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Machiko Nakamura

"..."

0 · 408 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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Machiko Nakamura “Who?” Ultimate Sign Language Interpreter Female Bisexual Sawako Kumanura

Likes:
Sunshine, taking baths, ice cream, rainbows, writing,
monochrome color schemes in modern homes, fine arts, coffee, chocolate,
aquatic creatures, marine biology, grape juice, sour candy, long walks, the beach,
long walks on the beach, nature, medieval history, samurai, kabuki plays,
piano music, flowers, and puppetry.

Dislikes:
Dill spices, kangaroos, boxing, violence, frozen pizza,
hot peppers, diet sodas, lucky clovers, math, violins, horror movies,
romance movies, eggs, the number 4, water, guns, water guns,
and dinosaurs.

Quirks:
Mostly unable to speak above a whisper, fidgets often, likes to play with her sleeves






GreyAlso Grey
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Quiet Unassuming Ignored Modest Restrained

Think of the most flamboyant, outrageous, exuberant, over-the-top person you can imagine.

Now take the exact opposite of that person. That’s Machiko.

She’s always the one picked last (if she’s picked at all) and has somewhat resigned herself to this fact. Though it’s no end of frustrating and Machiko is desperate for friendship and human companionship, her natural tendency to blend into the background make her very easy to miss. Others have a habit of not even realizing she’s there, mostly because of her quiet nature and tendency not to talk about or distinguish herself very much from others.

She’s also rather easy to walk all over, not feeling confident enough in herself to speak up and stand up for herself.

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"U-um...i-if you don’t mind, I…I have a thought..."

Machiko was born with a rare disease known as whispering dysphonia, where the afflicted can speak normally when highly emotional, asleep, or intoxicated, but otherwise can only speak in a whisper. Because she was rarely emotional, this lead to Machiko growing up speaking in a constant whisper. While her parents eventually managed to get her a microphone headset to aid in her volume, Machiko rarely wore it, content instead not to draw the attention to herself. It was a lonely life she lived, yes, but one she learned to be content with.

Due to her disorder, Machiko began learning sign language to better communicate with her two younger brothers and her mother. As it turned out, she had an aptitude for it and picked up the signs incredibly quickly, soon becoming fluent in it and moving on to working as an interpreter--she would listen to others and rapid-fire sign off what they had said so those in the deaf community could understand. Often, Machiko’s best and only friends were deaf persons who also felt overlooked by others.

Her extremely quick response time was greatly valued among speakers or those who had to deliver fast-paced talks in a short amount of time, leading her to be discovered by Hope’s Peak Academy. More out of a desire to finally be noticed than anything else, Machiko accepted.

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So begins...

Machiko Nakamura's Story

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: 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: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Futami frowned, rising to a stand and slipping her shoes back on her feet. "Y'know, it's okay to let other people do some o' the work, eh? You don't have to do everything just 'cause ya like helpin' people. Anyways, ain't the air out here nice?"

Wakabayashi shrugged. "TV famous...well, I suppose it depends. People have different tastes, but generally the more someone puts themselves out there the more 'famous' they'll be. The actors and actresses I cast generally become far more well known in the grand scheme of things than I do, for instance--I direct, but they're the ones who bring the film to life. In that sense..."

She paused, glancing at Katsuro for a moment. "...In that sense, I suppose it's a bit different, but I wouldn't exactly call him an 'actor'."

Katsuro gasped. "How dare you! I am not just 'an' actor, I'm practically 'the' actor! Everyone and their grandmother knows who I am!"

"Is grandmothers knowing who you are something to be proud of?" Kagakagari asked with a yawn.

"I fail to see how it wouldn't be."

"We're still missing Saito, Nagisa, and Mizushima," Tsubasa announced, ignoring whatever ramble Katsuro had gotten himself into. "Other than them, everyone else is here. I guess I expected Saito to be late, but as for Nagisa and Mizushima..."

Oh gosh. Did Mizushima kill him?!

It was no secret that the brunette baker was unstable--if her immediate attack on Yua didn't prove that enough, her subsequent mental breakdown most certainly did. Saito was bigger than her by quite a bit and somehow didn't seem like the type not to fight back, so it was doubtful he'd been targeted...but Nagisa?

If Tsubasa had learned anything from spending a short amount of time with Nagisa, it was that the boy couldn't hurt a fly. He'd be dead meat in seconds up against a maniac like Mizushima.

Suddenly more worried, Tsubasa scooted even closer to Yua, tentatively moving as if to wrap his arm around her shoulders protectively. "Has anyone seen Mizushima? Has anyone seen Nagisa? Saito's probably fine, but...okay, I'm gonna go look for Nagisa. Who wants to come along?"

Please don't let us find a body, please don't let us find a body, please, please...

"Oh!" Tomomi pointed out towards the direction of the dorms, grinning. "There he is!"

Ah...!

Tsubasa immediately looked out where she was pointing. Sure enough, Nagisa was wandering off in the distance, seemingly admiring the sky. Tsubasa let out a long sigh of relief, which quickly turned into a groan of annoyance.

D*mn kid scared me half to death.

"Hey, Nagisa!" he called, waving to try and catch the boy's attention. Nagisa glanced over curiously, then waved back and began making his way over to the pool. Tsubasa went to meet him, grateful when the boy drew closer and Tsubasa could see more clearly that he was perfectly safe.

"Is it 8:30 already?" Nagisa asked curiously. "I just woke up and then I decided to go for a walk but then I got distracted because the sky is so pretty out here!"

"It's 8:45 by now," Tsubasa chastised. "You're late, and beyond that, so is Mizushima. You had me worried sick, don't do that again!"

Nagisa saluted. "Yes sir! From now on, walks are for after the meeting. Okay! Then, did everyone eat yet? I kinda forgot to get breakfast, haha..."

Tsubasa sighed, but offered the boy an awkward smile. Frankly, he was just glad they could make it through one day without losing anyone--so far it seemed like everything was fine and everyone was getting along, but it was hard to predict how long that would last.

He turned around to head back inside--and jumped. Someone had apparently made it right past him and Nagisa without him even noticing--after a moment of examination, Tsubasa recognized her.

"Mizushima. Sure took you a while, where have you been?"

The girl didn't turn around. Tsubasa sighed, wandering closer to her.

"Oi. Mizushima. Answer me."

After a moment, she turned to face him. The girl blinked, then smiled politely and waved.

Tsubasa rolled his eyes. "Come on, Mizushima, quit stalling. I asked you where you were. Have you seen Saito?"

The girl blinked again, then frantically shook her head and made a series of strange motions.

"Oh," Kagakagari said casually. "It's the Ultimate Ghost. When did she get here?"

The girl wilted.

"Oh!" Tsubasa snapped his fingers triumphantly. "Right, right, you're that one girl. Sorry, it's just that you look a lot like Mizushima. Except without the ponytail, I guess."

The girl sighed, then sadly trudged over to an empty lounge chair and curled up on it. Satisfied, Tsubasa brought Nagisa over to a nearby chair and returned to sitting with Yua.

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: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Sachiko was almost disappointed that Nagisa hadn't turned out to be dead. Was it that she had a grudge against him? Not at all! In fact, aside from Wakabayashi, he was one of her favorite people there so far (not to say she disliked anyone at all--they were all wonderful in their own ways.) It would have just been really cool to see a dead body again.

Ah, I wonder how the first person is going to die, Sachiko thought, humming to herself. Do they have axes here? I sure hope so. I think a decapitation would be really cool-looking. Hm...maybe I should bet on who'll die first with Mizushima. She wouldn't think I'm weird for that, right?

It was hard to say. Maybe she needed to get to know her a little better first, and then she could judge. Of course, as long as she didn't end up dying first--and that went for both her and Sachi.

"So we're just missing Mizushima and Saito now," Yua sighed from her place next to Susugihara. She seemed awfully comfy. "I almost want to say that maybe we should just let them be, but I don't really know if that's a good idea...maybe someone--a-a few people can go and get them? I'd offer to help, but I don't really...I-I'm a little...I-I'd prefer not to, if that's okay."

"Don't want to get your arm sliced open again?" Nakano assumed, wiping his nose with a tissue that he'd apparently been keeping in his pocket. "I think that's understandable. Who wants to go poke the psycho instead?"

"W-well, um," Yua shifted, "Yoshi looks...really strong. I b-bet he'd be able to handle himself around Mizushima. So--so maybe he could go? And..." She trailed off, some strange look forming in her eyes. Her cheeks suddenly went bright red. "...A-ah! S-sorry, yes, um, Yoshi and--Yamada! Yamada likes helping people, doesn't he? Yes, yes, u-um--maybe they can go get Mizu and Saito?"

"Oh. Well..." Yamada scratched the back of his head. "I already offered to get everyone breakfast with Hayashi, but I guess I can do that and then help with Saito and Mizushima...it might take a bit, though, so I'm not sure if that's the most efficent option."

"Right, o-of course. So Hayashi and Yamada are getting breakfast, and then maybe--" Yua briefly scanned the crowd of students already there, "--N-Nagisa can go with Yoshi? How does that sound?"

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: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Tsubasa shrugged. "That sounds good. You guys okay with that?"

Kagakagari sat up slightly, shifting. "I don't mind. Mizushima's weird but she doesn't seem that strong."

"I think she's cool," Nagisa decided, heading towards Kagakagari. "She's probably just scared, because something freaky happened and all of us are a little scared now. But if we just show her that nothing's going to happen because there's just absolutely no way any of us are going to die, she'll be amazing!"

That, or she's a freaking psycho. Tsubasa kept that thought to himself--even if Mizushima was completely insane, saying anything would likely only aggravate her and drive her to attack when she otherwise might not if everyone just kept quiet. Being wary was one thing--being rude was another.

Humming pleasantly, Nagisa reached out to gently take Kagakagari's wrist and pull him towards the gate. The second the boy's fingers brushed Kagakagari's skin, the mountain climber's expression changed immediately to--was that fear?

Before Tsubasa could speak up and say anything, Kagakagari's fist flew from his side and struck Nagisa straight in the nose. Nagisa stumbled back a few steps, clearly caught off-guard. Tsubasa let out a cry.

"Dude! What the h*ll?!"

Kagakagari stared at Nagisa, wide-eyed and clutching his hand close to his body. When Tsubasa looked closely, he swore he could see Kagakagari's body trembling, his chest rising and falling at a surprisingly rapid pace.

Nagisa tentatively held a hand to his nose. "Wow...you're really strong! That hurt a lot, haha. Now I feel super safe taking you along!"

Futami quickly headed to Nagisa's side, moving his hand to check his nose. "You're bleedin'! Hey, you made him bleed! What kind of person punches a guy for no reason?!"

Kagakagari drew in a deep breath, glancing at the floor. "I don't like being touched."

"So wandering around naked is totally fine, but gently brushing your wrist is off-limits. Right. Because that makes sense." Tsubasa rolled his eyes, glancing over at Nagisa.

Kagakagari bristled. "Don't talk like you understand. You have no idea what my life's been like."

Something in the surprisingly vulnerable tone of Kagakagari's voice made Tsubasa decide not to bother him about his weird quirks anymore. Instead, he focused on Nagisa, who somehow remained chipper and cheerful.

"I'm fine, don't worry!" he insisted. "Maybe I can use my sleeve. Oh, you're supposed to pinch it, right?"

"It's purple! Holy crap, is it broken?!"

"I don't think so! Ooh, but if it is does that mean I get to wear a cool bandage like Nakano does? Then we could be bandage buddies!"

"I'm pretty sure it's broken!"

"Woohoo, bandage buddies!"

Despite himself, Tsubasa found himself wishing Nagisa would stay a part of their little group as long as possible. There was something oddly comforting about how...optimistic their amnesiac friend was.

He sighed. "Feel free to stop somewhere and pick up a bandage or something on your way back. I can come with you to make sure nothing else goes wrong if you want."

"The more the merrier," Nagisa decided, heading for the gate. "Sorry for making you upset, Yoshi. I won't do it again, promise!"

Kagakagari stared after him for a moment, then slowly stood, trudging after him. Though his shaking seemed to have stopped, he was surprisingly stiff considering how relaxed he normally was--Tsubasa promptly decided never to go anywhere near the point of touching him.

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: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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After watching Hideyoshi for a moment, Nakano muttered something to himself, looking down at a notepad he'd apparently brought and scribbling something down on the page. Sachiko shifted in her spot, starting at Nagisa's bleeding and apparently broken nose. That looks like it hurts. Wonder why Hideyoshi doesn't like being touched so much...

"Perhaps this will teach everyone a lesson in how important personal space is," Shimizu said, almost quietly enough that Sachiko couldn't hear. Unlike everyone else, the acrobat seemed oddly non-taken-aback by the mountain climber suddenly punching someone in the face.

"I'd like to say we could teach that lesson without violence, but..." Yamada trailed off, seemingly thinking to himself. His eyes took on an odd look for a moment--but as soon as it was there, it was gone, and he turned to fully face Sachiko. He smiled slightly. "Hayashi. Shall we get everyone food now?"

Ah! That's right! Sachiko jumped to her feet, smiling. "Yep! We'll make sure to get everyone things that look like they taste really good. Nagisa, feel better, okay?"

Hopefully your nose doesn't contort so badly that you're stuck forever looking like someone who got their face smushed into the side of a mountain, Sachiko added in her head, remembering someone that'd happened to before. Poor guy.

Yua stood, frowning slightly. "I, uhm...my little brother used to get himself into trouble all of the time, so I'm pretty good at treating stuff like that. If you need my help, just say so, and I'll be happy to do all I can! In fact, if it's already both bruised and bleeding, then there's a very good chance his nose is broken."

"Geez, Hideyoshi. One day in and already breaking bones," Nakano muttered, looking up from his notepad. "What is it that hip kids say these days? 'Savage'? Also, we are totally bandage buddies now, Nagisa. Do you want to be disease buddies too? If I breathe near you for too long we can probably make it happen."

Everyone simultaneously seemed to scoot further away from Nakano. He shrugged, then wrote more things down in his notebook.

"Maybe we should cut Yoshi some slack," Yamada suggested carefully. "It's like he said, we don't know what he's been through. That's true for everyone, really, so sometimes giving people benefit of the doubt really helps to take a step toward understanding."

"Unless that person ends up being psycho and you're totally wrong about giving them benefit of the doubt, then you'll probably end up getting murdered or something," Nakano pointed out casually. Yamada frowned.

It is always best to be careful," Sachiko said knowledgeably, "but I think we can all trust Hideyoshi! He seems like a really nice person."

Nakano shrugged. "If you want, I guess, but aren't we all the ones in a killing game? We shouldn't be trusting anyone."

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: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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There it was again. Was there anyone in this hellhole who wasn't insistent on reminding everyone every two seconds that they were supposed to kill each other?

Tsubasa crossed his ankles, then uncrossed them and stood. "This killing game thing is bullsh*t," he declared confidently. "No psycho teddy bear can make us do anything we don't want to. We're human beings with agency and we can make our own choices. H*ll, I say we take the little f*cker apart and see what makes him tick. Maybe I can use his parts to build us a plane out of here--he's gotta have some kind of engine in there, right?"

We're human beings. We're not your puppets.

"If you guys want to keep rambling about how we're 'in a killing game' I'll find some rope and tie you to something until the plane's done. We're not 'in' anything we don't choose to be in. And I don't know about you guys, but I did not choose to be in a killing game! I'm getting out of here and I'm taking you with me!"

Nagisa cheered. "Yeah, what he said! We're definitely going to make it out of this because this is just a weird experiment and we're totally fine!"

"We can totally make it outta this, eh?" Futami agreed. "Yeah...yeah. We're gonna be fine, 'eh? Yeah. Yeah!"

Something in her tone didn't sound convinced--Futami slapped her cheeks and pumped her fist in the air, jogging in place.

"Okay! I'm ready for a run! Yo Yua, make sure Nagisa here don't end up with a broken nose for all eternity or anythin'! Hayashi, Yamada, ready when you are!"

Katsuro huffed. "You all are so loud. How am I supposed to enjoy my island vacation with you shrieking in my ears?!"

"Vacation," Tsubasa repeated. "That's all this is. Life's what we make of it, so let's make it a vacation."

Kagakagari stared at the ground for a moment, then suddenly stalked out of the gate and began heading back towards the dorms. Startled, Tsubasa quickly hustled behind him, Nagisa trotting obediently at the back.

"Kagakagari," Tsubasa called. "Hey, come on. I'm sorry for yelling at you. Look--won't you just say something?"

"Sure. How 'bout this?"

Kagakagari turned back to face Tsubasa, something dark and dangerous reflected in his dark blue eyes. Tsubasa reeled back, struck with shock at the clouded look in Kagakagari's gaze.

Kagakagari...what happened to you...?

"You're saying all we need to do to get out of this killing game is to choose we don't want to participate in it." Kagakagari's hand curled into a fist; he rested it on his hip. "So what happens when one of us chooses to want one?"

Tsubasa opened his mouth to protest, but Kagakagari cut him off.

"Go ahead and keep preaching autonomy, man," he insisted. "But you can't act like you can promise anyone anything when you can't make our choices for us. For all we know Mizushima's choosing to kill us all right now. For all we know Ultimate Ghost's plotting some elaborate revenge scheme. None of us can understand a thing she's trying to say anyways."

"Keep talking like that," Tsubasa shot out. "See where it takes us. If we just remove the killing game as an option then--"

"But then we lose free will," Kagakagari countered. "Which is it? Are we in charge of choosing our own reality, or are we boxed into one choice? And if we're able to be boxed into the choice of not killing, who's to say that bear can't box us into the choice of killing?"

"You're not boxed in, I'm just trying to say that we should take advantage of the free will we have to make the right choice!"

"Who says it's the 'right' choice? You? Who gave you the right to make that choice?"

"What are you trying to say?" Tsubasa finally demanded.

Kagakagari was quiet for a moment; he gazed off at the horizon, face slowly filtering back to his usual nonplussed expression.

"I'm saying," he began, "that everyone has something they'll kill for. ...All that bear needs to do to box us into a choice is figure out what that thing is. Free will can be dangerous too. People hurt other people for selfish reasons--that's human nature. People lie, cheat, steal, beat, rape, drug, kill...just to instill their own free will on someone else. People can use autonomy to steal free will from other people. We're not doing ourselves any favors by not preparing to fight them off when they try."

Tsubasa bit his lip, glancing down at the ground. "Everyone has something they'll kill for." ...That's true, though, isn't it? Even I...

He shook his head, taking a deep breath. No. Never again. It isn't worth it. We're getting out of here and that's final. "Pessimism does us no favors either. Let's just focus on finishing up this plane so we can get out of here, okay? I'm almost finished with a really good set of blueprints and then we can raid the place for parts."

Kagakagari shrugged. "What you call pessimism, I call realism. But whatever, man, not my place to say. As for me I'll be bringing a knife with me next time I sleep outside. Don't wanna be too easy of a target."

As the mountain climber again began heading towards the dorms, Tsubasa couldn't help but feel his words resonate.

A target...

No...I won't be anyone's target.

I choose freedom.

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: Tomomi Tanaka Character Portrait: Nagisa Himura Character Portrait: Hideyoshi Kagakagari Character Portrait: Katsuro Kisaragi Character Portrait: Ichiro Fukui
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Haha...oh Susugihara, you're acting so naive.

Sachiko maintained a faded smile, staring at Hideyoshi as he left through the gate. There was a silence left in his absence--glancing down at her reflection again, Sachiko surprised even herself as she was the first to break it. Even if I have no hope left, at least I can try and convince them they do. "It...it'll all be okay! We can get out of here, guys, I know we can! We just...just have to go really really fast with this plane, and keep an eye on each other, and keep our spirits high. We don't have to let that bear beat us."

"H...H-Hayashi's right," Yua said after a moment, smiling warily. "In order to get out of here, we just have to outsmart the bear, right? So long as we don't let it box us in, we'll be okay. If anything, it's almost like a mind game..."

"Oh!" Nakano perked up, grinning. "Did you say 'mind game'? I love mind games! In fact, I'm great at them! You know, if we look at it that way, then this murder game has the potential to be pretty fun. ...Without the murder, I mean. It sounds like you guys aren't that keen on the murder part."

"Yeah," Yamada muttered. "In fact, it'd probably benefit conversations more if you didn't bring it up so casually."

Nakano nodded, writing this down.

"I'm going to go check on Nagisa's nose,"
Yua declared, rising from her seat. She crossed over to where he was, pausing before him and flashing a warm smile. "I hope you don't mind, but it'll probably hurt when I touch it...but maybe we can get the others to get you some deserts from the cafeteria to make up for it."

"Then I guess we should go and get the food, then?" Sachiko said, pulling her legs out of the pool and coming to a slow stand. "I'll make sure to get you the yummiest food I can find, Nagisa! And for you too, Yua! I'll just get really great food for everyone, because that's what everyone deserves!"

Yamada chuckled, standing as well. "That's a good attitude to have. Say, can a few people check on Mizushima and Saito as well? It'd be nice to have everyone accounted for so we can start the day as efficiently as possible."

"Not it," Nakano immediately called.

Shimizu frowned slightly. "...I'll go. Would anyone like to join me?"