A/N: Thanks to Klicker'andKash, Oxenstierna D. Yuki-Rin and mangesboy01 for reviewing! The support is appreciated :)
Finally, after almost eight months, we've reached the final chapter of the story of the Hunger Games. I'm not going to say too much now (there'll be acknowledgements, special mentions, etc. at the end of the chapter) and just get on with the epilogue, which you'll find is something completely different.
As ever, I only hope that this chapter will tie up the story convincingly, and let this massive journey end on a high.
Happy reading, everyone :)
"Well I, I just want to see the light
And I, I don't want to lose my sight
Well I, I just want to see the light
And I need to know what's worth the fight."
- Billie-Joe Armstrong, 2009.
An extract from The Memoirs of Caesar Flickerman
Published 13 years after the 75th Annual Hunger Games
Green Day - See the Light (2009)
The 76th Annual Hunger Games was the final event in the year of the mockingjay, the final act of rebellion. It was the final act in a long and bloody year, and one that I can unfortunately admit to having played a part in. Supposedly voted for by the surviving Hunger Games victors at the end of the war that February, all the magic that had covered up the atmosphere of the Games was lost in those short months as the war raged on. The spectacle of death became a far more real part of our lives, and by the time of the 76th Annual Hunger Games (often referred to as the Capitol Games), death wasn't really a spectacle at all. It was a price that we all had to pay.
Rushed into production at short notice, Plutarch Heavensbee can be fully credited with the success of the Games, as he reverted to his role as Head Gamemaker during those months. I was approached by President Paylor herself to resume my role as master of ceremonies, partnering Claudius Templesmith on commentary once the Games began for real. It was just like any other Hunger Games, really. Only that the children weren't reaped, they were hand-picked from the richest and most influential Capitol families; twelve boys and twelve girl who could otherwise have gone on to shape our nation.
In all of my years, the night of the interviews for the Capitol Games remains the worst day of my life. The excitement of the Games was long gone by then; the horror of the situation was already all too apparent. But I still gave it my all, only it no longer felt like coaching answers from people who had whole stories to tell the world; the tributes that year were young men and women who had lived their early lives in the public eye. The only thing that was new about them was that nearly all of them were twelve hours from the arena, and their imminent deaths. I had grown up admiring, idolising even, the Hunger Games victors, imagining them to be the bravest and greatest people from the uncivilised backwaters of the districts. It had never really sunk in until I sat on the couch with Capitol children that year that most of them weren't brave and strong; they were frightened children desperately looking for a way to leave the arena alive, whatever the costs.
The arena that year had been used before, quite literally, as the Capitol tributes were taken back to the arena used for the 1st Annual Hunger Games, which had been converted back from a tourist resort to the sinister environment that it had been on that fateful Sunday seventy-five years before, when the districts' suffering was only just beginning. The Games didn't last long, either. The Gamemakers had been harsher than they had been in years, both in terms of supplies and weapons. Throw in the hideous muttations and a myriad of traps, and the tributes never really stood a chance.
I never got the same buzz in the commentary room that year; the easy conversation and jovial mood of yesteryear was gone; replaced with a morbid attraction to the television screens. I hated every moment of the Capitol Games, but couldn't bring myself to look away. And not just because I was paid to be watching it, either. It was because I couldn't believe that our nation had allowed this to happen for almost a century. Thankfully, there were some small mercies among the misery; I never suffered as Claudius did. He had to commentate over his grandson's death. Working as a commentator wasn't fun any more, it was just something that had to be done; the final act of the rebellion, ushering the new age.
The only emotion that I can recall as the Games came to a close was relief - relief that I wouldn't have to sit through any more suffering. The Capitol Games were dominated by the Gamemakers so much that the eventual victor - Cassandra Snow, granddaughter of the late president - only managed one kill during eight days in the arena. Not because she was incompetent, but because for long periods of time every tribute was forced into their own little bubble of torture; everyone was so incapacitated that there was no room in the brain for processing aggressive thoughts. The Games were only ever about torture; torturing the Capitol's tributes and the Capitol themselves, who could do nothing but watch the chaos unfold.
Unsurprisingly, President Paylor's decision to continue with Coin's wishes for a final Hunger Games following Coin's death had made her uncommon even prior to the Games, and the suffering of the Capitol's children in the arena that summer only lowered the public opinion of the new president.
The new republic had been set up during the winter, following President Snow's surrender on December 17th, and although the new government had been set hastily, a date for a general election was set for the following September. The new government would consist of twenty council members, each voted in by their own people. There would be one councillor for each of the thirteen districts, and seven for the Capitol, where most of the nation's population resided. The twenty council members would then decide between themselves who the leader of the council would be, and that person would assume the title of President.
There was no surprise when that September, Panem was under the control of a new president; support in Paylor had plummeted following the Capitol Games, and although she became District 8's representative upon the council, she had lost the backing of her fellow council members and lost the title of President. However, one surprise that came from the elections was that young Cassandra Snow successfully campaigned for a place on the council, using the sympathy of the Capitol to find herself a place in politics, just like her grandfather before her.
Aside from, Cassandra Snow, most of the victors were all but forgotten in the years after the Capitol Games. It was as though the Capitol Games had ended a chapter in Panem's history (and in a way, they had) and that all that came before had been forgotten. After seventy-five years of suffering through seventy-five Hunger Games, the districts' seventy-five champions, their seventy five victors, became all but forgotten by the Capitol that had once revered them.
Enobaria, the only surviving Career tribute, attempted to make the same leap as Cassandra into politics, but despite years of campaigning she has never managed the jump. Mediocre political skills can be overcome with sympathy, but who would sympathise with a woman who teared out a boy's throat with her teeth? Not enough people, by all accounts. After failing to be elected to the council at four consecutive elections (general elections are held every two years), Enobaria seems to have returned to a quiet life in the hills of District 2, away from the busy life of the Capitol.
Beetee, despite his aging years, works under Councillor Plutarch Heavensbee and is responsible for the technical side to the nation's communications network, as Plutarch has been appointed the council minister responsible for communications. Even as he approaches seventy, Beetee remains as committed to his work as ever, and has adapted well to the new system, which he supports whole-heartedly.
Then we come to poor, mad Annie Odair, who has lived a recluse's life in victor's village in District 4 for the past thirteen years, raising her son Dylan, named after the twin brother that she saw die in the arena. As far as I know, she lives a simple yet enjoyable life, and I have been told that thirteen-year-old Dylan has the same sea-green eyes as his father, the late Hunger Games victor Finnick Odair, who died fighting at the side of the mockingjay during the invasion of the Capitol.
Johanna Mason, the only surviving victor of District 7, lives a life harder to trace than her fellow victors, as she feels less ties to home than the rest, and the Open Borders Law - the first passed through by the new council - allows her to travel the nation, keeping in touch with the few people that she has left to care about, following her troubled upbringing. She spends a great deal of time travelling to see Annie Odair, as she was once close to Finnick prior to his untimely death, and wishes to offer any help possible to his widow and son.
Haymitch Abernathy, one of the masterminds of the mockingjay rebellion, lives a recluse's life similar to his pre-rebellion days; a life of liquor and waste. For some the traumas of the Games never quite went away, and he fights his illnesses with alcohol in the now-recovering District 12, where he seems content to remain for the foreseeable future.
Peeta Mellark, another victor of District 12, returned to his former home after the rebellion, returning to live in victor's village aside his fellow living victors, as District 12 is the only district to have more than one surviving victor following the rebellion and the victors' purge that came with it. It is said that he still practices his talent of painting, whenever he can find the time in a rapidly regenerating District 12.
And that leaves us with Katniss Everdeen, the mockingjay, the face of the revolution that changed the nation just over a decade. After the controversial assassination of President Coin at the end of the revolution, Katniss avoided charges of murder due to her fragile condition at the time, and has since returned to District 12, where she lives with fellow victors Haymitch and Peeta.
So, little remains of the phenomenon that shaped my life. The Hunger Games are gone; the victors have gone their own ways, the arenas are now memorials to the 1,742 of Panem's young men and women who lost their lives playing the deadly game. The popular support for the Games are gone, and the government that created them have been overthrown. Now, little remains of arguably the most influential era in Panem's history.
But as we go forward, the legacy of the Hunger Games will come with us, both as a physical reminder in the memorials around the nation but also as a mental reminder of the suffering that was caused when our society fell apart. And pushing forward that legacy is Julianna Cato, daughter of Brutus, who was elected President two years ago after six years on the council. Almost a century after her family were disgraced in the light of the first rebellion, the second has returned the once surviving member of the Cato bloodline to the Capitol, where they rightfully belong.
And so there really could be nobody better to lead us into the new age, without the traumas of the reaping bowl or the threat of the arena hanging over our nation's young. There is no denying that the Hunger Games are a very important part of our history, but thankfully their time is now behind.
Together, with all of Panem's thirteen districts now strongly allied to the Capitol, we push forward together into a new age of liberty, justice and peace.
The Hunger Games Victors
The 1st Annual Hunger Games: Fraser Reynolds (18), District 4 Male
The 2nd Annual Hunger Games: Charity Green (16), District 9 Female
The 3rd Annual Hunger Games: Augustus Holt (18), District 2 Male
The 4th Annual Hunger Games: Jon Kerry (17), District 10 Male
The 5th Annual Hunger Games: Adrienne Martins (18), District 4 Female
The 6th Annual Hunger Games: Topaz McArthur (18), District 1 Female
The 7th Annual Hunger Games: Michelle Patrick (17), District 12 Female
The 8th Annual Hunger Games: Amadeus Hadrianus Cato (18), District 2 Male
The 9th Annual Hunger Games: Jared Parker (16), District 5 Male
The 10th Annual Hunger Games: Armando Naseby (17), District 4 Male
The 11th Annual Hunger Games: Margaret 'Mags' Tyler (17), District 4 Female
The 12th Annual Hunger Games: Melissa Sayer (18), District 6 Female
The 13th Annual Hunger Games: Rose Taylor (17), District 2 Female
The 14th Annual Hunger Games: Satin Hughes (18), District 1 Female
The 15th Annual Hunger Games: Cicero Turner (17), District 2 Male
The 16th Annual Hunger Games: Jacob 'Woof' Harley (16), District 8 Male
The 17th Annual Hunger Games: Natalie Blackman (18), District 4 Female
The 18th Annual Hunger Games: Cassius Patrick (18), District 2 Male
The 19th Annual Hunger Games: Lucas Raven (18), District 2 Male
The 20th Annual Hunger Games: Michelle Lopez (17), District 9 Female
The 21st Annual Hunger Games: Timothy Harper (17), District 7 Male
The 22nd Annual Hunger Games: Sheen O'Halloran (18), District 1 Male
The 23rd Annual Hunger Games: Danielle Morgan (17), District 4 Female
The 24th Annual Hunger Games: Harriet Sands (17), District 4 Female
The 25th Annual Hunger Games (The First Quarter Quell): Arturo Foster (18), District 2 Male
The 26th Annual Hunger Games: Ivy Grant (18), District 2 Female
The 27th Annual Hunger Games: Molly Higgins (16), District 6 Female
The 28th Annual Hunger Games: Velvet Osman (17), District 1 Female
The 29th Annual Hunger Games: Dax Kennedy (16), District 5 Male
The 30th Annual Hunger Games: Ruby Peters (17), District 1 Female
The 31st Annual Hunger Games: Blake Carlton (16) District 6 Male
The 32nd Annual Hunger Games: Seeder King (17), District 11 Female
The 33rd Annual Hunger Games: Cale Edwards (18), District 4 Male
The 34th Annual Hunger Games: Lilac Stephenson (18), District 2 Female
The 35th Annual Hunger Games: Gloria Blair (18), District 2 Female
The 36th Annual Hunger Games: Fernando James (16), District 10 Male
The 37th Annual Hunger Games: Achilles Floyd (18), District 2 Male
The 38th Annual Hunger Games: Brian T. 'Beetee' Matthews (18), District 3 Male
The 39th Annual Hunger Games: Raphael Bryan (18), District 2 Male
The 40th Annual Hunger Games: Sapphire Tompkins (18), District 1 Female
The 41st Annual Hunger Games: Marcel Fielding (16), District 9 Male
The 42nd Annual Hunger Games: Indiana James (17), District 10 Female
The 43rd Annual Hunger Games: Georgina 'Georgie' Williamson (18), District 4 Female
The 44th Annual Hunger Games: Brutus Severus Cato (18), District 2 Male
The 45th Annual Hunger Games: Chaff Harris (17), District 11 Male
The 46th Annual Hunger Games: Blight Gunn (18), District 7 Male
The 47th Annual Hunger Games: Ellis Rutherford (18), District 6 Male
The 48th Annual Hunger Games: Harrow Greaves (18), District 4 Male
The 49th Annual Hunger Games: Julian Sampson (16), District 4 Male
The 50th Annual Hunger Games (The Second Quarter Quell): Haymitch Abernathy (16), District 12 Male
The 51st Annual Hunger Games: Toby Denham (17), District 10 Male
The 52nd Annual Hunger Games: Luke Ford (17), District 5 Male
The 53rd Annual Hunger Games: Wiress Duncan (17), District 3 Female
The 54th Annual Hunger Games: Lyme Fairbanks (18), District 2 Female
The 55th Annual Hunger Games: Draco Bond (18), District 2 Male
The 56th Annual Hunger Games: Harvey Collings (16), District 8 Male
The 57th Annual Hunger Games: Yvonne Grady (17), District 5 Female
The 58th Annual Hunger Games: Auriel Hope (18), District 4 Male
The 59th Annual Hunger Games: Holly Thorpe (18), District 9 Female
The 60th Annual Hunger Games: Alexander Neville (17), District 9 Male
The 61st Annual Hunger Games: Cecelia Wright (15), District 8 Female
The 62nd Annual Hunger Games: Enobaria Blake (17), District 2 Female
The 63rd Annual Hunger Games: Cashmere Adlington (15), District 1 Female
The 64th Annual Hunger Games: Gloss Adlington (16), District 1 Male
The 65th Annual Hunger Games: Finnick Odair (14), District 4 Male
The 66th Annual Hunger Games: Ludovic Robertson (15), District 4 Male
The 67th Annual Hunger Games: Johanna Mason (16), District 7 Female
The 68th Annual Hunger Games: Johan Hurst (17), District 1 Male
The 69th Annual Hunger Games: Bronze Bradley (18), District 1 Male
The 70th Annual Hunger Games: Annie Cresta (18), District 4 Female
The 71st Annual Hunger Games: Victoria Marino (18), District 4 Female
The 72nd Annual Hunger Games: Alva Baird (18), District 3 Male
The 73rd Annual Hunger Games: Imogen Sands (17), District 4 Female
The 74th Annual Hunger Games: Peeta Mellark (16), District 12 Male and Katniss Everdeen (16), District 12 Female
The 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Third Quarter Quell): no victor; Hunger Games ended prematurely
The 76th Annual Hunger Games (The Capitol Games): Cassandra Snow (18), Capitol Female
The Hunger Games Hall of Records
First Victor: Fraser Reynolds (1st Games)
Last Victor: Cassandra Snow (76th Games)
Youngest Victor: 14 years, 2 months, 7 days - Finnick Odair (65th Games)
Oldest Victor: 19 years, 0 months, 0 days - Annie Cresta (70th Games)
Shortest Victory: 0 days, 22 hours - Amadeus Hadrianus Cato (8th Games)
Longest Victory: 34 days, 7 hours - Alexander Neville (60th Games)
Most Kills: 18 - Brutus Severus Cato (44th and 75th Games)
Most Kills (Single Hunger Games): 15 - Brutus Severus Cato (44th Games)
Least Kills (for a victor): 0 - Cecelia Wright (61st Games)
Largest Alliance: 14 - Brian T. 'Beetee' Matthews, Wiress Duncan, Finnick Odair, Margaret 'Mags' Tyler, Blake Carlton, Molly Higgins, Blight Gunn, Johanna Mason, Jacob 'Woof' Harley, Cecelia Wright, Chaff Harris, Seeder King, Peeta Mellark, Katniss Everdeen (75th Games)
Most Sponsor Support Received: 75th Annual Hunger Games
Most Expensive Sponsor Gift: Trident - Finnick Odair (65th Annual Hunger Games)
Most Gamemaker Kills: 22 (61st Games)
Least Gamemaker Kills: (1st Games)
A/N: And so, at last, our story of the Hunger Games must come to an end. We have seen every Hunger Games, every arena, every victor, and seen some of the most important moments of their lives through their eyes. Hopefully, as we reach the end of our colossal journey, you'll appreciate how much effort this story has taken to put together, not just because it is over 150,000 words long, but because of all of the crossover with my other Hunger Games fanfics.
Of course, I couldn't have managed it on my own, and this story would probably have been abandoned long ago if it wasn't for the brilliant support, either from those of you who have spoken to me about my creative ideas, submitted chapters for the competition, or merely read, reviewed, followed or favourited this story.
I know that I can't mention everyone, but there are a few names that I feel it would be right to mention, as this story would have gone in a very different direction if it wasn't for their combined inputs. So special thanks go to mangesboy01, richards25, Klicker'andKash, Ways, Oxenstierna D. Yuki-Rin, RealFiction, PrincessLyoka, WeeMadArthur, Chop n thunder, Allonsydney, Kman528, DigbyThompson, Kiliflower, Violagirl23, coaster317, vykktor, That Hufflepuff and our competition winners MJElliot and QuietConspiracy for all that you've done to inspire me throughout this challenging story to write, which I hoe has turned into a great story to read.
I'm sorry if I've missed anyone from the list of acknowledgements above, but the support has far, far more than I ever expected, and I'm extremely grateful for it. As of 25th October 2013, we've had over 50,000 views, 59 favourites and 66 follows. And, of course, 623 reviews, which actually puts this story on the 4th page of highest reviewed Hunger Games fanfics (rated K-T), which is simply incredible.
I suppose that just leaves me to say that if you enjoyed this story (or even if you didn't), please review. I'm always going to be accepting constructive criticism, as I reckon I'll be continually trying to improve and perfect this story.
Also, the legacy of 75 Games, 75 Victors, 75 Oneshots continues in my several side stories, which are well underway, expanding on the world created in this fanfic. Please feel free to check them out. Hopefully they'll be worth your time.
So thanks a lot everyone, for helping make this story happen. Finally, 247 days after first writing about a young boy from District 4 called Fraser Reynolds, I can say that 75 Games, 75 Victors, 75 Oneshots is now complete.