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Life and Death

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Cold.

Wish-clunk

Less cold. Something sparks at the base of your skull, pounding, flowing into you-

And you open your eyes. The light is blinding. The sound of music faintly fills the air.

Clamps around your arms and legs let go. You fall to the ground, sinking to your knees.

When you stand, it’s almost like you’ve done this a hundred times before.

You can feel your controller in the back of your mind. The command arrives. Go forward. So you do.

The doors of the freezer close behind you as you enter the waiting room. Pillars of concrete and tile fill the space around you, rising up above until you can no longer see where they end.

A faint, hazy light shines down from above, but the room itself is artificially lit by a harsh yellow.

You are commanded to walk to the end of the room and use the escalator. It is also very tall, and you cannot see it’s end from where you stand.

You ride the escalator. It takes a while. Finally, you come to the top.

 

1F- Ikegara

 

A crank, and a gigantic door bar your path.

Correction. Several gigantic doors. And they’re so slow.

They finish opening. Finally.

And on the other side is a man, his skin purple and face covered by a mask. His red eyes narrow as he screams in rage and anger, and then he leaps across the room and tries to claw your face off.

Fight back! L2! You clench your hands into fists and meet his charge head on, slamming him to the ground. His swings are wild and feral, and you dart around them with ease. Keep dodging, X.

He’s getting tired. You’ve got this.

One last blow, this one to the head, and he staggers in pain, dizzy. Finish it! Y and L2! You dive on him, scooping his legs out from under as you hoist him onto your shoulders and stand tall.

You grip onto his shoulder and leg. You tense your muscles. You scream in exertion as you pull-

His body snaps in half and you’re covered in a torrent of blood. A shower of golden coins falls to the ground around you. Sweet!

You scream in triumph. “Yeah!”

One down. Many more to go.

-

The ground around you is covered in bodies. Bodies hung up in train cars, bodies piled in heaps upon heaps, bodies spilling out of cargo containers. Each one has a black face mask, each has black underwear and each has twenty ports over their arms and legs and chest.
You know this is true because they are the same ports that mark your body.

Failed experiments? Your predecessors?

You weren’t made to think. So you don’t.

You find several small chests containing more coins. You also find two small, green things hopping around on the floor making strange noises. Kero-kero.

You catch one to find out if it is edible. It is.

Unfortunately, not all of the dead are silent. There are the machine men, with their wire and tube heads, bleeping and straining at you with their clawed arms. You bash their head-fruits open and watch as their blood stains the ceiling red.

Others come for you then, panting and feral, makeshift weapons clutched in their hands. You beat them down with your fists, and then with a borrowed hammer, and then some strange modified circular saw that shears through flesh and bone effortlessly.

When that breaks, you cast it aside and continue. Your controller approves and orders you to continue to the escalator. You have no reason to refuse.

 

3F- Tamata

 

More ‘screamers’ and ‘tubers’. You smash them and you bludgeon them and you snap their spines. They get a few lucky hits in, but one of those mushrooms you found that looks like a heart makes you feel good again.

Your controller orders you to pick up some of the iron scraps that litter the ground. You do so, but as you hold them in your hand they disappear in a flash of energy. It is not your place to question how or why.

So you continue to fight. A red chest holds a stack of blue papers that you can’t read. Your controller is very excited as it orders you to take them. You are somewhat glad that it is happy about this.

And then a large room. You walk forward and freeze as the ceiling gives way. A gigantic figure crashes down, bodies atop bodies, metal protruding from twisted flesh. A misshapen mass of a head with no eyes howls out a battle cry.

You lunge forward at this monstrosity, eager to prove your strength again-

A wild blow from one of its massive arms sends you skidding against a wall. You lift yourself up as another blow cracks the floor and sends you staggering away.

You ready your hammer and bring it down on it’s back, and relish it’s screams of agony until it backhands you and knocks you down to your knees.

Back off! You do so, watching the thing warily as it sniffs the air and growls. It’s blind. Stay quiet. You begin to walk slowly around the thing, trying to get at it’s back again.

Then it yells, the sound ripping into your ears and making you stagger in pain. It knows where you are from the sound, and it rushes you down and-

Elias has died

“Welcome back! What do you think about our offer now?” Ms. Saito asks, holding up her placards.

NO

“I see. That’s too bad.”

Behind her, on the screen, Elias the fighter is reanimated and the hate overcomes him.

-

WHERE

WHERE IS BIG THING

YOU WILL KILL IT

YOU WILL MAKE IT SCREAM

IT WILL BEG

IT WILL BREAK

WHERE

LITTLE ONES COME, ANGRY AND FURIOUS

NOT AS ANGRY AS YOU

“FUCK OFF!”

BREAK THEM

SMASH THEM

KILL EVERYTHING THAT MOVES

WHO IS THAT

WHO IS THAT ONE WITH THE HAMMER

IT’S EYES ARE BLUE, NOT RED

IT’S SKIN IS CLEAN, NOT DIRTY

IT’S CONTROLLER SINGS IT SONGS OF BLOOD AND VICTORY

YOU WANT

YOU WANT IT’S LIFE, IT’S STRENGTH

YOU WANT TO BE WHOLE AGAIN

“UGLY BITCH!”
YOU CHARGE, BUT IT DODGES

WHY, WHY CAN’T YOU HIT IT

THE CONTROLLER KNOWS, SEES THROUGH YOU

YOU GET KNOCKED DOWN

YOU GET STOMPED

YOU GET BACK UP-

Hater has been defeated. Salvaging Elias.

-

Something sparks at the base of your skull. Your head is killing you.

Clamps around your arms and legs let go. You fall to the ground.

You’re back. Your controller has new orders for you- a target for you to hunt down. You take off at a dead run for the escalator and it isn’t until you’re halfway to F1 that you realize your controller is not following you.

You hesitate for a moment. It must be using another fighter instead of you. You are willing to fight and to die for your controller. But this…

You have your orders. You weren’t made to think. So you climb up to the next floor, collecting coins and animals and iron scraps.

You find your target, another fighter. He is armed. He is armored. And all you have is your bare fists.

You won’t win. Your orders tell you to attack anyway. And when you wake up back in the freezer, your controller is pleased again.

-

Time continues. You go on ‘expeditions’ every time you can spare, starting empty handed and returning with items and money. Your controller and the other fighters continue up the tower.

The waiting room is attacked and the banks are smashed. You are put on defense- which means you wait in the freezer for another fighter to attack. You wait and you wait and you wait, but nobody came.

And then, one day, your controller returned, filled with joy.

Rank 2 fighters available. Purchase?

YES

The Fighter Freezer is full.

Disposing of Rank 1 Fighter Elias. Are you sure?

YES

What is that sound? It sounds like a saw-

300 SPLithium gained.