The Fourth Quarter Quell

It's been twenty years since the Capitol had been reinstated, combining forces with District 13 to completely destroy the survivors of the Mockingjay rebellion, once again taking control of Panem. But the rebels hadn't made it easy for the Capitol; expecting defeat, they deleted all citizen records from the database. It took nineteen years, but they managed to once again recollect the data from the citizens.

And by popular request, the Hunger Games have been reinstated; guaranteed to be more brutal than ever. And starting with the fourth Quarter Quell means that they will be more over the top than ever before. And this year's twist: To show that you can never be prepared for an uprising, the tributes were selected in advanced without their knowledge, taken in their sleep, and woke up in a Capitol bedroom. And this time, the Careers aren't the only bloodthirsty ones, so watch as friendships are made and betrayed, kids turn to killers, and most hauntingly of all, a ruthless monster...

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11. Eleventh Scenario- Twisted Memories

 

Alanna Pyre:   Four left. That was it. Only four tributes remained. The boy from Ten, the girl from Eight, the psycho from Five, and herself. "Not long now Alanna." She smiled darkly as she played with one of Aluma's throwing knives. The gullible fool never stood a chance. None of them did. They were all too concerned about friendships and other petty matters to realise that Alanna had been killing them off slowly in a subtle manner. Even going as far back as training, Alanna was preparing for dealing with allies. The weapons she chose were all weapons that would kill quickly and quietly; the knives, which she could throw from long distances, and slit someone's throat in their sleep; the rope, which could serve several purposes, choking being the main one, and finally, the blowgun. That was the key point in the Games. She had seen it in previous Games, and knew that they could instantly kill anyone if they were coated in poison. So when she found out Caleb had the poison, it was stupidly easy to obtain once she offered some pointless trade for a lock pick.    She had also withdrawn the poison cure from Caleb and Caera as well, in the hope that it would be their undoing. And it had been, for Caleb at least. But he had held on for too long, even surviving the strongman Muttation that Alanna had deliberately caused to explode on her alliance. She had also stayed away from her allies during the super Mutt attack, hoping that they would have died. But they survived, so she decided to return to them, to try poisoning them over the next few days. She hadn't counted on the feast doing the killing for her though. Caleb and Caera both died within a few minutes of one another. Too bad it wasn't one of the stronger members, like Aluma or April, but it still eliminated the competition. And after yesterday, all of her allies had been eliminated.   She hopped out of the tree, and loaded her blowgun, looking around for any signs of danger. None so far. She walked around the blood stained pool, remembering the battle from yesterday. Aluma put up a good fight, but she let her emotions get in the way of the battle, and that was her downfall. Alanna picked up another throwing knife that lay on the floor, and added it to the belt of throwing knives that she retrieved from Aluma's corpse. She now had a large range of weaponry at her disposal; a few small throwing knives; a regular knife; and her blowgun. The other tributes wouldn't know what hit them.   Suddenly, she heard a rustling coming from the trees that surrounded her. Alanna held one of the throwing knives, and approached the sound. As she approached the tree line, a sharp hissing emitted from a nearby bush, and a thin stream of fire burst upwards, setting the closest tree ablaze. A small figure flew out of the bush, and hovered around above Alanna. It looked like a squirrel, but much larger, and with the ability to fly and breathe fire. It sent a fireball down towards Alanna, and it caught the sleeve of her jacket, the red flames licking up the fabric. She dropped to the floor, and rolled around, putting the fire out before it reached her skin, leaving a singed hole in her jacket.    The squirrel dive-bombed Alanna, aiming its tail at her heart. She ducked, and fired a poisoned dart at the Mutt. It began to convulse in the sky, and dropped to the floor, the dart protruding from its chest. "Serves you right." Alanna told the carcass as she pulled the dart out, a fountain of blood gushing from the small creature. The appearance of the Mutt could only mean one thing; this area wasn't safe anymore. Alanna reloaded her gun, and climbed through the trees, in the opposite direction of the blaze. She leapt out of the greenery, and took in her surroundings.   She was close to what looked like a run down housing area. The perfect place to find a tribute. Alanna quietly snuck through the miniature town, noticing that people made out of straw stood upright near each house, attatched to a pole to keep upright. Alanna had seen these things somewhere before, but she couldn't place her finger on it.   "Now these," The teacher said to the young class, "Are scarecrows. We use them to protect our morphling plant fields, so that we can grow as much medicine as possible." Alanna stared blankly as her class teacher lectured them on the importance of scarecrows, and how they keep away common vermin, like mockingjays. "Excuse me." A small voice piped up, and Alanna looked over to see one of the girls asking a question. "Yes, Lillie?" The teacher replied warmly. "Well, I um..." She paused for a moment, unsure of what she was about to tell her teacher, and continued, "Are the scarecrows alive?" "Don't worry Lillie, they're like statues made of straw. They can't hurt you. They just look scary to keep the birds away." "Good, because I don't want them to hurt me."   The resurfacing of the memory filled Alanna with confidence. They were just statues made of straw, designed to look scary. Suddenly hungry, she sat down under one, its large form blocking out the sunlight. She pulled out the turkey, and took a strip off, savouring the taste. At least she wouldn't have to worry about starving for a few days at least. She pulled out her water, and took another few sips. There was only enough water in there for another two days, even if she rationed it very well. She put her consumables back in her bag, and put her bag back on.   Suddenly, sunlight streamed onto Alanna's face. She looked up. This was odd. No, it couldn't have. Alanna looked at the scarecrow, and found it looking down at her, with a sadistic grin on its face, holding a deadly scythe. She let out a scream, and scrambled to her feet, running from the scarecrow as it leapt off its pole, and staggered towards her. No, no, no! They weren't supposed to be able to harm her! Her teacher lied to her! Suddenly filled with panic, Alanna pulled out a throwing knife, and launched it at the scarecrow's neck. The head slid clean off, and it slumped to the floor.   Alanna quickly retrieved the throwing knife, and began to back away from the lifeless Mutt. But it began to stir. She watched in horror as it stood up, and placed its head back onto its body, still flashing that creepy smile. It couldn't die; it was going to kill her. "Get away from me!" She yelled as she turned and ran from the Mutt. It suddenly sprang to life, and caught up with her, swinging the scythe furiously. Suddenly, a strange cloud covered Alanna's face, and she inhaled the foul smelling gas. Choking, she fell to the floor, her vision blurring for a moment. She shook her head, and stood up again, prepared to take on the Mutt. Only she wasn't staring into the eyes of the scarecrow any more, she was looking into the eyes of Caera.   "No!" Alanna cried out as her dead ally advanced towards her, holding the scythe. This was impossible. Caera was dead. She had been for two days. The announcement earlier that morning had stated that the bodies of all the dead tributes, minus the zombies, had been successfully returned to their familes. There was no way on earth that she could be there. But she was. She charged at Alanna, swinging the scythe, catching her bag, causing the healing berries to fall out of the hole. Alanna leapt to the floor, and clenched them in her hand, before shoving them in her mouth, swallowing them. A newly found energy flowed through her, and Alanna leapt to her feet, feeling energised enough to take Caera on. She pulled out her knife, and sliced at Caera's leg, the limb falling off, blood pouring from the wound. Caera stumbled slightly, and Alanna backed off from her.   But the limb re-attached itself, the blood vanishing from sight. Caera could re-generate like the scarecrow could. But Alanna noticed that it took a few seconds for the limbs to attach themselves again. Using this, she could disarm her. She ran in close to Caera, and sliced her arm clean off, the scythe clattering to the floor. Alanna rushed to grab the weapon, and ripped it out of the grasp of the dead limb. She held the weapon, and watched as Caera fixed herself once more. Alanna swung the scythe, the weight of it setting her aim off slightly, and blew Caera's torso off her body. Quickly, she hacked the legs into small pieces, and ran as the body parts reconnected.   Alanna stopped as she reached a dried up river, and looked around for a way to get across. She soon found a bridge, and ran along it, running right past a rat. Alanna heard the squeak, and jumped back as it darted straight for her. Defensively, she held the scythe out, but the rodent simply bit the sharp end clean off with its powerful teeth. Alanna stared at her now useless weapon, and pulled her knife out as the Mutt finished eating the scythe. She sunk the blade into the creature's back, and heard the air deflate from its lungs as she punctured them. She pulled the knife out of the rat, and saw Caera sauntering towards her.   Alanna stood her ground as the nightmarish tribute approached her. She waited until Caera was close enough, and rammed into her, pushing her off the bridge, and into the small valley caused by the drained water. Alanna heard Caera hit the floor with a satisfying thud. But Caera simply stood up again, and began to climb the edge of the pit, quickly reaching the top. "It didn't work..." Alanna stated in disbelief. Nothing was working. But there had to be some way to defeat her.    A small whisp of smoke blew by Alanna's head, and she looked to see the area where she killed Aluma had gone up in flames. Wait a minute. If Caera burned up in the flames, she wouldn't be able to regenarate!  Alanna pulled her blowgun close, and ran towards the inferno, Caera in pursuit. Alanna stopped as the flames spat out at her, the embers blackening the grass surrounding the area. She glanced behind her to see Caera charging at her. Alanna sidestepped, and tripped Caera, who fell into the blaze, the flaming tongues of heat encompassing her, pulling her into the heated core. Alanna watched as Caera began to disintegrate into nothingnesss as the fire consumed the fallen tribute. Alanna's vision blurred once more, and she looked back at the fire to see the smiling face of the scarecrow blacken and fall apart.   It was a hallucination. Caera was never there; that explained why she could take so many hits. Alanna sat down on the floor, exhausted, but forced herself to get up. The fire was spreading along the grass, and it wouldn't be long until it burned the entire area to the ground. Alanna walked away from the fire, and walked north. She walked past two white domes, one crawling with the squirrels, and the other, rats. A squirrel ran towards her, and she threw a knife at it, killing the creature instantly. She picked it up, and noticed that it didn't have any of the features that the previous squirrels had. So there were regular versions of the Mutts as well. She passed the domes, and walked under the massive golden slide, killing another rat. The place was swarming with the creatures. She emerged from the slide, and walked into the mall area, the place bathed in the golden glow of the evening sun.   Alanna passed the destroyed tents, memories flying by. She remembered first coming there with Caleb back on the day of the bloodbath, then once more when the clowns attacked. She passed the tent, the poisonous red liquid still pooled inside, a rusty knife snapped in half floating on the surface. She walked down the street that their alliance was stationed for the most part of the Games, and where she abandoned them when the Strongman Mutt invaded the area. She found herself smiling warmly at the memories, as if they were cherished childhood experiences. Alanna found the tent where the alliance had spent their last day together, and entered.   Inside, she found a bag, with a district emblem on it. She approached it, and recognised the emblem. District 12. April had left her bag there when she left to fight Sarah, but never returned. Alanna opened it, and pulled out the contents- half a bottle of water, a roast chicken, and a handful of healing berries. Alanna placed them back in the bag, and transferred the contents of her own bag into the less beaten up bag. Once she completed that, she sat in the corner of the room, and took out some of April's chicken. She ate it, and drank some more water, before hearing a faint bleeping noise.   She looked out of the window, and saw a silver parachute flying down- a sponsor gift. Alanna's face contorted with glee as the parachute floated through the open door. She eagerly picked it up, and unwrapped it to get to the gift. It was a small canister, with a large label. "Mutt-Away. One use only. Effects last twelve hours. Does not deter other tributes." She read out loud, and spotted several shapes flying in the sky; the squirrels were on the hunt for blood. Alanna pressed down on the canister, and a sterile smelling gas clouded out, filling the room. Alanna looked out at the squirrels, and saw them flying elsewhere. Once they had left her sight, she shut the door and windows, and curled up in a ball, falling asleep.   Markus Lucian:   The sound of the anthem playing forced Markus awake. He looked to the sky as the seal appeared, and the head Gamemaker began to speak. "Good morning tributes, after yesterday's death match, there are now only four of you. Four possible tributes are that much closer to winning this year's Hunger Games." Markus blinked slowly as he took in the information. Only four left. That meant he had a twenty five percent chance of winning. A dark smile crept onto his face as the Gamemaker continued his speech.   "But let's not forget those who lost their lives yesterday so quickly, shall we?" Markus took a sip of his water as he waited for the fallen to be listed. "First up on our list of perished tributes is Gryffon Sauntor." So Score Three didn't survive Redhead's undead remains. At least that was one less deadly competitor to worry about. "However, since he was slaughtered by our undead friend Emily, Gryffon now joins her in wandering the arena in search of their next meal." Well, that was unexpected. "However, we will tell you if they're going to attack you, starting from tomorrow."   "Next up on our list is Nova," Markus raised his eyebrows in confusion. Wasn't she against a twelve year old that would have been easily overpowered? "Who allowed herself to die after her morals got in the way of fighting. Let this be a lesson, tributes- In the arena, you should never carry your heart on your sleeve." Nova never struck him as being morally right, but what did it matter, she was no longer a threat to him.   "Next up is Zayn Pent," Oh yes, the hopeless romantic, "Who, after an eternity of taunts and insults, finally bit the bullet. Or crossbow bolt, in this case. Perhaps if he wasn't too concerned about his ally, he might still be alive today." Markus sniggered. They were implying that waste of space could ever overpower him. It was impossible. Markus was smarter and stronger than him.   "Then we have Aluma Cooke," Markus remembered her as being overly concerned about friendship and other sentimental crap. And look what it brought her; death, "Who perished at the hands of her former ally. This came as quite a shock, but it turns out her killer was hiding their true colours throughout the Games- until now. And this brings us another lesson; don't underestimate anyone. Since who knows what they have hiding under the surface." If he remembered correctly, her killer was that twelve year old from 6, the dangerous one that helped him out with the super Mutt whilst his allies just rolled about, waiting for death.   "And finally, we have April Holme," Another member of that alliance full of boring pacifists, "Who met a rather gruesome end after a dramatic battle with her opponent. And even though she fought valiantly, she was still met with death. Remember this, tributes; trying's worth nothing if you don't succeed." Markus found himself nodding with that message. Redhead and Score Three tried their best, but they failed, and have been degraded to nothing more than disposable Muttations with familiar faces.   "And also, being the kind hosts we are, we have decided to reward you for the most entertaining show you put on yesterday," A reward? This was already looking like a good day, "You have all been healed significantly overnight. Now let's hope we keep up the good work, and may the odds be ever in your favour." The anthem played once more, and the seal faded.   Markus ate a wing of his turkey, and stood up, club in one hand, crossbow in the other. He packed his bag up, and slid down the slide, landing neatly at the bottom. Four tributes left. Only three more would have to die before Markus could come home. He quickly ran through his head, identifying who remained. Besides himself, the little boy from 10, the girl from 8, and the now somewhat deadly girl from 6. All would be easy to take out; a shot to the chest, and boom. They would all be dead, and Markus would come home. He walked north, constantly looking around for other tributes to slaughter.   Suddenly, an intense pain filled his right leg, and Markus looked down to see a rat firmly clamped down on his leg. He tried to shake it off, but it had a vice like grip. It dug down harder, and the pain became nearly overbearing. He pulled out his crossbow, and fired at the rodent. It exploded in a mass of flesh, and the force of the weapon launched Markus back slightly. He walked over to the pile of mess, and retrieved the bolt. The end had become blunt, but the sheer force of it should still deal some major damage.   Markus carried on, limping slightly as he tried to ignore the pain. After a while, the pain became too much, and Markus sat down on a bench near a sign marked 'Kiddy Land'. He rolled up his pants, and saw the deep incision. It had cut to the bone, but hadn't gone through, luckily. The next thing he noticed was the stream of blood flowing from it, the crimson fluid staining the sand. He ripped the other sleeve of his shirt off, and wrapped it around his leg, in an attempt to stem the blood flow. After a few minutes, the blood had begun to clot. Now to hope that the rats weren't poisonous.   Markus got back up, gritting his teeth as he continued onwards, looking around for any signs of life. Suddenly, a column of flames spiralled downwards from above him, and a large squirrel began to fly around, circling him. Markus readied his club, and swung as the Mutt drew close. The spikes impaled the creature in several location, and blood began to flow from its mouth as it died still attatched to his club. Markus shook it off, and turned away from the area, leaving before any more Mutts would show up.   He continued through the northern midway of the arena, taking in the eerie silence, save for the occasional squeak of the rodents. "Damn place must be swarming with them..." Markus grumbled as another squirrel scampered by him. Wasting no time, he grabbed it, and wrung its neck before throwing it to the floor.   Without warning, a scythe swung at Markus, slicing the fabric of his shirt at the side, but not penetrating flesh. He swung around to find a person made entirely of straw, standing at about seven feet tall, with a sadistic smile etched onto its face. Markus backed away from the new foe, and readied his crossbow, and fired as the Mutt spewed a vile smelling gas from its head. The force of the bolt ripped a hole through the centre of the monster, leaving a gaping hole in its chest. As it stumbled from the force of the blow, Markus retrieved his bolt, and took aim again, only to find that he was now in the streets of his district once more, and facing the head Peacekeeper, who he had killed before the reapings were even held. He held the scythe, and charged at Markus.   Markus ran, not looking back. It was as if he had been sent back six months, and was reliving the moment when he was branded a killer. He turned down the street, passing by a building that closely resembled his school. He wasn't far from the spot where he had killed the man now. He turned sharply right, barely avoiding running into the barbed wire fence that surrounded one of the powerplants, but the head Peacekeeper kept going, and ran right through the metal. That wasn't right. No, this was an illusion, or for a better word, a hallucination. Probably brought on by the gas emitted by the Mutt. But still, he would kill this Muttation the same way he killed the Peacekeeper. He turned down the next street, crushing a rat under his boot, a soft, squelching sound reaching his ears. Markus left bloody footprints as he turned left, arriving on the street near his house.   Markus ran to the front door of his house, and surprisingly it opened, the Peacekeeper catching up to him. He shut the door, and ran upstairs, to the landing, and lay in wait. The door was cut open by the scythe, and the Peacekeeper entered, running up the stairs towards him.    Markus swung his club, sending the Peacekeeper flying down the stairs, and crashing into a vase, the porcelain object shattering all over him. Markus darted to the knocked out Peacekeeper, and ripped the scythe from his hand, and began to tear all the limbs off, dicing them, pools of blood everywhere. He then grabbed the chunks of flesh, and threw half of them in the toilet nearby, and the other half outside, the breeze carrying them away. Finally, he snapped the scythe in half, and passed out, drained.   When he came to, Markus was no longer in District 5. He was in a massive building, with a sign that read 'Entertainment Hall'. He stood up, and found himself covered in straw, and saw a broken scythe on the floor, a shiny liquid dripping from the blade. He staggered up the stairs, and found a bathroom. One of the toilet cubicles was ever so slightly open. He fully pushed the door open, and found the blood stained smiling head of the scarecrow grinning at him. Markus slammed the door shut, and backed out, continuing upstairs. He finally reached the highest possible floor, and found a wooden hatch in the roof. He pulled it open, and climbed into the attic, shutting the hatch behind him. He walked over to the window, and watched as the squirrels set the trees on fire from high up in the sky, the sun nearly fully gone from the horizon. Markus ate some more turkey, and drank a little more of his water, and lay down, ready to rest.
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