A psychopath reveals his ideas in relation to The Program. A female student is threatened.
Looking up from the ground, Beau's eyes opened wide. In front of him was a student. Clad in a jet black suit, the student's large frame stood out in contrast from the green and brown background. The student was holding a pistol in his hand. A Russian model. Makarov.
"Will?" Beau muttered, raising an eyebrow.
"Don't give me an excuse to shoot you, dude," Will said, his finger twitching slightly against the trigger. "You put away your gun, and we're cool."
Realising that he was still holding the gun that had previously belonged to Alice, Beau pocketed the piece and looked up at Will, who was currently at an elevated position of about four meters up the hill.
Noticing the blood spattered across the bottom of Beau's white dress shirt, Will pointed and said: "How'd you get that?" Still he didn't lower his gun.
"A while ago...those gunshots..." Beau began. "Lauren and Alice... They were killed. I was with them ... Just barely got away..."
They stood there in silence for a few seconds. Noticing blood (barely visible against the black material) decorating Will's blazer sleeve, Beau uttered: "How'd you get that?"
"I found a body," Will explained. "When I checked to see if they were alive, I got blood on me."
"Who was it...?"
"Jake," Will elaborated.
Recalling how he had encountered the corpse of Jake Booth outside the school, Beau nodded, before saying: "You mind if I join you?"
"Alright, come on up," Will said, hesitantly. He lowered his Russian pistol, slipping it into his holster, strapped to his belt. "Watch your feet. There's wire strung up all around here."
Upon reaching a small clearing among the trees and ferns, Beau let out a small whistle. Even in this dire situation, he could afford to be impressed.
Positioned around the clearing, several dozen branches had been stretched across gaps in the tree line, providing cover in the form of leaves. Periodically spaced, were several gaps in the cover, allowing for good visibility.
Walking across his clearing, Will stooped down at the base of a tree and picked up a small empty can. Lifting the can up, he proceeded to pull on the attached wire, until it became taut, before wrapping it around the metal cylinder and placing it atop a branch.
"Home made alarm system," Will explained. "There's a wire strung out in a twenty meter radius. Anyone touches it, the can falls." He turned back towards Beau, his long curly hair swinging around his face. "It's how I picked up on you."
"Battle Royale?" Beau questioned, sitting down and leaning against a tree.
"Yep," Will responded, taking up residence against a tree opposite Beau, next to his duffle bag.
"Well at last reading is good for something," grinned the former rugby star.
Will stopped his light hearted demeanour for a second. Casting his eyes towards the floor, he asked: "Have you seen Emma yet?"
"No...not yet..." Beau said, casting his mind back to his girlfriend. He felt kind of ashamed of himself. Not once since the game began had he thought of her safety. Sure he had thought ABOUT her, but he never really been concerned as to her safety (Little did he know that she was already dead). "I...I considered trying to find her but... I thought that moving around might get me killed... And knowing her, she'd probably be staying put."
"You were more focussed on protecting those girls?"
"Yeah..." Beau winced as he remembered. "But now...they're dead..."
"I'd have thought that you'd be more shaken up," Will said, picking up his pencil from it's former position on the floor and proceeding to twirl it around his fingers. The tone of his voice was somber. Almost as if he were scolding his friend.
Beau's expression changed. Thinking back to the two girls, an uncomfortable churning presented itself in his stomach. He felt slightly sick.
"I...I don't want to think about it..." Beau began. "I think I'm just trying to forget about it."
"Who did you say you were with again?" Will said, changing the tone of the conversation and raising an eyebrow.
"Lauren and Alice..." Beau muttered.
"Which Lauren and Alice?" Will persisted, picking up his map from the floor and flipping it over. "There's two of them in this game. Loren Farren or Lauren Hatch "
Will ticked off the name from his list. "Alice Woode or Alice Wright?"
Again, will put another check mark on the list.
"What are you doing?" Beau questioned, his gaze narrowing towards Will's map.
"Helps me remember who is still out there," Will informed. "I was going to wait for the noon announcement, but it's better to eliminate the names of people who could attack me, earlier."
Will's logic was sound, but something about ticking off the names of deceased classmates irked Beau. It just didn't seem right.
Then, something popped into Beau's head, that he had to voice: "Did you hear the gunfire from when Lauren and Alice were killed?"
Will paused, as if he were thinking about what to say. Rubbing his chin, which now sported a slight stubble to it, he began to speak: "Yes." A plain and simple response. Almost blunt.
"And you didn't try to help?" Beau persisted.
"A popular tactic for people who are serious about playing is to sit an wait. When they hear sounds of fighting, they move towards it and kill the survivors. Those who are serious are usually alone so they don't sleep. They keep the fights short to save energy. They wait for it to end and kill the left overs. Simple but effective." He placed the map on the floor and looked up at Beau. "No way was I gonna risk meeting one of the big game players."
Again, sound logic, but something still didn't seem right with Beau.
"But you have a gun," Beau said. "It's a good weapon."
"You think people that have been killing everyone they come across won't have guns?" Will said, sighing slightly as he looked down at his Makarov, strapped to his belt. "Best case scenario, they have one, and a bunch of crap. Most likely, though, they have a fuckload of guns."
Beau let out a deep sigh. In the end, it came down to the fact that Will wanted to survive. It was no different from everybody else.
But, surely not everybody wanted to kill people. There were, at most, three people that actually wanted to kill, that wanted to be a part of this insane fucking game. But...
"Why do you think people are killing each other?" Beau questioned, putting his thoughts into words.
"A number of reasons," Will began, placing his map and pencil on the floor and leaning backwards. "Fear is one thing. Some people are thinking: 'If I don't kill people, they'll kill me'. Another thing is just not wanting to die. Self preservation. Someone has to die every 24 hours or we all die. And, some are just killing for fun."
"What kind of sick freak would be killing for fun?" Beau questioned.
"The hell if I know," Will said, shrugging his shoulders. "That or they just don't care. Actually I think that's worse than if they're doing it for fun. If someone is just doing it because there's nothing better to do. Just because it's the path of least resistance."
The analogy made Beau's head spin. The fact that Will had thought out people's reactions to The Program, was quite impressive, however, it may have just been something he picked up from Battle Royale. In any case, he was right. If there was someone out there who was just- that's right just- killing because there was nothing better to do, it would scare the shit out of him to meet him (or her).
"I'm actually kind of glad that I ran into you," Will smirked. "Former army cadet. Trained in handling of firearms. Probably the most physically fit male student."
Beau chuckled. It was true. If he stayed with Will, their combined efforts could probably ensure them an extended stay in The Program.
"We stay together, we're unstoppable," Will said, returning the chuckle. "And even if we don't survive, we'll give the audience one Hell of a fuckin' show!"
That's right! Up until just now, Beau had forgotten that The Program was being aired on television. The broadcast was staggered, so considering they were halfway through the first day, his and Will's conversation was probably going to be aired on the sixth episode.
It made him feel sick that he'd actually take the time to figure this out.
"But..." Beau sighed. "I don't remember seeing any cameras all the time I've been moving around. I know it's broadcast on TV, but how do they get the footage?"
"It's all hidden camera footage," Will explained. "The same kinds of cameras used to film wildlife. Disguised as trees, rocks, logs...Birds!" He pointed up towards a tree above them. "Like that one there."
Sitting atop a branch, overlooking the clearing, was a small bluetit.
"There's a camera inside that," he grinned. "I checked it out earlier. In it's eyes."
"Why didn't you destroy it?" Beau asked, still staring uneasily at the fake bird.
Reaching up and nervously touching his metal collar, Will began to explain: "These collars won't just detonate if we're caught in a 'dead zone' or the time limit expires." In response to this, Beau nervously fingered the steel band around his own neck. "If we cause trouble or try to escape too much, they'll explode then."
"How'd you know?"
"The last series of episodes that aired before our..." He paused and grinned. "participation. Some kid tried to take out every camera he came across. Needless to say, he was killed."
Beau grimaced. So the coordinators of this game had no qualms about killing contestants themselves (Duh! Of course they fucking didn't! Remember how Matt was shot in the head before The Program officially began).
"I don't particularly want to die because I don't want people to see me."
Looking up, Steph (Female Student #13) removed her thumb from her mouth. Standing above her was a relatively short male student. He was thin and his eyes were both sunken and bulbous, like some kind of insect. His mousey brown hair was so thin and dishevelled that it hung limply across his forehead.
It was Joe Thompson (Male Student #18).
But...What did he just say?!
He always seemed so nice! He was in her history class (assuming that she actually showed up at school). She occasionally met him at parties. At his party at his house, back in November, she had even met his mum (this, while strange, was an indication that the thought she could trust him).
But why did he just say that?!
In his hands was a shotgun. A sawed-off Remington M31 Pump-Action Shotgun. Had Will Pryer been there, he would have been able to identify it as the same gun used by the infamous Shogo Kawada in the novel Battle Royale.
"Didn't you hear me?" he grinned, thrusting the muzzle of the gun towards Steph's face.
"B-but..." she stammered, her large blue eyes filled with confusion.
"It's alright," he grinned, his eyes wide with some kind of madness. "You're already on your knees. Not much more effort needed."
She didn't want to. She didn't want to do anything like that! This game was already bad enough. She didn't want to make the experience even worse.
"N...no...!" she muttered, her words caught in her throat like bile.
"What was that?" he said, his small teeth exposed in an 'aww shucks' shit eating grin. "I thought you were used to doing these kind of things. Not much of a change. Just open up."
Closing her eyes and looking to the side, she gritted her teeth. Again, she began to cry.
There was a faint sound, accompanying the rustling of the trees. It sounded like a zipper being undone.
She threw up a little in her mouth. (Despite the apparent severity of the situation she couldn't help but remember a quote from a movie: "You know, in some countries, they only eat vomit. I never been there, but I read about it.... In a book!!")
She didn't dare open her eyes. There was no way that she was going to do what this sick person wanted.
She felt some kind of hard cylinder press against her head. It was the barrel of his shotgun.
"Unless you want your brains to decorate this little clearing, I'd advise you to open up," his harsh words echoing in her head.
The bile rising in her throat, she made up her mind. It was Steph's only choice.
Tears still streaming from her closed eyes, her jaw slowly began to lower.
An expression on bliss passed along Joe's face as the terrified girl completed his desired action.
"Now keep that up..." he grunted, reaching out with his left hand and grasping a handful of her hair, in order to keep her in position.
It was then that something happened. Something he didn't expect. Something painful.
Letting out a squeal of pain, he stumbled backwards. His shotgun flailing out to his right hand side. Reflex took over and his finger tweaked the trigger.
As the gun let of a massive explosion of sparks from the muzzle, something else shot into the air.
Spraying into the air, the bright red liquid splashed against the surrounding trees.
Taking her chance, Steph scrambled to the side and grabbed hold of her duffle bag. Her face soaked in blood, she opened her mouth and spat to the side. Now immersed in the growing pool of blood, like an island in a crimson lake, was the severed tip of Joe's penis.
"Aaaaaarggghhhhhhh!!!!" roared Joe's furious cry of pain and anger. "You fuggin' bitch!!!"
Scrambling after the terrified female student, Joe swung the shotgun upwards and pumped a new shell into the firing dock. A plastic red casing was ejected from the side of the gun as he did so.
Aiming the sight towards Steph's back, he pulled the trigger, while staggering after her. His blood soaked trousers were sticking to his legs.
The shot tore through the trees annihilating a large portion of a willow tree, that Steph had just dodged behind.
"Come back here!" he shouted, continuing to run in his uncomfortable fashion.
Stumbling past the willow, he looked around himself. She had since exited his field of vision. Where the fuck had she gone?!
His entire body suddenly locked up. A burning pain assaulted his neck as his limbs suddenly flailed to his sides. It were as if his entire body had entered into spastic convulsions. Actually. That was exactly what happened.
Stepping out from behind the tree Steph raised her supplied weapon into the light. It was a taser.
Hurriedly stooping down, she grasped hold of Joe's shotgun and pumped the next shell into the chamber.
Pointing it down towards the boy's head, she gritted her teeth and basically spat out: "Fuck you!"
25 STUDENTS REMAINING