Part 12: MEtanoia
The group of three women emerged into the familiar hallway. There was nothing new about this place, so they all waited, thinking the other groups would come out. After a few minutes elapsed, it was clear none of that was going to happen just yet. They had escaped rather quickly, after all.
You can go if you want, but someone needs to stay here to tell them about it.
The older woman made a dismissive motion of her hand. Gula waved and left, in a little bit of a hurry to get away from the two others. Ancora stared, slightly puzzled at that behavior, before turning her attention to Avaritia.
She's acting really strangely. It's almost suspicious, like she figured something out, and we haven't yet. Anyway, you'll stay here, then?
Yes. You can go too if you want. You have a ME-card to find, right? Just go.
Ancora solemnly nodded and left Avaritia's entourage too. Her steps brought her towards the room Superbia and Tristitia shared. She had a thought of glancing inside to check up on their progress, but it was impossible; there was that metal plate over the door's window.
Not only is this a search for a missing ME-card, it's also a search for someone to kill off, somehow. It would have been so much easier to let someone else try to answer the question! Doing it first was so stupid!
This was the back wall of the first hallway- the one they all emerged in from their triple classroom earlier. In the corner was a door. Above it, a sign read EXIT, but naturally, it wouldn't work. First of all, this door was locked, but it led to a staircase that could normally access the second floor.
And it has an emergency exit, but it's locked, like everything else. Leaving there is impossible right now.
Ancora decided to head back to the others. She hadn't found a ME-card in this corner, but there was one past that door; it just wasn't time to open it yet. On the way back, making sure all classrooms were well and truly locked, she tried the L key, to no avail.
They might be mostly empty; some of them have stuff in them, like ME-cards. They're an extra step to force people to split up while outside the rooms.
Hey, Cora. You guys made it out first? You work hard.
Yeah, thanks. I think we just got a little lucky.
Ahh.. well.. we didn't. Uhh... I don't know how to say it, so I'll just say it when we all group back together, I guess.
We're going to the Crossroads after we've all left our rooms. Maybe you want to head there now?
Avaritia closed the distance, seeing as the two of them had been talking without her.
Makes sense... Oh, yeah, we had one extra, Cora. Here.
Tristitia handed over a ME-card to Ancora, who pocketed it without hiding her surprise.
An extra card?
Yeah... I'll meet you at the Crossroads.
Something's wrong. I've been having my doubts every since he came out of the room, but there's something there that's definitely wrong.
Without any other words, Tristitia made his way back through the hallway. Ancora cast a glance towards the door he'd come out of; she hadn't been quick enough to look at the situation in the room...
I guess it's important. I got my ME-card now, so...
With a wave, she saw Ancora off. The blond girl didn't need to be told twice; her steps took her away from the older woman almost immediately. But she didn't go all the way back. She waited close by, around the corner. Something nagged at her, something really bad.
The same kind of feeling when you think something is definitely amiss.
She just wanted confirmation.
A few minutes later, Ancora heard the door to Invidia and Luxuria's room close. She leaned forward a little, after making sure nobody noticed she was eavesdropping.
It's like the answer was just... there.
Ancora missed the part where they said what the answer to their room was.
Bia still hasn't come out of her room, but the rest are in the Crossroads.
Really? Bia's still there? What about Trist?
He left a while ago. He's already gone to the shotguns, if I had to guess. We do have a vote coming in... very soon.
But... well... I guess this is a worry right now... Even if, maybe, I shouldn't be too sad about it.
What do you mean? What's... sad?
Look at your timer.
A small pause followed, silence from everyone involved.
Yes, our vote's in ten minutes flat.
Remember what ME said: we only have 39 minutes to escape these rooms, right?
The small girl realized it. After a moment, it struck Ancora too.
Superbia! She didn't come out at all, and the timer's over now! She's dead!
It seemed like such an abrupt end for her. Yet, even with her dead, something still bothered Ancora, somehow.
You know, it's... kind of weird. This means we have another hour, right? But, even so, I feel like... I don't feel sad or anything. I don't feel anything about it.
Bia was also not the nicest person... I think.
If only we could also... confirm that she's dead. I didn't see her coming out, but she could have come out way earlier, before Trist.
And he wouldn't have left the room? No, I don't think so. You said you stood guard here the whole time, right? And no one came out?
Then she's dead. Let's go.
Ancora heard footsteps coming, so she hurried away. Thankfully, her own boots weren't noisy if she was careful, even on solid flooring.
The others are coming.
Alright, then I'll say what I wanted to say to you two first. I've realized this a little bit ago, but we're nine people in total here. Well, it so happens that there's a thing in psychology called the Enneagram of Personality.
Pray tell, which personality would you proclaim you belong to?
Ah, you know of it too?
Slightly. In my youth, I've perused the dictionary an astounding lot.
You don't say?
Well... I'd probably be the Peacemaker type, which is the ninth type.
No, it's the only one that makes sense. I started categorizing us into the types, and...
Before he could say any more, the others caught up with the three who had gathered for the vote.
His theory is sound, anyway. We're nine, and all of us correspond to a type or another. Maybe this makes me the Investigator, also known as Observer type, then.
For the next minute, Tristitia explained what he was thinking about to the new arrivals, too.
After Tristitia was done, the group came together to decide on what was the next course of action.
She shivered apprehensively, waiting for the verdict to fall. It was clear what the subject was.
Even though we're not meant to know yet, but there's been some eavesdropping going on.
Yeah, well, Trist... Bia didn't come out of your room, did she?
That is correct, she did not come out of the room.
Why is that?
I don't need to explain my thinking, but I guess I can humor you.
BGM: Memini Meminisse
Earlier, I spoke about the Enneagram. Well, I only told you what I categorized myself under. But I'm pretty sure I'm spot on with Bia's categorization- and that's why I made sure she died.
That... doesn't make any sense! She was a huge bitch to everyone, but how could you do that? What's her personality type?
I'm not sure I should say, but there's more to each personality type than just the name. From what I found out in the room I explored with her, there was a very good reason related to her past, trust me.
Obviously, the group didn't exactly know what was up with Superbia's past, or her situation in general. In fact, it didn't seem like anyone really had memories of any time from before they woke up.
If I told you what it was, you wouldn't believe me, because it didn't fit. That's because when stressed, her type can grow prideful. Not only was she stressed, but if I had to guess, lording over others is nothing new to her. Remember how she treated Ira.
He has a good point about Ira. However, why is the body gone? It doesn't make any sense.
So, she was misusing her personality type. She became the corrupted version of it. My theory is that we're all more or less the corrupted version of our type... which brings us to this dilemma.
The group looked at each other for a few moments. I tdidn't seem like anyone wanted to speak. Perhaps it was the fear of publicly outing someone that was preventing them. Perhaps it was also because they were debating if they wanted to call out the horse on his dishonesty. The one who broke the silence was Avaritia.
I would probably vote for... Lux.
Luxuria took her hands up, surprised, almost backing away from that accusation.
What... why? Why me?
A feeling, I guess. We have to pick someone, and I'd probably go on that feeling right now. Of course, my mind can change on it.
But I... I didn't, I didn't do anything...
But ME said only six of us would die!
That's correct. That means... we already lost three members, so we have to kill three more. Which personality types are the most dangerous when corrupted, you think?
Ancora had to admit that she didn't know much about the Enneagram of Personality beyond just the names. She hadn't gotten to study those things yet. Meanwhile, Tristitia seemed to have done a lot of research on the internet.
All we have to do is get rid of that trio of most dangerous ones.
So that's it, then? That's how this ends?
He fired it once. Luxuria screamed.
He fired it again. Ancora shielded herself with her arms.
He fired it a final time. And then there was silence. Silence for three, while three others fell to the ground. Ancora watched as the scene happened in what felt like a small eternity.
Then Invidia's weight collapsed him to the ground.
Finally, Gula ended up a heap, never to breathe again. Every shot of the gun had gotten them square in the heart.
Everything happened so fast. He must be really good with revolvers. Dangerous.
Luxuria couldn't even say anything. All she could do was stare. She was staring in pure bewilderment. Where before she'd screamed, now she was saying nothing.
Her laughter was broken. The cute voice coming from her helmet spouted such strange laughter. It was going on, and on. It was an uncontrollable laughter. People laugh when things are funny, but they also laugh when they are anxious or fearful. That's why laughter therapy exists; and the kind of laughter coming from Luxuria was not one made from a good joke.
She was laughing because if she wasn't, she'd go completely mad.
This is... this is insane... isn't it? Hahahaha, hahahaha!
Lux! Snap out of it!
Ancora suddenly grabbed the smaller girl by the shoulders, shaking her slightly. The girl ceased her laughter, and instead the reality of the situation dawned on her again. After a heavy shudder, the girl began to wail instead.
N-no! No! None of this is correct! None of it... Trist! You... you killed them... Just like that!
He waved over to the other bodies with an arm, while Luxuria hiccupped in apprehension and fear.
That's not making peace!
She stood up to the overweight boy, even though he had a gun.
That's just killing everyone!
Another shot rang out. The victim was clear this time; it was Luxuria. Ancora shuddered and suddenly had a nauseating thought.
He's coming. Run! Run before he shoots again! Revolvers have six bullets! Assuming he killed Superbia, that's five spent! He's still got one! You just have to stall out one bullet! Come on, Ancora!
With that thought... nothing happened. It was already too late by that point. Even if Ancora turned around to sprint away...
As life slowly escaped her body, she had a thought... And that final thought became five, ten, twenty. It was as though a voice was talking to her in her final moments. And then she faded.
Luxuria directives obtained.