2032 Excerpt 3

The following is the third and final excerpt from my book 2032. The book is split into four sections - the following is from the third section: 

18th August

“Glad you could join us tonight! Gosh do we have one heck of a show lined up for you: it’s the 100th episode of the Death Lottery! I’m your host Kate K and for those of you tuning in to finally lose your Death Lottery virginity let me give you a quick rundown of the rules:
“We’ve taken this Seventh Circle mall and filled it with all our contestants. In a few minutes time one of them will receive a text message informing them that they are the original ticket holder...our cameras will then locate this person, hand them this 18 carat gold ticket; then, I will announce to the entire mall this evening’s checkpoint...the goal is to cash in the golden ticket by handing it to me at the checkpoint.
“The twist is that any one of the contestants can win because anything goes – apart from using weapons of course – you can kick, punch or assault the ticket holder in any manner. The advantage of being the ticket holder is you’re granted a ten second amnesty at the very start where only you can move.
“Now for you seasoned viewers out there we’ve gotta few surprises for tonight’s anniversary edition. Instead of the usual five hundred competitors we’ve got one thousand people here. You just know we’re gonna smash are all-time record of two hundred and forty seven deaths! And as we’ve yet to have the original ticket holder cash in his ticket, we’re gonna give him or her a little help, which’ll vary depending on their location. And last but certainly not least the prize money is doubled to twenty million Stronts!
“I’m gonna hand you over to the greatest damn play-by-play commentators in any Sector on the Globe: please wolf whistle at your screens in appreciation of Alvey A. Adee and Francis B. Loomis! Woo!”
“Could there be a better way to kick off this historic show than with the sweet words of the gorgeous Kate K?”
“I’m lost for words Alvey! Only kidding...man I gotta tell you I’m psyched about the little tweaks to the new rules; I know the question on all our viewer’s minds: what the heck is the O.T.H. gonna get to help him or her become the very first person of all time to cash in that golden ticket as the original holder. What’s your guess Alvey?”
“Well it all depends you know? I mean, if, and it’s a big if, they allow this person to break the rule of having a weapon...”
“A knife?”
“Oh no, I reckon it’d be something more lethal.”
“A machine gun!”
“That’s going a little too far...our fantastic sponsors G-FORCE wouldn’t want a total bloodbath.”
“You know me, I’m the over excitable one!”
“Don’t be too hard on yourself Francis, you’ve just got a wild imagination and gosh darn it the viewers love to take a peek in to that hair-brained mind of yours. But yeah, I reckon it may be something non-violent but still devastating, like a stun grenade.”
“Bang! Pow! If that doesn’t get your juice s flowing I don’t know what will.”
“It’s time to start the countdown people, here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Count us in Francis.”
“In under a moment’s moment’s time I’m gonna count us in the most eagerly anticipated event since Cain and Abel rumbled in the jungle with that two legged alligator. Whether you’re in a bar, at home or on cloud number nine get off your seats and get the party started! Ten-nine-eight-seven-six...you count in the rest people...louder now I can’t here you...two-one-here we go!”
“The ten thousand plus cameras are live as we give you our O.T.H...back to you Kate.”
“I’m on the seventy fourth floor and I’m nearing our O.T.H. I’ll just follow the hollerin’...what’s your name sweetheart?”
“Yes! Woo, my name’s Ursula; I’m nineteen and I’m a window cleaner.”
“Well isn’t that the prettiest name? I can confirm that you are the youngest O.T.H. we’ve ever had! Gosh you can just tell it’s gonna be a special night where all sortsa records are gonna be smashed.
“It’s time to find out what floor the checkpoint is on. You hoping for higher or lower?”
“Higher for sure, I’m a great climber.”
“Well Ursula, sweetheart, as you can see there are seven boxes to my right. I need you to pick one so we can find your final destination.”
“That one.”
“You sure?”
“Positively certain.”
“I like your confidence. Let’s take a look at what’s behind box number five...second floor! Baby girl you’ve got yourself a slobber knocker of a fight...I can confirm that’s the third largest gap in floors we’ve ever had. How you feeling?”
“All I can see is the new place I’ll be able to buy me and my folks when I see you next.”
“You’ve got a sweeter tongue than a politician. Good luck. This is where we head into unchartered territory for this show...rather than kicking the lottery off right away we’re gonna head back to the boys for half a minute or so while we fit Ursula with her gift.”
“The signing of the Magna Carta, Columbus landing on the shores of America, Neil Armstrong’s first footstep on the moon, Michelangelo painting the final brushstroke on the Sistine Chapel, Shakespeare conjuring ‘to be or not to be’, Jesse Owens winning his fourth gold medal in the Berlin Olympics, the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and now the mysterious introduction of a hidden weapon in the 100th Death Lottery.”
“You just lit the fire in every viewer’s belly Francis; you’ve even ruffled my usually implacable demeanour, this is as good and as big as it gets.
“I just wanna point you in the direction of a viewer’s poll we ran online where we’ve asked the fans to guess what the surprise could be and the most popular choice is an invisibility cloak. Do they even exist yet? You can tell I’m getting on a bit!”
“Lord almighty that is a berserk, stupendously brilliant idea. I think you’re right we don’t have ‘em yet but could you imagine the publicity the manufacturer would get if they introduced such an awesome product on the 100th episode of the Death Lottery?”
“Indeed. We now return to the seventy fourth floor where we can find Ursula...remember as soon as the camera hits her face her ten seconds begin...and we’re off.”
“Alvey look, look! She’s gotta red helmet and a large rucksack. What could this all mean...and she’s running with frightening speed towards the balcony...four seconds left...and she’s jumped...unbelievable! Diabolical! A parachute! Ingenious; but wait, time is up and look! A ton of people are jumping off their floors to try and stop her...and one of them nailed her – and now, oh my God we’ve got two people on top of her as they plunge to the ground floor but wait! Alvey!”
“Resolute Ursula, just before hitting the ground spun round and landed on her two assailants. We’ve gotta pull up an instant replay of that.”
“Bam! But the show goes on and Ursula has taken her helmet off and is using it as a weapon but she’s crowded and in big trouble...snap, oh God you could hear her arm break from here...and what’s this...unparalleled madness...there are hundreds of people jumping from the higher floors, the drive to win the Death Lottery surpasses the fear of death and we’ve got us a growing pile of dismembered bodies. But where’s the ticket? Where’s Ursula? The suspense is killing me Alvey...”
“The Death Lottery never fails to surprise but this has gotta trump everything that’s gone before as I can confirm that nine hundred and ninety two of the contestants are in that pile. The other eight are all waiting for lifts on the fifty third, ninety fifth and thirty seventh floors but we cannot cut away from the shot in front of us as we see people writhe in agony while others lie dead.
“Wait just a goddamn second it cannot be, look, it’s Ursula! Zoom in, closer, would you believe it! The window cleaner lives! And she’s kicking and clawing her way from the bottom of the pile. A blow to her head but Lazarus endures, unbelievable! How Alvey, how?”
“I can confirm six of the eight have got into lift and the earliest ETA to the first floor is fifty seconds.”
“She is out of the pile but two large men have just slid down the top of the pile and have her surrounded...a punch is thrown but she ducks so the other guy is taken out and boom! Damn that’s gotta hurt as she nails the other guy with a knee to the groin; now she’s limping towards the escalator...she’s gripping her broken arm and she makes it!”
“And remember folks that the people in the lifts are now going to the wrong floor and even though as you can now see on your right hand corner the first one has arrived surely they are too late. We are well on course to have our shortest Death Lottery of all time!”
“Time is inconsequential when you are in the presence of the sublime and make no mistake folks this is a conscious-altering, jaw-shattering moment that radically alters the parameters of this beautiful game. This just in, according to the green sensors six hundred and forty four people are confirmed dead making this far and away the highest death count and confirming this as the greatest show we’ve ever had but let’s return to our pictures as we see Ursula near the computer shop where Kate K lies. She is stumbling along and she looks over her shoulder and she can see two of the others on the escalator and she is now running in the most dignified elegant manner I’ve seen and yes that is the sound of a grown man crying because this young girl just blew the world’s mind and I’m humbled that it’s me and Alvey relaying these unforgettable timeless moments to you.”
“She’s leaning against the big glass doors and she’s pushed herself in and she’s done it! The images speak for themselves, wow!
“Stay tuned as the heroic Ursula speaks to our Kate K after these messages.”

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