We take a dip into the personal experience of someone already touched by the horror of the game. A new major player presents herself.
Anna Tare (Female Student #14) was still sitting on the tiled floor of the suburban kitchen. Well, I say sitting. She was in more of a laying position. The floor was cold beneath the exposed skin of her arms and cheeks.
Her eyes were still puffed up from crying and long tear stains had spread down her cheeks. Her rectangular designer glasses were discarded to the floor next to her face. Reflected in the polished glass surface, the smashed mobile phone lay across the room from her.
The only reason that she hadn’t moved into the living room or the rest of the house was due to the simple fact that every single door was locked. The only one that remained open was the back door that led from the outside into the kitchen.
It was probably left unlocked when the government evacuated the "playing area."
She just wanted to go home. She wanted her daddy. Her real daddy. Not that sick freak on the other end of the phone. The phone she'd smashed using the knife that she'd found in this kitchen (her actual designated weapon was in fact a small banjo, although this had nothing to do with her current situation).
Reaching out with a trembling hand, she clasped the handle of her kitchen knife and pulled it towards her. It's blade dragged across the tiled surface, resulting in a high toned sound that hurt her ears. This may sound strange but it was (much like a teddy is to a small child) a form of security. It made her feel safe.
The back door creaked open.
Anna shrieked. Scrambling along the floor, she ducked behind the free-standing worktop.
She'd seen it. The person had entered the room, with their arms raised. They were holding a gun!
"Calm down," arose an articulate voice. The trembling tone indicated that whoever the person was, they too were scared. However, the voice also carried with it a certain air of dignity to it that implied that they were attempting to quell the fear. "I'm not going to hurt you."
This wasn't what Anna heard. Echoing in her ears was the sombre maliciousness of: "I'm not going to hurt you. I just wanna torture you, cut off your head, skull-fuck your corpse a couple times, burn the house to the ground and go home and masturbate. Okay?"
Okay, despite being a complete 'daddy's girl', she had what one would call a "truly guttural" mind. Whenever someone would say or do something that she didn't like, she would often respond with: "Ugh, kill yourself." The perfect blend of stuck up bitch and a truly sick mind.
The fact that she was also an avid Anime and Manga fan (among other things), also contributed to her truly stomach churning auditory hallucination. Most Hellsing fans would recognise said speech from Jan Valentine's rant approximately half way through the second OVA of the series. (Now that she thought about it, god she was sad. "Ugh, kill yourself." But alas, there were more pressing matters at hand. This person who'd just entered the house was going to KILL her!!!)
Anna could hear the footsteps coming closer to her. The person who had entered the room might have been speaking, trying to calm her down. She didn't know. She didn't care. This person had a gun. This person was trying to kill her. Those were the rules of the game. She was going to die. Die. Die!!
"Die, you fucking bitch!!" Anna screamed, dashing out from around the free standing worktop and dashing towards the room's new occupant.
As she ran towards the source of the voice, knife flailing wildly in the air, her eyes, now devoid of glasses, obscured her view of her 'enemy' in a fuzzy blur. Despite her vision, however, she still had a decent idea of where the door was, because of the draught. Not to mention the reflection of light off of the barrel of the gun blazing in her peripheral vision.
Despite the SIG-Sauer P230 being a semi-automatic model, due to the close range of the shot, Anna's hearing was disabled for a brief instant. The gun must have been right next to her head when it fired.
That means she passed them.
She continued to run, not bothering to attack the girl with the gun. Instead she opted to sprint through the back door and across the garden. Reaching the back fence, through blurred vision, she desperately looked for the gate. No sooner had she found it, she flung to wooden structure open and ran down the public footpath that joined the backs of the houses. (This was irrelevant, but every house on this road was locked save for the one that she hid in.)
As she ran down the footpath, the nettles that bordered the metal fence on her left slapped at her legs. Several managed to sting her though a hole in her tights. Jesus, that hurts! Wait, the only hole in her tights was way up her thighs. It should be covered by her skirt.
She realised that due to her excessive running, her tight skirt had risen up her legs so much that it was now more of a belt. Other than her tights and underwear (Hmm, g-string, not a bad choice) her lower body was practically naked.
She didn't care. She just wanted to get away. Get away. Get away! Anna turned into the gap in the metal fence and ran into the trees. She fell several times, but every time she got back up and continued to run.
There was no way that bitch in the house was going to catch her.
Robin Seere (Female Student #16) bore a bemused and dumbfounded expression. Lowering the SIG-Sauer in her right hand, she stared out of the back door of the house and found herself (horribly enough) smirking at the sight of Anna sprinting down the footpath.
Sure she knew that the situation was dire, but even in the horrors of The Program, Robin recognised a humorous situation when she saw it. If she was honest, it was probably one of he funniest things she had seen in a while. Almost everybody in the Sixth Form found Anna to be incredibly annoying. Robin saw the situation as karma.
However, despite this, she still felt bad. What if, because of her, Anna ran into someone that was actually playing this fucked up game? What if, because of her, Anna died?
She was an Executive in the school. Despite discarding her badge and blazer, Robin still saw herself as this. She was supposed to do what was right for the students. Jeremy, the head boy, was already dead and Louise was still out there somewhere. That combined with her scaring Anna, she began to feel like they were completely useless. If this was the case with her, she could only imagine how the Officers were dealing with the situation.
(Officers was the term coined by their school that was used to describe prefects. They were divided into two types: Academic, who were in charge of clubs based on the specific subject that they were an officer for; and House, that were tasked with everything to do with the houses that the students were divided into. The only officers included in The Program were Tom Staring [Business Studies Officer], Alex Hall [Politics Officer] and- Wait, that can't be right? Will Pryer [House Officer].)
Robin debated over whether she should chase after Anna and try to calm her down. She decided against this. Sorrowfully clasping the door handle, she closed the back door of the house.
Walking across the kitchen, she reached the door that probably led to the living room. Robin tried the handle, but nothing happened. It was locked. Not one to give up without a fight, however, she slammed her shoulder against the wooden surface and felt the lock buckle. Performing this action once more, she forced the door open.
Examining the wall on the other side of the doorway, she realised that the lock was a simple thin slide, explaining why she was able to force it open.
Robin whirled around suddenly and raised her gun. Breaking into a sigh, she realised it was just a cat and lowered the weapon.
An extremely thin brown cat sat on the sofa on the far side of the room. Tilting it's head to the side, it threw the "who the fuck are you and what the fuck are you doing in my house?" look across to Robin, while still maintaining an air of inexplicable cuteness.
"Aw, you poor thing," Robin cooed, hurrying over the room and sitting on the sofa next to the cat. Scratching it behind the ear with her finger, she noticed just how underfed the cat was. It was probably locked in the house when the government evacuated the owners for The Program.
Picking it up and cradling it in her arms, she carried it to the kitchen and set it down beside the worktop. Opening cupboards at random, she finally found a bowl, a fork and a tin of cat food. Emptying the contents of the tin into the bowl, Robin set it down on the floor and watched the cat eat.
"Don't worry, kitty, you're safe with me," she whispered reassuringly.
But who's to say that she herself was going to be safe?
24 STUDENTS REMAINING