Jamison Reed of Calico, 42.

June 4th, 2100.

The streets of the Inner Circle buzzed with life as members of each community went about their business trading and sun was high in the sky, giving the Inner Circle a very peaceful glow. This was Jamison's favorite place. It was a representation of what the Circle could be without all the violence of the Summit. Here, everyone was equal and everyone got along... For the most part, he thought looking to an Oppressan man towering over a small old women from Elkiem.

"I don't care, just give me the damn blanket woman," he growled reaching for the sword at his hip.

Against his better judgement, Jamison swooped in placing his hand on the brute's shoulder. "Woah there! What seems to be the problem here?" He asked with a smile as the Oppressan turned his ugly mug towards him.

"This woman owes me a deerskin blanket. I brought her some horse the other day, and she has yet to pay up."

Jamison pondered the man's response for a moment and grinned. "Cavalry horse I presume?" The reference of Cavalry sure got the Oppressan's attention. The two communities had been at odds as of late, and if someone from Cavalry found out about this there would definitely be conflict.

"What of it?"

"I just figured that's something you wouldn't want to go around trading," Jamison shrugged the smile not leaving his face, "Look if it's a blanket you want, a blanket you shall have." Pulling a large bag off of his shoulders, Jamison reached inside grabbing a very warm looking blanket. "Here you are! It's Calico made, very nice see? Now leave this poor woman alone."

The man looked to the blanket, and then to Jamison. With a nod he turned and stormed off without saying another word. The woman grabbed onto his arm and thanked him repeatedly, "Just doing my civic duty ma'am! Here, for your troubles." He replied handing her another of his blankets before continuing his way down the street.

If everyone was like him and his people, maybe they wouldn't be living in the apocalypse. There were other communities that shared Calico's values, Techa and Hydran being two of them. However, they were far outnumbered by the savages. He hated using the word savage because they were all people just trying to survive, but unfortunately some took survival further than others. If he hadn't stopped that Oppressan, the old woman would have undoubtedly been killed. It was the way of the world now, and it made him sick. He had heard stories of the old world, and the way things were before the war. If only he could have lived then! Hardship has always been apart of his life, and it was something he had gotten used to now. He was optimistic for the future however and wasn't about to give up on his fellow man.

As he walked and distributed his goods, he heard a lot of talk of the next Summit. It was a month away and already people were buzzing about it. Who would the champions be? Which community would win? There was even a rumor floating around that the Founders wanted twenty four champions instead of the usual twelve. Twice as many dead people... Is death all that was on anyone's mind? He often wondered how things could change. How people could go from this life, to a life like the old world. Could it be done? He could only hope. For it to happen it would take a group effort, and right now he didn't see the possibility of that occurring. Everyone was too obsessed with death, and until they weren't, things would never change for the better.

His eyes locked on a woman down the road through the crowded streets on the market, and in an instant he recognized the face. Sorrow washed over him as he saw the way she stared vacantly at the sky, she had always been so aware. It was weird to see her out of touch with reality. The woman was Ona Crest, mother of the last Summit winner was walking through the streets with a very small group of people from her village. She looked hurt and angry, like she had lost everything. Even though her people had won, he knew why she felt this way. Leah never made it home, and not everyone believes the rumors about the winners living a luxurious life. Not him and obviously not Ona. With a deep breath Jamison ran out to meet his friend.

"Ona! You're looking well." He smiled as she looked up at the sound of his voice.

"The same to you Jamison," she stated simply. His eagerness to see her was not returned. Though he knew the reason, he didn't push. Not wanting to bring up what is obviously a painful time in her life. Since he had met Ona a few years ago, he had always admired her spirit. While she was the daughter of a warrior and mother to a warrior, Ona had never fully agreed on her community's ways. She didn't hesitate to speak her mind in important matters, but would usually obey and carry out her duties for her community.

"I saw some traders from Silo a little bit ago. They had some tasty looking carrots! Would you join me for some?" He beamed, hoping to get her away from the group to talk in private. In front of others, she would have to remain stoic and strong. It was the Sherwood way! She didn't have to be that way around him, and maybe if she could let her guard down she would open up a little about her daughter voluntarily.

She looked to her people and they nodded, encouraging her to go. "Alright, I suppose I could." Maybe they see it too, and want her to be able to relax a bit?

With that the two made their way through the Inner Circle. It was mostly in silence, other than the comment on some trade goods here and there. Ona had never been much of a talker unless it was important, and Jamison respected that. He didn't need to chat for hours to enjoy someone's company. Besides, he had the buzz of the market to listen too. Though as Ona looked to him, a pained look in her eyes, it seemed as if she wanted to say something but was biting down on her tongue. She would even look elsewhere every time she noticed Jamison eyeing her. He simply gave her the time she needed. He wouldn't push, he wouldn't beg. Ona would tell him what plagues her mind when she was ready to tell him.

The two continued walking and finally found the Silo traders. Removing the final blanket from his bag, he handed it to the tall farmer and held up two of his fingers. The man looked at the cloak and nodded, handing Jamison the vegetables. Thanking the man, he handed one to Ona and took a bite out of his.

"It's not right," Ona muttered under her breath as she stared at the ground.

Placing a comforting hand on her shoulder he lifted her chin up and looked her in the eyes. "I'm sorry Ona, about everything. I wish there was something we could do." Of course there wasn't, and he felt as comforting as a rock. He was simply unsure of what to say, and was beginning to wonder why he got himself into this. But Ona was his friend, and he would do what he could to be there for her.

"I just wish I could have seen her one last time," she shook her head. There was little he could do to change that, but he knew he could simply be there.

"She will be missed… I don't think food was worth losing a daughter, do you? If only we lived in a different time, or a different place."

"My daughter is more important to me than all the food in the world Jamison, I just want her back." He looked into her tear filled eyes, watched the way her lip trembled. She was in so much pain, and he just wanted to end it. Taking another bite of his carrot, he brought her over to a bench nearby.

They sat down and he looked into her eyes once more. "Things in this world are not always fair Ona. They aren't always right! It's a terrible reality, but we have to play with the hand that we're dealt,"

"Or we could try and change the way things are." She stated softly, just barely above a whisper. Not many people would think or speak that way, especially not someone from Sherwood. Though when he looked at this women, he could see how serious she was. This woman was someone who would go to great lengths to get her daughter back.

"Are you saying what I think you're…" He could barely finish his sentence before she answered.

"Yes… we protest the Summit," she stated more confidently this time. Looking him directly in the eyes, silently pleading with him to join her. It was something that was rarely done, and usually it's from one community. If they could get enough people from enough of the Circle, the Founders would have to listen. They would have to stop the Summit and everything could begin to finally heal!

"I'm with you!"


I realized I didn't provide the blog for the characters. So I'll leave that down below! After this chapter there really isn't going to be any A/N until I get to the point where I'm sharing new content with you chapters are simply to re-post the story and get back to where we left off.

thecirclehungergames . blogspot . com (Fill in the spaces)