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Today was my first day at Future Sim Labs and I was more excited than I was nervous about starting my new career. I even woke up before sunrise ready to get a head start. I had been dreaming about becoming a scientist since I was little. I always wanted to invent something that changed the world for the better and today was the start of me fulfilling that dream.

1628

I stood in front of the building for a while collecting my wits before entering because with all my excitement over my new career it completely escaped me that it will also be the first time I was going to meet Cyrus in person.

What’s the big deal though? We talk all the time already so seeing him face to face won’t make any difference at all. Get it together Ivy!

After my little pep talk, I confidently strolled into the building.

1629

The first place I went to was the reception area so I could get my security clearance verified and my ID badge. Apparently there was some technical difficulty with the fingerprint analysis software that was to be used to give me access to certain areas in the building so I was kept waiting a lot longer than everyone else. When the issue was finally resolved I was directed to go to the main lab area so I could meet my team leader.

I wished I could have met up with Cyrus as soon as I entered the building so we could have gotten our clearance together but he arrived much earlier than I did. It would have been really cool to experience this with him from the start but at least our wait will be over. I felt like I had butterflies in my stomach.

1630

As I turned the corner and entered the main lab area I saw him. It looked like he’d already been assigned a workstation and was busy working on some documents. He was so busy he didn’t even notice someone else had entered the room. I cleared my throat hoping to get his attention. “Ahem.”

1631

“I’m almost finished typing up the report Dr. Bjergsen. I just need to double check the calculations.” He said not even looking away from the screen.

“You use Simbook to verify your calculations, Mr. Escamilla? That doesn’t sound right to me.” I joked.

1632

He realised the person talking to him wasn’t Dr. Bjergsen but he didn’t recognise who I was right away. “I’m sorry, I thought you were… wait a minute, Ivy?”

“In the flesh!” I laughed.

He sat there looking at me for a while like he was thinking about something. I had no clue what it could be. I expected an immediate response like a ‘hey it’s so good to meet you’ or even a ‘you joker come here’ but instead he just looked at me. It was weird. Did I have something in my teeth? Or worse, was I not what he expected?

1633

“What’s the matter?” I finally asked.

“Nothing.” He swiftly responded. “Nothing at all. I just can’t believe we’re finally seeing each other in person.” He pulled me into a hug. “Your pictures don’t do you justice, Queen I-V.”

1634

1635

He smelled so good and his hug was so warm and inviting that I was disappointed when he pulled back. I wanted more. “Whatever, Cy-Borg! I see they have you busy already.”

“Yeah, Dr. Bjergsen wanted me to type up some outstanding reports. Speaking of which, I better get back to work before she sees me talking to you. I heard her just bust some lab techs for chatting over by the water cooler.”

“She? I thought Dr. Bjergsen was a man. He’s supposed to be my mentor as well.”

“Nah, you must mean Dr. Bjorn Bjergsen. You’re really lucky if he was assigned to be your mentor. She’s his daughter, Dr. Sofia Bjergsen and she has a real stick up her butt. You’re lucky to get Dr. Bjorn, he seems really cool for an old guy.”

1636

Just then I noticed Sofia swiftly push past us and sit down in front of the computer. “Seriously Cyrus? You’re checking your Simbook page on your first day?”

“I…uh…” he muttered.

“What about the lab report I asked you to do?” She sternly asked before turning to me. “And you, whoever you are, don’t you have somewhere else you need to be instead of distracting my lab tech?”

1637

I had to stifle my laugh at how much of an attitude she had. Of course, Cyrus shouldn’t have been on Simbook but was all that sass really necessary? “The name is Ivy Sloane and I’m going to go on my way.”

“Best you should.” She bristled. Cyrus gave me a helpless shrug and I did my best to contain my laughter. She looked young, not that much older than the rest of us which led me to think that she had a chip on her shoulder and probably felt like she needed to assert herself to prove her worth since she was working under her Dad. Seeing the kind of attitude she possessed made me wonder what I would have to deal with while working with her father. Turns out that Dr. Bjorn was nothing like his uptight daughter, he was actually very laid back.

He let me use the Invention Constructor on my first day, a chance other Apprentice Inventors don’t get on their first day. He said the level of enthusiasm I expressed in my application letter worked in my favour which was why he was giving me a chance to prove myself. This was such an amazing opportunity!

1638

But I had to maintain focus because I didn’t want to screw up this chance and look like a dud. He asked me to build a momentum conserver according to the modified plans he designed. It wasn’t hard figuring out the design but I did have a hard time programming the AI device to do as I asked.

That darn thing kept asking in his automated voice if I was sure every single step of the way. It was annoying after the first dozen times.

1639

1640

Eventually, all of the individual parts were created so all the AI had to do was assemble the pieces and begin testing. It went smoothly at first until suddenly a warning alarm went off about the temperature of the parts being too high. I thought the laser must have been malfunctioning but I had done all the required tests before beginning the construction. Just then there was a huge cloud of smoke that filled the entire area and I couldn’t see anything.

1641

1642

I thought for sure I screwed up. Of course, I did. On the very first day I was given an important task, I messed it up! But then when the smoke cleared I realised that nothing bad had happened at all. Of course, there would be smoke with the laser in use and the internal temperature being so high.

Duh Ivy!

1643

“Testing complete. Momentum Conserver device is 100 percent functional.” The AI said.

“Awesome! You and I did some good work buddy. I oughta give you a treat.” I giggled as I patted his head like he was a dog.

“Cannot comprehend. Please repeat command.”

1644

I laughed. “Never mind. Uh…I mean, ignore command.”

Just as I was giving myself a metaphorical pat on the back for succeeding in creating the momentum conserver I noticed Sofia watching me through the glass partition. She took one look at the completed momentum conserver and then looked at me like she was shocked. I guess she didn’t think a newbie like me could complete such a task on her first day.

1645

I was really proud of myself for finishing this conserver. After the weekend I had where I learned the truth about Mum I started to feel unsure of myself and I really needed a boost of confidence. Meeting Cyrus in person only added to my feelings of insecurity but thankfully it wasn’t as awkward as I assumed it would be. I don’t know why learning about Mum affected me so much but it did. I couldn’t even bring myself to tell Izzy or Jo what I had learned or even confront Dad about it either. I couldn’t bring up something like that without ruining the other person’s entire day like it did mine, especially since Mum was gone for good and all of her deeds are in the past now.

Now it’s time for me to look forward to the future and as the momentum conserver I created beamed it reassured me that my future would be bright.

1646

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