MICHAEL

I was relieved but also uncharacteristically overly joy filled. I could feel Amanda's happiness through me.

*CLICK*

I opened my backseat door but the one directly behind the driver seat this time and I got inside then we drove off. After several minutes of driving I idly looked over at Brian before my eyes drifted, gazing at under his left ear, just above the neck and I noticed that there was no mark or scars. Nothing was left behind from the Dot log chip implants which was bizarre because I mean, I had one even as Amanda which I confirmed my sliding my finger in the exact area on Amanda's neck but Brian didn't and I found it very strange and contradictory with what I knew.

In my time, there was no scar left after the implant had been made but in this time period, thirty-five years into the past, with technology not as advanced as it is in my own time, there usually was a small but alsobnoticeable scar left behind after the implant had been made.

 

'Hmm, strange... Maybe it's on the right side' I thought then moved my head the other way to get a better view because the driver's seat headrest obstructed my sight but there was nothing there as well.

Brian's records that I had hacked into before making the jump back showed that he had already gotten his chip implanted a couple months prior to my arrival in this time and there was even his log code in the record to prove it so I asked,

"Um dad, your ear, you don't have any scars from the Dot Log's implant. Have you not gotten yours implanted yet?" I  moved my head and body back to form.

While still driving with his eyes glued to the road and his right hand on the steering wheel alone Brian said "Huh? My Dot log?" before taking that free hand to feel behind his ear "Scars?" He was confused at first but sooner than later he caught on.

"Oooh, that you mean" He smiled "Well, specific workers at my office, board members especially, haven't gotten their chips implanted yet, something about getting special chips for us and something like that"

*GRAB*

Being able to identify what my question was about, especially the scar comment, Brian placed his left hand back on the staring wheel once again and slid them along the frames in a corky and playful fashion and being of all smiles.

"I don't mean to boast but It's suppose to have more security specs than that of your normal Log chips." Brian grinned.

*NOD*

"Oooh, okay" i replied, accomapied with nodding my head.

Once again I raised my hand and felt under my ear, rubbing the scarred skin specifically 'That means my entering this body wasn't entirely my fault but because Brian hadn't gotten the Dot Log chip implanted yet, which must also mean that the special Log chips must use an encoder which constantly changes it's identification codes and I'm presuming that only the Black Box can identify which is the current code which is why it's so important I get it'

*DROP*

I let go of my ear. Initially I had thought that the Black box only contained the hidden codes of the important personnel that were part of the GHA as I wasn't able to see them during my hack but now it's gone beyond that. The Black box is more integral to things if I plan on moving forward with my search for the truth.

*TSK*

I smacked my tongue against the roof of my mouth distastefully.

'These security conscious bastards, just what exactly are they hiding? But wait... In the records I hacked Brian already had his chip by now and it clearly didn't seem to be under the actions of any encoding system so does that mean that Amanda's code must have been put there in place of Brian's for the time being until he had gotten his or what? And like an idiot I didn't consider that scenerio, I mean why would I? No wonder it was so easy for me to get the code off their mainframe that even a regular professional hacker would have been able to do the same' I thought but by doing so I opened up more questions in my mind.

I had slapped my forehead in annoyance while deep in thought, an action which caught Brian's attention as he mumbled and looked at me through the rearview mirror but also being quick to notice I quickly went back to acting normally and he continued driving, thinking it was a fluke.

I had even more questions now, questions like why was Amanda's code used in place of Brian's in the first place? If that was done for Amanda and Brian then why wasn't the same done for the others, important GHA personnels, because most definitely they had someone in their lives who would be in possession of a regular Dot Log Chip implant so why weren't theirs used? Was there something special and specific about Brian and Amanda that I'm missing or haven't accounted for yet? There was little information about Brian and Amanda and soon enough there was none a while after this moment in time I jumped back to so I had little information about him to go on except for the fact that he was a very good host to jump back into and security encoding chips? Why would they need such a thing and who are they being secure from?

"it couldn't be those people could it?" I whispered.

We drove pass a construction site where they were building a GHA broadcasting tower, their first ever broadcasting tower, which was already halfway done. Because of the nostalgia I pressed my head against and looked outside the window when I got flashes of the not so terrible but also not so good, dark and grimy future I was coming from and how the tower changed over the years of neglect.

"We're here!" said Brian

"Huh, what?!" I exclaimed and snapped from my trance as I had been lost in thought and stopped to notice my surroundings about two-thirds the way through the drive here.

We came to a stop and got out of the car. After all my years of seeking for answers I finally got to where I wanted to be and so there I was, the Global Health Agency's first ever Head Quarters.

In order to gain public favor after it's takeover of The WHO's responsibilities, the GHA opened their doors and let previously unassociated individuals join their ranks but that was just for show as what the people didn't know was that apart from the others who were introduced only one person was truly unassociated.

That person's name was Brian Nevel and for whatever secret reason still unknown to me, but on the outside he was brought in to become a board member because of the relationship of his work which now was no longer the case when i'm from.

With their foundation firmly in place and deep rooted into the ground of society, the GHA no longer tried to connect with the public, but just passing off  information, quarantining areas and secrecy seemed to be all they're good for. They seemed to have lost interest in what they set out for when they agreed to take over from WHO or maybe they got exactly what they wanted, nobody could tell except for those in the pantheon with them.

"Lets go in"

*STEP*

With no moments hesitation, we headed straight  for the entrance to the building when all of a sudden it came to me like a sucker punch to the face. An aroma so nostalgic I could remember my teenage years and the only thing in the orphanage I looked forward to aside from tech, and what that was was HOTDOGS.

I hadn't had a good hotdog in years. Because of fear of contacting the pyrex 9 "virus" people stopped making meat based snacks and hotdogs just faded away.

*SNIFF* *TURN*

*TURN* *SNIFF*

I looked for where the smell was coming from and like the nose of a blood hound I found it, the hotdog stand was just across the street.

"Bri- Dad" I tugged on Brian's left sleeve and we stopped moving.

"What is it?" he asked.

"Can we get one of those or two maybe?" I pointed at the hotdog stand across.

"What? A hotdog?"

"Yes" i replied with a smile

Amanda must have also liked hotdogs just as much as I did because there weren't any contradictions being felt within me and all I got was complete agreement from her body.

After considering it Brian placed a hand on his stomach and felt a little grumble before clearing his throat with an embarrassed smile. "Well, I haven't had anything to eat today so I think that that sounds like a great idea. I'll get one for you and two for me, Okay?" he asked and I agreed with a smile and some slight head movements "Stay right here and I'll be right back" Brian instructed then walked off and went across the street to get the hotdogs while I waited by the car like he asked. We hadn't taken more than three steps after exiting the car before we stopped after I perceived the aroma of the snack.

.

.

Left with no supervision at the moment, I used the opportunity to scope out the entire area. The security guards outside, the routes through which people walked and all that spy stuff.

"Huh?" I was deep into what I was doing when suddenly my attention was drawn in by an out of pattern motion, right in the middle of where people were walking and its cause was from a kid at the middle of the walkway trying to talk to people but getting ignored and he to be honest looked rather rough so their response was relatable.

*STEP*

Neglecting my promise to Brian I went in for a closer look.

*BOOM BOOM KA* *BOOM BOOM KA*

Electronic music playing loudly from a black stereo while the kid loitered.

"Don't be...be...Heathen...Don't ...think that because you are satisfied that satisfaction is actually good for you..."

"Not this kid again!"

"How very annoying!"

"I just don't have time for this!"

The pedestrians complained and murmured as they kept walking trying to avoid eye contact with him.

*SCOFF*

He chuckled

"...looks of scorn won't make my delivery any less valid than it already is. Your dull eyes and proud necks would do nothing to drain the energy I have or my will to continue" The kid said while moving from one person to another in the middle of the walkway.

He moved while getting within their personal space but also keeping enough distance not to make any physical contact no matter how uncoordinated they moved against his own movements, even ones walking behind him and he could see them. An impressive feat indeed.

"How can you let the fact that something is apparently good outshadow the fact that it might be inherently bad in more ways than is good, because it is what? it is unknown?" And off to the next person the kid went in a repeated cycle as he rant on

.

.

"What are you supposed to be, huh kid?" I made my approach and asked mockingly.

I had gotten the closer look I aimed for.

*STARE*

White T-shirt covered in mild dirt, coffee brown cargo shorts, messy brown hair and deep blue eyes with some red pigments in the middle, scattered like they were trying to encircle his pupils but barely, a cut on his lower lip and a bruise on his left elbow as well, remnants of the security guard's "help"

'if I didn't know better I could say that this kid looks a little bit like me when I was this age. My real self should be his age I think. Well... Sigh... kids this age all look alike anyway' my mind drifted as I looked at the boy.

"What are you doing ranting on deaf ears kid, are you stupid or what?" I supported my hands against my hips, giving that imposing posture of an elder sister standing next to her younger brother to anyone wondering enough to observe the both of us "kids" and I use the word lightly in this context because of first, my own situation, and secondly, even though looking younger than Amanda was, the way the kid spoke sounded like someone far beyond his age.

I went on to look around him, on the ground a black broken stereo playing electronic music on repeat, that one was hard to miss. Half drank energy drink on top, his parents most likely didn't buy that for him, I thought. And to the side a worn out wooden sign with words written on it with yellow paint.

"Griin Staples? What's that suppose to be your name, huh kid?"

I looked back at him, he was about 3 inches shorter and looked 2 years or maybe 3 years younger than Amanda.

*TURN*

He turned around to know who was talking to him.

"Sorry but what did you sa-?" He froze, had his eyes popped wide open as he stood in reverence. As for the reason why, I couldn't tell but it appeared his speechlessness and gaze was aimed at me, well Amanda at least. Was this his first time talking to a girl, I wondered.

"So what's it kid, Griin Staples? Is that your name or something else? Planning to be a musician in the future?" I folded my arms and raised my left eyebrow and on my face was a well pronounced smirk.

"Griin...? No...um, Prince it's Prince Michael, you—" Michael said, still having the same expression of lost on him.

"Ah, another boy named Michael" I mumbled to myself with a roll of my eyes but Michael still had his enstranged look towards me. "What's up with you kid? Why are you looking at me like that? It's beginning to get old and annoying" I frowned.

"You, ummm, How come I didn't notice you walk behind me? I should have... Who are, n-no more exactly what are you?" Michael asked and I was taken aback and offended by the question simultaneously.

"What are you?" I echoed his words with a whisper.

He continued "Your aura, it's all messed up, like really messed up and strange. You seem like a kid but at the same time also something entirely different on the inside... What are you?"

*TSK*

"Again with the what are you, maybe the sun is getting to you kid, early morning sun madness" I insisted distastefully as I felt disrespected by his comments.

"I—I have seen some strange things from being outside this building but you on the other hand are something entirely different"

I took a step backward. I was surprised. The confidence with which he spoke with made me to doubt even myself, wondering if something truly was wrong with me. What exactly was this kid seeing and more importantly how was he able to see it? Psychic?

"Auras? You have to be joking kid. What are you even talking about? You sound really stupid right now, you know that right? I'm just a normal ki—"

"Amanda!" Brian came rushing and in the process spilled some sauce from the hotdogs he had bought until he came to a stop.

"What are you doing over here with this—kid, I thought I told you to wait for me over by the car"

"Is this your kid Mister?" Michael looked at Brian.

"!!" Brian looked back at him with distain saying nothing back in return.

"Are you sure about that?" Michael continued to look at both of us.

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