Final Chapter, and THE FINAL 3 FINAL 3 FINAL 3! Gosh. After This one I'm starting The 78th Hunger Games, Games Of Eternal Woe. Look for it! Also the reason this chapter is late is because my computer was being annoying and I couldn't get on anything! Sorry for the wait, Read And Review!
Achilles was dragging himself along the edge of the arena. It had gotten incredibly humid early that morning, and it was around 11:00.
Then the rain came, first in small droplets then a heavy downpour. The rain mixed with the tears he was still crying for Andi.
He felt hollow inside, like something that had always been there was suddenly stolen.
There was a flash of lightning. A sudden intense pain shot up the leg that Sapphire had cut his Achilles tendon, and he fell face first.
The last thing he saw was leaves and mud before the world went black.
Jack decided to head to the meadow, it was the best place to be when the Gamemakers decided to finish things up. He went into the
Cornucopia, outside the rain had stopped, all was still, and the sky had turned a sickly green color.
In the Cornucopia was the boy from 4.
Ricky had decided to come back to the Cornucopia after Sapphire and Quidley's bodies had been taken away. It was the only place he had ever felt secure in the terrible arena. He remembered his shaving lesson with Quidley and Achilles and all the fights the two tributes from District 1 had gotten into.
The air was stifling and the sky had turned an odd color, he noticed. Then a shadow fell across the entrance to the Cornucopia. The boy from 7.
Jack pulled Ricky up and led him out of the Cornucopia. Outside a dark ominous cloud had fallen over the arena. A wall cloud, Ricky thought.
The two boys stood there, not moving, not saying a word, then the dark cloud began to stir. There's the funnel, Ricky thought. A funnel cloud was bad, it always meant a tornado was coming, he remembered from his father's fishing lessons.
Jack had made up his mind what to do. Well, what he was going to do. He grabbed a double edged sword and tossed Ricky one as well.
"This is it," he told him. "We're the final 's down to us."
He raised his sword and saw Ricky do the same.
Ricky also knew what he was going to do. He had been shocked and haunted by the fact that he had killed and would make sure there would be no more blood on his hands.
The boys prepared a fighting stance...
Both boys' swords killed the bearers.
The Gamemaker room
President Snow burst in, red faced and angry.
"WE HAVE NO VICTOR MIKAH!" he bellowed. "I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE BETTER THAN THE OTHERS! BUT NOOO YOU CAN'T EVEN MANAGE TO SCRAPE UP A VICTOR FOR ME!"
No one in the room had ever seen President Snow so visibly mad. Mikah flinched away from his anger. A sweating Shark Valler hurried up to her and whispered something in her ear, then her expression calmed.
"As it so happens, President, I have."
Everything was much too bright. Achilles groaned and noticed he was no longer lying in the muddy leaves in the arena but in a bright white hospital bed.
He rubbed his head, which was aching terribly.
Then his father burst in. "I took a train from 2 as soon as I heard you won," he said. He looked flustered and out of breath but still managed to speak.
"Well done son! I knew you would do it, I knew it from the day you were born!"
Achilles could only stare. He had won!
It was the day he had been waiting for since age ten, but somehow it didn't feel as good as he had imagined. In fact, it felt really crummy, especially after losing...
"Achilles?" His dad asked worriedly, thinking his son had turned out like that Cresta girl from six years ago. "Come on son. You're stronger than that."
"Hey Dad," he said, the first sign of life he had shown since winning.
"Oh you're awake!" he said happily. "You were great," he said, lying through his teeth. He had actually screamed and busted the TV screen a couple times, but he didn't want his son to know that, because of what he had been through and what he had yet to know about the... change to his body.
"There's something else you should know," Mr Thornton continued. He went over to Achilles's bed and pulled back the spotless white sheets. "I told the doctors to let me be the one to tell you."
Achilles looked down at his right foot, where his tendon had been cut. Instead of the bloody mess it had been for the past few days, his foot was clean and he looked like a cyborg.
Yeah, a cyborg. There was a metal device not only on his ankle but in it, and the skin and the metal were fused together.
"The foot was fine, all they needed to fix was the ankle," his dad explained. "It was either that or a prosthetic foot."
"How... how did I win?"
"The two other boys killed themselves. There was a bit of panic until someone remembered you lying in the mud."
He got up. "One of the District 4 mentors wants to talk to you," he said before he left.
In the hallway, Aspen stood waiting for the boy's father to leave. There was something he needed to talk to him about.
"Aspen, there is a line between War and Love. Find your place on that line and stand there and fight. If you stand in the middle you'll always be torn and you need to find that place." I don't have a clue what he's saying, but he continues, "I placed my feet on the line and stood till' well." I know what he means he means until the death. He smiles at me and continues on "You may not know what that means yet but you will." I look at Marcellus and figured out what he means. He placed his feet on love that is why he killed all Sinatalla's tributes. For us.
"You wanted us to live." I say.
He nods, "I placed my feet on love, you guys were like the coolest people I could ever meet."
"What do I do?" I ask desperately. He shakes his head.
"Let your heart guide your feet and your mind lead your spear. You need to find your place where you stand and never stop believing in where you stand and why you stand there." He gasps for a bit and I give him some pain reliever and he smiles.
"Leana..." then he dies. I hear the cannon and I start to feel the tears again. This time the tears don't ever stop. Marcellus died with his feet on love.*
Finally, he's allowed into the hospital room. He remembered the room from his own Games, eight years ago, he had been a crying wreck. Was it really only eight years? he thought. It seemed like a lifetime.
The boy, Achilles looked at him questioningly as he entered.
"I need to tell you something a friend told me a long time ago. He was the best friend I've ever had and he gave me the best advice I'll ever get."
Five days later Achilles was out of recovery and the first thing he had to do was his Victor interview.
Surprisingly his stylist, the same one who had dressed him in a sparkly cape for the chariot parade, gave him only black pants, black dress shoes, and a black shirt and tie.
He felt it fit him a lot better than any sparkles ever would.
Right before he was to go onstage, his stylist, Ravish, said to him, "I saw what happened in the arena. You and that girl..."
When Ravish could not see them he rolled his eyes back in an attempt to stop the flood of tears threatening to make a comeback.
Caesar greeted him when he came onstage. "You seem to have toned down your ensemble since we last saw you," he said, looking at Achilles's black clothes.
"Yeah, it was cramping my style," he replied in a husky voice.
"Well, we have this year's official Games recap, then we'll get to the interview."
The recap started with the first reaping, of course. The rush of anger he felt at seeing Sapphire and Quidley was almost enough to make him jump out of his chair and run at the screen yelling Traitors!
Then was his district, which was even more painful to watch, if that was possible. She was there. He had taken to calling her by pronouns because any mention of the name meant the potential of a new ocean, or at least a large lake.
Then came the chariot rides, with him in the sparkly nightmare.
After that was training, where she had turned down the offer of the Careers. He and the others had trooped around the training center, recruiting.
Interviews, where he had said he was going to try and win for his mom, and his aunt Camira Dyllan.
Caesar interrupted there. "I think you made both of them proud."
New tears sprang to his eyes, and that time they had nothing to do with her. He wondered if his mom would ever forgive him for the lie he had lived for half of his life, and how close he had come to the same fate as her sister.
When the actual Games started it was a little better to watch, as most of the coverage featured him and the Careers, not her.
Several times his breath caught in his throat and he had to choke back the tears when they did show her.
But when Sapphire readied her arrow then let it fly straight at her he felt like he would be torn apart with the grief. He had not been fully conscious when it had happened and now reliving it was almost more than he could bear.
Finally the long, pain-filled scene was over, and for the rest of the time he was laying in the mud at the edge of the arena.
The two boys killed each other, and he won.
He could see why they did it. It would be easier to face death than live with the pain and devastation.
It was time for his Victor interview, the part of winning he had been dreading. He desperately pleaded Caesar not to ask him about her.
He did not. Instead they talked about his training regime, what his life would be like now he was a Victor, and finally, his cyborg heel.
When it was over he was relieved, but in a different way than he was used to. Instead of the sharp, throbbing pain he had felt for the last few hours, he had reverted back to the hollow, empty sensation he had experienced in the arena.
The next day he could finally go home. He was alone on the train, because his father, who had become an instant celebrity in the Capitol, had stayed behind for interviews and all that junk.
After getting off the train, a large car took him to his house, where his mom greeted him at the door. She did not seem mad at all, just crying tears of joy that he had come back to her alive.
Chapter 26 ~ Sour Victory
Six months later he had to go on his victory tour. It started in District 12. He wished it had started somewhere else, as he had killed the girl from that district in the bloodbath.
District 11 was a little less painful as he had never spoken to either of their tributes.
District 10 was also a pain free district, though his heart twinged a little at the sight of the girl's mom weeping openly on the stage.
District 9 was pretty bad only because of the haunted look on one of a boy's face. He guessed it was Warren's brother.
District 8 was bad. There was only one family, since Jay and Ashley had been twins, and no siblings were standing around the parents. Mr. and Mrs. Alson had later thanked him for trying to rescue their daughter at the risk of his own life.
District 7 he could breathe slightly easier as he had not known either tributes.
District 6 frightened him a bit when he saw the huge bunch of kids for the boy's family, and remembered his gory death.
District 5 was strange to say the least. The boy's only family was a guy that looked about his age. He had introduced himself as Kale and had asked him to the side if he knew anything about why Jason's last words were to come to the place of his death. Achilles had apologized, saying he hadn't known the boy very well, and Kale had walked away with a pensive expression.
District 4 was just terrible, because Ricky had been from there and all he could think about was the kid's shaving lessons.
District 3 wasn't bad because he had been absent from both of the tributes' deaths.
District 1 had to have been the worst, though, because of Quidley and Sapphire, the filthy traitors. He thought about her holding the long jagged knife that had disabled him.
The Capitol was a blur of color, food, and noise, and afterward he didn't remember much of it due to the fact that he had already been on the road twelve days and was incredibly fatigued.
District 2 all he had done was stood on the stage then dashed back to his house, which was near District 2's Justice Building to try and block the pain of seeing her family, with her gruff father and two young siblings.
And his experience in the Hunger Games was over.
Chapter 27 ~ Sappy but Hopefully Satisfying Conclusion
About three weeks before the reaping President Snow had come to visit him. About four weeks prior had been his nineteenth birthday.
"You will have a lot of work on your hands, Mr Thornton," he said.
When Achilles did not reply, he continued. "Enobaria has requested to withdraw from mentoring duties permanently."
He would be mentoring both kids.
"And I expect you to train both of them to the best of your ability," he finished, giving Achilles a "Look of Doom."
He had then left.
Achilles looked out of the large bay window in his new, glamorous home in the Victors Village. From this view he could see the school, where two teams, one of boys, one of girls, were having soccer practice.
In three weeks time he would have to train up two tributes to fight to the death in the same torture chamber he had been through, repeating the process every year.
Every girl would remind him of the strong willed fighter that he had come to love, only to watch her be killed by those he had once called his friends.
And every boy would remind him of the naive warrior that had once volunteered to fight, and it had taken the death of his only love for him to see what exactly he was fighting for.
*That was from The 68th Hunger Games.