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Soon after the discovery of Pierce's remains, most of the others find the body, hearing the scream of Data. The only people not to show up to the room were Doug and January, who the group deemed MIA and the most likely to have murdered.
Four figures watch the wall of monitors, angrily having a conversation akin to the one being held on one of the screens. "The fuck happened!" yells Zander, who stormed into the room in a fit of rage after being summoned by his two subordinates. Britt sits, watching the monitors in silence.
"I don't know!" says the young female assistant. "There was no light in this room!"
"Who entered the room, then!?"
"Like I keep telling you, NOBODY ENTERED THE ROOM."
"Mr. Zander," says the younger male assistant, standing beside his partner. "Perhaps you should calm down and think rationally about this."
"Right, right." Zander takes a deep breath, clenching his fists against his sides. "Okay. So no one entered the room, yet there was a killer and a victim."
"Yes." says the female assistant. "That's it."
"Okay, what does that mean?"
"It's possible we just missed something." says the male one cautiously. "There are fifty monitors here."
"Seventy-two, actually." his partner says, looking back at the wall.
"Fine. Seventy-two monitors."
"That's definitely possible." starts Britt, who chews the end of a wooden pencil. "No human is perfect. Though you two were chosen due to your ability to concentrate on objects for large amounts of time, so this is highly unlikely."
"Is there another way in?" asks Zander, looking to the desk behind him where they rolled out a map of the compound.
"Not that we know of." assures Britt. "There is an air duct that runs to this room, though it would be extremely hard for two people to crawl through here."
The male assistant clicks a button, and the room where most of the contractors stand fills the entire wall. "Not to mention the body is covering it, so his attacker would have been unable to escape."
"Could this be a suicide?" asks the male assistant's partner. She knows the answer - of course not - though feels compelled to ask anyways. This leads to a cold silence as the four watch the monitor, waiting for another to speak up.
"So why was this muted again?" asks Zander after a long silence, and, in response, he earns three shrugs and the sound of eight voices filling the room.
"There are five suspects." starts Austyn, as he stumbles back and fourth through the hallway. They had left the scene of the crime, as all of the contractors had become disgusted with the sight of Pierce's remains and could no longer hold down the bile that was once in their stomachs. The hallway, now covered with bloody footprints and the faint smell of rot, was the closest location they could agree on.
"Right." points out Sketch. "Alyssa, Amena and Data found the corpse, and Doug and January are currently nowhere to be seen."
"You know what we should do?" asks Amena in a mocking voice that one would use while speaking slowly to children. "We should make sure Doug and January aren't dead."
"No fuck that. If they were dead, one of us would have found 'em."
"So what you're saying is..." Amena starts, before her finish is completed by an angered Data: "that we three are the most likely to have fucking murdered someone."
"Right." starts Austyn. Unknowingly, the group had become divided, even while just milling about the hall. Most stand in a group, eyeing Amena, Alyssa and Data in suspicion. One doesn't side with the others: Bobtain. He stands in the middle, too engulfed with his own thoughts to care for the conversation. His skin as white as wool and his eyes bloodshot; everyone chalked it up to PTSD. Alyssa, had other thoughts, though would not share them with the others.
"Please wait a moment." starts Alice. "Before we declare them guilty, we should at least think about this. Sure they had found the body, but Amena had been passed out and Data was slumped against the wall. No way a killer, let alone two, would be doing this right outside the crime scene."
"What about Alyssa?" asks Austyn.
Alice opens her mouth, though is interrupted quickly by the girl in question. "As I am a detective, it is my nature to examine all crimes. So, I examined the mess."
"Likely story." Austyn says with the cross of his arms and the roll of his eyes.
"Allow me to present my findings." Alice says, pulling out a piece of paper and a pen. She leans against the wall and quickly draws a polygon. "This here is the room." she says, holding the page for all to see. She leans in again, scribbling against one wall. "Here are the remains of Hazel," she draws a small tick through one of the walls; "and here's the light switch." Opposite the tick, she quickly draws an arrow pointing towards the room. "This is the door. I jumped through the door," she adds another arrow, this time somewhat curved, to show the path she had taken "and found the switch almost right away."
"Okay, that doesn't explain anything." Austyn grumbles, earning a tired glance from Alyssa.
"In order to understand a crime, we need to retrace all our steps." she draws two more arrows on the page. "Here are Amena and Data. They enter shortly after the lights turn on." they curve to the left, away from the mess of Pierce. "Here, Amena collapses to the ground, heaving; likely unconscious. Shortly after, Data vomits against the ground."
"I did see vomit when I had entered the room." Alice states. "Almost stepped in it, in fact."
"So you buy it?" Austyn growls in anger, and Alice flinches back, only replying with a curt nod.
"Data screams; which you all heard, correct?" Alyssa continues, ignoring the other conversation. "Together, me and Data slowly carry Amena from the room into the hallway, and put her against the wall."
Amena shrinks, before turning around exposing her back. Her back is covered with now-dried blood, likely from laying on the ground. "Alright." Austyn mutters. "Continue."
"Me and Data return to the room when Alice arrives. Seeing the body, she fled the room and collapsed against the wall."
"Where we found her." Raymond finishes, gesturing from him to Francesca beside him.
"Raymond and Francesca enter the room and the latter screams in horror. Raymond looked like he was going to collapse, so Data took them both outside. It is now that I began to examine the corpse."
"'Bout bloody time!" Austyn yells, throwing up his hands in frustration. "So what did you fucking find!?"
"She's good." says the male assistant watching the screens. "I guess that's why the doctor chose her."
"Reminds me of quite a few people." says his partner, the female assistant who sits beside him.
"Quite right, darling."
"What did I tell you about calling me that!?" she shouts in anger, and throws herself forwards to punch his gut, instead falling short and collapsing to the ground.
"What did I tell you about doing that, Ko?"
"Yeah, you try having bum legs, Ethan."
Zander coughs, and all faces turn to him. "Enough with your petty squabble. We need to figure out what happened."
"How many contracts are there?" January mutters as Doug walks away from the screen to grab more of the discs. The discs showed evidence that something was going on. There was the Enigma Contract and now the Mystic one. January had been a part of both of these. But they weren't the only two. For years, games like this have been happening, and people have never seemed to notice. The Sphinx Contract was the first, according to these logs, and was set in a warehouse. There were four competitors, none of which even seemed remotely familiar to January or Doug.
There were logs about the Enigma Contract too. Somehow, they had every death on tape, even though they were to be erased from history by Hama. They saw Jake hanging in a dark room, his throat slit. Koloro's body filled with nails; Guaptain, Leah and Taylor all laying bloodied in the observatory. Scenes January recalled all too well.
She wasn't the only one to be familiar with some of the ones shown murdered. Some girl, apparently named Emily, was shown on one log, and Doug broke down crying.
Project Antipode came before all of those, and January recognized three of the headshots shown on the film.
"I need to find out what happened to her, dammit!" Doug yells, shoving another box of discs on the table. "Jan, put these in. We've got a lot more to watch."
The doctor, formerly known as Dr. Metal Mario and now just Dr. Mario, rests on his couch. He had lived far longer than any human should have ever lived: over three hundred years. That's technically speaking, considering Dr. Mario himself was only sixty-two years old.
He presses a button on the computer on the table beside him. He types a final message, and opens a document, placing both side-by-side on the wide screen.
With that, he sighs his final sigh.
Before stabbing a silver knife into his heart.