Today’s winner is…Michael of District 1!
Congrats Michael, your training score is now 9!
The following tributes lose a training point due to poison:
Training score drops to 6.
Training score drops to 6.
Training score drops to 7.
“So you don’t remember me at all?”
Peyton, the mannequin that Matt and I summoned yesterday, turns his head to look at me.
“I have already discussed this with you, Cyle. My memories start from when my Games began and end when I died. I have no memory of life beforehand. I do not remember you.”
I nod, and the two of us continue walking down the hallway in silence. We’re looking for food, as our supplies are starting to dwindle. Matt’s back at the room we’ve made our base, protecting what few foodstuffs we have left.
Peyton turns to look at me again.
“Your facial expression and silence are telling me that you are sad, Cyle. Why is this?”
I sigh. “It’s hard walking down a hallway with someone who looks just like your old friend, but doesn’t remember any of it.”
“I see. Perhaps it would help you to describe our friendship,” Peyton responds.
“Well…we met two years ago. We had a lot in common, similar senses of humor, the same friends…we just clicked very well. And then the next year, you got picked for the Games. You told me you’d try to make it home, but you died—
“On the first day,” Peyton interrupts. “I do have memories of that day.”
“Of dying?” I ask.
“Did it hurt when she…”
“When Hannah from District 3 smashed my skull into pieces? Yes, it hurt. Only for a moment, though.”
The rest on our walk remains silent.
“So can you use any weapons?” I ask Avery, my district’s mannequin.
“I am proficient in swordfighting and knife throwing,” she replies without elaboration.
“I mean, which one do you prefer?” I ask.
“I do not have preferences,” she responds. “I am not human. I only have programming. Whatever weapon you give me, I will use to the best of my programming.”
Kelly, who has been standing silently next to me, picks up a sword from the ground and tosses it at Avery, who catches it deftly.
“Use that,” she says before walking over to our food pile.
“I will,” Avery replies. “I have a question for you, Steven .”
“What is it?”
“The other Careers. At what point should I turn on them?”
District 1 and 4 are off hunting, with District 1 having taken their mannequin with them. but I still scan the room quickly before responding.
“I’m not sure yet. Probably sometime during the Feast. I’ll let you know.”
“Okay, Steven. Shall I resume my patrol?”
“Sure,” I say. “Whatever.”
Avery resumes her patrol route around the Cornucopia. It’s a useless patrol route, since no one can get into the Cornucopia Room without opening one of the squeaky metal doors. But I had to give her something to do. Otherwise she just stands there, stone-faced, watching Kelly and me. Funny how something that’s supposed to keep me safe makes me feel so uncomfortable.
I shift on the floor, half-asleep.
“Jeremiah. Wake up.”
I suddenly remember that I’m in the arena and jump to my feet with a small gasp, reaching for my shield before I realize that it’s just Abby, my mannequin.
“Did you sleep well?”
“I guess,” I say, rubbing the back of my neck. The lights never go off in the arena, unless whatever got Sam is coming after you. So I’ve totally lost track of time.
“How long was I asleep?” I ask.
“You fell asleep five hours and thirteen minutes ago,” Abby replies. “And five minutes and twenty-two seconds ago, this tribute walked in the room.”
Abby gestures behind her, and that’s when I see the boy from 10 lying on the floor, unconscious, a small knife in his hand. I jump up and run over to him.
“What happened?” I ask.
“He was lost,” Abby replies. “I believe he was looking for his district partner, Victoria. He was whispering her name when he came in. I knocked him out with your shield.”
“Why didn’t you just kill him?” I ask, nudging the boy’s side with my shoe.
“Because you have to do it.”
My head shoots up at Abby. “Why? Why do I have to do it?”
“You are dying.”
She gestures to my arm. The purple shade has moved down my forearm and into my hands, and has started to spread up my neck as well.
“But I can’t…”
I stammer and step away from the boy. Abby follows me.
“I can attempt to kill tributes that come after you, Jeremiah. However, my primary objective is to keep you alive, and I will not take any action that would prevent me from completing that objective. I have subdued a tribute for you to kill. You must kill him.”
“Abby, I can’t kill him! I can’t—
“You must kill him.”
“No Abby, I—
“You must kill him.”
“Where is he?”
I curse under my breath as I stomp through the hallways, my mannequin Preston at my side, wielding a small knife. Garrett left our base to use the bathroom or something, and he didn’t come back. Probably got lost somewhere. Idiot. I spin the knife I have tied to a rope at my side. I swear, if he dies—
I round a corner and duck as a sword slams against the wall where my head was. Leaping back, I find myself facing the District 11 boy and a girl who I assume to be his mannequin.
Preston rushes forward, leaping in front of me and grabbing the sword right out of the boy from 11’s hand. I instructed Preston not to kill tributes, only to subdue them. And Preston likes swords too.
Weaponless, the boy retreats back behind his mannequin, who I recognize as the girl that won last year. “Get them, Sarah!” he yells. Sarah, sword in hand, rushes forward to attack. Preston meets her charge with a well-timed block, and the two of them lock swords, each just as strong as the other.
With a flourish, I flick my knife at the girl mannequin’s head. I expected it to bounce off, but it buries into her skull, and she stiffens. Sparks shoot out of the gash as I yank the knife back out. With a swing, Preston slices her head off, exposing wires and cogs. What’s left of the mannequin falls to the ground in a heap.
I look up at the boy from 11, who has already started running down the hallway that he came from. He rounds a corner, and I’m about to take off after him when the cannon fires and my arm starts buzzing. I look down and see purple shooting through the veins in my arm.
The ceiling opens up and a claw drops to take the boy from 10’s body away. Abby steps forward and plucks the knife out of his heart before the claw takes him.
“Well done, Jeremiah,” she says, cleaning the knife with a rag from my backpack.
I hardly hear her. I’m staring at my arm, which buzzed again after the cannon fired. An antidote has been injected into my arm, and the purple poison is slowly fading from my veins. (Jeremiah is no longer poisoned)
I had to close my eyes when I did it. It’s not murder if you close your eyes, right?
None: Sarah Harrist (District 11 mannequin) destroyed.
Current Training Scores
12: Steven (D2), Victoria (D10)
10: Kelly (D2), Ben (D11)
9: Andrew (D1), Michael (D1), Marie (D4), Chelsea (D5)
8: Justin (D4), Ian (D12), Morgan, (D12)
7: Allison (D9)
6: Drew (D3), Cyle (D6), Jeremiah (D7), Mariel (D11)
5: Joey, (D5) Matt (D6)
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)
Jeremiah Brown, District 7 Male: One kill (Garrett Gaunch, District 10 Male)
Drew, District 3 Male
Allison, District 9 Female
Victoria, District 10 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
Alex Dooley, assisting District 12