Once the song and light show was over, Arcade tucked the microphone under his arm to clap. Every bot around him turned their speakers up on high, playing an applause track until all the clapping died out. And the spotlight fell on Arcade.
"Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the first annual Murder Games!" he laughed out loud before the bots laughed with him. But with a sharp hand motion, everything stopped at once. "Oh, I know, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Murder Games’? Why doesn’t that sound like — Yes, yes, so I got a little inspiration! So I ripped off a rip-off of another rip-off, but you know what makes MY rip-off the greatest? Everything! Allow me to elaborate…."
He began to pace, his hand flapping and flourishing with every word. “This world - Murderworld, if you will - has been designed specifically to test the body and the mind. I’ve dealt with your kind before, a special case named Phillip. Philly taught me a few things. Namely, you don’t have to be a mutant or a super to give these old bones some new excitement. But, the point is, I’ve come up with the best environment for you all to battle and die in and make it a very exciting show!
"I’m sure you’ve already noticed the maze; I didn’t blind any of you, after all. It’s quite simple, really. Hidden in this maze, in it’s center, is a tunnel. That tunnel will lead you to safety, but here’s the catch - it’ll only allow a random amount of you through. It could be set to only allow one, it could be set to allow all four. Who knows? I sure don’t, I set the programing to go unscripted so it’s completely randomized! So, in other words, not only is this a race for survival… it’s a race against your friends."
Arcade stopped in his tracks and grinned. He threw his arm up towards the four screens around him as each flashed a different image of the agents - one for Ashe, one for Amara, one for Jackson, and one for Lizzy. “This is your competition! These are the agents you’ve worked along side and will have to defeat in order to survive! These are the friends you’ll have to kill!”
He stopped and let out a roaring laughter. “Oh, but you don’t think I’m that dumb, do you? I know your type - so full of pride and loyalty. You won’t kill your friends. Which is why I have these….”
The platform around Arcade made a complete circle of a spin. Each corner of the covers hiding the floating objects was attached to it so the motion tore them off, revealing four look-a-likes of each probie. Their right eyes all began to glow an unnatural color before fading back to normal, leaving nothing left to differentiate them from their human counterparts.
"And this is where the fun begins. An unknown amount of perfect copies are lingering around down there, waiting, wandering. You’re all unarmed but you’ll find various items like crowbars and pipes and, if you’re lucky, a gun and ammo. Take as much as you want, kill as many of my Chameleons as you find but you better be sure who you’re aiming that gun at," he snickered before the platform began to raise. The four floating Chameleons lowered themselves into the center of the maze, disappearing from each agents’ sights just as Arcade vanished into the ceiling.
"Oh, and I almost forgot," his voice echoed in the room as the glass doors opened for the agents to enter the maze.
"Welcome to Murderworld."