Today’s winner is…Ellen Egerton of District 10!
Congrats, Ellen, your training score is now 10!
The disembodied voice booms out over the arena, drawing my attention away from my almost-empty water bottle.
“Congrats on making it to the Final 10! You’ve all done your districts proud. It’s time, once again, for a feast!”
As I parachute down to a lower sky island, the announcement continues.
“You all need something, whether it’s food, water, or weapons. Tomorrow, all of these will be available on the main island, by the lake”
The mere mention of the lake causes my mouth to go dry. I knew they wouldn’t drain it.
“The bodies of water that have been drained will not be re-filled, so tomorrow will be your only opportunity to get some fresh, filtered water.”
“The feast begins tomorrow at noon. See you there.”
The announcement cuts off with a crackle of static. I turn to Jen and Edwin.
“What do they mean, the mainland?”
Jen points up to the sky, at one of the floating rocks we noticed near the beginning of the Games.
“Apparently you can get up to those somehow.”
“You think they had water sources on them?”
“Makes sense,” replies Edwin. “If the other tributes have all been hiding up there, there’s no reason for them to be here on the mainland. Explains why I’ve barely seen anyone while I’ve been out hunting.”
“Sounds like the islands are all drained though,” I say. “And that explains why Abbie showed up yesterday.”
“They’ll all be showing up now,” says Jen with a hint of fear in her voice. “They all need water.”
I wonder what my district must think of me.
Sure, I’ve got two kills. But I’ve also got two serious knife injuries. And on top of that, I’m seriously dehydrated (Training Point Lost).
I stumble through the forest, clutching onto tree trunks and branches for support. All I want to do is sit down, but I’m not sure if I’d stand up again if I did.
Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to sit down forever though.
“No. No, I’m going to live”, I mutter through dry and cracked lips. Live long enough to get a drink, anyways.
The next few minutes of walking feel like hours. I have to make it to the lake. I’ll probably get killed before I can drink, and I’ll probably die from drinking water that hasn’t been purified, but at least I’ll be able to swallow something. At least I’ll die with something cool on my lips.
I’ve nearly resigned myself to my fate when my eye catches something. Ahead, against a tree trunk, surrounded by bloodstained grass, sits a pack.
I’m suddenly aware of the fact that I’m running, charging towards this discarded pack. Maybe, just maybe…
I open the pack with shaking hands, and immediately cry out with relief.
On top of a few ration packs sits a single water bottle. A full water bottle.
I’ve drunk the whole thing before I even realize it, something that I would have never done at the beginning of the Games.
It’s hard to think when you’re thirsty.
A few drops remain at the bottom of the bottle; I shake it vigorously until they fall out and into my mouth.
I’ve never tasted anything better.
Not terribly thirsty, but thirsty enough that I decide to fly down to the mainland and camp out near the lake, just to be ready for tomorrow’s feast. Plus it’s getting windy, and I don’t want to be up here when the Gamemakers decide to crank up the speed again.
I leap off the edge of the island, going into freefall for a few short seconds before my parachute opens. I aim for the mainland.
And quickly realize my mistake.
The sky islands all have open space to land on, but the mainland is pretty much all forest. I can see the lake, but there’s no way I’m gonna be able to glide over there. I’m going to crash in the trees.
Panicking, I tug on my parachute and turn towards another sky island, one that’s higher than the mainland.
After a few seconds of drifting, I realize that this is another mistake. There’s no way I’m gonna make it to the top of the island. If I keep going forward then I’ll crash into its vertical slope.
I turn back again but it’s too late. The mainland is already level with my floating form. I can’t make it over there either.
I’m going to die.
The realization hits me like a train. For a moment I’m too stunned to even cry.
But eventually the tears come.
From where I stand near the edge of the mainland, I watch as Joseph from my district sinks lower and lower into the endless sky.
Even from far away, I can hear his scream echo off the sky islands around him as he hits the forcefield and is shredded into microscopic pieces.
As his cannon fires, for the first time since I watched the girl from 11 fall out of the sky, tears flow from my eyes.
So much death.
Current Training Scores
District 1: Jennifer Fu (10) and Joseph Quiggle (11)
District 2: Josh Ryken (7)
District 4: Edwin Chung (9)
District 6: Kasey Send (5)
District 9: Christie Taylor (6)
District 10: Ellen Egerton (10)
District 12: Kayla Roberson (9) and Andrew Wang (5)
Strongest Tribute: District 1’s Joseph Quiggle
Weakest Tributes: District 6’s Kasey Send, District 12’s Andrew Wang
Average Training Score: 8
Median Training Score: 9
Score Most Tributes Have: 9, 10
District 1’s Joseph Quiggle: One kill (District 5’s Maurice Bokanga)
District 2’s Josh Ryken: Two kills (District 2’s Dr. Tiffany Kriner, District 8’s Abe Nakamura)
District 3’s Katherine Braden: One kill (District 11’s Nico Lasta)
District 4’s Edwin Chung: Two kills (District 3’s Dr. Matthew Milliner and Katherine Braden)
District 9’s Joseph Abdelmelek: One kill (District 5’s Dr. Beth Jones)
District 9’s Christie Taylor: One kill (District 10’s David Nitchman)
District 10’s Ellen Egerton: Two kills (District 6’s Zackary Smiley, District 7’s Ben Weidemann)
The Terrible Three (District 1’s Jennifer Fu, District 4’s Edwin Chung, and District 12’s Andrew Wang)
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