Date: October 6th
"Someone woke up," exclaimed Glimmer. She ran over to the wall to check.
Rue, busy beating Hazel, Janaya, and Penny at Sorry for the eight straight time that day alone, whipped her head to Glimmer. "Who is it?"
"74F8," said Glimmer, as she made her way back to the group. "Savannah... I can't pronounce her last name. It's read M-O-U-R-O-N, but I doubt that someone would be dumb enough to name their kid Moron. Anyway, she's 13."
Glimmer sat down again next to Marina on the other side of the game board.
"I bet her last name is actually Moron," joked Rue. "I mean, anything can happen. Tessa's last name is Stalk."
"Yeah, but Stalk isn't a bad LAST name when paired with a good FIRST name," Finch pointed out, looking up from her book. She was laying on a couch near Hazel, Janaya, Penny, and Rue. "Tessa Rae is just a bad name to pair with the last name Stalk. Moron is an AWFUL last name in the first place. Imagine someone calling you Moron all day!"
"True..." said Rue.
"I think she's coming to Twelve with us," said Penny. "That will be fun."
Suddenly, Rue sunk into a thought. It was very clear that she was out of it, because when Hazel took her piece, she didn't react at all.
"Rue, you OK?" asked Marina.
"I was just thinking about what it would be like to be a Career."
"If you want, there are a bunch of people here who could tell you."
"Could you guys?" she asked eagerly.
"Sure," said Glimmer. "I actually know what it's like in Two as well as One. Two is actually the most strict of any District."
"Yeah. They're basically the Capitol's lapdogs! Anything they want or need, they get. And nobody is poor there. Contrary to popular belief, there are some poor people even in One."
"How does their Career Academy work?"
"Well, it's EXTREMELY organized. Each person is required to enter the Academy. They have four hours of school and four hours of training every day. Each person is analyzed based on their potential when they enter, and they are reanalyzed every year. A month before the reaping, all students of reaping age are analyzed on all counts. One student is elected as the primary volunteer. That student is instructed to volunteer when the escort asks for volunteers BEFORE the slip is drawn. Should that student not volunteer for any reason, whether it be cowardice or having to take care of their family or whatnot, there are three secondary volunteers who are on the hook for AFTER the name is read. The student who doesn't volunteer, should that happen, is not allowed to go up for volunteering the next year."
"The organization is great there, though. They have a bunch of classes going on at different times in both the gym and the classrooms. Each student can be bumped up or down based on their performance, though. I have no clue how the numbers work, but I know that getting moved in a school class may not affect your training classes, etc. But I know that they care about the training much more than the education. And you do know that the Games are occasionally rigged towards D2 tributes."
"Yeah," said Hazel. "Are Academies that organized in One?"
"Sort of. Our Academy isn't mandatory, but it is attended by over 75 percent of the district. It's more of an after-school program than a school, like in Two. We have more general classes rather than specified, tailored classes. Rather than having one selected volunteer, we have a list of people who could volunteer. Any of them would do our district proud. Usually, there are kids from age 16 to 18 on this list. Fifteen-year-olds do come up on the list every now and then, but not very often."
"Anyone under that age?" asked Penny.
"Well, rarely ever. I really have only seen five fourteen-year-olds, and maybe two thirteen-year-olds. But I've seen ONE twelve-year-old ever."
"Tell me about her!" exclaimed Rue.
"Well, her name was Blaze. She must have had something done to her, because she was hard as a rock. She was probably the best student under 15 at the Academy that year. I was only 6 or 7 when that list was posted. If she'd waited a little bit longer to volunteer, she would have won without a doubt. But she volunteered at age 12, and died."
"Was she given a hard time?"
"Heck, yes! The eighteen-year-olds were furious! They wanted to go in, and they couldn't."
"Why'd you volunteer?"
"Well, I was known as Gemma Lawrence's sister. Most of the teachers liked me, and a lot of the kids admired me. I also had potential, and was pretty strong with most weapons. So, when everyone saw my name on the list, they knew it wouldn't be a problem if I volunteered. So I did. And I did my best."
"I'm sure you did."
"What's the academy like in Four?" asked Rue.
"Well, life in Four is a bit more complicated. You see, in Four, we think a little bit more about jobs than training. The eldest son in each family is expected to take on the trade or job of the father. So, for example, if the father fishes for cod, so does the oldest son. Same with the oldest daughter, who is expected to take on the trade or job of the mother. Any other kids can choose anything they want. Obviously, each kid must complete education, but some of these younger kids go to the Career Academy. Therefore, only about 25-55 percent of the kids of reaping age or under actually go to the Career academy. Therefore, some years, you have a lot of people who are ready to volunteer, and sometimes, there's nobody. That's what happened this year. On the guy's side, Sebastian is the oldest son in a family where the father is a bait-maker. The nice thing about Four is that every job is equally important, but the job of a bait-maker just might be the most important. Sebastian was training in the craft, and, as you know was reaped. I am the fourth child in a family of seven, so I had an older sister and brother to take on the family trade; therefore, I was able to train."
As Marina was talking, a faint PING could be heard from the list, but nobody heard it.
"Interesting. What about the kids that don't take on their parents' trade or train?"
"Well, they do apprenticing to other trades. My best friend, Alex, is the son of a salmon fisher, but he is the third son. So he went to a boat-maker and learned from him. Now he's actually a pretty good boat-maker. Apprentices usually train under men who have no sons or females who have no daughters.
"Boy, the culture there is amazing!"
"Yup. I really love it there. The smell of the sea is so comforting."
Suddenly, the doors slid open. A youngish girl with sandy brown, curly hair and hazel eyes entered the room. She noticed the group of girls, and went to join them.
"Hi," she said timidly.
"Hi!" exclaimed Hazel. "You must be Savannah. Welcome to the group!"
"Got a question," asked Rue. "How do you pronounce your last name?"
"Mu-RON," she explained. "Everyone asked me about that. What did you guys think it was?"
"Moron," Rue sheepishly said.
"Don't worry about it. Everyone says that the first time they meet me."
Savannah sat down next to Rue.
"Tell us a bit about yourself. What was your life like at home?"
"Well, I'm not sure if you know this, but Eight pretty much began rebelling right after the Hunger Games started. Nobody in our district ever liked them. The thing is, the Capitol knew exactly who the rebel leaders were, at least most of the time. One of those leaders was my father.
"The Capitol's punishment for those leaders was was not death, though that's what you'd think. Our reapings were always rigged so that the children of rebel leaders were reaped. I could have been reaped last year, but there was another discovered rebel leader with an 18-year-old, and they wanted to punish him.
"I had two brothers, Austin and Dallas, who were eight when I was reaped. They were so cute. I really missed them a lot while I was in the Games. There's really not much else to tell."
"Did you have a mother?" asked Rue.
"Yeah. She was really nice. She always would give us a little cookie in our lunchboxes at school."
Suddenly, Savannah looked around. "Did any boys wake up yet?"
"Yeah, three of them, but they're off doing something boyish. I think Sebastian and Jason are trying to teach Techno how to swim, but he doesn't want to learn at all."
The girls continued to talk and get to know each other. Savannah was really beginning to feel comfortable in this group.
Suddenly, the doors slid open again. A tall, muscular, dark-skinned boy came in. Rue recognized him immediately.
"Thresh!" exclaimed the young girl, and she flew into his arms.
"Rue," he laughed, and swung her around.
"When did you wake up?" asked Rue.
"Just a bit ago."
"How do we know who wakes up?" asked Savannah.
"Come with me," said Marina. She led Savannah over to the list on the wall.
"Did you get your ID card yet?"
"Yeah, it's right here," said Savannah. She took it out of her pocket.
"Well, this number right here is your tribute ID number. It has your Games number, 74, your gender, F, and your district, 8. If you look on this list, you can find your tribute ID number here. See that?"
"It says I'm awake."
"Are you awake?"
"So it did its' job. The list basically shows each tribute's name, age, ID number, and status: IP, meaning in progress, Coma, Awake, or Districts."
"So, if you want to know the status of anyone, just look them up. If they're not on the list, they haven't been started."
Savannah scanned the list. She read the last line on the list.
"Ivory, Dreamcoat, age 13. 73F8... District 8 female from the 73rd Games?" Marina nodded. "IP, so in progress... she must have just been started."
"Bingo! See how easy it is to get this?"
Savannah nods eagerly.
"Are the people here nice?"
"Of course. Everyone is supportive and helpful. You'll love it."
"I hope so. I just want to go home!"
"I don't think you'll be able to go home, but I do know where you are going."
"Well, the Victor of those Games was Katniss Everdeen. As a Victor, she's been asked to help with the resurrection process because she is a Victor. I don't know if there's a pattern, but I think she'll be taking in girls 12-15. There's actually already a girl there. And she'll be calling right about..."
"Marina! Tessa's calling!" yelled Rue.
The two headed back to the couches where they found Rue's laptop open. Tessa was on the screen.
"Hey, Marina! I heard that someone else woke up!"
"Yes. This is Savannah."
Savannah waved to Tessa, who waved back.
"What's your tribute ID?"
"Oh, nice. What are you doing right now?"
"Playing with Dalia, Katniss's daughter. She's really sweet. I adore her."
"How's Ken?" asked Glimmer.
"What can I say? He has learned the art of a temper tantrum."
"Oh. That's bad."
"The bigger problem is that he is INSANELY fast. He can run away incredibly quickly! The last time he cooperated was the day of Jazzy's wedding."
"Did you ever tell us about it?"
"No, I didn't. Oh, the wedding was wonderful! Everyone got the timing perfectly right. Jazzy looked lovely. I was so happy to see how happy she was."
"Dalia! Tessa! Dinner!" yelled Katniss.
"Gotta go," said Tessa. "We'll talk tomorrow?"
Rue nodded. "Bye!" she said, and closed her laptop.
"I like Tessa," said Savannah.
"Wait till we get to live with her," replied Rue.
First off, it warms my heart that so many of you have been reviewing to get me to update. It means that you're really reading and that you care about my writing, which is exactly what an author wants to hear. However, you have to understand that I have homework, so updates might not be so consistant for that reason. Kk?
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the chapter. The next one will be up within two weeks. And please submit to my other story!