prologue}

the execution

the president's mansion, the Capitol

His head lolls forwards; his bruised jaw and chin seeking a place to rest and finding it upon his chest, where a dark sweat stain has blossomed. He doesn't notice, though - the stench of sweat is masked by the overpowering and unmistakable pungent copper of blood. He is covered in blood. It's slowly drying around his newly broken and tender nose, caking his nostrils in flakes of crimson and filling them with the strong, metallic scent. It drips down to his upper lip, staining the blonde stubble a startling dark purple, but his mouth is bloody from it's own injuries too: the right half is swollen and blue, and he has a huge cut from his left cheek through to the right side of his chin, slicing through his lip on route. He has smatterings of blood below and to the side of his left eyebrow, from a cut dangerously close to the delicate skin of his eyelid, and he can't see out of his swollen right eye, although that one he doesn't want too think about too much. The ropes on his wrist used to give him unbearable pain; they cut deep and unforgivingly into his skin, but now the blood has slicked the surface and helped ease the agony, if only a little.

Someone has opened the door, and that jolts him out of his hazy, pain-induced dream-like state and into reality again. As his head lifts and his vision sharpens he realises he's in a study, and that sends panic flowing through his body because the last time he was fully awake and conscious, he had been in a small, prison-like room with no windows, and they had hurt him, trying to get information that he would not give. So that meant he hadn't been awake when they had moved him - how long had he been out? Long enough for her to do ... to do what? That's what should scare him the most, and he knows that, but it doesn't. He's sometimes scared of her, but not of what she'll do to him. He's not afraid of death.

He is suddenly aware that he's been in this study before, Daily. For the past seven years, for hours at a time. He has sat in the leather armchair by the huge window, gazing out at the city below whilst she talks to him about a dinner dance or a speech she has to do, he has sat on the huge, wooden desk chair behind the huge, wooden desk - filing reports and replying to letters. And he has sat in the very chair he's in now, not as a prisoner - no, as a vice-president and a secret lover and a friend; he has sat in this very chair and held her hand over the desk, using his other to tick boxes and write in numbers.

He did love her, truly. He thinks he still does.

But.

But.

And that was the thing, there was a "but". And the "but" had had such a strong pull that it turned him away from his duties and his job that he worked so incredibly hard for, and it turned him into a rebel and a criminal and now, a prisoner. She is a good president, a great one - she is passionate and determined and fiercely loyal to her Capitol citizens. But. But. Every year she sends twenty-three children to their deaths, and every year she watches her dreadful gameshow with glee on her face, and every night that it is televised she goes to parties and drinks and doesn't bat an eyelid when a child is stabbed or beheaded or poisoned by another child. She doesn't care when her precious Victors return to the Capitol each year to mentor with tired eyes and trembling hands.

And as vice-president it was so easy, god it was so easy, to contact the Districts with the most spark and burning hatred, and urge them into action. It was even easier to get caught, it seemed.

She walks into her study - her safe-haven, she had told him once - her high heels tapping on the marble floor, and comes to stand in front of him, the only thing between them being the desk. She's wearing a red dress - the one with the sweetheart neckline and the thigh slit, that trails on the floor behind her. His heart sinks. That dress. She's ready for the annual Games meeting already then, where they'll throw around ideas and wonder about the tributes and laugh and drink and recruit new Gamemakers. "Oh Marcus." she says softly, more of a whisper. Her dark eyes are full of love and sympathy and sorrow and the reason why Marcus fell in love. His heart breaks when they harden and her icy exterior is put up again. "What were you thinking?" she says, her voice venomous. Marcus decides that's a good metaphor for her: a snake. I'm still in love with her. If she's a snake then I'm a mouse, trapped in her cage and only kept alive because she hasn't been hungry yet. Her fingers drum on the desk in front of her, searching his face for any expression. He spits out saliva and blood onto the desktop, but she only cocks her head, still watching him.

"Do you remember, Marcus, what you were taught as a child? About the Everdeen girl, and her pitiful boyfriend?"

He tries not to shift in discomfort under her hard stare, keeping his face as unemotional and unreadable as he possibly can. "No? Hmm, that's a shame. I thought you were educated." her voice is a purr, and she saunters around the desk to sit on it, close to him but not - this is Christobel, but not the one he loves and knows. No, this isn't his Christobel, this is the President. "She was publicly executed. By my direct relatives." She leans forward and traces a finger over his fragile wounds, up his cheek, over his eyebrow. "Us Snows - we have a thing for executing rebels, you see." her finger trails down to hover over his lips, and he kisses it.

She stares at him, all seductiveness and fiery power gone, and now she just looks like a sad and tired woman, decades away from when they first met, although in reality it's only been years.

"You don't have to kill me." he whispers softly, and her face crumples.

"You don't have to be a rebel." it's a last offer, and he knows it. Accept and live, or deny and die. The choice is simple really; for him there is only one answer that he would even consider choosing.

"Yes. I do."

/

"And we are live from the Capitol Square, where the man on his knees is no other than vice-president Marcus Quintus himself, after damning evidence was found in his office clearly stating him to be an under-cover rebel. Sources say the President was swift to take action, and ordered the execution the next day, feeling no pity for her second-in-command. The execution..."

Christobel Artoria Snow sits in her huge wooden desk chair behind her huge wooden desk. Without him in it, the room suddenly feels too vast, too empty. She realises without any real emotion that this place isn't her safe-haven anymore.

When the cameras show the guns being pulled out by the firing squad, she graces Marcus by shutting her eyes and not watching as he is shot in the head.

She thinks of their first kiss, his smile, his intelligence. She thinks of how he made her feel like a schoolgirl again, dizzy and breathless and alive. She thinks of his loud laughter, how his eyebrows furrow when he's worried, the faint smell of lavender that would cling to her bedsheets after he spent the night. She thinks of the way he would clutch her hand when she was worried, and kiss it when she was scared. She thinks of his kind heart and his compassion, which was ultimately his downfall. She takes a deep breath.

And then she stands up and swiftly moves out of her office, keen to start brainstorming arena ideas with her Head Gamemaker. She can't let her feelings cloud her judgement anymore. She very nearly let Marcus go yesterday, and she can't have that. No more sympathy, no more caring, no more love. The 152nd Hunger Games were going to be brutal and bloody and brilliant. The children that her lover died trying to protect will be ripped apart, she decides, with a sick grin on her face.


authors note

hello! i'm elizabeth, but you can call me liz or lizzie:) i am in no way new to this site, but the last time i had an account was 2 years ago, i think. anyway! this is my first fanfiction on this account, and it will be a syot! i've always loved them and looking through the fics in the hunger games section, it looks like there aren't that many going on right now?

anywho, i hope you enjoyed this chapter! it's an introduction to the president and the universe etcetc. hasn't been checked very thoroughly so I apologise if there's any weird plot holes or mistakes:)

i hope you decide to submit, forms and spaces will be below and on my profile!

-lizzie


full name:

nickname(s): (and if relevant, who calls them it)

age:

gender:

district:

sexuality: (see rules)

personality: (at least a few lines please!)

backstory: (see above)

appearance: (see above)

family: (the more detail here the better really: what's their relationship to your character, do they get along etc)

friends: (see above)

other relationships: (eg: boyfriend, enemy, crush)

strengths:

likes:

weaknesses:

dislikes:

preferred weapon: (an actual weapon is good here but also intelligence, speed, poison etc. people tend to forget those(:)

reaped or volunteered?:

if reaped, reaction:

if volunteered, why?:

reaping outfit:

token: (not everyone has one but it can be a nice touch)

who came to say goodbye?:

training strategy: (eg, day 1 weapons and make allies, day 2 survival etcetc)

what did they do in their private session?:

realistic training score: (i may change this!)

are they open to allies?: (expand pls! eg, yes leader of careers / maybe 1 person her own age etcetc)

interview strategy:

interview outfit:

arena strategy:

are they a bloodbath tribute?: (if i don't get enough bloodbath submissions i can change this)

where do you think they'll come?:

other:


edited 31/12/17 to fix grammatical errors(: