A Glimmer of Hope

(A/N: Obviously not canon, but there are some similarities to the movie, with a twist. Suzanne Collins owns all characters, plot devices, and my wallet.)

Chapter 1

The Hunt

The gong went off, and within seconds the bloodbath began. Out of the corner of her eye Glimmer could see Cato beating the boy from 6 to death, as he had promised to at the Training Center. She went right for the bow, grabbing it and a backpack and rushing away from the Cornucopia. She knew that the other Careers would do the dirty work for her, and she waited to meet them on the edge of the woods. It was an unusual tack for a Career – to let the others get the kills while she escaped. Certainly she wanted a kill herself. But if it was safer…

Clove killed one tribute with a knife and sent another knife flying at the girl from 12, Katniss. But Katniss used her backpack to catch the knife and avoid certain death. As she watched the boy from 11, Thresh, completely destroy another tribute, she grabbed supplies for herself before escaping.

Within minutes all the Careers had met up with each other. They made their alliance in the Training Center, casually dropping hints as to where they would meet up. Glimmer had flirted with Cato with her eyes several times in the Training Center, and she noticed that her charm had worked: Cato was already standing right by her side, rather than Clove's.

"How many are dead?" Clove asked, as they started to walk into the woods.

"Should be about a half-dozen or so, maybe a couple more," Marvel replied. "It's too bad most of them don't even want to fight, they just want to get away."

"I'm pretty upset that you got to do all the killing," Glimmer complained.

"Oh, you'll get your chance," Cato stated. "We get an easy target, I'll let you have the fun."

He showed her a large knife that he had gathered.

"I almost got the girl from 12," Clove added. "You know the one who got an 11? She got lucky to escape."

"How is it even possible to get an 11?" Cato wondered. "If I couldn't get one, how could someone from 12 get one?"

"Speaking of 12…" Glimmer remarked, pointing over to the left.

The Careers all saw an easy target – the boy from 12, Peeta. He was running through the woods about 15 yards away.

"Go ahead, shoot him," Cato told Glimmer.

"Wait a minute!" Glimmer replied. "I think he could be useful – in finding his girlfriend."

"Good thinking," Clove stated, before turning toward Peeta.

"Hey, Lover Boy!" she shouted. "Come over here, we won't hurt you!"

Peeta stopped to see the Careers, nearly panicking when he saw them.

"You're as good as dead if you try to escape, so why not just join us?" Clove added.

Peeta then shrugged his shoulders and walked over to the Careers.

"We figure you could be of some great help to us," Cato told him.

"In what?" Peeta replied. "I thought you guys were all laughing at me at the Training Center."

"Hey, you've got some skills," Glimmer stated. "But we especially think you can help us find your girlfriend."

Peeta paused, thinking about the situation. Surely he couldn't betray Katniss, but this was quite an opportunity for him, to have the Careers on his side, at least for a little while.

"Sure," he replied. "I know her pretty well, I can help find her traps."

Nightfall came, and the Careers made their camp, along with Peeta. As they lay there, Glimmer cuddled closely to Cato, who looked greatly pleased.

"How many did you get at the Cornucopia?" she whispered to him.

"Four," he replied in a whisper. "That boy from 6 who stole my knife – he was first to go. I can't even remember the other ones who got in my way – they were dead too quickly for me to see their numbers."

"Here's a secret," Glimmer told him in another whisper. "I feel safer with you than with Marvel."

Cato smiled. "Don't worry, it'll be you and I to the end."

"You mean you don't feel any closeness to Clove?"

"She's too young for me. Plus, she doesn't have as much to offer."

He reached over and touched Glimmer's face.

"Not as much as you."

The Careers were up early, looking for someone to kill. When they smelled smoke, they were immediately excited.

"Is there someone really that stupid?" Marvel wondered.

"Maybe it's your girlfriend!" Clove exclaimed to Peeta.

Peeta shook his head.

"It's not Katniss," he replied. "She and I were coached very well not to make a fire."

As they ran in the direction of the smoke, they noticed a trap that had been used to catch a small animal. Peeta looked shocked.

"This is one of Katniss' traps," he stated. "Maybe it is her."

Cato smiled, as they kept on going toward the smoke. Eventually they came up to the fire, seeing the girl from 8 huddled there next to a fire, trying to keep warm.

The Careers didn't need to say anything. They simply smiled and crossed their arms. Save for Cato, who handed a large knife over to Glimmer, as a signal that he'd let her get the kill.

An ear-piercing scream came out of the girl's mouth as she died. Instantly a cannon went off, signaling her death. The Careers could do nothing but laugh.

Meanwhile, they continued along their path, and Cato began to get frustrated as they could not find Katniss anywhere.

"You sure she went this way, Lover Boy?"

"Yeah, that was her trap back there."

They continued to walk through the woods. Cato leaned over closely to Glimmer.

"Why don't we just kill him now and get it over with?" he asked her.

"Let him tag along. What's the harm?" she replied.

"I just think it's going to backfire on us if we don't do it now," he remarked.

They kept on going, right past the tree where Katniss silently hid.

A day went by, with the Careers finding no sign of Katniss. However, they were able to kill a couple of other tributes along the way. Glimmer easily hunted down one of them with her bow, another one Cato stabbed to death. And as the deaths piled up, the relationship between Cato and Glimmer became more noticeable; Clove began to pick up on the fact that Cato was very impressed with Glimmer, and she began to get jealous.

But she said nothing. Why anger Cato and have him kill her? Certainly Marvel wouldn't defend her. So in her way of retaliation, she began clinging to Marvel. Cato showed no jealousy, however.

They continued walking through the forest, when they noticed someone in particular – Katniss.

The chase began. The Careers, along with a trailing Peeta, began laughing like the children they were as they followed after Katniss through the woods. Katniss quickly climbed a tree, trying to escape.

The Careers reached the bottom of Katniss's tree, and Cato got ready to climb.

"I'm coming for you," he exclaimed, as he began to climb the tree.

Katniss climbed higher and higher into the tree, with Cato following behind. However, at one point, Cato grabbed a branch which snapped, sending him plummeting to the ground.

Glimmer instantly became angry when she saw that Cato had possibly hurt himself trying to kill Katniss. So she shot an arrow toward Katniss. The girl from 12 gasped as she watched the arrow barely miss her.

Undaunted, Glimmer grabbed another arrow and shot it toward Katniss. This one missed as well, coming even closer to hitting her. Katniss breathed heavily as she saw her life flash before her eyes.

The Careers were a bit frustrated at this point, and Katniss noticed this as she looked down at them.

"Why don't you throw the sword?" she taunted them.

This angered Cato even more, but Peeta found a way to calm him.

"Why don't we just wait her out?" Peeta suggested. "She's got to come down some time, either that or starve to death."

Cato looked over at the other Careers, realizing the logic in Peeta's thinking.

"All right," he stated. "Someone make a fire."

The Careers lay there sleeping, with Clove holding on to her knife as she did. Glimmer and Cato cuddled together, keeping each other warm while enjoying each other's company. Meanwhile, Katniss noticed Rue in a nearby tree, and Rue silently suggested for her to cut down a nest of tracker jackers. Katniss obeyed her suggestion, and she climbed over, trying to cut it down.

As Katniss began cutting down the nest, she imagined what could happen. Perhaps the tracker jackers would kill one of the Careers lying below – maybe the one closest to them, Glimmer. And then the others would have to escape, and she would be free to go.

But that didn't happen. Her feet slipped, and she came crashing all the way to the ground. She looked up, hoping in vain that the sound did not wake up the Careers.

"Well, hello," Cato said as he stood above her, brandishing his sword. "Better get a cannon ready."