Reminiscent

Reminiscent

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A private roleplay between Lilah, thenotsoinnocent & Korruption

953 readers have visited Reminiscent since Lilah created it.

Introduction

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It’s been ten years of peace since the last Hunger Games ended. After President’s Snow’s death and the up rise of district thirteen, the tyranny of the past regime ended. There still were cracks in the systemβ€”people who still believed in the old ways. Life was not great, but it was better. Definitely better.

That was until the other the new leader, President Flint, decided to bring the games back.

There was an outcry amongst the districts as the capital came back in power, stronger and more prepared than the last time. But no matter what the districts did, no matter how hard district thirteen fought, they could not stop the games. They are going to happen. Of course, district thirteen hasn’t quite given up yet.

They’ve decided to try and stop it from the inside. They’ve sent to of their young, promising candidates to pretend to be from another district and volunteer themselves for the game. They hope that they will do everything in their power to figure out the inner workings and to stop them.

Maybe they can recruit some help from the kids in the other districts as well.


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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 3 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emily Stone

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Emily didn’t sleep all night and only got up when the sun was rising. Today was the day of the reaping. Emily had to carefully get off the floor as her siblings were frighten last night thanks to the reaping. They didn’t want their family to be torn apart. They all slept together on the floor in a pile pretty much last night. Quickly she bathed and dressed for the day. She put on a large straw-hat, white button up shirt, dark blue overalls, and thick black knee high boots.

The reaping wasn’t for a few hours, but she had to do something to relax. She went to the barn where the cows were. She grabbed a stool, bucket, began to milk Betsy. Emily stroked the cow’s side a few times as she milked her. She watched as the milk flowed into the bucket.

β€œHey Betsy, how did you sleep? I slept horribly. I kept thinking about the reaping…you are lucky you are a cow,” she said. Emily continued to talk to Betsy as she milked the cow. Once she finished, she poured the milk into a tin and put it in the storage.

She returned home to get her siblings ready for the reaping. They had to attend the reaping or death would be the result. After a few hours she finally got them ready. They all went to Thomas’s house to make sure he was ready and well (as well as he could be). They went to the center of town together. This is where they were going to choose the two tributes.

Emily squeezed Quinn’s left hand and Hansel’s right hand. She didn’t want them to wander off. They were the youngest, three and five years old respectfully. Emily was trying to hold it together, but she felt very stressed too. They were doing the men first and she hoped Oliver or Thomas wouldn’t be chosen. Tears formed in her eyes and ran down her cheeks. She finally stopped holding her breath when some stranger was chosen. No one volunteered to take his place.

Emily was worried her sister Cleo would be chosen. The past month and a half, Emily had been bedridden. She was able to forced herself to get back to work about two weeks ago. Emily should of stayed in bed, but her mind was able to win the battle against her body. She had been flogged for pushing a peacekeeper into a pile of manure. Em just pushed him because he was about to hit Oliver for knocking over a few buckets of milk.

Stone was worried because Cleo received tesserae for each member of their family while she was stuck in bed. She scolded her sister and they got into a big fight. Emily decided to get tesserae too since her sister was at a high risk of getting picked. Emily would volunteer if one of her siblings got chosen. She was still mad at Cleo since the reaping just caused Emily to stress out. Though, she understood why Cleo did it. It was hard to feed everyone in her family and Thomas. Emily usually stole food when the opportunity presented itself, but she obviously couldn’t do that while bedridden.

β€œβ€¦Stone,” said the person choosing the name, the picker. Emily’s head snapped in the direction of the ridiculously dressed woman. She felt stinging in her neck and high up on her back. Emily knew she just reopened a few wounds. She hadn’t heard the first name at all. Though, she saw Cleo going towards the picker. Emily had Quinn and Hansel each take one of Olive’s hands. She ran towards Cleo and grabbed her. She looked at the peacekeepers that pulled their weapons out.

β€œI volunteer!” she yelled and watched the peacekeepers relax. They still held their weapons though. Her back was on fire by the time she went to whisper into Cleo’s ear. Emily was actually breaking into a sweat as her body was under stress.

β€œTake care of Thomas and the family. Stay safe and healthy and no more getting tesserae. Just stay alive,” she whispered before walking up to the picker. She ignored the look in her sister’s eyes that told her to stay alive as well. Emily doubted she would win the games, but maybe somehow she could.

Tears were still running down her face as the picker continued to speak. Emily really didn’t hear what she was saying as she got dizzy. A second later she collapsed. She woke up on the train that would take her to The Capital. Emily was lying on a bed pretty much just wearing her overalls from the waist down. Someone had wrapped her back and neck up in bandages. Emily bit her lip to try not to cry, but tears came. It just hit her she wasn’t able to say goodbye to her family and Thomas. She fell unconscious again from the pain.

…

Em woke up again once they got to The Capital. Em just stayed in her room. She didn’t want to talk to anyone, not even the male tribute. She had no idea who he was and knew it’d be best if they didn’t get to know each other. She only left when they had to go to the training room. She knew she wouldn’t be allowed to stay in her room without some type of consequence.

Surprisingly District 11 tributes were the first to enter the training room. Emily just looked around. She didn’t pay attention to the male from her district that went to some spears. She just stood there with her arms at her sides. Whoever bandaged her back and neck did it too tightly. She didn’t find the outfit she was in the most comfortable either. It was silly The Capital choose what they’d be wearing to train.

The whites of her eyes were blood red, as she couldn’t stop herself from crying while in her room. It was a miracle she wasn’t crying now. Her eyes just scanned around. She looked lost at what to do.

Emily had no idea what she should do for training. She dealt with cows and plants. Emily didn’t exactly have any skills that would benefit her in the game. Those were her current thoughts anyways. Her healing back limited her movement too. The pain didn’t bother her. It was just something that was there that she couldn’t really push her luck with. A sigh escaped her lips and she finally walked over to the camouflage area. She could learn this. It’d help her survive in the game for more than an hour.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Laerke A. Barsotti Character Portrait: Emily Stone

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the night before the reaping...

Laerke used her old towel to wipe off some of the stray blood that had gotten on her during the day. Butchering had gotten more intense ever since the Capitol came back into power. Of course, since she was a professional, Laerke knew what she was doing. But it was difficult to stay perfectly clean when you had to dig around in an animal's guts all day. Laerke had nine pig hearts she had to harvest, along with five orders of pig tongue and seven orders of cow liver. The Capitol's orders were unique, to say the least. No one had ordered pig hearts is over five years.

Andrew Oliversson - what a weird surname - jerked his head up as Laerke sauntered into their meeting place. "Finally," he muttered good-naturedly. "What the hell took you so long?"

Laerke scowled. "The Capitol is extremely demanding," she commented, "especially to us butchers. We haven't cut out and cleaned sheep intestines in ever. We're a bit rusty."

Laerke caught Drew's slight smile as he quirked the corner of his lips up. "You win, Birdie," he said dryly. "Anyway, what I'm going to tell you tonight is probably the most important piece of information of the decade." Laerke raised an eyebrow, curious.

"Go on, then," Laerke said. "Shoot." Drew raised an eyebrow at her response, but continued anyway.

"Thirteen has a big plan to stop the games," Drew declared. Laerke gestured at him to continue. "We want you involved as well."

Laerke nodded slowly. "What's the plan, then?"

"Thirteen wants you to get into the games. You know, taking down the Hunger Games from the inside. You up for it, Birdie?"

Laerke raised a brow. "That's an awful lot to ask of me," she stated. "You're being remarkably calm for someone asking one of their best friends to go on a suicide mission. Aw, come on, you aren't gonna miss me?" Laerke cooed in almost a friendly mocking tone.

Andrew half-smirked. "Just use your butcher skills and chop up anyone who gets in your way. Knowing you, you're going to survive. It's a given." He shrugged.

"Aw, I'm flattered." Laerke placed a hand on her heart.

"How are your knife-throwing skills?"

"Horrendous."

"Have you ever thrown a knife?"

Laerke set her eyes on her friend, before replying sardonically. "What do you think?"

"A training station exists in the Capitol. Go practice there."

Drew looked at her expectantly. Laerke stared right back at him.

It was like that for an entire minute before Laerke broke the silence. "Alright kiddo," she said, her lips curving up into a slight smile. "I'm in."
The entirety of District 10 stood in the center of town. It was an impressive feat, to say the least. The livestock district had a decent amount of land, and their population was definitely spread out. No one was eager about the reaping; that was a given.

Well, if I get chosen, then I can live in the peace that no one will volunteer for me, Laerke thought to herself. We wouldn't want the plan to go to shit, now would we?

Laerke listened to the district escort ramble on about the Hunger Games and "how eager District 10 looked!" Ha. As if. Laerke seriously wanted to drown her out.

But unfortunately for Laerke, it was impossible to ignore the escort. Everybody's eyes were automatically drawn to her, and not in a good way. The escort's name was Elegia Hellcharm, and that was the least of it. It was obvious that Elegia had gotten breast, butt, and lip implants. Laerke thought the Capitol was crazy before, but Elegia took it to new extremes. Her waist was very literally thinner than Laerke's forearm - did she care at all for her internal organs, or did she just get a crazy amount of surgical adjustments? Laerke, in all honesty, couldn't tell.

"Ooh, your district is so charming!" Elegia shrieked loudly, causing everybody, including the peacekeepers, to visibly wince. "But let's not talk about that. It's time for the tributes! Ladies first!"

Elegia reached into the bowl, murmuring as her long-nailed fingers searched for a slip of paper. Finally, she pulled one out, unfolding it clumsily due to her nails getting in the way. She cleared her throat before saying the name. "Claudia Tang!

Everyone's eyes turned to the pretty, black-haired seventeen-year-old, who attempted at a tough facade, but was failing miserably. Laerke had heard of her before; her older brother owned one of the best ranches in District 10. The Tang Ranch was where Laerke's butchery got most of their high-quality meat to butcher and deliver to the Capitol. Claudia was popular in District 10, not only because of her brother, but for her looks as well.

Speaking of Claudia's brother...Laerke turned slightly to look at the crowd of people far behind her, finally finding the face of Theodore Tang. He was twenty-two, and therefore not eligible for the Hunger Games. He and Claudia were extremely close, and he would break down if she died in the Hunger Games.

Well, today was his lucky day.

"I volunteer as tribute!" Wide eyes turned to Laerke at her declaration. Out of the corner of her eye, Laerke saw Theodore visibly relax. Claudia turned to her, her dark brown eyes grateful and concerned at the same time. Laerke saw Elegia eyebrows raise in surprise.

"A volunteer from District 10?" the escort laughed as the entire district bristled at the mocking sound of her voice. Peacekeepers raised their weapons threateningly, and although the district made no move against Elegia, they didn't stand down either. Laerke started sauntering towards the stage as Elegia's laughter quieted down.

"And what is your name, dear?" she asked. Laerke despised the fact that she had to lift her head upwards to look Elegia in the eye, but she did so anyway, a collected expression on her face. The escort had to be at least 7'6" with her elaborate heels.

"Laerke Barsotti," she said coolly, staring relentlessly into the face of the escort. And let me tell you this, Hellcharm, for the lack of a better term, if you mock me and I happen to die, there is a very large chance that my spirit will come back to haunt you." Laerke lightened her voice towards the end of her statement, her unrelenting stare not moving one bit. Eventually, Elegia turned away, uncomfortable, as Laerke refrained from smiling in triumph.

"And now, for the gentlemen," Elegia said after a long silence. Laerke turned towards the crowd, who were looking at her with a bit of respect and "oh, she's so stupid" at the same time. Elegia grabbed the paper slip much quicker this time, opening it much more gracefully.

"Scott Germain!" she shouted into the microphone, said microphone screeching with feedback as everybody cringed and covered their ears. Clearly, Elegia was inexperienced.

Scott (who was incredibly buff; he had to have some kind of skills) approached the stage stoically. If you were wondering, yes, he was pined after in District 10.

Elegia sized Scott up, whistling in approval as both Laerke and Scott stood there in disgust. Currently, Scott was about 15 inches shorter than the escort, so the spectacle looked a bit strange. "Scott," Elegia gushed.

Laerke swore that at least ten people in the crowd threw up.

Elegia cleared her throat. Laerke almost flinched as the escort grabbed the green-eyed brunette's left hand and Scott's right, lifting their arms in the air. If Elegia was actually strong, Laerke was sure that'd she be at least a foot off the ground. "District 10, your tributes!"
"You're crazy," Scott commented towards their escort once they were on the train.

"He's right," Laerke added dryly. Elegia gasped in shock.
When Laerke and Scott strode into the training room, attempting to look intimidating (hell, it was working), they noticed that the District 11 tributes were already there.

"So..." Laerke clucked her tongue as she spoke to Scott, her eyes glued to the throwing knives. "What can you do?"

Scott smiled slightly. "Wrestling," he said, keeping his statement succinct. Laerke whistled.

"Brevity is the soul of wit," she quoted. She finally turned to Scott as the two shook hands. "See you on the other side."

"You mean death?" Scott scoffed dryly. Laerke smiled sardonically.

"Not at all," she said in a rather mysterious way, heading towards the knife-throwing station.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Laerke A. Barsotti Character Portrait: France I. Ellsworth Character Portrait: Emily Stone

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the night before the reaping...

"Bring pride to our district!" Victor Ellsworth slammed his hand down on the table as he glared at his only daughter. "Now that the Hunger Games are back, District 2 needs to make an impression on those other lowlifes!" France seethed.

"We already made an impression on the other districts!" the redhead argued, boldly making eye contact with her father. "They still fear us, even now. There is no reason for me to volunteer. Anybody else could, and it wouldn't make a difference." Victor scoffed condescendingly.

"No one else is going to volunteer," he retorted. "I already spoke to the heads of the Career Academy. You've secured yourself a spot in the games." France's father narrowed his eyes before he spoke again, his voice venomous and mocking. "What would it look like if the daughter of District 2's most feared victor backed out of volunteering for the games?" France grit her teeth.

"I make my choices on my own accord," she grit out. Victor glared at her.

"If you back out, no one will respect someone like you anymore," he said, smirking. Everyone in District 2 liked to be in control, and it was clear that France's father had the upper hand here. Unfortunately for France, she couldn't use the old sentiment trick against her father. If she made an argument on how likely it was for her to die, Victor would simply scoff, saying that it'd be her own fault. That was the logical answer, and the citizens in District 2 were definitely logical - not emotional.

"I don't have a choice, do I?" France scowled. Victor looked surprised for a split second, before laughing in that mocking way of his.

"Dear child, you never had choices."
France sauntered to the town square, her black dress successfully hiding the knives and small weapons she had packed with her. In all honesty, she had no problem volunteering for the games. She just despised the fact that her father had made that decision for her. It wasn't that France couldn't be independent; she definitely could. But Victor Ellsworth was a manipulative man, and used everybody around him - especially his own daughter - to elevate his social status and wealth.

France caught a certain black-haired and blue-eyed person storming up to her. The redhead smirked sardonically, turning towards said person. "Sasha Boulos," she greeted condescendingly. "Do you want something, or are you here just to infiltrate my presence with incompetence?" Sasha's eyes flared with anger.

"Shut up, bitch," she seethed. "I bet you're only in the games because of your daddy, huh?" Her eyes darkened. "Ya know, there are a lot of us who have a better chance of winning that you." France chucked sardonically.

"Careful, Sasha. It's not smart to get yourself into the games while you're grieving your mother's death." France's lip curled into a mocking smile. "Poor kitty." Sasha glared at the redhead sharply.

"How the hell do you know about that?" she hissed. France shrugged, nonchalant.

"Everybody knew about that since three days ago," she said, her indifferent tone clearly getting on Sasha's nerves. "There's a group of boys thirty feet behind us mocking you about how pathetically weak you are as we speak." Sasha whirled around, and true to France's word, a cult of boys with sneers on their faces were looking at poor, pathetic Sasha.

"Excuse me, but I have a reaping ceremony to get to," France remarked. With that, she continued on her way to the town square, leaving Sasha behind to beat up her group of bullies.

The Capitol escort, as always, was so stupid, but everyone in the town square cheered regardless. It was the Hunger Games, after all. A test of honor in the Career districts, especially District 2. If you win, you get money and fame. If you lose? Even after your death, the District will mock you, kick your corpse around as they jeer at your lifeless body. You would be an example of shame for years to come.

"It's so lovely to see our favorite district still in the Hunger Games mood!" District 2's escort, Krystalle Spidergoo - what a sad name, squealed in excitement. "Ladies first!"

Of course, everybody in the district knew that whoever's name was on the fated slip was not going into the Hunger Games.

Krystalle cleared her throat before saying the name. "Rowena O'Leary!"

After that, it was all chaos.

Before the annual Hunger Games, District 2 always put their Career tributes through brutal exams to see who has the best chance of winning the Hunger Games. Many are killed. In the end, the best Career is guaranteed the right to volunteer without anyone else interfering. The system ensured that only the best go in. France was ranked the number one female in the district. Despite that, she wasn't set on volunteering this year, since her gladiatorial ranking was at an all-time high. If she went into the games, her ranking would be pushed back down to the very bottom, and she didn't want that. But of course, she had to volunteer. She was the best.

However, many stupid Careers still attempt to volunteer, even if they didn't pass the exam. Therefore, District 2 had developed a tradition of shooting those stupid enough to volunteer - well, as long as they aren't supposed to. France would be safe.

Gunshots rang in the air as dreams were killed forever. "I volunteer!" France declared, her intimidating glare daring someone else to stand up to her. A path was cleared for her as she sauntered up to the stage.

"What's your name dear?" Krystalle asked, although she already knew the answer. France gave her an expectant stare before sighing. "It's France. France Ellsworth."

"Ooh!" Krystalle squealed. "We have a victor's daughter, District 2! Now onto the boys." The escort carefully searched for a slip of paper, before finally pulling one out. "Aslanbek Holst!"

This time, there was very little commotion as the number one male in District 2, Sander Bretz, yelled, "I volunteer as tribute!" He was two years older than France, at age eighteen. Krystalle grasped both France and Sander's hands as she sandwiched herself between them. She lifted their arms up before cheering, "This year's Hunger Games tributes, District 2!"

The applause was deafening.
France slipped on her training uniform, looking in her mirror. She had to make sure that her glare could wither all the other tributes to ashes. Believe it or not, District 2 had classes on how to look intimidating and scare the other tributes. It may sound pathetic, but once the tributes fear you, your job is half-done.

District 2 were the fourth ones in the training room; all heads turned to them. They were the first Career district here - there was also District 11, 10, and 5. Easy enough to take out, France thought. The girl by the knife-throwing station knows what to do, but that doesn't mean she can do it.

France and Sander immediately split up, the latter heading towards the spears and making the District 11 tribute look like trash without even trying. France headed towards the knife-throwing station, where the District 10 girl was.

"You're a butcher," France observed, the Gamemakers not yet noticing their exchange of words. The District 10 girl raised an eyebrow, slightly surprised.

"And you're a Career," the tiny brunette responded. France gave her a sadistic smirk, picking up a knife.

"Obviously," she replied, tossing the knife with barely any effort, aiming for the farthest dummy. It hit the bulls-eye cleanly. Anyone else would be satisfied, but France was only disappointed in the low level of difficulty. Moving dummies had to be a part of this station.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Laerke A. Barsotti Character Portrait: France I. Ellsworth Character Portrait: Alouette Barsotti Character Portrait: Avery Taylor Character Portrait: Emily Stone

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Alouette Barsotti was only six years old on the last Reaping Day in Panem, but she remembered it clearly. Families hugged their children every five minutes, wiping tears away before the peace keepers could see it. She saw a fourteen-year-old go through multiple lashings after tying to run away. There was an energy of solemnness that possessed anyone she passed. Though she was so young, she never forgot that feeling of complete helplessness.

That feeling was the exact same one that surrounded District 7 today.

Lou and Avery had gone for a quick run in the morning (as he’d been making her do everyday since they arrived in District 7 three months ago), and Lou couldn’t’ help but exam the faces of the citizens. Many of the children didn’t seem as if they comprehended what exactly was going on. They’d been to young to remember the horror of the games, and even though they would have been taught about it, it was different seeing it. Different living it.

Those who were old enough seemed grimmer than the dead, but there was something more in their expression. There was a challenge. It was a shock, to say the least, when The Capitol came into power once more. Lou was never sure if the citizens of Panem could handle another rebellion again, but that look of pure hatred towards the reaping let her know not to entirely count out that idea. If their plan succeeded, there would be those who backed them once more.

As Lou gathered her hair into a tight updo, she slipped on a cotton dress, the shade of emerald green. She was never a big fan of dresses, but for some reason it was customary during the reaping to present oneself in a neatly formal attire. Make the pigs pretty before the slaughter. She was the last person who wanted to go along with their little game, but for the plan to work, she had to put on face. She couldn’t be Alouette Barsotti, a district 13 soldier. She had to be Astraea Roman, District Seven wood worker with a charming enough attitude that would make the capitols people fall in love with her. She had to be unsuspecting, but she couldn’t blend into the background.

She had to be a player.

Making her way through the little cabin in the middle of the woods in which her and Avery had shared, she slipped out the back door to face the light haired boy chopping wood in the back. He had become rather well acquainted with the axe during his time there. He’d made sure she was as well.

β€œAlex,” she spoke gently as to get his attention, unable to call Avery his real name. She hadn’t since they’d arrived. He needed to get used to hearing it, and Lou never knew what hid in the trees, able to find out their secrets. β€œIt’s time to go. The reaping is starting.”

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They had their plan sorted. District 13 had made sure there was enough history and records of their false identities for no one to second guessed their District 7 status. They were parentless at a young age, having met on the streets. They were outcasts who stuck together in their secluded cabin most of their life. They’d only showed face more often now as they had to produce more work for The Capitol. It would work well enough for a cover story. The Capitol would be interested enough in a sob story of parentless kids come together to make their own family. The game keepers might even try to keep them alive a little longer just for that desperate plot. It would also make sense that if one got into the games, the other would volunteer to β€˜protect’ the other. They had enough counting cards in the draw added in that they already had a higher than normal chance of being picked. However, if they had to volunteer, that’s what they would do.

After getting promptly signed in, she made her way into the crowds that had accumulated around the districts Justice Building. Lou slipped in, trying her best to blend in as best as she could. She put on a face of nerves, rubbing her wrists as if she was anxious, eyes darting around, foot tapping on the ground. Inside she was more calm than she appeared. She already knew the intended outcome, and would do anything to achieve it.

As soon as the District 7 escort came on stage, the crowd grew hush. The escort was named Faefarrel Presstina. She was a dainty woman, reaching no more than 5’1. The excessive platform heels however, made her appear just under six foot. She had glossy wavy hair, wore long to the back of her knees. It was a blaring yellow, in a shade Lou had not quite seen before. The silk dress of the same colour was simply draped and pinned over her body, adorned with large blue gems of varying colour. Her makeup was detailed, her skin tinged a soft blue that reminded her of a frosted corpse. Lou never could understand the beauty standards of The Capitol.

She tapped on the mic once with nails of blue that reminded her of claws. She went through her little speech, wishing everyone happy hunger games and all that. Her voice was sharp, strict, yet still soft. She half reminded her of a kitten playing with new toys.

β€œWell, let’s see what darling sweethearts District Seven has to offer, hmm?” She stated, before making a show of reaching into the bowl of names on her right. She plucked one out while saying, β€œyour female tribute is…” before opening it up and booming out the name. β€œAstraea Roman! Oh how lovely.”

Lou was a little shocked that her name had been picked after all, but it really worked in her favour. Slipping from the crowd, she strode up to the stage with a look of strength and bravery. A look of someone ready to take on this challenge, not to break it.

As she stood over the woman who towered over her in heels, Faefarrell cooed and she ran a hand over the top of her head, as if petting her. β€œWell aren’t you a dainty thing.” Instinctively, Lou took a step away from her. She instantly covered it up by faking a sneeze, saying with a little laugh, loud enough for the mic to pick up, β€œsorry, I think I might be a little allergic to your perfume!” Keep playing along. The Capitol had a habit of liking those with a good attitude, willing to play up a story and character.

Faefarell gave a little titter of her own, half uncaring, before she moved onto the next bowl in order to pick the male tribute. She gave the same little show of anticipation like before, until she pulled a slip of paper and announced β€˜Alex Snow’. This is good. They never had to volunteer after all.

Pulling a face of shock and worry, Lou made sure to keep her eyes glued on Avery as he made his way up to the stage. Best start twisting their whole story as soon as possible. She listened as Fae gave the same sort of conversing piece to him, until she took note of the look on Lou’s face. β€œMy, you two look like you know each other,” she commented. Lou snapped out of her β€˜daze’, before trying to recollect herself. Going as far as letting a tear fall would be too much. She needed to be charming, she needed a story. She couldn’t show any weakness. Grabbing Avery’s hand in her own, she gave a small sad smile at him, before turning towards the escort. β€œHe’s my best friend” she softly stated. That should be enough for the cameras.

Faefarell gave a sympathetic look that even Alouette had trouble deciphering if it was fake or true. β€œWell, at least you have one another, hmm?,” she commented, still slightly sullen. Fae shook it off quickly after before announcing them as District 7’s tributes once more.

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Walking into training, Lou was counting all the thing she knew they needed to do; get a handle on who all the tributes are, if they would be of use in their plan, who where the ones who’d need to be taken out. They needed to take in as much information as they could, but also show face enough that they wouldn’t be put off as weak. They needed to be challenging enough that they would pique interest in others.

Sadly, Lou had added another thing onto that ever long list the moment she saw her training suit. It was basic, all it had going for it was that it was easy to move in. Her own training gear at home had accumulated many additions to it as Lou grew older and found ways to improve it. She would need to do the same to this one.

As she entered the space, she was quick to count heads. Some faced away, but all she needed to know was that her and Avery where the fifth group to enter.

Glancing up at her partner, she simply nodded at him before gliding away to glance at all the stations. They knew what they needed to do. Spread out, but still look out for one another. Keep notes. Deciding to start on the modification of her suit early, Lou began plucking various materials from the tables, breaking off different pieces of metal here and there. As she moved towards the knife throwing stations, she simply grabbed the knife already protruding from one of the dummies. As she turned away, having collected the materials she needed, her eyes just barley grazed over a frame in which she’d hadn’t seen in years and that had changed drastically. It took her only a second to realize who it was. Her twin sister.

This wasn’t apart of the plan. This wasn’t supposed to happen.

Walking past them, Lou wanted to make sure her sister saw her. She was unsure if it would click in her mind who she was right away, and only hoped her sister was smart enough not to say anything out loud while another person was there. They needed to be careful about this.

Making her way towards the fire starting station, she dropped the collected materials beside her as she began to start a strong flame, all the while plotting in her mind what to do now that something had changed, and why the hell her sister was here in the first place.

Lou had a feeling it wasn’t by chance.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Laerke A. Barsotti Character Portrait: France I. Ellsworth Character Portrait: Alouette Barsotti Character Portrait: Avery Taylor Character Portrait: Emily Stone

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laerke barsotti
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dialogue: #c2820e....xthought: #e38f8f
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france ellsworth
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dialogue: #e33b5a....thought: #aad465
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Laerke glanced curiously at the redhead who had thrown a knife into the exact center of a target with absolutely no apparent effort at all. Yes, the brunette knew that it was practically taboo to not full-on hate a Career, but the redhead beside her had sparked a long-buried memories from eight years ago. Laerke thought the green-eyed Career was...intriguing, to say the least. Said Career practically ordered the Capitol assistants to activate the moving dummies, throwing the knives in the center of the targets as they came into view.

Laerke watched the redhead out of the corner of her eye, tossing a knife at a non-moving target as she did so. Of course, Laerke definitely didn't hit the center, but she hit the actually target. That was definitely a start. The brunette absentmindedly attempted knife-throwing as she retreated into her thoughts.

eight years ago...

Eight-year-old Laerke Barsotti eagerly dashed up to her home. Ever since the Hunger Games ended and the Capitol were knocked off their overly flamboyant throne, district citizens could visit or even move to other districts if they wanted to and could afford it. Laerke and her mother never really wanted to leave District 10, despite Laerke's father and twin sister being in District 13.

For the past week, Laerke's mother, Colombia Barsotti, a milker, had visited District 2 to check on an old friend. Laerke was sent to live with a family friend while her mother was away, but after six long days, she was back.

"Mom!" Laerke greeted cheerfully at the sight of her mother. "You're back! What's District 2 like? Were people stabbing each other like crazy?"

Colombia smiled tiredly at her youngest daughter, pulling out a chair for her. Laerke plopped down in it, gazing up at her mother curiously. "One question at a time, Laerke," Colombia chided. "It's nice to see you too."

"So...what was District 2 like? 'Cause at school, in history, Miss Joubert said that District 2 had killed lots of our tributes, and that we shouldn't like them at all." Laerke blinked at her mother. "But I thought that not everybody from District 2 was cruel. Miss Joubert looked at me like I was crazy."

Colombia sighed, smiling down at her daughter. She ruffled Laerke's brunette hair. "It's nice that you're taking the time to question what everybody is saying, Laerke," she said. The woman sighed. "District 2 was one of the most frightening places I could ever imagine."

Laerke furrowed a brow. "W-What do you mean?"

With that, Colombia launched into a brutal tale, with Laerke listening intently, unfazed for the most part. "It was clear that they were rich. District 2 was definitely not a bad-looking place. But at the same time, they weren't a very...decorative district. Do you know what I mean, Laerke?"

Laerke nodded rapidly.

"Oh, Laerke...the children there...they were so stiff...like soldiers forced into war. Even though the Hunger Games ended, it seemed like they still trained their children in the same way they had trained their Careers."

"But if the games are over, why does being a Career matter?"

"It doesn't, Laerke. But District 2 was a very harsh district. It made me feel nervous just being there. Among the orderly people with set jaws...it was like I knew nothing about them. Which I didn't.

"Do you know who Victor Ellsworth is, Laerke? One of the strongest and most brutal victors in Hunger Games history?"


Laerke nodded.

"He has a daughter your age. I heard her name was France. She's supposedly the strongest 'Career tribute' in her age group.

"I wondered, did she really want it? Her father had embarrassed her multiple times, scolding her for being weak, physically assaulting her in public. In front of me, Laerke, an outsider."


"But Miss Joubert called people from District 2 'prideful bastards who would do anything to make their district and citizens seem like the best in Panem.' Why would Victor make France seem weak in front of you? That makes no sense."

"It doesn't, Laerke. Maybe Victor wanted to seem stronger than his daughter?"

"He doesn't need to downgrade - is that the word? - France to seem strong! He's a victor! Everybody already knows that!"

"Perhaps Victor himself doesn't? But Laerke, even with all Victor has done, his public belittling of his daughter wasn't what bothered me the most."

Colombia took a deep breath as Laerke cocked her head to the side, confused, before continuing. "Laerke...France has the unforgettable eyes of a hardened warrior. Something an eight-year-old should never come close to having.

"The point is, Laerke, you're right. You shouldn't hate all Careers, as strange as that may sound. In places like District 2, I suppose to only way to survive is to be like everybody else."

Laerke was brought back to reality as the redhead besides her completed the simulation. "Hope you don't mind me asking," Laerke said casually, "but do you know someone named France Ellsworth?"

The redhead narrowed her eyes, setting her unsettling gaze on the brunette. "I am France Ellsworth," she said in a slightly cold manner. Laerke's eyes widened slightly. "You'd do well to keep that in mind, shorty." With that, the redhead sauntered away, heading towards the swords on the other side of the room. As she did so, Laerke turned her head back to the targets. Wait...

Hell, is that my sister? Laerke asked herself. It has been ten years, but Lou and Laerke were twins. They could recognize each other, even though they looked practically nothing alike. Holy bullcrap, it is Lou!

During her years of butchering, Laerke had developed an uncanny ability to not be surprised. If she did happen to get surprised, Laerke's face wouldn't betray that emotion. Lou pulled out a knife France had threw and headed over to the fire starting station.

As her sister left, Laerke attempted to throw a few more knives, a lucky one hitting a ring close to the center. Clearly, Laerke wasn't good enough with throwing knives, but butchering skills had to come in handy.

When she finished, Laerke calmly left the station, letting her eyes roam over her choices before deciding to head towards the fire-starting station. Towards Lou.

The Capitol assistant next to the station explained the process with great zeal, Laerke nodding absentmindedly as the tall Capitol citizen spoke enthusiastically.
How the hell did shorty know my name? France asked herself and she headed towards the swords. Yes, practically everybody knows who my father is, but at the same time, very few people from the lower districts actually know who I am. Which, frankly, was quite disappointing.

France chose two nearly identical swords from the table. They were heavy enough, but the swords weren't overly bulky. Perfect for dual-wielding.

The Capitol assistant opened her mouth to explain the station, but France brushed her off rudely. "I know what to do." France had a choice between dummies and a simulation. The simulation would be more challenging, since the generated opponents were moving and had the minds of hardened fighters. "Turn on the simulation," France told the Capitol assistant. Hmm...it went from Level 1 (the easiest) to Level 20 (the most difficult). "Level 18.5." The Capitol assistant raised her eyebrow, as if she was surprised that the redhead knew that level existed (of course it did, this was the Capitol), but turned on the simulation anyway.

The first opponent came from behind - France could easily tell due to the bright glow of the simulated tribute. She whipped around, swinging her swords into its neck. The head fell apart from the rest of the body before the entire thing disappeared in pixels.

From then on, it was exhilarating. France wouldn't call it easy, but at the same time, the simulation definitely wasn't too difficult for her. The simulation ended as France defeated two opponents at once. Since France had trained herself to be ambidextrous, she could easily wield two swords at once - a difficult feat for most, since many had a dominant hand.

Sander was glaring at her, France noticed. You would think that two Career tributes from the same district would get along in attempt to win the games, but in reality, it was the complete opposite. Because in the end, no matter what the Capitol tried to convince you of, there could only be one victor in the Hunger Games.

At that very moment, France had a feeling that it wasn't going to be her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Laerke A. Barsotti Character Portrait: France I. Ellsworth Character Portrait: Alouette Barsotti Character Portrait: Avery Taylor

0.00 INK

Three months in District 7 drove Avery to the edge. He hated every time they had to go into town. Peacekeepers seem to be everywhere. Every time he saw them enforcing the law, he just wanted to split their head in half with an axe. The only thing he liked about the district was that they used axes. Avery had gotten quite skilled with the tool. He knew he could kill someone with an axe by now. He likely could test that theory out in the games. He doubted all the tributes would want to stop the games.

For the reaping, Avery decided to wear: a while button up shirt, black cotton pants and vest, black dress shoes, and an emerald green tie. He decided he should match Lou in some sense. They had a sob story The Capital would love. Outcasts and parentless children who met on the streets. They stuck together to make their own family. They lived in a secluded cabin, and the only reason people saw their faces more was because of the increased workload. The story honestly sounded ridiculous to him. Though, he knew The Capitol would eat it up. Before he headed outside, he brushed his hair. At the moment it was short, maybe just a few inches long, and platinum blond.

Once outside, he began to chop would. He may as well do something productive while waiting for Lou. When she said Alex, it went in one ear and out the other. He finally stopped and paid her attention when she mentioned the reaping. Avery was not looking forward to seeing their escort. Capital people always seem to be ridiculous.




He stayed close to Lou and watched as she faked nerves. Avery knew he could not fake nerves. He just stood there with his arms crossed and face relaxed. Of course since his face was resting, he looked grim. Grim would work as the games were back. As the escort spoke, Avery spaced out. His mind went to his mission. He was thinking of the best ways to accomplish it. He shifted his weight and took a small step forward when Lou, well Astraea, was chosen. He knew he'd have to volunteer unless he was chosen. Avery let out a small chuckle at Faefarrell and Lou's interaction. Could Avery say he was allergic to the perfume too?

Alex Snow. He was surprised he had actually gotten chosen as well. He was glad though since he wouldn't need to volunteer. Avery uncrossed his arms and slowly walked up tot he stage. He stood on the other side of Lou, alway from the escrow. Avery flashed Lou a halfhearted smile as he ignored the escort's word. When Lou took his hand, he gave hers a light squeeze. He glanced out to the crowd when they were announced as the tributes.




Avery was at peace and somewhat excited when they finally entered the training room. He nodded in reply to Lou and watched as she walked away. He leaned against one of the walls as he watched the tributes in the room. He wondered why Lou went to the fire starting station first, but decided not to put much thought into it. Though, curiosity peaked when the District 10 female tribute went to the same station as well.

Avery's gaze went to the female from District 2, likely a career, who went to the swords. He watched her do the simulation at one of the harder levels. Avery found it funny when he noticed the other career was glaring at her. He wondered if these two would need to be eliminated. Avery assumed they would need to be, but they could surprise him and want to end the games. Slowly, he walked towards the District 2 female.

β€œYou should try that same level, but with just one hand. First the right and then the left, well, start with whichever you like.This would be to see if you are just as good with one alone as you are with both,” he said as he slowly walked by her. Avery was headed to the hand-to-hand combat station. He took note of how he'd have to force Lou to come to this station at some point. He greeted one of The Capital assistants before they headed to the combat area. Avery waited for his opponent to make the first move.

Avery made sure to drag out the fight. He could have ended it quickly, but he knew he had to hold himself back. He knew he couldn't end the fight too quickly. He just had to show he was good, not great. Once he won the fight, he asked for a harder opponent. He wanted something of a challenge. A sigh escaped his lips. He missed District 13's trainers, they were more difficult at least.

Though, Avery had to wait for his harder opponent. The harder opponent was fighting the District 11 male tribute. Though, who know if you could call it a fight. The tribute was getting destroyed. Avery had to give the tribute credit for actually wanting to try. Avery's light blue sparkling eyes roamed the training room as he waited.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Laerke A. Barsotti Character Portrait: France I. Ellsworth Character Portrait: Alouette Barsotti Character Portrait: Emily Stone

0.00 INK

Emily pretty much was playing with the paints to see how the colors looked on her skin. Her arms were covered with different shades of brown, blue, yellow, and green streaks. There were also white and black streaks. She even mixed a few colors together. Emily knew this skill would be useful, but she would need to invest time into it. She had a lot to learn in a short period of time.

This activity, somewhat, helped her keep her thoughts from going to District 11. Tears had formed and run down her cheeks here and there. She really hated how she let her emotions get to her. Emily was still in shock she would need to participate in the games. It pretty much meant death. Her family would have to deal with another death so soon after Sofia’s. Sadly her death would be for everyone to watch.

β€œOh well, if I die, I will just make sure it is a quick death. No one I care for needs to see me die a horrible death. Hopefully…” she said to herself. Her teeth pressed together as she sensed herself ready to start full out crying. She wiped her hands on her shirt and rubbed her eyes. She took in a slow shaky breath.

A distraction came when Emily heard someone whistle. She didn’t even notice the District 10 tributes had walked in. Em was curious and walked around the table to be able to look at them secretly. She took in another shaky breath and wiped her tears away. Knowing more strangers were in the room numbed her sadness for now. Deep down she knew she couldn’t let the other tributes see her looking so pathetic. Emily knew she already looked like she had cried. The whites of her eyes were red, and her eyes were puffy. Emily even had very pale purple bags under her eyes.

I will make sure to get enough sleep tonight, and my face will look fresh and healthy. I just need to make sure to train enough too. I at least need to try in the games…think of some impossible way to win… Tension filled her muscles when she sensed someone walk by her. It was the female tribute from District 10. She was walking towards the knife throwing station. Emily quickly stopped watching her as she went back to focus on the paints.

Her fingers dug in-between her bandages and neck. Quickly she loosened them. It hurt a bit, as she had to rip the bandages to make them looser. Emily knew her wounds needed to breath anyways. Her neck only had a few short lashes, which were pretty much healed. The peacekeeper’s flogger tips just graced her neck. She got hit too high up on her back this time around. Emily took the bandages from around her neck off. Her neck had red lines from the bandages. She placed the bandages on the table and began to try paint a leaf on them




Emily actually got her arm to look like tree bark by the time the District 2 tributes came in. Emily was standing in a way where she could see them walk in. The girl had beautiful bright hair. She watched the two tributes while adding colors to her arm. She wanted the bark to look like it had moss on it. Her shirt was a mess of colors since she used it as a rag. There were towels and even bowels of water around, but the shirt was faster thing to use.

Her eyes stayed on the District 2 female as she approached the District 10 female. She wondered if the female was trying to make an ally. Emily thought of how allies may help her survive longer, but they would just become enemies in the end. Only one person could win the game.

As if I could even make it to the end of the games. I’ll just die and… She stopped her thoughts immediately. Emily had finally stopped crying and felt numb. She wanted to be able to keep things that way. Feeling numb was good. Her emotions seemed to have disappeared for now. She felt hopeless, but that was bearable.

Seconds later she was focused on her arm once more. It gave her something to do. She was actually getting rather good at this activity. Who knew she could have another talent besides being a farmer and delivering calves? Emily knew she should move to another station, but she wasn’t sure which one.

Once done, Em cleaned the paint off of herself. She even took a moment to clean the back of her neck. It stung, but her face showed no sign of pain. She knew when she showered later, the pain would be worst for her back. It had the worst wounds. She rinsed the towel clean and wiped her face. She watched the assistant get clean towels and water bowels. After just staring for a bit, she began to walk around the training room. Emily stopped near the weapons to pick up a sickle.

She used the sickle many times before when harvesting crops. Emily quickly looked it over before putting it back. Maybe she would do the simulation tomorrow. She was good with it when it came to crops, so she could likely kill someone with it. She decided it’d be the first thing she would do tomorrow. Emily continued her walk around the training room.

Finally she stopped at the snares station once passing the fire making station. She was pretty good at making traps. She had to make them to protect the cows and plants from pesky animals. Her traps were always humane, but she knew she couldn’t make them like for the game. Emily stretched as The Capital assistant explained things to her. She ignored the pain and warm running down her back.

Great, opened something up, oh well. I will just deal with it later. I doubt anyone will notice anyways, well, unless someone notices the smell of blood.
Emily quickly got to work with practicing the basic snares. They were easy and what they mainly used in District 11. She now started on the more advanced traps. Emily decided she would stick to this area for a while.

Maybe I can win, but obviously not by fighting. Traps should work…or I can just stay hidden during the entire game until everyone else is dead. If I die, my family will be devastated. Though, can I really win? Maybe I should just end my life now or quickly during the games. My family doesn’t need to see me die a horrible death…but they do need me…why is life so complicated? Haven’t I gone through enough? Maybe I was a horrible person in my past life…

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