Masquerade of Madness
Well... This is awkward...
Heres some random trivia.
What is worse than a school shooter?
Why of course!
Its a **ing firing squad lined up right at the exit of your school building!
Never before had Sebastian felt so utterly flabbergasted.
Why? Just why was there a firing squad blocking off the exit?
They were all in tactical gear, wearing ski masks identical to the shooter that had probably reached his first classroom up above by now.
If that wasn enough to prove that they were up to no good, the fact that they all seemed to have matching tattoos on the backside of their right hands.
Its not that Seb had anything against matching tattoos, personally, he thought they were pretty cool. Its just that when you see a bunch of suspicious ski mask-wearing, gun-wielding men in tactical gear having matching tattoos…
Its kind of a red flag.
Sebastian wasn able to make out the pattern from the distance, but if he was curious he could always go ask the shooter upstairs for a closer look.
The leader raised a megaphone in his hands and addressed Seb.
”STOP RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE! NOBODY IS ALLOWED TO LEAVE THIS BUILDING! WE WILL OPEN FIRE IF YOU COME CLOSER! ”
Seb couldn help but raise an eyebrow in exasperation.
What kind of scenario was this?
Why did it seem that these guys were more scared of him than he was scared of them?
For gods sake, they have an entire firing squad.
Sebastian counted a total of 31 men. A row of 15 in the front, a row of 15 standing at the back, and behind them was the leader holding up a megaphone.
On the other hand, he was just 1 little dude
A genius yes, but its not like anyone else acknowledged that other than Seb himself.
Yet they were glaring at him with such wariness as if he would suddenly start shooting lasers out of his eyes at them or something.
Seb raised his voice to the max and shouted back, deciding to try his luck.
”THERE IS A SCHOOL SHOOTER INSIDE THE BUILDING! INNOCENT CHILDREN ARE DYING! PLEASE LET ME GET SOME HELP! ”
However, the militants refused to give any sort of acknowledgement of having heard his words. Their consciences weren affected one bit.
”I REPEAT! TAKE ONE STEP CLOSER AND WE WILL OPEN FIRE! TURN AROUND AND GO BACK UP! ”
What the actual hell…
There was no way that he was going back to the classroom.
Should he just stand here at the entrance and continue the stalemate indefinitely?
Even if he somehow did manage to slip around them, he realised that there was nowhere, to escape to.
Looking over the schools boundaries, the rest of the world didn seem to exist.
Perhaps the simulation thought it wasn necessary to render the rest of the **ing world.
Maybe they were low on budget?
All Sebastian could see was an all-encompassing void.
Nobody other than him seemed to notice this oddity.
Still, Seb decided it was worth checking.
”DO YOU GUYS SEE THE VOID BEHIND YOU? ”
Unfortunately, it seemed that the word void was some sort of taboo for them.
”BOYS! AT THE COUNT OF THREE FIRE! LAUNCH THE GRENADES FIRST! ”
No sooner than the words left his mouth he found multiple grenades thrown his way.
This was not your regular civilian militia.
”F*ck! ” Not so silently cursing to himself. Seb closed the door shut and retreated upwards.
Luckily they weren frag but just concussive.
Unluckily that meant that the door still wasn able to block out the shockwaves from reaching Seb.
He found himself gripping his head and rolling on the ground as his ears started to ring extremely loudly.
After spending two and half eternities trying to determine which direction was the ground, Seb finally managed to stand with the support of the railing.
”Lunatics everywhere… ”
Seb forcibly dragged himself upstairs, afraid that the firing squad would follow him.
Why? Just why did he have to go through this?
As he was slowly moving upwards, Seb found himself entering an extremely dazed straight of mind.
He no longer knew what he was doing, or where he was going. All he knew was that he had to go somewhere.
Perhaps it was because his hearing had been all but crippled?
The sounds of the gunshots didn reach him and break him out of his reverie.
First, he had to get massacred along with his class by a school shooter, now a firing squad had stopped him from trying to escape.
However, Seb would be damned before he tried to give up.
He had willingly accepted the invitation, and he wasn going to let some sort of trauma-reenactment that didn even come from his memories stop him.
He had just been through a situation that was arguably worse than this just six months ago.
Seb felt an incredible sense of frustration at how the purgatory system seemed to be forcing him down one path.
In the end, this is how most games operate… the illusion of choice.
It let him run around at will, but the moment he tried to break the rules it sent a firing squad at him.
As if it were mocking him…
Sure, You could do whatever you want. Just finish off that firing squad first.
And if for some unknown reason, Seb would rather fight off the firing squad than face the school shooter, then it wasn really certain who was the idiot there.
He tried thinking about a reason for the firing squad to behave the way they did.
If they weren just a game mechanic, were they really partnered up with the shooter?
The ski masks could just be a coincidence.
If they were partners, then this wasn some simple school shooting, but some high-level operation.
Were they terrorists? If they were? Why not just use bombs?
Either way, if they were going to kill everyone in the building, why didn they go and help the killer but stay down there.
Were they trying to block reinforcements? That actually made some sense…
Wait a minute…
Sebastian suddenly had an epiphany.
They could have just brought the void closer if they really wanted to stop him from leaving.
Yet they still decided to place the firing squad at the exit.
What could this mean?
It meant that they were definitely a part of the plot hidden within the scenario!
Perhaps clearing it will let him get additional rewards when he clears the tutorial.
First I need to confirm whether the shooter and firing squad are part of the same faction
After coming to that decision, Seb decided to head back to his classroom.
Yes, the very classroom he had been trying to run away from moments earlier.
Ultimately Sebastian was fickle in nature.
Since the escape plan had been ruined, he had already given up on this attempt.
Might as well try to get as much information as he could to use in the next attempt.
Emboldened by his thoughts Sebastian broke out into a run toward his classroom.
Soon enough he reached the corridor right outside his classroom
The door to his classroom was flung wide open, probably from the time the shooter kicked it open to force his way in.
But he was once again forced to remember the reason he was so irrationally scared of the shooter that he would rather escape immediately and abandon his classmates than try and attack the shooter.
Looking through the doorway, he witnessed a scene he was all too familiar with.
Blood, corpses, entrails, gunpowder stains and discarded shotgun shells were littered all across the room.
Near the rear end of the room, the shooter was pointing his shotgun at a student trembling in fear, begging to be spared.
All of a sudden, Seb realised that his hearing had come back.
No, it wasn that he couldn hear…
It was that his head had been buzzing so loudly that his brain couldn properly register the sounds reaching it.
Not until now at least.
After pulling the trigger, the shooter straightened himself and turned to look at Sebastian
”… You are right on time… ”
His voice was as casual as ever.
As if he had been waiting for him all of this time.
As if he knew…
…that no matter where Sebastian ran
…no matter where he went to hide
in the end…
… he would come right back.
Sebastian started at the scene of the massacre.
The dull vacant eyes of his dead classmates seemed to be asking him countless questions.
Why did you leave us?
Why did you run away?
You could have brought us with you.
You could have tried to save us
Why are you still alive, when all of us are dead?
Its happening again… Seb couldn help but think that.
Whenever he heard the sound of this particular shotgun being shot…
Whenever he heard the shooters casual apathetic voice…
His mind would go blank.
His body would freeze like it was being possessed by a phantom.
Its just one man Sebastian!
Yet no matter how he struggled it was all in vain.
Seb averted his eyes from the scene of the massacre to realise that somehow the shooter was now standing right in from of him.
”I was just wrapping things up… ”
Before Sebastian could even protest he found a familiar barrel pointed at his face.
Seb managed to make out two small details before the trigger was pulled.
One, the killer also had a tattoo on his hand. It was that of a faceless mask. It had two eyes and no mouth. One of the eyes had a pitch-black tear stain running down from it.
*BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!*
The second thing that he noticed was…
The time was 1:57
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