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May 29, 2020 3:05 PM
may the odds be ever in your favor
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Snort, "You'd be surprised. I know plenty of people who would care less about your methods and more about what you could do for them afterwards." He shakes his head, "It'd take some incredible luck to win without killing anyone at all, though," he admits. 

"Is this... a moral objection to killing? To their deaths? Spite?"

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"All of the above? I don't object to killing them. Or other genuinely bad people. But I'm not going to kill people whose only crime is that our ancestors tried to stand up for our rights to an unjust government."

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If Jem believed in any sort of god, he might be cursing them right now. As it is he just looks extremely pained. 

"'Genuinely bad people'," he repeats after a moment, "One of the tributes from Two might qualify for that, this year, based on what I saw. Can't say with the others, though you can be sure they'll be all too happy to kill anyone who gets in their way."

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"I just - I don't want to be like them. I've spent my whole life being abused, manipulated, and taken advantage of. I swore I would never be like that. Never hurt anyone like that."

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"Hm. So at least your reasons aren't exactly the same," he murmurs. 

"You're really sure about this? You'd rather die than kill? When you're in the arena, and someone is bearing down on you with an axe, or a sword, or a sharp stone, you'll let them kill you rather than kill them?"

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... she feels like her answer should be yes, I'd rather die.

Her shoulders sag and she puts down the knife.

"It would be easier just to kill myself now, wouldn't it? Or go down fighting in the Capital."

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"You wouldn't be the first person to have tried. There's security measures in place to stop tributes from succeeding at either. Nonlethal ones. If you somehow manage to succeed at dying before the arena, they'll bring you back, if they're at all capable of it." Pause. "And I'd be expected to stop you." 

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"And how would you do that?"

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"Any way I'm able."

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"Sounds like fun."

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-- she moves from her seat in one fluid motion, surging towards him with nothing on her mind but violence. Her fury and anger and desperation fueling her actions.

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Having been half-expecting her to turn violent, he's prepared enough to tip his own chair back, flipping out of it and leaving it as a brief obstacle as he retreats towards the clear space between the dining table and sitting area. If they're going to do this he wants neither of them within easy reach of the knives.

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She'd much rather use her hands, anyway. She jumps over the chair and reaches for him, lashing out.

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He's on the defensive immediately - he's fighting to contain her, trying not to kill or even seriously harm her, and these things are not his forte. Really, a 'fair' fight like this is not where his skills lie in general, actually. Suffice to say, she's wearing him down a lot faster than he is her.

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Despite everything, she has been trained for this. She's good at this. Though her emotions make her stronger, they also make her careless. More prone to extending beyond reach. She doesn't care about pain or getting hurt herself, just him.

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He takes advantage of her over-extensions to get in a few precision hits that are much more painful than actually damaging, hoping to make her flinch. Goes after her arms, her shoulders,  trying to disable her by dislocating them. Uses his longer reach to try to catch and hold her. 

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Calla snarls and ignores the pain, pushing forward, getting in his space, and forces him on his back. She will not be held. She punches him over and over, fury overwhelming.

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There's a flash of panic on his face when she knocks him down, and for a while he does his best to fend her off. There's no real... desperation, in his movements, though, and eventually he stops trying, just taking what she gives him, apparently resigned.

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She stops when her actions go undefended, though she keeps her hand on his throat and her fury still bubbles over.

"They can't have me."

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The noise he makes in reaponse is more choking cough than laugh, "They already have you. You, me, all the tributes and victors and everyone in the districts. They have us right where they want us. Refusing to kill anyone won't change that. Won't change anything. They won't care." 

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"I'm not going to give up. Not going to let them win."

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He bursts into semi-hysterical giggles, staring up at her in mixed despair and admiration. 

"Going to go down fighting all the way on my watch, then?" He manages to get out.

Next year when Luca's name is called on Reaping Day it'll be all his fault, because he won't be able to bring himself to even try to stop her.

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- this pulls her back and she stops putting pressure on his throat. Doesn't let go though, and holds him in place.

"What other choice do I have?"

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He huffs, "Survive, win the games, be a Victor. We're no freer than anyone else, but," he swallows hard under her hand, "I could introduce you to some people."

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"And you just expect me to trust you?"

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