In any man's heart slumbers a grim creature. People's kindness, people's wickedness, all depends of how tightly or not it does sleep.
However, never forget that death aside, no repose is eternal. Would it be by blood smell whether by the fuss of a tormented soul, there would be a way to awake the beast.
Back to Lucy Merlish and Moya, they were progressing through interweaved corridors.
Along the walls, unceasing recordings. They seemed to appear mostly in an aleatory order. Merlish reacted more to recent sceneries, but it was at last an older one that made her suddenly freeze.
On the digital walls, ancient images of her, slightly less than nine years back in time. When she fell pregnant. Her round belly disappeared to show her holding a little human shape. Hugging this tiny being to her chest, her eyes were filled with fondness while looking at it. Then the images blurred and blood seemed to drop and flow along the walls, spilling on the floor, closer to the two silhouettes in the middle of that illusion.
Merlish widened her eyes, scrutinizing all around her, nervously scratching the back of her hand. Even more than the present recollections, she appeared to fear what might appear next. She held back her breath.
The young boy, silent until that moment, made a few steps forward in an odd way. Then he stopped.
“Miss. Say, I wished to ask something…”
Gesture following his words, he turned slowly to face the mayor. The latter didn't concentrate instantly at him. Seriously, he did not choose his moment well as for asking her anything.
“What?!” she asked in an irritated tone.
Illusive blood reached their feet.
“They said you killed my father.”
Even the whispers interrupted, leaving them in a disturbing silence.
“That's true? You killed him?”
“Wh- What nonsense are you blathering? I don't even know who your father was. …Who are 'they'? Who told you this??”
As she spotted the bloody digits next to her white shoe, Merlish nervously stepped away.
However, forthwith true blood drops spattered on the ground. She held back a shout. Repeatedly, a little shadow's hand emerged here and there from the walls, just long enough to throw daggers on the mayor. It wouldn't allow her to think, nor to escape.
The boy spared from the attacks began to sob, his voice uncertain.
“I know he was a naughty mister as people did send him to a house he wasn't allowed to leave…. But…. But…. He never was a bad dad!”
He bit his lip, his stuffed bear smothering under the little arms pressure.
“So why…. Why when he got back home he wasn't able to recognize me any longer?!! He came back quickly but…. He did not remember me!!! He… Dad…. And one day he… he….”
The teddy bear fell at his feet as Moya covered his eyes with his hands.
“He got nothing but what he deserved to!!” the mayor shouted yet occupied avoiding throwing knives. Naturally she did not remember Moya's father in particular, but she could now guess what happened.
“He was a criminal. Better thank me as I offered him the opportunity to serve the city! At least you can be proud now.”
Utterly shocked, the little boy glared at Lucy Merlish, interrupted in his sobs.
As Marnie ceased her attacks, that was at that moment that Haru appeared, quietly showing up from a corner, walking into their hallway.
“Is that? He served the city? So tell us. Tell us Miss Merlish, how did experimenting on his brain aid the city?”
Enclosing to the child, he patted him softly.
“It would help!! Thanks to him I will be able to achieve my dream!!” she spouted, madness filling her eyes.
Caught in her delirium, she didn't pay close attention to the fact Haru knew that much. Seemingly not remembering him, she promptly continued without caring of her harsh words.
“Oh don't get the wrong idea. It will serve everyone! Imagine! State of the art androids able to feel emotions, able to think by themselves! They would be perfectly suited to be used by people, to replace them at more diversified tasks, nowadays out of reach!”
The white-haired Player frowned at this disclosure. Here was the truth they looked for.
“And in that aim you made a conscious decision to sacrifice countless lives?”
“I only did by the way what everyone wished for in silence. Render impotent some criminals whose lives threatened the society. I never killed them directly though!”
While they were exchanging words, viewers of the show were agape. Did their mayor really mean all she said? People were utterly offended. The context of Merlish being tortured by the Players was clear in their spirits, her words might overcome her thought, however… Most of them couldn't put aside what they heard and ignore Merlish being heartless to a mere young boy who had lost his father.
Beyond Merlish's project itself, it was rather to discover that she betrayed their perceptions of her which shocked the most the citizens. Merlish was no longer perfect. Or, better said, they couldn't pretend any longer she was.
“So, if I happened to ask someone torturing you, and not refrain her of killing you, I suppose you won't take me as responsible? Such goodness of your heart, my lady.”
A slight smile never parted with his face, unnerving even more the mayor.
“You dare to threaten me? Let me leave this place!! Now!!!”
Without waiting for an answer, she made a few steps back, then ran away along another corridor. Haru, his hands crossed in his back, solely observed her.
“How rude… We barely had the opportunity to share a few words.”
Merlish already out of sight, Marnie appeared, leaving the wall to join her partner.
“Big brother, what do we do? Police officers will soon be able to break through the labyrinth's defense.”
“We already got her confession. Though… I admit to be surprised as she unveiled it way too easily.”
“Well, she doesn't know anyone could hear her.”
“Even so… Mmh. I expected more from a supposed saint.” he paused for a while, briefly closing his eyes. “In that case, we should take advantage of her weakness to draw her even more in her darkness.”
Thoughtful, Haru was considering the adjustments to bring to his plan.
The lassie seemed about to say something, but refrained herself. Bowing her head, she was also lost in her thoughts. Nonetheless, it didn't go unnoticed to the eyes of the older Player who took a glance at her, his chin resting against his thin fingers.
“Marnie, you wish to suggest something?”
In a slow pace, the latter raised her head, her gaze filled with an odd mix of emptiness, disillusion and determination.
“I… May have discovered something that would help us in that way.”
Leaning forward, the fellow with hair as pure as snow gently placed his hands on Marnie's shoulders.
“Tell me my dear. What is it about?”
Hurrying along the hallways for about a quarter of an hour, her long light-golden hair fluttering after her, the distraught woman was panting.
Nothing alarming occurred after she ran away from Haru and Moya. Did they lose her track? She couldn't be certain, but finally slowed her progress, leaning against a wall for a while.
Her memory was blurry, no matter how hard she tried to remember what occurred before. Even Haru's face, she remembered she had seen him before, but couldn't figure out who he was.
She didn't notice it at first, but a reflection of her appeared on the wall she was leaning against. Then it independently turned its head towards Merlish.
“Are you lost?”
Jumping, she rushed away widening her eyes.
“You can't escape yourself.”
Not listening any longer, the mayor hastily raced in the opposite direction whilst the labyrinth grew darker. Without knowing it, Lucy was getting closer to the middle.