BEFORE THE COUNTDOWN

I stood inside the elevator, with no rather prevalent emotion being noticed over the others I already had (feeling a sense of premature accomplishment would have been understandable for a situation like this but there was nothing) and pressed the button for the ground floor first, because you needed to be in the ground floor before you could follow the security procedures that lets you access the sub level floor.

 

The elevator began to descend from one floor to the next with the lights above the door flicking on and off  with each level reached and with having only three floors before I reached the my first stop in the journey, I wouldn't be doing that much standing and waiting. As I got to the ground floor it stopped, well paused being the operative for me because that wasn't my final destination.

 

I stood close to the door, staring slightly to the right and under all the designated floor buttons was a gold coloured protruding rectangle shape with the emblem of wings on it. The protrusion was conspicuous and blended with the rest of the panel which was also gold in colour with matching colored buttons as well but with a luminating blue coloured ring surrounding each one. Unless you knew what the protrusion actually was or were just stupidly curious about elevator panels, you wouldn't notice anything different about it.

*STRETCH*

I on the other hand knew exactly what it was, so I extended my hand forward and raised the protrusion from the bottom, exposing a black button underneath which was the button for the sub floor. 

 

There wasn't any need for me to hesitate in pressing this button, however, before I could press it I heard a soft and soothing voice which stopped me on my tracks as I was filled with shock and an explosive sense of guilt.

 

{What are you doing Amanda?} said a very familiar voice.

'That voice! Where have I heard it before?' I tried to remember where I heard this particular voice from before I flashed back to earlier this morning.

"Shit! I totally forgot about her" I trembled internally "What do I say?"I mumbled.

The reason why I completely forgot about the existence of Divia up until now when she spoke to me was because, during my time and even up to the present, before I jumped back and unfortunately got placed inside Amanda as my host, there was never a time where I heard of such an existence like a Divia being used by the GHA before. I don't know if the system was scrapped sometime after now or whatever the case was but there was never such an existence like her to me. So, being something I wasn't familiar with, all the surprises and distractions I had been facing made my mind to forget all about her.

{Amanda? Can you not hear me?} she said in a very realistic and fluid voice, relatable to the likeness of a normal human's

 

*TSK*

I smacked my tongue in frustration before looking up at the roof of the elevator to where Divia's voice was coming from. By the speakers stationed there.

 

{Unauthorized personnel are not allowed to press that button} Her voice left the top of the elevator and started coming out from the gold panel, directly where the button was, so it felt like I had a finger pointing to her mouth.

 

"Huh!?" I was taken aback by the sudden change, but I didn't have time to reminisce on it because I had to take control of the situation, and quickly. "Umm! I was just... hmm..."

'Common, think of something Samuels' I thought and then decided to go with the most childlike answer I could come up with, which I agree made me to sound very restarted as I thought about it but hopefully the physical features of the host I was in (Amanda) would make what I said come off as realistic and understandable.

"I saw the shinny gold wings on the buttons and wanted to play with it before the button underneath showed up" I smiled nervously.

'How did she notice me anyway? I thought I took care of all the cameras including the elevator cameras' I thought.

{Is that right? Okay! But I have a second question for you, if you don't mind giving me an answer. How did you get into the elevator? I didn't see you leave Brian's office}

 

'She didn't see me leave Brian's office? Wait! Does that mean that she's seeing through all the cameras just like the monitors of the security room but unike the monitors her feed hasn't been altered?' I scrunched my eyebrows in confusion.

'No, I doubt that. She must also be receiving her camera feed wirelessly via the secondary data box, the same data box that is getting it's feed from old footage from the storage cell, therefore altered footage so that would mean—' I decided to stop thinking too much about everything.

"Hmm!" I cleared my throat "Divia? I'll answer the question you just asked but first I have one of my own"

{What question is that Amanda?}

"How did you know that I was in the elevator? Are you looking through the cameras?" I looked up to the cameras then looked back at the panel again awaiting her response, retracting my hand just to cross them on one another.

{There seems to be something wrong with the camera footage as from what I'm getting from them shows that you aren't currently in the elevator which makes no sense because it has been established that you are... I will have to check with the security division about that}

 

'I knew it, she doesn't see me, so how?' I folded my arms to think while bitting my thumbnail in the process

"Alright Divia, I think you should inform them to get the cameras fixed, but before you do that, if you aren't able to see me through the cameras then how did you know I was in here" I smiled to hide my real emotions.

 

{Body rhythm. I measured your body rhythm and that's how I was able to identify you}

"Body Rhythm? What's that?"

{It's a special identication protocol I have and when we met earlier I scanned and downloaded your body rhythm and then added it to my records which also includes everyone else's to have entered this building. At every moment I shoot waves in a straight ripple that covers the entire ground floor to the security booth outside}

"So that would mean that those waves must have hit me and like how echo location in bats work, you instantly knew that it was me inside the elevator based on how my body reacted to it. In essence my body's rhythm to it, right?" I asked with a smile to show how impressed I was.

 

{Yes}

"That's smart, I think I'll have to update Sylvia one more time when I return" I grinned slightly.

{Who is Sylvia?}

 

I chuckled "Nothing, don't worry about it. I just talking to myself" I lowered my head

'There's no two ways about it, this was a total burst. Well, at least they didn't see me working on the ports earlier and I can just chop my being here as to a factor of the cameras not being able to see me leave Brian's office... Yeah, I guess that I'll just have to lie about Eunice not being able to see me leave and that I needed fresh air or something like that. Well, whatever' I looked back at the panel then sighed.

{Alright Amanda, if you would just press the button and head back to the fifth floor while I inform the security division about the cam—}

She didn't need to tell me twice as I had already began to extend my hand towards the button for the fifth floor when all of a sudden I heard a pause in her sentence and then

{—Powering off. Have a nice day Amanda} Divia shut down abruptly and for no particular reason I could think of.

 

"Huh? What just happened? Divia?" I called out but she didn't give a reply.

 

"Why did she shut down? Did something happen? Divia?" I pondered "Lemme try again"

I took my extended hand lower and raised the protruded rectangle shape again and brought my fingertip close to the button in expectance of a response from Divia but still there was no response.

 

"Okay, what the fuck is happening?" I was stuck between pressing the button and continuing with the mission or going back to the fifth floor because I didn't know why Divia switched off or if she had informed the security personnel about the camera situation.

After thinking about it for a few seconds because I didn't want to waste a lot of time in the elevator I decided to continue moving forward. "Oh well" I said with a shrug

*CLICK*

I pressed the button and it went inside then the space created was covered up by a gold coloured piece of the panel which slid to place and I let go of the protruding rectangle to go back to its original spot.

 

"At least something good went my way. The universe must want me to succeed in this" I grinned.

 

[Place an authorized ID over the emblem] a faint voice spoke. One very different from Divia's, sounding slightly robotic.

 

Immediately, the emblem lit up a blue colour which in essence was demanding I place a form of authorized identification on it in order to continue downwards, authorization like Brian's personal ID card, but I didn't have it, nor did I need it.

 

The ID card that Brian had to access the sub level would only get scanned by the crystals on the elevator door before entrance and once scanned it would give full elevator access to the bearer of said card which included access to the sub level but since I took the scanning process away, then no matter who got inside, the elevator would not discriminate and I was the only one who knew this

 

Not placing anything on the light was part of the procedure of differentiating those authorized and those who weren't just in case of stollen ID because only those in the know would know this secret. I really did my thorough research before jumping to this time or else I would have fallen for it too.

.

.

.

After seven seconds of flashing, the light in the emblem died down then the elevator continued to descend. It took thrity seconds to get to the sub level floor, the elevator doors slid open and I stepped out then the doors closed back behind me and went back up.

Now I was at the second phase of the mission which meant that there were two rooms I needed to get passed before the Black room so I had two sets of security panels to bypass before my destination. A very straineous task for the things I had to work with but hopefully they would have to do.

 

The first room I was currently in had many large boxes and devices behind plastic wrappers all positioned by the right side of the room, by the wall.

*STEP*

I moved around the room, opening some of the boxes as I went along. I had about 50 minutes before the cells gets wiped of their stored footage, which was enough time I needed to quench my curiosity and get to the Black box then go back up if everything went according to plan.

"How I wish I had a box of hotdog right about now" I mumbled because I was feeling oddly hungry before getting close enough to the boxes and I proceed to pull down the plastic of the first box I came close to and opened the top flaps, exposing the machine inside.

 

"A neural remodification radiology machine? What is this doing down here?" I said, placing my hand on top the exposed part of the machine then I bent to the sides to inspect the box the radiology machine was inside.

My inspection lead me to find the exact same Wings emblem on it. 

 

"What is this logo supposed to mean anyway? This is my second time seeing it here and from knowledge I know that this isn't any company logo from when I'm from... weird" I pondered.

 

I had a vast knowledge of company logos and emblems but none of them matched the one on the box and not just that box but it was also on all the other boxes in the room.

Spending some time with inspection and tired of looking at dusty old boxes after five minutes since I started, I went straight for the panel and took off my backpack to get to work. I brought out the smartphone first, followed by the screwdriver from my pocket then the USB cable and then did what I was supposed to. 

 

It was a simple password protected panel which was split into two sides; the display/screen by the left and the circuit board panel with the keys and buttons to the right.

*SCREW*

I removed the covering case by unscrewing it, exposing the circuit board which had a USB port in it used to maintain and update the panels overall program. With the phone and the USB cable and some conductors I made a connection and started running a series of passwords with a program I downloaded from the app store. Not many things in life need a very complex solution and this was one of those.

The program communicates with the IC in the panel, suggesting different password combinations and when the correct one comes up the IC confirms it and since I wasn't using a system meant for hacking passwords it took more time than usual and hundreds of combinations working at an incredible fast rate before the program got the confirmation from the IC. After it did, the correct password was displayed on my phone's screen.

 

*TAP* *TAP*

I inputted the password myself on the panel's display then the doors unlocked. The doors slid open and I gained access to the next room. I recoupled the panel back to its origin state then grabbed my backpack by the open zip, covering it with my grip as I went into the next room.

.

.

The second room was completely empty and white all over with just me and the panel in attendance. This time it was a biometric scanner, both fingerprint and a blood sample needed to be inputed before access could be granted.

 

This time I needed the screwdriver again, the tape, chalk, the boxes from my backpack and something else as well, Amanda's hair ribbon.

While I was preparing everything for my next hack, several tens of metres above my head something else was happening and in the security floor no less. Just what could that be and what could it mean for me?

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