The Tally of the Victors’ Vote

Was it like this then? Seventy-five years or so ago? Did a group of people sit around and cast their votes on initiating the Hunger Games? Was there dissent? Did someone make a case for mercy that was beaten down by the calls for the deaths of the districts’ children? The scent of Snow’s rose curls up into my nose, down into my throat, squeezing it tight with despair. All those people I loved, dead, and we are discussing the next Hunger Games in an attempt to avoid wasting life. Nothing has changed. Nothing will ever change now.

Go on, shoot and we both go down and you win. Go on, I’m dead anyway- I always was, right? I couldn’t tell until now. How’s that? Is that what they want, huh? Huh? I can still do this. I can still do this- one more kill. This is all I knew how to do to bring pride to my district- not that it matters.
—  Cato, The Hunger Games (2012)