A one-shot looking into the mind of a Gamemaker on the eve of the Games. For the battle of the fandoms contest.


1. Gamemaker

I stand in the middle of the control room - my control room - , and take a deep breath, the sharp scent of the cleaning  products reaching my nose. It's been a while since I've been in here; nearly a year, to be exact, and I feel at home already. I walk past one of the rows of desks, my flawlessly polished nails tracing the faint patterns on them, a soft scratching sound reaching my ears. It almost reminds me of those Muttations from last year, and the way that their sharp claws screeched off of the pristine walls of that mountain. But last year is in the past, and I've got to focus on the present; the 29th Hunger Games will have the reapings next week, meaning that every last detail about the arena must be absolutely perfect.

My shoes echo around the large room as I climb the steps to the higher section of the room, heading towards the head Gamemaker's desk. I reach the top of the stairs, and the floor switches from sterile marble to lush red carpets. The last head Gamemaker had them installed after making his last Games a flawless success; the worthless outlying tributes all perished on the first day, leaving the competent fighters to battle it out. But the old man got careless, and ended up getting wasted on the victory tour last year, revealing every last detail about the arena to the public. Needless to say, he was publicly executed the next day. Just thinking about his half-drunken wails of despair makes me shudder in delight. I can only hope to emulate such terror with the tributes this year.

With this thought in mind, I sit at my desk, and turn on the computer. A pixellated version of the seal of Panem appears for a moment, accompanied by a loading bar. After a few seconds, the computer boots up to a full scale, one hundred percent accurate computerised model of this year's arena. I cackle in delight as I rearrange the orientation of a patch of flowers, making them face east. Now, this won't be noticed during the Games, but it is known that certain tourists will get rather, difficult, with us if they find any aspect of the arena to not be as aesthetically pleasing as possible during their visits. I still vivdly recall the chaos caused by the arena of the first Quarter Quell; one woman threatened to start a forest fire if a boulder, a freaking boulder, wasn't immediately made to join together with the nearby patch of rocks, oblivious to the fact that it was moved by the Careers in an attempt to stop that flood. At least I got a new Avox out of it.

But that's just it about the majority of the citizens of the Capitol; they're mindless ditzy idiots with OCD from hell. And as much as this is a forbidden thought, at least I can imagine having a coherent conversation with a district scumbag without it straying to the disaster of their glitter shimmering differently than yesterday. To put it blutly, I couldn't care less about anyone except myself. They're all the same; boring, pathetic excuses for human life, who spend their days doing nothing but wasting their time fretting over petty things, be it not pissing off Peacekeepers, or be it whether or not your damn hair is pretty enough. 

Suddenly, a loud bleeping emits from the computer, and my attention snaps to it,  my dull pink hair moving from my eyes. A warning is showing on the screen. I click on it, and it brings me to the Muttation models.
"Oh my," I say, typing a command code into the program as I modify the Muttation to make it even better; apparently, day two isn't a good time for it to begin tearing the tributes to shreds. But now that I look at it, I see how it could also fall flat on its face. So without a second to waste, I begin to add the new features that will truly make it be able to destroy any tribute it may face. Once it's done, I pull up the simulator, and test it out with both a typical Career and an outlier. The result is exactly the same; it leaves them as a crumpled mess on the floor. "Oh my."

I can't help but smile at my own work, but why not? I've slaved over this arena for twelve months; I deserve to feel joy at this creation. And what better than to  impress our new president, Snow, with a truly impressive display of punishing the districts for their sins. Since if I know my facts, President Snow's father was taken by the rebels as a hostage, and was executed alongside his commanders. Another good life, wasted by the rebels. But I don't see why I should be surprised; people always assume the grass will be greener. But it's hard to reach that idyllic meadow when all you have is a torn up warzone piled high with the blood of the innocent. It's tragic, really; the country of Panem was founded to ensure that war was a thing of the past, like the corrupt old world. Although, at least the brainless people lived their short days in happiness. But this is the price we pay for continually letting our ancestors screw up mankind's fate. It's honestly a miracle that we haven't gone extinct yet.

The sound of footsteps reach my ears; urgent, but full of caution. An Avox for sure. And as if on cue, the double doors leading into the control room open, and a small woman with fading purple hair and pale skin rushes up to me, holding an envelope.
"Acorna," I command, and the woman hands me the contents of her hands. She is obedient without question; a vast improvement from the woman that shrieked about a god damn rock. But she sure is slow, and is looking up at me with wide purple eyes. I glare coldly at her. "Well, why are you still here? Be gone with you!" She nods furiously, and rushes out of the room, leaving me with the golden envelope.

I set it down on my desk, and carefully open it, pulling out the enclosed letter. Judging by the seal, it's from the president himself. How perfect. I lean over to my computer, and lock it, before returning my attention to the letter, and begin to read it.

My dear Pyrus,

I am writing to let you know how much I anticipate this year's Hunger Games; I've been told that you are rather unrelenting with breaking the tributes down. So of course, my expectations are high, and I don't want to be disappointed.

All I ask of you is that you join me next week in my mansion to watch the reapings with me, and to discuss your plans for the Games; I happen to hate unexpected surprises. So when you meet me next week, I would like you to bring a file with every last detail of the arena to look over during the initial festivities.

I eagerly await your response,

President Coriolanus Snow.

I read through the letter once more, before a grin crosses my lips. This is too perfect of an opportunity for me get on the good side of the president. My hands fly to the computer, and after opening the required files, I hit 'print'.

As the whirring of the printer sounds out in the distance, I lean back in my seat, and sigh. This is all going perfectly. After all, life is just a game at the end of the day, and once you learn what the cards being dealt are, well, it's just a matter of dealing them correctly yourself.

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