Whispers of sound float through your head. You don't remember much...a power outage? A shadow? F5?
Your eyes open and you look around you. You're lying in a large gymnasium, filled with other people. Everybody is whispering to each other; some people are shaking hands in greeting. As you get to your feet, your hand brushes against cold metal encircling your waist. Puzzled, you attempt to take a closer look at it, but the angle is weird and you can't see much. You do notice, however, that others are wearing the same thing. You are about to introduce yourself and ask someone what's going on when you hear the PA system crackle above you.
"Greetings, Phallaneers! What a pleasure it is to see you! I have looked forward to this moment for a long time.
You are all probably wondering what you're doing here. That is a good question. You see, I have found myself rather obsessed with Phalla. I enjoy it so much that I thought to myself, wouldn't it be grand if I could run a real, live
Phalla? Yes, ingenious I know. So that's what you are. Allow me to explain some of the features of the technology you are currently wearing.
Around your waist, you will see a metal belt. This is unremovable. This belt is very useful. If you punch the black button on the top, you will notice that it ejects a small drawer. In this drawer, you will find an earpiece. Put the earpiece in your ear and push the yellow button on your belt; you will hear your role. I will give you a few moments to listen to this."
Rather confused, you follow the instructions, and your role is whispered into your ear. When it is finished, you shrug and take it out.
"Finished? Good! You may listen to it again if you didn't get it the first time. When you are sure you know your role, you may push the small black switch on the side of the earpiece. This will scramble the message so nobody else knows what your role is.
Now then, push the green button on your belt. You will see another drawer open, this one containing a headset. Put the headset on; this is how you will communicate your orders to us, should you have any special abilities. This is also how you transmit your vote. At any point, you may request a summary of who has voted for whom over the course of the game.
One last thing about the belt. If you are so unfortunate as to lose the vote, this will be the method of your death." A chill fell across the room. The voice chuckled over the PA. "Oh yes, we are deadly serious. If you are killed in this game, you will be killed in real life. Charming, isn't it?"
One of the people in the room yells angrily. "Fuck this shit. I didn't sign up for this. I'm not gonna play your dumbass game." Crossing his arms, he sits down in the middle of the floor, refusing to move.
"Mmmm, I see," says the voice. "So you're dropping out then?"
"Yeah, I'm dropping out!"
"Okay then. Tofu, is it? Thank you for allowing me to provide a demonstration!"
"A demonstration?" Tofu says. "A demonstration of what? I'm not giving no demonstr--"
The belt around his waist begins to beep. Tofu stares down at it in terror, and people begin moving away from him, sensing danger. The beeping increases in frequency, and Tofu gets more and more agitated. He stands up and begins scraping desperately at the belt, trying to get it off. Suddenly, the beeping stops, and a large light in the middle of the belt turns bright red. Tofu breathes a sigh of relief and turns to the others. "See? He's just bullsh--"
An explosion rips out of the belt, severing Tofu in half. His torso falls to the ground, and his lower body topples over. Sobbing, he tries to use his arms to move him towards his legs, but gradually his sobs subside and he lies still.
The voice speaks into the horrified silence. "See? Deadly serious. Well, I think that's all. You have the full range of this school. Don't try to escape or you're end up like Tofu here. Have fun kids!"
The PA clicks off. Nobody speaks for several seconds. Then people begin scrambling for the doors leading out of the gynasium. Not wanting to be left behind, you join one of the groups and head into the hallway.
The game has begun.
"I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it."
"Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do."