Marylou said, “The murderer was clever choosing a time so early that sleeping is an easy non-Alibi. Lucky for use that are morning people. I woke up early at around 6am. I went out for breakfast where I met up with Somarliðr who was also there we eat until around 8:30am when I headed over to play a game with Quincy.”
Zosi spoke next saying, “My entire schedule has been pretty much covered already. I was partying with Demetra from 5am to somewhere around 7am. I then returned to my room to recover from the evening. I remember passing Qunicy on the way back to my room but again the exact time eludes me. Then I slept until I was awakened by the mystery.”
Somarliðr, “My morning was easy I got up early to enjoy breakfast for which Marylou joined me. She left before I finished so I was alone after 8:30am. Beyond that I don’t have any other alibi.
Once he was done everybody turned their glaze toward Clemens who then appeared kinda surprised, “You want mine too? Alright, well, I wake up at 8:30am every morning after which I take a shower and then head down to breakfast. When I got in the elevator at 9:45 I was joined by Isaac and we went to get breakfast together.”
Finally the alibi determination had been done. However there was one last comment that was made by Qunicy, “ Also, since none of the other’s alibi’s included her this also means that the other guest Sarita has no alibi.”
“Do you really think that she has anything to do with this?” Asked Clemens.
“I can’t tell yet. However I’m not going to dismiss it, at the beginning every option is open. If you dismiss the correct answer too early it might be too late to figure out the truth.”
Isaac was continuing to write little notes down in his notebook when he said, “I think the most important part of this riddle is the departure of Nitzan at 5:15am and 8:20am and whether he was already dead at the time of his arrival.”
“Would the entrance have registered him if he was dead?” Asked Clemens.
Marylou shook her head, “Unfortunately that is difficult to say. Even if he was murdered earlier the door might still recognize him as alive, since this is a game after all. I doubt we can learn anything about this fact through just the door. However…” She said, “We should test to see if loading somebody into the airlock can trick the system into thinking that person activated the airlock. That way we can tell if a trick is possible or if Nitzan actually entered and left the resort of his own accord.”
There was some muttering of agreement that it needed to be tested.
Demetra made the next comment, “I suppose the other important missing element is if there is another underwater exit. Clemens do you know if there is another one?”
Clemens shook his head and said, “I do not know if there is another exit although I suspect there is one. Sarita would know it so I can ask her the next time I see her.”
“Well, I think that about wraps up the basics? Are there any important elements people want to mention before we break?” Said Qunicy.
Severina was the one who spoke, “How he got tricked.”
Zosi nodded in agreement, “Yes, that is important too. The cause of death is drowning but how did Nitzan get into a situation where he go drowned. There was no sign of any blunt force trauma on the body so he wasn’t knocked out that way. Finding this loose string is important I think.”
Quincy also agreed and then said, “Also this is an apparent double feature. Keep that is mind and stay in pairs. As long as that happens the murderer will be unable to get away with a second murder.”
People were beginning to pair up when Zosi called out, “Clemens, come with me. I want to find the other exit to the base and think you would be a good accomplice. Do you mind coming with me?”
“Alright, I can do that.”
With that Zosi nodded to Quincy and said, “Looks like I got him today, good luck but I intend to find out the true solution.”
He then began to head off toward Deep Sea Diving section. Clemens gave the others an apologetic look before following Zosi. Clemens jogged a little bit to catch up with Zosi who was walking at a quick pace.
Once they got out of earshot of the other guests Zosi said, “So what do you think?”
“It all seems really complicated. There are a lot more factors into finding a murderer than I thought. I don’t have any idea of who might be the murderer. Nobody really had good alibis.”
“Very true. Nobody had good alibis but I think that was mostly just good luck on the murderer’s side. They clearly did the murder this early in the morning so that as few people as possible had alibis. That was also why they chose Nitzan as the target because he is the earliest riser of all of us.”
“Who do you think the murderer is?” Asked Clemens.
“I have some suspicions but I don’t know for certain so I don’t want to point any figures yet. Since you are inexperienced at this I suspect my ideas would cloud your judgement.”
“Am I really that bad?”
“Not really, I’m just comparing you to people who are true experts in their craft. I can tell you one of my initial ideas though. It is that today was the murder because it was the first day that the murderer did not make any mistakes.”
“Didn’t make any mistakes? Isn’t the murder just committed once?”
“Alright, say I plan on murdering Nitzan early in the morning so I wake up extra early and leave. However I get caught on the lift by another one of the guests. What do I do?”
“Cancel the murder?”
“Exactly. Strange behavior is especially remembered when it is paired with a memorable occasion. It is easy to remember who you saw on the day of the murder but give it a couple of days and you might know remember or mess up the times or just think it was normal. It took five days for the murder to happen, plenty of time to wait for the perfect moment where nothing is found out about your murder.”
“Alright, sure that makes sense, but what does that tell you?”
“It means the part of their plan where they are most likely to be caught is early in the plan. If you could easily get caught after the murder is committed it is too late to reverse course. If you get caught before actually committing the murder it is much easier to fake what you are doing and convince the person that is it normal.”
“So who qualifies for that?”
“It is easier to eliminate subjects that prove one. For example I do not think you or Isaac are the murderer since that would require you to have returned to the hotel section after the murder. If you were caught doing that it would be disastrous. Qunicy is still potentially in the running but only if Nitzan legitimately exited the resort of his own accord. Not much to cross off but it is a little.”
They had arrived at the Deep Sea Diving entrance. Zosi approached the panel and fiddled with it from a moment. After a few minutes of concentration he said, “It looks like what Marylou said is true. The exit and entrance times of Nitzan match up and nobody used the entrance before or after.”
“Could the panel have been tampered with?”
“Full fledged hacking is against the rules since other people wouldn’t be able to detect it. The exceptions are if the correct answer could be deduced elsewhere.”
“Your rules are all complicated.”
“Not really, it all boils down to being fair. We, the solvers need to be able to correctly identify the murderer and anything that makes that impossible to do is forbidden. However the next step is to find another entrance. So you think you could find Sarita? If she could assist in confirming or denying the entrance question that would help immensely.”
“Does the portal say whether she has left through it recently? She sometimes spends an excessive amount of time outside the resort. Days at a time sometimes.”
“According to this she was done for around 5 hours two days before the murder but she returned after that. But…” Zosi checked the record for a while and then finally said, “However I can confirm that there is another exit to the resort. There are several records which repeat her leaving or entering.”
“So there are times she must have used the other entrance to arrive after leaving from this one or visa versa?”
Zosi nodded, “Now do you think we can find her?”
“I have a couple of places that we might be able to find her but no certain thing. She knows this place much better than I do.”
The first place they checked out was the the lower observation chamber. The room was dim and gloomy like usual. It was empty with no Sarita in sight.
Zosi wandered round the room looking at things.
“It looks like she isn’t here.” Said Clemens and he walked up to the chair that she normally sat in. He picked up a book that was sitting nearby, it was the one he expected it to be. “She left the book here so she probably isn’t gone for an extended period of time and will probably be back at some point.”
“You know the book?”
“It was written by one of the previous guests here. It arrived recently and I got to read it first. She hadn’t had a chance to read it before you all arrived so she started it at around that time as well.”
“And she was planning on reading it during our stay here.”
“That is what she said. Should we try looking for her elsewhere?”
“Maybe but it is more important to find the alternate entrance. If this is one of her hideouts then I suspect it might be nearby. Maybe a service exit used by repair robots. Lets get going.”
Quincy and Marylou had arrived in the hotel section of the resort. Quincy had put himself in charge of searching everybody's rooms and Marylou had volunteered to assist him.
Once they had arrived Marylou began to pester him, “Alright then Quincy, just what are you expecting to find in everybody’s rooms? Restraining equipment? Drugs? Secret skeletons in closets?”
“Maybe all of the above. It was strange. The note we found implied a motive of revenge and that the next victim is going to be associated with the first. So we are going to go digging up that association. If we know who the next victim is going to be then we might be able to prevent it and discover the murder in one fell swoop.”
“And you don’t think that I am that associate?”
“Honestly, I don’t know yet. But bringing you along will make it easier to search the other women’s rooms. I trust you enough to provide me accurate details about Demetra and Severina.”
She grinned mischievously, “Trust is dangerous Quincy, don’t you know that. What if I am the murderer and you are my second target?”
“Then you will be quickly caught since all the others know what we are doing.”
“You are so boring like that. Fine, I’ll help you search the rooms, I’ll even let you search my room as a special favor. What do you think about that?”
“Frankly, I’m terrified you might have skulls in your luggage.”
Marylou grinned wildly, “Oh, you know me so well.”