Hey, guys! I'm very excited to begin this little adventure with all of you! I'm sure some people are confused (submitting tributes? But... WHERE'S THE FORM?) I actually PMed a bazillion people about this, so that's where the tributes came from. Although, since SYOTs are illegal now... I tootaaally made them up myself. Riiiiiggghhhttt...
Anyway, thanks again for submitting tributes; I really appreciate it and I love them all to pieces! I am really not looking forward to the bloodbath... But no worries, I've got plenty of chapters planned before that happens! Below I have some important info for you guys, so have fun with that. Once again, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!
Korbin Ehnt, 22
I wish I could talk. Honestly, there are many things I wish for, but the thing I'd like the most is my voice back, thank you very much. I know that it's never going to happen (stupid to even consider it) but I guess I can't help myself. Sometimes I find swallowing difficult because my tongue is no longer there to help force the food down my throat. Once I had to use my finger in place of the missing tongue, and it made me sad in a way I don't fully understand.
They say that I deserve to be an Avox. I don't really think so, but I keep my head down and I don't disagree. That would be stupid, and I'm not stupid—just meek. Then again, being meek is pretty much the same thing as being stupid here in the Capitol. I get screwed over all the time, and I am compliant because I'm afraid and I can't say no.
I don't know what I did wrong. I was eighteen, nineteen, it doesn't matter. And there was a girl. I remember the girl because she was beautiful and nice and funny. I really liked that girl.
And then she said she had a secret, and she told me and it had to do with our President and the Districts and running away from Panem forever, just the two of us. I wasn't sure if that was okay or not, but I did know that the girl would take care of me, no matter what, so I said yes and she went away.
When I saw her again, she was hanging from a tree in front of the President's mansion, and I was being hustled down, down, down, into the facility where they sliced out my tongue and listened to me scream.
Cold fingers on my shoulder force me back into the present. I stiffen to attention as Amygdala sashays around me before coming to a stop in front of me, so close that her Gamemaker robes swish around my ankles. "Korbin," she asks, and her voice is soft and beautiful, kind of like silk. "What are you waiting around here for? I asked you for coffee over two hours ago."
She sounds accusatory, but Amygdala would never punish me. I have heard her order terrible things on other people, mutilation and death, but she has never raised a finger against me, her personal Avox. Even now, one of her eyebrows is raised and she is nodding. "Another flashback, Korbin? You seem to have an obsession with that tongue of yours."
I wish I could tell her that it isn't an obsession so much as wishful thinking, but I can't. Amygdala probably knows, anyway. She understands things about people, things you thought were a secret until she mutters them under her breath and you realize that you can't keep any secrets from her. Amygdala Ligus, Head Gamemaker, is the most intuitive woman I have ever met.
"You might as well tag along," Amygdala says, waving me forward. "Come on. We'll go to my office and you can stand in the corner and be quiet. Does that sound like fun?" She doesn't wait for my assenting nod; instead, she turns so quickly that her robes snap around her ankles. I don't really have a choice (besides, Amygdala is good to me) so I hurry after her, slowing down so I don't step on the silver cloth dancing around her heels. Amygdala has dark, rich skin that clashes horribly with the silver robes, and short black hair that comes to her shoulders. She is one of the few Capitol people who doesn't have many enhancements and tattoos: as a general rule, Gamemakers don't do things like that. Neither does President Tam, come to think of it.
Of course, Amygdala does have one addition. Her tongue, it… I think she had this before I met her, but it makes me sad, I guess. It makes me wish I still had my tongue. Her tongue is so long—I think she can extend it out of her mouth about a foot. And she can pick things up with it. She tried to write with it once, but I know that was just to show me what I've been missing.
We arrive in her office and she immediately sits down at her desk. "Close the door," she orders, and I do, slipping into my designated corner. Amygdala put a swivel chair in that corner, and I sit down gingerly. Technically Avoxes are supposed to stand in the presence of their betters, but Amygdala has never been one to actually follow the rules. As her Avox, I suppose she'd rather I didn't follow the rules either.
She sits at her black desk and kicks at her own swivel chair, biting her full bottom lip as she snags a bunch of papers and begins to read. Amygdala's office is very sparse. The walls are a baby blue, which is a completely misleading color because it is so calming. I saw Amygdala shove a cactus down a man's throat in this office. He kept on thrashing because needles were poking out of his throat and he couldn't even scream.
I think she did it for fun, too.
I sit and I watch her working, and despite the memories of the man with the cactus and the multiple people she's done in (whether under the President's orders or not, I don't know) I am not afraid. Amygdala would never hurt me. I am her Avox, her devoted servant. I trust her implicitly, and she knows that and she will not take advantage of it.
Only I still wish, even though I know it cannot happen, that I had my tongue so I could tell her these things myself.
Amygdala Ligus, 24
This year's arena is going to be amazing.
I said that last year too, and the year before that, and the year before that. The year before that, I was still working as our previous Head Gamemaker's assistant. How unfortunate that Julius was murdered so brutally by that mysterious hooded assailant.
Oh, who the hell am I kidding? I did that, and believe you me, it was fucking awesome. I mean, he didn't put up a fight or anything. He just looked at me. It was almost as fun as that time I shoved a cactus down some civilian's throat for no reason.
Good times, good times. I'm not supposed to be reminiscing right now, though. In all actuality, I'm supposed to be calling the head of the muttation department and asking him what the hell he's doing to the mutts. He sent me a profile for a shark mutt that I happen to know we used two years ago. That kind of repetition is the perfect way to bore the Capitol, to get me fired, and to guarantee that the Games this year are less than perfect.
I may be completely insane, but I'll be damned if I allow my Games to be anything less than 100 percent incredible.
"Korbin," I say, raising my voice because he's probably daydreaming again. "Call Roma, alright?" I can see Korbin getting out of the chair I bought him, taking his sweet time walking to my desk, and finally picking up my cell. He takes forever doing pretty much everything I ask him, but I put up with him because… I really don't know what I put up with Korbin for. I've had him since I was 20, and he's always been like this. If he were anyone else he'd be dead, but he's Korbin and I like him. I don't know why. Am I supposed to like my personal servant? Pretty sure that's a gigantic no. But Korbin is so… Well, he's so helpless and lost. He's like a sheep.
I guess that makes me the wolf in charge of his flock. And I'm serious, if anyone fucks with my sheep, they can be sure that I'll be killing their families within the hour.
Korbin shoves the phone in front of my face. Giving him a look, my tongue slips from between my teeth and coils around the phone. I like my tongue. I don't know anyone else who has an enhancement like mine. It makes for a great surprise at parties.
Korbin lets go hastily, returning to his seat. My tongue extends backwards and I press the phone to my ear. "Miss Ligus? Hello?" Roma is asking, no doubt wondering whether or not I'm going to throw him in a tank filled with his stupid shark mutts.
Luckily for him, that isn't my plan. I'm not even going to kill him or set him on fire or anything like that. No, I'm only going to yell at him.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL, ROMA? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHY ARE THESE MUTTS EXACTLY LIKE THE ONES FROM TWO YEARS AGO?"
"Miss Ligus, I…"
"SHUT UP, BITCH, I'M NOT DONE YET! JUST BECAUSE WE HAVE WATER DOESN'T MEAN WE HAVE TO HAVE SHARKS! HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF CREATIVITY, ROMA? DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT IS?" There is frightened breathing on the other end of the phone.
I pull myself together. "I expect new mutts by tonight, Roma, or I'm going to throw you into the arena as a mutt instead. Believe me; with that retarded mane you got, you look like one." I hang up before he starts crying.
Korbin is looking at the wall, acting like he didn't hear anything. Clever boy. He's probably the only person I have any respect for right now, my Avox servant. That's kind of sad, if you think about it.
President Cadecus Tam, 27
I am not the kind of person to fall to pieces over one little thing. If the President of Panem were that kind of person, our country would be screwed. We'd be done. Finished. Zip.
Unfortunately for me, the Hunter is no longer a little problem. I sift through the pictures on my desk, and I clench the photographs violently as rage travels up and down my spine. That insolent bastard…!
The family is dead. A man, woman, and two children, and they are all dead. The Hunter was merciful with the children, at least; all he did was slit their innocent throats. The wife has three bullet wounds in mostly non-vital areas, suggesting that she was left to bleed to death.
It is what the Hunter did to my Gamemaker that pisses me off. Tulian's abdomen has been slit open, and his limbs are splayed as though in his final moments he was writhing in agony. Written on the wall of the living room, in the bright red blood of my Gamemaker, is a little message directly from the Hunter to me.
Every year, I get angrier.
Watch yourself, Tam.
Who does he think he is? We have surveillance footage; Tulian had cameras installed in his house, for security that ended up completely failing him. Like always, I've seen the blazing white hood of my ultimate enemy, the hood that never falls to reveal a face. If I could only see his face once, I could find him.
He's made it pretty clear what he's objecting to. The Hunter never assassinates anyone who doesn't have something to do with the Hunger Games. I'm going to have to increase security on the Training Center and on the building that houses my Gamemaker's offices. I can't make a big fuss about this yet, because if civilians found out about a serial killer roaming around the Capitol, there'd be chaos. No, it's best to act as though absolutely nothing is wrong, and hopefully the massive Peacekeeper force I have roaming the streets will be enough to find this son of a bitch.
I groan, relaxing against the padded cushion of my chair. I love my job, love every minute of it, but things like this are what makes it a little less than perfect. Luckily, there's always someone to call when things are going rough. Who says the President of Panem can't have friends?
Amygdala picks up on the third ring. "What the hell do you want, Sir?" she yawns, sounding bored.
"Talk to me," I command her. "Tell me about your day."
"Hm," she says, pondering. "I didn't kill anybody today, so I guess not that much went down."
I press a finger to my temple. Sometimes, talking to Amygdala can be less relaxing than just sitting in my office and staring out the window. "We've been over this, Amygdala," I remind her, through gritted teeth. "I ignore the fact that you have… em… interesting tendencies. It's hard to do that when you spout it like an idiot."
"Sorry." She doesn't even sound sorry. "Well, I yelled at Roma today. That's something."
"Really? Whatever for?"
She snorts. "He sent me mutts that were copies of ones we used a couple of years ago, the moron."
"I suppose you really cut into him."
"His ears were probably bleeding by the time I was done." We both laugh, although Amygdala is probably more amused by the image of Roma's bleeding ears than by what she's just said.
"Well, miracle of miracles, you've distracted me for thirty seconds," I tell her. "Now it's back to work."
"Later," she says, and I hang up. I suppose it is extremely unprofessional of me to be friends with one of my subordinates, but Amygdala has known me since I began my ascent to the top. I may do a lot of things, but I don't desert my friends.
Nor do I desert my enemies. I glare down at the grisly photographs before me and I clench my teeth. Wherever you are, I vow, whoever you are, Hunter, you'd better run.
When I get to you, you're going to wish you'd never been born.
Well hey there, guys! I hope you enjoyed the prologue! Tam, Korbin and Amygdala are going to be playing a bigger role in this story than you might think... So I hope you find them interesting!
Anyway, you're probably here for this "important information" business. After some deliberation, I decided to do a sponsor system. Am I putting the list on this page? Hell nah. I actually don't have a list, you can ask for whatever the crap you want, as long as I think you can afford it. So, how do you get money, hmm...? Answering one of my questions will get you $5 (and yes, I'm using dollars because I'm an American and I'm cool like that *poses*). Reviewing will get you $5, and I mean legitimate reviews. Just putting the answer to my question doesn't count, loves. Sometimes I'll have a Special Challenge, which will give you $25. Occasionally I'll have a Super Special Challenge, giving you $50! Note that only one person can win the Super Special Challenge, though. Because I am a fan whore, writing fanfiction or making fan art for this will get you $25. That's all I can think of, so... yeeaahhh.
Please note that anyone can sponsor, even if they didn't submit a tribute. If you did submit, you do not have to sponsor your own tribute. You may also collaborate with others in order to achieve enough cold hard cash to afford an item. Things won't be cheap, guys, especially since prices increase the longer you stay in the Games...
If you're confused about this, just PM me and we'll chat. I like the chattings.
JAYFISHY QUESTION TIME~
#001: Judging from Amygdala's hint about water monsters, what do you think the arena is going to look like?
#002: If you were a Gamemaker, what would your favorite aspect of the job be?