The winner of today’s sponsorship vote is…Conner Imbody of District 11!
Congrats Conner, you get a free attribute point added to your lowest attribute (Charm).
I finally shed my blanket, throwing it over my shoulder as the sun rises higher into the empty blue sky. No clouds have passed over the arena at all, and without their insulating effects, the arena became deathly cold last night. All of us in my alliance managed to find a blanket, but I doubt everyone else in the arena managed to stay warm.
“You heard the cannon last night?”
I turn my head slightly as my ally Alejandra appears at my right, her dark eyes focused on the open plains before us.
“Think someone froze to death out there?”
I shake my head.
“It was cold, but not cold enough to kill someone in one night. Someone else did it.”
I nod grimly.
“Danae wants to go hunting today. Think I might go with her. You coming along?”
“No,” I say as detached as I can. “I’ll stay here and guard.”
Alejandra shrugs and then starts wandering back to camp a few meters away. I stand alone, scanning the empty field of tallgrass. I wonder who it was. I wonder if they died alone, afraid. Even though I know in a truly logical sense that their death means I’m closer to getting out of here alive, there’s a small part of me that I could have saved whoever it was.
I can’t let my alliance know that I refuse to kill. Matt did early on, and I’ve already heard whispers about his expendability from my other allies. I may have the highest training score, but my inability to switch off my empathy is truly a weakness in the arena.
I leap out of my skin and whirl around as a sudden explosion occurs somewhere in the camp, followed by a string of curses. I rush over, dropping my blanket at the mouth of the Cornucopia and scooping up a sickle before rounding the side of the Cornucopia to where the explosion originated.
The rest of my alliance is already there, tending to Stephen and a cursing Eleanor.
“What happened?” I ask, bewildered.
“Idiot almost blew my goddamn face off!” screeches Eleanor as she gingerly picks shrapnel out of her leg (Attribute Point Lost).
“I was re-arming one of the mines from the starting podiums, and she walked up behind me and startled me while I was tugging on a delicate wire,” replies Steven in a pained voice as Matt tends to his shredded arm (Attribute Point Lost).
“It was a good idea,” says Matt.
“Oh yeah, great idea, Stephen! Kill off your allies before the second day’s even over!”
“It was an accident, Eleanor,” says Danae firmly, speaking for maybe the first time since we entered the arena.
Eleanor doesn’t respond, still picking bits of shrapnel from her leg and grumbling under her breath.
I realize I’ve been gripping my sickle to the point where my fingers are losing circulation, and I relax my hold. We’re all still alive, all still safe, but I can already see the cracks in this alliance.
A few more days of pressure, and I’m worried it will break.
I finally uncurl from the fetal position I finally managed to fall asleep in last night, still shivering even though I can feel the sun’s rays on my skin. Last night was hell. I thought I was pretty well-supplied: bow and arrows, plenty of dried food, water, and even a couple bandages and ointments. But no blanket. I’d lain under the stars and moonlight, hoping and praying for a sponsor to send me something to keep me warm. Nothing. I must’ve passed out eventually, but the hours I spent shivering and whimpering in the grass were truly grueling (Attribute Point Lost).
What more do they want from me? Why aren’t more people rooting for me? The lone wolf, the unassuming woman from 8 who scored one of the first kills of the Games. What more could you ask of me after one day?
I sit up and open my pack for some breakfast, already knowing the answer.
I awake to the sound of a cannon, startled and disoriented.
When I look over at Jordan, last night’s events hit me like a tidal wave.
The three of us had been freezing. The one blanket we’d gotten from the dead woman from 7 wasn’t nearly big enough to keep one person totally warm, let alone all three of us. So we’d gone searching for some wood for a fire.
That’s when we found the hatch, a small bunker-esque door that led down into an underground concrete tunnel system, one that almost looked like a service area for the arena, with a minimal amount of flickering fluorescent lights leaving us in a dim haze. The air was musty and smelled of animal droppings, but it was warm. I’d stayed near the ladder while Lindsay and Jordan had explored further down the tunnel, checking to make sure it was safe to rest there for the night.
I must’ve dozed off, because all I remember after that is waking up to screaming. Looking over to my left, seeing Jordan and Lindsay running towards me, seeing Lindsay suddenly be swallowed up by a swarming black squealing mass.
“Open the hatch!” Jordan had screamed.
I was halfway up when Lindsay’s cannon fired, still drowsy and unsure of what was happening, but knowing I was in danger. I’d felt the ladder shake as Jordan began to climb below me, and then I was out.
I don’t remember what happened after that. I must’ve passed out from exhaustion, because I don’t remember seeing Jordan come out of the hatch.
I stand and walk over to her, already seeing her still chest, her stiffened posture, already knowing she’s dead.
She lies face-down in a pool of blood, barely having crawled away from the still-open hatch. Looking down at the seemingly-infinite amount of bites and scratches on her, I can’t see how she’d gotten away from whatever it was down there.
I’m alone now.
The noise is quiet at first, but I eventually hear it over the rustling grass. I creep past Jordan’s corpse, over to the open hatch. The squealing gets louder, louder.
I look down into the hole, and finally see them. My allies’ killers, trying desperately to clamber up the sides of the ladder to reach me once they notice my presence.
An endless sea of squealing rats.
The arena’s warm now, but I can still feel a ghostly chill on my skin. My allies and I are all actively searching for something, anything to light on fire tonight so we don’t have to suffer the way we did last night (Attribute Points Lost).
We haven’t seen any other tributes since Conner killed Sam yesterday, but the cannon that just fired is a reminder that we’re not alone in here. We stay on guard as we move through the grass, searching for a tree, a bush, anything.
I dread when the sun goes down again.
We’d come upon them just as they were waking up, huddled under blue and black blankets that were easily spotted in the tallgrass. They’d seen us just before they were in range for me to throw my spear, and started running for their lives instead of hanging back and squaring off for a fight. We’ve been chasing them for what feels like hours.
The two of them are fast, but eventually one of them starts to drop back. He finally turns to face me as my ally Ryan charges past him, still in pursuit of his female companion. It’s just him and me now.
The man from 2 levels his shield at me, and I gesture back with my spear. We exchange no words. There’s nothing to say. We know what we have to do.
To his credit, the man lasts a lot longer than I thought he would without an actual weapon, managing to block my stabs and even smashing me back a bit with his shield. Eventually though, he begins to tire, and his guard starts to drop. I manage to pierce his shield arm and send him stumbling back, leaving his chest open and defenseless. A thrust into his heart later, he’s down on the ground, convulsing for a few seconds before dropping into unconsciousness as he starts to lose blood.
Breathing heavily, I drop to one knee, looking up and seeing Ryan heading back my way. The woman from 12 must’ve gotten away. Oh well, at least we took out the stronger of the two of them.
The man from 2 had a stronger training score than me, and I doubt it was for his shieldwork. All the talent in the world can’t save you if you don’t have the right tools, and a shield by itself was never going to cut it.
My opponent’s cannon finally fires just as Ryan returns. His ally won’t last long on her own. We’ll find her eventually.
And then we’ll hunt down the rest.
Strongest Tributes: Sierra Strom (D2 F), Danae Brooks (D6 F), and Alejandra Guzman (D9 F)
Most Agile Tribute: Hannah Garringer (D5 F)
Most Cunning Tribute: Hannah Garringer (D5 F)
Most Charming Tribute: Ryan Lilly (D6 M)
Strongest Overall Tribute: Hannah Garringer (D5 F)
Alliances and attribute scores have been altered due to today’s events. Please note the changes on the respective pages.
The benchmark for Day Three has been posted on the home page!