Two students debate their course of action, as Mr O reads off those who have perised.
Yes, that’s right…A tree.
It may seem idiotic, given the situation, but it was, in fact, a very well thought out plan. In circumstances such as these, people were in a state of thorough panic. It would be quite obvious that they wouldn’t bother to look up.
It was an ingenious plan and, to be honest, he was quite proud of himself. After all, it was every man (or woman) for themselves. No less than an hour ago, he had come across the corpses of Tasha and Mario. The image of this was freshly burned into his mind. He wouldn’t be forgetting that anytime soon.
What was bugging him, though, was the fact that they had two different wounds on their bodies. It was certainly plausible that someone killed Mario, took his weapon and laid in wait for Tasha to show up, however, he felt that the truth was far more ominous than that. He got the feeling that almost everyone was willing to play, either for the fun of it, or simply out of a warped sense of extreme fear.
In the distant horizon, the sun was just starting to rise. As the clouds drifted lazily through the semi darkness, ever changing shadows were thrown across the fields that occupied Kris’ vision above the tree line.
Looking down at his wrist, he checked the time on the government supplied watch. In the illuminated neon green of its surface, several block-like numbers indicated that it was 5.59am. As was typical of the early summer months, the sun was rising early.
“Shit…” he thought to himself as his eyes scanned the floor below him, through his thick glasses. “I doubt I’m going to get out of this any time soon…”
Rajan Lail (Male Student #10) was scared. No. To put it more accurately, he was terrified.
As he sat, propped up against a bush that bordered a field, his chubby, tick-lipped, face bore an expression of utter, untainted fear.
There was no way that he could be chosen to compete in ‘The Program’. It just wasn’t right. Things like this didn’t happen to him.
Eyeing the duffle bag that was situated next to him, he debated over whether or not he should open it or not. There was a weapon inside. A weapon that he could use to defend himself. A weapon that could… kill people.
No. he couldn’t kill people. No matter how scared he was. Could he?
His hand moved, as if by itself, towards the zip of the duffle bag. Should he at least remove the map and watch? He would need to know times and locations in order to mark off the ‘Dead Zones.’
Making up his mind, he unzipped the bag and thrust his hand inside. Not daring to touch anything but what he was aiming for, his grip tightened the instant that he felt the rough crumple of paper.
Rapidly withdrawing his hand, he re-zipped the bag and laid the map out on the floor in front of him. The sun was rising in the distance and, as a result, it wasn’t that difficult to make things out.
Then he heard it. The raspy, metallically distorted noise that was being emitted from a small speaker on the side of his collar.
FZZT “Good morning one and all! Aren’t you lucky! You get to hear my beautiful voice so early in the morning!” Fuck off you fat prick. “To be honest, I expected better. You’ve been set loose for just under two hours and there are only four deaths? I’m sorry, but if you want to make any kind of run at the record, this us unacceptable.
“Oh well. I should probably read off the list of the dead. Oh! Our first to leave is the first casualty! Male Student #8 Jacob Booth! Next we have Female Student #17, Gina Jayy…Then Male Student #14 Mario Antoniou. Aaaaand, to round things off, we have Female Student #2, Tasha Tison!
“I do hope that this isn’t the best you can do!
“Oh well…onto the danger zones. As you know, F6 has been active since Female Student #7 left, so this is just an update. Zone D1 will become active at 8.00am. Hear that? Be out of D1 by 8.00am! Next, its A4 at 10.00am. A4 at 10.00am!! And, finally, we have E7 at 11.00am. Everyone get that? Good!
“Happy hunting, little warriors. And, please do try harder!” FZZTT
As if in response to this, a gunshot echoed across the landscape.
35 Students Remaining