I know every arrow must count, and they do. In the eerie light, I bring down monkey after monkey, targeting eyes and hearts and throats, so that each hit means a death. But still it wouldn't be enough without Finnick spearing the beasts like fish and flinging them aside, Peeta slashing away with his knife. I feel claws on my leg, down my back, before someone takes out the attacker. The air grows heavy with trampled plants, the scent of blood, and the musty stink of the monkeys. Peeta and Finnick and I position ourselves in a triangle, a few yards apart, our backs to one another. My heart sinks as my fingers draw back my last arrow. Then I remember Peeta has a sheath, too. And he's not shooting, he's hacking away with that knife. My own knife is out now, but the monkeys are quicker, can spring in and out so fast you can barely react.
The Doctor had made his way through the rainforest, trying to find the source of the mysterious arrow, carrying the suspected weapon in his hand. "Where are you," he murmured to himself. He had worried about the poor boy or girl who had been required to be in this cannibalistic competition, remembering the original war that started it. But of course, he was there. Suddenly, he heard the sound of shouting, a young girl's voice, no older than twenty.
"Peeta!" I shout. "Your arrows!"
Peeta turns to see my predicament and is sliding off his sheath when it happens. A monkey lunges out of a tree for his chest. I have no arrow, no way to shoot. I can hear the thud of Finnick's trident finding another mark and know his weapon is occupied. Peeta's knife arm is disabled as he tries to remove the sheath. I throw my knife at the oncoming mutt but the creature somersaults, evading the blade, and stays on its trajectory.
The Doctor followed the sound of the girl's distressed call for help. He ran, ran as fast as he could, with the arrow still intact. Wait a minute, he thought, this arrow must belong to her. She's fighting off whatever's out there. When he reached the point of origin of the girl's voice, he was faced with the one thing he had encountered before.
The Ubithrax were a race of monkey-like creatures, if you can imagine crossing a monkey with a demon. They were the most intelligent race on their home planet, however, and how the people of Panem seemed to grasp hold of them was a mystery to the Doctor. Lucky enough, he knew just how to fiend them off.
Weaponless, defenseless, I do the only thing I can think of. I run for Peeta, to knock him to the ground, to protect his body with mine, even though I know I won't make it in time.
He does, though.
Just one arrow, to the side...he thought. He snuck up on the wild Ubithrax as it threatened to kill the girl and her two companions and stuck it. It fell to the ground, lifeless and all too unthreatening. He looked back at the remainder of the Ubithrax, and cocked his head as to say, "Are you sure?"
"Come on, then! Come on!" shouts Peeta, panting with rage. But something has happened to the monkeys. They are withdrawing, backing up trees, fading into the jungle, as if some unheard voice calls them away.
"You know," The Doctor said, taking the bloody arrow out of the dead Ubithrax, "You really should fix your aim."
"Who are you?" one of the boys ask. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"I'm the Doctor. Happy to be of service."
"A doctor? Did the Capitol send you?"
"Do I look like I'm from the Capitol?" The Doctor asked, motioning toward his brown pinstripe suit and white Converse.
"True," the boy said. "I'm Peeta. This is Katniss," he motioned to the girl, 'and Finnick." He motioned to the stockier male.
"Hello you," he said. "Now I want to make one thing completely clear: I do not work for your Captiol. You see my clothes. You hear the way I talk. I'm not here to hurt or harm any of you. Clearly I'm not one of the tributes. Trust me. I have been to the Capitol before and I've seen your games. It's wrong, what they're doing to you. I'm completely against their sick plan. I'm here to help."
"How do we know that?" Katniss asked.
"Look at this," he said. The Doctor raised up his arm sleeve, revealing his smooth forearm. "No marks. No injections. No tracker." He let down his sleeve. "They can see me, but they'll never find where I go. Don't you think that the Capitol would want to know where one of their slaves are at all times? Hm?"
Katniss stared at him, first in disbelief, then in acceptance. "Follow us," she said finally. "We're heading to the beach."
"Who the hell is that?" Plutarch asked, motioning to the mysterious man in brown on one of the Gamemaker's cameras.
"We...we're not sure, sir. About 10 minutes ago, a blue box..." - the Gamemaker rolled back the footage on the tape - "...appeared to materialise out of nowhere. We know that he got out of that."
"Get me information on this box," Plutarch said. "I need to know how in the world he got in there."
"Sir?" Another Gamemaker said, female.
The other Gamemaker pulled up a holographic image of the blue box. "I've found information on the box and the man," she said. Plutarch raced over to her post. "It's called the TARDIS, Time and Relative Dimensions in Space. It can travel throughout space and time and land anywhere the operator chooses. That man you see..." she explained, now switching to an image of the man, "...is called the Doctor. He's the only known owner of that respective TARDIS. He's a Time Lord, not human, but humanoid."
"So a time traveler, a fucking time traveler, from another world, just hijacked our games."
"It would suppose so, sir."
Plutarch thought for a minute, a million words running through his mind at once. Finally, he spoke: "Execute him."
"Immediately, sir?" a Gamemaker asked.
"Like a tribute," Plutarch said, darkly. "Let him have his fun. Or better yet..." he said, realising his choices, "...let him live and play around with them. Keep your eye on him. Chances are he'll follow 12's alliance. Let him find out as much about Katniss Everdeen as he possibly can. Then bring him in."
"To the Capitol, sir?"
Plutarch chuckled menacingly. "But of course," he said. "I want him to meet our wonderful president himself."