Forgive me if this has been done! I think this might be fairly short, but would definitely have happened. No Katniss, as this takes place at the introduction of the Games. It is going to be rough, so bear with me.
The Fanfiction uploader seems to enjoy deleting random words through my work. I fervently hope this is not the case with this.
The first Reaping wasn't even a Reaping. It was a raid. As if to add insult to injury, the Peacekeepers sacked each District and searched with bias to find the children of anyone of rank.
There was no other way to find the Tributes. The riots in District One were quickly put down, but indicated that the rest of Panem was not going to follow along. Oh the Capitol knew this, alright, they were even expecting it. Now is the time to show just how serious they are.
At this point, each citizen was aware that this program was instituted, however no one, even Capitol citizens, could say with full certainty that the games would commence. With 13 annihilated, a sizeable piece of the Panem population decimated, everyone was hurting. There was not a single person not personally affected. While this made some bitter and eager to embrace the Hunger Games, others just wanted to grieve.
The parents of the kidnapped tributes had no time to grieve as their children were bound and thrown onto trains without a final word. As the train pulled from the gate and rushed through the countryside, the Peacekeepers unbound the terrified children and introduced them to their hesitant handlers. The hysterical ones were left to cry themselves dry before they were untied.
The doubt and insecurity from the tributes and their escort was palpable. No one could say with full certainty this was actually going to happen. Every soul on those trains were expecting a call from the President saying it had all been a misunderstanding; Send the children home.
While it was hoped for, it never came, and silent tears fell as the last train pulled into the Capitol station. Complacent children were allowed to walk freely to their hovercraft, waiting to take them to their quarters. The hysterical ones were sedated and carted off; while more than a couple in-between were lead off in chains; all still waiting for their pardon that would never come.
The pomp and circumstance of the first games may never be seen again. The sheer amount of money spent on the arena, training center, opening ceremony, and housing for the tributes, left more than a couple people in the Capitol hungry.
"But it is worth it!"
The Capitol elite having any remaining doubts about the Games repeated this mantra over and over in their heads just to keep hesitancy at bay.
"The Capitol is doing this for us. We are owed this Justice".
But was it justice when the chariots paraded through the square, mocking the lower Capitol citizens?
No. No, that was anger, and the Games are revenge. It was pleasing to see the tribute children chained to the chariot drivers, clinging to the rails so their legs don't give out, and tight smiles holding back tears.
Parents at home wept and watched in horror, screaming for nothing. The time to see them in the arena is grossly approaching, and no amount of preparation will ready them.
For this same reason, the tributes were thrown into training, but it was hardly beneficial. The tributes kept to each other and their skills, just passing time.
The Gamemakers were concerned. Could these kids unintentionally boycott the games? Are they seriously so daft as to realize that the Capitol is serious?
Exasperated, they figured if worse comes to worse, they'll just release the poison put inside their trackers. With that, the final preparations were made and in the dead of night, the tributes were flown to the arena.
At dawn, all 24 were loaded into their entrance lifts with shaking knees; a few still pleading for a change of heart that would never come.
As the lifts ascended, the blinding sun made the arena visible. An expansive prairie surrounded by tall, leafy trees, with sloping hills in the distance.
At first sight of the cornucopia, a small boy from 4 no older than ten but touted by the Capitol to be fourteen dashed for the sword he practiced with, and with a deafening bang, a shower of pink mist fell onto the girls from 4 and 5. With curdling screams, the other tributes processed that death truly was the result, and this is their end. Rather die than fight, the tributes from 9 looked at each other and jumped together, and instantaneously were consumed by the mines.
Back home, three families and two districts were inconsolable. But to the others, would the suicide of the District 9 tributes would be a sort of hope. Maybe the rest won't fight. Maybe if there is enough peace the games will be called off. Maybe there will not be a fight.
At the sound of the cannon, the tributes scattered. Not a single person rushing to the plethora of weapons, instead opting to run and hide. As the area cleared, a few of the stragglers and slower runners looped back to the stocks of weapons. A tall, stocky boy from 7 grabs a hammer and knife, tucking the former into the pants.
The other remainders do the same as they see there is no threat. With a small group now in possession of weapons, the game is expected to pick up.
It does not.
As time passes, the cannon sounds, as child after child passes from exposure or dehydration. Soon there are only 11, and the number picks up as starvation hits.
It is quite a lackluster show for the Capitol audience, but to the home districts, it was sobering but proud to watch as no one yet resorting to the cheap tricks of the Capitol.
Until day nine.
The boy from 7 and his hammer is getting restless. He is hungry, cold, and wants to go home. If the only way out is to appease the Capitol, so be it. He has no hunting or tracking skills, so he wanders and hopes to cross paths with anyone else.
When he does, his following actions come as naturally as breathing.
The girl from 11 is sitting on a riverbank, sobbing softly. Approaching her from behind, the boy smiles as he knows there is now one less foe in his way, and in the swing that ends her life, he uses all the pent up rage the Capitol has instilled within him.
And around the country, in this moment the cannon sounds, the Hunger Games became a permanent fixture within Panem.
No district was more hated than 7. No family more ashamed of their son.
If not for the peacekeepers, there would have been riots in the streets. But what's new?
Back in the arena, looking at his bloodied hands, the boy knows what he has done. Dropping that hammer, he backs off; mouth agape has he runs to the bushes to vomit all over the leaves.
He didn't want this. He doesn't want this.
Dropping the hammer, he wades into the river to allow the cold water to soak him to the bone, in hopes that by nightfall, hypothermia will swiftly come.
It does, and then there were five.
And the girl with the sickle from 2 is ready to go. Anyone in her way would be put down.
She hunts. She slays. She shows no mercy. One by one the remaining tributes fall, and with the last, a boy from 1, she knows she will never be the same.
There is no welcome waiting for her at home. Her parents are overjoyed to see her alive, but the district stays far away at the girl who ruthlessly gutted her partner. The Victory Tour is an insult to the fallen, and to her own integrity. Reading fake eulogies and smiling for the grace of the Capitol, she is the first of the Victor's to spit on the lives of everyone touched by the sickness that is the Capitol's Hunger Games. Even her final stop in the Capitol is met with forced smiles and uncomfortable parties. Nothing feels right.
Mothers of Capitol children don't want to get near her. Politicians smile from afar but fear approaching her. The President gives her a brief handshake for the cameras, and turns away to cohort with the rest of the party, and for the first time, she knows what it feels like to be the most feared, and hated person in the world. All of Panem is against her. Why? Because she is the first. She is the first to give into the Games. The first, but not the last. Opinions will change, her reputation will elevate her. But for the time being, she's loathed.
She's a victor, and what comes of it? The loss of the support of her home? The Capitol getting their wish to make the Hunger Games a permanent fixture of Panem?
No, nothing comes of it, at least that she cares about.
Because every act of creation is first an act of destruction, thanks to the Capitol, it's the destruction of everything she is.
Was it worth it?
In her years of mentoring children destined to die, her answer would be no.
So bad, I'm sorry ahaha whoops.
Let me know what you think. This is something I wanted to do for a while and finally had the time.
I feel like the premise of Katniss' story would make a lot more sense if it was farther in the future, like the 175 games. There would be so much resistance at the beginning there would have to be generations of people brought up with the Games in order for the opposition to have a stronger sense of urgency for their destruction.
I'll update Speechless over Winter Break.