The 66th Hunger Games

66 years ago, the 13 districts of Panem rebelled against the oppressive Capitol, and failed. In order to keep the remaining 12 districts in check, the Capitol devised a new way to control them. Each year, one male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18 shall be offered up to compete in a sporting event known as the Hunger games, where they shall fight to the death until one remains, a victor that' be revered as a celebrity in the Capitol and live a life of luxury.

66 years later, the tradition still goes strong. See through the eyes of 15 year old District 3 tribute Elektra Sparke as she enters this deadly game. However, the one person she never thought would be her fellow competitor is, and she takes it upon herself to protect him. However, in a deadly arena where your death is in every direction, nobody can be trusted.

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8. Survival is But a Number

My slumber is disturbed by Rory's incessant rapping on the door, exclaiming how if I don't get up now we'll be late again. I groan and slide out of bed. What is it with the Capitol and punctuality? The world's not going anywhere without them.

After dressing, I make my way to breakfast, and eat some fruit glazed with honey. I barely have time to call the Avox over to take my plate away before Rory ushers me and Samuel to the elevator. We arrive at the same time as another district. Already the Careers have taken over the weapons station.

"Kinda stupid, don't you think?" I turn to see the pair from 6; the bright looking boy and the drug addict, "All they've been doing is throwing a few spears around. Imagine how hilarious it'd be if we were in a poisonous jungle with no weapons in the Cornucopia. They'd be dead within two days," the boy walks off with his district partner, who is visibly shuddering. Withdrawal.

I head over to the healing station where the instructor makes me and the girl from 8 take turns bandaging each other up. She appears uncomfortable whilst doing this, though it's natural. After all, I could be her potential murderer. Whatever it is, she complies, and we spend the rest of the morning wrapping sterile cloth around each other in silence. Both of us are relieved when the head instructor tells us it's lunch break.

Samuel sits with me, and we discuss today's events so far. I tell him about the healing station, and he tells me how him and the boy from 11 managed to get onto the weapons station. It turns out he's quite good with a knife.

After lunch, I return early to the weapons station. I'm in luck, it's empty, save for Kathrynn. She's a natural with a dagger, and not half bad with a spear. I try the archery segment. It only takes 5 minutes to realise that if I was surrounded and only had the bow and arrow, I'd be dead. We both then try out the hand to hand combat section. I'm instantly pinned by my sparring partner, whilst Kathrynn manages to slide out of the grip, and trip her partner. She then walks off to the camouflage station, whist I try out the knife throwing. It's an improvement over archery, but it's clear that confrontation won't help me in the arena.

We arrive on our floor to find another massive meal laid out on the table. Beetee and Wiress are quick to ask about training. They're pleased to find out Samuel can handle a weapon, but are disappointed at my lack of physical prowess. I guess I'll be relying on my smarts to help me in the games. Beetee then asks us what we'll be showing the Gamemakers tomorrow in our private training sessions. I had completely forgotten about that.
"Don't worry, I have it covered," no, no I don't, "I'll give them a memorable performance."

--

I can't sleep. I roll around in bed, head full of anxious thoughts. Tomorrow's my evaluation session with the Gamemakers. This time tomorrow I'll have my training score, which will decide whether or not I'm worth being sponsored in the arena. What's it matter? I'm doomed to die in the Cornucopia bloodbath anyway. No, mustn't think like that, not if I'm planning on coming home. But if I win, that means Samuel will have to die. I push the thought away instantly. A pink light flashes through the window. I get out of bed, and look out the window. There's some sort of party going on around the training centre. Must be part of the enthralling festivities. I crawl back into bed, and before I'm aware, I'm drawn into the realm of slumber

I wake, and open the door just as Rory walks down the hall.
"Oh, goodie! Up early, I see," of course, this is the highlight of his life, me getting up early. Or at least the explosive optimism in his voice thinks so.

Breakfast flies by, Wiress telling us to show them everything we have learned. The next thing I know, we're in the waiting room. The woman calls in the District 1 male, and I watch as he walks in, brimming with confidence. About half an hour later, his partner is called in.

After two hours, she calls Samuel's name. He freezes. 
"It'll be okay, just show them everything you're good at," he nods, then walks through the door, in the same fashion I walked onto the stage when reaped.

My mind wanders, worrying about Samuel. What if he does something wrong and gets a low score? Or if he upset the Gamemakers, and they ensure he's killed in the most gruesome manner? Or what if-

"Elektra Sparke," the woman is standing in front of me, "Today, please." I get up, and walk through the door into the private training room.

I find the Gamemakers on a raised platform in the centre of the room, talking and drinking. The head Gamemaker, a dark skinned woman with red hair, looks at me with steely eyes.
"District 3, you have half an hour."

I go over to the knot tying station, and set up the snare that Kathrynn showed me. She said she was taught it by her older brother, and it never fails to catch prey. I grab a dummy, and push it into my trap. It ends up hanging by its neck. I walk over to the knives and grab the knife I had been working with. I throw it, aiming for the head. Instead, it hits the heart, and fake blood spews everywhere.

"Thank you, District 3. You may go." I bow, and place the knife back before heading to the exit.

I arrive on floor 3, and find Samuel and Beetee talking in the main room. I hear Beetee offering words of encouragement to him, before he looks at me.
"How'd it go?"
"I strung a dummy by the neck, and threw a knife into its heart," he looks at me for a moment, assessing my words, but Rory bounds in, followed by dinner.

I silently eat, watching our two mentors discuss our training. They don't appear upset, so I take it as a good sign. Just as I finish eating, Rory skips into the living room, giggling about how the training scores will be shown in a few minutes. We follow him, and he puts the TV on.

On the screen are Caesar Flickerman, the host of the interviews for the best part of 20 years, and Claudius Templesmith, the announcer for the arena. Caesar speaks up.

"And now, the moment you've all been anticipating, the tribute training scores!" Everyone tenses up, "District 1's Sheen, with a score of 9!" 9. He'll be a force to be reckoned with.
"And his district partner Ruby! With a score of 10!"
"District 2's Garry! Also with a score of 10!" so far, we have a deadly pack of Careers.
"And from the same district, Sara! Coming away with an 11!" this isn't good. I can see it on Beetee's face. Only once before have I seen someone with an 11, a boy from 1 a few years back.
"Now for District 3!" everything becomes silent as we watch the screen.
"District 3's Samuel! With a training score of 5!" Wiress applauds and Rory squeezes him.
"And his partner Elektra! With a nice score of 8!" I'm in disbelief. How did I get such a high score?

As if sensing my thoughts, Beetee speaks, "They must've liked your handiwork with a knife. Nobody ever hits the heart on the first try. Congratulations. To the both of you." I'm then thrown into Rory's death-grip.
"Ooh my Elekky-poo! I knew you would win them over!" he squeals in delight. When I look back at the screen, Kathrynn's score is showing, 7.
"Any stand outs?" I ask Beetee.
"Well, besides the girl with the 11, nothing. Although one tribute did score a 2," I know who it is before he says it. The girl from 6. The addict.
"Now tomorrow is the night of the interviews. You'll spend 4 hours with us preparing for them. So I'd get some sleep, if I were you. After all, the games are less than 48 hours away."

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