A/N: This chapter is going to be very confusing at first, but keep reading and all will be answered.
Also you guys were very quick to jump to conclusions about the last chapter. A few people were suspiscious though and sent me PMs as to why I didn't update my profile tribute list ;)
What's going on?
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Where am I?
"Just cut the hazard out, and we will send her off."
How am I alive?
Suddenly I feel a knife slice under my skin in my calf. The tip of the blade digs deep and the pain is so extreme that I want to scream, but I can't.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
I am able to make some kind of sound from the back of my throat to alert whoever is digging into my leg that I am in excruciating pain.
"Is she awake?"
I force my eyes open and the room is blurred. Two doctors stand over me, their face's masked.
"Where am I?" I try to move my arms, but I am unable. I am restrained to the bed.
"Up her tranquilizer!"
I begin fighting against the restraints that are holding me down. I twist my body every which way, but it does nothing.
"Help me!" I scream.
Suddenly a few other doctors surround me. They pin me down while one takes a giant needle and plunges it into my arm. I pass out almost immediately.
I hear the heavy footsteps from far away, and so I slowly open my eyes. Somebody is approaching and I must wake Aeron up. However, when I open my eyes I am not in the arena, and Aeron is not here. Instead I find myself in a sleek room. The walls and floor are the same metallic blue, and I'm lying on a bed.
The first thing that crosses my mind is that I'm in a lot of pain.
The second thing is that my sister is potentially in danger.
I get up from my bed, and immediately collapse. Wires yank from every inch of my skin and the quiet air is moved by the sounds of angry whining.
Somebody rushes in before I can try to get up and they call for help. Three others follow in and take me under the arms, slowly lifting me to my feet and back on the bed. Then they rearrange all the equipment that was attached to my body until the horrible beeping stops.
"Where am I?" I ask
"Well you're in the Capitol," a man's voice answers. "You're the first victor of the Hunger Games."
He chuckles and pats my shoulder.
"You're family is being sent in from District 2. They'll be here soon to see you."
"And my sister?"
"Well I'm sure she'll be here too," the man exits the room along with the others and I fall back against my pillow.
The only thing I can remember is choking Lucian and then feeling sharp pains throughout my back. Is that why it hurts to try and stand on my feet? At that point I thought I would die, but I guess I killed them after all.
I swallow the lump that has suddenly formed in my throat.
I killed them.
When I wake up again, a young girl is trying to pull a shirt over me. I push her away and fright and sit up. A horrible pain emits from my side and I immediately pull my shirt down. The girl approaches me again and grabs my arm. Before I can prostest she hurries me from my room and leads me down the hall.
"Where are we going?" I ask.
She doesn't answer, and that's when I realize that she must be an Avox. She places her index finger on her lips; a gesture that tells me to be quiet.
So now I know I'm in the Capitol. I also know that my side is burning and so is the back of my calf. They must have took my microchip.
She pushes me into an elevator and hits the key that says "B".
"Am I going to be killed?" I ask her.
She blinks a few times, and then turns away from me. She stares up at the number buttons as they count down.
Right now I'm guessing I'm taken to be executed, but if that were the case why did they fix me up? Am I the victor?
We finally reach Floor B, and the Avox sends me down a hallway until we get to a giant set off doors. She punches in a few numbers on the keypad and the doors slide open. How impressive.
She pushes me in the room, but doesn't follow. When I've completely stepped into the room she hits a button and the doors slam shut behind me.
"Wait! Where are you going?" I call to the other side, but nothing happens.
"Athea DiMae?" A bald man stands upon a set of stairs that leads up to a giant hovercraft.
I was so busy trying to call back the Avox I didn't realize I was in a giant hangar filled with top-notch Capitol hovercrafts.
The man clears his throat loudly when I haven't answered and I snap back to reality.
"Um… yes I am Athea."
He waves me forward and I climb the steps slowly.
"Right through there," he says pointing to a door.
I do as he says without asking questions. Nobody is going to answer them for me anyways. The door slides open automatically and I find that the room is not empty.
Sitting upon one of the chairs is a familiar pale boy, with skinny arms and wild red hair.
"Lucian," I run towards him without a second thought.
"Athea?" He looks shocked to see me and I envelope him into a hug. For once he hugs me back, and suddenly I'm crying.
"Do you know what's going on?" I ask.
He shakes his head, and I take a seat next to him.
"I only heard they were sending us somewhere," I reply; partially remembering the first day I had awaken.
"Where? And who is the victor?" Lucian asks while fixing his glasses.
I shrug my shoulders and lean back against the seat. Only time will tell what's going on. I might as well relax until then.
They get me out of bed later that day and sit me in a wheelchair. The fact that I can't walk has me worried, but when I inquire about it the nurse assures me I'll be interview-ready in a few days.
She exits and I'm left alone with my thoughts. First of all, my back is injured and walking is difficult. My sister is apparently just fine and is coming to see me. I am the victor of the Hunger Games. Everybody else is dead.
Everbody else is dead.
The door knob suddenly turns and I break from my thoughts to see who is coming to see me. The door swings open slowly. In the shadows stands the two people I have missed most of all.
My father, and to my upmost joy, Elle is there, looking completely fine.
I try to rise from my wheelchair to run over them but as soon as I lift myself up my feet wobble, nonresponsive and I hit the chair again.
Elle runs over to me looking worried, and I wrap my arms around her tightly.
"I knew you'd be back," she whispers in my ear and then steps away. "I have something for you."
"Wait! Are you okay?" I look over her and see no sign of any kind of torment.
"Yes, Noah I'm fine. The better question is; are you fine?"
This is very strange.
"I'm alright," I answer back.
"Anyways," she reaches into her bag and pulls out a small container, "this is for you."
When I open it I see a few chocolate chip cookies.
"How did you afford these?" I'm shocked and don't want to eat them because of how far back it might've set our family financially. How silly of them to buy me cookies.
"Noah…" Elle smiles at me, "we're rich now. We can have whatever we want."
"What are you talking about?" I ask.
"They gave us a mansion in a special part of District 2 where future victors are going to live. We can have anything we want."
"Just because I won?"
Elle nods her head. I look for some sign of trauma she may have experienced, but I see none. Was that image I saw in the arena a set-up?
I test out my theory.
"When did you arrive here?" I ask.
"Just a few hours ago. We took the train right after you were pronounced victor."
"What happened at the end?" I ask.
"Well, it was a bit confusing because they were showing highlights from earlier and talking about betting odds, and then suddenly the screen was back and you were attacking Aeron, then Athea, and then Lucian."
I sound like such a murderer right now. Do they think I'm some kind of monster?
"It wasn't like that at all!" I sputter. "I attacked them because they showed me Elle and she was trapped, and they said they were going to kill her, and…"
Elle covers her mouth in shock and my dad puts his hands on my shoulders. I stop talking.
"You don't have to explain yourself. We understand. It's obvious that the Capitol did something to set you over the edge, but Elle is and has been fine."
I nod to him and he gives me a reassuring grin.
"I have something for you too Elle," and I wheel over to my bedstand. There sits the only possession I have from the arena. I pick it up and wheel back over to Elle.
"Hold your hand out," and she does. I place her blue button in the palm.
When she sees it I'm terrified that she's going to cry, but she wipes the tears away and hugs me again.
"I didn't know you had this," she replies.
"Keep it please. It helped you." She places the button back in my hand and I lift it up to look at it shine in the light. I guess it did help me. It got me through those cold nights when I wanted to give up.
That's when it really begins to hit me. I'm a victor, but I'm also a murderer. Knowing I'm the only one left from that grueling arena makes me feel empty inside, and knowing that I made it so makes me hate myself.
The hovercraft is so smooth, that I barely feel it land a few hours later. Lucian is asleep against my shoulder and I nudge him awake. He sits up and looks around wildly.
"Where are we?"
"I don't know, remember?"
"I had a dream I was in the arena…" he begins and I shush him
"Let's not talk about it right now."
The pilot appears in the doorway and ushers us to the exit. I descend the stairs to the ground.
We have been dropped off in some kind of barren wasteland. Rubble lies everywhere and I'm getting the idea that we are going to be left here to die. My suspicions are confirmed as the entrance to the hovercraft closes and I hear the engine begin to whirl.
"What's happening?" I try not to panic, and Lucian glances around trying to figure out the same thing.
"Athea DiMae and Lucian Sparx?" I swing around towards the voice. The source stands by the top of some passage leading downwards and I nod my head to confirm.
"How rude that they just left you here without an explanation. Welcome to District 13. Come," He waves us towards the staircase and I follow him cautiously.
"What's going on?" I ask when I'm close enough.
"Don't worry, soon all will be answered."
District 13? I look over at Lucian who stares in awe. He was the one who hypothesized that it still existed, but even he looks surprised.
I feel shell-shocked as I take in the expansion of the room at the bottom of the stairs. Computers upon computers are lined up against the walls. Hundreds of people sit typing, while others are scribbling wildly on whiteboards. Some congregate in groups as though they are presenting something.
"In time, this is where you two will be stationed. This is the Technology Unit, here we design and research new, well, technologies, not only to help improve our underground compound, but also so we may become more intelligent and self-sustaining.
"Stationed?" Lucian asks and the man nods.
"Who are you?" I ask. He is dressed in a uniform and I wonder if he's the leader.
"You can call me Tenner, that's my last name. I'm President Marcus' right hand man. I'm taking you to him now."
We follow Tenner down a few hallways that are so thin I'm feeling claustrophobic. Eventually he leads us to what must be the home of this president because the door is protected by keypad. He punches in a few buttons and the door slides open.
"Ahh are these are lost victors?" The president looks young to be a leader. His skin is darkly tanned and he has dark brown curly hair. I would estimate he's in his late twenties, if that.
"Yes, sir. They have a lot of questions too."
"Well take a seat, and ask anything you want." He nods to Tenner and thanks him before he leaves the room.
"What are we doing here?" I blurt out before Lucian gets a chance to speak.
"Yes, we made an agreement with Panem's soon-to-be president, Miss Scarlett Snow."
"What do you mean soon-to-be president?" I ask.
"Forget that!" Lucian says. "Who is Scarlett Snow?"
"You would know her as Scarlett Donahall, the Head Gamemaker. She had hidden her identity to keep Riddley from knowing she was the daughter of our former, and most-hated president. Soon a plan to assassinate Riddley will be set in place by her, and then she will take over as Panem's new president."
"Wow," Lucian breathes, and even though I can't even wrap my head around that, I have more questions to ask.
"Why are we here? Who is the victor?"
"You are here thanks to Tenner. He made a call to me that we must do something about this. I reminded him that we are to have no involvement with Panem anymore, but after he made me watch the games I picked you two out. You both are intelligent, in fact I was in touch with your parents, Athea."
"Now let me finish," he rearranges himself in his chair and places his leg across his knee.
"Anyways, I thought you two would be a great asset to our community here. You both showed that in the arena with your intelligence and your determined rebelliousness. We also got a special request from Faunas' oldest brother, Kale Dunois."
These answers are just opening more and more questions.
"I called Scarlett and made her a deal. The conditions were that we keep quiet about her little plans for Panem's president, and she would hand us over you two, alive. In return, we will no longer meddle in the Hunger Games. To answer your question about the Victor; Bullet Daniels of District 2 was named the victor of the 1st Hunger Games."
"No!" Lucian jumps in before me. "I saw Athea kill him. I heard the cannon go off! I know I was being choked, but I remember."
"That's what Scarlett wanted the Capitol and the president to think. The first cannon you heard was for Aeron, who was indeed killed by Noah, the second cannon you heard that you thought was Noah's was meant for you. Another cannon was fired after Athea collapsed and that was supposedly for her. Noah did sustain his share of injuries. I know they had to do extensive surgery on his back, but I am unaware of his condition past that."
"Why did they trick us?" I ask.
"The Capitol couldn't think there was more than one victor, Athea. That answer should be obvious."
I nod. Of course if the Capitol thought more had survived it would ruin the premise the Games were created on. Plus they would wonder what happened to the tributes that were sent to District 13. Lucian and I were lucky. If it weren't for Tenner we would be dead right now.
"I think that's enough questions for now. It is getting late, and I suggest sleep especially to rest your injured bodies. I will call Tenner in and he will show you where you will be staying."
"Wait… what about my brother?" I need to know what has become of Micah before I ever think about sleeping.
"Yes, from what I know Micah is staying with your friend Fahrin."
"When do I get to see him?"
Marcus sighs and folds his hands over his desk.
"The simple answer Athea is never. We cannot risk sending you to District 3."
"Can't you bring him here?" I ask him, my voice rising to panic.
"That seems highly risky Athea."
"Please," I beg. "I'll do anything."
"We will talk about it tomorrow. For now you're brother is safe."
It's not much but I'll take what I can get tonight. Besides, right now I'm exhausted. Tomorrow though I will find a way to get to Micah, there's no way I can leave him to think that I died. Even if he is staying with Fahrin I don't trust Micah's safety unless I'm there. Plus I owe it to my parents.
As I'm falling asleep I can feel a throb of pain in my calf. That's when I remember my microchip. It's in the Capitol's hands now, but if it did have information about District 13 then the loss will not be that great. I can ask Marcus tomorrow what he thinks was on it, he should know if he knew my parents.
For the first night I fall asleep easy. Though my brother is not here, and I am in a new location, I am safe and away from the grip of the arena. However, I cannot help but think about Faunas, and for the first time since he died I allow myself to grieve.
"So how does it feel to be back?" Julius' flashes me his bright smile, and I have no idea what answer to give the Capitol.
Sure it's great to be back, but I'm not feeling very well. At night I have nightmares, and when I wake up I look for Aeron's familiar shape lying close by me. It is then when I realize the nightmare is not over.
I can't still see Ashley's red body lying almost motionless as she groaned in pain and told me how she was supposed to be a healer.
So many lives taken; a mother, a child, a healer, a caregiver, a sister, a brother, and although I had my reasons for wanting to come back, I've come to the realization that the other tribute's reasons were just as important. They all deserved to come home just as much as me, but I was lucky.
So I give Julius the only truthful answer I can give over national television.
"It feels great to be back with my family."
I'm told that I will have to go on a tour through the districts six months from now and meet the dead tribute's families. I'm already nervous about that, especially to see my own partner's family and her motherless child.
I am also told that I will be the first mentor. Mentors, which will be past victors, will help new tributes navigate their way through the games and hopefully grab them a few sponsors. Some may see it as a burden, sending more children to be killed, but I see it as my redemption. I will make sure I bring back as many of my future tributes as possible, in hopes that it will make up for all who have died under my hand.
I barely catch Julius' ending words.
"And so we welcome both our first victor, Bullet Daniels, and the end of a new beginning. Have a good night Panem, this is Julius Flickerman signing off."
And the crowd erupts into applause.
A/N: I said last chapter that I was going to have two more chapters, but I'm just going to end it here. I had a few things I wanted to bring up but since I'm doing a sequel I can just mention it there.
Unless you guys still have questions and think I need another chapter. If that's the case I'll put in an epilogue.
Yeah I may have cheated a bit, but there is only one victor. I really needed the victor to make sense, but I needed Athea and Lucian's rebellion plot for my sequel. Besides I think my story makes sense, so I'm going to go with it.
So I'm going to mark this story complete. :')
I'll post information about my sequel on my profile and start up a tribute list then.
Please leave me one last REVIEW! Please, please, please :) and send me a PM if you want to be in the sequel.
Okay I'm done. Have a good Sunday! Thank you all for all the support I've gotten. I never would have been able to finish this without you all.
I almost forgot I wanted you guys to answer a few question in your review to help me with my next story. Please answer! :)
What was your favorite scene?
Who was your favorite/least favorite tribute (besides your own)?
Which death was your favorite/least favorite (based on writing)?
Improvements you would like to see for reapings/training/games chapters?
Things you thought I did well with?