Berries

I'm almost arrogant enough to take pride in the fact that no one has come looking for me yet. I know that it has less to do with my stealth, and more to do with the simple fact that everyone knows I'm an easy kill. It's a matter of time, really. The Gamemakers must be getting restless by now, with Cato and the pair from Twelve on opposite sides of the arena. I made a point of keeping tabs on them, watching from a safe distance once I had my pack, which held enough food for one day. Considering what was in the packs from Two, I think it's obvious the audience has lost interest in me. I'm not a power-player, so I'm pretty sure they were hoping to weed me out, leaving the real competitors to spice up the show. Cato went after the boy from Eleven. I know that much. He seemed pretty messed up when his district partner didn't make it out of the Feast. I admit I was surprised he cared. But then again, she was his best hope against the girl from Twelve, being the only remaining tribute capable of effectively executing a ranged assault. That's what he'll need, because otherwise he might not get close enough to kill her, even with body armor. I run through the last four tributes, weighing my chances at this point.

Cato – The mononymous hulk of rage, testosterone, and impressive swordsmanship. I like to call him Biceps. Combat skill- 4, Aggression- 5, Compassion- 1. Threat level- 8.

Katniss Everdeen- Moderately intelligent, good survival skills, horrible temper, likes to hang out in trees. Combat skill- 4, Aggression- 4, Compassion- 3. Threat level- 5.

Peeta Mellark- Resourceful, strong, and protective. Martyr. Not particularly violent. Combat skill- 3, Aggression- 3, Compassion- 4. Threat level- 2.

Voss Semah- Me. Fast, clever, and sneaky. Weak. Combat skill- 2, Aggression-3, Compassion-4. Threat level- 1.

It's simple, then. I am going to die. I can't hope to be able to hide in bushes and caves much longer. The Gamemakers will flush us out, push us together, and I will die. I try not to think of this emotionally. I won't let it sink in, because it wouldn't change anything. In the mean time, I need food. I decide to tail Twelve. They seem least likely to kill me on sight…well…the boy wouldn't. They're also my best chance for a meal. Katniss eats better than anyone in this place. Peeta's only alive because she feeds him, and Cato spends lonely and embarrassing afternoons chasing rabbits with a sword. He hasn't been successful, to my knowledge.

I head in the general direction she was traveling when I left her trail to follow Cato and Eleven. She'd been wounded, so I can't imagine she deviated much from her intended course. I try to follow the boot marks in the soil, which are difficult to find after the rain. This side of the arena looks like it got twice as much as the other, which was pretty drenched. I wonder briefly why they let it go on so long, and then I huff at my own stupidity. The answer is obvious. They didn't want us to find each other. Of course, that didn't stop Biceps in his quest to avenge his psychotic, knife wielding girlfriend. I realize that whatever was happening over here must have been more interesting than the epic battle that preceded the last cannon. Since they weren't likely to be killing each other, I'm not sure I want to know what was going on. I snort to myself. At least being here gets me out of mandatory viewing.

I can see that the indentations in the dirt won't be leading me any closer to Twelve. A section of the arena seems to have flooded just enough to cover her tracks. I pause in my own steps, crouching to examine the last few prints. The left half cuts deeper than the right. At least I know which way she went. I'm careful not to move my feet as I rise back up. I look back to see my own trail, which is fresh and deep. It would be easy to track me this way, and if Cato is looking for us, it would not be to my advantage to lead him straight to all of us. I take a few steps to the right, until the path meets thick grass, and I take a deep breath. I jump backward hard, landing on the other side, leaving no evidence that I changed course.

I stay on the thickest grass, moving as quietly as possible. I cover about a mile before I hear something. It's a crunching noise, like careless footsteps. Sniffing the air, I can't detect the aroma of food. Katniss is more of a hunter than a gatherer, and her camps usually smell of cooked meat for hours after she leaves them. So this isn't where Twelve has been hiding out, but someone is close by. I wonder with a start if it's Cato, if I miscalculated. He wouldn't care if he was heard. But, he shouldn't be daring enough to hunt Katniss down in her own territory, from what I've observed so far. Then again, he does have that armor now. Maybe he's overconfident. I crouch down behind a fallen log, listening carefully. The crunching continues, but I notice a slight lag in the timing. One foot is dragging more than the other. Last I saw Cato, he wasn't injured. Peeta, on the other hand…I smile with satisfaction. Got them. I make it to the source of the noise. I can make out the back of a long braid, and I sit quietly until she disappears, careful to pay attention to which way she goes. She's not my biggest concern in here, but I still don't want her sneaking up behind me. The boy sets out down a hill, probably to the stream I remember being not far from here. Sporadically, I hear them whistle back and forth, signaling to each other. I watch him returning with the things he's gathered. Food. He's portioned it out meticulously, giving one serving slightly more than the other. When he disappears again, I wait for her whistle. It's still far enough away that I don't hesitate. I make a move for my target, waiting to hear his response. Nothing. I realize that I'm going to have to hurry, because she won't stay away unless he answers. I wonder if something happened, or if he's just out of earshot. There's no cannon, but that doesn't eliminate the possibility that Biceps has made his way to this side. I scoop up the smaller portion, not having time to hide that I've been here, and head back to my spot behind the log to examine my prize. I decide to start on the berries.