So, I love taking classic aus, and twisting them, and I’m doing the same here.
Which basically means they don’t all die. Not in the games anyway.
(Some of this (everything about Winn and Vasquez for starters) is from @change-the-rules)
We start with Alex, 17 years old, from District 4. Absolutely nobody who knows her is surprised when she volunteers to take her sisters place in the games. That she wins is slightly more surprising. She doesn’t kill at first, focusing more on surviving, but then Rick, the other District 4 tribute, attacks her, tries to drown her, angry that she turned his advances down in the past. She bashes his head in with a rock.
Her kills after that are absolutely ruthless and nobody ever sees them coming.
After her victory tour, J’onn, her mentor, introduces her to some other victors.
Maggie Sawyer, the victor from the year before Alex, is from District 12. Half starved when the reaping happened, she wasn’t expected to even last the bloodbath. She won without killing a single person. Her victory was one of surviving, hiding from the other tributes until they killed each other.
Lucy Lane was a career tribute from District 2, who’s father won one of the first games. She was highly favored to win her games about five years back, but what nobody knew what that Lucy had been fully disillusioned from the Games when, as a child, she watched her sister sacrifice herself for a District 10 boy, Clark Kent, and letting him win. The Capitol had expected her Game to be as exciting as Lois’, but instead, Lucy was barely on camera the entire time.
Winn Schott, district 6, another legacy. His father went crazy during Winn’s victory tour, and managed to rig the train’s engine to blow, killing himself and various others in the process. Winn was one of the youngest victors,
M’gann M’orzz, district 11. She won after the Gamemakers set portions of the arena on fire and she failed to pull the tribute she had allied with up a cliff to safety, leaving her as the only survivor.
Then, J’onn tells her about the rebellion forming. It’s mostly comprised of victors, but there are some Capitol citizens.
Cat Grant, the Queen of the Games. She hosts the tribute interviews, and gives commentary on the games.
Max Lord, a Gamemaker. After his parents died due to a safety malfunction in an experiment he wants the Capitol taken down.
They both use their positions and power to help the rebellion.
Then, there are others, such as Vasquez, a tribute from District 3 the year Lucy won. The two had bonded during training, with Lucy eventually telling Vasquez her real thoughts about the game. Vasquez wasn’t scored high, the only skills she showed being a base level with a quarter staff and survival skills. Only, she was actually a technical savant. She taught Lucy how to take advantage of the arena, manipulating traps and sabotaging cameras and such. She had been thought dead just minutes after the bloodbath, killed by the environment, but had instead managed to break out.
They all work together in secret, slowly planning and piecing everything together.
Then, four years after Alex’s Games, Kara’s name is pulled again and everything is forced into motion.
(special thanks to the sheith server for generating ideas with me! - based on @casualeafuransu ‘s art - also this was meant to be posted like a month ago oops)
Keith and Shiro are both from different districts. Shiro is from a Career district and Keith is an orphan from District 12.
Shiro’s always been one of the very few people in his district that isn’t thinking about the glory of the games. Keith is just from the humble mining and coal district.
(Lance is from the fishing district, Hunk is from the lumber one, Pidge is in District 13 as a hacker preparing for the overthrow, but they’re not in the games at the same time)
It’s Hunger Games season, and both Keith and Shiro get picked.
Shiro is sociable, popular - obviously as someone from a Career district, he’s got so many sponsors. Keith is just a miner’s son with no family.
When the tributes practice their skills in the training room, Shiro and Keith notice each other because both are amazing shots at the bow and arrow.
But no matter how attractive they are to each other, they know one of the other will die, since everyone knows the rules: there can only be one winner
(Keith’s outfit for the interview is designed to catch fire, like Katniss’s dress :O)
When the games start, Keith and Shiro avoid each other in the beginning. People die off, people form alliances, and Keith stays alone for a long while.
Eventually their paths had to cross. They end up teaming up against a really strong group that had formed an alliance. They fight and fight until everyone in that group falls, but when they point the arrow at each other, neither can move to make the kill
Shiro, who got a nasty injury on his stomach from one of the other guys, ends up dropping his arrow and sinking to the floor. His heart getting the better of him, Keith drops his weapons to see if he’s okay. He ends up nursing him back to health.
They decide to start an alliance, and for a bit, they both try not to think about the fact that if they’re the last two alive, one of them has to kill the other. Either that or someone else kills one of them. The problem is, they don’t want each other to die either, so they keep protecting each other against their better judgment.
Keith and Shiro’s care for each other grows obvious to the public eye. Some people drop off sponsoring Shiro, but other Districts who have already lost tributes, end up rooting for them and sending them stuff
Finally, with four people left in the arena, the Game Makers do their final push. The muttations made up of the dead tributes are sent to track them down. Because Keith and Shiro save/protect each other, they stay alive, holding each other until the sun rises and the mutts kill the remaining tributes.
The final blow comes down to this. One of them has to kill the other. President Zarkon waits patiently for the sudden death round to happen. However, Keith grabs two poisonous berries and gives one to Shiro. Keith: “On the count of three?” Shiro: “One…” K: “Two…” S: “Three…” President Zarkon: STOP
They may have won this game, but they know it’s not over.
Other random things:
Shiro gets kidnapped and “hijacked” the way Peeta did until his love for Keith gets warped into fear/anger/hate by the Capitol / Zarkon
When they get him back, he’s clearly damaged, with a mechanical arm (and it has attempted to choke Keith the first tiime he went in to try and talk to him)
Slowly, Keith has to work his way back through Shiro’s hijacking. He knows Shiro’s still there and doesn’t give up on him.
Near the end, when they’re running for their lives from more muttations, Shiro collapses and doesn’t think he can go on. He’s gotten some of his own mind back, but it’s difficult and he can’t find it in him to continue.
“Leave me,” he says. “I can’t hang on any longer.” “Yes, you can, Shiro!” Keith yells, but he shakes his head. “I can’t. I’ll go mad, just like those mutts. Go on without me.” Given Shiro’s condition and prosthetic arm, Keith knows it could be suicide but he does it anyway. Grabbing Shiro by the cheeks, he pulls him up and kisses him. “Stay with me,” Keith says, and Shiro nods and tries.
At the end of it all, Shiro and Keith both still get traumatized by the nightmares and casualties from war. But no matter what, whenever Shiro wakes up from an especially bad nightmare, often the long term effects of being “hijacked,” he looks down and sees Keith sleeping by his side, and he always wakes him up to ask: “You’re here with me. Real or not real?” and Keith always, always, always responds: “Real.”
Was the mockingjay a symbol of the rebellion before Katniss wore the pin in the games?
At first glance, Madge’s visit with Katniss after the reaping seems straightforward, but upon rereading — and knowing the importance of the mockingjay as a symbol of the rebellion — Collins’ description of the “urgency about [Madge’s] tone” feels much more freighted with significance. Also, it would appear that in her choice of words, Collins is signaling to the reader to take note of the pin (which had also appeared in chapter 1): “I hadn’t paid much attention to it before, but now I see it’s a small bird in flight.” (emphasis added)
As the scene unfolds in chapter 3, Madge presses Katniss to take it:
“Here, I’ll put it on your dress, all right?” Madge doesn’t wait for an answer, she just leans in and fixes the bird that my dress. “Promise you’ll wear it to the arena, Katniss?” she asks. “Promise?” [emphasis added]
Why the urgency with Madge pinning the mockingjay on Katniss before she departs for the Capitol? And would Madge have known that the mockingjay had any association with the rebellion after the Dark Days?My feeling is that if Madge knew the mockingjay was associated with the rebellion in any way, in all likelihood, her father would’ve known it too. And if that were the case, Mayor Undersee almost certainly wouldn’t have allowed her to wear the pin on reaping day. (And that would be true even if he were a rebel sympathizer, because Madge wearing the pin could have dangerous repercussions for both of them.)
“[f/n]! [f/n], just hold on!” Peeta pleaded, pressing his hands over the spear wound in your stomach. Your entire body shook and convulsed as you struggled to breathe. Everything had gone wrong. The sky above you was a dark grey, fat raindrops falling like tears against your skin, mixing with your blood. You could hear screaming but you weren’t sure where it was. You weren’t even sure your heart was still beating.
“No, you need to go,” you choked out, tears slipping from your eyes as you fought to stay conscious.
“I’m not leaving you here!” Peeta protested, eyes wide.
“I’m not gonna make it,” you hissed, squeezing your eyes shut as another wave of pain wracked your body. “Peeta, I’m bleeding out. I’m not going to take you down with me.”
Peeta’s face twisted with grief and he pressed down harder on your wound, still trying to stop the bleeding. You tried to push him away but you were too weak.
“Peeta, I won’t let you die for me,” you gasped out. You would bleed out for him. You could accept that. You had already taken a spear for him. This wasn’t that much harder. Technically, it was just an extension of that act but that didn’t matter. You had already come to terms with the way things were. Only one person could make it out of this alive, and it wasn’t going to be you. If Peeta didn’t have you to worry about, it increased his chances of winning. You refused to be his downfall. You could hear the muttations not too far off, howls and snarls approaching, maybe holding off just in case this would make an interesting segment for the viewers in Panem.
Peeta’s eyes were red and bloodshot from exhaustion and crying, “Please, just hold on,” he begged, “Please, hold on, [f/n].”
You lifted a hand as best you could to touch his arm. You only spoke one word before your strength failed you completely. “Win.”
Katniss isn’t the mockingjay… but her children are
I don’t mean to insinuate that Katniss isn’t the central character of The Hunger Games series or that she isn’t the catalyst for a revolution or the symbol of rebellion to her people. She is all of those things and more. She is cast by the rebellion as the Mockingjay, and she comes to identify as that role, albeit reluctantly. I would argue, though, that she just isn’t the mockingjay. There’s a qualitative difference between the two. One capital letter can make a world of difference. So let’s talk more about that little “m.”
The Hunger Games is, among other things, a treatise on how we, as a society, care (or don’t) for our children. It’s a pacifist call to stop using our children in the theater of war. This is corroborated when Katniss thinks, “[S]omething is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices its children to settle its differences.” She even comes to embrace what Peeta cautioned against in his first Capitol interview, that humans as she knows them ought to die off so that “some decent species [can] take over.” (MJ 377)
This new species of human is the mockingjay.
Suzanne Collins goes through great pains to relay a few basic truths to the reader from the outset of The Hunger Games:
Katniss is a “mini me” version of her deceased father. Whereas her mother and sister are delicate and fair like the merchant class, Katniss is Seam Strong: she’s not only darkly complected like her father, but she shares his rebellious and free spirit. There is nothing merchant class about Katniss. She is, to her core, Seam.
Katniss can’t bear the thought of having children in the world she knows. If it strikes you as odd that Suzanne Collins would have a 16-year-old girl talking about having (or not having) children within the first several pages of the series, then you’re onto something. This is an overarching theme and preoccupation, and it’s perhaps the most important one to Katniss as a character. Having, or not having children, is representative of Katniss’ future. By not wanting to have children, she is resisting the system in the only way she can as a disenfranchised person. It’s her way of opting out of the future altogether.
There is a specific mythology behind the mockingjay as a species, and Suzanne Collins wants us to get it exactly right. (we’ll talk about that more in a sec).
Why do these three points matter?
Let’s start with the mythology behind the mockingjay. Here’s what Collins tells us:
“They’re… something of a slap in the face to the Capitol. During the rebellion, the Capitol bred a series of genetically altered animals as weapons. The common term for them was muttations, or sometimes mutts for short. One was a special bird called a jabberjay that had the ability to memorize and repeat whole human conversations. They were homing birds, exclusively male, that were released into regions where the Capitol’s enemies were known to be hiding. After the birds gathered words, they’d fly back to centers to be recorded. It took people awhile to realize what was going on…Then, of course, the rebels fed the Capitol endless lies, and the joke was on it. So the centers were shut down and the birds were abandoned to die off in the wild.
Only they didn’t die off. Instead, the jabberjays mated with female mockingbirds, creating a whole new species that could replicate both bird whistles and human melodies.” (THG 42-43)
Apologies for the extended quote! But this is some heavy stuff… it’s the heart and soul of the series. The Capitol creates a weapon against its people, the male jabberjay, a bird excellent with words. Ultimately the jabberjay proves useless to the Capitol- worse than useless, even. Destructive. The rebels use it for their own cause. And then the jabberjay mates with the female mockingbird and creates a new species that should never have existed. Suzanne Collins might as well have put a “spoiler alert” before this paragraph. This foreshadows exactly what happens in the series. And she just told us on page 42. That saucy minx.
Katniss is the mockingbird. She isn’t a mutt of anything; she is purely her father, a product of the Seam. She is so “Seam” she is practically a monolith. As a child, she overhears her father singing and spouting anti-Capitol political rhetoric, and she replicates his call, getting scolded by her mother. (THG 6, MJ 123) When her father would sing, all the birds would stop to listen to him. And lo and behold!, the same is true of Katniss. (THG 301). Throughout the series, Katniss only ever sings the songs her father taught her, those she heard as a child. She doesn’t have a song of her own. The mockingbird, in literature, symbolizes innocence and purity. And, despite the countless horrible things Katniss thinks about herself, she is an innocent. She isn’t privy to the political machinations of the adults around her. She doesn’t even know the content of her own heart. She’s pure (but for Peeta she’s perfect).
….Which brings us to Peeta. He is the jabberjay. He is described by Katniss as being good with words more times than it’s useful to recount. One of my favorite examples is when Katniss thinks, “Peeta doesn’t need a brush to paint images… He works just as well in words” (MJ 22) In fact, following his first interview with Caesar Flickerman, she adds, “I don’t care [that he is a traitor]. Not what he says or who he says it for, only that he is still capable of speech.” (MJ 27) He is the voice of reason in her world, the leader she envisions in a just society. Just as Peeta hears her call and is “a goner,” so too is Katniss for him. They are two songbirds impossibly, irrevocably attracted to each other.
Peeta isn’t just a songbird, though. He is, specifically, the jabberjay. He is tortured by the Capitol, turned into an “evil-mutt version” of himself, and is sent to destroy Katniss and, therefore, the rebellion (MJ 243). When he is rescued and brought to District 13, the Capitol’s scheme has apparently worked. He tries to kill her (let’s not talk about that), and his attraction to her is “gone” (her words, not mine). He uses the “L” word with Katniss for the first time- in past tense (ouch! it burns!!!). And he says to her, “You’re not very big, are you? Or particularly pretty?” (MJ 230) Let’s just say that hijacked!Peeta isn’t immediately a fan of the bird in front of him. But he’s a homing bird, and time after time, he finds his way back to her. In the beginning of Mockingjay, Katniss notes that “Peeta would have nothing to come home to anyway. Except me…” (9). And he does. Again and again, he finds his way back home to her.
If Katniss is the mockingbird and Peeta is the jabberjay, that makes their children the mockingjay. Katniss had been drawn to the mockingjay since she was a child, admitting that there was “something comforting about the little bird” (THG 43). Despite her insistence on not having children within a totalitarian regime, the mockingjay always served as a symbol of hope for her, even if she didn’t want to admit why. Katniss and Peeta’s children are that hope- and “only Peeta” could give her that. Peeta finally gets Katniss to buy into that future, to allow herself to feel the hope he has always represented to her. Falling in love and having children together is the way to show the world that they, as people, are more than just pieces in anyone’s Games.
So Mockingjay must end with the children, with a girl and a boy who possess traits of each of their parents and who are a new species of mutt that the Capitol never intended to exist. These children are the most important characters in the series. Katniss and Peeta’s children are the symbol of hope that we were promised, as readers, from the very beginning. They are the mockingjay. They don’t know that they dance on the ashes on the dead, and that’s okay. The fire and ashes are in the past, and the mockingjay is the symbol of a hopeful future, freewheeling in a sunshine-filled meadow. Suzanne gives us that token to carry with us, to take into whatever games we find ourselves forced to play.
This masterlist features fics based on or inspired by movies. While most of these fics will be Alternate Universe, this list may also include stories that are Canon-Divergence and Canon-Compliant.
Please make sure to read the tags and summary before diving into the
fic. Some stories may feature subject matter which is not to everyone’s
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if you know of a fic that is not on this list, please, pleaselet us know (by sending a fanmail or an ask HERE) and we will add it. Please also let us know if you spot any inaccuracies. Thank you!
UNDER THE CUT YOU WILL FIND INFORMATION ON THE WORLD OF THE HUNGER GAMES. THERE WILL BE INFORMATION ON PANEM, THE CAPITOL, AND ALL 13 DISTRICTS. THERE WILL ALSO BE SOME MENTION OF PREVIOUS TRIBUTES AND VICTORS.
**THIS POST WILL MOST DEFINITELY CONTAIN SPOILERS.**
Saving Peeta will be
difficult but not impossible. Saving Rue on the other hand seems nothing but
Katniss spends two
days and two sleepless nights thinking about it, more than ever after she saw Rue
down in the training center and had to fight the urge to tear up, and she
obsesses over the problem to the point where Haymitch starts eyeing her
suspiciously like he knows she’s up to something again and he isn’t going to
like it. He doesn’t ask though, and Katniss secretly loves that about him, that
he’s always been willing to wait for her unless the situation becomes urgent enough
that she needs to get her ass in gear. Then Haymitch has no qualms dragging her
So she gets her space
to think, in-between whispering in low tones with Peeta as they figure out what
they can do and how those skills will be able to complement each other in the
arena, and fending off Effie who seems delighted that Twelve’s tributes are so
much more well-behaved and almost eager to go along with the Games this year.
They’re less eager and
more determined to come out alive. Also, Haymitch is much more compliant with the whole mentor gig
this time around. Katniss just really, really hopes that the Effie she grew close to will make a reappearance after these
But. Back to Rue.
The Games will take
place in a forest, Katniss recalls, which is more of a relief than she can ever
say. She doesn’t know what she’d do if the arena turned out to be a desert or a
barren mountain. But forests mean plants, and plants mean medicine, and
medicine is just another word for poison.
The thing is, Katniss
met a lot of people over the course of the war. And she knew (knows) Prim. She’s
met her fair share of healers, of doctors, who – when supplies were short – used plants
and herbs with terrifying proficiency.
Katniss will never be
one of them, at least not without extensive training, and she belongs on the
frontlines more than the medical tents anyway. But she’s picked things up along
the way, valuable, irreplaceable knowledge, and one of those things is how to
make a person look like they’re dead, down to a nonexistent heartbeat.
Even better – all ingredients
needed can be found in a forest. Asphodel, wormwood, dermatophyllum secundiflorum,
valerian. They’re not even that uncommon, and the first 74th Hunger
Games she was in, she remembers seeing a wide variety of plants. Hell, valerian was one of the flowers she picked for Rue’s-
So she knows what each plant looks like, and she
knows how to make the poison. Which means there is a slim, very slim, chance of
She’ll have to do it without letting the cameras catch
her, perhaps in the dark of night behind her back. It’ll be difficult, and she’ll
probably only get the chance to make one dose since – as the Games proceed and
she remains alive – the cameras will focus on her more and more often and more and more closely.
But difficult means possible, and possible is all
The remaining problems, then, will be 1) when to
administer the dose, and 2) how to get the antidote to Rue in the aftermath.
Katniss can play 1) by ear. Maybe she can slip it
into Rue’s food and pretend she accidentally picked the wrong food to eat. Either
way, she’s not letting the little girl get impaled a second time. Even Katniss –
with all her future knowledge – can’t magically heal that.
As for 2), well, dead tributes are airlifted out
of the arena by hovercraft. Then they’re dumped in some backroom where DNA might
be taken to create muttations, but also where each district’s mentors can go to
pick up the bodies, clean them up, and return them to their families.
If there’s enough of the bodies left to return of
Katniss knows how to make the antidote too – thank
Thirteen’s doctors – and she can do it in the forest as well, find something to
store it with, and slip it into Rue’s jacket perhaps, hidden from prying eyes.
But that also means-
“I have rarely ever been as serious as I am now
when I ask this question – are you insane, sweetheart?”
“Possibly. I wouldn’t rule it out. Now are you
gonna help me or not?”
“You- I- …We’re all gonna die.”
“Don’t be so dramatic.”
“Dramatic? I’m being realistic, Katniss! You’re
telling me you know a way to kill someone for twenty-four hours without really
killing them, and then you want me to sneak into Cryo and revive the body – how is that not completely
“Well you won’t have to sneak in;
mentors are allowed in there to pick up their tributes.”
“Yes, emphasis on ‘their tributes’. Have you
changed your mind and decided to send Peeta on ahead after all?”
“Do I have to think of everything? This is usually
your area, you know. I just shoot things. Look, just go with Chaff and Seeder.
Pretend you’re consoling them.”
“PretendI’m- I’ve never consoled anyone in my life! Don’t you think somebody might get
a little suspicious if I suddenly start offering my shoulder to cry on? And we
won’t even have to worry about that if Chaff and Seeder aren’t onboard with
this plan! They’re the ones who’re gonna have to sneak the girl home under their
escort’s nose! And then what? You think people won’t recognize a supposedly
dead tribute once she’s up and walking around again?”
“For god’s sakes, Chaff and Seeder are good
people, you know that better than I do, and just- change Rue’s hairstyle, have
her keep her head down. She has like five siblings, and so long as work gets
done and the correct number of people sign up for the reaping every year, the
Peacekeepers won’t notice the difference; she’ll fit right back in, and at
least she’ll be alive!”
“She’s twelve, Haymitch.”
“…Delivering the girl back to Eleven will be that
much harder if she’s breathing again.”
“I’ll try to make one more dose of both the poison
and the antidote after she’s airlifted out. I’ll give them to you once I win,
and you can pass them on to Chaff.”
“If we’re not caught and executed after these
Games, sweetheart, I think I might just believe we can do anything.”
At long last, opportunity had come knocking at the young man’s door. Hours before, he had been instructed that any design he could come up with for a potential muttation would be considered at the next brainstorming session. Since that moment, Pegasus had a pencil in his hand and a paper beneath him, a steadily growing pile of rejected designs at his feet. First impressions were of utter importance and if he failed to at least wow his colleagues, it would be a climb to earn back their respect.
“This one was too small,” he mumbled to himself. “But that first one was too big. But, is there even such a thing as too big?” Backtracking, he began to search for the design in question, not even noticing someone approaching.
“In my nightmare, I’m dressed in the silk bridal gown, but it’s torn and muddy. The long sleeves keep getting caught on thorns and branches as I run through the woods. The pack of muttation tributes draws closer and closer until it overcomes me with hot breath and dripping fangs and I scream myself awake.”
Aries: stepped off the platform before the countdown finished
Taurus: almost made it to the end but got food poisoning
Gemini: got attacked by the Careers for betraying them
Cancer: eventually gets killed by the leader of the Careers
Leo: the leader of the Careers. Eventually becomes a victim of poison
Virgo: sets a series of traps successfully but dies from a muttation attack
Libra: falls off a tree and breaks their neck
Scorpio: goes crazy and kills loads of people but gets targeted by the Careers
Sagittarius: died during bloodbath by a knife
Capricorn: probably wins lol
Aquarius: dies of an infection wound from burning flames
Gunfire mixed with the piercing cries of lives lost, created a sickening harmony as the rebel leader secured the soldier inside of the time displacement chamber. Stepping over one of six dead bodies in the room, the leader began punching in a series of letters and numbers and aimed the vocal modulator towards the computer. Though it was the rebel leader speaking into it, it was the president’s second in command, Seneca Crane’s voice that said, “Let the games begin,” bringing the time displacement chamber to life.
“NOW!” The rebel leader cried, signaling the others to get to work.
Two soldiers held Crane’s palms flat against the computer panel, while another held his head upright. A green light scanned Crane’s pupils, while the console glowed; scanning his palms.
“Come on. Come on,” the rebel leader mumbled as the computer took seconds to confirm that Seneca’s vital signs were normal.
Once satisfied the computer moved onto the second stage of identification and the soldier listened from his position inside of the chamber while the computer spoke Crane’s vitals aloud, “DNA scan, complete. Heartrate: 74 beats per minute. Temperature: 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Respiratory: 16 breaths per minute. Blood pressure: 116 over 69.” Three seconds passed as the computer came to its final conclusion, “Head Gamemaker, Seneca Crane, identity and life signs confirmed.”
The soldier could hear the computer from his position inside of the time displacement chamber, and wondered what his own vitals would read if it had to check his stats. The way his heart was racing in anticipation, he was sure the computer would have deemed him unfit for travel. Fortunately his life signs weren’t the ones in question.
With his arms and knees digging painfully into his chest, the powerful current ripped through the soldier’s veins; making him feel as though the marrow in his bones had been replaced with molten lava. The agonizing pressure in his chest, had him gritting his teeth so tightly, he thought they’d shatter like broken glass. And just as he convinced himself this wasn’t going to work – that he was being boiled from the inside out – cool, night air filled him with life, a bright, white light blinded him, and his naked body crashed violently down to the ground.