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Jun 03, 2020 7:04 PM
may the odds be ever in your favor
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When her name is called out, the whole world goes silent. The faces in the crowd around her stare, mouthing words that she can't hear. She's directed up to the platform, the Peacekeepers holding her arms tight, and she just. Is silence. She doesn't know what to do with herself, really. She did half expect this, her name was in the lottery a lot this year - more than any of the past years and --

She's sure they call the next name, the name of her fellow Tribute, because Valens comes to stand next to her on the platform. He even takes her hand and smiles at the crowd, at the cameras. She takes her hand back and just. Glares.

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The escort frowns at her, disappointed at this show of unsportsmanlike behaviour, before quickly moving on with his duties. 

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Besides the two of them, the peacekeepers, and the escort, there's also one more person on the platform, watching this interaction with a small smile. When her glare turns his way, he meets her gaze, and his smile grows a bit wider.

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She can't stop herself from baring her teeth at him in a silent snarl. Her fury at this whole situation is just so much, she just can feel herself growing tenser and tenser and if she doesn't get off this podium now she is going to rip someone's throat out with her teeth.

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He doesn't seem to be intimidated - if anything the smile only grows wider still.

Luckily for his throat, the ceremony is soon wrapping up, and then they're being ushered into the town hall, to meet with their families and receive their tokens. 

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Valens wonders off with a spring in his step, but not before appreciating the both of them.

"See you later, kids."

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He laughs quietly, "What a charmer," he murmurs, before turning his attention to Calla, "Better get a move on, they'll only give you so much time before the train leaves."

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"Onwards to our death, then?"

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"Hey now, let's give ourselves a little credit. I think you have a chance." She's certainly got spirit, at least. 

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She knows her aunt waits for her in the other room, but here she stands.

"Our. This isn't even your district, why would you care?"

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His smile falters just a bit - or did it? Might just have been a trick of the light. 

He shrugs, "Do a good turn and get one back, right? Suffice to say I'll put my all into the effort of keeping you alive." 

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She looks him up and down - she can't tell if he's lying or not.

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A woman opens the door to the room Calla is supposed to be in. She notes Jem, twitches an eyebrow, and turns to Calla.

"We don't have much time, dear. Come inside and let's say our goodbyes."

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Lying? Jem? Never.

He nods to Tyra, eyes crickling in reponse to her twitch, "Looks like you've some business to take care of," he tells Calla. "See you on the train."

And he wanders off.

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"Quickly now, we don't have time. They'll be here to take you away any minute."

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Calla follows her aunt into the room, shuts the door, and waits expectingly.

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"I'm very proud of you. You know this, correct?"

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Proud of what Calla can do for her.

"Yes."

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"Good. Because I know you are going to win this. We have put so much training into this. You will come out on the other side. I don't care what you have to do, don't care if you have to kill them all with your bare hands. You will be Victor and you will come back to me. Do you understand?"

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"I get it, Auntie. I know what to do."

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"Say it."

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Calla grits her teeth.

"I will win," she lies. "I will come back to you, even if I have to kill every last person to do it."

The words taste like ash in her mouth.

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Tyra hugs her then. "I love you so much. I'll be cheering you on through this whole thing. Remember your training."

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There's a knock on the door at this point. A pair of Peacekeepers steps inside, along with the District 3 escort, Deirdre Ithica, who bustles right up to the two of them in his huge fluffy robe, talking a mile a minute.

"Time to be going, my dear, the train waits for none of us. Young Valens and your mentors are already aboard - his arrived just too late for the ceremony - oh, I'm just so relieved this was what they decided to do, Aydon and Jem are much better than what I thought we'd get. We could do much worse, you know, Aydon has two Victors under his belt and Jem, well... his tribute reached the top five! He must have been fantastically dedicated, the poor boy didn't have much to work with there, I'm sure he'll do even better with you. Oh, listen to me go on, we have a train to catch, come along, come along, you have your token, yes? This way now!"

And he swans off, the Peacekeepers stepping forward to herd Calla along in his wake.

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Calla detaches from her aunt and lets herself be herded. For now.

She doesn't bother asking for a token. Tyra isn't that sentimental.

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