Smoothing out my uniform, I switched on my telecommunicator and put on my headset and went to the kitchen for coffee. A sigh escaped my lips as I went over my checklist for the day in my head. “okay, it’s Tuesday…” I poured a cup of Toxic Coffee into my cup and took a sip of loaded caffeine to start my mind, “I need to run the daily EMR, check if the first aid supplies have been delivered, count the medication and log in the narcotics, and see if Dr. Ichinomiya has any new orders that need implementing…”
My words trailed off as I remembered the conversation I had with maintenance about the window cracking randomly, considering everything in Tres Spades Resort and Spa was brand spanking new. There were few choice statements and grumbling from them, but at the end of it all, all I could explain was that I DID NOT punch the window and neither did a golf ball smack into it.
A chill ran down my spine as I recalled the glass splitting beneath my palm, the infamous cold feeling in my bosom returned in full vengeance as I tried to steady my thoughts. Placing a hand against my sternum, I rubbed the area gently trying to assuage the emotions that seemed to be filling it. Closing my eyes, I repeated to myself to get in control of my emotions, I was already on the clock and there were plenty of reasons the glass may have broken. Yet… as my fingers against the center of my chest stopped the echo of words, “chaos will always follow you…” spoke to me and it was then in that moment I felt something slither underneath my fingertips. “—!?”
A beep from my computer pulled me from the shock, I quickly shook my head and touched my chest and prodded around. Nothing. I must have been so wrapped up in my head that I thought something slithered under my skin and more so, I turned my attention to the computer, duty calls… I mean, beeped.
Making way to the computer and I tapped my screen and frowned. That was odd, I took a larger gulp of coffee and assessed that I had one missed phone call, while it may not seem odd to everyone, it was to me. Besides the small window incident from earlier, my phone line was on right after having spoken to maintenance. I perused the earlier call sheets, this wasn’t a previous missed call, as we weren’t under heavy traffic today from what I was looking at.
Did the phone glitch and send the caller to voicemail? I hovered my mouse over the encrypted email attachment and proceeded to type in my credentials to open the voicemail. As soon as I saw the headline, I immediately rubbed my temples. “Please universe… Why do you keep giving me people like this?” I looked at the headline with disdain as it seemed there was nothing coherent in the tag, just a bunch of gibberish,
I opened the email, and to my utter dismay, there was just more hullabaloo and barney in the inside. Massive amounts of HTML spanned the entire message, there was no hint of email, call back number, or a name. I groaned and ran my fingers through my hair since the system glitched, it meant I had to follow up and find out what they actually had been trying to say, regardless if it was an emergency or not. Wonderful.
Opening my eyes, I set to work, pulling up Skype on my computer and I perused the names on the list until I found who I was searching for, Takuto Hirukawa. I wry smile crossed my lips as I knew the head of IT and Security was not going to be amused that an incident related to technology already occurred at the beginning of his shift. Albeit he was one of the first few colleagues I became quick friends with on my preliminary start week. While he had a foul way of speaking, he had this soft spot for cute things like Shiffy and Doraemon, we instantly bonded over a bowl of pork noodles and murder mysteries.
I chuckled to myself and clicked on the telephone icon the phone hadn’t even rung once when the screen opened up to a familiar expression of disapproval. Perfect.
He narrowed his gaze at me through the screen, “did you pick the wrong answer for one of your otome games and get a bad ending?”
“FYI, I use game guides to never get the bad ending, Pork Bowl-kun,” I quipped.
“That’s cheating, and who are you calling Pork Bowl-kun? I’m not the one who ate a whole box of jelly donuts in one hour, Jelly Roll-Chan.”
“I have no regrets #YOLO. However using a game guide is not cheating, unlike how you rigged the hangman game a few days ago so you could get night shifts to avoid people.” I raised a brow at him as I saw a smirk unravel upon his lips.
“Those idiots can’t mess with the King of IT, and you’re an idiot for using #YOLO for jelly donuts,” he gloated, “besides having an upper hand in the game meant I could work with someone cuu—-COUGH COUGH!!”
“Don’t die on me, Porky,” I watched over him from my side of the computer with concern as he grabbed a glass of water and gulped. “What were you trying to say?”
“Haa…Haa…” Takuto slowly regained his normal breath, “you’re a cube is what I was tryin’ to say! Now, what is it?”
I rolled my eyes, I wasn’t sure what his infatuation with always calling me a cube or cucumber was after he had a coughing fit. But whatever, he’s a Tsundere.
“Did you see the email that came in from the hotline? I don’t understand how my phone didn’t pick it up, I wasn’t on a call with anyone…” I folded my arms over my chest and tilted my head down.
“…” Takuto went quiet as he tapped his keyboard, his eyes narrowed as I saw his face get closer to the screen, “this is interesting…” a wicked grin unraveling upon his lips. “It’s a high-security encrypted email, and from the looks of it. You’ll be needing a genius, like myself, to crack it for you.”
“Then shouldn’t this email have gone to you guys, and not me?” I questioned as I watched him click on a few things before he spoke again.
“It was sent directly to medical,” there was a brief look of confusion on his face as he said this and continued to type, “this was purposely sent to you.”
“Then let me talk to Kyobashi since I need a genius,” I shrugged and felt the glower of evil come through my screen.
A snort came from him, “you dare say his name when I’m the one on shift with you?”Takuto growled as he watched me look at my messenger.
“What’s the fun in working the noc shift, when you can’t mess with your co-workers?” I smiled back at him innocently as he seemed to be working on the email’s encryption with some irritation.
“Hmmm….” a crease formed in the center of his brows as he seemed to type faster and clicked on a few areas of his own monitor, “it’s giving me a hard time, but like hell, that’ll stop me.”
I watched as he worked quickly at the email. that sinking feeling of anxiety started to hum in my chest as I placed a hand over my heart. A high-security email being sent to me specifically? Our medical system itself was already ordained one of the fastest and secured encryption EMRs in the world, so to be receiving another coded email is already a coded email system… That was odd…
A voice echoed in my head catching me off guard and causing me to look around in confusion, “did you just tell me to run, Takkun?”
“Why would I tell you to run when you’re on shift, stupid?” He replied without looking at me directly, his hands seemed to dance across his keyboard as he worked diligently at the email. “Anyways, I’m almost done.”
Dread had hung over my should as I slowly drew back to the screen and watched as Takuto executed code with a flourish, “there! Now–“
“What–!?” Suddenly my screen began to flash and a multitude of code jargon spilled all over my screen, a high pitch noise screeched at full blast into my ears as I fell backward onto my ass. “TAKUTO TURN IT OFF!!”
I screamed into my headset as I heard him frantically trying to say something, but his words didn’t reach my ears as the blaring sound ricocheted everywhere. The noise pierced my eardrums and assaulted my senses as I struggled to get back to my computer, but the noise grew louder. With each high interval frequency leeching out from the email I felt something in my chest scream and claw at my insides.
“Make it stop!” I bellowed as the piercing sound seemed to reach a climax, and suddenly there was silence… Just the sounds of my ragged breaths, my hands clasped against my heart as something moved beneath my flesh.