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May 11, 2021 10:24 AM
Luar and Nimire beat a murder game
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Adriana looks up from the bed in her cell as another pair of new corpses rolls in. The researchers depart after only a few moments: must be waiting on revival. 

... these two seem to be coming round faster than most, though. 

“Hey! First timers!” She bangs on the bars of her cell with one hand. “Either of you got a match?”

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"...What??"

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"Can't say that I do!"

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She looks at the blonder one. “A match. The thing you use to make fire with. Yeah, I get it, you’re scared, you’re chained to a gurney, answer the damn question.”

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The blonder one is extremely blonde, almost silver. She declines to answer.

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"Eugh. Fine then." 

She slumps back onto the bed. 

"How'd they get you two?"

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"What, are you telling me they don't have standard kidnapping practices?"

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“Kind of hard to nab all of us the same way. I mean, half of us don’t even come from the same continent. Mexico, here - you?”

Now that she mentions it, she does have a slight accent. 

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"Canada."

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“Ah.” 

She trails off contemplatively. 

“So I take it nobody’s filled you in on these yet?” 

She holds up one wrist: a steel bracelet clamps around it, its solitary LED glowing a steady green.

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"Oh, that looks exciting."

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“You could say that. It explodes if you don’t do what they want. Had it happen... about a half dozen times now, that I remember.”

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"There are times you don't?"

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“They don’t always bring you back with all your memories when you die. Some of the other subjects say they’ve killed me when I don’t even remember meeting them.”

A door thunks open somewhere down the hall, and she hurriedly lies back down on the bed, pressing a finger to her lips.

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The click of shoes on concrete comes down the hall: moments later, a grey-haired researcher wielding a clipboard steps into view. She smiles: an ID card on a lanyard around her neck announces her as “Dr. Nadia”.

”Hello, new recruits! Welcome to Lumia Island!” She sing-songs. “You’ve been enrolled in our clinical trials of Human 2.0. On behalf of the AGLAIA project, I’d like to thank you for your help, however unwillingly acquired.” 

She pauses. 

“I’m honestly sorry about this, but I have a job to do and Thomas has a bet with me on - never mind. What you need to know is that this island is a battleground: in about ten minutes, you and eight other test subjects will be released from cells around Lumia Island. Certain areas of the island are restricted: if you enter one of these zones, the bracelet on your wrist will detonate and you’ll be retrieved from backup for the next round.

Over time, more and more restricted zones will be announced, until eventually there is nowhere left and everyone dies. This progression will only cease once there is only one test subject alive.” 

She frowns. “Or less, I guess, but I’d advise against suicide. The whole point of this is to iron out glitches in our immortality tech, so if you die there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to revive you every time.” 

She looks from Naomi to Lauren and back again. “Clear enough for you two?”

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"Your ethical standards are deplorable and you should be ashamed to call yourself a scientist," Naomi says dryly.

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Lauren says nothing at all.

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“Yeah, I get that a lot.” 

She shrugs, and walks back off down the hall. 

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The red-haired woman peeks out from under her bedsheets: when the coast is clear, she sits up again. 

“What a joke. Nadia’s really phoning it in these days. Bad luck you got her and not Thomas: he’s at least slightly less of an asshole.”

She stretches. “Any minute now -“

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The cuffs securing Naomi and Lauren to the gurneys abruptly separate. 

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“ - that’ll happen. We’ve got maybe a minute before the game is on, so I’ll give you some quick advice - if you hear somebody humming, run. If you see a woman with green hair, also run. I haven’t met our local ghosts face to face that I remember, but that’s probably because they killed me. Stay the fuck away.”

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"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind."

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With another clank, the cell doors unlock.

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“Well, time for another round.” 

The red-haired woman sweeps out from her cell, grabbing a grey backpack from a pile of grey backpacks as she saunters down the hall. 

“Don’t wait up: I’ll be nice and not fuck with you guys until we get down to last three, but I ain’t waiting around for dead weight.”

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Distantly, a hesitant voice comes over hidden loudspeakers. 

“The, uh, the round has begun. Everyone, please do your best to survive.”

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There’s a rustle of cloth, a muttered apology, and a more strident, female voice comes on. 

“Let there be glory to the pawns, who reached the end of despair!

This is a ten-player round, and will take place over the duration of forty-eight hours. The first set of restrictions will occur after six hours, and will eliminate the Lighthouse, the Forest, the Town Hall, and the Factory. Further restrictions will occur every six hours thereafter!”

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