Header illustration by Sophia Foster-Dimino
Welcome to the Waypoint High School Class of 2016 Yearbook. We're giving out senior superlatives to our favorite games, digging into the year's biggest stories via extracurriculars , and following our favorite characters through their adventures together in fanfic. See you in 2017!
The School Grounds
This has happened to you too right? It's finals, you're in the boss fight auditorium, you're ready to fight your first dragon, and suddenly you're wondering "wait, how'd this dragon way bigger than the door I walked through get in here?" And then you're on fire, and you've got an C+ in PE again.
There's actually a lot of noticeable inconsistencies in the school grounds if you think about them too much. Like our dancing teacher, who is very good at dancing, but doesn't talk much.
When you point out that she's twice at tall as the double doors to the gym even when bent over in her definitely terrible, yet actually kinda beautiful posture, she just laughs kinda knowingly without directly looking you in the eye. Then she makes a grab attack that hits for like 95% of your health bar. And as soon as she does you know The Ashen One (you know that one guy in your class who's totally The Ashen One?) is gonna go "check this shit out" and roll directly into her arms and explode.
We all laugh, but it doesn't give us any answers, other than we need to get better at dancing until we can finally defeat her, which we already knew. It feels like she's hiding something, but that's how she responds when we ask her just about anything (like "why the doors to the gym get covered in a grey, diamond-hard fog during class?"or "how come you get a sword of darkness AND of fire?" or "how do you not accidentally burn your veil " or "are you seeing anyone?").
In any case, whenever we talk about all the weirdness around here, invariably some smartass slowly leans forward in her chair and breathily whisper "portals." Okay, Satya. "Oh look at me I'm valedictorian and my science projects win a million awards and I'm so pretty and you're thinking about asking me out but I probably already have like twelve girlfriends." Listen, not everything can be solved with portals. If you explain one thing with portals, soon you'll be explaining everything with portals. It's too easy. If the Boreal Dancer got in through a portal, how'd she get the portal in? Explain that. Checkmate.
There's an even crazier theory though: The school grounds are old, aeons out of time old, but what if they're not as old as the people who work here.
(No, I don't mean like, they had everyone stand still and built the school around all the things too impossibly big to fit in it: We've been over that in the talk page several times, and it's worse than portals.)
I mean, doesn't it just make more sense that places just happen to be perfectly suited for the people in them? Stop thinking about what's logical and think about what makes sense. The school is built according to what rules, and what would be cool, and what would be beautiful. We can make the excuses later. Unless you really can't be happy unless there's a portal involved. And if you're so sure about that, Satya, you better explain it to me over coffee.
Definition: Thing That Isn't Man's
Have you ever been outside on a clear day, not a cloud in the sky, looked up and began screaming: "What is that? Has it always been there? What does it want from me? Will it hurt me? Is there Man's in it? Who owns it?"
The answers to all these questions (the sky; yes; nothing; probably; oh, tons of them; no man can own the sky, but women are allowed to rent) are simple, but none of them answer the real question: What is the Sky?
What Is The Sky?
The Sky is often blue, and other colors less often. If the sky doesn't appear to have any color at all, which frequently happens at night, you will be able to see some of the exactly 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 stellar objects that make up our 64 bit universe.
Scientists used to think that the universe was mostly empty and what few floating chunks of matter existed were lifeless hunks of rock. There was a lot of science to support this theory, but it's also really kind of a bummer, so we had those scientists do something useful for once and generate us 264 planets, most with life, some intelligent, some hostile, all of it beautiful and mysterious.
Can you go to the Sky?
Of course you can. You will need a permission slip from your parents and a spaceship, and you will have to sign a waiver indicating you understand time dilation from FTL travel will not constitute an extension on finals.
What Is There To Do In The Sky?
There are things to do in the Sky, but not as many as there are on earth. If you're looking for something to do, you may be misunderstanding the point of the Sky. It's more important to know you can explore the sky than it is to see everything in it. You won't appreciate the Sky much when you're in it. You might get bored and come home before you've seen much of it at all. But when you come back, you'll feel more at peace knowing that as vast and infinite as the Sky is, it's stuffed with beauty and life. And you'll be so thankful we don't live alone, and the Sky isn't empty after all.
Related, from Waypoint: Check out our fanfic featuring Waypoint High's JROTC cadets, for maximum drama.
Definition: Form of Locomotion
We all know the quintessential high school experience of driving way too fast way late with your three best bros, down a deserted country road playing metal as loud as you can crank it, running towards an arranged marriage and a giant floating cackling space skull. We don't need speed limits here! Let us drive free! As fast as the giant floating cackling space skull will let us!
Sure, there's plenty of modes of transportation that don't involve a floating cackling space skull. But no one has ever not wanted to go as fast as possible or have fun, so we never use any other way of getting anywhere. And compared to driving, space beetling isn't any more unsafe, since driving is so boring that it's possible to fall asleep while doing it, and so dangerous you will die if you do. Going down the track is exactly as exciting and dangerous as going fast should be. If you don't want to die, go slow.
It's cramped up there, but I think you'd like our library.
In the library they keep everything that happens in two dimensions, because otherwise it'd be really confusing and there's enough ridiculous magical realist dream-logic in the school already. It's a good place to relax and read. I go there all the time when I'm feeling sad or uncertain. I always feel comforted when I read a book I've already read. Is that true for you? You might want to try; you look like you could use some comfort.
These are frightening times, like the NPC in your starting town always tell you. Which is always true, but it seems truer this year. We can deal if things are bad. Normally, we do great when things are bad. But right now, we're worried that things might never be good again. That maybe everything won't be okay at the end like you expect things to be after it's been bad for a while.
A new copy of my favorite book came back this year, and it might be the sort of thing you need. All five of them graduated years ago, but they're rich and famous now so the school has a copy of Odin Sphere up there. It's a book in a book, I guess, but don't worry about it too much, it's not meta in a way that's confusing.
They're good books but the ending always makes me sad, because I don't want to see any of them die. When I'm sad, though, I never want to read anything that isn't sad. I just can't believe anything else, you know? Normally we learn that if we do everything right we don't die, or if we do die, we can come back next year as a New Freshman+ or Student of the Year editions. And sure, people die in cutscenes all the time (which is why you should always skip them if you can). That's nothing new. That's not why I like this book.
It's a good book because they do everything right, but irrevocable bad things still happen. Things won't be the same and they won't be alright, but the ending is still happy. That's more important to me than hearing "things will be alright." That we can still get an ending that's good or just after that irreversible injustice.
Well, it was big to me when I was your age. I hope you have another good year.