You can read the previous part here: Part 3

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29 March 2052

Cara trotted over to the bus stop. “So, what news, Rach?” she asked.

Rachel turned, a furious look on her face. “I can’t believe they kept all of this from us!”

“What happened?” Cara asked.

“I learned so much in one day! Imagine what could have happened in a lifetime of studying!”

Cara grinned. “Did you just read textbooks?”

Rachel shook her head. “No, of course not. I read books by this lady called Agatha Christie. They are absolutely brilliant!”

“Was there anything else?” Cara pressed.

“Yeah. . .,” Rachel smiled.

“What?”

“Music.”

Cara threw her hands up in frustration. “We’ve all listened to Beethoven. And Bach. And Chopin.”

Rachel nodded. “But this was different. This was rap.”

“So? Everyone’s listened to rap. It’s boring.”

Rachel nodded again. “But not this kind of rap. They were all just letting loose, screaming, swearing, and actually flowing. It was pretty cool.”

Cara was blown away. “You liked swearing? What happened to the real Rachel?”

Rachel’s expression darkened. “Rachel is going to be killed by the Cipher on the eighth.”

Cara nodded. “But we can try to stop it.”

“How?” Rachel asked.

“Isn’t it obvious?” Cara asked.

“No,” Rachel said, perplexed.

“We find the headquarters of the Zealandian Public Party.”

Sometimes the most orderly minds can also be the most chaotic. Rachel’s room proved this perfectly, as the whole space was littered with various objects, most of which Cara thought she recognized from two, maybe three years ago. In the center of the room was a little island, where Rachel sat, hunched over a computer.

Cara wouldn’t have even known that Rachel was there, if not for two giveaways: the sound of keys being pounded furiously, and the mass of shiny black hair that was hanging next to it. Cara rarely realized just how long Rachel’s hair was, as it was always tightly braided until it was hip-length. Now she realized that if it wasn’t braided, Rachel’s hair would probably touch the floor. And considering that Rachel was reasonably tall, this was not a small feat.

“Jesus, do you never cut your hair, Rach?”

Rachel looked up, finally distracted from whatever was happening on her computer. “Not really. I haven’t cut it for a long time now.”

Cara was bewildered. “Really?”

“Yeah. I just braid it tighter every time it grows,” Rachel said.

“How long does that take to braid, an hour?”

“I’ve managed to do it in a quarter of that, though on bad days it can be more,” Rachel said, barely looking up.

“What’re you doing?” Cara asked.

“Trying to find the location of the ZPP,” Rachel said, looking at a thick book on her desk.

“How?” Cara asked.

“Well, there’s this book calledΒ Hacking For Dummies that tells me how to go to people’s personal information,” Rachel said.

“So?” Cara asked.

“So I can access the ZPP’s billing information. There has to be an address.”

“Really?” Cara looked over Rachel’s shoulder.

Rachel reloaded the page. “There we go!”

Cara and Rachel stared at the screen, waiting impatiently for the address to load.

* * * * *

You can read the next part here: Part 5

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