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Freedom

Written by Virulent_Virus

 

Part one: The plan


Freedom. I had that once. Just ordinary, boring freedom…. no had something more. Much, much more.

The Oxford Popular Dictionary defines Freedom as:


"Freedom n. being free; independence; frankness;
Unrestricted use; honorary citizenship"

However, I am no longer so. 5 Years ago, I worked for the legendary Uplink Corporation.
A hacker framed me. Ever since, I have been working hard on a plan to escape the island prison on which I am currently planning on executing tomorrow night, when the hacker I managed to hire with years of credits. Gained the hard way: No Laptop gets onto or off this island without blowing up and killing whoever carries it. An ingenious security system utilizing Magnetic Resonance plus Hard drive access and reading technology that can gain remote entry to your hard drive even if it is totally Stand-Alone. He will cause havoc here, and turn the turrets on all the guards.
In the confusion, all I have to do is slip out through an underground pipe; the only exit with no security whatsoever. Except for one solitary guard. Who will, of course, be dead; I have only a few minutes though, before I lose consciousness and die. One shot. One chance. One opportunity. For freedom

***********
The next day
***********

9:00 am. My last breakfast in this hellhole prison. I look over at the guard pacing up and down the mess hall. Little does he know what awaits him at precisely midnight tonight. As I walk down the hall, I snigger at the maintenance guy in his blackened overalls fixing the Automated Turret.

Stupid fool. Might as well walk off a cliff.

After I get out; I will track down and kill whoever got me. I will find them

 


Part 2: Escape


23;00: One hour to go.
I begin to pack what I can carry of my personal possessions into a small rucksack. I can get the rest on the way out, so I don't worry.
Half an hour to go now, and all but a few guards are sound asleep in their barracks. Should make life easier for me so all the better. I pop a few wake up pills and wait…

The minutes tick by on my digital watch. Slowly, the numbers change. Slow as hell. 11: 59. One minute. I put the rucksack on my back. And wait….


Beep… Beep … Beep… Beep… Beeeeeeeeep

The alarm. It rings in my ears like a church bell amplified a thousand times over and sent through Dolby Digital speakers on full blast…

I make a run for the cell door. It opens. As I run through the doors and endless corridors, I see all the turrets begin to jump into life and train their sights on the guards. Screams all around me, I keep running for the hatch leading to the pipe. The corridor seems to almost stretch endlessly in front of my eyes, and fatigue begins to set in. After what seems like an eternity, the hatch appears in the middle of the floor.

I dart down It like an over- charged Energizer Bunny and sprint along holding my breath. My lungs screaming for air, I leap out of the ventilation shaft and into the sea. I drag myself onto a passing cargo boat and lay down to rest. I silently thanks the hacker for his courage. Had he been caught, he would have been the one imprisoned and executed, not me.

 

Part 3: Meeting My Mentor


********
3 Days Later,
********


As the boat docks, I go to the hacker who saved me. I start walking to 21st street and the apartments there.

As I walk along it seems to change in a matter of seconds. The pathway slowly vanishes before my eyes and turns into a derelict street, seemingly neglected for many years.
Cans trodden on. To my left, a field full of tangled, tall, amiable weeds. To my right, a large apartment block. I head towards it.

As I buzz the Intercom for Room 8, a croaky voice answers.


"Yes?"
"It's Me"
"Hang on while I buzz you in…."

I walk through the old, graffiti-laden door and down a long corridor. The carpet covering the floor is the most horrible mix of red and brown you ever saw. A rat crawls from a small hole in the wall, and disappears into another. Faded and peeling peach wallpaper covers the old, crumbling walls. Room 8. I knock 3 times. Latches and locks are opened, and I am allowed to enter.
What greets me is a shock. An old friend from my High-School days is stood before me. Of course I didn't realise, hackers never use their real names when orchestrating a 'business' deal.
He has changed. He is wearing thin-rimmed black sunglasses and a long leather overcoat with black leather boots. Kind of like Morpeus' outfit from The Matrix. Much different to the old plain school uniform we had to wear. I guess there was more behind that shy and secretive face than I ever knew back then.

After about an hour of catch up; we discover to our surprise that we are - or should I say, where Agents of Uplink Corporation. He shows me round his apartment. It is surprisingly tidy, for a Hacker. Most are always a mess. It is a wonder how he finds the time to do it all: His apartment is the biggest in the building.


"This is what you've been waiting for"

He walks over to a bookshelf and takes out War and Peace. He opens it and pushes a switch inside the cutout shell.

From the other sidewall, a hatch opens, and a platform slides out. A laptop computer opens out and switches on. He walks over.


Welcome To Access Terminal

Username:>
Password:>


Ø exit -c


The screen goes blank. A few seconds later, a command prompt appears.


:> open Verify.exe

A touch screen appears out of the hatch. He presses his finger against it.

:> Data received. Verifying….
:>System Access Granted….

Everything closes up. Hydraulics whirr, and the bookshelf slides out of position with a blast of steam. A previously unseen, huge room filled with neon lights fills my sight. Huge holes in the floor open up, and several top-notch computers rise into position, along with many flat plasma-screen monitors lowering into position above the computers. The room is almost full now, apart from a single swivelling chair in the centre of the room.

"This is my hole. Cool, no?"

I stand in awe, silent as the darkest night.
The hacker takes me for a tour around his computer system. The best I have ever seen. It has everything. So many linked processors you could defrag all the computers at once and still use them all with not a bit of slowdown. Same with the entire roomful of linked ghost modems. Technical wizardry at its finest. Plus about 3 screens worth of fileservers and all the memory on the computers, plus software from the world over. Wow. Just Wow.
After a good meal, a fresh outfit matching his, and a few bank hacks; I left thanking him with about a million credits in my accounts all over the world. I could tell he would be a lasting ally throughout my quest to find the guy who destroyed my life.

 

Part 4: Backlog


Feeling awake and refreshed; I head out of the apartments and down towards Uplink corporations offices in the area. As I get closer, I can make out a huge skyscraper in the distance: the Uplink office where I used to work.
When I finally arrive, I walk through the security checkpoint only to be ambushed by security guards in black suits with sharp ties and sunglasses that you could do your hair in should you be close enough. They handcuffed me and took me into a large room with a mirror covering one wall. The security guards moved into another room on the other side.

"if you are who you say you are, then you can do this"

"What the hell are you on about?" I said.

"It's a simple test. That's all. However, should you fail, you will be killed"

"No! What're you-"

I was cut off by the sound of hydraulics' going off. It was deafening.

A computer rose from a hatch in the floor. It switched on and booted up.


Zaibatsu 12000 Series Personal Computer
Serial no: 145-00129-561-592699#

Checking System Integrity….
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Chipset Goruna Pro-Logic 251 System (OK)
Cloaked STeALTH Chip System (ACTIVE)
Broadband InterLink System (OK)
System OS (XP v234.8)
OS Status (RUNNING)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

"Great", I thought. An opportunity to dust off my skills. How Wrong I Was
What I was presented with was sheer horror.

All those years in prison, I had forgotten one, very important thing: Times change.

I frantically began looking around the file system for anything that would help me.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
It was hopeless. I felt like crying. I shut it down, and it went back into the floor. I went onto it in a heap. The guards who had been watching me walked over and put a gun to my head.
I closed my eyes.
The gun going off was the last thing I heard. Or so I thought. I heard a dull thud. I looked up cautiously, and standing over me was my friend.


'Where the hell have you been?'

'No time for that now, we gotta get out o' here. Get his suit.'

We left the room and building and went back to his house. It was going to be a long night.

 

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