Sometimes, you just need to throw aside your humanity and fight, before you're eaten up. The knife in the District 3 boy's hand is suitable for killing, yet he won't use it. Tributes like him will never truly understand that the only alternative is their body on the ground and their cannon in the wind.

It's child's play, so why don't they get it?

The small boy tries to run, but the brute from District 2 immediately gives chase. Because of the nerdy boy's intelligence, he made it far—too far, I would say—but it's as good as over now.

The older boy tackles the younger one to the ground, the child screaming all the wild. I roll my eyes. Oh goodie, I think sarcastically, he's the screaming type. It's only been a few years, and yet I'm already tired of the screaming tributes. Why can't they just accept death as it is?

Or better yet, why not actually fight back?

The District 3 boy doesn't hear my thoughts, and even if he did, I doubt the result would change. The District 2 boy holds the screaming child on the ground and sneers. Sneering at the complete domination, sneering at the idea of pure and utter victory. I smile, because he's had the right idea from the beginning.

His only real competitor was the District 2 female, and he made sure to kill her off very early. The District 1 duo were fairly competent, nothing special besides the fact that they were the best-looking tributes. They were unintelligent and arrogant, though—most of the District 1 tributes are. I doubt they'll ever be anything more than pretty faces in the Games.

Still, I muse, half-heartedly watching as the District 3 boy begs for his life. They don't usually have that I-Hate-the-Capitol aura about them. Maybe I'll help them out, give them a training center like District 2? The Capitol citizens would love for an attractive District 1 tribute to win for once...

District 2 sided with us during the war, so they were rewarded with a training center to train for the Hunger Games and—obviously—a higher chance for one of their tributes to come out a Victor. And when a tribute comes out the arena as a Victor, their district gets an extra dose of food and money.

At least one child from District 2 will die, but they don't both have to. Not like District 11 or 12.

My attention flickers back to the screen, and I'm not surprised at all to see the District 2 boy on his feet, grinning victoriously at the camera. The screen settles on Arsen Mackenzie—the Victor of the 4th Hunger Games—and slowly flicks over the arena. The District 1 female lies on her side, the knife still inside of her back. The male from District 3 is lying not too far from the cheerful victor, his nose gruesomely punched inside of his head.

The camera flickers over to Arsen one last time before the screen goes dark, and the holographic video player on my desk powers off. I smile, remembering how satisfied I was with him winning almost a year ago. He played the game perfectly; he entertained the Capitol; he punished the other districts for rebelling.

That's the type of Victor I want. That is the entire point of these games, right?

A knock at the door breaks me out of my thoughts. I sit up straight, putting on the best stern face I can muster.

"Come in," I call out, and immediately my mahogany door opens to reveal a short, elderly man with tan folders in his wrinkled hands.

"Good afternoon," my Head Gamemaker, Antonius Lavel, greets.

He closes the door behind him, gently, and I relax my features to a friendly smile. To anyone else, I have to look powerful; I have to look like the President of Panem. But Antonius is the person that decides what the arena will be, and all of the components affiliated with the Hunger Games is his responsibility. Without his intelligence and quick thinking, the Capitol wouldn't have a new Hunger Games to fawn over every year.

And that would be incredibly boring.

So I treat him like how I'd treat my best friend; I smile, I joke around, I show him the real side of Luciferous Kronin. Fear is a perfect way to gain control, but so is healthy encouragement. Antonius hasn't bored me yet, so I'm thinking he'll be my best friend/Head Gamemaker for a long, long time.

"I hope I'm not interrupting anything, sir," he says, and I nonchalantly wave him off.

"Nonsense. I was just watching last year's Hunger Games, actually. It was a great success, as usual, Mr. Lavel." My cheery demeanor seems to break him out of his boring shell, because he smiles.

"I'm glad you enjoyed it, sir." Antonius stares at me for a few seconds, something in his eyes that I can't read, before he motions at the files on my desk. "These are the list of ideas, muttations, and blueprints we have created for this year."

My eyes flicker down to the brown folders, before they look back up at him. "I don't need these," I say, still smiling. "Haven't I told you before? I want to be surprised, just like everyone else. It's not fair if they get all the fun and I don't, right?"

For the fifth year, my Head Gamemaker looks exasperated. "B-But sir, what if the arena, or the mutts, or something is not as you wish? Can't you at least—?"

"No, I can not." For a split second, I'm seeing red—but then that second is over and I'm smiling again. "Sorry, Mr. Lavel, but I want to be surprised by your designs just like everyone else. It's not a fun game if I already know what'll happen."

He looks down, quickly taking the papers off of my desk. "I see..." Antonius gets up from his seat and walks to the door, and I almost laugh at him. He's an excellent worker, but he takes his job too seriously sometimes. He doesn't see the Hunger Games as entertainment, and that's sad. That's really, really sad.

The Games are supposed to be fun, but he's acting like it's a boring chore. I know people that'd literally kill for his job.

Maybe, like District 1, I'll treat him to something nice. But what would he want? A training facility doesn't seem like it'd be his cup of coffee...

"Excuse me, sir."

I blink, flying back to reality. "What is it now, Mr. Lavel?"

He fidgets under my stare, finding the floor extremely interesting. "...Don't you think this is enough? The Hunger Games, that is. More than ninety-two children have died. Hasn't the districts learned their lesson? Hasn't the Capitol had enough?"

I laugh.

Like, I literally burst out laughing until tears fill my eyes, until my stomach starts to cramp. When I'm done, Antonius looks perplexed—but I don't care. That was hilarious!

"That was a funny joke," I remark, shooing him out of my office. "Get out of here, old man, before you kill me!"

Antonius looks disappointed, but he leaves my office anyway. I raise a brow, wondering why. Was he serious just then..?

I snort, shaking my head. Of course not. These Games are punishing the districts and entertaining the Capitol. Why should we stop now?

Why should we ever stop?

The tribute form can be found on my profile, including the rules and the deadline.

Heya everyone! This is my first HG fic, and it's an SYOT too, meaning you can all submit your own tributes for me to write and gruesomely kill! Yay! :D

I've done something like this, but for another fandom, so I'm not entirely new to the idea. I've been in the HG business for a while now, just in the shadows, but I've recently been making tributes like crazy and submitting them to various SYOT' some of you may have seen me.

Anyway, I'd love to try my hand out at an SYOT, because I love reading them. So yeah, that's why I doing this right now. I am kinda new to this, so please be kind in the reviews (if I get any ;-;).

As I said above, the submission form, rules, and due date are all on my profile, so please check them out. And I should say it right here, right now: NO SUBMISSIONS THROUGH REVIEWS!

With that being said, please submit your tributes! I'm really excited for this! ^_^