Chapter 3:

Signal

Limerence


The cafeteria they went to was full of people just like Bell. They were having dinner at the table, not even bothering to take off their black spy clothes. There were people of all genders and ages, and Wilder had even seen a few children. While he was staying in his own room, he had thought that this organization wasn't such a crowded place. This meant that it was such a big place that people were scattered all over the place.Bookmark here

Wilder took a plate of spaghetti from the cafeteria and sat down at an empty table with his tray. Bell's meal was being specially prepared, so he had to wait a bit. Soon after, Bell came over to Wilder with a smoked turkey sandwich and a small bowl of salad on his tray and sat across from him. The difference in the food they ate looked very funny.Bookmark here

'It must be hard to have a body like that.'Bookmark here

After all, he had to have a good body shape to be able to display his fighting skills. It must be one of the sacrifices he had to make for his profession.Bookmark here

For the first time, Wilder respected Bell.Bookmark here

"What are you daydreaming?"Bookmark here

With Bell's question, Wilder realized that he had been staring blankly at his food for minutes. His mind was so full that sometimes he couldn't handle it. After taking a bite of his spaghetti, he ignored Bell's question to distract his thoughts.Bookmark here

“Why did you cover my mouth?”Bookmark here

Bell frowned slightly, swallowing the bite in her mouth.Bookmark here

“I saved your life there. Twice."Bookmark here

Now it was Wilder's turn to frown.Bookmark here

"What does it mean?"Bookmark here

He was quite confused.Bookmark here

“If Vee believes in something, you can't convince her against what she believes. When you try to do it, the results won’t be good at all. Believe me, I saw it with my own eyes."Bookmark here

"Ah."Bookmark here

So it was a matter of personality. However, from the outside, she didn't look like that at all. He thought that this was also one of the characteristics of spies.Bookmark here

“Then, thank you. For both.”Bookmark here

He saw a small sparkle in Bell's eyes, but that sparkle didn’t reflect on her face.Bookmark here

"No problem. This is my job anyway.”Bookmark here

He looked too small to carry such a heavy load. Wilder assumed he was almost his age. However, he was able to handle it perfectly. All of this intrigued Wilder even more. A lot of questions arose in his mind that he wanted to ask him.Bookmark here

"How old are you?"Bookmark here

To confirm his guess, he preferred to ask his age first. He realized that his real name wasn't Bell, but asking a spy his real name didn't make much sense. Protecting their own privacy must have been very important to them, so Wilder started by directly asking his age.Bookmark here

“22.”Bookmark here

“You are two years older than me.”Bookmark here

"I know."Bookmark here

Wilder laughed hysterically at the response as he chewed his second bite. Of course they knew. They had probably learned a lot of things about him that even he himself didn't know. He didn't have the right to be angry at the investigation of his life, but it still made him a little nervous.Bookmark here

After swallowing his bite, he continued with his questions.Bookmark here

"Why are you doing this job? I mean, you could find much safer jobs.”Bookmark here

“Someone had to draw the shortest straw.”Bookmark here

After saying that, Bell took a big bite of his sandwich as if he didn't want to continue the sentence. Indeed, his facial expression was extremely difficult to read. Sometimes Wilder couldn't tell if his questions were making him sad or happy. However, he realized that he didn’t want to continue on this subject.Bookmark here

He changed the subject again, this time asking the most important question he wanted to ask.Bookmark here

"Why didn't I also disappear when the people around me suddenly disappeared?"Bookmark here

In fact, this question had been plaguing his mind for a while. This was the real reason it all started, and he really wanted to know why. He could sleep better at night if he could learn what sets him apart from other people. Or he would just be self-satisfied. Either way, he had a right to know, and if Bell said it was classified information, he would do whatever he could to get the answer from him.Bookmark here

Luckily, Bell hadn't made any trouble. After swallowing the big bite in his mouth, he cleared his throat and began to explain.Bookmark here

“Sev's crystal gave him the power to control the brains of people at close range to a certain extent through signaling. It was a very effective power for a spy, but it wasn't enough, so they did some experiments on his crystal and increased the distance. He was now able to send signals to the minds of people 4 kilometers away. In this way, he was able to evacuate civilians in any pursuit without them noticing.”Bookmark here

"How so?" Wilder interrupted Bell. This signal thing confused him.Bookmark here

“To put it simply, the signals Sev spreads send subliminal messages, making them do completely different things. After receiving the signals, the person starts to think that they should get away from there, but they don’t know why and cannot question it. Because the message from the signal takes over their whole mind, making them unable to think of anything else. Of course, these experiments weren’t entirely successful. Among some human societies, there were people whose signals didn’t reach, or even if it did, it was totally useless. You were one of those people."Bookmark here

"So you're saying it was pure coincidence?"Bookmark here

“Kinda. According to the data, the signal shows no effect in children aged 0-6 years. Since you're not in that age range, your mind was probably over complicated so the signal didn't have the effect it should have on you.”Bookmark here

Wilder recalled his depression at that moment. Explained like that, everything made sense. Although the crystals placed in people at a young age gave them some special powers, these powers only served to make life a little easier. Experiments on crystals were proof of this. It wasn’t possible for one to reach the nirvana level through crystal.Bookmark here

"I think you are right. At that moment my mind was elsewhere, even I couldn't control my mind."Bookmark here

After saying that, a sad expression settled on his face.Bookmark here

“But if the signal had worked on me, maybe Sev wouldn't have died.”Bookmark here

“Or in that scenario, he would die before we got the microchip, and our country would be plunged into chaos. Stop looking at things from the negative side.”Bookmark here

For the first time, Bell's voice was higher than normal. Normally not easily impressed, Wilder cowered as Bell got angry with him.Bookmark here

“Yes, sir.”Bookmark here

Afterwards, neither of them spoke until they had finished their meal.Bookmark here

~~~Bookmark here

It was 8 p.m. when they finished their meal and left the cafeteria. Bell was walking ahead to take Wilder to his room. They didn't talk after dinner either, because they had nothing to talk about for today. Besides, Wilder started to feel really tired. This tiredness reminded him of all the things he had been through today that he sometimes thought it was all just a dream. Hadn’t he believed so much that his suffering was real, he would have described what he experienced as a dream.Bookmark here

“We’re here.”Bookmark here

Bell stood by the door, beckoning for Wilder to come in. After a quick glance at Bell's face, Wilder muttered something like “Good night.” and went inside, closing the door behind him. He just wanted to go to sleep and end the day.Bookmark here

Just as he was about to go to the bathroom, he stopped as he saw his phone on the table. He was so sure he would never see his phone again that he was shocked to suddenly see it just remaining there on the table. To prove he wasn't wrong, he approached the table and picked up the phone. Indeed, his phone was in his hands intact. He unlocked the phone's screen and checked to see if everything was as before. There was no apparent change. Contacts, gallery, games etc. were in its place. This, however, didn’t fully convince Wilder. He was quite sure that changes had been made to the phone that he hadn’t noticed.Bookmark here

Still, he couldn't even handle that right now. After putting the phone back on the table, he went into the bathroom and took a shower. He cleansed himself of all the filth of the day. He hoped that these changes in his life would wash away like all the dirt on his body.Bookmark here

A.A.Androun
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☆Veronica☆
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Limerence


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