The cruise ship sailed on the sea. Alexander Smith could see his future house, the house that he would spend a decade in. He also saw the lovely beach and all the happy children. Alex knew he would like long beach. After he smelt the lovely, fresh air, Alex heard the stomping of footsteps on the deck. They had arrived. Two men appeared on the entrance to the cabin and knocked on the door.
“Sir, we have landed. You may wish to depart” said the first man.
Alex sighed. He had spent 6 nights in his cosy cabin. It had 2 rows of lights and a luxury en-suite. The bedroom contained a wardrobe and a large, modern lamp. Then there was the silk-white duvet, even looking at it made you feel so warm and enlightened. It felt so nice in the cabin that it was very hard to leave. “Sir, Are you ready?” said the first man again.
Alex muttered a curse before he opened the door. “I’m ready” he replied.
Both men lead him to the front deck. “Here is the port; we hope you had a nice trip”.
Alex stared at them for a few minutes before nodding and continuing his journey down the steps. At last, he arrived at long beach. It was nothing quite like Southampton. The sun shined brightly and the beautiful tides splashed on the beach. Alex suddenly had the urge to go straight to his new house. All the suitcases were pushed into a small bag rack then were sorted out into the alphabet. As Alex strolled to the set of bag racks on letter S, he accidentally bumped into a very old man.
“Could you spare any change?” he asked pleadingly.
Alex knew about some beggars there. They were beaten up and put in prison. Because he took pity on the man, Alex gave the man a few bucks he exchanged in the cash machine. Strangely, the man also offered him something as well. It wasn’t solid, but a sign. “The last five letters are q-u-i-s-t.” He answered with an agonizing cough. Alex was puzzled by the comment. What was the message? What was so special about quist? The beggar stared at Alex for a while before he said “Aren’t you going to section S now?”
As Alex walked towards section S, he looked back and the beggar vanished. For some reason, he kept thinking about the man. Something was odd about him. The beggar had a large, grey beard with a straw sombrero. His clothing style also seemed to be around the early 1900s. While Alex thought about it, he tripped on a bright red bag. In front of him stood another man dressed in a light blue shirt and a golden badge, “May I help you with your luggage?”
Alex stared at the man puzzlingly until he realized. “Oh yeah” He replied.
“As a level 10 passenger, the highest level, I am authorized to take care of you until you are satisfied” The man observed him quietly. Alex still looked at him as silently as he could. The man sighed. “I will be your security guard”
“So… do I have to pay you?” Alex said in shock.
The man laughed “Nah, your parents are already paying me to look after you.”
Alex stood up. His security guard had thick green eyes, blond, curly hair and looked quite young. He might be in his mid 20’s.
Suddenly, the man laughed, “My apologies, I haven’t introduced himself. My name is Ethan, Ethan Jackson.” He swung his small bag of silver coins. “So, we better get to your house.” Ethan shouted as he beckoned Alex to follow him. While following Ethan, Alex spotted his own house.
“Is that mine?” he asked.
“Yea let me give you a tour. But first, here’s the key. You can do the honours of opening your own house.”
A while later, all his luggage was in the house. Alex made his way to his computer and turned it on.
>Computer, search for the nearest school – He typed.
“Identification error?” asked Alex. Ethan looked at the computer confusingly.
>Computer, Explain identification error.
Alex, bewildered by the error, tried to take it away. Unfortunately, he couldn’t erase it.
>ERROR ERROR Hacker detected Virus imminent
“Hacker?” Alex asked.
>Computer, follow where the hacker is transmitting the virus.
>Computer, go to lockdown mode.
“Ethan!” Alex shouted.
“What?” Ethan responded.
Alex suddenly knew what it was. “If we erase the numbers and add quist in-“
“Quist? What’s that got to do with quist?” Ethan said.
“Be quiet. Now, if we do that, we get the word ventriloquist.” Alex exclaimed.
“Wait, is it talking about the legend?” Ethan added.
Alex looked at him puzzlingly. He never knew about a legend which includes the word ventriloquist. Nor would he ever know if he never came here.
Ethan shook his head sadly. His face surprisingly seemed older. “What’s the legend?” Alex curiously asked, even if he knew it wouldn’t help him.
Ethan quickly went into a rage. “Why do you care Alex?!?” He cried “This Damn freakin’ horseplay is going to drive us nuts!”
“I think we already are.”
“Shut up!!!” Ethan bellowed.
“Well, I wouldn’t ask this bloody question if you would tell me the crappy legend!” Alex knew he shouldn’t have said it but he burst the words out.
”Oh crud!”Ethan said as he stormed out of the room. As he stomped out, he shouted. Alex felt something he hadn’t felt in years, guilt. “Ethan, oh shoot” he sighed. He stood there quietly. After a while, he heard a hint of blissful anger. “Ethan, I’m sorry. I knew how you felt about it.” Alex softly said as he opened the door to the storage room.
“It’s OK Alex, It’s just. It happened before.” Ethan said. Alex cocked his head. “The legend?”
“Yes, It happened once before, in 1999” Ethan grunted as Alex helped him up. “When I was fifteen, I was in a party. You know, the normal dancing, drinking. Just then, I heard a crack in the TV, it got hacked. Then, I saw it.”
Alex looked at him pleadingly. “Who, who?”Alex said. Ethan whispered “Him.”