Part 3: MEtastasis
BGM: ME Mori
This feels extremely slow, but it's all necessary information I have to communicate to them. Thankfully, I only have to do all of this once.
Remember Kill ME? The game we're playing in which you have to kill me? I've decided to leave you a way to decide who gets to die. You know, like a democracy! To vote, it's really easy. You just need one of those keycards- one per person. Be sure to keep the keycards after you vote, because you'll need them later.
To round out your amount to nine, you'll have to search around a little. For each subsequent round, you will need as many ME-cards as there are survivors. For example, if four of you died, you'll need five ME-cards.
You'll be allowed to leave once all thirty-nine ME-cards are discarded, provided you already killed me.
Let's recapitulate, shall we? One: Get those thirty-nine ME-cards. Two: Kill each other by voting, and discard the ME-cards in the middle. Three: You're free to go when you've done that, and if you've killed me.
Oh, one last thing. In the event that someone miraculously dies, a vote will be skipped. That's right; each death removes the need to have a vote for the hour, which is fantastic for the three among you who won't need to surrender their right to live. Otherwise, if no one died by the end of each hour slice, everyone surrenders their right to live. Did you all understand this? Instant kaboom for everyone! I'll see you later.
Some of us will die, and some of us will live. If we fail, there might be a bomb somewhere to blow this place skyhigh...
Are you sure we should just do what this ME person says? Like, fuck 'em, right?
...We should just try and figure out who this mastermind is, as soon as possible.
Luxuria, Gula, Tristitia, Avaritia, Ira, Invidia, Superbia... these are all the old ways to refer to the seven deadly sins. I don't know what an Ancora is, though.
It doesn't really mean anything because... it could easily have just been because Pandora ran out of sins to name us after.
Tristitia paused as though he'd just interrupted himself saying something.
Your nickname... and mine too- all of these strange names are familiar. We're all part of My Emptiness, aren't we? That's what we had to figure out.
BGM: Memini Meminisse
The mood turned even colder as Invidia explained his thought.
According to the list of names we found in our room, which I heard others found too, My Emptiness is composed of nine members. It's a group that I recall vaguely... and all of you should, too, because all your names appear on that list. In short, we're not just part of it: we are My Emptiness.
Oh... yeah, I know about that... you're all part of that? Sounds very dangerous...
So what if we're part of it? Your name is on there too; don't try to sass us, little girl.
Boldly lied, Lux. The truth is that you're a part of it too, and denying it won't change that fact.
She's not wrong; to make it in, you have to be someone very... unscrupulous. As for the secret dreams business? That's a huge lie; it's just to lure people in, and then they do the ringleader's bidding. It's just tailored to their personal wants.
Anyway, from what I'm seeing here I wasn't the only one who didn't know who else was in it. Pandora always gave us tasks separately, huh?
Pandora is the leader's name, right? I remember that much. He or she purposefully left us all in the dark.
That's ironic, because without the goggles inside of the helmets, they would literally not see a thing.
I did know about all your nicknames, even if I didn't know what you looked like.
Hah? And why would she not be added to the list yet?
Because I... was the last one who came in. I've been in My Emptiness for a week, I think.
Interestingly enough, that means out of all of us, you're probably the only one without a crime, huh...? Unless you did something in that week...
Who knows? It's probably best not to dwell onto the crimes just yet. At least we've established where we all stand now, so all eight of us can go on...
Hold up, c-cowboy. Something doesn't add up. With C-Cora, the list of names is nine long.
Yes, we w-were nine. Who died?
Um... she never said her name...
All of them looked at each other in turns. The mood lifted a little.
So that's it, then? Pandora is already dead? I don't think it's nice to rejoice, but... if she's gone, then we won?
No, I don't think so. The one who died is definitely an innocent. Innocent of the crime of being Pandora, at least.
What makes you say that all of a sudden?
I think the most likely outcome is that Pandora is one of us, who assumed someone else's name. You can't remember much about yourselves, right? So that's it: Pandora is still among us.
Luxuria and Gula looked at each other. The mood fell again, a longer silence installing itself among them all. The primary reason was simple: they once again didn't know who they could trust.
So what, then? The one who died already might still be Pandora. Big deal, let's just spend the ME-cards and leave, we already won.
Invidia lifted a finger to call on silence again. However, Gula disregarded it and walked nearer to him. Her bust and attire were definitely intimidating him.
I am in complete agreement with the lagomorph. The third participant in our beginning position never ensured her designation was known, and remaining immobile serves us negatively.
Regardless of our conundrum, we cannot afford to remain still. However, I do agree Pandora's methods were unequivocally secretive on purpose. None has the knowledge of their appearance...
So, either Pandora died in the room, or someone among us is totally Pandora using someone else's name. Ever heard of Occam's Razor? It says that the most likely scenario is probably right.
Since that girl died, at least we've got another hour to figure that out before we need to take a vote.
Everyone seemed to be on board with that idea. Ancora felt a shiver run down her spine.
Things are getting dicey. Someone needs to be made suspicious, if at least for insurance. They want to get the mastermind, but... that can be used. They can be manipulated to vote for the traitor- my target.
The maps are still here in spirit, if nothing else.
You're right. Normally, it shows the full school, but here it only shows about a quarter of it. Specifically, that's Wing A, the one with the classrooms.
Do you think that means this area is the only one that's accessible at all?
Let's split up and cover some ground. We have to see exactly what we can reach for now, makes sense to you?
Very well, I will take my leave with Lux.
I'd l-like to head with Bia. I mean, it's n-not like we have to group up, but...
Whatever, I'm fine with it. Peace out, losers.
The rabbit and the lion left together for another corner of the Crossroads. The horse and the pig left together as well. Ancora was about to leave, too, when Invidia grabbed her by the wrist.
Okay, but I'm really not Pandora, even if our names are similar. I don't know how much that's worth, but...
For some people, it's much easier to lie than for others.
After that, Invidia let go of Ancora, and the girl set off. She didn't go too far, still wondering about the possibilities presented to her, stopping to think about them.
This is just like when I first booted this helmet. I can hack into the other helmets, in order to obtain information when they split up like this. By hacking their models, I can see and hear exactly what the cameras lining on their helmets see and hear as well. That way, I can gather information to manipulate them. Based on what I learn, and who trusts what, it'll vary the options presented with each vote.
One of them... one of them is a traitor to My Emptiness, and they've joined it in order to sell me out. I have to figure out who it is, and kill them, while masquerading it as the mastermind's death. Another problem: hacking a helmet will probably present me with a puzzle I have to solve, just like earlier. This is all thanks to you, idiot programming friend.
After I hack, my vision will be replaced with the other person's, so I have to be careful about it.
Finding herself an empty and quiet corner, Ancora sat down to rest a little. She was nervous; given what she was going through, it was no wonder.
I don't have a lot of choices; they all left in groups of two, except for Invidia... and hacking someone who's alone isn't really that interesting. I'd hack just about anyone I want, but I can't. There's the frequency to think about, too: in order to avoid exterior interference, halmets randomly switch frequencies.
At the moment, matching frequencies include... Ira, Avaritia, and Luxuria's helmets. For now, I'll be hacking...
I'm interested in one of the two we haven't really had any interactions with yet, so I'm going to hack Ira here.
BGM: Mens Metis
The puzzle is different depending on who you choose to hack, so you only get this one when you decide to hack Ira here. As for the solution...
When it says 'eve', it means both spelling-wise and phonetic-wise. Never has 'eve' spelled out in it, and leave has 'eve' sounded out in it.
We get the same code scroll here as we did at the very start of the game, to show we're connecting to a different headset.
Ira and Superbia were together, as expected. It was clear from the tone of the rabbit girl's voice that their current subject was meant to be a secret from the others.
Yeah... we already know n-none of us know each other. Do you think they w-would be more suspicious if they knew, though? Like, is it r-really that big of a deal?
Of course it is! None of those idiots know each other, so we have to act like we don't either. It's all so it stays in the illusion of a fair playing field.
Yeah, I guess it's as you s-say as always. So... who are you going to v-vote for? Not like we're there yet, but...
While Ira was talking, he was looking around, as if he was searching for something. On the other hand, Superbia didn't lift a single finger, content to give a minimum of effort.
Ira stopped what he was doing to look at her. She cackled slightly.
It's a joke, dumbass. What's important is that they don't vote for me. You know, the only girlfriend who'd totally ever care enough to be around your loser ass?
...yeah... y-you're right on that one too. What's your plan for that? I d-don't think anybody trusts you either...
I'm not Pandora, so all I need to do is point the finger at someone else, and everyone else will instantly jump on it to preserve themselves, I can assure you. That little bitch Cora has it coming, I think. Out of all of them, she's the one most likely to be lying. Did you see how good she was at solving the puzzles?
I don't know... She seemed very g-genuine to me. Y-you sure you don't want my ME-card?
Superbia mimicked pinching her nose at that suggestion.
Ira shrugged and slid the ME-card in his pocket. The two of them kept looking for more in complete silence.
They don't have a really healthy relationship, huh. It makes me feel kind of bad for Ira. Just kind of, though.
After wandering around a while, the duo stopped in front of a bench.
Why did we stop, did you see one?
No, but I've been thinking... you wouldn't really vote for me, would you?
N-no, of course not, never thought of it e-even once!
Yeah... that would sound g-good to me.
Another silence came around, until Superbia broke it, stopping in her tracks near another bench.
Say, if we're all in My Emptiness, we all committed a crime, huh? I wonder what their crimes were. Maybe, just maybe, if we can learn that, we can blackmail some of those chumps.
Figuring that out will most likely be a decent mystery, but it doesn't have anything to do with the traitor I'm trying to weed out from the group. ...But maybe it can help me, so I'd better stay sharp.
A-ah, yeah, m-maybe.
No, it's l-like... I don't feel like anything has changed.
Okay, well, good then. Oh, right there- there's a ME-card.
Under one of the benches was a small keycard, much like the ones that came from their respective rooms. Superbia pocketed it.
Think we should go back to the others? There's nothing here but rubble.
Of course we should. Come on, Ira. It's a rhetorical question; what I say is law, remember.
Yeah... what you say is l-law, Bia.
She pointed at Invidia as he came out from within the girl's bathroom on the other side of the Crossroads. Ira shrugged at that.
I g-guess he's just being thorough.
My guess is that he's got no ME-card yet. I'd like to say it sucks for him, but we do have to find them, so... what a fucking pain; if he doesn't find one, we'll have to look around even more.
We should j-join up with the others, anyway.
Yeah, it's his problem as far as I'm concerned. I don't give a fuck about any of the chumps here.
She closed her hands in fists, though despite her stance it was clear to imagine that she felt more powerless than anything else.
Look, just... c-calm down, okay? At least let's go through the v-votes so that it's fair. If violence comes to it, though...
He punched in his other hand while they walked off.
Fair? Life isn't fair, and you know that better than anybody else. But, fine, I'll at least agree to go with the votes as long as I have the advantage.
B-by the way... do you not remember what happened before we were b-brought here? I'm having issues t-thinking about what I was doing this morning.
I guess there is a side effect to this generalized sedation after all.
I c-can remember some things, but not normal things you'd expect me to remember. I remember what I t-think my crime was, but I can't remember what I ate for b-breakfast.
So what d-did you have for breakfast?
I...I had... ...I don't want to remember, so I'm not saying.
Sounds awfully convenient to me; maybe you c-can't remember either. Just a-admit it...
Superbia changed the subject following his sting.
I didn't get you for your brain, but your brawn, so shut up and do what I say.
Ira is kind of like her bodyguard, then? That's interesting. As long as he's there, Ira will always act in Superbia's favor, it seems. However, she doesn't seem to be giving much of a care about him.
Why not get rid of Superbia instead? Because she's a dumbass, and she's easily manipulated by anything that works in her favor. Ira might always just agree with her, but if he's her yes-man, then she'll need another pillar when he's gone.
All of a sudden, frequencies switched, interrupting the feed which cut and restored to Ancora's helmet.