I know I haven't been writing a pre-chapter A/N lately, but I wanted to be able to explain the new setting without being hindered by the POV of a tribute.
As was said last chapter, the tributes are in a five-level circular structure. On the first level, there are ten colored doors, one for each team, evenly spaced out. Other than the first floor, every floor has a balcony that, looking down from it, you can see the first floor. Of course there is stuff on each floor other than the balcony...
More for your alignment, the doors are arranged as follows, going clockwise: red at twelve o'clock, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple at six o'clock, pink, black, white, brown. I've divided the teams (and therefore their doors) into two groups: from brown to green (red, orange, yellow, green, brown), and from blue to white (blue, purple, pink, black, white). Last chapter, we saw the first half, brown to green, so this chapter, we will definitely see from blue to white. Other than that... well, you'll have to see!
Moss steered the pink team's ship carefully into their docking area. The walls and ceiling were all pink. A pink door came down behind them. Moss was reminded of something called a garage.
"Guys, we're safe! Come on out."
Lambell and Xander came up from below-decks first. Lambell's eyes widened. "Lots of pink," she said.
"I know," replied Moss. "It's like I'm looking through rose-colored glasses."
Next, Toby came up.
"Nice steering, brother!"
"I'm used to water like that from home. I used to go fishing with Dad. One time, we got stuck outside while we were fishing and ran into a massive storm, much like this one. I managed to steer our boat back to shore without a problem."
"I don't remember that."
"I was soaked!"
Last to emerge were Maybell and Lila. Both were amazed by the room.
"Xander, are you OK?" asked Lila.
"I wanna get out of here!"
"I just have a bad feeling. Get me out!"
"Let's try to open the garage door," said Moss. He, Maybell, and Toby began to try to pull the garage door open from the bottom, but to no avail. "It's locked."
"The best thing would be to go out that pink door over there and see what's going on. Maybe Xander will feel better that way."
"It's worth a shot," replied Lila.
The six remaining members of pink team opened up their door. They saw a bunch of other colored doors. To their left was purple team's door, and to the right, black team's door. Around the room, other tributes were with their teams, trying to figure out their surroundings.
"Keep your eyes out," said Moss. "There are a lot of tributes here, and a lot of them are Careers. Stay with an older tribute. Lila, stay with Xander, Maybell with Lambell, and I'll stay with Toby. Make sure that, if we get separated, we stay together. If you get lost, go back here, all right?"
I've got a really bad feeling about today, thought Maybell. Especially for the younger kids on our team. Lambell is not getting out of my sight.
White team was on the second level's balcony. Amber, as it turned out, was prone to seasickness.
"She looks positively green," said Cyei to Acacia.
"I know," replied Acacia. "I don't know how they'll get sponsor gifts to her, so she might be like this for a while. Go amuse yourself, and I'll stay with Amber until she gets better..."
"If she gets better."
Cyei checked his belt. He had six knives.
"All right. I might stop by the ship again for a bit."
"That's fine. Just be a little careful, although I don't think you'll have a problem. And if you stop by the ship, can you get me a towel?"
Cyei turned his back on Acacia. Then, he took out his sheet of smiley stickers and put one on the handle of each knife. He thought about the letter he'd received before they'd entered the safe zone:
I have some interesting news for you. Danny has not died. He is currently alive and in a tube that simulates a realistic environment. Now, his life will rest on your shoulders. Should you survive these Games, he will be allowed to live. If you don't, he will not. I wish you the best of luck.
Amethyst Emerald, Head Gamemaker
Cyei knew that, if he died, he'd backhandedly get a kill. He would go down today, but not without leaving his mark.
"Ready to go," he murmured. He walked along the balcony, until he saw a cluster of people on the ground floor. They seemed to be looking at something that the middle one was holding.
Cyei sized up the cluster. The three closest to him were all easy targets. He took out three knives and fired them in quick succession, then ducked down, behind a doorpost, away from view.
"Lambell! Lila! Xander!" he heard. Peeking back around the doorpost, he saw one of the older tributes, who was wearing a pink shirt, bent over the three he'd hit.
If I remember correctly, pink team had three people left, thought Cyei. I just knocked out half a team.
Moss bent over his younger teammates. "Maybell, go get medical supplies," he commanded. She nodded and ran back to the pink door.
"Stay with me, stay with me!" he whispered. He stood over Lila and gave her CPR.
"Don't you think we should move them out from plain sight?"
"Good idea. Come and help me move their bodies."
Toby picked up Xander. "How long do you think they'll last?"
"Not sure. I don't think they'll make it to tomorrow, though. It kills me to say it, because I've gotten so close to them."
"We should stay with them until the end."
"Yes, we should."
Maybell ran back. "There are these bandages on the ship, but not much else, and nothing that would help us."
"All right," said Moss. He was sounding a bit depressed.
Moss took the knife out of Xander's back.
"What are you doing?" screamed Maybell as blood began to spurt.
"I want to look at the wound."
"Because this way we can see if (a) it's fixable and (b) how to patch it up. If it's not fixable, then at least we may be able to figure out what exactly caused it and how to prevent something similar in the future."
Moss looked at the handle of the knife. "It has a smiley face sticker on the handle. Toby, check the knives in Lila and Lambell's backs." Toby did. Sure enough, both had smiley face stickers on the handles.
"Who would have done this?"
Moss then took the shirt off of Xander. Blood came pouring out. The young boy was unconscious.
"I think they're done for," solemnly said Toby.
"Come on," said Maybell. The three went into the room where their ship was. They entered another door that they hadn't noticed before, and found themselves in a stairwell.
"Let's explore!" exclaimed Toby. He dashed up the stairs, and his older teammates followed.
"Wow, there's a lot to explore here," said Cassie. Her eyes were as wide as dinner plates.
"I know. Five whole floors!" exclaimed Apollo.
"And all the tributes are here," said Shine with a bloodthirsty look in her eye. "Mucho kills."
"OK, I have an idea," said Tyranny. "Let's split up!"
"Split up?!" exclaimed her teammates. "Are you crazy?!"
"No, I'm not. Listen to me. We can cover more ground this way. I'll go with Cassie, and Shine, you go with Apollo. We'll split up and meet back at our ship in 20 minutes. Sound good?"
"No," said Shine. "That's the dumbest idea. Without both of us, we're much more vulnerable."
"That's why you're going with Apollo and I'm going with Cassie. It'll protect them better. Because you and I both know, Shine, that we're incredible Careers. We can easily protect one little kid each."
"WE ARE NOT LITTLE!" exclaimed Apollo and Cassie.
"All right, I guess we can split up," Shine said to Tyranny. "You and Cassie cover floors 3 and 5, and Apollo and I will cover 2 and 4. We'll meet up in 20 minutes at our door. Fair?"
"Whose cannon was that?" asked Shine.
"No idea," said Tyranny. "Let's just keep up with our plan. Good luck, Shine."
The four went back into the room with their ship, and then headed up the stairs. Apollo and Shine went through the door that said "2", while Tyranny and Cassie went through the door that said "3".
"Ready to explore?" he asked.
"Of course," said Tyranny.
Blue team was walking around the third balcony. They were trying to get a sense of the new setting.
Suddenly, they saw two purple shirts across the way. Everyone immediately ran behind Sen.
"Why are you all hiding behind ME?"
"Because you're the oldest on our team," Trinity replied matter-of-factly.
The four members of blue team slowly creeped towards the members of purple team. Sen bravely led the way, until he and Tyranny were face to face.
"I won't hurt you," said Sen, "if you don't hurt me."
"All right," said Tyranny. "I wasn't planning on it.
Trinity and Marianne caught a glimpse of a girl behind Tyranny. The two ran over to her.
"Hi, I'm Trinity, and this is my cousin, Marianne."
"Hi, I'm Cassie," replied the girl.
The three girls fell into a conversation. Meanwhile, Tyranny began to talk to Sen.
"Where are you from?" asked Tyranny.
"Nine," replied Sen. "I'm a child of the streets. My parents were killed when I was young, so I've had to fend for myself, and not always in the most moral ways."
"That's so sad!"
"What's your life like in One?"
"Well, I'm a trained Career. I'm also the youngest, and I have four older brothers, so I've always been very competitive. I'm not really your TYPICAL Career, though."
"Well, a regular Career would have already killed me."
Suddenly, two knives flew from out of nowhere. One hit Cassie and one hit Sen.
Darren whipped his head around. He caught a glimpse of a white shirt disappear behind a doorpost.
"Oh, no," said Trinity.
Tyranny immediately bent over Sen. She began to examine his wound.
"Mortal," she proclaimed. "It hit him in the back."
Marianne bent down next to Sen; she looked at the knife.
"Look, there's a smiley face on the handle," she said.
"You're right," said Trinity, bending down beside her cousin. "I wonder what that means."
"Check the knife in Cassie's back, too," said Tyranny. Trinity did so, and sure enough, there was a smiley face sticker there too.
"I'm going to guess that the two of them were killed by the same person," said Trinity.
"Good guess," said Tyranny sarcastically.
Suddenly, a boy in a black shirt appeared out of seemingly nowhere. Tyranny recognized him.
"Hey, Mars! How've you been?"
"Hi, Tyranny. Not so great. We just lost another team member."
"Asa and I," said Mars, motioning to a shortish boy with scruffy black hair. "Asa's from 11. He's mute."
"What happened?" Trinity asked naively.
"Well, Belle, Asa, and I were walking around the second floor balcony. All of us were minding our own business, when, all of a sudden, a knife flew into Belle's heart. She fell backwards. I desperately tried to save her, but to no avail. There was a smiley face sticker on the handle of the knife, but other than that, I couldn't tell much about the murderer, other than the fact that I saw a golden curl disappear behind a doorpost."
"Hm. That's odd," said Tyranny. "Pretty much the same thing happened to us, except that the knives came from the back. Darren Catalyst and Apollo Mariner from 3 got hit. Did anyone notice anything about the murderer?" she asked the members of purple and blue team.
"I did," Sen spoke up. "I saw a bit of a white shirt."
"OK," said Tyranny. "Who from white team has golden curls?"
Everyone thought for a moment. Suddenly, Trinity exclaimed, "Cyei!"
"I think she's right," said Tyranny.
"That means we have to take him down," said Mars.
"But how?" asked Trinity. "He's much stronger."
"We're gonna need some help," replied Mars. "Tyranny, can you go find Auden and Goldstar and tell them to look out for Cyei. Then, go out, find the rest of your team and meet us by my team's door. OK?"
"Got it," said Tyranny.
"Blue team, go find the rest of Cyei's team. Ask them what they want to do about Cyei."
"What are you going to do?" asked Marianne.
"I'm going to investigate the other three cannons with Asa. Everyone meet up in 10 minutes at black team's door. I have a plan.
"Good job, everyone! We got them down!" exclaimed Amethyst. "Nice work!"
"I'm glad that worked," said Hael.
"Now, remember, when we hit 6 o'clock, let the gas out. Also, if they go down to 24, send out the gas even if it's not 6 yet. got it, Hael?"
"Yes?" said Amber, looking up from her station.
"I need to talk to you about the transition."
Amethyst and her younger sister walked over to a room where there was a conveyor belt. Amber stood over the belt, and Amethyst began to instruct her younger sister.
"All right, Amber. In a few minutes, we're going to hovercraft you over to the Arena. The safe zone is moving slowly over to where this transition needs to happen. Once the sleep gas is activated, the ground crews will come into the Arena. They'll move the tributes onto the conveyor belt. Then, it's your turn."
The conveyor belt activated, and a dummy rolled up in front of Amber."
"Your job will be to change each tribute's arena outfit. It's very easy. Each tribute has been given a pack. Let's use Cassie's as an example. This dummy is about the size of Cassie. All you need to do is strip the tribute, put on the new shirt jacket, pants, and sneakers, and then put the watch on. Now, make sure that the watch is tight. We'll have the tributes make sure they're clasped completely it the morning. Try it."
Amber quickly changed the dummy.
"Good job. Now, once that's done, just press the button, and the next tribute will roll up. The other GC will take it from there."
"That's easy enough."
"Now, come with me and we'll get you over to the Arena."
Ten Minutes Later...
"All right!" Mars yelled. "All of us are here, united for one purpose: to knock Cyei All out of these Games." Everyone nodded in agreement. "Now, here, we have five teams. Shine Scott from 7, Tyranny Bomber from 1, and Apollo Mariner from 3 are on purple team. Trinity and Marianne Belle, from 8 and 11, respectively, and Darren Catalyst, also from 3, are on blue team. Acacia Andalu from 2 and Amber Elmore from 7 are on white team. Moss and Toby Darya from 4 and Maybell Flince from 9 are on pink team. Asa Benedict from 11 and I, Mars Pyross from 1, are on black team.
"I have formulated a plan that I think will work. Here's the plan:
"We will be divided into 5 groups. Each will have one Career, one older tribute, and one younger tribute. Group 1 is Moss and Toby. Group 2 is Shine and Apollo. Group 3 is Tyranny, Trinity, and Marianne. Group 4 is Acacia, Amber, and Darren. And Group 5 is Asa and I. Any problems so far?"
"Yes," said Acacia. "Amber is stuck at our ship. She got awfully seasick."
"OK, so you can just go with Sen. Now, each group will take their floor, so Group 1 will take floor one, etc. Keep an eye out for Cyei. If you see him, knock him out. We will hope that any cannon we hear is his. If either one of your teammates dies or Cyei dies, go back here. We'll meet back here in 30 minutes. OK?" Everyone nodded.
"One more thing. Tyranny has notified Goldstar McQueen and Auden Walters, both from 1, about the situation. If either of them sees Cyei, they'll notify the team on that floor. Now, GO GET CYEI!"
Everyone rushed off to find a stairway to get to their floor. There was a sense of urgency; everyone wanted nothing less than to knock him out.
Meanwhile, red team was on the second floor. Smash had opened a door and found a bunch of targets. Now, she was doing target practice with her team.
"Crash. You want to hit the MIDDLE of the target, not the wall behind you."
"I'm not good with long range!" he exclaimed.
"Yes, but the knife should at least go forwards."
"Who was that?"
"Beats me. Let's keep going."
Crash threw another knife. This time, it hit the ceiling, just in front of where Crash was."
"Well, at least it went forward," Smash sighed. This was hopeless.
Suddenly, she heard a knock at the door. She turned around, and found a little girl with dark brown, curly hair and dark green eyes standing there.
"What's your name?" asked Smash. She saw the girl's white jacket, so, deducing that the young girl was from One, Shine drew a knife.
"Auden Walters, District One. You?"
"Smash Hatch, District 2. What do you want?"
"I was wondering if you could work on some knife practice with me."
Auden entered the room. She took out a knife and aimed at the target.
"So, where's your team?"
"I left them at my ship. The older boy on my team, Thad Wellington..."
"Yeah. Anyway, he went into a depression of sorts when Whisper died, and now he's useless. So, I left my other teammate, Barley Harrison from 9, behind with him."
From the doorway, Shine's eyes lit up. She motioned to Apollo, and the two snuck off.
"Hey, Eagle, how's it going?"
"Pretty good. I'm good with an axe, because I'm from Seven, but knives are lighter, so they take a bit more getting used to. It's not so hard, though."
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
"I wonder who that was," said Auden.
The four continued to work on knife work. Suddenly, two more tributes appeared at the door. Both were wearing yellow shirts. The younger, a girl, had knotted golden hair and blue eyes, while the older boy had bronze hair and brown eyes. Auden recognized the younger girl.
"Hey, Auden. How's it going?"
"Pretty well, pretty well. What brings you here?"
"Well, we were walking around the fourth floor when we ran into Acacia from 2 and Darren from 3. I just wanted a peaceful crossing, but before I could do anything, there was a knife in Candella's back. I immediately drew my knife, and we started to circle each other. Eventually, we got away from each other. I was right by a staircase, so I headed down to this floor and found this room. Anyways, I have an idea."
The four younger tributes sat in a circle. Meanwhile, Quiinn and Eagle stood to the side. They wanted NOTHING to do with what the younger kids were planning.
"What's your plan, Goldstar?"
"Well, have you heard about the Cyei situation?"
"I have," said Auden. "Tyranny told me about it."
"I have no clue what you're talking about," said Smash, " and neither does Crash. Clue us in?"
"Well, there's this little boy from 5 named Cyei All," began Goldstar. "And I promise you. If he had been born in a Career district, he would have gone into these Games without a doubt. This kid has this annoying tendency to sneak up, flick a knife, mortally wound someone, and just get out."
A knife flew in. It hit Eagle smack in the back.
"Like that?" asked Smash.
"Bingo. His telltale sign is a smiley face on the knife's handle."
The four younger tributes ran over to Eagle. Sure enough, there was a smiley face on the handle of the knife. Blood was gushing everywhere.
"Do you think he'll make it?" Auden naively asked Quiinn.
"Doubt it," he replied. "The wound is mortal."
"That's what I was saying," said Goldstar. "So, there's this five team alliance trying to knock Cyei down. Purple, pink, blue, black, and white have all teamed up. Tyranny asked me and Auden to look out for Cyei, and to notify anyone on those three teams about him. But, he's so sneaky, it's so difficult to see him. But I might have a way to get him."
"What is it?" exclaimed Smash.
"Two words: Career pack."
"Hm. I didn't think of that," said Auden. "But us four working together could actually be a very strong combination. I mean, we're all trained."
"Yes," said Goldstar. "And here's what sets us apart. The five-team alliance was split into five groups. Each group has ONLY ONE CAREER. With us four teamed up, we have so much more power. If we can surround him, he's gone."
"But we have to be careful," replied Auden. "He can sneak out from someone's grasp. Smash, Crash, what do you think?"
"I like this idea," said Smash. "I like it a lot. We could be unstoppable. But what are we going to do about Quiinn?"
"Let's just leave him here. Or he can come to supervise."
"What do you want to do, Quiinn?"
"I'll come with you jokers. I don't want you getting into too much trouble."
"Come on!" exclaimed Auden. She was now in a very adventurous mood, and the five set out.
The five-team alliance met up back at black team's door.
"Did anyone have any luck?" asked Mars?
Nobody spoke up.
"Well, come on! Someone's got to knock this kid out. Go out for another half an hour and let's see if we can do this. Stay with your groups, but your floors don't matter. Just GET HIM!"
Mars was getting personally infuriated at that point. When he was determined, he was DETERMINED. And he wanted that annoying little kid gone. Asa and Mars headed back to the fifth floor.
"Do you think we can actually do this?" wrote Asa in his notebook. "He's tough."
"Let me see if we can find Goldstar," said Mars. "She's our best bet."
The two went down to the second floor, on a whim, and, sure enough, they found yellow-shirted Goldstar there, along with the rest of her mini-Career pack.
"How's your quest for Cyei going?" asked Mars.
"I had NO luck. We just missed him, too. We were in a room down here doing target practice when, all of a sudden, a knife flew out of nowhere and hit Eagle in the back. By the time that we got to the door, there was nobody there. He's a madman."
"Are you working with these guys?" asked Mars, motioning to Smash, Crash, Quiinn, and Auden.
"Yeah, we figured five was better than one. And four are Careers, so..."
"I guess that's a smart idea," said Mason.
"Look!" exclaimed Auden. She pointed to the fifth floor balcony, where Cyei was walking around.
"GO!" exclaimed Mars. The three raced to the nearest staircase, and the seven dashed up to the fifth floor.
Once they got there, they all split up and ran around the floor. In a matter of moments, Cyei was surrounded.
Oh, boy, thought Cyei. I'm about to go down.
He checked his belt - one last knife.
"I think you're surrounded," said Mars.
"That I am," said Cyei.
"You have no choice but to surrender," said Mars.
Cyei chucked his knife at Asa, and jumped off the edge of the balcony.
Mars, Quiinn, Smash, and Crash ran to tend to Asa.
"Same way that everyone else died," proclaimed Mars. "Smack in the heart this time, though. Another mortal wound."
"How did Cyei know how to kill so well?"
"I don't know."
Goldstar and Auden, meanwhile, looked over the balcony.
"Well, we got him," said Auden.
"Yes, we did. Backhandedly."
Suddenly, the anthem played. All of the tributes looked up to see the following faces in the sky:
Belle Adore, District 2
Thad Wellington, District 2
Candella Anders, District 3
Amber Elmore, District 7
Lila Flemings, District 7
Xander Briant, District 7
Eagle Sterling, District 7
Cassiopea Erin Winters, District 9
Barley Harrison, District 9
Sen Arylian, District 9
Lambell Rose, District 10
Mason Samuel Kent, District 12
"That's a lot of deaths for one day!" exclaimed Goldstar.
"Yeah," said Auden. Then, she yawned suddenly. "Do you feel sleepy?"
"Yeah (yawn), now that you mention it, I do feel sleepy."
Goldstar and Auden curled up by the edge of the balcony. Before they knew it, they were both asleep.
The rest of the tributes slowly followed suit.
Well, what do you think of this super-long chapter? I had wanted to get it up sooner, but I'm still regrouping from Passover. Anyways, I know there were a lot of deaths this chapter, but I did so because of what will happen the next day.
I'm so sorry if your tribute died. In actuality, choosing deaths has become much harder, as I have become attached to each and every tribute. I can't imagine having this story without any one of them.
Now, one big note. If you have a tribute that is still alive in this story (a list can be found on my profile), please either review or shoot me a PM letting me know that you're still reading. This will show me that you're still reading and will increase the chances of your tribute's survival. If you didn't submit a tribute or you don't have one alive, please review anyways. I really like reviews.
Next chapter is family interviews, and then the games continue into Phase 2! I hope you enjoyed this chapter.