Part 31: MEaningless
What does what mean? What won't work because someone else touched them?
What? What are you talking about? What are you surprised about? What did you expect?
I don't actually know... remember, this was someone else's idea.
More like someone else's waste of time. Three minutes! Three more minutes then we're dead!
Somehow, the reminder about their lack of time didn't really hit anybody especially hard. None of them reacted to it. It was as if the entire group had communally decided to become zombies.
Yeah... three minutes, then what?
Don't give up here, there's gotta be something to do! We're so close!
But Ancora sat down, too. It was like she also gave up.
To be fair... we already might have. We just don't know. There's nothing that tells us we won, and even then, we are lacking 15 ME-cards. We could do the vote, but...
Ancora suddenly lifted her head up.
The vote! The vote gives us more time, yes? Remember how it works! We can actually freeze the timer for twenty minutes!
Tristitia smacked his hand on the ground before lifting himself up to his feet.
You're right. The timer can give us more time! But how is it going to work with the ME-cards? We're missing 15 still.
There has to be somewhere we've overlooked. Somewhere containing something big.
Avaritia rose up, carrying her shotgun with her.
Where would it be, then?
Maybe... the secret room?
Maybe... the secret room?
Ancora just had a flash of inspiration. If Invidia found a ME-card there, maybe there were others. But with two minutes remaining, and soon only one, they wouldn't have the time to search it. That meant they had to do the vote. Someone would die.
If we do the votes, then we can buy ten more minutes in total...
And then we start a second vote right away. Correct? But this means som eone dies. No, two people will die among the five of us.
The thought froze the group in their tracks. They all looked at each other. It was clear with this renewed hope that no one would want to be the sacrifice.
Just vote for me then. Consider this my last act as peacemaker. I'll die, and you'll all escape.
Don't think this absolves you of what you've done.
What I've done? Look who's talking...
No nagging. We need all the time we can get. Vidi!
Mine's there already. Hurry up!
Ancora hurried alongside everyone else. Soon, the timer read 39 seconds remaining. With the leftover ME-cards that could still be used to do votes, they could do two rounds. Ancora also realized the fact the second vote would need someone else to die as well, and that it could very well be her. But that was a matter for later.
They'd have to put in the next ME-cards right away to avoid mass execution.
Quick! Spread out, search! Vidi, you're at the secret room! Go with Bia and Ava, I don't think ME would kill three people like that! After all, they have a goal too, right? They can't just off more than half our remaining numbers!
What about you? What are you going to do?
I'll search this room again. And you?
I'll go back to the first hallway. Something's always bothered me.
Go, then! There's no time to lose! Everyone meet back here in nine minutes, and don't be late for the love of God!
This is all just a vain grasp of time. There are no more ME-cards. Maybe it's time to go over all that I know.
As soon as those thoughts were formulated, a loud noise resembling an echo resonated into Ancora's helmet. For a split moment, she believed she hit her head on the wall. She fell onto one knee, both hands grabbing at the ground in her dizziness. The previous theory fell flat as soon as she felt her other boot shift. Someone was grabbing the gun and taking it out.
It was Tristitia.
What about... the vote...? I can't...
I'll prop your body up, and you'll have your hand on the button when it'll come available. Don't worry, I'm already dead. I'm not doing this to win anymore. Even if I got you to vote for someone else and I voted for them too, the other team outvotes me.
Everything was becoming harder and harder to focus on.
Then there was nothing but darkness.
The fact she wasn't dead was a surprise. This meant it's just after the vote went through. Looking around, though, she saw two bodies. Tristitia's dead body was on the ground not too far away. Headless. The same was the case for Superbia's body. However, she also had some bullet wounds. The fact she was headless spoke volumes about what happened.
Let's put it together. That bullet wound came from the revolver, right? When did Tristitia have the time to shoot her, though? It must've been during the vote... Maybe right as the vote ended. Maybe after Superbia put in her vote. I don't think I'll ever really know for sure since I was cut off during that moment.
Slowly, Ancora rose up. She looked at the timer. She expected it to have been several seconds before the six hour mark, but... It was six hours and three minutes. Even if the timer had paused before, they were over the mark. If that was the case, then...
She looked around. There were no other bodies. Where did Avaritia and Invidia go? Her hand held onto the console to keep herself steady, before she set off to look for them. If the timer was past the six hours mark... then did they do it? Did they have the 39 ME-cards? Finally, she noticed the console that took the ME-cards was open.
Why is it open? Why is there nothing inside? Where has the bomb gone, and why did it not blow up? And where did they get the leftover ME-cards? They weren't in the special room, I know that for a fact.
Too many questions, not enough answers.
Vidi... Ava... where are you...?
She looked around the room, but only silence answered her question.
Vidi! Ava! Where are you two? This isn't funny!
Her steps brought her back down the stairs leading to the voting machines. Now in the hallway again, she looked over at the secret room. Or rather, where it would be. The door was open. She walked over, slowly, uncertain of what she'd find.
Beyond there is the exit. Did they both leave? Did they take the bomb?
Ancora took it in silence, figuring that was where the others had gone to. She was almost like a zombie following its own instincts.
After a brief moment, the doors on the other side opened, and she stepped inside of the room on what she assumed was the second floor.
The area was actually a little unsettling. It was reminding her of one of those padded rooms where they kept crazy people with straitjackets. What was most unsettling, however, wasn't the room filled with strange seats and cables. It was the fact that inside the room was someone.
It was her.
Immediately, a headache came upon Ancora, and she fell to the ground while holding her helmet.
That's her. But I'm...
The other girl... was like her, somehow. Ancora didn't believe it was possible, though, and yet she was standing right in front of her.
Why are you wearing the same things as me? Wait... do I know you? I think I remember you...
Ancora looked up at the other Ancora. Even on the ground, one thought occupied her mind: she had to leave this place, right now. The headache was getting worse the more she spent time in the second Ancora's company. But all she saw were doors to elevators. Doors that were closed. She panicked on the ground, as the other girl looked upon her with all the shock in the world.
Let me out! Let me out, let me out-
Unlike the others, it didn't explode. Due to the careful nature of deduction rooms, the helmets didn't blow up there. They only took their quarry by beheading.
This is... a deduction room?
It was a deduction room. By the time that thought came up, it was already far too late. Ancora's head rolled onto the ground, encased inside of the helmet. A scream. The other Ancora was screaming. Not like it would matter to Ancora anymore. Before she died, she wanted to know who that was, but she couldn't formulate anything.
All she could formulate was a thought. A thought that told her, if she hacked the rabbit before the second vote, then maybe... things might've been different.
Superbia... suspicious. Hack her...
Without any answers out of it, Ancora died.