===================== SYSTEM BOOTING ===================== Initializing resources... [OK] 30 days have passed since our deployment yet the transmission is still static, a link is still missing, and the puzzle is still unfinished.

It has been a hell of a month for me and my colleagues when we have had embarked into a world unbeknownst against us.

In this journey, as far as the cliché goes, we have experienced major ups and downs, mostly downs, or however do you perceive them.

Ah, the vicissitudes of this thing called "labour".

Yes, we have ventured into the world of labour, the so-called "real life".

This, without any background on what to do, we have carried on.

You want to know how our exposures have been? You do not want to know how our exposures have been. However, should you want to know, tip-off, heads-up, red flag; a quote from Kubo and the Two Strings exemplifies this caution—"If you must blink, do it now. Pay careful attention to everything you see and hear, no matter how unusual it may seem. And please be warned, if you fidget, if you look away, if you forget any part of what I tell you, even for an instant, then our hero will surely perish."

Day Zero. This was supposed to be our first day, but due to a series of unfortunate events, this became our Day Zero. We were late and it was all my doing. I forgot to bring my uniform with me. We went back in the afternoon and were asked to help in the master list of tuition fees.

Day One. We directly went to the ICT Department to settle the binding contract. We were asked to develop a Document Tracking System, but then told that we will not have enough time, so we were passed on to different factions. A faction we chose, but not cautious enough in our choices. For every faction, there were two students. We were oriented and given our own workstation—very far from the modem. A Wi-Fi peripheral was unavailable that we went ahead and made our own LAN cable. The tester was not working, so we had to render the cable correctly. Glad it worked and thanks to the knowledge we learned from Data Communications and Networking. The cable was about 6 meters long.

Day Two. We were given individual tasks; mine was to design the new template for the school permits.

Day Three. The station was desolate as everyone were either on travel or attending seminar. All we did was receive papers from different schools.

Day Four. NOTICE: OFFICE WORK POWER INTERRUPTION. 404 Work Not Found. (But we still went to the office.)

Day Five. All, but one superintendent was present. I was tasked to correct the wrong permits, using the template I made in the process.

Day Six. NOTICE: OFFICE WORK POWER INTERRUPTION. 404 Work Not Found. (But we still went to the office.)

Sixth of May (Saturday). We went to the office to do pending permits and tuition fees.

31/2 Days. Halfway there. A lot has happened sixteen days before, mostly reiterating the work I did on Day Five, and knowing the disposition in life of each personnel in the faction. Whereas majority cling to neutral good, and little cling to neutral bad, even one acting childish and acting in cahoots with someone whom I do not want to tell. To spill the tea, we learned that the system we were asked to develop was actually a project of the ICT Department but was on its bidding stage during these dates. And actually, we have developed a software skin for the tuition fee, but had to cancel it for it has not been greenlit.

At most two hundred and sixty one hours, thirteen hours past the date of expiration, a sense of fulfilment is still yet to be found. Our last two weeks on work perhaps evoked the most troublesome emotions. Our multitasking skills were severely challenged and we handled different priorities. We did work even during the weekends just to finish our task— only to be told that what we did were incorrect and some entries were still missing. Some personnel's instruction were vague and ambiguous, and they seem to suffer from episodic memory confusions; where I was always reprimanded because of that. However, all those stress were easily appeased with free lunch and snacks...

We cannot say our time have come. It already came; it went through us without us knowing it. We have been running through time, yet, faltered, time ran through us. Severely weakened, we are not sure how we will end up; but, our story is not yet over.

There is a place we need to go, there is a place we still need to go. "Where?" your curious mind might ask, it is, but ourselves. The place to reflect, inside us, thus, the fruit of our labour, a sense of fulfilment—fulfilled desire. In our 31st day, the day of finis, will we able to hear a clear transmission? Will a link be made? Will the puzzle be solved? We do not know, but there is one thing we know, for sure, like the back of our minds, we will face this—together.

~Fin?

It was not the end. No, even after our last day, we still had to go to the office as per the personnel's request and to do purification process. We restored order in the files as we leave and the photocopy machine was restored the moment we were about to leave. Talk about timing.

Time has flown by our contract's eventual demise and some of the personnel are still trying to contact us, offering funds to do work. So much work, so little time We do not know how much of these emotional distress we are going to face, but we will be happy to face these if we are, at least, satisfied with what we are going to do, but this case begs to differ. Trying to expend such energy on stuff requires contemplation and not need to be decided quickly. In the end, we are the ones responsible for our choices.

EOF;