Devil town is colder in the summertime.
I'll lose my mind at least another thousand times.

The districts have fallen.

Katniss and Peeta did make it out of the arena – for about a month. It was a foggy time back then, ten years ago. They were on their victory tour. They had made it to District Five before anything tremendous happened upon the districts. They never made it to Six.

The virus enveloped District Eleven first. It made sense, in a way, as they were likely the most impoverished district. The Capitol didn't pay attention. As long as it didn't affect the outcome of food, it was no matter. The districts had grown too big anyways. A population control, it was thought of.

The virus curled its way around the districts in random order. Seven, Three, Five, Twelve, Six. Out of nowhere, the mysterious disease made it to District One. The Capitol grew uneasy. One and Two were their pet districts, their cherished children. Yet no action was taken. The illness was viewed as a flu that fell during an unfortunate season. Half of One's population fell sick within the span of a week, and over the course of a month every district had fallen ill. The livestock population in Ten was dwindling due to the lack of farmers. Capitol homes fell cold as Twelve couldn't work hard enough to mine enough coal to heat them. Power outages became frequent. Yet the Capitol did nothing – a minor inconvenience. As long as Capitol citizens were happy and could move on with their days, nothing was too big of a bother.

District Ten suddenly was enveloped in sickness. It took but two weeks for the entire population to crumble. The livestock went wild. The Capitol had no fresh meat.

Right next to Ten was Two. As this district began to become crippled, infected Peacekeeper trainees intended for the Capitol came into contact with Capitol citizens. This was the first sign of a complete pandemic. The Capitol issued orders to work on a vaccine, stay-at-home orders. If work could be done within homes in the districts, it must be. Masks were issued in mass amounts. Medicines were sent out, without much avail.

The first six districts to get the virus were the luckiest. Since they had the virus the longest, their immunities had been built up stronger, their methods of living in quarantine were utilized widely. But in respects to Two, Four, Five, Eight, Nine, and Ten – these districts were too far beyond the repair. Their bodies were rejecting the Capitol-issued vaccine. People died by the thousands on a weekly basis.

The Capitol had no choice but to order the merging of the districts.

A portion of District Two flocked to One. It only made sense. The Capitol never would have allowed for their two most favored districts to be separated. Eight merged with One not long after. Textiles and luxuries ran along the same line.

Five was to join District Three. Power and technology worked well together, didn't make sense with the industries of any other districts. Inevitably, the travel across the former country of North America to Three caused more deaths of District Five citizens than the virus probably did, though it could never be proved. Five citizens were far too unwell to make the mandatory trip. Only the strong survived – and they quietly assimilated into District Three, grateful to be spared.

District Six was the weakest of the first six districts. The Capitol didn't order Six to merge with any other districts; though it was in the top half of being physically well, they still had an incredibly long road to recovery. Adding new citizens to this mix wouldn't fare well whatsoever. District Six remained the transportation district, though the virus years set the industry back immensely.

District Seven was a favored location. Due to the bountiful farmlands rich in natural resources, landscape, and great spatial area, it made the most sense for districts that specialized in nature-related industries to merge. District Four expanded upon this area, the fishermen clinging to the coast. A portion of District Twelve even came by for a few months, implanting their knowledge on mining and extracting natural resources.

Eleven was also in high demand; the area biggest in land, it was easiest for residents from Nine and Ten to merge. At first, the farmlands were hard to dish out. Which areas would get cattle, which would stay as orchards, where would the grain fields go? However, during such a trialing time, a new industry emerged as one of the most favorable. Alcohol. Eleven became known as the specialized beverage district, a far cry from the poverty-stricken agriculture district it had been mere years before. Eleven's economy skyrocketed as farmers who had previously specialized in wheat, potatoes, corn, and grapes quickly hopped on the spirits train. It wasn't long before Eleven became the new District One – the Capitol's baby, favored among all the other districts.

In a striking turn of events, Twelve followed this path. Though a segment of District Two had went to One to implant their knowledge on masonry, the majority of Two had merged with Twelve due to the high velocity of Peacekeepers who were already stationed there. Peacekeepers were able to rebuild their families and homes in Twelve. This industry began to boom – as Seven was now the district of natural resources, Twelve's entire industry evolved. Previously the poor coal-mining district, now the district known for its high velocity of Peacekeepers. The natural resources located in Twelve were now utilized to create weapons. The Capitol coddled Twelve and coaxed the district into creating the nation's defense arsenal. If there was a district who could protect the nation of Panem, it was now Twelve: the district of Peacekeepers, defense, and weaponry.

The Games started after the virus ended. If time had gone on regularly, these would have been the hundredth Games. Instead, the Capitol chose a surprising course of action. As a completely rebuilt nation, emerging from the ashes of the treacherous virus that it had overcome, the Games would be reborn too. The "first" Hunger Games went on as normal - but with a twist.

Only the remaining six districts had pools of tributes to select, from, obviously. Two tributes a district was too little - a Game with only twelve contenders? Where was the fun in such little variety? And yet, the Capitol knew that restarting the Games with the existing twenty-four slots was a disaster waiting to happen regarding riots...

Three tributes per district. A boy, a girl, and a randomized slot for either gender. A pool of eighteen tributes total - small enough for the Capitol to get to know them on a personal level much better, yet smaller than the original pool, and thus a "lesser" punishment for the districts that already had been through so much.

While the districts weren't in favor of beginning the Games again, this was a far better alternative to before. The existing victors – those who hadn't been killed off by the virus – got to live their lives in peace without mentoring any of the new tributes. The districts were much bigger now, thanks to the merge. The odds of your child being chosen were substantially smaller. And with almost half the number of tributes than before? The Capitol had the ability to get to know the tribute pools far better than before. No longer were some tributes overlooked, seen as shy or unremarkable. With eighteen kids to focus on, every child got some sort of special treatment from Capitol citizens.

One might expect Twelve in particular to have an uprising at the reinstatement of the Games. Katniss and Peeta had died in the virus. There was no rebellion to be had. Eleven and Twelve were the "Career" districts now – they were overjoyed to finally have an advantage on their prior competitors. In a grotesque turn of events, Twelve began training their children, but for no need. Volunteers were suddenly prevalent now. Children who never would have stood a chance twenty-five years ago now had the advantage. Maybe Primrose Everdeen even would have volunteered herself. Who could tell?

Eleven was the most well-nourished district now, and with the largest industry over even Twelve. An alcohol boom was just what the district needed to rebuild itself. Not a soul complained.

The first Games was won by Six, a stocky boy by the name of Garrett Kingston. He was nothing special, but he was strong. Strong enough to hide out the entire game in a cave and strangle his final opponent with his bare hands. An unsatisfying game, really, but refreshing to the Capitol after years of radio silence on the entertainment field.

The second Games gave District Eleven a well-deserved win. A fourteen-year-old boy named Sterling Esther was the first volunteer of the reinstated Games – and perhaps for good reason. He became crowd favorite all too quickly with his flirtatious nature and chipper, upbeat persona that rapidly won over the Capitol. Was he intoxicated the entire time? Most likely.

And so it proceeded: Custer Oreal from Twelve winning the third. Tabitha Grant becoming Three's first victor in the fourth Games. Cornelia Pfeifer from Twelve for the fifth Games – somewhat of an unhinged girl who claimed eight kills to her name, but no less the girl who began the trend of Twelve's volunteering streak. The sixth Games gave District Seven its first and only victor so far; Adeline Kapok. Adeline became a true crowd favorite; rumor has it she's in kahoots with the Gamemaker and keeps telling him to install more trees in the new arenas.

District One did very well during the seventh and eighth Games. Back-to-back victors Brielle Lavenge and Carrigan Rey became figureheads of the District, idolized in these new times. And last but absolutely not least, to win the ninth Games, a victor from District Eleven once again. Analyn Rae is the Capitol's newest baby, held up on a pedestal as untouchable and precious; that is, until the victor of the tenth Games comes along.

The tenth season of the new Games rises upon the salvaged six districts; both citizens of district and Capitol are hungry for a new edition.

A/N: Devil Town by Cavetown.

Lmao. I have nothing to say. Hi. I never thought I would start a motherfucking SYOT as a sophomore in college but it looks like the coronavirus quarantine is bringing out the worst in all of us!

Strongly suggest you read this chapter to understand this new AU verse. Actually, no; you have to read it in order to understand any of what the fuck's going on in this story. Now. Read it. Send me a fun little review to let me know you wanna submit (or maybe you just like this story and don't wanna submit! That's cool too!).

Form's on my profile. Stick to this verse or get your form ignored. That's all.

I don't know when I'll close submissions. Since I'm only accepting eighteen tributes, I might be able to make a closer deadline than I've done in the past (lmao four fucking years ago.) For now I'll say April 4, 2020, and if I need to extend it I will. Also, take a peek at the blog I've created for the existing victors: (onlysixhg . blogspot . com) – let me know what you think of this alternate universe!

This feels so weird. I hate covid-19. Strongly dislike how the world is in an apocalyptic state and my first thoughts in quarantine were to return to fanfiction. How bizarre. May the odds be ever in your favor!