Feeling agitated, Braden paced around Shaun’s room, trying to be useful. His puppets were tucked safely in his pockets - he had made sure of it when he’d heard the commotion during the search for Shaun’s handbook. The puppets soothed him, but only for a moment until Braden would turn around to pace again in the direction of Marianne’s body. He kept a close eye on Bliss and Cyrus as they pulled the lifeless body down. He touched Elias’s hair from inside his pocket, almost hearing Elias chiding him for remaining when countless others seemed to have paired up and left.
So why hadn’t he?
For one, he didn’t know anybody here well enough to want to approach them himself. That felt too forward, and he wasn’t even sure what to do after that. Was it normal to approach somebody to ask if they want to join you with the investigation? Hopefully not, that would definitely be cause for concern.
Instead, Braden reasoned, he was going to guard the scene. That’s something he could do, right? What was there to guard anyway, the room was a mess and the body was retrieved. But it was the closest to being useful he could get, so he kept pacing.
"Hey, did anyone find evidence back here?" Mercy asked, appearing from the doorway. When she noticed Braden though, the plague doctor quickly elbowed Alice on her head when the recon tried to peak inside Shaun's room. "Ahaha, excuse me for a moment..." She told the three inside the room, before moving away from the door.
"Doc, what the hell?" Alice asked Mercy, rubbing her head. With a deep breath, Mercy turned around to answer.
"I'm not sure if I saw correctly, but I think your brother is here."
With a genuinely supprised expression being her response, Alice moved past the plague doctor, and went inside Shaun's room. "What are you doing here? I thought you were in a different hospital!" The recon unknowingly asked Braden, tapping his shoulder.
Different hospital? Braden inwardly scoffed. Was this really the time to joke around now? He pulled out the two puppets from either pocket, turning around to face the girl who poked his shoulder and disrupted his ‘investigation’. “You and me both, pirate lady. Wanted to be in Axis Mundi, now I'm in hell.” It was Elias’s irritatingly higher pitched voice that spoke. “Gotta say though, that’s a wicked eye patch even if you don’t look as hot with it on.”
And that was when Alice knew she made a mistake.
Her supprised expression turning to a mortified expression, the recon slowly turned her head over to Mercy, who was lightly snickering at her problem.
"Heheheh... uh, I gotta go now. Bye!"
"MERCY I'LL GET YOU FOR THIS!!" Alice yelled, chasing Mercy out of the room. Once the plague doctor was out of sight, she turned back to Braden, holding her head in frustration. "Sorry about that. My old friend back there thought you were my brother..." She apologized to the ventriloquist.
“Be glad you’re not Grumpy Cat’s sister over here, his real one is already sick of him as it is—”
“Shut up you pathetic waste of cotton! She doesn’t need to know that!” Erica’s puppet was held up between Elias and Alice, almost in the latter’s face as Elias recoiled slightly from surprise. Braden kept an eye on Alice’s reaction.
"Wait, really..?" Alice asked Elias with concern. "What's wrong with her...?"
“None of your business you Captain Hook reject.” Erica harrumphed, her small arms folded across her body.
From behind Erica, Elias spoke. “Forget about what I said! Tell me ‘bout you, why’s your bro in hospital?”
"Uh... Do you know about the infinite pianist..?" Alice asked back, scratching her head. She hadn't had the time to talk about herself and her family, so she was a bit nervous.
Braden and the two puppets shook their head.
"Ah, well... he's my brother, Henry. But he's called Deimo." The recon explained to Braden. "During one of his performances, he was crushed under an unstable piano..." Alice crossed her arms, lowering her head. "He's alright though, just broke one of his legs..."
Braden looked between her and Cyrus’s back awkwardly. There’s a dead body in the same room as them, was this really the time to be discussing family? Elias didn’t seem to mind whilst Erica seethed at being ignored. “Whoa! No way! But if he’s an infinite, why isn’t he in Axis Mundi? Abbie did say it was the best place to be for us talented folks?”
Noticing the ventriloquist was getting uncomfortable at her conversation with the puppet, Alice decided to cut it short. "We didnt exactly have a Axis Mundi near us in England, so Henry was taken to the next best option." She told Eilas, before looking back to Braden. "I should properly introduce myself though. I'm Alice."
“Elias! And this guy is Braden Clarke, the infinite ventriloquist! Thouuugh,” The puppet drew out the final word as he leaned closer towards the recon, “I’m totally the real deal.”
“Hello? You’re not gonna introduce me?” Erica asked, incensed. When she was still ignored by Elias, Erica harrumphed again. “And I’m Erica.”
Alice couldn't help but chuckle at the puppets' antics. "Nice to meet you three." She said, with a small smirk on her face.
“Trust me, it’s a pleasure to meet you—” Elias was interrupted by Erica, who made a gagging sound. Seeing Elias return to his flirtatious comments, Erica took charge.
“Did you know the dead girl? Did she have any enemies? Friends? Boyfriends?” She asked.
"Not really, I haven't got to know her since i've arrived here." Alice answered, pulling up the monokuma file in her E-handbook. "The only person here she seemed to hate was Bliss over there, but that could have been just pressure over the trial."
"Trial?" Erica asked, urging Alice to tell her more.
"After we gather enough evidence, a trial is held in the Court of Carnage. There, we debate and decide on who the blackened, or murderer, is. If we chose correctly, the blacked is executed, and we live another day. If we chose the wrong infinite however..." Alice explained to Erica, heistating on the last detail.
"We all get executed, and the blackened is freed."
The puppets did not have a funny comment for once. They, along with their master looked at Alice in stunned silence. Was that really expected of them? Suddenly Braden didn't feel so good anymore... Elias gave Braden a quick glance back before looking at Alice. "I... guess we'll make sure that we don't have to die! I know I'm not dying cus of some stupid guy that couldn't get the girl!"
"God he's an idiot..." Erica mumbled.