Laptop again! Just thought to mention this, but for Resistance peeps, Ninnnna is the creator of Elvatorix. I'm sure you hate Elvatorix and Tawny equally, right? 'Cause they both came from Ninnnna!
All right, here's the thing. We feel like you are getting the feel of the fic now and can begin to introduce you to other tributes without confusing you too badly. So, I'm taking this one from Naomi Slater's POV. Actually, I'm taking the next two, and then Ninnnna the two after that. So, everyone, Naomi Slater!
*Naomi Slater's POV*
I curled up on the couch beside my mentor, Trey, and district partner, Steven. I was twisting the Mirror Necklace in my hand idly, watching it reflect the light. Trey and Steven ignored me, focused on the television as the scores popped up. They both groaned as the tributes from District 1 get high scores, though my sister, Nadin, told me that the tributes from 1, 2, and 4 always got high scores. I gathered from their conversation that the scary girl from District 2, the one that scared me on the running station, scored low, as well as the tributes from 4.
Trey mentioned briefly that my alliance scored well, but I didn't respond, prefering to play with my necklace and feign ignorance. I was actually very intellegent, but found after being reaped that the best way to control myself was to ignore my surroundings. I did, however, look up when Steven's name was announced. He got a five, which was admirable for District 12. I got closer to standerd - a two. Trey congratulated Steven, but didn't even speak to me. I wasn't surprised. Why grow close to the twelve year old who will be dead before a week is out?
I tried to tell him about the Mirror Necklace and the advantage it will give me. I tried to tell him the story my mother had always told me. "Naomi," she'd whisper to me. "You are part of a famous line of women. We have passed our Mirror Necklace from girl to girl, and we can change ourselves with it." How I'd always wanted to try then and there! But Mother had always stressed that it would work once and only once; once to the new appearence, then once back. No do-overs. Natin had used her change when she was young, and couldn't even remember it. She thought the Mirror Necklace was coal dust. I didn't, but Trey obviously agreed with Natin.
"Naomi," he said. "That's a great story and all, but it can't be true. It just doesn't ... make sense." and he couldn't be persuaded otherwise.
Once the scores are given, Trey and Steven withdraw to the table to discuss stratagies. I stayed still for a moment, glancing to where the stylists were discussing last-minute adjustments to the interview outfits. Our guide, Uri, was looking at me and appeared to be thinking about coming over. As I tended to ignore as many Capitol people as possible, I quickly stood and left the room, clicking the button on the elevator that was labeled, 'Roof.'
It wasn't hard to find Estella, Ivy, Harper, Viveca, Lia, and Olivia. We had agreed on a place to meet before entering the room with the Gamemakers. They were all sitting grimly upon the ground, apparently having finally lost the energy to stand up. I sat down beside Estella gratefully. I had lost the will to stand long ago.
A moment of silence passed before Ivy broke it. "We did pretty well, didn't we?" There was a small murmur of agreement that I didn't contribute to. By far, I had the lowest score. Even Lia, the other twelve year old, did better than me. Much better.
"Mostly sevens and nines," Viveca agreed. I remembered that she had a nine herself. Her eyes flickered involuntarily to me, and I knew that she was thinking of my two. They all were, doubtlessly, though none of their eyes moved to me.
"And Estella had an eleven," Lia grinned at Estella with pride in her eyes. "That ought to scare Tawny's little seven!"
Ivy chuckled. "Wonder how she feels to have been beaten out by a twelve year old, eh, Lia?" Lia's grin widened, a twinkle of pride entering her eyes. I couldn't help but feel disgusted. How could she play to the Gamemaker's rules so easily? Did she realize that she was becoming a pawn of the Games so quickly?
"But Cletus," Estella's voice was heavy. "got a twelve. The only twelve. And he's with the Careers." She glanced around at us all, her eyes lingering on me. "I'm sorry. He's going to go after us." Condolences were murmured, but Harper didn't bother, only glancing over at Ivy before quickly away again.
Olivia announced, "Cletus and the other Careers should think twice about messing with us in the arena," her grin was savage. I surpressed a shudder and returned to the Mirror Necklace. I gaze at my young appearence in the mirror, imagining it changing; thining and wrinkling; fattening and developing folds. I know that it would if I willed it to. But I will wait until the Games to do so, to win, to go home safe.
I tried to tell the Gamemakers about the Mirror Necklace, too, but they listened as much as Trey and Nadin did. In fact, they were worse. Instead of recieving my testimony with pity, they scorned me. They laughed in my face and told me to leave unless I had something of value to show them. I guessed they must've been forced to consider my words, which earned me a two. Better than the one I was convinced I would recieve.
"So," Harper was all seriousness, as usual. "does anyone know what their angles are for the interviews?" Mumbles spread throughout the group, and it was a moment before Estella spoke up.
"I'm sure most of you don't know, but I (as you have surely suspected) have trained with Lystra ever since she won her Games. We've already decided my angle." Estella waited, as though expecting comment, but was not granted any. "I'm going with the charming sort of family girl. Playing up to my relationship with Lystra, and that stuff."
Olivia nodded. "That's smart, and all. I mean, we all saw the footage of you and her and ... everyone else." Ivy nodded firmly in agreement.
"Anyone else have any idea?" Harper wanted to know.
A pause. Then, Lia proclaimed, "Well, I'm guessing that I'll be playing the tough-little-girl look, you know, not what I seem and all that." Viveca chuckled and agreed that Lia wasn't.
"I'll be playing helpless," I sighed. Six pairs of eyes snapped onto me in surprise. "My trainer, Trey, favors my district partner, Steven. He'll spend the most time on him - even in the arena." There was a brief silence of shock. Did they consider my mute and stupid just because I was young and not a hurrying fool like Lia?
Estella made a noise of agreement to my statement and I shot her a look of gratitude. "So," Ivy ventured. "Steven isn't a good ally choice, either?"
I laughed slightly, "Not in the slightest."
"I'll play tough, hostile, and superior, probably," Harper admitted. "Though the Careers normally steal most of the spotlight for those catagories."
Olivia hesitated. "I'll be the first of us to go up. Shall I reveal our little alliance?"
"Little?" Lia cracked a smile. "Honestly, Naomi and I are the only little parts of it." her eyes darted over to mine, not sure how I would react to the joke. I smile slightly in reply, my hand grabbing instinctively at my necklace, like it did so often recently. Laughter cackled around me, making the Mirror sparkle with mirth.
"Yeah, you can introduce us," Harper agreed. "and we can elaborate."
Viveca's eyebrows furrowed. "Or," she suggested slowly. "We can play mysterious and not really give a lot away. My angle will probably be mysterious. My stylist likes my hair around my eyes..."
Estella suddenly stamped her foot in frusteration. I flinched at the sudden sound. "This would be so much easier if we just knew all of our angles!" she complained. Her face was looking sort of desperate. "So ... I'm playing up to Lystra, Viveca's mysterious, Lia's tough-little-girl, Naomi's delicate, and Harper's hostile."
"Smart?" Olivia offered for herself. "I could play off my brains pretty easily, I think ... it's what most of our tributes do."
"How about a little bit of cunning, too?" Lia suggested, looking Olivia up and down. "You could manage that, I think. And it's not far from the truth, is it?" Olivia turned pink but did not respond.
Everyone glanced towards Ivy, who hadn't offered anything. She sighed slightly, tucking a brown lock behind her ear. "Um ... likable? Smart? I don't really know. Maybe a little bit of both." Everyone was looking at Estella, including me. She knew the most about the Games, having trained for them. We were waiting for instruction.
"Everyone's trainers are going to hate me," she announced, "but I think I know what we should do. You can decide whether to listen to your mentors or me, but here's what I think works. Olivia, you to smart and cunning, but mention us if Ceaser asks, or at the very end, so there's still a lot of ground to cover for the rest of us.
"Ivy, Ceaser will definately ask you about us, probably first off. Tell him a little, but play back to the strengths that you learned in the training center, okay? Play likable, if your mentor wants you to. Lia, tell him about your memory, how quickly you learn, and make sure he understands your not out of the competition. Viveca, play mysterious. Don't tell him much about us or your skills. Hint all you like, but be sure that the audience will wonder.
"Harper, you'll do just fine with the hostile look. Boast about us. Make it obvious that you're exaggerating. Say Lia knows everything in the world, that Viveca can disappear..."
"And that you can hit the target every time," Ivy said with a smile.
Estella turned red again. "Exactly. Exaggerate. Especially on yourself and your never-ending abilities."
Even Harper could not resist smiling. "Alright. Shouldn't be too hard."
"I'll play up to Lystra's alliance in her Game, and how it worked for them, considering it produced the winner. And I'll make sure they know that I'm a threat." Then Estella turned to me. "Naomi, you said your mentor will have you play helpless and weak?"
I nodded, glancing around. Harper's face clearly stated that she thinks it isn't far from the truth. My look turned venomous when I saw this, and she quickly looked away, appearing suprirsed.
"Tell Viola about the Mirror Necklace," Estella instructed me, taking me by surprise. "Make her believe it. She is a Capitol citizin, after all. It can't be too hard. Oh, and mention your tricks with fire."
I blinked slowly at Estella, disbelieving. Someone finally mentioned my Mirror Necklace without scorn! Was it possible that she believes in it? No, it didn't matter. She was telling me to do what I already wanted to. My face broke into a grin. "No problem. No problem at all."
Estella smiled back at me, then ran her fingers through her dark hair. "All right. I think we're good. There's no more we can do, right?" We all shook our heads. I thought I saw Harper glance at Ivy again, with hatred written across her features. However, Ivy was focused on Estella like everyone else, and I thought I was the only one who saw. I gripped my Mirror Necklace tight, hoping never to see that expression towards me. But with Harper, who knew what to expect?
We all looked at each other for a moment, then melted into the shadows, back to our seperate floors, back to the false safety of our warm beds.