Part 38: USable
Us three emerged into the hallway. It was the first time we'd see the whole group come together. All nine of us would come out of the rooms and gather up because I opened the box.
Even someone like me was ready and willing to lie like this.
That reminded me about how we had three survivors. Ityne, Marco, and Ancora survived before. Were they the three survivors, or did Ityne and Marco not count due to their role? I shook my head to ignore the intrusive thoughts.
So w-who's Pandora?
The boy asked from afar, bellowing the words towards the other groups. Clearly, he'd learned his group didn't have Pandora.
None of us three are. I'm Superbia, this guy is Invidia, and this blondie is Ancora.
I'm Tristitia, she's Avaritia, and he's Ira.
My designation is Gula, but I prefer Ula; The diminuitive yet sweet girl by my side is Luxuria, or Lux, and our third constitutes...
Pandora. It's me.
I think we should just drop the nicknames.
What if we want to keep them?
Then I'll wait a little. But eventually, your name will come out. We'll have to sort everything. Maybe some of you are focusing on your selfish reasons, and that's fine. That's what I'd expect out of someone in My Emptiness. I'm not here for myself, though. Don't worry about it. I know you've known someone named Pandora before, but that's not me. I'm another Pandora.
How many P-Pandoras can there be? This doesn't make a-any sense... And besides, I don't k-know if we can trust that. I don't w-wanna do what that girl told us, seems r-really fishy, and I don't like it one bit...
We might have no choice. Maybe she doesn't like it, either.
So then, shall we go? Introductions are done, and we have much to do but so little time.
You call those introductions? I barely fucking know anyone here!
Maybe that's for the best, then. If you want, I can give you a crash course on what's going on.
That would befit my interests.
I'm hopelessly confused...
Um... why do you wear the same thing that I have?
I looked down at my body. Effectively, they were the same clothes. I actually hadn't noticed before.
Is it important? No offense g-girl but I just want to get the h-hell out of here.
We won't make it out unless we're on the same page, no.
So we're just meant to go with what that g-girl told us? We're just meant to do exactly what the p-people who put us in here are telling us to?
Would those people give a way out?
It's just hard to t-trust anything here...
Like hell it is. I don't wanna have anything to do with any of you.
But you do, whether you like it or not. You have everything to do with everyone here.
The group fell silent, contemplating those words.
I considered my options before deciding to begin with My Emptiness.
BGM: Memini Meminisse
You are all delinquents who have committed a crime, with a large variance in severity, from falsifying evidence to outright murder. That is because you are in My Emptiness, and you're led by someone called Pandora.
So far that matches what I know, yes. Everyone is in My Emptiness.
Don't interrupt, please, or I'll lose my train of thought. Either way, I'm not your Pandora; I just have the same name. I've come to learn a great many things here already. The original death game you were put in involved everyone voting to kill six out of the nine of us. It was majority decision.
Superbia was going to interject, but I quickly continued to cut to the chase.
If you check the back of your helmet, there should be a large S printed there. It's one of those Cool S symbols you must've seen around the school.
I know what this refers to. I don't know why I know it, but I do.
That's the emblem of the organization that put you all here, me included, no doubt. I guess they thought it would be funny to make a school for the cool s. These Deduction rooms also serve as education rooms, but for who? Us?
Anyway... I want to get you out of here now, but we still have to follow the rules of the game. We have to find all 24 ME-cards and use all nine lettered keys in a secret side room in the Crossroads.
The Crossroads? That's familiar...
Yeah, idiot. We walked around there a lot between classes. It's open in like, a square, and people just walked around while talking to their friends. Kinda weird if you think about it, but whatever.
I never really did that...
Yeah, you first need buddies to participate in doing that.
Such things don't matter to me.
I defused the situation before it got any worse.
As you've already guessed, we're in your school. The Hyacinth-Delorm polyvalent high school.
What makes it a polyvalent high school, anyway?
It's because it's got a variety of things, I think. It's only like that here in Quebec.
Who the fuck cares? So, Pandora, how do we get the fuck outta here?
Will they really do what I tell them to? Taking care of this band of animals is going to be harder than I thought...
You'll have to do everything I say. Are you okay with that?
Superbia clicked her tongue. She really hated being told what to do.
I guess that's as good as it's going to get with you.
The rest of them seemed fine with these demands. Whether or not they agreed to it out of goodwill, I couldn't really know yet. Without any more waste of time, we set off in motion to leave the hallway.
I had to re-explain the situation to them on the way out. By the time I was done, a lot of time had passed. I needed to repeat myself a few times so they understood we weren't going to make it out without cooperating. Since I had to guide everyone to their room and have them answer on their own, I didn't trust them with remembering it with words alone. I took a few pieces of paper from one of the classrooms, along with a pen.
A few minutes were all I needed to write the answers down, while carefully ripping the pages into a few squares. I folded them up and carried them alongside me. Finally, we were off for real. On the way there, I also asked for everyone's keycards. I had to count them, and to make sure we'd reach 24 by the end of it. We only had six for now.
Interesting, we don't have access to the voting booths at all... But how are we supposed to put in the cards...? Maybe if we slid them through the three little slots?
I didn't remember seeing those from the other side. What was their purpose?
Are you sure that's what we're supposed to do then?
I know who you are, Marco. Don't worry; you're going down much like Ityne. I just need to secure a way out first.
Yes. Either way, we don't have the ME-cards, so we'll have to split up a little. We should have access to Wing A right away.
That's the only wing still standing, too. You remember, right? There was a terrorist attack on this school before.
It was just b-before the exams, too. For once I studied like m-mad and then everything was put on hold... goddammit.
Gula seemed more interested in heading towards the interior of the wing instead of talking about that subject, so I followed her example.
Let's go. If I remember correctly, the next classrooms are... The bar and the warehouse, the office and the bedroom, and the manor and the chapel.
Wait a second. What are you talking about? A bar? A bedroom? A chapel?
Yes. The classrooms are reconstructions. They're not all actual classrooms, either: each of them seemingly corresponds to someone in our group.
I ignored his muttering to focus on the matter at hand, while all nine of us moved to the interior of Wing A. Like ME had said, there was no puzzle barring our way.
BGM: Memini Meminisse
For example, the office and bedroom correspond to...
We know the answers to these, so this is the only one I'll show the options for- if you somehow get it wrong, the game makes you re-answer it until you get it right.
Gula. That's where you'll be going. The question you will get in that room will be about what crime the principal committed.
I gave her the piece of paper after pointing over to that door. Gula hesitated slightly but, encouraged by the fact she had the solution, and pressured by the fact everyone was waiting on her, she set off and entered on her own. The door locked after 24 seconds this time around. All of them changed to reflect the difference in ME-cards.
The manor and the chapel correspond to...
Oh, I remember that now. The right to live... the opposite, when you surrender it, is to be left to die.
Yeah, I don't care for it. I don't like it, and this game can go fuck itself.
Superbia... we all want out, s-so come on.
Okay, fine, I'll do it, just because that way it'll get me out too. Whoever designed all this can go suck a big one!
While grumpy and moody, Superbia snatched the paper out of my hand for her answer. I didn't even have the time to tell her the question she had to answer before she vanished inside of her room.
Talk about a petulant child storming off to their room...
Next is the duo of the bar and warehouse. It corresponds to...
I held it out for him. He took a few momentes to take it and head to his room.
Already? Damn, m-mine's in the first group huh... I just wanted to s-stick around out of there longer. G-guess I'll see you later.
His voice vanished as he stepped into the room and the door closed behind him. Once again, I didn't have the time to tell him what question he had to answer.
I wonder about what's in my rooms...
Probably some kind of... rollercoaster? Just judging by what you look like.
Huh? Do I look like a rollercoaster?
Kind of. Though I'd say you're more of a mirror mansion type of person...
The only one who still wasn't sure of what was happening was Ancora. The girl was dragging her feet behind, as if she really didn't want to go through this.
The murmured words found no answer. We finally stepped into the hallway leading to the last three classrooms.