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Early Adopters E01 — A Test of Skill
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Early Adopters E01 — A Test of Skill

Ghost
Ghost
Early Adopters is a saga that takes the reader to the journey through a high-tech foreseeable future with Amir and Jasmin, 2 friends with very different personalities.

Written by Marc Gamet (the partner and Chief Product Officer of Slash) & Mianne Cudal; Story-telling Consultant: Robin Narciso; Drawing by Faisal Arief

***

Amir entered the classroom with not much interest as usual. He kept the usual poker face and the side glances as he made his way to his seat in the last row closest to the window. He then sat and reached for his laptop.

He liked looking out the window whenever he started to feel bored in class. He liked to try to guess people’s IQ level based on their looks.

“If only I could make an AI that could rate these people, that would be so cool,” he thought to himself.

His friend, Jasmin, stepped into the room, sighed and rolled her eyes at the sight of Amir.

“Lame as ever,” she said to herself, and walked towards the seat in front of Amir.

“Other than computers, what kept you busy for two days?” Jasmin asked.

“Nothing,” Amir answered with a snort.

Jasmin rolled her eyes again at the response. She jokingly hit him in the shoulder before taking a seat and turned to him once again after putting her bag away.

“Wished I had your life and wouldn’t have to go to take programming classes.”

“Why are you complaining now? You wanted to go for programming anyway,” Amir responded as he shrugged off the shoulder she just hit.

“Yeah, because a certain someone I know wouldn’t teach me about it,” she replied with a mocking tone.

“I’m not an expert. I’m just… good at web stuff,” he answered while pushing his glasses up. “You know, for extra cash,” he glanced at her face waiting for her reaction.

“Oh really?” Jasmin raised a brow and gave Amir a smirk, then left to greet a few friends.

Amir watched her walk away for a few good seconds before turning his face away to the window again.

Just then, he saw his old computer teacher, Mr. Lee, enter the school gates.

Amir’s eyes lit up. He always looked up to people who were experts in computers and Mr. Lee was not an exception. He was his computer teacher since fifth grade. He wouldn’t give too much of his attention to his other subjects, but he had always listened well to Mr. Lee. He was the reason why Amir started to learn coding by himself since sixth grade and began to create small programs. Mr. Lee found out about it and began to mentor him. Those were very good days. But it had been a while since they had last talked. He could barely remember why. Although, they had given each other nods whenever they had met in the hallways. Their interactions did not last more than a minute after he became a senior.

Amir’s nostalgia was cut short when classmates bumped into him while they were horsing around.

“Oh, well, what a waste,” Amir said softly as he turned his attention back to his surroundings.

He realised everyone was talking about what they had done during the weekends. Amidst the noise of the classroom, Amir shifted his attention back to his laptop.

“So, what game are we going to play today?” Amir said to himself as he started to mess around with the school portal. One by one, subject links that were restricted to teachers only started to pop out.

“Geometry, Greek History, Spanish. Could these be new lectures?” Amir read the list in his mind. He was curious, excited and thrilled thinking about what could be inside. “I think I would love some advanced reading.”

“How about we go for Geometry today?”

“That’s an amazing choice, sir,” Amir said to himself, changing his tone of voice.

He looked behind him to make sure no one was there, then glanced at his smart watch.

“Can you do it in 15 minutes, sir?”

He raised his glasses up, “Absolutely.”

Amir indulged in his little world. All he could hear were the clicking sound on the keyboard, the ticking of the clock that hanged above the whiteboard. Then, he paused for a while.

He glanced at Sam who was five seats away from him, bragging to his friends about a girl from the classroom next door. He was telling them how she blushed when he asked her out. Amir thought about the time last year when he hacked into Sam’s phone in less than 5 minutes and thought it was funny how Sam never found out it was him who deleted the stash of porn on his phone.

“What an ignorant pervert,” Amir whispered to himself and returned to coding.

He went back to tapping a few more keys on the computer and stretched his arms upward as he felt a bit of strain in his lower back. A login request popped up on his screen. Amir sighed and clicked his tongue in frustration. He glanced at his smart watch. “6 minutes,” then he straightened himself up and went back to coding.

“10 minutes,” he said in his mind as he continued to code. He decided that if he failed, he would let it go.

He typed a few keys on his laptop and pressed enter. He sat back and closed his eyes for a bit. His smart watch vibrated at the 15-minute mark. When he opened his eyes, the page had loaded, and the restricted portal was unlocked. He had been at it for days and he had finally made it. It was another milestone for him to breach a well-protected school network.

He navigated through it using his laptop’s touchpad and was left amazed like he had just unlocked a new mission in a game he had been playing for days. It was filled with tons of folders and files. It was too significant to ignore.