Good People Die
Good People Die is the first book in the Twelve Monoliths series. It was published on February 16, 2018. You can read it right here for free.
Six players. One gun. One way out.
Lucas Gray has no idea who he is or why he was captured to participate in the mysterious Roulette Game--A death game centered around trust in complete strangers in order to avoid being shot and killed. Pieces of the puzzle will begin to come together and a terrible truth shall be revealed.
A boy wakes up inside a facility he’s never seen before. A notebook that is near him has a mysterious passage on it seemingly confirming his name as Lucas Gray--and calling him The White. He investigates to find a gigantic expanse of a room the size of a football field--metallic all around and oblong in shape. At the center of the room is a raised circular platform with chairs aligned in a circle, all empty. Around the perimeter of the room are five other doors like the one he came from--all locked digitally with no easy way to force them open. With nothing else to do, he sits in one of the chairs and is immediately restrained and drugged by a hidden mechanism that reveals itself to the touch. The boy falls unconscious.
He awakens to find the seats all around him have been filled with bodies--all unconscious like he previously was. All told there were six people and they were as varied as one could get--an old woman, an adult man, a younger man, and two teenage girls. As the others awaken, Lucas comes to realize that the old woman to his left is actually dead from a bullet wound in her temple. Before any serious questions can be asked, they are greeted by a mechanical talking rabbit named Lucky.
Lucky gives each of the players taunting nicknames and explains that they’re so stupid for forgetting that they’ve been through this before, but then seems to forget that he dosed them with a powerful serum to clear their memories of the previous round. As the others question what he means, he begins to explain.
They are there to participate in the Roulette Game--a death game all about trusting complete strangers. It unfolds in two phases--first, the exploration phase, where the players are let loose to explore one of the randomly chosen unlocked doors. Inside they will find information pertaining to the history of one of the players, of which they can use to decide for themselves if they trust or distrust the selected player. Somewhere in the room shall be the key to unlock the second phase of the game--the decision phase.
In the decision phase, the players will vote in a mass-prisoner’s dilemma style game to either cooperate or defect with the person to their immediate left inside the circle of chairs. Players that cooperate with one another receive a digit to a password that will allow them to escape--however passwords are unique between players. If a player defects against a cooperating player, they get two password digits--and conversely, if a player is defected against while cooperating, they are terminated.
With the rules down, the players are set free to begin the next round of the exploration phase--not even given the chance to ask the rabbit just what happened in the previous decision phase. Before heading off, they decide that if they’re going to try to trust one another they should introduce themselves. Lucas introduces himself as best he can--but seeing as he cannot remember anything about himself, his is left out in the open. The young man with a penchant for saying the wrong things purposefully is Simon Nagatomi. The girl with a quiet and mysterious air to her is Sophie Terrius. The mousy adult man is Levi Strauss, the young girl with a knack for thinking optimistically is Aria Fleur, and the old woman’s name is Ai, according to the password input terminal. Lucas begins having flashbacks he isn’t sure belong to him--a young boy and his older brother taking refuge in their bedroom from the torrential downpours outside. Cain, the elder, remembers the accident that had cost Abel the use of his legs, but pushes it to the side as his brother asks if he’ll protect him from bullies--even if that bully happens to be God. Abel promises, and offers his first of many half-smiles that Abel calls a “halfie”.
Rain plays a very important part in the shaping of these boys’ destinies--as when Cain was born, a terrible thunderstorm pervaded throughout the entire event--whereas the sun would not leave the sky for Abel’s birth four years later. Almost like it had known in some sort of cosmic joke the severity of his accident in years time, so it decided to front-load his good luck.
The accident happened while the brothers were out shopping with their parents one day as the boys play a game of “ninja” to see who gets to go in the store and who gets to stay behind in the car.
Meanwhile, a man seemingly unrelated to everything decides one day he’s going to rob a bank--and it just so happens he drives the same car as the brothers’ family. So when the police are expectedly in pursuit after his deed--he manages the smallest of glimpses and a terrible plan forms in his mind. He loses the police’s trail for just long enough to enact his plan, but before he can confuse them by doubling the possible cars they have to look into--he collides into their car as they leave the parking lot. The impact kills the man instantly, but leaves Abel paralyzed--a heavy rain sets in as Cain blacks out from the accident.
Lucas is back to himself in the expansive room as the group is getting ready to investigate the first room--designated to be Aria’s door according to the nameplate on its face. Inside is almost like a classroom divided into two halves by a small stream of water running from one end of the room to the other--probably half a foot deep at most. The puzzles in the room center around music--curiously confusing Lucas to what should be basic elementary school knowledge of what whole notes look like--the group questions Aria on the significance of the music imagery--specifically to the answer to the final answer being a cipher made using music notes and alphanumeric substitution reading “Face The Truth”--to which she responds that back home she was known as one of the most talented flautists in her town. So much so that she caught the attention of a neighborhood boy named Villiers. She said she fell for him at first sight, and the two began seeing one another--and things were fine until his father invited her over. She assumed that meant with Villiers being present, but the reality was that when she arrived, Villiers was nowhere to be seen. She felt that something wasn’t right, but entered anyway, thinking that he’d show up with dinner or something else prepared as a surprise. The situation quickly went out of control when Villiers’ father quickly threatened her with a gun--forcing her to move upstairs with him and have sex with him to get revenge for what she supposedly leaked to an unknown party. She managed to escape by pure chance of finding a knife hidden underneath the pillow of the bed she was thrust upon. She managed to kill him in self defense, and that is one of the last memories she had before she was kidnapped. She says that if she revealed that information up front there was no way they’d trust her--and she’d end up like Ai. The group, caught off guard by her confession, but understanding of her predicament--even Simon for once not offering a snide remark--is immediately torn away from the room as a bone chilling scream erupts from the center room--outside of view of everyone inside Aria’s room. They look to one another to realize the terrible truth that someone has died...but if they were all there investigating…?
They re-enter the main room to find the mess of what used to be Lucky. A heap of metal and rotten flesh and blood. It’s revealed that a rabbit had existed inside the metal frame--and now it was dead. Just then, a gigantic metallic songbird descends on them and starts picking the meat from the metal. It introduces itself as Answer, and the group learns to not ask it for any answers--as it meets all questions with nonsense non-sequiturs. Answer says that he had to terminate Lucky because he had gone off schedule--he had started the exploration phase too early and was threatening things going off schedule, so now he was here to facilitate the decision phase.
The group hesitantly seats themselves in the chair as Answer watches over them. They’re restrained like they were initially and two choices are placed in front of them, “Cooperate” and “Defect”. Lucas chooses to cooperate, and is similarly drugged, and passes into a trance-like state--of which he clears of quickly when he hears the gunshot. From a platform in the center of the chairs that rises out of the ground, the group sees a mounted revolver aimed right at Aria, and based on their positions, implies that Simon was the one who had chosen to defect. Investigating the terminal when they’re freed confirms the fact that everyone save for Simon had cooperated. The group turns on Simon, who simply says that she was too trusting. The others call him out for being the most distrustful one there and say that they’re not going to cooperate with him to stop his plan. He points out that if nobody cooperates, then nobody gets any passwords, and they’re going to be stuck there forever.
Before anyone else can get in a word to say, Levi punches him out cold--his first courageous act since waking up. He says that he doesn’t care if there’s a punishment for not voting, but at least he won’t cause any more damage for a while. Answer comes around and picks Aria’s corpse up in its beak, carrying her off to an unseen place above them--above the lights. Lucas cries out, but there is nothing he can do as Answer picks apart her body high above. Levi notices that a door unlocked on the west side of the room, and says that before they go they should all air their dirty laundry here--if Simon is removed from the equation he feels he can cooperate with the both of them. Levi begins, saying that he’s from a small village on the western edge of Germany where he and his wife have built up a small daycare. Things were fine until a chapter of a global cartel had decided they liked the area just outside of our village to set up some drug farms--they appreciated how removed from prying eyes that his village was. Two suits approached his village elder and apparently struck up a deal for protection in trade for land to work with product that uses local flowers for ingredients. The elder didn’t have much of a choice--it was as close to coercion as one could possibly be--so they set up work. The last thing he remembers is the cartel in no time at all setting up production buildings to produce as much of...whatever they were making as quickly as possible. He doesn’t know who they were selling to, but he did catch that their chapter’s name seemed to be the Blood Roses.
Sophie and Lucas hazard guesses that his reason for being kidnapped has to do with the cartel and the product they were making in secret.
Lucas then says that he hadn’t been able to think of much about himself, but he does tell them about the memories he had--and how he isn’t sure they’re his memories, but as he’s finishing something clicks inside him and he remembers more about the two brothers.
After the torrential rainstorm where Cain feels guilty about the accident prior, he promises to take Abel out to the library. Abel recounts that it's the same library where he met his girlfriend-- Sophie. He brings Abel up to a section of the library where undesirable books are oft tossed in haphazardly. He's looking for a very specific book--dubbed The Eye of Timaeus. It is a thick black tome that Cain says will solve all of his doubts with God--and that Sophie was the one who actually introduced him to it.
The boys head back home and their father makes a joke at the size of the book--Abel and Cain's father always had his eccentricities, but he was a caring man who was a heavy reader himself. He worked as a marine biologist for the Genros Foundation.
Abel makes his way to his room and starts reading the book.
It lists itself as property of Arctic Systems and should not be read unless given specific clearance. The book itself was written by a large swoth of philosophers who began under the tutelage of the eponymous Timaeus, who lived as a simple farmhand to a poor family. Timaeus found an old and dying beggar and took him in to be fed--and for his generosity was rewarded the chance to access the library of infinite knowledge. The beggar introduced themself as "O", but also referred to themselves as Z-One. Common consensus is that the latter is the true name of the beggar, and instances of the former should be double checked with the annals for accuracy. The library of infinite knowledge held tomes describing everything from the beginning of the universe until the supposed end. The Eye of Timaeus is what started as his own shorthand notes of the annals he had read--although it became quite clear that he would not be able to finish all of the volumes in his lifetime--so he prepared himself an heir to continue his work. He had chosen a young boy from a nearby village named Adreus to continue on from where he left off--as one of Z-ONE's rules was that the books must be read in order--if anyone were to skip ahead they would be forever cast out of the library and have their memory wiped of all the knowledge they learned.
For generations The Eye of Timaeus was contributed to--added as the single most important book of human existence, but unfortunately, somewhere along the chain one of the souls chosen to be its artifactor had let greed overcome them. They rushed to the end believing that the warning from their mentors were nothing more than a story to wade off the truth--and they were cast out into the cold, alone, carrying nothing but what they had archived in The Eye. Somehow that book ended up in a small village on the western edge of Germany named Steinschild. Arctic Systems Excavators discovered the book on a raid on Steinschild in 1976. Word of the invasion spread before the event--so no villagers came to harm, but houses and farms were ransacked as the legendary book was found. An Arctic Systems translator dubbing themselves W.B. came into possession of the book in that same year from the excavation team and prepared a full English translation over the course of the next five years.
Abel sets the book down momentarily, debating whether or not to continue based on its introduction alone. He ends up continuing, finding the first subject titled "Life". The Eye describes the beginning of the universe as the creation of a divine Craftsman as an imperfectly powerful being. From the beginning as waves The Craftsman molded fire, water, earth, and air, and from the four particles created the beginnings of the manyverse--a multiple existence tied to the land outside of light--known as Noctem. The worlds that humans exist in bathe in splendorous light--these lands exist as infinitely multiplying in the name of Luxmund. It is important to realize the separateness of Noctem and Luxmund--between them exists a barrier called the Darkbright which keeps light from spilling from Luxmund into Noctem. Even though life grows continuously inside Luxmund, that is not to say that there is no life inside Noctem--contrary to the fact. Aside from The Craftsman, there are actually twelve beings that cohabitate the dark. These are the Children of the Night who exist as nothing but waves.
The intention by The Craftsman was to create a manyverse for his children to observe life as it grows without the pain of experience. Unfortunately, Luxmund began growing faster than The Craftsman could have anticipated. It began pushing against the Darkbright--threatening to break it apart. The Craftsman had to do something to stop the attack on the Darkbright--if left unchecked it would devour all of Noctem and his children would be extinguished forever.
He uses his remaining strength to cross the barrier into the world of the light--and his body takes physical form and burns from the energy burnoff. His body fell to the nearest planet at a hurtling speed--a creator in a world that has never existed before is but a player in his own creation. Ice and dust particles gathered around until enough created an asteroid out of The Craftsman. He landed and impacted a version of Earth thousands of years before humans ever populated it. The impact causes a global extinction wave--but at the rate that Luxmund was growing--the millions of new universes could afford to lose a single planet. The energy that created these new universes was willpower. The act of sentient life making choices was an act so powerful that it created by the very act of its existence.
The Children of the Night knew not what to do--they had to rescue their father. They banded together and slipped through the crevice created by The Craftsman to search Luxmund for him. Upon entering the land of the light they similarly shifted into physical beings--but not of any normal matter that existed within Luxmund. Beings of Anti-Energy that actively distorted spacetime around them that, too, fell to the planet as meteors. Due to their concentration of Anti-Energy--some of the time displacement lengthened or shortened the time it would take for them to make contact with the planet.
The book is going to transition into talking about the first creature that had made contact, named Sakonna, but Abel is brought back to the facility--facing Sophie and Levi. He tells them what he's seen. He then asks Sophie if she was Cain's girlfriend that was mentioned, and she denies it--saying she's aromantic--that she wouldn't be anyone's girlfriend. They then talk on the nature of the mastermind--how they've allowed the game to run automatically in their absence--implying that the mastermind was one of the participants. Sophie says that she doesn't believe that either of them are behind it--and she definitely isn't behind it, because her big secret isn't even all that big--and refers Lucas to the fact that he didn't ask the right questions. She knew both of the boys that he is having dreams about--but found it unimportant to bring up because the both of them are dead now, so there was no point in talking about them.
Lucas realizes he has to let go on that thread--he will not be satisfied whether or not she is telling the truth--and whether or not she was willing to divulge more. All he knows is that he's somehow remembering things from two kids who were now supposedly both dead.
Lucas walks over to Simon's unconscious body and attempts to bring him through the door with the others. Sophie and Levi both seem to be in agreement that he should be left behind--considering how much of a hindrance he has been thus far. Lucas argues his point, but Levi swings his elbow into Lucas' gut and sends him kneeling over--then picks him up in one fell swoop. He and Sophie book it for the newly unlocked door. Lucas cries out in protest, but he is unable to prevent them from entering. Before he can continue protesting, the elder brother--Cain--shouts through his mind and cuts him off.
The next door they find lists Levi as its owner. They enter and find a sight far from what they were expecting--the door actually led outside. The blue sky greeted them to a green grassy plain and a small village looked to sit off in the distance. They were surrounded by mountains that looked too arduous to climb on foot. Stepping out, they saw the door they entered from did not connect to any sort of building--it existed solely. Sure enough, inside the doorway they could see the hallway they came from, but there was no physical way that it could exist as it did. On the face of the door read the word "Emet". Confused, the group continues out--wondering why Levi's 'room' was not in fact a room at all. Entering the village--suspicious that the game couldn't be over that easily. Levi confirms that the village is in fact the very same one that he was kidnapped from--calling it Steinschild, although it is different to how he remembers it. Upon entering, the people aren't who he remembers as his neighbors--they don't seem to recognize him either--nor do they speak English--or even the strand of German that Levi doubles in.
He can understand bits and pieces from a woman who he can barely understand to be the matriarch--not the same one he remembers--but one apparently all the same. She guides them to her home. Lucas wonders if they should just leave and try to find help elsewhere, but Levi confirms that they would stand no chance crossing the mountains--as Steinschild is surrounded by them. Uneasy, the group find their way to the matriarch's hut, passing by a statue from one of Steinschild's legends that tells of a dragon that steals the faces of humans it preys on. Levi said it started circulating sometime around the 1500s or so--and that the legend held that the dragon made its home somewhere in the mountains surrounding the village--and would come to the village when it hungered. The legend ended by explaining that the statue was erected as a form of appeasement to satisfy the dragon's pride.
Inside the matriarch's hut, she explains that the three of them were written to arrive--that destiny called them there. Levi tries to see if she recognizes his family name, but it rings no bells. The matriarch does not seem to know the existence of the door outside her village--nor of the Roulette Game, meaning any questions on them are as good as worthless. Levi then translates that she warns to "beware of the dragon." Fed up with the crypticism, Sophie suggests that she is going to go investigate elsewhere in the village. Lucas offers to go with her, feeling equally as helpless while Levi translates the woman's archaic language.
Lucas and Sophie venture to look back at the dragon statue again--assuming it must have something else important if the old woman was so penchant to warn them about the creature behind it. The tension between the two is tangible, and Sophie comes out and tells him that he can ask what's on his mind. Lucas confronts her on the fact that she said that she wasn't romantically involved with Cain--which directly contradicts what he saw in the memories. Sophie answers with obvious hesitation, saying that Cain was always difficult. He always saw their relationship as more than she did. She definitely considered him a friend--but nothing more.
She then confirms that she does in fact believe that the two brothers are related to the reason why she's here playing the Roulette Game--but feels uncomfortable telling Lucas why. He presses her for more information, and she refuses. She says he'll need to remember more of the boys' memories before she feels like she has to reveal more, but it's not because of any grudge--she just doesn't think it would help any. This frustrates Lucas, but he has nothing he can argue with that would make her see reason--he could tell that Sophie was someone whose mind didn't change for just anyone.
They find a digital screen on the statue that lists a cryptic paragraph about Levi--calling him weak and quick to bend to the will of others. After investigating, but not finding much, Lucas catches a glimpse of a black speck in the sky that grabs his attention until Sophie cuts him off. She apologizes for being difficult, and says she knows that he's just trying to find answers about his condition. She's not used to trusting other people very often, but she figures it's not fair if she's being hard to trust, too.
Shocked, Lucas asks what she means. She reveals that his name isn't Lucas--but Abel--that he's the younger boy from the memories he's been experiencing. It makes sense, but something about it doesn't fit right inside, but he sets that aside as he presses her for more information, but instantly he flashes back to the last time he saw Lucky alive--he had seen his own reflection in the rabbit's eyes for a fraction of a second, and sure enough, he was the boy he had remembered. Things both did and didn't add up--he was the boy from his memories--but he shouldn't be able to--Abel was in a traumatic car accident when he was younger and was paralyzed...yet he could walk just fine with no physical injuries to speak of. Sophie recognizes him as Abel, but she doesn't question why he can walk. Just...what did this mean?
There were two voices in his head--one that said he must be Abel, and one that said he couldn't be Abel. They were both speaking in unison.
He then comes to another point of realization--setting aside that identity crisis aside for the time being--Sophie knew who he was the whole time even after he confirmed he couldn't remember who he was and didn't say a word. She's pained with the truth being fired at her so bluntly--to which she confirms that is true. He gets flustered, now, calling her out for lying to him. She says that no matter what she couldn't let anything risk her getting out of the game alive--even if it meant lying to his face.
He calls her out for risking *his* life for hers, and she gets defensive and says that he pissed her off--and that if he wants to really find who is at fault to remember. She was done talking about it--he should be thankful she told him that much. She storms off and leaves Lucas to his own devices. He is quickly overcast as the black speck in the sky grows larger and blots out the sun--revealing itself to be a meteoroid hurtling toward him.
Memories flood to the surface--he's back to the home of the two brothers--but he's remembering from an out of body point of view watching Cain stare at himself in the bathroom. This is two years before the torrential rainstorm that kept the boys inside before their trip to the library, but only a month after the car accident that costed Abel the use of his legs...supposedly. Cain grips the side of the sink hard as he flashes back to the accident--not a new experience. Mixed with the memories of the accident are childish memories of having to always take care of his little brother--heightening his guilt over his failure to do so.
He pulls himself together and leaves his house and heads to his place of comfort--the library. He's on edge the entire trip down, and it comes to a point when he finds Sophie digging through the undesirable section.
She's immediately standoffish to him--only wanting to find what she's looking for and leave. He's taken for a twist in her attitude, finding he can forget himself by striking up conversation--offering to help her find what she needs.
She refuses again, but he's insistent. She relents, saying that she could save some time if he checks the higher shelves since he's taller than her. She's looking for a book with a black cover--the Eye of Timaeus.
She asks him if he has a library card, to which he says that he does. He manages to find it high up and holds it to inspect as she tries to snatch it from him. He pulls it away just in time, and wonders why she needs it so bad--it doesn't look like any normal kind of read.
She says it's nothing special, which is an answer Cain knows to mean that it is incredibly special. He coerces her into a trade--he'll sign out the book for her if she can assure him she's not going to run away with it to sell it or something equally mischievous. She eyes him, baits him into revealing the nature of his trauma--and the both come to a strange sort of understanding--one-upping one another was almost like an unspoken game.
She agrees to his terms, and invites him over to the apartment she's staying in that night.
He makes his way by bus and finds that she's hiding out in the apartment of some Asian family that's been away for at least a month. Alarms are going off in his head, but he ignores them, continuing inside.
Cain questions her--saying that if she wanted to, she could have just bolted and not met him here--she must have a reason. She agrees, and says that she was doing some research on him--his family name sounded familiar--and reveals that she's been carrying around a handbook containing a list of people who work for the Genros Foundation--the place her father works at, and that she suspects are responsible for the death of her mother...by car crash.
She says that it's strange of all people to run into at the library, she finds him--the son of another Genros employee. She says that they're on high alert because something of extremely high value of theirs was stolen and they'd do anything to get it back.
Sophie posits that the crash that incapacitated Abel may have been similar to the one that killed her mother--that it might have been set up as a scare tactic for their father who might have been a suspect for the theft.
Cain asks what could be so important that it was worth doing something like that over--to which Sophie holds up the book.
Cain gets aggravated, and before he can start to flip, she hushes him, and says she thinks she has an idea why it might be so sought after.
The two look through the section titled GODSONG. This section suggests that when The Craftsman crossed the Darkbright--if he were the only source of omnipotence within the manyverse--the entire structure should have collapsed as his body burnt. So its continued existence implies the existence of a secondary source of power from which all existence hangs upon--a second engine of will. In fact, it was more apt to say that the supposed "second engine" was in fact the original, and The Craftsman were the second--portable version. However, it showed no signs of sentience, so The Craftsman placed himself above such a simple machine.
The Engine of will is dubbed by The Craftsman--GODSONG. It is a probability matrix that connects all timelines through its center core to decide the definite and near definite futures for every single existence. It's name is derived from its method of communication with life--through waves that it both sends and receives to instill its will into whatever destination existence is highly resonant with GODSONG. Beings of extreme resonance are able to shift large amounts of requests to the engine and thus receive a lot of direct willpower in return--at the cost of sending willpower to the engine to initiate the request in the first place.
It seems based on this observation that the manyverse exists on the preprogrammed and autonomous nature of GODSONG and the manual maintenance and oversight of the engine by The Craftsman--and so with The Craftsman's departure from Noctem, while the manyverse did not disappear, its existence was greatly threatened--causing GODSONG to increase the amount of requests it normally receives, but not adjusting the amount that it transmits. Meaning, there are individuals who are normally highly resonant who are--subconsciously--sending their wills through spacetime, but not receiving anything in return. Normally these events manifest in the form of lucky breaks or situations of near superhuman ability--but now it seems more and more people are just losing themselves. Doing things that they would never have done before, things their loved ones consider dangerous to their wellbeing--things that don't make any sense.
Cain connects the dots--believing that she means that the book here is supposedly so sought after as it details this machine--should it exist--that highlights a very real connection as to why people might randomly decide to give up their lives for a company and be used as a threat. He refuses to believe it's anything more than fiction, that he wants to be able to blame anyone else for his brother's accident, but he can't. Not like this.
Sophie argues that this machine is the reason they're looking for it--and that they trust its accuracy because it was originally written by an old philosopher at the time, and Cain interjects by saying that he doesn't care about what some farmer wrote about a thousand years ago--or what he told his next in line to write, but the both of them freeze after his outburst.
She asks him how he knew that portion of the story when he has only read the portion about Godsong. He stops, and really considers the question. He eyes the door and threatens to himself that he's going to leave and not look back--that it's all too much for him, but the idea to be able to finally blame someone for Abel's accident is too tempting an offer. He turns, and instantly becomes horrified at an image forces itself into his mind of a rotund scaly creature that almost looked like a dragon with a misshapen human face--featureless.
Silent, he takes the book and turns the page to the next entry. It tells of the terrible beast known as Sakonna. The youngest Child of the Night, but first to land in Luxmund. It made impact before humans could properly speak vocally, and was the first Child of the Night to make contact for over a thousand years. As it fell to the planet it became encased in rock and ice--a proper shield from the light as it regained its strength. Sakonna studied the humans and their habits over the first hundred years of its stay in the mountains near a small German village named Steinschild. Its first recorded kill was sometime after the eleventh century, but most of its time was spent carving out the innards of the mountain it landed on to provide its own shield from the light.
Cain looks up to Sophie, and asks if she saw what he had--and she agrees, although she specifies that she saw it when she first read this passage--and that is why she is so keen on keeping it--because nothing had ever physically affected her in such an obvious way before. Cain understands the power of the book he is holding, and the implications of the existence of a machine like Godsong.
She says that if they are able to possibly find Godsong--even before the Genros Foundation--maybe they could fix all this. Cain starts to freak out--wondering just how a book can implant visions inside his mind like that. Sophie tries to calm him, but he suggests they burn the book and forget all about it.
Sophie says that's most likely a bad idea--as whoever is looking for it won't stop just because they decide to burn it there, and she adds that she wants to get revenge for her mother's death, and convinces Cain to look toward his own feelings of revenge for Abel.
Lucas / Abel wakes up from his vision with Sophie yanking at his arm. The meteoroid was approaching the small village much faster now. They're unable to find Levi and decide to run back to the door they came in from before they run out of time. As they jump through the door Sophie freaks and calls out an apology to Abel. The door is shut and they're safe inside the room they woke up in--a massive explosion can be heard on the other side of the door. They catch their breath and Sophie then turns to him, berating him for getting lost in his thoughts.
He explains that he was remembering more about his past, but he's confused that he was remembering Cain's memories, and asks if she was 100% sure he was Abel, because such a thing shouldn't be possible.
She reaffirms that he is Abel, that he couldn't possibly be Cain, and she's about to say that it's because he's...but he finishes her thought and asks if Cain is dead. She picks herself up and brushes past him, but he doesn't take that as an answer. He chases after her and grabs her by the shoulder. She implies something shouldn't have "gone wrong" but then the two of them are caught by surprise by a cacophony of blood and chunks of flesh.
The both of them were speechless finding the mess in the main expanse. They don't find Simon anywhere, but they do find a scrap of one of Answer's wings, implying that it was dead as well--possibly by some new creature.
Sophie, shaken, mentions it looks like too much blood for just Simon or just Answer, so the most likely was that it was both of their blood, mixed.
Abel / Lucas begins having a breakdown as the reality of everything comes crashing down. Nothing makes sense, and it's here Sophie reveals that the mystery of his ability to walk was because their experiment was a success.
She reveals that the memories he had were most likely because he had read The Eye of Timaeus when Abel brought him to the library--it was a combined plan on their part. Something about the text in the book cursed the readers with the knowledge--it imprinted on their mind as visions and hallucinations of evens to come or passed.
She says that the both of them were obsessed with their own ideas of revenge--Cain's revenge was against himself. He hated himself and would do anything to not be in the position the accident put him in. Abel may have been the one physically scarred from the accident, but everyone knew it was Cain who never recovered that day, and so Godsong infatuated him. It was everything Cain ever wanted in physical form. It spoke to his innermost desires--the chance to change things, and that meant he became infatuated with Sophie, because she became the answer to himself.
Sophie reveals the connection between them being the parent company of their father's work--Arctic Systems was funded and sponsored wholly by the Genros Foundation. And they even facilitated the construction of large facilities at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to filter pollutants from the water, and the place they currently were was that same facility--dubbed the SubCon Facility.
Sophie and Cain planned to investigate through whatever means necessary--they were sure that something related to The Eye of Timaeus had to be stored there. They planned their trip as a romantic getaway to his parents, and insisted they take Abel along to give them a break and alone time. Sure enough they didn't question it at all, and they were soon on the bus, Abel not suspecting anything off until they got off the bus about an hour and a half away and Cain drugging him--silencing his qualms.
They found the freighter that led to the SubCon entrance just off of Three Rock Point and snuck on board--Abel in tow. Heading deep inside the facility, they find it strangely empty, allowing their progress deep within. It is here that they find GODSONG.
[To be finished later]
- The title of this novel is a direct reference to the Japanese title of the second Zero Escape Game--Virtue's Last Reward--being Extreme Escape Adventure: Good People Die
- The cover art allows the title to be read in multiple ways based on your perception. Some of them are as follows: Good People Die, Good People Lie, Bad People Die, Bad People Lie
- This book is the spiritual successor to Telos in design philosophy.