The winner of today’s sponsorship vote is…Shalom Parker of District 12!
Congrats, Shalom, you get a free attribute point added to your lowest attribute (Strength).
My allies and I have these Games down to a system, thanks to me.
No one else thought about asking the screen for information on muttations in the arena. The screen was surprisingly helpful, informing us about the killer androids that spawn after a tribute spends more than 12 hours in a room.
With that knowledge, we created a schedule. Three of us hang back and guard the room we’ve designated as our base, while the other two go out and hunt for three hours. You can tell when three hours have passed because of the air scrubbers activating in the ventilation system. The whirring starts and stops every thirty minutes as the scrubbers pump fresh oxygen into the space station. I’m the one that noticed that too.
I’ve been noticing much more than that though. Every so often, someone has to pull a double-shift in hunting, since there are only five of us. And Chris from 6 is always the one that volunteers. He’s by far the strongest out of the five of us, and he intends to use that strength. Every year there’s some tribute that takes every opportunity they can to show-boat, and this year it’s him. If he tosses another apple into the air just so he can slice it in half with his katana, I might scream.
Kelly and Drew, from 5 and 9 respectively, spend most of their time together. They’ve seemed to kick off some sort of relationship, which will inevitably back-fire when one of them dies and the other goes crazy, or when they are forced to try to kill each other. The arena has no friends, only tools.
Dr. Bieber, arguably the strongest female tribute in the Games, keeps to herself, practicing with her katana when she isn’t resting or hunting, and every so often putting in a quiet but wise word during conversations in the room. If this alliance falls apart, she’s the only one I would consider teaming up with. She and I think alike.
We’re not showboating like Chris.
We’re not making emotional bonds like Kelly and Drew.
We’re tacticians. And strategy trumps all.
“Do you think you’re gonna win?”
I look up from my meal at Jackie from 2, who’s currently doing a backbend, touching one foot to the back of her head, looking towards the wall furthest from me.
“I asked if you think you’re gonna win the Games,” she replies, dropping her leg and slowly lowering herself flat to the floor.
“That’s a pretty blunt question,” I answer as she rolls over to face me.
“Well do you have a blunt answer?” Jackie says with a laugh.
I think for a moment.
“Yes. I will win.”
“So you’re going to kill me at some point?”
“If I have to,” I reply simply.
“Good answer,” Jackie says with a grin. “If you had said some sappy ‘I don’t want it to come to that’ bullcrap, I might have knifed you right here and now.”
She laughs, and I manage a sheepish grin.
Jackie’s face suddenly goes stoic.
“But seriously,” she says, “you’ve got some serious skills.” She gestures to the wound on her leg, the one that I bandaged up myself.
“You know how to do first-aid crap, so Joseph and I need you, for now. And he and I are stronger than you, so you need us, for now.”
“Symbiotic relationship,” I respond with a small grin.
Jackie grins in turn. “Hey, let’s make a pact. No sudden betrayals or backstabbing or anything like that between us two. If one of us wants out of the alliance, we just leave.”
Joseph should be back from hunting soon. Then it’s my turn, with Jackie as an escort.
It’s an interesting phenomenon, having two bodyguards that, at the end of the day, want you dead.
“Can we stop, please? I need to rest.”
I turn back to observe my ashen-faced ally, who grips his shoulder wound in a way that makes it seem like he might die instantly if he let go for even a second.
“We need to get you some bandages,” I say with a hint of urgency. “But we can rest for a few minutes.”
We both slump to the floor, and suddenly I feel just how exhausted I am too. I take a small sip from the single water bottle I found, and then pass it to Chris.
He takes a big gulp, and then drops his head back against the wall.
“Does it still hurt?” I ask after a few moments of silence.
“Comes and goes,” he replies, still gripping his wound through his blood-soaked sleeve (Attribute Point Lost).
“Do you feel like you’re gonna die soon?” Chris suddenly asks.
“I just…I came in thinking I at least had a shot at winning. Now…”
He opens his eyes, staring up at the ceiling.
“I think I’ve got three, four days tops left.”
“Don’t talk like that,” I say firmly.
“What, you think I’m gonna make it out of here? Over you? Over people with two-digit training scores?”
“You might,” I reply after a moment.
But even I can hear the doubt in my voice. Even I have started considering that I might be alone in a few days.
Both of us won’t make it out of here. And if I’m being honest with myself, most likely neither of us will. But I’m not ready to be alone in here yet. Not yet.
Strongest Tributes: Joselyn Broadway (D1 Female), Chris Prescher (D6 Male), Dr. Christina Bieber-Lake (D9 Female)
Most Agile Tributes: Chris Prescher (D6 Male), Jordan Snyder (D7 Male), and Drew Chambers (D9 Male)
Most Cunning Tribute: Sarah Kenny (D4 Female)
Most Charming Tributes: Jackie Fortier (D2 Female), Dr. Alison Gibson (D7 Female), Cyle Cucinotta (D11 Female)
Attribute scores have been altered due to today’s events. Please note the changes on the respective page.
The benchmark for Day 5 has been posted on the home page!