Hi there! So I have several important things to say before this chapter so PLEASE READ THIS!
1. I made a huge mistake right at the beginning of the actual Games which I have only now just realised. I failed to mention that Nigel Cremets County 3 who was a created bloodbath, died in the bloodbath but his name is now in the list of the bloodbath tributes in that Chapter. So RIP to him and sorry to his creator if you thought he was still alive.
2. I happened to realise that on the 6th March, it will be exactly 1 year since I embarked on this crazy journey and decided to post this story! So that is why what is announced at the end, is happening. It will result in a few more deaths than usual in the chapter and should be great fun! Thank you to all who have stayed with my from the beginning, I will say my weird thank yous on the actual date which is when I will next update!
3. I do not own the Shakespeare text that is said in Giyran's POV. I found it, its from Macbeth Act 5, all rights reserved etc., and I thought it was suiting.
4. Oh and if anyone was wondering, a couple of chapters ago I mentioned that I had a uni interview about two weeks ago...they offered me a place! I'm super excited and I think that is where I might go which is a really big step for me and I feel ridiculously grown up...
5. You learn something about Electron (I created him and chose to put this in at this moment, add a little spice to the story) which I hope you guys will tell me whether you like him or not. And to those who are wondering, yes I also hate Darius Whaldron and he has a very gory and bitter end which I have planned out superbly and I hope you will enjoy seeing his demise because no one likes him...
6. PLEASE VOTE IN THE POLL! The top few tributes from the poll will get a POV in the next chapter but I need more votes.
7. Reply to the anonymous reviewer 'aly' - glad that you want to sponsor Romeo, what do you want to send him? Guys, there are 211 sponsor points on offer (yeah the points system was off as well) and no one has sent any of the tributes anything! Remember you can send anything to anyone!
ENJOY the chapter!
County 1 – Phoenix Tiell (15)
The tension in the air can be cut with a knife. Seph is furious at what happened yesterday. Of course we noticed the missing weapons and food and quite a few people are blaming Seph for not making someone stay behind. With two people gone, things are getting quite on edge and I am staying well aware from our youngest member of the Career pack, Electron. In fact, we don't know what it is about him but something exudes danger. He's pacing up and down, occasionally kicking a nearby tree which seems to hurt the tree more than it does him.
To be brutally honest, I blame Seph for the diminishing supplies. She isn't actually the best leader that any Career pack as ever had and I personally think that anyone would do a better job. But she has a strong personality and would be a nightmare to be around if we bumped her off the top spot. Seph, of course, is not blaming herself in any way. I'm not entirely sure who she is blaming but I know that it isn't herself. Aella is sitting next to me; we are perched on one of the larger boxes that had lots of food in it at the start of the Games. Seph is practising her throwing knives, getting them deeper and further into the bark with each and every slice. Skyler is also pacing like Electron, except his brow is furrowed in thought, as if he is trying to calculate something. He keeps shooting glances at Seph as if he is trying to work out how to get rid of her, now that would throw a spanner in the works if that happened. I don't really know what to think of Skyler, I saw him at the bloodbath. He was awful, like that Titus kid from District 6 years ago, I saw that one even though it was before I was born. Skyler was lapping up the blood of that Harry guy he had killed, the poor boy was subject to his brutality.
I shudder as I think of that day, possibly one of the most terrifying and disgusting days of my life. I feel awful about killing that poor innocent Kiwi girl. She had no idea what she was doing but I supposed I saved her a more painful death at the hands of someone far more brutal and unforgiving such as that Whaldron brute or either of the Fray sisters. Or Electron come that, I really have not chosen my compatriots well. Except Aella, she seems nice enough. She told me about the goggles, because of the rebellion poor thing. I wonder what it would be like to be scarred for life…
My thoughts are broken as a terrifyingly animalistic growl escapes out of Electron's mouth and we all turn. "I'm going tribute hunting." He snarls. "You might not want to follow me."
And with that he's gone, taking his anger with him and leaving us all feeling a tiny bit more relaxed. We still have weapons and food but I feel sorry for whoever Electron gets.
County 9 – Liam Vega (18)
The day dawns once more, this is the seventh day in the arena and I am still alive. For that I am eternally grateful to my alliance and my own survival skills. Over the last few days, since that Noctarn guy's death, I have been musing over the possibility of his death. What is the H and how could that have killed him? It just doesn't make sense, I haven't seen anything like it before in other Games, and I watched a fair few of them to understand what could happen to me.
"Liam?" The one word, calling from Alexis' mouth a few feet away draws me out of my stupor. She comes over and smiles at me. "We think we've found a way to test whether the water is safe or not. Do you want to join us?"
I smile at the girl as I shake my head. "No thanks Alexis, I'm going to finish on this rope if that's alright."
She nods and joins the other two at the water's edge. I've been working on my ropes and knots as I want to go back to fishing once the Games are over, if I win. I want Bastian to know what it is like to live on the land and not be stuck out of sea out of fear. He must know what it is like to smell air that is not totally salty, to taste real food other than fish.
My thoughts of the sea are broken as there is a buzzing from somewhere near me and I turn in the direction to see something that I can't believe is possible. It's me. It's me and…my father. He died when I was 12. I can hear what they are saying too and I know exactly what is playing out in front of me, the last time I saw my father alive.
"How dare you be a Gamemaker? Dad you can't just go and condemn people to death, that's not fair!" I can hear myself shouting. "And it means that I'll be chosen? You're selfish and a traitor! You hear that dad! You're a traitor and I hate you! I hate you!"
I stand; I had forgotten I had said all that horrible stuff to my father. "Liam, you don't understand." I feel myself smile as I hear the voice of my father for the first time in six years. "I didn't and I don't have a choice."
I flinch, already knowing what happens next. "Don't say it!" I hear myself shout, but its 18 year old me now, not the immature 12 year old I was.
And now I start to run towards my younger self, I have to stop him from going out to sea. I bitterly regret the last thing I said and my heart sinks as I keep running, my bare feet padding on the sand as I hear myself shout those final words. "I hate you! I'm going with Bastian and I'm never coming back! I hope you die like one of those tributes will die! I hate you!"
"NO!" I scream and drop to the floor as I see my father standing stock still as my younger self runs off. I rarely cry but this is one of the few times that I have come across as such.
"Liam." I only just hear Vihn's voice saying my name over and over again as I feel strong hands on my shoulders which are shaking as I let the tears fall.
"It was all my fault." I sob; I don't care what anyone else thinks. And I know it was, my father died without me saying that I respect him and I love him. And now I never will.
County 7 – Archie Cross (15)
There's something about this arena that is slightly unsettling me. I am so glad that the our original alliance has all stuck together but as we cover our track to move on, we cannot stay more than a couple of days in the same place for the fear of someone finding us, I know that something is going to happen. I have those kind of instincts and although I will not totally pride myself on it, it does mean that I am extra alert when it comes to looking after my allies. I feel like the responsible older brother for all of them, despite there being only three years between me and Carlie, the youngest. We are all kinda protective of Carlie, she's the baby of our alliance although she doesn't appear as that, no she's a tough nut.
I think we did rather well in the Cornucopia, in terms of managing to salvage items before we all ran and without having to kill any other tributes. The three backpacks salvaged were useful but we have to hunt now to get food, there isn't anything left for us to eat. We ate the last of the beef jerky that was in Carlie's backpack yesterday. I can see that we are starting to lose a lot of Vitamin C but we dare not risk eating many of the berries around us as none of us are particularly strong at identifying the poisonous and safe berries.
"Hey!" Nobie half calls from where he is about 20m away from us. "I've found some berries that I recognise from the Training Rooms! They're definitely safe!"
My eyes light up at the sound of them but I know something is wrong as soon as I see the berries in the light as Nobie puts them into his mouth. Small, round, deep purple in colour, those are definitely not safe. "No Nobie!" I shout but it is too late. Picking up the pace, I can hear Lorelei behind me and Carlie is already in front, I dash over to where his body is already convulsing in pain.
"Archie, what's happening?" Carlie asks, her voice terrified as she tries to not look away from Nobie who is going a strange bruised colour as I put his head on my lap, trying to calm him down in his last moments.
Before I can answer, my eyes find Nobie's and I hear him whisper something in the quiet as Lorelei desperately tries to get the berries away from his mouth. "Tell Tromi I'm sorry." He whispers before I can feel him go limp and his cannon go off.
Carlie's eyes widen before she buries her head in Lorelei's shoulder, sobbing. The older girl looks shell-shocked and I sit there, Nobie's head in my lap as I look at death on the 13 year old boy's face. He was so smart; the hunger must have taken over his intelligence. "Nightlock." I whisper, I had watched Katniss' games and recognised the symptoms on the dead body of that girl from 5 but now Nobie had suffered the same fate.
Lorelei closes his sparkling brown eyes and ruffles his blonde hair the way Nobie liked it. "We have to let them take the body away." She murmurs and I nod, sliding the body from on my lap to the ground.
I had spoken too soon about our alliance staying intact.
County 15 – Giyran Leet (18)
There is something about death that has made us all jumpy. Romeo and Sebastian killed at the bloodbath and yes I have a clean record so far but that doesn't mean I am afraid and jumpy also every time a cannon goes. That one this morning meant that there are 38 of us left, including our alliance. And to think that there were 76 of us alive just a week ago.
We're currently on the move. Our spot where we were placed after the change in arena was far too convenient for tributes to find us. At least we know where the Cornucopia is. We were placed right next to it. There's a large swimming pool that Sebastian has estimated must have something beneath it and we daren't test it out just in case it is something that is definitely not water. And above the swimming pool is a house. A fully equipped house with a laboratory, silos, as well as a room that looks over what would be a lovely sunset. But it all seemed too good to be true, a fake paradise. And having seen so many Hunger Games between us, we know that if we stayed there too long, something would happen that would mean that none of us would survive.
The jungle we are travelling through is mainly dirt tracks and branches. The trees tower above us and give us good shade, a stream running past us means that we have a constant supply of water which we have tested to be safe. We seem to be heading uphill which has intrigued us and as we are all fairly fit, I estimate that if there is a top, we should be reaching it within a couple of hours.
Suddenly, our peace is broken as we hear two pairs of feet, or at least what I think are feet. And they are running too fast to be properly human. "Run!" I shout to the others.
They too have heard the noise and so we sprint, wanting to get away from whatever is coming after us. The trees pass in flashes and it is only when we reach a clearing that seems to have steep banks on either side of us, do we stop. "Have we outrun it?" Sebastian asks, doubling over and wheezing.
The answer comes in the form of a huge wolf, much like the mutts from Katniss' Game. Wait, mutts. I remember from the Capitol reading something about Snow's human mutt creation. The mutt is electric blue but has white streaks in its fur. It growls at us but I pause and look at it, I think I know it. "Guys, it's not a mutt. That's Electron, he was one of Snow's human-mutt creations." Despite Romeo and Sebastian's curious glances and protestations, I approach the wolf. "Hey, its okay, we're not going to hurt you."
I was wrong; I should have known not to mention our old President or to try to calm him down. Leaning back slightly on his rear paws, suddenly the Electron-wolf comes flying at me. I feel a sear of pain as I notice a chunk of leg is ripped out from me and I collapse onto the ground. "Giyran!" Sebastian yells and starts to run over. I can vaguely see Romeo slashing at the mutt with his sword, inflicting a good few wounds.
My vision is starting to cloud as I notice that the mutt is retreating, calculating whether to attack again or go. And he decides the latter, limping off as Romeo wipes the blade of his sword and then rushes over. I feel weaker; I can tell my breath is getting shallower.
"Shakespeare." I whisper, I know that the last words I want to hear are of someone who boy could write.
"Giyran," Romeo speaks firmly as he digs into his backpack, "you are not going to die."
I shake my head, wincing in pain as I feel how much it hurts. "Please, just a couple of lines. I'm sorry guys."
Breathing deeply, Romeo finds his token and opens a page. "To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, /Creeps in this petty pace from day to day/To the last syllable of recorded time, /" there is an irony that he has chosen or randomly picked Macbeth's final speech but as I see the light fading and I know my hour, like Macbeth, has come, I rest in the peace that I have done my best. And as I know I die, I touch the silver ring on my finger, outlining the word 'strength' that is on there, I have the strength to die. "And all our yesterdays have lighted fools/the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!/Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player/That struts and frets his hour upon the stage/And then is heard no more: it is a tale/Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury/Signifying nothing."
County 9 – Sandy Beechnut (12)
The second cannon of the day goes and Cornelia and I look up from our perches in the branches of a tree that we have found. It is surprisingly thick as the rest of the trees that we have found have been rather skinny and unable to take our weight. Cornelia mistrusts this convenience but we are both shattered and so we have taken advantage of the fact that they are here.
The night is drawing to a close but it isn't completely the dark. We can see the sky fairly clearly from where we are and so will be able to see the new seal of Panem and the dead faces of our fellow tributes. But before any of that can happen, as Cornelia and I are about to discuss our thoughts on who might be dead, we are trying to compile a list of who is still alive, a voice sounds throughout the arena.
"Tributes of the final Hunger Games!" The far too perky voice of Caesar Flickerman resounds throughout the arena and I frown. Why would he be making an announcement? The arena hasn't changed again and there aren't the few amount of tributes which would mean a feast. "In honour of you having survived the Games and being the top half of the tributes in this year's Games, the Game makers are pleased to welcome you to a feast." My eyes open wide, what? I look to Cornelia who is frowning. "Now this feast will have everything that you need. However," he adds a pause for drama which I roll my eyes at, "there is a catch."
Of course there is a catch. "There's always a catch." Cornelia snorts before turning her attention back on the announcement. "And the catch is thus tributes: the Game makers will be releasing some special mutations into the arena tomorrow. Ones that will deliberately seek out tributes that are outside the 20m circle that is at the top of the island, by what used to be the telecommunications device. If you are not within that circle by the time the gong goes tomorrow morning after four hours of sunrise, you will be hunted down by these mutations and the odds will not be in your favour if you do not run. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favour."
The voice clicks and before we can even register what we have just been told, the anthem plays and the seal appear in the sky. The first face to appear is that of Nobie Phlour from county 19, I don't remember him well but he can't have been too old. The word underneath makes me shiver, what a cruel trick to play putting the very thing that started the rebellion and this into the Games, Nightlock. The next face surprises me, Giyran Leet from county 15. He always seemed to be a fighter and I thought he was in quite a good alliance. That being said, we all believe we are in strong alliances. And then the sky goes black, we are plunged into darkness and we can only know how long until the mutations get us.
"Sandy?" Cornelia's voice whispers through the darkness.
"Yeah?" I answer back, trying to keep my voice from wobbling.
"You kept the last watch, so I'll stay awake for a while. We should get going if we are to reach that device thing."
I nod. "That's true and we don't even know where it is."
Cornelia hums her agreement, this could mean anything. If we are not swift, this could be the last night we spend in this arena.
Gamemaker – Haymitch Abernathy
I didn't really think that it would take a week for one county to be all out. I'm glad it's not mine though; those kids in there are really fighting strong, even if they are trying to kill each other. There are 6 of us sitting in the room. We will have these conversations with every set of mentors whose tributes die in the arena. Once all of their tributes are gone, we don't really have any need for them. I suspect we will be having similar conversations with the mentors for 6, 13, 17 and 19 soon as each of the counties only have one tribute left. But now, we concentrate on county 15.
Katniss, Peeta and I are sitting on one couch while Beetee nervously hovers nearby, standing by the machine that brought these two here. I have to say, he did a darn good job with all the mentors. The County 15 mentors, Coach Sue Sylvester and Marius Pontmercy are sitting opposite us. Sue is sitting back, her arms folded and a small smirk on her face. Marius, on the other hand, is sitting forward, his hands clasped and his elbows resting on his knees. He cannot be much older than Katniss and Peeta here but we have command in the room.
"So," it is Peeta who speaks, I always knew he was better at public speaking with strangers, "we have two options for you now that your mentor services are required."
Marius frowns as he looks up. "What are they?"
Peeta smiles, "Katniss?" He turns to the girl on fire who also smiles slightly.
"Well, the first option is that we can send you home the same way that you came. You will be sent to exactly the same spot that you left, at the exact same time so that any timelines from the past or future are not disrupted."
Marius' eyes seem to light up, I suspect he has something to go back to and it is hard being dragged away from somewhere for two weeks when you weren't expecting it. "The other option," I speak as genially as I can but I try not to betray any emotion, that is how I like it, "is that you can stay here and help one of the other counties. You can join the mentor team of any of the other counties and work with them to keep their tributes alive." I pause, letting this sink in. "It's your choice as to which option and if you pick the latter, which county. If you both choose to stay, you can pick different counties to join."
It is Sue who speaks first. "Well I can see where I am not needed and seeing as I have a Nationals placed cheerleading squad to get back to, I think you'll find me leaving as soon as possible." She turns to her fellow mentor. "Are you coming doll-face?"
Marius, rather than flinching as I have seen him do before, turns to Sue and looks her directly in the eyes. "No." He speaks firmly. "I will stay here a few more days. I was brought here for the beginning and I may as well stick it out to the end." He turns away from Sue who stalks up to Beetee and they start discussing how to send her back and he turns to us. "May I join The Doctor and Annie in County 18?"
That's decided then, I wonder who will be the next set of mentors we have to face.
RIP to the dead tributes
COUNTY 19 - Nobie Phlour, 13 - Nightlock berries
COUNTY 15 - Giyran Leet, 18, Electron Snow
What did you think? Now with Giyran dead, that means there are no more County 15 tributes left!