Author's Note: Well, here it is. The much-awaited major tie-in to the Brutal/Horrible series. It's kind of a weird concept, so I'll try to make everything clear now.
1. If you have not read Brutal and Horrible, read those first. Even the chapter titles here are major spoilers, and you won't get all of the wonderful irony if you don't know what actually happened.
2. Here's the format: the first chapter of each situation will be titled "If (someone decided something differently)", and the author's note will say "Everything is the same until chapter (chapter number) of (story)."
3. Parts of the chapters will probably be the same as they were in the original. I'll repost it anyway so some characters don't just suddenly disappear. I'll also notify you which POV is the same.
4. The order of alternate endings does not correlate with the order of events in the story (the first one here is from Horrible; what do you expect?).
That should be about it, hopefully. I hope we can all enjoy this!
Alternate Ending I: What if Lovi killed Spain?
Everything is the same until chapter 41 of Horrible. The POV of Igris Kirkland here is the same as it was in the original story.
Igris Kirkland, District 5
"I can't understand a word you're saying!"
Amer pauses at my remark, taking a moment to chew his food.
"Sorry," he responds, voice muffled since his mouth still isn't completely clear of apple fragments.
I suppress a sigh. While it's certainly nice to see him acting less depressed, the cons are slowly starting to outweigh the pros. Now that he's being himself again, he's overenthusiastic, he's over-authoritative, his lack of intelligence is showing more and more, and between him and Fronce, I think I may end up the Hunger Games' first to be annoyed to death.
He seemed so tame and well-mannered at first, but I guess it must have just been fear. Tsk.
By no means am I going to boot him from the alliance, but I can't help regretting letting him in. Either he's hyperactive or he's horribly depressed. There's not really a middle ground with him.
Fronce is taking to him much, either. If I ask, he'll say he is, just to make a point of how much friendlier he is than me or something. But he and Amer are getting into about as many—not heated, granted—arguments as Amer and me.
We just don't click. Any of us. Fronce and Amer are pests to me, Fronce just enjoys not getting along with the both of us, and Amer doesn't seem to understand why we haven't instantly become a well-knit, getting-along, holding-hands-and-singing-kumbaya group with him as head.
But in whatever case, we survived the rainfall—the majority of our crater is flooded now, but there's still enough sand to seat the three of us—and, if not each other's presence, we're at least enjoying supper. A late supper, since we had to find some more firewood from the edge of the pine forest, but supper nonetheless. Amer has already determined he would rather eat Fronce's cooking than mine—I bet Fronce talked him into it—but I do offer him some tea.
If you could call it tea. Since I've long run out of what tea the sponsors had sent—something, of course, Fronce had to bug me about—I've resulted to sticking pine needles in a cup of water and boiling it. Admittedly not the best blend, but not much I can do about it.
Amer, making an attempt to be friends, accepts the offer. I hand over the cup, and he takes a hesitant sip. He immediately spits it back out, barely missing the cup.
"I am not drinking that," he splutters, wiping off his mouth. "That tastes horrible! Why are you trying to down it?"
I take the cup back from him and look down into the drink. "It's the closest thing to tea I can get here," I sigh, avoiding his surely-confused gaze. "And I can't remember where I saw this, but I'm pretty sure this stuff is a good source of Vitamin C."
Amer looks at me for a second, and then perks up. "Oh, joy!" he pipes, overenthusiastic to the point of sarcasm. "We won't get scurvy!"
I glare. "You want to get scurvy?"
Fronce laughs, pitching in, "I don't think we'll be in here long enough to get scurvy."
I narrow my eyes at the other blonde. "Go die, Fronce."
Amer immediately stops looked energetic and stares at me.
"…What?" I finally respond.
"How could you say something like that?" he asks, voice quieted by shock.
I meet his gaze confusedly for a moment before I can recall exactly what had offended him.
"Oh, that?" I respond, taking another sip of my brew. "Well… We say that kind of thing to each other all the time. It's kind of… lost all meaning."
Amer looks down for a minute. "Okay, just… don't say that around me, all right?"
"I'll try," I respond slowly, simultaneously relishing his quietness and regretting making him so dispirited. "It's kind of automatic, though…"
"Well, just… don't say it," Amer repeats, crossing his arms uncomfortably.
Lovi Vargas, District 3
Am I really going to do this?
My hands waver unsteadily, making the hammer bob back and forth with them.
I look down at my sleeping ally. He's just lying comfortably on his side and snoring a little. Completely unsuspecting. It would be beyond easy to finish him off right now.
I shift my weight more toward my right foot and continue to stare down at his face.
I don't feel like I can really do this, but I have to. I saw the recaps. Two more are gone; we're in the final eight. I can't just keep letting Spain carrying me until he has to kill me himself.
Because I know he can. While I'm definitely not a weakling, at all, by any definition whatsoever, he got a training score of 10. He's older than everyone else here and stronger than most of them. He could easily take me out if I don't do this.
And I know he said he wouldn't, but... He's a murderer! He killed a person before, and I don't see why he wouldn't do it again! Every second I spend with him is just another second of putting my life in danger.
I take a shaky breath, standing squarely so the hammer is poised directly above his temple.
I have to do this. Like I said, it's the final eight already, things are starting to wrap up, and now might be my only chance. If I want to go home, I'll have to kill him one way or another, so why not now? He's asleep, he'll never know what hit him, and I'll never have to be scared of him anymore.
—Did I just say I was scared? Well, no, I'm not. I don't get scared. I never get scared of anything, and—
Oh, who the hell am I kidding? I'm scared out of my mind right now. I need to kill him, I have to kill him, but I can't do it! I just—I just —I just want to get out of here. I don't want to kill anyone. I definitely don't want to kill Spain, because he's protected me so far, and... I think he's the only person who's kind of... liked me.
People don't like putting up with me. I don't know why. They attempt to be friendly, but I just end up pushing them away. And now, when someone finally steps up to care about me, I try to kill him!
What am I doing, what am I doing? I can't kill him!
B-But I have to! I have to if I want to survive!
But if I kill him, he can't protect me from the Careers!
But if I don't kill him, he can kill me!
I don't want to die, I-I really don't want to die. And for me not to die, I have to do this! It's so simple...
Just do it.
Squeezing my eyes shut, I bring the hammer head down hard.
The cannon doesn't fire.
Panicking, I swing the weapon down a few more frantic times.
A cannon booms.
Shaking and still not daring to open my eyes, I stumble back, away from the body. I only get a few steps away before I collapse trembling onto the ground.
The hovercraft claw descends, and Spain disappears.
I try to take a deep breath, but can't keep it from becoming a shudder.
I-It's okay. He's gone. He can't hurt you now. And you have a weapon. You can survive this. You know you can—!
I lie down, getting in a solid hour of sobbing before I'm finally tired enough to nod off.