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Aimi Wakabayashi

"An entire resort without a single Kurosawa movie. Blasphemous."

0 · 443 views · located in Monokuma Resort

a character in “Dippity Doo Da--with a side of SPRINKLES!!”, as played by Griese Lightning

Description

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Aimi Wakabayashi No nicknames Ultimate Short Film Director Female Heterosexual Mew

Likes:
Makeup, good cinematography, books, faux fur clothing, and getting free stuff

Dislikes:
Poor editing in films, continuity errors, the cold, and gingerbread

Quirks:
Tosses her hair frequently, mutters to herself, likes reapplying her lipstick






Pale MagentaPastel Purple
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Passionate Hard-working Perfectionistic ProfessionalSensual

Aimi is a fan of many things, not the least of which being films. Talking about movies is a surefire way to get her involved in a genuine conversation and when discussing classics, Aimi often wows others with her down-to-the-letter knowledge of movie trivia. She’s a sensual woman, unafraid to get her hands dirty in the business, so to speak, though manipulation is not the only thing that has gotten her so much acclaim. Despite her tendency for perfectionism and her willingness to string people along and guide others according to her own desires, Aimi is a good person deep down who truly adores her craft.

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"The quality of Hollywood international releases has been sorely lacking lately..."

Aimi was always a movie buff. From a young age, she showed a remarkable attention to detail, focusing more on the direction of a movie than its actual story or characters. Though she was never interested in having center-stage or existing in the spotlight, Aimi loved movies and began making her own as a child, using her parents and friends as cast members.

When she was in middle school, Aimi contacted a local movie studio and asked for professional actors to create her first genuine short film. Her use of dramatic camera angles, her signature use of minimal color, and her tendency to direct actors to look directly into the camera during dramatic shots earned her a bit of a mark in the industry and her short films gained traction as being particularly well-made for such a young, blossoming director.

Shortly after her fifth short was completed and released to the public, Aimi was contacted by Hope’s Peak. Seeing it as a means through which to further her talent, she accepted.

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So begins...

Aimi Wakabayashi's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Takuya Saito
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Minato and Saito wandered for a bit, both eerily silent as they walked along the coastline. The more Minato thought about it, the more bizarre and vaguely terrifying the situation became. Waking up on a beach with no memory of what happened before? The presence of another person had been reassuring at first, but Minato found himself wondering if Saito was being truthful about his memory loss at all. Whether he was or not, Minato wasn't sure he wanted to know--exactly what manner of situation had the boy found himself in?

"Ah, civilization." Saito tugged Minato further along and the boy stumbled after him, blinking. Sure enough, in the distance, Minato could see several buildings. He felt himself sigh in relief. At the very least, they hadn't been dropped onto some random deserted island.

"We should check inside of the buildings," Minato proposed, "look for others."

Saito nodded. "Agreed. You do all the talking, I don't really feel like moving my mouth."

"Ah--? Um, alright, I guess." He was used to talking to people for charity events, so it wasn't anything he couldn't handle, at least. He chuckled to himself, vaguely amused. Saito glanced at him out of the corner of his eye--Minato half expected him to say something, but the student stayed silent, continuing toward the buildings instead.

Minato moved to open the nearest door, but before he could, someone opened it from the other side. It smacked into his face and he yelped, stumbling backward. Saito laughed.

"Wh-wha--ah! Sorry!" A girl his age popped her head out from behind the door, green hair bouncing as she did. She gestured to someone within the building, then stepped away from the door, laughing nervously. "See? N-nothing to worry about! Sir, I'm sorry about that, but d-do you happen to know where we are? This is Hope's Peak, isn't it?"

Hope's Peak? He rubbed where the door had hit his face, frowning slightly. The last time he checked, Hope's Peak was certainly not right next to a beach. Unless he'd just never known somehow?

"I'm sorry, but I don't actually know," Minato admitted. He bit his lip. "Are you a student as well? My friend and I were hoping we could find someone with a better grasp of what's going on. We only just woke up on the beach."

"Oh...um." She glanced back at her friend, seeming nervous. "We're students, but we only just woke up here, too. We don't have any idea what's going on..."

"Then we can find out together," Minato said with a smile. "I'm Yamada Minato, by the way."

The girl nodded. "Yamada. Hello, Yamada. I'm Hayashi Sachiko, and this is..." She turned to her friend, then paused, seeming hesitant. She let out another nervous chuckle. "Ah, I-I don't really remember. I don't want to get your name wrong, so I can...you can...uhm."

Opening the door more fully, Minato stepped forward to glance inside. Another girl--a particularly attractive one, at that--stood inside. He waved.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura
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The largest building of the compound stuck out as particularly interesting to Tsubasa. Gesturing for Tomomi to follow, he headed towards it, eyes catching on the sign at the top.

"Monokuma Resort"

Monokuma? What the heck is a Monokuma? Curious, Tsubasa glanced back at Tomomi. "Do you know anything about this 'Monokuma' thing?"

Tomomi shook her head, tapping a finger to her chin. "I'm not sure," she admitted. "What do you think it is?"

As nice as it was for Tomomi to continue giving Tsubasa something to do, her lack of a definitive response was a bit irksome. Sighing, Tsubasa looked back at the sign, examining it for any slight alterations in the lettering that might indicate some sort of clue. Finding none, he sighed. "Might have something to do with Hope's Peak. A mascot, maybe, or a company sponsor. They have to get their money for facilities somewhere."

"Great idea," Tomomi cooed. "Should we go inside?"

"It can't hurt." Deciding nothing could go horribly wrong by just going inside, Tsubasa moved to open the door, holding it open for Tomomi.

The lobby of the building looked mostly normal--it was large and open, with some large windows along the opposite wall. Potted plants sat in rows near the sides and corners, providing a lively atmosphere. The air inside felt heavier but cleaner; Tsubasa drew in a deep breath, letting himself smile. It wasn't the worst place, though it definitely didn't seem like a school. Additionally, the "resort" label had him confused.

He suddenly heard the sound of chattering voices coming from one of the hallways to the side. Instinctively, Tsubasa held out an arm to keep Tomomi behind him, watching the direction from which the voices came.

A boy and girl emerged from the hallway, the boy currently telling what seemed to be a very engaging story.

"...but since I have no idea how to play pool I totally botched my first try. It was fun anyways, though, so maybe we can try it...oh!"

Tsubasa tensed, realizing the boy had spotted him. The newcomer waved exaggeratedly, gesturing for his companion to follow him over to Tsubasa and Tomomi.

"Hi! You two must be other students. See, Yua, I told you we would probably find other people if we came this way! So what are your names? What are your Ultimates?"

Loud. Chatty. A bit obnoxious. Doesn't seem like a bad kid, though. Tsubasa offered a wave. "I'm Susugihara Tsubasa, Ultimate Aeronautics Engineer. This is Tanaka Tomomi, Ultimate...gravure model?"

"Close enough," Tomomi agreed.

The newcomer gasped, awe in his expression. "Wow, those are such cool talents. I hope mine turns out to be just as cool as that!"

Turns out to be? "What are you talking about?"

The newcomer giggled, scratching his neck. "Well, see, you guys probably don't remember how we got here either. Right? So there's that, but for me I also...can't remember what my Ultimate talent is. So I've got no idea! But anyways, it doesn't really matter--my name's Himura Nagisa. Call me Nagisa!"

Does everyone in this place go by their first names? Must be a friendly group.

"You can call me Tomomi," Tomomi added, waving.

"Nice to meet you, Tomomi!"

Tsubasa's eyes fell to Nagisa's female companion. He dipped his head to her, stuffing his free hand in his pocket. "So you guys don't remember how we got here either. And I can assume you're also looking for others. Well then, you're welcome to come along with Tomomi and I. What's your friend's name?"




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From the moment she woke up, Aimi couldn't help but think she had awoken in a Hitchcock movie.

The hospital she had found herself in with her companion was spacious, at least, but it was also dripping with horror movie clichés at every turn and suspense oozed over the premises. Something was wrong, in her gut she felt it...but Aimi couldn't imagine just what it was.

She bowed to the two boys who had just showed up, not bothering with a smile. She didn't know them and they didn't know her--for all she knew, they could have been in charge of this strange occurrence and simply lying about their memory loss.

At least giving them a name couldn't hurt. "Wakabayashi Aimi. It's nice to meet you, Yamada."

If nothing else, having another student to wake up with was a bit of a comfort. Aimi didn't feel quite so nervous when she had someone she could confirm as being in the same situation--she and Hayashi had woken up around the same time, so it was highly unlikely the girl could have arranged everything to be so eerie and knocked herself out in time to make it look like she was awakening from a strange unconsciousness.

Speaking of companions, they still hadn't met Yamada's. Aimi dipped her head to the black-haired boy. "And who is your companion? Are you also Hope's Peak students?"

Briefly, she wondered if the two had any belongings on them--anything worth swindling while she was walking. Aimi herself had nothing and she had already confirmed Hayashi's lack of stuff, but it was worth asking the newcomers. She was in the mood for a free bite to eat.

"On a related note to our memory loss, are you two gentlemen missing all your things too? I seem to have misplaced my wallet and other belongings."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura
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Even with all of the weirdness going on at the moment, Yua couldn't say she was all that disturbed. True, from the moment she'd woken up she'd gotten the feeling that something was distinctly wrong, but whatever it was, she could roll with it, couldn't she? A-after all, the view is quite nice... She followed Nagisa over to the other two.

Yua offered the two newcomers a smile, bowing. "Ikeda Yua, Ultimate Tutor. But you can call me Yua, I don't mind."

She'd always insist that the students she taught called her Yua, and seeing as these were her classmates, it only felt natural to tell them the same. Brushing blonde strands of hair out of her face, the girl turned to Nagisa, oddly excited to stick with Susugihara and Tomomi. "Joining them wouldn't hurt, right? There's strength in numbers."

Who am I kidding, he won't mind. Yua straightened her posture, taking a deep breath. "It's a little alarming that all four of us don't know what's going on. Hopefully, we'll run into someone with an intact memory and a good explanation for why we're all here..."

Another tall strong guy, she hoped, for no reason in particular. One who wasn't accompanied by an actual model.

"...Mmm. You seem capable, so I'll follow your lead." She latched her arm with Susugihara's, craving the closeness of another person in such a scary situation. "Onwards?"






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Behind Minato, Saito briefly stuck his hands into his pockets--he flipped them inside out, revealing them to be empty. He shrugged. "Saito Takuya. We're from Hope's Peak, yeah."

"It's nice to meet you too, Wakabayashi." Minato briefly bowed his head to her. "Like Saito said, yes, we're also Hope's Peak students. He's the Ultimate Masseur, and I'm the Ultimate Charity Fundraiser. And...now that you mention it, I think I'm missing my things, too."

Feeling a panic begin to stir in his chest, Minato checked his pockets, even more confused than before when he found them completely empty. He usually didn't carry much around, but he always had his wallet, a business card or two...what was this?

It was too strange to be a string of coincidences now.

Seeming nervous, Hayashi took a deep breath. "Did you guys see anything outside? Do you have an idea of where we might be?"

Minato shook his head, frowning slightly. "Not really. We only just woke up the beach. Neither of us knew what was going on so we resolved to look around until we found something, and this building was the first thing we saw. There were some others, too, if you two think it'd be a good idea to try and explore those?"

Hayashi nodded. "Maybe. Wakabayashi, what do you think?"

Saito watched the other two girls, frowning slightly. "...Your Ultimates?"

"Hm?" Hayashi turned back to Saito.

"Yamada just told you our Ultimates, so tell us yours," Saito insisted. "It's only fair."

Hayashi chuckled nervously. "Oh. Um...I'm the Ultimate Lucky Student. Wakabayashi is Ultimate Movie Director, I think. ...D-did I get that right? I'm sorry if I didn't."

"Ah. So you're talentless." Saito's rudeness took Minato off-guard.

"G-guess you could say that," Hayashi said with another nervous laugh.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura
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Tsubasa couldn't say he was disappointed with Yua's closeness--he offered her a smile, offering his other arm to Tomomi. Shrugging, she took it.

"Nice to meet you, Yua." He nodded to Nagisa. "Let's get our bearings. Tomomi and I came from the pool and went straight here. Where did you two wake up?"

"I woke up in this recreation room," Nagisa answered. "It's behind this room here, I think. Yua was there too, so we decided to walk around and find some people. And what do you know? We found people!"

Tsubasa nodded. If Nagisa and Yua had come from the left hallway, that meant no one else was beyond there. The question, then, was what was down the right hallway. There was also the matter of all those other buildings outside, but they could probably get to those later--as long as they were inside, looking around more here couldn't hurt. He wanted to look for clues about this "Monokuma" thing, anyway.

"Let's go down this other hallway," Tsubasa decided, already moving towards the right hall. "We might as well finish exploring this place before we go back outside. If anyone notices anything suspicious, let me know and we'll stop to investigate."

"That seems like a good plan," Tomomi offered. Nagisa nodded to show his approval, toddling behind the three.

Tsubasa had no idea what to expect heading down the hallway, but it was worth a look. Hopefully their little investigation would teach them that everything was perfectly fine and normal.

And if it isn't?

Tsubasa pushed that thought aside. If it wasn't, he would handle it the same way he always did--make a plan and follow through with it.




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Aimi offered Hayashi a smile to try and reassure her, reaching out to place a hand on her shoulder. "Well, luck must be some sort of talent," she decided. "You got it right, Hayashi. Well...short films, specifically, but I won't protest being called a 'movie' director. Losing all our things is worrisome, though..."

Nothing worth taking, it means. Oh well--gives me a break from having to turn up the charm.

"What are the odds there's a theater here?" she asked. "We're practically living a movie now--like a Kurosawa film. Mr. Kiyoshi, I might add, not Mr. Akira."

How likely was it they would encounter a similar situation as was in Retribution? A series of clues that points right to one of the students--or even Aimi herself. How much did they all not remember? Had someone in the very room kidnapped all of them?

She shuddered. Sometimes, her extensive movie knowledge was a curse--she was always thinking up ways to connect real life to a movie.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura
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"Nice to meet you too." Yua smiled back at Susugihara, happily walking alongside him. Everyone seemed nice enough, so she figured if the situation didn't pick up soon, she could find a way to get used to it. And if everything was really just fine, then that would be even better, right? She took a deep breath, trying to calm her racing heart. Everything's fine, Yua. There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for this.

Without realizing it, she moved closer to Susugihara, the foreboding feeling looming over her beginning to make her anxious. The building was nice-looking and spacious, but eerily empty aside from the four. This couldn't be normal, could it?

As they were walking down the hallway, Yua noticed a door slightly ajar. Both curious and apprehensive, she glanced back at Nagisa to make sure he was paying attention, then gestured to the door. No doors they'd encountered thus far had been open, save for the ones they'd opened on their own.

"Another person?" She suggested quietly. It seemed like a reasonable assumption.

The door eased open--a tall, slender and, admittedly, beautiful blonde girl stepped out, examining the group. Though her stance was oddly relaxed, her expression spoke caution. Yua found she couldn't blame her, assuming the girl was in the same situation the rest of them were.

"And you are?" She asked, the soft, smoothness of her voice somehow fitting with the grace she carried herself with.






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Hayashi smiled gratefully, rubbing her arms. "Th-thanks. I'm nothing compared to you guys, though. You're all so amazing!"

Minato offered her a smile in return. "I'm sure you're amazing, too. Everyone is, really, in their own way. ...Ah, would there be a theater here? I guess one could be in one of the buildings outside."

He glanced back at the door, the frame of which Saito had taken to leaning against. Whatever this place was, it was big, so they couldn't be the only people here. Could they? Even if they were living some movie-esque scenario as Wakabayashi had suggested, surely their supposed kidnapper wouldn't have dumped just four kids onto such a large complex. There had to be others.

"Maybe there are others?" Hayashi proposed, following his gaze.

Minato nodded. "Maybe. It wouldn't hurt to check."

He was curious to find out what was in the other buildings, after all. Seeming in agreement, Saito gestured for them to follow him as he stepped out of the building and back outside.

"Oh--I guess we're checking now?" Looking back to make sure the two girls were coming, Minato walked outside after Saito, only somewhat surprised when the boy clapped his hand on Minato's shoulder.

"Say, how strong are you?" He asked.

Minato hesitated. "Um...moderately? I wouldn't call myself weak, but I wouldn't exactly call myself strong, either. W-why do you ask?"

Surely he didn't think they were at the threat of being attacked? "I don't really feel like walking anymore. Was wondering if you could carry me, but you're probably too tiny. Forget I said anything."

...Oh. Somehow, Minato wasn't surprised. He walked in pace with Saito, heading toward a more circular-shaped building up ahead. "I'm assuming you'd still like me to take the lead in upcoming social situations?"

Saito grinned. "You learn quickly, Yamada."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura
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Almost instinctively, Tsubasa moved to guide Yua and Tomomi behind him, as if guarding them somehow. His eyes flickered to Nagisa, who was distracted humming a song and examining the paint on the walls.

Direct, Tsubasa thought to himself, turning back to the new girl. Seems cautious. Graceful. She probably wouldn't try to hurt them--if she did, while Tsubasa was no fighter, he felt fairly certain he could subdue her enough for everyone else to get away. What were the odds Nagisa's hidden talent had something to do with judo?

"Susugihara Tsubasa," he said at last. "I'm a student on my way to Hope's Peak Academy. I woke up here. The others are the same as me."

"I'm Nagisa!" Nagisa piped. "Nice to meet you! Wow, those are really neat clothes."

Tomomi waved.

"You don't happen to know what's going on here, do you?" Tsubasa continued. "I can't remember how I got here and neither can they. We're on our way around the building exploring for clues to the situation. Have you found any?"




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Exploring seemed like as good an idea as any. Aimi began to follow after Yamada and Saito, looking around at all the buildings scattered around the premises. Most of them were labeled in some way, with most of those labels applying to something called a "Monokuma", though nothing stuck out to her as particularly interesting.

Across the way was a building labeled as "Monokuma Dormitories". Aimi squinted at it, adjusting her glasses.

A humanoid shape emerged from the door to the dormitories. Glancing around, the shape seemed to notice the group and ran over to join it at a surprising speed. As it approached, Aimi realized it was distinctly female.

The girl skidded to a stop near the group. "Yo! Civilization! Have you guys seen anyone else 'round here? It's pretty spacious, eh?"

Aimi hesitated to answer. Sensing her uneasiness, the newcomer laughed awkwardly and scratched her neck.

"Oops. My bad. Here I am runnin' up to you all excited and you don't even know me, eh? I just assumed y'all must be Hope's Peak students just like myself!"

Her dialect was a bit off--Aimi realized she most likely came from a rural area. Aimi bowed, stepping away from the rest of the group slightly. "So you are also a Hope's Peak student?"

"Yep! M'name's Futami Chou. I'm the Ultimate Marathon Runner! I've already run this whole complex once or twice, got bored and popped in that building to check it out. Looks like we got dorms, eh? Whoever brought us here wants us to be comfy, at least. Pretty neat place!"

She seemed spirited, at least--if not too spirited. Aimi dipped her head, a bit put-off by Futami's energy and unusual dialect.

"Wakabayashi Aimi," she announced. "The Ultimate Short Film Director. I will let my new companions here introduce themselves--I don't want to get any of their talents wrong."

Futami waved to everyone, then began jogging in place, turning to look over her shoulder at the other buildings. "This place is huge, eh? You could get lost in a compound like this!"

Is she listening? It was hard to be sure if Futami was even still paying attention to the current conversation with the way she swapped subjects on a dime, but somehow Aimi got the sense she was always listening.

She was unusual, that was for sure...but most of them were in some capacity.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura
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Aware of Susugihara's caution, Yua suddenly felt more nervous, moving to step behind him fully but without blocking her view of the girl. Her hardened expression seemed to soften at the mention of them all being students--folding her arms, she sighed, gently shaking her head.

"Sorry," she murmured. "I haven't found anything yet. The cameras are bothersome, though."

Cameras... Yua's gaze drifted to a camera mounted on a nearby wall. There'd been one in the recreation room and the hallway outside there, as well, but Yua had just brushed it off as some kind of security measure. Then again, what were the chances someone was actually watching them this very moment?

She shuddered, not liking the odds. Hopefully whoever manned the cameras was a friendly person and was on their way over to clear up the entire situation. In the meantime, Yua figured it wouldn't hurt to ask more about this newcomer, seeing as she didn't seem very intent on explaining things about herself. "Are you, um...are you also a student?"

The girl seemed oddly hesitant to respond. "Shimizu Hekima, Ultimate Acrobat. You're...?"

"Ikeda Yua, but you can call me Yua," Yua responded. "Ultimate Tutor."

Shimizu nodded, then looked at the others, reciting their names aloud. "Nagisa, Susugihara, Yua..." Her head tilted slightly when her gaze fell upon Tomomi; she apparently decided to leave the matter for the moment. She ran a gloved hand over her arm, looking back to Nagisa instead. She offered a small smile. "Thank you. They aren't the most ideal for the situation, but they're what I was wearing before this happened, so...I suppose I'm stuck with them now."

Yua noticed Shimizu's eyes flickered back to the camera, briefly.




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Minato smiled at Futami, her exuberance more than welcome. "Yamada Minato, Ultimate Charity Fundraiser. Nice to meet you, Futami. As for the rest of us..."

He glanced back at Hayashi and Saito, the first of which seemed shy and the second of which probably expected Minato to do all of the talking for him. Resolving to introduce them himself, he first gestured to Saito, "this is Saito Takuya--did I get that right?--the Ultimate Masseur, I believe. And over here is..."

"Hayashi Sachiko," Hayashi filled in for him, smiling. "Ultimate, um, Lucky Student. I guess this place is pretty huge, huh?"

Minato nodded. "Yeah. Any buildings catch your eye, Futami? We haven't seen anyone else around except each other and now you, and...we're actually still wondering where we all are. If we're not too slow for you, would you like to tag along and check the buildings with us?"

"I'd offer to try and keep up with you, but you'd probably just outrun me," Hayashi chuckled.

Minato was inclined to agree. He'd never been much of a runner, much less into sports at all. Well--runner in terms of running events, he supposed he was good at, but anything athletic wasn't really his strong suit. He could kick a ball, but that was about it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura
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Tsubasa felt someone staring at him. He glanced at Tomomi, who watched him expectantly as if for instructions. He nodded to her. Taking this as permission, she turned to address Shimizu.

"I'm Tanaka Tomomi," she announced. "Please, call me whatever you like. Um, I'm the Ultimate Swimsuit Model."

"Swimsuit," Tsubasa muttered. "Not gravure. You could have corrected me earlier."

"Oh, no, it wasn't a big deal," Tomomi insisted.

Nagisa continued humming, examining the cameras. He waved to one, laughing. "Hello! Hello, camera people! Say, do you know where we are? Do you think we're in a movie?"

Tsubasa huffed. As nice as it was having people to follow him around, when one of them was a doormat and one of them was just way too happy about the current situation, it left a bit to be desired. "If there was someone manning those cameras, you'd think they would give us some kind of hint by now. No, this isn't a movie--we'd need a director for that. And our memories. Could be a psychological experiment, though--throw a bunch of high-schoolers in a strange situation and see how quickly they can work their way out of it. Well, if that's the case..."

He paused, seemingly thinking of something. "Oh, right. Our Ultimate talents. Mine is Ultimate Aeronautics Engineer."

"Mine exists!" Nagisa exclaimed cheerfully.

"Nagisa can't remember his," Tsubasa added. Nagisa nodded, then returned to humming his song and began heading down the hallway. "Shimizu, I apologize for jumping subjects so quickly, but...did you wake up in that room, or have you had a chance to walk around a bit already? We were heading down that hallway if you felt like coming along."




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Futami leaned forwards, suddenly examining the group. "Yamada Minato...say, that's a familiar-soundin' name! Have you ever run charity runs before? Feel like I've done a couple!"

Aimi suddenly realized these were all rather famous students--for the first time, she was more aware of them and their talents. The names had a slight familiarity--Saito's and Yamada's, at least. Aimi tilted her head at the two, wondering how it hadn't yet occurred to her that she was vaguely aware of them.

"Actually..." Aimi paused. "Come to think of it...your names sound familiar to me in a vague sense as well, Saito and Yamada."

Though I most certainly never donated to any charities. Aimi liked to keep her wealth where it belonged--with herself. Not that she considered herself stingy, she was merely cautious. If an economic collapse struck, she would wish she hadn't donated hundreds of dollars to such-and-such charity or thrown away her money in a massive shopping spree.

That was why getting free stuff from gullible men was such a joy to her. She could pick up a bite to eat without spending a cent.

"I think my memory is coming back in patches," Aimi said. "That may be why it didn't click before that I had heard of you."

"And..." Futami rubbed her hands together, suddenly looking at Hayashi. "You said you're lucky, right? So, so, can you predict the winner of the horse races? Bet you're real good at chance games, eh? You must be like a world-class gambler!"

Aimi decided someone had to steer Futami back to the original question. "Buildings. Are there any that stuck out to you?"

"Hn..." Futami began jogging in a circle around the group, seemingly thinking. "Not really? But there were these weird speaker-lookin' thingies mounted all over the place."

As if on cue, a static sound suddenly filled the air. Aimi whirled around, noticing for the first time the speaker and monitor poking out the ground partway between the hospital and the dorms.

"Upupupu..."

What?

What is that sound?

"All Hope's Peak students, please report to the gym for your student orientation! I repeat, all Hope's Peak students, please report to the gym for your student orientation! And no dawdling, you hear me?!"

"Gym," Futami repeated, remarkably calm. "Must be our headmaster callin'! The main resort building's this way--that's probably where the gym's at. I'll jog so I don't go too fast. Follow me!"

With that, Futami changed course to head further inland. Figuring she probably knew what she was doing better than anyone else, Aimi began to follow, a nervous feeling in the pit of her stomach.

Why do I get the sense this isn't going to end well?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Machiko Nakamura Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Kokoro Mizushima Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Student orientation? What in the world...

As bad of a feeling as Minato was getting, the voice over the speakers clearly knew something about why they were all here. Following after Futami with Saito and Hayashi close behind, the five made their way over to the main building Futami had been talking about and stepped into the building, looking around. Looping through some rather confusing hallways, they eventually found themselves in the gym, among several other teens their age--students, Minato could only assume.

They began scattered conversations as they waited for something to happen.

Saito crossed his arms, frowning. "This is f*ckin' weird."

"Surely there's an explanation for this," Minato muttered, looking around. It was the same thing he kept telling himself over and over again--there was an explanation. There was a reason. And if they could find at least that out, then that would be a good first step in the right direction.

"I mean, an explanation, sure," Saito agreed, "but not a good one."

"Can anyone remember anything?" A person called out.

Is everyone just as clueless as we are? Minato took a deep breath, trying to stay calm. Whatever the circumstance, they were all smart people, weren't they? They could work through this. They could work together, figure out what was going on, and come up with a solution together. Everything was going to be fine.

As one more student--the last one, perhaps?--walked through the gymnasium doors, all attention was brought to the stage. The floor rumbled. The students whirled around, all looking in different directions, when a robotic, black and white teddy bear suddenly popped out from one of the tiles, regarding the students with a sickening grin. Two sides, one cute and the other quite horrifying, complete with a red, shining eye--somehow, the combination of both was enough to make Minato's stomach turn.

"Welcome to student orientation, kiddos!" He exclaimed, rubbing his paws together. "Man, you guys took forever to get here! The least you could've done was bother to be punctual!"

"O-our apologies," Minato said, cautiously. "We didn't know wh--"

"Can it, scrub! Did I say you could talk?!" The bear spat. Minato jumped, heart racing. "Don't interrupt your headmaster when he's talking, you got that?! Jeez. Kids these days!"

Saito suddenly pulled Minato closer, as if protectively. Terrified and oddly thankful, Minato went with it, though still trying not to lose his nerve.

"Aaanyways, before I was so rudely interrupted," the bear started, "I was going to tell you guys all about how this is your new home, so you'd better get used to it! And get to know it better so that you don't have to be so late next time, got it?!"

What is he...talking about...?

"I already have a home," a rather frail-looking boy pointed out, frowning slightly. "And I'd like to get back to it now, actually, if that's alright."

"Well, too bad! Ya can't!" The bear exclaimed. "This is your home now, and you've gotta deal with it! There's no escaping, no goin' back to your mommies, no nothin'! You're living here forever!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Machiko Nakamura Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Kokoro Mizushima Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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There were too many questions on Aimi’s mind for her to even form coherent sentences.

“You cannot keep me here!” a blonde boy yelled out. “Do you know who I am?! My daddy is going to sue you so bad, your children will be dealing with lawsuits!”

“Children?” The strange robot bear suddenly looked depressed. “Ah...to meet a nice Monokumette and settle down...hey, don’t go making me all upset in the middle of orientation!”

There was an odd whisper. Aimi looked around, trying to pinpoint the noise; finding no one, she faced the bear again.

“Wait a minute.” Nearby her group, a redheaded boy who seemed to be at the head of his own group spoke up, arms folded. “Are you the Monokuma whose name is plastered on the front of this building?”

“You got it, bucko!” The bear--Monokuma, apparently--twirled, holding a paw to his red eye. “It’s me! The famous Monokuma, the Ultimate Des-bear!”

This time, Futami ventured a shot at speaking to the bear. “What did you mean when we said we had to stay here forever? I don’t plan on spendin’ the rest of my life here! Nice place, sure, but what about Hope’s Peak?”

“Oh, right…” Monokuma sneered at the students, his blood-red eye glowing. Suddenly nervous, Aimi took a step closer to Yamada and Saito, figuring them more capable than herself if a fight broke out. “You’re still totally Hope’s Peak students! Yep, the real deal! It’s just that this semester is gonna be a little...different.”

There was a chill in that cutesy voice. Aimi grabbed Futami’s hand in one of hers and stretched out the other to touch Hayashi’s shoulder.

“Yep! We’re gonna start the school year with a bang! Either you live here forever, or--if you pansies really decide you want a chance at escape--you have a simple way out.”

“All you gotta do is kill someone!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Machiko Nakamura Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Kokoro Mizushima Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Saito's grip on his arm tightened tremendously, almost to the point that it hurt. Breathing suddenly unsteady, Minato had to focus on just being able to stand. He rubbed his eyes, willing himself to wake up. It's a dream. It's a dream. It's all just a dream, none of this is real, it's too bizarre to be real, th-this can't be...

One girl screamed, and another broke out into a stream of stutter-filled curses. Someone else suddenly began backing away from the others, trembling.

"Y-You're l-lying, he's lying!" Someone cried. "Th-there's no way th-this is r-real!"

"Hey, now!"
Monokuma complained, holding a paw over where his heart would be. "Monokuma's an honest bear! Of course this is all real! You don't think I'd lie to you all, do you?"

"Lies!" She screamed. "L-let me go back home!"

"No can do, pal! You're stuck here forever unless I get to see some blood on the floor!"
Monokuma declared, in a voice implied that he was actually excited about all of this. Minato tried to force words out of his mouth, but found he was still too stunned--he stared, legs still threatening to buckle.

"Y-you want blood?!" The girl screamed. "FINE! H-here's some f*cking blood!"

Yanking a knife out of her pocket and taking the arm of the nearest girl--blonde, purple eyes--and slashed at it, cutting deep into her skin and drawing enough blood to start a river of it down her arm. The blonde let out a blood-curdling scream, trying desperately to pull away as the one girl latched onto her arm.

Minato screamed as well, stumbling back into Saito. The boy's grip on Minato's arm grew even tighter. "What the f*ck?! Get your f*cking hands off of her, you psycho!"

"Here you go!" She cried, ignoring Saito. "Blood! Now let me leave!"

"Oh, wowie! I didn't expect violence so soon,"
Monokuma cooed, seeming pleased. "But that's not enough. Just a stab to the neck should do it, though, if you really insist."

"S-stop! Don't!" The blonde girl screamed desperately, thrashing.

Realizing the increasing likeliness of a murder taking place right in front of him, Minato trembled, more terrified than he had been in a very long time. "Stop! Hands off of her, please!"

Just when it looked like the most definitely crazy girl was about to take a knife to the blonde's throat, another, taller girl stepped in, quickly grabbing the girl's wrist and twisting it behind her back. The crazy one let out a yelp--sobbing, the blonde managed to tug free, stumbling away from the girl who'd sliced her arm open.

"Desist or I will break your arm," the tall girl warned, eyes narrowed slightly.

"F-f*ck off!" The crazy one spat, squirming.

True to her word, the taller one began twisting the other's arm in what looked like a very painful way. Crying out suddenly, the crazy one quickly shook her head, teeth clenching in pain. "F-fine! F-fine, you win, I'll stop, d-don't break it! I'll stop!"

"Wise choice," the taller one murmured. Holding her wrist in one hand and prying the knife away from Crazy Girl with the other, she tucked the bloody knife into her leggings, most likely because she didn't seem to have any pockets anywhere else on her. Almost as if conducting a pat down, she checked the girl for any more dangerous items and then released her, watching the girl with careful eyes. "Try anything again, you'll break both arms."

The girl stuck out her tongue, though she was clearly trembling.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Machiko Nakamura Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Kokoro Mizushima Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Aimi took a step back, trembling. What kind of Shimizu film have I stepped into? Is this real?

Yua!” If nothing else, the redheaded boy seemed to have control of himself. He tore off his jacket, immediately rushing to the blonde girl’s side and wrapping it around her arm to try and stop the blood. “Thanks for stepping in, Shimizu! Yua, are you alright?! I’ve got you! What’s wrong with you, psycho b*tch?!”

Someone started crying. Again, when Aimi looked around she found no one.

“And here I was thinking I’d have to come up with a motive! Upupupupu, you guys sure are eager! Oh, but before you get to killing yet…”

Digging around behind his podium, Monokuma uncovered a series of digital tablets. He began to toss one to each student.

“Your student handbooks! These babies give all the rules! Make sure you study them carefully, ‘cause there’s a price to pay for breakin’ them!”

Aimi felt sick. She tried to look anywhere but at the blond girl bleeding on the floor or the crazy girl who’d almost gotten her arm broken. Biting her lip, Futami rushed to the blonde girl’s side, asking if any of them needed anything she could run and get.

A tablet suddenly flew at Aimi. She managed to catch it, stuffing it in her pocket for safekeeping.

This is a movie, isn’t it? Well, the director has talent, but he also has balls. Both important, though I could do without the latter. Doesn’t he realize forcing us to perform our own stunts without prior information is grounds for a lawsuit?

Aimi tried to distract herself planning this lawsuit while Monokuma passed out the rest of the handbooks. The air was clogged with uneasiness, each student processing through what could only be described as “shock”.

This must be a trick, right…?

“And that concludes our orientation!” Monokuma exclaimed. “Thanks for stopping by! With such a willing crowd, I might even offer a special perk for the first killer! Won’t that be a great time? See ya later!”

“Wait!” the redheaded boy called. “I still have questions!”

“Huh?” Monokuma paused, thinking. “I covered the ‘stuck here forever’ thing...I told them about the killing game...I passed out the student handbooks…”

“Okay, so what about ‘what happens if no one kills each other?’” the redheaded boy asked.

“Then there will be a motive, of course!” Monokuma said, as though it were obvious. “You can’t have a killing game with no killing. All the kiddies reading along will get bored!”

“And the killer? Do they just...get away with it?!”

“Oh!” Monokuma stood straighter, rocking. “I thought I was forgetting something! I still have to explain the trials.”

Trial? Whatever that was, Aimi knew it couldn’t be good.

Please...whatever nightmare I am living, let me wake up from it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Machiko Nakamura Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Kokoro Mizushima Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Saito was actually hurting Minato's arm now. Minato would have minded if the pain and Saito's support weren't the only things keeping him from collapsing on the spot.

"What was I supposed to do, just stand here and take this?!" The crazy girl cried, fists clenching. She reached up to tear at her own hair, beginning to hyperventilate.

Minato shivered, staring as the bleeding blonde girl--Yua, had the redhead called her?--shook violently, letting out sobs full of what could only be described as shock and terror. The girl who'd helped her gave a curt nod toward the redhead and gracefully sat down on Yua's other side, placing a gentle hand on the girl's shoulder. She began talking back and forth with Futami, remarkably calm considering the situation.

"Wh-what are trials?" Minato managed to ask, looking back at Monokuma. He turned his head just in time for a tablet to smack into his face.

"Why, I'm glad you asked! Let's get this over with quickly so you eager beavers can get to killing," Monokuma began, clapping his paws together. Minato felt sick. "After a murder has occurred, we'll start what will be known as investigation time. You kiddos will have until I get bored to gather clues about who the blackened is, the 'blackened' being the one who killed another student. After investigation time, we'll gather by the big red doors you all saw on your way here, sending you all down to the trial room!"

Trial? What kind of trial does he mean?

"There, you'll debate to try and find out who the killer is. Guess right, and the killer is executed..."

Minato swallowed. Executed?

"...Guess wrong, and you're all punished instead!"

"Punished and executed, meaning...?" The tall girl from before asked the question Minato couldn't bring himself to ask.

"Well, what do you think it means?" Monokuma asked, seeming annoyed. His red eye glinted as he went on, sending quakes of fear through Minato's body. "Killed! Speared! Suffocated! Cooked! Blown into a bazillion pieces! It's like I said--executed!"

He felt like he was going to throw up. Wake me up...someone, wake me up...please...

Besides him, Hayashi burst into tears, burying her face in her hands. One boy sneezed, while another starting covering his ears and murmuring to himself to try and block out Monokuma's voice. Meanwhile, it was all Minato could do not to drop to his knees and start hyperventilating.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Machiko Nakamura Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Kokoro Mizushima Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Almost instinctively, Aimi moved to sling her arm over Hayashi and bring her closer in a sort of half-hug. It was meant to comfort Hayashi, sure, but if Aimi were honest she meant it just as much for herself.

Stay calm, Aimi. You are the master of paying attention to detail and you’ve seen enough detective noir movies to make two of your own. You are prepared to deal with this.

But even so...executions…?!

Whoever they were dealing with was gruesome, clever, and most of all, very rich. How else would he afford to rent out an entire resort compound just to turn it into a Battle Royale?

“Any more questions?” Monokuma called. “This is your last chance to ask!”

“Um, yes I have questions!” the blond boy shrieked. “What are you going to do when the police come looking for me?! When my parents come looking for me?! I am TV’s darling and I will not sit back and allow you to keep me kidnapped here!”

“Can it, Kardashian!” Monokuma snapped, his paws now gleaming with very obvious claws. Aimi clung tighter to Hayashi, her nerves skyrocketing. “You will notice there are no phones, no computers, no internet, no nothing anywhere on the island! Just you, me, and a whole lot of blood!”

“This is an outrage!” The blond boy promptly began stomping. “I insist--no, I demand you let me go right this very instant or I...I’ll scream! I’ll scream so loud everyone will hear it and they’ll come running!”

“Scream all you want!” Monokuma’s gleaming red eye was more menacing than ever. “But only whoever you see in this room will hear you. No one else is on the island, you know?”

That knocked the blond boy silent for now. He stared around at the others, mouth agape.

We’re really the only people here? In this huge place, it’s just us who are here?

“Well, that seems like a good place to end!” Monokuma waved. “Best of luck with the school year, kiddos! See ya later!”

This time, Monokuma dropped back into the floor before anyone could call out to him. Several students were crying by now, Aimi herself on the verge of being one of them. There was a lengthy pause.

“Wow…” a boy in a green hoodie whispered. “...That was super, super convincing! Great acting, Yua!”

“What the h*ll, Nagisa?!” the redhead snapped. “She’s bleeding!”

“I know!” Somehow, the pure cheer in the hoodie-wearing boy’s voice was simultaneously chilling and relieving. “The special effects here are so good!”

“This is seemin’ very real, y’know!” Chou cut in.

The hoodie-wearing boy merely shrugged. “Maybe, but I bet it’s just a psychological experiment like Sususgihara said. So then it’s easy, right? To get out, we just have to prove we can work together no matter what happens and then they’ll give us a way out and we can all go home!”

Aimi couldn’t explain it, but she found herself wanting to believe him.

If that’s true, then we can get out of here easily, right?

It’s simple.

After a moment, the redhead sighed. “...Nagisa has a point. Nothing will go wrong if we all just keep it together, right? Whatever ‘motive’ he throws, we can handle it. But in order to do that, we have to know each other.” Looking out at the other gathered students, he offered a brief smile. “Let’s get names and talents out of the way. I’m Susugihara Tsubasa, the Ultimate Aeronautics Engineer.”

An idea occurred to Aimi at the same time as it must have to Susugihara. She had just begun saying something when he cut her off.

“There we go, right? We just need to find materials and I can design us a plane to get us out of here. Does anyone know how to fly?”

“You’re an engineer but you can’t even fly a measly plane?” the blond boy scoffed. “My pilot could definitely--”

“I just never got my pilot’s license, okay?” Susugihara cut in, sounding vaguely flustered. “Okay, bigshot. Why don’t you go next?”

“I shouldn’t even need to, but fine.” The blond boy bowed, making a grandiose gesture. “Yes, it is I! Kisaragi Katsuro, the Ultimate Reality TV Star!”

Susugihara scoffed, muttering something under his breath.

“Line up for autographs one at a time, please. If you prefer, you can call me Mister Kisaragi, or Master Katsuro, or my personal favorite, Prince Katsuro.”

“Okay, Prince Katsuro!” the hoodie-wearing boy exclaimed cheerfully.

“Don’t humor him, Nagisa!” Susugihara insisted.

“Why not? He seems nice.” Hoodie Boy shrugged, then waved to the others. “Oh, right. I’m Himura Nagisa--call me Nagisa--and I...can’t remember what my Ultimate talent is. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually. I’m not too worried about it!”

Somehow, his optimism was contagious. Aimi took a deep breath, forcing herself to smile.

“I’m Wakabayashi Aimi, the Ultimate Short Film Director,” she announced. “It is possible we’re all in some sort of movie--it seems our host has the financial means, at least, and there are cameras--though this possibility seems unlikely. Until we figure everything out, I am pleased to work with all of you.”

“Name’s Futami Chou, Ultimate Marathon Runner!” Futami yelled. Susugihara flinched. “We’re gonna be here a while, so let’s really try to get along, eh?”

A new voice spoke up. When Aimi turned to see who it was, she noticed for the first time a tall, athletic-seeming boy in one of the far corners...who was currently wearing only a pair of boxer-briefs.

“Hi. My name’s--”

“Dude!” Susugihara cut in. “Put some clothes on!”

The boy only blinked. “Why? I’m going back to the beach after this, so…”

“There are girls in here. Aren’t you just a little embarrassed?”

“Mmmm…” The boy shrugged. “I don’t really care. At least I put these on before I came in.”

“Wait a minute, you were completely naked earlier? Who...who does that?”

“Anyway…” The strange boy stretched, seeming completely at-ease. “Before I was interrupted, I was gonna say my name’s Kagakagari Hideyoshi. You can call me Kaga. Or Yoshi. Or Hide. Or whatever, I don’t really care either way. I'm the Ultimate Mountain Climber.”

Aimi swore she saw someone else in the corner trying desperately to say something, but somehow she convinced herself it was a ghost.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Machiko Nakamura Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Kokoro Mizushima Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Minato stared at Kagakagari, swallowing. Well...to each their own, right?

Saito flashed him a thumbs up. "All natural. I like it."

Somehow, Minato wasn't surprised. He shifted, Saito still having a firm grip on his arm. Finally, the student seemed to notice he was probably cutting of Minato's blood circulation and released him, chuckling awkwardly. "Oh, woops. Sorry. Got a little tense there, didn't mean to hurt you or anything. People tell me I have really strong hands. You okay?"

"D-don't worry about it, it's alright," Minato assured, though glancing down at his arm. There was a distinctly hand-shaped mark left where Saito had been holding him.

"Ah...should I introduce myself next? I'll introduce myself next." A boy with a band-aid slapped across his cheek and a head of blonde and brown hair straightened his posture. "Nakano Ryota, Ultimate Optometrist. Nice to meet you all, I guess? Really wish I had my notepad with me..."

Minato was suddenly reminded of his empty pockets. Had everyone's things been taken?

Where did that girl get the knife? He suddenly wondered, gaze drifting to the crazy brunette who had now collapsed onto the floor, sobbing. He had a feeling they wouldn't be getting her name for a while--not unless she'd told someone before her breakdown.

The girl Susugihara had referred to as Yua wiped her tears on her non-injured arm, still very clearly shaken up (who could blame her?) but suppressing her tears. She whispered something to Susugihara and the girl next to her, then, wearing an uneasy smile, addressed everyone else. "I-Ideka Yua, but you guys can call me Yua. I'm the Ultimate Tutor."

The girl next to her gently squeezed Yua's shoulder. "...For those I haven't introduced myself to yet, my name is Shimizu Hekima. I'm the Ultimate Acrobat."

"How does an acrobat know how to break people's arms?" Saito asked, seeming vaguely interested. "You watch a lot of fighting movies or something?"

"No." Shimizu's hand drifted to the knife she'd taken from the girl and tucked into her leggings. "Knowing how to defend yourself is important, so I learned how. That's all."

Minato had never really liked violence for several reasons, but he supposed she had a point. It prepared one for situations like this. ...Though, then again, considering how bizarre this all was, there shouldn't have been the need for someone to prepare for seemingly evil bears and people with knives in their pockets.

Straightening his posture, Minato realized he should probably introduce himself next. He awkwardly cleared his throat. "I'm Yamada Minato, the Ultimate Charity Fundraiser. ...The person standing next to me is Saito Takuya, Ultimate Massuer, I believe."

Saito nodded approvingly.

"Oh. I-I know you, I think," Yua said. "I've donated before. You always seemed like such a nice person."

Minato grinned, heart lifting. It was always so uplifting to hear people donating for the sake of those in need. "Oh, awesome! Thank you! Which cause did you donate to?"

"Fund for homeless people, I think," Yua replied. "Or it may have been a different one? I'm not sure, I've donated more than once."

"Whichever one you donated to, I'm sure there's some person out there who's eternally thankful for what you've done," Minato said confidently, "so thank you for that."

"A-ah...i-is now a bad time to introduce myself?" Hayashi murmured, seeming nervous to interrupt the conversation.

"Go ahead," he said, offering her a smile.

She smiled back, nervously hugging Wakabayashi's arm. "I-I'm Hayashi Sachiko. U-Ultimate Lucky Student...b-but I guess this isn't very lucky, haha. We'll get through it."

"We will," Minato agreed, glad that his strength was finally coming back to him. "Has everyone introduced themselves, or are we still missing some names?"

"I-Ichiro Fukui," a boy greeted. "Ultimate Astrologist."

"Nice to meet you, Fukui," Minato declared, waving to him. "Alright. Anyone else, or is that all of us?"

He looked around. No one else moved to speak, so he assumed that must have been everyone. There was still the girl who had sliced Yua's arm open, granted, but no one seemed brave enough to interupt her breakdown to ask for a name. After a moment of silence, Shimizu hummed to herself. "Miss, are you going to tell us your name and Ultimate?"

The girl didn't seem to hear her.

"Miss," Shimizu repeated.

"What?!" The girl spat, looking up with her tear-stained face.

Shimizu was still remarkably calm. "Your name and Ultimate, please."

"It's M-Mizushima Kokoro," the girl stuttered out. "Ultimate B-Baker. N-Now leave me alone."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Machiko Nakamura Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Kokoro Mizushima Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Hearing everyone's names was somehow comforting. If nothing else, Aimi now knew the people she would be living with a bit better.

She noticed a particularly voluptuous girl near Ikeda, Futami, Shimizu, and Susugihara who hadn't yet introduced herself. Susugihara smiled reassuringly at Ikeda before turning to this girl and muttering something to her. She nodded.

"I'm Tanaka Tomomi," she announced. "The Ultimate Swimsuit Model."

Someone was trying to whisper something again. Aimi glanced around the room, her eyes landing on the strange ghost following Kagakagari around. Kagakagari didn't seem to have noticed her--briefly, Aimi wondered if she was the only one.

She pointed the girl out. The girl straightened, brightening tremendously.

"Kagakagari, you seem to have brought in a ghostly companion," Aimi said. Kagakagari turned around, noticing the strange ghost girl for the first time. He jumped.

"Huh. I guess I did."

The girl wilted.

Kagakagari tilted his head at her. "So we can both see her? Must be a pretty cool ghost."

"I bet she's the Ultimate Ghost!" Himura exclaimed.

Somehow it didn't seem farfetched, considering Aimi vaguely remembered Hope's Peak accepting some talents that just flat-out made no sense before. Kisaragi was one of them.

"Ultimate Ghost," she decided.

The Ultimate Ghost made a series of rapid hand gestures and continued making her strange whispering noise.

"Just what this Shimizu movie needed," Aimi muttered. "A ghost. As if things weren't spooky enough already."

The Ultimate Ghost continued making incredibly rapid hand gestures.

"Alright." Susugihara gave a firm nod. "Now that we all know each other, we should start working on a way out of here. I'll sit down and draw up some plans...I hope they have blueprint paper in here. I can let you guys know what we need to get out of here and then we'll pool our talents to make a plane and get out of here. This place is big enough to make a runway...Futami, you said you're a runner?"

"Guilty as charged!"

"Excellent. You can help us run around and gather things we might need." Susugihara smiled, patting Ikeda's back. "We're going to get out of here, everyone. We just have to stick together and stay calm. Now, Monokuma mentioned the rules. Does anyone want to go over those with everyone?"

Somehow, having someone around who seemed perfectly keen to take complete charge of the situation was refreshing. Aimi could stay in charge and on top of things herself perfectly well, but even directors had assistants--she decided she liked Susugihara's air of professionalism and drive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Machiko Nakamura Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Kokoro Mizushima Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Minato looked down at the handbook that had smacked him in the face. Kneeling down, he picked it up and tapped the screen, watching as it lit up and his face along with bits of information about him appeared on the screen. Reading it, he figured it was the kind of information his school would know (birthday, gender, the basics), but seeing it flash onto the screen was unnerving. It meant whoever had brought them here had access to these things, that they knew them...

How did we end up here in the first place? Minato rose back to his feet, pondering this. Maybe Saito's first theory about them all being drugged wasn't too far off the mark. It would explain their memory loss, wouldn't it?

"What's it called...uh, Monokuma did mention a price for breaking the rules. We probably should look through them," Nakano pointed out. He briefly sneezed into his arm, then straightened, clearing his throat. "...Sorry. From my experience, people don't like it when you sneeze around them, and I think I'm allergic to something here, so I can't really help it. I'll try not to get snot everywhere."

"Gross," Saito muttered beside Minato.

"He just said he can't help it," Minato pointed out, quietly. "Try not to make him feel bad about. You could offer to get him tissues instead?"

"If I did that, that'd mean I have to find the tissues, and I don't feel like doing that," Saito explained. He stared at Minato for a moment, then ruffled his hair. "You know, you really shouldn't be so thoughtful. It's gonna get you killed."

"I-is not," Minato said quickly, hating the chill that ran down his spine. He forced confidence into his voice, "We're all going to get out of here, together. No one's going to die. We're going to gather the parts we need to build this plane and find a way to get out of here safely. I'm sure of it."

"...Think for a sec. Did anyone call out when Susugihara asked if someone could fly?" Saito crossed his arms, idly chewing on a strand of his own hair. "And see, even if we do manage to find enough parts to build a thing to get outta here, we don't know where we are. We don't know how far we need to fly to get to civilization or what direction to even fly in, we have no idea what to use as fuel, and even if we do find fuel how do we know it'll be enough to actually get somewhere?"

"W-well--"

"Not even done yet, bro. Even if this plan somehow works, no doubt it's gonna take some time, so someone'll probably already have died by the time we finish. What if that person's Susugihara?" Saito poked Minato's forehead. Minato flinched. "What if it's you? All I'm saying is be careful, alright? You seem like a good person. I don't feel like waking up to your corpse."

Th-that's not...true...

Minato's heart pounded against his ribcage. He shook his head, fighting down another bout of panic. No. No. No, he's wrong. No one has to die. As long as everyone stays calm, everything will be fine. Everything will stay okay...we just...need to stick together. We have to stick together.

"No one is going to die," Minato insisted, trying to convince himself of this. "We'll make sure of that."

Most likely realizing there was no changing Minato's mind, Saito simply shrugged. "If that's what you believe, man. Just keep what I said in mind. But ignore the bleeding girl over there, because she definitely didn't almost die just now."

"A-almost doesn't mean did," Minato reminded Saito, bristling. No one is dying. It was close, but the fact is that she didn't die, and that's what important in the end.

"Right." Saito patted his shoulder. "It just means soon."

W-would he stop that?!

"The rules should be simple enough," Shimizu decided, addressing the group. Minato turned to her, glad to be distracted from his conversation with Saito. "I think everyone can go over them on their own. Those of us who are less intelligent can ask someone else for help if needed, but hopefully, that won't be necessary."

"I'd be happy to help anyone," Minato called out. "Susugihara, while you draw up plans, it might be a good idea for us familiarize ourselves with the facility. My group spotted a hospital-like area earlier, so there are probably supplies in there for Yua's arm, if anyone has medical knowledge?"

Ryota frowned. "Not sure my medical knowledge is the right kind of knowledge for this."

"I know the basics," Shimizu said, "so I wouldn't mind too terribly."

The basics? Is that enough? Perhaps thankfully, he didn't have the best view of the attack, so he wasn't actually sure how deep Mizushima had managed to cut the girl. All he knew is that there was a lot of blood. Hopefully it's not too bad.

"I actually know some things," Yua herself admitted. "I-I have a lot of younger siblings and they get into trouble a lot, so with all of their play-induced injuries I've picked up some things online. Um...n-not a lot of stuff about something like this, though, h-haha. I could try to apply what I know?"

"That might work," Minato said. "If we put our knowledge together, we should be able to deal with it fairly well. Would you two like me to show you where the hospital building is?"

"Good idea," Saito muttered. "Travel in threes."

He doesn't think Shimizu was going to jump on the chance to kill someone, does he? Minato tensed. No. No, of course not. If she killed Yua while walking her out to the hospital, everyone would know it was her...but I guess it wouldn't hurt to travel in threes anyway, right?

"I'll go with them," Hayashi offered. "I-I know where it is and I know some things about cuts, too. I know my talent is kinda useless, so I want to be able to help in any way that I can."

"Not as useless as Ultimate Reality TV Star!" Ryota called cheerfully.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Machiko Nakamura Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Kokoro Mizushima Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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"I resent that!" Kisaragi snapped. "My talent is very useful, thank you very much."

"Everyone, let's please not pick on each other!" Himura insisted. "Even if a talent seems pointless, that's no reason to pick on anyone!"

"Are you saying my talent seems pointless?!"

"If we're already being mean to each other, then we'll never actually succeed at this psychological experiment." Himura gave a decisive nod as if what he'd just said solved everything. "Right! Well, I don't really remember a whole lot about myself...I can't even remember if I have medical knowledge, haha! But I'm willing to do whatever you guys want me to do! If you need someone to run errands and stuff, I can do that! And, and...I can reach stuff on really high shelves!"

"His talent is clearly more useless than mine," Kisaragi decided.

Aimi tried not to eavesdrop too much on Yamada and Saito's conversation. Every word Saito said was too true--no one here knew how to fly, they didn't know where they were, and the odds of this place having everything they needed was unlikely. She wanted to believe that Susugihara's plan was going to work out, but...

But...it is more likely that before any of this can happen, we are all going to die.

There was no use dwelling on it. She tried to focus in on the antics going on around her instead.

Someone began whispering again. Aimi glanced over at the Ultimate Ghost.

She made a series of hand signs.

Aimi had no clue what they meant and figured it didn't matter.

"Why don't I run the complex, figure out where everything is, and draw up a map?" Futami suggested. "I'd be happy to! Runnin's fun for me and I can doodle well enough. Uh, it might not be up to scale, though..."

"I could alter it to scale," Susugihara offered. "If I knew exactly how many miles were between everything, at least..."

"No problem!" Futami winked. "I've got a patented distance-measuring system! I know exactly how fast my fastest mile is, so all I gotta do is time myself running between the buildings and calculate everything based on how long I took!"

Susugihara blinked. "That's pretty impressive, but somehow it feels like it leaves too much room for inaccuracy..."

"Well, it's better than nothin', right?"

"That's the spirit!" Himura began to hum, heading towards the door. "Alright! That's a plan, right? Ooh, and I bet the dorms are super cool. I'm gonna go check out my room! Let me know if you need anything off a high shelf!"

Aimi found herself oddly grateful for Himura's optimism even if it was a bit grating. At least he seemed cheerful.

That's what we need right now. We just have to relax and think about this in terms of positives.

"Do you want any help getting Ikeda to the hospital?" Aimi asked. "Otherwise, I think I'll go to my room for now. We should all try and take time to relax as best as possible...if we're going to be living here, it'll be helpful to actually enjoy being here."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Machiko Nakamura Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Kokoro Mizushima Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Yua offered Wakabayashi a smile. "Like I said, you're more than welcome to call me Yua, I don't mind at all. Unless it makes you uncomfortable..?"

"You can go to your room, I think we're alright," Shimizu told Wakabayashi. She stood, Yua getting up alongside her. "Miss Hayashi, you wouldn't mind if I took you up on your offer, though, would you?"

"N-not at all!" Hayashi exclaimed, eyes brightening. She eagerly caught up with Shimizu and Yua, who were already heading toward the door. She took note of Susugihara's jacket, still wrapped around Yua's arm. "A-ah--Susugihara, do you want your jacket back? It's...it's kind of bloody. Wh-which probably isn't much of a surprise, um. Ha..."

"There's a laundry room," Shimizu said. "You can wash it there. Considering the circumstances, there's probably something to wash blood stains out with, don't you think?"

Minato bit his lip. Please don't say things like that.

Shimizu took Susugihara's jacket and moved to hand it back to him--Hayashi offered to instead, however, taking it into her hands and walking it back to Susugihara with a smile. Seeming motivated, she rushed to join Shimizu and Yua as they started making their way out of the gym.

At least there are some people here who are still optimistic, Minato thought, taking a deep breath. So long as they could manage to keep everyone's general spirits up, they could manage to prevent any deaths. Really, the biggest weight on his mind was Mizushima...if she'd attacked someone once, who was to say she wouldn't again?

If we're meant to be killing each other, then no doubt this place is stuffed full of knives and other dangerous objects. D-do they even have poison hidden away somewhere? Do we need to check food before we eat it just in case? That same uneasy feeling crept back up on Minato. Is there food here? Is there enough for us all to eat for a while, or are they going to drive us to cannibalism? O-oh god...

Feeling sick again, Minato once again had to remind himself to not think about it. He was definitely going to go and check their food supply as soon as possible, however. Their food supply, their purified water supply--the last one was a bit less urgent because they could probably find a way to purify the ocean water if they grew desperate, but hopefully it wouldn't come to that. On that note, if they could build a plane, they could build a boat, right? At least one sturdy enough to go out fishing on the water with. That solved the food problem, if it was a problem at all.

See, Mina? He sighed in relief. There is a solution to every problem. Think things through, and you can find it. No one is dying. Maybe we can all try to think of this as a nice beach vacation. It's a resort, isn't it? So let's treat it like one.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Machiko Nakamura Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Kokoro Mizushima Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Aimi smiled serenely. "If it's all the same to you, I prefer keeping others on a last-name basis. It's something I do to maintain professional relationships."

So I can stay detached. Aimi tried not to add that part--it was true, but saying it out loud would tip the others off that she expected people to actually die here. At least if Aimi kept everyone at a distance and used last names to avoid forming attachments, she could convince herself that she wouldn't miss any of them when they were gone.

It was a defense mechanism, admittedly.

Susugihara took back his jacket, draping it over his arm. "Well...if you don't need it to keep halting the blood, I'll go ahead and take this to the laundry room. Keep Yua safe, alright?" He paused. "Wait. Before everyone takes off, let's set up a time to meet up and discuss progress we've made on a way out." He checked his student handbook, squinting. "Looks like morning starts at eight. Alright, let's meet at 8:30 every morning in the cafeteria to discuss things. That works for everyone, right?"

"Man..." Kagakagari scratched his neck. "I hate the indoors. Can't we meet on the beach...? Closer to the dorms, too."

Susugihara crossed his arms. "Well, we need to get breakfast at some point."

Kagakagari shrugged. "I don't need anything as early as 8:30. Futami's a runner, let's just send her to get everyone something."

"No way!" Futami shot out. "If it's somethin' only I can do then fine, but you lazy a*ses are perfectly capable of getting your own breakfasts!"

"Let's compromise," Susugihara decided. "We'll meet at the pool instead. It's halfway between the resort and the dorms and we'll be closer to a place to grab breakfast. Deal?"

Kagakagari seemed satisfied. Futami nodded, cheering.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Machiko Nakamura Character Portrait: Takuya Saito Character Portrait: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Kokoro Mizushima Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Saito groaned. "Ughh, that sounds far away. Can I just sit the meetings out? Yamada, you can update me every day, right?"

Is he going to do anything for himself...? Minato let out a nervous laugh, not sure how to feel about Saito defaulting to asking him to do everything. First he spoke for him, then he almost had to carry him, and now he was going to update him on the meetings he didn't feel like attending? W-well...I guess it wouldn't kill me to help him out. O-or would it?

"Y-you're going to have to come into the main building to get food anyway, so it wouldn't kill you to get to the meeting first, would it?" Minato asked.

Saito made a face. "Meh, that's right, I need food. Thanks for reminding me. I think I'll stock up on snacks and sodas in my room, if they have 'em. Wanna come help me raid the cafeteria?"

"Something tells me there are more important things to be done, but sure," Minato replied. He sighed. "I wonder if anyone else would be nice enough to go with us. I don't want to end up carrying whatever you end up taking all by myself..."

...And you were right about traveling in threes. He looked around, not spotting any people he figured would be willing. He suppressed a sigh--he could manage to carry it all on his own, couldn't he? Worst case scenario, he would have to make two or three trips. That didn't seem too bad.

Nervous about being alone with just one person, however, in plain sight of Saito he gently pulled aside the kid who'd introduced himself as Fukui--"Hey. If anyone asks where Saito and I are, we're getting food for him, alright?"

"Hmm?" The boy blinked. "O-oh, um, okay."

Minato smiled, nodded, then went back to Saito's side. "Okay. You ready to go?"

"Yup. Thanks, Yamada." Seeming content, Saito grabbed his wrist again and made way for the doors. Minato glanced over his shoulder as they left at the other students. None of them were going to become murderers, right? At least Minato knew he would never lay a hand on anyone else. No motive or prize could convince him to get the blood of another student on his hands. If nothing else, he was certain of that.




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It'd been a single day since they woke up in this strange place. No memories of how they got there, fear of death, and paranoia lurking in the air as everyone tried to pretend that everything was okay...it reminded Sachiko of herself, in a way.

She laid on her bed, staring at the ceiling of her room.

I wonder if someone is outside my door with a knife. She chuckled to herself, head falling to the side. Admittedly, she wouldn't mind all too much if that was the case. She expected it--she was an easy target. Small, not very strong, no talent... Aha. I guess I am lucky. I finally get to be free!

She jumped out of bed with a smile. The lucky student checked the clock in her room--about ten minutes before 8:30 hit. Not having gotten much if any sleep at all the night prior, she walked over to the door, too impatient to wait any longer. She'd been waiting all night for the next day to come, and it was finally here.

Now, what are the chances I'm going to die today? She began humming a merry tune, poking her head outside her door. After confirming that there was no one she could see, she checked both sides of her tiny home/dorm and behind it, too. No one was there. Bummer. Guess I'll just have to wait a bit.

Slightly disappointed but still optimistic, Sachiko started making her way toward the pool, pondering what she was going to do that day. This was a very nice place despite the constant air of impending death, so it would make sense for her to enjoy it before someone (Mizushima? Susugihara? Prince Katsuro? It was hard to say) decided to pick her from the bunch and shove a knife through her ribcage while no one was looking.

I could go make sand castles at the beach, I could swim in the pool...ah! I should convince everyone to play a game of some sorts to keep spirits high! While they're working on the plane that won't do us any good, we can take a break for a few and invent a board game together. I hope that'd be fun. It was nice to see everyone smiling, so long as the smiles weren't forced. If they let the grim situation get to them too much, after all, they'd end up like her. No one wanted that.

Continuing to hum, Sachiko cheerily kicked her feet through the sand and made her way over to the pool. It seemed Susugihara, Futami and Yamada had beat her there--smiling brightly, she waved to them. Yesterday had shaken her up quite a bit, but after a long night of thinking and a day full of potential, she was in a good mood. "Hello! You guys are even better than on time, huh? That's awesome of you!"

I know I would've slept in by accident if I had gotten any sleep at all, she added in her mind, chuckling to herself.

Yamada smiled back at her, laughing. "Thanks. It's awesome of you, too. Hopefully the others will be here on time. ...I get the feeling a few of us won't be, though. I can go wake them up if that ends up being the case."

She took a seat on the edge of the pool, staring down at her own reflection. They couldn't see it, but she could--her eyes were tired, her smile was worn...same as always, huh, Sachi?

Deciding it would help her wake up, she splashed her face with water, then popped off her socks and shoes, dipping her legs into the water. It was cold, but it would keep her more aware of things. Besides, she didn't mind too much, already expecting the sun to rise further into the sky and beat down on everyone's heads.

I wonder what winter would look like here? She imagined a coat of snow covering the entire beach and smiled. I bet it'd be super pretty. I should tell them to send my ghost pictures so that I can see it.

"How'd you all sleep?" Yamada asked, sitting in one of the pool chairs with his legs crossed.

"Pretty okay," Sachiko lied. She began splashing around in the water--laughing, she kicked one splash in Futami's direction. "You're really good at running, right? That means you have strong legs. I'll bet you're really good at swimming, too, then. Could you teach me? I don't actually know how to swim."

Someone could push me in right now and I'd drown.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada
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Tsubasa smiled, pleased by Hayashi's enthusiasm. Seeing others so willing to smile and bear whatever was going on was encouraging--so long as everyone remained that cheerful, they would finish making a way out of here and escape without any lives lost.

Down by the pool, Futami laughed, playfully splashing Hayashi back. "I might be!" she exclaimed. "But to be honest, I've never really learned how to swim. Didn't have an ocean nearby and since I wasn't on swim team I didn't use the pool at school--kinda weird, eh? We can learn together!"

She glanced back at Tsubasa. "Yo Sugi, you know how to swim?"

Tsubasa raised an eyebrow. Nicknames already? This really is a friendly bunch.

Not that he minded, per se--they were classmates, after all. Being familiar with each other wasn't anything particularly strange, especially if they ended up spending a very long time on the island.

"I guess," he answered. "I've gone swimming a couple times. My family used to visit the ocean a lot. I'm not the best at it, though, so I'm not sure how I'd do teaching anyone."

"Whoa!" Futami gasped. "Your family must be pretty rich, eh? This is the first time I've ever seen the ocean. Ain't it gorgeous?"

"It is pretty," Tsubasa agreed. "Personally I've always preferred staring at the clouds to staring at the water, but it's still nice to visit every once in a while."

Wakabayashi suddenly pushed open the gate, stepping inside--she immediately moved to sit by the side of the pool next to Hayashi, kicking off her heels and letting her feet dangle in the water. "Good morning," she greeted. "I hope I'm not late. I would have been early, but after yesterday I was in the mood to sleep in a bit."

"You're just in time," Tsubasa said. "...Where's everyone else? What time is it? I thought Kagakagari might be here early, at least, considering he's the one who insisted we stay outdoors."

"It was around 8:20 when I left," Wakabayashi stated. "I believe others are on the way, though I didn't see who."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu
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Sachiko smiled at Wakabayashi, heart rising in her chest as the girl took a seat next to her. It was hard to tell what, but something about the vibe she gave off was immensely comforting. Yesterday, when Sachiko had been panicking like the easily upset coward she was, being next to Wakabayashi had given her enough stability to get back on her feet, wipe her toxic tears away, and focus on helping everyone else.

We are missing a lot of people, huh? Sachiko realized. I wonder if they're dead and that's why they aren't here.

Shimizu and Yua were not dead, at least--they walked beside each other as Yua opened the gate to the pool and stepped inside, holding it open so Shimizu could follow after. Yua nodded to Shimizu as the acrobat muttered a small thank you and went to take a seat next to no one else. Yua took a seat next to Susugihara instead, waving politely. "Good morning, everyone."

Yamada waved back, offering a smile. "Hey, Shimizu, Yua. Did the two of you sleep well?"

I don't think anyone slept well last night, Sachiko almost said.

As if to prove Sachiko's theory, Yua hesitated. "Ah...more or less. More on the less side. But that's no worry, really, I've always had a bit of trouble sleeping. That, and my siblings are always waking me up in the middle of the night, so I'm used to it."

There was a slight pause from Shimizu--she crossed one leg over the other, offering a small, polite smile. "As well as can be expected. And you?"

"The same, I guess," Yamada replied, with a hint of a nervous chuckle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari
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Tsubasa smiled at Yua, grateful to see she was doing alright. He glanced at her arm, wanting to be sure she was still safe after being attacked the day before--it didn't seem to be bleeding, so Tsubasa assumed it had been treated adequately. Bringing it up now would probably only freak everyone out--it could be ignored for now.

"I just realized I never answered when you asked how we slept," Tsubasa said suddenly. "Sorry, still a bit distracted. I slept fine."

It wasn't a lie--he had slept through the night, at least--but he had also been up for hours late into morning trying to come up with the most simplistic design possible to transfer everyone safely off the island. The more basic the design, the more likely it was they would find the materials needed to actually build a plane. Granted it also meant less room for passengers, but that was one of the issues he had been working to fix.

Wakabayashi nodded, dipping her finger in the pool curiously. "Did anyone already eat? I suppose I should have thought to get something. Maybe I'll go get some food from the main resort if everyone takes too long."

"I got breakfast pretty early," Tsubasa replied.

Futami looked like she would speak up--but then she trailed off, squeaked, and went bright red, immediately looking to the opposite of the pool from the gate. Curious, Tsubasa glanced at the gate...and shrieked.

"Kagakagari! Why are you naked?!"

Kagakagari yawned. "I told you you can call me Yoshi," he said casually. "Just got back from grabbing breakfast. I should probably shower, but that means going inside again..."

"Answer my question, d*mmit!"

Kagakagari shrugged, wandering to one of the lounge chairs as far from everyone else as possible. He crawled onto it, closing his eyes. "Eh, I spent the night outside and I didn't feel like going back into the dorms to grab clothes."

"What kind of person sleeps naked outside?!"

"Aren'tcha at least a bit embarrassed?" Futami muttered, staring intently at the pool. "I-I mean, because there're girls here and all..."

"Is 'shame' a foreign concept to you?" Wakabayashi asked.

Tsubasa pointed at them. "What they said! You've got to put pants on, dude!"

Kagakagari huffed, sat up, and wandered towards a desk near the opposite end of the pool. He crouched near it, muttering to himself, then stood, now carting a towel. Wrapping the towel around his waist, he returned to his lounge chair.

"Better?"

"Better than nothing," Tsubasa sighed. "Seriously, man, you've gotta stop doing that."

"Eh, you guys are just prudes. In the early stages of humanity there were no clothes. It was just man and nature."

"You know clothes are considered an advancement in humanity, right...?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Hayashi Character Portrait: Yua Ikeda Character Portrait: Chou Futami Character Portrait: Aimi Wakabayashi Character Portrait: Ryota Nakano Character Portrait: Tsubasa Susugihara Character Portrait: Minato Yamada Character Portrait: Hekima Shimizu Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Sachiko squeaked, poking her head out from behind Wakabayashi (she had taken to hiding) to make sure Hideyoshi wasn't naked anymore. Thank goodness, he at least had a towel now--Sachi didn't like to be reminded of naked men and the various reasons why they were naked. She laughed nervously, trying to maintain a smile though just a bit shaken-up.

Yamada coughed, seeming awkward. "Kagakagari, for those of us who have become rather accustomed to wearing clothes, would you mind keeping at least a towel on in the future? I'm not...critisizing, it's just that it makes some people uncomfortable. And the more comfortable we are..."

The less likely a murder is to happen, Sachiko finished for him in her head.

He cleared his throat, shifting. "...The more comfortable we are, the better. So, uhm. Has everyone had breakfast yet? I can bring a plate of food for everyone if not. I-I'd probably prefer a few people came with me, though, if that's not too much of a hassle."

"I don't mind coming with you," Sachiko offered, smiling. "I can help you carry so we can bring even more food for everyone else. That'll be helpful, right?"

"That'll be super helpful. Thanks, Hayashi. One more person wanna come?" He seems pretty optimistic. That's good! I hope it lasts a while before I get beaten to a bloody pulp and everything inevitably comes crashing down. Or maybe I won't die first? I sure hope I die first. If not me, then...well, I guess we'll see.

Sachiko hummed, scanning the crowd of people that were already here--Wakabayashi, Yamada, Futami, Susugihara, Yoshi, Yua, Shimizu...what was that odd look in Yua's eyes? Sitting stiffly, she stared at Yoshi for a stretch of time before quickly glancing down at the floor and muttering things to herself. She shifted, then scooted closer to Susugihara.

Weird.

The gate latch unlocked--Sachiko looked over and saw Nakano walking into the pool area, smiling. "Hey, guys. Sorry I'm late, I had to finish burying Fukui's bloody and beaten-up body. How are you guys doing?"

Yamada shrieked. Yua clung to Susugihara's arm and cried out in panic.

"Ah." Nakano nodded. "Screams. Screams mean panic. Panic is not good, usually. Is there any way that I could solve that panic? Perhaps play some relaxing music to calm you down?"

"Relaxing music doesn't bring dead people back!" Yamada screeched. "What did you do?!"

Fukui walked up behind Nakano, blinking. "Wh-what's happening? Why is everyone panicking? I-is someone dead already...?!"

"Don't worry, everything is fine," Nakano soothed, patting Fukui's head. "I was just looking into something. How are you feeling today, Fukui? Ready to be buried in the sand?"

Yamada shrieked again. Sachiko laughed. "Ah, I think I get it! It's a joke, right, Nakano? Because Fukui's right there! No one's gonna die today."

Nakano clapped. "That's right! Thank you for understanding, Hayashi. Though, Fukui, next time I pretend you're dead, try not to enter so early. I was hoping to see the effects of my claim over a longer period of time, see. I think I would have collected much more interesting data had you all believed me for a bit longer."

"D-don't do that again!" Yamada cried.