Remedy and Reya start an escape room business with a twist. Hime decides to give it a shot, for the sake of her friends.
"Right this way, right this way!" Reya ushered Hime into the office-slash-presentation-room. Or pushed, perhaps, with the way Reya's hands were tightly gripping Hime's shoulders despite the cheerful tone to her voice. "Get up, Remedy, our guest should sit in the nice chair!"
The elf looked up from her phone, scooting over into a simpler chair behind the rolling chair she had been sitting in. "Hmm? Oh, sure, sure..."
"Just so we're clear, I'm not paying you money for this... whatever this is..." Hime waved a hand vaguely at the blank card on the easel.
Reya bounced up to the front of the room, clasping her hands. "No, not at all! Only your participation is necessary! Your participation in a once-in-a-lifetime, mind-blowing experience that will change your life!"
Remedy piped up from the back. "It's not once in a lifetime, though, you can go again if you want."
Reya faltered for a moment, then straightened, her showcat's grin replacing itself on her face. "But being part of this first time is once in a lifetime!"
"Okay, good, I get itchy when people start talking about once-in-a-lifetime experiences and don't tell me what they are." Hime crossed her legs, leaning on one arm of her chair. "So... what is this life-changing experience, anyway?"
Reya tossed the first card off the easel, revealing an image of Remedy leaned over a jigsaw puzzle. "Do you like... puzzles?"
Hime opened her mouth to answer.
Reya waved a hand, cutting her off. "No answers necessary! All questions rhetorical! And do you also like... exploring?" She tossed aside the next card, revealing an image of herself in a fedora and leather jacket, holding a whip and a flashlight.
Hime's eyebrows lowered.
"Then you want to be a part of... The First Course is Mystery!" Reya tossed aside the last card, revealing an image of a magnifying glass on a serving platter with "The First Course is Mystery" written around it.
"The name is a work in progress," Remedy added.
"Yeah. So if you have any feedback-"
"Is there a mystery involved?" Hime gave Reya a skeptical look. "Are you going to serve me clues in my food?"
"Uh, no, on both counts..." Reya's grin turned sheepish. "Okay, so the name needs a little work. And... the logo too. But. Are you in?"
Hime sat back in the chair, folding her arms. "I still don't know what I'm actually signing up for!"
"The best way for us to show you is by example." Reya grabbed the office chair, spinning it around and pushing it toward where Remedy was sitting. "Behold!"
Remedy's foot bobbed idly, her eyes still on her phone.
"Ahem! Behold! Remedy! We're starting the demo!"
"Eh? Oh! Yes." Remedy set her phone down on the table she was sitting next to, picking up the ring of keys that were waiting there. "One of the keys on this ring is the key to the door of this room."
Hime nodded. "Oh, so it's like an escape room."
"It's like an escape experience!" Reya gestured expansively with her hands.
Remedy picked up the small interlocking box beside her, dropped the keys inside, and placed the lid on it, closing it.
Reya raised her hands to the ceiling dramatically. "Behold!!"
"I'm beholding!" Hime said, watching the box.
Remedy opened her mouth, pushed the box into her throat, and swallowed with a heavy GLP. A square bulge made its way down her neck, disappearing behind her collarbone.
"Now it's your turn," Reya said, clapping her hands.
Hime looked for the oddly-shaped bulge in Remedy's stomach. "... Not sure what that even means... Are you expecting me to open it with my stomach, and... belch up the key, or--"
In answer, Remedy's mouth opened wide. Reya shoved Hime in the back, prompting a brief shriek of surprise before Hime was up to her elbows in elf maw.
Hime was making a lot of noise from halfway down Remedy's throat, but none of it was recognizable as words.
"Yes! Just like that! Push yourself down!" Reya said encouragingly, hoisting Hime's legs and pushing her further down Remedy's waiting throat, until her wriggling hips were being framed by Remedy's lips. "The longer it takes you to get in, the less time you have to solve the puzzles inside!"
Remedy made an impatient noise, huffing with strained breath.
"Oh! Yes! Sorry! Continuing to push!" Reya held her best grip on Hime's ankles, receiving a kick to the temple for her trouble. "In you go! On! To! Adventure!!"
With a final-sounding GULP, Remedy swallowed the last of the struggling Hime.
One of Hime's sneakers had fallen to the ground at Remedy's feet. Remedy bent down, picking it up and holding it to her lips with the air of a connoisseur.
Before she could do anything further with it, a room-shaking buUUUUUUUAAAAAARP emerged from her lips.
"Good work, Hime! You've made quite a splash already! Our room attendant clearly enjoyed you!" Reya said, taking her spot in the office chair as Remedy sent the shoe to join its owner in her swollen, Hime-shaped stomach.
Hime let out what was unmistakably a cry of surprise, then what was probably a response... but it was incomprehensible through the thick stomach flesh.
"Oh! Right! We prepared for this eventuality!" Reya said. She picked up a webcam which had been messily glued to a battery and transmitter setup, handing it to the elf. "Shoot, where was that remote..."
Remedy put the webcam to her lips, licking her lips for a moment before swallowing the device whole, battery and transmitter and all.
Another cry of surprise from Remedy's stomach suggested that Hime had not yet learned to get out of the way of the incoming items.
The TV in the corner switched on, showing a view of Hime in her cozy new quarters. "I said I should have guessed what kind of escape experience you had in mind for me... And enough with the burps, that box almost hit me in the face when it was flying around!"
Remedy leaned back in her seat, resting her hands on her stomach. "Okay, one hour. You have... one hour."
Hime's face was turned away from the camera, but the apprehension was clear in her voice. "... Until what?"
"Until you lose, obviously. See if you can solve it before then!" Remedy looked around for a cozier chair. "Now that the presentation's over, can we go to the other room? I wanna stretch out on the couch. I would ask for your chair, but I don't think my stomach fits in it."
"Wait, lose? What happens if I-"
"Oh, yeah!" Reya leaned behind the TV, and the image of Hime winked out, leaving her question only half intelligible. Reya patted Remedy's stomach with the hand not holding the camera's receiver. "Don't worry about what happens if you lose! I have complete and total faith in you!"
Remedy got to her feet then, and the abruptness of the motion summoned a loud response from her occupant.
"Ohhh... We should have kept the camera running," Remedy said, tapping her cheek.
Reya held up the receiver, waggling it. "Don't worry! It's still recording! We'll be able to figure it all out later!"
The trio - or rather, the duo and Remedy's occupant - made their way to the comfy den, where Remedy flopped herself backwards onto the couch to another muffled shout from Hime. This was followed by a much quieter string of muffled speech sounds.
"Language, young lady!" Remedy said, grinning.
"Did you hear what she said?" Reya asked.
Remedy shrugged. "Eh. It sounded rude."
Reya plugged the receiver into the TV just in time to catch the tail end of Hime's complaints. "-even have a clue where to start!"
Remedy sat up, squishing Hime into a ball. "Oh! The clues!"
Hime had located the camera by this point, and she held it up to stare into it. "You. Forgot the clues?"
"Oh, yeah, I was supposed to feed them to her once you were in there!" Reya rummaged around in her bag. "Hang on..."
Hime pulled away from the top of the stomach, covering her head. "Here's my feedback: Stop dropping things on me while I'm in here."
Remedy accepted the first clue-box from Reya, her throat squeezing it downward. "We'll take critiques after your experience is over."
"I promise you, that feedback is not going to change by the end of this." The camera landed in an awkward position as Hime set it down to grab the new box, so Hime's knee was all that was visible. "A... sliding puzzle. You want me to do a sliding puzzle."
Reya adopted an ominous tone. "The first clue lies in the solution of this mystical sliding puzzle, left by the previous inhabitants!"
"Well, I refuse to do this. I'm done," Hime said, picking up the webcam again so that it could see her angry face.
Remedy stretched out, laying her head on her hands behind her. "She forfeits, that means she loses by default!"
"Okay, see you in a few hours!" Reya said, reaching for the remote to turn off the TV
Hime waved her hands, sending the camera's view on a dizzying tour of the cramped stomach. "W-Wait, no, I'm not forfeiting!"
Remedy picked up her phone, peering at it. "Okay, well... You're down to 55 minutes, so get sliding!"
"I should get extra time since you didn't give me my clues for the first five minutes!" Hime glared at the camera. "And because you picked this puzzle because you know I hate them."
"Or, because we believe you can do it if you just challenge yourself," Reya said brightly.
Remedy scrolled through Twitter, pausing to aim her phone's camera at her stomach. "You can't prove that's why we picked it."
Two phones chirped - Remedy's, and Hime's, in the other room.
The sound of sliding blocks stopped. "Why did I just get a Twitter notification?"
"We can't hear you speaking, but you can hear your phone from another room?" Reya asked, getting to her feet. "You have some good ears..."
Remedy raised her hand. "I'll read it for you. 'Doing some testing with the help of @avoreable. She seems like a good fit for the project.'"
"You can delete it yourself when you get out."
"Delete it now! No one needs to know I agreed to this! Which I didn't!"
Remedy hummed to herself, yawning and switching to a colorful mobile game.
"Remedy! Delete it!!"
Reya returned from the office then, having retrieved Hime's phone. "Here, Remedy, you know her code right?"
Hime straightened, making the bulge in Remedy's stomach visibly change shape. "What are you doing with that?"
"Oh, yeah." Remedy set her own phone down, tapping across the screen. "I'll just... retweet that from her account-"
"There we go!"
"And now I'll add a little comment... 'Challenging but fun! I almost hope I lose!'"
Reya patted Hime's head through Remedy's stomach. "You can delete all this once you get out! The two of us can finish these puzzles in like twenty minutes! And you can too!"
"Outside of a stomach! With good lighting! And with TW-"
Hime's complaints were cut off by a sudden belch. "oooooOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRP." The elf settled her head back down on the arm of the couch, sighing and going back to her game.
"Less arguing, more solving!" Reya said. "Unless you're as happy with this arrangement as she is!"
Grumbling though she was, Hime settled back into solving, the click-clack of the blocks sliding inside the housing coming from the TV.
An hour and a half passed that way before Hime finally gave a yelp of surprise.
Remedy looked up from her game. Reya had switched the TV to split-screen, with a scaled-down Smash match taking up one half of the screen and Hime's struggles shrunken in the other half.
"Did you... uuurp... solve it?" Remedy asked, her attention slowly coming back from the colorful squares filling her screen. "Did you open the box?"
"No, I didn't open the box," Hime said. "If it took you twenty minutes to solve it when you knew the answers, how could I solve it that fast under these conditions? I sat on a pointy thing."
"Oh! That's for a later puzzle," Reya said. "Very astute of you to find it in there!"
"I didn't find it, I sat on it. If anything, it found me."
"Keep solving!" Reya said encouragingly. "I guess our first time limit was a little strict. Maybe you can figure out what a better one would be?"
Another two hours passed. By now, Hime's plight was confined to a small picture-in-picture in the corner of the screen, while Reya engaged in a spirited one-on-one match and Remedy watched with half an eye.
But there was a soft click from the screen, drawing both girls' attention toward Remedy's stomach. Hime's voice was firm with triumph. "Hah! I got the key! I won!"
"Good! Now use it to escape!"
Hime's victorious tone faded. "... How? This is the key to the room you ate me in. I need to get out of your stomach first."
"And THAT... is the real puzzle," Remedy said dramatically.
Hime did not sound amused. "... Are you kidding me? This whole thing was a red herring?" She flew into a flurry of kicks and elbows, clearly visible both on the screen and through the stomach walls.
"Oof..." Remedy stretched. "The way out is forward!"
"... Meaning what exactly?"
Remedy smiled to herself. "I think you know..."