A/N: Firstly, I'd like to mention that the inintial idea for this story (a series of oneshots) came to me after reading, following and generally enjoying 'A Year Of Hunger Games' by Foxface'sSpecialPie. It was an inspiration for this, and I hope that if you haven't already, you will give that story a read. It'll be worth your time.
But, I digress. This idea just came to me one afternoon, and seemed like a decent idea for a series, although I'll let you, the readers, be the judge of that.
This is meant to be canon (well, 98% canon, I won't claim that it's perfect!) to both the original trilogy and to my other fanfics on this site, as many of the victors in this series of oneshots were of my own creation in my first story, "Second Time Unlucky".
Also, in order to draw inspiration for seventy-five individual oneshots, I've been relying on musical sources, by pressing shuffle on my iPod and writing based on whatever the song is makes me think of. They're not songfics (I believe that's what it's called when the story is dictated by the song), I've just used them for inspiration. Still, I'm including the song that I drew inspiration from in the chapter overview (under this VERY LONG author's note) to give a hint at where my ideas came from, as well as quoting the lyrics that served as the actual inspiration.
I'm also placing summaries at the end of each chapter, as many of the chapters don't explain the end of the Games, so I'll be letting you all know how each Hunger Games was concluded when it isn't mentioned in the actual chapter.
One final point; not all author's notes will be this long, I promise.
P.S I should mention that this story was completed prior to the release of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' on 21/11/13, and as such does have inconsistencies with victors shown in the film (information such as Beetee's surname is mentioned during the film). As such, I should mention that this story and all related fanfics are in canon with the books, but not entirely in canon with the films.
"Ready for a cheap escape
On the brink of self destruction
Broken glass inside my head
Bleeding down these thoughts of anguish
- Billie-Joe Armstrong, 1995.
The 1st Annual Hunger Games
Fraser Reynolds (18), District 4 Male
Green Day - Panic Song (1995)
The ascent from the tube takes longer than expected. Leaving Fulvia, my stylist, below me in the Launch Room, I'm headed for the arena. It's quite odd how quickly everything has gone wrong.
A year ago, we were in the midst of war. Twelve districts versus the Capitol and District Two. Horrific life loss. Unimaginable destruction. All in the hope of creating a better nation; a better Panem.
What the Capitol has given us is hell on Earth. Security increased tenfold in the districts, no access to weapons whatsoever. And we were given the Treaty of Treason.
And so I am two minutes from the start of the 1st Annual Hunger Games. A boy and girl aged twelve to eighteen from each of the twelve remaining districts will be sent to an arena to fight to the death. And this year, in my only year of eligibility, I have been chosen for the Games. Just my luck.
From the announcement of the Hunger Games seven months ago, I have always imagined that the tributes would enter the arena, a large indoor open space, armed with weapons, prepared to kill as soon as they set foot in the arena.
However, this won't be the case. As I ascend into the arena I am unarmed. I guess weapons will be lying around somewhere once we enter the arena.
As for the arena itself, I no longer think that it will be a large open space. In training, some of the survival stations taught which plants are edible, fire starting, shelter building and more. I'd now be tempted to say that we will have to combat the wilderness during the Games. I have only been told one thing about the arena; we start on raised pedestals. I've also been told that once we're in the arena, we have to stand still on the pedestal for one minute until a gong sounds, signalling the start of the Games. If we move from our pedestal before the gong, then apparently the Gamemakers will blow us up.
I know what I'm not doing once we're on the pedestals.
Suddenly I'm blinded momentarily as I break out into sunlight. After giving myself ten seconds, I regain my eyesight and start to make out my surroundings.
I'm in some form of meadow; a whole clearing of very short grass on flat land. About half a mile away to what I believe to be north-west, there are sparse woods. I guess I was right about it being outdoors. The day is warm, but not hot. Somewhere between fifteen and twenty degrees Celsius. There's a slight wind, which will be cooling, if I need to run. No doubt I'll be running for my life sooner or later I can see twenty-three other tributes on their pedestals, in a perfect circle. The tributes directly on my left and right, the boy from District 6 and a girl I don't recognise, are at least eight yards away. Plenty of time to react once the Games are underway for real.
All the tributes are circled around a tall, golden horn-shaped structure. In a world of nature, a deliberate structure such as this horn must serve a major purpose. There's a form of entrance (an opening) on one side that I can barely see, and I imagine the interior of the horn holding all sorts of choice supplies. This entirely alien structure in a natural arena is only here to draw us in. No doubt there'll be a few weapons, too. Whoever has the brains to realise this and run to the horn first will have control of the best weapons and supplies.
I'm not a bad sprinter myself, so I'd be tempted to run for this. Only the bottleneck at the horn entrance would leave me overwhelmed by incoming tributes, even if I was leaving with a knife or a sword. I'm not going to run in. Well, maybe I will. I'm likely to be there first or second. But I can't be second. Second is the first of the losers. If someone has already got there and is armed, if I arrive second, I'll be the first one they cut down.
Then again, there's a good chance nobody else in the arena is trained with weapons. During the war, District 4 allowed sixteen-year-olds into the military, and was the only district to do so. All the other districts set the age limit at eighteen.
So when I was sixteen, I signed up to fight for the rebels in the last year of the war. Although I never had a chance to fight for the rebel cause before the uneasy peace was negotiated, I was trained as a soldier. I know how to fight and have basic weapons training. No wonder I had the highest training score; a ten.
The only other two eighteen-year-olds, the boys from Seven and Ten, will both have turned eighteen since the end of the war, so are unlikely to have had military training. Assuming there are no weapons, I reckon I could take the boy from Ten in hand-to-hand. However, I'm not so sure about District 7, a tall, muscular boy who might not be able to run for far or for too long, but in an unarmed fight, I doubt he'd ever need to run. Regardless, they're both weaker overall than me; they scored eights in training.
Looking round the circle, I can see the boy from District 7 about four pedestals to my right. I'm still searching for the boy from Ten when the gong sounds.
A minute had passed already! And now the Games must begin for real.
I'm indecisive for a few moments before deciding to run in towards the horn. If it was meant to lead tributes in, it's certainly got me hooked. Looking around, about six or seven others are running for the horn, too. Of the remaining tributes, nearly all of them seem rooted to the spot on their pedestals. A few, who haven't been lured in by the possibility of weapons and supplies, have disappeared into the meadow, where the grass lengthens to chest-height about fifty yards behind the pedestals. One small boy, who I think is from District 2, is running for the woods.
But I shouldn't keep my attention on them for long. Within ten seconds I'm at the entrance to the horn, three boys hot on my heels. Objects glint out of the darkness within. Blades. I'm sure of it. Then I'm tripped from behind and I sprawl to the floor, the boy from District 10 hurdling my fallen body.
I see him reach for a weapon, a long-bladed sword, and turn it on the other two boys who had followed him into the horn. His sword goes through the side of one boy, and quickly severs the head of the second. I'm still on the floor, paralysed in fear, when the boy from Ten comes over to me, grabs me by the neck, and throws me against a supply crate that I didn't see until I hit it. I sprawl on the floor, and he holds out his sword towards me, and I stay away from the point. Yet he doesn't strike at me.
What? At this point, he should be driving his sword through me. But he's offering me a way out. For now.
"District Four!" he calls again. Outside I can hear scuffles and screams. No doubt someone else has found a weapon that District 10 had missed. But for now, that doesn't matter. I'm entirely at this boy's mercy.
"So, you joining me?" he asks. I'm a bit confused by his offer. Why make allies, when there can only be one victor? Surely alliances will only lead to betrayal. And this boy doesn't need me. He's already shown me that he's a potent killer. Maybe he thinks that, judging by my high training score, the pair of us will be able to wipe out all the rest of the field working together. To be honest, we probably could. He certainly seems to have good weapons skills, and I know that I have, too.
I manage to force myself to reply.
"Sure, why not?" I reply, and he pulls me to my feet with his non-weapon hand.
"There's another sword at the back."
Walking to the back of the horn, where the roof is lower, I find the aforementioned sword. Slightly shorter that the one that District 10 has, it feels light in my hands. Good.
I return to the entrance to the horn just as my new ally slashes through a blond-haired girl, who I recognise to be from District 1. How he can be so ruthless, I don't know. I know that in order to escape the arena, I will have to kill at some point, but I don't want to become a merciless murderer.
"There are plenty of supplies in here," says the boy from Ten. "Make sure to guard the entrance."
Outside, there is only a scene of chaos. There must be ten tributes in sight, half of them armed with small blades. A couple are unarmed, and one girl has a spear that is way too large for her.
On the ground lie the dead; the ones who have already lost the game. Over for them in just a few moments. They don't have to endure any of this suffering. Maybe it's better that way.
A short boy runs at me, trying to drive a knife into my chest, I dodge to the side, but the blade nicks through my arm just above the elbow, I cry out in pain and double over, and when I look up, I see the boy from District 10 cleaving the boy in half. I'm having second thoughts about this alliance already. His screams pierce the arena, all but stopping any violence surrounding the horn.
Upon seeing me and District 10 armed with swords, all thoughts of violence leave the tributes that remain, only to be replaced with fear.
I see the boy from District 12, who must be sixteen or seventeen, drop his knife and turn to run, eager to make a quick escape into the meadow. All around him lies a scene of mass destruction, the grass littered with the limp bodies of dead tributes. Nine or ten in total. And two well-armed older tributes in the form of myself and District 10 are coming his way.
All the other tributes are in a frenzy, running every which way to leave the cornucopia. The widespread panic has caused most to abandon their weapons and flee. I can see that a young girl with long black hair has kept possession of a knife as she vanishes into the meadow.
District 10 picks up the spear that had been dropped by the little girl. Out in the light of day, I can get a better look at my ally. He must stand just under six feet tall, with very pale skin and a short crop of black hair. He's on the slender side of normal weight, but not skinny. Holding the spear, I can see his black, cold, calculating eyes flit from target to target. Then he launches the spear, and I watch it sink into the back of a small, ashen-skinned boy, who collapses to the floor, screaming. Dying, but not dead yet.
I follow District 10 the fallen boy, who's still screaming. As we walk, the other tributes disperse. I pass over the body of a young dark-skinned girl, a gash in her throat. How old was she? Twelve? Thirteen? Certainly no older than fifteen. Whatever her age was, it's not old enough. Not old enough to die. Not by a long way.
Of all the methods that the Capitol could use to make the districts suffer, I can't imagine anything more twisted than forcing the nation to watch its young kill each other off. How anyone could even consider letting this happen is a mystery.
Of course, this is just a sick machine of revenge, brought upon us by the hated and feared Capitol.
We reach the fallen boy together, and my ally pulls a short knife from his belt that I never knew he had. He kneels over the whimpering child, ready to slit his throat. Then he has second thoughts, stands up and hands the knife to me.
"Go on then, Four." he says, trying to test me. "You do it."
He wants me to kill the helpless boy on the floor. He's going to die, anyway. The spear has punctured through the front of his chest. There's no point in causing him any more harm.
But if I can't kill, I'm of no use to the boy from District 10. If I don't kill, I'm sure he'll try to kill me. As doubts begin to fill my mind, I find nothing but hate building up against my so-called ally. No doubt he will betray me. Probably by sunset. I shouldn't stay with him for long. He's forcing me to kill, and, if I'm honest, if anyone should lie dead, it should be him. How many has he killed already? Five? Maybe more. He deserves to be dead. Plus, I don't want such a ruthless murderer up and about if I can help it.
I bend down, putting the knife to the boy's throat. But then I turn quickly and throw the knife at the boy from Ten.
Considering I'm only three yards away, I'm slightly disappointed in my throw. It sunk into him just above his collarbone, and although there's no doubt he'll be in a lot of pain, I won't have damaged any major organs. My knife won't kill him. But I don't wait to find out.
I watch him stagger backwards, cursing due to the pain, and I turn and run for the meadow. I crash through the chest-height grass, not caring that I leave an obvious trail behind me. No doubt he'll be after me, whether I leave a trail behind me or not. But I don't look back to find out.
All I want is to be out of there.
The 1st Annual Hunger Games lasted a total of seventeen days, and had large periods of time without much action. With only one tribute in the arena having had any form of military training, very few of the tributes were willing to risk going into action. Most encounters resulted in both tributes fleeing from each other during the first week, as the pool of tributes was cut down into single figures.
Two tributes stood out immediately as contenders in the Games; the males from Four and Ten, who had temporarily allied on the first day. The male from District 7 was a strong contender for the first five days, until he was killed in his sleep by the girl from District 1, who was in turn killed by the boy from District 10.
For three days the arena was down to two tributes, with Fraser and the boy from District 10 wandering the grasslands in search of each other, until they finally met with each other half a mile from the cornucopia. Both tributes had suffered injuries during their two weeks in the arena, but in the end the difference was Fraser's military training, crowning him the victor of the 1st Annual Hunger Games.
A/N: Please review! I'm intrigued as to what you think of the concept, plus the actual quality of my writing. As with all my stories, constructive criticism is welcome :)
P.S. I should note that all author's notes after this chapter are written at the time of publishing, and won't be edited afterwards, so some of them may refer to events or competitions that are no longer relevant or important, if you're catching up with this story rather than reading it as it is being posted.