So this story is based loosely on The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins. Obviously with less character death (because I love the GW boys too much to kill them. Sorry.)
Disclaimer: I do own neither Gundam Wing nor The Hunger Games and I don't pretend to. Got that?
A slight rustle of grass shocks me awake and if it weren't for the ivy wrapped around my waist, securing me to the tree, I'm sure I'd have taken the 15 foot drop to the ground below. I'm confused for a moment trying to remember where I am and why I was asleep in a rather large tree instead of my bed. Glancing down at the ivy I realize that I'm also not wearing my own clothes and I'm clutching a dull knife in a white-knuckle grip. I nearly drop said knife when the realization of where I am hits me.
"I need to stop trying to convince myself that it was just a dream." I mumble, slowly working out the knotted ivy around me. Two weeks ago this nightmare crossed the border into being my reality and, with my luck, I'll never wake up.
Reaping Day: May 2, 195 A.C.
I stood quietly with a few of my sisters on the side of the square watching the other citizens of Colony L4 being herded and separated into pens like cattle. Children 11 and under this way. Teenagers this way. Parents wait on the sides. It was disgusting and humiliating. All around me the air was reeking with fear and hopelessness. It took all my will-power to stand straight and not succumb to the desperation trying to permeate every pore of my being. The only reason I bothered pretending to be indifferent to the struggling crowd at all was to please the tall, stern man seated on stage. Does this make you proud, Father? I thought bitterly.
My father is L4's Alliance Representative and a dedicated pacifist meaning that my family was never entered into the reaping. My twenty-nine sisters and I are instead forced to wait on the sides and fall victim to every angry glare and dirty insult the reaped families can find time to give us in between praying for their kin.
Every year the Alliance chooses one child per colony between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in universal massacre known as the "Gundam Games." The chosen "tributes" are shipped off to Earth and forced to kill each other in a huge arena while their parents and loved ones watch, helpless, from across the galaxy. The Alliance uses The Games as a way to remind the colonies who has the power. Apparently, there was a time before the Alliance had complete control in space, though not much is known about it, during which the colonies joined forces to try and fight the Alliance's growing influence. The result was the same as if the colonies had posed no resistance at all. The only difference being the amount of colonial casualties and now the Alliance uses the Gundam Games as a way to remind colonists how stupid we were to fight them in the first place.
"Quatre, look. They're starting." One of my sisters whispered harshly. I knew she didn't actually want me to watch the drawing of who will be this year's tribute, she just didn't want me to get in trouble with an OZ soldier for not paying attention. It's almost surprising how a tiny action, or in-action, can set the soldiers off into a violent frenzy. And they're supposed to be protecting the peace. I nodded to her and turned back to the stage where a plump woman was reaching her hand into the bowl containing the name of every child in our colony, except my own and a few of my sisters'. I watched as the lady, I had forgotten her name and it didn't really matter seeing as we'd have a new reader next year anyway, pulled out a single slip of white paper and slowly unfolded it, clearly enjoying its dramatic effect.
"Elle Ramuno." She said happily voice.
Complete silence followed the announcement and I watched as a small girl, no older than 13 I'm sure, slowly padded toward the stairs of the stage. She was crying and her slight frame shook so badly that I could see the tremors clearly from across the square.
"No! Oh, God, no!" A woman cried from somewhere in the crowd. I turned in search of the voice and saw a tall woman struggling in the arms of her husband as she watched her child march the stairs toward certain death. Two more little girls sat sobbing at her feet, their tears mixing with the dirt they sat in.
Suddenly all the emotions I'd been fighting to ignore forced their way to the surface. Every heart-breaking wail from the woman was another wave of agony sweeping into my soul. That girl had a loving family. She had sisters. I could picture her growing up, helping her siblings with homework, studying in school, walking home with friends. I could see her falling in love with a boy, getting married, waving goodbye to him when he left for work every morning, having her own kids, and eventually watching one of their names being drawn from that clear bowl promising death. That small, innocent, helpless girl being sacrificed for crimes she never committed. Crimes that none of those kids committed.
"Wait! Wait a moment!" I called out. I had to stop it. I had to save her. She had a future, a purpose, I knew she did. The moment I spoke up both the girl's walk and her mother's wailing stopped. All the eyes in the square turned to me. "I-I volunteer!"