“THE TIME IS 9:00 A.M.” As the A-Key’s alarm clock was going off. It kept shouting “TIME IS 9:00” over and over until Nariaki hit the snooze button. “Wait, 9? Why am I awake at 9 in the morning?”
“It is breakfast time, Mr. Kanemoto.” A-Key said. “They serve it around from 8 A.M. to 12 Noon.”
“Wait….breakfast until Noon?” Nari said.
“Yes.” A-Key said. “I have already awoken Ms. Sato and Mai and from the looks of it, they are enjoying themselves.” In comes Emi and Mai with a big plate of food for themselves. “Oh, Nari, I see you’re awake finally.”
“Emi, Mai, I take it you got back from the breakfast line?” Nari said.
“YES!!!” Mai said, “Nari, the food is so DELICIOUS!!! Especially this stuff called Khao Neow Moo Ping! IT’S SO GOOD!! Especially with the rice that comes with it!! Never knew I find something pork-related other than bacon and sausage to be tasty.”
“I never knew Thai food could be so good,” Emi said, “Especially these Paton go. These are so sweet! You should hurry before all the good stuff is out.”
“OK……nice to see you’re enjoying yourself.” Nari said, “Especially you, Emi, after the way you talked to me last night.” He soon left after that. “Talked last night?” Mai said, “What were you two talking about?” Emi didn’t want to say anything about it but Mai did somewhat knew what they were talking about. “Oh…..it’s about the competition. And hoping that Nari actually makes it out alive.”
“You’re worried, too?” Emi said.
“Emi, of course I’m worried.” Mai said, “I want to show some faith and support for Nari. I want to believe that he can survive this and as much as I don’t want to say it……I’m really scared for him. I don’t wanna be but…”
“You want to assure yourself of that?” As Emi filled in the blanks for her.
“Yeah.” Mai said. “Does worrying too much make it seem like I don’t believe in him?”
“No, Mai, it doesn’t.” Emi said, “It means you obviously care about your brother…..the two of us do anyway.”
Nariaki was at the breakfast line, ready to fix his plate as he sees Charlie and Daria behind him. “Oh, hey Daria and….your name is Charlie, right?”
“Oh…um, yes.” Charlie spoke. “Good morning to you, too.” He said in a fidgety way. “OK, you can relax around me.” Nari said, “Right now, you’re among good people.”
“Well……” Daria said, “You’re with us and we really don’t know much of each other but you seem decent enough.”
“Thanks….?” Charlie said confusingly. “I know one other person has been kind to me since I got here.” And speaking of that person, Hana is just arriving at the line right now.
“HELLO!!!” she said in a cheery voice. “I see everybody is up for breakfast! I heard the food is really good here, too!! CHARLIE!!”
She rushed to him and hugged him from behind. “How are you doing today?”
“HANA!” Charlie said with a little smile to him. “I’ve been okay and a little hungry. Although still a little surprised from yesterday.”
“Yeah….that caught me off-guard, too.” Hana said and then she directed this question to Daria and Nariaki. “You guys felt that way also?” They nod in agreement. All of them got their food and sat at a table near somewhere with the others eating as well.
“Do you think we should be chatting since we’re basically enemies?” Charlie asked. “I don’t see the harm in it.” Nariaki said, “I mean, yeah, we’re competing for our lives and a chance to become royalty but nothing can hurt from being civil between one another.”
“And at least, you among the ones being civil.” Daria said. “That French couple bumped me to a wall twice and laughed like assholes after they left.”
“Oh you mean Éclair and Oz?” Hana said. “I never had any problems with them.”
“Same here.” Charlie said, “At least, not yet.”
However, Rose and Hiromi heard everything as they were about to sit down. “Don’t worry, it’s gonna happen soon enough.” Rose said, “I sense something bitchy about them, like they have something up their sleeve to fuck one of us up. Also, hi, my name is Rose, nice to meet all of you and this is my partner/friend Hiromi.”
“Hi” Hiromi said. “Same here. Most of you seem decent so far.”
“What about that drunk and his friend?” Rose said. “You told me you had a bad time with them.”
“Yeah, but at least they weren’t being hostile towards you.” Hiromi said.
The intercom came on and it was Leona making an announcement. “Attention, Academy participants, there will be a scheduled fitting for your battle outfits at 1:00 P.M. today. Guests are welcome to observe. The men and women will have their separate changing rooms and there will be no peaking of either one. Be ready by then, everyone! Miss Sasaki out.”
“Battle outfits?” Daria said. “Um…this supposed to be like American Gladiators or something?”
“I have no idea.” Nariaki said. “I get the ‘no peaking’ rule. Especially with my brother and Bobby around.” Daria said. “Although I don’t think they’re dumb enough to peak in the girls with me around…and I hope you’re not gonna do that, too.”
“Um……I wasn’t.” Nariaki said, “I know better.”
“Oh, I’m just messing with you.” Daria said, “At least 50% of it. I’m still serious about that. I mean, I like you but don’t fuck up a good thing we got now.”
“OK, I gotcha.” Nariaki said. “That goes double for us.” Hiromi and Rose said.
Rose then directed herself to Daria, “And for your brother and his other drinking buddy…..if they peek at me naked, I’m cutting them both.
Hana said, “Charlie….” Charlie knew what she was going to say to him and he said, “Hana, don’t worry, I’m not gonna—“
“Well…..I know you’re not that crass but I was thinking…” Hana then whispered to Charlie about something that got him a little happy. “Oh….you mean that?”
“Yeah.” Hana said, “Later on tonight. You feel like it then?” Charlie shook his head. “Of course.”
The rest did start to notice what’s going on between Charlie and Hana. “I see those two are hitting it off alright.” Rose said to them. But then it got interrupted when Oz was coming down the line and blew some cigarette smoke at Hana’s face. She coughed at the foul smoke he blew and Charlie went to confront him, “Excuse me, you just blew your smoke all over her face.”
“Yes?” he said with a smug attitude, “And?”
“Wait, you speak English?” Charlie said. “I thought—”
“That I can only speak French?” Oz said, “Yeah, way to assume that, you dumbass and just for that…” He gives one more puff and he blew a smoke ring to his eyes.
“Charlie, let’s not make this any worse.” Hana said.
“Maybe you got a point.” Charlie said as he was coughing from the smoke.
“Wow, dickhead.” Rose said directly to his face, “The guy was just asking you nicely to stop smoking and blowing it in someone’s face. You didn’t have to act like that to him.”
“Look, I’m just here for a quick bite and a smoke.” Oz said, “Also, you can smoke in here. Just look at the signs they posted.”
“And yet that gives you the right to blow it on her face like that?” Daria said. “Well, her breathing isn’t my problem.” Oz said. However Nariaki took the cigarette out of his mouth and just balled it up in his hand.
“The fuc—You just took my joint and—“ Oz said. “Fuck it, fuck it…..I can’t do shit to you now but wait until Éclair takes care of you fucks during the competition. You’re gonna regret doing that shit to me.” He walks off in a huff. Éclair was coming from the restroom and see Oz in a bad mood.
“Oz, what’s the matter?” she said. “Some of those whiny bitches complain about my smoking and one of them just snatched it and threw it away.” Oz said.
“Who?” Éclair looked at the people sitting down. “Those bitches over there?”
“Primarily the Japanese one.” Oz said, “He was the only one to step up. The other American couldn’t do shit.”
“So he’s a—“
“Pussy? Yeah.” Oz said, “I know you can take him down easily but as for that other guy…..definitely fuck him up.”
“Hmmmm….yeah.” Éclair said, “Don’t worry, baby, I got something for them.”
Black Freighter was busy with scoping out places to put wire taps in one of the offices. He found not much luck in placing them anywhere, just about behind some trophies but then he spotted Tiberius coming down the hallway and went to act casual.
“Ah, Mr. Freighter. Having a good day so far?” Tiberius said. “Mr. Ellis, um…yes, I’m enjoying my time here.” BF said, “I was just looking around the offices and such. I was entranced by all the surroundings to it.” “Well, thank you, man.” He said, “All it takes to earn this is by both hard work and knowing the right people to get you ahead.”
“I heard that, man.” BF said, “Well, I better be going off to rest.”
“Oh yeah, do that, man.” Tiberius said, “We got a fitting scheduled in about an hour and a half.” They left each other’s sight with Freighter whispering to himself, “Got you now, motherfucker.” Then Tiberius silently said to himself, “You better rest up…..you fucking bastard.” As he thinks there is something suspicious to him.
Cobalt was in the other room, doing his own search for answers by looking through in one of these rooms but then he got stopped by Terri. “Um, excuse me?” she said to him.
“You’re Cobalt Anderson, right?”
“Yes.” Cobalt said. “I’m sorry, sir, but this area is restricted to participants.” Terri said,
“You have to vacate out of here and to your designated area.”
“OK, OK, I’m sorry for the troubles. I’ll leave peacefully.” He said. It may seem like it was all for naught but what Terri didn’t know is that he placed a few bugs inside some of the offices without her noticing.
AT THE FITTING
“Welcome ladies and gentlemen!!” Admeta said to everyone in attendance. “We are here to pick out what battle outfit you want to wear for the arena. Choosing a style that represents yourself and when you play out in the battlefield. The men will follow Mr. Staley while the ladies follow Ms. Sasaki. Any guests are welcome to observe.”
“So…..Emi, what do we do?” Mai said, “Just go back.”
“Well, we got nothing better to do.” Emi said, “It couldn’t hurt to witness some of this. I do wonder about what type of shit they used in these battle outfits.”
“Oh, Emi.” Leona said, “I see you’re willing to participate in our little activity. Plus, I wonder how you’ll look like naked considering back at high school, people thought your boobs were fake.”
The look on Emi’s face was very pissed off and annoyed at what she said. “Yeah….don ‘t remind me.”
Emi said with her teeth gritted. “Um, Emi…are you alright?” Mai asked.
“Do you need some space?” She immediately calmed down in front of Mai and replied, “I’m fine, Mai. I’m good. Although I feel like choking somebody by now.”
The men began with their showcasing with Delrio showing what goes on top first. “First, we’re gonna show you the armor for your torso. You have your first-grade ready armor that has a 100x heat-resistant technology that not even hot lava can penetrate it. It also includes a bullet-proof shield….” While he was still going on about the armor, Oz was secretly taking pictures of the armor by using a secret camera hidden on his person. “Fire-proof armor?” Ari said, “Maybe this won’t so bad after all.”
“But you see, this armor is probably the most expensive in our arsenal.” Delrio said, “However, we do carry our cheaper alternatives although not as effective but helpful.”
“Really?” Cobalt said, “You show us a good piece of armor that we can’t afford and then we have to settle for lesser crap?”
“Well….” Tiberius was leading him on to this, “If you manage to climb your way to the top, you can get the armor once you have enough points.”
“Now gentlemen, LET’S STRIP!!” Delrio said in a boisterous voice and every guy removed their clothes to get their sizes. Most of the guys looked a bit awkward looking at each other in their underwear, especially Charlie, who was a bit shy when it comes to this. Hell, he was hiding his crotch from view of others and in briefs.
“Don’t worry.” Nari said, “It’s just us. I don’t think anybody is gonna—“ Before he can finish that sentence, Trench and Bobby was lurking around as they saw him naked. “Hey Bruh.” Bobby said, “You think you might want to think your choices in drawers.”
“Yeah,” Trench said, “What motherfucker you know wears briefs?”
“Does that tell you anything?” Charlie said.
Meanwhile in the other room, Leona was busy showing off the ladies’ armor to the women contestants and guests. Pretty much, they went through the same thing with the men about the superior armor being the most expensive and the cheaper ones are only available to them.
“So….to get to the better armor, we just got to go win?” Daria asked Leona. “Why, yes, Miss Hooper.” Leona answered. “That’s the key to get to this.”
“Well, at least the armor looks like actual armor and not something some horny teenager would make.” Emi said.
“Well, ladies.” Leona said as she is starting to undress herself, “Let’s time to get into our outfits!” Most of the girls looks shocked as she stripped with a lot of pride. “Didn’t think she was that much of an exhibitionist.” Emi said. “You didn’t?” Daria said, “Did you said you and Nari knew her?”
“Yeah…but not like that.” Emi said.
“Although…..”Daria leading on to saying this, “She does have a nice body…and lovely tits, too.”
“Really?” Emi sternly said.
“What?” Daria said, “I can’t appreciate a woman’s body or nothing like that? Or from what I heard….it’s jealousy?”
“JEALOUSY!?” Emi shouted. “Where you get the idea of…… Nari told you, didn’t he?”
“Yep.” Daria said. “I’m gonna kill him.” Emi said.
We see Rose and Hiromi getting into their outfits and they’re having a little trouble getting into them. “OW!!” Rose said, “I think it’s a little tight in the one area.”
“Man, this feels….really hot as hell.” Hiromi said, “The hell is this made of?”
“Oh, it’s our special-made battle leather.” Leona said, “But I wouldn’t go anywhere hot with it…it also helps that you lose the bra once you wear that.”
“But….I’m not wearing one.” Rose said. “Hiromi?”
“OH…..” Hiromi said, “I wonder about that.”
“HA!” And of course, Éclair weighs in her opinion, “You girls try to pull that off? This material and fabric is made for people who can actually them sexier than the outfit.”
“Well…” Emi said as she points to Hana as she tries it on and got no problems with it.
“Hmmm….I like it.” Hana said. “And it looks rather slim on me.”
“Hmmm….can‘t argue with that.” Emi said. “That and I think I’m one of those girls that can eat what she wants and don’t gain much weight.” Hana said, “And please don’t throttle me because I said that. I’m just saying what people said about me.”
TO BE CONTINUED in Chapter 3