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Absolution of Humanity

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Once my feet touched the ground, the nylon fabric of the parachute enveloped me, plunging my senses into utter darkness. I could feel my knees buckling from under me. Then it came - the pain. I could not pinpoint where it originated from, though it had obviously came from somewhere in my body. It was sickening to know that I was in pain and that it overrode any thoughts I had in regards to reality itself. I suddenly felt emptiness. How many moments had I spent in the darkness, unmoving? My whole body seemed to be struggling to coordinate with what thoughts dwelled in my mind. Need I remind myself what I am? I am human, of course, right? I’m frightened - truly. Am I slowly going insane? No - that’s wrong, and I know it! I know damn well exactly who I am! ...I’m-

Ah!

Wait...

There it is!

That must be the third... How many times must I hear my fellow man roar at one another? No, wait. That’s wrong. The term “man” wouldn’t be so proper to describe us characters now. That man behind the screen referred to us as players. Of course, this isn’t a board game; we’re playing a rather sick game here, and we’re definitely counting down our numbers. How many did that man say there were, anyway? Actually, I don’t recall him ever saying anything about our numbers. Another blast erupted in the distance, and I immediately recalled the chilling words of the man behind the screen: “In order to go home, you’re to kill seven people.” We were all given bombs of our own, with BIM designated as their name. We were instructed that each one of us was likely to possess a different sort of BIM. These BIMs were our weapons - our tools sharpened for the massacre. If I remembered correctly, all of us players were first situated in what looked to be the back of a cargo plane. I remember the glances we had given to each other. We were all fearful of one another. Our eyes, clouded with mistrust, evidenced it all. And this is the result.

Damn.

They’re hunting rather early, aren’t they?

I must’ve spent quite some time, for my next thoughts wondered whether or not I should be leaving. My arms flailed about, but every attempt was met with resistance. It terrified me - truly. Had I already been killed, felled by the chilling intensity of the wind and the ground that now reeked of my body’s seeping blood? No, wait. Calm down... That’s silly - truly. I’m the main character of my own story after all. Isn’t this a common setting, too? In a game, the main character doesn’t die unless his death actually means something to the plot. Such thinking was convenient at the time. It was then, while lost in my own thoughts, a gap suddenly formed in front of me, blinding me one second and the next spent illuminating what laid in front of me: an opening. I could see it - right there! Staring through the opening, I could see that life still existed on the other side, and therefore confirming that I still existed. How cowardly of me - truly. I can’t have myself blocking it out; I need to escape. Though it must’ve been but mere moments for when such thoughts clouded my mind, my desire to escape this seemingly perpetual darkness increased tenfold.

The wind howled, tearing through the parachute’s nylon fabric. Why had it suddenly become so difficult to stand? My hands stretched forward, desperately clawing to pull myself from under the parachute, and yet my arms buckled underneath the nylon fabric. I could hear the wind howl, taunting me. A shiver worked itself up to my spine, and the thought of the darkness blinding me was my motivation. Though I did so awkwardly, I pulled myself forward, every effort met with agony. I could hear the ground rustle from underneath me. Grass, perhaps? Clumsily, I emerged from underneath the parachute, with the occasional tossing of its dark green nylon fabric as it clung to me. A couple of attempts at ripping the nylon fabric had proven futile before, and the wind belittled me as a result, blowing with intensity. With enough effort, the parachute ceased to accompany me, reduced to a pitiful shadow as the wind carried it off.

My head lifted off the ground as my knees planted themselves on the ground. What laid before my eyes was a jungle. It was just as I had thought, or, much rather, just what the man behind the screen had told us players. I had caught glimpses before I had landed, but I knew now where I was situated in. Judging by the intensity of the wind, I must have landed in a small clearing elevated above the jungle surrounding me. A couple of more observations, with the occasional turning of the head, then proved my theory. I could probably move, but I’ll be needing to stand first.

However, before I could do anything, the jungle that laid in front of me had burst into searing flames. I wasn’t even close but yet I could feel the heat radiating from the jungle’s depths. This was not a work of nature but the work of man in nature’s stead. It was simple. It was so simple. One of the players had let out a roar and, as a result, they had overdone their actions, burning the nearby trees. I stared in awe. Our tools of murder could do so much. It was shocking - truly. These tools of the massacre, possessed by my foes, were also by my side. It was inside this silver-colored bandolier that held weapons in arm’s reach. The thought itself was uncomfortable, thought I could do no such thing to discard the source. Even if I had decided that killing wasn’t the only way out, I would eventually be hunted down by one of my fellow players. These weapons are now a necessity for my survival. Of course, there were many things that couldn’t be avoided. Somehow I knew that I would eventually kill a person, and this was not based on any egocentric thought rather on an intangible feeling. It was now all too easy to hurt, all too easy to kill, and all too easy to commit the irreversible.

There were screams filling the air where there were flames residing. They weren’t screams of agonizing pain but rather screams of anger. I could definitely imagine them but yet that wasn’t the case. Somehow I knew where they were. I could see where they were moving. I could feel every emotion poured into every action. I could tell one of them was suffering yet not from pain but from fear. As for the other person, the one in pursuit, they were sure of their victory. When I attempted to stand, my body staggered backward but yet managed to catch itself as my right foot planted itself in the ground behind me. It was then I realized: While standing about, lost in thought, I was vulnerable. I could die here, in this jungle, where no one would ever know my very character.

A shiver worked its way up my spine.

It was fear that truly motivated me now, guiding my whole being to what I perceived as safety. I could of sworn whatever lay deep in the jungle was approaching fast. I needed to be safe - this I knew. Several seconds had past when another blast roared from a distance. A small step quickly turned into a jog. Instinctively, I turned to my left. I could hear the screams no more but yet I could feel the movements approaching that very clearing from before, transitioning their battle to there. They were still back there, trying to kill each other, and, regardless of their motives, one of them would emerge victorious. But there would be a cost, just as there always will be, for with every person killed, they would be casting what little of humanity they still held within themselves.

When I looked at myself, I felt no different.