Friday, June 27, 2014

The Games - Part 2

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here! Sorry in a bit of a rush this week!

The Games - Part 2

Samar and Zhilan walked briskly down the corridor trying to put some distance between themselves and the two corpses.

"So, what did you do to end up in here?" he asked.

"What do you mean? I was kidnapped for no reason!" she complained.

"I'm not buying that." he replied "I thought that at first but everyone here that we've met appears to have wronged someone in the past. I don't think we were grabbed at random, we were each targetted and our pasts are catching up with us. So I ask again what did you do?"

"Nothing!" Zhilan protested "What did you do?"

Samar looked down a side corridor, saw nothing of interest and continued on.

"I was in the Serpentis Syndicate. I ran drugs, enforced the Syndicates will. Basically I was a shit. In the end I was caught, sent for trial and spent 8 years in a penal colony. After I served my time I signed up to an ex-convict education project, got a qualification in starship mechanics and have led an honest life for years. However I guess someone I wronged before I straightened out wants payback. So why are you here? What did...."

Samar trailed off as he spotted a door with a datapad attached and a dead-bolt. Another bonus room. He went up to the door and read the message. It stated this was a level 5 bonus room. The previous one that had nearly cut him in half had only been level 1. The danger in that room would be much higher, but so would the reward. He placed his hand on the deadbolt. Zhilan placed her hand on top of his.

"Be careful" she whispered.

Samar nodded and entered the room. Again it was pitch black with the only light illuminating a pedistal at the back of the room. He took a step forward and there was a crash behind him, the room lights came on a second later. A metal grill had slammed down blocking his escape, a small keypad was located in the centre. He assumed he needed a code to raise the gate. A gutteral growl behind him made him spin back around. The thing in the corner made him step back in horror. It had once been human, that much was clear, but now it was more machine than human. Impants and cyborgnetic implants covered what was left of its biological body. A collar around its neck was fastened to the wall. It strained to move towards Samar, mindlessly choking itself. Samar noticed a small box hanging from the collar.

"The reward is in on the pedistal. The code to exit is around the neck of the friend of Mr Sansha. The low-grade slave will be released in five, four, three..." a robotic voice boomed over hidden speakers.

Samar grabbed his knife. The thing that faced him was something created by the evil genius of Sansha Kuvakei. Samar knew little about Sansha's Nation other than news stories and Gallente B horror movies.

"...two, one. Good luck!"

There was a clink and suddenly the creature rushed forward snarling. Samar side-stepped its charge and ran, looking for something better to use as a weapon than the puny flick knife he held. It would seem they had made sure it would be a fair fight and removed everything from the room that could be used as a weapon. The creature was slowly approaching now having learnt that charging wouldn't catch the fast moving Samar. Its one organic eye tracked his movements whilst the green glow of the mechanical one pulsed. Having backed him into a corner the creature lunged. Samar ducked and slammed his forearm into its belly. A sharp pain shot up his arm as it hit steel. The creature grabbed him by his belt and lifted him up, then threw him across the room. He slammed into the floor and skidded into the opposite corner, winded. The monster roared. Samar picked himself up as it advanced on him again. As it attacked he grabbed its head and plunged his finger into the creatures remaining original eye. The shriek it made hurt Samar's ears. It backhanded him and sent him flying. Samar picked himself up and backed off as the creature thrashed about, blood dripping from its ruined eye. Whatever purpose the artificial eye served it wasn't for vision. The creature was blinded and thrashing about wildly. Carefully Samar approach and in one quick motion he ripped the box from its collar and backed off. Sensing his presence the creature howled again and swung its metallic arm in a wide arc. Samar ducked and backed off towards the pedestal. He picked up the reward box and moved back to the gate and tapped in the pass-code. Out of breath, he ran from the room and slammed the door.

Zhilan looked at him concerned.

"Are you OK?"

"Yeah. The sick bastards put some form of Sansha creature in there."

"How the hell did they get one for them?" Zhilan asked.

Samar opened the box. "I don't know, but I'm not sure I want to see any bonus rooms higher than 5 again. That thing almost killed me!"

He took out a piece of paper, at the top there was the title "Intel". He scanned the list and handed it to Zhilan.

"What's this?" she asked.

"Us." he replied as he sorted the contents of the box. Zhilan looked at the list.

  • Murderer
  • Thief
  • Whore
  • Cheat
  • Rapist
  • Dealer
  • Vandal
  • Double-Crosser
  • Psychopath
  • Miser
  • Traitor
  • Abandoner

"Oh." is all she could say.

"I know what you are thinking. I could be the 'Dealer' or the 'Vandal'. To be honest I could even be the murderer, however to be factually correct it was judged as manslaughter."

Samar didn't look up as he pulled food and drink from the box. Zhilan gasped as he pulled out a pistol.

"They gave us a gun?" she exclaimed.

Samar ejected the magazine and checked the chamber.

"Yes, but only one bullet. Useful, but only once." he replied slamming the magazine back home and stuffing the gun in the back of his jeans.


Back in the cocktail room everyone was watching the action on the big screen intently. A woman was laying on her front as a man sat on her back garrotting her. Her hands grasped at the string digging deep into her flesh as she choked, her gasping face filling the screen. A few seconds later she was dead. A glass smashed at the back of the room.

"Dammit!" screamed a woman. Xarna excused herself and approached the woman.

"That is unfortunate. Would you like to buy in again?"

"I cannot believe it! You would think a woman who would leave her own daughter in a burning building to save her own skin would be better at self-preservation than that!" the woman gestured to the main screen which showed the lifeless body.

"She was 60 to 1 for a reason I'm afraid. Our analysists predicted she wouldn't last long."

"What's the odds on that, thing, that killed her?"

"They are poor. 3 to 5 as he is expected to do very well."

The woman looked back to the screen.

"Put me down for three hundred thousand credits on that animal."


"Why do you think you might be the murderer?" Zhilan asked as Samar led her down a flight of stairs.

"Why do you think I should tell you when you won't tell me which you are on that list." he replied casually.

"I'm none of those!" she protested "I've never hurt anyone, well not enough for them to put me through this!"

Samar stopped, the stairwell was blocked by a barricade. Furniture and crates had been dumped and then welded into position. The door to the next deck was clear. Samar did think it was too easy when they found the stairwell. The organisers of this little caper obviously wanted to force them to go deck by deck. He assumed he'd find a stairwell at the other end of this deck which would allow them to descend to the next deck. He pushed the door open a crack and peered out. It appeared clear. He opened the door and lef Zhilan out into the corridor.

"A shop in the district we controlled stopped paying their monthly protection fee. I went round to purswade them to start paying again. The owners son took a swing at me, I swung back and put him down. At that point the cops arrived, I guess the owner had seen us approaching and assumed things would get messy so and called the cops. Anyway I get booked in for assault. I think I'm in there for the night, no biggy. However, the shop owners son never wakes up in the morning. The punch I gave him ruptured something, I cannot remember what it was, the pathologist explained in great detail at my trial. Anyway, he died from this freak internal injury. Prosecutor went for murder but the jury convicted me of manslaughter. I spent the next few years in the pen telling myself every minute I'd not return to that life. So I might be the murderer, but I was with the Serps so the 'Dealer' is another possibility. I smashed up a few establishments that were behind on their payments too so 'Vandal' fits as well."

"But that's not you any more. You went to jail for your crimes, you paid for what you did."

"I don't think everyone is in agreement with that." he sighed and continued down the corridor.


"Is there anything I can do for you?" Xarna asked the young woman. She looked up from her chair, the left side of her face was horribly scarred.

"No. Is it normal to feel like this?" she whispered.

"It will pass." Xarna said in a comforting voice.

The young woman looked up at the screen that still contained the view of her dead mother. The huge man was removing the string from her lifeless neck.

"Thank you."

As she left Xarna looked at the other Clients. People who had paid for those who had wronged them in the past to be brought to justice. Of course they had no idea that in the next room, the rich and the powerful were betting on who would survive. One Games, two very profitable Client groups.


"I... I... I have money! Lots of money!" the shaky voice man's voice pleaded from the room ahead. Samar and Zhilan edged forward, backs pressed against the wall.

"What fracking use is money? I don't see no Caldari Provisions Megamart around here!" the other voice was deeper.

"Get me out of here and you'll be rich! Remember its a two-man escape pod!"

"Is that why you picked up MY gun? Tell me which you are on the list and I might think about it. And you need to tell me the story, I ain't trusting some of them. You got two seconds to talk otherwise I'm going to think you are making it up! You messed with my gun, if you're the traitor I ain't trusting you!"

"The miser! I think I'm the miser!" the voice shrieked.

"Go on" the other boomed.

"I told you I was rich. Years ago my son came to me. My grand-kid had a terminal disease. There was an experimental treatment but it was 800,000 credits. It was experimental so might not have worked. You cannot spend that money on something with no guarantee!"

"So you let the kid die? Your own flesh and blood!" the deep voice growled.

"It was experiential!" the other protested.

"So you think your son put you in here?"

"I... I've not spoken to him since the funeral. I heard he'd successfully sued the station that was to blame for the condition of his son. Faulty rad-shielding. He has money now!"

"So if I kill you I can expect a good payment when I find your son? You never asked me which I was on that list, I'm the murderer!"

"What? No! Wait!"

There was a crack and then silence.

Samar froze. If they had the list then they had done one of the bonus rooms. That meant he could have a weapon like his. Also it appeared he might not be the 'murderer'. He wondered which title applied to him.

A huge man walked out of the room, his hands dripping with blood. He turned and stopped when he saw Samar pointing a gun at him. He smiled.

"What you going to do with that little man?" the giant snarled.

"Shoot you in the face with it if you don't back off."

The huge man took a step forward and quickly drew his own gun.

"Given the other titles on that list I'm guessing you ain't got the balls. What are you? The traitor? The cheat? Looking at you, you could be the whore." he laughed taking another step forward. With surprising speed the huge man dropped to his knee brought the gun to bare and pulled the trigger. The gun simply clicked. The giant looked at the gun in his hand in confusion.

"To be honest, I thought I was the murderer. But if that's you I guess it must be another of the crimes I committed as an enforcer for the Serpentis" Samar growled.

The huge man's face dropped at the mention of the notorious crime syndicate. He had moved to a vulnerable position, he had two choices. Run or attack but given he was kneeling on one knee, both were unlikely to succeed.


"Well Ambassador, he certainly is doing better than expected." Xarna purred.

The Ambassador nodded, not taking his eyes of the large screen. The huge man lay on the floor, a hole in his face. Samar was searching the body.

"His companion. What where her odds?" he asked.

"Her? She was 50 to one to start with. A long-shot. But if he keeps her under his wing someone will be winning big tonight." Xarna replied.

"Ah yes I remember her file now. I disregard her. Didn't see her lasting."

"No, given the reason someone has put her in there our analysts gave her a short life expectancy. But your player is keeping her alive."

"Well we are in the final half. Six left in the game. The Thief, the Whore, the Dealer, the Double-Crosser, the Psychopath and the Traitor. Its going to get interesting!"

To be continued.....


  1. I can't wait to see where this is going. One nit pick. After seeing the list Samar says he could be the dealer or the thug. There is no thug on the list

    1. Damit! I changed my mind and didn't like 'thug' so swapped it it 'vandal' but missed that reference. Come on Drack, ctrl+F when you make these changes!


  2. I like this story. Some of your previous work had artwork, why not this time ?

    1. Time! On holiday this weekend and had set it to autopost. Had to get it written and ready by midweek.