The masquerade itself was a tad disorganized, but fortunately Genri and his friends knew their number and position. With the exception of Genri and Kinki, the rest of the team were all newbies, but Genri assured them that the skit would run well. As they waited, they suddenly heard out of nowhere:
Yu - "Uhhh, what was that?"
This is where everybody found out about the gong of death. Implemented last year, it was basically a way for the judges to cut a skit short. If the judges rung the gong during the skit, the people had 3 seconds to clear the stage.
Random cosplayer - "Oh my god, they're feeding us to the lions."
Genri, having been on staff, knew about the gong though, and was sure the judges wouldn't use it for their skit. Everybody still cringed with each time they heard it though. Before they knew it, skit 41 was on-stage! Genri sat down on stage to take his position. After a few moments of awkward silence, the music started...
The first minute or so went wonderfully - the audience was loving every bit of it! They were approaching the halfway point; the finish line was in sight, all that was needed was to race to victory! But, things are never so peachy...
The soundtrack suddenly cut off. Dead silence. Genri and Yu, who were on stage, froze. The first thing that shot through Genri's mind was, "Did we get gonged!?" He looked at the masquerade MC. He had a look of confusion on his face as well. The MC looked over at tech crew, and asked, "What happened to the music?"
Tech crew informed him that was all they had. Genri came to the sickening realization that it was cut off at 2 minutes. Despite the promises of the masquerade staff, their soundtrack was still cut in half. There was nothing he could do. Feelings of despair and grief surged through him as he began walking off stage, carrying his prop...
...when out of nowhere, he heard Steve Bennett yell, "Do the skit anyway!" He was promptly followed by shouts from the audience, "Finish it!" "You can do it!" Genri looked at the audience. What was he thinking?! This close to the finish line; he worked so hard for this, was he giving up now?! HELL NO! Promptly backing up, he resumed the skit, without the soundtrack. Full throttle!
The audience was estatic - they loved the rest of it, even if we were slightly off in acting it. The skit was finally over; the finish line crossed. The cheers of the audience were a welcome relief to Genri, but they couldn't cover the disappointment that clouded his mind until judging. Another skit that would fade away in short time, he supposed. As they were announcing the winners, he got up and started heading for the exit. He just felt tired...
"And for Judges Choice Award, Skit #41 - Revolutionize My World!"
What?! It took Genri a few seconds to realize that was their group! Running on stage, he found out their determination in continuing the skit, despite the technical mishaps, earned the admiration of one of the judges. VICTORY!