The Tunneling of the Capital

A young boy who lives in the same timeperiod as Katnis in the HungerGames, is elected for a game similar to the Hunger Games. This contry is new Russia where in world war 1 the Alies lost to Germany. Now in the future, lives a 16 year old boy named Lark Katecher. His Father plotted a plan for him to be able to slip around the rules of the games and have a chance of winning them. In the Games the 8 elected tributes from each sectors(4 total each being ruled by new Germany) will be forced into a tunnel 100 miles long. They need to navigate and fight the other tributes and threates that they will encounter. Lark will have 50 days to complete the tunnel or he will be locked in forever. He will be betrayed, friended,lost,lonely,loved and hated. His chances are becoming slimmer and slimmer as the Queen is tearing the Sectors apart to search for the Rebel members. His struggles only get worse on the Solstice(when they are elected) as he finds fellow class mates elected alongside with him....

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2. Choices and Voices

         In the most dreadful Sector of the Four being in Two makes it hard to live with the constant beatings, beheadings, restrictions, curfews, starvation, lack of food and credits (money) and with having the Capital hating your people and family. While they adore Sector 1 for being the Capitals Chosen Sector. Hating to wake up, while during the day wanting to be asleep. School having never ending piles of homework. Daily needs on top of training for the Games and School. Evil teachers and mentors. 
   I wake up in a startle. My brothers snoring sound asleep on their own beds, I rub my eyes and stair at the small clock hanging. I think of the date, one week till the end of school. 
  I her my mother and father whisper downstairs. The house being ice cold, I slip out from under the bed sheets and trod lightly to the steep set of stairs. My father, The Treasurer of Kanxon, was speaking of Paname's rebellion. He goes on about how the four sectors should rebel too. I here of the upcoming elections for the Games. He whispers to my Mother of the "chances" of he sons being elected as tribute to the Queen. She then starts sobbing and whispering. I listen closely now struggling to hear.             
  My father now moving fast to finish getting ready to leave for today's work walk past the stairs without noticing me. 
"Is the Governor giving a speech today?" I hear her say. 
"Nope"he says louder now as a sector tank rumbles by, "His daughter has a high chance for getting elected this year, he does not want her to be unprepared." 
"Well, that's sad, we should have him for dinner one night." She replied.
  "If we had extra food we could. Over half the Sectors are starving. One vote per food rashings. We don't want to have them over until after the Game." He says now running past putting on boots.
"We have some food! We are not starving." My mother says as I here her adding wood to the stove in the kitchen.
"Plus, I thought you wanted to help the poor, starving community. Not give to the rich." He says kissing her on the cheek. 
"Yeah, I guess it's not good to have them over thinking of Lark." She says. 
  What about me I think? Why can't I see the Governor? All these thoughts roll thought my head while the sirens go off for morning call. It stabs me back to the real world and I stand up and walk towards my mother by her stove. The pan on top, now containing oats and rice, steaming with warmth. I walk over and hug her half heartedly. She pats my back. My brothers come down for the day. 
"What's cooking?" Says Trapp , my older brother who is in his last year of school. He puts on his black shirt. 
"Got to go!" Proclaimed my Father as he walks to the door. 
"Smells good Mom." Says my oldest brother Hunner.
"Get your cloths on boys! All of them Hunner." Said my Mom as Hunner walked around in his under wear. "Now!" And they bother took off running up the stairs. 
  I look at my Mother's dark brown eyes full of tiredness and stress. My brothers all had the same shade of brown too. My Father's were green, unlike mine, they shown when he smiled which I rarely see these days. My hair being dark brown making my blue eyes shine brighter, unlike my parents and siblings who have blonde hair and dark eyes. 
  I walk into the small living room where our family Television hologram showed the Hunger Games old broadcast of the 74th Games. I see a young girl getting stung to death a hive of Tracker Jackers. I turn away as a cannon booms. I hear my mom say breakfast is ready. We eat a silent meal and Trapp takes off to the Govoner's office where he stays as a guard. My mother says she has to sew for clients before we go broke. Hunner jumps up and says he will see me later. I finish and scrub the plates. I walk up stairs and change into old clothing. I look towards my brothers bed. The news paper headline jumped out to me 

   Capital Daily

      "Governor Speaks Loudly About A Secret Rebellion In Sector Four."

   ......The Governor of Sector Two has informed the Queen that they have signs of Rebels throughout the Sectors and mainly in Four. We are working on fixing the problem as soon as we can. We just need time and information. Meanwhile the curfew is now set to be for Seven Thirty pm. For your safety we give you less time to be out in the Rebels path. We will sufficiently round them all up with a beheading on the spot. Anyone thought to have relations with them will be killed on the spot and their family taken into be interrogated.We have an early list of most likely Candidates for the Games this year. It will be surprising us with mostly rookies from 2 and 3 but Elm and Caphous (winners of the Games two years back) will be voted for 4. 1 still remains a mystery for now.....

 "Junk!" I say aloud as I throw it on his bed. 
     A rebellion will never happen in the Sectors. Not with our Queen. 
     Now thankful that our house is only a few blocks away from school, I walk down stairs to exit the tall brick house. I close the gate behind me and see other boys and girls my age around me walk the same street. The sky always grey, gives a dusty look to everyone. The boy behind me trips and lands on his face. I turn around at the sound of his thunk to help him.
"Did I call you... Dog?" He says sounding embarrassed. 
"No. But your hurt. You can't go to school like that. I have never seen you get called back to the sheds where they punish us. You can't go back there now! Not this close to the Solstice."
"Your impossibly annoying." He says back shoving me to the ground. 
  I grunt as I hit the brick. My head on the floor, he tries stepping on my face but he misses and stomps my feet. He does it again until I quickly roll to my left and jump to my feet. I kick the back of his knees and run as they buckle. Thankful of quick reflexes, I now run in the opposite directing. With class roll call in ten minutes I run faster until I see a C.G.T. walk in front of me. I slow down to a almost stop and observe the top of the buildings around me. Only a couple of yellow eyed Ravens on the top of the black smith's shop. The capital castle looming in the distance I follow the old road keeping my head down and breathing heavily into the cold morning. I walk down the street not looking at anyone just my tight shoes which seem to make my feet swell more every step. 
    Boarding School will end next week I say in a whisper as I pass a C.G.T. The brick street being torn apart by constant army tanks has not been repaired in over fifty years, was making it hard not to trip. I walk farther now picking up pace not wanting to be late for class. I see the town center and look up to watch a man getting executed. The woman on the edge of the square being held back by a young girl in my class, looks like she is about to pass out from crying and stress. But I walk. Nothing to do to help. Not one person has tried to defy the capital in over a year. Definitely not a sixteen year old boy. I walk farther up the street and take a left to trod onto another identical street. I hear a bloodcurdling scream from a man. I look back to see herds of people rushing out of the way by C.G.T. Guards. Half way down I turn into a once grand courtyard of a high and sturdy marble building that has been stained from age and water. I join the other thousand children of Sector one and two in it. We take roll call for an hour standing by grade and age and gender. The girls are called in and they all take a left. 
  Then the boys names get read off one by one. 
  I look over as I catch a glimpse of a person walking down to the front doors of the building. It's the same girl who was holding back the crying woman before but now she seemed different. I watch as she get noticed by a female teacher and discipliner. I know she works for the Queen, my father says so. She is one of the worst people in the world besides the Queen of course.
 My knee gets kicked out from under me. I look up and notice a C.G.T. Behind me with the President of the school Mr. Rinper. 
" Lark Katcher! Your name was called and you did not reply." He says to my face. "An act of defiance?" He asks.
"No... no sir. It won't happen again." I say now shaking with fear of what they might do.
"Well" he says. "We shall make sure that's right." Take him to the back courtyard." He yells. 
"No!" I say. As I get hauled off the bricks and pushed in the back with the tip of a gun. 
    I try struggling but it just makes the C.G.T. shove the gun harder to the small of my back. We walk through the front door and to the left hall. We take a sharp right to another hall. We go through several more hall and doors. Finally we end up in the back courtyard. They place me roughly on the bricks next to the same girl who I saw earlier. 
 "Take her to the shed." Orders a C.G.T. to another C.G.T. who picks the girl up by her hair and forces her to stand and walk behind me. I did not dare look back. Not even for a glance. The C.G.T. Takes off his helmet and sets it on the ground next to me. 
 "We don't like defiance. Nor do we deal with it. Your punishment will be no food for three days and fifteen lashings. One per every second you defied the Queen." He smiles and I look down to the bricks. I takes his hand and pulls up my face to make me look at him in the eyes. His hand still on my face I blink and he hauls me off the ground with great strength. I now here a girl screaming behind me. He snickers and kicks me in the butt. Making me walk to a small shed ten yards away opposite of the girls shed. In the shed he pulls out a knife and cuts off my shirt. Then ties my hands to a pillar of stone in the middle of the shed. There he takes off my belt and pulse down my pants to my boots. I hear him walking to the other wall of the shed were he pulls down a whip. He cracks it behind my head. He hits me hard in the back first. The stinging and burning sensation in my back forced me to wince. He does it again. Now he hits me with the whip on the butt. It cuts Ito my skin causing me to wince agin. Then he hit me ten more times in the back. The blood on my back now runs down my legs. He grabs a cup of liquid off a shelf behind me smells it and throws the liquid on my back. It burns and causes my back to feel as if it were on fire. He hits me twice more then unstraps me and throws me another shirt and leaves the shed. I pull it carefully over my back and pull my pants on. I slowly open the shed door and see him whispering something to a teacher. 
    "President Snow is dead." I hear the teacher say. "The Queen has ordered schools to close for the term. Send them all home." 
"Tell Rinper I will deliver these to back home on my orders." He replied. He looks at the girl who was on her knees behind the teacher. Her face bruised. Her shoulder bleeding. Then turned and stomped over to my door. He grabs me and drags me out. "Get up!" He yells. The girl slowly stands up. "Your both going home earlier than intended so get moving." He kicks us in our backs and we both gasp from pain. 
"What's happened?" I ask as we enter the marble building again. 
"Don't think you can just talk to me!" He yells in my ears. 
  We take the same route as before only backwards. I see the whole school walking out the too iron doors. We walk with them. With a small amount of extra freedom I walk a little faster. I look over to her and she seems to understand more than me. 
 "Gorder! We need you at the capital." Says someone behind us. 
  I feel my guards hand on the caller of my shirt hold me back. She gasps as she pulls her hair onto her shoulder. 
 "Fine! tell them I will be present." Our guard yells. "You tow! Get out of my sight. Before I take you with me." He walks off in another direction. We look at each other and run too the gates of the front courtyard. We turn down opposite directions and run faster. I look back only for a second to see her neck with a small bleeding cut on it. Then I turn and keep running. I take a left and run down to the end were I take a right. I see front of my home twenty yards away. My Mother in the front greeting my eighteen year old brother Hunner who must have just gotten back from school. I join them in a hug. My brother puts his big hand on my back. I wince and he looks at me. We separate and I walk up the three small steps to my old, tall home. I enter and walk up the front stairs to the two rooms up there I here my oldest brother Trapp.I fall face first onto my bed. Hunner does the same. He sits up and takes off his boots. I do the same.
 "What did they get you for this time Lark?" He asks.
"Not hearing my name." I reply gruffly.
"Let me see." He says as he walk over to my bed and sits next to me. He pulls of my shirt and looks for a while. 
"What did they put on you?" He asks "Some type of enflaming oil." He mumbles. I look over my shoulder to him. His eyes looking at my swelling back. He stands up and pulls something out of our small wooden chest. I look at the bottle. He smells it and nods. 
"Lavender and Aloe always help with burning and swelling." He says. "Lay on your stomach." He orders. 
  I lean feebly over onto my stomach. I hear his fingers dipping into the oil. His cold fingers touch my back. He rubs carefully. I feel my tense back relaxing. I stay still for a while. I close my eyes and drift to sleep slowly.......

     I awake slowly being stiff. I look to my left to Hunner's bed. His chest rising slowly. I hear his soft snore. I try to move but my back is just to swollen. I groan I little to laud. Hunner moves and stirs. I see his bed covers moving. He rises to his feet and walks to me. He sits on the end of my bed. 
"You okay?" He asks sleepily.
"No.." I say quietly. "Does Mom know?" I ask. "Please say that Dad doesn't know eith..."
"Just you and me." He says. "But.... I need to give you more medicine. I ran out after super and grabbed some. You were asleep when I gave you the shot. It will only hurt a little." He says now moving to a night stand beside his bed. I see him working with a needle and a jar. I start to lean up to set my feet on the floor but he grabs my waist to secure my position. 
"Please don't." I whisper. "Wait till I'm asleep again." 
"You don't want to be asleep for this dose. It will make you itch all over. You'll be worse if you can't move after the shot." 
   I feel his hand move over to the top of my back. Then Trace some of the lines of my cuts. I struggle again but he puts pressure on my back that makes me want to scream. 
I hear him say "one, two, three." 
    I feel the needle plunge into my open wound. The could steel burning my insides. I whimper and shake. But he holders me down. Finally he slowly takes the thin needle out. I gasp and I feel a tear fall onto my cheek. I hear my breathing quicken. I feel him sit me up. Everything being shaky on my body, I allow him to take me into a tight hug. We stay like this for minutes. I tell him to go back to bed so he can rest. He refused and laid my head on the mattress.I feel the drug taking effect. My body itches, but mostly were I was lashed. I push my pillow away and start scratching my back. He moves my arms away from the cut. He walked over to his bed and took out a book from underneath his pillow. There he turned on a light And reads softly to me. My burning back in the cool air. I feel total relaxation again. Without him noticing I sleep again.......
    
    I awake with a splash of water on my face. I look up and see my Father I front of me. He shakes my brothers arms that are still holding a book. He lifts his head. My back now itching like crazy we sit up and I try standing but I fall into my Father's arms. 
 "What happened? He said. "I want everything! Why are you two reading a dumb book during the night? Why do you have needles on Lark's bed? He implores me and Hunner with his dark eyes. He set me down on the bed and turned me around. 
"Does that explain it!" Says Hunner now throughly angry and wide awake. 
"When did this happen?" Our Father asks without noticing Hunner's question. 
"Yesterday, before we got sent home. I do not hear when they called my name during roll call. They were mad and whipped me behind the school in the shed." I say before Hunner can lie about something.
 He stands there and stares at Hunner. How many times have you too been in trouble this year? You clearly want to be sent into the Games. Every time you make the C.G.T. mad they add an extra ten votes to your name in the election for Tunnel. Besides now I got to deal with the Capital men walking all over town looking for trouble or possible Rebels to kill in the square. Not to mention you could get killed! What type of drug did you poised him with?" He say in a fury.
  It's fine Dad. The drug just helps the pain. The thousand other kids that are up in the election will be chosen anyways! Lark is safe. They can't send him in like this anyways." Says Hunner.
     I continue to listen to their argue about me and the Capital. Hunner called Dad something that I did not catch so Dad grabbed him and took him down stairs to the basement. I herd something about President Snow and Paname. The fall of the Capital and such other things people talk just to have a dream. I hear my Mother enter my room and sit on my bed. She says something I can't hear. She assist me and I walk down stairs. I eat some tough meat and swallow some bitter chunk of sand. She takes me back up stairs to my bed and I sleep....
  I awake and here Hunner enter. His eyes were red from rubbing. I look at him through my eye lashes. He does not appear hurt only upset. He looks at me and then pauses. a tear drops to the floor from his face. 
"How could they?" Were the only things I herd. He lays down and quickly began sleeping.....


   "You awake Lar?" I hear my brother Hunner say. "You've been 'sleep for a long time." 
"Wha-" I say out of my dry mouth. 
"Get up! It's time for breakfast." He says as he strips a bandage off my back that I don't remember anyone putting on.
"Okay. How long was I out? Three hours?" I ask moving a little as he takes it all off with one pull.
"Oh no! Way longer. More like three days..... But Mom wants you to eat. Besides you need to move." He replied with a small smirk that makes me smile. 
 I press my lips together to moisten them. I slowly move to an upright position on my bed. He runs down stairs moving very fast. I stand with renewed strength and happiness. I remember the election in four days. I walk over to the open stairs. My mom looking at me from the bottom of the stairs. 
"Come on! Fresh from the butcher." She said with a smile. I give one back. I arrive at my seat at the table. I notice Trapp's seat empty. We eat a full breakfast. We sit together my dad reading a paper. My mom talking to Hunner. 
Out of confusion I ask "where's Trapp?" 
My mother stammers and looks at my dad. He gives back a look to her. Out of some silent agreement my mother answers saying "Working."
"On what?" I ask quickly. My brother looks at me with imploring eyes. "Whats wrong?" I ask him. He looked in the direction of my mom who then again looks at my dad. 
"Working on the election. He got moved to Votes today. Early voting started yesterday. We will all go after breakfast." He proclaims. My brother grunts. My mom exhales with a small whimper in her breath. 
"Get ready to leave." Proclaimed my Father once again. We all almost at the same time, stand and leave the table. I follow Hunner  up the steps.
  "What going on with you and Mom and Dad!" I say in a hushed voice. He looks out the small window. 
 "There goes Palm." He says. I look to my neighbor's house through the window. He Guard with a gun pointed to a man and a woman stands to steps off their porch. I turn away...and here a gun shot go through the air. Two bodies lay on the floor of a unowned porch. 
"Can't say we did not see that coming!" He say and changes into fresh clothes. I glare at him for being so heartless. Thought I knew they were not going to live to the end of the year since their ties with the rebellion in Paname was already heard of, I still putty them.
"The Capital blinds you. And mom and dad." I say bluntly to him.
"No! I know the difference between right and wrong. They lied to the Capital. They disobeyed them they got what they needed." He says. 
"But you still have a hope for a rebellion." I say aloud. " how is that. You give up with the thought, but you proclaim to anyone who hates the Queen that you are loyal to a rebellion if one ever takes place in Two. How stupidly blind you are." I say as the look on his face turns reddish with anger. "And whatever plan you have with Dad, it won't work...." I say last thought.
"You know what! I'm trying to help your pathetic life. But all you do is insult your family for being hidden in the rebel-......." He stops suddenly. I give one short breath out. 
"It's not like I did not see that coming." I say to copy his words. "Also, thanks for not answering my question again!" I quickly change and charge out of the room. I walk past my mom and quickly say "that I will meet her at the booth." 
 I continue walking to the door and break into a run to town square where the booths were setup. I stop near a small fountain with the water at the bottom frozen. I hear someone run behind me and I say to them-
"Don't want to be talked to by you and won't apologize or whatever to Hunner." 
"What?" I hear a girly voice say behind me. I realize it's Glenna Aburny. The only girl I can talk to and actually be myself with unlike the others who I'm fake around just to get attention. But there she awaits my reply. 
"Sorry, thought your where my-" 
"-it's fine. I understand." She says I she sits down beside me. She give me an awkward glance and hugs me. 
"I got the news about your "act of defiance!" She says In a joking voice that I found adorable.
"Yeah, news goes by fast in Four." I say jokingly.
"Who ya' voting for? Probably that jerk from your year. What's his name again? Hatch Hormbly?" She asks.
"Yeah, without a doubt. Who are you voting for?" I ask back.
"Only just a stuck up boy from the year ahead of me named Lark Katcher." She proclaims and giggled in a mocking voice trying to sound like me.
"Whatever..." I say in a slightly annoyed manner. Looking at her with joking eyes. "I'd rather just die if I was elected." I say. She nervously sighs and picks her head up and scans the crowd of people and beggars.
"Got to leave. My brother is here." She says as she stands up. I too stand up and face her. I look into her eyes which I have known since I was able to walk. She kisses my cheek and says   
"Don't get chosen." And walks off hitting my face with her blonde hair. Her short but fast steps weave in and out of swarms of people. My family arrives not long after and we line up and get ready to vote on eight tributes

         In the most dreadful Sector of the Four being in Two makes it hard to live with the constant beatings, beheadings, restrictions, curfews, starvation, lack of food and credits (money) and with having the Capital hating your people and family. While they adore Sector 1 for being the Capitals Chosen Sector. Hating to wake up, while during the day wanting to be asleep. School having never ending piles of homework. Daily needs on top of training for the Games and School. Evil teachers and mentors. 
   I wake up in a startle. My brothers snoring sound asleep on their own beds, I rub my eyes and stair at the small clock hanging. I think of the date, one week till the end of school. 
  I her my mother and father whisper downstairs. The house being ice cold, I slip out from under the bed sheets and trod lightly to the steep set of stairs. My father, The Treasurer of Kanxon, was speaking of Paname's rebellion. He goes on about how the four sectors should rebel too. I here of the upcoming elections for the Games. He whispers to my Mother of the "chances" of he sons being elected as tribute to the Queen. She then starts sobbing and whispering. I listen closely now struggling to hear.             
  My father now moving fast to finish getting ready to leave for today's work walk past the stairs without noticing me. 
"Is the Governor giving a speech today?" I hear her say. 
"Nope"he says louder now as a sector tank rumbles by, "His daughter has a high chance for getting elected this year, he does not want her to be unprepared." 
"Well, that's sad, we should have him for dinner one night." She replied.
  "If we had extra food we could. Over half the Sectors are starving. One vote per food rashings. We don't want to have them over until after the Game." He says now running past putting on boots.
"We have some food! We are not starving." My mother says as I here her adding wood to the stove in the kitchen.
"Plus, I thought you wanted to help the poor, starving community. Not give to the rich." He says kissing her on the cheek. 
"Yeah, I guess it's not good to have them over thinking of Lark." She says. 
  What about me I think? Why can't I see the Governor? All these thoughts roll thought my head while the sirens go off for morning call. It stabs me back to the real world and I stand up and walk towards my mother by her stove. The pan on top, now containing oats and rice, steaming with warmth. I walk over and hug her half heartedly. She pats my back. My brothers come down for the day. 
"What's cooking?" Says Trapp , my older brother who is in his last year of school. He puts on his black shirt. 
"Got to go!" Proclaimed my Father as he walks to the door. 
"Smells good Mom." Says my oldest brother Hunner.
"Get your cloths on boys! All of them Hunner." Said my Mom as Hunner walked around in his under wear. "Now!" And they bother took off running up the stairs. 
  I look at my Mother's dark brown eyes full of tiredness and stress. My brothers all had the same shade of brown too. My Father's were green, unlike mine, they shown when he smiled which I rarely see these days. My hair being dark brown making my blue eyes shine brighter, unlike my parents and siblings who have blonde hair and dark eyes. 
  I walk into the small living room where our family Television hologram showed the Hunger Games old broadcast of the 74th Games. I see a young girl getting stung to death a hive of Tracker Jackers. I turn away as a cannon booms. I hear my mom say breakfast is ready. We eat a silent meal and Trapp takes off to the Govoner's office where he stays as a guard. My mother says she has to sew for clients before we go broke. Hunner jumps up and says he will see me later. I finish and scrub the plates. I walk up stairs and change into old clothing. I look towards my brothers bed. The news paper headline jumped out to me 

   Capital Daily

      "Governor Speaks Loudly About A Secret Rebellion In Sector Four."

   ......The Governor of Sector Two has informed the Queen that they have signs of Rebels throughout the Sectors and mainly in Four. We are working on fixing the problem as soon as we can. We just need time and information. Meanwhile the curfew is now set to be for Seven Thirty pm. For your safety we give you less time to be out in the Rebels path. We will sufficiently round them all up with a beheading on the spot. Anyone thought to have relations with them will be killed on the spot and their family taken into be interrogated.We have an early list of most likely Candidates for the Games this year. It will be surprising us with mostly rookies from 2 and 3 but Elm and Caphous (winners of the Games two years back) will be voted for 4. 1 still remains a mystery for now.....

 "Junk!" I say aloud as I throw it on his bed. 
     A rebellion will never happen in the Sectors. Not with our Queen. 
     Now thankful that our house is only a few blocks away from school, I walk down stairs to exit the tall brick house. I close the gate behind me and see other boys and girls my age around me walk the same street. The sky always grey, gives a dusty look to everyone. The boy behind me trips and lands on his face. I turn around at the sound of his thunk to help him.
"Did I call you... Dog?" He says sounding embarrassed. 
"No. But your hurt. You can't go to school like that. I have never seen you get called back to the sheds where they punish us. You can't go back there now! Not this close to the Solstice."
"Your impossibly annoying." He says back shoving me to the ground. 
  I grunt as I hit the brick. My head on the floor, he tries stepping on my face but he misses and stomps my feet. He does it again until I quickly roll to my left and jump to my feet. I kick the back of his knees and run as they buckle. Thankful of quick reflexes, I now run in the opposite directing. With class roll call in ten minutes I run faster until I see a C.G.T. walk in front of me. I slow down to a almost stop and observe the top of the buildings around me. Only a couple of yellow eyed Ravens on the top of the black smith's shop. The capital castle looming in the distance I follow the old road keeping my head down and breathing heavily into the cold morning. I walk down the street not looking at anyone just my tight shoes which seem to make my feet swell more every step. 
    Boarding School will end next week I say in a whisper as I pass a C.G.T. The brick street being torn apart by constant army tanks has not been repaired in over fifty years, was making it hard not to trip. I walk farther now picking up pace not wanting to be late for class. I see the town center and look up to watch a man getting executed. The woman on the edge of the square being held back by a young girl in my class, looks like she is about to pass out from crying and stress. But I walk. Nothing to do to help. Not one person has tried to defy the capital in over a year. Definitely not a sixteen year old boy. I walk farther up the street and take a left to trod onto another identical street. I hear a bloodcurdling scream from a man. I look back to see herds of people rushing out of the way by C.G.T. Guards. Half way down I turn into a once grand courtyard of a high and sturdy marble building that has been stained from age and water. I join the other thousand children of Sector one and two in it. We take roll call for an hour standing by grade and age and gender. The girls are called in and they all take a left. 
  Then the boys names get read off one by one. 
  I look over as I catch a glimpse of a person walking down to the front doors of the building. It's the same girl who was holding back the crying woman before but now she seemed different. I watch as she get noticed by a female teacher and discipliner. I know she works for the Queen, my father says so. She is one of the worst people in the world besides the Queen of course.
 My knee gets kicked out from under me. I look up and notice a C.G.T. Behind me with the President of the school Mr. Rinper. 
" Lark Katcher! Your name was called and you did not reply." He says to my face. "An act of defiance?" He asks.
"No... no sir. It won't happen again." I say now shaking with fear of what they might do.
"Well" he says. "We shall make sure that's right." Take him to the back courtyard." He yells. 
"No!" I say. As I get hauled off the bricks and pushed in the back with the tip of a gun. 
    I try struggling but it just makes the C.G.T. shove the gun harder to the small of my back. We walk through the front door and to the left hall. We take a sharp right to another hall. We go through several more hall and doors. Finally we end up in the back courtyard. They place me roughly on the bricks next to the same girl who I saw earlier. 
 "Take her to the shed." Orders a C.G.T. to another C.G.T. who picks the girl up by her hair and forces her to stand and walk behind me. I did not dare look back. Not even for a glance. The C.G.T. Takes off his helmet and sets it on the ground next to me. 
 "We don't like defiance. Nor do we deal with it. Your punishment will be no food for three days and fifteen lashings. One per every second you defied the Queen." He smiles and I look down to the bricks. I takes his hand and pulls up my face to make me look at him in the eyes. His hand still on my face I blink and he hauls me off the ground with great strength. I now here a girl screaming behind me. He snickers and kicks me in the butt. Making me walk to a small shed ten yards away opposite of the girls shed. In the shed he pulls out a knife and cuts off my shirt. Then ties my hands to a pillar of stone in the middle of the shed. There he takes off my belt and pulse down my pants to my boots. I hear him walking to the other wall of the shed were he pulls down a whip. He cracks it behind my head. He hits me hard in the back first. The stinging and burning sensation in my back forced me to wince. He does it again. Now he hits me with the whip on the butt. It cuts Ito my skin causing me to wince agin. Then he hit me ten more times in the back. The blood on my back now runs down my legs. He grabs a cup of liquid off a shelf behind me smells it and throws the liquid on my back. It burns and causes my back to feel as if it were on fire. He hits me twice more then unstraps me and throws me another shirt and leaves the shed. I pull it carefully over my back and pull my pants on. I slowly open the shed door and see him whispering something to a teacher. 
    "President Snow is dead." I hear the teacher say. "The Queen has ordered schools to close for the term. Send them all home." 
"Tell Rinper I will deliver these to back home on my orders." He replied. He looks at the girl who was on her knees behind the teacher. Her face bruised. Her shoulder bleeding. Then turned and stomped over to my door. He grabs me and drags me out. "Get up!" He yells. The girl slowly stands up. "Your both going home earlier than intended so get moving." He kicks us in our backs and we both gasp from pain. 
"What's happened?" I ask as we enter the marble building again. 
"Don't think you can just talk to me!" He yells in my ears. 
  We take the same route as before only backwards. I see the whole school walking out the too iron doors. We walk with them. With a small amount of extra freedom I walk a little faster. I look over to her and she seems to understand more than me. 
 "Gorder! We need you at the capital." Says someone behind us. 
  I feel my guards hand on the caller of my shirt hold me back. She gasps as she pulls her hair onto her shoulder. 
 "Fine! tell them I will be present." Our guard yells. "You tow! Get out of my sight. Before I take you with me." He walks off in another direction. We look at each other and run too the gates of the front courtyard. We turn down opposite directions and run faster. I look back only for a second to see her neck with a small bleeding cut on it. Then I turn and keep running. I take a left and run down to the end were I take a right. I see front of my home twenty yards away. My Mother in the front greeting my eighteen year old brother Hunner who must have just gotten back from school. I join them in a hug. My brother puts his big hand on my back. I wince and he looks at me. We separate and I walk up the three small steps to my old, tall home. I enter and walk up the front stairs to the two rooms up there I here my oldest brother Trapp.I fall face first onto my bed. Hunner does the same. He sits up and takes off his boots. I do the same.
 "What did they get you for this time Lark?" He asks.
"Not hearing my name." I reply gruffly.
"Let me see." He says as he walk over to my bed and sits next to me. He pulls of my shirt and looks for a while. 
"What did they put on you?" He asks "Some type of enflaming oil." He mumbles. I look over my shoulder to him. His eyes looking at my swelling back. He stands up and pulls something out of our small wooden chest. I look at the bottle. He smells it and nods. 
"Lavender and Aloe always help with burning and swelling." He says. "Lay on your stomach." He orders. 
  I lean feebly over onto my stomach. I hear his fingers dipping into the oil. His cold fingers touch my back. He rubs carefully. I feel my tense back relaxing. I stay still for a while. I close my eyes and drift to sleep slowly.......

     I awake slowly being stiff. I look to my left to Hunner's bed. His chest rising slowly. I hear his soft snore. I try to move but my back is just to swollen. I groan I little to laud. Hunner moves and stirs. I see his bed covers moving. He rises to his feet and walks to me. He sits on the end of my bed. 
"You okay?" He asks sleepily.
"No.." I say quietly. "Does Mom know?" I ask. "Please say that Dad doesn't know eith..."
"Just you and me." He says. "But.... I need to give you more medicine. I ran out after super and grabbed some. You were asleep when I gave you the shot. It will only hurt a little." He says now moving to a night stand beside his bed. I see him working with a needle and a jar. I start to lean up to set my feet on the floor but he grabs my waist to secure my position. 
"Please don't." I whisper. "Wait till I'm asleep again." 
"You don't want to be asleep for this dose. It will make you itch all over. You'll be worse if you can't move after the shot." 
   I feel his hand move over to the top of my back. Then Trace some of the lines of my cuts. I struggle again but he puts pressure on my back that makes me want to scream. 
I hear him say "one, two, three." 
    I feel the needle plunge into my open wound. The could steel burning my insides. I whimper and shake. But he holders me down. Finally he slowly takes the thin needle out. I gasp and I feel a tear fall onto my cheek. I hear my breathing quicken. I feel him sit me up. Everything being shaky on my body, I allow him to take me into a tight hug. We stay like this for minutes. I tell him to go back to bed so he can rest. He refused and laid my head on the mattress.I feel the drug taking effect. My body itches, but mostly were I was lashed. I push my pillow away and start scratching my back. He moves my arms away from the cut. He walked over to his bed and took out a book from underneath his pillow. There he turned on a light And reads softly to me. My burning back in the cool air. I feel total relaxation again. Without him noticing I sleep again.......
    
    I awake with a splash of water on my face. I look up and see my Father I front of me. He shakes my brothers arms that are still holding a book. He lifts his head. My back now itching like crazy we sit up and I try standing but I fall into my Father's arms. 
 "What happened? He said. "I want everything! Why are you two reading a dumb book during the night? Why do you have needles on Lark's bed? He implores me and Hunner with his dark eyes. He set me down on the bed and turned me around. 
"Does that explain it!" Says Hunner now throughly angry and wide awake. 
"When did this happen?" Our Father asks without noticing Hunner's question. 
"Yesterday, before we got sent home. I do not hear when they called my name during roll call. They were mad and whipped me behind the school in the shed." I say before Hunner can lie about something.
 He stands there and stares at Hunner. How many times have you too been in trouble this year? You clearly want to be sent into the Games. Every time you make the C.G.T. mad they add an extra ten votes to your name in the election for Tunnel. Besides now I got to deal with the Capital men walking all over town looking for trouble or possible Rebels to kill in the square. Not to mention you could get killed! What type of drug did you poised him with?" He say in a fury.
  It's fine Dad. The drug just helps the pain. The thousand other kids that are up in the election will be chosen anyways! Lark is safe. They can't send him in like this anyways." Says Hunner.
     I continue to listen to their argue about me and the Capital. Hunner called Dad something that I did not catch so Dad grabbed him and took him down stairs to the basement. I herd something about President Snow and Paname. The fall of the Capital and such other things people talk just to have a dream. I hear my Mother enter my room and sit on my bed. She says something I can't hear. She assist me and I walk down stairs. I eat some tough meat and swallow some bitter chunk of sand. She takes me back up stairs to my bed and I sleep....
  I awake and here Hunner enter. His eyes were red from rubbing. I look at him through my eye lashes. He does not appear hurt only upset. He looks at me and then pauses. a tear drops to the floor from his face. 
"How could they?" Were the only things I herd. He lays down and quickly began sleeping.....


   "You awake Lar?" I hear my brother Hunner say. "You've been 'sleep for a long time." 
"Wha-" I say out of my dry mouth. 
"Get up! It's time for breakfast." He says as he strips a bandage off my back that I don't remember anyone putting on.
"Okay. How long was I out? Three hours?" I ask moving a little as he takes it all off with one pull.
"Oh no! Way longer. More like three days..... But Mom wants you to eat. Besides you need to move." He replied with a small smirk that makes me smile. 
 I press my lips together to moisten them. I slowly move to an upright position on my bed. He runs down stairs moving very fast. I stand with renewed strength and happiness. I remember the election in four days. I walk over to the open stairs. My mom looking at me from the bottom of the stairs. 
"Come on! Fresh from the butcher." She said with a smile. I give one back. I arrive at my seat at the table. I notice Trapp's seat empty. We eat a full breakfast. We sit together my dad reading a paper. My mom talking to Hunner. 
Out of confusion I ask "where's Trapp?" 
My mother stammers and looks at my dad. He gives back a look to her. Out of some silent agreement my mother answers saying "Working."
"On what?" I ask quickly. My brother looks at me with imploring eyes. "Whats wrong?" I ask him. He looked in the direction of my mom who then again looks at my dad. 
"Working on the election. He got moved to Votes today. Early voting started yesterday. We will all go after breakfast." He proclaims. My brother grunts. My mom exhales with a small whimper in her breath. 
"Get ready to leave." Proclaimed my Father once again. We all almost at the same time, stand and leave the table. I follow Hunner  up the steps.
  "What going on with you and Mom and Dad!" I say in a hushed voice. He looks out the small window. 
 "There goes Palm." He says. I look to my neighbor's house through the window. He Guard with a gun pointed to a man and a woman stands to steps off their porch. I turn away...and here a gun shot go through the air. Two bodies lay on the floor of a unowned porch. 
"Can't say we did not see that coming!" He say and changes into fresh clothes. I glare at him for being so heartless. Thought I knew they were not going to live to the end of the year since their ties with the rebellion in Paname was already heard of, I still putty them.
"The Capital blinds you. And mom and dad." I say bluntly to him.
"No! I know the difference between right and wrong. They lied to the Capital. They disobeyed them they got what they needed." He says. 
"But you still have a hope for a rebellion." I say aloud. " how is that. You give up with the thought, but you proclaim to anyone who hates the Queen that you are loyal to a rebellion if one ever takes place in Two. How stupidly blind you are." I say as the look on his face turns reddish with anger. "And whatever plan you have with Dad, it won't work...." I say last thought.
"You know what! I'm trying to help your pathetic life. But all you do is insult your family for being hidden in the rebel-......." He stops suddenly. I give one short breath out. 
"It's not like I did not see that coming." I say to copy his words. "Also, thanks for not answering my question again!" I quickly change and charge out of the room. I walk past my mom and quickly say "that I will meet her at the booth." 
 I continue walking to the door and break into a run to town square where the booths were setup. I stop near a small fountain with the water at the bottom frozen. I hear someone run behind me and I say to them-
"Don't want to be talked to by you and won't apologize or whatever to Hunner." 
"What?" I hear a girly voice say behind me. I realize it's Glenna Aburny. The only girl I can talk to and actually be myself with unlike the others who I'm fake around just to get attention. But there she awaits my reply. 
"Sorry, thought your where my-" 
"-it's fine. I understand." She says I she sits down beside me. She give me an awkward glance and hugs me. 
"I got the news about your "act of defiance!" She says In a joking voice that I found adorable.
"Yeah, news goes by fast in Four." I say jokingly.
"Who ya' voting for? Probably that jerk from your year. What's his name again? Hatch Hormbly?" She asks.
"Yeah, without a doubt. Who are you voting for?" I ask back.
"Only just a stuck up boy from the year ahead of me named Lark Katcher." She proclaims and giggled in a mocking voice trying to sound like me.
"Whatever..." I say in a slightly annoyed manner. Looking at her with joking eyes. "I'd rather just die if I was elected." I say. She nervously sighs and picks her head up and scans the crowd of people and beggars.
"Got to leave. My brother is here." She says as she stands up. I too stand up and face her. I look into her eyes which I have known since I was able to walk. She kisses my cheek and says   
"Don't get chosen." And walks off hitting my face with her blonde hair. Her short but fast steps weave in and out of swarms of people. My family arrives not long after and we line up and get ready to vote on eight tributes

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