"What is this place?" Francesca wonders aloud. She walks, step-in-step, with her best friend Raymond. They knew that the other was signing the Mystic Contract, though neither divulged why. "Is it like a lab?" she asks as they walk past a glass case, where several lab tools were displayed; including three different scalpels of varying sizes and shapes, a cryotome, multiple retractors and several drills prominently sticking out among the rest.
Raymond admires the group of lab tools as they walk away from it; craning his neck to look at the case from over his shoulder. Slightly annoyed, Francesca taps his shoulder to get his attention again, and he quickly returns his gaze to her. "It has to be a lab." Raymond replies, now that several minutes have passed in silence. They come to a corner, and quickly turn around it, only to be stopped by a fear that grasps at both of them. "Wow." the two gasp in unison and awe. In front of them is the largest room either of them had ever seen: The walls were covered with a material decorated with the solar system, and the ceiling displayed images of rotating planets; likely projected on there via a hidden projector. The floor was carpeted black, and a large video screen rests indented in the wall ahead of them. In-between them and the monitor are ten figures, whose bodies are illuminated by a blue light.
"There they are." a young girl says, pointing to Francesca and Raymond. To Francesca, her voice is alien, and she tries to place it. She hadn't heard it through the ventilation while they were imprisoned, so she must have stayed silent. Either that, or she was the one who put them in there to begin with. The thought came and went so fast that Francesca could barely hold on to it. She's too young. No way this is all her doing.
"You must be Francesca and Raymond then." the girl asks the red-headed girl and her companion, and they nod in confusion. "Before you ask, you two used your names in the vents, and since no one else here shares the names 'Raymond' or 'Francesca'..." she trails off, and Francesca then understands. The girl out-stretches her hand, a cute little smile on her face. "I'm January. Nice to meet you both."
Raymond replies by grasping her hand and shaking it wildly. "Nice to meet you too, Jan. As you know already, I'm Ray and she's Cesca. Who're your friends?" Francesca watches as January speaks to him, but she doesn't pay attention to her words, but her eyes. What are you hiding? Francesca thinks absently.
"Okay fucks, listen up." he stands on a chair in the area they've dubbed the Astroplane, arms gesturing wildly. "I'm in charge. No 'but's." He'd always wanted the feeling of being a leader, though he'd always retreated when others presented cleverer ideas.
"You haven't even told us your name." interjects a stern female voice from below him. She wears a light blue hoodie that matchs her golden hair. If he was a different person, he may have thought her to be pretty, this girl named Alyssa.
"Sorry love." he says with a smile, faking a bad stereotypical English accent. "Name's Austyn. Don't forget it." He watches her roll her eyes around in annoyance, before smirking and acting tall. "Now, I assume y'all have no objections, right? Right." He claps: once, twice, three times. "Let's get down to business with the five double-u's: who, what, where, when, why and how."
"If I may, I do believe we've introduced ourselves already." says the curly-haired Pierce. "All except Francesca and Raymond, we've all been properly introduced."
"So there's the 'who'." Austyn mulls in his mind, thinking aloud. "Next is what. What're we doing here."
January stands at the back of the group. We're here to kill each other. That's what she wants to say, though remains quiet. If no one perks up with the real answer, then she'll know something's up. They didn't tell them like they did us.
"No one, eh? Fine. Where are we?" Austyn yells once more, annoyance thick in his tone.
Well then. January remarks, both shocked and scared.
"Possibly a laboratory or hospital." Francesca answers him. "Me and Raymond, we saw a lot of surgical instruments before." She tries to say something else, but is cut off by Doug Chilli: "Maybe a museum? After all, I don't think they have astronomy exhibits in a hospital. I've been to quite a few." he says proudly, arms on his hips as a cocky air emanates from him.
"Perhaps. Both of you, Francesca and Doug, are now the official idea makers." he says proudly. A groan of annoyance comes from below, and he hears a girl - likely Francesca - swear under her breath. Doug just claps happily.
"Next: when?" Austyn rolls up his left sleeve to reveal a silver wristwatch. "My watch says 2:15 on the 17th. So let's go with that." Confused, the others look at each other, though keep their confusion to themselves. Bobtain frowns. The 17th? I could have sworn it was the 22nd...
"Okay, lastly why. Why..."
He tries to finish his sentence but is cut off by a noise: two people, Alyssa and Data, storming out of the room. He flashes them the "fuck-you" salute, and calls after them, outwardly angry, causing a third - Amena the silent - to leave as well.
He breaths in deeply, and exhales even deeper. "Let's try that again. Why are we here?"
"Last thing I remember is signing some kind of contract." says Doug as he scratches his head. "Anything after is a blur." "Same here." says the white haired boy, who introduced himself as Sketch (which everyone thinks is a nickname but don't want to upset him by asking for his real name), beside him. "Last I remember is writing my name on a parchment labelled the Mystic Contract."
"Did anyone read it?" Austyn asked, arms crossed. "I ain't the scholarly type." He pulls one of the curls out of his chocolate brown hair, unravelling it between his fingers while he waits for an answer.
"Are you serious?" A squeak. An annoyed squeak, but a squeak nonetheless. Those three words end a five minute silence.
"Who said that?" Austyn yells in anger.
January steps forward. "Am I the only one who read the contract? Seriously!?"
The girl in the wheel chair watched the monitor absentmindedly. That is, until January stepped out of the crowd with a determined expression. She tried to stand, though without use of her legs, she just fell forward.
The man helps her back into the wheelchair, and asks her what that outburst was about. She replies simply. "I knew we could count on her."