Chapter 1.6

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Sam brought a few tabs and passed them to everyone, including me. Confused, I just held mine. Greg fiddled around with his tab.

“John…” Grace said, a bit panicky.

“What?”I asked.

“Help…. Shit, it’s too late. The firewalls are already gone and now-” The bracelet fell silent.

“Guys… My A.I just went down.” I said.

“We know.” Said Diana.

“Huh?”

“The A.Is are just meant for psychological manipulation, and to report back to the school about any suspicious activity. Basically stops us from having fun, and redefining our concepts of fun.” She explained.

I nodded slowly, gesturing for her to do on.

“So basically, what we just did is insert a virus into your A.I’s, or should I say Grace’s system. The virus disabled her, and without her system active, she won’t be able to fight the virus. It’s meant only to disable though, since if they were completely destroyed, we would get on the radar of the owners of the school, and there aren’t any good tales about what happens to the people who’d had to deal with the keepers.”

“But, since the A.Is are doing checkups of us and sending said checkups to school, wouldn’t the lack of reports from A.Is alert the keepers anyway?”

“The reposts only are submitted at the end of the month, and that is plenty of time to forge fake reports. And don’t worry, we know the format and encryption type for the reports, to answer the unsaid question.” Sam said.

“The question you haven’t answered, why did you deactivate Grace? I know your reasons are more than just because of the mental fuckery and lack of fun.”

Ray glanced at the each member of the group, one by one. Each gave him a slight nod, barely noticeable.

“We need your help with hacking into the school system.” he finally said.

“Say what?”

“Just for fun, plus we can get rid of the lengthy assignments.” He said.

“And how the hell are we supposed to that without getting caught?”

“.. And that’s where you come in.”

“Oh… now I see. You want me, to help you, to break in to one of the most fortified systems ever made, for the rush, and to get rid of homework. Are you freaking crazy?”

“Oh come on, it’s no big deal. Given your… record, it’s should be a piece of cake.”Lily said.

She hit it right on the spot, that one. It was a piece of cake, but it was still freaking crazy. Not that I didn’t like crazy, I came here to enjoy being normal, and hacking into the school, wasn’t what I would define ‘normal’ as.

“I don’t care if it’s easy, it’s still freaking crazay!”

“Crazy is fun. And it’s stepping out of your comfort zone. Which means pushing yourself to achieve all sorts of things.” Diana said, completely polite, no forcing.

Damn it, Can these people read my thoughts? If not, This must be one hell of a coincidence. But if there were any telepathy devices, I would have been screwed the moment I stepped into the school. Unless they were telepaths, which was very unlikely.

If you’re listening, I kindly request you to get the fuck out of my head.

Damn it, John! Focus! Always getting distracted.

“Like getting a free ticket to jail?” I asked, using as much sarcasm I could muster.

“Still an achievement.” Diana said.

The others giggled, which annoyed me all the more.

“What if we could strike a deal?” Sam asked.

“I don’t think there’s anything you can give me that would make me hack into the school.”

“Oh really?  What about a hellhound hover board, with a neural interface, with the option to switch to manual if required. However, you would need a neural lace already implanted to use the neural interface, in case you don’t, I can provide you the top notch doctors to perform the procedure to implant it. It comes with a hop, spin, thrust and the feature that allows the ability to make custom moves via a simple interface so that you don’t need to know hardcore programming to make your own moves. Plus it’s got state of the art firewalls, that I doubt even I could break into. Do I need to keep going or did you get the point?”

Boy, fancy toys are really hard to resist. My own hover board, meaning I could just glide over buildings and make it to the school faster than I could with the jetpack, and have a considerable fun time doing it. He got me there.

“Fine, but as long as you keep up with your end of the deal . If you don’t, I’ll just hack into your bank account and buy one for myself with your own cash.”

“Sounds good to me. Deal?”

“Deal. Now tell me, what are my tools? I can’t hack into a school with a simple tab, I need a quantum computer, and those cost a helluva lot of credits.”

Sam grinned widely, and gave me a sly look.

“My parents are, very, connected people.”

“Okaaaayyyyy……”

“Follow me.” he said.

He got up, and led us through his house, and into the underground floors. I wondered where he was taking us, but then stopped after I saw the huge room with all the equipment in it. We were standing in the brain of the more advanced computers in our. There was a circle in the center where there was nothing. It could easily have fitted a group of fifteen people, with room to spare.

With the speed of quantum computers, and their complexity, you would need more than just a simple holo panel, you would need a neural interface, much like the one in a hover board, but much more powerful. A neural interface enables one to interact with the computer with their minds. Without a neural flux though, it would just be impossible. The neural flux was a device that was interwoven throughout the entire brain, and it was what let us connect to any neural interface.

My neural flux was different, more efficient; it uses a few million nanobots that work in harmony throughout my brain. Each nanobot was made of intricate, molecular sized circuits, and with special mechanisms. But my brain was different too, I don’t know exactly what, because that would mean cutting into my own head, but from the general scans of the nanobots, my brain had a lot more neurons that an average human being, and the synapses were better at carrying data from one neuron to the other.

I got my smartness from this, however, that wasn’t my true ability. If some part of me felt like special measures were required, It would be goodbye for me, hello to the Architect, the chess master of every freaking situation.  I still existed, but I felt a bit detached, and I felt like there was something else that existed with me, that helped with the decisions the Architect made.

 

So the quantum computer could only be used by people with the authority, and a neural lace. This particular quantum computer, I’m guessing, would only be accessible if you stood in that circle.

We stepped over the network of optic cables, and into the circle.

“I’m guessing you already know the drill. But in case you don’t, after you go to that special part of your mind and activate the neural interface, you have to tap into the receiver. You should see our avatars, or whatever symbol you have kept for us, but we’re not you want to connect to. You should connect to the quantum computer, whose universal symbol is the churning machine, with a few changes in colors every few seconds. Connect to it however you feel like, by thinking it, my forming a connection with it or whatever method you prefer. After that, you should end up in a world of numbers, letters, and codes. But we’ll be there with you too, to help ease the workload.”

I nodded.

I made the world blur, my focus of the real world slowly decreasing. Soon, it was pitch black, no floor, no wall, just nothingness. I started moving forward, though there was no point of reference to make out if I was actually moving, I felt like I was moving. Soon a small point appeared, and then I realized I was moving way faster than I thought, as the portal grew from a size of pin to the size of the freaking sun in under fifteen seconds. I went through, a flash of light momentarily blinding me, and then I was in a city, that was endless.

I have already been here a good number of times, so getting past the endless variety of towers and buildings to the small black dome proved to be no task. I passed through the circle, the wall like mercury with no physical touch, but rippling to my presence nonetheless. It became pitch black again, but since this city and everything in it was my mind and its countless attributes, I had complete control over it. But some areas were blocked off, and some I had no idea how to use. The blocked off areas were either memories or resources the Architect didn’t want normal me to get access to, why, I had no idea, But I trusted smarter and inhuman me enough to not go near those places. Not like I could get in anyway. The architect wasn’t an alter-ego, if you’re wondering, it’s just me with some more memories, and some other resources that are locked away in this city.

And of course, inhuman accuracy, calculations, and actions.

This doesn’t often come in my thoughts, because, even though there were no devices to read people’s thoughts, there were ones that could hack into the neural flux and download their current trains of thought. They can’t download memories, or anything else, because no one figured out how to do it. A memory does not lie in any specific section of the brain; it’s all over the entire brain. To put it this way, if you cut off a piece of that brain, you lose only partial information of the memory. It gets blurred up, sure, but you still have most of the memory. Anyway, this made it really hard for trying to download memories. The neural lace did help you to access memories though, since opening a file is much easy compared to copying it.

I realized that I had yet to connect with the quantum computer, and that the others were probably waiting for me. So I brought up the systems available, then zapped a gold thread from my finger to the churning machine, and connected to it.

I found myself floating; in a place similar to that of the void that I ended up in as I activated the neural inter face. What was different although, was the countless holograms that flowed endlessly around me, the speed varying from missiles to drifting lazily. For anyone else, all this information would have driven them crazy.  But since I knew how to sort through the crap, and find the relevant information, it was just a nice challenge.

What worried me though, was the fact I was alone.

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