Welcome to another issue of Ask the Capitol®!
In this issue, we address the subject of Avoxes. As can be seen, and sometimes not seen, Avoxes provide an integral service to the Capitol. Why without them, we would have regular Capitol citizens doing menial labor.
However, many people wonder as to the process in which an Avox is created. Well, we seek to put such questions to rest.
We hope you will find this step-by-step guide quite informative.
STEP I: Condemnation and Acquisition.
Avoxes don't grow on trees, you know. So where do they come from? Well, Avoxes were once regular people. However, those individuals have committed a crime. Not just any crime however; so don't fret if you've been caught shoplifting or have some outstanding debts. To be condemned as an Avox, one has to commit a crime against the Capitol itself. The thought of somebody doing such a thing is shameful, isn't it?
Droplets of blood splatter against the pavement as our new Head Peacekeeper rears his whip back to give Gale another set of lashings. As each hit rends the hunter's back to ribbons and causes him to issue another agonized gasp, I feel an additional surge of anger.
I try to take a step forward to say something, but Purnia lays a firm hand on my shoulder.
"Darius, are you trying to get yourself in trouble?" she hisses at me.
"He's going to kill Gale!" I hiss back.
"I don't like it anymore than you, and I'm trying to figure something out. But just telling Romulus Thread that he's wrong won't stop anything."
After a couple more lashes, Gale slumps towards unconsciousness. But Thread just keeps on going.
To hell with figuring something out. I angrily shrug away Purnia's hand and step forward. In the process, it causes the crowd to mutter a bit and Purnia to give a resigned sigh: "Dammit Darius…"
Thread stops in mid-swing to turn towards me. "Yes, Peacekeeper?" His tone as harsh and unyielding as his stare. Both partly make me want to get back in line, but for some idiotic reason I stand my ground.
"I believe that you made your point clear? You really don't have to continue with this."
His eyes narrow, and he move towards me until he's less than a foot away from my face. "Are you questioning the law?"
Yes. "No sir. Just that it seems clear that Ga—the accused clearly has been pushed to the brink. You whip him more, and he may not survive."
"It is not my problem if this criminal expires before all prescribed number of lashes have been administered. Now get back in line; I will not tolerate any further insubordination." Just like that, Thread turns away and is already gearing up to give out another lash.
Before I can stop myself, I yell out, "Stop, you're killing him!" and lunge forward to grab Thread's wrist.
"This district is more corrupt than I thought," he mutters before yanking his hand from my grasp and bellowing to the crowd, "Looks like we have another example that needs to be made of!"
I don't even have a chance to react. The last thing I see is the butt of a whip coming down upon my face. Then, after a sharp burst of pain, nothing.
A/N: I really hope that the title, story description, and preface should give one a good idea of what to expect. But just in case the point has not been made clear enough, this is a detailed story about what people go through on their way to becoming Avoxes. So if the subject of torture, abuse, and the removal of body parts is something one finds distressing, it's probably not a good idea to proceed to the next chapters. Just a very strong forewarning.
Otherwise, enjoy. I mean, the subject matter isn't enjoyable — you get the picture.