Everyone watched in silence as Dimitris silently lowered the gun, and disappeared into thin air. Malcolm glitched away into lavender particles that eventually faded as well.
Bill let out a gagging noise and clumsily slid off the tower, falling to his knees below it as blood poured out onto his half-and-half suit.
“That’s it, then,” Mark said, and everyone turned to him. “Bill is gone. You’ve all shown your true hope.”
“That means we get to leave now, right?” Bruce asked excitedly. Mark nodded and gave a small smile. “I honestly wasn’t sure if you all were going to make it! But then I saw that Nate wasn’t fazed by Bill’s despair. I wonder why. He should have been a secret agent.”
“Yeah, that’s right!” Randy exclaimed. “Nate saved us all from Bill and his despair.” He grinned at Nate.
“Nate, you pretty much saved our lives!” Josh exclaimed. He was a lot less timid now; Nate was guessing that it had been an act as a “secret agent.”
“Well, I was just doing what I thought was best...” Nate explained modestly.
“Well, as Josh said, it saved us all from being here forever,” Brayden pointed out.
“Wooo, Nate!” Leroy whooped.
“Mark, what’s wrong?” Bruce asked, looking worried over at Mark. Mark’s eyes looked rather dull, and was it just Nate, or did he seem more transparent now...?
“I think it’s time I headed back now...” Mark explained.
“You’re leaving?!” Josh exclaimed.
Mark nodded. “I’m not an AI like Malcolm. I’m a ghost!” He smiled and pulled up his shirt to reveal many puncture holes in his torso. They weren’t bloody, so Nate could actually see right through them.
“Oh, gosh! You never told us you still had those,” Randy exclaimed.
“Wait...speaking of Malcolm,” Nate said, “What was he doing? And Dimitris, too?”
Mark looked thoughtful. “Well, I’m assuming Dimitris respawned, and wasn’t too happy with Bill. I don’t think Malcolm was happy with him either. Maybe the two teamed up to kill him?”
“Then where are they now?” Leroy asked.
“I don’t know,” Mark admitted. He looked down at his hands, which were almost completely invisible now. “Well, my work here is done. But promise me, all of you...bring hope back to the world!”
Everyone nodded determinedly and watched as Mark faded away completely.
Everyone stared at the spot where Mark had disappeared for a moment until they heard ragged breathing behind them. They all whipped around to see Bill staggering down the hallway to the execution room, the place where Ivan was once dragged down by the neck.
They all watched warily as Bill stumbled forward. He wore a big smile with a trail of blood streaming out the corner of his mouth. Blood was also flowing from the hole in his torso, staining his clothes and trailing down his legs.
He reached the end of the hallway and stumbled to the right until he leaned against the wall for support. He shakily reached into his pocket and held out something in his hand to Nate.
Nate hesitantly took it. It was a key.
“F-front...door...” Bill rasped, still grinning. He coughed and his whole body shook, and more blood came from his mouth.
They all stepped back as Bill sank to his knees, then collapsed on the floor altogether. He didn’t get back up.
The six houseguests stood in front of the large armored door.
“This is it, huh?” Leroy said, looking at the door.
“Yeah,” Josh said blankly.
There was silence.
“We’ll never forget the others, right?” Bruce asked suddenly.
“Of course not!” Randy exclaimed. “If we’re gonna fight for hope out there, we have to remember those that died to help us get here!”
Nate cautiously put the key into the keyhole of the door but didn’t turn it.
“We’ll just have to stick together,” Brayden said. “Maybe find the place Mark was working for. There has to be an organization, right?”
Nate nodded. “No matter what happens, we won’t fall to despair again.”
Nate turned the key.