Simon Peter observed as all of his surviving players--or playthings, depending upon one's perspective--obediently took their seats inside the classroom. The contestants' nervous glances, their heightened reflexes, and even the individual beads of sweat on their brows were all displayed with crystal HD clarity. Frankly, more of them had survived the first trial than he'd initially expected them to, only amplifying the rush of gleeful suspense that took hold of him as his fingers hovered over the main keyboard.
Allow the tension to ebb away ever-so-slightly....Simon Peter readied his finger over the "Enter" key. The program prompt was already prepared; the only thing he needed to do was set it in action was move his finger less than a centimeter.
...before tightening the vice even tighter!
Simon pressed the button with a magician's finger-wiggling flourish, triggering the classroom door to shut, and the custom Van der Graaf generator to emerge from the ceiling. Accessing the intercom over his cell phone, Simon addressed the anxious, awaiting players: "My dearest new friends! Seeing as some of you are admittedly a little shaken from our first rousing game together, this next test will be a little less physically involved, and less stressful overall. Wouldn't want to wear you out before the real fun begins, would we?" He giggled through the tinny-sounding voice distorter.
"Now, to prepare you all for the science lab later on--which I hope you'll all make it to--I've prepared a little lab safety montage for your viewing pleasure. Pay attention, because it may come in handy! Also, to keep with the scientific theme, I've installed that little beauty in the ceiling: a Van der Graaf generator....if you wanted to scramble a few eggs! Folks wearing fuzzy clothing should especially note this. Anyways, I'll test you on your lab safety knowledge, and any incorrect answer will be...rewarded accordingly.
"Simon says, 'Memorize!'"
(Optional Accompaniment: YouTube - Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth - Confrontation ~ Presto 2009)
At once, the projected message, "PLEASE TAKE A SEAT", was replaced by a whirling myriad of colors and lights, like somebody haphazardly cut and pasted several dozen educational science videos together, spliced those clips, added seizure-inducing effects, and fast-forwarded the entire concoction to be just beyond human comprehension. Equally fast and nerve-grating was a prerecorded voice-over narration by none other than Simon himself, the hyper, tinny voice babbling like a chipmunk:
rwhenyou'llbefightingforyourlives. It'llalsohaveeverythingyouneedtoavoidahorrendouslypainfuldeathbystaticelecticityburns! AHAHAHAHAHAHA! FirstlyallinstructionsmustbefollowedTOTHELETTERifyouhaveanyhopeofsurviving--afterallthisisSIMONSAYSHAHAHAHAHA! Oneshouldconductoneselfinacalmandorganizedmannerinthelaboratory. WhenyouenterthelaboratorymakesurenottotouchANYTHINGunlessSIMONSAYSsinceitwillprobablyKILLYOU! AlwayscoverasmuchskinaspossibleduetotheveryrealpossibilitythatitwillbeBURNEDOFFandkeephairatamanageablelength. Reportanyinjuryasitwill--likeeverythingelse--probablybeLETHAL! IfyousmellanygasesparticularlymethaneorsomesimilarexplosivegaswinkwinknudgenudgepleasereportittoyourinstructorMEatwhichpointIwillLAUGHATYOU! ItisalsoimportantthatNOFOODORBEVERAGESareallowedinthelaboratoryunlessyou'dliketogoandgetthosecrackersdroppedbythefattyinthegymwhicharemostwelcome. THANKYOUforpayingraptattentiontothisbriefinformationalvideo! Ifyoudidn'tyouwillprobablyKILLEVERYONEINTHEROOM. OnceagainTHANKYOUandhaveaNICEDAY!"
The video abruptly cut to black, no doubt leaving the players' eyes bleeding and their ears ringing. Allowing them no time to recuperate, Simon Peter aggressively cut in over the intercom system, accosting the contestants with another command. Compared to its sped-up equivalent, which frankly sounded like a mechanical Chip and Dale on amphetamines, his synthesized tone sounded surprisingly calm. "I hope you enjoyed that," he chuckled, "because now, Simon says: 'Tell me rule number three.' Try to remember, and mull over your collective class answer carefully...."
He had intended to add another threatening punchline, but the hallway monitors had by then stolen his rapt attention. Stalking cautiously through the halls, hands near their holsters, two New York police officers had apparently decided to steal the show. "Ooh," Simon Peter muttered to himself, "Who's the babe in the burka? I just love women who can't stay away from a good time..." His tone would have been more appropriate for discussing a restaurant's fillet mignon.
Casually flipping open one of the mounted cell phones, he ordered the computer to contact "Blue" over that line. The phone rang exactly four times before a smooth baritone voice came over the line: "Blue here. What does Simon have to say?"
"Simon says, 'Report to duty'." Though Simon Peter was far too preoccupied to physically grin, his tone conveyed his sinister glee quite clearly.
Not even five minutes later, a tall, straight-backed, barrel-chested man stepped into the local precinct, trailed behind by several SWAT officers. The disgruntled officers peered over their desks with surprise, but before any of them could raise any objection, the apparent leading man raised his hand with a silencing air of authority. Though he was dressed in a mere civilian suit, he seemed to radiate a strong sense of command--one that seemed to lift morale rather than stifle it with intimidation. His sharp blue eyes gleamed with intelligence, his Aryan-blond hair was cropped closely to his head in a military crew cut, and his strapping chest was swelling with patriotic pride.
"My name is Agent Brian Glas, CIA," the man began in a smooth, confident baritone, "and we've been dispatched by the government to assist in apprehending the criminal known by the alias 'Simon'. Let me assure you first, though, that we aren't here to undermine or take control--just to assist." He accentuated this with an assuring smile as he shook the hand of the chief of police.
"It's been decided that this man is a threat to national security; he already has hostages, and we fear he's spread bombs throughout the city. Now, if you're planning on sending officers to his designated location, my team will be there to lend a hand where it's needed--since it may be a decoy or a trap altogether."
After receiving a nod from an officer confirming that Agent Glas was indeed from the CIA, the police chief informed the barrel-chested man that he had already sent two of his best to investigate the situation. Glas then requested that he speak with them over their walkie-talkies, and was granted permission.
"Agents Price and Harris?" The deep, smooth voice that came over the radio system could have belonged to a nighttime radio personality. "This is Agent Brian Glas, CIA. The government is assisting the NYPD in apprehending this 'Simon', and using penetrating satellite imagery, we've been able to roughly map out this little funhouse of his.
"Up ahead, the gymnasium will be filled with spikes, but there will be platforms and a small margin on the side that you can sneak across on. Then, we believe that the hostages are somewhere on the left side of the hallway--but I'd advise caution. Not even we know what sort of twisted tricks a person like this has in store."