Round 3 - Serial Kill - Statistically Speaking

It wasn’t that Graff’s strict instructions to ‘avoid being alone’ were lost on the students of Battle School. Some were simply over-confident. They thought it wouldn’t happen to them. Others couldn’t seem to get their peers to stay in their company; that was what came of being a murder suspect, one soldier supposed.

He had managed to get the dormitory all to himself; not an easy feat, normally, with everyone milling in and out, but the other soldiers had been reluctant to linger there longer than necessary as of late. It could have had something to do with the amount of people being brutally murdered while everyone was supposed to be sleeping.

Michael, though, took it more personally. In addition to working at his desk, he was brooding, an internal rant that he would never share with the world at large. Why couldn’t they just leave him alone! He should have been iced long ago – he knew it, everyone knew it…why was he even here? Could the teachers honestly expect him to make it to the next level? He alternated between self hate and bitter anger at his fellow soldiers – for blaming him, for being excellent while he was only mediocre.

In the midst of all of this brooding, he was startled to find that suddenly, he was no longer alone. He looked up from his desk, giving the other soldier a quick glance and a slight nod before looking down at his work once more. He doubted they wanted to speak to him anyway; Michael expected that the other student would actually be in a huge hurry to leave the room once they saw that it was just him inside. So he was quite surprised when the other member of Dragon Army sat down beside him on his bunk.

“Ho, Michael.”

As good an opening to start a conversation as any. Looking down at his computer desk, Michael shrugged. “Ho.” An awkward pause while he debated whether or not to show the new arrival what he was doing. Ah, what the hell – a sounding board couldn’t hurt. “I’m just working on something. Not that it matters much to anyone else in this place. After all I -am- responsible for every bad thing that has gone on here.” He winced inwardly when he finished speaking, sure that if he hadn’t driven away the fellow soldier before, he would certainly do so now.

The other kid gave a half hearted laugh in response – it might have been a grunt. ‘Don’t strain yourself,’ Michael thought, but then the other soldier spoke for the first time since entering the room. “So you're who I should complain to about the food? Good to know.”

Being a straight forward kind of guy, Michael was not entirely certain that was a joke. Surely they weren't laying some food issue on him now? Had someone been poisoned while he sat here, admittedly all alone, in his room? He looked up in time to see the end of the smile and felt more at ease.

Comfortable enough to turn to his fellow student, Michael asked. “Why are you here? I'd think you'd want to stay away from me like everyone else. I'm dangerous you know. Responsible for countless deaths, robberies and even the destruction of a government...kinda small though; I doubt its worth mentioning.”

The other kid shrugged. “I figure I'm safe enough.”

Michael smiled at the person next to him; perhaps he'd be able to make friends in Dragon Army after all, find a niche for himself, fit in. After all the suspicion pointed his way, he felt a faint swell of hope.

First they'd have to survive. With that thought in mind, he pushed the computer desk over so that the other student could read it.

“See I've been charting out the circumstances of the deaths along with what I know about our fellow Dragons, and last known whereabouts of each student during those times, and I think I have some theories.” Michael made an appreciative sigh at his own handiwork, pleased to find himself finally thinking outside the box. “See I think there is one set that is a group and the other...”

“A solo artist,” came the matter of fact reply.

“Yeah...” Unsettled that the other soldier had found the pattern so quickly, Michael looked down at his nice organized chart once more. Hazel eyes widened and he glanced up quickly in hopes of denying his very precise evidence. “Aww, come on... You've got to be kidding me. Couldn't you go pick on someone else? I’m not even supposed to –be here-.”

In response, the other soldier inched closer and put a hand on Michael’s shoulder. “I know.”

The last thing Michael saw was his pillow moving rapidly towards his face, then all was darkness. He kicked and struggled uselessly, screamed through the pillow, wasting all his precious air. Perhaps he should have saved his breath, but it was not in Michael to stop fighting; carrying on was what he did best, as evidenced by his continued presence at a school he just never fit into. And so his fists and his feet flew in the air as the life was dragged out of him.

He did not go gently, but, like all the others, in the end he went.