Chapter 11:

Chapter 11

The Warm World, My Cold World

[Simulation Complete. Activating delayed cooldown.]

The residents inside the simulation room let out despondent sighs, having downcast faces as they saw the simulations slowly disappearing and the whole room turning into a bright grey space. While everyone gathered towards the centre of the room, the space around them became wider slowly. Erias and Zsally, too, looked at the disappearing images of trees, trees, grass and mushroom, and more trees.

Over at a certain wall where a gate was located, a whitey called out to the group, signalling the way to the exit and telling them to follow him. It was Churche and his two companions, Karina and Alex. As they left, Erias constantly had his eyes on Churche’s back and his companions. Zsally noticed this and asked.

“What are you looking at?”

“Ah, it’s just I’m curious who those two are. I don’t remember seeing them. Ever.”

“Now that you mentioned it… I wonder if we saw them before we got cleaned.” Zsally tilted her head as she thought really hard.

“Who knows.” He still kept his eyes on the back of Churche and the other.

It wasn’t long before they arrived at the communal space and the door that connected them to the NEWard closed shut and flushed itself with the wall, making itself look like it’s a part of it. Esther waved from a distance, holding a book and sitting on a couch, gesturing them to come and join her.

“So, how was the sim?” Esther asked as the two got comfortable sitting on the couch.

“It wasn’t that special. It was like any other day.” Erias answered.

“Nothing strange happened? No weird occurrences?”

“I don’t think so, no.”

“I wonder when we ca enter the room again.” Zsally asked out loud as she leaned her body against the couch, sighing as she spoke.

“It won’t be that long from what I heard. We might even meet tomorrow if he got the data or whatever he needs.” Esther answered Zsally.

The three rested on the couch, lazily staring at the ceiling. Even Zsally didn’t want to continue drawing nor did Erias want to read. They were bored out of their minds.


Before Erias and company reached the communal space, the staff inside the simulation control room were relieved everything was finished and ran smoothly. Some immediately ran out the room while others stayed behind, stretched and chatted with others about what to eat or what their next tasks are. As they left, Kristoff, Lisanna, and Kreija are left by the main control panel. Kreija wanted to go as well, but without Kristoff’s permission, she can’t do anything.

“Mr. Koldner, please review these files. Although the data presented may be incomplete, it’s the most I can gather as of now.” Lisanna handed over a folder with papers inside to Kristoff.

“Okay, but before that, let’s head to the post sim NEWard 07 control room. Kreija, follow us.”

“Yes, Mr. Koldner.” She sounded strict as usual.

As they made their way to the next control room, Kristoff skimmed through the papers. While Kreija trailed behind them, she was curious what those papers contained. She even tried taking a peek without being obvious but Lisanna caught her.


“A-Ah! N-No, I am not.” Kreija stuttered and responded with broken words.

“You can take a look if you want. Here.” Kristoff handed over the folder lightly as if it was something insignificant. Yet Kreija accepted it and took a peek at it as she gulped some saliva.

She opened it as soon she received it but the face of a confused person made its way to herself. It was just a list of personnel and profiles, like their names, work sector and section, and the specific job they do to name a few. She thought it was some important file. After all, the look Lisanna had on her face said so. But seeing her now, it stated otherwise.

But the more she looked through it, she noticed some similar aspects between people on it. They all worked at the same division, shelter sector, and shelter sector section. She even saw the names of people she knew, which surprised her. She was surprised but it made her even more curious yet confused. She wanted to know why these people were here.

“Any one of them caught your fancy, Kreija?” Kristoff asked while chuckling.

“Mr. Kristoff! Please stop with those jokes.” He was told of.

He couldn’t help but laugh.

By the time Kreija finished skimming through the profiles, they arrived at the enhancement ward control room. Kreija’s attention was fixed the all the things around and in the room. The set-up looked similar to that of the simulation control room, but the difference was there are fewer people here.

Kristoff walked over to each person’s screens while giving specific instructions based on the results of the screens. Kreija didn’t know why he had to do such things.

He could have just made a general code and let the staff here install and upload them on the nanomachines. It’s such a hassle.

She twisted her face while looking at Kristoff as she thought such.

“Not everyone has the same physique and compatibility with nanomachines, so Kris specific orders as he instructs the staff here.” Lisanna softly spoke near Kreija after reading into her face.

“H-How did you know what I was…”

“Well, you’re face said so.” She laughed. “Anyways, the times Kris personally handles things are when special people with special circumstances are involved in simulations. That’s the general idea.”

“So why are these special people spread out then? Couldn’t they be grouped into one and be done with it.” She asked.

“Nope, Can’t. It uses too much resources and wastes a lot of time. So, they’re spread out. If you’re that interested, why don’t you ask him yourself.”

“No! I don’t want to.”

“C’mon. Don’t be so stubborn.” Lisanna sighed as she heard Kreija’s rejection for the umpteenth time. “Why don’t you like him anyways?”

“He works and even dresses so sloppily. I just can’t stand someone like him. Even other people say so. Even those who are stressed from their own work tries to look professional still. But he….” Kreija scratched her head in frustration, unable to describe it.

“Haa~~ You should really join us more then and maybe you can get a glimpse of what he does every day. And I’ll say it’s quite taxing especially for him. Even I’m nearing my limit already.” Lisanna spoke while having visible some visible weariness.

“Yeah. I can perfectly see the bags around your eyes and your hair has more whites now. Kind alike Mr. Koldner’s.”

“Really? Hehehe…” She giggled weirdly, causing Kreija to move away from her slightly.

They continued their little conversation for a little more while and as soon as Kristoff finished giving instructions, they exited the room.

They continued walking for about a while and Kreija, who was behind the two, only saw Lisanna and Kristoff whispering about something. She initially thought it was something between the two, but their serious faces said otherwise. She still wasn’t let off, so she still has to follow them.

Kreija’s anxiety grew while she walked in unfamiliar corridors. The usual rooms of division staff disappeared and now it was just a straight endless path leading to some unknown ward or something. As she was thinking of such, Kristoff and Lisanna stopped on their tracks and turned towards her.

“Kreija, I’ll speak my honest thoughts.” Kristoff spoke with such a serious expression which was rare of him. Kreija gulped and moved back slightly. “You have great potential and I think you have the ability to adjust to this kind of work. Do you wish to learn of the secrets of Avurgaevs and the Übermensch Project?”

Kreija was taken aback by the praise and sudden offer. She wanted to know but when she asks, Kristoff gave either vague answers or general knowledge. His complete change in demeanour surprised Kreija. Even Lisanna who stood beside him had an expressionless face as she coldly looked at Kreija, awaiting her answer.

It took some time for Kreija to compose herself. She looked around for anyone in sight but Kristoff said that no one can hear or see them as they are in a completely isolated space. She thought it was a load of BS but their expressions said otherwise.

“Yes, I do want to know.” She finally gave her answer after taking a deep breath and gulping some saliva. Her face was pouring out buckets of cold sweat while she answered, even making her legs shake a bit.

“If so, you won’t need to complete your internship nor the rest of your degree and would be immediately hired here. All paper works would be completed here. Are you fine with that?”

Again, she was surprised but answered almost immediately.

“Yes, that is fine.”

“You will be put directly under Lisanna and I and your movements would be restricted and monitored. Any information leak will result in extreme punishments. After all, you will be carrying crucial information around. Are you fine with that?”

“Yea, that is… fine.” She could barely answer.

“You will face strict training under Lisanna’s and my tutelage. Different codes, different gadgets, future plans and machinations. All those things you would need to learn in less than a year. Even less time compared to completing your degree. To add, forget about the things you’ve learned in university. The things they teach will never be useful in this case. Do you agree to those?

“Yes… I agree.” Her voice softened slightly.

“Nanomachines of a different classification compared to those we install into the residents will be injected into your body. Some of your physiological and psychological needs would be tampered with and possibly disabled, depending on the situation. Moreover, I would have complete control over those. Do you agree.”

“I... agree.” Her breathing deepened while her eyes were downcast.

Kreija’s head was filled with different things, mainly about the conditions for learning more about the facility. She was like all other researchers in Avurgaevs; people with a great deal of curiosity. But the more she learns means the more restricted her actions would be.

“You would probably spend the rest of your life here, unable to go out of the shelter, unable to go back to Central even for a holiday, unable to meet friends and family back there. Although you could still visit them, but under heavy restrictions. The process of going out would be so much of a hassle, the Shelter Director would need to discuss things with you and other higher ups from Central. Would you still agree?”

“I… Kris… when was the last time you’ve left the facility?”

Kristoff and Lisanna were surprised by what they heard he say. The usual strict and stern Kreija had broken down so much that she became all meek.

I guess that’s the limit for Kreija. There are still so many restrictions, and if she begins to doubt her choice now, then I guess I won’t pursue this matter anymore.

“He’s been here since he was 12 years old.” Lisanna answered for him. Kristoff was surprised that she answered for him. “All his educational background is fabricated. He was born in the capital, but his life started here when his father, the Shelter Director, brought him here.”

“What?!” Kreija genuinely shouted her surprise. “And now he’s the First Division Commander?! Isn’t that Nepotism?!” It seemed her old attitude was revived from the sudden shock.

“No no no no.” Lisanna adamantly rejected it. “Although he looks like a hobo, he really was the one who developed and founded the Simulations Department. Also, anything you hear about him attending university in the capital is all false. Him being classmates, at some point, with my elder brother is also false.”

Kreija was still in a state of shock after hearing all that.

She had heard that Kristoff graduated university in the capital and had developed ground breaking technologies that helped improve the lives of people.

Now that Kreija thought about it, she wondered why majority of the people didn’t know his exact university batch of graduates or even the dates of his achievements. It was just known that he had achieved those things and left for Avurgaevs, earned their trust, and climbed the ladder.

“Now, why don’t we switch locations.” Lisanna suggested. “It’s in bad taste to interview someone at the middle of an unknown corridor. Why don’t we head to your office?”

“Well…” Kristoff scratched his head while he hesitated but after seeing the dead pan eyes of Lisanna, he immediately agreed to it. “Alright, let’s go to my office then.”

Kristoff brought out his gloves and walked through a wall. Lisanna followed behind him yet Kreija was slow on the uptake. Of course, she would be. They disappeared when they walked inside the wall and she doesn’t know how it happened. Lisanna peeked out of it and pulled Kreija by her hand.

Kreija’s expression was one of disbelief. So much has happened in such little time that it became almost impossible to process all the information. While she stood in contemplation oblivious to her surroundings, she ended up walking into the main office of Kristoff. She saw multiple holographic screens floating around and even the black object on a table at the centre of the room.

“Well, take a seat.” Kristoff directed her sights on the couch and as he did so, Lisanna walked to a certain wall and started preparing some coffee. “We’ll begin after Lisanna makes coffee. In the meantime, just relax and let those restrictions sink in. You can forget about my past for now.”


Lisanna finished making cups of coffee and sat beside Kreija, whose head was still smoking from information overload.

“Have you processed some of the restrictions, Kreija?” Kristoff asked.

“Well, for the most part, yeah.” She answered while massaging her temple.

“I thought that your mind has broken down by the heavy restrictions, but I guess it has recovered a bit. Then, let’s continue.” He sipped a bit of coffee and continued to speak about the earlier topic. “Obviously, you are to put the shelter, as a whole, at the top of your priority. But when it comes to internal matters, you are to prioritise the Übermensch Project, then comes the residents, and finally the other plans related to the first. The lives of the researchers are a different matter. In this case, be as heartless as possible and dispose of anyone not needed. Do you agree to those terms?”

“Yeah, I agree.” She replied while holding the cup of coffee on her hands.

The questioning continued for god knows how long. Kristoff explained and stated every condition to Kreija and she agreed to all of them, albeit hesitatingly on some conditions. She was on the verge of crying after hearing those conditions even. But in the end, she acknowledged everything and resolved herself for the worst to come.

“With all those said, you will be meeting my dad in a few days. You will have an interview with him for a while then we proceed to your enhancements, nanomachine installations, codes –“

“What?! Interview with the director?!” Kreija was surprised even more.

Just as she thought she had about enough, being told that she would be interviewed so suddenly caused the final strand of her hair to loosen up. She looked just as dishevelled as Kristoff, just without the eyebags.

“Welp, good luck.” Kristoff smirked and laid back on the sofa while Lisanna patted her shoulder and gave her a thumbs up.

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