It was a cloudy night in a park in Seoul, 9:57 PM to be exact. Gray and black clouds hung low, covering the sky like a blanket. A light drizzle came down from the sky in showers, misting the young scientists face. As Hanul walked through the darkness, she noticed a faint light. The light was coming from the inside of a bush. It wasn’t very bright, but it was just bright enough for someone to notice it.
[[Investigate the light]]
[[Continue night walk]] Intrigued, Hanul stopped walking. She slowly walked to the bush, trying not to step in any puddles. Once she reached the bush, she peered down at it, watching the light glow even brighter than before. Hanul was in utter shock, she didn’t know what to do. There were so many thoughts and ideas bouncing around her head. Though Hanul was overwhelmed, she still decided to make a decision; she decided to investigate the bush.
She stuck her hands into the bush, pushing leaves and branches aside. Once the bottom of the bush was apparent, so was the source of the light. Ants. There were dozens of glowing ants at the bottom of the bush. Hanul was amazed at what she was looking at. Glowing ants? She had never heard of such a thing! Hanul took her phone out, trying to find information about glowing ants. Nothing showed up.
Hanul had a thought, //‘what if these ants are a new species? That could be a big reason as to why nothing came up.’// Even though there was a very slim chance that these ants could be a new species, Hanul was still willing to take a chance. Quickly, she zipped open her bag and began searching for something. Hanul pulled out a large test tube.
She went back to the bottom of the glowing bush and scooped some of the ants into the tube.
She tightened the top of the tube and looked at the ants, //‘If these are new, then I could finally be a big name in the science community!’// It was getting later into the night, and Hanul knew what she needed to do, she needed to run some tests on the ants!
//‘Alright… It’s time to make history!’//
[[Find out where the ants came from]] Hanul shrugged, //'it's probably a light stick. I think there was a rave here last night... It'd be a waste of time if I tried to fish it out of the bush.'// Hanul continued to walk into the night, the mist still coming down. The light coming from the bush was pushed to the back of Hanul's mind.
[[6 months later...]] Months later, news broke out that a new species of ants had been discovered! Hanul, thrilled as ever, searched everywhere for pictures and videos of the ants. She checked every news site she could remember off the top of her head. After checking dozens apon dozens of websites, Hanul found one website that had an article and the video!
"Thank the gods!" Hanul cheered, doing a little happy dance in her seat. She clicked on the video, eyes glued to the screen. As the video began, Hanul found herself becoming shocked. The video showed the scientist showing the place where he first spotted the ants, in a bush at a park, the same bush and park were Hanul was in many months ago.
The scientist showed how he saw the ants, in the bush, glowing. Everyone was praising him, and Hanul felt like a mess. She felt sad, and upset. She wasn't upset at the scientist, she was upset at herself. That could have been her, but it isn't. Hanul dashed home, ants in hand. Once she made it to her small, but humble abode, she threw her bag onto the floor and ran to her lab. Once she made it to her lab, she put her white lab coat on and made her way to her desk. She decided to make a call to her local test lab. They could not only find where the ants came from, but they could also confirm if the ants are indeed a newly found species!
Hanul dialed in the test labs number. It rang a few times before someone answered.
"Test lab of Seoul, how may we be of assistance?"
"Hello, can I book a time for a DNA swab?"
"Yes, we can book you for tonight. What's the specimen you´ll be sending in?"
"Ants. I think they might be a new species, but I'm not fully sure."
"Alright, you can send the specimens in by mail. We'll try to get the results in the next few hours."
"Okay, thank you!" Hanul ended the call. She packed a dozen or so of the ants and sent them to the test lab.
//´I hope for the best…. What if they aren't a new species? That'd be disappointing…'// Hanul was having second thoughts about the DNA swab. If it didn't come out as a new species, then she would have got her hopes up. As Hanul went through panic, she heard her phone buzz. It was her long time bud, Jackson. Jackson was a singer, he spent a lot of time away from home, touring with his bandmates.
Because of Jackson's busy schedule, he didn't always have time to call or text Hanul. When he did, it meant a lot.
Hanul went to press the call button, when everything became blurry. She blinked a few times and felt something wet roll down her cheeks. Tears. She had so much doubt and stress that it pushed her to the edge. Through blurry vision, she pressed the call button. It rang once, then twice, and then a third time.
"Hello?" It wasn't Jackson.
At this point, Hanul was a mess of emotions. She felt anxious, sad, and now a bit frustrated because it wasn't Jackson on the other end. Hanul let the tears fall, silent sobs echoing around the room.
"Is Jackson there?" Hanul was trying her hardest to sound put together, but the tears just fell harder and she couldn’t hold her sobs back. Hanul continued to cry, not caring anymore about the phone call.
"Hanul? Hello? Are you there?" It was Jackson. His voice was like velvet to Hanul, soft and smooth, calming her down instantly.
"Yeah.. I’m here.."
"Why are you crying? Did something happen? Did someone hurt you? If someone did I will fly back to Seoul and-"
"No, coming back home won’t be necessary. I found some ants in a park and took them back home, then called the test lab to see if they could to a DNA swab on them and they said yes. Then I started worrying about if the ants were a new species, and if they weren’t I would have wasted my time and embarrassed myself and-" Hanul stopped in the middle of her sentence, realizing what she was doing.
"Oh, I apologize, I was rambling, wasn’t I?," Hanul felt her cheeks flush, embarrassment was something Hanul never dealt with well.
"Don’t apologize, it’s more than okay," Jackson assured Hanul, "So you’re stressed? I thought I told you to take breaks more often."
"You did, but breaks aren’t a thing in the science world," Hanul let out an airy laugh.
"Okay, but take breaks more often, okay? If you keep stressing yourself out, I’ll be sad," Hanul could practically hear Jackson pouting from the other side of the phone.
"Yeah, yeah, I will. You have to take care of yourself as well, promise? No over working yourself with dancing and singing, and make sure to eat three meals a day!"
"Good, you better keep that promise." Hanul smiled, feeling a bit better than before.
"Okay, I have to go. Go make history, okay?" With that said, Jackson hung up.
//‘I’ll go make history, I promise!’//
[[The next morning...]]Test #1 : Do a swab on the ants (send back to the test lab)
Test #2 : Go back to the bush and see if there is more ants
[[Test #1]] "Okay, time for a swab test!" Hanul cheered, grabbing a tray and putting swabs and some testing tubes into it. Hanul put the tray down into her desk, and took some ants out of their tubes, and gave them each a swab. After Hanul finished swabbing each ant, she put each swab into separate test tubes.
She places the ants back into their tubes, and sent an email to the test lab, asking once again if they could test some swabs for her. It wasn't long until the lab emailed Hanul back, saying that they'd love to do a swab test for her. Hanul sent the ants to the test lab, and hoped for the best. A yawn came out of Hanul's mouth, signaling that she should sleep soon. Hanul packed up all of her belongings, turned off all of the lights, and said goodnight to the glowing ball of ants before she went upstairs and into her room, and drifted off to dreamland.
[[The next day ]] It was 6:00am, and Hanul was already in her lab. Hanul's desk was a mess. It was covered in testing equipment, containers of the ants, and half empty cups of coffee. The test lab had emailed her an hour ago, and had reported that there was phosphor in the ants bloodstream, which was why the ants were glowing in the dark.
//'Phosphor... Interesting. I never thought of phosphor being in the ants!'// Hanul pondered.
Test #2 : do a swab on the ants (send back to the test lab). SUCCESS
"Now, it's time for the final test on my list. Let's see if I can find more ants, or maybe even a nest, in the same bush I originally found the first bunch," Hanul mumbled to herself, as she grabbed a few large test tubes and put them in her bag.
It was early in the morning, not to mention the air was icy, so Hanul wasn't too sure if she would be able to find the ants. She didn't know what they looked like in the bare sunlight, let alone if they would even come out from their nest in the daytime. Nonetheless, Hanul was not ready to call quits! She marched out of her house and walked to the park, testing tubes at the ready. Once she reached the park, she ran to the bush where she first found the ants. She ran so fast, she nearly tripped.
But, Hanul reached the bush with minimal injuries. Hanul was ready. She began pushing past the twings and leaves until she got to the bottom of the bush. Once she got to the bottom of the bush, she saw holes, many small holes in the ground.
Hanul wasn't sure as to what the holes could be. Spots of old roots? Worms? Lucky for Hanul, she had a small, hand held shovel. Hanul began digging, careful, just incase there were more ants. After 15 minutes of pure digging, an ant popped out! The ant ran under a leaf, and Hanul scooped it into a testing tube. Hanul dug a bit more, and even more ants popped out! Quickly, she scooped up dozens of ants, even having to get multiple other test tubes.
//'This is it,'// Hanul thought, a grin appearing on her face, eyes shining brightly with excitement, //'it's time to make history!'// Hanul was observing the ants, watching them glow and glimmer in the test tubes, when she received a phone call. It was from the lab, telling her that they successfully did the DNA test on the ants! A grin grew on Hanul's face, the apples of her cheeks turning a rosey shade of red. This makes her one step closer to finding out who and what these ants are, The lab is just as joyful and excited as Hanul, they confirmed that indeed this was a new species of ant! Hanul's mouth turned into a small "o", her eyes turning big. Hanul thanked the person on the other end of the line and hung up.
//'I should call Jackson! But he's busy, probably with a show. Maybe I can just leave a small text, for him to read later.'//
She opened her contacts, and searched for Jackson's name. Once she found it, she click on the 'send message' option and sent Jackson a short and sweet message about the situation that just happened.
Hanul : Guess what? The lab just called, and they said the ants I sent in were a new species! I feel over the top excited!
Hanul : Thanks for being there for me, for supporting the choices I make, and being my friend. It means a lot <3
[[View to-do list]].