Congratulations to nobody for guessing who's POV this chapter was going to be in. Well, I'll give some credit to Rainie, since she said either Colin or Kekai. I guess you'll figure out now.
The TV screen blared with bright, colorful lights, as pictures of the first district chariot projected onto the screen. My head rested on my palms as I examined the District 1 tributes with a bored expression. They were two typical Careers that would most likely end up getting super far in the Games. District 2 was the same exact way, although the female tribute, Dani, frightened me just a bit. A black-haired Avox entered the room and handed me a cold glass of water that I slowly slipped, my light blue glaze continuing to watch the rerun of the 205th chariot rides. District 3 went by in a flash, as one of the more boring chariots, while District 4 caught my attention only slightly, due to the pretty fifteen year old named Elizabeth and the strange, emo-haired male tribute with amber eyes. The way he grinned with enthusiasm and waved at the crowd made me judge him to be a basic Career tribute, but still, there was something odd about him that I couldn't quite place. I scribbled a quick description of him down on my notepad – that was my job as the Head Gamemaker's son. I was supposed to analyze each of the tributes – at least the most important ones – so that my father would have a good idea of who to observe during training. I glanced up from my notepad, focusing my attention back on the television screen when the District 5 chariot pulled in. District 5 is probably by far the most important district this year, which really doesn't happen that often. And even though their chariot was downright amazing, I'm not sure that's the only reason they're so special. The male tribute, Erlend, has a history of raping girls in his district, while the female tribute, Julia, although she isn't too special, seems to have a rebellious spark about her. While Erlend is waving and blowing kisses at the crowd, Julia is just glaring at the cameras, her face expressionless. Even though she looks bored and like she just wants these chariots to be over with, I can somehow see in her eyes a burning hatred for the Capitol, the people that basically made her participate in these Games, even though she for some reason volunteered. Not like I can't agree with her. I'm not particularly a big fan of my home, either. I always feel like an outcast, because I'm not a freak like most Capitol citizens are, but that's just because I don't belong here. I may have the face and the blood of the Head Gamemaker but in no way is my soul resembled to him.
I hear the sound of a door opening. I reach for the TV remote and click the pause button and therefore stopping the chariot rides, before craning my neck in order to see my father, who is leaning against the wall, his arms neatly folded across his chest. Like me, my father's appearance isn't very exotic or unique, but he still has that devious glint in his eyes that clearly shows he is from the Capitol, and is glad to be a part of it. His eyes rest on the TV screen, on Julia Stark's pale, freckled face. He looks at her for a few moments, tilting his head to the side, before his gaze moves towards me and a grin stretches across his face. "Ah, Colin," he says. "You can resume watching this later. I need your opinion on the arena I've been working on." He gestures towards his workroom near the back of the living room, and I nod, rising to my feet and following him to the area that he stays up so late in, brainstorming ideas and creating an arena to have children placed in where they are forced to kill each other. A lump forms in my throat and I try not to throw up. My dad opens the door for me and I step inside, pressing my back up against the smooth marble wall as he turns on the computers. Each small screen lights up immediately, and I nearly faint at the extremely realistic images that form. I stare at them, my jaw parting slightly, my eyes widening in amazement.
My father explains the concept of the arena to me, and I tell him that I like it and that it's very creative. "The president will like it too, Dad," I assure him. "It's… uh, awesome." And truthfully, it is awesome. I haven't seen an arena like this from my dad ever since he was offered the title of Head Gamemaker. But at the same time, it scares me. I turn to my dad and ask him, "How did you come up with it?"
He shrugs. "I'm not sure. Just an idea that came to me, I guess."
"Ryan!" We both turn around as Jason, the head mutt designer, barges into the room. How'd he get a key? I guess all Gamemakers allow each other to come to their houses whenever they please. I don't really like Jason that much – he's kind of a snob and he acts like he's the Head Gamemaker, and not my dad. Of course, I hate the thought of anyone being the Head Gamemaker altogether, but it still annoys me how he tries to steal the title away from my Dad and at the same time acts like he's my dad's best friend.
"Ryan," Jason says again. "I have some ideas for the some of the mutts we could use." He glances at my dad's arena design for the first time, and he smirks. "Well. Now I have some more ideas. Would you mind checking them out?"
Dad nods. "Not at all, Jason." He turns to me and says, "Now, son, would you mind finishing up the chariot rides, so that when I come back, I can see your notes on the tributes and decide which ones I need to watch out for during training."
"Yeah, dad. Sure." He pats my head, and I shy away from him. He chuckles before leaving the room with Jason and softly shutting the door behind him.
I don't go back to watching the reruns of the chariot rides right away. I sit down at one of the computers. I avoid touching something that could mess up my father's work – I don't want to change anything, I just want to look what he has in mind. I click through each of the areas that my dad has already created, and each one makes me feel sick to the stomach.
I don't even realize that the black-haired Avox from earlier had been standing behind me until she taps me on the shoulder. I kick the chair backwards and it hits her in the leg. She staggers to the side, whimpering quietly. I push the chair out of the way, sighing. "Sorry, Berry," I apologize, sighing. "What do you want?"
Berry hands me a letter, closed up with a Mockingjay-shaped seal. The symbol of rebellion. Ever since the failed Mockingjay Rebellion nearly two hundred years ago, led by Katniss Everdeen, anyone who wears or uses an item that represents the hybrid bird in some way, they are immediately classified as a rebel. I know I definitely won't rat out whoever sent me this message, however – for some reasons, I guess I could consider myself a rebel as well. I hate the Capitol. I hate the Hunger Games. Maybe I don't do anything rebellious physically, but I for sure wish I was brave enough to.
"What is this?" I ask Berry. She looks at me for a few moments. I know she can't talk due to the fact that she had her tongue cut off when she was taken prisoner by the Capitol and became a servant to my father, but she usually has a way of communicating to me by expressions and with her eyes. She places the tip of her forefinger on the Mockingjay seal, and then puts the same finger to her lips. My eyebrows furrow in confusion, but I don't have time to ask her what she means, because the ebony-haired Avox hangs her head and quickly exits the room. Sighing, I remove the seal and open up the envelope, pulling out a piece of paper that has been folded several times into a thick white square. I unfold it and whisper out loud what I read to myself.
Meet me at the training center at twelve a.m. tomorrow.
Don't ask why I want you to come here.
But I do expect you to come.
- Jade Shifter, District 5 mentor
I reread the letter over and over again, making sure I actually read what I thought I read. Why would the District 5 mentor want to speak to me? At midnight, in the training center? When no one else is around?
That's when I remember that Julia belonged to District 5. The one that looks like she has a rebellious spark.
I glance at the envelope that I still have clutched in my hand, and I gulp. The Mockingjay seal.
Something's going on here; something that I need to know about. Perhaps the Mockingjay Rebellion wasn't going to be the last rebellion. Maybe… just maybe…
I feel a bit light-headed, and extremely confused, but I know one thing for sure.
I'm meeting up with Jade tomorrow night, to see what this is all about.
Just before I exit my father's workroom, I take one last look at his arena. That lump in my throat from earlier returns, and at this point I feel like passing out.
I hope the tributes know how to swim.
Yeah, I'm totally evil, not revealing the actual arena. At least I gave you that little hint at the end, but still, you'll have to wait for the actual Games to see why Colin hates it so much.
But yeah, that's that. The next chapter will be the first day of training, and after that, we'll get to see why Jade wanted to see the Head Gamemaker's son so badly…
Hope you enjoyed this chapter :D