The winner of today’s sponsorship vote is…Jess Edelblut of District 12!
Congrats Jess, you get a free attribute point added to your lowest attribute (Charm).
My breath catches in my throat as the metal pad I’m standing on starts to rise up towards whatever the arena will be. It’s happening.
“Be brave, be brave,” I whisper to myself as the pad inches its way up the glass tube that surrounds me.
I try to distract myself by examining my tribute outfit. The top is made of a light, breathable material, as are the shorts, so I doubt we’ll be fighting each other in a blizzard or some cold dark dungeon. No, we’re going to be somewhere hot and humid.
My hunch is confirmed as the lid of the glass tube slams open above me and hot sticky air surrounds me. The lift stops, and I stare out at the golden Cornucopia and the dense jungle beyond it. The timer begins.
60 seconds. I quickly glance around the semicircle of tributes before focusing my gaze on the Cornucopia, looking for a katana. It takes a few seconds, but I finally see a thin sheathed sword resting against a large backpack, as if the Gamemakers had placed it there specifically for me. My route through the open plain between me and the Cornucopia should be straightforward, but choosing where to enter the jungle that surrounds the Cornucopia in a perfect circle is a bit trickier. I’m still deciding where to run when the gong suddenly sounds.
I charge off of my pad as fast as I can, heading for one of the backpacks sitting a ways off from the Cornucopia. Glancing to my left, I see the male from 4 suddenly veer over and slam into the male tribute from 12, tackling him to the ground. There’s no time to watch what happens next, but the first screams in the arena belong to the male from 12. I reach the backpack at the same time as my ally from 8, who leaps back in fear until she sees that it’s me.
“Shit shit shit where do we go, Amanda?” she gasps at me, looking around fearfully at the imposing jungle wall.
I throw on the backpack and point to another sitting a few feet away.
“Grab that and then look for Maurice. He’ll have a plan.”
I’m one of the first to reach the Cornucopia, grabbing a heavy backpack and a few small throwing knives. I’m looking around for more supplies when an arrow slams into my shoulder (Attribute Point Lost). Ripping it out, I whirl and throw a knife in the direction the arrow came from, and it makes its mark. Carmeanna from 2 yelps in pain as my knife slices across her arm (Attribute Point Lost). We stare each other down as I feel my shirt become saturated with blood. Clearly there will be no Career alliance this year. A weaker tribute rushes past Carmeanna, and she decides to pursue them rather than get another knife thrown at her. I add a first aid kit to my supplies and then rush off in the opposite direction.
There’s very little fighting going on, as most tributes opted to grab the meager supplies on the outskirts of the Cornucopia and then head into the jungle. The katana I was headed towards got scooped up by the male from 3, and it took me some time to find another. By the time I did, the Cornucopia was essentially empty, save for the remnants of my alliance.
“We lost two,” mutters Taylor as she glances over her shoulder at me before looking back down at Alisa from 6, who lies face-down on the ground with an axe gripped loosely in her hand and an arrow jutting from the back of her skull.
“Who got her?”
“The black girl from 2,” replies Jess from 12. “She ran off after Taylor and I came after her.”
I nod. “Nate?”
Maureen from 7 shrugs at the mention of her district partner.
“Ran off somewhere,” she mutters. “He must’ve had second thoughts about this alliance.”
Taylor sighs and gestures over my shoulder with her axe . I turn to see Luke kneeling on the ground over by the pads where we entered the arena, pounding his blood-drenched fists down onto a motionless tribute pinned under him.
The three of us are safe, for now. I finally stop running and my two allies come to a breathless halt at my side. Zach and Kyle both managed to not get killed at the bloodbath, but only just.
“Shit, this hurts,” mutters Kyle as he examines the knife wound given to him by the female from 1 (Attribute Point Lost). “You have any bandages in your supplies, Matt?”
I shuffle through my backpack as Zach slumps against a tree, stone-faced and staring down at the purple bruise on his leg that the female from 12 gave him with a staff when he tried to go after supplies she had already claimed (Attribute Point Lost).
“Here,” I say, tossing a roll of bandages to Kyle, who nods his thanks and starts wrapping up his wound.
“I didn’t get anything,” mumbles Zach. “Not even a knife.”
“We had to get out of there, it’s fine,” I reply. I walk over to him and hand him the extra knife that was slipped in the pouch of my backpack.
“One battle down and we’re still alive. We’ll be fine.”
Zach nods but doesn’t look up at me.
I turn and examine the area that we’ve stopped in. Patches of sunlight stab through the mist that weaves through the thick tangle of vegetation and bushes before me. The canopy of the jungle is thick, letting only so much light down to the ground. We can use the dark haze to our advantage, but who knows what other dangers are hidden out in the dark?
“We should move further from the Cornucopia,” says Zach suddenly, picking himself up off the ground. “Tributes will start hunting soon.”
I nod in agreement, as does Kyle.
“Let’s get going then.”
From what I saw at the bloodbath, or lack thereof, the alliances in this year’s Games are clear, and almost all centered around a set of Career tributes. The tributes from 2 control the largest alliance, a group of at least 8 that I watched enter the jungle together after I stopped pursuing the male from 9, who fled into the jungle with two other male tributes. The tributes from 4 have a small alliance remaining at the Cornucopia, and then there’s my alliance. Three of us escaped the Cornucopia unscathed, but Jenna from 9 managed to get shot with an arrow by the female from 3. As Edwin from 6 attempts to help her bandage her wound, I talk strategy with my district partner.
“Should we try to take back the Cornucopia?”
I shake my head.
“We have enough supplies for now, and I doubt the Gamemakers will want tributes to stay out of the jungle for very long. They’ll be forced in here with us eventually.”
Jordan nods, wiping sweat from his brow.
“It’s so goddamn humid.”
“Yeah. A lot easier for injuries to get infected in here too,” I say to Jordan while looking over at Jenna. “Make sure that bandage gets wrapped tightly, you two.”
Jenna nods at me, trying to hide the fear in her eyes.
I didn’t want her. I didn’t even want Edwin in our alliance. But Jordan refused to ally with me without Edwin, and Edwin refused to ally with us without Jenna. So here we all are.
I could go at it alone, sure. But if I end up having to run from someone or something in the arena, a couple meatshields to sacrifice couldn’t hurt my chances of survival.
This will work, for now.
We lost Steven.
I tried to save him from Luke from 4’s wrath. But the arrow I fired at Luke didn’t even faze him after it slammed into his back (Attribute Point Lost) and I couldn’t reload before the male from 6 started chasing after me with throwing knives. Though only one managed to slice my side (Attribute Point Lost), the fact that I’m injured on the first day hasn’t done wonders for bolstering my alliance’s faith in me as a leader.
Carmeanna’s hurt too, and by a knife as well. But the other six are alive and well, and besides the loss of Steven, our alliance is fully intact.
We trek through the dark jungle, looking for moving water and a safe place to make camp. We’re all dying at some point, but for now I just want to rest and recover.
My wound throbs under my bandage as I stop and listen to the first cannon fire, announcing the death of a tribute. Another cannon fires, and then the arena goes silent. For all their density, these jungles seem to be totally empty. I’m sure that will change in the days to come. The Games have begun.
Strongest Tributes: Caris Chun (D1 F) and Luke Vander Ploeg (D4 M)
Most Agile Tribute: Caris Chun (D1 F)
Most Cunning Tribute: Carmeanna Eberly (D2 F)
Most Charming Tribute: Taylor Lindell (D4 F)
Strongest Overall Tribute: Taylor Lindell (D4F)
Alliances and attribute scores have been altered due to today’s events. Please note the changes on their respective pages.
The benchmark for Day Two has been posted on the home page!