Part 42: USher
content warning: mention of pedophilia, mention of sexual/physical assault (both are recounting past events), more of the gender shit with Luxuria
This is it. It's time to solve this final puzzle and be done with everything here. I'll leave with everyone, and... well, if only it was that simple.
From what Ityne said, I wouldn't be able to do that, right? Out of the eight of them... I could only personally save one.
Since I was an automaton, the elevator was having a little bit of an issue transporting me. I assumed machinery was heavy... which meant I could never let anyone try to lift me. They'd instantly know something was up. If I was to live as a person- as I wanted to live, too, like everyone else!- then revealing my true nature would break my future.
After struggling for a while, the elevator finally stopped. The doors opened, and I stepped through.
BGM: Mereo Mentis
Quickly, I cast a glance towards everyone. Just as Ityne said, they were all in their seats, docile, with some stuff connected to their helmets. Ancora, Invidia, Superbia, Avaritia, Tristitia, Gula, Luxuria, and Ira were all here... They were waiting for me, and yet, none of them moved.
Are they unconscious or something?
After 24 seconds had passed, the elevator closed behind me and, just like the other Deduction rooms, everything locked up. I couldn't use either elevator anymore. Since this was a Deduction room, I waited for ME to give me directives, and yet, she never appeared.
Right, she's erased. She doesn't exist anymore.
That did give me a pang of guilt. For some reason, I felt guilty. I felt a little sad that she was gone. Was that an emotion...? Was I sad because she was gone, or... Was I afraid because it could've been me? Putting myself in her shoes- that was the Sally-Anne Test. No, all of that was wrong. I didn't really feel any of those. Despite it all, I had to admit, that was just me trying to force myself to feel something, to feel more humane. But I wasn't a human.
It was padded, and it had three elevators. Two of them were in opposite corners. I assumed each of them could be used to access either corner of the Crossroads down below. This was the room Marco used to get to the other side, and the only way for us to move across. And yet, there was a third elevator. That one didn't go down, but up. Was this the way out?
The writing read as such: Birth ME Code. Solving this will birth ME Code. Seven will receive the gift of the ME Code. One will abstain. Choose which will keep their hope.
Interesting. It's asking me to pick one of them to be saved from whatever this ME Code is. I guess I'd better start thinking about them carefully.
Her crime is related to her role; as leader of My Emptiness, she allowed everything to happen, and she took advantage of it. She targeted specific students, and reaped the benefits. Her sin is vainglory, since she profited off My Emptiness. I know it's not one of the seven deadly sins, as it was rolled up into pride, but originally there were nine sins, not seven. The other is acedia, rolled up into sloth.
Clearly, she has committed one of the worst crimes of all, abusing Pandora's list to hook up with kids she wanted gone. Her sin is greed, because she wanted everything, with none of the consequences. Tough luck, Ava. Your sin's close to lust, but...
He forced himself upon girls who didn't want anything to do with him. He was secure in his gender. He wasn't a girl; he was clearly a boy, who abused his looks and cast a negative shade on others he didn't associate with. His sin is lust, and his crime is also horrible. Did Pandora see all this happening right under her nose? I don't know, but allowing it and enabling it was terrible, too.
It seems his father was part of the Empty S, too. He's sloth because he willingly did nothing to help them. If I had to guess, a bunch of those kids were bullies. That must be why he has those bandages; he might've been beaten due to his... corpulence. Taking revenge through inaction must've satisfied him.
She was probably working off the frustrations of her personal life. Her sin is pride, because she thought she was above everyone. And yet, her crime is still just as unjustifiable.
His sin is wrath, and his crime is clear: distributing those drugs might've helped him in the short run, but in the long run, he ruined life after life, all on Pandora's watch.
As a son, coming after six sisters must've been also been a mental blow to Invidia. As the youngest of seven, how do you get recognized by your family? If he managed to free his father, he'd have done something none of his sisters could do. And so, his sin is envy, and his crime is perhaps lesser in the eyes of many, but it still sent an innocent behind bars. True, his father was innocent...
Her sin is gluttony because she was a glutton for her father's care. Clearly, he did care about her a lot, but when he was taken from her, all of this ended. She sought revenge. Her crime is related to the bombs. She's a terrorist who destroyed the school that decided to sweep everything under the rug. They ignored her father entirely, despite the fact he was not the criminal who killed Superbia's targets.
Of all of them, she has no sin. She joined My Emptiness because her sister was at the helm, and she wanted to stop her. Laudable, but she failed to stop it before it got out of hand. Perhaps she got on too late. I think out of all of them, Ancora is the one who deserves to avoid whatever this machine will do.
Who's the final sin? There were nine sins. The final one, acedia... That... might be my sin. After all... even with everything I'd gone through... it's hard to care for any of them. And that's what acedia is- lack of care. It's exactly what I feel.
I wandered over to Ancora's seat. This was who I'd save. I looked around it, and noticed a button on the back. The indication above it said release.
Well, she's the one who's the least sinful. My task is clear, then. Ancora... you go free. It is but a coincidence that your nickname means hope. And it is an even bigger coincidence that you were the traitor, too. Ironic that I'd been in her head this whole time... And that she's the one who will go free, while the rest will be punished.
A soft hissing noise came, and the tubes connected to the helmet seemed to fall limp. Whatever that button did, I doubted anything bad would happen now. Now, I had my puzzle to solve. I scurried back to the pedestal in the middle; I had to hurry. I only had 24 minutes and a few of them had gone by.
Once I would solve this, I knew it would be the end of My Emptiness.
But what about this entire thing? I still don't know the why. Ityne did say she would meet me here later... which means I would get answers after this. Even if the curtains would close on My Emptiness, I'll have a little more to do. This is the end of My Emptiness, and the beginning of my full life.
Let ME out! The answer is...
BGM: Mens Metis
Lock #8 obtained.