Chapter L: Escaping:A/N: Italics in this chapter are used both for letter text and Alter Ego’s voice. There is no significance to this.XxXNaegi I flicked my wrists quickly, spraying a small cloud from both vials onto the chains of the cuffs binding my wrist and ankles. The acid contained within the vials began to eat away at the metal. Now all I needed was to stall for long enough. 60 seconds, to be precise. On the other hand, that was easier said than done.
A retaining wall slid up in front of me, revealing the other students behind glass. Monokuma dropped down from behind them, wearing his characteristic grin. “Naegi, you came so close. Even I almost believed your frame-up for a second, and I watched you commit the murder! Anyway, all good things must come to an end, and so must our wonderful interactions. I’d like to present you all with...The Sharpshooter’s Fallacy!” He motioned to one side, and I caught sight of a quick glint of metal through a wall. A second later, I heard a loud bang and a bullet whizzed past me, burying itself in the wall to my right. 50 seconds left. “Drat! Missed!” Monokuma motioned again. The gun fired, again missing low and to my right. He motioned twice more, the bullets landing in the same spot: low and to my right. All was going as planned. 40 seconds.
“Well, I suppose if my sniper keeps missing, I can help him out a bit.” Monokuma pressed a button, and the pole I was chained to began to slowly move to the right. As it drifted, Monokuma motioned again, and a bullet flew past me, so close that I could feel the wind on my body. I began changing my position, coiling up as much as I could. 25 seconds. Monokuma caught sight of my motion and laughed.
“Oh, is high-and-mighty Naegi scared of little old me? What’s wrong? No quips? No jokes?” I sighed, moving my wrists and ankles closer together. “No, any jokes I could make now would just be shots in the dark.” I saw Kirigiri wince at that one. 10 seconds. Monokuma groaned before smiling. “Well, at least you went out like you lived: as an annoying thorn in my side. Because, Naegi, this is the end of the road. Any last words?” I tilted my head slightly. 5 seconds. “Yes, actually. You’ll need to do better than this.” As Monokuma motioned again, I threw my arms and legs out in an explosive motion, snapping the corroded chains. A piece of metal sliced against my ankle, cutting shallowly. I landed with a thud on the floor of the execution chamber, diving to the right as the bullet slammed into the pole where I had been chained. One step down. My hands blazed to my pockets, quickly swapping out the acid vials for two others I’d need for this next stage. As I pulled the vials from my hoodie, Monokuma growled and slammed down another button on his chair. “You think you’ll be escaping this easily, Naegi-kun? Well, I’m sorry, but this is just the beginning.” A wall slid open, revealing around twenty Monokumas. They looked at me for a brief second, revealing coal black eyes in place of the usual red, before marching out to surround me. As they took up position, I heard Alter Ego’s voice in my earpiece. “Remember, this next part is crucial. His attention needs to be diverted from the passage.” I nodded. If Alter Ego was right, these Monokumas should have already been turned. I didn’t know how he’d known Ikusaba could do something like that, but I couldn’t fault his evidence. The time I had taken to look through the passages at the growing Monokuma battle before the trial was convincing enough. Monokuma stared at the circle of robots who had now all turned to face him.“Why aren’t they tearing you to pieces-oh. You have got to be KIDDING me. Of all the ridiculous luck to have-”I sighed, readying the next vial.“Luck, Monokuma? This was planning. Honestly, you should have expected this, leaving school blueprints in the headmaster’s office where anyone can see them.”He grimaced and slammed down on another button. The walls opened to reveal ten sniper rifle-bearing Monokuma robots, all turning their weapons to face me. I flicked the vial down to the ground where it exploded, producing a cloud of smoke.I calmly walked to the corner of the room inside the smoke cloud as the Monokuma bots fired at my prior location. I looked at the floor, holding the last vial gingerly.“This has been ever so fun, but I’m afraid I’ll have to take my leave.”As the bots retargeted to the location of my voice, I dropped the vial. It hit the floor, shattering. The phosphorus within ignited instantly on contact with the air, which set off the ammonium nitrate based explosive. The pressure wave instantly blew open the trapdoor to the school’s modular wing. As I jumped in, I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder and the world went black.XxXKirigiri I stood in the trial room, stunned. Apparently, when the universe had broken enough to allow Makoto Naegi to commit a murder, it had also broken enough to allow whatever had just happened to happen. For a few seconds after Naegi leapt down the trapdoor, nobody moved. Eventually, Monokuma unfroze and turned to us. “Nobody get any ideas!” he snapped. “You are all going to go back to your rooms, and I am going to find, draw, and quarter that insolent boy. If anyone speaks a word to me, I will kill them. Is that clear?” We nodded and slowly made our way back to the elevator. The moment the doors closed, Togami turned to me, his voice full of barely suppressed rage. “Since you have seen fit to shut me out of your plans thus far, are you also going to leave me with no knowledge of what just happened? Do you want me as an enemy?” I shrugged, conscious that I was nearing my breaking point. “I have no more idea of what just happened than you do, Togami. Naegi kept secrets from all of us. It seems this was one of them.” He reared back.“If you think I’m going to be satisfied with that, you’re an imbecile-”Celeste stepped in front of me.“Sadly, Togami-kun,” she said calmly. “You are going to have to be satisfied with that. None of us had any idea that Naegi would do what he did, and all of us are as confused as you are. If you can’t deal with that, I have gravely misjudged you.”Togami froze for a second before nodding.“So be it.”We waited out the elevator ride in silence. Once it reached the top, I bolted for the dressing room. Once I got inside, I quickly opened the locker where we had kept Alter Ego before Naegi had moved him, my hands trembling. All there was inside was a note.Hello, Kirigiri.If you are reading this, it means all has gone according to plan, or at least as well as could be expected. This is good, though it still leaves two possibilities. Either I am dead, or I have escaped. Either way, there is some information I must give you.Asahina is not truly dead. The software on the electroIDs activated upon cessation of heart activity and nothing more. I was able to stop her heart briefly before returning her to a comatose state. She still rests in the biology lab. With skilled enough medical aid, you may yet save her, but I would not suggest doing so for some time. The intravenous nutrients I found in the hospital will keep her alive for long enough.The Soldier fights for us, now. I was able to turn her to our side. Any Monokuma bots you see with coal-black eyes instead of red are friend, not foe. Of course, don’t treat that as foolproof, as the mastermind may attempt to disguise their robots as allies.Whether I live or die, these next few days are going to be rather more spectacular than the past weeks have been. Plans have been laid for our escape. We are getting out of this school. Ready your materials, for this is a test like none other.--NaegiI dropped the note as I fell to my knees, laughing through the tears. It wasn’t enough for Naegi to frame someone else for a murder. No, he had to frame himself for framing someone else for a murder which didn’t even happen. Because of course he did.I stood up as Celestia, Fukawa, and Togami walked into the room. Togami looked curiously at me, before asking the question which was likely on all of their minds.“Would you mind telling us what is going on?”I handed him the letter, still laughing and crying simultaneously. Togami quickly skimmed it, his eyes widening. Once he finished it, he turned back to me.“Is this...is this saying what I think it says?” he asked cautiously.“He was smarter than any of us gave him credit for.”
XxXKomaru The date is October 28th, 2018. The time is 4:30 pm. Delta Battalion takes up positions surround the massive iron door to Kibougamine Academy, geared up for a strike mission against a supposedly empty building. Any soldiers who mention this to their commanding officers are summarily rebuffed and told to mind their orders and their orders only. Komaru Naegi strides calmly up to the group nearest the door. “How goes progress on breaching, sir?” The sergeant at the door looks up, startled. “It’s progressing fine, ma’am. The charges are almost all placed. We should be able to breach shortly.” She nods curtly and turns away. As she does so, the soldier hesitates before tapping her on the shoulder. “What?” she turns. “Ma’am, if you don’t mind me asking, why are we doing this? Wasn’t the academy declared empty months ago? Why so many troops?” “I heard that declaration too, Sergeant,” she ruefully responds. “I thought everybody in the building had been lost, and I mourned their deaths. Recent evidence we’ve found suggests that may not be true. Right now, I have no idea what we’re going to find.” The soldier nods, before checking the progress of his men. “Ma’am, the charges are ready. You might want to stand back.” Komaru steps back to a safe range. As the soldiers ready the detonators, she only has one thought running through her mind.‘This is for you, big brother. We’re coming.’-BOOOM-End of Arc 5Current dead/ex-students: Oowada, Maizono, ‘Enoshima’, Kuwata, Yamada, Hagakure, Ishimaru Fujisaki, Oogami, AsahinaA/N: Well, here we are. I have one more interlude(Title: Hard Landing) planned before I take a hiatus to work on other things. It should be out sometime this week.Thanks to those who participated in the challenge I set for you all last chapter(as of the time or writing, only one had)--if you still want to submit solutions, feel free.Please review!