Ghost

Ghost

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Early Adopters E03 - Consequences
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Early Adopters E03 - Consequences

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

Continued from previous episode s01e02: Amir hacked into the school portal and found the key answers to the upcoming tests. He anonymously announced his discovery and used it to earn money for a gadget he was building. But Amir is in for a big surprise.

“$100 for the aluminum, $25 for the wiring…”

Amir paused a bit from walking as he tried to recall where he had spent the money. It had been a week since he started his ‘business.’

“I should have roughly $700 to work on other projects. Cool.”

He took out a small black box and carefully lifted the cover. He then took out a shiny metal piece from it.

“And you… You shall be called Spiderec. Too bad you can’t shoot webs,” he whispered to himself and chuckled as he looked at it for a few seconds before putting it back into the small black box.

As soon as he entered the school building, the school’s announcement drones went past him. All were headed towards their respective pods placed on various locations in the school.

“Sorry! Coming through!” one of the drones announced in its robotic voice as it slowed down in its flight before speeding up again.

“What the hell?!? Why are the drones in such a hurry to get to the stations?” said one student while barely dodging a drone.

“Something sick might just have happened! Let’s go and check it out!” exclaimed another student as the rest of his classmates scattered on the school grounds and ran to watch the video on the screens of the drone pods.

As soon as the drones sat in their pods, all the students went silent and waited. Amir continued to walk at his own pace, looking at each screen he passed by and then stopped at the pod closest to his classroom.

A few seconds later, the screen flashed the school logo, a woman with a weighing scale and an eagle perched on her shoulder. After the logo faded, the school principal apperead on the screen.

“This is a very important announcement. We hope that this will not be a cause of panic because investigations have been conducted and we now have major updates.”

Everyone remained motionless, still wondering what was the announcement about.

The principal paused and scanned through sheets of paper. He raised his head and looked sternly at the camera, then continued to speak: “the school network has been hacked and test answers have been leaked. The IT department has now found evidences pointing to the culprit. This person will be dealt with accordingly.”

Everyone was holding their breaths, looking at each other and waiting to hear a name. But Amir shrugged it off and was about to enter the room when then principal said, “we would like to announce the three-week suspension of Jasmin Collins effective immediately. In addition to this, she will immediately be marked zero across all examinations and will not be allowed to do a retake.”

“We are requesting that Jasmin Collins reports to my office immediately. That will be all. Please go back to your respective classrooms.”

The drones went in auto hibernation mode. Everyone remained silent, shocked at the principal’s announcement.

Than suddenly Jasmin yelled in shock “Why me? What did I do?”. Two of her friends came over to console her as all the students turned towards her and began to comment the event.

“Jasmin is a top student. Why would she have done it?”

“Don’t you think that’s the reason why she has been maintaining her spot in the ranking? I feel so cheated.”

“What a shame.”

Amir clenched his fist at what he had heard. He wanted to walk away from the place but his feet felt heavy. He stood frozen in front of the pod as the crowd dispersed.

“I know she is a bit of a weirdo, but this doesn’t look like something she would do” continued another student while walking away from the scene.

Amir started to feel sick. He rubbed his temple as he tried to take in the events that had just happened: “What have I done?”

Early Adopters E02 — Money Maker
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Early Adopters E02 — Money Maker

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

***

Continued from previous episode s01e01: Amir is an aloof but very smart student with uncommon hacking skills. During one of his classes, Amir decides to test his skills by breaching his school network when he stumbles upon something unexpected…

The portal contained hundreds of folders and files, but his attention was immediately caught by one folder named ‘test answers.’

“Did I just enter a forbidden dungeon?” he said to himself as he smirked.

“So much for security, huh?”, he whispered to himself once again. He flipped the laptop’s monitor half-closed and leaned back. He shut his eyes to rest for a while when he heard his classmates talking.

“Dang, exams are coming in a week. My dad’s keeping a close watch on me to make sure I’m studying.”

“My mom locked up my PS4 in her room. I can’t get it back!”

“I’m having a hard time with Math. I suck at Math!”

“My Geography could be worse than your Math. Why do we even have to study it when most of us will live in one country all our lives anyway? Geez.”

As soon as his classmates walked away, he opened his eyes.

“School really is like a walk in the park. A Jurassic park,” he laughed at his own joke.

Amir stretched his arms upward and yawned. He turned to a group of classmates to his right who were talking amongst themselves.

“Man, school is so stressful. We pay a lot of money here for books and uniforms only to make our lives miserable.”

“Why don’t we pay for the answers to the examinations as well so we can all get out of this prison?”

The boys laughed like the jokes they shared were impossible things. But to Amir’s ears, they sounded like the switch to his light bulb. He was struck with an idea.

“Well, I need some wiring and aluminum sheets for that thing,” Amir murmured. “Should I try to open up a small business? A capital-free one, that is. Amir-tastic Key Answers Shop doesn’t sound that bad.”

Amir raised his glasses as they were slipping down the bridge of his nose, and reached into his pocket to get his phone. He scrolled through a few names then began to type. The email addresses of his classmates he extracted from the school portal last week finally found a purpose. He sent out an email using his anonymous email address. He leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes again.

In less than a minute, all of his classmates’ phones started to ring and vibrate. The students suddenly stopped chatting and the room became filled with the beeping sound of notifications. Amir pretended to take out his phone and have a look , but he was only staring at a locked phone. He patiently waited for his classmates’ reaction.

“Woah!” Christa, one of Amir’s classmates who sat two seats away from him exclaimed in shock and covered her mouth with her hand immediately. She briskly walked towards her best friend, Kim, gesturing with her hand to keep her silence as she showed her phone to her. Kim’s eyes widened as she took the phone from Christa.

“Hey, did you get an email?” Bryan whispered to Amir while sitting on a chair in front of him.

“What email?” asked Amir, faking a surprised expression.

“Oh..uh, nothing. Just some promotional email but it’s probably some scam.” Bryan immediately stood up and walked towards his friend, Billy, who had just arrived. He immediately showed the message to Billy who snatched his phone and started to drag him out of the classroom.

“So easy to read through,” Amir whispered as he watched Bryan and Billy walk away in a hurry.

A few seconds later, Amir could feel his phone vibrate. The corner of his lips raised every time he glanced at his phone. He checked the sent items of his webmail and read the email he had sent out. He had just given out a very tempting offer.

“You can have all the test answers at a very affordable price.”

Suddenly the teacher came in the class and forced everyone to put away their phones and go back to their seats. Amir gave his phone one last glance, locked it and then waited for classes to end.

At home, Amir began to respond to his email inquiries. Meanwhile, he received a bunch of notifications on his phone regarding payment transactions ranging from $25 to $100. He verified payments and started sending out the test answers.

“No one told me owning a small business would be this easy. It won’t pay my tuition fee, but it will sure help me create my new gadget.”

That night, before falling asleep, Amir thought of all the money he would be making the following days and what he would be doing with it.

Previous: s01e01

Early Adopters E01 — A Test of Skill
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members

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.