Sapphire eyed the Cornucopia with a determined look.
The girl from 10 was on Quidley's right and she would not stay still. He frowned at her before focusing his attention back on the clock.
Achilles saw a huge sword sticking out of the ground about 50 yards away.
Andi readied herself to dash into the forest.
Jupiter shivered as the wind slightly picked up.
Mandy was shaking and it was all she could do to not fall off the silver platform.
Ricky's stomach turned at the thought of the bloodshed that was about to occur.
Allen realized she had no idea what she was going to do.
Jason's hand went to his pocket to make sure the cardstock was still there.
Roberta's nerves were finally starting to get the better of her.
Lina was one of the few who had eaten breakfast that morning. She regretted it.
Jack just knew he wouldn't make it past the first day.
Roxanne found herself wishing she was stuck in her tube after all.
Jay was in between Achilles and Quidley. He's not happy about that...
Even then, Ashley was wondering why the Careers had chosen her.
The pounding of the countdown clock was fraying Salley's nerves.
Now would be a really bad time to throw up, thought Warren.
Gil doubted being able to wrestle a cow would come in handy here.
Chris found Cherry, four tributes to his left.
Cherry was wondering if her plan was really that good after all.
David decided not to stay and fight at the Cornucopia.
Dina's palms were sweating. Only five seconds...
Hey it's a big field! Good for running! I like to run! Think I will!
Cass took off with a powerful leap-
The tributes on either side of Cass, Quidley and Roxanne, were sprayed with blood as Cass Wilson was blown sky-high. She was the first to die. None of the tributes had noticed the gong, which had gone off about the same time as Cass's cannon, but all 23 of them quickly regained their wits.
And the 76h Hunger Games began.

Achilles took off toward the Cornucopia and picked up the huge double-edged sword he'd spotted earlier. Ricky and Sapphire were also at the Cornucopia, Sapphire had grabbed a bow and arrows, and Ricky clutched two long daggers so hard his knuckles turned white.
Further out Quidley was holding the boy from 6 at bay with a spear.
This is it, Achilles thought. It was what he had been training for his whole life. He ran to the edge of the pinecone field and saw a girl who had been running away. It was over in less than a second.
Jack, Roxanne, and Jupiter were crouched in the bushes at the edge of the field. They would have ran farther away but Cobalt, Gil, and Jay were all still in the fight.
"Whose cannon was that?" Roxanne asked worriedly.
Jack shrugged, but Jupiter replied, "Girl from 12 I think."

Everything was a blur around Lina after the girl from 10 had jumped off her platform. A boy was fighting the boy from 1 near her, and the boy from 1 shoved him off and ran to join the other Careers. As the other boy was turned around Lina saw who it was. Cobalt! He had a short sword that he dropped suddenly. Just then the girl from 8 threw a knife at the back of his head, and he ducked to retrieve his sword right before it hit him and instead the knife buried itself in the center of Lina's forehead.
As soon as the gong went off Jason dashed to the right into the woods. There would be no fighting for him yet. Not until he read the cardstock. He reached into his pocket to make sure again that it was still there. He breathed a sigh of relief when it was, and the next second he was up to his knees in muck.

Almost all the tributes had run for it, and the ones stupid enough to stay and fight were rethinking it.
Sapphire hadn't had any kills yet and it was driving her crazy. The girl from 5 ran by clutching a blue backpack. Sapphire grabbed her arm as she went by, causing her to trip. Sapphire took out a stiletto knife and pointed it at the girl's throat.
She struggled to get away but it was no use.
"Nice and shiny, isn't it?" Sapphire asked. "And very sharp too." She tried again to pull away. "Would you like to get a closer look?" the knife came closer to Roberta, and Sapphire whispered to her, "You're dead, you know that?"
"Just do it already!" says an exasperated voice, causing Sapphire to look up. Of course, it's Quidley.
She was annoyed at the interruption, but she did what he said.

Chris spotted Cherry dart off her platform and took off after her. First he ran to the middle and grabbed a green backpack, some food, and a couple knives, and caught up to Cherry before she could get away.
"It's okay, it's me, Chris," he said.
"What are you doing?!" she hissed angrily.
Chris didn't answer, he just pulled her through the woods until he came to the west side cliff face. He found a small outcropping and guided her into it. He tossed her the backpack, a bag of dried fruit, and a couple small knives.
"Here, this should keep you for a while. I know you don't want to be allies, that's okay. I'm just helping you out here. Don't leave the cave. I'll come check on you in a couple days all right?"
He left the area, feeling like for the first time since catching Forrest Vyle, he'd done something right.

"They're all gone," said Achilles. "They all ran for it."
"How many...kills" asked Ricky.
"Three. Four if you count the girl who exploded."
"Three?" Quidley exclaimed. "That's way too small!"
"Well you could have killed the boy from 6 but you DIDN'T" Sapphire retorted. "At least I had one kill."
"So did I," said Achilles.
"Hey wait a minute... where's 8?" Quidley asked suddenly.
"Probably had to get away from you," Sapphire said. "I might too."
Ouch. That hurt a lot more than it should have. Just then she came around the back of the Cornucopia. "I was checking out that castle," she explained.
"Yeah what's with that castle?" Achilles asked. "You guys see what it says... Memento Mori?"
"Huh...that seems kind of familiar..." Ricky said, frowning in concentration.
"Quidley knows," Sapphire said.
The Careers all looked at him.
Quidley was looking at the ground when he spoke. "Yes, she's right. I do know what it means. It's a Latin phrase-"
"Skip the history lesson dude," Ricky groaned.
"-Translated to English means 'Remember You Will Die.' It's rather morbid," Quidley said when he saw Ricky wince, "But I can see why they would put it in their arena. It's the point of the Games isn't it? In the end we're all going to die."
Achilles cleared his throat awkwardly. "You know what guys, Quidley was right, We didn't have many kills. Why don't we go on a hunt?"

Jason could barely move his legs in the marsh. It even seemed to be sucking him down slowly, kind of like quicksand. He knew there was something you had to do when you were stuck in quicksand, but even though his mind was racing to remember, he couldn't.
He remembered it just as someone else said it.
"Float on your back."
"Who's there?" he called. No answer.
"Just do it!" came the voice again. He was pretty sure it was a girl.
"I know, I know!" he replied angrily, and started to float. Then there was a rustling sound and a thud. Jason could hear Careers laughter.
"Heyyy we got one!" said one of the girls. Sapphire.
"I get this one," snapped Quidley. "I'm the only one who hasn't got a kill."
"Neither does 4," Sapphire pointed out.
"He doesn't want this one, it's his District partner," Quidley said. "Well, do you?"
Ricky had slightly turned away from the sight of his district partner at the Careers' mercy. "I'll take the next one," he managed to say.
"See, I told you," Quidley said.
"Stop arguing guys!" Achilles barked. "Here you go Quidley." he tossed him a sword.
The Careers hadn't noticed Jason, because their voices were fading away in the late afternoon air. He scrambled out of the marsh, trampling lots of reeds, and he slid down onto his knees by a massive pine tree at the edge of the woods. He took out the cardstock and unfolded it. He read it.
And he read it again, sure he'd misunderstood what he'd read.

"You idiots were so lucky you weren't killed!" Roxanne exclaimed.
"None of us were killed Roxanne, we're all still here," Gil said.
"We're all just fine," Cobalt added, looking slightly scared of Roxanne.
"You nearly had a knife in your skull Fensworth!"
Jupiter was sitting next to Jack and he whispered, "Careers!"
Jack sat up. "You're right!" Before he could say anything Jay interrupted.
"Roxanne, you're going to have the whole Career pack down on our heads before you can even tell me how much of an idiot I am,"
"He's right, Roxanne," Jack said desperately. "Now let's do something quieter like see what supplies we have."
"All right," Jay said, picking up a midnight blue colored backpack. "Let's see what goodies I got." He started to look around in the bag, and pulled out several things, a bag of nuts, a thick rope, a wool blanket, and a small metal water bottle that was empty.
Gil had a black bag that was considerably smaller than Jay's but had a package of beef jerky and a box of matches.
All Cobalt had gotten was the short sword he had been fighting with at the bloodbath.
"I got this while I was running away," Jupiter said, holding up a pack of crackers.
"All right well let's put everything in Jay's backpack," said Roxanne.
"Too bad I didn't see any pancakes at the Cornucopia," Gil commented.

Mandy and Andi had walked around the edge of the arena for most of the day, checking to see if there were any others around before talking.
Andi had done most of the talking, actually, bad-mouthing the Careers, particularly Achilles Thornton.
"He seemed all right to me," Mandy said after a violent rant by Andi.
"Well he's not" was Andi's only reply. "Do you think we should find somewhere to sleep?" she said, changing the subject.
"Yeah," Mandy agreed. Dusk was falling and the Capitol would be playing the anthem any minute. Neither of them had gotten any supplies at the Cornucopia so they just laid down in the pine needle grass.
The anthem played and the faces shown in the sky were the girls from 4,5,6,and 12.
Mandy briefly wondered where her district partner Jupiter was but the thought escaped her mind as she fell asleep.

The Careers trudged through the forest, unhappy with the results of their hunt. They had only gotten the girl from 4!
They had left Ashley (most of the Careers just referred to her as 8) on guard at the Cornucopia.
Achilles and Ricky were leading the pack, talking to each other in a quiet tone, which unfortunately left Sapphire with Quidley.
Looking over at him, he appeared to be deep in thought. But he usually looked like that.
"Hey... Sapphire?"
She was startled to hear him talk without sounding sarcastic for the second time that day.
"I was thinking-"
"What else is new?" she interrupted. That guy was always thinking.
"How did you know I knew what Memento Mori meant?" The question had been bothering him all day. "Besides that I'm an amazing genius..."
"The only thing amazing about you is your ego."
"Well how did you know?" he asked again.
"You said it..." she said, surprised he didn't remember.
"I... what?"
"You said it, at the reaping."
He never got to finish his sentence because then they arrived at the Cornucopia and Achilles set him on guard duty for the night.