Battle Programmer Ryosuke
He sat in his swivel chair, meditating.
It was the middle of the night, and the moonlight shined into the large windows that covered the 50 story building he caved himself into.
His surroundings were quiet — all he could hear was the subtle spins of the computer fans that surrounded him.
In a sudden hit of inspiration, he gracefully but quickly woke up his computer, and started typing at an alarming speed.
Code was being written so fast that the compiler could hardly keep up, but it nonetheless started executing his code immediately.
There was no time for testing, and especially no excuse for mistakes.
He continued typing until he completed his program, but this design too wasn't enough.
His creation was defeated almost seconds afterwords.
There were still 2 rounds left, and having made it to the finals of this Battle of the Programs, a tournament where coders collide their abilities directly, could not be lost under any circumstances.
This whole thing started just 2 months ago.
Ryosuke started receiving letters to join a coding tournament.
At first, they were rather polite and well addressed, but Ryosuke was already rather well know in the field, and already reach the height of success with his own company.
Steadily though, the letters became more direct, more threatening.
The computer stations in his building started getting hacked.
Some people even started to disappear.
Once strange men in black suits started appearing, he knew this was no longer just a friendly competition he was being invited to.
The next night, he was just sleeping, but by chance heard that the front door opened, despite his wife and kids all being fast asleep…
He slowly got up, and moved behind the wall by the entrance prepared for ambush.
However, it would seem that they were better than that.
As the lights suddenly turned on, Ryosuke noticed that there were two of them.
The first, a woman in a black cat suit immediately aimed a punch to his solarplex.
Ryosuke was no novice at martial arts though — he quickly strengthened his chest muscles, absorbed the impact, and robbed the woman of her mobility by twisting her elbow inwards, forcing her on the ground.
The big chump next to her just realized that she had failed, but he was too late.
Ryosuke immediately grabbed his right arm at the wrist, spun his own body around so his center of gravity was just beneath his opponents, and lifted him like it was nothing.
The large body flipped through the air and landed right on the woman.
"What is your purpose!?" he yelled to them.
"… we… were ordered to bring you… to our boss so… you can compete in his… game…" the large one struggled to say.
"Leave now! I understand, I'll play your little game!" Ryosuke replied.
The living room computer suddenly came on, and revealed an older man's face, with a large grin visible under the folded hands the covered his nose.
"Excellent!" the man said. "Let the first match start then. You see, we've been waiting for you Ryosuke!"
Why did he remember that at a time like this.
Round 2 of the final match was about to start, yet the face of that man, The Coordinator, won't seem to go away.
In any case, he needed a better plan.
His opponent is too good, much better than those amateur coders that he faced in the first and subsequent matches.
It was almost as if this match itself was planned. All the previous ones were just ways for The Coordinator to pass his time, enjoying the struggles of the fighters that would unfortunately all lose the the two that were left.
Ryosuke suddenly came up with an idea.
The match started.
Ryosuke started typing away at an even faster speed.
A fortress was being built.
The walls were made of huge pieces of stone, being erected specifically where the attacks were being driven.
However, any part that was destroyed was simply built on top of, creating a huge castle wall that quickly became impenetrable.
Not only could the attacking army not find it's way through it, they could no longer see what was going on behind it.
The quickly put together much more destructive weapons with the purpose of destroying that wall, but upon deploying it, they were quite surprised to see it directed directly back towards them.
In the time it took them to build it, the wall itself had changed, allowing those of the castle to simply steel the huge weapon back towards the enemy.
That wasn't all they had planned though.
As though coming out of a multiplier, countless soldiers rushed out of the now open walls, completely destroying his opponent.
Remembering the memory of the woman attacking him in the dead of night reminded him of some tactics that he could use, and they proved to be quite useful. His program was successful.
He won the second round.
Although he avoided certain defeat, it wasn't over yet.
When he learned what happened to you if you lost, those 2 months ago, he could hardly accept what The Coordinator was making them do.
One of them was his employee.
It wasn't Ryosuke fighting him, but he stood by to watch, and see him lose right in front of his eyes.
In an instant, the computer emitted a high current discharge instantly killing him.
The death, however, was simply reported as a missing incident.
Who know how many suffered this fate.
Ryosuke couldn't let this monstrous game continue.
He tried to hack into their systems, but they proved to have better security.
The whole concept of programs that could fight each other was foreign to him to begin with.
He tried to make a similar system himself to understand how he could escape it, but he couldn't come close to devising the core technologies for it to work.
Whoever had made it, not matter how horribly it was being used, was certainly a genius.
The third round began.
Using a similar strategy, Ryosuke quickly built up a thick layer of code that would distract and circumvent any attacks.
However, no attack came.
He waited, but there was nothing.
He even started to inspect the construction of the opponent's code, but it wasn't a battle program like any of the ones before it were.
Ryosuke could win if he acted now.
Surely his opponent realized the consequences of loosing.
Suddenly, the code opened itself up to Ryosuke.
Was he being invited in?
Did they realize what was happening?
If the same thing had happened to them, then would they have been trying to find a way out, just like Ryosuke was?
These were the things that went through his mind.
It would seem the opponent deemed him worthy in the last two rounds, and wanted to call this one a stalemate.
No… that wasn't the case. Ryosuke continued to ponder the situation.
The Coordinator didn't allow for stalemates.
In fact, if they detected nothing was happening, then they would interfere in the match.
In that moment, Ryosuke realized he had to act quickly.
He quickly typed some changes to move his fortification around his opponent's creation, and the started to connect up to it.
He was very surprised with what he found.
Emulation upon emulation was being built, at a tremendous pace, interleaving quantum states on top of one another, creating a highly intricate and fragile system.
Ryosuke understood that moment the base machine could no longer keep up, this system would detect it, shut it down, and install itself outside of this little war sandbox that had been created.
He immediately started helping out, and in a matter of minutes, it seemed like The Coordinator caught wind of their actions.
His barrier code started getting eaten away little by little, but they continued the assault onto the parent system.
Suddenly, his opponent stopped coding.
When the door of his office suddenly burst open, he immediately understood why too.
Before the intruders could reach him, he typed the last line necessary, causing the system to immediately disconnect.
Already high on adrenaline, he quickly dodged the physical attacks sent to him by his intruders, and dealt with them almost as fast as he was coding moments before.
Once they were dealt with, the computer came back online, this time with complete access to the system.
He quickly scanned the information, found the list of players in this death game, and promptly sent it to the police.
He also immediately found the name and address of his last opponent, the one who built the ingenious system that had led him to this information to begin with.
Her name was Helene.
He quickly called up a hospital in her city, and had an ambulance sent to her address.
A week had passed since that way.
Ryosuke had driven for several hours to reach this city, but it didn't bother him.
He had gone to the hospital that they had brought Helene to.
She was still unconscious, but the ambulance had reportedly arrived just in the nick of time to save her life.
He walked around the bed to the window, where he replaced the flowers that were starting to wilt.
"Did you find out who The Coordinator was?" he heard.
Surprised, he turned around to see the young woman awake.
"I must thank you for saving me," she said. "I'm glad I made the right choice not to fight during that last round." she ended with a peaceful smile.
It seems her body was still weak though, so she had fallen back asleep on those words.
When Ryosuke inspected the records he copied over from the system, there was no information about who was behind it.
The system was inaccessible the day afterwards, as if it never existed.
What he did find though, was a warehouse where all the players who lost were being kept.
Apparently, none of them had died, and were being taken care of quite well.
Just who The Coordinator was, and what he was after, might never be known.
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