Hello all! Welcome to my humble hunger games fanfiction. This certain fanfic takes place in a universe where Katniss Everdeen died during the Bloodbath of the 74th Hunger Games(and thus the rebellion was never sparked). To be more precise, it exists in the the universe of two other Hunger Game roleplays that you may have seen floating at the top of OTRP...
And the second, the Flashback Games (the 90th Hunger Games - which is simply a continuation of our universe).
Plans are(I think) to have the rebellion set during the fifth quarter quell, so basically I'm creating a character that is actually going to be alive during that time period. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy!(if anyone even reads this ahaha help me)
“Alex?” Dakota began, fiddling with the weeds that grew around the tall willow tree which they were sitting beneath. Alex’s gaze darted up towards him with slight concern. Something about the tone of his voice, he figured, had made her realize that what he wanted to talk about was painful.
“Yeah?” She questioned, locking her brown eyes into his. Dakota couldn’t tell exactly what he looked like at that moment, but Alex’s expression was filled with worry.
“I want to talk to you about something… about Calum,” he said, voice trailing off subconsciously.
“Oh,” she muttered, dropping her head down to the ground again. “I wouldn’t worry about him much. He always gets like this at this time of -”
“Rightfully so,” Dakota interjected. “His only two -”
“I know,” Alex retorted, pausing for a moment to look out upon the fields. “I don’t think he would want us talking about that. Just give him space.”
Dakota sighed, closing his eyes and leaning back against the willow tree. He didn’t want to talk about Calum’s brothers, he wanted to talk about the Games… and what they would do if Calum was -
Stop. It was his own self that interrupted him this time. Around his friend group, it was complete taboo to talk about the Games. Even thinking about them brought guilt to his heart.
A moment went by with the two friends silent. It always seemed peaceful, the night before the Reaping. Work would end early and Dakota would arrive at the willow tree to be with his friends.
Calum had left shortly before sunset, of course. He needed to be with his mother more than ever during this time of year.
“If Calum’s name is called tomorrow…” Dakota spoke quietly, watching Alex braid her hair absentmindedly, “I’m volunteering.” This caused Alex to jerk her head up quickly.
“Calum is not getting picked tomorrow,” She hissed. “And neither are you!”
“I know, I know… all I’m saying is. He’s gone through too much already. And if by any chance that -”
“Shut up.” Alex said finatically, silencing him. The pair held another silence between them. “Can’t we just watch the sunset in peace?” With her words, Dakota’s eyes were drawn to the colored horizon. The last rays of sunlight were being lifted above them - dappling onto the spindly limbs of their tree.
Their tree. The tree that Alex’s mother had planted as a child. The tree that had endured the loss of many throughout the years, but held steadfast in protecting those that remained.
But maybe - Dakota began to think - the tree was cursed. Out of all the people in Ten, it seemed as though Alex, Calum, and Dakota’s families were the most directly affected.
The Games had taken Alex’s father when he was 18. That had left her mother confused, distraught, and alone in raising a child.
The Games had taken Calum’s brothers - back to back - just a couple of years ago. Calum and his mother were broken. One couldn’t just watch the death of a child or brother on your own television screen and be expected to recover quickly - if at all.
The Games had taken Dakota’s sister. He had never known her well, but the vague memories that he had of Liz were enough to miss her presence.
Fireflies began to appear as the sun dipped below the earth. They buzzed lazily about, landing on the cursed tree as if nothing was wrong with it after all.
“I want these Games to be different just as much as you do,” Dakota said, breaking the silence between them, “But maybe that means we’ll have to do something about them.”
- - -
The words, which had been branded into Dakota’s thoughts just the night before, still lingered throughout his mind.
The boy who he had known since the third grade. The boy who had been so full of life and adventure. The boy who had been so quick into reassuring Alex and Dakota during their first Reaping.
The boy who, at age 13, lost his younger brother to the Hunger Games and the boy who, at age 14, lost his older brother in the same fashion. The broken boy. That’s what they all called him. The broken boy with his broken mother, and no father - for he had been unable to carry the burden of his lost children.
The boy who, as Dakota flitted his eyes open sleepily, was seen to be standing just outside of his bedroom window.
Tap, tap, tap.
Upon only comprehending that there was a figure positioned just behind the faded glass, Dakota jolted upright. He scurried backwards - off of his bed - only to catch sight of his familiar friend opening the window and crawling through.
“Dakota, it’s me, geez,” Calum laughed out, climbing onto the windowsill and perching himself on it. A cold breeze blew throughout the room, making a half-naked Dakota shiver.
“Geez, yourself! A little warning next time?” He countered, digging into a pile of clothes next to him for a shirt. He couldn’t help but laugh at the circumstance, “Since when have you woken me up like this? Must’ve been…” Dakota cut himself short after he realized what he’d said.
“Just like old times, right?” Calum finished, releasing the tension between them. “I thought we’d start to make it a tradition again.”
Dakota couldn’t help but to respond with laughter at his friend. It was nice, he had to admit, to have Calum back. The real Calum.
The before Calum.
Something was making him act strange - no - normal again. Dakota couldn’t pinpoint it, but whatever it was, it unsettled him. “I thought we’d meet up with Alex in a bit. Go to the reaping together?” Calum offered.
Those words shocked him. Calum hadn’t attended a Reaping without his mother for a while. And just last night he had been an emotional wreck.
Maybe it was the willow.
“Sure, sure,” Dakota said, shaking his head in an attempt to register the situation.
“Maybe put on some pants first?”
- - -
Dakota stood quietly, obediently, at his place near the stage. His peers surrounded him, squeezing into his shoulders and inducing a fair amount of claustrophobia. The stiff crowd locked him into place, preventing him from taking a step in any direction.
District Ten's town square, located in front of the Justice Building, wasn't near the size that it needed to be to occupy the population. Families and those who had long since aged out of their Reaping years were lined up and down the streets - all leading to the square.
The propaganda video had began to play on a variety of large screens at the center of the stage, but Dakota paid them little heed. He was busy locating Calum - who he eventually found to be six or so rows ahead of him - and Alex, who he had yet to catch sight of.
Just then, a buoyant escort made her way to the microphone, almost hopping with excitement.
“What…” she began, scanning the faces of the crowd, “a beautiful message, isn’t it?” She was referring to the video, of course. The video that Dakota had neglected to watch over the past years.
The crowd was silent.
“Well, now then,” she said awkwardly, obviously disappointed by the audience's lack of a reaction, “Why don’t we start with the boys?”
Dakota’s heart seized up. He wasn’t prepared for this. Closing his eyes subconsciously, Dakota could do nothing but pray that no one he knew would be called to the stage.
Not Calum, he found himself thinking. He remembered what he had said to Alex the night before. That if Calum’s name was -
“Calum Arlidge!” Her ecstatic voice called out.
An eerie silence blanketed the crowd. A few murmurs of anger, and an eventual rumble of voices. They all knew. They all knew. A large shuffle took place as Calum made his way through his classmates. His face was completely pale, drained of all the blood during what seemed to be his final moments.
His fellow students, who had instantly known Calum’s name, parted away from him. He was a disease… a plague. They split in separate directions, hoping not to be infected by his ill fate.
Dakota watched, horror-stricken, as Calum was lead up to the stage by the other peacekeepers. One of them pushed him forward violently, urging the slow boy closer to his fate.
“No!” The blood curdling cry rose through the air. Calum’s mother was wrestling her way through the crowd. She was wide-eyed, frantic, and brimming with rage. Her expression wasn’t that of sadness, it was that of pure anger. “Not my baby!”
She was sprinting towards the stage now, but she didn’t get far. A group of peacekeepers drew their batons and held her back, yet she just retaliated with punches.
Dakota found himself shoving his way through the crowd, filled with a mix of emotions. Rage, distrust, confusion, everything. He pushed out into the pathway and shoved himself in between Calum’s mother and the peacekeepers - who had responded to her attack with baton blows.
“I volunteer!” He screamed, but not before a searing pain registered on the side of his face, “I volunteer as tribute!” He said again, holding his arms in front of the beaten mother.
No more blows came.
Shouts between the peacekeepers arose. Calum had jumped off the stage in the commotion and was near his mother.
The square fell under a cloud of silence.
With the right side of his face already streaked with blood, Dakota made his way to the stage. He steadied himself slightly before taking the steps, but then suddenly remembered that every camera in the area would be trained on him during that moment.
Putting on a stoic face and paying no attention to the blood that had started to soak into his shirt, Dakota walked over to the escort’s left side. She shied away slightly, then took that movement as an excuse to reach for the girl’s jar.
“Well, now that that is over with, thanks to our volunteer,” She said, plucking out a strip of paper. She smiled lightly, ready to enunciate the chosen girl’s name.
“I volunteer,” a voice raised into the air sharply, cutting off the escort before she could even speak.
Dakota gritted his teeth, heart dropping as he heard the familiar voice. The brave girl was already walking down the aisle, and with a quick hop she joined Dakota on the stage. He took her familiar frame in full view, then shook his head lightly as he stepped towards her.
"Alex," Dakota remarked, holding his hand out to her. She took it, locking eyes with him as she squeezed his hand firmly. Her gaze wasn't that of the concern or worry that it had been the night before. Her gaze was strong, determined even.
"My name's Alex, too," She responded, concealing a slight grin as they shook hands. Dakota scoffed, unable to hide his emotions just as well.
- - -
Three minutes had passed. Dakota counted them himself.
That was the time allotment given to tributes within the Justice Building to spend with their families. Say their goodbyes. It had once been much longer, but the Capitol had its ways of leeching freedom away from the districts very subtly.
This time was not subtle.
Dakota narrowed his gaze, eyes focused on the large double doors in which his father should’ve walked through moments ago. But the moment had passed, and Dakota had immediately realized that this was yet another way for the Capitol to maintain its sense of control over rebellious tributes.
The doors opened. A singular peacekeeper. Dakota found that strange, but it was perhaps a little more intimidating than a team of them. As if to say that he alone could handle whatever unrest Dakota caused.
“Mr. Owens,” The voice was female, which threw Dakota off slightly- she was well over six feet.
“Where’s my father?” He asked, not budging from the edge of his seat.
“We don’t have much time. Your father was not permitted to see you.” With those words she had walked over to another side of the room, and was unlocking a small doorway that Dakota hadn’t previously seen.
A wave of relief washed over him as the familiar figure scurried into the room. It wasn’t long before the pair were hugging, and Dakota felt his shoulder dampen.
“This is my fault,” Calum began before they pulled away slightly, still holding each other’s arms. His face was stricken with tears, but his voice was calm. Reality of their situation kicked in, and Dakota’s features melted into confusion.
Why was there a singular peacekeeper guarding a small entrance… and how had Calum been allowed in…?
“What’s going on?”
“I can’t tell you everything. The less you know, the better.”
“Dakota, things are changing. My family has been a part of that change for a while now, and years ago, the Capitol…” his voice trailed off. He was saying too much. “You’re not gonna be alone, all right? Just know that. You’ve got allies.”
“Calum, I have no idea-”
“Be safe out there. Protect Alex.” Calum pulled away from Dakota’s arms to reach into his coat pocket, then revealed a silver locket. “Your token. Wear it well.”
A moment of silence lingered between them, and Calum took the time to slide the locket around Dakota’s neck. “Under your shirt,” he murmured, “Remember, I’m not supposed to be here.”
A whirlwind of emotions had picked up Dakota’s mind now, leaving his body frozen in place, unsure of what to do or how to react. Anxiety plagued his greatest thoughts - that much he knew - and he began to voice it.
“Your family… you need to stay safe. If the Capitol finds out you were here.” A slight chuckle from Calum arose.
“Once a dipshit, always dipshit.” Calum muttered, sighing sarcastically.
Calum raised his arms in defence, but he couldn’t help smiling.
“You’re about to be shipped off to a slaughterhouse, and you’re worried about me?” The sentence disturbed Dakota, but not because of his situation. For so long the Games had been a subject to be avoided at all costs, but now they were talking about them freely. It would’ve been a comforting kind of strange had past events occurred differently. Calum must’ve noticed a slight sense in energy, though, so he changed the subject. Just like old times. “Thank you...” he said, eyeing the large cut that marked Dakota’s face. “...for protecting my mother. Protecting me.”
Another silence. Dakota had almost forgotten that he had volunteered. It had seemed second nature, to prevent anything from happening to Calum. He couldn’t imagine a reality where he hadn’t reacted in that way.
“If only you knew how much I hated you right now though,” Calum continued. His voice broke slightly. “You and Alex both.” The boy was crying yet again, but his tears fell silently. They embraced each other, doing what only felt natural in that moment. “Promise me you’ll try to win.” It was a command, but surely Calum knew how useless such a promise would be.
“I promise,” the words were uttered without weight. How could he win? He would be up against tributes raised for this specific kind of hell. Tributes who could kill quickly in hand-to-hand combat. Tributes who were born and raised to compete in the very deathmatch that he was about to enter. “Cal-”
“Calum” It was the peacekeeper that finished his name, though Dakota was beginning to think that maybe she wasn’t as dutiful to the Capitol as he initially thought. Her voice had been sharp, warning them of the waning time they had.
Commotion arose outside of the double doors, and the sound of aligned footsteps was all it took to know that a group of peacekeepers were drawing near.
“Sit back down-” Calum said in a hushed tone, breaking away and pushing him into his chair before slinking backwards towards the side entrance.
The double doors opened abruptly, but not before Calum and the mysterious peacekeeper had vanished from sight, leaving Dakota alone in the small waiting room. It was all so abrupt. He had only gotten a couple minutes when he needed hours, and there was so much more he wished to say.
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Goldenstar: Well welcome back regardless.
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☾ѕησσzє☽: Theyre a tad expensive, but you can still get them on ebay if you want Fallowjump
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meteorshower: You can purchase British copies of the books with something similar to the old covers still.
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coastalwolf: hahaha! where did they come from? ive done that when reading a warriors book and then theres a BEEP BEEP BEEP and then i relize the fire alarm needs new batterys
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