The Hunger Games [Character Submission Open]



  • "Skeeter Lascius!" Plexus called into the crowd. Penn could feel her heart stop, and Dray held her tighter. Dad patted her on the shoulder.

    Ayyy my girl!?

    @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan Chapter 8: The Tributes Penn Cassidy Nothing had changed. Penn wasn't sure what it had been before, b

  • edited February 2018

    Oh boy. Ooooh boy, better sit down, this is going to be a long one, because guess what, Penn is back and my rant is unleashed. Let the hatred flow through you, as I am able to give further detail as to why I react so harshly about anything related to her.

    There we finally have it, some of the reasons why I truly hate Penn and I can explain them at last. So, the core of all this, of my hatred for her and of the other unsympathetic traits and actions she has and will do is her insane desire to be in the games. And no, this is not just some desperate girl who thinks the games are her shot at regaining her oh so precious memory. She knows what the games are, her father and Dray are there to tell her. And yet she completely disregards their wishes because she has such a strong desire to murder innocent children in the arena. Those that are reaped into the games or forced to volunteer are innocents in the Capitol's sick games. But those that volunteer by their own will, those that want to be in the games, they are murderers just as much, complicit in all that is wrong about Panem.

    So, we have her desire to be in the games. Those are not games and she knows it. She is not stupid enough to consider them a fun little excersise and while she definitely is stupid, to a degree that make her parts infuriatingly frustrating for me to read, this determination to be in the games comes from this sick thirst for blood she has. Then, there is her selfishness. She doesn't give a flying fuck about her father or about Dray. All she cares for is that she has to get her will, like the spoiled bitch that she is, not caring about the fact that her will is to ruin twenty three families, take twenty three lives and leave her father and boyfriend. This is the Penn I know and hate, my friends, this bloodthirtsy, selfish, stupid, naive and bitchy waste of air. The groundwork for why I downright desire her death at best even before the games start in proper has been laid out in this part and maybe my rants will finally start to make sense here.

    See, we got this girl that has lost her memories, oh how tragic. If only, but unfortunately it has been confirmed that this bitchiness, her being a downright jerk to her father and Dray is how she used to be before. So, losing her memories is pretty much the only good thing about her, because the Penn she used to be has only been more insufferable. She wants to be a part of the games, but she is so stupid that she doesn't even for a moment stop to think how this will affect others. Either that, or she doesn't care and I think that is even more likely, because absolutely nobody can be so mind-numbingly stupid as to not realize that the games are about killing other people. The fact that she seems okay with killing children to fullfill her purpose (whatever that is supposed to mean) shows that she is evil, not just unlikable and unsympathetic, but plain evil. There is nothing good about her and with the traits she has shown in this part alone, I have already realized that she isn't worth the time and effort necessary to maybe change her, to find something actually worthy about her. She can go and fuck herself, because I am already so done with her, knowing exactly that there is only more shit to come from her. Doesn't mean I'll stop trying to redeem her through my choices, but I do that for the characters around her, to prevent her from ruining anyone but herself. If she'd light herself on fire to kill herself, I wouldn't even piss on her to save her life, instead I'd throw literal truckloads of gasoline on her. I couldn't care less for her and her oh-so-deep and tragic emotions, because she is responsible for everything, she wants to be in the games, she wants to not care about her father and her boyfriend, she wants to kill people, she wants to be this fucked-up monster.

    And to give you an idea just how messed up and stupid she is: She makes such a big talk about wanting to be in the games, but she did not volunteer right here. She could have spared poor Skeeter the horrors of being a part of the games, but she does not want to help anyone, she just wants to destroy and ruin and make this all about herself, because she is so bloody special and more important than the dozens of people she seeks to end. Instead of simply volunteering in Skeeter's place, she decided to come up with a truly messed up plan, willingly and knowlingly putting the lives of her father and boyfriend at risk and all this not for their sake, but solely for hers. Maybe you now start to understand why I hate her so much. And no, I am not overly harsh or unfair to her. There are twenty three tributes in this game whom I don't have to try and find sympathetic traits in, I don't have to put effort into liking them, for they are there against their will. If Penn would express even just a single trait that is not twisted and selfish and bitchy, things might be different, but there is literally nothing good about her, this part made it clear. Even if there is, with how stupid and frustrating and bitchy as she is, why should she deserve redemption? There is twenty three tributes I consider more interesting, more complex and more deserving to survive all this and don't expect this to change significantly. It would be better if Penn only seeks to ruin her own life, but she either outright wants to drag others down with her or at least doesn't care if she does. This is not a fun little game she's trying to play, she literally yearns to kill others at all costs, because she believes that her so-called destiny is more important than the lives of many others. This brings me to the point that she is ungrateful as hell, she has a good life in District 1, she is offered an even better one in the Capitol, but she wants to throw it all away no matter how badly her loved ones try to save her. I'd love to punch some sense into her, because obviously, with how stupid and spoiled she is, she desperately needs it.

    Seriously, I wonder why Dray is even sticking to her. She is not the slightest bit fond of him, that much is clear and while he is madly in love about her, she has made it clear that she does not care how he feels. This whole relationship feels borderline abusive, with Dray laying down everything, being hers to an unhealthy, self-sacrificing degree, whereas Penn only cares about herself, her dreams, her so-called purpose, her desire to murder children in the games.

    As for the choice, last time I chose to take Dray, but this time, I definitely won't. Penn is awful, just an awful piece of shit, not worthy to be loved. He deserves better, because unlike her, he actually is decent, he actually has positive traits. Given how dangerous crossing districts is, I don't want him to do such a drastic step, leaving behind his life, his friends, everything, to start anew in another district for this so-called girlfriend of his, a monster that is guaranteed to die in the games. See, what if Penn is going to die in the games? Even if you don't yet share my hatred for her, you have to take into account that her chances of survival are slim. That would leave Dray by himself in another district, especially one of the poorest of all Panem, where he'd live the rest of his life by himself in the shithole Penn has dragged him into. By leaving him behind, she could show that she might hold enough fondness for him to not ruin his life. Because that much should be clear, he might be able to be with her until she leaves for the games, but after that, he has to live in the mess she has dragged him into and he has to do all this without her.

    @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan Chapter 8: The Tributes Penn Cassidy Nothing had changed. Penn wasn't sure what it had been before, b

  • Holy shit haha, the rants keep getting longer. Lol Liquid, what if when they get to the Games, Penn ends up killing Aura? Your rant would probably be longer than the series itself. (That won't happen though, don't worry)

    Also, for the sake of fairness, Penn couldn't have volunteered. They specified that, because the Reaping in District One was a vote, and everyone had cast the names of the tribute they wanted in the Games, and they weren't allowed to volunteer because that would have made it meaningless.

    Oh boy. Ooooh boy, better sit down, this is going to be a long one, because guess what, Penn is back and my rant is unleashed. Let the hatre

  • The quaintness of your comment next to Liquid's I find really hilarious lol

    TWD_stan posted: »

    "Skeeter Lascius!" Plexus called into the crowd. Penn could feel her heart stop, and Dray held her tighter. Dad patted her on the shoulder. Ayyy my girl!?

  • Hmmm... I'm starting to see why you dislike Penn. Maybe, she can redeem herself with our choices.

    Oh boy. Ooooh boy, better sit down, this is going to be a long one, because guess what, Penn is back and my rant is unleashed. Let the hatre

  • edited February 2018

    Ah, I am glad to hear that you start to see why I dislike her. As I've said, I'm not doing this without reason, though I understand I was a bit too quick to reveal how strongly I feel against her. Should have probably waited until this very part with my first comment about her, because this really is the first time she shows some of the traits I hate her for. When it comes to redemption though, that actually could very well be in the realms of possible. I can only say, the Penn I ended up hating so much has been as much the product of our choices as it has been the result of her general personality, probably even more a result of these choices. We really messed up with some of them last time, even some that seemed harmless. What we've seen here on its own definitely wouldn't justify the amount of hatred I have for her. Her actions, the result of our choices, that is something we can influence though. It's the main reason why I have decided to pick the opposite of what I picked last time in every single Penn choice, because come to think of it, I wasn't happy with any of them. I know one or two that should, in theory, have huge consequences on the way her storyline will play out and if these key choices get changed, I could see a somewhat different Penn being the result of it, one that might be redeemed. I'm not sure if picking every choice as the complete opposite of last time will end up having a significant effect on her, but it is something I would like to try out. So far, there's only the Penn I remember and hate, but who knows how she'll end up if some key decisions will change. I'm open for any sort of positive change in her, because anything is better than the image I have of her right now. Admittedly, this is still heavily influenced by the Penn I remember from the old story, so I really hope that with the choices we make, she'll end up more likable, maybe even somewhat redeemed.

    Hmmm... I'm starting to see why you dislike Penn. Maybe, she can redeem herself with our choices.

  • Holy shit haha, the rants keep getting longer. Lol Liquid, what if when they get to the Games, Penn ends up killing Aura? Your rant would probably be longer than the series itself. (That won't happen though, don't worry)

    Well, two things could happen. There would either be the Penn rant to end all Penn rants, the closest I could ever come to murder a literary character through words alone. Or maybe there would be no Penn rant at all, which is probably worse. I'd probably be a bit like the Terminator there, single-mindedly pursuing the goal to end Penn at all cost through my choices. Kinda glad it won't come to that though. To give you an idea how low my opinion on her is/has been, killing Aura is literally the only thing she could have done that would have actually made me hate her more, everything else would have been the same level of horrible I've already been used to from her.

    Also, for the sake of fairness, Penn couldn't have volunteered. They specified that, because the Reaping in District One was a vote, and everyone had cast the names of the tribute they wanted in the Games, and they weren't allowed to volunteer because that would have made it meaningless.

    Ah, I must have missed that. Must have missed that twice in a row, kinda embarassing. Alright, she couldn't have volunteered, though if she would have ended up loudly proclaiming that she absolutely wants to be picked, that she'll fight for District 1 and the whole destiny stuff, maybe she could have still influenced people into picking her over a far younger girl with fundamentally worse chances. After all, the D1 people are all about winning, surely they'd have an interest in picking the best.

    You know, I also realized one thing and I am not sure if it makes me hate Penn more or less. Dray mentioned she wanted to escape from District 1 and to the Capitol, but the Penn we have here is pretty much all about trying to get into the games. At the same time, Dray and Jomal both seem to consider this Penn, the one that wants to be in the games, to be the real Penn, the one closest to how she used to be. Something doesn't fit there, if she really always wanted to be in the games, why would she try to make her escape? I have a random theory that'd be a bit of a spoiler for later parts of the story, so I'm going to put it below a spoiler tag, but if I wouldn't write it down right now, I'd definitely forget about it XD

    So, basically, I have two theories here, both make it kinda Jomal's fault. We know Jomal is working for the Hawk, who in turn wants to make these games his magnum opus, with almost every tribute hand-picked and manipulated into being chosen. So, my first theory is that Penn never tried to escape, but that he somehow injured her to prevent her from being chosen as the D1 tribute and then manipulate her into becoming the D9 tribute instead, for whatever reason. Or the old Penn had a change of heart, saw the games for what they are and tried to get away from them, which Jomal, for obvious reasons, could not accept, so he wounded her and maybe somehow influenced her into believing that only the games can give her a purpose.

    Holy shit haha, the rants keep getting longer. Lol Liquid, what if when they get to the Games, Penn ends up killing Aura? Your rant would pr

  • I think it's best for Dray to stay behind. He doesn't seem to be the right type to be dragged into this. I don't think it'd end well for him.

    So... Penn, clearly not an angel. I still really like her and think she's an interesting character but I can already tell she's going to make some decisions I won't approve of. From this part I gathered that she can be quite arrogant and cold. Maybe she can change for the better? Who knows but at the moment I still like her.

    @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan Chapter 8: The Tributes Penn Cassidy Nothing had changed. Penn wasn't sure what it had been before, b

  • Alright, it's looking like this is the first part I'm gonna have to rewrite haha. Also, what did you think of the end of chapter 7? I sowed some details for the main plot of the series.

    AgentZ46 posted: »

    I think it's best for Dray to stay behind. He doesn't seem to be the right type to be dragged into this. I don't think it'd end well for him

  • I thought it was pretty interesting and mysterious. Are you trying to imply something? :p

    Alright, it's looking like this is the first part I'm gonna have to rewrite haha. Also, what did you think of the end of chapter 7? I sowed some details for the main plot of the series.

  • Nah I just wanted to hear your thoughts.

    AgentZ46 posted: »

    I thought it was pretty interesting and mysterious. Are you trying to imply something?

  • Well, this is the first part I'm gonna have to rewrite so it may take a bit longer to get it out. But don't worry, it will be soon.

  • edited February 2018

    @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan

    71% of readers chose to [B. Leave Dray in District One.]

    When they broke apart, she was happy she had a boyfriend who supported her more than her father would. Maybe he didn't understand where she was coming from, having never been a Career himself, but he was willing to try.

    But she couldn't bring herself to ruin him.

    "I'm sorry," Penn told him, smiling. "I can't bring you with me."

    Dray looked as though he had been slapped. Penn hadn't known him for nearly as long as he'd known her, yet she could tell he truly loved her. That made the hurt in his eyes all the more painful.

    "Don't you understand? What about your brother? What is he going to do once you're gone?"

    "I don't know…" Dray said, beaten like a puppy. "I could bring him with us. Penn, you can't do this alone."

    "I won't be alone. I'll have my father."

    She walked over to the kitchen, trying not to let it get to her. She had won the argument after all. She was finally going to take her part in the Games, in her destiny.

    "Penn, you don't know what the Games are," her father said, his head in his hands. He almost looked pitiful, in truth.

    "Of course I do," she shot back.

    "You can't go through with this…" he said, defeated. "Dray, how can you stand for this?"

    He took Penn's arm, though there was doubt there. She could feel it. "I stand with her because I'll always be at her side." He turned and whispered at her. "You know I'll always be at your side, right? When you come back, you'll come back for me?"

    She didn't know what to tell him.

    "And when her side isn't there?" Dad was peppering him now. "What will you do then?"

    Dray shook his head in determination. He truly didn't believe there was any alternative to Penn living through the Games. He was sweet. She kissed him again.

    Dad held his head over the table, lost. His long hair fell around his face so Penn couldn't see his expression, but she knew he was angry. "I'll go with you tomorrow. There is a small hole in the fence security system. It opens up for five minutes every four days. If you want to catch it, we leave at dawn…"

    "Thanks, Dad," Penn smiled, blowing him a kiss. "Thank you for finally agreeing with me. At least you still get to use your master escape plan! And hey, once I get back, we can make a new one to get to the Capitol and find Mom. Things are looking up."

    "You've already convinced me of your reasoning." If there was a jab there, Penn chose to ignore it. "Don't ask me to be happy about it."

    "I still don't understand why you're so freaked out about all of this, Dad. This is my one shot at getting back at the Reaping. I deserve to be up on stage." A lock of black hair fell across her eyes, but she didn't care enough to blow it away. "You were telling me how much you thought I was a shoe-in for this one, why is it any different now?"

    "Because now is different, okay? Your Reaping was part of the plan, but now that's all out the window, the only thing we can do is wait until we have a better shot. I never actually intended you to go into the arena."

    "Well I did. I do. I want this more than anything, Dad."

    "You want it more than me?" he asked, heartbroken. There was a tear in his eye. Stop making this so hard, Daddy. You're thinking about it in the wrong way. "You want it more than your father? More than your boyfriend?"

    Dray shrugged and shrank back against the wall.

    "Daddy?" she frowned. The instant she saw that tear fall, she knew how much she'd hurt him. She felt regret, but regret wasn't enough. I'm right, Dad. "Dad, I don't want to leave you at all. I just don't want to give up this opportunity…"

    "The opportunity to participate in something there is a one in twenty-four chance of returning from?" he replied. "What if you die in the arena? Have you thought about the consequences? Dray and I… Your mother… I don't think I could go on."

    "I'm going to return," she repeated. She was so definitely sure of this, it occupied every other thought from the moment she had heard about the Games. This was all going to work out. No one was going to have to sacrifice anything. Why doesn't he see this?

    "If she says she's going to come home, she means it," Dray added, sitting down in the open space next to the two of them. "I've never known this girl to go back on a promise. If she's sure of her word, I am too."

    Dad turned away, staring at the wall. There was a hole there, and Penn wasn't sure why. The way her father looked at it was slightly disconcerting. "You know nothing of the Games…" he muttered. "I've tried to give you everything you wanted in life, honey… I watched you grow up, and I was sad when I watched you leave for the Hall of Careers that first day, but I let you continue because you believed in it. Even yesterday, I knew you wouldn't be called. I never thought you'd go to these lengths. I know you better than you know yourself!"

    "I know the Hunger Games better than I know you!" she shouted, standing up from her seat. "Ever since I woke up, I've heard nothing except your talk of the Games! What do I know about you?"

    "Nothing…" he admitted. He puffed up his chest, and heaved in. "Which is why, until you find yourself, you're not going to be allowed to make your own decisions. I will not be joining you if you keep up this attitude. You can count me out…"

    "Dad! This will take months—years! I only have this shot once! This is the Twenty-Fifth Annual Hunger Games! The First Quarter Quell!"

    "Right… Twenty-Five Hunger Games now… That's what they are." He slammed his fist down on the table, making the room rattle. "That's not what they mean. Year after year, the Districts send off two of their best and brightest, and none of them ever return. Do you not fear death?!"

    "Death is nothing to be afraid of!" she returned. Her blood was heated now. There was no going back. "I already died once! This can't be any worse! And you don't have to fear death either! I'm going to come back! I'm a survivor…"

    "No, you are not a fighter," her father spoke to her. "You are many things, honey. Many wonderful things, but you are not a fighter. If you try to be a hero, you're going to fail."

    "I'm coming back, Dad!" Penn shot back with a defiance that shook the table. "And when I do, this family won't ever have to worry again. No one in this District will."

    "No one in District Nine, anyway." Dad was solemn now, resigned. "Have you really thought through this at all? Say you do switch Districts, and by the slightest chance, you make it into the Games. By an even slighter chance, you then emerge a victor, back in District Nine. You think this District will count you as a hero when you return? No, they'll think of you as the thief who stole their winnings to one of the most important Games in history."

    Penn found a drawer in the kitchen and opened it hastily. There was a kitchen knife right where she'd left it. She picked it up and hurled it across the room, past her father, past her boyfriend, at the painting of an old man. It wasn't framed, nor was any other painting here. The knife landed centered between the eyes of the old man. It would have been a fatal shot had it been real. "I've been able to do that since I woke up, Dad! I can't miss! I just look at something and know exactly how to hit it from thirty feet away. How can you look at that and tell me that this is a bad idea?"

    The man looked shocked and saddened by her actions. "I don't. I look at that and tell you that you just ruined one of your mother's last paintings."

    "Stop calling her my mother! Stop calling yourself my father! I don't know you!" She was crying now, backing away from them. "I don't know any of you…"

    She ran through the house, and instinctively knew the way to her room. She found her bed and buried her face in it. She didn't have a pillow to scream into, or else she would have. Who am I? Who am I? There was only one way to find out: the Hunger Games.

    The longer she laid there, crying in her bed, the more she started to criticize herself. She ruined the painting… made her father cry… After a while, another voice began to whisper in her ear. You're wrong, Penn, it said. You're only going to get yourself killed. She pushed it away. The truth would only make it hurt the more.

    Five minutes later, there was a loud thud, and her father let loose a scream. As the silence crept back, she could hear him weeping in the next room. It only made her cry harder. She heard Dray attempting to comfort him, to no effect.

    Why are they like this? Why am I like this? She wanted to hug both of them and pull them tight, yet every time they opened their mouths, Penn's first instinct was to push them away. "Who am I?" she asked aloud to no one.

    "You're my girl," Dray responded from the doorway, making her jump.

    "Please, Dray… I just want to be alone right now."

    He ignored her, approaching her bed. He wrapped his right arm around her shoulder and she instantly felt safer than she had. "You'll have enough time for that later. I want to spend every last moment I have with you." Penn buried her face in his shoulder and let out all the tears she had held back. "That was a tense situation, I know, but things will work themselves out."

    "Dray… Tomorrow at dawn, I'm leaving," she whispered.

    There was silence… for a long time. His heart beat rose steadily. "What about Jomal?" He finally asked.

    "If he wants to go to the Capitol so bad, let him go himself…" She kissed him. "I'm sorry I can't take you with me. You know I want to."

    Dray was crying now too. "Just don't make it goodbye. I'm terrible with goodbyes… You know I love you, right?"

    "I used to…"

    She laid there for so long in her boyfriend's arms. Even counting the ones she couldn't remember, she was sure today was the most stressful day of her life. She just wanted it all to go away. She wanted to wake up tomorrow and know who she was. Alas, it was futile. And then Penn closed her eyes and drifted to sleep. Finally, she could rest. Finally, she was at peace.

    End of Chapter 8

  • @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan

    Chapter 9: The Ultimate Price

    Theoram Warrik

    "You have the opportunity to save someone you love and hold dear to you. But, doing so has a very likely chance you will never come back. And there is a slighter chance that everything and everyone else you love will be gone. Would you take it? Risk everything to save everything?"

    What should Theo say?

  • Well, this Theoram part has got to be the shortest part I have read, on any of these stories.

    @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan Chapter 9: The Ultimate Price Theoram Warrik "You have the opportunity to save someone you love and h

  • Haha yeah. I was playing with the idea that really, the choice can go anywhere in the chapter.

    Well, this Theoram part has got to be the shortest part I have read, on any of these stories.

  • I'll give it one more day for people to read the part.

  • Shit. I feel like this choice is definitely gonna bite us in the ass later on.

    @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan Chapter 9: The Ultimate Price Theoram Warrik "You have the opportunity to save someone you love and h

  • Yes or no, Stan. Yes or no?

    TWD_stan posted: »

    Shit. I feel like this choice is definitely gonna bite us in the ass later on.

  • @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan

    71% of readers chose to say [A. Yes.]

    "Of course," Theo replied. Although Lynona had asked for hypothetical reasons, Theo knew exactly the feeling of having to choose. It felt like being dragged into a pit with your own guilt. He was determined such an incident would never occur again.

    "I knew it," Lynona laughed, shaking her head. "The man's an optimist."

    "Why would you expect anything less from the old war horse?" Kirt smiled. "He's been in school longer than we've even had this job. I couldn't put up with that for too long without a dash of idealism along the way."

    Theo set his hand on the railing and began to limp up the steps of the museum. He had to put most of his weight on the marble stone wall simply to lift his bad leg high enough to reach the next step, but he was confident in himself. Whenever either of his friends offered their hand for assist, he would refuse it. He knew where he was going.

    The three of them reached the top of the staircase and Theo leaned against the wall to peer out upon the tiled floor below. It had mementos of times long past. Before the Dark Days—before even Panem… Though not much was known about the time before Panem, anything that seeped through the cracks always wound up in this museum. It was something Theo took a delight in. He'd strolled these halls for weeks on end. He had come to memorize the names of every bust, every painting, and every collection this place had to offer. They once offered him the position of curator, but there was no chance in hell he could stray away from his goal. He knew from the very beginning he would be a Gamemaker. It might have taken him decades to achieve, but his task never left his mind. This was the first year on the job. This was his only chance to make the world right.

    "So how'd you enjoy your several months as a Gamemaker, Theo?" Lynona asked him. The curiosity in her voice was evident. "You'll be handling the sponsors, correct?"

    "The sponsors, yes," he replied. His mind was elsewhere.

    "Quite a big job for someone on their first day, huh, man?" She patted him on the back.

    He smiled, reaching his arm out to control an imaginary joystick. "Roman trusts my steady hand."

    "That's not all of you the man trusts," Kirt laughed. "If any one of us had the same amount of favor he places in you, we'd be sitting pretty in our seats with income practically flying into our wallets."

    Theo laughed modestly. His friendship with the Head Gamemaker had earned him quite a spot on the panel.

    Lynona Williams was young for a Gamemaker, having been straight out of the Academy. She had yellow hair which came up her back in curls. She wasn't a huge advocate of Capitol fashion, but she was picky enough to put waves in every morning. They were never in the same place it seemed, moving around arbitrarily each day. Theo had known her for approximately four weeks, two of which were spent discussing the Games. She was surprised when Theo told her he had volunteered a jungle as the setting for the arena. She was less impressed with the jungle as she was with the fact it was Theo's suggestion.

    Kirt Beckham, on the other hand, he had known for a long time. They'd met in the Academy when they were only separated by a five-year gap. He had thicker glasses back then. Even though there were corrective measures in place, Kirt's love of technology eventually prevailed and the optometrists gave up and settled with glasses. Regardless, the other kids picked on him day to day for his eyes. Theo took pity on the kid, knowing what it felt like to be different. He walked with him every day, making sure he got to his courses without the stinging volatile looks.

    "What is the time?" Lynona asked. "She should be here by now."

    "It's ten thirty-two," Theo told her, checking his golden pocket watch. "She shouldn't arrive for another eight minutes."

    "Be nice to her, Lynona," Kirt said, leaning up against the railing. "Even if she's a bit late, she's got a kid to worry about. Give her some air."

    "Ugh," she rolled her eyes. Any passersby might mistake Lynona's reaction for a dislike of children, but this was not the case. The woman was severely annoyed by lateness. The first time Theo had met her was when he was scolded for being a few minutes late to the first panel meeting for the Games. He had misplaced his monocle.

    The woman they were waiting to meet went by the name Rhetora Flickerman. He had arranged this meeting in the museum of all places. For what, the other two did not know, but he made sure Lynona and Kirt would be there.

    Theo leaned on his cane and limped to the displays in their immaculate glass cases. This one was some sort of carpet remnant singed by burn marks around the edges and rolled up onto a pole. What was visible was a bronze eagle, similar to the sigil of Panem. He read the label aloud: "The carpet on the floor of the Oval Office. District Thirteen."

    "District Thirteen?" Lynona raised an eyebrow. "I haven't heard about them in a while. I thought the President was doing all he could to wipe that page clean from our memories."

    "You weren't alive to witness the Dark Days…" Theo sighed, not losing sight of the mysterious blue rug. He assumed the reason of the scorch marks was tied to its being in District Thirteen. "There are some things you would rather wipe off the slate."

    "I was only a child at the time," Kirt said. "Maybe three or four. But I remember the terror… The fear everyone felt. Let's just say I'm glad they're over with."

    "How about you, Theo?" Lynona asked him, turning in his direction. Her yellow bangs flopped graciously with the movement of her head. "Where were you when they ended?"

    "I was born right into the middle of the war," he replied. "When they ended, I remember being in class. Someone shouted into the room that it was over, and everyone poured out into the streets… There were cries of hallelujah, and parties for nights on end."

    "Sounds wonderful," she smiled, expecting the same reaction from the two of them. She didn't get one.

    Kirt shook his head. "Everyone was simply glad they could go to sleep at night without the rain of bomb fire above their heads."

    "Though that last day, before the call was made to drop the warhead on Thirteen, President Revarius Snow was shot in the head by a rebel," Theo went on. "Have you ever wondered why our President today was so young when he first came into office?"

    "I have wondered that, yes," she said.

    Kirt shook his head. "It's because is presidency is nothing less than a monarchy."

    "Then why don't they just call him the king and be done with it?"

    Theo nodded. "Frankly, because I think the word 'President' sounds better in the man's head."

    It took about half an hour, and Theo kept glancing at the clock. Rhetora was late. He had specifically called for this meeting at ten forty in the morning. Twenty minutes had passed since that deadline. Kirt and Lynona were becoming visibly antsy.

    "Are you sure you said today?" Lynona asked. "Maybe she misunderstood and thought the meeting was next week."

    "No one misunderstood. She'll be here within the hour," Theo replied, watching down on the curator. He couldn't overhear, or they would be finished. This museum was built long ago, before the Dark Days, and was one of the few places in the Capitol where their voices weren't monitored. He would have called the meeting in his apartment, but that would have been overly suspicious.

    She frowned. "Well the hour just started again. I don't know if I can wait here that long, Theo. I was going to meet with Adette after this and go to that fashion show in our quadrant."

    "Fashion has no say in this matter," Theo struck back, seriously. "You may leave if you wish, but I urge you to stay."

    Kirt tugged lightly on her arm. "Lynona, please. This must be important if the man took all this time to prepare."

    "Kirt is correct," he added. "What I'm going to share with you today will be very valuable, and very volatile should anyone hear who shouldn't. I've chosen you three because you have the most open minds. But if you have any objections, say them now, and you're out. Because after I tell you, there will be no going back."

    "God…" Lynona sighed into her palm. "This is serious, isn't it?"

    Theo turned away again. He could never keep eye contact with anyone for longer than a few seconds, always feeling guilty for some reason. "I've never been more serious about anything in my life."

    As soon as he was done, he heard the unmistakable cry of Rhetora's son. Why did she bring the kid? I told her to come alone… Theo peered over the railing and found her there on the lower level, speaking briefly with the curator. She had a mop of pink fluffy hair atop her head that matched her son's. "Oh, come on, you!" she shouted angrily. "Just stop tugging on my arm for one second!"

    "I don't want to go to the museum! We always go to the museum! Why can't we go to the movies?"

    "I already told you—"

    "Excuse me, miss…" the curator said, with hidden frustration. "If you cannot contain your child, you'll be asked to leave. This is a quiet place for the observers."

    "I'm so sorry, sir. It's just—" she started.

    "Hey, hold on a second," Kirt called down to him, leaping into action. He quickly rushed down the steps. "Mr. Plato, are you really going to keep this child from his learning because he's being too loud?"
 "He's distracting the visitors."

    "With utmost respect, look around you, sir." Kirt gestured to the rest of the museum. Theo and Lynona began to climb down the staircase to meet them. "We are the only visitors here."

    Plato was stunned, but sighed and waved a hand of dismissal. "You can stay as long as you can keep that boy under control."

    "Thank you," Kirt replied. The five of them found their way back up the stairs to their alcove beside the shredded rug from a dead nation. "That was a close one," he said.

    "Caesar, honey, you can't be so loud." Rhetora turned to her child, who looked up at her with a twinkle of greed in his eyes. "This is an important meeting. I'll take you out to the shooting range afterwards if you can stay quiet and act like a good boy, okay?"

    "Okay…" Caesar pouted. Theo knew the boy well enough to know that he threw these tantrums on a regular basis, but only because that's what he was taught by those around him. The lad was impressionable to say the least. "The shooting range and the demolition show?"

    "I already told you," she replied sternly. "I never bought the tickets to that."

    "Alright, Rhetora, if you're done with all that, let's get down to business," Lynona shrugged in a loud whisper. The four adults sat upon a stone bench along the wall behind a painting of a dignified man in a top hat. He wore all black, a plain style which hadn't been seen since before Panem. Caesar slumped down on the wall next to it and immediately pulled out a hand held gaming device. "I'm sure we'd all like to know what Theo called us here for. Care to shed some light?"

    "Yes," Rhetora added, pulling her eyes with heavy liner away from her son and to the conversation. "What's the big problem?"

    Theo sighed and eventually worked up the will which he had been saving since he'd first heard of the Hunger Games. It was though the first bit of his plan was beginning to fall together finally. "I need your help with an ideal..."

    "An ideal?" Kirt repeated, intrigued.

    "I guess you could say I've become obsessed with the prospect of life returning to the way it was when he was around." Theo pointed to the portrait and read the name underneath: Abraham Lincoln. "I've called you three to this meeting because each of you have something I need to make this ideal a reality."

    "You rehearsed this, didn't you?" Kirt asked.

    "More than once." Theo laughed. "I need to know if you're on board."

    "I'm in," Rhetora replied immediately.

    "As am I," Kirt repeated.

    Lynona was baffled by their responses. "How can you guys sign onto something when you don't even know what the hell it is?" Caesar looked up in bewilderment at the curse word, but she waved him off. "What are you talking about, Theo? I'd really like to know before I wrap a blindfold around my head and fumble through the dark."

    Theo stared at various black and white tiles on the ground. "I'm going to put a stop to something... Something that has been continuing on for far too long."

    "Just spit it out," Lynona punctuated.

    Theo made sure his voice was a whisper before replying. No one was around to hear but the old curator, yet he wasn't taking any chances. He looked up to meet her gaze. "I'm going end the Games."

    It stunned them into silence. Even Caesar seemed astonished, hearing the conversation. His game read a game over screen and the beeping shut off. Rhetora was the first to break the silence, with laughter. When she met Theo's eyes though, she stopped dead. "Theo… You're joking right?"

    "No," he replied flatly. "The Hunger Games and President Snow have taken too much of a toll on Panem. It's only a mere fraction of what it was when I was born."

    "When we were born, it was constant chaos..." Kirt said. He sounded more confused than frightened. "People died left and right. How could you want that back?"

    Theo answered the question with one of his own. "Tell me, Kirt, why you joined the panel of Gamemakers."

    "Well..." The question had caught him off guard. "I joined because I thought perhaps I can provide for my family better here. Don't get me wrong, the Games are awful, but it's hard to support a family of five on nothing but selling stuff door to door."

    "And you, Lynona?" Theo turned to her, expectantly. "Why did you join?"

    "I mean... I don't know!" she said with a whimper in her voice. She was hyperventilating now, freaking out from the others lack of incredulity. "I thought it would be fun, maybe... I don't know!"

    "Rhetora..." He turned to his right side to see what she had to say. "Why did you quit the panel last year?"

    She smirked and looked down at her child to the right of her. "I was frankly tired of watching people die. I couldn't help but think, what if my little Caesar was in their place? Would I still set the dogs after him? Would I still let the twister loose?"

    "Mom, I would never be in the Games." Caesar lifted his eyebrow. "I don't live in the Districts..."
    "Thank you for your input, you all." Theo stood up and hobbled over to the railing over the balcony, making sure the contraption holding his bad leg didn't seize up. "You see, I've called you all here today because you three have something in common. You all hate the Games as much as I do. Even you, Lynona, though you've tricked yourself into believing they were fun. You are the only ones I can trust."

    "Theo..." The stress had produced tears in Lynona's eyes. "Maybe you're right, and they need to go. What would we do? How do we single-handedly shut down the organization the entire Capitol is built upon? And maybe you're wrong. What if it doesn't work? The President would have us all executed—if not worse..."

    "It's the ultimate price," Theo replied. "You're right, dear friend, except in one regard. Whether either of those scenarios comes true, we win this war."

    "How can we win a war if we're pushing up daisies?"

    "Because the other Gamemakers will see what we've done... We could inspire something. It's time to think bigger than ourselves." At that, Kirt seemed excited while Rhetora looked vainly interested. Lynona still looked afraid. "It's time to take a stand."

    "That's funny, coming from the cripple," Kirt laughed. Theo would normally have been offended, but knew the words coming from his friend weren't meant to wound. "What I said before doesn't change. I'm in."

    Rhetora nodded in agreement. "Whatever plan you have, Theo, I trust you."

    Lynona cursed under her breath, careful not to let the sound reach Caesar's young ears. "How can I do this? You're asking me to risk everything... And I don't even know what I'm supposed to do!"

    "Risk everything to save everything?" Theo responded. "Wasn't that what you said before? If I can agree to it without context, why can't you?"

    She had lost and she knew it. She began to climb down the steps of the balcony and away from the conversation. "Lynona, wait!" Kirt called quietly, so the curator wouldn't hear. "Come back!"

    "Let her go," Theo said, putting his hand on the man's chest as he tried to reach out to her. "It's a lot to ask. Honestly, I didn't even expect you two to agree to it immediately."

    Kirt sighed as Lynona left the building and the glass doors shut tight behind her. "So what did we sign on for? What do you want us to do, captain?"

    "I can't explain just yet," Theo replied. Rhetora stood up too so the three of them were arrayed in a circle with the painting of Abraham Lincoln. "Just know, I will eventually need both of you to accomplish this task. Just keep going on with your normal lives until I give you the signal."

    "What is this signal?" Rhetora asked, growing more interested by the second.

    "I will send each of you a letter when the time is right." Theo said. "I can't send it to you through the network, because they track it like bloodhounds. From now on, everything I do will be written on paper."

    "What will the message be? How will we know it's you?" Kirt questioned.

    "You will know it's me." Theo lifted his bad leg and began to walk around the room until it did not feel as though it were locked that way. "You will know by the way I curve my 'S.'"

    "That's not a lot to go on," he complained, leaning against the marble railing.

    "When you're tampering with something as complex as the human psyche, you need to know when and where to stop." Theo shook his head. "It's not just the Games. We're dancing around the mind of President Snow..."

    "Mom!" Caesar complained. "I'm bored. Can we leave now?"

    "Not quite yet, honey," Rhetora told him firmly.

    "But I wanna go NOW!" He began to shake his head and tried to leave. Rhetora grabbed him hard by the arm and held him in place on the balcony.

    Just as the scene took place, Theo felt a buzz in his pocket. When he checked his device, he saw the text message. It was sent by an unknown number, but Theo could assume the identity. "You are being summoned to the Capital Building. Report at precisely 3:00 p.m. or corrective measures will be taken to assure your arrival."

    Theo immediately became very worried. There was no way Snow could have traced their meeting. He took such care in making sure they would not be found. The museum had no sound detection in their security cameras. The curator was partly deaf. No one would be here at this time. He came to the conclusion that if there was some reason to be summoned, it wasn't because of his plan... It couldn't be. He'd worked too long for his final act to finish before it was due.

    When he put the message from his mind, his heartbeat fell back into place. Mr. Plato had made his way up to the balcony and was arguing with Rhetora about the rowdiness of her child. "You will have to leave," he told her. "This place is one of knowledge and serenity."

    "Please, sir? Just five more minutes," she pleaded. "I would really like to look at this painting a bit longer."

    Caesar couldn't sit still. "Let me go! Let me go!"

    "No. You'll have to leave now."

    Theo took Rhetora by the arm. "It's okay. We're done now. We should leave."

    "Well..." she sighed. "Okay."

    When they left the building and emerged outside, Theo felt that it was warmer than before. It was closer to noon. Yet, Caesar still wouldn't stop complaining. "Hey, kid," Theo said to him. Caesar paid no mind. "Caesar."

    When the boy turned, he scowled. "What do you want?"

    Theo bent down to eye level with the boy and waved his mother off with the flick of his wrist. "Why are you so angry? What has happened in your life that you are not able to let go of your wants for more than a few minutes?"

    Caesar seemed less rambunctious than before and more curious. He calmed down and Rhetora let go of his arm. "Sir? I'm just a kid."

    "I know that you're just a kid, Caesar," Theo continued. "But I'm going to talk to you as though you are an adult like us. Wouldn't you like that?"

    Caesar nodded. "I wanna be on TV when I grow up."

    "I have no doubt that you will," he smiled. "But one thing that people on TV have to do is talk to people. They do this a lot. How can you talk to them if you're so angry all the time?" Caesar shrugged. "You see, each one of them is someone just as human as you. Each have their own lives and feelings. Everyone has something about them that's special. Every single one of them has a demolition show they'd rather be watching. I want you to remember this."
    Caesar nodded. "I will, Mr..."

    "Warrik," Theo replied. "You may call me Mr. Warrik."

    "But why, Mr. Warrik? If those people are all grown-ups, they can go to the demolition show whenever they want. Why don't they go now?"

    He shook his head. "That's because life moves on around them. If you don't take a minute to stop and observe it, you'll go your whole life without ever seeing what's really there. Go today, and instead of rushing from one place to the next, take a minute to stop and appreciate the Golden City you live in."

    "Okay." Caesar smiled, and began to look around immediately. Theo reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out of it a small coin. When the boy turned back to him, Theo put his hand behind his ear and pulled it out, coin displaying the head of Revarius Snow. "How did you do that?" He asked excitedly.

    Theo cranked his leg and stood up firm. "You can find a lot of things around you when you look hard enough." He set the coin in the boy's hand. "Look for the good in the world. Look for the good in other people. If you search long enough, you'll find something worth discovering."
    Caesar was looking at the coin all the way from the museum. Rhetora grabbed him by the hand again and led him off to the east. The wind blew softly and the birds were chirping and Theo found it amusing to watch Caesar looking around at everything he could set his eyes on. As they left, Rhetora turned and mouthed the words "Thank you."

    "You're really good with him," Kirt said. "Have you had experience with kids?"

    "Not much," Theo replied, honestly. "I had a daughter..."

    "Had?" he asked. When he saw Theo's head slowly shaking, he knew it best not to ask. "So, Mr. Warrik, I assume if you gathered us all here today, you know exactly what you're doing. I would hope so."

    Theo laughed and put his hand on his friend's shoulder. He squeezed tightly, trying to send a message. They were outside of the museum now. Their conversation was being overheard by the second. "Yes," he said. He began to weave around a lie. "The museum is a perfect place to set up the study group. We will have to do this more often."

    Kirt nodded his head, understanding the ruse, and followed along. "I found the dusty portrait to be quite fascinating."

    "I will meet you here, next week at around the same time."

    "Agreed," Kirt laughed. "Goodbye, my friend."

    "Until we meet again." Theo shook the man's hand and casually turned in the opposite direction. As they walked away from each other, Theo knew his plan had begun. He limped across one block and the next, hobbled on his mahogany cane. The neon lights around him flickered, pointing to their respective stores and restaurants. He wasn't sure why he was being summoned to the Capital building, but he fought off his nerves. He forced himself to believe it would be okay.

    Lynona had one thing right. There was a considerable chance they could fail. This was the first time Theo really felt as though he were gambling with death.

    End of Chapter 9

  • @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan

    Chapter 10: Trial By Fire

    Saul Arrem

    Saul was dragged through the grand wooden doors by his bound wrists. When the threw him into the room, a Peacekeeper behind him forcefully shoved him to the front. The judge stood there at his podium with the relaxed eyes of a man who had already made the call. Saul shook his head in anger, not knowing whether it was regret he was feeling or the lack thereof.

    His audience was small, and the only members of the court in attendance were the judge, the Peacekeepers and himself. But behind the prosecutor's desk was a gruff looking man with a bald head who sat there staring at him with apathy. It was as if no one cared about this case. Yet, of course, there wasn't any reason to. Hundreds of people had snuck past the gate before. Most of the time, even the Peacekeepers paid it no mind. Why did they pull him so hard if they don't even care? Saul wondered. They left bruises on my arm. Why am I any different from any ordinary escapee?

    The Peacekeepers let him collapse into a heap in the center of the floor. He could do no more than glare at them, but he quickly and quietly made his way to the seat at the defendant's table. He knew little of law, but that District Eleven was not known for being particularly respectful of it.

    "Prosecutor Clemaine, you may read the charge," the judge said with a bored wave of his hand. He hadn't even taken the time to put on his fluffy wig. His gold-rimmed glasses were too low on his nose to even see Saul clearly, and he was slouching in his desk.

    "Thank you, your honor," he responded.

    Just as he was about to speak, they heard a wailing creak as the great wooden doorway swung open. There were more Peacekeepers, dragging a second victim by the wrists. Saul clenched his teeth when he saw his little sister, Peara with her mop of white-blonde hair all disheveled. He was so confused and angry, but none of that mattered now. All that mattered was her. They pushed her rather too hard and she fell to the ground. "Don't you dare touch her!" Saul screamed, jumping from his seat.

    "Saul!" she cried. "I'm okay! I'm—"

    "Shut up!" One of the Peacekeepers shouted, and hit her in the face with the butt of his gun. She was knocked back to the dusty wooden floor. Saul broke away from his captors and rushed down the empty aisle to her. They couldn't stop him, but when he arrived, one of the soldiers in white drove his fist into Saul's stomach and knocked all the wind out of him. He collapsed right next to his sister. "You… won't take… us…" Saul wheezed as the troop lifted each of them up by their arms.

    The doors opened again, and the one who strode through them was none other than Mr. Thurgood Munrow, sporting a mocking grin a nice suit he shouldn't have been able to afford. He sat down next to the man named Clemaine in the seat across the aisle.

    "Would you kindly read both our defendants their charges?" the judge sighed.

    "Yes." Clemaine stood up and held a paper in his hand. He read off of it: "Saul Arrem, charged with leaving the district and arson. Peara Arrem—"

    "Arson?" Saul complained. "Arson?! You're charging me for the fire that I was trying to warn you about? That's just wrong!"

    "Order in the court," the judge exclaimed unenthusiastically. Saul wondered how he ever kept this job as judge with his complete lack of concern. On top of the pillars beside the judge's booth were a bronze scale held by the talon of an eagle and a fist clutching a battle axe, carved of marble. They must like to pretend they haven't made a mockery of justice…

    "Peara Arrem," Clemaine continued, smiling maliciously. "You are charged with arson as well as your brother."

    "Objection!" Saul shouted.

    The judge put his fingers on the bridge of his nose and sighed. "That's not how you use... What is your claim?"

    "We are innocent!" he shouted. The anger was heating his blood now, he was running at the podium, but one of the white guards had him by the cuffs. "We didn't case that fire! Munrow's the one to blame! He shot a flaming arrow—"

    "Overruled," he said, not even listening to the rest of his explanation. Saul could hardly even look upon anyone in the room. Saul and Peara had been through hell together... This was just icing on the cake.

    The two of them were true brother and sister, yet many people in District Eleven didn't perceive it as so. Saul's skin was a very dark shade, while Peara was born with an affliction that left her skin pasty white. Her eyes were red like the sunset, and no matter how many times people at her school told her she was ugly or she didn't belong with them, he never looked at her differently. She was twelve years old and had never known her parents. The director at St. Rhodes', Ethel Jugby, was the closest thing she'd ever had to a mother. I suppose I'm the closest she's ever had to a father…

    People hated Peara. It wasn't because of how she acted, or because of her beliefs. People hated her because she was white. And they hated Saul too for sticking up for her. In District Eleven, it generally went that the darker skin you had, the more respect you got in business. Darker meant more hours in the sun, and more hours in the sun meant higher pay grade; most of their jobs were outside. There were very few light-toned people, and they were viewed as outcast, generally found on the streets. The Albars were the lowest of the low. Peara, even though her skin was white because of disease, was considered one of them.

    "I don't want to go to jail..." she whispered, clutching Saul's forearm tightly. She was shivering.

    "We won't," he told her. "You don't have to have a guilty conscience. We're completely innocent."

    She began to weep silently to herself, and Saul put his arm around her. He knew she was only scared. He felt overwhelmed himself. He didn't know why they were being taken to court, as both were minors... Then again, Saul had never seen the inside of a court room. I doubt any of these men have seen the inside of the courtroom with how much good they do. He knew beforehand that District Eleven law was nothing like any other law. Most of the time there was no jury... No bailiff... Not once had he ever seen a case where the defendant had won. Saul still kept up his hopes.

    "If the defendant would stop muttering to his accomplice, I'm sure we could all move on with our lives," the judge proclaimed, frustrated. "Prosecutor, I would ask you to make your opening statement to the jury, but seeing as we have none, we will skip this phase. Mr. Arrem, who would you name as defending attorney?"

    "I guess I'll represent myself," Saul replied. There was no one in this District that cared enough about him or his sister to represent in trial. Ethel was the only one close, and she hadn't even attended.

    The judge was unimpressed, yet convinced. He scribbled something down with a ballpoint pen. "And you, miss?"

    "Can Saul represent me?" Peara asked, trying to wipe the tears away long enough to ask the question.

    "I don't see any reason why not." The judge shook his head. Clemaine snickered off to the left, but Saul paid him no mind. "Defendant, I would ask you how you plead."

    Saul looked down into the eyes of his younger sister. She nodded, letting him know his decision stood for both. He knew the truth, but without a jury to back him up, he wasn't sure how well he could support him. He cringed every time he thought of his backstabbing master. This day couldn't possibly grow any worse than it already was...

    How should Saul plead?

  • Saul seems pretty screwed no matter how you look at it but I still think it best to not give up.

    @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan Chapter 10: Trial By Fire Saul Arrem Saul was dragged through the grand wooden doors by his bound wri

  • Tough choice, but in the end, I had to go with yes. :flushed:

    Yes or no, Stan. Yes or no?

  • Ah, I failed to comment on the part before in time, but I must say, I am pleased we decided against taking Dray with us. While it is not the choice that I aim to change the most, taking Dray with Penn in the original story introduced some of her most nasty traits, stuff that might not even break out this time, even if he himself has always been a character I found sympathetic. I am sorry though, as I realized that not having him around is likely going to mean you have to rewrite a ton of Penn parts, given that he was a pretty major influence. While it is too early to say if this will have a positive effect on Penn, I can say that if it wouldn't be for her, well, being her, I would have felt sorry for her in this particular scene. I guess I feel sorry for Dray though, but I know it'll be for his own good. Ah well, I am at least positive that we are currently taking her down a somewhat better route.

    Now, with Saul, I must admit I don't know how I originally pleaded. Doesn't matter though, as this time, I feel strongly in favour of pleading not guilty. Of course this whole thing is rigged, of course he doesn't stand a chance, but the way I see Saul, he is not one to let such minor obstacles stop him in his path. He gotta try his best, always, even if it is hopeless.

    @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan Chapter 10: Trial By Fire Saul Arrem Saul was dragged through the grand wooden doors by his bound wri

  • Haha yeah, I'm going to have to rewrite all the Penn parts, but I signed on for that when I started the story over but no worries. I'm all for trying to set her on a better path. And, funny thing, the outcome of the last choice was the plead guilty, but I suppose because of some cosmic change in the universe, the majority has changed its mind.

    Ah, I failed to comment on the part before in time, but I must say, I am pleased we decided against taking Dray with us. While it is not the

  • Maybe it's all these pesky (me included) new readers. All changeing your story and whatnot. ;)

    Haha yeah, I'm going to have to rewrite all the Penn parts, but I signed on for that when I started the story over but no worries. I'm all f

  • Maybe, once this first book is done, I'll go to his other forum and read how Dray going with her affects her story. Anyways, I guess this means you think this choice will improve Penn's development from the previous one. I'm curious to see if you feel this will be the case once we read the upcoming Penn parts.

    Ah, I failed to comment on the part before in time, but I must say, I am pleased we decided against taking Dray with us. While it is not the

  • Yeah! To hell with all these new readers! Haha. grumbles messin up my story...

    Maybe it's all these pesky (me included) new readers. All changeing your story and whatnot.

  • edited March 2018

    @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan

    sorry this one took an extra day to get out guys.

    88% of readers chose to [B. Plead not guilty.]

    "I plead not guilty!" Saul threw back at the judge and his lot. Their shock was pleasing. Justice may mean little more than cow flop in the District, but that didn't mean Saul was going to hand himself over to them.

    "Very well," the judge gave a roll of his eyes, "I suppose it's my fault for expecting some courtesy from a delinquent."

    Saul clenched his fist when he heard the words. The prosecutor and judge had already made up their minds even before Saul arrived, all he could do now was waste their time.
    Peara pulled lightly on his sleeve. "Are you guilty?" she asked in a whisper. "Did you burn the forest down?"

    "No," Saul whispered back, truthfully. It hurt him to see the confusion in his sister's eyes. She was too sweet; she didn't deserve to be wrapped up in all this. Munrow… "I know things are gonna get really bad, but I won't let anything happen to you, okay?"

    "Okay…" she turned back to the judge. He was perusing through his notes, not even paying attention.

    "What do you plead, miss?" the judge asked Peara.

    Peara looked up at her older brother, and her eyes only told him "I'm sorry." "Guilty," she whimpered. She was about to cry. "Can I go home now?"

    The prosecutor let out a hearty laugh, filling the room with his garlicky breath. "You ain't getting out of here for at least six months, girl."

    Peara began to shake, and when Saul tried to comfort her, she lowered her head and began to weep. Why did she plead guilty? I could have protected her… "Order in the court!" the judge said and slammed his gavel down. "Attorney, I did not authorize permission to counsel the defendant."

    Saul was done with this court by now. The judge could come down here himself if he wanted them apart. "You'll be okay, Pea. Everything's—"

    There was a sharp sting in the back of Saul's neck. He covered it with his fingers and when he brought them back he saw a slight trickle of red. Clemaine stood above him with a syringe. He could feel the daylight fading slowly. "What the hell do you do?" Saul tried to shout, but it came out more like a whimper.

    "Don't struggle…" Clemaine smiled. "It makes the symptoms painful."

    "I, Judge Farley Rudwick, sentence one Saul—"

    "What?" Saul turned back around. He tried to stand up and reach the other side of the room before the Peacekeepers could catch him. It hurt like hell. "Where's the trial? I deserve… We deserve a say!"

    "I hereby sentence Saul and Peara Arrem to die for their District."

    The sting was growing and felt like a ton of bricks on his shoulders. He collapsed onto the ground under the weight of the tranquilizer before the first man in white even caught up to him. "No…" he forced out. It was growing more and more difficult to stay awake, but he wasn't going to give these men the satisfaction of drifting off quietly. "Pea…"

    "Saul!" His sister cried, as two guards put their hands around her spindly arms. She fought her best to break free, but never had the strength. The guards were too strong, and she was a young, fragile girl. The world was eroding her away. Soon she would break, and Saul wasn't sure how long he could stand it after that. "Where are you taking me?! Let me go! Saul!"

    "Let her…" Even holding his eyes open was a chore now. When they carried her, kicking and screaming from the hall, he watched through slowly blackening vision as Judge Rudwick, Clemaine and Mr. Munrow all stood above him as though they had accomplished some great deed in defeating him. "Why did you…?"

    There was a small splash on the ground near Saul's face, Clemaine's putrid spit. "You may be associated with that Albar trash, but you're a fighter. I'll give you that."

    He proved them right. Saul worked up every ounce of strength left in his body to push himself onto his hands and knees. He craned his neck upward and saw their stupid, scowling faces. Judge Rudwick was apathetic, Clemaine seemed actually to be enjoying the show, but it was Munrow's look that stung… He was smiling, him, the man who Saul had spent the greater part of his life working for. You traitor…

    "Screw… you…" Saul fought out. "All… of… you… This is a court. Justice is… supposed to be served here. But instead, you've corrupted this hall… with lies… You'll burn for this…"

    "Burn? We're not the ones who burn," Munrow was on his knees now. "You and your Albar sister torched our field… and to think I trusted you."

    At last, Saul collapsed and his eyes crashed closed. He couldn't bear the weight of his own body anymore. As the world faded around him, he couldn't help but wonder if he would ever wake up. Then again… Peara was the only reason he would ever want to. Farley Rudwick sighed through his teeth. "At least they had the grace to lose," Saul heard him say before he let himself pass out. "No parents. No anyone except him. No one will miss him."

    "It was a brilliant choice, Your Honor," Clemaine agreed. "Leave the Games to those who have nothing left, and none are hurt when they disappear forever."

    "I will take them," Mr. Munrow spoke softly. "He has to rest somewhere before the train arrives."

    The Games…? Saul felt as though he knew what they were talking about, but it was just mumbles now… The more he thought, the more tired he became. He wanted to know. He wanted to know. What do I want to know…? Saul drifted gently away.

    End of Chapter 10

  • edited July 2018

    @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan

    Chapter 11: The Concept of Hope

    Theoram Warrik

    Theo arrived at the steel gates of the Capital building carrying the anxiety and fear of a man who might never return. The building was enormous and painted white, with the eagle sigil of Panem emblazoned upon its side for all the citizens to see. He suspected President Snow had it built to look like a castle deliberately. It reached into the sky and broke the clouds, yet it still didn't stand as high as Snow's own ego.

    Theo checked the time on his pocket watch and watched the hour hand pass three. He stepped up to the gate and observed its artistic design with flourishes and the white rose crest of the Snow family in the metalwork. An echoing voice sounded from all directions. "State your business," it said.

    "I was summoned here four hours ago," Theo replied, not quite sure where the sound was coming from.

    "You the new Gamemaker?"


    The gates slid open at a snail's pace. Once they were ajar, the marble pathway to the Capital building beckoned to him. On either side, it dropped off into a giant fountain enveloping the entire building like a moat. It was easily the largest fountain Theo had ever laid eyes upon, with spouts laid fifteen feet apart from each other. There wasn't any railing on the path, making it difficult for him with his bad leg.

    When he finally managed to hobble the entire way down the path, the doors opened for him automatically. This place was over the top... even more so than the rest of the Capitol city. A land of glimmering skies and a hope for tomorrow... That's what they called it. So hypocritical, and ignorant.

    "Ah, you're the new Gamemaker on the panel!" the secretary greeted him with her wide smile of purple lipstick. He walked into the room on his cane and stood in front of her, expecting directions. "He's been expecting you, Mr. Warrik."

    "Who has been expecting me?" Theo questioned.

    "President Snow himself," she smiled. His eyes went wide. He hadn't dreamed of ever meeting the President, at least not for a very long time. He was so exclusive, hardly anyone was able to meet him these days. "Tell me, what's it like being a Gamemaker? It has to be exciting, right? Like playing in your own personal sandbox!"

    "Yes. It's exciting," Theo replied in the most disdainful way possible without coming off as though it wasn't the truth. Theo joined the panel for only a few reasons, and none of them were personal enjoyment. "I would ask where I go for this meeting."

    "Oh, no problem," she replied, going back to her computer and typing on the holographic keyboard. "A man should arrive shortly to escort you to the meeting area. You can take a seat and we'll will be with you in just a moment."

    Theo took one last fleeting look at the secretary, and had a chuckle about her green, curly hair contradicting with her blue contacts and purple lips. He never did understand the Capitol's incessant need for vibrant color. Maybe it was the lack of any in the architecture and world around them. Maybe over time, the color was taken out of the world and was transferred into the citizens of the Capitol. No... That's exactly what happened. 

    Sitting in the room, it suddenly felt as though he were very small. Most likely that was the intent. He had a feeling that was the intent of the room. It was too large for simply an information desk and a few rows of waiting chairs. Yet, for the most part, it was barren. That was President Snow's way. He would belittle everyone by overwhelming them with the altitude of his own power, or that's how Roman put it, but have little to back it up. Yet, there was something in him that Roman admired. It was the same thing that Theo despised. It was his inability to care.

    After approximately five minutes, a ding issued from one of the twelve elevators and the doors slid open smoothly. A man stepped forth with his hands behind his back and a smile on his face. He stood very tall, as though to appear formal. His hair was well-coiffed, and for once, was a natural shade of brown. Just from looking at him, Theo was refreshed. He found Theo in the waiting seats and called out for him. 

    "Mr. Warrik!" Theo rose and limped over to where the man stood. He extended his hand for a shake and Theo took it. "It's nice to meet you. My name is Mick Proden. I am the President's personal advisor, and I will show you to your meeting hall!"

    He followed him to the elevator, and Mick slipped a small silver key into a slot above the normal buttons just before it flashed yellow. The elevator began to fly upwards, almost knocking the old man off his feet. 

    "You're his advisor, huh?" He asked. "What is this meeting about?"

    "No way to tell for sure, sir," Mick responded. "It's always something different with him. He's got that sort of personality, always moving onto new tasks. I can tell you, however, that he usually makes it a priority to speak to whoever joins the panel of Gamemakers, and seeing as you happened on the task this year, I'd say he has readied his speech. I imagine your coworkers would be better candidates for the question. You know he was the one who actually invented the concept of the Hunger Games? So, technically, without him, you wouldn't have a job right now!"

    "What do you advise him on?" Theo scratched his face, keeping his gaze focused on the front of the elevator. He knew very well the answer to his question, yet refused to respond to it. "Because I imagine he gets a lot of his own ideas..."

    "Yeah," the man flashed his gleaming white teeth. "He's a very self-made man. He's the kind of man we should all strive to become someday. You think that could ever happen?"

    He seemed confused and a bit hurt. "What do you mean, sir? I think everyone can have their role model."

    Theo didn't respond, only staring resolutely at the wall in front of him. Mick took the hint that Theo wasn't the type for small talk. There was one reason, and only one reason he was here. Once his goal was accomplished, Theo would leave, and if he was lucky, he would never have to come back.

    The doors of the elevator slid open, and another grandiose room presented itself. It was a long hallway with a meeting table extending down the entire way. The lights hung off the high ceiling and were dimly lit, only barely casting auburn light on the navy blue wallpaper. At the other end of the hallway was not a wall, but the entire space was left open. Only a railing could be seen there, with gray sky behind it. Leaning on the railing was a man. He couldn't have been more than thirty, President Coriolanus Snow.

    "Gamemaker, step into the room." He called from the other side. His voice sounded clearer and more pristine than it did on his recordings. "Mr. Proden, you may leave our presence. We have to discuss a simple matter..."

    "Yes, sir," Mick told him. He knocked Theo on the arm just before he let him step into the room. The doors closed behind him and Theo was in the room alone with the most important man in all of Panem. He was trapped.

    "You may approach me. Let us look upon our nation together," he called to Theo. He held up a glass of what looked like white wine. Theo limped on his cane to the other side of the room and stood there beside the president. He leaned on the railing with him and looked out at the city below. It was gray tinged by white, halls and streets as far as the eye could see. It was like a sea of industry. This was the heart of Panem.

    "Theoram Warrik..." the President slowly spoke. Theo looked at him and saw a man wise for his years. His blonde hair was cut very short, slicked back behind his head, and his blue eyes felt just as piercing as a dagger. A small white rose tickled his breast pocket. "I like that name. I had a second cousin once who bore it. A strong man, but not of build... He was strong of will. I imagine you are no different."

    "I could say so of myself, Mr. President," Theo replied. He felt nervous; one wrong word could mean the end. Snow was particularly notable for his low patience. He took one look at Theo's face and then turned back to the Capitol below. They were a great distance from the street level. It was the highest he had ever been before. 

    "That's good. Will is what defines a man. It isn't his wealth, or his mannerisms... It's his will to stand in what he believes in like his shoes. He has to wear his values like an undershirt and his dreams as his jacket. I look at you and the other Gamemakers and I see a bunch of people in their jackets, sitting at a computer and doing what they love. This defines you, does it not?"

    "Yes," he said. "I have wanted this for a long time."

    Snow put on a satisfied face. "It's a noble thing to want: to serve me and this country. I'm sure you are aware of the purpose of the Games." Theo nodded yes slightly, yet it didn't seem to be enough of a clear answer to him. "You are an old man. Surely you were alive during the Great War?"

    "The world has never had a chance to properly thank you for ending that unspeakable terror," Theo told him. That sounded like something that would please him.

    "Ah. The Games have a way of keeping the Twelve Districts in their places. If one rises up, as Thirteen did so long ago, we will crush it into a fine paste so that the world doesn't remember it existed in the first place. But I digress..."

    Theo turned around and leaned against the railing on his back for a moment. He couldn't stay still for too long or his joints would lock up. Snow picked up the rose in his pocket and stared into it longingly. "This nation is on a slow incline to perfection. When my father was in charge, he was weak. He was not able to keep the masses in order, but I have been able to accomplish what he never could. It's why I wear this rose."

    "Why's that?"

    "My father often wore a red rose similarly. I've inherited his way and perfected it. Nothing can slip through the cracks anymore. You look to the south and you see order. You look to the north and you see tranquility. This is a world I want to be able to raise my children in. Don't you agree?"

    "Yes," Theo told him. "If I had any children, this is the kind of world I would bring them into." The mentioning of children brought his daughter to his mind and his anger flared, but he quelled it back to submission. 

    "It's not like you have a choice, right?" Snow patted him on the back, and laughed for a moment. "I like you, Theo—and all the Gamemakers. You're like toymakers, endlessly trying to make a new toy for the Capitol to play with. I've heard you are good friends with the Head Gamemaker."

    "Yes," Theo replied. "Roman and I have been friends for as long as I can remember."

    "Then I'm sure it won't startle you to know that he has been taking a keen interest in these particular Games. I gave him the idea of the Quarter Quell, and he ran away with it—at the speed of light too. I was told you gave him the idea for the arena. A jungle was it?"

    "Yeah. The jungle is a good place to practice stealth; Roman seemed to be leaning toward it," Theo nodded, staring back toward the coffee shop that the two of them used to meet every week. He could see half the city from here. "The Quarter Quell was your idea?"

    "Anything related to the Hunger Games must be approved by me first," President Snow responded. "Yes, the Quell was my idea, but Roman's imaginative mind has taken it far in ways I did not intend at first. I was taken aback, but there was a reason I appointed him Head Gamemaker. The man has an eye for detail. He can see art where the world before him is bare... 

    "But now it comes to the question of your allegiance. I like you, but there's still a very likely possibility that you don't think the same of me. That would be disheartening to say the least. I want to know where you stand, because there's nothing that can ruin a perfectly good day more than betrayal."

    "I stand with you." Theo did his best not to say it through his teeth. "I have nowhere else to stand, sir. If you haven't noticed, I haven't been much to stand recently. My leg is just too weak. It's just about the only weak part of me, though." 

    "That's good." He turned and leaned against the railing with his back and took a slow sip of his white wine. "This world has too many spineless people in it. A man with a good backbone always has a place on the panel of Gamemakers. Your position is...?"

    "I handle the sponsors, sir." Theo sat down in the chair beside the long conference table. As he did, he noticed an ornate red and white flower garden hanging from the railing. It brought a bit of color to this otherwise drab room. Every now and then, Snow would take another glance at it. His presidential garden was world-famous as the best garden ever grown. Theo had never seen it. He'd only heard stories. However, given all the other stories about Snow, it may as well not have been true. 

    President Snow looked at him and frowned. He wore a look of apathy, but Theo knew it was only a mask. He turned back to the city below. "Can you not stand in front of your President?"

    "Will all due respect, no I can't."

    The young man did not waver in his gaze upon the sea. He touched the small white rose in his breast pocket. "What does it mean to you, Gamemaker?" His tone was wistful.

    "What does what mean, sir?"

    "The concept of hope?" He took the rose and dropped it from the balcony to land in the fountain below. "To me, and to any quality citizen of the Capitol, it is nothing more than a word. But like any word… if it is used incorrectly, in harmony with its brothers and sisters, it can mean your death. So choose carefully."

    Should Theo appeal to President Snow?

  • Hey! i just submitted a character ,never really was into hunger games , i mean i just watched the first movie , and never read the books , and i tried to pick some intel in the wiki , tried making my character as lore friendly as possible , so if there is something 'off' , be sure to tell me :)

  • Great to have you on board!

    Dydix958 posted: »

    Hey! i just submitted a character ,never really was into hunger games , i mean i just watched the first movie , and never read the books , a

  • edited March 2018

    Definitely appeal to Snow. Theo shouldn’t risk showing full signs of rebellion. It’d be better to somewhat kiss his ugly ass for now.

    @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan Chapter 11: The Concept of Hope Theoram Warrik Theo arrived at the steel gates of the Capital buildin

  • @LiquidChicagoTed @TWD_stan

    75% of readers chose to [A. Appeal to Snow.]

    "I agree, sir," Theo said, forcing a smile. "Hope is nothing, and thinking otherwise is dangerous. It reduces civilizations like Thirteen to dust."

    President Snow spun around amiably, but Theo could see the hint of malevolence in his piercing blue eyes. No one seemed to notice it except for Theo. "You are a wise man, Gamemaker Warrik. The removal of hope is the reason Panem lives on while the rest of the planet lives in darkness. We are alone, but we are alive."

    Theo knew without a doubt that disagreement was one way to make President Snow an enemy, and a ferocious one at that. He was pleased with himself. Maybe now, the man would let him get home in time for supper.

    "I have to say, I've enjoyed our talk here today, Gamemaker Warrik." He laughed in a chipper kind of way that made it impossible to tell if he was lying. "I hope we have more soon… And I hope you make the Games as well as you make your sentences."

    "You will be pleased with me, Mr. President," Theo lied.

    The president of Panem had a smile on his thin snake lips as he placed a hand on Theo's shoulder. He stood slightly taller than the man, yet when he looked down into his eyes, he could sense the evil in him. Theo wasn't afraid of the Capitol, but looking directly into the eyes of the man who'd made his life hell struck a kind of fear into him he couldn't shake off.

    "You're a good man, Theoram," Snow nodded. "I would love to keep it that way. We'll be watching your progress towards the Games from here on out."

    "You're monitoring me?" Theo raised the eyebrow that was not burdened by his monocle. "Will I have no privacy?"

    "What is privacy when compared to security?" he shrugged. He scanned the Capitol city below for the thousandth time with his greedy eyes. "This city is full of dark places. No matter how many lamps you hold, you always cast a shadow. Don't be the man who cowers in the shadows, Gamemaker."

    "I don't even know where to look for them," Theo lied. "This is the Shining City, after all."

    The president laughed quietly. It was a cold laugh... A scornful laugh... "Only a month ago, I had a woman here such as you. She went by the name Lynona Williams. Quite an eye for detail, that girl. If I remember correctly, she was quite the prodigy in engineering. The youngest Gamemaker on the panel, at twenty-five. And you are the oldest. Are you familiar with her?"

    "Yes. We've been friends for the past few months," Theo said. He didn't find anything to gain from lying here. He was growing nervous, remembering how she had left the meeting earlier that day.

    "Are you close?"

    "No," he replied. "We've talked briefly about the Games, and news issues, but our conversations never deviate above small talk."

    "Oh really?" Snow asked. He seemed as if he knew exactly where the conversation was going. Theo didn't like its direction. "I have an eye witness report of the two of you being... more than friends to say the least."

    "That's not true," Theo frowned. He truly wasn't lying this time. He'd never thought of Lynona as anything more than a friend at arm's distance and couldn't understand the accusation. They'd never been together. "Where was your source?"

    "You question my source?" Snow seemed slightly angry. It was the only true emotion Theo had seen on his expression thus far. "I believe that information is behind a wall of strict classification, but what I saw was the two of you walking behind an alleyway dragging one another along by the hands. It was quite a romantic scene." 

    He pulled a holographic device from his jacket pocket. He set it down in the garden, pushed a button and watched as the scene unfolded. It was like he said. Theo met Lynona just outside the coffee shop. He was becoming very close to her as he spoke, and for the first time, Theo noticed she didn't back away. He took her by her hand and led her into the alleyway behind them.

    Theo remembered that day clearly. It was the first day he'd talked to her, trying to express his ideals against the Capitol. Luckily, this footage was not shot from a security camera, as it was too shaky, and no audio could be heard. It meant, however, someone was behind it. Theo admitted he'd gotten a bit close to her that day, but it was only because that was always how he demonstrated his point. It had not been romantic in intent, yet, he could see how President Snow could mistake it for such an action.

    "Yes," Theo sighed, admitting something that was not the truth for the second time today. "We became involved through the past month. Even so, is this a bad thing? What say do you have to intervene?"

    President Snow was shocked by his bluntness, but quickly lightened. "She is my second cousin."


    "Lynona Williams is my second cousin and only living relative. I would ask that you stay away from her." 

    How could this happen? In one sentence, Theo's entire world began to unravel. Lynona was related to Snow. She had his trust. She had his plan, and she had his hope. If what Snow said was true, it would only be a matter of time before his intentions were discovered. 

    "I'm... I'm sorry."

    "I know this must be frustrating or shocking to you," he nodded, "but, it's the truth. It's more than what you gave me. I do not like being lied to, Gamemaker Warrik. Do you understand?"

    "I understand, sir..." he said, shrinking into his place. He felt smaller now... colder.

    "Normally, there would be discipline involved, but I have a proposal for you." Snow extended his hand, and Theo glared down at it, mistrusting. "You leave my cousin in peace, and I will forget we had this discussion. Are we clear?"

    Theo took the President's hand and shook firmly. He was surprised to find his grip was very tight and his hands were as pale and as cold as ice. There was something unsettling about the texture of his hand alone. It was too smooth… 

    "We're clear sir."

    "Now, leave my company, Gamemaker," he commanded stiffly. "With luck, the next you'll hear from me will be congratulating you on a Games well made. I haven't lost my hope in you."
    Theo turned and exited down the seemingly endless table of the conference hall. As he passed leather chair by leather chair, he thought to himself about how his plans had changed. He would need to notify Kirt and Rhetora about this.

    President Snow had spoken to the Gamemaker about hope, but the man didn't know a thing about it. Theo laughed when he thought about it one more time. After all, hope was only a word...

    End of Chapter 11

  • @LiquidChicagoTed @TWDstan

    Chapter 12: The Last Supper

    Saul Arrem

    Saul had been through a lot in his seventeen years on the earth. He'd lost his parents, his girlfriend… He had almost lost Peara more times than he could count.

    Often, the weight of it would press him to the floor, whispering terrible things in his ear. You have nothing left to fight for, it said. He would spend long nights lying awake, wondering why he was even still there, but he had to be. He had to protect Peara. They were all either had left.
    His sister was seated across the rickety wooden table, cuffed to her chair. They were in this together even more so now than before—if that was even possible. His hands were cuffed as well, but loose enough he could get at the plate of food in front of him. Mashed potatoes, a slice of ham and some steaming green beans. He hadn't eaten in so long… Although, even as good as it smelled, he wasn't hungry.

    "Eat," Mr. Munrow barked at him through the dust. "You need your strength."

    "No," Saul spoke firmly. He saw that Peara had already begun scarfing down her potatoes. That was like her. Even a grudge against the man who was holding her prisoner wouldn't stop her from what really mattered.

    "You're going to eat it, boy." Munrow pushed the plate further toward him, teetering on the edge of the table. He admitted the platter looked appetizing, but his will to get the cuffs off weighed more than the pit in his stomach. "If you don't eat, you're gonna lose weight. And trust me, you do not want to be in the arena on an empty stomach." When Saul didn't respond, he scoffed and continued. "Well I guess I'll eat it then, if you're so persistent on getting yourself killed."

    Saul sucked up his gut and spit a glob of phlegm into the plate before Munrow had a chance to take it from him. "Eat up."

    "This is more than I eat in three days, Saul. How hard can it be for you to take a bite?"
    "I'm not hungry!" Saul shouted at him, hoping against hope someone would stumble along the cottage, and hear.

    "You just don't understand do you?" He sat down in the waning light of the lamp. "You're whining because you got suckered into the Games! I have news for you, boy. You're going in because the rest of your District doesn't deserve it. They had something to live for."
    "Say that again."

    "Okay, the rest of District Eleven has something to live for, you cretin," he repeated himself. "You're two orphan children who have no chance of ever being adopted. Everyone is too full with their own kids to take on two more. And the girl here's an Albar. They don't have any place in our society, even when they're of age. Who's going to take her?"

    "She isn't even a true Albar," Saul scowled.

    "And then there's you, defending her," he shot back. "If she doesn't have any place, then what does that make her older brother? You get it now? We're removing a weed in the district. We were allowed to select for ourselves who would be our tributes for the Games this year. There was no other option than the outcast and her pathetic guardian."

    "Go to hell." Saul couldn't even look at him right now. Instead he turned toward Peara, shaking in her cuffs.

    The room was the same one he had spent his life in, with its deteriorating wallpaper and faded floors. He wondered how he'd gone so long without realizing the man whom he served as apprentice to was never a man at all, just a backstabbing traitor. This was how he was repaid for all his work in the orchards: getting sent to the Capitol to die.

    There was a ring at the door as it creaked open. Mr. Munrow jumped up and found his way into the front room where all the business happened. There were a few short sentences shared at the counter, none of which Saul could make out. It was most likely Davett, who showed up around this time every day to pick up a supply for tomorrow's market.

    Once he was done, Munrow walked back into the room where he was keeping the prisoners. "Sir, when are we going to go to the Hunger Games?" Peara asked.

    "In one week," Munrow answered. "See, at least your sister is polite. She asks the important questions instead of sitting there, useless, whining about all of it. Look, both of you are going into the Games one way or another, so the way I see it, might as well be prepared."

    "What are you saying?"

    "I'm saying I will personally train you, Saul," he said, waving his hands in the air as if he was holding a sword. "You need to get to the top and win. This District is on the verge of bankruptcy. A victory could bring us enough money to get our economy back to speed."

    "What could you possibly have to teach us that we don't already know?"

    "Have you ever had a lesson in fencing?" he replied. Saul shook his head slightly. "It's a sport of art and mastery. There's not much I can teach you in a week, but it's better than going in barefoot."

    "...What about Peara?" He looked to his sister. Her pink eyes went wide. "You'll train her too?"

    "No," Munrow answered solemnly. Peara began to cry, and Saul would have gone to her if he wasn't cuffed to the chair. "I need to focus on the one who really has a chance to make it through. Peara won't survive the first night."

    "Take that back, right now."

    "Or what? You'll spit in your own food again?" He chuckled acidly and sat back down. "I'm the only one here who is thinking logically. This is the only right way to win." Munrow reached his hand forward for a handshake. Saul had every bit of motivation to push it away, but didn't just yet.

    Saul watched his kid sister across the table, who was trying her hardest to smile, though she had bits of mashed potato on the sides of her mouth. Every word Munrow said spit bile into his heart. Peara would survive far past the first night. He would see to that. Yet, he knew in one way, the man was right. He needed training if he ever had hope to survive. Being able to climb trees wasn't always enough, since it was possible the environment might be barren. Still though, the man was insufferable. Saul was still hesitant to shake his hand.

    What should Saul do?

  • Munrow's a snake, nothing he offers can be trusted. For a second I was tempted by the logic of it, but it also seemed completely logical to warn him about the fire. I think it's best to avoid his venom as much as possible.

    @LiquidChicagoTed @TWDstan Chapter 12: The Last Supper Saul Arrem Saul had been through a lot in his seventeen years on the earth

  • Hm, Munrow, definitely firmly among my least favourite characters, for reasons I'm certain are clear this time. Mean old bastard, but my personal dislike for him does not change the fact that, just like last time if I am correct, I chose to accept his offer. Of course, he is a toxic person, but what he is offering here is extremely valuable. Saul might have talent, but he lacks skill, especially when compared to tributes such as the Careers, Penn, Aura and likely others. Munrow's offer might be a way to teach him something that helps him with surviving for as long as possible. More than that, he might have a way to protect Peara for just as long. So, as much as I would love to defy Munrow here, I don't think Saul is in any position to do so.

    @LiquidChicagoTed @TWDstan Chapter 12: The Last Supper Saul Arrem Saul had been through a lot in his seventeen years on the earth

  • Hey guys I'm sorry I didn't post. The past couple weeks have been pretty hectic for me. I'll upload the next part maybe tomorrow.

  • Hey, it’s all good. Take your time. :blush:

    Hey guys I'm sorry I didn't post. The past couple weeks have been pretty hectic for me. I'll upload the next part maybe tomorrow.

  • Everything alright?

    Hey guys I'm sorry I didn't post. The past couple weeks have been pretty hectic for me. I'll upload the next part maybe tomorrow.

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