|Known Allies||Eva Salazar|
Before The Games Edit
Calico had a normal childhood – or, at least, normal for a child in District 8. She grew up with her mother and father, and her two brothers and her sister, in a single bedroomed apartment in the centre of District 8. She had a loving family; they were very close and loved one another very much. Her parents did their best by their four kids but they could not relieve the lack of toys or stimulation within the city.; they provided them with as many toys as possible (which wasn’t very many), and both mother and father used to smuggle home bits of cuttings to create toys for their children. Indeed, Calico’s favourite toy – and one she still has, is a small teddy bear made out of different scraps stolen from the factories by her mother and father. Her mother had sewed it for Calico when she was a baby; she christened it ‘Fustian’, and she still has it even now, carefully hidden in her drawer in the Capitol. She’s scared, lest it be found and her parents are accused of stealing.
Nothing particularly remarkable happened in Calico’s life – she worked at the factories – and she witnessed her older brother, Drill, having his fingers taken off by a machine when she was five years old. Drill had got his hand caught as he attempted to rejoin a snapped thread and his index and middle fingers had been ripped off. Although Calico had cried, it was a lesson she never forgot – and she learned to be agile and deft so that she did not end up with a damaged hand. She witnessed a lot of accidents over the years, and soon became desensitized to the blood and gore. She helped Drill to recover the use of his damaged hand.
Calico’s favourite part of the day was her art lessons. She excelled in art, and her teacher often remarked that it was a pity that Calico had been born in District 8. Had she been born a Capitol citizen, she would almost certainly have been a Stylist of some sort. Still, her teachers allowed her to dream, and Calico expressed herself in outlandish costume designs, several of which she made miniatures of with scraps from the factories in her sewing classes. When Calico was nine, her younger sister, Ayelet, died. The family simply could not afford adequate food and heating for the winter. Her fever grew and though the family pushed to buy medicine, they could not afford enough to cure the little girl. Calico was upset, of course, but there is little time for mourning in District 8 – too many children die – and Calico learned quickly to accept death as a part of life.
Calico’s life again continued as normal. She was hit in the factory quite often for chattering; she was a chatterbox and seemingly unable to control her impulse to talk, but she was never in serious trouble. When Calico was ten, her youngest brother, Bobbin, was born. Calico loved Bobbin; he was a bit like a baby doll, something that she had wanted, but had never had as a child. She helped her mother look after Bobbin, and sewed him clothes from scraps that she began to smuggle from the factories. At home, he was a gaudily dressed baby, wearing snippets of the luxurious materials destined for District 1 or the Capitol.
On her twelfth birthday, Drill took Calico with him across the city to the big Justice Building in one of the richer parts of the district, and the two of them signed up for Tesserae, ensuring the family’s food supply come winter. Calico did not want to chance Bobbin getting ill and dying as Ayelet had because she had not signed up. After that, Drill took her to the park – and that was perhaps the best day of her life. Children rarely saw grass in District 8, and they certainly did not have much chance to play in it, and both Drill and Calico revelled in the opportunity.
Life continued, although the Hunger Games for Calico held a much more specific threat now. Before, she had held her breath each year as the selection took place, willing that it wasn’t Drill, or one of her brother’s friends, or any of the children from her school. But it never was. District 8 was huge, with an even larger population, and naturally, Calico did not know every child. It was much less personal, she’d come to realise, than small districts, like 12, where people actually seemed to know the majority of their neighbours. And after each selection, the child Calico would sigh with relief and forget about the Games for another year. Her parents talked of course, hushed whispers behind closed doors, about the unfairness of the Games, of their hatred for the Capitol and their desire for rebellion. Sometimes, very occasionally, other adults came, and talked too, in whispers so low that Calico and Drill had to strain to hear what they said. It was Capitol talk, nothing that made sense to the children, really. When she was eleven, Calico learned her lesson not to repeat though – she was caught telling another child about how much she hated the Games, and was thrashed – not by the foreman in the factory, but by a Peacekeeper, in the local square, for all the passers by to see. Her stinging bottom and her humiliation saw to it that Calico kept her lips tight shut about the Capitol after that.
That first year after her twelfth birthday, though, her attitude towards the Games changed. Before, even though she had watched the children – Tributes – kill each other – it was different – distant. It was easy to pretend they were actors, in a school play, that none of it was really real. But this year – this year, Calico was terrified, and it showed, as clear as day. With a month before the Reaping, it was all she could think about – how her name was in the big bowl three times. How it might be her.
On the day of the Reaping, she and Drill were woken early by their mother, and dressed. Underneath Calico’s plain cotton dress, her mother fixed a little purse, tucking Calico’s toy rabbit into it, a little comfort when her mother and even her big brother could not be near. They ate together – all of them as a family – but then, it was time for Drill and Calico to set off together for the Reaping.
Reaping was done a little differently in District 8, than in District 12. Because the District was so large, there was no way that the whole population could squeeze into the large square outside the Justice building. So instead, it was all of the children that made their way to this area, whilst those who were not eligible to be Tributes went to their local squares, where large screens had been rigged to directly broadcast the ceremony. In this district, adults were asked to register too – to make it easier for Peacekeepers to see who had not attended, and again easier for them to transport the chosen tributes’ families to the Justice Building at the edge of the District.
That first year, Calico was not chosen, and neither was Drill, and the whole family breathed a sigh of relief. Drill’s name had been in the pot too many times – and it would be in there even more the following year, and the year after that. But somehow, Drill was never chosen. The fates were always in his favour, it’d seem.
Not so for Calico. It was her third year of the Reaping when she was chosen. She was fourteen years old. And it was a moment that, even as an adult, Calico was ashamed of.
She had tried to run when her name was called out. Where she thought she was going, even Calico had no idea. But she had no intention of going towards the erected stage to stand with the male tribute, four years her senior. Even against this boy, Calico knew that she would lose. She didn’t want to die. But the scared girl was simply picked up by a Peacekeeper, and carried onto the stage, where she was held, struggling, as the ceremony ended. And then she was thrown into a tiny room, and locked in, alone, until Drill was pushed through the door. Drill was pale, it was a sight Calico would never forget, and he even cried as he embraced her – Drill, who didn’t even cry when his fingers had been torn off by the machine. They stayed in that position, until the rest of the family arrived. Calico’s mother was sobbing hard; her resolve to stay together for her daughter crumbled at the sight of her eldest children embracing. Already one daughter had been ripped from her by death. And now it would seem the other was to be, too. Calico’s father, on the other hand, was silent, stern eyed. Calico had thought – still did think – that he was simply unable to express his sorrow over the almost certainty of her death. But in reality, he had been trying to control the expletives that threatened to burst from his lips about the Capitol. He couldn’t say it. He couldn’t risk endangering his family – especially Calico now – further. He embraced his daughter, just once, briefly, before he was ushered out of the room with the rest of the family.
Calico’s original time in the Capitol was a blur. She was dressed and undressed and primped and preened and fed and trained – and if it hadn’t been for the threat of the Games looming ever closer, Calico would have enjoyed herself. A lot. She loved Capitol life – and she knew that she would have liked to live there. Even the silly outfit that she was forced into for the Tribute Parade. Even with Caesar Flickerman’s demeaning attitude during her interview, which made her snap at him – she hated being treated as a child, even then. Needless to say, Calico won her Games. It was sheer luck more than skill, but it was a victory nonetheless and Calico was returned to the Capitol with all due fanfare awarded to Victors. (there’ll be more detail on her arena further into her app)
After the Victory tour, Calico expected to return home, to be housed in the Victors’ village on the outskirts of the District, with her family. But much to her annoyance, Calico was taken back to the Capitol. After the arena, she had not stopped asking questions – questions about the point of the Games, why they should be forced to fight – what would happen if people simply just stopped watching – and aren’t there more people even in District 8 alone – and what would happen if they rose up against the Peacekeepers? Calico, though she didn’t particularly have thoughts of rebellion – they were merely questions that had occurred to her as she travelled around the Districts – was taken into custody. There she was told roughly what her new role was to be – and that she was being watched, closely, by the Capitol, to ensure her cooperation. She was told that she would not be going back to District 8; instead, she would be housed in the Capitol permanently, where they could keep an eye on her. And to ensure her compliance, Calico was forced to watch a live feed as a Peacekeeper took her four year old brother, Bobbin, into custody. She was assured that he’d be allowed to live – to have a relatively privileged life – as long as she toed the line, and thought nothing more of her rebellious questions. If she agreed to everything the Capitol demanded of her. A hint of disobedience and he was as good as dead – and her parents and Drill would soon follow.
So for the next twelve years, Calico lived in the Capitol. She had seen her family twice in the Capitol, at her eighteenth and twenty-first birthday parties respectively. They had been brought, transported to the Capitol as a publicity stunt to show how generous the Capitol was to its’ Victors. She saw them, briefly, too, each year at the Reapings, though she was only given brief meetings with them. In the Capitol, Calico did… well, she attended the parties. She went clubbing. She sat through the dates that she was required to go on. She smiled and laughed and dyed her hair and wore their fashion. She designed her own clothes sometimes, and made them, just for the fun of it. She hated exercise and so rarely bothered. But nobody seemed to care. No one cared that she was a fifteen year old drinking wine in a bar. Nobody cared when she took a shot of morphling and went on a bender. No one cared that she hated the Capitol. Nobody even knew – and Calico planned to keep it that way.
Each reaping, Calico returned to her District with the entourage, to receive the new Tributes. She hated it – but again, she did what was expected of her, flirting for as many favours as she could, to ensure her Tributes an easy a passage as possible through the arena. It was pointless, though. Against the other Districts, they barely stood a chance, and over the years, Calico grew more and more disheartened. At first, she had tried to befriend the Tributes – most, at first, were her age, or there abouts. But as the Games went on, and more of her ‘friends’ were killed on screen, Calico found that she simply couldn’t do it any more. It hurt too much. So she became colder, distant, which was something that went against her natural personality. But it was a means of protecting herself – she told herself she simply didn’t care. She couldn’t be personal with her Tributes. She gave them generic advice, flirted for them, and groaned at their deaths. But she made a point never to remember a name, never to remember a face. Not until they won. She had watched, amazed, as Katniss Everdeen took the Games by storm. Now that was defiance – and she admired Katniss’ bravery – and at once deplored herself for being so cowardly. If Katniss could stand up to the Capitol, then so could she.
On her next ‘date’, Calico simply refused. She refused to make eye contact, talk, eat. She threatened to scream if the man touched her. She began to speak out about what the Capitol did to its’ Victors, about the injustices of the Games. The next thing she knew, she was once more housed in a pure white cell, strapped to a white leather chair. She stayed in that room – who knew really, how long it was, watching these new Games, with these new Tributes. There were far more now than ever before. Tributes. She watched them – and then she watched one. One girl whos face was horribly familiar. Even if the girl did have pink streaks that Calico had never had. She had learned that girl’s name – Andrea. A strange name… Calico had watched her on the TV screen. The camera never seemed to leave Andrea – although, this was, of course, Calico’s private feed, and did not reflect what was being broadcast to the other districts. Calico watched Andrea kill. And then she watched the girl slowly freeze to death.
Calico was surprised to find that her feed played images of Andrea back in the Capitol. Of course, she realised that the Tributes were somehow being revived – how was beyond her – but she had not realised that cameras still followed them even here. But follow Andrea it did – and it followed her right into a revolutionary meeting – and right into a bomb attack. Calico was forced to watch, over and over, as Andrea’s death – her real death, a staged execution – took place. And she realised. That girl, who so resembled herself, without the makeup and the dye and the fancy clothes – she was supposed to be an indication to Calico. That they could execute her just as easily as they had executed Andrea if she participated in any more rebellious activities. That it could be her family – her brothers, her parents – Drill’s new wife and their children.
A month or so later, they released Calico. They returned her to the Training Centre, the warnings still ringing clear in her ears. She had to behave. Behave or die. Behave or die. Calico vowed to behave.
Once back in the Capitol proper, Calico saw that the press had covered her rebellion and subsequent arrest with headlines discrediting her mental state. She had apparently had a complete breakdown due to a bad batch of drugs she had picked up in District 8 on her recent visit, and had binged on alcohol. She was hallucinating, out of her mind. Calico became conscious of people watching her, whispering, laughing. So she stook her chin up and grinned and thanked people for their support and apologised profusely for any upset she had caused.
In the GamesEdit
- THIS WILL BE A LIST
- OF ALL THE GREAT THINGS
- CALICO CAN DO!