Chapter 10: Ms. Fuentebella's Abduction Case
I can't believe that I'm seeing this scenario right now! Ms. Fuentebella's in danger!
"OMG!" Gulat na ani Russ at Irene. I also heard JD cuss. Sof didn't give an expression, nanatili siyang tulala.
As I can see, Ms. Fuentebella's now asleep while sitting on a chair. Nakagapos ang kaniyang dalawang kamay sa likod ng upuang kaniyang kinauupuan. May nakapasak ring panyo sa kaniyang bibig. Nakakadena naman ang kaniyang dalawang paa sa isa't-isa.
She is not in danger. She is in a great danger!
Nagpatuloy ang pag-play ng video. A man with a black suit under a black raincoat appeared. Nakamaskara din siya ng plain na maskarang kulay itim. He was filled with black accessories at ang nakapukaw ng atensiyon ko ay ang kaniyang itim na diyamanteng kuwintas na kumikinang kapag nadadapuan ng ilaw.
He then started talking. "Hello, SCH!" He said in a very creepy tone. His voice is husky yet it doesn't sound sexy but creepy.
Tumigil siya sandali sa kaniyang paglakad. Lumapit siya sa camera at kinuha iyon. Inilapit niyo iyon sa kaniyang naka-maskarang mukha bago magsalita. "By the way, I am Machiavelli. You're greatest agony." He even gave us a creepy laugh after saying those terms.
Ibinalik niya ang camera sa dati nitong puwesto at bumalik naman siya sa tabi ni Ms. Fuentebella. He then slapped our adviser's face, making her awake.
Napansin kong napaiwas ang aming dalawang clubmates na babae. Siyempre babae sila and ayaw din nilang makakita ng babaeng inaapi lamang. What he did is an illicit act. It's unaaceptable! This person, Machiavelli is violating the VAWC Act or Violence Against Women and Children Act.
Pwede siyang makasuhan ng kidnapping, violating the VAWC Act, and many more. I don't know kung naiisip niya ang consequences ng mga kasamaang ginagawa niya, pero ang mga evildoer na tulad niya ay walang ibang iniisip kundi ang sarili at kasamaan nila lamang.
By the way, the term Machiavelli is familiar. Well, the term Machiavelli is associated with bad meaning. It came from a famous author named Niccoló Machiavelli, the author of The Prince. Although wala namang masamang nagawa si Sir Machiavelli, but because of his story kaya na-associate ang kaniyang apelyido sa ibang masamang depinisiyon. Machiavelli's The Prince tackles the use of authority of any means to maintain a political power. Doon nagsimula ang Machiavellianism na word na bad na 'yung meaning.
However, Machiavellianism could also refer to the name of a personality trait created by psychologist Richard Christie, centered on deceitfulness, an absence of morality, a lack of empathy, and cynicism.
Well, this bad person is a genius, huh?
He's a genius for using a codename na maaaring hindi malaman ng iba kung bakit niya iyon ginamit. Well, not me. I knew almost every single thing in the world.
But the meaning of Machiavellianism is the use of authority of any means to maintain a political power, right? Why would he use such name if it doesn't fit his traits? So, meaning... he is an authority using his position to maintain and/or strengthen his power. But anong position niya at saang organisasiyon o samahan siya namumuno?
Ugh! I'm tired of thinking! Let's just go back to the video.
Going back to the video. Ms. Fuentebella's still crying, and those tears are reminding me of her in a great pain. I can feel the pain she's now experiencing. Kung titignan mo nga siya, mangingisay ka sa sobrang pagkaawa sa natutunghayan mo. She has now many wounds dahil sa pangto-torture sa kaniyang nitong hinayupak na Machiavelli. Idagdag mo pa ang pagkakahigpit ng mga kadenang itinali sa kaniya.
"Ano bang kailangan mo sa akin?" Humahagulgol na tanong ni Ms. Fuentebella. "I will give all you want from me... just let me stay alive. Kailangan ako ng pamilya ko. Kailangan ako ng mga anak ko."
"I don't fucking care about what you can give. I just want your club students' deaths, can you give me that?" Our adviser stayed silent. Sinapak na naman siya nitong Machiavelli kaya lalo siyang umiyak. "Of course no. You can't give me that, right? You love your club students, right? Tch! Love? A disgusting topic!"
What the fuck! Ano bang masamang nagawa namin sa kaniya na gusto niya kaming makitang mamatay? I can't recall anyone na ginawan namin ng masama!
"Hayup ka! Hayup ka talaga! Hayup ka sa lahat ng hinayupak–!" Natigil ang aming guro sa pagsasalita dahil tinutukan siya nito ng baril.
"You think you could insult me by saying those words?! Huh? Well, for me, that's complement and thank you for that. I admit that, huwag mo na ipamukha sa akin, puta. Marami na rin silang nagsabi niyan sa akin, at alam mo bang... lahat sila namatay." He said. Then a gun shot sound surrounded the whole video as it stopped. Napahagulgol na lamang sina Irene at Russ sa natunghayan.
Nanginginig na kinuha ni Russ ang kaniyang cellphone. He pressed the back button at bumungad sa aming lahat ang conversation nilang dalawa.
Say HI to your new friend on facebook, Machia Velli...
Machia is typing...
Machia: Don't worry kiddos. Your adviser's not yet dead. It's just a cliff hanger. Anyways, want to know how you could rescue your adviser from danger?
Natulala na lamang si Russ at hindi nakapagtype. Ikaw ba naman ka-chat nito, hindi ka matatakot? The scene's like you're having a convo with satan in hell!
Machia is typing...
Machia: I want early reponses! If you'll not response in a minute, prepare the coffin for your beloved adviser.
Russell: Ano ba ang kailangan naming gawin? Bakit mo ba kasi ito ginagawa?
Machia: I won't answer that second question for now, it's too early for you to know why. For your first question, simple. Just follow my instructions.
Russell: And what're those instructions?
Machia: Don't be bored, bby gurl. Here it is.
Machia: Just solve this code, follow the instructions and tadaaa~! You can now rescue your adviser from a great danger.
Russell: What's the code?
Machia: That was the code.
Machia: Joke. That's not it.
Russell: You're not funny. You're not good at jokes neither.
Machia: Ooh. Is that so? Why is that?
Russell: Just send us the code.
Machia Velli sent a picture...
Machia: Bad Luck, kiddos!
And then, the conversation has stopped. Russ didn't responsed to her chatmate. Takot na rin daw siya mag-reply e. Ewan ko nga kung bakit.
Irene commanded Russ to log her account out from facebook immediately. Baka daw kasi ma-hack ni Machia or whatever else ang location namin. But if he's a real villain, he should had tracked down our location habang nagcha-chat pa silang dalawa ni Russ.
However, sinunod din naman ni Russ ang utos ni Irene. Russ even immediately downloaded the picture sent by Machiavelli para daw makita pa namin ang picture mamaya even without internet access.
"Is that even a code?" Baling ni Irene kay Russ habang tinitignan ang code na nasa harap namin. Tch! Kahit ako di ko malaman kung ano yan e. "For my eyes, it's just a series of dots located in an eight-by-eight grid."
"Nga naman Russ. Hindi kasi nakikinig si Irene kay Ms. Fuentebella nung tinuturo niya yan, e." Ani Sof.
"Nahiya ako sa iyo Sof ah." Sagot naman ni Irene. Pinanlisikan pa niya ito ng mata habang pangiti-ngiti lang ang kausap. Tch! Abnormal talaga 'tong si Sof.
"Shut up! I'm concentrating. Look! I'm in a focus right now, right?" And here goes another abnormal, JD.
"Actually... in just one glimpse, nalaman ko na agad kung ano ang code kaya nalaman ko na rin ang cipher na dapat gamitin. Would you mind if I'll tell you–"
"Nah! We can do it." Ani ng nagmamagaling na si JD. Magrereklamo sana ako pero hindi ko na nagawa pa dahil baka mainis pa lalo si JD at ako ang pagtrip-an. At ayokong magkagulo ang grupo namin.
"Okay. Madali lang naman ako kausap."
Hindi na nga ako nagreklamo physically but my mind is complaining inside.
Ugh! Kung hindi na sana nagmagaling pa si JD, e 'di sana ay nakuha na namin ang code, kanina pa. For once, can he not be that stubborn? We are doing it for the sake of our adviser, it's not just a game.
Half an hour has just passed, but all our guesses are wrong, according to our president. Because of that, hindi na kami nag-alangang tanungin si Russ. Time is running so fast, shit! Paano kung may time span pala ang pag-rescue sa adviser namin. Tch!
"It is a binary code." Pagsiwalat ni Russ. What?! It is hell'a binary code? How did that even happen?
"How Russ? There's no even number 1 and 0 there." Asked confused Irene.
"Looking on every row, there's an eight squares, right? Binary code is a series of eight numbers in a row representing a number or a letter. One row represents a letter, right?" Na-amaze kami sa sinabi ni Russ. We also nodded.
"And even if there's no numbers 1 and 0 there, there are filled and empty boxes that represent each one. Filled boxes or those boxes with dots represents one while those empty boxes represents null or zero."
Russ got a whole sheet of paper and starts explaining while writing. "I'm going to make another grid and I will rewrite the representations now."
01000001 - A
01010011 - S
01011001 - Y
01001100 - L
01010101 - U
01001101 - M
00100000 - <space>
00100000 - <space>
Russ then continued to explain the code. "The last two ones are just letter replacers or what we call the - panggulo. Don't mind those. Mind the first six letters. ASYLUM, siguro it's where he put Ms. Fuentebella. Asylums are used not only for horror movies but also useful for kidnapping scenarios rin."
For those who doesn't know asylum, it is the hospital where people who are mentally ill are cared for a long period of time. In short, a mental hospital. Pinasosyal lang na term.
At last, we knew where we gotta go in case we decided to rescue Ms. Fuentebella, but we don't know where exactly it is. Tch! Magbibigay ng clue, hindi pa eksakto.
"Chat him. Ano na ba ang susunod nating gagawin?" I suggested. Dali-dali niyang kinuha ang kaniyang phone at saka niya ichi-nat si Machia or Machiavelli or whatever else.
Russell: We found the answer to the code. What are we gonna do here.
Machia is typing...
Machia: Go there. Easy.
Russell: I know but where is it located exactly?
Machia: ↑⁴, →², ↑¹, ←³
"Arrows as the directions, superscripts are the number of kilometers, I think? I'm not sure about the measure of distance but I think it is kilometers talaga." I suggested.
"Let's track down the directions. Use GPS!" Nagmamadaling utos ni JD na tila ba may lakad na naman. Hay naku! Siguro ginawa din siya nang minamadali. Ugh, Ceah! Dumb idea.
"Wala ka bang phone? Use yours." Pananaray naman ni Irene.
"I will play mamaya. Use Sof's either."
"Gago ka ba? Mag-o-one on one tayo mamaya. Paano ka makakalaro kung ako ang gagawa ng clan? Tsk! Isip namaaaaan JD!"
I rolled my eyes. "Okay! Stop fighting you two. Just use my phone. Ang dali-daling bagay, palalakihin pa, e." I gave my phone to Irene.
Irene started to swipe and click on my phone immediately after I gave it to her. Old version na daw ang GPS kaya instead, we used Waze kahit hindi naman kami nakasakay ng kotse. Pwede naman ata 'yun. Or if hindi, may strategy si Irene para paganahin 'yun. Siya pa ba?
Minutes later, nakuha na ni Irene ang pangalan ng asylum. I'm correct about my guess. It is the ruined Don Emmalioso Mental Hospital. DEMH is said to be haunted, 'yun naman ang palaging iniisip sa abandoned building lalo na ang abandoned hospital, right?
We went quickly to the parking and get into Sof's car, the official SHC Ronda Patrol. Who would believe that the luxury car of Honda Company is the official SHC Car?
Ini-start niya naman ang kaniyang kotse at agad na tumungo sa abandoned building.
We used the shortcut way para madali. Kasi kung 'yung way pa na itinuro ng ka-chat namin kanina ang susundin namin, jusko! Baka ano pang oras namin ma-rescue si Ms. Fuentebella, or worse, baka patay na siya kapag madatnan namin. I hope the latter won't happen.
We are now here in front of the DEMH. The ambience here is scary, 'yung feeling na kaunting kibot lang ang gawin mo, a giant spider or a ghost will startle you. Naku! Huwag naman sana, I'm arachnophobic pa naman.
We opened the front door and came in. As we came in, the door closed... itself, making the inside part of the asylum dark. Ti-nry namin itong buksan pero it's locked. Ugh! This case is creepy.
We all decided to open our flashlight in our phone. In this way, at least ay makakakita kami sa dilim.
"How can we get out here kung locked ang pinto? Sino ba ang huling pumasok? Baka naman, na-lock mo 'yun. Naku! Paano na kung may multo dito?" Reklamo ni Irene.
Sof raised his hand. "Ako ang huling pumasok, but I never noticed that it was locked. Sorry."
"Nah! Blaming won't help. Just think that no one here made the mistake, okay? I'm getting irritated of all your chit-chats." JD said while scratching his head. "Ang, according to Sherlock Holmes, there's no such thing as ghost. There's no even such thing as paranormal. We are all detectives so we shoud trust only in science which can explain anything."
His last statement was short yet so meaningful. May sense rin pala 'tong si JD kahit minsan. Akala ko buong buhay na siyang senseless. Tch! At saka, improving na siya ah. Kung naaalala ko ay nagrereklamo pa siyang ayaw niyang makasali sa club na ito tapos ngayon siya na ang kusang nagsasabi sa kaniya na kaming lahat ay detective.
Russ' messenger app's ringtone surrounded the whole asylum by it's echo. She immediately opened the app at bumungad sa kaniya ang chat ni Machiavelli.
Machia: Go to the second floor. Find the room 218.
We immediately went near the elevator. As we pressed the button, nothing happened. Hyy, abandoned na nga pala 'tong hospital na 'to kaya wala na talagang electrical or maski anong services.
Humanap kami ng alternative sa elevator, and siyempre, ano pa bang alternative doon kundi ang stairs. Masiyadong matagal nga lang at mangalay pero ayos na rin. Para lang sa kapakanan ng adviser namin.
Nasa harap na namin ang room 218. Kung tutuusin nga, e mabait pa 'tong si Machiavelli dahil sinasabi niya na lang kung saan niya itinago si Ms. Fuentebella, e. Minsan nga, napapaisip na lamang ako kung totoo bang villain siya or not. Teka, may sinabi ba siyang nandoon ang adviser namin?
We opened the door and shut it down immediately after we got in. Napanganga nalang ako sa aking nakita. There's a chair, the room's messed up, it's dark. But when I pointed the light of my flashlight to the chair, there was a girl... but it's only a doll.
I also noticed that there's also another door na locked. The door is chained by a chain and the chain was locked by a lock. And that's obviously obvious.
"Pinaglololoko ata tayo nung putanginang Machiavelli na 'yun, e. This is all a crap!" Inis na sambit ni Russ. Maski ako din naman ay nainis sa ginawa nung Machiavelli, hindi ko lang ipinapakita. After all, wala namang magagawa ang inis ko sa rescue operation namin sa adviser namin e.
Russ' messenger app ringtone sounds again. Again, she opened her messenger app and opened their conversation, her conversation with Machiavelli to be exact.
Machia: Got surprised? Oh, so you really think that I will give your adviser back to you this easy?
Russell: Fuck you! What did we do to you?! Why are you doing this to us?!
Machia: Chill, bby gurl. Just wanna make your life miserable. But, nah! Never mind.
Machia is typing...
Machia: Here's what you should do. Do you see that box on the table? There're things there. Those things are connected to the 4-digit password of the lock. There's no other clue. There's no turning back. Bye for now, kiddos.
You can't reply to this conversation anymore...
Magre-reply pa sana si Russ but I think she was blocked by this Machiavelli kasi she can't reply to the conversation anymore na daw kasi.
Binabawi ko na ang sinabi ko kaninang he's different from another villains out there. He is fucking synonymous to them!
Wala na kaming pag-aalinlangang tumungo sa mesa, since 'yun lang naman ang choice namin 'di ba? There was a box as big as a shoe box there, just like what Machiavelli said. Akala ko it was empty but there're things in it.
There are three things inside the box namely; marshmallows, confettis and a rainbow picture printed in a piece of paper. The piece of paper said was glued in the inside base of the box.
Dumiretso naman ako sa door kung saan naka-place ang lock. I tried random combinations pero walang nagtama sa mga ti-nry ko kaya bumalik na lamang ako sa mga ka-grupo kong tina-try i-solve ang combinations ng password.
"Our aim is to find the combinations. But how can we find numbers in three things? Fuck." Natural. Kay JD 'yun na boses.
"My mind is still loading. Wala pang dumadating na idea sa utak ko. Any ideas Sof, Ceah?" Ani Irene, napailing ako.
Sumagot naman si Sof. "Puta. I'm worst at codes. Why did you asked me such thing?" Napangiti na lamang siya sa kaniyang inani. "You Russ, any idea? You're the best in solving codes and combinations right?"
"I admit. But my mind is still catching ideas. I can't catch old scenarios of mine na nagso-solve ng passcode with these kind of things." Inis na sambit naman ni Russ.
Napasulyap ako sa rainbow picture na nasa ilalim ng box. Napaisip ako sa number na connected sa rainbow. I tried the AlphaNumerical cipher pero wala. Paano ko pagkakasiyahin ang pitong numero sa apat na digit?
I glimpsed at the marshmallow. What the fuck is it doing here? The question is same as the question popping in my mind whenever I'm seeing the confetti. I still can't see what's common between these three things.
"I've got an idea." Naliwanagan ang lahat sa amin nang magsalita si Russ. "Sof, dala mo ba 'yung phone mo?"
"Since wala akong dalang papel at ballpen, open your notes app nalang. List down all the letters of the alphabet and their corresponding numbers. Kunwari, A is equivalent to 1, B is equals to 2 and so on."
Immediately after Russ commanded Sof, Sof started typing in his phone.
"You already know it's AlphaNumerical cipher to be used, huh?" Ani JD. Russ just glanced at JD.
"Tapos na. And then?" Sof then talked back after he typed all the letters and its corresponding numbers.
"Chill. I'm gonna explain lang muna sa inyo ang plano ko." Russ then let out a deep sigh. "Since four numbers sila. Find a four-lettered word na connected to those things on the box. Baka sakaling ma-tsambahan natin at makaalis na dito, isama na natin si Ms. Fuentebella."
I started thinking a word. What's the term? Ugh! Soft? Since malambot ang marshmallow at pati na rin ang rainbow, but hindi naman soft ang confetti ah! I'm fucking hungry and I'm fucking tired of thinking many fucking thoughts!
"Wala ba kayong maisip?"
"Soft?" I then tried to suggest the first word that came into my mind.
Sof then started to evaluate the term and when he got the evaluation which is 19-15-6-20, I realized na hindi pala pwede dahil ang digits sa passcode are only single digits. Which means, ang capacity of a lock is from 0 to 9.
"All hail because it's lunch time and I still can't eat, and because of that my brain cell started a teamwork. Sherlock Holmes said that brain works better on empty stomach, right?" Ani JD. He's really a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, bukambibig e. "The picture's a rainbow, right? And what does it represents?"
"Color?" Sof suggested, JD chuckled.
"Fuck off, Sof! Wala namang kuwenta sagot mo, e." Ani JD. "Any other better suggestions?" JD said while emphasizing the word 'better'.
"Pride, I think?" I asked. "But that's five-letter word. I don't think it's the correct answer.'
"Actually, Ceah's right. The answer to my question is pride." Ani JD. Oh, so tama pala ako? "Now, what community is an advocate of pride?"
"LGBTQIA+ Community, I think again?" Sagot ko pa rin.
"Yes. It's the LGBTQIA+ Community, or simply LGBT, and it's really exact because June is the pride month. And the confetti is colorful, thus stating how colorful the life of an LGBT individual is." He said. His statement, for now and for me, should be applauded. May sense na rin siya, sa wakas. At saka, siya 'yung isa sa mga lalaking hindi nanghuhusga ng LGBTQIA+, si Sof lang talaga ang hinuhusgahan niya. "Now, take a look at the word LGBT, it's four letters. Find the corresponding numbers for that letters, Sof." JD commanded, Sof responded.
Sof started to find the four letters' corresponding numbers. He wrote the number combinations in his notepad. The numbers are 12-7-2-20.
"It can't be JD. Your combination is six-numbered. Four lang ang kasiya na passcode ng lock." Ani Irene.
"It can be, Irene. I-add mo 'yung dalawang digit, if dalawa yung digit sa iisang number. If ever na 1-digit na 'yung number, wala ka na paki doon, hayaan mo na siya. Kaya kapag ginawa mo ang sinabi ko, reults will be 3-7-2-2." Russ said.
"Ceah, try my combination." Commander JD told me.
I immediately responded to his command. What's the combination again? Okay, 3-7-2-2.
I held the lock and started to roll the chains of the lock. Inuna ko 'yung pinaka-taas at iniikot ang chain hanggang sa tumama ito sa three. Sinunod ko ang pag-ikot sa second chain ng lock and then stopped it to seven. Same goes as the third chain. And when I rolled the last chain, the lock itself sounded like a 'ting!'
Unbelievable! JD got the correct answer. So it's true that JD has this excellent mind huh? Hindi niya nga lang ginagamit sa kabutihan, minsan. Hayy!
Tinanggal ko ang lock pati na rin ang chain sa pinto. I opened the door and the door started to sound faintly. What greeted us was a place in bare dark. Wala kaming kahit na maaninag dahil sa sobrang dilim. I then decided to open my flashlight in my phone. At least, there was a bit of light that will help us seeing things inside this room.
When I opened my flashlight, I saw no Ms. Fuentebella tied in a chair, crying. "Shit!" JD cussed in dismay. "That Machiabelli is getting onto my nerve! Fuck, fuck, fuck!" Sunod-sunod na mura ni JD.
They also decided to open their flashlight on when my phone got low battery. Masyado na rin kasing gamit 'tong iphone ko, wawa naman.
We started to walk ahead to the inner part of the room. The door closed by itself, as usual. I borrowed Sof's phone. Umikot ako upang tignan ang buong loob ng kuwarto. There was three door connected to three rooms, I think. But where room is our adviser located?
One door is connected to the room at the right side of the room, labeled number 3. The other one is connected to the left side of the room, labeled number 1. While the last one is connected to the room contradicting to the door that we have entered, meaning the door where we came from is at the north side while the last door is at the south side, labeled number 2.
I also noticed a rifle placed in a table at the middle. I don't know what's the purpose of that.
An LED television then suddenly lit up. It was placed at the ceiling. We all were shocked because all we knew is there is no any service here in this abandoned asylum, kasali na ang kuryente pero kung wala, paano napailaw ang TV?
Tch! Machiavelli, can you please tell me kung saan ka nakakuha ng kuryente? I need to charge my phone. Joke! Just wanna reduce the uneasiness of the situation.
A enigmatic, eerie voice started to talk from nowhere. It is also familiar, it seems that I heard it sometime somewhere.
"Hello, SHC!" The voice gave us a creepy laugh after saying those terms. Hindi na nga ako nagkamali, it is no other than Machiavelli.
Nagbago naman ang image sa TV. Before, it was just white image. Now, it is now broadcasting the now asleep Ms. Fuentebella. Iba na ang mukha niya ngayon, masyado na siyang maputla na parang kahit na anong oras nalang ay malalagutan na siya ng hininga.
"Fuck!" Mariing mura ni JD.
"Did you see those doors?" Tanong ni Machiavelli. "One of the rooms connected to a door there is the room where your adviser is located. You only have to guess where door is your teacher located. But! There must be a catch. If you chose the wrong door, your adviser will be automatically killed not by me... but by you. So‚ better plan first your choice before taking the risk."
"Wala bang clue?"
"No other clues. This is to tease your brain in the form of probability." Seryosong ani Machiavelli. "Now, what's your first choice?"
JD then shouted, "Door number 2! The door at the south."
"Hey, JD! Don't just tell random number. Baka anong mangyari kay Ms. Fuentebella!" Pagsasaway ng president namin kay JD. "Ayaw mo ba talagang sagipin si Ms. Fuentebella?"
"Honestly, yes." Sagot ni JD. "But! There is no clue, so we have no basis in choosing."
"Ang tanging basehan natin dito is chamba. Wala namang masamang mag-take ng risk, 'no? Sana lang."
"Si Machiavelli na nga ang nagsabi, no? Baka pwedeng pagplanuhan muna natin ang first move?" Wika naman ni Irene.
"End your chit-chats. I consider door number two as your first choice." Napa-face-palm naman ang ilan sa mga ka-grupo ko. "You, the one who said door number 2, I command you to get that rifle and open the door number 3."
"Why would I follow your instructions?" Pagmamatigas ni JD. Irene gave him a deadly glare. "Okay, okay!"
Kinuha ni JD ang rifle at binuksan ang ikatlong pinto which is the door at the right side. "What am I gonna do here?" Bumulaga sa kaniya ang bare black na environment sa loob ng room.
"Teka, teka! Bakit mo pinabuksan ang pangatlong pinto, e pangalawa ang pinili namin?" Gulong tanong ni Sof.
"That man is supposed to fire a bullet inside the room. If ever your choice is correct, there should be no scream to be heard, right? Kaya ko hindi pinabuksan ang pintong pinili ninyo, kasi if ever na nandoon nga ang adviser ninyo, e 'di mamamatay 'yun kapag binaril ng kagrupo niyo, pulpol! Mag-isip nga kayo!" Inis na sambit ni Machiavelli. Actually, I understood him since then he started talking. "Now, pull the trigger, man!"
"Now, you're commanding me again? How dare you?!" Reklamo ulit ni JD.
"Just pull the trigger!" Galit na ani Machiavelli. JD rolled his eyes and responded to our archenemy's command. A gunshot sound surrounded the whole room. Luckily, there was no screech heard.
"Now, we know that your adviser's not in the room 3, right? I will give you time to plan your next move. Five minutes is enough, I think?"
Inilapag ni JD ang rifle sa mesa at bumalik sa amin. "Any plan, guys?" Tanong ni Russ.
"I have a plan." I said. "This what-you-call game is much of a muchness to a problem called Monty Hall Problem."
"Monty Hall Problem? What is that?" Gulong tanong ni Irene.
"Just like what Machiavelli said, it is a brain teaser in a form of probability test." Sabi ko. "The mechanics is that, since we only have two choices left, Ms. Fuentebella is in one of that choices, right? Based kasi on standard assumptions, if we will switch, we have ⅔ chance of winning his game. But, if we'll stick to our plan and choice, we only have the ⅓ chance of winning. So, I suggest that we should change our choice."
Nakita ko namang napaisip ang mga kasama ko. "If that's your plan, Ceah. We'll support you." Ani Irene.
"Sana lang tama 'yung standard assumption mong 'yan, dahil kapag namatay si Ms. Fuentebella, ikaw ang sisisihin namin at ng pamilya niya at ipapakulong ka nila–" Naputol ang sinasabi ni Sof nang magsalita si Irene.
"Sof!" Mariing ani Irene. Sof just gave her a questioning look. "Shut up! Buti nga si Ceah, may binigay na suggestions, ikaw ba?"
Sof only answered 'okay'. "Actually, Sof's right. Kung sakaling mamatay man si Ms. Fuentebella, ako dapat ang sisisihin. But before that, the group should decide, ano? Stick to the plan o palit?"
Yeah. Ganiyan ako ka-confident sa plano ko. And... may isang salita rin ako. If ever ngang mangyari ang malala, ako talaga ang dapat sisihin. Kung gusto nga nila, ako pa ang sumuko.
"Who want to change?" I asked and raised my hand. All of them raised their hands too, except Sof. "Sof, wala kang magagawa. The group has decided and the majority wants to switch. But, I still respect your decision."
Bigla namang nagsalita si Machiavelli. "Five minutes is done! Now, what's your choice? Stick or change?"
Nangibabaw ang katahimikan bago nagsalita si Russ. "The group has decided. We will change our choice."
"Hmm. Oh no! You now have to prepare the coffin for your beloved teacher." Mapanudyong aniya. "Are you sure of your choice?"
"Sabi na. We should stick to our plan." Nanghihinayang na ani Sof.
"Majority wins, right? Ang lahat maliban sa 'yo ay gustong pumalit." Irene said.
"Bahala nga kayo! Hindi niyo man lang kasi i-consider ang suhestiyon ko!" Ani Sof bago tumahimik na lang.
Russ faced the TV. "Our choice is final. We will change our choice. Our new choice is Door 1. Wala ka nang magagawa doon."
"Okay." Maikling sagot ng aming kausap. "Now, the bespectacled guy will get the rifle and shoot a bullet inside Door 2."
Ako ba ang tinutukoy niyang bespectacled guy? Irene just nodded at me.
Nanginginig na kinuha ko ang rifle at binuksan ang pangalawang pinto. Sinalubong ako ng bare black na environment.
Muling nagsalita si Machiavelli. "Shoot a bullet three times."
I don't know how to use this shit. Kaya nga nanginginig ako habang kinukuha ang baril e. Tapos gusto niya, tatlo pang putok? I swallowed my saliva.
"Shoot the first bullet now." Our archenemy's command. Kinasa ko ang rifle at in-aim ang target, kahit wala naman. Pagkatapos noon, I pulled the trigger, and when the bullet was shot, I was a bit startled. But fortunately, walang tili na narinig. "Now, shoot the second and third bullet at the right and left part of the room."
Kinasa ko ang baril and shot the left part, as well as the third shot on the right side. Ang swerte ko't walang tili ang bumalot sa buong room.
The whole SHC cheered in happiness, we succeed!
"It's sad to say, but you win... this time." Malungkot na ani Machiavelli. "But don't worry! Makikita, maririnig, o maaamoy niyo pa rin ako! But before that, you may now get your teacher in the door of your choice."
And then, the TV closed by itself.
Dali-dali kong binuksan ang Door 1. Irene opened her flashlight app in her phone. When the light surrounded the whole room, we now saw Ms. Fuentebella, asleep and now pale, tied on her chair.
We immediately untied the chains na nasa paa niya. Binitbit ni Sof at JD ang ngayo'y walang-malay na si Ms. Fuentebella. Binuksan namin ang mga pintong dinaanan namin na kanina ay locked. Luckily, that archenemy of us is considerate enough.
Ipinasok namin sa kotse si Ms. Fuentebella. Dahil wala nang space sa kotse. Pinauna na namin ni Irene ang mga kasama namin sa ospital. Napagkasunduan din namin na magco-commute nalang kami ni Irene patungong hospital.
Ugh! The day was filled with a mysterious events and a new mysterious guy who wants us dead. Pero buti nalang at naharap namin siya ngayon ng buong kusa at walang takot.
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