Author's Note: Hey everyone, sorry it's been so long since the last update. Hope you guys didn't think I fell off the face of the earth :) It's been a little hecktic since school started up again, I haven't had much time to write. Plus, incase anyone's curious, this chapter was incredibly hard to write.

Anyways, as always, thanks to: Peace Love Hunger games, and Dancing-Souls. You guys rock! :) And thanks to all you guys for adding this story to your 'favorites' and 'alert' lists.

Also, before I forget; Big thanks to Dancing-Souls for giving me some ideas for their "plan" in this chapter :)

PS. I really am not sure when the next chapter post will be, but I can tell you we only have about three more chapters left of this story. So tell me what you guys think; are you excited for the end? Sad to see the first book end? Review and tell me what you think.

BTW the next chapter might be a Q&A with the characters if I can get enough questions. So feel free to send them in by Review or PM. It's doesn't matter what type of question really, just anything you'd want to ask the characters, (or comments to them as well); like what they think of another character, or what you think about them, who do they like etc.


Chapter 18: Operation Break-Up

I picked up one of the maps, which was just one cornor of the arena, trying to memorize and make sense of the twisting, winding, and curving roads.

I frowned, piecing all six sections together and let out a breath in amazement, "Hey, Ember, take a look at this."

She looked over my shoulder and gasped putting a hand to her mouth seeing what I saw.

All put together, and from a bird's eye view the twisting roads came together to form the image of the Capitol seal; a giant bird, the cross streets forming the broken arrows it sat upon. And that wasn't all. When you looked closer you saw that on the roof tops of the houses and buildings different etchings were carved out of the pavement forming the words; 70th Hunger Games.

I leaned back. The whole thing just disgusted me. "So what exactly is the plan again?"

Before Ember could answer Copper cut her off in his brooding voice, "There's no plan, not yet."

I raise an eyebrow, shooting a glance in his direction, "What?"

"What are you talking about?" Ember's voice chirpped in, "Of course we do! Remember the thing I showed you yesterday and you said it was good?"

"Yeah, well," Copper said, crossing his arms, "that plan stunk."

I huffed resisting the urge to throw my hands in the air dramatically, "So what are we doing?!"

The cellar door opened with a creak as Jack hopped down, "O.K.," he said,brushing his hands off on his pants, "You guys ready?"

"For what?" I said in utter confusion, "And where were you?"

"Bathroom duty," he stated, pulling on his jacket, slipping the shotgun in his belt loop.

Copper gave him a nod, folding a whithered piece of paper in his pocket and shoving in a pencil along with it.

Dropping the maps, Ember crossed her arms looking just as confused as me. "And where do you two gorillas think you're going?"

Copper turned, giving her a blank stare, "Tracking the Careers."

Ember stalked up to him, staring him down like a kitten would a German shepard, "Not. Without. Us."

Jack and I both stood there amused and slightly perplexed at the situation.

They stood there, glowering at each other, then Copper finally gave up. He groaned, rubbing a hand in frustration across his forehead. "I don't know how you do it. But fine, throw yourself in harm's way again."

Ember patted his cheek with a smirk, "Now was that so hard?" She swiped the pack off the chair and winked at me, "That's the good thing about big brothers; they're all pushovers."

Those two were related? I share a look with Jack and shrug. Well, I guess all the bantering makes sense, now.

I grabbed my pack and threw it over my shoulder.

"Hold it right there!" Copper snatched the backpack from Ember, "You are not bringing all that junk with you. You'll slow us down," he held it just out of her reach as she jumped for it, her face turning as red as her hair with frustration.

" It's my pack. I'll do what I want with it."

This went on for several minutes. I groaned, snapping at him to just hand her the pack. Jack, being the tallest (next to Copper) grabbed the pack from him, handing it over to Ember.

"Thanks, Jack," she said, in a happy sing-song voice.

I raised an eyebrow; well, somebody had a crush.

…..

I pulled my jacket closer around me as we trailed down the deserted road in the most ungodly hour in the morning. It was times like these I wished I had a watch.

Copper held the lead, map in hand, his eyes fixed ahead. Ember and I followed behind him leaving Jack at our back.

Ember shivered beside me, hugging her arms, "Gosh it's cold out here." Her breath lingering in the air, a thin strand of mist, "Am I the only one who gets the feeling we're about to get run over."

I cringed, don't go giving the Game-makers any ideas!

Copper halted dead in his tracks, all of us shot her cautious glares.

The electricty in tellephone wires hissed and sizzled, little sparks dancing along them. And why exactly did the arena need something as usless at phone wires?

The pavement beneath my feet swayed like a ship's deck at sea, and I almost lost my balance.

Apparently I wasn't the only one jolted. Jack bumped into me sending me stumbling forward bumping into Copper, who grunted.

"Sorry," both Jack and I said.

"What was that?" Ember asked trying to get her balance back.

I heard a gasp from behind me as Jack tapped my shoulder, "What?"

I cocked my head around, eyes widening and gasped! A gigantic metal vehicle flew towards us, headlights glaring bright as the sun.

"Off the street, now!" I shouted while shoving Ember in that direction.

Not a second later, as my feet hit the dirt, the bulldozer of death rocketed right where I'd been standing.

Copper ran a hand through his hair, turning to glare at Ember. "Next time," he growled, "keep your mouth shut."

We passed several houses, taking several side-streets and turns that began to seem very familiar. Tall buildings and sky-scrapers peaked over the tops of smaller roofs. A large brick-red building loomed ahead of us. Target located! We snuck around to the side, crouching under a broken window.

Three figures sat around the room on several crates. A figure stood leaning against a wall, broken glass scattered on the ground. It was obvious an argument was going on, from the rise and tone of their voices.

"All I'm saying is this place could do with a little color," said the blonde boy, a cannister in his hand.

The taller boy cocked his head, "You are such a girl," said Riptide.

The blonde boy sighed, shaking the bottle, "Some people just don't appreciate an artistic eye."

Covering his mouth with his sleeve, Riptide coughed, batting a hand at the air, "Well, keep the paint fumes on your side." With a glare, Riptide walked out of view off towards the back.

"Dime, Sweety," said the blonde girl in an overly girlie voice, "Play me a little music please. I need something to dance to."

Dime sighed, "Fushia-"

Fushia threw herself at him, twirling a piece of blond hair, running the other hand through his hair, "Please, baby, for me?" she said, seductively.

"No. No. No-" shouted the black-haired girl, sporting a glare colder than death itself, "No music. I hate that racket."

Both girls glared at each other.

Riptide growled from somewhere far off in a corner, "Would you both just shut up. Jeez, someone shoot me now, put me outta this dang misery."

The door swung open with a loud bang as it hit the wall. Victor stalked into the room, yanking Dime's sketch pad away, calling everyone to attention.

"All right, looks like it's down to us, 12, goddess girl, and that District 7 kid."

"Bravo, Captian Obvious." The black-haired District 2 girl said, sharpening a spear-tip.

"Anyone see where my coat went?" Fushia, asked digging through a pile of sheets, then dropping them. "Oh eww, no way would I wear that thing again anyway."

It was rather boring watching them argue. Jack and Ember had taken to playing a game of tick tacks with a piece of broken chalk and the wall beside us.

"Crap, lost again. You sure you're not cheating?" Jack mumbled shooting Ember a mock glare.

She grinned like a cat, scratching a white X through the boxes.

Leaning back, I banged my head against the wall. Perhaps a bit too loud, given the annoyed stare I got from Copper. This was getting us nowhere!

"Let's just go," I said into Copper's ear, then getting to my feet.

"Not yet," he said, shoving me back down, his eyes still on Dime and Riptide, who were again bickering like cats.

"Yeah, well, you don't smell too fresh either Fish Guts."

"Wanna say that again, Pipsqueak!" Riptide shoved Dime and he fell over onto Fushia, who shrieked.

"Ew! Get off me. You're covered in paint!"

Running a blue, paint-stained hand through his hair frustratingly, Dime snapped, "Yo, that's it. I'm takin' a walk." Muttering something about 'fix' and 'car' to himself, Dime strode out the door, slamming it shut behind him.

Fushia, utterly detached from the world around her, looked up from examining her nails. "I think a diamond braclet would look totally fabulous with my outfit, don't you think?"

I elbowed Copper whispering into his ear, "I'm gonna see where he's going. You coming?"

A gurgling, growling sound echoed out of nowhere and we turned around in several directions.

"Sorry. Hungry I guess," Jack said, crossing out the game.

Ember frowned then stopped, her stomach obviously protesting too.

It must have been like a yawning disease, because the next thing I knew my own insides were complaining.

Ignoring the pain I said, "Why don't you two head back. Copper and I are goin' after 1."

Scribbling something on a piece of paper, Copper stuffed the note in his pocket, "All right let's go."

Dime, his back towards us, bent over the hood of an old car, the hood propped up and open. It was obvious he was fixing something. The fresh coat of blue paint on the body gleamed under the yellow street lights.

He tossed his jacket onto the windshield, continuing to tweak and tighten wires here and there. Slamming the hood down he yelled as the top crashed on his hand.

"Dang-it! Crap, that hurts," he muttered, yanking the driver's door open. "O.k., come on baby, work."

The motor buzzed to life for a few seconds, but then quickly died. Dime banged his head against the steering wheel, enacting a loud 'HONK' from the car.

I watched Copper as he scribled notes down furiously. Every now and then he'd glance at Dime, and nod in an 'all knowing' sort of way.

I took out a piece of paper and wrote down what I could as well, though it wasn't very much.

….

"You should have seen the look on Victor's face when Riptide told him 'where he could go'," Jack said over dinner that night.

I brushed a piece of chewed bread off my cheek and glared at him with a sigh. It was a sad meal that consisted of small veggie sandwiches, made of soggie bread, and wilted lettuce. And luke-warm water. We all crouched around the trunk/desk, looking over the map.

"Told you it would take him three seconds to lose it. You owe me," Ember said.

Jack frowned, "No way. That was way longer than three. More like six."

I bit into the bread, listening as Copper discussed our little observation.

"So here's the plan," Copper said, "It'd be easier if we split the herd up. Causing a little civil war should be easy, since they're not far from offing each other."

I nodded, gaging down a slice of sour tomato, "Divide and conquer," I confirmed.

Copper shrugged,"If all goes well."

"Wait a second," Ember piped, leaning over to get a better look at the map, "this so-called plan needs a name."

"Like what," Copper said chugging back half a bottle of water.

Ember slid the night-goggles over her eyes and smiled, a sly grin spreading widely across her face. "Operation Break-Up," she said, in a cliché secret agent spy voice.


Author's Note (again): Oh an one last thing; I know we can't make copy rights on these things since they're fanfictions (And I know you guys may hate me for this but) I would like to point something out, since I've seen these in a few recent Finnick stories that have been posted AFTER this story had been posted. As far as I know, I do own the design of the arena, I.E. modern city. And also the characters; Alanna, Jack, Riptide Sanderblade, Victor, Nightmare, Fushia, Dime, Cair, Stella Cart, Coral, Nyaid, Adraina, and Pieces. So please DO NOT rip off my characters.

PS: Remember please review, with comments or questions for the characters. :)

Or Victor might kill off Alanna... DOWN BOY! No bad sadistic character, bad!

Author thinks to herself: That would be bad, if Victor won then he'd kill off Finnick too, sigh no more sugar cubes :(