02:25.881'N 85:29.734'W They're Mocking Jay

Hamble Warrior
Jamie Hickman
Wed 29 Mar 2023 22:32

Today's blog post if it had been written by Suzanne Collins. Apologies to all those who haven't ever read or watched The Hunger Games Trilogy...

Day 8 in the arena

They sat in uncomfortable silence as their eyes shifted from face to face. None knowing what the capital had in store for them next but all filled with a sense of dread.

Meanwhile in Pan-Am(a) the head game-maker "Roberto" scratched at his over-styled facial hair; eyebrows knitted together and a look fixed with concentration as he gazed down at his screen showing the small turquoise sail boat becalmed in the still blue waters. He'd watched with glee as the exhausted tributes threw the fresh stores overboard; the rotten eggs, over-ripened fruit and even the staples such as Yuka which they'd have expected to last for weeks. It was a master stroke to have filled the cornucopia with such a festering rotten harvest and painted it bright and delicious looking so that the tributes had risked life and limb carrying it back to the sanctuary of their ship believing they had weeks of fresh food. Roberto let out a cackle of evil laughter and started rearranging items on his screen. The mutts were in place on the bow. At least half a dozen brightly-beaked birds with red feet and dead eyes. Genetically engineered by the capital these creatures appear dumb and harmless but they were designed to reek havoc at the touch of the game-maker's button. They would have their moment of stardom but first to weaken the tributes with a mighty squall. A little thunder and lightning; a lot of rain, but no wind… if he allowed them to sail and make any progress they would be harder to break. Their perseverance had allowed them several days of edging closer to their destination at a rate of just 60 or 70 nautical miles each day but as he sucked the air from the arena leaving the small ship wallowing in calm seas he knew they'd make no more than 18 nautical miles today however much support they had from the districts; however determined they were.

The previous night the game-maker had allowed the tributes to sight others in the arena; to remind them that the capital was not their only enemy. Two ships each as large as the presidential palace appeared on the tributes small screen; they each passed several miles away; the lights of one just about visible to a keenly trained eye, the second only ever appearing as a small dot on the screen.

Magpie fondled Meeps ears softly and looked into his sweet face. This arena was no place for an innocent. Meep rubbed his face against her hand in a trusting and apparently affectionate way. "That's it", he thought to himself "keep on petting me; I'll be the last tribute standing in these games". As Jamie cursed below and an unidentified vegetable soared passed their heads and over the gunwhales of the boat Meep knew they were getting ever closer to breaking into the canned stores... and that meant tuna.

As the lightening flashed and the rain fell Roberto looked on as the tributes scrambled around on deck filling buckets with rainwater. They took a small plastic vessel to the mast and strapped it in place allowing gallons of water to run down their sails and collecting it into cans. The Game-maker sneered; the tributes had made the most of his latest move. Let them have their moment. The fresh water would give them some hope... and back home their family and friends would be cheering... but he still had the mutts. Poised. Ready. He was far too clever to be outmaneuvered by these simple tributes from the districts and their strange little cat. He threw back his head and roared with laughter.

In the arena the canon fired loudly three times into the sky and the tributes cast their faces upwards to see who today's fallen were. Emblazoned in the sky above them came the roll call of the vessels that had succumbed that day; those that had yielded to the evil game-makers will; packed away their sails and turned on their engines. Looking away in disgust Magpie disappeared into the galley to defiantly make Hummus.

***None of the names used in this text are fictional. Any legal representatives of the Panamanian Green Grocer "Roberto" should direct communications to Hamble Warrior's Head of Communications Claire Shaw at Hamble Warrior Shoreside HQ, Repton, Derby***