Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Arena

At last, it's is here.
The final task before the actual Games begin. The Arena.

Right, so as you should all know, this task is pretty much just about getting ready to get into the Launch Tubes. After that's done, you will have react to the general scene around the Cornucopia. A simple map of the Arena will be posted below. Please keep in mind that it's ridiculously difficult to make authentic looking maps, so don't judge the awfulness of it.
That said, a more detailed version of it will appear in the next post for the Beginning Of The Games roleplay.

Anyways, moving on. All previous rules apply.

Start. You have two weeks to submit your entries to me via email [] after you get my approval.
And for the love of god, please get them in on time. Most of you have good and legitimate excuses for delayed entries but some are just down to pure laziness. For those people, the only reason you're actually still in the competition is because I'm so short on competitors that it would be the dumbest move on my part to boot anyone at this point.
So please get them in properly.

Updates And Announcements:
Statistics [Pre-Games] page has been updated
Statistics [In-Games] page will be updated soon

The Arena Map:

The Cornucopia ring is regular sized. 
Twenty-Four pedestals line the outside of the concrete slab and explosives are set to go off if any competitor step off their pedestal before the beginning of the Games. 
The outside of the Cornucopia concrete slab is a ten metre long ring of water, deep enough so that the tallest of the competitors cannot touch the bottom without being entirely submerged.
There are packs, weapons, supplies and other various items in the heart of the Cornucopia and others decreasing in importance the further away they are from the centre. 

That's all that needs explaining for now.


  1. The Arena

    I open my eyes, and almost at once the thought that today is the beginning of the Games rushes through my mind. Today is the day that every citizen in the Capitol has been waiting for. Today is the day that the majority of the Tributes have been dreading, the day that a small fraction of the Tributes have been looking forward to, and the day that I die.

    Today is the day I die.

    At once I frown, confused. Today is the day I die. My frown increases in intensity. Today is the day I die. I think to myself. The phrase sounds out of place in my head.
    “Today is the day I die,” I say out loud this time, and once again it doesn’t sound right. But why not? I scowl now. Why doesn’t it sound right? It can’t not sound right, that’s stupid. Why is it so stupid? Why doesn’t it sound right? It has to sound right, because it’s true. That’s the only reason I’m here; to die. That’s why I volunteered, that’s why I didn’t put an effort into Private Training, that’s why I haven’t cared about anything Hayden’s told me since I arrived here and never tried to get into a proper alliance for my benefit.
    But it still doesn’t sound right…

    I sit up, still scowling and cover my eyes with my hands, pressing into them.
    “Today is the day I die,” I say again. “Today is the day I die. Today is the day I die. Today is…”
    I stop, and breath, pulling my hands away from my eyes and clenching them into fists. It still doesn’t sound right. Images simulate in my mind. The Cornucopia, the gong sounding, the rest of the Tributes running for the supplies in the mouth. I try imagining myself walking calmly towards the rest of them, visioning one of them spinning towards me with an axe raised, swinging it down towards my head, and…
    “It doesn’t fit,” I glare. “It doesn’t fit. Why doesn’t it fit?”
    I try to force the image to continue, the Tribute bringing the axe down, digging into my skull, but it doesn’t happen. Instead, a hand grabs the axe, my hand, and stops it. The tribute falls into a crouch as his leg gives way under a kick, my kick.
    Why did I kick?
    I leap out of bed, snarling to myself, and take a shower.
    When I emerge, dressed again, Hayden is there waiting for me.

    “You have one hour before you need to board the helicopter to take you to the Launch Rooms,” he says.
    I look at him coldly and don’t reply. He tilts his head slightly.
    “It’s started, hasn’t it?” he asks.
    I narrow my eyes and nod once. “Why? Why do I feel like this?”
    “It’s natural to,” he says.
    “But I’m not meant to,” the words are more aggressive than I intend, but it doesn’t matter. “I came here to die. That’s the whole point to this. This is why I volunteered and I’ve given a tiny amount of thought to anything else since I arrived.”
    “That’s true,” he says. “And maybe you will die. But you won’t die today.”
    I continue looking at him, my gaze cold and insides burning. “I wanted to die,” I told him.
    “Ah,” Hayden continues. “But I don’t think that that’s actually true. I think that what you really wanted to do, was get away from your father. And the only way you could think of doing that, was entering the Games. Obviously, your natural conclusion to that situation was that you would die. That on top of the conditions you lived in anyway has forced you to come to terms with the possibility of death with each waking, I doubt you even gave a moment to consider the possibility of wanting to live after the Games.”
    “Well, I’m considering it now,” I say. “But I still don’t want to. This is contradicting with my own head. Why is this happening?”

  2. “Because the thing you’ve been thinking about for so long now is here,” he says. “It’s today. Your death is imminent. And so as I said, your survival instincts are kicking in. Your difficult and dangerous lifestyle prior to volunteering unintentionally build you to survive today. The very thing that caused you to come to the Capitol is what’s shaped your mind to fight to go back afterwards.”
    “But…” I frown. This doesn’t make sense. Does it make sense? It could make sense. But I don’t know, I don’t understand. I’m too confused to understand, and I struggle to find coherent words to put into speech. “But… If my ‘survival instincts’ are working now, and changing every kind of intention I’ve had up until now, then why didn’t they start working before I came here?”
    “Well, they did,” Hayden says. “You’re still alive to be having this conversation. If they hadn’t kicked in before this, then your father would have killed you by now. Every fight you had, every time you stood up to him and every scar he gave you are them. Your head. Saving you.”
    “Shouldn’t they have been working at the Reaping, then?” I ask.
    “Nah,” he replies. “They aren’t something living, Shaun, they act when they’re needed. The Reaping didn’t threaten your life in an immediate sense, so why should they work? But listen, that isn’t important. What is important is what I told you last night.”
    I frown at him.
    He sighs and quotes himself. “When you change go with it. If you want to revert to your original plan, you always can. But if your head is telling you something else, go with that.”
    Yeah, that sounds familiar, I think to myself.
    “Alright?” he asks. “This is it, Shaun. You’ve just changed. You’re a Tribute now, and just in time. You need to make sure you embrace it for the time being.”
    “It’s confusing…” I mutter.
    “I know that,” he replies. “But for now, focus on the Cornucopia. Are you listening? Shaun, are you listening?”
    “Yes,” I say, snapping out of it and looking back to him.
    “When the gong sounds, get to a weapon. There’s probably going to be a few lower quality weapons further away from the Cornucopia. Get one of those until you can grab one of the better ones and make sure you survive. After that, stick close to Sparky and do what she tells you to in regards to the Careers.”

    I spend the remaining fifty minutes until I’m expected to board the helicopter listening to Hayden’s advice properly while trying to sort out my head. When it’s time, he takes me to the lifts, and we head down a few minutes after Catherin and Elizabeth leave.
    “Stick to your plan,” he tells me, repeating the major points of his advice and instructions in the last minutes we have. “Get a weapon, get a pack, and stay clear of the Careers until the bloodbath is over. If that means you need to get away from the Cornucopia and wait for it to pass, then do that. Stick with Sparky. Find water. Stay alive. And always remember – you can decide to die at any time. Don’t doubt yourself when you’re in this state of mind. When you’re like this, go with it, and survive. You can work out the finer details later.”
    I nod, staring blankly ahead of me as the lift doors open and we step out, walking towards the Peacekeepers waiting for us.
    “Are you scared?” he asks me quietly. Strangely, these words make me grin a legitimate grin.
    “Nah,” I reply brashly, sounding as though I’d reverted to my carefree attitude.
    “Excellent,” Hayden says, and stops walking. “This is where I leave you. Good luck, Shaun. I’ll see you on the other side, one way or another.”
    “We’ll see,” I say, still grinning, and let the Peacekeepers guide me to the helicopter.

  3. One of the Capitol people injects the tracker into my arm and I take my seat between Elizabeth and Inkbright from 8. I spend the ride to the Launch Rooms rummaging through emotions and attempting to work out my head again. I’m not scared. Definitely not – and not even out of some determined principle, I’m simply not afraid of what’s coming.
    I’m not going to die in the bloodbath, give me a break. I fully intend to follow Hayden’s instructions to accept this state of mind while I’m in it. For now, anyway.
    No, I’m not scared. But what I am is confused. I still don’t understand any of this, and I’m not sure if I like it yet. And I don’t have nearly enough time to sort it out before the helicopter lands and drops us all off at the Launch Rooms.
    I enter mine and Gean is sitting on one of two chairs, waiting for me. He gives me a nod of acknowledgement and nothing more. I almost grin as I realise he’s probably still angry with me for going for my interview with Caesar in something so disgustingly casual. There wouldn’t be anything casual from here on, though. I take my Games uniform that Gean hands me, and dress into it.
    A cold computer generated voice rings through the room and announces that there is ten minutes until all Tributes must enter their tubes. I take the second seat and stare into the opposite wall. Not out of boredom, but not out of fear either.
    Gean continues to sit in silence and another two minutes pass until I decide to eat something. I order a few slices of bread from the machine built into the wall and eat two of them before the voice speaks again.
    Thirty seconds.
    I take a deep breath.
    “Nervous?” Gean asks, and why I decide to reply I’m not entirely sure.
    “Nope,” I reply, and it’s still true. For how much longer, I don’t know, but for now it is.
    “Prepared?” he asks.
    “Yes,” I confirm.
    He nods, and we sit out in silence until the voice announces the fifteen second mark and I stand up again.

    Walking feels normal. I can still feel my legs. Excellent. Scared yet? …Nah. Not yet. My legs carry me into the tube and I turn around.
    Ten seconds.
    Ten seconds left. I clench the last piece of bread still in my hand and count down in my head.
    Gean stands up and makes his way towards me. “Good luck,” he says, as the glass panel slides shut, sealing me off, and the platform starts moving. For a few moments, there’s nothing but darkness.
    Then the platform rises higher, and I’m blinded by the flash of bright light that streaks across my vision. It quickly fades, and then I see the Arena for the 43rd Hunger Games.
    “Ladies and gentlemen,” booms the voice of the announcer Claudius Templesmith across the entire Arena. “Let the 43rd annual Hunger Games begin!”
    Sixty seconds. That’s how long I have, and the same voice from the Launch Rooms is counting down.

  4. I am standing on one pedestal of twenty four, all forming a perfect circle with the Cornucopia in the centre. Fabulous kinds of supplies and weapons and every kind of other useful thing lies in the mouth of the Cornucopia while items of lesser value are litter around the field of the circle that our pedestals form, decreasing in value the further away they are from the centre.
    Directly in front of me is a steel pole, the length of my arm. Not too far away is a small pack filled with things I don’t bother to guess at. There’s only forty seconds left and I need to work out what to do..
    Work it out. I am. Do it faster.
    Right. Okay. Get the pole. Grab the pack. Run for the Cornucopia and get some knives. What kind of knives? Any kind, just make sure you’re armed. Right.
    And then I should get away from there, get to a safe distance like Hayden told me. And if the Careers come after you? Get away from the Cornucopia, like Hayden said.
    I look behind me to check what I’ll be running into and my heart skips a few beats. Behind me is a forest. Fine. I can deal with forest. But outlining the circle made by our pedestals is a ring of water, I hazard a guess at ten metres long.
    No. No.
    Damnit! I can’t swim. I can’t even be submerged in water without panicking. It’s one of the few things that can actually make me panic. It’s thick – it’s too thick, I can’t go there. It makes me suffocate, there’s no breathing, I can’t…
    I close my eyes for a moment and incline my head.
    Worry about that later. Yes, good idea.
    I turn back to the Cornucopia and position my feet to bolt forwards. Find Sparky. I locate her almost at once and see her already prepared to rush forwards as well.
    How long till go time? Fifteen seconds. Fantastic.
    I look down and notice that I’m still holding the last bit of bread. I give a small grin and toss it behind me, watch it land in the ring of water, and turn back to the Cornucopia.
    Five seconds.

  5. The Arena.

    Only a few minutes after the Interviews finish, while I’m heading to the lift the boy from District 9 approaches me. The one who scored a 3.
    “Are you in an alliance yet?” he asks, getting right to the point in a less idiotic fashion than Nixion did. I halt and face him. Shaun Gray. Either utterly hopeless or very, very intelligent. How so? You saw him in Training. He was more competent than his score. I see…
    “Yes, several.” I answer. He nods.
    “Got room for one more?”
    “Maybe yes or maybe no?” he asks. Hmm. Is he worth the effort? Yes.
    “Maybe yes. Lucky you. But, y’see, you’ve gotten in pretty late on the roster of Braginski. Here’s the deal. You stay out of the way of the Careers when they’re hunting. I can almost guarantee that I’ll be there too, with Nixion Strange from 3. If you get noticed, I’ll trip him up to create a distraction. And then you run. If you can handle that, I’ll give you food, water…” Weapons? Spears only. “Maybe a spear or two.” From the flicker of a look on his face I can tell that he is not handy with a spear. I’m your subconscious, I remember everything. Cheers.
    “… Fine.”
    “I can’t protect you, but I’m almost certain you can handle yourself.”
    “Why are you so willing?”
    “Because, you’re either a bumbling idiot or very cunning. See you in the Arena.” Without waiting for a response, I turn on my heel and find Ari before heading into the lift with her.
    “You were really good in the Interview, but I need to clarify some things.”
    “Like how many alliances you’re involved in, exactly?”
    “Three.” I answer. Ari nods and chews on her lip as the lift stops. We walk into the main room and she nods again.
    “You’d better make sure you’re on a sharp look-out. Don’t tie yourself into a knot. Prioritize the most valuable alliance.”
    “Will do.”

    On the morning of the Games, Ari takes me down in one of the lifts, spewing last minute advice at me. As she does, I stare at the wall in front of me distantly.
    “Stick to your plan. Grab a pack and get out of there. Wait till the bloodbath is over and meet with the Careers. Pick one, and support them. Get them to trust you. Get food and water at any and all costs. Get knives. Don’t be afraid to use skullduggery to get what you need. Don’t forget, the pedestal is full of explosives, you’ll be mince meat if you move before the gong goes off.” She places her hands on my shoulders and turns me to face her. She stares into my eyes. “I’m losing you. Stay focused. Don’t freeze up. Don’t zone out. Pick up all the tiny, little details. Every last one. You can do this.”
    “I can’t do this, Ari.” I murmur. Her grip on my shoulder tightens.
    “Yes you can, Sparks. You’re a fighter. You’re fast. You’re smart. You’re cunning. You’re a winner.” The lift’s doors open. My eyes set. Listen to her. Those are some sentences I can identify with. The corner of my mouth curls into a grin.
    “Go get ‘em, soldier.” Ari says. That’s the final thing she has time to say before the Peacekeepers guide me into the helicopter. We get the trackers put into our arms and I end up being seated across from Phoenix. We smile awkwardly at each other. I look around at the other Tributes. Most of them seem to be forcing their fear away or something. Don’t even pretend to be nervous. Wasn’t planning on it.

  6. The helicopter lands and each of the Tributes gets guided out by two Peacekeepers. I’m the ninth one out, and I get guided down various corridors and into a room, where Clover is waiting. I stride in and as the door shuts behind me I start walking in circles. I notice some food (by some, I mean a lot) on a table on one side of the room, but I ignore it completely.
    “Sparky, are you okay?” Clover asks.
    “Not hungry.” I grunt, still pacing. She grabs my wrist, making me stop. She slips something into my hand.
    “You almost forgot it.” She says. I frown and open my hand and see the watch. I flip it over and read the engraving. Sparky Braginski. I’m going to lose myself in these Games, but- Only for a short while. That’s right. I curl my fist around it and remember the sensation of Trish slipping into my hand. God I miss her. You’ll see her soon. I smile faintly and put it on my left wrist.
    Thirty seconds.”
    “Ready to go?” Clover asks. I nod. I hug her and she whispers into my ear.
    “You sorted it all out, I see.”
    “You bet.” I reply. I pull away and step into the chute. The glass door shuts behind me.
    Ten seconds.” Ten seconds before lift off. I recall Ari’s warning of being blown apart if I move, so I set my feet up so I can sprint as soon as the gong goes off. I wave at Clover and she sends me a thumbs up. I tap the face of the watch and she smiles, right as the platform beneath my feet starts moving upwards. My face settles into a confident smirk and my hands curl into fists. This is it. As my head lifts out of the ground I’m momentarily blinded by the sudden light but I soon regain my vision to see the Cornucopia standing tall and behind- Shit. Without losing my confident facial expression I look around behind the ring of pedestals and see a ring of water surrounding us at least ten meters wide. Not good. Not good at all. You’ll have to convince the Careers that the Cornucopia is undesirable, but save that for later. Find Miss, find Nixion, find Shaun, find knives. I nod to myself and search for Miss. I find Nixion first, but make eye contact with Miss and tilt my head towards him. She nods. I hope she understands that I mean ‘don’t hurt him’… I spy Shaun on the other side of the Cornucopia, with what looks like his plotting face. I then look at the actual bags themselves and see a mid-length sword sitting on the ground basically directly in front of me. The Gamemakers sure have a sick sense of humour. Ugh. Almost in the mouth of the Cornucopia itself I find the knives and I can’t help but emit a growl. Funny indeed. The timer on the Cornucopia reaches ten seconds and I set my view onto the throwing knives. I briefly think of my family and Trish’s family sitting in my living room, watching with baited breath, praying that I make it through my next crucial minutes of life alive. Three. Two. One.

  7. The Arena

    I woke up, barely, my eyes glued too my skin. Well, that’s what happens when you pace around your room all night thinking if you would ever see your family again. I didn’t get much sleep last night considering today the games would begin.

    I got off of the beautiful bed, looking at the fake sunset cenery too my right. Lazily I walked over and got a pair of clothes too wear until they give us the required clothes to wear in the games.

    I dragged my feet over too the shower, and after stripping myself of my clothes, I hopped in. I sat there, feeling the warm water running down my pale skin.

    This could be the last time I take a shower, I thought too myself silently.

    I revisited everything I learned in training, from plants too swimming.

    Jumping out I dried myself off and plopped on a plain white t-shirt and jeans.

    I walked over too were breakfeast was, as I silently sat down Chrisine who was silently munching on a blueberry muffin. I grabbed myself a bagel and silently began too put on some cream cheese.

    “The games are today,” I stated like she didn’t know.

    “I know,” she replied.
    “You have my back and I’ll have yours,” I told her.

    “Same with you ,”she replied.

    I knew though I would have too kill her, and Star, if I was going too win.

    “I’m going to head up. The games are starting soon. We are going to be transported at noon.”

    I grabbed myself a muffin and headed up to find Sepp.

    I walked up and found Sepp in his room. One hour until we were transported too the arena.

    “Sepp.” I said.

    “Alvard,” he replied back.

    “I need advice about the games.”

    “What more advice can I give you? Just survive. One more piece of advice though. Stick with your alliance, and find water quickly. Don’t run into the cornucopia, it’s a death trap. “

    “That’s three.” I stated quickly.

    “Whatever,” he said quickly.

    We were under the arena as I found myself rubbing my arm where they put the tracker. I could feel it under my skin. The outfit they gave me was hard to wear, considering I might die in it. Griffin stood too the right of me.

    “Griffin,” I said as I found my voice.


    “I want too say goodbye before games start.”

    “It’s been a pleasure too meet you, Alvard. There is no reason for you not too win.”

    “It’s been a pleasure meeting you Blake. I couldn’t have asked for a better stylist.”

    We shook hands and I stood silently waiting for the tube too open.

    I stared at the tube waiting until it opened, when it did.

    I stood there until my feet guided me in, and I was lifted up into the arena.

    The arena was huge, and I mean not world huge, but universe huge.

    The cornucopia was in the center, surrounded by water, where knives and swords stood, but I couldn’t be tempted into that death trap.

    On my right was a large forest. To the west was a much smaller forest.

    Far away I could distantly see a large cornfield.

    “Hello tributes, the games are about to begin.” Said a voice from a monitor. I reminded myself too not jump too early. I didn’t want too be blasted into tiny pieces.

    I look for Christina and Star and see them not far away. I made a little nod with my head, meaning stay together. I look too the large forests and decide that that is where I want to go. I see Christina and Star plotting to go there as well.

    3…2…1… a horn sounded and the games began.

  8. I was ushered towards the elevators as soon as I entered the dining room of the fifth floor. I looked at Simon, his face a hard mask with pursed lips and hard eyes, and opened my mouth to ask, 'is it time to die?' but he cut in.
    "You're going into the Arena." His tone was like his face, hard and determined. I caught sight of Eden and caught his eye. I have him a weak smile as I felt the pressure finally weigh down on me. I was going to die.
    I had to admit, I was a little disappointed with myself. After all this time being here, I would've expected to have come to terms with my doom, but I hadn't. I needed to win. I was going to win. There was no doubt that I'd be the one on top. I'd wait for the others to pick everyone else off and stay hidden, find a cave or a steady tree that I could call home and rig up with traps to kill, not letting myself get my hands dirty.
    I laughed and started walking ahead, only backtracking when Simon stalked off in another direction.
    I liked that idea of hiding but deep down, I knew I would have to kill. I had a bad feeling about Eden, almost like I couldn't trust him. Tug still made me uneasy but I knew his petty feelings for me were to strong to break... Or were they? I started to feel sick, all the fear seemed to be collecting in my stomach instead of being tossed behind me like I'd wanted. What if Tug was being crafty? What if he knew that I knew that his feelings were like that? Would I have to kill a man who could snap my neck like a toothpick?
    "Simon! I'm not going!" I shouted and planted my feet firmly in the ground. "I'm not going to die like my family! I want to live!" I contemplated jumping out the window - it seemed like a pretty good idea only that I'd die, making my previous statement worthless - and saw his face, his eyes now red with tears.
    "I don't want you to have the same fate as your folks either." He told me as he approached. "I took your dad's place and without me, you wouldn't be here. You're almost like my daughter too. I don't want to see the closest person to me slaughtered on live TV." He promised.
    I felt my mouth dry up and I stared at him, tears now present in my eyes. "I see now..." I muttered. "You've always been there for me, at the funeral, when that storm came and I was swimming, you risked your life to save me..." I felt like falling to the floor in anguish but I knew I had to stay strong.
    "Your uncle always was an idiot." He joked, making me laugh. "Come on Vicki, time to win!" I stared at him, puzzled at the new name. "Victor is a man's name, Vicki is a woman's!"
    He grabbed my hand and led me up to a helicopter pad and I clung onto Simon tightly. "Carrots." I reminded him and he laughed. "Seriously though, I'm going to be trusting you to get me those little care packages! If you don't..." I let my threat trail off.
    He grinned and patted my back before letting me go. "You'll haunt me in the afterlife, I know." He laughed and began to pry my fingers off his clothes. "Be brave darl, find water and swim like your father taught you, weave and cook fish like your mother taught you and, smile like your brother taught ya." He pushed me towards the plane and I walked slowly up the ramp and was issued a seat.
    That would be the last time I'd ever see Simon Brown again.


  9. Once the sleek plane took off, a woman came around and asked us for our arm. I watched all my fellow Tributes put out their arms and saw a needle jab them. I bit my lip and offered my arm, wincing and trying not squirm with the pain. When the needle was depressed, a small whoosh of escaping air sounded and I grimaced. The needle was pulled out of my skin with no wound to ever say it was there... Weird...
    As the woman moved to the person beside me, I touched my arm and felt a foreign object beneath the skin. My eyebrows furrowed in confusion and I thought about asking someone but I decided against it. I figured it must have been a tracking device; what else would they put under our skin?
    My eyes scanned for Eden, finding him across from me, and then for Tug. He was down towards the rear of the aircraft grinning at the ground. My suspicion was heightened and I tried to get his attention, non-verbally.
    It took five minutes until his eyes rested on me, my eyes wide and staring - probably reminding several people of a fish out of water. When he did see me, his eyes turned playful and he poked his tongue out at me.
    I laughed and rolled my eyes, attracting a few strange looks from the people around me and screwed my face up at him. It was his turn to laugh and he didn't try to hide the sound.
    We played around like that - making stupid faces and trying to get the other to laugh - until I felt to plane start to descend. A knot of fear twisted in my stomach and I felt as if I were about to throw up. Please, let me survive this, I begged silently, desperate to keep my fear off my face and remain serene to my fellow Tributes. Please let me win!
    I glanced at Eden, letting the fear show in my eyes. I don't know if he returned to look, or if he was even looking.
    The plane touched down with a slight jolt and it had me gripping the bottom of my seat, digging my fingernails into the soft material. The aircraft's momentum slowed and I forced myself to breathe. "In and out. In and out."

    I was taken to a room with artificial lights hanging on the ceiling and no windows. It was slightly cold here, even in the warm windbreaker they had given me so I suspected I was underground. The walls were light green tiles and there was a tube in the far corner of the room with a silver circle on the bottom; the platform that would take me up into the arena. I was in the Stockyard, awaiting slaughter. The named seemed so fitting now that I was actually in a Tribute's perspective.
    The door opened and Lux walked in with a frown on her angelic face. "Hey." Was all she said.
    I straightened from where I had been leaning against a wall and smiled. There were chairs and a table in the room but I wanted to prepare myself; I wasn't going to sit down until I had to. "Hey. Ready for the inhumane slaughter if children?"
    Her face grew sadder and I opened my arms for a hug. She embraced me tightly and I felt tears come into my eyes. "Find water." She said, her voice thick with some emotion.
    I nodded and pulled myself away, blinking away the unwelcome tears. "I'll find Eden and Tug first thing, depending on what the arena is like, we'll either run straight to the Cornucopia or away. We are a Career District after all and Tug can take a head clean off!" I remembered that poor dummy Tug had been working on and saw how viciously he'd attacked it... I was happy I was on his good side.

  10. Lux picked up a jacket, a pair if shoes and gave them to me. "Everyone wears what the Gamemakers tell them to." She helped me into my jacket and handed me something. "Tribute token." She said and I looked at my shark tooth necklace. "It's not sharp as sharp as we all thought so they're letting you wear it."
    I smiled and thanked her. I put the necklace around my neck, the black leather comforting me and touched the tooth. For them.
    An announcement sounded - I couldn't make out the words except for 'Tribute' and 'arena' - and I found myself being pushed towards the Launch Tube. A dug my heels in and pushed back. "Wait!" I shouted and Lux stopped. "If I'm going to die, I want to walk to it. And, I don't want to die so I'm going to walk that way." I ran towards the door but I was grabbed by the waistband of my pants and pulled backwards.
    "Death, please don't. You have to go. Now." She pulled me towards the Launch Tube and stopped.
    I walked to the Tube, hating myself, hating the Capitol, hating everything. I heard a small tap as my booted feet hit the metal Launch Disc and a whoosh as the plate started to rise. I put my hands against the glass tube, trying to stop the darn thing ascending but to no avail. I straightened up as light his my eyes.
    It took half a second for my eyes to adjust to the startling brightness and then I scanned around what I could see.
    The Cornucopia was surrounded by water! That was the first good sign. There were trees behind me, and another forest ahead of me, behind the Cornucopia. I grinned and scanned the other Tributes for Tug and Eden. Tug was on the opposite side from me, grinning and Eden was a few Tributes to my left. I tilted my head towards the Cornucopia in a silent question and he nodded in reply. I nodded and looked at Tug. It was obvious that he had every intention of running into the centre. I was slightly eager too. If Eden wanted, he could grab some supplies and meet us up a tree.
    I pointed to myself and then to the mountain of supplies on the small island of supplies. I was fast. I was an amazing swimmer that could hide in the water until everyone had passed and I'd have the Cornucopia to myself! Well, sorta. My plan was to run in as quick as I could and then use Tug as a very willing shield to escape while he followed. We'd all meet up in the trees somewhere.
    I pointed to Eden then the trees behind us and smiled.
    I hadn't realised there was a countdown, nor it had started!
    My palms started to sweat and I leaned forward, knowing I was faster than most people here.
    I locked my eyes onto the Cornucopia ahead of me.
    I felt my heartbeat - which had been beating erratically for the past two minutes - slow into a normal rhythm.
    My feet readjusted to a better position on my metal plate. My hands unclenched and became as aerodynamic as possible.
    A feral smile twisted the features if my face.
    I rolled my shoulders loose and hunkered down, ready for the fastest takeoff possible.
    I got a little impatient and thought about tossing my necklace at the ground near the Tribute beside me to blow them up.
    I took a deep breath.
    I blinked, I wasn't Death Rose now. I was something else, an animal.
    I ran.

    I awake, and squint open one eye. The sun hasn't come up yet, but yet I feel wide awake. I sit up and stretch my arms straight up, then let them fall to my sides. Today is the Games, yet I feel absolutely fine. Perfectly fine, especially considering the fact that I could get killed. But I won’t get killed. I can win this. I can do it.
    I dress in something light. I sit on the end of my bed and watch as the sun rises. I ignore every thought in my head, and just watch the sun rise.
    Suddenly, there’s a knock on my door, startling me. Zoe comes in and smiles.
    “You ready?”
    I nod. Zoe beckons for me to come with her. We head down to the lifts.
    “You know what to do, yes?” Asks Zoe.
    “Yes. Straight into the Cornucopia and grab everything, and get rid of anyone in our way.”
    Zoe smiles.
    “It works every year, and with Ariston, Cieran and Vestige, you’ll be fine.”
    The Peacekeepers walk over to us.
    “May the odds be ever in your favour,” whispers Zoe, just as the Peacekeepers take me into the helicopter. I’m seated down, and the tracker is put into my arm. I spot Ariston, and he shoots me a smile. The smile makes me feel confident, especially if Ariston is the one who’s confident truly. We land, and I’m taken out by two Peacekeepers, who then guide me to my room in the catacombs. I’m met with Trianna, who hands me my outfit for the games. I change, and Trianna helps me with my hair. There is a table full of food in one corner of the room. Once I have finished getting dressed, I grab a yogurt and finish it within seconds.
    “Are you ready to go?” Asks Trianna.
    I give a small smile.
    “Ready as I’ll ever be.” I grab a bread roll and devour it.
    Trianna nods, then looks back up instantly.
    “Oh, I nearly forgot!”
    She produces out a small piece of string, with District 2’s emblem on one end and a sword on the other. Trianna hands it to me, and I tie it on my wrist. I’m unsure of how my bracelet got here, but it gives me some hope of winning.
    “Your sisters gave it to Sariah, who forgot to give it to you, but remembered to give it to me.” Explains Trianna.
    I smile. “Thank you.”
    Trianna gives me a hug, just as a pleasant voice announces that there is thirty seconds to go. I place on a grin, and hug Trianna once more.
    “May the odds be ever in your favour, Miss Cain.” She says into my ear.
    “Thank you, Trianna.”
    I pull out of the hug, and step into the glass chute.
    Twenty seconds left now.
    The door around the chute closes.
    Ten seconds.
    The platform begins to rise.
    The sun momentarily blinds me, as the platform comes out of the ground, but my eyes quickly adjust to see the giant Cornucopia right in front of me. I smile. I look around, and notice that we’re surrounded by water. I can swim, luckily. I spot Sparky, and make eye contact. She tilts her head towards Nixion, and I nod. No hurting him… yet.
    I get ready to run in.
    Five seconds left.
    I spot Vestige, who winks and also gets ready to run in.
    I can see Cieran and Ariston, ready to run too.
    Three seconds.
    I breathe in, and out.
    Two seconds.
    One second.

  12.     It was a strange thing waiting to be taken, I felt hollow like I would smash into a million pieces like one of those fancy plates at the dinner table. I was on my floor for the last time. It felt so surreal like it was all a bad dream, it had to have been my score made it feel like a nightmare and I was just going to wake up and go on with my life.
      I tried pinching myself but I was still here. " I warn you that if you're trying to open up your veins it looks very bad for me " Simon answered grinning. I walked off I wasn't in the mood for his advice, it would only work for people who had a chance to win anyway. I heard Death walk in and start talking but I wasn't in the mood either I just walked past her barely smiling.
      I walked out to the plane and noticed Death following with Simon holding her hand.
     I kept my head down for the flight, not wanting to look at all the cocky people want to show off the fact that they could kill you and they knew it. I lifted my head for one of the attendants to plant a tracking device in my arm and caught sight of Death throwing me another smile.
     We landed and I was lead into a dark bunker like room that reminded me of where my father used to store the bread but instead of warm dough smell this place felt like fittingly like the place where prisoners go before they're executed.
     Darren was there waiting. " Here's what you're wearing, I told them it didn't go with your hair but they wouldn't listen. " this brought a smile to my face and I went over to hug him and took the jacket and runners. " Do you have a token ? " I stamped my foot realising I had forgot the most important thing. " damn it " I replied . " We'll then it's a good thing I found this in your shorts on the first day. He held out a small white tube, the whale bone whistle I had finished the day of the reaping he had thread some string through it so I could hang it on my neck. "Thank you for everything". I walked on to the tube and waved goodbye as I was raised up in to the arena.
    The cornucopia was surrounded by water! I felt my chances rise. I was staring straight at a deciduous forest, there would be firewood and plenty of game there. I looked over at Death and she nodded at the cornucopia I nodded in agreement.
     I raised my whistle over my head and readied myself to run, this is gonna get messy

  13. It was the day that the Games officially started, and no miracle had happened to save me from my fate. I was going into the Arena.
    I’m flown to the lunch tube in early morning. Surprisingly, I’m not all that nervous. Maybe you can only feel nervous so much in a certain time period, and I’ve used most of mine up. I just feel kind of numb, and wonder if it’s all a dream. I wouldn’t be surprised if I woke up and found out that none of this had happened.
    A tracker was injected into my arm, which I had been expecting, and I wasn’t that afraid of the needle because I knew much worse would happen to me later. It didn’t actually hurt all that much. I fiddled with the new lump in my arm as I force myself to eat breakfast, knowing it could be the last thing I eat for a while. I don’t want to eat anything, though. I feel like throwing up.
    I lost interest in my arm after a bit, though, and returned to chewing my fingers for the remainder of the journey. My nerves were returning for some reason (no, I don’t understand myself at all), so I worked on repersuading myself that this was all a dream. I succeeded to some small extent, but unfortunately I wasn’t an idiot. I was awake. I was awake and I was going to die.
    When we got there, I – with the help of my stylist – changed into the clothes I’ll be wearing for the Games. We’d all be wearing the same, to keep it fair.
    Then more waiting ensued.
    I was almost glad when it was time to get into my launch tube – it was something to do. I barely heard the words of my stylist as I stepped onto my pedestal, but kept saying “mmh” every now and then to look like I was listening. Maybe I should have listened. Maybe it would have helped me know better how to survive.
    The glass came down around me, making me feel slightly claustrophobic. As the tube moved upwards into darkness, my mild panicky feeling only increased . . . but at least if I died in a hole in the ground, I wouldn’t have to die in the Games, with everyone watching me.
    Just as I had decided I wanted to stay down in the dark, the tube moved up into the light, and I glimpsed the Arena.



    My head cleared slightly as I looked around. We were standing on our pedestals on a large circular slab of the concrete. Items were in the middle of the slab. I tried not to look too closely at them. If I knew what I was missing, it would be harder to resist temptation, and I had to RUN. The only ones my eyes were allowed to make contact with were the ones nearby me that I could possibly just grab.
    Normal Cornucopia.
    Surrounding the Cornucopia, however, was water. I felt mixed pity and relief when I reflected that some of us couldn’t swim, and was ashamed of the relief.
    To my left was a forest, and on the other side of the Cornucopia there was another forest, except it had different trees – it had ones with slopey branches, whereas my forest had more spiky trees.
    I suppose I was glad there were forests. Easier to hide in. I’d run to the forest nearest me. Get away.
    Also, the spiky forest went most of the way around the Cornucopia, so it was bigger, so it would be easier to hide in from people.
    Other than the grass in between the forests and the water, there was nothing else of the Arena that I could see.
    I turned my eyes to the items near me, plotting. Plotting pretty badly, because none of them were much use.
    I suddenly remembered my alliance and my eyes flew up to meet Alvard’s. He looked at me and nodded. I nodded back.
    And then the Games began.

  14. I walk over to the breakfast table and throw myself down onto the suede chair opposite Robby. One of the upsides of being in an underdog district means that no one cared enough to stop me when I decided to drag a couch chair over to the breakfast table. That was on the first morning and no one, not even one of the helper people, have moved my chair back.
    I sigh heavily and nod to Robby, who's tucking into his breakfast.
    "We have an hour before we get collected." He says and continues eating his porridge.
    "Plenty of time." I respond, opening up the opportunity to start a decent conversation with him. He simply shrugs, dismissing my efforts with one movement of his shoulders. I'll never get people like him; I'm a female, probably one of the last ones he'll ever manage to talk to, and he doesn't even bother trying to make the most of it. I grab an apple from the bowl and bite into it, the sugars released from this will probably enhance my nerves before the Games but it will also give me the energy to keep being a smartass, as my friends would have put it.

    After polishing off a few cups of juice and a banana, I decide to head back to my room. Robby watches me leave, probably wondering why he hasn't made an alliance with me, but he's more than likely thinking of ways in which he's going to die in the next few days.
    Once I'm in my room I take my token, a leather bracelet, from under my pillow and slip it on. I lie down on my bed for a while, stroking my bracelet and collecting my thoughts.

    My mentor, Shay Weller, collects me from my room after a long while of thinking. She takes me to the lift while rambling on about how to survive. As i get into the lift I try to make myself look interested in her advice but it's all stuff I already know and things I've picked up in the training sessions, so I use this time to debate with myself on whether I should run to the cornucopia or not. When she finishes her speech, we say our goodbyes. I thank her for all of her advice and confidence in me and we hug for the last time. She puts her arm around my shoulder as the lift doors open, revealing the awaiting Peacekeepers. I walk over to them and they guide me to the helicopter.
    "Good luck!" She yells after me. I turn and wave at her, I'm in no mood to shout back.
    On the ride to the arena I take my place and wedge myself into the seat. The seats aren't really all that comfortable but that trail of thought soon goes once a tracker gets stuck into my arm. I don't bother touching it, unlike Robby and a few of the other tributes.

    When we arrive at the arena, we're ushered down into chambers under the ground called launch rooms, each tribute gets their own launch room. The launch room I'm pushed into has my stylist sitting in the back.
    "Charlotte." She says as I walk towards her.
    "Carter." I reply.
    "You ready for this?" She asks me and sits me down on a chair.
    "I guess." Carter hands me the clothes and I change quickly, discarding my old ones onto the floor. Carter helps me get up and I order myself some food.
    "Why mashed potato?" Carter asks, fascinated by my choice in food.
    "Slow releasing energy. Plus, it tastes nice." Carter nods and hands me a drink of water.
    "You'll need this. This might be the last drink you have for a while, enjoy it." I drink it quickly and order another cup with a sachet of sugar.
    "More energy?" Carter asks. I nod and empty half of the sachet into the drink. I down the sugary water and Carter gestures towards the tube.

  15. "They're ready for you." She states, I reach out for her hand and hold it as I get into the tube. She releases my hand just before the tube closes. I make sure my bracelet is fastened properly and do a few quick stretches. Carter laughs at me and I smile back.
    "Bye." Carter says as the tube starts it ascent. I grin back at her.
    "See you on the flip side." I say just before I lose the sight of her.

    As my eyes start to adjust to the light, I get my first look at the arena: Cornucopia. Trees. Water. More trees.
    The time I spent swimming in training was time well spent as the pedestals are surrounded by water, which is a big problem solved. Trees, that means lots of cover from the others and the possibility of food. No alliances, no worries. No food in sight, just means I have no imagination.

    As the countdown reaches its climax I look up at the cornucopia and prepare to run.