You can’t quite figure out what the hell is going on, but this jock seems to be a maniacal lunatic, whereas the mime – so far as you can tell – is in some sort of trance that the jock put him in. Well, one way to find out. Whipping the ninja star out of your pocket, you flick it through the air and into the jock’s eye. The jock falls forward out of the mime’s hands and hits the floor hard, dead on impact. The mime stands still, stunned, looking at you wide-eyed.
You stare back. ‘Hey. Can you talk?’
The mime shakes their head back and forth in a long, steady motion, then – with both hands – points to the huddled forms on the floor around you.
You look. The bound and gagged alumni are no longer struggling in their ropes. Going over to one – a middle-aged man – you tear the bandage off his mouth and check for a pulse.
‘He’s dead,’ you say, looking over at the mime.
The mime pretends to cry and pull out their hair, and you are stunned by his callousness.
‘Hey, this isn’t an act,’ you say, looking at the other two bodies, ‘these people are dead. How…’
Your mind races through the possibilities: perhaps the jock had built up a neural bond with the people he’d brainwashed, and by killing the jock and severing that bond, you’d killed them? It didn’t make sense.
Just in case, you shake the body of the dead man. Yep, he’s dead.
‘What the fuck,’ you protest, exasperated. ‘Did I do this?’
The mime points to you, drags a finger along his throat, then starts to silently guffaw, throwing his whole body into it. Disgusted, you grab him and shake him, too.
‘Are you dead, as well?’ you demand hysterically, ‘what the hell is wrong with you?’
The mime makes a fist with their left hand, places it against their skull, and then with their other hand pretends to crank their fist as if it is some sort of engine. As they do so, you hear rustling, and look back: the seemingly dead bodies are rousing themselves again. Letting go of the mime, who darts out of the room, you watch as the struggling bodies free themselves from their bindings. What do you do – follow the mime, or stick around with the seemingly-once-dead-people?