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Twenty-one persons gather in the A Deck staircase lobby, where half of it is still shrouded in darkness. A voice cuts through any remaining chatter; it is a high voice, perhaps a woman’s voice? Is their captor a woman, or is it the workings of a voice changer? It is worlds away from the voice that had summoned them all to the lobby.
“On May 6th, 1937, tragedy struck as the LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was soon utterly engulfed in flames. Thirty-six people died.”
The voice pauses.
“But that is a story you have heard before, and I did not seek your company to exchange stories of tragedies.
“Tonight, I have gathered you all on this ship for one reason. The LZ 129 was destroyed in thirty-seven seconds, but I will give you more time to make your escape.” Yes, escape. The rumbling of the ship can be heard in the silence.
“Nine hours. That is the time you will be given. Should you fail to escape the boundaries of this dirigible within those 32,400 seconds, this ship will follow the fate of its predecessor and go down in flames.” The voice pauses for a second time, although all has fallen silent; even the rumbling sounds of mechanics whirring has ceased.
“Seek a way out. Seek a door that carries a —”
The mechanical sound of a lever being pulled interrupts the speaker, and a door can be heard slowly sliding open. The metal squeals, as if in protest, as if to say, “do not open this door—,” but the door has been opened.
A faint scent of gas — or is it smoke? — seeps out into the staircase lobby, as light floods the entire lobby, as well as the dark hallway beyond the metal door with the black 3 emblazoned upon it.
( tread you not )
Along with the scent of smoke-gas is the stench of death, of something horribly stale; the stench of two dead bodies. One, slumped against the wall with bones and limbs bent at impossible angles. A second, lying limp upon the floor, doubled over as if in pain, even in death. Both wear bracelets upon their left wrists. Both wore?
A girl and a man, lying dead behind Door 3
( in the halls of )
and, nine seconds elapsed, the door slides closed once more, sealing away the two corpses behind its unforgiving walls. And amidst the horror, whoever was speaking has disappeared — or were they ever there? With the sudden illumination of the staircase lobby, you can see that there is a single loudspeaker installed in the far corner; was that the source of the voice? But it sounded real, organic, as if the speaker of death was in this very room with you. Could the speaker still be in your midst? How else could they have disappeared so quickly?
You will also see that there are three doors before you; , , and  plastered upon their surfaces in a black tar-like substance.
The clock strikes midnight.