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Thread: Battle Royale

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    Battle Royale

    Hi all!

    Due to some bloody awful unforeseen events in my life this little project has been seriously delayed. These events have resulted in me only getting roughly an hour or two of free time a day just now, but I felt it unfair to keep holding back for so long, as I have honestly no idea when free-time will become mine again.

    So, I'm going to start putting down the story as it is for now. There is a lot of things I wanted to add to this but I simply won't have the time to do it.
    Jimmy B spent an enormous amount of time correcting all my little grammar errors so in respect of that I took the time to correct them all, but there is a lot that was missed out that I wanted to be included:

    Jamira's 3D maps - she made a wonderful re-creation of Zychion using a program that made the whole map fully traversable in full glorious 3D - the original intention was to use snap-shots of this 3D image to map out where certain people were at certain times during the story. However, in the end, time would not allow it.

    Certain story line's. I really wanted to expand the story a lot more in some area's - one in particular was the sticky situation that Jinx, Sarah and JaKst3r ended up in. This was a gold-mine of a situation to use to express emotions, conflict of interest and bitterness belonging to the people involved in it. If I had more time available, this one, and several others, would have been described in a lot more detail.

    Weather. In the first three chapters that I wrote before the event took place I mentioned at one point "Storm clouds were gathering." - I wanted to make the weather worsen as the story went on, to help mirror the situation the contestants were in and how it was getting worse and worse for those still alive. I still imagine the second face-off between Ozi and Da to be in the midst of torrential rain, with lightening erupting all around them.

    Finer points. Wanted to add in a large number of symbolic events and imagery to add to the feelings of the contestants, and in turn the readers. Also wanted to add in better justifications for certain things, such as a more plausible reason why people would sign up for an event in which they were almost guaranteed to die in.

    Sadly, all this stuff I simply will not have time for this time round. Hopefully next year if I do write another Novella for the next Battle Royale I will have more free time and be able to perfect it better than this year, but considering I was expecting everything to be complete a long time ago I think I should just go with what I have for now this year. I hope you enjoy it.

    Now, I'm going to reserve a bunch of posts, as to get the story and all the pictures down in the correct place's will probably take me another week or so given my limited free time just now.

    Hang tight in the meantime!

    Cat.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rl4tWvQjT_0[/youtube]
    Last edited by Dark Cat; 05-23-2009 at 22:52.

    Cat's on her third life: 16th of April '07. RIP
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  2. #2
    Prowler Dark Cat's Avatar
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    Intro.



    Click to enlarge


    Cat stood on the balcony of Zychion's tallest tower, her wings towering over her. Her hair as wild as the wind that tore through it, her red eyes reflecting in the moonlight as they surveyed the area below her.
    Destruction all around. Derelict buildings, rubble, a grim reminder of a fierce battle that once raged as the colonists fought for their very lives.
    The perfect setting, thought Cat, for another battle, and not a battle against invading robots, but still a battle where colonists would once again have to fight for their very lives, only this time, against each other...



    Writer's Disclaimers:

    Although the events within this story are very much based on the events that took place on the 22nd of February '09, I used poetic license a few times to build on certain storylines, so on several occasions the viewpoints that seem to be belonging to the characters involved, are actually extra characteristics I added myself to go towards that storyline.
    Example is RockChick's character, who in this story went from being overly worried to begin with into having a complete nervous breakdown – this is not RockChick's true personality at all, purely one I put into the story. This goes for several other characters.
    Also note that as I had to make the division between the actual Battle Royale event and the storyline of this Novella, some things will not make sense, such as why would people sign up for an event in which they knew they would almost certainly die? I ask you to overlook such trivia and enjoy the story as it is.
    I also had to change a number of minor incidents in order to work with the story itself, such as the fact that Wizzss was actually attacked after Xena and Kold, and also that Sorg killed his team-mate by accident, and not on purpose as I have written it here. The facts that preceded that event made much more sense in the storyline than the accidental kill that actually took place. 95% of the story is entirely true though, and was molded by each and every participant that took part, and I thank you all for creating it.
    Also note I was NOT a member of TDO when this event took place, and neither was Xena.

    Chapter 1: Cat and Oleg.




    Cat came down from her viewpoint of the scene that was to be the next morning's psychological minefield, back into what was to be her headquarters for the final night.
    She came in to find her fellow organiser Oleg, sitting by the fire in the otherwise dark stone-clad room. Clearly the excitement of tomorrow's project was keeping him awake too.
    “So...” said Oleg, “Our list is complete?”
    “Indeed,” replied Cat, as she made her way over to the table and scanned the photos of the contestants, “and I'd be lieing if I said I wasn't surprised about some of our entrants in this.”
    Oleg came over to the table to review the photos that he'd seen many times before. Now that it was complete, it was time to ask more personal questions about it.
    “You have a good many friends in there don't you?”
    “I say again, Oleg, indeed....and that will either make for a better fight, or even possibly regret for me. Thankfully many of them are each others friends also, which may help delay any itchy trigger fingers long enough for them to cover each other's backs.”
    “So tell me about them then....”
    “OK then sure, if you wanna know....lets start with girls number 6.”



    Girls #6: Xena Jade Ho.

    “Xena I consider one of my closet friends on Calypso, possibly closest of all, and she didn't even want to enter, she did it because she knew I was deeply interested in the psychology of our little social experiment here. Really, she joined for me, and not for herself – certainly not for the prize. I really don't know if she has it in her to kill anyone else, and to be honest, I don't think that she will.”
    “So why would she risk her life if she knew she couldn't win?”
    "Perhaps because of that rumour that sprouted up about a 'back-door' to the game. But even before that rumour came about, she signed up anyway, I believe she said 'I'm there if you need me' – But I have no idea how she'll fare against the others. All I can say is that she has a good number of friends out there who won't turn a gun on her unless they really feel they have to. I don't expect her to be ruthless enough to win this thing, but I really hope she'll last longer than she herself expects.”
    “She wasn't the only one who came into this renouncing violence was she? I read the character profiles of each of them."
    “Yes, Xena isn't a violent person, but there is another I've known for a long time, and she is even more peaceful than Xena – and she also signed up even before this rumour of a back-door came up.”
    “Who is that?”



    Girls #5: Charossa Silva Mac

    “Silva. One of only two people I've known since day one of me coming in here. Silva is by far the least violent of any of them, and I know damn well she would sooner die than point a gun at anyone – friend or foe. She said herself that the psychology of the event was what interested her, as it did with me, but the fact that Silva came into this event knowing she could not win says a lot. She's not interested in killing, and honestly, I don't think she's interested in winning either, even if there were any substance to this back-door rumour. I just hope that the peaceful attitude she has helps present her as a less dangerous target if this whole thing turns into a bloodbath.”
    “Do you think that will happen?”
    “Who knows Oleg? It's not up to us what happens, it is entirely down to each and every one of them.”
    “You said Silva was one of two you've known your whole time here....who is the other?”



    Boys #18: Jamhot Jamhot Daddyo

    “Jamhot – I'm sure you know him too.”
    “Jamhot, yes of course, from the TV station, and of course he helped us in the WoF.”
    “Yes. One of our celebrities. He even asked if he could bring his camcorder with him....I just wonder if something like that will help his chances....I mean, as these things go, surely no-one would attack the cameraman?”
    Oleg laughed. “C'mon, You know it's not going to work like that...”
    “Yes I know, just another fear I have...if Jam spends too much time with the camera, and not enough time defending himself, he may fall much earlier than he is due. Some may feel he needs to be taken out early. He's a big hit in the Champions League you know?”
    “Yes I know, even got his face on one of the official Champions League playing cards.”
    “Exactly, and it's that kind of thing that can end up being both his do-all and end-all.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Well, the fact that he's well-known can make him both someone that people wouldn't want to kill on-sight, but also someone that some people may find threatening to their own plans – especially in a game such as this.”
    “So basically, you are saying that his status can be a bonus but also a burden? It really just depends on who he finds himself facing?”
    “Exactly...and if status becomes a burden, there is one in particular who needs to be careful of it.”

    Oleg and Cat shared a smile shortly before sharing the same word: “Da”



    Boys #14: Ogulak Da Basher

    “Da is far and above the most skilled player involved in our game here, and he must be very conscious of it. Having that status symbol in a situation such as this is a very bad thing. The one positive thing that would come of it is the fact that people will think twice before attacking him, unless they were sure they could win.”
    “And of course, this is where the random weapons comes into play.”
    “Indeed, it eliminates natural advantages. Though if Da is smart, he'll keep whatever weapon he gets out of view, so that no-one else can be sure if they will be able to take him on until the crunch hits.”
    “Da knows what he's doing.”
    “I'm not saying he doesn't....Da is the favourite to win this game, even before weapon selection, but this game is not about skills primarily, it's about being smart. Also, I happen to know Da has a soft part in his soul. He more or less said he'd die before letting Skam come to harm. So if it ever came down to just those two, I honestly believe Da would sacrifice the win.”



    Girls #2: Silicon Skam Chip

    Cat continued: “Skam is of course another of our better known contestants. She's been a moderator and reporter for Entropia's media for almost as long as I can remember, and again this status can make her seem like a friend or a threat in the eye of the beholder. Everything that takes place is entirely down to the characteristics of every person involved. Skam is well-liked, but that doesn't mean that someone in our field of players won't see her as a threat, because they will. The only question is, would they act on it?”
    “Not only that, Skam is easily the most skilled in the female camp, and most certainly the favourite of all the girls to win. With an alliance between her and Da? I think they could easily be unstoppable. I suppose it depends a lot on the weapons they end up with. Such a team, while formidable, also makes them an obvious target for everyone else. Taking out the strongest as early as possible must be what is on the minds of a good number of our contestants. These celebrities certainly have their work cut out for them. Who else do we have in that category?”
    “Well, here's another little recipe that could turn sweet or sour...”



    Boys #8: Ido Starlit Sunrider
    Boys #26: Sorg Sorg Sorg

    “We have two of the best stylists on the whole planet right here in the game. I wonder if they have any hidden rivalry they may express during the hour.”
    “Ido and Sorg right? Both very much top of the class in there profession for sure. I've never seen them being in open competition with one another though. And both seem very laid-back Entropians.”
    “Well indeed, but it is in situations like this that we may find out if they have always, deep down, felt like killing the other.”
    “That's a bit harsh Cat isn't it? In fact, isn't Sorg your personal beautician?”
    “In this game, I can hold no favouritism Hell, I couldn't choose a winner even if I wanted too.”
    “Ah, that's right, you have friends involved here. So besides the ones you've told me about – who else are you close to who's involved in this game?”



    Boys #22: Great GE Exit
    Girls #4: Mistress GE Exit

    “The GEs. Our game's husband and wife team. And such a team is an indisputable alliance, unlike some of the others that may form. I think the majority of alliances that come together while the game is on-going will be shaky at best – but this is one that is rock-solid. I also think that many will underestimate in particular Mr GE – not so well known to the Entropian public as such, but I know the guy well, and believe me, I honestly class him as the most likely underdog of all.”
    “Why do you say that?”
    “Because I know him....and with his wife at his side they make a solid team. My only fear for this pair is if those two are all that remain. I don't know what would happen then...”
    “So is that them all?”
    “Friends? Well, some I'm loosely connected to, but only one more that I should mention:”



    Girls #7: Fire FireMaiden Starter

    “FireMaiden. I fought with her side by side during WoF last year, and she has always been a very supportive and friendly person to know, not sure if I can picture her killing anyone though...she is exceptionally enthusiastic, and also one of the TDO team that has signed up. I know for a fact that she has thought this event through thoroughly. There's no denying that."
    Cat took a deep breath, and turned to look up to Oleg.
    “So what about you Oleg? What are your opinions on our contestants here?



    Boys #1: Rico ReadBird Killjoy

    "Rico is certainly the first person I would want to mention. He was my disciple, he's still in my soc - a Captain now, and he is a very popular young man. Probably the highest skilled drinker I've ever known." Oleg laughed..
    "But seriously, he's had a lot of experience in PVP4 recently, and I'm hoping that experience will help him in this event. While not hugely skilled, he's used to PVP now, and knows a lot of the tricks of the trade. Although he's joining mainly for fun rather than to win, I wouldn't be surprised if he managed to turn a few heads during the game."
    "I think I met him once - during the boxing tournament?"
    "Yeah - that was him...I was rooting for him that match, but you made it pretty decisive."
    "Well, hopefully he isn't the one that draws the TT gloves when we make the draw. Although it's random, I think it would really help even the odds if Da or Skam ended up with them."
    "There is another very strong player apart from those two that you don't seem to know about Cat."
    "Oh? And who is that?"



    Boys #3: Dave Ozi Epsolon

    "Ozi - other than Da, I would say this man is our most skilled player overall. I think out of all our players only those two have unlocked Commando - possibly Skam, but I cannot be sure."
    "Ozi - I've seen him around but I don't know much about him at all."
    "Well, I'll tell you then. He's a member of a top 10 society, and, in my opinion, the one you are underestimating the most. I believe he chipped out a little to pay for the Merry Mayhem event, but as far as I'm aware he got it all back. If Skam and Da team up like you believe, then this man is probably the only one that could bring one, or even both, of them down by himself. Anyone else will need a team behind them."
    "OK, I'll watch out for him. So who else?"
    Last edited by Dark Cat; 05-23-2009 at 00:29.

    Cat's on her third life: 16th of April '07. RIP
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  3. #3
    Prowler Dark Cat's Avatar
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    Boys #9: John Teacher Capital

    "Johnny Capital - surely you know this man? He's a long time favorite in Entropia."
    "Yes, I know him - read his posts a lot - never spoken to him. Comes across as being very charismatic though."
    "And he is. He runs his own events from time to time, and is the soc leader of the Chosen Few - a very well-known society."
    "I know the The Chosen Few, of course. Odd that a society leader chose not to invite any of his own people into the game though."
    "Well, he has the perfect mixture. Well known, but not too well known, highly skilled, but not too highly skilled. This puts himself above the 'kill on sight for being a nobody' radar, while below the 'kill on sight for being too well known' radar. Honestly? He is probably in the perfect position to last a long time because of this status. And this, I think, makes him another one to look out for."
    "The perfect middle-ground indeed, and that should work out for him. And he's not instantly recognisable as a PK'er, which may be the downfall of our higher skilled contestants. I'm actually fairly glad there aren't too many in that category."
    "Well, I can think of at least one more."



    Boys #17: je jak bam

    "Although I've never met Jak, the fact that he's a member of the Dawn Daemons extended says to me that he is another of our PK'ers. It's something that the soc he belongs to has a heavy focus on. If he focuses his attention on the likes of Ozi and Da etc, then they will all be right at home - but with the strong mixture of personalities we have here, it's highly likely that people such as Jak will end up versus the pacifists that are involved, and although I don't want to see it happen, I firmly believe that something along those lines will. I guess my sole comfort is that the contestants we have that are strongly PK inclined are, for the most part, solo, or just two together at most. They will still have to contend with the alliances that are expected to form here - and with the random weapons - skills could mean nothing."
    "Indeed, and I expect there to be just one large team to form on the day itself."
    "The Disturbed Ones?"
    "Spot on Oleg, spot on..."

    "The Disturbed Ones."



    Boys #10: Dano Ghana Rondo
    Boys #25: Angel Spike Sunny
    Girls #7: Fire FireMaiden Starter
    Girls #8: Jacqui Rockchick Jovi

    "Well, it puts in a good balance Cat - it would have made the game unfair if we had a dozen people entering all from the same society, I'm glad we have only one that has turned in a good number. We have a good balance here overall, and I think we are in for a very interesting fight."
    "You don't feel the TDO are over-strengthed then?"
    "Not at all, though it is an interesting group. In fact, aren't Spike and Rockchick married? Maybe the GE's aren't the only couple present after all. Oh, and Cat? There are a lot of people involved...a lot for just the two of us to try and handle ourselves."
    "I actually roped in one extra person to help us with the organisation of this little competition, I meant to tell you."
    "Oh you did? Who?"
    "Jamira. She will be attending later, she said she had an errand to run."
    "You trust her?"
    "Yes, she showed a lot of interest in this event, she really wanted to help be a part of it. Her enthusiasm to help out with it was boundless."

    Chapter 2:

    Jamira and the surprise guests.




    “How could these people do this?” thought Jamira to herself. “Forcing these contestants against each other.” She found herself thinking of Mistress GE's words, "I better come along to look out for my man," and knowing that they could easily be forced to turn on each other made her sick to the soul - turning husband and wife against each other? There was no way she was going to let such things happen. As soon as she had learned about the game she made sure she would be involved in organising it. Her intention, of course, was to sabotage it.
    She couldn't do this herself, as she knew that Cat and Oleg would catch her and put a stop to it, so she had decided to enlist the help of a well-known and trusted man, Simon the Guide.
    She had agreed to meet with Simon and tell him what she had planned. There wasn't much time.
    Jamira quickly scanned the walls of Fort Ares, they had agreed to meet here at the desolate fort as Jamira was sure there would be no-one around to overhear their conversation. The information she had could only go to Simon, she could not risk letting anyone else in on her plan. This was risky enough as it was.



    Finally, Simon appeared at the Teleporter and made his way over to the doorway she stood in, nervously looking all around himself as he made his way over. He knew what was coming, but he also knew he had to do it.
    "OK, Jamira, I'm here. I got your message. Whatever you've got planned for this better be good, because I don't like the sound of what you seem to be asking me to do."
    "Thankyou for coming Simon. I hate to put this all on you, but there is not enough time for me to be able to prevent this, I need you, and it's not just me. They ALL need you. If this doesn't work, then the blood of the innocent will turn Zychion red. I can't let that happen, and I know you don't want that to happen either."
    "I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe in you. So what exactly is your plan?"
    "OK, I cannot do this myself. As soon as Cat or Oleg suspect me it's all over for me. I've already told them I will help them and I need to stay inside so I can get more information; I cannot risk blowing my cover. This is why I have to send you into the game."
    "You want me to take part in it? I didn't even sign up! As soon as I turn up they will know!"
    "Don't worry about that part. I had a lengthy chat with Cat before I came here, I know her mentality. If an extra player turns up that will only make her happier, she wants as much carnage as she can muster, and she believes she has complete control. She will not think of you as a threat at all."
    "OK, I'll buy that, but how exactly am I supposed to save them without her knowing?"
    "I'm going to hide some explosives in Zychion, I'll let you know the exact location on the day itself, after I have hidden them. I need you to find a way of getting a hold of these, and bringing them up to the doorway of the room that she and Oleg will be guarding. I don't need to tell you what needs to be done after that."
    "By myself? With all those other people out there with trigger happy fingers? How am I supposed to do that?"
    "I've read the statements of the contestants, almost every one of them has said they would not open fire unless they were fired upon. There are even several who have said they would sooner die than open fire at all. Silva, Xzion to name 2 of the top of my head. For the most part, the people involved in this are not hostile."
    "Who should I look out for?"
    "Well, I heard Jak is a big fan of PVP - I don't know if it's true or not as I don't know him, but that would be one. I also believe that Da and Skam are going to be teaming up - those two together could take down just about anyone. Whether they will or not is another question. Also possibly Ozi. Very confident, very skilled, and may rely on his own weight rather than a way of getting out without killing anyone else. This competition has a wide spectrum of personalities, and I really can't predict what some of them will do. Just know that the majority of them will not open fire unless they feel forced or threatened. I believe you will find more allies than enemies in this situation."
    "I'm risking a lot here, my very life is on the line."
    "If you manage this, then you could save as many as forty lives. This is something worth fighting for, and you know it. I know you Simon, you don't want to see these people die anymore than I do. I need you for this. Everyone on Calypso knows you spend day in and day out helping our new arrivals, they will trust you, they will listen to you. This is why I asked you for your help, there is no-one else I know that could manage this."
    "And what about you? After you hide these explosives then what will you do?"
    "I have been asked to guard the teleporter during the event. Please understand I cannot let it be known that it was me that betrayed them. I will do as they asked, I will go to the teleport and stand ground. Listen, every person involved that day will be equipped with radios, but they are not strong - I have tested them myself. If you cover the microphone then the rest of the participants, including Cat and Oleg, will not be able to hear you. If you need to get allies to back you up then just do this. That way only the people around you will know what our plan is, but please! Do not mention my name. Cat and Oleg may have plants in the game that I don't know about, and if you fail, then I am the only other one that can help."
    "OK, I understand. Where will you hide the explosives?"
    "In the North somewhere, I've not hidden them yet so will need to tell you the exact location on the day, like I said."
    "Cutting it fine don't you think?"
    "Zychion has been cordoned off for this event. I can only place them there just before the event. I will let you know where they are before we begin, it's all I can do."
    "This will not be easy...."
    "Saving forty people's lives is never an easy task. But if you manage this, then it will never be forgotten."
    "You realise as soon as I try to get allies Cat and Oleg will know?"
    "Wait until you are outside the room they are guarding before you say anything about the plan. They have me on the outside, and I seriously doubt they will leave that room. Even if they do see you as a threat, they will ask me to come for you, and you know I will not do that. You are safe."
    "You better be right. I feel we are assuming a lot here."
    "It's our only hope Simon. Now listen, I need to get back to Cat and Oleg before they get suspicious. When we meet tomorrow I'll give you the location of the explosives, and you and me will end this thing, OK? We have to do this."
    "OK, I'm in, I'll do this. Even one life is worth fighting for, but to save forty....thats something that surely no-one could turn against. I am but one life."
    "That's how I feel too. We'll do this, it'll work out, I can feel it."
    "Tomorrow it is then."
    "Tomorrow Simon. Just make sure no-one else knows, and I'll see you there."

    Simon and Jamira took the teleport, Simon back to Port Atlantis to the Arrival Zone while trying to pretend that nothing happened, even though it was the only thing on his mind, and Jamira back to Zychion to meet with Cat as she had promised.
    But there was someone else who knew, someone who had been sitting on the other side of that door, and had heard everything.



    David - he was so excited he had to bite his own lip to prevent himself from bursting into their conversation, even while out of sight. This is exactly what he had been looking for. He had heard of the Battle Royale, had even considered joining it, nothing pleased him more than to show others his superiority, to see another's eyes as they faded from this world by his hand. And now, not only did he realise that along with Simon, he could also sneak in unannounced, he now also had inside information that no-one else knew of. This could be so much more fun than simply killing. This was an opportunity for him to cause chaos, to twist the plans of what was "right" and "good" and let evil's double helix contort every good thing those two were trying to do. Oh yes, there will be blood.
    David sat there as such delights passed through his mind. They had a plan, and so he would devise one also. Tomorrow it was. Simon would not be the only unexpected guest...

    ******

    Jamira came back into Cat's command room without knocking, she wore her confidence like a mask.
    "Ah, welcome back Jamira! Meet Oleg, the third in our organisational triangle."
    Jamira nodded to Oleg but did not speak.
    "Myself and Oleg have been discussing the contestants here, perhaps you would like to give some of your own viewpoints?"
    "As I said to you earlier, Cat, I've always prided my independence. That's why I don't care about what happens to these people, it's why I got involved."
    "That may be so, but surely there are names in there that you know?"
    Jamira couldn't lie about beauticians....she spent far too much time with them, and knew if she denied it she would have a high chance of being caught.
    "Well, now you mention it - Ido, Sorg and Gluepot I tend to visit a lot. Ido's gallery is directly below my own apartment. I actually asked him to sell it to me once, but he wouldn't. Sorg is probably the one I visit the most. While beauty is his main profession I still know him well enough to know he'd be willing to fight. He's pulled a gun on me more than once in his studio - only ever in response to me pulling one on him of course though." She laughed. "A great guy. I hope he does well. Gluepot also. She has spirit, and although I don't know her very well, I think she can hold her own."
    "All of our beauty specialists?"
    Jamira started to feel more relaxed.
    "Indeed," she laughed, "it's such places where I spend most of my time."
    "Who do you think will win our competition?"
    "Honestly? I think if Skam and Da team up like most are expecting, they will be unstoppable - only by each other's hand."
    "Yes, we thought the same. We have both of them pegged as favourites to win in their respective gender camps."
    "Other than that, well...."
    Jamira felt her compassion falter her as Cat had helped relieve her tension.
    "The GE couple. Those are our closest participants, even more so than Da and Skam. And such a team can mean more than any other. Besides them, the only other one I feel I could really comment on, is Jamhot. I used to visit his Club 3G a lot, and I love his work here. I imagine his prime involvement in this game is more to get a video of it than to win it, but he's certainly in the upper edge of the contestants skill-wise, so hopefully he can pull off a good show."
    "Well, we'll find out tomorrow....really been looking forward to this. Has been a long time in the making."
    "Yes, will be interesting to see what happens. Now if you will excuse me, I should get some rest."
    "Goodnight Jamira, I know I'll have trouble sleeping knowing what's going down tomorrow. We will be out there early getting everything ready."
    "Goodnight Cat. Good to meet you Oleg."
    Oleg replicated the nod he had received from Jamira earlier, and then waited until Jamira was out of earshot.
    "You trust that girl, Cat?"
    "Yes, I spoke to her at length earlier. She has a passion for this game which is almost as high as my own. She was very very interested in being part of it."
    "What about this whole rumour of the back-door? Don't you think she may have something to do with it?"
    "No Oleg, there is no such thing ok? We are in complete control. Don't get paranoid on me now."
    "Alright then, if you trust her, I trust her."
    "OK, Oleg, remember we said we would make the first weapon draw before the event? For the armour and the poor buggers who get the standard TT weapons? Let's do it."
    "Alright, so be it."

    Cat pulled the photos into a bag and brought out another. It was time to see if their predictions would alter.
    The armour was drawn first.

    Settler: Boys #21: Simon Sim Templar
    Pixie: Girls #3: Sarah Nuadu Hawkwood
    Shogun: Girls #1: Diana Gluepot Rendar

    "Well, Jamira will be glad to know that Gluepot ended up with the Shogun, that's for sure. That makes her the most heavily armoured person out there," said Oleg.
    "Well actually Jamira herself well be the heaviest armoured, she will be defending the TP in full Martial armour."
    "Oh really? You trust her even more than I first realised."
    "Oleg, you and I will be guarding the starting room, she will be the only person out there. She needs good armour for that. She's the only one that can work for us on the outside if we need her to."
    "You are arming her too?"
    "Of course I am. It's the whole reason I brought her in. Stop worrying, OK? Let's get on with the draw. The weapons are next."

    Girls #11 (replacing Boys#27): Selena Jinx Reinhart - TT Knuckles.
    Knife: Boys #24: Nicholas wizzszz Wolf
    Sword: Girls #5: Charrosa Silva Mak
    Pistol: Boys #21: Simon Sim Templar
    Opalo: Boys #25: Angel Spike Sunny

    Cat looked at the draw in disgust.
    "Och! Jinx drew the worst weapon available. I was hoping she would get something better, she joined so late on and was so enthusiastic. I grew to like her immediately, I was hoping that maybe she could pull off a surprise or two. Not really any chance of that now."
    "And your friend Silva drew one as well - the sword."
    "Yes, I saw that, but Silva said herself that she would not kill anyone during the event, so that really doesn't change the circumstances for her."
    "Mixed news for Sims. Lucky to draw a set of armour, and equally unlucky to draw the TT pistol."
    "Yes, luck of the draw. Be it bad luck or good luck. Either way, the rest of their weapons will be drawn tomorrow, and we'll see if anything else changes in our predictions as a result of that."
    "Call it a night then? We'll see what the morning brings."
    "Yep. Now we just need our participants, and the enthusiasm they shall bring with them. Tomorrow it is Oleg. Do try to get some sleep."

    Chapter 3:

    The morning of the Battle Royale.



    Click to enlarge


    Cat started her day up on the balcony the same way she had ended her night. Storm clouds were gathering.
    With great delight, she noticed that some of the contestants had already arrived.
    Peering down from the railing she immediately identified the two she had most expected to be there early straight away. And teamed, again, as all of them had guessed.

    Skam and Da.

    "Hurry it up there Skam, we gotta find a place where we can watch our backs before anyone else gets here," exclaimed Da as he scanned the security of the walls in the nearest derelict buildings.
    He pushed his hand into the mason and it dissolved into powder.
    "This one's no good...there's got to be one of these structures that can resist gunfire."
    "Da, we'll never get the secure vantage spot you are looking for, look at this place! The whole of this citadel is in ruins."
    "There is ALWAYS somewhere secure. We'll go round all these buildings, even give them names, and we'll decide which ones are best to take shelter in. We'll move around if we have to get away from the other contestants. Skam, you know as well as I do, people will target us simply because we're well known in our field. In any normal circumstance I'd stand and fight, but this is not a normal circumstance. We have to be smart to live through this."

    Skam and Da went a long way back...

    They had been friends for years, shared PvP zones so many times they couldn't even count them if they tried, yet not once, EVER, had they turned their guns upon each other. The fact that the situation they were in may force them to do so was something that neither of them had even dared to mention. Something they didn't want to think about.
    The two had shared history together, the fun of making artwork out of oil-barrels, pecs, or anything they wanted to use at the time. They were no strangers to PVP - in fact, these very same works of art they created together they would also defended together. It was simply the way it had always been.
    Now, for the first time, they were faced with a situation that perhaps, if it came to it, one may have to kill the other, and both had this scenario deeply embedded in their thoughts....the whole plan they had developed of finding a safe-house was overshadowed by this fact. Could it really come down to that? Neither wanted to voice it, but both knew it was something deeply burned into their subconscious. And both of them, even knowing the other was thinking about it, also knew the other would never say anything about it. Both hoped it would never happen.

    "OK, this building here looks sturdy....we can watch our backs from here no problem."
    "You know some of the other people taking part will have the same plan as us right? If that happens? We join with them or politely ask them to move on?"
    "Skam....not one of us knows whats going to happen....we'll take it at face value. Plans may change depending on the weapons we get, or what happens when this game begins, but for now...we gotta go with what we can find....are you with me?"
    "Till death do us part Da. I just pray to God we get decent weapons here."

    Cat continued her surveillance of the area, and found it as no surprise that one of the other 'Early Birds' was Ozi.

    Ozi looked around him. Lots of cover from view, but very little cover from gunshots, almost immediately he spotted Skam and Da doing their recon on the buildings nearby. Damn it! Ozi knew better than most that if those two teamed up, as they obviously had, then very few could take them out. Even Ozi himself, conscious of the fact he was by far one of the most skilled in the event, realised that he would need to team up as well. The very first person that sprung to mind was Gamble.



    Boys #28: Stuart GAMBLE Gamble

    Gamble had once been one of Ozi's most trusted Colonels in a society that he himself had created, the Global Alliance, yet Ozi also felt that perhaps he had deserted Gamble when he chose to join the Dark Knights, thereby leaving Gamble behind. The two of them had never really spoken at much length about that chapter in their lives, and he wasn't really sure if Gamble had forgiven him for it, or if, worst came to worst, he wanted to kill him for it. Either way, they had defended the oil rig side-by-side so many times before, Ozi knew that this man was trigger happy, and that would certainly make him a good ally, or perhaps even a decoy? Ozi didn't want to think like that... He had a deeper trust in Gamble than anyone else involved, and he wanted...no....he NEEDED it to stick. If Da and Skam were going to be allies, he would also need a good ally, and out of everyone, Gamble was the one man he felt he could truly rely on.
    He had not arrived yet, so he could only hope that Gamble would forgive his desertion of the soc and perhaps once again they could feel as close as they did back when they defended the rig together.

    As for Ozi himself, he knew what he had to do. Gamble being the only one he felt he could trust, and yet, he would need more, therefore he decided he would try to forge an alliance with pretty much the first people he came across. If this alliance stuck or not wouldn't matter too much to him. He knew that if a conflict arose, then outside of Da and Skam, he could put an end to that dispute no matter what he got as a weapon, especially if he had Gamble by his side. He knew the odds, and he knew he was high up in them. Jamhot though, Jamhot was a friend., and he would certainly have a huge problem killing him if it came to it.
    Above all though, Ozi was trying to catch the adrenaline rush. He didn't have it yet, as for now all he was doing was examining the area they were to be fighting in come the next few hours.
    He knew himself well, and if bloodlust struck him, it would last. While at the time he was sober of such a feeling he considered how such feelings may end up being the death of him. This was the main reason why he felt he needed a team. Sometimes, when the bloodlust adrenaline rush took him, he had no regard for his own life. Whatever happened, he still planned to take down as many others as he could.

    Cat continued to scan over the balcony for other participants who had arrived early. There were another two, clearly teamed, who she didn't immediately recognise, but when one of them turned in her direction, she immediately knew who both of them were.



    Boys #12: Johan Roadkill Deadmeat
    Boys #16: Emil The SkilledOne

    Roadkill turned to Emil, the game was but hours away and it was time to be brutally honest.
    "Emil, you do realise what we've got ourselves into here?"
    "We??? It was you that got us into this....I didn't say a word!"
    "Nevertheless, we are here now, and we need to work out what we're going to do."
    "Seems to me you worked out what I was going to do before I even said anything myself..."
    "Emil, be serious for a second please! You and I both know that we cannot take on most of the people here regardless of the weapons we get. So we need a tactic that takes them by surprise."
    "Well, just go ahead and make my mind up for me again, please, I'm loving it!"
    "Seriously Emil! Listen! Most of those people out there have skills far beyond ours, so we need to put on a persona that sets us apart from any other newcomer that might be taking part."
    "How exactly?"
    "You and me, we need to get in the thick of it. We need to show the strong out there that we are not afraid of them, make them think that we are 'big and dangerous', stick close to the action."
    "You know, such a plan might have even worked if you hadn't introduced us as 'The happy noobs that are here to waste ammo' or whatever it was you said."
    "Thats part of the deception though Emil. You've seen Uber's joke about how 'noob' they are sometimes. Who's to say we're not doing the same?"
    "Honestly Roadkill, I don't think they are gonna buy that. We need someone else, the two of us alone will not cut it."
    "Alright, alright, I'll get us another friend in this game. Let's hold out until it begins, and we'll see what we can do. I have a feeling that some unlikely alliances might occur, and I'll personally make sure we are in on one of them."

    Jamira came into the morning light from the tower. She had wanted to be out as early as she could and was somewhat surprised that even some of the competitors had beaten her to it. She immediately spotted Da, whom appeared to be keeping his word of "protecting" Skam. In Jamira's mind Skam was one of the last people involved that needed any kind of protection. Still, if Jamira's own plan worked out, then she would be the one protecting all of them.


    Click to enlarge


    She wasn't surprised when she looked up and saw Cat on the balcony far above, she had spent a lot of time up there over the last few days - no sign of Oleg yet though. Cat was clearly peering over in the opposite direction from the base of the tower. Jamira took the advantage and grabbed her bag while she had the chance, heading north and keeping out of any possible line of sight of Cat that she could. Maybe it was a good thing that some of the competitors had turned up early, a good distraction from Cat's overseeing eyes. Made the whole set up so much easier.
    Jamira quickly found she was able to advance well out of Cat's eyesight while staying in cover the whole time. It was one of the main reasons she had chosen to hide the explosives in the north - there was a lot more cover there. She knew Cat well enough already to predict that she would be up on the balcony in the morning - it was as if she delighted at looking down on people whenever she could. Perhaps thats why she had the surgery to make her so tall.
    Jamira laughed on the inside, but kept in mind it was her own friend Sorg that had done that for Cat, and he of course, was another victim in this sick game that Cat had come up with.
    She and Simon would put an end to it.
    Jamira reached the northern edge of the zone that the game was to take place in, and decided to herself there and then that to place them within the zone could easily invite any player who didn't know of her plan to pick them up and use them for themselves, against other players, without knowing how they got there. No, this would not do, she would need to place them outside the zone to ensure they were not used in vain.
    She managed to find a tear in the fence surrounding Zychion, and pulled it open wide enough to crawl through.
    She knew that if she placed them too far outside then the absence of the contestants would be quickly noticed, so hid the explosives just slightly out of range, constantly checking around her to ensure no-one could see.
    This was the best method, as it would also be out of range of any vantage point from the centre of the citadel. The hardest part was over. Now she just needed to head back to the teleporter and tell Simon where they were. Everything was working out perfectly.

    Oleg emerged from the base of the tower. The day had arrived, there were still a few more hours to go, but it was at last all coming to a head. He had noticed some people already scouting out the area, but decided to make his way over to the teleporter before looking around, after all, Jamira was supposed to be looking after that, yet she was nowhere to be seen.
    As soon as Oleg arrived at the teleporter, one of the contestants stepped through.



    Boys #2: Lucius Pike Esox

    "Hello there Pike! Welcome to the arena," Said Oleg slyly. "And what, pray tell, is going through your mind this morning?"
    Pike knew exactly what he was getting into, he had been one of the event's earliest sign-ups, and as such, had been thinking about his tactics for a long time. Like most of the others, he had resigned himself to not opening fire on anyone unless he had to. He had no enemies here, nor did he wish for any during the event. Pike considered himself an upstanding citizen. This was no normal event he had gotten himself into, and he was fully aware of it. He felt, other than the obvious reason of defending himself, that the only way he could ever bring himself to open fire upon another competitor was if he saw people ganging up upon someone. This was something he had a strong stance against, and was what concerned him the most.
    "Well," said Pike after much thought. "I guess I'm thinking about the possible gang-mentality of this event more than anything, I've seen there is a good number of likely teams that will be forming here, and i just hope that such events are not what this whole thing is going to revolve around. What starts out as safety in numbers can quickly become gang bullying, and that is something I could never allow to happen."
    "You know Pike, even if that does happen, then these same gangs will eventually have to turn on each other? Most alliances of any kind are going to be short-lived, that much I can pretty much guarantee."
    "It's a personal thing. I see societies such as The Disturbed Ones and the Coat Killers with a decent sign up level, and if I see them ganging up on anyone solo, then so help me god, I will put a stop to it."
    “I believe that in a game like this, people will truly find out a lot about themselves. You may even find yourself becoming the person that you are trying to stop. Snap decisions, trust, judgment, all will be stretched to their very limit.”
    “Not mine. I know what I'm doing, and I'm sticking to it.”
    Pike didn't wait for Oleg to reply, he turned around and made his way towards the control room.

    Jamira turned the last corner to see Oleg standing by the teleporter. Oh no! She had to get rid of him. If he was still standing nearby when Simon arrived then she wouldn't get the chance to tell him where the explosives were hidden. Cat was still up on the balcony. She needed to play this cool.
    "Good morning, Oleg, the day has come at last, eh?"
    "Jamira, hi, where were you?"
    "Oh you know, just scouting out the area, seeing what our contestants were up too. Kinda surprised that this many arrived so early to be honest."
    "Yeah, well, I'm sure they all wanna make plans ahead of time."
    Jamira had to find a way of getting rid of him.
    "Shouldn't you be up in the revival room? I understand thats where everyone is collating?"
    "Yes, but we have a lot of time before then, I wanted to stay down here for a bit and see who we have coming through the teleporter before then. Most of these people I've never spoken to, and I'd like to get to know their characters before the event. After all, every single one of them bar one is going to be dead by the end of today."
    Jamira started to panic inside.
    "Yes, but you can get to know them in the revival room, you don't need to wait here for them."
    "In the revival room they will all be cramped together, better to hear their separate stories out here first."
    The light from the teleport shone bright, and a total of four people arrived together, it was the Disturbed Ones.

    The Disturbed Ones

    Boys #10: Dano Ghana Rondo
    Boys #25: Angel Spike Sunny
    Girls #7: Fire FireMaiden Starter
    Girls #8: Jacqui Rockchick Jovi

    "Welcome!" Said Oleg. "So our largest pre-set alliance has arrived in all it's glory..."

    Firemaiden was the reason that all the others had joined, she was already feeling the guilt of it within. She knew damn well all of the other three were originally concerned about her safety, and now that they had taken part, they needed to be concerned about their own as well. FireMaiden considered the fact that although her society friends had joined with the intention, as far as she knew, of protecting her, they were now also faced with the horrific possibility of having to turn on each other, just as with any other alliance that had formed. While she had first considered it as a blessing that her soc-mates were there to back her up, she was also very worried about the consequences of what might occur as a result of this day.
    RockChick was so nervous she felt like she could vomit at any moment. The rest of them had signed up to protect FireMaiden, but now that the day had arrived so many other thoughts had been racing through her mind. She knew she would be unable to kill any of her soc-mates, and although she joined to protect FireMaiden, she now had her husband involved as well. And while Ghana might fall a tiny bit outside of those two, there would be no way she could possibly kill him either, it was just unthinkable. Therefore she knew she was going to die today no matter what happened.

    The TDO were well prepared for the initial defense, though had made no preparation for what may happen if only the four of them remained. It was something that they didn't want to have any plans for, they all hoped it would never happen.
    They had even hired out Zychion the week before in order to prepare for the event. During this time, they had managed to come across a very strong building, with only one way in or out, and had decided that as long as no-one else got a hold of it before they did, then this is where they would hole-up. The four of them against the world it seemed, but with a very strong base of operations, then maybe they could pull it off. They had decided to stay put here and hold out as long as possible.
    They had Dano Ghana with them, and as he had been raised from a strong military background, he had instantly agreed with the tactic that they had was the best available to them, especially in a situation such as this. Ghana knew better than any of them that when outnumbered in the way that they were, the best offense was to form a strong defense. And the spot they had discovered in their reconnaissance was the best spot of all. Although he believed Rock-Chick to be cautious, he also trusted her, and the other two, with his life. In this game, he needed defensive measures, and was glad to have discovered such a place during Recon.
    Ghana had taken into account that they would need such a defensive post, given that everyone involved knew that the four of them were all from the same society, and such a "pre-formed" alliance could easily make them a target as a result. The smart money was on being defensive until the number of opposition had dwindled somewhat, and even then, to let the others take the fight to them.
    Spike, as with the others, had joined to offer protection to FireMaiden, but he knew that the specifics of the event were taking a heavy toll on his wife, Rock-Chick. She had, by the point of them arriving, trouble in even standing up. Despite having so many friends to help her through this her whole body was quaking, perhaps not at the thought of what was about to take place, but more about the feeling she may be turned upon her best friends or even her husband.
    Spike himself felt the same, though he made an effort to cover it in false confidence, he had a number of additional friends out there, and he didn't want to kill them either. This is one of the main reasons he had agreed to the plan they set last week, to defend that strong building they had come across. To not kill anyone unless they were attacked, and he knew the other members felt the same way.

    Ghano was the first to reply to Oleg.

    "Yes, we're here, and we know what we are doing. We have planned everything out in detail."
    "Sounding confident there Ghano, and I suppose with good reason. I realise of course that the four of you are the largest group we have taking part, but then, so does everyone else involved. Aren't you worried that this alone may make you a target?"
    "I told you we have this planned out, and I don't see any reason to tell you anything more."

    At that moment, Cat appeared from the bottom of the tower, she had obviously prepared her outfit in advance.

    "Just had to wear the Hermes back-strap didn't ya?" asked Jamira.
    "Of course," she laughed. "Got to show off what God gave to me."
    'What Sorg gave to you.' thought Jamira, though she thought better of saying it out loud.
    Cat walked closer to the teleporter.
    "Well, look at that, RockChick and Spike have arrived, I guess the GE's aren't our only married couple today after all," she said with some delight. She didn't even get the chance to continue before the teleporter shone again, and this time Simon the Guide stepped through.
    Oleg immediately confronted him. "There is an event taking place here soon, I need you to leave immediately.”
    Simon, barely having time to recover his senses after passing through the teleporter, managed to compose himself enough to respond to Oleg.
    "I am taking part in the event tonight, a bit of a late entrant."
    Simon didn't even see Jamira nearby while he was still gathering his bearings. It was the worst possible timing. Simon arrived while Jamira was heavily restricted by the presence of Cat and Oleg nearby, that, combined with the fact that so many others had just come through the teleporter made things even worse for her.
    And as if that wasn't enough, another came through the teleporter adding 'who is that?' to the other thoughts already spinning in her head. David the Guide.
    Oleg repeated himself: " You can't be here, we have hired out Zychion for the next hour or two. I need both of you to leave."
    "Wait Oleg, " said Cat, "I don't mind having any last-minute sign-ups, and anyway, I've just had reports that two of our sign-ups didn't even manage to stay alive long enough to make it here. I have our last two sheets of results now, and it appears we have had two suicides!"
    Cat handed over one of the the pieces of paper to Oleg. Sure enough, it described the deaths of Simon God and Austro. He guessed the potential of backstabbing and all that it had entailed ended up being too much for them.
    "Two suicides?" he said, "Very disappointing."
    "Well, then we can be glad of having such last minute replacements turning up. I say we let these two join in." Cat gestured towards Simon and David. Jamira did not dare make a move.
    Oleg thought to himself for a while, but agreed before long.
    "Alright, we'll take these two on-board."
    "Excellent, take all six of them up to the revival room, I'll be up there shortly."
    "Wait!" exclaimed Jamira, desperately trying to think of an excuse to get alone with Simon, but failing to come up with one in time, and had to resign herself to sheepishly finishing her sentence with: "Good luck out there."
    They nodded to her and continued to follow Oleg. Simon knew he had landed in at the deep end. He promised himself he wouldn't blow Jamira's cover last night, and wasn't prepared to do so now - especially not when so many innocents were nearby. No, he knew the rough location of the explosives, and that would have to be enough. If he could get a team with him, then they should be able to cover the area quicker. He'd have to rely on this.

    Cat turned to Jamira as the others left.
    "They'll need more than luck, Jamira. The luck part is all over and done with, I've made the draw. From here on in, they'll need to be smart, and to keep their cool."
    "You made the final weapons draw?"
    "Yes, obviously it'll need to be slightly updated now we have two new faces involved, as I made it after I learned of our two suicides. Here, take a look."
    Jamira scanned over the weapons that each of the contestants had received, and noticed a new name at the bottom of the list.
    "Who is this last one you have marked as 'Reserve'?"



    Reserve: Jak JaKst3r Fast

    "Ah yes, that was a last minute thing. I decided we should bring in a reserve in case someone doesn't make it tonight. We're still expecting forty people, but it's good to have someone on standby."
    "So who is he?"
    "Honestly, I know pretty much nothing about him. Didn't have time to get a profile on him. I did notice that he's a member of cK Shadows though, which I think is a kind of sub-division of Ah and Da's society. I've no idea if that will effect his chances, but the fact that Da and Skam came through together before he even arrived says to me they won't be teaming up. Other than that, I don't know what to tell yah...a flashy dresser, that's probably the only other thing I know."
    "Sure it's wise to let these people in that you don't know?"
    "Why? Do you think they may have something to do with this 'back-door' rumour?"
    Jamira tried to hide her surprise, but was too late. Luckily Cat misread the emotion.
    "Don't look so worried Jamira, we are in control. I have you and Oleg on my team, and we have made a solid plan. Even if there was such a thing, they couldn't pull it off. Thats why I have you out here to protect our interests. It's not even worth thinking about, OK?"
    Jamira composed herself, and faked relaxation with a smile.
    "OK."
    "Good, now I'm going to go up to the control room and see how it's going up there."
    Jamira realised this might be her last chance to inform Simon.
    "I'll come with you."
    "No, stay here, this is exactly where I need you. Don't come up until after the game is over and we can congratulate our winner. We'll see you soon."
    Cat walked away, leaving Jamira by the Teleporter, praying to god that Simon would be able to find the explosives as soon as possible.

    About twenty minutes later Oleg had assembled everyone in the control room. Cat was making some last minute changes to the paperwork. The tussle of people in the room below the stairs to the doorway prevented him from being able to get a head count as such, but it looked like everyone, or at least very close to it, had arrived. While Cat was busy he took the opportunity to disturb the sea of whispering, it was time to explain some of the game's finer points.
    He clapped his hands together. It might as well have been a gun shot; the room fell into complete silence in seconds.

    "Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome one and all to the Battle Royale. Shortly, you will be called out of this room one by one, and I know you are all familiar with the rules as they have been laid out, but I want to take a moment to summarise the important ones, and to cover some other points, such as what each of you will be taking out into the field with you."
    Oleg moved over to the table and picked up one of the many bulky metal forearm-sleeves that were spread over it.
    "This is a Multi Functional Personal Device, an MFPD. It comes with a Short-Range Radar, which will display where anyone else thats wearing one of these will be within a certain distance, it also has a screen which lists all the other players involved in the game. It has a radio transmitter which you can use to broadcast to everyone else, regardless of how far away they are. Myself and Cat will be using this to give you updates as the game progresses. You can also use this device to send a message to just one individual simply by selecting them from the list of names. This list can also be re-arranged so that it displays who is the most deadly - based on how many kills they have acquired within the game at any given time. It will however only display the top three when this selection is chosen - the rest of the contestants will be displayed as normal. We have also modified these in one or two other ways, but such things are purely for us to know about, you only need know if it becomes essential."
    Oleg dropped the MFPD back on the table and picked up a pneumatic syringe.
    "Each of you will be injected with some genetically concentrated fibroblasts. These will greatly affect your body's ability to heal, and even a serious injury can repair itself within five to ten minutes. The effects of this drug will last little more than an hour, but that will be enough time to be of great use to you in this game."
    Oleg put the syringe back down and gestured to the packs piled up against the wall at the entrance to the room.
    "And lastly, over there each of you will pick up a bag as you leave. Within it, you will find weapons and ammo that were randomly pre-determined before we began. Some of you may have received bonus items as well, such as a suit of armour, if you were lucky. The majority of the weapon draw was based on luck, or lack of it. We will let you know what's in your bag as you leave the room. If you have limited ammunition for your main weapon, then you will be supplied with a TT weapon - even if you get the TT pistol or Carbine, we have rigged them in such a way that your ammunition for these will be unlimited."
    Oleg glanced over at Cat, it appeared she had finished her last minute changes but was happy to let him continue.
    "Now, I'll give you a quick sum up of the rules before we begin. The forty of you will be called out of this room by your number, which was assigned to you when you joined up. You put on the MFPD, take your injection and your bag and head out into Zychion. Once you have left here, you cannot return to this area, nor anywhere around the teleporter. From there, you have an hour to decide whom you will team up with, and of course whom you may later backstab. Only one person can still be alive at the end of the hour, otherwise there is no winner, so all of you must think very carefully about what you will do. The primary rule at this stage is that none of you may open fire upon each other until myself, Cat and Jamira give the all-clear."
    Cat came over from her paperwork to stand next to Oleg.
    "You ready for us to start, Cat?"
    "Ready as I'll ever be, had to do some changes what with our surprise guests showing up, but it's all in order now. They don't have a number, so we should call them out first."
    "Well, this whole thing is your own baby, you should do the honours. Let's begin."
    Last edited by Dark Cat; 05-23-2009 at 01:20.

    Cat's on her third life: 16th of April '07. RIP
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    NEVER PLAY ON PATCH DAY!

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    Chapter 4:

    The call out.


    Cat voiced herself to the contestants.
    "OK, thank-you to Oleg for the summary of what I would hope all of you already know. Now, as we have some surprise guests in our midst, we are going to begin with them."
    Cat glanced to Oleg in a final confirmation, and both nodded briefly.
    "Surprise Guest number 1: Simon the Guide."
    Oleg quickly followed:
    "Surprise Guest number 2: David the Guide."

    Both guests did as they were expected to do, with all eyes upon them in eerie silence. They fitted the MFPDs and came over to Cat and Oleg to receive their injections.
    Cat handed over Simon's bag to him while whispering in his ear.
    "There is a Vumpoor J 4 grenade launcher in there, and enough ammo to ensure you will not run out in the next hour."
    A grenade launcher...this was probably not the best weapon Simon could have hoped for. Given his tactic to try and get a team together before going for the explosives, if he had to defend them, then there was a high chance that he might end up accidentally hurting people in his own team. Still, he could have got a lot worse - he would simply need to adapt. Across from him, Oleg was handing a bag over to David.
    "You got the L/Murdand Groover, and the ammo in there can be considered limitless considering the short duration of this event."
    The Groover, and a limitless supply of ammo. Not a bad selection, thought David, but he had other ideas. With his inside knowledge of what Simon and Jamira were trying to do, he had strapped his own EWE EP-45 Hunter to his back, under his clothes and out of sight before arriving. His plan was to keep this gun hidden until he could use it to cause the most distress to the plan that they had. Possibly on Simon, but he would rather have the chance to use it on Jamira. Even in her armour, she would not last long against such a weapon. But still David planned to wait for the best timing to execute such a plan. He had several more up his sleeve, and the first would come as soon as Simon broadcasted his own plan, as David knew he would.
    Simon and David left the room, both headed away from each other.
    The next names were called out. Cat began:

    "Girls #1: Daina Gluepot Rendar"
    Oleg followed:
    "Boys #1: Rico ReadBird Killjoy"

    ReadBird followed suit, and put on his MFPD and made his way to Oleg. But there was no sign of Gluepot. While Cat contemplated the possibility of another suicide, Jamira's voice came over the radio.

    "A few late-comers just arriving at the teleporter now. I got Silva, Kold and Gluepot showing up just now."
    Cat gave a sigh of relief. She already knew that Gluepot had drawn the most powerful armour, would have been such a shame to let that go to waste.
    "Well send them up here then, we've already started calling them out."
    "I have, they should be up at your position in mere seconds."
    Oleg handed ReadBird's bag over to him.
    "You got the A-3 Justifier Mk II, but only 5 shots of it. You also have the TT pistol as a backup weapon." Oleg felt a moment of weakness for ReadBird, who was once his disciple. "I know I taught you everything I could back when you were a new arrival here, but it feels like a lifetime ago. Just be smart out there, OK? Be careful who you trust. Make me proud."
    ReadBird nodded. He really didn't have any idea what he was going to do once he left the safety of the room, and now it had happened. He moved out, his head still spinning, as the three latecomers passed him in the other direction.
    Oleg gestured for the others to move inside as Gluepot made her way over to Cat, who was holding a particularly bulky bag up to greet her.
    "Glad you made it Gluepot, I hope you will be glad you did. Inside this bag is a fine selection. Not only did you draw the most powerful armour available - the Shogun - but you also drew a Det Pil V-Rex 1000 with 4 rockets, and a pair of TT knuckles for those intimate moments."



    Girls #1: Daina Gluepot Rendar

    Gluepot hadn't really made any plans, she had asked Da for an alliance at one point before the match, as a "friend of a friend" but had received no response. She had assumed, as almost everyone else had, that Da and Skam were playing the cards close to their chests today, and weren't prepared to let anyone else complicate the team that they had soldered together. More recently, however, that same friend had ended up joining the Battle Royale - "Ah" - and this was the one person she had decided to put her full trust in. Ah was the only other member from the "Coat Killer" society that Da belonged too, and even though JaKst3r was there as a reserve, he was a member of a subsidiary society of the Coat Killers, and Gluepot wasn't entirely sure how close these divisional societies were. Either way, there was still every chance that Jackst3r would not be able to play today, given his "number" as reserve.
    She already knew beforehand that she had been allocated the Shogun armour, but had decided not to tell anyone. In fact, she decided right there and then that she wasn't even going to put it on unless she had to. The weapons she had received were news to her, but she planned to keep the rocket-launcher a secret too.

    Gluepot had not taken more than a few more steps away from the starting room when suddenly a voice came over the radio.
    All the MFPD's lying on the table in the main room suddenly burst into life, and even with the feedback, the broadcast was clear - it was Simon, now far enough away from the revival room to be able to feel more confident about setting his plans in motion.
    "All contestants, listen to me! I know a way out of this, you don't have to kill anyone, we are not trapped here - meet up with me and..."
    Even while Simon spoke, David took his cue, and broadcast his own message.
    "He's lying - he's leading you into a trap! He'll lull you in with your trust up and your weapons down, then he'll shoot you in the back. Believe me! I have inside information that no-one else knows of. Come meet me in the West and I'll tell you what is going on here."
    What was this? What was this David character doing? Did he really know something? Simon's instant reaction was that this man must be a plant, like Jamira had warned. It was no longer safe to tell the students to meet him where the explosives were, he made a snap decision to try and hide their placement.
    "That's not true! Meet me in the South, I will tell you everything, he is the one that is lying."
    Back in the revival room, Cat and Oleg's shared look of disbelief ensured there had been no betrayal between them.
    "They are both lying!" boomed Cat to the contestants in front of her - ReadBird and Gluepot still within earshot. "There IS no way out of this, you will only survive if you stick to the rules and do exactly as we say. If you do anything else, it will get you killed."
    Cat motioned to Oleg to head back to the control station. Oleg immediately knew what to do without a word being spoken.
    Jamira, sitting by the teleporter, felt the need to bite her knuckles, but could not do so with the armour that encased her hand. Who was this David? What was going on? A second setback in a plan that seemed so solid the previous night.
    ReadBird, hearing all of this, decided to take Oleg's advice, and not to trust either of them. He stayed where he was at the edge of the building, hoping for a new plan to develop before the game began.
    Equally, Gluepot, decided that something here was seriously not supposed to have happened, and its unpredictability was too great. One was heading south and the other was heading west? Very well then, she would head north-east.

    While Oleg fiddled with the controls back at the station Cat again tried to drown out the new eruption of whispers which had swarmed in amongst the other contestants.
    "Alright! Alright! Lets get on with it shall we!" Cat tried to dismiss her own concern lest it was detected by the others in the room.
    "Boys#2: Lucius Pike Esox"
    Pike, still not really knowing what to make of the events that had just transpired, came forth to receive his bag.
    "There is a Rep Edge Battle Axe 2x in there. Good luck."
    That's it? An axe? Pike realised straight away that he would have to find an enclosed area to hide in, or join a team. Given that he had just heard both Simon and David calling for a team, then he would need to take a chance, and join one. He flipped a coin in his head and opted for Simon, and made his way south.

    "Girls#2: Silicon Skam Chip."
    Skam came forward, her bag looked unimpressive from the size of it. Please not the TT knuckles!
    "You got a Clerical Dagger 3A. Use it wisely."
    Well, it could have been worse she supposed. She still wasn't sure what to do though, her plan depended almost entirely on what Da got as his weapon. She decided to wait outside the door until he was called out.
    "Boys#3: Dave Ozi Epsolon"
    The crowd parted like the red sea as the hulking giant of Ozi, complete with his intimidating Maori make-up, walked through towards Cat.
    "You have a total of eight shots with your Meckel and Lock ML35, and the TT pistol as your backup."
    Not bad, thought Ozi, although he immediately resigned himself to saving his M&L until he needed it, with the constitution he had, he knew he could resist most attacks using just the TT pistol unless he was in a tricky situation. As soon as he had walked out the room, he began to put his plan into action. He saw Skam standing by the entrance, but ignored her, knowing full well she was already with Da, his toughest opponent. He checked out his radar. Pike was already far south, almost out of his radar's range, the same applied to Gluepot in the North West. He saw ReadBird standing not too far away to the West, and even though he didn't know him, decided to stick to what he had previously decided to do, and recruit the first people he saw that were available. He made his way over to ReadBird's position.



    "Girls #3: Sarah Nuadu Hawkwood"

    "You got a Kat Determination and a set of Pixie Armour. May they serve you well."
    Sarah had but one goal in this game, and it wasn't even to stay alive. Her goal was to take Ah down.
    It wasn't because Ah belonged to the Coat Killers society, which she knew would be the reason anyone else would want to target her, no, it was to do with an incident that she believed Ah herself would probably not even remember.
    Sarah had been attempting to assist the Coat Killers during a Land Grab event as she had always had respect for them. Even though she wasn't part of their society, they seemed to instantly recognise her as someone who was there to help them. All but one - Ah. Ah had attacked Sarah over and over that day, even though Sarah had tried to explain that she was there to help. Maybe it was the pressure of the event, maybe Ah was just bored, whatever the reason, Sarah could not return fire on the very people that she was there to help, and of course as Ah was one of these people she felt utterly defenseless.
    Not today however, today she finally had the chance to retaliate for the day when she could not. Today she would get to fight back. She seriously doubted that Ah would even remember this past event, and to be honest, she hoped that she didn't. That way she wouldn't see it coming. It was an opportunity she certainly wouldn't pass up.

    "Girls#4: Mistress GE Exit"
    Mistress came forward, feeling somewhat bewildered.
    "You have an Omegatron M2870 pistol with seven shots, the TT Carbine is your backup weapon."
    Outside the main building, ReadBird sat by the wall, frantically searching his own mind for an idea of what to do next, when suddenly, Ozi's hulking frame landed next to where he sat, having jumped down from the bridge above. His landing seemed to shake the very ground itself.
    Readbird's instinct was to reach for his weapon, but he remembered Oleg's orders to not open fire until the game had begun. Such an order became a small comfort when such a huge man landed beside him, as he knew that this man could not draw his weapon either. He had to stifle his own surprise when this same man extended an olive branch instead of a weapon towards him.
    "ReadBird, I know that you and I have never met, but I need some allies in this game. Are you with me?"
    ReadBird was very quick to make his mind up. A man this size, with such an intimidating tattoo across his face, was certainly someone he would sooner join with rather than face in battle. He needed a plan, and it seemed this way one would come together.
    Ozi outstretched his hand to Readbird, and helped him to his feet.
    "I'm glad, now, listen to me, I need you to go to the far west of the zone here. I will join you shortly. I need to recruit a few more into our team. Avoid anyone else, we're in this together."
    ReadBird nodded. With no plan of his own, it made sense to him to rely on someone else's, in particular this man's. Though ReadBird wasn't entirely sure if he could trust this stranger, he knew that this was his best chance of survival, and so did as Ozi said, and headed to the boundaries on the west side.

    Pike reached Simon's position, anxious to hear what it was he had to say. Simon, while glad someone had joined him so early, was still in two minds about what to do next. This whole incident with David at the start had worried him greatly. Was David a plant of Cat's? Was he some other man who genuinely believed he had a better way out? Either way, Simon had decided to stay clear of him.
    Pike spoke out:
    "So what's the plan? What's happening here? What is it you know?"
    Simon checked his radar to see who it was that had arrived.
    "Pike, hi. Thanks for backing me up here, but I'm not sure how much I want to divulge at this point." Simon found himself contemplating that even Pike himself could be a plant of Cat's. It certainly wouldn't be wise to tell him what he knew while they were alone.
    "Lets wait until everyone is called out, and see who joins us. Then I'll tell you what I've got to say. We need more people than just the two of us."
    It seemed a fair enough argument. Pike chose to stick where he was, at least until the game began.



    "Boys#4 Crys Cail Behemon"

    Cail followed the procedure.
    "You drew a Kat Honour sword."
    Cail hadn't drawn up any kind of plan either. He was glad he had ended up with one of his favourite swords as his weapon at least. He had been a replacement from earlier in the game, and had not had very much time to prepare. He was simply going to "roll with the punches" and find out what happened. He did know however, that he was going to need to team with someone. He ran from the revival room and jumped down from the main building, only to jump right in front of Ozi. He froze for the briefest of moments, only to then receive the unexpected warm gesture that ReadBird had received before him.
    "Cail, I'm trying to gather a small team together. Come with me to the western edge, we are meeting there."
    Cail had no idea who this man was, but, again, as with Readbird before him, quickly decided that this was a man he'd rather not fight with unless he had to. And a whole team? His own plan was forming before he had even tried to instigate it. So be it.
    "OK, I'm in."
    Ozi had already chatted with Gamble and Chaos while they were in the revival room. Five was enough. He escorted Cail towards where ReadBird was waiting for them.

    "Girls#5: Charrosa Silva Mak"
    Even though Cat was fully aware that Silva was by far the most well-known pacifist involved, she still felt a measure of guilt when she handed over the bag.
    "Sorry Silva, you were one of the five unlucky ones, you ended up with the TT Sword. I hope this doesn't effect you, you weren't planning on killing anyone anyway right?"
    Silva was still thinking about what the surprise guests had said, she wanted to trust one of them, but she just felt she couldn't trust anyone at all. She made her plan of trying to find somewhere far away from everyone. It would be hard to do this with forty other people all in the same ruins, but it was the only option she felt was available to her. She could trust no-one but herself.
    She took the bag from Cat without answering the question and ran out into the battlefield.
    Cat tried not to let her guilt weigh her down, and continued with the calling.



    "Boys#5: Arutha Calin Surana"

    Although Calin had expressed his interest in the game a long time prior to this day, he had only managed to confirm it a few hours before, and as such, he felt he was in a very vulnerable position. Surely a lot of the others involved had made alliances he didn't know about.
    "You got an Omegatron M2870 with six shots and your backup is the TT Carbine."
    OK, he could deal with that.
    He checked the radar as he left the building. There was a large spot clear of all other dots to the far east, he decided to make his way there. He knew there was a building out there, and even though it was in ruins, it could provide at least a little cover while he tried to work out what to do next.

    "Girls #6: Jade Xena Ho"
    Cat handed her bag over to Xena.
    "You got an Isis HL8 with five shots and the TT Sword as backup."
    Cat pulled Xena's forehead to her own and looked her deep in the eyes.
    "Remember what I told you OK? I don't want you to die out there, and I've already told you what your best chance of survival is."
    Cat had an enormous soft-spot for Xena. A few days before the event, the two of them had toured Zychion, and had discussed the best strategical positions for this day. They had both agreed, after a while, that the best idea was to stay out of the way, and there was a perfect spot for that.
    In the north, beyond the myriad of destroyed buildings, was a large open space, that led up to a small ridge right on the edge of the northern zone. Cat had told her that as there was no cover between the buildings and the "indent" in the land, that there would be no reason for anyone to come that far north as they would blow their cover, and it was the perfect place to hide out. And even if they did come that far out, she would have a good defensive position there, while her enemies would have no cover. She knew this was the smart move, and so made her way directly there.
    She would hide out there, with her soc-mate Kold, for as long as was deemed necessary.



    "Boys #6: Lobbe Lobbe Dojje"

    "You got an Isis CB5 - unlimited ammo."
    Great, as if he wasn't scared enough as it was, Lobbe realised this was one of the worst weapons he could have ended up with. Still, at least it had some range. Lobbe had agreed to meet with his friend LS very slightly north of the revival room, but had no plans after that. He knew his heart-rate would go through the roof once the action began. But still, he had come this far, and wanted to make sure he could take it as far as it could go. He headed north, as he had previously agreed with LS, and awaited their meeting.

    Girls #7: Fire FireMaiden Starter
    "You drew the FreanD Delta BLP Pistol with 6 shots, and the TT Sword."
    Lack of firepower enforced FireMaiden's need of a strong defense, as soon as she was clear of the building she checked her radar. No-one seemed to be near the building they had scouted out earlier. She made her way directly towards it to claim it for herself and the other members of TDO. It was to be their stronghold, she just prayed it would not also become their tomb.

    Cat moved over to Oleg while she spoke to the rest of the contestants.
    "Boys #7 was replaced, so we have no-one in that slot, we'll continue with the #8's."
    Cat briefly turned to Oleg.
    "Well?"
    "Yeah, I'm tracking them. Neither seem to be doing anything at the moment. Just standing around. No noticeable threat, I think we should leave them for now."
    "Very well then."

    "Girls #8: Jacqui Rockchick Jovi"
    "You ended up with Marber Bravo Type Annihilator sniper rifle with five shots, and the TT knuckles as your backup.
    RockChick followed the same path as Firemaiden before her, leaving the safety of the revival room behind her and heading towards the new safety of their established stronghold.

    "Boys #8: Ido Starlit Sunrider"
    "There is a Jashonich AP pistol with seven shots and a TT knife in here for you. Good luck Ido."
    Luck? He'd need more than that. Ido immediately decided he wouldn't use the pistol unless it was a last resort, but the knife would leave him dangerously open in any wide spaces, so his only real option was to look for cover. He headed towards the nearest unoccupied building, trying to steer clear of any other green dots on his radar.



    "Girls #9: Sassyfer Sass Missmonkey"

    "An Emik S50 is in your bag - no limit on your ammunition."
    The whole event had really made Sass think carefully about what she was going to do. She had Slasha with her from her society and although that was a comfort, she also considered him to be a bit too trigger-happy, and over-confidence in this game would surely cause that persons own death. She had been whispering with some of the others in the revival room before the event had started, and had agreed to meet with some of them at the base of the stairwell outside the main building. It was a loose alliance and several of the people involved in it she didn't really know that well, and of course she wasn't even sure who would actually turn up. Nevertheless, she didn't really have any other plan to go for. She didn't trust the transfer students and she certainly didn't want to end up on her own, so she headed to the base of the stairs as she had said she would, and waited to see who else would arrive.

    "Boys #9: John Teacher Capital"
    "EWE Ep41 Military with four shots, and a pair of TT knuckles."
    Four shots? Then down to knuckles? This wasn't going to be easy... maybe it would be best to hide it out... or maybe, with what little he had, he could get out of this without having to use them at all. Maybe he should trust one of the Guides. So many maybes....so unsure of which was the best one. He decided, cautiously, to make his way towards David the Guide. Maybe he really did know a way out of this, and if Simon was leading them into a trap as David had said, then David would be the best bet.



    "Girls #10: Myne Ah Byrd"

    "Fire Forge ARR 8000 long range laser - seven shots. The TT sword is your fall-back weapon."
    Ah considered herself one of the more peaceful of the contestants. She would never open fire on someone, but at the same time, she was a survivor, and she wouldn't go down without a fight. Although she shared her society with the game's favourite to win, she had decided not to make any snap alliances with anyone. Despite being in such a strong society, she was the weakest of them, and the least violent - she hoped that everyone knew that. She didn't want to team with anyone as such, but there was one person she certainly wanted to see safe. Gluepot.
    After taking not more than a few steps outside the control room she fiddled with her MFPD and contacted her. They arranged to meet in the east.
    Although Ah knew that she would have protection from the likes of Da and JaKst3r if it came to it, she wanted to avoid playing that card unless she had to. She wanted to rely on herself rather than any of the other players.

    "Boys #10: Dano Ghana Rondo"
    "It's a Frean Delta BLP pistol - eight shots, and some TT knuckles."
    The third of the TDO members to leave the control room. Regardless of what had transpired before with the surprise guests announcements, there was still no question as to where he was safest, and he made his way to the stronghold as they had planned all along, where FireMaiden and RockChick were waiting for him.

    "And now the very last of our low number of female participants," Said Cat, pointing at the lone girl standing among the men.



    "Girls #11: Selena Jinx Reinhart"

    "I knew I would have to break this news to someone, really sorry it had to be you. You drew the worst weapon of all. The TT knuckles."
    Oh great. Other than JaKst3r, Jinx had been the most recent sign-up, and really didn't have much time to prepare for this event, and now she had ended up with the worst possible weapon on top of that.
    She had been the one that had initiated the shaky team that had grown roots within the control room, the one which Sass was patiently waiting for down at the bottom of the stairwell. Although Jinx barely knew her, she had felt comfortable enough with what little she knew to invite her into this shaky alliance, the same applied to Sorg, who had also received the same invite. JaKst3r was one of the few that she genuinely knew well, they had been in the same society for a long time before the lure of Coat Killer Shadows had drawn him away. She had never blamed him for this, being invited into the "Child" society of the Coat Killers was an offer that almost no-one would refuse.
    There was just one other person involved whom she really liked, and made a point of contacting her via the MFPD straight away - Sarah Hawkwood. She quickly asked Sarah to come meet with her and, hopefully, the rest of her recruits down by the base of the stairs where Sass was. Sarah, while retaining her prime objective of killing Ah, knew that having a team at her back would certainly be welcomed, and agreed to meet them.



    "Boys #11: Anders LS Nilsson"

    "Loughlin Cutter 3 sword. Good luck."
    LS had made little plans beforehand. He had agreed to meet with Lobbe in the north, but beyond that, had little idea what was going to happen. He took his bag and headed towards Lobbe's position. May the chips fall where they may.

    "Boys #12: Johan Roadkill Deadmeat"
    "Svempa T5 with six shots and the TT Sword."
    Roadkill was teaming with Emil, so he would need to wait for him to leave the control room before they decided on the specifics of what they were going to do. He wasn't sure where to go, and seeing LS running from the control room before him, decided to follow him. At least for now...



    "Boys #13: kenneth slasha shopanowa"

    "A&P Series Brave Mentor Edition - no limit on your ammo."
    Not a great weapon, thought Slasha, but the unlimited ammo made it much more worthy useful what he may otherwise have received. Slasha's goal in this game was simple: he would do everything he could to keep Sass alive. Sass had been invited into the team forming at the bottom of the stairwell, and she, in turn had invited Slasha. As with most of the others in this steadily growing alliance, he didn't really know them, but his drive to protect Sass had overridden his drive to distrust the others she had chosen to team with. Sorg he knew of, and respected due to being so talented in an unusual field, although an excellent hairdresser would most likely not make an excellent fighter, but the others? He had no idea who they were. Maybe as the game went on he would get to know them better, or maybe they would turn on each other. Either way, he would retain his prime objective no matter what, and would protect Sass or die trying.

    "Boys #14: Ogulak Da Basher"
    "Skildek SAR 250 rocket launcher - five shots. And a little backup weapon from my own pocket - an Emik S30 pistol."
    This caused a huge disruption to Da's earlier plans. A rocket launcher in an enclosed space would be almost as detrimental to his own health as it would be to anyone that tried to attack.
    He stepped outside to find Skam waiting for him.
    "What did you get Da?"
    "All plans are off. I got a rocket launcher, we have to abandon our idea of finding a nice sturdy building to take cover in."
    "What then?"
    "I think our best bet is to head to the end of the destroyed over-pass to the south-west. We can get good cover from the ground, and a good vantage point to fire down on our enemies if we need too. What did you get?"
    "Nothing really worth mentioning, but I agree with heading for the over-pass, let's do it."



    "Boys #15: Bare BareBones Bones"

    "You drew an Omegaton Power Claw Mentor Edition. You also got a bonus item - the TT Scanner."
    "Great, I can just see them all running for their lives as soon as I pull that scanner on them."
    Bones had received a somewhat random invitation to the event not long before it had kicked off. He had never met, seen, or even heard of Cat before, when she had approached him at Nea's place and invited him to join. While he had little time to get to grips with the event, he had decided to join anyway, due to its uniqueness, and all too soon the day had arrived. Bones had not had any time to make any alliances or even to really think of a plan, yet the day had arrived, and it was time to deal with it as best he could.
    “I have to ask you Bones, what's with the Santa mask?”
    “I never show my face to anyone.”
    “This due to a hidden facial deformity, or a just a real love of Santa Claus?”
    Bones left the building without answering, still unsure what exactly it was he was going to do.

    "Boys #16: Emil The SkilledOne," continued Cat. She hadn't really expected an answer from Bones anyway.
    "Riker UL2 Carbine with eight shots, and then a TT Sword."
    A Riker UL2 with limited ammo? This was not good. Eight shots on that was next to worthless. He hoped that his friend Roadkill had been more fortunate than himself, and headed north to meet with him.

    "Boys #17: je jak bam"
    Jak came close.
    "Potent Firestorm chip - eight uses. Then TT Knuckles."
    "You gotta be kidding me right?"
    "Jak, that chip can kill about 75 percent of the people here in a single hit, you drew one of the most powerful weapons of all. You'll be fine. Now go, and good luck out there."
    While there was some truth to what Cat had said, Jak still felt gutted. The massive disadvantage of having a chip as a weapon was the concentration required to charge it up. Sure he could maybe kill one person charging him alone, but if that person had a companion who lived, then he wouldn't get a chance to be able to recharge it, and then what? TT fists? Useless! Jak resigned himself to knowing that this was not going to be his day. He felt doomed, and decided to try and hide it out as long as possible. Maybe if he was lucky and lived long enough there would only be a few scattered people remaining, and he could take them out one by one. This, he felt, was his only hope.

    "Boys #18: Jamhot Jamhot DaddyO"
    "Slidak Gak 1500 rocket launcher - four launches. Then it's just the TT pistol for you."
    So be it....
    Jamhot probably knew more of the people involved in the game than anyone else did, and usually he would class them all as friends, but not today. Today he had no friends, just green dots on his radar. He knew he was highly respected for the work he had achieved with JamhotTV, and that everyone thought of him as a social, fun-loving kind of guy. But he couldn't be this guy today, this was the guy that would be killed. Today he had to put himself in his Champions League persona. Ruthless, willing to kill friends, and most of all, staying alive.
    Jamhot left the control room still having no idea what to do. He went for the nearest cover he could find and sat down, his mind racing.

    "Now, our next 2 entrants, Boys #19: Simon God Adebisi and Boys #20: Austro Aus Lusitano were, I'm afraid, were both confirmed dead this morning. This is why I allowed those 'other' contestants to join us today, although I'm starting to wish I hadn't. Nevertheless, our next contestant is..." Cat glanced down at her list.



    "Boys #21: Simon Sim Templar"

    "You were lucky enough to draw one of the three suits of Armour, albeit the worst one - it's a set of Settler Unfortunately, you also received some bad luck to go along with it, and your weapon is nothing more than the TT pistol."
    This choice solidified what Sims was already thinking. He didn't consider himself much of a killer, and now that he had such a poor weapon, he would opt for the 'way out' that the surprise guests had voiced earlier. Not being able to make a certifiable distinction between them, he decided to go towards the one who shared his first name, he would let himself decide later whether this was a poor decision.

    "Boys #22: Great GE Exit"
    "You received a Marber Echo Type Plasma Annihilater Sniper rifle with seven bullets, and some TT-knuckles."
    GE collected has bag, stepped outside and contacted his wife over the MFPD. Whatever it was they were going to do, they would be doing it as a team.



    "Boys #23: Omega Omega Recrium"

    "OK, Green Ninja, you got the Kat Determination Sword. Very fitting for you I think."
    Excellent, this was exactly the weapon he was hoping for. Omega had few plans for the game, however; he barely knew anyone here. John Capital was perhaps the only one, so he decided he would make his way towards him with the intention of forming an alliance.



    "Boys #24: Nicholas Wizzszz Wolf"

    "You were one of the five unlucky people I'm afraid Wizzszz. You have just the TT knife for comfort."
    Any other plan Wizzszz might have had before that moment immediately went out the window. Now there was only one option left to him, to run, to hide, and to hope that he lived long enough to be facing the few remaining wounded and ammoless participants at the end. There simply was no other option as far as he was concerned.

    "Boys #25: Angel Spike Sunny"
    "Spike, I'm sorry but you were unlucky, and drew a TT weapon. Take solace in the fact that it is the best one however. You drew the TT carbine, the Opalo."
    What Spike lacked in firepower he would have to make up for with his allies and their defensive position. Spike, the last of the TDO members, made his way towards the fortress that they had claimed as their own.

    Sims reached Simon the guide, and found Pike there with him.
    "So, whats the plan Simon?"
    "I'm not sure I can go into it yet. We need more people, this is going to be more difficult than I had first anticipated."
    "Well maybe I can help you out on that..."
    Sims scanned through the contestants on his MFPD and found the name he was looking for.
    "Jamhot! Are you there?"
    The personal broadcast made Jamhot jump, so far he had just been hiding and watching people from afar, not knowing what to do.
    "Sims? Is that you?"
    "Yeah it's me. Listen, I'm in the south of the zone with Simon the Guide and Pike. Simon says he knows a way out of this without killing anyone, I figure it's worth a shot. He needs some more backup though. Are you with us?"
    What the hell, if death had to take him this day, then it at least it wouldn't take him alone. Any plan is better than no plan.
    "Alright, I'll come down and meet with you.”

    "Boys #26: Sorg Sorg Sorg"
    "Hope you kept those hair scissors sharp today Sorg, that's your weapon."
    Sorg's expression did not alter, clearly not sharing his customer's brief playful mood.
    "Oh no sense of humour today? Fine, I can understand. You actually got an Isis CB19 with eight shots and a TT sword. Hope you don't have to kill any of your regulars."
    Sorg was another of the team that Jinx had been putting together, though, as with them all, he barely knew most of the others. Even so, he kept his word, and moved towards the bottom of the stairwell to meet with what was fast becoming the largest team that had assembled pre-game.

    "Now, Boys #27 was also replaced, so we'll move onto the next student."
    "Boys #28: Stuart GAMBLE Gamble"
    "Gamble, you got the Castorian Enblade 4 Mentor Edition Sword."
    Not a weapon he was very good with, but it was still a decent selection. He wasn't too disappointed.
    As soon as Gamble got outside he contacted Ozi over the MFPD, they had arranged this in the short time they had together in the revival room beforehand.
    "I'm out Ozi. What's happened?"
    Ozi was almost instant in his response.
    "I've recruited a few people, we're over to the west, at the very edge of the zone. Come with us."
    "What about Chaos? Should I wait for him?"
    "No, Chaos knows to contact us, he'll make his way here."
    Gamble took a second on the other side of the door frame to signal to the west for Chaos' sake while Oleg and Cat had their backs turned. He then headed to the proposed meeting spot.

    "Boys #29: Thomas Xzion Warqul"
    No movement. Cat looked up and saw that there were only three contestants still in the room, and Xzion was not one of them.
    "How disappointing. Still, I suppose I should be glad there was only one no-show. I guess this means that you JaKst3r, our reserve, will be playing today."
    JaKst3r made a move towards the MFPD's on the table.
    "Not yet JaKst3r! We are still calling out by class number, so you will be the last to leave. Let's see who's next."



    "Boys #30: Chaos Pain Demonic"

    "You have eight shots of an EWE Ep 38 Night Special pistol, and you have a little something that I manufactured personally that you can use after that - a Jester D1, no need to worry about running out of ammo on that."
    Chaos had seen Gamble signal him mere moments before, and started heading in the direction in which he had pointed. He could see Gamble not far ahead, and so didn't even bother to use the MFPD, he would follow Gamble to the meeting point. He had not known Gamble or Ozi for very long, but had only arrived in Calypso a few months before. He felt very relieved to have such powerful friends with him right from the start.



    "Boys #31: Kold Kaamos Vind"

    "It's a Svempa S40 - unlimited ammo. Please try to defend Xena with your life Kold, I know that you will be teaming with her."
    Defend Xena? Kold felt slightly more worried that Xena would kill him at any moment, she was far more powerful than he was. Still, it made her a good ally, and Xena had told Kold of what Cat's recommendation was, and he was going to stick with it too. He headed north to the bunker at the edge of the zone where Xena was waiting for him.

    "And at last, our final contestant. Reserve: Jak JaKst3r Fast"
    JaKst3r, the final contestant, made his way forward for the second time.
    "You got a Kat Determination Sword. Use it well."
    JaKst3r, being the reserve, had less time than anyone to prepare for this event, but his friend Jinx had invited him to join her in a thrown-together band of contestants at the root of the stairwell, and that was where he would go. JaKst3r left the control room, and unlike any of the other contestants before him, he walked rather than ran. He seemed the most confident of all.
    Last edited by Dark Cat; 05-23-2009 at 10:58.

    Cat's on her third life: 16th of April '07. RIP
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    Prowler Dark Cat's Avatar
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    Cat watched for a moment as Jakst3r left, before turning to Oleg at the controls.
    "That's it then, they're all out. Not long now. Everything ready over there?"
    "Pretty much, need to reconfigure a few things before I confirm them due to the last minute changes we experienced, but most are ready. Come see for yourself."
    Cat came over and scanned the wall of monitors, she gave a closer inspection to a screen displaying the heart-rates of the contestants."
    "Wow, look at those readings. Very high heart-rates out there, is this the Fibroblasts causing these elevations?"
    "Nope, fibroblasts don't do that. That's pure Battle Royale nerves causing that."
    Cat scrolled down to the bottom of the list. As she had expected, JaKst3rs was the only one that seemed normal.
    "That JaKst3r character. I wish we'd had more time to research him. His confidence and calmness, especially in the closing minutes before we begin, is unprecedented."
    "Yeah, from this alone I'm starting to think that this is a man we should really be watching out for out there."
    "Any news on the Guides?"
    Oleg checked the long range radar.
    "Nope, both are staying stationary. Nothing untoward going on there. Certainly not a concern at this stage."
    All the monitors were alight and active apart from two, a large one down the right-hand side and one over the top of the other screens.
    "What's wrong with these ones?" asked Cat as she pointed to each of them.
    "Nothings wrong, I'm just finishing off their configuration just now. The one on the right is an overview of the contestants. Those photos we've been looking at over the last few weeks will be displayed on there, and if the MFPD detects that their pulse has stopped, then the photo will lose its colour. The other is a 3D map of the zone our participants are in, which we can use to visually locate the position of our players if the long range-radar is not specific enough. It's a new re-rendition of an older program, so the results may look somewhat cartoony, but will still be a useful tool for us to use.”
    “So when will they be ready?”
    “They will be ready....right....now!"
    The final two displays came on-line just as Oleg finished his sentence:




    Click to enlarge


    Chapter 5:
    The False Start.

    *The South West*
    Da and Skam reached the top of the destroyed runway.
    "Why didn't we think of this before?" asked Da. "A ramp up one side - so only one way we can be effectively attacked from, and a twenty foot drop on the other side. A clear view of everything around us, and good defense from the ground. It's perfect."
    "It's ironic isn't it? We spent all that time trying to work out which buildings had the strongest walls, and when the day came, here we are, in a great defensive position in a place with no walls at all."
    "I'll just scare off some of the others so we can use the radar to our best advantage," said Da as he pulled out his Emik and took aim at the few people that were on the ground close to his area.
    "No! Wait! We can't open fire until the organisers say we can, remember?"
    Da reluctantly holstered his weapon.
    "OK, I'll wait."
    Da peered over the edge to see who it was below. He could see two of them, it was the GE husband and wife team. He noted there were two more dots in the immediate vicinity on his radar, but he couldn't see who they were from his position. Clearly they were hiding, and all four seemed to be staying put, more or less. He'd need to wait until they were given the all-clear before he could try and flush them out of his area.

    Silva felt she had hidden herself well. She had crawled underneath some collapsed tarmac and was well out of sight. Of course, the only problem was the MFPD which would be projecting her position to every other player nearby. She hoped that maybe they would give up looking for her and move on to easier to find targets in their haste. She could see the GEs nearby from her hiding spot, and could also see another two dots, who were clearly up on top of the overhang otherwise they would be visible from where she lay. And one other dot nearby, also not visible. Who would that be?

    Ido was hiding, but was fast going through a change of heart knowing there were mere minutes before the game would begin. Was hiding the best option? Being alone? Seven shots of his pistol would certainly not take out 39 others. Although his original instinct was to hide, this would not work. It had simply taken him too much time to realise it - now that time was running out, he had to take a chance while he still could. He left his hiding place and headed towards the collapsed overpass. He had seen Da and Skam running up there earlier and decided there and then that if he was going to bite the bullet while he still could, then he'd bite it hard, and present himself as an ally to them.

    "So that's those six in the South West settling in it would appear." said Cat watching the long range radar.
    "Yeah, so it would seem. Are we ready to announce that we're starting yet?"
    "Well, not just yet. Again, I'm still concerned about our surprise guests. Can you track them and see what's happening there first please?"
    "OK, tracking David the Guide, looks like he has John Capital in his area, and there is our green ninja Omega coming in close as well."

    Omega had made a bee-line to Capital's position, he felt that if there was an alliance to be had, then this was the only one out of all the contestants that he would be willing to form one with. However, as he got closer, he spotted that Capital was standing with one of the Guides. Omega knew of the Guides, he had heard that they were invincible, they were there on the very day Calypso was first colonized, and no-one had ever even managed to hurt one before. His attention shifted from his intended alliance with Capital, and instead focused on David before him. Was it true, were they really invincible?
    Capital watched as Omega moved towards David with his sword drawn. David was Capital's way out of this, he didn't like the way Omega was looking at him. He stood poised, waiting to see what would happen next. David stood rock solid.
    Omega needed confirmation of the legends he had heard, so standing almost right in front of David, he pressed his MFPD and broadcasted to everyone, with the intention of any of the organisers being able to pick up his question:
    "We can kill these guides, yes?"
    That was the last evidence Capital needed, there was no way Omega was going to kill the one person that he had put his faith in, and Capital opened fire with everything he had.
    Omega, taken completely by surprise by the one person he was hoping to be an ally, on the grounds of what he had considered an innocent question, had no time to defend himself and felt bullets rupture through his unprepared body.
    "We got a fire-fight Cat - Omega taking heavy damage."
    "Bring him back, bring him back now!"
    Capital fired off his last bullet, in what he was expecting to be the killing blow, only to see Omega's body dematerialise in front of him, leaving nothing behind but bullet ridden ground.
    Omega rematerialised in the control-room next to Cat and Omega, immediately collapsing, bleeding all over.
    "Oh god! I'm dying!"
    "It's the opposite Omega, you are healing. We just saved your life. Stay there, the fibroblasts will kick in soon." said Cat, and then immediately turned back to the control panel and broadcast to everyone:
    "We have not started yet! I told you! Do not open fire until we have begun! Now you know one of the additional modifications we have made to your MFPDs, we can teleport you back here at any time if we need to. I do not want to see this happen again until we begin! Am I clear?"
    Capital instantly protested. "What!? I just used up all my ammo on him, and you kept him alive? All I have now is a pair of knuckles! Are you going to resupply me my ammo?"
    "No Capital, you broke the rules, you wasted your ammo, that is your punishment. Now you have to deal with it."
    Capital instantly wish he hadn't broadcast that to everyone involved, now they all knew he had nothing to his name. He looked across at David, who had drawn his weapon during the fight, but had not shot it. He realised David knew that he had no ammo, and all of a sudden, he didn't feel so trusting any more.
    He spoke directly to David.
    "OK, so no opening fire until the game has begun.....right....I'll be on my way then..."
    David watched him, but said nothing. Although David was tempted to take him out there and then as a deserter to his own plan, he now knew that he would be teleported back to safety if he tried, so David let him go, and stayed put.
    Capital was once again alone, and now he had used up all his ammo, and everyone knew it. No allies, and no chance of getting any now that everyone knew his situation - no ammo, he was screwed and he knew it. He found a place to hide and put on his TT knuckles, all that he had left. He clenched them together and thought to himself:
    “I've got to be the unluckiest contestant in this whole game.”

    “I've got to be the unluckiest contestant in this whole game,” thought Jinx to herself as she clenched her TT fists together. Of all the weapons she could have been drawn, she had to get the worst of all. She took a little comfort in the fact that she had managed to pull together a reasonably large amount of people. She sat inside the doorway at the base of the stairs that was to be the base of operations for whatever was about to take place. She looked up at her current companions. Sorg - Calypso's best hairdresser. Could a professional hairdresser really fight? She had no idea, she'd not seen Sorg outside of his studio. Then there was Sass. Sass, she only knew a little. She had enjoyed her company the one time they had met before, but still felt she really didn't know her that well. And then there was Slasha, whom she didn't know at all. Slasha was part of Sass's society though, so it was inevitable that he would be part of their team. Jinx was surrounded by people that had pledged allegiance with her and with each other, yet she still felt so alone. Still, she knew the only people that she could call real friends were on their way to the spot she was sitting in. She wouldn't feel so alone for long.
    At that moment, the outside door opened, and Sarah Hawkwood in her Pixie armour was stood there.
    Suddenly Jinx felt her loneliness vanish.
    "Sarah!" Jinx jumped up and embraced her friend.
    "I'm so glad you made it here."
    "Hi Jinx. I told you I would come. I always keep my word."
    "Yes, you do!" Jinx gave her one more enthusiastic bear-hug before stepping back. She motioned to each of her companions in turn.
    "So Sarah, we have with us here, Sorg, Sass and Slasha - we've all agreed to stay here as long as possible. We have good cover."
    "Five of us? Good size of team to start with."
    "Well actually there is going to be a sixth. A good friend of mine, I hope you like him."
    "Would that be me Jinx?" JaKst3r had reached the bottom of the stairs.
    "Jackst3r!" Jinx ran over and embraced him, the distraction of this was enough to conceal Sarah's look of horror. She didn't know Jackst3r, but she knew who he was. Sarah's sole intention of taking out Ah this day was seriously hampered by having such a team-member. Jackst3r belonged to a subsidiary of the Coat Killer society, of which Ah belonged too. And now, she discovered that not only did she have someone with such connections to her target in her own team, that person was also obviously close to the one she cared for the most. She knew that neither Jackst3r nor Jinx had any idea's what her own plans were, and she now knew that she would need to keep them to herself permanently.
    Jinx let go of Jackst3r long enough to let him breathe. He glanced over his five new companions, and his confidence filled the corridor.
    "OK gang, this is the exact same place I used to defend myself against 'The Evis' not long ago. It's well defended, so follow my lead, and the six of us will pull through this. We're in this together now."

    ***Jackst3rs team.****



    "You feeling better back there Omega?"
    Omega, despite lying in a pool of his own blood, was feeling his strength returning to him, remarkably
    "Actually I am, I'm still hurting bad, but I certainly don't feel like I'm going to die any more."
    "It's the miracle of genetically modified Fibroblasts - they regenerate blood cells and accelerate healing at an unheard of pace. Give it a few more minutes, and you will feel as if nothing happened."
    Omega looked down at the blood he was kneeling in.
    “I've lost a lot of blood.”
    “The fibroblasts will take care of that as well, like I said, they regenerate blood cells. You have nothing to worry about.”
    Cat turned back to Oleg.
    "So, looks like David's out of allies for now, what about the other surprise guest? What's going on with him?"
    "Tracking Simon the Guide now."

    *The South.*
    Jamhot arrived to where Sims had asked him to meet them. Sims was there with Pike, and with their prodigal escape ticket, Simon the Guide.
    "OK, Sims, I'm here like you asked. What's the plan? What are we doing?"
    "Ask Simon, he wanted more people, I got one - you."
    Simon's head had not had time to clear. What he was originally assured was going to be easy suddenly didn't seem that way. Most of all he was concerned about David and what his motives were, but he also wanted to make sure that he wouldn't cause any harm to Jamira in the awkward position she had now ended up in. He wouldn't be able to take any more advice from her, he'd have to do this his own way, and whether he truly trusted his companions or not, he would still have to rely on them.
    "What did you guys get as weapons?"
    Pike displayed his axe. Sims, in Settler armour, displayed his TT Pistol. Jamhot, showed the same at first, slightly dubious about displaying his rocket launcher, but when Simon displayed a grenade launcher he decided to show his own rocket launcher.
    "OK good, put them away again."
    Simon still felt this wasn't enough firepower to cover what might happen. He again decided to repeat himself for Jamhot's benefit.
    "We need more people, and more firepower. Let's wait here for a while, at least until the game begins, and decide what to do from there."

    ***Simon the Guides team.***



    "Looks like he's got three people taking his side Cat."
    "Well, from the looks of things, there are others forming the same size, or even bigger in fact, around the area. I don't consider it a major problem. Jackst3r's got six down where he is. Any other large formations?"
    "Well, the TDO members all appear to have concealed themselves in the sturdy building to the west, but further west of that, right on the edge of the zone, there is a team of five growing - looks like it's Ozi leading them."
    Last edited by Dark Cat; 05-23-2009 at 11:30.

    Cat's on her third life: 16th of April '07. RIP
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    Prowler Dark Cat's Avatar
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    Gamble and Chaos ran in to the meeting place that Ozi had designated, and met with Cail and ReadBird.
    "OK, " said Ozi. " So here we all are...here is what I need from the four of you. Follow me, attack who I attack, and above all stick together. I'll get into details when the game begins, but for now, just know that the five of us are a unit, and I expect us to remain as such until the end. We are all counting on each other today."
    Ozi put his hand into the middle, and the others instinctively followed suit, clasping hands.
    "And break."
    Ozi felt confident. He had the man he trusted the most, Gamble, a newer friend, Chaos, and two of the best random recruits he felt he could have ended up with. A strong team indeed, he just had to make sure it counted.

    ***Ozi's team.***



    "And elsewhere?" asked Cat.
    "Well, the rest are all just groups of two people, or people going solo. Does look like the possibility of another alliance coming together just a little north of us though."

    LS and Lobbe had fortified thier alliance just as Roadkill and Emil arrived. They all knew each other, but their relationship wasn't strong.
    "Hello there!" exclaimed Roadkill to Lobbe as he and Emil climbed over the edges of the destroyed wall.
    "Hi, you two are sticking together then I guess?"
    "Indeed, we planned that from the start. Our game plan is to try and coax the others into avoiding us by acting much stronger than we are."
    "Yes, so you said beforehand. A plan that's possibly just crazy enough to work I guess."
    "Well, thats the hope...and you two? Sticking together as well?"
    "Yes indeed. Our plan differs somewhat to yours though. Listen, we know you guys, and because of that we promise not to attack you, but I think all four of us together may cause a.....well....a bit of a planning conflict if we stick together. Personally your plan of false-macho-hood is not one we are keen to embrace."
    "OK, fair enough. We could scout out areas and meet up again afterwards then? See what we can find out about what's going on in the nearby areas." Roadkill pointed at the radar on his MFPD. "It seems clear to me that already many of the people involved have chosen areas to group together and hide in. The larger groups of green dots all seem to be holed-up already, kinda makes me feel free being able to walk around without having to watch out for too many other contestants. The majority seem pinned down in their hiding places."
    "Alright then, it's a deal. If you two scout out to the west of the area and we'll scout out to the east, and then we can meet together down by where that guy Simon the Guide suggested? We can see what he has to say, and even report back to him what's going on around him."
    "Sounds like a plan. Let's do it."
    Lobbe and LS headed east, while Roadkill and Emil headed west.

    "Nope, false alarm up north, looks like they aren't teaming after all, they just headed in opposite directions."
    "OK, enough of this monitoring. It's time we got this going."
    Cat broadcasted to everyone, even though the message was only specifically for Jamira:
    "Jamira, anyone else appeared at the teleport?"
    Cat held on a thin hope that maybe Xzion would arrive late.
    "No Cat. Nothing's happened here since my last broadcast."
    "Alright then, we've nothing left to wait for. All contestants, let the Battle Royale commence!"



    Chapter 6:

    First Blood.


    Kold finally reached Xena's position at the northern most area of the zone, and jumped across into the trench that Cat had advised Xena of a few days earlier.
    "This is a good spot," admitted Kold as he got his breath back. "It's far away from all the action, there's a huge open area in front of us, and we have the only defensive position available."
    "Yes, and as Cat said to me, there should be no reason for anyone to put themselves out into the open like this, far away from all the cover of the buildings - where we are now is the only effective cover in this area."
    "So what do we do now?"
    "We wait....we see what happens, and we try to live."
    Xena checked the Radar on her MFPD. Only one other green dot was visible. She clambered up and peeked over the edge to see who it was.
    "I can see Wizzss over there."
    "A threat?"
    "I'd say no. He's sitting down, and he's holding a knife. He doesn't look happy, and he certainly doesn't look a threat."

    Wizzss felt like his life was over even while he was completely unhurt. He knew that he had to stay in cover, any ranged weapon would kill him easily, yet he had to be smart as well. This is why he had chosen to hide out in the last available cover before the open planes of the north. Everyone would be looking for cover, so this area was the least likely one that people would come to. He'd stay here, and try to keep out of the action as long as was possible.

    Back in the South-East, Ido arrived at the top of the destroyed over-pass. Skam and Da turned to face him as soon as they saw him, weapons drawn. Ido took a huge risk and walked towards them with his arms above him.
    "I'm not here to fight!"
    Da lowered his weapon. He didn't really know Ido personally, but both he and Skam were aware that Ido had been around a long time, so they were prepared to listen to what he had to say.
    "Guys, please, look at your radar, you see what's happening?"
    They looked. Right on the edges to the north, the NNE and also to the north-east groups of four, five and six were standing together. It was Ozi's team, the TDO and Jackst3r's team, but at this range they had no idea who it was.
    "People are teaming up, some of them into large groups. I know the two of you are possibly the most powerful people taking part, but at the end of the day, there are still only two of you - and with weapon selection - who knows how that might have affect the outcome of today."
    Skam involuntarily looked down at her Cleric Dagger. He was right.
    "I know I won't live long alone, and I know that neither will the two of you. But together, we have a better chance."
    Skam and Da whispered back and forth for what seemed like an eternity to Ido.
    Had it not been for Ido's long standing within Calypso, they may well have turned on him there and then, but there was no denying the truth that he spoke. And although they had not intended to factor another player into their equation, now that the game had begun, they had to think on their feet.
    "Alright Ido, welcome aboard. You are in."

    ***Da's Team.***



    "But now that we have begun, I'm going to need to scare off those radar blips below us."
    Da took out his Emik again, and fired it down below him towards the GE's. He knew it wouldn't reach them, his intention was simply to scare them away.
    Great GE, not wishing to waste any sniper ammo so early in the game, and having nothing more than TT knuckles as backup, signalled for his wife to retreat. Mistress shot back with her TT Carbine, and struck Skam, but at such a range, it barely pierced her skin.
    Both retreated back to the tarmac road, mere inches away from Silva's hiding position.
    "You okay?" asked GE, scanning his wife for injuries.
    "Not a scratch, I'm fine."
    "Alright, we can holster a decent defence from here where the road is up turned like this. They won't be able to hit us from there if we stick close to this mound of tarmac," said GE as he walked towards the distorted hump in the destroyed road.
    "Looks pretty solid to me."
    GE was barely able to finish his sentence before the tarmac collapsed beneath his feet and he rolled down right into Silva's hiding place. Without even seeing who it was, and with no time to draw his weapon, he lashed out with his powerfist as he scrambled to get to his feet. His opponent got to her feet first and deserted the area.
    "Are you OK!?" Mistress shouted down.
    "Yeah, someone was here...."
    Mistress ran to the edge of the road to see Silva fleeing.
    "It's Silva. Shall I open fire?"
    "No. Clearly she doesn't want to fight. Leave her be. Just help me get back up out of here."
    Silva escaped her hiding zone, but there were no others nearby. Da, Skam and Ido were scanning from above, and the GEs had not chased her. The only close hiding spot was the one she had just run from. She considered the fact that they had let her go, and after Mistress had pulled her husband out and headed a little further south, she decided her only option was to crawl back into the same hiding space that she had just deserted. At least from there she was safe from any shots from above, and as the GEs seemed to be ignoring her, she felt safer encased there than she did out in the open.

    Calin had decided to hide for as long as he could until he felt threatened, having only had his ticket and weapon selection the very same day he had not received any time to forge any alliances beforehand, and was therefore on his own. He had found a building in the East which offered some limited protection, and there was no-one else around. On his radar he could only see one dot. Perhaps, even so early in the game, he could use such a thing to his advantage? Indeed, Cat had said that there would be a panel on the MFPD's that would display who was the deadliest depending on kills. That panel was still blank. What if he could take that position? That could surely invoke fear on anyone else he met afterwards. OK, that was to be his plan. Put himself in number one of the most dangerous on the MFPD's for everyone to see. This would surely enhance his chances a lot, especially so early on. And one-on-one with so many out there? This was his chance.
    He came up to the destroyed window frame to see who his victim would be. It was Bones, still wearing that father Christmas mask as if it were armour. Calin had never believed in Santa anyway.
    He decided to keep his better weapon for later, and instead used his backup - the TT Carbine - the Opalo. He opened fire.
    Bones barely flinched, Calin shot again, and again. This wasn't working. Bones drew his Wolverine power-claw as he drew closer. Calin suddenly realised his life was in danger and dropped the Opalo. Bones jumped through the remains of the window frame and was on him at once. Calin drew his Omegatron M2870 pistol and fired for all he was worth, but he was already being shredded by the claw. Calin's plan had back-fired horribly, and it was all over for him.

    "Yes! At last! It has begun!" exclaimed Cat with great delight as the first of the forty faces lost its colour. She immediately broadcasted to the contestants:
    "Boys #5: Arutha Calin Surana is dead. 39 of you are left."

    Jamira and Simon shared in the pain. It had begun, despite their efforts, and with this, there was no way they could stop it from continuing now. Jamira and Simon, despite the first death, could not risk the positions that they still had. Jamira could not blow her cover, and Simon could not risk his position - he knew that if he did, then every one of the other thirty-eight could pay because of it. With David still alive, he couldn't know what would happen next, so kept his information to himself.

    Bones staggered out the building into which Calin had fallen. Those last few shots had hit him hard, and now he was alone and vulnerable. Two dots on the radar making their way down towards him....he really didn't need this now.
    It was Lobbe and LS, scouting out the eastern area of the map on their way down to Simon's position. They didn't expect to come across this on the way.
    Lobbe whispered to LS.
    "That guy there looks seriously hurt, shall we help him or finish him?"
    "In this game, it's kill or be killed. And I choose not to be killed."
    Lobbe took no glory in killing an injured man in the moments that followed, but he felt no shame either. LS was right. It was everyone for themselves today. And today wasn't Bone's day.
    The radios sprang into life again.

    "Boys #15: Bare BareBones Bones has died. 38 left."

    Jamhot, hearing these announcements, turned back to Simon.
    "Simon, you told us you knew a way out of this without anyone getting killed. Two people are already dead! Can you please tell us what it is you know? All we've done here is stand around listening to people's deaths."
    Simon had to give them something.
    "Alright, okay, here's how it is. I do know a way out of this, but I believe that Cat has placed a plant into this game, and I don't know what he intends to do."
    "Who?"
    "David the Guide."
    "The other Guide? I thought all of you knew each other?"
    "No, that's not true, I've never even heard of him. There were a lot of us when we first landed. C'mon Jamhot, you heard what he said when we first got out of the control room. He told you I was leading you into a trap! If that were true, I would have sprung it by now. He's lying to you, all of you, and I honestly don't know why. Like I say, I believe he is a plant, placed here by Cat, and until I know what his intentions are, I'm not comfortable with telling anyone my own."
    "So what then? We stand here until we are killed ourselves?"
    "Please just give me a moment to think about this okay? This is the most difficult situation I've ever been in."

    "Was a good shot wasn't it?" exclaimed Lobbe to LS as they moved over towards Bones's fallen body. LS checked his MFPD - "Look at that, as you are the only one still alive that killed someone you are at the top of the 'most dangerous' list. Nice going."
    Lobbe smiled as he checked his own MFPD to see it for himself, but before he switched the display he noticed more green dots on his radar. Two were closing in.
    "Watch out LS, we got company. Should we kill these as well?"
    The two dots got within sight. It was Gluepot and Ah.
    "Shit, that's Ah, she's from Coat Killers. No chance we can take her - that's the same society as Da's."
    "What do you think then? Shall we try to form an alliance?"
    "It's our best bet. I know Gluepot, we used to share a society, so I think we can earn their trust."
    Lobbe cautiously waved to Ah and Gluepot, while trying to disguise any signs of nervousness.
    "Hi! We're travelling south to meet up with Simon the Guide and see what his information is, you want to travel with us?"
    LS realised, too late, that standing so close to Bone's dead body while Lobbe proposed an alliance was probably a bad idea, but as they were fully aware that Ah could kill them if she wanted, had no choice but to go along with it. Ah and Gluepot on the other hand, saw Bones' body, and agreed on the unspoken principal that they would not attack each other, so although the four then travelled together, they kept a distance between them while doing so. The alliance was uncomfortable at best.

    Omega managed to get himself to his feet. The Fibroblast injection truly was working miracles. Less than ten minutes ago he thought he was about to die, and now he had picked himself up from a pool of his own blood, and was standing upright without support.
    "You're looking much better now, Omega."
    "Yeah, feeling much better too. This stuff is amazing."
    "OK, get back out there then."
    "What? It's a war-zone out there and I'm still bleeding, I've not fully recovered yet."
    "Well, that's really not my problem now is it?"
    Cat ushered Omega through the door before he had regained his composure, and locked it behind him. Omega may not have regained all his strength yet, but his senses had a new compulsion. The one man that he had felt he could ally with, was the man that nearly killed him. Omega realised now that the pressure of this game really meant that he could truly trust no-one. He would need to do this alone. Omega left the locked door of the control room and headed back into the zone, not sure where to go, or what to do. What happens, happens.
    "So what's happening out there now then, Oleg?"
    "Most of the teams seem to be staying in place. In the South West I'm seeing Silva hiding underneath some tarmac, with the GE couple nearby, just out of range of Da, Skam and Ido on top of the collapsed over-pass. To the far west Ozi, Gamble, Chaos, Cail and ReadBird are sticking to the edge of the zone, while the four TDO members Spike, RockChick, FireMaiden and Ghano are steadfast in their stronghold. David the Guide is further inward, and so is Johnny Capital, but he seems to be keeping his distance. To the North I got Xena and Kold hiding out right on the edge of the zone, with Wizzss on the other side of the open plane up in the same direction. To the East I got Lobbe, LS, Ah and Gluepot all heading south towards Simon the Guide, who is there with Pike, Jamhot and Sims, and towards the centre I can see Jackst3r, Sorg, Jinx, Sarah, Slasha and Sass all staying at the bottom of the stairwell. Roadkill and Emil are coming towards them around the central North East area, while Jak is keeping solo in the central South East area, and then there is Omega, right here in the centre - seems to be heading South West. And that's everyone. All 38."
    "Not much movement then?"
    "Well like I said, there are the four over in the East heading down towards Simon's position, and Omega heading out solo. Not really anyone else...oh wait....looks like Ozi's team is making a move..."

    "Remember what I said, follow me, attack who I attack, and stick together."
    Ozi had mobilised his team. He had told them that they would initially attack anyone going solo. While this in a way felt like an attack upon those in a weak position, it was also true that in a game such as this, only the strong would survive. And to be strong, they would have to unhinge all feelings of mercy and compassion. Ozi had spotted a lone green dot on his MFPD and he was leading the team towards it. It was time to thin out the numbers.
    After the event between Capital and Omega, David felt very unsatisfied. Omega had been teleported away, and Capital had run when he had depleted his ammo. David had been standing alone for about ten minutes now, waiting to gather a team that he could trick into their own death. He checked his radar again. Finally some of the contestants were coming his way, a fairly large group at that. More than enough to carry out his double-cross plan. At last his plan could become part of the Battle Royale.
    Ozi's team charged forward, Gamble stopped for a second when he saw who their target was.
    "Woah....wait a minute, that lone green dot is David the Guide. Isn't he one of the people that claims to know a way out of this?"
    The others paused their charge while Ozi spoke.
    "Yep, that's David. Seems to me no-one else trusted him, so I don't see why we should, and hey, if all else fails, then we still have Simon to fall back on don't we? I say we take the chance while we have it."
    The charge resumed. David, realising too late these people were not here to help him, didn't even have time to draw his weapon. He was fast, but Cail was faster, and David never received any of the satisfaction he was looking for. Instead he died before his plans could even be spawned, a far cry from them actually hatching.

    "Transfer Student #2: David the Guide dead. 37 of you left."

    This announcement changed Simon's perception somewhat. If David was indeed a plant, then his death meant that there were people out there on his side, and not even the ones standing with him. It induced his confidence enough to tell the ones around him what was going on.
    "Alright, with David gone, I'll tell you what I know. A friend of mine has planted some explosives in the north, if we can get these back to the control room, we can use them to blow it up, thereby deactivating our MFPD's and being able to walk out of here alive."
    "The north?" exclaimed Sims and Pike almost in unison.
    "Then what are we doing down here in the south?" asked Jamhot.
    "When we were called out, and David made his announcement, I immediately feared he was a plant in this game. Whether or not that is true, he is dead now, and that means he was killed by people that trust my word more than his. And obviously you people wouldn't be here if you didn't feel the same way, so I feel more comfortable now. I asked you to meet me in the South because had I said to meet me in the North then the organisers may have suspected that was where I wanted to go from the start. Clearly, as they haven't done anything about it then they probably didn't and don't, but even still, we are here now, and the situation remains. We need to get to the north of the zone. I suggest we scope out our area at the moment and work out the best way up there."

    kills

    kills

    kills

    Last edited by Dark Cat; 05-23-2009 at 11:48.

    Cat's on her third life: 16th of April '07. RIP
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    NEVER PLAY ON PATCH DAY!

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    Chapter 7:
    Thinning Out.

    Mr and Mistress GE sat across from each other on the destroyed road, both fully aware of Silva hiding back in her original position, but both knowing she was harmless. They also knew Da, Skam and Ido were watching them from the collapsed over-pass above, but also knew if they had any intention of attacking, then they would have done so a long time ago, so they had a moment to relax.

    "Three people dead," said Great Exit. "I guess it's really going to come down to it. The killing has started, and I don't think anything's going to stop it."
    "No, you're right. It's all down to us. It has begun and it's too late to forge any alliances now."
    "What about....." GE gestured towards the tarmac.
    "The girl you hit? You really think she's going to trust you after that? No. If there's anyone we could team with at this stage, I think it's only Xena and Kold, and God knows where they are."
    Mistress checked her MFPD in search of them, but checked it seconds too late to defend herself, she saw the sword before she saw the radar. Mistress was hit, managed to get to her feet while staggering back. GE, who had also been ignoring the radar immediately had to get himself together. He pulled off a shot with the sniper rifle, but too late to prevent another hit upon his wife. She fell, but was alive.
    It was Omega. Green ninja had come out of nowhere. Great Exit cursed his slow loading weaponry as he tried to prepare himself to get another shot in, but at this short range, sniper rifle versus Kat sword could only turn out one way, and it did.
    Omega, having let the adrenaline take him, had an attack of conscience when he saw Mistress get back to her feet. He had just killed the woman's husband in front of her. In an attempt at his own salvation he decided to ignore her and instead aimed for the other green dot he had seen on his radar before arriving. He couldn't see who it was, but recognised the position and stabbed underneath the tarmac. It was only when he pulled his sword back out that he saw whom he had just killed. Silva. The games biggest pacifist.
    He knew these actions were taking him straight to hell, there was no point in salvation anymore, and so he turned back on Mistress as she ran. Regret began to flood him as he stood with the dead all around, the circumstances were the worst, but this wasn't a game for the weak hearted. He only hoped that karma would not take its toll upon him.

    "Jesus!" Skam had been watching all from the edge of the over-pass up above.
    "That man just killed everyone down there."
    Da and Ido came to the edge of the road and looked down. Omega stood in the center of three dead bodies, his sword red with blood.
    "He's not a threat to us. If he had a ranged weapon I'm sure he would have used it by now."
    Ido, while horrified at what had happened below them, couldn't help but feel somewhat relieved that he had bitten the bullet and chosen to move up top with Skam and Da. There were four of them down there at the start of the game, and now all the other three were dead. It seemed choices such as these were the kind that were the difference between life and death.
    Skam continued, "He just killed three people Da, in the blink of an eye. And you don't think he's a threat?"
    Omega looked up towards their position for a moment, and then ran north-east.
    "No, he's not a threat. Unless someone comes up the ramp over the other side of our position, then no-one is a threat. I'm saving my rockets for when it matters. Ozi is the biggest threat in my mind, and I have concerns over Jak and Gamble. Other than those, there are no threats."
    He continued to watch as Omega headed back towards the main building.
    "We have good position here, and we need to hold it for as long as possible."

    "Jesus, Cat, I know you were expecting this. But to lose three friends as quickly as that, are you alright?"
    Cat let her hair cover her face as she pointed towards the microphone. Oleg was expecting this, and made the announcement.

    "Boys #22: Great GE Exit, dead. Girls #5: Charrosa Silva Mak, dead. Girls #4: Mistress GE Exit, dead. 34 left."

    Sarah hung her head as she heard of Silva's death. This was one she didn't want to see lost.
    Jakst3r listened to the announcements and checked his MFPD. Omega had soared into first place on the most deadly list. Clearly it was him that caused that massacre. Jakst3r was getting restless. All they had done since the start of the game was sit there in that claustrophobic doorway at the bottom of the stairs and wait for something to happen. The time for waiting had finished, it was time to get out there and make something happen.
    Jackst3r stood up and opened the door, with all five of his team looking at him as he did so. He stood tall in the frame of the doorway as he announced himself to his team, "I'm going out there to see what's going down, I'll be back shortly." He turned away.
    "Jakst3r!" called Jinx. "Don't go out there playing hero. You'll get yourself killed."
    Jackst3r looked over his shoulder. "Heroes get remembered, but legends never die."
    And with that Jackst3r walked out into the war-zone, it was time it tasted his presence. He immediately saw two other contestants over by the Omegaton statue, and decided to walk up to them to 'introduce' himself. He played it casual. He identified them as Roadkill and Emil as he got closer. They appeared to be arguing over something.
    "Just be threatening okay? We'll stay central, make sure we're not hidden and...."
    "Hello gentlemen."
    Attention was re-focused.
    "So how is this working out for you so far?"
    Jakst3r trailed his sword along the ground beside him.
    Emil and Roadkill nodded to each other in silent agreement, while Roadkill pulled his Svempa T5, faking it by its appearance. "I've got my Emik trained on you."
    Emil and Roadkill stood solid. All three knew what was coming, but it was a Mexican stand-off. Jakst3r faced with two unfamiliar opponents, and both of those opponents standing their ground. Emil and Roadkill were hoping that a defiant stance would make Jakst3r doubt his chances. It seemed to be working....Jakst3r had stopped making his way directly towards them and instead was circling the nearby Omegaton statue.
    Of course, Jakst3r was merely using this to set them off-guard, so that he could get in closer.
    Sizing-up time was over, and as soon as they were back in his line of view from behind the statue, he rushed them, and the fight was over in seconds. Jakst3r had made the right judgement call.
    Oleg's voice came across the radio:

    "Boys #12: Johan Roadkill Deadmeat, dead. Boys #16: Emil The SkilledOne, dead. 32 remain."

    Jakst3r, satisfied that he had got some action, returned to the doorway, he checked his MFPD on the way back. He was still only in second position behind Omega. He would need to change that soon.

    Xena checked her radar for what felt like the millionth time. Despite all the deaths below them, her radar displayed the same as it had since herself and Kold had arrived at their hiding spot. Just a single immobile green dot, Wizzss.
    “We're still clear up here. I think we will be safe for now.”
    “God knows I don't want to end up in the middle of whatever is going on south of us, but sooner or later they will find us. Only one can survive this game, Xena, and even if only one other person is still alive out there, they will come looking for us.”
    “Then let that one person come. There are two of us, and we have the position we need to defend ourselves when that moment comes.”
    “And if we do? What then?”
    “Kold, I told you already, I'm not going to kill you.”
    “But if it came down to it, and you and I were all that remained? What then?”
    Their conversation was interrupted by a foreign voice.
    “Hey!”
    For the briefest of moments Xena thought her radar was malfunctioning, until she saw that the source of the voice came from the other side of the fence.
    “Hey, you guys are in the Battle Royale aren't you?”
    A stranger stood outside the barricades of Zychion, his hands clasped against the fence as if he were watching animals in a zoo.
    “So how's it going in there?”
    Of all the things they needed to worry about, and they got this?
    “People are dying, that's how it's going...and those of us on this side of the fence are somewhat more pre-occupied with our own lives than giving progress reports to casual viewers.”
    The man ran to the side and started calling down to Wizzss.
    As if there wasn't enough to concentrate on, they had to end up with a fan-boy in the vicinity. Just great.

    Cail stood over David's body while he caught his breath and waited for the rest of them to catch up with him. It was a clean kill, Cail was unhurt.
    "Nicely done Cail! Hopefully our first of many," Said Ozi as his team re-grouped. He checked his MFPD's radar. There were three groups of dots nearby. One was at the base of the stairwell, another in a closed off building, and the last, a somewhat smaller group, appeared to be out in the open, on top of the collapsed over-pass. He kept this in mind while looking for any other lone green dots. There was one available, and he signalled his team to follow him as he made his way to hunt it down, it didn't matter who it was.

    Johnny Capital. David had died, Capital had seen it happen, and now they appeared to be coming for him. He had played it smart though, and knowing that the radar put him at a disadvantage on any single-height area, he had positioned himself up on the bridge leading from the main building. He watched Ozi's team from above as they swarmed what they thought was his position down below, but he was safe up where he was for now. He scrolled through his MFPD. With Ozi's group directly below him, the TDO stronghold to his near west, and the team taking cover in the stairwell to his near east his short-wave radar became somewhat useless. All the dots seemed to form one big line on the ground. Ozi's team in the open, but the other two teams staying in cover. Still, he knew that the only way up to where he was would be up the stairwell, causing huge conflict, or up the west ramp, and if someone tried that, then they would at least become separate from this green line he was watching.
    No sooner had he thought about this, than that green dot separated from the line. Someone was coming up the bridge, they must have figured out his elevation. Nothing for it, Capital ran to the edge of the bridge and prepared to jump down.

    "Pull back ReadBird!" called out Cail, seeing Capital running towards the large number of green dots that outnumbered their own group. Ozi agreed, there was no sense in being pulled into a fight with a group that size when they did not know the weapons or people that they had.
    "Back to position team, we'll regroup and work out our next move."
    Ozi's team pulled out.

    Capital, not seeing that Ozi's team had stopped hunting him, jumped off the bridge down to the ground, and ran towards the doorway at the base of the stairs. Maybe there he could find shelter or allies. No sooner had Capital reached the doorway to find it automatically opening than did he run directly into the barrel end of Sorg's CB19. Sorg hesitated in pulling the trigger when he saw who it was though, and Capital took the opportunity to flee east. Sorg lowered his weapon and relaxed, but Jackst3r did the opposite, and drawing his sword he gave chase.
    Sorg, seeing Jakst3r run out of their safety zone, decided, that this time, he would go with him.

    Ozi's team regrouped back in the open on the edge of the event zone, and took a second to catch their breaths.
    "This is no good," said Chaos. "We can't use this as a base of operations, there is no defence out here. We need to find somewhere in which we can get some, we are wide open out here."
    "I'm glad you think that," answered Ozi, "because I was thinking the same thing. And in fact, I think I have one in mind."
    Ozi pointed his MFPD towards the others in his team. Of the three groups of dots besides their own, Ozi pointed towards the smallest group.
    "Looks like those three are up on the collapsed overhang south of us. If the five of us take that position, then we have defence from all ground attacks, and there is less of them defending it than there is in any of the other groups nearby. Five against three, I think we should go for it. You with me?"
    Ozi's team-mates nodded and set off towards their next goal.

    Jackst3r was faster than Capital, he had gained ground, and slashed at him a few times. Jackst3r was determined to get himself above Omega on that "most deadly" list on everyone's MFPD, and with two kills under his belt, Capital was his ticket to first place. Capital, realizing that there wasn't even any point in turning to fight when all he had was a pair of TT knuckles, did his best to avoid Jackst3r, but he had been hit, his back was searing, the pain was setting in. In a last-ditch effort he ducked under a slash of Jackst3r's and got behind him, attempting to run back in the other direction, that was when he saw Sorg had followed Jackst3r out, and the kiss of the CB19 finished him. Capital fell.

    "Ah, you have my back then Sorg?"
    "Yep, I've got your back Jaxy."

    "Boys #9: John Teacher Capital dead. 31 still alive."

    Jakst3r checked his MFPD as Sorg turned around and started walking towards the entrance to the stairway where the others were. Jakst3r was still in second place to Omega. While he had appreciated Sorg's assistance he did feel somewhat disappointed that as he didn't claim the kill Omega still outranked him. He started to follow Sorg back towards the hideout while he changed the MFPD's display back to radar. That was when he saw a green dot closing in fast. He was just about to shout to Sorg for assistance when he turned round and saw who it was - Omega. He wasn't going to let Sorg get this kill as well. If Jackst3r could take down Omega, then he would take first place. Omega came charging towards him brandishing a Kat sword, the same as Jakst3r's, and immediately they both knew that this fight would determine once and for all who was taking charge of this event.
    Swords above their heads, both of them ran at each other with the power of sheer determination driving through them, both knowing the stakes of the outcome. Metres away from each other, both leapt into the air and screamed propulsion, the collision of the swords generated such force that both were thrown back from it, landing on their backs, shards of metal raining down on them.
    Omega struggled to sit up as the realisation of what had just happened set in. Omega saw Jakst3r in front of him getting back to his feet, using his sword to help him up, yet, there were shards of metal everywhere. Jackst3r's sword was whole. Omega knew what had happened even before he looked down at the shattered hilt of his sword.
    He wasn't going to be teleported out this time. There was one last thing that passed through Omega's head before Jakst3r's sword.
    'Karma's a bitch.'

    "Boys #23: Omega Omega Recrium - thirty people survive."

    In the south-west, Ozi's team closed in on their objective.
    Ido was quick to see them coming: "We've got company!"
    All three ran from the edge of the collapsed over-hang to defend the ramp, the collapsed edge where they had been watching events below them had been clear of anyone for a long time now, so this was the only vulnerable spot. Skam checked her MFPD.
    "I got four ....no.....five dots on the radar coming this way."
    Da mounted his rocket-launcher in preparation.
    "Who is it?"
    Skam peered over.
    "Oh God, it's Ozi, he's got a team. And Gamble is with them also."
    Ozi...probably the only person Da was truly worried about, and Gamble too? He was glad he had readied the rocket launcher in advance. Just as Ozi's team hit the bottom of the ramp he aimed directly towards Ozi and pulled the trigger. The rocket soared downwards leaving a trail of smoke in its wake. The tight knit group was thrown apart by the force of the ensuing explosion, but fuelled by fibroblasts and adrenaline, they picked themselves up and charged again. Da fired a second time. Again directly upon Ozi, this second blast took its toll, and no amount of fibroblasts or adrenaline would make them continue. They weren't stupid enough to lose their lives over the high ground. Ozi retreated and the rest followed. Da's position and weapon saw them fall back, the one success of the assault was that they had suffered no casualties.
    Da propped his rocket launcher up on his shoulder, facing it skywards. He had no intention of trying to kill them at this stage, unless they had pursued their assault. For now, he was just trying to hold his defensive position.
    Ozi's team made it back to the nearest wall and collapsed behind it. The attack had failed, but they were all alive. Now they just had to rest while the Fibroblasts kicked in and healed them.
    Ozi turned around and looked over the wall to the position they had retreated from. Da looked twice as tall as normal with his smoking rocket-launcher mounted skywards on his shoulder.
    ReadBird coughed:
    "Wow! Of all the people we had to run into, it had to be Da with a damn rocket launcher!"
    Ozi's eyes narrowed.
    "We'll get him....not just now, no, but we will get him." Ozi straightened himself out, and stood tall and proud despite his injuries.
    "I'm coming for you Da. Make no mistake. This is not over."
    "I guess that's not going to be our fall-back zone then?"
    "No, not now, but we'll find one."
    Ozi checked his MFPD.
    "There seems to be a bunch of people in that heavily fortified building not far from here but let's rest a little first before making our next move."

    Lobbe, LS, Ah and Gluepot finally made their way down to meet Simon the Guide's team in the south of the zone. Seeing an additional four people coming to join him initially filled Simon with confidence, until he noticed the way they acted towards each other, and even towards Simon's own group. They were clearly keeping distances, there was no trust there. At the very least, the four that had 'joined' them clearly had no intention of attacking on sight, and given that ten people had already died, that was at least some comfort.

    Simon had already taken Pike, Jamhot and Sims to investigate a safe route up to the north via the west, but had spotted Da, Skam and Ido up on the bridge, and had decided to pull back - Da had shouted some dubious threats towards them which they had decided not to test the validity of. They knew there was too much fighting going on in the centre of the zone, and the fact that four people had made it safely down the east of the zone finalised Simon's plans that this was the route they should take to get to the explosives He called to the new four to come and group with the rest of them.
    Lobbe and LS came within the vicinity, but didn't get too close, it seemed clear that they weren't in a trusting mood. Gluepot and Ah were even further from that state of mind, as they ignored Simon's request and started moving north.
    "What is going on here? What is with these four?" Simon whispered to the others around him.
    Jamhot looked over his shoulder, following where Ah and Gluepot were headed. They seemed to be heading back towards the main building, where all the recent fighting had just taken place.
    "I don't know, “ Sims whispered, “It seems clear to me they don't trust us, but the way I see it, if they're not going to attack us, then let's at least take advantage of what we have. I think it's time we made a move."
    Jamhot had other ideas. "No, not just yet....wait here a second, I want to see what's going on in the middle."
    "Jam - people are dying in the middle, that's what's going on."
    Jamhot again looked behind him towards Ah and Gluepot, making their way towards the danger area, alone.
    "Exactly, I'll keep my distance, I just want to see what's happening there."
    The other three called to him, but he had no intention of stopping. He had no idea why Ah and Gluepot had decided to break off from the rest of them and head up in that direction, but he intended to keep tabs on the situation.

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    Last edited by Dark Cat; 05-23-2009 at 13:15.

    Cat's on her third life: 16th of April '07. RIP
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  8. #8
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    Chapter 8:

    The Riot.


    Ah and Gluepot came up the west of the main building. Both had friends amongst the group in the centre, and had decided to 'Check in' with them. They hadn't decided yet whether they were going to ask them to join with Simon's group, or whether to join with the central group themselves, or simply just to see how they were getting on. They would decide when they arrived.
    Jamhot, having put Simon's team on standby, was carefully watching them from a safe distance, rocket-launcher on shoulder. While he hoped that whatever they had planned would work out, he would be there to back them up if anything went wrong.
    Jakst3r was still catching his breath from the ferocious attack by Omega. He sat by Omega's body and took a moment to check his MFPD and saw with great delight he was now in the number one spot. He had met with a fierce opponent, and had come through victorious, and now every player in the game would know to stay out of his way. This was what he was looking for. All that was left to do from here, was to win.
    He would stick with his team though of course, there were still 24 other people out there, and certainly there was no reason for any alliance break-up to happen at this stage. No, Jakst3r was powerful, but he knew there were others out there more powerful than himself who simply hadn't made themselves known at this time.

    Ozi's team had almost fully healed after the failed attack on Da's position. The plan remained as before - to get a hold of a stronger defensive position to fall back on next time they needed to heal, but Da's position was too strong. Ozi checked his MFPD - there was now an enormous amount of people starting to congregate around the central area, far too many to attack, but there was one group of dots closer to them than the main building. Ozi looked up as he aligned his radar to identify exactly where they were. He saw it in front of him, a building with solid walls, and it appeared there was only one way in or out. Indeed, those people had found a good place to take cover in, and this place would need to become theirs.

    The TDO members had been sitting in their protective shell, listening to the radio broadcasts and watching the others on the radar since the start; they hadn't moved at all. They had felt a sort of contentedness at being shut off from the rest of the zone in the way that they had. Ten people had died on the outside, but they were trying their best to ignore it. The building they were in shielded them from the horrors of the outside.
    Spike had to admit that he had been surprised at how quickly the groups in the area had formed. He had come close to the doorway earlier on to look around. A big group over by the stairwell, and he spotted Ozi from a mile off to the west - Ozi was a hulking giant of a man, easy to spot. While he had been out there he had obviously been spotted by the third group, south of them, as Skam had sent him a somewhat playful personal broadcast inviting him to come out of the little fortress they had established. There was no chance of that happening.
    Spike came back to sit at the far end of the building next to his wife RockChick, who was sitting with her arms locked around her knees, rocking herself back and forth. She had bitten her own lip so badly she was bleeding from it.
    "You okay?"
    "This isn't happening, this isn't real. This is a scene in a play, in a movie, this is fiction."
    Spike watched as RockChick's self inflicted bite upon her own lip healed up before his eyes. It was the first time he had seen fibroblasts at work.
    Ghano tried to ignore the scene behind him and moved over to the door. RockChick was the most skilled of all of them, he laid faith in the hope that she would snap out of her trance if they needed to defend their stronghold. A lot of people were moving around over at the base of the stairwell in the building to the east. He held his position and guarded the door.
    They must stand strong, and destroy those who are weaker, such is the way of the world. He whispered his thoughts under his breath, “Quod erat demonstrandum...”

    FireMaiden felt more concerned than ever. It was her fault, she had dragged these friends of hers into this. And now she was paying the consequences - a wife on the verge of a complete nervous breakdown, a husband trying his best to comfort her under impossible circumstances, and a friend letting his military precision overrule his emotions and ignoring it. All her fault. These people came here to protect her, and now she was no longer sure whom was protecting whom. There was no way out now, they were here, and they would need to deal with it.

    Slasha and Sass had made their way out to meet Sorg on his way back. Sarah and Jinx stayed at the doorway of their little safe haven awaiting the men's return from their successful hunt. It was going well so far. The team, albeit almost entirely Jakst3r, had taken down four people now, and all six of the team had come out of it with nothing more than a few scratches, which the fibroblasts were taking care of. Spirits were high.
    Jinx, despite her weapon, was actually feeling some comfort. She had her friend Sarah next to her, and Jakst3r in the team, who was clearly the vanguard. The other three were all helping to hold things together. She had never expected things to go this well when she was told she had nothing but a pair of TT knuckles. They were closing in on the half-way point of the game, and at this point Jinx managed to feel an air of security, despite the ten deaths around her, she knew she had good company. Her MFPD displayed Jakst3r as being on top of the most dangerous list, she took a moment to inform Sarah.
    "Did you see? Check your MFPD. Jakst3r's got pole position, do I know how to pick them or what?" she laughed.
    Sarah checked her own MFPD, but the display was on radar and she chose not to change it when she noticed the dots coming up the western edge of the building they were stationed at, and another further out. The door was right next to the western wall, so she took a moment to check and see who it was that was coming up in their direction.....It was Ah!
    Sarah glanced behind her, Jakst3r was still fairly far back, and Sorg, Sass and Slasha were in between them. Ah had company, but this was her chance. If she could get Ah now before Jackst3r arrived then maybe she could accomplish the sole goal that she had set for herself. There was no time for considerations, now was the time to act.
    Without knowing what was going on in Sarah's head, Jinx saw her pull out her sword and charge around the corner. Jinx had no time to ask, nor to understand, there was only time to defend, and to backup her friend.
    As Sarah, slashed out at the unsuspecting Ah, Gluepot ran in to defend. Jinx followed Sarah as the other members of her group heard the fight kick off, and ran towards their position. Jamhot trained his launcher - a fight had erupted and he was there to protect whoever he could from his position. Simon's team saw this kick off, and took their chance.
    "The ones north of us are distracted, run round the Eastern edge, go, go, go."
    Sims and Pike followed suit. Sims in particular was worried about Jamhot, but hoped he could hold his position and look after himself. As Simon's team started to run around the fight, LS and Lobbe decided keeping their distance was not required at this point, and ran with them.
    Jak Bam, who had managed to stay completely out of the action despite hiding in the immediate vicinity, saw what was happening. Simon's apparent 'escape route' was leading them all right towards where he was hiding out. He was caught between a rock and a hard place. What had kicked off here was surely going to spill into his hiding area. Despite that, he knew that with only a pair of knuckles and a potent firestorm chip, his best bet was to keep his head down for as long as he could. This wasn't going to be pretty.
    Ah was taken completely by surprise, had no idea what was going on as she felt the cut of Sarah's sword across her. Gluepot, being heavily armoured, tried to jump in between them hoping her armour would absorb some of the blows that would have otherwise landed on Ah. The quarters were too close for her to be able to use her rocket-launcher, and without it, all she had was her fists.
    Sorg, Slasha and Sass reached the position. Sorg immediately spotted Jamhot standing nearby with the rocket launcher, and made the decision to avoid the fight that had erupted, and instead head towards Jamhot. After all, as Slasha and Sass were with him to add to Sarah and Jinx's attack, surely the four of them together didn't need his assistance, and even if they did, Jakst3r was right behind them. No, Sorg needed to head to this sniper's position; this was tactical.
    Jamhot had some difficulty with the launcher, he didn't want to hurt Ah or Gluepot, so made his aims towards the wall behind them, hoping the shrapnel from the blasts would hurt the attackers. One, two, three rockets launched, it barely seemed to make a difference to the fighting going on down there. His fourth and final rocket missed the wall altogether and shot off out of sight. Dammit! He let go of the launcher and went for his pistol, it was only then that his vision to his left was no longer obscured by the launcher and he saw, too late, Sorg closing in for the kill. He was unable to draw the pistol before Sorg shot him down.
    Jakst3r arrived on the scene, the first thing he saw was Ah and Sarah in combat. Jinx was next to her, hammering on Gluepot's shogun armour with her fists to no effect. Jakst3rs loyalty split in two, on the one hand, Sarah was part of the team that had been doing so well, on the other, Ah was a member of his parent society....in a snap decision, he decided that Sarah was only an ally today, and that Ah had been an ally since they met. He felt his stomach cramp as he rammed his sword through Sarah's back, breaking right through her armour.
    In Sarah's last few moments, seeing the sword protruding through her own chest, she knew it was Jackt3rs. She had expected this from the moment that Jinx had announced they were allies, so she knew this was coming, she had only hoped that she would have managed to complete her goal of taking down Ah before it did happen....but it was not to be. Sarah's time was up.
    Sarah dropped to the ground as Ah and Gluepot retreated, Sass and Slasha in pursuit, with Sorg running in from the west. Jinx and Jakst3r however were both stationary.
    Of the only two people Jinx truly trusted, one had just killed the other. Jinx's words were stifled, what she had just witnessed was something that she had never imagined would take place. Her one surviving friend, Jakst3r, saw her look but couldn't bring himself to say anything. In the heat of the moment, there were simply no words to explain such actions. Their silence was broken by the radio broadcast:

    "Boys #18: Jamhot Jamhot DaddyO and Girls #3: Sarah Nuadu Hawkwood are dead. 28 remain."

    "Jesus, are you seeing this?" asked Firemaiden, watching the nearby skirmish over the radar on her MFPD. "It's a full-scale riot over there. Earlier everyone was keeping more or less stationary, now they seem to be in some sort of full blood-lust fury."
    Ghano checked his own radar and saw the green dots twisting to the east, but it was the smaller group of green dots coming in from the west that gripped his attention more.
    "Guys, we've got incoming!"
    "Are you sure?"
    Ghano watched their movements for a few more seconds.
    "Yes, utterly sure, they are heading right for us. Get ready to defend."
    Spike picked up RockChick's sniper rifle and handed it to her.
    "I need you now princess, come on, you told me we came here to protect? Well it's time to do it."
    RockChick tried to snap herself out of her trance. She knew she needed a clear head, even if she could hold it only for a few moments, then these were the few moments she must hold it for.
    Spike, seeing his wife preparing her weapon turned back to Ghano.
    "Who is it? Please don't let it be Da or Ah."
    "Nope, " said Ghano as he peeked round the edge of the doorway. "It's not them."
    "Oh thank God."
    "Don't go thanking God just yet. It's Ozi, the goddam human tank. And he's got a team with him."
    The Disturbed Ones readied themselves. There was only one way in or out of here, and they were all covering it. Now came the real test, would their stronghold resist an attack? Spike had nothing more than the TT Carbine, while Ghano and FireMaiden had a few shots each of the FreanD Delta pistol before being reduced to knuckles and a TT sword. RockChick held herself together at the back of the building. She had to make this first hit count. Reloading a sniper weapon took too long in such close quarters. She would need to depend on her team-mates to keep her covered.
    As if Firemaiden read her mind, she dropped down from her position to stand next to her, pistol at the ready. Firemaiden glanced at her MFPD. They were seconds away.
    "And here we go...."
    Rockchick took aim at the doorway....don't miss, don't miss, don't miss....
    Ozi burst in first, RockChick took her shot.....and missed.
    ReadBird was next in, though all others had opened fire upon Ozi. The man, without armour, almost seemed to be absorbing bullets, he didn't flinch at all as he returned fire. ReadBird had fire in his eyes as he ran towards RockChick, unloading his MK2 while Rockchick desperately tried to reload. A shot hit her ankle and she fell from the pile of rubble she was sat atop, ReadBird chased her down while FireMaiden redirected her fire towards ReadBird, seeing RockChick in trouble.
    Ghano and Spike were concenting on the immovable Ozi, while Cail, Gamble and Chaos stormed in as well. Cail managed to move behind Spike and Ghano while their attention was focused on what they considered the biggest threat, Ozi, and Cail took no time at all in cutting both of them down from behind. When it came to close quarters, Cail was unrivalled.
    RockChick, struggling to reload found herself on the ground with the barrel of ReadBirds gun to her head.
    "Gotcha!" he exclaimed moments before pulling the trigger, then, like an echo, he heard the same word almost instantly.
    "Gotcha!" Barrel to his head, FireMaiden pulled the trigger. ReadBird was no more.
    FireMaiden pointed her pistol back up at the others in her stronghold, she was alone now, and she was out of bullets, but she really felt it would make no difference if she still had any anyway...she knew what was coming, and seconds later, it did. Gamble's Castorian Enblade4 ME laid an end to the assault. Ozi's team had a new, and much more defensive base of operations, at the cost of the lives of all the TDO members, and their own team mate ReadBird.
    Gamble checked down at the bottom of the stones. RockChick and ReadBird lay in a twisted heap.
    "ReadBird is dead for sure. We lost one."
    "All things considered it could have ended up a lot worse," said Ozi. "I'm hit pretty badly though, we need to rest here for a while so I can let the fibroblasts do their thing. At least now we have a good defensive position to rest in. We took four lives, we lost one. I still think we have the advantage overall."

    "Girls #8: Jacqui Rockchick Jovi, Boys #10: Dano Ghana Rondo, Boys #1: Rico ReadBird Killjoy, Boys #25: Angel Spike Sunny, Girls #7: Fire FireMaiden Starter - all five dead. Twenty three remain."

    "That was pretty intense," said Oleg after Cat had finished her broadcast. "Didn't expect to see so many die in such a short space of time....that can't have lasted more than a single minute."
    "Yes, and I don't think it's over yet either, "Cat pointed towards the short range radar. "I'm sure all those people running south aren't together. I can still hear the gunshots from here."

    Ah and Gluepot were running for their lives, Slasha and Sass were in hot pursuit. They barely even realised Sorg was with them before he came charging back from the west and cut off their escape. He took his first swing at Gluepot, but in her Shogun armour, it didn't make a scratch. He ignored her and instead made for Ah. She was considered heavily dangerous, but at this point, she was also heavily injured, and Sorg took this as his chance. He couldn't make a dent on Gluepot, but for Ah, already badly hurt and without armour, it only took him a single swing to bring her down.
    Immediately after he had done so, Sorg suddenly realised the implications. Ah was part of the Coat Killer family, of which Jakst3r was a part of. He had seen in the distance that Jakst3r had killed their own team-mate while she was in combat with Ah. Would Jakst3r do the same to him if he had seen what he had just done?
    Sorg's steps faltered as he considered this prospect. Slash and Sass ran past, continuing their pursuit of Gluepot. Sorg looked back north to Jakst3r and Jinx, who had remained stationary for a while. As he watched, Jakst3r sprung back into motion, and headed not for Sorg's position, but to the east. Sorg hoped that Jakst3r had not seen his actions, though knew he would have to deal with it one way or another later on.

    "Girls #10: Myne Ah Byrd is dead. 22 left."

    Gluepot, dressed in her Shogun armour could feel very few of the attacks upon her, the only thing that truly hurt was the fact that she was unable to prevent Ah's death. However she was still being hunted down and needed a distraction of some sort. She spotted Simon the Guide leading his team up the eastern side of the zone, and decided this was the perfect distraction.
    Gluepot ran towards them, with her pursuers in tow. She saw Jakst3r cutting over in front of them, with Jinx behind him, and no longer even knew who it was that was chasing her. All she was trying to do was to get the attention off herself so she could escape. Simon's team led to the perfect distraction. As she had hoped, she ran through their lines and came out the other side, while her pursuers opened fire upon them.

    Simon's team was under attack. There were many of them. Jamhot was dead, so he really only had Sims and Pike with him - although just recently LS and Lobbe seemed to be keeping closer and had perhaps decided they could trust them. Gluepot ran through their ranks, her pursuers had no intention of doing the same, and opened fire. Simon's group returned the favour. Jakst3r and Jinx came in from above, Sass and Slasha from the side, and Sorg from below, they were quickly surrounded. Gluepot had found the only escape route. The rest of the fight became a one-sided massacre.
    Pike, shielding the rear of the group, clashed his axe with Sorg's sword, but despite his efforts, he was the first to fall.
    Sims' armour didn't provide the protection he needed it to provide, and Slasha took him out with his A&P Brave M.E.
    One after another, they all fell.
    Lobbe was the next. A swift strike from Jakst3r, who by now had clearly recollected his focus, and Lobbe was down.
    And then, the leader of the group, Simon the Guide. He had attempted to drop a grenade on the ground in front of him as he ran over it to evade Slasha in the hope that it would explode and kill his pursuer, but his pursuer shot him first, and Simon fell.
    LS, now alone amongst the incoming army, fought as best he could, but he knew it was all over, and even suffered the humiliation of being killed by powerfists. Jinx had landed a final, fatal blow, releasing the rage inside her from losing Sarah upon him that broke his neck.
    Jakst3r's team had annihilated Simon's team, with no casualties.
    Jinx made her way back over to Jakst3r while he checked his radar. Gluepot had escaped during the commotion. But there was still one additional green dot on their radar outside of his team. Jinx called to Jakst3r but he ignored it. With this final dot gone they would be clear of all danger, and then maybe he would have the chance to explain his actions.
    Jakst3r ran towards the radar's position, his bloodlust still holding strong, and saw, too late, who it was that was hiding in the ruins that he was charging. Jak Bam.
    Jak let off a hell-fire burst from his chip, sending Jakst3r reeling. He had been seriously hurt, he rolled on the ground to put the fire out before getting back to his feet and charging again. He would let adrenaline do the work until the fibroblasts took over. He knew that as Jak had a chip, then he wouldn't have time to re-charge it before Jakst3r reached him with the sword.
    However, as Jakst3r had received such heavy injury, Sorg took his chance.
    Jakst3r felt the bullet wound penetrate his back before he fell. He rolled over as Sorg walked towards him.
    Jakst3r managed to gasp out a last sentence in his pain..

    "Agh, you got me in the back Sorg?"
    "Yep, I got you in the back Jaxy."

    Sorg opened fire a second time to finish the job.
    Jak Bam tried to focus on another Firestorm, but the others were too close, under attack from Jinx, Slasha and Sass it was the latter who managed to get in the shot that put an end to it. Immediately afterwards she turned her pistol towards Sorg.
    "OK Sorg, what the hell just happened there?"
    While Sorg had chosen to kill Jakst3r when he had the chance due to the expected retaliation of his own kill upon Ah, he decided this would not be the story that his team-mates would want to hear, especially not while one of them had a gun pointing at his head. Thankfully, there were other reasons....
    "Look, you surely saw what happened back there at the base of the stairwell, he killed Sarah, our team-mate, on purpose. There's no denying that, it was NOT a mistake. He thrust his sword right through her from behind. Jinx! You saw that didn't you? That was your friend, and he killed her right in front of you."
    "Yes he did, " said Jinx heavily, "but he was my friend as well."
    "Really? Was he such a friend if he would kill another friend of yours right in front of you like that?"
    "Okay, I wasn't expecting that, but I don't think he even knew that we were friends. Regardless of that, I think he was intending to explain himself, he just couldn't find the words at the time."
    "Couldn't find the words? Jinx! He killed your friend, how can any words make that okay?"
    Slasha turned to Sass. He had caught a glimpse of what had happened before, and as he had a strong sense of justice, he felt that Sarah, being the underdog had braved her life against not only Ah, but Jakst3r as well....she must have known that Jakst3r would have retaliated, regardless of them sharing a team, and therefore obviously had a strong reason to put herself in such jeopardy. He just wish he knew what that reason was. He did also have a huge respect for Sorg as a man who was very successful in an unusual profession, and although above all he wanted to keep Sass safe, he still had to agree with the facts as he had seen them.
    "You know, he was getting kind of bloodthirsty. Remember those first two that he killed? Seemed to me he was doing it purely out of pleasure."
    "Exactly my point!" exclaimed Sorg. "If he had gotten any more bloodthirsty, he would have turned on us."
    "It's not so bad to have someone bloodthirsty with you, as long as they are on your side. I mean, let's face it, Jakst3r is the number one killer here right now, all our MFPDs say so."
    "You might want to check that again, Slasha."
    Slasha did so. And to his surprise, he saw Sorg had knocked Jakst3r down to number two.
    "You killed five people out there?"
    "Yes, I just don't make a big scene of it, but I know what I'm doing."
    Slasha realised that losing the number one killer only to have him replaced by another, seemingly less impetuous one still on their team, could end up being the best of both worlds. His mind was made up, he would stick with Sorg. He just hoped Sass and Jinx had decided the same.
    Jinx was alone again, despite the three around her. Both her friends were dead, one killed by the other, and then that one killed by a team-mate. Her soul emptied. There was nothing left. She would stick with them solely as it was her only chance of survival. If she couldn't save her friends, then her last hope was to try and save herself.

    Their thoughts were interrupted as the MFPD's radio crackled back into life....

    "Boys #2: Lucius Pike Esox, Boys #21: Simon Sim Templar, Boys #6: Lobbe Lobbe Dojje, Transfer Student #1: Simon the Guide, Boys #11: Anders LS Nilsson, Reserve: Jack Jakst3r Fast, Boys #17: je jak bam - all seven dead. Fifteen left."


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    Last edited by Dark Cat; 05-23-2009 at 14:38.

    Cat's on her third life: 16th of April '07. RIP
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    NEVER PLAY ON PATCH DAY!

  9. #9
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    Last edited by Dark Cat; 05-23-2009 at 14:48.

    Cat's on her third life: 16th of April '07. RIP
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    Chapter 9:
    The Calm before....

    After the interruption from his MFPD, Sorg took a chance to check it. The radar was clear of all others apart from the three he was with. It was at last time to take a rest, and to breathe easy.
    The radar was not fully accurate however, as there was another still alive, though just barely. It was Simon the Guide. He knew the effects of fibroblasts, and knew he was too badly hurt for the drug to be able to regenerate his cells before he bled out. He had mere seconds to live, and only one thing he could do before he died.
    He pulled his MFPD towards him, and with his dying breath, broadcast to all the surviving participants:
    "There are some explosives hidden in the North. Find them, use them to blow up Cat's control centre, do this and you will get out of here alive." Simon tried to gasp another sentence, but had already exerted himself too much, and the sentence was his last.
    However, it changed everything...

    "What the hell was that?" Cat spoke to Oleg in a tone of voice that suggest she almost blamed him.
    "Hey! I was the one who told you that something was up. You were the one who said not to worry about it, and that we were in control."
    "Yes, you're right. I'm sorry Oleg. Do you think we should move on this though? Maybe we should send Jamira out to look for them?"
    "Honestly Cat? I think that would be a bad idea."
    "Why?"
    "I have my reasons."

    Jamira heard over the broadcast that Simon was dead. Now it was all down to her. There were only fifteen people left that she could save, but she wasn't sure about the best way of doing it. The people out there were killing each other. Who was to say they wouldn't kill her too as soon as she left the safety of her position? If she exposed herself, then surely Cat would send Oleg after her, and with him, along with the others out there who had clearly decided this was a battle of the fittest, would she survive even long enough to tell them what she knew?
    She decided to stay put for just now, and to work out what she would do later. It depended mainly on the characteristics of the fifteen remaining survivors.

    Upon hearing Simon's last broadcast, Sass lowered her gun.
    "I'm going to be totally honest with you here, Sorg. I'm not sure I trust you, but I'd rather be with you than against you, so lets stay together, the four of us. Perhaps we should check out the north and see if there is any truth to what Simon just said?"
    Sorg agreed.
    "OK, but first, let's all head out to the east and find some cover for a while. I'm sure that we all need a little time for the fibroblasts to work their magic."

    "Did you hear that Da?" asked Skam as she lowered her MFPD. "Some explosives in the north....it might be worth a shot...."
    Da shook his head.
    "No, the others can all go looking for those. We're safer here. Let's face it, anyone that believed that broadcast will make their way up there, and those people will meet. Better we stay here and save our ammo, and our defence. Let the others out there kill each other looking for it when they encounter each other up there."

    "Dammit, you know what's going to happen now, Kold?" asked Xena.
    "They're going to have a reason to come up to our area...."
    "Yes, exactly. Our little safe haven will not be safe for much longer. They are going to come here looking for those explosives."
    "Do you think we should look for them, I mean other than Wizzss hiding over there we are the only ones in the area after all."
    "Hell no, I'm not blowing up Cat. It's because of her we've lived this long."
    "Then we need to move."
    "Not necessarily. We still have the advantage of the open space in front of us, and the only cover is right here where we are. Besides, if they come here looking for it, then they will most likely meet each other before they meet us. Thirteen other people are out there, and I'd rather they thinned there numbers out themselves than us having to do it."

    "Did you hear that team?" asked Chaos. "Explosives in the north that can end this! Should we go for it?"
    Ozi thought for a while before answering.
    "Yes, let's go for it, but not for the explosives. Let's go there because the rest of them will go there, and we can see exactly who is left, and pick them off if need be. With only eleven others out there, I'm sure it won't be difficult. We should be cautious though, we'll take it slowly, at least until we see how many others are up there.”

    Wizzss heard the announcement, and knew that his area that had been so secure for so long would not be secure much longer. Nevertheless, for the weapon he had, it was still the best position available to him, and he was not moving from it.

    Gluepot ignored the broadcast. She had just one plan of what to do next, and it didn't involve going North. She was making her way over to the south-west, towards Da's position. She didn't want to go this alone, and at least Da was from the same society as her fallen companion, Ah. She made her way there in the hope that she could find refuge with them.

    “Well, “ said Oleg as he tracked the movements of the remaining contestants, “the three in the north seem to be staying stationary – they certainly don't appear to have any intentions of searching the area for these fabled explosives, if indeed they exist at all. So that should be a small comfort at least.”
    “Anyone heading up that way?”
    “Yes, I've got Ozi's team coming up on the west, and Sorg's coming up on the east. Neither of the teams appear to be in any great rush though.”
    “I still say we should send Jamira up there to keep a closer eye on them.”
    “Oh, I wouldn't do that. Not just yet anyway.”

    “We've got incoming again.”
    Gluepot reached the bottom of the collapsed overpass, took a deep breath, and plucked a flower from the ground, a survivor of the destruction all around. She ignored the imagery and made her way up the ramp, fully aware that all above had their eyes fixed on her. Holding a flower had, over the years, almost replaced the old Earth tradition of the white flag. She wasn't there to fight, and the three on the bridge above her identified this immediately as she made her way up the ramp, although it didn't stop them from training their weapons on her. With so few left alive, gaining new allies was not likely.
    They were still prepared to listen to what she had to say.
    Once Gluepot was within range she immediately addressed Da.

    “Da, I came here to you because I failed to protect Ah. But I did everything I could with what I had.”
    Da lowered his weapon a little. Although Jakst3r was in the Coat Killer's child society, Ah was the only one that shared his own. He had appointed his own goal of protecting Skam and no-one else long before this day, but couldn't help but feel the loss of Ah. This, coupled with the fact that Gluepot had contacted him before the day itself looking for an alliance (which at the time he had ignored) led him into thinking what if things had worked out differently?
    Of course he didn't want to see Ah die, it was simply that he had tried to shut everything out. He couldn't save everyone and he knew it. Skam was the one that he had chosen to protect, and there simply was no room to extend that protection any further. Ah herself had not even contacted him about any sort of alliance, for whatever reason she had, and yes, though they had taken Ido on with them, it was mainly a safety in numbers move at the time. Now there were a lot less people left, and as such, a much less reason to increase the size of such an alliance. The one thing that made this difficult was that he knew Gluepot was telling the truth about her attempt to protect his society-mate Ah.
    “Keep your distance, Gluepot!”
    Ido drew his pistol for the first time. He didn't want to use it, but he could see the situation was edgy. Gluepot was encased in Shogun armour – the most powerful available, and this made her dangerous despite the fact that the only weapon she held towards them was that flower. She was the only one still alive that even had armour.
    “What weapons do you have?”
    The flower had served it's purpose. She dropped it and brought up her TT knuckles before her.
    “And what about the bag, Gluepot? What's in that?” asked Skam.
    “That's something I want to keep to myself.”
    “Oh no, you're not coming here trying to ally with us without telling us what you have to offer, and certainly not so late in the game.”
    Skam looked to Da for confirmation, and she got it.
    “What's in the bag, Gluepot?”
    “Whatever is in this bag, I will use when it's needed. But please know, I will NOT use what is in here against my allies. I came here to offer my help, and if needed, my weapons. I am not here to attack you, if that were the case, I would have done so already. Da, I came to you because of the death of Ah, I had hoped you would be the one person still here who would want to avenge her death, and believe me, I am here when that moment arrives.”
    Da called Ido and Skam close while they focused on Gluepot.
    “She's lying.” said Skam. “Me with my dagger? It's not going to damage her at all while she's in full Shogun in a one-on-one fight. The one comfort I take from what she's wearing is that if she was lucky enough to draw such a good set of armour, then I seriously doubt she would have drawn a good weapon as well. Chances are against her.”
    “Then why won't she tell us what it is?” exclaimed Ido. “If she believes her weapon will be of use to us, her prospective allies, then she should just tell us what she has, and then we can judge for ourselves. She's not telling us, and that makes her dangerous. We should kill her now, all three of us.”
    Da felt torn, he knew that what Skam and Ido said made perfect sense, but the loss of Ah had happened, and he knew for a fact that Gluepot was genuine in her argument that she had tried to protect her.
    “Guys, maybe it's too early to make a choice here. Let's wait and see what happens with the rest of them up north. If Gluepot is going to be an ally, then she will prove it at the time. If not, well there are three of us and one of her, regardless of her Shogun. She knows enough about us to know that her armour can't stop all three of us. We are on the winning side here, I know it. And if we can get Gluepot, whether as an ally or as a decoy in that armour, then we can make it work for us.
    Gluepot took a step forward while asking: “So, am I in?”
    Ido re-targeted his pistol.
    “Not yet Gluepot. Keep your distance, we need to talk about this a bit more.”

    Sorg's team had rested a few times on their way up towards the north, the fibroblasts had more or less finished up the healing process, and now all four of them were ready for action again. They came towards the north plains and quickly saw that there were not many places that explosives could be “hidden” in this area. Moving in from the north-eastern area a few dots sprang up on their MFPDs.
    Sorg paused the others as he examined their situation. There were two dots far to the north, across the other side of the plains, and one dot on its own south of that area, whom appeared to be taking cover in the last of the northern ruins.
    Jinx checked out her own radar when she saw Sorg doing the same. She felt that after losing two team members in the previous riot, as now things had calmed down a lot, it may be time to look for people to replenish the ranks a little. Seeing this one lone green dot was somewhat unexpected at this stage of the game, but it was still the best chance of gaining a new companion that they had open to them. So, she decided it was time for an additional member.
    “Sorg? That lone dot to the south of the plains there? Can you see who it is?”
    Sorg peered over and managed to catch a glimpse of the man watching their movements.
    “I think that's Wizzss over there.”
    “Do you think we should get him? God knows it would help our situation.”
    “Yeah, you're right. Let's see what we can do.”
    Jinx watched Sorg as he made his way towards Wizzss with heavily unexpected enthusiasm. Considering Sorg had recently killed her only remaining friend in the game, Jinx was pleased to see that Sorg was so eager to earn them another recruit.
    Slasha and Sass followed suit. Jinx didn't see the need to run to him, so just walked in the general direction. Had they forgotten that they could just use the MFPDs to signal another contestant? What was with the enthusiastic charge? It was only when they got close and Sorg pulled out his sword that Jinx realised that her choice of words were far from the most ideal she could have used.

    Wizzss, seeing his position stormed by three people, and with nothing more than his TT knife in defence, knew it was game over. He made the best of a hopeless situation and drew his knife against Sorg's sword, he wasn't prepared to go down without a fight. But with what he had, and his lack of allies, he knew even before he slashed at Sorg for all he was worth, that this was the end. Sass made sure of it, and Wizzss's inevitable fate ensued.
    “Keep it up!” shouted Sorg to Slasha and Sass as he lead them up towards the other dots on his radar, across the plains. They ran past the speechless Jinx in their persuit of the victory of this war.
    As they made there way towards Xena and Kold, they heard there MFPDs confirm the kill.

    “Boys #24: Nicholas wizzszz Wolf – dead. Fourteen people remain.”

    “They are coming for us, Xena.”
    “I see it, I see it!”
    Xena felt her Isis HL8 by her side. Was there even any point in using it? She glanced again over the bunker to the plains to see what they were up against.
    “Three of them, and two with ranged weapons. Only one of them is hurt, I think it's Sorg, and his injuries look minor.”
    “So, this is it? Our hiding comes to an end. Time to fight.”
    Xena felt her spirit leave her.
    “What's the point? We hid ourselves the entire game, these people have been out there fighting and killing. They wouldn't still be alive at this point if they weren't the most dangerous out there.”
    “What are you talking about? We can't surrender, they'll just kill us.”
    “I know that. And here we are, our safe-haven violated. I'll not give it up so easily.”
    Xena left the bunker with her sword armed.
    “Use the Isis! Use the Isis!” shouted out Kold as he followed her across the ridge, but Xena had already accepted her fate, and although she would fight for it, she had resigned herself to keeping the Isis out of sight by her hip. She didn't want to go down without fighting, but after all the time she had spent in the bunker since the start of the game, she also didn't want the death of another person on the deathbed of her conscience. Xena half-heartedly attacked Sorg, it was more a show of defence than a show of attack, she knew she wasn't going to come out of this alive. Kold attempted to back up her attack, but with Xena and Sorg in close combat he didn't want to end up accidentally shooting her, so instead opened fire upon Slasha. Unfortunately, Slasha's carbine was a lot more powerful than Kold's pistol.
    Xena fell seconds before Kold.

    Again, Cat moved away from the microphone when witnessing the deaths, and Oleg moved in to make the announcement:

    “Girls #6: Jade Xena Ho – dead, Boys #31: Kold Kaamos Vind – dead. 12 people left.”

    Oleg let go of the button and turned back towards Cat.
    “Cat, I'm sorry, but God knows you must have known this was going to come sooner or later.”
    “Xena was who I cared about the most.”
    “Yeah and I lost ReadBird out there too! You told me yourself that this whole thing came down to being a psychological experiment – let's not let ourselves become part of that experiment. You told me yourself yesterday that you didn't really know if Xena had it in herself to kill anyone. And from what I've recorded here she didn't. She chose not to use her primary weapon, but at least she chose to try and fight. She had five shots on that Isis – she could have easily killed one of them if she chose to do so, and yet she didn't. This is what becomes of letting pacifists and semi-pacifists join such a game. You said yourself when we were compiling all these people that a strong variation of characters were needed to bring diversity into the event.”
    Cat pulled her hair back, clawing it behind her head.
    “I told Xena she would be safe up there! If it wasn't for that god-damned unexpected guest Simon then Sorg's team would never have ended up in her area in the first place, and she would have probably been safe to the very end.”
    “Well, in all honesty, Cat, I think that she lived a lot longer than she might have had you not said that. And as for Sorg's team? Well, as I told you before, Ozi's team is now closing in on the same area, so it's certainly not safe any more.”

    Sass was heading back towards where Wizzss had fallen, she felt that if explosives were indeed hidden in this area, then they would surely be hidden amongst the buildings, and not anywhere in the open plains. Sorg and Slasha examined the area that Xena and Kold had fallen in somewhat more thoroughly first. Jinx, still a bit shaken by what was going on, stayed in between them.
    “It's a good spot those two found here.” said Slasha as he stood atop the bunker that Xena and Kold had been hiding in. “Odd that they chose to leave the cover this place offered them to counter our attack.”
    “Good defensive position, yes. But certainly not any area round here that would provide a good hiding place for the explosives.”
    “You are still looking for those?”
    “Well sure, it's the reason we came up this way after all.”

    Ozi's team had a different agenda, as they came close to the area and the MFPD started to light up with green dots in front of them, they soon realised that their numbers were matched, four against four.
    They slowed their advance for a second as they grouped together.
    “There are four of them,” said Cail. “And they've lived this long. They must be a strong team.”
    Cail checked his MFPD. “We know that Da, Skam and Ido couldn't have made it here before us. It's most likely Sorg is amongst that lot, and he's top of the most dangerous list. According to the MFPD, he's killed six people, and two of us only have melee weapons.”
    “Well then, “ smiled Ozi. “I guess it's time I put my primary weapon to use.”
    Ozi pulled out his Meckel & Loch ML-35, he felt it was about time to put it to good use.
    The team continued to advance with renewed confidence.

    Sass, having moved down towards Wizzss's fallen body was the first to see them come.
    “More people coming our way...” Her broadcast was cut short when the blast of an ML-35 cut through her, catching her completely off-gaurd.
    “Big weapon! Big weapon!” she managed to broadcast again before being struck a second time. There was no way she could stand and fight against this kind of firepower. She ran south, hoping the rubble would provide her enough defence to escape the attack.
    Sorg and Slasha saw the incoming party, and ran across the plains to counter-attack. Jinx joined them mid-way, she was running purely on instinct now.

    “I knew it!” shouted Cail as they closed in on the opponents position. “Sorg is there!”
    “I got him tagged.”
    Ozi shot again, this time at Sorg. A direct hit, but Sorg was not an easy prey. His lead of the charge faltered, but it wasn't until Ozi's second hit upon him that his charge slowed to a mere staggering run.
    Ozi, seeing his team-mates biggest threat faltering, decided to reassert himself upon his primary target, Sass, but continued to fire upon the rest of Sorg's team in the meantime. The rubble in which Sass was running through ended up being more a defence for her team rather than herself though, and not a single remaining shot of Ozi's ML35 landed a hit. The gun emptied, he dropped it and focussed his full attention on chasing Sass, with only his TT pistol at hand.

    Sorg, badly hurt, still braved the clash with the rest of Ozi's team head on, Slasha providing covering fire from behind. Slasha, sensing this was the most difficult fight they had encountered yet, let his covering fire spread wide, to intimidate the ones that were rushing them. He knew he was one of the few that had unlimited firepower and intended to use that to his advantage. It was during this covering spray that a misalignment resulted in the unintentional killing of the already heavily wounded Sorg.
    Slasha gasped at his own mistake. Of the six of them that had teamed up at the start, every single member of the team had been killed by another, and Sorg was no exception. At this stage Slasha almost felt like killing the rest of his team and then himself, purely for the 'tradition' that taken place in the last hour. With Sass taking flight, it was only Jinx who stood between him and the rest of Ozi's team.
    Jinx, seeing Sorg fall and having already drawn too close in an attempt to use her TT knuckles to the effect that she had done against LS earlier, realised too late that there was no way out. With Chaos shooting towards her, and Gamble cutting off her escape, it was Cail that cut through her as if she wasn't there. All three turned towards the one that remained.

    It was too close, Gamble and Cail clearly had strong melee swords, and had Chaos covering them. Slasha continued to open fire, but knew that he would not live through the next few seconds. Gamble proved him right.

    “Boys #26: Sorg Sorg Sorg, Girls #11: Selena Jinx Reinhart, Boys #13: kenneth slasha shopanowa – all three dead. Nine of you are left.”

    kills

    kills

    kills

    kills

    kills

    kills

    Last edited by Dark Cat; 05-23-2009 at 21:05.

    Cat's on her third life: 16th of April '07. RIP
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