Chapter 6:

Last Preparations ( part 1: The new member )

The Dusk of Revenge

   In every culture for several decades, centuries and even millennia, there wasn’t a law that stated that those who had power must protect the weaklings. Except for countries where religion was the law itself or countries that had their laws being adapted from certain religions, we can witness while going through human history that the weaklings were the ones who become slaves, bullied and tortured…

It wasn’t from our pure-hearted minds that we decided to set free the slaves. It wasn’t from pure kindness that we started protecting the weak by creating laws that don't ensure equality but justice. Every human being, when he grows up, knows that justice was never equality. Equality can be defined with the example of a country that takes the same amount of taxes from everyone rich or poor. In that case, the rich will just get richer, and the weak and poor people will just grow weaker and poorer. Meanwhile, justice manifests in the rules of the country that takes taxes depending on the income of individuals.

With justice, we protect the weak so that one day if he, by any chance, becomes strong, he won’t feel the urge to take revenge on the society that once bullied him. He will feel gratitude and serve society believing that it is the best way to show gratitude and protect the system that once protected him.

This was the first form of modern laws we see today. Human rights were simply the fruit of all the experiments that happened throughout history. Even our laws today will be lessons for future generations. They will be more kind to each other than we are now.

I hope so…

They will maybe learn that being kind to innocents and being kind to everyone aren’t just different things, they can be opposite in some situations.

Today, where robots roam the streets and started to show feelings like love, loyalty, and anxiety, … and where humans themselves implanted electronic organs into their bodies, we can call hackers the worst criminals besides murderers. Yet, we became soft enough to guarantee their freedom if they ask to work for the government. First, they asked murderers to join their experiments to create a new generation of humans which led to the appearance of one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in human history. And now, they are using the hackers that once caused chaos throughout the whole country turning most of the patrolling robots into useless machines in a crucial moment which was the accident 6 years ago.

Here we are today standing before one of those hackers that joined military forces after being released from prison.

Now I started to understand why the commander ordered me not to lead the squad in this mission. I can’t think that I would have been a great leader in this mission when I have my personal feelings mixed with logic this much!

In normal circumstances, I definitely would’ve said that every human has the right to a second chance and maybe rooted for the government’s way of dealing with criminals and its desperate efforts to reintegrate them into society and even give them important positions where they can feel they are trusted. If I wasn’t a witness to the atrocity of that accident, maybe if in this case today they hadn’t had anything to do with the accident, I would have said that kindness will bring back kindness.

The commander, who woke up earlier than everyone today, started introducing the recruit that will assist us in this mission: “…So, this is Asahi Toudou. He will be participating in this mission with us as our technical support. As all of you know, he made a mistake in the past by assisting the Red Claws in the accident 6 years ago. I know it would be hard for many of you to accept him here but try your best… Although he was one of the hackers that caused chaos in that accident, he wasn’t aware of that.”

“… So basically, you’re telling us that he is a victim himself?” Akira asked as he was trying to understand the situation.

The commander lifted his eyebrow and scratched his chin for a moment then answered: “…You will eventually learn everything from him… He will tell you what happened 6 years ago when he sees the perfect time to do so.”

He looked at the boy who probably was about 21 or 22 years old. The young man who once was an enemy that we’ve never fought was thin and long. He had small glasses that he was putting in his pocket instead of wearing them. From the way they were put, I concluded that he only used them only on working times.

“… I don’t feel safe around people like these, master! I feel that I am threatened by his very existence!”

I turned around to see where the sound came from and then I realized that I was the only one hearing it thanks to the micro communication device hiding in my ear. It was put there as a way to communicate with the assistant system that I have which was implanted in the badge I always wear. But since this was a training session, I couldn’t keep it on me, so I left it in my room.

This device helps me to communicate with my assistant system without speaking loudly. Since I’ve never used it, I was surprised the first time

“…No wonder I couldn’t recognize your voice since we haven’t used this method of communication before. Is this so important that you have to call me now?”

The same voice echoed again in my ear: “…Master, I recommend that you stay away from that man. He is scary!”

I looked at the guy standing before me once again then replied: “…He is too thin to be good at hand-to-hand combat? Are you sure he is strong?”

“…That man is dangerous; he can destroy me in no time.”

The assistant was talking about the man’s talent as a hacker… Of course, someone like him would be scary for any artificial intelligence system.

“…This is the first time I hear such an answer from you. Is everything alright?”

“…Yes Master, I am just restricting myself from doing any research about that man.” The system’s voice was trembling. Come to think of it, we’ve never met an actual hacker up to that moment.

“…You seem to be so scared of him.” Even for me, the one who created it, this was the first time I saw that reaction, so I was interested in it.

“…For us machines hackers are the same thing as murderers for you. The natural thing to do is to fear them. And also…”

“…What is it?”

“…I bet he can detect me if I make any move to know more about him.”

While we were having this conversation secretly, Asahi was introducing himself to the others. I was with them, but I didn’t hear anything they said. I didn’t pay attention to him since I was thinking that I could observe the situation by just looking from a close distance…

He suddenly smiled and looked at me. Simultaneously, my assistant said: “… He found out!”

The young man took his glasses, put them on and took a few steps towards me. I was perplexed by the words I heard a second ago, so I kept silent while he was looking at me closely. Out of panic, I said.  “… Did you find something in my face?”

“…No!” He smiled while going back to his position. Ten seconds later, my assistant started talking again: “…That was a close call, master!”

I was about to answer him when I heard someone join the conversation out of the blue. “… Yeah, sure it was.”

“…So, you joined the conversation by force! And? What do you want from us?” The system asked.

“…I am a hacker after all. So, that’s my job,” Asahi laughed then continued, “I was just looking around when I saw Shinji acting a bit suspicious, so I looked through my glasses to see with whom he was talking. I thought he was a spy to the enemy, that’s why I joined the conversation to know the truth.”

“…Are you satisfied now?” The assistant’s tone showed a feeling of anger. I kept hearing the conversation silently. This was the first interaction of the assistant with a human other than me or my father. That's why I didn’t want to spoil the moment.

I looked at Asahi who was simultaneously talking to the squad members and keeping the conversation between him and my assistant. It was an amazing scene to watch. I was hearing his voice two times at the same moment, and it made me speechless. He continued saying: “… as I said before I did this just to verify the suspicion I had about Shinji.” Then his tone changed as he said: “… Just so that I won’t make the same mistake again.”

“…If you finished your investigation, can you leave the conversation already?”

He laughed and then answered with a sure tone: “… Of course sorry to bother you. Joining your conversation was so easy, that’s why I recommend you tighten the security a bit. From my perspective, it seems that you're using a security system created 6 years ago.”

“…That’s exactly what I have right now!” At that point, I understood that Asahi was just trying to have a fun time bullying the intelligent system.

“…Hmm! So, you’re 6 years old?”


“…So, you’re an old lady now!!!” He left the conversation while laughing...

He referred to my assistant as Lady since it had a female voice. My father, who developed this technology, called it Ai. It was an abbreviation of ‘Artificial Intelligence’.

And since the day he gave me the badge I started calling her ‘Ai’. The latter seemed to be unhappy with the words that she heard from Asahi as he was leaving. So, she said in an angry tone: “… I knew that he’s a bad person. I truly hate him! Master, you should keep the maximum possible distance from him.”

I didn’t answer her but just awkwardly smiled. I kept everything that happened in mind and tried to think about it. I was amazed by his ability to notice me and infiltrate the conversation. But the most important thing was the fact that he was able to manage two conversations simultaneously with people he met for the first time.

In normal situations, when people get to know each other for a long period they can predict what they are about to hear from the other person and even answer before being asked. As if they are reading the script of a theatre scene or a movie. And even this skill is only acquired by a few people, the ones with high IQ which helps them to process information in their minds quicker than normal human beings. But that doesn’t have any relation with what happened just a few minutes ago. This wasn’t high processing speed; it was something else.

I decided to ask him later about what happened.

For the time being, we went to the special training room where our new uniforms are waiting for us. Everyone was excited to see them and try them on, except for me since my head was full of conflicted ideas…

As soon as I decided to stop thinking about what happened another question came to my mind. Why did someone like him at that young age, who should have been 15 or 16, participate in those barbaric actions that happened at that time? Why did someone cheerful like him take sides with Red Claws? Is he hiding his true personality? Or did something happen in the past?

Upon further review, it became apparent that I did not have any information to work with. So, as we were heading to the training room, I asked Ai to search for his criminal record during the upcoming exercise period.

C’est JK
Haru Yumera