Control Alt Corruption by J.F. Klyne

corruption75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, Darrel discovered that more of the game has infected the real world. In the midst of the game of Bombardment Darrel was struck by a ball and a health bar popped up. In reaction, readers voted that Darrel throw the ball back at Marcus.

Episode 7

“BAM”

Another dodge-ball smacks Darrel in the face, making him see stars. The health bar floating overhead dips again, his life force depleting. Disgusting laughter slaps him to his senses. Across the invisible line of the bombardment court, Marcus is laughing.

“Hey, I said no head shots,” Mr. Cask howls. “One more and you’re out of the game, Marcus!”

The bully ignores the coach’s warning, and throws another. It screams across the court, aimed to mark Darrel’s forehead with the manufacturer logo. Before it makes contact, five metal talons sink into the rubber, almost popping it. Darrel rises, his eyes burning with anger.

That’s it, Atlas. Show him your wrath…

Tartarus whispers to fuel the flames of his fury. He roars like a titan as he whips the ball at Marcus. It hits the jock in the blink of an eye. The force sends him sailing into the wall, shattering the brick upon impact. In that moment, the game comes to an abrupt halt.

Marcus lets everyone know he is alive, managing to groan. While the class rushes to check on him, Darrel is left in a state of shock. He looks to the metal that clings to his flesh. More of Atlas came to him than just the armor. The strength brings a smile to his face.

“Hey, he’s not breathing,” someone shouts, wiping away his grin.

Darrel looks over to Marcus, and his jaw drops. A health bar hovers over the jock, the green disappearing quickly. At halfway it turns yellow. A quarter it turns red. And then, his health hits zero…

“Somebody, call an ambulance,” the coach shouts while starting chest compressions.

Other students hastily rush to the lockers for their phones. The only people who remain are Eric, Alyssa, and Alex. Darrel stands shell-shocked, only able to watch the coach fail to resuscitate Marcus.

“It’s no use,” he says when his friends crowd around him, though his eyes stay on Marcus.

“Darrel,” Eric grabs his friend’s shoulder, “Let’s get out of here.”

The big man is able to carry him out of the gymnasium while the two girls follow.

**

On the other side of the building, Troy has slipped into the school during the confusion. The pale student takes in his surroundings, ignoring the waves of smoke that trail him. His walk down the hall is disrupted by a teacher, who catches him out of class.

“What are you doing?” she asks him in a strict tone.

“Walking,” he answers earnestly.

Believing him to be acting cocky, she asks, “Where is your hall pass?”

“I don’t have one,” he says.

“Then you are coming to the principal’s office, young man,” she states, grabbing his arm.

“I am sure you have other priorities,” Troy remarks, pulling away.

He continues his stroll, the teacher screeches behind him. Before she chases after him, her long nose catches the scent of smoke. She screams as she turned to find the halls caught in a hellish inferno, and something dancing among the flames. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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