I won't say much up here. Just I hope you enjoy the last chapter of the Games!
Jasper Apatite, 17 years old
They were all sitting in a circle round the Cornucopia, the weapons piled up high closer to the mouth of the golden horn and the food, drink and medicinal supplies stacked a few metres to the side.
Julius stood up with the same confliction only Jasper had come to know. Their career leader had been troubled the minute the alliance had expanded its ranks and Jasper had loved the fact he was so different to Shine or Cypra. It made her love him even more.
When he opened his mouth nothing came out, Jasper didn't understand what was going on but the others nodded and all stood up. She looked around, Shine was standing next to Cypra discussing something whilst they sorted through a pile of backpacks. Velvet and Nikolai were laughing amongst themselves, packing up a bundle of food into their own backpacks before sorting through the weapons. Julius ignored the others and walked closer to Jasper, his steps louder as he neared her. All the light bulbs of the dome were on, it was so much lighter than she had remembered.
He smiled and stretched out his hand, Jasper took it and felt the warmth she had felt whenever he was there flood through her but when his mouth opened nothing came out, no words that she could hear except for a silent ringing in her ears.
Slowly where his throat was together, not a cut or blemish in sight the skin began to tear and Jasper felt terror grasp hold of her and rip at her heart. The skin twisted into a mess of jagged flesh until a perfect circle where the arrow had sliced through was visible. Julius didn't seem to realize, he kept his hand clasped in her own.
Shine and Cypra were next to walk over and with each step they began to change. A hole like the one in Julius's neck started to twist and rip into Shine's forehead, blood started to trickle down like red tears but she simply remained standing there indifferent. Cypra's neck was a horrid mess, the skin was like flakes and began to drop to the dome's floor, the slit in her throat nearly reached the other side and a line of red formed in her side.
Jasper tried to shout out, she tried to step back but remained rooted to the spot. Velvet and Nikolai were the last over and that was when Nikolai's head snapped round and a huge bump in the bone formed, his head now seemed too heavy for his body and dangled to the side slightly. Jasper had never seen Velvet die, but she had imagined the cold had gotten her. Her entire body started to turn a horrid bluish purple. Her fingers swelled up and eventually her face went pure white, snow in her eyelashes and hair but she didn't seem bothered in the slightest.
Her alliance was standing in front of her, each showing their wounds and it made her want to be sick. Everything was silent even though they looked like they were talking. From the darkness over Shine's shoulder she saw a door open before closing and a few seconds later Ania and Alise stepped forwards hand in hand.
Jasper felt tears well up in the corner of her eyes as Ania's chest grew bloody, the jumpsuit started to tear until the slice that her spear had inflicted during the bloodbath was visible. Alise's left arm was out in front, her eyes off into the distance when the skin at her stomach ripped and blood dribbled down and to the floor. The other careers didn't seem to notice these two girls, they carried on talking as Ania and Alise stepped closer and closer to Jasper.
Another door opened and this time Tyrian and Coralie stepped forward. Jasper had watched Velvet release the string of her bow and let the arrow slice through her neck. Just like with Julius a perfect hole formed in her skin and the blood trickled down to join the already large puddle that was forming from everyone else's wounds. Tyrian had that same cocky smile on his face when he had always spoken to her, the underside of his chin ripped open followed by the top of his head, the blood ran down his forehead before joining the blood on the ground.
It like her worst nightmares were coming true. She tried to close her eyes but some invisible force was keeping them stuck open and when she tried to look away her eyeballs refused to move. The group of tributes moved closer and closer together until they were almost arm to arm, none of them spoke or raised a weapon all they did was maintain a fierce stare straight into Jasper's eyes.
She hadn't wronged all of them. Ania was her fault and partly Julius and Tyrian but the rest she hadn't been the direct fault at their deaths. But their intense stare never gave up and slowly in unison they stepped forwards, their wounds growing and growing into larger and more gruesome wounds until the blood puddle seemed to rise and rise.
Her heart felt like it was about to rip out of her body when each and every one of them stretched out their arms. She wanted to run and scream but nothing came out of her mouth and her legs refused to move to let her free from them. They all tried to pull at her clothes, and once everyone had their hands on her their eyes started to turn black, the skin bubbled and dripped to the floor like a pile of acid mixing with the blood. Their screams all burst out at once and Jasper sat up nearly rolling off the boulder she was lying on.
The snow had given way to rain, the force of each drop was like a punch and it battered her hair and left the water dripping into her eyes. The white river looked angry, the ripples violently causing waves to splash over the rocks that were on either side before the water finally cracked through the rocks somewhere behind her. She turned her head at the sound of the noise, slowly the river was rising up the boulders like a tidal wave straight for her.
The nightmare was still so clear, the bubbles of skin bursting on each of their faces but she had no time to focus on what had happened. She bolted upright and ran up the slope of the rocks as fast as her legs could take her. This was it. The finale awaited her.
Iridium Proditae, 17 years old
Sterling stood up from the base of the tree, his feet crunching in the snow that was slowly melting away as the rain battered against it and slowly turned it into horrible dark puddles of slush. He slipped slightly as he stood up and staggered over towards Iridium, the rain making it difficult for both Iridium to see Sterling properly and Sterling to walk over to her.
Once or twice he veered off course despite the fact she was only a few metres away from the tree he had fallen asleep next to. His sword was resting in its sheath by his hip and she could see the limp to his walk. When it had hit the dome and rebounded back into his leg that must of hurt, but she knew he wouldn't complain. When it came to leg injuries Iridium's was by far the worst. The rain battering hard against the bandage was not helping the pain, when she pulled slightly at a bit of the fabric it was so stuck the bone that her fingers brushed lightly against it and a cry escaped her mouth before she could slam her hand over her lips to keep it in.
Finally Sterling bent down slowly, using one of his hands to steady himself against the trunk of the tree before he scooped Iridium into his arms and the fur coat alongside her. The rain wasn't as cold as the snow which she was grateful for, trust the Gamemakers to put on a feast for reasons they were only planning on taking away the next day. They really did have messed up imaginations.
"Where do you think she is?" Iridium asked him as he started up the slope. His steps were slow and bumpy as he slipped every few seconds in the slush. It would be a slow walk and a slow journey. They'd be lucky if they found her today or even tomorrow at this pace.
"We'll just keep wandering around until we find her. We will eventually."
"It would have been easier if we had have just taken her out yesterday. She was in the dome we had the opportunity."
Sterling immediately halted on the spot and Iridium wished she could take back what she had just said. She was still confused as to why someone like Sterling had shown such mercy and allowed Jasper to stay in the dome when there was ample opportunity to claim their victory by putting an end to her there and then but she hadn't questioned it… up until now.
"Julius had just died. It wasn't the time."
Mercy didn't seem something someone like Sterling was capable of but then again he didn't seem the kind to ally with people like Coralie or even Iridium. He looked like a career and he had turned down that alliance. It made Iridium that much more respectful of him.
"We'll find her today and go home."
Iridium wanted to say that they could be in the Capitol ready to go home in a few days right now if they had taken her down yesterday but she held her tongue and let Sterling carry on walking up the slope at the slow pace they were maintaining.
It was hard for Iridium to see anything with how fierce the downpour was, every five seconds or so she had to wipe her drenched fringe from her eyes only to see a few metres in front of her. How Sterling was managing to carry her and not bump into anything was beyond her but he was doing a good job at it.
They passed a few more trees when he came to a sudden halt and Iridium nearly fell from his arms. His grip on her tightened as she moved forwards but the fur coat on her lap fell to the puddles below. She looked up at Sterling expecting him to bend down to pick it back up but his eyes were fixed on something further up the slope. Iridium tried to see what he was looking at but the rain was too fierce and the trees too tightly bunched together for her to see whatever he was looking at.
Before Iridium could even say something he turned to the left and bolted forwards. Iridium wanted to shout at him to stop but her voice caught in her throat and nothing but a squeak came out. She hoped he hadn't heard that but when she looked up Sterling was too focused on the way ahead. He slipped again and again on the puddles but managed to keep himself upright and Iridium in his arms.
The wind was like knives against her skin at the speed they were going. Iridium had never thought him fast but he sure was, when she tried to turn her head to gain a better look she couldn't see anything but the rain and trees.
Ahead she could finally see the trees spreading apart at the side of the white boulders. Sterling's foot slipped when he put it up on the first boulder and Iridium screamed when she toppled from his arms. Her leg hit the ground first and the agony increased tenfold. Sterling stood behind her, his feet on the forest floor whilst Iridium was elevated up on the boulders. He was protecting her… the thought both encouraged her but made her feel angry. She was tough enough to look after herself, she always had been. But what was he protecting her from?
The white trees turned black when it stepped out from the forest and halted in front of Sterling. It was a small shadow, barely reaching Sterling's stomach but Iridium couldn't help but feel terrified just staring at it. It stepped forwards, the puddles freezing over and Sterling turned a second later and scrambled up on the boulders, stepping over Iridium.
For a second it looked like he was about to run off without her but he turned to pick her up. The shadow was just standing there, its head in such a position that it looked as if it was staring up at them. When Sterling stepped forwards, Iridium looked over his shoulder. The shadow was now moving towards them, it didn't step up onto the boulders it simply hovered in mid air and started to run towards them. Sterling was maintaining a steady sprint, his slipping was now minimal. Iridium realized when she turned around to face the slope of boulders that the shadow was not there to kill them, it was there to guide them somewhere. To someone.
Soon they'd meet Jasper and this would all end. They were so close.
Sterling "Mammoth" Milano, 18 years old
The shadow was still behind, Iridium telling Mammoth whenever it was getting closer. He knew it was not meant to kill them, the Gamemakers would make sure of that but the shadow looked so much like Coralie it still frightened him. It was the same size as her height and weight wise, he was glad he had his face in front, carrying Iridium further and further up the rocks.
She wasn't heavy but after a while of sprinting with a seventeen year old girl in your arms it was only natural to get tired and Mammoth could feel his arms starting to ache alongside his legs at how fast he was having to sprint up the boulders. If they refused to go where the Gamemakers wanted them to go it wouldn't end well, they were so close he wouldn't get them killed now by being defiant.
Up ahead he could see an opening in the rocks, a large black hole that seemed to go through the boulders. If he had it his way he'd veer back to the right and head through the white trees but this is where Jasper would be, he had to escort Iridium into the boulders for the final fight.
He could feel Iridium's heart beating against his body and her leg was still bent at the awkward position. The bone that was jutting out was in front so luckily it was not bumping up against him but he still couldn't help but feel sorry for her. Realistically Iridium would die if Jasper got close, maybe if she had the time to get an arrow ready she could kill her but her injury had left her tired. Mammoth had to protect her, and this time he would not fail like he had with Coralie.
His legs found new speed, perhaps it was adrenaline helping and Iridium seemed lighter than she had a few seconds ago. The opening in the rocks was getting closer and closer, only a few more steps away when the ground crumbled underneath and Mammoth felt the air get knocked out of him. Iridium screamed and even Mammoth cried out helplessly as they fell into whatever was underneath.
He landed with a thud on his back and it felt as if his lungs had popped out of his chest. It hurt to breathe and when he tried to sit up his neck pulled awkwardly and he fell back down.
All around him it was pitch black, he couldn't even see his legs. When he reached down the sword was still there but he had no idea what was in front, behind or to both sides of him.
"Iridium!" Mammoth yelled out. He heard her cry of pain from somewhere in front of him and somehow despite the pain he was in he dragged himself along the hard rocky ground until his hand found the foot of someone.
The second she said that a flame erupted from a wooden stick bolted to the wall. Mammoth looked around, the fire had lit up a small rocky chamber that led off in four other directions. In the other chambers he could see more fire. Jasper was here. This was it.
He pulled himself up, ignoring the throbbing pain in his legs and back. Iridium's face was sweating when he picked her up and her leg looked terrible even with the bandage still wrapped round. They had to find her quick, she wouldn't last much longer.
"Don't worry. I'll look after you, not long left to go."
He set off to the chamber in front of him. His footsteps echoed through each room which made him slightly worried. Jasper could hear him coming a mile off… although at least he'd be able to hear her as well. Iridium had her bow clutched in her hand and an arrow in the other one. When he looked at her face he could see the pain so clear in her eyes but also the same strength she had exhibited from the reaping all the way through to today. Even with a broken leg she was strong, she deserved to win this.
The next chamber only broke off to the left, Mammoth went that way and continued to follow wherever the flames lit up. Those chambers that were left pitch black he knew he was not meant to go down. They were guiding him towards Jasper, like the shadow had the fires would take them to her.
An hour seemed to go by and yet they had still not found her. The chambers were identical in shape and size. The floor was dry which he was thankful for but despite the fires it was terribly cold, he was grateful for the fur coats. The fur coats that had cost the lives of three tributes.
The next fire went on in a chamber to his right, when he stepped through in front of him the chamber fire went on as well and there she was…
Jasper had her eyes stuck out in front and when she saw Mammoth step closer to her she reacted instantly and pulled her sword out in front of her. She knew what Iridium could do, Jasper would know to watch out for her arrows… this fight would be difficult. He could almost imagine everyone around the whole of Panem on the edge of their seats, the final three were about to become two. The end was near.
Mammoth slowly placed Iridium down as Jasper stepped forwards into the same chamber the two of them were in. Her sword arm was strong, despite the sadness so clear in her eyes at the loss of Julius her arm did not shake. Iridium managed to pull herself back slightly behind Mammoth as he pulled his own sword out to rival Jasper's.
The second those two words were said from Iridium, Mammoth lunged forwards. Jasper's reflexes were precise and elegant, she twirled effortlessly to avoid his first lunge and brought the sharp edge of her sword at the back of Mammoth. It barely cut through his fur coat before he jumped backwards and hit her sword away with his own.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw Iridium getting an arrow ready, but her other hand was fumbling around for something. When she couldn't find it she lowered her arrow. Was that her only one? The others must have gotten lost in the fall.
Jasper ducked under his next attack and tried to charge into his legs to bring him down but Mammoth brought his knee up and it collided with her already broken nose. She cried out with pain, a fresh new wave of blood flowing freely to the ground but she raised her sword once again and charged at Mammoth.
"Just. Die." She screamed with each blow. Mammoth hit them both away and attacked himself. His swipe slashed across the air above her head when she ducked again but he quickly brought it down fast and before she could even react it sliced across her shoulder eliciting another scream from Jasper. Somehow, like Iridium the girl kept going. Mammoth couldn't help but respect her. Her nose was broken in such a bad way her face looked red with the blood and her left arm was useless with the deep cut he'd given her.
She still remained determined and lunged yet again at Mammoth. He raised his sword to meet her own but he failed to see her lower the sword, twist her body round and cut across his legs. The pain was immediate and like a fire had engulfed his skin. He could feel the warm blood trickling down his jumpsuit and when he moved his right leg it didn't respond so well with the pain.
Through gritted teeth he looked up at Jasper as an arrow went flying through the air. Iridium's aim was always precise, even with her broken leg but Jasper was no fool. She'd seen Shine die from Iridium's arrow, she'd seen Julius get pierced through the neck with her arrow… she turned around so her back was to the arrow and yelled out as it stabbed into her back where her chest would have been had she not have turned.
Iridium fumbled around for an arrow she knew wasn't there. Mammoth walked towards Jasper as her breaths were becoming slower and sharper but she still remained upright, her sword raised upwards to defend herself. Something between a human scream and something entirely animalistic pierced through her lips when she charged, Mammoth lifted his sword at the sound of the scream but Jasper was not heading for him. She was heading for Iridium.
He dragged his leg as fast as he could after Jasper. Even with the fatal wound in her back her speed was incredible and Iridium who had always been strong despite her broken leg crawled out of her way. It wasn't enough.
Mammoth halted where he stood as her sword slashed in an upwards arc. A shower of blood sprayed across the wall and the rocky floor as Iridium's head rolled to Mammoth's feet. A cannon sounded and Jasper fell on her knees, her head in her hands as her body started to rock backwards and forwards.
Mammoth could hear her crying but his attention was on the head. He'd failed again… Iridium had needed him yet he had failed to protect her.
His sword arm twitched, he wanted to avenge her but instead of raising his sword his fingers released the weapon and it clattered to the floor. Jasper looked up at him, wiped the tears from her eyes along with a whole load of blood and backed away against a wall.
He copied what she had down and fell onto his knees, ignoring the protest in his cut leg as he did so. Jasper had her head against the wall, her eyes on the ceiling above and Mammoth put his head between his legs, shutting them as tight as he could to block the sight of the head by his feet.
A speaker that felt like it was just by his head exploded into noise and Hero's voice filled his ears.
"Ladies and Gentleman, the Victors of The First Games of this year's Quarter Quell, Jasper Apatite and Sterling Milano!"
He heard something drop from the ceiling but didn't look up. His eyes remained closed as he felt himself ascend upwards. He'd won. He had done what he came here to do. Yet twice he had failed, twice he had let the person he was meant to protect die.
It wasn't meant to be this way. For the first time in what felt like years, Mammoth felt tears well up in his eyes. The Games were over for this year, and yet he couldn't help but finally cry.
On the blog everything has been updated and a new page of the obituaries for each tribute has been put up. This idea is not mine, total credit goes to JabberjayHeart so thank you Corey for letting me use your idea! :D
Here are some questions I'd love for you to answer in a review alongside the general comments you give on the chapter:
Who did you want to win?
Who overall was your favourite tribute?
What are your thoughts on the obituaries?
Are you happy with who won?
The Victors of The 13 Games: Luxury are….. JASPER AND MAMMOTH!
First up a big goodbye to Iridium. I loved you from the minute you were submitted to me, you were strong no matter what was thrown your way and even with a broken leg you still made it to the final three! Thank you Sgarnett99 for submitting her, I loved every minute of writing her!
But now a big congratulations and thank you to SafeEyesOpen the creator of Jasper and JGrayzz the creator of Mammoth. Both were just amazing tributes, Jasper the beautiful career who fell in love with Julius and Mammoth the giant who was both protective and terrifying. I am so happy with who I have as the victors and I look forward to messing with their heads once again and making their lives hell in the Final Games ;)
I want to thank everyone who submitted, from Lock to Iridium I loved each and every one of them. I hope you enjoyed this story from the reapings to your tributes death and this final chapter. I still need tributes for District 10, so please everyone that submitted to this I'd love it if you PM'd me for the form and submitted for the next one.
I've decided to leave it at this, I think it's a fitting end to Luxury and I look forward to starting the next District sometime soon. It shouldn't be too long before I start it all up, I just need a little break but that will probably only be a week, just to get all the tributes sorted and the blog made.
Thanks once again everyone, I hope you enjoyed the first part of The 13 Games.
Once again congratulations to Jasper and Mammoth, the Victors from District One!