Fangzheng was stunned… He never expected the augmentation from back then had given him this many benefits. The cell phone was not only a tool for communication, it was a tool for education. With the cell phone, he could read more free Buddhist scriptures. However, he never expected the cell phone to become this powerful after the augmentation. It could even crack world-class viruses.
Fangzheng asked, “System, can I help others crack the virus?”
“Yes, your cell phone has a voice assistant. It does not have any feelings of its own but will typically be able to recognize the average command. For example, remove a particular virus or target a set system.” said the System.
Fangzheng opened the voice assistant.
“Dear User, hello there. How can I help?”
“Help me remove all viruses and unlock the computers in Germany’s St. Mary Hospital, Russia’s Fyodorovskaya Clinic and Switzerland’s Davos Hospital. Also, send the address of the attacker to the nearest police station.”
“Understood. Please hold.”
Currently in Germany’s St. Mary Hospital.
“Four million US dollars? Why don’t they just rob someone? Wait they are robbing somebody, ME!!” roared the director angrily.
“Director, we can’t delay any longer. A few patients are in urgent need of surgery but… Sigh.” A doctor ran over and urged him anxiously.
“I know but what about the money? Where do I get it? We wouldn’t be fast enough even if we raised the money!” The director tugged at his hair, causing a few strands to fall off. He was truly anxious.
In a particular underground room in Europe’s Birmingham, United Kingdom.
“Raising the money is your problem. If someone dies, it’s his problem. It has nothing to do with me. I want money. Without the money, I won’t unlock it for you. Believe me, if the money doesn’t come, only more will die. You do not have much time left.” David’s eyes were red as he had a warped sense of excitement on his face.
“You can’t do that. Those people are innocent. If all you want is money why kill them?!” replied the director.
“Perhaps but don’t you think this is exciting? I like this virus. It makes me feel like I exist. I feel like I’m a god ruling over life and all of you are my sheep,”
“You lunatic!” cursed the director. Just as the director was at a loss, the red screen in front of him suddenly vanished!
“Oh? What happened?” The director was taken aback.
“Director, it has been cleared. All the locks on the documents have been removed!” cried a technician excitedly.
“Did I strike his conscience through my scolding? It looks like I didn’t study psychology for nothing…” said the balding white-haired director with a chuckle.
As he laughed, someone else was going mad.
“How can that be possible? My mutated Redstorm got removed by someone? How is that possible?” David jumped up and smashed his keyboard.
There was a loud violent bang from his door. Two policemen entered with guns raised. They shouted, “Freeze, don’t move. Put your hands where I can see them!”
David turned his head and roared angrily, “Scram! Get out of my house!”
“Silence, don’t move! F**king freeze!” cursed a policeman.
David went crazy as he kept shouting. He picked up a stool and made to throw it.
Two gunshots sounded as David fell silent. He slumped to the ground, body covered in blood. However, he was still laughing. “I’m god… god…”
“Instruction completed,” said the voice assistant five minutes later.
Fangzheng said, “Phew… that’s good. System, does that count as me saving people? Is there a prize?”
“Someone died because of you and someone lived because of you. Do you think you should be rewarded?” asked the System.
Fangzheng was stunned. “What do you mean? Who died because of me?”
“Read the news tomorrow and you will know the answer,” said the System before it disappeared.
Fangzheng was dumbfounded. What was going on? He did not know that David died not long after the instruction was completed.
When he picked up his cell phone, the hacker was still sending him messages, inquiring about the situation.
Fangzheng replied, “You found the wrong guy.”
Fangzheng instructed the voice assistant to not accept anymore communication requests from them. Fangzheng sat down under the bodhi tree and pondered over the question. He had no idea who died because of him. He just couldn’t figure it out.
Fangzheng shook his head and returned to his quarters to sleep.
The next day at dawn, Fangzheng took out his cell phone to check the news. The headlines had changed! It was still red but it looked celebratory! There was a long line of text!
“The creator of the ransomware virus, David Lauen has been found. He resisted arrest, was shot twice, and died on the spot. According to sources, David Lauen suffered from severe clinical depression and paranoia. He was also a programming madman…”
“He’s dead?” Fangzheng was stunned before he sighed. He pressed his palms together, “Amitabha.”
Although someone had died because of Fangzheng, he was surprised that his conscience did not feel pricked. It was completely different from what he imagined. He continued reading the news…
“It’s a miraculous crack of a criminal case. According to Germany’s St. Mary Hospital, Russia’s Fyodorovskaya Clinic, and Switzerland’s Davos Hospital, they were rendered helpless against the demands. All the hospital’s had a few patients in critical condition that needed treatment. If everything had gone as normal, these people would likely have been in danger. The locks were miraculously released.”
According to United Kingdom’s Birmingham’s police chief, they suddenly received an anonymous email that forcibly displayed itself on the computer monitors. “The information indicated the location of the ransomware creator. We originally investigated it skeptically and never expected to crack the case. God must have been watching over us. Thank you to the white hacker for their aid!”
As he continued scrolling, he saw messages of the severely ill patients and their families. There wasn’t a lot but Fangzheng felt his heart burn up.
“Although I do not know who you are, you gave me hope in life. Thank you.”
“Thank you for saving my husband. Heavens, I do not know what would have happened to my family without him. It’s too frightening an idea…”
“Thank you, thank you very much. I can dance again.”
After seeing the messages, Fangzheng smiled happily. When he read the end, his smile turned cold.
It was David Lauen’s history. He lived in a family that suffered domestic abuse. His father was an alcoholic and would beat his mother daily. Finally, David witnessed his father killing his own mother! David’s father ended up in jail and David was given a new guardian by the court.
From that day forth, David became depressed and introverted. He was on his computer daily and wrote code that his foster parents could not understand.
At twelve, his foster parents tried to encourage David to have fun outside and escape his psychological scars. They did so by hiding his computer, that day David’s foster parents died from food poisoning. David narrowly escaped death when he was revived in the hospital.
At sixteen, David quit school and seldom went out, staying at home. Later that year, he became the champion of a programming contest in the United Kingdom.
At eighteen, he wrote a hacking script and successfully infiltrated a company in the United Kingdom. He ended up imprisoned.
He was released five years later but the company had already gone bankrupt. The reason was that its funds had been transferred, causing a liquidity crisis. Debtors hounded them for payment but they failed to identify the culprit.
Upon reading this, Fangzheng put away his cell phone and left his room. He came to the temple hall and pressed his palms together. He bowed at the Ten Thousand Buddha plaque. “Amitabha. To kill is to not to kill, not killing is to kill! Killing a person is a sin while saving a person is meritorious. To kill one person to save many people, the merit gained far exceeds the sin. Killing can be meritorious! But wantonly using killing is a sin. There is righteousness in the world and law among humans. Everything abides by law and karma. This Penniless Monk is guilt-free. Amitabha! System, I want my prize.”
“Congratulations on obtaining the divine power, Wisdom Eye. It allows you to see the merits and negative karma of a person.”
“Uh? Merits and negative karma? Is it used to distinguish good people from bad?”
“You can understand it like that but the usage is not limited to these simple things. You can figure it out yourself.”
Fangzheng rubbed his nose and said wryly, “You sure are an irresponsible System. Then, let me ask you an honest question. If I were to say that killing a person is a sin, is there a prize?”