LCTM Chapter 3


    The rest of the night passed with ease. Dinner with the rest of the occupants of the house, a bath, and then turning in early, just after a quick checking of her e-mail. Just a letter from her parents making sure she's alright, and fine. Or in the exact words her father put in the letter "feelin' good, feelin' fine." She decided to reply tomorrow. For she was much too tired o stay awake any longer. She fell asleep, listening to the chime, and the purring of her cats.


    *BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!...*

    ZoŽ groaned and hit the snooze button. She rose, rubbing her eyes and stretching; turned off the alarm on the clock next to her bed that read 5:00 AM.

    She turned on the light and dressed. Soon, she was wearing navy green toggle pants, thought different ones form the pair she wore the day before, a short, but not tight navy blue shirt, and her fleece. She rolled up her futon, folding her blanket and pillows on top of it. Quickly brushing her hair in front of the small mirror on the wall, she headed downstairs, taking a slight detour to the bathroom.

    Most of the house was rising, heading into the tatami room for the meal created by Ms. Nemui.

    "So Miss McClain, what is it you do for Onsen Technologies?" Mr. Sabishii asked. He was a man in about his mid-thirties, with glasses. He lived down the hall form ZoŽ with his young daughter from his previous marriage.

    "I'm an ethical hacker," she replied quietly and yawned. She really wasn't a morning person.

    "Don't badger the poor dear so early in the he morning Sabishii," Mrs. Odayake chastised, also yawning.

    And the conversation ended there.

    After breakfast, ZoŽ looked over her map, outlining routed to and form the boarding house to Onsen Technologies in downtown Tokyo.

    The, she waved everybody good-bye as they wished her luck. She told Reika and Saku to feed her cats with the cat food she gave them. And she set out early, giving herself enough time.


    "You're here early," a voice said, startling ZoŽ. When she turned around, ZoŽ almost melted.

    It was a young man, around ZoŽ's age. Definitely Asian, he had black spiked hair, and dark ebony eyes. He was wearing baggy jeans of a dark denim blue, and a white shirt with red letters reading "FuBu."

    "Uh, I like to be early. I'm ZoŽ McClain by the way," she stated nervously, suddenly finding her feet very interesting.

    He laughed a deep rich laugh. "So, you're the one everyone's talking about. C'mon, let's get out of the lobby, and you can meet our boss. Oh, I'm Shang Liu, also by the way," he smirked mischievously.

    "Uh, hi. Our boss though?" she asked, following him to the elevator.

    In side he hit the button for floor number thirteen. "oh, right, see, there's only two ethical hackers for Onsen Technologies: you and me. So wouldn't it make sense for us to have the same superiors?" he explained.

    "Uh, oh yeah. Only two huh? You'd think they'd hire more. Considering we also do the computing, programming, and some web design for them," she said blatantly.

    He laughed once again. "Well," they stopped off the elevator, leading her down a hallway between cubicles, " less people, more pay for us. That's how I look at it at least."

    "I suppose," she agreed, trailing behind him.

    "Well, here we are," he said opening a door labeled "Seikatsu Genki, supervising CEO."

    When inside, they were greeted by a bouncy, chubby man, with glaces, a moustache, and partial baldness. he looked up and smiled in a way ZoŽ knew she was gonna like him.

    "Ah Shang. I see you've brought ZoŽ. Quite early aren't you?" Mr. Genki asked, creasing his brow.

    "I like to be early," ZoŽ replied once again.

    "Ah, good girl. I see you've already met Shang. Get used to him, you'll be around him a LOT," Mr. Genki smiled. "Well, let's show you to the room you and Shang will inhabit nine hours a day," Mr. Genki winked at them, and lead the out a door, weaving through cubicles to a door on the other side of the office.

    Through the door, was two computers, on two desks, on opposite sides of the room. The messy, cluttered desk was obviously Shang's. but ZoŽ paid no attention to it. She immediately strolled over to the other computer, and set her pack down. She pulled out her laptop, and turned it on next to the smaller of the computer's two towers. The larger one resting on the flow beneath her desk.

    Mr. Genki and Shang both chuckled. "It seems you're fine. Shang will help you with anything. your task for each day are posted on the bulletin board in the back of the room. Welcome to Onsen technologies ZoŽ," Mr. Genki chuckled once more and left.