In the year 2XXX, education had reached an unrecoverable point. As the relationship between countries turned sour, the information being fed to citizens became more and more distorted, and the brewing distrust spread through the Internet, which in turn rapidly increased that distrust among others. Eventually, officials decided to take matters into their own hands, and resorted to the ancient method of persuasion known as 'war'.
Everything went wrong, and the world was met with devastation. After the chaos dissipated, a project was started to once more provide the correct information to new generations of youths, to help everyone coexist and build a friendly society once more, for the sake of everlasting peace.
Known as Project DEAD - "Digital Education Against Devastation" - the plan was to create a purely online learning environment for youths to participate in via virtual dive technologies, allowing them to effectively partake in classes and discussion while the world had been trying to rebuild itself.
To participate in this project, various institutions began popping up to offer a virtual space for cultivating the minds of future youths.
"...therefore, we here at CNTR Academy - pronounced 'Center Academy' - are happy to announce the activation of our servers, effectively marking us as one of those very institutions to nurture the young children of today!"
Today's tale begins at the large, digital garden, in a realm that doesn't exist in real life.
As many staff members stand near the gates of the academy, in their own custom avatars, tension and excitement were radiating from every angle. One of the excited people, with the avatar of what seems to be an invisible woman wearing a bright, cherry pink blazer, pink framed glasses, and a wig accompanied by light pink ribbons, formed a peace sign with her hands in front of a floating display screen.
"And to make sure the moment of our opening goes down in history, I - code name 'CHERRY', homeroom teacher of Classroom B - am going to record every second of today to save in our archives!" the woman said.
Running around, she started taking snapshots of her and other staff members, who posed along without any complaints.
Eventually, another avatar - a floating, human-sized jellyfish glowing red - drifted towards the excited woman.
"Hey, now. Take a chill pill, CHERRY," the jellyfish avatar said. "You're going to end up stressing yourself out before you even meet the students."
"I know, I know," Cherry replied with an eye-roll vibe. "But I'm just so excited, you know? We're finally starting! We're... our school is finally starting, MOONSHINE!"
Moonshine, or so the man was called, chuckled. "That's understandable. Even I can't wait to meet our new students."
"Oh, but I guess being too hyped up might scare away the children," Cherry said after the thought struck her.
"No, that doesn't need much concern," Moonshine replied. "Not like they can quit school forever before they even start, right?"
Tilting her head, Cherry eventually nodded. "Yeah, that makes sense, I guess. Then- resuming excitement!" she yelled and cheered.
Suddenly, they heard the sound of party poppers going off. The two turned to the 'entrance' of the school, where a large circle had been set in front of the open gate. It began glowing brightly, spinning as data started leaking through, and then-
"They're here!" Cherry squealed.
One by one, avatars that were less, equally or more bizarre, started warping into existence digitally. Many looked around, few talked to others in the same situation, some stepped forward, but none panicked nor disappeared into wherever they had appeared from.
"Yes, yes, I get it," Moonshine muttered, one of his tentacles trying to push his colleague's invisible human avatar off him. "I'm excited too, but calm down."
Cherry separated from the jellyfish avatar and gasped. "Oh, you know what? Wouldn't it be great if I also got an interview with one of the students?" she said. "Like... think about it! Our grand opening goes down in history, and we also get the feedback of excited children showing how successful we are! Isn't that genius?"
"Uh, I guess so," Moonshine replied. "Sure, go for it."
Smiling brightly (or at least, it was obvious that she did so), the invisible woman in cherry pink blazer skedaddled over to the warp circle, where their to-be students were still appearing like a swarm of flies.
"Excuse me! Hello! Hey there!" Cherry greeted each and every one of the emerging avatars, most who were visibly stunned by her enthusiasm and quietly crept away. Not noticing this, however, she picked a random avatar and sauntered over to them. "Hello there!"
The person unfortunate enough to be selected by her was someone in the avatar of a palm tree, with wooden legs. Two floating orbs, most likely to represent the user's hands, floated in place of said appendages. "...hi," a young girl's voice answered.
Cherry smiled and held up the mic to where she assumed would be the avatar's designated speaker area. "How are you feeling right now, about finally getting to attend CNTR Academy? Would you mind elaborating your thoughts?"
"...CNTR Academy," the palm tree avatar mused. After a few seconds of silence, the tree ruffled slightly, as if exhaling in amusement. "I think it seems like it's going to be a lot of fun," she said, before continuing her walk towards the digital building in the distant.
The other woman's mic dropped slightly. "Well, uh, that wasn't really a satisfying answer," she said. "Or, uh, an answer at all, but oh well! Glad that you're eager to have fun!"
Waving to the palm tree girl, Cherry took in a deep breath and then yelled after her:
"Welcome to CNTR Academy!"