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Chapter 23: Frequently Booked (Part 2/2)

There was a campus shopping center close by. Their reputation for leisure, snacks, and drinks inside was not bad. Class was out for the day, but it was time for the society activities right now. The stream of people was a bit smaller than normal. Overall, things weren’t as crowded and head-banging as the Precision Electronics Interest Society back then.

Luo Nan was still feeling discomfort from his drug withdrawal. Cold drinks and the like were extremely stimulating foods. If he didn’t have to drink, he wouldn’t drink. Anyway, he understood that Chen Xiaolin had invited him to sit down and chat. Hopefully she didn’t come here desiring to eat food.

Sure enough the service bot had just finished putting snacks on display. Chen Xiaolin then spoke to Xue Lei: This time Advisor Li called you over. I won’t talk about the other things, but don’t just talk without thinking about anything regarding societies. Don’t spit out any promises or agreements in regards to taking up considerable commitments or work.”

It was apparent that Xue Lei was dumbfounded: “Whaddya mean?”

Luo Nan knew that Chen Xiaolin’s words were also directed at him. But now was not the time to be superfluous. He raised his head and listened seriously.

Chen Xiaolin faced Xue Lei to better lay out her words: “Of course it’s because I’m scared you’ll be duped. School societies are extremely complex. The school. Teachers. Students. It’s a three sided game. Those who don’t understand the situation clearly will easily suffer losses.”

She knew this was not convincing enough after speaking, so she directly went for the emotional route: “In any case, I would never hurt you right?”

Xue Lei could only nod.

Chen Xiaolin turned to face Luo Nan: “Junior. You must know yourself and know your enemy in every matter. Have a plan in place before taking action. Don’t you agree?”

Luo Nan could only smile faintly.

Chen Xiaolin immediately continued speaking: “Junior, you’ve been attending this school for nearly a month. You should know by now that Acumen College is an experimental college. How everything’s linked together, the atmosphere, and the practices are all somewhat different than that of other schools. Many people come here feeling unadjusted some extent. This causes people to have an even greater need to help one another, to coordinate with each other…… Really, I’m suggesting you to participate in the Mutual Assistance Gathering.”

“Mutual Assistance Gathering?”

“This student organized gathering is meant for students like you and Xue Lei who have half entered the school. A Mutual Assistance Organization was formed. Their goal is to get everyone to adapt to Acumen College’s way of life and atmosphere as quickly as possible. There are many seniors in the organization who can impart their experiences and help resolve questions……”

“Hic. Really?” Luo Nan felt a bit awkward. He didn’t really want to attend something like this.

Chen Xiaolin was unexpectedly cordial: “I won’t mention anything else. Tonight is the annual Mutual Assistance Dinner. Many seniors of the higher grades will be there. Some of them have already been here for seven years and are about to graduate; they have extensive experiences. If you have no problems, just go and chat; you can expand your respective networks. If you do have problems, you can go and talk about them. They can help you answer many questions…… This opportunity. Junior, you really shouldn’t miss it.”

Luo Nan was shaking his head in his mind. He had been in torment for the past two days; all he wanted to do was go home and rest. How could he have the mood to participate in this sort of activity?

Right when he was about to refuse, Luo Nan’s wristband vibrated softly. His Precision Electronics Interest Society’s reservation slip number had been called. Luo Nan sighed a breath and raised his wrist:

“Senior, it’s my number now. Why don’t we talk about the details on the activity on the way back……”

“Think it over Junior. The dinner is tonight at 7:00 PM. It’s at the Limestone Water Village Pub. I’ll send you a message on the way back with all the details.

Chen Xiaolin was quite level when it came to dealing with people. She saw that Luo Nan wasn’t too enthusiastic so she didn’t add any more words. She laughed as she exchanged numbers with Luo Nan, letting him free.

Xue Lei reminded him in the end: “Don’t forget to go see Elder Mingde.”

Luo Nan tossed the matter of the Mutual Assistance Gathering to the back of his mind. He rushed back to the Precision Electronics Interest Society. Soon his number was called. He followed the small and nimble floating guidance sphere and arrived in the maintenance and repair area. This place was much more peaceful than the large hall.

Behind the maintenance stand he could see a few young students surrounding a middle aged technician. They talked over topics and questions. When they saw Luo Nan enter, they checked to see the reservation list:

“External damage to a flexible e-ink screen…… The repair costs will be high and there’s no guarantee for a complete restore. It would be better to have a manufacturer swap it out.”

Luo Nan sat in front of the stand. He said in a low voice: “It’s a D.I.Y installation.”

That one sentence made half the people glance over. The one who was looking at the reservation list laughed: “That’s super awesome to be able to create and install a flexible e-ink screen. Why aren’t you fixing it yourself then? This screen looks to be five years old. You can upgrade it to higher specs.”

Luo Nan hesitated a moment before opening his mouth: “That person has passed away.”

“Dang. That’s quite the pity.”

The middle aged technician raised his head at this time. He looked to be quite the amiable person. He laughed: “Then bring it here for a look. Let’s throw any good ideas out there and see what we can do.”

“Thank-you teacher.”

Luo Nan nodded his head in thanks. He took the flexible e-ink screen out of the notebook and handed it over to behind the maintenance stand.

The middle aged technician’s eyes lit up as soon as he looked at it: “A Medusa Board? This is hard to get started with. There’s no wasted space between the modules. Are the internals displaced?”

“Disassemble Disassemble. Get to it Zhai Gong.”

The students were bustling around. Zhai Gong didn’t refuse. In the end, students who have yet to graduate wouldn’t be prepared to deal with the highly integrated electronics installation that is the flexible e-ink screen. 

The flexible e-ink screen that had a thickness of approximately 0.2 millimeters was disassembled; it definitely needed delicate and patient handiwork and Zhai Gong’s gentle temperament was quite suitable for that. He explained the essentials and difficulties of the disassembly as he disassembled, explaining the complicated matter in an easy way to understand. Even Luo Nan, who felt that it was all greek, had some basic concept after listening.

But as the disassembly pace grew deeper, Zhai Gong gradually stopped speaking. His expression turned worse and worse. It wasn’t just him. Some students were able to see that something was wrong. They began to whisper.

Zhai Gong really did have patience. He spent a whole half an hour to disassemble the flexible e-ink screen into two pieces before stopping, fulling revealing the interiors for all to see. Now the work desk’s sensing equipment automatically scanned the state of each and every component of the screen.

The instrument displayed all sorts of data as buzzing sounds of discussion rang out. Finally the very first student who had looked at the reservation list was unable to stop himself from facing Luo Nan:

“Hey mate. You didn’t bring this broken thing to humiliate us on purpose right?”

Luo Nan was stunned. He completely didn’t understand this person’s meaning.

“Your Medusa Screen. It’s not that things moved around; nothing’s there!......Fine. It has an added battery module. But the processor, memory module, signal i/o module, sensors… It lacks all of them completely! Do you just use this as a mirror most of the time?”

“That’s impossible!”

Although Luo Nan was an electronics newbie, even he knew that the flexible screen would just be purely decoration without a processor, memory module, and so on. It wouldn’t even function as a mirror.

Obviously this was impossible. He had used it perfectly fine yesterday. He used all sorts of software without any problems. He even sketched two drawings. How could it be useless?

The problem was, did this student in front of him and did this technician expert Zhai Gong have a need to trick him? And the sensor results were also displayed clearly. There was no way to pass it off as fake.

After being faced with the illumination of several dozen ill-willed eyes, Luo Nan was truly at a loss.

“You guys make way.”

Zhai Gong hadn’t opened his mouth until now. He suddenly indicated to several of the students in front of the stand to make way. When the work desk was cleared of people, he controlled the mechanical hand to open the back of the Medusa screen. He worked carefully and cautiously.

Several seconds later, a long thread like a spider’s silk was slowly drawn from the complicated electric circuit. It swayed faintly amidst the breathing of the surrounding people.

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