The Island

The Island by Michael Bray Read Free Book Online

Book: The Island by Michael Bray Read Free Book Online
Authors: Michael Bray
irony of a multi billionaire saying ‘ we ’ when referring to problems he would never have to face or deal with. He turned his attention back to the screen as Lomar went on.
    “Here at the Lomar Corporation, we have been searching for a way to help. To give the people back some hope. To give them a way to flee from the trappings of daily life. We also want to instil inspiration, and show that the bravery of the few can spur on the many to achieve great things. To this end, I present to you the return of The Island.”
    The screen melted into a drone shot of The Island, the two-hundred-foot concrete wall looming ahead. People in the crowd began to chatter through either nerves or excitement as Lomar’s smooth voiceover accompanied the images on screen. “Who amongst you is willing to take the challenge? Who out there is willing to tread behind the walls of The Island and discover the secrets within? Who amongst you is prepared to risk your own mortality for the security of your friends and family?”
    The image of The Island melted back to Lomar, who flashed his veneered smile into the camera. “I know what you’re asking. What could possibly make it worthwhile? Why would anyone want to take part? What’s in it for you ?” He jabbed a finger at the screen as he said it.
    “Go fuck yourself, Lomar,” someone muttered from the crowd, which got a few chuckles. Chase didn’t laugh. He was giving the screen his full attention and watched as the advertisement continued to play.
    “A prize for something such as this is too weak a word. As most of you will know, The Island is a dangerous place. Nobody knows what lies behind its walls. That will all change. For the first time ever, the entire challenge will be televised live on the Lomar Network. You will see first hand why The Island is known as the most hostile, dangerous environment on earth, and why all who have tried to tame it have failed and paid for it with their lives.”
    “Tell us about the prize, numb nuts,” another voice muttered. This time there was no laughter. Everyone was staring at the screen.
    “For those brave enough to take the challenge, for those lucky enough to be accepted, the prize is literally anything you want. Be it money or possessions, we at the Lomar Corporation are willing to provide it. The question is, are you prepared to take the risk in order to make change? Applications are now being taken and spaces are limited. Visit the Lomar website or click through via your home touchscreens now for more information.”
    The screen faded, and began to play another advertisement for some kind of soft drink. The crowds at the job fair had forgotten the cold, and were chatting about the new announcement.
    “Fools game,” Shawn said, glaring at the screen. “I wouldn’t go near that if you paid me.”
    You might if you had a sick family and no means to look after them . Chase didn’t say it; instead he shifted his weight and put his hands in his pockets.
    “Don’t tell me you’re considering it?” Shawn said.
    “No, of course not. It’s insane. It’s just…a tempting idea that’s all.”
    “Tempting or not, you won’t help your family by getting yourself killed for no reason. How will they cope then?”
    “I know. I already told you, I’m not interested.”
    Shawn nodded, buying the lie. “Alright, I’m glad we’re on the same page. Fucking Lomar. Did you see the look on his face? Arrogant piece of shit.”
    Chase nodded, only half-listening. His mind was swimming, racing with thousands of thoughts which all seemed to be gravitating towards the same idea which turned in his brain like a tornado. Shawn wouldn’t understand. He didn’t know how desperate things had become. At the same time, he wasn’t convinced his wife would understand either, and unlike his friend, she would see right through any attempt to bullshit his way out of it if she knew the idea was in his head. He forced himself to stop thinking about it, and

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