A/N: So I thought it was high-time for me to do a SYOT. Form and rules are on my profile, and please PM ME YOUR CHARACTER.I do not take them through reviews. More details later on. Note that this is a prologue, the first chapter should be up soon. Other than that, happy reading and don't forget to review.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the idea of the Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins, we bow down to you.
Prologue: A New Notion
It all began when the other ended.
When the final blow was delivered, and the lifeless body clattered to the ground; when the sound blared from the invisible speakers, and the raucous cheering of supporters from the Capitol filled the atmosphere; when the Tribute took a moment to relish the victory, before their arms shot into the air, screaming at the top of their lungs; a part of them euphoric beyond coherent words, while another sighed in relief, subconsciously thinking it's all over - at last.
Meanwhile, deep within the crevices of the Capitol, a group of people dressed in the most lavish of fabrics settled down in an air-conditioned room, their hands poised on the mahogany table and their minds racing with ideas for the next Games.
There was the customary throwing around of uncanny ideas – a Games played in the ruins of a city; an arena built underground – that were immediately rejected upon being heard. Then one of the Gamemakers piped up with the idea of a Games that targeted not the Tributes themselves, but rather their minds.
Initially the idea of a Hunger Games played solely within the mind seemed ludicrous. How would their cameras pick up the action? How would there be violence and gore if their bodies weren't affected at all? Who would watch a Hunger Games that lacked their most imperative trait: bloodshed?
However, the prospect of fear being the most deadly weapon in the Arena eventually caught the attention of the new Head Gamemaker, Ivory Devereux.
"It's an interesting idea," she purred in her heavily Capitol-accented voice as she played with a few strands of her short yet thick blonde locks. "However, it all depends on . . . the execution of this mental arena."
"An arena in their heads?" another Gamemaker, Augustus Liberato, asked incredulously. "How exactly is that even feasible?"
"Well, for starters," Gamemaker Gemini Thornebrook put in, leaning forward in her chair, "we will have to get inside these Tributes' minds."
"And that will be easy," Augustus retorted, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "Why don't we just consult with our head psychiatrists and ask them to find a drill to crack open the Tributes' blasted skulls."
"Did you just use sarcasm against me?"
"Sweetheart, we all know your mind's not strong enough to handle that much manipulation."
"Why you little – "
"Enough." Ivory's voice was adamant and harsh, like a knife cutting through ice. She slowly paced around the room, her four-inch heels softly clipping against the marble floor. "I didn't sign up for this job to tame children. I signed up to torture them into oblivion."
"And we didn't?" Gamemaker Constantina Ferrand inquired, her magenta eyebrows rising. "Well, excuse us if we are the least bit skeptical at this idea of an arena inside the Tributes' minds."
Shouts rose from the other Gamemakers that sat at the table, as they launched themselves into a full-fledged argument. Accusations and insults flew across the room, shrill screams being drowned out by thumps of fists against wood. Eventually, a blotch of red crept up onto Ivory's pale face – who was thoroughly frustrated at this point – and she brought down both her fists – hard – against the table.
Ivory's voice pierced the air, her perfectly manicured, turquoise fingers pointing at the various perpetrators.
A dull lull fell over the room as all the Gamemakers ceased their argument, fear-stricken at her abrupt show of a breached temper.
"I will not have any of this incessant bickering!" Ivory stated, her voice shaking with rage. "We do not have enough time for this! How many of you want to end up on President Chaucer's to-be-executed list this year, hm? How many of you indolent morons want to have a bullet in your skulls?"
There were no answers.
"I thought so. Now, if all of you children are done arguing, it is time to focus!"
Silence encased the room, no noise except the steady breathing of its occupants. It was only until one particular chair Gamemaker stood from their chair, the wood screeching as it slid across rock, and locked eyes with Ivory before opening his mouth to speak was the silence penetrated.
"I have an idea," spoke Gamemaker Lamarr Stockwell, as he adjusted his lavender lapel.
"After all the ones we've heard today, this better be good."
Lamarr cleared his throat before speaking again. "Instead of an arena that is inside the Tributes' minds, what about an arena that targets them?"
A bit of chatter and whispers rose as the Gamemakers deliberated this idea.
"Targets their minds, you say? How so?" Ivory asked; the wheels in her head already at work.
"Well, the arena wouldn't be necessarily fully built," Lamarr went on explaining, "in fact, the course of it would be determined by the Tributes themselves. Or more specifically, their minds."
"An arena that can be bent at the Tributes' will? Wouldn't that be beneficial for them? They could easily manipulate it into giving them the upper hand," said Gemini, leaning back in her chair.
"That's the thing," Lamarr said. "The arena won't comply with their mind's commands exactly. It will explicitly target their – "
" – fears," finished Ivory, her blue eyes wide in understanding. "The arena will target their minds; feed off their fears and negative emotions, putting them in a battle against themselves."
"Yes," Lamarr articulated. "Exactly."
"In a way, they will be playing their own game . . . a maze from which they cannot escape. It's perfect!" Ivory said, her mind racing.
"But," Constantina put forward, "how can we be so sure they will only focus on their negative emotions? How can we make sure it is only their fears that control this maze?"
"We won't have to," Ivory replied. "By then, we'll have siphoned out all the optimism in them, the only thing remaining will be negativity. They won't know what controls the arena, and we certainly won't be telling them. Soon, they will break and in the end, it won't be a battle of who is the strongest, physically, but rather who is the strongest, mentally."
A slight hush fell over the group as the digested this information. The idea of a game so ruthless and manipulative was horrifyingly enticing – a fresh new page compared to the accustomed survival-of-the-fittest theme. This would be memorable, and truly one to watch.
It would be an invisible menace; pessimism running like blood. No route would be the same, no path well-paved. Only those with the willpower of a lion would prevail, and those who relied on weapons of steel and string would be reduced to helpless heaps, begging for mercy. Bets would be placed and fears would be faced. The remaining soldier would rise above the rest: alive, but forever broken.
"Well," Gamemaker Boudicca Brunwin finally perked up. "All in favor of this mind-maze arena, say ay."
A cacophony of ays rang through the room, in various pitches and varying tones, as gloved hands were held up in the air; vicious thoughts and pure satisfaction at this idea implanted within their minds.
"Then it is settled," Ivory said, a contented smile curling onto her blood-red lips. "Mark my words; I will be making sure this year's Hunger Games will be more horrific than the Tributes' worst nightmares."
And with the finality of that sadistic statement, the Gamemaker meeting adjourned.
A/N: Thank you for reading, and please leave feedback. Tell me if you liked the characters, the writing, and/or the idea of a Games targeted at minds. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Once more, the form is on my profile; if you are interested in sending a Tribute, please check that out. PM only. Note that it is not a first come/first serve. I choose Tributes based on their flaws, not their strengths. The first chapter should be up soon, and updates sporadic. Let me know what you think via review.
Until next time:
Peace, Love, and Nutella! ~cuteypuffgirl