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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3. Third Scenario- Private Training Sessions

 

Markus paced the dining room one last time. Five minutes before the elevators would be unlocked. Everyone else was still asleep, but he didn't care. He just wanted to get down to the training centre, and sneak in some last minute training, perhaps kill another Peacekeeper. He chuckled at the memory; the strange gasping sound that came from their throat as their eyes glossed over. He bagan clenching his fists in anticipation of the day to come. Today was the private training sessions, the time where he could finally show his skills off to the head Gamemaker.   He took a look at the clock; it was time. He strode forward, slamming the door open, and darting for the elevator. He punched the button, and the shining silver door slid open. He stepped in, and the metallic door shut, a pinging sound ringing throughout the small enclosed space. He felt a change in the gravity as the elevator raced downwards, stopping with a thud, setting him off balance slightly.   Markus stepped out, and took in the early morning training centre. Half the lights were still off, and there were still some things left from the survival stations from yesterday. He noted a few stray bandages laying around here and there, and a small lamp hanging from the tree in the camouflage station, flickering every few seconds in the shadows of the unlit room. In the middle of the room, a few tables were laid out, obviously for the tributes to sit in. Markus crept into the shadows, sitting at a table. He began to observe his fingers; long and calloused, with a scar running across his right index finger after an accident with a knife a few years ago. How foolish he was back then. If the present day Markus ever met his previous self, he wouldn't hesitate to kill him instantly. Good thing time travel wasn't invented yet.   Suddenly, a deep noise resonated throughout the training room, and Markus looked up to see an elevator open, someone stepping out. Judging by the posture and hair, it was the redhead from yesterday. The one that he hadn't managed to fill with fear. A tricky one indeed. He heard a light clicking noise, and the shadow above him suddenly exploded; light rushing out of their glass prisons, filling every nook and cranny of the massive hall. The redhead looked in Markus' direction, and her face registered a look of surprise for just a moment. She hadn't been expecting him to be down there. Markus smirked. He stood up, and crossed the room, walking straight towards her stone cold glare.   "Didn't expect to see me here?" He grinned mockingly. "What is this? The great almighty redhead, scared of some big bad tribute?" Markus chuckled, until the redhead lifted her leg, delivering a powerful kick to his groin. He fell to the floor, unable to breathe, unable to do anything but feel pain. "'Redhead' has a name, you know." The words dripped out of her mouth like poison on her tongue. "It's Emily."  Markus climbed back to his feet, the agonising pain subsiding. "Well, Emily. Seems someone has anger issues." Her expression hardened. "Look, I didn't come here to pick a fight, I want to ask something." She hesitated, if only for a moment. "I want us to be allies." The words sounded foreign on her tongue as her stare attempted to penetrate Markus' own glare, his dark eyes dancing with danger.   Allies. He hadn't planned on this. But this could be good. She could prove to be useful; she wasn't half bad looking, which would help  them to receive sponsor gifts, and she could help him take out that large alliance of girls out quicker. And when she outlived her use, he would dispose of her. It would be a relatively painless death, of course, to show gratitude, but she would have to die.   "So what do you say?" Emily asked, looking up at Markus' monstrous stature, trying to read him. "I don't see why not," He replied, staring coldly at her, "Who knows, you may actually be useful in the arena." She narrowed her eyes at him and crossed her arms.  "We'll just see . . . you went for the same abilities Gryff and I went for, so the real idea is whether or not YOU would be useful in the arena rather than being able to just senselessly murder everyone." Gryff. Who was that again? Markus went through the last two days again, trying to remember. That's right, he was the arrogant boy from 1. A Career in the traditional sense; cocky, and brash. But there was something else there. A slight glint in his eyes that showed something much deeper and darker than just someone who thought of the Hunger Games as tossing a few spears, a swordfight with your district partner, then coming home the winner. Behind that cocky demeanor lurked a ravenous killer. Maybe this alliance would turn out to be a good thing after all.   Markus looked back at Emily, the corners of his mouth twitching ever so slightly. "Well, if you haven't gotten it through your thick skull yet, the way to win this game is to have the ability to murder everyone in sight. And right now, whilst you're blabbing on at me, I could have killed you in at least two different methods." He flashed her a smile, completely false and flowing with malice. Part of him was enjoying this venom laced conversation a tad too much. "Oooooooh, death threats," Emily rolled her eyes. "How scary..." her tone dripped with sarcasm. "There are other ways of survival rather than kill or BE killed. Knowing ways to get around while there are no tributes in sight would be great," she said with a smirk. "Hope I was right offering an alliance with you..." she mumbled darkly.   Markus turned to look behind him. Several tributes were emerging from the shining elevators, each wearing a different expression. Some scared, some confused, some happy, some bursting at the seams with confidence. He returned his attention to Emily, her green eyes following something just behind him. "I can't exactly refuse your request." A faint ghost of a smile crept onto his face. "After all, you're the only person that's had the guts to actually speak to me, never mind mouthing me off." Emily darkly smiled at him and shook her head. "What can I say, I have an eye for those with potential... And to be honest, you're not that frightening..." Markus crossed his arms, and looked down, towering over her. "I don't know whether you're extremely brave or just stupid saying that. Try asking any of the other tributes in here; I guarantee that they'll be scared of me to some extent." She chuckled a little. Yeah, she was probably stupid more than brave. At least she would have to be somewhat brave to let the psychopath of District Five join her little alliance that she had going on. "I definitely know for a fact the kid you almost slaughtered is terrified of you . . . not very nice," she shrugged. "But kind of funny." A sly smile crept on to her face, and she began to laugh. Her laugh was high and clear, with an edge of insanity to it, and contagious.    Markus' shoulders began to shake as he tried to hold it in, but he was soon howling too. He looked behind him between spasms of hilarity to see the boy in question staring at him quizically. The boy turned to his district partner, whispering something to her. Markus stopped laughing                                                                                                         almost instantly when the girl stared at him; her icy blue eyes staring deep inside him, at some part that even he didn't dare explore. He felt violated, as if this girl suddenly knew his innermost secrets. There was something about this girl that worried him. Not only was she agile and quiet, as he had previously seen over the past two days, but she was more intelligent than she was letting in on. He had also seen the members of that massive alliance sort of gravitate to her, as if they wanted her to be the leader. She was obviously playing the manipulation game, but with whom and how still remained a mystery. If she made it out of the bloodbath alive, he'd have to keep a close eye on her.   "Hey, Gryff! I got the psycho to join us!" Emily suddenly blurted out, drawing the attention of a long haired boy. He sauntered up to the two of them, his swagger irritating Markus immensely for some unknown reason. This must be Gryffon. "Awesome, Em." He stuck his hand out, palm facing Emily, and she stuck her hand out, the two palms connecting, making a clapping noise. This must be what they call a high five, Markus thought to himself, watching the two get pally with one another. "So Markus," Gryffon looked him right in the eyes, "Welcome to the Cold Killer alliance. Name's Gryff, short for Gryffon, if you didn't already know." He stuck his hand out in a friendly gesture; a handshake. "A pleasure." Markus groaned, rolling his eyes as the two shook hands, Gryff's grip somewhat rough.  Gryffon opened his mouth, as if to say more, but a loud voice boomed throughout the room, the sound resonating from a large speaker. "Gryffon Sauntor, please make your way to the private training room. The Gamemakers are waiting." Gryffon took this new information in, and turned away from Markus. "See you in the arena. We can finish our introductions there." He walked towards the towering double doors, each encrusted with a large assortment of various jewels done up in an extravagant pattern, making a squeaking noise as he scuffed his shoes on the shining buffed floor. He pushed open both doors, craned his head back for one last look, then vanished behind the fabulous walls. Markus and Emily both shared one last glance, then drifted away from one another, Emily making her way to the remains of the shelter building station, and Markus sitting on the edge of the drained pool.   He looked down at the white plastic bottom of the pool, a few stray puddles of water reflecting the lights, shimmering and shining, catching the entirity of the bright bulb in one small amount of water. It was a truly fascinating thing to look at. Markus could almost imagine a tribute falling into the clutches of the transparent abyss, opening itself up, swallowing the poor little child, completely extinguishing their life long hopes and dreams. How wonderful that would be to witness. Perhaps they'd scream, or call for their parents, or some other desperate deluded way for them to think they'd make it out alive, all whilst falling deeper and deeper into their suffocating aquatic grave.   "Nova, please make your way to the private training room. The Gamemakers are ready to see you now." The voice cut off his train of thought. Wait, how long was he imagining that delightful death for? Too long, by the looks of it. He stood up, and began to wander around the perimeter of the pristine training centre as the clock ticked on, until finally the message he had been waiting for. "Markus Lucian, please make your way to the private training room," He was at the doors before the message could finish, and pushed them open with such force that several clusters of diamonds clattered to the floor. He glanced behind him, and saw Emily watching him blankly as the doors shut behind him.   Markus took in the hallway he was now in. Below him was a plush, rich, red carped with many intricate patterns interconnecting. On the walls hung seventy five different picture frames; past victors. Most of them he didn't recognise, but as he neared the end, two faces stood out the most. The girl on fire and the lover boy. Two teens that had managed to completely tear the Capitol down twenty five years ago, only to have the Capitol regain control a couple of years back, this Games being the first one since the Mockingjay rebellion. Personally, Markus couldn't care less about rebellion and humanity; all he cared about was spilling the blood of twenty three others. The automatic doors slid open, and he entered the private training room.   It was exactly the same as the main training room, only scaled down, with all the stations within  twenty feet of one another, survival and weapons stations right next to one another. In the centre of the room was a raised platform, where the Gamemakers looked on. Most of them were rosy cheeked; drunk, but not so intoxicated they won't remember his performance. Perfect.   Wordlessly, he strode over to the shooting station, and arranged the twenty four moving dummies in a circle, facing outwards. Using the remote, he switched them on, and they sprang to life, running around the room at a fast pace. He picked up the crossbow off the floor, and eight arrows. He fired the first arrow. One dummy collapsed to the floor in a pool of fake blood. Followed by seven more in quick succession. He then grabbed a steel-edged sword, and swung at eight dummies, tearing them to shreds on the floor, their fabric sticking to his face. Finally, he launched himself at the eight remaining ones, choking them to death. With all of the dummies laying motionless, he flashed a grin at the Gamemakers, and walked out of the exit. He quickly moved through an identical hallway, and was met with an open elevator. He stepped in, and pressed the button marked '5'. The elevator closed, and shot up, opening at the dining room of his floor. He stepped out, and made his way to the dining table. He sat down, and thought about the performance he had just finished. That was fun, too much fun. And to think, only two days before he could do that for real.   - - - - - -    "Alanna Pyre, the Gamemakers are ready to see you. Please make your way to the private training room." Alanna tensed up, her nerves suddenly going through the roof. Calm down, she told herself, you can do this. "Hey Alanna," Alluma said, surveying the other tributes, "You alright?" "Just fine." Alanna replied, and got up out of her seat. She crossed the polished floor swiftly, and opened one of the massive doors, avoiding a pile of gemstones sitting neatly on the red carpet. She walked down the long hall, noticing the pictures of past victors. Part of her was sickened by this, but she had no time to dwell on it.   She walked into the training room, and quickly discovered it was identical to the main room, only smaller, and with a raised platform for the drunken Gamemakers to watch her. First, she grabbed a beaten up looking training dummy, and placed it near the trap station. She then grabbed a length of rope, and set up a snare trap. She pushed the dummy into the trap, and it hung by its neck, dangling from the rope. She then grabbed a blowgun and darts from the adjacent station, and set up her aim. She fired all the darts in rapid succession, the venom coursing through the body of the dummy. Satisfied, she grabbed some throwing knives, prepared to perform some target practice. She was nearly there, when she slipped on a puddle of red liquid, the knife flying out of her hand, and through the weak spot in the barrier separating the Gamemakers from her. Cleanly slicing off one of the Gamemakers' ears. She watched, horrified, as it fell into the punch bowl, the drunken Gamemaker wailing hysterically. Panicking, she dropped her weapons, and fled the training room.   Great, now you've screwed up, big time, she thought as she ran along the hallway, and into the elevator. She pressed the button to take her to her floor, and the door shut. She noticed that the walls of the elevator were stained red. Probably fake blood from a training dummy, she thought. The door opened, and she burst into the dining room, Caleb standing there already. "Hey Alanna, that was fast. What happened?" "Oh, nothing really. Exept for the fact I cut a Gamemaker's EAR off!" Tears were pricking the corner of her eyes as she pushed him out of the way, and ran to her room, locking the door as she entered. She punched her bed as the tears streamed down her face. There was no way she was going to get a decent score now.   A knocking sound brought her out of her hysterics. "Um, Alanna?" It was Caleb. Great, just when she was having an emotional breakdown. She got up, and opened the door, fighting more tears. "Why are you upset? Don't you remember the Mockingjay? She nearly killed a Gamemaker, and look at the score they gave her! Don't worry, you'll be fine. I'm sure of it." His warm smile seemed to make her tears evaporate as she pulled him in for a hug. "Remember this, Alanna; Don't give up hope. It's a great saying to live by, and it would do you some good to follow it." Hope. That's it. She wasn't out for the count just yet.   And she was planning to stay in the game until the very end.
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