Chapter 0:

Inception of Karma

who I am is not who I want to be

In the year 2021, Zack Erwin's life took an ominous turn as cryptic messages echoed through his mind like the ominous tolling of a bell. These enigmatic words would set the stage for a tumultuous journey, shrouded in suspense, thrills, and the unquenchable thirst for answers."I am Karma. Everyone has got what everyone deserves. I don't have a reason to exist here now.""Don't come searching for me when I go missing."These haunting phrases seemed to emerge from the shadows of the digital realm, casting an unsettling pall over Zack's world. Their meaning remained elusive, their origins obscure, yet their implications were profound.As the weight of these messages bore down on his psyche, Zack found himself ensnared in a nightmarish predicament. His body seemed to defy gravity as it crashed through a glass wall, a macabre dance of chaos and fate sending him hurtling down three stories. Fear coursed through his veins as he descended towards what appeared to be certain death, until he collided with a lifeless body, the impact cushioned by a pool of crimson.The approaching wail of police sirens cut through the night, serving as an eerie soundtrack to Zack's surreal ordeal. He teetered on the precipice of consciousness, his destiny hanging in precarious balance.Yet, miraculously, Zack had not met his demise, saved by the grim fortune of landing on another fallen soul. His body, however, bore the marks of his plunge, a testament to the sheer brutality of his ordeal.In the hazy liminality of unconsciousness, a mysterious nurse, her demeanor cloaked in enigma, made a fleeting appearance. Armed with a marker, she etched an inscrutable message onto Zack's right hand—a message that would haunt him in the days to come.Two days later, Zack awakened, his senses still mired in the fog of his recent trauma. The events leading up to his fall remained fragmented, disjointed memories that made little sense. Beside him, a nurse hovered, her silent presence a witness to Zack's return to the realm of the conscious. With trembling hands, Zack seized her, urgency in his eyes as he sought answers regarding the fate of the girl he had attempted to save."Where is she? Is she okay?" his voice trembled with desperation.The nurse, gripped by terror, struggled to find words. Her panic summoned a police officer to the scene.The arrival of the officer marked the beginning of a relentless inquiry, his voice dripping with anger as he demanded to know Zack's identity. Yet, Zack's focus remained unwavering as he stared at the cryptic message etched onto his palm."Forgive me for being who I am.""Who I am is not who I want to be."The officer's fury escalated, but Zack's mind remained consumed by the perplexing words inscribed on his hand."I'm just a victim," Zack finally murmured, his voice heavy with exhaustion.The officer's relentless accusation cut through the air like a sharpened blade. Zack, accused of murder, felt the room constrict around him. Beads of sweat formed on his brow as he explained that the act had been an unintended consequence of his desperate attempt to rescue the girl from a gunman.However, the officer's response shattered Zack's hopes. There was no evidence of the girl's existence or the firearm Zack had mentioned.Undeterred, Zack offered to show a photo of the girl on his phone, a glimmer of hope in his eyes. As the officer examined the image, disbelief painted across his face."This is no joke," he declared. "You are showing me a picture of a girl who has been missing for years—Akane Toru, missing for five years."The officer produced an old newspaper, recounting a grim tale of Akane's disappearance and a murder attributed to her father, the Minister of Finance.Before Zack could fully grasp the magnitude of these revelations, he erupted into a frenzied outburst, desperately seeking answers, proclaiming Akane's innocence, and invoking a mysterious force—Karma.In a swift motion, the officer silenced Zack, dragging him to a cold, dark cell, where he would await the reckoning for his unintended crime.

Seven years later, Zack found himself imprisoned, haunted by rumors of Akane's alleged crimes. He clung to a sliver of hope, tormented by unanswered questions and the enigmatic hacker known as Karma. With a pen in hand, Zack chronicled his descent into the world of hacking, manipulation, and the pursuit of freedom from an identity he no longer recognized. It was a journey into the labyrinthine depths of the human psyche, where emotions could be weaponized, and the quest for self-discovery would lead him down a treacherous path, forever entangled with Karma's enigmatic web.test the boundaries of reality itself.