With various refreshments in tow the two of them returned to the main room where a couple of the guests had already arrived. They weren’t yet sitting in the circular area and were instead lounging in different areas.
However with the arrival of the food they began to congregated near it and began to chat excitedly. Clemens didn’t really understand most of what they were talking about, something about forensic science.
Their remaining members trickled in one at a time until they had all finally arrived. Sarita was not there but that was not very surprising for Clemens.
“Thank you all for gathering here today for the ninth annual murder mystery association meeting. We are joined today by a guest who is also staying here. Please introduce yourself.”
Clemens stood up and said, “Greeting, I’m Clemens, I’m here as a semi-permanent resident. Currently in the process of introspection.”
He sat back down and Qunicy spoke again, “Now the rest of us already know each other but how about you introduce yourself to Clemens. As was mentioned I am Quincy and I am the organizer of this little group.”
The next person to stand was the older woman in the dress who said, “I am Demetra and I am entertainer. I collect and tell stories. Later on I’ll be happy to share a few of them if you desire.”
An older man in a finely made suit and a top hat didn’t stand up but he did tip his hat when he said, “I am Isaac. My normal job is advertising. Many people have strange and unusual products and I help connect those people who desire those items. The universe is large so I spend a lot of time traveling.”
Beside Isaas was a larger man who seemed a size too big for his shirt and clearly spend a lot of time exercising. “My name it Nitzan. Normally I work as a personal trainer however I like to remain strong both in body and mine so I do activities like this in my spare time.”
The next to introduce themselves was a woman of indeterminate age. She was wearing a black dress and had long black hair which came down over her face and covered all her features. She just said, “Severina”.
The woman next to Severina wore glasses and was one of the most normal looking people there. She wore a light sweater and said, “My name is Marylou. I write a riddle column on a news site. I do this to…” Then she quieted up and her last words were totally unintelligible.
An almost completely generic young man answered next. “I am Zosi. I am still a student and in the process of studying. I have yet to chose what I will do after school.” His clothing was just a simple generic shift and pants, so overwhelmingly common and it must have been chosen deliberately
The last man was significantly overweight although he dressed fairly nicely despite that. “I am Somarliðr” he said with a reasonably thick accent, “I do restaurant reviews. Along with the events we plan on having here I also plan of thoroughly reviewing everything that the Poseidon Resort has to offer.”
Quincy took back over and said, “And that would be all of us. However it seems that the other guest of the resort has not arrived. Because of the unusualness of what we are planning I was hoping that we would get a chance to talk with them and explain everything.”
“Sarita is the other guest and she tends to avoid other people. You see she is a designer child who has aquatic features.”
There was some chatter around the different members before they finally quieted down when Quincy raised a hand, “Ah, well, then I suppose her absence is understandable. But we would still happily welcome her if she wishes to join us. At the very least do you think you could pass along what I am going to explain here so that she isn’t lost when things begin to happen?”
Clemens nodded, “Yes, I can do that.”
“Very well. As I previously mentioned we will be doing a murder mystery event here starting in a couple of days. There will be a fake murder where one of us will pretend to murder another one of us. The rest of us will have one week to determine which of us is the killer and how they accomplished their crime.”
“One of you? You don’t already know who the fake murderer will be?”
Demetra flashed a grin and said, “It was all determined randomly far in advance. The person who has been selected as the murderer knows who they are and the rest of us do not know their identity. If they managed to keep that secret until the end of the week then to the victor goes the spoils.”
Severina said, “Penalty Game.”
“Quite so.” Said Quincy, “The loser or losers of the game get punished by the winners. A way to make everybody excited and encourage a strong competition.”
“What about me?” Asked Clemens.
“You are an outside and are thus safe from being either the murderer or the murdered. We also won’t make you play the penalty game but if you somehow uncover the mystery of the killer then you can claim the medal of victory and we will never live it down.”
“Alright I think I kinda understand what you are doing.”
“Once the murder happens everything will be quite simple. Just figure out who the murderer is. Although it won’t be that easy. We are all members of the murder mystery association and never has any of the mysterious been a cakewalk.”
Clemens looked around at the eight of them and said, “You are all experienced then?”
There was a cold, almost murderous, competitive glint in the eyes of all of them. Clemens would have probably taken a step backward had he not been seated.
“However there is still a little work to be done before the murder happens. We need to spend a couple of days becoming familiar with this location and I need to ensure that the cleaning robots are disable during the event. We can’t have them cleaning up the important evidence that would reveal the identity of the culprit.”
He paused and then continued, “Also if I am the victim then do not be surprised. It is kind of a tradition for the winner of the previous event to be murdered, to keep things a little fair.”
Marylou shook her head, “Although it was incredibly embarrassing when he won last year as the murderer by faking his own death. I don’t think we will ever live that down.”
There was some collective groans all around and a gloating smile from Quincy himself.
“Well I guess I can show you around. This place is quite large so it will probably take a while. Although I don’t know what to do about giving special instructions to the robots. They are hardly ever seen so I wouldn’t know where do go. Maybe Sarita would know, she had been here much longer than me.”
“A tour would be appreciated. Figuring out the robots is something I can do by myself however. I’ve had plenty of experience doing it.”
Not long after Clemens was guiding a tour through the Poseidon Resort.
“The resort is broken up into several sections. You have already seen the hotel section. There are six floors with many rooms on each floor. Since you have all already gotten your rooms I don’t need to explain that any more.”
“The rooms is one of the five major sections of the Poseidon Resort. In the center is the entrance area that you arrived in. It is the relaxation area. The top area has a large observation deck which looks out onto the open sea. There are also some study rooms and the library up there.”
“The wing across from the hotels includes Deep Sea Diving where you can go out into the ocean and experience the waters of the Poseidon Resort yourself. The gym is also there.”
“Clockwise from there is the next wing. It contains a large swimming area as well as the spas. There is also a movie theatre there with a quite extensive selection. More underwater horror than you can handle.”
“The last wing contains the Diver’s Delight restaurant which I highly recommend. There are several other smaller restaurants as well along with several bars and more laid back entertainment options like bowling.”
Clemens was followed around the the crowd as he walked through the different rooms showing off the different features of the resort. As he walked between the different wings of the resort with them he realized how many of the different services that he hadn’t yet experienced. It made the whole place seem more empty than usual.
He hadn’t even know the that resort had a bowling alley before he had discovered it during the tour. He hadn’t even known bowling alleys were still used by people in the modern era, although he supposed that the resort was made a long time ago so there would be relics of those past times.
The day ended with a large group meal at the Diver’s Delight where fish was the main choice. Although Severina discovered the choice of some stretchy chewy mollusc which she seemed to happily enjoy, although that was just a guess through all the hair.
Everybody chatted merrily during the dinner but they mainly talked about detectives and mysteries and how such and such closed room was solved. Those things didn’t mean too much to Clemens. He had some experience with mystery stories but not the same kind of rabid interest as these people did. They were all very into their hobbies.
Then the conversation turned to a more sinister sounding one. They began to discuss different methods of murder and specifically what would be a good choice here at the Poseidon Resort.
“Wouldn’t just disposing the water in the ocean be the best option?” Said Nitzan with a far too serious look, “That way the sea life would dispose of the body and nobody would ever find it.”
Marylou wagged her finger back and forth and explained, “That would never do. The airlock certainly has recordings of when and who used it. You would immediately reveal yourself by using that kind of body disposal. I would choose the fireplace in one of the studies. Those rooms can be closed and once the body is completely burned nobody would be any the wiser.”
Zosi spoke next, “The hard part isn’t disposing of the body. Honestly it would be easier just to not deal with that. The hard part is committing the murder in the first place. Getting somebody secretly alone and unguarded is difficult normally. Luckily this place is so deserted that finding an opportunity is easy, you just need the proper alibi.”
Somarliðr chimed in, “Better to prevent other people from having an alibi than giving yourself one. After all it is impossible to have a perfect alibi since you committed the murder but it is possible to have other people perfectly lack an alibi. Without a clear culprit it is impossible to completely accuse somebody of having committed the crime.”
Qunicy was listening but not participating in the conversation. He leaned over to whisper something to Clemens. “There are a bunch of handicaps that we use to keep everything fair. After all modern forensic techniques are quite advanced and it would be almost impossible to get away with murder if we were allowed to use a tool like that.”
He continued, “Instead we have a selection of old fashioned investigative techniques that we are forced to used. Although some of our members have debated the use of more advanced tools I figured that this was the best current balance. After all the most important element of a murder mystery is not the tools but the logic of the detectives and plan of the the murderer.