Saturday, June 16, 2012

Crab Mentality (Part 32)

June 30, 2010 (4pm)
                “Of course. I sent him an email that contained a hidden link that can lead back to my computer. I’m gonna hack into his computer.”
                Chalano abruptly stood up to leave, saying, “I’m not involved in that! That’s illegal!”
                “We have no other choice,” Kim pleaded. “You know me; you know that I’m a good person. I’m doing this only once in my life; I promise, and I’m doing this for all of us. We don’t know who he’s going to kill next. He already tried to burn our whole school. He already killed John. We have to do whatever we can.”
                Chalano sat down again, and said, “Alright, whatever.”
                Kim sat down on the revolving chair. He suddenly exclaimed with joy, “Oh, great! The fool has replied! I sent the email only a few minutes ago, and he replied faster than I thought he would.”
                Kim opened one of the programs in the computer. He clicked a button that had the words “load code.” A dark, horizontal bar in the middle of the screen turned red. Chalano asked, “Where did you get this program?”
                “I created it,” Kim said, and began to chuckle as he spoke. “It could make my whole family rich if I sold copies of it, but it could also get me imprisoned. I don’t want to go to prison, because that would be a shame to my father. So I will crash this program after I get enough information from John Doe’s computer.”
                “A serial killer who replies to emails?”
                “I sent him an email that he could have never received before. It’s from a young, beautiful woman who’s claiming to be his former  classmate in high school, and hoping that she could be his friend, or more than a friend.”
                “Gee, nice one,” Chalano grinned.
                “The program is connected to my email account, but its settings coordinate with only one email: the ‘bullet email.’ Once he responds to the bullet email, the program uses the connection as a bridge to absorb the files from John Doe’s browsing history and flash drive. Now, the program is taking screen shots.” Kim kept on talking as screen shots of John Doe’s computer activities kept appearing on the screen. “He’s on Facebook, and he ‘liked’ the fanpage of 4th Project Town. He’s been reading the profiles of different residents from our town. He even watches over the whole town from Google Satellite. Oh, I think that we got the killer.”
                A page of another social networking site appeared on the screen; John Doe had posted the victims’ web pages on it, including Rella, their school, and more. “Looks like he had no plan to kill John. John is not here. I’m not surprised. He planned to burn our whole school, but John foiled the plan by sacrificing himself. Um … what’s this? The Facebook profile of one of the victims … from the inside?” Kim and Chalano were looking at a screen shot of the Facebook profile of one of the victims.
                “He hacked into the account of his victim,” Kim observed. “He was impersonating his victim. I think that I’m right; he takes the identities of his victims. But he’s using his victims’ Facebook accounts to observe your Facebook account.” Kim pushed himself and his revolving chair away from the desk, and told Chalano, “Go to the browser, and log in to your Facebook account.”
                “I don’t think that my account would be of any use to anyone. It contains nothing,” Chalano argued. “The last time that I logged in was last year, which was the day that I created it. I created an account only because you told me to, telling me that Facebook was all the rage, but I wasn’t really that interested.”
                “The fact that your last log in was a year ago really suggests that you should log in now. You shouldn’t leave such things unattended. You should have deactivated your account if you wouldn’t be back for long.”
                “’Deactivated’? What does that mean?”
                “Long story. Just log in to your account. We’ll see how the arsonist works. He’s been checking up on you. Maybe you’re his next victim. Maybe his reasons are something else.”
                Chalano moved his stool closer to the desk, and reluctantly logged in. There were lots of friend requests. Kim took the mouse, and clicked on the friend requests tab. Rella, Aylyn …
                “He took over all of his victims’ Facebook accounts, and uses them to send you friend requests,” Kim said. “He’s trying to frame you up! He’s going to make it look like all of the victims were your Facebook friends! You don’t have any other Facebook friend except me, right?”
                “Yeah …”
                “Dismiss all of these friend requests! Hurry! Click ‘Ignore All’!”
                Chalano clicked “Ignore All,” and the friend requests were gone.
                Kim asked, “Do you have email notifications allowed on Facebook?”
                “W-what’s that?”
                “Just log in to your email account,” Kim ordered.
                Chalano logged in to Yahoo! Mail. “I have new spam mails,” he said when he finally opened his inbox. “From Facebook.”
                “Delete all of them,” Kim said. “They are notifications about those friend requests that you dismissed a while ago, and you must delete them to keep the arsonist from setting you up with the victims.”
                Before Chalano deleted the spam mail, he read it. He asked, “When did Rella’s house get burned?”
                “June 14.”
                “This mail states that I received the friend request from Rella on June 16, two days after her house got burned.”
                Chalano clicked on the other mails one-by-one. “Even the other victims sent me friend requests after they died. That’s impossible. I think that I should not delete these emails to prove my innocence.”
                Chalano turned to Kim to explain. When he turned his back on the computer, a small, pop-up window appeared on the computer screen. The window read, “Folder Photos to remote device.” None of the friends noticed it. They were arguing.
                “I believe that these spam mails are the evidence to the fact that I’m being framed up,” Chalano explained.
                “But ---“
                “Wait, let me explain. The mails state the dates on which the victims sent me friend requests. The dates are after they died. That’s impossible. It means that someone took over the accounts, and tried to frame me up. If somebody ever tried to accuse me of being the murderer, these mails will prove my innocence. Therefore, I shouldn’t delete them.”
                “I told you, you’re intelligent,” Kim sarcastically said. “Let’s proceed to the next screen shots, um … hey …”
                Kim stared at the screen, and Chalano turned to look at what Kim was looking at. Kim asked, “Did you mess up with my files?”
                “Your what? I wasn’t doing anything with your computer. I just did what you told me to do: log in, ignore all, log in, but I didn’t delete the spam mails.”
                “No, not that,” Kim said as he moved back to the desk. “I think that you accidentally moved one of my folders to an incomplete target.”
                Kim waited for the pop-up window to fade, but another pop-up window took its place. “Folder My Videos to remote device,” it read.
                Kim abruptly stood up in fright. “John Doe tracked my computer. He found it! He found it! Oh, my God! I didn’t know that this was going to happen!”
                “W-what’s happening?!”
                “John Doe has his own hacking program! And he’s stealing my personal files!”
                “Your personal files?! He’s going to use them! He might frame you up if he failed at me! What are we going to do?”
                “I don’t know! This is horrible,” Kim said as he kept pacing back and forth in panic. “I shouldn’t have hacked him in the first place. I shouldn’t ---“
                “We have to do something, Kim,” Chalano interrupted, also starting to panic. “There has got to be a way!”
                “I don’t know a way,” Kim yelled at him in frustration.
                “There is!”
                Chalano grabbed the computer, carried it outside Kim’s room, and threw it outside an open window. The computer crashed into pieces behind their house, but the two friends were no longer there to watch it. They were already running downstairs. Chalano grabbed a thick piece of wood, and Kim took a baseball bat. They ran outside to the broken computer, and smashed it into smaller pieces. “There’s only one way to prevent him from getting your files,” Chalano said as they destroyed the server.
                “Yeah. Only turning it off wouldn’t be enough,” Kim agreed.

                Somewhere in 4th Project Town, a man was sitting before a computer in a very dark room. A more sophisticated hacking program suddenly stopped operating, and a message flashed across the screen in red letters: “Data source unavailable.”
                He stood up, took his handbag, and left.

                Chalano and Kim stopped smashing the computer. They were panting as they stared at it. Chalano suddenly asked, “Did you see the other picture on the killer’s photo collection of his victims?”
                Kim nodded, and asked back, “How many hours had it been since his last kill?”
                The question didn’t have to be answered, because both of them knew what was next. They abruptly left the broken computer, and started running toward Chalano’s former school, 4th Project Town High.
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