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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8. Chapter 7

Training Day 3

Today is the last day of training, the day of our individual sessions. The morning has passed by slowly as I anxiously await my session. I spend most of my morning at the trident station. All tributes from 4 are handy with a trident and a spear, but most don't use them in the games because if the District 4 tributes used the same weapon every year I guess it would become boring. Each one of my tridents hits the bullseye and after a while I get bored. I grab one of the tridents and a net and ask the instructor if he can train with me. He agrees and grabs his own trident and net.

 

He aims high with his trident, but I easily block it already knowing that he will try to entagle my feet in the net next. I jump over the net and twist my trident in attempt to knock his out of his hand, but he holds on to it. This time he slams the butt of his trident into my chest as I land; I stumble backwards but quickly recover. The trainer lunges forward with the trident, but I easily dodge the attack and step foreward preventing him from using his trident. I thrust the pronged side of the weapon towards his head and just as I expected he ducks. I spin the weapon around, so that the blunt side catches him in the chest. While he's of balance I entangle one of his arms in the net and pull him to the ground pointing the tip of the trident at his throat.

The trainer whistles, "Impressive. I don't know if I've ever had a tribute take me out that fast."

I smile, "It's what I do best."

The trainer has me work in a simulation  where you are in the "arena" and have to take out any tributes you see by hitting the marked fatal area before the time runs, until lunch. The first time I do it I easily score a 100%, so the the trainer increases the level and this time I only score a 90%. I keep working until I get a 100% on the hardest level. I go to lunch soaked in sweat. Lunch passes by slowly as we all discuss what we're going to do. Eris is going to behead some dummies with her sword, Ronan is going to show off his skill with the spear, Mave is going to use her knot tying skills to set traps, and Harrison is going to demonstrate his knife skills. Finally it's time for the individual sessions.

I have a plan, but I'm not sure if the Gamemakers will find it stupid or if they will find it exciting. All of the tributes know about my abilities with the tomahawk and knife, but only my allies and Grace know about my tumbling. Grace had said that my tumbling would help me stand out even among the careers but I'm still not sure if it is going to be in a good or bad way. Every 15 minutes someone goes in for their session and District 1 has already gone, which means I'm up in 45 minutes. The minutes go by slowly and the tick of the second hand matches the beat of my heart. My foot starts tapping uncontrollably and the minutes drag by even more slowly.

"Nervous?" Zale asks with a smug smile, "You should be, the Gamemakers are going to eat you alive."

I look to Eris for reassurance and she gives me a thumbs up and I smile in return. 'I can do this, I can do this,' I think to myself. Zale is called and my pace starts to quicken before I take a few deep breaths to relax myself. The last 15 minutes pass by at a normal pace and I'm called. Eris, Harrison, Mave, and Ronan all give thumbs up and big smiles and I wave to them as I leave.

The training area looks the same as it always does except for the fact that I'm the only one here. I walk to the ax and tomahawk station and grab two tomahawks and slide them into my belt, next I walk to the knife station and grab two knifes. The dummies in the throwing area have been replaced since I brutally beheaded most of them.

I take a running start at one of the dummies as if I'm going to tackle it but at the last second I jump, pull my legs to my chest and flip over the dummy landing gracefully behind him. I've barely been on my feet for more than a second when I thrust one knife into the dummy's back that I just flipped over and throw my second into a dummy's neck that's a few feet away. Each move I make sends another blast of adrenaline through my body and I begin to pick things up a bit, moving faster and with more agility.

I yank the knife out of the dummy's back and slash open the throat of another dummy and then thrust the knife into the temple of a third dummy. I grab my second knife from a dummy's neck and use it to cut the back of a dummy's thighs, in actual combat a move like this would prevent someone from being able to move quickly if they could still move at all, and then jam it into the spot where the dummy's heart would be.

I cartwheel away from the dummies as if someone is coming at me and then do a front hand spring that lands me in the perfect position to chop of two more dummies' heads at one. The heads drop to the ground with a thud and I can hear the Gamemakers whispering excitedly. I run back into the group of dummies, most of which are pretty dead, and grab my other tomahawk so that I have one in each hand. The tomahawk I used to cut of the dummies' heads is baried so deep into another dummy's chest that I doubt I could get it out. My last tomahawk sails through the air and finds its target in one of the dummy's faces, cutting its face perfectly in half. It takes a second to pry the tomahawk from the dummy's face but when I do I thrust it into the air and take a bow.

The Gamemakers clap giddily many of them give me a standing ovation with big smiles on their faces, they're clearly excited to see me go into the arena and kill other tributes or be killed myself. The Head Gamemaker Atticus Lore, an old man who has been the Head Gamemaker fo over 30 years and is soon to retire, stands up shakily and says with a wheeze, "That was amazing Ms.Thatcher. We look forward to seeing you in the arena. You are excused."

I take another bow and return the tomahawk to its section before going to the elevator. The elevator zooms up blindingly fast in a way that gets my adrenaline pumping more than it already is, so that by the time a I get to the District 4 floor there is no way I can sit still.

I pace my room anxiously waiting for dinner, but dinner isn't for another few hours, so I force myself to take a shower. I don't really know how to work the shower, but I manage to get it on a good temperature. The hot water feels good as it runs over my tense muscles and it slowly begins to relax them. I get the shower to spray some sort of soap on me that smells like a meadow and clean my hair with the same stuff my prep team used to make my hair silky smooth. Using a sponge I scrub my body with a sugar soap to take the dirt off of it. By the time I'm done showering I'm so refreshed I almost forget about the training scores. A dryer removes all of the water from my body as I step out of the shower and another bottom untangles my hair with a blast of air leaving my hair completely untangles maybe for the first time in my life. My drawers are filled with countless numbers of dress clothes but I decide and a plan black t-shirt and a pair of army green pants, an outfit that I would wear at home.

Dinner isn't for another hour so I head towards the TV rooms to sit on one of the plush couches. When I arrive Jay is already there watching something on the screen. I think it's a Hunger Games video, but when I look closely I realize that it's his Hunger Games. Jay hears me as I walk in and turns to me with a distraught look on his face.

"Oh, hi Avea," that must be the first time he's called me by my name, "I was just um..." I can see his eyes watering so I sit down and pull him into a hug. Most people consider Jay tough since he won his Hunger Games by killing his last three opponents, the tributes from 10 and the boy from 12 who were all allies out to kill Jay, in one battle at age 12, but I've always felt bad for him because he was heartbroken when he accidently got his district partner, a girl named Marilla, killed when he lead Marilla and the only other remaining career, the girl from 2, into an ambush by the District 10 and 12 tributes. Marilla and the girl from 2 both died, Jay managed to kill the girl from 12 and escape.

"I don't know if you know this but Marilla was my best friend for my whole life," Jay says his tears sliding down his cheeks. I can feel my heart breaking for him. He continues, "she was like a sister to me; we grew up together in neighboring houses. We spent every day together."

"I know what it's like to lose a sister," I reply holding Jay even closer.

"I know about what happened to your sister and I'm sorry. She didn't deserve that," he says holding me in a hug.

We sit in silence till dinners called and then we walk to the dining room together. Dinner is filled with question about our sessions, what we did, how the Gamemakers reacted, so on and so forth. Zale says he showed of his skills with the trident and the Gamemakes were in complete and utter shock. I don't exaggerate mine like Zale did, I simply say that I demonstrated my skills with tomahawks and knifes and that the Gamemakers seemed to like it. I purposely leave out the part about tumbling. Once dinner is done we head back to the TV room to see the training scores.

I keep a careful eye out for the careers as the numbers float across the screen. Copper and Ruby both score a 9, Julius scores an 8, Terra scores a 10, the District 3 numbers are very low, then Zale is up he, no surprise, scores a 10. I start to get fidgety as my name appears on screen which will soon be followed by a number. An 11 flashes on the screen and I can hear every jaw in the room drop. Zale looks angry and I can't help but shoot him one of his signature smirks. After that I only look for my allies' scores; Harrison scores a 5, Eris scores a 9, Mave scores a 6, and Ronan also scores a 9. I can barely contain my excitement, both Eris and Ronan scored as high as careers and Harrison and Mave scored higher than any of the non-career tributes besides Eris and Ronan.

"Wow," Grace after the scores end, "you guys are amazing. You are ready, I know it."

"Thanks, Grace that means a lot," I say and Zale just sits there angrily.

"I know everyone is excited about the scores, but tomorrow is HUGE and we all need a little beauty sleep," Felix quips before prancing out of the room.

As I make my way to my room Jay pats me on the back and yells me good job, I smile at him and head for my room. When I get there Zale is standing in front of it keeping me from getting in.

"What do you want, Zale?" I ask putting as much annoyance into my voice as possible.

"For you to come back to the Careers," he says cooly.

"In order to comeback I would have had to be apart of the Careers in the first place," I retort.

Zale just laughs, "That doesn't change the fact that you're one of us."

I grit my teeth, "I'm nothing like you."

I try to shove past him, but he grabs my arm, "Don't make this mistake," he lets go of my arm and I hurry into my room. Once in my room I pull of my pants, put a fresh t-shirt on, brush my teeth, and climb under the sheets. I go to sleep trying to convince myself that I'm not like Zale.

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