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I will never forget the day my name was called over the grand speaker for the whole town to hear. The day that my life changed just by chance.
“Attention, attention. The following person called will be participating in this years Luchar Contra.”
Boomed the speakers placed around around the town. Luchar Contra was a battle royale between different towns. Each state had selected towns each year when Luchar Contra came around. When the speaker was about to announce this years battlest, it felt as if time stopped. It was like everyone close was holding their breath, hoping not to hear their name called.
“Bruno King. You have been selected. Good luck!” roared the speaker.
Instantly my stomach dropped. I felt my body become weak and my eyes fade to black. When I came to, I thought it had all been a dream. That is, until I witnessed the shocked and saddened faces of my family members. Right then and there I realized, this was a reality. My reality. I had been the one person selected out of thousands. Hundreds of questions ran through my mind all at once. So many that I could barely keep up.
This isn’t happening, it can’t be true. Why me? What did I do? Will I live? Can I get out of doing this?
Little did I know. The answer to the last question was a hefty no. I tried with all my strength to get out of participating in Luchar Contra, but it was impossible. Once your name had been drawn, it was set in stone.
Days after my name had been announced, I received a letter. The letter contained a paper with stamp sealing it shut. The stamp presented a golden griffin. The griffin had its wings outstretched as far as possible. Its back was facing me. When I removed the stamp to at a look at the paper in the envelope, it had rolled onto the floor. It was at least five feet long. At the very top of the paper was my name along with words that read, This is your guide. Study it well if you wish for a chance to survive Luchar Contra. Before reading any further, I was curious as to who had written this letter so I skipped directly to the end. At the bottom of the length guide, a name read Atlas Cruise.
I had heard of this Atlas Cruise before. He had won the very first Luchar Contra. In this instant I was extremely confused as to why Atlas was giving me tips for the Luchar Contra, but I wasn’t going to turn them down. Getting advice from one of the best Luchar Contra contenders was almost the greatest thing that could’ve happened to me. I had no idea what I was getting into in this battle to the death. First thing that showed up on the guide from Atlas was this year’s Luchar Contra contender roster. Little did I know prior to reading this roster, the battle itself wasn’t going to be my hardest challenge. It would be fighting against my bestfriend.
I looked at the list of names praying and hoping that no one I knew was on this list. But I guess I didn’t pray hard enough because one of the last names that I found on the roster read,
Annabeth had not only been one of my best friends for almost my whole life, but she had also been one of the most athletic and strongest people that I knew. Fighting against her would be challenging both physically and mentally. I could not possibly harm my best friend and even if I had the mindset to do so, I could not physically do anything to her. I was so outmatched by her, but I’m sure she felt the same way.
Just as I decided to move past the battlest roster, my phone lit up the room. I looked to see what it was, and sure enough it was Annabeth. The text read,
There is no way. We can’t fight each other! I couldn’t beat you even if I wanted to!
We then had a very long conversation over text. Neither of us wanted to do this and neither of us thought we could do this. We were doomed.
By the end of our conversation, we had decided that we would meet for breakfast the next morning, bright and early. This would be a difficult task for me because tonight, sleep was not an option. I had to stay up to read the guide on Luchar Contra. In the guide, Atlas described all the details of what would happen. First, all the contenders would board a plane with nothing but clothes and a parachute. Next, you skydive down to whatever location looks appealing to you. The guide explained where I should and shouldn’t land at. Atlas mentioned that you don’t want to go to the most popular places. These places had the best survival materials, however, lots of people decide to go here and not alot of people make it out. These places are called high risk and high reward areas. Atlas was sure to let me know, don’t go to high risk high reward areas. These areas were dangerous and only the best of the best survivalist made it out. This was only a small piece of the whole guide and I had little time to study it. So I got to work.
I woke up the next morning feeling like a sack of brick. I had nothing left in me due to my lack of sleep. The only thing keeping me from staying in bed all day was the urge to get to breakfast with Annabeth. I wondered what exactly we would talk about. I knew the main topic would be on Luchar Contra, but what was to say. There is nothing we could do about it. Annabeth and I would have to fight. Not just some average sibling fight either, a fight to the death.
I arrived at the coffee shop later than I had anticipated. The first thing I saw when I walking into the shop, was a not so happy Annabeth.
“Where have you been?! I have been here for thirty minutes waiting for you!” complained Annabeth.
I proceeded to recite a long apology about how sorry I had been but Annabeth cut me off short. She had waited thirty minutes for me to get there and she didn’t want to wait any longer. Annabeth decided to start the conversation she knew we would have to have.
“What are we going to do?” She said, her voice quite and filled with depression, “I can’t do it. Fighting you would be like fighting family.”
I could tell Luchar Contra would leave its marks on Annabeth, much more than others. Annabeth proposed that we could find each other and team up to try to win. I, sadly, shot down this idea quickly. Because of my guide, I knew teaming up with one another would get us removed from Luchar Contra and executed immediately. Even if teaming with others was ok, in the end we would still have to fight. There could only be one winner. The thought of having to fight Annabeth enraged me but at the same time made me feel lower than ever before. My anger boiled inside and came to a stop almost immediately to be replaced with morn and sorrow. Annabeth and I sat there, in the empty coffee shop, both of us completely speechless. All of my focus was centered on trying to find a way out of fighting. I assumed Annabeth was doing the same. Finally I broke the silence.
“I think I have an idea,” my face full of concentration, “I’m not exactly sure how to explain it to you quite yet though, we should meet again tomorrow?”
Annabeth agreed with my proposition and we both headed out to train and strategize. Luchar Contra was already affecting our lives more than imaginable and the hard part hadn’t even been among us.
When I arrived at my house, I was greeted with many hugs and gentle words. My family was treating me more desirable than ever. My whole family had thought it would be my last few weeks with them. They had no faith in me and I didn’t blame them.
After all of my warm greetings I headed up to my room to think and formulate a plan. Annabeth and I were not fighting and that was final. I thought of ways that we could team up without really teaming up. Like perhaps stay near each other and when assistance is needed it could be provided. Ways this plan would fail then ran through me mind
Would they catch us? Could they tell if we were staying near each other intentionally? Is it all worth the risk?
I didn’t stress over it too much that night. I needed sleep after a long night and an even longer day. Annabeth and I would work out the kinks the next day, and that is exactly what we did.
We met at the same place, at the same time, with the same intentions. To discuss our plan for Luchar Contra.
“Alright, so, hear me out,” I said, begging and hoping for her open ears, “I think we should tema with each other, but we can’t make it obvious. “What do you think?”
“I think that you’re crazy! If we team up we are guaranteed to be killed, at least by ourselves we have some sort of chance.” Annabeth retaliated.
As she continued to talk to me about how teaming was such a bad idea, she started to convince herself. She started to mumble things to herself. She continued on with this for about 20 minutes until she finally looked up and said two words, “I’m in.”
Now the only problem was finding an efficient way to team up with one another. This proposed many problems to Annabeth and I. I have zero doubt in the fact and we could’ve spent weeks upon weeks in order to figure out a perfected strategy for Luchar Contra. The problem is, we only had one week. Luchar Contra struck as fast and as destructive as lighting. It comes into fifty innocent lives quicker than you could ever imagine. Luchar Contra has the power to tear families apart in a matter of days.
Annabeth and I needed to find a plan, and fast. We ended up staying at the coffee shop for hours, constantly trying to find a way that this idea of teaming could work. That day, many, many ideas were presented, but many ideas were shot down the instant they came to life. This worried the both of us, and for good reason. With only one week until the games begin, we both needed training, as well as knowledge of how this battle royal played out. Both of these things combined with the stress of making a plan was a nasty concoction. Our predicament drove Annabeth and I to the limit. Any hope we had left inside was stripped away. We gave up. We both faced the fact that we would die an incomprehensible death. That was that. We both left the coffee shop right around closing time and with little words went home with our heads hanging low.
Just as I walking into my home, my family exploded. They all bombarded me with questions. So many that I didn’t even fully hear one asked. I took a quick glance towards the TV screen and saw in big bold letters at the bottom left of the screen, Luchar Contra. I figured that my family had the news channel on just incase something about Luchar Contra came up. Had my family not done this, I may not be alive today. The news lady started to talk about the upcoming battle. She said that something new would occur this year.
“Instead of only having one winner like every other year, we will behaving teams of two. If you cannot find a partner then you’re out of luck. It will be only you versus a teams of two. Goodluck to all.” Explained the news lady, full of emotion.
There is no way. What are the odds that on the one year I am picked, there are teams?! Annabeth and I have a chance! I thought to myself.
My emotions at this moment were unexplainable. On one hand I was absolutely stoked that Annabeth and I could take on this grave challenge together. However, on the other hand, how could I be happy at all? I was still being forced to fight against up to twenty-five teams of team people. I couldn’t handle taking in all of this at once. My mind felt like it was melting. I needed to calm myself and get to sleep or else this horrible annual battle would drive me even more crazy than I already felt.
The next six days went by astonishingly fast. The days were spent training with Annabeth and thinking about our strategy along with enjoying time with my family. As each day passed I was more and more stressed over Luchar Contra. As soon as the day came, I felt ready and determined yet shaky and scared.
Annabeth and I arrived together, both of us extremely upset to say goodbye. At the same time we both felt as if we would see them again soon. We said our goodbyes quickly so the situation didn’t have to seem as depressing as it was.
The both of us walked towards the insanely massive building where the plane would take off from. We had already decided to land in a discreet location that past contenders like to call, “The pit,” This place granted materials for survival with minimal risk of being eliminated early on.
As everybody loaded into the plane we would soon jump from, Annabeth and I went over the game plan for the last time before execution. Just as we finished reviewing the plan, the planes engine grumbled to a start. All of the mingle among partners stopped for everybody to hear the old and powerful plane. The air in the room got tense and everyone became alert. The whole room could feel the G force upon take off. Shortly after takeoff. A person called an, “overseer,” walked around to give us tightly worn wristbands.
“These are your trackers as well as communication devices,” called our the overseer, “You will need to them to your partner's device for full time communication.”
Annabeth and I rushed to link our wristbands. Almost immediately after we linked our bands, the back of the plane started to open up. In this instant I felt more ready than ever before. Like I could take over the world with a snap of my fingers. Annabeth and I approached the back of the plane to locate our drop zone.
“There is is!” Annabeth exclaimed
The pit looked incredible. It was a massive hole right in the middle of the island where the battle took place.
“Quiet down,” I whispered, calm and collected, “We cannot give away our position to other teams.”
I looked to our left and I noticed a team of two giving us an intense look. The duo was made up of one boy and one girl around the ages of Annabeth and I. The boy had a black eye, most likely from training, as well as short, spiked hair. The girl had long, blonde hair with powerful blue eyes. I made the assumption that they had heard our conversation. I figured it wouldn’t be the last time we saw them. I looked away from the duo and towards Annabeth
“It’s almost time,” stated Annabeth, being sure the duo could not hear her.
I responded with a quick nod and a long stare out of the plane. It was time and we both knew it. I grabbed Annabeth’s hand and without the slightest of a glance, sprinted out of the plane. Hand in hand we flew threw the air. The air had a cold bite to it, like we were being hit by hail. Like my body was covered in pins and needles.
After a painstakingly long fall towards the pit, we pulled out chutes in unison. From there on it was a slow fall, nearing the ground with every passing second. Eventually we touched base with the ground. The terrain was rough and stoney. The temperature felt extremely hot after the lengthy and cold fall. The both of us felt rattled and jolted. Despite us being disoriented, we were forced to start finding materials. Every moment spent sitting around was another opportunity for us to be eliminated. We arrived at a small group of houses in the core of the pit. We decided we would split up to loot two houses at once. However just as we started to walk away from each other, we heard a large boom from the sky. Directly after the large boom sounded, a picture of a young boy and an older girl appeared in the sky with, “ELIMINATED,” underneath. Annabeth and I looked back at one another with a look of sorrow. I realized that those faces in the sky could be us next, so I wiped the look of remorse away and transformed it to a look of determination. I gave Annabeth a quick nod as if to say, “We got this,” and proceeded into our designated houses.
I opened the front door to the house with caution. The first room I spotted was the kitchen. I thought that there may be food and or water, which was essential. I rummaged through the cupboards with speed. I wanted to find the things we needed, then find a place to hideout. In the kitchen I found little food but lots of water. I stuffed the items into my backpacks that the overseer had supplied us with. I continued this quick process throughout the whole house, finding nothing, until I stumbled across the master bedroom. I took a quick glance in the closet, seeing nothing at first. However, with a second glance I noticed a metal item in the back of the closet. I spread the closet doors as wide as they could go. This unveiled a pistol, nothing special about it, just a normal pistol you could find at any police officer’s waist. I never thought a small item, used for killing, could bring me so much happiness.
After I got done searching the master bedroom, I called Annabeth on my wristband. There was no answer. I tired to think positive, but many thoughts ran throughout my mind. I sprinted to Annabeth’s house, taking no time to check my surroundings. The very second that I entered the house, I found Annabeth at gunpoint to the boy with a black eye and spiky hair that we had encountered on the drop plane. I heard the boy mumbling something to Annabeth as she lay there helpless. I sprinted up behind the boy and held the pistol I had found to his neck.
“I would advise that you put your gun down right now,” I said commanding force and aggression.
The boy slowly started to point his gun towards the ground. After it had been aimed towards the ground he dropped it onto the floor. I directed my attention to Annabeth, still laying on the ground. I motioned my head towards the pistol the boy had been holding at Annabeth, letting her know to pick up the weapon. She quickly grabbed at the pistol acquiring a firm grip immediately. Just as this sequence of events happened, a large breaking noise sounded upstairs. The boy’s eyes widened quickly.
“Help me!” he called out,”They have me capture-”
His voice was cut off by gunfire. I ears rang constantly and my eyes were slammed shut to the surprising and sudden shots. My the ringing in my ears stopped and shortly after my eyes opened up to see the boy had had been previously in my grasp, dead on the ground. I looked up from the boy and noticed smoke emerging from the end of Annabeth’s handgun. Her eyes started tearing up from the sight of the boy with a bullet through his chest. She looked up at me just as I had to her. I gave her a quick pat on the shoulder following a quick look of approval. I quickly, but cautiously, moved up the stairs to see where the sound had come from. I reached the summit of the stairs to see a hallway with three doors. This setup was similar to the house I had previously been at. I made the assumption that the boy had been in the mater bedroom and the girl was either in the bathroom of the guest room. I took the weapon I found in the other house and started to unload into the two doors.
When the magazine had been completely empty, I searched the two rooms, both riddled with bullets. The first room I entered was barren other than bullets lying on the floor. I walked into the other room to uncover the boy’s partner’s body lying lifeless on the ground with two bullets through her chest. I felt terrible. I had taken the life from a human being. I was forced to look past my actions. Had I not done this to her, she would have done it to me.
I proceeded back to the first floor of the house to find Annabeth standing over the boy. I could not see her face, but I knew how she felt. She had taken a life just as I had. It was a burden to carry with you but it was a burden that was forced upon the both of us.
“We had no other choice Annabeth,” I said, trying to sound as reassuring as possible, “It was us or them. We should be gracious that we are even alive right now.”
She still looked upset but she gave me a look telling me it was time to continue on. No time could be wasted. We both headed outside, ready to move onto the next location. A familiar sounds filled the air after a bit of walking. Annabeth’s, as well as my own, attention was directed towards the sky where the duo we had eliminated appeared. We both took a moment to pay our respects to the poor boy and girl. Unfortunately our time to do so was limited. I assumed other teams were moving in the same direction as us and we didn’t want to get snuck up on. We were moving towards a mountain near the center of the island. Having high ground over all other teams would give us an unimaginable advantage. We would have the ability to see everything, far and near. If any teams wanted to get to us at the top of this mountain, we would spot them before they would spot us. The only problem with moving towards the mountain was other teams would have the same plan as us. It was high risk but if we secured the area before any other teams, we would be set.
“Hey Anna-” My words were interrupted by the sound of a close gunshot. Annabeth and I immediately dropped to the ground. We both faced different ways in order to overlook more of the area. My heart raced. My body was filled with adrenaline. My mind was telling me to hunt down the people unloading rounds nearby, and that’s exactly was I did. I stood up slowly, but eagar. Annabeth questioned my actions but followed my instruction. I followed my instincts. I had heard the gunshots to my left side to so that’s where our next stop would be. I don’t know why my mindset had changed so much just because of the sounds of gunfire. I wasn’t sure why I had such a thirst to eliminate this team. I went from being full of morn from taking the life of someone, to wanting to take another. I started to stress. I didn’t want Luchar Contra to change the person that I was. I didn’t want to leave this battle royal a murder.
Suddenly, a large boom filled the island. The sound was so intense that it brought me to my knees. My urge to push on brought me back to my feet when, the sound I knew all too well roared through the evening sky. There was death. However this time, it wasn’t just one or two people. The amount was unbelievable. Boom after boom sounded over the distance of the whole island. I looked into the sky with Annabeth by my side. Faces illuminated the upper atmosphere. Face after face popped up above. It took five minutes for all of the faces to disappear from the sky. Each face took its turn, unveiling itself for around thirty seconds before the next stepped in to take its place. Shortly after all of the faces had vanished, a loud voice pierced through the island air.
“Due to one of the biggest massacres to ever happen in the history of Luchar Contra, the games will be cut short. If you are a survivor of this unbelievably bloody and horrific mess, than you should consider yourself lucky.”
Tears streamed down by face. I didn’t know what to think. I was angry that I trained just for this to happen, but at the same time, my heart was heavy with grief and sorrow. I dropped to the ground and just layed there, thinking about what could’ve happened to those poor people.
The next thing I remembered, I was being picked up from a helicopter and was to be taken back to my home. Not a word emerged from the mouth of the passengers on the helicopter. Only five had survived this horrible mass of death, two being Annabeth and I. We were blessed to be alive, but scarred for life.
The helicopter ride back to my town was about fifteen minutes. The whole ride consisted of me pondering what could’ve happened that year at Luchar Contra. The only thing I was sure of, was that I was lucky to have my life as well as the company of Annabeth throughout this tragedy. No knows what happened during Luchar Contra that year, but I had survived something that many others could not. I am a survivor, and a lucky one at that.