“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Mr. Creek.” The young woman said as she walked around her table to shake the mechanic’s hand. “You can call me, Mentel, please.” Mentel said with a friendly smile as he looked down to Osiris sitting beside him who shot him a nervous grin.
The principal smiled as Mentel shook her hand. “We really do have a lot to talk about, Mentel. Your son is exceptionally bright and it is a pleasure to have him here. Yet, there have been some discrepancies that I am sure you have become aware of?” She said with a slight frown on her face.
Mentel put his arm around his son’s shoulder and smiled reassuringly, “If you’re talking about the incident yesterday, it has been resolved…” Mentel stopped, realising that he didn’t know her name. “Abigail, you can call me Abigail.”
The mechanic smiled at the brown haired woman and continued, “Well, Abigail, you have nothing to worry about in that regard, it’s all been taken care of.”
The principal laughed as she pressed a button, “I am very sorry Mentel, but you have to understand. This is such a rare thing for us to deal with here at the school. I would like to resolve this matter first, and then move onto what I really wanted to discuss with you.”
“Okay, what matter are you referring to?” Mentel asked cautiously as he shifted nervously in his seat.
“Computer, Play recording No. 1.” Abigail said as she looked towards the wall to her left. An image immediately appeared of a group of children in what appeared to be a playground of sorts. “Is this the visual of the incident?” Mentel asked as he glanced to Osiris. His son’s eyes were locked on the image, his face was unreadable.
“Yes, this was recorded yesterday afternoon, just after the children finished their final class.” Abigail said in a matter of fact tone as she looked closely at the screen. Mentel felt himself tense up as he watched his son get punched in the face. “Mr. Skyth had been contacted after this incident, and he said that he would be unable to attend this meeting due to some complications he had at home.” The principal continued as she watched the screen.
Mentel nodded his head and glanced from the screen to his son and then back to the screen. “You don’t have to worry about Ithan, we discussed the incident and I think Arthor has learned a valuable lesson.”
“Computer, Play recording No. 2.” Abigail said with a faint smile.
Osiris gasped at the image of his father throttling Arthor’s father. “But… you said you would talk to him? You said that that you only talked…” Osiris was at a loss for words. His head whirled back to the screen before he laughed, “He’s bigger than you!”
Abigail smiled, “That’s not the point, Osiris. What your father did was wrong, regardless of what type of person Mr. Skyth is. This sort of behaviour cannot be tolerated which is partially one of the reasons why I felt the need to talk to your father today. This video was submitted by Mr. Skyth as his reasoning for not being able to attend this meeting.”
Mentel squirmed slightly in his seat and looked down at his hands before he answered, “I went to school with Ithan, Arthor seems to be following in his footsteps. You can see that for yourself if you look into Mr. Skyth’s file.”
“I know you’re trying to justify your reasoning, yet violence is never a solution to the problem… even if the target is a distasteful sort.” Abigail finished with a slight wink. Despite himself, Mentel found himself smiling.
Turning off the video, the principal sighed. “There will be no further incidents such as this I hope, Mr. Creek. Otherwise we will be forced to remove Osiris from our class lists, and trust me, that is the last thing that we want to do. Mr. Skyth has graciously agreed against pressing charges for the incident.”
“Wait, he isn’t?” Mentel asked in shock. Confusion written all over his face.
Abigail smiled, “Mr. Skyth has been warned that any further action will result in the expulsion of his child from this establishment.”
Mentel was speechless, “You threatened him?”
Abigail laughed, “Heavens no… we just strongly advised him what his best interests were. Now, we need to talk about more serious matters. Osiris, could you go out to my assistant? She’ll take you to the workshop.”
Mentel saw his son’s face light up with excitement, but it was only after he leapt from his seat and dashed to the door that the mechanic asked, “Workshop?”
Now it was Abigail’s turn to look shocked, “We thought that it was you that had been teaching him about mechanics?”
Mentel just stared at her, “I’m sorry, but I’m very confused… just what is the workshop?”
The principal frowned for a moment before she got to her feet. Smoothing out her pale blue skirt she pressed a button on her desk, “Computer, cancel any meetings within the next hour.”
Turning her attention back to the mechanic, “We can talk as we walk there. I think there is something you really need to see.”
Mentel hurriedly got to his feet and made an attempt to replace the chair to its original position. Abigail watched him for a moment as he slightly twisted it around so it was in its exact position previous to his arrival. “Well, that answers a few questions…” Abigail murmured as she held the door open for the mechanic.
“So what is this workshop?” Mentel asked, his curiosity getting the better of him. “Also, can you tell me more about Osiris’ social record here as well as academic? His Identity chip is really vague, all I receive is reports that he’s doing well.”
The principal laughed, “Patience, Mentel, you’ll see for yourself. We have taken the liberty of recording some of your son’s more extraordinary exploits. And with modern technology, we can view it as we walk.”
Mentel was about to ask what she meant by extraordinary, but the screens were already moving in front of them. A hologram appeared and stayed exactly three metres from his body at all times so that he could walk easily and observe the display. Abigail smiled, “We’re not so technically advanced here at this school that we can implant the images directly into your retina. That is an upgrade that we are considering for the future, it would benefit the students greatly as we can just imprint the lessons into them.”
Mentel wanted to tell her to be quiet, the image in front of him was of Osiris… but he was younger. “When was this taken?”
Abigail frowned for a moment before she fell into step beside him, “Aha, yes, this was when he turned eight years old. I know it’s quite extraordinary, isn’t it. I think this was the first moment that we realised your son was gifted.”
Mentel couldn’t walk, nor could he talk. His eyes were just fixed on the screen. Standing in an enormous amphitheatre, his son stood on the podium in front of them all with a laser pen in his hand, drawing on the board.
“You probably cant see it from here, but that is quantum mechanics written on the board in front of him. Originally, he was sent to that lecturer to see if there were any spare laser pens available. Osiris was sent by the teacher, thinking that it might improve his social skills and break him of his fear of crowds.”
Mentel turned around, “He has a fear of crowds?”
Abigail gave him a withering look, “You really don’t know your son very well, do you?”
The mechanic frowned and squinted back at the screen, “Please continue with the story.”
The principal smiled as she put her hand on his shoulder, “When he walked into the classroom, he simply stared at the board, he didn’t look to any of the teenagers in the crowd nor did he look to the teacher, he just stared at the equations.”
Mentel grinned, “I used to do these in front of him whenever I didn’t understand a process, my own father had always taught me to think everything through the basics when I couldn’t understand things. But he must have been about four years old when I had the old drawing board in the workshop?”
Abigail smiled, “The lecturer asked him if he knew which symbol was pie, thinking to encourage Osiris to speak, yet your son didn’t answer him. He merely made to point at the board. The lecturer, thinking that he might damage the touch-sensitive screen, gave him the laser pen.”
Mentel gasped as he watched his son start writing on the board, solving the entire equation. Half of the class cheered as the other half consulted their text books. The image zoomed in, only to focus on the young boy’s face. “He’s smiling.” Mentel said quietly.
Abigail grinned, “After this, you can understand us consulting his medical history? When you entered your son in this school, you failed to mention that he was a Prodigy.”
Mentel looked at her, “The doctors said that there was a high chance that it was just a premature growth of his brain, and that in the years, it would slow down and he would just be normal.”
Abigail smiled, “They were wrong, if anything, the growth has gotten faster. If you would look back at the image, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.”
Mentel followed her gaze to where the lecturer was laughing on the screen. The old man picked up his glasses, and took another book from his bag. Mentel watched as this lecturer started to write much more complex equations on the board, all of which were beyond the level Mentel would ever have practiced in his workshop.
Abigail smiled reassuringly, “Notice how Osiris doesn’t even falter as he starts them? These are as easy for him as multiplication is for you or me. Have you ever given him logic-based training?”
Mentel was so entranced by the picture that he took an extra few moments to answer, “Yes… The cube from the Thunderists. I bought it so that it would keep him occupied whilst I worked in the shop. It was one of their new models, but that was four years ago. It was the one that could move from the core and had lights.”
When no response came, Mentel turned around to regard the principal only to see shock written all over her face. “You gave him a light-cube when he was six?”
Mentel frowned, “Yeah, it didn’t last him very long though. He was so frustrated when they stopped offering downloads. I think he was on level forty-seven before it stopped finding downloads.”
Abigail was completely speechless as she stared at the figure on the hologram. “Mr. Creek, if this has not yet sunk in… I will give you an example of what you’ve been raising.”
Before Mentel could ask her what she was talking about, she was already speaking in a clear voice.
“Computer, show me the Light-Cube leader boards for this sector.”
A few moments later, the hologram disappeared, only to be replaced by a large grid of names and numbers. “Computer, Locate on the board, Creek, Osiris.”
The entire board zoomed out until all the names were unintelligible, yet little red lines started to dart all over the board, finding characters that matched the name. The process was gruelling, yet in a number of minutes, the grid paused and zoomed back in. “Creek, Osiris. Rank 78.”
Abigail smiled, “Your son, who has probably not touched his Light-cube in over two years, is currently within the top hundred in our sector. If that does not sound spectacular, maybe you should familiarise yourself with who else is in that top one hundred.”
Mentel gasped as he saw familiar names dart up around the screen, “They’re all Thunderists?!”
“Your son has a gift, yet by his endeavours here, I really shouldn’t be surprised.” Abigail said as she started to walk forward, her pace forcing the hologram to keep its distance. Mentel quickened his pace to catch up to her as the screen changed to show his son, but this time it looked like he was a year older.
“We are not a University, Mr. Creek. But we have some of the resources that our own lecturers need to advance their own studies. Osiris was integrated with their own personal studies by our choice, since you could not attend any of the meetings, we gathered that you would have no objections to your son advancing his learning.”
Mentel was astounded as he saw Osiris working beside large machines, “What sort of advanced learning did your lecturers offer him?”
Abigail laughed, “After Quantum mechanics, we tried to test his aptitude with other sciences, we wanted to see if he had any weaknesses that we could improve on. Yet after a few months, he excelled in all classes that we threw him into. Advanced physics, practical engineering, advanced engineering, precision engineering. We wanted to give him a diverse range of subjects that covered everything. Yet he avoided geography, biology, cultural studies and anything that didn’t involve machines or invention. We tried to get him to attempt art, but he instantly refused.”
Mentel whistled, “So, you’re telling me that my son has probably surpassed my mechanical ability at the age of ten?”
Frowning for a moment, Abigail looked to the screen. “No, he probably surpassed you when he was eight. Right now, he’s currently working his way through some equations that we took from the Thunderist academy. Unknown to Osiris, he’s completing their internship programme. We know that you would want to have the best future for your son, so we decided amongst ourselves to train him as much as we could. That is why we probably would have expelled Arthor Skyth had you not taken action into your own hands.”
Mentel smiled, “Are you doing what’s best for my son, or are you doing what is best for the reputation of your school?”
“So he did get some of his intelligence from his father?” Abigail said with a laugh, “Of course we are trying to gain more grant money from the government, and what better way to do it than to train one of the next Thunderists? But please don’t think that we‘re doing this solely for ourselves, you have to understand that Osiris has befriended every faculty member. They want to teach him.”
“And what about people his own age? Has he made any friends?” The mechanic asked as he looked to the screen one more time. This time Osiris was assembling mechanical parts carefully. “Wait, why is he taking it apart?”
Abigail smiled, “Probably for the same reason you placed the office chair in its original position. Osiris is a perfectionist. As for friends? That’s one of the reasons I wanted to take you to the workshop. So if you would just follow me, we can speed this entire meeting up. I am sure you have things to be doing, just as I do.”
Mentel smiled as he followed the principal, “You really are a little Genius, aren’t you son?” the mechanic murmured to himself as he walked through the hologram, leaving it behind him as he made his way to the workshop.