[center [Abel You wake to the sound of a scratchy record playing in the middle of a room. It's dark, but there's just enough light to make out what's around you. Other people you seem to recognize, but can't put a name to a face. More importantly, you can't remember who you are either. You can't remember your past, your family, or any relationships you may have had before you woke up. Everyone in the room seems to be in the same position as you. The door to the outside is locked, but you can see through the grimy windows that there are people- or what you think are people. They're not really human looking, and some have strange deformities or oddly colored skin.
The only thing in this place that seems to make sense is the phone in your pocket. It has an app open called [i Mastermind]. The only thing on it is a list of flower names with a gold star beside one of them. Opening it, you'll see a profile of yourself that has very little if any information at all.
A red light comes on and the record stops only to be replaced by a distorted male voice.
“Hello and welcome. Some call this place Hell. Others, Purgatory. You have questions, and so I won't waste anyone's time. I am the King of this place, and you've volunteered to play my game whether you want to or not. Just to make sure you're being a good sport, the bracelet around your wrist should keep you in line. Each time you fail a task or act up, the bracelet will gain a glowing blue bar. You want to avoid getting nine of those bars or you lose the game.
[tab ] You're all dead, so you can't die here. I can still, of course, inflict grievous bodily harm onto you or your competitors. Or maybe I'll decide to turn you into one of the many unfortunate souls wandering my Hellscape instead.
[tab ] To sweeten the deal, and to keep things fair, the three people with the least amount of points at the end of the game will get whatever wish they desire granted. The cellphones will give you information and clues. As of now, Purgatory's Game has officially begun!”
The red light turns off, and the sound of the record once again fills your ears. The door to the room opens, and you're allowed to leave. A ping on your cellphone catches your attention. Do you dare join the games?
[center [size50 [Mrs+Saint+Delafield There is Heaven; let's keep it a secret]]]
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What woke her was a combination of both the light chatter in the room and the cold sweat that cooled to an uncomfortable temperature on her skin. She opened her eyes and blinked away the blur clouding her vision, but didn’t move for a moment, listening to the cruel, joyful voice that echoed in the chamber and in her ears, listening to the mutterings of others. She wasn’t particularly comfortable lying on her left side, her arm crushed under her ribcage at an angle that had put it to sleep. She glanced down without moving her head at the bracelet around her wrist as she listened to the disembodied voice--belonging to a King of some sort--rattle on. She shivered, but knew the icy feeling running down her back wasn’t only due to the chill air in the room.
She was dead...? Impossible.
When the voice was done, she finally pushed herself into a sitting position to get a better look at her surroundings. People lay in cots much like her’s, except for three individuals who appeared to be trying to comfort each other if their words were any indication. She felt like she knew these people but their names disappeared into the ether of her mind...including her own. A terribly tuned record player drew distorted melodies around the dimly lit room, and she spotted the record player where she suspected that the jester-esque voice had emerged from. Looking down, what she could see of herself were muscled, tattooed arms that looked pale and long legs which she pulled under her thighs to sit more comfortably. The strands of hair that dangled onto her face looked black and thin, and when she pushed them behind her ear, she felt the side of a long nose and rough, dry skin.
An ache hummed against her hip and when she reached down, she realized it was due to the fact that she’d been leaning against something hard and square in her pocket. When she pulled it out, she found a lit cell phone perched on her fingers. She opened it with a password she couldn’t remember ever installing and stared at the one app that hovered on her homescreen. She tapped it, and then at the only word listed--Protea. The face that stared back at her was stern and as sharp as the lines of her tattoo that stretched across her neck, the mouth thin and pulled into a line, inky hair pulled back into a ponytail that barely kept the wavy texture at bay.
Was that her?
Yes. She knew the answer immediately, before she clicked the app closed and received confirmation from her reflection on the screen.
So her name was Protea. Charming.
She hoisted herself up, brushing imaginary dust of her dark clothing, and watched one of the ones awake--a young man--pull a young girl gently towards a bed.
“Anyone else got a name here?” she said loudly, surprised at how sharp her voice was as it cracked against the walls of the room. All around her, people stirred, and she hadn’t realized that she’d suspected they were maybe all dead until that moment, feeling the tenseness in her shoulders relax.
Curiosity tugged her towards one of the windows littering the walls and when she pushed open the curtains to look outside, she didn’t see anything. Annoyance built up in her chest, urged on by her barefooted state, and she pushed the curtains back into place with an audible huff.
“Well, we can’t stay here,” she spoke out to the room, and made her way to the door. It resisted her pull, and she huffed aloud again. Figures.
She changed tactics and began to quicken the waking of others. “So, anyone got any bright ideas?”
Hell? Purgatory? Whatever this place was, she wasn’t planning on sticking around long enough to care. She was getting out of here and her best bet was to gather a group of sturdy-willed folks who felt the same way.
[left [pic http://i64.tinypic.com/i50ubr.jpg]][center [font "Sacramento" He heard a voice, vague and chattering in the distance. As he felt himself rise back into consciousness, the voice got louder. It was a deep voice, powerful and with a joking lilt to it. The voice clarified as he found himself fully conscious again, eyes still closed. However, one sentence in particular irritated him. '[i You've volunteered to play my game whether you want to or not... What the hell does this asshole think volunteer means?]' he thought, slightly irritated.
His eyes opened and a dimly lit room faded into view. A pale wrist rose to his gaze when the voice mentioned bracelets. He was so busy studying the bracelet that he almost didn't hear what the voice said next. He felt the color drain from his face upon realizing the knowledge that had just been imparted. He was dead. But he didn't feel dead. This couldn't be real; he must just be in a coma or dream or something. Its all his imagination. He tried to remember something, anything from before. Nothing happened; his memories were gone. All the presumably good times he had with his family, perhaps a spouse, were all gone. Perhaps the cellphone he felt in the pocket of his hoodie would provide some answers.
He pulled it out of his pocket and let his fingers glide over the keys. He didn't know how, but the passcode he had input was the correct one. The phone unlocked, revealing a black home screen with only one app visible. The text underneath it read MASTERMIND, and left him with more questions than answers as he opened it. He vaguely noticed two women who were also awake, one on the ground and one reaching for the handle of the door. Drawing his attention back to the cellphone in his hands, he saw a list.
He tapped on the third name at random, and the screen showed some type of profile page. At the very top was YARROW, and just underneath it was a picture. It depicted a man with short blonde hair and blue eyes, wearing a fluffy white sweatshirt. The same sweatshirt he was wearing. Driven by curiosity, he locked the phone for a moment to see his reflection. It seemed to match the photo, which only added to his confusion. Yarrow. It sounded familiar, a flower perhaps? He shrugged and sat up, placing the phone on the bed beside him before moving over slowly to where the girl knelt on the ground.
"[+forestgreen Hey, you okay?]" Yarrow asked gently, placing a hand on her back. His voice didn't sound right, it was higher than one would expect from a man, reminiscent of a high tenor or possibly even alto. He remembered the girl he had seen reaching towards the door knob and stood suddenly, turning to her. "[+forestgreen Are you crazy? We don't know what's out there. You need to be more careful. C'mere,]" He beckoned, kneeling back down next to the girl on the floor, his hand finding her back again and rubbing in what he hoped was a reassuring matter. All around him, people on beds were beginning to wake up. They would want somewhere to walk. Yarrow gently lifted the slight girl in front of him back to her feet and ushered her back to his bed to sit.
She blinked and sat up, disturbed by the sound of a male voice. Twilight darkness dimmed a small room, human shapes laying low on small, individual mattresses. Sleepy eyes regarded the room, taking everything in. Who were these people? She recognized none of them. Just shapes. Bodies in the darkness.
One girl was standing up. She looked nervous, afraid. Ah, she wanted to comfort her. Everything would be okay. It always was.
The recording continued. She listened, half-curious. A game? Already dead? What was this? A dream?
As soon as the thought occurred to her, she felt a wave of certainty run through her, a wave of relaxation. Of course. Of course it was a dream. What else could it be? This wouldn't happen in reality. Of that, she was certain.
Something vibrated in her pocket as the recording cut off, replaced by an atrociously distorted record that sounded like it'd been half melted, then scratched with a key, and she looked at it. A message? From... she squinted. King of Purgatory? Who was that? [i Good luck,] it read. She frowned, then nodded. It was a fitting name for a character in a dream. They rarely had proper names, just titles. Roles.
A different app caught her attention, and she opened it. A picture of a pale, dark-haired girl greeted her, the name "Poppy" at the bottom. She frowned, confused, then turned the phone off and looked at her reflection in the blank black screen. A pale, almost malnourished woman with dark hair looked back at her, a worse angle of the woman in the picture. Oh. So that was her.
The other girl looked distraught. Poppy--for that must be her name, in this dream--rose and walked over to her, putting a motherly arm around her shoulders. "It's okay," she said calmly. There was no need to panic. "It's just a dream. Everything will be okay."
If it was a dream, then there would be an objective. There were always objectives in dreams. Surely the whole thing wouldn't be contained in this tiny, featureless room, right? She looked at the door. What was outside? Everything was so normal in the room. Almost as though drawn to it, she drifted to her feet, leaving the girl behind as she stepped closer, and reached for the doorknob.
Everything was foggy and distorted somehow. The girl opened her eyes to the dimness of the dark room she found herself in. There was a record player in the corner nearest to her playing a scratched record. Each time the distorted song echoed off the corners of the perfectly square room. She sat up slowly- not knowing where she was. She didn't even know if she knew [i who] she was at this point. There were others around her that were still sleeping. These people felt familiar, but she couldn't put names to faces. There was a good chance that one of them knew where this was or who she was.
She walked- barefoot- the the window of the room and brushed aside the curtain. There was a person there- or what she assumed to be a person. Hanh tapped on the window lightly with her knuckles to catch their attention, and when they turned around, she let out a soft shriek. Rather than two eyes, they had four and a small pair of horns growing out of the top of their skull. The blonde covered her mouth quickly and closed the curtain once more- moving back from the window. Oh god. Where was she? Was that person in a costume or was this real? She felt her heart-rate rise rapidly at the thought of being trapped in this room or in some sicko's twisted idea of a prank.
In her hasty movement, a cellphone slid out of the pocket of her jacket and clattered onto the floor. Bending down, she picked it up and unlocked the phone with the correct passcode. Was this hers? It felt familiar to her. The homescreen was blank, and there was only one app on the whole device called Mastermind. There was no text app or internet. And there was certainly no service on this device.
“[#c9a0dc This is... a joke, right?]” She laughed nervously to herself, and returned to the small mattress that she'd been asleep on before she woke up and opened the app hesitantly. All of this was incredibly elaborate for a joke that someone had cooked up. Her thumb hit the first name on the list, and the only thing that came up was a photo of herself. This was her face. With the title of Wisteria at the top. What the hell did that mean? All she knew about it was that it was some sort of flower.
With a huffed sigh, she tossed the device to the edge of the mattress and stood up once again- making her way toward the door. She jiggled the doorknob and attempted to pull the door open. “[#c9a0dc Are you fucking kidding,]” She groaned- using the flat of her palm to bang loudly on the door.
Before she could open her mouth, the record stopped playing that annoying tune that she'd already decided that she hated. A red light above the door came on, and a voice that she didn't recognize filled her ears. It caused her body to chill, and her arms prickle with goosebumps just from his introduction. His voice was deep and distorted- just like everything else in this place. It was also oddly soothing to know that there was indeed someone to blame for her memory loss.
“[+maroon Hello, and welcome to my domain. You can call this Hell or Purgatory. Many before you have called it as such. You have questions, so I won't waste your time. I am the King of this place, and you've volunteered to play my game whether you want to or not. ust to make sure you're being a good sport, the bracelet around your wrist should keep you in line. Each time you fail a task or act up, the bracelet will gain a glowing blue bar. Avoid getting nine of those bars or you lose the game.
You're all already dead, so you can't die here, and trust me, there's no point in trying to kill yourselves. I can and will still inflict harm onto you or your competitors as I see fit should you break the rules. Or maybe I'll decide to turn you into one of the many unfortunate souls wandering my Hellscape instead. I'm sure you've seen those poor lost souls out there by now.
To sweeten the deal, and to keep things fair, the three people with the least amount of points at the end of the game will get whatever wish they desire granted and the second chance at the perfect life. The cellphones will give you information and clues. It's all you need. As of now, Purgatory's Game has officially begun!]”
The red light blinked off and on before turning back off for good. Once again the record played in the corner and a ding on the device caught her attention. A good luck message was sent likely in jest from the so called King of Purgatory. “[#c9a0dc Oh god. What have we gotten ourselves into?]” She whispered- feeling her knees buckle under her as she lowered herself to the ground.