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 No.761208[View All]

Did you get registered for all the classes you need? I sure hope you did! Anno Classroom is up next, only on mlpg.
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As the concept of Kirk having been taken in order to perform the reset for Agape Academy, Zamrud rubs his chin.

"I'm following you, I think… randomization isn't truly random in programming, it pulls from something to generate the result."

"So you're suggesting Kirk gave himself up to perform this reset, perhaps even willingly…"

Zamrud nods, "I agree: if Kirk did something to give this particular iteration an edge in our favor, we'd be fools to waste it. We just need to know what exactly he might have done, what he would have us exploit."

He sighs, pointing at the journal, "I assume he must have left some other clue in that journal, right? If Kirk DID give himself up to stack the odds in our favor, it's not immediately obvious what it is. There must still be something he'd want us to know to take advantage, correct?"


Absolutely delish.


"Basically, yes," Herb says. "The Tree may be recreating the semester, and the school, with memories from the Time Long Forgotten. Hence, why we can't access the Bodhi Garden in this first month of the semester… but these memories are only 'props', so to speak. We, along with Truth, Meursault, Rieux and Clamence, are the actors. Kirk, in this situation, would be the 'director', manipulating outcomes so that the performance goes off without a hitch."

He turns to Billy. "Not at all. This all happened before you showed up. But now that you're here, you 'extras' could be the key to seeing us through to the curtain call."

"Okay, we get it, you were a theater major," Origami sighs.

"Double major with Electrical Engineering, thank you," Herb deadpans.

"But this is all a huge leap in logic, and doesn't bring us closer to rescuing him," Origami continues.

"Rescuing him may be the very thing Kirk wouldn't want," Ride suggests. "If he's in a position where he can help us from 'Backstage,' so to speak."

"The notebook is all we have to go on," Lone Star says. "It used to be blank, but the first few pages filled themselves in soon after this most recent reset. That could be Kirk's doing… though, I don't know why he wouldn't communicate more directly."

"Things might become more clear as time goes on…" Herb says. "For now, we can think of it as our script."

He looks at the journal again, and frowns. "Although… it's been a month since the reset, and yet, no more pages have filled themselves in. You'd think at least a few more lines would appear…"


"I believe it is best to find out who he is at least as he could have easily lost himself a role, at least it is how I see it. Perhaps he is in a role we have yet to see in the school? Though if he truly doesn't want to be bothered I am assuming he is a part of the faculty that has access to areas that we cannot reach." Billy presents his assumption.


"Perhaps he has writers block?"he said mildly amused and making a joke to lighten things up.

HE looked to Senorita "Very lovely, you are quite the chef."


"Perhaps he is not capable of a more direct communication if he is behind the scenes." He offers, shrugging a little. "Perhaps he has a limit to how much he can communicate with us?"


Zamrud nods in agreement with Ride. "I agree. If Kirk's put himself in a position to help us in this semester, then we have to place our faith in him to know what he's doing. I've searched for him for weeks, as have all of you, we have searched every possibility on campus, in and out of our roles. He simply is not here, or at least not in a place we can reach."

"The journal itself is what we should have focused on. I rather think the idea it may be a 'script' is accurate, it may be the reason it has not filled itself in yet is because we've yet to do the first scene. If you won't mind my overuse of the theater allegory."

He takes the journal again, "This book does have the answers, I'm sure. We've just been looking at it from the wrong angle."

He tries to see what the first solution Kirk wrote down was, and attempting to solve it himself using whatever he's picked up from Truth's class, to see if working on his own solution would turn up any clues, anything the notes would suggest the team should do.


La Senorita squees from the praise.

Zamrud does some math on a separate sheet of paper, but it doesn't seem to yield any new insights into things.

"If Kirk's going to be rigging the dice in our favor…" Lone Star muses. "You should really do all your gacha pulls in here. Maybe you'll get better luck on the banner this time."

Herb sighs and screws his eyes shut with annoyance. "You've been bragging about this for weeks now."

"You're the one who keeps gambling on JPEGs of snails," Lone laughs.

"Aaaaaaaaaaanyway…" Herb says. "It's getting late. If that's all there is so far about the investigation, we should go over our midterm notes one last time."

"The only thing that comes to mind," Godspeed says. "Is the rumor about the missing student, going around among the apparitions who fill the school's halls. Have the rest of you heard anything?"

"Oh, right," Peyote says. "I've heard that a student has been missing since last week. At first I believed it to be Kirk, but the rumors identified the student as a lady. Could it still be related?"

"Might've just been a real event from the Time Long Forgotten," Assembly suggests. "Replicated now by the Tree for historical accuracy."


"Will we end up reenacting these kinds of historical events? What should we do if one of us goes missing like that or can't communicate with everyone else?" said Billy.


I can't recall if I have met this ghost, I don't think I have. My efforts have been focused on the groundskeeper."


"Another missing person? Hmm… if even the apparitions are commenting on it, it may have been a historical event. I imagine extras like ourselves going missing wouldn't draw so much attention. Very few of the Academy staff outside of us seem as concerned about Kirk's disappearance. Still, if she went missing in the past, finding out where she disappeared TOO may yield clues for where Kirk went. We should keep our ears to the ground and see if there's any developments."

Out of curiosity, when Lone Star mentions Kirk 'rigging the dice', Zamrud is curious just how literally that may be. He takes a coin out of his pocket, and flips it five times to see the results.

"Right, another member of Truth's team. Have you and him uncovered anything else unusual about the grounds?"



Roll #1 2, 1, 1, 1, 2 = 7


"Hard to say at this point," Ride says. "Little more for it than to face the future with bravery… and regular communication in our groupchat. I've found that speech-to-text lets me compose messages easier than my thumbs."

It's a mostly unremarkable spread of results. If Kirk really is able to exercise control over randomness, he might not use it on such ordinary trifles.


Zamrud shakes his head, "I don't know for certain but I assume anyone of us who entered the Tree of Evil are "extras". We did not exist in this long forgotten era, therefore there is nothing scripted to happen to us, least not anything we don't end up creating ourselves. The roles we've been given have been made to help us fit in but I don't think anything significant can happen to us outside of our control, otherwise who knows how that'd effect the rest of the sequence"


"Hrm… anything about this lady, or just a mention of them being a lady? I wonder if it might be one someone here would recognize… but, ah. What do you mean by 'betting on a Snail JPEG?'"


"If there is nothing else I suppose I should duck back out to gardeners one last time."


As the coins show no sign of being stacked by Kirk, Zamrud sighs. "Of course, that'd be too easy…" he says, looking again at the equations in Kirk's journal.

"We need to know the meaning behind Kirk's journal or we'll never get anywhere. We've already had a professor in probabilities and RNG look over it and she's yet to discern anything significant, is there any other expert on campus that comes to mind that might be able to crack it? I don't suppose we'd have anyone skilled in cryptography among our number…?"


The others think it over, but end up shaking their heads as they fail to produce any more expert names in the cryptography biz.

Herb rolls his eyes at Lone's prodding over his collectathon hobby, and gives you a rundown. It's apparently a snail racing game with a cutthroat competitive scene plagued by gambling.


Zamrud sighs, "That too, would probably have been too easy." Zamrud says, rubbing his chin as he looks over the problems again.

"Hmm… if our theory is correct, Kirk may have offered himself up as some sort of variable that'd determine something in the system. If people are variables…" he says, looking to see how many 'variables' are in the equation to see if that discerns any clues, trying to see them less as parts of a problem and more like individuals, roles in a team


You look it over, but there doesn't seem to be any connection between the number of variables on the page, and the number of "actors" in this scenario. Perhaps you lack enough information at this juncture to solve anything just yet.

As you lack Rieux's contact information, you instead get in touch with Truth, who agrees to get ahold of the busy groundskeeper. She does so, and gets back to you anon. Rieux will need an hour or so to get cleaned up, but you should be able to sit for a spell with them at that time.


"Should I keep in mind or focus on anything? How can I help in all of this?" Billy asks.


"Ah, hmm. So, this is some sort of… competitive racing video game? Are the snail jaypegs important or useful?"


Good opts to study while he waits, figuring he could never not use more.


Zamrud closes the journal, seeing no more clues to be glimpsed from it with the information they have present.

"I think, Billy, our next course of action - besides keeping up with our studies - is to turn our attention away from looking for Kirk, and instead focusing on Kirk's trail. We need more information if we're going to get anything from his journal. We may not be able to find Kirk, but surely we can find where he's been. See who's spoken to him, what classes he's been too, what rooms he's visited in the Academy. There must be something else tied to him that can help us, and I think we should look for it when time allows."


"Well," Herb says. "People say it's all about the 3-Gem snails, but they're just copying the meta without any thought. See, a lot of the 2- and 1-Gem snails provide crucial support skills which…"

He goes on about the snail racing game for quite some time. Peyote seems intrigued.

At Billy's prompting, Herb's team exchange troubled glances. Lone Star is the one to break the silence.

"Lemme add something to that, Professor. I'd say… let's keep an eye on Truth."

She keeps her voice low.

"If there's anything I don't really get," she continues. "It's why they didn't make contact with us all this time. I don't even know when they got to the Tree. Did Truth say anything about that when you met with her, Professor?"


"NOt to myself which I am aware. Though her lack of explaining that is somewhat… disconcerting."


"Sounds good to me, do make sure to stay connected. I will be here to help where I can and keep an eye out." Said Billy.


Zamrud's brow rises up in response to Lone Star's suggestion, but after a moment of contemplating he finds himself not entirely opposed to it.

"Yes… you do have a point. I originally chalked it up to them simply not knowing new entrants had entered the simulation, but they would have noticed the resets. And at first, I don't imagine many of us made much effort to play along, they would have noticed something was wrong with the new students."

"They could have still had their reasons, perhaps not wanting to jostle us too much if we were deep in our roles, but you figure they might have made SOME effort." He taps his paw against the table. "At any rate I agree they perhaps warrant a close eye, just to be safe. Being we're both teachers, I can volunteer to try and shadow her a little to see if there's anything we should be aware of."


"Maybe she's one of the Lux. They tend to like secrets and doing unsavory things."


"Ah, hmm? The meta? And, gems? What exactly do you mean by this?" he asks, listening to the explanation intently. He's not much of a gamer, unfortunately.

"Perhaps Truth is not who they appear to be? Ironic, given the name."


Zamrud chuckles at Qhapaq's joke. "Yes, that would be a little on the nose, wouldn't it? Someone named Truth who is full of lies and secrets like the Lux. Still, while I do think we should be cautious, let's not jump to conclusions either. Truth and her team are too valuable to make enemies of, they've far more experience than us in dealing with this place."


Herb pulls out his misery-rectangle on cue. "Fortunately this game's got offline play, so maybe I can just show you…"

"It's too early to say definitively…" Lone admits as she ponders your suggestions.

"At the risk of sounding naive," Ride says. "Whatever the case, Truth and her three companions are trapped in the Tree's realm just as we are. Let's not put the maze before the minotaur; so long as we can solve the mystery of the Tree, that should be our focus."

"You're not wrong there," Lone says. "Say, Good, did I overhear you right? You're gonna talk to the groundskeeper? Maybe bring a couple pals."

"Oh!" Locomotive interjects. "And a housewarming gift. I usually bring green tea and scones."

"They're not moving in…" Herb sighs. "If anything they should have brought that to us."


"I suppose a few others around might be a good security just in case something happens."

True enough but be mindful not to give away any info you don't need to just in case."


"Well put, Ride or Die- and Zamrud, yes. We should focus on escape from this place. Then we can deal with them if they are not who they say." He remarks, frowning a little.

Qhapaq cranes his neck over to look.


"Yeah, I do find Ride agreeable quite here as well. I am worried that I can't quite see where our journey ends anytime soon. Do we plan on ending it by the destruction of this place or finding an exit?" Billy slumps a bit.


"Agreed," Zamrud says to Ride as well. "Even if they're not all they seem, we all stand to gain from getting out of here. We just need to make sure we don't reveal every card we have."

As Lone suggests taking someone to meet Rieux, Zamrud nods as well. "Also agreed. Has anyone else met with the Groundskeeper yet besides Good?"


As Zamrud asks about Rieux, nobody speaks up– seems like nobody's really gotten to know the aloof groundskeeper yet.

But before the conversation can continue much further, the school bell rings out, signaling that lunch is about to be served. Rieux should be ready about now as well, with the interruption of the bell coinciding with their lunch hour.

"An army marches on its stomach," La Senorita observes with a prerecorded line.


"I'll swing by the mess and grab something before I see him." he said looking to Senorita "Care to join me in meeting Rieux?"


Zamrud nods as the bell rings. "I'll leave the Groundskeeper to you. I will see if I can interest Truth in having lunch, see if I can perhaps find out if there's anything she may not be sharing with us."

He turns to Godspeed, "Would you be interested, Nurse Godspeed?"



"I will try to figure out what to do while in the the mess. Don't be afraid to ask me for help if anything does come up." Billy bows his head.


"Mmm. Food sounds good, yes." Qhapaq gets to his feet, stretching out like a cat and opening the door for the others.


Peyote leads the way out, followed by all the teams as you go to grab some lunch.

>Post activities, then timeskip to the meeting with Rieux / end of the Cycle is available

"Why Professor," Godspeed says with a laugh, as the others go ahead. "How long are you going to make my assistant cover my shift? They're a student too, you know."


Good grabbed a bite to eat at the schools cafeteria, along with Senorita if she accompanied, then made his way to meet Rieux asap.


>Same as before! Computers class, Gym, History!


Zamrud smirks. "The extra experience will be good for them, I'm sure. Tell them they'll be earning extra credit, that's what I do."

>Zamrud heads to where the other professors have lunch, talking with her specifically about Iron Castle to try and gleam a little more into her history to see if there's anything to be concerned of


Billy makes due with any notes he can get a handle of and maintaining his writing in the grimoire, sharing his learned experiences.


You head on over to the groundskeeper's yard, with Senorita. This time, the gate is open. Senorita opts to knock at the metal door of the machine shop, and it clicks ajar. At the threshold of the shop is a lop-eared donkey, still clad in a face mask, but with a clean jumpsuit. You can see that their hind legs are both cybernetic, though the rest of their body is flesh and blood.

"Aye, c'mon in, Ah've just poot the kettle on," Rieux says.

History is a rather dry course. The lecture reviews the material covered so far: The settlement of Ponyville; the development of the railroad to Canterbury; the first contact with the Buffalo; the first treaties between the Minotaur and Griffon territories of Huoli. The exact dates, and the distance between locations, is… something of a blur. Maybe it's just the fatigue of cramming…

Afterward at least, you are free to go to gym. As before, the gym teacher has, for whatever reason, let the shadowy student have the gym to themselves; they await you in the center of the court.

You and Godspeed have a corner of the staff cafeteria to yourselves. While the rest of the faculty line up for today's special, Godspeed already has a lunch prepared– a hay sandwich laden with many vegetables.


"Oh, sorry for bothering you." Billy bows his head in apology. Meals and snacks were quite sacred.


Qhapaq sits through History paying as much attention as he can manage- it feels worthwhile to do so here, anyways. His real focus is, of course, on Gym- he doesn't know what to expect… but, an open Gym with only he and the shadow griffon in attendance certainly wasn't it. He approaches the shadow griffon at the center of the court, frowning a little as he looks around. "Then… today is a test?"


Good nodded as he walked in taking a seat "Nice to see you again Mr. Rieux"


Zamrud eagerly lines up for the lunch special - hopefully something meaty, as he enjoys - and tries to keep an eye out for Truth to see if he can get her to sit with them as well.

As he sits with Godspeed, he looks at her heavily veggied sandwich. "You always bring your own lunch?" he asks curiously.

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