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Training day 2 - evening

Elisabeth Odell (D5)

Elisabeth felt the exhaustion in her arm when she tightened the tendon again and then released it. The arrow pierced the very edge of the target, making it one of her most successful attempts today.
She sighed in frustration.
The training didn't go as well as she'd imagined. Sure, it had been very exciting and interesting with Joe and Elian, even if she had hardly gotten anything out of Elian, but she wasn't sure if she shouldn't have concentrated more on the training itself than on it to chat to the other tributes.
After lunch, she and her group had decided to practice something alone and for themselves so that it would be more effective.
Elian and Wyatt had retreated to the traps, Joe had wanted to learn to swim and Elisabeth had decided that it would be best to try some weapons.
First she'd started with the knives, then she'd been briefly with the machetes, but she hadn't gotten to grips with either weapon at all.
In the end, she remembered writing “Bogen” on the piece of paper before the parade. And that was what ultimately drove her to this station. After all, the Capitol wouldn't be asking for a gun if they couldn't get it in the arena, would it?
The queasy feeling in Elisabeth's stomach only increased at the thought. Why did they need weapons when they could all win together?
But their hopes weren't completely destroyed yet, maybe they would end up in an arena full of mutations and the goal was to kill all mutations and whoever was still alive had won? That would also require weapons.
Elisabeth inserted an arrow again.
From all the training she had already done today, her arms were already aching and the trainer again pointed out that she was not completely tensioning the tendon. But as hard as Elisabeth tried, she couldn't get any more tension behind it.
And this was just one of the beginner's arcs. According to the trainer, not even a bow that could really kill someone. He just had too little pulling power for that. And Elisabeth got the feeling that her arms were about to fall off.
Still, she had to say that she did better than any other weapon she'd tried today.
This time when she let go of the string, the arrow landed on the ground a little short of the target.
“It's a shame,” said the trainer, “but you're not bad. If you had more time, you could become a really good archer. "
This time Elisabeth had to force a smile. It wasn't usually too difficult for her, but nothing was normal right now. She was just about to face her potential death. She also had a gun in her hand and Elisabeth usually hated guns and violence.
"Thank you," she mumbled anyway.
After all, she didn't seem quite as hopeless as other beginners in archery, but she was sure that she would need several arrows to neutralize a target.
When the signal for the end of training rang through the hall shortly afterwards, Elisabeth put the bow back and nodded to the trainer again.
Normally she would have asked her about her life, how it was in the Capitol, how she got her job as a trainer, why she could archery at all. Because Elisabeth couldn't imagine that they had fought with bows and arrows in the last war when they had bombs and rifles and stuff like that. But today wasn't normal. The whole training was not normal.
Elisabeth left the station and trotted toward the elevators, in front of which a cluster of tributes had already formed.
The careers pushed their way forward and Elisabeth almost expected that the thirteen would do something in the same direction, or pour food on someone again, but he just stood silently at the side.
Then Elisabeth spotted Wyatt and Elian in the crowd and joined them. An adult man with thinning, gray hair stood next to them and Elisabeth suspected that it was Elian's supervisor.
Elisabeth nodded to him as she joined her allies.
"How did it go?", Wyatt wanted to know and gave her an encouraging smile, while Elian kept his head bowed as so often and was silent.
"The trainer told me that she had a talent for archery, but I will hardly be of any help in the arena," she explained.
Wyatt shrugged.
"I don't want to kill anyone anyway if I don't have to."
His smile was forced.
“So far, unfortunately, nobody knows how the games should go exactly,” the older man intervened, his voice sounding scratchy but friendly, “the playmakers keep everything very secret, but I also hope that as many of you as possible will do it again get out. "
Elisabeth smiled at the man. He sounded honest and was so much nicer than her own supervisor. She almost became a little jealous of Elian.
"So do we ..." muttered the twelve as they got into one of the elevators and Wyatt pressed the five and the twelve.
"Where's Olive?", The supervisor then wanted to know.
Wyatt shrugged.
"I don't know, but she didn't pick us up yesterday either."
The supervisor from Twelve shook his head disapprovingly before the elevator doors opened again.
Elisabeth said goodbye to the twelve, then went up to their floor with Wyatt.
Like the day before, Olive was sitting there at the dining table and giving them a disapproving look.
"The training ends at 6, why do you always take so long to get here?"
Neither Elisabeth nor her co-tribute replied. They had chosen to simply ignore their supervisor. She didn't do anything but spoil her mood anyway. Instead, they both disappeared into their rooms for a quick shower before dinner.
During the shower, Elisabeth tried to bring herself to happier thoughts again.
Yes, she was a complete mess with the guns, but was that a bad thing? Actually, that was a good thing, she was a good person and guns were just not one of her strengths. She should see it all in a positive light. And since they didn't know what to expect in the arena anyway, they didn't know whether they even needed the weapons. Maybe they were there in training just to confuse them.
While she was thinking, she made up her mind.
She had only spoken to Wyatt, Joe and Elian so far, but there were so many other very interesting and exciting tributes and she wanted to learn more about them. However, she also wanted to use her training time effectively.
So she remembered her plan from the first evening. Visit other floors to learn more about the tributes.
Moving floors had not been allowed on the first night, but Olive had told them at breakfast yesterday that it was now up to the Tributes where they were.
So why shouldn't she take the chance?
Excited and with her new plan in mind, she went to dinner.
Wyatt was already seated at the table that the Avoxes had just set. She sat down with him with a happy grin.
"You look better," stated the fiver.
Elisabeth nodded.
“Yes, I got an idea. After dinner, I would like to go to other floors to make the acquaintance of further tributes. "
Wyatt looked at her indecisively for a moment, then nodded.
"I ... I think I'll come with you," he then explained, "if you want that."
Elisabeth was actually a little pleased that Wyatt said that. So far he had never really looked as if he could understand Elisabeth's enthusiasm for other people and districts that he wanted to come along now, she was pleased.
"But I wouldn't go to District 6 or 3."
"Oh," Elisabeth looked at him disappointed. District 6 had such interesting tributes. The girl who was threatened and the boy who hit his guardian. But Wyatt had had a problem with this district from the start. But there were still plenty of other districts to visit, so Elisabeth agreed.
“There are more tributes than these four. I would be interested in Elanie from District 8. She cried during the harvest, I would like to know if there was a specific reason for it. "
She found that exciting. Of course, having to go to the Hunger Games could very well be a death sentence, but she still wanted to talk to Elanie about it. She also found it interesting that the girl's hair was so short. Not that Elisabeth had a problem with it, she would still be interested in what had caused the girl to do so. Because somehow she seemed dissatisfied with it.

After the meal was over, the two fives climbed back into the elevator without saying goodbye to their supervisor and drove to the eighth floor.
As the doors opened, they immediately heard a loud, angry voice.
Elanie sat at the dining table, together with her supervisor. The male tribute, the one who was with the Careers, was standing next to it, his face was red and angrily he slapped the table while he shouted something.
Elisabeth gave Wyatt an uncertain look. Should you get out and help the girl? But the boy was with the careers. Would you thereby attract his hatred?
Wyatt made this decision for her by simply pressing a button in the elevator and the doors closed again and opened again a few seconds later.
This time they were on the ninth floor.
It was much quieter here. The tributes also sat at the table with their supervisor. Nobody said anything, instead the boy gestured with his hands.
Right, Victor couldn't speak.
Before Wyatt could press another button, Elisabeth got off the elevator and announced her arrival with a loud "Hello".
The nines turned in their direction in surprise.
The girl, Rylee, gave them a friendly nod, and the supervisor smiled too, only the huge albino looked at her suspiciously and with folded arms.
Then he began to shape something with his hands.
"What are you doing here?" Asked a computer voice and Elisabeth looked around the room in surprise.
“Do you really have a translator for his sign language? I like it very much. Is there something like that in the training hall? ”Asked Elisabeth. She couldn't remember it, but she'd never been anywhere near the nines either.
Victor shook his head.
"No, only here on our floor," the supervisor explained, "the mechanics said it would be too complicated to set up this in the training hall as well."
"Oh," escaped Elisabeth, disappointed. That was really a shame. She couldn't really imagine what it would be like not to be able to speak, but it had to be cruel.
Language was one of her most important instruments, she loved to please people with words and not be able to do all that anymore? Elisabeth didn't even want to think about it.
"We ... we just wanted to talk to you guys a bit," Wyatt answered the question Victor had asked, but then turned to the supervisor, his face taking on a thoughtful expression, "the mechanics say it's too hard that Install speech recognition in the training hall? I can not imagine that."
"Why?", Victor wanted to know from Elisabeth, while Wyatt was just finishing his sentence, addressing the supervisor.
Elisabeth shrugged her shoulders.
“Does it have to make sense? Isn't it just nice that we can exchange ideas? I've never met people from other districts and it's wonderful that we got this chance. "
Victor didn't look as if he would find it wonderful, but he didn't "say" anything anymore, instead just crossed his arms over his chest.
During this time, the supervisor offered them a seat at their table and then asked Wyatt if he could set up something like that. Elisabeth stopped listening to the conversation between the two of them. She had already noticed that Wyatt was pretty good at technology, she would trust him to do it, even if he hadn't specifically mentioned that he could program. Instead, she turned to the two tributes. Victor, who was still looking at her with crossed arms and raised eyebrows, and Rylee, who was smiling uncertainly at her.
“I would love to know more about your district and your life. Can't you tell me about it? "

Finnlay Marxen (D8)

Finn hadn't got into the elevator with Elanie and his supervisor Orlando. Instead, he had strutted past the two of them to get one with Vesuvian and Sapphire.
Vesuvian, who was picking at him all the time and knocking him down.
Finn hated this guy. Finn hated him so much. He would have preferred not to join the Careers at all. But his mother's words had stubbornly lodged themselves in his head and could no longer be chased away.
Team up with the Careers. You are strong. Don't let yourself be hunted.
How many times had she drummed these words into him? Too often. And they never left his mind.
He would like to leave this alliance full of idiots and join some sympathetic tributes. For example, Elanie's group, or the group with five.
At least they looked nice and not like complete assholes.
Finn stared at the wall in front of him.
He was an outsider. As always. He hadn't belonged since they moved to District 8.
Usually, children of peacekeepers were not allowed into their parents' deployment areas, as that would be too dangerous and the peacekeepers would make themselves too vulnerable. But since her mother had given up the job and married a man in eight, it had been decided that Finn and his siblings could go to District Eight.
He hadn't found any friends there. He had always been just the peacekeeper or the twos.
And here, here in the Capitol, he was exactly the opposite. Here he was the fucking eighth. None of the careeros took him seriously just because he came from a backward district! Vesuvian, in particular, was picking on it all the time.
And sure, it wasn't as good as Scipio, Vesuvian, or Nimue, but it wasn't bad either. His skills would have been better off in a different group. Why did he always have to be guided by his mother's words? It was only because of her that he had gone into a sword fight against the trainer when the careeros had been close by.
It was only because of her that he was now in this alliance.
Finn wanted to scream, but not a sound left his throat. His fingernails dug into his palms as he stood in the elevator in silence. They reached the first floor and the ones got out. Sapphire smiled at him again, then she was gone.
At least one person here who was halfway nice.

There was a knock on the door of his room.
"Hm?", Finn muttered and tried to stay calm. The thoughts of this morning and his crappy alliance still stayed in his head.
“There's dinner,” said the Orlando voice.
Finn took a deep breath before answering.
"I'm coming."
Still, it took him a few seconds to stare at the wall to halfway through the process. In his current mood, he didn't want to be seen. That would only throw him in a bad light.
When he had calmed down a bit, he stepped out of his room and joined Orlando and Elanie, who had been waiting for him with dinner.
He gave both of them a small smile before beginning to scoop random food onto his plate. However, he kept his distance from pasta and potato dishes.
After the stupid thirteen had tossed that over his head at noon, and Finn was sure that it was on purpose, he really didn't feel like it anymore.
That was so humiliating! And Vesuvian had laughed at him too. Nobody had said anything in Finn's defense. Scipio had yelled at the thirteen, but less because of Finn, but more because he was generally annoyed by this Lucian.
Nobody from the Careers was interested in him.
Should he have stood up for himself? Probably.
His mother would have given him at least a slap in the face for not doing anything, but at that moment he was so terribly overwhelmed with the situation. Suddenly something hard hit his shoulder and then spaghetti hung out of his hair.
Finn gritted his teeth at the memory.
Why did it hit him of all people? Probably because he had just sat in the wrong seat, but didn't the thirteen hate Scipio? At least he had threatened him.
Finn tried to throw the thoughts off. He didn't feel like thinking about this embarrassing moment any more.
He then spent the first part of the afternoon training showering. At least someone had given him a fresh tracksuit right away.
Sapphire had met him when Finn had just finished and asked if everything was okay.
Finn just nodded. The girl from one was quite nice, of his alliance he clearly liked her best.
“And how was your training today?” Orlando broke the silence with the same question as yesterday.
Elanie didn't answer, as always, but instead stared at Finn as if she expected him to start.
And of course she expected that. Orlando expected that too. The supervisor was actually only interested in Finn, he had already chosen him as his winner and ignored Elanie most of the time. However, his sense of duty at least seemed to force him to pay her a little attention every now and then.
"Great," Finn replied, trying not to sound too sarcastic.
He had no idea if Orlando knew about the lunch incident. In any case, when Finn came upstairs to shower, he hadn't been there.
"Tell me a little more," Orlando asked, not sounding like he knew about the matter at lunch.
Finn stared at him for a moment.
He didn't feel like talking. The day had been shit and now Finn couldn't even say that it was his mother or the rest of his stupid family to blame. No, this time he had done all the crap himself and that only made him angrier.
"I kept practicing with the sword," Finn grumbled, making sure not to sound annoyed.
Orlando nodded happily.
"Now ask Elanie!" Suggested Finn commandingly before the supervisor could ask him any more questions.
The girl next to him winced, and the supervisor didn't seem particularly enthusiastic about the idea, but he looked at her anyway.
Elanie shrugged her shoulders uncertainly, as if she didn't know what to say. And somehow it only made Finn angrier.
He knew Elanie briefly from home. They went to the same school. Elanie was generally, like Finn himself, quite well known in the area. Her parents owned a famous clothing brand and she was the one with the fucking boyfriend. Edan.
Even though Finn had only seen him a few times, he knew exactly what the boy looked like. There were rumors about the two of them everywhere, and from time to time they had been seen together. It was no secret that the two had a rather unhealthy relationship. Especially for Elanie.
And yet she had been running after him for years. Every time he broke up, Elanie started crying again and was back with the guy less than two weeks later.
"Um ...", Elanie stammered, "I was on the obstacle course with Rylee."
Rylee was Elanie's new ally, she was from District 9 and seemed pretty nice. A good partner. Finn would rather have them than the Careers too.
“And how did it go?” Asked Orlando and then laughed softly, “You see, we ran because you were on the obstacle course. You walk there. "
Neither of the two said anything to Orlando's comment, they had already gotten used to the fact that he had a strange sense of humor and loved explaining his jokes afterwards.
"Okay ...", Elanie mumbled softly, before taking a few sips from her glass. Finn wasn't entirely sure, but he believed he could see a tear on her cheek.
"Are you crying?", Finn wanted to know harshly. He knew it didn't sound particularly tactful or friendly, but he just couldn't help it right now.
He felt the anger that was still seething in him, his day had gone so shit, the thirteen had embarrassed him in front of all the tributes, Vesuvian was putting him down the whole time and now Elanie, who was sitting at the table with her friendly allies, was crying ?
"N ... no", Elanie quickly wiped away the tear.
"You're crying!", Finn stared at her, Elanie looked away and shook her head slightly.
"Why are you damned crying?", Finn couldn't contain himself anymore. All of this was getting too much for him. The Hunger Games, his fucking allies, his crying district partner who was sinking into self-pity all the time, his supervisor who showered him with attention.
Why couldn't it all just be easy?
Why did his mum have to force him to volunteer? Why did he still comply with her request? Certainly there would have been a way to refuse. Anything would be better than stuck here in this shit with the rudest people he'd ever known.
Elanie just shook her head at his question, but Finn couldn't stay calm anymore.
Furious, he jumped up from his chair.
"Stop crying!"
Elanie tried to hide a sob.
Finn slapped the table furiously.
"Damn shit, stop this shit! Why do you always start to cry? Do you actually have no self-esteem at all? "
Finn was yelling at the girl now. And somewhere he knew that it wasn't fair, he knew that he cried a lot himself, but he just couldn't help it. He had to let out his anger somehow and Elanie was the only person who gave him this opportunity.
Elanie did not reply to his questions.
“No wonder everyone thinks you're a bloody looser! Shit, you're known for it all over the district! Get yourself under control at last! "
Elanie only sniffed louder, which only made Finn angrier.
"Your life can't be so shitty that you just cry every damn shitty day! Your parents are fucking famous fashion designers, you are damn rich! You could have really good friends, instead you keep messing with that asshole Edan, it's your own fault! Seriously, nobody feels sorry for you because of that. Finally act wisely and don't just keep crying! Nothing will change just because you cry. Nobody will take you seriously if you just start crying and don't stand up for yourself! "
Finn didn't know what to expect, maybe that he managed to provoke Elanie, that she jumped up and yelled back at him, that she called him a hypocrite or insulted him, but nothing like that happened. Elanie merely shrugged her shoulders and hid her face in her hands.
"Damn it, stop now! Your life is not that shitty! Do you wanna know what sucks? If you live in District 2 and your mom is dying to move to District 8. When all the people in that shitty district only see you as a pair and nobody wants to have anything to do with you! And then when you go into the fucking Hunger Games, just so that all the tributes call you eighth! I'm so fed up with it! I don't feel like being just a fucking number anymore, always the person who doesn't belong anywhere! "
Finn hit the table again at his last words.
And suddenly there was no more anger. Just a terrible emptiness that lay over his body.
What was the point of all this? Why did he get in touch? Because his mum forced him, or because he wanted it in himself somewhere. Because he wanted to prove himself?
Was it his own fault?
Finn didn't know and he just didn't feel like thinking about it any more.
Orlando stared at him with wide eyes.
"Sorry," Finn choked out.
Nobody answered him.
"I ... I'm sorry," he mumbled, "I think I'd better go to bed."
And with that he turned and hurried off in the direction of his room.
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