Mercy (A Hunger Games fanfic)

Avea Thatcher isn't like most careers from District 4, she has no interest in the games or the fame and glory that come with being Victor. But after her twin sister, Lyra, is executed, her older sister, Xanthe, decides to volunteer for the 56th Hunger Games as a form of suicide. Avea knows she has to be the one to fight in the games if she is to save her sister and keep her family together. Seen as a traitor by the careers, Avea struggles to stay alive in the arena while keeping a vow she made to Lyra and herself to not let anyone suffer before they die.

"Before I black out I make a vow to myself: 'I will never let anyone suffer like she did. I will never let anyone suffer like my sister did.' And then I'm pulled into the blackness."

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5. Chapter 4

The ocean disappeared behind a thick forest of trees at least 10 minutes ago, but I can't tear my face from the window. I hear a door open behind me and someone sitting down across from me but I don't even bother to see who it is.

"Staring out that window won't take you back," I hear a woman's voice and slowly pry my eyes from the window to find its owner. It turns out the voice belongs to Grace Lynn, a previous District 4 Victor and my mentor.

"I'm just saying goodbye," I reply my eyes finally looking at something besides the window.

Grace nods, "It's best to say you're goodbyes to home early on, it will make it easier for you as you prepare for the arena."

"I've already said all of my goodbyes," I say.

"Well, in that case it's time to start thinking about what's to come," she says switching from a comforting tone to a more serious one, "Tell me about what kind of training you had."

"Um..." I start nervously, "I'm pretty good with both knifes and tomahawks and I also took a class in tumbling."

She raises her eyebrows at tumbling, "The tomahawk isn't a weapon you see too often, but both the knife and the tomahawk are a great choice of weapon because they can be used up close or at a distance. Tumbling isn't something most careers learn, it's certainly different, but you need different, different will help you stand out even among the careers."

This takes a huge weight off my chest and I'm about to reply when Zale walks in with our other mentor Jay Rogan. They're laughing about something, probably me, and Zale plops into the seat next to me and puts his arm around the back of my chair, which makes me want to gag. Jay sits next to Grace and smiles at me.

"Hey Lion," Jay says still smiling at me, " it's nice to meet you. I've heard so much about you."

'I bet you have,' I think to myself. I smile back at Jay and say, "It's nice to meet you too, but my name is Avea not Lion."

"I think Lion is a nice nick name," Jay replies. I don't want to get on Jay's bad side, so I just agree with him.

We talk strategy for a while and then Felix prances and singsongs, "It's time for dinner!" Ugh, why does Felix have to over exaggerate everything he does. We all sit at a large table in the center of another train car where our first course has been laid out, a creamy soup that has some sort of sweet juice in it and is topped with what looks like coconut shavings, it's strange yet delicious. Course after course comes, fish simmering in a spicy sauce, a salad topped with more types of vegetables than I can name, and finally a chocolate cake with liquid chocolate oozing out the top. I eat myself sick and then sit there enjoying the luxury. We are given two hours between dinner and the reapings so I go too the tv room where Zale has already made himself comfortable.

"I just put in the 48th games, my favorite games, want to watch?" Zale asks. The 48th games were on of the most brutal games in the history of the games, most of the tributes were reaped apart by one of the dozen or so mutts in the games or by the Career pack. The Career pack was violent that year, more so than usual, they would find tributes and then slowly torture them to death for show. The Victor, Kassius Teran, was from District 4, so we watch it often at school. I can't imagine why this is Zale's favorite games or why he likes any of the games for that matter.

I'm tempted to leave, but I have no where else to go. I sit down and watch. The reapings fly by, and the tribute parades are nothing special (the District 4 tributes are dressed like see gods, gag), but during the interviews I can't help but feel I'm watching Zale when Kassius says, "You want blood! We'll show you blood! The arena will run red with blood!"

The games begin and only 8 kids die in the bloodbath and the Career's almost immediatley go hunting for their first victim. They find the girl from 5 a few miles away from the Cornucopia and torture her. They give her a giant smile by sticking a the knife in her mouth and dragging it towards her ear, they cut up her face until she's unrecognizable, and then cut of her hands and feet and leave her to die. I feel sick just watching the game, how will I ever win them? I force my eyes back to the screen. Of the Careers Kassius, his district partner Del, and the tributes from 2 make it to the final 8. The boy from 2 is killed by a giant eagle mutt leaving only three Careers. When there are only 4 tributes left Kassius and Del turn on the girl from 2 and torture her to death. As soon as the girl from 2 is dead Kassius pins Del to a tree by pushing a knife through her arms and into the tree and then slowly rips her apart. With Del out of the way Kassius tracks down the boy from 8 and gives the biggest show of all. First he cuts off the boys tongue so that he can't scream and then cuts off each of the boys fingers and toes, he mutilates the boy's face and carves into his limbs. The entire thing is so terrible, yet Zale watches the screen intently enjoying every second. Kassius lets the boy slowly bleed out and is declared victor. Felix thankfully chooses that moment to skip into the room saving me from talking to Zale about what we just saw.

"We'll be at the Capital in just over an hour, so Zale and Avea why don't you get changed into um... something ah... decent before we watch the reapings," Felix says while eyeballing our clothes like they might carry a disease.

I find my room and change into a denim shirt and black pants. I run into Zale as he leaves his room and we walk to the TV room. I don't plan on allying myself with the other careers, a risky move and something rarely seen, but they will be my main opponets so I familiarize myself with them and look for tributes from other districts who could be allies or threats.

The District 1 tributes are volunteers as usual and are named Ruby and Copper (Sometimes I just can't believe the cheesy names people give their kids). Ruby and Copper are a strong looking pair, but I don't think they'll be a huge problem compared to Zale. Terra and Julius are the District 2 tributes both volunteers. Terra will definitely be a strong competitor, but Julius is nothing special. No one from Districts 3 or 5 catches my eye, but the girl from 6, Eris, looks very strong, she has tan skin, dark brown eyes, and beautiful jet black hair. Eris is someone I want as my ally. The only other people that catch my eye are the boy from 9, he has chocolate brown hair, just like Lyra's, and glares at the camera like I did, I think his name is Ronan, and the boy from 11, Crant, he's not overly big, but he has a cunning look in his eye that scares me. I'm going to try to make Ronan and Eris my allies, but I haven't decided about Crant yet, something about him just doesn't seem right.

 As the video ends the windows go black and I'm momentarily confused until I realize we must be going through the tunnel that leads to the Capital. As light makes its way back through the window Zale and I both stare in wonder at the Capital. There are so many colors that we didn't have in District 4, colors I never even imagined. I thought Felix looked weird but most of the people on the streets make Felix look like he could be from District 4; Felix's purple eyes look normal compared to people whose eyes change color when they blink, his bright blue hair looks normal when I look at a woman with hair piled two feet above her head with so many hair clips in it I'm surprised she doesn't fall over from the weight, even his horrible suit seems casual compared to the light up clothes I see people wearing. I can hear Grace saying something in the background about doing what our stylists tell us, but I'm not really listening, I'm just too amazed.

Felix puts his arms around Zale and I's shoulders and says, "Welcome to the Capital."

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