/ Open Attachment #5? Y / N

/ Rin: Y

/ Opening Attachment #5… Please wait.

!/ ( )

/ Dear diary, today was my first day at my new school, and everything is so different! I'm in "11th grade" and everyone is so much taller than me! I made a few new friends, but everyone else seems to hate me, ignore me, or tell me I don't belong here and to "go back to fucking elementery school you bitch," whatever that means. But enough about them, I made some friends and each one is super cool and impressive. The first friend I made today is the school mascot, a really big red panda named "Tenzing" that wears the school logo on his shirt and has no pants (Ewww). He likes to hangout at the entrance to the school before and after classes and is so much fun to talk to, he has so many stories, just like Hitori-san, but his stories aren't about him, but instead about things that happened at the school, like the time the entire football team got drunk and trashed their locker room so bad, they had to tear out the stuff in the room all the way through the drywall! My favorite one of his stories is about how a senior three years ago named Daniel Muse, who transferred in halfway through the school year from a town named "Reading" released a wild turkey in the school courtyard. Twice. Apparently he is going to college to pursue a career as a music teacher. He seems like a cool guy. My second friend is named Mrs. Menoetes, although she insists that I call her Metis. She says she is my "guidance counselor," but I don't know what that means and she had trouble explaining it without going off on tangents. She is really nice though and told me to come to her if I had any problems or if any of my classmates or teachers are being mean to me. I had a great first day of school and I can't wait for tomorrow!

/ Continuing Download…

/ Downloading attachments… 50.1%

/ Downloading att…


11th grade….. Wait a second, wasn't I in 1st grade when Dad got fired from his job? He did homeschool me for the two years between then and this entry, but doesn't each grade take a year? And the students in my class were all so tall, like twice my height!

What is that Tenzing? I should look in a mirror and revise my statement? What are you talking about? I don't see what you are getting at… Oh Zeus! I look like one of them! That must mean that they were 17 years old. When did this happen… Kumo, what do mean check again? I-I'm back to normal again? But my height hasn't changed, shouldn't I see the world differently if I was suddenly half of my height. Lidian, do you know what is going on? What do you mean "OF course this is all you notice?!" What are you implying? that non-standard warps in the fabric of spacetime and the disruption of three dimensional space is the tamest oddity around me? That is ridiculous. Physics and mathematics are very stable! … Why should I not be able to comprehend your form past the third dimension? … Stop, stop, stop. You sound just like Mr Ananke, always babbling on about how perfect the polytopes in higher dimensions are. I swear, if he had the chance he would abandon his wife for a hypercube in an instant…. Wait just one moment Lidian, who is Mr Ananke? Why is my head throbbing when I try to remember him? A memory is just there, I can feel it, yet the pain is nearly unbearable. Unreachable, taunting me, like a word at the tip of my tongue, only thousands of times stronger, a thousand times more infuriating, and the harder I push, the harder the pain pushes me back. I give up, and sit, the pain fading away as if it never existed. If only Metis were here, she would know the answer, she always did, even when Mr Swartz couldn't help me with Hitor-Ai, Metis was always there to help walk me through it, so even if she didn't know the answer she would help me find it, just like that super hard math problem on Ananke's midterm practice… Owww my head. So Ananke was a math teacher? What about Mr. Swartz? Is he also a teacher? Oh joy, more pain.

"Argh! I'm so confused! Why can I remember some of the things about these people, but any more than what comes naturally cause so much pain! It's so god damn infuriating! Remembering my misadventures and my days with Hitori-san didn't do this to me! So WHY IS IT HAPPENING TO ME NOW!?" Hehe, oops, I ended up shouting, sorry Kumo. "Ding!"

I hear the sound of my tablet, the ding of my doorbell as my past arrives at my door once more. I violently uncurl from the fetal position at the noise, before getting up and stumble my way to its source, tears failing to be blinked away. As I clear my eyes, I shiver once more at the feeling I get from these new memories, the ones that brought pain when I searched for anymore context, and as I open the message, I can't help myself from adding under my breath, with a meekness I never thought myself capable of:

"And why do these memories feel so disgusting?"


Letter II

To Rin

From : 凛

Hey Rin, long time no see. By now, you should remember all the good times you had, remember the good and light in humanity. This all changes on your second day at high school. The light that Hitori-san always said fueled humanity went out, and the world became a cruel place. Shigeru put a lot more effort into making you forget those last 2 years than the 8 before, and the blocks are strong enough that they won't fade with time, but instead have to be intentionally unlocked.

Rin, before you attempt to unlock those memories, know this. If the first 8 years of your life were spent on the Isles of the Blessed, the following two were spent in the lowest pits of Tartarus. You can still return to the life you had before Shigeru's email, you can still enjoy life and laugh.

So, please Rin, I beg of you, consider it long and hard before you open the next attachment, for it is truly Pandora's box and can be opened but never shut. It will always be there tomorrow.

But no matter what you choose or how you use what you learn, just remember. Mom and Dad and Hitori and Metis and I will always support you no matter what.

We love you, and we always will.


Hmm. "凛." Why does that character look familiar? I feel like I should know it, like it means something important but I just can't remember, and it's making my head hurt.

I feel like I'm getting closer, it's on the tip of my tongue, metaphorically of course. I'm not licking my brain, that would be silly and is probably impossible for a person to do. *Ding!*

Oh? Right as I hit a brick wall, the character's meaning trapped on the other side, my tablet dings? I don't believe in coincidences, not ones like this at least. So, I guess I'll go and open the message.

Hm? It isn't here? It does say I have a new message, so where is it? Time to use my mad hacker skills to find out! So first I'll open up the console, because any self respecting hacker will have it up even if they aren't using it, next I'll open up the email app, go to settings… and ah hah! Here we go! There is a new tab in setting titled "Clearance Level." It wasn't there when I looked in the setting menu after the first attachment. Back then I had been trying to get a list of the names of all of the attachment files, and I failed. Now, thinking back, there was a flash of a pop-up that I saw, but I had only managed to read the first two words back then before it shut the tablet off. It had said "Clearance not," so perhaps the full message was something along the lines of "Clearance not high enough for user to view this file." Let's click it!

*Tap*

"What the HELL!?" - movement, interaction with kumo and environment -

"It just disappeared? The tab just disappeared as soon as I try to enter it! Can you believe this Kumo? What about you Lidian? … I thought we finally put that discussion to rest Lidian. No, Lidian, I won't put you back outside. I brought you inside and away from your friends for your safety. Imagine how Mr. Sun and the Cloud family would feel if they lost you too! I don't care that you loved Ms Rivers, she is gone, and I'm not going to let that happen to you. Besides, she only had eyes for that big river delta in Egypt. You never had a chance. If you go outside, all it will take is a few hours before the changing world swallows you! … Lalalala- I'm not listening! So, how about you Tenzing-san? Hm, what's this about a new notification? I should have heard a ding though? … You're saying I missed it in my argument with Lidian, and that I should at least attempt to stay on topic? Blasphemy! Tangents are the best trigonometric equation, rivalled only by cotangents! … Fine, I'll open it."

*Tap*

CURSE YOU TENZING THE RED PANDA! … always one-upping me or making me look bad. Of course NOW I can see the message I was trying to find earlier. Although, it does have a "word" in front of the name, and it isn't from any script I know. Wait. Scratch that. It's definitely Greek. It has been a while since I last read any Greek, ancient or modern, but it shouldn't be too hard. Let's see. " Άδης ." Alpha Delta Eta Sigma, Alpha has a tonos, so the first syllable is stressed. Aedis? Aides? Hades! That's it! Huh. Greek. Odd, but clearly a one time thing, probably just a nod to my interest in it from Dad. But which Hades is this referring to? The god or the realm? Time to click!

*Tap*


/ Warning! User:Rin, you are attempting to access a "Άδης" class database, file, or library.

/ Proceed to file? Y / N

/ Rin: Y

/ Detected first use of a Άδης or higher clearance level by User:Rin

/ Please confirm your choice to use this clearance level. Type

"Phlegethon" to continue. Type "Acheron" to cancel. Type "Lethe" to

permanently remove user access to Στυξ type clearance levels Άδης and

above.

/ Rin:


Alrighty, first off, Sigma tau upsilon xi. Sticks. No, it is probably Styx, as in the river. Άδης is definitely the realm

This doesn't look like Dad's handiwork, his messages were always concise and his inputs were always only a single letter, and not to mention were latin characters rather than greek. And what is with those names? Hades, Styx, Phlegethon, Acheron, and Lethe? He never really was interested in the Greeco-Roman mythologies as I was, certainly not to the point where he would be confident using a naming scheme based around the underworld. But if he didn't code this, who did? And why the focus on the Greek Underworld?

Combined with 凛's message, my eighth birthday through my isolation is clearly a time of fluffy wholesome goodness and joy. I should probably stop and consider this decision, but that is not my style. *dabs* Yeah, I'll stop Kuma. That was too cringy even for me… almost.

I wonder though, why is this classification type, Στυξ, named such? What do these files contain that would have them named after the boundary between life and death, the river of hatred, and the binder of oaths? There is one way to find out…

I take a deep breath, in and out.

I look at the screen of my tablet once more, and decide to go above and beyond, and use the proper language for the river's name.


/ Please confirm your choice to use this clearance level. Type "Phlegethon" to continue. Type "Acheron" to cancel. Type "Lethe" to permanently remove user's access to Στυξ type clearance levels.

/ Rin: Φλεγέθων

/ Choice of "Phlegethon" accepted.


Alrighty, let's take a look.


/ Open Attachment #6ɑ? Y / N

/ Rin: Y

/ Opening Attachment #6ɑ… Please wait.

!/ ( )

/ Dear diary, when I got home from school today, Dad had left the basement door unlocked, so for the first time ever I snuck into the basement that Dad spends all his time in! It is so cool! There are wires going everywhere, he has a computer with, like, 10 different screens! And here is the best part, on one of the screens, there is a 3-d model of something, and it looks JUST like a rocket ship! How cool is it that my dad is building a rocket ship in our basement! There were some things on the other screens, but nothing as cool as the rocket ship, so I didn't really look at them very long. I think there was one that had a brain, one that looks like a bunch of words in the background but had a box in front with a bar that I think said "Composting," or was it "Complaining?" One of the screens had a big rock approaching earth and it kept hitting earth and destroying it! It was very cool, I watched it for half an hour straight… There was one other screen that I looked at that I can remember. It was the biggest one, and was right in the middle! It had a number that was counting down, but the number was so big that it'll take years for it to go all the way down. Silly dad!

/ Continuing Download…

/ Downloading attachments… 60.1%

/ Downloading att…


That basement, what about it was strong enough for me to write a second entry on the same day, and why both were included in the message, but this one locked behind that wall. Then there is this painful cocktail of tempestuous emotions, strong pangs of regret, melancholy, and fear raging in a violent storm above a windswept plain of trust and love.

The scale of these emotions put everything else I felt from memories to shame, rivaled only and surpassed by the disgust I feel when I think back towards even the idea of highschool. The visual memories of the basement dive are blurred, all except for the timer, compiling code, and the beginnings of a rocket (at least, I assume so because that was the first thing that came to mind and one of the focuses of the diary entry) which I can recall perfectly, as if they were png's on my tablet.

Recalling the image of the rocket brings with it winds of melancholy, but the shell is so incomplete in the memory that I can't help but wonder what exactly it would look like completed. The screen covered in code as the IDE compiles slowly, the compiling program being named "OzOS" followed by a long version number, and when I look back at the lonely bar crawling across the screen, the waves of regret grow ever fiercer. But the crashing of regret and the gusts of melancholy had nothing to the tremors of fear, of existential dread I felt when I even glanced at the memory of the timer, counting down from 737 days.

The timer being set to hit zero exactly one week from my tenth birthday and the intense fear it brings seem to be setting a bad precedent for the future entries


/ Open Attachment #7ɑ? Y / N

/ Rin: Y

/ Opening Attachment #7ɑ… Please wait.

!/ ( )

/ Dear diary, today is my second day of highschool. I'm in the bathroom right now, next I'll be going to my first class of the day in my second period class, and it's already halfway over. I hate it. I hate everyone there; I hate my classmates, I hate my teachers, I hate the coaches, I hate the students who don't even know me. I hate them all, and I hate what they do around me, how they treat me, how they treated my "friends," and how I can't do anything about it without it becoming magnitudes worse. I should probably explain why, writing about your feelings in your diary is supposed to be therapeutic, maybe it will help. It all started before I even got on the bus to school, or rather when I didn't. I was at my bus stop, just like yesterday, and the bus pulled up, stopped, and opened its doors, when a boy yells from the middle, "Why'd you stop, the little cun-*cough* girl isn't there. She must've learned her place and went back to preschool!" And then the bus driver, without even looking to see if I was there, closes the door in my face and drives off while the bus roars with laughter. So now I had to walk to school, in the rain, without a coat, while carrying a backpack that weighs almost as much as I do and which isn't much shorter than I am, the 5 miles to school, because dad was doing a job interview this morning and I don't know anyone. 2 hours later, when I walk into school an hour and a half late, drenched from head to toe and dripping like I had just climbed out of a swimming pool, the principal comes out of his office and we make eye contact. I expected maybe a light scolding and some concern (even just a shitty act at being concerned for his student's safety), but instead he glares at me and says "late on your second day? I shouldn't have expected anything better from an elementary schooler. Come with me, lets go to the office and call your dad, so you can go back to 3rd grade where you belong." When I try to explain that the bus drove off when I tried to get on it, he laughed and told me to stop lying, because I'm bad at it. He can't reach my dad on the phone and tells me to head on to class, and he'll sort this out tomorrow, and that from now on, my guidance councilor will be changed, because "clearly she is a bad influence on little girls, just one day and she's already made her a delinquent, who knows how long it will take to corrupt this little girl into a fucking lesbian… oh, you're still here. Ignore what I just said, but Mrs. Menoetes is clearly a bad influence and you should be separated. That boy too, the one in the mascot suit, stay away from him, or I'll expel the both of you. Now, go on to class." Everything in my backpack is soaked, and it is honestly a miracle this is dry enough to write in, everything else will probably be usable towards the end of sixth period.

/ Continuing Download…

/ Downloading attachments… 70.1%

/ Downloading att…


Oh boy, now that is a headache. Like that time the Clint… Clint… Clint you bastard. Clint you absolute something! There isn't even a word I can think of to express just how much I hate you, each time I even THINK your god forsaken name I get more and more flashes of hatred, just what did you do to me. Or it would seem the better question is what didn't you do to me during my time at that school?

Through the cracked open door, Clint's hushed voice leaks into the room as he discusses with the principal out in the hallway, the tremble in his voice almost authentic. "Please Sir, believe me, she came at me with a knife! I was lucky there was even a baseball bat nearby to defend myself with... You want me to describe what happened, it still scares me thinking back to it... No, no, it is no problem, it is something I have to do to move on. Let's see, I was crossing the sports fields with my friends when one of them saw her and called out. She looked over at us, then locked eyes with me, before dropping her back and pulling something out of the front of it, before running at us. We scattered but I could still feel the burning of her gaze on my back. I tripped on something and she caught up to me while I was on my knees, so I grabbed it and held it up in the way of her knife swinging at me, and knocked it out of her hands, and before she could recover I swung at her. The knife? I tossed it away so she couldn't get it, I didn't look where it went." If I weren't there, and he wasn't Clint, I might even have believed him...

I'm walking through the front doors of the school, on my way to the book store where I can escape from Clint, when I hear his voice "Hey, goblin! Been avoiding me huh? I don't like that, but I guess I can't expect anything more from a mother-killing monster. Have fun with your daddy back in your cave!" I stop, turn and look at him, then flinch at the fist stopped mere centimeters from my face...

It is friday, just before the last class ends, but I am uneasy. Clint hasn't done anything to me for 3 whole weeks, I haven't even seen him or his lakeys for since last Tuesday, and I can just feel something in the air. The bell rings and I head to my locker. It's open, the door is off of one of its hinges and there is nothing inside except a single note that reads [have fun tonight! -C]. My phone rings and I answer the call. It's someone I don't know telling me that my dad was brought to the hospital today after what is believed to be a suicide attempt. He only survived due to the heroic actions of one "Clint Harlow" breaking into the locked car and dragging him out of the exhaust fumes that filled it. So that is where he has been, stalking my dad and almost killing him just to mess with me. When I get home, I am confronted by Child protective services and Clint trying to take me out of an "abusive household." With the help of my neighbors the CPS leave, but Clint just grins...

I walk into math class on my second day, drenched from head to toe, and see that boy who lied to the bus driver. I glare at him as I sit down, and then he meets my gaze with a lazy grin, before calling out in a voice audible to every class around us: "hey shortstack, get the fuck out of here, you bitch, you don't belong! How did you even get accepted in the first place, did you suck the principal's dick?"…

"Hey jail-bait, listen closely. Remember what I did to your dad? If you ever resist what I do to you, I'll do it again, but this time, he won't be rescued"...