Age is no barrier
A tall, young man boarded the three o’clock bus headed north towards Lake Erie. He took one of the back seats and pulled out his iPod and put in his headphones. Most of the passengers disregarded him as just another teenager obsessed with his electronics, who couldn’t go anywhere without playing something. The young man quickly pulled up an application on his iPod called “Scope” and began scanning the area. A message popped up on the screen “Welcome back, Witty. There are currently three scopes operating in the area.” The young man taped in a command, requesting the distance of the other three users. “All three are within 50 feet.” That was to say, they were on the bus with him.
“Witty” looked up quickly, and noticed a man in a purple hoodie looking at him. The way he was wearing the hooded masked his face, though Witty was sure that he was one of the scope users. Witty looked back down and tried to look inconspicuous. He could feel the man’s eyes boring into him, even though he couldn’t see them. Witty was about to look up again when another notification popped up. “Nanobots detected. Incoming towards Bowling Green//Ohio//United States.” Witty started tapping commands into the scope. “Ahh ****. Legion…” He muttered to himself.
“So, a Swarm, then?” The robotic voice from right next to him startled him into looking up. The man in the purple hoodie was right next to him now, in the seat across the aisle, staring. “I… What?” Witty was scared, he knew this man had a scope, so he must be either Legion, or Swarm, and if this man was Swarm, he would know he wasn’t, and Witty had no wish to meet anyone from either the Swarm or the Legion. “I don’t know what you mean.” Witty said to him.
“Well, you didn’t seem happy to see Legion nanobots entering the area, so I assumed you were a Swarm field operative. I wasn’t aware that they brain-washed them so young.” The hooded man looked into Witty’s eyes, undoubtedly seeing the fear that he was trying to hide. “I know you know about them, you have a scope. You even pinged mine, despite my security. The Swarm must be getting better.” He looked at the boy, and pulled back his hood. His face was covered by a display screen, it showed a pixilated face. An “emoticon”. “I am Prometheus. Now tell me, who do you work for, and why are you following me?”
“I don’t work for anyone. Who do you work for ‘Prometheus’? I’m just a hacker, but I’ve done nothing wrong! If you work for the police, you can just go right back and tell them I’ve been following the law!” Witty wasn’t exactly lying, this time. “So, a hacker. And only a child. I guess age really isn’t a barrier. Interesting. You say you aren’t a member of the Legion or the Swarm, yet you know who they are. Have you heard of QONQR?” Witty inhaled deeply before replying, “Yes… I know what QONQR is.”
“Good, I suggest you come with me. I think I can help you. I am the spokesperson for a group called ‘The Faceless’ I think we will get along, you and I. What is your name, by the way?” Witty blinked, “You can call me ‘Witty’.” Prometheus looked at him, and then motioned to two other passengers on the bus, a large, muscular man, and a small, mouse-ish woman. “We must move quickly, the Legion bots will be here soon. Witty, come with us,” He handed Witty a purple hoodie, “Put this on. Hide your face until we can get you a proper emoti-caster.”
The three adults moved quickly to the front of the bus and got off. Witty only hesitated for a second, before getting up and following, grabbing his backpack and stuffing his iPod into his pocket before running to catch up. “So, what is the goal of these ‘Faceless’ that is any different from the Legion or the Swarm?” Witty asked as he caught up. Prometheus looked at him, and the emoti-caster smiled, “The Faceless? We’re going to hack QONQR.” He then started moving again, “Hurry up, Witty. We have work to do.”