My name is Mark Chen. I'm in 9th grade at Abraham High. Though if your reading this, you already know this, don't you? After all, that means you've cracked my ciphers, broken the locks, and read every piece of this journal. Considering this cyber journal is going to be kept in a secret partition on a hard drive the CIA doesn't even know about, I guess you deserve some congratulations. So congrats. If you're some fledgling hacker who's going to think I'm overly paranoid and dismiss my story, go ahead. If you're some government official doing a clean sweep and happened to find this, then go ahead and report it. And on the off chance you're a "historian", then I welcome you to view these documents as they are. The truth is here, all of it, to the best of my knowledge. My name is Mark Chen. This is my journal of the month it all started….and ended.
"When you have eliminated all the possibilities, whatever remains, no matter how unlikely, must be the truth"
Sherlock Holmes is one of my personal heroes. His exploits, as authored by Sir Conan Doyle are famous throughout the world. Even the most uncouth American knows the name "Sherlock Holmes". Famous for his deductive reasoning and ability to solve any case, the above quote was one of his. Though I doubt even Mr. Holmes would have believed the majority of these journals. I don't even know why I'm writing these…after all the only ones who will believe them aren't going to give a DAMN how I thought during that crazy week. But anyway, I'm straying off topic. I hope that as you read this entry, and heck, this whole journal, you'll keep that quote in mind……
The day was about as ordinary as days got, when it began. I woke up. I scanned the news, while brushing my teeth and washing my face. The same old murder stories were on the net, along with a fresh batch of people getting sued in the US. Same old, same old. I got myself a piece of toast ('rents weren't awake on Mondays till 10), packed my mini-PC and textbooks, and headed to school.
I go to Abraham High. It's one of the most prestigious high schools in the area, or so the teachers and principles say. I wasn't too sure about that, considering I'd only been there for a week or four, still fresh from my middle school days. There didn't seem to be anything special about it from the outside, that's for sure. Two stories, a basement, and a standard-sized back field. Certainly, from the size of my locker you wouldn't think this place was so great…..then again, I think that's just all public schools.
I made it into first period Science just as the bell rang. Placing my bag and its contents next to my desk, I sat down at my back seat and promptly took a nap. In case you couldn't tell, I wasn't exactly a model student, though my reason why will probably disturb you a lot more then you think. Usually I can get lucky and get through all my classes without too much hassle. Being in the back seat helps, and I had virtually reached an agreement with all my old teachers. Unfortunately I forgot that this was the High school, and all the teachers were still ignorant pricks.
"Mr. Chen! Could you please at least LOOK like your paying attention in my class, instead of dozing off in your own little world?" The science teacher, Ms. Reynolds had obviously not read my file.
"Huh?" I was just shaking myself awake. "Oh…uh sorry…..(I searched my schedule quickly) Ms Reynolds. I was merely PRETENDING to be asleep, so that I could..uh…better understand your lesson! I'm a MUCH better absorber of knowledge when I don't have all these visual distractions to impede me, you know?"
Now this was all bullshit, I assure you. But it was first rate bullshit, as exemplified by what came next.
"Very well then, if you INSIST on such a ridiculous tale, I'm sure you'll have NO problem with answering the question on the board, which the class was just thoroughly discussing."
I looked at the board with my drowsy eyes. From the mutters I was hearing from my classmates, it was obvious they hadn't been so much "discussing" the question as they were listening to the teacher try and explain it. Ms. Reynolds had the tendency to give these "extra" science packages, with material FAR above our grade level. Though they didn't count for any curriculum marks, she gave them WAY too much attention to be of any real comfort to us. The question stated: A human has genotype A1A1B1B2. What gametes will a single meiosis produce and in what proportions?
I stared at it uncomprehendingly for a few moments….with that excuse of a science teacher leering at me triumphantly. Then, in what I hoped was a clear and monotone voice, answered, "A single meiosis will produce 50% A1B1 gametes and 50% A1B2 gametes. I think I got the proportions right too."
There was more muttering from the class as they looked back and forth between the teacher and I. Ms. Reynolds face had lost that smirk. It had been replaced by a look of shock, which was quickly covered up in the "stern teacher" face.
"Very well then class. Let's move on shall we?" She said abruptly, as if she hadn't just been shown up by a 13 year old with an attitude.
I slunk back into my seat, clasped my head with my hands, and resumed my nap.
Now at this point, you're probably thinking, 'So the kid is a stuck up arrogant genius. So why's he in this public school? Hell, why is he dumping on some grade 9 science teacher? And why did he feel the need to record this in this journal?'
Well, you certainly wouldn't be the first person to think that, at least the first 3 parts anyway. Unfortunately, you also wouldn't be the first person to be completely wrong. See, I'm not normal. No, I don't mean acne, puberty scarred not normal. Nor do I mean the fact that I'm abnormally skinny for my age (growth spurts suck for the physically-challenged). I'm talking about certain "abilities" I have, certain powers that certainly no other human being have ever possessed. See, I can use the internet.
Go ahead; take the time to absorb that. Take the moment to get back on the chair you've undoubtedly fallen out of laughing. Grab a napkin to wipe the milk you just squirted from your nose. I'm in no hurry…..well, this journal isn't anyway. By the time you read this, I may very well be dead.
Got your sense back? Good. Obviously, when I say I can use the internet, I don't mean sitting in front of a computer screen for half of your life. Though I admit, I've done a lot of that too. I mean EXISTING, SURFING, LIVING on the nets. To put it simply, my mind is like a human computer, and I can interact with the internet and individual networks so long as there's a computer within about a 100 meter radius of my being. While doing so, I can appear as a user, computer, or nothing at all. To put it in simple terms, think of it like having a computer on you at ALL times, except you don't have to carry it, your eye's are only half-obstructed because its all in your mind, and your access power is multiplied a hundred thousand-fold. More on the last point in a bit.
So, I'm sure you can see what happened now. After I read the question on the board, I merely did a cross-reference search across the nets over some 20 search engines, using my netbook PC as the entrance point (school computers are restricted like you wouldn't BELIEVE). After about 15 seconds, I had the answer. Turns out that question was on the Michael Smith Science Challenge of 2008. And obviously, the answer happened to be there as well ^_^. It then just became a matter of read, process, and speak.
Second period flew by in a flurry of j-pop and boring, repetitive math. Math, on the other hand, is a subject I'm actually quite good at, to say so myself. Hey, when a math calculation only takes up about 3 BYTES of data, and your handling things in the GIGS, math calculations are only restricted to how fast I can write them down. My math teacher was actually a pretty cool guy. He let us listen to music during our work time, and even during lessons, as long as we got the material. Unlike 90% of my class, I didn't have to listen to a math explanation 5 times to grasp it (if your like me in math, you know what I mean _). Next up was lunch, and that's when things started getting weird.
Lunch at Abraham high was your standard hour. People put their books away, and separated into their separate cliques. Friends separated by the torture of different classes are reunited while the various clubs and sports assembled. I decided to do my usual when I had no particular task on mind; walk around and mingle.
At this point, I gotta break things down a bit. If you're a high school student, or you even REMOTELY remember what high school was like, you probably won't need this section. However, if you're a "historian", or you haven't seen the inside corridors of your worst nightmare in what seems a bazillion years, you'll want to read my summary of cliques in my high school.
People are separated into cliques. Call them tribes, groups, whatever, it's all the same idea. People naturally drift towards those most familiar to them, as a by-product of evolution and teamwork. As one of my favorite authors said "Your existence is defined solely by what communities you belong to those you don't. I definitely belong to them and them, but I definitely don't fit in with them and them." High school is no different.
So you got your "populars." You know, those guys that are liked by everyone (except the unpopular), and have earned their status through fluke, money, or genuine goodness. You got your extremists (I'm talking Goths, emos, and geeks here), the ones defined COMPLETELY by their actions, and are generally easy to recognize. You got your often-overlooked "middle class" (the friends who are friends out of necessity, and hang out with each other.). These guys are generally overlooked by the majority and because of their many variations, ignored by the media as well (and thus, ignored by us). You got your wapanese. I'm sure THESE need no explaining. The otakus, the anime/manga addicts, and generally avoided by populars. Then finally, you have the one I belong too, the drifters.
Drifters are those people you THINK you know, but really don't. They SEEM to have friends, and often, even those "friends" will believe so. See, a drifter is someone who tries to be friendly with everyone they think will be helpful, or just plain fun. We have no defined group, nor do we gather in any of the other groups. We hang on the outskirts, generally moving around during lunch periods and free breaks. You might know us as that quite kid who gets high marks, but isn't involved in extra-curricular or the guy who never seems to quite fit in. Either way, due to my need to hide my assets, that's the category I fell into, and I was happy with it.
There, that ends my little clique explanation. It remains pretty constant, and nothing much ever changes from that basic group lay-out. Sure, you have the occasional guy falling for someone outside his group, but that's usually crushed pretty quickly. After all, love is most successful through familiarity, and what familiarity is there between different cliques? Hope you enjoyed it, and ignored any glaring holes you might have found.
So, back to this particular lunch. I was walking around, visiting some of my fellow drifters, chatting about the homework we had and the subjects we were in for after lunch. After about 15 minutes, I found my way into the computer lab, and was greeted the teacher on duty.
"Ah, Mark! So glad to see you! I think someone might have messed up one of the computers in the back room. I'd fix it myself, but I JUST got that call from the office, and I was hoping…..?"
"Ya, sure Mr. Gould, no problem. I'll take care of it. Go on and enjoy your lunch."
"Mark, you're a lifesaver. Thanks again for all your help! I'll try to be back as soon as I can."
I had made it a note to be friendly to every teacher on duty in the lab, as the computer lab was the centre of the schools network. Sure, my abilities allowed me to use my own laptop for most purposes, but having a collection of networked computers at your disposal is NEVER a bad thing, especially for some of my "more intense" skills. I had spent the first week of school breaking into the network, and then subtly linking it to my own network at home, all without the school boards knowledge. Fixing the occasional breakdown for the teachers was just the cost I had to pay, I guess.
So I went to the back room, a subsection of the computer lab. With the blinds drawn over the windows, it really seemed like I was in a whole other section of the school. No one could really see what happened in the back rooms, which made it a preferred checkout spot for gamers in the lab doing "homework". I booted up the computer Mr. Gould had pointed out. As the familiar windows XP screen appeared the monitor, the lights flickered off, along with the monitor.
The sound of windows shattering into a million pieces. Then, through the blinds of the back room, I saw a blaze of orange and red. I immediately ducked down, following some blind instinct I didn't know. Where my head was moments ago, a wave of fire passed. It completely incinerated the back row of computers, reducing them to piles of smoldering electrical circuits.
"What the HELL?" Was what was going through my mind, even as I was coughing from the smoke. I quickly crawled towards the door, trying to keep my head low and not breathing. As I pushed the door open a sliver, I froze at what I saw.
The lab was, first of all, mostly unscathed. I had assumed that some kids had been messing with some chemicals, and started a fire. However, what greeted me was not only far stranger, but impossible. A ring of fire was in the centre of the lab, consuming the computers and materials that it touched, but not growing. In the centre of this ring stood two figures. One was a tall, willowy red head. She seemed to be a girl of 16 or younger. What was most bizarre was her facial expression. Her face was alight with happiness. It was like standing in that flaming centre gave her an unbridled ecstasy, not unlike a person high on crystal meth.
The other was a guy, about my age, I think. Dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, he looked like a pretty normal guy. In fact this, in combination with the completely calm expression on his face, was what totally didn't fit the scene. Now, I was taking all this in at a speed faster then most people could blink. At the time, I don't think I was really taking it seriously though. I mean, seriously, would YOU believe it if you saw two teenagers talking while standing in a ring of fire? Because talking was what they were doing.
"C'mon, C'mon, C'mon! You're getting slow, Raziel! That blast would never have gotten so out of hand in our normal sparring! Don't tell me the coming weeks are making even YOU nervous??" The girl spoke quickly, with the air of someone in a hurry.
"Hm, and how many times have I told you we shouldn't be sparring out in the open with the event coming up? You know how the air fluctuates around this time. Even normal mortals can sometimes see ou- ah!" The guy, Raziel was his name i guess, suddenly paused, as if he had just spotted something with the corner of his eye.
I immediately crouched down, and rolled on to the side, praying I didn't make too much noise. Even then I could feel, instinctively, that if I was discovered by those two, it wouldn't be pleasant.
"What is it NOW, Raziel?" Though the girl spoke in an annoyed tone, I noticed she had stopped speaking in a hurried tone.
"There's someone else here. I can feel his presence. Dammit, I told you not to use my name out in the open too. We need to find him."
"C'mon, you know he can't see anything. He probably just thinks some kids were messing with chemicals or something."
"The air is ferment with ---(couldn't hear this part) right now. Even a lowly mortal might be able to see us if the conditions were right. We shouldn't take any chances. Besides, he has nowhere to run." The boy ended with a touch of arrogance in his voice.
The girl was still annoyed, from the sound of her voice, "Oh fine, let's hurry and up and be done with it then. I suppose you'll want me to….dispose of the body too?"
Ok, at this point, I was totally, piss-in-my pants scared. Not to mention EXTREMELY confused. I didn't know if these guys were terrorists or what, but I did have the sinking feeling that it would be a BAD idea if I was caught.
Dammit, Dammit, I have to get out of here! Was basically what was on my mind at the moment. Now let's sit back and picture this for a moment, ok? I'm one guy, in the back room of a computer lab, where the only way out is currently through a door leading into a burning room where two psychos are currently debating on whether or not to "dispose" of me. Not exactly the best odds here.
There was only one thing I could do, at that point, if I wanted to escape. I remembered running through the possibilities, calculating my odds of running past them and out of the computer lab before getting caught. Suffice to say; what my computer of mind told me wasn't good. So I had to use 'it.'
What am I talking about? Remember when I mentioned some of my more "intense skills" a while back? What I was talking about was essentially molecular displacement. See, given enough network resources, instead of just using my mind to surf the net, I can actually convert my entire body into pure data, and displace myself into another physical location on the network. Of course, I'm not sure if what I'm doing is "movement", or if I'm "recreating" my body and mind every time I do this, reconstructing my cells and nerves down to the last atom with perfect precision. Nor am I sure that doing this is all that healthy for my body, as the only other two times I've tried it, I was sick in bed for several days with splitting migraines, constant vomiting, and a crazy-high fever. Imagine having the flu, multiply it by about 10, and throw in a couple of hard bruises to the back, and you might have some idea of what I feel like after a displacement session. Meh, that kind of thinking is beyond me.
For those who want a TL: DR version: I can freaking teleport, but it comes with a hell of a hangover.
So, back to the situation at hand, I was basically backed into a corner. Finally coming to my decision of using displacement, I closed my eyes and began to concentrate, hoping against hope that I would be fast enough.
Analyzing physical environment.
Locating available access points: 3 found.
Determining start and end parameters : *******
Calculating Available memory for Jump: 2132165465123 KB
Confirming jump (Y/N) : Y
Starting Jump in 5....4....3...2......1....0
The crippling feeling of inertia filled my body. A sensation I had only experienced twice in my life, once when I first discovered it at the age of 8, and again at 12, when I had been running from bullies. As every cell in my body became raw data, it was like someone had cut all my nerves at once, without the pain. I kind of wanted to open my eyes, to see if the boy and girl had found me, but the terrifying fear of not being able to see my body stopped me. My mind went into hyper speed, trying to cope with all the new data. The raw effort to keep my entire data-body together was so amazingly large, I wasn't too sure how much of it was my control, and how much of it was instinct.
Suddenly, it was all over. I could feel my body again, and damn it, did it feel BAD. My hands were clammy, a headache was setting in, and it felt like I'd just been hit by 20 baseball bats. I knew (or I hoped) that I was in my room, having used the small tunnel connection between my home network and the school as the data path for my cyber-body. I crawled a couple of feet, feeling the familiar texture of the carpet in my room. Finally, deciding that I was sufficiently close to my desk, I cracked open my eyes. The garbage can lay before me. I promptly threw up.
Just like the previous 2, huh? Looks like you don't get better with age, Were my thoughts at the moment. That and how dead tired I was. I somehow managed to prop myself up against my bed stand, and without any energy left, fell asleep.
In hindsight, it's not very surprising that I missed the young male that had been sitting on my bed at the time.
End Day 1