PPC HQ Hunger Games: Season 5

Qualifiers

A broken ring, solid black, spins rapidly in the centre of the screen. As it gradually slows, twelve wedges - in green, blue, yellow and silver - shoot in from offscreen, locking into place around it with metronome-regular clicks. The music swells. A ripple flows outwards from the central ring, coelescing into a golden hoop that encloses the wedges. The two circles, spinning in opposing directions, wind down to a stop as the camera zooms out to reveal the green laurel wreath and rich red nutmeg, blazoned with a golden V.

The logo fades out, revealing a tall, black-haired figure sitting at a console. The computer is more complex than the usual PPC setup, with multiple screens at different angles and a small holographic map. The elf (for so he is) runs his fingers through the 3D image, tweaking the features of the landscape. Then he seems to catch a small sound, and turns to the camera with a smile.

"Hello!" he says, rising gracefully from his chair. "Welcome to the Fifth Occasional PPC HQ Hunger Games. I'm Dafydd Illian," he gives a small bow, "and I will be your host this indefinite time period."

Dafydd walks across the room, his cloak billowing behind him, and the camera tracks his movement. "These Hunger Games have been massively popular," he says. "We have sixty potential Tributes this year - slightly fewer than last time, I'm told, but apparently far fewer of them were forced into it." He winks at the camera, and pulls up in front of a large wall-screen.

"For this double-length first episode, we'll start by watching the application videos for each of our Tributes. Then we'll run the footage from the qualifiers, and show you the final 48 who'll be entering our custom holo-Arena tomorrow. And finally, of course, we'll have our first round of interviews - with those who made it through, and those unlucky few who didn't even make it past the qualifiers."

Dafydd leans towards the camera as the screen behind him flickers into life. "I know how they'll feel," he says conspiratorially. "Last year I came 70th - out of 72." He grins. "Why do you think I'm staying well clear this year?"


Application Videos

For technical/blackmail reasons, some videos are not shown here.

Morgan: What can I say? There's just something about having a chance to wreak havoc that appeals to me. Hopefully I can come slightly higher up the charts this time.

Kaitlyn Jackson: Eee! This was so much fun last time! I can't wait to see what happens. I wonder where we'll be fighting?

Kyaris: I didn't actually particularly want to do this, but apparently it's traditional for the reigning champion to take part. I'm pretty sure that's not how the books went, but... well, it beats a week in the Sorting Room.

Maethorwen: Once, I was a noble warrior of the Noldor; now, I am a protector of small furry-footed folk... I would be a warrior again.

Apecian: Why? The second I heard, it sounded like a blast! Well, okay, after I looked up what the Hunger Games are. But, anyways, it's a chance to go up against other Agents and really cut loose and get a fun fight! What's not to love? ... Wait. You mean I'm not gonna get my regen or my Growth? Aaah, Truth.

Michael: It seems like an excellent exercise in the stealth required on the majority of missions. I also need to keep an eye on my partner. I heard about what these Games did to some of the participants in the last round, and I believe it would be best if that did not happen to him. ... Admittedly, there may be a slight inclination on my part to demonstrate the worth of knowledge as a tool on the field of combat. However, if there is, it is my tertiary concern.

Yocherry: The glory of the battle, boss! The rush! The blood! The sweat! Getten beaten half-conscious with the bloodied handle of a laser rifle that's had all it's charges emptied into your own charred chest, and you get a lucky grab and toss them to the ground and bash them into submission against a rock while one've their hardened mates goes white and faints for the first time in their life! That's the stuff, boss. That's the stuff.

Lou: Duane keeps groaning about me dying and being killed and getting stabbed. Gosh! I don't want to brag, but I think I'm a better cook than that!

The Enervated Rat-Catcher: I ain't found no huntable rats in HQ, yet, and I figure, other agents ain't that many steps off that. Reckon I can just picture 'em wif all mucky hair and naked tails and little twitchin noses, all just waitin to be shot. Might get to sleep in there, too! Only fing that'll disturb me'll be the sounds of myself gettin killed by someone else, and that's the longest sleep of 'em all, so I win anyway, I figure.

Alleb: Finally, some solid training! Even with the wonders of Medical at our beck and call, most agents hesitate to throw themselves into a match. I have seen only one so far--oh, is Sir Yocherry participating in this? Wonderful! I must seek him out in the arena and challenge him once more!

Jesse: Well, Alleb got all excited 'bout it, and I figure when I die horribly in there, the pity'll keep 'er from tryin' to get me to spar with 'er for a week, at least.

Errant: Ha, Catcher doesn't know I entered too! Hehehe! He'll be so surprised when I see him, and then he'll probably yell at me, and then he'll grumble about "batty nuggets," whatever those are, and glare at me. I hope he doesn't shoot me; I heard there were no respawns in this. Not even restricted respawning, like with boss fights. It's gonna be awesome!

Apollo: Again? Yeah, this was fun last year. Want to try and last longer obviously, but Kelly, Theo, Kaatah and I are holding our own small competition to see who can kill the most as well. I'd die early if it meant I won that. Just give me a bow and arrows dear sponsors, I hate using hatchets.

Kelly: Well of course I'm entering, everyone else is and of course I'm going to try and beat them all, Apollo is talking these weird tactics stuff, Theo is saying about Mandalorian honour and whatever else it is he talks about from his home 'verse in a lot more detail and Kaatah is worrying about puncturing her suit. Me? I just want to support other people and win.

Theo: Now this should be introduced to the Mandalorians! Not as much fun as the Grand Hunt I'd wager, but it's still going to be a lot of fun. I imagine even Torian would love this. It reminds me of the time when Blizz, Mako and I had to fight in an arena on Hoth for these pirates. THAT was fun, never fried someone with my flamethrower whilst encasing them in carbonite before that. You NEED to try it.

Kaatah: I don't actually remember volunteering, but there we go. I was probably Theo who did it for me. Not that I mind, I mean so long as my suit doesn't puncture, or I have to survive on what you humans call 'normal' food, or I have to handle anything that isn't a clean environment... Quarians weren't built for this. Krogans would call this fun... I wonder what would happen if the Krogan and the Mandalorians met...

Matthew Welch: BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD THRONE! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL GOD!

...That was correct way of saying that, right?

Ellie Davis: Ooh are doing this? Great! Let me get some things!

*Ellie proceeds to grab several various spare parts off of nearby shelves at a breakneck pace, none of which looks like it could do much damage. Though knowing Ellie, she could probably jury rig a mechanical dragon with enough Duct-tape*

Ajax: I got pretty close to winning last time, let's see if we can't do it again.

Levy: Well this is going to be fun, hope I don't bleed out again.

Keiko Turbo: *looks at her Remote Activator* OK, I'm starting to think that this think really is broken. I've just managed to portal myself into past HQ again, didn't I? And this time I've even managed to drag Shiro and Saki with me. I really hope Dad and Mom don't watch Nutmeg TV...

Shiro Turbo: So, Keiko messed up with the RA so bad that now we're in the past and everyone is mistaking me for my alternate self. And we somehow got enrolled in a computer simulated deathmatch.

*glances at Saki* She's gonna get killed again, isn't she?

Saki Cherryflower: Ok, aside from the fact that people keeps mistaking me for either Sakura or Nikki, this trip to the past has been great so far! And of course we're entering the Games, this is gonna be fun! Saki's ready and aiming for the top!

Ami Tanegashima: ... I have no idea why I'm here. Actually, I'm not even sure what I am right now since I'm... well... supposed to be dead?... half ghost and half computer simulation, you say? I'm blaming Corolla for it.

Shimon: I was told this is some sort of trial for determining rank among warriors. Naturally, with only mortals to stand against me, I shall easily triumph.

... What do you mean, a hydra, a dinosaur and a dragon? What is this "dinosaur"?

Caprice: Look out, PPC! I am here to kick butt and chew bubblegum, and I'm all outta bubblegum!

Zeb: The Aviator: "I have a daughter to look after, I can't take god knows how many days off to run around a holodeck and die again! No, no, no, no, no!"

Well... I guess it'll just be me this year, then.

Rhysaria:

Rhyslea:

Dax:

Notary: The Notary tried to get the Council to throw Moon Moon in. This being one of the Notary's plans, well…

I AM NOT HAVING A VERY GOOD DAY.

Wobbles The Clown: It's weird. I'm going in this year because I want to make sure the Notary's okay, while last time I went in to watch her get hurt in hilarious and ironic ways. People change, I guess. Uh, heh, I mean, wowzers, gangeroos! Who's up for more capital-EFF-YOU-ENN FUUUUUUUUUUN! YAAAAAAY!

Gabrielle The Flareon: Dok said I shouldn't go in because he went in and a big human woman started, uh, well, I didn't exactly understand what he said because he started singing in a language I think he thinks is German, but he also said that he got beaten up and stabbed in the face a buncha times by someone who went psycho, and that it was too dangerous for me. And then I told him that I was in WhatThe. And then we watched the Percy Jackson movie on the big screen and that's why I want to hurt people now!

Albert Sproggins The NPC And Former Chicken Soup Machine Repairman: Hunger what?

Evangeline von Lilith: For the record, I blame Pony Boy for this one.

Backslash: If this is anything like what Whitney told me, I don't think I'm gonna be having a good time. I swear, if I die in the opening fight I'll never speak to her again...

Cupid Carmine: Unavailable for comment due to passing out on the Rudi's bar counter from one Bleeport too many.

Suta: ...do I get to eat my enemies, at least? That'll be fun!

Evelyn Portia Juliana: As long as I can get my hands on some fire, this will be the most fun I've had in months.

The Detective: Hmm? Oh, I've only done this because Jack wanted me out of the house, and I think it'll be an excellent tactical exercise. The fact he didn't want to go is merely a bonus.

Jack: Look, I've not been in here before for a reason. Too much like frigging hunting for my tastes. Never knowing who's gonna stab you in the back, either, but if it stops Dee brooding . . .

The Detective: You wanna talk about brooding? Put you within five feet of an Impala and watch what happens. People'll drown in the 'feelings.'

Jack: Says the Time Lord. Don't you guys get a racial bonus for angst roleplays or something?

The Detective: mutters It's only plus one.

Kur'nak:

Barid:

Decima:

Voltarmi:

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain: I did what.

Please tell me that Steele at least had the decency to volunteer herself as well. I need to kill her and it would probably be better if her death were impermanent.

Calliope Istoría: Oh, this is going to be fun. I solemnly swear to not hold other Agents for resources - making me a whole lot kinder than most Abyss dwellers, let me tell you. No promises about power usage, though; I didn't mean to come here, and while the convincing process was certainly - enlightening - I don't feel like dying anytime soon.

Florestan: I mean, it wasn't totally my idea, you know! We all just figured we'd jump in, say hello, and run! But hey, there's at least some fun in that, right? Right? If not, I'm gonna be pretty angry, and that just makes me hardier!

Eusabius: It did seem like a good idea at the time: a free-for-all battle is hardly seen around here, yes? I am certain there will at least be something interesting seen there.

Anneli: Like, you totally wouldn't do one of these things without us, right? Because our response center is totally awesome, and we'll win these games no problem!

Cinderella: Uh... I can cast spells really well?

Larkus: Hey, why not? I haven't had a good brawl since I left Coruscant. Champion of law and order I may be, but even I get days where I just wanna hit someone. And who knows? I might even win.

Curff: A battle royale, hm? Could be interesting. Certainly a more intriguing diversion than wandering these accursed grey halls. If nothing else it will be an opportunity to truly test the limits of my magic in this realm.

Richard Legard: Well, I'll let you know I had some pretty important... professional projects for this spring, but you guys just had to begin to clean up your locals way too much, and Marina is jumping at the opportunity to get more samples for tracking you.

She owes me so much for that, no matter what she says about having more time to plan for said projects, and the training. Just let me get these samples guys, I swear she doesn't want to kill you. Not to my knowledge.

Luxury: Luxury's video has been censored.

Holo-Jay:

Holo-Acacia:

Makes-Things:

Dann:

The Sunflower's Witness:


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Qualifiers

Dafydd taps at the console, and an image of a green field flickers into view. "The qualifying arena," he announces. "We've kept the programming for the Third Hunger Games, and are using that for the qualifiers." He turns to fully face the camera. "Remember, only twelve Tributes will go out in these matches - six in each. That means that every kill brings the killer significantly closer to entering the main games - but also that simply hiding for a while is a very good strategy. Let's see how things went."

On the screen, the Tributes explode into action - most of them running directly away from the elaborate, equipment-filled cornucopia in the centre of their circle.

"It looks like a completely bloodless 'bloodbath' for this round," Dafydd says. "There was only one real conflict, when Kelly and Ami both tried to claim the same bag, but it doesn't look like Ami's heart was in it. Like I said - this is a round when simply staying alive is the best option."

The screen switches to a slideshow of events from the Arena - tributes talking, hunting, crafting weapons, and occasionally fighting. "The first day wasn't entirely friendly," Dafydd says in voiceover, and the image changes to show each death as he names it. "When Jack persuaded Rhysaria to let him live, I don't think she expected him to kill her in turn! But, fair's fair, her twin - yes, that's Rhyslea, not Rhysaria - didn't give Apecian and Lou even that much warning before blowing them up." The elf chuckles. "Shame - I wanted to see how Duane the rock did in the main Games. But not as much of a shame as Alleb's fate - you'd think a knight would be able to avoid giant pit traps, but apparently not."

The view darkens, pulling back from the view of the pit to an overview as the light fades. "Four Tributes dead," Dafydd says. "Only two to go before the qualifier ends. And the players knew it well. Yocherry, it seems, wanted to be eliminated - or maybe he was playing a reverse-psychology game with Zeb? If so, it worked - the Pokemon left him alive, and kept him in the game.

"Not so our other Pokemon contender. Ironically, Gabrielle also had a run-in with Yocherry during the day, and also spared him - but during the night it was Shiro who hunted her down and took her out."

The screen splits in two. One side shows Ellie standing in front of a fire, fending off at least three interlopers; the other shows a pitched battle between two groups. "It was a coin-toss who would take the last ticket home," Dafydd says in a low voice. "Would Wobbles, the Notary, and Jesse overcome Ellie's defences? Or would Keiko, Michael, and Caprice's failed ambush lead to one of their deaths? Everyone fought for their lives, but in the end…"

The screen cuts to black. A cannon sounds. And Keiko Turbo's face floats into view.

"... it was goodbye to Keiko, and hello to our thirty Tributes from Qualifier 1!"

The screen flicks into rewind, and rolls back all the way to the opening shot of the green field. This time, only 24 Tributes stand around the Cornucopia.

"The second qualifier was smaller," Dafydd says, "so will competition be fiercer? There's only one way to find out. Roll the tape."

The Tributes leap into action again, but this time it seems more of them head into the fray. As the camera zooms in, the flash of weapons and the red splash of blood becomes visible.

"Fiercer, indeed!" Dafydd exclaims. "Decima and our holographic Jay are both straight out - Calliope's mace and Richard's knife made short work of them.

"And the killing continued into the day. Acacia's hologram continued her streak from last year, taking out Florestan at extreme range - and if it weren't the qualifiers, I'm sure Evangeline's 'who will you kill?' challenge to Curff would be an instant classic. As it is, it's just an end to Kur'nak's hopes of victory."

The view darkens - but then a flicker of light appears, and spreads rapidly across the ground. Dafydd's voice sounds exceptionally smug as he resumes his narration. "All the tributes were preparing for a quiet night. None of them expected the sudden firestorm we sparked off. Had we let it run to completion, we'd probably have less than half our players left.

"But we didn't. Richard built on his success at the cornucopia, efficiently taking Cindy down to get into the water, and Luxury showed her skill by kicking Anneli into the flames. And that," the elf says as the camera zooms away from the fire on the screen, "made six."

The screen flashes up a set of sixty small pictures, which fade out as twelve come to the fore.

"So there they are," Dafydd says, "our eliminated Tributes. They made a valiant effort, but in the end they didn't have what it took. So to those twelve - Rhysaria, Apecian, Lou (and Duane), Alleb, Gabrielle, Keiko, Decima, holo-Jay, Florestan, Kur'nak, Cindy, and Anneli - I say well played, and better luck next year. To everyone else…" He leans closer to the camera, grinning widely. "See you in the Arena.

"Post-qualifier interviews, and the District listings for the main games, after the break."


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Interviews (Post-Qualifier)

District Huinesoron

Morgan: So the Notary's in the Games? Great. I should never have let Pink and Purple maneuver her into joining. Still, at least this way I might get a shot at her...

Kaitlyn Jackson: Aww, Alleb's out already? I liked her. I got to hang out with her partner, though, so that was cool.

Kyaris: I think that was a good start! As last year's Champion, I was obviously in demand during the qualifiers, and I did my best to help people out. I had this little team going during the day, tracking some kid - we got some good kit from his camp. And at night I made that Levy person feel better about... you know, the death-and-destruction thing.

Maethorwen: It has been long, but I feel the reflexes of my youth returning. I do not wish to fall prey to the overconfidence of Curufin's house, but I feel I could do well in this event.

District Comet

Matthew Welch: So I've come up with this awesome plan of running away. I regret this plan. A lot. And apparently Albert just wanted to team up, so that was a useless bout of running.

Also, was that Ellie laughing maniacally during Night 1?

Ajax: Listen Michael. This Scythe has cleaved through quite a few Sues. You're lucky your Magical Girl friend died first.

Also, I'm pretty sure I heard Ellie screaming something along the lines of "DO YOU WISH THE FACE THE MIGHT OF THE BLOOD HEPHAESTUS!" or something like that.

Levy: Y'know, it's kinda hard to keep up with someone who could do a fairly good Spider-Man impression, but somehow that Michael guy managed to do it.

Also, I'd prefer to focus on the fact that Ellie had somehow set up an automated turret system around her base as apposed to the existential crisis that happened.

Ellie Davis: I AM THE DAUGHTER OF HEPHAESTUS! THOSE WHO MAKE ATTEMPTS ON MY LIFE WILL BE MET WITH ENOUGH DAKKA TO TAKE DOWN A SMALL ELEPHANT!

District Skarmory

E.V.L.: I am not sorry, Kur'nak. Not at all. And hey, Anneli died, too, so I suppose I got everything I wanted in the end. Oh, and Curff? Don't pat yourself on the back just yet. You're next.

Cupid Carmine: NO. ENOUGH WITH THE FIRE. NO MORE FIRE. Ugh, anyway. I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone nice turned up in these games, huh? Lucy, I don't even know you, but if you ever hear this, call me!

Backslash: The good news: At least I survived the qualifiers. The bad news: there goes any chance of Luxury and Whitney ever being able to exist in the same room together ever again. At least Calliope and Barid were actually decent..."

Suta: Yawn. Less meds, more meat.

District Novastorme

Apollo: The qualifier was fun, well if you count a day and a half by yourself fun. I grabbed a bag from the centre and then sprinted out of there, mainly because by the time I got there I was kinda scared of staying to long and getting killed, Theo looked like he wanted to do that but the guys he teamed up with kinda kept him occupied which I'm thankful for. Had a great time hunting, then a less great time at night when I got my foot stuck in a rabbit hole. Thankfully no one heard me and I survived the night, and the qualifiers. So, yeah it was all good.

Kelly: I'm so sorry Ami, but I needed that bag, or at least I thought I saw some Celestial bronze in there. Turns out it wasn't, but I really thought I needed it at the time. Seemed to spend the rest of the qualifier alone which wasn't bad, found some flowers that unfortunately couldn't come out of the arena... I wonder if I can get some of them from the organisers...

Theo: THAT WAS AWESOME! Every Mandalorian should do that, thought about killing Apollo at the start, but I'd built up an alliance with a couple of others somehow that kept me distracted, and then our daytime raid was brilliant, even if the guy wasn't home we were all professional in our ransacking of it. I went my own way at night to try and get a kill and then I didn't need to because it was all over. Bring on the actual event!

Kaatah: I didn't want to get into any trouble at the start and just tried to survive by myself, I met with a couple of others around nightfall and we decided to have a truce which was nice. And then we were attacked, I've fought alongside a lot of others before but this must of been one of the toughest fights I've had, I'm so glad I wasn't alone, although I didn't want to kill them they left me no choice.

District Scaperic

Notary: Teaming up with the clown was probably a mistake in the long run. However, I was planning to ambush Morgan when I noticed she had backup; rather than allow her to sense and subsequently try to kill me, I made a tactical withdrawal that in no way involved screaming like a little girl and waving my arms in the air. Any footage showing something to the contrary is maliciously-edited lies.

Wobbles The Clown: Well, at least I survived, gang! I guessed you were supposed to hunt people, so I decided to team up with Ellie, but she seemed a little... too into it. So I grabbed the Time Grump and the Texan guy from the Civil War I bellyflopped on once and led them to the camp, but, well, I guess she musta seen me. I mean, I'm in my TV outfit and slap so we weren't exactly inconspicuous. At least we all made it through the attack.

Albert Sproggins The NPC And Former Chicken Soup Machine Repairman: Oh, Hunger Games! Riiight. I think I remember Karen talking about that. Or possibly Bogbrush, I don't remember. Anyway. Turns out running and screaming at Cat 6 level - the loudest I can do and still keep up a decent pace - is pretty intimidating for anyone who doesn't know the A/V Division all that well. Bloke ended up coming back in the end, though, along with someone with a name like a drink. We wound up sleeping in shifts, keeping watch. I was worried my clock would give us all away in the night, but we turned out okay and awoke to find ourselves in the main bracket. Oh well. At least I can't come last...

Richard Legard: Well, I made it to the main event, and killed one other participants. Eh? The thing with Holo-Jay? Total fluke, I don't have the training to throw knifes that way, I was just searching for a sword, it suits me better. Seeing her dead was as much a surprise for me that it probably was for her... or it?

As for the witch, well I just applied something she didn't: check out for other people before getting the water. Oh, by the way Marina, if you manage to follow this, make sure you've got this payment you mentonned ready. And know I'll ask for more when things go to Crawling Chaos here.

District Neshbosh

Shimon: Of course I succeeded in the qualifier. That was never in question. No one came close to threatening me, and I used my time to study my prey so that I will know how to best assail them in the main event. In contrast, I have not shown anyone my full power as of yet. *he smirks, showing the tips of his fangs*

Caprice: Woo-hoo, I made it into the real Games! With a shovel! Look, don't underestimate the power of a good shovel. It's a great tool, total multitasker. Ask that zombie-lookin' guy. Dude got a little too fresh with me, and I could've ended him AND put him in the ground with it if he hadn't found some hole to hide in first. Jerk.

It's lucky the qualifier ended when it did, though, yeah. Heh. Sorry, Keiko, that's just how the cookie crumbles.

... My district is weird. It's me, two freaky-tall blue guys, and a bronze dragon who keeps ogling them. I can't unsee that. I think I'll try to get away from them all as quickly as possible once we're in the arena.

Barid:

Voltarmi:

District Badgershield

Larkus:

Curff: 

The Detective: Claps Jack on the back. There might be hope for you yet, stabbing someone in the back like that! I'm so proud.

Jack: shrugs Learned that trick from a demon, thought it might work here. Glad it did.

District Knightstocke

Yocherry: Awww, it ent right, boss, I get smacked fair and square and go through, and she just gets stabbed and is done. It ent! She'd bunged my eyes, so I thought that other fellow was her. Kept suggesten she finish it off, all proper-like, all while thinken 'Aw, her voice seems off,' and 'Aw, she looks sort've off,' and 'Aw, bit weird she keeps sayen she ent her.' My eyes got bunged, boss. Anyhow, brilliant fight, fox-fellow! I ent had bunged eyes like that in ages! I'll be smashen them for you, oy?

The Enervated Rat-Catcher: Well, weren't that a bloody brilliant qualifier! I ran around a whole lot lookin for someone to kill, some nob dropped bandaids on me, and I met someone called 'Jack'. And then - Errant. Errant. I ain't doin that sleepin thing anymore, I guess...

Jesse: *slightly wild-eyed* Get me outta here! First I got roped into huntin' down other tributes--hunting them--and then I ran into the clown and her partner, and ended up tryin' to kill someone again! And now Alleb's dead, so I ain't gettin' any sympathy outta this. Soon as I'm outta here she's gonna want to know what I learned. *pulls hat over eyes*

Errant: I found Catcher! And he didn't even kill me! I also met this Morgan lady and someone named Jack. They seem fine. Hope we don't end up killing each other! I wish I had my scout rifle and my Sparrow. Then this'd be really fun!

District Turbo Mike

Shiro Turbo: I'm sorry for that Flareon, but I'm not going to miss any opportunity from now on. Especially since someone had the great idea to raid my gear. I'm surprised to hear Keiko didn't make it through - while she hasn't seen war like Saki and I did, she's not bad in a fight as far as I could see.

Saki Cherryflower: Aww, I missed all the action! Well, aside when Keiko was chasing me... did she want to get revenge for me eating all of that icecream by myself? Anyways, I met nice people and got through, so it's all good!

Ami Tanegashima: ... I got through? Looks like I was saved just in time by the end of the qualifiers, as I was in pretty bad shape. I wish something like that could happen when I was dying for real, but, well..

Anyways, I dropped the fight with Kelly pretty quickly, I know - I'm a sniper, not a martial artist, and I cut myself while making a spear, the wound got infected and... well, you know the rest. I'm quite rusty, what with having been dead and all...

Evelyn Portia Juliana: I'm disappointed. I wasn't able to make a flamethrower before the Qualifier ended. Ah well, better luck next time.

District Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain: Well. I haven't been in a match like that before. I will admit, a few of these people have a certain artistic touch that I haven't seen in quite a while. Special mention to Cupid, though; I didn't think you would spare me, but I guess a warrior's honor exists even in places like this. If I'd had my shoes, I would have won.

(And yes, I did have to get that equipment. You can stop trying to make me feel bad. It won't work.)

Calliope Istoría: Whoo! That was fun! I've never been in a fight like that in my life! Now I see why Lu's the close-combat girl in our trio - it's so much fun! Okay, I'll try to stop now. But to the person who gave me that mace (even though it was just sitting there): thank you. I'll treasure it for... well, okay, it's gone now. But I'll treasure its memory for a really long time, promise!

(Really, though, who thought that was a good idea?)

Makes-Things:

Dann:

District Ixxximaz

Zeb: Well, it looks like I made it to the full games this year. He waves at the camera. Hi, Ave! Hi, Ellie! I'm gonna win for you!

Rhyslea: Don't listen to Aria. I'm not really killing you, so it doesn't give me any benefit to off my teammates. But, uh, don't worry, I kill enough Sues on patrol to keep me going through the games, I promise! I can be a good teammate! Seriously!

Dax: Oh, cool, so Lux made it into the final lineup, too? I like her, she's fun—maybe we'll run into each other. I know I can't wait to meet some of you in the games... Jesse, if we don't meet in the arena, call me. She winks.

Luxury: 

District Herr Sundae

Eusabius: Wow, I am the only one from my response center to survive? I see... I do feel Florestan is not happy. But, I am here, and I can provide a calm, collected head with which to analyze a situation. Therefore, I think I can go far in this competition.

Michael: This is a reminder to one to always, always spend time making sure one's information is accurate before acting on it. We had believed that Kaatah was alone, and simply puncturing her suit would give us each a kill. We were, obviously, wrong. I am thankful the match ended when it did. There is, as one might expect, something rather unsettling about somebody preparing to gut one with one's own spear. Admittedly, I did choose that method of execution over beheading by a conjured scythe, but I had thought to make my escape as they attempted to hunt down my spear, which had been lost in the fight. I underestimated their abilities a second time. This does not bode well for the true Games.

Michael stands up from the chair that he, for some reason, was allowed to have. Perhaps it's because he's alive and has less reason to throw it at a stray camerawoman.

Speaking of the true Hunger Games, shall I proceed to meet my new District? I am sure they are all remarkably sane for members of the PPC. ... Yes, I was expecting laughter, thank you. Now, as my suspicions have been confirmed, could you explain precisely why you are laughing? ... What is a Sunflower's Witness?

Holo-Acacia:

The Sunflower's Witness:

Eliminated

Gabrielle The Flareon: Uuuum, that was way less fun than I was expecting. I was fighting this super big guy, because I thought that that was what you were supposed to do, but whenit came time to k-uh... deal with him, I just couldn't do it. Didn't sleep super well that night and, well, I guess that was when I got stabbed in the neck. Oh well. At least I wasn't away too long!

Kur'nak:

Decima:

Rhysaria: That's what I get for doing the paladinlike thing, I guess. Oh, well. At least I died honorably. Also, if anyone gets paired up with my sister in the main games—watch out. She literally needs to kill or else she'll go insane. Oh, and make sure she gets plenty to eat! I know death knights technically don't have to, but it keeps her in a good mood, and I'm sure a little leafy green vegetables never hurt anybody, right? And Lea, if you're watching, please don't go setting off explosives so close to you! You'll damage your hearing, and— She gets cut off for going over the time limit.

Apecian: OH, COME ON! NOT EVEN ONE DAY? Apecian paces around the room, irritated at not having a table to flip. I can't believe I got killed on the first day. Seriously. I mean, I guess I did kinda forget I only got the high-speed regen half, instead of the full bundle, but Truth... And where the heck did those explosives come from, anyways? They weren't any at the Cornucopia. ... Yeah, I looked! I just decided there wasn't anything there worth fighting over! HEY! QUIT IT! The camera is knocked to the floor as Apecian lunges at the person behind it, who may or may not be laughing. Yakety Sax begins to play.

Lou & Duane: Gosh, I guess I am a terrible cook! I tried making chicken soup and instead I got a big consuming explosion, instead! Maybe you're right, Duane.

Alleb: A pit. I fell into a blasted pit! *sighs* Well, at least Sir Jesse remains within the arena. Perhaps he will be able to get some decent training. Oh, Sir Yocherry died as well? Perhaps I can train out here, then!

Keiko Turbo: ... I really, really suck at this. Last time I placed forty-fifth, this time I didn't even get past the qualifiers. Serves me well for getting involved in an ill-planned ambush and trying to use throwing knives without practicing first, I guess. I would've liked to team up with the others, but I only found Saki and she ran away!

Now, excuse me but I really need to have my Remote Activator looked into. Possibly not by Auntie Corolla, I don't want to have to neuralyze her again...

Florestan: Dammit! Come on! That's not even fair! How can you take someone out from that distance!? Come on, guys!

Anneli: Like, ow. I never want to be burned alive again. That was, like, the worst thing ever. And dangit, I wanted to do what my RC sporks!

Cindy: Well, that'll show me to talk about my spellcasting when they take my wand out before I go in there. I should've seen that one coming, to be honest...

Holo-Jay:


Transcripts (Qualifiers)

The Bloodbath (Q1)

As the tributes stand on their podiums, the horn sounds.

Michael takes a spear from inside the cornucopia.

Kelly and Ami fight for a bag. Ami gives up and retreats.

Jack, Saki, and Theo work together to get as many supplies as possible.

Caprice grabs a shovel.

Alleb grabs a backpack and retreats.

Keiko takes a handful of throwing knives.

Apollo grabs a backpack and retreats.

Rhyslea grabs a jar of fishing bait while Errant gets fishing gear.

Rhysaria finds a canteen full of water.

Matthew runs into the cornucopia and hides.

Maethorwen grabs a jar of fishing bait while Lou with Duane gets fishing gear.

[Everyone else runs away from the Cornucopia.]

Day 1 (Q1)

Notary overhears Errant and Morgan talking in the distance.

Caprice chases Dax.

Zeb practices his archery.

Jesse, Shimon, and Kaitlyn hunt for other tributes.

Kaatah goes hunting.

Matthew runs away from Albert.

Jack convinces Rhysaria to not kill him, only to kill her instead.

Ajax makes a slingshot.

Rhyslea sets an explosive off, killing Apecian, and Lou with Duane.

The Enervated Rat-Catcher receives medical supplies from an unknown sponsor.

Michael chases Levy.

Gabrielle defeats Yocherry in a fight, but spares his life.

Apollo goes hunting.

Kelly picks flowers.

Ellie and Wobbles hunt for other tributes.

Keiko chases Saki.

Ami makes a wooden spear.

Maethorwen, The Detective, Kyaris, and Theo raid Shiro's camp while he is hunting.

Alleb falls into a pit and dies.

Night 1 (Q1)

Rhyslea sets up camp for the night.

Maethorwen thinks about winning.

Yocherry begs for Zeb to kill him. He refuses, keeping Yocherry alive.

Apollo screams for help.

Kelly and Shimon tell stories about themselves to each other.

Morgan cooks her food before putting her fire out.

Dax tries to sing himself to sleep.

The Enervated Rat-Catcher, Errant, and Jack discuss the games and what might happen in the morning.

Ellie fends Wobbles, Jesse, and Notary away from her fire.

Levy and Kyaris hold hands.

Theo thinks about home.

Shiro ambushes Gabrielle and kills her.

Matthew, Albert, and Saki sleep in shifts.

Keiko, Michael, and Caprice unsuccessfully ambush Kaatah, Kaitlyn, and Ajax, who kill them instead. Only the first-listed Tribute died, due to end of match.

The Detective cries himself to sleep.

[Ami dies from an infection.] Did not occur due to end of match.

Bloodbath (Q2)

As the tributes stand on their podiums, the horn sounds.

Holo-Acacia grabs a sword.

Cupid scares Anneli away from the cornucopia.

Luxury snatches a pair of sais.

Eusabius finds a bag full of explosives.

Voltarmi and Evelyn fight for a bag. Voltarmi gives up and retreats.

Curff grabs a shovel.

Backslash runs into the cornucopia and hides.

Calliope bashes Decima's head in with a mace.

Richard throws a knife into Holo-Jay's head.

Evangeline gathers as much food as she can.

Lu'ci'ten finds a backpack full of camping equipment.

[Everyone else runs away from the Cornucopia.]

Day 1 (Q2)

Cupid defeats Lu'ci'ten in a fight, but spares her life.

Holo-Acacia shoots an arrow at Sunflower's Witness, but misses and kills Florestan instead.

Cindy tries to sleep through the entire day.

Voltarmi is pricked by thorns while picking berries.

Richard searches for firewood.

Evangeline forces Curff to kill Kur'nak or Anneli. He decides to kill Kur'nak.

Eusabius sprains his ankle while running away from Larkus.

Dann searches for firewood.

Suta receives medical supplies from an unknown sponsor.

Makes-Things receives a hatchet from an unknown sponsor.

Calliope, Backslash, Luxury, and Barid hunt for other tributes.

Evelyn searches for firewood.

Event (Q2)

A fire spreads throughout the arena.

Richard kills Cindy in order to utilize a body of water safely.

Luxury falls to the ground, but kicks Anneli hard enough to then push him into the fire.

[END OF QUALIFIER. All deaths after this are disregarded.]

The fire catches up to Cupid, killing him.

A fireball strikes Curff, killing him.

Larkus falls to the ground, but kicks Dann hard enough to then push him into the fire.

The fire catches up to Evangeline, killing her.

Suta falls to the ground, but kicks Makes-Things hard enough to then push him into the fire.

Barid kills Holo-Acacia in order to utilize a body of water safely.

Backslash kills Sunflower's Witness in order to utilize a body of water safely.

[Everyone else survives.]

Huinesoron

Kyaris

Morgan

Kaitlyn

Maethorwen

Comet

Matthew Welch

Ellie Davis

Ajax

Levy

Skarmory

Evangeline

Backslash

Cupid

Suta

Novastorme

Apollo

Kelly

Theo

Kaatah

1 Kill

Scaperic

Notary

Wobbles

Albert Sproggins

Richard

2 Kills

Neshbosh

Shimon

Caprice

Barid

Voltarmi

Badgershield

Larkus

Curff

1 Kill

The Detective

Jack

1 Kill

Knightstocke

Yocherry

The Enervated Rat-Catcher

Jesse

Errant

Turbo Mike

Shiro

1 Kill

Saki

Ami

Evelyn Portia Juliana

Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain

Calliope Istoría

1 Kill

Makes-Things

Dann

Ixxximaz

Zeb

Rhyslea

2 Kills

Dax

Luxury

1 Kill

Herr Sundae

Eusabius

Michael

Holo-Acacia

1 Kill

Sunflower's Witness


Day 1

The view opens on Dafydd Illian sitting in front of the Hunger Games console. He is watching something on one of the angled screens, and seems to be on the verge of giggling. After a moment, he turns to face the camera.

"Hello! Welcome back to the Hunger Games. I'm Dafydd Illian, and blah blah blah you already know this." He reaches back without looking, swipes a hand through the holographic map, and taps a series of buttons. On the largest screen behind him, the logo of the Games appears, then fades into a top-down view of the Arena.

"This year, we've got something special in store for our Tributes," Dafydd says. "We've split the Arena into four quadrants - or rather, four genres. Each one has different resources available - which," he adds with a grin, "mostly means weapons - and there's filters between the quadrants to stop illicit technology transfer.

"So whether they find themselves sword-fighting in the Fantasy Farthing," the upper-right quarter of the image lights up, highlighting a swathe of forests and mountains, "collecting power-ups in the Digital Division," the lower-right, which has a distinctly blocky look, "throwing spells around in the Magical Mile," the lower-left, which is centred on a gigantic tower, "or chucking high-energy plasma around the SciFi Sector," the upper-left, a gleaming chrome cityscape, "there'll always be something to keep things lively."

The image zooms in, focussing down to the Cornucopia in the centre of the circular arena. Forty-eight podiums are arrayed around it; after a moment, blue light ripples around them, and the Tributes are dropped into the Arena.

"But before they get to that," Dafydd says, his voice low, "they have to survive… the Bloodbath. In three… two… one… let's play."

The Tributes on the screen burst into action. Less than half of them turn and flee - the rest dive into the fray in the centre. As Dafydd picks up his narration, the camera switches angles to match his words, showcasing the agents he mentions.

"And what a bloodbath it was! I counted eleven different proper fights going down, and quite a few of them proved lethal. Eusabius and Callipe seriously underestimated Ami and Acacia! And take a look at Richard and Maethorwen - utterly ruthless, even in the face of pleading from Yocherry and Theo.

"But not as ruthless as Albert. Apparently he's a soup dispenser repairman; quite how that set him up for treacherously stabbing the vampire Shimon, I'm not sure, but it seemed to be very effective!" Dafydd pauses as the view focusses on Rhyslea, taking a long drink from an unmarked bottle. "Oh, yes. And, uh, Rhyslea is demonstrating here that you should never trust anything in the Arena, even if it looks tasty. Oops!"

The view pulls out again, showing an overview of the fighting. "There's lots more to see," Dafydd says, "so feel free to check out the complete footage on the network. Before we move on, though, I have to highlight my favourite story from the Bloodbath. Here's the delightfully-named Enervated Rat-Catcher." The agent in question flashes up on the screen. "He was very quick to get into the battle and gather up all the chocolate he could find. Did he want it for himself, or for trade? I don't know - and it doesn't matter."

The image starts moving, and a white-winged figure barrels in, overwhelming the Rat-Catcher. "Cupid Carmine saw his chance," Dafydd narrates, "and took the horde for himself - but someone else was waiting." A bolt of lightning flashes into view, knocking Cupid flat. "Would Zeb have been able to carry all that chocolate? He never got to find out, because Luxury saw her opening and took it." The famous Slasher dives over Cupid and the Rat-Catcher alike, dodges the oncoming Luxray, and flees with the chocolate clasped to her chest. "A glorious battle," Dafydd enthuses, "and a brilliant start to the Games."

Dafydd steps back from the console, and the camera zooms in on the holographic map. "The Tributes scattered, of course, with their loot or without it. Lux ended up in the SciFi Sector, where she teamed up with Curff - I'm guessing she bribed him with chocolate - to hide from Maethorwen. A lucky escape, given the elf's record so far.

"Someone else wasn't so lucky. When the soup repairman Albert attacked the alien Kaatah, I was sure one of them was doomed… and I was right, but not the way I thought."

The camera flashes to the screen as the two agents face off. Suddenly, the scruffy-haired figure of the Sunflower's Witness dives into shot, lashing out at Albert with a heavy-looking book. "It turns out that our friendl- uh, resident Witness can be extremely aggressive when riled up." Dafydd leans conspiratorially towards the camera. "In case you're wondering, we've told FicPsych they can't pull her out of the Arena, but that they're free to hang around the doors and wait for her to be eliminated. We're a cooperative lot here at Nutmeg TV."

The view of the Arena fades back in, the camera taking sweeping passes over the Tributes. "Things were fairly quiet in the Fantasy Farthing and the Magical Mile," Dafydd says, "with no injuries more serious than a broken leg and a cracked rib. And, I mean, yes, the leg is sort of serious, but Kaitlyn seems to be on top of things, metaphorically speaking.

"The Digital Division is where most of the action was today. I'm not talking about all the potion creation - though that workbench certainly got a workout - but the chase scene.

"Oh, the chase scene!" On the screen, four figures appear, running fast enough to blur. "It looks like Barid, Ajax, Makes-Things, and Wobbles all managed to hit the same speed-booster, and they ended up running in madcap circles all around the Division. Somehow, no-one was hurt… except possibly me, from laughing too hard."

The camera in the control room comes back up, revealing Dafydd leaning back in his chair. "And that's about all we've got time for today," he says. "After the break, we'll interview everyone who's willing to talk to us, and say goodbye to our seven dead Tributes. Rhyslea, Eusabius, Calliope, Shimon, Yocherry, Theo, Albert - well played, but not well enough."


Did you think that just because I was in the Games, I would stop spreading the word? Did you, imposter? I bet you and all your stooges were patting yourselves on your FAKE backs when you heard I'd be playing.

Well, pat no more! I'm Agent Shrike, and I'm here to tell everyone the truth about how the Sunflower Official was killed and replaced! And when I get out of here, I will have SO many pamphlets to distribute, you wouldn't believe…!


Interviews (Day 1)

District Huinesoron

Kyaris: Phew! That biped who smelt of rats was more dangerous than he looked! If this wasn't a hologram, I think I'd be down another head after that fight!

Morgan: I got to ride a dragon. I got. To ride. A dragon.

... this is going on my RC wall.

Kaitlyn: Ow. :( I thought hiding out in the fantasy section would be fun. There might even have been hobbits there! But then that mean old tree tipped me out and now my leg's all busted. Ow.

Maethorwen: I slew someone today who was begging for mercy. That makes me... uncomfortable. It is the sort of thing Lo- Curufin would have done. But... the purpose of these games is to win. Why would I let someone live if I had the chance to eliminate them?

District Comet

Matthew: Okay Ajax, that was uncalled for. All I suggested was a team up but you went all mental on me. Dramatic Soap Opera Music plays I'm hurt, my own partner, attempting to strike me down!

A single tear is added in post-production

Ajax: Currently unavailable for comment. Currently running laps around the Digital Division. Suggest playing Deja Vu with footage.

Levy: Is the whole deal of men chasing after me going to be an ongoing thing now? Because I don't like it.

Ellie: Well hiding that dragon was a good mental exercise. Speaking of which, you may want to turn around.

The Camera flicks around to see a tree, smoking at what is assumed to be nostrils. 

District Skarmory

E.V.L.: Everyone within these halls should be thankful that I'm not the horror I was at my full power. Not just Richard. As it is, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to get to know him and his team better, but that's something for another day. If Pony Boy allows it.

Cupid Carmine: Listen, Zeb. NOBODY touches the chocolate. NOBODY. Be glad there was enough for us both, because if you EVER take ANY of my food away from me, I will find you. And I will END you.

Backslash: Finally, my kind of expertise! I really hope I can make something useful outta this stuff, especially if it manages to give me a tactical advantage later!

Suta: In my defense, I thought that was a food crate. Gosh, I hope Ami wasn't one of those people I stepped on when that happened - I'd love to get her to ride on my back again sometime!

District Novastorme

Apollo: Yeah, so I'm kind of sorry for that Levy, but it needed to be done. Still I managed to get into and out of the cornucopia unharmed which is good. Managed to nick a bit of food from that hologram, not sure why she needed the food but I'm grateful she had it. Hopefully I'll find someone in a position to kill soon, I'd rather not let Kaatah win our own competition without a challenge.

Kelly: Found a real nice guy who agreed to share some stuff with me, I gave him my RC number just in case. I mean it was kind of a fair deal for me getting the actual backpack. So that was good. The rest of the day wasn't as great, I found out about the quarters the hard way, I wasn't exactly trying to smuggle the stuff from one part to another, I just didn't realise the boundary existed. Oh well, at least I didn't die.

Theo: No comment.

Kaatah: Running worked in the qualifiers and it worked again. I'm so grateful for The Sunflower's Witness, I never heard Albert coming, although I'll admit it was a bit weird thanking a sentient flower for help, they normally don't do things like that.

[Kaatah later claimed that her visor was fogged and she was running a slight fever, which led to her irrational belief that the Sunflower's Witness was a Flower.]

District Scaperic

Notary: HOW THE [CENSORED] DO YOU [CENSORED] FLY THIS [VERY CENSORED] THING AAAAAAAAH-

Wobbles The Clown: Man, I'm hungry. And bushed. I've done a loooooot of running in my life, most of it away from things, but homicidal agents haven't made an appearance in my life for, like, four months now. Guess I'm outta practice. Oh well. Hope I'm still kickin' tomorrow! =oD

Albert Sproggins The NPC And Former Chicken Soup Machine Repairman: How did I kill a vampire? Never mind the fact I lost, how did I kill a friggin' vampire? All I had on me was a 13F pipe cleaner I found in my trousers and a cassette tape of Chas 'n' Dave's Greatest Hits. Actually, thinking about it, it was probably that. I, er, disposed of it afterwards. Sorry Karen. Must've been yours. Catch me listening to that dreck...

Richard Legard: Well, I'll grant you this, Yocherry, the Notary was indeed strapped to a jetpack, and the sight was indeed really funny. Sorry for killing you, but I'd have to turn my back to you, while you were lying just next to all of these weapons. The Evil Overlord List spoke.

And I guess I was lucky we were so soon in the competition, so I could convince Von Lilith of not killing me. If half of the things about her are right, I'm not tempting my chance against her.

District Neshbosh

Shimon: *sits composedly in front of the camera* Well. I do not pretend to understand the lucid and ephemeral nature of these holograms. Some trick or flaw in their design is the only possible explanation for what happened. Rest assured, Albert Sproggins, Former Chicken Soup Machine Repair Man, that if ever we met under similar circumstances in reality, any wound you had the misfortune to inflict on me with your pathetic weapons would be quickly healed once I tore your flesh and consumed your unworthy peasant blood, an honor you don't deserve, you miserable little cretin! *whoops, yeah, he's mad; his feathers are all ruffled* *the camera quickly turns away and flicks off*

Caprice: Best. Day. Ever!

Okay, so I'm standing there in front of the Cornucopia, right, and I'm looking at all this stuff. Lots of great stuff. Food, weapons, tools, you name it. But just before the buzzer goes off, I see it: the jetpack. I don't have time to think anymore, so I just go for it. It's total chaos; it's like everyone was in there, which is nuts, right? But I make it! I grab this thing, I pull it on, and I'm trying to figure out how it works when I see something coming at me from the corner of my eye. I'm like, "oh, crap, I'm done for!", but then I hit the button, and I am out of there! Whoooo! What a rush! I am so sad it only had enough juice to get me to the SciFi Sector, you have no idea. But hey, best place to maybe find another one, right?

Unless I find Voltarmi first. I saw someone riding on her back for just a second as I was zooming through the air. Why didn't I think of that? Next time, that's gonna be me!

Barid:

Voltarmi:

District Badgershield

Larkus:

Curff: 

Jack: I knew meds were gonna be the most valuable supplies later. I didn't know I was gonna be the one needing them.

The Detective: I saw some food, thought to myself, 'Most everyone on my team does eat food,' so I thought I'd snag it. Wobbles just happened to be holding it at the time. Besides, you've gotta be an idiot going up to the Cornucopia in the first place, she deserved for something to go wrong. Though I got out just fine, which is . . . weird. Decided to make a run for Fantasy Farthing, and magic ring get! Now magic how, I ask you?

District Knightstocke

Yocherry: Nevermind about that 'smash' thing I said. Nevermind that. There ent smashen, not today.

*He punches the wall to his side, leaving an imprint of his fist.*

I'm usually better than this! Sorry, fox-fellow.

The Enervated Rat-Catcher: The only fing I wanted, in that moment - the only fing I could have dreamt of, in that moment. All I wanted - all I ever wanted, in that moment - was that chocolate. And they took it. They bloody took it. They could've killed me, but they took the chocolate, instead.

They'll regret that, they will.

Alleb: Give them a left hook, Jesse! Now the right! Show them the error of their ways! *camera is knocked over by over-exuberant swordmaiden*

Jesse: Eaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! I almost died in there! *nervously glances from side to side* This is worse 'n waitin' on an ambush from the heights. 

Errant: Whoo, that was close! Almost got caught by those two. I wonder where Catcher's gone off to, though; I can't find him. I left to find some more weapons and told him to stay right where he was, but when I came back, he was gone! I hope he didn't get hurt somewhere. 

District Turbo Mike

Shiro: So, this morning I tried teaming up with this Barid dude... I think he was a troll? The good kind of troll, though. Anyways, we tried taking down this crazy girl, but she managed to get away.

Saki: I'm sure you'll get her next time! Anyways, we ran into each other afterwards, and now we're crafting potions!

Shiro: I never thought it was so simple... or it is only in this simulation? Anyways, I can sprinkle poison on out weapons to improve our fighting ability-

Saki: And I've made plenty of healing potion if Shiro gets hurt!

*Saki hugs Shiro, who blushes*

Ami Tanegashima: I hoped to find something better than this old hunting rifle, but it still got me a kill - Eusabius, was he called? Anyways, when a big man with a pike meets a small girl with a rifle, the big man is a dead man.

Too bad I've lost track of Acacia - we would've made a great sniper team. But now I'm working with a sentient T-rex. Yeah. I'm wondering if she'll let me ride her?

Evelyn Portia Juliana: No chocolate, and no fires to cheer me up. I wasn't even able to find anyone. I'll have to do better next time.

District Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain: Well. That was... interesting.

I didn't even have a weapon yet. Am I so fearsome that the sight of me causes others to flee? Admittedly, it was incredibly amusing to watch, but still.

And anyone who tries to say that the replicator breaking was my fault is delusional. I don't care how the footage looks. It was in no fashion my fault.

Calliope Istoría: I... died?

Well, I guess I should've seen it coming. I got a little carried away with my victory yesterday, and I didn't really think about the fact that I was fighting a representation of Acacia Byrd. And Ami, but she was focusing more on whatever-his-name-was. Bussy! Let's call him Bussy.

Personally, though, it would have been lovely if I had been one place up. I like fives more.

...Why are you looking at me like that? Yes, that's the only reason. It's really rude to imply that I would have an ulterior motive, you know! *begins muttering* Even if I usually do...

Makes-Things:

Dann:

District Ixxximaz

Zeb: So, uh, I got all this chocolate in the hopes it would convince others to team up with me, but I guess it's not working so far...

Rhyslea: Do you hear me? That wasn't curare! Whoever's up there laughing at me because I died from tasting curare, knock it off!

Dax: Haha, did you see their faces when I did that? Turned into a Sue and scared everyone off? That was awesome! Haven't needed to kill anyone yet, but when I do... well, I've got nineteen levels in fighter and one in barbarian." He briefly shapeshifts into Bruce Banner. "You won't like me when I'm angry.

Luxury: Agent Luxury was too, uh… 'busy' to be interviewed.

District Herr Sundae

Eusabius:

Michael: I am not quite sure what it is that causes others to run from me when I am only looking to work with them. It is quite unfortunate. However, I shall attempt to make the best of this, of course. It will simply require some careful planning. I had best take advantage of every weapon that comes to hand. ... Oh, Excalibur? Yes, it might have been rash of me to discard it so quickly, but I do know something of Soul Eater. I believe it was Rule 58 that was the final straw. ... You may ask him. I am attempting to forget the details of that particular encounter. Perhaps I should have taken the warnings of the pixies at face value, however, I was rather curious to see precisely how irritating Excalibur is in person. This was a mistake on my part.

Holo-Acacia:  Right out of the gate, someone tries to jump me! Well, that might have worked on Holo-Jay, but I'm not exactly a stranger to this. A little bit of improvised teamwork, and two competitors are already out of the way.

Also, someone stole my food. Good thing I don't need to eat, or else I'd be pretty hacked off.

The Sunflower's Witness:

Elsewhere…

Rather than one of the four quadrants of the current Hunger Games, this camera seems to be set in a rather spartan lab. There are two individuals standing in view, with a third sitting at a nearby computer. All of them are wearing black lab coats with DoSAT patches. The one closest to the camera, a tanned, middle-aged woman with greying hair tied into a bedraggled bun, clears her throat.

DStA: Hello to you, fine viewers! My name is Dr. Daphne St. Auguste, of the Testing and Application Division in the Department of Sufficiently Advanced Technology. These are my colleagues: Tess Jachowicz—

She gestures to a younger woman with braided brown hair and glasses standing behind her.

TJ: A pleasure!

DStA: —and Naas'Gehlen vas Headquarters.

She points over at a male quarian typing away at the computer, who gives a casual salute without looking over at the camera.

DStA: We are the team behind Holo-Jay and Holo-Acacia. The technology was originally meant to supplement agents working in the field, but apparently there were "concerns" about dispatching holograms.

TJ: Along with complaints from the Friends of AI Society.

DStA: Which were ridiculous! The holograms are not "true" AI. A true AI would have the capability to self-rationalize and expand beyond—

TJ: Ah, ma'am? You're starting to ramble.

DStA: Was I?

NGvH: *without looking around* Yup.

DStA: All right, very well. As I was saying before, we are the team behind Holo-Jay and Holo-Acacia. And while Holo-Jay has fallen a bit short of our expectations—

Naas'Gehlen snorts. Daphne shoots him a quick glare.

DStA: We are quite confident in the performance of Holo-Acacia. Not only have we incorporated all the data acquired from its performance in the previous games into the current model, we have also taken steps to make its personality more like the original Acacia.

TJ: It was sort of just on a default mode last time.

DStA: In any event, we are quite confident in our creation and hope that it can win some fans! And perhaps a bit of support from the Board for our proposals.

NGvH: You said that last part out loud, doc.

DStA: What's your point?

The camera feed ends.

The Notary escapes the Bloodbath. "I AM NOT HAVING A GOOD DAY."


Transcript (Day 1)

The Bloodbath

As the tributes stand on their podiums, the horn sounds.

The Notary uses a short-range jetpack to escape from Lu'ci'ten.

Shiro and Barid gang up on The Sunflower's Witness, but leave her alive.

Morgan and Voltarmi gang up on Jesse, but leave him alive.

Rhyslea tastes a bottle of what turns out to be curare.

Apollo and Levy face off over a rucksack.

Ajax and Matthew start fighting, then Curff trips over them.

The Enervated Rat-Catcher hoards all the chocolate.

Eusabius and Calliope fight Ami and Holo-Acacia. Ami and Holo-Acacia survive.

Larkus and Kelly share out the contents of a backpack.

Albert offers to team up with Shimon, then stabs him when he comes over.

Dax fights through the crowd to claim a medical kit.

Cupid hoards all the chocolate.

Zeb hoards all the chocolate.

Yocherry is unable to convince Richard to not kill him.

Caprice uses a short-range jetpack to escape from Michael.

Luxury hoards all the chocolate.

Theo is unable to convince Maethorwen to not kill him.

Suta fights through the crowd to claim a medical kit.

Jack fights through the crowd to claim a medical kit.

Kaitlyn flees into the Fantasy Farthing.

The Detective and Dann mug Wobbles for her food.

Everyone else runs away from the Cornucopia.

Day 1

The Detective finds a magic ring in the Fantasy Farthing.

Curff and Luxury set up a hologram to hide from Maethorwen.

Dax scares off Larkus, The Notary, and Zeb with her impression of a Suvian.

Voltarmi and Ellie set up a hologram to hide from Caprice.

Albert attacks Kaatah, but The Sunflower's Witness protects her, killing Albert.

Kaitlyn falls out of a tree in the Fantasy Farthing and breaks her leg.

Dann and Lu'ci'ten argue over a replicator in the SciFi Sector, and manage to break it.

Shiro crafts a poisonous potion in the Digital Division.

Suta stumbles into Ami in the Magical Mile; they promptly team up.

Apollo steals Holo-Acacia's food while she is distracted.

Saki crafts a healing potion in the Digital Division.

Jack breaks a rib in a fall.

Morgan stalks Levy all day long.

Kelly tries to smuggle sci-fi technology into the Fantasy Farthing, but is knocked cold by the filters.

Michael pulls a sword out of a stone in the Fantasy Farthing, but puts it back when it starts talking.

Jesse finds a wand in the Magical Mile, but can't make it work.

Evangeline stumbles into Richard in the Magical Mile; they promptly team up.

The Enervated Rat-Catcher defeats Kyaris in a fight, but spares her life.

Backslash successfully smuggles sci-fi technology into the Fantasy Farthing.

Errant stumbles across Evelyn and Cupid, who fail to notice her.

Barid is chased around the Digital Division by Ajax.

Makes-Things is chased around the Digital Division by Wobbles.

Matthew crafts a healing potion in the Digital Division.

Huinesoron

Kyaris

Morgan

Kaitlyn

Maethorwen

1 Kill

Comet

Matthew Welch

Ellie Davis

Ajax

Levy

Skarmory

Evangeline

Backslash

Cupid

Suta

Novastorme

Apollo

Kelly

Theo

Kaatah

1 Kill

Scaperic

Notary

Wobbles

Albert Sproggins

1 Kill

Richard

3 Kills

Neshbosh

Shimon

Caprice

Barid

Voltarmi

Badgershield

Larkus

Curff

1 Kill

The Detective

Jack

1 Kill

Knightstocke

Yocherry

The Enervated Rat-Catcher

Jesse

Errant

Turbo Mike

Shiro

1 Kill

Saki

Ami

1 Kill

Evelyn Portia Juliana

Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain

Calliope Istoría

1 Kill

Makes-Things

Dann

Ixxximaz

Zeb

Rhyslea

2 Kills

Dax

Luxury

1 Kill

Herr Sundae

Eusabius

Michael

Holo-Acacia

2 Kills

Sunflower's Witness

1 Kill


Day 2

"Ahahahahaha!"

The view fades in to show Dafydd Illian, doubled over with laughter in front of the Games console.

"Ahahahaha!"

The elf straightens up, wipes his eyes, and turns to the camera, still chuckling.

"Sorry about that… sorry. But it's been… it's been a day." He shakes his head, grinning. "Actually, mostly it's been a night. I'm just… I'm just going to show you two clips." He waves at the screen, and the view cuts away.

It is dark in the SciFi Sector. The viewpoint moves past Errant, who is watching over a sleeping Ami, and drifts through the urban landscape until it finds Kyaris. The diminutive hydra is standing in the beam of a floodlight, working at a replicator, creating and immediately consuming a series of drinks.

Suddenly there is a noise: a low, rumbling groan, like the voice of an earthquake made flesh. The hydra whirls, her heads snaking around to find the source.

Something approaches. Out of the dark, a pale shape appears: two columnar legs, a huge body, a head whose only features seem to be myriad gleaming teeth and two glowing yellow eyes. The apparition is ghostly-pale.

"Bewaaare," it creaks out in the voice of a crypt. "Bewaaaaare!"

Kyaris doesn't reply. Her heads dart out in different directions, looking for an explanation, an escape route - it's impossible to tell. She starts to back away from the approching horror.

Then a shadow blots out the light.

Two enormous wings of darkness cover the hydra and her nightmare. Behind a cloud of steam, a great horned shadow looms, tongues of flame flickering around its head. Its voice is a sillibant hiss, worming its way into the ear: "Beware… bewaaare…!"

"Hey!" The first apparition had turned, eyes wide in horrow, but now they narrow again. "That's my line?"

"What?" The new spectre leans foward, its head protruding through the mist. "Suta?"

"Voltarmi." The tyrannosaur glowers at the dragon. "I'm trying to scare the hydra, but-"

"I'm trying to scare the hydra," Voltarmi interrupts. "If you hadn't cut in-"

"Hey, you're the one cutting in-"

"Okay, ladies," Kyaris says, fixing each of them with a multi-headed glare. "That's enough. Neither of you are particularly scary right now, so if you don't mind, I'm going to go find another replicator. You two keep each other occupied, yeah?"

The view cuts back to the office, where Dafydd is rolling on the floor with laughter. Eventually, he pulls himself together and gets to his feet.

"This next clip is less spectacular, but if you happen to know about the individuals involved - and frankly, it's been hard to miss - it's even more hilarious." The elf gives the camera a crooked grin. "I've watched it a few times now, so I'll try to contain myself a bit better when you get back."

Night. A secluded, forested glade. In the shadows of a willow tree, a pair of figures lie snuggled close together. Both are black-haired, and both are dressed in black too: one wearing a standard uniform decorated with an orange sash at the waist, the other resplendent in flowing, gold-trimmed robes.

There is nothing to disturb them. In the middle of the Hunger Games Arena, Morgan and the Notary sleep soundly through the night.

Back to the office. Dafydd is doing his best to hide a smirk. "Yep. So… that happened."

He pushes his hair away from his face and turns back to the screen. "Anyway! It was a quiet night - no deaths, I mean - and we were starting to get worried. But luckily, the day started off with a bang."

The view jumps to a running battle: Voltarmi and the Detective are facing down Jesse and Saki. "I'm not really clear how the giant dragon lost that one," Dafydd narrates. "Isn't that Jesse person a knight or something? Maybe that explains it."

"This one, now…" The screen shows Richard Legard walking through the Arena, Wobbles close behind. "This one I understand. I've met Wobbles - she is not someone I'd want to face in a fight."

The screen flashes through a few more images - Ellie stringing a bow, Barid hunched over a computer, Makes-Things still running in circles in the Digital Division - and then cuts back to Dafydd.

"Voltarmi, the Detective, and Richard," he says. "Three deaths - not bad for one day, but there are still thirty-eight Tributes to go. I think we'll see things getting a little more lively very soon.

"I'm Dafydd Illian, this is the Hunger Games, and we've got interviews after the break. Don't go anywhere."


It can be hard, sometimes, being a book-loving PPC agent. We all know the thrill of picking up a new book - but in HQ, "I read something new" so often translates to "please send me into badfic in this canon". Whatever is an avid reader to do?

The Musée des Univers Perdus is here to help. Come down to New Caledonia and pay us a visit, and you can immerse yourself in the tales of a hundred lost civilisations. From Narnia to Gallifrey, we have them all, and we guarentee you'll never find a single word of fanfic set in these tales.

Wait, we don't have Gallifrey any more… forget I mentioned it.


Interviews (Day 2)

District Huinesoron

Kyaris: Pfft, did they think they could scare me? I wasn't scared... I wasn't! Didn't you see me chasing Levy around later? Is that the action of a scared woman? I ask you!

Morgan: I'm not saying anything until I get a chance to talk to Grey.

Kaitlyn: Someone stole my stuff. And the sword-kid didn't want to hang out with me any more. And my leg really freaking hurts. I am not having a good day.

Maethorwen: This 'Monty Snake' is hilarious! In my thousands of years, I have never encountered anything so entertaining. My eternal gratitude to Curff for introdu-

Ahem. I mean, I spent the day perfecting my stealth techniques. No-one shall expect the Elvish Inquisition.

District Comet

Matthew Welch: (In a hushed tone, looking towards The Witness): I'm trying to find out what makes her tic. Is it pure insanity or is she in cahoots with some Sue or something.

Also: Evelyn, Levy was gonna join our group, I thought I told you this. 

Ellie Davis: RUDIMENTARY?! YOU CALL THIS RUDIMENTARY!?

She takes a breath. 

WhileIdoadmitthatthisweapondoeslookratherrudimentaryIhavecreatedthisweaponwithallofthecraftingknowhowIhavepickedupinnotonlyinmytwoplusyearsworkinghereaswellastheabilitiesthathavecoursedthroughmybloodsincevariousfeaturesinclude-

The Interview ends there

Levy: I was hoping Matthew's group would've helped me out against all these people chasing after me, but no. Come the next day and some other person comes after me.

Ajax: I'm riding a T-Rex, your argument is invalid. Also I did not need this water Mysterious Water Sponsor.

He flicks a hand towards a tree, it dissolves into water.

See?

District Skarmory

E.V.L.: So it seems that even this carnival of carnage isn't going to keep a lady from getting her beauty sleep.

Cupid: GYAAAAH! MAKES-THINGS, I ALREADY SAID I WAS SORRY ABOUT THE INCIDENT WITH THE TRUCK! ISN'T ONE APOLOGY ENOUGH FOR YOU TO LEAVE ME ALONE?! AIEEEE WHAT IS THAT IN YOUR HAND?! OH GODS OH GODS RUNNING SOMEBODY HEEEELLLLLPPPPP!!!

Backslash: Drat. Back to the drawing board, and without even my Monado replica to save me! Ugh...

Suta: Note to self, twenty bedsheets don't make effective camouflage when sneaking up on prey. And honestly, that should've been an awesome three-way battle back there! It'd be a perfect send-off for at least one giant reptile... wouldn't it?

District Novastorme

Apollo: Saw Kelly in the evening with someone else and then saw they had a follower, so yes I was thinking about her, partially wondering if she'd get a double kill, but also hoping I'd be able to beat her. With the sun came food, which was welcome although not as welcome as a hatchet would have been, still it hasn't been too eventful for me so far.

Kelly: Had a rubbish ally last night, they let us get robbed, so I ditched them in the morning and found my friend from the start again. We agreed on another truce, kind of hoping this will work out okay.

Kaatah: I thought I was being really sneaky last night, turns out my mouthpiece still glows when I breathe, thankfully Caprice told me that as she chased me off so I know for the future, ended up sleeping in a tree. Ran into a trio of others in the morning and we set off to hunt others, that was fun, but I can't help but think this'll end badly.

District Scaperic

Notary: 

Wobbles The Clown:

Richard Legard: Welp, I'm dead. Guess it's normal, getting jumped by surprise never do any good. And I'm still not getting how the duck I found myself being nursed to sleep by that Time Lord. Too damn weird.

Now, normally I'd be going back to the projects delayed by this duckfest, buuut... *hands out locks of hair* I think my partner will want to pay you a visit really soon. And joining her just seemed to be an interesting option.

District Neshbosh

Caprice: It's too bad Voltarmi's out, but I got to ride Suta instead! Our little team didn't wreak fearsome Cretaceous devastation on anyone, but that's okay. We had fun. And I got to hang out with Acacia freaking Byrd! ... Okay, a hologram of her, but still! Where do I even go from here?

Barid: Da vidjagame section didn' work out for me an' now da high-tech place isn' workin' out. I should'a jus stuck wit da fantasy or magic sections.

Voltarmi: I knew I should have stuck with the ghost ploy. But what can you do? Sometimes a dinosaur comes along and steals your thunder.

District Badgershield

Larkus:

Curff: 

The Detective: Excellent, right—got the cameras going, there's the bit with the interviews, and I can leave? Right, brilliant. I died. sits expectantly Well, what do you mean you want more? I'm dead—thank Rassilon you don't work in Medical if it's that difficult for you to work out. Can I leave yet? Please? pan to Jack

Jack: Got some supplies, at least. Should be enough to last a while, what with what Dee mugged a clown for. rolls eyes . . . Oh, the non—Suvian? Well, what did you expect? Looked exactly like one, for one thing. I mean, shifter—c'mon. Best thing to do is what you learn to do on the job. Just run. Better safe than sorry, and you live to fight another day.

District Knightstocke

The Enervated Rat-Catcher: Met some chaps, and we all decided we'd work together to get a nice sleep, shifts and whatnot. Didn't work. I ain't slept for days, now. Every time I close my eyes, I have the same nightmare, where I'm sittin there, and Errant bursts in from the door, holdin the RA. And she fiddles wif it and says 'Hey, Catcher, it's my turn! I think I know how to use this, now!' and then she goes 'Hehe!' That's when I wake up. It's been affecting me. Fink I've been hallucinating, now. I swears. I been seein people run and hide behind waterfalls, and some crazy-looking person gettin followed real careful by another person, and a clown and some chap holdin hands, and some half-nude lady pulled a sword out a stone but it talked. Fink I'm goin crazy.

Alleb: Bravo, Sir Jesse, bravo! The dragon never stood a chance. I shall make a true knight of you yet!

Jesse: *is downing his entire flask of whiskey in one go*

Errant: I like the SciFi Sector! It reminds me of the Tower. That four-man fireteam towards the end of the day was great; too bad we didn't find anyone. Do I get XP for this? I'm reaaaaally close to getting a new grenade!

District Turbo Mike

Shiro Turbo: The night was rather uneventful for me, and during the day I got myself a high tech rifle of sorts alongside a team, but we didn't find anyone so in the end we didn't accomplish much... Wait, Saki did WHAT?

Saki Cherryflower: Someone stole my stuff during the night, but then WE KILLED A DRAGON! Well, Mr. Cowboy did, but I guess I was a good distraction? And then I did get that other guy!

Ami Tanegashima: I think the most interesting thing happening today was me helping that Time Lady set up an hologram. Or, rather, I was the template she reverse engineered to do that. Y'now, me being an holographic ghost and all...

Evelyn Portia Juliana: I tried to team up with some people and I think that went ok. There were some weird ghost things going on though. I thought I saw that Time Lady, but now I'm not sure.

District Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain: So those days happened. Yes, Kaatah, I did hear you - Caprice was just quicker. No, Dann, that did not scare me. My eye was watering from the suppression of my laughter at how ridiculous you looked.

Makes-Things:

Dann:

District Ixxximaz

Zeb: Like I said, I'm gonna win this for the Aviator and Elanor! Oh, and Ave—if you're watching, give her hugs for me!

Dax: Man, even though we're in the middle of a giant death arena, that Cupid sure knows how to have fun!

Luxury: 

District Herr Sundae

Michael: One moment... excellent. This shall serve. Thank you for your patience. My apologies if I would rather be brief today, but, well, I was up all night. I did my best to sleep, but neither Dax nor Cupid seemed interested in doing so. It was, however, something of a relief just to be relaxing, instead of worrying about my safety for a change, and both are quite entertaining, so while I did eventually grow rather curt, I'm afraid, it was still enjoyable on the whole. Oh, the Arena? I was attempting to create a place to sleep. Foolish, I know, but such things happen when one is tired. Thankfully, the situation has been remedied- for now, at least.

The Sunflower's Witness:

Holo-Acacia: So yeah, the leg thing…

She looks down at her leg, which occasionally glitches and flickers like an old CRT monitor.

I really have no idea how that happened. I can still walk and everything, it's just kinda weird.

~~~~~~~~~~

Back at the lab, all three technicians are gathered around a monitor. It is showing a loop of Holo-Acacia toppling inelegantly out of a tree.

TJ: How… did that happen?

NGvH: Could be some sort of technological incongruence between her hologram and the holographic arena. Electromagnetic interference?

DStA: We need to run tests. Tess! Fetch Holo-Jay, three interns, and two large industrial magnets. Naas! Book us a holodeck for the afternoon and collect the necessary PPE. This needs to be replicated!

Daphne finally notices the camera.

DStA: Ah! Well, ah… Holo-Acacia persists, despite this… injury! That shows the durability of our technology and the expertise of our programming! We look forward to seeing Holo-Acacia continue to make strides.

The camera feed ends.

Spectral Cosplay - Voltarmi, Suta, & Kyaris


Transcript (Day 2)

Night 1

Suta pretends to be a ghost.

Makes-Things steals all Kelly and Saki's stuff while they sleep.

The Sunflower's Witness receives medical supplies from a known sponsor - the Medical Department.

Apollo thinks about his partner.

Voltarmi pretends to be a ghost.

Kyaris doses herself with pure caffeine from a replicator to stay awake.

Ellie receives medical supplies from a known sponsor - the Medical Department.

Ami and Errant sleep in shifts in the SciFi Sector.

The Notary persuades Morgan to snuggle with her 'for warmth'.

Levy tries to sneak into Shiro, Evelyn, and Matthew's camp in the Fantasy Farthing, but Evelyn chases her off.

Larkus, The Enervated Rat-Catcher, and Barid sleep in shifts.

Luxury hums to herself.

Kaatah tries to sneak into Lu'ci'ten, Caprice, and Holo-Acacia's camp in the Fantasy Farthing, but Caprice chases her off.

Evangeline passes out from exhaustion.

Maethorwen and Curff talk exclusively in Monty Python quotes.

Dee sings Richard and Jesse to sleep.

Ajax receives clean water from an unknown sponsor.

Wobbles and Dann hold hands.

Zeb thinks about his partner.

Dax, Michael, and Cupid camp together in the Fantasy Farthing. None of them get any sleep.

Jack steals all Kaitlyn and Backslash's stuff while they sleep.

Day 2

Ami and Morgan set up a hologram to hide from Evelyn.

Saki and Jesse face off against Voltarmi and The Detective. Saki and Jesse are victorious.

Backslash is driven away from the river between the Fantasy Farthing and Digital Division by The Notary and The Enervated Rat-Catcher.

Levy runs away from Kyaris into the SciFi Sector.

Michael tries to hack the Arena from the SciFi Sector, but is defeated by the firewalls.

Curff, Caprice, Suta, and Ajax hunt for other tributes.

Cupid is chased around the Digital Division by Makes-Things.

Luxury pulls a sword out of a stone in the Fantasy Farthing, but puts it back when it starts talking.

Barid tries to hack the Arena from the SciFi Sector, but is defeated by the firewalls.

Ellie makes a rudimentary bow and arrow in the Fantasy Farthing.

Holo-Acacia falls out of a tree in the Fantasy Farthing and breaks her leg.

Kelly stumbles into Larkus in the Magical Mile; they promptly team up.

Dann scares off Kaitlyn, Jack, and Lu'ci'ten with his impression of a Suvian.

Wobbles hunts down Richard and kills him.

Dax runs away from Evangeline into the SciFi Sector.

Maethorwen hides behind a waterfall in the Fantasy Farthing.

Apollo receives food from an unknown sponsor.

Matthew stalks The Sunflower's Witness all day long.

Kaatah, Zeb, Errant, and Shiro hunt for other tributes.

Huinesoron

Kyaris

Morgan

Kaitlyn

Maethorwen

1 Kill

Comet

Matthew Welch

Ellie Davis

Ajax

Levy

Skarmory

Evangeline

Backslash

Cupid

Suta

Novastorme

Apollo

Kelly

Theo

Kaatah

1 Kill

Scaperic

Notary

Wobbles

1 Kill

Albert Sproggins

1 Kill

Richard

3 Kills

Neshbosh

Shimon

Caprice

Barid

Voltarmi

Badgershield

Larkus

Curff

1 Kill

The Detective

Jack

1 Kill

Knightstocke

Yocherry

The Enervated Rat-Catcher

Jesse

1 Kill

Errant

Turbo Mike

Shiro

1 Kill

Saki

1 Kill

Ami

1 Kill

Evelyn Portia Juliana

Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain

Calliope Istoría

1 Kill

Makes-Things

Dann

Ixxximaz

Zeb

Rhyslea

2 Kills

Dax

Luxury

1 Kill

Herr Sundae

Eusabius

Michael

Holo-Acacia

2 Kills

Sunflower's Witness

1 Kill


Day 3

The camera opens on the Hunger Games control room. The computer hums quietly to itself; the holographic map shows the entire Arena, and the screens flick between images every few seconds. There is no-one in the chair.

A hand pokes up from below the camera, chubby-fingered and pale. It tugs on the bottom of the view, which shifts with an audible clunk to show a face: blurred and in extreme closeup.

"I think you got it, Daffy," a high-pitched voice says, and the face backs away from the camera to reveal a crown of pale gold hair. The little girl to whom it belongs turns and skips across the floor to stand between two older girls: one with straight black hair, the other's curly and shockingly red.

"Hi!" the black-haired girl says, waving at the camera, and the other two join in with their own vigorous waves. The speaker gives an exasperated sigh and turns to them.

"You're supposed to be quiet," she says. "We can't do this if you won't be quiet."

"I am being quiet, Jasmine," the blonde says. "It's Bella who's not."

"Liar!" The redhead rounds on the younger girl. "I haven't said anything, but you never shut up."

"Don't be mean!" The blonde slaps her hands over her ears. "If you're going to be mean I'm not going to listen to you."

Jasmine sighs again and turns back to the camera. "Hi," she repeats, raising her voice over the budding argument. "I'm Jasmine Illian, and these are my sisters, Bella and Daphne. Dad's busy right now, so he's asked us to present the Hunger Games."

"No he didn't," Bella interrupts, dropping her fight with Daphne like hot knife through butter. "He hasn't told us anything, he's gone off somewhere with Mummy."

"Bel-la." Jasmine folds her arms and scowls. "You're ruining it."

"You're ruining it!" Daphne pipes up. "Stop ruining it, Bella!"

"I can't help it if people lie all the time-" Bella starts, but Jasmine cuts her off.

"Well, we've watched the show, anyway," she says, "so we know what we're supposed to do, and that's like being asked. I'm sure he'll be happy we've done it for him."

Daphne grins, bouncing on her toes. "Do I get to do the deffs? You promised I could do the deffs!"

"Deaths, Daffy," Jasmine corrects. "If you don't say it properly-"

"De-tthhhhhhs." Daphne does a very credible smirk for a five-year-old.

"Okay, you can do the deaths," Jasmine says. "But I need-"

"Yayayayayay!" Daphne runs up to the camera, dropping out of focus again. "'Kay so first there was this big fight with light-savers in the city and, um, Bella, who got killed again? Whisper it in my ear."

"You have to let me start the pictures, Daffy," says Jasmine's voice. "It's… um, it's somewhere…"

There is a creak, and Daphne shifts sideways far enough to show her older sister climbing up onto the chair. "I think it's this button," Jasmine says, stabbing at it with a finger.

The view changes, showing Wobbles crouched in front of a replicator. "OH!" shrieks Daphne's voice. "It's the nice clown-lady! HI BOBBLES!"

"She can't hear you, Daffy," says Bella. "She's on the TV."

"... I knew that already, I just didn't want to tell you."

"That's not the right picture anyway," Jasmine says. "Um. Tell me if you see it, Bella."

Images flicker across the screen: Backslash tied to a tree - Jesse hiding in a pixellated cave - Suta looking miserable - the Notary and Makes-Things with locked lightsabers -

"STOP!" Daphne and Bella yell as one. The flickering stops, and the two agents fight their way back and forth across the screen.

"Daffy," Jasmine hisses, "you're supposed to say what's happening…"

"OH!" Daphne clears her throat. "So the lady is fighting with the man, and she's doing really good I think, because her sword is brighter than his. But now he's pushed her over and she can't get up and then OH YES she died."

"You need to say who it was, Daffy," Jasmine prompts. "Otherwise they won't know."

"Oh." A pause. "Who was it, again?"

"It was the Notarary," Bella supplies. "She-"

Daphne screams. "BE-LLA! You were MEANT to WHISPER it!"

The fight starts up again in earnest, Bella and Daphne yelling over each other, and then abruptly their voices are cut back to a fraction of their former volume. "I think this is a microphone," Jasmine says, her voice crackly, "so, um, I hope you can hear me. Anyway, that was one of the deaths in the nighttime; this was the other."

The view cuts from the Notary's abandoned body to a couple talking together: Kelly and Shiro. Abruptly, Shiro lashes out, cutting Kelly down.

"I don't know why he did that," Jasmine narrates. "Maybe she was mean to him? I dunno. But anyway then it was daytime, and there were lots more deaths."

The screen shows Jesse again, still hiding in his cave, sleeping quietly - unaware of Apollo sneaking up on him. "So Jesse died early in the morning," Jasmine says, "and-"

The background argument suddenly cuts off in a clatter of running feet, and Daphne's voice bellows into the mike. "You're doing the deffs! I GET TO DO THE DEFFS YOU PROMISED!"

"Owwww, Daffy!" Jasmine's voice drops off slightly as she moves away. "Fine. But do them quickly, and I'm not helping you."

"O-kay." There is a thump, such as might be made by a little girl leaning her elbows on the console next to a microphone. "So Jesse got killed by Apollo in a cave, and then Acacia who's really cool used magic to turn, um, someone into jelly-"

The screen belatedly flashes to the scene described, with Ellie being the victim in question.

"-and then the dinosaur and the lady with the wings-"

The image changes to show Suta and E.V.L., with Michael pinned down between them.

"-killed, um, can't remember, but then the elf whose name is Martha got shot by lightning-"

Sure enough, Maethorwen is shown shuddering in the beam from Errant's gun.

"-which was really awesome and then she died." Daphne draws a breath for the first time since her narration began. "And that's everyone. I did it, I did it!"

"You didn't do it very-" Bella starts, but Jasmine hushes her.

"Be nice," she murmurs. "Yes, you did, Daffy; good job."

"I did it, I did it!" Daphne pauses. "Can we do it again tomorrow?"

"Um." Jasmine seems to think about this. "Maybe if we ask Dad?"

"If he and Mummy ever come back," Bella mutters. "They've been gone for hours… and I'm hungry."

"Me too!" Daphne chimes in. "Jasmine, I'm hungry!"

"So am I," Jasmine agrees. "I bet Tanfin will make us sandwiches if we ask nicely."

"Ooh!" Daphne's voice fades out over the patter of feet. "I want mind to be peanut butter and honey and chocolate and…"

Silence. Eventually, the feed cuts out.


It would be absolutely against the rules to tell you that chocolate can be purchased from the PPC General Store.

So I won't.


Interviews (Day 3)

District Huinesoron

Morgan: Grey's out.

Hmm.

Kyaris: I got friends! So that's kind of awesome. I didn't really expect to spend an entire night and a day actually with people.

Kaitlyn: I thought Curff was my friend... but then he tried to kill me... so now I'm sad. :(

Maethorwen: There is a word I have come across: 'hubris'. It seems that my people are particularly prone to it. Alas, I had not truly considered this before. I will think on it, and return to battle more vigilant than before.

District Comet

Levy: VIVA LA REVOLUTION! VIVA LA REVOLUTION! CHAIN STALKERS TO TREES! LEAVE THEM TO DIE! VIVA LA REVOLUTION!

Ellie: See, this is what happens when someone inexperienced with the mechanics of a Jellificator attempts to mess with one: An ally turns into jelly.

The feed cuts to an image of Matthew, Ajax, and Luxury huddled together and trembling, probably scared crapless from the supposed Suvian they recently encountered.

Ajax (In a weak voice): Why were Suvians going after Levy?

Matthew (In a similar tone): I don't know man, I don't know.

Lux begins drooling in slight ecstasy. Noticing this, both Matthew and Ajax push her away.

District Skarmory

Evangeline von Lilith: Finally! I was wondering how soon it would be before I actually managed to kill someone. It was also nice of Suta to help me deal with Michael, because he was putting up quite a struggle before she literally stepped in - and ON him, no less. And Suta, you're welcome for the snack. You needed the meat, I needed the blood. Win-win!

Backslash: I swear, if I have to go through ONE more embarrassing situation before I inevitably get killed off... Ugh. I hope Whitney doesn't get any ideas from this...

Cupid Carmine: Honestly, that should've been me snuggling with the Rat-Catcher that day. He looked so warm! I don't know if Jack was as willing to be a temporary cuddle-buddy, though - heck, I don't know if ANYBODY would at a time like this! *Sigh*... Steph, if you're watching this, can I sleep at your place tonight? Please??

Suta: So that's what humans taste like. A lot like those little mammals I used to have as a hatchling, but skinnier and bonier. In short, major props to E.V.L. for helping me avoid starvation, but just this once, because people just aren't nice to eat. Why Big Jaws in other media always try to eat you mammals instead of bigger game, I have no idea.

District Novastorme

Apollo: I want to be clear on one thing. The ONLY reason I wanted to cuddle up with the Rat-Catcher was so I could stab him with the little dagger I'd found and then pretend he'd died during the night. Unfortunately that never happened. Heard Kelly got killed over the night for some reason, which may have been why I was a little angry in the morning and, well... Jesse was too good an opportunity to miss.

Kelly: I have absolutely no idea why I did that, no idea at all...

Kaatah: The firewalls on the arena are impressive, and I've had experience with getting pas firewalls thanks to the Geth... Hmm I wonder if I could try that...

District Scaperic

Notary: I am not terribly skilled with a lightsabre, I admit, but I still should have been able to beat a small, bespectacled human. I think the turning point of the fight was when that poxy bloody jetpack came screaming out of the sky and hit me in the head, causing me to fall forward and impale myself on the human's sword. Still, I've seen the clown on enough caffeine to kill a bull elephant. I think this constitutes a lucky escape.

Wobbles The Clown: I DON'T THINK REPLICATORS ARE SUPPOSED TO DO THAT

ALSO I CAN SEE THROUGH TIME

GOTTA GO BYE BYE NOW

[NB: This footage slowed down 300x]

District Neshbosh

Caprice: The Ironic Overpower is messing with me. I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't gonna get to ride Voltarmi and was cool with that day I spent with Suta and those other guys... but then I found this. *she gestures at a beautifully crafted metal steampunk dragon on the ground beside her, gleaming with golden scrollwork and arabesques* A freaking robot dragon! But I can't make it work! Where's Makes-Things or Dann or anyone from DoSAT when you need them? This is so frustrating. *she kicks the dragon; it goes clang* ... Ow. Okay, go bother someone else now.

Barid:

District Badgershield

Larkus:

Curff: 

Jack: I don't cuddle.

District Knightstocke

The Enervated Rat-Catcher: The 'no sleep' fing's gettin me horrid. Hallucinations, everywhere. Havin a hard time tellin what's real and what ain't, but after watchin three people arguin about cuddlin wif me, I fink I've just decided nuffin's real.

Bloody Errant!

Jesse:

Errant:

District Turbo Mike

Shiro Turbo: Sorry for that, kelly, but even if you were sincere... well, I'm sort of taken. Saki would've killed you if I didn't... possibly more slowly and more painfully. And if she were to believe I was going to cheat on her, she would go after ME afterwards.

Saki Cherryflower: I'm the cutest thing in the entire Games, of course I should get the cuddles! Though I'd have preferred if they were Shiro's...

Ami Tanegashima: So, another calm day today. I received both food and water to last me a while, so I nested up in a nice vantage point. Haven't been able to get my sights on a target yet, but a sniper has to be patient.

Evelyn Portia Juliana: Well, I got lost, but I made a poisonous thing. I think that's a fair trade. Tomorrow should be more interesting at least...unless I get lost again.

District Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain: A fine meal is a fine meal. I don't mind too much if magic was involved. So, Larkus, you can hush your face and not break any more replicators. They're kind of useful.

I am, however, very proud of my Districtmate! You may have spent the last two days running in circles, Makes-Things, but you made up for it last night. I'll want to see all the footage once I either die a horrible death or win these games.

Makes-Things:

Dann:

District Ixxximaz

Zeb: Well, I had to team up with somebody today to hide from another tribute. It was... I mean... she was nice, I guess?

Dax: Woooooo! I'm a ghoooooost! Look at me, I'm all dead and stuff! ...Yeah, I know, I'm not transparent. Shut up, I can dream.

Luxury: 

District Herr Sundae

Michael: Of course that is what I did. I was rather tired yesterday, and I required some rest. ... No, I do not know how they found their way in. However, I must thank Evangeline for killing me before Suta ate me. I have no wish to experience digestion. Now, if you'll pardon my abruptness, I should go find my partner. He is likely still disappointed by the results, and I had best console him.

The Sunflower's Witness:

Holo-Acacia: Jelly.

She holds up the Jellificator and blows across the barrel (despite the fact that there is no actual smoke coming out of it).

An important part of any balanced breakfast of butt-kicking!

You know, 'cause you put jelly on toast. Or a bagel, I suppose, if you're more into that. I think I screwed this up. Can we do the bit again?

~~~~~~~~~~

Back at the lab, a whiteboard has been set up next to the monitor, which now has a shot of Holo-Acacia curled up next to Evangeline. On the whiteboard are various technical doodles and random brief notes. One such note, "HUMOR PROTOCOL NEEDS WORK," has been underlined. Only Naas is present, and his attention is focused on the monitor.

DStA: (From somewhere out of sight) Naas!

The quarian quickly taps a few buttons. The monitor changes, now showing the jelly incident on a loop. He turns to face Daphne and Tess as they step into view.

NGvH: Doc?

DStA: Have we gotten that information on the jelly gun yet?

NGvH: I got waitlisted. The tech said the request needed to be put through to Makes-Things.

TJ: But he's in the Games right now!

DStA: Ugh! The tangled weaving of this department continues to frustrate me. Naas! Get it through other means.

NGvH: You mean hack our own systems?

DStA: I would never say that.

She turns to the whiteboard, picks up a marker, and writes "DO IT" in big green letters.

NGvH: You got it, doc.

The camera feed ends.

Caprice's Dragon


Transcript (Day 3)

Night 2

Jack and Caprice sleep in shifts in the SciFi Sector.

Dax pretends to be a ghost.

Ajax finds a savepoint in the Digital Division.

Ami receives clean water from an unknown sponsor.

The Sunflower's Witness receives medical supplies from a known sponsor - the Medical Department.

Luxury wanders in circles all night.

Matthew sleeps soundly in the SciFi Sector.

Errant hides in a cave in the Fantasy Farthing.

Levy ties up Backslash and leaves him in the middle of the Fantasy Farthing.

Morgan and Barid run into each other in the Digital Division and decide to truce for the night.

Evelyn is utterly lost.

Lu'ci'ten eats a hearty, magically-created meal.

The Notary dies the way she would have wanted to go: in a midnight lightsaber duel with Makes-Things.

Dann wanders into Kaitlyn and Curff's camp in the Digital Division, and is warmly welcomed.

Wobbles doses herself with pure caffeine from a replicator to stay awake.

Michael creates a magical shelter in the Magical Mile.

Zeb thinks about thinking about winning.

Larkus wanders in circles all night.

Cupid, Saki, and Apollo argue over who gets to cuddle with The Enervated Rat-Catcher.

Evangeline persuades Holo-Acacia to snuggle with her 'for warmth'.

Kelly propositions Shiro, so Shiro kills her.

Ellie hears voices in the distance and heads in the opposite direction.

Maethorwen, Kyaris, and Jesse play Hide and Seek across the Digital Division.

Kaatah hides in a cave in the Fantasy Farthing.

Suta goes hungry.

Day 3

Apollo finds Jesse sleeping and kills him.

Makes-Things crafts a poisonous potion in the Digital Division.

Lu'ci'ten and Larkus argue over a replicator in the SciFi Sector, and manage to break it.

Evelyn crafts a poisonous potion in the Digital Division.

Holo-Acacia transforms Ellie into a pile of jelly in the Digital Division.

Dann receives medicine from an unknown sponsor.

Kaatah tries to hack the Arena from the SciFi Sector, but is defeated by the firewalls.

Curff tries to shove Kaitlyn down a pit in the Digital Division, but the pit glitches away at the last second.

Morgan receives medicine from an unknown sponsor.

Ami receives food from an unknown sponsor.

Zeb and The Sunflower's Witness set up a hologram to hide from The Enervated Rat-Catcher.

Caprice finds a mechanical dragon in the SciFi Sector, but it won't start.

Dax sneaks into the SciFi Sector to find medicine.

Kyaris, Shiro, and Wobbles hunt for other tributes.

Backslash scares off Matthew, Luxury, and Ajax with his impression of a Suvian.

Levy and Saki hunt for other tributes in the Fantasy Farthing.

Barid searches all day for an invulnerability powerup in the Digital Division.

Cupid and Jack reluctantly team up.

Suta holds Michael down while Evangeline kills him.

Errant shoots Maethorwen with a lightning gun in the SciFi Sector.

Huinesoron

Kyaris

Morgan

Kaitlyn

Maethorwen

1 Kill

Comet

Matthew Welch

Ellie Davis

Ajax

Levy

Skarmory

Evangeline

1 Kill

Backslash

Cupid

Suta

Novastorme

Apollo

1 Kill

Kelly

Theo

Kaatah

1 Kill

Scaperic

Notary

Wobbles

1 Kill

Albert Sproggins

1 Kill

Richard

3 Kills

Neshbosh

Shimon

Caprice

Barid

Voltarmi

Badgershield

Larkus

Curff

1 Kill

The Detective

Jack

1 Kill

Knightstocke

Yocherry

The Enervated Rat-Catcher

Jesse

1 Kill

Errant

1 Kill

Turbo Mike

Shiro

2 Kills

Saki

1 Kill

Ami

1 Kill

Evelyn Portia Juliana

Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain

Calliope Istoría

1 Kill

Makes-Things

1 Kill

Dann

Ixxximaz

Zeb

Rhyslea

2 Kills

Dax

Luxury

1 Kill

Herr Sundae

Eusabius

Michael

Holo-Acacia

3 Kills

Sunflower's Witness

1 Kill


Day 4

"Right, so… I guess I should apologise."

Dafydd finishes fitting the camera back in place, and backs away to his chair. He sits down, spins slightly to the side, draws a breath, and then lets it out again.

"... but on the other hand, who wants to waste time on that?" He reaches back and jabs a button, and the Hunger Games console springs to life. "Let's talk about Makes-Things."

The screen flickers, and Makes-Things himself appears. He is somewhere in the SciFi Sector, leaning against a metallic column with something approximating languor.

"Last night saw a spectacular show from our favourite technician," Dafydd narrates. "Finding himself in the company of the famously deranged Sunflower's Witness - the sort of person that would usually have him hiding under the tables - he put his best foot on, or however that goes, and did his level best to seduce her."

The camera focusses in as Makes-Things and the Witness converse in low voices, then tastefully cuts away to the following morning.

"Did the spiky-haired conspiracy nut give in to his advances? We don't know." Dafydd chuckles. "Well, okay, we do know, but we're not telling you. What I will say is that when the sun rose, their truce was over. Makes-Things was in his element - the realm of technology - and he exploited it ruthlessly."

The view shows the Witness' body, smoking slightly, and then switches back to Dafydd.

"Did he kill her out of shame at being rejected," the elf asks, "or to cover up his illicit fling? Was the seduction merely a ploy to get her guard down? Or is HQ's finest technician actual a secret agent for the false Sunflower Official, out to silence one of the few who know the truth about-?"

He breaks off, frowning, then turns and taps a command into the console. "Hi, Undis?" he says into the microphone on the desk. "It's Dafydd. Did you let the Sunflower's Witness write the script? Uh-huh… no…" He raises a distinctly pointed eyebrow. "All right, then did you let the quote-real-unquote Multiverse Monitor write the script? … right. … no, I'm not going to stick to it, it's stupid. … no, that's not going to happen. Bye now."

He taps another button, then turns to the camera with a bright smile.

"So the Sunflower's Witness is dead," he says, "but she's far from the only one." He drops his voice into a deeper register. "For last night was a night of carnage, and the new day dawned blood-red. Or something."

The screen flashes through the various scenes as Dafydd describes them. "Barid's continual attempts to tinker with the high-tech regions of the Arena finally came back to bite him. Kaatah was there first, and electricity levels all fields. And the Quarian's set her sights on larger game, now… my last reports have her stalking Suta the tyrannosaur across the Magical Mile.

"Ami's death was quite… worrying, actually. When one of the Tributes starts lurching around muttering 'brains…', you have to wonder what's gone wrong. Is it to do with how she keeps saying she's dead? Or have some of those mind-altering nanites gotten- uh." Dafydd coughs. "Sorry, you didn't hear about those from me. Besides, if it was them, Backslash would've been taken over too, rather than having the presence of mind to take her out with that shotgun.

"Speaking of presence of mind… Errant and Evelyn was a teamup I was personally quite looking forward to. It seemed like Errant saw the same potential I did… right up to the moment she stabbed the Sister of Battle in the back."

The image cuts back to Dafydd, who is bent over the holographic map, studying something. "Hang on," he says, "I'm just checking… right." He points at the screen, and a picture of Larkus flashes up. "This is Larkus," he says. "She's been fairly friendly during the Games, teaming up with half a dozen different people, but yesterday she had a falling-out with Lu'ci'ten over a replicator." The view switches to showing Larkus dead on the floor, with Lu'ci'ten and Jack standing over her. "Yeah, that… turned out not to be such a good idea."

"I'm a big fan of stories that end where they started," the elf says, "so let's finish by looking at a single agent's path through the night. Levy," the screen shows her sitting thoughtfully by a fire, "seems to have spent her time thinking about her partner. We… sort of assumed that was in a 'missing you' way, but then this happened:"

Apollo and Saki are tied up, face-down on the undifferentiated floor of the Digital Division. Levy and Ajax stand over them; Levy is yelling something into Ajax's face, though the sound is muted.

"An ultimatum," Dafydd reports. "For whatever reason, Levy demanded that Ajax had to pick one of her prisoners to kill. And when the… god, or whatever he is… refused?"

Levy lashes out. A splash of red hits the camera, past which it's possible to see Ajax falling on top of the two bound prisoners. Then we cut back to Dafydd.

"... yeah." The elf glances away, then back at the camera. "Yeah. I'm not… yeah." He coughs. "Um, interviews after the break?"


What do you think of when you hear the words 'Multiverse Monitor'? A scratty little newssheet? A fancy magazine that's all image and no substance? Or the greatest paper that's ever existed, now in its second glorious decade of bringing you all the news you never knew you needed?

Exactly. Buy the REAL Multiverse Monitor today.


Interviews (Day 4)

District Huinesoron

Morgan: I... spent some time talking to Grey's partner last night. She's... I think I need to make time to talk to the Notary once I'm out of here.

... no, the repeated use of 'time' doesn't mean I'm planning any TARDIS shenanigans. Who do you think I am, the Doctor?

Kaitlyn Jackson: So I've been chatting with those kids from totes-not-the-future, Shiro and Saki. They're pretty fun actually! And neither of them tried to kill me, which is a big plus.

Kyaris: I... am lost. And I think I broke something. And, basically, this is not a good day.

District Comet

The camera observes Levy subconsciously invoking an "Out, Damned Spot!" moment in a cave with a stream water moving through. Matthew enters the room, exhaling slightly. He runs over to her, trying to get her attention through the tears, Levy ignoring him. He finally gets her attention by forcing her to face him.

Matthew: Levy, snap out of it!

Levy goes in to hug Matthew, wailing into his shoulder. He shoos the cameras away.

***

Cameras cut to Ajax, silently trying to become one with the couch. Ellie is also seen, in a valiant attempt to cheer him up via several small explosions. Someone takes the camera and points it at himself

Toby: Hiya, Toby Williams, DoSAT. Ajax isn't quite feeling up to the whole interview thing, so if you could just go back to wherever you came from you floating Ball with a camera attached, that would be great.

District Skarmory

E.V.L.: Ho hum, ho hum. *She shakes her head in total disappointment.* Would somebody please walk up to me and say 'kill me now'? I'm getting pretty thirsty.

Cupid: Hey, there has to be at least some form of dignity around here, is there?

Backslash: ...dear Bionis, if this game ends up becoming some kind of Resident Evil knockoff, somebody's head's gonna roll in short order...

Suta: Why do I get the feeling I'm being followed?

District Novastorme

Apollo: Had a nice talk with Evangeline, then overslept and found myself hheld captive by a madwoman, I kind of feel sorry for Ajax, but thankfully his death gave me the time I needed to slip free. Figured Saki would make a good meatshield and I ran for it, so it seems to have worked.

Kaatah: I'm so sorry, I hadn't meant to electrocute you Barid, I even left some signs up saying 'Danger: Quarian at work.' that the replicators made for me, but you just ignored them and then ruined my second attempt at hacking into the Arena. Although that does give me an idea for something I may try, so maybe you're not a complete bosh'tet after all.

District Scaperic

Wobbles The Clown:

District Neshbosh

Caprice: *opens a hatch and pokes her head out from inside the steampunk dragon* Is she gone? Did I lose her? ... Okay. Whew. I should've known better than to ask Luxury for anything involving the words "eat" or "magic wand."

... So I'm the last survivor of my district. Shoot. If I'd known Barid was around last night, he could've shared my hiding place. I may not be able to work this thing, but the control cabin is at least a safe, insulated place to crash.

Barid:

District Badgershield

Larkus:

Curff: 

Jack: I was more than happy to work in shifts with those guys. They're professionals, through and through. Just glad Wobbles didn't take Dee's mugging that personally.

The subject of Larkus is brought up. 

Yeah, I grouped with Lu'ci'ten. I'm not gonna go in on my own just to prove a point. For some reason, though, she was pretty concerned about proving the point to the corpse. Somehow, I don't think it cared. grumbles about professional kills

District Knightstocke

The Enervated Rat-Catcher: *he gives a drowsy, bleary thumbs-up, before dropping into sleep. He shudders for a few moments, suddenly bursting awake and howling 'NO, YER NOT ALLOWED THE PORTAL GENERATOR.' He notices the camera, gives a drowsy, bleary thumbs-up, and drops into sleep again. He is, once more, awakened by night-terrors involving his partner and a portal generator. This repeats for the entire day, without break.*

Errant:

District Turbo Mike

Shiro Turbo: *looks at his deck of cards* ...I actually have no idea how I managed to play Solitaire with a deck of Magic: The Gathering cards. Or why I even bothered. Kaitlyn was pretty nice to hang out with, though.

Saki Cherryflower: Kaitlyn is very fun! Oh, you want to know about that thing with Ajax? Don't worry, even if he wanted to kill one of us it wouldn't have been me! I'm too adorable to kill!

Ami Tanegashima: To whoever thought it was a fun idea to alter the coding of my simulation to make me act like a zombie: I'm going to haunt you. Trust me, I'm a ghost. I can, and I will.

Evelyn Portia Juliana: But...But...But...We were gonna bond over guns! It was gonna be great!

But still, to kill me in my sleep. Are we sure she isn't a hunter?

District Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain: I told you to stop talking. It was your fault the replicator broke, not mine. The meal was good. But no, oh no, you just wouldn't. Shut. Up.

Well, tell me, then. Since you feel like talking so much.

How does it feel to--

We interrupt this interview to spare you a ten-minute-long description of what Lu did to Larkus. A rather detailed description. Fairly sure those things weren't supposed to go there, Lu... that's not what replicator parts are meant to be used for...

--hmm? Because I enjoyed myself.

Makes-Things:

Dann:

District Ixxximaz

Zeb: I met this really nice shapeshifter last night and we shared stories. She was... well, nice. But I miss my partner. His ears and tail droop. Sorry, it's just not the same playing in the games without her.

Dax: The changeling looks almost unusually somber. Remind me why that kid hasn't been given a nice retirement already?

Luxury: 

District Herr Sundae

The Sunflower's Witness:

Holo-Acacia: Water. Yeah. Great thing to give a being made of electricity and light. Thanks.

Weapons, on the other hand? Much better gift! Especially when it's a gift you take for yourself!

~~~~~~~~~~

We return to the lab. A few more notes have been added to the whiteboard, most notably "THEFT PROTOCOLS=GOOD" and "MORALITY PROTOCOLS NEED WORK." There is now also a trolley with several jars on it. Every jar seems to be filled with some sort of jelly. The technicians are currently huddled around these jars.

TJ: So it appears that concrete, when shot with the Jellificator, becomes boysenberry jerry. But wood becomes gooseberry jelly.

DStA: Still no grape?! Dah! This is maddening. More targets!

The camera feed ends.


Transcript (Day 4)

Night 3

The Enervated Rat-Catcher tries to seduce Curff.

Shiro plays solitare.

Luxury eats a hearty, magically-created meal.

Caprice sleeps soundly in the SciFi Sector.

Dann, Wobbles, Morgan, and Jack sleep in shifts.

Suta and Larkus talk about the tributes still alive.

Matthew proposes a suicide pact. Cupid turns him down.

Holo-Acacia receives clean water from an unknown sponsor.

Kaatah electrocutes Barid by careful rewiring of the SciFi Sector.

Evangeline and Apollo talk about the tributes still alive.

Makes-Things tries to seduce The Sunflower's Witness.

Saki and Kaitlyn talk about the tributes still alive.

Ami attempts to eat Backslash's brains, but proves vulnerable to shotguns.

Errant and Evelyn team up for the night - then Errant kills Evelyn in her sleep.

Ajax dreams of his Response Centre.

Dax and Zeb exchange stories about their worst missions.

Kyaris wanders in circles all night.

Lu'ci'ten hums to herself.

Levy thinks about her partner.

Day 4

Curff pulls a sword out of a stone in the Fantasy Farthing, but puts it back when it starts talking.

Holo-Acacia tricks Cupid into giving her all his weapons.

Jack and Lu'ci'ten team up to hunt down and kill Larkus.

Zeb defeats Dann in a fight, but spares his life.

Wobbles spends too long in the Digital Division and ends up with a pixellated face.

Levy forces Ajax to kill either Apollo or Saki. He refuses to kill, so Levy kills him instead.

Kyaris breaks a rib in a fall.

Kaatah stalks Suta all day long.

The Enervated Rat-Catcher spends the day unconscious with an infection.

Backslash stumbles across Kaitlyn and Shiro, who fail to notice him.

Errant tries to shove Dax down a pit in the Digital Division, but the pit glitches away at the last second.

Morgan spends the day trying to get Evangeline to stop talking.

Caprice runs away from Luxury into the SciFi Sector.

Makes-Things hunts down The Sunflower's Witness and kills her.

Matthew makes a rudimentary bow and arrow in the Fantasy Farthing.

Huinesoron

Kyaris

Morgan

Kaitlyn

Maethorwen

1 Kill

Comet

Matthew Welch

Ellie Davis

Ajax

Levy

1 Kill

Skarmory

Evangeline

1 Kill

Backslash

1 Kill

Cupid

Suta

Novastorme

Apollo

1 Kill

Kelly

Theo

Kaatah

2 Kills

Scaperic

Notary

Wobbles

1 Kill

Albert Sproggins

1 Kill

Richard

3 Kills

Neshbosh

Shimon

Caprice

Barid

Voltarmi

Badgershield

Larkus

Curff

1 Kill

The Detective

Jack

2 Kills

Knightstocke

Yocherry

The Enervated Rat-Catcher

Jesse

1 Kill

Errant

2 Kills

Turbo Mike

Shiro

2 Kills

Saki

1 Kill

Ami

1 Kill

Evelyn Portia Juliana

Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain

1 Kill

Calliope Istoría

1 Kill

Makes-Things

2 Kills

Dann

Ixxximaz

Zeb

Rhyslea

2 Kills

Dax

Luxury

1 Kill

Herr Sundae

Eusabius

Michael

Holo-Acacia

3 Kills

Sunflower's Witness

1 Kill


Day 5

The control room is darker today, the screens muted. The black-haired figure in the chair doesn't look quite like Dafydd, even from behind: its hair is shorter, and its skin seems darker.

The chair spins round, and Selene Windflower smiles a fanged smile. "Welcome back to the Hunger Games," she says. "It's been another violent night - we're now down to twenty-one Tributes, though all twelve districts are still hanging in there."

She waves at one of the angled screens behind her, and it lights up to show Makes-Things and Holo-Acacia deep in conversation. "Everything seemed to be going well," Selene says, "until Makes-Things put a foot wrong." On the screen, Acacia suddenly whips out her bow; Makes-Things is only halfway to his feet when the arrow hits him in the chest. Selene shrugs. "Apparently Acacia really doesn't like The Phantom Menace."

The room lights come up suddenly, and Dafydd strides into shot. "Hello, and welcome back to-" He cuts off abruptly, staring at Selene. "What… why are you here?"

"Hello to you too." Selene turns deliberately away from her old partner and taps a button on the console. "Speaking of arguments about movies… you'd think Cupid was lucky that Caprice let him into her gorgeous steampunk dragon." The vampire reaches up, her fingers brushing the gearwork on her cheek, as the filigreed golden dragon comes into focus on the screen. There is a winged body crumpled next to it. "Apparently not. Was Cupid's incessant movie quoting the real reason for her attack, or just an excu-?"

"Okay, that's enough." Dafydd slaps a hand down on the console, shutting the screen off. "Selene, why are you here? This is my show."

"Which you didn't bother to do the day before yesterday," Selene says, still not looking at him. "So Notte Ling called me in to-"

"I don't need anyone to cover for me," Dafydd snaps. "I'm here, aren't I?"

"Late."

"It's not like we're broadcasting live!" Dafydd folds his arms and scowls at her. "This is about that letter, isn't it?"

Selene sniffs. "I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about."

"It is." The elf sighs and leans back against the console. "Selene, I haven't had time to reply, what with the kids, and Ardolindi, and this, and the Sheaf, and… another project…" He waves a hand through the air as if trying to catch the breeze. "I haven't had a chance."

"... since you're here now," Selene says, "I suppose you may as well take over. Have fun." She turns on her heel and stalks offscreen.

Dafydd watches her go, then sighs and shakes his head. "Right, then," he murmurs. He turns back to the console, bringing the screens back up, and the camera cuts to Matthew and Jack facing off over crossed lightsabers.

"Once again, the classic 'glowing swords at midnight' battle proved irresistable - and deadly," Dafydd says. "Jack showed his skill yesterday against Larkus, and he wasn't about to be taken down tonight. Matthew fought bravely, but he just didn't make the cut."

The view fades out, then returns with a daylight shot of the Arena. "The day itself was fairly quiet," narrates Dafydd. "The most exciting things I saw were Holo-Acacia hiding behind a hologram - figure that one out - and Lu'ci'ten finding Caprice's dragon. Caprice wasn't in at the time, but they could be heading for a confrontation.

"Well… and this, of course." The view cuts to a forested region of the Fantasy Farthing, where four agents are fighting all-out. "I still can't make head or tail of why Lux and Shiro picked a fight with Dann and Errant - or was it the other way round? - but there could only be one winner." Dafydd pauses momentarily. "Or, uh, two winners, I suppose. Which is what happened - Luxury and Shiro went down, while Dann and Errant walked away with only minor injuries. Another pair of deaths, bringing our total up to five."

The camera switches back to Dafydd, who is looking offscreen, concerned. "And that's all from me today," he says, glancing back. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I need to go… and… uh, there's someone I need to talk to." He frowns, taps at the console, then shrugs to the camera. "Interviews in a minute. See you."


The Uncommon Comma in the Canon Library with Marley the king cobra? Luxury in the Lounge with a Dalek? GreyLadyBast in the Temple with the Quiddich bat?

No, these aren't ideas for Bad PPC Slash (well, the Lux one maybe…) - they're just some of the exciting accusations you might find yourself making in the epic PPC Cluedo tournament. Come down to Rudi's, put your detective hat on… and start guessing.


Interviews (Day 5)

District Huinesoron

Kaitlyn: So I hung out with that Time Lady, Morrigan or whatever her name is, but got a bit lost come morning. Sooo I hid behind a waterfall. There were mushrooms. ^_^

Morgan: This is... is anyone else finding this kind of boring? I hardly run into anyone, and everyone I do meet is friendly. Not that I want to have to fight, but... you know?

Kyaris: Oh, come on! I put my heads down for a nap, and next thing I know my legs are all tied together? How is that fair?

District Comet

Matthew walks into his RC, carrying a paper bag.

Ellie, Toby, and Ajax all have their eyes glued to the TV

Matthew: Heya Ajax, how yah feeling?

No response

Matthew (Holding up the bag): I gotcha some Bleep Products.

Toby: Shut it for a moment

Matthew notices what's going on on the TV.

Matthew: The [Censored] is going on with Levy?!

The image on the screen easily hints that Levy will be immediately sent to FicPsych when she's out of the game.

District Skarmory

Evangeline von Lilith: ...I'm becoming more and more convinced that the one bloody kill I've had was just a fluke. If I don't get another before dying, Pony Boy is NEVER going to let me live this down.

Backslash: Oh, don't mind me, just trying to survive out here... Everyone else be damned by this point...

Cupid Carmine: That's what I get for trying to talk people into appreciating my sense of humor, I guess. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to snag a few rounds of the good stuff... It's been a long week.

Suta: When's the next meal? I'm staaaaarving!

District Novastorme

Apollo: Spent the day on the move, felt like someone was watching me, so I tried to lose them as best I could... I think I've gotta move again, bye.

Kaatah: I'm never going near Luxury again *shivers*. Although the next part of my plan to hack the arena seems to be going well, now I've got the Sci-fi tech in the Fantasy area, all I need is a little bit of magic...

District Scaperic

Wobbles The Clown:

District Neshbosh

Caprice:

District Badgershield

Curff: 

Jack: wearing the stupidest grin LIGHTSABER DUELS! Ah, nothing finer. You do a couple of backflips, a couple of impractical, flashy sword swings, shout something vague about the high ground, and boom! Guaranteed win. That's the most fun I've had all games. . . . What are you looking at me like that for? I didn't keep it, no. That'd be all against the rules and stuff. nods sagely 

And yeah, Dax and the Enervated Rat Catcher there were good guys. 10 out of 10, would hunt—er, well, work with again. cameraman brings up Dax's interview Oh, she mentioned me? What'd she do that for? stares at the camera in utter confusion

District Knightstocke

The Enervated Rat-Catcher: Yeah, dunno. Nuffin much's happened. I saw a lightsaber fight. And I saw someone sharpenin her hair. But other'n that, nuffin much's happened.

Errant:

District Turbo Mike

Shiro Turbo: Now I understand why Sergio said it's better to stay away from that woman. She dragged me in a fight that resulted in our deaths. Now, excuse me, but I'm going to see if Keiko managed to get her Remote Activator fixed...

Saki Cherryflower: I got to play hide and seek! That teleporter not working was quite a shame, though.

Wait, Shiro has been eliminated? Uh. I'm sure someone was cheating, Shiro is stronger than this! *puffs cheeks in anger*

District Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain: I am not a hoarder, little voice in my ear. I'm looking for something to use for shoes, since the ones that let me survive well are gone.

...okay, fine, maybe I wanted the dragon for another reason. It's been a long time since I've flown, after all! And the food was nice. But that doesn't make me a hoarder. Even if I did technically steal from a Districtmate.

Also, Cupid: Pity that you're out. Remind me to find you back at HQ - you were a good fighter, as far as I could tell.

Makes-Things:

Dann:

District Ixxximaz

Zeb: The Luxray looks rather ashen-faced. He opens his mouth, tries to say something, and lets out a choked sob.

Dax: So, like, my hair's always kind of had a mind of its own when I'm in my natural form, but then last night I had the best idea to try teaching it to grab stuff. Prehensile hair! Now I can use it to strangle people in the arena... or maybe tie them up, if they ask nicely. Her grin widens. I know I'd love to ask Jack...

Luxury: 

District Herr Sundae

Holo-Acacia: I don't think that was an overreaction. There are only three things The Phantom Menace should be praised for: the soundtrack, the final battle, and Ewan McGregor. Everything else is just the start of a long, bad road.

~~~~~~~~~~

Hey hey, it's lab time! The whiteboard has been cleared off of most of the technical information: right now, it's being dominated by a list of pros and cons regarding the Star Wars prequels. Daphne and Tess are standing in front of the board having a very heated debate.

TJ: I'm certainly not saying that it's a work of craft, doctor, but you have to admit that Revenge of the Sith had its moments—

DStA: I ADMIT NOTHING!

TJ: Doctor—

DStA: A few solid moments do not make up for multiple films worth of poorly-conceived, poorly-written drivel!

The debate continues, but it's at this point Naas pokes his head into view very close to the camera.

NGvH: Ah… sorry for this, everyone. We were discussing the events of the last day, passions flared, and well… here we are! Uh… I suppose I should say something like 'we're very proud that Holo-Acacia now has the most kills in the Games.' Because we are. We're just… distracted.

He coughs.

NGvH: Um… good day.

The camera feed cuts out.


Transcript (Day 5)

Night 4

Shiro curls up in a forest in the Fantasy Farthing and tries to sleep.

Saki, Kaatah, and Luxury play Hide and Seek across the Digital Division.

Errant ties up Kyaris and leaves her in the middle of the Fantasy Farthing.

Suta wanders in circles all night.

The Enervated Rat-Catcher, Kaitlyn, and Morgan sleep in shifts.

Zeb cries all night.

Holo-Acacia kills Makes-Things for saying the Star Wars prequels 'weren't that bad'.

Apollo hears voices in the distance and heads in the opposite direction.

Lu'ci'ten steals all Dann and Evangeline's stuff while they sleep.

Cupid won't stop quoting bad movies, so Caprice kills him.

Backslash cries all night.

Matthew dies the way he would have wanted to go: in a midnight lightsaber duel with Jack.

Dax successfully spends the night weaponising her hair.

Wobbles dreams of her Response Centre.

Levy tries to seduce Curff.

Day 5

Curff searches all day for an invulnerability powerup in the Digital Division.

Backslash stalks Apollo all day long.

Kyaris walks in circles all day.

Caprice walks in circles all day.

Kaatah successfully smuggles sci-fi technology into the Fantasy Farthing.

Evangeline is chased around the Digital Division by Levy.

Zeb eats an excellent meal.

Dax, The Enervated Rat-Catcher, and Jack hunt for other tributes.

Kaitlyn hides behind a waterfall in the Fantasy Farthing.

Lu'ci'ten finds a mechanical dragon in the SciFi Sector, but it won't start.

Wobbles receives food from an unknown sponsor.

Holo-Acacia and Suta set up a hologram to hide from Morgan.

Saki finds a teleporter in the SciFi Sector, but it just leads back to itself.

Luxury and Shiro face off against Errant and Dann. Errant and Dann are victorious.

Huinesoron

Kyaris

Morgan

Kaitlyn

Maethorwen

1 Kill

Comet

Matthew Welch

Ellie Davis

Ajax

Levy

1 Kill

Skarmory

Evangeline

1 Kill

Backslash

1 Kill

Cupid

Suta

Novastorme

Apollo

1 Kill

Kelly

Theo

Kaatah

2 Kills

Scaperic

Notary

Wobbles

1 Kill

Albert Sproggins

1 Kill

Richard

3 Kills

Neshbosh

Shimon

Caprice

1 Kill

Barid

Voltarmi

Badgershield

Larkus

Curff

1 Kill

The Detective

Jack

3 Kills

Knightstocke

Yocherry

The Enervated Rat-Catcher

Jesse

1 Kill

Errant

3 Kills

Turbo Mike

Shiro

2 Kills

Saki

1 Kill

Ami

1 Kill

Evelyn Portia Juliana

Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain

1 Kill

Calliope Istoría

1 Kill

Makes-Things

2 Kills

Dann

1 Kill

Ixxximaz

Zeb

Rhyslea

2 Kills

Dax

Luxury

1 Kill

Herr Sundae

Eusabius

Michael

Holo-Acacia

4 Kills

Sunflower's Witness

1 Kill


Day 6

The view of the console room appears. It is darker than normal, and the reason soon becomes clear: there is no glow from the screens. The only light is the perculiar ambient glow that seems to fill HQ.

Dafydd Illian walks on-screen, chewing on his lip. He studies the sheet of paper in his hands for a few moments, then makes eye-contact with the camera.

"Hello!" he says, trying for cheer but not quite making it. "Welcome back to the Hunger Games, where we bring you all the highlights from the Arena in stunning full-colour footage. Er."

He draws a deep breath. "Except not today. We've had, er, a minor technical failure." He gestures behind him at the console. "The Arena's still running fine, don't worry about that, but someone has gotten into the control systems and knocked them down." He sighs and pushes his hair back from his face. "I'm assured we'll have them back for tomorrow, but right now we have no access to the Arena cameras.

"But!" The elf visibly pulls himself together. "That's not going to stop us showing - yes, showing - you all the deaths, which as a little preview is five." He grins at the camera. "We'll come back to that in a minute. First, here's what didn't kill anyone.

"Holographic Acacia seems to be feeling a bit odd: she tried to seduce the Enervated Rat-Catcher during the night, then tried and failed to stab Dann in the morning." Dafydd frowns at the camera. "I think the team behind her might want to check she hasn't been hit by the hacking; she doesn't seem to be on her best form.

"Elsewhere, we have another documented snuggling incident, this time between Dann and Errant." The elf chuckles softly. "I remember when Technician Dann's 'hotness' was the talk of HQ, along with Agent Suicide, that blue elf, and… well… me." He shakes his head, dismissing the memory. "Other than that, it's been fairly quiet, apart from the deaths. Speaking of which… in you come, kids."

A gaggle of young children are ushered into the room by two women in waistcoats, one sullen, the other grinning to the point of mania. Both are wearing yellow shirts, as are several of the children - underneath their other costumes.

Dafydd claps his hands, bringing the children to something approximating silence. "The first deaths occured during the night," he says. "I believe we have the Leonard girls to show it to us?"

There is a shuffling in the crowd, and a buzz of young voices before the sullen woman nudges two six-year-old girls out to the front. One of them doesn't seem to have heard of any colour other than purple: her hair is streaked with it, her clothes are a medley of it, and the pair of wings strapped lopsidedly to her back are coloured it too. Even the line drawn around her neck is purple. The other girl would be rather more sensibly dressed, in a uniform of yellow shirt and black waistcoat, except for the fact that she has covered her entire outfit in lumps of clay and plasticine.

"Hello," the purple girl says, in the steady tone of a child doing her best to remember what she's been told to say. "Would you like to share some food with me? I am lots of hungry."

The clay-covered girl spreads out her arms. "Raaaar!" she roars. "I am evil!"

Her sister scowls at her. "No, Lin," she says, "I'm Evil. We decided. You're… Dogs."

"Dax," one of the adults hisses. "It's Dax and Ee-Vee-El."

"But I wanted to be evil," the plasticined girl whines. "Why can't I be evil?"

"Because I am," the other says firmly. "And I'm going to share your food now, okey?"

Her sister pouts, but after a firm look from the sterner of her teachers she sighs and holds out a biscuit. "Here is some food, Evil," she says. "Let's share."

"Yum, thanks," the purple girl says, taking the biscuit and breaking it in half. "Om nom nom." She glances at the teachers, then tucks the biscuit in her pocket.

Her sister follows suit with her half, then clutches dramatically at her chest. "OH NO!" she screams. "I am poisoned!"

"OH NO I am poisoned too!" the other girl shouts, doing her best to be even louder, and then both of them collapse onto the floor.

Dafydd steps back in front of the camera, doing his best to keep a straight face. "Yes, E.V.L. and Dax manages to poison themselves," he says, "though not, I'm afraid, on chocolate biscuits. Other than that, it was a quiet night… until the sun rose."

A white-haired boy of about eight steps forward unprompted, and a moment later a blonde girl half his age joins him. "Ha-ha!" says the boy, who for some reason is festooned with toy rats. "I'll get you! Ha! Hi-yah!"

The girl, who is wearing a rather pathetic-looking costume tail, just stands there looking faintly bewildered as the boy jumps around her. After a few prancing circuits, he leans in and pushes lightly on her shoulder, and she whirls around, scowling furiously.

"Lu-den!" she yells. "That hurt! You hurt me!"

"Er." Dafydd steps hurriedly back into frame as the two teachers rush up to separate the kids. "That was, er, the Enervated Rat-Catcher pushing Lu'ci'ten down an elevator shaft. Thank you, Luden; thank you, Elisabeth."

"Can I go next?" a voice pipes up, and Jasmine (who looks no different than she did when presenting Day Three, other than the crushed paper cup in her hand) pushes to the front of the crowd. "Please, Dad?"

"Sure, Jas." Dafydd smiles at his daughter, and steps out of the way. "Go for it."

Jasmine beams, then puts on her serious face and peers around. "I'm stuck here in the SciFi Sector," she says in a dramatic voice. "I have this super-awesome-wicked-cool dragon, but I can't get it to work. What I need to do… is sneak some of this technology into the other zones!"

She looks around, then darts offscreen for a second. When she returns, she has a unidentifiable piece of technology under her arm. "This bomb," she intones, "will be a super-amazing weapon if I can get it into the Magical Mile. Those silly magickers won't know what hit them."

Jasmine tiptoes exaggeratedly across the floor. "Just coming up on the border now," she says in a stage whisper. "As long as I can get through the shieldsBOOM!"

She drops the 'bomb' onto the floor and flings herself backwards. "Oh no!" she exclaims. "I have blown myself up, and now… I… am… dead." She drops to her knees, crumples to the side, then bounces back up to her feet. Grinning hugely, she bows to the camera, then dashes back into the crowd.

"Thank you, Jasmine." Dafydd walks back into shot. "Yes, I'm afraid Caprice's reign of dragon has come to an end, and with it, her district becomes the first eliminated. I'm not sure if anyone else will take possession of the dragon - of the others she's allowed inside, Cupid and Lu'ci'ten are both out already, so that only leaves Kaitlyn and Morgan. We'll see."

He stops for a second, then draws in a deep breath. "There's one more death to cover," he says, "and it's… it's a good one. Okay, kids: take it away."

"RAAAAAR!" A small boy of about four stomps out of the crowd, dressed in a lime-green dinosaur costume. "Raar, raar, RAAAAR!"

As the boy thumps back and forth across the room, Daphne from Day 3 dances out alongside him wearing what seems to be a standard Anime Japanese schoolgirl uniform. "Oh, I'm pretty," she sings, or at least warbles off-key. "I'm a magical girl and I'm really pretty-pretty."

A third child jumps out, barely recognisable as Bella, the middle Illian daughter from Day 3. She's wearing what seems to be a lion costume, but painted black and blue, with a yellow star stuck on the tale. "I'm the big bad wolf!" she shouts at the other two.

Daphne stops and frowns, though the other child (who looks enough like the two girls to be their younger brother) keeps up his dinosaur act. "I thought," Daphne says slowly, "I thought you were a Luxury."

"It's Luxray," Jasmine calls from the crowd. "With a Ray."

"Ummmkay." Bella straightens up. "I'm the big bad Luxray, and you are both my prisoniers!" She pauses for a split second. "Oleander, that means you have to stop."

"Raaar," the boy says, coming to a halt and folding his arms. "I'm a Ty-ran-no-saur-us an' I'm gonna eat you."

"But I catchtured you," Bella says firmly. "And now you can't move."

"Oh no!" exclaims Daphne. "Whatever will we do?"

"I… ugh… I'll save you." A tall boy of about ten steps out of the crowd. He is the spitting image of Dafydd, right down to the pointed ears, and is dressed in the same standard uniform as Jasmine was. "Yay me."

Bella pouts. "Tanfin, you have to at least pretend."

"I'm pretending," Tanfin protests. "Look at me, I'm Curff and I do magic; I'm pretending."

"... okay!" Bella spins round and points at Oleander and Daphne. "The rule is, you have to kill one of them!"

Tanfin folds his arms. "I don't want to."

This time, Bella turns a full-blown scowl onto her brother. "Tan-fin!" she wails. "You're supposed to be playing!"

Tanfin's lip twitches in a slight smile. "I am playing, Bells," he says. "That's what Curff did: he said he wouldn't kill Suta or Saki."

"Oh." Bella frowns. "Oh. Well, then… then I'll kill you!" She jumps at Tanfin, slapping at him with both hands.

"Ow!" Tanfin dodges backwards, but Bella is too quick for him. "That hurts! Bella, stop it!"

"Yeah!" Oleander chimes in, running after the pair. "Stoppit stoppit stoppit!"

As the three children tumble out of shot, followed at a jog by the pair of adults, Dafydd walks back in. He is grinning from ear to ear, and barely keeping from laughing.

"So that's… that's what happened today," he says. "Tan- er, Curff was taken out by Zeb, taking us up to five deaths. I've just been told that the cameras are slowly coming back up, so after the break we should be able to show you the interviews. See you tomorrow!"


Are you between the ages of four and twelve? If not, you should be! They're the best ages. If, like any sensible person, you already are, you should join the Buds or the Sprouts! Come along to the Department of Out-of-Character Hobbits to sign up today!


Interviews (Day 6)

District Huinesoron

Morgan: I'm doing my best to not die by not doing anything that might upset anyone. It seems to be working.

Kaitlyn Jackson: I'm making frieeeends. I made friends with this awesome lady who has a steampunky dragon, I am so jealous. I think we got on really well, too - she was certainly much more fun than the Time Lady and the violent guy I met during the day.

Kyaris: Medical supplies? What do I need with medicine? I'm still nimble enough to evade that Levy woman, aren't I?

District Comet

Levy:

District Skarmory

Evangeline von Lilith: ...

...

...WHAT. THE. BLOODY. [BLEEP]. I AM SO [BLEEP]ING STEAMED RIGHT NOW. ONE KILL. ONE. KILL. THAT WAS IT. I DIED WITH FEWER KILLS THAN A COUPLE OF COMPLETELY MUNDANE HUMAN BEINGS AND A [BLEEPING] HOLOGRAM. AND TO POISONED FOOD, NO LESS. I. JUST. [BLEEP] IT, I'M DONE. I HATE THIS [BLEEP]ING GAME. I HATE IT I HATE IT I HATE IT. [BLEEP] YOU. [BLEEP] YOU ALL. *storms off*

Backslash: ...I don't know about you guys, but something tells me that this place is turning out a whole lot weirder than I thought it'd be. My wonky time sense is giving me headaches, I've talked with people from the future, and for the love of - nobody in the PPC should be acting this weird! Oh well. I'm not interested in winning this game, but I won't miss it once I get inevitably bumped off.

Suta: Well, there's one thing I never thought I'd have fun doing - taking people for rides on my back! I'm sure Apollo and Saki had a lot of fun while they were with me. Lemme make this clear, though... I'm nobody's Yoshi. If I can get the chance to eat you guys, I will. Consider yourselves warned!

District Novastorme

Apollo: Gotta admit, didn't think I'd survive a run in with a dragon, but it was actually quite good, even if they did leave me before I woke up. I really need to sort my sleep cycle out. I heard the Digital Division had someone superhero stuff in it and thought I'd try and get some more powers on top of my existing one. It didn't work, but it was worth a shot.

Kaatah: To be fair, it wasn't too much about what poison to tip arrows with, more Zeb saying random stuff and me saying whether it would kill a Quarian or not. Most of the time the answer was 'yes' by the way. Thanks for the food sponsor, even more thanks for making sure I could eat it.

District Scaperic

Wobbles The Clown:

District Neshbosh

Caprice: *sigh* Well, that was embarrassing. Also painful. But at least I'm in the top twenty! Which is kind of why I did it? I was thinking, you know, there's not that many of us left, maybe it's time to get serious. Just goes to show you should never get too serious in HQ.

Whoever finds my dragon had better take good care of it, ya hear me, jerks?

Peace out.

District Badgershield

Curff: 

Jack:

District Knightstocke

The Enervated Rat-Catcher: *The bags on his eyes are deep and long and his face has gone red. He is in a sort of daze, leaning against a rock. He looks very enervated.*

Hello, PPC legend Acacia Byrd, I fink yer incredibly cute, too. Yes, PPC legend Acacia Byrd, I agree wif that statement. No, PPC legend Acacia Byrd, I don't fink yer a hallucination as a result of my horrendous madness brought on by a consistent lack of sleep and perhaps unfortunate chemicals in my brain. Yes, PPC legend Acacia Byrd, you do got me wrapped hopelessly around yer finger.

Errant:

District Turbo Mike

Saki Cherryflower: I've got to ride a T-Rex! And she was really nice, too. Too bad Zeb somehow captured us both and tried to get the other guy to kill us. It didn't work as he intended - I did my best puppy eyes and managed to make him not want to kill me, and... well, Suta's a T-Rex so he wasn't really into attacking her either.

So Zeb mauled him instead. It was scary. He's so nice in my time, was he really so feral in 2017?

District Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain: …

Rat.

Did you honestly just push me down an elevator shaft?

You turned my death into a mockery. I spent an entire night figuring out how to turn one of my most useless parts into a weapon, and then... you shove me down a shaft.

Well, then. I won't repeat the threats and oaths I gave as I fell - for a variety of reasons. But realize that I meant every one of them. I'll find you, Rat, and carry them out.

Now, then... nineteenth place. Not too bad, really; I do wish I had won, but given my disadvantages, I'm not surprised that I didn't. Had fun with a few of the deaths, met a few honorable Agents - all in all, not a bad experience. Minus those couple of times where I lost my head a little.

Well, time to get back to the RC. Here's hoping it's still reasonably intact...

Dann:

District Ixxximaz

Zeb: Zeb twitches and shakes his head. He opens his mouth a few times, but can only make a strangled choking noise that sounds like an attempt to roar. Dried blood is caked under his claws and in his mane.

Lux...ray...

Dax: Avandra's [censored], was a 20 Constitution not enough to save me from that? Did I not get a saving throw? The rules of this universe are stupid. She folds her arms and fumes; her hair, which normally moves about her head in an invisible breeze, goes limp. Stupid, stupid, stupid...

District Herr Sundae

Holo-Acacia: Holo-Acacia is currently sitting underneath an artificial tree. There is a concerned look on her face, although it's a bit difficult to tell as her entire form keeps flickering and artifacting.

I see-see-see-see-see-seem to be SUFFERING from some sort of tech-tech-technical error. Rorre lacinhcet-hcet-hcet-hcet fo tros emos. I am detecting a grrrrrrrrreat deal of co-co-co-CO-co-CO-corruption in my memory baaaanks. Emergency rebooting may be-be-be required.

~~~~~~~~~~

The lab is a mess. There are bits of paper and pictures everywhere. The whiteboard is now covered with various panicked notes (along with a few curse words, which have been blurred by the camera's automatic filter). Naas is typing away on his computer, while Daphne peers at the screen from over his shoulder.

DStA: Have you been able to trigger a reset yet?

NGvH: I'm trying, but the system isn't responding. Not sure if that's because of the hacking or interference from the actual Games location.

Tess runs up and hands a tablet to Daphne.

TJ: The latest readings, Doctor St. Auguste. Degradation has increased another eight percent. She may not be able to keep her form together much longer.

Daphne pulls at her hair (which is noticeably messier than usual).

DStA: Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable! This is clearly sabotage! Someone is out to get the plug pulled on our holo-agent program. Probably those [EXPLETIVE DELETED] AI rights people. I've told them dozens of times, the holo-agents have no sentience and are thus not true AI! We are no longer in the business of making AI!

Naas and Tess pause in their actions and give Daphne an odd look.

TJ: Don't you mean 'we are NOT in the business of making AI,' ma'am.

DStA: Never mind that! Tess, get me a meeting with the Hornbeam. And Makes-Things, if he's back. Also, scrounge up a list of any hackers in the PPC who could do something like this.

TJ: Yes ma'am.

DStA: Naas! Do whatever has to be done to keep Holo-Acacia online.

NGvH: Don't have to tell me twice, doc.

The camera feed ends.


Transcript (Day 6)

Night 5

Levy finds a savepoint in the Digital Division.

Kaatah and Zeb debate the best poison for tipping arrows with.

Kaitlyn, Morgan, and Caprice sleep in shifts.

Kyaris receives medical supplies from a known sponsor - the Medical Department.

Lu'ci'ten successfully spends the night weaponising her hair.

Dann persuades Errant to snuggle with him 'for warmth'.

Evangeline and Dax share out their food, but it turns out to be poisoned.

Holo-Acacia tries to seduce The Enervated Rat-Catcher.

Saki and Backslash exchange stories about their worst missions.

Jack hums to himself.

Suta and Apollo run into each other in the Digital Division and decide to truce for the night.

Wobbles dreams of her Response Centre.

Curff thinks about his partner.

Day 6

The Enervated Rat-Catcher pushes Lu'ci'ten down an elevator shaft in the SciFi Sector.

Zeb forces Curff to kill either Suta or Saki. He refuses to kill, so Zeb kills him instead.

Apollo searches all day for an invulnerability powerup in the Digital Division.

Holo-Acacia attacks Dann with a knife, but Dann gets away.

Caprice tries to sneak a bomb into the Magical Mile, but it explodes and kills her.

Kaatah receives food from an unknown sponsor.

Levy stalks Kyaris all day long.

Wobbles successfully smuggles sci-fi technology into the Fantasy Farthing.

Kaitlyn and Jack reluctantly team up.

Morgan and Errant reluctantly team up.

Backslash crafts a poisonous potion in the Digital Division.

Huinesoron

Kyaris

Morgan

Kaitlyn

Maethorwen

1 Kill

Comet

Matthew Welch

Ellie Davis

Ajax

Levy

1 Kill

Skarmory

Evangeline

1 Kill

Backslash

1 Kill

Cupid

Suta

Novastorme

Apollo

1 Kill

Kelly

Theo

Kaatah

2 Kills

Scaperic

Notary

Wobbles

1 Kill

Albert Sproggins

1 Kill

Richard

3 Kills

Neshbosh

Shimon

Caprice

1 Kill

Barid

Voltarmi

Badgershield

Larkus

Curff

1 Kill

The Detective

Jack

3 Kills

Knightstocke

Yocherry

The Enervated Rat-Catcher

1 Kill

Jesse

1 Kill

Errant

3 Kills

Turbo Mike

Shiro

2 Kills

Saki

1 Kill

Ami

1 Kill

Evelyn Portia Juliana

Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain

1 Kill

Calliope Istoría

1 Kill

Makes-Things

2 Kills

Dann

1 Kill

Ixxximaz

Zeb

1 Kill

Rhyslea

2 Kills

Dax

Luxury

1 Kill

Herr Sundae

Eusabius

Michael

Holo-Acacia

4 Kills

Sunflower's Witness

1 Kill


Day 7

A mournful dirge plays. The camera slowly fades in to show Dafydd Illian hunched in his chair in front of the Hunger Games control unit. His shoulders slump forwards; his head is buried in his hands.

"Disaster," he intones into his palms, "has struck. The worst has happened. An era of hope and joy has ended, never to come again."

He flicks a hand out, gesturing at one of the screens, and an image appears: a flickering mass of pixels in a gently-lit clearing.

"That," Dafydd says, looking up at the camera at last through reddened eyes, "is all that remains of the Acacia Byrd hologram. The hacking which took our systems out yesterday had knock-on effects, and they all funnelled straight into her." The view switches to Acacia, kneeling under a tree in the dark, making scratchy modem noises. "We hoped that her behaviour last night was the only consequence… but we were wrong."

The image of the shifting pixel cloud reappears, and Dafydd shakes his head slowly. "She bled out," he says. "That's the only way to put it. Acacia's program, corrupted by the hackers, seeped through the Arena's firewalls and passed into the networks. I'm sure her operators have backups - I'm sure she'll make another appearance next year - but the Holo-Acacia who's thrilled us with her antics this year is gone forever."

The dirge rises in volume as the view shifts to a slow slideshow of Holo-Acacia's time in the Arena: her fight with Eusabius, her cuddling with E.V.L., her tricking Cupid, her shooting Makes-Things in the heart.

Then, abruptly, the music cuts off. The view cuts back to the control room, where a woman is standing over Dafydd, black-haired and bespectacled, her arms folded. "Dafydd," she says, "you're being ridiculous."

"Connie." The elf looks up at his wife. "But she's dead."

"She's a hologram," Constance says, tapping her foot. "Not even a sentient one - just a bundle of programs designed to act a bit like Acacia. And speaking as someone who met the woman, she wasn't even all that close." She reaches over and pats her husband's arm. "Come on, pull yourself together, or I'll start calling you Daffy."

Dafydd winces slightly, but straightens up. "That's not all, though," he says, splitting his attention between Constance and the camera. "I won't say it gets worse, because that's impossible, but it doesn't exactly get better."

The camera cuts to a night-time view of Kaitlyn working on a piece of tech in the SciFi Sector. She straightens up, a determined look on her face, and pushes a button on the wall beside her.

There is a blue flash.

"This is Kaitlyn Jackson," Dafydd narrates, as the footage shows her appearing next to a campfire. Levy and Wobbles, sitting nearby, look up in near-perfect unison. "She's an agent in the Department of Floaters, and the Department of Character Protective Services," Dafydd goes on, as Kaitlyn turns on her heel and bolts out of the camp. "She's also the loyalest, most faithful Priestess of GreyLadyBast we ever had."

"Yeah, about that," Constance's voice cuts in while the footage wipes to Kaitlyn walking through the forest next to Suta the tyrannosaur. "You remember she stole your sacred mushrooms, right?"

"At your instigation," Dafydd retorts. "The fact remains that she has gotten through these Games by making friends, helping others, working together - and now…" The image slam-cuts to Suta tearing at Kaitlyn, ripping through her flesh. "Now she's dead!" Dafydd sobs.

"I'm just gonna say 'yeah, about that' again." The view switches back to Constance, rolling her eyes at her husband. "I've checked your recordings - that casual stroll she was taking with Suta was a blatant attempt to pull off one of those 'choose who you kill or I'll kill you' choices the contestants seem so fond of." She reaches over and taps at the console, pulling up images of Kyaris and Apollo. "Sure, she didn't actually have these two as prisoners, but she was absolutely trying to force Suta to kill one of them."

Dafydd looks up with his best pout. "Even if that were true," he says, "and I'm not admitting it is… Kaitlyn wouldn't actually have hurt Suta."

"Because she's almost hobbit-sized and Suta's a giant dinosaur?" Constance suggests.

Dafydd smiles involuntarily. "True, but no: because she's lovely." He nods firmly.

His wife rolls her eyes again. "I think that's enough out of you," she says. "Bye, folks. He'll be back tomorrow, probably. Stick around for interviews."


dont worry shes safe with me ill take good care of her

we will see you again


Interviews (Day 7)

District Huinesoron

Morgan: Staying undercover, staying in the background... it's the Time Lord way.

Kaitlyn Jackson: ... oh. Well. Bother.

I thought this game was supposed to be about fighting? But the one time I tried it, I got eaten like a basket of mushrooms.

Kyaris: I'm... really tired, actually. This Arena is messing with my heads. How many more people need to die before I can win?

District Comet

Levy:

District Skarmory

Backslash: Where IS everyone? They're either too scared to fight me, or they think I'm too annoying to spend the night with. I'm not fond of either possibility. *Sigh* I miss Whitney already...

Suta: I seriously wanna say 'I told you so', but I'm not outta the woods just yet, literally! Anyway, protip, Kaitlyn: Don't even try to goad a Big Jaw when she's gone for three days without anything to eat. Yeah, like that'll go well.

Also, I'm in the top 15! Whoo, go me! *triumphant roar*

District Novastorme

Apollo: (noticeably out of breath) Who the [BEEP] thought it was a good idea to put goblins in this? Nasty little buggers almost killed me, and THEN I was captured by one of the others, thankfully that second attempt to force another tribute to choose between me and someone else went as well as the first one did, although this time for the bastard who got me. Didn't realise it was my dragon friend until after she'd helped me escape, all I can say is that hobbit knows how to do her knots.

Kaatah: So I found out how to play Solitaire. That's a good thing, right? Spent most of my time doing that, waiting for part of my grand plan to come together, and then two other tributes came along and I went to hunt with them, I mean I was looking more for parts than people to kill, but I managed to survive it.

District Scaperic

Wobbles The Clown:

District Neshbosh

District Badgershield

Jack:

District Knightstocke

The Enervated Rat-Catcher:

Errant:

District Turbo Mike

Saki Cherryflower: Saki is sitting on the ground, hugging her knees.

We're very few people now, and we're likely going to start really going at each other now. So it's better to stay on my own, but... I don't like being alone. Shiro's gone, that sniper girl's gone, Keiko didn't even qualify, and I don't know if I can trust the other poeple anymore. Is this how Shiro felt in our fic? It's terrible.

District Technical Triumvirate

Dann:

District Ixxximaz

Zeb: Zeb's nose rests on his front paws. He doesn't look at the camera. 

District Herr Sundae

Holo-Acacia:

The lab is still a mess from the previous day. The whiteboard is now almost completely blank, with only a very simple drawing of a sad face on it. Daphne and Nass are sitting rather glumly at their workstation. Well, Naas are: Daphne is actually slumped over the workstation, face down, with a bottle of some sort of brown liquid in one hand. There isn't much liquid left.

Tess staggers in, bags under her eyes, and takes a seat next to Naas.

TJ: What a disaster. Were you able to recover anything of the hologram's programming?

NGvH: Only the memory banks. The personality core is… somewhere. I don't know. Apparently our networks were designed by that human mathematical artist while he was in the middle of migraine.

TJ: Escher? Wouldn't surprise me.

Tess reaches over and pulls the bottle out of Daphne's arms. She uncorks it and takes a big swig.

TJ: I suppose 15th place isn't bad.

NGvH: What kind of soft upbringing did you have where 15th 'isn't bad'?

TJ: Out of 60? It's not bad.

It's only now that the two techs notice the camera.

TJ: Oh! Uh, sorry. I guess we should say something? An official statement.

NGvH: Sure, I'll say something. We were absolutely robbed.

With one final drunken snort from Daphne, the camera feed ends.


Transcript (Day 7)

Night 6

Saki receives clean water from an unknown sponsor.

Jack is utterly lost.

Suta and The Enervated Rat-Catcher exchange stories about their worst missions.

Zeb thinks about his partner.

Kaatah plays solitare.

Morgan thinks about winning.

Apollo spends the night running from goblins.

Kaitlyn teleports into Levy and Wobbles's camp in the SciFi Sector, but makes her escape.

Errant and Dann wake to find they have been sleep-duelling across the Magical Mile.

Kyaris curls up in a forest in the Fantasy Farthing and tries to sleep.

Backslash finds a savepoint in the Digital Division.

Holo-Acacia cries all night.

Day 7

Errant and The Enervated Rat-Catcher hunt for other tributes in the Fantasy Farthing.

Kaitlyn forces Suta to kill either Kyaris or Apollo. She overpowers Kaitlyn and kills her instead.

Saki longs for some company.

Holo-Acacia bleeds out.

Backslash finds a wand in the Magical Mile, but can't make it work.

Zeb spends the day unconscious with an infection.

Morgan sneaks into the SciFi Sector to find medicine.

Jack finds a teleporter in the SciFi Sector, but it just leads back to itself.

Kaatah, Wobbles, and Levy hunt for other tributes.

Dann receives medicine from an unknown sponsor.

Huinesoron

Kyaris

Morgan

Kaitlyn

Maethorwen

1 Kill

Comet

Matthew Welch

Ellie Davis

Ajax

Levy

1 Kill

Skarmory

Evangeline

1 Kill

Backslash

1 Kill

Cupid

Suta

1 Kill

Novastorme

Apollo

1 Kill

Kelly

Theo

Kaatah

2 Kills

Scaperic

Notary

Wobbles

1 Kill

Albert Sproggins

1 Kill

Richard

3 Kills

Neshbosh

Shimon

Caprice

1 Kill

Barid

Voltarmi

Badgershield

Larkus

Curff

1 Kill

The Detective

Jack

3 Kills

Knightstocke

Yocherry

The Enervated Rat-Catcher

1 Kill

Jesse

1 Kill

Errant

3 Kills

Turbo Mike

Shiro

2 Kills

Saki

1 Kill

Ami

1 Kill

Evelyn Portia Juliana

Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain

1 Kill

Calliope Istoría

1 Kill

Makes-Things

2 Kills

Dann

1 Kill

Ixxximaz

Zeb

1 Kill

Rhyslea

2 Kills

Dax

Luxury

1 Kill

Herr Sundae

Eusabius

Michael

Holo-Acacia

4 Kills

Sunflower's Witness

1 Kill


Day 8

The episode opens on side-by-side images of Holo-Acacia's pixellated remains, and the bloody maw of Suta.

"That," Dafydd says in a low voice, "was the calm. This… is the storm."

The elf is standing in the centre of the control room. On either side of him, the screens show nothing but the Hunger Games Logo. "We went into Night Seven with fourteen Tributes," he continues. "Now only seven remain, each alone in their district. Fully half of the field - wiped clean." His lips curl upwards in something that can barely be called a smile. "And to think - we called a Feast for them and everything."

This is the last time Dafydd appears on-screen until the very end of the episode. He is replaced by images of the agents and events he describes, and with each death, a dramatic crossing-out of the Tribute's portrait.

"The Rat-Catcher," he says. "During the night, he was playful, disguising himself to spook the competition - but during the day he was relentless. With Levy, he took down one of the others at the Feast, and with that newfound vigour, he chased after Saki all day long. He survived, and with him, District Knightstocke.

"Levy. She spent her time alone, actively avoiding company - but the trap she set with the Rat-Catcher was one of the game's more ruthless setups. She takes District Comet into the final seven.

"Kaatah is a killer. We watched her take down a Time Lady, giggling to herself. She stayed away from the Feast, though - perhaps the stress of the games is getting to her, or perhaps she's simply ensuring District Novastorme lasts as long as possible.

"Morgan, of course, is the Time Lady in question. She's out. And her District is out, too - Kyaris met the wrong end of an electrical current, courtesy of Saki Cherryflower.

"Yes, Saki - the little girl with a heart of murder. Not content with her nighttime kill, she teamed up with the heavily-caffienated Wobbles - a pairing I'm sure will be insanely popular in the Nursery - to cut down Errant at the Feast. Her violent streak will serve District Turbo Mike well, and if Wobbles keeps getting fed as well as she has been, District Scaperic should place highly too.

"Errant camped overnight with Dann and Zeb, and perhaps they should have gotten a little more sleep, because they're an ill-fated trio. It was Zeb who fell victim to the Rat-Catcher and Levy, which frankly seems to be more of a kindness than anything else. And Dann was brought down by Apollo and Jack - he never even made it to the Cornucopia.

"But don't go thinking the Apollo-Jack alliance meant anything at all. Jack certainly didn't - that's why he used SciFi Sector technology to bomb Apollo from afar. A callous dismissal of someone who thought him a friend, or a cunning way to raise District Badgershield's chances? You decide.

"Speaking of ill-fated allies… Suta spent the night with Apollo, cuddling close, and her morning did not go well. Everyone's favourite tyrannosaur stalked blithely towards the Cornucopia for the Feast - but Backslash was already there, and heavily armed. Suta didn't stand a chance. Their shared district meant nothing; Backslash now represents District Skarmory alone."

The reel of murders fades out, cutting back to the control room, and Dafydd. "Seven Tributes remain," he says, "seven hopefuls vying to become the champion of the Fifth PPC HQ Hunger Games. But as the man said," the smile returns, thinner and even less humourous, "there can be only one."


The Hunger Games are just one of the many terrible sights witnessed by a PPC Agent. Sometimes, you just need to forget everything… and that's why HFA will always be here, supplying the best in quality amnesia. Bleeprin: go ahead. Quaff a kind nepenthe.


Interviews (Day 8)

District Huinesoron

Morgan:

Kyaris:

District Comet

Levy:

District Skarmory

Backslash and Suta are being interviewed together. Backslash looks rather uncomfortable, especially since he's sitting right next to the tyrannosaur he shot to death that day.

Backslash: I... I guess I'm in the final seven, aren't I? That can't be a good sign.

Suta: Don't beat yourself up over it, little furry guy! You're doing a great job of staying alive, and that's what counts! Survival of the fittest and whatnot.

Backslash: I shot you. I literally shot you down the throat. Why did I do that? If we could've just TALKED a little more...

Suta: Hey, at least I barely made it into the top ten. And really, didn't you even listen to what I told you before I barreled at you at top speed?

Backslash: Mouth-first, mind. I reacted on instinct and muscle memory from Dino Crisis.

Suta: Pfff. Yeah, my bad for making an awful first impression. But really, it was gonna be down to either you or me if we both ended up being the top two. I didn't want you having to make that choice. Though to be fair, I DID have my stomach in mind when I made it for you. Sorry 'bout that!

Backslash: But... But I thought we were from the same district!

Suta: Knowing everything else that's happened thus far, districts are a moot point by now. It's everybody for themselves, like it or not.

Backslash: Dear Bionis... *He buries his face in his hands and scarf.* So, uh, no hard feelings, right?

Suta: Not at all, actually. I had a lot of fun with these games - I made a few friends, got to find out what you furry thingies taste like (blech)... and really, there were others around here who went down in less dignified ways. Anyway, best of luck to ya, mammal guy! I'm sure you'll do great in the last few rounds!

Backslash: I just hope I don't die to poisoning. Steel-type immunity and all.

Suta: Don't worry. Just keep suriving and doing what you're doing and who knows, you may even win! I'd knock on wood but, well... I've got a big head and little arms... *She winks, teeth bared.*

Backslash: Was that a reference to something I don't know?

Suta: *smirks* Yes, indeed it was.

District Novastorme

Apollo: I never saw my death coming, literally. Although I really want to meet Suta outside of this now. She didn't have to pretend to want to snuggle for warmth, although it was kind of fun to play along.

Well done to whoever killed me, I kinda wish I knew how to do that before. Let's meet up afterwards and have a drink.

Kaatah: She found my secret base then said "it'll never work you stupid suit rat." Well I showed her, I showed her oh so well. And I'll show them all! Fear the suit rats. FEAR US! *ahem* sorry. The feast was a trap so I never went for it, and the magic ring I found should be just what I wanted...

District Scaperic

Wobbles The Clown: 

District Neshbosh

District Badgershield

Jack: *ahem* Right, you'll want to hear about that, won't you? Okay. I first got the Idea after I heard they were restocking the Cornucopia. I wasn't stupid enough to go for it again, but I figured someone might be. After I finally pulled Apollo away from whoever it was he was snuggling, we both agreed to try an ambush. Both of us are hunters, in a way, so I think that helped in coming to an understanding.

interviewer is indistinct

Oh, the hacking? grins Well, when Dee mentioned he was getting bored, I managed to convince him to leave me his screwdriver. Knew it would come in handy. I'd spotted the Sponsor systems a few days ago, and I knew it was point and think. Told Apollo to wait there, and he did. shrugs I said we'd come to an understanding, but I never said how long it would last. . .

District Knightstocke

The Enervated Rat-Catcher:

Errant:

District Turbo Mike

Saki Cherryflower: That's it. The faster people die, the faster this is over, and the faster I'll get back with my friends! Well, of course I can't beat some of them in a straight fight, but that's what traps are for, isn't it? That hydra never saw it coming! And Wobbles is really nice, she helped me set up the other trap and... bang! Another kill!

Will I be albe to get more kills next episode? Don't miss it! Magical Girl Pretty Saki, I'll kill them all!

*glances sideways* Did I do it right, Wobbles?

District Technical Triumvirate

Dann:

District Ixxximaz

Zeb: Zeb is unavailable for comment right now thanks to a long-overdue appointment with FicPsych.

District Herr Sundae


Transcript (Day 8)

Night 7

The Enervated Rat-Catcher pretends to be a ghost.

Kaatah repeatedly stabs Morgan while giggling.

Backslash doses himself with pure caffeine from a replicator to stay awake.

Wobbles doses herself with pure caffeine from a replicator to stay awake.

Suta persuades Apollo to snuggle with her 'for warmth'.

Levy hears voices in the distance and heads in the opposite direction.

Jack hides in a cave in the Fantasy Farthing.

Dann, Errant, and Zeb camp together in the Fantasy Farthing. None of them get any sleep.

Saki electrocutes Kyaris by careful rewiring of the SciFi Sector.

The Feast

The cornucopia is replenished with food, supplies, weapons, and memoirs from the tributes' friends.

Zeb walks straight into Levy and The Enervated Rat-Catcher's trap.

Jack and Apollo ambush Dann on the way to the Cornucopia and kill him.

Backslash hides behind the Cornucopia and shoots Suta when she arrives.

Kaatah decides not to go to The Feast.

Errant walks straight into Saki and Wobbles's trap.

Day 8

Wobbles receives food from an unknown sponsor.

Jack manages to hijack the sponsor system from the SciFi Sector and get a bomb dropped on Apollo from half the Arena away.

Saki is chased around the Digital Division by The Enervated Rat-Catcher.

Backslash crafts a poisonous potion in the Digital Division.

Kaatah finds a magic ring in the Fantasy Farthing.

Levy eats an excellent meal.

Huinesoron

Kyaris

Morgan

Kaitlyn

Maethorwen

1 Kill

Comet

Matthew Welch

Ellie Davis

Ajax

Levy

2 Kills

Skarmory

Evangeline

1 Kill

Backslash

2 Kills

Cupid

Suta

1 Kill

Novastorme

Apollo

2 Kills

Kelly

Theo

Kaatah

3 Kills

Scaperic

Notary

Wobbles

2 Kills

Albert Sproggins

1 Kill

Richard

3 Kills

Neshbosh

Shimon

Caprice

1 Kill

Barid

Voltarmi

Badgershield

Larkus

Curff

1 Kill

The Detective

Jack

5 Kills

Knightstocke

Yocherry

The Enervated Rat-Catcher

2 Kills

Jesse

1 Kill

Errant

3 Kills

Turbo Mike

Shiro

2 Kills

Saki

3 Kills

Ami

1 Kill

Evelyn Portia Juliana

Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain

1 Kill

Calliope Istoría

1 Kill

Makes-Things

2 Kills

Dann

1 Kill

Ixxximaz

Zeb

1 Kill

Rhyslea

2 Kills

Dax

Luxury

1 Kill

Herr Sundae

Eusabius

Michael

Holo-Acacia

4 Kills

Sunflower's Witness

1 Kill


Final Days

The screen opens, black. Slowly a blood-red image fades in: a single numeral.

7

The Enervated Rat-Catcher ambles through a pixellated landscape, humming softly to himself. The camera tracks to follow him. He walks up a small hill, its slope made out of angled polygons, and reaches the flat ground at the top.

Two Tributes are waiting there. Kaatah stands tall, looking down, her feelings unknowable behind her faceplate. Wobbles' emotions are as clear as daylight: she writhes on the ground under the Quarian's heel, trying desperately to draw a breath.

The Rat-Catcher nods to Kaatah. Still humming, he kneels down next to the prone clown.

There is a flash of red, and the screen goes black.

6

It is night. The Rat-Catcher sits by a fire that is rendered as a three-frame animation, cheerfully sharing out his food with Saki. There is still blood on his clothes, but neither he nor the teenager seem to notice.

Suddenly his brow furrows. He opens his mouth as if to say something, but only a gasp of agony comes out. He keels over, his shoulder hitting the burning log of the fire and sending it spinning.

5

Saki jumps up, staring in horror at the Rat-Catcher's prone form. She slaps at the sparks which have caught on her clothes, taking a step back from the disintegrating fire - and then her legs seem to give way and she crumples to the floor without a sound.

4

Jack is walking through the Digital Division, staying well clear of the fire faintly visible across the plains. Occasionally he kneels and plucks a flower - ingredients, perhaps, for a potion of healing or harming.

A coruscating bolt of electric fire stabs out of the night, catching Jack full in the chest. As he tumbles lifeless to the ground, the camera sweeps back up the fading blue line, just catching the last reflections of it on Kaatah's visor.

3

Levy flees across the Digital Division, jumping over badly-rendered logs and boulders. Behind her, Kaatah is in close pursuit. The Quarian brandishes a sleek rifle in one hand, an oozing green vial in the other.

Abruptly, the scenery changes, from polygonal greenery to steel skyscrapers. Levy slows as she crosses into the SciFi Sector, knowing perhaps that Kaatah won't be able to bring her equipment across the barrier, and remembering that she had bested the Quarian hand-to-hand the previous night.

But Kaatah has no intention of playing fair. Raising her rifle, she takes aim across the barrier. She has a clean shot at Levy's retreating back.

She takes it.

But things don't go as planned. Levy dives to the side, and the bolt of lightning dances past her. It strikes the broad face of the closest building, splashing across the chrome surface. Actinic sparks crawl across the junction box mounted on the wall - and then, in a pulse of brilliant white, the current reverses, flashing back up the ionised path of the shot to its origin.

Kaatah never even has time to scream.

2

Backslash is walking warily through an abstract digital landscape. Around him, neon cubes rise and fall seemingly at random. His hair is long, knife-straight and steel-blue.

Something, some whisper in the air, alerts him. He looks up, crouching, ready to spring into lethal action - and there is just enough time for his surprise to show on his face before a solid oak bookshelf, a tiny parachute tied to one corner, plunges from the sky and flattens him.

1

Levy stands on the boundary between the SciFi Sector and the Digital Division, breathing heavily. There is a deep scratch running down her left cheek. As the trumpets sound to mark her victory, she looks up, and raises one arm wearily into the air.

The screen goes black.


Heeey there, Agents. If by some freaky chance you happen to have been through a traumatic holographic-death experience in the last week or two, there's a slight possibility you might need counselling for that. If you do, remember: you want to visit FicPsych, not Medical. Get it right.

This message brought to you by the PPC Medical Department. We're here for you, except when we don't want to be.


Interviews (Final Days)

District Huinesoron

District Comet

Levy:

District Skarmory

Backslash:

District Novastorme

Kaatah: 

District Scaperic

Wobbles The Clown:

District Neshbosh

District Badgershield

Jack:

District Knightstocke

The Enervated Rat-Catcher:

District Turbo Mike

Saki Cherryflower:

District Technical Triumvirate

District Ixxximaz

District Herr Sundae


Transcript (Final Days)

Night 8

Wobbles finds a savepoint in the Digital Division.

Saki sings Levy and Jack to sleep.

Kaatah hears voices in the distance and heads in the opposite direction.

Backslash pretends to be a ghost.

The Enervated Rat-Catcher hums to himself.

Day 9

Levy's attempt to cast a spell in the Magical Mile goes hilariously wrong.

Kaatah holds Wobbles down while The Enervated Rat-Catcher kills her.

Jack stumbles across Backslash and Saki, who fail to notice him.

Night 9

Backslash tries to seduce Levy.

The Enervated Rat-Catcher and Saki share out their food, but it turns out to be poisoned.

Kaatah thinks Jack is a Suvian and shoots him.

Day 10

Levy is chased around the Digital Division by Kaatah.

Backslash receives food from an unknown sponsor.

Night 10

Levy defeats Kaatah in a fight, but spares her life.

Backslash successfully spends the night weaponising his hair.

Day 11

Levy is chased around the Digital Division by Backslash.

Kaatah crafts a poisonous potion in the Digital Division.

Night 11

Levy electrocutes Kaatah by careful rewiring of the SciFi Sector.

Backslash is hit on the head by a bookshelf sent by an unknown sponsor, and dies.

The winner is Levy from District Comet!

Huinesoron

Kyaris

Morgan

Kaitlyn

Maethorwen

1 Kill

Comet

Matthew Welch

Ellie Davis

Ajax

Levy

3 Kills

Skarmory

Evangeline

1 Kill

Backslash

2 Kills

Cupid

Suta

1 Kill

Novastorme

Apollo

2 Kills

Kelly

Theo

Kaatah

4 Kills

Scaperic

Notary

Wobbles

2 Kills

Albert Sproggins

1 Kill

Richard

3 Kills

Neshbosh

Shimon

Caprice

1 Kill

Barid

Voltarmi

Badgershield

Larkus

Curff

1 Kill

The Detective

Jack

5 Kills

Knightstocke

Yocherry

The Enervated Rat-Catcher

3 Kills

Jesse

1 Kill

Errant

3 Kills

Turbo Mike

Shiro

2 Kills

Saki

3 Kills

Ami

1 Kill

Evelyn Portia Juliana

Technical Triumvirate

Lu'ci'ten Gyrvain

1 Kill

Calliope Istoría

1 Kill

Makes-Things

2 Kills

Dann

1 Kill

Ixxximaz

Zeb

1 Kill

Rhyslea

2 Kills

Dax

Luxury

1 Kill

Herr Sundae

Eusabius

Michael

Holo-Acacia

4 Kills

Sunflower's Witness

1 Kill


Final Rankings

Levy

1st Place

District Comet

3 Kills

Backslash

2nd Place

District Skarmory

2 Kills

Kaatah

3rd Place

District Novastorme

4 Kills

Jack

4th Place

District Badgershield

5 Kills

Saki Cherryflower

5th Place

District Turbo Mike

3 Kills

The Enervated Rat-Catcher

6th Place

District Knightstocke

3 Kills

Wobbles the Clown

7th Place

District Scaperic

2 Kills

Apollo

8th Place

District Novastorme

2 Kills

Errant

9th Place

District Knightstocke

3 Kills

Suta

10th Place

District Skarmory

1 Kill

Dann

11th Place

District Technical Triumvirate

1 Kill

Zeb

12th Place

District Ixxximaz

1 Kill

Kyaris

13th Place

District Huinesoron

Morgan

14th Place

District Huinesoron

Holo-Acacia

15th Place

District Herr Sundae

4 Kills

Kaitlyn

16th Place

District Huinesoron

Caprice

17th Place

District Neshbosh

1 Kill

Curff

18th Place

District Badgershield

1 Kill

Lu'ci'ten

19th Place

District Technical Triumvirate

1 Kill

Dax

20th Place

District Ixxximaz

E.V.L.

21st Place

District Skarmory

1 Kill

Shiro

22nd Place

District Turbo Mike

2 Kills

Luxury

23rd Place

District Ixxximaz

1 Kill

Matthew Welch

24th Place

District Comet

Cupid Carmine

25th Place

District Skarmory

Makes-Things

26th Place

District Technical Triumvirate

2 Kills

The Sunflower's Witness

27th Place

District Herr Sundae

1 Kill

Ajax

28th Place

District Comet

Larkus

29th Place

District Badgershield

Evelyn Portia Juliana

30th Place

District Turbo Mike

Ami

31st Place

District Turbo Mike

1 Kill

Barid

32nd Place

District Neshbosh

Maethorwen

33rd Place

District Huinesoron

1 Kill

Michael

34th Place

District Herr Sundae

Ellie Davis

35th Place

District Comet

Jesse

36th Place

District Knightstocke

1 Kill

Kelly

37th Place

District Novastorme

The Notary

38th Place

District Scaperic

Richard Legard

39th Place

District Scaperic

3 Kills

The Detective

40th Place

District Badgershield

Voltarmi

41st Place

District Neshbosh

Albert Sproggins

42nd Place

District Scaperic

1 Kill

Theo

43rd Place

District Novastorme

Yocherry

44th Place

District Knightstocke

Shimon

45th Place

District Neshbosh

Calliope Istoría

46th Place

District Technical Triumvirate

1 Kill

Eusabius

47th Place

District Herr Sundae

Rhyslea

48th Place

District Ixxximaz

Keiko

49th Place

Gabrielle

50th Place

Anneli

51st Place

Cindy

52nd Place

Alleb

53rd Place

Kur'nak

54th Place

Lou & Duane

55th Place

Apecian

56th Place

Rhysaria

57th Place

Florestan

58th Place

Holo-Jay

59th Place

Decima

60th Place