Chapter 5:

The Beginning (Part V)

CIMEDE Chronicles


My underground holding cell was now empty, not even I was there.

After accepting the offer brought to me by the director of CIMEDE, Mr. Uemichi, I was allowed to leave with him after he filled in the information for my release forms and some other necessary paperwork. His filling out the paperwork for my release had taken less than an hour to complete, and I was then given t-shirt and sweatpants before I left. it sure is nice to get be of that jumpsuit, I thought, as I stretched my stiff limbs and walked alongside Mr. Uemichi towards the dock.

“So where are we going now?” I asked from the inside cabin of Mr. Uemichi’s private yacht, breaking the silence.

It had been around thirty minutes since we left the island prison, and now we were just idly floating in the bay area off the shores of Japan. The wait so far has been weirdly silent, and Mr. Uemichi was giving off an intimidating aura.

When we first boarded the yacht, Mr. Uemichi stripped down into a red tank top and started lifting some weights, which he did for around twenty minutes. I said a couple things and even asked if I could join in the workout session, but all I got was a silent gaze indicating me to sit down and shut up.

The longer that I’ve been around him, the scarier he started to come off as. I initially thought that we were starting to get along after our bonding in the warden's office, but now that we were in the yacht, he kept sending frigid glares my way and anything I said or did, seemed to almost irritate him. He really was a scary man.

I broke the silence with my question, not knowing what Mr. Grumpy would say. I’ve been keeping this invisible conversation going for a while and we weren’t moving from the yacht’s floating position, so I thought I’d ask. I was relaxing on a brown leather sofa, slowly sipping at a canned milk coffee. While Mr. Uemichi, who was sitting on another nearby sofa, back in his red business shirt, likewise drinking coffee, but black, decided to answer my question.

“Well, we’re just waiting for your tracking equipment to be calibrated, then we’ll make our way to CIMEDE Academy.”

Well, it seems that he still talks, so I’ll continue the conversation too.

“Oh yeah, speaking of this tracking device, what exactly is it? I would like to know what’s being implanted in me.”

“Good question. Well, were not directly putting something inside you as to say we’re sending something. Your tracking device will be an electro-cerebral choker for you to wear----------”

“Wait. Hold up a bit. Cerebral? I know that has to do with the brain, what exactly are you playing with?”

“I was going to explain it before you cut me off. Anyways, when you wear the choker, you won’t feel a change to yourself at all. Your choker will be constantly transmitting a low frequency signal that our satellites will pick up, always giving us your real time location. And as for the cerebral part, you can think of it as hacking so to say. If you try to cut the choker, it will send a pulsing frequency directly into your spine, which in turn will connect to the cerebrum, temporarily paralyzing your actions. Make sense?”

“I’m still piecing this together. What do you mean by cutting?”

“Cutting… Like the act of using scissors or a knife to split something…”

“Ahhhhh gotcha. So, what if it gets snagged on something and tears a little?”

“Well with an accident like that… your still out of luck. The choker will recognize the tear as an attempted escape and shut down your movement. Don’t you worry though, if something like that happens, we’ll be quick to your aid.”

The colossal director gave me a reassuring grin and looked at his phone. He then lifted his phone showing me the screen, it revealed a text message saying “The choker’s calibration is complete”

The director stood from his sofa position, gestured to a door behind him and said, “Let’s go downstairs.”

I crushed the coffee can that I had just finished, and then picked up another one, this one being my third. It sure is nice that Mr. Uemichi has canned coffee in his yacht, actually, the coffee he was just drinking was freshly brewed... Why does he have canned coffee in this expensive yacht in the first place? I wondered as I stood and walked towards the door first, since Mr. Uemichi seemed to be waiting to follow behind.

So, this choker has a paralysis ability… talk about a cheating system. Until I see how its built, I won't know if I have the chance for escape. I just hope that I can easily evade it.

The stairs that were behind the modern looking, sliding door were covered in a cream-colored carpet. I wonder how much this yacht cost? I thought as I walked through the expensively designed rooms. At the end of the hallway, was a white door with the word “Lab” imprinted into it, it was definitely a step up from a plaque that read Lab, at least in a decorative point of view. Then again, there are some very flashy plaques that could’ve looked the part for a rich guy’s yacht.

I stopped in front of the lab door, and then craned my head back. Mr. Uemichi stood there; arms crossed waiting for me to continue. Geez! You don’t have to be flexing. His arms looked like they’d up and bust through the tight red shirt. I’m so going to regret this choice. Is there a chance to back out of this deal? I let a gulp slip down my dry throat and opened the white lab door.

The door slid to the left, revealing a mostly white room. “It kind of looks like the surgery room from a hospital in here.” I said, kind of marveling at the large, white space. Well then again, it's not like I’ve actually been in a surgery room. I just kind of guessed from what I’ve seen in the movies… They still could be called comparable.

I looked around the room, mouth agape, as I studied the contents of each table and shelf that I could see. I let out an audible chuckle. “This place is amazing! I could definitely sell this yacht alone for a fortune, but this room… This room could be a fortune all in its own right!” My eyes were brimmed with excitement, and I almost thought I was drooling at the thought of stealing this rooms contents.

I then heard a sound causing my attitude to do a complete 180, face stiffening, voice drying up, and throat becoming scratchy. What was that? It's like all the oxygen in this room disappeared and I was inhaling smoke, like I was slowly withering to ash. I turned my head to look at where the sound came from, and there it was.

My face still frozen in an unnatural state, I let out a dry shriek. Did I just openly say that I wanted to steal, and sell Mr. Uemichi’s private yacht right in front of him? Oh Shit! I’m soooooo dead…. Damnn ittt!

“I didn’t say I was going to steal any of your stuff plus you’re right here watching me and I don’t think I could get past you in a fist fight I mean look at your muscles compared to my measly noodles and your totally looking pissed and I’m totally overreacting since you’re giving me that look….”

I exhaled a deep breath after rambling out a full paragraph worth of fear. I inhaled another breath of air, then exhaled it, regaining my cool. Why the hell did I react like that anyway, I never lose my cool at an impossible task, but something in that man just brings fear to those who rise against him.

Mr. Uemichi walked up beside me and gave me what I would call a smile of kindness. Wait what? That’s not right, that’s totally not how he comes off... I guess he’s not a bad guy at all, and he’s not mad at me.

The large, smiling, and unexpectedly kind man opened his mouth. “Relax kid, I’m not going to do anything to you… but if I find that one thing is missing, you’ll be begging to be back in that underground cell.”

A shiver went down my spine, and I shoved a gulp down my throat.

Walking in front of Mr. Uemichi, I found my way to a white desk near the back of the room. Sitting behind the desk was a short, older-looking, mustached man in a white lab coat. He had the look of a stereotypical French guy, despite not looking French at all. I looked at the short man, who was playing with his mustache, then looked towards Mr. Uemichi, who was behind me.

I spoke in a low voice so that only Mr. Uemichi could hear. “Who’s the dwarf?”

Mr. Uemichi used his hand to smack the back of my head and then began our introductions. “Mr. Saburi, this is Dr. Hugo Arifuku, CIMEDE’s lead professor and one of the seven legendary sages that were considered to be ahead of their time. Doctor, this is the young thief that I’ve been telling you about, Saburi Keisuke.”

I gave the short doctor a bow, “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Likewise,” the doctor replied in a flat tone, while still playing with his mustache.

I couldn’t get the picture of the doctor somehow being French out of my mind, so I started to construct a biography of him in my mind.

From what I can tell he’s somewhat Japanese, maybe he had a foreign mother. Well, his given name is Hugo so I could believe his mother was foreign and possibly French, given the French style mustache. He seems to be around 135 centimeters in height and has a somewhat plump build. Actually, when I put it into words, he reminds me of a French penguin.

Looks aside, he is apparently CIMEDE’s lead professor, and one of the seven sages. I’ve heard that term before, where was it? Oh yeah. That’s it. I remember Doc saying something about him being a part of a group with six other doctors a long time ago. I’ve heard some of Doc’s stories about the seven’s united projects before they split up. I don’t really remember why they split up, but I can always ask Doc for more info if I need it.

The seven sages were geniuses who were ahead of their time and considered to be the creators of miracles in the world of science and technology. Some even went as far as to say that they were time travelers from the future that went back in time to share their knowledge. I don’t think Doc keeps in touch with them anymore, which leads me to believe that there might have been an argument of some sort, or something along that line.

I’m actually not too sure how many of them are even still alive, they all should be in their 70s by now, and with them being geniuses and all, that could lead to them creating life support machines or something crazy like that to keep them alive for who knows how long. All in all, they’re a mystery even to me.

Mr. Uemichi took a step forward, standing next to me, interrupting the short silence that owned the air. “Dr. Arifuku, you said that the tracking choker was ready to be used?”

“Ah yes, I calibrated the choker itself, but the frequency waves will need to be adjusted to react accordingly to Mr. Saburi’s DNA pattern. If we were to recklessly send an electric charge, like the one inside this device, through his body, the electric volts could end up frying the very blood vessels in his body.”

The short doctor paused and pulled out a bar of candy from his lab coat. He took a bite of the chocolate candy and continued. “If the vessels in his body were to be fried, not only would they erupt, but the charge would be strong enough to solidify his bloodstream and possibly melt his brain.”

“Wait! Hold it right there! I am not going to wear that thing around my neck and become a walking frequency filled fleshbag!” My whole being was way beyond panicked, the doctor’s description made it seem like I’d become the target of a what looked like a fatality straight out of the Mortal Kombat series. “How about we settle it with a tracking anklet? Or a watch? Or like something less deadly!”

The short doctor’s understanding voice tried to soothe my panicking, but whether it was helping the situation or not was completely unclear to me. “Mr. Saburi, I know you’re scared because nothing like this has ever happened to you before; but I guarantee you that the choker itself is of no harm to you. When I put it on you and start the wave calculations you will not notice a thing. You just have to remain calm, or I might get a bad reading.”

I, who was probably the only one here that was thinking of something going wrong, was sweating profusely. Despite being a thief and what most people would think as cool and levelheaded, when it comes down to it, I’m still just a kid. I mean I do remain calm and levelheaded, but just like any other kid who finds out that his blood could solidify, and his brain could melt, my reaction might be calmer than others. But there still is panic at the thought.

Mr. Uemichi sealed my fate with a simple statement.

“Either you’re in or you out. Out means going back to the cell on that island prison.

I looked at the two people, the doctor, and the director, who both had faces that read this is your last chance. I then changed my view to the white table, and the black choker that lay atop it. I let out a deep sigh and hesitatingly gave my answer. “Fine… I’m in.” 

Keifuji
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