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Epilogue Somewhere else, a woman in an olive-colored sweater is finishing her coffee. She pushes a stack of paper aside, causing them to fall and scatter to the floor. She swears, but does not mo

Your decision has been made: you are not going to wet yourself. Your choices have reached their ultimate conclusion, and you shall soon learn of their consequence.   No. This was clearly jus

Your decision has been made: you are going to Ally with Siren. Only time will tell if this was the right choice.   The voting room door opens again, and you exit. The mechanical voice return

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Your decision has been made: you are going to pair up with Rocker. Only time will tell if this was the right choice.

 

You look around the room, then shrug. “I guess I’ll go with Rocker.” After all, while Simon did say he’d be willing to pair up with Rocker, sparing him that awkwardness might be a good thing anyway.

“Oh- me?” Rocker still seems a bit shaken, but quickly regains her composure. “Yeah. Let’s go see what’s in those rooms.”

The rest of the group quickly decide who to pair up with. Simon suggests that he pair up with Nemean, you suspect in an effort to make the choice less awkward for Orca. As a result, Siren ends up pairing up with Orca.

“We have no idea what’s waiting for us inside these rooms, so be careful. The rules did say pairings for the DP game was random, so I don’t think that’s what we’ll be doing.”

The group approaches the six doors you saw before, three of which are now open. Behind each doors is a tiny hallway, leading to another identical door. You suspect the secondary doors will open as soon as every pair has entered. Or, at least you hope so. Getting stuck inside that hallway sounds like a nightmare.

“Good luck, everyone.” Siren gives you a reassuring glance, though after what she told you, you wonder if she’s putting on a bit of a brave act.

You enter the hall together with Rocker. The metal door slides shut behind you. After a few seconds, the secondary door opens, and you are let inside a larger room.

The interior is completely sparse, with one exception. In the middle of the room is some kind of strange contraption suspended over a table with two glasses. The contraption features a small nozzle directly over each glass, making you suspect some kind of liquid is going to come out of it. The entire installation, both the table and glasses, or protected behind some kind of glass or plastic. It doesn’t look like you’ll be able to access it at the moment. In front of the glass casing is a yellow button on a pedestal.

“This is like something out of a movie… What the hell is up with that button?”

“Maybe it’s a self-destruct button?” Rocker gives you a slight smirk. “I wouldn’t mind self-destructing this entire facility, except for the fact that we’re still inside it.”

You examine the button and realize that it too is covered by some kind of plastic casing.

“So there’s a button covered with a protective casing, and a machine covered in protective casing. Do you think this is some kind of puzzle? Like we have to find hidden switches or something to open up this machine?”

“You mean like an escape room?”

“Yeah, though I don’t know why-” You are interrupted before you can finish your sentence.

Each participant has now entered the game rooms in pairs. The selfish switch game will now begin. To play this game, you must choose whether or not to push the button in front of you. Ten minutes from now, one dose of diuretic liquid will be administered to each glass in front of you. Should you push the button before then, the amount of diuretic liquid administered will be reduced by one dose per glass. However, the amount of diuretic liquid for each other group will increase by one dose per glass. Pushing the button multiple times does nothing. Refusing to drink the water will result in a DP penalty, regardless of whether to water has any diuretic or not. DP penalties applied to players who currently have 0 DP will be applied the next time they gain DP. That will be all.

The protective case covering the button slides open.

“So it wasn’t an escape room after all…” Rocker almost sounds a little disappointed.

“Seems like another game. Maybe they’re making us play it while they prepare the next round of the DP game?”

“This game is actually quite similar to the DP game. Both seem to be based on an experiment called “The Prisoner’s Dilemma”.”

“Yeah. If we push the button, we will reduce the amount of diuretic we get, but instead the other groups get more. In that sense, pushing the button is a lot like choosing "Betray". The worst-case scenario would be if we didn’t push the button, but the other groups did. In that case, we would have to drink three doses.”

“It would be best for everyone if nobody pushed the button. Then everyone would only have to drink one dose. If everyone pushes the button, everyone will have to drink two doses.”

“So the best choice for the individual is the worst choice for the group, then. Do you think the other two groups will push the button or not?”

“I don’t think Siren will, even though I think she ought to. I didn’t want to tell you before, but seeing as you voted ally against her… She has to pee a lot worse than she lets on. Orca might push the button since she has 0 DP.”

“Simon seems to genuinely want everyone to cooperate, and he did vote ally last game. However, he might act differently now that he has 0 DP. I have no idea what Nemean will do, his actions during the last DP round felt very strange.”

“So basically, it could go either way.” Rocker pauses for a bit. “I… think you should be the one to choose here.”

“How so?”

“You are the one with the most to lose here. You have 2 DP, so you will need to wait at least 2 more rounds before you can use the toilet, assuming you keep choosing Ally. I just used the toilet, so it probably won’t be as bad for me even if I have to drink a few doses. If you choose to push the button, I will tell the rest of the group it was a joint decision.”

“Why would you do that?”

Rocker looks away. “I betrayed Mime to use the toilet, which also raised the DP cost for you and everyone else. I feel responsible, you know.” She turns back to you. “However, I don’t actually want you to push that button. I think you should only do it if you think it will be really difficult to hold it until you can use the toilet.”

“Because of Orca, Siren and Mime, right?”

“Yeah. Orca and Mime don’t have any DP right now, and Siren is in a tough spot. I know it’s selfish of me to ask you to sacrifice yourself for them since I just betrayed Mime, but…” She bites her lip.

You consider your own state. You started out somewhat full, and you need to pee more now than you did when the game started. In your daily life, you had somewhat of a bad habit of postponing toilet visits when you were busy. However, if you were anywhere else you’d definitely at least be considering looking for a toilet by now. If two of the other pairs pushed the button, you’d essentially be pumped full of diuretic. It’s very possible you’d be reduced to a writhing mess before you could make it through two more rounds of the DP game, if that happened. And thinking about it, it would only take one member of each team wanting to push the button, unless the other member went so far as to physically restrain the other. With that in mind, isn’t it really likely that…

Five minutes remain until the selfish switch game ends. If any participant wishes to push the button, they must do so before then.

You turn to Rocker. “I’ve made up my mind. I will…”

 

DECISION – Push the button?
PUSH
DO NOT PUSH

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Your decision has been made: you are not going to push the button. Only time will tell if this was the right choice.

 

“…Not push the button.” You finish with a dramatic flourish.

“Hey, don’t scare me like that!”

“I’m not going to have an amazing time if I get the triple dose as a result though.”

“Yeah, I know. The other pairs better come up with a good reason if they push the button on their end.”

You still have a bit of time before the game is over. You spend a minute examining the room, but don’t find much. The transparent casing for the machine reaches from the floor to the roof, like a pillar. It’s not transparent all the way through, near the top where it’s not covering the machine it looks more like plaster. You do notice some very subtle grooves where this pillar meets the floor, almost like it was inserted somehow. You search the rest of the room for some kind of hidden switch or hatch but find nothing. The door behind you remains locked.

“Hey, while we’re in here. I have something to talk about.”

“Girl talk now that we’re alone?”

“Very funny. Nah, it’s about Nemean. He has 3 DP now, and that’s kind of a problem.”

“I think I get what you’re saying. If he gets one more DP and decides to use the toilet…”

“The DP cost will go up, and it will be that much longer before anyone else uses it. Siren is going to need it as soon as possible. I don’t know what Orca’s situation is, but she doesn’t have any DP right now. Same is true for Simon.”

“So you’re suggesting we try to keep his DP from increasing?”

“Only temporarily. It’s not a problem if he hits 4 DP when everyone else does.”

“I see… Though, wouldn’t it be kind of a problem if Nemean really needed to go?”

“I can’t quite make sense of his actions during the first DP round, but I feel like if he really needed to go then he would have done so when he had the chance, right?”

You think back on what Nemean had done and said. It really was strange. Betraying Orca seemed a short-term victory that would hurt Nemean in the long term. Sure, he had gotten up to 3 BP, but what was even the point of doing that if he wasn’t going to use the toilet immediately anyway? “I suppose you’re right…”

Rocker glances towards the contraption and the empty glasses. “We’re probably going to get our drinks soon, but… I have something else to say.”

You turn away from your fruitless search, and towards Rocker.

“During the first round of the DP game, I told Siren to betray you.”

You say nothing, letting her continue.

“We both knew the other had to pee, bad. I didn’t have a lot of time to go through a detailed plan with her after we read the rules, but I thought it would be better if both of us used the toilet at the same time.” She looks away, embarrassed. “Of course, I wasn’t really thinking clearly at the time. I was mainly focused on getting a chance to pee for myself, ASAP.”

“But she voted “Ally”, in the end.”

“Yeah, I guess she couldn’t go through with it. I suppose this might be the better outcome assuming the two of you can tough it out for long enough. I’m sorry for trying to set you up like that.”

“It’s piss under the bridge.”

Rocker gives you a blank look, then bursts out laughing. “Was that supposed to be a joke?”

You blush. “Hey, it sounded a lot better in my head, okay?”

For once, you are relieved to be interrupted by the mechanical voice.

The selfish switch game has now concluded. Doses of diuretic liquid will be administered to each participant. Participants must ingest the contents of one of the glasses or suffer a DP penalty. DP penalties applied to players who currently have 0 DP will be applied the next time they gain DP.

You and Rocker hurry over to the machine.

One group out of three pressed the button. Doses will be administered accordingly.

You and Rocker look at each other. You didn’t push the button, but another group did. As a result, it seems like you will be getting two doses. You hear a slight sloshing sound from the machine in front of you, then water starts running out of one of the nozzles like a tap. You squirm at the sudden suggestive imagery and look away for a bit. The nozzles fill up the glasses, and you hear a slight grinding from inside the machine. Finally, the nozzles produce two drops of clear liquid each which fall into the glasses. Probably the diuretic. You and Rocker have to move away from the machine for a bit, as the glass case suddenly slides into the roof. The machine, as well as the two glasses, are now accessible. You nod towards Rocker, and approach cautiously.

You take one of the glasses into your hand, and Rocker does the same. The glass is quite tall, and feels cool to the touch. You realize you have been getting somewhat thirsty. In a way, you are a little relieved that the DP game forces you to drink so you can’t get an advantage by dehydrating yourself. The water is very refreshing, but you shiver and subtly press your legs together as you down the glass. It’s getting a bit bad, if you’re being totally honest with yourself.

Soon after you and Rocker drink from your glasses, the door you entered from opens up, and the two of you exit the chamber. The six of you reenter the warehouse at the same time. You are about to suggest regrouping at by the rules screen when-

“Alright, who’s the one that pressed the button? Fess up!”

You glance towards Nemean and Simon. Before you have the chance to speak- “You better have a damn good explanation why you pressed that button, Nemean!”

Nemean stares confusedly at Rocker. Simon is the one to speak up, however. “We… didn’t push the button.”

Nemean continues. “Yeah. Mime claimed he would be fine for at least a while longer, and I didn’t really have any reason to press it either.”

“You voted “Betray” against me last round though, you’re clearly up to something! Maybe you want to make everyone else piss themselves so you can win the game!”

“Um-“

“First of all, what? Second of all, isn’t it more likely you pressed the button to protect yourself given the fact that you have 0 DP?”

Voting for the second round of the DP game will close in 20 minutes. Please review the rules screen to see the current matchups. That will be all.

“Hey!!”

The interruption finally gives Siren a chance to speak. “I’m sorry Orca, I really don’t think this is a good idea.”

“But-“

“Just listen to me, okay! We pressed the button. Orca doesn’t have any DP, and I really, really need to pee. That’s why we pushed the button.” She pauses to catch her breath. “And I think it’s better if we just come out and say it, Orca. If we start doubting each other like this, it will only increase the chances people start voting “Betray” against each other.”

Orca looks at the floor, sullen, then sighs. “Yeah. You’re right. I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me. I became so focused on gaining an advantage that I didn’t stop to consider how it would affect things long-term. Siren is right. We did push the button. When I heard that the voice didn’t specify which team was the one to do it, I came up with this plan and tried to rope Siren into it. I’m sorry.”

The tension around the room immediately deflates.

“I’m sorry for yelling at you, Nemean. I misjudged the situation.”

Nemean shrugs nonchalantly. “Don’t get me wrong. It just happened to be the case that neither I nor Mime had a compelling reason to push the button. That’s all it was.”

Rocker scoffs. “Oh, I’m sure.”

After the quarrel has been resolved, all of you go to check the computer screen. Simon presses the button to reveal the next round’s pairings.

 

Current DP and matchups
Room 1 - Siren [2 DP] versus Orca [0 DP]
Room 2 - Chatty [2 DP] versus Nemean [3 DP]
Room 3 - Simon [0 DP] versus Rocker [0 DP]

Current cost of using the toilet: [4 DP]

 

“I guess repeat matchups more or less have to happen when there’s only six of us.” Simon looks towards Rocker. “Hopefully the result won’t be a repeat of last round, though.” Rocker nods.

Each pair heads off towards the voting rooms, with you and Nemean taking the one in the middle as instructed. “Hey, before you enter that room-”

“Hm?” Nemean turns towards you.

“How are you going to vote?”

“Ally, of course. Though I would be saying that even if I intended to vote betray.”

“I don’t know that I can trust a promise from you at this point in time. Can you explain your reasoning?”

“Siren and Orca did just come clean, but you still have reason to be suspicious of me after round one. In addition, I will be able to use the toilet if I get any more DP, which would increase the DP cost. For those reasons, I believe you are very likely to vote “Betray”. If that’s the case, I should definitely vote “Ally”.”

“And why is that?”

“Having 3 DP is no better than having 0 if you can never increase your DP any further. A result of Betray – Betray would not gain me any DP, and would make it less likely that I can get any DP in future rounds.”

“How do I know that you telling me this isn’t some kind of ploy to make me vote “Ally”?”

“You don’t. You’ll have to make up your own mind when you’re in the voting room. Anyway…” Nemean heads off to the other side of the container. After some deliberating, you do the same.

Once again, you stand before the voting device. “Betray” or “Ally”. You think about what Rocker said in that room. You consider what Nemean just said. You are also starting to really quite need to pee. That diuretic really isn’t doing you any favors. You feel a chill in the air, and shudder.

 

DECISION – Choose one
ALLY
BETRAY

Edited by DerivativeWings (see edit history)
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