On a typical day in District 2 Naima had little use for caffeine. Her days largely consisted of hours spent in the training centers of District 2. In the training center there was no need for coffee or energy boosters. The sounds of trainees at work and trainers barking orders and weapons at use was enough to spur anyone into action. However life in the Capitol often lacked such inspiration. The arena was where the energy was. And the Capitol lacked that energy. They could only watch. Watch she did. She watched as the girl fell into the gorge by Cornucopia, taking the girl from District 1 with her. She watched as the boy battled with the boy from one. She watched as fire devastated the arena. She watched. And now she needed coffee.
The coffee maker in the mentor’s lounge did not work fast enough for Naima’s liking. It was slow and inefficient and far to complicated with Capitol frills. There were at least eight different buttons that produced foam of different designs and ten that poured different additives into the cup. However all of these buttons were completely useless to Naima. She only required her coffee to be hot and black. She tapped the screen, seething with annoyance as it asked her about flavor preference. Finally the machine shuttered and began to poor a slow stream of coffee into her mug. She sigh and stood back from the machine, waiting for the mug to slowly fill, and for the first time became aware of her surroundings.
When Naima had entered the mentor’s lounge she had believed it to be empty. However the signs of another person’s presence were unmistakable. The sound of breathing and subtle movement. She turned her head slightly, not enough to acknowledge the other person’s presence, but just enough to catch a glimpse out of the corner of her eye. The sight was not one she was thrilled with.
Calloway Johnson. The name alone left a bitter taste in Naima’s mouth.
Being the same age and having become Victors only two years apart, they had been forced into the same Capitol circle for years. Mandatory attendance at the same parties, hearing the people of the Capitol gush over his petty achievements, vying for the attention of the same sponsors, being exposed to his inherent weakness for fifteen years. Not to mention his recent victory over her. His tributes beating her’s in the final three. It was enough to leave any mentor a bit jaded.
Once again the coffee machine sputtered and it let out it’s last bit of steaming black coffee.
“Well I see you’re still around,” Naima said, turning to face the man for the first time since entering the room. She took a slow sip of her coffee, taking in her fellow mentor’s appearance. The woman’s eyes found the sling wrapped around the man’s arm. She resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Injured. Of course. He was supposed to represent the strongest of District 12, but clearly he was easily over powered by someone there. Though that also left the possibility that he was not well liked in his district, which gave Naima a strange sense of satisfaction.
Why don’t you begin by telling me about yourself?
The question seemed so vague and so simple all at the same time. Along with that, it seemed utterly useless. In such a setting what good would his mentor really get out of him discussing the fact that he had a little brother, a father and mother who believed he was destine to be the next victor, a passion for peanut butter ice cream, was sixteen years old and hadn’t really held much of a job all his —
“Well…I’m sixteen years old. I have a little brother who I’ve trained with since he was born. We’ve done anything from hand to hand combat to fighting one another in a match of swords. I – uhm – “ He paused, realizing that she wasn’t actually interested in the minor details of his life. Why would she be? This woman was intelligent. She wanted to get down to the nitty gritty without worrying about the overbearing details of a teenagers life.
It was a good thing he didn’t have a very interesting social life.
“Well. I’ve been working in the training centers since I was young enough to wield a weapon,” He stated after filling his mouth with a few pieces of fruit and swallowing them down. “I’ve worked with Charles Batchmund for majority of my lifetime in district two. I, uhm…” For some reason his brain wasn’t functioning quite the way it should now that he’d realized he’d made himself look like an idiot in front of the woman already. She was one of the people he’d been looking forward to coming into contact with once he’d reached the level of volunteering into the games – or in this case being chosen to take part in the games. Now that she sat in front of him he felt rather insignificant.
“My weapon of choice is the boomerang.” He added finally, his cheeks rising with a reddened color. He knew for a fact that most people saw that as some sort of snide or silly remark, for a boomerang didn’t represent connotations of a deadly weapon in the common sense of the term. However when it was placed in the hands of the young man from two…
It was most definitely one deadly tool.
The woman’s heart sank as the boy began detailing information other than what she desired to know. Perhaps she should recommend he seek Aleks’ advice. She idly grabbed a piece of toast and wondered how long this sharing session would take. She glanced towards the entrance to the hall, curious as to whether the girl would make an appearance during this meal. She wondered if she would be able to talk with the girl before today’s training began. Perhaps the girl was who she should place her hopes on this year.
But he quickly seemed to catch himself and turned the discussion to was was really important. His training. His key to victory. Naima was pleased to hear he had been training for nearly his whole life, and with a decent trainer at that. That meant he had to be at least decent. A district 2 child didn’t last in training if they didn’t have potential. He may not have volunteered, but he had been trained to. He then brought the conversation to his preferred weapon.
The boomerang. It was certainly an unconventional choice. Naima had never even trained with one, and she took pride in the number of weapons she had mastered prior to her games and since. It was a choice that certainly peaked Naima’s interest. Which was lucky for the boy, if it interested Naima then it was sure to entertain a Capitol audience. The would laugh and scoff at first, of course. No doubt the Capitol thought of boomerangs as little more than a child’s play things. However once the potential of it as a weapon was shown, the citizens of the Capitol would be tripping over themselves to fork up money for the boy’s cause. The mentor’s mind was already racing, identifying which of her contacts would put up the money for a wildcard weapon so she could get one into the arena for the boy, and who would be in once seeing it in action. Of course, she was getting ahead of herself, already imagining the boy standing over other tributes with a bloody boomerang clutched in his hand. Before any of that could happen she would have to be sure that the boy had the skill to pull it off.
“It’s certainly an unusual choice of weapon,” Naima said, setting her half eaten toast on her plate. ”You’ll be laughed at in the beginning. Though, by the color of your face you already know that. Don’t show that weakness. You aren’t a thirteen year old giggling girl, you can’t pull off embarrassed blushes. Take pride in your weapon. The second you discount it the Capitol discounts you.”
“You’re going to want to show it’s power as soon as possible,” she said, still talking about the boomerang. ”Otherwise it, and you, will be written off. No one can afford that, no matter how well trained. No training teaches you to survive dehydration and starvation. With the arenas and cornucopia system that we’ve had recently, even the strongest need as many sponsors as they can get.”
Talon had focused all of his efforts throughout his first few days at the Capitol on the training center and viewing his competition. He’d seen very little of the rest of his district. Even the girl seemed to have blended into the shadows to the point where Talon didn’t even see her at the training center throughout the day anymore. He wasn’t certain what exactly that meant for her, but he was figuring it wasn’t a good thing if she wasn’t spending the last few moments of training in the facility…well…training.
What else were they there for, after all?
His mentors were another matter altogether. Aleks Ethon seemed to be doing his own thing, which Talon was perfectly accepting of. He’d made a pitiful effort in the 70th games after all and Talon wasn’t in the mood to expel any energy on attempting to reap information from the man. It was doubtful he’d be able to share anything enlightening. Naima, on the other hand, Talon had some liking to meet. She had always been detailed as a fierce victor, never slacking in her training since she’d started. Even though her arena she showed no mercy and Talon was figuring that mentality hadn’t disappeared. She was something special, a true district two warrior. She was someone Talon actually had an interest in learning from, even if it was something as simple as how to fire a bow and arrow a little more accurately.
At the wafting smells of a Capitol made meal began permeating the walls of Talon’s room the tribute rose from bed, dressing quickly into the assigned training uniform and wandering down the hall towards the delicious scent. He figured he could spend a short period of time swallowing down the rich meal and enjoying it before heading down for another day of intensive training.
For one reason or another, he hadn’t expected company. Perhaps it was simply because of the fact that both Aleks and Amelia had appeared to have bombarded themselves into their apartments and Naima hadn’t been seen around the floor much that he’d thought he would dine alone (and, maybe because he’d done so the day before), so he was pleasantly surprised to find the woman seated there. As she beckoned him over he nodded a bit, stepping towards the dining table piled high with pastries and fruits, among any other sort of breakfast food that one could imagine.
“Morning, Naima,” Talon greeted, distractedly piling a plate full of substances before settling down in the seat across from her that had been indicated. Buttering a waffle and dousing it in syrup the tribute raised an eyebrow, cutting off a portion of it as he spoke. “So what do we have to discuss?” He’d been doing well on his own thus far, but he was interested to see what Naima might have to offer.
Naima’s eyes flickered to the door the boy had just come through. She half expected Aleks Ethon to come through, just to hinder her ability to help the boy out of spite. No one came through after the boy though, not even the girl. Naima’s thoughts flickered briefly to her. Her red hair and volunteer status were the only things that Naima had truly taken note of since the girl’s name had climbed onto the Reaping stage. The traits also happened to be the girl’s two most marketable traits to the Capitol audience. The mentor shifted her focus back to the boy joining her for breakfast.
How was she to sell him? Good age. Decent looks. Fair size. Acceptable build. She glanced down at the plate he had prepared for himself. A healthy appetite. All superficial details that could capture the Capitol’s interest, but they wouldn’t hold it for long. A pretty face was fine for getting noticed, but as soon as someone shows power and potential with a weapon all bets are put on them, not the pretty face. But a pretty face combined with the power of dedication and conviction. That was unstoppable.
What did they have to discuss? The more appropriate questions was what didn’t they have to discuss. Naima didn’t know anything about her tribute. She didn’t know how well trained he was. She didn’t know how long he had trained, who had been his trainer, and what he had specialized in if anything at all. She didn’t know what weapons she would need to talk sponsors into buying for him. She barely knew which sponsors she should be marketing him to. She still didn’t know if the boy even had what it took to be a victor. There was always the chance that the boy was a dud and she should shift her focus to the girl. It had happened before, even in District 2.
“Why don’t you begin by telling me about yourself,” Naima said, beginning to put food on her own plate. If the boy had any brains he would know that Naima didn’t care about the more personal details of his life. His stories of family and friendship and romance had no place in the District 2 apartment. She desired to know no more or less than was necessary to bring the boy out of the arena alive. Then again, if he didn’t have the brains to know what her question meant than that answered all her questions at once, and saved her the effort of getting to know the boy. Of course, the down side would be that she would have to listen to a teenagers useless ramblings for all of her breakfast time. She lifted a forkful of fruit to her lips, waiting for the boy’s response.
Naima sat quietly at the table. The meal covering the table was extravagant. The best of the Capitol. Foods that would provide last minute nourishment for the tributes. Foods that offered a taste of what a Victor’s life would be. It was spread with all of it’s magnificent colors across the grand dinning table of the District 2 apartment. It was not, however, a meal for one. The woman let out a frustrated huff. She was typically not strict on meal time tardiness, or even attendance for that matter. So long as they ate regular meals and attended their training sessions, tributes were free to engage in any activities that did not hurt their odds in the arena. Of course, in recent years the tributes were becoming more fond of such behavior, such as befriending tributes from the outer districts and growing attached to their district partners.
She had seen little of her District 2 team this games. Aleks was always off dealing with the messes he considered friends. (Which she really didn’t mind. The less time he was around, the less he could corrupt her tributes.) Naima could only assume the reason she saw so little of her tributes was because they devoted the majority of time to their training. That was, after all, the only acceptable reason. She would be sure to verify that of course, as soon as either showed their face around the apartment.
She flipped through the pages of her notebook, leaving the meal untouched on the table, and reread her notes on all of the tributes. Some showed potential, others would be quickly picked off in the arena. She needed to decide how to market her tributes this year. There were one or two sponsors always willing to throw in some money for a gift to a capable redhead, but the girl would first need to prove herself as capable. The boy could take the traditional District 2 image. Strong, confident, deadly. He looked the part enough. His behavior would have to be confirmed though.
Heavy footsteps alerted Naima to a second person entering the room. She looked up from her notes and was pleased to see the boy entering the dinning area. She gestured towards the seat across from her. ”Come eat, Talon. We have a lot to discuss.”
OOC: Catch up time!
So… I’ve been terrible lately, I know. Real life has been super messy and school is gross and too many other excuses. I have three tests tomorrow morning, but I’m hoping to start catching up tomorrow afternoon. I probably won’t get much done this weekend (after tomorrow afternoon) as it is also going to be hectic. However once this weekend is over I’ll have more time (and less exams) and I’ll be able to catch up for real.
Like this or message me if you’d like to para with Naima or Wren (or if you feel like being super mega awesome foxy hot you could start).
Again I’m really sorry for being a flake since school started, I swore I wasn’t going to do this, but now I’m gonna make it better.
I’m a terrible rp’er right now. College is kicking my butt. I have two tests tomorrow, a required camping trip over the weekend, an essay due monday, a test on monday. I’m going to try to get some starters up tomorrow afternoon, but it’s unlikely that I’ll be around much before monday night. (Oh and I’ll also do my ooc video tomorrow when my roommate is gone.)
I’m really sorry to all the inconvenience this causes D2 and D6. I’ll be super mentor afterwards, I promise!
PS- message me if you’d want to get a para with either Naima or Wren, my girls need to be more social this time around
PSS- this applies to Wren Golde, D6 mentor, as well… in case anyone didn’t know
Amelia and Lyndsey always got ready together. Whether it be for school, social outings, or the less desirable reapings, they would get ready together, giving each other their input on the other one’s outfit. This was one of the many things Mrs. Tanos despised. She absolutely loathed the fact that Amelia and Lyndsey were so close, and constantly tried to drive a wedge in between the two, although it never worked. Lyndsey loved her sister more than she wanted to please her mother, so the relationship between the three Tanos women was always dysfunctional.
Getting ready that morning proved to be quite easy; neither Amelia nor Lyndsey were in a chipper mood, so they got dressed relatively quickly. Their mother waited impatiently for the girls to come down, wanting to impress the peacekeepers by being one of the first families at the reaping. Amelia rolled her eyes at her mother’s persisting need to be of a higher status than the rest.
Lyndsey and Amelia stood in the area, waiting and watching as other children slowly but surely filed their way in, enveloping the twins in a mass of bodies. The duo were linking arms, making sure not to get separated by the persisting crowd. An hour went by, and things were settled down, the reaping about to begin. The mentors, Aleks and Naima, arrived onstage, signifying their torturous wait was almost over. A small smile couldn’t help but blossom on Amelia’s face when she saw Naima. It was a crush, a silly, childish, irrational crush, but it was there nonetheless.
District 2’s most recent victor, Aleks took the stage. His voice was devoid of any and all emotion as he reaped the poor girl. He called out the name, although this wasn’t just any name. It was a name all too familiar to Amelia. The red-haired twin looked at her sister, who had panic and fear streaked across her face as apparent as the very air they breathed. Long before this, Amelia had vowed to herself that she would protect Lyndsey no matter the cost. Amelia was stronger, faster, smarter, and braver. No way would Lyndsey even last a day in the arena. But Amelia…Amelia had a chance. It was a small chance, but it was a chance.
“I volunteer!” Amelia stated bravely, leaving her sister’s side. Walking up the stage, she somehow managed to keep calm. She stood confidently on the stage, right next to Aleks. “My name is Amelia Tanos.” She said, leaning into the microphone. Her hands were shaking furiously, unable to be controlled by Amelia. Two pairs of similar brown eyes met each other, and Amelia smiled at Lyndsey, letting her know that it was going to be alright. Because it was going to be all right.
Reaping Day was always a grand event. Decorations were brought in from the Capitol. The people of the District were dressed in their very best clothing. The local dignitaries sat on the stage, beaming with district pride. Naima Creek was among these dignitaries preparing for the Reaping. She listened to an assistant to the mayor ramble about the schedule for the day’s event. For the third year in a row, escorts were not the ones Reaping the tributes, mentors were. Naima would be calling the boy’s name while Aleks would be handling the girl’s reaping.
Naima was vaguely surprised to see Aleks Ethon had returned for a second year of mentoring. She would have thought that after the disaster that was his first attempt the Capitol would limited his access to the games. Yet there he was, sitting in one of the two mentor’s chairs, looking as sour and cross as ever. His year-long sabbatical seemed to have done little to restart the District 2 fire that had died within him— if it had ever lived at all.
The elder mentor’s focus quickly shifted to the crowds of possible tributes as the ceremony began. There were two out there that would bring pride to District 2, one that may even be a victor. Many of them were trained to fight, to win, to defeat all that challenged them, but were all victor quality? That question could only be answered in the arena, which few would get the chance to enter.
Aleks stepped up to the mic. A name was called. The girl whose name was called never made it to the stage. Before she could make it to the stage a voiced had sounded and a volunteer had stepped forward.
Naima’s eyes widened with interest. A volunteer. It seemed that volunteering had fallen out of fashion in District 2. The children of the district trained, they always trained, but recently they had been doing shame to the district by keeping that training to themselves. They were no longer hungry for glory and honor and the title of victor. It was sickening. Nearly everyone standing in the audience had been eligible for volunteering last year. Most were strong, trained, and ready to fight, yet no one had taken the place of the untrained twelve year old who had little chance of bring glory to the district. It was pathetic that District 2 had regressed to being as weak as the outlaying districts. Even District 9 had had two volunteers last year.
The mentor watched as the girl stepped on to the stage. Dark red hair, decent clothing, the build of someone who was decently trained. Her motive for volunteering was clearly not the glory and honor, though. Her surname was the same as the girl who was chosen. Naima could only hope that her motive was to protect the district from the disgrace that would have been made had the first girl been tribute. However that may not be the case. The girl would have to be watched carefully once in the Capitol. If she did not truly desire greatness than may easily break under the pressure.
Naima took her own turn at the Reaping Bowl. She dug into the bowl until she found a slip she felt could hold the name of a future Victor. A crisply folded slip, unbent despite the weight of thousands of other names on top of it.
“Our male tribute will be Talon Bishop. Please join us on the stage Talon.”
She watched the male emerge from the crowd. Sixteen, possibly seventeen, years old. Clearly well trained. A face she vaguely recognized as one of the more dedicated trainees. He would do if there was no one to volunteer in his place.