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 District Ten Train

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PostSubject: District Ten Train   Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:54 pm



alice martin

DISTRICT    TEN
Goodbyes had been quick, but painful. The memory of my father kissing my forehead as he left the Justice Building was still fresh. Willow and Emmy had cried silently while Aaron shouted at me for volunteering. It had been hell, but much worse was coming. Now I stood in a train compartment, watching trees fly by out the window.

The compartment was huge and entirely spotless. In one corner, there was a bed with velvet covers. In the other, a granite wardrobe. I made my way to the wardrobe and opened its doors. Tunics of all the colors I could think of were hanging. Below that there were drawers with pants and leggings. I breathed a sigh of relief. My reaping dress and its itchiness could finally be done with now. I pulled on a pale purple tunic and grey leggings. When I took off my flats, my heels, as suspected, were blistered and red. I bit the inside of my cheek at the sharp pain and pulled on some socks and boots which were tucked in one of the drawers.

Now that I was dressed, I made my way out of my compartment and up the hallway to the dining car, following the grumbling of my stomach. I had been too anxious for breakfast and hadn't eaten. The dining car was filled with pastries, meats, cheeses, and drinks, most of which I'd never even seen before. I grabbed a roll and a chunk of orange cheese and sat at a table. I wondered whether the District 10 mentor, Derald Hafer, would ever show up. He was one of the newest victors, and had prevented many citizens of Ten from starving because of it. In his interviews he had seemed to be nice enough. But what did the interviews really reveal about the tributes besides how far they were willing to bend the truth to win? However, he had one the Games and therefore I was going to trust in his advice, whatever it may be.
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PostSubject: Re: District Ten Train   Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:50 pm



Derald pulled himself into the train, after hearing no end from their escort. And of course she just had to go through step by step on the schedule, administratives, and all the boring things. He sighed, enjoying the silence for a second or two. He left from the Reapings almost immediately, disappearing when no one was looking to grab on to his hat and saying bye to Dusk for no more than a minute before running over here. He looked around the trains and shoved his hands down his pockets. Back here again, huh? It looks exactly the same. Maybe except shinier. He shrugged and moved on, looking out for the tributes this year. If they were all the same, they'd be where the food is at. And when he pulled open the door, he saw the girl, Alice, all changed and sitting by the couch, with some bread and cheese in hand. He raised a hand as greeting and smiled the moment she noticed him, "Well aren't ya gettin' comfy quick?" It was amazing how quick she was to changing out of her clothes, already there with the food, many people were too antsy to even think about it. Derald walked up and took a sit across her, taking off his hat, "You're Alice, right? Despite all the circumstances, it's a pleasure." He nodded before leaning forward, trying to understand this girl as quickly as he could. "So, how are ya?" He asked a blatant question that would probably only have one answer, but it was awful to just jump in. Who knew how much worse it would feel if he didn't. Derald rested his elbows on his knees, accessing her physique. He tried to learn from the way he mentored last games. He's trying, but he just don't know how.

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PostSubject: Re: District Ten Train   Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:39 pm



alice martin

DISTRICT    TEN
I sat eating the cheese and the roll for no more than five minutes before I jumped at the sound of approaching footsteps. I had been quick to change and hadn't bumped into anyone. The dread of having to think about, let alone talk about, the weeks that were to come was agonizing. A blonde-hair, blue-eyed young man walked in. Derald Hafer.

I supposed that he was handsome with his fair disheveled hair, cobalt eyes, and broad shoulders, but I didn't think much of it. He wasn't exactly... my type. I set aside the roll and cheese which I had only just tasted and looked up at him. He sat on the couch across from me. Both couches were absolutely luxurious with their blue and red velvet and silk cushions. I moved one of the pillows onto my lap and placed my elbows on it, leaning forward. My dark hair cascaded over my front as I did, creating a curtain of browns. I was almost surprised that he knew my name. I narrowed my eyes at him. These were the Hunger Games, I wasn't about to trust anyone unless I was sure I could. And even then, it wouldn't be smart to make friends just to lose them.

I could tell he was sizing me up and couldn't help but feel as though he was probably disappointed. I was slender, and although my arms and legs had some muscle to them from years of riding horses, I wasn't very strong. I wanted to scream at him that I wasn't hopeless. But I kept my mouth shut and maintained an expressionless face. When he asked how I was, I scoffed coldly. "Well, despite the circumstances," I repeated his words with a crooked smile, "I'd say I'm alright."

He was inexperienced for a mentor, and incredibly young to boot. It was unlikely he would be of much help. But he had won the Games. And it was unfair of me to judge him anyway. "Sizing me up? I'll make it easier for you. I can handle a sword but my strong suit's archery. I'm fast, really fast, but I haven't any strength or power. And as far as angles go I'll do whatever you want." I spoke quickly. I had abandoned my usual façades for a part I wasn't used to playing- myself. "But get this- I didn't volunteer because I think I'll win. I volunteered because of Annie and because, unlike most of the tributes I'll be facing, I'm not heartless."

I wasn't sure when I'd decided to be so up front about this, just that I had decided it and that there was no going back now. I sat back and crossed my arms, the pillow holding up my elbows. I didn't know what he would say to this, just that I hoped he would say something of worth. Something that might save my life.
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PostSubject: Re: District Ten Train   Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:59 am



Derald raised an eyebrow, amused as Alice mimicked his actions. She didn't seem too happy about him as her mentor, but Derald being Derald, he couldn't really sense that with his fabulous social awareness. But he did caught her squinting her eyes at him, as if worried he was going to stab her in the back. "What's with that look? Do I look like I'm gonna kill you in your sleep?" Derald chuckled, he didn't understand her insecurities but he'll hafta try and get her to open up. He laughed as she presented her wit, "Fair enough." He fiddles with his hat as Alice somehow burst out in a whole profile of herself but something she said made his grin falter into nothing. He sighed and shook his head, looking back up to her, "And I thank you for that. But don't think that you're the only good one out there. Saying most of the tributes that yer gonna face are heartless ain't any better than that. Wantin' to kill ya? Yes. Heartless? That's a far stretch." He paused, she pulled back a couple of bad memories with plenty of good people. They all were. One way or another, they were good people; Xavy, Martin, Maddie, even that bag of a douche Rob.

"Look, I don't give a fly about what yer good at and what yer ain't. Because you know that better than me and that's all that matters. I'm here to help ya watch yerself and not step on some people's toes. Instinct always kicks in for survival, but your relationships with the other tributes don't just 'kick in'. We're gonna need some work on that." Derald rubbed his face with one hand as he continued, "Now if ya think I'm incompetent to do this, and want me to stay outta yer way, I'll do it 'cause I respect that. But I want to help here." People think that this game is all about skills. When half the battle's won when you understand who you're up against, not how much you can take up against.

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PostSubject: Re: District Ten Train   Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:15 am



alice martin

DISTRICT    TEN
When Derald pointed out the stony glare I was giving him, I quirked up an eyebrow. Somehow the fact that he recognized how untrusting I was made me sort of respect him. I thought over all the retorts I could issue to his statement about looking like he might kill me in his sleep. Most of the retorts were cold, and although I needed him to respect me I also needed him to like me, so I shut my mouth.

After I mentioned what I had done for Annie, I could see something change in him. His grin faltered and his eyes, which had been carelessly amused just a moment before, went serious, almost sorrowful. He heaved a big sigh and gave me a piece of advice I made a mental note to remember: the other tributes weren't heartless, they just wanted to live. He was right about that. Assuming that they were all heartless was my way of distancing myself from them. "It sure would be easier if they were."

I said it so softly I almost wondered if he'd heard me at all. I wasn't used to showing vulnerability like that and part of me hoped he hadn't. Another part of me reminded me that I was probably going to die and that if I was ever going to open up to anyone, now was my last chance. He was right about how my relationships with the other tributes would be important. He was far wiser than I originally gave him credit for. I supposed most of the non-Career districts' victors were like this. They had to be smart. Careers had to be strong. When he suggested he not help me I couldn't help it: I gave a momentary panicked expression. But it was replaced almost immediately with its predecessor: a hard look of solemnity."Of course not." I said quickly, my voice not as solid as I'd hoped.

"So, how exactly do I develop an instinct for making others like me. Or is it their hatred that I should be looking to achieve?" I asked. I was a natural liar but I wasn't always great with people. I needed to get a sense of them before I could get them to like me and I had a feeling most of the tributes wouldn't be looking to share their inner thoughts and emotions.
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PostSubject: Re: District Ten Train   Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:40 am



Derald shrugged as a silent broken by Alice's mutters. "You can say that again. But they're just like you and me. And that sucks. But it's so great at the same time." He let it go quiet again as she took in his help before he clapped his hands together, "Well, now with all that bad vibes gone, let's get on with a couple of things." The grin comes back and the facade was easily plastered back on. He tossed his hat onto the table and sat up straight, Alice already getting the ball rolling with questions. He stared at her, hesitant on an answer, "I dunno, you just do." He chuckled to her. It wasn't a direct question with answers at the back. "Positive is always better than negative. Though ya don't hafta make them like you, ya just hafta make sure they don't not like you. There are three kinds of people we'll be looking at. Gamemaker, Audience, and Tributes." He continued as he got up to stand behind to couch, getting restless sitting down, "Gamemakers, ya need to please them, keep.. killing, keep on your toes, keep doing somethin' to advance the game. Gamemakers don't like sitting ducks, naked or not." A smile flashed across his face, reminded of the past with that. "Then we got the audience, the Capitol people, they like entertainment, the difference between them and Gamemakers is that they like the humane aspect of entertainment, friends, allies, enemies, lovers, siblings. And then the tributes." Derald rested his hands on the back of the couch, hesitating once again, "Tributes are a whole different ball game. They think just like ya, always knowing you'll probably stab them in the back. And a little bit of vulnerability is a good way for trust. It's always a risk but what do ya have to lose, right?" He grinned and thought about his answer, was it really right? He often contemplated whether throwing the knife around to Marty to share it was even a good idea but no doubt trust was built.

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PostSubject: Re: District Ten Train   Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:19 pm



alice martin

DISTRICT    TEN
So, Derald had heard my mutter after all. I could feel heat rising in my ears when I realized. But he wasn't cruel about it, he was sincere and I appreciated that. I couldn't help but wonder how the other tributes being nice could possibly be a good thing. It certainly wouldn't make killing them better. If I won, I would have to live with the guilt of the events of the Games for the rest of my life. I wondered how Derald had survived. Not how he had survived the Games, but how he had survived the aftermath. Did the horrors he witnessed still haunt him? Did he ever feel safe again?

But he just grinned. I guessed that we were alike in that way. We covered up what was inside with a carefree exterior. I gave an expression of hardness. I would have to suck it up if I wanted to survive. As he explained his answer to my question, I nodded seriously making complete eye contact. Every word was important. If I was going to listen to anyone's advice it would have to be his. He would be the only one who would be happy to see me win that I would be meeting for a while. I decided to trust him then, because if I didn't I just might die for it. Mentally, I made note of my three targets- the Gamemakers, the Capitol, and the tributes. If I wanted to win I'd have to please all of them, but maybe the Gamemakers most of all. They would be ruling my entire world as soon as I stepped foot into the arena. I'd have to put on a damn good show. At his last line, I held back a cringe. The idea of letting any of the tributes know anything about me made me sick.

I twirled a wisp of dark hair that had fallen out of my bun, biting on my bottom lip in concentration. "About my interview," I began, looking out the window at the places I was leaving behind, "I already said I'll do anything you want. Question is- what do you want me to do? Or, I suppose I should say who."
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PostSubject: Re: District Ten Train   Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:39 pm



Derald walked off to grab a glass of whatever on the table as she seemed to have understood what he was trying to say, which was always a good sign. Alice went on to a whole new question about her angle and interview. He shrugged, "Like I said, how would you like to play it out? It won't work if I told ya to do what I want and they see ya faking yer way through." He strolled around the room, taking small sips every now and then. "'Course, there are always the couple of risky ones that can backfire. What's comfy for you? Pick the one ya like, and we'll work it out." He scanned across the round window to the next room. "Where's that other fella.." Derald muttered under his breath, it's strange to not see the other tribute. Maybe it was normal, maybe he's in some corner. But he hoped that that boy comes out soon. Derald was almost uncomfortable just giving advice to one and not the other, it felt a little unfair. But it goes two ways really. Derald turned on his heels back to Alice, giving her a questioning look for her answer. "Well, ya must be at least a lil' tired, and it ain't too easy of an answer. Why don't ya sleep on it and we'll be up early tomorrow to work it out again?" He stretched his arms up, still making himself comfortable in the room just in case she made up her mind.

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PostSubject: Re: District Ten Train   Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:09 pm



alice martin

DISTRICT    TEN
I soaked up the information he gave, tattooing it into my brain so as to remember it. When Derald murmured something about the other District Ten tribute I looked up and around the room. He was probably in his room, sulking. He was missing out on almost all of Derald's advice, which, to be quite honest, I was sort of happy about. This competitive side of me that wanted to win, to live, scared me. I didn't know the lengths to which this side would go to achieve victory, but I didn't really want to find out.

When Derald mentioned my being tired I squinted for a moment. But when I thought about it, I was exhausted. Nerves had covered up my lack of energy. I nodded and stood up. I walked over to where Derald was, which happened to be across the room since he gotten up and begun pacing as he had spoke. I gave him one final nod and left the dining car. When I reached my room, which had its own car, I flung myself onto the bed and sighed dramatically. Too tired to get back up, I kicked off my boots onto the floor. I didn't even bother pulling on the covers before I fell into a deep slumber.
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PostSubject: Re: District Ten Train   Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:25 am



Derald gave her a wave as she left past him quickly. He stared all around the room as it finally fell to complete silence, ignoring the engines in front and the rails below. He let out a long, frustrated sigh. Welcome back, right? He held onto his cup of orange juice and shuffled to the cabinet of alcohol. Pulling out a bottle of whisky and pouring it with the half full cup, he sat by the window and just watch them leave further and further away from their home, going closer and closer towards the place of death. He could almost see the blinding lights of the Capitol already. If now wasn't the time to drink, when will it ever be? He needed to keep trying, to keep helping them to stay alive and he didn't want to think otherwise. Derald raised his cup and toasted to the glass window, "Well, bottoms up." He mumbled, taking down the whole cup as he kept hearing her name being read out. Again and again.

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