Jiyo Kael was standing outside the elevator, listening intently, jumping when the doors suddenly closed behind him. Making as little noise as possible, he shone in the corridor, pushing hard on every door as he reached it.
Tea room; small laboratory; larger laboratory; Chief Technician; Mens toilets – empty stalls; Girl Toilet – ditto; Computer Technician; Canteen; Department of Malacology; Senior Invertebrate Zoologist; Secretary.
All rooms are quiet and empty. Two will go. Electrical Intake and Ventilation on the left; The Hole on the right.
Jiyo Kael first took the EI&V, which was also empty. He leaned against the wall of the corridor, he read dry lips and stared at the slightly open door opposite the wall.
He didn want to go in there. He knew waiting inside.
The staff gave the large recycling room the name The Hole because thats what it looks like. It is dominated by a large, two meter deep hole that sinks into the center of the floor with a knee -length wall surrounding it. Even from where he was standing, outside the corridor, Jiyo Kael could feel the suction of powerful ceiling fans taking air from the room.
He hasn been to the Recycling Laboratory since it worked but he knows that even if the extractors large fans are immersed, breathing in the rotten environment without an oxygen mask is nearly impossible. He didn look forward to getting into it in the slightest.
Next to the extract vent in the ceiling is a chute leading to the surface. It ended with a circular metal cover, caste on the concrete slab next to the entrance building. Here, and on a surprisingly regular basis, that recyclates enter The Hole.
Jiyo Kael pushed the door back on its hinges, turning on the overhead light. As the room was bathed in bright white light, he heard a crackling, sloping sound coming from the pit and hesitating on the threshold.
After judging himself for being cowardly, he took a deep breath and walked into the pit, staring as it filled. The surface still echoed from the movements of the creatures that dived deep into the sticky object when he turned on the lights. Disgusted to turn away, he took another quick breeze from the corridor and squatted in the corner, tidying up the tangled pile of bones he had seen there.
”Well, Ive solved the problem where all the staff is gone, ” he whispered, eyes starting to sting the stench in the room.
When Edward Wills arrived at the dock, he stopped in the car park and quickly turned off the engine. As he got out of his silver Mercedes Benz, he looked around, worried he would leave his expensive car in such a deserted place.
”Itll be okay here too if you park, ” shouted a thin man from the beach.
”Itll be okay here too if you park, ” shouted a thin man from the beach.
The man was wearing a pair of dirty orange overalls, bright yellow boots, and a rolled up woolen cap. He smiled and Edward saw that he had no teeth, as if his face had fallen.
”Here, ” the man called, waving his dirty hand. ”Your man there said I would take you to him. Fortunately he caught up with me. I just went out to the pub and all. These mobiles are great things, aren they. ”
The boatman shouted steadily as he helped Edward cross between the boat and the dock. Edwards nose twitched at the smell of fish wrapping around the vessel, secretly wiping his hand on the side of his coat as the boatman released it. Going to the back of the ship, he sat on the gunwale and tried to tune out the sound of the seamans voice.
The boats engine came to life in conjunction with coughing and bursts of black, foul smoke, before settling into a continuous pulse. The machine sounded as if it would explode at any moment, but the noise meant she no longer had to listen to the mans pointless chatter.
The boatman guided the beating vessel out of the sound, his body swaying in the movement of the waves as he turned the wheel back and forth.
”How long has it been? ” Edward shouted above the rattle of the diesel engine.
”About fifteen minutes or so, ” the boatman called over his shoulder, wiping the saliva off his chin with the back of his hand.
Edward Wills lived in a meditative mood, the throbbing engine and gentle receding waves coming together to reduce the tensions that had accumulated in his shoulders on the long, one and a half hour drive. from his mansion in Cavite, Philippines to the island, always using his Mercedes when traveling on land.
She smiled, wondering what awaited her when she arrived at the Lab and back home. Maybe he should book his secretary a nice restaurant for later. Her husband liked it when it took him to a place that celebrities went to. Edward pulled out his cellphone, frowning. ”Damn it. There is no signal! ”
The boat rolled into a large trough and Edward saw the island in the distance.
(Flashback Story Start)
He first saw it from the sky, when he surveyed the island with his architect six years ago. If you look at it then, he saw that the small crater they chose as a building plot at the larger end of the island would save the builders a lot of construction work. As his architect pointed out, the surrounding high rocks also help preserve the elements on the coast. Ordering the pilot to be placed in the middle of the crater, Edward climbed up, his architect close behind him, to inspect the island which he hoped would add a large part to his great fortune and wealth.
”I think weve found it, Jimmy, ” he said, todo smile as he stroked his thin white hair back to his head, breathing in the sea air. ”Just listen to the waves. Amazing. ”
”If you can get whoever owns it to sell it to you, ” the architect replied in a suspicious tone.
”Money speaks better than words, ” he replies smiling. ”Or is it stronger? Anyway, just go back to the office and get a team here right away. Ill take care of buying the island. You have nine months to turn this place into a working laboratory. Do you think you can? ”
His architect named Jimmy nodded softly, seemingly reluctant to dedicate himself.
The work is hard, due to the land and location, and government permits but money is a good motivator. Equipment and materials were flown by helicopter, while builders were ushered outside along with locals and boaters back and forth on a daily basis.
Edward wanted to hide the real reason for the construction work, because whoever succeeds in using this particular idea will be a fortune teller. As usual with his new activities, there will be people sniffing around – industrial spies are endless on tour – so he spread the rumor that the island will be used as a huge underground oil storage.
(Flashback Story End)
e close sir. ”
The boatmans shout released Edward Wills from his rejoicing and he focused on the pier that was going up a few meters away. For all his sloppy looks, the boatman is a great seaman, kissing the boat against the wheels hanging on the pier to be compared as gently as a mother kissing her baby.
Holding the ship to the pier with the engine, the boatman shouted for Edward to jump, and added: ”Favor us, and drop this rope here over that bollard when you get to shore. ”
Edward slipped the large loop over the rusty bollard and made his way down the road to the edge of the ravine. The intermittent lampposts cast a deep and dark shadow in the passage and he had to be careful with his tread. After a ten minute walk, he finally reached the top and walked out onto the large concrete slab roof of the laboratory they had built in the rock of the island.
Edward Wills saw his PA sitting behind a desk in the entrance building, feet raised, ankles crossed. He is drinking something from a plastic cup. Edward brought his coat to his body against the wind as he walked towards the building, Edward glancing at his watch.
Its about ten oclock, and it looks like a storm. He hopes the time will last until they get out of the island. It was too dark to fly back to the helicopter today and he didn want to sail back into a storm with the toothless boatman at the wheel.
Jiyo Kael saw Edward through the mirror and lowered his feet to the desk. The Old Man looks tired. Really tired. Pressing and exiting the door for his boss to enter, Jiyo stood up.
”Jiyo, ” Edward said, nodding in greeting.
”Mr. Edward. ” Jiyo gave his own nod.
”The coffee you
e drinking there? ”
”Sure. Do you want me to get you a cup? The machine is just there. ”
”You just need a gulp. If you don mind, that is … Thats a few walks from the pier. ”
Jiyo reached for his plastic cup, he noticed the Old Mans hand trembling as he took it.
”So whats the emergency? ” Edward said after sipping hot liquid.
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