Okay, so I'm late. Lets not make a big deal out of it, please? I was so busy this week. I mean, I just started school and I got on the gifted team (the team for smart people :P), and they gave me the wrong supply list and... yeah. So today my school got cancelled due to the hurricane that's thankfully missing my state (Florida) but we're still getting a lot of rain and wind and all that. Okay, anywho, I hope you like today's chapter! Stuff's about to go down. And anyone who can guess what is up with Adela will... um... get a cookie? *pulls batch of cookies out of the oven* Oh, hey, this is the first song chapter! The song is Into The Nothing by Breaking Benjamin. Alrighty, enjoy!


Lark, Age 15, District 3

I sit on the cold ground, watching as Bo stands and stretches, picking up his crossbow and readying himself to go out hunting for the day. No, Siggy and I aren't going. I realized that if he wants to take care of me then I shouldn't be complaining. This is the Hunger Games, and if I have an opportunity to make it any easier then I should take it. I mean, sure he has the wrong idea about it, but I know better then to try to reason with ignorance.

Screaming on the inside, I am frail and withered

I glance over at Siggy. He looks so sweet and innocent, but yet so sad and intelligent, like he's wise beyond his years. It occurs to me that he just might be. From what I've heard he had a tough time as a kid. At the same time, he looks so tiny and weak. It sickens me to think of how he might die, because surely he cannot survive these Games. He's far too young, too innocent. And those who are innocent can't live through a game as gory as this one.

"Alright, Miss Lark, I'm a goin'." Bo says.

"K," I nod, not looking at him but faking a smile. He thinks I've forgiven him, that something he said made sense to me and that I accepted that he was right. Thing is, he wasn't right. He was dead wrong and he still is. I can't jeopardize this alliance just because we don't agree. I have to keep it together, if not for my sake, then for Siggy's.

Cover up the wounds, but I can't hide

I watch as he heads down the same tunnel he returned from yesterday and listen as his footsteps slowly fade away. I sigh. I was so in love with him before, he just seemed so perfect, or at least I thought so. Look how wrong I was! I should have known. No one is perfect. Not even Bo.

Fortis, Age 18, District 11

I grit my teeth as I make slow progress through the tunnels. I can walk now… sort of. I would go faster if I wasn't worried about reopening the wound. It's barely closed up as it is. True, it hurts, but I'm used to pain.

Walls that lie between us, the saint is in the sinner

I hate this arena. I hate it so much. Why couldn't we just be in a normal one? Here, the Careers could be just around the corner and you wouldn't even know it. I could be walking straight into their camp right now. I was hesitant to start moving at all, but I know I have to keep going, otherwise they will find me. Who they would be, I'm not sure, but someone would find me. At least this way, I'll find them first.

Adela, Age 15, District 9

I wake up and stretch, having no idea what time it is. How could it? I can't see the sun.

"Adela," I hear the female voice say again. I leap to my feet.

"Alright, mysterious voice," I say loudly. "I've had about enough of this. Who the heck are you?"

"Adela…" The voice says again. I can hear it more clearly now. It sounds female, young, quiet and sad. And very, very familiar. Like that girl that you were best friends with in Kindergarten whose name you just can't place. It's going to drive me mad, if I'm not there already.

I have lost the nerve, but it's alright

"I know you're here!" I say again, turning around and trying to find the source of the voice.

"Adela…" It… she… whatever, repeats. No, that voice isn't in my head, it's in the caves, and it sounds as if it's coming from everywhere, all around me. Maybe it's just that her voice is bouncing off the walls? Yeah, that's it. But then how did she get here? She's not a tribute. Is she a trap set by the Gamemakers?

"Will you hurt me?" I ask. "Are you a trick?"

She doesn't respond for a moment. "I'm here to save you."

Tori, Age 17, District 12

Carry the wounded and shut your eyes

He gave up trying to snap her out of it at what I estimate was about midnight last night. When we moved to this cave from the last one, he carried her, and persisted as we walked. I admire him a lot for trying so hard to get her back, but at some point it just got hard to watch. It hurt that he just wouldn't accept the fact that she was gone, it hurt a lot. He still doesn't accept it, really, but he's stopped trying to tell her to snap out of it. He won't leave her side now, and he won't stop talking to her. He didn't get any sleep last night, just stayed up telling her stories about his family and his past. It amazes me that he can have a conversation with someone who won't say anything.

All will be forgiven, none will rise

"Why doesn't he just give up already?" Kestrel grumbles from where he sits leaning against the cave wall next to Monroe and holding her hand in his.

"What are you talking about?" I scowl.

"I don't get it." Kestrel says, his face expressionless. "Can't he see that she's gone?"

"If it was Monroe instead of Pixie, would you give up on her?" I shoot back, completely aware that it isn't entirely a fair question. It shuts him up, though, and he drops his ice cold gaze. I hate his eyes. Whenever he looks at me goose bumps form on my arms.

Bury the fallen and lead the blind

"We should start moving again." I say, standing up after about half an hour of listening to Jake tell Pixie stories that she might not even be able to hear. The girl is catatonic. A flicker of doubt crosses my mind. Kestrel is right; she's to far gone to come back from whatever dark place she's in inside her mind. But Jake just won't accept that. He can't lead, so someone has to. Monroe couldn't do it. And it sure as hell isn't going to be Kestrel.

"Who put you in charge?" Kestrel asks, his narrowed eyes locking with mine. I suppress a shiver and fold my arms.

"No one." I reply coldly. "But how does that matter? We need to move. I'm just saying it out loud. So, let's get moving, please."

"Aye, aye, captain," Kestrel grumbles sarcastically, heading first into the tunnels with Monroe at his heels.

I will find the lost dead inside

"Come on, Jake," I say, resting a hand on his shoulder. He nods, a solemn look on his face, and scoops Pixie into his arms. I let him go into the narrow tunnel ahead of me, and watch as his shadow melts into the darkness of the tunnel, Pixie laying limp in his arms, as if she's dead. And she is dead… on the inside anyway.

Lindsey, Age 16, District 10

"Why ever is a raven like a writing desk?" I cackle as Kyler and I race along the tunnels, shooting and whooping. The darkness looms in front of us but we don't care. We love the darkness, the unknown. It's refreshing.

"I don't know, Lindsey." Kyler smiles widely. "Why?"

"I have absolutely no idea!" I say honestly and we burst out laughing.

Into the nothing, faded and weary

"Can we take a break?" I hear Stella call from behind us. "I think Altair is going to pass out."

"No…" Altair pants. "I'm… fine…" He then proceeds to cough violently.

"No way, Stellaroo," I say, not pausing as I dash down the tunnel. "You slept last night. That was the break! You were lucky to get that! I mean, seriously, how ungrateful can you-" My word shifts into a shriek as I feel the ground disappear beneath my feet. I look down to see where the floor of the cave cut off abruptly, giving way to a chasm with no bottom in sight. If I had seen the drop I could have made the jump. But I didn't see it. I feel myself begin to fall and panic courses through my entire body. I'm too terrified to scream.

I won't leave and let you fall behind

Suddenly, I feel a pair of hands grasp onto the back of my jacket and the breath knocks out of me as I swing back and hit the wall of the cave. The arms are strong and powerful, easily pulling me back up to safety. I turn, expecting to see Kyler, but instead see Altair, gazing down at me with celery green eyes.

"Altair?" I ask in confusion, fear beginning to prickle at my insides. Where's Kyler? But then I see him, leaning casually up against the wall of the cave in the shadows, looking rather bored with the situation.

"Who is Altair?" He hisses, his eyes narrowing to slits. "Aiden doesn't know who the pretty girl speaks of."

I look over at Stella. "Maybe we should take a break."

Jacob, Age 16, District 5

Live for the dying, heaven hear me

"When I was little," I laugh as I carry Pixie through the tunnels. "My sister and I used to chase each other through the town square. Sometimes we'd play games, but a lot of the time we'd just chase each other for the fun of it, never really knowing who was chasing who. The adults yelled at us sometimes but we'd ignore them. One day I accidentally knocked over a table of bread that the baker was selling. He started screaming at me and I was about eight at the time, so I got pretty scared. My sister, who was ten, grabbed one of the loaves of bread and shoved it right into his mouth!" I burst out laughing, but the smile slowly fades, to be replaced by a grimace of pain. "I've never had that much fun in District Five after that, I don't think. It's always felt so empty since…" I trail off, not wanting to continue on.

I know we can make it out alive

I miss my sister. I want to see her again, badly. I know I will soon, though. I'm going to see my sister again… just as soon as I die.

Eden, Age 15, District 7

We backtracked along the tunnels and on our way found a side tunnel so small that we had to crawl through it. After a few seconds, though, it opened up into a huge cavern, complete with a pool of crystal clear water on one side. Aiden long since started punching the wall, making me unbelievably uneasy. He can't control his aggression at all, but thankfully we all managed to explain to him that we weren't just fresh meat. Now, though, his knuckles are bleeding horribly and a small rumbling sound escape the wall every time he punches it.

Leave me at the bottom, I am lost forever

"That's it," I say, as the wall lets out a particularly loud growl. "I'm going to, um, take a walk… I guess."

"I'll come, too!" Stella and Clay say at exactly the same time.

"We need someone to say behind and keep an eye on the crazies, though." I point out in a whisper.

"You two go." Clay says, glancing over at Aiden. "I'll stay here."

"Okay." I nod, and Stella and I make our way back out into the tunnels.

Letters from the dead, say goodbye

We don't say anything as we walk lazily down the tunnels; just enjoy the break from the psychotic characteristics of the Career alliance. "Glow worms." I notice, glancing up at the ceiling to see the florescent creatures dangling from the roof of the tunnel. Stella nods in agreement and we continue to walk, not really caring where we're going. It occurs to me that we can get lost, separated from the Careers. Right now, though, I couldn't care less.

Sorrow falls upon us, this will be the last time

Suddenly, a rumble ten times louder then any of the others resonates down the path sounds, causing us both to instantly freeze.

"What was that?" Stella asks, anxiety lacing her usually placid voice. The walls begin to shake and I can see cracks beginning to form in the ceiling, dirt and grovel already begin to fall down around us.

"Stella, run!" I scream. "The tunnel is collapsing!"

Days begin to end, but I'll get by

The rocks begin to fall down behind us and the sound of them breaking open against the floor is louder then anything I've ever heard, sending another wave of terror washing over me with every smash. My legs churn underneath me, and I breathe heavily as I race down the winding tunnel, Stella on my heels. A bloodcurdling scream comes from just behind me, and I look over my shoulder in mortification to see Stella being buried underneath the rocks, her blood already staining the stones. Her eyes lock with mine for a moment but then they are covered by the falling debris. I feel my ankle twist and then hear it crack, sending me falling straight at the stone ground. At the last second, something catches me and I look up in shock to see Dmitri blinking down at me.

"The tunnel, it's-" I begin, but get cut off as his lips press against mine. I hear the sound of the rumbling dying away. The cave in must have stopped. I close my eyes and allow myself to get caught up in the kiss. It sets of fireworks in my chest and I wrap my arms around his neck, suddenly reminded just how much he means to me.

Clay, Age 18, District 4

Follow the hopeless and shut your eyes

"Did you hear that?" I ask, looking around.

"Hear what?" Kyler asks, glancing at me from where he lies with his hands folded casually behind his head.

"Nope, I didn't hear anything, Clay Face." Lindsey replies, spinning around in circles and then proceeding to fall over.

Aiden just grunts in response, not even looking over from the wall. I wince at the sight of his hands. They're completely soaked in blood, and the bones must have broken a long time ago. How can he stand that? Maybe he doesn't feel any pain when he's Aiden.

All will be abandoned, none will shine

I'm worried. That sound… what if Stella and Eden are in trouble? I should go looking for them. But I can't. I have to stay here and make sure that Lindsey, Kyler and Aiden don't do anything that could endanger the alliance. I just hope Stella and Eden are alright.

Pixie, Age 14, District 5

Gather the broken and leave this life

The alliance picks a spot and I feel Jake put me on the ground. It's ice cold and if I could, I would no doubt start shivering uncontrollably. But I can't. I can't move, can't speak. It's getting worse. I can barely breathe anymore. It hurts to breathe, hurts to stay alive. I'm not sure I want to live anymore.

Lying in the earth side by side

Jake wants me to live, I know he does. He doesn't want to win himself, true, but he wants either me or Tori to survive. I know that I can't stay alive much longer… but maybe Tori can. I hope it would make him happy. He's so sad all the time, now, talking of his past like he's lost it all. He might have.

I hope I die soon.

Dmitri, Age 15, District 7

"Why'd you leave?" I ask finally, breaking into the silence.

Into the nothing, faded and weary

She doesn't respond, just sits there staring at the wall.

"Eden," I say, anger edging my voice. "Why'd you leave me?"

"I…" She whispers, her voice catching in her throat. She takes a deep breath and looks up at me with a steady gaze. "Kyler invited me. I thought I would survive longer if I joined them."

"You're lying." I say, staring straight into her beautiful eyes. Her words might say one thing, but her eyes scream something else.

I won't leave and let you fall behind

"Fine…" She murmurs, looking away from me. "They said they would hurt you if I didn't."

"Eden," I breathe in shock, wrapping my arms around her and resting my head on top of hers. She grows tense for a second before accepting the embrace, entwining her fingers with mine. "You shouldn't have to sacrifice yourself for me."

Live for the dying, heaven hear me

"I couldn't let you get hurt…" She says, a tear falling from her cheek.

"I'd rather die," I say. "Then have you suffer."

I know we can make it out alive

I know it's true. I couldn't bear to see her in any sort of pain. But is that really what she thinks of me? I know its wrong… but some part of me wonders if I can really trust her. The way she acted in the bloodbath was different. She didn't seem like herself. I guess one could argue that she was acting for me and that's why she did what she did, but love for someone can only go so far, surely? She killed him without hesitation… without regret.

Adela, Age 15, District 9

I'll keep you inside

The voice stopped talking after she said that she was here to save me. I don't understand. What's there to save me from? Sure, I'm in the Hunger Games, but I'm not in any immediate danger. Then it occurs to me. She's not here to save me from anything in the physical world. She's here to save me from myself.

Bo, Age 16, District 3

I walk down the tunnel, my crossbow loaded and ready to fire. Lark took what I said the wrong way last night, but I'm glad she understands now.

I haven't seen much of anything edible. I saw some bugs but decided that Lark probably would rather starve then eat them. There were some bats a few minutes back, but there is barely any meat on them, just skin and bone. I haven't seen any rats since the two I caught last night, and there doesn't seem to be much else in the tunnels.

Where I lead you cannot follow

My crossbow is suddenly ripped from me hands and I feel a strong force sending me into the wall of the tunnel. My head smacks up against the stone and spots dance in my vision.

Straight into the light

As my breath grows still and shallow

"Look what I caught!" A female voice shrieks happily, quickly followed by a rather insane-sounding laugh.

"Well, well, well…" I hear a deep voice chuckle. "Whatever do we have here?"


Tributes killed in this chapter

Stella, Age 17, District 4

Alliances

Career- Lindsey, Kyler, Altiar/Aiden, Clay. Captive: Bo. Location: The Hidden Cave, Level Seven

Alliance 1- Tori, Jake, Pixie, Kestrel, Monroe. Location: The Main Southwest Tunnel, Level Six

Alliance 2- Lark, Siggy. Location: The Main Northeast Tunnel, Level Five

Alliance 3- Dmitri, Eden. Location: The Southwest Passage, Level Seven

Loner- Fortis. Location: The Main Southwest Tunnel, Level Five

Loner- Adela. Location: The Southwest Passage, Level Six