>> 9/19 - Tue (Early Morning)
The strong smell of coffee perpetuated the air in an almost desolate office at Geo Industries. Desolate, all for but one young man sitting behind a large desk, one hand typing on his laptop, the other holding a cellphone to the ear as he chatted quietly with one on the other end.
" I trust you will make it on Thursday, professor? "
" Yes, I've already made arrangements, Nathan. How did you fare last night? "
Nathaniel paused for a moment, bringing up his right sleeve to reveal a bandage wrapped around his right arm. Small bloodstains dotted the fabric around the wound, though most of the bleeding had stopped shortly before the night had ended.
" It... did not go so well. The gatekeeper tracked me to my location. I managed to escape before it became too difficult. "
" You didn't go alone, did you? "
The young man fell silent for a moment, his gaze reflexively darting to the side as if to confirm his suspicions. A long sigh sounded over from the other end before he continued again.
" I gave you clearance expecting that you would take Layla with you. You of all people should know how dangerous it can be on the other side. We cannot afford to lose either of you. There aren't many of you left... "
Again, the line grew silent, letting several seconds pass before the older man spoke again.
" Speaking of Layla, how is the girl? Have you been getting along with her well? "
" It's been somewhat difficult professor. But yes. Our relations are quite cordial at the moment. In fact, she was the one who found all our new members yesterday. "
" I see. Very good. Keep an eye out for her. The girl has talents in the field, but do be careful. In any case, I have to be going. Godspeed, Nathan. "
" I will contact you if anything else comes up. "
Nathaniel ended the call, his new phone beeping in return as he slid it into his pockets. The young man narrowed his eyes at his laptop's screen, fixating on the images of their prospective new members on the Connect-U website.
Is it finally time?
Lost in thought, Nathaniel merely continued to stare at the screen as the whole building slowly started to come to life, signifying that work hours were about to start.