(Oreola) active crime scene in progress

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Mystery Death 01 happens while Oreola is in Victimology class.

She's on time for once, early even. She finds a desk and sits and watches the TL for a bit as people wander in. The lights flicker and it's time to start class but the teacher is still doing something on his screen.

Oreola glances at him over the top of her screen. He's scrolling, but listless, distant. He looks nervous and uncomfortable, wildly so. Sort of looking at the TL but also eyes everywhere, glancing around the room, looking like he's about to run out of there at any time. He does not look like someone who's excited and prepared to infuse the celebrity crime solvers of tomorrow with knowledge and learning. He looks like someone who is about to get caught for whatever fucked up shit he did.

His name is YungEmpty. He'd been a teacher at the school for who knows how long. More seasons than Oreola had been there, anyway. He'd been one of the primary suspects for the mystery last season, the season that was officially known as The Brand Zombies. Every season got a name, once the mystery revealed itself - The Locked Rooms, The Wrong Episode, The Weather Pattern, The Girl Who Came Back.

But during The Brand Zombies season the school was overrun with mindless people doing fucked up things against people who interacted with certain brands. Just extremely unforgivable shit. A couple teams were swearing up and down that YungEmpty was behind it, a revenge thing for being turned down for a consulting gig. But then DOM had found something interesting, some paperwork from a brand no one had ever heard of, Exoprene. They didn't know what to do with it but another team, some 6th years named Illegal Crimes Division, had run with it. It turned out to be a secret 4Spirit shell company and the whole thing was a next-gen sponcon play gone terribly wrong. The trail led back to Ver4city 4Spirit. The shell company got disbanded, the zombies got cured, pretty solid end to the season. And a decent showing by the 4th years named Project DOM, finding a clue that turned the whole thing around? They'd been instrumental. That shit was not typically happening. But what can you do, sometimes it simply be like that.

Oreola hears some randos nearby talking about how this class used to be in a different location in the school. It had in fact always been there, way over in the southern tower. But now it's suddenly moved? To a new location? Isn't that interesting?

No bitch it is not interesting, Oreola thinks. Grow up.

But for real, YungEmpty looks so tired and depressed and nervous. Like he's been up all night, crying, whatever. Unfocused. What did he have to worry about now? Like why be focused on things that happened forever ago. Chill immediately or everyone will immediately be thinking you're up to something again.

The trick is to keep the past in the past, as far as Oreola is concerned. But whatever. No one was paying attention to him anyway. This class was going to be a wash which was fine because on the TL it's stuff like:

-New music by DJ Vaxzya

-New clothing item by DemonRealm that was going to be limited time only

-New season of 4Spirited, Truuuly has finally ousted her duplicitous brother Ver4city and is ready to take a majority control of her father's company

-Qynka visiting the Arkkelina Superfine to see how she's recuperating from almost dying at the Arena Mall

-New exclusive edible makeup collab between Moodbomb and Mooooodpotion

-Updates about these 2 super cute kids at the Baby Building who were like really good friends

Then like halfway through class quote unquote Ignore__This emerges from the hallway and slides into the nearest empty seat to the door. Hair in two afro puffs like moons orbiting. She's even got the night-time sky painted across her face, stars instead of freckles and a blue purple gradient across her cheekbones and eyes. She's wearing her team uniform and usually Oreola will be the first to tell you that uniforms are wack af but Ignore__This somehow makes it work. Oreola can swallow down her jealousy long enough to admit they look fire.

Ignore__This doesn't even look around at the class, doesn't notice Oreola noticing her. Just goes right to her screen. Fine, whatever.

She didn't even need to be here. She didn't grow up in the Baby Building like everyone else, her parents were famous af and she could have just drifted off that. But she insisted on wanting to go to the Academy for whatever reason. Only had like 20k followers but begged them to go, they talked to their Daddy who pulled strings, whatever. It's hustle, you can't deny it.

Oreola and Ignore__This had met right away that first season and been cool right from the break. Got to go over to her parent's suite in the Grand Butera a few times, hang out. It was so, sooo nice. Oreola was sharing one room with 2 other girls about a half an inch from the Thornes that year. Just clinging. Would never have dared invite Ignore__This over to witness that.

Anyways. Things went different ways. Towards the end of her first season Ignore__This joined a group called The Fragile Theory with 8 other first years. Oreola was like This big a group, how am I not invited along? But she wasn't. Just putting the brand first. They drifted apart; hard to be friends with people on different teams.

Oreola hooked up with Dorkidoria and Encased.Wooo and Maliquent around then. Something like the last kids picked but it was good. During their 2nd year The Fragile Theory had blown apart and split into 2 groups, 5 kids called Cherry Clan and 4 in Open Mind Incorporated, which was where Ignore__This landed. And apparently they'd redesigned their uniforms over the break. The edges of their jackets a little more shiny and holographic. A quiet little Power+Sanity logo on the hem; very low-key corporate sponsorship. Basically setting them up for an in-house investigation gig after graduation. Solving brand-adjacent mysteries. Must be nice for some people. What's it even like to know your future like that?

Oreola tries to process whether she has a lot of feelings about this and decides to feel like she does not have a lot of feelings about it.

Was she going to have a career of any kind after graduation? Was she proving herself? Demonstrate skill at this thing enough to turn it into her whole thing? Unless some major stuff started happening this season and next by the time she graduated it'd be like she never even existed. She'd be back at square one, managing a SoulFeed at the mall.

BUT on the other side whatever, she was popping af and had 35k followers and 2 seasons to go so probably it would all work out. Plus fuck a bad attitude she would definitely solve whatever mysteries life threw at her this season.

It was just this feeling of always being balanced on the edge between hoping things start to happen and hoping nothing ever happens. It was no good sides either way. It was a lot of pressure to think about who you are and what you're doing after graduation. The best times had nothing to do with any of that, it was just hanging out with friends. You want to just chill and have fun but you're always supposed to be thinking about your life.

Class continued to be whatever, YungEmpty was in no danger of stopping crying long enough to teach something. Cart this mf away. People had started to wander out in search of brand interactions but then blau everyones' screens blow UP and everyone's up out of their chairs, rushing out the door, finally, something actually happening.

The message comes through that there's an active crime scene in progress by the library. Oreola is hopping through the crowd, messaging Dorkidoria & Maliquent like !!!!!!!!!

A dead body on campus, finally something to actually do. As she heads in that direction she scrolls the TL. Early reports saying it's pretty bloody and gross too. Nothing wrong with that. Yay.


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