Our story so far: As they tried to negotiate Rick was taken as prisoner, now the characters proceed with the hope that he will be released, and so need to take a tournament book to find where he will next be placed in the competition.
Maron had insisted and insisted and insisted that Rick would be coming back, so we needed to get a tournament book for him. Did it matter that there was no way to do that other than stealing from people who got knocked out the tournament? Not to her anyway. I suppose it wouldn’t matter to me either if I thought there was a chance of his return. We had bribed our way in again, and would attempt to get a tournament book regardless.
Rob was able to vanish without a trace while I was left with the crying widow. Last night we were lucky that only one of us was taken, I thought. What we had done was stupid. We could have still won with Rick; however, we had given him away, it was our greatest mistake.
This couldn’t have been a coincidence though. Three friends who were competing got knocked out of the competition at the same way due to unfair reasons. It sucked that we couldn’t get a bribe and it also sucked that none of us would win. Rob acted like he had a backup plan but it sure would have been nice if he had told us what it was in more specific terms.
Once a crowd had gathered in front of the stage the announcer appeared to talk to everyone and address the group.
“HELLO LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, OR JUST GENTLEMEN NOW, SINCE ALL THE FEMALES GOT KNOCKED OUT!” the announcer expected the audience to find this funny, but it was greeted with a bleak silence. Trying not to let it get to him the announcer continued.
“I’M SURE THAT YOU’RE ALL EAGERLLY AWAITING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF WHO YOU’VE GOT LEFT TO FIGHT. WE’RE GETTING CLOSE NOW AND THE REQUIREMENTS TO VICTORY IS, TO WIN 9 MORE FIGHTS!” A lot of people looked reassured by this but honestly, they hadn’t fought that many times already. The competition was decreasing exponentially. There were about 500 contestants left now.
“I SAY 9 WELL SOME OF YOU WILL ONLY NEED 8. THERE WERE ABOUT 4000 PEOPLE AT THE START OF THIS TOURNAMENT AND HERE WE ARE NOW. ANYONE WHO HAS MADE IT THIS FAR SHOULD BE PROUD OF THEMSELVES AND YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE THE RANK YOU ACHIEVED IN THE TOURNAMENT FOR WHEREVER YOU GO, WHATEVER MERCENERY GROUP YOU JOIN.” He said the last part sneeringly, as if being a mercenary was a terrible and bad job, like being a person who shouts at a big crowd was any better.
“NOW WE STILL NEED TO ENFORCE THE RULES” he was able to put even more emphasis with his shouting on “rules” I had no idea how he was able to do that by shouting as loud as he could. I wish I had lungs like his.
Then it settled on me the true terror of what he might be talking about.
“THERE ARE STILL PEOPLE WHO ARE BREAKING RULES AND DOING CRIMINAL ACTS, THESE ARE OBVIOUSLY UNTOLLERATED AND YOU SHALL BE REMOVED FROM THE COMPETITION IF YOU FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE RULES. EVERYTHING IS HERE, SET IN PLACE FOR A REASON SO AS TO MAKE THE TOURNAMENT AS FAIR AS POSSIBLE.” Yeah right “AND THE PUNISHMENT FOR BREAKING THESE RULES, THE EXTREME ONES, IT EXECUTION” Why? When he spoke, it felt like he turned to me and Maron at the back with a knowing smile, it should have just been a coincidence, but I dreaded to wonder what would happen now.
“HERE, SINCE THE LAST WARNING WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH, WE’VE BROUGHT YOU AN EXAMPLE!”
An executioner walked on to the stage carrying a block and a sharp axe.
“HERE HE IS, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU WHEN YOU BREAK THE RULES.” Two people wearing hoods on their head walked through from the back to the front of the stage, they had been locked up underneath beforehand. The mask was taken off and he was not in fact Rick, it was a different skinny boy. He had blonde, slightly brown hair and a short body. He was lined up with his head on the block.
“ANY LAST WORDS?” The person about to be executed said something so quietly I couldn’t hear it.
“ALRIGHT, GET ON WITH IT THEN!” The executioner chopped down his axe and the boys head fell off, blood spurted slowly out the top as his limp body fell down to the side. That was the example, he had been killed, and this is what would happen to us if we weren’t careful.
“OH AND ONE MORE THING.” The man at the front said, “HURTING ANY OF THE ORGANISES WILL ALSO NOT BE TOLLERATED, THIS MAN HAS DONE THAT AND HE WILL BEFALL THE SAME FATE.” A pit appeared in my stomach. The second hooded person was Rick.
Maron began to cry and desperately began trying to work her way through the crowd to get to him. I stopped her and restrained her; I didn’t want her to get executed as well.
“Let me go” she cried. I forced her to the ground in desperation and lied on top of her. She was crying sadly with her eyes “LET ME GO! LET ME GO! LET ME GO!” After a while she stopped resisting and just began crying. It was sad to do. None of us saw Rick but we heard his voice.
“ANY LAST WORDS?” the man said to Rick.
I could hear him, but the words were impossible to tell. Rick was not loud, and I had to deal with Maron.
I picked Maron up and told her not to look back. Then I walked her away.
Unfortunately, this was advice that I didn’t follow. I looked back and saw Ricks winking decapitated head. It was unpleasant, only yesterday I was talking and exchanging jokes with this person. But they had killed him.
The only thing stopping me from breaking down was stopping Maron from breaking down. I had known Rick for longer, but I had been brainwashed to forget him, our grief was the same.
Though I didn’t hear his last words, I felt like his face said it all. Rick was a man who could only wink, yet now in death his wink seemed natural, as if his eye was deliberately closed. He wouldn’t have wanted us to be sad, he would have wanted us to prevent the conspiracy.
“We’ll stop all of this Rick, I will, I promise you.” I found it difficult to hold back the tears, and they started flowing strong. We’d have our revenge. Nothing could stop us; we had to use any method possible to prevent this conspiracy from taking any more lives.
The first task was to find Rob. The second task was to murder.
Thank you for reading! Let me know what you think.