Jungwu followed Boyoung Song to a much larger office than the ones reserved for the Temporary Hires. One with a wall plate that read ‘Research Lab 1’.
‘How nice, Spacious work stations. Do all full-time Researchers work in offices like these?’
Boyoung retrieved a file from a desk piled high with paper.
“This is the Weekly Meeting reference material. Please make 70 copies and bring it to the Conference room. And…”
Boyoung poked her head back into the office and shouted
“Seungju Sunbae! What demo are we doing today?”
“Metal Lab’s new project.”
Boyoung flicked her finger as she said
“Go get Hempel, connection tubes and 10 beakers from the stockroom. Grab the Electrolysis device from the equipment room, as well as the low-pressure gas torch. Catalyst Magnesium from the stockroom. And don’t forget the Calcium.”
Jungwu had the same expression as that of a greenhorn private, with ‘What did you just say?’ written all over his face.
“Please hurry, we only have 30 minutes left until the meeting”
He wasn’t even sure if it was possible to do everything in 30 minutes, but Boyoung waved her hands urging him on.
“I still have documents to arrange. Go work hard Parachuter ssi.”
The door to the ‘Laboratory 1’ office closed.
‘She brought me here to do this huh’
Sudden and overwhelming number of demands; He didn’t even know where the copier was, and the list of materials he had to prepare was already becoming fuzzy. But it pricked his sense of pride to ask again.
He decided that he should start with making copies and began to roam the offices.
‘This is the Senior Researcher lobby, this is the multimedia room, this is the equ…’
He stopped at the Equipment room after discovering it had two copiers. He stood before them and placed the documents into the first copier. After inputting  into the machines, it began to pump out copies effortlessly. Jungwu was relieved to see that the copies were being made without much difficulty.
‘Well, I guess it’s normal for the most junior member to do the menial tasks.’
While he was holding the documents for the meeting, the contents flowed easily into his mind.
The Weekly Meeting held on Mondays were meant to be a place where the researchers discuss last week’s progress and evaluate the work being done and discuss.
He had thought that because he was not totally ignorant on the goings of the lab that he would be able to quickly become accustomed to it.
Jungwu placed the next document in the copier and then took a look at the reference notes. While he was copying, he read the documents with great interest.
After meandering through the storage space in the separate building, Jungwu barely found the items he needed from the sample room and put them into an icebox before leaving the building.
“Ah, so here you are.”
He heard a familiar voice from behind and turned to see that it was indeed Boyoung.
“Let me see inside.”
Boyoung checked the content of the icebox as if giving it an inspection and looked up in surprise.
“You do have everything. You adjust fast, Parachuter ssi.”
“It was thanks to your quick and accurate directions, Sunbae.”
Jungwu stressed the words “quick and accurate”, then resumed carrying the heavy icebox.
Boyoung shook her head, noting that he didn’t complain despite the physically demanding task she asked of him. “I need to focus on his bad sides” she said to herself
Jungwu grinned but didn’t reply.
Jungwu paused in the hallway to take a breather and put the icebox down. He asked Boyoung who was following from behind
“Sunbae, are you going to keep calling me Parachuter?”
“Do you dislike it?”
“Well, if you think of it in a different way, I was hired for one reason or another, and I haven’t done you any harm.”
Boyoung asserted confidently when she noticed the sweat drops on Jungwu’s face and backed off, looking a little sorry.
“Ah, well you will for sure in the future anyway. Professor Chun is famous for refusing to work with others. Since you are his pupil, it can’t help but be disadvantageous for me.”
“But he’s not here anymore.”
She couldn’t reply because he was right.
Jungwu resumed carrying the box to the Fundamental Element Lab’s Conference room located at the center of the building. He opened the door and entered the conference room.
One of the walls was entirely made of glass, so it was possible to view most of the building beyond it. There were also monitors with live feed video from the rest of the building, making this room a sort of a command center for the research center.
Once Boyoung entered, she scanned the room.
Neatly piled meeting reference documents, properly prepared demonstration equipment; It was far superior to how the temporary researchers had prepared for meetings when they joined 3 months ago.
Jungwu placed the samples on top of the table and turned to face Boyoung.
Boyoung was interrupted while admiring Jungwu’s work and flinched.
“It’s almost 9:30, but no one is here. Do we have to PA them over?”
Boyoung was careful about how he might respond as she took out a canned coffee and handed it over.
“The meeting is actually at 10.”
“How can the responsibility for preparing the meeting lie solely on the most junior member? I just wanted to make sure there was time for me as a Sunbae to step up in case you messed up… anyway, I apologize. Drink this and rest now, for the remaining half an hour.”
Boyoung laughed when she saw Jungwu’s expression, as she waved the can making a cutesy face.
“Ah, who would have predicted you would have everything prepared so quickly?”
Jungwu vaguely detected her intentions to mess with him, but he still took a breather and accepted the can of coffee.
Once she was done preparing the experiment, Boyoung had to click her tongue and say
“I have to admit you were on point. Have you worked for a research laboratory before?”
“I’m just fast at adjusting.”
“You can’t do this with just ‘adjusting’. Just where did you meet Professor Chun? Heidelberg Research center? Daejeon Chemical Research Laboratory?”
“What, you’re not allowed to say this either?”
Jungwu avoided her piercing glare and said
“Thank you for the coffee. I’ll just…”
“Where do you think you’re going? The meeting is soon. The most junior member sits there…”
Boyoung pointed to a seat in the corner, so Jungwu asked
“Do you have anything to do?”
“No. You did everything already.”
Jungwu was worried that she might start interrogating him about Professor Chun, so he was looking for a way out when he noticed Boyoung’s sparkly eyes.
It was the eyes of someone who gives her best in everything she does; A contagious attitude.
‘Now that I think of it…’
She was jealous, but she was confident that he was someone with considerable skill simply because he was said to be Professor Chun’s pupil. Just how high did she see the professor’s abilities?
A group of people entered the room, interrupting Jungwu from his worries. Jungwu turned to see and saw six researchers headed by Gi Tae enter the room.
‘That’s intimidating in its own way.’
It was the group of people Jungwu suspected of gossiping behind his back earlier, but Boyoung cheerfully greeted them.
Everyone who entered bowed upon noticing her and returned her greeting.
“You’re setting up the meeting right? Is there anything we can help you with?”
Gi Tae asked, walking up to her, but Boyoung waved him away.
“Go take a break since Parachuter ssi here took care of everything.”
“Ah… that… Jungwu Han ssi was it?”
Jungwu met Gi Tae’s eyes. He couldn’t tell if he was smiling or frowning; such an awkward expression. It seemed as though Gi Tae still didn’t know what to think of him.
Since this was their first official meeting, Jungwu quickly greeted his Sunbaes.
“Nice to meet you all. I am Jungwu Han starting today as an Intern at the Central Research Lab.”
One of the researchers with curly hair and a big build with the name ‘Sunghwan Jo’ written on his name tag asked
“I heard from Gi Tae earlier that your major was Business Administration… is this true?”
“Did you apply for the Policy Planning team or the General Affairs and Welfare team?”
Jungwu shook his head, not even sure what those teams did.
“Then Human resources?”
“My goal for now is to become a full-time researcher.”
His answer clouded everyone’s face.
Jungwu couldn’t help but sigh. He couldn’t tell them that his knowledge of chemistry had gone through an explosive growth due to taking a pill.
Instead, he decided to be blunt and act confident; like the protagonists in Kdramas.
“I hope to be an asset for the Central Research Laboratory. Please take care of me, Sunbae.”
“Ah… good luck.”
Sunghwan made an awkward smile and patted him on the shoulder. Boyoung tilted her head in confusion.
“Parachuter ssi is a business major? How is that possible?”
She who was full of nothing but questions from the start began interrogating him again with wide eyes.
“Dual major? Met Professor Chun during his research project?”
Jungwu scratched his chin.
27 minutes remained until the meeting. He would have to hang on until then in silence. Jungwu avoided Boyoung’s gaze as much as possible as he quietly sipped away at the can of Coffee.
The Researchers sat around the U-shaped conference table.
“We will now begin the Weekly Meeting.”
The Senior, Temporary, and regular researchers all began to check the reference documents as the meeting began.
*Hoobae- underclassmen, opposite of Sunbae