Part 15: Decisions
Minor note: this update is potentially .
[Music: Riddle and Puzzle]
Because it's impossible. If we split ourselves into 3 and 3, then we give up on going through door .
The bracelet numbers for the 6 of us are (345678). There are 2 combinations that can go
A few people in the thread noticed this fact already, and used it as reasoning to be as big of a dick as possible.
That's it. Of course, 2 teams can't go through the same door.
I see... That means 1 team would get left behind.
That doesn't happen if we go through door  or ?
No, they're fine. We've got 3 options.
Santa began to explain.
Those are the only 3 options. That's it. At least, if we want to get all 6 of us out of here.
That was when Junpei realized, there was one thing they all had in common.
In every single combination, (5) and (6) were never on the same team.
In other words, if all 6 people were to move forward, [Junpei and June would be separated]. June and Junpei had been friends when they were kids. He trusted her more than anyone else on the ship. If he chose  or  he'd be taken away from her.
Was that something he was prepared to do...?
This is... very spurious reasoning at best, and it doesn't really work here either. When we went through Door 5, June wasn't around then and the game didn't make a big song and dance about it so I don't get why it does it now.
Anyway, that's the deal, so think it over. You've got 2 choices:  or .
If you choose , you're gonna be leaving 3 people behind to die. So, what're you gonna do?  or . Time to choose.
Junpei thought hard.
Not only did 3 get more than any other door, it got more than 7 and 8 combined!
Sorry, Santa, but I still want to go through door .
What?! That's nuts! You've gotta be crazy! Why the hell are you so obsessed with that door?
He swallowed the words he'd been about to say.
I'm just curious about door . That's all.
That doesn't explain shit!
[Video: Door 3]
With that, he began walking toward the door. Their curiosity likely getting the better of them, the others followed.
A few of them looked a little suspicious, but Junpei told himself that wouldn't matter. He kept walking and kept silent.
Eventually, they arrived at the number  door. Junpei stopped.
I'm curious about the RED. Seven, would you mind authenticating for me?
Please, just do it.
He stared at Junpei for a moment, then grunted and laid his palm heavily on the scanner.
The number (7) had been entered into the RED.
Next is June. Please touch the RED just like Seven did.
Jumpy... What are you trying to figure out?
Junpei thought about his answer for a moment.
That got them excited. Just as Junpei had intended.
Now please, June.
7 + 6 = 13 → 1 + 3 = 4
With those 2 numbers in the RED, Junpei had what he wanted.
He casually placed his own hand on the scanner, and the 3rd asterisk blinked on.
All right. The only people who haven't authenticated now are Santa, Clover, and Lotus.
So? What's your point?
What's the sum of your number and Clover's?
And what's the digital root of that?
Which is Santa's number. By the way Lotus, what's the number that's currently in the RED?
7 + 6 + 5 = 18... It would be (9), right?
Yes. And what will the digital root be if you add (3) to that?
(3)... The door's number.
There you go.
Man, Junpei is so smug here. I complained above, but this more than makes up for it.
Hey! Wait a minute! What the hell are you up to?!
I'm not up to anything. I'm just waiting.
Waiting for what?
I'm waiting for the balance to shift.
Once one of you moves, the others won't have a choice. So I'm waiting.
Junpei laid his hand almost casually on the lever.
[Music: Unary Game]
Y-You son of a bitch! You tricked us! Then all that stuff you were going on about is all bullshit!
Bullshit? I don't think so. Didn't I tell you I'd figured out another way to get out of here? This is it.
Why the hell would you do something like this?!
Junpei glanced at June.
Well, that and the voices in my head belong to like 70 other people but yeah.
Santa was furious. His face was red, and flecks of spit flew from his lips as he spoke.
Junpei closed his eyes calmly, and then opened them again.
So, who's it going to be? Santa? Or Lotus and Clover?
We're going! Clover!
Caught by surprise, Santa froze for a moment, then shot forward like a bullet from a gun.
Lotus had a headstart, but Santa had the advantage in size and speed.
Almost immediately, he passed Lotus and Clover--
Santa did not hesitate.
He slammed his hand down on the RED.
This is insane! This isn't right!
He glared at Junpei, his chest heaving.
Yes, well... You may be right.
Junpei's voice was cold, but not without effort.
He turned to the RED and pulled the lever.
With the sound of metal on metal, the door opened.
It would only remain so for 9 seconds--there was no time to think.
Junpei and his 3 reluctant companions jumped into the door's gaping mouth, one after another. No sooner did they enter than an all-too-familiar noise sounded from their left wrists.
The detonators had activated.
Junpei looked back only once, and saw Lotus and Clover on the other side of the closing door. They stood still, stopped where they had been when Santa reached the RED.
The defeat and desperation on their faces tore at Junpei's heart. Then the door closed, and they were gone.
Santa rounded on Junpei, lightning crackling in his eyes and his knuckles white.
Do you realize what you just did?! You leave them out there, and they can't--
Shut it! That's enough!
It hadn't been Junpei that spoke, but Seven.
We gotta find the DEAD, or none of this is gonna matter!
The clock was ticking. The DEAD was their only chance at survival. Unless they could find it, and deactivate their detonators, the 4 of them would be--
We got less than a minute left! No time for screwin' around! Get moving!
They scattered, and began to scour the room. The Deactivation Device was nowhere to be found.
Corridors stretched out in 3 directions, but every one was blocked off by a wall of metal. There was only one way out.
One other door.
Seven ran for the door, a rusty iron thing. His large hands grabbed hold of the handle and pulled.
The room inside was pitch black. They could see nothing beyond the small patch of light that spilled through the doorway. Junpei stuck his head through the door, and looked around the room. Almost immediately, he spotted the blinking red light on the right wall.
I found it! The DEAD's right over here!
He stopped, and glanced down at his feet. What was--
Hey! What the hell're you doing?! Get over there!
Junpei felt Seven's heavy hand against his back, and stumbled across the room. The other 3 piled in behind him.
But there was no time to say so.
Quick! Get to the DEAD!
They all started running. In the dark, it was hard to tell where the wall was. All they could see was the tiny red light, blinking at them over, and over, and over...
In quick succession, they all slammed their hands against the scanner panel.
Seven leaned against the wall, gulping air. As his breathing began to return to normal, he glanced at his left wrist and grunted.
Heh. It stopped. It stopped... Hahahah...ahahahahaha...
Junpei could hear him laughing in the dark, but could barely make out the larger man's face.
What the--... Hurrk! Haarggh!
The sound of retching came from Santa's direction.
W-What the hell is this smell?! This is vile! I'm gonna puke!
So desperate had they been in their race to the DEAD that no one had noticed the horrible smell that pervaded the room. It was a terrible, nauseating stench, like burnt and rotten meat.
Adrenaline had drowned it out, but now it rolled over Junpei in waves, forcing itself into his nose with every breath he took.
He felt his stomach clench, and bile rise up in his throat.
Let's get the lights on first. There's a switch over...here.
The light that spilled in from the door barely illuminated a small switch plate next to the door. Slowly, with the toll of the last few minutes apparent in his gait, Seven walked toward it.
[Sound Bite: Seven's Walk]
He stopped as he got close, and extended his fingers toward the switch. There was a soft click as the lights came on.
It had scarcely faded when another noise pierced the air--a scream.
Junpei's breath stopped in his throat.
His heart ceased to beat.
His mind scrambled to make sense of what he saw before him.
What was left of the body sat in a sea of blood. Chunks of flesh, torn from the body, sat in the blood like tiny islands in a great, red sea.
A vast, ragged hole had been torn in the torso, and what remained of his intestines spilled out of it like fresh spaghetti. Smaller chunks of meat had splattered against the wall, and become stuck there as they dried. Globules of yellowish fat had left trails like tiny slugs as gravity pulled them down the wall, even as they dried to it.
Looks like an explosion...
Seven's voice was low and strained.
Just like the 9th Man... The detonator in his bracelet set off the bomb in his gut.
It looked as though the explosion had been quite powerful. His legs were both bent in an odd, unnatural way, and his left arm had split open, exposing the painfully white bone of his ulna.
His bracelet lay next to him. It seemed to have hit the wall hard enough to have shattered the display, which lay on the ground in pieces.
Half of his head had simply collapsed. The blood coating almost made it look like raw pizza dough covered in tomato sauce.
...Well, I guess this answers that lingering question.
They were all familiar to Junpei.
Santa's voice wavered as he spoke, his mouth dry.
Oh my God...
Finally, Junpei spoke.
Why did this happen...
Suddenly June was screaming, her voice broken. It was an eerie scream, full of insanity, and not entirely human.
No! No! Noooooooooo!
She shook her head violently, and grabbed fistfulls of her own hair. Junpei could hear the sound of hair tearing.
No! Stop it, June!
He grabbed for her wrist--
But as he did, June leapt up, and ran.
Toward the exit--
She screamed at the door, and her fists slammed against it with a hollow sound. Junpei could see drops of blood on her knuckles.
Why are you doing these horrible things to us?! What did we do to deserve this?!
She screamed again, a desperate, mindless cry. Her fists flailed against the door.
Get me out of here! Please! Please, just let me out!
Junpei couldn't watch anymore. He ran to June and wrapped his arm around her, pulling the screaming girl away from the door.
No! Get off of me! Let me go! Let me go!
She scrambled for a moment, her legs skittering across the floor, but her resistance didn't last long. As suddenly as her outburst had begun, it was over. The manic energy disappeared, and her body went limp in Junpei's arms.
June collapsed toward the floor, and Junpei knelt down with her.
He felt drops of something warm and wet. Was she... crying?
A moment later, she began to sob.
We're gonna be fine... It's gonna be all right, June. It's going to be okay, Kanny.
Her name was a whisper.
I'll be here with you, okay?
She nodded once.
Thank you... Thank you so much, Jumpy.
Her trembling voice pulled at Junpei's heart. He stroked her hair gently. His face was so close to her. The scent of her hair was...nostalgic.
Do you feel better?
Yes... But I'd like to stay here. For a little while, at least. Jumpy's body is...so warm...
Several minutes passed before June's tears had dried.
Junpei stood up. He bent down, put his arms under June's and helped her to her feet.
They didn't speak.
Neither did Seven or Santa.
A person was dead. They had died in that room, in a terrible way. Junpei knew there was no way he could make himself forget that.