PRESIDENT KALLISTA SILVERHORN
The Capitol's gleaming City Circle was buzzing with energy as President Kallista Silverhorn made her way to her favorite restaurant, Lavish. The eatery was owned by a good friend of the Silverhorn family who went by the same name, Lavish Caprice. Kallista had been eating at his restaurant since she was a little girl. She often recalled weekend dinners at Lavish with her mother, father, and Aunt Theta. Those were memories that she reflected on with a bittersweet fondness. Even now, at 28 years old, Kallista made an effort to have a meal at the establishment whenever she could step away from the office. On occasion, she would even bring work with her to the restaurant.
Tonight was one of those nights.
Kallista had called upon her Head Gamemaker, Stellan Templesmith, to touch base before the upcoming Hunger Games and begin planting the seeds for the subsequent Quarter Quell. Stellan had been the Head Gamemaker for quite a long time now. If Kallista's memory served her right, he had been operating the Games for around 36 years. Over the course of his career, he had produced many memorable Games, Arenas, muttations, and the like. Kallista had never been disappointed in his work, nor had the Capitol. She knew him to be a capable Gamemaker with a knack for making an impact. There wasn't any doubt in her mind that this year's Games would be just as phenomenal as the rest of his work. She was greatly looking forward to hearing about his plans over dinner.
"President Silverhorn!" A voice cried out excitedly as Kallista ascended the concrete steps outside of Lavish.
She turned toward the citizen, smiling and waving before continuing up to the front of the restaurant. Kallista enjoyed roaming the streets of the Capitol on her own. Some of her older peers and more experienced coworkers constantly advised against it. Kallista, admittedly, had a habit of writing them off as paranoid. The Dark Days had passed so long ago, as had the Aftershocks of what would have been the second rebellion if not for President Snow. People chose to live in fear, believing that another rebellion could be hiding behind every corner, but Kallista knew better. This Panem was better. This Panem was ten steps ahead of every District beneath its heel. She had made sure of that, as had her Aunt Theta and even those before her.
Her efforts as President of Panem had ensured that she could walk on her own down the streets of the Capitol without so much as an ounce of fear. Some of her sharper tongued cohorts told her she was too confident, too comfortable. Others admired her bravery and her willingness to interact with those that they saw as being beneath her. Kallista engaged with the Capitolites frequently. Perhaps more importantly, though, she engaged with the Districts. Even in the short three years that she had been running the country, she had made a number of trips out to the Districts.
In a strange, roundabout way, Kallista liked going to the Districts. Seeing how everything was processed before it made its way to the Capitol was interesting. There wasn't anything dazzling about any of the Districts, with the possible exception of District One, but there was something endlessly fascinating about the sorts of people to come out of the Districts. Kallista had been born and raised in the Capitol. She had never known anything other than these streets and people until she took on her presidency. Now that she had come to know the Districts, it was difficult for her not to think about them.
"Kallista, dearest! To what do I owe this pleasure?" A middle-aged gentleman with short white hair and tips that had been dyed to resemble sparkling gold gasped as she walked through the large, intricately designed glass doors of his restaurant.
A smile spanned the woman's lips as she was pulled into a hug by the older gentleman, who promptly cupped her face in his hands, "Good evening, Lavish. How are you doing?"
"How am I doing? Please, darling. You work too hard. Look at how thin you are! I know you must be busy with your presidency, but you must remember the importance of a consistent diet." Lavish chastised her as he often did, releasing her from his grasp and clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth in mock disapproval.
"I can assure you I'm fine," Kallista chuckled softly at the antics of her family friend, glancing toward the back of the restaurant, "Has Stellan arrived yet?"
Lavish promptly nodded, "Yes, ma'am. He's waiting for you in the back room. Would you like anything to drink?"
"Yes, please. If you don't mind, I'll have a Cobalt Velvet." Kallista requested.
"Anything for you, Madame President," He replied with a wink, "It'll be out to you shortly."
"Thank you, Lavish," She said before heading toward the private back room that Lavish always seated her and her guests in.
As Kallista weaved through the aisles between the crystalline tables, she received many gazes and waves from the Capitolites. President Silverhorn returned as many of the friendly gestures as she could during her walk to the back room. She moved into a small hallway adjacent to the kitchen, walking to the door at the very end of the hall. Kallista pushed it open, greeted by Stellan's familiar face as he sat and looked out of the one-way glass that spanned the entire outer wall of the room. The Head Gamemaker was still dressed in his work clothes, looking like he hadn't slept in quite some time.
"Fashionably late, I see?" Stellan quipped as he raised his glass to his lips.
Kallista sat down at the other end of the table, drawing Stellan's attention away from the view of the City Circle beyond the window, "Much like yourself, I prefer to make a statement with most everything I do."
The Head Gamemaker couldn't help but smile. He took another sip of his drink before leaning down and producing a transparent tablet from his work bag, which was propped up against the side of his seat. Stellan turned the device on, tapping the screen until he pulled up the finalized schematics for the muttations that he and his team had been working on for the past eight months. He placed it flat against the table, producing a holographic image of one of the muttations as it slowly spun in a circle to allow Kallista a better view.
"Wow, Stellan. This is phenomenal." Kallista said, mesmerized by the images that flashed by when Stellan swiped through the various other designs he and his team had produced.
"It's a most ambitious muttation, but I figured with the Arena we've chosen, it would be quite the interesting mixture of components." Stellan explained as the door opened for an Avox woman who placed a drink in front of Kallista.
She came and went without so much as a sound, disappearing into the hallway and shutting the door behind her. Kallista looked at the teal liquid in the tall, thin glass. Bubbles floated up to the surface from the bottom of the receptacle and produced a small layer of froth atop the alcohol. Kallista picked up the glass and took a long, much-needed swig. It was a light, sweet drink that left a pleasant tingling sensation in her throat and an even sweeter aftertaste on her tongue. Kallista placed the glass back on the surface of the table, returning her attention to the hologram before her as Stellan switched to a display of the Arena's center. What came up was a live feed of the construction being done within the Arena. Workers pieced together the Cornucopia and the starting plates, organizing them with adequate space between one another.
"Preparations should be complete right on time. Things have been going very smoothly." He informed her, toggling between a few different cameras on the holographic display, "We've also been playing with a few prototypes and ideas for the Quell. If I recall correctly, I think I informed you that I've split my department in half. One half for the upcoming Games, one half for the upcoming Quell."
Kallista nodded, "Yes, yes. I must say, your dedication to your craft is most impressive, Stellan. You make a most outstanding Gamemaker."
"Your praise is what keeps me going, President Silverhorn," Stellan said with a proud smile, "That, of course, and my undying love for my craft."
"Well, I trust you'll be able to maintain that enthusiasm for many years to come. We have many Games ahead of us," Kallista told him.
"Of course, Madame President. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, though, I wanted to ask your opinion on one final matter pertaining to the 149th Annual Hunger Games."
The President lifted a brow as she took another drink of her Cobalt Velvet, swallowing the mouthful of alcohol before responding, "Oh? What might that be?"
A large, wicked smile spread across Stellan's face as he answered, "What are your thoughts on… Repurposing the bodies of the fallen Tributes?"