Intruder Alert
by Tom Zjaba

Time for a new prose story.  This time I decided to tackle the game Berzerk.  Hope you enjoy it and please send any feedback.  Encouragement is very necessary.

Chapter One - From the Blackness
Head throbbing, pain shooting through my body.  As I struggle to  regain consciousness, I try to remember what happened and who did it.  I slowly sit up, only to find my legs too weak to lift me any further.  I struggle to keep my balance as the haze is slowly lifted from my head.  As my senses begin to work again, I first hear the sound of crackling.  With my eyes still closed, I try to pinpoint a direction it is coming from, but I cannot target its location.  It sounds like the crackling of a hundred fires, coming from all directions.  I cover my ears to drown out the overwhelming sound.  As I block out most of it, the pain in my head subsides.  It is now suppressed enough for me to open my eyes.  As I look around, I see nothing as I am surrounded in total darkness.  I grope around in the darkness to find a light, a doorway, something.  My groping, my fumbling leads to nothing.  Maybe if my body allowed me to move more than a few feet, I could find an exit of some sorts.  

As I struggle to my feet, a spotlight immerses me in light.  I try to hide from its intensity, but I cannot escape it as it easily follows my clumsy attempt to get away.  As I struggle to avoid the light, I hear a voice call out "Human you must survive the maze to gain your freedom.  Be warned that my robots will be ready for you."  As the voice comes to a halt, the room is illuminated.  As I look around the barren room, I see that it is made of steel.  The walls have a shine to them.  A few feet from me is a gun of some sorts.  I crawl over and pick it up.  I slowly rise to my feet and shake the cobwebs from my head.  

Without warning, a door opens in front of me.  It literally opens as a part of the wall, just rises to reveal another room.  As I look around the room that contains me now, I see there are no other exits.  My fear of the unknown is overcome by my sense of survival.  As much as I fear what lies ahead, I have no options left here.  I slowly work my way out of the room.  As I leave the room, I hear a voice bellowing the same message over and over "Intruder Alert!  Intruder Alert!"  I do not know its meaning, but I am quite certain that I will soon find it out.  With my gun in my hand, I make my way into the new room, to face an unknown peril for reasons that I do not know and probably cannot comprehend.

Chapter Two
Into the strange room, I am thrust.  As I look around my new surroundings, I notice that the walls are are very plain.  No ornamentation of any kind.  Just a dull, uniformed look to the walls.  One is just like the next.  As I look down what appears to be a corridor, I see robots moving around at the end.  They move in a quiet manner as they slowly move closer to me.  As I look the other way, I realize there is only one way to go.  Down the corridor, are other hallways that flow into this one.  As I think more about it, I realize that this is some type of maze and I must find the exit.  

Once my mind is made up, I run down the corridor, towards the oncoming robots.  As they near, I see them raise their hands.  Suddenly, the peaceful looking robots appear much more sinister.  Their hands had long and very dangerous looking pinchers.  The level of danger had just risen.  I grabbed my gun and shot at the robot.  It immediately was zapped into pieces.  As another robot moved closer, I also took aim and shot it.  Then I looked around to make sure there were no other dangers.  Once I was certain that the place was safe, I went over to examine the robot's remains.  I grabbed a piece of the metal to better examine it.  As I picked up the piece of metal, I felt a burning sensation.  The piece was still hot and was scorching my fingers.  I flung the piece towards the wall.  As it hit the wall, there was a loud zap, much like the sound of a hundred bug zappers, all going off at once.  The walls are electrified!  I had to be careful.

With this added knowledge, I proceeded with caution.  I would need my wits to get out of this one alive.  As I turned up the hallway, I looked to see different paths.  I had the choice to go forward, go back or turn right.  My hunch about being a maze, appeared to be true.  Wonderful, just wonderful.  Now I needed to know if my gun would have enough power to get me through this maze.  Since I was unfamiliar with this weapon, I did not know how much power it had.  I examined the gun, carefully and found that it appeared to be a normal laser gun.  There was no settings, no gauges to tell how much power was left.  I did not even see a place to put new power cells.  

Before I had a chance to make my move, I heard the following phrase "Intruder Alert!"  It came in a voice that sounded as sinister as it did mechanical.  As I turned around, I saw the strangest form of death, coming right at me.  Half expecting some immense robot, armed to the teeth with weapons or something like that.  What I found instead was a large, bouncing smiley face.  It was bouncing over the walls and right towards me.  It kept repeating that infernal phrase, "Intruder Alert", over and over.  I shot at it, but the bullet did not seem to faze it.  It kept coming, faster and faster.  I turned to run and saw a group of robots up ahead.  I proceeded to run right past the slow and plodding machines.  As I looked back, I saw the giant smiley face land on the robots and crush them.  This only made me quicken the pace.  if it could destroy a hunk of metal, what good would my flesh and bones be against it?

As I turned a corner, I saw a doorway.  Normally, I would proceed with great caution, but this was not a normal situation.  I rushed through the doorway, with as much speed as I could muster.  As I came through the other side, I saw more robots, only this time they were red.  Before I could do anything, they shot at me.  A bullet struck me in the chest and I screamed in pain.  Then everything went blank.

Chapter Three
Last thing I remembered was being shot and dying.  I thought I was dead, but here I was, as good as new and still in the same maze, with the menacing red robots coming after me.  Only this time, I was prepared for them.  I knew their laser shots were coming and I took steps to avoid them.  Instead of sitting there like a target, I ran away.  From there, I headed towards another door, hoping to shoot any robots in my way.  I ran down one corridor, only to find more robots.  I turned and ran back as I saw shots, zooming past my head.  I ducked down a nearby corridor and paused to catch my breath.  

As I rested, I wondered if there was any way out of this maze of terror?  But my rest was brief as I heard that infernal sound of the bouncing ball as he made his way towards me.  I knew it was time to run out of the room and I quickened my pace.  I ran towards a door and once again, I felt the burning pain as a laser hit me in the back.  I screamed in pain and then everything went black.  For a moment or what felt like a moment, there was nothing.  Then I was blinded by light and once again I was in the maze, at the beginning and the robots were there again.  This time, I just stood there in shock.  How could I keep dying, yet I always came back?  It made no sense to me.  I wanted to stand and wait for the robots to kill me to test my theory, but I felt a compelling force, sending me to the right.  While I controlled my mind, it was like some greater being was controlling my destiny.

This time I did make it out of the maze, only to find another maze.  As I entered this new maze, once again I was struck down.  I swore that I wanted to go left, but my body decided to go right.  As I died, yet again, that same blackness was there, only this time it seemed even longer.  What felt like an eternity, I existed, yet did not exist at all.  After some length of time, which had no meaning to me, I materialized back in the original maze.  A great sense of deja vu came over me as I knew that I had been here before, yet it seem like everything was new.  It was if I had been born anew.  

Little was I to know that this rebirth would take place again and again.  I had to relive this death maze, over and over again.  I died a thousand deaths and yet, I could not die.  I had broken free of the prison of death, only to be stuck in a much greater prison.  This one was a constant loop of death and a futile effort to find a way out of the maze.  I was alive, yet I was very dead.  

Then something even stranger happened.  As I was ready to exit another room in this endless maze, everything went black.  No shot from a laser, no painful death, just pure blackness.  Everything stood still as I just existed.  What grand power had caused this and what was my fate?

"Hey, why did you turn my game off?  I still had two guys left." a young boy screamed out as the screen on the arcade game before him went blank.  "I told you before, we close at 9:00 and all games are turned off, no matter what." a disgruntled man shouted at the boy as he was turning the signs in the front window of the arcade.  The boy then looked at the machine and said "I will be back tomorrow and I will get that high score".  He then walked off with a slightly perturbed look on his face as he left the establishment.  

As the lights went out and the doors were closed, a strange noise floated through the arcade.  It was the very faint sound of a hundred tortured souls, screaming out an end to their existence.  But it was so faint that no one heard it.  They tried to find peace in the night, but they knew too well that tomorrow, their private hells would begin anew.  

The End

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