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  1. #1
    In the Arena: The Start of the Games

    In the Arena: The Start of the Games

    Gossamer Portmore

    When Gossamer surfaced from the launch tube into pitch black, she almost panicked. Almost. Logic kicked in, and she was able to restrain her fear response.

    It can't all be this dark. The whole point is for us to kill each other on camera. If it stays like this, the audience won't be able to see us either, so the Games would be a moot point. There has to be another light source. And it has to be close enough to find quickly, because the Capitol residents aren't going to tolerate spending much time staring at a blank screen... and it wouldn't serve as much of a object lesson to the people back in the districts if they can't see the blood flowing. There has to be some way of getting light before the viewers get sick of the darkness, and that won't take long.

    She didn't switch on her headlamp. Gossamer didn't know just how little time she had on her battery, but she knew that it had to be somewhat finite, and there was no obvious way to replace it. Best to conserve it until she absolutely couldn't do without it.

    Some of the other tributes were using their lights, though, and although the place was still very much in darkness, she could make out Maia to her left and Mouse to her right. It was a safe starting position. Safer than a Career needed, really. Gossamer couldn't tell who was on the other side of Mouse, but she wasn't taking any chances; odds were it was someone who would dispatch the girl without a second thought.

    Sure enough, lights began coming up.

    I knew they wouldn't keep us in the dark. One has to please the viewers in the Capitol. That's the priority, even more than torturing us.

    Gossamer looked over at Mouse, and a memory flashed into her mind. As they traveled to the arena, in spite of her obvious fear Mouse had been unable to help grinning for a moment, because she'd never been in a hovercraft before and it was exciting to her. Still very much a child, even under the circumstances. Nothing could be allowed to happen to her.

    "Run!" Gossamer yelled to her young ally, even as she dashed toward the Cornucopia herself. She couldn't risk dying or even being seriously injured in the opening minutes of the Games, so she couldn't push it too far, but she was going to need some weapons and hopefully some supplies right off the bat, and this was the only way to get them.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 04-06-2013 at 09:11 PM.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea
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  2. #2
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Shon Dietrich

    His mentor had spent the rest of the evening – and all this morning – reminding him about...stuff. Like how terrible he did on his interview. And how he looked like a crazy person getting all serious about ‘daddy’. And how he was dumb not to bring up Roxanne ‘dying before her time’. Oh, and not to forget, how of course his father knows that his only son is in the Hunger Games and now is probably horrified that his son is such a pansy. Apparently his acrobatics didn’t impress everyone. In the end, the natterings did something useful – they took Shon’s mind off of where they were going.

    As Shon stepped into the chute, he was surprised to find a hand on his shoulder. He looked down at where it rested and nearly put his eye out on what appeared to be a bear tooth. The gruff voice of his mentor whispered an explanation before pushing Shon all the way into the tube.

    “I had it with me when I went in. Worked for me. Maybe it’ll work for you.”

    The boy turned around, feeling the smoothness of the tooth between his fingers. For the first time since the Reaping, he actually felt like he was rooting for him. Better late than never, he supposed. Shon waved the ivory bit at him even as the disk below him began to sink. He tucked it into his right pocket as he pulled out his headlamp.

    The tube reflected the lamp’s light back at him – in fact, the sudden loss of glare was the only way he knew that he’d arrived at his destination. Then, a cool breeze carrying stale air pushed its way past his face. Was it night? No, the stale air...a cave then. The light the Capitol had provided wasn’t very good. To his left, he could just make out Quint – to his right, the girl from Twelve. Ahead of him...the Cornucopia.

    It was starting to glow in a funny colour that reminded him of a campfire. Warmth. He nearly moved toward it. The clipped voice speaking the countdown reminded him that would be a bad idea. Perhaps looking at the Cornucopia was a bad idea. Shon peeked over his shoulder instead, half expecting some instrument of death. A rock face, then a black area, then more rock. An escape route.

    Shon’s gaze flickered forward again. The Cornucopia’s glow was now enough to illuminate most of the room. Where were his allies? None of the people on his left were going to help him out...so they must be on his...

    “Run!”

    The voice startled him and he jumped forward on command. Thankfully whoever had shouted that hadn’t done so prematurely. He stumbled forward, keeping an eye on Quint, looking for something closeby that he could grab. The light combined with his made for better luck and he grabbed at something black and soft. Not a weapon, but hopefully something good.

    Changing his mind last second, he veered sharply right, hoping that he’d catch a glimpse of one of his group and join up with them.
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.
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  3. #3
    Fayth Hansen



    Blaine hadn't been a great deal of help to Fayth leading up this day. He had told her interview was okay but it was obvious he didn't hold high hopes for her. Perhaps if she had listened to him, not Gossamer, he would have. He had basically written her off and Fayth was determined to prove him wrong. She was scared getting in the tube. Twenty four go in, one walks out. She had to believe she could do it. If she thought she couldn't, then she already lost. She panicked in the dark and switched her light on but realized that was stupid. They made things like these in her District. Although the batteries lasted hours, surely in the Games it would not last that long. She switched it off and was slightly relieved when the lights turned on. She was in between Lucretia and the girl from Titus' District. The countdown was hard, her instincts were telling her to run. She waited but the girl from Twelve didn't. She stepped off a second too soon and she literally exploded. Fayth was horrified at the sight and frozen. She couldn't move even when they were told the games had begun. Lucky had no problem going, though. As soon as they were given the clear, he was running for the Cornucopia, grabbing supplies and taking out anyone who got in his way with the sword he had quickly found.
    Last edited by Sojourn; 04-08-2013 at 09:11 PM.
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  4. #4
    Titus Adamson



    The day was here and Titus would never admit it, but he was nervous. He played himself as confident, maybe even arrogant, but anything could happen. Not just from the other Tributes but from the Gamemakers themselves. He had to win, he was going to win. Adrian actually gave him a hug before sending him off.

    "You're going to make it, kid. I believe in you."

    "Thanks, Adrian."

    Titus replied with a smile. He trusted that Adrian would help him as much as he could. He was used to the dark having worked in the coal mines back home and didn't turn his light on. When the arena lights came on he realized they were in some sort of cave. Okay, he could handle that. He spent plenty of time in the mines. He was in between two of Gossamer's allies and thought that could be good or bad. He didn't even realize the girl from his District had stepped off too soon. He was starting to run for the Cornucopia and saw Fayth frozen.

    "Fayth! What are you doing?! Run!"

    He yelled at her and gently pushed her towards one of the openings he saw. He could handle the Cornucopia, she couldn't. Once she moved, he then got mixed up in the bloodbath. As soon as Yvonne knew it was time to go, she was running for the Cornucopia to get supplies and take out as many Tributes as she could that weren't in her alliance.
    Last edited by Optimus Prime; 04-09-2013 at 07:09 PM.

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  5. #5
    Fayth Hansen



    Fayth felt like she was in a daze since she saw the girl next to her literally blow up. She would have been easy pickings and prove Blaine right, if not for Titus. His words and him pushing her away from the bloodbath snapped her out of it.

    "Right!"

    She yelled and grabbed Lucretia's hand to try and help her get to safety as well. She didn't know where the opening near her lead but her thought was getting away from this. Once she was safe, then she'd think of the fact that Titus might be in the other alliance but he just saved her life.
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  6. #6
    Maia and Dorian McCarroll

    Maia took a breath. She was surprised at how little she felt. She had expected to have butterflies in her stomach, or feel nauseated, or something. But what she felt was numb.

    Her mentor had said a few kind words, reminded her that she was strong and ready. It had made Maia feel more at ease. But even that good feeling has slipped away into the numbness that now surrounded her.

    The chute was quite dark. As she felt herself rising, she turned on the head lamp for a moment. It cast just enough light to show her Titus on her left and Gossamer on her right. She switched her lamp off. A fortunate position. Titus was a part of the rival alliance, but she didn't think he would kill her outright. And Gossamer would certainly protect, or at least distract, threats from the right. So she should be able to run straight to the Cornucopia, grab the first few things she saw, and run back out.

    As the lights came up, Maia focused on what was ahead of her. She hoped she was right to think that Titas was not an immediate threat. If she was wrong, she'd be dead.

    Maia heard an explosion to her left and realized the girl from Twelve had just blown up because she stepped off her pedestal too early. Maia rolled her shoulders, shaking it off.

    The voice finished the countdown and commanded them to run. Maia's legs moved without her knowledge, faster than she ever had in her entire life. She looked right and saw Gossamer, keeping pace with her. She looked left and saw Shon, running in her direction. She veered slightly left to meet up with him, hoping that with Shon and Gossamer, the three of them might be more successful at the Cornucopia.

    --------------

    Dorian was sweating. He wiped his hands on his canvas pants, but they were slick with sweat again in a moment. He cursed himself inwardly. Now was not the time to let nerves get the better of him.

    His mentor had commended Maia on her interview, but said little about his. People liked Dorian, but he was forgettable. Hopefully he would show something in the arena that would earn him sponsors.

    The tube rose and Dorian switched on his headlamp. He could barely see Yvonne on his left and Dora on his right. Great, he thought with frustration. Hopefully they would be too distracted by the Cornucopia to care about him. He would get what he could and maybe attempt to kill one of them, if he was lucky. Gossamer had said nothing about not killing tributes outside their alliance.

    Dorian turned his lamp off, realizing that the battery power might be limited. It was almost certainly limited. But he couldn't worry about that now. He braced himself to run as the countdown started. He watched as the girl from Twelve stepped forward and disappeared into an explosion. It was unsettling for Dorian. She probably didn't even mean to move forward, and now she was gone.

    Dorian closed his eyes as the voice spoke the word 'run'. He stepped his foot forward off his pedestal and ran, oblivious, for the moment, to the two lethal young women on either side of him.
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  7. #7
    Gossamer Portmore

    As psychologically difficult as it was to be trapped in the darkness of a cavern, Gossamer realized that from a practical standpoint this arena was the best she could have hoped for. It was all physical barriers, meaning very few forcefields - meaning more fixed entry and exit points. An arena wasn't ever an entirely closed system; the officials had to be able to insert obstacles and remove corpses. In an arena that was a cave, that meant doors and hatches had to be hidden somewhere. She planned to use that to her advantage when the time came.

    Gossamer couldn't immediately see what all her allies were doing. She couldn't spare the time to search for them... she could only hope that they were making smart decisions and - if necessary - avoiding the bloodshed.

    She would have been pleased by what she saw. Lucretia willingly went with Fayth, and Mouse ran backward and hugged the wall as she circumnavigated the room. Because the more dangerous tributes seemed more focused on getting good things from the Cornucopia than on going after the scrawny kid from Eight, Mouse was able to make it to Lucretia and Fayth without mishaps. There were advantages to being no one's priority target, Mouse thought.

    Quint and Dora both dashed toward the Cornucopia, ignoring the tributes on nearby starting platforms, eager to push forward for the best items. Gossamer was more cautious, jogging rather than sprinting and avoiding rather than engaging. The best weapons and supplies were closer to the center, to encourage the Bloodbath the viewers were expecting... but Gossamer didn't need the best yet. Better to stay alive and relatively in one piece. The whole plan would fail if she was killed or severely injured in the first few minutes of the Games - and then what would happen to her allies? As long as she could get a weapon or two, they could always circle back here when things weren't so hot and take whatever was left... or pick what they needed off the inevitable dead bodies. Best to prioritize staying alive.

    Gossamer knelt and picked up a sheathed knife, then started moving again and found herself on a collision course with Mona, the girl from Eleven. Mona didn't seem like a bad sort. She wasn't an ally, but Gossamer had no reason to dislike her. Instead of drawing the knife, she merely elbowed the other girl out of the way. She caught up with Maia and Shon, and gave them a brief nod. Together, they'd be safer as they neared the Cornucopia.

    The girl from Seven was locked in a furious combat with Dora - the tribute from Seven was surprisingly holding her own, since although Dora had managed to find a bow, she had neither arrows nor the necessary range to use the weapon effectively. Quint, meanwhile, had made it nearly to the center, and was using a wickedly glinting sword to slit the throat of the boy from Eight.

    Dora shoved her opponent backward... onto the point of Quint's sword. The girl from Seven's eyes widened, and she seemed in almost disbelief, her mouth working soundlessly as froth bubbled on her lips and blood erupted from the wounded in her chest. Quint grinned. Dora looked as shocked as her victim. While she was distracted, the boy from Seven stabbed her in the leg, embedding a saber just above her knee and raking it toward her hip.

    "Quint..." Dora murmured, looking baffled more than anything by the sudden pain.

    Quint shook his head. "Sorry, Dora," he replied, and turned away. They had been allies - as long as she was useful. With a potentially mortal injury, there was no further benefit to keeping her around. Dora managed to drag herself away to the darkened tunnel; injured as she was, she might as well already be dead.

    Gossamer didn't see Dora get injured. She was too focused on grabbing a spear and a shortsword, and picking up a backpack without taking the time to examine the contents. She glanced at her nearby allies to convey her intentions, turned back toward the tunnel, and on the way back shoved a few more knives into the waistband of her pants.

    As she approached Fayth, Lucretia, and Mouse, Gossamer had one of the knives still in her hand. Mouse cowered. Gossamer flipped the knife so the blade was against her palm and the handle was outward, and handed it to Mouse.

    "Here," she said. She passed the extra knives to Fayth and Lucretia, keeping one for herself. "Try not to get into a situation where you have to use these. If anyone comes at you, though... fight them off."
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 04-09-2013 at 07:07 PM.
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  8. #8
    Bianca Ashby

    Bianca clenched her fists, looking straight ahead. She resolved to focus and not worry about what the other tributes did. It was extremely dark. She couldn't see anything, even what was right in front of her face. She didn't bother turning her headlamp on. She didn't need to see.

    She waited, not breathing, as the countdown began. When the countdown had finished and the other tributes were running toward the Cornucopia, Bianca stepped backward off her pedestal and pressed herself against the wall. No one noticed her all.

    She fought with herself over whether to go right or left. There was no way of knowing where the other three members of her alliance that had been instructed to avoid the blood bath were. If she chose the wrong direction, she might end up in a different chamber, completely separated from her allies.

    She decided to move left. Hugging the wall, she moved quickly and saw her allies. Gossamer was handing the three other girls knives as Bianca arrived. She hoped Gossamer had brought one for her as well.
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  9. #9
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Shon Dietrich

    The death of the girl from Twelve had rattled him, to be sure, but it was more the noise than anything else. He still had his plan in spite of people dying. It was a good thing he’d caught Gossamer’s glance, or he might have run right out of the blood bath. Shouldering the pack he’d picked up, he ran alongside her, aiming for a long, wooden shaft lying on the ground. He hoped it was a spear.

    As he reached for it, a blade came down and smacked it out of his reach. He dove to his right, which saved his life, but ended him up in the middle of a showdown with Lucky. Shon froze...and looked past the hulking Tribute from One to see the two Tributes from Nine sneaking up behind him. If their play worked, they could be down a Career – and Shon might live to tell the tale.
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  10. #10
    Fayth Hansen



    Fayth ran as fast she could down the tunnel. She didn't even know where she was going. She had just went in the direction Titus had directed her to. When she felt she and Lucretia had moved safe enough of distance from the Cornucopia, she stopped running. She smiled when she saw that Mouse had followed them. Good, two of her alliance. Although if they didn't find any of the people who had fought in the Bloodbath for supplies, they'd be screwed. As they waited, she wondered why Titus had saved her. Did he care for her, like it seemed? He could have easily killed her but he had told her to run. Thoughts of Titus disappeared when she heard someone coming and saw Gossamer. For a brief moment distrust came in her mind when Gossamer was holding a knife. Maybe Blaine was right to not trust, perhaps this was her plan. Lure them away from the weapons and easily kill them off. Then she saw her hand Mouse the knife and realized that she was wrong. Fayth already hated this. Before the Reaping, she had always been trusting and now she had to second guess everything.

    "Thank you."

    She told Gossamer and gripped the knife tightly. She felt slightly better having a weapon, not that it would help against the weapons she was sure the Career alliance was getting right now. She heard more footsteps and thought maybe an enemy was coming. She relaxed when she saw it was Bianca.

    "Have you seen the others?"

    She asked her.
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