Hacker Ch.40- Alliance meeting (Part 2) + Reversal!
“Y-you’re slandering me!”
The other party never expected for Lin Yan to say something like this nor did he expect that she could’ve known such secret information.
Lin Yan tilted her head and showed a naive and innocent smile. She grabbed something with her right hand and then threw it into the center where a holographic image slowly unfolded in front of everyone’s eyes.
“”I will not wrong anyone who is willing to fight for the Guide Alliance, but likewise, I will not let anyone who try to destroy the Guide Alliance off that easily.”
A video began to play in the center and the setting in the video was clearly a scene of the public space of the star network.
The person in the video lowered their head to fiddle with something and then the setting shifted into another space.
As long as you are familiar with the star network space, one can tell that this space that looked like a waiting room is actually a private meeting room that the star network offers for its many users.
One of the reasons why the star network space is so popular with people is because of the confidentiality of the star network’s meeting rooms.
In the meeting rooms, users cannot attack each other nor can outsiders enter the room without invitation. This makes users trust the star network and so many secret conversations take place in such a fashion.
And since the creation of the star network, not a single conversation has been leaked.
That’s why quite a few people were shocked to see this and almost everyone couldn’t help but turn their eyes towards Lin Yan and the floating figures behind her.
The video continued to play.
After that person entered the private room, a second person appeared.
Lin Yan’s hand moved slightly, and the originally quiet conversation was suddenly amplified by several degrees and everyone could hear the conversation.
“Planet Ta does not care about your past. As long as you tell them that the Guide Alliance has no hope of standing up again, we will consider your end of the bargain to be fulfilled.”
“And….after the Guide Alliance is destroyed, you really will let me join Planet Ta?”
“Haha, that will depend on your performance.” The other party smiled meaningfully, “Our Guide Academy does indeed have control over where our Guides end up and there are so many Sentinels on Planet Ta. Do not worry, we will match you up with a sentinel worthy of your performance.”
“Really? Thank y-”
Lin Yan paused the video there and then smiled at the man.
The man’s body was already shaking uncontrollably, his eyes darting back and forth in a frantic manner.
When Lin Yan’s gaze met his, the man felt like his stomach was tied up in knots, “In the star network, these private conversations can’t be leaked! You must have forged this video to incriminate me!”
Lin Yan admitted readily, “Yes, there is indeed no way for these conversations to be leaked, but-”
“-We have Narcissus on our side.”
The beautiful young man floating in the air behind her raised a hand, and the wide silk sleeves slipped down, revealing a beautiful pale arm.
The slender hand snapped.
The starry sky around them suddenly turned into a city square, the main square of the star network space.
Countless avatars walked beside them, seemingly unable to see the group of people who suddenly emerged in the center.
Some of the avatars simply walked straight through a bunch of them.
The originally silent group broke out into exclamation.
“Star Network’s A.I.?!! He’s never appeared before now! How can he suddenly become involved with humans?!!”
“I know Narcissus is an elite artificial intelligence system, but how come even his holographic figure is this handsome!”
“This video was provided by Narcissus? No wonder. Although the star network says that data collection/intrusion between users is prohibited, they never did say that the A.I was beholden to the same rules.”
“So that means everything that happens in the star network can be seen by Narcissus? My god….”
Narcissus originally had a smile on his face as he listened to the exclamation from the crowd but who would’ve known that the subject would get so off topic the more they talked…..
The beautiful boy felt blue veins popping on his forehead and almost collapsed in anger. He wanted to explain that he was not at all interested in human behavior and only cared about himself when his face darkened with a cold look, “Pandora!”
Then the person who’s secret conversations were violated by the A.I suddenly started laughing.
No, it wasn’t laughter. The sound of his voice was neither like he was crying or laughing. His tone didn’t sound happy nor guilty or sad, but rather like a lunatic who suddenly had a relapse of mental illness.
Almost everyone around him took a step back.
Pandora snapped her fingers and instantly robotic arms popped out of the walls, each one with a gun attached to them. The muzzles of the guns were directly pointed at the laughing man.
The spy opened his eyes and looked at the muzzle pointed directly at him, but instead of panicking he laughed even louder. The laughter gradually became hoarse, and even brought out a harsh sound like two pieces of metal rubbing together.
Lin Yan narrowed her eyes, his laughter sounded familiar…
Then it suddenly hit her. The moment she realized, both her and Kristen shouted at the same time: “Shoot him!”
They have only heard that type of harsh and grating laughter from a certain group of people.
Sparks flew from the gun and bullets rushed out, and blood quickly poured out and stained the clothes. However, the man did not lose consciousness and other than his body shaking from the impact, it seemed the bullets had no effect on him as he continued to laugh.
The Ants mercenary group!
The man finally stopped his laughter, as if he was a robot who’s switch was suddenly turned off. His head turned stiffly to the side and his gaze locked onto Lin Yudu.
It seems she was his target, as he suddenly lunged forward and rushed at Lin Yudu at a speed that a civilian like him should not be capable of.
The room erupted into chaos.
Meanwhile, Lin Yudu had never expected such a situation. She sat there in shock and her eyes widened as the man approached her when his body suddenly froze, just one arm’s length away from her.
The man fell and Chu’s cold face was revealed behind him. He crashed an elbow into the Ant’s neck and then stepped violently onto the creature’s back.
His strength was not light as the man’s body cracked and he started to cough up blood.
Chu stretched out his hands and tore off the creature’s two arms. He was then about to step back when Kristen’s voice called out,
“Don’t let him go!” Kristen said anxiously, “He’s a cyborg! He can only be killed if his entire system is destroyed!”
Chu raised his eyebrows: “You know what this man is?”
As soon as he said this, Lin Yan and Kristen both looked at him with incredulous expressions.
Taking advantage of Chu’s distracted state, the man beneath his feet suddenly stood to his feet with a burst of power.
However, Chu’s previous attacks were not light and the man stumbled as he tried to run when popping sounds rang out in the room. Then he crashed towards the ground. Chu walked over to the man and he relaxed only after he saw the blood pouring out of the small bullet wound on the man’s temple.
There was white smoke coming out of the muzzles of the guns attached to the robot arms on the ceiling.
The charming woman (who is not actually a woman but an A.I.) standing behind Lin Yan chuckled darkly, “It seems that my aim is as accurate as ever.”
Her gaze fell onto Chu next and then she asked him languidly, “You have lived on Pandora for many years now and have done so many rescue missions with the Alliance, so how come you’ve never heard of the Ant Mercenary Group?”
Chu frowned slightly: “Those men in black?”
He has only ever seen those men in black a few times during his rescue missions.
“….I have fought against them before,” Chu raised his head towards Pandora, “but they never fight back. Whenever I have the upperhand, they just end up giving up the batch of Guides they are transporting and leave. I never found anything about their backgrounds either so I don’t really know much about them.”
Pandora’s expression changed, and she turned to look at Lin Yudu who was still standing around in a daze.”
“Lin Yudu, what is wrong with your data gathering!”
Lin Yudu’s lips trembled suddenly, and she said in a humble tone, “Pandora-daren.” (T/N: daren is the Chinese equivalent of ‘sama’ and is a title of respect toward superiors. Couldn’t think of a way to translate it so I just left it in pinyin form)
She continued hurriedly: “The Ants are a strange and mysterious group and with the Alliance’s current strength, we cannot compete with them. Furthermore, the current Ants are not yet a threat to the Alliance so I had the information temporarily filed away.”
Pandora started laughing angrily after Lin Yudu finished speaking.
She didn’t bother to look at the human she had once trusted and turned her gaze to Chu instead, “The Ants is a mercenary group that is composed of cyborgs who have been transformed into something even more deadly with the use of biomechanics. Once they have finished their transformation, they become suicidal fighter machines. Unless they die, they will keep on getting back over and over again until they succeed in their mission.”
Chu rubbed his chin: “So…they are a part of the underworld.”
The underworld is also a part of Pandora’s black market, the only place on Pandora that was not under Pandora’s jurisdiction. Other than illegal transactions and other crimes happening there, it also acted as fertile soil for shady organizations to breed and grow.
The Pandora system was built upon the original government system and thus areas that were originally not included had become areas that were not under Pandora’s control.
Towards this annoying situation, Chu only felt frustration. When he found out that several organizations that helped Planet Ta traffic Guides were right under his nose, he couldn’t do a thing to them.
Furthermore, the information they had on the Ants before were not at all comprehensive. He felt it was best to go on the defensive instead in case fighting the Ants might hurt the Guide Alliance.
And the rest of the Guide Alliance were focused on other important matters and could not bother with a group they had no information on. Now those people were on the receiving end of Pandora’s glare.
The public opinion faction that had been quite the entire time started conversing behind Lin Yudu.
“The Pandorian system? As in the Pandora?”
“Princess, what kind of people or…creatures are you associating with….”
“Narcissus is also with her too! Does that mean the other ‘people’ behind her are all artificial intelligence systems like Pandora too?”
“Um….that’s not the main point guys….”
“With Narcissus on our side, don’t we have a chance to counterattack?”
“Although the current media have almost unified their opinions with Planet Ta and are determined to crush us to death, if you look closer, we can actually win!”
“Wilson has participated in human trafficking of Guides for so many years that we have acquired a handful of evidence on him. The reason why he’s desperately trying to sabotage the Alliance and even Pandora is because he’s afraid that if given the chance, we will turn the tables on him, right?”
“The situation before was really desperate, but now….”
“With the supreme A.I. that manages the star network, we can even fight against the heavens! What are we afraid of!”
Lin Yudu stood awkwardly in the front of her faction. She had never encountered such an embarrassing situation in her life.
The discussion behind her gradually grew louder, but she could not participate as if nothing had happened.
With Pandora’s previous attitude towards Chu, telling him everything about the Ants and the underworld, it was clear that they no longer had any intention of using her ever again.
She clenched her fists tightly and her sharp nails stabbed into the palms of her hands.
She closed her eyes silently. She would accept her punishment without fighting. However, just as she decided to give up, a familiar voice sounded out in front of her.
Lin Yudu opened her eyes to see the lucky little princess who seemed to be favored by God in front of her.
She pursed her lips and said coldly, “Why are you here.”
Lin Yan pretended not to hear the coldness in her voice and tilted her head with a smile, “Because I have something to ask of you.”
These words were light and seemingly innocent, but to Lin Yudu they were like nails thudding into her heart.
She looked at the girl in front of her in a daze.
Lin Yan turned around and pulled Narcissus over to Lin Yudu.
“Let me introduce you two. This is Narcissus, the star network’s maintenance and optimization system.”
Lin Yudu felt somewhat confused.
“As someone who works with public image and opinion, you must know what Narcissus can do for you without me saying anything, right?”
Lin Yudu shook her head in a daze, still unable to recover from this sudden shock.
Narcissus couldn’t help but let out a “tsk” and then reluctantly stretched out a hand like he was handing out charity and then squinted at Lin Yudu.
Lin Yudu looked down at his hand and stretched out her own hand. She shook hands with the holographic image of this beautiful boy like they were sealing a deal.
After completing his task, Narcissus floated over to the public opinion faction behind her.
The young people of Lin Yudu’s faction bursted into a wave of cheers when they saw Narcissus.
Lin Yudu finally sobered up. As if she had awakened from a trance, she turned her head abruptly and asked with a trace of confusion in her voice, “…Why are you helping me?”
Lin Yan just smiled, “I’m not helping you.”
She looked over Lin Yudu and then looked at the people behind her: “I’m just helping those who are trying their best to fulfill the dreams of our Alliance.”
Lin Yudu was dumbfounded.
So many years have passed, and she has long forgotten the determination she once had. The determination and willingness to dedicate everything she had to the Alliance.
After becoming the leader of the public opinion faction, she had gradually lost her dedication to her work. Instead, she paid more attention to status and in-fighting among the factions.
And as a result, she had almost the entire Alliance under her control but none of her current power can compare to the vow she once held in her heart.
Had she truly forgotten everything she had fought for? So much so that she only realized it now, when they were on the cusp of destruction?
Lin Yudu smiled bitterly.
This is probably the so-called “without destruction there can be no construction.” (T/N: A famous saying during the cultural revolution in China.)
She felt the long-lost determination and strength filling her once again and she sighed deeply. However, it was more of a sigh of relief as she finally let go of something that had been dragging her down this entire time.
Lin Yudu gave Lin Yan a soft smile for the first time and then said in a soft yet clear voice,
Kristen lowered her head as she looked at the corpse on the ground. She couldn’t help but recall her previous confrontations with the Ants.
When she had rescued Lin Yan from the Ants’ starship, she had also killed all the Ants by herself, but not long after, they had come back to life and appeared on Pandora again.
There were just too many secrets about the Ants she didn’t know about.
Footsteps sounded out behind her and then stopped.
“Do you know anything about this mercenary group?” It was General Doyle.
“Yes.” Kristen stood up and met Chu and Pandora’s gazes, “Most of neutral interstellar mercenary groups have heard of them, but the Ants are one of the strangest mercenary groups out there.”
“Most mercenaries start out by building credibility and then charge as much as they can when they have built a reputation. Therefore, they are very cautious in accepting various commissioned missions, but the Ants are different.” Kristen paused and then continued, “They…as long as they are given money, they will fulfill any mission. Once the mission has been accepted, they will do their best to complete it at any cost.”
“And from the current situation, they are obviously taking orders from Planet Ta or Duke Wilson.”
Pandora asked: “What are the defining characteristics of these cyborgs?”
“The sound of metal grinding against each other when they speak, their insane and suicidal behavior and of course….their so-called immortality.”
The first two characteristics have been clearly shown by the man currently lying on the ground but the last one….
“He shows no signs of life anymore.” Chu wiped his hand that he used to touch the corpse and raised his eyes to look at Kristen, “This is not a sci-fi or fantasy novel, there is no such thing as immortality.”
Kristen wondered about the truth of that statement.
Her keen intuition was telling her that she was missing some important details.
Just what is it….
Suddenly, Pandora smiled widely, “Don’t you think his sudden change in behavior was almost like a war robot getting infected by the ‘killing virus’?”
She was talking about the era of when wars were fought by robots.
The so-called “killing virus” is actually the real reason that led to the eradication of those war robots.
Once infected with the killing virus, no matter how sophisticated the war robot is, it would instantly break away from the system’s control, becoming a rogue machine who attacks indiscriminately until their energy runs out.
Kristen finally caught the tail of the clue she needed.
“What if the so-called immortality of the Ants is dependent on this virus?”
She felt a flash of inspiration.
Kristen slowly explained her thoughts, “Their voices are unique and some parts of their bodies are also made of metal, so can these cyborgs be controlled by specific viruses or programs just like a robot?”
Chu suddenly stood up: “001, scan his body.”
001 acted quickly and obediently (because the main system, Pandora, is watching him) and quickly scanned the corpse that fell on the ground and then projected a hologram above the corpse.
The shaded areas were extremely clear and within the brain of the dead man was an unknown metal object.
Pandora searched hard in her database and finally reached the same conclusion: “Mind control?”
Relying on the instrument implanted in the brain, one could continuously influence the brain of the individual until they become completely under their control.
However, this continuous mind control also leads to serious side effects.
The brain would have to undergo severe interference thus, causing it to become fragile and easily destroyed. Then the individual will become like the corpse on the ground, eventually falling into madness and then discarded without so much of a blink of an eye.
“What kind of psychos would invent this kind of thing?” Kristen muttered, unable to suppress her astonishment.
“And only a psycho would be capable of inventing such a thing.” Lin Yan’s voice suddenly sounded out from behind her.
The hologram rippled slightly as the meeting room’s door opened.
Kristen turned her head to find Lin Yan holding her photonic device with a smile in her eyes.
“The reason why the Ant doesn’t die is probably related to that implant in his mind.” Lin Yan shrugged. “There are many parts on his body that have been replaced with machinery. And I believe the other Ants are a little bit more special compared to the cannon fodder we have lying on the ground.”
While she was talking, her fingers slid gently across the screen of her device.
Pandora, who had been silently watching from the side with a blank expression suddenly looked over with a look of interest. She floated behind Lin Yan curiously, and looked at her screen before letting out a little gasp of surprise, “Huh?”
“It seems there is something there.” A smile hung on Lin Yan’s lips and her device successfully connected to the unknown metal implant in the corpse’s brain.
Kristen watched as a dazzling array of code floated across the screen.
Lin Yan narrowed her eyes and sat on the ground, quickly tapping away at the screen with both hands.
Pandora’s brows were furrowed so one could tell that the situation was not good.
However, Lin Yan seemed to realize that Pandora behind her wanted to join the battle on the screen. She quickly called out without taking her eyes off the screen, “Pandora, don’t act rashly!”
“The opponent’s actions suggest that this is an evolved form of the killing virus.”
The killing virus, as a famous virus in history, naturally had a lofty reputation.
At least, in terms of the level of production and the degree of threat, the killing virus was still a rather terrifying existence in most people’s minds.
Pandora is an elite artificial intelligence system so killing the virus is not a difficult task for her, but if it’s the evolved version of the killing virus…
Even Pandora could not take such a risk.
She shrank back and comforted her fragile ego by reminding herself that she is an elite artificial intelligence system in charge of an entire planet and that she can’t just put her entire planet at risk because of her impulses.
Lin Yan was using her device that was not connected to the star network, but she was clearly at a disadvantage.
The designer of this evolved virus could be regarded as a ghost. Lin Yan could barely trace a single code of command from the other party, otherwise, it was as if the other party was never there.
The moment she intercepted the signal source, her device could no longer survive against the virus’ attacks and the screen flickered before it went dead.
Lin Yan could only imprint the address of that signal source into her mind as she closed her eyes and sighed, “They’re on Pandora.”
Chu’s fists clenched tightly.”
Lin Yan continued, “I tracked down their main server. All the commands seem to be coming from Pandora.”
“Can you pinpoint the exact location?” General Doyle asked.
“Yes,” Lin Yan smiled slightly, “as long as you are willing to sacrifice a few more photonic devices, we can definitely figure out their location.”
General Doyle nodded, “Then after the Alliance recovers a little, I will bring some people from the Third Legion and try to eliminate this mercenary group once and for all.”
He turned his head towards Chu who stood to the side, “Lad-….Chu, I hope you can cooperate with us.”
Chu glared at him when Doyle uttered the first word but agreed in the end.
For the star network users of the Stewart Empire, today is a memorable day.
When they woke up, the entire star network was condemning Pandora and a certain allegedly illegal Guide Alliance. This uninteresting topic was still hung up and occupying the headline despite their really being no big controversy over it.
However, this was not big news for ordinary users.
Except for some people with a keen political sense and a good memory, this news mattered little to them and was just the beginning of an ordinary day.
However, as half a day passed, an unexpected change swept the entire star network.
News that make the headlines usually represent the official position of the Empire and never changes.
However, this official opinion was then severely turned over and became a slap in the face of the Planet Ta Public Opinion Press!
In the first half of the day, the articles criticizing Pandora and condemning the Guide Alliance were overwhelming.
【First crime of Planet Ta: Buying and Selling of Over 1200 Guides in the last ten years. A dark web of lies that is intertwined with the underground trafficking of Guides.】
The information written in that article was ten years of evidence the Guide Alliance collected bit by bit with their blood and tears. Finally, the Guide Alliance was able to unsheathe the sharp blade they had hidden for so long.
The filth lurking in the dark was brutally pulled out and so it obviously made headlines on the star network and shook the entire galaxy.
The interstellar empire was shocked to the core on this day.