The Legend of Barkhope

Chapter One

"If you think the Hunger Games are going to end just because Katniss did her fabulous disappearing act," President Snow said, "you've got another thing coming."

"So, there will be an eighty-second Games, sir?"

"Of course there will. And an eighty-third. An eighty-fourth, too. But it is this year's Hunger Games that is on the platter right now, and I expect a full course of goodies for our audience in the Capitol."

A man wearing goggles and flippers entered the room.

"We have just managed to open the door to the world where monsters come from, sir."

"Excellent," said President Snow, stroking his eatrd. "Now see what can be done agat the wizarding school in the twenty-first century."

A woman spoke. "There is luck on that front, too, sir. Harry's daughter has opened it up. The foolish Hufflepuff girl is still struggling to be someone, and in order to achieve this, she began working on the Vanishing Cabinet her boyfriend abandoned a few months before. And now she has opened the vacuum. It won't activate until the monsters are trapped in the human world, but activate it shall."

"Are you still going to have Pocket monsters in this year's Games?"

"Well, of course we're going to still use Pokemon! Last year the ratings were through the roof! That is, in the Districts people have no choice but to watch the games. But here in the Capitol, there is no such compulsion. Yet not a single eye could be found that wasn't glued to the television last year. And it's all thanks to Pokemon."

"The werewolf/vampire/mutant year saw a fair deal of viewers, sir."

"Yes, but Pokemon are gold, Pokemon are diamonds, and Pokemon are emeralds all rolled up into an airtight bundle. Heck, we could have a cannibal on the show again and people would still watch, because they'd be seeing so many Pokemon and wouldn't care."

"You are going to have wizards and monsters and these creatures which you claim to be magnificent gems. You do not need a cannibal."

"We will have whatever it takes to ensure the Districts know who their masters are."

"We're not even pulling children from rthe Districts anymore."

"All the ones that mattered are dead."

"Katniss isn't."

"She's out of Panem, though, and that is what matters."

Two people wearing green suits that resemnbled the ones Peacekeepers used to wear entered the council room.

"Uh, sir, we've run into a problem."

"What is it, Jarmtrooch?"

"Three of the kids you wanted in this Hunger Games matchup are no longer in their original time."

"Then go backward in their lives and fetch them then."

"I'm afraid that's impossible, sir. Colress put a Crustle block on that time period which prevents us from picking them up anytime before the day after they leave."

"Well, fetch them from wherever they went."

"He put a Crustle block on that place, too."

"Eh, we'll save them for later. But I want them in next year's Hunger Games, or your life will be forfeit."

The man turned to go.

"I trust that there are no other issues?" President Snow asked the woman in green, while putting his head in his hands.

"Other than the fact that Pokemon won't be participating in this year's Hunger Games, no, there are not."

"But Pokemon must participate! It's what the people want!"

"Unless 'the people,' can remove one of Colress' virus tricks, and stop a Crustle block, they're not getting their Pokemon."

"The Crustle block again?"

"Colress is a power to be reckoned with. He knows how to see that all contours are fixated to suit his plans."

"Fine! We'll do without Pokemon for this Hunger Games. But really, are we supposed to let the monsters and wizards jusat fight using their own abilities?"

"Why not?"

"Because's that's—" President Snow started to say, when a rack of costumes rolled in front of him.

"Pietre, what is this? I told you not to bring me the garments from Gullawon until they were fitted up for use in the Hunger Games."

"And so they are ready, Mr. President. Whoever wears these will find their abilities souped up for a deadly combat that will completely anchor your audience."

"You sound confident in yourself, Pietre. But if they prove unsatisfactory, I know someone who is scheduled for some nightlocks."

The man gulped before saying, "Maybe I could gibe them a few more adjustments before being a thousand percent sure they're ready."

"My appetite is whetted. If they are notr in use by this year's Hunger Games, I may have to deliver the berries to you with a pipette."

"I will have them done in time."

"See to it that you do."

Pietre rolled the doily out of the room.

"Great news, sir! We got that pair who work in thr mail room at Monsters Inc. cornered by a pair of Fear Tech students. They're forcing them through doors as we speak. And they'll remove the scream sensors, too."

"They better be different doors," President Snow said. "Together they can open a door without sensors activated."

"We're having the blue, furry one wind up in the Slytherin Dungeon. He'll never make it to the Cyclops' destination, which is the sixth-year Gryffindor dorms."

:You have the time adjustments on the doore, right? In the monster world at that time, it is 1986, but in the human world we need it to be 2024."

"I was supposed to apply the temporal shift before getting the monsters plunged in?"

"Yes, Denver. Otherwise the monsters will be meeting the parents of their charges."

"Well, then, Houston we have an issue."

President Snow looked very livid. "First no Pokemon, or the kids from Danville who are involved with so many things such as superheroes and those Jedi lightsaber-bearing garbafgemen who claim to be from the far future, and now you can't even bring the monsters to the correct generation of children!"

"I think I may have a way sir," said a woman with violet hair.

"Julie? You have a solution?"

She jabbed several buttons on the computer panel.

:I have just placed temporal trackers on them," she said. "They will only glimpse the witches and wizards of 1996 briefly. A moment after crossing the threshold, they will be whirled into the future. I will have to be ready to stop the tracker at twenty-eight turns or they'll go past their mark. But they'll be with the right generation without trouble."

"You always know how to solve these things, Julie."

"Relax, President. As long as this Games has my touch, it will go smoothly and directly. You can count on me."