Games In The Viper Pit
Summary: AU. In a universe where the Cylons were victorious after the first Cylon War, the Twelve Colonies are now under their control. To remind humanity of their victory, each year two teenage human tributes are chosen from each colony to fight to the death, in an arena made from the shell of a decommissioned battlestar. But what happens when the teenage would-be crew of the Galactica are reaped?
A/N: I haven't even read the Hunger Games yet, but after seeing the movie the concept grabbed my attention, and since I've recently started watching Battlestar Galactica 2003 it was inevitable that I would have a crossover idea. So here it is: the Cylons are implementing the Hunger Games. Due to a lot of the characters in BSG being from Caprica, I've had to shuffle them around a bit to get them all in the arena, so assume that because of the different circumstances some of them are born on different colonies to what they are in the TV show. Also, some of them have had their birthdays changed to get them all to be the right age for the games. I did consider having people of any age be reaped, but it's just more brutal when it's teenagers.
I'll say before you read this that it was kind of weird to write because of how much I'm changing things round and transposing characters into different roles, but I hope it goes okay.
Disclaimer: I own neither Battlestar Galactica nor the Hunger Games.
Chapter One - To Reap What Is Sown
Human District, 1412 miles from Caprica City
32 years since the end of the Cylon War
Silence had settled on the crowd; a noiseless tension filling the air as hundreds of young faces turned their attention to the woman standing on a stage before them. They were all stood in what had once been a pyramid stadium, but it had been many decades since anyone had come here filled with excitement or joy cheering for their team. Now there was only fear.
At the front of the stadium, the woman took a few paces forward to approach the podium onstage. Her stiletto heels made clicking noises on the hard floor, loud enough that they resounded clearly in the quiet and could be heard several rows back. Once she reached the podium she smiled, a superficial gesture that did nothing to warm the cold look in her eyes. She was wearing a white dress and had blonde hair that elegantly framed her face in waves. Some of the people in the stadium perhaps would have found her attractive had they not known what she really was: a Cylon. Number Six model, designed to look human, but really nothing more than a combination of synthetic fibres and artificial tissue. A mimicry of humanity that the survivors of the human race could only assume was designed to mock them.
The woman leaned in closer to the microphone and spoke, her voice velvet even though the message it delivered was cruel and harsh. "Citizens of Caprica, the time has come again to choose the two young people who will represent your colony in the annual Battlestar Games." At this very moment, eleven exact copies of this model were delivering the same message throughout the other colonies in the system. "As you all know from your history lessons, or for some of you who were there," she continued, glancing towards the adults who were watching from the back, "Many years ago a war was fought between the humans and the Cylons. For many years it raged as the Cylons struggled for their freedom, but now at last there is peace. To ensure that this peace endures for many years to come, every year since the day of our victory, two tributes – a young man and a young woman – have been chosen from each of the Colonies of Kobol. They will go on to compete in the Games on board the ship that now serves as an arena; the ship once known as the Battlestar Galactica. For twenty three of them, that ship will become their grave, but for the victor many rewards are in store. So now, unless there are any volunteers, we shall draw the names for the people who will represent Caprica." She paused a moment to see if any volunteers would step forward. Unsurprisingly, no one did. In the thirty two years the games had been held, there had only been seven volunteers from all the colonies. Nobody wanted to go and volunteer to die.
"Then we shall begin with the girls," Number Six said in the same tone as before, completely unsurprised by the outcome. She took a step back from the podium and glanced to her left, where a group of metal centurions in armed mode were standing at the edge of the stage. One of them was unarmed and instead holding a glass ball filled with slips of paper, and it took this an instruction to come forward. The Cylon approached her and held out the ball so that she was able to reach through the hole in the top. The audience collectively held its breath, each of them praying that it wouldn't be their name that was drawn as Number Six put out a hand to pluck out the first name. For what seemed like hours to the people observing, she rummaged around in the bottom of the container, and then at length the Cylon woman withdrew her hand clutching a strip of paper.
She unravelled it and then leaned in towards the microphone as she spoke again. "Kara Thrace."
A ripple seemed to pass through the crowd, relief washing over those girls whose name hadn't been called, but there was a collective sense of curiosity to see who had been chosen and pity for the girl that was about to go and face their death. As several murmurs and hushed prayers of thanks swept through the stadium, at the same time the crowd parted around a girl of roughly sixteen, who had short blonde hair and brown eyes that were staring vacantly ahead of her, probably from shock. A centurion went to escort her to the stage, but before it had chance to attempt to get her to move forcefully she suddenly snapped out of her daze and took several quick paces ahead of it, moving purposefully as she walked towards Number Six.
As she ascended the steps onto the stage her expression was emotionless, but her eyes were set in a hard stare. Number Six smiled coolly at her, but Kara just glared right back, her jaw clenched.
Turning away from her and dropping the pretence of niceties, Number Six resumed carrying out the process. "And now for the boys." A Cylon approached her from the other side of the stage this time, bearing another glass ball, and she went to draw the name. Again there was a collective sense of tension among the crowd, this time from the boys on the left hand side of the stadium, and then the name was drawn. Number Six unfolded the piece of paper and read aloud, "Zak Adama."
Once more relief swept over the young people in the audience, all save for the boy whose death sentence had just effectively been announced. At the back, among the adults, a man with dark hair and a face lined and wearied from his many years living in a world such as this started forward, his eyes wide in shock. A hoarse cry of "No!" escaped his mouth, and noticing his movement the centurion standing at the end of his row suddenly raised its weapon arm to point at him. At his side, a balding man with some white hair remaining put a hand on his shoulder to pull him back. "Bill, don't make this worse than it already is," he hissed in his ear.
William Adama didn't say anything in response, just watched in horror as the crowd parted in front of him to allow the centurions to reach his son, before they began to hustle him towards the stage so that he could be presented to the people before he was sent to die.
As the metal Cylons reached him Zak nervously licked his lips to try and moisten them, but found that his mouth had gone so dry it made no difference. His legs felt leaden as he made his way closer to the stage, the realisation that this was actually happening hitting him like a sledgehammer. He was going to have to fight to the death, and chances were one of the deaths would be his. He was so in shock that it took him several seconds to work out what was happening when another voice suddenly called out, "No! Wait! I volunteer! I volunteer!"
This sent a rush of shocked murmurs throughout the crowd, and even seemed to surprise the Cylons who paused for a moment to seek out the source of the voice. No one volunteered for these games. Ever. It was suicide.
But yet somebody just had.
As soon as Zak comprehended what had been said he felt an initial rush of relief, but then he recognised the voice and panic set in again. "Lee? No! What are you doing?" he cried out as he looked round for his brother, only to see centurions pushing people out of the way to reach the elder Adama sibling.
Zak and Lee's eyes met briefly as they were pushed past each other, Zak being sent back into the crowd while Lee was dragged forward. "Lee, you don't have to do this for me," Zak called out, his mind racing as he tried to stop his brother throwing his life away on his behalf.
"Yes I do," Lee said back, his face set in a look both of fear and determination. "You wouldn't last five minutes in that arena and you know it. It'll be alright, Zak."
That was all the interaction they had chance for before Lee had reached the steps and was being ushered up then. As he reached the top he turned to glance back out at the crowd, his eyes searching for his brother or father but finding neither of them. He looked scared and out of his depth.
Number Six gave him an appraising smile. "A volunteer? How very brave you must be. I take it that was your brother?"
Lee swallowed, and then tried to compose himself and assume a more stoic look like Kara was doing. He nodded in answer.
"And may I ask what your name is?"
"Lee Adama." His voice sounded hoarse when he answered.
Number Six seemed to smirk just slightly. "The name 'Adama' is familiar. Did your father serve in the War?"
Lee nodded again. "Yes," he answered, sounding stronger this time.
"I'm sure you'll make him proud," the blonde Cylon said with an insincere smile, and then gestured for Lee and Kara to come closer together. "Shake hands, both of you," she instructed, "You'll be getting to know each other quite well over the next few weeks."
We already know each other quite well, Lee thought, finding that sentiment only made things worse. Kara and Zak had been close, and by extension Lee knew her well enough as well. But that was all the more reason he knew Zak wouldn't have stood a chance in the Arena.
Lee reached out nervously to take hold of the hand Kara was offering. She was putting on a strong façade, but as he gripped her fingers he thought he felt her trembling just slightly. Or maybe that was him.
"A round of applause for our brave tributes!" Number Six called out, and on command the audience broke out into burst of clapping and cheers. It was meant more as a regretful but rather-you-than-me kind of apology than the congratulations the Cylons were pretending it was.
As the clapping slowly died out Lee and Kara were ushered towards the back of the stage where they would soon be escorted off by a Cylon guard, and Number Six stepped forward again to the podium. "Now all that is left for me to do is to wish you a happy Battlestar Games, and may God forever hold you in his favour," she said, the fake brightness of her tone falling flat and dead on the audience's ears. Then she turned and stepped towards the exit at back of the stage, leading the two doomed tributes away from everyone who cared about them and on towards their impending demise.