PRELUDE: PAGING DR. KILLGOOD
The world had survived the calamity. The outbreak of global unrest that brought so many to their knees is at an end. It had been for nearly a decade. Though the organization known as Ultimate Despair will likely never be forgotten, they are only words that show up together in the pages of a history book. Few know why they were causing so much terror, fewer still know why they wore those masks. Those masks with the black and white bear on them. Well, it's not really a secret though, is it? I mean, It's not a secret to me, everyone's favorite monotone bodied, rainbow colored personality, Monokuma!
You're all fans, aren't you? Maybe you've played the games, or watched the anime? Maybe you read the book? Read the manga? Maybe you played the other video game that wasn't really like the other games? Maybe you watched the stage play? How about sleep with the body pillow? Any of these can make you a fan.
But that's the problem.
You see, fans tend to blow things around a lot, and even out of proportion. Hot air, cool air, steam, smoke, and they come in different sizes too! Nobody is a fan of fans, everyone has their preferences. Like what was up with the despair arc in Danganronpa 3? I got bearly any screen time!
But fans don't have to fight each other. They can unite for a common goal. One type can heat during the winter, and another cool during the summer. Apart they are simple fans, but together they are part of a climate control system!
You're all fans, the mastermind is a fan, the infinites are fans, who knows how this could play out? Will the house stay at just the right temperature, or will it be uncomfortable all year round? I'm hoping for a house fire myself. That shack is way over insured!
The elevator came grinding to a halt. The inertia felt even less pleasant with both occupants' trying to wake from a chemically induced sleep. When their eyes fully opened, they were both propped up against the wall of the elevator.
Shona Moffett groaned and brushed a strand of her aqua colored hair out of her face. She was having difficulty remembering exactly what happened prior to her nap. Shona remembered reenacting a joust duel, she lost just like she was suppose to, but then what? Surely the knight should be in a hospital bed instead of on the floor of a cold elevator.
“Shit!” The words came from a rugged looking man in fancy clothes. His hair was dark and messy, while his shirt was unbuttoned enough that you could see his chest hair. After blinking himself awake, he adjusted his tie. He left it loose enough that Shona wondered if it might come off. The man looked at her out of the corner of his eye. “See something you like?”
The knight was quick to look away. “I did not mean to stare. It's just your appearance is very strange to me.”
“MY appearance?” The man raised his hand as if to offer her an invisible loaf of bread. “You're the one in a fuckin' tuna can!”
Shona came to the realization that she was still in costume, which was a bit strange. The knight was quite sure she had suffered some kind of injury. The medical staff should have removed the armor at some point, even if it was just to clean her or put her in bed. “I'm sorry, I believe introductions are in order.” Shona turned to face the man and extended her gauntlet clad hand. “Shona Moffett.”
“The Infinite Knight huh? I thought you would have been taller.” The man took her hand and gave it a single shake. “Davis Gallo.”
“That name is not familiar to me.”
Davis grinned. “I typically go by 'Perfection.' I'm Infinite Conquest.”
While the Despair that gripped the world started to dissipate, an organization known as Infinity Initiative emerged. Infinity Initiative's announced its goal as “To infinitely improve the human race!” The part of their mission they don't speak of is making a ton of money on sponsorship and treating the wealthy. But being scouted to join the ranks of Infinites is a still a boon. Infinity Initiative is very generous about assisting its scouted talent with bills and travel expenses that could hinder their ability to grow. The only thing one really needs to be scouted is to show infinite potential in a particular field. There are no age restrictions, and their members are located all over the world.
Shona slowly pulled back her hand. “I'm sorry, I don't recall an infinite with a conquest talent.”
“You're pretty direct, aren't you?” Davis shook his head, but he was smiling. “Well, I don't blame you. There are thousands of us now. I'd be surprised if you could remember every Infinite.” He groaned. “So, are we going to talk about the elephant in the room?”
“The elephant? In the room?”
Perfection lifted his hand and pointed at the elevator doors. Not only were they still closed, but the words “ABANDON HOPE ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE” were written on the door in what looked like blood.
“Abandon hope all ye...”
“The” Shona corrected.
“Originally in old English, there use to be a now unused letter called thorn (þ), which is pronounced like 'th-' but over time, they gradually changed how it was written until it looked like the letter wynn (ƿ). eventually it became indistinguishable from the letter 'Y.' So 'ye' is properly pronounced as 'the.'”
Davis blinked a few times. “I guess I'm suppose to take your word for it because you're the Infinite Knight?”
The two stood up and looked around the elevator. “There's no way to open the doors.” Shona felt around the walls. “Is there another way out?”
Davis rolled up his sleeves. “Your talent is based around cosplaying and spouting useless trivia. Lucky for you, I have an infinitely more useful talent.” He took a step back and ducked down to sprint. “And that talent is winning. I always achieve my goal regardless of how hopeless it seems.” He pointed at the sides of his head. “That's why this door is going down.” He pointed at the door and back at his head. “I've just got to visualize it... and realize it!” Perfection jumped into the air and kicked the door with both feet. While the door didn't move, Davis did manage to throw himself away from the door with amazing force. His head slammed into the opposing wall full force. Thankfully, Shona was there to catch him before he could hurt himself further.
“Are you alright?!” The door to the elevator slid open, momentarily snatching away Shona's attention. When she looked back at Davis, he was still recovering from his state of vertigo.
“C-conquest is m-mine!” He squinted his eyes in pain before flashing a brave smile. “Told you I could do it!”
The knight raised an eyebrow before lowering Davis back onto his feet. Together they walked out of the elevator before it closed again. “Does any of this look familiar to you?”
It almost felt like they had stepped into a labyrinth. The room had a very cold feeling. The floor was concrete, and the overhead florescent lighting showed all the imperfections on the concrete block walls. While there was a coat of white paint on everything, it was starting to chip in spots. The only thing that prevented the two from feeling completely lost was all the colorful signage. To their right was a bridge that lead to the main hospital, and to their left was a chamber filled with even more elevators. The path straight ahead had a sign that said “To resort” with a little girl holding a giant arrow. This room was definitely worth exploring, but it felt like it would be easy to get lost.
“The layout is definitely familiar.” Davis folded his arms. “Just about every floor in the patient's quarters has this layout. If we head down that corridor we should see all the patients' rooms.”
“So are we in Axis Mundi then?”
Perfection laughed. “The hell kind of question is that?”
“Well.” Shona lifted a hand up to her chin. “I only assumed I was in Axis Mundi because that is Infinity Initiative's finest hospital. I actually don't remember anything after hitting my head.”
“So you have amnesia?”
“I'm not sure I'd go that far...”
“Either way, we do appear to be in Axis Mundi. At least I hope. That was the last place I remember being.”
The knight placed a hand on her head. “I don't feel any wounds. Does that mean I was asleep the entire time this was healing?”
“Let's not forget the elephant in the room.” Davis unfolded his arms. “Someone's playing a prank on us.”
Shona started to pull her sword out of her sheath. “It's a rather elaborate prank.”
“You Cunt!” Davis jumped backwards and started shouting. “Put that fuckin' thing away before I kick you into next week!”
The knight raised a single eyebrow. “I was just looking at the blade. This is not the armor I was injured in, and this sword isn't real either.”
Davis gave Shona a sideways glance. “How can you be so sure!?”
The knight sighed. “For one, this sword is made out of wood.” she allowed the blade to slide back into its sheath.
“Really?” Davis calmed down and folded his arms nonchalantly. “That's a pretty good paint job.”
“This costume hardly qualifies as real either.” Shona rapped on it with her knuckles. “Real medieval armor like I wear is heavy and worn over a chain mail tunic, which is then worn over a leather suit. This feels like tin with a felt backing. Also...” She ran her hand over her chest. “Real armor isn't gender specific. These sculpted breasts will not deflect a blow like armor should. If you swung a sword at me, the blade would be guided towards my center mass, and possibly my head. That is exactly the opposite of what armor should do.”
“Still looks good on you.”
Shona groaned and looked away from Davis. “To think of what you just called me a few seconds ago.”
“I'm a passionate guy.”
The static on a wall mounted TV snatched the duo's attention. They recalled seeing a smaller TV in the elevator they were in and wondered if that was displaying the same thing. Not much time passed before the screen was filled with a black and white bear sitting in a hospital bed.
“Wakey wakey eggs-and-bakey!” The bear said before tossing off his sheets. The bear's voice was cute, but the situation made it come across as a bit creepy. “You should all be waking up from your beary restful sleep now! Well, most of you. I guess a few of you were a bit too exited and had to rush downstairs to open those gifts Santa got you! Phu phu phu phu!” The bear kicked his feet in excitement. “Any who, I'm just going to introduce myself now. I'm Dr. Killgood! But if you're feeling less formal, you can just call me Monokuma. Yup, my full name is Monokuma Killgood. My secret full name has been revealed. Ohhh, this is going to really tick off the fans. Carelessly revealing a secret designed to keep the audience guessing after the play has concluded... Too bad!”
Davis grit his teeth. “What the hell am I watching?”
Monokuma only giggled in delight. “I've seen a lot of hellos, and some really interesting farewells. You humans are REALLY good at saying goodbye, but I haven't been very impressed with your introductions. Let's just bypass all that angst by having a star, me, take care of all that for you!” The screen changed to an image of Shona's face.
“That's me.” The knight said to herself.
“This muscle bound amazon is Shona Moffett. Because she's the Infinite knight, she's a little stuck in the dark ages. You won't find her on twitter or anything because she's a total square.”
Davis smiled. “That was actually kinda funny.”
“Next on my list of honored guests is Davis Gallo, or 'Perfection' as he'd prefer you call him. Davis is the Infinite Conquest. While that sounds like a really cool title it just means he's really good at cheating the system. That's right, his talent is not playing the game fair and square. He's what people in modern society call a roll model.”
Perfection turned to look at Shona. “I hate that fucking bear.”
“Then there's Mason Brady. He's a total stud muffin in case you can't tell by his picture, but pays for it by being the Infinite Barista. Don't worry Mr Brady, you don't need caffeine to keep me up. Or whatever it is that they keep flooding my spam folder with.”
Davis scoffed. “I'm prettier.”
“I don't have a picture of the Infinite Monk, only the suit of armor he wears. So you can't see Tekhartha Mondatta. Though that's probably a good thing because he'd never be able to compete with Mason anyway. But It's kind of poetic isn't it? Our monk is sworn to a life of solitude so deep, that we can't even see him when he's next to us. So let's open our third eye together with him.”
Shona felt her face again. “I wish I still had my helmet.”
“Isaiah 'Ice-Ice-Baby' Matthews, but we call him 'Ice' for short. He's kind of a mix between the last two I introduced, only he actually has a worthwhile Infinite talent. He gives blood, and lots of it. Our generous hero can give and give and give! But you know that old proverb goes: One who give everything to others leaves nothing for himself.”
Shona folded her arms. “Is there a point to this?”
“Krista Müller, the first girl on our lineup, is also the Infinite Violinist. Seriously, everything that defines a girl as a girl can be found in this woman, from her desire for companionship to her inability to operate a remote. Keep her in the house, Keep her in the kitchen, but do not let her drive the car any further than she has to.”
Shona looked to Davis. “I thought I was the first girl?”
“Next is Felix Garfield, who's name would have been a lot cooler if it was Yogi Berenstain. Not to be racist, but I'm really surprised the Infinite Free Runner isn't black. The irony goes a step further when a man who's name is composed of two cats enjoys playing with his two dogs.”
Davis cracked his neck. “How many more are there?”
“I was wrong, Kara O'hara is our first girl. Krista is a woman, despite being younger. The Infinite Desert Chef can fit in the palm of your hand or in the toy bin where all the other dolls are kept.
“Was that the right picture?” Davis stood at attention.
“Quill Kennedy is the Infinite model, not to be confused with the infinite doll you were just exposed to. What you might not realize by the title is that she comes assembled. But you likely know she can hold a pose for any length of time, has mostly plastic parts, and looks good on a mantle. Sadly, she talks.”
“Look who's talking.” Shona groaned to herself.
“Aleecia Marvic, Infinite Dice Master. She knows how many fingers I'm holding up behind my back, because I don't have any fingers. What she doesn't know is how adorable I look on a TV screen. I think I'm going to give Aleeecia a cute little nickname. I'm going to call her Friendship: Because she's blind.”
Davis and Shonah sighed in unison.
“Cyrus Brandon, also a contender for Bishi of the year, is the Infinite Politician. Basically he's really good at lying. His most famous lies include crowd pleasers like 'everything is going to be okay' and 'I'm interested in more than just your vote.' Unlike Mason Brady, I will need a cup of joe to sit through one of this guy's speeches.”
Shona raised an eyebrow. “He seemed a little more spiteful than normal when introducing Cyrus, or was that just me?”
“Daimyon Londe, is not a blond, but he's an Infinite poet.
Some would say, that when he'd play, you were sure to know it.
His words are smooth, and tend to sooth, with every spoken letter.
Of course I see, and say with glee, that I am surely better.”
The monochromatic bear erupted into laughter.
“I'm really getting sick of this little shit.” Davis balled his hands into fists.
“Shaun Ellan is a web designer, I guess? I mean we don't have internet here, so I'm a little fuzzy on the details. I guess he's a spider? Expanding the web and eating all the bugs that fly into it?” The bear scratched it's head. “I'm sorry Shaun, I'm not very familiar with arachnids. Only insects like mosquitoes and humans.”
Again, Shona and Davis shared a glance between each other before looking back up at the screen.
“O'rly? Ya'rly! Ermaghered! Mary Hanson is the Infinite Streamer, and she's here. Me Gusta! Problem other girls? Are you worried someone will take an arrow to the knee and no longer pay attention to their overly attached girlfriend? I'll always be here for you bae.”
“That was horrible.”
“And now we have our terror of the cosmos, Caora Artzain! Don't let the Infinite Trap's appearance surprise you. I'm pretty sure this dude needs to take a peak down the ol' leg shoot just to remember what his bear essentials look like. Someone please keep him away from the woman's dressing room. It's not good for him.”
Davis scratched his chin. “Is it me, or are they actually getting stranger somehow?”
There was a brief moment where the telivision showed Monokuma placing a cassette tape inside a cassette player and hitting the play button before showing an image of a bandaged up girl. The voice that played was not Monokumas, but that of someone using a synthesizer. “Rika Roux, Infinite Firebug.” The image cut back to Monokuma, who flipped the tape over and resumed playing it. Which spout out a bunch of boring facts about fire ants.
Davis was pacing back and forth. “This damn bear, this damn bear, THIS DAMN BEAR!”
“I think this is the last one.”
“Lastly, Calvin Ibbott is your Infinite Smith! I'm not going to make fun of little Ibbs because I respect people who make things with their own hands. little Ibbs, he takes his hammer...Hammer...” The bear shrugged. “Well, I guess he doesn't use his hands after all. Come to think about it, doesn't everyone come out of the womb knowing how to swing a hammer? I'm sorry little Ibbs, I guess I can make fun of you after all.”
“I wonder if he can make me a helmet?” Shona wondered out loud.
“I think that's everyone. If I forgot someone, they probably weren't that important.” Monokuma settled back down in his bed and pulled up the sheets. “Oh, and a little theater therapy is going to start in a bit. So use this time to get bright eyed and bushy-tailed, because an escort will be there for you all shortly. And you do NOT want to keep them waiting. Dr Killgood, out!”
Shona looked around the room. “Strange.”
Davis chuckled. “I'll say. Who were those people?”
All of the elevator doors started to slide open at once. Shona looked back at Davis. “I get the feeling we're about to find out.”