Queen of Hacking
"The organization called. They were asking about Maxine's death. Maxine's mission, to find X, is now transferred to me." Ani Twilight na katatapos lang makipagusap sa kung kanino man sa phone niya.
After we saw the body, siyempre, we felt sad. Lumapit sa amin si Maxine para sabihin ang tungkol kay X. She was brave enough to tell us part of what she knows despite of knowing that X might kill her if she spill some clues about him.
But we failed to protect her. Masyado kaming abala sa iba naming ginagawa.
"So all of Maxine's files and records about X will be transferred to my laptop system. I will continue to investigate it further." Twilight said with arms crossed.
Tumango ako at lumapit kay Effie na tahimik at nakaupo lang. Nandito kami sa storage room namin to discuss about what happened to Maxine. Matix and Twilight are now working on cracking the seven videos. Sina Chaos at Rebel naman ay kinakausap ang police tungkol sa nangyare. Sina Midnight at Slate, tulog sa sofa.
"Are you okay?" I combed my fingers through her hair.
Effie shook her head. "No. I kept reassuring Maxine that she won't die. She trusted me but I let her die." Malungkot nitong sabi.
Niyakap ko si Effie para patahanin. "Hey, none of this is your fault. What happened, Maxine died not because of you. She died because of X. Okay? Huwag mong sisihin ang sarili mo."
Tumango si Effie. "I know that, Friday. Thank you for cheering me up."
Ngiti lang ang tugon ko kapagkuwan ay natigilan nang pumasok sina Chaos at Rebel sa storage room. Agad naman kinuha ni Chaos ang kamay ko at hinila ako palabas ng storage room. "Aray! Ano ba?"
We were just outside the storage room and then Chaos spoke, "you've been avoiding me."
Natigilan ako. He's right. I've been avoiding him. Ever since he confessed, iniiwasan ko na si Chaos.
Umiling ako. "No. Hindi kita iniiwasan—"
"Don't make me laugh, Friday. Just this morning, you used to greet me good morning but today, you ignored me and acted like you didn't see me.
"Kanina, I asked you to come with me to investigate and you usually say yes but you declined and asked Rebel to come with me instead. What's wrong?" He asked.
I crossed my arms. "Nothing's wrong, really—"
"No. There is. What is it? Is it because of what I said?"
I went silent for a moment until I slowly nodded. Mabilis akong nangpaliwanag. "Chaos, what you said, I appreciate your bravery for telling me that—"
"Bravery? Friday, I've been keeping it all up since last year. I'm not brave. It took me a lot of time to build my courage and confidence to tell you what I wanted to tell you. It took me months to gather it all up but it shattered as fast as a minute when you looked at me with disgust."
I breathed heavily. "I don't like you—"
"I figured." Mabilis nitong sabi habang matamang nakatingin sa akin.
"I want things to go back to normal. Di ko masusuklian ang nararamdaman mo para sa akin dahil kaibigan lang ang turing ko sayo."
Chaos didn't utter anything so I continued. "You are rushing things, Chaos. Why would you, all of a sudden, confess?"
Chaos is again, silent and looked at the floor instead. I sighed and continued, "let's be friends—"
I looked at him in disgrace. "What?"
"No. I don't want to be friends with you, Friday. I want more than that."
Umiling-iling ako. "I can't—"
"Then I can't be friends with you either." Anito at pumasok muli sa storage room.
Huminga ako nang malalim. Gumulo na tuloy ang lahat.
Akmang papasok na ulit ako sa room nang magring ang phone ko. "Hello?" I called.
"Hey, sis." It was Wednesday.
Nanlaki ang mata ko. "Wednesday..napatawag ka?"
"So.." may bahid ng tudyo ang boses nito, "kamusta na kayo ni Chaos, ate?"
Kumunot ang noo ko. "Eto, magulo. Bakit mo natanong?"
"What? Hindi pa kayo?"
I frowned. "Bakit naman?"
"Ano ba yan! Chaos kept bugging me about everything you like. Hindi niya ako tinitigilan kakatanong tungkol sayo. He even went here in Manila to personally talk to me."
"Then?" Hindi ko maiwasang magtanong.
"Then he told me he likes you. So he wants me to help him gain confidence para sa susunod na haharap siya sayo, masabi niya nang maayos ang sasabihin niya."
Umiling ako. "Wednesday, of all people, you should know that Chaos is not my type."
"Yeah, pero ate, we can't always live up to our standards. He's trying hard. Just try. Maybe it'll lead into something good."
Napaisip ako. Just try, huh? But no, kung susubukan ko, maglolokohan lang kami ni Chaos.
"I need to go now, ate. Talk to Chaos. Settle this matter and reflect on yourself. It's time for a change, don't you think?" Anito at pinatay na ang tawag.
Nilagay ko ang pocket ko sa bulsa at pumasok na sa loob. As usual, tulog si Midnight at Slate. Si Twilight at Matix, abala sa computer habang binabantayan ni Rebel. Si Effie naman, nakaupo lang at nagpophone. Same goes with Chaos who has this scary aura around him.
Effie's phone rang. Sinagot naman nito ang tawag. "Yes, dad." Anito. Mukhang tinawag siya ng chief.
Nang matapos ang tawag, tumingin ito kay Chaos na ngayon ay abala sa rubik's cube. "Dad called. He needs hands on Maxine's case. A group of detectives entered the scene. Pinipilit nilang suicide ang nangyari. I'm sure you can handle them alone?" Anito .
Wait, this is my chance to talk to Chaos! Lilinawin ko lang ang mga gusto kong sabihin. "I can come with—"
"Effie, you come with me. Let's go." He coldly said at nauna nang lumabas ng storage room.
The room, then fell silent. "What's wrong?" Effie whispered.
I just shrugged at umupo sa sofa. "Nag-away ba kayo?" Twilight asked habang abala sa harap ng laptop nito.
"I can't say we fought. Sinabi ko lang naman na hindi ko masusuklian ang nararamdaman niya para sa akin." Sabi ko na ikinatigil ng lahat.
"Damn, I'm surprised Chaos is calm." Komento naman ni Rebel.
"Friday! How could you say that? Alam mo ba kung gaano kasakit ang masabihan ng ganun sa taong pinakamamahal mo?" Twilight exclaimed.
"I know pero, sa tingin ko mas okay na yun kaysa naman sa tanggapin ko kahit wala naman akong nararamdaman sa kaniya? Lolokohin lang namin sarili namin." I defended.
Effie tapped my shoulder. "Ayusin niyo 'to. Hindi pwedeng habang buhay kayong ganito." Aniya at lumabas ng room.
Pagkalabas ni Effie, Twilight spoke, "what's wrong with Chaos anyway? I mean, gwapo siya, matalino, medyo mabait. Kung wala akong nagugutuhan ngayon, si Chaos ang pipiliin ko."
"Hey!" Agad na sigaw ni Rebel pati ni Slate at Midnight na nagising.
Twilight just rolled her eyes. "Ano nang gagawin mo ngayon?"
I shrugged. "Talk to him, maybe. Clear things up. Pero hindi muna ngayon. He might be mad. Palamigin ko muna ang ulo niya." Ani ko.
Tumango-tango si Twilight at bumalik sa pagcacrack ng password ng videos. Napabuntong hininga ako. Paano ko ba kasi kakausapin si Chaos? ...
"As you can see, Maxine's mouth is sewed into the letter X. If she killed herself, then she won't be able to sew her mouth." Ani ko.
These self-proclaimed detectives are really getting on my nerves. I bet they're sent by X to let Maxine's case fall.
"She might have killed herself then someone sew her mouth. It can be considered as suicide, right?" The other detective with round glasses said.
I showed her a picture of Maxine's body. "Look, her sewed mouth is as fresh as her wounds. Someone killed Maxine and then sewed her mouth." Galit na sabi ko. I really am not in a good mood right now. If this continues, I might say bad things to the detectives.
"Ano bang ginagaw mo dito? You're just a kid. You're not even allowed in this scene." Anang isang detective.
So he's trying to mock me?
I crossed my arms. "It's simple. I'm smarter and skilled than the rest of you here. The police let me here because the acknoweldge my skill in deduction and solving crimes. I'm much better than you. It's that simple." I answered.
The detectives were about to speak when Effie interfered. "Woah, kalma lang tayo, guys. We are here to solve this case together. Not to fight." She faced her father, "dad, Chaos and I will go. We have some class pa."
Her dad nodded. "Sure!," then he whispered, "don't worry, I'll send a report to the police that this was murder. I don't believe those detectives either."
We both nodded and let Effie drag me away the scene. "What is it?" I arrogantly asked. I'm pissed and somewhat angry.
Though I don't know why. Is it because I got rejected? Or because I was disappointed?
"Are you okay?" Effie asked when stopped on an empty hallway.
I scoffed. "What's it to you?" I asked.
Effie rolled her eyes. "Duh, I'm your friend, of course! Normal lang na mag-alala ako. You don't seem like your normal self."
I crossed my arms. "I am in my normal self." I defended.
Umiling-iling ito. "No you're not. Tell me, are you okay? It's just a yes or no."
I nodded. "Yes." I answered hoping that Effie wouldn't notice my gloomy face—
"You're lying." She pointed out.
I stilled and stared at her. "No. Really, I'm fine." I persisted.
Effie frowned. "Chaos, hindi lang ikaw ang magaling sa ganitong bagay. I can detect whether someone's lying or not."
Hindi ko maiwasang mag-tanong. "How?"
This time, Effie smiled. "When you said yes, you avoided looking at my eyes and felt uneasy. Your face looked empty and your eyes looked lifeless. Huwag mo akong subukan, Chaos. I know you're not okay."
I sighed and leaned on the nearest wall. "It's just that, I'm hurt, I guess?" I'm not sure.
"Why are you hurt?"
I fell silence for a moment then answered, "when I found out that Daeril is my brother and Mr. Albert is my father, I felt like a monster. I'm a son of a devil who raped my mom. When I felt so small and neglected, Friday was there. She was there to listen and understand. That's when I realized that I like her—no, I liked her even before that.
"Friday is an ideal girl. Smart, rich and pretty. So I was too afraid to confess because I know that I'm not worthy of her," I ran my fingers through my hair, "I built up some confidence to tell her what I feel. I'm not expecting a positive answer. Gusto ko lang sabihin ang nararamdaman ko dahil ayokong may maunang iba. I want to be her first. I want to own her but I can't.
"I'm hurting because I'm disappointed and angry. I'm hurting because the only person I can lean on just turned me down. Her face I saw when I confessed, she looked disgusted and that hurted me even more." I confessed.
This really feels good. It feels good telling someone what you kept bottling up inside of you.
Effie sighed. "A piece of advice, Chaos, try to win her heart. Maybe you are rushing things. You confessed on the wrong time."
I simply nodded. "Thank you for making me feel at ease. Though, I can't stand seeing Friday because I kept hurting. Still, thank you. You are also one of the people I treasure and trust." Sambit ko.
I'm really thankful that Effie talked to me. I don't have any other friends to lean on. So I'm grateful that Effie is here.
Effie smiled widely. "No problem. Bumalik na tayo sa storage room natin. Let's update everyone on Maxine's case." Aniya.
We then walked to our storage room together while Effie is cracking jokes to make me laugh.
"Damn it..." Matix mumbled pero naririnig ko parin siya.
"Nakakailang 'damn it' ka na." Puna ko habang kumakain ng bread.
Twilight chuckled. "Hindi kasi siya magaling na hacker." She teased.
Matix shouted. "Hey!"
Twilight challenged Matix to a hacking battle. The first one to hack the school's computer system wins...and Twilight won three times already.
Matix frustratingly leaned on the chair. "This is so depressing." Komento nito.
"What's taking Effie and Chaos so long?" Slate asked out of nowhere.
Oo nga. Ilang oras nang wala ang dalawang yon. May pinacheck lang sa imbestigasyon pero ilang oras na ang nakalipas at wala pa run.
But as if on cue, Effie and Chaos entered while Chaos was holding her laughter and Effie was trying to make funny faces and jokes.
"You're corny." Komento ni Chaos habang nakasimangot.
Effie pouted. "Tumatawa ka nga kanina eh!"
I frowned and squinted my eyes. They look comfortable with each other and I started to feel uneasy.
Hay, Chaos, magcoconfess-confess ka tapos lalapit ka sa ibang babae?
I shook my head at nilibang nalang ang sarili ko sa phone ko. I feel something uneasy on my chest. Di ko alam kung ano 'to basta, hindi ko gusto ko pagiging malapit ni Effie at Chaos although I'm trying to understand because Effie and Chaos are both my friends. Hindi ko nga alam kung bakit ganito ako.
"Hey, bakit ang tagal niyo?" Twilight asked.
Napangiwi naman si Effie. "Pasensiya na. Nagutom kasi ako kaya kumain muna kami sa cafeteria."
I secretly scoffed and rolled my eyes. Why do I feel irritated?
Chaos sat on his usual chair and much to my surprise, tumabi sa Effie. Chaos doesn't want anyone sitting beside him on his chair. Ang tanging pinapaupo niya lang ay ako.
So what changed? Dahil ba ginalit ko siya? Wait...are they making me jealous?
Bahala na. I seem affected but I'm not jealous. There's no way I will be jealous.
Pasimple kong sinusulyap-sulyap ang dalawang nagtatawanan. Hm, the two much grew closer together.
Napatigil lang ako sa ginagawa nang sumigaw si Matix. "What the hell?!" Galit nitong sigaw.
"Why?" Chaos immediately asked.
Twilight was the one who answered, "his computer suddenly shut off and when we opened it back, all his files and applications are gone."
"What? Why would it suddenly shut down?" Rebel asked.
Matix shrugged. "I don't know. Someone must've hacked it and planted a virus to slowly delete my files." He explained.
"What will you do? Without your laptop, you can't work." Ani Midnight.
Then, Twilight cleared her throat. "Leave it to me, guys." She smiled and sat on the office chair infront of her laptop.
"I'll hack your computer system, Matix. I may be able to detect what virus is causing this problem." Anito habang mabilis na nagtitipa sa keyboard ng laptop nito.
Matix was just watching Twilight typing fastly on her keyboard.
Then Twilight spoke, "Damn, it's an unknown virus."
"Are you sure?" Matix asked anxiously.
Tumango si Twilight. "I memorize all names of the viruses in computers. This virus, its characteristics and language is unknown to me. Hindi ko alam kung paano ko aayusin 'to. The virus might affect my laptop too."
We all sighed especially Matix. Para itong batang malungkot dahil nasira ang laptop nito.
Natigilan lang kami nang may isang message na nag-appear sa laptop screen ni Twilight.
I want to introduce my very own made virus, the viruX. I challenge you, Twilight Martinez, if you win, I'll give you one clue about me. If I win, one of your brothers die. That's what you get for teaming up with Chaos and his team.
"He's challenging me to a hacking battle, really?" Hindi makapaniwalang tanong ni Effie.
She continued, "hindi ba niya alam kung sino kinakalaban niya?"
Matix interfered, "kaya siguro nilagyan niya ng virus ang laptop ko. He doesn't want to battle with me because he knows he'll lose to me." He smirked.
Twilight frowned and tuned out Matix. "So, If I lose, one of my idiot brothers will die?"
"Yes?" Midnight answered with a glimpse of nervousness around him.
Twilight smiled widely. "I don't mind having one of my brothers killed but since I hate losing, I'll win for sure."
The three weirdos exclaimed.
"And we'll get clues about X." Chaos continued.
"Let's start!" Twilight exclaimed.
Another message appeared on Twilight's screen.
"Hack my laptop and you win. If I hack yours, you lose."
"He's playing unfairly! Twilight doesn't know his computer address." Komento ni Slate.
Twilight massaged her neck. "It's fine. I can hack his laptop without knowing his computer address."
Effie asked, "how?"
Twilight grinned. "I will trace the messages he'd been sending. The ones appearing on my screen. I'm sure he'll let the message be traced. That's his way of playing fairly."
Pinanood lang namin si Twilight na nagtitipa sa keyboard nang mabilis.
"Done! I just have to press enter and I can finally hack his laptop!"
Twilight was about to press enter when her laptop suddenly opened the microsoft word application like it just acted on its own.
Then, words started forming.
"Hacked. I win -X."
Galit na hinampas ni Twilight ang kamay sa lamesa. Frustrated, she continued typed something on the microsoft word.
At dahil kinokontrol ni X ang laptop ni Twilight, mabilis na nakuha agad ni X ang tinaype ni Twilight.
Then another message appeared on her screen.
"Hack my laptop. If you are able to crack the code in a file named X within 10 minutes, you win." Then the message disappeared.
A timer suddenly appeared on Twilight's laptop on the bottom right side of the screen.
Pinindot niya ang dapat na ipipindot kanina para ihack ang laptop ni X.
"There's only one file on his laptop. It's named X." Ani Twilight.
"Open it." Midnight ordered.
Twilight opened the file but four images showed up.
Images of symbols and shapes.
Nang makita ko ang mga larawan, doon ko lang narealize, it's a logical reasoning test!
Each has a pattern and we have to guess which comes next.
May mga choices pero katumbas ng choices are numbers. "So we have to get the correct answer and combine the numbers we got to form a password." I explained.
Tinignan ko ang timer sa gilid ng screen. I gasped when I saw how many minutes are there left.
"Hey! Where's kuya Slate? He's good at this one." Ani Twilight.
We all looked back to find Slate pero wala siya. Parang kanina lang nandito siya ah.
"Fuck. Slate can answer this in one minute." Ani Rebel na tinatawagan si Slate.
Three minutes left.
"Nasaan ba siya? Kakatayin ko talaga siya pag bumalik eh!" Twilight shouted.
Then, Slate entered with handful of food. May pagkain pa ito sa bibig at gulat na gulat nang masama ang tingin namin sa kaniya.
"What?" He asked, confused.
"Come here, answer this!" Utos ni Twilight.
Two minutes left
"Wait, adjust your screen's brightness. I can't see." Utos pa ni Slate.
"Just answer it already." Chaos ordered.
"Okay, okay. Geez.." ani Slate.
One minute and twenty seconds left
Slate was squinting his eyes as he think of the answer. "Answer it faster!" Twilight shouted.
Fifty seconds left.
"Hey, stop pressuring me!" Sigaw pabalik ni Slate sa kapatid.
Thirty seconds left.
Then, Slate's face changed brightly like he already knew the answer. "Oh, I got it." Slate immediately typed in the answer.
He pressed the numbers 4334. Each number corresponds the correct choices.
After a second, the file opened at the same time a message appeared on the screen.
"Splendid. As expected of the Agati siblings. Teamwork really pays off. A deal is a deal. Open the file to see clues about me. Matix's laptop will also come back to normal."
Natigilan ako. Wait, Agati? Sino yun? Tinubukoy ba ni X sina Twilight?
"Who's Agati?" Chaos asked.
Napangiwi ang apat na magkakapatid. "I-It's ahm...our surname."
Nanlaki ang mata ko. "So Agati ang surname niyo?"
Tumango sila. "Weird, right? It's like a name of a person." They winced.
I chuckled. "Okay naman ah." I smiled.
Twilight looked at me flatly. "Huwag mo nga akong inuuto, Friday."
I just laughed softly and glanced again at Chaos who is talking seriously to Effie. Nang tumingin sa akin si Chaos, agad kong nilayo ang tingin.
I cleared my throat. "Tignan natin ang file na naglalaman ng clues kay X." Sabi ko. It was awkward to see Effie and Chaos so close.
Twilight opened the file and a document appeared.
"Adoption papers?" I asked.
The name is covered and also the birthdate. Pero ang gender...
"Wait, X is a female?!" We all exclaimed. Shocked of what we found.
-END OF CHAPTER-
I’m sorry for not updating for three days. Nabusy ako at saktong marami akong ginagawa. Anyways, enjoy atleast the forty pages update. Ang images na sinolve ni Slate, kung nacucurious kayo kung ano ang itsura, just check in out on wattpad @BuwanCapili .
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