A/N: Thanks to mangesboy01, charliesunshine, richards25 and Violagirl23 for reviewing the last chapter :)
Here's some good news for you; my technical issues are gone! :D
Anyway, onto today's chapter. I've tried something a little different with this one, so I hope you enjoy it :)
"All my friends are as sharp as razors
Cut you down as you touch the faders
Listen up all you masqueraders
Now we have got the floor"
- Tom Meighan, 2009.
The 42nd Annual Hunger Games
Indiana James (17), District 10 Female
Kasabian - Vlad the Impaler (2009)
I can hear the cries echoing through the woods. The screams as a tribute yells out in pain. The metallic clang as blade touches blade. Furious cursing and fumbling footsteps.
"Damn you, Lazarus!" I hear a boy cry, much closer than before. I can tell from his accent that it is the boy from District 1.
"Clara! Where are you?" shouts Lazarus worriedly, who I know to be the boy from District 2. Whoever Clara is, she replies flippantly.
"I'm just behind you, you fool!"
"Help me, then!"
"If you haven't noticed, I'm in a spot of bother myself here!" snaps Clara again. "District 4 are-"
Her voice cuts off abruptly as screams fill the air.
Suddenly is see movement in the woods fifty yards down the slope from me. Two tributes moving quickly but almost silently on my right, fully armed. One with a sword, the other with a mace.
I need to get out of here.
I quickly look around the trees around me to find one that looks easy to climb. Being rather short and nimble, I'm a decent climber. Hopefully I can just hide in the higher branches of a tree until all this violence is over. I spot a decent tree ten yards away and sprint to it and begin climbing, keeping an eye on the action further down the slope.
It seems as though the Career Alliance has completely fallen apart. The boy from District 2, Lazarus, is in the middle of a sword fight with the boy from District 1, and although he appears to be winning (his opponent has a large gash in his left forearm), he is oblivious to the tributes of District 4 who are quickly approaching behind him.
A cannon sounds just as the District 4 tributes get within striking range (I presume it was Clara's cannon, who I remember was the girl from District 2), giving Lazarus time to turn to face the tributes from District 4. He manages to duck the first swing that the girl makes with her mace, but his former adversary, the boy from District 1, isn't so lucky. The girl's mace clatters into his skull and he drops to floor almost silently, never to rise again.
Lazarus swings out with his sword as the boy from District 4 attacks with his, but Lazarus is clearly the more skilled fighter. The boy from Four manages to parry the first two blows before being disarmed. Lazarus moves to finish him, but notices the girl from Four approaching from behind, and so instead he turns to run, allowing the tributes of District 4 time to regroup.
It takes me a minute to realise that he's running towards me. I hurry up ever faster into the highest branches of my tree, hoping that the fleeing Career won't be able to spot me high up in the canopy.
Unfortunately for Lazarus, despite all of his skill with weapons, the boy from District 4 is a much faster runner that he is. As Lazarus gets within ten metres of my tree, his new enemy is right on his heels. Sensing him, Lazarus turns to fight him. Anticipating the strike from the boy from Four, Lazarus ducks immediately, but his adversary anticipated his dodge, swinging his sword low into Lazarus's side. He reels backwards, cursing in pain, but despite the large, open gash in his stomach, Lazarus knows that he has no choice but to fight. Battling through the pain, he manages to hold his own for a minute, although he is slowly being forced backwards by the boy from District 4.
He's being backed up towards the bottom of my tree.
Lazarus, who realises that he is fighting a losing battle, musters all of his remaining strength into one more swing of his sword, which makes contact with his opponent's sword. A cannon (presumably that of the boy from District 1) sounds as the blades collide, and Lazarus' blow was struck with such strength that the boy from Four's sword shatters, leaving only the hilt in his hands.
Stunned, he stares at the hilt for just a moment too long, which turns out to be a fatal mistake. It only takes Lazarus another second for him to swing again, severing the boy's neck. The cannon sounds almost immediately as the boy's body falls, and Lazarus staggers forward, finally drained of the energy of the fight, his adrenalin levels eventually gone.
Only now does the girl from District 4 arrive on the scene, still armed with her mace. Lazarus, who has no energy left, drops his sword as he staggers forward, instead reaching for a dagger in his belt as the girl from Four approaches him, ready to strike. She's five metres from him when, in a final display of strength, Lazarus hurls the dagger at her, and luckily for him, it lands in her neck, dropping the girl from District 4 instantly.
I see Lazarus smirk slightly as she falls to the floor before collapsing to the ground himself from exhaustion and blood loss, never to rise again.
After the death of the girl from District 1 at the cornucopia on the first day of the Games and the bloody fight in which the other five Careers annihilated themselves on day six, none of the Careers made it into the final six tributes of the Games.
In an arena that was set in a woodland valley in which the water levels rose from the central river by ten metres every day, it only took twelve days to force the three surviving tributes into combat. In a three-way battle between the boys from Districts 3 and 9 and Indiana of District 10, the two boys severely injured each other using spears and bows that they picked up at the cornucopia. This left Indiana with an easy victory, finishing off the two boys with her knife, allowing her to claim victory in the 42nd Annual Hunger Games.
Here's an interesting piece of trivia concerning the 42nd Games; the last time that the Careers played no part in the finale of the Games, the victor was Fernando James of District 10, cousin of Indiana, in the 36th Games, six years earlier.
A/N: If you liked this chapter, please review! As ever, constructive criticism is welcomed :)
Here's another reminder about the competition that I'm running. I've already received several chapters, and so I thank anyone who has had the time to send one in. There's still eight more chapters until the deadline, so there's plenty of time to go. If you're after more information, please read the author's notes for chapter 37 of this story, as the rules of the competition are written there. Thanks again to everyone who has already taken part in the competition, and I look forward to more entries :)
Also, if any of you are also reading my story 'Mentor', then I think I should let you know that I've updated again in the last couple of days :)
P.S. We've got a few famous victors coming up in the next few chapters. Any guesses as to who? :)