Today’s winner is…Mariel of District 11!
Congrats Mariel, your training score is now 6!
The following tributes each lose a training point due to poison:
Training score drops to 7.
Training score drops to 7.
The Careers are hunting today. Andrew and I took one door in the Cornucopia Room while the District 2 tributes took another. District 4 stayed behind to protect our base camp. It’s a good thing that Andrew and I both have good senses of direction, because the hallways in this arena are all identical.
Andrew waves his staff out in front of me, stopping me in my tracks. I pull out a knife instinctually.
“What? What is it? What?”
He gestures further down the hall.
“What is that?”
At the end of the hallway we just turned into, standing in a halo of light from the lightbulb above it, is a mannequin.
I drop my knife slightly.
“It’s just a mannequin, Andrew,” I say, pushing past Andrew’s staff.
“Nothing is ‘just’ anything in the arena, Michael,” he warns, following slowly behind me.
“A tribute probably found it and set it up here to scare other tributes off,” I reply. “And if it attacks, then I’ll stab it.”
The faceless mannequin is within throwing distance now. It stands with legs slightly spread, one arm at its side, the other outstretched, palm towards the ceiling. It’s harmless. As I pass it, I give it a high-five. Stupid tribute, thinking this would scare me away.
“Michael!” Andrew shouts
I spin as Andrew jumps back and levels his staff at the mannequin, which has begun shifting in shape. Tiny squares flip and spin all over its body and face, shaping into a different form with different pigments and size than the original white mannequin. It’s turning into…a person.
The last square finishes flipping, and the mannequin opens it’s brand-new eyes. Her brand-new eyes. It’s a girl. And one that I recognize.
I drop my knife slowly.
The girl turns to face me.
“I am Grace Walter, former female tribute of District One. I am here to assist you.”
I touch the mannequin’s outstretched hand and jump back as it begins to twist and grow into a taller form. When it finishes, a boy stands looking down at me.
“I am Preston Howell, former male tribute of District Ten. I am here to assist you.”
“Don’t touch it Kelly!” I bark.
She ignores me, poking it with the tip of a knife blade. The mannequin seems to explode in ripples of shifting squares. When the rippling ends, a girl stands before us.
“I am Avery LaPan, former female tribute of District Two. I am here to assist you.”
The mannequin spins and shifts into someone I recognize. An old friend who I watched die last year.
“I am Peyton Finley, former male tribute of District Six. I am here to assist you.”
I open a door in the hallway that Ben and I are walking through and come face-to-face with a mannequin. With a scream, I shove it and fall back into Ben, who nearly cuts me with his sword. The mannequin starts to tip over, but then rights itself and comes to life in a parade of shifting colors and squares.
“I am Sarah Harrist, former female tribute of District Eleven. I am here to assist you.”
I touch the mannequin that I found standing in my room when I woke up, and then take a few generous steps back as it begins to shift in form. When it stops, I smile. Who could forget the girl from my district last year?
“I am Hannah Cruz, former female tribute of District Three. I am here to assist you.”
“Morgan, what are you doing!” I whisper harshly.
She stands on her toes and kisses the mannequin on the cheek, and then steps back as it warps and changes form.
“I had a hunch,” she says over her shoulder to me.
The boy who was once a mannequin speaks.
“I am Alex Dooley, former male tribute of District Twelve. I am here to assist you.”
I turn the corner down a hallway and bump into the back of a mannequin. Backing away from it, I lift my shield as the mannequin starts shifting and shrinking slightly. Is this what killed Sam yesterday? No, it can’t be, the lights are all still on.
The mannequin has transformed into a girl who has her back to me. She turns to face me, and I immediately recognize her.
“I am Abby Long, former female tribute from District Seven. I am here to assist you.”
Allison is in front of me, occasionally looking back at the tributes that are pursuing us. I don’t look back, but I can hear them.
“Where ya going, District 9?” the boy from 5 taunts. The girl with him laughs, and I hear the scrape of a knife against the metal wall behind me.
They’ve been chasing us for about five minutes now. Allison and I ran into them when we stepped into the empty room that they had made their base. The boy has a shield, but the girl has two curved knives. I’ve got a spear, but I’m afraid of what will happen if I throw and miss. Allison’s got a small knife that she found in her backpack, but I doubt that would hold up against the boy from 5’s shield. And the girl from 5’s got a higher training score than Allison; she’d win in a knife fight.
Allison rounds a corner and I turn just a few steps behind her. To my surprise, I find her waiting up against the wall.
“Keep going!” she yells, before stepping out from the corner and throwing her knife down the hallway where we came from. I hear a body hit the floor and for a second I think that Allison must’ve killed one of them. Then I hear the boy from 5 cursing at her in a pained voice, and I know that she’s only slowed him down.
Allison starts running again, and I turn to follow her just as the girl from 5 rounds the corner. She’s close, I can hear her breathing over her quick footsteps. Then there’s a sudden pain in my ankle, and I fall to the ground, smashing my face against the stone floor.
I slow my run to a walking pace, leaning over and scooping up the knife that I threw at the boy from 9’s ankle. He’s trying to stand, groaning in pain from the slashed tendons in his ankle. I reach around his neck just as he manages to stand on one foot and slash across his neck. He falls to the ground again, bleeding out. Ahead of him, his partner keeps running, turning a corner. I can hear her sobs echoing off the metallic walls.
I step away from the boy before the pool of blood flowing out of his neck can touch my feet. Behind me, I hear my district partner’s grunts as he hobbles over. The girl’s knife hit him in the thigh (Training Point Lost), so I’m assuming we’ll be moving at a much slower pace. Useless.
The boy finally stops gurgling at my feet and a cannon fires. I wipe my knife off on his shirt and start walking.
“Keep up,” I say over my shoulder to Joey, who stoops to pick up the dead boy’s spear and uses it as a walking stick, cursing and muttering with each step.
The sooner I lose him, the better.
Current Training Scores
12: Steven (D2), Victoria (D10)
10: Kelly (D2), Ben (D11)
9: Andrew (D1), Marie (D4), Chelsea (D5)
8: Michael (D1), Justin (D4), Allison (D9), Ian (D12), Morgan, (D12)
7: Drew (D3), Jeremiah, (D7)
6: Cyle (D6), Mariel (D11)
5: Joey, (D5) Matt (D6), Garrett (D10)
Highest Training Score: 12
Lowest Training Score: 5
Average Training Score: 8
Strongest Team: District 2
Weakest Team: District 6
Steven Dodson, District 2 Male: One kill (Jonah White, District 8 Male)
Justin Massey, District 4 Male: One kill (Alexandra Browne, District 3 Female)
Marie Morton, District 4 Female: One kill (Sara Kohler, District 8 Female)
Chelsea Sanderson, District 5 Female: One kill (Irving Ruiz, District 9 Male)
Drew, District 3 Male
Jeremiah, District 7 Male
Allison, District 9 Female
Grace Walter, assisting District 1
Avery LaPan, assisting District 2
Hannah Cruz, assisting District 3
Peyton Finley, assisting District 6
Abby Long, assisting District 7
Preston Howell, assisting District 10
Sarah Harrist, assisting District 11
Alex Dooley, assisting District 12
Read “Muttations” and “How Do The Games Work?” for more information on the mannequins and what they do.