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Keeth Diggett

"Um. Hi."

0 · 460 views · located in Panem

a character in “The 25th Hunger Games”, as played by throne

Description

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Name: Keeth Amory Diggett
Nicknames: None he’d prefer to share
Age: 17
Sexuality: Timidly Gay
Birthday: October 1st
District: 6th

Weapon of choice: Sharpened Boomerang
Talent: General Survival
Weaknesses: I'm not very strong. I’m useless up close. Really. I hit like a little girl. You’d think I would have gotten better at this, but, no such luck. I really don’t have much self-confidence either. There’s no way I’m winning this thing, I’m probably going to be the first one to die.
Hobbies: I didn’t really have time for a lot of hobbies, or many friends to do them with. When I wasn’t taking care of things at home, cooking and cleaning and mending and all, I liked to go out and run. That always calmed me down, and I needed to be quick. That and messing around with my ‘rangs. I used to play the piano, before we had to sell it. Most of my alone time is at night, so I do some star-gazing. I don’t know any of the names, but I can pick out some patterns I like.
Likes: Freshly baked bread • Running, when it’s just for the sake of running • Figuring out new tricks with his boomerang • Quiet conversation • His herb garden • Playing the piano • When things are neat and orderly • Rain storms • Being surprised by human decency every so often • Thinking
Dislikes: Being chased • Untidiness • Being called names • Hot days, or worse, hot muggy nights • The Capital and its inhabitants • Big groups of people
Fears: I’m afraid of… so many things. Spiders, bugs in general, actually, and especially butterflies. They’ve always freaked me out, there’s something so alien about them. I’ve gotten pretty good at recognizing bullies, and they terrify me. I just know they’re going to choose me to pick on, because they always do. I really don’t like traveling by train, which is silly considering where I’m from, but I just can’t help but imagine a derailing. I’ve seen them, and it isn’t pretty. Oh, and blood. I hate seeing blood. My own doesn't bother me so much, its when other people bleed that I start to get a little dizzy. I forgot about birds! Birds just creep me out, and they're so filthy. I would have been afraid of my curse hurting anyone else... but I think we're all cursed, if we wound up here.
Token: A long brass sewing needle, usually worn stuck through his collar. It was his mother's.

Personality: I… I’m a coward, when it comes down to it. I’ve never stood up to anyone in my entire life; not my father, not my brothers, not any of the boys who teased me or worse. I just don’t like conflict. I’d rather stay out of view and keep everyone happy than rock the boat and risk falling out, I guess. I’ve learned to accept my limitations. I’m never going to be strong, I’m never going to be a leader, but… I’m really okay with that. I’d rather be who I am than become some jerk just so more people like me. Maybe that’s brave, in a really stupid way? I don’t know. I’m no good at this stuff.

I like structure and routine. I like things to be where they belong. I can be sort of compulsive about that, but maybe I can’t help it. I’m used to being screamed at if everything isn’t perfect, so, I keep things as perfect as I can. I’d rather be productive, you might say?

I get really nervous around people, but especially boys who are bigger than me. I think they can… just sense something about me. That I’m different, that I’m weak, and that makes me a target. I just never know what to say, so I don’t say anything, and somehow that makes things worse instead of better. I’ve never had any close male friends, many friends at all, really. There are people I talk to every day who I really don’t know the first thing about, but I like them well enough.

People are always saying I’m sensitive, or even over-sensitive. I’m not very good at hiding my emotions like some people are. People always know how I’m feeling, which usually isn’t all that happy. They never see me when I’m doing some stupid little thing that makes me happy.

History: I’m cursed.

It all started with my mom. She died bringing me into the world. I never even had the chance to know her, but it’s almost like she haunted us. Me and my brothers and dad, I mean. Not literally, just… there were always these pieces of her, everywhere. Her apron, her hand-written cookbook, her sewing kit. They would start to say something about her, nice things, but then realize how much it hurt to do it and stop. We couldn’t bring ourselves to get rid of the little pieces of her left behind.

My dad blamed me, and to make matters worse, I was never a son he would have wanted. He and my brothers, they were strong. They could work. I took after my mom, I guess, slight and kind of sickly. I didn’t do myself any favors reminding them of her. It also didn’t help that I gravitated toward kind of… girly stuff. Cooking, cleaning, sewing. I was good at it. By the time I was six, I was pretty much doing all of the house-keeping. I just… I wanted to do what I could. To get them to love me, rather than see me as this weird little kid who looked too much like his dead mom. It was all I had to offer, but it was never enough. If dinner wasn’t ready when they got home, or if their clothes weren’t clean… well, it never happened again after the first few times.

Things weren’t any better at school. My curse… well, I think people knew about it just by looking at me. Or maybe it was just the way I was. Soft-spoken, gentle, afraid. Whatever it was, people recognized something in me that they didn’t like. Usually it was boys, older boys, stronger boys. They teased me, chased me… worse, when we got older. I learned of another talent: running away. I could be quick when I needed to, and I needed to every day. I probably could have had some friends, I could recognize pity when I saw it, but I didn’t want to… infect them with my curse. They would have become targets just by associating with me, so I couldn’t bring myself to let anyone in.

The worst happened when I was a teenager. Reaping day was always terrifying. My family had to take a lot of tesserae compared to most, so I knew the odds weren’t in my favor. They weren’t in my older brother Karry’s, either. When his name was called, some little voice in my head was saying volunteer, just volunteer, then the curse will be over. I couldn’t though. I was paralyzed. Even though my brother was one of my tormentors, he was still my brother. The thought of losing what little of my family I had left made my lungs feel like they were filled with ice-water. I said nothing, he took the stage, and a few weeks later he was dead, the first death of the games.

It’s weird, but things got better after he died. Somehow, I was the strong one. I kept cooking, kept cleaning, made sure that my father and remaining brother were off to work with a lunch packed. My father broke down a few nights later. He apologized for being unable to see my mother in my face and for hating me for it. My brother as well. Somehow, loss had made us a real family again, and I thought just maybe that the curse was broken.

I was wrong. So wrong. When I heard my name, I realized that it had just been a lull. The peaceful months spent putting the pieces of our family back together were a lie, just the curse biding its time, only this time there isn’t going to be a bittersweet ending. I couldn’t help myself. As sucky as my life was, I didn’t want to die, eviscerated in some strange arena for the pleasure of The Capitol. I couldn’t hold back the tears, couldn’t move toward the stage. A Peacekeeper “escorted” me up, and our escort was saying how I must obviously be weeping with gratitude at the honor of being chosen, but everyone knew the truth. I was just a scared, cursed little boy who knew the end was coming.

Anything else?: Keeth is built for speed rather than strength. He's quite fast, able to run for a good while before tiring, but his ability to take or deliver a hit is all but non-existent. He's never actually used boomerangs in combat, more as toys, since they aren't all that practical for anything but hunting which he's never tried his hand at. The sorts of tricks he's learned to perform are remarkable, though, and his accuracy within 15 meters is frightening.
Your reaction to being chosen for the Hunger Games: Expression, and then. "Everyone in Panem saw me crying at the reaping. All the other tributes are going to be gunning for me. This living-together thing is going to be awful. Hopefully they’ll decide I’m not worth bothering with."

So begins...

Keeth Diggett's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Magna Aerosta Character Portrait: Keeth Diggett Character Portrait: Scipio Hardin Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by throne
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”Oh no. No no no no no, not again.”

Those had been Keeth’s words, upon seeing the gleaming train that would bring them from the Capitol proper to their dwelling for the next nine months. Dwelling was the word that he’d decided on for the place, for it would never be his home. He’d probably never see his real home, the small boxy apartment that he had kept so free of clutter, dust, and grime, again, but that didn’t mean he was simply going to forget it.

The Peacekeepers in attendance to escort them onto the train had been warned of Keeth’s liability as a flight risk. When the dark-haired boy, wide eyed and in the beginning throes of hyperventilation, tried to bolt, a stocky man all in white caught him by one of his spindly arms and kept him from running off. Keeth struggled for a moment before realizing that he had no hope of winning free, but he had to be all but half-carried or dragged to his cabin, and then locked in until the train was underway. He gladly accepted the sedative that someone, he wasn’t sure who, offered him. Even with it coursing through his system, he was still pacing across his room like a nervous crane as the shuttle came to life. He’d drawn all of the shades; the landscape blurring backwards past them would be too much.

Not long after they were moving, he heard the lock on his door click open. Even though he had no intentions whatsoever of going to dinner, he did have preparations to make. He was wearing the same get-up his stylists had picked out for him that morning, and his hair was a mess from the many, many times he’d run his hands through it (sometimes tugging quite hard) in the course of his mad pacing. He didn’t need to primp or change or any of that, though: what he needed were pillows. And blankets. As many as he could come by. He didn’t remember if the meal was mandatory or not, but if it was, they’d have to find him and drag him there as well. It was less a matter of open defiance and more a matter of survival. He’d accepted that he was going to die in the arena, sort of, but he’d do everything in his power to avoid death by train.

He’d grown up in Six. His father and both brothers had worked in the factories that made the rail lines and often worked on laying them down as well. He remembered well the many graphic descriptions his father had laid out for him, of trains derailing, and the reason for the calamity was always something innocuous. ”Oh, there was a defect in the rail, no bigger than your thumb. Doesn’t take much when the thing’s going hundreds of miles an hour, Keeth. Doesn’t take much at all.” How could the other tributes not know what danger they were all in? The train was more dangerous than any muttation or trap they’d encounter during the games, but they were… what, doing their hair? It boggled the mind. Keeth’s mind, anyway. How could they even keep the rich fare that the Capitol served down while they were smoothly speeding toward fiery death?

He stripped his bed of all the bedclothes and pillows and bundled them up. The first place they’d look for him, if dinner was compulsory, was his room, and that meant he needed to find a better hiding place. There were bathrooms that weren’t attached to any cabins, and those would do just fine. Using a bit of tenuous reverse psychology, Keeth decided that any pursuers would almost certainly assume he’d get as far away from the dining car as possible, and so in a fit of what might pass for cunning, he decided to stow himself in the lavatory second-closest to that very place. If the Gamemakers had scored them on cowardly ingenuity, Keeth would have swept the competition.

He bumbled out of his cabin, barely able to see above the bundle of goose-down pillows and heavy comforters he’d taken with him, and nearly ran into Magna as she exited her nearby cabin. Peering at her from the side of his padding-to-be, he opened his mouth to say something and then thought better of it. He’d tried to talk to her the other night, after she’d gotten back from wherever the Peacekeepers had dragged her after her outburst on the show, and she’d barely said a word to him. He’d been hoping to speak with her, about that, about the boy from eleven, about… well, everything, but then she’d just stalked into her room.

”You do realize that no one’s allowed to kill you before we get into the arena, right?” That was what she said to him as he peeked at her in the train corridor. Anxiety had knotted his stomach, he needed to get to bathtub ground as soon as possible, before a squirrel got caught in the engine or something, and so he just squeaked ”Yes, I realize that” and then scurried off with his soft, fluffy spoils.

After depositing the bundle in the bathtub of the lavatory (why a public use bathroom would need a great huge claw-footed bathtub that would have comfortably fit three tributes was beyond him, but he’d stopped questioning the ostentatiousness of the Capitol shortly after he’d witnessed a man puking up his dinner for the sole purpose of being able to stuff himself all over again), he trekked back out into the corridor, raiding a nearby linen closet for more pillows. He only dared take another armload, and hoped it would be proof against the inevitable doom that waited for the lot of them at the end of the line.

He turned the lights off. Darkness would make it easier to imagine that he wasn’t on a train, that he was in his own bed at home, squeezing his eyes shut in the wake of the nightmare that the past few days had been. His life had never been exceptionally great, but he would have gone back to his brothers making him wear their mother’s frilly apron while he cooked for them in a heartbeat if it meant someone else had been Reaped instead of him.

He arranged the blankets and pillows as best he could, then climbed over the high edge of the tub with some difficulty. He actually wound up falling into his little nest, but fortunately, it was… well, a nest of pillows and blankets, and he suffered no harm. Burrowing down into them and wrapping himself up in a tight cocoon, he closed his eyes and prayed that he might be able to sleep through the whole voyage, or with luck, the next nine months. Or maybe he’d just die in his sleep. That would have been a boon, at this point. He knew he’d get no sleep, though. However he tried to distract himself, he’d always drift back to the fact that he was on a train, and a lance of terror would skewer him anew.



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Scipio was starting to believe he had a telepathic ally somewhere very high up in the Capitol.

Things were going well. Very well. Too well. He couldn’t help but feel a bit of suspicion, but then, when one spent the bulk of his existence living a very elaborate lie, paranoia was practically an old friend. One of the few true friends he had. It made him sharp to consider every angle, every possibility. Perhaps some savvy oppressor had seen through his act, and was merely giving him enough rope to hang himself with? Scipio had very little interest in rope tricks. He’d leave that to Niles and Diomache. Even if someone did suspect him, it wasn’t as if they could pull him from the games. Not after he’d scored an eleven (tied for highest, which was mildly irritating and only reinforced the need to both sway the girl from Four to his side and then figure out a way to deal with her) and nailed his interview. Not after gladiatorial couture had already begun sweeping the Capitol.

He’d be sharing his room with the very girl he’d alluded to at the end of his interview. He’d been keeping track of the time, adding little pauses or jokes here and there to run out the clock in order to create suspense on that front. It was perfect. He wouldn’t even have to try to get her alone in order to woo her. He did need to get her would-be paramour alone though, for a gentlemanly discussion, but that could wait.

He couldn’t help but grin remembering his interview. How perfectly his double-talk had carried off. He’d restore the honor of his family, alright, but not as the empty-headed cravens of the Capitol thought he meant to. He’d even managed to work in a reference to the Thirteenth District that had been obliterated at the end of the Dark Days, in such a way that most wouldn’t even think it was defiance. Retrospectively, though, the truth of that three minutes would be undeniable. Proof positive that he’d been on this course all along, when he eventually needed to show the world who he really was.

His grin persisted as he remembered his session before the Gamemakers. The looks on their faces had been priceless as he rampaged through the training area with a mace in each hand, obliterating anything that came in his path. He imagined that a targeting dummy was Caesar Flickerman as he took its head clean off and then doubled it over with a blow to the midsection. He imposed the face of President Argent over a punching bag as he knocked it off its chain and then smashed it flat with a flurry of hateful blows. By the time they’d regained their senses enough to dismiss him, gawking, he’d damn near wrecked everything. Poor Stiletto had probably been quite cross, waiting for them to set things right before she could enter.

He was in front of the mirror, making a few last minute adjustments. He’d opted for a much more casual attire for the evening- a pair of nice but unremarkable pants of some sturdy brown cloth, along with a simple white t-shirt that showcased his upper body very well. He used a comb and some clear goo to sweep his hair to one side of his head, and then used his fingers to poke and prod the pale blond coif into perfection. He wanted to seem approachable. Normal. Just another teenager. None would fall for it, of course, at least not at the onset. His mission tonight was to convince as many as possible that even though they’d all be at each other’s throats in nine months, there was no reason they couldn’t be friends in the meantime. He’d seize any opportunities for drama that might present themselves, of course, but he didn’t plan to push. Not yet.

Satisfied that he was camera-ready, he made his way out into the hall. He had some time left before the meal would start in earnest, so he decided to do a bit of wandering… making his way slowly through the train in hopes of finding open doors with tributes within who he might talk with. His brow knit as he spotted The Boy Who Cried hurrying past him, hugging a mass of blankets, but he just shook his head and continued onward toward the back of the train at a lazy pace.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lor Pellet Character Portrait: Pip Pypin Character Portrait: Magna Aerosta Character Portrait: Saffron Lockhearst Character Portrait: Keeth Diggett Character Portrait:
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I find it an extremely out-of-body experience, the knowledge that I'm hurtling past outdoor objects at a speed which would (in any other contraption) be considered ludicrous and yet, surprisingly, I feel as though I sit still. The scenery explodes and implodes from view so quickly my eyes barely have time to focus before shifting to the next onslaught of foliage. This is frustrating and makes looking out of any window quite pointless. So I sit, confined to this tiny compartment. All the riches that can be fathomed and they choose to waste it by inventing trains that move so quickly one cannot enjoy the natural beauty of our world. The luxury that is wasted... If even the smallest amount of what they spend on their grand balls and dinners could be put towards the outlying districts! I've lamented on that too much though, and what good would another entry in this journal about the disparities of our world really do? Nothing. Just the hateful musings of a young man destined for doom.


Lor sighed and leaned back, away from his desk. He tucked the pencil he'd been using behind his ear and stretched, yawning. Against his better judgement he was thankful that the pencil existed, his left hand had finally stopped carrying the signs of his writing. In Nine he'd always had to use charcoal or ink on a stick, anything that would leave a mark on a page. His penmanship was better due to this crazy luxury, true, but it was the fact that his hand remained clean that he didn't mind. He glanced out the window out of habit and a new scowl crossed his face. He'd wanted to watch the country-side, see the sights, out of sheer curiosity. The damn train moved so fast you could barely keep yourself from creating a headache if you even tried to look outside for longer than a minute. Disgusted, he pulled the pencil from his ear and tossed it onto the desk. Rising, he shut the blinds. The light outside had been beginning to darken, and it occurred to Lor that the tribute's dinner would be starting soon. He pursed his lips and looked about his room. It was the last night he'd have a room completely to himself. Sitting on his bed, he let his shoulders sag as he stared hard at the floor, going over the past few days in his head.

Lor knew he'd killed his interview, was confident that he did, but so had many of the other tributes. He wondered briefly just how many sponsors there actually were and, guessing at a number, tried to divvy them up to different tributes. He felt confident that he had a fair chance, but fair didn't keep you alive. He knew that he'd have to keep up appearances and (no matter what) never let anyone know about his deeper feelings on the Capitol and most of Panem. He looked at his journal then. If the wrong person read it... He shook his head to stop his mind from thinking that way. It was his possession, his "trinket" as it were. No one would be allowed to read it, even in the event that he was killed right off. He'd made sure to bring a new journal with him, one that didn't mention any of his family's views, but he'd been writing in it since his first train ride to the Capitol in the first place. Many of his rants about the people in the Capitol and the Games in general had already been rehashed in the first couple of pages, and could be incriminatory if found under any other circumstances. As it was, Lor felt comfortable knowing that there wasn't much worse they could do to him, he'd already been sentenced to death.

Standing, he walked over to his desk and picked up the journal. Tying it closed he tucked it into the pouch he kept around his waist, under his shirt. From now on, it was where he'd always carry the journal. Then, moving over to his closet, he looked in. A suit bag with the word "Dinner" printed on it was in the front of a row of clothing that had been tailored for him. He took it out and unzipped it. Inside he found a charcoal suit that fit snugly, but comfortably, a pair of combat boots, and an undershirt. Confused, he checked the rest of the bag. No tie, no collared shirt. His brow wrinkled and he cocked his head slightly, hadn't Silver said that all suits must be worn with collared shirts? Then he noticed a note in one of the shoes. Grabbing it, he flicked it open. He smiled as he read the four words that were scrawled on the page in such a no-nonsense hand that there was no room for a question of who'd left it:

No shirt. More Masculine.


Once again struck by how grateful he was for his stylist, he finished dressing, messed wit his hair a bit, then stood back to take in the final product. Approvingly, he nodded, then moved the blinds to get a bearing on what time it was. It was late. Time to go. He took one last moment to compose himself, then stepped out into the hallway, turning towards the dining car.

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Pip laughed boisterously as she burst from the dining car into the lounge car, a large piece of chocolate in her hand. She'd made sure to befriend the Avoxes as soon as possible, and so far had not been let down. Not only had she come to love the fact that they pretended to not listen to her (even though their silent gurgles indicated laughter at her jokes) but over the short amount of time the tributes had been on the car she'd already had 5 chocolate bars, 2 cookies, and at least a dozen fruits she didn't know the name of but was already addicted to. She plopped down onto a lush couch in the middle of the room and kicked her feet up over the back of it. Biting into the bittersweet dark chocolate again, a contented sigh bubbled it's way up and out of her system.

"Yes, this. This is defffffinitely the life!" She drawled quietly to no on in particular, seeing as no one was in the room with her. She lay there for a while, lounging. Half-sleeping and half awake as she relished in the chocolate bar, eating slowly. She finally finished it and lay, hands on her stomach for quite some time, staring at the ceiling. She was having such a good time already, and still nine months awaited! She drifted then, into a light slumber. She didn't rest for very long, though, because as her eyes had drifted closed her mind had drifted back to Nine and Lua. Jerking up-right she nearly toppled off the couch as the sadness washed over her. Lua... he'd been left behind. By Jesh and now her... And he knew that she'd do anything in her power to help the right person win, whoever that turned out to be. She felt the familiar tingle/burn in the upper portion of her nose, the warning sign that tears would soon follow.

Shaking her head, she smiled and rolled off the couch. Bouncing up to a standing position she stared at the door to the dining cart... "Hmmm do I want a donut?" Pip thought aloud, then noticed the clock hanging on the left wall of the train. "Aw! 5:30 already?" She stomped her small foot and pouted prettily, "Guess I'll wait then! It's almost dinner time..." Her eyes widening, she looked down at herself. "Woooopsie!" Giggling she took two steps backwards, then turned and began moving back towards the hallway where all the rooms were situated. Matt would have her head on a platter if she showed up to the televised dinner in her bright pink bath towel. Hurrying towards her door she nearly bumped into Saffron as was standing in front of one of the guy's doors. "Sorry!" She trilled over her shoulder, bouncing past, "Gotta get all hot and sexy for dinner tonight. You know how it goes!" Then she turned into her room.

Shutting the door behind her she went to work. She'd already successfully destroyed the room by creating different piles of "stuff" for lack of a better term when she'd first boarded the train. Really, she'd just been interested in what all the compartment could hold, so she'd gone through everything, the downfall being that Pip didn't have time nor want to put anything away herself. Thus, piles of clothing, shoes, books, things she'd never seen before were strewn across her floor and bed. Her desk was covered with all sorts of things she'd seen her stylists use on her hair and face and her bed was already torn to shreds because she'd jumped in immediately and wiggled around in it, reveling in how soft the sheets were. At the memory, she giddily tore her bathrobe off, revealing her nude body and slid into the bed again. Rolling around in the sheets she stretched and smiled, making a mental note of how wonderful this sensation would feel with another human body involved.

Catching sight of the clock on the wall Pip rolled her eyes. "6 already?" She mumbled impertinently. "Looks like I'm late, again!" She sighed, took a few more minutes to enjoy the sheets, then stood and began to get dressed for the dinner. She rummaged around in the dress pile until she found a powder blue soft thing that looked like it'd be pretty cute and still help her come off as one of the "young ones." Putting it on, she mussed with her hair, found some shoes in that pile, then knocked everything on her desk onto the floor in her mad search for lipstick to finish off her attire. Biting her lip she realized that she was now at least 15 minutes late for the dinner and decided that another couple minutes wouldn't hurt, so she ran over and snuggled up in her bed one more time, letting her hands run back and forth across the silk.

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Magna blew the bangs out of her face as she lay on her back on the floor in the middle of her compartment, her hands linked across her stomach and her legs crossed. It had been a long few days and now began the longest nine months of her life for certain. She sat listening to the lack of sound the luxurious train made and stared at the ceiling. To her surprise, her eyes focused on a black dot in one of the ceiling corners. A spider? She could almost laugh at the absurdity, I didn't know the Capitol allowed things like... oh, wait. Standing, she grabbed the desk chair and moved it over. Stepping on it she moved closer to the 'spider' and rolled her eyes. Of course. The creature had all eight limbs and the abdomen of a spider, but instead of the multitude of eyes Magna had grown accustomed to seeing on normal spiders there was one, large, subtly glowing orb in their place. She smiled ferally into it then, "Hey President Argent! Gonna watch me change?" She quickly smooshed the tiny muttation with her bare hand. "Pathetic."

Jumping off the chair, she turned and looked at her room. After unceremoniously dumping her onto the train earlier they'd stationed a Peacekeeper outside of her cabin door. A little while ago he'd knocked on it to tell her they were moving at fast enough speeds that she was allowed to leave the room, but she chose not to. Not long after, she'd listened as his boots had clunked away, probably bored with guarding a girl who wouldn't try anything. She couldn't say that she would have done things differently in her interview had she known she'd spend her last couple days in the Capitol locking herself into her room to avoid Keeth's expectant and worried stares, it wasn't in her nature to lie, but she had pondered what more tact might have bought her. Shrugging it off, she opened her door curiously and looked out. She'd only seen Keeth when getting on the train and he'd given her a look that reeked of pity and remorse. Well, he could save that for another time. In the arena maybe. No... not even there. There won't be time for remorse there and it's going to be hard enough for Keeth to stay alive anyway. She pursed her lips as fire grew in her eyes, then, thinking better of it, breathed out and let the emotion go again. Turning, she wandered off to the left, unsure of what she'd find.

Some way down the cars of the train she'd passed a clothing car, (Ridiculous), what seemed to be a car for the nail things (Mani-cures? Pedi-cures?) that the Capitol so loved, and a car full of boxes. She became aware that she was heading towards the back of the train and decided to change direction and come back. She knew what these trains entailed. She thought back to what Mr. Diggett always used to say, something about the tiniest crack in the railway causing the train to derail... or explosions due to poorly manufactured engines. For a millisecond she was worried, then realized it didn't really matter and shrugged to herself, That'd be alright.

Magna returned to the car with all the living quarters and was moving toward her door, overly bored with the train already, when a giant pillow monster exploded from the door to her left. She sidestepped quickly as a reflex and stared at the pillows. Suddenly, from behind them a head popped out with disheveled hair and wide, terrified eyes. Keeth. You idiot. Pillows won't save you against a train explosion. She rolled her eyes and pushed a finger into one of the pillows. It gave way as if it were made of clouds.

She looked at him then with disinterested eyes, "You do realize that no one's allowed to kill you before we get into the arena, right?" She watched as the fear spread afresh over his face and squelched the tiny bud of remorse before it even began in her stomach. No time or need for emotions, she turned and moved into her room, listening as he scurried off down the hall with his cumbersome load.

Sitting on her bed, she looked out the window. Her eyes unfocused and she sat for a moment, just letting the world blur by her vision. She knew she'd have to get dressed soon, show up for the pomp and circumstance of the dinner, but it was the last thing she wanted to do. The knock on the door broke her from her trance on the landscape. "Miss Aerosta, I'm here to take you to dinner." It was that idiot Peacekeeper again. She didn't respond, just stood and started to de-robe.

"Miss...?" Another knock on the door, this time a little louder. Instead of a response, she locked the door. She knew he'd wait outside, it was his Capitol duty, but at least he'd know she was in there now instead of rattling her door every five seconds. Taking her time, she mustered the energy to get dressed and do her make up. If anything, she'd at least look pretty at the dinner. What was two hours in front of a camera compared to nine months anyway? Gritting her teeth, she opened her door and looked up at him. He smiled, she stared blankly, he turned, she followed after.

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Character Portrait: Reutruse Ferran Haervic Character Portrait: Keeth Diggett Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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With a start Reutruse lunged from the waters that engulfed him, sputtering the mass of scented bubbles that had worked their way into his mouth as he did so. By the faint light of an army of aromatic candles that surrounded him, he could make out slick porcelain slopes extending a good foot or so above where he'd submerged, a multitude of care supplies too vast for his own comprehension stacked on the ledges, and his own horribly bewildered face staring back at him from above. Why anyone would need an eight by ten foot mirror directly above them--literally on the ceiling--when they bathed was far beyond him, but the glimmering expanse of glass did well to remind him of where he was.

So he'd fallen asleep in the tub, hardly surprising. The scalding embrace of bubbles galore was essentially the same as any plush, extravagant bed and ran a far greater risk of having his unmentionables broadcasted across Panem--a fear he held with probable cause, he'd never quite been able to stand the irritation of clothes while he slept and they always found a way to somehow shed themselves in the night.

Bringing a hand from the depths of the tub, he grimaced at the fate his skin had suffered for the cause, pruned and gnarled as it now was after who knows how long submerged in tepid water; water that had essentially been boiling when he'd first stepped in, having absolutely no idea to the workings of any of the many contraptions that dotted the train, temperature control hardly an exception.

A deep sigh, and a great deal of effort later, the blonde boy had forced his way out of the far too tempting hold the waters held on him, throwing five of the impossibly soft bath towels that dotted the room over his soaked form. The Capitol may have been an evil omniscient force that had essentially doomed him to death, but damn they made comfy towels. If it wasn't so vastly inappropriate and he'd be likely to have his stylist hunt him down for it, Reu was definitely considering staying draped in his oh so fuzzy towel rather than bother changing.

But Miri was already quite the crazed one, even as far as the eccentricities of stylists went, and she had threatened to chop off his manly bits and serve them to him with a side of buttered squash if he in any way challenged the structural integrity of his chariot wear...probably best to just take her "expert" advice and not run the risk of castration next time he saw her. It wasn't like she had any particularly horrendous taste for fashion either, when compared to some of the other stylists, he really ought be happy she cared so much for his looks and outfit that she'd resort to threats for their safety. But he wasn't, and with no small amount of resentment, he shed his fluffy towel exterior and haphazardly began to throw on the dark blazer trimmed with an odd--though not unpleasant--weaving olive branch design, the accompanying light grey undershirt, next the slacks that actually fit this time, and then finally struggled through the process of tying his matching flora-inspired tie.

The end result could hardly be considered a tie any longer, more akin to a noose or scarf in the manner it was worn, yet in the views of the fashion-challenged Reutruse it was acceptable enough that, with a triumphant grin to his own reflection, he set out to find the dining cart.

Which, as it turned out, was far, far easier to do in theory than in action. The train was essentially a glorified maze, with its collection of massive, senseless rooms dedicated to one and only one aspect of appearance, care, or comfort, all swarming with peace keepers and avoxes alike. The mutilated Avox servants he avoided for obvious reason, the Peacekeepers even more obvious than that, and so he stubbornly wandered his way, completely lost, through the twisted system of corridors, the entire while pondering to himself just how massive the barreling bulk of extravagant metal he resided in truly was. As of the moment, he was fairly sure it expanded further and taller than even the largest of the trains back in 11, the ones that came for their quotas at the end of every month. To believe anyone had built such an imposing beast of machinery for the sole purpose of transporting the tributes to their prison for the next nine months seemed sheer and utter madness; yet it was exactly what they had done and he doubted anyone had put more than a seconds consideration into the cost. Momentary worth was all that concerned the Capitol and it wasn't as though they had any fear for resources or manpower, it was the districts who would toil away, day after day, to create their own children's glorified hearse, after all, never them.

Though he probably would have dwelled on that thought until he somehow miraculously found his way to the dining car, another, much more crucial, thought had worked its way into his head. With a fervor uncharacteristic of the normally subdued Reu, he raced down the corridors with no regard for direction or courtesy. So be it if he found himself even more terribly lost, or accidentally peered in on one of the ladies rooms, he had to peeeeeeeeee. It wasn't as though his own decency wasn't compromised either!--his pants had all but been shed in his race for a bathroom, it was only by the limp grip of his left hand that they even managed to stay half strewn around his hips as they were.

When all seemed lost and Reu was sure there were no bathrooms in the sea of pointless, gaudy cosmetic rooms, was it that a spark of pity was shown to the poor boy and a glorious bathroom appeared behind door number 15-ish. The prevailing darkness of the room hardly bothered him; he had just been soaking in a tub for a few hours in fear of the cameras broadcasting what no one should ever see, so honestly, it was probably a boon. At least until the darkness called out in a shrill, panicked voice for him to stop as soon as he'd begun to pull at his briefs. It was at this point that Reu practically flew across the massive bathroom, twirling away from the source of the voice mid jump to claw at his slipping pants--only realizing then how desperately he needed to cover his shame.

"What the hell are you doing in here?!" He called out in the single least masculine tone he had ever heard from himself, cheeks burning bright as he continued to struggle with his somehow knotted pant legs. Internally, he couldn't help but curse his shitty luck, of all the bathrooms to stumble into, he found the one with someone already stowed away in it. Of course.

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Character Portrait: Reutruse Ferran Haervic Character Portrait: Keeth Diggett Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The sedative was helping, but only just so. Cloistered in his womb-like tub-full-o’-bedding, Keeth nearly managed to drift off several times. Every time drowsiness descended, though, there would be some jolt as the train passed over a curve in the track, or the sudden sensation of motion, or even just a tiny vibration (possibly imagined) working its way up the wrought-iron clawed legs of the tub into the polished ceramic basin to stir him back into terrifying reality. He’d been verging on drifting off again when a new sound intruded on his dark cocoon of safety, making its way through the layers of muffling comforter to make his breath freeze taut in his lungs and every muscle in his body go rigid.

It was the door opening. Someone is here, in this room, right now. He cursed himself in silence, for not locking the door. Then he remembered that he’d consciously chosen not to lock the door, because it would have been conspicuous. More conspicuous than a bathtub full of blankets and pillows? Probably not, but… well, it didn’t matter, because someone was there, in that room, right then.

He didn’t dare breathe, or move at all. He listened to the sound of his own heart, pounding away in his chest like the scary boy from Two with the mace he’d boasted about in his interview, and somehow, he managed to pick out the fast, shuffling footsteps crossing from the door to… the toilet.

Rapidly, the cons of choosing a public restroom for a hiding place unfolded in Keeth’s mind. He’d never been comfortable with the human body, with the inherent messiness of it. Part of it had to do with his own physicality. He couldn’t help but compare, even if it was only to his strapping brothers. He was smaller, frailer, less masculine by design. The idea of being seen in any state of undress made his stomach twist, and the idea of seeing other men undressed was so, so much worse. What resulted was something he couldn’t even begin to describe, a mix of wonder and shame and longing that he was hard-pressed to identify correctly, never mind acknowledge or act upon. Being exposed to the styling team in the Capitol had been torturous, but not nearly so much as seeing several of the male tributes in practically nothing on the chariot ride in.

The other part of it had more to do with… well, Keeth could be somewhat prickly when it came to mess. He was unable to count the number of times he’d had to timidly ask his brothers to be a little more careful with their, ah, aim, since he was the one who wound up scrubbing the toilet and floor surrounding it back to gleaming white every day after school. Wiping up stale urine with an array of cloths, sponges, and disinfectant chemicals was one thing; being in the same room with someone who was urinating was entirely another.

He was faced with a grave decision. He could either continue huddling beneath his blankets in silence, hoping that this phantom pee-er would simply finish up his business and move on (after washing his hands, oh god, oh god, Keeth didn’t know what he would do if he didn’t wash his hands!) without noticing the swaddled stowaway in the tub… which meant being subjected to the sound of it, and thus being forced to imagine it… He cut off his thinking there, and considered the alternative. He could reveal himself, since really, he doubted anyone would be letting loose at the latrine if they knew there was someone else present… but that would mean revealing himself, making it much, much easier for him to be dragged out of his theoretically safe nest.

Death by train, or listening to someone pee? Death by train, or listening to someone pee? Death by train, or-

”Stop stop stop stop stop, someone’s in here, occupied!” Shrill was certainly a word for it; panicked and imperative were probably a better combination to do the job. He hadn’t surfaced yet; he’d done such a good job of entombing himself in comforters that he actually had to fight his way out of them. The mass of fabric would seem to shudder in the darkness, until, at last, a single small hand shot out and latched onto the edge of the massive tub. With a grunt, Keeth heaved himself up, popping up, head visible now. He looked alarmed and disheveled, and then froze, staring, when he realized the identity of the intruder.

It’s him, the boy from eleven, the one that made such confusing claims in front of THE ENTIRE WORLD about you. He stared, mouth agape, not even comprehending just yet that Reutruse was sort of exposed. It was dark, but more than that, he’d been dreading the moment that they’d first be alone together since the interviews. Literally dreading it, thinking about it all the time and feeling nothing but dread. Now it was here, in a bathroom of all places, and he couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, couldn’t…

What the hell are you doing in here?

Reutruse’s astonished, strained cry dashed his shocked paralysis to pieces. He was so used to being the one in the wrong that accepting blame came naturally to him, naturally enough to easily eclipse the embarrassment of the situation, even the intense fear of derailment.

”Um, sorry, I’m so sorry, I-“ It was then that he noticed the other boy’s pants. The fact that they were open, and half-falling down his legs. It was dark enough that he couldn’t make out any scandalous details, but it still sent him fleeing back into the dark, warm safety of his pillow fort. Just go away, just go away, just go away…He thought it over and over and over, turning it into a pathetic mantra as he hugged one of the pillows for dear life.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mildred Tarzia Character Portrait: Tyke Delfino Character Portrait: Reutruse Ferran Haervic Character Portrait: Keeth Diggett Character Portrait: Cloud Deverell Character Portrait: Marvelos Strong
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The Train Ride to 'Home'

As I sit here, and I think about how everyone in this place must feel - the tensions rising, the fear, the submission, the lust, and even hatred from some... We are twenty-four souls being placed in to fish bowl without a promise for food. It's basically like we've been told it's coming, and we all gather in a pack, optimism winning us over until we find out one day that... Food isn't coming. Then your mind wanders off in the distance, and it comes to the conclusion that everyone around you is coming to: you're going to have to kill them, to survive.

Is that my coping mechanism this time? Thinking about it as survivalism to cope with the idea that I may actually have to kill someone? That's really what I'm going for? Fucking. Stupid. Shit. But it makes sense, I mean, I hadn't anticipated being reaped. No one does. And I hadn't thought about it much other than mourning the others who went off to their doom. Honestly, I didn't give a second thought until it was Kaylianna's turn.

Kaylianna... I miss you. Is this how you felt when it was your time? Did you ever get a second to meet the people you were destined to end lives next to? I wonder if you'd meant to kill your two victims. It all looked so mistaken, so accidental. Before then, all I had known was the gentle fawn that you always were - always would be - to me, but in the Games, you were completely different. Your attitude, your looks - though now I can lend over most of that blame to your stylist now that I realize what a huge part they are in appearances of the tributes.

It's like this whole thing was planned. You, Kaylianna, were the spark inside of me that ignited as soon as you were killed and I realized at that instance... You'd become a memory. And this whole year that's gone by, I should have been tending to the fire, letting it shine and making a difference to light up this world.

I've let you down, but I promise to make it up to you. I won't let them take me without a fight.

Not without a good memory.

-Marvel


Marvelos hadn't been a writer originally. Sure, he'd written a few diaries because memories were a big deal to him. Did anyone gather that yet? But still, with diaries, he wasn't a huge fan of the pencil and paper, and creating something of an art. Really, his passion was to get his feelings out on paper, because it was easier to unleash them on something that wouldn't spin them into it's own problems and hurt you. He could just open the wound, spill the blood, and apply a bandage as necessary. She was always going to be a tough subject for him, even if they weren't in true love. It was the idea, the theory behind it all. He'd never know what she was to him. They weren't permitted that time to find out.

Despite his mood, Marvel let out a smile. He'd chosen to chill out in the lounging area next to the dining car, his feet propped up on the coffee table as he sat back, his journal laying flat on his stomach, hand over it, and another leaning back behind his head to catch it from hiding the back of the couch. He appeared to be completely relaxed and at ease. He let his gaze scan the area before he'd realized he completely forgot that Tyke was here the whole time, drawing or something. It was Mildred that had brought him out to Marvel, her smile and the way the atmosphere in the room just brightened up with her presence.

This was the kind of girl that needed to be around... All day, every day.

Marvel nodded to her, waving with his free hand with a, "Hey there," and then a respective nod to Tyke, though he didn't want to interrupt the artist at his 'desk'. It wouldn't be too much longer that the car would be filled, and that didn't bother Marvel, but he wasn't sure what he expected out of the other tributes when they would enter through and find the dining car. He let out a laugh to himself at the thought of that one.. Cloud, meeting up with Stiletto at the same end of the table. Sharing elbow room. He laughed again, and that's when he noticed the slight pain in his lower stomach. Signal! Warning! Nature's calling!

With that, he folded his journal under his arm and winked at the others entering through, kindly waiting for each one to pass him and allow entry in the opposite direction. He hadn't quite figured out the way this outline of this machine worked, but he knew somewhere, hopefully some place very near, would provide him the necessary... well, you know. When a man's got to go, it's a timer waiting to go off.

I should really just go to my room. That's the only way I know for certain - But he couldn't remember where it was. Annoyed, he started banging through doors, trying to see if they'd open. His strength was present as he grew more and more frustrated with the idea of not finding an applicable location. Out the window is starting to sound fascinating, but I wonder how that would look at this speed? It would definitely come back at me.

Finally, he slammed hard enough in to one door that he heard a few startled noises and shuffling of bodies - like one being flung from next to the door he'd just barged in. Had he smashed a nose? Run over a toe? He regretted it, but he was worried about the cameras thinking he was attacking someone - and he'd be damned if it was for the world to see. He slipped inside, slammed the door shut with a lock and then turned around to meet his current dilemma in the face.

"I am -SO- sorry, I swear, and this is going to sound like a dick move, but if I don't... Well, I've got to piss like a race horse, so if you guys don't mind having this discussion until after I'm done, that'd be great. Two seconds."
He blurted out, wincing at his choice of words before he noted the two were undoubtedly two of the males he'd been staring at during the interview. Both attractive, both definitely on different sides of the world as far as personalities... Both undeniably out for each other before he intruded.

I'm a c*** block. Fantastic.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Reutruse Ferran Haervic Character Portrait: Keeth Diggett Character Portrait: Marvelos Strong Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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There'd barely been time for Reutruse to secure his pants and regain his balance once more, before he found himself knocked stumbling across the room, the door he'd been leaning against thrown open with a force he'd hardly anticipated. Catching himself on the brim of the tub--a tub he only then really registered as being there--and narrowly avoiding barreling into the sea of plush pillows held within, he stared, dumbfounded, into the mass of trembling pillows beneath him, illuminated as they were by the momentary flood of light. Eh? Wha...? No way.

As realization dawned on him and his mind's preoccupation with the ever growing need to relieve itself ebbed into guilt, it was difficult to resist the urge to kick himself. Of course it was Keeth, who else would be hiding in a bathtub intertwined in a practical womb of pillows other than the boy. He'd seen him struggle with the Peace Keepers, watched weakly as they practically dragged him aboard and whisked him away to his quarters; that he'd forgotten to check on him, see that he was alright and not burrowing into some strange pillow-y contraption, was inconceivable. To believe he'd abandon the boy to his fears after such a public declaration of fealty--to think him truly such a, well, ass!--there went his entire notion of decency...

"Don't worry about it, it's fine Keeth, really, it's partially my fault anyways, just, could you--" he began to apologize himself, only stopping as another all too familiar voice cut in from behind him, "--I am -SO- sorry, I swear, and this is going to sound like a dick move, but if I don't... Well, I've got to piss like a race horse, so if you guys don't mind having this discussion until after I'm done, that'd be great. Two seconds." Nooooo, it wouldn't--couldn't be him, no way, not even, that's just, cruel, what would even be the chances..? Pivoting around on his heel to face the latest entry into the room, Reu was aghast, yet hardly surprised, to see that, why, yes, it was in fact Marvel. It was at this point that the blonde had come to a conclusion: chance no longer factored into anything in his life, fate was out to get him.

It'd been luck that his hands still remained on the tub's ridge, seeing as how his knees buckled under the weight of his latest revelations, eyes darting between the two occupants of the room, himself, and everything in between as he struggled for words. That expression of Marvel's he'd only managed to catch a glimpse of, how he avoided even glancing in their direction, the way he himself loomed over Keeth even still, disheveled and flustered as he was, a tub shoved full of fluffy cushions and the like--"Oh, no, no, nonononono! It's not what it looks like, with the me, and the him, and the you walking in--I came in here to pee too, just pee, nothing more--not that I'd have any problems doing anything with um, actually, ignore that last bit, yeah, I just, pee--have to--really bad--pleaseee?" Reutruse forced out in a hardly coherent blur, voice dying down to a pathetic plea by the end as the all consuming urge to peeeee wrought it's torment upon his body. It was a dam about to break, sapping every ounce of willpower in his body's efforts to resist relieving himself right there, right then; if his pained, contorted expression, previous rambling, and antsy pacing from foot to foot failed to speak exactly how intense his need to urinate truly was, he'd...Mnmdfer, happy thoughts, they'd be able to tell, Marvel can hold it, everything would be fine, happy thoughts! Happy. Thoughts.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Magna Aerosta Character Portrait: Reutruse Ferran Haervic Character Portrait: Keeth Diggett Character Portrait: Marvelos Strong Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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His mantra was not working. In fact, it seemed to have the opposite effect, drawing yet another physically imposing tribute into the bathroom as well. Reutruse had started to stammer (which struck Keeth as strange in an unidentifiable way; he was used to being the stammerer, not the stammeree) out that it was okay, even though it was most definitely not okay. Nothing was okay about the current situation. He was supposed to be snugly nestled in the tub, like he had been on the way from Six to The Capitol. No one was supposed to come in at all, never mind come in to relieve themselves!

And then it was even less okay. It shouldn’t have struck him as so strange that some people actually wanted to use the bathroom for its intended purpose, but it did. He felt very, very small, hiding in his blankets, with the two daunting young men towering over his less and less adequate bathtub of protection. He couldn’t bring himself to say anything. The only thing that came to mind would actually have been more of a shrill scream, to the tune of GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GO AWAY LEAVE ME ALONE. He’d learned his lessons about screaming long ago. It was better to just consent to whatever hurt or humiliation was coming. He’d probably end up hauled up over one of their heads, or maybe one would take him by the wrists and the other by the ankles and they’d swing him to the count of three before launching him into the corridor. No, that wouldn’t do at all. He’d been thrown like that before, when bigger boys from Six had caught him one day and chucked him into a fountain outside the Hall of Justice. A filthy fountain. Birds pooped all over it, and for all he knew, tall, handsome boys who made his stomach feel funny and warm peed in it all the time. He’d thrashed and gasped as if it had been twenty feet of water rather than less than one, spurring laughter from the ones who’d tossed him and most other people in eye- or earshot.

He heard their words, even as he hid. Reutruse’s stuck in his head. He failed to grasp Marvel’s appraisal of the situation in the initial exchange, but then the boy from eleven protested, it’s not what it looks like. What did it look like? He had no idea. Was there something that one meek coward hiding in a bathtub that just happened to be in the same bathroom as a powerful hero who’d volunteered to save a similar boy looked like? If there was, it was well beyond his kenning. It was like they were speaking in code. Maybe there was a male universal language, hidden between the lines of normal words, which he was not privy to? Maybe it came along with puberty, but only if you got muscles and the need to shave more than once a fortnight as well?

It was when the words doing anything somehow passed through the fabric cocoon and reached his ears that he realized, to a degree, what it looked like. Keeth may have been naïve, but he was fairly observant, and probably too clever for his own good. It was part of always being at the edge of every group, always wearing the outside-looking-in perspective. He’d heard other boys talk about things they had done or would have liked to have done. He was vaguely aware that, for some reason, he was supposed to want to do those things too, whatever, exactly, they were. He had a sneaking suspicion that part of why he was so often the target of bullies was intricately tied to his lack of wanting to learn more about, never mind actually participate in, those activities. He was also reasonably sure that Reutruse and Marvel were talking about those things right now, only it involved him, and Reutruse, and…

… it made him wish the train would derail, right then and there, and consume them all in fiery doom.

He waited about three seconds, bracing himself for the screech of metal. Of course, the world was cruel, so it never came. That meant he had to go with Plan B. Plan B was really more instinctive than anything else. It involved hurtling over the side of the bathtub and dashing out of the bathroom as if he were being chased by a flock of birds that were attended by trackerjackers. He was fast, he knew that, and they both seemed pretty focused on peeing, so he had a good shot at escaping, in his estimation, and then they could do whatever they wanted and just leave him out of it.

Initiate Plan B!

He grabbed the side of the bathtub yet again, and this time got his legs beneath him, erupting with all the awkward grace of an antelope wearing work boots out of his blankety confines and over the edge of the tub. So far so good. He darted in the darkness, avoiding the silhouettes of the two other tributes, and realized, oddly, that his cheeks felt very warm. No time to think about that, even if he wanted to. Every second was precious, if he wanted to make a clean getaway. If either got their hands on him, he’d be as helpless to wriggle free as he had been with the Peacekeeper. Anxious adrenaline had burned the drugs out of his system, it seemed, which was good. He made it to the door unscathed and then grabbed the knob. He was free of the incredibly strange situation!

Or he would have been, if the door weren’t locked. Panic seized him, and rather than work the lock, he tugged and turned and grunted and then started to cry. He was trapped, trapped in the dark (the lightswitch was like, two feet away, but never mind that), and they were going to do who-knew-what to him. He felt very stupid all of three seconds later when Smart Keeth reappeared and undid the lock. Success!

The split-second he spent congratulating himself proved to be his undoing. Before he could pull the door open, someone much stronger than him pushed it open from without. He let out a yelp as he was driven back, and his legs got all tangled up, causing him to stumble and then fall, flat on his back with a very audible ”Oof!” of pain. It radiated up and down his spine, carrying through his limbs. The light pouring in from the doorway was blinding him, forcing him to squint, and even then the amount of time he’d spent in the dark bathroom made it impossible for him to identify the newest participant in this nightmarish experience as anything more than a black shadow in stark contrast to the whiteness that filled the doorframe.

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Character Portrait: Magna Aerosta Character Portrait: Reutruse Ferran Haervic Character Portrait: Keeth Diggett Character Portrait: Marvelos Strong Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Magna followed the Peacekeepr in silence. She briefly wondered if he'd stay with her for the remainder of her life before teh Games began. Deciding that whether he did or not, it wouldn't truly affect her in anyway, she let her gaze drop to his booted feet. So militaristic, and yet she'd bet money she didn't have that he didn't know the first thing of having to use the weaponry on his being. He was a Capitol Peacekeeper after all, and very little happened in the Capitol to call for Peacekeepers who could actually accomplish anything other than looking formidable. Even so, this particular one had hard enough time even attempting that. Perhaps he was terrified of how "radical" she was. Smirking, she looked back up at the back of his head, covered with the helmet of his kind. Breathing in through her nose, she decided to test him. Reaching up decisively, she tapped him on the shoulder. To his credit, he didn't jump, but turned quietly and looked at her. Even though his demeanor was calm, she could read his eyes. He was confused, and yes, she'd been right, a little scared. She stopped moving, causing him to also cease his forward trajectory.

"Yes, Miss Aerosta?" His eyes had calmed, but Magna was positive that underneath all the padding of his uniform he was tense, ready to run. She could have laughed, would have, if he'd even had the smallest idea of who she really was, deep inside. As it was, he knew the 'new' Magna, the Magna who pushed the old one deep down inside any time the pain started again. She let him sit for a moment, expectation and the smallest amount of worry settling in. She was patient and could wait out the awkwardness, so instead of responding she turned and walked slowly over to a window. She stood there, and crossed her arms softly across her chest. The Peacekeeper shuffled his foot, obviously uncomfortable, and let a small cough escape his lips. A smile spread across Magna's face. The absurdity of it all. Shouldn't she be the one uncomfortable in his presence? Smiling feraly she turned and looked at him dead on. She felt more than saw his tension build. Then, in her sweetest voice possible, she made a simple request.

"I believe I need to use the restroom. Will you please show me the way?" She watched as the suited man untensed and expelled a breath. Seriously, what was she going to do? Stab him? A thought occurred to her, "Actually, you're dismissed." She wasn't sure if it would work, but it was worth a shot. The Peacekeeper stood for a second, obviously slightly confused, "I can't go anywhere, we're on a bullet train. Besides, I have to be on air in 3 minutes." He wasn't moving and she was almost positive that she couldn't pull of what she'd planned, then another thought, "I want privacy. So shoo." As she had in her interview, she kept her voice level, knowing that even the slightest change in vocal patterns cued people to emotions that weren't always necessarily there. Another minute passed as the two looked at one another, then the Peacekeeper looked sidelong as if listening to and concentrating on something that Magna couldn't hear. Nodding once, curtly, he turned and left the room.

Magna's eyebrows raised as she watched him retreat away from her. He'd obviously been given some order by the Gamemakers. She may not be on Panem LIVE yet, but she'd be damned if she didn't think they had her on watch somehow. The spider muttation in her room had told her as much. She made a mental note to undress subtly, knowing that it didn't really matter after all the time with the stylists, but for her own peace of mind.

Clearing her thoughts, she started heading towards the dining car. As she made her way along the cars, a few sounds caught her attention. She heard some high pitched squeaking, then two more manly voices. Interest slightly piqued, she wandered to the door the sounds were coming from. If there was an alliance being made, she wanted to hear it. She needed every tiny bit of information she could get if she was going to win. She listened intently, a scowl crossing her face as she craned her neck back to give the door a look that dripped of, "What the...?"

She put her hand on the knob then to steady herself as she leaned on it to listen better, on some level curious of what was really happening in the community restroom. She heard some clamoring about, and something that sounded like grunts of exertion giving way to helpless whimpers as the doorknob jiggled in her hand. Someone was breaking the rules, it was obvious. It sounded as though two of the larger guys had gotten a hold of one of the weaker ones or even a girl. Not that she really cared about the Games rules, but she did have morals and that just wasn't fair. They weren't even to the house yet, disgusting pigs. It was probably the Careers and that Tyke kid or something. Her eyes narrowed as she realized that she recognized the whimpers. Well shit Keeth. Magna looked skyward briefly, What have you gotten yourself into? She heard the lock click and without a hesitation pushed the door open with all her strength. Rules and stoicism be damned, no one, and she meant no one was allowed to hurt Keeth if she was around.

As the door flew open a yelp and movement pulled her line of sight to the crumpled Keeth flailing backwards to the ground. She watched him hit the ground, then looked at the two figures standing behind him. Mild surprise hit her as the light from the doorway shone past her and illuminated the men. The only outward show of this surprise was her eyebrows raising ever so slightly as she looked from one man to the other, then to the boy, and flicked the light on. Now that she could fully see them all, she assessed the situation. Reutruse, the guy who stands up for the little man but doesn't give a thought to how the people who care about him feel. Marvelos, the one who caused a twinge of pain and tight aching in her chest that she didn't want to name or remember . And Keeth. Enough said.

A tiny smile crept onto her lips she looked down at the third, letting a softness fall over her features that was rarely seen. Arching a pretty eyebrow, she set aside her amusement and the softness was gone again. "Did you just want to prove me wrong?" She asked him not unkindly, then looked at the two larger boys. Again, without raising her voice or adding any venom what-so-ever, she continued "You know the rules. Don't mess with the other Tributes, especially not the defenseless ones, before the Games." Stepping forward so that Keeth was behind her, Magna's tiny body only stood about shoulder height on the other boys. "I know first hand what they do to you for breaking their precious rules," she stated matter-of-factly, "You boys won't like it." She was not threatening them or being menacing in any way, as she shrugged to punctuate her sentence. It was as though she were stating they couldn't wear her shoes because they wouldn't like 3 inch heels.