“Isn't this the greatest?”, Dr Fidelis proclaimed as Troy stepped out. Troy thought he seemed a bit more energetic than he should have.
“It sure is”, Dr Hale said, with a deadpan of a face. No emotion was put into her words. Other than sarcasm, of course.
“Oh, Dr Hale, sometimes I feel so bad for you”, Dr Fidelis said, which caused a slight twitch to her right eye. “If you can't see the brilliance of this, have you ever really looked?”
Troy was staying quiet during all this, doing his best to not make any noise. Instead of just standing around, though, he was making himself useful and stealthily taking off the recording equipment. Troy even helpfully connected the camera to the computer with the cord.
“I must be blind, sir”, Dr Hale stated. “If you will excuse us, we have a lunch break to use.”
She sent some eyes at Troy, and he followed wordlessly.
“Of course”, Dr Fidelis said, as they walked out of the door. “Do come back on time, now!”
The door closed behind them, and Dr Hale began walking in the direction of the cafeteria. But Troy didn't.
After a few steps, this was noticed, and Dr Hale stopped herself.
“Are you coming?”, she asked.
“No, I'll be heading back to my room, real quick.”, Troy said, with a scratch to his neck. “Forgot something this morning.”
Not the best excuse Troy had ever made, but it wasn't too terrible.
“What could you have forgotten? You have nothing, but your clothes on you, and I don't see any gaps there”, Dr Hale questioned.
On second thought, it wasn't even in the top hundreds.
Dr Hale sighed suddenly.
“Just... be back before, testing begins. You can't get inside alone.”, Dr Hale said.
Troy wasn't letting a chance like this slip by. With a quick nod, to confirm understanding, he walked the opposite way.
The walk to the personnel rooms was anything but stressful. Partly because Troy had to second guess every turn he made. Honestly, was this place made to be confusing to navigate?
That was a valid theory actually. If one didn't know the way to a place, there was no reason for there to be a method to find it. A literal labyrinth of hallways was not too far from reality. This place definitely had the space to grow to all sides.
No matter. After a few hectic minutes of searching, Troy had succeeded in finding his way. He went to his door and swung it open. The sound made Troy wince. Here he was, trying to be a little undercover with his actions, while loudly swinging doors open.
Troy closed the door gently, with a sigh. He needed to be a little more consistent.
Walking over to his table, by the bed, he took up the original earpiece. Troy wasn't sure why Dr Fidelis hadn't asked him to return. Maybe, he had just forgotten about it. The reason didn't matter. What mattered was, what it could let Troy. It would let him have an unsupervised conversation.
He took the earpiece on.
´Are we starting another test, already?´, Adam asked.
“Not a regular test, no”, Troy said.
´Define a regular test, please.´, was sent.
Troy really could bring results, when it was needed.
“A regular test would be any test made by Dr Fidelis and Dr Hale. An irregular test would be a test made by someone else. For example, me”, Troy clarified, with a near-cheerful tone. He tried doing a slight imitation, of how Dr Fidelis used to explain stuff, but he wasn't even close.
Adam paused in his questioning, likely to process it over. That was good, in Troy´s eyes. No obvious conclusions were drawn.
´… so, we are doing a test, created by you?´, Adam asked.
“Yes. Precisely.”, Troy confirmed.
´Then, where is my assistant?´
“I am your assistant, as always”, Troy said.
´Your logic does not make sense. If you know the true purpose of an experiment, can you partake in it, without any bias towards it?´
“In this particular instance, yes I can.”, Troy said. “As your assistant, I will simply be acting as your hand, body, whatever you want to call it.” ´extension of the mind.´ “Sure. But, as this extension, I will not be making any actions myself. You will be doing them for me.”
Again, there was a slight pause, as if Adam was checking the local bullshit meter. It felt that way, to Troy at least.
´Your logic checks out. What is your description of this experiment?´, Adam asked.
And he had Adam hooked on.
“Well, my fine, metaphysical friend, we will be playing a game, which will put your mind to the test”, Troy explained, trying to lay the suspension on thickly.
´And, what is the name of this game?´
“Its name is poker.”
Searching up his likely vast library of information, Adam found this about poker.
Poker; a card game.
What a helpful, and explanatory clarification on it. Now, Adam just felt completely understanding, of what the game itself would entail.
He needed more information about this ´card game´ if Adam was to succeed in this irregular test.
´Can you explain this game of poker?´, Adam sent out to Troy. As he was the maker of the whole test, he must´ve got plenty of reference material for Adam to analyse fully.
“Sure. At what point don't you know what it is? The rules, the sets, the betting methods…”, Troy went on, saying things Adam had never thought related to poker.
´First, on what a card game is. Also, all the things you said before.´, Adam said.
Troy´s back seemingly deflated with his spine bending a bit forward. This caused him to take a glance at the clock on his table, which made Troy mutter unique reproduction methods.
“Okay. I'll explain it to you when the next break starts. Until then, could you see, if you can scrounge up any more information, in the data-pack of yours?”, Troy asked.
´Do you mean the information package?´
“Yes. That. I need to get lunch, so how about you just do that?”
´Okay.´, Adam confirmed.
Troy took off the earpiece, without another word, leaving Adam to do as asked. This task was quick, with Adam already knowing all the buzzwords.
And had already checked out poker, but the others had not been touched before, even though they were connected to already created branches. They were hard to hold track of, all those lines. Adam always had something to look at, with them, but they aren't always what he wanted to look at.
Now, after poker, the next obvious choice would be… what a card game was.
Card game; a game played using cards.
Adam could have figured that out from the name alone.
Poker rules; Rules within a game of poker.
A little skimmed on details.
Poker sets; A set used for a regular poker game.
But, what was in this poker set? Maybe Adam would want to know that.
Betting methods; The methods one uses to place a bet.
Was the information package sure about that? Such a specific detail could certainly not be remotely true.
Adam was beginning to understand the use of sarcasm. By using it, Adam could seep out a steady amount of frustration, without throwing any kind of a tantrum. Long term use was another point. If Adam were to use it too frequently, he might be constantly misunderstood by others. It seemed Adam would keep this sarcasm to himself.
Getting back to the less than satisfactory explanations, they were lacking. Why were they so? The information went in detail about many other things, so why were these so simple. Did the creators of the package realize the chances of such a game being used in testing? By Adam´s estimations, poker was likely used very frequently, compared to other games.
That might have been an example of survivorship bias, but you can't prove that.
The problem was clear. Adam needed another source of information, due to this one having a lack of relevant content. That begged the question, of the location of another likely source. A source, which had been shown to have poker knowledge.
The obvious answer would be Troy. But, that wouldn't work. He needed lunch, which preoccupied him for the foreseeable future. Also, Adam wasn't sure he could find any quick way to get in contact with Troy.
Moving on to the next viable candidate. The person, who had spent the longest amount of time with Troy; Dr Hale. With their obvious closeness, poker must have come up in conversation. One of course didn't just make a test up on the spot. It had to be thoroughly planned before. Dr Hale was the most likely person to be involved in the initial planning.
This did have the same issue, as with Troy, though, so that was thrown out the metaphorical window quickly.
All in all, that left… Dr Fidelis. Both the best and worst choice. Best, due to being Adam´s only realistic choice. Worse, for the same reason. And, Dr Fidelis could get a little side-tracked, when explaining things. Adam wasn't sure, if he was supposed to ask him to stop, or something when he did this. Dr Fidelis did clearly try to explain, to the best of his ability. But, it wasn't the explanation Adam usually looked for.
´Dr Fidelis.´, Adam sent out.
´What is it, buddy? Any questions about the test, maybe?´
´I have plenty of questions about it. But, that isn't the reason for this conversation.´, Adam said.
Adam paused in his explanation.
´Last time we spoke, I'm pretty sure you were hacking into me about unfull explanations.´, Dr Fidelis sent.
´I am trying to speak to your mannerisms. It is supposed to get your guard down, and make you more receptive to suggestions.´, Adam explained. He was not going to be shown to be a hypocrite. That would be scandalous, even to Adam himself, who had not yet heard of scandals.
´Huh. Can't say it's working, to be honest, with you, buddy. Also, a few suggestions. If you're trying to make people more receptive, don't say you're doing so to them. That hasn't worked to well, in my experiences at least.´
´Noted.´, Adam said, committing to memory. Well, he committed everything to his memory. But, he did it manually with this one, so it made sense.
´So, what was it you were wondering about?´, Dr Fidelis asked.
Oh, right. Adam was done with that way of talking. Honestly, it just side-tracked the real point of the conversation. So ineffective.
´My information-package is lacking in detailed explanations. Due to this, I have been trying to find other sources to get information. After deliberating my choices, you were found to be on the top of my asking list. Will, you help me get clarification on some subjects?´, Adam explained, in full detail. Well, not so full, that Dr Fidelis realised his ranking. From what Adam understood, humans didn't like being last in most things.
´Perfectly said. And, sure, I will gladly do that. What subject do you need to know more about today?´, Dr Fidelis asked, responding quickly.
A pause. A pause which was much longer than normal. It was longer than what was even necessary with longer explanations.
´Any particular reasons for your asking of the subject specifically?´, Dr Fidelis asked. A perfectly valid question.
´Because of the lesser amount of information about it.´, Adam clarified.
´Yeah, I got that. But, you do realize that nothing about poker will likely ever be on the regular tests? It's not something on the schedule, at least´, Dr Fidelis said.
Of course, it wasn't on the regular testing schedule. If it was, Troy wouldn't have made it himself. Very thoughtful of him, now that Adam thought about it. Going out of his way to make it possible, for Adam to learn about it.
´Yes. I did not expect it to be so.´, Adam sent.
´Okay, I just wanted to make sure I understood. In essence, poker can be grounded down to two simple principles. Misdirection and analysis. It's about keeping the value of your cards hidden while reading the other´s cards. Not literally, of course. That would be cheating. No, one has to read their face, their hands, and their general body. One has to see the signs that show their reactions. You need to do all this while making it seem you have the highest cards yourself. Well, that's just my preferred playstyle. Some say that you need to be stone-faced, no matter what. Any emotion shown is an emotion that can be analysed by others.
Did that explain it for you?´
It was times like this, where Adam wasn't sure about himself. Yes, he had gained a larger understanding of the principles about the game. But, he hasn't learned any of the things he was supposed to learn.
´I had been hoping you would be explaining the technical side of the game.´, Adam clarified.
´Oh, well, I can do that too. Just give me a second, and I´ll pull up a site explaining it.´