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Passing time

Mark kept staring at Joe, waiting for further explanation. But Joe said nothing, and his gaze went back to the screen with the graphs.

“That’s your explanation? What is that supposed to mean? What war? What treasure? “Mark asked with some frustration.

Joe looked at him once more and went back to some thought.

“I think I can explain it easier to Gramps, Mister Joe,“ Maria said.

Joe nodded at her as he kept examining the graphs.

“So what is going on, Maria?“ Mark asked his granddaughter.

They moved to the seats across the way, so to let Joe focus on his current task.

“This new cryptocurrency is quite unusual, not only because of how hard it is to gain it, but also its design and primary source. Mister Joe found traces of a vast amount to be stored somewhere, but nothing worked, no matter what he tried. It is almost like it is a castle that is heavily guarded so as not to let intruders get its treasure.“

Mark started understanding what Joe meant with his previous explanation now.

“Then what just happened? You said its defenses were randomly changing?“ Mark made his next question.

“Yes, they were. He designed an algorithm that allows detecting those defenses to know where they are and how effective, but nothing could pass them or weaken them. But just then, it started showing random changes. That way, we could get out the program to enter and start the source’s part before those defenses deleted it. As time passed, the program was losing its effectiveness, which is why the bar increased that much the first time only. We need to adjust it with what we learned, as we designed the program not only to mine but also to gather information for us to improve it.”

Mark understood the gist of it, and even if he wasn’t sure how everything worked, what just happened fascinated him.

“So, do you know when it is going to act like that again?“

Maria raised her shoulders and shrugged, as she didn’t have an answer for that.

“It seems like you have a lot to take care of. But remember, don’t push yourself and don’t forget your housework. I will go to check what your sister is doing. Will see you at lunch. Make sure both you and Joe join us then.“

Mark made his way back toward their rooms and knocked on the door of Malinda’s. He could barely hear from inside the familiar soundtrack of the show she was watching.

“Come in.“ Melinda’s voice was heard from within.

Mark opened the room and entered and saw Melinda on the bed, with her laptop connected to an LCD screen, that the room had to enjoy the show on a bigger screen.

“I see you are busy already. How many episodes does this show have already? Didn’t it start last week?“

Melinda kept changing between playing different games or watching shows almost every month. Mark didn’t mind her spending her time like that because she didn’t stay behind at school. She wasn’t the best student, but her grades were above average, even if she didn’t enjoy studying. Some had considered that her sister was helping her, but Mark knew it wasn’t exactly the case. Maria didn’t help her, but made her keep studying and tutored her now and then.

Markus had seen their studying time, and he was confident that Melinda had the look of being tortured in her eyes during those times. But those lessons helped, and she was a bright girl when she wanted.

“I am rewatching them for my review. I need to make sure it is perfect before posting. “the young girl responded.

“Review? Posting it? “Mark asked with a look of confusion.

“My friends and I made a blog where we write about new shows, movies, and different topics that people should know.“

This was the first time Mark had heard about it, but he liked the idea of her spending her time doing something else other than just watching those different shows. Writing about them and drawing people wasn’t easy and could be a handy skill for her.

“I see… but you should focus first on your school and then on that blog of yours. I am sure people can wait to read it.“

Melinda sighed, which was a clear sign when she considered Mark didn’t understand what she talked about and wasn’t planning to explain. Mark didn’t pursue it further for now unless he would notice that she was neglecting her studies.

“We should have lunch in a few hours. After that, I would like to see what is the state of your homework.“

Mark knew that he wouldn’t be of big help to her studies. Nevertheless, that action should make her focus on her studies even a bit. He wasn’t too strict with her most times, but sometimes he had to punish her, which was relatively easy with Melinda. He just had to take her laptop and phone.

He then left and went to the elevator to head up and towards the kitchen, which wasn’t far from the living room area.

There was no cook, just robotic arms and robot butlers that took care of the cooking. Joe could probably hire people to take care of those tasks, but he trusted nobody to enter his house for fear of being a spy after his personal creations.

“Welcome to the kitchen, Mr. Mark, “A-42’s voice was heard through one speaker in the kitchen.

Each room had at least one speaker for her voice to be heard only in the specific room, but she could speak in multiple ones simultaneously.

“Hey, A-42. Is there anything I can help with?“

He had nothing to work on, so he decided to see if he could help with the food.

“Guests should relax and let everything to the host. May I advise a movie to watch while waiting?“

Mark was always busy for a long time, even before meeting Truck-kun, and couldn’t remember the last time he watched a movie. Since A-42 didn’t need his help, he decided to take her offer.

But there was a problem. What movie should he watch? He hadn’t had the time to see what was available or had any he wanted to watch.

“You can move to the living room area, Mr. Mark. Everything is ready over there.“

Mark was curious about what she referred to with the term ‘everything’. He hadn’t given her his answer yet, but she probably detected that he thought her suggestion was a good idea. He had in the past instances that A-42 had acted without him saying anything like she read his mind. In reality, she just read his body language at such an almost inhuman speed.

Still entered the living room area and sat on the armchair across the big screen in the room since it was the best suited to enjoy watching a movie.

As he sat and made himself comfortable, the monitor turned on by itself, and the title of the movie showed up, along with its cover and a brief description.

Mark read the summary, and it was a movie about a young man that one day found out that he had supernatural powers, and he tried to adjust to his life without those powers causing a problem.

Mark was interested after reading it, as this sounded a bit like his situation, but was far from it, too. Of course, the protagonist’s power wouldn’t be like his, and he probably didn’t have to take assignments like his, but he wanted to see how he tried to make everything work.

Reading the summary also reminded him of other movies with similar storylines, most that he had never watched, just had heard about.

The movie started, and after some scenes to show who the protagonist was and how his life was currently, we finally got to the point his power first appeared. And at that point, Mark knew why A-42 picked that movie for him to watch.

The protagonist could read and control minds.

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