Bitter 486

Britta opened her map. She could see the whole arena, but that didn’t tell her much, it was just a big black square. No tunnels, no landmarks, and only one player’s location showing — hers.

There was a timer counting down at the top of the screen, four and a half minutes to go. Until what? The game couldn’t be five minutes long.

There was a list of players’ names down one side, and also who had died so far.

Master Chief

Guildford Underpass

Fairy Fiona

Roland D Deep







Owen was already out, which wasn’t exactly a surprise — there was no reason why he would be good at this — but it did feel like her team had taken a hit. Which didn’t really make sense since there were no teams. Every man for himself. Every woman and gnome, too.

Britta hadn’t bothered to learn who was who, she hadn’t planned on participating except at the most minimal level, so she had absolutely no idea who the Kable guy was.

The tunnel she was in was long and straight. She assumed the others were in similar locations, but there was no way to tell. How were people already dead? It seemed unlikely they could have been hunted down immediately after spawning, unless some people were placed together.

Britta was definitely on her own, but there could always be someone waiting for her up ahead. The idea of wandering around endless tunnels until you bumped into someone wasn’t very appealing. At least make the place look interesting.

There are now 7 players.

She checked her screen, Fairy Fiona was out. There had been only one female character that she could recall seeing in the group, but that didn’t mean she was Fairy Fiona. You couldn’t assume gender, or put names to faces based on regular expectations. Fairy Fiona could have been that huge hulking fighter with the club.

Anyway, whoever she was, she was dead. Britta tapped on her name in case there was some extra information to be had, and was surprised to find there was.

Killed by James.

She tapped on the other two who had died.

Killed by James.

Killed by James.

That didn’t seem right. How was he managing to kill people so quickly?

It didn’t really matter, but she was kind of curious. Was he just good at these sorts of games, or was it something else? Part of her couldn’t help thinking he had to be cheating, but that was a bit unfair. Just because she didn’t like him, and he had tried to trick her in the past, didn’t mean he wasn’t capable of winning by simply bashing in as many heads as possible. She didn’t really know him or have any idea why he was the way he was, so she was in no position to judge. He may just have been good at killing people. It was probably his favourite thing to do.

They did each have a one-hit killing weapon, so if he had a way to move around quickly, he could take people out with a single strike.

The timer was down to three minutes. Britta decided she would at least wait until it ran out and see what it was for. Assuming James didn’t magically appear behind her and stab her in the back.

The tunnel suddenly sloped downwards, revealing an archway up ahead. There was light coming through it. She started jogging, eager to see what was on the other side. She could see grass. Someone could be waiting on the other side — she ran through, ready to be killed.

No one attacked her.

There are now 6 players.

She didn’t bother to check who had died, she was too busy looking around. She was in a forest, only the trees weren’t actual trees, they were huge four-sided pillars reaching up into a mirror image — more pillars pointing down from the roof.

She turned around to see where she’d come from, and found a sheer wall with yet more pillars sticking out horizontally. If all the walls moved in, the pillars looked like they would slot together. Was that the idea, to push you into a smaller space over time? Was that what the timer was for? A countdown to squishing time?

There are now 5 players.

She checked to see who had made the kills. Both of the last two had been by James. Clearly, he was not having a problem finding people to murder.

The timer was almost at zero. Britta waited. Something was going to happen, she was sure of it.

3, 2, 1…

The pillars didn’t move closer. Instead, the world flipped over, and she was falling through the air. She might land on a pillar or fall in between them. She looked around and saw other players falling. It would be hard to stay hidden if you were turned upside down every five minutes.

Britta narrowly avoided hitting any pillars, but couldn’t avoid the ground. She braced for impact, but the landing was surprisingly gentle. No damage taken. She quickly got to her feet and checked her surroundings. It was darker here, huge shadows draped the ground.

Britta made a ball of light and threw it as far as she could. It landed in the middle of a dark spot between pillars and revealed two figures. They didn’t see Britta, but they saw each other.  It looked like neither had any idea they were so close to someone else. One was MrKappa, Britta didn’t know the other. A stocky figure with lots of curly hair. Both lunged, daggers out. Both managed to hit the other, both vanished.

There are now 3 players.

Her, Dad and James were the only ones left.

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