Arc 5: …can be extinguished.
Chapter XLI: Exploring:
I walked out of Asahina’s room, mind already filling with ways I could use herto my advantage. She was clearly athletic and might be able to reach placesthat we couldn’t access more easily. Also, she seemed almost fanatic aboutdestroying Monokuma, which meant she would be more willing to take steps thatthe rest of the students would avoid out of fear for their lives. While shewasn’t quite as valuable as Sakura had been, she would still be useful. Ifroze as a new and horrifying thought entered my mind: we no longer had directaccess to the school’s cameras. While Fujisaki had left us one failsafe, itwould only work once. Planning now would be decidedly more difficult. Ibriefly paused to consider this problem, before realizing that I’d need tohave a better sense of my resources before making any plans. Which meant itwas time to explore the fifth floor of the school.
I turned away from the dormitory side of the school and repositioned mybackpack, before removing a small earpiece and microphone from my pocket.Before he was killed, Fujisaki had managed to quickly put together a voice totext program. While it required precise speech, it worked reasonably well fromwhat little tests I had been able to conduct on it. I was still not entirelysure what Asahina thought I was doing, though, as I presume it seemed like Iwas talking to myself. No matter. As I approached the stairwell, I beganspeaking quickly and quietly into the microphone.
“What do you know about the 5th floor?”
After a few seconds, Alter Ego’s calm, clipped voice quietly responded.
“I do not have much knowledge about it, beyond the floor plans. Is thereanything specific you would like to know?”
I considered briefly before replying.
“Keep watch for anything changed from what you knew. Also, let me know wherethe entrance to the tunnel system is.”
I moved into the nearest camera blind spot that I had found before slightlyunzipping my backpack. Anyone looking into the bag then would have seen alight suddenly blink on before going out just as quickly.
“Visual feed established. Light level is satisfactory. You may move on.”
I continued walking, knowing that Alter Ego would take my silence asunderstanding. I walked on to the fifth floor, noting that the walls seemed tobe slightly scuffed up. I first checked the two classrooms to my immediateright, quickly confirming that they were basically identical to the otherrooms. After that, I stepped out of the classrooms and made a left at thenearest hallway.
I soon came to a set of large doors. I opened them, and inside found whatappeared to be a fully stocked dojo. At the end of the hall there were archerytargets, some of which seemed to be moving. I walked over to the lockers onthe side of the dojo and quickly opened each one, mentally cataloguing theircontents. The weapons inside appeared to be practice tools, almost all tooblunt to deal any real damage. However, there were some deadly-lookingshuriken in one of the lockers which I quickly pocketed. Beyond that, the roomappeared to be just another curiosity out of the many this school had alreadybeen shown to contain. I exited the dojo, marking down the locations of thecameras inside it for future reference.
I then crossed the hallway to the other side and opened the doors. Inside Ibeheld something rather…out of place, given the remaining rooms in the school.This room was a greenhouse which even appeared to be open to the sunlight.However, given the lack of buildings, or, in fact, any horizon remotelysimilar to Kibougamine’s surroundings, I could only assume that the walls werea facsimile. Beyond that, the room was filled with various types of plants,and the center was dominated by a massive flower which exuded an oppressivescent. I turned around to let Alter Ego face it, before beginning to speakinto the microphone.
“I don’t suppose you’d happen to know what that flower is?” I asked.
“The one in the center of the room? I was never informed of the precisespecies name. However, Fujisaki had mentioned it to me. One of the studentshere, the Botanist, repurposed the common rafflesia for waste disposalpurposes. This flower can probably digest any nonradioactive material. Thedifference in odor was caused by one of the genetic modifications that thestudent made, which had the added unintentional effect of making it a ratherpotent poison if prepared correctly.”
“My thanks.” I continued walking around the greenhouse, noting with surprisesome of the rarer plants, before I entered the shed in the back corner of theroom. Inside I found a cornucopia of gardening tools, ranging from the moreexpected rakes and weeding tools to what appeared to be a miniature chainsawin the back of the room. However, the bag of fertilizer in the corner of theroom interested me more. I rapidly knelt next to it, glancing at theingredients list. A smile broke out on my face, and I began to chucklequietly. As I thought, this was an ammonium nitrate based fertilizer. Evenbetter, it was at a high percentage of active elements-almost 40% NH4NO3. Thiswould certainly lead to fun in the future. I removed a bottle from my backpackand quickly collected a reasonable amount of the fertilizer. I walked out ofthe shed and left the room.
After leaving the room, I decided to visit the room at the end of the finalhallway before returning to the classroom. After all, none of the classroomsthus far on the floors had provided anything useful, and there was no reasonto believe this one was different. As I walked down the hall to the finaldoors, I realized something: there were no stairwells on this floor. Iimmediately turned my head towards the mic.
“Is this the top floor of the school?”
“It is,” _Alter Ego responded, “_While this may seem small, that is becausethe main appeal of the school lay in its modularity. Many other classrooms andpossible labs are in the basement and subbasement, and can be switched in andout with the current rooms as needed by the headmaster.”
My eyes widened. This underground wing of the school seemed to be a wholesubterranean complex, full of who-knew-what. Getting access to that complexcould mean the difference between life and death. I marked that down forimportant analysis later before proceeding to the door. I tried to open thedoors to what was marked as the bio lab but found them locked. Additionally,the words ‘Raw Meat’ were written on the door. I briefly wondered how I couldfigure out the precise contents of the room, before mentally kicking myselfand turning to the mic.
“Alter Ego, do you recall what specifically was in the biology lab?”
After a few seconds, his voice crackled over the earpiece.
“Various implements useful for the science, ranging from PCR and gelelectrophoresis machines to centrifuges. Also, I believe that Fujisakimentioned something about cryogenics research being undertaken in the lab.”
I took the information in curiously. Given what seemed harmless tools relativeto the other materials left unguarded in the academy, why would Monokuma lockthis room off? The seemingly obvious next step was that it had something to dowith the cryogenic materials in the rooms, but why? Perhaps he didn’t want usto keep murder victims frozen so they could perhaps be revived, but thatwasn’t precisely a worry. After all, nobody who would murder someone would beincredibly concerned with freezing them, and this floor had been entirelylocked off until now anyway. I marked that problem down in my mind for furtherexamination, and proceeded to the last classroom.
I walked back to the middle of the hall and opened the classroom doors, beforegasping at what I found inside. Every square inch of that room was covered insigns of a fight. Not only were the walls scratched, but there was bloodeverywhere, and what looked to be the remnants of recently removed bodies. Theair was heavy with the scent of death. Whatever this scene was, it lookedrecent. I quickly began moving around the room, trying to glean whatinformation I could. There appeared to be, judging by the number of bloodsplotches in the room, at least 4 people whose bodies had been removed. Also,each and every death had been a struggle. Not a single blood splotch was farfrom destroyed furniture. Three of the blood spatters were on the wall towardsthe front of the room, while the last was towards the back. I brieflyconsidered that as an idea began to form at the back of my mind. Suddenly, Iheard Alter Ego trying to get my attention.
“Naegi, there are two pieces of information you should have. First, this roomdid not look like this when I was last brought to it approximately fourmonths ago. Second-”
I cut him off, already realizing what he was about to say.
“This room is the tunnel entrance, isn’t it.”
My commander was standing in the center of the data processing room when Iclimbed out of the new tunnel entrance we had installed after taking theschool. She turned to me as I entered, though her hands kept flying over thecontrol panel.
“Tactical report?” She asked brusquely. Thankfully, she seemed to be in one ofher working moods.
“As you expected. Asahina has joined with them. She seems to be fully behindthe cause. Naegi has completed his reconnaissance of the fifth floor, and doesnot appear to have targeted significant resources beyond those we left him.”
She smiled slightly, before her face flashed with an unidentifiable emotion.
“Did he show any signs of attempting to access the bio lab or the tunnels?”
“Not that I could see. He merely tested the bio lab door.” I replied.
“Excellent. Then this despair shall come for him as an excellent surprise!Upupupupupu…” She trailed off into laughter, before she suddenly cut it off.
“I believe I will set up the sharpshooter for the next trial. Go prepare itfor insertion, would you?”
I paused briefly, before nodding and walking out. I was about to mention thestrange earpiece he was wearing, but something held me back. Perhaps because Iassumed she would know about it from the camera footage, perhaps because- Istopped myself from thinking that thought. That thought would have meantbetrayal. And betrayal was unacceptable among family.
A/N: Sorry for the long dela~ay! I’ve had a lot on my plate, but hopefully myschedule should ease up soon.
Storywise: Does anybody happen to know what Japanese fertilizer brands areammonium nitrate heavy and high-analysis? If you do, please review or pm meone, I couldn’t find names. Also, for those who know why ammonium nitrate isuseful, yes, yes I went there. Stuff’s going to get fun.
General plot announcement: Because I am a nice author who doesn’t like to giveyou impossible challenges, I will give you some advice. Keep very closeattention to the resources Naegi has at his disposal from both this arc andprevious arcs. You’ll understand in about 8 chapters(Oh, and to HPMOR readers,I was planning this since the beginning of the story, and am decidedly notusing a tactic I found elsewhere.)
Another plot announcement: Because of certain adjectives used to describeclassroom S on the 5th floor in the original game, I am making a decisionthat, for this story at least, the blood in that classroom is not from themalefaction(for those who are curious as to why, its implied in canon thatthey were in Kibougamine almost a year between the tragedy and the events ofthe first game. And, quite frankly, without insects, the smell of blooddoesn’t last that long).
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