It was a day like any other, lunch had kicked off and students of Orcas Island High School were filing out of the lunchroom. Weather looked optimistic for early March, sun shining and few clouds to be seen by those glancing up at the welcome change, gracing the campus with a pleasantly cheerful tone associated with early Spring. Regardless, all Spring’s pleasantries were soon to be altered when Ryan Krisch-Derr rushed out of the back door of the school library, concealing a portion of his face with one hand. The few students that saw him paid little attention to his unusually hurried pace or bloodied knuckles that had appeared not soon after the school day had begun. No one questioned why the Viking Voice journalist, not known for bouts of physical violence had appeared suddenly with fresh injuries, rushing to the school nurse’s office. No one thought anything of it, at least not until a second instance, this time more severe.
It was lunch once again, Thursday, the Viking Voice team were supposedly meeting to go over article assignment for their latest issue. If a bystander were to observe, all was exact, normal, predictable…except for the muffled screams making their way through Chris Waage’s storage closet. Though they were muffled, enough sound was emitted from the computer lab that Middle School students had begun to cock their heads toward the open door, no doubt questions arising within their puberty-ridden minds. If it weren’t for Secretary Eve Eon in bounding to close the door their secret may have been uncovered then. A dark secret, one concealed for decades, hidden under corruptive influences and skillful faculty manipulation that provided the newspaper with a vast network of funds.
From this incident sprung forth questions surrounding the innocence and motive of Viking Voice team members. Why were they so well funded? Why are all of their articles journalistic gold? Why do faculty members cower under their mention? Gossip it may have been, but it began to add fuel to the already growing fire of suspicion towards Orcas Island High School’s most cherished club. Students began to rifle too far into the computer lab storage room, a space long avoided for its dubious content. Students were snooping, no longer fully intimidated by the Viking Voice’s unseen, school-wide dominance; they were curious at the very real possibility that there may be a conspiracy.
The blatant ignorance and refusal by students to recognize and kneel for the dominance of unseen powers was a rather distressing truth for the Viking Voice editors. For, if respect and ultimately the fear of unknown consequences were not swaying the motivations of students, a decades long authority over the Orcas Island High School could very well come to an end. The Editor and Chiefs of the Viking Voice ultimately came to a conclusion: a deal must be renewed, one their forefathers had achieved once before. Once the matter was resolved, their grasp upon the district and their fellow students would remain secure and their secrets remained rightfully underground. In the fullness of time, their grip was resumed to its former glory, teachers were bribed or threatened depending on their leniency in the whole ordeal, making their loyalties clear. Heresy was concealed, or… taken care of… manner is unimportant…, the profits were ever flowing, and a certain unnamed room was kept skillfully hidden behind 3-D printers, cameras, and a plethora of knotted cords. Students would never know of the gray pavement floor, peppered with bloodstains, bruised limbs and broken ribs, the savage look of an opponent in the makeshift ring, the sound of Mona Evan’s maniacal giggling and the blood curdling screams of bones snapped under the weight and drive of her wheelchair, nor the eyes of your opponent full of wild, unrestrained craving for bloodshed. For, Viking Voice members will never tell what goes on in that room, sworn to secrecy, as the first rule of Fight Club is…