- Chapter Ten -
“How much battery power have you got left?”
“Three hours, but the other laptop has a good six hours left.” Haru replied, after looking at his laptop.
The holographic image was still in front us, silent for more than five minutes.
“Then continue hacking both devices. We should use this opportunity to find a window within their system, big enough to get a glimpse at SIN.” I said, tapping the device a couple of times, but nothing happened.
They were taking their time to decide, like we were in a court room and we had to wait for the jury’s verdict. I returned to speaking to my contacts, but all they complained about was the blackout and that they had no way to help me. The blackout was just an excuse, as those cold bastards just knew how to use me and then discard me, when they had had enough. The contacts led me to dead ends and I couldn’t handle their constant complaining for money. Some even had the nerve to ask for extra due to the blackout; they got another thing coming if they thought I was that desperate.
"I swear once this is all over; their heads will be the next thing I hunt." I thought, gritting my teeth.
There was only one guy I could trust, getting me what I want, but he has a dumb policy that I couldn’t talk to him through a mobile. Meaning I got to go down to the street and dial from a payphone. It would be a hassle to use the elevator again, but I didn’t have a lot of time to walk all those stairs.
“We are in!” Haru shouted, just as I was about to exit the hotel room.
“The system was hard to crack, but we are in.” He said, with a huge smile on his face.
“The only problem is - ” From his negative tone, I already didn’t like the sound of that “ - what we can see is limited, since the system is an extremely large labyrinth, even bigger than the one programmed on your device."
I let out a sigh and rubbed my forehead, pushing back the fringe that covered it. Nothing was easy and I never expected that, but I should be grateful we could get some information, even if it was limited.
“Get what you can and do it fast. They should already know our location, but I have a feeling that the hologram will speak soon.”
Haru returned his focus on the system and worked as fast as he could, whereas my focus rested on the holographic image. The man was just there with his arms crossed on his chest, displaying authority, with a stern look on his face. He could scare anyone with his look, but not me. A guy like that wouldn’t stand a chance, well, I would’ve asked him to remove that thick armour and then I could beat him.
Actually, even with the armour on, I would win, as I believed in my strength. Letting Haru work in peace, I sat on the sofa, moved the hovering TV in front of me and flicked through the channels. All the channels were filled with news about the explosion and it seemed that six or seven people have been found dead. Even though I felt bad for the ones who had died, I was glad that the figures were not thousands. Even with my past, I wasn’t as evil as to just let citizens die. I was known for my cold heart and strong exterior but I wasn’t that cold.
“Eli, come check this out.” Haru said, ushering me towards him using his hand.
Standing next to him, I scanned his laptop screen which was filled with windows. Nothing caught my eye and I wondered what he wanted to show me. He was still typing, so I waited patiently, until I saw something and pointed at it.
“Isn’t that Notch’s name?” I asked.
“Yeah, that is what I wanted to show you. According to what I could find, it was Notch who created these devices. When I was checking out your device, I was impressed at the complex system, wanting to meet the creator. I knew no one was better than Notch.” He smiled proudly and continued “However like we thought, Notch hid something in our devices and I managed to retrieve it. All we need to do is wait for the download to be complete and then we will know more about SIN and Notch’s involvement with them.”
I hugged Haru from behind and ruffled his hair. If he was not here, I would have used violence to get the information I wanted and that would have just taken too long.
“Number eighteen and number nineteen, you have been judged. Be prepared to receive it, offenders.” The hologram said suddenly.
The broken silence from the hologram caused Haru to get booted out the system before the download was complete. Haru cursed and focused on trying to get back into the system.
Strolling over the image, I analysed it. I needed to know everything about my enemy, but we were not having any luck unlike SIN, who probably knew everything about us. We were definitely at a disadvantage. The armoured man stood there in silence, again.
Guessing by his facial features, he could be in his late thirty's with faint wrinkles on the edges of his thin lips. As the hologram was blue, I couldn’t distinguish the colour of his skin but what I did find was the SIN logo plastered on his chest. However, it was different from the one on the back of the device. On the 3D dice, there was a symbol behind the lettering. I squinted my eyes to get a closer look at the symbol, as it looked familiar, when suddenly the hologram changed. I leapt backwards as the change surprised me and I stumbled onto my ass.
“Are you alright?” Haru asked, looking back at me with an amused smile.
He snickered when he saw me on the floor. I shot him a murderous glare, which made him return to hacking. Getting up, I dusted my ass and stared at the hologram. There was nothing there, just blue static, as if they disconnected.
“Haru, did you do something?” I asked, tapping on the device and passing my hand through the hologram.
“The hologram went. I think it disconnected.”
Haru looked at the hologram and typed quickly, hitting the spacebar a lot.
“It doesn’t say anything about a disconnection on their system, since it is still live. The download is almost complete, so don’t touch anything.” He said in a firm voice, like he was telling off a child.
I kicked the invisible dust from soft carpet, digging my hands into my pocket, feeling bored. I had nothing to do. I couldn’t contact the guy I wanted to talk to and there was nothing to do here, except wait. I hated waiting. I was an active person, ready to jump in and beat up the bad guy. Since SIN was taking strict precautions, making them hard to be found, I was forced to wait, which I hated. I wanted this world to be simple.
My thought process got disturbed when the two devices beeped and the hologram switched off. I tugged onto Haru’s shoulder, but he wasn’t responding. Placing both my hands onto my head, I forcefully turned it towards the hologram.
“Eli Thorne, number eighteen, and Haru Lang, number nineteen, please step forward.” A woman said, holding a clipboard while gracefully moving her arm in front of her, indicating where she wanted us to stand.
We stared at each other, confused. The woman appeared from nowhere and replaced the blue static screen. She was a pretty woman with a beauty spot on the right top corner of her plump lips; her hair bouncing as the breeze passed through it…
Our first clue. She must be standing outside, so the message should be live. At least we knew something. Even the little details mattered.
We did as she told us and stood up straight like soldiers when the lieutenant shouted ‘Attention!’.
“My name is Blaze and I am your assigning officer. I am here to pass on your judgement and carry it out. So cooperate and everything will go smoothly.” She said, in a serious tone.
Even though she looked serious, her voice sounded seductive, making me focus on just her lips as they moved.
“We will start with Eli. Please state your government ID and your true full name.”
“I don’t have a government ID. But you should already know that.” I said cheekily, aiming just to annoy her.
She noted it all down and had a disappointed expression. She stared at us; like she was our mother and we were her kids, looking down on us. No matter how much there was written in our files, there was stuff not even they knew.
“Alright Eli, the device will measure, so hold it up in front of you.”
“Why would I do that? You are an organisation that knows everything about us and that gave you the right to judge us.”
“Eli, stop messing about and be serious for a minute. I am here to help you, so do as I instructed and things will go smoothly. If you try to annoy me, I won’t be held responsible for what may happen next.” She said, glaring at me with rage burning in her eyes.
Haru nudged my elbow and pushed me forward gently. I shrugged my shoulders and decided to obey, but only for Haru’s sake.
The device scanned me like a printer and beeped when it was complete. I then returned it back to its position and Blaze returned.
“Okay, that is done. Now it is Haru’s turn.” she said, biting the end of her pen.
Haru was obedient and with no government ID, Blaze had the same disappointing expression. When it all was completed, Blaze disappeared for a few minutes, leaving us standing.
“Eli, the download is complete.” Haru whispered, happily.
Finally there were some good news.
Copyright © 2012 IJargon (Mina)