Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN THE HUNGER GAMES NOR THE CONCEPT.
AN: The character's name is pronounced Luck-t-er-ah. I have a physical description below which is actually based on me. For those of you that know sports she is built like a rugby player, so girly but someone that would definitely be considered physically strong at first look. She is feminine in that she has a large chest and curvy but when compared to say Glimmer she would look bigger and stronger. Think pin-up girl or Rosie the Riveter.
The Luck Has Run Out
Another year and another reaping. Thankfully this year brought her closer to the last year that she would be in the pool. There really wasn't anything that she could do, her name was only in there once from what she could remember, but with the Capitol, you never knew.
Walking down to the pier she brought her attention back to where she was headed. Work. District 4. Home of the fisheries and while not a poor district by any means, there were those, like her, that were not extremely well off. Walking into the large processing plant she huffed to herself. Picking up her apron, tying back her hair and putting on her elbow high protective gloves she readied herself for another gruelling day of work.
"Hey Luctra you're on the hang line today." Said her supervisor as Luctra walked into the processing part of the plant.
"Alright Mewas. Do you have the face shield for me then?" Luctra asked as she stopped at the base of the elevated platform where the control panel was located. The supervisors sat there in order to keep track of the production lines and any mishaps that occurred. Mewas threw down a fibreglass face shield (AN: think welding mask but clear) and smiled. "Also saved you the best carvers too." Mewas said.
Luctra smiled at the old man. Out of all the supervisors he was her favourite, which is probably why she was always scheduled on his shifts. That and she had one of the highest processing rates which made him look more efficient.
"Thanks Mewas. I won't be in tomorrow." Luctra informed him as she put on the face shield.
"Yeah I know the Reaping. Don't worry I won't let them take my best, plus the Capitol would be appalled at your fish stink." Mewas grinned, but they both knew there was nothing he could do if she did in fact get Reaped.
Luctra rolled her eyes. "Careful old man or I'll stuff you in the bait grinder." Mewas laughed as she turned and headed to the tool locker. Entering the locker Mewas picked up the carvers that Mewas had set aside for her on the back table, behind an old cloudy tank. It was the hiding spot he used to set aside things she would need for her shift, since it was competitive in the plant for the best tools.
In one hand she held a forearmed sized meat hook and in the other a double edged knife that reached just passed her elbow. Luctra was not a small girl by any means. Standing at 5"8 with broad shoulders and a well-developed upper body from working she was unlike most of the female workers at the plant, who were petite and worked the filleting and packaging sections. Due to her size and weight, about 185lbs, Luctra was able to work the hanging lines which paid much better.
Tools in hand Luctra walked into the section that held the hanging line processing area. Now the hanging line was literally what it sounds like. Giant fish, such as Talec, Bufar, Hanr, came into this part hung on metal hooks from a conveyor in the roof. It was the hanging line workers job to cut open the fish, which were about 1 ½ her size remove the entrails, dorsal fins, scales and side fins, depending on the fish, without damaging the meat. It was a precision job that required a lot of strength so it paid well since some people who were strong were not precise enough and ruined the sellable meat, while others were not strong enough to last cutting the tough parts for a full shift.
Luctra walked into the room and smiled at the other men, and one woman waiting against the wall. Once the bell went the shift change would take place. Walking passed each person Luctra touched face shields with them, the hang line way of saying hello. She was well liked by her colleagues; she didn't complain and had a wicked sense of humour, though her temper sometimes scared them, until she cooled down.
"Hello Brewas how is your son doing?" Luctra asked as she took a place between two ogre sized men.
"He's feeling better, won't be climbing trees for a while." He chuckled. Though there was an apprehensive look in his eyes. A look that Luctra completely understood. His son had just turned 12 and would be part of the Reaping for the first time.
"Don't worry Brewas, the whole 'First time's the charm' is not your son's MO at all." Luctra supplied. He gave her a tight smile as the bell sounded appreciating her effort to make him feel better. Taking their places on the line Luctra got to work. The only part about the job that she really disliked was the gutting. Everything just fell to the floor, to be pushed into the chum hole by the cleaners between fish. If that wasn't gross enough sometimes there were little surprises inside the giant fish. She actually vomited the first time she saw a human body part, a hand, fall out of one of the fish. Unfortunately it was something you got used to after a while.
The day passed in routine for Luctra. Slice, spill, slice, scale, lunch, slice, spill, slice, scale. The day passed far too fast for her liking considering what was taking place tomorrow. At the end of her shift she headed back to the tool shed with the others, making small talk while cleaning her tools and then putting them away. Hanging up her face shield she let out a sigh. She had a weird feeling in her stomach.
"It's gonna be alright Luc's." Srita comforted. (AN: Nickname pronounced Lucks)
Luctra gave her a shaky smile. "It has been so far right?" The others around her nodded their heads. Her coworkers stood around her awkwardly until Brewas cracked. Coming up to Luctra he enveloped her in a big hug. Afterwards he squeezed her tight and patted her on the back as he let her go. All the others followed his example not wanting to see anything happen to Luctra but needing a last contact if something did. Nothing was said, it was hopeful that it would not be necessary.
Luctra awoke late in the afternoon the next day. She had always stayed in bed till the last possible moment on Reaping days. Rising from the bed finally she went to her closet and pulled out a baggy T-shirt she normally wore to work, loose fitting black cargo pants and her favourite underwear set. Her green and grey sports bra and matching booty shorts. Nothing special but she loved the fabric and how it feminized her strong body. Also it was practical considering what could happen. Fully dressed with her hair pulled back Luctra walked down the stairs of her house into the dining room where her family would be for breakfast. No one in her family had ever been Reaped so she was hoping the lucky streak would continue today.
"Hey bro, get enough beauty sleep?" Luctra's older brother asked her. He had always liked to make fun of her for her size and strength, since she refused to dress in a feminine manner just to make herself less intimidating to others. Dressing girly was for days off and celebrations, which were few and far between for her.
"What does my outfit tell you?" Luctra shot back.
"Go back to bed." Her brother, Faer, snorted.
Luctra glared at her brother as she took her seat at the dining table. Her mother was laying out the spread for the morning. Putting a little more effort to make it special, like she normally did on Reaping days. Though it didn't compare to the feast she made when Luctra and Faer made it through another selection. Faer laughed at her as she filled her plate with food, glaring at him occasionally. Faer had been out of the Reaping pool for two Reapings now.
"Where's Dad?" Luctra questioned noticing his absence from the table. Her Mom came in carrying a container of juice from the kitchen.
"He was called to the ship. Two hands down so he is getting double pay and a half." Her Mom related. Luctra nodded her head. It was something her father couldn't pass up, even on reaping day.
"No problem. Just means dinner tonight better be super special." Luctra teased. Her mother smiled softly. Leave it to her daughter to never hold something against someone. She was too unselfish for her mother's liking, never thinking about herself, but always about other people.
"Of course sweetheart. We'll even make sure your brother only gets vegetables." Her mother jeered.
"HEY." Faer protested. Luctra laughed. Though she could eat fine she still had that nagging feeling. She found herself memorizing her family as they were right now. Her brother's laugh and fake hurt expression, her mother smiling innocently at her son's reaction. This was her family and she wanted to imprint them to her memory.
She was glad she did this later.
Waiting with the group of girls in front of the Justice Building Luctra was bored as hell. The girls around her dressed nicely, some a little over the top just in case they got caught on camera. Pathetic. Though if you're gonna die soon, why not leave looking good? Not that Luctra could go and change, though for the first time during a Reaping she wished she had worn something a little, well, more appealing. She shook her head at the weirdness of her thinking that.
The sound of someone tapping on the microphone brought Luctra out of her thoughts. She couldn't stop her face from scrunching up in horror and disbelief. On the steps of the justice building stood the escort for District 4: Petal Dust. That's right, Petal Dust was her name and her costume was just as stupid. The woman was dressed up in an outrageous outfit that looked like a giant Venus Fly Trap. While slightly fitting for the occasion, Luctra thought the pink and green and techno coloured outfit made her look like a freak show on heels.
"Boys and Girls welcome to the 74th Hunger Games Reaping ceremony and may the odds be ever in your favour!" Petal announced. 'Odds are that no one wants to get picked dingbat!' Luctra thought as the all too familiar video began to play on the surrounding screens. After the video Petal began talking again.
"Wonderful just wonderful. Now let's see who will represent District 4 for the girls this year!" Petal declared. She swished her hand around the giant fishbowl and pulled out the chosen piece of paper.
"LUCTRA FANTO!" She shouted into the microphone. Luctra felt her heart stop and everything around her go quiet. She literally felt like she turned off until a Peacekeeper came up and grabbed her upper arm forcing her into the pathway and pushing her towards the stairs.
Standing up beside Petal, Luctra felt numb. She was going into the Hunger Games. Her family's luck had run out, and so was her time alive. The feeling of doom washed over her until Petal announced the male tribute.
"DASH VAFSET." Petal shouted. 'God no. Not Dash.' Luctra silently prayed. But it was no use. The little 12 year-old boy looked petrified as he walked up to the stairs. Walking up the stairs like a zombie. Petal took both their wrists and raised them in their air on either side of her.
"Ladies and gentlemen the tributes for District 4!" She cheered. Everyone in the audience clapped loudly, mostly because they were happy it wasn't them, and really, Luctra couldn't blame them. Petal stepped back and she instructed Dash and Luctra to shake hands. They did and then they were filed into the Justice Building into separate rooms where they could say their goodbyes.
Pacing the room Luctra was fuming. Not for herself but for Dash. Reaching out, she grabbed the nearest object, a glass bowl, and hurled it at the wall. Screaming out in fury as it shattered against the wall into a thousand pieces. A second later the door opened.
"Hey sis." Faer whispered. He must have been really upset to call her sis. She was at a loss. For the first time it hit her. If she came home, Dash was dead, if she didn't she would never see her brother again. The latter taking over her emotions she launched herself into her brothers arms. She couldn't and didn't try to stop the tears that began to flow.
"Shhhushh, hey it's gonna be ok." Faer murmured into her hair as he rubbed her back. Comforting her like he would when she was made fun of at school when she was little, or had a nightmare. Only this time she was going to be walking straight into the nightmare.
"Ho—ww is it go—ing to be ok?" Luctra croaked out between tears.
"You're strong and stubborn. Things that will actually work in your favour for once." Faer replied.
"He's right sweetheart." Her mother's voice drifted from behind her brother. Lifting her face from her brother's chest and moving out of his arms Luctra looked teary eyed towards her mother.
"Mom if I win it means Dash dies." Luctra choked out. Her mother stormed up to Luctra and did something that she had never done to either of her children. She slapped Luctra across the face, hard. Luctra's head snapped to the side, Faer stood in complete shock. Bringing her hand up to her cheek Luctra turned her face to her mother, half hurt and half pissed off.
"FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE, Luctra you have to be selfish!" Her mother snapped. Luctra stared into her mother's eyes and she saw it. Pure fear. Her mother was terrified that Luctra was going to die, or worse, sacrifice herself. The anger drained from her body, and she did the thing she knew her mom needed. Luctra enveloped her mom in a bear hug, holding her as tight as possible.
"I can't let the games change me Mom." Luctra wept. "I would rather die a human with a conscious then live a monster with none." Her mom let out a sob into her shoulder. A Peacekeeper opened the door, coldly telling them that time was up. Releasing her mother Luctra put on a teary faced smile.
"Tell Dad I love him." Luctra asked. Her mother nodded and made her way to the door. "And Faer?" She called to her brother. He stopped at the door and turned back to his sister, maybe for the last time.
"Yeah sis?" He managed through a tight throat.
"Tell Brewas I'm sorry. First time charm jinx." Luctra quivered. He brother sadly nodded, not fully understanding, but she knew he would pass on the message to Dash's father.
AN: Hello All! First chapter to a wonderful story I have planned. If you come across spelling mistakes please inform me as I tend to type fast and miss things. Now this is a Cato/OC fanfiction but I am more than willing to do more couples from within the tributes.
Thanks for the reviews and the next chapter will be up soon!