chapter 9 : ELIMINATION and EXPERIMENTATION

Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2007 by .:BaSkeTcaSe:. in Labels:

Nadya opened her eyes slowly..OMG..weakly she woke up but she felt her head was weighted by a massive gigantic stone. She closed her eyes again and tried to opened it. She was shocked because she was dazzled by the blue light on top of the ceiling. She pondered where she was right now..the room didn't seem familiar to her..she tried to gain something..what had brought her into this room and where the hell was she right now. The room was quite big furnished only with a single-bed with 5inch-thick-bed without any pillow. She tried to find a door..any door..but she failed. Nadya made a move to the glass wall on her left side after seing her cousin, Seth in the next room that being separated by the glass wall. But after 5steps, she falled down without realizing her foot was tied by a chain. DAMN IT! She tried to call Seth but her voice choked. Again..she yelled..Seth..Wake up!Wake up!Wake up! She cried and cried..helplessly. A few minutes later..Seth woke up and after finding out that he also was caged in a weird room..he tried to get to her cousin.

"Nadya..what happened to us? Where are we right now?" Separated by the thick glass wall didn't allow them to communicate to each other. Seth was so frightened and tried to recall back the memory. But the last thing ever appeared in his mind was..he and all the family members were in KLIA as Nadya was boarding to oversea. After that..he and Nadya..both of them..were lying down in this room..


******************************************************

"Guys..don't u feel the same way that i feel?"Zack was making pussy-in-d-boot face.

"What? What isit? I know u scared.. but we have gone this far..we should not turn back right?" Ayin tried to comfort Zack.

"No..it isn't that..Don't you guys..feel..feel..hungry?" Zack tried to voice out that he was so hungry as if the last meal they took were tuna sandwiches with fruit salad made by Ayin's lovely mommy this morning in the car.

Both Rizal and Man laughed at Zack's funny face.

Man opened his backpacked and grab some cookies that he usually brought with wherever he went to. "Alas la perut ngan BISKUAT ni dulu..and let's find something to eat..aku pon lapar jugak ni..there must be villagers around here ataupon pokok2 buah..let's move" Man gave the cookies to Zack and started his step toward look-alike-Mayan-Temple building.

The handphone that had been given to them started ringing. Man answered the phone. "Hello Prof..."

The phone being grabbed by Ayin "Pa..where are U? U said u wanna wait for us here..where r u pa..Ayin lapar ni" Ayin crying and hwling like 5-year-old kiddo.

"Ayin..sabar ye sayang..go inside the building..it was an abandoned castle actually..there's so much food awaiting for u dear honey inside it..but don't eat too much..later u guys will be given your next instruction. But don't forget..don't eat too much and take off your shoes before u enter the castle.Take care, ok!" Prof Z cut off the line.

"Ayin..aper prof cakap?"Rizal took the phone from Ayin and kept it back in the plastic bag before being stored in his knapsack..Rizal was such a vigilant guy that always cautious about what was most important thing that he must take care of. This would prevent from any circumstances that might destroy the most 'valueable' thing they owned now.

"Pa said there's a lot of food awaiting us in that building..so guys..shall we?"Ayin stepped ahead.

They reached the building. Silent. Abstract..

"Wait guys..pa ckp kne bukak kasut dlu before masuk..then pa ckp ni abandoned castle actually.."Ayin took off her shoes and knocked on the knock-bell in front of the castle-door. As others were doing the same thing she did just now..taking off their shoes.

"Hello...Assalamualaikum.."The door was opened as Man hadn't finished his words..inside there's a half-naked lady who only wore sarung but her waist was gird by a metal belt nicely carved with some flowers pattern. Perhaps it wasn't metal..perhaps silver..it looked shiny..Without saying anything...the lady brought them to a room where they had to climb down the stairs to lower level. In that room they had a long table that could accomodate about 20 people at the same time. They sat down on the chair..and they were staring at each other..clueless..

"Thank You" Man thanked the lady as the lady stepped out from the room and within a few seconds she disappeared from their vision.

"Hmm..sedapnye..jomla makan..ada ikan bakar..ayam panggang..hmm ulam raja..kacang botol..pucuk ubi..bnyknye ulam..ada tempoyak lagi tu.." Rizal cleaned his hand. Hygene was so important to him.

"Pelikla..kenapa ada semua makanan ni..perempuan tadi..siape ek? Nape dia tak senyum pon..mcm hantu."Ayin aked couriosly.

"Shut your mouth up. Watch your tongue..kita kat tempat orang ni..not familiar to us..kita kne beware ngn aper yang kita nk ckp..jangan main cakap je..kalo ada aper2 yang nak ckp pon..better remain silence ok. Let's eat."Man raised his voice to Ayin. He was the only one between them who had always travelling around,mountain climbing,diving..and what had he always kept in mind..don't talk nonsense!

They started to eat and eat. Ayin forgot to tell her friend what Prof Z had remind her before..Don't eat too much! After a few moments..After they had finished their meal..they felt asleep.

And after they woke up..They felt so paint at their wrist and suddenly they realised that they had been tatooed with some code.

U001
U002
U003
U004

Chapter 8: A Journey With No End

Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2007 by Red Ruby in Labels:

ULAM PROJECT
You are to reach POS BROOKE by 8 am Tuesday morning. A guide will be waiting for
you at the location (see map) and from there, you will start a 3 hour jungle trekking.The path you will take will lead you to your final destination which is THE SITE where you will find your next instruction. With this instruction, each of you will receive a sealed envelope. You are NOT ALLOWED to open this envelope until you reach your final destination.

For the 100th time, Rizal read and reread the piece of paper that was in his hand.The document bag given to him and Man contained this piece of paper, 4 sealed envelopes with their names written on it and a handphone which Prof Z told them to keep in case they are to be contacted.This is bullshit, thought Rizal.This was THE explanation Prof Z could give them?This was nothing.Just a piece of paper that gives them NOTHING.

"Rizal, are you ok?You seem reallly quite today," Ayin asked Rizal who was in the front seat with Man driving his dad's Land Cruiser heading to Pos Brooke.

They've been on the road for 8 hours and estimated another 2 hours to go before they reach Pos Brooke.Each of them had took turns driving.Zack was snoring at the back while Ayin was struggling to sleep but the off road they took was so bumpy she felt it was more than impossible to even take a nap.But for Zack, throw him in the swimming pool,he'd still be asleep.

"I'm going to kill Papa if I see him!!" Ayin said trying to keep herself steady. "First is this dumb project, then the Pos Brooke, then this and later..the jungle trekking!!!!!!" Ayin complained.

"Yeah, I guess it's Prof's way of torturing his only daughter," Rizal replied smiling.He tried his best to act normal but sometimes he did not realize that his mind kept wandering off by its own that he was taken off guard by Ayin or Zack.

"It'll be only a couple of hours and we'll be there," Man tried reassuring Ayin although deep inside he had the urge to turn the 4 wheeler back to where they came from.

"Yeah,yeah.Whatever,"Ayin put on a smug.

"Are we there yet?"Zack woke up and looked outside the window seeing nothing but darkness and trees.

"No Zack.Go back to sleep,"Rizal responded. He himself had not slept a wink during the whole trip.He can't get his head off the whole thing that had happened to him and Man.

"You know what guys.I'm starting to feel that there's something going on. I mean, first is this dumb project.Then the location Papa assigned us.That doesn't include Seth and Nadia missing.Have you guys tried calling them.All I got was their voice messages.It's as if they've dissapeared from this earth.Oh yeah, and Papa, he's been really wierd today since you guys met him.It's just so not like him.Plus of course the sudden accident Man had with his head.Don't you guys feel anything.Like something is happening?A bad feeling maybe" Ayin asked directing her thoughts to no one in particular but at the same time hoping any of her friends would respond.

"Oh yeah, you and your feelings Ayin.They were never right before and why should they be right now?"Zack replied drowsily.

Man and Rizal shifted a little from their seat feeling uncomfortable.

"I'm sure it's nothinglah Ayin.Stop worrying boleh tak?"Man said from the driver's seat.

"Takde la.Takkan you guys tak rasa ape.Guys..memang tak boleh harap.You just don't have the instincts we women posses,"Ayin crossed her arms sulking.

"Hehe,"Zack chuckled.He was now wide awake."Oh, now you're saying you're a woman??Woman instinctlah..selama ni perasan macam jantan.Hey Ayin, woman dress up like a woman, behave like a woman.But you, I thought you're one of the guys!Mane datang all this woman instinct crap?Hehe."

"Shut up!!!" Ayin turned away from Zack and pretending to sleep although she knew she wouldn't be able to as long as they're still on the bumpy road.Meanwhile, Zack continued laughing which was then followed by Man and Rizal and they started to tease Ayin knowing she'll be listening to their conversation anyway.

************************************
"At last!"Zack opened his door and started stretching once he stepped out from the 4 wheeler.Man, Rizal and Ayin started towards the back of the Land Cruiser to retreive their duffle bags.

Suddenly out of no where a man appeared in front of them.Ayin gave a startled scream and all four stared at the stranger. The stranger was wearing a pair of loose shorts and a t-shirt which seemed more like a piece of rag and no shoes or slippers covering his feet. Not feeling intimidated by the arrival of the four youngsters, the stranger introduced himself to them,"Saya Sipuok.Bawak kamu ke tempat.Ikut sekarang," and turned towards the jungle.

Still startled, Ayin gave her friends the who-the hell-is-this-guy look.

"I bet he's the guide Prof Z wrote in his instruction.He doesn't seem to bother to wait for us.Tired or not, I guess we just have to follow him," Man gestured his friends to the guy who called himself Sipuok.

All four started to follow Sipuok and in a few minutes they realised they were already deep in the jungle. Sipuok hadn't talk much.All they knew was that he couldn't speak melayu well and they assumed he was part of the Orang Asli in the area.He didn't make things anything easier for them either.By the second hour, all four of them where exhausted. They tried to slow down but Sipuok insisted them to continue the trekking.Only after the fifth time they asked Sipuok to stop for a breather did Sipuok stopped.They rested for 10 minutes and Sipuok eagerly told them to follow him or he'll leave them in the jungle by themselves. Seeing they had no option at all, they followed.

By noon, after approximately 3 hours of walking into the deep jungle, Sipuok slowed down his pace and abruptly stopped.

"Ada apa-apa ke kat depan tu Sipuok?Kena berenti tiba-tiba?"Zack asked.

"Saya hantar sini saja.Kamu sendiri jalan.Depan sana lagi 20 minit.Terus.Jangan bengkok-bengkok.Terus dan sampai,"Sipuok said and started turning towards the path they went through earlier.

Dumbfounded by Sipuok's action, Man grabbed Sipuok by the arm,"Jangan main-main.Takkan nak tinggalkan kami kat sini.Ikut jelah sampai tempat tu."

Sipuok's expression suddenly change and what they saw was fear.Nothing else but fear."Tak.Tak ikut.Sendiri pergi.Tempat nenek moyang.Dewa dewi marah.Sipuok bahaya.Kamu tak bahaya.Sendiri pergi.Bila balik Sipuok sini tunggu," with those final words he yanked his arm from Man and quickly ran towards the oppposite way.

"What the....," Rizal couldn't find any other words to express his disbelief.

All four of them sat on the jungle floor and nothing were said.Only silence.Not knowing where they were and why Sipuok acted that way, they tried to digest the whole situation.

"Hey guys,"Zack broke the silence."I guess we'd better continue wherever this path is leading us.We're only 20 minutes away and if we want to turn back, there's no way for us to get out of the jungle alone.Maybe Prof's waiting for us at the site, huh?"

Not really reassured by Zack's word Rizal stood up anyway and spoke to the group,"I guess Zack's right.We have not other choice anyway."

Ayin felt like crying for she felt like she was too exhausted to continue their journey and frustrated since she had no idea where they were.

"Ayin, you ok?Hey, kalau penat, cakap.We're all here.We'll help you.Just don't give up ok.20 minutes to go and you'll see that your dad's waiting for you somewhere at the site,"Man tried to comfort Ayin.

Ayin held her tears., not wanting to break down in front of her friends, she forced herself to stand up and gave a weak smile to Man,"Thanks Man.Thanks you guys.Anybody care to carry me to the site?"

All three of them grunted and started walking towards the direction Sipuok showed them earlier ignoring Ayin. "Hey, it's a joke you guys!!!Don't leave me alone!!"

*********************************************

"Oh my God!!!"

All four of them stood at their track. Disbelief and astounded with what they were seeing.

"This must be a joke!"

"Are we in a movie set or something"

"This is so wierd..too wierd"

"Are we still in Malaysia..or are we dead?"

What stood in front of them was the most amazing sight anybody could have set their eyes upon.

As far as the eyes could see, there were structures.Man made structures with distance of few hundred metres between each other stood upright.Looked something between Egyptian Pyramids and Mayan Temples, instead of located in the middle of a desert or on top of a mountain or hill, this was in the middle of jungle. This was obviously a historical site.But no written history had mentioned about this place.So out of place.Here, the trees acted like canopies, covering most of the site.Covering the site from any airplanes that crosses its path, casting shadows on the jungle floor.Where did this place come from?Did Prof Z found it?

"Hey you guys," Rizal's eyes still glued on the amazing site"This kinda look like the Mayan Temples right?And why is it in the middle of nowhere?And these structures could easily be older than our own history right?Am I actually seeing what I'm seeing or this is all a dream?Tell me I'm dreaming," Rizal still could not believe what he was seeing.

"I don't think its a dream.Not anymore,"Man replied.

Zack turned to Man,"What do you mean not anymore.You dreamt about this place before ke Man?"

"Huh...mm..well, I thought it looked familiar.I've been having these weird dreams for a couple of days now.I mean, it's as if I've been here before.I've seen this site before," Man said to Zack.

Zack gave Man a strange look,"Seriously Man.You're not kidding right?"

"Why should I Zack?You look like you've seen a ghost!You alright,"Man raised his concern.Man now turned to face Ayin and Rizal.Not only Zack but both of them were giving him the same look."Hey you guys?Is there something we all should know?"

"Man, I've beeen having the same dreams too.This place.It's like deja vu,"Zack explained slowly trying hard not to choke his own words.

"Oh my.....Man, Zack.This is really weird.Include me in.I've dreamt about this place too,"Rizal cut in, feeling more dumbfounded than ever.

"I did say before about my feelings right.Like there's something really wrong with this whole thing.You guys can count me in.Now there's four of us who had the same dream and now we're all here.What the hell is going on??!!"Ayin asked, suddenly feeling terrified.

Not just Ayin but Man, Rizal and Zack are asking the same question, what the hell is going on?????

Chapter 7: The stake

Posted: by Red Ruby in Labels:

"What?!Who..are you guys?"Man staring at the men in black then to Prof Z. Shocked to see Prof Z on the ground with blood shot eyes.

Rizal ran to Prof Z trying to help him up.He had no idea what had happened in the bathroom earlier and why Prof Z was crying.To see a man cry is one thing..but to see your professor cry in the bathroom on the floor was another whole story. With the presence of the men in black he met before in Prof Z office, Rizal suspected something bad had took place.

"What did you do to him?" Rizal squatting on the floor next to Prof Z looking up at the men expecting an answer.

Man who was too shocked stood at his place not moving an inch.

"We meet again U001,"said 'shorty'."I've read about you and I'm impressed."Ignoring Rizal's question and turned back to look at Man. "And you, U002..not bad at all." he said sneering at Man.

"I don't know what the hell you're talking about but whatever it is..I want to know what's going on and who are you people?!"Man suddenly composed..trying to take charge of the whole situation, trying his best not to be intimidated with the strangers.

"You'll know about us soon.That I can promise you.Nothing happened here and I do mean NOTHING happened in here.For your sake and for your friend, anything you see or heard in this room STAY in this room.And that's a warning," the taller guy said monotonously, looking at Man and then to Rizal.

"You're threatening us?"Rizal stood up, upwelling with anger.

Shorty chuckled, "No threat.Just a warning. You don't want to end up like your friends, do you?"

Rizal face changed, confused with those words but then it suddenly hit him.Seth and Nadia..they suddenly canceled their meeting with the group.Did something happened to them? "What..what did you do to Seth and Nadia?"Rizal asked, stammering.

Man who was more confused than Rizal at this point look directly at Rizal'"Rizal, what are you talking about?What do you mean?What does this have anything to do with them?"

Rizal ignored Man and continued staring at the men demanding for answers.

The men in black just laughed and walked towards the door.Man who was positioned between them and the door tried to block their path but at a flash of a moment, the taller guy took Man in his arms, pulled him away and knocked him out cold sending Man crashing down the floor.

"Man!!!" Rizal screamed hurrying towards Man.By the time he got to Man the men were already at the door.The taller guy walked out and shorty paused at the door.

"Take this as a reminder for you.Remember what I said before..everything you witnessed today stay in here,"he said and left.

Not bothering to go after the men in black knowing what they were capable of, Rizal checked Man's pulse and let out a sigh of relief when he found it."Man's okay.He's just unconscious,"he said loudly to Prof Z and turned around to face his professor."Prof, I have no idea what the hell is going on but you have alot of explaining to do."

Prof Z was still on the floor, face paler than before and started to break down again. "They've gone to far,"he thought."But I need to proceed with the project or the lives of the other 4 students of mine will be in alot more danger.What have I got myself into.."

Rizal was still waiting for Prof Z to at least react to the situation.He needed to know about those men, the whole project, the file and last but not least, he needed to know what happened to Seth and Nadia.

Prof Z mustered all his strength that was left in him and stood up.His body was shaking and he tried his best to control his tears."Rizal, bring Man to my room. I'll explain as much as I could."

Rizal pulled Man up and carried him on his shoulder and the three of them walked out heading towards Prof Z's room.

******************************************************

Half an hour later, all three of them had settled down in the room. Man awoke with a huge bulge in the back of his head.Still feeling disoriented and pain, he insisted on joining them and demanding to know the whole story.

Unfortunately, all they got from Prof Z was a document bag.

"In this bag, you'll find out the instructions for your project.No matter what happen, you MUST proceed with this project. If not, all your lives will be in serious danger. And I can't afford to lose any of you. What is behind this project I can't reveal to you and I sincerely apologise for that. Not that I don't want to, but if I do, I'll be doing more harm than good.By the time you complete the project, you will know what is going on," said Prof Z.

"But Prof," Rizal cut off Prof Z "What is so important about this project that our lives now are at stake??I'm sorry but I have to tell you this.When I was in your room the other day, I saw the file on ULAM project that you left on the table.I took a peek but all I saw were our names and..goats!!Does this have anything to do with what we're going to do?!"

Man was dumbfounded by the explanation of his friend and professor. He didn't want to interfere for he knew he was a just a victim, being at the wrong place at the wrong time but his main concern was only one thing," Prof, I don't give a shit about this project right now,"he said obviously pissed off with the whole situation,"What I want to know is that what they said about Seth and Nadia.Is it true?Did something bad happened to them?"

Prof Z looked down, not daring to look into the eyes of his students. "I'm sorry.They're dead..,"

Rizal and Man both were purely shocked. Both were now shaken after hearing the news. Both could not believe a word their professor had told them but knowing the fact that after what they have just gone through earlier..they had to swallow the truth.

Man who could not contol his anger anymore, rose up and barged towards Prof Z.He didn't give a shit that he was just a student and he was about to confront his professor. He didn't give a shit about his throbbing head. All he cared was he had just lost 2 of his friends and the professor was involved.

"It's your fault that you've put all of us into this shit!" Man screamed at Prof Z."It's your fault that Seth and Nadia died.How do you expect us to proceed with your f***ing project?!!"

Rizal wanted to stop Man but he knew Man was right.How could they proceed?

Prof Z looked calm and looked into Man's eye,"You have to..if not, your fate will be the same as them."

"Your daughter is in this too.You're sacrificing her for your project too?What kind of person are you?!"Man said in disbelief.

"I had no choice for God's sake.I'm doing this to save all of you.Whether you like it or not, you have to proceed with this project!You will be leaving tonight.You will arrive tomorrow morning.And after that, the instructions will be inside this bag.You will not tell the others about what happened today.You will not tell them about Seth and Nadia.You will do what I say or I swear to God...," Prof Z was now standing, his expression changed.Between his anger and frustration, he know took control.

Man was stunned by the sudden change from his professor and backed off a little.

"I will be waiting for you at Pos Brooke.I will call you when you get there.There's a handphone in the bag.Keep it and wait for my call.Now, both of you get out from my room!,"Prof Z pointed towards the door ordering them to leave.

Man and Rizal still dazed and confused, took the bag and walked out.Both were silent.Both were still trying to absorb the whole situation that none of them tried talking to each other.They silently knew what they were up against.They had no choice.It will be only a few minutes before they have to face Ayin and Zack.They have to gather all their strength.They have to put on their best smiling faces.They have to create a reason for Man's injury. They have to save their friends...

Chapter 6: Leave out all the rest

Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 by SpidEy d'lEfty in Labels:

"Send my salam to uncle, k?" Seth delivered his last words to Nadya through the window before leaving.

"Orait. Thanks for the nasi lemak, esok kul 9 pagi tau, ko jgn lak lambat. Bye." Nadya smiled and made her step to her house.

"Cau." Seth stepped on the gas pedal and the Honda Civic Hybrid started to move away from Nadya. He inserted Linkin Park's Minutes To Midnight CD and and selected his favourite track.

Track 3: "Leave Out All The Rest".

Seth turned on the volume loud, put on his shade and looked back through rear view mirror before he accelerated.

The act of looking behind through rear view mirror was totally out of plain habit, as he'd never expected to see what happened to Nadya back there. Out of reflexes, Seth pulled the handbrake and ran out of the car towards Nadya.

LinkinPark in the car was singing loud.

Seth couldn't think of anything at that moment. Nadya was lying in front of the house, unconsciously. He just knew that he had to reach Nadya as quick as possible, but the distance between them was too long. Seth shouted out Nadya's name, but he did not hear his own voice.

LinkinPark in the car was shouting so loud..

Seth reached Nadya, held her in his arm, calling her name. "C'mon my dear wake up" Seth pleaded and prayed. He kept calling her name, holding and shaking her hand. Nadya's eye was tight closed, but not her lips. Nadya was conscious, but weak. She felt Seth, but she only managed to squeez two single words out of her mouth, and deep inside her consciousness Nadya really hoped that Seth would hear that..

".....Seth...,"... one word from Nadya's mouth, the only hope to get Seth's attention before her second word. The numbness started to spread all over her body from her legs, she could feel that. Seth got closed to her.

"Dya, Dya, yes I can hear u, wake up wake up.." Seth whispered to her.

Nadya could feel the chill of the numbness was smearing up to her neck. She took a quick breath before she lost the feeling of 'breathing', she was terrified, but she needed to voiced out the second word to Seth..

"...... run.."

LinkinPark in the car was singing loud.... but Nadya heard nothing anymore.

... so did Seth. He heard what Nadya said, but the moment he tried to figure it out, he felt a numb chilling feeling weakened his legs and spread quickly upward to his waist, his body, his neck.. and Seth fell down, lay beside his dearest cousin.

LinkinPark in the car was singing loud... " ..don't resend me, and when you're feeling empty, keep me in your memory, leave out all the rest, leave out all the rest..."

----------------------------------------------

"WHAT??!!!"

Ayin, Man, Rizal and Zack raised their voice to emphasize their shock.

"You guys hear me clear, Seth and Nadya WILL NOT join you guys to Post Brooke." Repeated Prof Z, in his usual firm and calm tone.

"..but diorng tak cakap dgn kitrng pun?" Ayin protested. The shocking and doubting atmosphere surrounded the meeting room, ".. and kut yer pun, they will discuss with us first.." Ayin tried to pick up every question marks from all the shocks and doubts that floated in the air..

".. I don't know what's happening between you guys but Seth and Nadya gave me a call just now," Prof Z raised his eyebrow and started to pack his document on the table, "..and if you could excuse me, lady and gentlemen," Prof Z looked at the 4, "I have a meeting to catch, I'll see you in the next meeting."

"..but prof we din even discuss ANYTHING in this meeting.." Zack started to questioned about the objective of THIS meeting.

Prof Z, on his way walking the meeting room, stopped and looked at Zack, "Goodbye," opened the door and left. Leaving the 4 stood clueless and wondering with all sort of questions.

-----------------------------------------------------

Prof Z walked as fast as he could to leave this floor. His hand started to shake, his body started to shiver. The 4 shouldn't witness this. He pretended to be calm and composed in front of the 4, but now he did not think he could hold the emotion anymore. He started to cry, he started to feel weak.. "Why? Why? Why?" the documents in his arm slipped off and spread all over the floor when Prof Z sneaked into an abandoned staff washroom.

"Why?Why?Why?" Prof Z sobbed his head out. He never expected this would happen, never. He realized that there's no turning point for him, but things seemed to be changed, seemed to be out of control.

"Why? Why are you asking why, professor? I thought you agreed with the rules?" suddenly the two men with full black suite and black shades appeared in front of Prof Z. Prof Z was shocked seeing them, but the feeling swiftly turned into anger.

"You......." Prof Z pushed his own body towards the shorter man in black, pressing him against the wall of the washroom, "What the damn RULES allow people to kill? HUH??!!!"

"Prof Z, FYI, the word is ELIMINATE, not KILL." The short man in black answered calmly, and pushed Prof Z away from him, "You gave us 4 names, not including the other two, remember?" while saying this, the short tidied-up his black suite, and the taller one threw a file onto the floor. It was the ULAM file, Prof Z remembered well, and inside, there are names and details of Ayin, Rizal, Man and Zack. Seth and Nadya were not included.

Prof Z felt weak. His face turned pale. He leaned against the wall and slided down. He was sad. What have I done what have I done what have I done what have I done... he couldn't forgive himself. He started to cry, sadly, painfully. I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry..........

The taller man in black gave a dissing smile at Prof Z, "Owh c'mon professor, we are here not for your tragic drama.. we need to get things running.."

".... do you think I'm gonna work with you anymore?.." answered Prof Z soullessly.

".. Well -- well-- well, I don't think you have ANY options here, my dear Prof Z. Remember the deal? Remember... your daughter?" The short man in black stared straight into Prof Z's eye when he got real closed to his face. Prof Z was chilled.

"Prof Z...." suddenly there's a voice came from the entrance of the washroom. Prof Z almost fainted the moment he saw two young men standing at the entrance of the washroom.

It was Rizal and Man.

"Ah-ha! Interesting... .. " The short man in black stood up and tidy his black suite, while walking towards Rizal and Man, "Nice to meet you, Code-Named U001 and Code-Named U002. "

Chapter 5: ThE mOre tHe MaRriEr

Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 by talktothethumb in Labels:

'Satu harapan membara dan menyala
Kan menyinari perjalananku
Sejauh langit biru takkan ku berpatah arang
Harapanku membawa kaki melangkah
Melakar rasa kehadirannya..oooh yeah..
Kan terpahat namaku diingatanmu'...

Seth sing along with the singer Jackyn Victor through ErA ReNtaK MuZik TeRkiNi radio station. He sang loudly as he is the only human being in her sister's new 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid. Black shining Gorgeous! He's driving his way to fetch another gorgeous, Nadia. His adorable cousin also his 'teman tapi mesra' since they we kids..ahaks! Although they always knock each other's head, steps each other's feet, pull her pony tail, pull his ears, make funny faces toward each other, they still be the best friend ever. The promise lasts. To take care of each other forever and always...hehe stupid! The promise is made when they are in kindergarten, when Nadia just been bullied by a fat naughty boy... 'Pin, Pinnnnnnn!' A cute horn form a lady on her red scooter V-100. Sigh! Luckily he dont do anything silly to her sister's car. Ah, just a glance of memory n he's been silly on the road. Stay put on the driving bro. The XM® Satellite Radio is playing a sad music 'If u luv me' from a korean movie Yoongun's Sad Love Story. Layannn... He make a right turn and from far he can see his uncle's house. A sweet corner lot one and half storey house. When he arrive, Nadia already waiting at the gate with her fade jeans and a shirt. Simple but nice.

"Eh, makin putih mlepak nampak, baru 6 bln kat sane..." Seth sounded when Nadia's anchoring her position next to the driver's seat.

"Cet! Aku mcm ni je, ke ko yg dah gulap gulita..anak sapa tah? mane ko berjemur sampai dah berkilat ni..haiya... so where r we heading?" Nadia ask.

"Telawi, nasi lemak famous."Seth reply while showing his tummy.

Nadia as always, won't talk much in the car. She prefer to njoy the scenery... The scene of big pile of cutted n polished stone that she missed during the last 6 month... Sigh! Seth park his sister's car in the newly opened extended Bangsar Village. They walk to the stall as the building that placed all the food stalls is just beside the Bangsar Village. They choose a table and place the order. Nasi ayam rempah that served with boiled egg, anchovies, sambal, kangkong celur, n the most tempting is the ayam rempah. Slurppp...

" U said that u guys is planning something.."Nadia

"ha'ah. Ni yg nak cakap ni. We would like to invite u to join us. Prof Z handling us a project, 'Ulam'. Seth

"Ape tu? Ulam? Nadia

"Ntah le, aku pon tak stadi abeh lg. Diorang cakap nak buat kat Pos Brooke..dekat Gua Musang. Perkanpungan org asli katanya..Interesting huh. Ayin, Rizal, Zack, Man pon ade skali. Why dont u join us in the next meeting with Prof Z" Seth

"Ok gak.. Wanna meet them laaa." Nadia

They slowly eating the delicious nasi lemak while telling each ther about what have happend to them for the past 6 month. Laughing and talking cames along in their conversation. After they've finished their dinner, Seth sent Nadia back to Kelana Jaya. and promise her to pick her up before the meeting with Prof Z.




Chapter 4 : POS BROOKE??

Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2007 by .:BaSkeTcaSe:. in Labels:

Rizal suddenly grabbed the file while his eyes kept glancing at the door..his heart pounding so hard..'i never did this before,should i?shouldn't i?'--couriosity finally makes everything possible. He slowly opened the file cover.. 1st page,2nd page,3rd page..and page 4. Only particular detail about he himself, Man, Zack and Ayin...surprisingly..there were 3 photos of goats..different kind of goats..but one of them not really look alike a goat..but could be also called goat as physically look same to other goat just this goat has no tail at all. 'Y kambing??'..


"Pa..papa.." A voice outside knocking the door loudly and scream with high pic calling Prof Z name..'this must be Ayin'--Rizal guessing.
Rizal had no other choice than putting back the file on the table. But regretfully..he didn't have chance to read other writing documents inside the file as he was so eager and curious about the goats' photos just now. But deep inside him..sceptically he think that there must be something going on that going that may involve all four of them..


Rizal could hear the conversation between Ayin and Prof Z outside the room and within a second both of them already inside the room. "Eh Zal..Y are U here?" Asked Ayin shockedly looking at Rizal whom unexpectedly exist in that room before her.


"Dia datang jumpa Papa pasal exam paper yg lepas tu...so my baby, Y are u here?"Prof Z tried not to make Ayin suspecting anything bad about Rizal and perhaps that girl never know the meeting between him and Rizal every week.


"Pa..may i borrow your key? I just realize that i'v misplaced our house key.." Ayin smiled.


"U better watch out girl..this such attitude i hate most..be more careful next time..!"Prof Z handed over the key from his drawer and he took the P&C file to be kept in the drawer.


"Rizal..i think i'm gonna give you guys an assignment. I found a good place..Pos Brooke..Kelantan..u have any idea about it?" Prof Z started back the conversation as Ayin left the room 2 mins ago.


"Pos Brooke..dekat Gua Musang la..if i am not mistaken..tu kampung Orang Asli kan Prof?" Rizal sounded very happy about the assignment and place where they have assign to go.


"Brilliant Rizal!But my dear..there will be no chalet..no hotel nearby..the nearest inn is Kesedar Inn at Gua Musang that may take 3hours journey moreless from the village.."


"That would certainly be fine with me Prof. Thanx..but Prof..what it's all about?"The conversation between Rizal and Prof Z continued and as usual..it won't last until the clock turn to 5p.m..and sometimes..it could be more than that..


*********************************************


Silence. Nothing much to talk about between them..everyone seemed like pondering themselves about the place been decided by Prof.


"Guano gu?" Man was asking what were others' opinion with his Kelantan dialect.

"We are going to Pos Brooke, Gua Musang...Kelate!" Rizal answered. Pretending that he wasn't knew anything about this plan before. Waiting for a good responses from others. He knew that there should be no problem coming from Man because Man love nature places but not for Zack. He was a tipical downtown guy...


"Hello anyone..could anybody just simply brief me what the hell that place gonna be?" Seth started to yelled to noone..


"Pa said that it's gonna be perkampungan Orang Asli located in Gua Musang, Kelantan..and unfortunately..we might have a problem to find a place to stay.."Ayin replied without knowing that she herself never had a clear picture about that place.


"Relax guys..it's gonna be fun..we can enjoyed ourselves over there..get closer to them..learn their culture..isn't it sound good? Perhaps..ULAM isn't just about the vegetable we eat..maybe something related to socioscience--otherwise Y must we being assign to ULAM right?Hmmm..something to ponder.." Rizal strarted to open others' mind as well as their interest.

"There must be many beautiful creatures and scenery can be captured over there.."Man took his D-40 (DSLR) and gave it a kiss, imagining how marvellous the place will be.

"I don't mind..as long as i am not the one driving over there..i just got my liscence..i don't think i can drive well on off-road.." Zack finally opened his mouth.

Everyone suddenly laughing out loud..hearing to Zack's joke. And for Rizal..that was very surprise because he was so afraid that Zack wasn't like going there.

"Okla..okla...can i bring my guitar?" Seth asked..As others had agreed with the decision..he had no other choice..otherwise he must finished the assignment alone..

"Ok..tomorrow we schedule our trip than meet Prof Z present him our proposal ok?"Man acted as group leader to them..and all of them were very comfortable to have Man as their leader.


As everyone else kept browsing and planning..Rizal was pondering..was hesitating..was blaming himself..and enthusiastically he really wanted to know what was behind this project. What Prof Z had planned for them..? So he didn't wanted anything hindering this project. Should he or shouldn't told the rest about what had he saw in P&C file in Prof Z's room..about those photographs of the goats? Maybe not now...or maybe never..

Chapter 3: A turn to no turning back

Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2007 by Red Ruby in Labels:

As Ayin put down the phone, just about to tell them that her father, Prof Z had chosen a place for them, somewhere at the far end of the room, Rizal was smiling.



It was brilliant. His plan was a success. All he did was to provoke them with his 'philosophical attitude'. He knew there was more to this project to Prof Z. Not just mere ulam kampung or any ulam they've browsed in the internet. He knew something others did not. And it happened on the day Prof Z assigned them the project.



Rizal was on his way to Prof Z's room, as usual, on a lazy Friday afternoon where most students are scattered on the college's ground planning on what to do during the weekend, which midnite movie should they watch or simply going to the nearest map-ley to lepak. Unlike Rizal, he usually meets up with Prof Z during these hours to discuss (well..for Rizal it's more of debating philosophically) on his lectures for the week. For some lecturers, students like Rizal are simply a nuisance and a waste of time but for Prof Z, student like Rizal was something he considered 'refreshing, enthusiastic and welcoming'.



Considering his Friday afternoon was more of a 'routine' for both of them, Rizal simply knocked at Prof Z's room twice and barged in without hesitation. Only when he looked up, he saw that he was not Prof Z's only company. Prof Z who seemed like he was talking to two men who dressed up full suite in black with black sunglasses (which was obviously sooo out of place here in this humid country of ours-and for the sunglasses..why should they be wearing them indoors anyway?) and Rizal's sudden appearance had abruptly stopped any serious conversation the men had. For a moment, Rizal saw the look on Prof's face showing as if his privacy had been violated but as soon as he saw it, Prof Z's sudden expression changed and smiled awkwardly at Rizal.



"I'm really sorry gentlemen.I almost forgot my meeting with my brilliant student here.I guess we should continue our conversation later," Prof Z said to the men in black gesturing them towards the door and turned to face Rizal, "I'll be walking my guests outside.You could wait for me if you want to.Just stay in the room."


"Um, okay.Sure.Take your time Prof.Sorry to barge in like this.Didn't know you had company," Rizal apologised.



Prof Z smiled and shook his head."It's not a problem." Just before he left the room with the weird men in black, he placed a brown file he was holding on his table.


As Prof Z closes the door, Rizal sat on the chair facing the table, half embarassed for the awkward situation he had to face earlier."Damn," he swore and suddenly his eyes were fixed upon the brown file placed earlier by Prof on the table.



Rizal stood up and walked nearer towards to take a closer look at the file. The only thing that was printed on it was the word ULAM and on top of it there was some kind of logo with a stamp marked 'PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL'.


Rizal blurted out a small laugh wondering who in the right mind would want an ULAM file and what is so P & C about it? But as he was inches from his file, curiosity got the better out of him. "Hmm," Rizal thought to himself, "Maybe if I could just take a peek..."



Ignoring the PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL imprinted on the file, Rizal suddenly tried to assess the whole situation that he just witnessed earlier. Who are those really weird men in black? Why did he have the feeling that he had just interfered a very important conversation between Prof Z and his guests? And what does any kind of ULAM has got anything to do with them? The subject that Prof Z teaches has nothing to do with any kind of vegetation..well he's basically teaching them socioscience. Prof Z has done some researches involving historical archaelogy. But nothing on ULAM.Maybe its an abbreviation.Or maybe it a top secret project involving the government.



Rizal's imagination starts to run wild and he begins to ponder again..but then he felt that his pondering was taking a toll on himself. Why do I need to keep pondering about stuff. I need some action once in a while.



What is in the file? Should he take a look at it? Prof Z doesn't seem to be coming back for another few minutes. A peek wouldn't hurt..or would it?

Chapter 2: To be, or not to be...

Posted: by Juhana_JuAnne_Mishan in Labels:

"Damn it!! " as Ayin said to herself.
"Do we really have to go there??" Asked Ayin to them. " I mean..seriously??" Now, Ayin is one unhappy girl.

"Come on, it will be fun..." Said Man. Trying to cool down the most rebellious girl he ever knew.

" Yeah, why not??" Said Zack, saying something like that with his so annoying, you -want- to- kick- him -right -away face, Zack sure gots some nerves.

"Say again??!!!" Ayin is really mad, and Zack just smiled.
Ayin finally sat down and doing some thinking. while Man and Rizal still planing on the trip.

"Ewah....ewah.....ewah....Syok la ko Zack...rilek2 jek, meh la tolong plan trip nih...."Said Rizal who is busy browsing something in the internet.
"lagipun ko yang suggest kannnn...." Rizal continued.

Ayin said "Yup, you're the one who suggest it and it happened to be your place, so you must know lots of things about that place.....by the way, why Teluk Batik???? isn't there any other place?? My grandparents also lives in a village, and i think that place is far much better than Teluk Batik" Ayin trying to make some point. As usual, Ayin did'nt just want to follow things without an argument.

"Sorry guys, i know i'm late, i 've to help and old lady cross the street and carry her stuff" As Seth took off his shoes. Typical Seth, his always late. Eventhough his always late, he always manage to get away with that because of his charm and wit, he knows that people hate that. Well, most of the time he got away, but not with this person...

"woi, lambat....!!!! " Said Ayin with her angry voice.

"Rilek la sister, aku gurau saja......have to run some errand" Seth reply with his usually funny expression and only after that he will answer seriously.

"So, what's up guys?? Any new information that i should know??" Asked Seth while putting down his guitar on the table.

"were are going on a trip to Teluk Batik" Man said while he's busy browsing in the internet.

"Owh, that's great, cool. But,why Teluk Batik?? I mean, we are doing some research on ulam right?? why don't we try to list some of the places that will be more interesting." As he reach for his guitar that he just put on the table.

"No guitar." with her look on her face, Seth put the guitar back. "ok..ok..dun give me that face" Said Seth to Ayin.

"Finally, you got some point there, thanx Seth. Just like Seth said, why don't we try to list other places, at least we have choices."

"A ha...Something to ponder" overused phrase by Rizal.

"yup, why don't we list some of the places first, should thought 'bout this earlier" Said Man in why- i'm-such- an- idiot face expression."Ok, people, brainstorming!!" As he takes a piece of paper from his file.

As they about to start the brainstroming, Ayin got an email and she checked it right away. "Nadya will be back tomorrow, so there will be six of us tomorrow." Ayin happy to received the email, as she's just about to ask when she's coming back from UK.

"Oh, i forget to tell that Nadya will be back tomorrow, Pak Long called tadi. Lupe nak cakap. heheh."

"Eh, atuk ko dah ok ke??" Asked Rizal.

"a ah ek..dah ok dah ke??" Asked Zack.

"Yer la, dah ok ke??" Asked Man.

"Ok sket la, he's getting better. Sok luse baik la kot, Insya Allah. He's staying with his brother, i guess he will be just fine, lagipun die kan orang sane, lame dah die tak jumpe siblings die. Eh, dah la....lets do the brainstroming."

Man tries to jot down some ideas while waiting for others.

Rizal: kampung atuk aku.

Ayin: kampung grandparents aku.

Zack:Kampung atuk aku gak.

Seth: kalo mcm tu, kampung nenek kitorg la, mesti nadya setuju. hahahah

Man: Kampung atuk aku la....muahahha , hey guys, come on serious please...

As they started to think seriously, Ayin's phone rang....

"It's Pa"

"Hello Pa, yes....we're discussing about the project...ok....herm ...a ha...a ha...ok i tell the others"
Ayin put down her new slim Sony Ericson handphone.

"Guys, Prof already decided the place."

"huh???" the guys can't believe to hear that, as they just about to discuss which place to go.

Chapter 1: Kambing.. the beginning

Posted: Monday, June 4, 2007 by SpidEy d'lEfty in Labels:

He googled 'Ulam' but those appeared in the search results were about mathematician Stanislaw Marcin Ulam or historian Prof. Adam bin Ulam, or else, about the graphical display of prime number which called Ulam Spiral, and there was even fantastic surprise about 'Ulam' on web:

'ULAM' = Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine.

"Shit!" Man started to feel impatient. "Hebat konon ulam nih.., tak jumpe pun lam internet.." He complained to his project partner, Rizal, who was also browsing through internet for some info about 'ulam'.

"Memang lah takder.. yg makan ulam nih orng kampung lah beb, manelah diorng tau nk create webpage talking bout ulam?" Ayin chipped in, she was the only group member who did not care for this research project assigned by Prof Z -- her father.

"Eh Yin, I asal bandar tp makan gak ulam.. saper kate itu makanan orang kampung? Kitrng makan gak per?" Zack tried to fight back.

"Ko lain, ko kambing." Again, Ayin caught him. The boys chuckled.

"... to know something better, we gotta touch it and feel it, not seeing it from far..." Philosophical Rizal started to express his sudden inkling, ".. hmm.. something to ponder..".. he started to sink into deep thought.

The rest, as usual, took their long deep sigh and shook their head -- they knew Rizal so much but they just couldn't stand his philosophical tone of talking. For them, sometimes they prefer silent-Rizal rather than pointless-philosophical-Rizal.

"No please..." pleaded Ayin..

"Yes please!" Rizal showed his unusual insistence, "we are going to touch, to feel, and to taste ulam -- this is the only way to know ulam, not through internet. Nokhta."

Period. Silence ensued. Everybody stared at Rizal with dazed.

"No Zal, Prof Z doesn't expect we go that far.." Zack was the first to respond, which led to everybody's nod.

"Betul Zal, ini cumo project saje2... bukan ade markah pun. My pa saje nak menyusahkan aku, kite buat jer lah aper dier mintak -- 2 pages of report pasal ulam -- tak yah lah sampai turun desa.." Daring-boyish Ayin for the very first time talked in such a gentle way.

"I thought we dun deal with markah all this while, right? I thought 4 of us have agreed that we dun study for markah, right? I thought we are selected for this project simply because Prof Z and his colleague agreed to our attitude of learning, right?" Rizal reminded them what was the real meaning behind this project.

"... but... I still dun see the necessary to put it in that way..." Ayin was still not convinced.

"We'll fall into the same pathetic trap of 'blind-study' system if we complete the project only via copy-pasting information from internet.." Rizal looked straight to the front, put down the remark in his philosopher tone.

Ayin started loosing her cool. "Ketua say something!" She looked at Man.

Man took a deep breath. ".. maybe there are something else that Prof Z wants from us, and maybe there are something else that we might get from Prof Z...."

"Hmm.. something to ponder.."Rizal continued.

"Terjangkit ker aper??!!! Berduet lah korng!!" shouted Ayin.

"Let's see this as a vacation, lawatan sambil belajar, why dun we?" Man finished his statement.

At that moment, Ayin almost fainted. "W-H-A-T?!!?!?!"

"Destination: Teluk Batik, kampung atok aku!" Zack was so excited to have a trip back to Teluk Batik. Ayin turned to him, staring with her almost pop-out eyes, angrily, unbelievably.

"What? Dun look at me like this, you are going to be one of the kambing too! Muahahahaha!!" Zack fell down from the coach, rolling on the floor laughing like hell. And Rizal and Man, started to plan their trip to Teluk Batik.

.. and Ayin, stood straight in the living room of Man's apartment, trying to figure out what was actually happening, and more importantly, what was the meaning of 'kampung' after 22 years of living in this metropolis.