Opening the Fence (Hunger Games/Divergent)

The fence has been opened into.................the 74th Hunger Games.
Tris and Four are taken under the wings of Katniss and Peeta, two District 12 tributes. What will happen.............? Will the gamemakers discover the two Divergents? Will they all survive?
*crossover fanfiction - I have read all the Hunger Games books and both currently available Divergent books*

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2. Two

"Peeta?" Katniss calls into the cave.

We didn't talk the entire way to the rocks. Katniss was too anxious, me and Tobias too confused.

"Uhm-mhm...........Katniss?" a weak male voice calls back.

"Peeta, it's me! Thank God the Careers didn't find you!" And she slips instantly into the gap in the rocks.

Me and Tobias follow, struggling a little.

Katniss is kneeling beside a teenage boy with a gaping wound in his thigh. The boy has the look of someone well-built who has recently been near-starved. He has wavy, ash-blonde hair clinging to his pale, sweaty forehead. His wound is horrible, an enormous blood-red gash with the tell-tale spidery red lines of blood poisoning crawling up his leg. He's propped up against the rocky wall, his eyes half-open. He looks half dead.

The boy takes one look at us and his eyes snap open. He backs further up, seizing a nearby knife and pointing it at us.

"Katniss, who the hell are they?" he croaks.

"Peeta, it's........it's a long story. This is Tris and Tobias."

He nods warily, lowering the knife. He still has his hand on it.

"Tris, Tobias, this is Peeta. He's the other tribute from District 12."

"Tribute! District!" Tobias says loudly. "Can you just explain this whole thing?"

"Okay." Katniss pats the floor. "Sit down."

We obey, readying ourselves for this whole tale.

"This is a country called Panem, made up of old North America. We have twelve districts, one for each industry," Katniss recites.

"You said you're from  12," I interject.

"The poorest, smallest and most ridiculed," Peeta says, smiling weakly. "Our industry is coal mining."

"May I carry on?" Katniss waits, then continues. "There is a thirteenth district, but that got bombed out in the war. All the districts exist to supply the Capitol, the richest place in Panem. It's not a district, it's the ruling area. And they run the Hunger Games from there."

"What's the Hunger Games?"

"That's what I'm just about to explain. In punishment for the districts rising up against the Capitol - causing the war, which explains the destroyed District 13 - the Capitol invented the Hunger Games. It's an annual event. It's like brutal reality TV, and it's being filmed right now and it's compulsory viewing for the whole country. You have a lottery in each District, and every District is supposed to send one boy and one girl - two tributes - between the ages of twelve and eighteen to compete in the Hunger Games."

"Me and Katniss are the District 12 tributes for this year, the 74th Hunger Games," Peeta adds.

"Shush. Each of these tributes is taken to the Capitol to be trained, scored, and presented to the Capitol public. We're dressed up like dolls and interviewed on live television." Katniss is practically spitting the words out. "The Capitol live in unimaginable luxury while almost all the Districts starve!"

"All but the Careers."

"I'm getting to that, Peeta. The Careers come from what we call Career Districts - Districts 1, 2 & 4. They are the richest districts, and the kids there think it's an honour to compete in the Games, and spend their whole time training. They're normally the ones that win. Back to the other tributes. We're transported to an outdoor arena - like this one we're in now - and put in front of the Cornucopia, a big structure with food and supplies and weapons. Peeta didn't try to get anything, and I only grabbed a few things round the edges."

"Why?" Tobias presses.

"Because I would have been killed," Katniss says bitterly. "The only rules in these Games is the last person standing wins. The object is to kill each other off until only one person is left. At the beginning of every Games, there's a mad rush to get supplies and a lot of tributes get killed."

"That's.........that's.......but you're just kids!" I whisper.

"It doesn't matter to the Capitol," Katniss says flatly. "They just want some good gory entertainment. The winner gets treated like a celebrity."

I can't stomach it. I thought my life was hard in Chicago.............but now I've met Katniss and Peeta I've realized just how easy I had it.

"So...............we're in these Games now?" Tobias says, horror-struck.

"Yes," Katniss says, "unfortunately."

Peeta makes a sudden movement as he grabs Katniss's arm. "Katniss," he breathes.

"What?" she says. "Oh God Peeta, you've gone white again. Stop moving around like that!"

"Katniss," he repeats.

"What?!"

"They don't have trackers."

"They - huh?"

"They don't. Have. Trackers."

I look at Tobias in confusion, whereas realization has dawned on Katniss. She looks at us, and her tired eyes are alive again.

"Trackers," Katniss says eagerly, "are little things inserted into each tribute's arm to track, like the name says." She peels back the sleeve of her singed coat and shows us her arm. On the inside, she has a small, hard lump underneath her skin. "That's mine. So, if they haven't seen you on the cameras.................they don't know you're here."

"Who doesn't know we're here?"

"The public, the Capitol, everybody!" Katniss says, ecstatic. "Even the Gamemakers! The ones who control these Games," she explains quickly. "That means you can be here.........and they don't know you exist. I think this is the first time any tribute in the history of the Games has had some portion of control of their own."

"So.............what does this mean?" Tobias says.

"You can sneak back out," Katniss says, "without them ever knowing you're here."

"What if we don't?"

Katniss looks surprised. "Why on earth would you want to live in Panem? It's living hell. And that's assuming you'll live out the Games, let alone escape them."

I look at her desperately. "The whole of Chicago has been contained for a hundred and nine years, Katniss. We're dying to be free."

Katniss snorts. "And you think you'll be free in Panem?"

"Er, yes," Tobias says, snorting.

Katniss glares at him so fiercely he looks shocked. "In District 12, I have a mother and little sister. My father died in a coal mine explosion. My mother just sits around grieving, like she has done for the last four years. My sister almost starved to death once, and she probably is doing so now. We're so poor that I have to break the law and hunt in the woods outside the fence of District 12 to put food on the table. Every day, emaciated bodies are found. The elderly, babies, young children. There is a fence enclosing the whole District. Our people have just given up on everything. They've given up on freedom. They've given up on living a proper life. We're not free, Tobias. If you escaped to one of the Districts, you'd have your names put down for the Games' lottery - the Reaping - immediately. Every year, you'd wait in agony to hear whose name will be called, hear who is going to their bloody deaths. Some of them are twelve years old. Same age as my little sister when she was Reaped, and I volunteered in her place. You really think we're free?"

Tobias is looking suitably told off. Peeta is looking slightly green.

I am feeling overwhelmed.

 

 

 

 

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