Today’s winner is…Andrew Wang of District 12!
Congrats Andrew, your training score is now 6!
Edwin and I send Joseph and Josh off to hunt together. They’re the two strongest members of the remaining Careers, so it makes sense that they should be doing the hunting. It makes sense to them, anyways, so they leave together without a fuss.
Five minutes later, a brown pack drops from a tree, and Zack from 6 pops his head out from the canopy. He clambers down to the ground, scoops up his pack, and runs over to Edwin and me.
“What’s up, allies?” he says with a grin.
I smile at him. “Not much, just sent the loose ends off to hunt.”
This was the plan from the beginning, ever since I noticed Zack during training. He’s a powerhouse with a katana, and he isn’t bad with poisons either. He’s a perfect ally, and he’s agreed to team up with me in exchange for joint control of the Cornucopia supplies.
Edwin’s a good ally too. Not because of his skill, which is comparable to mine. No, Edwin is impressionable, easy to command and coerce. Not like the others I just sent off.
This is my new team, my brand-new alliance. Screw the Careers. When and if they come back, the three of us will fight and kill them.
As we chat, I notice another tribute approaching from across the lake. One more potential member of my new alliance, one that my other allies don’t know about yet.
We’ll see how this goes.
I stomp through the forest, machete in hand, slashing through branches and bramble. My red pack sits heavy on my shoulders, but I hardly notice, determination set in my veins. My ally’s around here somewhere.
The last thing I want in these Games is to be surrounded by children. That’s why I left those Career kids back at the Cornucopia.
“What would a woman like me have in common with those fools?” I mutter to myself as I find another “7” carved into the bark of a tree. The mark of my ally, guiding me closer to her.
When it comes down to it, there’s only one woman on par with me in the arena, in terms of talent and intelligence. One woman who could make this experience even remotely tolerable.
I step around a thick tree and finally find her, sitting upright on the ground next to her green pack, her back against a strong tree trunk.
“Alison!” I gasp in relief, dropping to the ground in sudden exhaustion.
The woman from 7 grins happily at me and tosses me a water bottle.
“Glad you found me, ally.”
As I move close to the Cornucopia, Jen raises a hand in a wave. I return the wave with a grin, just as Edwin and Zach notice me.
“Tribute! Kill him!” shouts Zack, unsheathing his katana and rushing towards me. I pull out the knife from my grey pack and hold it in front of me uselessly.
“Zack, wait! He’s with us!”
Jen’s cry slows Zack down, thankfully. He looks me up and down, grimacing. Putting on a brave face, I resist the urge to take a couple steps away from him.
“He’s pathetic,” says Zach, turning his head to shout at Jen. “Totally useless.”
“I’m right here, you know,” I say, regretting the words as soon as they escape my lips.
“Wasn’t talking to you, so shut up. It’s a wonder I haven’t killed you yet,” snaps Zack, turning his gaze back onto me.
Jen’s walked over by this point, a wooden staff in her hands. She tosses it to me, and I catch it with my free hand.
“Prove you deserve a spot in this alliance,” she says to me. “You two, fight.”
I grin as the boy from 12 sheds his pack and replaces his knife in its pocket. This won’t be too difficult. Behind me, Edwin chuckles loudly.
The boy grips his staff in two hands as I step into an offensive position, katana raised above my shoulder. I jut forward suddenly, and the boy takes a cautionary step back. I grin wider. He’s useless.
I sweep downwards with my katana, and am surprised as the boy smacks my sword away with his staff. Adjusting, I stab forward towards the boy’s chest, but he jukes away and catches my backswing against his staff.
With a flourish, he shoves my katana away from him and shoves the blunt end of his staff against my chest, pushing me backwards.
He’s actually holding his own.
The boy grins at me, seeing the small hint of approval in my eyes. I take the moment to slash across his arm, drawing blood (Training Point Lost). The boy screams in pain, but manages to swing his staff forcefully and knock my katana right out of my hands. It flies off to my left, landing in the muddy border between the grassy plain and the lake. The boy, still bleeding, points the blunt end of his staff at my chest, breathing heavily.
From behind me, Jen makes her decision.
Eventually, after walking for a while, I notice something odd ahead of me. It looks like the trees just stop for a while. And now that I’m really looking, it seems like the ground stops too. I press forward, expecting a steep slope ahead of me. That’ll be nice, some kind of break from the flat monotony of the arena I’ve walked through so far.
Strangely, as I approach, the oddness of the space ahead of me doesn’t vanish. I still don’t see any ground, just a cliff face ahead of me, and a blue space underneath it, the color of the sky.
And suddenly, there isn’t any more ground to walk on. I stop in my tracks at the edge of the landmass I’ve been walking on, and stare down into an endless sky.
Recovering from my shock, I look around instead of down. The sight that greets me is half-expected, but still pretty impressive. The arena isn’t just one forested platter hovering in the endless sky. No, it’s a series of floating islands, the one I’m standing on apparently the lowest and probably largest of the lot.
Ahead of me, the cliff face reveals itself to be the side of a sky island. It’s big enough and close enough to fill most of my field of vision that doesn’t have that never-ending blue sky in it. At the top of the cliff face is a forested plateau. There must be a way to get over there, since the Gamemakers wouldn’t bother putting something this impressive in the arena without providing a way to get up there.
I find my answer almost immediately. Looking to my right, I see a metal stand with a large, clunky-looking grappling gun attached to it. Rushing over to the maneuverable stand, I grab it and aim it up at the forested plateau. I press the firing button, and the grappling hook flies out into a long arc, dragging a rope behind it across the sky. The hook lands in the trees, out of my view, and the rope goes taunt. I step away from the gun and move up to the edge of the land, peering up at the sky island.
A clicking sound from the gun releases it from the stand. I can see now that I’m supposed to hold onto it and let it winch me up to the sky island, retracting the rope it shot out back into itself.
But before I can even make a move back towards it, a spear flies out of the forest behind me and slams through my chest.
The woman from 5 turns in shock to look at me just as the force of the spear pulls her off the side of the island. She falls with a short yet frightened scream. I lean over the side of the landmass to watch her falling down into the sky.
Ten seconds later, a cannon fires as her body disintegrates against the forcefield at the bottom of the arena. Apparently the sky isn’t endless.
Standing up, I walk over to the gun that the woman was using before I killed her.
“Let’s go exploring,” I think as I grab the gun, which pulls me off my island and up towards the sky island ahead of me.
Current Training Scores
District 1: Jennifer Fu (9) and Joseph Quiggle (11)
District 2: Dr. Tiffany Kriner (10) and Josh Ryken (10)
District 3: Katherine Braden (10) and Dr. Matthew Milliner (6)
District 4: Abigail Black (11) and Edwin Chung (9)
District 5: Maurice Bokanga (10)
District 6: Kasey Send (5) and Zackary Smiley (11)
District 7: Dr. Alison Gibson (7) and Ben Weidemann (6)
District 8: Dr. Heather Whitney (6)
District 9: Christie Taylor (7) and Joseph Abdelmelek (8)
District 10: Ellen Egerton (9) and David Nitchman (9)
District 12: Kayla Roberson (8) and Andrew Wang (5)
Strongest Tributes: District 1’s Joseph Quiggle, District 4’s Abigail Black, and District 6’s Zackary Smiley
Weakest Tributes: District 5’s Kasey Send and District 12’s Andrew Wang
Average Training Score: 8.35
Median Training Score: 9
Score Most Tributes Have: 9, 10
District 2’s Josh Ryken: One kill (District 8’s Abe Nakamura)
District 3’s Katherine Braden: One kill (District 11’s Nico Lasta)
District 9’s Joseph Abdelmelek: One kill (District 5’s Dr. Beth Jones)
The Fearsome Four (District 1’s Jennifer Fu, District 4’s Edwin Chung, District 6’s Zackary Smiley, and District 12’s Andrew Wang)
The English Coalition (District 2’s Dr. Tiffany Kriner, District 7’s Dr. Alison Gibson)
Sponsorship is now open!