The sun rose over the city, spreading its warmth and light as usual. One of the many buildings that was being shone upon was a dusty, low-key hotel. You probably would never find the hotel if you didn't knew where it was, seeing as it was barely marked as being an hotel in the first place. As a result the hotel was on the edge of bankruptcy. As if to mock the bad state of the hotel, some spider had woven its web in the corner of a window. Now this would be just a standard run-of-the-mill hotel, were it not for a few strange things in the main lobby.
One, a set of three strange wooden dolls, each of them having a metallic ring of some sorts around their neck. One of these was holding a wooden gun, a second was in a running position, and the third was sitting on the ground holding a calendar.
Two, a state-of-the-art television hooked up to a laptop. At the moment it was just showing a black screen.
Three, eleven humans lying on the ground in the hall. Each one of them had a collar around their neck, each one of them seemed to be unconscious.
Each one of them had to either kill someone else before the month ended, or the would die themselves.
Soon after, the eleven slowly started to come to, likely to be confused about how they got here. "Luckily" for them, an explanation would soon follow. The television that until now was showing something about as interesting as ‘Watch Paint Dry’ sprung to life, revealing a faint figure. The figure simply stared at the camera for a few seconds before speaking up.
“Good morning, everyone.” the figure said – its voice seemed to be male, but of course one can easily change his voice with modern technology – “Good morning to all of you. I hope you had a good rest? I mean, you better have had a good rest, seeing as you'll need all the energy you can spare in the upcoming month.” He took a short pause. He loved to see the confusion of his Players when they first awoke and wondered what the F*** was going on.
“You're probably wondering what I'm talking about, right?”, the figure continued. “Well, I hope you're all wide awake, because I have a very important message for all of you. You better listen up, because I really don't like to have to repeat myself. Is everyone paying attention? Good, here it comes; each and every one of you has been chosen to... play a game against each other. Not just an ordinary game like Monopoly though, that would be boring.
Before I go on, I would like you to feel around your neck. You should feel a thin metal collar. Harmless, right? Wrong. This collar has been rigged with explosives and will disconnect your head from your shoulders if you choose to disregard the rules of my Game.
Now, let's move on to the rules of the Game, shall we? The rules are actually very simple.
One: No escape. If you try to leave the city boundaries…” The man paused again, but there would be no silence. As soon as he stopped talking, the collar around the neck of the running mannequin detonated, filling the room with a horrible noise and blowing the dust on the floor everywhere. When the dust cleared, the people in the room could see that the mannequin’s head was blown clear off its shoulders. Strangely, the nearby walls and other dolls weren’t even scratched – apparently the force of the blast was channeled inwards.
“…The collar will explode,” he stated the obvious. “You'll get a warning if you get too close to the boundaries. For the record, trying to-," the man said, but was suddenly interrupted by another explosion. A young girl with long, red hair had panicked and tried to remove her collar. Her panicked screams were cut short when her collar exploded, instantly killing her. For what seemed an eternity her decapitated body somehow kept itself upright, spitting out a fountain of blood that dirtied everything and everyone nearby before finally collapsing in a puddle of her own crimson blood.
"*ahem* As I just tried to say before I was so rudely interrupted," the man continued a few seconds later, on a tone so calm one would think that nothing had happened, " trying to remove the collar counts as trying to escape, as does letting someone remove your collar for you.
Two: No guns, seeing as those make for a very boring game. Other obvious weapons like oversized knives, axes and such are also banned – in fact, you will not even be able to find them. You are allowed to weaponize tools, taken that you are using them to enhance your powers, which I'll get into shortly. Again, breaking of this rule will lead to collar detonation.” As if to mark the man’s words, the collar around the weapon-wielding mannequin exploded as soon as he finished talking.
“Three: You must complete your objective - which I'll also get into momentarily - within 30 days. Failure to do so will lead to mass collar detonation of everyone who hasn't done so, seeing as everyone would break it at the same time.” It was at this point that the final mannequin’s head was removed from the body.
“Now, I'll say what aforementioned ‘objective’ is. You'll have to kill one specific person in this room.” The voice fell silent for a second to let the message sink in. “That's right, I'm asking you to either kill or die. I don't care if you have to kill a man, woman or kid, as long as you make it look interesting - and as long as you comply with aforementioned rules.
Now, you may be wondering: ‘If I can't use weapons, then how am I supposed to kill anyone at all?’. Well, it's simple; each and every one has been given a special power ‘A special power?,’ I hear you ask? Well, that would be things like being able to control fire, move water with your mind, that kind of stuff. But how do you know what power you have?. If you would be so kind to check your pockets? You'll find the following: A wallet, an envelope holding a picture, and finally a cellphone.” The man on the TV stopped talking for a second in order to let everyone check their possessions. He then continued. “The cellphone will have a message on it stating what power you have, along with some other useful information. You'd... probably want to keep it private. Oh yeah, it also has my number on it, in case you have any questions – or just want to chat with me. I’m always open for that. And no, you won’t be able to contact the outside world with that. It’s sort of like an intranet system; they can only contact each other, and then only if you press the right code. Several of my helpers also have a phone like it, so you can still call places like restaurants, hotels and whatnot – taken that you have their number, of course. Why don’t you note the number of someone else in the room? Oh, but are you sure you can trust them? You don’t want someone to backstab you in a Game like this, right? Then again, the chance that they have to kill you is only one in ten... Well, one in nine now. We can't have someone getting away with their target commiting suicide, now, can we?” As he said this, a devilish grin appeared on his face.
“Moving on to the envelope. The person in the picture in the envelope happens to be with you in this very room. Remember the part where I told you to kill one specific person? I hope you can do calculus, or at least know what 2 + 2 is, because I’m not going to get any more obvious than that.”
“Finally, the wallet. As small as it may seem, it actually has an infinite amount of money in it. Before you ask any questions as to how this is possible, remember that it came from the one that kidnapped all of you without the world noticing – or caring, for that matter. – and gave all of you superpowers.”
The voice fell silent again, both giving people time to think about their situation and allowing the speaker to think about whether or not he was forgetting about anything. “Well then, if you have any questions, you can always call me. And with that, I'm off! Remember, I'll be watching you...”
A wicked laugh sounded through the room before the signal to the TV failed once more, leading to it once again only showing a black screen.
DATE: 01 JUNE, 2012
TIME: 07:00 AM (07:00 on a 24-hour clock)
DAY 1 - THE GAME HAS BEGUN
The Controller smiled as he turned on the cameras spread out all over the city. He hoped that this time, the Game would run as planned. He still remembered last time... "Stupid fools," he muttered to himself. "If they just did what I've told them, then one of them could still be alive. Now they're all dead. Well, that's what they get for not doing as I say." He sat down on a comfy seat, then stared at the giant multi-screen wall. "Hmmm... I wonder who will be the first one to snap?," he said to nobody in particlar. "Will it be that guy with the brown hair and the silver earring? Or maybe that black-haired boy? Ooh, maybe it's the white-haired woman with the bizarre skin disease! Heh, this would make for a great betting game..."