Chapter 2:

☠ Day One - Part II: The Rules☠

Game of Mass Destruction

The next time Yuzuko woke up, she was in a padded cell with everyone, excluding Lisa and the bus driver. She hovered around, looking at the fear-stricken faces and stuttering bodies. Lavender's fruity perfume threw her off along. Screams were lost with the orchestra in the background. She saw that Bobby stuck close to Todd, appearing more at ease by somebody he knew and trusted. Yuzuko wrapped her arms around Sakura. "It's happening."

"What are we going to do?" Sakura squealed. "Should we have warned them?"

It was a question, Yuzuko couldn't answer.

"Calm down, everybody!" Todd said with his hands in the air. "I'm sure this is all one big publicity stunt."

"No, it isn't!" Lavender, the American girl cried out, slapping the bars. Her purple fringe flew around her face. "We've been locked up like criminals." Her eyes welled up as she threw herself into her boyfriend's arms. "We've done nothing wrong."

Yuzuko's heart pounded. Her shoulders tensed up as she caught a glimpse of Lavender's smeared make-up. Even stressed and angry, Yuzuko still wanted to idolize her as she did at school. Lavender's youtube videos used to make Yuzuko feel beautiful.

She imploded on the floor by the weight of the others, before Bobby and Todd lifted her by each arm.

Pieter from the Netherlands rummaged through his pockets. "Where's my passport? Where's my phone? Shit! Somebody's taken it." He charged at Todd and tightened his fists around his throat. "Was it you?"

"No! Get off me!"

They had divided themselves into two parts of the cell. One pulling Pieter away, and the other pulling Todd away. As both men were well built it was a challenge. Yuzuko stood between them, trying to help both sides.

"Stop!" Yuzuko ordered throwing her arms either side, whacking Sook-Jo's nose. "Fighting each other won't get us anywhere."

"Hi, guys!" Lisa waved at them outside their cell. The similarities to the former pop-star, Sia Bucks was so uncanny, Yuzuko suspected she could be the real thing. The woman appeared to be trying to recapture her golden teenage days with her skimpy latex and purple afro. Yuzuko felt Sakura collapse onto her side when Lisa took a key from out of her cleavage and unlocked the door. Lisa smiled, silver lipstick glistening under the light. She was a spitting image of Sia Bucks.

"Is that you, Lisa?" Hendrik, a friend of Pieter asked.

"Of course, it is."

Pieter gasped. "Blimey, you look so different and stunning." He leaned over to Hendrik and whispered. "I wouldn't mind."

Hendrik chuckled. "Me neither."

Honestly, is sex all that men think about nowadays?

Lisa pointed to the door behind her. "Would you all like to come with me please?"

They did as they were told. Lisa led them to a golden corridor with black roses decorated on the bannisters. Every couple of metres, there were portraits of broken robots. Yuzuko spotted the cameras and TV crew lurking in the dark corners. 

Lisa brought them all into a deserted boardroom with four black walls, 21 chairs and a round table. The seats had already been allocated with name tags. The chandelier above them, dripping with pearls gave life to the room.

Yuzuko listened to the chatting around her. Most of them spoke in their own language, but she fluent in English so could understand Bobby and Todd.

"If I had a penny for every camera I've spotted, I'd be loaded," Bobby said to Todd.

"You'd have to be rich to have diamonds on the bannisters. Makes my old man look like a pauper. Still, it's got to be some big hoax."

Yuzuko gritted her teeth, curling her lips. "Yes, it's so obvious that it is." She only wished it wasn't sarcasm.

"Good evening, everybody," Lisa said with a smile, leaning over to be head of the table. "You are all here because you have been chosen to take part in the holiday of a lifetime. And the holiday of a lifetime is taking place right now!"

"Sorry." Todd raised his hand. "This looks more like a classroom than a holiday."

"I understand. It's been a long journey. You're all tired and confused. That's why I thought we could all have a sit-down and relax for a little while." She dropped her British accent, and in came the high-pitched American accent that made her so famous. "I tricked you all good, didn't I?" Chuckling with laughter, she curtsied as the lights turned off.


Yuzuko gasped. Her hands shook as saw Sia's face in more detail. It was now obvious with the sharp jawline and triangular cheekbones. How did I not know it was you?

Confetti exploded from the ceiling as the military circulating the room gave a round of applause. They looked like regular troops from the neck down, but their faces resembled laughing buddhas.

The confusion was a contagious disease. Yuzuko turned around to see Todd who had slammed his face in between his hands. On the other side of the table, Yanyu squeezed both her Uncle Fan and Chang-Hoon's hand.

Sia threw her hands to the side and the military troops stood behind them. "Now please watch this video from Sergeant Dust!"

A hologram of a senior soldier in a cape and a hat was projected into the room. "Good evening my fellow warriors. I am sergeant Dust. Does everyone here understand my English? Well if you don't, get Sia to pause the video and we'll get you some interpreters if you need one."

Sia paused the video. "Is there anyone here who would like a translator?"

Nobody raised their hand.

"Okay then." Sia pressed the play button.

"From now on until further notice, this island will be your home. My men will be patrolling the island, protecting wildlife and removing bodily remains when necessary. They may touch you, but they will not harm you...much. You can do whatever you want on this island, just try not to be a dick. My men cannot be held legally responsible if you piss them off. Good luck!"

The hologram vanished. Lights back on, Sia clapped her hands and walked around the contestants. Her eyes were locked in on Bobby. Sia lifted the seems of her dress in his direction. Bobby's face whitened. Sia started to remind Yuzuko of an elderly prostitute. "I'm going to provide a demonstration. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Exhibit A!"

A man veiled in latex and chains tumbled down from the ceiling. His shadow hovered over them. "Now I have a confession to make." Sia carried on talking as she marched around the room.

"The show hasn't even started, and yet, I'm already impressed with you. In this very room, we have over a twenty nationalities. We've never had such a diverse line-up on the Game of Mass Destruction. You are all very fortunate to be a part of this project. The Game of Mass Destruction has been a staple show for years. As its founder, I'm proud to see all of you doing your part for science."

"Is this for real?" Lavender shrieked, gripping onto the leather collar around her neck.

Sia nodded, cuddling Lavender tight. "Why my dear, of course, this is real. I reckon half a billion people are streaming this on Netflix. Your Youtube channel is going to explode my love."

"I told you so!" Christian spat out to everyone.

Sia flicked his cheek as she threw herself onto his lap. "I think you're going to have the time of your life."

Christian's lips shivered. "M'am, I have a girlfriend."

Sia pecked his cheek. "That didn't stop you impregnating another girl!"

Christian's hands shook. "That's not true!"

"Relax, my love. Everyone has their dark secrets."

"Get off my boyfriend!" Lavender demanded, strangling her. "Or else!"

No one expected Sia to listen to Lavender's commands – yet she did. "Or else what?" Sia tilted her head. "Nobody belongs to anybody on this island. You're all free spirits." Sia strolled to the board doodling a robot on the corner. "Now I'm sure you all know how it works. This island is inhabited with a thousand robots. Your task is to destroy them all."

Every step Sia took, Yuzuko burned up. Her fingers fidgeted and her shoulders shook. She held onto her locket hoping that her husband's spirit would watch over her. Yuzuko prayed that her infant son was safe. "You can't do this to robots!"

"Ah, Yuzuko!" Sia let out a large sigh of relief. "I can't believe I forgot about you. The beloved granddaughter of Professor Denki. Even though he's like my ex-husband and public enemy number one for me, but you won't be discriminated."

"Where's Kiki?" Yuzuko asked.

"You'll have to find her. Your grandfather stole something from me thirty years ago. What I did is simply payback. But you don't need to worry about that, my poppet. The game is going to be fair." Returning to her chair, she crossed her legs and snapped her fingers. "And now ladies and gentlemen, it's time to meet Exhibit B!" The robot she summoned appeared to move with self-will. Eyes lit up fixating at the latex man. Sia clapped her hands. "This robot is just like me when I see a slice of cake."

It was as if Sia could read their minds. Yuzuko was on the edge of her seat, feeling the pain of a thousand goosebumps. How could an obstructive machine be so cold-hearted? The fact that the robot's figure was andromorphic churned her stomach.

The robot bit into the man's plump biceps. Screaming, though muffled could not be censored. Blood erupted in all directions. The robot continued its feast despite the glares. In a matter of seconds, the whole table turned red. The man was no more than white speckles and red sludge.

All Yuzuko and the others could do was pray that the man had a peaceful afterlife. Her innocence had been destroyed. Robots were wonderful machines, her grandfather said. They help humans do great things. She shook her head, tears streaming down her eyes, burning her cheeks. It had to be a nightmare and it was one she wanted to wake up from.

"What a delightful sight." Sia twiddled her hands with a Hollywood façade and cheesy grin. Using the man's blood as ink, she wrote on a whiteboard. "Like every show, you'll be working in teams of two. The point system is still the same."


"The point system makes no sense!" Lavender stood, gazing around the room. She succumbed to the frustration of the empty expressions on the other people's faces. "Come on you guys! I'm not the only one with a voice."

"Does anything in the world make sense anymore?" Sia asked. "I'd button up if I were you. You don't want to trigger anybody. Now, let's get down to business. The surviving pair with the most points wins two billion dollars between them. If you survive, I will write you a cheque with your final score on it. Any questions so far? Yanyu!"

"It is true that robots eat us?"

Her Uncle Fan fiddled with his fingers. "Or is that just an editing ploy?"

"You've just seen it with your own eyes," Sia confirmed. "Everything that happens on Game of Mass Destruction is real. We do not edit or censor anything in the show. If people don't like what they see, they can change the channel."

"What happens if we all die?" Sook-Jo asked.

"We haven't had that happen yet," Sia admitted. "The game automatically ends when either all a thousand robots have been destroyed or if there are less than four contestants alive. If there came a point where all the contestants did die then we would either roll the money over to next year and end the show or we'll bring another twenty to finish the rascals off. we've had times with few survivors and one time where everybody lived."

"What is the point of this show?" Yuzuko asked. Her stomach churned when all the eyes turned on her as if she had committed a felony crime.

"We're doing it for science, BABY!"

Bobby stood up. "I don't get how destroying lots of robots is good for science?"

"That's right!" Todd stood up as he waved his arm to protect Bobby. "What about global warming and the ozone layer? And then there's all the plastic too."

"You've been spending too much time listening to Professor Denki," Sia snapped. "The Robots Have Feelings Corporation are brainwashing the world. They want you to love robots. I'm sure there are nice robots that exist."

Yuzuko stood up, slamming her palms against the desk. "Like my Aunt Kiki that you kidnapped!"

Sia spanked Yuzuko's bottom, feeling no remorse in her fierce hand. "Don't make me put you in the naughty corner, Yuzuko. Listen, to me." Sia only placed her frail arm against Yuzuko's neck, but she felt strangled by her potent perfume. "Listen to me sweetie, these robots here want to kill you, eat you and rip you apart."

Sia stopped talking when Pedro Primera, a contestant from Italy stood up with his hand in the air. "Now I've watched this show before. I just wanted to confirm if we get out of this island alive, will we be convicted of any of the crimes we've committed on this island?"

Sia shook her head. "Of course not. This is a lawless island. You will not be held legally responsible for the acts you commit on this island. Your criminal records in the past will be wiped out. Things won't be the same, but you'll be rich. Just try not to sue me. I have no personal vendetta against anybody. I was born to entertain people. You all need to comply."

Lying seemed to be Sia's special talent. The main reason Sia created the show in the first place was to sabotage Yuzuko's grandfather's robotic empire.

Pedro's wife, Mariangela dazzled before them as she spoke to Sia. "I'm happy to see you again, but my husband and I are very busy people. What will happen to our assets?"

Sia interrupted them. "I understand but let me reassure you and everybody here that everything is fine back at home. During your stay, we will pay all your outstanding bills and debt. We've also arranged suitable childcare arrangements. I'm sure that you all have lots of questions, but I'm afraid we're on a tight schedule. Everything will be included in your guidebook."

If Sia's words were meant to assure, they failed miserably. Yuzuko could not trust anyone with taking care of her son, Koichi other than herself. She saw Pedro squashing his wife's hand's so much, it was a miracle that they didn't explode.

At the snap of Sia's fingers, two soldiers left the room. They returned with a trolley of bags and a silver sheet of paper. "These bags contain your guidebook, water bottle, torches, maps and a randomized weapon." Sia couldn't stop chuckling. "The producers had so much fun with these weapons. I just feel sorry for the poor sods that get the dildo and the frying pan."

Todd whispered to Bobby, "Did I ever tell you how fucked up this game is?"

"You don't need to."

Sia crossed her arms, flashing a goofy smile. "I need to work on my marketing skills. They've gotten a little dusty." With her arms wide open she took a deep breath. "LET IT RAIN WITH MONEY!"

Holes emerged from the ceiling, showering the boardroom with fifty-dollar bills. The majority stuck on the table, sticking onto the blood. "I am the richest woman in the world. I can give you anything you want. Just play my game or I will destroy everything you hold dear to your hearts."

Giggling, she hopped over to Yuzuko, grabbed her shoulders and kissed her a dozen times on each cheek. "I'm sorry, you're so adorable I want to take you home with me." Coughing she cartwheeled back to the board.

"When I call your names out, I want you to pick some bags and sign the contract. And you all need to sign the contract. As you leave, there will be paparazzi outside. You just need to give a quick introduction and then you take your official Game of Mass Destruction mugshot and then you'll be ready to go!"

The applause thundered the room. It was loud for twenty people, which suggested to Yuzuko that it was either a backing track or a live audience hidden from their view. Sia called them out in pairs. Yuzuko and Sakura where fourth to be called.

Yuzuko read the contract, narrowed her eyes at the small print in yellow. "So this is how you encourage the government to play your games: by fearmongering."

"It's just a little bit of harmless fun," Sia admitted. The lack of empathy or thought for human life gave her words a chilling effect. "The fireworks are a fantastic display."

Quitting the game in an unauthorized fashion will result in you being killed and your hometown to be bombed and destroyed. This includes trying to escape.

It was with deep regret, that Yuzuko signed the contract. She did not want to destroy anything, but she could not risk her city being destroyed. Once all the contestants were out on the island, they spotted a giant screen outside the studio. The screen zoomed in on Sia's face, it was clear to them that she was speaking to the viewers. "So which pair are you rooting for? Any favourites to win or favourites to die? Please drop a line through text, email or on social media. Now that all the contestants are on the's time to let the games begin!"

Sia pulled the red lever on the wall and the video faded to black. 

This Novel Contains Mature Content

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