Chapter 23:

Among Us (7)

Don't Die, Will

A Day Earlier

"David, look." Nolan said, "If I am not wrong, these 6 locations had to be it. I am not accurate where Jack actually is, but if you get lucky, you'll find them without having searched all areas."

David took the map and looked for a while, "Thanks, Nolan."

"So, when are you planning to leave?"

"I am thinking about tomorrow morning."

"Good luck and be safe."

"I'll try to." He said, "Okay, I won't disturb you anymore. I'll be taking my leave. Come on, Will."


"Actually, Will." Nolan said, "Can you stay for a while?"

"Oh, o-okay." He turned to David, "Dad, you go first."

"All right." He left the room.

Will sat to the seat next to Nolan.

"What is it? Do you...want to talk about something?"

"Yeah, I need to tell you something."


"Sit down first."

Will pulled a chair and sat down. Will noticed that he was acting a bit weird.

"I've heard that Ruby is missing."

"Yeah." He exhaled, "We don't know anything. She just disappeared, 2 days ago. We've searched everywhere. But found nothing."

"Also, Will."


"Did you notice anything unusual in your mission?" Nolan quickly switched the topic.


"Unusual, Like facing too many cannibals, risky places, maybe lack of supplies. Something like that."

"Yeah." He replied, "We barely got our hands on supplies."

"Huh, as I suspected."

"What do you mean?"

"Ethan and I barely made back with our lives from an area which was supposed to be safe."

Will kept listening.

"Not only that, Emma's map also had the same location selected in her map. She and you sister also ended up at the same place after we left."

"Wait, What!" Will seemed surprised, "B-but-"

"I know, it wasn't meant to happen." Nolan added, "The area I chose was named differently in Emma's map. That's why they ended up in the same location...also, the location I am talking about, even it was replaced with an exclamatory signed area. Do you get what I'm saying? We were leaded to death."

"W-wait a minute, 'leaded to' you said." He asked, "Do you think someone was behind this?"

Nolan nodded, "But I am not sure who it was."

"Couldn't it be just a mistake?"

"No, Jack wouldn't do something stupid."

" suspect anyone?"

"In that meeting, 13 people were present. Jack, Grace, Katie, Synthia, Rodriguez, Arthur, Emma, Olivia, Ethan, your sister Julia, Manny, then you and me." He looked at his wounded spot, "It has to be one of them. At least that is what I suspect."

"Wait a minute, why are you telling me all these? I mean, what if it's me?"

He shook his head, "No. Jack, Grace, Rodriguez, Katie and Synthia...I don't suspect them at all, including you."

"W-why is that?" 

"Jack, Grace, Rodriguez, Katie, Synthia...they literally build this place. They were here from the very start. And I know, they would do anything to protect this place. At least I believe that."

"But why me?" Will looked curious.

"It can't be you." Nolan looked away, "Because...I know you, Will. There is just no way it's you."

"If that's the case, then you know Arthur, Emm-"

"But if you want me to be honest here." He spoke in the middle of Will's dialogue, "I just don't think that you have the guts to do anything like this.

"That...that hurts." Will smiled, "But you're not wrong. I am weak and coward. I...don't even see myself doing stuff like that."

"Sorry about that." 

"N-no no." He waved his hands, "No need to apologize. Moreover, what do we do about the current situation?"

"My instinct says, Ruby's missing and all these are somehow connected."

"Why do think that?"

"Question yourself that why Ruby got missing? Was Ruby depressed? Did Ruby want to leave this place? No, she didn't leave the place. As the doctor told me, Marco never saw Ruby leaving the walls. So, where is she? Think, Will."

"Yes. Ruby never left the walls." He said, "Which only leads to one thing...she is inside the walls."

"Yes. But where is she? If she didn't leave the walls, that means she is here. But is she dead?"

"We don't know that yet."

"I don't want to say this, but suppose...she is dead." He said, "If she is were to be dead, her body would've been discovered by now. but since nobody found leads to 3 things."


"1; she is hiding herself. But that's unlikely to be happened. She would need foods, water and a bathroom. So, there is no way it's happening. 2; someone killed her and hid her body where we can't find her, under the ground maybe...that would be the safest option." He raised three fingers, "And the last one, somebody did hid her. But she is still alive. Now, Will. Tell me one thing."

"I am listening."

"Why would someone try to hide or kill Ruby? What did she do?"

Will thought for a while and came up with his answer, "M-maybe she saw or hear something she didn't suppose to? Or maybe someone who has a bad history with her did it. These are the things I can come up with."

Did I get that correctly?

"You're smarter than I thought. But let's go with the first one for now." Nolan praised him, "Now, Will. I need you to do something for me."


"I need you to search all of their rooms who were presented in the meeting." He ordered, "Excluding the ones I said I have no doubts about. See what you can find. It includes your sister's room too. I know you don't doubt your sister. But just to be safe, it should be done. I hope you understand."

"W-wait wait, you want me to search their rooms??" Will wanted to make sure.

Nolan nodded, "Would you do it?"

"I-it would be really tough." Will replied, "What if I get caught?"

"Don't. You get caught, it's over."

"I-I don't know, Nolan. You're giving me some big responsibilities here."

"Don't worry, you can do it."

"But how would I supposed to get in? What if their rooms are to be locked?"

"If the rooms are to be opened, then you're lucky. But if not, then I am afraid you have to break the locks."

"But they will find out."

"Yes. But they wouldn't know that it was you."

"Huh, it will be risky. But I'll try my best."


Will broke the door lock. Then he looked around.

I hope nobody heard it.

The door got opened making a little sound. This maybe the 5th or 6th time Will was coming to Ethan's room after he came to this place. His room was as messy as ever. Will slowly closed the door. He had searched Arthur's and Julia's room. But found nothing suspicious. Now, it was Ethan's turn. Will started with the bed. He flipped the sheets, looked under, moved the whole bed, looked around it. Nothing was there. After finishing with the bed, he came to Ethan's table. The table was covered with countless papers and pieces of newspapers.

Didn't know he like to collect articles.

Will searched the whole table. Even broke the locks of the drawers for the mission's sake. But didn't find anything useful. After turning the room upside down, the only option for him to check the closet. If he found nothing there, he would move on to the person. 

The closet was also locked.

This guy, why everything he owns are locked. What is that he is hiding? Or he is just too secure about his private life?

It was locked with a small lock. So it wasn't really hard for Will to break the lock without making much sound. He grabbed the doors and pulled them together.



Will came to the front yard. He didn't search the rest of the rooms after Ethan's. He found what he needed to find. Nolan was eating his meal the others. He was trying his best to hold them from going to their rooms. Just when everyone was pressuring him to spill out what was going on, Will arrived.

"N-Nolan." Will called.

"Give me a minute." Nolan said to others and came closer to him, "Did you find anything?"

Nolan looked back and checked if the others could hear their conversation or not.

"N-Nolan...I ahh."

"What? Tell me."

"I...I found Ruby." His voice was trembling, "I-in Ethan's closet. She w-was unconscious and h-her legs and hands were tied up."

Nolan's face was emotionless but he was actually disturbed learning the truth.

"So..." Nolan scratched his left eye brow, "It was Ethan all along."

"W-what do we do? Sh-should we tell the others?"

He shook his head, "No, not now. Did you searched everyone's room."

"No, I couldn't. I was only able to search Arthur's, Julia's and Ethan's. When I found Ruby in his room, I straight came here."

"Where is she now?" He added, "Did she regain her consciousness?"

"She did." Will calmed down a little, "She is in her room right now. Nolan, what are we gonna do?"

"Don't panic. We still need to search other's rooms. There could be more traitors. We never know."

"Do you want me to search the other rooms?"

"No. You stay here. I'll do the rest. Also, have to ask some questions from Ruby."

"She is terrified right now. I don't know if she is ready to answer questions."

"We don't have a choice."

"But, the meal time is over. How are you supposed to hold them any longer." Will pointed out, "If they go back now, they will notice that their room locks are broken. They might even suspect me as I was absent the whole time."

"Don't worry, I have a plan." Nolan looked at the others, "We'll end this soon."


"Ruby, it's me Nolan" Nolan said after hearing no response from Ruby, "I am coming in."

Nolan entered Ruby's room. It was unlocked. He finished his searching for the rest of the rooms. Now was the time to learn the truth. Ruth was sitting in a corner of the room wrapping herself up, all terrified. He slowly approached her and got down on his knees beside her. 



"I've heard from Will about what happened."


"I know, you don't want to talk about it. But..." He said, "We need to figure thi-"

"It was Ethan." Her voice was trembling, "I-it was him. H-he did it...h-he did this all."

That was fast.

"Tell me, Ruby. I need to know..." Nolan asked, "How did you end up in his closet? Tell me everything from the start."

Ruby told Nolan everything from the start. How she had a crush on Ethan, how she opened his room's door, how she found that piece of paper where a message was written for a guy named Arnold, how she got caught,how she was tied up and thrown in the closet, how he was feeding her twice a day, how he was sneaking her in to washroom and threatened her to not to make a sound, how Will found him, everything.



"Please, keep this a secret that I have a crush on Ethan, will you?"

"You don't have to worry about it."


Ethan, surrounded by 7 "friends", was accused of being the traitor. There was no way to come back from this. He had nothing that he could use to defend himself.

Is this it? Is this the end? He spoke to himself, No, think Ethan, think. You can pass this. You still have the "thing" with you. Yes, I can use it. But now is not the right time. Will hasn't come back yet. Which means, they still got nothing to use against me. I don't have to use the "thing" yet. If I use it, it will be all over. Gotta save it for the worse. He thought, Wait, this suddenly came to my mind now. Why did he told us to wait in the front yard till the meeting? Will wasn't there at first. He came late. And Nolan, he was...yes...he was trying to stop us from going to our rooms. Rooms...rooms...r-r-rooms??

"Ethan, you still didn't answer to my question." Nolan made him come back to the reality.

"W-what question?"

"Are you admitting that you're the traitor?"

Tch, this fucker.

"You want you're answer, right?"

Nolan stayed quiet.

Ethan took a deep breath and let it out. He looked straight in Nolan's eyes.

"Fuck you, Nola-"

The door got opened.

"Nolan, I brought her."

R-R-R-R-Ruby??? Ethan couldn't believe his own eyes, W-wh-wh-why a-are you here!!


"Oh my God! Ruby!"

"You're alive!"

"Where did you find him??"

"Wait, what the hell is happening?"

Will and Ruby slowly entered the room. She was already frightened so when she saw Ethan, she got more scared and hid behind Will.

"Will, bring her here." Nolan said.

He slowly took her to Nolan.

"What, what is happening?? How did you find Ruby? Where were she?? What's going on?" Manny kept asking one question after another.

"calm down." Nolan replied, "I'll explain everything. First, let me tell you how we find Ruby."

He cleared his throat and started to speak.

"When I woke up yesterday, I got to know that Ruby was missing. As I witnessed that Emma's team and my team was leaded to a dangerous area. And how Will and Olivia couldn't find proper supply, I began to think that someone was behind all these. Also my instinct said that all these were connected to Ruby's gone missing. But I won't go any farther into that." He left out how he thought that both incidence were connected to save some time, "That's when I and Will decided to take some actions."

Everyone was listening to him carefully, except Ethan. His will was crushed. He knew that there was no coming back from this. His all doings were revealed.

"Today, when I was trying my best to hold you guys in the front yard..." He continued, "Will was searching each and everyone of your rooms to find out the culprit."

"What the fuck? You were sneaking in my room?" Arthur looked a bit angry, "You're pissing me off now."

"You broke into our rooms?" Olivia asked.

"Calm down." Nolan said, "There was no other option. And thanks to that, we are finally able to catch the traitor. For farther investigation, I had to keep you away from your rooms. I hope you'll understand why we had to do it."

Everyone looked at each other but said nothing.

"The rest of the story will be told by Ruby." Nolan looked at her, "Tell them what you told me earlier."

"M-me?" She was hesitated.

"Yes. Tell them how you ended up in Ethan's closet?" Nolan looked at Ethan.

"Ethan's closet?" Manny also looked at him.

"Ruby, go on." Nolan insisted.

"I...I..." She was shaking, "I-I was going downstairs to use the bathroom as the two bathrooms upstairs were occupied." She intentionally left out the truth, "T-the bathroom which was closer, to r-reach it, o-one had to cross E-Ethan's room. When I was crossing his room I noticed that the door was wide open."

"You're lying, you bitch!!" Ethan shouted, "My door never stays wide open!!"

Ruby got scared a bit and stopped talking.

"You don't have to be scared of him. Go on." Nolan said.

She looked at Nolan and gathered some courage, "I-I thought since the door is open, why don't I go in and have a chat with him for a bit?"

"Why the fuck are you lying?! You bitch?!"

"Ethan, calm down. You'll get your chance to talk." Nolan raised a hand, "Ruby, continue."

"Wh-when I got inside, he wasn't there. I thought he might've gone to the bathroom so I decided to wait." She added, "While I was waiting, I noticed a piece of paper coming out of a drawer. It had something written on it which made me curious. I pulled it out and read it."

"Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up!"

"I-it said something something like carrying out a mission. It explained the information about Will's father waking up from the coma, how the trespasser took over, everything. And the l-letter was...its was meant for the guy named Arnold."

"Wait, what?" Olivia was shocked, "Arnold you said. Did I hear it wrong?"

"You heard it right. The guy we had to deal with 2 years ago." Nolan said.

"Ethan, you..." Manny looked at him, "You're working for him??"

"That letter..." Nolan asked, "Where is it, Ethan?"

"I don't know what letter your talking about."

"You've been carrying information to Arnold. That means, you've been leaving the walls. To leave the walls you have to either climb it or go through the gate. Climbing the walls isn't possible by yourself. That means, you had only one option."

He looked at Marco.

"Does Ethan leave the walls often?"

Marco looked at Ethan, "Y-yes. He does."

"What time of the day?"

"Around 5 to 6 am. He says he goes for a walk. So, I open the gates for him."

"For how long has it been going on?"

"I-it''s been a while."

"How often does he leave?"

"Umm, if I'm not wrong." He thought, "Twice or thrice a week. He also went out today."

"Is that so?" 

It's all matching up.

Nolan looked at Ethan, "Did you ever noticed something odd about him?"

Marco's head suddenly had some episodes of flashbacks.

"Y-yes. Today when he was leaving again. I noticed that he dropped a piece of paper. When I picked it up he snatched it instantly as if he had no intention to let me see it. When I asked him what it was. He said that it was a story he had been working on. It seemed a bit odd to me but I let it go."

Nolan sighed, "Did all of you hear that?"

Nobody said anything. They still couldn't believe that they were living with a traitor all these years.

"Also, I don't know if you people have noticed this." Nolan said again.

"What now?" Arthur asked.

"Ethan joined us exactly 3 years ago. And Arnold also first showed up around that time, according to Jack." Nolan asked, "Is that a mere coincidence?"

Finally, it all added up. All the pieces of the puzzle had been found and placed properly. There was no coming around from this and Ethan knew it better than anyone. He was at the end of his line. All the hard work he had done, would go to vain in a short moment.

Ethan almost lost his balance and leaned against the door.

I am fucked. Now, there is no way to prove that I am innocent. What should I do? What should I do? What should I do? Should I use "it"? No, not yet. I have to think it thoroughly. The door is just behind me. I can escape. But they have the advantage in number. I will be outrun for sure. Arthur alone is enough to stop me. Fuck, I am running out of options. Do I really have to use "it"? Tch, looks like it's my only option. But I gotta make a plan. I still need some ti-

"Now, Ethan." Nolan broke the chain of his thinking, "Should we hear your side of the story now?"