Chapter 293 Psychological Evaluation
“I’m bluffing?” The listless young man chuckled in amusement as he reached into his pocket for a pack of Camels. He lit up a stick, then looked squarely at Livingston. “Speaking of which, among us, he is obviously the master of deception. He was so concerned, he gathered everyone together. If I’m not mistaken, your grades are closest to that idiot, Anthony. Then, there’s also that schoolkid over there. The three of you compete against each other for the final spot. Now is the best time to strike, get rid of one, and exponentially increase your chances of entering the top three. No matter how you look at it, that seems to be the case.”
“No, I will definitely be in the top three,” The school student argued, but he somehow did not sound too confident.
“Heh, is that another one of those battle royale theories?” the listless young man snorted. “Forget it. Having good aerospace knowledge doesn’t necessarily give you the upper hand in this game. Just look at our lone wolf over there. I’ve already gotten my private pilot’s license in Australia three years ago.” The listless young man looked at the middle-aged man standing in the center of the room. “As a research engineer, your theoretical knowledge is inferior to his for sure. In fact, even the dead guy is way ahead of you in physical training. In my humble opinion, you have almost zero advantage in this competition. With Anthony dead, the first to benefit is our friend with glasses, and the second is… you.”
The listless young man blew out a smoke ring, then continued, “And to be honest, I don’t get what’s the point of this little meeting. Each of us here wants the other dead. Isn’t it all common sense?”
Livingston answered calmly, “But the problem is, today, the killer killed Anthony, and tomorrow, he may use the same method to kill the rest of us. You don’t want to be in the Johnsville Centrifuge knowing that it wouldn’t stop spinning. Instead, it just goes faster and faster until your prostate and tonsils are pulled out of your body.”
“I… I have something to say,” the high school student suddenly spoke up again.
“What is it?”
The high school student pointed to the listless young man. “Last night, I saw him leave his room and sneak out of the space center.”
“Last night?” Livingston raised an eyebrow. “By the time we finished our third class, it was already two in the morning.” He turned to the listless guy and said, “Why didn’t you use the opportunity for some shut-eye? Why did you go out?”
The listless young man shrugged. “That was my own prerogative. It’s got nothing to do with any of you.”
“You won’t answer that because you must have rigged the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle. Our schedule for this week had been bumped up, and the last time the captain roll called, he changed the order of the names. Now that I think about it, your name was called last this time.”
Livingston pushed his glasses up his nose. “It’s already a hazardous machine on its own. If the ejection seat fails, it means losing the only of escape in an event of an emergency. Whoever who flew on the machine could have easily died. But this was no targeted murder. You didn’t target Anthony. You just used the vehicle as a means to get rid of one unlucky bastard.”
“That brings us back to the first question – why would I want to do it? I’m not worried about the scores. So why would I need to get rid of a player?”
“I don’t know. Perhaps, you simply wanted to eliminate a threat before anyone else did it. Or maybe you wanted to create chaos. After all, as you said, we weren’t too suspicious of you when we first met. But…” Livingston turned to look at Yin Xiong and Jia Lai. “…a random murder like this would benefit you more. You both come last. It doesn’t matter who dies; you will benefit nonetheless.”
“Wow. If that’s the case, then we’d have to kill a lot more people,” Yin Xiong sneered. “Besides, I’m only one place below Anthony and I’ve never passed a single flight test. How could I have known how to tamper with that machine? If Anthony managed to land the machine successfully, then wouldn’t I be sabotaging myself?”
To protect her ally, Jia Lai, who had avoided causing trouble all the while, she told Livingston, “If I remember correctly… you seem to have paid close attention to the weather in the past two days. The wind played a major part in today’s crash.”
“Great, so other than our lone friend here, the rest of us are all suspects, huh?” the listless young man mocked.
“I think… no one should be ruled out,” Jia Lai said. “David has the highest scores among us. Even though he has no reason to kill anyone, he’s also most likely to be the most skilled killer. We cannot rule out the possibility that someone might have bribed him with points or items to kill Anthony off.”
Zhang Heng said nothing in response to the allegation. He had not spoken a word throughout the entire discussion, listening intently to what the other players were saying instead. He could sense that plump Jia Lai seemed to be more aggressive than usual tonight. Concerning what Yin Xiong told him earlier, Anderson behaved really suspiciously too. The listless guy obviously felt a little uneasy after the high school student ratted about him sneaking out of the space center, but he quickly covered it up by acting indifferent.
Not to be discounted, the schoolkid himself was also questionable. He and now deceased Anthony were direct competitors. In fact, Zhang Heng also noticed another small detail – when the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle crashed, he was the only one who looked unsurprised. As for Yin Xiong, Zhang Heng had always kept her at arm’s length. She was definitely not as weak and vulnerable as she appeared to be, which was also why he did not let her into his room even though she looked awful just now.
Lastly, there was the middle-age Livingston. He had had working hard to play the role of team leader, meticulously analyzing the cause of Anthony’s death, and subsequently pointing his accusations at the listless young man.
With emotions peaking, fingers pointing and heads rolling, the meeting this time bore no fruit. No one knew the exact cause of the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle malfunctioning, and NASA’s experts were expected to arrive soon to conduct a psychological evaluation on all six of them, mainly to assess if witnessing the accident caused the trainees to experience negative emotions and whether these would affect the subsequent mission to the moon.
Soon, the captain received the results of the evaluation, and to his surprise, the emotions of the six trainees did not fluctuate too much.