The newly built colosseum hardly looks new at all. Constructed from reclaimed stone to give it a feeling of historic grandeur, rebel prisoners of war comprised the majority of the workforce, humiliating an already defeated populace. Teams of Capitol engineers and artists undertook more specialized tasks to ensure that the colosseum's vision was achieved — a structure that implies that the Games are not something new and controversial, but an ancient tradition resurrected.
From the tiered seating and presidential box far above to multiple levels of labyrinthine tunnels and dungeons below, the sunken arena is ringed by so much more than archways. This year the cushioned marble stands are occupied by peacekeepers in dress whites rather than riot gear, attending as spectators casually seated amongst a scattering of high ranking government officials. The familiar face of last year's Victor, Adder Ames, is unmistakable within the sea of uniforms. Everyone has taken a step back and expectation fills the air with faith in the tributes' will to live. This event no longer requires enforcement; it simply requires an audience.
The wooden floor of the arena is covered by the palest of sand. It quakes and shimmers as cage-like medieval holding cells rise up from underground and settle into place, tucked within the shadows of twenty-four evenly spaced archways. When the heavy iron gates imprisoning the tributes open, there is nothing more than a gladiatorial sword on the other side, its blade stuck into the ground — waiting for them. Both the swords and the spectators share an eagerness to witness this: The Second Annual Hunger Games.