I stare at them at first. There's no time limit. It's all down to me. Pighead gently pats my shoulder and backs up a few steps; he's told me that he's here in case I require his aid. Which I might if they decide to try to pull one over on me.
Jacks is the first one to speak. "How the hell did he know about all that?!" he stammers.
"Never mind that!" Dina cries. "How the hell are we going to get out of here?!"
"Weren't you listening?" I say coldly. "Only I can do that."
They're all shocked to hear me speak, hear my voice after they thought I was dead. Jenny's still curled up on the floor, whimpering and crying. She's so frightened she doesn't know what to do. Jacks and Dina look at me for a moment and then Dina starts speaking.
"Griffith," she says slowly, "let us out. It was all good, wasn't it? All good times?"
"You're not convincing me, Dina," I tell her. My eyes narrow in anger. "You abandoned me on the road. You forced me through all your traps. You beat me nearly to death. Give me one good reason why I should let you live."
Jacks speaks up. His voice is filled with anger. "You let my dad die!" he snarls. "Why the f**k did you do that?! He was doing what he thought was best for his investigation-"
"That would've involved killing me," I correct him darkly. "You fed him complete lies just to get my ass killed!"
Big mistake. Jacks snarls, "You were nothing to us, Griffith! Nothing but a piece of sh*t scapegoat, and a damn good one at that! I don't know why he didn't kill you in the hospital! It would've saved us the chore here! Now let me out!"
Now I've had it with Jacks. I was willing to give him a chance, and now he's just sealed his fate. I push the left green button.
A voice says, "Jackson Franz."
Everyone freezes, including me (for a moment at least). Then Jacks realizes I've selected him, as a green light has appeared in front of his tank. "Griffith? Griffith, what the hell are you doing?" he says worryingly. "Griffith?! Griffith, let me out! Let me out!"
In the coldest voice I can muster, "Absolutely not."
I move my hand over towards the button with the beer mug, but decide instead to go with the flames.
"Griffith, please! Let me out!" Jacks is begging by this point.
With my hand hovered over the fire button, I look at him and say, "Game over."
Then I push it.
Flames erupt from the floor and consume him in seconds. His screams don't last too long; I suspect that the flames have burned his throat and lungs as well as his skin... and essentially cooked him like a fried chicken. His horribly burnt corpse doesn't last too long either; as soon as the flames shut off there's nothing left except a small pile of ashes. With him down, I turn towards the women.
But first I look at Pighead and beckon him forward. I ask him quietly so that the others can't hear, "Does the sparing button release the tanks immediately, or does it take time?"
"It takes time," Pighead replies, also soft enough so I can hear. "About a minute for the signal to register. We've tried fixing it to speed it up, but we've had no such luck."
"Good," I tell him.
Dina's angry (I can hear it in her voice, even though she masks it as best as she can), and she says, "Jenny never called 911, Griffith. It was me. I convinced Jacks to let me call, but he told me that Jenny was threatening him and she soon turned on me! Jigsaw's lying about all of that!"
I look at Jenny. She's crying so hard that if she wanted to say something she couldn't.
"Griffith, you've got to believe me!" Dina begs. "Jenny is behind this, not me! The fact that she's crying is a sign of her guilt! Punish her!"
It's at this point that Pighead steps forward and holds something up. It's a tape recorder. He presses play, and two voices come rolling out. It's a 911 call.
"911, what is your emergency?"
"There's been an accident on Clover Lane."
"Okay, can you tell me what's happened, ma'am?"
"The truck I was in slammed into a van. Both are up in flames!" There's sobbing as well. "One of my friends is badly hurt! I need an ambulance here! Please!"
"Okay, ma'am, I need you to calm down. Are there others injured?"
Abruptly the phone cuts off before the voice can answer. There's screaming on the other end and then a loud thump! The operator is left saying "Hello? Hello? Ma'am?"
Pighead pauses the tape and looks at me. "Do you recognize that voice?" he asks.
I nod. "Yes. I do recognize it." I looked at Dina. I don't tell her if it was hers.
Pighead then pulls out another tape and presses play on that one. Immediately I hear what's going on. Jenny and Dina hear it too.
First the 911 operator: "Okay, ma'am, I need you to calm down. Are there others injured?"
Then I hear a new series of voices. Drunken ones.
"She's calling 911! Get her!"
"No! Get off me! Leave me alone!"
Screaming. Everybody's jumping on the caller and beating her up heavily. Then I hear some words I wasn't expecting to hear:
"You'll be next if you don't shut your mouth, brat! Jacks, gimme your knife! Flo, light up a cigarette!"
More screaming and pleading. Then someone remembers the phone and I think they chuck it.
Then the recording stops. Now I'm even angrier.
I look over at Dina. She's not even scared now. I look over at Jenny. She's sobbing so hard it's visible. I know immediately what I have to do.
"You see what they've done to me?" Dina says. "They've promised to kill me if I didn't do as they said! You have to punish her.
I remove the key from around my neck and place it in the keyhole, activating the possible save point. Dina sees this and her face lights up. She thinks I'm about to save her. She doesn't know how wrong she is.
Apparently what she didn't realize is that I know who called 911. I've seen the marks in the past - not of course after the accident, but still - so I know what's going on. I've had enough. It's time to act.
I push the green button on the far right and hear the voice say Jenny's name. Jenny's whimpers grow louder. I turn the key to the side and the yellow button lights up. I look dead at Dina.
I push the yellow button. I bet Dina thinks that it'll kill her. True to Pighead's word, the mechanism to free Jenny doesn't activate immediately, giving me time to deal with Dina.
"You're one hell of a liar, Dina," I say aloud, thinking of the timer in my head.
"No - you don't understand, Griffith," Dina says. "You're seeing this from the wrong point of view. Jenny's been trying to get me killed since the accident -"
I cut her off. "That's bullsh*t and you know it, Dina. You've been punishing her for trying to help me. I've seen the marks on her arms and legs. Putting out your cigarettes on her body, beating her up so she has bruises and forcing her to explain them away, threatening her if she told anybody that you would kill her. It doesn't take long to put two and two together, Dina."
"No, Griffith, that's not true!" Dina protests.
I push the green button in the middle. I've had enough.
I look at the buttons left. Now I realize that they're a mug of beer and an anvil, like a crusher trap. Which one would be more appropriate? I elect to go with the beer, and hover my hand over that one.
Pighead goes over and stands next to Jenny's tank. A few seconds later there's a clicking sound and the bottom of the glass panel disconnects and begins winding its way upwards. Jenny looks up, tears still dripping from her eyes; Pighead reaches in and pulls her trembling body out of the tank and starts walking her over to me.
"Griffith, no!" Dina yells. "GRIFFITH!"
I look at her and say coldly, "Game over."
Then I push the button.
A tube slides in from the roof and beer starts sloshing into the tank. Dina's pleas grow more fierce as she starts struggling for her life. I look over at the sobbing Jenny and pull her into my arms. Her head buries itself in my shoulder as she wraps her arms around my frail body, hugging me tight but gently so as to not hurt me further.
Now I watch Dina die. It's a slow death, I'll admit it now, but it's the one she deserves for doing this to her. I watch the tank fill up with alcohol. I watch Dina take a massive gulp of air before it covers her head. I watch her struggle fruitlessly, banging hard against the tank. Then I see her mouth open. Air bubbles come rushing out as beer floods into her lungs. Before long she's also a corpse.
I lose track of time again after that. I'm just sitting there, holding Jenny, comforting her.
Finally, the nightmare is over.