Jasper and Lance had spent the rest of the day talking and beating each other’s high score in Lance’s Pacman. Jasper managed to get some sleep, and then a familiar hard-knocking hit his door. Game time. Only this time was different. Jasper looked over at the clock and saw it was just past midnight.
Jasper got changed and followed the red spade masks towards game two. They rode the elevator to the game floor, and he was told to wait outside the game room, this time with no food. Trying to keep himself awake, Jasper kept walking up and down the hallway. It was just him, so he figured it was fine. Plus, what else could he do? The doors were locked, and he was alone.
“Morning,” Lance said, getting off the elevator.
“Hey, why is it even earlier than last time?” Jasper yawned.
“Some people had to wake up early last time. We just got the short straws, I guess.” Lance looked at the nameplate beside the game room with a red “2” on the doors. “The Box Game? Never heard of that.”
“Me neither. Maybe we just have to open a box? How can they screw with us with that? Actually, don’t answer that,” Jasper said. “I can think of a couple.”
“Two-person game involving a box. Hmm…well, no use stressing about it. We just have to approach it from every angle, and we’ll be fine. Catch!” Lance said, throwing an orange at Jasper.
Jasper fumbled but eventually caught it. “Thanks.”
“Sure, I didn’t know what you wanted, so just picked something. Hope you like oranges.”
“My favorite, actually. I’m guessing you like apples?” Jasper asked, biting the orange.
“Yeah, did you know that there are over 7500 types of apples? I’ve only had twenty; heh, another useless fact my folks made me learn. I know stuff that would make any quiz show host cry. We–” Lance was cut off by the sound of the door unlocking. “Oh, looks like it’s showtime. You ready for this?”
“No, but do we have a choice?” Jasper asked.
“We always have a choice, but the alternative isn’t favorable. Let’s go. Remember, look around and take it all in. Angles. That’s important,” Lance said, walking into the room with Jasper in tow.
The room itself was very different from the first game—first, no wires or buttons. Jasper was relieved. The room was completely white with three monitors that displayed numbers and a large trunk in the middle. The trunk had a display on the outside with three input spaces. It was made of metal but had a soft outer shell. Almost like it was made of cushions. That wasn’t the weirdest thing. It was the tubs connected to the box that came out of the walls. One was labeled “O2” and “H2O”. “I don’t like the way this looks,” Jasper said.
Lance was standing beside the door, looking from wall to wall, taking it all in. “So, that’s it,” He laughed. “Interesting.”
“The numbers on the wall, the box in the middle with air and water on them, and that fact that the box is big enough to fit one of us inside. Those sick ********. One of us has to get inside while the other needs to find the combination to open it. I’m guessing the person inside has only a limited supply of air while the box gets filled with water. Then–“
“Can you not just explain everything? You’re so annoying, Number 7,” A voice said coming from the middle monitor. A woman came on screen wearing a mask with a red spade in the center. “Hi! I’m Rose or The Knight of Spades. Whichever you guys prefer. If Mr. Knowitall would let me do my job, I was gonna explain what he was saying. Yes, one of you has to get into the box, put on the oxygen mask, and wait to be rescued by your partner. The person in the box only has enough air to last ten minutes. Then it’s a game of endurance. I don’t know about you guys, but I can only hold my breath for a few seconds. I’m one of the nicer knights, so I’ll give you a hint.”
“Oh, how kind of you,” Jasper said sarcastically.
“Ignoring that comment. Hint: you’ve already seen the combination. At least once anyway. Now, let’s get this show on the road. Pice one of you to go into the box. I’ll give you–“
“No need. I’ll do it,” Lance said. “I’m still tired, so I could use some more sleep.”
“What? Hold on,” Jasper said.
“Nope, it’s decided. I trust you. Plus,” Lance lowered his voice. “I already figured it out.”
“How?” Jasper asked.
“HEY! No whispering! Fine, white-hair, get in the box and put on the mask. Once you’re inside, press the button to the left to start the game,” Rose said. “Like I said, the air supply lasts ten minutes. Also, you only have one chance to open the box. Guess wrong, and you both will be unworthy. I don’t have to say what happens to the person in the box. That should be obvious. However, 99, I STRONGLY suggest you figure it out. The elimination punishment for you is…messy. Just FYI.”
Jasper was about to say something, but Lance put his hand on his shoulder and shook his head. “Don’t,” Lance said as he walked past and opened the box. “Glad I’m not claustrophobic. Lance got into the box and gave Jasper one last smile. “Alright, bud, my life’s in your hands. Don’t let me down,” He laughs as he shuts the box, and it locks with a click. Jasper looked around the room and saw that the monitor on the box changed to show the current oxygen level in the box. 100%.
“No pressure or anything,” Jasper said under his breath.
“Okay, 77 is in the box, folks! Can 99 get him out, or will they both be punished? Only time will tell! The game is set, and the participants are ready. A King must perform under pressure. Just look at our current King. One mistake can be fatal. Can our friends here figure it out in time? Let’s see! Three…two…one…go!”
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