Boy #17 a.k.a Dante Prescott woke up with pain banging around inside his brain. He clutched his silky blond hair and pushed down hard on the confines of his skull. He felt like he had gotten drunk and this was the hangover. Where the hell was he? He had simply got on the bus for the school trip along with Class 4B, who they practically worked with all the time, and they drove off. Next thing he knew, he was in this mysterious place.
He scanned the room. It seemed like an old fashioned classroom. The rickety desks, the ancient blackboard, the cheesy posters and graphs. He also noticed all his fellow classmates sleeping at a desk themselves. What was all this about? He gulped deeply, and he felt his Adam's apple run over something smooth. He touched around his neck and found the stainless steel collar. He noticed that all his classmates had them as well.
He tried to yank off his collar, pulling it every odd way, but it wouldn't budge. He felt the cold metal leave welts on the side of his neck. He grunted and breathed loudly has his fingers worked their way around. All of a sudden, it began to beep. Dante hadn't noticed as he was still fiddling with it. Before long, the beeping became shrill and quick, and he couldn't help but yell out, "What the fuck is going on?"
Those were the last words he ever said.
With a loud boom, the powerful explosives in Dante's collar were detonated. In the blink of an eye, the front of his throat was minced, and a long spray of blood coated the floor in a slippery red sheen. The explosion had woken up all the other students and they only looked on in horror as Dante's lifeless corpse fell to its knees before toppling over sideways. It lay eerily still in the grizzly pool of crimson, and that was when everybody worked out that this was no joke, and that Dante was actually dead.
All hell broke loose.
Students began to scream and shout, and a few vomited all over the floor. They began to stagger around like headless chickens, trying to figure out where they were, what was happening and why Dante Prescott, one of the cheeriest people in the class, was simply now a corpse that was beginning to stink up the room. All except for Girl #13 a.k.a Katie Norton, who simply bashed her collar against her desk, annoyed at the fact that it hadn't set off yet.
Katie had always been suicidal, and this was her moment. She was filled with depression, and such an easy way to end it all was a blessing to her. The girls, they never tired of teasing her about her gothic ways and her dress sense. She could still clearly remember the day that they locked her in the toilets. She was late to class and got a detention. That night, Katie was saved by a stranger when she stood in the middle of the road, waiting for somebody to take her life.
Finally, her collar began to beep, and she stood up triumphantly. "See you all in hell, suckers!" she cried.
Everybody else turned around unaware of what was to happen. In the same fashion as Dante's, the suicidal Katie's collar went off. The same deafening echo followed by the blood. Everybody began to panic the moment the initial fountain splashed onto the floor. Her body simply toppled to the ground like a tree, the blood rapidly pooling around her. The mindless running started up again, until the loud echo of a gunshot sent the room into a frightened silence.
"Sit down!" a voice cried out. Everybody hesitated until another shot was fired, which was enough incentive for the forty remaining students to scurry back to their desks. It became apparent that six soldiers had entered the room, along with a random man that looked a bit like a teacher. The man was wearing a trench coat over his formal attire. The soldiers split into groups of three and stood on opposite sides of the classroom, while the teacher stood at the front. He smiled at all the children in a perverted way, which caused some of them to shrink into their seats.
"Hello, students of Camberwell High!" he cheered. "You guys are the lucky ones selected for Australia's first Battle Royale!"
Three quarters of the students shuddered at this point. They had all heard of Battle Royale. It had been used to scare the problematic youth of various countries by choosing
a class every six months and getting them to kill each other until only one remained. They all understood that Australia was in the pits and that it was bound to happen sooner or later.
"My name is Aaron," the man said. "You don't need to know my surname."
He coughed loudly before heading back to his speech.
"Now, I assume most of you know what Battle Royale is, but for those of you who don't, it's quite simple," said Aaron. "You guys have to kill each other off." A few of the students screamed at this point.
Boy #5 a.k.a Blake Jennings laughed anxiously. "You're joking right?" he asked.
"Not at all," replied Aaron. "Now, your parents have been notified or killed, depending on their cooperation. Your teacher, Miss Bradley, is also dead, because she didn't go along with it. So don't be like her, okay?" There was not a single word spoken.
"I'm not the best at explaining things, so how about you watch this instructional video?" said Aaron, pulling a DVD out of his trench coat as two soldiers wheeled a small television out in front of the desks. Aaron inserted the disc into the DVD slot on the television, and a clip began to play.
(Warning from Australian Government)
How To Properly Fight A Battle Royale!®
(Screen fades in to reveal a cheery woman)
WOMAN: Congratulations Class 4A and 4B of Camberwell High on being selected for Australia's first Battle Royale! What an honour!
(Screen cuts to 3D image of island and grid image)
WOMAN: Now, you'll be fighting on a deserted island we have bought for the purpose of the game. It has been left without any tampering, so there'll be some building and structures you can use as a base or take refuge in. It has been split into multiple grid sections, not only to benefit us but to add some extra danger!
WOMAN: That's right! At certain times of the day, some of these grid sections will become danger zones! If you wonder into a danger zone, the collar around your neck will go BOOM!
WOMAN: About those collars. They are 100% waterproof, shockproof and completely permanent! They also contain enough explosive to blow apart your neck, so be careful!
(Screen cuts to woman in front of a backpack)
WOMAN: We aren't going to send you out empty handed. You will each receive a backpack with food, water, a map and pen with your class photo on the back, and a special weapon! We've also searched through your schoolbags and you are allowed to take anything we've left in them with you.
(Screen cuts to table with weapons and random items)
(Woman enters picture)
WOMAN: Back to the weapons! Of course, we want you to fight hard and you won't do that unless you have the encouragement of weapons! These weapons will range from useful things like guns and knives, all the way down to some not so great things, like a hat or a pack of cards!
(Woman walks off screen and screen cuts to woman in front of a blank background)
WOMAN: Now, there's one last thing I forgot to mention. There is a time limit on this game. You have three days, or seventy-two hours to finish the game. If there is more than one of you alive when the timer runs out, your collars will explode and there will be no winner! And we don't want that, do we? Your teacher will report every six hours on the deaths of your classmates in the order that they died, so you can mark them off on your photo. That's all, so good luck, and fight hard!
(Woman sticks thumbs up as screen fades to BR logo before fading to black)
"Okay," said Aaron. "Any questions?"
Out of the forty students that sat there, not one put up their hand.
"Well that makes things easy," said Aaron as some more soldiers rolled in the backpacks. "You've each been randomly assigned a number, and you will leave in that order with the gender alternating. Also, you better piss off quickly because the grid around the school will become a danger zone five minutes after the last student leaves."
Aaron stood up straight and took a deep breath, before pulling out a sheet of paper from his pocket.
"First up, we have Boy #1, Kelvin Curtis!"
Boy #1 a.k.a Kelvin Curtis was on the verge of wetting his pants. He was the nerdy type, with his big framed glasses and his suspenders. It was almost a cliche look, but he didn't mind. He would take the abuse from it every day, but he wouldn't mind, because it was just who he was.
Kelvin tousled his jet black hair before running forward, leaving his schoolbag behind. He had nothing useful in there, so it would just be dead weight. A soldier through a backpack at him with immense force, and it nearly knocked the thin boy off his feet. Kelvin slipped the straps around his shoulders and ran through the door, leaving every bit of normality that still existed in his life behind.
The first thing that hit him was the humidity. His clothes began to stick to his skin as he sprinted into the wilderness. The second thing was the time. He hadn't realised that it was midnight. But these things were only briefly thought about as he slipped into the darkness.
When he finally felt like he had made enough distance, he opened his backpack, anxious to find his weapon. He felt a large metal object and almost fainted as he pulled out an Uzi.
Girl #5 a.k.a Mandy Hailford was ready to play the game from the moment she found out where she was. She knew she had to get home. She had a whole life ahead of her. She was undoubtedly one of the most academically advanced students at her school, and she had already planned her accounting job out thoroughly. Mandy wasn't going to let her dumber classmates take her life from her just so they could waste theirs.
She was going through her bag when she heard the rustle.
It was in a bush only a few metres away from her, and she assumed this person was readying themselves to kill her. Mandy knew that this was not going to happen. She pulled out her weapon, a Desert Eagle, pushed her blonde hair behind her ears and sprinted towards the bush.
It turned out that her supposed attacker was Boy #2 a.k.a Richard O'Brian. Richard had only been trying to find the photo of his hospitalised sister. She had been hit by a car and was in an unstable condition. When Richard found out that he was not going to see her again, he became determined to try. So when he was attacked by Mandy, he was ready.
She took aim with her Desert Eagle, but Richard was quicker. He wrenched the gun out of Mandy's hands and kicked her in the stomach. She grunted loudly as she crumpled to the ground. Richard then aimed the barrel of the gun directly at her head. One shot, Rich, he thought over and over again, but he couldn't pull the trigger. Instead, he took the rest of her stuff with him and disappeared into the night.
He couldn't help smirking at the fact that he had gotten a Desert Eagle to replace his boxing gloves so quickly.
Girl #12 a.k.a Angie Forrest was tempted to just end it all by bludgeoning her collar with a rock. She saw Katie do it, so why couldn't she? But she didn't. Because Angie knew that her nasty parents would have happily consented to her appearance in the Program. She wanted to get back home and take her revenge on the people that drove her to depression almost every day.
Unfortunately for her, the tennis ball she had been given as a weapon wasn't going to kill anybody fast. Angie realised that her chances at winning this game were very slim. But that wasn't going to stop her.
As she stalked through the darkness, thought of murder and destruction were filling her brain, slowly turning her into a psychopath. Angie was ready to kill, no matter what it took.
Boy #18 a.k.a Jesse Irminton held his SPAS-12 shotgun tightly as he walked through the forest. He still couldn't believe that Dante was dead. Dante had been his best friend. They had laughed, cried and done everything together. They had watched each other's backs. None of that was ever going to happen again. Even if Jesse made it out alive, Dante was already gone.
Jesse was filled with paranoia as he ever so carefully took each step, his shotgun ready to blow someone's head to pieces. That was when he heard the voice.
"Nice weapon you got there," said an icy female voice.
He spun around and wasn't surprised when he saw the face of Girl #7 a.k.a Tara Williams. Tara had always had a thing against Dante and Jesse since the day that they egged her a few months prior to the Program. Jesse was relieved when she didn't have a weapon drawn, otherwise he would have been dead in an instant.
"I know," replied Jesse. "Where's yours?"
Tara reached into her bag and pulled out a teddy bear. Jesse couldn't help but burst into a laughing fit. He went on for around thirty seconds before finally stopping to regain his breath.
"You're lucky I'm a nice guy, Tara," said Jesse. "So you better piss off now or that will change."
Tara took the hint and sprinted off into the distance. Such an encounter was just what Jesse had needed to lift his spirit. He walked off casually with a huge grin on his face and the confidence of a lion.
Girl #21 a.k.a Andeera Kulkarni thought she was the most unlucky of all the students. She was last to leave, which meant anybody could have been waiting to shoot her or jump out and stab her. It also meant she had to smell the stench of the slowly decaying bodies of Dante and Katie for the longest out of everybody.
She became especially nervous when Boy #21 a.k.a Amos McKenzie left the room grinning evilly at her. Could he be waiting to end her just outside those doors? But she dismissed the thought, because if he didn't see her he would probably get his collar detonated when the school grid section became a Danger Zone.
"Last but not least, we have Girl #21, Andeera Kulkarni!" boomed Aaron, although very few needed to hear him. She stood up shakily and stumbled over to the soldier, who threw her bag to her softly, mostly because he was tired of pelting backpacks at children. Andeera then proceeded to run out the door, her mind in a complete mess.
The only thing she had the ability to do properly was pull out her weapon. She suddenly felt much more composed when she pulled out a Glock pistol. A gun was a blessing to her in this game and she nearly exploded with excitement. She was ready to go now, but where? Maybe to find Cassie and Miranda, her two best friends? Or maybe to take revenge on the bratty girls like Melanie and Alyssa? She didn't care.
All that mattered was that she had a gun.