Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Titans, the Justice League, or the Hunger Games, nor any items affiliated with them. This story is just an adaptation of a plot I found interesting and wanted to create a little spin on. Once again, I do not own anything except the twist of the plot within the Hunger Games.
Warning: The material in this story is significantly much darker than that within the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The descriptions are much more vivid, along with some sexuality and language. Please read at your own risk.
An earsplitting scream shattered the stillness, thus acting like a gruesome signal to commence the brutal bloodbath. The girl with the nerve-wrenching scream crumpled to the ground, clutching her bleeding chest. Slowly looking down, she was greeted with the horrific sight of a spear protruding through her torso, her intestines spilling out of the wound, landing on the exposed flesh of her thigh. She wanted to empty her stomach of its contents, but didn't have the strength for it. Already, her energy was quickly sapping up and her essence was already evaporating. With eyes glazing over, the girl fell forward, her face burying into the sinful dirt.
A few feet away, a diminutive boy swiftly ducked to avoid the heavy blows from a carefully sculpted axe that a large, muscular boy named Antonio Diego was wielding. Grunting, he fell to the ground, wincing as he felt locks of his hair cut clean off his head. Sending a feeble kick to his opponent, he watched in horror as he was lifted off the earth, dangling upside down. Tightening his grip, the stronger boy flung the coward at a nearby tree trunk. Seeing stars, the boy hissed in pain. He could already vision his imminent death as clear as day. Sure, he was definitely a weakling compared to the others vying for irrevocably stained honor, but maybe, just maybe, he could have survived if he had been able to escape and hide. Unfortunately, things had been unable to pan out that way, rendering him incapable to assist his cancer stricken mother. Before he could close his eyes, his skull was shattered from the sheer force applied to slamming it into the aged bark of the gnarled yew tree.
Sprinting, a girl was closing in on the cover provided by the dense forest. Before she could reach the minimal protection, however, a boulder was tossed her way, causing her to skid to an ungainly halt. Whirling around, ginger hair whipping her face, she saw a sadistically grinning sixteen year old boy advancing towards her. A memory of him carving scars into the faces attached to punching bags in training slammed into her, making her recall that his name was Jack White. The silver of a knife in his right hand glinted maliciously.
"Well, hello, beautiful," he hooted.
"Please don't kill me," the girl whimpered, almost falling backwards over the stone. She would accomplish nothing by running. He could easily throw that handy knife of his, or the surrounding battling tributes would murder her in cold blood.
"You know, you remind me of somebody I hate. Always a damned sitting duck. Always afraid to take action. Do you know who I'm talking about, deary?"
"Who?" the girl, Vanessa, asked cowardly.
"My father," spat Jack. "And do you know what I did to my father?"
"I killed him," Jack simply responded, no emotion visible. "Just like I'm going to kill you."
Finally deciding that fleeing might actually be prudent, Vanessa stumbled backwards, hoping the huge slab of rock would act as a shield. Unfortunately, Jack came bearing down on her with the sharp knife before she could even blink. He carefully sliced her forehead, watching as the scarlet tear-like substance trickled down her olive flesh. Considering his next move, he roughly grabbed her face to stymie her struggling to some degree. Slowly, he ran the blade along the jelly of her left eye, causing an eruption of anguished screams to add to the resonating clanging of fighting.
Elsewhere in the very large arena, a girl with undeniable sex appeal shoved her fellow district tribute and boyfriend of three years to the ground. Before he could really respond, she lowered herself on top of him, straddling his hips. Shocked, his chocolate brown eyes stared up at her previously warm green eyes.
"Don't do this, Carol," he croaked, pleading, especially with his eyes.
Smirking, Carol bent forward, wondering where his interminable will was located right now. After all, if anybody had the will to survive, surely it would be him. She flicked out her tongue, trailing it along his strong jaw, to his luscious lips, up to his straight nose, forming some twisted kiss. Hovering her mouth above his right ear, she whispered hotly, "Happy Birthday, Hal," before plunging the silver blade of her weapon into his heart.
The screen froze, the tape now paused. The paused scene revealed three panels side by side. One third of the screen showed the cruel expression upon Carol's face right after she stabbed Hal right in the heart. On the other hand, an almost gleeful air surrounded Jack as he became a butchering surgeon just for the hell of it. The last third of the screen displayed Antonio holding that small boy by the neck, bone peeking out of the confinement of his largest organ, his skin.
"I remember that Game almost as if it were yesterday," commented a man from the doorway, a remote in hand. "It was the 37th Hunger Games. Twelve games have followed it, but none compare to the cruelty that was dished out, as well as the unquestionable dynamic relationships between the contenders. I will never forget the final three: Carol Ferris, Jack White, and Antonio Diego. How Jack strangled Carol to death in that sick joke of his by modifying a scheme of the Gamemakers to help create an unforgettable ending. How Antonio almost pummeled Jack to death, but wound up dying due to Jack's smarts."
"It's my personal favorite, sir," said Clark Kent, craning his neck around from his position on a luxurious sofa to get a good look at President Luthor.
President Lex Luthor was a very wealthy and puissant man. He was not to be trifled with; otherwise, whatever you did to rile him looked like child's play. It was a fact. He had aristocratic features and a sinister smile to boot. He was bald, which sort of added to his commanding presence. Harsh lines of wrinkles determinedly covered his face, although he could easily receive surgery to remove the bothersome creases. The once shining emerald of his eyes was extremely faded, often devoid of emotion. Every day, he would wear expensively tailored suits, most likely to show that to him you were just a poor bug. To put it simply, Lex Luthor was a very dangerous enemy to have, one that could have you killed in two flat seconds if he truly wanted you dead.
Clark Kent, on the other hand, was practically the poster child (er, man) for youthfulness. Unlike the majority of the Capitol, Clark Kent had never received surgery to alter his appearance. However, he did get a tattoo on his chest of a red S placed within a diamond-like structure. Even though his wife, Lois Lane, wasn't a huge fan of his tattoo, he just had this impulsive need to get it. It just felt as if it somehow described his character. Clark Kent had a very strong jaw and almost inhumanely blue eyes. Unfortunately, the beautifully stunning color was diminished slightly due to the glasses he wore to enhance his vision. His dark hair curled around his face, framing it rather well. In all, Clark Kent was a very handsome man that also happened to be Head Gamemaker.
"Look, Mr. Kent, people are quickly growing bored of watching the Games. If they lose interest, they'll stop watching the Games. If they stop watching the Games, they won't be reminded of who's the one wielding all the power. We can't afford another rebellion. This is your first year as Head Gamemaker. Don't disappoint. It's the Quarter Quell, meaning there will be double the contenders. Make sure the arena's interesting and that it doesn't end too quickly or drag on. Play to the crowd's interests. Make it a memorable year at all costs," President Luthor said, signature scowl showing.
Clark ran his hand through his thick hair. "Don't worry, President Luthor. According to my calculations, it's going to be a magnificent year."
"I certainly hope so. Otherwise, it's your head."
And with those foreboding words lingering in the air, President Luthor exited the room.
-Meanwhile in District 1-
Richard Grayson gracefully landed, having just completed a three and a half twist from a set of uneven bars. He had been practicing his gymnastics for an hour or so, honing his acrobatic skills. Without a doubt, he loved gymnastics. Sometimes, though, he loathed it with a burning passion. It never seemed like he could practice the sport for himself. Instead, it was just a part of his training regime.
"Your feet separated shortly after that second twist. You'll need to work on that," observed Richard's adoptive father, Bruce Wayne.
Bruce Wayne was a rich man, only second to President Luthor. His business, Wayne Enterprises, produced deluxe paraphernalia, ranging from jewelry, wine, and perfume, as well as gadgets, armor, and weapons. Bruce Wayne adopted Richard a year before meeting his beautiful wife, back when he was still renowned as a billionaire playboy. Thomas Wayne's son had traveled to the Capitol to discuss some matters of importance with President Luthor, whom he secretly loathed. The night before he left in the morning, Bruce went to a festival being held. Performers, whose sole job was to please the rich folks of the Capitol, performed to the best of their ability. While there, an accident happened where two skilled acrobats died, their little boy bearing witness to the event. Reminded of his parents' fate, Bruce took the young boy under his wing.
Richard scowled, turning away from his father figure and retrieving a water bottle. He hated criticism. It often made him feel inferior. Plus, it made him ponder whether or not his father, the actual man that helped bring him into this world, would be proud of him. He hated when this happened because it dredged up so many bittersweet memories.
"Dick, I don't mean to criticize. I only mean to give you advice because if your name gets drawn and you wind up in the arena, the smallest mistake could send you to your grave," Bruce said, sadness enveloping him. When he was Richard's age, his best friend Rachel Dawes was murdered in the Hunger Games. Since then, the Games lost its glory for him.
"You should have left me in the Capitol all those years ago if you would be so worried about my wellbeing," spat Richard.
"Your parents were the ones that watched over you. Since they died, nobody was going to be willing to nurture you. Haly would have shipped you off to your execution had I not intervened," Bruce declared.
"You should have just let him. At least I wouldn't have had to live in this hellhole of a life! I'm sick and tired of always worrying about whether or not I'll die at any given moment!" shouted Richard.
It wasn't a secret to Richard's parents that he thought the honor and glory given to you by claiming the title as a Hunger Games victor was bullshit. Where was the honor in killing people in cold blood? Why would you want to have blood on your hands with families hating you as they mourned? Every day at school, he felt like an anomaly. Sure, there were girls hoping to capture his attention because of his supposedly good looks and greater wealth and guys hoping to get their hands on some of the newest weapons to train, but he felt so alone. They all looked forward to reapings; he dreaded them. They focused more on their athleticism; he focused more on his studies. It seemed that no matter what happened, there would always be a thin line separating him further for those around him. Frankly, these kinds of thoughts scared the hell out of Richard's parents.
Bruce seemed to read his son's mind. "How about a game of basketball?"
Richard took a swig of water before replying, "It's alright. I think I'll help Mom prepare lunch. You never know, it could be our final meal together as a family…. You are staying, right?"
The billionaire hesitated. He had a speech to prepare for before they drew the names today at the reaping. Some quick consideration made him decide to spend the day with his family. After all, he often went to events without speeches planned and his charisma carried him through those. What was one more?
Upon entering their large kitchen, Richard gave his mother a firm hug, which she gladly returned. Diana Wayne, née Prince was a beautiful woman with stunning blue eyes and thick, raven locks that cascaded elegantly down her back. Even without the aid of heels, Diana was a tall woman, only a couple of inches shorter than her husband. Her usually flat stomach was bulging, showing the telltale signs of pregnancy.
"I love you so much," she whispered.
"I love you, too," he murmured back. Little did he know that he might never get the chance to say those words again.
-Meanwhile in District 2-
Kori Anders dipped down, avoiding a powerful right hook. Quickly, she twisted her body around to perform an aerial kick. Her opponent retaliated by grabbing hold of Kori's foot and spinning twice, threw her body towards a swing set. Grunting upon impact, Kori quickly recovered and hoisted her body up, standing on the pole parallel to the ground that hung the swings.
Laughing mirthlessly, Kori's assailant followed. Punches and kicks were received, all the while testing their balance. Unfortunately, Kori lost her balance after landing a potent kick on her adversary. Maneuvering her body carefully in what almost looked like flying, Kori landed on a swing, which rattled once her full weight was applied to it.
"Champions don't flee," Kori's foe growled, tumbling down to the ground.
"Who said I was fleeing?" responded Kori.
Waiting for that impeccable moment, Kori twisted away to avoid a punch to her face. Fortunately, her plan worked and wound up with the chains of the swing tangling in her challenger's arms. Stupidly, she stuck around to watch her enemy untangle herself. Hot on her heels, Kori's opponent chased her over to the seesaws. Smashing on the side of a seesaw, Kori watched as the other side slammed up into her pursuer's chin. Leaping up onto the seesaw beside the one she banged, she faced her pissed off adversary.
More blows were exchanged, with constant leaping between the two benches. Kori leaned back, rolling with a punch. Then, she tumbled backwards, kicking her feet up explosively to kick her enemy's face in a powerful combination. Unfortunately, this maneuver was one Kori hadn't mastered and sent her plummeting to the ground, landing painfully on her hip bone. To make matters worse, Kori's rival gracefully hurdled off the seesaw, touching down on Kori's lower abdomen, causing Kori to inhale.
"You besmirch the family name. You're a disgrace. And just to let you know, if your name gets drawn today, I hope you die the most painful death imaginable," spat Koma Anders, nicknamed Blackfire. Giving her sister the coldest of looks, she stalked off, no doubt to prepare for the reaping later today. Kori solemnly watched, an unknown emotion bubbling up within her.
-Meanwhile in District 3-
Victor Stone furiously typed away at his computer monitor, inputting all the required information to gain the knowledge of the probability of getting selected to participate in the brutal Hunger Games. It was his final year of having his name thrown into the glass bowls of possible tributes, and frankly, his gut was obstinately telling him that luck wouldn't be on his side. Swallowing the baby vomit that came up, he read the screen, not very pleased with his results.
Victor had an aptitude for computers, which wasn't very surprising considering the district he lived in. Compared to people around his age, however, Victor was a tech wizard. This was how he earned his nickname, Cyborg.
Shutting off the computer, Victor made his way over to his dresser, staring at his reflection. He felt as if a stranger was walking in his body, which was rather odd, considering how he looked exactly the same. He still had those inquisitive brown eyes. His cropped black hair was exactly the same. He still possessed that tall, muscular body of his that seemed so out of place in District 3. But, he wasn't the same Victor Stone. Not even close.
The change didn't take effect immediately, but was gradual. It started last spring, when his mother died from a terrible brain tumor that just wouldn't stop growing. To this day, it still affected him strongly. He was more withdrawn, often found by his grieving father staring at the computer screen with no way of knowing what was going on in the outside world. Late at night, when his father was asleep, he would lie at night and let the angry tears fall. He became more belligerent, his temper always a ticking time bomb. He felt guilty and the guilt was eating him alive.
Feeling so utterly lost, Victor dropped down to his knees. His knees protested at the abrupt motion, but he ignored it. He sighed, letting his eyes flutter closed as he cleared his mind of all the negative emotions, save sadness. Then, he did something he hadn't done in a long time.
-Meanwhile in District 10-
Gar Logan was always a mischievous and daring child. He was the class clown that teachers dreaded to have placed in their class. He pulled pranks almost as often as he changed underwear. The most famous stunt he pulled was in the dearly hated class of Mr. Fig. Gar had taken the class pet's food, a parrot named Lucilla, before lunch break. Pretending to go to the bathroom, Gar waited until the classroom was evacuated before dumping a fair amount of bird seed all over the room in unnoticeable areas, such as the cheap, lone ceiling fan and the teacher's briefcase. Ingeniously, he had taken a widget from his good friend Rosabelle Mendez's bookbag and placed it under Mr. Fig's desk, placing bird seed on its wide track. After tossing a screw to Lucilla's cage in the trash can, Gar reported to the lunch. Upon entering the classroom less than half an hour later, Gar "accidentally" released Lucilla after making sure Mr. Fig had been sitting down long enough, as well as turning on the fan. Lucilla went berserk, flying around the room like a madman, dodging the spinning blades of the fan as seeds went spiraling off, and pecking at Mr. Fig's private parts.
Surprisingly, Gar wasn't expelled for his terrible stunt that possibly left the withered teacher castrated.
Despite his flippant, carefree attitude, there was a side of Gar that no one saw other than his mother. He had such a strong connection to animals that it was almost like an affinity. He didn't even eat meat. Whenever there was a wounded animal around, he felt compelled to help them, which he did with absolutely no regrets. Sure, he had some really great friends, but he sometimes felt like they only kept him around for his sense of humor. On the other hand, however, animals weren't jealous, full of hate, or negative emotions. They were kind, loyal creatures that loved to their heart's full capability. He truly considered animals to be his best friends.
Gar hated District 10. He hated the brutality that was shown to animals before they were slaughtered mercilessly. How would those workers feel if someone murdered them and planned on selling them to a crazed butcher? He didn't think they would be gushing with cozy feelings. So, Gar honed his skills of being in places he probably shouldn't be going in.
Dangling upside down like a bat, Gar watched as the workers tried completing a day's work in just a few hours before they showered and attended the reaping. A few grazing animals looked up at Gar, giving him inquisitive looks. Gar nodded assuredly at them before dropping down to the ground catlike after the last worker disappeared, probably to skin alive an innocent creature.
A cow mooed when Gar approached him. Gar silently lifted a finger to his lips as a way of telling the cow to be quiet, which it seemed to understand. He untethered the cow and two sheep and began leading them away from their doom. After crossing thirty feet of land, they almost ran into a Peacekeeper. Biting the inside of his cheek, Gar dodged behind a few trash can bins. The cattle followed his movement, albeit almost suffocating him due to lack of space.
Fortunately, the group of four managed to make it to the small wooded area by Gar's house without another incident. He led the animals through the skinny trees before stopping in front of a surprisingly lush plain in this dry weather. He beckoned forward, hoping they would understand his message to carry on through the plains. They did so, but not before sending startlingly sage looks at the boy that often made rash decisions.
Glumly, Gar turned on his heels, on his way to retreat into his home. He just hoped that he wouldn't be led to his own doom today.
-Meanwhile in District 12-
Raven hissed in pain, her head throbbing as she was rattled around like a ragdoll. Roaring, her father, Trigon Skaath, yanked her down to the ground by her hair, tearing out a considerable amount of her raven locks. He jabbed her a few times in her kidneys before scraping his long, neglected nails along the pallid exposed skin on her left leg, drawing blood. She tried to knee him in the groin, but he grabbed hold of the offending leg, twisting it in a very painful and awkward position, threatening to shatter the fragile bones within.
"That's enough," growled a newcomer.
"It's never enough," snarled Trigon.
The newcomer stepped into the room, revealing himself to be Raven's half-brother, Phoenix. Phoenix was nineteen years old, considered a disgrace. Instead of working in the mines, Phoenix was like an apothecary, working to heal the sick or injured of District 12 from the house he shared with Raven and, unfortunately, Trigon. He had been unable to acquire his own house in this poor district. Phoenix was Raven's only friend and despite being such a kind person, he was always set on edge when Trigon was near, his temper set on a short fuse.
Phoenix snapped, "Get away from her, old man." Phoenix's tone was bitingly sharp, just like a knife, if not sharper.
"Shut up, you stupid boy! You bring shame to your family name by being such a pansy!"
"Look, just because Mom went off to who knows where, that doesn't mean you should take it out on her." He jutted his chin towards his motionless sister.
His words were particularly true. Unwanted memories flooded Trigon's mind whenever he laid eyes on his daughter. The resemblance she shared with her missing mother was just uncanny. They possessed the same creamy, pale skin tone, the same startlingly unique amethyst eyes, and the same hair that was black as night. Compared to the appearances of the rest of District 12, Arella Roth and her daughter were strangers. And the bitter, aging man hated how his own flesh and blood resembled the love of his life so damned much.
Trigon shot up, surprising Arella's first born, the father being another man, with his speed. He shoved Phoenix up against the wall, shaking the house. Trigon tightened his grip around Phoenix's neck and lowly uttered, "If she saw you today, she'd be so disappointed." He released Phoenix and sauntered off, no doubt to search for alcohol he could snag.
"Speak for yourself," Phoenix muttered under his breath after regaining his breath.
"As always, your timing is impeccable," Raven got out, painfully trying to sit up.
"Hold still," Phoenix ordered, crouching down beside his sister.
Raven quietly watched as her half-brother tended to her wounds, applying leaves and home remedies to help them heal faster. Fortunately, none of her bones were broken or sprained, but Phoenix advised that she take it easy for a while.
"Thank you," Raven whispered.
By her nature, Raven had always been a recluse, preferring to be on her own than with other people. When she spent time with Phoenix, it was often spent sitting quietly, just enjoying each other's company. Though Raven never told anybody this, the main reason she stayed by herself was because she didn't want to get hurt if she truly felt her emotions. In addition to this, she always had the slightest inkling as to what people were feeling, especially when making eye contact, which she always tried to avoid. It scared the hell out of her.
"That's what siblings are for," Phoenix replied, just as softly.
Raven sat quietly for several minutes, just thinking, but not actually meditating like she often did. She jumped when somebody touched her shoulder, but she relaxed when she saw it was Phoenix holding out a minimal amount of cold bread towards her.
"I'm afraid the tesserae rations are running low," he said, feeling bad that Raven had to enter her name additional times to provide for her family, which went unappreciated for by her father. He paused. "How many times is your name in the reaping this year?"
"Twenty," she muttered.
Phoenix had never had to enter his name more than the required age amount because they had never needed it when Arella was around. Unfortunately, she left the year Raven turned twelve, four years ago. Raven hadn't allowed Phoenix to enter his name more than he needed. Instead, she picked up that mantle, much to his chagrin.
Phoenix sighed, watching as his companion nibbled off the edge of the bread he had given her. When she had finished savoring the stale food item, Phoenix helped her up, leading her over to her lumpy, sad excuse of a bed. He tucked her in, but not before giving her a hug that she surprisingly returned.
"I'll wake you up in an hour so you can get ready," he said. He paused. "Good luck, Rae. And may the odds—"
"—be ever in your favor," Raven weakly finished the pathetic line the Capitol dished out for reapings.
She watched as Phoenix exited the small alcove her room was situated in. She closed her eyes, slowing her breath down so much that someone might believe her to be dead. She began thinking, calmly and collectedly. In the end, she came up with a staggering conclusion. Maybe, just maybe, having her name drawn at the reaping would be a blessing….
A/N – Well, I really hoped you guys enjoyed this chapter and plan on reading what is to come. Let me know what you think, as well as letting me know what other characters you want to see. Please keep in mind that since starting on this project, I am now working on two stories, the other being Justice League Academy: Obstacles, so the next update may be delayed. My dearest apologies if this occurs.
Thanks for reading!