Chapter 22:

Phase 4: Keep the bond strong

who I am is not who I want to be

11:42 A.M. Bookmark here

Her nose was bleeding. It kept bleeding, and it was not stopping, and the disgustingly metallic taste of blood filled her mouth as the blood kept gushing. It kept going even as she held tissues to it, it kept going even as she shoves ice against the bridge of her nose. It did not stop bleeding. She went back to her bedroom and lay on it. Bookmark here

11:56 A.M.Bookmark here

I rang the doorbell. She checked the clock and noticed it’s way too early for someone to be visiting. She crawled out of the warm bed and shuffle across the house to the front door. Upon opening the door, she found me on the doorstep. Bookmark here

I could see the cuts and scrapes on her face and arms. The cuts and scrapes were looking swollen and red. The wounds were fresh and her hair was messed up.Bookmark here

Her Eyelids closed involuntarily, her shirt collar stank of saliva from drooling in the sleep and her Tired eyes stared at me in front of them; Those tired eyes were lost.Bookmark here

I was shocked to see her.Bookmark here

"Shouldn’t I take you to the hospital? I said to her."Bookmark here

I really should’ve taken her to the hospital, shouldn’t I?Bookmark here

"HOW!!"Bookmark here

"How did it happen to you?" With a great shock, I said to her.Bookmark here

Karma:Bookmark here

Don't worry!!Bookmark here

"it's not a big deal."Bookmark here

She said this with great carelessness.Bookmark here

"Look at you!! I said with concern for her wounds.Bookmark here

Your face is filled with cuts and scrapes.Bookmark here

Why did you not call me to help you?Bookmark here

What happened??"Bookmark here

(A silent pause)Bookmark here

Karma: I'll let you know but Can you please help me in treating my wounds first??Bookmark here

Can you?Bookmark here

I should have treated her wounds on my own without her asking me to do it. I pulled her closer to me and said:Bookmark here

"I can."Bookmark here

I took the kit from the drawer and started to treat her wound.Bookmark here

Her wounds were a complete shock for me.Bookmark here

Who could have predicted it?Bookmark here

I could not get over that; she was completely fine by yesterday.Bookmark here

I was just stunned by seeing those wounds.Bookmark here

Words can’t describe how I felt.Bookmark here

There was no way it wouldn't have happened if I was there to protect her.Bookmark here

This was the worst thing that could have happened. It was because of me if I have stayed with her that night it wouldn't have happened.Bookmark here

Without any further delay. I cleaned her cuts and scrapes. Disinfected, and covered them with a bandage.Bookmark here

But asking me for help to treat her wounds but not being willing to go to the hospital was a strange thing.Bookmark here

I kept on asking her again and again.Bookmark here

"Why are you not telling me?Bookmark here

Who did this to you?Bookmark here

Tell me right now!!"Bookmark here

She said with a tiresome voice.Bookmark here

"I don’t want you to see me differently. I guess I don’t want you to know the truth about me, even though I know you wouldn’t overreact or act as if I am a bad person. We’re close enough- but I don't want you to leave me, that’s it."Bookmark here

Karma!!Bookmark here

I am the one who cannot live without you. You are my most dear friend and I will never leave you; I said to her.Bookmark here

It doesn’t stop me from worrying, though. It doesn’t stop me from worrying about you. Our strange way of coexisting doesn’t stop me from worrying about you when I am not around you.Bookmark here

“Here, drink,” I said, handing her the water and watching her take the pills. She then sipped the water as if it’s cough syrup, looking disgusted with its coolness against her tongue. Bookmark here

“It’s nothing,”Bookmark here

“It’ was S...Bookmark here

SA...HO!!!Bookmark here

who tried to attack me last night while I went for a walk,”Bookmark here

“Why did-” I interrupted her, “-you?”Bookmark here

“went outside alone, at night”Bookmark here

“Didn't I told you to take care of yourself?Bookmark here

Does he know you live here??”Bookmark here

I totally panicked as I watched as she drank the water. Bookmark here

Her mouth went dry as exhaustion hit her with full force, stopping any words she wanted to say with an overwhelming wave of tiredness.Bookmark here

I look at her again, a hint of sobriety peeking through drunken eyes, and speak again, a little more clearly.Bookmark here

“Ya sure, you're oh-Kaye?”Bookmark here

She whispered Bookmark here

“No. ”Bookmark here

I said to her.Bookmark here

“You should rest we can talk once you, ll wake up but I'll stay here with you until you wake up. I want to make sure that you are safe.”Bookmark here

Sometimes I thought that I was fine, but then I remembered that she was not fine nor was she safe anymore… I started waking up in cold sweats. Don’t let Saho harm her, I told myself if She is gone you will lose your wealth. He is rich and famous I cannot do anything against him without any proof, so I will create such proof that will make him pay for his deeds. I still remember the day when She lied to me to avenge Saho. I can still feel my face fall and hear my heartbreak. I wanted to hate her for leaving me after taking avenge on Saho, but I wanted to hate myself even more, But I couldn’t make myself hate her, especially not the person who once brought me so much happiness.Bookmark here

There were many thoughts I experienced as she got those injuries because of Saho. Bookmark here

I wanted to become rich and compete with Saho. I wanted to keep her safe and go to sleep without the stress of Karma's safety and happiness. Every day I saw Saho but I could not do anything against him. Hatred for him reached its peak and I wanted to burn him alive. I did not have any proof.Bookmark here

There were so many reasons that I would love to be rich. Bookmark here

Maybe someday I will be able to become the reason for Karma's safety.Bookmark here

Hatred was continuously acting like a fule in me.Bookmark here

It was a consuming emotion that left me with barely any energy left for anything else.Bookmark here

The day I realized that I am not rich enough to fight against him I started to wish for becoming rich. I started to love money just like Karma maybe I could even agree to become a black hat hacker to steal money and become rich. Every time Karma urged for money, I remembered that and I started to realize why it's so important to be rich. Money is wealth, I realized.Bookmark here

Holding on to anger was like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.Bookmark here

I was continuously hating him but I wasn't able to do anything against Saho. I had a constant fear of Saho taking Karma's life.Bookmark here

This hatred was like wildfire. Every day I saw Saho pretending that he is the best man alive. I started to keep an eye on him for the next 2 months I did eavesdropping on Saho. I told Karma that I will kill him but Karma stopped me and made me promise not to take a single step against him without her will.Bookmark here

While keeping an eye on Saho I was able to find something suspicious about him. Saho was about to get married in January 2021 and he was still having photos of Akane that were probably suspicious.Bookmark here

Was he in love with her?Bookmark here

Was he trying to plot against her?Bookmark here

Whatever!! he was a hurdle in my way.Bookmark here

Karma knew she could use me to create an inside attack that can defame Saho. She pretended that she will face Saho face to face and try to talk to him. I didn't agree with that. It was a foolish act to appear in front of a predator. Bookmark here

For me Saho was prdator and Akane was prey. I was considering I can change these roles and I can turn Saho into prey and I decided to become the predator. Bookmark here

I asked Akane for some other way that she could get rid of Saho. She introduced the idea of making Saho an inside Attacker in front of the world and ruin his reputation. Obviously, Saho could also go to jail once he was successfully defamed.Bookmark here

I spied on Saho, He had access to the company’s cloud infrastructure. I told Akane that he has access to it. Akane was planning to deployed malicious code that could delete 700 virtual machines. That could result, approximately 16,000 users losing access to their accounts.Bookmark here

She calculated the consequences of this situation. The organization will have to spend approximately $1.7 million in employee time to audit its infrastructure and fix the damage. The organization will also have to pay a total of $1 million in restitution to affected users. She wanted to show the world that Saho has used his knowledge of Cyber detective's security mechanisms and abused their weaknesses to gain access to cloud infrastructure and deployed his code.Bookmark here

(NOTE: An insider threat is a category of risk posed by those who have access to an organization's physical or digital assets. These insiders can be current employees, former employees, contractors, vendors, or business partners who all have -- or had -- legitimate access to an organization's network and computer systems. An insider attack is launched by an internal user who may be authorized to use the system that is attacked. An insider attack may be intentional or accidental. Insider attackers range from poorly trained administrators who make mistakes, to malicious individuals who intentionally compromise the security of systems)Bookmark here

The year 2021Bookmark here

The wet, desolate streets of the city rested in silence as the starry black sky wept over it. The water in the portholes shimmered by the glow of the bright, yellow street lamps. The small, green trees on the roadside swayed as the strong breeze hit them. Bookmark here

At the stroke of Midnight, I sneaked into the organization. No one was around I was sure of it. It was like pin-drop silence. I managed to steal the keys from Saho just by bumping into him while he was drunk in the evening and entered the office which Saho had access to and deployed the malicious code. Bookmark here

After making sure the code is causing the damage; I was ready to leave. Bookmark here

I packed my stuff and went outside the office and locked the door.Bookmark here

As I locked the door and turned around I was too stunned to move. Bookmark here

How was it possible?Bookmark here

Why was he there?Bookmark here

I saw him standing behind me. Bookmark here

It couldn't be a consequence. He had a gun in his hands. I was so sure that I am about to die. I imagined my death in a fraction of a second. I felt like the gun is about to go off, but I did not even feel it, the whole world around me just seemed to freeze, even time stopped. And then I looked at the Saho again and realized he hasn't pulled the trigger yet, he was not holding that gun for me, but for someone else. My heart was racing with fear. Bookmark here

WAIT!!Bookmark here

WHAT?Bookmark here

WHY?Bookmark here

Why has he turned around and running toward the corridor?Bookmark here

Is he not gonna kill me?Bookmark here

I went behind him to see and Bookmark here

DAMN!!Bookmark here

WHY??Bookmark here

KARMA!!Bookmark here

She was in the corridor and Saho was running toward her pointing that gun toward her. As soon She noticed Saho; she ran toward the stairs that were leading to the rooftop. Before she reached the rooftop Saho was able to grab her arm. He pulled her closer and tried to Strangled her. Saho gripped Akane's skinny neck with his fingers, squeezing tightly. She was spinning her head as she tried gasping to get air.Bookmark here

His palms were pressing against her throat; she could feel her esophagus closing. I ran faster and reached them; I gave Saho a jerk and he left Akane to tackle with me before tackling with Akane. I smacked Saho's head in a wall and his gun fell on the stairs; it was dark. Akane reached the rooftop and locked the door of the roof so Saho can't get there. There was a small room made of glass on the rooftop. She tried to hide in that glass room. It seemed like the clouds had gotten a sudden fascination with the moon and wrapped themselves around it. The moon's faint glow passed through them, coloring them white from grey. Bookmark here

Stray dogs were barking. Saho was so desperate to kill her; he pushed me on the stairs and I fall from the stairs but did not get injured. He grabbed his gun again and started running toward the door of the rooftop. He had another key to unlock the door. Bookmark here

He reached the rooftop and just like a predator started to search for his prey. There was no other place to hide on the rooftop. He looked in the glass room and found her without any dealy he was just about to pull the trigger of the gun. Bookmark here

The glass wall was broken and cracked from one side; it was clear in the moonlight. I did not know what I was supposed to do. My heart was beating faster I did not have any weapon and the first thing that came to my mind was to give him another jerk. I did it so fastly without calculating any consequence of my action, I pushed him by putting my all weight on him and our weight hit the glass wall which was cracked, the gun fell from his hands and Akane picked it.Bookmark here

I could feel that we are just about to die. It happened with the speed of light we fell from the rooftop. Saho and I fell.Bookmark here

I was able to hear Akane's scream as Saho and I fell. Bookmark here

A weird Echo:Bookmark here

" I am karma. Everyone has got what everyone deserves. I don't have a reason to exist here now. "Bookmark here

" Don't come searching for me when I go missing. "Bookmark here

" I am karma. Everyone has got what everyone deserves. I don't have a reason to exist here now. "Bookmark here

" Don't come searching for me when I go missing. "Bookmark here

" Don't come searching for me when I go missing. "Bookmark here

This was the echo in my head before I fainted.Bookmark here

I felt as if my body hit the glass wall, and for a moment it seemed that my body is going to defy gravity. I felt the glass wall shattered under the impact of my body, and I felt myself falling three stories straight down. I could hear my own hoarse cry of fear as I fell to my certain death. I was lying on the dead body of Saho in the middle of a parking area.Bookmark here

I could hear the sound of Cop siren. I was lying on a dead body. I was about to faint after falling from the rooftop. Someone took me to the hospital.Bookmark here

Fortunately, I was not dead as someone Saho fell from the rooftop with me, and I landed on his body but, I got many injuries. In my unconsciousness, Karma came to see me while wearing a dress of a nurse. She was wearing that dress to hide her identity. She was holding a marker and came near my bed. She wrote something on my right hand. After that, Karma left the room.Bookmark here

After 2 days I was gaining consciousness. I did remember coming in and out of consciousness. After gaining consciousness, I still felt tired after lying down in bed for two days. I could see a nurse nearby. I grabbed her from her shoulder and pulled her toward me, and whispered in her ear:Bookmark here

" Where is she? Is she fine? "Bookmark here

the nurse was terrified of me and said:Bookmark here

" Calm down!! "Bookmark here

She pushed me away and ran toward the door, and a police officer came with her.Bookmark here

That police officer came to me and took me with him for inquiry.Bookmark here

He started his inquiry and said:Bookmark here

" Who are you? "Bookmark here

While he was asking me this, I was looking into the palm of my right hand. Vertical wrinkles did appear between my eyebrows. I was able to smell the danger. My mouth was stretched, while I read the statement written on the palm of my right hand:Bookmark here

"Forgive me for being who I am."Bookmark here

" Who I am is not who I want to be. "Bookmark here

That policeman asked me again with anger and said:Bookmark here

" Who do you mean?Bookmark here

I have asked you,Bookmark here

Who are you?"Bookmark here

After staring at that man for few seconds, I said to him:Bookmark here

"I'm just a victim."Bookmark here

The policeman seemed furious and said:Bookmark here

"I'm going to ask you one more time, and you better not speak nonsense this time. Tell me, Who are you?"Bookmark here

I felt sick from his inquiry. Nothing can describe the feeling Of staring for minutes at the boring policeman. I said to him:Bookmark here

"I,m Zack Erwin."Bookmark here

That policeman continues his inquiry and said:Bookmark here

"Zack, A person has seen you pushing a man from the rooftop. Why did you murder that man?"Bookmark here

I felt anxious. My throat tightened. I had to force myself to breathe, but it felt like the air was trapped. I realized that I was sweating, and I felt strangely hot.Bookmark here

I said to that policeman:Bookmark here

" It is an unintended murder. I pushed that man in self-defense as he was holding a gun to kill a girl. He already had harmed her."Bookmark here

The officer took no interest in what I said, and he said:Bookmark here

" We did not find any girl, neither we found any gun at the crime scene. "Bookmark here

I said to the police officer:Bookmark here

" We did not find any girl, neither we found any gun at the crime scene. "Bookmark here

I said to the police officer:Bookmark here

"I can show you the photo of her that I have on my phone. You can try to find her."Bookmark here

He allowed me to show her photo. His eyes were wide opened, as I showed him the photo of Akane with Saho that I captured on my phone while I sneaked into her home, he said to me in a doubtful tone:Bookmark here

" This is no joke. You are showing me a picture of a girl who has been missing for few years. "Akane Toru" has been missing for five years."Bookmark here

He stood up from his chair and brought me an old newspaper and showed me a news column and read that column for me, he said:Bookmark here

"17-year-old Daughter of Minister of Finance: Manzo Toru has killed her mother and escaped from home."Bookmark here

The policeman tells me that the Minister of Finance: Manzo Toru made a statement in front of the media in which he said:Bookmark here

" My daughter: Akane fought with her mom for not allowing her to spend a night at her boyfriend's home. They were in the middle of an argument. I went to attend a call and when I came back and saw this and couldn't find my daughter there. I searched for her everywhere. "Bookmark here

Before he said anything, else I started shouting like a mad man and said:Bookmark here

" Where Is she? "Bookmark here

" I want to see her. "Bookmark here

" Why are you telling a lie? "Bookmark here

" She is not a murderer. "Bookmark here

" Karma, Help Me !!!! "Bookmark here

" Karma, Where are you? "Bookmark here

" I want to escape too."Bookmark here

That officer grabbed me from my hair and took me to a cell. He locked me inside that cell. It felt unreal. Everything was unreal. Akane escaped and took that gun with her to remove the evidence of her existence. My cellphone also fell on the rooftop when I fall. She erased all the evidence that could lead to any clue of her existence in Kyoto but just that one picture I was having in a private folder she wasn't aware of it. Bookmark here

This was phase 4: Maintaining the Access by keeping the bond between us stronger. Bookmark here

(NOTE: Phase 4: The aim is to maintain access to the target until he finishes the tasks he planned to accomplish in that target)Bookmark here

(Features of Haru:
Height: 5'7''
Hair: Purple hair just like a normal high school boy hair
Hair Texture: Silky
Descriptive Hair Color: Eggplant/purple
Skin Tone: Ivory
Characteristics of skin tone: Porcelain to light skin color, without or with minor imperfections, sensitive, and could easily burn under the sun
Nose: Sharp
Eyes: black
Cheeks: chubby
Chin: Pointed chinBookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.