Chapter 1: An Empty Room Full of Talent Part 4

"Well, if that's all, then we might as well get a move on folks. We've still gotta find an exit." Akira announced, which caused everyone to head for the exit. Mia silently followed behind everyone, with a confused but determined look on her face, causing me to feel like her suspicions weren't completely gone yet.

"Hellooo, anybody in there, Ikea?" My thoughts were stopped by Poppy lightly knocking on my forehead, "Everyone's already gone, we gotta go." Pulled out of my thoughts, I nodded and rushed out the door to catch up to everyone, feeling a new found sense of pride in accidentally proving Mia's theory wrong. Once we caught up, everyone was already in the middle of chatting.

"So, what's up with you having 'the best last name around' Urkstin?" Akira questioned.

"Oh yeah! It's cuz I'm the Ultimate Racer, and my last name is Keys!" Urkstin explained exuberantly.

"Ohh, I see, that's pretty clever." Joseph responded, sounding a bit like an adult talking to a child.

"If my memory serves me right however, race cars do not have keys, or key ignitions for that matter." Liam corrected.


"Were you not aware of this?" Liam pushed.

"...E-Even still! It's a cool last name and I won't take anyone's incorrect opinion on it!" Urkstin stubbornly replied, scoffing away from Liam jokingly.

"Alright, can I just ask what happens if and when we don't find an exit? What do we do?" Joseph interrupted.

"Well then I guess we'll just hafta make up a plan as we go along!" Poppy replied, with a twinge of nervousness in her voice.

"Ah, improv. Lovely idea." This snarky remark came from the lips of a still peeved Mia, who had been standing in the back of the group.

"Come now, don't get so upset over the idea, hun." Risa moved back to try and console Mia, as we all continued our conversation.

"What happens if the wankers who brought us here are blocking the exit?" Jambo questioned,

"Th-then we have to f-fight...I guess." Jinju suggested.

"A ten on a hopefully lower amount fight does sound like a pretty solid plan." I remarked.

"That is if one could actually consider Jinju as a plausible contender in this supposed quarrel." Liam joked, causing almost everyone in the group to laugh at Jinju's expense.

"I-I know how to...fight and...stuff..." Jinju said sullenly before giving up and shuffling towards the back of the group.

After a few more exchanges and jokes, we found ourselves at a 'fork' in the road, with a path leading to the left and right.

"Where do you guys think we should go?" I asked the group, who each had their own idea.

"Left's always the way to get to the end of a hedge maze, why don't we try that out?" Akira wrongly suggested.

"I predict that following the right path will lead us to an exit." Liam chimed in, causing a split in decisions.

"Alright, how about a vote?" I asked, before initiating said vote. Thankfully, even with our even number, we were able to reach an answer of right being our choice of direction.

"Aaaaaalright then, let's go!" As Poppy threw out her pun, we all headed down the right path, which had some murmuring in disagreement.

"This is kinda unfair, don't you guys think?" Akira commented, turning to the other lefters.

"What, were you gon' suggest splitting up ya' nutter?" Jambo understandably snapped back.

"No, it's just I-.... listen I-" Akira stammered, unable to find a good response.

"Mr. Adebayo is correct. Splitting up would not only lower our numbers, but also risk an ambush without any form of communication between the two groups." Liam explained, causing Akira to lash out.

"I know that! Jeez, I'm not some naive kid you know! I was just saying that-"

"We can go back and go down the left path if we have the opportunity." I interrupted, causing Akira to stop her lashing.

"... Fine, but if this was the wrong path to go down, you guys can all go suck it." she finished, as we continued to walk.

After a few silent minutes, we finally reached our next destination, which was blocked by a locked cell door, like one you'd see in a prison.

"What in tarnation?" Poppy questioned, walking to the door.

"See? I told you that this was the wrong path," Akira proclaimed, "Ladies and gents, it seems like I was right after al-" Her boasting was stopped short by the sound of the door opening, causing everyone to turn and stare at me.

"One of the keys on the key ring was just labeled 'C', so I tried it out on the door and voila, the door's open." I motioned to the newly opened door, as everyone stepped in.

"When did ya snatch the key ring outta my hands?" Poppy questioned as she walked past me. I just shrugged my shoulders as a response, and followed behind her into a room that gave so many more questions than answers.

"A cafeteria?" Liam observed, walking around the large open room.

"Looks to be in pretty bad shape," Joseph commented, "but it doesn't look like a school lunchroom...not a normal one at least." We all wandered around the cafeteria, looking and feeling around.

"So where are we then? If this place has a lunch room and cell doors, then-" Urkstin began to piece together our location, but was cut short due to a voice booming out from all around us.

"This is a prison cafeteria."

In a single moment, every single one of our hearts sank, as we all recognized the voice coming from the loudspeakers on the walls.

"H-Hey! I-I-I know that voice!" Jinju spoke up first.

"That voice is the same one that woke us all up!" Liam was next, raising his voice.

"What the hell do you want, creeper?!" Poppy was following close behind, screaming and staying as far away from the loudspeakers as possible.

"I do hope you all can calm down enough for me to give an explanation." The Loudspeaker announced, causing everyone to hesitantly and slowly quiet down.

"Alright, that's better. Now to answer the question that Poppy Hale asked," those words caused Poppy to jump a little in panic, "What I want from you all is to see what will make you fall the hardest into a pit of desperation and madness."

"Alright, enough with the fancy talk. What do you really want with us?" I spoke up, irritated with how high and mighty this person was acting.

"To be honest, I was saying all of that to try and sugar coat this, but I guess there's no point. I can think of a way later." The voice sighed, before finishing off their speech.

"Basically, you are all going to kill each other, one way or another."

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