The Warm World, My Cold World
“Don’t step any closer than that.” The whitey spoke while pointing at the two.
“What? Why?” Erias questioned his decision.
“It’s a precaution. I don’t know what Kris did to you, but it’s an assurance.”
“Kris? Who’s that?” Zsally, who was just behind Erias, asked. But Erias just shook his head.
“He’s the guy who will use the LCCC and monitor all nanomachines in this shelter after a year. That Kristoff Koldner guy.” Esther explained.
“Oh, him. I remember.” Erias looked through his memories and did remember the whitey speak about Kris for a bit.
The whitey was shuffling something from his coat as if he was looking for something. And at the last pocket, he brought out a small box the size of a hand. He placed it on the table and after pressing a button, a keyboard was reflected on the table and a screen was projected upwards, forming a holographic structure. The people around were amazed by the sight.
“Erias, Zsally, just stand right there and don’t move.” After which, the whitey typed at lightning speed and switched trough multiple tabs and graphs.
At the end of it all, he turned the device off and placed it back in his pocket. He sighed with relief after it all.
“There doesn’t seem to be anything suspicious or out of the ordinary in their nanomachines. So, I think it’s safe.” The whitey spoke.
“What did you do?” Another resident asked.
“I just did a quick scan and check if there were any codes that were added into them. Because if there was, it was most probably tampered by Kris. There’s a chance he could be spying on us as we speak, but it seems not to be the case.”
“Ohh! I see. So, it’s safe then.” Another resident spoke.
“But to be safe, Erias and Zsally will have to wait before coming inside. During their simulation run, I can take a peek into their codes and edit things if the needs arise.”
“Alright. I’ll trust your word for it.” Esther placed her trust on the whitey. “Well, that’s how it is Erias, Zsally. You shouldn’t come in here for now.” She directed her words at the two children waiting outside the room.
“It’s fine. It seems we were really cleaned. Then, can we, at least, read whatever notes we wrote down?”
“Sure.” Esther picked the notes up but before even touching them, she was stopped by the whitey.
“Don’t. like I said, we might be monitored as we speak. The monitoring system Kris set up isn’t perfected yet, but this is just an assurance.”
Esther looked a bit dejected as she heard his words. The whitey also warned those who were present to not speak to anyone just yet and be careful not to get caught. Their lips should be sealed for the most part until he can get results.
With that, he dismissed the meeting and left first through the door with another lock. The tension slowly dissipated as they the other residents started to leave the room.
Esther apologised as she cannot speak of anything that they spoke of in the room. Erias and Zsally only shook their heads as they knew it was just for everyone’s safety. Without much to talk about, they headed to bed.
The following week had come and Erias and Zsally were at the library reading and drawing. They couldn’t do much beside those things. There were lots of kids waiting in line to play the games over at the entertainment area and they wanted a change of scenery to do their activities, so they headed for the library.
“Hey, Erias.” Zsally called out to him. “What do you think happened to us while we were being cleaned? I don’t even remember anything from before entering simulation room.”
“I don’t know as well. I also have no recollection from before the simulation. I wonder what happened at that time.”
The two went about their activities silently after a quick, idle chat. That is until an announcement interrupted their peace and quiet. It was Erias and Zsally’s normal group to have their simulation once again. And the one leading them is the same old Churche, but this time he had other companions with him.
There was a woman beside him who had long black hair tied into a ponytail. And on the other side of Churche was a man who had a rather large build yet he had a white coat on. It was the first time they were seeing them together.
As Churche called out to the group, he slowly made his way to the NEWard, chatting with his colleagues. The group whose turn it was for the simulation treaded slowly behind him.
The residents undressed and got into the capsule beds. And before they did so, Zsally called out to Erias once more.
“Do you think we would still come out the same after we enter?”
“What do you mean?” He asked back, not understanding her question.
“I mean, what the whitey said last week. Are we going to be fine?”
“Don’t worry. That’s why he will check us and see if something is wrong.” Erias but his lip lightly. “But just hope nothing bad really happens.”
“… Okay.” Zsally replied softly after a brief pause.
With no further words, they hopped into their capsule beds and moments later, every capsule bed’s hatch closed, sealing them in. Needles with tubes filled with fluid propped out from the inside and injected them. Slowly, but surely, the fluids were injected inside their bodies without the residents even knowing.
As that happened, the three other whiteys were watching the screen, discussing particular data and listing them down on their clipboards and tablets. While they were discussing, someone happened to pass by and see them while the door was wide open. She walked to them and called them out.
“Hey.” She stepped closer and casually called out to the three. “What are you guys doing over here?” She asked.
“Ahh! Kreija!” The other female companion yelled out as she came closer to Kreija and hugged her. “It’s been a while.”
“Yeah. It has, hasn’t it, Karina.” She sighed as she can’t get away from Karina’s grip. “Been a while, too, Alex.” She waved at the large man beside Churche.
Alex Sbrojvya is a rather tall man with a large build. His muscles were swelling so much so that his white coat was custom made. And to other people, seeing him work as a researcher at Avurgaevs was such a shock that it didn’t suit him especially with his appearance.
They all worked at different departments with different time schedules, so arranging a casual meeting was quite difficult, even at the evenings.
Karina worked at the Biotechnology Department who are mainly in charge with drug enhancement and administration, its relation and effect to the human body while nanomachines are present, and generally anything to do with nanomachines and human body. They may have some restrictions, so they usually merge with other departments to reach a consensus.
Alex, on the other hand, works in the Nanomachine Code Department. They are responsible for counterchecking the codes given to them by either Central or other people from other departments. They test and run the codes if it works with the nanomachines and collaborate with the Biotech Department afterwards.
Kreija and Churche works at the Simulations Department, the largest, yet newest, department inside Avurgaevs. It was founded by Kristoff when he integrated the use of into the human body. It was very new yet they had the most supporters and workers. And since it was large, there are several sectors in it as well. Kreija works in the Data Management and Collection Sector while Churche works at the Nanomachine Enhancement and Coding Sector.
The Data and Management Sector are, of course, those who collect data, review them, and make conclusions from them. The room above the simulations room where other people observe the happenings are mainly those who work in that sector. The Nanomachine Enhancement and Coding Sector installs, uploads, and uninstalls codes given to them for residents who are about to enter the simulation rooms. They also observe the data and suggest changes to the Nanomachine Code Department.
Even if Kreija and Churche works in the same department, their sectors are worlds apart.
“You too, Churche, been a while.”
“Yeah.” Churche waved lightly and went back to watching the screens. “And you’re here because?
“I’m to meet someone over at the loading docks, but I think I’m too early.” She lightly laughed.
“Being an intern sure is hard, especially for you.” Alex spoke with some hint of mockery in his voice.
“Haa~~ That bastard keeps working me to the bone and now I have to work directly under him for a few more months. As if studying in uni wasn’t hard enough, now I have to be under the lazy bum.”
The three laughed as the patches with their names and their respective department’s logo tightly sown on their coats moved around so gallantly.
“I want to have my own patch as well. I envy you guys.”
The four acted all friendly and casual but they graduated from their universities at different times. Alex is the oldest of them all, being at least four years their seniors. Their cohort should be with Lisanna, the younger sister of Alex, but even she was still a year older than them. Churche was the next then the two girls. Although Karina and Kreija entered the same time, Kreija’s chosen field took much longer due to her entering something relatively new whilst being a difficult path. It was her final year and she is currently on her internship. Until she completes her internship, she could immediately start working in Avurgaevs as a full-time employee.
“You’ll get there soon. Kris promised he would hire you the moment you stepped out of college.” Karina reassured her.
“I just wish I won’t be directly under him again. I’m being worked to the bone. I don’t know how Lisa manages everything.”
“That person’s not a human, remember that. That thing is a monster.” Alex shuddered as he explained the true nature of her younger sister.
“I still don’t get it.” Churche leaned back on his chair. “Why are you so afraid of her? You’re larger and her elder brother.”
“If looks can kill, then I don’t know how many people she’s killed.” Alex explained.
“I’ve never seen her act like that though? Even back at uni.” Churche spoke, giving his testament.
“She’s always calm and composed but when she’s enraged…” Alex felt a shiver down his spine. “Well, anyways. I don’t know exactly how Kris was able to tame that beast. Just know that if you guys are afraid of Kris, he, himself, is afraid of her when angered.”
“I’ve known Kris for some time, and true, I don’t want to face him while he’s mad. Especially with his position.” Churche mentioned. “But him being afraid of Lisanna? Can’t believe it.”
“Same here. Lisa is quite a happy-go-lucky person, so I can’t imagine her to be someone to be feared, besides her position, that is.” Karina added.
“Doesn’t matter. Just don’t get her mad.” Alex said, grabbing his arms as he shivered.
“Well, back to the topic, what are you guys doing here?” Kreija asked the three.
“Observing. A few of our members were asked to record and get the data from the NEWards and compile it for a report.” Karina answered and Alex nodded.
“It was a sudden order, but hey. It lets us get out of our stuffy and locked up departments.” Alex added and Karina nodded.
“What’s it for?” Kreija asked another question.
“We don’t know for sure, but it’s a direct order from Kris.” Churche answered this time. The other two also didn’t know the purpose of this was. But they just went with it, lest they incur the wrath of Kristoff.
“Haa~~ what is Mr. Koldner doing. Probably wasting time and letting Lisa do all the work again.”
“Why bother calling him formally? He allowed you to call him by his nickname, so just do it.” Karina commented on Kreija’s words.
“It’s fine. Even Lisa said so, didn’t she? You can tell the tone of his voice and the people he gets along with by how he addresses them. If he calls them by their given name, then he generally likes that person. If he calls the person by their title and surname, then it’s either because it’s a formal meeting or discussion, or he is still assessing the person. And lastly, if he calls the person by their title and given and surnames, oh he’s done fucked up. He doesn’t like the person.” Karina extensively explained.
Churche and Alex also noted his behaviour since long ago, and when Kristoff gives them the go signal to call him by his nickname, he generally gets along with them or has an interest with the other party.
“it’s still difficult. It’s weird.”
“It’ll be fii~~ne.” Kreija placed her hand of her shoulder and spoke.
“Ah! The time.” Kreija looked at her watch and noticed quite a lot of time has passed. “Sorry, I’ll have to go first. I still have to meet someone.”
“Bye, Kreija!” Karina waved and so did the other two.
“Well, I think we should get some work done as well. I don’t want to be chewed out by Kris.” As Kreija said her piece, the other two nodded and the room fell silent once more.
Inside the command simulation room, Kris sat at the command panel giving out instructions to the other people. Behind him, Kreija was looking around, as if she lost something or was looking or someone. Kreija had finished her meeting with the person she had met earlier and is now in the simulations control room.
“Lisanna is out doing something.” Kristoff spoke as he noticed Kreija’s unease even if he hadn’t looked back.
“Mr. Koldner, please focus on the simulation. I am perfectly aware.”
“Oh, come one.” He lazily spoke afterwards. “You looked like a lost child in a supermarket finding her mother.”
“Please, Mr. Koldner! Focus!” She raised her voice as other people started chuckling and her face red with embarrassment. “I know Ms. Sbrojvya isn’t here.”
“Alright, then answer me.” He flung a screen towards her, which surprised her, and asked her a question. “This child has a much greater reading on the Salvad scale and this child here has a lower reading. But the second child has greater output if placed on the physical-mental strain output against time graph for nanomachines inside the human body for simulation use. Based on the nanomachine interactions from the simulation, what do the graphs mean and how do you achieve equilibrium, or a state when both data have the same reading?
“Umm…” Kreija tried processing the question and slowly answered. “T-The Salvad scale is used to measure the nanobot flow in a person’s body during ‘relaxed’ and ‘excited’ phases where zero being the flow of nanobots is the same as the average blood flow of one metre per second.” She first described the term Kristoff used to get her bearings.
“With that being said, the graphs mean… it means that…” She started to lose focus and composure. “The second child has a better body physique and is probably more active than the first. Also, to achieve equilibrium, we either decrease the activity done by the second or increase the nanobot speed in circulation of the first.” Kreija answered with some uncertainty in her answer.
“Kreija, you’re totally distracted. You haven’t even spotted the main difference.” Kreija was in shock and checked the screen once more but found no fault. “The second ‘child’ is actually an adult, and kids have significantly higher blood flow compared to adults, that’s why the Salvad scale showed that the first person has a higher rating. Also, it’s impossible to reach equilibrium between two people of different age groups with different Salvad readings.”
Kreija couldn’t answer back or even comment.
“Well, it was a bit mean of me. I’m a bit on edge right now, so forgive me.” Kristoff turned his chair to face her and apologised. “But, well, take it as a lesson to stay focused especially while a simulation is ongoing. It’s still a new concept so accidents are bound to happen. Theory and reality are different things. You may be smart but you lack experience.” He turned back to face the command panels while monitoring a few screens.
“So, once you’re finished with your internship, quickly apply here so you can take over my job as Simulation Department Overseer and Head.” He laughingly said so, causing the others to laugh a bit as well and causing Kreija to raise her voice again towards Kristoff.
As they had time to laugh and such, Kristoff lightly told them off and focus as well despite looking unfocused himself. While that happened, Lisanna walked in and slowly approached the command panel.
“Keep it short, Lisanna.” Kristoff spoke and Kreija only realised Lisanna appeared beside her. She jolted in surprise. She didn’t know how Kristoff knew she was walking behind them.
“I’ve narrowed it down to 24 people. I need your input on this, Mr. Koldner.” Lisanna’s face was slightly expressionless, something Kreija had never seen till now.
She had remembered the conversation she had earlier with the three, before she had met with someone for a meeting. And since Lisanna usually had a smile on her face, seeing a different kind of expression made Kreija wonder what happened. She even had cold sweat pour down as she saw the lightless eyes of Lisanna.