Disclaimer: I do not own The Hunger Games.

Doomed to Die: The 9th Hunger Games

Prologue, Part I
A Red Sun Rises

President Richmond Hyde stood watching a crimson sunrise over the mountains, taking in one moment of peace and stillness. Away from duty. Away from politics. Away from the swarming masses of people in need of control.

The serenity of the moment was short-lived, however. It was interrupted by Head Gamemaker Helius Florum, an excitable, twitchy little man who came bumbling – and limping slightly – across the plains. "Mr. President!" Florum exclaimed. "Welcome! So glad you could make it! We're almost ready; it's going to be such an exciting year!" The chubby little man stopped to catch his breath. "What do you think?"

Hyde nodded approvingly. Florum had his peculiarities, but there was no denying his skill. To the north was an icy expanse as far as the eye could see – and probably farther. In front of them, the mountains stretched off to the left and right, with several paths that appeared to lead across, and a few cave-like entrances to the labyrinth within. To their right lay a grassy plain, littered with boulders that could provide shelter – or conceal an ambush. Behind the president, waves crashed against a rocky shore.

"You've outdone yourself, Helius," Hyde conceded. It was Florum's fifth year as Head Gamemaker, and this year's arena combined all of the elements that had made the previous four years a success, after the shaky start to the Games headed by Florum's predecessor.

Florum grinned and plopped down on a nearby boulder, stretching his right leg, which seemed oddly bruised. "Oh, nothing to worry about," he assured Hyde, noticing the president's curiosity. "Just had a few glitches while we were programming the forest; it's all worked out now."

"Forest?" Hyde asked, glancing around. "Were you programming it to be invisible?"

Florum laughed heartily. "Oh, no, not at all. You just can't see it from here. In fact, there's a lot that you can't see from the starting point. If I could interest you in a hovercraft ride, you could see it all."

"Quite all right," Hyde shuddered. Hovercrafts. He still didn't trust the things. "I'm sure seeing it onscreen will suffice."

Florum shrugged. "Suit yourself. You'll be in for a few surprises, then."

Hyde nodded. "I can live with that." He looked around. "There's something else that seems to be missing – besides your forest, that is." He gestured to the twenty-four platforms behind him. "I assume they enter here … But where's the cornucopia?"

Florum giggled. "Unless I can change your mind about that ride … you'll just have to wait and see."

Tribute List

District One

Male: Angus Spencer (13) QuietConspiracy

Female: Abstract Calls (18) Starry-eyed dreamer86

District Two

Male: Equinox Kunzite (16) xDisgraceful Avengerx

Female: Kiona Brink (18) bobothebear

District Three

Male: Tracer Norren (18) Munamana

Female: Rosalina "Lina" Leto (15) LunarLionHeart

District Four

Male: Mars Servitt (18) afterl0ve

Female: Ella Halliwell (17) Aileen's feather

District Five

Male: Harakuise Swallot (14) seventhquill907

Female: Aubrei "Brie" Fallyn (17) x FallingAshes x

District Six

Male: Pike Carter (12) Starry-eyed dreamer86

Female: Prius Gazer (16) bobothebear

District Seven

Male: Sterling Therms (18) QuietConspiracy

Female: Cahra Sheed (14) PennytheMonsterBringer

District Eight

Male: Zione Carlin (18) bobothebear

Female: Nicoline Peters (13) torystory93

District Nine

Male: Husk Fange (16) TheTypeWriter001

Female: Antiquity Kirsh (14) xDisgraceful Avengerx

District Ten

Male: Wulfric Harding (18) DeuceExMachina

Female: Elibrium "Libby" Hall (15) TheTypeWriter001

District Eleven

Male: Sher Haimish (17) BecauseofKillianJones

Female: Lordez Miller (17) MidnightRaven323

District Twelve

Male: Aldo Retchwood (16) BananasInLoungewear

Female: Heloise Cache (12) torystory93

Note: I will not be running a sponsorship system. However, the following things will help your tributes' chances of survival.

1. Tributes who are intriguing and unique - with plenty of background, quirks, and flaws - are more fun to write (and to read) and therefore tend to last longer. (Of course, some of them still have to die, but fascinating characters also make for more memorable deaths.)

2. Reviews let me know who's actually reading the story and who just submitted the same tribute they've already submitted to two dozen different SYOTs. Guess whose tribute will last longer.

3. On a similar note, constructive criticism is especially appreciated. Please note, however, that repeatedly begging me to let your tribute win is not constructive; it's annoying, and will likely have the opposite effect.

4. Once all the tributes have been introduced, I will have a poll on my profile page that will let you vote for your favorites. This does not mean that the most well-liked character is guaranteed to win. However, it certainly won't hurt their chances. (Please note that this will not happen until all of the tributes have been introduced in-story; I don't want to give an unfair advantage to the ones who happen to be the first to appear.)