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."


7. Chapter 6

Training Day 1


I wake up early as the sun creeps its way into my window. I rub my eyes and run my fingers through my thick hair. Today is the first day of training and I plan on making allies today, showing off some of my skills, and learning some new survival techniques.

Someone has left clothes out for me so I crawl out of bed and pull on a pair of fitted pants and a gray t-shirt. When I get to the dining room there is a buffet filled with food. I load my plate with fresh strawberries, toast with a pineapple jelly, long strips of bacon, and some fluffy eggs. I chew slowly, enjoying each of the flavors and sipping a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice as I watch the sun make its way towards 9o'clock.

Right around 9 o'clock Grace, Felix, Jay, and Zale stumble their way into the dining room.

"I thought lions were supposed to spend most of their day sleeping, not getting up early," Zale comments as he loads his plate with eggs.

"Well, I guess it's a good thing I'm a human then," I reply finishing the last of my orange juice.

"We'll see how long that lasts," Zale says as he digs into his pile of eggs.

"What's that supposed to mean?" I say glaring at Zale

He laughs, "It means that I think you're going to turn into one of those monster tributes in the arena. The ones who go around ripping their victims to pieces,"

I could feel my face flushing with anger and I spit out, "Guess you should stay away from me then, unless you want to get ripped to pieces."

Zale just laughs harder, "Don't worry I'll put you down long before then."

I can see that Felix, Grace, and Jay are staring at us trying to figure out what's going on, so I simply say, "We'll see who puts who down," and walk towards the elevator.

Felix takes Zale and I down to the Training Center. We walk in, but none of the other tributes have arrived yet. Someone pins a number 4 to my back and I go to stand around the head trainer. Slowly the other Districts trickle in, first the careers, then the other Districts, 8 being the last to show up.

After a quick speech about how we should visit all of the stations and warning us not to fight the head trainer releases us. I can see Zale motioning for me to come over and join the other careers at the spear throwing station but I ignore him and instead go to the edible plants section where the District 6 girl Eris is.

I try to start up a conversation, "What's District 6 like?"

She eyes me suspiciously, "It's kind of disgusting from all the pollution that the factories make. What about District 4?"

I shrug, "It kind of smells like fish everywhere you go, but it's nice."

She nods and then asks the question I know she's been waiting to ask, "Why aren't you with the other careers?"

I decide to be honest with her, "Because they're not my allies."

"They're not?" she looks surprised.

I shake my head, "No, they're savage and honestly I hate them."

"You know if you go off on your own in the arena you'll be their first target."

"I know and that's why I'm going to find my own allies, to take down the careers, " I say looking at Eris to see how she reacts.

She smiles and says, "I'd love to be a part of that."

"Allies?" I ask with a raise of my eyebrows.

"Allies," she agrees.

After that I tell her about the kid from 9, Ronan, and after watching him hit the target with a spear on his first try she agrees. Eris asks if her 13 year old District partner Harrison can be apart of the alliance and I immediately agree when I see the scrawny kid. I feel like I need to protect him.

We join Ronan at the sword station and I let Eris start the conversation with him since most tributes aren't prone to trusting careers. Eris walks up and starts casually swinging a sword, something that she turns out to be pretty good at since she beheads two dummies at once.

"You're from 9, right?" Eris starts.

Ronan looks past Eris at me questioningly. "Yay, I'm from 9. What about you?", he asks in return.

"I'm from 6 and my friend Avea here is from 4," Eris says gesturing at herself and then me. I give a small wave.

"4? Why aren't you with your career buddies?" he asks.

"Because they aren't my "buddies"," I answer.

Eris nods, "Yep, Avea, my District partner Harrison, and I are going to take down the careers."

At first I don't think he believes us, but he says, "Can I join?"

I can't help but smile, "Of course."

We head to the skinning and gutting animals station, where the instructor makes a big show of cutting open the rabbit infront of him.

"It looks like he's sacrificing the thing," Eris whispers.

I laugh, "Oh gods accept my offering!"

We break out into laughter earning us dirty looks from the other tributes, while our instructor continues to skin and gut the animal completely oblivious to the fact we're making fun of him. We stay there for a while longer before spending time at the know tying station where we all manage to get ourselves tangled in the rope before actually learning something. A voice announces that it's time for lunch, so we leave the knot tying station,

During lunch we begin talking strategy. By now there are five of us since Ronan's District partner Mave, a smaller girl with long blonde hair who looks to be about 17, joins us. I find out that Ronan is 15 like me and has a twin brother just like I had a twin sister. Eris is 16 and has two younger siblings (a brother and a sister) who she looks out for. I can see the Careers giving us evil looks, Copper, the boy from 1, even has the nerve to come over to our table.

He gives me a charming smile that only makes him even more attractive, he has golden blonde hair and stunning gray-blue eyes. Why do all the Career dicks have to be so good looking? Terra and Ruby looking like freaking godesses and Zale, Copper, and even the weakling Julius are the kind of guys girls drool over. Copper slides into the chair next to me and puts his arm around my shoulder, "4, why don't you come sit with your friends?" he starts twirling my hair around his finger.

I shove his arm off of me and reply haughtly, "First of all I have a name and secondly I'm not going to sit with you because I'm already sitting with my friends."

He frowns, but doesn't leave instead he continues to try and flirt with me, "I'm sorry Avea," he say placing his hand on my leg, "Why don't you let me make it up to you?" He winks at me and I roll my eyes.

I'm about to say some smart-ass comment when Eris says, "Grow some brain cells, for God's sake and stop being such a freaking creep; she's not interested in you or your stupidity."

Copper looks furious, Careers do not like to be called stupid, especially by outer districts. He turns to me and spits, "Fine! See how long you and your allies last in the arena," and storms off.

We all just sit there for a moment before cracking up. Making Copper look stupid is definetly the highlight of my day. We decide to split up after lunch so we don't draw to much attention from the careers and so we can each work on our own skills.

I head to the ax and tomahawk station and pick up two tomahawks with sturdy wooden handles and metal heads; I slide two more into my belt and head to the throwing area. My first tomahawk sails deep into the chest of a dummy and I quickly swing my second through the neck of a second completely beheading it. I grab the two tomahawks in my belt and throw one of them into the head of a dummy splitting its head in two; I swing the second low cutting through the abdomen of a dummy. I hear clapping behind and I turn around to see Zale standing behind me.

"You blew us off," he says leaning against the wall.

"In order to blow you off I would have to be with you in the first place," I huff a little out of breath.

"It's not too late to make the right decision and come back to us," he grabs my arm and presses his face close to mine. I try to back up but he won't let go of my arm.

"I'll never work with you," I hiss and he shoves me to the ground. I try to get up but he kicks me in the chest forcing me back down. Thankfully Ronan shows up and steps between us.

"Get out of the way 9 or whatever lowlife district you from," Zale spits. For some reason this upsets me more than it upsets Ronan and I get to my feet and lunge for Zale. I'm about to make contact with him when one of the trainers grabs me and starts yelling at us for fighting.

Before the training session ends my allies and I meet one more time to decide our plans for the coming days. We decide that we should stay in groups, one or two people and another of three people, to avoid individual attacks by the careers like what happened today.

Training Day 2

Yesterday was exhausting, so today I sleep in a little bit. Felix comes to my door and says in a sing-song voice, "Avea, wakey wakey." I drag myself out of bed and hop in the shower; the water is warm on my skin and the smell of the ocean breeze shampoo and soap makes me think of home. I wish I was home, but I'm not I have to fight to get back. And fight I will. I step out of the shower and the air current dries my body. My hair is a bit flat from sleeping on it, but it looks fine so I leave it down and head to breakfast.

"The lion finally crawls out of her cave," Jay laughs at his own bad joke and I role my eyes. It doesn't bother me as much when Jay calls me lion.

"Well, this lion is hungry so you better back away from the buffet table if you want to live.

Jay jokingly puts his hands up and slowly walks away from the table with mock fear, "Alright, alright lets keep our claws to ourselves." This time I let out a small laugh.

Zale scowls at me, "You never laugh when I make lion jokes."

I glare back at him, "That's because yours aren't funny."

Zale frowns but doesn't say anything. I load my plate with toast and eggs and plop down in one of the plush chairs. The food, per usual, is divine and as soon as I'm done I get seconds. It's 9:45 and Felix begins to panic.

"We can't be last down," he says pushing us towards the elevators his blue hair perfectly slicked back and his purple eyes bright despite the fact that he's been up since 7 (that's very early for Capital people).

The elevator shoots down to the Training Center and Zale and I hurry inside. Only about half of the districts are here, but according to Felix if we're not first, then we're late. Ronan and Mave are already here. Mave waves at me and Ronan winks making me blush, but I give him my best flirty smile anyways. I can't flirt to save my life. Zale glare at me from the side and in a moment of childishness I stick my tongue out at him; Zale being equally childish puts me in a headlock and gives me a nugey. Zale really confuses me, one minute he hates me, the next he's flirting with me, and then he acts like we're best friends. When he finally lets go I do what I do best and glare at him, hopefully sending the message that I want nothing to do with him. Mave and Ronan are both laughing at Zale and I.

Eris and Harrison join the circle as the last district to show and training begins. Ronan and I go to the archery station and carefully listen to the instructor before practicing. We are both pretty bad.

"Hey, I bet I suck less than you do," Ronan says winking at me.

I smile at him, "You're on."

Ronan goes first. He carfully takes aim at his target before releasing, the arrow hits the outer rim of the target. I load my arrow into the bow and aim for the center, I release the arrow. It hits about 4 inches from the center.

Ronan says, "You win that round. Best two out of the three?"

"Alright. I'll go easy on you," I say with a wink.

Ronan smiles and takes aim. This time his arrow is just outside of the bullseye meaning I'll have to hit the bullseye to win. I pull the string back, I went little to the left last time, so I aim the arrow just to the right of the bullseye. My fingers are just about to release the string when Ronan elbows me causing me to completely miss the target.

"Hey," I swat his arm, "you cheated."

Ronan laughs, "Don't be a sore loser."

I roll my eyes, "Fine, round three. This time play fair."

Ronan rolls his eyes back at me and loads his bow. The arrow hits the bullseye perfectly. I once again aim my arrow just to the right of the bullseye and release. It hits the bullseye as well.

"I guess that's a tie," I say.

"I guess so," Ronan says still smiling.

I decide to teach Ronan how to throw a knife, so we head over to the knife throwing station. The trainer tries to teach us, but I'm already an expert on knife throwing and just about every other weapon since I've been training ever since I was 8.

"Hold the blade of the knife between your thumb and your pointer finger," I demostrate this on one of the knifes and Ronan copies me, "now when you throw it hold your breath or release it right before you throw, this keeps you from shaking. Then when you throw it snap your wrist so that the handle goes over the blade," I throw my own knife and it lands in the dead center of the target. Ronan copies me and manages to hit the target on his first try.

I whistle, "Nice"

"Only because I learned from the best," Ronan says giving me a small nudge.

We continue to work at the knife throwing station until lunch is called and by then Ronan can hit the center of the target.

As we walk to lunch I joke, "Now we've just got to add a few backflips and cartwheels and you'll be set."

Ronan laughs, "Wait, do you actually do backflips when you throw knifes?"

"Only a few," I say with a smile. Training with Ronan has been the most fun I've had in a long time, I can't help but be happy around him. 'Wait, do I like him?' I ask myself, but quickly dismiss this thought. Even if I did like him one or both of us is going to die.

I load my plate with a steaming pile of pasta and sit with my allies. Zale is staring at me from across the room with his arm around Terra, why are Career guys such flirts? It's kind of annoying. He waves at me, which further confuses me, I have no idea if he just wants to kill me or if he wants me to join the Career alliance. Probably both. Ronan sees Zale staring and put his arm around me protectively and glares at Zale; I'm grateful for Ronan's help, but I think he might have made the situation worse. My fears a confirmed when Zale stands up and walks over to our table.

"Got a problem 9?" Zale says angrily.

"No, I'm just trying to enjoy my lunch with my friends," Ronan replies calmly.

"Why's your arm around her then?" Zale asks his face red with anger.

"It's nothing," I try to say but neither of them are listening to me.

"Because she's my friend. Is that a problem?" Ronan stands up without reacting to Zale's anger.

"Yes, it is. She's my district partner," Zale is yelling now. He's seriously bipolar. I stand up to try to stop them from fighting but my attempts have little affect on them.

"Well, she clearly doesn't want to be your district partner," Ronan says.

"Stay away from her!" Zale yells and tries to shove Ronan but I step between them an he shoves me instead. I fall to the floor and Zale looks at me as if he wants to apologize, but he simply walks away. Ronan helps me to my feet and I mumble a thank you.

Lunch ends and go to talk to Ronan before I train with Eris. Ronan is sulking by the hand to hand combat station waiting for Harrison.

"I really appreciate you standing up for me, but you shouldn't have," I tell him.

"I can't stand him. He acts like he owns you," Ronan huffs.

"Well, he doesn't and I'll kick his ass if he says other wise."

Ronan smiles for a moment before saying, "Only if I get to help."

I smile and answer, "Definetly."

I meet Eris at the sword station, one weapon I was never good at but Eris is a natural at. She shows me how to do a powerful two handed swing that decapitate two or more people at once. When I try I manage to decapitate two at once which pleases me until I see Eris decapitate four at once.

"Pretty good for a fishermen," Eric laughs.

"Hey, fishing is hard work," I protest.

"Sure it is," Eris jokes.

"You work in a car factory," I retort.

Eris laughs harder, "But I do all the heavy lifting," she flexes her muscles and I laugh.

Eris gets serious all of a sudden, "Why did you volunteer?" I look at her, this completely random. "I mean if you never planned to ally with the Careers, why risk it?"

I turn away from her and focus on the decapitated dummies, "After my sister Lyra died my other sister, Xanthe, became depressed. She had decided to volunteer for the games to kill herself and because I'm selfish and can't stand the idea of living without her I volunteered."

Eris looks surprised, all she an say is, "Oh. I didn't know."

I shrug, "It's not a big deal. let's just not talk about, okay?"

Eris nods and we finish the training session at the edible bugs station. I try to shake the thoughts of Xante and Lyra from my head, tomorrow are the individual sessions and I need to have a level head. This could determine if I live or die.

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