No-one seems to have noticed that fucking deranged blink from a moment ago. Thank fucking Christ, she couldn’t have lived with the eternal humiliation that would have brought otherwise. Probably everyone’s just too self-contained right now to give a shit.
Mister Fuzzy keeps touching his fringe and it’s starting to really fucking bug Hex, and she’s thinking up a chain of hair-related names to refer to him by when he ruins her attempt at creativity by jumping in with a
“Call me ‘Cat’, my bracelet number is ‘4’.” He raised his left hand, showing the two the face of the bracelet.
Fucking balls. It’ll have to be fucking Cat then, she’s not imaginative enough to come up with something else straight after hearing something that suitable.
4…4…so that’s 6 + 8 + 4 =…uh…
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST ON A STICK THERE’S A VOICE. It startles Hex a lot more than it should and she looks around startled for a moment.
“Listen wisely. I shall tell you the rules of the game.”
So she does. And from the bits she understands, she draws one fucking conclusion: she is very, very fucked. The voice is going off in gobbledy-fucking-gook right now and all Hex can think is
I’m not going to make it. There is no fucking way I am going to be o-fucking-kay.
There is nothing that she can punch to make it all better.
But maybe that’s for the best, right?
She hasn’t felt like this for years. Not for - well, six fucking years, exactly. She’s stuck in a fucking game and she has a fucking deathwish and everything will not be fine. It will not even be fucking okay.
She is not going back.
“This isn’t a game. It’s a play. She called us actors. She wants us to follow her script.””
Felix is going to turn out to be the sort of person who never fucking shuts up, isn’t he?
“Let’s find some fucking plotholes and get the fuck out then, before we get to the fucking twist ending,” Hex says, if only because she needs to say something to make herself work.
Lank hair in the bathroom mirror. Red eyes.
But she’s got to make him proud right? Go out with a fucking bang.
“You.” He pointed to Hex. “You wanna go through Door 3 too? Who else can come?” The last question was directed to the both of them.
She has to force herself to look around, pretend to think, when really she’s just waiting for someone else to sort the fucking mess out here.
“No fucking shit, Sherlock, you saw me here the moment we saw bodies,” she says, feeling a little better, and then Felix starts to walk off to a different group entirely.
She’s not going to follow him. There is no fucking way she’ll -
“What is this, a meeting place for orange-haired people? Astrea, you seem a little out of place. Anyway, you three are wanting to go through Door 3, am I wrong? Cat, Hex, and I are looking to go through ourselves but we need some more numbers. What are yours?”
She’s not sure if cheerful Felix makes her want to threaten to punch him again, or stop and breath. But he’s looking out for her, which is a fucking surprise. So she tugs her singlet down and goes over to check it out.
There’s a guy with fucking orange hair. Jesus, what is wrong with these people and their fucking hair? And a chick, but the orange hair is counterbalanced by the fact that she’s, well, not white.
Hex likes her already.
And a black-haired girl that Felix seems to recognise.
“Well,” Hex drawls, starting to cross her arms then remembering that she should be keeping her left hand in her pocket and settling for putting her right hand on her waist. “You sure have been fucking friendly, huh, Felix?”
“So,” addressing the other three, “are we the corpse party then?”
Astrea had already taken a few glances at Mercury’s and Sol’s wrists, (although she probably could have guessed their numbers based off of their codenames; Mercury was the first planet from the sun (unless she had been basing her codename off of the chemical element?), so having a bracelet number of 1 was sensible enough. Sol, however….did souls have any correlation to the number five?) was able to quickly do the math and calculate their digital root. One plus five, plus six.
3. And they only needed three people to pass through the door, correct? She crosses her arms once more, as if it were her default pose.
Her calculations are interrupted by a familiar voice, and a familiar face to accompany it. If she remembered correctly, his number was eight. It hadn’t been that long ago.
Ignoring his jab about being out of place, Astrea shrugs her shoulders and turns slightly so that Felix is included in their little circle of conversation.
"You are not," she says, tilting her head slightly at his naming of the other two figures standing closer to Door 3 itself. Cat, Hex….? Were they codenames? Hex seemed obvious enough; the prefix for six. But what could ‘Cat’ have meant? A cat’s nine lives? Or it could have been a nickname, a shortening of a longer name? Maybe ‘Kat’ was the female one?
It was a dead end train of thought, and Felix was already asking about their bracelet numbers. (Adding in an eight and a six…?)
"We have a digital root of three," Astrea replied, although the second half of her reply is cut off by the arrival of one of the two who had originally been standing by the door. Astrea’s about to raise her voice and say something, but reminds herself that now is neither the time nor place for that and so she holds her tongue, shrugging her shoulders once more.
"The three of us," she repeats, pointing to Mercury and Sol, "have a digital root of three. But, adding in an eight and….a six?" She pauses, looking at the woman, but not only is one of her eyes concealed, she’s keeping her left hand in her pocket. Was this woman ‘Cat’ or ‘Hex?’ Nonetheless, "…That would give us a digital root of eight. So in other words, this fancy "corpse party" of yours would need a digital root of four."
Corpse party. She just wants to know how they died. Felix had shown some sort of vague competency with medical terms and concepts, so maybe he was a doctor? All the better.
It could certainly be said that from the looks of it, Mercury had practically been trying to force Door 3 open with sheer force of will; however, like a puppy her attention is suddenly snapped away by this new arrival. Fully snapped away, and suddenly Mercury’s facing her and giving her attention as though the door that she’d just been staring down doesn’t exist.
“You betcha! I figure we might as well find out what we can from what’s behind here, y’know?” The thought others had of those hanging around Door 3 seeming to be almost sociopathic hadn’t crossed her mind. Since Mercury knew her own truthfulness, she didn’t really grasp the idea that others were suspicious of it.
She was one to jump right into things, perhaps while not always thinking. In fact thinking was something she only tended to really delve into, and visibly, when prompted. So here she was standing straight in front of Door 3 with her usual attitude. They call this “blissful ignorance”.
“So, how about you? Are y’ thinkin’ about it too?” Mercury was clearly interested.
In the midst of his conversation, he couldn’t help but to be shocked by the sudden explanation; he felt his stomach churn, and he nearly broke out in a cold sweat every time the word “die” was audible. He also couldn’t help but to take notice for the first time how feminine the voice was. He glanced at the others for a bit, incredibly suspecting of the fact that the voice on the loudspeaker may have been his fellow kidnapees.
He assumed that the Japanese had been geared towards Kyo of course, causing him to briefly look at her. There are too many thoughts on his mind, and too many things he’d like to do at the moment, he’s overwhelmed. Instead, all he does is merely click the button on his conspicuous watch, reading the “33” emblazoned on it. Well shit, 33 isn’t much. Urgh, he couldn’t stand this, he felt utterly trapped and always had a hatred towards being ordered around, which unfortunately was the only option available if he truly wanted to survive in this situation. He assumes that it’s time for him to get settled, and he makes his way to Door 3. Ah, isn’t that where Carrot Top said she was heading too?
His legs are weak with anxiety, and his walk over to the area is without speed. He approaches Carrot Top, and what seems to be a person he has yet to meet, as they converse. They bore what he considered to be choppy, dark, average length locks and at the least, had a pleasant fashion sense.
“Well if isn’t Carrot Top. Nice to see you here again! I apologize if I’m intruding.” He firmly places his hands, giving a warm grin. “I’m taking it that you’re going through here too?” His question is directed towards Choppy, despite them being a stranger, his tone is an amicable one nonetheless. He speculates on what their motives for wanting to enter this Door were, considering it wasn’t a place of rainbows and smiles. Hell, none of this damn airship was, this door just happened to be one of it’s most prominently grotesque areas. He could feel himself becoming faint simply thinking about being completely exposed to what’s was in there, but he had his own personal (and awfully willful) reasons for wanting to head there himself.
“This hellhole is more popular then I expected, that’s for sure.” He lightly chuckles and afterwards, extends his arm and motions the other for a handshake, the usual greeting of course. “Name’s Sol, it’s as pleasurable as it can be in this situation to meet you. And you are?”
The orange-haired one seemed quite eager about the prospect of going through Door 1; perhaps she was just a peppy person in general? Either way, her clear enthusiasm (and odd accent; one she’d associate with someone from Texas or possibly Kentucky, if they were talking the United States) struck Astrea as a bit odd. Maybe some people were just that naturally cheerful? (She didn’t strike her as someone who forced happiness to deceive others, but maybe her blinding exuberance was still just an act?)
She’s about to respond with something along the lines of ‘Yes, I figured the same as you,’ when her attention is caught by another orange-haired person (was this a meeting place for orange-haired people?), who quickly identifies the girl as ‘Carrot-Top’ (although she’s tempted to interrupt with something along the lines of ‘you’re just as carrot-topped as she is’) and then introducing himself as ‘Sol.’
He’s another cheerful one, though. Did it come with the hair?
She takes his outstretched hand and nods her head once in response, her face set in a slight frown, as if daring the pair of them to keep up their air of positivity. “Astrea. …And, I’m certainly going to try to.” She nods her head towards Door 3, where there were three others already gathered, although she keeps her eyes on Sol and ‘Carrot-Top’ for now. They were going to need a digital root of 3 to pass through the door. Her eyes trailed down towards both of their wrists, shifting her own arms around and recrossing so that her own bracelet was visible.
The loudspeaker had grown quiet yet again, after it went through its explanation of their situation. Well, it had still decided to leave out some things, but it was better than nothing. The loudspeaker had even been kind enough to repeat it in Japanese for Kyo to understand. And now they could move on ahead!
“If either of you guys want to go through Door 3, that’s where I’m headed!” Departing from her conversation with Sol and Kyo, Mercury skips off towards Door 3.
She comes to a stop in front of it. She has her hands on her hips, and her foot’s tapping the ground, and she stares at the door with no noticeable attention to those around her.
What lies behind this door? She still wants to know…
(( check out this post if you also want to go through Door 3 and we can work out a group?? ))
The sudden explanation of rules leaves her more than a little miffed; with all of the small details that the rules had omitted, she hardly felt any more enlightened than she had a few minutes ago.
The most valuable piece of knowledge she had gotten out of them was that apparently someone in their group spoke only Japanese (if she remembered correctly), or else the repetition of what she assumed to be the rules would have been just a waste of time?
Ju’s gone off somewhere else, although she had no intention of following the other woman wherever she went. If she wanted to know what kind of consequence waited for those who broke the rules, she was going to have to see the corpses again. The voice had implied that death awaited the rule-breakers, but what kind of death was it?
So, with her right hand gripping the bracelet on her left wrist, she slowly makes her way towards Door 3, where a small congregation of people has already formed. Could they make it through the door with this group of people?
There’s one young lady with striking orange hair who stands in front of the door with a determined (or possibly impatient?) expression on her face. Astrea steps towards her, crossing her arms as she stands next to the woman, her own eyes trained on Door 3 as well.
"So," she says softly, turning her head slightly towards the orange-haired woman, "are you going through this door?"
( ooc: if we add in dinah’s  to those five characters it looks like we’ll have a digital root of 3 so!! )
Perhaps Astrea isn’t as absentminded as she initially thought, as she detects just a bit of snap in her retort. She’d hoped to get more of a response out of her baiting, but she’ll take what she can get.
“Fair enough I guess!” Her tone is light and airy, and she makes no show of even detecting Astrea’s irritation. “It’s kind of hard to make a decision when we don’t even really know the mechanics of how this is going to work..” There were many ways this whole thing could go wrong, many conflicts that could possibly arise— one could only wonder if their captor has foreseen them. They would have had to if they’d put so much work into such an elaborate scheme. Or maybe they were excitedly waiting to see how these conflicts would work out..?
The thought does nothing to quell her nerves so she tries to forget about it for the moment.
“Still, can’t help but wonder what all the others are thinking. Quite a few of them seem awfully curious about those bodies..” Their goal was to get out, not solve some sort of extravagant murder mystery. She had no idea why corpses would intrigue anyone when they had such a short frame of time in which to escape. She says no more about them however, as she cannot think of a way to phrase ‘I think there’s a possibility they all might be creepy sociopaths’ in a way that does not sound paranoid and suspicious.
“Guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it all works out.”
Mm. She was probably going to have to reassess Ju a few more times. There’s an oddness to her tone that she can’t quite place, it’s kind of like the singsong ‘I-know-something-that-you-don’t-know’ tone she’s more than familiar with, but there’s a subtle difference and this was going to bother her until she figured it out, wasn’t it?
Ju does have a point, though; quite a few had eagerly jumped on the prospect of going through Door 3, and unless they knew something else about the contents of the Door (was there any way for them to know? no way), they did seem a bit too happy at the idea of getting all chummy with a bunch of corpses.
"I guess some people are like that," she says carefully, "but, well, it’s a personal choice, I guess."
A personal choice to be a murderer? She shrugs her shoulders and nods again. “Mm. I’m not the biggest fan of waiting, but it probably beats being dead.” Being dead was just waiting for forever, wasn’t it?
She’ll forever be amazed at that despite their situation, nearly everyone she had met thus far had been able to push their current circumstances to the back of their minds and come up with some elaborate codename. Though she really couldn’t be one to talk, even if she liked to think her’s was much more simple than the rest of their stars and planets, and whatever else people were going by.
“Pretty!” Is all she says. It could just have likely been her real name she supposes, a fancy name, but a semi-real sounding one in comparison to the others. Astrea seems somewhat absentminded though and she wonders if she’d even considered something like a pseudonym.
“Kind of? I knew from the start I was going anywhere near door .” Her features darken considerably as she says this. Though she only got a glimpse of the corpses for two or three seconds at the most it was still enough to make her feel sick at the mention of their presence.
“Door  maybe..? I mean nothing is for sure at the moment since we don’t even know how to get into them yet..” She decides not to comment on the fact that she’d made some sort of a..pact.. (would that be the right word, no there wasn’t nearly enough certainty or trust to call it that).. with two others. She’d watched enough episodes of Survivor to know what happened to people who blabbed about their supposed alliances.
“You’ve really haven’t thought about it at all though? The doors I mean.” It strikes her as odd. This was a matter of life and death. While they had no idea what was beyond those three doors surely everyone had given it some sort of thought.
She’s a bit taken aback by Ju’s sudden exclamation, and some part of her wonders if she’s obligated to respond in kind. She’s about to do that, indulgent fake-smile and all, when Ju changes the subject on her, and she thinks maybe she could just watch Ju’s facial expressions and pick up on the woman’s intentions without listening to her voice. But nonetheless, she does make a valid point; going after the visible corpses probably wasn’t the smartest idea in terms of prolonging one’s life on this oversized blimp.
She turns her attention towards Door 1, the door that she had theorized led to the other end of the airship; it was closer to the strange wooden door, too. And it definitely wasn’t Door 3. In terms of which doors were the most likely to lead to escape, either 1 or 3 would have probably led to a newer part of the ship; Door 5 seemed to lead back towards the cabins.
So in that case, Door 1 seemed like a logical enough conclusion. She nodded her head a few times to show that she understood the reasoning, and it was at that point that Ju posed her next question.
It causes her to purse her lips and shake her head, uncrossing her arms and instead clasping her hands in front of her.
"Well, I can’t say I’m too interested in getting up close and personal with a bunch of dead bodies," she says slowly, looking up at the ceiling as she did so. "But then again, all we’ve been told is that we have nine hours, probably coming closer to eight by this point, to get off of this hunk of floating metal." She pauses, deciding that broaching the question of ‘how were they supposed to get off of this thing anyways, were there parachutes hidden somewhere? an escape hatch?’ might not have been the wisest idea. Maybe she should consider being a bit more polite to the concepts of their kidnappers.
"…Anyways, I did think about them a little." She recrosses her arms and looks back towards Ju, her tone a tad bit defensive. Or was it a challenging tone? "But, I didn’t pick one. That’s the only difference?"
Her new friend is amusingly critical of their captor. She finds it quite unusual as typically the kidnapee doesn’t sit around and pick apart the kidnapper’s methods. Then again this entire situation is just unusual.
“Understatement of the century— that or they’re planning on taking their sweet time and want to watch us all squirm.” Surely they would make some sort of announcement, or give them some sort of direction soon..? The voice had promised them 9 hours and it seemed pointless to give everyone an exact amount of time and then cut it short.
Her lips turn upwards in a wry smile at the woman’s impression of their captor.
“Maybe our kidnapper overestimates our abilities— I’ll be the first to admit puzzle and mindtricks aren’t really my thing.” Hopefully who ever she ended up with would pick up the slack— though she doesn’t voice that thought.
“Guess I’ll have to hope that whoever I get stuck with is big on team work huh?” Yeah, that sounds better she decides.
“You decide on a door yet—uhh..” When she posed the question her gaze had been fixated on the number doors, and as she’s fumbling for what to refer to her companion by she realizes that they haven’t introduced themselves. “Oh, sorry. You can call me Ju.” She offers the girl a smile, and looks at her expectantly beckoning her to offer up her name as well.
The idea of someone watching this entire thing for personal enjoyment does make her a bit uncomfortable, and although she hadn’t seen any camera-like objects anywhere in the area, she supposed that she couldn’t discount the possibility quite yet. Great. They were probably being watched.
Was escape through one of these three doors, and they had nine hours to try and figure out how to open them? No, there had to have been other doors with numbers on them; that would have explained the presence of other, locked doors.
It’s her turn to be the one smiling wryly after the woman’s confession to not being the greatest at solving puzzles or figuring out mind tricks (although she had to hope that there wouldn’t be too many of the latter). At least she knew where her strengths lay, although the woman’s half-hearted endorsement of team work doesn’t do much as an inspirational speech. She shrugs, although she supposes that responding with ‘That’s an interesting way of defining teamwork’ might not be the best idea. Besides, the woman’s already changed conversation topics.
Her face takes on an amused expression as the woman momentarily fumbles for a name, introducing herself shortly after. Dinah smiles in response, holding back a giggle at that moment of uncertainty.
"Then you can call me Astrea," she replies, and then nods her head in the general direction of the doors. "And, um, no? Have you?"