Sea Green

Chapter 6

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Chapter Six: Training.

Once in the training center, we dismount our chariot. Tiffy, our mentors, and the stylists meet us.

"You were wonderful!"

Tiffy shrieks clapping insanely. Mags comes up and gives me a hug.

"You were amazing, nice touch with the blowing kisses."

I grin,

"Thanks. And thanks to our stylists for doing such a great job with our costumes."

We applaud Dalia and Dumble, who bow modestly.

"Alright than! Let's get you to your floor."

Tiffy says. She leads us to an elevator, stepping into it, she presses the button with a large letter 4 on it. The doors close, and we shoot up at an amazing speed. It stops suddenly, and the doors open into a large elaborately decorated room. It's even more fancy than the train, large plush carpets, comfortable looking seats in all different shapes and sizes. And a large flat screen television covering most of one wall. Annita and I gaze open-mouthed at the luxurious room, Tiffy laughs at our reaction,

"Why not enjoy the best while you can?"

She means it in a harmless way, but it sets me on edge, remembering why we're here: to fight to the death in a bloody arena, not to dress up and blow kisses to an adoring crowd who will be betting on who will come out alive. Mags must feel the change in my attitude, because she's watching me closely.

"Tiffy, maybe Annita and Finnick would like to relax before dinner. Could you show them to their rooms?"

Blissfully unaware, Tiffy smiles and says.

"Oh yes, of course. Follow me!"

She clips off down the hallway, Annita and I follow her, and I give Mags a grateful look over my shoulder. Tiffy leads us down a short hallway.

"This is your room Annita! And this is yours Finnick!"

Annita's door is on the left, and mine is directly across from it on the right side. Annita gives Tiffy a huge smile.

"Thanks so much Tiffy! We'll be at dinner at six right?"

Tiffy smiles back.

"That's right! Don't be late!"

She turns and clips in her ridiculous heels back to the main room. Annita rolls her eyes.

"She is sooo annoying!"

I glance at her with a grin.

"I don't know, she kinda reminds me of you."

Before she can answer, I slip into my room, trying not to laugh at Annita's furious expression. My room is basically the same as the one on the train, except there's no dresser, and it's considerably larger. I find a closet in one of the walls, it has a panel next to it, and you just type in what you want to wear, and the outfit appears. I take a cold shower, and wash with a soap that is titled, "Ocean air" It smells nice, but not like the air back home. I think of Annie and Robbert back home. What are they thinking of now? With the games only one short week away, are they worried about me? Are they even watching? I sigh and program the closet for a pair of cut off jean shorts and a T-shirt, then I remember we are in the capitol, and dinner will be served soon. So I reprogram it for a nice pair of jeans and a black dress shirt.

I dress quickly and decide to go to the main room early. It's only five o'clock, and the room is empty. I sprawl on a comfortable white couch, facing a large window. I look down at the crowded streets, watching the rainbow-colored people move about. I sigh, and lay my head back on a soft cushion. Soon I fall into a fitful sleep.

I'm standing on the beach, watching the ocean eat up the sand, only to slide away again. A sense of calm falls over me, and I breathe in the salty air, but it smells different. It smells like artificial capitol soap. I hear a noise behind me, turning around I see Annie, twirling on the beach with her hair spinning out in a whirlwind of reddish brown waves. She laughs when she sees me and waves, suddenly a hovercraft appears, and takes her away. I try to run after it, but trip over the body of Robbert, pale and cold. I cry in horror, as I fall into the ocean, then there's only peaceful water all around. I relax and see something in the water, it's Mrs. Cresta, a horrible slit in her throat. I gasp in horror as I see Annita wielding a knife, grinning wickedly, she throws it at my chest.

I sit up suddenly, yelling in pain as it pierces my shoulder. I'm shaking like a leaf, and I'm covered in sweat, so much for showering. I look down and see Annies token sticking out of my shoulder, I must have rolled on it in my sleep. I pull it out. It only barely broke the skin. I hear a sound and look over my shoulder. Mags is standing there with a sad look on her face.

"Uh...I was just...um."

I stammer slowly, she comes over and sits next to me.

"I heard you yelling...was it bad?"

I swallow hard and nod my head, staring at the floor.

"Everyone I care about was either dead or taken from me."

Mags nods slowly.

"I know how you feel, it's completely natural to have nightmares."

I wipe the sweat from my forehead.

"Is there anyway to help not have them?"

She sits for a moment.

"If you start having a nightmare, remember a good memory, and concentrate on it."

I nod.

"Thanks. Is it dinner time yet?"

She looks up at a clock on the wall.

"Just about, do you feel like eating?"

I shake my head.

"Okay, you can skip tonight if you want, Bruce and I will discuss training with you tomorrow morning."

I thank her and go back to my room. I change into the outfit I picked out earlier, and try to relax. My dream comes back to haunt me, so I start pacing the room. When this doesn't help, I decide to explore a little. Wandering through the floor, I finally come to the elevator. I hesitate, then open the door, scanning the buttons on the door, I skip over the twelve buttons indicating the tribute floors. I'm left with "T" for "Training" And "R" which I assume means "Roof" I press "R" and start to shoot up. It stops suddenly on floor two, I watch in surprise as the door opens and a tall dark haired girl looks at me confused.

"I was on my way to the roof, and it stopped."

I say hurriedly. She tosses her head, and strides gracefully into the elevator.

"Of course it stopped, I pressed the button."

She has dark grey eyes, and rather pale skin. The volunteer from two.

"You're Finnick Odair, aren't you?"

I nod.

"And you are?"

She does a half twirl to face me.

"Alexia Balera."

She smiles and her grey eyes stare into my green ones. The elevator doors close, and we shoot to the roof. It turns out to be a large square platform, with a three foot high wall enclosing it. To one side is a big garden. I walk over to a stone bench along one wall. Alexia sits down next to me. She stares at me for a while, then sighs and leans back.

"Too bad your only fourteen."

I look at her in surprise.

"Why?"

She gives me a quick grin, leaning in close, she whispers in my ear.

"Because if you were older, I would be tempted to kiss you."

I jerk my head back in surprise. She laughs.

"Don't worry, I never date younger guys."

I stand up.

"You can't be that much older then me."

I say. She stands up as well, standing uncomfortably close to me.

"Three years older, so don't worry, you missed me by a long shot."

She walks around me, pausing behind me, she rests her chin on my shoulder and whispers in my ear.

"Better be carefull, these games may damage your handsome face."

She slides a long finger down my neck, then turns and gracefully pranced into the elevator. I stare after her. She may move like a dancer, but that only hides the fact that she is a ruthless killer. I decide to turn in for the night, and spend a dreamless night in the large bedroom.

In the morning, Tiffy wakes Annita and I up early. We meet Bruce and Mags in the dinning room, and they explain some things while we eat.

"When you're in training with the other tributes, don't show them your full abilities, leave them wondering a bit. This will give you an advantage in the games."

Bruce says. Mags adds;

"Don't show them what weapon you're best at, pick another one to get good at."

Bruce continues.

"Watch the other tributes, no doubt they will be hiding something too, try to find their weakness'."

Mags takes over while Bruce starts eating.

"Also never overlook the survival areas, many tributes die because they can throw a knife and kill someone without looking, but can't even make a simple fire."

Bruce looks at the clock and says.

"Okay, training starts in a few minutes, get changed into your training clothes, and meet Tiffy by the elevator. In a few minutes, we arrive at the floor marked "Training" The door opens, and Tiffy wishes us good luck.

Annita and I gaze around the training area for a while. It's a gigantic room, filled with all kinds of stations. There's a weapon station, combat station, outdoor survival station, and many more. Most of the other tributes are there already, and we walk over to join them. Once all the tributes have arrived, a tall man with dark skin gives some instructions.

"Tributes are forbidden to fight each other, save that for the arena. Masters of every skill are positioned at every station, they will aid you with whatever you need."

He dismisses us and the careers immediately rush over to the weapons station. I walk over to the knot tying station. The instructor is amazed at how easy and fast I form complicated knots.

"District four."

I say, she nods understanding. Then she shows me a few simple snares, for humans and animals alike. I move on to the edible plant section, which it turns out I'm horrible at. I turn and watch the other tributes for a while. Both tributes from one, and the boy from two are all wielding fierce looking weapons, chopping dummies to pieces with leisure. I turn and see Alexia prance and twirl through an obstical course, ending with skipping up a large rock wall with incredible agility. She sits on top of the wall and waves at me with a smile. I look away and walk over to the hand to hand combat, My physical strength proves to be useless in this, for the instructor is a small thin woman. And she throws me around like a doll. I hear some sneers from the careers, but I learn a few moves, thank the instructor and move on to weapons.

I shun the trident, my natural weapon, and pick up some wicked looking knives. I throw a few, most missing the target completely.

"You're doing it wrong."

A quiet voice says behind me. I turn and see the boy from seven, the one with the missing arm. He takes a knife from me and tosses it up in the air, catching it lightly by the tip.

"You hold it loose, like this. And then you flick your wrist like this, and bam."

The knife shoots from his hand at amazing speed and hits the target dead center. He turns to me and winks.

"Surprised eh? Well I'm not one to let an axe swing gone wrong keep me from being just as deadly as one of those thick heads."

He motions to the careers. He helps me toss knives until I'm not that bad at it. I spend the rest of the day practicing knife throwing, and survival skills. By the time training is over, my arm is sore, and I'm dead tired. But I discovered some things about the other tributes, which I share with Mags after dinner.

"The girl from two, Alexia, is very agile, and can swing a sword like she's eating. But she's terrified of water, and isn't very strong, the boy from two is agile as well, and his weapon of choice is a bow. . Both tributes from one, I think their names are Vicktor and Glorry, are excellent at any weapon, but aren't agile at all. The boy from seven, Harrold, has hidden talents. Both tributes from three aren't very good at fighting, but are excellent at camouflage, and are crafty. All the rest are pretty average, except for the district ten girl, she looks like a nasty piece of work, she spent most of the day, delicately killing dummies by slicing them with a long knife. The girl from five is so tiny, and I'm not sure what she's good at. Her name is Luna."

Mags listens intently to all that I have to say. Once I'm finished, she looks at me for a while.

"What do you think?"

I ask to break the silence.

"I noticed you made a note to mention every one of their names that you could remember."

I shrug.

"Yeah, so?"

She sighs,

"Why?"

I sit for a minute, staring at the floor.

"Why? Because If someone killed me, I would want them to know my name. If I'm going to kill any of those tributes, I want to know who I killed, not just 'boy tribute from district six' if you're going to take someone's life, you should understand that they are a person, not just a target."

Mags looks into my eyes for a long time, finally she says.

"I can't tell if that is a good or bad thing. That kind of thinking can be dangerous, if you get to know the other tributes, it will grow harder to kill them."

I nod, Mags stands up.

"You should get some rest, tomorrow is another hard day, and there's only so many full nights of good sleep left."

I stand up and stretch.

"Alright, I'll see you tomorrow." She pats my cheek smiling. "Good night Finnick." I walk to my bedroom. Stripping down to my boxers, I crawl into bed and am asleep almost instantly.

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