The Let's Play Archive

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

by Dragonatrix

Part 13: Various

[Music: Who Is Zero?]

Does that mean that he found them...?
I've no idea. There's nothing to suggest it, but nothing to suggest he didn't either.
I don't suppose we'll know until we can ask him in person.
Well, whatever he did or didn't do, he's pretty damn late. What the hell is he up to?
Maybe he's lost...
Yeah, well, that seems likely. Dude can't see. I don't know how he gets around in the first place.

Clover raised her head.

[Music: Silence]

Suddenly, she was shouting.

Yeah, my brother's blind, but he's got really great hearing! He can get around as well as anyone who can see! So he...he couldn't get lost... That's impossible...

Clover had started to shake, and the knuckles of her hands had gone white.

She spun around, but before she did Junpei noticed tears welling up in her eyes.

I'm gonna go look for him!

The words were barely out of her mouth when she began to run.

Hey! Hold on, Clover! Wait!

Junpei cried out to her, but he was too slow.

Damnit... What should we do now?
Well, the RED is working now.
No, we're not leaving 2 people behind! We should go look for them!
Aw man, this ain't good.
Oh, yes, what an excellent idea! We just wasted a bunch of time looking for some

Then remain here, if you feel you must, but there's no time. We've only 5 hours left.

Junpei and the others nodded to one another, and took off at a run.

[Music: Extreme Extrication]

In front of the stairs that led to B Deck, they decided to split up. They quickly assigned search areas, and went their separate ways.

Soon only 2 of them were left. Those 2 were Junpei and June, who had been a few steps behind the others.

All right, we should go too!
Yes! Let's go! But, where should we start?
Let's see...

Well, you know what to do. 24 hours etc. etc. go hog wild.

There's only one we explicitly need to check, but might as well get them all out of the way now.

Okay, sounds good.

They took off up the stairs at a run.

Hey, what do you think you're doing?

She glanced up at him, unimpressed.

Isn't it obvious? I'm looking for Snake.
I'm just not seeing it.
Really? Maybe you need to look harder.

Junpei didn't think that was the problem.

Oh, by the way...
I've got a proposal for you two. Care to hear it?

We could just leave, and go somewhere else, but there's not much point to that so let's hear her out.

What is it?
Well, I don't like to beat around the bush, so I'll get right to it. Why don't we team up?
Team up?
Yeah. What, you need me to explain it to you?

Even if we wanted to, that's impossible.
Jumpy's bracelet number is 5, mine is 6, and yours is 8. Our digital root would be (1), but there's no number [1] door in the large hospital room. The only doors there are [3], [7], and [8]...
Then we add another person.

She was right. If they added Seven...

5 + 6 + 8 + 7 = 26 → 2 + 6 = 8

Then the 4 of them could go through the number [8] door. But...

Whoa, hold on a sec.
What about the other 4?
Why don't you add them up?

That was simple enough...

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10 → 1 + 0 = 1

The digital root for those 4 would be (1).
That's right.
And you...know the number [1] door isn't in the big hospital room, right?
Of course I know that.
No! Are...are you saying you'd leave them behind?
Of course not. What kind of a woman do you think I am?

Then we wouldn't really be leaving them behind...
Don't try to lie to us. I don't think you'd do anything of the sort.
Really? Why do you think that?
You remember, don't you? We have less than 5 hours left. Even if we managed to escape...
There's no way we could come back to rescue them in less than 5 hours!
Well, you never know until you try.
No, no. You're not thinking this through. Even if we brought Seven with us, we wouldn't be able to get off the ship.

Yeah. Yeah, that's right. The digital root for us 4 will be (8), so we'd have to add Ace to make (9)...
Unless we bring Ace too, we'll be stuck.

Lotus scratched the back of her ear.

Well, let's try and find another way, okay? A way to get out of here with all 8 of us.
That's impossible. Are you being serious? You do know that only 5 people, at most, can go through 1 of the numbered doors, right?

Regardless, at least 3 people will get left behind.
You're right. That is true.

The moment he said it, Junpei felt a chill run down his spine.

It was true.

How Lotus could remain cavalier about so terrifying a prospect was beyond him. When they found the number [9], they would have to choose which 3 of them would die.

Lotus's forehead furrowed.

Do you think I could have a moment alone? There are some things I need to think about.

But, he told himself, pessimism would get them nowhere. So he forced himself to smile, and turned to June.

Let's just focus on finding Snake for now, okay?'re right. We can think about those other things later...

Junpei nodded.

It's really close...

They turned around, and took off down the hallway to their left.

Are you all right?

He did his best to sound friendly, but Clover didn't respond.

Look, I know you're really worried,

He could think of no words to say that didn't sound hollow and fake.

Junpei hesitated.

Clover was so consumed by worry and fear that Junpei feared it would crush her. Her actions didn't surprise him--she had suddenly lost her brother, who she seemed to have been very close to.


Her voice was thin, and barely audible.


Suddenly she was screaming.

You're so annoying! Just go away and leave me alone! Just looking at you guys is pissing me off! Go away, okay?! Just go...somewhere else! Stop bothering me!

Junpei was taken aback. Such anger and hate...

June's eyes had gone wide with surprise as well.

Why are you still here!? Didn't you hear me?!
Fine! Forget it. If you aren't gonna leave, then I'll just--
All right. Let's go, June.

Clover had driven home the misery of their situation, but Junpei told himself that getting depressed would get him nowhere but depressed.

For Clover's sake, they had to find Snake, and fast.

He did his best to push away the misery and depression, and forced a smile.

We can take a look at that hallway with all the rooms.
Okay. Let's get going, then.

Together, they ran down the stairs.

Hey! Snake! Where are you?!
Answer me if you're there!

With June in tow, Junpei jogged up to Ace.

Hearing their footsteps, he turned to greet them.

Ah, hello there.

I assume you haven't found him yet either?

Junpei nodded.

I really wonder where he could have gone.
Well, wherever he's disappeared to, we must find him as quickly as we can, for Clover's sake.

June's face looked kinda enraptured.

By the way... Do you think Clover and Snake are really siblings?
Ah... Why would you say that?

"Why would you say that?" The question seemed somehow...odd to Junpei.

Why? Well, it's obvious, isn't it?
They don't look alike at all.

Ace looked at him for a moment, and then spoke.

"Now that you mention it"...?

Still, there are a great many siblings who do not look like one another. It certainly isn't rare.

Junpei wasn't sure why, or even if he was seeing what he thought he was, but he could have sworn that Ace's face tightened as he spoke.

At any rate, we really must find Snake as soon as possible. The clock is ticking. We really can't afford to waste any time.
Very well, let's get back to the search, shall we? You can leave this area to me.
All right.
Let's go, Jumpy.

At June's urging, they left.

Junpei did his best to clear his mind.

Okay. Let's go then.

They turned, and headed back toward the large hospital room.

Junpei and June walked up to Santa.

What are you doing?

Why, is there something bothering you?
What, it's not bothering you?
This. The guts of this RED. Why wouldn't you wonder who the hell put it back in here?
Y-Yeah, that's true. Well, I'm curious too, but...
Who do you think did it?

Santa's eyes narrowed as he looked at June. She shook her head.

I don't know.
Well, what about you, Junpei? Who do you think fixed this thing for us?

Hmm, hard to say but I think that on the balance of probability more than anything else there's only one option that makes sense.

I think it was probably Zero.

You don't think that should mean the opposite? Seems to me like that means he didn't do it. I mean, who do you think took that stuff out in the 1st place?
Probably Zero.
Yeah, exactly.

It just doesn't make sense. Why do all that work?
Yeah... I guess that makes sense.
So what happened then? Who put that stuff back in the REDs?

Junpei furrowed his brow.

So, in other words one of us is the person who fixed the RED.

Santa grinned.

Bingo. We have a winner.
But if that's true, then the person who did it doesn't want the rest of us to know they fixed the RED.
No idea. Maybe if they come clean on that, it means we'd find out something else, something bad.
Something bad?

Of course...

You think maybe they did something to Snake?
It's not out of the question.

Junpei stared at Santa. There was something about him that made Junpei wary...

At first, he'd assumed the other man wasn't terribly clever, but Junpei was beginning to think he would need to re-evaluate that assessment.

When Santa spoke again, his voice was quiet.

Look, if you trust anybody in this game, you're gonna lose. You've gotta be careful.
The person you trust the most could turn

With that depressing suggestion, he turned and quietly walked away.

Junpei and June looked at one another and smiled awkwardly.

[Music: Silence]

Lotus looked around at 6 frustrated faces and spoke.

Junpei couldn't disagree with what she was saying. Snake seemed to have completely disappeared. There was no point to wasting any more time.

The others seemed to be having similar thoughts, but they stayed silent.

Finally, Seven spoke.

We don't got a choice... Lotus is right. We're not gonna find Snake. There's a problem, though. We've gotta figure out who's gonna go through which door.
Yes. I have a proposal.

She walked back and forth across the floor, her heels clicking against the wood.

Finally, she stopped.