Your name is Tsumugi Shirogane.
You're an incredibly lonely girl. Your mother says it's because you're naturally shy. Your father does not say anything.
Children your age live exciting lives. They have friends, they have enemies, they have a purpose.
(You do not.)
Late at night, when you're in the stage of your life between being a child and a woman, you watch the First Killing Game on television. Your mother is asleep and your father is away.
You don't know if you feel contempt for the killing game, or if the idea of it excites you.
Then, you see her on the screen. She's laughing at her classmates. Toying with them, really. The girl doesn't feel a thing other than despair. She doesn't have any remorse for her actions.
(She even murdered her own twin.)
You repeat her name over and over again. You study her profile. Her hair, her eyes, even her monotone expression. You write down every detail you notice about the girl.
It almost seems innate to do this.
Over the course of the next few weeks you buy a strawberry blonde wig and begin to watch make-up tutorials on the internet.
You show your mother what you've made. She smiles, but gets right back to work. Your father doesn't say anything.
You go out in public dressed up like her. People recognize you, they're drawn to you. It's a weird feeling, having all eyes on you. You're not used to it and you're not sure if you're comfortable with it.
You don't let it bother you too much, though.
You begin to make more costumes. Some based on fictional characters, others based on the cast of the killing games.
Your creations start to become famous. People start to befriend you.
For the first time in your life, you don't feel so alone.
Sometimes you catch up on the new seasons of the Killing Game. None of them will ever be as good as the first, but you still like to watch it.
(You don't know why that is.)
The murder and blood makes you squirm, but seeing how the Mastermind operates intrigues you. They're cold, calculating, cunning.
You could never be like that. You could never kill anyone.
You had no reason to.
The Killing Game soon becomes a national hit. It's ratings are through the roof and everyone in the world seems to be watching it.
When it comes on at night, you curl up by your mother's side on the couch. Sometimes your dad joins you.
You feel a strange surge of warmth throughout your body.
It's odd how something so cruel could be twisted into something so good.
You're eventually recognized as the Super High School Level Cosplayer. The title excites you because it makes you feel important. You are the best at what you do.
You're proud of yourself. Your mother says she is too. Sometimes you could even feel a semblance of pride coming from your father.
The Killing Games have declined in popularity as you enter into high school. It almost makes you feel sad before realizing how awful that sounds.
The idea of people slaughtering each other is enough to make your skin crawl.
But you still watch it with your parents every Saturday night.
(You ask yourself why that is.)
You're approached by men in grey suits after class one day.
They ask if you want to become apart of the Killing Game.
(You feel sick.)
Your father thinks it's a great idea. It's shaping the youth of this world. Make your old man proud and come out winning.
Your mother doesn't think so though. But the look your father gives her is enough to quiet her concerns.
The men explain to you and your parents how they chose other students around the world. Some sought out to be involved, others were approached like yourself.
They ask you again.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The earnings you could potentially win are beyond your wildest dreams.
You look to your father. Then to your mother.
It's a game of high risk, high reward.
You remember how the television show shaped your adolescence.
If it never existed, you wouldn't have either.
As you're packing your things in your room, you can hear your mother cry.
You've been watching this show almost your entire life.
You could win.
You could be somebody.
You're taken to a facility deep within the heart of Tokyo.
It's very modern and conservative in style.
People, employees of Team Danganronpa most likely, greet you with warm smiles. They tell you that they're happy to have you participate in this season of the Killing Game.
Hearing it said so casually almost makes you feel ill.
There's a room with fifteen other students around your age.
Most of them are silent, although some are whispering among themselves.
A man in a white coat appears before all of you and begins to explain things.
Your memories will be altered and your personalities will be erased for this Killing Game.
He says it so casually.
Of course, you will remember the important bits of your memories. Like relatives and acquaintances.
He continues to talk.
He explains that due to advancements in technology, Team Danganronpa could create a Killing Game like no other.
You and the fifteen students spend a long period of time in the room with the man.
They still haven't decided on who will be the Mastermind this season.
Every fiber in your being prays that it won't be you.
They take you and the others to a room filled with pods.
Various men and women instruct you all to lie down in the pods.
You ask why, but they ignore you.
Another students asks for how long, and they get an answer.
No more than fifteen minutes.
You're the first to be helped out of the pod before the others.
You feel different.
You don't know what it is, but something is definitely off.
You're led through a hallway, leaving the others in their pods.
The same man in the white coat from before greets you in his office.
He says he has good news.
(You know it is not good news.)
You've been selected to be our Mastermind.
You collapse onto the floor.
You're in a debilitated facility with the fifteen others from before.
They don't recognize each other.
But you recognize them.
You feign ignorance.
They believe you.
You feel sick.
Occasionally at night, you get a message from one of the producers at Team Danganronpa.
They're usually filled with empty compliments pertaining to your acting abilities.
Sometimes, however, they give you instructions on how to proceed.
In this case, you're tasked with killing Rantaro Amami.
They tell you to pin the crime on someone else.
You cry yourself to sleep that night.
There are five of you left.
You know you're going to lose.
You're going to die, just like all of the previous Masterminds.
You've accepted it.
You put on a show.
You razzle the audience with one last performance before you're crushed.
You glance at Shuichi before the debris annihilates you.
You know he sees the pain in your face.
He looks away.
Your name is Tsumugi Shirogane.
You played the hand that you were dealt with.