Chapter 1 - Oneesan

The strange girl appeared on the TV screen right after the brief - but acutely annoying "Battle Royale" theme song. The song made the audience shudder so awful it was but now they were chuckling at the sight of the colorful Japanese lady.

"Presenting the Battle Royale program!"

She gestured energetically as she said this, waving all around and sometimes forming letters with her arms. She was wearing brown shorts, an orange tank top, a dozen bracelets on both wrists and a cap with the letters "BR" in a red, bloody font on her head. She floated mid-air on the screen as a digital image appeared behind her with a second BR logo.

She introduced herself as "Oneesan". No one knew what the name meant, after all it didn't sound American at all.

David barely listened to the woman as she explained the Battle Royale rules. He wasn't actually in a Battle Royale, but his employer insisted that he become familiar with the program as much as possible.

He had heard of the rules a thousand times. Basically, a group of high school student from any country part of the "Battle Royale Association" would be abducted and sent to kill each other on a deserted island. Each individual would receive a weapon (selected at random) and could win the game only by being the sole survivor.

Apparently, military tacticians learned a great deal about civil warfare and human behavior from monitoring those games. Most people thought it was a terrible and unnecessary program but that never stopped them from buying any newspaper covering the latest game.

BR memorabilia could be purchased at most stores now. Collector cards, t-shirts (I survived a Battle Royale and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt!), biographies of the survivors...

David was brought back to reality when the dreadful BR song played again, announcing the end of the video. A still picture of the lady remained at the left of the screen. To her right, credits rolled over a black background. A few members of the audience clapped but most stood silent, some with their fingers plugging their ears.

David stood stunned. What the hell was this all about? Battle Royales were for high school students. This had absolutely nothing to do with his present situation. He left the room pondering the meaning of this all. It was now eleven at night. He decided to call it a day and returned to his quarters. Hopefully, he could get some rest as soon as he chased the song out of his head.