The Hunger Games: The First Quarter Quell [BEING STARTED OVER]



  • edited August 2016

    What can I say, she continously proves to be by far the worst person imaginable and unlike other characters, who often tend to become more sympathetic as time passes, she somehow manages to get only worse with each part. I can genuinely say that by killing Emmy she crossed a line where I just lost the ability to ever feel sorry for her. Ranting about her is the only thing I can do to express my anger at her.

    TWD_stan posted: »

    I have to agree with TeamKennyW00T. Your rants about Penn are the best thing ever.

  • I agree with Stan, I don't fully trust Delmara. Something's a bit off about her, though that might just be my general prejudice against careers. At the same time, I kinda like her, at least a little bit. I'm curious if she honestly wishes to be Marten's ally. As for this choice, I decided to join in on the toast, because while this is totally sick and twisted, these people are also going to be at his side for the next days and they are going to help him to get as far as possible in the games.

    By the way, when will your other story continue? Looking forward for that one as well.

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan Chapter 26: To Die

  • Ah I was gonna finish off this one to Book 1 and then continue that one for a while. It's difficult to run two of these at the same time lol.

    I agree with Stan, I don't fully trust Delmara. Something's a bit off about her, though that might just be my general prejudice against care

  • Gone for a week. Two parts. Yay.

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan Chapter 26: To Die

  • Party!

    TheLier posted: »

    Gone for a week. Two parts. Yay.

  • edited August 2016

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan

    100% of readers chose to [A. Join in the toast.]

    Marten reluctantly reached out his hand, and Bishoppe placed the glass of wine into it. He looked to him expectantly. Marten wasn't sure what to say... He lifted the wine to his nostrils and sniffed it. It smelled foul... How could anyone drink this?

    "Um..." Marten started. "Well, I guess a few days ago I hadn't expected to be here. This was my last year, you know.... If I hadn't been chosen this year, I would have just kept on with my life... Catching more fish. I guess I can just say that it doesn't feel like I expected it to, having my life end." They seemed surprised at the words, but Marten kept on with it. "In fact, in a strange way, it almost feels relieving to know that I won't be here in a week. I won't have the weight of anything on my shoulders anymore. There's something about the idea of death... It's almost comforting, knowing that it's over. And it is over, isn't it?"

    "It doesn't have to be." Mags reached out and placed her hand on top of his.

    "When I'm dead..." Marten sighed. "When I'm dead the Capitol can't hurt me anymore. They can't hurt my family anymore. It will be... Over..."

    Marten lifted the glass to his lips and took a sip of the red liquid. It tasted way better than it smelled. When the glass rested back near his lap, he saw that he was the only one out of any of them who had taken the drink. He wondered if he had done it wrong. He'd never toasted before.

    "To..." Started Bishoppe, raising his glass in the air. He paused a moment, showing he hadn't thought before he spoke. "To the Hunger Games... May the odds be ever in our favor." He took a sip from the glass and Delmara and Mags followed closely behind. They clearly weren't used to hearing what Marten had told them. It came so naturally to him... Did they not understand what he was trying to say? Marten took another drink from his wine, sitting silently to himself.

    It was the heat of the day, and the sun beamed down through the window of the train, lightly blanketing Marten's shoulders and neck. It wasn't harsh sunlight. It didn't hurt to sit in. It wasn't the sweaty kind he was used to. It was a kind of warmth that felt pleasant and friendly. He looked outside and saw the fields of wheat roll by. He knew they were passing through District 9. They were lucky to have such weather. The sun in District 4 wasn't nearly this kind. The sun could break the toughest of men if they weren't adapted to it.

    Delmara walked across the train car and sat next to their mentor and escort. "Mags, you've been through this whole thing before. Do you have any advice for Marten and I?"

    "I have more than a few bits of advice." Mags smiled, giving off an air of wisdom in her voice. "But, we shall save them for another time. My advice for today is to relax. Watch the landscape roll by... You won't be able to for much longer."

    "Well, I was hoping I could ask you..." She said with confidence. "Do you think it's a better strategy to battle for the cornucopia or to run the other way?"

    Mags sighed, and then answered. "There's more to it than that. If you have friends in the arena, you may want to risk jumping in the bloodbath. Just know... The bigger kids take it 90 percent of the time. Know the risk."

    "What if I'm one of the bigger kids?" Delmara smiled.

    "Doesn't matter." Mags replied, taking another sip of her wine. "If you intend to join the bloodbath and fight for the cornucopia, you have to have friends. You have to know who you can trust. Anything different, and you will be just a victim."

    Marten pondered what she was saying, watching as the empty grasslands rolled by him out the window. They had been rolling past this terrain for hours. Was it District 8? No... District 9. Marten hadn't paid much attention in Geography class. Not that it was going to help him much now...

    There was something soothing about watching the hills rise and recede upon the horizon. It was hypnotic, or maybe that was simply his lack of sleep. And then one of the hills fell down far enough so Marten could see out through the valley that spread below. He could see from here for a hundred miles or something close... In the center of that valley, there was a herd of charging horses sprinting over the plains. Their furs were vibrant shades of brown and black and white. Marten had only ever heard of horses from his teachers and from storybooks. There was a part of him before this moment that questioned whether they were real or made up like dragons and goblins. But just in that moment, Marten lost himself. He was down there with those magnificent creatures, running through the tall grass and feeling the wind in his hair. Marten would never feel that feeling. He was not free.

    "Hm..." Bishoppe sighed, eyeing the valley before them. "If my memory serves me correctly, last time we came through here, I could make out the tip of District Nine's Justice Building from here. Strange..."

    "Oh yeah..." Mags followed the man's pointing finger and nodded. "I remember you pointing that out two years ago. Maybe it's the wrong valley."

    "I don't forget easily..." He replied, but passed it off as nothing and downed the last of his glass of wine. And apparently, it really was his last, because his head fell back onto the headrest behind him and he fell fast asleep in his drunkenness. His snores were loud and obnoxious, entirely negating the official persona he was trying to achieve. He didn't forget easily, but he would be forgetting this.

    "Does he do that often?" Delmara asked, chuckling through another sip of the wine. "Doesn't seem to hold his alcohol well..."

    "Every single year." Mags smiled. "Every year he makes me a bet that he'll make it all the way to the Capitol before passing out cold. And this is the farthest he's gotten before." She reached into his right coat pocket and withdrew a few bills from it. Marten glared at her, but she lifted her fingers to her lips. "Don't tell no one. This is your sponsors here."

    Marten stood up and proceeded to the front of the cabin. He was tired of listening to other people chatter on; he wanted to sit by himself once more in silence. "Where are you going?" Delmara asked him. He let go of his hold of the doorknob for a moment.

    "To the other car..." Marten told her, not turning his head. "I need a moment."

    "C'mon, man." She pleaded. "Stay here and drink with us. How often did you get to do stuff like this at home? Never!"

    Marten didn't reply and he didn't wait for a response. He opened the door and immediately shut it behind him. It felt as though none of them understood him. They spoke as though they wanted to draw him in closer, but they all kept him at arm's length for safety. They didn't know his story. They just knew him as the big, brooding murderer. He was sure they were all thinking that maybe if they were overtly friendly to him, he wouldn't slit their throats in their sleep... There was no one left who knew who he was.

    Marten stood in the transition cabin for what seemed like too long. The wind from outside was rushing in on all sides from tiny cracks in the room. It felt good here... He leaned against the door and just let the air flow freely through his curly blonde hair. His shirt filled with it and floated off of his chest. And for the first time since he was a young child, he let himself cry.

    He wept for his fate. He wept for those he would never see again. He wept for the tributes. He wept... And he did for a long time. His tears were silent amidst the rustle of the wind around him, and he liked it that way. No one could hear his silent screams of pain.

    He stepped into the cabin next to him. There were tables upon tables of food. Delicacies he'd never seen before, let alone tasted. There were blue, red and green liquids he assumed were drinks in glass containers. There were plates full of sweets and cookies covered in powdered sugar and caramel. Almost nothing he could make a full meal with... Not that he needed one. Ever since he'd killed the carpenter's boy, he hadn't been hungry.

    Marten perched next to the window, looking away from all the food around him in the dining car. He couldn't let himself think about all the hypocrisy. The Capitol rationed out food for the Districts very sparingly, yet kept entire trains full of the stuff. The contents of this car alone could feed Marten's entire family for a week if there were anything more than sugar and alcohol. And the Capitol claimed to care... They claimed they were doing all they could to help. Bullshit...

    He reached into his pocket and withdrew the letter he'd hastily stuffed in there. He wiped a shameful year from his eye and read the words again. Who would think to write to him? Schrodinger? That didn't even sound like a real name. And the way his name was written. The backwards S made it look like a designed logo. In a life full of mysteries, this was the one that baffled Marten most.

    "Marten?" Delmara's voice issued from the cabin door. He hadn't heard her come in, but she sat beside him. She picked up a few of the truffles around her on the way. "We were worried about you. Thought I'd check on you."

    She set her hand on his knee, but he pushed it away. He pulled the letter behind his back. "You're drunk." He said.

    "Bah!" She laughed. "Only a fool wouldn't be in these shitty times. C'mon, man..." She lulled off for a moment before snapping back to it. "These are the last few hours of our lives, and I'm damn sure I don't want to worry 'bout nothing for that time. I wanna live my life. And you? What are you doing with your life?"

    Marten didn't reply. She seemed frustrated.

    "I'm trying to connect with you, you big asshole." She slapped him on the shoulder. "Because... Let's be honest. I don't have anyone left. Mags in there is nice enough, but she's been in the Capitol too long... I can tell... And Bishoppe... He's a fun dude. Man... All I'm saying is you're all I've got left... I don't have no one to live for, so I'm glad I've got someone to die with."

    For the first time, Marten felt like he was seeing the real girl inside the preppy shell she wore. She certainly sold the idea of being drunk more often, but he didn't like that. Why could she only be herself when she was under the influence? Then he realized he was being hypocritical. At least she knew who she was.

    "Thanks..." Marten said to her. He really meant it. For some reason, those words resonated with him. There had been a lot of phrases that did that the past few days. Everyone seemed to want to put their two cents in before he vanished from their lives forever.

    "What's that piece of paper you got?" She hiccuped, reaching over his body to grab it from behind his back.

    "It's nothing." Marten told her, clutching the letter in his palm.

    Somehow, Delmara managed to work her way through his grip and grab it from him. She tore it open eagerly and read its contents. "The Owl..." She said. "Schrodinger..."

    "Yeah. What's it to you?"

    "He's been speaking to you too?"

    End of Chapter 26

  • Oh! So Schrodinger has connections to Delmara as well, that is interesting. I don't know what kind of game he is playing, but with Aura, Marten, Delmara and very likely other tributes as well, it seems likely that he is someone involved in the games. One thought I had when Marten thought about the strange logo is, what if Schrodinger is not a person, but some sort of collective? About his goals, I also had another idea, far more terrible than what I have thought before. It is possible that both, Hawk and Owl, are simply bored Capitol people who try to manipulate the games to their own benefits, probably for money, since betting on the tributes is a big thing if I'm not mistaken. As much as I hope that Schrodinger wishes to help the tributes, I start to doubt it.

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan 100% of readers ch

  • I can't tell you what's going on. But I can tell you you're getting warmer ;)

    Oh! So Schrodinger has connections to Delmara as well, that is interesting. I don't know what kind of game he is playing, but with Aura, Mar

  • It is never that easy :D

    Oh! So Schrodinger has connections to Delmara as well, that is interesting. I don't know what kind of game he is playing, but with Aura, Mar

  • edited August 2016

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan

    Chapter 27: Stay Close to Me

    Saul Arrem

    When Saul woke up, he was in a familiar state: bound in imprisonment. His sister sat next to him, tied in the same ropes, calling his name quietly. He was now so focused on the pain coursing through his lower torso that he almost completely forgot about his wounded arm. But when he looked down, there were bandages surrounding his stomach, not torn, bloody clothing. Munrow had him shot through the gut, yet needed him enough to heal him up afterward. The bastard...

    "Saul..." Peara spoke, relieved. "You're awake. They shot you..."

    "I know..." He grunted. He looked around the room. They were inside the Justice Building? He'd never been here so he wasn't sure, but from the way the ceiling was high and domed and nothing around the room was broken, he could assume he was here. Or maybe he was already in the Capitol...

    "I'm scared..." Peara said, and leaned over as far as she could to rest her head on Saul's shoulder.

    "Don't worry. Just stay close to me." Saul assured her. "I'll keep you safe." The words kept her calm, just as he knew they would.

    They were sitting in this empty room for what seemed like hours, and he didn't know how long he'd been there before he woke up. Munrow had arranged their chairs so that they were facing the window. Over the horizon, there was the bell tower, proudly displaying the time of day. The clock struck seven, and it felt like an entire day had passed before the clock struck eight. This was nothing less than torture... Every time he checked the clock, less time had passed. Saul was anxious, and had been since last week. It made the sand in the hourglass drop even slower. At certain points, he could almost feel it stop completely. But that was impossible... He was waiting for nothing. And that drove him crazy.

    "Saul?" Peara said.


    "The sunrise looks very pretty." Saul looked over at her, soaking in her smile. That smile... He hadn't seen it peek its head out in so long, he'd forgotten it. Saul was so focused on getting out of here, he hadn't noticed what was going on around him. Vibrant shades of magenta and orange coated the sky like a blanket. It was wonderful... Yet so was she. In all this madness, she had actually paused to enjoy the simple things. Peara was the personification of innocence...

    "I suppose it is." Saul agreed, slowing down his thought process. He'd been so worried about protecting her, it had taken up most of his thought. But there were things Peara could teach him as well. Saul didn't understand how she was able to stay calm through all of this. Maybe, once this was all over, she would be protecting him too. One thing was for sure. Saul and Peara needed each other.

    Hours passed. Saul knew because he'd been watching the clock every minute of it. Surely someone would be arriving soon. Today was the day the train would leave for the Capitol. With how dedicated Munrow had been to making them the tributes, surely he wouldn't let them miss the bus. The President wouldn't look kindly upon tardiness.

    And then the door behind his back issued a creak, followed by "You've got five minutes." From a husky voice he hadn't heard before. Then it closed harshly, and footsteps could be heard behind them, however soft and dainty they were. He knew who it was before she stepped into view. She was smiling widely, carrying a large bag around her shoulders. It was Ethel, the woman who ran the orphanage Peara and Saul grew up in.

    "Ethel!" Peara cried with joy.

    "Hey there, Pea!" She replied affectionately. Saul was so happy seeing her here he didn't even notice her swollen black eye until now. "And hello, Saul."

    "What happened to your eye?" He asked her, already assuming the worst. "Did he hurt you? Munrow... That asshole."

    "Whoa there..." Ethel raised her arms in the air after setting her cloth bag on the ground. "Watch the language. But yes... He did. It's quite like you to notice my tiny scratch when you've been shot and stabbed through the arm. I didn't think you'd be so quick to turn on the man who treated you like a son for so many years..."

    "Yeah well..." Saul felt a wad of bloody saliva building in his mouth. "I turned against him as soon as he turned on me."

    "I'm not disagreeing." She smiled. "I'm just glad you both are safe. There's been a lot of talk at the orphanage about you two."

    "All good, I'm guessing...?" Saul sighed.

    She gave one of her own. "Look, I know they weren't always the nicest to you two, but they're good kids... Just a little rough around the edges. They did say they were going to miss you though. Even Wenton said so; and I know he always used to tease me."

    Wenton? Saul didn't think the boy had ever said a single nice word to him before. He was the school bully who always pushed him down in the mud at recess. He said he was going to miss Saul? He guessed something had changed...

    "I, um..." Ethel reached down and grabbed her bag and held it up for them to see. "I brought you gifts."

    "Gifts?" Peara was elated hearing the word, but Saul wasn't so sure. From Ethel, sure, but from anyone else, a present was likely to be a dead frog or squirrel droppings or something of the sport. "What kind of gifts?"

    "Well I've brought you both something." Ethel reached into her bag and took out a small box the size of her fist wrapped in brightly colored red and yellow paper. Saul had only ever heard of boxes like this... Ethel handed the box to Peara. "Here you go, Pea."

    "Oh!" She sounded just as thrilled to see her present as she was to see the woman before her. Ethel laid it in Peara's lap where she could maneuver her arms enough that she could tear off the paper. She did so and her face lit up in excitement. "It's a necklace!" She cried. She hadn't even opened the felt-covered case yet, yet she was already showing thanks.

    Peara gazed down at the piece of jewelry in her hands. It was silver and had the metallic stains of old age. How did she get this? Jewelry in Eleven didn't exist for long before it was stolen back and forth between fifteen to twenty thieves and eventually ruined by the passage of hands and time. This necklace was one of the few Saul had ever seen. On the end of it, there was a locket in the shape of an oval. Peara began to open it, but Ethel quickly placed her hand on the girl's and closed it again. "Not here." Ethel told her.

    "Why not?" Peara asked, confused.

    Ethel ignored the question and reached back down into the bag. She pulled from it what would undoubtedly be Saul's present. "Saul..." She sighed. "I know how much you love it, so I baked you a slice of cake."

    Ethel held in her hand a rather large slice of chocolate cake surrounded by five layers of plastic wrap. Saul was bewildered. He'd never tried cake before. Why had Ethel thought he liked it. He was, of course, glad she had brought him anything, but surely she could have brought something a little bit more personal to him?

    "Cake?" Saul raised his eyebrow. "I don't-"

    "You love cake." Ethel told him forcefully. "I can't remember how many times a day you've told me that since you were three twelve years old." She leaned into him and kissed him on the forehead. Her mouth drifted around his head to his ear, and she whispered. "Don't... Eat it on the train... Okay?"

    "Okay..." Saul didn't know what she meant, but he knew he had to follow along.

    And then Ethel reached into her bag again. This time she pulled from it two stacks of envelopes tied to each other. "I had the other kids write these letters to you." She smiled, handing one to each of them. "Everyone said a few words talking about a good memory they had from each of you. Some of them are not the most tolerant of children, but you two are good people. They're bound to have one good memory of you."

    "Thank you." Saul told her, running his finger over the letters, feeling their smooth frame and the scraggly texture of the strings binding them. It was a thick package... Had the kids he'd grown up with really had this much to say to him? Maybe all the times he'd spat at them... Maybe all the times he'd cursed their names for what they did to him... Maybe they weren't all bad.

    The door burst open behind them, and Saul heard the rough voice shout. "Your five minutes are up! Get out!"

    Ethel's eyes shot up toward him and back down to each of them. After all this time, she might as well have been their mother. "I'm going to miss each of you very much." She admitted one last time. "You brought something to the orphanage... It's not going to be the same without you."

    "You don't have to leave yet, do you?" Peara cried. "I want you to stay... I want to stay here."

    "I have to go now, Pea... I hope you remember me by your necklace..." She said, and then whispered under her breath so only Saul and Peara could hear. "The Owl always remembers..."

    "The Owl?" Saul asked, hearing the Peacekeepers edge closer to where they were standing.

    "I like owls..." Peara said.

    "What do you mean, the Owl?" Saul asked when Ethel didn't give him an answer. "Who's that?" The Owl... Munrow had mentioned someone called The Hawk. Perhaps they were the same person? Whoever it was had a certain obsession with birds of prey.

    "It's not your time to know..." Ethel began to walk behind them, submitting herself to the Peacekeepers. It was good she did so. Peacekeepers in Eleven didn't know mercy when it came to disobedience.

    "Wait!" Saul called after she passed from view. There were no more footsteps and Saul could tell Ethel as well as the guards were waiting to hear what he said. Saul reached into his back pocket and retrieved a small object. It was a branch... A piece of one that Saul had ripped off many years ago before his girlfriend died. It was taken from the tree where he got his first kiss... Ever since, he'd carried it with him as a reminder. Before now, he'd thought to bring it as his token into the arena, a reminder of his life before it was struck down...

    But, it might mean something to her too...

  • So...they district 12 people are not screwed.

    Becuse the a group or someone whil the rig the whole thing. I'm pretty much convinced now, that this will be the case.

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan Chapter 27: Stay C

  • Haha yup. This will not be just a normal Games.

    TheLier posted: »

    So...they district 12 people are not screwed. Becuse the a group or someone whil the rig the whole thing. I'm pretty much convinced now, that this will be the case.

  • So, Ethel has knowlege about the hawk and the owl too. I wonder just how many people are in on this. We have Ethel and Munrow, we have Penn's father, we have Delmara and the person who sent Marten the message, we likely have Aura's father and at this point I wouldn't even be too surprised if Crispin and Cass are in on this whole thing as well. Someone chose these tributes for a purpose and in some cases, they were prepared for this for their whole lives. If Aura's father is in on the whole Owl/Hawk situation, then he literally trained her for this moment for all her life, whereas I doubt it is a coincidence that Saul has been close to Ethel and Munrow for all his live, or that Penn, whose father is apparently working for the Hawk, is now the tribute for District 9. Someone is playing a really long game here, too long and too complicated to be born out of simple boredom or greed. Saul also brought up an interesting thought, what if the same people are behind the Hawk and the Owl? Two parts of something huge, not working against each other, but working together with different mehods. The Owl seems to focus on subtlety, while what we have seen from the Hawk so far seems to focus on displays of strength.

    As for the choice, I decided to keep the branch. Saul will need a token for the arena and this seems fitting. His connection to this branch is far stronger than Ethel's connection to it.

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan Chapter 27: Stay C

  • edited September 2016

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan

    67% of readers chose to [B. Give the branch to Ethel.]

    "Wait, Ethel!" Saul called, holding the branch in his hand one last time. "Here."

    "What's that?" She asked, eyeing the piece of wood in his hand.

    "You gave us your gifts, so I want to give you mine." He told her. "This branch is like a part of me. Maybe, after we're gone... Maybe it'll help you remember us."

    Ethel took the branch from him and the Peacekeepers by the door seemed to be allowing of the final exchange. She turned it over several times in her palm. "It's oak..." She smiled. "I won't have any trouble remembering you or Peara."

    Saul couldn't see her from this position, but he knew she must be beaming at him. He couldn't help but smile as well. This was goodbye... But in a way it was the start of a new era, and the end of his and his sister's torment. "Goodbye..." Peara squeaked.

    Ethel walked back toward them for a fleeting moment before the guard called in a mean fashion for her. She planted a kiss on Peara's forehead from behind her. "Bye Pea..." The Peacekeeper guards took her forcefully by the arm and escorted her away. The shuffling of shoes became fainter as they drew farther from him, and it was over when the great doors closed harshly. In the blink of an eye, an entire person had vanished out of their lives. Saul would most likely never see her again...

    The clock struck nine and nothing had happened. Saul sat with his sister in waiting. He kept expecting that at any point, Munrow would walk through those doors and make his life somehow worse, but as each minute dragged on, it didn't happen. There was a brief period in which he tried very hard to escape from his bonds, but it was no use, he was stuck there. So, he accepted it. They were going to the Capitol. There was nothing else to be said...

    "Where did you get that little stick?" Peara asked after a moment. He hadn't realized she didn't know, but how would she? The forest was a place Saul went to escape from everything, including her. Upon retrospect, he found it crude and childish that he'd ever wanted to be without Peara... And that he'd ever considered her a burden. She was his sister, and he was her brother.

    "I got it from the forest." Saul replied, careful not to reveal too many details. "It was from a tree that used to mean a lot to me."

    "Is that the place that you were always disappearing off to all the time?" She asked.

    "Yeah. Mom used to take me out there a lot before... You know..."

    "Well," she sighed, and then sent a reassuring smile his way. "If this place is important to you, then it's important to me too."

    "It's gone now..."

    "What?" Her voice was riddled with confusion. "How can a forest just be gone? What happened to it?"

    "Munrow." Saul's clenched his teeth together, feeling them grind his anger beneath them.

    "Oh." She didn't understand why he hadn't given her an answer, but she didn't press the subject because she knew she wasn't getting one.

    More minutes passed, and Saul watched every single second of it pass by like molasses in an hourglass on the clock tower in the center of District Eleven. It was one thing to tie them up, but at this point it felt like nobody was going to come. And so Saul ignored the clock and tended to his own thoughts. But no matter what he thought of, his train of thought always drove back to what he would do to Munrow when he walked in that door behind them. He had so much rage pent up toward the man and he didn't know what to do with it all. It was ripping him apart...

    The doors opened and Saul checked the clock. 9:54, it read. He wasn't sure how long he'd been out, but he was sure they had been here for a great long while. The footsteps of the man who'd opened the doors were long and slow, like he wasn't in any hurry. He was completely silent except for his footsteps. Saul wasn't even sure he was breathing. It was surely Mr. Munrow, here to send them off with one more slap across the jaw...

    But, to his surprise, the man that appeared before them was not Munrow, but a much larger, much younger man. He stared down at them with disappointment through his broad shoulders. He wasn't wearing anything extravagant, only a plain cloth shirt and pants, but his pecs shined through it. The man was huge. He spoke gruffly through his long black beard. "You're shot."

    "Yes." Saul replied. "Where is Munrow? I want to speak to him."

    "You're speaking to me now." He snarled, and was so intimidating, Saul didn't want even want to know the answer anymore.

    "You're really big." Peara told him.

    "I know." He told her with less malice in his voice. He seemed to have a softer heart for her than he did for Saul. "My name's Mimses. And you little shits are my pupils."

    "Mimses?" Saul had heard the name before. He was from Eleven and had won the Hunger Games just six or seven years ago. That meant... He was their mentor? Saul hoped it wasn't true. He didn't watch the Games at that young age, but he heard this man was a brutal killer, and that part of a man never changes... "You're the victor."

    "We ain't here to talk 'bout me." He said. "Now get up."

    Saul didn't take any effort to hide his confusion. "But, sir, we're tied up. Can you untie us?"

    "No. You untie yourselves." He crossed his arms and scowled. "This is your first test. You can't make it out of them, you got no place in the Hunger Games."

    Saul frowned, but by the look on Mimses' face, he could tell he was serious, and didn't question it again, he wriggled around in his bonds for a long time, but brute force just wouldn't do it. No matter he pressed against them, he ended up straining himself more than it free him. The loosest part of his bonds were his shoulders. Maybe if he could just...

    But by the time that he managed to get the tightening rope off his shoulder, Peara had already escaped. She jumped from the chair, beaming up at the giant. Mimses didn't look happy for her. He just looked slightly less pissed. "I did it!" She cried.

    "You did." Mimses rubbed his chin and looked down scoldingly upon Saul. "Disappointed in you, boy. Even the little girl is quicker than you. She actually realized that her wrists aren't knotted." He held up Peara's hands by the ropes that were still tied at her wrist. "Too busy panicking to think things out logical."

    Saul pulled at his restraints on his hands and realized he was right. He twisted them around three times and the ropes slipped harmlessly through each other, letting him freely use his hands. After this, it was much easier to writhe out of his bonds. He could have escaped all this time... How had he not realized?

    "Now stand up, boy." Mimses told him. Saul hadn't realized he was still seated. "You're goin to the Capitol."

    The Capitol... It was really happening. He began to walk straight towards the back wall and the doorway still being guarded by the silent Peacekeepers and they followed behind. Saul started to put things together in his head. "So, you were the one that tied us up?" He asked the hulking man.

    "Jesus, you're slow." He spat. "'Course I did."

    "Where is Munrow? I want to speak with him." Saul said. Mimses didn't bother to look him in the eye, but he didn't expect him to. "He was the reason we're here. I think I at least deserve to tell him what a piece of shit he is."

    "He ain't comin'." Mimses finally answered. "He's got important business to attend to."

    The fire in Saul's heart raged on once more. Munrow had more important things? He had singlehandedly ruined he and Peara's lives, and he wouldn't even see it through to the end... That was just like him... Worming his way out of conflict. Munrow was a coward, and nothing more.

    Saul cursed his name aloud and internally. "This is bullshit. I want to see him."

    "You ain't gonna."

    "Saul, your language!" Peara called.

    And in a fit of rage he shouted at her. "Shut up, Peara!" It wasn't directed at her, or at anyone really. Saul just had so much anger that had nowhere to go now that Munrow had vanished out of his life. But he regretted the words as soon as he said them. Watching the girl tear up and hide from him behind a man they just met him shattered any sense of identity he thought he had left. He wanted to reach out and help her, but by that time, Pears was already crying. Saul had never yelled at her before...

    Before he had a chance to say anything, he felt a huge jolt of pain, and Mimses had decked him in the gut. It was dangerously close to his gunshot wound, which had been just starting to feel better. Now pain coursed through his being as he collapsed to the ground gasping for breath. He couldn't stop the tears from coming. If the man had punched him in the face, he would have been out cold...

    "I don't care if you're shot!" He barked, loud enough for all of Eleven to hear. "I don't give a shit if you're mad at your old boss! I don't give a shit if no one else gives a shit about you! This girl is your sister and you're all she has left, bitch! Now get up off the ground and shut the fuck up."

    "Munrow..." Saul choked. He could only say one word at a time while he gasped. "Munrow... Here... Please..."

    "Munrow said you were strong. You're pathetic." Mimses said, and then conjured up a ball of saliva and spit it out onto the ground in front of Saul's face. It smelled of smoke and chewing tobacco.

    "I need... To see him..." Saul sputtered out. "I... I'm..."

    But Mimses interrupted him with an angry glare. "You don't deserve to be her brother." He said, taking Peara by the shoulder and spinning her toward the door. "C'mon girl. Stay close to me."

    And when he said those words, Saul broke into a thousand pieces. They were the same ones he had told his sister and they pierced his skin like an arrowhead when they were used against him. He just sat there, gasping for breath and for forgiveness.

    They closed the door behind him, leaving Saul in the room by himself. He managed to pick himself up off the ground and turned around. The clock read 9:59. Time had a way of taunting you, making you believe it worked for you, and then stabbing you in the back.

    "MUNROW! YOU COWARD!" Saul called into the empty room. He knew Munrow wouldn't hear him. He didn't care.

    Saul was alone in that room with nothing but his own hatred. He felt sorry for hurting Peara, but right now, all of himself was blocked out in the white-hot fury in his eyes. He wished he still had his sword so he could run Munrow through the chest with it. And that was when he decided it. He didn't care about anything anymore but this. The next time he met Mr. Munrow, he would kill him. The more painfully the better.

    The clock chimed 10:00. The world was dead to Saul Arrem.

    End of Chapter 29

  • Coincidentally it was actually exactly 10:00 when I wrote the last paragraph.

  • Oh man, that was another great part and another great chapter! I don't yet know what to think of Mimses, on the one hand he certainly is no nice guy, but on the other hand, I liked how he interacted with Peara, that shows that this guy might not be that bad after all. At least compared to Munrow, he's a damn saint already. Speaking of, I somehow hate Munrow even more than before now, which I haven't thought to be even possible before. But well, that was a great end for Saul's storyline in Book 1. I think Aura will be next then, yes? I am certainly scared for it, because her next chapter is called "The Peacekeeper" if I'm not mistaken. That could mean all sorts of things, but most likely it is something very, very negative. But well, you got me excited for the final parts of Book 1 and for the following books as well =)

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan 67% of readers cho

  • Yeah the next part is gonna be from Aura's perspective. Prepare your anus.

    Oh man, that was another great part and another great chapter! I don't yet know what to think of Mimses, on the one hand he certainly is no

  • Dem feelz

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan 67% of readers cho

  • All aboard

    TheLier posted: »

    Dem feelz

  • All caught up again! Sorry for not commenting on the parts so often but I just wanted to let you know that I read this story and enjoy it very much :)

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan 67% of readers cho

  • Oh sweet! Nice to see you back!

    janitor posted: »

    All caught up again! Sorry for not commenting on the parts so often but I just wanted to let you know that I read this story and enjoy it very much

  • Good to be back! I really want to comment more often now. I am excited for the next chapter and for Book 2 ^^

    Oh sweet! Nice to see you back!

  • edited September 2016

    Sorry this one took a bit guys.

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan

    Chapter 28: The Peacekeeper

    Aura Cantarella

    It was too early in the morning to deal with this. Aura had only just woken up, and her shoulders were sore when she did. She thought that beds made by the Capitol would be more comfortable. They weren't. She would have preferred her own any day. And she was awoken by a loud buzzing noise screeching in her ear. In her state of drowsiness, she was sure an atom bomb were about to come crashing down on District Seven. At this point, she would welcome it...

    But it was just her alarm clock, set in place by Ludwig last night. Today was the day. Today was the last time she would ever be home. She looked out the window over the village of Seven. It was surrounded on all sides by thick, dense forests of oak and pine. It was so serene from up here, Aura briefly forgot what hell it was.

    Aura rubbed the buildup from her eyes and gazed around her room. It wasn't much to look at; devoid of all color except black and white. But there was a dresser in the corner of the room that was very ornate, with glass jewels encrusted on its spine. She knew there was a change of clothes there for her. And on chandelier above her hung a thousand tiny lights. She clapped her hands and they illuminated the room.

    Some people had trouble lifting themselves from their beds in the morning, but Aura had no trouble. It was a simple test of mind over matter for her. She yawned a few times and pushed back her blankets. She expected her feet to meet with hard tile when she touched the ground, but was surprised to find it soft and fuzzy. Of course... They had laid out slippers for her... She stepped across the room to her bathroom door. She was used to having to ford the rest of the house to reach the bathroom. She supposed the Capitol was capable of doing something right.

    After closing the door behind her, she stripped off all her clothing and stepped into the corner of the room with a faucet aimed in its direction. She twisted a knob that she knew meant the temperature. It came jetting against her back with pressures high enough to knock over someone who wasn't expecting it- it actually had managed it the first morning she stayed here. She closed her eyes and laid her hands against the walls, letting the water pour over her skin and her hair. It was almost too hot and was starting to burn her back, but Aura didn't care. The pain took her mind off of everything... It was a relaxing pain. This would be her last chance to relax, so she let herself enjoy it.

    She rubbed the soap into her palms and spread it throughout her hair. It smelled of roses, at least what she thought roses smelled like. They didn't grow wild in District Seven. They were a product owned solely by the lower number districts and the Capitol. District One's export was luxury. Aura wondered how many of their flowers wilted on President Snow's coat every year...

    She threw her hair back once it was entirely clean and stepped out of the shower. After she wrapped herself firmly with one of the fluffy cream-colored towels, she went through the rest of her morning routine, and while she was brushing her teeth, she noticed in the mirror a dark smudge on the side of her cheek. It was a bruise from where Uncle Crispin had hit her a few days ago. It was faint, but enough to remember the pain... And the humiliation...

    She stepped outside her bathroom. She was still damp from the shower and water was dripping onto the floor, but she decided she would clean it up later. She glided to her drawer and pulled it open. Aura flipped through the outfits she found there. None of them suited her... There was a bright pink dress with frills on the sleeves and collar. There was a turquoise top that showed so much skin, she might as well walk outside and drop the towel. There was a lavender coat of leather that did cover her well enough, but its collar rose up to the top of her head, almost concealing her face except for a strip for her eyes and nose. How did the Capitol call this fashion? These clothes were hideous...

    Aura heard a loud creak behind her and instinctively jumped. Standing in the open doorway was a short woman with a full head of gorgeous black hair tied back in a ponytail. Her baby-like facial features made her seem like a young child as old as Corvin, but the streaks of gray in her hair led her to believe otherwise. The woman's cheeks went red at seeing Aura in a towel and quickly sealed the door behind her. Who was she? Aura rapidly grabbed the blandest outfit she could find- a white silk shirt with sleeves that traveled down to her forearm and matching skirt. After throwing the clothes clumsily, Aura went to her front door and opened it to see the short woman standing there before her, looking rather embarrassed.

    "Good morning." Aura smiled, smoothing the wrinkles on her shirt. She found it had many loose strings hanging off her sides. Those were going to itch later.

    The gentleness in Aura's speech seemed to calm the woman a bit. She then pointed to her mouth and opened her lips wide for her to see. In the place where her tongue would be there was a singed and scarred stub... This woman was an avox, and effectively a slave now. The Capitol had taken her tongue as punishment for her crimes. Aura didn't know what to say.

    "I'm... sorry." She spit the words out awkwardly.

    The woman shook her head. She held up both hands, gesturing on one three of her fingers and on the other a letter O. No, a zero. "Thirty?" The woman nodded her head. "Thirty? Is that your name?" She nodded again. Thirty... That was a strange name. Surely it wasn't her name before the Capitol took her tongue...

    When Aura got closer to Thirty, she saw years of pain in the slight wrinkles on her cheeks. The way her bright green eyes twinkled when they met Aura's... She must have been at least fifty years old, but she didn't look the part. She must have had so many stories to tell. So many life experiences were wrapped up in this avox woman, and now she wouldn't be able to share any.

    "Thirty?" Aura asked, getting back on topic. "What did you come here to do?"

    Of course, Thirty didn't respond, but took her gently by the hand and strode through the open doorway, dragging Aura in tow. They strode through the massive halls of the Justice Building. The architecture was grand and towered over anything else in Seven that dared to compete. They found the giant spiral staircase that scaled the building's ten stories through its center and began to step down it. Aura peered off the side of the glass railing down the hollow chamber. There were a few men and women who were officials from District Seven's government walking around through it, going about business as usual. Aura found it petty: there even being different governments for each of the districts. Everyone knew there was only one that mattered, and it wasn't in Seven.

    Thirty led her by the hand all the way down to the lobby and through the small crowd of official faces scuttling along the ground. They found the door on the opposite side of the building as the steps to the entrance. They slid open instantly as Thirty walked near them. Behind them was a long hallway covered in a glass ceiling that wrapped around them like a dome. The hallway led down into the valley below and back up to a hill adjacent to them. Aura peered through the glass to see where they were heading. It was the train station. This was it.

    It took around ten minutes to walk down the valley and climb back up the hill to the train station, but it felt like hours to her. She wanted to stretch out these last few minutes she spent in her home town as far as she could.

    There was a similar set of sliding doors upon their arrival at the train station, gliding open to reveal a small room with a few monorail cars in the center. The deck was small. Hardly anyone probably ever came here, just Capitol officials. There was a mass of people huddled in the center, all overly excited to greet her. Ludwig Orretter stood there, making sure all was well with the others. And there was the young boy, Samwell, the other tribute, talking closely with his mother. She seemed somewhat annoyed with him, the bitch... He didn't do anything wrong. Crispin was here too to see her off, the boys by his side. Seeing them all standing together left a sour taste in Aura's mouth. Why had she ever given her blessing to let him be caretaker over them. Barker's eyes lit up when he saw his sister, and Corvin put on a solemn face. Aura looked back over the group one more time, seeing many familiar faces. Although, if she was counting heads correctly, someone was missing. Where was Mayor Quimby? And for that matter, where was their mentor?

    "Young Miss Cantarella!" Ludwig stretched out his arms to greet her, a wife smile spread across his face. "I trust our servant escorted you here without difficulty?"

    Aura shot a glance at Thirty behind her. She held her hands behind her back and hung her head to avoid eye contact while waiting for her next direction. Aura sneered. Ludwig had complete and utter control of her, like a slave... Surely, no one else in the room was okay with this. But, after a glance around, they all were.

    "Yes." Aura answered him clearly. "Yes, she was very helpful."

    "That's good. You've done well, Thirty." Ludd smiled and nodded sleazily. His big brown eyes looked up and down her silk dress. "You look like an angel, Miss Cantarella. The Capitol will love you!"

    "Thank you." Aura smiled at him, holding her head high. A compliment from Ludwig meant virtually nothing, but she didn't show it.

    "Thought you weren't gonna show up!" Crispin laughed. He strolled up to her and put his arm around her shoulder the most affectionate way he knew how. He was dressed very suavely in a brown leather jacket she'd never seen before. "I was going to have to come looking for you."

    "Got to a late start." Aura agreed with him. "But, here I am!"

    Ludwig lifted his left sleeve and looked at the gray wristwatch he had fastened there. He seemed nervous, but passed it off as nothing. He turned to address the small crowd and raised his arms in the air. "Isn't this a momentous occasion, my friends! The Quarter Quell, and the first of its kind!"

    "It's exciting, isn't it." Crispin agreed, patting him on the back. They laughed heartily, and no one else joined in.

    Barker stepped forward. His shaggy blonde hair was unkempt because Aura hadn't been there to comb it this morning. "Can Aura stay with us?" He asked. "She doesn't want to go."

    "Well of course she does." Ludd interrupted him. "She volunteered didn't she? An extraordinary act of bravery!"

    "But-" Barker's words ceased when his older brother punched him hard in the shoulder. "Ow!" He cried. He really didn't understand. "Corvin!"

    "Control your boys, Crispin." Ludd's smile faded upon the words. "It's by an act of grace I was able to let them see their sister off."

    "They'll be dealt with later." He replied. Aura didn't like the malevolent edge to his words.

    Ludwig checked his watch again and then the doors around them. "And you, Missus Beckett? How is your boy?"

    "Look for yourself." She spat angrily. She clearly didn't want to be here.

    Sam was utterly terrified, his eyes darting back and forth between each of them. He didn't know any of them but his mother, and was being thrust forcefully into a situation he didn't understand. He was too young for this. This year, the Districts chose their own tributes, so they were bound to be the oldest and nastiest brutes in the district. Sam would stand no chance... His eyes met Aura's briefly, and she couldn't help but see Barker or Corvin in his place. How would she feel if either of them were taken against their will? Aura wanted to help... But she couldn't...

    Ludwig clearly didn't like children. He didn't have to hide it with Aura's brothers, but for Sam, the man was clearly struggling with appearing to enjoy his presence. Sure, Samwell might not have been the bravest kid, or the strongest or the smartest, but he was still just a scared kid. Why was Aura the only one who saw that?

    "I trust you are ecstatic to join the tributes?" Ludwig asked the boy unenthusiastically.

    "He is." The kid's mother answered for him, tightening her grip on his collar.

    Crispin nodded in a friendly way towards the boy. "You're going to do great, kid." Aura had known Crispin long enough to tell when he was lying.

    "I'm not going to lie..." Ludd sighed, glancing a few times from his watch to the doors. "I'm a bit worried about our mentor. He's never usually this late."

    If Aura was correct, the mentor for Seven's name was Josep Parr. She'd met him a few times, despite him living on the other side of the Victor's Village. Although, he was never there. Whenever he wasn't attending events at the Capitol with Rowan and Crispin, he was out with his wife somewhere or other. But from what little she remembered of the man, she knew he was very punctual. It was strange he wasn't here yet.

    "I'm afraid..." Ludwig said the words slowly and softly, hoping with each passing second that Josep would hop through the doors. "I'm afraid that if he doesn't arrive soon, we will have to make do..." They waited silently for ten minutes, and he didn't come. "This is quite troubling... Thirty, could you go see if you can retrieve him?" The avox woman left immediately, though Aura knew she would have no idea where to look.

    "The way I see it..." Crispin started, standing coolly in the middle of the group. "We got three victors, right? Me, Josep and my brother... Now one of them hasn't got a spine. Hint; it's Rowan. So he's not gonna show his face any time soon. And Josep, while I do love the man, he isn't really here. So..." He outstretched his hands to let the group come to its own conclusion: a very horrible one.

    "No." Aura protested immediately, pointing at her uncle. "We are not bringing him."

    She turned to see Ludwig's face with an expression of grudging acceptance. He does qualify for the position, miss Cantarella."

    "He can't!" Aura continued. Crispin sneered in her direction and Mrs. Beckett coughed as though she was above the matter.

    "I can. And I will." Crispin responded harshly. "What other option do you have?"

    "Well, technically speaking, it is a legal move to appear to the Hunger Games without a mentor. Weaker districts like Ten and Twelve do it all the time." Ludwig told them.

    "Nah, that's a death sentence." Crispin shook his finger in the air matter-of-factly. "I'm the only chance they have of getting a good education. Right, Aura?" He looked her in the eye intensely. He made it clear that he would have something to say if she disagreed. But she wasn't talking to Mayor Quimby anymore. Crispin couldn't control her this time.

    "What about the boys?" Aura asked back. "I thought you were determined to take care of them while I was away."

    "They'll come with us." Crispin nodded. "If I go to the Capitol, my little dependents are following me."

    "Well, it's your decision, miss Cantarella." Ludwig shifted in his chair, raising an oily eyebrow. "In the end, you are the one who will be in the arena. Mister Beckett will be as well, but he is in no shape to speak. I think Crispin has put up a good case and you should consider it."

    "Yes, what the good man said." Crispin smiled in his own brand of creepy. He stared into Aura's eyes, knowing he was going to get what he wanted. "So, Aura, you want to win or do you want to die?"

  • Good part, and a hard ass decision, but I went with brining Crispin.
    At least they boys would see the Capitol, once in their life, and not alone with Crispin. More time for their father to come back, if he ever does.

    Sorry this one took a bit guys. @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLie

  • Huh, this was a very hard decision to a very great part, but I ultimately also chose to bring Crispin, for several reasons. First of all, it means that Corvin and Barker won't be alone with Crispin and that Aura might be able to keep an eye on them for a little longer, maybe just long enough for Rowan to reveal himself, if he's still alive. Second, it means that Aura is going to have a mentor at the Capitol. I somewhat think that Crispin arranged this, that he is behind this Josep guy not appearing. Maybe he even killed him, who knows what that sick fuck is capable of. But Aura needs a mentor if she wants to make it in the games. Rowan trained her for this moment, but there are many things she doesn't know. Crispin won the games, so his knowledge can save her live.

    Sorry this one took a bit guys. @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLie

  • edited September 2016

    Awesome part! I also chose to have Crispin accompany Aura to the capitol because of that TheLier and Liquid said. She needs a guy with game experience if she wants to win the games, even if this guy is creepy and unstable. But without a mentor, her chances will be worse.

    Sorry this one took a bit guys. @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLie

  • edited October 2016

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan

    75% of readers chose to [A. Bring Crispin to the Capitol.]

    "He comes with us." Aura said the words as clearly as she could to Ludwig. It was hard not to spit them through her teeth. For one thing, she didn't want her brothers to hear her go off in front of all of them. It might not end well...

    "Very well." Ludwig replied. He didn't try very hard to conceal his approval. Aura didn't know what he saw in the man. Bringing Crispin meant violence and insanity. Although, Aura would be heading to the Capitol soon; she would have to get used to it.

    Crispin smiled and patted her hard on the back. "My daughter has made a wise choice." Aura fought hard against the urge to correct him. "So will that be all? I don't know if you all are on a timetable, but I am."

    Aura questioned the statement for a moment, but when the conversation charged past it, she had no choice but to let it go. Ludwig nodded. "I just need to grab my servant. She can be such a handful sometimes..." He sighed, patted off his sleek yellow coat and walked through the back of the room, heading down the long walk for the Justice Building. How could he be mad? Thirty left on the task he sent her on...

    As soon as the man left the room, Barker rushed forward and wrapped his little arms around his older sister. He was followed by Corvin shortly after. "We're coming with you!" He exclaimed.

    "Yeah!" Aura replied, trying to hide her worry. She wasn't sure how being in the Capitol would be any better for the boys. They would be closer to Snow... But they would be closer to her too. If there was anything about the situation Aura could be grateful for, it was that she would have a few days extra to spend with her brothers. She tore her eyes away from her brothers for a moment to peer across the room at Sam, who was still being dragged around by his collar. She worried for him too. He didn't have any family to visit him except the parents that sold him out...

    Crispin came over to where she stood and patted her on the back a little bit harder than was necessary. "Congratulations." He smiled, not making eye contact with her. "Now you don't have to leave us behind. I appreciate your respect of your uncle's wishes. For all our differences, Aura, we have one thing in common."

    "What's that?" She asked, dreading whatever he was about to say. Aura hated seeing any of herself in the man.

    "We both want you to pull through." He smirked. "I know I seem like a dick sometimes, but I really do care." He pulled Aura into a close hug, where her head rested on his shoulder. She didn't reciprocate. Corvin and Barker joined in on the hug. Poor boys... They didn't even full understand what was going on. "I love you so much..."

    Aura saw over her uncle's shoulder the look of disapproval on Mrs. Beckett's face. Maybe she couldn't fathom being a member of a family that shared a connection. Even if there was more hatred than love between Aura and Crispin, she didn't know that. "Y'all are cute." She spat ironically.

    "Thank you for your input, darling. I'm afraid, however, I don't need it." Crispin shot an angry look at her. He disbanded the hug and took Aura by the shoulder. "Can I speak with you privately for a moment?"

    "Of course..." Aura sighed, afraid that if she objected she would be humiliated further.

    Crispin led her back out the sliding doors into the long hallway where their voices echoed loudly to no one's ears. "May I say, that's a lovely dress you have on. Did the Capitol give it to you?"

    "Yes." She replied, refusing to thank him.

    "I can't help but notice it's all white." He said, running his fingers down the fabric on her shoulder. "And while it's a nice bit of Capitol fashion, such a lacy dress like this, I can't help but think of something while you're wearing it."

    "What's that?"

    "You know, the Peacekeepers wear all white..." He scratched his chin thoughtfully and began to pace around. "There's something your grandfather told me when I was young. He was a war veteran, you know? You probably don't remember him. He passed away when you were still in diapers. Anyway, my daddy, he... He was a patriot, you know?"

    "He was?" Aura raised an eyebrow. She had never heard much about her grandfather.

    "Yeah, but he wasn't the good, law-abiding kind, you know? He was a trouble maker. He was a patriot, but not for the Capitol. Rowan and I and your mother all tried very hard to escape his ties to the resistance during the dark days." Aura's heart pumped faster upon the mention of Mom. "That was why he was killed, because of his disobedience to authority. To some extent, he taught us to do the same when we were kids. He taught us the power of a stance, and knowing when to back down and when to fight for what you believe in... And he told me, when I was Barker's age, he told me that the Peacekeepers weren't what they seemed.

    "They're all dressed in their gallant white armor carrying weapons that could end the life of anyone they met. You really think those weapons keep the peace? No, they keep you in line. They're an extravagant show to keep everyone aware that the Capitol's got them by the balls. That ain't peace, Aura. It looks like peace, because nobody's fighting, but in the end, it's the districts who chose not to fight back. It's us, Aura."

    "What do you mean?" She asked, still unclear of Crispin's truth. "Are you telling me to fight back?"

    "What, hell no." He looked disgusted, but for a moment, there was a genuine moment of trust that Aura had never had with him before. What was he trying to say? "No, Aura. That would be treason."

    "Then what are you trying to say?"

    "I'm trying to warn you." He continued. "Earlier, when we were talking to Quimby, I could sense it in you. You hate Snow and the Capitol with all your heart. And don't try to hide it." She sighed and shrugged it off. Why was Crispin always right? She really wanted him to be wrong for once.

    "So what I'm saying is that this 'peace' that is upheld by the law and the Hunger Games is completely fabricated by Snow. It doesn't exist. The Districts are still just as much at war with the Capitol as they were during the Dark Days. So if the Peacekeepers, don't uphold peace, who does?"

    Aura looked down at the white dress and all its frilly laces she was wearing. "We are."

    "But more specifically, you." Crispin nodded, pointing to her and not breaking eye contact. "You are the Peacekeeper now. There's something coming this year, and it's going to be big. They want you to think that you're a pawn, but you're not. If you really want to, you can end all this. We tried to escape my dad's treason against the Capitol, and we did so. It's the only reason we're both still here. It's the only reason the Cantarella name still exists."

    "And you don't want me to fuck that up?"

    "Stole the words right out of my mouth." She patted her on the shoulder and smiled. This time, Aura saw something more behind the smile than just malice. She saw a brief fleeting moment of the uncle she wished she had. "That's my first piece of advice as your mentor."

    "Thanks." She sighed.

    Then he did something odd. He reached around the side of her dress and reached her right hand pocket. For a moment she wanted to grab his hand, but it didn't move anywhere other than her hip on her pocket. She found an object underneath her clothing and clutched his fingers tightly around it. It was the owl pendant. He leaned into her ear and whispered so faintly she could barely make out what he said. "Keep that safe." And he kissed her on the cheek to pass it safely by the cameras.

    Aura's eyes went wide as she put the pieces together. How the hell did he know about the owl pendant she found in the woods? He was nowhere near there at the time. When she asked him if he knew the name Schrodinger, he had refused. Had he been lying? It certainly wouldn't have been out of character... But she had believed him. Why did she believe him? That slimy piece of shit... She suddenly had the urge to completely disregard his words and throw the pendant in the gutter but something held it in her pocket. And she knew then as she clutched it close to her, feeling its intricate wooden grooves, that she was part of something greater now.

    "So you're Schrodinger?" She muttered under her breath. "You lied to me..."

    "Who?" He responded, clearly lying again. Why was he doing this. "I don't have any recollection of that name?"

    And upon the hill appeared Ludwig, bearing the same jolly smile as ever. "Schrodinger? Who's that? I heard you say that. What's it mean?"

    "Just a nonsense word, Ludd." Crispin nodded to him holding his arms behind his back. His eyes widened in shock, as did Aura's as they gazed upon the upcoming group of individuals. Ludwig was not alone. Thirty was trailing behind him looking solemn, and so was Mayor Quimby. There were tear streaks down his wrinkled cheeks and a giant wad of gauze in his mouth. Aura knew what had happened, but she didn't want to believe it.

    Quimby was an avox and a very recent one. His brown eyes looked to Aura in a mixture of fear and sorrow and she returned it. But then, he looked back down to the ground as if expecting a beating. How had he fallen so far? Surely speaking his thoughts against the Capitol hadn't been enough to warrant the complete ruin of this man's life... But here he stood before them.

    "Well, look who we have here." Crispin said, in an odd mixture of shock and delight. "I see Mr. Quimby has joined our staff. Welcome, sir." He applauded politely and no one followed along. Quimby's cheeks shot red and he looked furious, but he could no longer speak. Crispin bumped Aura in the arm, as if to say "I told you so." Asshole...

    "He's lucky just to have lost his tongue and not his head. Isn't that right?" Ludd smiled evilly and Quimby nodded in a reluctant way. Aura's eyes drifted to the old avox, Thirty, who looked like years had been streaming down her face as well. "I believe we are all set now, are we not? Everything is in order?"

    "Everything is ship-shape." Crispin replied, winking down at his niece.

    "Good." He laughed, clutching his beer belly. He looked over to Aura. "And, I suppose... May the odds be ever in your favor."

    The next few minutes were a blur in Aura's eyes. So much had happened that she no longer paid it any attention. They glided back through the double doors and rounded up the boys. Samwell Beckett and his mother exchanged one last soulless goodbye before they departed and she left, never to see her son again... They boarded the train and Aura wasn't even able to enjoy the plush seating and the friendly aroma of roses. Her father was gone. They had stolen Quimby's life away. Her uncle lied to her about being involved, and now she thought about it, had he lied about killing her father too? Everything had gone to shit.

    She could stop thinking about what Crispin had told her. It had been purely a coincidence that she decided to wear all white today, like the Peacekeepers. As much as she hated her uncle, something about his speech resonated through her, like a wave. There was peace, but only while the Districts chose not to act... While she chose not to act... Aura was no longer a pawn. She was now a Peacekeeper.

    End of Chapter 28

  • edited October 2016

    Wait... wait, Crispin is Schrodinger? Of all the possible choices, he would have been the last I would have ever suspected. He wasn't even on my list before! I mean, it's not outright confirmed, but he is very much on the list now. If he isn't Schrodinger, he certainly knows him and possibly even works for him. Oh man, this entire part gave me the chills, that was just brilliant! Crispin's talk to Aura was an eye-opener not only for her, but for me as well. Fuck, now I don't even know if he's truly the bad guy he seemed to be. I still don't like the way he acts around her, but if he is in league with Schrodinger and if Schrodinger is indeed the good guy here, then he might at least be on the right side. At least he's not just some psychopath, as this part seemed to show that he cares for more than himself. By now, I'm not really sure if he truly killed Rowan, or if Rowan has something to do with Schrodinger as well. It's all possible now and this part changed a lot.

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan 75% of readers cho

  • The Owl is a friend :D

    Wait... wait, Crispin is Schrodinger? Of all the possible choices, he would have been the last I would have ever suspected. He wasn't even o

  • Plot gets awfully thick. I won't even attempt to guess.

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan 75% of readers cho

  • Big plot twist. This is so awesome I cant wait to see what this is all about. How many chapters are left for Book 1?

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan 75% of readers cho

  • Just one

    janitor posted: »

    Big plot twist. This is so awesome I cant wait to see what this is all about. How many chapters are left for Book 1?

  • edited November 2016

    Heeeeeeeere's Johnny!

    @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_stan

    Chapter 29: The Sunrise

    Theoram Warrik

    The morning air was hazy and full of the unknown. Theo sat uncomfortably in one of the plain wire chairs, the same one he found himself upon in January. He sipped thoughtfully on his Winkberry brew, appreciating the warmth more than the flavor. A light fog had settled upon the streets of the Capitol today. Theo loved the refreshing fog... But more than anything, Theo loved watching the sun rise over the land, making the Shining City shine even more brightly. It was a mix of saturated red and pale blue, illuminating t. He wondered if anyone stopped to appreciate the sky anymore... Perhaps they were more caught up with the colors of their lipstick and hair than they were with the world they lived in.

    Roman had been let out of the hospital yesterday, and they had scheduled their usual weekly meeting at their favorite tea shop on Warrens Street. He said he was to be bringing someone else along this morning, but had not said as to who. Theo didn't mind the extra company. Tonight was one of the last nights before the Quarter Quell and it was one of his last few nights as true friends with Roman before their paths parted ways...

    Theo had taken care that no one would discover his secret plans to overthrow the Hunger Games and Coriolanus Snow. Roman was his best friend, but he was so intoxicated with the Games that Theo couldn't trust him with such a task. He was confident he had confided in everyone he could trust already. If one word slipped out of place over the next few weeks, Theo's plan would crumble into pieces. He had to be very careful from here on out, picking each sentence like it might be his last. The Capitol would not be kind to him if they discovered his true motives.

    As to his motives, the Hunger Games had to come to an end. Panem was the last nation on Earth, and it was ripping itself apart from the inside. Had Theo been able, he would have ended the Games long ago, but he didn't have the power then. All of his plans... All of his ambitions were leading up to the Quarter Quell. This was his chance. Everything was in place. Roman's plan was coming to fruition as well. He had been planning this Games for a long time, and Theo knew it, even before he had announced so last January. He was preparing this Games to be his masterpiece above all others. Where Roman saw it as something of an art, Theo only saw it as cruelty.

    The young waitress, the same one that had attempted to help him to his feet months ago, now was wiping off the patio tables with a grungy wet rag. "Good morning, Mr. Warrik." She smiled sweetly.

    "Morning, Marigold." He replied. He knew each of the employees at this restaurant by name, having been a regular for the past few years. "Some weather we're having, eh? I think it's finally chilling back down after that blistering summer."

    "Yeah." She replied airily. From it, Theo could tell she was hardly listening. So he let her back to her duties, knowing it was frustrating trying to evade a conversation you had no wish to continue. Theo's feelings weren't hurt. It took more than an apathetic waitress to hurt him.

    Roman was more timely than he had been lately. He told Theo he would arrive at 8:00 in the morning, and here he was, as the clock tower in the distance chimed good morning. His arm was in a sling and there were a few cuts and bruises on his face, but otherwise, he looked perfectly orderly.

    "Good morning, Theo, my dear friend," Roman smiled formally, extending an arm of welcome. "I always wonder why you love so much to sit out here in the cold when it's perfectly toasty inside. Does the temperature not scathe you like it does me?"

    Upon seeing Roman rub his shoulders and shiver, Theo chortled. "No, it's very cold, but I find it invigorating... Waking up at the crack of dawn and drenching your skin in the windy morning. How can you not be awake standing out here?"

    "True." He responded. He took a seat beside Theo and peered out at the sunrise, marveling at the array of colors. "The view helps."

    "Yes, the view does help." He said, taking another sip of his tea.

    After a long and subtle silence, in which both of the men simply appreciated one another's company, Roman slapped his good hand on the table softly to kickstart a conversation Theo knew he had been saving. He was riddled with excitement. "So, Theo, the arena is procured."

    "Oh really?" He raised an eyebrow. He had been just as eager to hear the news as Roman was to share it.

    "Indeed! The construction crew is preparing even as we speak." He sighed wonderfully. "I am always so amazed how these engineers manage to turn a few acres of dry terrain into a fully function arena in such a short time... It truly is magnificent."

    "I agree. And what is it?"

    "That, sir, is a surprise. Even to you." He laughed, shaking his finger in his air. The bristles of his mustache were twitching spiritedly. "But we did heed your advice. The Twenty-Fifth Annual Hunger Games is taking place in a tropical rainforest we discovered many miles south of Panem. I can tell you, it is a thing of beauty... I wish you could have seen it... There were gorges and waterfalls and breathtaking views over the canopy... There was definitely some of the most strange plant life I have ever encountered..."

    "But I will get to see it." Theo replied. "Sometimes, Roman, I think you forget I am also on the panel with you."

    "Yes, but you were never able to see it purely for what it was. Unadulterated majesty... As much as I love what I do, the arena is never the same after the tributes have tarnished it. They won't appreciate the beauty... They only have enough time to worry about survival."

    "But perhaps, we could restore the land after the Games are finished?" He suggested, to which Roman shrugged.

    "Coriolanus would never approve of it. So many taxpayer dollars wasted on a forbidden land no law-abiding citizen of Panem will ever have a hope to see again." Roman twiddled his thumbs thoughtfully, gazing out upon the city before them. "Perhaps, when I am gone and you are Head Gamemaker, Theo, you will be fortunate enough to see the grand untouched world outside ours..."

    Even though Theo had heard Roman speak about his own death before, it still hit him as a shock to hear him say such things with so much apathy. "You're not going to die." He assured him. "You're the Head Gamemaker. President Snow himself loves you. That means all the protection in the world."

    "Thanks." Roman said with a kind of half-smile. One of the waitresses, Darta, waltzed over to their table and tried to take Roman's order. When he refused the offer, she raised her thin eyebrow and went back inside where all the other employees were. He knew they were joking about the two of them; they always did.

    Theo leaned in closer to him, lowering his own voice to a whisper. "You said that the rebel movement outside the walls of the Capitol and the Districts are targeting you. Why?"

    The question came as a surprise to Roman, but he answered it honestly. He was very careful that no one would hear. "Well, as you no doubt have noticed, my plans for this year's Hunger Games are very different... The rebels have a differing ideology from myself."

    "How so?"

    "If I tell you this, you have to promise not to tell anyone." The serious tone in his voice was unmistakeable.

    "Of course."

    "I mean, seriously, Theo." Roman said. "If word got out about what I have been scheming, no one would hesitate to clap me and anyone involved in irons. If I give you this information, you are roped in, do you understand?"

    "Yes." Theo replied, plainly. He didn't much enjoy being kept in the dark, and at this stage in his own plans, he couldn't afford to.

    "Okay..." Roman prepared himself, as if still struggling whether or not to tell him. "Goddamnit, okay. You're my best friend and I should trust you. After all, you trust me. You said so to Coriolanus just yesterday."

    "Just get on with it."

    "Okay. So this annual Hunger Games is special in more than a few ways." He stood up and began to pace around the table, still not leaving eye level with Theo at his short stature. "In fact, I have been planning it even before I was elected to the position of Gamemaker. It had been eighteen years in the making, and it is my masterpiece."

    "Eighteen years in the making?" Theo asked in confusion. "What do you mean?"

    "Well, this year, the Districts were forced to choose their own tributes, no? I pitched President Snow the idea last year and he ran with it. We're calling it the Quarter Quell. Well... the Districts haven't chosen their tributes, Theo. I have."

    He paused, waiting for the news to sink in, and slowly, Theo put a look of great concern over his face. "How did you choose them? The Districts each had power over their own paths. That was what you said yourself."

    "You see," he continued. "I have many associates, all whose names I am not able to disclose. I have strategically placed these agents around Panem, where they have all been for the last eighteen years. There are two per district, just as there are two tributes."

    "And what do you gain from this?"

    Roman continued, ignoring Theo's prompt. "Each of these men and women I have employed have spent the last two decades grooming a young child to be in the Hunger Games. In wealthier Districts like One and Two, this meant putting them through extensive Career training (though it is illegal), and everywhere else, they were raised to be what I consider the perfect tributes. Not all of them are strong, however. In fact, quite a few of them I'm sure will fall within the first night... But they all have their own unique qualities, and most importantly-they will put on the most grand stage play that had ever been...

    "Not all of my plans have worked. Some children have died, or else proved themselves unworthy of participating in the Game of Games... One tribute, one Raiden White I believe his name was... He was actually reaped in the Hunger Games just two years ago naturally. That put a dent in my plans, but no matter. He has been replaced. You know, Theo, in a way all these tributes are like my children... My twenty-four children. I have watched them their entire lives. I have seen them grow and I have seen them hurt. I have seen sometimes what even their closest friends and family haven't seen. I have a connection with each and every one of my tributes, and I believe Panem will too." Roman waited for a reaction, but saw Theo was simply hanging to hear more, so he continued.

    "It's why I have given myself the name the Hawk." He smiled. "I have watched for my prey and I have hunted for my meal. A hawk's eyes are some of the most powerful of all animal kind, and I have been using them for the past decades. Isn't it rather ironic that the one time the Districts have been given a choice, it was never their choice at all?"

    Roman was eager to hear what Theo had to say, but Theo could not find it within himself to state his true feelings. At the heart of it, this was madness, and somewhere deep down, Roman knew that. No matter how much he masqueraded the idea of masterpiece and art, there was a line... But Theo had only just escaped Roman's wrath once, and he wasn't about to try it again. "Say something." Roman said, slightly disappointed.

    "For eighteen years..." Theo sighed. "My God, man..."

    "No, don't say that!" Roman clenched his eyes tightly shut and waved his hand in the air rapidly. "This is exciting! This is my triumph! This is my grand victory over the system! Theo... This Games means more to me than my own life..."

    "Roman..." Theo sighed, but decided to play along. There was no stopping this once things had been set in motion, and they had begun years ago. "So you're saying you've elected each of the tributes personally? That's... That's unbelievable."

    "No, I haven't elected them per say." Roman tapped his mouth nervously. "The Districts all think the choice was in their hands, but it never was. My agents have been working to make sure their tribute was the logical candidate. And about eighty percent of them have come through..." He leaned in toward himself and began muttering under his breath. Theo could barely make out what he was saying. "The girl from Ten may prove cumbersome, but she..."

    "The girl from Ten?" Theo asked curiously.

    But the moment it was brought up, Roman changed the subject. "A few of my schemes have failed, as I have mentioned." He sighed. "The man I sent to Four... He got reckless and sent his poor son, Ronn on a mission. The tribute killed him. I never meant for anyone to get hurt..."

    "Not until the Games, more like..."

    "Yes, not until the Games." He chuckled, then raised a hand back to his lips. "The murderer boy's name is Marten, as I'm sure you'll hear his name quite a lot in the coming weeks. The boy is built like an ox... I reckon anyone comes near him, they'll have their ass handed to them."

    "Any others worth mentioning?" Theo asked, making a mental note of everything the man said. Roman's eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning. He had clearly been dying to tell someone this.

    "Yes. The girl from Nine..." He smiled inwardly as Theo took another sip from the tea. "This is hilarious: she's actually from One."

    "She hopped fence?"

    "Yes, she hopped fence, because she was determined to get back in the running after another girl beat her out! Do you believe that? I was so sure when she was done with my cause after she wasn't reaped. You can imagine my surprise when her name showed up the next day on a different District's roster. I guess old Jomal truly did a number on her..." Jomal... Theo had heard the name before. He had been one of the top-ranked Peacekeepers here in the Capitol just twenty years ago...

    "So about the girl from Ten," Theo started, but Roman shook his head. Theo kept going anyway. "You spoke of her like she was a threat. She's a threat how?"

    "No, Theo." Roman frowned. "You don't get to ask questions. I'm you're friend, but I'm also your superior, several rungs higher on the ladder than you are. I'm already breaking the laws telling you about this, just bear with me..."

    Theo sat in the wire chair and shook his head. The sun had risen higher into the sky now and the gorgeous colors had faded into an ordinary blue. It had grown much warmer and the fog had lifted off the ground. As much as he loved Roman, he wished he hadn't heard what he just had. He already knew more than Roman thought he did about the situation, but he just couldn't banish the idea that his best friend might not be fully sane.

    Theo tossed and turned the information he had just been told in his head. He needed to know some of it in order to carry out his plans, but he just wished it hadn't been delivered by Roman's mouth. The very fact that they trusted each other with their lives was going to make the betrayal that much harder... But it had to be done... The fate of Panem weighed heavier than one friendship.

    But there was still something he had to know. He had to know what Roman's problem with the tribute from District Ten was. If she was a threat to Roman, could she be considered a threat to Theo as well? Or was she a threat to all the Capitol and everyone who lived there? Or did she not even matter very much? He had to know this to carry on. Yet, he hardly expected he would receive an answer. Roman seemed hard pressed on not releasing any more information than he already had.

    What did the Hawk know about this girl?

  • Yeees, new part hype =) Also, damn, I think I have just lost a great chunk of respect for Roman. He's insane, completely nuts and I am shocked he hid it so well. I have never thought he could be the Hawk, that is a huge twist. However, the question still remains, who is the Owl? Thinking about Aura's earlier part, it seems possible that he or she is opposing the Hawk, but that does not mean they have any better, more favourable goals. I am also not sure if Crispin works for Roman, or for the Owl. His knowledge about Schrodinger implies the latter, since Schrodinger has only been associated with the Owl before, but since I am sure that Aura is one of the people Roman manipulated into becoming a tribute, he might have been following his orders instead, to make sure she becomes the D7 tribute. At the same time, I start to think that Rowan might have been the agent of the Hawk in District 7, considering him having an even more heavy influence on Aura's decision. In that case, Crispin might actually work against Roman's goals. Ah, this is getting confusing and I love it! I can't wait for the next part. As for the choice, I chose to learn more information about Penn. Maybe that's going to be something that gets her killed, who knows. I am also legitimately curious how far Roman's connections reach.

    Heeeeeeeere's Johnny! @mr.quality @janitor @supersagig @UkilledKenny @AAA_Jane @xSensus @WildlingKing @LiquidChicagoTed @TheLier @TWD_sta

  • Haha I've been saving that bastard in since the beginning. It's been tough, trying to hint at it, yet not spoil it all the way. Also, it isn't Penn that Roman is worried about. She's from Nine. Roman was mumbling about the girl from Ten, a tribute who no one has talked about yet. If that changes your decision, I can make a new straw poll.

    Yeees, new part hype Also, damn, I think I have just lost a great chunk of respect for Roman. He's insane, completely nuts and I am shocked

  • Oh, of course! I was totally wrong there, because just a second ago, they were speaking about Penn. That actually doesn't change my decision, it only makes me more eager to learn what Roman has to say. We don't know anything about this character, so any sort of knowledge will not only be interesting, but maybe it can also be used in favour of the tributes I root for in the arena.

    Haha I've been saving that bastard in since the beginning. It's been tough, trying to hint at it, yet not spoil it all the way. Also, it isn

  • edited November 2016

    Haha what do you think of Roman as the Hawk? Does it make sense? I've been so nervous about this reveal I had to rewrite the chapter three times to get the effect I wanted.

    Oh, of course! I was totally wrong there, because just a second ago, they were speaking about Penn. That actually doesn't change my decision

  • I like it a lot, that was a great twist! I haven't seen it coming at all, but that makes me determined to reread Theo's previous chapters, to see if I can find the hints. It really shifted my opinion on him completely. I don't know if the rewrites have been necessary, but the result is certainly awesome!

    Haha what do you think of Roman as the Hawk? Does it make sense? I've been so nervous about this reveal I had to rewrite the chapter three times to get the effect I wanted.

  • They were necessary. My other versions of the chapter had him much more up front about it, and in Theo's face, and I didn't think that made sense. The first one actually had a third person there who didn't really fit

    I like it a lot, that was a great twist! I haven't seen it coming at all, but that makes me determined to reread Theo's previous chapters, t

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