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Hack the World

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Donald Uris stepped out of his car and onto the street. Tonight was the night of the deal, where everything would change. And it was occurring here, in a completely normal street, full of the same house copy and pasted about 20 times. If Donald had been a different person, he would assume this street was the most boring place in California, where nothing interesting ever happened. And he would be wrong. Oh he would be very wrong indeed.

Donald looked to his watch. With a muttered, “Oh shit,” he realised that it was 5 minutes past eleven in the evening; he was late. The WWO representative would be here very shortly.

Heading up to the door of number 7, Donald contemplated how smoothly everything had gone so far. They had found out what WWO had been doing and now they were being paid to shut up about it! Looking at it now, he almost found the entire situation quite hilarious.

Rapping the door three times, the door was immediately answered by a man who wore a grey suit and a red bowtie.

“Ah Donald, you’re here. We were worried you wouldn’t show,” the man said before calling back into the house, “Donald’s here!”

“Wouldn’t miss this for the world,” Donald told him with a grin, “Looks like our parents were right, hard work does always pay off,”

In response to that, the man chuckled, “ Indeed,”

“But what’s with the fancy suit?” Donald asked, “I didn’t get the memo that we should all be dressed smart. I feel massively underdressed,”

“Just want to make an impression, y’know?” The man answered.

Donald nodded, “Yeah, I get it. Now, can I come in?”

“Of course, of course,” the man said quickly, stepping aside to let Donald in. As he started to make his way in, the sound of a car stopped him in his tracks. Turning around, he noted that a black car was now speeding down the road. On the side of the car, the letters ‘WWO’ were printed.

“It’s them!” the man said excitedly. Not responding, Donald entered the house and then through a door to the left which led into the living room. The room was filled with 15 or so people, some who were sitting and some who were standing, all of them involved in their own discussions. A dim light lit them all up. The curtains were shut tightly.

“Ah Donald,” Zack said from the couch, making room for him, “Come sit,”

Instead of moving to him, Donald told the room at large, “They’re here,”

Immediately the atmosphere in the room changed. What was excited energy which radiated from them not more than a few seconds ago was now nervous energy. The discussions were now more hushed and more rushed.

Standing up from his seat, Zack called for the attention of everybody in the room. It was clear he was about to make a speech, which he was strangely good at for someone who failed his English oral exam.

“My friends,” Zack smiled, “Tonight there is no need to be worried. We have done all the work, got all the details. Only one of them is coming tonight, and there are 17 of us. All of us are armed, although they don’t know that, and they’re not. We’ve made WWO bow to us. So enjoy tonight, have fun! We’ve earned it,”

As Zack moved to the centre of the room and stood behind a table that had been placed there specifically for the deal, Donald noted that the room’s energy changed once more. While everyone was certainly still apprehensive, the excited energy resumed to radiate once more. They were more than a match for one person. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

A man in a black tuxedo stepped into the room followed by the man who had let Donald in. The door was shut behind them. The man was wearing black sunglasses, even though sunset was many hours ago, and was carrying a suitcase.

“Come here,” Zack ordered, “Come here and place the suitcase on the table. We don’t want any funny business here,”

The man proceeded to do so. Without a word, he slowly moved forward and the people who filled the room stepped aside for him. Donald made his way to stand next to Zack. As he placed the suitcase on the table, the rest of the room moved to surround them.

“Now, I want you to open the suitcase and show it to me,” Zack told him, “Do it slowly,”

“Of course,” the man complied, looking at Zack directly in the eyes. He opened one lock of the case, eyes never leaving Zack’s. Then, he opened the other. The man seemed almost excited.

“The case contains the money, yes?” Zack asked.

“15 million dollars,” the man answered with a blank face. He began to slowly open the case. Then he turned it round so they could see the inside of the case. There was no 15 million dollars there. There wasn’t even one dollar. Instead, there was a bomb.

Immediately, everybody in the room drew their guns. The man reached into his pocket and took out a detonator.

“Nobody move,” the man stated, “One move from anybody and I blow us all up,”

“I don’t fucking think so mate,” Zack snarled, “There are 17 of us, all with guns pointing to your fucking head. One move from you and you’ve had it,”

“If I die, then you all die,” the man simply responded.

“Is that so?” Zack gritted his teeth, “One bullet between your eyes wouldn’t give you enough time to press the button,”

“Try me,” the man smirked, “Just you try me,”

For a moment, there was silence. Nobody moved, nobody spoke, nobody breathed. Then Zack asked, “What’s your name?”

“Excuse me?” the man frowned, taken aback by his question.

“What’s your name?” Zack repeated.

“Why’d you want to know?”

“I like to know the name of a person before I kill them,”

The man chuckled, “You are determined, I’ll give you that. My names Oscar. Oscar Bowers,”

“Bowers?” Zack said, “Explains everything,”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Oscar asked, getting defensive.

“Oh nothing,” Zack responded, waving his hand dismissively, “Just it makes a lot of sense, you working for WWO. Your family always were a bunch of screw ups,”

“Take that back,” Oscar demanded angrily.

“Y’know, y’know. I heard that your son has already killed his first rabbit, is that true?”

“Don’t talk about my son!” yelled Oscar, face turning red.

“Don’t provoke him Zack,” Donald whispered, getting nervous.

“Why?” Zack turned him, “What’s he gonna do?”

“Blow us up with a fucking bomb?” Donald suggested.

“Even if he does, which he won’t because he’s too much of a pussy to do so,” Zack spat, “Are you forgetting the backup plan?”

“You mean your man hiding out by the Barrens?” Oscar asked, “He’s dead,”

“You fucker,” Zack snarled.

“Not a fucker, just smart,”

“I’ve had about enough of this,” Donald said. Then he shot Oscar. The bullet ripped through his life and left him on the floor, dead. The bomb didn’t explode.

“See,” laughed Zack, “Stupid fucker couldn’t even keep his word. We’re not dead!”

“But Zack,” one of the females in the room said, “They’re clearly trying to kill us now, and they know where we are,”

“Your right, Sonia,” Zack replied, “We must all leave now,”

The door suddenly flung open revealing a woman who held a 2-year-old in her arms.

“I heard a gunshot,” she breathed.

“I know dear,” Zack said, going to her, “We must all leave right now, they’re after us,”

“Oh dear,” she gasped.

“What going on?” the 2-year-old whimpered, his head rapidly looking around the room, eyes darting from person to person. He may have been young, but he understood enough to know that something was wrong.

“Don’t worry Bill,” Zack said soothingly, “Everything will be okay,”

Then turning to the entire room, Zack announced, “We all need to leave,”

Zack went first out of the room and walked to the front door. Opening it and stepping outside, his heart stopped. Coming up the road were 5 vans. On the side of them were the letters WWO.

“Shit, they’re here,” Zack muttered, slamming the door shut.

“What’s going on?” someone yelled.

“They’ve come, they’ve got reinforcements,” Zack responded quickly, “We need to leave through the garden, climb over the fence and continue climbing over fences until you get to the alleyway,”

With no delay, everybody was off. Within moments, the house was clear except from Zack, his wife, Bill and Donald.

“Come on Zack,” his wife pleaded, “Lets go,”

Zack shook his head, “I need to hold them off, go on without me,”

“Dada!” Bill cried.

“Bill,” Zack said, putting a had on his shoulder, “Be brave. If I don’t see you again, have a great life. Find the perfect girl, or boy if you’re into that, and have an absolutely brilliant life,”

Turning to Donald, he told him, “Keep them safe, mate,”

“I will,” Donald promised, “Come on Sharon, Bill,”

“Please come with us, Zack, please.” Sharon pleaded one last time, tears welling in her eyes.

“I’ve got to do this, dear,” Zack said to her. Then he kissed her briefly, “I love you,”

“Love you too,” she breathed.

“We really need to go,” Donald told them. There was a knock at the door. Sharon offered Zack once last watery smile before leaving, Donald following behind her.

As they left into the garden, they could hear a gunshot. Zack was dead.

“Quickly,” Donald rushed them climbing to the top of the fence, “Do you need help?”

“I’m fine,” she said, tears now freely falling from her eyes, “Can you help Bill?”

“Course,” Donald responded. She handed Bill to him. Donald, with Bill in his arms, dropped to the other side of the fence. A second later, she climbed over the fence and Donald handed Bill back to her.

“Wait,” Donald whispered as he heard the Denbroughs back door open, “We should hide in the shed,”

“Are you mad?” Sharon whispered back, “They’ll find us for sure,”

“If we continue running they’ll definitely catch us,”

“Fine, I see your point,” Quickly and quietly they moved into the shed. Donald shut the door slowly as to not make any noise.

They stayed silent.

“It’s empty,” they heard the voice of a woman say, “How is it empty?”

“Must have seen us coming, or suspected we would,” a man responded.

“Well they can’t have gone far. Spread out, I want to find every single person who was here tonight,” the woman ordered.

“Yes ma’am,”

“And I want you to bring in their family members too,” the woman ordered.

“Of course,”

For a moment, everything was silent. Then Donald said, “They’re going after our families, to get us crawling to them, even if they can’t find us,”

“It’s messed up,” Sharon whispered.

“We need to get to my Andrea,” Donald told her, “We need to find her and my son and we need to get far away from here,”

“How will getting away help?” Sharon asked, “WWO is a worldwide company, they’re everywhere!”

“You, Andrea, Bill and Stan have never been involved in our group. I’ll break into the headquarters and alter your profiles so according to their system, you’ve never met us,” Donald told her.

“Okay,” Sharon breathed, “Do you think it’s safe to go out?”

“Maybe,” Donald replied, looking though a crack in the shed wall, “They’re not in this garden, but I think they’re still in yours. If we’re quiet we should be able to break into this house and escape through the front,”

“It’ll be dangerous-”

“But we have no other plan,” interrupted Donald, “We have to,”

A moment later, Donald was slowly opening the shed door. Crouched low, they sneaked across to the door to the house. Donald took out his iPhone and used his hand to shield the brightness of it. He opened up an app called ‘Hackers’ and then placed the phone on the door. Now inside the app, he pressed another button that read ‘unlock’. A click could be heard. The door was unlocked.

Quickly going inside, Sharon asked, “How the hell did you do that?”

“WWOs locking system is used in every house. Everything WWO owns can be hacked,” Donald responded, leading Sharon and Bill through the house to the front door. Opening it slowly, Donald peered out of it. 5 vans were on the road and people dressed in black suits and holding sliver guns were standing outside of the Denbrough household.

“Wait a second,” Donald told them. Once more, he pulled out his phone and went to the hackers app. This time, he pressed a button that read ‘explosion’. He set the coordinates and they waited. About 30 seconds later, an explosion erupted down the street. Immediately, the men in black suits were drawn to it, taking out the guns and going to investigate.

“Let’s go,” Donald whispered. They left the house and proceed to run down the street. They flung themselves around the corner.

“We need to drive,” Donald told them.

“But both my car and your car are back there,” Sharon said.

“Everything WWO owns can be hacked,” Donald smirked. He pointed his phone towards the nearest car to him and pressed the screen. The car opened, “Quickly, get in!”

As Donald rushed to get into the driver’s side, Sharon with Bill in her arms got into the passenger seat. Once they were both in, they were off.

 

Arriving at the Uris household, they found that WWO hadn’t got there yet. Donald quickly jumped out of the car, rushed to the door and opened it.

“Andrea are you alright?” he yelled. Entering into the living room, he noticed that they were both there, safe. Andrea was sitting down on the sofa, watching a new Netflix show with their curly haired son laying asleep in her lap.

“Of course I’m okay,” she laughed. Then the laughter quickly turned to concern as she noted how serious her husband was, “Why, what’s wrong?”

“They’re after us,” Donald explained. At that moment, Sharon entered the household with Bill still in her arms, “You need to leave,”

“Where to?” Andrea asked worriedly.

“Nowhere connected to our families. So maybe you could go to Molly’s?” Donald suggested.

“Good idea,” Andrea remarked, “Where are you going?”

“I need to break into WWO headquarters and alter your profiles so they say you’ve got nothing to do with me. Until you get my signal, don’t come back to this house,”

“What signal?”

“You’ll see,” winked Donald, “Now let’s go,”

Rushing outside, Donald opened the door of the stolen car and told them to get in.

“By morning, this car will be reported as stolen so don’t park it anywhere near Molly’s house,” Donald told her.

“I won’t,” Andrea replied from the driver’s seat, “See you soon honey,”

“See you soon,” smiled Donald. Then they drove off leaving Donald alone.

The next morning, they would wake up to the news that Donald Uris had been pronounced dead. He was killed trying to break out of WWO. It was unclear what he had done to the system, only that he had altered it.

 

The next 11 years passed uneventfully. The Denbroughs and Uris’s moved to Derry and Bill and Stan grew up as best friends, both of them always by each other’s side no matter what. One day, however, that all changed.

It had been a normal school day, full of boring maths and boring science when they had got an announcement from the principle. Stan Uris was to come to reception. Hesitantly, he had done so.

Bill hadn’t seen him since. Initially, he thought that maybe something had happened at home. But no. When he went back to the Uris household to check on Stan, he found that he was not there. In fact, his mother assumed that he was hanging out with Bill that night. This only grew his worriment.

His worry turned to anger the next morning. The newspaper had been posted through, like normal, and the front cover headline boiled his blood. ‘Dangerous convict Stanley Uris finally found!’. First of all, Stan was no dangerous convict. He knew that for certain. Stan couldn’t even stand to see a bird getting injured. But then Bill saw the proof.

Pages upon pages detailing killing after killing. All done by Stan Uris. Bill was in shock. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. It had to be some kind of hoax, hadn’t it? It wasn’t until a news report came on the telly about Stan that he fully believed it. A crying mother. Sobbing about her baby being killed by Stan. And she showed a picture. A picture that had been partially blurred due to the graphic image. But what could be seen was proof enough. Stan, his best friend since childhood, was standing over the body of a dead baby. Laughing.

To say Bill was in shock was an understatement. How could his best friend do this? He thought he knew Stan, clearly he didn’t.

Bill believed for a year. A year of people coming out and telling of their stories dealing with Stan, every one more shocking than the last. All of them made Bill feel an emotion he never expected to feel for his former best friend. Hate. But that changed when somebody came out with a story that just didn’t make sense.

Henry Bowers was a bully. Bill’s bully to be exact. The day began and Bill found himself tripped up by Henry, the day continued and he was called names by Henry, the day ended with a punch to the face from Henry. But Henry came out with the story that he had caught Stan trying to force himself onto Bill. Apparently, Stan had already gotten Bill down to his boxers and was about to rip them off too. Henry had proceeded to intervene and come to Bills rescue.

The first thing wrong with Henrys story was that it hadn’t happened. Stan had never forced himself onto Bill. The second thing wrong was Henry helping Bill out. He would never do that. Never. Anybody who knew Bill knew that. The story was completely false.

This set off the alarm bells in Bills brain. Had any of the stories been true then? He went back and looked at every single one and noticed a trend. All of them were told by people from California. Stan and Bill hadn’t been to California since they were two years old. Stan couldn’t possibly have done anything to these people.

Bill then looked back on the initial news report of Stan Uris’s capture. The picture of Stan laughing over the baby was shown. But this time, Bill wasn’t blinded by shock. This time, Bill noticed something. He recognised that picture. Behind the blur was not a baby, at least not a real one. How he didn’t recognise it the time, he didn’t know. The baby was a fake. He and Stan had to take care of it for a week and in this picture, Stan was laughing at something Bill had just done to it. This fact proved to him one thing in his mind. Stan Uris, his best friend since childhood, was not a murderer.

Bill spent the next month researching why someone would do this. Why Stan? He had never done anything to anyone. He then found out why. A hacker group existed 11 years ago and consisted of Stans father, Donald. Somebody must have made up the story to get back at the Uris’s!

So where was Stan now? The newspapers hadn’t reported where he was sentenced to, apart from that it was secure and that the public shouldn’t worry. It then clicked in his mind.

WWO! The hacker group Stan’s dad belonged to opposed them! WWO had Stan!

But why? Stan wasn’t his dad, in fact he hardly remembered his dad as he died when he was little. Did Stan know something that they didn’t want anyone to know? Was Stan a problem? Was Stan a hacker? The final question was the one that stuck in his mind. It would make sense as Stan was always a whiz when it came to computers. And in his mind, it was the only thing that made sense. Stan was a hacker.

Bill was angry. But unlike before, the anger was not directed at Stan. Instead, it was directed at WWO. For taking away his best friend, for lying.

The next two years he spent training how to be a hacker. He had one plan in mind, one which he hoped would work. 

Now 13 years after the initial deal that went wrong, a 16-year-old Bill was ready to take down WWO. And it all started with hacking an electronic billboard.