Boro Chronicles Part 1 Chapter 1

December 20th, 2009 AR

Arahat-Gesos district, Metriga

 

"Hok hit Mehetat Arahat-Gesos. Kisi dan reko. This is Arahat-Gesos station. Exit to the right."

 

It was a bright spring morning when Daisuke walked out of the metro station, then turned onto EK Negu Avenue. He was to start a summer internship at Denanta Labs on Tura Road, but he couldn't seem to find the right building. The iconic jumbotron billboards of the Arahat-Gesos district were not making it any easier.

 

18-year-old Daisuke graduated high school with the best GPA in class. He could easily get an internship anywhere. But this tiny startup in Metriga was the place he wanted to be, only because there were several top alumni from his dream university working here. A recommendation from even one of them would light up his college application like the fireworks on National Day.

 

RACE. Rok-Arabal College of Engineering. One of the best engineering schools in the world. This was the dream.

 Daisuke thought he spotted a famous DJ before finally making it to the building eight minutes early. The flag of Borokanis flew on a pole above the main entrance. He took the elevator to the second floor,

and upon entering the Denanta office he was greeted by a skinny, round-faced receptionist.

 

"Nemantu. How can I help you this fine morning?"

 

"My name is Daisuke Kerados. I'm here for the summer internship".

 

The receptionist was wearing an ID badge. It showed his name to be Nobo Uka.

 

"So you're the wonder-kid from Kisti International, ah? Everyone is waiting inside, just for you."

 

Daisuke followed Nobo as he unlocked a door with his ID badge. The man reeked of Borobus beer.

 

"Go on in", said Nobo. What he saw on the other side took his breath away.

 

There were sketches and blueprints for all kinds of futuristic machines tacked onto the wall. Several computers and drafting tables were scattered around the room. A hallway lead off to somewhere on the side. In the corner was a break area with a microwave and hot-water dispenser for dega tea, and this was where the four employees were waiting. Three men and one woman. Daisuke thought this place was already awesome.

 

"Nemantum", said Daisuke. The woman smiled. He was a bit shocked by her cheek piercings and half-shaved blue hair.

 

"There's no need to be formal with us, kid," said the punk woman. "My name is Techniker. I'm the design lead here."

 

"But is that your real name?" said Daisuke. Two of the three men started laughing.

 

"No, of course not," said Techniker, grinning. "It's a RACE thing. Everyone gets nicknames there. For example," Techniker pointed to the badly dressed man on her left. "My twin brother 'Fixer' here also went to RACE."

"Kuku, Daisuke", said Fixer, tipping his baseball cap. Daisuke waved back. He definitely bore a strong resemblance to Techniker, but his extremely loose clothing looked atrocious.

 

"And to my right, is Seruto. Now that's not a nickname--”

 

"My college nickname was rather embarrassing," said Seruto, covering his smiling face with his hand.

 

"-- but he's an integral part of our operation anyway. And last but not least," Techniker pointed to the muscular, red-haired man who wasn't paying any attention.

 

"This is our first intern, Rono Kenuk."

 

Rono simply nodded. He was deeply immersed in his examination of a 100 denari note.

 

"Rono," said Techniker.

 

"Yes."

 

Rono still didn't look up. He buried his nose deeper into the sky-blue banknote.

 

"Do you mind showing our new friend around the office?" asked Techniker, a bit impatiently.

 

Rono finally looked up. He put his banknote away.

 

"Fine, I will show him around."

 

Daisuke wondered if these were the only people in the entire company. Or maybe the others just didn't show up today? Considering that today is a weekday, that would be weird.

 

Rono escorted Daisuke down the hallway. Here there were three doors: the first was labeled "R&D", the second was labeled "Restroom", and the third labeled as "CEO". There were some voices coming from behind the CEO door. Rono lead him into the R&D room, where there were several workbenches, with electronic components and various tools scattered all over the place. The room smelled like metal and lubricant. Daisuke grinned like a child in a toy store.

 

On a workbench in the center of the room was what appeared to be a jetpack prototype. Daisuke was ogling it when Rono walked in while adjusting his ponytail.

 

"The jetpack." said Rono. "Hydrogen powered. Techniker and Seruto have been working on this since before I came."

 

Rono spoke Borogi with a strange accent. He didn't sound like he was from Borokanis.

 

"When did you start working here?"

 

"Um... quintember, so five months before?"

 

"Okay, but are you the only ones here?"

 

"Yes. There is also Richard who is CEO, and also that smelly receptionist."

 

"I think his name is Nobo."

 

"I do not care. He is below me."

 

Before Daisuke could react to Rono's strange comment, Techniker popped her head into the room.

 

"You guys done with the tour?"

 

Daisuke nodded. He had an ear-to-ear grin on his face.

 

"You're clearly enjoying yourself already, kid."

 

"This place is awesome."

 

Techniker smiled.

 

"Ready for your first assignment?"

 

"Yes!" exclaimed Daisuke, jumping at the opportunity.

 

Techniker went over to a shelf and pulled out a rolled-up blueprint. On it was a schematic for some kind of helmet and glove set.

 

"I designed this a few years ago, in college," said Techniker. "It's a helmet with a visor that should be capable of night vision, geiger vision, heat vision, and x-ray through mineral materials like concrete and metal."

 

Daisuke looked at the helmet diagram. If this thing was capable of all of that, then Techniker must not be an engineer, but a wizard. No wonder she was one of the top students at RACE.

 

"What are the gloves for?" asked Daisuke.

 

"I wanted a way to cycle through the different modes without needing to touch the helmet, and so the gloves are a way to do just that. They also hold the batteries."

 

"And what was the purpose of this?"

 

"Espionage. Well, supposed to be, anyway."

 

Daisuke furled his eyebrows in confusion. He thought that the helmet better suited a soldier than a spy.

 

"I see you've figured out the problem," said Techniker, noticing Daisuke’s confused expression.

 

"How can someone sneak around while wearing this huge thing?" asked Daisuke. "This design is very impractical."

 

"Yeah, well, it's still better than my brother's dumb idea of making battle droids out of water heaters," said Techniker. "But anyway, that brings us to your assignment. I want you to redesign this set into something a spy can actually use.”

 

Daisuke grinned.

 

"Okay!"

 

"I can see you won't have any trouble, with that kind of enthusiasm," said Techniker, smiling. "But if you do have trouble, then Rono here will help you."

 

Rono nodded.

 

"Good luck!" said Techniker, giving him two-thumbs-up as she left the room. Rono went to the door and closed it behind her.

 

Daisuke immediately got to work, looking at Techniker's schematic and making notes. Rono looked over at his notes and was impressed.

 

"You are very smart," said Rono. "Techniker made me do something like this also when I joined."

 

"Really?" asked Daisuke. "What did you redesign?"

 

Rono picked up a blueprint that was lying on a desk. It depicted a schematic for an RC quadcopter with the capacity to seat five people inside.

 

"I made this."

 

Daisuke looked at the quadcopter. His face lit up.

 

"This is awesome. What's it powered by?"

 

"Hydrogen. Like the jetpack."

 

Daisuke continued making notes until he was satisfied with his plan. He then asked Rono for a blank blueprint, and started drawing out the revised schematic.

 

"So, Rono, where are you from?" asked Daisuke, as he drew.

 

"Oh, um, I am from the fut-... uh... f-far away."

 

"Can you be a bit more specific?"

 

Rono fell oddly silent. Daisuke noticed his beige skin tone.

 

"Are you from Suataki?"

 

"What is 'Suataki'?"

 

"I guess not."

 

Daisuke gave up on asking him. A few minutes later, he was finished with the new schematic.

 

"Okay. Done."

 

Rono looked at the schematic. His eyes widened.

 

"You finished this in one hour."

 

"But is it good?"

 

"This is very good. It fixes all of the problems."

 

Rono sat on one of the workbench chairs. The quadcopter blueprint was on the desk in front of him.

 

"Reports of your school are correct. You actually are very smart."

 

Daisuke shrugged his shoulders.

 

"Well, I studied hard."

 

"So maybe you can help me."

 

"With what?"

 

Rono cleared his throat.

 

"I need money fast."

 

Money? Daisuke wondered why this guy was asking him of all people for money. He wanted to be an engineer, after all, not a banker.

 

"Have you tried the stock market?"

 

"What is 'stock market'? No, I know another way."

 

"Is it better than the stock market? Wait, this is legal, right?"

 

"I think there is treasure in Borokanis. And I need your help to find it."

 

Daisuke went blank.

 

"What... ?"