Chapter 31:


The Day I Forgot About You

"I was nearly opening the door, thinking that you wouldn't make it," Carolina said, smiling.

"You were watching me?" Neo asked.

"Yes, I saw everything."

She struck a pose as she adjusted her glasses.

"And still, you didn't open the door?" Neo asked, frustrated.

"I was having fun, and besides, I wanted to see if you'd remember me. It seems you kept your promise, even if not completely."

She approached him.

"It might have been easier for you to open the door regardless," Neo complained, a bit irritated.

"Perhaps, but everything turned out fine. You're here, all because of your love for me."

Carolina hugged him; he felt comforted. After months of being alone without seeing any family, this type of reassuring affection was welcomed. Yet, he was still angry.

"Idiot sister."

"I heard that! I also heard your attempts at the password. Want me to beat you up?" She released him.

"As if you could hit me."

Carolina stepped back, crossed her arms over her chest, and raised an eyebrow. With a sarcastic smile, she looked at Neo firmly, as if challenging him.

She pressed a button and let out an impatient sigh, her eyes looking upwards. A loud sound echoed as something was released. Intrigued, Neo tried to interpret her body language as he observed her for a moment. But before he could react, a powerful force struck a part of his body. He was pushed through the air, crashing violently into a pile of large pillows arranged there.

A triumphant laughter filled the air, and he found himself too dazed to fully understand what had just happened. Looking up, Neo spotted Carolina, pointing her finger at him with a triumphant air. Her voice echoed through the space, filled with humor and mockery.

"Right on target!" she exclaimed, her contagious laughter echoing in the room.

As Neo tried to recover from the impact, his eyes encountered a surreal sight: a giant hand attached to a pendulum.

"You and Leo are the same. How did you do that?"

"I saw it in a movie, and I couldn't help but do the same. It's your fault for doubting me. I was almost giving up on the idea."

Neo remained incredulous as he listened to the explanation. He tried to get up but struggled, resembling an overturned turtle.

"Anyway, let's stop stalling. I need you for something."

After some effort, he managed to free himself from that position. He felt a bit dazed and couldn't quite believe what had just happened. But with Carolina, anything was possible.

The lab could be called a workshop, given the number of mechanical parts scattered all around. The smell of grease dominated the air. There was so much stuff that it was hard to understand what each item was.

How did she navigate through all that?

At least, she kept a clear path to walk.

Further back, they reached a small altar illuminated by small spotlights. On top of it sat a box that, due to its texture and color, resembled a safe, but without the part where the combination was entered.

Carolina stood in front of it and struck a pose, showing off the object.

"I want to show you this box."

Confused by what he was seeing, Neo asked, "What about it?"

Carolina put her hand on her chin thoughtfully.

"Well, it's indestructible."

"Interesting, but what's the point?" Neo hurriedly asked.

"The point is that it holds a very, very important secret."

Neo looked around, searching for what his sister had mentioned. "What secret?"

"I don't know."

He turned his attention back to her. "Then how do you know it's important? There might be nothing inside."

"It's just that I was told that there's something important inside, and they said I'd find out when I open it."

"I see, and when are you planning to open it?"

"I've tried everything," she said, showing the various broken drill bits on a nearby table.


"Can you see it open, Neo? No, right! It means I haven't succeeded." Carolina shouted, frustrated.

"Isn't there another way to open it? I see an opening here."

"It seems like only with a key."

"And where is that key?"

"I have no idea. I thought maybe you knew something about it?"

Neo thought and began to believe that this was part of what his father had been searching for, although he didn't know much either way.


Carolina looked at him in confusion. "I thought you'd come to help me open the box."

"I didn't know about any of this."

"Leo said you would come, which is why I had time to set up the door trap. I could've sworn it was for this."

"I guess I didn't tell him all the details."

She then shifted from a thoughtful posture to a curious one. "I see. So, what did you come here for, then?"

Neo thought of a way to express his real intention without giving away too much.

"The truth is, I wanted to see more of your inventions."

Her eyes lit up. "Do you really want to see?"

Neo nodded, and she quickly dashed around the room, picking up various different objects. She fiddled with various pieces of metal and lights.

She appeared in front of Neo with a bunch of things that made noises and blinked. Neo looked among them, searching for one specific thing, but it wasn't there. Just as he was about to start explaining what each of those contraptions did, Neo interrupted, saying, "I wanted to see the Dreamcapture."

Her excitement dimmed a little; she wanted to show off her other inventions much more than one Neo had already seen. And then a question arose. "Why?"

"Because you showed it to me at the fair, but I didn't see it in action."

She thought for a second, and Neo was sweating nervously, wondering if that little lie would work.

"Alright, I'll get it for you to see."

She looked around the room and once again sifted through the various tables filled with different inventions. Metals, circuits, and other junk. Neo could see scattered noodle cups. It seemed like she didn't leave that place very often.

It took a while as she moved from one side to the other until she finally said, "Alright, I found it!"

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