The winner of today’s sponsorship vote is…Katherine Braden of District 6!
Congrats, Katherine, you get a free attribute point added to your lowest attribute (Strength).
The metal plate I’m standing on starts moving, and my stomach lurches violently. It’s happening. It’s really happening.
“Stay calm,” I whisper. “Relax.” The words come out in a voice totally unfamiliar to my ears, meek and whimpered commands.
The metal plate juts to a sudden stop, and a beam of light blinks on above my head, cascading over me. I try to tilt my head up to look at the light and realize rather quickly that whatever the light is, it’s preventing me from moving.
A panel opens above me on the side of the tube I’m in, just low enough that I can glance up at it without moving my head, and a clear dome-like helmet slides out. The mechanical arms holding it position it right above my motionless head, making minute adjustments, whirring and clicking. A chime echoes through the tube, and then my metal platform is moving again, slowly lifting me up into the helmet. My breath fogs the clear material of the helmet as it moves onto the heavy metal ring attached to the top of my outfit, a “pressure suit” as my stylist called it when I was putting it on. It’s heavy and cumbersome. What worries me more is why I even need it in the first place.
With a pressurized snap, the helmet locks onto my suit. Immediately the helmet defogs as oxygen starts pumping through the suit from the tank on my back. The mechanical arms retract back into the side of the tube, and then I’m moving up again.
“Please hold still. Activating magnetics,” a friendly female voice announces into my ear. I feel a slight tug in my metal boots as they are locked down to the metal plate. The woman starts counting down.
“Depressurizing in 5-4-3-2-1.”
A muffled boom echoes through the tube as the ceiling slides open. My body is suddenly pulled upwards, but my magnetized boots hold me in place, though the strain on my body is incredible. Air rushes past me; I can’t hear it but I can feel it. I scream, because I don’t know what else to do.
And then it’s over just as soon as it began. I look up at the open circle of the tube and into a black abyss.
No sooner do I look up than a panel of digital light flashes on inside my helmet, transparent enough that I can see through it. Twenty-four grey squares, each with a number and either an “M” or “F” next to it. One square for each tribute in the Games.
The platform reaches the top of the tube and locks into place, and a flare of light shoots across my helmet, blinding me.
The first thing I notice once the platform locks is how my suit no longer feels heavy. My feet are still locked to the plate I’m standing on, but otherwise it’s almost as if I’m floating inside my outfit.
I realize this is the case just as the flare fades from my helmet, revealing a ring of rocks with one tribute on each. In-between those rocks is…nothing. Empty, black space.
I look to my left and find myself staring into the Sun.
Oh my god. We’re in space.
Where’s the Cornucopia? I lean and turn as much as my magnetized boots will let me, looking for the golden horn. I finally find it when I look down.
Underneath the twenty-four floating asteroids, the Cornucopia sits atop a massive space station. I have no idea how I didn’t notice it before.
The asteroid I’m standing on suddenly starts to turn, taking me with it, thanks to the magnetic effect of my boots.
“Open communications?” the female voice asks me. “Please state the tributes you would like to communicate with.”
“The District 5 male and the District 10 male,” I say, calling out my two allies, still somewhat bewildered by it all.
The two gray squares representing Kei and Chris turn green, and suddenly someone’s screaming in my ear.
“Chris, shut up!” I shout.
“Who said that?”
“I did, Kei. It’s me, Jordan.”
“Yes, it’s me, Chris.”
“What’s happening? Why are we all turning?”
My asteroid stops its rotation just as Kei asks his question. A sudden vibration near my feet startles me; a long hooked cable has shot out of the space station and hooked itself to my asteroid.
“Looks like we’ll have to pull ourselves to the station,” I say to my allies, looking out at the twenty-four cables latched onto different parts of the space station.
The gong rings, signaling the start of the Games, and I feel my boots demagnetize from the platform. I slowly start to drift free from the asteroid.
“Move quickly, and don’t slip.” I recognize the calm voice of Sarah from 4.
I slowly reach down and grab the thick cable with my gloved hand. Then I start slowly tugging my way towards the station.
All I can hear is the labored breathing of my allies, as well as my own, as the ring of tributes start pulling their way to the station.
“Does anyone see any weapons?” my district partner calls out.
“I don’t see anything,” responds Kelly from 5. “Not even food.”
I’m about to respond when I feel my gloves magnetize onto the cable. Then the cable is suddenly yanked towards the station, as if it’s being reeled in suddenly. Screams fill my ears as my allies and I all fly towards the station at rapid speeds.
A panel opens, and my cable pulls me into a padded room of the space station, where I slam into a wall and smack my head against the side of my helmet. The space station must have some sort of gravity, because I immediately drop to the floor. It’s enough to make me lose consciousness; everything goes dark.
The shrill voice of a female tribute brings me out of my dazed stupor.
“Is everyone okay? Can anyone hear me? Hello?”
“I hear you, Katherine,” I mumble to the girl from 6.
“Cyle! Where are you? Did you make it inside?”
I look around the room I’m sitting in. It’s padded, white, and empty, save for a single doorway.
“Yeah, I’m inside.”
Slowly but surely, the other members of my alliance chime in. Everyone’s accounted for.
Except Steve from 8.
“Did anyone see him make it in?” asks his district partner, Maureen.
Finally, his voice crackles into my ear.
“Steve?” I call out. Where are you? Are you okay?”
Cyle’s voice calls out to me over the speakers in my helmet, but I can’t respond. All I can do is gasp.
I didn’t grab the cable. I didn’t move fast enough and it retracted before I could get a hold of it. I was trying to orient myself, trying to calm down a little bit…
I float alone amongst the asteroids, choking down the last bits of air in my suit. My allies’ voices fill my ears as I gasp helplessly, my vision starting to lapse and fade.
I die wishing my allies didn’t have to hear me run out of oxygen.
Strongest Tribute: Joselyn Broadway (D1 Female)
Most Agile Tributes: Zach Peterson (D4 Male), Chris Prescher (D6 Male), and Dr. Alison Gibson (D7 Female)
Most Cunning Tributes: Sarah Kenny (D4 Female), and Kelly Farley (D5 Female)
Most Charming Tribute: Joey McKenna (D1 Male)
Strongest Overall Tribute: Dr Christina Bieber-Lake (D9 Female)
Alliances and attribute scores have been altered due to today’s events. Please note the changes on their respective pages.
The benchmark for Day 2 has been posted on the home page!