[Chapter 1 - 015]

Honoka, Riko, and Yusra sit around one of the cafeteria tables.

The kitchen was much quieter than before… not that there was anything bad about that, necessarily, but it didn’t exactly assuage my inner turmoil. Probably best to just find some snacks and get out of there.

I hadn’t planned to approach the intimidating trio at the table, but Yusra waved me over with a smile.

Tim smiles.
Timaeus

Ah, uh, hello ladies–

Yusra giggles.
Yusra

You did it again! Heheheh.

Honoka laughs.
Honoka

Why, I don’t think I’ve ever been called a lady! I could get used to that!~

Tim yelps.
Timaeus

Sorry sorry I'm just used to a much older demographic at work and–

Riko frowns.
Riko

Tim looks terrified.
Timaeus

…U-um… Have you looked at the– the envelopes yet?

All three of them nodded, some more solemnly than others.

Honoka frowns.
Honoka

…Yes.

Riko glances down at her nails.
Riko

Yusra grins.
Yusra

I’m not spilling any secrets early, if that’s what you’re wondering! You’ll just have to find out with the rest of us.

Yusra seemed to be much less troubled than the other two… though it was always hard for me to tell what she was thinking.

Tim smiles.
Timaeus

N-no, I just– the one I got was kinda bad but not that bad really, so I was just curious…

Riko frowns.
Riko

…Let’s just say that, depending on who shows up tomorrow, things will get very interesting.

Honoka yells.
Honoka

Yeah, but… Forget about the secrets! Why aren’t we talking about how we have literal tangible proof that Hope’s Peak is involved with this whole thing?? What the hell is going on?!

Yusra thinks.
Yusra

Well, MONO-9000 did call this the H.P.A. Dreadnought… Maybe after the school built this place, they were running low on funds and decided to stage something–

Tim yelps.
Timaeus

Wh– They wouldn’t hold their own students for ransom! That wouldn’t happen in real life, right?!

Yusra frowns.
Yusra

Oh, you’d be surprised. You know how expensive it is to run a school like that? In this economy? When the main class attends on full scholarships?

Riko frowns.
Riko

And anyone would be strapped for cash after building a place like this. The International Space Station cost approximately 150 billion dollars, and it’s nowhere near as sophisticated…

Honoka blinks.
Honoka

Th-that’s so much money…

Tim frowns.
Timaeus

…I’m afraid to ask how much a rocket for a rescue mission would cost…

Riko frowns more.
Riko

…I guess we’d better pray there’s escape pods or something up here.

Tim thinks.
Timaeus

W-well I don’t know about the space station, but if Hope’s Peak were involved with the kidnapping, they would at least try to hide it, right? And not use official stationery with their name on it?

Honoka huffs.
Honoka

Yeah, maybe MONO-9000 just wants us to think they’re involved! Maybe they didn’t even build this place!

Yusra thinks.
Yusra

But why would it go to so much effort to convince us otherwise?

Tim shrugs.
Timaeus

Maybe it just… really really doesn’t like Hope’s Peak?

Honoka thinks.
Honoka

Or it wants us to give up and think they won’t help us…?

Riko frowns.
Riko

Or it could simply be an unfortunate coincidence… There’s just too much we don’t know.

Yusra frowns.
Yusra

Maybe so… But I think it’s still safe to say that this place and the Academy are connected in more ways than we thought.

Yusra sighed, Riko looked out the window, and Honoka fidgeted with her cane as they pondered this troubling conclusion. Hope’s Peak Academy called us humanity’s hope for the future– yet they seem to have left us trapped in a loony robot’s game of murder. Whether they did so intentionally or not, whether they can rescue us or not, it doesn’t change what’s happened to us…

I left the table to check on the library before my thoughts spiraled any further downward.