Hey, look who's back? Had to give Inez her final chapter, just like Newt got his. :) I'm updating on the one-year anniversary of this story (it's been a year? wow.) and my two-year anniversary on this site. It's a special day, you guys.
It was thirteen years- to the day- since Inez Carmen killed Knox Blake. Thirteen years of terrible nightmares, guilt, and pain. Thirteen years that Inez spent scrubbing her skin raw to clean off the imaginary bloodstains.
And the Capitol was watching, those thirteen years. Inez was on the edge of an emotional death spiral, teetering between melancholy sanity and half-mad depression. No matter what pills they gave her, she wavered in her health.
(They never let her know, but they kept guards near her almost constantly. They didn't want to risk her going off the deep end when no one was nearby.)
But thirteen years to the day after Inez Carmen killed Knox Blake, she disappeared. The fourth night of the Thirty-First Hunger Games, she vanished into the crowds of the Capitol, vanished from society and the eyes of Panem. Inez Carmen was gone.
The tabloids had a field day- the missing Victor, what could have happened? Inez was almost bigger news than the victor that year, Thalassa Signy of Two. Conspiracy theories plagued the Capitol- she had been kidnapped by a rebel group, she had been murdered, she had committed suicide.
None of the above. She was very much alive and very much alone. But she was celebrated for killing other children and she could not handle it. Thirteen years of celebration for the worst thing in her life, she couldn't deal with it anymore. Before the Games Inez had wanted a family, but after she could hardly imagine anything more painful. Her life was crushed, and each visit to the Capitol, each pair of kids she had to mentor, they tore her apart even more.
She had only brought home one Victor in all her years. After twelve years, Hadley Iphito came back to Inez. She would never abandon her District to the mentors from the Capitol. She didn't want to leave Hadley on his own, but she was getting worse mentally, she couldn't bear to stay any longer.
And so she disappeared, out from under the noses of her guards and the government and the Capitol citizens. They sent out search squads, to no avail.
Inez Carmen could not be found. Of course, that was how she wanted it. She ran from the Capitol- but more than that, she ran from herself. Ran from the Games.
And she was lost. Running away worked, yes, but it was an act of desperation. Inez had no idea where to go, and the mountains surrounding the Capitol were inhospitable. They didn't find her… but she didn't find herself either. She expected the escape from culture to help her own emotions recover; she got her peace from the media but not her own nightmares.
Panem didn't expect Inez to escape and hide herself so thoroughly. A Victor, out of the spotlight forever? By Thalassa's Victory Tour, they had totally given up. The escaped girl from Ten melted away into history. Inez became an almost-legend.
She was sorely missed in District Ten, the loss of their first Victor hit hard. None were more affected than Isadora. Her sister's disappearance tore her apart and the conspiracy theories, while unbelievable, didn't help either.
The only thing that helped Isadora was the birth of her twins- a boy and a girl, named Inez and Knox.
And thus my victors moved on. :')
Thank you so much, every single reader/reviewer/submitter, it is thanks to you that SITG has been such a success and my writing style has matured a lot from beginning to end. You're all fantastic and I love you!
Time for the 18th to be, at last, complete.
Goodbye for now!