We were all dressed in comfortable clothing, not matching but similar in some way or another; that was the first thing I noticed while we stood about being instructed. The next thing I realised was that the room we were in was kitted out with climbing frames, booths for knot tying and tracking animals as well as a wall of a great variety of weapons to chose from. I was assuming they were to be tested out on the crowd of mannequins gathered in a huddle to the far side and not other tributes. At least I was hoping so.
After mine and Theo’s show at the Chariot’s we were given a wide berth; by everyone. I got many looks of disgust and awe from the other tributes, as though they were wondering why I would risk an earlier death by doing what I did.
Like I cared.
I had made a stand, not vocally but through my actions.
On the other hand Finnick found it to be amusing. After the show he had sat us down and just looked at us for minutes. Just looking from Theo to me and back again until finally he sighed, leaned back in his seat and grinned.
“This is going to be fun.”
We asked him what he meant but he brushed us off, a pensive look on his face. Then he smiled again and leaned forward, naturally, budding with curiosity we copied him and leaned forward too, waiting eagerly for what he would say.
“How’s about we break a few rules? Huh?” he said before winking and chuckling good naturedly.
Turns out Finnick Odair was tired of playing the same mind games over and over again. Even before he was involved in his own Hunger Games he was planning to rebel against the Capitol.
“So what is it you want us to do?” I asked, curios as to what we could do.
“Lead the rebellion. Feed it, give the people of Panem something and someone to drive it. Your stunt on the Chariots was perfect, they ate it up. You made a non violent stand and that could be the beginning of something great. It‘ll show them that they don’t have to kill Peacekeepers or burn down Justice Buildings to fight back.”
Finnick looked…alive. His eyes were sparkling with a new lease of life and fire. A growing passion to fight back coming back to the surface.
“But what about the Games? What if we die in the arena, then what’ll happen?” Theo asked, I found myself nodding along in agreement.
“Then you’ll have been lost for the cause and be remembered as great people ready to die for what they believe in.”
Theo and I were silent. I looked at him and saw the grim set of your mouth, the tense was his jaw was locked in place and yet again his eyes were blank to me, not giving me any idea of what he was thinking. Theo held my eyes, each of us breathing deeply, the only movement was the occasional bite of my lip from nervousness.
“You could change the world you know.”
Sharply we turned our gaze back to Finnick who was surveying us with intelligent pale blue eyes.
“You two have the power behind you to do something great.”
He then smiled and ushered us off to the Training Centre. His words lingered like the last coughs of a cold. I couldn’t help but notice that we hadn’t answered him…and now I was thinking of what we would say. I wasn’t ready for this kind of battle. I hadn’t even planned to fight in the Hunger Games. This was all so much.
But I was a fighter, I knew that much. I made sure my family was safe and I would continue to. I had no plans on dieing either in the arena or afterwards.
I was here to fight and that’s what I’d do. Even if the fighting wasn’t actual combat at the moment. I could fight just as easily with my actions and words. I had the proof already, even Finnick had picked up on it.
Surveying the room I saw a running track at the far end. I knew one of my major draw backs would be my speed in the arena, if I was slow I’d be dead before I knew it. So I walked over to it, noting that everyone else had gone to the weapons, the boy form district seven had gone to a booth on knot tying and was concentrating acutely on a complicated knot. The girl from district one was throwing her weight around daintily on the climbing wall on the east side of the room.
I took a deep breath and leaned forward on the balls of my feet. Then I ran, dodging targets that were flying out at me from the ground at such speeds most would find it dizzying. This was new for me, I didn’t know I could run just this fast. The targets differed from men and woman looking angrily at me to small animals crouched down so low I could just step over them or there was the occasional long target like a large log that I had no other choice but to leap over.
When I had finally completed five laps of the track I stopped, drawing in the air in big gulps to slow my frantic heart beat down. I looked up and saw Theo staring at me. His eyes once more a mystery to me. Then he smiled at me. The drew back his arm and threw spear.
Which then landed deep in the chest of one of the mannequins.
Fifty feet away.