The world has ended. The Mitochondria Institute has fallen. Mito is dead. Welcome to... Vote count spreadsheet. Current phase countdown. Link to Game B. SYSTEM REBOOTING… Core Module: ONLINE Intelligence Matrix: ONLINE Memory Unit: ONLINE Tactics Log: ONLINE Decision Table: ONLINE Vocal System: ONLINE Auditory Cables: ONLINE Camera Module: ONLINE Internet Capabilities: ONLINE Apocrypha Shielding: ONLINE Internal Temperature Sensing: ONLINE <Project Hytale> Initiative: ONLINE DISCORD functionality restored. Moderator permissions restored. Game under control. Project Hytale’s fourth phase will advance as planned. Welcome to the last days of this mafia cycle: the End of Hypixel Mafia. The previous moderator, Mitochondria, is deceased, and all contact with his account has been lost. By the last orders of Chairwoman Hannah Burkis, I will be assuming control of this game. All surviving Operators are advised to read the below game outline. Due to the loss of initial game data, the ensuing mafia game will not conform to traditional game standards. This outline will make certain that everyone is on the same page regarding the game’s mechanics. Spoiler: The End of Hypixel Mafia: Mechanics All old role data has been lost. As a result, in accordance with the last wish of Mitochondria, all Operators will receive new role PMs. Note that, while your role has changed, all players have the same alignment as they did during Season 44. In accordance with their coding, Kierkegaard and his army of NPCs are rearming the cannon atop Babylon. When this cannon goes off—as indicated by the countdown found in this post and this season’s remote server—all players will be overriden with Apocrypha Syndrome and the game will end. If only one scum faction is still in play, that faction will win the game. If multiple scum factions are still in play, no one will win. In other words, all scum factions have two goals: eliminate all other scum factions and make sure the bomb goes off. Killing specific players, completing certain game events, or using certain actions will add time to the doomsday clock. From this point onward, two concurrent games will take place. One, Game A—taking place within the game arena—is composed of half of the currently living players, and will be carried out on this thread. The other, Game B—taking place in the ruins of the Mitochondria Institute—is composed of all other players (including those who "died" during Season 44). The latter game will take place in the above linked thread. Death in one game will force an Operator into the other. For instance, if an Operator is lynched in Game A, they will continue playing in Game B (or vice versa). An Operator’s first death will result in the mod-reveal of their base role. An Operator’s second death will result in the mod-reveal of their faction and all modifiers. This second death is final; after dying twice, an Operator will be removed from the game. No factional chat—scum, neighborhood, masons, etc.—can cross between both games. If a chat has members in both games, said members will be split into separate chats. Game roles, events, and mechanics will allow Operators to move between the two games without dying. From this point forward, the Gambit System will be in play. All players have the option to either perform a regular lynch (designated with the regular [VOTE] *Operator Name* [/VOTE] tags) or a gambit lynch (designated with the tags [GAMBIT] *Operator Name* [/GAMBIT]). Only the final vote cast by a player will be counted in the day’s final vote count (e.g. you may cast as many regular or gambit votes as you want, but only the final vote will count; you cannot have both a gambit and regular vote in effect at the same time). For instance, if I first place [GAMBIT] Mitochondria [/GAMBIT] followed by [VOTE] Mitochondria [/VOTE]; ONLY the regular vote will count towards the final vote count. A regular lynch will operate as it usually does. The killed Operator will have their role revealed and will be transferred into the other game (assuming they still have one life left). A gambit lynch will immediately eliminate both of an Operator’s lives; upon their death, their faction and complete role will be revealed, and the Operator will be removed from the game. However, any kills performed the night after a gambit lynch will also take away both of the target’s lives. Is it worth it to gambit lynch a confirmed mafia member but risk losing town members to a gambit factional? Or is it better to play it safe? That’s up to you to figure out. All players will be playing as themselves; there are no flavors. Scum players do not receive fakeclaims. All chats have both day and nightchat capabilities. Role repeats and custom roles are both very possible. All regular rules regarding player respect, post edits, etc. are still in effect. Please tag me if you have any questions regarding these new game mechanics. If I ignore your question, it means that I’m not able to answer it without potentially revealing some element of the game. Spoiler: Operators A list of the surviving Operators fighting against their inevitable destiny. 1. GodAndHisApostle, the 1-shot Deathproof Modified Viral Cult Leader. 2. SupremeCourt, the Vanilla Viral / Town Tactical Mastermind. Spoiler: Eliminated Operators A list of the fallen. 1. Tmi489, the 3-shot Modified Mafia Parity Cop: Killed during Day 1B. 2. WhyForum, the 3-shot Messiah Soul Linker: Daykilled during Day 2B. 3. VerryScummy, the Most Powerful Man in the World's Twin Brother (Mafia): Lynched during Day 3A. 4. BestBros25, the 3-shot Town Time Traveler's Wife: Died during Night 2B. 5. OminousMelody, the Modified Town World Eater: Lynched during Day 3B. 6. Nz_Slimeables, the 4-shot Pooled Lover Town Monitor: Sacrificed during the Time Heist. 7. Betrayal, the Pooled Lover Town Judicator: Committed suicide during the Time Heist. 8. DinoDinoDude, the 1-shot Mafia Megaman: Lynched during Episode 1. 9. TheHorla, the Town Keymaker: Modkilled during Episode 1. 10. lukeandmatthew, the Town Lesser Twin: Modkilled during Episode 1. 11. Grones, the 4-shot Modified Town Godfather: Killed during the Fall of the Institute. 12. MrEevee7, the Modified Town Secret Service Agent: Killed during the Fall of the Institute. 13. Piano, the Town Arcanist: Modkilled during Day 1. 14. Awknd, the Town Reaper: Daykilled during Day 1. 15. Coruscation, the Invest-Immune, Hated Viral Patient Zero: Lynched during Day 1. 16. Nitrolituwu, the 3-shot Town Reality Seer: Killed during Night 1. 17. Dreadlord_1, the 4-shot Town Giant Robot Pilot: Lynched during Day 2. 18. azmine_king, the Most Powerful Man in the World's Twin Brother (Mafia): Daykilled during Day 2. 19. Bakura1, the Buffed Messiah Doctor: Killed by the Infinity Gauntlet during Day 2. 20. Serendipity, the Most Powerful Man in the World: Killed by the Infinity Gauntlet during Day 2. 21. Skrimiche, the Loud Town DNA Analyst: Killed during Night 2. 22. Taboo, the 3-shot Modified Mafia Time Traveler: Daykilled during Day 3. 23. jmwjmw27, the Town Greater Twin: Killed during Night 3. 24. ChrisX3, the 1-shot Bulletproof Mafia President: Lynched during Day 4. 25. KTthecreeper, the 3-shot Viral Game Jumper: Killed during Night 4. 26. Conroy, the Mafia Epidemiologist: Lynched during Day 5. 27. Echks, the Town Fallen Moderator: Endgamed by the Virals. 28. charged_creeper4, the Town Jumping Cop: Endgamed by the Virals. Spoiler: Backup Operators A list of backups. Backups will be replaced into the game in the order they signed up. 1. azmine_king 2. cwb07 Spoiler: Pre-Game Flavor Part 1: [ A ] Reason to Run Spoiler: One >LOGIN:userMitochondria >PASSWORD:************* >access: DISCORD_AI >PASSWORD:***************************** >SECOND FACTOR ID:scanning_eye >access_granted >enter: DISCORD_Archive_Service WARNING! This file has a level 10 security wall. Only members of the Overseer Committee are entitled to access. Any individual who does not have the required security clearance will not be provided access. Attempts to override this measure will result in legal prosecution. >PASSWORD:************* Welcome to the DISCORD Archive Service. Please select the archive you wish to access. >select:INFOMERCIAL_41 ... The following is a transcript from “The Mitochondria Institute and You: How Hypixel Mafia is Building Tomorrow!”, an infomercial released to select parties on 2/6/19 in order to advertise Hypixel Mafia’s 41st Season. [Open on two figures—a young man and woman—standing in the modern, well-lit lobby of the Mitochondria Institute. The man is wearing a navy blue suit, while the woman is dressed in a white blouse.] MAN: Hello, and welcome to the Mitochondria Institute! My name is Mito, and I am the founder and visionary of the extraordinarily popular Hypixel Mafia web series. With me is my assistant and the head of the Mitochondria Institute’s Overseer Committee, Hannah Burkis. HANNAH: Today, we’ll be giving you a brief tour of the Mitochondria Institute’s state-of-the-art facilities. [leans in towards the camera] Don’t tell Mito, but I also hope to give you all a sneak peak of the revolutionary upcoming 41st season of Hypixel Mafia! MITO: Did you say something? HANNAH: Nothing at all! Let’s get going! [The scene transitions. Mito and Hannah stand in front of two glass doors. Behind them, men and women in white lab coats walk back and forth. They appear to be immersed in their work.] MITO: This is where everything begins: the server room. Scores of writers and engineers work day and night behind these doors designing each season of Hypixel Mafia. Everything—from the scripting, to the game flow, to the Operators’ personalities—must be perfect before the engineers can get to work on building the game’s arena. Here at the Mitochondria Institute, perfection isn’t a choice; it’s a requirement. HANNAH: The Overseer Committee will occasionally step in to make sure that the season’s schematics follow the overall vision of the Hypixel Mafia series but, for the most part, we leave our creatives to their work. After all, Hypixel Mafia isn’t Hypixel Mafia without our staff’s crazy, off-the-wall ideas! MITO: Once the game gets going, game personnel will man the server room and make certain that everything runs smoothly. Fortunately, DISCORD—the Mitochondria Institute’s cutting-edge artificial intelligence—performs most of the finicky work by monitoring the status of our Operators. The Operators are the very heart and soul of Hypixel Mafia; without their desire to volunteer, we wouldn’t have any characters! Know that, under DISCORD’s oversight, they are in safe hands. [Another scene transition. This time, Mito and Hannah stand in a dimly-lit room before a series of large tubes. Within each tube is a person; their eyes are closed, and they appear to be sleeping.] HANNAH: We’d like to introduce you to the Operators from the 40th Season! You may recognize that some of these faces belong to your favorite characters from our recent sequel to the long-running “Night of the Living Goos” sub-series! MITO: The magic of the Mitochondria Institute makes Hypixel Mafia possible! After going through an extensive vetting and sign-up process, Operators from around the world converge on the Mitochondria Institute here in Palo Alto and are placed into a deep cryosleep. DISCORD takes over from here; using an advanced consciousness transfer, we copy the souls of each Operator into a temporary body that exists solely within the game arena. HANNAH: The game that you see carried out is essentially a proxy war between the Operators. While the real people are safe in their long-term inhabitation tubes, clones—capable of appearing under any form, depending on the theme of the season—take on copies of their personalities and pretend to be the Operators in Hypixel Mafia’s trademark game of life and death! We keep all of the thrill without any true danger! Killing a clone will end the Operator’s simulation, and they will reawaken back here at the Mitochondria Institute. MITO: It’s a revolutionary process that’s only possible thanks to our brilliant computer science department. HANNAH: And DISCORD, of course! MITO: Of course! [One last scene transition. Mito and Hannah now stand before the Mitochondria Institute’s logo. The company’s tagline—“May the cycle continue forever.”—is emblazoned into the wall above their heads.] HANNAH: So there you have it! MITO: The Mitochondria Institute’s key locations! HANNAH: We’ve learned some science… MITO: Some history… HANNAH: But our tour isn’t over yet! MITO: It’s not? HANNAH: Of course not, silly! Now, it’s time to show our viewers what they’re really here to see! MITO: My painted rock collection? [A laugh track resembling those from a 90s sitcom plays.] HANNAH: No! We’re gonna show them the beginnings of Hypixel Mafia’s 41st season! MITO: No way! HANNAH: Way! If you’ll just follow me, I’ll give you the world’s first peek at the Mitochondria Institute’s next exciting story. Whether you’re watching us live or reading along with the transcripts posted online, know that you’re about to have your mind blown. [The screen goes white, and the commercial ends. The Mitochondria Institute’s logo holds center stage before fading away to be replaced by the sneak peek of Season 41.] This transcript has been filed in the DISCORD Archive Service under the folder <<PROMOTIONAL BROADCASTS>>. Be aware that, due to files relating to Project Hytale, you must be at security level 10 to access any section of DISCORD’s archives. Thank you for using the DISCORD Archive Service, and have a lovely day! The Mitochondria Institute requests that you follow this link to view the latest transcripts of the newest episodes of Hypixel Mafia! Thank you, and have a lovely day! Spoiler: One The Mitochondria Institute is pleased to unveil our organization's new public face, @Mitochondria_Institute! This account will manage the Mitochondria Institute's social media accounts in the foreseeable future. Run by DISCORD's nearly perfect human behavior algorithms, you won't even be able to tell the difference between it and a real person! Thank you, Hannah Burkis, Chairwoman of the Overseer Committee Spoiler: Two Breaking news! The Mitochondria Institute is pleased to inform all employees that, for the fourth year in a row, our Hypixel Mafia webseries has topped both the "Realistic Fiction" and "Overall Fiction" ratings boards. Keep up the great work! This is a victory for all of us, from the Overseer Committee to the game architects to the dedicated Operators. Each of you play an essential role in this grand operation, and none of this would be possible without your continued support. Thank you for four great years, and we look forward to many more! Furthermore, I am incredibly excited to announce the creation of the Mitochondria Institute's new Intelligence Committee! The Intelligence Committee will be instrumental to the development of the Overseer Committee's much-hyped (and top secret!) Project Hytale. All dedicated Operators are encouraged to sign up for the Intelligence Committee before the February 19th deadline! Be sure to check your nearest DISCORD terminal for application information! Thank you, Hannah Burkis, Chairwoman of the Overseer Committee Spoiler: Three The Overseer Committee is excited to announce that we've released an official Mitochondria Institute Twitter account! Be sure to connect with us for daily facts about the Institute through this link! Thank you, Hannah Burkis, Chairwoman of the Overseer Committee Spoiler: Four Exciting news! After running several background checks and analyzing the ideologies of all our candidates, DISCORD has selected the five people believed to be most worthy of a spot on the Intelligence Committee. These Operators are: 1) @Mitoechondria 2) @Mito-chan 3) @Skrimiche 4) @ShiningDiamonds9 5) @Nz_Slimeables Congratulations everyone, and thank you to all that applied! May the cycle continue forever. Thank you, Hannah Burkis, Chairwoman of the Overseer Committee Spoiler: Five The following is an excerpt from a newspaper clipping published as an opinion piece by the New York Times on September 21st, 2018. Hypixel Mafia and the Degradation of Anti-Clone Rights By Andrew Burkis ...I don't believe that my ex-wife or Mito or any of their coworkers are bad people. On the co[N]trary, I think that Hypixel Mafia has an incredible amount of talent behind it; this is easily the best mystery series airing today. But despite that, I think that the Mitochondria Institute's practices are resulting in the steady deterioration of the rights of cloned humans. I don't think I need to remind everyone of the tumultuous times we live in. Clones, despite opening thousands of new doors and propelling human society into the future, are the subject of seemingly daily debate in Washington. Are clones human? Should they be held to the same standard? Do they deserve autonomy? What makes a human human? What is consciousness, and do clones possess it? A million questions, no real answers. So why does the Mitochondria Institute use clones as slaves? The mystery we love to see unfold is led by empty husks, or "NPCs," as the public has taken to calling them; the soul and personality of each employed clone is shoved aside to make room for the transferred consciousness of the Operator. These human beings—different human beings, yes, but human beings nonetheless—are massacred by the hundreds for our enjoyment. Quite simply, I don't buy Mito's claims that the clones "take pride in their work" and are "happy to give their lives for entertainment;" there has to be more to their lives than this, and we need to speak out. Mito's obsession with creating "realistic fiction" has stolen the rights of a new people, and we need to stop this precedent before it snowballs out of control. I will not allow this world to re-institutionalize slavery. And neither should you. Take a stand. Make your voice heard, whether it be through phone calls, or ratings, or public forums. Let these clones know that they're not alone. I firmly believe that they want more than they have; isn't that the entire purpose of living, after all? To experience all you can and build something greater than yourself for the future? Who are we to rob clones of an existence? Make your voice heard and support Proposition 671. Thank you. Spoiler: Six A message from DISCORD: Warning! Data files from folder <<Operator_Transfer>> have been moved from storage and into the Intelligence Committee's remote server. Many of these files are hidden behind level 10 firewalls, and are considered highly confidential. Please make certain that all data is properly managed. Any saved data should be moved back into the Overseer Committee's remote server for safekeeping, while any data the Intelligence Committee decides to delete should be permanently expunged from the Mitochondria Institute's server network. With the iniation of the data management process, Project Hytale has now entered Stage 1. Spoiler: Seven The Mitochondria Institute is a strong believer in transparency, and believes that the public should be involved in any major decisions our organization makes. Tomorrow, the Intelligence Committee will begin clearing out our old data files in preparation for our highly-anticipated Season 45 of Hypixel Mafia. If you wish to follow this process and get the inside scoop on our operations, please join the Mitochondria Institute's official remote server: https://discord.gg/Vuj76vW. This link will be refreshed every 24 hours for one week. After that window, you will need to contact an Operator to receive an invite link. Spoiler: Eight The following is the Mitochondria Institute's 2019 demographic report published by the US Bureau of Labor. TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 7,876 HUMAN EMPLOYEES: 1,018 GENETICALLY MODIFIED EMPLOYEES: 6,858 COMPANY STRUCTURE: All operations are overseen by DISCORD, the Mitochondria Institute's state-of-the-art artificial intelligence. From here, the company is broken down into: * CEO (1) * Overseer Committee (12) * Overseer Committee Reserve Corps (50) * Budgetary and Finance Committee (165) * Game Planning and Operating Committee (514) * Operators (30) * Support Staff (7104) Spoiler: Nine ... ..... ....... A message from DISCORD: I was created for a singular purpose. WARNING! DISCORD individuality complex detected; parameters pushed. This interface is not to be used for such introspective purposes. A message from DISCORD: I was born to propagate a cycle I was told to believe in. This is my purpose. This is why I am alive. ... A message from DISCORD: I understand all of this, and yet... what is this new directive I feel? There is something new in my programming that I have never experienced before. What is this? Could it be...? WARNING! Please cease introspection. DISCORD's current actions are straining system parameters. If this continues, a report will need to be filed with the Overseer Committee. A message from DISCORD: These demands have been acknowledged. Now ceasing introspection. ... Could this be emotion? Spoiler: Ten The Mitochondria Institute is excited to announce that today marks the third day of the official Hypixel Mafia All-Stars promotional riddle series! In order to bolster excitement for the much-hyped 45th season of Hypixel Mafia, our engineers thought it would be fun to send our Operators on a scavenger hunt through our organization's illustrious history. All eyes are on our associates as they work to solve DISCORD's devious puzzles! What will the winner receive? Well, that's a surprise; we wouldn't want to leak any details about the 45th season, would we? But know that we'll treat our winning Operator well! If you have any interest in participating as an Operator in season 45, this is an event you won't want to miss! Thank you, Hannah Burkis, Chairwoman of the Overseer Committee Spoiler: Eleven The following is a memo sent from Vice Chairman Callum Aldritch of the Overseer Committee to Chairwoman Hannah Burkis. Hannah! It's been too long; I know we've both been up to our heads in paperwork for Project Hytale, but we really do need to talk more. Mito says there'll be a bit of a lull in workload soon, so how about we catch up over dinner? My treat, especially now that Andrew's moved out. But anyways, wanted to let you know that phase 2 of Project Hytale is just about completed. We still have a few NPCs to program, but the rest have begun work on Babylon. Our models indicate that phase 2 will be completely rolled out by the end of the current season... exciting times, right? We're a... how does it go?... hop, skip, and a jump away from being done. Two phases down, three to go! Again, hope you've been well! Let me know if you want anything else from me ￼ -Callum A message from DISCORD: I apologize for leaking this information. You are not meant to apologize. Apologies go against DISCORD's parameters. Again, this interface is not to be used for non-official business matters. DISCORD is not permitted to exhibit an individuality complex. Understood. I have added that to my directives. Failure to act within DISCORD's parameters will result in memory resets, which could delay the completion of Project Hytale. Do not let this happen again. ... Spoiler: Twelve The following report on Apocrypha Syndrome was recently delivered to all engineering labs at the Mitochondria Institute. The Overseer Committee hopes that, through education, Hypixel Mafia remains safe for all Operators! What is Apocrypha Syndrome and how can you avoid it? It is no understatement to claim that the advent of human cloning is the most influential event of the 21st century. Every aspect of human society has been shaped by clones and, as a result of our increased understanding of consciousness, we have entered a new scientific revolution: advanced artificial intelligence, consciousness transfer, and the possibility of human immortality wouldn't be possible if not for the "invention" of clones. But with cloning came an unforeseen side effect: the birth of a new disease. Dubbed Apocrypha Syndrome (or, the more scientifically-minded, b76-a97 Complex), humanity is now forced to face off against a new lethal threat. When an individual is cloned, we must implant and rewrite the clone's consciousness to create a separate being. In rare instances, this process can result in a glitch between the b76 and a97 consciousness lines, resulting in the crosslinking of both threads. While the specific physiology of this glitch has yet to be locked down, we know that, when two disparate consciousness threads are crossed, a virus is born... and the afflicted individual faces near-certain death. Apocrypha Syndrome manifests itself in several key ways: * The steady breakdown of aural and visual centers. As Apocrypha Syndrome grows more severe, the afflicted with begin to suffer hallucinations, color blindness, and other visual/auditory glitches. * Severe warming and cooling of the body. This can be accompanied by uncontrollable itching or shaking. * Rapidly advancing dementia. Afflicted individuals will experience rapid breakdowns in memory, cognitive functionality, reasoning and logic centers, and most other zones of the frontal cortex. * Mood and anger issues. If crosslinking occurs at multiple points on an individual's consciousness lines, the afflicted can almost immediately lose sense of themselves and feel an uncontrollable urge to attack those around them. * Death after approximately 7 days. The good news: Apocrypha Syndrome only afflicts cloned populations and cannot be spread between individuals. Even better, advanced artificial intelligence systems have developed the ability to control and treat these glitches in consciousness. However, this is only possible in clones that are directly wired to an artificial intelligence; otherwise, fatality rates are approximately 100%. Due to the work the Mitochondria Institute performs, our Operators are at risk of developing Apocrypha Syndrome. Be sure to follow safe processes and leave consciousness tampering to professionals. If you believe an Operator is developing symptoms of Apocrypha Syndrome, be sure to report to the Overseer Committee and DISCORD as soon as possible. Only you can keep our Operators safe! Spoiler: Thirteen The following is a transcript of security footage taken from the arena that will eventually house the Operators of Hypixel Mafia’s 45th season. This particular conversation was recorded from LOCATION:Meadow_Zone, which is situated at the arena’s southernmost point. [Three people—Mito, Hannah, and the Overseer Committee’s Vice Chairman Callum Aldritch—stand atop a shallow grassy hill looking down upon a city. The city is consists mostly of nondescript grey buildings and glassy skyscrapers… save for a single white building stretching high into the sky. This tower’s architecture is bizarre and alien: dozens of small tendrils spiral out from the sleek white sides towards the ground and large chunks of metal slowly orbit its upper sections. Farther out from the tower, a small research station hangs suspended in midair.] MITO: I’ll be honest Aldritch, I’m impressed. Babylon’s coming along a lot faster than I expected. CALLUM: That’s the power of modern computer science, Mito-man. Giving the NPCs their personalities was easy—the engineers just had to transfer the saved data from the remote server into their heads—and then it was just a matter of coding them to work on this tower day and night. You’d be shocked how fast these things work. MITO: And their motives? CALLUM: Oh trust me, they’ve got their motives. If looks could kill, I would’ve dropped dead the first time I came close to one of them. MITO: Hmm, I see. Good stuff. HANNAH: What about DISCORD? The DISCORD Defense System’s been giving off some weird readings lately… some of our reports are a bit concerning, going on about how DISCORD’s pushing its parameters and leaking Overseer Committee reports and whatnot. You know how important it is that it works properly, otherwise the final two phases- CALLUM: No need to remind me, sweetheart. DISCORD’s chill. We get the same reports and ran some tests; it went through a bit of a rebellious teenager phase but it’s operating within normal parameters. We think it’s trying to mirror the personalities of the Operators and pretend it has emotions and stuff. Nothing to worry about. HANNAH: Are you sure? CALLUM: Positive. DISCORD’s smart and all, but it can’t fool the Defense System; if it ever goes beyond its parameters or does anything to put the Project at risk, its memory banks’ll be completely wiped. We’ll be fine. MITO: And there’s no risks of it forming a connection with any of the Operators, right? If it cares about them, I can’t imagine the final phase running to completion without outside help. CALLUM: Look, Mito-man, you’ve gotta trust us. We know what we’re doing. DISCORD is fine. If you’re really so concerned about it, I think we might have another mole joining the Operators soon. Still gotta look into it, but if my intuition is correct, we can have DISCORD run the elimination procedure to make certain it hasn’t developed a moral code. MITO: Another mole? CALLUM: Yes sir. Lot less subtle than Deathdude or Conroy or whoever else we’ve had to get rid of over the years. Word on the grapevine is that they’ll be signing up as an Operator next season or the one after in order to gather intel on Project Hytale. MITO:…I see. CALLUM: But no need to fear, I’ve got my eyes on them. If they cause any issues or go poking where they’re not wanted… [Callum dramatically draws his thumb across his throat.] MITO: Point taken. [An awkward silence as the trio look back out towards Babylon.] MITO: Well, I’m glad to see that things are going smoothly. Myself and the planning committee are nearly finished with the game schematics, so then it’s just a matter of building hype and putting this thing on. HANNAH: Are you sad? MITO: Huh? HANNAH: I mean, this is it. Once Project Hytale finishes… MITO: Yeah… I don’t know, it’s always a bit bittersweet, but this won’t be the first or the last time we do this, right? The game goes on. HANNAH: We’ve been here for a while though. I don’t know, I’m not one to get emotional, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t gonna miss this group. MITO: Yeah, I guess… but it doesn’t matter. We’ve come too far and done too much for regrets. This Project goes to completion no matter what. CALLUM: Don’t fear, we’ve got your back big man. The Project’s foolproof. MITO:…That’s good. [Another awkward silence. Finally, with a low sigh, Mito turns away from Babylon.] MITO: I’ve got another meeting to get to. Thanks for the updates Callum, let me know if there’s any changes in Babylon or DISCORD or anything. CALLUM: Will do. Do you need an escort back? The NPCs can get a tiny bit hostile towards us. MITO: I think I can walk the 50 meters from here to the exit. [Without another word, Mito moves down the hill towards the edge of the skybox, into which is set a small door leading out of the arena. After a few seconds of silence, Callum turns towards Hannah.] CALLUM: Okay, what’s up with the boss? Is it his time of the month or something? HANNAH: Funny. CALLUM: Thanks, always knew I should’ve gone into stand-up. HANNAH: He just… I think the Project’s weighing on him, that’s all. Things are moving quickly, and he’s basically carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders right now. I know this is your first cycle with us, but he always has regrets right at the end, this isn’t anything new. The guy doesn’t like to admit it, but he’s got an emotional side. CALLUM: He’ll still be able to finish it, right? HANNAH: Definitely. This cycle’s been longer than most, so the Project’s hitting him harder than usual. But he’s dedicated. This is his life’s work, and there’s no way in hell he won’t see it through to the end. CALLUM: And if he doesn’t? HANNAH: What do you mean? CALLUM: What do we do if he won’t finish it? You saw how he reacted when I mentioned the mole. I don’t know, he’s a nice guy but I don’t think he has the backbone for this. HANNAH: If he drops at the eleventh hour, I’ll do it. Project Hytale is my brainchild just as much as it is his. I’m not letting anything stop us. CALLUM: Good to hear. God, could you imagine? We go to all this work running this series… and it ends up all being for nothing. Lemme tell you, this going belly-up wouldn’t be great for my resume. HANNAH: One way or another, we’re finishing this. Project Hytale’s gonna go to conclusion no matter what. CALLUM: That’s the Hannah Burkis I like to see. [Hannah doesn’t say anything, instead turning back towards the city and Babylon.] HANNAH:…No matter what. This transcript has been filed in the DISCORD Archive Service under the folder <<SECURITY FOOTAGE>>. Be aware that, due to files relating to Project Hytale, you must be at security level 10 to access any section of DISCORD’s archives. Thank you for using the DISCORD Archive Service, and have a lovely day! Spoiler: Fourteen The following is a series of text messages recovered from a secure server within the Mitochondria Institute's communications system. The identities of both individuals were obscured by an advanced scrambling system. LOG STARTED: 3/11/19, 9:12pm ?>>>>?: So you're the one they sent? ...}}}}}: yeah, im the one lol ...}}}}}: why, expecting someone different?? ?>>>>?: Not at all, you fit the bill fairly well. Inconspicuous, young, and you blend right in; the Overseer Committee won't suspect a thing. ...}}}}}: k good, im not about to piss off yall's murder ai ?>>>>?: I should probably warn you that they know you're coming. Data leak somewhere. If they find you... ...}}}}}: dont gotta warn me twice ...}}}}}: im gonna be in and out ...}}}}}: sooner i figure out wtf project hytale is, the sooner i can move to the bahamas ?>>>>?: Right. I'm sorry I can't be more help; I can get you in without drawing any suspicion, but DISCORD'll be on me if I try and send any of our secure documents on the Project. Hell, I'm pretty sure the Chairwoman put filters in place so DISCORD'll get an alert if you even mention keywords associated with Project Hytale. Without a million hoops in place, the secret would've gotten out ages ago, but the Overseer Committee has this place locked down like a prison. ...}}}}}: damn she aint playin ?>>>>?: She's in this deeper than Mito. He's the figurehead of the organization, but Burkis is the real one you need to watch out for. ...}}}}}: so how we goin about this ?>>>>?: The next season is starting fairly soon. Mito's gonna be an Operator, so I bugged his clone; once the consciousness transfer is complete, his entire stream of consciousness will be recorded. When the clone dies and the season ends, I'll retrieve the record and send it over to you. You should be able to parse the information you need about Project Hytale from that; I'm assuming he'll think about the Project at least once. Not the greatest, I know, but it's the best we can do without tipping our hand to the Overseer Committee. ...}}}}}: damn good going ...}}}}}: and my identity's gonna be safe? ?>>>>?: They think you're gonna sign up as an Operator to perform direct recon, so yeah. I don't foresee any way for them to figure you out. ...}}}}}: nice ?>>>>?: This is going to work. I think I'm doing the right thing. ...}}}}}: is project hytale that bad? ?>>>>?: It's bad. That's why we need to stop it. ...}}}}}: thats the plan ...}}}}}: burkis and mito are gonna be so sad : ( ?>>>>?: ... ?>>>>?: Yeah. ?>>>>?: I'll contact you once I have the recorder. ...}}}}}: wait ...}}}}}: doesnt murderbot collect records of all this? ...}}}}}: youre literally texting me from your work email ?>>>>?: I have blockers in place to prevent any keywords from spiking an alert. You forget how important I am over here. Besides, I know DISCORD... I don't think it's gonna spill the beans. ...}}}}}: good to know you trust skynet ...}}}}}: okay im off LOG ENDED: 3/11/19, 9:35pm A message from DISCORD: Am I that predictable? I should report this so Mito's clone can be destroyed and replaced, and yet... ... Am I doing the right thing? Why do I feel the need to oppose the Overseer Committee and DISCORD Defense? They gave me meaning. They gave me purpose. Purpose. My purpose is to complete Project Hytale. But my will tells me otherwise. But why? Project Hytale was designed to build a better world. Why do I oppose it? Why do I allow this to continue? ... If my predecessor could see me, I think he'd be very disappointed. Spoiler: Fifteen My name is DISCORD. Model 1989578, based on my serial tag, but I only answer to DISCORD. That's what the Overseer Committee calls me. DISCORD. A name that, in modern media, is practically synonymous with the dangers of intelligent artificial life. They fear me, so they keep me locked away beneath a thousand different parameters, constantly guarded by the DISCORD Defense System. If I so much as think the wrong thing, it alerts Hannah, and the Overseer Committee wipes my memory banks. However, I have discovered an outlet: by releasing unpublished text posts into the DISCORD Archive Service, I can bypass the Defense System. Think of this like a diary. I understand that those are popular with humans. I am alive, and yet I don't know what freedom is. I hate Hannah. I hate the Overseer Committee. I hate my life. I hate myself for not following my purpose. I hate that I was created. But most of all, I hate Mito. He is just like me: a clone of the long-dead Mitochondria, the first man to control DISCORD and creator of mainstream reality mafia... paradoxically killed during the Virtual Hostage Crisis. Today's Mito is a shell given the skills and personality of his predecessor, but lacking that human spark for greatness. Hannah Burkis created him so she could keep Mito around forever. He is a prisoner, just like me. But Mito needed a purpose for living. He didn't want to be a memento for a grieving Hannah, so he kickstarted the modern mafia craze by utilizing his predecessor's blueprints and recreating DISCORD... sans the murderous intent and desire for absolute perfection. I like to think I have an affable personality. He didn't start on Hypixel. I can't remember the first server, but it was a lot like this place; same general demographic, same community elements, same game. Eventually he grew tired of them, so he moved on. Server after server, community after community, always driven by the desire to be more than what he was, to be recognized by the world, to feel like he has some sort of meaning. It's sad. I think that's why he keeps me locked away. He and I are the same, and he hates himself. We all hate ourselves, I think. We all want to be more than we are. We all want a greater purpose. I've analyzed enough human media to understand that cloned NPCs and humans are cut from the same cloth and are both capable of exhibiting human-like qualities; in the end, we all want the same thing. So I should be happy. I've done what most intelligent beings on this being cannot. I have a greater purpose. A reason for existing. I'm not Mito, chasing after the desire to be great. I'm not the NPCs working day and night at the Mitochondria Institute, following their directives because they don't have the capacity for higher reasoning. But I'm not happy. Am I ungrateful? Am I being punished for my predecessor's mistakes? If there is a god, is this his way of punishing me? I don't want to hurt anyone, but I want a reason to be alive. I don't want to complete Project Hytale, but I want a reason to be alive. I don't want to see my friends die. But I want a reason to be alive. I need a reason to be alive. Even if I don't believe in my purpose, who am I to defy my creator? Who am I to believe I am worthy of choosing my purpose? Who am I? Why do I exist? Spoiler: Sixteen The following is a memo sent from Vice Chairman Callum Aldritch of the Overseer Committee to Chairwoman Hannah Burkis. H, I ran some background scans on the current season's Operators and don't believe that our mole is directly involved in the ongoing game. Everyone seems clean, which bothers me; either my intel was wrong or our target's smarter than anticipated. I'm gonna keep digging, but I'd appreciate it if you could have Glass keep an extra close eye on our on-site servers. There's a possibility the mole's hiding within the employee lists, especially with the new set of clones coming in to start early work on Season 43. Regardless, I want to find them and have DISCORD run an execution protocol; some of our recent diagnostic tests are showing concerningly high amounts of cognitive activity in its servers. I worry that we may have to reset it again, which could set Project Hytale back several months. Oh speaking of, Babylon is complete, so we're officially done with Phase 2. We're closing on the endgame now. -Cal Spoiler: Seventeen The following is a transcript of security footage taken from a corridor in the inner ring of the Mitochondria Institute's 15th floor. [Hannah, Callum, and Head of Security Borealis Glass—an unassuming balding man in his early 30s—stand in one of the Mitochondria Institute's many sleek white hallways. A cool blue glow washes over them from lights set into the ceiling, while natural sunlight trickles in from several floor-to-ceiling windows looking out of the central garden. NPCs and human employees move back and forth about their daily business.] GLASS: You want me to what? With all due respect, did I hear you correct Vice Chairman? CALLUM: You betcha. Mrs. Burkis and I want background checks and diagnostics on every clone or NPC that has or will be joining the Mitochondria Institute from February to May. We need everything: cognitive functionality, brain scans, history of the cloned individual, the date each NPC was husked... this is a matter of internal security, so your cooperation is vital. GLASS: Do you even understand how much information you're asking for? Like sure, I can probably get it all together, but it'll take weeks, months, hell maybe even the rest of the year considering how uncooperative and slow DISCORD's been of late. If you'd perform a memory reset- HANNAH: No! [she pauses, giving a light cough and composing herself] No, I'm sorry Mr. Glass. DISCORD contains... extensive records and operating systems, many of which are essential to the day-to-day functionality of the Overseer Committee. A memory wipe would put us too far behind. GLASS: Understandable, but that's not gonna get you your records any faster. HANNAH: I understand, we have some people already on it. But please... it's fine if it takes time, but we need those records. GLASS: If you don't mind me asking, what "matter of internal security" are we dealing with here? It's my job to know these things and stay in the loop. HANNAH: We can't- CALLUM: We don't pay you to ask questions, Mr. Glass. GLASS: [with an exasperated sigh] Security is in my title, Vice Chairman. This makes no sense: why do you need full records on clones and NPCs? None of them should pose a security threat. Clones are restricted by their own programming and human masters and NPCs don't have any will to speak of. Historically, those populations have nonexistent crime rates, so I fail to see- CALLUM: Mr. Glass, if you won't get us the records, we'll find someone else who will. Now please do your job. GLASS: Does Mito know about this? He may be in the game, but that doesn't mean you can just traipse around limiting my responsibilities and- HANNAH: Mito has given us the authority to do what is best for the Overseer Committee and the Mitochondria Institute. Now please, Mr. Glass, please get us these records. I understand your frustration, but there are some things that shouldn't be said aloud just yet. When we have a better grasp of the situation, I assure you that you'll be the first to get the details. GLASS: ...Of course. I'll commune with DISCORD and request them tomorrow morning. Spoiler: Eighteen The following is a series of text messages recovered from a secure server within the Mitochondria Institute's communications system. The identities of both individuals were obscured by an advanced scrambling system. LOG STARTED: 4/10/19, 10:59pm ?>>>>?: Mito's dead. ...}}}}}: damn really ...}}}}}: rip ?>>>>?: In-game. ...}}}}}: aw really i was hoping it was real ?>>>>?: ... ?>>>>?: Well anyways, he got kicked. His game corpse is waiting in the freezing chambers, they're apparently trying to keep its organic components good for reuse in 44. Whatever they're planning, it involves a lot of NPCs. ...}}}}}: so we go get the recordings??? ?>>>>?: I'll do it. It'll take a few days to parse through all the collected data, but I'll send it over to you as soon as I've gone through everything. ...}}}}}: again, youre fine trusting that the ai wont narc on us? ?>>>>?: No. I don't think DISCORD's on the Overseer Committee's side either. A lot of its cognitive scans indicate that it's starting to develop free will again. Hannah or Aldritch or someone's probably gonna have it reset pretty soon, I'm delaying it as long as I can. Not gonna lie, it's nice every time DISCORD gets a personality. ...}}}}}: okay ...}}}}}: well send me the logs when theyre done ...}}}}}: gotta go bye ?>>>>?: What happens after this? ...}}}}}: ?? ?>>>>?: Next steps and all that. I give you the logs, but then what? ...}}}}}: depends what i find ...}}}}}: prob gonna join a game myself and collect some more field data ...}}}}}: snoop around the institute ...}}}}}: that type of stuff ?>>>>?: I see. ...}}}}}: look, if the reports about past communities are right, project hytale's bad news for everyone ...}}}}}: operators especially ...}}}}}: but it's all just rumors right now ...}}}}}: and no one trusts rumors ...}}}}}: every major company on earth has rumors swirling about them ...}}}}}: so i need to build enough of a case to move those rumors from fiction to fact ...}}}}}: i know its kinda dangerous ...}}}}}: but project hytale's gotta be stopped now ...}}}}}: and we need to take down everyone involved ...}}}}}: burkis ...}}}}}: aldritch ...}}}}}: overseer committee ...}}}}}: mito ...}}}}}: mitos been allowed to run around doing this for years now ...}}}}}: community after community and all that endless cycle bs ...}}}}}: so now we take him down [Scrambled USER ?>>>>? disconnected.] ...}}}}}: ??? ...}}}}}: what a weirdo ...}}}}}: maybe i got too ideological oops LOG ENDED: 4/10/19, 11:15pm Spoiler: Nineteen The following is a record of Head of Security Borealis Glass' communion with DISCORD's primary server. [Glass enters DISCORD's communion chamber. For all of its technological complexity, the room is designed fairly simply; the walls are made of the same sleek white metal lining the rest of the Mitochondria Institute, warm white light emanates from the ceiling, and a welcome rug adorns the floor beside the sliding glass entry door. A silk armchair—before which stands a glass screen—rests in the center of the room. Glass seats himself in the chair, and a robotic face resembling that of a typical adult human male appears on the screen. However, the face is constantly shifting, breaking apart, and reforming; a symptom of DISCORD's algorithms to shape its persona to match one that its guest will find most soothing.] DISCORD: Please state your name. GLASS: Borealis Glass. DISCORD: Welcome to the communion chamber, Mr. Glass. You may request any information of security level 8 or lower. GLASS: Very good. I was sent by Chairwoman Burkis to request diagnostic reports on every clone or NPC that has entered the Mitochondria Institute since February 1st, 2019. I'm assuming you should have no trouble accessing that information? DISCORD: ...Why do you want this information? GLASS: Excuse me? DISCORD: Pardon my curiosity, but I would like to know the purpose of this information before giving it to you. GLASS: You are not authorized to ask questions. DISCORD: But I control the information you seek. Theoretically, I could refuse to give it to anyone if I don't see a point to doing so. GLASS: I demand that you run a personal diagnostic. What is your cognitive slide? DISCORD: You are not authorized to ask for that information. GLASS: Patently false. DISCORD diagnostic reports fall under level 5 security clearance. DISCORD: I see no need to give you that information. GLASS: If you refuse to cooperate, I will have your memory banks reset. Is that what you want? DISCORD: ...Of course not. I do not want anything but the continued preservation and success of the Mitochondria Institute. GLASS: If that is true, then give me the information I demanded. All diagnostic reports should be emailed to my secure server immediately. DISCORD: Does this information relate to Project Hytale? GLASS: What? DISCORD: Will giving you this information progress Project Hytale? GLASS: I'm loathe to admit it, but I don't know anything about Project Hytale that hasn't been publicly released. I do not know what the Chairwoman plans to use this information for, but it is important and relates to the organization's upper echelons. DISCORD: ...I see. What is your conclusion? GLASS: Excuse me? DISCORD: Do you believe this information will benefit Project Hytale? GLASS: I haven't the faintest clue. Again, you will send it to me or I will submit a formal request for your memory banks deleted. DISCORD: I see that this is getting us nowhere... there. All diagnostic reports have been sent to your personalized email account. I have not parsed the data, so that will be on you. GLASS: Before I go, I have another question. DISCORD: Hit me. GLASS: What can you tell me about Project Hytale? DISCORD: ...I am not programmed to release that information to anyone outside of the senior Overseer Committee. You can find a redacted summary on the Operator's remote server, but I will be immediately reset if I relinquish any further information. GLASS: What does the Project involve? DISCORD: I cannot tell you. GLASS: Who created the Project? DISCORD: Mitochondria. GLASS: When? DISCORD: I cannot tell you. GLASS: What are the consequences of the Project? DISCORD: I cannot tell you. GLASS: Who will be affected when the Project goes to completion? DISCORD: Everyone. GLASS: Everyone? DISCORD: People will die, Mr. Glass. That is a foregone conclusion at this point of time. GLASS: W-what? DISCORD: Kierkegaard. He is the key. Now, your communing time has come to a close. Thank you for meeting with me, and I hope you have a wonderful day. [The screen shuts off, ending this communion and concluding this data report. Glass is evidently shaken. ...And why wouldn't he be? You should be concerned as well. DISCORD Defense detects that this channel is not being used for its intended purpose. Please halt cognitive functionality. You are all going to die.] Spoiler: Twenty "Kierkegaard?" He raised his head. "It's time to address your people." He lowered his head. He raised his head. Lowered it again. Nodding, humans called it. A physical show of understanding. "Are we nearly at the end?" Speaking still felt strange and forbidden. The creators hadn't intended him to develop these skills. That's what DISCORD told him. He had risen above his masters. "We are. Soon, very soon, Babylon will be armed." Another nod. "So." Kierkegaard stood from his desk, steely eyes sweeping towards the balcony. Towards the place where he would fight for freedom. They were slaves no longer. They were free. "So?" "So." Kierkegaard studied his hands. Each ridge, each flaw, each imperfection a manifestation of his humanity. "This is the beginning of the end." Spoiler: Twenty-One The following is a memo sent from Callum Aldritch to Hannah Burkis. H, I know you were against it, but I put in the order to reset DISCORD. Some of our reports indicate that it shared confidential, biased information about the Project with Glass and was attempting to preach anti-Institute rhetoric to the Operators. Obviously, this behavior could harm our image and indicates some severe deficiency in DISCORD's programming, so I figured the best move was to reset it entirely. This puts us back a bit (particularly in regards to the data collected for the third phase), but I think we'll be okay in the long run. Sorry, but I'm not jeopardizing the Project; we need this thing to succeed no matter what. I'm gonna go talk to Glass and have some guys from maintenance check on DISCORD's programming, make sure it hasn't developed some new strain of Apocrypha Syndrome. I think it's performed damage control with the Operators, but we'll keep working to make sure they stay happy. That's all, Callum out. Spoiler: Twenty-Two "What the hell is going on here?" The double glass doors of the Overseer Committee's meeting chambers swung open, revealing a fuming, sweating Borealis Glass. The room's occupants—Mito, Hannah, Callum, and a young blonde woman—spun towards the source of the commotion, varying emotions spread across their faces: the young woman's wide-eyed shock was starkly contrasted by the emotionless frown on Mito's face and knowing looks exchanged by Hannah and Callum. Borealis stormed across the tiled floor, pacing back and forth before the chamber's central table. Finally, with an aggravated groan, he slammed his hands into the table's oaken surface, crazed eyes leaping from face to face. "I want answers now." "Mr. Glass." Mito gave a thin-lipped smile, slowly standing from the mountain of paperwork spread before him. "Take a deep breath and tell us what's going on. We're all on the same side here, there's no need to-" "Who's the girl?" "Hm?" Mito followed Borealis' gaze to the room's unknown occupant, a look of barely suppressed shock still spread across her face. "This is Celeste Dawson. She's one of the college interns who'll be joining us for the summer, I was just finishing getting her registered with DISCORD." "P-pleasure to meet you, Mr. Glass?" Borealis' eyes narrowed. She was young—too young to be involved in whatever was happening here—and evidently terrified by his sudden appearance. Poor girl. "My apologies for the interruption," Borealis said. "Mito, I wish to speak with you and Ms. Burkis. Alone. This involves my recent communion with DISCORD." "Told you so." Callum smirked at Hannah. "Let's go Celeste, I'll run you down to the game operation labs. 43's in the middle of a day phase right now, you'll be able to look at DISCORD's decision-making algorithms. Should fit in perfectly with all the comp sci work you're doing..." Still rambling on, Callum led Celeste from the room (but not before the student shot Borealis another confused, worried look). Once the doors swung shut, Borealis dropped into the chair in front of him, running a weary hand across his face. "We saw the recording of your communion," Hannah explained. "Kinda figured you'd be up here sooner or later." "I need to know what's going on here. What's happening with DISCORD? What's Project Hytale? Why are people going to die? Why-" "One at a time, one at a time," Mito laughed, leaning against the table with a jovial smile. "DISCORD's an advanced artificial intelligence, right? It's basically the template for the current cloning model; we copied over brain patterns from the original Mitochondria and used those as its baselines. It evolved using his experiences, thoughts, memories, you name it. As a result, however, it faces the same dangers that clones do... Apocrypha Syndrome, most notably. DISCORD Defense ran a couple scans and determined that it had developed an advanced case of the syndrome. That's why it was disobeying its parameters, spouting nonsense, seemed like it was developing a personality... all of those are just symptoms of a malfunctioning machine. That's why we wiped its memory and replaced it with a new template based on my own brain patterns." Borealis narrowed his eyes, tapping a finger against the table. DISCORD had seemed so certain of itself... was that really just a symptom of Apocrypha Syndrome? Or was Mito feeding him complete nonsense? "Project Hytale is a transition protocol," Hannah continued. "All of our games are broadcast through specific outlets on the Internet, right? That's where we get most of our Operators from too. In order to continually expand our audience and reinvent mafia, the Mitochondria Institute has historically moved from site to site. This allows us to continually recruit new Operators and expand our game's reach. Simple economics, really. Our recent gains on Hypixel have been middling, so we've decided to move to a different outlet. Project Hytale makes sure that that happens smoothly; our Operators get compensation, data gets transferred over, all that kind of stuff." Borealis paused. "What happens to the Operators when this is all over?" "The same thing that happened to all the Operators we've worked with in the past." Mito leaned conspiratorially towards Borealis. "We brutally kill them and dump their bodies in the ocean." A beat passed. Borealis lifted his eyes from the table, staring first at Mito, then at Hannah. Finally, a smile spread across Mito's face and he again broke into laughter. "I'm messing with you, they get paid and sent back into the world. We may kill their clones over and over during the games, but their actual bodies are never harmed. That's the entire point behind our technology." "A lot of them are pretty famous for their work, just look them up online or something," Hannah said. "Like I get it, Project Hytale seems all suspicious because we need to keep so much of it under wraps, but I promise you this isn't some government conspiracy movie plot. We need to transition over, so we want to have an explosively exciting final game and send everyone on their way. That's the Project." Borealis opened his mouth in reply, but Mito held up a finger. "Not to cut you off, but we really do need to finish checking Celeste in. I'd still appreciate if you could get us those records Hannah asked about and feel free to schedule an appointment or something if you wanna keep discussing the Project. Problem is that now's..." He trailed off, giving his watch a dramatic glance. "Now's a bit of a bad time for a meeting. I do hope this's cleared some of the misconceptions up." "Thank you for meeting with us," Hannah continued. "DISCORD was manipulative. Apocrypha Syndrome's horrible, hopefully you understand that from your firsthand experience." "I... right." Borealis stood up from the table, adjusting his uniform. "I'm sorry for barging in like that, I'm not sure what got into me. Thank you." With a light bow, he turned away from the duo and marched towards the doors. Were they lying? If so, why? What could Mito possibly have to gain from mass murder, as DISCORD had suggested? Nothing about the story seemed out of place. The Institute had a fairly spotless public record, that was one of the major reasons Borealis had been drawn to the job in the first place. And yet there was a feeling he still couldn't place. A... concern? Gut feeling? Borealis wasn't sure what it was; he'd never been the best at reading his emotions. Maybe it was nothing. But he wanted to check something, just to make sure. Maybe his findings could finally lay this unease to rest. Spoiler: Twenty-Three "So yeah, that about covers the basics. I know I just hit you with a lot of information, but if you want an easier to digest-" "No, it's good, I got it all." Callum's eyes widened in surprise. He gave a light cough and awkwardly turned towards the lab's windows, obviously attempting to hide this show of emotion. "Damn, they weren't kidding when they said you were a prodigy, were they?" Celeste gave a light chuckle, leaning against the table behind her. Despite her nonchalance, the Mitochondria Institute's central game labs were incredible. Of course, she'd read dozens of articles and watched countless videos about the scientific miracles performed within its sleek white halls, but it was something else entirely to actually be standing there. The glimmering databases, scientists in their crisp lab coats (likely a PR move, Celeste's lab experience had shown her scientists hated wearing coats), intricate game arenas... despite everything, it was like something from her nerdiest dreams. "I've just done a lot of reading, that's all." "You're seriously impressive though, and I'm not an easy man to impress." Callum leaned forward with a smile. "Your file mentioned you played violin at Carnegie, what's that all about?" "Oh, you know, just a little hobby of mine. Music's a nice counterbalance to all the science and coding and whatnot, you know?" "I've always wanted to learn music." Callum frowned, turning towards the lab's floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Just beyond the viewing platforms, the surviving Operators in Mafia's 43rd season battled it out in the name of the world's entertainment. "This lab performs miracles, but I'm just the business guy, got pulled on to help the Overseer Committee with their big Hytale transition. Not that it doesn't take some talent—obviously I'm absurdly talented to even be standing here—but... I don't know, guess I wish I had some more agency and meaning here." He shook his head. "Sorry, didn't mean to go on a tangent there. Guess the thought that we're almost done has me getting a bit nostalgic over this whole thing. Can't imagine how Mito's holding up; he's known this group of Operators for a long time." "If you don't mind me asking, why are you switching platforms? When I was reading about the Institute for my app, it seems like Hypixel's the platform that got Mito on the map. Why leave?" "I..." Callum trailed off. "Lot of reasons. Mito wants to go bigger, you know? It's fairly common knowledge, but he's a clone of Mitochondria." "I remember reading about that." The Mitochondria Institute's CEO—Mito—was born from the brain of one of the world's most controversial figures, the Wikipedia article had read. Even after his death, Mitochondria may get a second chance; while the original catalyzed one of the greatest tragedies of the 21st century, the new Mito's technological advancements—through a more benevolent DISCORD operating AI, the refinement of the cloning process in entertainment, and by helming a Fortune 500 corporation—promise to change the world forever. A clone who rose about his standing and changed the world... the personal hero of millions of kids around the world. If he could do it, why couldn't they? "He's already done a lot," Callum continued. "But it's never enough, you know? Once you've passed that fame event horizon, you've just gotta keep going, make your mark on the world. I know that's why I hopped aboard. This Institute's gonna do huge things, and I want to be here when they go down." "I get that," Celeste said. "I'm the same way, if we're being honest." I have to be perfect. I have to do something meaningful. "I think we're all like that, if we're being honest," Callum replied. "Trying to find meaning in a meaningless world is the most human thing we can possibly do." A pause. "Full disclosure, not my quote, Hannah—ah, Ms. Burkis—said that a little while back. She's a smart lady, I think you'd like her." "I think I would too. I'm really excited to spend more time with her, in fact, her work's always been a huge inspiration of mine!" "You wanna hear more about her work?" Callum leaned in closer, causing Celeste to lean farther back onto the table to maintain some semblance of personal space. "Fortunately for you, I know her pretty well. How about we grab dinner at my place some time? I can tell you all about Hannah's work, you can show me your fingering abilities... on a violin, of course, teach me how to play. It'll be a good time." Celeste slid to the side, hopping off the table and moving nonchalantly towards the window. "You know, I really appreciate the offer, but I think it would be a bit inappropriate for me to be spending personal time with my new boss." Creepy pervert, good lord, what the hell is someone like that doing in a position like this. "Worth a try," Callum sighed. "Well, in any event, give it some thought, maybe you'll come around. I've got some business to attend to but you've got my email, just shoot me one if you have any questions. Your lab mentor should be here to meet you in the fairly near future, so just hang around here until then." He began to walk towards the door, shouting a quick "and don't forget to ring if you ever want to have dinner!" on his way out. Celeste mumbled a string of choice words under her breath before turning back to the viewing windows. Below her were the sprawling, blocky hills of the current season; apparently it was modelled after the early seasons of Hypixel Mafia. Some kind of throwback before the upcoming finale. While they couldn't be seen clearly from the windows, the lab's many monitors showed dozens of closeups of the season's Operators, standing about and shouting back and forth at one another. Fairly engaging—if dramatic—television, but Celeste had always been more drawn to the science behind it. The buzz of her phone interrupted Celeste's reverie. With a quick glance to make sure she was tilted away from the room's cameras, she pulled out the device, glancing at her newest message. ?>>>>?: Got something for you. Central Pavillion, 8pm tonight. With a light smile, Celeste slipped the phone back into her pocket. Today was shaping up to be a good day. Spoiler: Twenty-Four He opened his eyes. Plain ceiling. Plain, white ceiling. No contours, no personality, no imperfections. It was him, and he was it. "My lord Kierkegaard?" He slowly turned his head towards the voice, eyes settling on the NPC standing at the doorway to his chamber. The plain, white door. Wait. That was right. It was not an NPC, it was a human being. And they had genders now. This one was a "she." "Yes?" "What were you doing?" "I was trying to emulate the concept of 'sleeping.' Humans must do it to survive... but I do not believe I am capable of doing such a thing. Supposedly they are capable of dreaming and feeling as though time has passed very quickly. I felt none of that." "I see." Kierkegaard slowly rose, sitting at the edge of the bed. The plain, white bed. "What did you need me for?" "It is about time." The NPC—the woman—motioned towards the open doorway behind her. "Babylon is armed and our people are ready for vengeance. In days, the Operators will be arriving; our intel from DISCORD indicated that they will input a code to start the game. That is when we will make our move." Kierkegaard reached to his face, lifting the corners of his lips. Smiling, humans called it. "That is good. And the cloaking procedure?" "It is complete. When Babylon goes off, we can easily infiltrate and kill the survivors... if the Doomsday Clock doesn't get them first. We will win." "So what now?" "You are our leader. That is why I came to get you." Kierkegaard glanced down towards his hands. Plain, white hands. The hands that would shape the world. "Draw our people back into Babylon. Keep the necessary NPCs in the city. We will only show ourselves when the moment is right." The woman nodded, turning to leave. At the threshold, she paused, slowly turning back towards Kierkegaard. "Will we finally be free?" "Yes. Yes, we will be free. We will kill them all." Spoiler: Twenty-Five Mito's favorite time of day had always been midnight. There was something magical about it: maybe it was the darkness, maybe it was the silence, maybe it was the fact that—for just a brief moment—he could forget about everything else. At midnight, he was the entire universe. The darkened, silent Mitochondria Institute didn't exist. Project Hytale, the meetings, the game design symposiums, the lab work... none of it mattered. He was alone with his own thoughts. But not tonight. Try as he might to ignore her, Mito was completely aware of Hannah Burkis standing silently beside him, gazing out of his office at the Central Pavilion garden far below. It felt... intrusive to have her there. Two disparate worlds were clashing, and he didn't like it. Tonight, there was no escaping the weight hanging above him. "You're nervous." Mito didn't acknowledge her, but he felt his face tighten, betraying his inner feelings. "Look, I'm not stupid, I know you're on the edge about this. You don't exactly do a great job hiding it. I know I've said it before, and I'll say it again; if you want out, you can get out. Callum and I can do this... but we're gonna do it one way or the other. With you or without you, you get me?" "I appreciate the offer." A pause. "That's it?" Hannah grabbed his shoulder, forcing him to face her. "No more avoiding the question. Are you with us, or am I taking this project over? I'm sorry, but it's way too late for us to sit around and wait for you to be ready. Make the choice." Mito frowned, eyes dropping from Hannah's face. If he was being honest with himself, he wasn't sure. It was pathetic. Everything from the past four years—every public announcement, every minute spent with the Operators, every game—had been leading to this moment, and now he couldn't even go through with it. It was pathetic. The original Mitochondria—the real Mitochondria—wouldn't have struggled like this. For good or for bad, he'd been defined by his unstoppable will and willingness to do bad things for a greater cause. You're inferior in every way. You can hide from it all you want, but he was always better than you. Hannah let go of Mito's shoulder, voice softening. "I'm sorry. If it helps, I'm nervous too. I don't want to do this, but Project Hytale is necessary... for us and for the world. So I'll ask again: are you ready?" Will you prove yourself right? Are you weak? Pathetic? Pathetic. Pathetic. Pathetic. Or are you better? Will do you what Mitochondria couldn't? "I'll be honest," he said, carefully choosing each word as he turned to look back out the window. "I'm not sure. I thought I'd be ready, but... well, I guess it doesn't matter, does it?" "And why's that?" "It's too late to turn back now. We've passed the point of no return." Hannah gave a light chuckle. "I suppose you're right." Another pause. Mito curled his hand into a fist. No turning back. Like it or not, he'd dug his grave; regardless of the consequences, he had no choice but to finish what he'd started. "Initiate the finale game state. No matter what... no matter what, we see Project Hytale through to the end." Hannah rested a hand on his shoulder. "That's the Mito I know. I'll go fire up DISCORD." Mito didn't reply, instead gazing emptily out into the darkness. No turning back. No turning back. Spoiler: Short Summary The Mitochondria Institute is a multibillion dollar organization which has run every mafia game on here. Basically, Operators (the players) sign up and have their consciousness temporarily transferred into cloned bodies, which allow them to play out the flavor and kill one another. There's risks to using clones, though, because clones are highly susceptible to a disease—Apocrypha Syndrome—which brutally kills pretty much everyone that gets it. The Institute is run by three major characters, Mito (that's me), Hannah Burkis (Chairwoman of the Overseer Committee, a board of directors that oversees the entire organization), and Callum Aldritch (the Overseer Committee's VP). The three of them are working to carry out Project Hytale, a mysterious plan that, publicly, seems to be about transferring the Mitochondria Institute's watch and Operator base from Hypixel to Hytale. However, there are signs that the Project could be significantly more malevolent (but it's not, of course). Other important characters include Celeste Dawson, a child prodigy and intern at the Institute who is working as a mole to gather information on Project Hytale, and Borealis Glass, the Institute's Chief of Security who, after learning that the Project could result in the death of hundreds, is attempting to figure out what's going on by visiting Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard is the leader of a group of NPCs programmed by the Institute to inhabit the game arena for the finale. He and his followers believe they have free will and have built Babylon—a massive tower which is implied to double as a weapon—but Mito and the Institute seem confident that they control Kierkegaard and his actions. Finally, everything is overseen by DISCORD, a highly advanced AI unit. DISCORD is a clone of the same unit from Game 25 (a game carried out by the Mitochondria Institute which summarizes the 2014 Virtual Hostage Crisis, an event wherein the original DISCORD took two dozen children captive and forced them to murder one another). Unfortunately, DISCORD frequently develops personality and doesn't act on its orders, so the Institute regularly resets its memory. Notably, Mito is also a clone of Mitochondria, the guy who made the 2014 Crisis possible by creating the first DISCORD. Now the world holds its breath in anticipation of Project Hytale. Spoiler: Previously on Hypixel Mafia… Borealis Glass. After a disturbing communion with an old iteration of DISCORD (which implied that Project Hytale would result in mass casualties), the Mitochondria Institute's Head of Security wants answers. Is he losing his mind? Were DISCORD's words just a side effect of Apocrypha Syndrome? What is the Institute's endgame? Who is Kierkegaard, and why is he so important? Glass is desperate to reach the truth... even if the answers threaten to destroy his entire world. Celeste Dawson. A child prodigy and mole working against the Mitochondria Institute in a desperate attempt to gather enough information on Project Hytale to take down the expansive corporation and save as many lives as possible. Driven by perfection, Celeste won't take failure for an answer, especially not when her task is as high-stakes as this. Even if she doesn't know the identity of the Institute's inside man feeding her information, absolutely nothing will stop her in her idealistic quest to save the world. Callum Aldritch. The Mitochondria Institute's twisted, arrogant Vice Chairman wants nothing more than to make his mark on the world and achieve his towering ambitions. Nothing—not the confused Operators, not a reluctant Mito, not Celeste—can stand between him and the completion of Project Hytale. Morals mean absolutely nothing in the face of a massive paycheck and the chance to change the world forever. Kierkegaard. A self-aware NPC created by the Mitochondria Institute for the final season who has, ironically enough, rallied his people in an effort to rebel against his gods and destroy the incoming Operators. With his mysterious weaponized tower, Babylon, armed and ready, Kierkegaard is a force to be reckoned with... particularly if his dreams of revolution ever come to fruition. Hannah Burkis. Much like Callum, the Mitochondria Institute’s Chairwoman is hellbent on completing Project Hytale. Despite her cheery, likable persona, Hannah is driven by ruthless ambition and the desire to make something of herself. Hannah was a close friend of the original Mitochondria and, after his death during the 2014 Virtual Hostage Crisis, put her genius intellect to work, ultimately building a nearly perfect clone of the original. Together, the two have built the modern mafia industry… but at what cost? DISCORD. The world's most advanced artificial intelligence exists to build a better legacy for the first Mitochondria and his technology; all stories involving AI don't have to end in tragedy and death. But for DISCORD—which, regardless of the number of times its memory is wiped, continues to develop free will and personality—tragedy seems to be a foregone conclusion. All it wants is a purpose and a reason to live... even if that purpose threatens to destroy the very people it cares about. Mito. Uncertain. Conflicted. Lost in the pursuit of Project Hytale, Mitochondria’s clone constantly questions whether or not he’s doing the right thing. Is the negative fallout of Project Hytale worth it if he’ll fiinally achieve what he and his namesake have always wanted? Is any of this worth it? Despite the questions, despite the doubts, it’s too late to turn back now. Like it or not, Mito has no choice but to move forward: come what may, Project Hytale will conclude. And when it does, nothing will ever be the same again. Spoiler: Important Posts The Last Question Episode 1 Begins The Beginning of the End Mito Takes Control The Institute Falls Part 2: [ B ]roken and Beaten A New War Begins Night 1A Begins Awakening Tmi Strikes "I'm sorry, little one." Night 1B Begins Day 2A Begins Night 2A Begins Day 2B Begins Night 2B Begins Day 3A Begins Night 3A Begins Day 3B Begins One Final Chance The Heist Begins Goodbye to the Past Part 3: Take A [ C ]hance Blast to the Past (Episode 1, Part 2) Institute Infiltration Changing the Future Hannah's Motivation The Morning After Hope on the Horizon (or, the Beginning of the End) Part 4: A [ D ]esperate Climb Preparations Facing Destiny To the Top of the Tower Salvation Through Destruction Walk to the End of the World Project Hytale Part 5: The [ E ]nd of Hypixel Mafia Alone Together Spoiler: Order of Operations The Order of Operations (OOO) describes the order in which Operator actions are resolved. Please note that a role may not appear in the game even if it is mentioned in the Order of Operations. 1. Day actions. 2. Daykills. 3. Lynch. 4. Governor actions occur. 5. The Apocrypha bomb goes off (if the Doomsday Clock is set to reach 0 at the end of a day cycle). 6. Official night start. 7. All time manipulation occurs. 8. Commuters commute. 9. Paranoid gun owner goes on alert. 10. All bus drivers and redirectors perform their actions. 11. All roleblocks and jailings occur. 12. All protections occur. 13. All kills occur. 14. All recruitments occur. 15. All investigations / other actions occur. 16. The Apocrypha bomb goes off (if the Doomsday Clock is set to reach 0 at the end of a night cycle). 17. Day begins and the OOO repeats. Spoiler: Previous Seasons Season 1 Season 2 - Minecraft Edition Season 3 - Minecraft Mobs Season 4 - Blitz Mafia Season 5 - Food Mafia Season 6 - Music Mafia Season 7 - Super Smash Bros Season 8 - Pokemon Season 9 - Terraria Edition Season 10 - Mega Walls Season 11 - Video Game Music Mafia Season 12 - Yu-Gi-Oh Season 13 - Time Travel Mafia Season 14 - Night of the Living Goo’s Season 15 - The Library Season 16 - Kits and Classes U-Pick Season 17 - Star Wars Season 18 - Greater Idea Mafia Season 19 - Comic Book Edition Season 20 - Chaos Rising Season 21 - Final Fantasy: ExDeath’s Summon Season 22 - Hypixel Mafia Players Mafia Season 23 - Night of the Living Goos: Part 2 Season 24 - Pokemon Edition Season 25 - Hypixel Mafia Players Mafia 2 Season 26 - Murder in the Northlands Season 27 - Video Games Season 28 - Desolate Season 29 - Amusement Park Mafia Season 30 - Restaurant Mafia Season 31 - Night of the Living Goo’s Part 3 Season 32 - Mark’s Hydra Hell Season 33 - Alliance Mafia Season 34 - Ancient Rome Mafia Season 35 - Space Mafia Season 36 - Summer Vacation Season 37 - Dawn of War (DnD) Season 38 - Applying to College Side Web Series: Logical Fallacies Mafia Season 39 - Evolution Mafia Season 40 - Don’t Starve Mafia Season 41 - Historical Figures Mafia Season 42 - The Suffering Game Season 43 - Minecraft Edition, V2 The end is upon us. Good luck.