The First Hunger Games were not predicted to have a victor.
This was directly confirmed by the first president of modern Panem – Julius Clavinsky. It was a reasonable hypothesis – the tributes were all teenage relatives of rebel commanders. Some were next-of-kin, some siblings, and others more distant. It didn't matter. They had become the scapegoats for the rebellion. Simple as that. To see them die would be enough.
The arena, if it could be called that, was nothing more than a stretch of forest – between District Seven and District Nine – with an electric fence set up around the perimeter. Peacekeepers lined the fence. It was crude, but would work.
Crude. That could be said about all of this. There was no media hype, no celebrations, just kids taken from the districts to this arena, and expected to die. The outfits the tributes wore were simple – green shirts and black cargo pants with sturdy yet flexible boots. They were placed on equidistant pedestals in a circle with land mines surrounding them. In the middle of the circle was a pile of boxes with weapons, food, and water flowing from them. It could hardly be called a bounty of supplies. In total, there was probably just enough to keep four tributes going for a week. The Games weren't expected to last a week.
The sixty second countdown finished, and the sound of a gong rang out from the hovercraft floating above the arena. At first, no tribute moved. They all stood motionless on their platforms, looking at each other, before every eye turned to face the hovercraft. The message was simple. They were not going to play these Games. They were going to stand strong.
At least, until Menha from Eight suddenly darted to the pile. The sixteen year old was crying as she clenched an axe. She walked towards the nearest platform. She threw the axe. Rhunben from One was the first casualty. The weapon remained embedded in his skull.
Grynda from Six delivered a knife to Menha's back. Two were dead. That was the extent of the casualties for the first day.
The remaining twenty-two tributes grouped together around the supplies. They stored every weapon in one large crate, sealing it up. Except for the weapons lodged inside the bodies of the two dead. Nobody could bring themselves to do that.
After dark, the hovercraft picked up the two corpses. Kamil from Eleven was the only one awake to notice. At midnight they announced the names of the dead. Everyone noticed this.
But still the spirits of the tributes remained unbroken. They remained like this for three days, talking to one another, creating camaraderie instead of bloodshed. But that was fine. The Capitol expected this. These Games could go on for as long as the kids wanted.
Day four was when things took a turn for the worse.
She was only twelve: a delicate soul who was such a distant relative to a rebel leader that she didn't even know of a connection. Descendant of a great grandparent's cousin. Despite the distance, Ubina from Seven was found dead in the morning, a knife in her back.
That was when the sound of cannon began to erupt from the hovercraft.
The death of Ubina sparked what would be known as the Split – eleven tributes scattered out of fear, whilst ten remained. Gren held a funeral for his younger sister that night. He was found the next morning with nightlock in his mouth. The siblings were lifted from the arena together.
Shilia from Five reached the perimeter later that day. She cursed out a Peacekeeper. She received a bullet to the head.
That night Dynis from Twelve attacked those remaining in the centre. He managed to take down three tributes – his district partner Kaila, Cynthia from One, and Marisse from Ten – before Grynda snapped his neck.
The action died down after that.
One week into the Games, fifteen tributes remained. That was when they deployed a single Peacekeeper.
His task was simple: kill. He managed to gun down Grynda, Kamil, Nami from Two, and Kyne and Poli from Three. He was stopped only by Jun from Eight. The fourteen year old managed to knock him out with a rock. The Peacekeeper was collected with the tributes. Clavinsky had him executed personally. The desired victor was Grynda. She was dead. Now he didn't care what happened to the tributes.
Jun lasted twelve hours before Shau and Roi from Four, having joined together, found him in shock at the loss of his allies. He didn't struggle as his throat was slit. Shau betrayed her district partner when the clock struck midnight on day eight.
Day nine lowered the survivors from eight to five.
Shay from Five used nightlock to end Clude from Two before being pushed into the electric fence by Sendra from Nine.
Shau used an axe to murder Mar from Six.
On day ten, Sendra killed her district partner Trynn.
On day eleven, Dina from Eleven died of dehydration. It rained heavily two hours later.
The final three, Shau, Sendra, and Nyren from Ten, met up at the start on day twelve.
Sendra and Nyren teamed up to kill Shau. Shau hacked Nyren up.
Sendra threw Shau to the ground. She drowned the girl from Four in a puddle.
Sendra Lerring became the first Victor.
At first, the Games weren't predicted to be a success. Then came the Victor.
Sendra Lerring had only wanted to save her skin. Instead, she had started the greatest form of oppression the Capitol could create.
She could equally be accredited to being the one to start the event that would ultimately lead to the Capitol's downfall.