Part 44: 3
Junpei rounded the corner, and took off down the straightaway.
At the end of the hallway was a door. He made straight for it.
He was nearly halfway to it when he noticed a piece of paper in the middle of the floor.
What was a piece of paper doing in the middle of the hallway? Junpei skidded to a halt.
He dropped down to his hands and knees, and quickly tore the paper off of the floor.
With that, he began running again, past Junpei.
Junpei shoved the map into his pocket, and got up to follow Ace--
But something stopped him.
Hey... Where's Clover...?
He turned around. Clover was nowhere to be seen.
Damnit! What the hell is she up to?!
Junpei muttered angrily under his breath, and took off back the way he'd come.
As he stomped around the corner, he saw her.
She was standing in front of the door to the captain's quarters, her hand on the doorknob.
As Junpei watched, she closed it, gently and quietly.
What the hell are you doing?
What do you mean "nothing"?
What the hell is that?
You've got something in your pocket. What is it?
Oh, this...? Uh...um... This is...
Hm, I wonder...
What the hell!?
C'mon! We gotta hurry!
With that, Clover ran, straight past a somewhat confused Junpei.
As she did, he caught a glimpse of her back...
Hey! Clover! What the hell's that thing on your back?!
She didn't respond. Instead, she quickly turned the corner and disappeared.
Junpei did his best to convince himself that it would make sense later, and ran off after Clover.
Junpei pushed through the door, and found himself in a large room with a large set of stairs.
Junpei looked around, but Ace was nowhere to be seen.
He put his hand on the handrail and leaned over to look down.
There he was.
And not just Ace... Santa, June, Seven, and Lotus as well.
Junpei and Clover glanced at each other, and hurried down the stairs. They reached B Deck at the same time.
Given their situation, he was not inclined to be excited about sudden developments. June, however, couldn't contain herself.
We found it!
We found it!
What did you find?!
The last door!
C'mon, just follow us! We'll explain on the way.
O-Okay! Let's go!
Seven turned, and jogged off down the stairs.
The rest followed.
We finally made it...
The relief and excitement in her voice, echoed what each one of them felt.
Yeah... It's finally time...
Junpei wasn't quite ready to believe they'd really done it, at least not just yet. Still, if everyone said that it was door , then it probably was...
He could feel his heart racing.
A mixture of anticipation and fear ran through his veins, and he could feel his legs shaking.
He was doing his best to maintain a sense of healthy skepticism, but he couldn't deny that the prospect of escape was an exciting one.
He didn't have any solutions to that problem yet, but he was desperately hoping one would present itself.
They had 90 minutes before their time was up.
Hey! Junpei! June! What the hell are you 2 doin'?! Hurry it up!
Santa's voice jolted Junpei out of his reverie.
Let's go, Jumpy!
June took off down the stairs, jogging as quickly as she could. Junpei followed.
They were quiet for a while, until...
Hey... What about door ?
Everyone else stopped. They all turned to look at Clover.
Door  is the only one we didn't... We haven't gone through it, I mean...
Yes, that is true.
Are you guys okay with that? Not investigating it, I mean?
So what?! We found door ! We don't need any of the other doors!
What's the point?
We can't all go through it, can we?
Then we should do what we have to do before we go any further.
It's like a jigsaw puzzle. The best way to finish it quickly is to do the border pieces first. You know?
Or what? You think all 7 of us should go to door ...
Do we really wanna do that again?
Who knows? If we check out door , maybe we'll find something...
I dunno what might be in there. We might not find anything. But don't you think it'd be better to at least have a look?
Yeah... You do have a point.
The others nodded in agreement.
The last time I checked the clock, it was 4:30. It's not like we've got a lot of time, but...
You're right. Let's go take a look at door .
[Music: Extreme Extrication]
All right. Let's get going...
I'll see you later.
Okay. Be careful.
They climbed into the elevator and Junpei listened to it creak and rattle its way to the bottom deck.
Only Junpei, Ace, and Lotus were left.
Much like before, I HIGHLY recommend just watching this from hereon in.
As the elevator rumbled out of sight, Ace spoke.
Well, I'm a mother. Would that be a problem for you?
U-Uh... That wasn't what I meant to... I was hoping you would come with me...
Ha ha ha... Seriously though, I was kidding.
So, where was it you wanted to take me?
There's something I wanted to show you...
Well, it's...not like that. Once I've shown Lotus, I'll show you.
Ace's smile was friendly.
Fine. Do whatever you want.
Are you coming, Lotus?
Fine. It doesn't look like they're going to be back any time soon.
Thank you. Well then... Shall we go?
Ace turned, and began to walk. Lotus followed.
They disappeared into the hallway on the left.
Junpei wasn't sure how long they'd been gone when the elevator suddenly opened.
She looked at Junpei, then slowly, purposefully, stepped out of the elevator. The door closed behind her.
Where's everybody else...? What happened?
She didn't answer.
Instead, her eyes swept the room, and then settled on Junpei.
Where are Ace and Lotus...?
Junpei explained what had happened.
Oh... Then they went over there?
Her voice was small and timid.
Yeah, I think so.
He repeated his earlier question.
Why aren't they with you?!
You really wanna know...?
There was something wrong with her smile.
Okay... Sure. Here, lemme show you...
Clover pulled something out of her pocket and tossed it onto the floor at Junpei's feet.
Oh my God... Oh holy shit...
No... No way... This's gotta be some kinda joke... This...this can't be real...
Junpei's body felt like rubber.
His heart felt like a cold lump in his chest, and his hands shook uncontrollably.
Sweat poured down his face.
"Lastly, let us discuss [how to remove the bracelets]. There are only 2 ways to do so."
"One: You escape from this ship."
"Two: Your heart rate reaches zero."
"In other words, once the bracelet is taken outside the confines of the ship, or detects that its wearer's heartbeat has fallen to zero, it will shut down automatically."
Junpei's voice was flat and broken.
Clover's response was cold.
He was forced into door  and murdered. You need at least 3 people to open a door. Who were the 2 that opened that door with him...?
That's why I killed them.
2 + 3 + 7 = 12 → 1 + 2 = 3
But...why... Why did you kill June?
She was in my way. She had to die too.
Junpei shook his head, trying desperately to wake himself from what had to be a dream.
It couldn't be real... It just couldn't...
He felt Clover's hand on his shoulder.
Her hand reached out toward him...
Let's get out of here. Let's leave this ship.
Wha... What the hell are you talking about...? To...to open a...numbered door...
Yes, I know. You need at least 3 people. But as long as we have this...
Once again, Clover reached into her pocket, and pulled something out.
It was another bracelet.
You and I can open door  with just the 2 of us.
4 + 5 + 0 = 9
See...? So let's go!
C'moooon! Hurry up!
She shoved out her hand again.
The hand she was offering him... It looked so soft...so inviting...
Junpei reached out with his own trembling hand, and closed it over hers...
He screamed until his throat was torn and bloody, then screamed more. His cries echoed across the room.
Eventually, his movements slowed, then faded...
There was no more strength left in Junpei.
He could feel his body begin to go numb.
He no longer felt pain.
He no longer felt anything. Whatever Junpei had been was gone.
The last remnants of his mind began to fade...
Even as his vision faded to nothingness, he saw Clover.
Thanks, Junpei. I'm just gonna borrow this, 'kay?
Her smile was cold.
What was left of Junpei's conscious mind drifted away.
All that was left was a twisted, broken corpse.
Once again: we died, and it's entirely your fault!
Except, this time? You fucked up so badly the game doesn't even give you the credits.