My father was a Hunger Games victor. He won the games a year before I was born. My mother was a trainee, One year below him. She had great potential (or so they tell me). She was going to represent district 2 in the games before she got pregnant. She gave up her honour to have me. My father didn't want to know her after that. "She should have gotten rid of me" he said "dying in childbirth was just what she deserved". My father trained me before I went to the academy. As a daughter of a victor I had high expectations hanging over my head. It would have been unacceptable to him for me to be any less than great. I guess I never impressed him enough though because he never failed to remind me how much of a disappointment and a disgrace I was.
I entered the academy at the traditional age of eight years old. Every year a new group begins their training. They are mentored by volunteers, previous victors and some of the older students. They learn everything from knife fighting to spear throwing to Shinobi (the ancient form of fighting that ninjas used, also the deadliest form of fighting known to man). There is one other thing that a few district two trainees are selected to learn and that is breaking training. The mentors use physical and emotional torture to "break" the trainee, make them able to withstand pain and endure longer and harder. These are the ones that always seem to win. They are all trained for a total of ten years before they compete in "The Honour Trials", thus named because the winner gets the honour of representing district two in The Hunger Games. First the boys fight and then the girls. It's a fight to the death to select the best of the best to ensure an easy win for our district. This is done a month before reaping day so that any injuries have time to heal.
On my first day at the academy, Craven (the academies leader) sent all the new first years into the gym to try our hand at various skills and to see if we were any good. Some second and third years decided to come down and witness the show as they do each year. The first obstacle was throwing knives. While my father had been training me we had discovered that I happened to have a secret talent for throwing knives. I had an amazing aim and could hit any target he constructed for me with perfect accuracy since I was five years old. Craven lined us up and ordered us to try our best at hitting the bull's-eye. No one even came close, that was, until I had my turn. We were fairly close to the target (about three metres away). This is too easy I thought to myself. So I turned and walked away until I was at least 5 metres from the target. With a deft flick of my wrist the knife left my hand and landed smack in the middle of the bull's-eye. Shocked faces of first, second and third year students gawked at the unexpected sight. "Clove!" barked Craven "It would seem that you are in the wrong group, From now on you will train half of the time with the third years and half of the time with your own group, we wouldn't want you to feel unchallenged now would we" . I suddenly noticed the faces of the other students. A mixture of shock and fear registering on their faces. All except one that was. A muscly blond boy with golden skin and bright blue eyes who towered over the rest of his group of second years. He glared at me with a look of jealousy, hatred and menace. Obviously he thought he was the best of the juniors and he didn't appreciate being out staged by a puny first year that was at least half the size of the rest of his group.
His name was Cato and I was told that he was the toughest, strongest junior the academy had seen in years. All of the other students were terrified of him, but not me, I was intrigued. After my performance in the gym, the rest of the first and second years avoided me like the plague. They looked as if they were afraid I would slice them open just for looking at me (which might have been partly true), But not Cato. He would stare me down at any chance he got. Clearly he thought I was his biggest competition. This act lasted about a week before curiosity got the better of him and he was banging on my dorm door demanding to know what my deal was. Even back then I could tell that the blond haired giant was going to be nothing but trouble for me. Maybe I should have learnt from my father's mistakes and ran for the hills. My father always told me that feelings are a weakness that true warriors refuse to be taken by. My father loved my mother in his own sick and twisted way. He hated himself for being so weak and so cut himself of from her when he found out she was pregnant. The guilt ate him up until he drank himself to death. "Emotions can consume us if we let them" he told me. I guess he was right.