Part 20: MEdicide
Superbia, Luxuria, and Ancora emerged into the hallway. The door did not lock up yet; it would not until the timer was done counting down. At a glance, it didn't look like any of the other teams were out yet.
She looked a little excited at how easy this room had been.
It doesn't matter to me. What matters is that we have our ME-cards now.
She took hers out, looking at it for a brief moment. All of a sudden, Luxuria pointed at Ancora, having realized their little problem.
But Cora doesn't have one yet... All she has is that key. We need to find one, so we can vote at the consoles along with her!
Yeah... Maybe we should split up, then. Let's do that while the others are still not done with their rooms.
And thus, the search began anew. After convening to split up, Superbia went towards the closed doors, while Luxuria went back to the larger room, and Ancora went to the corner she and Luxuria had fetched Superbia from. When Ancora walked by the second door, she heard a small click. Next, the door came open, and just as quickly, out was Invidia.
Yeah. Where's Trist?
Oh, he's coming. He wanted to examine the room a little bit more. It's not really my stuff, so I decided to leave earlier. I got a ME-card, and I guess your group found two, too. Right, I also got this key.
He showed it to Ancora; the teeth had a strange shape, in the form of the letter I.
With the first one I got, I can now create an AI!
Yeah, an Artificial Intelligence. I'm kidding, it's mostly because the first one looked like an A, and this one's like an I, you see...
He scratched his jaw a little, pensive for a moment.
Yeah... that's a little far-fetched. I dunno if we'll get there for a while. I mean, some people can still barely use the internet without taking over their phone line... But more importantly, about the keys, what do you think they mean, anyway? They have letters on them, right?
Whatever it is, it's not possible to solve without all the keys. But asking other people might tip me off about their knowledge of this game.
Beats me. Okay, listen, this is going to sound a little random, but... Which one do you like most in the group?
Huh? What do you mean? Who I...
No, no, the group of keys! Which letter do you like most?
Oh, you mean that! Um...
Ancora chose after a second: she picked...
This choice, for the route we're taking, is not important, so we can pick any of them; I chose the I key for this one.
Yeah, that one- the I key, that's the one I like most. It's like a little leg that sticks out from the handle, so it's kinda funny for a key.
Hmm... weird, I thought you'd like the A key. You know, due to your name, Ancora? I'd like to trade it for your G key...
Oh, well... I guess? I'm not sure what this all amounts to, but... Alright, sure.
The two of them traded keys together. Ancora gave her G key away to Invidia, while he gave her his A key.
I thought it might be fun, that's all. We don't have a lot of time, and I guess if you got the key then you might not have gotten a ME-card...
Yeah, Lux and Bia got them, so we've split up to look for them now.
I'll help, then. I'll go search in those side classrooms. You know, all the random ones that seem to be locked? I'm sure we can access some of them, otherwise why not block them?
They're pretty much all empty.
Sure, if you want! I'll go search in this corner area, then. See you later!
And the two of them parted ways. Ancora resumed her trip to the other end of this hallway, this time without any other interruptions. When she arrived there, she heard a door coming open and closing. That was most likely Tristitia leaving the room. A few moments later again, she heard another door come open, this time in the far distance. Judging by the footsteps that followed, it looked like Avaritia and Gula both left their room.
So, everyone's out, then. We have to find that ME-card really quickly, or else... And I almost forgot, but someone needs to surrender their right to live right now, too. We're quickly running out of time.
Yet, Ancora wasn't nearly so panicked.
We've still got time. First, the ME-card. Or maybe this is a good spot to spy on some of the helmets...
After she thought about it a little more, it became apparent that this choice was the right one. While thinking, Ancora had been investigating the nearby door, which unlocked thanks to her newly obtained key.
Here we go! That was easy. I need to thank Vidi later.
Really need to drop this habit of talking aloud to yourself there, Ancora.
It was as if that door was nothing but a wall.
There's a strange graffiti on one of the walls. No one can see it unless they walked in here... it says: midair avionics and nothing else. But what does it even mean?
It likely was...
Believe it or not, the answer you choose here is a TRUST increase Obviously, we assume it's an anagram.
It's weird. If it's an anagram, it doesn't match anything that makes sense. I can't make heads or tails of it. I guess it's one of those things I'll have to keep in mind. It's going to bother me for a while, though. As soon as I get a hint as to what it really means... you can bet your bottom dollar I'm going to solve the crud out of this one. Well, this is as good a spot to spy onto other people as it can be. No one's going to stumble into here. The real question is... who's available for hacking?
It was dependant on the frequencies currently displayed. It seemed as though there were four possible helmets to spy upon this time around.
That's a jackpot! Let's see... I can hack Invidia, Superbia, Avaritia, or Gula. I want to hack Invidia, though. I have no idea why he was so insistent on trading the A key over for the G key.
Bingo! Not even a puzzle this time... wait. Something's wrong. Why would there not be a puzzle this time? What is this? A blank screen? But the frequencies match! What does this mean? Maybe out of hacking range...? Well, one problem solved itself.
BGM: ME Mori
Apologies for this abrupt call! It is very important, though. I must inform you that someone in your group has left the boundaries of the game. This is not currently allowed, so I have both good news and bad news. Which one do you want to hear first? Rhetorical. Everyone always wants to hear the bad news first, especially if they don't relate to them, which is the case here. That way, you can all feel sorry for what happened...
And then you can celebrate with the good news.
The bad news is that the one who is wearing the helmet that left the boundaries has now been removed from the game. That is right; they have surrendered their right to live.
Of course, you can always trigger the vote early. Remember that only three of you will not surrender their right to live, so if the survivors number above that count, you better get to work. If you had any puzzle door left to solve, however, you'll have to do the vote first anyway. No vote, no progress.
And then the screens came back to normal. Ancora shuddered.
Well, I know who's surrendered their right to live. It's clearly Invidia. That's actually a little bad, because he had two keys and he was quite helpful... But I guess we can worry over that later. Right now, I need to hack someone, especially because tensions will be at an all-time high due to someone surrendering their right to live. For now, I'll be hacking...
We're going to be hacking Avaritia here.
BGM: Mens Metis
The solution for this puzzle is:
This one's a bit trickier to riddle out, but it becomes easier when you realize that the two halves require separate types of answers. The right side is obvious- E=MC2 is Einstein's theory of relativity, so that takes care of that half. The other half is looking for a different kind of equation- specifically, in this case, X and V are not letters but roman numerals. 10-5 is equal to 5. ...Yeah, I dunno. I didn't make the puzzle, don't look at me.
Avaritia and Luxuria were together. Thet wo were in the Crossroads, but they weren't far from Wing A. Luxuria was looking into an adjacent area containing some lockers, though she wasn't having any success.
That still gives me the creeps...
Next to them was a wall that was as empty as could be. It was made of large, rectangular metallic plates with other bits and pieces of metal shut tight against them. No matter how hard someone banged onto them, they didn't open.
What a shame. I wonder where Invidia went. Well, no point sticking around here.
The two of them agreed, and left the area to go back into Wing A. They wandered into one side for a few moments, before realizing they were going back towards classrooms they'd explored.
What about the classrooms?
They split up, looking at each door in turn, until they found one that unlocked. Avaritia turned the handle and stepped inside, while Luxuria waited outside.
Why is she not going inside yet? Is she guarding the room?
Nothing came of the strange behavior, and instead, Avaritia left the room and closed the door behind her. In her hand was a ME-card, clutched alongside her other one.
You found one! Now Cora will be fine.
Maybe. It would still do well to talk with others about... you know... our additional hour. It's kind of hard to believe he's gone, just like that.
Yeah... I think I saw Bia going into the other hallway.
Fine, then, let's go there. Even if I don't especially feel enthused about talking to her...
At first, Superbia had tried to act like she didn't see them, but it became more and more impossible as the two of them closed the distance.
Have you found anything so far?
Superbia was clearly growing frustrated again.
I guess... but there's no point in rejoicing about it.
What's the big deal, anyway? I want to be nice and whatever, but it's not like our predicament hasn't been weighing down my mind. We're still going to die if we don't vote in the next hour or so. And honestly, the earlier we vote, the better.
Do you really want to be nice, or are you just saying that like that? I just... wanted to not be mean for those who are gone.
What do they care, anyway? They're gone. It's not like they're going to walk up to me and slap me.
No, but I can do that. And as a teacher...
As a student, nobody gives a shit. In here, you're the same as everyone else. That means you're expendable, according to Pandora.
Oh, you guys remember, yeah? Pandora is our leader. Or leader, I should say. Never seen her face. Still gave me directives. Hate that, hate it so much. Hate being told what to do. I'm my own girl.
Yes. Vidi told you before he croaked?
He did. How awfully nice of you, but I don't think you're going to find anything here. This is a waste.
Luxuria had remained quiet for a while. Avaritia was going to ask for her input, but Superbia interrupted her just as she began talking.
We should split back up.
Good idea, for once. We can cover more ground that way. I'll see you two later.
The teacher wandered off, leaving the two girls alone.
What an idiot.
Without Vidi, things are a little bit emptier. We already lost three people... No point delaying it, I guess I'll go to the voting machine.
There's also no point sticking around here anymore.
As she walked away, Superbia came into her vision again. She was going in the direction of Ancora's hiding spot. The key was still in the lock, so if she didn't act quickly, the rabbit was going to figure out this door could be opened, and then things would spiral out of control.