Author's Note: This story is voluntarily rated M for scenes involving graphic, pervasive violence, strong language, nudity and sexual themes, drug use, and basically being pretty messed up in general. By continuing on you certify that you are mature enough to handle such things without thereafter requiring intensive therapy, admission to an asylum, or new underpants. Otherwise, please close this book now. That having been said, I sincerely hope you enjoy the story, or if you cannot enjoy it, that you please refrain from throwing things at me.
Legal Stuff: This story is not affiliated with Toei Company Ltd., the producers of Battle Royale, Koushun Takami, Viz Comics, and any of the companies, real or imagined, mentioned in this story for the sake of satire or involved with production of the original film and/or novel. The movies, TV shows and songs referenced throughout the story all belong to their respective owners; however the characters within the story are owned by the author. These characters are for the most part fictional though some have a distinct basis in reality, though I hope enough has been changed that if they happen to stumble upon this book they're not horribly offended. If they are, please refrain from throwing things at me.
Transcript from segment of the award-winning documentary "Behind Battle Royale"
(Fade in on a soldier, PFC. Barry Charon, Age: 19, Hometown: Huntington, West Virginia, Blood Type: O+. He walks through the middle of a sweltering jungle, swatting low hanging vines and leaves from his face.)
CHARON: I always liked that song.
INTERVIEWER (OS): Which one?
CHARON: "Don't You Forget About Me." Not the most brilliant piece of music out there, but it does it in the pinch. Get yourself out there with a singer who can't sing more than a wailing WOOOOOOOOooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOoooo, but it's brilliant stuff lemme tell ya. That's only if you like the eighties, but, hey, I like the eighties. Eighties kick ass.
(Swiping some bushes away with a large metal hook, he continues.)
CHARON: Song even has the best movie ever made attached to it, giving it a legacy, I mean, how can you go wrong from there? There's nothing average about it's the perfect movie and the original teen comedy. It's the one that set the standard, got all the characters out there and put them together to make the ultimate team. You have your jock, your nerd, your criminal, your princess and your freak all in one place, all played to the hilt by the greatest of the great teen actors, The Brat Pack. I mean, you can't get anything today comparable with the great wit and wisdom of Judd Nelson. The man's brilliant, just shy of a saint. I mean, Eat My Shorts, that's the catchphrase of a generation. Breakfast Club kicks ass.
(Moving onto a defined trail, we can see an aged, concrete building in the distance.)
CHARON: My generation, we don't have a catchphrase. We like to think we do, but we're the lost ones, we've screwed ourselves over so much there's no real point in having a catchphrase. Fads come and go every week and are forgotten just as quickly, friends, lovers, hell, none of them are good after a while.
(He hikes along the path for a few more minutes, getting closer to the building.)
INTERVIEWER (OS): So what do you think about the Battle Royale Program?
CHARON: What do I think about it? It's fing perfection. I mean, I look at my generation and I just gotta cringe about how much of it is fake and so fed up, so doing this keeps things real. People become who they really are under situations like the Battle Royale. Also, I gotta say it's the best way to kill time outside of a monster truck rally. People killing people, just, really royally ripping each other to pieces and no one, no one doing anything to stop them.
CHARON: Well, OK, no stopping them, but there is cutting them in blasting the s out of them if they want to mess around with ya. I mean, that's just awesome. Someone does something dumb, someone tries to pull something and BAM, they're a few feet shorter. Do you have any idea how hard it was to get a transfer to be working Battle Royale duty? I had to be on a waiting list of three months just to get a transfer to the siest job here, and I'm loving every minute of it.
(Finally reaching the building, he sees another soldier, Pvt. Jessica Holle, Age 18, Hometown: Amberlaine, Michigan, Blood Type: A.)
CHARON: How many we got here?
HOLLE: Eight total. Seven intact, one in pieces.
CHARON: How many pieces?
HOLLE: Just two, belt got set off.
(Charon looks at the bodies and smiles.)
CHARON: Yeah, this is some nice major league poontang ain't it? I mean, girls back home, girls in school would never even give me the time of day but now I get to surround myself with some of these hotties down here. I mean, they're dead and they're no good to me, but they're good to look at (whispering) and sometimes when no one else is looking, I cop a feel. Major league whack off material here with these girls I tell ya.
(Looking at the bodies, he recognizes some of the faces.)
CHARON (enthusiastic): Oh yeah, man, this was sweet. This place, bloodbath city, people just yelling and screaming and just fing each other up, it was beautiful man, frickin beautiful. People shootin people, shootin themselves, people blowin up, people stabbin people, it was awesome.
INTERVIEWER (OS): So what exactly does your job entail?
(Charon kneels down beside one of the eight bodies that have been lined up and pulls out a mesh bag from his belt.)
CHARON: Salvage and retrieval is my title, though that's just some bulls way of saying I'm a vulture. Tried and true, I'm a vulture.
(He lifts the body up by the head, showing it to be the face of a blonde girl with more than a dozen stab wounds dotting her body.)
CHARON: See, she may not look like much now, but I'm telling ya, each and every one of these dead fs here is a celebrity. Already out there they're workin to sell trading cards, pictures, hell, we crowned the winner just this morning and next week their biography's gonna go on sale, probably gonna go off the charts, how's that for ya?
(Dropping her head to the ground, he proceeds to pull a necklace from the girl and place it in the bag. Going to her hand, he pulls off a gold ring.)
CHARON: Those are all fine and dandy for the regular fan, but the good ones, the true fans they buy pieces of the game. We take jewelry, watches, any clothes that haven't been ripped to shreds and they get sold on EBay for a hefty profit.
(Going to another ring, he struggles to pull it off.)
CHARON: I knew I had to get in on the ground floor when this started out, I mean, it was going to be huge and I knew it. We all heard about it ahead of time when they announced what the game would be about, great program to get rid of debt and take care of youth crime at the same time. Worked damn good for Japan and France in their competitions.
(He struggles more with the ring.)
CHARON: When the first competition ended, I went online and bought myself a piece of history, got the class ring of Suzie Deveaux, victim of the winner, rest his soul. Had to cash in a lot of savings bonds to do it, but, hey, when was I going to go to college? I joined up in the army ASAP after that, keeps me from getting chosen for the game, and as soon as I found out how, I signed up to be a part of the team.
(Tired, he reaches for a pair of shears from his pocket and severs the finger, then pulling the ring off and putting it in his bag.)
CHARON: I wanted to work on the second one, but, well, had no seniority, couldn't make it in time. That one was a disappointment anyway, all those peace loving pussies just sitting around waiting to blow up, messes up the point of the game.
(Some time later, walking through the forest with several other soldiers, Charon continues. Most of them are carrying meat hooks buried in the belly of one of the bodies seen earlier as they drag them through the undergrowth.)
CHARON: This game though, wow, blows the other games out of the water. I mean, I don't even think they could've matched this in Japan. This game was long, brutal, and personal. I mean, some of these people really hated each other. Some of them didn't even know each other. Hell, some of these people came into the game looking meek as could be and wound up being the forces to reckon with. This game was badass, and I'm glad I got to take part in it.
(Even later, night is coming along. The soldiers reach their final destination, a pile of bodies and body parts in front of a cinderblock bunker of sorts. The earth around seems to have been burned clean, the ground covered with black and ash. With rubber gloves they pull the bodies from their hooks and toss them into the pile as two more soldiers empty gasoline cans onto the pile.)
CHARON: The winner too, man, they're going to be the celebrity of celebrity. Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, fing amateurs. Those people make the news when they do their own stunts, our winner, they're the baddest of the badass.
INTERVIEWER (OS): Do you ever feel bad seeing these kids dying, knowing that if you were born in their hometown, you'd have been likely to take part in this game?
CHARON: S man, don't get me thinking about that. I don't wanna die man. I mean, I've seen friends of mine die here, these fers in the game, they took some of my friends and they deserved what they got. If I was chosen for the game, I'd have taken part of it in a heartbeat. This is fing America man, if you don't want to take part in what this country says you should be taking part in, then just get the f out.
(Reaching to a pile of bodies, Charon looks at what appears to be the severed top half of a human head.)
CHARON: Hey, I know this guy.
(He tosses it into the pile.)
(As the soldiers back away, one throws a road flare on the pile from a distance, watching as they catch on in a massive bonfire.)
(After a moment, the soldiers start passing around bottles of beer, whooping and hollering as they surround the massive fire. Some start dancing around almost ritualistically, while others kick back as if it were a holiday. One brings out a guitar and starts playing a tune.)
(Charon pulls up a folding lawn chair and holds a hot dog on the end of a stick towards the open flame, pulling his sunglasses down.)
CHARON: This game, you have to work your ass off, our winner, the first winner to technically live through the end of things, they worked their ass off. I mean, going into the game you wouldn't have thought they'd pull it off just by looking at them, but in the end, man, they pulled it off and pulled it off royally. Down to the wire, minutes within the deadline and BAM, they grabbed the game by the balls and pulled off the win. Lemme tell you though, it wasn't easy, and they had a helluva time...