(Both the Original Version and Director's Cut)
[Oh yeah, it's an Azumanga Daioh/Battle Royale fusion]
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Standard Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Azumanga Daioh characters. They are owned by Kiyohiko Azuma, Genco, J.C. Staff, and ADV Films.
[Forward: Lookie lookie. I Tweened Battle Royale before the Hunger Games did. Come on, you know someone had to mix the two. This is a parody, so don't think for one second I'm taking a serious look at a merging of the two. As in the tradition of much Japanese cinema, there will be huge amounts of blood and gratuitous violence.]
"Yay! I can't believe we're going on a field trip to Yasuroka Island!" Chiyo practically hopped up and down on her seat in excitement.
Chiyo looked at the bus's other occupants as they traveled along the highway, heading toward a tunnel. All her classmates were there: Sakaki sitting next to her, Yomi and Tomo sharing a seat behind them, while Osaka and Kagura sat across the aisle. It made the close circle of friends an 'L' shape, rather than an actual circle.
"Have you been there before?" Kagura asked.
"No, I'm just excited we get to go. Yukari-sensei said we'd be outdoors a lot."
Yomi held her hand to her chin in thought. "It is kind of funny how Yukari-sensei suddenly mentioned we'd be going on this thing today. You'd think she would have brought it up before."
"She did seem unnaturally happy," Kagura added.
"It's because she doesn't have to teach class," Tomo explained.
"And gets to wear a gas mask," Osaka added.
All of the girls turned to Osaka, mystified.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Kagura asked.
"Look." Osaka pointed to the front of the bus, where Yukari was sitting placidly, gas mask over her face.
Tomo couldn't resist the invitation. "Yukari-sensei, why are you wearing a gas mask?"
Yukari jerked, as though shot. She turned around, and in a muffled voice said, "What gas mask? I'm not wearing a gas mask. Quit being paranoid."
"What's that on your face?"
Yukari felt her face with her hands. "Umm, it's an… inhaler. I'm having problems breathing. Asthma, don't you know."
"Why is the bus driver wearing one, too?"
"He caught a case of asthma from me."
"Asthma isn't contagious," Chiyo pointed out.
"Quit being such a know-it-all!" Yukari shouted back.
That quieted the girls and persuaded them to leave their teacher alone. Instead they huddled together and spoke in low whispers so no one outside their circle could hear.
"Something funny is going on," Yomi said softly.
"What's the gas mask about?" Kagura asked.
"I'm thinking maybe she had a whole lot of beans yesterday, and doesn't want to smell the results," Tomo guessed.
Osaka scratched her head curiously. "Aren't teachers supposed to wear gas masks on field trips?"
Everyone stared at Osaka, mystified once again.
"No," Chiyo answered.
"Oh." Osaka became quiet again.
"Anyway, I want to know what she's… up… to," Yomi tried to stifle a yawn, but failed.
"I think… I… smell some… thing." Sakaki began to sway in her seat.
"Told you… it… was… beanssss." Tomo's eyes closed and she slumped in her seat, unconscious.
"Wake up, everybody!"
The clamor of a hammer hitting an empty metal pot rang through the air. The noise roused the sleeping class, and they groggily began to rise. Blinking the sleep from their eyes, they found themselves no longer riding on a bus, but instead laying all about the floor of an unfamiliar classroom. It appeared old and run down, with garbage strewn everywhere, chairs and desks tossed in a heap against one wall, and the windows boarded over.
They looked around, startled by their surroundings. Instinctively, the students began gathering in small groups. It soon became evident that not only was everyone present, but they had picked up an extra member: Kaorin, who was dressed in her school uniform as well. They also noticed that everyone was wearing identical metal collars around their necks, locked in place by a complex electronic mechanism. People began to nervously finger the unfamiliar adornments.
All eyes turned to the front of the classroom. Yukari stood there, beaming at them. Rather than the blouse, skirt, and gas mask she wore on the bus, she was now adorned in combat fatigues and metal helmet. There was even a pistol in the holster on her hip. The teacher was surrounded by a dozen men also garbed in fatigues. All of them had rough faces and wielded automatic rifles as though they were an extension of their limbs and would use them without a second thought.
Tomo said, "Wow, Yukari-sensei, you sure can cut one."
"That was sleep gas, you little brat!" Yukari snapped.
"What are we doing here?" Yomi asked, mirroring the confusion everyone but Tomo and Osaka were demonstrating.
"Good question," Yukari answered. "I am proud to announce that you have been selected for this year's Battle Royale."
Everyone in the room stared at Yukari in wide-eyed silence.
She continued on in a boastful voice. "I had to really pitch a hard case to get them to choose you. The powers that be didn't think you were appropriate, but after countless hours of closed room discussions, I convinced them you were the right class to be represented this year."
They continued staring silently at her.
"No need to thank me. I'd do anything for you guys," she bragged. "I even requested your old classmate, Kaorin, join in the fun."
That snapped Kaorin out of her stupor. "Are you insane? I don't want to be in the Battle Royale!"
"Quit whining. If you weren't such a slacker, I wouldn't have ditched you in favor of Kagura in the first place," Yukari scolded. "Anyway, I'm going to go over the rules with you concerning Battle Royale."
"I thought you said we were going to Yasuroka Island, and we would get to be outside a lot," Chiyo babbled through her tears of disbelief.
Yukari smiled. "Well, this is Yasuroka Island and you will be spending all of your time outdoors. And this is going to be a very educational trip: you're going to have to learn to survive." She paused a moment to let the class absorb the information. "Now, as I was saying, here's how it works. You'll each be given a backpack that contains three days of rations, a canteen, a map of the island, and a weapon, which you will use to kill other students."
"What sort of weapons?" Osaka asked.
"There are a wide assortment of them. I picked them out myself," Yukari explained.
Kagura leveled an accusatory finger at her "So this is why you included that question 'What weapon would you use to kill a fellow student?' on our history quiz last week, isn't it?"
"It was the only question I got right," Osaka said sadly.
Yukari laughed nervously.
"Geez, you really are lazy," Tomo said.
Yukari cleared her throat. "Anyway, you have three days to kill the opposition, or else you'll be killed. Aside from that, anything goes. Now, in regards to your opponents, I'm hoping they picked Nyamo's class. Nothing would please me more than to beat her at this and rub her face in it. I'll even bet her a week's worth of dinners that you guys will come out on top." Yukari laughed long and hard.
One of the soldiers spoke up. "Ma'am, there is no other class. Your students are supposed to kill one another."
Yukari's laughter stopped. "What?"
"It's true," he insisted.
"Umm, I knew that," Yukari said quickly.
"You !#$% idiot, you didn't even know what you were volunteering us for!" Yomi shouted.
"Ah well, that's all water under the bridge. We'll just have to carry onward as best we can," Yukari said whimsically.
"But you can't get away with this!" Kaorin protested.
Yukari shot her a sly look. "Funny you of all people should say that. There was someone else who said the same thing. In fact, he resisted my wanting you in this class so much, we had to make an example out of him."
Yukari snapped her fingers. In response, two soldiers wheeled in a gurney. There was a white shroud on the top, soaked through with a red substance that could only be blood. It was clear from the size of the lump there was something fairly large concealed underneath.
"Behold!" Yukari ripped the cover off.
Stretched out prone on the gurney was Kimura. His blood spattered glasses were still affixed to the bridge of his nose and his mouth was wide open, as though the jaw had become permanently unhinged. His body bore wounds indicating he had been shot several times.
Dramatically, Yukari waved her hand above him. "See what happens to those that would stand in the way of progress?"
Kimura suddenly sat up, shouting, "You can never have Kaorin-chan!"
Yukari leaped back, crying out fearfully. She quickly pulled out her pistol and snapped off a round into his chest. Blood flew up as Kimura's body flopped backward, a marionette whose strings had been cut.
"Geez!" Yukari holstered her gun. "Anyway, as I was saying, this is the fate that will befall—"
Kimura rose back up again into a sitting position. "She's mine!"
"Ah!" This time Yukari emptied her gun into Kimura. He jerked as each round impacted with his body, and more blood flew up in the air in a fountain of gore. Eventually his body stopped spasming as Yukari's gun clicked uselessly, its magazine spent.
"Some people just can't take a hint." Yukari tossed the smoking firearm aside. "Now, before I was so rudely interrupted, this is the fate that will befal—"
"K… K… Kaorin-chan!" Kimura gurgled as his arms began to rise.
Kaorin was across the room in an instant, grabbing a knife from a soldier's belt before he could react. She brought the blade up above Kimura and screeched out, "DIIIIIIIEEEE!" and began stabbing the knife into him repeatedly. Her hand was like a blur as it descended again and again, turning his chest into something reminiscent of a cow after a trip to the slaughterhouse. Kaorin was quickly covered in a sheen of sweat and blood, and still she continued plunging the knife up to the hilt in his body.
After twenty seconds, Kaorin stopped, gasping for air and staring at the motionless remains with a wild-eyed glaze in her eyes.
Yukari was the first to recover. She slapped Kaorin on the back. "That's the spirit! I want all of you to go out there and grease each other with all the enthusiasm that Kaorin just demons—"
"DIIIIIIIEEEE!" Kaorin shouted and began stabbing the motionless Kimura again.
Yukari backed away uneasily as Kaorin's hand blurred even faster. The stabbing lasted twice as long this time, and the remains on the table only vaguely resembled something human by the end of it.
"Ah, nice job, Kaorin," Yukari said as two soldiers removed the knife from her and helped usher the girl back to her original spot in the room. She muttered about, "Stabbing him another hundred times, just to make sure," but the soldiers forced her to return to the others.
Yukari cleared her throat. "Anyway, I want all of you to go out there and—"
"What's up with these things around our necks?" Tomo fingered the collar.
"Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Those are explosive collars, which I feel are a must for any class, and not just the ones that participate in Battle Royale."
"Explosive collars?" Kagura gasped, hands reflexively clutching at the device.
Yukari nodded. "They also register your vital signs and where you are, so we can keep track of you." Yukari pulled a small control pad, about the size of a television remote, from one of the pockets on her uniform. "This is the remote detonator. If any of you get out of line, or try to flee the island, I'll blow you up."
"You'd blow me up? Ha! You don't have the guts to do that!" Tomo said smugly.
Yukari's eyebrow twitched. "You'd better watch it, loudmouth, or you'll be eliminated before the game starts."
Tomo crossed her arms defiantly. "I'd like to see you try it."
"You asked for it! Goodbye, you annoying brat!" Yukari pointed the control at Tomo and
hit a button.
The collar of one of the male students on the opposite side of the room began to emit a slow beeping, a tiny red light flashing in synchronicity with the sound. He looked at the others, panicking as the beeping became louder and the flashing quicker.
The others understood what was happening and backed away. He tried to remain close to them, begging for help. The other students avoided him, intent only on keeping away as his impending death drew closer. As the beeping reached a crescendo, one of the others shoved him into the middle of the room.
There was the sound of a loud crack as the device exploded, destroying the carotid artery of the student, sending a spray of blood across the floor before he collapsed to the ground, unmoving.
[Nameless Male Student #21: Dead]
"Crap! That was the wrong one." Yukari stared at the control in her hand.
"Nyaa! I told you you didn't have the nerve to go through with it," Tomo taunted.
Yukari turned on her in anger. "Oh yeah? Try this!" She pointed the control at Tomo again and pushed a different button.
Across the room, one of the female student's collars began to beep. She turned in panic to her friends, who backed away from her, as though she were a leper. She tried moving toward them, but one of the larger male students grabbed her and hurled her halfway across the room where she collided with one of the disused desks and bumped her head. She tried rising groggily as the beeping became a seamless wail.
Once again there was a loud crack and a spray of blood.
[Nameless Female Student #12: Dead]
"How about this?" Yukari pointed at Tomo and hit another button.
Another male student's collar began to beep. "Why me?" he cried out, remaining where he was.
There was another explosion.
[Nameless Male Student #8: Dead]
"Just give it up." Tomo smirked.
"Now I've got it!"
Another girl's collar beeped. She threw herself out a window rather than suffer the same indignity the others had.
[Nameless Female Student #17: Dead]
"Stop her before she kills them all herself!" one of the soldiers shouted.
The soldiers tackled Yukari, wresting the control away from her before she could hit another button.
Yukari frowned in their general direction, muttering about not labeling the control more clearly. After regaining her composure, Yukari said, "Now that we have demonstrated my willingness to blow you all to pieces." She glared at Tomo. "You see you have no choice but to do as I say and try your best to kill the other class… I mean, one another. Last one standing wins. Everyone else has to die. If by the end of three days more than one person is alive, I blow all the survivors up, so you'll have to work fast. I'm going to start calling out names. You'll come up front where a soldier will throw you your pack. You'll then have two minutes to high tail it out of here. Now, there will be no killing right around the school. You have to kill each other away from here."
A soldier spoke up. "That isn't one of the rules."
Yukari explained, "It is now. I might want to go out for a walk later, and I don't want to trip over a bunch of corpses."
The reality of the situation began to seep in for the students, who began separating from one another, either as individuals or in small groups. Everyone stared warily at those not around them, regarding the others as though they were starving animals and the rest of the class was slathered in bacon grease.
Kagura went up to Sakaki. "Since we don't have any choice, I guess we'll have to participate. And I have an idea. You and me are clearly the best and evenly matched. If we try to whack one another now, the survivor might be so weak they'd be picked off by one of the other students. So why don't we agree to hold off on killing one another until the end and that way it'll be one on one? It'll be the last competition between lifelong rivals."
"I don't think we should really be competing in that sort of way," Sakaki said quietly, and wondering what she meant by the two of them being rivals.
"Nah, it'll be fun and keep things interesting. 'Sides, I want to prove once and for all I'm better than you. Good luck." Kagura's name was called. She slapped Sakaki on the back and headed off to grab her pack.
Away from the pair, Tomo inched closer to Yomi, who was simply staring off into space. Tomo whispered in a conspiratorial voice, "Psst, Yomi, we should team up."
"Team up?" Yomi's voice was distant, as though she wasn't really there.
"Yeah, since we've been best friends our entire lives, we'll watch out for one another while killing everyone else."
Yomi's head turned slightly toward Tomo. "Best friends?"
"Yeah, between the two of us we'll kill everyone." Tomo rubbed her hands in anticipation. "Actually, I'm kind of looking forward to this. There are a lot of people in class that have pissed me off, and I'm looking forward to killing them."
"Kill them." Now Yomi sounded all there.
Tomo whispered, "Why don't we sucker them by pretending to buddy up with them? Then, when their backs are turned, we'll whack them. We'll start with Chiyo first. She'll be easy to kill."
"Pretend to buddy up and then stab them in the back. Sounds good to me, my best buddy in the whole world." Yomi gave Tomo a smile, one so large it nearly reached back to her ears. She removed her glasses, adjusting them slightly before putting them back on her face. They gleamed maniacally as she stared directly at Tomo.
Tomo felt uneasy under that gaze. "Umm, Yomi, are you all right? You look a little… tense."
"I'm just thinking about the one good thing to come from this whole mess, Tomo-chan."
"Why did you call me Tomo-chan? You never call me Tomo-chan."
"It's what friends call each other, right, Tomo-chan?" Impossibly, her smile widened.
Tomo began backing away, "Maybe we shouldn't team up. Every woman for themselves and whatnot. It'll cut down on the odds it'll be us alone at the end and we'll have to try kill one another."
"I kind of like the idea of us being alone and trying to kill one another."
"Tomo!" Yukari called out.
"Thatsmegottarun!" Tomo said as she raced to the waiting pack and ran out of the room at top speed.
"Yomi!" Yukari cried out.
Slowly, Yomi went forward, each step methodical and stalking. She accepted her pack. Placing it on the ground, she rummaged through it until she located her weapon: a wooden baseball bat with a number of rusty nails sticking out of it.
Yomi's smile became more blood chilling. That was the weapon she had written down on the quiz when the Battle Royale question had come up. She had been envisioning it for a number of years, coincidentally in conjunction with killing one classmate in particular.
Yomi began a slow walk toward the exit, calling out, "Tomo-chan, my best buddy in the whole world, wait for me so we can 'team up'. I'll introduce you to my new friend, Mr. Spiky Bat. He's been wanting to meet you for a real long time. I think you're going to become real close."
Tomo raced through the jungle, trying to stick to the old, but still functional, footpaths so she could make good time as she headed away from the school. She was so preoccupied looking over her shoulder that she didn't notice the two boys ahead of her until she nearly collided with them. She stopped just in time and regarded them warily. They were staring eagerly at her. One of them was armed with a wicked-looking knife, while the other bore a stun gun. Both appeared eager to use their toys.
The one with the knife spoke to his partner. "Hey, it's Tomo."
"Good. I've always wanted to kill her," the second said.
Rather than being frightened by the nature of the conversation taking place in front of her, Tomo kept peering fearfully over her shoulder. "You guys have to help me. For some strange reason, Yomi's gone nuts and is trying to kill me."
The boys stared at each other in wonderment. The one with the knife said to Tomo, "Some strange reason? Hell, if I was her, I'd have tried to kill you long before now."
"I need you to protect me," Tomo pleaded, "I'll do whatever you want."
The pair looked at each other again, this time with leering gazes rather than wonder.
The one with the stun-gun asked, "Will you have sex with us?"
"Please, do I look that desperate to you?" Tomo scoffed.
"You're going to die for that one," the boy with the knife swore.
The pair took a single step toward Tomo when a roar came from the path she had just fled down. Yomi leapt above Tomo, like a pouncing hunting cat, Mr. Spiky Bat drawn back. "No! You can't kill her!"
Before the first boy could react, Yomi swung, cracking open his skull and driving the nails into his brain, killing him instantly. The bat was so firmly embedded, Yomi had to step on the head and brace herself before managing to pry it out of the corpse.
The second youth had remained standing where he was, transfixed by the savagery. Once Yomi's maniacal glare turned his was way, the spell was broken. He turned and ran, but Yomi reacted with the quickness of a cobra and brought Mr. Spiky Bat down on his neck, breaking vertebrae and killing him.
[Nameless Male Student #4: Dead]
[Nameless Male Student #15: Dead]
Tomo jumped up in joy. She said to Yomi, "I knew if you saw my life in peril, you would come to your senses and rescue me. Hey, I got an idea. Why don't we do the same thing to the next guys we come across? I'll be happy to be the bait."
Yomi's gleaming glasses pointed in her direction once again. In a honeyed voice, she said, "Of course I saved you from them. I would never let idiots like this kill you."
"That's a relief."
"Because after all you've done to me, I'm the only one that has the right to do that." The taller girl began stalking forward, waving her weapon around effortlessly. "Now hold still. I'll try to break your limbs as painlessly as possible."
Tomo backed away as quickly as Yomi moved forward. "I don't think you can break limbs painlessly."
"Silly me. Did I say painlessly? I meant as *painfully* as possible." Yomi lunged for Tomo, but the shorter girl was quicker as she ran for it once again.
Chiyo trembled in fright as she found herself alone in the woods. She had been one of the first to be sent out by Yukari, and had made the best use she could with her head start by running for it. She had lost her perception of how long she ran. It could have been minutes or hours. Her endurance wasn't the best, but she had never been as terrified as this in her life either. Except for the time in Yukari's car. Her little legs felt like lead weights, and she could run no further. She rested against a tree, gasping for breath and wondering what to do next.
"Well, well, well, what have we here?" came a taunting voice a short distance behind the tree.
Chiyo gave a terrified squeal and ran away from the tree, turning to see who had spoken. She identified him as one of the guys in class. She didn't know his name. It was hard to remember the names of anyone other than her friends. Next to him was a girl whom Chiyo identified as his girlfriend. At least she assumed the girl was. They had exchanged spit frequently enough.
The two stared at Chiyo as though they were cats that had cornered a canary with a pair of broken wings. The boy had a machete, and the girl a baton, the kind the police used on jaywalkers and litterbugs.
"Looks like we got ourselves an easy kill," the boy bragged.
"Real easy," the girl agreed. Both advanced on Chiyo, weapons held at the ready.
"D… Don't come any closer!" Chiyo warned as she backed away in fright.
"Or you'll do what?" the boy taunted.
"Or I'll… I'll…" Chiyo pulled her weapon from her backpack. Her hand was barely able to support the massive weight of the .357 Magnum .
The boy took a half step back, then laughed at the way the gun quivered in Chiyo's hands. She'd be lucky to hit the broadside of a barn at ten feet with the way it was shaking.
"Weapon upgrade," the girl said.
The boy held out his hand, keeping his machete behind him. "Tell you what, Chiyo, why don't you just hand over the gun and I'll let you go. I don't really want to kill you. I'd much rather have your weapon."
Chiyo looked at him in wide-eyed wonderment. She lowered the gun, pointing the barrel toward the ground. "You will?"
"Sure," he said smoothly and reached out with his hand.
Suddenly Chiyo brought the gun back up, held it steady in front of her, and pulled the trigger. The recoil was so great it sent the tiny girl flying ten feet backward. She squealed as she landed with a hard thud on her bottom.
The other girl stared in shock at Chiyo actually managing to fire the massive weapon. She snickered in amusement at the comical way the prodigy had flown backward. She turned her attention to her boyfriend. "Hey, honey, was that funny or what?" She started to laugh, then stopped abruptly as she noted that the top of her boyfriend's skull was missing and the former contents within were now decorating the tree Chiyo had been resting against not a minute earlier.
The lifeless body finally teetered too far to one side, and fell limply to the ground.
[Nameless Male Student #10: Dead.]
The girl's eyes filled with tears. Enraged, she turned to Chiyo. "You little bitch!" she screeched, intent on bashing Chiyo's brains out. At least until the Magnum was pointed in her direction.
"Hey, Chiyo, I was just kidding. I would never hurt you. See?" the girl let the baton fall to the ground.
The hammer on the pistol clicked.
The girl turned to flee. She didn't make it three steps before the shot caught her in the back of the head. She was dead before the sound of the gunfire caught up to the bullet.
[Nameless Female Student #29: Dead.]
Chiyo yelped as she once again went flying through the air and landed hard on her bottom. She rested on her sore posterior for a few moments, rubbing it gingerly. It was a lucky thing her father had insisted she learn how to shoot a gun for self-defense. Chiyo had always thought he was being paranoid, but obeyed. It turned out she was a natural shot, though she had never fired anything more powerful than a .22. She had always been fascinated by the .357, which was why she had chosen that as the weapon she would use to kill someone. Not that she had believed she would actually end up doing such. But now she had been forced to. Chiyo accepted the fact it was now kill or be killed, and she knew which she wanted to be.
Chiyo dusted off some of the dirt on her skirt and continued walking, a confidence now added to her gait.
"That's another two down." A soldier marked down the names of the most recent casualties.
"They're working fast this year. At this rate there won't be anyone left by tomorrow," another commented.
"I'll give this to the teacher." The first one printed a copy of the results. Grabbing the sheet, he walked back to the classroom that served as the starting line for the participants in the Battle Royale and to the teacher's desk Yukari sat at.
He handed her the paper. "The latest fatalities, Ma'am."
Yukari accepted the paper, took one look at the list of names, and began crying.
The soldier, a veteran of three previous Battle Royales, wasn't surprised by the reaction. Two of the former teachers also had shed a few tears over some of the fallen, once the full gravity of the situation hit them. One of them had even killed herself in guilt. He wondered if Yukari would do the same.
The teacher turned to the man, tears flowing down her face. She waved the paper in front of him. "This is terrible! Just terrible!"
"Did someone you want to win just die?"
"No," she sobbed. "Looking at the names of all of these student that are dead now, I realize what this really means to me."
"You cared about them more than you realized?" he asked.
"No! With all of them dead, I'm going to have to learn a whole new seating plan!" Yukari buried her head in her hands and sobbed into the desk once again.
Seeing the woman's reaction, the soldier had a feeling that had there been a Battle Royale for teachers, Yukari would have been at the top of the list.
Sakaki looked around her, taciturn and calm as always despite being surrounded by a half-dozen of her classmates. They were an even mix: three boys and three girls. They wielded a host of deadly weapons, from basic things, like knives and sickles, to more modern weapons, like a handgun and even a sub-machinegun. Sakaki was left to defend herself with the very item she had mentioned on the test.
Perhaps a stuffed cat wasn't the best thing to kill a fellow student after all.
One of boys acted as spokesman for the group. "All right! I can't believe how lucky we were in getting Sakaki alone right off the bat."
"Yeah, she's tough enough to kill anyone else with her bare hands," one of the girls said.
"Right, so let's finish her off fast, then find some others to kill. Personally, I'm hoping for Tomo. I wouldn't feel guilty about killing her."
"Let's do it!" the ringleader shouted.
"Noooo!" Came a cry from above. The ringleader looked up to see a small figure dart out from its place on a lower branch of a nearby tree. He saw a flash of pink, identifying it as a girl's school uniform.
Then his eyes exploded as a sledgehammer caved in his skull.
Six seconds later.
[Nameless Male Student #26: Dead]
[Nameless Female Student #33: Dead]
[Nameless Male Student #32: Dead]
[Nameless Female Student #13: Dead]
[Nameless Female Student #14: Dead]
[Nameless Male Student #7: Dead.]
Kaorin huffed and gasped, her already blood-sodden garments awash with a new coating of gore. She limped slightly as blood poured from the wound on her leg. One of Sakaki's attackers snapped off a round that had taken her in the calf. It wasn't life threatening, and she was barely aware of it through her adrenaline high.
"Are you all right?" Sakaki asked, tearing off part of her skirt to bind the wound.
All the anger and pain in the world disappeared for Kaorin. Sakaki was not only acknowledging her existence, but was actually concerned about her. In five seconds she had more of Sakaki's attention than in their entire year together in the same class. Now she could die happy, her life complete.
As Sakaki bound the wound, Kaorin knew what she had to do. She boldly stated," Don't worry, Sakaki-chan, I'll protect you from all of those animals, just like I did now. I'll hunt them down and kill every last one of them until only you and I remain."
Sakaki stopped tying the cloth. "Kill everyone?"
Kaorin was completely lost in her fantasy. "Yes, everyone. I won't let them harm a hair on your head. And when I've killed them all, and it's only you and I remaining, I'll kill myself. I love you so much, I'd be willing to do that for you. I've always lovURK!" she gurgled, as a sickle embedded itself in her back.
The sledgehammer slipped from Kaorin's hand as she fell to the ground, face first. She was barely able to summon the strength to turn and see the face of her killer. "Why? I would have died for you."
Bloody sickle in hand, Sakaki stared down at Kaorin, her eyes emotionless lumps of coal. "You said you'd kill everyone, and that would include Chiyo-chan. I won't let anyone harm her, not even you."
"Wh… Why Chiyo?" Kaorin gasped.
"She's too cute to die."
"Un…grate…ful bitch…" Kaorin rasped out, making an obscene gesture in Sakaki's direction before expiring.
[Female student # 35 Kaori Aida: Dead]
With Kaorin dead, Sakaki began collecting the weapons that had been lying around. She would need them to sweep the island clean of all the Battle Royale participants, all save Chiyo. Kaorin had a good idea; it just needed the cast altered slightly. It would be Sakaki acting as protector for Chiyo. And when it was down to the two of them, Sakaki would kill herself, thus ensuring Chiyo got out alive. Of all the people in the class, she was the one that deserved to live the most.
Now it came time to hunt down the others. As much as Sakaki didn't want to kill anyone, she resigned herself to the idea that it had to be this way to protect Chiyo. Although ideally Sakaki hoped she'd run into Tomo first. She'd feel the least amount of guilt at killing her.
Chiyo walked through the woods cautiously, keeping her gun pointed low to prevent her arms from growing tired. She only wished she could put it back in her pack, but she didn't dare, not with all the people out there ready to kill her on sight.
The heat began to get to Chiyo. She sat on a tree stump, wiping the sweat from her brow. The sound of a dead branch snapping behind her nearly made her drop her pistol. She turned, trembling in fear as she wondered who had gotten the drop on her.
Two students, a boy and girl, emerged from the woods. The boy had a .45 automatic in his hand, the girl a grenade. Her finger was through the pin, ready to pull it and throw the explosive on a moment's notice.
"Thank god, it's Chiyo-chan," the boy said. Seeing her ready to bolt, he said in soothing tones, "Don't be scared. We're here to help."
The girl joined in. "It's true. Us and some of the others have decided to not play this stupid game and work together. We're trying to find a way off the island."
Chiyo sniffled. "How do I know I can trust you?"
The boy holstered his gun and the girl put the grenade in her pocket.
The boy said, "Now come with us, Chiyo. You'll be safe." He held his hand out in offering.
Chiyo brought her hand up and put a round through his chest.
[Nameless Male Student #16: Dead]
The girl looked at Chiyo -who had landed hard on her bottom from the recoil- in shock. "Why? Why did you shoot him? He put his gun away! You weren't in any danger!"
"Because when I first came to the class, he made fun of me because of my height. Everyone did. Well, I might be small, but I have a big gun, and in the end, isn't that what really matters?" Chiyo pulled the trigger again.
[Nameless Female Student #3: Dead.]
"Wow! This is actually kind of fun!" Payback was a bitch, and so was she. Being naughty felt pretty darn good. She wondered if she could find Tomo. Of all the people in class that had mocked her for her height, she deserved to die the most. Sakaki was second on the list, not because she had made fun of Chiyo, but because she was so tall. Chiyo was pretty sure Sakaki was stealing her height somehow. Probably through osmosis.
Chiyo was fantasizing about shooting Sakaki in the kneecaps, so she could finally look at the taller girl eye-to-eye, or as close to eye-to-eye as possible, when a familiar face popped out of the bushes next to her. The smaller girl was so startled, she nearly fell over.
"Oh, hey, Chiyo-chan," Osaka said dreamily.
Chiyo brought her gun up and aimed at the face. "Of all the people in my class, you deserve to die the least. Right after me," Chiyo qualified.
Osaka thought about that for a moment. "Well, you are pretty smart, so I guess you might be right."
"Good-bye," Chiyo said, and pulled the trigger.
The gun simply clicked.
Chiyo stared at her weapon, horrified. A misfire. She took aim again and pulled the trigger once more.
Another hollow click.
"Ah! I know I only fired four rounds!" Chiyo popped open the cylinder and looked at the chambers.
Two of them were empty.
"I hope you guys appreciate how much money I saved by not loading any of the guns with all the bullets they could hold," Yukari told the squad that had gathered around her. "Now, who wants to place bets on who's going to win this thing? Sakaki currently has the best odds, with even money, followed by Kagura at four to three. Tomo's the longshot at twenty-five to one, simply because everyone in class wants to kill her."
"Um, isn't betting on which of your students is going to die next kind of sick?" one of the soldiers asked.
Yukari looked upon the soldier in contempt. "You sir, have obviously never been a high-school teacher. Trust me, after five years of it, you'll come to the realization that all teenagers need to die. Now place your bets!"
Chiyo laughed nervously as Osaka emerged from the bushes, hands behind her back. The class prodigy tossed the Magnum aside. "I was just joking. I wouldn't shoot you."
Osaka looked at her quizzically. "You really should shoot me. That is the objective of the lesson, after all. And they'll kill us if we don't kill each other. So feel free to shoot me."
"Um, no way! You're too good a friend," Chiyo insisted.
"And you're a good friend, too," Osaka assured her.
"So you're not going to kill me?"
"Of course I am. Goodbye, Chiyo-chan." Osaka brought her hands forward, and held the weapon Yukari had given her high. Using all of her might, she brought it down hard right on top of Chiyo's skull.
[Female Student #1: Chiyo Mihama: Sore head]
"Ow!" Chiyo cried out. "That hurt."
Osaka reexamined the item that had been in her backpack. "Darn. I guess a paper fan isn't a good weapon to kill a student with, like I thought it would be."
Osaka struck Chiyo in the head again, eliciting another yelp. Osaka sighed. "Hold still, this might take a while."
"No way!" Chiyo ran for it, with Osaka hot on her heels.
The soldier manning the radio suddenly jerked to life as an incoming transmission caught his attention. He listened to the message intently, then acknowledged receiving it. Within seconds he left his post and located the colonel in charge of the operation. He passed the communiqué to the colonel. The man in charge nodded, then wasted no time in heading toward Yukari.
"I need to ask you something," the colonel said.
"What?" Yukari asked irritably. She had been enjoying herself immensely as the little lights indicating which of her students were still alive disappeared one by one.
"Evidently there's a low yield thermonuclear bomb missing from our inventory. The base commander can't seem to find it anywhere."
"Typical army, can't keep track of anything, can you? I'm surprised you haven't lost a fleet of ships."
"That would be the navy, not the army, and I'm surprised they haven't lost one yet either," the colonel said in both pride for his own branch of the military and contempt for the other. "In any case, this happened at the base you requisitioned your weapons. Now it seems the paperwork regarding what you took hasn't been processed yet, so I wanted to make sure you weren't the one who took it."
"Oh, I see. Well don't worry your simple little jarhead mind." She patted him on the helmet.
"Jarheads are marines, not army," the colonel said irritably. "In any case, thanks for putting my mind at ease. For a second there, I thought you had taken it." He turned to go.
"Of course I did. I put it in one of the backpacks myself. That's why I told you not to worry about it. Now you know where it is."
"What?" the colonel bellowed. "How could you take one of those?"
"I was given carte blanche on what to take from the base, and that was one of the weapons that was on the list." Yukari said defensively. "By the way, you have a shitty armory. I couldn't find a paper fan and had to make it up myself."
"You idiot, how could you have been so stupid as to bring a thermonuclear device here?"
"Hey, it was low yield!" Yukari shouted back.
"That's still enough to take everyone on the island out, including us!"
"Bah!" Yukari waved her hand dismissively. "In that case we don't have anything to worry about."
"Why is that?"
"There's one thing you're forgetting: setting off a device like that is suicidal. Now who would be stupid enough to do that?"
Tomo found herself backed to the edge of a cliff on the outer fringe of the island. The projection jutted away from the island proper, leaving water surrounding her on three sides. A glance down below revealed dozens of breakers and white foam as the ocean crashed into the jagged rocks below.
"Shoot, wrong turn." Tomo's lament doubled when she saw Yomi emerge from the forest and into view, bat held at the ready.
"Nowhere left to go, Tomo-chan." A small trail of drool dribbled from Yomi's mouth.
Tomo held her hands up in a warding gesture. "Now, Yomi, don't do anything you might regret later."
"Like forgive you?"
"I could live with that."
"I couldn't." Yomi took another step forward, inhaling deeply as her revenge was nearly at hand.
"Fine, you leave me no choice." Tomo reached into her backpack and pulled out a large device with a red button displayed prominently on the front.
The insane gleam in Yomi's eyes disappeared as she saw the radiation symbol on the side of the weapon. It took her only a moment to divine the purpose of it. "That's a bomb of some kind. A radioactive one. If you set that off, it'll kill everyone on the island."
"If my good friend, Koyomi Mizuhara, wants me dead, then I have nothing to live for," Tomo said, her voice full of conviction.
The words cut Yomi to the core. Her eyes teared up as she saw Tomo in a new light. "Oh my god, I had no idea you cared so much for me, Tomo. You really are my best friend in the world." Yomi tossed Mr. Spiky Bat aside, the purpose behind its existence forgotten.
"It's nice to have you back, Yomi," Tomo said sincerely, she set the bomb on the ground.
Yomi ran forward and the two shared an embrace. The remained that way for a few moments, then stood back from one another.
"It's nice to be back," Yomi said with just as much earnestness. "Now let's get rid of the bomb, and figure out how to get out of this mess."
"Okay!" Tomo said enthusiastically. She picked the device back up and drew back with it, as though to hurl it into the ocean. She paused for a moment, looking at it curiously. Then, to Yomi's horror, she pushed the red button. Immediately a timer came on, its display showing fifteen seconds until detonation.
Yomi's jaw dropped as low as Kimura's ever had. "You've killed both of us, and after we patched things up. Why Tomo? Why did you do it?"
Tomo considered the matter with what little time remained. "Well, you know how if you see a yard with a 'Beware of Dog' sign on it, and you feel compelled to run across the yard as fast as you can to see if they were telling the truth or if they're full of crap?"
"Of course not! Only a brainless moron would do something as stupid as that!"
"Well, I would." Tomo said proudly. "When I see a button that says 'Warning: Will set off nuclear device' I just have to push it."
Yomi was sorry. Sorry for ending up on the island. Sorry for trusting Tomo. And most importantly, sorry she had thrown Mr. Spiky Bat away, since she would have had just enough time to use it on Tomo.
"Say, do you think I'm going to win this thing since I killed everyone else?" Tomo asked.
"Shut up, Tomo."
And then there was a flash of light.
Now this was the 'Politically Correct' version of the story, which producers thought needed to happen, since it did so well with test audiences. However, there is an unofficial 'Director's Cut', which does exist. All you have to do is send $5.00 to me, and I'll send you a copy.
In the alternative, you can simply hit the 'page down' key, and scroll downward and read it. Personally, I'd rather you did the former, though.
Azubattleroyale: Director's Cut:
[Writer's voiceover] This scene takes place right after the Chiyo-Osaka scene. Everything after that scene doesn't happen. It harkens back to the opening scene of the Battle Royale movie, and to me, was a decent punchline as well.
[Three days later]
Television reporter Akemi Shutaro cleared her voice as she looked into the camera and prepared to reveal to the world the winner of this year's Battle Royale. A veteran of covering the last three Battle Royales, she always waited until the very last minute to reveal the survivor to the television audience. She would pretend to be surprised, despite already knowing the name of the winner, as forwarded to her by the military.
"Here she comes," someone whispered into her earpiece.
Akemi nodded as the cameras began to roll. "Ladies and Gentlemen of the viewing audience and world at large. Once again the annual competition of the worst class of delinquents in the nation has come to its inevitable conclusion."
A man off camera waved to Akemi, indicating the girl was in position.
Akemi turned on her charm and the smile that had won her several prestigious news awards. "It is now my duty, honor, and privilege to present to you the winner of this year's Battle Royale, Female Student #37: Osaka… um, just Osaka."
Osaka walked up to the camera, blood staining her uniform in a variety of places. There was blood on her face as well, one patch in particular resembling a handprint. She waved to the camera with a paper fan, also soaked in crimson.
Akemi leaned closer to the girl, placing the microphone before her. "So, Miss Osaka, do you have any…" Akemi trailed off as a sense of deja-vu overwhelmed her. There was something about the vacant stare that seemed familiar. It took her a second to place it.
"My god! You're Ayumu 'Nail File' Kasuga. You won last year's Battle Royale and earned your nickname by dispatching all of the opposition with a nail file. They didn't mention you returning this year. Obviously you wanted to give the others a false sense of security by pretending not to be the returning champion and used an assumed name."
Osaka shook her head. "No, they just called me Osaka. I don't think Yukari-sensei knew my real name by the second day I was in her class. As to how I ended up here, after I killed everyone last year, I ended up getting held back a grade and was transferred to another school. Then I was sent on another of these field trips and had to kill all of my classmates. Again. This year was much harder than last year, though."
"You really liked the people?"
"Actually, it was because I had to kill them with this." She waved the crimson paper fan in front of the camera. "It's much harder to kill people with a paper fan than it is to kill them with a nail file."
Akemi was in shock. "You mean to tell me you actually killed people with a paper fan? I find that hard to believe."
"I can show the audience at home by killing you with it." Osaka drew the fan back.
"I believe you! I believe you!" Akemi insisted. "I guess you used a paper fan because you like a challenge, eh?"
"What do you mean?" Osaka asked.
"Well, you could have grabbed a sword or a gun from some of the others you killed, and gotten rid of the rest more efficiently. But being the veteran you are, you evened things up by using one of the most difficult weapons out there."
"You mean I don't have to use the weapon I was given?"
"Of course not. You can use any weapon you get your hands on."
Osaka stared at her fan in betrayal. "Darn."
Akemi just smiled for the audience's benefit. "In any case, since you're the first two-time winner we've had, are you going to come back next year and try to threepeat?"
Osaka shook her head. "I think next year I'd like to go somewhere that I didn't have to kill all my friends. It's kind of depressing " Well, killing Tomo had been sort of fun, but she was kind of down about the others. Even if they had been a little weird.
In any case, she'd have to transfer again, and hopefully this time she could avoid killing everyone she knew. It was tiring. Especially for her arms. Although if she did, she thought she'd try killing everyone with a rubber band. That would probably be a lot better weapon that a paper fan.
And thus the fic ends. Hope you enjoyed it, in a macabre sort of way.