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Thread: The 73rd Annual Hunger Games

  1. #1
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    Default The 73rd Annual Hunger Games

    Hiya, CharizardFan here with my first Serebii post! It is a Pokemon/Hunger Games fic. The Pokemon element of it won't show up until a bit later on in the story. Hope you guys like it! Oh, and I will give it an R rating not for language or any sexual content but because it is the Hunger Games, after all, and is very violent.

    Chapter 1

    It was the perfect spot. Dozens of fish could be seen through the water swimming around the area, just above the area where the net was planted. The young boy of fifteen setting up the fish trap had never been good with a trident and he couldn’t use a fishing net the conventional way since he had to sell his boat.

    The boy felt the back of his neck and winced at the stinging pain that followed. He had been sunburned before but this was the effect of being out all day trying to get this particular snare trap just right. He had seen numerous snare traps used in the woods on television in some of the other districts, but his day-long struggles indicated to him that it may not be able to be accomplished in the sea. “No,” he said to himself, dismissing this thought as he remembered the state of his father, “It can be done. Gotta keep trying.” He set up the snare once more and intently stared at the water, waiting for a good bundle of fish to linger in just the right spot. He squinted as he tried not to lose sight of them in the reflection of the sun off the water.

    The boy grabbed another chunk from his pile of worms and fish guts and lobbed them into the water above the net trap. Though a few fish were scared away after that bait hit the water, they along with many others began gathering just above the snare. He then knelt down on the sandy shore with a knife raised in his hand as he prepared to cut the rope releasing the snare. A slight smile crossed the boy’s lips as he knew this was the right time. He sliced the rope with his knife, setting off the snare and rapidly enclosing the vast net over dozens of fish. He was stunned for a second as, because of the many failures earlier in the day, he wasn’t sure what success would look like.

    He quickly ran ankle-deep into the water to grab the front end of the net and used all of his strength to drag the giant net onto the shore. He stood at about five and a half feet tall and was never particularly strong, so this proved to be a difficult task for him. The fish were flopping around in the net. The boy stared in astonishment. Never had he caught so many fish in one sitting. If he was lucky, he would catch this many in three days’ time. He placed both of his hands over his long, brown hair and his eyes lit up. He would be paid well for this haul. This only left one problem: How to transport the load? He never thought he would get this far. He tried dragging it some more but it took so much strain. Getting the net to the market would take the rest of the day at this rate.

    “Need some help?” said a soft voice from behind him.

    The boy turned around to see Finnick Odair, standing almost a foot taller than him. He thought of how odd it was to run into such a famous figure like Finnick, as he had only seen him near the Victor’s Village a few times and during the reapings. He also saw glimpses of reruns from the Hunger Games that he won, though he tried looking away from those competition highlights as much as possible as he was too squeamish to hold his food down while watching. It took him a few seconds to register the question as he was astonished that someone like Finnick was actually addressing someone like him. He was never good at talking to people his own age in class, let alone a guy like Finnick who looked to be about ten years his senior. “Um, y-yeah, thanks,” he said.

    Finnick gave him a warm smile. “Sure thing,” he said. “I’m impressed, you got yourself quite a load here.”

    The boy smiled back. “Thanks,” he said. “I spent all day trying to get this snare to work right. I guess it finally paid off.”

    “Certainly did,” Finnick said. “So what’s your name?”

    “Delmar. Delmar Pennison. And you’re Finnick, right?” he asked even though he already knew the answer. Delmar didn’t want to sound like one of the obsessive fans in District 4 and the Capitol whose lives seem to revolve around Finnick.

    “The one and only!” Finnick answered as he and Delmar shook hands. “Alright, I’ll lift the back side of the net and you grab the front.”

    Delmar walked around the net and glanced at Finnick as he started lifting the back of the net with ease. His body didn’t look to have a single ounce of fat on it. He had a brawny chest and massive arms. Though he never watched the whole thing, it was easy for Delmar to see how Finnick won the Hunger Games. Delmar lifted his side of the net and was surprised for a moment at how easily it was elevated off the ground. The two carried the net off the shore and toward the market that lay ahead in the main square of District 4.

    Unlike most districts, District 4 had a plaza with many businesses that did well as long as they cooperated with the demands of the Capitol. Though the taxes they imposed on fish sales were steadily increasing, Delmar still sold enough to help him and his father get along. Today’s haul would be a significant boost. Delmar couldn’t help but notice most of the District 4 residents turning their heads and staring at them as they carried the net. He wasn’t sure if it was the amount of fish that caught people’s attention or if it was the mere presence of Finnick Odair. Most likely the latter.

    Delmar and Finnick dropped the net of fish off at the market where they were counted and weighed. It took at least twenty to thirty minutes longer than usual, but to Delmar’s pleasant surprise, Finnick stuck around to keep him company. They mostly talked about fishing techniques and Delmar explained the process of how he made his snare and what improvements he plans to make. Despite living large and having more than enough food and income from his Hunger Games victory, Finnick still did a great deal of fishing and shared a lot of his catches with struggling district members.

    “I use my trident whenever I can,” Finnick explained. “I’ve used it as a fishing tool since I was six years old. It saved my life in the Hunger Games too, as you probably saw.”

    Delmar was hoping this topic wouldn’t come up, but talking to Finnick, he knew it had to come up eventually. Though he tried to keep putting it out of his mind, this once again reminded him that the reaping was tomorrow. A knot grew in his stomach and he felt his head start to pulsate. “A little bit,” he responded, trying to keep his cool in front of Finnick. “To be honest, other than mandatory viewings, I tried to stay away from watching it as much as I could.”

    “I don’t blame you,” Finnick said as he frowned for the first time since meeting Delmar. “I’ve killed thousands of fish, but that first time killing a person never leaves you,” he said as he shook his head. “It’s sick that the Capitol does this to us every year and makes everybody watch.”

    Delmar’s heart skipped a beat. He had never heard someone say something so rebellious towards the Capitol in public. He quickly glanced around to see if any Peacekeepers were near. “I agree,” he said very quietly when he realized the coast was clear. “I can’t stand watching. I’ve always been squeamish, but now even more so after what happened to my father.”

    “What happened?” Finnick asked.

    “We were way out in the ocean in our fishing boat last month when we were attacked by a shark,” Delmar explained. “It tried jumping into our boat because it smelled the fish we had on board. My dad tried kicking it in the nose to get it to go away but the shark bit down on his leg and nearly crushed the bones in it. Blood was everywhere. Luckily I was able to get him to the medical center in time where they were able to stop the bleeding.”

    “Wow, I’m sorry to hear that,” Finnick said. “How is he now?”

    “Could be better. He can’t walk without my help and he has an infection that’s starting to spread. I’ve been able to control it with antibiotics, but that’s why I’ve been working on this new snare, so I can more easily afford them,” Delmar explained. He had to sell his fishing boat, which was thankfully not damaged in the attack, in order to afford the medical care performed on his father right after the incident.

    “Well, you’re off to a good start,” Finnick said, motioning to the fish Delmar caught. He then put his hand on Delmar’s shoulder. “And hey, if there’s any help you need from me, don’t hesitate to ask.”

    Delmar paused for a moment before nodding his head and smiling. “Thanks,” he said at length, wondering if Finnick always had this kind of generosity or if it came more easily after winning the wealth that accompanied the Hunger Games victory.

    Once the fish were counted and Delmar was paid by the market, he and Finnick shook hands and parted ways. Delmar began heading towards the pharmacy right next to the market when Finnick’s voice stopped him, “Hey Delmar, one more thing!” Delmar turned around. Finnick gave him a look that communicated enough for Delmar to know what he was talking about. “Good luck tomorrow,” he said just loud enough for Delmar to hear. Delmar gave a simple nod of his head and turned back around.

    He carried his net, which still contained a few fish for he and his father, to the pharmacy. Delmar used his new earnings to buy the antibiotics. He stared at the remainder of money he had in his hands before putting it in his pocket. He wasn’t used to having that much money left over. At this rate, he was thinking about how and when he could save up for another fishing boat.

    Delmar exited the pharmacy and headed towards his house, which was about a mile away from the plaza. Whether it was excitement from making so much money and meeting Finnick, anxiety towards tomorrow’s reaping, or an obligation to get the medicine to his father as soon as possible, Delmar felt the desire to run home as fast as he could. While his peers were always stronger, brawnier, better fisherman, and better fighters, Delmar had one thing on them: he could flat out run. Whether it was sprinting or short distance, he could outrun almost anyone in District 4. He never seemed to grow tired.

    Memories of bullies at school went through his head as he ran. Delmar could partly thank them for his great running ability. Ever since he was eight years old, kids who were bigger and stronger were able to overpower him and steal whatever he had on him. Most of the teasing came from Delmar’s inability to use a trident. He sometimes felt like he was the only person in District 4 who was poor at using one.

    Delmar remembered one particular boy he ran into many times when he was thirteen was Bruce Hanigan. Bruce, who was three years his senior, laid a punch to Delmar’s face at least once a week. He looked like a man at age sixteen and even had a full mustache and beard. “Either learn to run fast or keep getting beat up,” Bruce would say in his ultra-deep voice. Delmar lost count of how many times he heard the phrase “learn to run fast” from Bruce. And boy, did he ever learn to run fast. He practiced running at least five times a week until it got to the point that no one, not even Bruce, could catch him if they tried. Bruce ended up getting relocated to District 2 after he got in trouble for dislocating a market salesman’s shoulder by slamming him into the ground during an argument about the price of bread.

    Within around five minutes, Delmar made it to his house. District 4 was one of the more wealthy districts in the nation of Panem, but that wasn’t saying much. While some people had nice, large houses, many of them were fairly average or small. Delmar and his father lived in one of the smaller houses in the district, but since they were the only two inhabitants, it suited them just fine. Delmar entered the house, set the fish near his oven, and rushed into his father’s room with the antibiotics in his hand.

    Delmar’s dad was a short but buff man with a balding head and a thick mustache. He sat up in his bed and his face, which was usually lit up and wearing a smile even on his worst days, was a slight tint of green. His leg was elevated on the foot of the bed and the skin of the infected area was rough and colored bright red with mixtures of green around the knee. The left side of his mouth curled into a smile when he saw Delmar hurry in and breathing heavily. “Hey, Little Buddy,” he said warmly. “Working on your running again, huh? What was your time today?”

    Delmar put his hands on his knees and felt sweat drip down his face. He didn’t even realize how fast he has running, his mind was full of other thoughts on his way home. “I don’t know, about five minutes maybe?”

    Mr. Pennison gave a thumbs-up sign. “That’s my boy. How were the fish today?”

    “Great! I caught about twice as much today as I usually do, thanks to that snare you helped me design,” Delmar said as he set the medicine on a shelf right next to his dad’s bed.

    “Well, you did learn from the best,” Mr. Pennison said as he winked. “Even when I’m sick and in bed I’m still one of the top fisherman in Panem!” he said as he laughed. Still in high spirits even with a life-threatening infection.

    “Yes, you are.” Delmar smiled, as well. Although he had a few acquaintances at school, he didn’t have anyone he could truly call his friend except for his father. He was the only one Delmar truly felt he could trust, confine in, and want to spend time with. That was why the past month of fishing by himself was killing him. He was so used to the great company and humor that his dad brought to their days of fishing. Delmar was never someone who smiled too often, as he has so many problems with the Peacekeepers (the Capitol soldiers who kept watch over each district) and kids at his school. His father seemed to be the only source of his happiness. “So how are you feeling? Can I get you anything else?”

    “No, no, I’m just fine. You’ve done plenty. Thanks, Little Buddy!” Mr. Pennison said. Delmar envied the seemingly endless joy his dad had.

    The conversation was interrupted by the small television set in their room turning on. The Capitol symbol flashed on the screen as the anthem played. Once the anthem was over, a man with white makeup painted all over his face and a pointy beard that stretched all the way down to his chest appeared on the screen. His dark hair was shaved into a swirling pattern on his head. Delmar wanted to think he was in his late twenties, but all the makeup made it impossible to tell for sure.

    “Hello, Angus Truffle here with a reminder to District 4 about tomorrow’s reaping,” he said. His eyes were droopy and he was talking slowly with a very monotonous tone. “All boys and girls between the ages of 12-18 are to be at the Main Square at 0800 sharp. Dress your finest as the world will be watching. May the odds be ever in your favor.”

    Delmar and his dad continued to stare at the screen as the anthem played once more. Delmar then looked down to the ground and clutched his chest. He felt nearly breathless at the moment. Mr. Pennison reached over and put his hand on his son’s shoulder. “No need to worry,” he said.

    Delmar looked up at his dad. “I just feel like every year could be the one,” he said. “What if I get picked? There’s no way I could handle myself out there.”

    Mr. Pennison took his son by the shoulders and tightly embraced him. “Everything will be just fine,” he said.

    ***

    Delmar was thankful the reaping was early in the morning because he got absolutely no sleep that night. He tried laying in his bed but his eyes remained wide open all night. He kept himself up with thoughts about what his strategy would be if he was chosen as a tribute. What would he do about his father? Most of his night was spent leaning against the outside of his house and watching the tides roll in and out of the shore. He puked at one point in the night and washed his mouth out with the salty sea water.

    Once morning came, Delmar decided to get himself washed up and dressed somewhat decent. He only had one button-up shirt so he figured that would do. After his dad wished him luck and gave him a kiss goodbye, Delmar began walking towards the Main Plaza near the marketplace where he was the day before. He still felt a bit nauseous and exhausted from the night, so he was barely dragging himself along. No way could he run a five-minute mile right now.

    Delmar noticed the hundreds of other kids in his district lining up at the registration tables where they were getting their blood taken for verification by the Peacekeepers. The Capitol soldiers wearing all-white helmets and uniforms were patrolling all around the Main Square to keep anyone from escaping. Others went from door to door in the district to make sure every qualifying child for the Hunger Games showed up at the Main Square. People hiding in their homes typically wasn’t a problem but Delmar recalled the disturbing incident two years ago when a Peacekeeper forcefully pulled a screaming 12-year-old girl out of her mother’s arms inside their house.

    After getting his blood taken, Delmar was directed to line up with the rest of the boys. The group of girls was in a separate group. He looked around at the faces around him. Nearly everyone had their heads down and a somber look on their faces. Suddenly, Delmar saw three people walk onto the stage that was set up at the forefront of the Main Square. Two giant screens were set up on both sides of the stage. The first was Angus, whose eyes were still droopy. His beard was the same style as it was on TV, but today it was painted purple along with his swirly hair. He also had a giant piercing in his nose. The two people who followed were Finnick and a woman who looked to be eighty years old. Delmar had never met her before but he knew her as Mags, a woman who won the Hunger Games well before he was even born. The only times he ever saw her were at the reapings, and she always had a sour look on her face.

    “Welcome all, welcome,” Angus Truffle said into the microphone, not even trying to sound the least bit enthusiastic about what he was saying. Delmar wouldn’t have been surprised if Angus fell asleep right there on the stage. “It is a pleasure to be here at the reaping for the 73rd Annual Hunger Games. First, allow me to show you a video of the history of the Games. Enjoy.”

    The screen flashed an image of the Capitol seal and dramatic music began playing. “War, terrible war,” the narrator of the video said as gruesome images of battles and starving children flashed on the screen. “Widows, orphans, a motherless child. This was the uprising that rocked our land. Thirteen districts rebelled against the country that fed them, loved them, protected them. Brother turned on brother until nothing remained.” The images suddenly became more pleasant, including a sunrise and a father happily picking up his laughing child. The Panem anthem that Delmar had heard far too many times began playing. “And then came the peace, hard fought, sorely won, a people rose from the ashes and a new era was born, but freedom has a cost. When the traitors were defeated, we swore as a nation we would never know this treason again. And so it was decreed that the various districts of Panem would offer up a tribute, one young man and woman to fight to the death in a pageant of honor, courage and sacrifice. The lone victor bathed in riches and would serve as a reminder of our generosity and our forgiveness. This is how we remember our past, this is how we safeguard our future.”

    Delmar didn’t pay much attention to the video this year as this was the fourth year in a row he had to watch it. He watched as Angus got back on the microphone. “Gives me chills every time I watch it,” he said in his same monotone voice with his eyes still droopy and blank. One of the Peacekeepers placed a small table with the bucket of names on top. “I would like to thank the District 4 mentors for joining me today. Finnick and Mags, our honorable past Victors, why don’t you give a wave to the good people of the Capitol?”

    Mags threw her hand up in a waving motion towards the camera for about a second, but the gloomy look on her face never left. Finnick, whose face showed a mixture of sadness and disgust, kept his arms crossed.

    Angus glanced back at this display of apathy and motioned his hand towards the cameraman. “We’ll edit that out,” Delmar could hear him say away from the microphone. “Okay, it is now time to select our female tribute,” he said back into the microphone. He quickly pulled out a small slip of paper and read the name: “Rachael Gregorius.”

    Delmar heard a few gasps in the crowd. He had never talked to Rachael but he knew she was a fourteen-year-old who was born without a right arm. There was some commotion in the girls group that Delmar could barely see. He then saw Rachael emerge from the crowd of girls. She wasn’t crying the way most tributes do when they are chosen. She looked more confused than anything else. Rachael looked over to her mother, who had her hands over her mouth and was bawling. She then looked around the group of girls with her mouth hanging open. Angus rolled his eyes. “Come on, let’s move this along,” he said.

    Then it hit Delmar. The reason she looked so lost was that District 4 has a particularly high rate of volunteer tributes compared to the other districts. Rachael was waiting for someone to volunteer for her. So many people in this district are trained not only as fishermen but as fighters with tools such as a trident. Delmar had heard other districts refer to these kind of tributes as “Careers.”Rachael stood still and there was dead silence until a Peacekeeper began quickly walking her way. Just as he was about to grab her, a loud, boisterous female voice emerged from the crowd : “Hey, hey, hold on now!”

    Everyone turned to see a tall female with a long, blonde ponytail marching towards the Peacekeeper. She stood protectively in front of Rachael and stared at the Peacekeeper with her vast, sapphire-colored eyes. She was just about his height. “Hands off, I got this!” she declared, not changing the high volume of her voice. The Peacekeeper simply nodded his head and walked away. The girl then turned to the crowd of girls, who were all staring at her in amazement. “Well don’t everyone jump out at once to volunteer!” she scolded. “I can’t believe you all were about to let her go!” She then looked up at Angus on the stage. “I’ll be thy tribute oh, Honorable Capitol Man. Mairin Reynolds, at your service,” she said with a fake Capitol accent as she took a bow. For the first time, Delmar saw Mags smile.

    “Just hurry up, we’ve wasted enough time already,” Angus said. As soon as he said that, Mairin made a point to slowly strut up to the stage. Delmar was gazing at her in amazement. Here he was praying that he wouldn’t get picked, but she didn’t even seem fazed about what she just volunteered to do.

    After Mairin finally reached the stage, Angus spoke once more into the microphone. “And now for the choosing of the male tribute.” Delmar felt his heart pounding against his chest. His tongue felt like it was made of sandpaper. He closed his eyes as he remembered the night he just labored through. All of those thoughts and nightmares about being in the arena with savage kids who were much bigger, his father having to lay in bed with a life-threatening infection and watch his only child die, they were all confirmed with the simple reading of the slip: “Delmar Pennison.”
    Last edited by CharizardFan13; 17th May 2013 at 7:30 AM.

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