A mixture of sirens was heard on the way to the Skye Tech Industries headquarters. Ambulances, firetrucks and police cars all race to source of the black smoke that fills the night sky. The outside of the laboratory building was filled with the cries and screams of the people running out of the burning building.
This wasn't how Luke expected his evening to go. His brother Matthew, a physicist working for Skye Tech Industries, was invited to a private event by the same company. The event was held for the reveal of a new innovation by the world renowned technology company. The room was filled with potential investors interested in whatever new technology Skye Tech Industries has to offer. The company has advertised their innovations as revolutionary that is said to change the course of human history. No one really knows what this new technology is, none of the investors was given a clue of what they are about to see. However, given the reputation of Skye Tech Industries, whatever they have in their pockets is surely something to impress.
Luke has always been interested in technology. He enjoyed creating something new, something that defies the limits of a human's potential. There are so many things that the average human can't do, so many limits. But with technology, anything is possible. This is why Luke always wanted to work in Skye Tech Industries, to be surrounded by and create new things that are beyond limits would be a dream. He became ecstatic when his brother invited him to the event. To witness the unveiling of the newest technological innovation firsthand was also a dream come true for him. His brother Matthew was a physicist working for the new technology by Skye Tech. As he remembered, he asked his brother everyday what new technologies they were working on in the company. Matthew's answer was always the same, "It's top secret."
He can't hide his smile as he looked around him. There were many other technologies that are displayed in the event. Probably not as important as the one being unveiled at the event, but these devices displayed are still a wonder to Luke. There was one invention that caught his attention, It was displayed at the far end of the hall. There weren't many people looking at it, in fact there was no one there at all except a girl reading a book beside it. His curiosity got the best of him and the proceeded to walk towards the display. There was a transparent box filled with white thick plate-like looking things. There was also a smaller box with two small circular objects. He was about touch the objects when the person beside the display puts down the book they are reading, "Don't touch the display."
Luke was startled and immediately withdraw his hand, "I'm sorry."
"Did you make it?" He asked the girl while continuing to look at the invention. He tilts his head once in a while to have a closer look at the sides of it.
"Yeah." It was the only response he received from the girl.
A bit unenthusiastic for someone who's trying to advertise their invention.
Despite her lack of enthusiasm, Luke continued to give his attention on the invention. He gave the girl a smile, "What’s it for?"
The girl stared at him for a few moments, wondering why this person seem so interested in her invention. "That depends on the user."
Luke just gave her a questioning look. She was about to explain when they heard a voice through the speakers. Both their attention were immediately on the speaker standing on the stage. Luke glanced back at the girl but she was already gone. He turned his attention back to the man on the small stage. "Good evening and welcome to all our visitors."
Luke searched the crowd for his brother, who was apparently near the right side of the stage. "Hey there you are," his brother said to him. "Come on I wanna show you something."
Luke didn't protest, instead he let his brother lead him away from the hall and into a hallway. They passed a few more rooms until they reached a door with a giant metal door. He watched as his brother put in a code, 0724, his birthday. Matthew then pulled out a keycard and placed it above the keypad. The metal doors opened into a small glass room, it was blurry so he couldn't see the other side of it. His brother pulled him inside the room while the doors began to close. "Initiating sanitation process," a voice echoed inside the room. A pressure of air began coming out of the walls of the small room. After the sanitation process, the glass doors opened to reveal a giant laboratory filled with different kinds of devices. Luke can remember some of it, the structures of some contraptions he remembered from school. He just graduated from college which is why it was all still fresh in his mind. The structures and inventions was all interesting but that was not what caught Luke's attention. It was the giant metal circle in the middle of the room.
"Woah," This was the only reaction Luke could muster as he started to approach it. His brother then held his shoulder. Luke turned back at him with a questioning look. Matthew just shook his head as a response. Luke nodded, understanding what his brother meant.
"This is what I've been working on these past few months," Matthew said with less enthusiasm as Luke had expected someone showing off their invention should have.
He didn't linger on the thought and focused more on the machine itself. "What does it do?"
"If you say something dramatic like 'it'll change the course of history', I'm gonna fucking vomit," a familiar voice said from behind them.
Luke immediately turned around to see the same girl from before. She walked closer to them just beside Matthew. He turned to look back at his brother who had a smile in his face while still looking at the machine in the middle of the room. Luke wondered when she came in since he didn't really hear the sanitation process initiate before she arrived.
"Alright how would you describe it then?" Matthew turned to the girl with an amused smile.
That answer made Luke turn his attention to the girl. At first Luke thought she might be joking, but as he look at her expression, it's like there was no trace of emotion. She just stared at the machine in front of her with a blank face. Luke then turned to his brother's face looking for any kind of answer or clue about what the girl said, but he found nothing.
Matthew and the girl just looked at the giant machine for a while before the two erupted in laugher. "Now who's the dramatic one?" Matthew said when he finally stopped laughing.
"Still you," the girl responded as her laugher died.
"Olivia this is my brother Luke," Matthew stepped back and gestured his hand towards his brother.
"Luke, Olivia, we work together on this project." Matthew then gestured to the girl.
The girl, Olivia, gave Luke a small nod, "Hey." Luke did really pay much attention to the girl when he first met her. He was more focused on her invention that he didn't notice how pleasant her appearance was. Luke would be lying if he said he didn’t find her attractive. There was something about her, something different but Luke couldn't quite put his finger on it. Olivia and Matthew also seem to be very familiar with each other and it's making Luke feel intimidated by their relationship. Not really knowing how to respond, Luke waved his hand awkwardly at her.
"What are you doing here by the way?" Matthew asked Olivia, breaking the silence forming in the room.
"I could ask you the same thing?" Her response brought a frown on Luke's face, she seems rude.
Matthew, kind and patient as he is, responded with a small grin towards Luke, "Giving my brother a tour."
"Ah, of course." She nodded her head in understanding then added, "I'm avoiding Andrew."
Luke's ears perked up, Andrew? Like Andrew Skye, CEO and owner of Skye Tech? He has always idolized the guy.
His brother just released a small laugh in response to Olivia's words. It was his turn to nod.
"We should go now, they're probably gonna show it soon." Matthew said a few seconds later. Luke started to walk outside the door but stopped when he noticed his brother hanged back, waiting for Olivia.
"You guys go on ahead."
With that Matthew followed Luke towards the exit of the lab. They walk silently back to the hall where the event was being held. Luke has something on his mind. He was curious about Olivia. This was his first time meeting her as his brother never mentioned her before. To be fair, he only knew a couple of Matthew's friends, Francis from HR and Mike who was Matthew's college roommate. Still, it was weird for Luke that his brother never mentioned her since they seem so close. Then a thought came to him. Maybe she's...
His thought was interrupted by Matthew, "You okay?"
Luke was hesitating if he should ask or not. In the end decided to ask, "Is Olivia your girlfriend?"
Matthew's response raised more questions than answers in Luke's head as his laughter echoed in the empty hallway. "What? No. Why would you think that?"
"It's just, you've never mentioned her before and you two seem kinda..." Luke gestured something in his hands that Matthew did not quite understand, "You know."
"I'm gonna be honest, I don't really understand what you're doing with your hands there Bud." Luke rolled his eyes at his clueless brother and the nickname he was given. "But Olivia and I aren't together. We're just closed friends." Matthew added. Luke was still skeptical of his brother's response but he didn't press anymore questions.
"You're the same age by the way."
Luke's head snapped back towards his brother completely confused, "What does that have to do with anything?"
" I dunno," Matthew shrugged his shoulders. "You seem dazed when I introduced you two, I thought that," He did the same gestures with his hands the same ones Luke did with his earlier. Luke rolled his eyes once again at his brother, while Matthew laughed at him.
"I met her even before that, at the hall," Luke started. "She’s pretty but she seems rude."
Matthew has a small smile in his face, "That's just how she is."
They continued walking back the hall. When they arrived, there were some people talking on the stage. it was like they were on an auction. Each technology was presented by the inventor and the crowd will bid for a price they are willing to pay for it. It went on for a while. There were some medical related ones that are meant to help in surgical operations, there are also ones that can be used in the military for surveillance. It was all very new and interesting for Luke.
"I got accepted for an internship here." Luke smiled.
His brother's reaction was a mixture of shock and something that Luke can't tell yet, "Wait what?"
"You know I've always wanted to work here. So I took the opportunity."
There was a hint of sadness in his brother's smile and Luke don't really know why. He's been giving hint that he wanted to work here ever since he started college. It was a great company to work for. The cause for the sadness was a complete puzzle for Luke and he wanted to solve it. A nod was all he was given when his brother turned his attention back to the stage.
"You'll do great, I know. Just be careful when you do work here." There was a question lingering in Luke's mind but was immediately cut off when Olivia came rushing to them.
Olivia came from the direction of the lab. Her demeanor seemed to changed from before, She seemed agitated about something when she approached the two brothers. She pulled Matthew to the side and they began whispering. Luke wanted to know what they were talking about but he didn't try to eavesdrop and gave the two some privacy. He couldn't help but stare though. Olivia seemed to be really upset and it seems that Matthew is trying his best to calm him down. Their conversation didn't last long, when Olivia began to walk away. Matthew tried to stop her but she was already gone.
When Matthew returned to his side, Luke wanted to asked what happened but was still hesitant to do so. Matthew was pinching the bridge of his nose with his eyes closed. It was a mannerism he does when something is bothering him.
"You okay?" Luke asked with a small voice.
His brother didn't answer him directly. He was muttering something in which Luke heard some words along the lines of, "Never should've work on that."
"Don't worry it'll be fine." He took a deep breath and forced a small smile.
Luke didn't believe that smile but he knew not to push his brother any longer. He'll talk when he wants to. It took Matthew a few moments to compose himself. He took deep breaths until he calmed down. There a sudden moment of realization on Matthew's face. "I have to go find Olivia, you need to get out of here." Before he left, Matthew slipped something on his brother's jacket.
Matthew ran off to where Olivia left before Luke had any time to fully comprehend what his brother said. "Wait what?" This was all he could ask before his brother was gone out of the room,
Luke tried to shake away his questions and instead tried to focus on the presentation. It was now Andrew Skye who was on stage. It seems that this was the very technology which was the reason for the event. Of course it would be the CEO to present it. There was a speech prepared for the introduction of the event but Luke's mind was still cloudy with thoughts about his brother and Olivia. What happened to them? Where are they?
His thoughts was interrupted by a large explosion coming from outside the hall. People started running towards the exit. Screams and cries of the people filled the hall as everyone started to run towards the exits. Luke was still looking around for his brother. He shouted Matthew's name but it was overpowered by the screams of others. Smoke started to fill the room which is why Luke decided to run towards the exit as well.
Emergency services we're already arriving when Luke got outside of the building. A mixture of noises from the screams and cries of other people along with the sounds of the sirens flooded Luke's ears. He looked back at the building which was now covered in a dark smoke. He started scanning the crowd, looking for any trace of his brother's light brown hair. He didn't see him on the crowd already outside so he watched every person coming out of the building hoping he might spot his brother there. He waited and waited but he still couldn't find his brother. He instinctively started to walk towards the building. It was as if his legs are telling him to look for his brother inside. The fire inside the building started to grow bigger. Firefighters were already pumping water on the building while medical teams assisted the victims. He heard one of the firefighters that came out of the building mention some survivors trapped in a laboratory behind the hall. Matthew. It was the first thought that came to him. He somehow knew that that was his brother trapped in there. He knew it in his skin, his brother was trapped in that burning building. That was the direction he went into when he left. He started to continue his approach towards the building when one of the firefighters noticed him and held him back. "Matthew! That's my brother in there!" He screamed, trying to get free from the man's grip but he was not strong enough. All of a sudden, there was another loud explosion that came from the building. Screams of fear filled the air once again. Unlike them, the explosion made Luke stop screaming. A thought came to him as clear as day. No one could've survive that explosion, not even Matthew.