Cage Match 2011: Tally Youngblood versus Katniss Everdeen


The Contestants

Tally Youngblood.jpg

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Katniss Everdeen.jpg

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Tally Youngblood
Age: 16
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: Hoverboard; razor-sharp surgically enhanced teeth; ceramic bones
Unknowingly causes dystopian societies to implode

Katniss Everdeen
The Girl on Fire
Age: 16
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: Bow and arrow; political speech-making
Explosive arrows…dipped in pangs of guilt

The Breakdown


  • Can listen through walls using her hands
  • Heightened reflexes and speed
  • Eye-popping tattoos that serve as antennae

  • Expert hunting and trapping instincts
  • Ability to have teen boys pledge undying devotion to her
  • Has killed before

  • Brain damage disguised as an “enhancement”

  • Fickle in matters of the heart
  • Inability to correctly gauge others’ agendas

  • N/A

  • N/A

How we think the fight will go

It had to be one of President Snow’s tricks.

There was no way that they would every let her leave another match alive—not after what happened the first two times. And so the rules were changed—again.

Instead of tributes from the other districts, there appeared to be only one other girl. And yet she wasn’t like anything Katniss had ever seen. Oh, she had the trappings of Capitol fashions, but there was a beauty so cold that even Katniss couldn’t think that she was fully human.

The girl’s vicious smile was doing nothing to alleviate her fear.

It didn’t help, either, that once again she began without a bow and arrows. She knew they’d be somewhere in the arena—they had to be—but as to where…

She looked around. It wasn’t like the last two Games, with giant arenas that covered miles. This was more like a stadium, oval in shape, with high walls. The terrain was flat for the most part, but there were strange mounds jutting from seemingly random places across the stadium’s floor.

Katniss shuddered to think what they did.

She had no choice, though—she wasn’t going to survive without a weapon. So far, the only thing that stood out—other than her opponent—were those mounds.

She ran to the closest one.

As she did, she could see out of the corner of her eye the strange girl make a similar move. Katniss kept track of her, but focused on the mound.

It wasn’t, on closer inspection, dirt as she had first thought. Instead, it was almost as if dirt had been painted on. Faint lines could be seen criss-crossing the surface.

Great. But what does it do?

Katniss glanced over, seeing the other girl equally puzzled. Not for the last time Katniss wished that Peeta or Gale was here, watching her back. The thought of them made her wonder…

No…can’t think about that now.

She took another look at the girl…

And couldn’t find her.


She knew she had to hurry. The girl and the mound she had been looking at were nowhere to be seen. The quiet was unnerving.

She stood back from the mound. Taking off one of her boots, she tossed it on top of the dome.

Nothing happened.

Katniss walked back. She heard a ticking sound, but nothing seemed to be happening. Leaning forward, she reached out for her boot, and suddenly the there was a ding and the mound retracted, causing her to stumble into the newly formed hole.

A splash sounded in her ears as she fell, and she followed her boot into a shallow pool of water. Looking up, she saw that the walls to the shaft didn’t extend all the way down, and she was at least ten feet below them, with another ten feet of wall to reach the surface. It was dark, but not completely, the light from the stadium supplemented by something glowing in the water.

Something glowing…

Katniss started as one of the glows moved passed her, brushing up against her leg. Another brushed up against her bootless foot, and she gasped when something sliced through her sock and into her flesh.

Razor fish!

The glows were coming closer to her, and she quickly started reaching about under the water, trying to find her other boot. Her frantic movements, though, only seemed to attract the nasty aquatic creatures, and soon her hands and arms were crossed with dozens of lacerations. When she found her boot, she had trouble slipping it on as the blood made her grip slick. Finally she pulled it on and stood up, just in time to see a shadow cross the open hatch.

The girl was hovering above her.

Katniss took in the pit, and noticed the a glowing trail of razor fish stretched into the darkness. She moved towards it, and as her eyes adjusted, she saw that she was in a tunnel.

She ran down it, her splashes causing the razor fish to frenzy around her. She knew if she fell, there was no chance of her getting back up with all her blood. Still, she had no choice—somehow that girl had gotten hold of something that made her fly, and that meant she could be coming down the shaft any minute.

A low hum behind her seemed to confirm that.

As she ran, Katniss ripped off strips from her shirt and wrapped them around her hands. It wasn’t much, but at least it allowed her some sense of touch.

She eventually reached another chamber, and was happy to see that the shallow water ended at a raised platform. Not having time to worry about if it was a trap, she hopped onto the smooth stone surface. On top now, she could see the middle was recessed, and something metal lay within.

Katniss hurried over, taking a look down the tunnel to see if the girl had made it through yet. She didn’t see anything, though, so she turned her attention to what was in the middle of the platform.

It was a case, and fairly large. She touched it tentatively, but nothing shocked her or burned her or froze her. She realized it was risky, but she also knew that under the stadium was not a place she could expect to live very long without some kind of help—and she doubted any of the little silver parachutes could reach her down here.

She opened the box.

A loud wailing sound exploded on Katniss, echoing throughout the chamber. It didn’t last long, but it was enough to cause her ears to ring and even make her eyes water. Yet, it seemed the alarm was the only trap—sure she had given away her position, but what lay inside made it all worthwhile.

A bow.

She reached in, almost reverently. The balance and draw were perfect. A quiver of arrows lay inside, and she quickly examined them. She was disappointed, as all but one were regular arrows, with no fancy attachments or tips. But she wasn’t too unhappy, because the last arrow could be something she very much desired:


The arrow ended in drill bit, and attached to the feathered end was a long, strong cable. A tiny switch on the head turned the bit on, and despite its size, it clearly had a powerful motor. She turned off the motor and placed it back in the quiver. She hung the quiver over her shoulder and with a practice motion, drew one of the arrows and shot it straight up, into the bottom of the dome. It pinged against it and fell back to the ground, but not before a ticking sound started.

While she waited for the dome to open, Katniss realized that the other girl had never come down the tunnel. The same ding! sounded that had gotten her into this mess, and with it came the thought that maybe getting to the surface wasn’t the best idea.

It was too late, though, and so she drew the drill-arrow and shot it through the opening, the powerful bit spinning. As it arced perfectly out the hole, she waited for the sound of the drill digging into the ground and securing the line in place. She didn’t hear anything though, and yet, when she gave the cable a tuck, it didn’t budge.

Maybe I’m too far down to hear it, she thought, and placing her bow over her shoulder, she began to climb up.

It was torturous, her hands almost numbe from the razor fish. And yet Katniss had always been an excellent climber—had a feel for it, her dad used to tell her. And so, hand over hand, she made her way up, reaching the walls of the shaft in very short time.

The cable didn’t give, and with confidence she kept going…

Until she was falling.

Katniss landed hard on her back, the thirteen feet fall knocking the breath out of her. She was stunned, and it was only through the greatest of efforts she was even able to open her eyes in time to see the other girl hovering down the shaft.

The strange girl hopped off the board she was riding—it simply floated by itself—and strode confidently to Katniss.

“My, aren’t you an ugly one.”

“You’re nothing special to look at, either,” Katniss said through gritted teeth.

The girl laughed. “Oh, you have no idea how special I am.”

Katniss was frightened—worse than the dogs with the other contestants eyes attacked her, Peeta, and Cato. Worse then finding the perfumed roses in her home.

Yet…the girl did nothing. Her eyes, though cold, were uncertain.

She doesn’t know what’s she’s doing here, Katniss thought with wonder.

The Hunger Games had left her with no illusions. She reached over her shoulder and drew an arrow, and even as the strange girl’s eyes widened, Katniss plunged its pointed end straight into her opponent’s chest.

The girl fell over, gasping.

Katniss struggled to sit up. She looked over to the girl, the arrow sticking out like a flag marking it Everdeen territory.

So powerful…and yet they didn’t program into her the instincts to kill.

The instincts that have so far kept me alive.

Katniss didn’t cry—she was done crying—but she couldn’t help feel the bitter twist in her gut as she looked at the feathers on the arrow.

Mockingjay feathers.

Predicted Winner: Katniss Everdeen


Check out the previous match!

Check out the next match!

Check out the Bracket

Tally Youngblood is a character from the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld; Katniss Everdeen is a character from the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Tally Youngblood image courtesy of Simon Pulse. Katniss Everdeen image courtesy of *Ratgirlstudios.

  • MrIzzy

    I’m for Katniss to making it ll the way. She’s a survivor, through and through. Some are bigger, some are stronger, some have magic, but she’ll do ANYTHING to survive. No code, no need to be face-to-face. She’ll gladly shoot you in the back if it means she survives.

  • alicelouise58

    I jist started the Hunger Games series. I am voting on the more interesting character. So, Katniss has mt vote hands down.

  • Samantha

    I felt a bit dirty voting for Tally, since I like Katniss a great deal more, but I think Tally’s physical enhancements would give her the advantage.

  • Luxamar

    After reading this, and a similar fanfic on another site, I am forced to wonder two things.

    1) Why are both sites so biased towards Katniss? While I admit I know very little about the character, it seems the same is true about the authors of these fanfics regarding Tally. Much of her abilities (and even state of being) are omitted.

    2) Why is the story being written in third-person limited omniscient? In other words, why is the reader able to discern Katniss’ thoughts, and not Tally’s? Tally is made out to be robotic and emotionless. When presented with a goal like the one in this short story, she can be, but even in the heat of combat, she brings a definite personality to the table.

    I feel duty-bound to point out aspects of Tally’s repertoire which would have secured her victory in this case. Firstly, Tally is NOT human. She was, for the first sixteen years of her life. Now, though, she is more Borg than human. After becoming Special, microscopic machines–nanites–were injected into her body, forming cybernetic implants which regulate her vital functions, repair damage, and augment abilities. If she is injured, the nanites in her bloodstream swarm to the location of the injury and repair it. Good example: Near the end of “Specials,” Tally jumped off a precipice with only Crash Bracelets to stop her fall. These are small devices attached to the wrists, which will break a fall of about ten feet, spinning the user to counter inertia. A fall from over a hundred feet however, would rip the arms out of the sockets of a normal person. Tally however, survived–wounded, yes, but she survived.

    Secondly, her entire skeletal structure was replaced with an extremely durable material used in orbital spacecraft, rendering her bones nearly indestructible. A galvanized (sharpened) version of the material replaced her teeth and fingernails. Tally can consume almost any known substance for sustenance, and her fingernails can shred steel.

    Third, the Specialization operation enhanced Tally’s reflexive abilities and added a near-extrasensory awareness. She can hear the breathing of her prey, its heartbeat, and any movement it makes. Her ears can pick up on the “twang” of an arrow being loosed, and her razor-sharp reflexes allow her to catch the arrow in midair.

    Lastly… I feel I must point out that Tally’s attitude in the story is grossly misrepresented. Tally would never stand face-to-face with a dangerous opponent and exchange threats with him or her. A Special’s directive is to warn the offender of their error and then take action. Tally’s only words would be, “I don’t want to hurt you, but I will if I have to.” And if Katniss refused to submit, she would have a hellish fight ahead of her.

    Some tips to defeat Tally:
    Specials have enhanced senses. These senses can be overloaded through clever use of riot-control devices, such as flashbangs, gas, powder, etc…

    Don’t go for the obvious kill. Stun her first, then cripple her by gouging her eyes or slashing her throat, though the latter may be made difficult by the Special’s use of a “Sneak Suit,” which can either camouflage or defend by converting itself into armor. Poison is practically useless against a Special. Direct conflict DOES NOT WORK against a Special. Guerrilla tactics or hit-and-run-like-hell scenarios are Katniss’ best bet.

  • CezeN

    Yeah. Though it’s been a while since I’ve read both of these book series, I specifically remember Tally catching two arrows shot from each side of her, in each hand, in the beginning. On top of that, I think I remember they ambushed her, but her enhanced senses let her know they were hiding there.

    Chances of her dying from an arrow shot are slim.

    Add that to everything the previous poster said. Tally gets the logical vote; I’m guessing Katniss is gonna win the popular vote.

  • Bill

    Luckily for Tally, everone fell asleep as soon as this fight started, reducing her shame of loss to the discomfort of anonymity.

  • Jennifer

    Really? Tally dying from an arrow is like, one in a trillion. Sneak suits, HELLO? I like Katniss, but there should be know way that she should have won in a fair match and not as in the most votes win.

  • equ1n0x

    I personally think this article is bias. I think Katniss took this one simply because she went ape$h!t (in Mockingjay) and actually killed people, whereas, Tally couldn’t bring herself to commit an act. I find Katniss a more appealing character and personality-wise, I give her that vote. But since I saw the term ‘versus’ up there, I’d give it to Tally Youngblood hands down. Thank you, Luxamar, for giving it some detailed explanation. Both characters are very dangerous individuals of their own, but the best thing Katniss can do to Tally is mortally wound her – NOT kill her. Katniss is going to need more than just exploding arrows to take down Tally. Mind you, Tally also fought against other Specials, just LIKE HER. Actually, never mind their respective weapons – how about a simple 1-on-1 hand-to-hand match? Still think Katniss can take Tally down bare handed?

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