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[INNOCENTS WIN] First Anniversary Fanfic Mafia - Game Thread

Night 0
  • Negrek

    Angel of Memory
    Staff
    First Anniversary Fanfic Mafia

    Player List

    qva (Lauchzelot)
    Starlight Aurate (Yami Bakura)
    Persephone (Genesis)
    Namohysip (Diyem)
    Dragonfree (Dave Ambrose)
    DawningWinds (Professor Finnar)
    Tanuki (Desper)
    NonAnalogue (Fiametta Fortunata)
    Sike Saner (Ntairow Fade)

    Windskull (Nip)
    Equitia (Jen)
    elyvorg (Tefiren)
    Chibi Pika (Chibi)
    SparklingEspeon (Espurr)

    The featureless plane stretches on in all directions, perfectly flat and even and made of some thoroughly nondescript substance, firm to the touch and a milky sort of white. The sky overhead is grayish, lit by a bland, directionless light, and no more can be said about it, really. Here and there a flicker of color races across the smooth surface of the ground; now and again it twitches, starting to bunch up and take a new shape as it's teased at by someone's thoughts. A couple of people have already managed to construct rough hovels that, if nothing else, give them some protection from the glare of the endless, empty sky.

    Most are still grappling with what's happened, though, too overwhelmed by the strangeness of the place and the other people in it to even think of constructing somewhere safe to sleep. Pokémon find themselves confronted by strange new species, while humans remain wary of the talking pokémon. Desper pokes curiously at a phone whose screen fills with increasingly annoyed lines of text asking him to please stop doing that. Still, while the mood is tense, most people seem optimistic. With all of them working together, surely they can find a way to get back home.

    Dave is the only one who has any idea what to expect when the directionless glow overhead winks out, and it's not like he's going to waste his time trying to convince anyone of the danger. The lot of them are going to see for themselves soon enough.

    Night 0 has now begun. All role PM's have been sent--if you didn't receive one, please contact me immediately!

    Night 0 will last for 48 hours (until 2:30 PM EST/6:30 PM UTC Monday, May 4th) or until all players with night actions have sent theirs in.

    Good luck, everyone!
     
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    Day 1 Start
  • Negrek

    Angel of Memory
    Staff
    The morning dawns as abruptly as night fell, glow rapidly spreading across the blank sky overhead. The spot where the travelers had gathered is now littered with shelters of varying levels of . As people filter back out into the open, Diyem takes charge with a roll call to make sure everyone's assembled. "All right, all right. Who's here? Espurr? Yeah. Sirfetch'd? Okay, okay, no need to shout. Now, you humans..."

    Professor Stands off to one side, more interested in observing than getting to know her fellow dimensional travelers. The talking pokémon are fascinating enough, but then there are the ones she doesn't even recognize. A grovyle-like creature perches above the rest of the group, head moving in small jerks while he repeatedly scans his surroundings. Near the middle of the crowd is something wobbuffet-like but raised up on spiderish legs, two long black tails curved up towards her shoulders. Finnar tilts her head, considering, and ignores Diyem as he verbally marks her present. All questions about Ultra Space aside, she'd love to get some time to study those two.

    "Where's the cranky guy?" Diyem mumbles. "Cranky guy, sneasel, where is--oh, there." Nip scowls back at him from his spot in Ntairow's shadow, easy to miss beside the towering kwazai. "Okay, it looks like we're all here, so let's get started. Now, does anyone have any information about what's going on, here?"

    Dave blinks, abruptly pulled back from unhappy thoughts. We're all here? A quick count of his own confirms that everyone's accounted for. Well, things did start off quiet last time, too...

    No one has been eliminated. Discussion is now open for Day 1 and will continue until 6:30 PM UTC/2:30 PM EST May 6.

    A quick reminder: please don't post the role PM I sent you, whole or in part, in the discussion thread. You can allude to its contents, but please don't post it verbatim.


     
    Day 1 End
  • Negrek

    Angel of Memory
    Staff
    Even without a death to investigate, tensions run high throughout the day. Professor Finnar is adamant that the only way to progress is to root out potential murderers before they can do harm, while Chibi's equally convinced that it can't be beneficial to shut away someone without at least some hint that they might be a threat. In the end only Lauchzelot is comfortable marking anyone out for confinement without clear evidence of wrongdoing, and the group retreats with nothing much concluded, forced back into their temporary dwellings by the arrival of unnatural dark. It's unlikely any will sleep well tonight, whatever nighttime errands they might have aside; in some ways, the uncertainty left by a day with no disappearances is worse than a morbid investigation would have been. What are the chances that they'll all live to see another sunrise.

    No one has been jailed. Night 1 begins now and will last for 48 hours (until 6:30 PM UTC/2:30 PM EST May 8) or until all players with night actions have submitted them.

    Final Vote:

    10 Abstain - Equitia, Namohysip, elyvorg, Sike Saner, Tanuki, windskull, NonAnalogue, Persephone, Dragonfree, Chibi Pika

    1 Chibi Pika - qva

    Not Voting:
    Starlight Aurate, DawningWinds, SparklingEspeon
     
    Day 2 Start
  • Negrek

    Angel of Memory
    Staff
    Day returns as abruptly as ever, revealing that a few people have spent some time making improvements to their temporary shelters, some of which have actual colors, now. The human dwelling's even grown the suggestion of siding or shingles. No one here wants to think of these places as permanent, real homes for them to live in, but the thought of the alternative, that they only have a night or two before they disappear forever, is hardly more comfortable.

    By unspoken mutual agreement the group gathers again in the patch of clear not-ground roughly at the center of their not-village. There's a brief panic when not one but two people are found to be missing. Thankfully, in the midst of all the commotion, Bakura remembers that no one's gone to pick up Fiametta, who can't exactly make her way out to the counsel under her own power. While he's berating the rest of the group as fools, Espurr is able to retrieve the phone with a burst of telekinesis, floating it over her head almost as though an invisible person were standing there, holding it. The text on the screen clearly shows Fiametta's irritation at having been forgotten.

    That still leaves one missing, though, and it's an anxious group that makes their way over to where Chibi was sleeping. The clone pikachu's dwelling is hardly more than a scrape in the ground; he probably didn't have a very strong idea of what a home should be like that he could use to shape his environment. Here and there a spiky yellow feather remains, but other than that, nothing.

    "Consarn it. Not th' little 'un," Desper mutters, tail swishing morosely.

    Chibi (Chibi Pika) has been eliminated. He was Innocent. Discussion is now open for Day 2 and will continue until 6:30 PM UTC/2:30 PM EST 9:30 PM UTC/5:30 PM EST May 10.
     
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    Day 2 End
  • Negrek

    Angel of Memory
    Staff
    The day begins sedately enough. Even with a disappearance in their midst, the group is wary of jailing someone else, especially with so little evidence to go on. At the very least, they'd like some time to come to terms with Chibi's death--the very real evidence of the danger they face here.

    But time there isn't. And as the day wears on, evidence rapidly comes to light. Suspicion swings back and forth between the members of the group, from the short-tempered charizard to the tall, multi-armed kwazai, to Professor Finnar, who remains cool despite it all. As the light begins to fade from the sky overhead the malleable ground beneath the group's feet ripples with uneasy streaks of color, reacting to rising emotion. Soon everyone's shouting over each other to be heard, accusations and votes shooting back and forth at a blistering pace. Somehow, out of the chaos, a new consensus is forming. Gensis' is mentioned once, and then again, and again.

    "Me?" Genesis asks in horror. "But--wait--why? Now? I don't even know what to say!"

    More voices join in, and Genesis jerks back reflexively when one of her feet abruptly sinks into the ground, gone soft and sucking and nearly as dark a color as the sky. She tugs, but it won't come free. Meanwhile, the last streaks of light are fading from the sky. "I didn't--now? I can't even think..." Her other leg starts sinking, too. "I never wanted to hurt anyone! If you keep going on like you are, you're all going to die!"

    As the last light fades, the ground pulls Genesis the rest of the way under in one abrupt, fluid motion. A ripple of reddish color spreads briefly from the point where she disappeared, and after that, it's too dark to see anything at all.

    Final Vote:

    5 Persephone - Dragonfree, qva, elyvorg, DawningWinds, Starlight Aurate
    4 DawningWinds - windskull, Namohysip, Tanuki, Persephone
    1 Abstain - Sike Saner
    1 Desper - NonAnalogue
    1 Namohysip - Equitia

    Not Voting:
    SparklingEspeon

    Genesis (Persephone) has been jailed. She was Mafia.

    Night 2 begins now and ends in 48 hours (at 10:00 PM UTC/6:00 PM EST May 12th) or when all night actions have been received.
     
    Day 3 Start
  • Negrek

    Angel of Memory
    Staff
    Yami Bakura is about even before light's returned to the sky overhead. A strange feeling's gripped him this night, its source unknown.

    Yami Bakura looked at everyone hanging around. His conscience bothered him.

    His conscience? That couldn't be--he didn't have a conscience.

    Tell the truth.

    Was it Ryou? Was Ryou aware, and trying to speak through him?

    But Yami Bakura was much more powerful than his host. The poor human couldn't hope to overpower him.

    Tell the truth!

    Yami Bakura's muscles involuntarily twitched. Oh no--his host was regaining control!

    "All right!" he screamed. "I'll tell the truth--I'm not Bakura! My real name isn't Yami Bakura at all--it's Florence!"

    But his muscles kept twitching--

    TELL THEM WHAT WE KNOW!

    Florence was thrown to the ground by his left hand. He watched in horror as his left hand--completely out of his control--forcefully clawed its way into the ground and dug up chunks of earth, tracing out letters.

    WE KNOW THE TRUTH
    "STOP IT!" Florence screamed. But his hand--Ryou's hand--kept on forming letters in the ground.

    WE KNOW WHO--

    With a loud scream, Florence grabbed a shard of ceramic from the teacup he broke earlier and plunged it into his left hand. Blood spurted out, and after a few last twitches, the left hand stopped moving. Florence let out maniacal laughter. The others all stood around and watched him lie on the floor, clutching his bleeding, twitching arm, laughing his head off.

    "Good luck trying to tell them now, Ryou!" he cackled.

    But his cackles ceased as he felt a sort of hum through the air. He leapt to his feet--the air around him was shimmering. He felt his movements slow, and darkness from some unknown source began to overtake him.

    "No!" he screamed. "I can't die amongst these idiots! I haven't even bloody done ANYTHING! I haven't gotten to jail or kill or watch anyone be shred into a thousand bits! That's it--I'll kill you all, destroy this world and bring an end to everything now! Prepare to see my true form: Zorc Necrophades!"

    Yami Bakura--or Florence--or Zorc--or Ryou--or whatever his name really was--let out a roar as his body quickly morphed into a colossal, black, draconid being. What few people hadn't been roused by Bakura's earlier shouts certainly couldn't sleep through that. They spilled out of their temporary shelters, staring in fear at his bulging muscular arms, his spiked head, and his...

    ...

    They weren't sure how to feel at the sight of a second large dragon head sticking out from beneath his navel. The dragon head opened its jaws and inhaled deeply--a ball of some sort of energy glowed within, highlighting the fear in everyone's faces as they took in their final breaths.

    But the air around Zorc crackled as though it were electric, and with the burst of one mighty thunderbolt, Zorc was struck down. His form fizzled away, leaving Bakura's small, human form standing for a few seconds, the Millennium Ring hanging loosely around his neck.

    Yami Bakura looked up. His body was quickly dissipating into nothing. He smiled.

    "So, I'm being sent to the darkness. Interesting... This darkness cannot defeat me. I am the Darkness."

    With a final leery smile, he vanished. The Millennium Ring clanged as it hit the floor, the only piece of Yami Bakura left.

    The stunned crowd was left to contemplate it in silence. With full "daybreak" overtaking the empty sky overhead, they don't have much time to track down another Mafia member before another one of them ends up like Bakura.

    Yami Bakura (Starlight Aurate) has been eliminated. He was Innocent. Day 3 discussion is now open and will continue through 9:30 PM UTC/5:30 PM EST May 14.

    (( I knew Starlight Aurate wanted to do something special for Bakura's death, so I asked her to write today's opener. Please don't take any differences between this and how I normally write day flavor to mean anything in game terms. ))
     
    Day 3 End
  • Negrek

    Angel of Memory
    Staff
    Although the day certainly began with a bang, compared to the one previous it's practically sedate. Tefiren fires cutting accusations at Professor Finnar, and for the most part, the rest of the group agrees. Even Professor Finnar has to shrug and admit they aren't without merit. That inspires some nervous mutters, and NonAnalogue's name is mentioned once or twice, but this time the whispers remain no more than that. The revelation of some kind of supernatural entities in the group's midst turns discussion away from jailing entirely.

    As darkness falls and the malleable ground beneath her feet begins to ripple, Professor Finnar remains calm. Disdainful, even. She crosses her arms even as she begins to sink. "I hope you learn something valuable from this," she says. "How disappointing, if you went to all the trouble of killing me and it didn't even help you figure anything out." The not-ground closes over her head. A brief pulse of green blossoms across its surface, then fades to leave the ground as dark as the sky overhead.

    Professor Finnar (DawningWinds) has been jailed. She was Innocent.

    7 DawningWinds - Namohysip, Tanuki, DawningWinds, Sike Saner, elyvorg, Equitia, windskull
    1 Desper - NonAnalogue
    1 NonAnalogue - qva

    Not Voting:
    Dragonfree, SparklingEspeon

    Night 3 begins now and will last until 9:30 PM UTC/5:30 PM EST May 16th, or until all night actions have been received.
     
    Day 4 Start
  • Negrek

    Angel of Memory
    Staff
    To everyone's relief, the fourth day begins quietly. There are no roars, no cackles--certainly no manifestations of demonic power, draconic or otherwise. All that happens is the blank sky overhead grows abruptly bright.

    Quiet doesn't mean safe, though. By now even the more confident characters have acquired a healthy dose of paranoia, the lot of them moving the way Tefiren did even at the start of the game: in short, cautious bursts, eyes always moving, scanning their surroundings for danger.

    Nothing seems amiss until Desper finds Fiametta's phone lying discarded on the ground--or perhaps not so much discarded as hurled there, the malleable surface around it scuffed and gouged as if by some struggle. The rents are even now healing over, the ground returning to its usual blank featurelessness, but the phone itself is in rough shape, screen shattered and glass sctrewn across the healing ground beside. The battery icon flashes low, the screen so dark that Fiametta's last conversation is only barely readable.

    Code:
    -- Conversation initiated with WitchesBlue [FORTUNATA, FIAMETTA] --
    
    [WB] wait no
    [WB] no
    [WB] cmon
    [WB] you dont wanna do this
    [WB] please
    [WB] they were gonna let me go
    [WB] they were gonna let me go if i did this
    [WB] all i had to do was win the game
    [WB] and like
    [WB] i dunno what its like for everyone here
    [WB] all really into your roleplayin and stuff
    [WB] there was the thing with the dragon
    [WB] that was weird to get described to me second hand
    [WB] but they got me
    [WB] i dont know where i am
    [WB] all i got is this axsis
    [WB] and a line out to play the game
    [WB] and if i win
    [WB] if we win
    [WB] maybe theyll let me out
    [WB] you dont understand
    [WB] axsis got the drop on me
    [WB] the people that happens to
    [WB] nobody ever sees them again
    [WB] i guess they just get locked in empty rooms
    [WB] and get forced to play games for their freedom
    [WB] i was gonna win
    [WB] i could have done it
    [WB] im not great at this kinda game
    [WB] but it woulda meant that they coulda let me go
    [WB] i mighta been able to talk to my friends again
    [WB] and maybe i wouldnta been able to go home
    [WB] but at least i wouldnta been here
    [WB] please
    [WB] please im beggin you
    [WB] just let me win
    [WB] let me win
    [WB] let me go
    [WB] everyone here can go on with their lives after this game
    [WB] you get to log off
    [WB] but
    [WB] i dont know what theyre
    [WB] wait
    [WB] no
    [WB] no no no
    [WB] im not ready
    [WB] please
    [WB] please wait
    [WB] please
    
    -- AXSIS SpeechToText 4.7.1 has ceased running --
    -- Conversation terminated with WitchesBlue [FORTUNATA, FIAMETTA] --
    -- Have an AXSIS-approved day! --
    Disturbing final words, to be sure, but the ripples of red that spread out wherever the ground has started to absorb the phone screen's shards suggests that, however determined she was to win, Fiametta wasn't playing for the home team.

    Fiametta Fortunata (NonAnalogue) has been eliminated. She was Mafia.

    The revelation of Fiametta's disappearance, as well as her alignment, leave people frazzled. One more mafia down, one day closer, perhaps, to the time when they all might return home. For a few minutes no one is thinking of who else might not have woken up this morning. Murmured speculation has already begun on the meaning of Fiametta's disappearance when Jen wonders aloud where Ntairow's gone.

    It's true--the kwazai is usually a quiet but very visible presence, towering over everyone else on her four stiltlike legs. Once it's been pointed out, her absence is immediately obvious. It doesn't take long to establish that the kwazai isn't around--she'd certainly be difficult to hide--and when the group visits her makeshift cave, they find it empty.

    Any sense of reassurance that might have come from the removal of a Mafia member rapidly evaporates as the group stands outside Ntairow's empty cave, watching it, in the absence of any will to shape it, slowly begin to lose its form and sink back into the featureless ground.

    Ntairow Fade (Sike Saner) has been eliminated. She was Innocent.

    Day 4 discussion begins now and will continue until 9:30 UTC/5:30 EST May 18.


    (( If it wasn't immediately obvious, NonAnalogue wrote Fiametta's last conversation. As a reminder, if you'd like to write your own death flavor, please contact me about it ahead of time. ))
     
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    Day 4 End
  • Negrek

    Angel of Memory
    Staff
    The shock of finding two of their number dead weighs heavily on the people who remain, and their discussion is subdued--well, until Desper decides to shoot at Tefiren, that is. That distraction aside, most people by now seem suspicious that either windskull or Equitia must be a member of the mafia--and perhaps the final one. Jen, in his rush to defend himself, ultimately babbles out something he perhaps should not have. As evening creeps up on the group, he ultimately finds every finger pointing at him.

    Nevertheless, Jen still looks confused as the malleable ground begins to draw him down. Even now, he isn't quite prepared to meet his fate, though he seems too stunned to even say anything as the mire closes in over his head. At least those watching can be reassured by the wave of red that ripples out from the spot where he disappeared.

    Jen (Equitia) has been jailed. He was Mafia.

    As for what might happen to Jen, or any player jailed beneath the strange dimension's surface, who could say?

    Jen sat alone in the dark, justifying his actions to himself. What else was he supposed to have done? With the ability he had been given, no one would have believed that he was innocent even if he really was. Even if he had worked for the “innocents”, they disappeared people too. They just did it in the light of day.

    But, with Charizard’s revelation last night, Dave’s confirmation… Jen didn’t believe there were “board game gods”, but he had been inexplicably teleported into a strange gray place with strange rules, and he did hear a voice in his head. He just pushed it out of his mind, even now as it butted in saying it wanted to apologize for something.

    Anyone would have done what Jen had done if they were in his position. He shouldn’t feel guilty for doing what he had to do.

    But, for a game. Jen helped to remove people for a game. And did he remove people from whatever this place was, or from life? He told himself it was probably from the former, and what was he supposed to do if it was the latter, but…

    Red light filled the room. Jen jumped to his feet, Psychic energy rushing instinctively to his palms. The walls and floor glowed and contorted. Within seconds the only possible escape route disappeared, enveloping him in this room completely.

    With nowhere to go and the walls closing in, Jen collapsed to the floor, squeezing his eyes shut. It was fine, he told himself. Whatever force had brought him here wouldn’t have let him go if he had won anyway. And it wasn’t like he didn’t have this coming.


    Final Vote:

    6 Equitia - Tanuki, Dragonfree, Namohysip, qva, windskull, elyvorg
    Not Voting:
    Equitia, SparklingEspeon

    Night 4 begins now and will last until 9:30 PM UTC/5:30 PM EST May 20th, or until all night actions have been received.

    (( Jen's death flavor was written by Equitia! ))
     
    Game End
  • Negrek

    Angel of Memory
    Staff
    Nip wasn't the only one awake in the unnatural darkness of the night, but it was easy for him to avoid the others. He blended perfectly into the shadows, and there wasn't even moonlight to gleam from unsheathed claws.

    He was the only one left.

    This wasn’t supposed to happen.

    Genesis… They may not have seen eye to eye, but she was just as trapped in this situation as he was, and her skills had been a valuable asset.

    Fiametta… He didn’t understand everything she said about her situation, but he trusted that she was in just as much danger as the rest of them and deferred to her wisdom.

    Jen… The young not-quite-human had been a quiet ally. And when they screwed up and he had to watch them be dragged away under the mysterious surface of this prison, it had struck fear into his heart.

    He was a survivor. He outlasted all his allies. But now, he was alone. And that meant he had to make a decision. He would no longer be able to take a passive role. Tonight, he would have to make a hit to survive.

    Who could he take out? The sirfetch’d would survive his attack, and then they would all know. He was certain he could take the charizard, but the raichu would likely guard him. The raichu would be an easy target but… he was the only one he might be able to turn the crowd against, if he was lucky. Tefiren? He feared he was too clever for him.

    Espurr? No. Just… no.

    The human. The human was his best target. He seemed weaker, with no claws or special weapons to defend himself with. He would do.

    --​

    The dreams are pretty lucid - more lucid than he thinks his real-world dreams ever have been, not that he usually remembers them. Just the ability to ask a question that makes any fucking sense into the void is not exactly regular dream material. But the people in them are always vague and fuzzy, and entirely silent. This time, just as he's trying to concentrate, a crystal-clear voice speaks behind him.

    "Hi."

    He jolts and whirls around and finds - she's not even the ghost he was trying to reach this time, but honestly he'll take it. Mia stands there plain as day, half of her face a bloody exit wound, looking disinterestedly at him with her remaining eye.

    He looks off to the side. "Jesus, Mia. Can't the fucking afterlife fix that?"

    In his peripheral vision she shrugs.

    Dave sighs, hears his voice shaking weirdly. "Christ. Mia, I'm... I'm stuck in this fucking game. It's the second time and the first time there was something pretending to be you. There are these, these fucking things, things that are disappearing people and trapping others in these sick murder games. Maybe you're the lucky one. I mean, apparently there's a fucking afterlife. What are any of us still doing here?"

    Mia tilts her head, her brow furrowed. "That's stupid."

    "Yes, yes, I know it's stupid as shit, but here you are, so unless you want to tell me you're a fucking hallucination, this is where we're at."

    He half-expects her to take him up on that (because it's probably true, really), but she just narrows her eyes at him.

    "This doesn't make any sense."

    "Yeah, congratulations."

    She pauses. "Maybe I can kill you. Then we can see properly how the afterlife works."

    Something squirms in his stomach. "Uh, I mean, I doubt that's gonna work. You're a ghost in my fucking dream."

    She steps forward and experimentally pokes him in the chest - she's solid. She prods him again for good measure, then grabs his hand and raises her other arm, scythe gleaming. "Hey! Mia, n- hold on." He reaches out to stop her. "Can we just..."

    He stops, squeezing her hands.

    "What?" she says.

    "Just... stop."

    She gives him a skeptical squint. Maybe he can distract her with some bullshit. Honestly she'd probably enjoy the puzzle of the game. He could tell her about it. Just stand here and talk for a bit, like old times, until whenever the end of the night tears him back. Maybe two minutes into the explanation she's going to immediately identify all the mafia and look at him like he's a fucking dumbass for not figuring it out. That'd be nice.

    But just as he's finishing that thought, he starts to realize that something's wrong. There's a crawling, cold, numb sensation in his feet; he looks down and finds them disintegrating, just fucking dissolving into a glitchy distortion that's creeping up his legs.

    "Shit," he mumbles. It's just some weird fucking dream thing, he thinks, but somehow, he knows it's not. "Oh, fuck."

    Mia looks down and tries to pull him away, but it's still there. Of course.

    He never even got the fucking answer to his question.

    "Nononono. Not now. Not now! You twisted fucking pieces of shit!" He grits his teeth, staring into the void. "What the fuck did I ever do to you motherfuckers?"

    "There's nobody there," Mia says. And... yeah, she's right. His 'guardian angel' isn't actually here, right now, or at least he hasn't heard its voice. But it's not as if it matters if they hear him, anyway, does it? They don't care and they never fucking will.

    "I hope you all get fucking bone cancer, you evil shitheads," he snarls. That horrible numbness has spread past his knees, confused nerve endings firing on all cylinders telling him it's freezing and he needs to get to warmth and shelter. "Fuck all of you. Why don't you just..."

    (Is this what happened to the ones he targeted last time? He'd told himself they were getting out of here, but - that wasn't ever true, was it.)

    Mia frowns. "Who are you trying to talk to? They aren't here."

    "Ffff... go fuck yourselves, you..."

    His stomach's dissolving and he's nauseous and this is fucking pathetic, isn't it, just yelling ineffectually at thin air. Mia probably thinks he's lost it.

    "Mia?" he starts. He's not sure what he's going to say to her, but his throat is closing up anyway. She looks at him, suspicious. Before he even knows what's happening, he's pulling her closer, half-collapsing into her arms.

    He can practically see the look that must be on Mia's face as he start sobbing uncontrollably, but she holds him anyway, and he holds her tightly, hands clutching her bloodstained shirt, as the coldness takes him.

    Dave (Dragonfree) has been eliminated. He was innocent.

    Meanwhile, Tefiren huddled in his latest hiding place, hating the Archopy-sized empty space he could feel next to him. Every single hiding place he'd made here - he'd had a different one each night, of course - had been the size of two Archopy, not one. And he'd only just noticed that fact tonight.

    He grumbled to himself, trying to will the space to close in and get smaller. It wouldn't. He tried to will it to fill up instead - if he could make things happen just by thinking in this world, then he should be able to just think Forsira into being there next to him, like she always should have been. But that wouldn't happen either. This world refused to give her back, or to let him out of here, until he either won or lost this stupid game.

    His injured crest leaves stung as they pressed against the roof of his enclosure, and it irritated him. This whole game here was supposed to be just battling - he'd figured that out himself today, and the voice that followed him around had said as much. The mafia - not Them - only vanished people. Just like fainting. No real loss at all.

    But he couldn't get rid of the sound of that Raichu's attack roaring in his ears, the way he'd felt in that moment: realising he'd messed up, he'd let his guard down, if it'd been Them he'd have been--

    The wounds in his leaves were healing, but for now, the stinging pain was still there, constantly reminding him of the stupid mistake he'd normally have never been able to afford.

    Idly, he morphed his front wing leaves into glowing blades, and then back again, blades and back again, trying to distract himself from the pain. But each time he did, he felt a familiar tingle of sharpness along their edges.

    Not just battling, not for everyone. Maybe the mafia thought that, but apparently the Raichu didn't. No-one had ever said it was just battling, so there was no reason to follow that rule.

    It shouldn't have mattered, should it? The game would end tomorrow, anyway. They'd all come out, someone else would have been vanished (not Tefiren; his hiding places were far too clever for anyone to find him), and then they'd all vote to get rid of the black weasel, the only one left it could possibly be, not for clever reasons but for boring reasons. That stupid voice might even take over and do the vote for him. That same voice had voted for him both times they'd actually got rid of a mafia, as if Tefiren was no good at this game and didn't even need to be here. As if all he'd done in this game was waste his tricks, be wrong about the one thing he'd figured out by himself, and let his guard down like a moron.

    No. He was better at this game than that. He was better at every game than that.

    The voice followed him around during the day, but it went away at night. It wasn't here right now. Tefiren could be the one to win this game, tonight, by himself. And the sooner the better, right? The sooner this game ended, the sooner he'd see Forsira again.

    Stealthily - there was no way he was letting his guard down, not ever again - Tefiren crept out of his hiding place and dashed across the bare ground. The holes in his wing leaves stung in the cold air, but that wasn't enough to stop him from taking off silently into the treeless night sky. Even with his poor night vision, it wouldn't be hard to find where the black weasel was hiding. Everyone in this game but him was so stupid when it came to choosing good hiding places.

    Just to test it, he swiped one of his wings mid-flight and felt the satisfying swish of an air blade shooting towards the ground below, without a sound. His trick, that he'd figured out all by himself. Usually he used it to fend off Them during his many daring escapes - but it could be more than that. He could use it to attack from a distance, unexpectedly, so his enemy would never see it coming.

    He'd never even thought to use his air blades like this before, not in his real game - but then, that was because They lived on the other side of the island in such great numbers that it'd obviously be foolish to even try. But here, when his enemy was isolated and alone? When the point of the game was to catch the enemy, and not just escape them? There was no reason not to.

    There was no reason not to.

    Tefiren was going to get back to his own game and see Forsira again, using his tricks. Because he didn't lose. Not at any game, not ever.

    He was going to win, like always.

    --​

    In his haste, distracted by what he had to do, Nip forgot to watch his back.

    As he turned away from Dave’s shelter, he tripped, biting back an alarmed cry. And when he tried to push himself up, his front paw began to sink into the ground. Alarmed, he whipped his head around, and caught sight of a figure in the darkness. Tefiren.

    “You really are the smart one, aren’t you?” he growled, struggling, managing to pull his paw free. Not that it did much good. As he had twisted and flipped and struggled to pull it out, it had only hastened the sinking, and it was already up to his waist.

    “So, this is the way it’s going to be, is it?” He shouted into the darkness. “You’ll turn on me because that’s the only way you can ‘win.’ I was only doing what I had to, to survive, don’t you understand? Maybe some of your innocent friends were alright staying here, flinging distrust at each other until no one was left, content to avoid taking action. But some of us would like to be free. Some of us had reasons to fight!”

    He tried to drag himself forward, but only succeeded in getting his arms stuck.

    “I only did what I had to! I’m sick of suffering because of the inaction of others, and I won’t take it anymore!”

    Nip was almost fully submerged now, having to tilt his head up to suck in the air for just a bit longer. The feeling of the strange material was uncomfortable, though not painful. Would he be able to breathe once he was pulled under? Or would he drown, as if in water? He didn’t know. He didn’t want to find out. He didn’t want to die.

    He didn’t want to die.

    The last thing he managed to say was, “I hope Yveltal curses you all,” before succumbing, and all that was left where Nip once stood was a ripple of red.

    Nip (windskull) has been eliminated. He was Mafia.

    The Innocents win!


    (( Various portions of this post were written by windskull, Dragonfree, and elyvorg! ))
     
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