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New laptop

Codex headed back to his room with his new laptop and mouse as they got back to Tira's apartment. He looked forward to testing them out and see the differences. Maybe another Portal would appear, one he could handle.

He noticed that the first Portal code was the same as the one on the tablet's name, and the second one was the same as his old laptop. So maybe if he spends some time with different machines, he could get access to different portals.

He still had found no machine that wasn't of R-Tech or tried to hack one. It tempted him to try a few times, but the voice advised him against doing so. Maybe if he increased his success chance more, he could try it. But to do that, he needed to increase his Journal Entries, meaning he had to find another place like the one at the mall.

Then he had an idea. He opened his new laptop and followed the instructions of a small manual to finish the first installations needed. He didn't understand everything he did, but he followed the instructions, even optional ones.

As he worked on the laptop, he could feel the difference from the one before. Its response time was way better, even if it didn't seem to keep up with Codex at his full speed. Still, the improvements were noticeable.

Codex memorized the whole manual as it contained information about potential problems he could encounter and how to solve them.

After the laptop was ready to use, he had to connect it to the house's Wi-Fi to access the internet. He found how to do that, and using his old laptop as a reference, knew which one of the possible nearby Wi-Fi was the one he had to connect with, but there was a problem. He didn't know the Wi-Fi password.

Codex focused on the window that asked him to enter the password.

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FOCUSED HACKING ATTEMPT DETECTED

You try to hack the Laptop RG-1910(R-Tech) in a focused area

Do you want to hack it?

Chance of Success: 71%

YES / NO

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Codex wasn't certain if that would work and was glad it did and that the chance of success was higher than any he had encountered till now.

"Hey, Soryn. What do you think? Are we ready for this?"

Soryn was his Second Lieutenant, which meant that it was his advisor for situations like that. He trusted him, as until now, this trust had paid off.

Soryn still couldn't send him any words, just vibes of feelings, but Codex was certain that he received an affirmative message.

"Let's do this then. Yes."

After he gave his answer, a new panel replaced the one in front of him.

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Do you want to use manual* hacking?

YES/NO

*doesn't follow the previous chance of success

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Another new message, although it wasn't completely unexpected. He remembered that what Little Angel did was considered remote hacking, so he had assumed that there were other kinds. The chance of success was big enough without using the manual attempt, but he was still curious about the difference.

"Yes. Let's use manual."

As he finished this sentence, a familiar sight appeared on the screen of the laptop. Another portal was open. But this one wasn't as big as the whole screen but was just covering one-fourth of the screen at the bottom right.

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Choose your nanobots.

Slots: 3

You have 15 seconds to decide, or the remaining slots will get filled randomly.

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He thought of this leading to a portal but didn't expect to need so few Nanobots and have that little time to choose. Soryn and Little Angel instantly filled two slots. As for the final one, he went with one he hadn't taken last time; Nanobot #6354. It was the first Nanobot he had appraised, and it had 4 assignments, so it needed only one more to level up.

He could fill all slots with level 1 nanobots, as most of them were at 4 assignments, but wanted to play it safe and put Soryn's Skill to the test. He also wanted to see if Little Angel would be more helpful in hacking than others, as he had more successes than the rest.

He decided in the first 5 seconds. As time passed, he could think faster and clearer. He let the System, as he started calling it since it was a common term in some books he read, that he was ready to go. He started feeling tired once more, but he sat on the desk chair in the room as he and his selected nanobots started passing through the portal after turning into 1s and 0s.

Again he was falling and saw the three nanobots he selected falling with him, but he had noticed some changes. Soryn had an extra pair of legs, making it having 6 instead of 4, but the new ones were different.

The ones until now were a little pointy, but not enough to be used as weapons, bet the new ones, and wider. They seemed like a pointed gauntlet surrounding the actual legs.

Looking more closely, Codex understood that this was really the case, but still, the 'legs' differed from the others. This gauntlet didn't cover the legs from all sides, just one side. Looking at one of the uncovered sides, he noticed that the end of the legs split into three parts, instead of two, like the rest.

Little Angel was also a little smaller and thinner than the rest, and its body surface was completely dark instead of silver.

As for Nanobot #6354, there weren't any differences from the ones he had last time.

As they landed in a similar dark room as the last time, Codex told his fellow bots to use their antennas to make the place lighter. Then he read the message in the panel that appeared the moment they landed.

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WELCOME TO SUB-PORTAL 1910

Difficulty: ???

Task: Find the exit and unlock the door

Duration: 10 minutes

Reward: ???

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He didn't know if it was a good or a bad sign that he had less time to complete the mission. Last time he thought he had more than enough, and he barely succeeded.

"Everyone keeps looking for anything strange and report to Soryn or me."

He also started looking around, but it seemed like what he looked for wasn't too far. They had actually landed next to it.

It was a large door, with an Exit sign over it and a strange symbol over it. The symbol was different curved lines, one next to the other. Each line was getting smaller, from left to right. He had seen that symbol on the laptop and the tablet and seemed to have something to do with the Internet.

He tried to open the door, but it didn't budge, and a panel appeared in front of him, with many digital buttons on it.

There were twelve buttons, forming four lines of three buttons each. The first nine had on them one number from one to nine in order. The last thee had a green button, a button with the number zero on it, and a red button, in that order from left to right.

Codex tried to put a code there, and with each number, he added a new asterisk that appeared at the top of the panel, probably to let him know how many he had pressed. He pressed the red button, and as expected, it made all the asterisks disappear.

He kept pressing different numbers to see the limits of numbers and found out that it was 20. But that didn't mean that he had to use them all necessarily.

He pressed the green button to see what would happen.

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WRONG ENTRY PASSWORD

2 attempts remain

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Codex thought about it. There had to be something he was missing. He would have a 71% percent chance of succeeding if he didn't choose manual, so there had to be something that he missed.

He turned towards the only one that had any experience in this type of situation—Little Angel.

"Any ideas?"

The moment he said that his darker shaded friend started walking away. It seemed like it wanted to lead him somewhere, so Codex and the others followed him.

They didn't go far as they found a broken pillar but nothing else as a sign of a structure being around. Little Angel kept pointing at the different pieces with his right antenna. Codex moved them and noticed they were quite light. He also noticed that something was some carving on it, but he couldn't tell what it was in the current broken state of the pillar. So he started putting everything in place.

It took him less than a minute, but for him, he thought it took him too long even if he worked at an inhuman speed as usual.

As he finished putting everything together, he saw the carving lighten up a bit, making the writing easier to read.

The carving was in the shape of number five.

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