Author: cazflibs PM
A oneshot especially written for Halloween. Kidnapped by simulants, the Dwarfers are forced to fight one another to the death. Inspired by the film, 'Battle Royale'.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Suspense - Lister, D. & Rimmer, A. - Words: 2,246 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 4 - Published: 10-29-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5475159
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A oneshot loosely based on a favourite Japanese horror film of mine - Battle Royale.
For those of you not familiar with the premise, a class of teens are kidnapped and dumped on a remote island. Fixed with metal necklaces that can explode and kill them at any minute, they are forced to kill each other off, one by one, until the lone survivor - the winner - emerges. It's a chilling film about friends and enemies that continually leaves you guessing which ones are the truly dangerous under the pressure - a must-watch at this time of year.
Happy Halloween everyone! Please read and review. Thanks!
He could scream all he liked.
It wouldn't make a difference. In fact, the simulants would probably enjoy it all the more.
They'd forced their way aboard Red Dwarf in the middle of the night, dragging them from their beds and bundling them back to their ship, the SS Orion. They'd been split up and taken to separate rooms as soon as they'd arrived, most likely to undermine any remnants of unity and instil as much fear and dread as possible, Lister reasoned to himself.
He rubbed at his sore arm fervently as he rocked back and forth in the darkness, trying to think of anything apart from being trapped in this tiny, metal cell. The claustrophobia teetered on the edge of his mind, the foggy blanket threatening to sink down his throat and overwhelm him. The torture he could just about cope with, although it could have lasted for twenty minutes or twenty hours for all he was able to remember. The fear of the cramped, sweaty darkness he could shove to the back of his mind and overcome.
But hearing them? Being forced to listen to their cries of pain and terror over ancient, crackling loudspeakers? It ripped him inside out.
He felt sick. He wondered if they'd heard him too.
A sudden, creaking noise sounded behind him as the cell door opened reluctantly and a bright light thrust its way into the gloom. As Lister noticed the all-too familiar silhouette of his simulant torturer etched into the glare, he shrank back fearfully.
"Time for a change in location," it growled with a distant grin.
Lister hit the floor hard as he was shoved forward through the open door, grimacing at the resounding clang as it slammed shut behind him. Letting forth a low, mumbling groan into the metal grating, his hands instinctively clambered up to the device that had been fastened around his neck moments before - a cold, metallic band that felt tight against his Adam's apple as he swallowed.
Glancing up meekly, he shielded his eyes against the fierce glare of the floodlights as they tracked upwards to work out where he was. He'd been sealed inside a dank, octagon-shaped room, which stretched upwards as far as the eye could see, the cold air resonating with the odd, distant dripping of a leaky pipe echoing across the walls. He could distantly make out further simulant-shaped figures on the various levels as they leant on the metal railings, glaring down at him expectantly.
The P.A. system crackled into life and a deep, rumbling voice began to speak, its tones etched with electronic feedback.
"Welcome, human," it began mockingly. "We hope that you've found your stay as enjoyable as we have so far."
Lister's fingers curled back into tight fists as he pulled himself unsteadily yet determinedly to his feet. "Where are they?" he snarled, his chest heaving with a sickening onslaught of rage and fear.
The disembodied voice laughed heartily. "So eager to get started! Very well - "
Three of the seven remaining doors hummed nonchalantly open, allowing the others to be shoved into the room before patiently closing once more. Lister glanced sadly at each one in turn.
The usual, neat angles of Kryten's head had been panel-beaten out of shape, one of his metallic-blue eyes missing. The mechanoid mumbled a strange, cyclic yet meaningless babble under his breath, presumably a resultant error in his programming.
The Cat's hair had been wrenched from his usually immaculate coiffeur, leaving straggled black strands hanging down across a face etched with needle-like scratches. He shook his head mournfully at Lister to share his despair, holding back a pained sob at the sight of his torn clothing.
The edges of Rimmer's image buzzed and crackled blue, as he trembled uncontrollably. Lister took a reassuring step towards him, yet the hologram edged back, arms still wrapped around himself, unable to look him in the eye. Lister noticed with a sinking sensation in the pit of his stomach that they too were each wearing the same electronic band around their necks.
"What do you want from us?" Lister demanded, trying to keep his voice as calm and level as possible.
"You humans make such wondrous and sporting entertainment," the voice explained patiently. "You pretend to be oh-so noble and superior thanks to your morals," the simulant spat the word, as if it left a bad taste in its mouth. "But when it boils down to it, you humans are all the same. You live for killing. After all, you created us simulants - a race born for slaughter." There was a snort. "And worst still? You humans are always ready to sacrifice your fellows in order to save yourself. Even if it meant murdering your own crewmates." The voice tailed off for a moment, before adding thoughtfully. "And I thought that tonight, we could put this little theory to the test."
The four of them exchanged nervous glances before swivelling to take in the vast array of dangerous-looking weaponry that was mounted on the walls surrounding them. Swords, clubs, spears, flails - every type and variation of brutal weapon that had ever created by man's fair hand was displayed, waiting in silent expectation.
"If you're going to play the game, you'll need to know the rules," the disembodied voice began playfully. "You can use any weapon that you see on display in the, shall we say, removal of your competition. You have thirty minutes. At the end of that thirty minutes, only one of you can still be alive. There can only be one winner."
Lister swallowed hard, his mind swimming dizzy with fear. "And if we refuse?" he managed quietly.
There was a pause. "Are you refusing?" the voice asked, a hint of excitement bubbling under the surface.
The group snatched looks at one another, silently exchanging mutual agreement. Circumstance may have thrown them together, but they'd spent the last ten years united in their shared desperation to find a place they could call 'home'. And as much as they'd joked about wanting to throttle one another when the threat of frustration and space-craziness loomed, they all now knew that they couldn't live without one another. It was the ultimate irony.
A small chuckle resonated against electronic feedback at their resolute silence. "I thought as much. But I'm sure I can get the ball rolling. Now," the voice mused teasingly, "I wonder what those bands around your neck can do?"
The group leapt apart as their metallic necklaces flickered into life, pulsing with a neon red light that illuminated each of their bands in turn before passing onto the next. Each pulse echoed with a high-pitched bleep on its journey around the now-panicked circle; swift at first, before steadily slowing as it nonchalantly decided upon its victim.
"What's it going to do?!"
"I-I'm not sure, sir!"
"Listen, don't panic, man!"
"Erm, guys - ?"
The trio swivelled to face their feline companion, whose necklace remained illuminated red in resolution. Their faces dropped in fearful horror, yet the Cat's relaxed visibly, almost resigning himself as he carefully smoothed out the wrinkles from his knee-length, tailored black coat.
"At least I'm dressed for it," he relented.
Shielding his eyes in the crook of his arm just in time, Lister heard, but did not witness, the muffled, wet explosion. When he turned back, the Cat had fallen to his knees vacantly, no-one in the driving seat, before collapsing forward to the floor.
Unable to tear his gaze away from the morbid scene before him, a horrible sound caught between a yell and a sob escaped Rimmer's mouth as he desperately clawed at his own necklace. Lister swiftly launched himself at the hologram, frantically pulling away his hands.
"Leave it alone! Don't touch it!"
"Get it off of me!" Rimmer wailed, shaking uncontrollably. "Look what it's - ! The Cat - "
"Rimmer, for smeg's sake, don't touch it! Do you wanna get blown to bits?!"
A slow, mocking hand-clap sounded over the loudspeaker. "You should listen to your human companion there, hologram. Clearly the last member of the human race has a brain cell after all."
"You bastard!" Lister cried out angrily against the bitterly cold air, his misty breath swirling into the open arena together with the amused chuckles of the simulant audience above them. "How could yer just kill him like that?!"
"For a reaction that delicious?" the voice over the loudspeaker asked incredulously, as if perplexed to be asked such a strange question. "Perhaps now you understand how deadly serious I am."
Lister shook his head in disbelief. "If you seriously believe that you can make us kill each other for our own - Rimmer, get your arse back here - " he shifted quickly without changing his tone, having noticed out of the corner of his eye how the hologram had been edging innocently towards the clubs mounted on the wall to their right. " - then you're in for a major, and I mean major, disappointment."
There was a thoughtful silence that hung in the air for a few moments before the loudspeaker lanced with more electronic feedback. "Oh, I don't believe I'll be leaving here disappointed," came the chilling reply. "I wonder what else those necklaces of yours are capable of - "
Kryten's necklace shimmered red, causing the mechanoid to stiffen visibly, his plastic features pulled in awkward contortion. Just as suddenly, he seemed to relax once more; a eerily calm look of focus crossing his face. Wordlessly wrapping cubed fingers around the handle of a rather brutal-looking flail, he hoisted the heavy weapon from the wall with little visible effort, before turning his attention back to his crewmates. Lister noticed with a sickening sense of dread that Kryten's remaining eye had changed from its usual chirpy blue, to a soul-less black.
He quickly bundled Rimmer towards the wall of weaponry beside them. "Now you can grab something!" he nodded, in a pitch two octaves higher than normal.
Rimmer scrabbled to arm himself against the steadily approaching mechanoid, who brandished his weapon with concentrated determination. Rimmer thrust forth a large katana before him, the blade visibly shaking in his pathetically-awkward grasp.
"Kryten, I'm warning you," Rimmer threatened, less than convincingly. "Space Corps Directive 6374829/B clearly states that mechanoid crew members are not to slaughter their human superiors, you know."
"Kryten, man, it's us," Lister pleaded mournfully, palms offered openly. "Please, you've got to stop."
The disembodied voice giggled happily. "Oh now this is fun," he smirked. "Mechanoids are so very easy to reprogramme when you have the know-how." It paused, before adding thoughtfully, "Much like holograms in that respect."
Lister's face retreated in dreaded realisation, ducking with a strangled yelp as he narrowly avoided being decapitated by the fatal arc of Rimmer's katana, the blade casting out a shower of sparks raining down on him as it hit the wall with a metallic clang. Rimmer scowled at him darkly, his eyes too now black and dead, before delivering a swift, hard kick to Lister's solar plexus, sending him sprawling backwards onto the floor.
Rimmer's face contorted into a mocking sneer, his head cocked to one side as he swung the katana playfully. Lister winced at the whistling swish as it sliced through the air.
"Listy?" Rimmer called in his sing-song voice. "Listy?"
Lister wriggled backwards. "You stay where you are, man," he said shakily. "I'm warning yer."
Rimmer didn't seem to hear this, instead continuing his advance, unperturbed. "Listy?"
As soon as Rimmer made a grab for his jacket, Lister screwed his eyes shut and with a primal yell, punched out his fist as hard as he was physically able.
"OWWWWWWW - !"
Lister jerked his eyes open with a start, thrashing to free himself from the material cocoon he seemed to be tangled in.
His sleeping bag. He was back on Red Dwarf.
And judging by the dried line of drool inching down his chin, he'd been snoring like a tortured warthog.
He glanced across to Rimmer, who, dressed in his usual green, silk pajamas, was now curled up on the floor, nursing his face with both hands.
"You bathterd, I think you bhroke my nothe -" he whimpered.
Lister's eyes flitted across to the empty video case for Battle Royale that lay open on the floor, the closing credits rolling on the vid screen on the wall beside them. He bit his thumb, trying to hide a smirk.
"Happy Halloween, Rimmer," he sighed happily.