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Benjamin checked out the dungeon next, looking at the rustic shackles.

“I once knew a prisoner who was a real talker. He could go on and on about the most inane things. During lunch he always sat by me and prattled on about some idiocy. I’m not sure why I was his victim, perhaps he thought I was listening but I was just being polite.

“One day he got in a fight with a guard. They locked him up in solitary confinement—a cell not much unlike this one. No windows, no conversations with anyone. No way to tel if it was night or day. He was there for a week and released. I never heard him talk again. I never even saw him make eye contact.” He bowed his head as he reminisced.

“... I do rather miss our talks.”
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Brandy, who had followed Benjamin and listened to his monologue with interest, shook on the bars for one of the cells. They seemed sturdy, and definitely not something she'd want to be locked behind.

"Solitary confinement is probably one o' the worst things you can do to a person... we're social creatures, so deprivin' us of the ability to connect is almost like removin' a purpose from a person's life," she mused. "At least, that's what I think. Prison already changes people. Solitary confinement essentially makes 'em a zombie. You get trapped in your own head."
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Sebastian spends some time at the observatory. The sky looks crystal clear and each of the stars seems to glisten with the vividness of real life. The different astral bodies make the dark sky glow with colors. He catches a glimpse of a shooting star. A good omen?

...

Everyone slowly makes their way back to the parlor, continuing whatever conversations they may have been having, many people are sitting in the parlor, since it is one of the warmest and coziest areas they've ever had access to. Suddenly, Oliver finds a box in the stack of board games with a somewhat ominous message taped to it:

EXACTLY EIGHT MINUTES AFTER YOU HAVE FOUND THIS MESSAGE, THIS GAME WILL BEGIN WITH ALL NINE OF YOU AS PLAYERS.

If you want to find out what happened to Enola and keep your votes at the next tribunal, I suggest you do your best to participate.

-Belphegor


They look at the board game the note is stuck to. It's called "Virtues and Vices," and it seems to contain nothing but a set of cards.

Spoiler: Virtues and Vices
Instructions:

1. Each player is assigned one card from the deck.

2. Each player privately reads the instructions on their card.

3. Each player tries to secretly carry out the tasks on their card.

4. If seven players reach a success or failure state, the way forward will become unlocked in three hours.

5. Failure of a task results in the nullification of your voting power for the foreseeable future.

6. At the end of 72 hours, all players fail tasks they have not completed.

Rules:

1. Someone else reading your card results in immediate failure.

2. You stating what your card told you to do results in immediate failure.

3. Answering questions about what your card told you to do results in failure.

4. Asking questions about what a card said results in immediate failure.


Oliver reaches for the cards, "This is the way forward then! We found it! All we have to do is follow some instructions."

He passes out a card to everyone, each one has their name and face on it, "It's not like we have a choice if we're all going to start playing no matter what. So here's all of your cards if you want to read them."

Right after everyone reads their cards, they hear a voice echoing through the halls:

"VIRTUES AND VICES HAS BEGUN. Good luck."

[I will post your card in your qt soon, feel free to post after you've seen it.]

Last edited by Doctor Nanjo on Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Seb stared at his card for longer than was necessary. His expression didn't much change, but it seemed clear regardless that he wasn't looking forward to the prospect of doing whatever he'd been tasked with doing.

"Well, something to note. Seven successes or failures. We can afford a few failures while still maintaining sufficient voting power to catch people in any future tribunals. There's nothing in the rules saying we can't announce when we've succeeded at our task, so, if we reach the right threshold then maybe a few of the rest of us should just intentionally fail to reach seven. I would say we can afford a maximum of three failures before things become awkward, though there are options even if we go over that."
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After reading her card and listening to Seb, Brandy looked around at the others. "Well, looks like this'll be interestin'... Nice twist, Belphegor, I gotta hand it to you."
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Haley screwed up her face as she read her card. "Seriously?! How the hell am I supposed to pull that off without... ah, whatever. I'll figure something out, I guess." She tapped her fingers together as she then began planning, a bright glint in her eye...
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"Judging by the rules, it's fine to comment at least vaguely about your own card so long as you don't reveal what's actually on it," Seb said, tucking his card into a pocket. "I bring that up because my card, at least, strikes me as something with potentially... dangerous consequences. If need be I don't mind being one of the ones to fail my condition, though there's no need to do that right now." He then looked around him curiously, wondering if that comment alone would be enough to fail him despite his own assurances.
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Daniel is handed the card while sipping on some black tea. Upon taking it, he stops sipping and does a double take. He starts sweating and slowly sets the cup down. For the entire duration of Seb talking, he keeps staring at it.

"You're... right, soldier. Those who fail can't vote, though. Fuckin' Satan up to some bullshit again. He grunts in annoyance, clearly not happy.
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"Right, well..." Oliver began after reading his card, placing it in his pocket and out of sight. "This'll be interesting to see unfold. Hopefully most of us will be able to succeed regardless. I'd hate to lose the ability to vote, and I'm sure most people here would as well."
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"Losin' the ability to vote puts a future killer at an advantage, so I wonder if the point of this is to get anyone thinkin' about killin' to try n' sabotage everyone else to keep 'em from votin'," Brandy mused. "How nefarious..."
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“I think we should all try our best to succeed.” Benjamin advised. “Votes shouldn’t matter much as long as we’re more or less on the same page, so it strikes me as odd that this has come up now. We need to maintain as much power and influence over this game as we can—if somebody has a card that involves something dangerous or hurting someone then I can be the victim. As long as we complete our tasks.”
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"Shit whats the worst that could..."
Matt read the card he had been given.

"Shit...of all the damn bullshit to tell me to do you put this shit on it...well fine you know what ill do it ill show your damn ass I can do it ya bastard!

Matt proceeded to walk off loudly spewing insults which could be heard long after he had left the area.
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"...Hmph. A board game?"

Ivan read his card, his face growing increasingly twisted and disgusted with what was on it.

"W-Wha..?!"

Someone panicked, he shoved the card in his pocket.

"Is this some kind of joke, Belphegor?! Because it's not very funny!"

He looked at the others contently, studying each one briefly.

"...No, absolutely not. We only need to complete or fail seven tasks, correct? Then count me out..! T-This is not acceptable for me or anyone..!"
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Seb raised his eyebrows. "The more I hear, the more I'm convinced my task is one of the tamer ones," he commented in bemusement. "The only thing we should keep in mind is, someone might consider using this chance to kill while we have our guards down. Being cautious might making achieving some of these tasks difficult for everyone else, but, I think it's still the right approach."
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"Like the blonde soldier said, we have to try and succeed. There's no way for us to know which tasks are the de facto worst ones. And no soldiers stop at a simple stopgap!'

Daniel begins slowly walking off in a very... athletic manner. He's doing high skips as he walks, swinging his arms as well. He seems to be going forward every five skips or so.
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"...T-There's no way I can try this, no matter what you or Benjamin says," Ivan stammered, clutching his arm. "I know if we don't, we can't proceed, but...this is out of the question..!"

Still, there was a hint of doubt in his voice.
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"Actually, there's something unclear about this," Seb said thoughtfully. "Only 7 need to succeed or fail to unlock the way forward, but what happens to the last two? Do they fail still if 72 hours have passed?"
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"I don't know, but I do know something." Haley pointed at Benjamin. "You're gay." And then at Brandy. "And you're a lesbian."
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"Okay, but... I'm literally not?" Brandy said, seemingly perplexed. "Don't go projectin' your own issues onto us, now."
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Haley sighed. "Damn. It didn't work. Okay... hmmmmmm..."

It seemed the woman was deep in thought. Odd, given her propensity to just... go.
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"Are you tryin' to come out to us, Haley? Because it's okay. It's the current year. We're acceptin'."
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"If that was my problem, I'd just say so," Haley answered sarcastically. "But hey, leave it to the advisor chick to make herself look like an idiot. Just another on a long list of problems."
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SaizotheSixth wrote:
"I don't know, but I do know something." Haley pointed at Benjamin. "You're gay." And then at Brandy. "And you're a lesbian."

"That's quite an odd thing to say." Benjamin raised an eyebrow. "I actually found prison to be rather uncomfortable with all the testosterone in the atmosphere."

Then realizing that this was probably related to some sort of challenge, "But uh sure. I suppose I can say I'm gay."
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"..." Haley stared at both of them, and then sighed.

"Never mind. It didn't work. I'll have to think of something more obvious. Maybe then it'll work."
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Klifford looks at his card for a moment then sighs. He puts it away in his pocket.

"Way to kick a guy when he's down, Belphegor..." He says.
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Joker wrote:
Klifford looks at his card for a moment then sighs. He puts it away in his pocket.

"Way to kick a guy when he's down, Belphegor..." He says.

"He seems to relish in doing that," Oliver replied, letting out a slight huff. Brandy's comment made him wonder what Nail/Haley's sexuality truly was, but part of him was afraid to find out.
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[Belphegor answers Sebastian that the last two people will be allowed to achieve their goals if they still can within the time limit.]

Everyone continues talking for a while. Strangely, Daniel continues to hop around, presumably due to some part of the game, but who can say.

Later on, several people are making their way upstairs, looking for stuff to kill time. They near the top of the tower. The light's aren't on up here, but they see the shadow of somebody outlined in the frame of the window. Eerily swaying back and forth in front of the dull grey light drifting up from the city streets.

"Matt?"

His eyes are wide open, more open then they've ever seen them, and yet they're completely still. It's like he's looking intensely for something deep in his own mind. His expression is strangely blank. He doesn't respond at first, and he seems to get farther away, slowly sinking deep into his world.

In his hand, he's holding it:

The Bell.
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Haley is the first to react, snapping her fingers around his head. "Hellooooo? Drunk asshole? Dumb bitch? Infinite well of alchohol poisoning? Anyone hooooooooome? ... No? Okay."
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"SOLDIER!"

Daniel is doing jumping jacks. His face is beet red and he's sweating hard, his shirt is evidently soaked with sweat, but he continues. A bit sloppily. Each word takes a while to come out.

"WHAT... ARE... YOU... DOING?"
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"Do you want to get down from there, maybe then we can talk about whatever this is?" Seb suggested uncertainly. He hung back, not sure if he wanted to get too close
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"Matt? Matt, are you all there mentally?" Oliver worriedly asked. He glanced over to Daniel, wondering why he had been hopping around and was not doing jumping jacks, but figured that there were more important matters to attend to.

"His expression looks so vacant... Like he lost his soul or something. Could, ah, could the bell be doing that?" he wondered aloud, glancing around at the others.
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"Matt, if you haven't rung it yet I suggest you think otherwise." Benjamin advised. "It's your choice but anything bad you've done, we can talk about it."
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"...Yes, you don't have to do this," Ivan said in agreement with the others. "Let's talk about it first...okay?"
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Matt says rather still with a dead expression on mumbling to himself quietly, then finally he lifts up the bell and stares at it, shaking, shaking till finally his legs give out and collapses to his knees and sets down the bell tears streaming down his eyes.

"Fuck this bullshit game...fuck this bullshit cave, fuck this bullshit town...hell fuck it all...aint I sufferd enough...no...no I guess not..."

Matt takes the paper from his pocket with the task he was assigned, and reads it his blood boils.
"Fuck you and you damn retarded ass task... Matt got up and stormed off infuriated, unable to hear anyone say anything to him.
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"What the hell...? Could his task really have been so... dark?" Brandy asked. "That was very unfittin' n' unlike him to do. Part o' me wants to follow him, but it ain't seemin' like he wants help right now."
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Matt's actions, for many people stay front of mind, even as the day wears on.

---

Later still, the group is disturbed by something: a sickening slightly wet thudding noise. People go as a group to investigate, the sound instilling fear into them. What sort of monstrousness is happening?

They peak into the art room. Benjamin's there. Blood pouring from his hands. He has a stony expression on his face. Behind him, Ivan is beating him miraculously with the baton. Thunk after thunk hits him square on his body. Benjamin just allows it to happen, not lifting his arm, even as the baton comes down hard. A couple of deep-looking gashes have formed on him.

Ivan locks eyes with the others. He stops swinging, letting his arm fall limply. He's caught.
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"I-I...E-Everyone..!"

Ivan's face twisted slightly. It was a face mixed with shock and guilt. A card falls from his pocket, landing in a small, nearby puddle of blood.
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Oliver gasped at the sight before him, before locking eyes with Ivan. His face visibly contorted in disgust, and his heart raced. He narrowed his eyes, clearly seething. "Ivan. Put the baton down. Now."

His tone was stern as he grinded his teeth together. "So this is what we're stooping to? Fucking TORTURE?!"
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Ivan's shock slowly transitioned into a desperate fury.

"...I-I...All I could do when this game started was think about the outside world..! Everyone outside who deserves a peaceful life is in danger! They're living in a town underneath the authority of a disgusting man!"

Ivan's eyes locked with Oliver's, maintaining a mixture of anger and desperation. Blood dripped from his baton and formed a tiny pool by his feet. His card remained on the floor in the middle of more blood.

"I...I have to do this..! Or I'll never make it outside..! I need to be with my men! I need to return to the Stonewall of Rattlewater that I have created with my two hands..! Or...or else..."
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"Well, Benjamin did volunteer. His training probably means he's prepared for this. It's... still not ideal," Seb said, wincing, "but if Ivan's task requires this in some way then we should respect Benjamin's choice to allow it." He did rather hope Benjamin might try and explain, though.
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