Round 4 Serial Kill - Ma'as salaama

So many had died, and still the teachers did not see. They continued to look for a student to blame, when the fault was within them. It was frustrating, and oh so expected, so typical of those who thought themselves superior.

They would have to be shown the error of their ways yet again.

ABAY. Real name: something those who spoke only standard probably couldn’t say. Every country had found ways to keep their language distinctive, clinging to dying words and exotic accents.

What would her dying words be?

One could appreciate the significance of keeping a national language. It was a matter of pride and individualism, and those were hard things to argue against. That wasn’t the problem – that wasn’t the reason ABAY would die. The fact was, bringing students to battle school for the sole purpose of inspiring diversity was a purely ridiculous notion. This was a military institution, and there was no room for ‘self esteem politics’ and ‘social experiments’. This school was only as good as its weakest link. Oh yes, ABAY had to go.


Even in these dark times, there was still homework to complete. The constant was almost comforting, steeped in hopeless futility though it was. Most of the others had given up, too distracted by the murders to think of work, but ABAY was full of purpose and knew the importance of studying hard.

She had retreated to the school library to do her work. She would not be able to access the nets, of course, and it wasn’t as though she couldn’t download whatever resources she required to her desk, but the quiet location was a pleasant change from the barracks.

It was not long, however, before her peace was interrupted by a folded slip of paper – it looked like army orders on one side – landing in her lap. She looked around, confused, but saw no one and eventually decided to examine the paper more closely.

‘410. I know.’

Knew what? ABAY looked down at the note with trepidation. Wasn’t this sort of thing exactly what she should be wary of? Perhaps she should report it to a teacher – it could be of use to them.

But she wanted to know what it meant.

410. 4:10? April 10th? Her mind went to work, breaking the code, and it wasn’t long before she figured it out.

She was in a library. Someone wanted to meet her in the 400s – Language. It was a clever play – ABAY forgot her previous caution, caught up in the game.

When she arrived at the section that housed the language books, though, it was completely empty, save of course the books. Frowning, she walked slowly between the shelves, looking down at the scrap of paper once more. She’d been so sure she was right!

Suddenly, behind her, a book came crashing down off a high shelf, causing a loud report and startling her so badly that she jumped. She whipped around, processing what had happened, and looked from the fallen book to the offending shelf.

Well no wonder the book had fallen! All of the books were at the very edge of the shelf, some of them even hanging over a little – it was bound to happen sooner or later. And was it her imagination, or was the shelf leaning a little, as though it rested on a slope?

Before she could examine the shelf more closely, though, she was once again startled out of her reverie, this time by a voice. She gasped in alarm, backing into the shelf behind her. Suddenly this whole situation seemed very wrong, and very dangerous, but still her curiosity got the better of her.


The voice spoke again, flatly. “I said. How do you say goodbye?”

ABAY simply screamed and held up her hands uselessly as the shelf rushed toward her. A loud creak accompanied her, then the deafening crash as shelves and girl and books collided.

And then silence.