Chapter 9:

Ch. 9: Taser Tag

Neo Discadia: Rise of the Sewer Rats

The low humming followed by the sporadic pounds of the elevator switching rails to make its way all the way to the top of the building. The loud sounds of the steel plates slamming into one another causing the elevator to go up. Higher and higher it climbed up the repurposed skyscraper; clunking its way all the way to the top. And in that steel box were three not quite grown-ups standing fully geared up for the trials to come a subtle metallic shaking accompanying them along the way. they stood there quietly; mentally preparing themselves for what’s to come. Up until Johnny opens his mouth

“gha! How much longer do we have to be in this damn thing!”

“what’s your problem?” Erika said

“are you kidding? I’m surprised you’re not having more of a fit! This is an elevator! You know, the big steel sarcophagus that's just two broken cables away from a ten-storey fall into a fiery demise.”

“because I’m afraid of heights, if it’s out of sight it’s out of mind. And besides, that's just what you see in movies, elevators are actually the safest way to travel within a building. You can fall down the stairs, you’re not gonna fall down an elevator.”

“if that's true, then why aren't you supposed to take the elevator during a fire?”

“um, probably because smoke rises? If there’s a fire downstairs and you take the elevator, the shaft will be filled with smoke and you could suffocate, not only that, the elevator will probably get stuck because the fire short-circuited the electrical components. That's probably why you’re not supposed to take an elevator in an emergency.”

“Okay, Einstein and how do you know that?”

“because Wendy was watching a documentary about it in our room and I picked up on a few things.”

“Where was I during all this?”

“man, what’s with the twenty questions?! I don't know! Sleeping probably!”

“yeah… probably.”

Erika looked at Neo and saw the grave look in his eye. She perched her lips not knowing what to say. She thought it best to leave him alone for now.

Then to Erika’s shock, Johnny turned around and slapped Neo on the back “Hey Neo, you okay? you look like you're about to hurl”

Neo gulped down saliva “I might”

“well, you need to snap out of it. It's game time.”

“yeah, I know, I need to get it out of my head. But I don't think-”

“you know it’s okay right?” Erika interrupted “you know you can lean on us when you need to right? don't worry about it. just stay out of sight and we’ll do all the heavy lifting this time.” she said

Neo looked at her and shook his head “no, I can do this. I just... need a minute.”

“Okay, but just know, you don't have to push yourself, you can rely on us. right, Johnny?”

“as sure as hell!” he said

Neo looked at them both and saw in them the two most reliable people he’s ever known “thanks...” he said. By then, having finally reached its destination, the elevator let a soft ‘ding’ ring throughout.

“I guess we're here?” Erika said

“Finally!” Johnny said as he placed his hands on the elevator doors “now let me the hell out of here!”

“Johnny what are you doing?!” Erika said as he started prying the doors open. she tried to stop him

“Just wait for a second, the doors will open on their own just give them a minute!” Erika said

but just as the words left her mouth, the elevator doors slid open in a flash causing Johnny to fling forward, falling on his face in front of the rest of the competitors

“hey, ain't that the winner of last week’s game?” one of them said

“oh yeah, they're the ones that took down the behemoth!”

“heh, guess we'd better watch out for those three, we'd better eliminate them first”

“sure thing”

Erika pressed her hand to her face “ugh so much for keeping a low profile” she said

Then, the announcer's voice blared out the speakers. “now that all the contestants are here, I’ll explain the rules of the games for all of those just tuning in!”

A TV flickered on  to show a cute animation of the rules as the announcer explained them one by one

“the rule is simple. players will form teams of three or four and run around the battle zone and try to eliminate as many players as possible. In a typical laser tag, each player has a laser gun and a vest to register each time a player takes a ‘hit’ so to speak. They usually have a set number of lives or a timer debuff they have to wait until it reaches zero before they’re able to play again. BUT THIS IS TASER TAG BABY! THERE ARE NO LIVES! Well other than your own life. Every time a player gets hit, their vest shocks them with a current of 100,000 volts! but here’s the trick, that doesn't mean you’re eliminated! You can get up as many times as you like. if you can stand after taking 100,000 volts to the chest, baby you earned the right to keep playing! The game ends when all other teams are unconscious… or dead whichever comes first. But keep in mind, once you shock someone, you’re on a timer before you’re allowed to shock someone else. No lone wolfs in this game, you have to work together. And no shocking a man while he’s down, that's just unsportsmanlike… ahhhh who am I kidding?! Go buck wild! Now players, divide into teams, go to your starting areas and we can finally begin our rousing match of TASER TAAAAAAAAAG!”