Alea Ludo Chapter 5: The Prisoner’s Dilemma!

Hours passed since the voting took place. The verdict decided. Everyone would remain in Serendipity for another day. Not like it was much of a surprise. Once the voting round finished, everyone went their separate ways. I for one returned to my room and spent the time in solitude. I had to weigh all my options after all.

Out of the eleven remaining players, five of us voted to continue playing the games.

Five people.

Five people decided to risk their lives to continue playing despite the fact that they could get themselves or others killed. It sounded cruel, but it was how things were. Unfortunately, I was one of them.

Melanie was one of them as well. However, unlike her, I wasn’t so keen on announcing my actions to everyone. That girl was something else. It was hard to see how her mind worked. That girl strove for chaos. If nothing exciting happened, she would make something happen, even if she had to do it herself.

To say that girl was insane would be a compliment to her. Nonetheless, I took a mental note to avoid her at all cost. She may have been happy making herself a target for everyone’s disdain and hatred — but I was different. I didn’t want that. I didn’t feel guilty, and I didn’t regret my decision. However, it didn’t mean that I was proud of it either.

My thoughts were interrupted once Caius’ voice intruded into my eardrums thanks to the intercom installed on the ceiling. He informed me that it was time for the second game to begin.

The second match. What to expect from it, I didn’t know.

Who would play against whom? Which one of them would win? How many points would they gamble away? Would there be an execution? If so, who among them would get killed?

Soon enough, my questions would get answered, one way or another. I left my room then walked towards the lobby. Everyone else had already arrived — gathered around Caius. I took quick glances around the room to observe the expressions of everyone else. I didn’t know about them, but I for one was anxious as hell.

Frederick’s death still lingered in the back of my mind. I hoped that something like that didn’t happen to anyone else. But, I wasn’t the one in control of the situation.

“I am glad to see that you have all made it here in time to start off the next game.” Caius looked to the remaining players. That smug grin of his was still on his face as usual. I swore that look of his was his default face. “Well, not all of you. Surely, you remember the death of your former companion, Frederick Lukas. May he rest in peace.”

He pulled out a small hand cloth from his pocket and then used it to wipe away his crocodile tears.

“Enough talk about that idiot. He’s dead and gone forever. He’s not worth mentioning anymore.” Melanie said with a harsh tone. She seemed irritated about something. “Let’s move on with the games already.”

“Straight to the point as always. Very well, it is time to choose the next two players that will be playing in today’s game.”

“Can I volunteer to play today? I wanna play.”

“You can volunteer all you want, but it is the dice that chooses the players.”

“Get on with it already then. We are wasting precious time by just standing here doing nothing,” said Wyatt.

“No need to be so hasty, Wyatt. An event like this takes time.” Caius pressed the button on his tablet. Then, the television screen behind him turned on. Two dice appeared on the screen then began to roll.

Darius and Elena clasped their hands together and closed their eyes, repeating their previous mantra, ‘please not me.’, To themselves. While Melanie, on the contrary, repeated her mantra of, ‘please be me.’. Everyone else remained silent and anxiously watched as the dice began to slow down before they eventually stopped and landed on the numbers two and four.

“Congratulations! Numbers two and four will be participating in today’s game!” Caius happily announced to everyone, throwing his arms up into the air to give the impression of excitement. However, excitement was one of the last things that anyone felt.

My gaze moved from Caius to Darius after I heard a whine come from him. He looked to his bracelet with a grim expression. His arm trembled.

“Oh yeah! It’s my turn to play! I’m so fucking lucky!” cheered Melanie after she checked her bracelet.

“How can you call yourself lucky? We’re about to play a dangerous game that could cost us our lives!” Darius reminded her.

“Don’tcha mean you’re playing a dangerous game that could cost you your life? I already know that I’ll be just fine no matter what the game is.” She spoke confidently with her arms folded underneath her chest.

“Can we offer to switch places with any of the other players or something? I don’t want to play any games with that crazy chick.” Darius stammered while desperately looking over to the other players for assistance.

“Sorry, Darius. But once the players have are chosen they must participate in the games.” Caius informed him.

Melanie set her hands on her hips and leaned forward with her Cheshire smile. “Unless you wanna die from the lethal injection that is. Not that it would matter anyway since you’re still gonna die during this game.”

Darius hung his head in defeat. “I’m so dead. Game over man, game over.”

Elena rushed over to Darius then grabbed his hands with a reassuring smile. “Don’t give up before the game has even begun. You’ll be fine, Darius.”

“It is like you repeated several times today, you will be all right if you do not gamble away all of your points,” Nicholas told him.

“Just do your best out there. That’s all you can do for right now.” Leona said.

“No matter what the game is, as long as you do your best you will be alright! Don’t allow that girl over there to intimidate you!” Iris cheered him on.

Seeing some of the players reach out and encourage him brought a smile to Darius’ face. He lifted up his head with a look of newfound confidence. He seemed pumped and ready to partake in the game.

“Yeah, you’re right. I’ll be just fine. It’s only the second day. There’s no way that I’ll die here.” He assured himself.

“I would consider rephrasing that if I were you, youngster. You may have just unknowingly raised a death flag by uttering those words of yours.” Salomon warned him.

And just like that, the newfound confidence in Darius had been completely shattered.

“Please don’t scare me like that old man. I’m already as nervous as I can be right now.” He whined.

“You’re gonna be terrified once the game starts,” Melanie told him.

“Everyone, please turn your attention to the game wheel.” Caius walked over to the wheel, grabbed the lever, then spun it. The wheel eventually came to a complete stop. The needle pointed to the panel with stick figures strapped down to electric chairs with volts of electricity shocking them. “Splendid! The second game will be the Prisoner’s Dilemma!”

“Sounds awesome! Let’s get moving!”

“Is it too late to back down right now?” Darius nervously inquired after looking anxiously at the pictures illustrating the next game.

“We cannot afford to waste any more time, players! Let us get a move on! It will be Melanie Bella versus Darius Haldis!” Caius motioned for Darius and Melanie to follow after him. The three of them left the room.

Not even a minute had passed, and Elena already found herself pacing back and forth while biting her thumbnail. “Do you think Darius will be okay during this game?” She looked towards the other players for a reassuring answer.

It would’ve been easy to lie to her and say that he would be alright by the end of the game. But, none of us could be entirely sure. The best thing that we could do was wait and see what would happen.

“Why are you so concerned right now? Was it not you who said that he would be just fine earlier?” asked Wyatt.

“That was just to boost his spirit. He seemed so upset about having to play the game today. I had to say something,” Elena ceased with her pacing, “to be honest I’m just as worried as he is. And it’s not just because it’s his turn to play.”

“You’re worried that Melanie will somehow find a way to get him killed.” Henrika deduced.

“Don’t worry about that, Elena. Remember yesterday’s game? There was no violence whatsoever. Darius is going to be fine.” Iris assured Elena.

“How certain are you of that statement?” Leona suddenly asked.

“What do you mean?” Iris looked over to Leona.

“We don’t know how many games there are or what in fact they will be.”

“She has a point. The first game may have been straightforward and non-threatening. But, it does not mean that the others will be.” Nicholas added.

“As far as we’re concerned this could be the last time that we see either of them alive.”

Elena and Iris exchanged worried glances with each other. The both of them frowned and lowered their heads, staring down at the ground as feelings of helplessness overwhelmed them. I sympathized with them. I understood that sense of helplessness quite well. I’ve experienced those feelings more times than I dared to admit. Although against my better judgment, I took a step forward and spoke out.

“Don’t you think you’re a little too pessimistic about this situation? Sure, there is a chance that they could die, but there is also a chance that they could survive. Don’t go condemning them before the game even starts.”

Immediately after hearing my words of inspiration, Elena and Iris raised their heads, their faces beamed with hope. Hopefully, my words wouldn’t come back to bite me in the ass later.

Iris placed one hand on her hip; the other one was used to point directly at Leona. “Ambrose is right. You are too negative about this. Those two will survive through this game. Would it kill you to have some faith?”

Leona clicked her tongue before she responded. “I’m not pessimistic. I just recognize the danger of this situation. We still have yet to experience the full extent of these games.”

“Well, we’re about to anyway,” Salomon told everyone from in front of the glass window.

Some of us gathered around the window while others decided to watch the television. Everyone had a clear view of Darius and Melanie strapped down to electric chairs. They were set back to back with monitors placed in front of them.

“I don’t like the looks of this,” Elena muttered.

“Attention players! The second game is about to begin shortly! Both players have gambled their points so now I shall explain the rules!” Caius’ voice echoed from the speakers around the room.

“Please God, keep Darius safe.” Elena closed her eyes, clasped her hands together, then silently prayed for his safety. She could go ahead and pray all that she wanted. No higher power was listening to her worthless prayer.

“As you all know the name of the game is Prisoner’s Dilemma! Both players must participate in this diabolical game to see if they can trust one another to survive!” Caius said.

“Trust? You expect me to trust this crazy woman behind me?” Darius exclaimed.

“You think I’m crazy? How dare you. I’m hurt.” Melanie sarcastically said.

“You are crazy, though! Just the other day you contemplated on eating all of us!”

“Well, maybe if you all didn’t look so damn delicious.” She licked her lips loudly, frightening Darius even more.

“Okay, that’s enough! Let me out of here! Let me out of here!”

That guy seriously had to learn how to control his emotions. Sure, it would’ve been difficult to remain calm and collected in his situation. But freaking out after every little thing grew to be quite annoying.

“It’s useless, dumb ass. This games gonna happen whether you like it or not.” Melanie told him.

“Please remain silent while I am explaining the rules. We have a schedule to uphold here.” Caius told them.

“Sorry.” Darius and Melanie apologized in unison.

“Now then, this game will determine whether you two are willing to cooperate to survive. For every turn of the match, each player must choose to either cooperate or betray one another without knowing the other player’s choice. The buttons on your chairs represent whether or not if you will cooperate or betray your opponent.” Caius said. “Following every turn in the game, both players will receive a certain amount of points depending on their choices. Should you choose to cooperate, you earn two points. And if you decide to betray, you win three points.”

“Sounds pretty boring to me. I expected better from you, Caius.” Melanie voiced her disappointment of the rules thus far.

“I’m sure that he’s not done explaining the rules here. Be quiet.” Darius ordered.

“Now should the both of you decide to cooperate with each other, you both earn three points. But, should one of you choose to betray while the other cooperates, the betrayer will be awarded five points while the cooperator will receive none.”

“Well, that doesn’t seem so bad,” Darius said before letting out a small sigh of relief.

“And also the cooperator will receive a few volts of electric shock.” Caius quickly added.

“What? Electric shock?” exclaimed Darius, positively terrified of the revelation.

Melanie hung her head and chuckled menacingly. Her giggles soon escalated into maniacal laughter. She eventually calmed down then said, “What’d you expect, dumb ass? Did you think we wouldn’t get electrocuted while sitting in these electric chairs?”

“No! No! I don’t want to die like this! I don’t want to die at all!”

“It will be fine, Darius. Just decide to cooperate with each other. You will earn points and receive no electric shocks.” Caius assured them as if it would be that simple.

He knew damn well that they wouldn’t cooperate with one another so quickly. Their personalities and convictions were going to clash in the game.

“What if we both choose to betray each other? What happens to us then?” Melanie suddenly asked.

“Should you both choose to betray each other; none of you will receive any points. But you will receive high voltages of electric shock.” Caius replied. “Also, I would like to inform you that the number of points that you earn in this match will get added to your gambling points. So, it would be in your best interest to amass as many points as you can.”

Darius’ eyes widened in horror after hearing the revelation, knowing full well that nothing good would come from his situation. Melanie, on the other hand, seemed more motivated to play. The bad feeling that I felt earlier only seemed to worsen. I could only foresee bad results in the end.

“And there it is. Caius is trying to manipulate them into betraying each other.” Leona frowned at the sight of Melanie’s smile.

“And judging by the look on Melanie’s face, I bet that it worked,” I said.

“It is safe to assume that Melanie will choose to betray each turn throughout this game,” Wyatt said.

“And each time she does that she will earn five points to her gambling points while Darius will receive none and get electrocuted,” Nicholas added.

“And Caius hasn’t mentioned how many rounds there will be throughout this game.” Henrika shook her head.

“Constantly being electrocuted is not okay. Darius could die if Melanie does nothing but betray him,” stated Wyatt.

“And she’s made it pretty clear that she doesn’t mind doing whatever it takes to earn money,” Leona added.

“We have to do something! We have to stop this from happening!” Elena exclaimed in a panic.

“There’s nothing we can do in this room. All we can do now is watch and see what happens.” Iris shrugged her shoulders.

Her response didn’t sit well with Elena. She frowned and shook her head. “I don’t want to sit here and watch as another one of us dies!”

“Clearly the best choice for both of the players would be to cooperate with each other and earn three points each turn. That way no one will get electrocuted.” Salomon stated.

“But like Caius said earlier, the temptation is powerful. There’s no way Melanie will be able to resist earning five points each turn.” Henrika said.

“It is true. No doubt that she will completely disregard Darius’ life in this game.” Wyatt addressed.

“Darius should already know that Melanie will do nothing but betray him. So if he betrays her as well, then both of them will be electrocuted.” Iris reminded everyone.

Elena turned her head in Iris’ direction and frowned at the idea. “Why would he want that to happen?”

Iris held up her hands in a defensive manner. “Hear me out. The human body can only handle a certain amount of voltage, correct? If Darius endures through the electrocution and keeps voting betray with Melanie, then eventually she’ll have to surrender and be forced to cooperate with him.”

“That sounds like a stupid plan.” Wyatt immediately shot down Iris’ idea.

“Don’t just outright dismiss it without thinking it through properly!”

“I already have properly thought it through unlike you. If Darius goes through with that plan, there is a high chance that both will die.”

“So, no matter what Darius chooses; his life is in grave danger.” Elena slumped down to her knees in despair. “Is there nothing we can do to save him?”

Salomon took a drag of his cigar then blew the smoke into the air before he glanced over to Elena with an expression of pity. “As of now, there’s nothing we can do except watch and hope for the best outcome of this game. Whether they survive or not is now in the hands of fate. Let her decide how things play out.”

“And one last thing I would like to add before the game begins. Each time a player chooses betray, the voltage will increase by one hundred by the next turn.” Caius declared to the players.

“Wait, what? Increased by one hundred? Why are you doing this to us?” Darius whined.

“Oh yeah! Now things have gotten interesting! This game is just to my liking, Caius!” Melanie praised the mad man.

“I am happy that I could make it to your liking, Melanie. Now that I have explained the rules let the second game begin!”

“Okay listen to me, Melanie. I know that we don’t get along here, but please cooperate with me. It’s in our best interest to cooperate with each other and earn the same amount of points during this game.” Darius looked down to the buttons on the arms of his chair. To the left was a green button. To the right was a red button. He pressed the green button.

“Our best interest you say? And what do you know about my interests?” Melanie looked down to the buttons on the arms of her chair. She smiled maliciously while pressing the red button. Almost immediately volts of electricity shoot through Darius’ body.

His screams of pain caused everyone watching in the lobby to cringe. The electrocution eventually stopped, relieving him of the pain. He breathed heavily for a moment before he glared over his shoulder.

“You bitch! You did that on purpose!”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Was that button the betray button? That was my bad; he never did tell us which button was which.”

“She has a point. The fault lies with me. The green button is the cooperate button, and the red button is the betray button.” Caius informed them.

“Why didn’t you tell us that before?” Darius glared intensely at the camera. It was rather rare for him to make such an expression.

“I am sorry, Darius. That was poor moderating on my part. I will ensure something like that never happens again. But anyway, Melanie has been awarded five points.”

“Oh yeah! I’m already in the lead! Suck it, dumb ass!” celebrated Melanie.

Followed immediately came a groan of frustration from Darius. He rolled his eyes in annoyance then said, “Congratulations, you’re in the lead. Now please cooperate with me, okay? I don’t want to get electrocuted anymore.”

“Okay, okay, big baby. I’ll cooperate with you next turn, scout’s honor.” Melanie said.

I didn’t believe her. I hoped that no one else did the same, especially Darius. Even though he couldn’t see her expression from his position, it was clearly not a good one.

“Begin with the second round!” Caius ordered.

Darius pressed the cooperate button while Melanie once again pressed the betray button. Another volt of electricity coursed through his body. His screams grew louder that time. The voltage had been increased.

Melanie laughed once the electrocution ceased. “Oh right, forgot to mention that I was never a scout in the first place. Never liked them.”

Heavy breaths left Darius’ mouth as he raised his head. “Yeah…I kind of guess that after being electrocuted again.”

“Melanie has once again been awarded five points. She is in the lead with ten points.” Caius announced.

“I can’t believe you fell for it two times in a row. Are you stupid or something? Anyone else would’ve guessed I was gonna betray you.” Melanie continued to berate Darius.

“I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I can now tell that was a huge mistake on my part.” Darius said.

“Okay, I’m done with shocking you. I only wanted to reach up to ten points so that I could tie with Bookworm. I won’t betray you anymore.”

“Why do I have a hard time believing that?”

Once Caius gave the signal for the third round, Darius hesitantly glanced between the cooperate and the betray button. His finger hovered over the betray button for a brief moment before it inched away from it. He reluctantly pushed the cooperate button again.

Right on cue, volts of electricity shocked him. His screams fell on deaf ears as Melanie continued to laugh at his pain and suffering.

“Oh my god! You serious? Three times? I managed to get you three times. How stupid can you be?”

His head hung low for a moment. For a split second, I believed him to be dead. But, I was proven wrong seconds later once it slowly rose. His usual calm and casual demeanor had vanished. His face contorted in seething rage.

Such an expression was more than enough to shock me. I was unaware that he was even capable of making such a face.

“I’m so god damn sick of you! This time you’re going to get a taste of your own medicine!” He loudly yelled.

“Oh, I’m so scared of you now. Bring it on, dumb ass. No matter what you do from now on I’ll still leave with the most points.” Melanie told him.

He chuckled in response. “Not if you’re electrocuted to death. Remember that the voltage increases by one hundred each time one of us choose to betray.”

“Yeah, I’m willing betcha know that more than anyone right now.”

“So, imagine how much the voltage will increase if both of us were to choose to betray at the same time for the remainder of this game.”

Her eyes widen momentarily at the realization that her life was in jeopardy. For a rare moment, her face was pale. Felt rather uplifting to see that smug little brat make such a face for once.

“Listen here you, dumb ass. Don’t do anything crazy alright? It was just a damn joke, okay? I promise that I’m not gonna betray you anymore.”

“What’s wrong there, Melanie? Your voice shook for a moment. Are you feeling a little frightened? You’re not scared of a little electrocution are you?”

“Melanie is leading the game now with fifteen points! Begin with the fourth round!” Caius gave the signal for the next round to begin.

Without hesitation, Darius’ finger pressed down on the betray button while Melanie pressed the cooperate button for a change. Volts of electricity coursed through her body. Her screams of anguish brought small smiles to everyone witnessing the sight.

Elena clasped her hands together with a bright smile on her face. She jumped for joy at the sight of Melanie getting electrocuted instead of Darius. “Yes! It looks like Darius is beginning to make his counterattack now!”

“I’m surprised that Melanie pressed the cooperate button for once. I assumed that she would only push the betray button.” Iris said.

“She must have assumed that Darius wouldn’t own up to his threat. I guess she doesn’t like the idea of being electrocuted after all.” Wyatt seemed to be the one that enjoyed the sight of Melanie’s electrocution the most. It was the first time I had seen him smile from ear-to-ear like that.

“She too understands the dangers of constantly being electrocuted. Perhaps now she will be willing to cooperate with him for the rest of the games.” Nicholas assumed.

I crossed my arms over my chest and shook my head at the idea. Despite not knowing her for long, I was certain that Melanie wasn’t the type of person to learn a lesson so easily.

“I guess we’ll just have to sit back and see how this plays out for them. Who knows how many rounds are left for them.” Leona said.

“What a surprising turn of events! Darius has turned the tables on Melanie! He has been awarded five points while Melanie remains with fifteen!” Caius declared.

“You bastard! How dare you electrocute me! I was gonna cooperate with you damn it!” Melanie angrily shouted at Darius. Her breathing grew ragged.

“Doesn’t feel too good being tricked and electrocuted, huh? Do you want to cooperate with me now? I’ll forgive you for the other electrocutions if you do.” Darius told her.

“Whatever.”

Caius gave the signal for the next round. Darius immediately pressed the betray button while Melanie hesitantly looked between the betray and cooperate button. She took her chances and chose the cooperate button. Seconds later a higher voltage of electricity coursed through her body. Darius once again began to laugh at her pain.

“This is getting bad. Darius seems to be enjoying himself down there.” Leona couldn’t help but frown at the sight.

“Yeah, it’s like the roles have completely switched.” Iris agreed.

“But unlike him, I doubt that Melanie will fall for his tricks a third time,” Henrika said.

“From now on it is going to turn into a war of betrayals and endurance,” Wyatt said.

“Unless they cooperate with each other, right?” Elena looked to everyone for assurance.

I looked over at her with a stern expression then shook my head. “That’s no longer a possibility anymore. He’s ruined the chances that they had to cooperate with each other now.”

“Darius has earned ten points while Melanie remains with fifteen points! One more stunt like that and the two will tie for first place!” Caius said.

“You bastard! I won’t forgive you for this! I’m through playing games with you!” shouted Melanie.

“Me too! There’s no way in hell I’m ever going to cooperate with you!” Darius shouted back.

“I hope that you’ve prepared yourself for what’s gonna happen next, dumb ass.”

“The same thing could be said to you as well, you bitch.”

The moment Caius ordered for the sixth round of the game to start; both pressed the betray buttons simultaneously. And immediately they were electrocuted.

“And so it begins. The war of betrayals and endurance.” Wyatt grimaced at the sight of how violently Darius and Melanie’s bodies convulsed during the electrocutions.

“Darius is the one in the most danger, right? He’s been electrocuted more times than Melanie has.” Elena said.

“Yeah, it would appear that way. But regardless of who has been electrocuted more, they both still have a high chance of dying in the game if this continues.” Nicholas warned her.

“And no doubt that this will possibly continue for the rest of the game. We have no idea when Caius will decide to stop it.” Leona said.

Elena turned back and faced the window. She once again closed her eyes and prayed her Darius’ safety.

“Both players have chosen to betray each other! None of them have received any points this round!” Caius said.

“How did you like that?” Darius taunted Melanie.

“I should be the one asking you that. You don’t sound too good. You might die if you get electrocuted anymore.” Melanie said.

“Then you had best decide to cooperate the next round. You’ll become a murderer if I die in this game.”

Melanie scoffed after hearing his words. She was taking them lightly. “Like I give a damn about that. I’m not gonna fall for your tricks anymore you, dumb ass. If you die in this game, then it only means more money for me and another body under my belt.”

“If you say so.”

Caius signaled for the seventh round to begin and they both, of course, pressed the betray button. Then came more electrocutions. They continued that pattern for at least two more rounds until Melanie spoke up.

“You bastard…you’re tryna kill me, aren’tcha?” She weakly said. She looked like she hardly had any strength to move, let alone speak.

“Not really. I’m just tired of being the only one that gets electrocuted. It’s either none of us or both of us. It’s your choice.”

She shook her head in refusal. “Like hell, I could believe you. The moment I press cooperate you’re gonna betray me. You’re only looking out for yourself. Not that I blame you, though.”

“I’m only betraying you because you betrayed me first. Karma is a bitch you know.”

“So, you’re fine with killing us both then? I thought that this game wasn’t about killing one another.”

“Why would I care if you died, you stupid…” Darius’ eyes widened for a moment.

His face contorted in pain for a moment before his expression of pain suddenly disappeared. He lowered his head, and his eyes shifted from right to left, looking at the two buttons on the arm of his chair. He seemed confused.

That bitch had used my words to manipulate him. She knew that she had been pushed into the corner. She desperately grasped at straws. She was using any underhanded tactic that she could to guilt trip him into submitting.

Caius signaled for the tenth round to begin. Darius pressed the cooperate button. Melanie, on the other hand, pressed the betray button again as usual. She closed her eyes and prepared for her electrocution. Her eyes snapped open upon hearing Darius get electrocuted instead.

“What the hell? Did my chair malfunction or something? Why wasn’t I electrocuted?” She looked around her chair in confusion.

“That’s a good question. Why wasn’t she electrocuted this time?” Iris asked.

“Darius chose the cooperate button this time instead of betraying.” Answered Wyatt.

“Why did he do that? Why the sudden switch?” Elena asked.

“Melanie is manipulating him of course. She repeated the words that I said earlier today.” I reluctantly told her.

The fact that she used my words to hurt him pissed me off beyond all belief.

“She’s getting to him again, and he knows it. But I guess he doesn’t want to be responsible for their deaths.” Leona said.

“So he would rather die instead of both of them?” Iris exclaimed.

“No! Why is he sacrificing himself like this! Damn it! Just press the cooperate button!” Elena smacked the glass window with her hands. She yelled frantically at them. But Darius and Melanie didn’t respond. They were unable to hear her.

“What another shocking turn of events! Melanie is now in the lead with twenty points while Darius remains at ten!” Caius announced.

“You chose to cooperate? Do you have a death wish?” Melanie asked in slight shock of the situation.

“Of course not. I don’t want to die here. But I don’t want to become a murderer either. Ambrose was right when he said this wasn’t a game about killing each other.” Darius said.

“So you’re gonna cooperate from now on?”

“Yes. I’m through with betraying. I don’t care what you choose from now on. I’m going to cooperate and survive through this game.”

“Well we’ll just see about that, now won’t we?”

Caius signaled for the eleventh round to begin, keeping true to his word, Darius chose the cooperate button again. Melanie selected the betray button and smiled at the sound of his electrocution.

“You’re a dumb ass. You’re only helping me earn more money you know.” She stated.

“I…don’t…care…” Darius said with each heavy breath.

“Caius! Stop this!” Elena ran over to the corner of the room and stared at the camera. “I know you’re watching this! Please end this madness! Darius is going to die if he gets electrocuted again!”

Leona walked over to Elena then placed her hand on her shoulder. “I doubt pleading with that madman will help the situation. If anything I wager that it’s only making it worse.”

“Darius certainly has my respect. I am not so sure that I would willingly get electrocuted like that.” Nicholas said.

“Melanie is in the lead with twenty-five points while Darius remains with ten points!” Caius announced.

“You’re gonna die. You understand this don’tcha?” Melanie inquired. However, she didn’t receive a response from him. He appeared to be struggling to remain conscious.

“Now to begin with the twelfth and final round!” Caius signaled for the round to start.

Like before, Darius chose the cooperate button while Melanie pressed the betray button. Darius, unfortunately, got electrocuted. Melanie was left unharmed. Once the electrocutions finished, Darius was completely motionless. His life was in question.

“I don’t hear anything from him. Did he finally kick the bucket? Does this mean I get all his points and money?” Melanie asked.

“This marks the end of the second game! The winner leading with thirty points is Melanie Bella!” Caius announced.

The restraints from the electric chairs released them. Darius fell to the floor. Melanie struggled to stand to her feet. She slowly turned around then looked over at his motionless body.

“Dumb ass was dead either way.” A sinister grin made its way onto her face as she walked over to him. She rolled him over onto his back then pressed her ear against the right side of his chest. “Oh yeah. The dumb ass has left this earth. I can’t hear a heartbeat at all. He’s dead.”