[A/N: Battle Royale AU, featuring remixed and aged-down (or up) versions of characters from Redwood Crossing.]
Ellie’s sneakers streaked through the steadily growing puddle of blood. She would’ve fallen if it wasn’t for Pravaah, Student 19. The taller girl grasped her arm to keep her upright. Her good eye—the other one was concealed under a patch—regarded Ellie with pity.
She knows you won’t make it.
The seventh student on the roster, Ellie scanned the room, taking in her classmates’ faces. Most looked horrified. Tear-stricken. Shocked to be taking part in what the Program Runner called a game of 26 minus 25. Any looks of disbelief or refusal disappeared after what happened to Freesia.
Ellie struggled not to look down at what remained of her friend. She’d warned her to stop talking, but Freesia had always been the headstrong type. Whenever any injustices cropped up, she was the one who took charge in righting them.
Mr. Gaurin calling out a student (usually Shanti or someone in her crew) in front of the whole class for not doing their homework? Freesia would say it wasn’t anyone else’s business. Someone singled out for talking in class when everyone else was? Freesia would jump to their defense, and tell the teacher to punish everyone, not just the person chosen at random.
She was responsible for getting rid of Stockbrunn Academy’s zero tolerance lateness policy. It used to be that a second-time lateness meant an instant detention. She petitioned, gathered signatures, and went to the principal to argue her case. Freesia was never afraid of authority or the system itself.
So it wasn’t a surprise that when everyone woke up in this strange classroom, she’d be the loudest protestor among them.
“Congratulations Class 3B of Stockbrunn Academy. You have been randomly selected to play the game of your lives. Our prizes are many, and our winners have gone on to do great things for our country,” the Program Runner had said. “This is your opportunity to become someone great. Don’t be treasonous like your teacher Mr. Gaurin.”
They’d been taught about this their whole lives. Ellie had understood it to be a reformation program, something launched for the betterment of Casterne’s future leaders. It motivated the country’s high school student population to stay on the straight and narrow, lest they be chosen. Yes, the Program Runner had called it a random selection, but that was just talk…
Her mother had said that only bad classes were chosen. Those picked for the Program were scum given a second chance to become something successful. Ellie had seen winners before on TV, all-dressed up after the fact. They were always dressed to the nines, with bleach white smiles on their faces like they hadn’t survived a massacre.
26 minus 25. A battle royale of kill or be killed. Outfitted with a day pack consisting of a weapon, a first aid kit, crackers, water, a grid-lined map, a clock, and a compass, they were expected to win this horrible game. The collars on their neck ensured that they would play. The Program Runner explained that they had tracking and anti-dismantling software. There’d be no escaping the island, no breaking of the collars, no entering of specifically marked Danger Zones, and no rule-breaking of any kind.
Everyone in Class 3B bore witness to what would happen if those warnings were disregarded.
Freesia, the tenth student on the roster, refused to heed them.
The armed men and women that surrounded the room didn’t deter her. The metallic collar on her neck didn’t slow down. The sharp warning she received from the Program Runner did nothing, either. Freesia kept arguing.
So then there was that awful beeping, and the blinking red light on her collar, right before it detonated. Ellie hadn’t looked. In her best friend’s last moments, she’d avoided her gaze.
I never got to tell her…
“Hurry up!” barked one of the soldiers, snapping Ellie out of her reverie. He raised his assault rifle.
She yelped and hurried, daypack clutched in her arms. The door opened to a long, dark hallway that led to the outside. Feeling her weapon through the fabric, she could tell it was something flat with a handle. A spatula? A square-shaped knife? She’d hoped for something better than that…a gun, maybe. Not to kill anyone, but obviously to defend herself.
The six students that left before her included Adikavi, Bodil, Catalina, Chinaza, Cornelius, and Danilo. Adikavi, Chinaza, and Danilo were part of Shanti’s friend group. They’d likely be grouping up together. It’d be dangerous going anywhere near them. Even though Danilo seemed nice, he was still going out with their ringleader, so he was bad, too. Ellie didn’t pu it past them to start killing.
Bodil was a sweet girl. Ellie didn’t know her that well, but she knew she was working on getting her nurse certification. There was no way she’d participate in the game. If she was smart, she would’ve ran as fast as she could and started hiding somewhere. Being the second person out would give her a huge advantage…as long as Adikavi hadnt gotten to her.
Then, there was Catalina, an unpredictable girl who loved messing with Ellie. Truth be told, she was annoying. Would she play to win? Maybe. She always seemed eerily focused when it came to school. She was one of Class 3B’s top students, and the head of Stockbrunn Academy’s Disciplinary Committee since her sophomore year.
Cornelius was an asshole, plain and simple. Never smiled. Never laughed. There were rumors going around that he was dating one of the boys in Class 3A. His and Ellie’s mutual gayness did nothing to make her like him any better. He just always had to be right, no matter what the subject was.
He’d do it. This program was started for people like him.
As soon as she exited the building, Ellie made a sharp right. She ran into the woods surrounding them. The Program Runner had warned that the starting zone would become a Danger Zone ten minutes after the last student (Zinnia) left.
I’m sorry I can’t wait for you. Not for her, not for Marietta, not for Sunny, or any of her other friends. She had to hurry and find a safe place. Then she could think about finding people.
“Stop! Stop or I’ll fucking shoot you.”
Whatever happened next, she just had to survive this first.
25 students remaining.
A/N: Wrote this just to blow off some steam. It’s the Redwood Crossing x Battle Royale AU that no one asked for. Trying to shake off this burn out by writing random AUs. In this AU, I made everyone involved the same age, and got rid of any familial relations. IDK what certain people’s last names are because of that, lmao. I also remixed a bunch of things, e.g. Ellie & Freesia not going out.
Here’s the list of students. If there’s anyone you think should be replaced, let me know. Assigned weapons will be added when we learn about them and/or when people die. GG.
And I could be convinced to do a Hunger Games AU later…
S02. Bodil Olsson
S07. Ellie – Cleaver
S10. Freesia – Wakizashi Sword
S12. Henrik Stenberg
S14. Iolana Cuthberht
S17. Noemi Vrana
S24. Vicente Navarrete
S26. Zinnia Trotter