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Zero Escape: Zero Win Game

Discussion in 'Questing' started by CypherZero, May 1, 2022.

?

What will you do?

Poll closed May 21, 2022.
  1. Sacrifice Carlos and Diana

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Sacrifice Mira and Maria

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Sacrifice Sigma and Phi

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. ...?

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
Loading...
  1. iamweirdo

    iamweirdo Know what you're doing yet?

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    Well fuck, hmm ok

    [X] Revisit
    -[X] Designer (Sigma and Maria)

    [Completed Fragments]
    -Prologue - Completed
    -Literary (Carlos and Maria) - Completed {QUANTUM LOCK DISCOVERED -Stop Those Siblings! 0 of 4}
    -Pathogen (Aoi and Diana) - Completed {Can obtain the Blue key here}
    -Pawn (Junpei and Phi) - Completed {QUANTUM LOCK DISCOVERED -Captured Queen 1 of 11}
    -Misgiving (Mira and Sigma) - Completed {can obtain the Green key here}
    -Mortality (Junpei and Sigma) - Completed {need Machine Blueprints to get all the info here?}
    -Designer (Sigma and Maria) - Completed {Stop Those Siblings! 1 of 4}





    [Incomplete Fragments]
    -Revisit Game Theory (1/4 Seen) - incompleted need more info





    [Unaquired Fragments]
    -Confession (Junpei and Mira) - Not visited
    -Condition (Mira and Diana) - Not visited
    -Exodus (Carlos and Phi) - Not visited
    -Reverie (Diana and Maria) - Not visited
    -Lab Rat (Carlos and Diana) - Not visited
    -Interception (Aoi and Mira) - Not visited
    -Box (Junpei and Aoi) - Not visited
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2022
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  2. Cubbyhb1

    Cubbyhb1 Theoretically Capable of Sleep

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    If this was a video game, I would probably do all three other Game Theory endings now, but doing them all at once doesn't seem very interesting for a Quest...
     
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  3. CypherZero

    CypherZero Getting sticky.

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    If this was a video game, the ending you got probably wouldn’t be available until you saw all the others, which is what I should’ve done, but I decided to reward thinking outside the box instead.
     
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  4. Threadmarks: Designer (Maria and Sigma)
    CypherZero

    CypherZero Getting sticky.

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    You should probably be more surprised than you feel right now.

    “Maria, stop! You can’t!”

    Honestly, you’re only surprised she found a weapon so easily.

    “Why should I?! Four more of us have to die anyway, why shouldn’t it be her?!”

    The context clues are telling you that you sacrificed Carlos initially, which you can’t remember but somehow Maria can. It’s possible that it lingered in your unconscious and popped up in your dream as Maria was sleeping and she took it via the Morphogenetic Field.

    “We can get out of here without more bloodshed, I’m sure of it.”

    Or Zero and his assistant are fucking with you and she hasn’t been given the memory serum at all. You’re upset at how plausible that sounds.

    “Why should I bother, huh? She should pay!”

    You wonder if you should apologize. You try to imagine what you would do if someone killed Aoi in front of you.

    “She can pay any other way, we just have to calm down and find what that way is!”

    Actually, the scissors might be a bit tame, in your opinion.

    Maria finally breaks free of Sigma’s grasp and runs toward you, the pair of scissors outstretched toward your neck. You step forward into her lunge, surprising her, you think, and grab the scissors by the blade, ignore the hot slice of pain in your palm, and kick Maria in the chest, forcing her back toward Sigma.

    Then you take the scissors, a pair used for cutting thread, you think, by the handle with your other hand, and look at the wound.

    That is… deep. Hm.

    You start cutting your sweater pocket off with the still bloody scissors.

    “Uh, Akane…?”

    You ignore Sigma for the few seconds it takes to cut your pocket fully off the sweater, then turn to him with both the scrap of cloth and the scissors in your hand.

    “Help me bandage this.”

    “You don’t want to clean it first?”

    “Oh sure, Sigma, let me just use the rubbing alcohol in my purse, I think I left it back in DCOM.”

    “Right, yes, of course.”

    Sigma takes the torn-off pocket and ties it around your hand, stemming the blood flow from the wound on your palm.

    “I hope it doesn’t get infected,” he mumbles.

    “At least it’s on the hand with the bracelet, if I have to amputate I can take it right off.”

    “That’s a… positive spin, I suppose.”

    Your wound wrapped, you turn to face the office you woke up in. The room is empty, save the bookshelves that line the walls and the computer on the desk at the far end of the room.

    “Sigma, check the shelves for irregularities. Mismatched cover colors, disordered numbering, the works. I’ll take a peek at the desk.”

    “Right.”

    The computer turns on as you sit in the seat, and turns off when you lean out of it. It seems to be pressure-sensitive, and you need to be sitting down to operate it.

    Except that it’s currently inoperable.

    Please insert the data chips.

    Chips, plural? There’s only one port on the computer…

    There isn’t a terminal underneath the desk, but there is a device in the drawer on the right, a square box attached to a USB cable. There are six slots on the square, the perfect size for six data chips.

    And the left drawer has one of them inside, good. There’s also some kind of manual…

    “Sigma, we’re looking for data chips, they look like this.”

    “Alright, I have two of them so far.”

    “Alright, keep at it, there’s a document over here.”

    “Right.”

    While he’s looking for the other three chips, you turn your attention to the paper. It’s a single sheet with only eight lines of information, which…

    Knowledge types: combat, science, social.

    Body types: svelte, standard, bulky.

    Combat: knowledge of physical defense.

    Science: Knowledge of medical and biological sciences.

    Social: artificially increased charisma and knowledge of social cues.

    Svelte: slender, small, useful for finesse.

    Standard: normal body type, useful for blending in.

    Bulky: large and imposing, useful for strength and intimidation.

    …Doesn’t make much sense out of context. But there are six slots in the device you found, which means there are probably six chips, so the six categorizations must correspond to each of them. What you’ll be categorizing is still a mystery, but any good puzzle has instructions or is either self-explanatory.

    “Akane, we have a problem.”

    You look up to see Sigma putting his found data chips on the desk, turned toward Maria. You’re confused for a moment, but then you count the chips.

    “Four? Wait, are you saying—”

    “I think Maria found the last one before we could.”

    Maria, for her part, looks nonchalant, her hands hidden in her overalls. Her eyes stare back at you emotionlessly, her mouth in a flat line, but her aura exudes smugness and hostility.

    If you needed, you could have Sigma hold her while you searched her clothes for the chip, but…

    “Is this your revenge? Killing yourself to get to me? Are you that eager to see him again?”

    Her mouth twitches, and her smugness seems to dim.

    “Do you think he’ll be happy to see you so soon? Happy that you’ve killed a bystander to get his murderer?”

    Maria breaks eye contact, looks at Sigma instead. “Trade,” she tells him. “Scissors.”

    “I don’t know if—”

    “Sigma,” you interrupt his refusal. “She’s on the other side of the room, I’m sure you can stop her in time if she tries anything.”

    “…If you say so.”

    He takes the scissors from his pocket and holds them out to Maria on the palm of his hand. She snatches it and tosses the last chip, which he fumbled with for a bit before catching it and bringing it over to the device.

    The computer turns on to reveal a three by three grid, the top row labeled with the ‘knowledge types’ and the side row labeled with the ‘body types.’ There are also nine occupations beneath the grid, and you’re able to grab and drag them to a square, which clicks on a green color when correct and blares red when wrong.

    You start off. “So bulky combat would be a bodyguard.”

    “Yes, and a model would fit svelte social rather nicely, I believe.”

    “Hmm, do you think Zero considers sports to be combat?” The machine lets out an angry buzz, and you hiss. “Guess not…”

    “Maybe instead…” Sigma reaches over and places the athlete into the square for bulky social, which clicks into place with a green flash. “There are a number of social niceties you have to acknowledge in sports. And also—”

    You see what he’s pointing at and hang your head with a groan. “I didn’t realize there was athlete and boxer. Okay, that fits normal combat a bit better.”

    “Svelte combat is probably the ninja.”

    “You don’t think Zero employs ninjas, do you?”

    “Maybe he grows them, that’s what the puzzle seems to be implying.”

    “Hopefully he’s only thinking about growing them. Now, the three sciences…”

    “Honestly any of them could fit anywhere…”

    “Well, Zero emphasized finesse for svelte, right? So a neuroscientist…”

    “Well, I’m a little offended that it worked! I’ll have you know I’m an accomplished neuroscientist!”

    “And how much equipment have you knocked over with your yaoi hands?”

    Yao — I never!”

    “Yeah, yeah. Bulky science is the engineer—”

    “Why, because we can lift the equipment?”

    “You said it, not me. Which means normal science is the doctor.”

    “Ugh, Zero…”

    In the end, there’s only one left, and one square empty.

    “…Do we want to think about the implications of ‘standard charisma’ being a game participant?”

    “No Sigma, I’d rather not.”

    And when you fill the square, the monitor flashes green, all of your bracelets beep, and you hear an unlocking sound from the other end of the room. Maria takes the opportunity to slip out the unlocked door, but the green flash on the monitor fades to show you something a little more interesting.

    Cloning Series Documentation


    This chapter has no poll.
     
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  5. iamweirdo

    iamweirdo Know what you're doing yet?

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    ah shit, are we going to have to deal with clones as well? because that's going to complicate interactions with other people from now on. we dont know who is a clone or not, at least we are not a clone as far as we can till so far. we are not a clone, right?
     
  6. Threadmarks: Designer: Custom
    CypherZero

    CypherZero Getting sticky.

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    “So Zero is Brother. This confirms it.”

    “Documentation on cloning confirms that Zero is a cult leader?”

    Sigma’s taken over the computer, glaring at the screen that the puzzle revealed. You’re left to lean against the bookcase behind the desk, staring over his broad shoulders.

    “Brother uses clones to bolster his workforce,” he continues. “By 2074, he’s perfected the art, so it makes sense that he started early.”

    The documentation doesn’t seem too long, which is good — you think you see a file directory underneath the window, so you wouldn’t want to spend the rest of the round without exploring it.

    Sigma scrolls down.

    “Seems sparse for a documentation,” Sigma grouses. You roll your eyes.

    “What, were you expecting a paper-form monologue? Maybe a video lecture?”

    “That would have been more helpful.”

    “We take what we can get.”

    “I suppose so. Still, who is Six?”

    “Zero’s assistant, probably.”

    “You’ve met them?”

    “Where did you think I was before being presented by Zero?”

    “Ah, I see. You were being prepared.”

    “…That’s a word for it, I guess. Scroll down.”

    “Right away.”

    Sigma seems thoughtful now. “It seems as though the A and B series were built together, if the ‘most recent report’ is tracking the most recent clone to be developed.”

    “I wouldn’t have expected more physical clones to survive than brainy science clones.”

    “It’s likely that the A-Series clones test on themselves — with all the dangers that come with doing so.”

    “Hmm. What's programming, you think?”

    “Conditioning, most likely. Ability to follow orders. Like programming a phone, when X happens, usually a code word of some sort, have the clone do Y.”

    “And the A-Series has slightly lower programming—”

    “Maybe because it interferes with mental functions. …As can be seen here, with the C-Series.”

    “Akane, not to alarm you, but—”

    “This is the second reference to a clone being part of the Game, yes. But you mentioned that all of his clones were blonde with blue eyes, and with the hostility Maria was putting off—”

    “You think Carlos was the clone.”

    “I’m hoping I have one less thing to worry about.”

    “And what if you’re wrong?”

    “We deal with it when it becomes relevant. Is that it, or is there still more in the document?”

    “You’re always… no, there’s one more passage here.”

    “They’re just numbers to him,” Sigma practically snarled. “Just fodder to throw away.”

    He slams his fist into the bookcase behind him and stalks out from behind the desk to pace angrily out in the open. You’re… stunned by how mad he is. You’ve seen him determined, contemplative, worrying, and even depressed about his odds and his opponent, but never really mad about what was going to happen in here and what it would lead to.

    …And the thing that sets him off is cloning designations? You don’t get Sigma. Now would be the perfect time to try and connect with him on a more personal level—

    Except that’s the five-minute warning buzzing on your wrist, and there’s still four files to look at on the computer.

    The first one is simply titled ‘limerick.’

    …Huh. Surprisingly decent, if completely useless.

    The next three are just numbered. 4, 5, and… 7. Great, that’s gonna bug you.

    4 gets opened first.

    Well, that’s confirmation, at least. Carlos is a clone.

    Was a clone.

    Does that make Maria…?

    Problems for later. 5 next.

    Trouble reading… does Junpei have more access to the field than just what he displayed last year?

    Later. Problems for later. Final document.

    Critical?!

    “Sigma, we have an issue!”

    Sigma runs over immediately, but the document is updating itself in real-time, and the yellow CRITICAL ticks over to a red DECEASED. As if on cue — no, actually on cue — your bracelet’s both blare four times. To signify the number of deaths.

    Four people are dead.

    “How did she die?” You’re still stunned by that, but Sigma is rapidly paling.

    “Oh no. I thought I was imagining things…”

    “What? What happened?”

    He doesn’t answer, he just runs out the door. You slip from behind the desk and sprint to follow.

    The door leads to an abrupt turn into a long hallway, and you can see Sigma running down—

    Then stopping suddenly in the exit, blocking it. You slow your sprint to come behind him, and put a hand on his back.

    He slowly walks out, and you see…

    Oh. That’s what he meant.

    Maria is holding the pair of scissors in her right hand, and there’s a gash in her neck, spilling blood everywhere.

    “I thought the time perception was my imagination,” Sigma muttered. “I noticed it during the puzzle, looking for the chips. I started getting dizzy, the world started speeding up. Akane… did you notice anything similar…?”

    You can only shake your head. You can’t look away.

    “Then, if Maria and I were both infected… Ah. I see. You once postulated that Radical-6 could spread from open wounds, blood to air infection.”

    “Are you trying to say…”

    You can’t get the words out.

    This is your fault? You’re a carrier?

    When were you infected?

    “It was probably then.” Sigma continues, but he isn’t making any sense anymore. “It’s too late to contain it. But maybe we can reduce the possibility of a total apocalypse.”

    He kneels down by Maria.

    He takes the scissors.

    He plunges them into his own neck and drags them out harshly, slitting his own throat in front of you.

    The scent of blood is overpowering.



    Are you supposed to follow suit? Kill yourself to keep from infecting the rest of humanity?

    Your head is swimming.

    Your bracelet beeps before you can come to a decision,

    You fall unconscious to the tune of five harsh beeps.

    Five people dead.
    Fragment Complete!
    Designer


    1 of 4


    Please select a fragment.
    Box (Aoi and Junpei)
    Candid (Aoi and Maria)
    Condition (Diana and Mira)
    Conviction (Diana and Phi)
    Designer (Maria and Sigma) (Complete)
    Deviation (Aoi and Carlos)
    Exodus (Carlos and Phi)
    Game Theory (All) (1/4)
    Interception (Aoi and Mira)
    Lab Rat (Carlos and Diana)
    Literary (Carlos and Maria) (Locked)
    Misgiving (Mira and Sigma) (Complete)
    Monster (Carlos and Mira)
    Mortality (Junpei and Sigma) (Complete)
    Pathogen (Aoi and Diana) (Complete)
    Pawn (Junpei and Phi) (Locked)
    Relative (Maria and Phi)
    Reverie (Diana and Maria)
    Scripted (Carlos and Junpei)
     
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  7. iamweirdo

    iamweirdo Know what you're doing yet?

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    Ah, fuck it's even worse, fuck. well, at least we got 1 out of 4 parts for Stop Those Siblings! That is a plus.


    [X] Revisit
    -[X] Box (Aoi and Junpei)
     
  8. Threadmarks: Box (Junpei and Aoi)
    CypherZero

    CypherZero Getting sticky.

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    A splitting headache wakes you. It drives a hiss from between your teeth, makes you screw up your still shut eyelids in pain, pushes you to turn on the seat you’re lying on and wedge your face between the backrest and the cushion. It isn’t so painful that it prevents you from thinking, isn’t yet so overwhelming that it commands all of your attention, but if you’ve only just woken up and it’s already this bad, you have a bad feeling that it won’t get any better.

    You need to distract yourself from the pain. Analysis often provides for a decent distraction. The first thing to come to mind is, of course, the headache, but maybe it’ll work in some kind of twisted nonsensical puzzle sort of way. In your mind’s eye, you can see the attention-grabbing video game label, instructions serving as an introduction to the next puzzle.

    ‘Dissect the pain to lessen it!’

    You let out a weak snort of laughter.

    The pain doesn’t feel centralized in any one location of your head. It isn’t clustered or clumped up near an eye socket or a temple. Slowly, you drag your hands upward from your stomach to check for bumps or bruises. Your prodding fingers can’t find any knots of flesh— you find a bunch of knots in your hair, though, it’s matted and tangled unpleasantly, and you have to wonder how long you’ve been trapped without a brush or a comb, how many times you’ve been woken up and put to rest without your memories, without a shower.

    So the headache isn’t from a physical injury. No blow to the back of the head, no stomp to the skull, no rapid-fire jabs to the face or the temple. You have not been subjected to action movie violence.

    You would hope to keep those memories. Action scenes are cool.

    …But your hand-to-hand is abysmal, and you’re no good with a close-range weapon unless you have the element of surprise, so maybe you’re better off without action scene memories.

    You run your tongue across the inside of your mouth and the back of your teeth. The taste isn’t pleasant, but it’s a morning breath kind of unpleasantness. There isn’t any plaque build-up, and it isn’t notably dry, either. You can conclude that the headache probably isn’t from dehydration.

    …You force yourself to stop clenching your jaw so you can run your tongue over the front of your teeth.

    Completely plaque-free, just like the back.

    Hm.

    The headache doesn’t feel like a migraine. You aren’t prone to getting migraines, but you are prone to overextending yourself and your skillset includes the utilization of supernatural mental abilities, so you aren’t unfamiliar with them. But your migraines are typically more painful than the headache you have now, and they only ever overtake half of your head.

    And if you had blacked out trying to use your powers, the backlash would easily be ten times worse than what you’re feeling right now.

    Probably not a migraine.

    The most likely explanation is that the Soporil is starting to wear on you. A common side effect of sleep aid overuse or misdosage is headaches, and you have no idea how long you’ve been in this Game.

    That’s probably all it is.

    …Yep. Your bad feeling was right. Shoving your face into the corner of an armchair has not improved your headache. Luckily, your hyper-analysis hasn’t worsened it, either.

    Groaning, you wiggle backward and turn to face the edge of the seat rather than the backrest. Slowly, carefully, you manage to sit up and, with your face pointed at the ground so you aren’t staring into a light, you open your eyes. There’s a coffee table in front of your chair. The lights don’t seem to be too dim, you can see just fine, but you don’t notice any reflections off the surface.

    You crane your head upward, and you’re overcome by nausea.

    You recoil so harshly that your headache spikes, exactly what you were trying to avoid. You curl up, your feet coming off the floor so your knees can reach your chest. Your hands shoot up, one covering your mouth, the other pinching the bridge of your nose.

    “Woah, you okay?” Your brother’s voice is to your left, moving closer to you — you take your hand away from your mouth to wave him off. You’re not okay, but unless he’s got medicine with him, there isn’t anything he can do to help.

    You breathe deeply and slowly, hands moving to cradle your head, fingers at your temples. Already you can feel your headache receding to its previous level of pain.

    No sudden movements.

    You reopen your eyes and stare down at the red-carpeted floor for a moment, then slowly look to the left. Aoi is standing halfway between you and an empty chair, hands at his side like he doesn’t know what to do with them, restless fingers flexing at his waist.

    His sister is hurting and he can’t do anything to stop it. Again.

    The headache spikes. You bite your cheek to prevent a wince from becoming visible.

    You wave a hand at him again, urging him to sit back down, clenching your jaw to hold back the nausea that the movement brings. Hesitantly, your brother moves back to his chair, sitting on the very edge, forearms against his knees, hands balled into fists.

    …You look down toward the table. Slowly, you bring your hand into view, wiggling your fingers in front of your face. Their movement lags behind the orders you give them. An afterimage trails behind them as they move. Double-vision makes your stomach bubble unpleasantly.

    Aoi didn’t have an afterimage.

    You raise your head (slowly, no sudden movements) and turn your head to the right. Junpei stares back at you, face blank except for the question in his eyes. You tilt your head and raise an eyebrow at him, but his mouth twists and he averts his gaze.

    Well, if he’s not gonna ask his question.

    “Hey, how long does plaque take to form?” Your voice is low, you don’t want to aggravate your headache. Junpei’s eyes jerk back to you, his expression shifting toward quizzical.

    “W-What?”

    “Do you know?”

    “I, uh, three hours? Four?”

    “Hm. Do you have any?”

    “Any plaque?”

    “Yeah. Use your tongue real quick and find out.”

    “Uh. A bit? On the back side of my teeth?”

    “Huh.” You turn to ask Aoi, but he’s already scraping the front of his teeth with his thumb. He stares at whatever he’s collected before he stretches his arm over the arm of his chair and rubs it off on the side. “Interesting.”

    “Is it?” Oh, Junpei’s deadpan now. “Is it really that interesting?”

    “Oh yeah, it’s super neat.”

    “And why is that?”

    “You’ve got a bit of plaque on the back of your teeth. Aoi’s got a bit more, on the front.”

    “Sure…”

    “I don’t have any.” Junpei blinks a bit. “It’s like a bacterial thing, something to do with certain foods breaking down in your stomach and making its way up to your mouth where it collects on your teeth. The process happens constantly, but it speeds up while you’re asleep because your body isn’t spending energy being awake, so it can devote more power to automatic processes like bacterial breakdown. Or something along those lines.”

    Aoi pipes up from his spot. “The drugs have been keeping us asleep.”

    “And we have no way of knowing how much time has passed, or how often we’ve been injected with the drugs.”

    “But you think you’ve been spending more time awake than either of us?”

    “Hmm, maybe not more time, not necessarily. More recently, for sure, but there’s no real way to know how long I’ve been awake.”

    Junpei grunts. He shifts his arm, lifting his wrist to his face and messing with his bracelet. His eyes narrow after a few seconds.

    “No change.”

    Hm? “What’s up?”

    “Bracelet’s turned off.”

    “What?” You raise your own bracelet, trying to ignore your stomach, and tap on the button a couple of times. It doesn’t light up, though. No timer. “What the hell?”

    “Been that way since I woke up. Now I know it’s not just mine.”

    “Huh.” You wrap your arms around your knees. “You think the game is done?”

    “No.”

    “You sound so certain about that,” Aoi drones out from his seat.

    “If it was done, that would mean everyone else would have died.” Junpei’s eyes drift over to you for a moment before he brings his attention back to Aoi. He puts his elbow on the arm of his chair and rests his cheek against the palm of his hand.

    “And we wouldn’t still be trapped here.” Aoi props his elbows against his knees, leaning forward to rest his chin on the knuckles of his folded hands.

    “That too, I guess.”

    “Hm.”

    The two of them make for quite a sight. Opposite sides, opposing seating positions. Opposed color palettes, even. Aoi’s white hair, faded clothes, and pale skin on your left, Junpei’s darker tan, darker hair, and pitch-black ensemble on your right. Your eyes drift up just to make sure that there aren’t any differences in lighting.

    There’s tension rising between them and you can’t quite identify it. You want to try to diffuse it, or distract from it.

    “If the bracelets aren’t working, that means Zero can’t put us to sleep, yeah?” They both turn to look at you. “That means he can’t punish us. So…”

    Aoi grabs the line you leave hanging. “So?”

    “You could tell me that secret Zero gave you at the start.”

    Junpei’s face changes instantly, eyes glaring, lip sneering. “Absolutely not.”

    “Why not? I’m game for it.” Aoi doesn’t have nearly as negative a reaction. In fact, still mirroring Junpei, he smirks confidently.

    “Why not?! It’s not just us that gets punished for spilling that shit!” Ah, Junpei’s getting louder. You grit your teeth and hold your knees tighter to your chest.

    “The bracelets aren’t working.”

    Our bracelets aren’t working, theirs still could be. They can still get punished.”

    “They might already be dead, for all we know.”

    “They are not dead!”

    “How do you know?”

    “No one here would kill someone! We should be working together, trying to all escape together!”

    “Kinda hard to work together when we’re all constantly separated like this, huh? And how do you know that, anyway? How do you know you didn’t get trapped with eight deranged killers?”

    “None of them are the type, I’ve read their profiles.”

    “You’ve read a bunch of paperwork that people have edited to make themselves look as good as possible. You don’t know them.”

    “I don’t have to know them, I can believe in them just fine. They aren’t killers.”

    Aoi drops his hands and leans forward, leering as he makes his point. “You think Sigma wouldn’t wrap those huge arms of his around your neck and squeeze until you stop struggling? That Phi wouldn’t distract you with her legs long enough to get in one good kick and beat you bloody from there? Diana and Mira are both pretty enough to lure you into a situation where it’d be easy to stab you in the back.”

    “They—”

    “Do you think for one second that Carlos wouldn’t kill you if it meant that Maria could get home nice and easy?”

    “Carlos is—”

    “An older brother.” Aoi brings his hands back up and leans on his fists again. His face drops to something neutral. Something sad and tired. “I’m pretty sure I can be considered an expert on what older brothers would do for younger sisters.”

    Junpei doesn’t have a response to that, and Aoi doesn’t need to follow up. The silence left in the wake of your brother’s statement is marred by the ringing in your ears, like a bell ringing in your head using your brain as the clapper. You let the pain die down a bit before you speak up again.

    “In fairness to Junpei, I don’t think the game is over either.” They both turn their heads to you. Junpei’s mouth curls into a small smile, pleased that you seem to be taking his side. Aoi quirks an eyebrow, waiting for the other shoe to drop. “Zero definitely made it seem like as soon as six people died, the ‘victors’ would escape immediately. The fact that we’re still here means that there’s still something we have to do to get out.”

    “Yeah, exactly. See, this is what I was talking about—”

    “Which is why I wanted that secret in the first place.” Junpei’s celebration stops instantly. Aoi snorts lightly and leans back in his chair. You continue. “It’s an advantage Zero gave you in exchange for being closely associated with me, in exchange for making an example out of you and knocking you out fifteen minutes before the end of the first round. It’s an advantage that we could use to win the game and escape with our lives.”

    “E-Even if it kills them?”

    “Six people would need to die anyway.”

    “You— no, but— what if-if, if our bracelets aren’t turned off either? What if it’s just a, a display malfunction, you know? This could be dangerous! Trying to skirt around the rules like that! Yeah!”

    “The bracelets are meant to measure our heart rate and alert the overseers of the game if one of us dies, I don’t think there’s a way to isolate the display and make just that malfunction and not the rest of it.”

    “B-But—”

    “But I guess if you’re against this plan of action on such a deeply moral level, you would probably fight against it even if it was to your own detriment. So there’s no real point in going through with it.”

    Junpei is struck silent again. Your energy is drained and your headache has only gotten worse. You shift your head so you can bury your face between your knees and try not to think too hard about anything in particular.

    But he doesn’t seem keen on letting it rest.

    “…You’ve changed.”

    “Changed? From what, Junpei?”

    “You’re different from that girl I used to be friends with.”

    This, more than anything else so far, infuriates you. The anger is cold and does more to relieve your headache than any medicine could have. You drag your face up from between your knees to glare at him. His eyes widen, but he does his best not to recoil.

    “The girl you had a crush on was twelve years old. It has been ten years and twenty deaths since then. I’m terribly sorry you had to find out this way, but I don’t fit into that little box of yours anymore, the one you’ve clearly set aside for happy memories and safe nostalgia. I’ve grown up since then, Junpei, even if you clearly haven’t.”

    “Oh, so it’s immature to care about other people’s lives?!”

    “It’s immature to think that you can save anyone if you can’t even save yourself. To put perfect strangers over yourself.”

    Everyone can get out of this alive!”

    “Why do you think that the person who strapped us with a bracelet that can put us to sleep with just a command and rigged people up to devices that would kill them instantly would leave us an opening to escape without providing him whatever pleasure or information he wants to get out of us?”

    “You-You said so yourself! To Diana!”

    “I told a lie to calm someone on the verge of a nervous breakdown.”

    “Everyone was fine the last time!”

    “The last— Junpei, that was not a real death game.”

    “You—”

    “It was an engineered execution that sometimes doubled as a rescue mission. It was explicitly manufactured to use Hongou’s greed and fear as a weapon to kill the four executives of Cradle Pharmaceuticals. The only wildcard in that entire scenario, the only thing that could have gone wrong, was Clover. If her grief exceeded expectations, she could have managed to kill any number of people before discovering Light still alive in the coffin, but even that was covered using Seven as a physical stopping block, or you as an emotional one.”

    “That isn’t—”

    “The only way that anyone would die except the four people I meant to kill is if you fucked up. If you didn’t calm Clover down, if you left Hongou alone for too long, if you were too insensitive and made a situation in which no one would listen to you, then everyone would die, and Hongou would get to the incinerator, and then Hongou would die. And that’s fine because that’s the outcome that was meant to happen.

    “It wasn’t a real death game. A real death game is winnable yet variable in regards to who can win. There was nothing varied about the game you played. Either you did everything right and everyone lived, or you did something wrong and everyone died.”

    The room goes silent once again and Junpei finally lets it rest. The cold leaves you, and with it goes your energy, so you put your head back down between your knees.


    The silence is broken five minutes later when a dual chime rings through the air. You lift your head just in time to see a small hatch open at the very bottom of the wall directly across from you. A metal box slides out from inside of it.

    Your legs are getting cramped in your curled-up position, so you decide to stretch them a bit and walk toward the box. The top has a small flap stretching out from the center, a handle that can be used to open it, and a note has been affixed to it.

    Check your pockets.

    Confused, you slip your hand into your sweater’s pocket, only to find a piece of folded-up paper. You pull it out and unfold it.

    It’s a note from Zero.

    Your vision doubles and your headache intensifies suddenly. You fall to your knees and cry out, and the note slips to the ground. Your hands come up to clutch at your head. The boys run from their seats— one of them stops near you without touching you, the other picks up the note.

    You can’t tell which is which.

    The note gets read aloud. Their voices overlap.

    “Akane Kurashiki, this is your final decision. There are currently two universes: one where all six of your fellow participants have perished, and one in which all six of them are alive. Should you open the box, you shall discover which universe you reside in. Should you reject the box entirely, you shall remain in ignorance. Choose carefully.”

    Your head feels like it’s splitting. You can barely open your eyes.

    One of your hands falls onto the box.

    What do you do?

    Choose One
    Open the Box
    Do Not​
     
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  9. Cubbyhb1

    Cubbyhb1 Theoretically Capable of Sleep

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    [X] Open the Box

    The plot of ZTD is opening the catbox of DCOM, so we must open the box
     
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  10. iamweirdo

    iamweirdo Know what you're doing yet?

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    Fuck :mad:
    Alright open the box

    [X] Open the Box
     
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  11. Threadmarks: Box: Dead Cat
    CypherZero

    CypherZero Getting sticky.

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    You can’t bear it anymore.

    You don’t care about the tests, you don’t care about the game, you don’t care about the fact that Zero can apparently cause you major mental distress from a distance.

    You just want the pain to stop.

    You fumble with the handle, your fingers shaking from the assault on your mind, your arms growing weak. You push up on the lid and it catches, it sticks. You have to be more forceful. You have to be certain of what you want. You have to want to open the box.

    You want the pain to end.

    (You want to get out.)

    You force the box open. You’re thrown over the top, your chest resting on the lid as you pant for breath. You try to calm down and lean backward to look inside.

    Your nausea triples. You fall off the box.

    Your bracelet buzzes back to life as you scramble backward, six musical jingles sounding out from your wrist. But you can’t look at it. Even though your position has left you unable to see inside from the top, you can’t look away from the box. You stare at the polished metal as if you could see through it.

    Behind you, a bit to your left, your brother puts succinct words to your horrified thoughts.

    “Well, that’s kinda fucked up.”

    You know that it takes a special kind of crazy to kidnap people and conduct a death game, but putting a dead cat in a box and having someone open it is honestly beyond the pale.

    Past the box, on the wall, lights start to pop up. Great glowing green X’s. Three pairs, evenly spaced, stacked on top of one another. When all six of them are present, they blink, fading in and out for a few seconds before disappearing entirely. There’s a loud shuddering noise from within the wall itself, followed by mechanical grinding. A seam appears in the center of the wall, between where the X’s had been present just a moment ago, and it slowly opens.

    The sound it makes grates at your ears. The vibrations travel from the wall, run through the floor into your body through your butt and the palms of your hand until your whole frame is shuddering like you’re a pebble in an earthquake. It takes a minute for it to fully open and reveal the entrance to a tunnel, dark and imposing.

    A breeze flies through. It’s cold. Your hoodie wouldn’t provide much protection from December weather. Or is it January already? You don’t know how long you’ve been down here.

    You thought the promise of fresh air might motivate you more. Now that it’s right in front of you, it’s kind of… Foreboding.

    From your right, Junpei grunts and stands up, stuffs his hands into his pockets, and walks toward the entrance. Aoi comes up to your left side from behind you and tilts his head, concern in his eyes.

    “You okay?”

    You stop yourself from giving a standard answer and take stock of yourself. Your headache has disappeared, your stomach seems to have settled, and while you’re a bit shaken by the vibration of the opening passageway, you’re unhurt except for the soreness in your legs you got from sitting curled up in your chair for however long it’s been.

    “Yeah, I’m good.”

    You raise your left arm and wiggle your fingers at your brother, who responds by taking your left hand in his left hand, snaking your arm behind his back, and shoving his right hand underneath your right armpit to lift you onto your feet. You leave your arm around his waist and put your thumb into one of his belt loops to secure yourself.

    The two of you walk to Junpei, who’s been standing very patiently at the entrance for you.

    You do not look down into the box.


    “It coulda been taxidermied.”

    “Aoi…”

    “Why would he bother stuffing it?”

    “Junpei…”

    “Maybe he gets bothered by smells?”

    Boys…”

    “If he was going for shock horror—”

    Stop talking about the damn cat.”

    Their muffled laughs echo and you fight your urge to growl at them. The tunnel is long and obscured by darkness. Honestly, you’re only hoping that the tunnel is straight the whole way through and that Zero won’t be a complete dick at the last minute, waiting to laugh at you as you ram face-first into a hidden wall.

    That specific fear is put to rest when a screen glows in front of you, far enough away to give warning and have the three of your stop walking.

    The screen is a wide expanse of grey. A great, black [6] is emblazoned proudly in the center.

    …Now you have a different fear. Uneasy uncertainty stirs in your gut.

    The number and the grey remain for a second longer before they’re replaced by an angled top-down view of a room. It looks similar to the room you’ve just left.

    …Actually, that’s you, isn’t it? Right in the center of the frame, kneeling in front of the low table alongside someone else. It could just be the same room at a different time. It could be a security playback.

    The other person in the feed is kneeling in front of the table as well. They have their face pressed up against the surface of the table, and you’re running your fingers through their stark white hair. It reminds you of Aoi, actually. This is something you do with him frequently, to calm him down, to comfort him. You run your fingers through the hair on the back of his head. On the playback, your head tilts, and while you can’t see your expression or hear anything being said, you imagine that you’re comforting them.

    On the feed, you slowly raise your left arm as you pet the other person with your left hand. Your sleeves are rolled up to the elbow, you notice. You can’t get a good view of what you’re holding, it’s mostly hidden by your head, but something peeks out from behind your hair. Something… black?

    You bring your arm down swiftly. Your body shakes with the impact, just a little hop. Your left hand stops moving, and your right hand trails down from wherever it was to move down the slope of the figure’s lower back, stroking it, consoling them. Finally, your left hand grabs the edge of the table, and you push yourself upward to walk away from the table toward one of the chairs.

    There’s a dagger sticking out of the figure’s neck.

    Aoi is alive next to you. The figure must be Phi.

    You killed Phi.

    You don’t remember killing Phi.

    But that’s the point of the memory drug. To remove context, to keep all information in a vacuum. There had to be a reason you killed her, some piece of a greater puzzle you didn’t know how to solve.

    (She was facedown kneeling at a table. She wasn’t struggling. It wasn’t a hot-blooded fight with a combatant killed in self-defense, it was a cold-hearted execution.)

    The video fades to black, leaving you in darkness for but a moment before the wall opens up to reveal another stretch of tunnel, lined by small strips of light on the floor.

    The boys don’t speak. You aren’t keen on breaking the silence, either.

    You follow the lights forward. It takes only a minute to hit another wall, this time stained a deep blue. It lasts as long as it takes for you to read the [5] in the center before it cuts away to another camera feed. It’s positioned at chest height this time; hysterically, all you can think about is how small the cameras must be for there to be such a variety of angles without you having seen any of them.

    Diana is kneeling on the right side of the screen, shaking like a leaf, wide eyes staring up at someone off-screen. Staring up at you, because that’s who comes in from off-screen. Your sleeves are still pushed up. You’re holding that same dagger. It’s shaking, you notice. The Akane on screen is holding the knife in a clenched fist, and it’s shaking almost as badly as Diana herself is.

    You wonder if you had wanted to kill her at all.

    Regardless, the blade is driven into her trachea. Camera Akane steps behind Diana and places a hand on the side of her head before dragging the knife across her neck, avoiding the blood that spills down her front. When you rip the knife free, flicking it to the side, Diana falls to the ground off-screen, and you just stand there, staring down at her body.

    You don’t remember killing her, either. You don’t remember how quickly she passed on, how long she lay there twitching, what her dying gasps sounded like.

    The knife stopped shaking at some point.

    The feed fades to black again. The wall splits open to reveal the way through.

    Nobody moves for a long moment. You have to get going eventually, though, so you take the first step forward. It takes three steps for the boy to your left to follow your lead, but almost a dozen more for the boy to your right to trail behind.

    Which was which, again?

    …Right, right. Aoi supported you from your left side, Junpei went ahead on the right. Junpei’s opinion of you must be crashing right now. You wonder if it would be easier to justify your actions if you could remember your reasoning.

    (Hesitation before, conviction afterward.)

    You wonder if you would bother.

    The next screen has two numbers. [3] and [4] share an expanse of intermingling pink and yellow. You wonder what the colors mean. You wonder what yours would be.

    The angle is top-down again, though not from as high up as the first video. It’s a few feet above head height, you think. The scene is a stand-off in the room you escaped from. A short blonde— Maria, you think— stands near a metal wall with a shelf sticking out of it. The shelf has a big, red button, and a placard in front of it, probably with instructions or an explanation, though you can’t read the words.

    Carlos is sitting in one of the plush armchairs facing Maria. His head is hung, his face and expression completely hidden, and his body language is completely neutral. You’re standing directly behind him, with a gun in your hand pressed against the back of his head. You’re facing the camera, and your expression is visible to everyone: barely restrained fury.

    You don’t know what that button will do, but you can guess that you didn’t want it to be pressed, and the fact that Maria even tried to go for it drove you to an emotional extreme.

    You can’t hear what orders you barked at her, but you can see her hands slowly go up into the air above her head. Camera Akane’s teeth are grit, but her lips still move, an order growled. Maria takes a slow step away from the button, then another, and a third—

    And the pistol held against Carlos’ head flicks up, and the muzzle flashes four times. To your right, you can hear a gasp, a harsh intake of breath. From this angle, you can only see a single bullet leave Maria’s body, tearing a hole through her lower abdomen.

    You think you recognize the gun that camera Akane is holding. That’s your gun. The pistol you trained with, that you brought with you everywhere for safety. You wouldn’t miss shots from that distance at a near-stationary target. The other three bullets must still be inside Maria’s body.

    Maria collapses to the ground. There’s blood pooling underneath her, almost indistinguishable from the carpet. Junpei lets out another ragged gasp from behind you.

    The pistol dips back down to press against Carlos’ head, and the trigger is pulled a fifth time. The bullet explodes out of his eye socket and his body slumps to the side. You walk forward from behind the chair, march up to Maria, and flip her onto her back with your foot.

    You squat down to her. Your hair obscures your face. You don’t know what you could possibly say, how she could answer.

    The Akane on screen stands back up quickly enough, aims the gun at her face, and pulls the trigger a sixth and final time before tossing the empty gun to the side and walking out of view of the camera. Maria’s body lays still on the ground, perfectly centered in frame, and the image stays on screen for a few seconds longer before the feed disappears and the wall opens again.

    …Junpei is breathing heavily to your side. It’s the only sound in the corridor.

    A dozen justifications fly through your head—

    (The button could have been disastrous, the room’s objective could have involved choosing two people to die, the minimum age to participate in DCOM was 18 anyway so it’s not like Maria was a child like you were—)

    —but none of them leave your lips. You just walk forward, instead.

    The next number to pop up is a [2] laid on top of a field of bright green. When it disappears, the video feed is different from the three that came before.

    You aren’t treated to yet another scene of execution. It’s still the same room. The chairs are in a state of disarray, having been pushed away from the table in the center, one of them tipped onto its side, and there is yet another button, still on a shelf built inside that middle wall.

    It seems like the tail-end of a fistfight between Sigma and Carlos. They’re equal in physique, so neither of them has any real advantage in power or speed, but Carlos seems to have the upper hand. You’re not sure why that is, honestly— if Sigma has forty-five years of experience, shouldn’t he have a non-zero amount of hand-to-hand training? Or does muscle memory not translate properly while Shifting? It’s not something you’ve looked into.

    Your brother breaks the silence to comment.

    “…He isn’t flinching.”

    “Hm?”

    “Carlos. He keeps taking blows from Sigma, heavy ones. But he isn’t reacting to them at all.”

    You watch more closely, and you find that Aoi’s right. Sigma winces every time Carlos hits him, and he’s always just the tiniest bit slower afterward.

    Carlos never reacts. He never slows down. His eyes are blank, his face expressionless.

    “He’s like a machine.”

    He fought like one too. Each punch he threw was precise and seemed to carry as much power as he could bear. He bulldozed through any defense Sigma put up and completely ignored any attempts to slow him down. Soon, he had Sigma on the ground, knelt before the table, his hands grabbing the edge.

    Carlos threaded his fingers through Sigma’s hair pulled him upward by his head, and slammed him down into the edge of the table face-first.

    Dispassionately, he dragged him up again and slammed him down a second time.

    Then a third.

    A fourth.

    Again.

    And again.

    The camera was angled such that you couldn’t see the damage that was dealt, and there was no audio being transmitted through the screen. Despite this, you grew nauseous watching Carlos’ actions and had to drag your attention away.

    And then you saw her.

    Yourself.

    Whoever this was.

    You can’t remember this at all. You can’t imagine that you’d be fine with the level of carnage Carlos is bringing to Sigma right now. You can’t picture any circumstances where you would be sitting imperiously in the corner of the room, watching with such a cold expression on your face.

    Completely unsurprised.

    Absolutely bored.

    The playback ends before the violence does. Another path opens, and it takes you a minute before you feel like you can progress.

    The final screen is a deep red, emblazoned with a bold [1]. The number looks as if it floats on a sea of blood. The image displayed as the feed starts is jarring. There is no introduction, no scene-setting, no additional details.

    There’s just you, wrapping a noose around Mira’s neck.

    You’re knelt on the arm of the chair, and she’s perched on top, sat on the headrest, leaning back against a metal wall. She’s unconscious. Drugged, maybe. Her jacket is missing, leaving her in just her black bralette top. The noose is fashioned out of her sleeves, torn off the jacket and tied together at the middle. It reaches up to hang around a light fixture, the middle of three. All of them shine with green light.

    The color is mocking, you think. The facility itself approves of this.

    As suddenly as the video started, the video Akane springs into motion. She slides off the armchair and kicks it from underneath her victim. Mira barely drops at all. There’s an inch of air between her toes and the ground. She seizes, her mouth parted, her eyelids fluttering, but she never seems to truly wake up. The drug that’s put her to sleep is too strong.

    You can’t look away as Mira slowly dies on-screen. As her body comes to a halt. As she sways from the light fixture.

    The only other figure visible on the feed never faces the camera. It stands perfectly still, its hands in its front pocket, never looking away from the scene it’s created.

    Whoever, whatever it is, it isn’t you.

    It can’t be you.

    There would never be a world where you would do this.

    There are no circumstances that would make you kill someone in the exact same way as your mother killed herself.

    The screen goes dark and the wall opens up.

    You don’t walk forward. You can’t.

    A voice sounds from behind you.

    From your right side.

    Junpei.

    “I keep dreaming of a world where I hadn’t found you. Hadn’t saved you. That I had done something wrong, acted too rashly in the game, messed everything up. That you were dead, that June had never been real. That I got sucked up into a grey fog, that I was constantly haunted by Clover and Snake.

    “Maybe it would be better if this was the dream, instead.”

    He walks ahead.

    You can’t follow him.

    It takes a couple of minutes for Aoi to gently lead you forward.


    There are no more lights on the floor lining a path forward, just a long stretch of darkness.

    It’s broken by an open door, bright light spilling out of it.

    Spilling around the hooded figure in the center.

    Their face is obscured by harsh shadows, but you know that you’d see a gas mask with red lenses if it wasn’t.

    Zero’s assistant.

    “Akane Kurashiki, I require one more thing of you before you leave.” You’re too exhausted to react to their distorted voice, but Aoi has energy to spare. He tenses beside you and starts to step forward to shield you.

    They slip a hand free from their pocket. They’re holding something that glints silver in the light.

    “Just go, Aoi.”

    Your voice is dead, not nearly as commanding as it should be, but when Aoi turns to look at you, all he can do is sigh and trudge forward, giving the assistant a dirty look as he disappears into the light.

    The assistant steps forward, dark and imposing. Their empty hand comes up. Your tired brain notes that their black gloves are custom-made, form-fitting rather than the bulky standard. They have svelte fingers.

    Their fingers thread through your hair and their thumb presses against your temple.

    Images and sounds and emotions barrage you, too fast for you to track.

    You can only get impressions— panicked screams, stampeding crowds, echoes of rage and impotence in equal measures.

    A flash of overwhelming light. All-encompassing pain.

    The only thing that sticks is a broadcast.

    A darkened figure on a screen, a handsome voice delivering a chilling speech.

    The assistant’s hand slips from your head. You barely notice.

    The final words of the speech repeat in your mind.

    I shall bring about the Revelation.”

    A flash of silver catches your attention, and you look down.

    The assistant’s gun wasn’t a weapon.

    You push your left sleeve up with your right hand. Zero’s assistant pushes the injection gun against your forearm and pulls the trigger. There’s a hiss of air and a prick against your skin, and then it’s done.

    Their task complete, the assistant steps to the side, allowing you to step forward into the light. They mutter something, loud enough for you to hear but too quiet to get caught by the vocal modulator.

    “I will do everything in my power to accomplish my goals.”

    They almost sound like you.

    The Savior’s Nightmare
    Bad End


    Please select a fragment.
    Box (Aoi and Junpei) (2/4)
    Candid (Aoi and Maria)
    Condition (Diana and Mira)
    Conviction (Diana and Phi)
    Designer (Maria and Sigma) (Complete)
    Deviation (Aoi and Carlos)
    Exodus (Carlos and Phi)
    Game Theory (All) (1/4)
    Interception (Aoi and Mira)
    Lab Rat (Carlos and Diana)
    Literary (Carlos and Maria) (Locked)
    Misgiving (Mira and Sigma) (Complete)
    Monster (Carlos and Mira)
    Mortality (Junpei and Sigma) (Complete)
    Pathogen (Aoi and Diana) (Complete)
    Pawn (Junpei and Phi) (Locked)
    Relative (Maria and Phi)
    Reverie (Diana and Maria)
    Scripted (Carlos and Junpei)

     
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  12. Cubbyhb1

    Cubbyhb1 Theoretically Capable of Sleep

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    [X] Box

    Well now we need to see the other result opening it can have!
     
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  13. iamweirdo

    iamweirdo Know what you're doing yet?

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    [X] Box
     
  14. Threadmarks: Box: Unobserved
    CypherZero

    CypherZero Getting sticky.

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    It isn’t a conscious decision that drives you to action. There is nothing coherent about your thoughts right now. Everything is clouded over with pain.

    All you can do is collapse against the box. It shifts backward ever-so-slightly, stubborn, but not unmoving. Weakly, you bring your arms up, brace fully against the box, and push.

    It slides from underneath you and you fall to the ground. You lay there panting.

    Your ears are ringing.

    You don’t know how long it takes. It might have been seconds or minutes. But slowly, the pain recedes from your brain. The headache dulls until all that remains is pressure, as if you could feel your brain expanding and pushing against your skull.

    But it isn’t all-consuming pain. You’ll take it.

    Groaning, you flip over onto your back and stare upward. Your brother looks down at you with concern in his eyes, and you imagine that if you were to tilt your head down, you’d be able to see Junpei standing a bit away from the two of you, holding the note that you dropped.

    You don’t tilt your head down. Your eyes drift away from Aoi and you look at the ceiling, basking in the silence.

    …Something about this feels familiar.

    Not the part where you’re dazed and staring at the ceiling while Aoi is hovering nearby — that’s familiar for a completely different reason. It reminds you far too much of your worse days in the years between the Nonary Games, when your existence was subject to paradox. Some days, part of you forgot that you were still alive. You couldn’t do anything except stare vacantly forward.

    There were no thoughts. There was barely breathing. It was just you, floating in a sea of nothingness.

    At that reminder, you sat up and inched your way backward until your back hit the wall behind you. Aoi’s concern gives way to confusion, but that’s okay.

    No, what was familiar was the feeling in your head.

    You tried to think.

    …Crash Keys Esper-iments.

    God, what a stupid name. You’re surprised it took you this long to remember.

    Hazuki Kashiwabara was understandably paranoid after getting kidnapped the same way her daughters had for almost the exact same reason. Unfortunately, her daughters were both twenty-two years of age, so she couldn’t force them to stay home. They both took time off from their studies when they heard about the ordeal their mother went through, but they had to finish their final year of college.

    And then you sent them invitations to join Crash Keys.

    You were very careful to keep the word ‘experiment’ away from the work you did involving the Morphogenetic Field — both for their sake and your own, you were all equally subject to the First Nonary Game — but that is what they were, essentially. Eventually, Nona got tired of the lot of you stumbling over calling them ‘trials’ and came up with Esper-iments.

    No taste, honestly.

    Ennea was a bit of a slow learner, but she was inclined toward Receiving, same as your brother. The first step was being open to a second person, being receptive to other users of the Field. Theoretically, the step afterward would be opening oneself to the Field itself and Receiving thoughts from other consciousnesses. Practically applying that was harder than the theory made it out to be if Ennea and Aoi were to be believed.

    It’s one thing to open yourself up to a specific person, they would say. It’s another thing entirely to open yourself to the whole world.

    Nona’s training went more smoothly. As a Transmitter, the first step is sending information to a person that you were familiar with, that you were attuned to, but the second step was to send information to someone unfamiliar, instead of something as abstract as pushing the information out into the public consciousness.

    You wonder if that was even possible.

    …You wonder if that’s why Nona contracted Reverie Syndrome. If she stretched too far trying to send information and got lost in some kind of psychic sea.

    In any case, the pressure you feel is similar to the pressure you felt during Nona’s training. It feels like some sort of Transmission.

    If only you could…

    You stick a hand out in front of you and wiggle your fingers at Aoi. He walks over and reaches his hand down to grab yours, but you smack it away and wiggle at his face instead. He sighs, but he follows your unsaid instructions, kneeling and letting you thread your fingers through his hair. Your thumb presses against his temple.

    You close your eyes and focus.

    “Tell me what you feel.”

    “…You’re Transmitting. It’s a bunch of white noise, though. Are you trying to tell me something?”

    No, that isn’t right.

    The trick to Transmitting to someone you don’t know is imagery. You have to have a clear picture of them in your head. You have to trick their mind, as well as your own, into thinking that you know them, well enough to have a bond that lets you communicate without words.

    That’s how some non-espers do it. People that have been close for years, that know each other as well as they know themselves, can send each other messages with just a glance, or with body language.

    (You haven’t found a way to study that particular phenomenon, but you will. Soon, even.)

    The problem right now is that you know your brother too well. Any attempt to send him information will easily succeed. The current sensation feels… not quite like a failure, actually. It just feels incomplete.

    You try to think of your brother objectively. Some random white-haired stranger on the street that dresses way too fancily for his own good.

    “The white noise disappeared. Did you stop Transmitting?”

    But of course you wouldn’t be able to send information to just anyone.

    Maybe this is someone sending information directly into the Morphogenetic Field?

    You don’t want to overextend yourself and get trapped like you think Nona did.

    And even if that were the case, why aren’t Junpei and Aoi affected the same way you are?

    No… There has to be some sort of in-between.

    Your eyes open a crack and slide over to Junpei, back to sitting in his armchair.

    How would Junpei try to Transmit information to Aoi?

    …You try to picture Santa, instead.

    Nonary Game participant, bracelet number three.

    Brash, sarcastic, quick to violence.

    Has a sister who he loves. Who died.

    “…Noise is back, I think. Can’t really hear it, it’s like it’s coming from behind a door. But the door leads to my head? And you’re like, pressing against it?”

    Bingo.

    Someone who thinks they know you is trying to Transmit to you. Someone who knows surface-level information about you. Just shy of the bare minimum needed to properly Transmit.

    Now, who could that be?

    And…

    “…You want to try something.” Your eyes open fully and meet Aoi’s. “You’re hesitating, which means it’s probably dangerous, but it also seems like it’s important. So you should do it.”

    Your brother always seems like he knows you better than you know yourself.

    Now, how to do this…

    “…It feels like you’re pushing against two doors now. Not really painful, just kinda weird.”

    No, that isn’t right.

    Okay, so whatever it was earlier wasn’t someone who barely knows you.

    What about…

    “…It sounds like you’re saying ‘one’ and ‘two,’ except you’re saying them at the same time. How are you managing that, anyway? Does the Field give you wicked multitasking powers now?”

    …And it wasn’t that they were trying to push two different ideas into your head at the same time either. God, what was it?!

    (“There are currently two universes.”)

    Your eyes open and slide back over to Junpei.

    Two universes, huh?

    You try to focus on Aoi while keeping one thought in your mind. One moment. Junpei’s initial decision, the first choice he had to make.

    (“I want to go through…”)

    He had to make a lot of choices, but the first one was binary. There were two options. At that moment, before he chose, he existed in limbo.

    You’ve existed in limbo before.

    (“Door 4.//Door 5.”)

    “Agh!”

    Fuck!

    You try to keep focus while you open your eyes to observe. Aoi’s fallen to both knees now, but he expected pain and he has experience not jerking away from your hand and breaking the connection you’re trying to preserve.

    But the second cry was from Junpei, who’s doubled over in pain clutching at his head.

    What the hell?

    You drop your hand, drop the Transmission. Aoi sits back on his heels, breathing heavily. Junpei folds in on himself, his face between his arms.

    You don’t say anything. You just wait for Aoi to gather himself.

    “…Splitting headache, like you reached inside my head and tried to pull it apart at the seam. Nausea too, and a bit of double-vision before I had to close my eyes.”

    Exactly how you felt.

    You sighed and leaned back against the wall. Silence permeates the room.

    Limbo, huh?

    …At some point, you raise your bracelet to your face.

    It doesn’t respond to anything, not even when you push the buttons.

    …So now what?

    QUANTUM LOCK DISCOVERED
    Outside the Box
    4 of 27
    Please choose a fragment.
    Box (Aoi and Junpei) (3/4, Locked)
    Candid (Aoi and Maria)
    Condition (Diana and Mira)
    Conviction (Diana and Phi)
    Designer (Maria and Sigma) (Complete)
    Deviation (Aoi and Carlos)
    Exodus (Carlos and Phi)
    Game Theory (All) (1/4)
    Interception (Aoi and Mira)
    Lab Rat (Carlos and Diana)
    Literary (Carlos and Maria) (Locked)
    Misgiving (Mira and Sigma) (Complete)
    Monster (Carlos and Mira)
    Mortality (Junpei and Sigma) (Complete)
    Pathogen (Aoi and Diana) (Complete)
    Pawn (Junpei and Phi) (Locked)
    Relative (Maria and Phi)
    Reverie (Diana and Maria)
    Scripted (Carlos and Junpei)

     
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  15. iamweirdo

    iamweirdo Know what you're doing yet?

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    Well at least we now got part 3 of 4:)

    Also happy holidays and thank you for continuing with the quest


    [X] Candid (Aoi and Maria)
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2022
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  16. Tunak23

    Tunak23 From the West to the East

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    [X] Scripted (Carlos and Junpei)
     
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  17. Threadmarks: Candid (Aoi and Maria)
    CypherZero

    CypherZero Getting sticky.

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    Everything about the room is boxy. The dimensions are perfectly cubic, the chair you woke up in was as square as could be, the TV in the corner is an old, old model — a large, dusty CRT — and there are brown cardboard boxes littered about the place.

    If not for the plush red carpeting covering five of the six walls, you could mistake the room for a storage warehouse. Furniture and appliances too old to keep at home but too sentimental to throw away, all kept in a room the same shape.

    The TV in the corner is on a wheeled cart with three shelves. The TV, of course, is on the top shelf, a printer lies on the bottom, and the middle holds some sort of strange machine with a bunch of wire inputs.

    There was also a box cutter on that middle shelf, but Aoi’s since taken it to cut open the cardboard boxes littered around the room.

    “This one’s got a bunch of wires in it. See if they connect to anything on the cart, yeah?”

    Aoi slides an opened box to you, and you take the wires within and spread them out in front of you.

    Maria supervises from her chair, feet up on the seat as she hugs her knees. She’s quiet, as usual, gazing off into the middle distance. The only way you know she’s awake is the way she twitches whenever you call for her attention and how her brow scrunches every so often.

    Frustration? Concentration? Is she trying to remember something, but the memory drug is interfering? Morphogenetic Field access might not be enough to help.

    In any case, the wires do indeed connect to the mystery machine on the television cart. There are three in total, and their inputs are all differently shaped, so there’s very little mess involved in connecting all of them. A wire connects the machine to the TV, and another connects to the printer, but the third—

    “Oh, we’ve got a tripod in here!”

    —maybe it connects to a camera.

    The second box Aoi opens is longer and thinner than the box with all the wires, probably to safely contain the tripod, and also contains a third box with a camera inside. You take the tripod from him and set it up so that the last wire would have a bit of slack when connecting to the camera and wait for him to open that third box.

    Finally, with everything connected, the TV turns on with a flicker and a sharp burst of noise. And what appears on screen is…

    “…I don’t know what I’m looking at.”

    On-screen, Zero and his… associate — you can clearly hear Aoi’s sharp inhale as he recognizes the gas mask — are doing some sort of dance in front of a white wall.

    They start from a standing position, a short distance away from each other. Ever-so-slowly, they shuffle closer, waving their arms inward, before standing on one foot, jabbing their arms outward, index fingers apart. Finally, they bend sideways toward each other again, touching the tips of their fingers together and filling the television screen with blinding light.

    When the light fades, they’re standing in their starting positions again.

    The ten-second video loops for at least a minute while you stare uncomprehendingly. Aoi joins you in your confusion, squinting and tilting his head and making all sorts of noises of disbelief.

    “…Fusion dance,” Maria chimes in blankly from behind you. “From Dragon Ball.”

    The both of you turn to look at her, then turn back to stare at the dance.

    “Now I have even more questions,” Aoi mutters.

    “The dance… was popular. In school. Kids did it a lot.” Maria drops from her chair and steps closer to you, quiet as if she were wearing socked feet. “Carlos did it with me once. It’s one of his favorite shows.”

    Aoi hums and walks over to the camera, adjusting it so that it faces the sixth wall of the room, covered in a white sheet like it was a projector screen. “I’m thinking that it wants a little mimicry action out of us.”

    “What, like monkey see, monkey do?”

    “Yeah!”

    “Then what are you doing over there? We need a monkey in front of the camera!”

    “Ha ha. I ain’t doin’ that silly shit, but you enjoy yourself, yeah?”

    “Oh, it’s too silly for you but it’s just right for me?”

    “Exactly!”

    “Oh, whatever. Come on Maria, we’ll have all the fun without him! Blue’s such a depressing color anyway, you know?”

    “Screw you too, Red. Get to dancing.”

    You stick your tongue out at your brother and he responds in kind. When you turn to face Maria she’s smiling softly, amused by your antics.

    Then you go ahead and follow the directions on the screen, shuffling along and waving your arms. Your partner for this dance does so as well, humming lowly to herself in rhythm with the motions.

    You feel ridiculous.

    You feel even more ridiculous when a machine from the cart beeps angrily at you.

    “Got an error,” Aoi states from behind the camera, not even trying to hide his smirk. “Apparently, the heights are important, they have to match what’s on-screen, you know?”

    Dumbfounded, you look at the TV, and see that Zero is, in fact, noticeably taller than his assistant. Then you turn to face Maria. She is shorter than you, but not by a considerable amount. She seems so much smaller normally, but standing up and posing seems to give her more height.

    The camera can pick that up?

    Everything about this puzzle is stupid and you’re already tired of it.

    The two of you swap spots and start the dance up again. You can hear Maria muttering under her breath in time with the steps.

    “Fu… sion… ha!”

    The cart chimes happily and Maria lets out a giggle from beside you. At least she’s having fun.

    The image changes. Zero is kneeling on the floor, arms spread wide, sweeping low so they almost touch the floor, while his assistant is behind him, both arms reaching up as if to touch the ceiling. There’s a bit of spinning from both of them, the assistant ends up riding Zero’s back, and they both end up with their right fists extended and pointing up.

    “Sentai…”

    Maria clearly recognizes it and starts humming a song.

    It’s… interesting, actually. Zero wanted her in the game, if what his assistant told you can be trusted. And there would be no reason for them to lie to you — they and Zero hold too much power to waste words on lies, unless they intend to have you investigate the other participants — but then why give you zero tools to do so?

    This puzzle is giving you glimpses into Maria’s past and personality — but just that. She has interests that she started or shares with Carlos, which isn’t new information at all. She spent most of her time before the game either alone in her room or with Carlos.

    Everything a game master does has to serve a purpose. What’s the purpose of this puzzle?

    Anyway, the posing is a little more complicated, but you make it work and execute the silliness properly — only for the cart to beep angrily again. “Oh, what now?!”

    Aoi isn’t smirking anymore. He’s glaring at something on the camera screen like it personally offended him.

    “Actors have done a scene together. Please rotate actors.”

    That would do it.

    You start snickering at your brother and walk over to take his spot behind the camera as he grumbles his way over to Maria, still humming. Watching someone else be completely ridiculous is much more satisfying than being ridiculous yourself, and the cart agrees with you, seeing as how it trills in giddy completion.

    You turn to see it print out a picture of the final pose, right next to a picture of you and Maria touching your fingers together at the end of your dance. The spacing of the pictures indicates that there would only be one more pose.

    The TV flickers again, now showing Zero standing completely upright, completely unflinching as his assistant peppers his chest with rapid-fire punches.

    You grin.

    Please rotate actors.”

    Aoi groans loudly, tipping his head to scream his frustrations at the ceiling. Maria almost skips over to take your place behind the camera, singing to herself under her breath.

    “Standing here… I realize…”

    And while it takes a couple of tries — Aoi can’t get the “unflinching” part right, you’re not even hitting him that hard, what a baby — eventually the cart trills a third time, and the TV flashes green.

    Your bracelets beep and the door unlocks. Looks like you’re done. You look up to ask Aoi and Maria for the next step, but the TV gives you a bit of direction.

    On the screen is a map. It’s just a room layout, really, a room and a hallway. The room on the right has a star and a label: “You Are Here,” the top is labeled “Security” with a camera, and the left is unlabeled and only shows a red padlock. The hallway has two doors. The bottom door is empty and unlabeled, but the top has a sheet of paper.

    The label seems to be for whatever’s on the paper rather than the room itself.

    “Mental Acuity Serum
    Version Six Clinical Trial”​
     
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  18. Cubbyhb1

    Cubbyhb1 Theoretically Capable of Sleep

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    Ah. The virus. It is powered by memes.
     
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  19. iamweirdo

    iamweirdo Know what you're doing yet?

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    In All honesty, I would not be surprised if it was xD
     
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  20. Cubbyhb1

    Cubbyhb1 Theoretically Capable of Sleep

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    Wait, if it's powered by memes, then the motives behind its creation must be complex!
     
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  21. Threadmarks: Candid: Expose
    CypherZero

    CypherZero Getting sticky.

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    "You probably won't be able to get through, but take a peek at that locked door before checking the security room."

    "You're gonna take both rooms in the hallway?"

    "If we take the approach that Zero would have to specially prepare everything for us, then he probably left the unlabelled room empty of useful information anyway. I'll grab the report and read it."

    "If Zero prepared everything, doesn't that mean he wants us to read that report?"

    "Does that make the information less valuable?"

    "…No, guess it doesn't. Don't die or nothin', yeah?"

    "What, am I gonna read so hard my eyeballs explode in my face? Don't get snatched up by Sadako or something."

    "I'm allowed to be worried."

    "I'm going down the hall. Don't worry, I'll scream if there's a spider so I can laugh at your squirms."

    "Ah, shut up."

    Maria watches your back and forth placidly, smiling softly as you laugh at your brother's put-out look.

    The now-unlocked door led to a warm-looking lobby, a bit smaller than the initial tutorial room, with the same red carpeting as the room you just left. The furniture is sparse, just a couch and coffee table flanked by armchairs that looked way more comfortable than the one you woke up in. If this was supposed to be a break room rather than a meeting room, it would be enough, you suppose.

    The door opposite you is closed. There isn't a visible lock, but on the frame above the doorknob, there's a red LED. You peek over your shoulder to see a similar LED on the door you just opened, gleaming green. The door on your right has been left open by Zero or his assistant, whoever was here last. You can see the edge of a screen from where you're standing, large enough to take over the upper half of the back wall.

    To the left is your destination. You pause before taking off down the hall, letting Aoi pass you to look at the locked door.

    You look down at the coffee table. The wood is damaged by the corner, a faint little hairline crack. It could have been made by something falling onto the edge of the table from above, but then there would be chips of wood missing from the trim, casualties of the impact. The odds of something accidentally hitting the tabletop in the right spot to make a crack this small are stupidly low.

    "Skin."

    "Hm?"

    Maria is kneeling in front of you, between you and the table, pointing out flakes of skin stuck to the edge. It supports the theory — someone deliberately made this break, or at the very least, had used the table for something, and the resulting action made the break.

    Even the corner of a coffee table could be a murder weapon. All you would need to do is get your victim low enough. You could trip them, or lure them.

    …Or you could wait until they put themselves there.

    Maria's low enough right now. Her head is right next to the corner, barely any space between them. You can see the top of her head. Her roots are showing, a black stain through her bright blond hair.

    It would be… easy, wouldn't it?

    You'd just grab her by the hair and bash her head into the table. One hit would break the corner off entirely, the next would be on jagged wood. It would split her skin open — an angry red gash.

    She wouldn't even feel the splinters. She'd be dead.

    You need six dead, don't you?

    What number would Maria make?

    "Aka?"

    A touch on your elbow jolts you from your daze. Your brother looks from you down to Maria, still studying the table, then back to you. He raises an eyebrow.

    She's… Clover's age, right?

    Would he kill Clover if you said it was necessary? If her death saved your life?

    He would let her die.

    No. That world doesn't exist.

    "Ao."

    You're not in that much danger. You don't need to kill a child to escape.

    You turn away from the table. You have a report to read.


    The two doors down the hall are both on the left-hand side and both have green LEDs. The first room should have the notes on the clinical trial, so you push the first door open.

    The room is a sharp contrast to the warm colors you've experienced so far. For one, the lighting is terrible — there's just a single bulb in the center of the room, hanging from the ceiling. All six walls are the same grated metal texture, the table in the center is made of sturdy polished steel, and the single chair seated on the opposite side of the table is tall and imposing. Its legs are thick — they look like they're melded to the floor, like the chair grew from the room — and the arms stretch out from the solid back.

    There's a chain threaded through loops growing out of the legs, running up and around the seat before hooking behind the chair. The longest loop lies on the seat, hanging out far enough so that a single occupant could sit in the chair and treat the chain like a seatbelt. A restraining measure, probably.

    …There's a mark on the metal. A dent in the backrest. You check the other side, but it looks like whatever made the dent didn't punch through — the dent is only on the front side.

    The side where a person would sit.

    You don't want to sit in this chair. Instead, you awkwardly position yourself so you can squat and get a measure of where the dent would end up on you.

    You aren't certain, but you think the dent is at shoulder height. But you're pretty short — on a taller person, it would be at chest height. You were going to assume that someone was sitting in this chair, but now you don't really want to. If someone was in the chair, something would have to go through their chest hard enough to dent the metal coming out of their back.

    But! You don't see any blood! There's nothing to support that theory!

    There's a tablet on the table in front of the chair. It's open to a white page, blank except for the small writing in the very center.

    v6.

    You take the tablet — when you lift it, the depression it was weighing down lifts as well. A switch activates upon removing the weight.

    In the wall opposite the entrance, metal paneling slides aside, revealing four doors, all evenly spaced. You jump, clutching the tablet to your chest, but nothing else happens. Slowly, you shuffle over to one of them.

    The doors are made of heavier metal than the chair, you think. They're rougher than the table and darker than the wall. There's no gap between the door and the frame, just a small window at head height, with enough space to fit a hand between, but not much else.

    You peer into one of them. All you can see is a cramped cell with a dingy cot. There's nothing else in there.

    Well, this room is thoroughly explored, and you're certainly not relaxing in that chair to read whatever's on this tablet. You spin on your heel and march out the door you came in from.

    You take a moment to turn to your right and check on the other two. You can see Maria clearly in the security room, and after a couple of seconds, Aoi pops up too. He was leaning over something on the left side of the room — the monitor was on that side, so he might have been looking at a keyboard.

    They're okay.

    You turn and look to the left. The hall ends abruptly just past the second door, the wall looking like it came from that dreary interrogation room — the grated metal rudely interrupts the warm red carpeting that covers every other surface. As you get closer, though, you can see the burnt and tattered edges of the material, as well as the dust and debris that litters the floor.

    The damage is indicative of fire — the litter suggests an explosion.

    How big was the bomb? How strong was the material that got blown up? Did anyone get caught up in the explosion?

    Was the blast site still there?

    You stretch out a hand and move it against the wall. It wobbles back and forth but doesn't move in any direction. The wall probably slides closed and locks into place, never to unlock and open except in response to the sixth player's death.

    This wall is the final exit.

    (How many people are left? How many still need to die?

    You do not look over your shoulder.)

    You open the second door.

    Now, this room fits the theme. The carpet continues unimpeded and bathes the small reception hall-like room and its cream-colored furniture in cozy energy. There's a second door across from the entrance, polished steel, but it's locked despite the lack of LEDs and an actual knob. You wonder what's past it.

    Maybe the report will give you a hint. You flip onto a couch and tap the tablet.

    There isn't a date, not even a random serialization of numbers or a block of censored text. You hope that this is Zero's attempt at information security, to prevent onlookers from gaining a timeline, and not just a grievous filing error, because he really shouldn't be doing any sort of experimentation without an objective measure of time, let alone experimentation involving "mental acuity."

    The cover page is… concerning.

    'Dangerous' failure? What kind of catastrophe had to occur for the experimentation lead to recommend immediate disposal? You thumb the bottom edge of the screen to the left to turn the page to a transcript.

    You stop reading the transcript, go so far as to turn the page back to the cover page. You feel faintly sick.

    Dangerous failure, huh? No, this serum won't be of any use to you at all if it causes suicide in nearly everyone who takes it.

    You go to set the tablet down, but your eye catches something.

    'Mental Acuity Serum: Version Six.'

    Version Six.

    Zero is taunting you. No wonder he wanted you to read this, he's showing you the early development stages of Radical-6! Is he bragging about his accomplishments? Are you in a timeline that's doomed to fall to Radical-6?

    …Is there some sort of hidden message in the files?

    Damn it, you have to read through everything.

    You flip back to the transcript and skim through it.

    So… even the head of the clinical trial, who came up with the experiment to test the serum, wanted to end it early? Maybe A-1 is Zero then, and the sick psycho wanted to see the full effects of his serum, and how he could best use it as a weapon.

    You thumb the screen a couple times to see more reports. Apparently, this A-1 guy actually listened and allowed A-14 to reduce the number of human tests for the rest of the experiments.

    Good thing too — Batch Two had a similar ratio of suicide attempts.

    Batch Three had an alarming number of murder attempts — while the subjects were more likely to talk about their experiences when directed, they were also more sympathetic to the feelings that caused those suicidal urges.

    Batch Four had an increase in behavior similar to both subjects 28 and 41. There was apparently an equal amount of people who began to rant about murderous intentions, and also people who leaned into the… daydreams.

    Something about that terminology seems weird to you. You don't know why though.

    There's a video after the summary of Batch Four, which is neat. The preview displays three silhouettes, figures sitting at a table behind a privacy screen. One of them is sitting upright with an arm positioned on the table like they're going to start writing things down, and another is leaned back in their chair casually, with a third figure standing upright, looming behind them.

    You play the video. The man on the right speaks first.

    You slam your hand down, stopping the eerily familiar voice from talking. You throw it to the chair across from you.

    Your heart is pounding.

    Fourth-wall breaks are unsettling normally, let alone when you're in a death game situation.

    Your bracelet beeps. Five minutes left in the round. It's the perfect excuse, you could leave right now, go check on Aoi and Maria. Leave the video unfinished.

    But… He's talking to you. This message was intended for you.

    You have to watch it.

    Klaxons blare from bracelet. Five in total, to match the five seconds of uninterrupted buzzing.

    Something's happened.

    You leave the tablet on the couch and go out the door, running up the hallway.

    Maria is sitting in one of the armchairs. Curled up, arms around her shins, face pressed to her knees. The door to the security room is open, but you can't see what's on the screen from your position. The door to the viewing room you woke up in is ajar.

    You smell blood. A lot of blood.

    Maria doesn't look injured…

    You slowly, hesitantly, make your way over to the door.

    You can hear your heartbeat in your ears. You can't hear anything else.

    You push the door open—

    and your bracelet lets out a loud, screeching trill as the round ends.

    The needles extend into your wrist, but you resist it until the door swings all the way open.

    And then you fall to the ground.

    Your legs can't support you anymore.

    The sedative rushes through your veins, but you're hoping that you're asleep right now.

    That this is the dream.

    That when you wake up, your brother will be alive, instead of laying in a pool of his own blood with a box cutter in his right hand.

    Honestly, if you had the energy, you'd laugh. A report about a suicide serum, followed by a video speaking directly to you, and then Aoi committing suicide?

    It's way too ridiculous. It's just a nightmare.

    Fragment complete!
    Candid

    5 of 27

    2 of 4

    Please select a fragment.
    Box (Aoi and Junpei) (3/4, 1 Locked)
    Candid (Aoi and Maria) (Complete)
    Condition (Diana and Mira)
    Conviction (Diana and Phi)
    Designer (Maria and Sigma) (Complete)
    Deviation (Aoi and Carlos)
    Exodus (Carlos and Phi)
    Game Theory (All) (1/4)
    Interception (Aoi and Mira)
    Lab Rat (Carlos and Diana)
    Literary (Carlos and Maria) (Locked)
    Misgiving (Mira and Sigma) (Complete)
    Monster (Carlos and Mira)
    Mortality (Junpei and Sigma) (Complete)
    Pathogen (Aoi and Diana) (Complete)
    Pawn (Junpei and Phi) (Locked)
    Relative (Maria and Phi)
    Reverie (Diana and Maria)
    Scripted (Carlos and Junpei)
     
    iamweirdo and Cubbyhb1 like this.
  22. iamweirdo

    iamweirdo Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2020
    Messages:
    127
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    hmmm okay then

    [X] Scripted (Carlos and Junpei)
     
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