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Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (Lynching Phase)Topic%20Title
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I really, truly love ice cream.

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"Oh yeah, the bomb was a bluff. I was given a useless piece of trash and just tried to make the best use of it I could," Chanel shrugs.
Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (Lynching Phase)Topic%20Title
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Ryuu ga waga teki wo kurau!

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"So, Mr. Evans, going back to your statement about the admins creating a clone of me... It would be difficult to do that... Because you see... This recording will explain that." The old man said as he pushed a button labeled 'Clones'.

Spoiler: 'Clones'
"With our current level of understanding, clones are rather divorced from how they often appear in fiction. Starting with the DNA of the subject an embryo is grown, and this is raised artificially it is true. However, once old enough one must raise the clone just as with any other human. They grow at the same rate, and grow up as normal children. Due to this, to create clones of a 40 year-old man like Raster, it would take a full 40 years. As such, 7 of the ordinary participants were chosen such that their clones would all be of the correct age in the year 2100. Takeru and you were the exceptions. The clones then S.H.I.F.T.ed with the consciousnesses of the originals, bringing them all to the year 2100 in bodies identical to their own. In this way their minds don't suspect anything has changed."

"Incidentally, the clone minds in the original bodies went on to become the Admins. This is why all of the Admins are so old, double the age of their clone bodies. Amber is one of these Admins, though until the game began her sole responsibility was looking after you. Takeru never got an Admin, because his body remains frozen to this day. Oh, and, the barcodes on each clone are used to identify them. Your original body is the only exception, as it was never tattooed - the barcode is simply a fake I applied to your wrist before the game began. While the other players were 'kidnapped' by swapping their consciousness into the already-trapped clones in 2100, with you I simply needed to swap in myself and walk to the first elevator."


"From this recording, it's not that hard to deduce how I was 'kidnapped'. Anyway, about the clones.... To create a 4th clone of me, the fourth clone would have to be created in 2082. My birth year. But, we're in 2100 right now, and there's three clones of me... I guess Daniel didn't think about that in the first place. If you're wondering which of my clones was my original body... That would be C0, which was, sadly, electrocuted to death. Plus, you guys already know about the Game Admins switching bodies with you..." The old man said.

Then he listened to the laughing that is coming from above. "HEY! CUT IT OUT, WILL YA!" The old man hollowed at the ceiling. He stopped shouting to catch his breath.

"Actually.... I can think of one solution that would get me out of here." The old man said, before looking up at the ceiling. "Amber, I know you won't like where I'm going with this. But you... need to understand that it's the only option left."
Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (Lynching Phase)Topic%20Title
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"What's up?"
Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (Lynching Phase)Topic%20Title
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Amber listens earnestly to whatever it is her adopted son has to say. For now she can't talk to him herself, but presumably once the Game is over with she'll be able to go down to this room and speak freely.
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"Oh, thought he meant me. Well anyway, I'll do research on consciousness swapping once we're out of here, publish my findings, and work with the innocence project to get you out, Gary. But right now, we can't do anything but leave and come back with help. Maybe all we'all need is a buzzsaw."
Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (Lynching Phase)Topic%20Title
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Close enough...

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Raster gave Maribelle a perplexed look and shook his head "Ah knew ah shoulda just called yer bluff and disabled the device." He sighed. "Course it doesn't help dat the admins were willing to lie to back you up on this one. Guess they thought it was funny." He sighed looking back at Gary

"Just leave the boy. He's got his family here to look after him. His actual caring foster mother is here so I doubt they'd let anything too bad happen to him. Ah can' think why Zero wouldn' give him the codes to escape but maybe the admins will help him out with that once we've gone."
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Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (Lynching Phase)Topic%20Title
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[Actually, the Admins never once lied!

  • #1 said you wouldn't like what the devices are. That's because, after all the hype, they're literally useless.
  • When asked if the 'dead man's switch' could be disabled, #1 declined answering.
  • It's capable of 'splitting universes' because internally it uses a truly random number generator every time the button is pressed to simulate a coin flip. That creates two branching, yet mostly identical, timelines. The device does do something, but it's so pointless that it rightfully earns its name as the Pointless Device.
  • The Admins will be safe from the 'blast' because there is no blast.
  • Killing the spare Marigolds isn't a concern because the device isn't a bomb to begin with.

The Admins never once said that it was a bomb, you see.]
Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (Lynching Phase)Topic%20Title
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Close enough...

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(Perhaps but by answering the question of "how bad is this bomb" with any kind of quantity even an exaggerated one, would indicate its existence because the bomb must first exist in order to have a quality. The question could only be answered accurately if there was a bomb. Doesn't matter now though.)
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Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (Lynching Phase)Topic%20Title
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[There was no exaggeration. The device can split universes. Unless the argument is that because you called it a bomb then talking about it at all confirms the existence of a bomb. Which is perhaps unfair. The entire purpose of the device was to act as a bluffing tool, which would be ruined if the Admins just straight up revealed that whatever the bluff was wasn't actually true.]
Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (Lynching Phase)Topic%20Title
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Close enough...

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(Haha perhaps but a bluff from the players is one thing. A bluff from beings who by the rules of the game can't lie is a much stronger thing. Yeah for the bomb to have any kind of power there must first be a bomb. By asking how powerful is the bomb and getting an answer about the power of said bomb confirmed its existence to me.

Also the bit about how #1 knew the admins would be safe may be true but his uncertainty about whether WE would be safe is a lie by the same rule that there is no bomb.)
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Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (Lynching Phase)Topic%20Title
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[Maybe I should have said 'the device is capable of splitting universes' then. Those two extra words would have changed everything.

It's always a valid option to be uncertain about the something you have no control over. For all #1 knew, there might have actually been a bomb in there! Maybe Marigold used her scientist powers to rig the device to explode, who can say for sure? So there's no way for him to conclusively say you'll be safe. Especially when you're in a room that's going to electrocute anyone who gets voted for or who breaks the rules.

Either way, if you ask the Admins directly, they have to say something, otherwise it would be suspicious. So given that it's an item whose sole purpose is to be used for bluffs, it's the Admins' responsibility to not reveal it.]
Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (Lynching Phase)Topic%20Title
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Truly unfortunate.

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(The bluff would have been revealed anyway if someone had broken the device, wouldn't it?)

"I think we're done with the questions here, aren't we?" Jen looked around the room for confirmation.
Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (Lynching Phase)Topic%20Title
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Close enough...

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(Sure but he was portraying certainty over the blast radius of the bomb. If the device had been tampered with and there was uncertainty then the admins might have plenty to fear. Still like I said don't worry about it. Surviving the vote takes the bitterness out of a lot of things.)
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Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (Lynching Phase)Topic%20Title
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[Sure, if you call the bluff like that you could have revealed it.]

It seems Gary had something to say to his mother, so the other players decided to leave now and leave them alone. Besides, they'd had enough of this mansion.

The room they were in had a glass wall like the Administration room did, but this time it opened up at the back to allow access to a door. Walking through it, the players find themselves in a Garage that some of them recognise. There's a very modern-looking car in the middle of the room, facing a large sliding door with a colourful pedestal next to it. It has four slots on top, one for each of the Elemental Keys, with the blue Aqua one already occupied. Marley, Marigold and Fauna all place the remaining keys into the required slots, and the car behind them hums to life. Admin #3 speaks up over the intercom to explain.

"That car there is self-driving. It'll take you back to the nearest town, but don't expect to be able to hijack it. Oh, and the windows are tinted, so you won't see the route either. It's been nice having you here, but don't expect to be able to find your way back any time soon. Well, anyway, see ya! Just get inside, and when you're all ready I'll send it off." Most of the players hurry to open the car doors, relieved to almost be free. Marley, however, deliberately stays back. He informs the others that he intends to stay - he has work to do, and only the Admins with their knowledge of the Morphogenetic Field can help him. Everyone else nods their understanding and bids their farewells, some a little sad to see him go, the others more focused on simply leaving. Then the car doors are shut, the sliding door to the outside world opens, and the car heads off.

[Survivors: 8 / 9]
[And that's that! The Game is now over. I will be writing up endings for all the characters, so please do offer suggestions in your QTs, or even provide your own write-up if you'd prefer. I can provide shared QTs if there are people who want to organise group endings, such as Marigold and Fauna. Otherwise, the end-game thread is here. Thanks for playing!]
Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (End)Topic%20Title
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Raster/Marley

Marley had had plenty of time to reflect on everything that had happened throughout the game. He knew his con from way back had been a terrible mistake, but he'd chosen to drown his sorrows in booze and tobacco rather than face up to it. However, he now felt as though he was a new man. Despite being a morally corrupt drunkard who'd considered murdering others for his own survival, he'd nonetheless been shown trust again and again in this game of life and death. And when it came to it at the very end, the final vote, trust prevailed, and everyone survived. If that wasn't a sign for change he didn't know what was. Raster was no more – Marley was a man with a mission.

“Raise”. Raster took a sip of his Jack Daniels whisky, skilfully revealing his 'bluff' to his naïve opponent.
“Match. Don't think I'll fall for your tricks this time!” Joseph exclaimed, sitting back in his chair and unconsciously giving off his usual tell. He was actually bluffing, then.
“Raise again.” Raster replied with a slight smile. He knew how to play this man so well that by now he could do it without even paying attention, which allowed his mind to wander. His eyes settled on the whisky in his hand. Jack Daniels… come to think of it, rumours had come to his ears that a certain criminal family had acquired that strange Jack artefact. They were planning to put it up for auction… and Joseph did love his curiosities. Something to think about, for sure.


The events that led to the Liddell family massacre, and in turn the Nonary Game and Replicate Control, were many and varied, but there was a clear singular point of origin to it all – the con. If Marley could find a way to S.H.I.F.T. back to his 28 year-old self and simply not buy Jack, none of the tragic events would occur. This timeline would remain as-is, but if he could at least create a new timeline where none of the bad things had to happen, that would still be for the better. The only people he knew who could help him with that task were the Admins who'd helped set up the Nonary Game in the first place, but… that was just something he'd have to deal with in his attempt to create a better future.

It was a simple con, really. Simple, yet highly lucrative. Raster knew someone who could forge convincing counterfeit bills for him. They weren't perfect – they'd be found out within even just a few days of being used – but that was fine, as he wouldn't be around for the fallout anyway. Joseph loved strange artefacts and unique, valuable items, and Jack would be the ultimate prize for him, as surrounded by mythos and entirely unique as the frozen body was. Raster could just sell Jack on to Joseph for actual money this time, then leave the country. Once the Caulderwoods realised what had happened, Joseph would be the one they'd go after. And a man as rich as him could easily afford to pay the criminals what they were owed. Well, perhaps he'd regret having to leave his 'poker buddy' behind, but with all that he stood to gain Raster could live like a king abroad, so it was certainly worth it.

“I think you're ready.” Admin #6 said, rifling through a variety of puzzles that Marley had solved with the aid of his Esper abilities. The two of them had been working to improve Marley's skills for months now, and it all finally seemed to be paying off. “I should be able to send you back.”
“Ah'm ready. But how do we do this?” Marley replied uncertainly, smoking what he intended to be his last ever cigarette.
“Simple.” #6 pulled out a revolver, and began spinning the barrel.
“Uhh… Russian Roulette?” Marley asked hopefully. #6 only smiled.

“3 million!” A man called out, raising an ID number, confident no-one would go higher. Most other bidders had already dropped out by this point.
“3 million to the man in the hat. I'm looking for 3.5, anyone got 3.5?” The auctioneer called out, looking about the room. Raster smirked. 3.5? How about-


“Russian Roulette. That's where you take one bullet out and then shoot them, right?” #6 said, before levelling the gun at Marley and pulling the trigger.
“Wait, f**k, no-”

“-t like that!” Marley exclaimed in panic. Some of the bidders looked at him in surprise at the sudden strange outburst.
“Was that 3.5 million I heard?” The auctioneer asked, looking directly at him. Marley quickly clocked on to that had just happened – this was the past! More specifically, the very auction that he'd intended to avoid. By the sounds of it he'd only just made it in time.
“Nah, don' mind me! Just got a wee bit excited is all.” He replied cheerfully.
“Then anyone, can I please get a 3.5?” The auctioneer called out again, resuming his scan of the room for bidders. “A 3.5 is what I'm looking for, 3.5! No? Then, 3 million. Going… going… gone! Sold to the man in the hat.” The auctioneer nodded and the hatted man smirked arrogantly, glad no-one had gone above the 3 million that represented all he had with him. However, his happiness was nothing compared to that of Marley, who dropped to the ground in sheer relief and wept tears of joy.

“-4 million!” Raster cried at the top of his lungs, before feeling a sharp impact on his face. His eyes focused on the figure ahead of him, who was pointing a gun at him. He certainly hadn't been there just a second ago. As a matter of fact, none of this had been here just a second ago! And what had happened to all the bidders, and the auction, and… Jack! “What was that? Where am I? What just happened?” He yelled in confusion, glaring at the figure ahead of him and presuming him to be responsible.

“I just shot you with an air gun.” #6 replied. “I thought it would be funny. Raster, correct?”
“Yeah… what's it to you?” Raster asked nervously. He wasn't feeling right… it was like he was drunk, and ill, and tired… “Did you drug me? That why I'm feeling strange? That why I don't have my memories of how I got here?!”
“Hmm… Now this has just become a pain.” #6 sighed and ignored the questions, before suddenly whipping out a small black device and pointing it at Raster. Raster felt his world light up, and then he blacked out. “I guess we're done here.”


“Raise.” Marley took a sip of his Jack Daniels whisky. How long had it been since he'd last actually tasted the alcohol he consumed? He hadn't realised how much he missed the taste, and the feeling of simply being pleasantly drunk instead of perpetually hungover.
“Hmmm… match! But don't think that this will go like last time!” Joseph said, leaning forwards. A strong hand, then. It was good to see Joseph alive and well, even if he still hadn't learned.
“Raise again.” Marley replied. He had nothing, and fully intended to let Joseph have this round. No more ruthlessly exploiting the guy. At least… maybe not so much.

“Uncle Marley!” A voice startled him out from his thoughts. Young Daniel was walking up to him, a book in hand. “I don't understand all this… are you sure I should be reading up on theoretical physics? I'm not really seeing the point.”
“Ah, come on boy! Science is the future!” His father cried, spreading his arms in a wide gesture and accidentally revealing his hand without realising. Marley started, and turned away to face Daniel to hide his shock – that wasn't a strong hand at all! Did the man just successfully make a bluff? Maybe there was hope for him yet. He smiled to himself, and then spoke to the young heir.
“Mebbe you don' see it, lad, but I know yer smarter than you give yerself credit for. Ye've got a bright future fer sure. Just… ah, don't make any death traps, yeah?” He chuckled while Daniel started at him in confusion, before turning back to the game. Now this was a life worth living.

“Private access, guaranteed.” Raster nodded, smiling broadly. “The only reason it's 'public property' right now is because no-one's brought it! But once this deal goes through, you'll be the talk of the town, let me tell ya.”
“I like the sound of that.” His mark nodded enthusiastically. “Aw man, I can't believe I get to live in a castle! Just wait 'til my brother hears of this, he'll be soo jealous! Serves him right for landing company president.”
“Hey, you're even making me feel jealous right now, and I'm the one selling it to ya!” Raster replied, all cheer and friendliness. “Just send the money through and I'll get back to you in 4… nah, make it 5 days. I hope you understand the need for discretion here… just a safety precaution, this is a large sum of money we're dealing with.”
“Oh yeah, absolutely! Dude, this is so exciting, you have no idea! In fact, I'm going to run back home right now to send you the money – the sooner the better, right? Thank you so very much!” The man shook his hand vigorously, then ran off in the other direction, presumably to catch a taxi. Raster's smile followed him until he was out of sight, and then he shook his head with a sigh.

“Sucker. It's 2100!” He muttered to himself. He kept repeating the fact, trying to settle it into his brain despite how illogical it seemed. “2100 and you still get guys who think they can buy Edinburgh Castle?” He'd been worried, at first, when he found himself waking up in a back alley in an unfamiliar town. No money, no personal identity, no life? But people seemed just as easy to trick as they had in 2048, and he was already back on his feet. Keeping it low-key this time, making only enough to live comfortably without needing to worry about potentially angering a giant criminal family. Against all the odds, everything was coming up Raster. Now this was a life worth living!
Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (End)Topic%20Title
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Turbo

He'd run from his past, but ultimately it had caught right up to him. He'd failed them all, Joseph, Daniel, everyone who'd been at the mansion that day. But that was no reason to stop now. As a wrestler Matthew “Turbo” Johnson had inspired thousands, becoming a positive force with enough influence to make some real changes to society – promoting charity, donating to medical research and even setting up a trust fund for underprivileged children. Turbo may have retired, but Richard Davis? Richard Davis was a man with much to repent for, and it was time for him to stop hiding in the past.

It was time to stop hiding behind a mask.

It was time for Richard “Wonderland” Davis to take the wrestling world by storm. There was still so much more he could achieve, so many lives he could fill with wonder, that giving up now was out of the question. Nothing he could do would undo what he'd done, but if even one small child could be given hope through his actions, then he had to move forwards. He'd seen it for himself, in that dreadful game of life and death, just how strong a force hope could be…
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Sally

Sally was at a loss for what to do. It seemed like all the other players had some plan about how to proceed from here, but all she had ever been back in her own time was a salary woman. There were no longer any meaningful public records about Sally Schwarzschild – she had no past, no viable work experience or qualifications that could be documented. What prospects did she even have now?

Well, maybe there was a better way to think about it. If she had no past in 2100, then she wasn't shackled to her history. Working for a wholesale hardware distributor hadn't been especially fulfilling, even if she had slowly climbed the corporate ladder during her time there. Perhaps this was a time to change. “Starting with this d-damn stutter.” Sally muttered to herself, looking up speech therapists in the local area.

Now then, what else… Sally looked about the room she was in idly. It was an internet cafe – with no house or apartment, or any property of her own, this was the best she could do. The Admins had been kind enough to compensate her, letting her stay afloat while she considered her future, but ideally she wanted to be independent from them. Any connection back to them was only going to remind her of the game of life and death they'd forced her to play…

Her wandering eyes began to linger over the various patrons. If there's one thing she didn't like about the future, it was the hairstyles – all the dressers seemed to be using new, fancy equipment to cut people's hair, and while the results were often spectacular, Sally felt they were always lacking something. Actually, come to think of it… being from the past didn't usually come with any benefits, but if she could bring back good old-fashioned 2060's hairdressing, that could really change things around here! Of course, she'd have to have her nervousness looked into first, if she was going to be handling blades around people's heads, but this could really be it – something she could personally bring to 2100, her own achievement to make. Plus, she loved to gossip, so it would probably be quite fun. Sally opened a new tab in the browser and set to work.
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Jen

With the Caulderwoods long gone in the year 2100, Jen found herself without much of a clear purpose in life. She hadn't quite realised it until now, but much of her adult years had been spent obsessively pursuing the Caulderwoods to make them pay for their heinous crimes. Of course, she was still a normal policewoman at heart, but going back to such an ordinary role in the force felt… dull. It was a shock to realise that – she believed strongly in justice, so shouldn't helping ordinary people, and catching ordinary criminals, all be important? But try as she might, Jen couldn't muster the same enthusiasm she'd had when on the Caulderwood taskforce. She rejoined the police regardless, her clear skills paving the way even without a clearly documented history to back her up, but something just didn't feel right. If anything, it felt like she was wasting her potential somehow.

Marley had disappeared, gone back to the past to save the future, at least in another timeline. Jen had considered joining him, but ultimately there was nothing for her back in the past either, not unless she wanted to go back to fighting the Caulderwoods all over again. It had sounded like Marley would quite easily be able to prevent the massacre by himself, and from what he'd been saying over the Uplink Devices they'd still shared, he had many plans for his own redemption set out. Jen felt as though she didn't quite fit into any of those plans. She wondered vaguely about what Marley would be doing right now – if he'd gone back, the old him would have come forwards. Possibly just drinking, knowing him. Though thinking about it, she supposed she didn't actually know the old Marley, or Raster as he would have been known then.

Jen spent her days throwing herself into her work, hoping to get over her slight depression. She worked long hours, and took on cases solo, all to try and push herself. After the life and death game she'd been through, she vaguely wondered if she was simply looking for a challenge, yet nothing quite seemed to satisfy. Her passion and commitment hadn't gone unnoticed by the higher-ups, however, and soon her wish would be granted. One day they brought her aside, and laid a new file in front of her.

They informed her that there was a troubling new criminal in town, one they were having immense difficulty dealing with. He was smart, whoever he was, and at times it seemed as though he could predict the police's next moves, he was so adept at avoiding them. The seniors said that Jen was quite possibly the best officer in this entire town, so they felt she might be up to the task. “Do you accept?” They asked her, clearly placing their faith in her even though she was, to them, a newbie.
“Sure.” Might actually be interesting this time. “So what is he? Who am I dealing with?”
“He's a conman. A smoker and an alcoholic, from what we hear, but that doesn't seem to have affected his mental functions.” Jen's eyes went wide, and she grinned despite the seriousness of the situation.
“I'm on it.”
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Marigold and Fauna

Fauna addressed Marigold seriously. They had somehow ended up back at the Liddell mansion, after finding that they could no longer access their own lab. “I never told you about my past.”
“I didn't care to ask. The past is the past, whatever.” Marigold replied, unconcerned.
“No, but… look, I did some really bad things back then. I was… obsessed with success. To an unhealthy degree.”
“Maybe, but look where it got you. Well, I guess the Admins took all our research from us, but you know what I mean.”

“Yeah, I got there, but what about everyone else?” Fauna shot back, standing up from her chair. “I sacrificed so many others to get to where I am today. I even got a guy expelled from my university just because his research covered the same area as mine, because I was terrified I'd get accused of plagiarism!” Marigold raised her eyebrows, somewhat surprised by the revelation. “I can't stand by you knowing I did all that...”
“Fauna, don't be stupid.” Marigold sighed. “You're my assistant because you're actually good enough. I wouldn't let just anyone hold that position – most other people would just get it wrong.”

“B-but...” Fauna stammered. “I...”
“You've changed, Fauna.” Marigold said firmly. “All that's behind you.”
“I considered killing you!” Fauna burst out, unable to contain the truth any longer. “In this game, I knew that if you were… if you were gone, I'd have full lead over the cryogenics research! I haven't changed at all!”
“And I'm still alive.” Marigold replied plainly. “If you really wanted me dead, I'd probably be dead. You're smart enough to have found a way; you could even overpower me if you'd liked. Stop worrying about it so much.”

Despite Marigold's assurances, it took a while for Fauna to calm down again. Marigold stayed with her the full while, though, batting away her worries until Fauna began to smile. She meant what she'd said – she'd never been any good at understanding people, but she was certain that Fauna was no longer the cold, self-serving girl she'd been when she first became her assistant. She was, after all, her only friend.

“So… what now?” Marigold asked Fauna some time later. Fauna was in a good mood again, but they still hadn't figured out where they'd be going from now on.
“Yeah, guess we're not continuing our cryogenics research...” Fauna replied, sighing and leaning back in her chair. In the many years since they'd both been taken from their times, other researchers had completed what they set out to do, rendering most of their efforts meaningless and leaving them with no projects to work on. Fauna sighed again and began to spin her chair around, letting her amber hair fly about. Marigold batted it away annoyedly and scooted back to get out of range.

“Honestly, I don't think the Admins really know what they're doing here.” Marigold said. “Without Daniel they're pretty useless.”
“You think?” Fauna said, bringing herself to a halt and swaying as the world continued to spin around her.
“Yes.” Marigold replied flatly. “They think they can go public off of just this! With no contacts in the community – they're complete outsiders, unknowns! And that's not to mention the consequences of this 'Replicate Control' they're so very proud of.”

Fauna grimaced. “Yeah, don't much like the sound of any country's military getting that into their hands. Endless clone wars… doesn't sound like a very bright future.”
“That's why I think we need to take this into our own hands.” Marigold said. “We're both very smart people, we can figure this out. If we continue the research ourselves, we can make sure we know what we're dealing with before publishing any findings.”

“Hmm… I guess the Admins would then work for us? I like the sound of getting to boss them about!”
“Sure. Like I said, they're basically useless. I think they'll do whatever we say as long as it's for the project.”
“Yeah, this is starting to sound like a plan...” Fauna said, nodding. “And, um… I'd be glad to work alongside you again. The real you, this time, and… maybe the real me.”
“Hmm.” Marigold gave a rare smile, and then abruptly got up. “Alright then. Let's go talk to the idiots downstairs.” Fauna grinned and sprang to her feet as well, before following her friend to one of the elevators.
Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (End)Topic%20Title
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Dack

So… the Caulderwoods were gone. The ones who'd taken him in, the ones who'd been his family, and now they were gone. Dack had very mixed feelings on the matter. He'd been with them his whole life, committed crimes in their name just as he'd been raised to do. Never once had he questioned his actions, but… going back to a life like that, after everything he'd been through at the Liddell mansion, just felt wrong somehow.

Even after they'd found out he was a Caulderwood, the other players had shown a trust in him that matched that of his brothers and sisters in the family. They'd even gone against the Admins and broken him out of one of the rooms when it had been looking bleak, despite any potential danger on their part. Could he really spite all that by going back to a life of petty crime? But that life was all he'd ever known. What even else was there for him in this world? Dack was plagued by these thoughts as he wandered around the town he'd been taken to after the Nonary Game was over.

He was startled out of his thoughts by a sudden cry. “Stop, thief!” Dack looked up to see a young boy sprinting away from a shop, plastic bag full of goods in one hand and an overweight shopkeeper trying to keep on his tail. This pattern seemed familiar… sure enough, as he continued to watch nonchalantly, he saw another child slip into the empty shop and start stuffing notes from the still-open register into his pockets. He decided to stealthily follow him as he ran back out and down an alleyway, curious what he'd find.

There was a veritable maze of back-alleys around here, it would seem, but Dack had experience with this and he easily kept up with the boy, making sure he wasn't seen throughout. Soon he found himself in a secluded area, far from the noise and activity of the main streets, and from around the corner he spied a group of children, seven in all. Orphans or runaways, presumably, but by the looks of things they'd set up well here. The robbery he'd witnessed just now clearly wasn't the first. As he debated what to do, he felt a sudden sharp edge being held against his throat.

“What do you want? You a cop?” He heard a voice asking him. By the sounds of it, this was another child, a girl perhaps, though it was difficult to tell. The knife at his neck remained steady and strong, however, so perhaps it was best not to try and resist just yet.
“Not a cop. Not anybody, really.” Dack replied. “I saw that robbery you guys pulled and got curious.”
“Yeah? Curiosity like that can get you killed round here, you know?” Came the sneering reply. Dack sighed.
“You're not going to kill me. You don't want trouble like that.” He knew it to be true – he'd been like them when he was younger.

“Well, m-maybe this situation calls for it!” The girl said, her voice rising. “We can't let you go to the cops.” The other children had realised something was up and were coming over, worry and anger mixed in their expressions.
“The cops?” Dack snorted. “Please. If I go to the cops and they see this tattoo, I'm done for. I'd be in it worse than you.” He wasn't entirely sure if that was still true. He didn't yet know how recently it was that the Caulderwoods were taken down. “Look, can we hold this conversation without the knife? I'm not going to be able to do anything against the eight of you.”
“Nine.” A new voice spoke up, and the boy who'd led the shopkeeper away came into view. He still had the bag full of stolen goods. “Lily, let him go. We can deal with this.” The girl reluctantly complied, and Dack felt he could breathe freely again. He sat down to better address the group without intimidating them.

“So, who are you?” The same boy asked. He seemed like the leader of the group.
“Used to be a Caulderwood. Now I'm no-one.” Dack replied truthfully.
“A Caulder-what?” The boy asked dubiously. “Yeah, whatever. What're you doing here?”
“Same as you, I guess.” Dack said with a shrug. “I've got no place out there.”
“Mick, what do we do with this guy?” The knife girl, Lily, asked their leader. Mick growled and began pacing back and forth, clearly unsure. Then he walked right up to the seated Dack and stared him in the face.
“I dunno, what do you think, big guy?” He asked menacingly, leaning in and prodding him.

“Think you should be a bit more careful.” Dack replied plainly, twirling a penknife in his right hand. Mick gasped and frantically checked his pockets, realising it was his. Dack laughed and tossed the folded up blade back to the boy. “You know, I think I like it here. Maybe I'll stay.” He grinned and leant back against the wall behind him, as the young thieves all began to yell at him in surprise and confusion. “You lot need a guiding hand. You're a smart bunch, but you can't live like this forever. Trust me on that one.”
“Yeah? What can you do about it?” Lily asked indignantly.
“Dunno. But I've got plenty of time to find out.” Dack said with another smile. Even if there was nothing for him in the outside world, it seemed like there were still things he could do right here.
Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (End)Topic%20Title
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Takeru/Jack

There was no denying that Takeru was dead. Electrocuted by a trap, throat slit as a sacrifice, lynched for the trouble he'd caused. Even his original body was dead, broken out of its icy prison and left to lie on the vault floor until one of the Admins thought to dispose of it. He'd been given a second chance by Daniel, and he'd shown that the chaotic events that followed his body's discovery only reflected the chaos that had lain in his heart. No-one was likely to miss him, but neither would anyone forget him.

However, even after his death, the legend of Jack lived on. There's a theory that humans can subconsciously share information in an invisible, four-dimensional field, allowing people to know things they shouldn't. This is one of the many aspects to Morphogenetic Field theory, and phenomena attributed to it have cropped up throughout history.

It would seem the effect is still going strong to this day, as rumours began to arise of an undead soldier wandering the streets at night, bringing terrible luck to all who saw him. He was named Mad Jack, thought to be the Jack of legend who'd disappeared many years ago. They say he speaks in riddles, and carries a knife for those who can't answer him clearly. Beware all those walking alone at night, because Mad Jack might be coming to get you!
Re: Nonary Game 5: Life (End)Topic%20Title
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Gary

Gary watched the players leave Zero's room, heading for the garage so that they could finally escape. He then started speaking again, addressing his mother to inform her of his decision. “I… have to go back. This isn't right, none of this is right! Daniel had no right to use me the way he did, and now my life is over. Marley, no, Raster, needs to pay for what he did, and I need to get my real body back.”

He sees the elevator begin to rise, then descend again, his mother coming down to speak to him face-to-face. She is clearly saddened by the situation, but also seems to understand Gary's feelings. “If this is what you want, I have no right to stop you. You deserve much better than this.” She said, stepping forwards and speaking a string of random words to unlock the restraints around her son's body. “But if I can just make one request, as your mother… please don't seek out vengeance against Raster. Even if you believe he deserves it, I don't want to see you become a murderer.” Tears formed in her eyes, but she remained resolute.

“But, mother, can't you see? He's the reason my family is dead! He's the reason I was made to play this game! And as much as I hate my father for doing all this, Raster's the reason he became that way, and he's the reason he's now dead! How can he just… get away with all that?” Amber tensed up against the outburst and looked to the ground, shaking a little.
“Just… please keep my words in mind. I won't try to persuade you any further, I lost all right to that when I allowed all this to happen to you.” She said. Gary looked away, trying not to cry himself. He wanted to object, but after everything that he'd been through he found it difficult.
“I… don't blame you, mum. I'm sure you did your best to stop this. And… you gave me that Token. I know you still love me.” At that Amber's tears came through in force and she fell against her son's aged body, hugging him and crying uncontrollably. Gary hugged her back, but below the grief he felt a small, cold flame of anger that continued to burn unquenchably.

A few days later, he stood alone atop the roof of the mansion. The Admins had refused to help him, not wanting to cause Amber any more distress, so he'd been forced to take matters into his own hands. His father had owned many books, papers and personally-written documents on Morphogenetic Field Theory, and so he had read up on the theory by himself, discovering what was necessary to achieve S.H.I.F.T.ing. It seems his Esper abilities had already fully awoken, so all that was left was a situation extreme enough to send his mind back to the past.

He approached the edge. Gary steadfastly believed this is what he needed to do, but even so, the sight of the ground so far below him caused his body to shake, remembering the fall he'd had some years ago at school. Good. His phobia would heighten the experience, making the S.H.I.F.T. that much more likely to occur. He spared a moment's thought for the 'him' that would be taking his place, but he knew there could only be one timeline where he successfully escaped the game in his original body and returned to his original life. There was nothing for him in a timeline where he was trapped in Daniel's body, and that went for the Gary who'd be taking his place too. It was for the best that he'd die here, without realising what was going on.

A young boy got up from his chair. He appears to be the youngest of the group, with him being 18 years old. He's wearing a rock band raglan t-shirt, distressed jeans, and red sneakers. His brown hair appears to be long enough to reach just halfway down his neck, and there is a teal hightlight in his hair as well. He appears to be slim and somewhat average in height, honestly.

It was pretty clear to the others that he doesn't seems to trust any of them, with his hazel eyes darting around.

"D-D-Does anyone know where the hell are we?" The boy asked as he looks around the unfamiliar place. "I'm not liking this at all! Not one bit!"


No more thinking. This had to work. Before he could talk himself out of it, Gary jumped. He unwillingly began screaming, and terrified thoughts sped through his mind – what if it didn't work? What if he died here? Would it hurt? His eyes widened as the ground grew closer-

Bar code? The boy looks down at his left wrist. Of course, there's a barcode tattoo on his left wrist. He frowned at this.

"I could have gone for a really cool dragon tattoo than this ugly tattoo." The boy remarked as he went back to keeping his eyes on the others. "But uh.... mine says-”

There was a feeling like a sudden, bone-shattering impact, and then everything went dark.


“-Aaaaaaaah!” Gary let out a scream, tensing up so much that his skin scraped painfully against the restraints.
“Your tattoo says 'aaaaaaaah'? Lucky, mine only says 'P7'.” Fauna said to his left. “Come on, stop messing about. This is probably information we need, and you're only going to look suspicious if you hide it!”
“Ah, um, right! Uh… mine says P9, or something like that, I think." Gary replied hastily, relief filling his body like candy floss. It seems the S.H.I.F.T. was successful, then. Onto the next phase of the plan. When not studying Morphogenetic Field Theory, Gary had spent his past few days recalling everything that had happened in the game to create the perfect plan to escape, while ensuring Marley and Jack did not. He grinned, glad that no-one could see his expression due to the elevator layout. This was going to be the true timeline.
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