Map of Secret Puzzles

Across the bridge, you find yourself in a small cluster of buildings. To the right, you can make out what seems like a fire. In front of you is an enormous chestnut bookshelf, so large that it towers over you. Someone is moving the books back and forth across the bookshelf in a seemingly random fashion. Nearby, a pile of stones is scattered across the floor in an intricate pattern.

But the strangest thing of all: above your head, you see what is unmistakably the sky. The moon is shining over your head: which is strange, because it was still daylight when you crossed the bridge.

How is this possible?, you think to yourself. After all, you got here by taking an underground tunnel.

You don’t have time to sort out your bewilderment as the person notices you coming and glances your way.

“Yo, ! Name’s Steve. Ya must be the new guy from the other side.”

“You… know who I am?”

“No, but we knew y’all were coming. No one manages to find that bridge without some source of light, so ‘soon as anything flashes on the other side of the bridge, we know we got visitors comin’ round.”

“Oh…”, you say. That seems to make sense, but the situation is still so surreal that Steve’s calmness is more spooky than informative.

“Nobody decides to turn back? That bridge looked like it could collapse at any moment.”

Steve just laughs. “Well, ‘course not. That secret tunnel you took is a one-way trip down. What, ya telling me you just crossed that bridge without looking back? That’s gutsy.” Steve grins mischievously. “Well, better make yourself comfy. It’ll be a while.”

There’s a bit of silence as the meaning of what Steve says slowly sinks in.

His name's Steve I guess.

Steve, on the other hand, seems totally non-serious. “Heya, don’t look so shell-shocked. There’s a way out, ‘course. Ya just gotta find the other tunnel. Though it’ll be a while before it’s open again.” Steve stretches. “So, make yourself at home!”

“… Just where am I?”

“Thought ya’d never ask!” Steve roars with laughter. “This place is called MOSP. It’s a lot like what you call MOP on your side.” Steve thinks for a bit, and then suddenly adds, “Oh hey, we got an opening for assistant director of MOSP. Ya want in?”

“I… what?” You’re not sure what to say. “What?”

“You see, I’m the academic director,” Steve explains, “but we also need an assistant director to help put out random metaphorical fires. You look pretty good at figuring things out. I’m sure you’re up to it. Not much else to do ‘round these parts anyway.”

“Who’s the director then?”

“Don’t have one, who needs those?” Steve shrugs.

“Uh, then why is it called assistant director?”

“Well, ‘cause you direct the assistants. Obviously.”

“… And how many assistants do I have?”

Steve shrugs again, maintaining his incessant grin. “Beats me. Well, actually, probably zero, to be honest.”

Steve searches the bookshelf for a moment, then finds a folder and hands it to you. It appears to be some sort of map. “Hey, pal, don’t try to make too much sense out of everything. Ya can’t live life that way. Just laugh when you don’t understand, and play along!”

And with that, as if today hadn’t been strange enough already, Steve simply vanishes into thin air, leaving you alone with only Steve’s map to guide you.


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