As the council members stood inside of the Console Living Room, they looked down at the small square object sat atop Three’s palm. It was merely a few inches long with the image of a man driving a car pasted to its front.
“Professor Groom wanted us to play it right? He wanted us to know what was in it.” Four said, brows furrowing.
“There’s a map and a message within it.” One said rigidly. “Whatever it is might be incriminating to the professors.”
“But who took it?” Three asked softly. “Doesn’t that matter?”
“It might not.” Two said roughly. “They might just be fucking with each other. You know, some stupid prank or another.”
“This would be a waste of time then.” One murmured, taking the cartridge from Three’s hand and placing it in its slot in the Atari console.
Each member patiently waited as the game booted up, flashing a start screen in the process. One pressed the button in question and the moment the game pixelated into a start, it shifted into something else, a black screen. It remained that way for quite some time before lime green letters came tumbling onto the screen one by one.
For a long moment, no one said anything. It wasn’t until Three took in a deep breath that the others snapped out of the stupor they had been in. One frowned deeply, Two rolled his eyes, and Four and Five shared a glance.
“So, this was really a joke.” Two said angrily. “They had us running around like fools to show that noir was real? They wanted us to become detectives for a day just to prove a point? Ha! Don’t make me laugh! Whoever did this will feel-”
“Stop it, Two.” Four said softly. “There has to be more to this. Perhaps this was meant for Professor Groom instead of us.”
“Or Groom did this to us intentionally. He did say he and Arnold had a mutual acquaintance. Maybe this was a test?” Four offered.
Two laughed dryly. “All I know is that whoever-”
The screen flickered once more, shifting from the letters to that of an 8-bit map of the campus. A large red X was painted across a particular building and, as it zoomed in, the building became more noticeable. It was the Convergence Center.
The map zoomed in even more to flicker to the layout of the CC’s rooms. The red X was more apparent now. It was in this room. More words fluttered onto the screen, this time reading :
Two let out a tired sigh. “This is ridiculous.”