Copy and Paste

I liked this whole “the whole world is connected” thing but with certain power comes certain disaster.
We were in our second IT period on a hot February afternoon. We counted down the minutes until the weekend but Mr. Gerard was going to work on the day before a long weekend. Crazy old coop that one, he said once that computers was going to take over the world but he was way behind on his technology because it already happened but we said nothing, for he might just loose his mind. And his toupee. “Hey Johnny” someone called. “What?” I answered rudely due to the heat of the third floor, damn zinc roofs. “No need to be rude” Janet said, “I need your help on this algorithm”. I walked as slowly as I can go just to annoy her, we weren’t going to see each other for a whole 4 days, and this is just my last chance to annoy her. “Oh grow up!” she said with a little bit of frustration in her voice. Let me tell a little about Janet, she is not the brightest light in packet, nor the smartest but she has legs that go on forever!! And the short school uniform just stressed that even more beautifully. “Your step 1 shouldn’t be step 5 Janet” I said as I saw her ears go as red as a tomato. “Tomato’s go in the fridge Janet!” Kyle mocked. See I told you IT is a bit more difficult than you think. The uncomfortably hot classroom has forced everybody to be on the energy-saving mode for the past 45 minutes, but ever since Mr. Gerard heard the electricity bill of the school went through the roof he didn’t ever turned on the air conditioning we worked so hard for. It took us more than 2 years of pleading in front of the headmaster and in Matrix we got it but it was never on.
I walked back to my station trying to focus on my program but the creativity just wasn’t flowing like sweat on my brow. It’s more like a small river now. Everybody was chilling’ except Janet, man, I’ve never seen that girl type so fast. I typed a small message: what are working on Janet? , on the small chat room we created in grade 11. Mr. Gerard thought he deleted it but we always had a back-up. I saw it pop on her screen. She typed back: wait and see. .. . There was a second pop on my screen. It was from Kyle: dude what is Janet doing, did I miss something? Kyle you are slow but not that slow. I replied: no dude she isn’t sharing, but I can find out. This is where the name John-Hacker Liebenberg comes to mind. Not to brag but I defeated the school’s firewall just to spell Kyle’s name right, he is so picky. I dragged the command prompter of my computer to the top and typed my hacking sequence. That’s strange, it worked this morning. Maybe the system is refreshing again. I typed back to Kyle: sorry, my computer is haywire. I looked at him as the message popped onto his screen. Kyle? Where is he, he can’t slip because Mr. Gerard is in front of the class. I looked around. He was gone. But Janet and the rest are working like nothing had happened. I typed to Janet: where is Kyle? It was instantaneously that she replied: Kyle Uploaded. I typed again. Again the response: Kyle Uploaded. I looked over to Janet’s station and saw her just typing.
I looked at the big wall clock and it was on 13:30. 15 minutes to the long weekend. I walked to Janet’s station where she was still working and she jumped when I greeted her. “What are you doing here!?” she asked nervously while she was turning off her screen. “Where is Kyle?” I asked fiddling with my flash drive in my pocket. “Kyle? He is at his station… Oh ohm… I don’t know” she said. “Oh didn’t Mr. Gerard send him or something?” I asked wiping the sweat off my brow with my pull-Over. She only lifted her shoulders in disbelief.
Suddenly the bell rang indicating the end of the day. As I walked to my station I saw in the corner of my eye Janet switching on her screen and shutting down. And Kyle? He is still missing. I took his bags and put them at the lost and found, only taking his cell phone. I told his lift I didn’t know where he was and that I had his cell phone. Just on case he dialed his own number just to see if he can get help.
I went to my house and tried to do homework because if I didn’t do it now, I will never be done, but the need to find Kyle was too great. Homework will have to wait. If I could get into the school at our IT class I could get into Janet’s station just to be sure what she was working on. I climbed on my bike and went as fast as I can before Mr. Gerard went on weekend; he always stays behind to check on things. I got the school, my lungs burning from the 9km trip. I ran to the class only to find it open and deserted. Mr. Gerard’s station’s screen was on and it was open on a strange program. The only two words on the screen made my heart sink: Upload Complete. I went to sit on his chair, it was still warm, and went to his command prompt and searched for the last program he used. It was our chat room?
The chat room has been activated just after the first period, just when Janet started working on her program. Or at least on his computer. On his Start bar there was one application open, Word. I opened it and saw one chilling line of typing: H E L P M E, JANET4476Y. JANET 4476Y? But that is Janet’s chat room number. I went to my station to find the same one line on my word document. I went to the chat room’s main file and saw 3 messages at my profile from Janet:
A strong chill went up my spine. What happened to Kyle? How does Janet, the weakest in the subject, know? And where is Mr. Gerard?
I went to the Computer warehouse where I was suppose to start my shift in half an hour. But it has to wait; I need to know what happened to Kyle and Mr. Gerard, and how do Janet and me fit in all of this? And the data cables went without a trace into my back pocket.
Eight ‘o’clock had struck just as I knocked on the front door of Janet’s house. She answered it personally but the beauty of the last period was gone; it has melted into a face of runny mascara, flown foundation and the hair that looked like a rat’s nest. “What happened to you” I asked surprised. “You’ll see” she said as we walked into the cold house despite the heat of the afternoon.
Janet’s house looked like a warzone, papers everywhere, and cables running from the floor to the ceiling, and a setup of 12 flat screens on the dining room table. “Where are your parents Janet?” I asked looking at the chaos. “Asleep in their bed, I just drugged them before I did all this.” She said without looking up from one of the monitors. “Nice job with the chat room, I don’t know why I didn’t get them before I left” I said. “How did you get in the classroom?”She asked when she was changing from monitors. “Mr. Gerard wasn’t there and the classroom stood open, and I don’t know where he or Kyle is” I said helping her from the floor as she was plugging in another tower to the mix. “I know where they are, and we are going to get all of them out of there” she said pointing to the set of monitors. All of them?
She sat down on a tattered chair and draws a long breath: “You know the opening line of our handbooks?” I shook my head in approval. “It’s bull-shit”. I recited it in my head “A computer is dumb!! You must tell it what to do.”. “How is that even possible?” I asked. “They got too good, they got too smart”. “So they are stealing people?” I said with a snicker. “This is not a joke, its holding them prisoner!” she shouted frustrated. “How are going to get them back, we it is not like we can’t walk up to them and steal them back?”I asked. ” I’m glad you asked” she said with a grin.
She took a flash drive and plugged it in a tower and asked me to stand back. Suddenly a wave of white light filled the room and she said “Jump in! Now!”
We emerged on the other side looking the same, but in evening wear. We were in a grand ball room with an orchestra playing a Mozart. “Where are we Janet?” I asked. “We’re in the Computer, I think on my dads’ home page ‘Orchestra’s of the world’” she whispered. “Why are we whispering?” I whispered mockingly. “Just keep walking” she said. “Look for the sign ‘Digital Life’, it could be anywhere!” she ordered. “Is it a link or a separated page?” I tried to funny. “IT IS A LINK YOU MORON!!” she shouted from across the great ball room. We circled the ball room and saw the sign for ‘Digital Life’ and we looked at each other before we went in “Whatever happens in there I just want you to know that you… have… gorgeous legs, and you are almost smarter than me” I told her. She just smiled and took my hand and we jumped into the sign.
If it wasn’t for the small program Janet was working on that hot February afternoon we would have never succeeded. Who knew she knew what she was doing? Even if she is a girl.
It’s been almost a month after the computer incident and Kyle and I were talking about the IT when Janet stepped into the room. “Hey I never got thank you guys for saving me you know? So thank you, I owe you my life” Kyle said. “But how did you do it? You know, you saved Mr. Gerard and me?” Janet and I looked at each other and said “what will the world be without copy and paste?”

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