How we think the fight will go
A song teased on the breeze, melancholy and lulling. A strange sense of peace penetrated Johanna Mason’s mind. She stopped in her tracks. Her hands immediately went to the two throwing axes at her side. There must be some sort of neurotoxin in the air. This was the Capitol’s work.
“I refuse to let this work on me,” she growled out loud.
Instead of placating her spirit, the presence weighed against her like restraints on a cot.
“ah, but you should relax.” A woman’s soft voice seemed to radiate from the wind itself.
“You relax, you die.” Johanna hefted an axe, its weight a solid comfort, and spun around in search of the voice’s source.
She couldn’t let her guard down. She couldn’t give in. She couldn’t sink to her knees and accept peace. It was wrong.
“you resist?” The voice sounded puzzled. Disappointed.
“To my dying breath.” She chopped at the breeze as if she could cleave it. She would not relax. She would not forget. She made herself think of the Hunger Games, of District 7, of damned President Snow and the Capitol and a hundred other things that made her shake with rage.
Something pale moved in the bushes. Johanna threw the axe.
The serenity shattered as if she’d heaved an anvil through a stained glass window. The world felt real again. Birds sang. Scratches on her face stung. Sunlight pierced the canopy and warmed her back. She breathed in her own funk from days in this strange wilderness, and sighed in relief.
Johanna searched the underbrush and found a naked woman. Her shut eyes were patterned like butterfly wings, her dark hair a strangely sensuous tumble around her head. Johanna recognized her from a headshot in the match listings — Felurian. She knew nothing more about the woman.
Felurian’s thighs were tucked up near her chest in what might have been a coy, seductive pose if not for the blood and the harsh rattles of her breaths. She had already pulled the axe from her torso. Johanna grabbed the weapon and backed away.
“What, you thought you’d take me off guard by bouncing around the woods naked?” Johanna’s laugh was high from adrenaline. This, after Johanna had stripped off in an elevator back in the Capitol to see how Katniss Everdeen would react.
“stay.” That single laden word pleaded for companionship, for compassion, for mercy. It prickled at Johanna’s conscience, her very humanity.
“No, no, no! You are not doing this to me.” Johanna staggered backward and started to run. Branches and leaves lashed at her face, but she didn’t care. She welcomed the pain.
It was real. The peace, the presence of that woman… it was not. It was like magic.
Predicted Winner: Johanna
NOTE: THIS MATCH ENDS ON Thursday, March 12, 2015, AT 11:59 PM, EST
Cage Match fans: We’re looking forward to hearing your responses! If possible, please abstain from including potential spoilers about the books in your comments (and if you need spoilers to make your case, start your comments with: “SPOILER ALERT!”)