The love of Solitude: Chapter Eighteen

Written By Abdun Nur

Chapter Eighteen

The Offer

Looking at the evidence, we can be sure of only a few things, the infinite moment we exist within, our consciousness that makes us aware of reality, and the perceptions of our consciousness we either share or reflect within, beyond that we can only search for fundamental states that repeat within that shared perception, in order to grasp our true natures.” Abdun Nur

Tom and Gwen walked through the campus until they stood in front of a clinically modern steel and glass building; inside Gwen saw a room filled with high tech computers, and other equipment, with students focused on their computer screens.

Tom led Gwen over to a bespectacled bald man of Chinese or Japanese descent, Gwen wasn’t sure which, in a tweed suit. “This is Doctor Takahashi; he heads the C.G department.” Tom said.

Doctor Takahashi was very friendly and shook Gwen’s hand warmly. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He said then looked at Tom in an expectant way.

Sorry Hiroki this is Gwen, she’s an artist of amazing and unique skill, and we’re courting her, trying to get her to join the university faculty.” Tom explained.

I see. And she is interested in the digital art form of visualisation and photo-realism, film V.F.X, digital character design, 3D animation, video game art, feature animation and so on?” Hiroki asked.

More than interested, the university facilities are at her disposal in the realization of any visions she wishes to express, and she’s interested in moving from the static art forms of paint and stone, into the fluid and living art form of C.G.” Tom explained.

That’s excellent, there is no limit to the potential of expression in C.G.” Hiroki replied with a warm smile.

Gwen. I talked with the dean at lunch; I explained your interest in developing your concepts into a living visual forms, and this is the offer, the university will place all resources at your disposal, we’ll build student projects around the project you wish to develop, with the help of Doctor Takahashi, and any other department heads needed, we’ll coordinate to bring your visions to life.” Tom explained.

And what do you want from me in exchange?” Gwen asked.

We’d like you to join the university faculty, for which you would receive the top rate package for a professorship at the department head level, this would require you to teach for a minimum of fifteen hours a week, and to set tasks and grade students under your tutelage.” Tom explained.

I’ve no experience in teaching Tom.” Gwen retorted.

That’s not a problem, as a department head you’d have the help of the department, you’ll have a dedicated assistant who will organize with you teaching material, structure and organization of the lectures, they’d do the vast bulk of the work, leaving you free to concentrate on your projects, once you’ve a course set up, it is simply recycled for each new influx of students.” Tom explained.

We’ve the latest industry technology and we take the holistic approach to C.G training, we can use a project to teach, so it would be no problem, what sort of a project had you in mind?” Hiroki asked.

I haven’t thought about it.” Gwen answered feeling a little railroaded.

In addition Gwen, the university will promote and support you in anyway it’s able in presenting, developing and commercializing your work. The standard division of the revenues your work would generate, excluding the sale of your work, which would be a private matter unless created with the aid of the university, would be seventy-five percent going to the university.” Tom explained.

I see.” Gwen replied.

Anyway let Hiroki show you what C.G is all about, what it can do, and how it works. I’ll come back here in an hour and show you the media department.” Tom said handing Gwen over to Hiroki who showed Gwen around his department, showing her the basic concepts, its technologies, he introduced her to his staff and some of the students, and when Tom returned they were both sat in Hiroki’s office drinking tea Hiroki had brought back from Japan on his last visit home.

Hello Tom.” Gwen said as he entered the room. “Hiroki is a lovely man, someone I could really bond with, for me that’s a very rare meeting of minds. He’s also a great artist, I could certainly work with him, he is very creative and thoughtful.” Gwen smiled at Hiroki.

That’s excellent news Gwen. I thought you’d get along, Hiroki is a great professor and friend.” Tom smiled.

“My biggest issue with working with the university Tom, isn’t the facilities, or the teachers, but the concept of hierarchy, the university functions as a parasite, draining the resources of those it claims to educate, but really the students educate themselves, the university simply provides the tools, those tools do not justify the extortionate fees demanded, and the qualifications in many masteries they provide are often of almost no real value, art for example requires dedication and practice, the basic skills can be easily taught, but a natural talent is required, other disciplines require less talent and more memorisation. But in general all certificates are without real true value, you don’t leave the university with the skills required for the discipline you wish to pursue, you only have learned theory at best, and often that theory is wrong.

This prevents me working at the university as a teacher, or generating work that could be commercialised for profit by the university. I hope you understand Tom.” Gwen explained.

I see.” Tom replied and left the room.

Gwen and Hiroki chatted and were getting on very well, Gwen was very happy to find a kindred soul. It seemed like a few minutes before Tom was back in the room.

Gwen looked at him silently for a few seconds.

Would you like to work with Hiroki developing CG art?” Tom asked.

Yes, I would. But not at the cost of my soul.” Gwen replied.

We can surely work out a compromise Gwen, you want something, we want something, we must then have some middle ground?” Tom said.

I can’t see how we could agree.” Gwen was not really interested in the offers of the university.

Would you be willing to discuss the options with the dean, we’re keen to have you join us, the dean would be very accommodating to any proposals you may suggest.” Tom pushed.

No. I won’t agree to working here, but I’d work with Hiroki, that we could discuss. I could possibly enrol in the university and study the CG course, learn the methods to create these works of art.” Gwen smiled.

This is a cause of great celebration.” Hiroki said enthusiastically.

Nothing further was debated, as Tom seemed irritated by Gwen’s attitude, so it wasn’t long before Gwen and Tom left to tour the media department, where she learned about the equipment and concepts of film making, and she met the staff and students.

Sill was very keen to talk with professor Jones and had waited patiently at the back of the lecture theatre until the end. When the room was just about empty the professor walked up the stairs leading from the podium to the exit, as he reached the top Sill introduced himself. “Excuse me Professor Jones.” He said politely.

Yes.” Jones replied looking at Sill directly.

Could I ask you some questions about a man you knew in the mid-seventies named Isambard Carnock?” Sill went directly to the heart of the matter.

Jones went white, his expression was alarmed. “Are you with the police?” Jones asked weakly.

Sill could see Jones clearly knew Isambard, and he also knew something that frightened him a lot. “Could I ask you some questions, if that’s OK.” Sill repeated ignoring his question.

I’ve always expected, that is, eventually this would return to haunt me.

Yes. We can talk in my office.” Jones told him and led the way through the university campus.

When they were seated in his office, Jones was thinking more clearly, the shock had worn off a little. “Could I see your warrant card please.” Jones asked.

No need to be nervous professor, you’re not in any trouble, I just want you to tell me everything you know about the circumstances around the disappearance of Isambard Carnock.” Sill didn’t want to break the illusion Jones had formed of him being with the police.

I should consult a lawyer I think. Yes, maybe it would be best if I have representation.” Jones replied firmly.

You’re only helping with an inquiry, no need for lawyers. No one is in any trouble. This is off the record.” Sill reassured him,

If I tell you about Isambard I would incriminate myself. Why would I do that?” Jones replied.

Well from the sound of it to ease your conscience.” Sill replied.

I didn’t know what was going to happen, and then I was afraid for my life, that’s why I stayed silent.” Jones said emotionally.

What happened Mr. Jones.” Sill pressed him.

I’ve already said more than I should’ve, will I get police protection?” Jones asked concerned.

Of course. If your life’s in danger, without question.” Sill told him confidently.

Hummmm…” Jones replied and went silent.

Can we do this at the police station, you’ve no idea how powerful these people are. They control the police, the government, everything. I’m not sure how safe it is to talk here.” Jones said finally.

If they’re so powerful, I’ll not make any official record of anything you say, it’d be as if we’ve never met, all I want you to do is explain everything in detail.” Sill told him.

Not here.” Jones insisted.

Would you come to Isambard’s house, and explain the events in front of Isambard’s sister, she desperately needs closure on the loss of her brother.” Sill asked.

Jones sat silent and thoughtful behind his desk. The seconds ticked by slowly. The silence was almost painful, as Sill sat hopeful.

I liked Isambard, he was a true genius…

OK…

I’ll go to the house, could you write down the address, I went a couple of times in the 70’s but I can’t remember where it is anymore.” Jones agreed.

When can you be there?” Sill asked.

I’ll call at around seven tonight.” Jones said distracted.

I’ll see you then. Thank you, professor Jones.” Sill said getting up and holding out his hand, Jones stood and shock it. Sill turned to leave.

Oh. Sorry detective, I didn’t get your name.” Jones asked.

Just call me Sill, we’ll keep this informal.” Sill answered.

At around four o’clock the tour and the day were over, Gwen had had a whirlwind tour, and met a lot of interesting people, as both Tom and Gwen entered the dean’s office.

Gwen.” The dean said with a big smile. “I hope you’ve had a great day.

We can discuss the details of revenues generated from your work, I’m sure we can hammer out an agreement.” The dean told her.

No. Thank you. But no. Your greed for unmerited money, on top of the extortionate fees charged by all universities, not only yours; it made me realise your moral centres are missing.

So, no, I’m afraid I can’t work here. I’d like to work with Hiroki, but at what price, and so that too may be an unrealised ambition.” Gwen replied.

Oh Gwen. Please let’s discuss it, it’s true the university does attempt to gain revenues from as many avenues as possible, it’s after all a business.” The dean explained.

You’re welcome to make an offer and I’ll consider it, but I’m tired and have had enough for one day.” Gwen said as she stood up.

Do you know where Sill has gotten too?” She asked.

Just a second.” The dean dialled a number on his phone and talked with Tony.

He’ll meet you by Tom’s car in five minutes.” The dean smiled. “I’ll present our best offer to you tomorrow Gwen, and I’m hopeful you’ll be happy with it. Get some rest and we can talk tomorrow.” He said warmly.

Click Link: Chapter Nineteen

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