After being allowed a few minutes to find and then converse with our choosen partners we recieved more instructions. "Please find your seat by your name cards. Touch nothing. Wait there for further instructions."
We found our seats quickly and sat. There was one name card with both our names printed on it and a plain, sealed envelope on the center of a table that was not there moments before. I glanced at the other couples and saw some of them toying with their own envelopes. My partner saw the direction of my gaze and shook his head while clicking his tongue. "They shouldn't be touching that," he said.
Almost immediately after the words left his mouth, the man who had been holding the envelope dropped it with a sharp yelp of pain. Once all the couples were seated and precisly agitated enough with impatience, the voice return. "As you learned, failure to follow directions will result in immediate and direct pain. Now you may open your envelopes. Follow the directions printed there."
I reached for our envelope and carefully undid the seal; it was a perfect brake. Other couples had already read their instructions and were begining to move around as I pulled out two sheets of paper.
In perfect caligraphic, there sentences were written: Stay seated until all other couples leave the room. Then, and only then may you read the next page. Say nothing to anyone.
Without a word I handed both pages to my partner. He quickly scanned the first page and set down the papers. He rested his hand on his chin and looked deep in thought. I looked away from him and let my face go blank. To anyone who happened to glance over at us, it looked as if we were thoroughly stumped on what to do.
Secretly, I watched the other couples. They were disappearing left and right. Some had found doors that blended into the wall almost seemlessly and others were dropping down trap doors they had found in the floor. The couple that Devon had said would pose a challenge to us was glancing in our direction and laughing. They did nothing to hide their thoughts. They thought we were nothing and presented them with no challenge. Soon, they were also gone.
As the last couple slipped out a once hidden exit, I turned to Devon. Still neither of us had said a word. With a nod of agreement, we moved our chairs closer together and revealed the second sheet of paper.
As you may have guessed, you two are above the rest. You have earned yourselves the number one spot during this test. This means you are privledged to certain information. In the center of the room there will be another envelope. Only one of you may read its contents. Choose carefully. The other must find a duplicate hidden in this room. You may not share the envelopes with the other. You may not alert the others in any way of these envelopes. You may not speak of this.
When I finished reading, I looked up at Devon. He shrugged, indicating he was as surprised as I was. We both stood and walked to the center of the room. There an envelope lay, just as the letter had said. I breathed only two words, choosing them carefully, "Which one?"