Photo courtesy RohanElf
Survived two Hunger Games - nearly impossible
Can track and move silently
She's a survivor
A bit oblivious to people and feelings
Doesn't know who to trust
How we think the fight might go...
Katniss breathed hard, nearly gasping. But she forced herself to be silent, even though her lungs screamed for air. She was down there at the bottom of the hill, sniffing for her. The tree trunk hid her for now, but what good would it do if she caught her scent? She could probably rip it in half with her bare hands. It wouldn’t surprise Katniss at all. What had she called herself? Tally? That… thing could hear a pin drop across Panem. And what had those been? Razor-sharp teeth? Who was she?
Katniss evaluated her situation quickly. Hitting her straight on hadn’t worked, even with her knife. It was like hitting steel-plated armor. All she had for that was an arm bruised black that was nearly broken. Getting away hadn’t been easy. But mention her looks, which really wasn’t that hard considering, and she acted completely different for those precious brief moments. Maybe she was a normal girl, on the inside.
Not one to dawdle or hesitate, Katniss took stock of what she had: her bow, her quiver, and two arrows. They were both tipped with reinforced steel, meant for piercing the Capital’s armor, but only one had poison in its tip.
She had picked up several tricks from the Hunger Games. One of many being: always upgrade. Her fortune had given her plenty of time to stockpile the best weapons, poisons and antidotes around. She slid this one out of her quiver without a sound. Never before was she so glad for those years of practice making her a silent hunter.
Katniss knocked the arrow on the string her bow. She closed her eyes and thought of Primrose and her mother. She thought of Peeta and Gale and Madge. She thought of Cinna, her last memory of him. Her heart nearly crushed in her. She turned her mind to Haymitch, and that eased the pain… some.
Dead slug this, she thought, her thoughts clearing. She stepped out from behind the tree.
Tally’s back was turned to her but she was crouched, leaving no room for her heart. Katniss wondered if she did that on purpose. Probably. She needed a clear shot and she had only one chance. She pulled her bow back without a sound and took aim. Then she turned a toe to the right… and stepped on a twig.
200 yards between them and Tally snapped around, her body straightening. Katniss loosed the arrow.
It happened in an instant. Far below, she could see the shaft sticking out from Tally’s chest, exactly where she had aimed. But the shock or the poison, or for heaven’s sake the gaping wound, didn’t seem to be fazing her at all. Instead, she sprinted toward Katniss.
Katniss let go several choice curses she had picked up from Haymtich and leapt into her tree. There was no time to do anything else. She hoped the branches at least would slow her down. Not at all. She tore through them like tissue paper. Katniss swore again, and yanked out her poisoned knife. Maybe she could aim near where the flesh was already torn and open.
But she didn’t need to. Ten feet from her branch, Tally slowed and stopped, looking at her in surprise. There was hurt and confusion on her face as the realization dawned on her. The extra speed had rushed the poison to her heart. Tally's muscles went slack. She fell down two branches but caught on a third, her body limp and splayed across them at odd, disfigured angles. Her eyes were open even though she was dead.
Katniss let the knife fall and grabbed uselessly for a branch to steady her. Nothing in her body seemed to be in control of itself. She caught hold and held on and shook, unable to stop the tears from coming.
Predicted Winner: Katniss.
Katniss Everdeen is from Suzanne Collin's Hunger Games trilogy and Tally Youngblood is from Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series.