March 2015

The Interview – Columbia Pictures

“The movie that some dare to watch.”  The Interview was a movie that shocked us all. A movie that made fun of Kim Jon-Un, the most dangerous man at the time, and even plot the movie about having to kill him. I had my theories on the movie, but never watched it. When it made the fastest appearance on Netflix I knew I had to go see it. It starts off with James Franco as David Skylark and Seth Rogen as Aaron Rapoport.

While watching the movie it was clear that they were going for a not so subtle comedy.  In my opinion, some jokes should have never made the script. That got me thinking that the way Kim was portrayed in the movie was funny but a bit racist. The movie  calls Kim a liar, and acts like a god for his people. The movie was funny and had a nice pace. To be honest it is hard to find a lot of bad things other than how they make fun of North Korea. From a personal stance I loved it. When I ask all around it gets is good reviews and made me think that no one should fear the movie.  I don’t think we will get bombed or anything. The movie showed good points on the economy there, and I see this as a way where America can see that this is a real problem and to take it seriously, but then again it is a comedy so it will be hard.

This movie is for the people who can get a good laugh out of real things. If I could rate it, I would give it a four out of five for the good aspects but not a five because of some unnecessary content. Some is just bad. I feel like they don’t even try at some points. For example, paying Eminem to say a line that would cost millions. Some of the jokes and content were just blankly thrown out there. It really makes you wonder if they really tried some times. Having a knowledge in acting, they where good when it came to the acting. Casting was perfect. The team of James Franco and Seth Rogen, having a past of creating amazing movies together, did come out to pull out a good movie. I think they can top this, but we may never know..

Detective Deadlock – Chapter 3: Detective R

“Knock, knock.”

Officer Winston walked into Detective Deadlock’s office.  He closed the door behind him and took in a deep breathe as he stretched out his fixed tie.  Deadlock was searching through multiple papers, his coat on his chair and his fedora hung on the coat rack next to the door.  He had thick framed reading glasses as he analyzed any bit information linking to his case.

“What do you need, Tommy?  I’m in the middle of a case here…” Deadlock held two papers that could have information about the woman he saw in the park to a location.

“About that.  You reported the shootings in the park, right?” Winston asked.

“Yeah, there was, what?  Like forty casualties from this one woman, possibly more,” Deadlock fixed his glasses.

“Deadlock, Jean.  How long have we been in the same squad?” Winston said the detective’s real name as he sat down in one of his chairs.

Deadlock shrugged, “I don’t know, probably five or six years.  You’re the only officer that still remembers me joining.  All the other guys here don’t even know where I come from.”

“Jean.  How are the mechanizations coming along?” Winston stared at Deadlock’s arm.

“I’m getting by, Tommy, get to the point, I’m busy.”

“Deadlock there was no woman,” the officer said abruptly.

Detective Deadlock smiled.  He looked at Winston expecting to see a similar expression but instead he was given a very serious look.  The detective still chuckled to try to shake Winston’s seriousness, but nothing budged.  He reflected the serious look and stood up from his office chair.

“What the hell are you telling me?”

“The woman.  There were no traces of her being there-“

“She could have ran away!” Deadlock objected.

“There was no one in Central Park, it closed several hours after you showed up, how you got in without alerting any security is the only mystery there!”

“The security could’ve been patrolling another part!”

“There were no bullets from a chain gun.  There was no one else in that park other than you and those men!”

“No, no, no, no!  I know what I saw!” Detective Deadlock became frustrated.

“There was no one there!  Deadlock, in all the years I’ve worked with you, you have never acted this crazy!  Please tell me, is the medicine the mechanics giving you messing with your head?”

Deadlock looked at a bottle of pills he had taken out of his cabinet from earlier.  He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes.  Before Deadlock could even mention anything, Winston spoke up again.

“Chief gave you a new case.  The ‘mutant’ you helped catch earlier is in interrogation downstairs.  He wants you to find out where this guy came from.”

Winston left the detective in his office.  Deadlock was in a quiet rage, but he kept it together before heading out to the interrogation.  He stepped out of his office and spotted Annika setting up in her new desk with office supplies and photo frames.

“Annika, meet me downstairs, there’s an interrogation and I need you to soak up some experience,” Deadlock headed toward the elevator as he straightened out his fedora.

“Okay, okay.  I’ll see you down there!” she tripped on her desk with some of the office supplies.

The police station consisted of three different departments.  The top floor was headquarters for Homeland Security, the second floor was the ‘Deadlock’ department, otherwise known as Anarchy Control, and the bottom floor belonged to the Private Investigation Bureau.  In the corner of the bottom floor were several interrogation rooms.  The rooms themselves were small, blue brick compartment-like storages, furnished with a single hanging lamp and several metal chairs accompanying a table.

The mutant that was shot and captured earlier was handcuffed to the table.  His wounds were only minor due to his sped up healing, leaving only one enormous bandage covering what use to be his hand.  Deadlock entered the interrogation room and sat in a chair opposing the suspect’s.  He looked all around the room, jerking his head to each corner in a sarcastic fashion to sort of mock the mutant.

Quietly, he heard a voice in his head, “Find out where the mutant came from.  His answer will lead to more…”

“So, how did you end up all like that?” Deadlock asked the mutant.

“Like hell if I’m going to tell you.”

The voice spoke again, “Get the answer.”

Detective Deadlock thought recklessly.  He grabbed the mutant’s head and slammed it on the table.  “Tell me where you got these mutations, now!”

“Go to hell!”

“More intimidation.”

Detective Deadlock stood up from the chair and headed directly to the door.  The mutant looked at him in shock.

“So is that it!?  You bash my skull and just leave?!” the mutant shouted.

Deadlock paused before leaving.  In a heartbeat, he pulled out his handgun from his holster and pressed it against the mutant’s head.  In fear, the mutant stumbled back into the corner of the room, dragging the metal table with him and knocking over the chair.

“This isn’t the 21st Century, scumbag!  With your mutations you are not getting any trial!  The person who mutated you not only corrupted you with power, but also took away your future!  The people of each neighborhood take one look at you and then you have CC Military crawling up in your business.  You either tell me who mutated you or I’ll save the military’s trouble by just ending it right now!” Deadlock shouted.

“Okay! Okay!  I got the mutation from a guy named Alexander!  They called him Big Al!  I never actually met the man in person, I just got the injections from one of his contacts!  I swear I don’t know where he is!” the mutant shouted back in pure fear.

“Alright.  The guys here will take you to the hospital to pick at your mutations.  Afterwards you should probably see a therapist…or a bartender…or both…” Deadlock holstered his gun, “Thank you for the info.  Have a nice day!” Deadlock waved back at the mutant as he left the interrogation room.

After closing the door, he was faced with an impressed Winston and a completely shocked Annika.  They stayed silent as Deadlock sighed and stared back at the mutant through the one-way glass.

“Wait was that it?” Annika asked.

“Yep,” the detective shuffled his collar, “Al, anything on this guy?” Deadlock asked Winston.

“I’ll check the data files.  I do remember someone ran an operation with him near East Road.  Maybe you can take the rookie out for her first run,” Winston smiled.

“Sure, sure.  East Road is halfway across the city, maybe I can cover a few more things with her.”

Annika and Deadlock shared glances.  Winston entered the interrogation room with the mutant while the other two went off to East Road.  The rain was still pouring outside, the signature weather of the city.  There was barely any traffic that day on the highways.  Annika looked away from the detective, trying to avoid conversation.

“So.  Tell me a bit about yourself,” Deadlock spoke up.

“O-Oh, um.  I…what did you want me to tell you?” Annika asked.

“Where are you from, family, how’d you make it into Anarchy Control?”

“I…I’m from Province 62, my mother and father were killed in the 62 Bombing.  Terrorists struck the city, so I moved here with my brothers hoping to find a new start.  I graduated from this city’s academy about a few months ago, I went into Anarchy Control because they had good detectives and officers like you-“

Annika was interrupted by Deadlock hitting the brakes.

“Listen, newbie.  I’m not the best teacher, I’m not the best older brother or father-figure or whatever you look up to me to be as.  I’m sorry if I’m flat out rude or do things recklessly.  Just warning you now, I will stop at nothing to get the bad guys off these streets and to keep the city safe, alright?”  Deadlock looked at her as she nodded back.  “One more thing, what was the weapon the academy assigned to you?”  he asked as he began driving again.

Graduates of Cohld City Police Academies are assigned weapons designed on three factors: their mental state, accuracy, and their final score on their graduating test.  These weapons consisted of tazers, magnum revolvers, handguns, and in extremely rare cases; a fully automatic PDW (Personal Defense Weapon).  Deadlock’s score had exceeded most other police officers and he had received a prestigious revolver passed down from the former detective he had replaced.

“I was assigned a tazer, sir.”  Annika revealed a battery-charged electrical disperser.

“Was the test really that difficult?” Deadlock rolled his eyes.

“With all do respect, sir, it’s not easy for everyone…” Annika put away her tazer in a smaller holster similar to Deadlock’s under her arm in her gray coat.

“No worries, I’ll look out for you as long as you have my back,” the detective cracked a smile.

“Right turn.  Alexander is right around the corner,”  the ominous voice spoke in the back of Deadlock’s head.

He made an aggressive right turn just barely dodging a taxi cab and sliding along the rainy asphalt.  Annika held onto her armrest trying to keep her head in place.

Deadlock turned to Memoir Street, twenty miles away from East Road.  This area of the city was known for being incredibly worn down and left to be a dump, a perfect place for gang activity.

“Building to our left.  First floor.”

“Sir?  What are we doing here?” Annika asked.

“Al is in this building, we’re going to pay him a visit,” Deadlock smiled.

“How are you so sure?  Sir, the mutant didn’t tell us he’d be here!” the rookie said worriedly.

“If you want to stay here you can, just call for backup the minute you hear gunshots.  Keep your eyes open, this might be your first firefight!” Deadlock got out of his car and rushed into the building, his revolver at hand.

The detective kicked down the door to a worn down brick building.  The wooden floors rotted from its bright brown color to a light decaying gray.  Deadlock wiped the brim of his fedora and straightened it out.  His eyes scanned around the living room; everything looked usual for a derelict of an apartment.  Toppled over dining room tables, a rotting couch, rats and rodents scurrying across the floor; everything was what normal would be.

Deadlock sighed.  He had realized that he was getting careless with his work.  His ambition always counteracted his professionalism.  The entire department knew that, they knew he had to be looked after.  The detective acknowledged this fact, it didn’t help to realize that he had left his new rookie in the car outside without even informing her of the detour.

“Are you going to keep bashing at yourself?” the voice inquired.

“I knew there was more to this.  Who are you and what are you doing inside my head?” Deadlock asked calmly.

A few old papers rustled in from the kitchen of the bottom floor.  Deadlock kept his eye on them, but turned away as soon as he heard footsteps behind him.  Nothing.  When he turned back, he was faced with a taller man in a black suit with a dark blue tie.  His eyes were a shining gold and his hair a distinct combination of black and gray.  Deadlock stared for a moment, memorizing his face and its structure, how his posture was, and even managed to get a hint of his emotion.  Doing so allowed him to track this man again anywhere among crowds of people.

“I’m someone sent to keep an eye on someone like you.  You are in no means in any trouble, but, my superiors required me to keep constant checkups on you.  Do not be alarmed, I’d rather assist than hinder,” the man said in a slow, monotone voice.

“What’s your name?  How did you get into my head?” the detective aimed his handgun at the mysterious man.

“My name, well, isn’t really important.  I am a friend.  As I said before, I am only here to observe.  If you really must need a name, you may call me Detective R.”

“Which police department do you serve?  Why am I even talking to you!” Deadlock holstered his gun and rushed to the door.

“I only serve the greater good.  Whoever the superior is..  Now, the superiors are taking your favor.  The foe known as Alexander is located on East Road talking to one of your police officers.  If you request any assistance at all, feel free to ask me when you do happen to notice.  Good luck.”

Deadlock rushed out the front door and back into his car.  Annika was asleep leaning next to the passenger door.  The detective smiled as he put on his seat belt and started the engine.  His assumed to be hallucination claimed that Al was at East Road at this instant so he sped up his car.

Annika slowly awoke after one of the turns, “Huh? What’s going on?”

“Thanks for listening for any gunshots.  Next time fill up on some caffeine or something, can’t have you sleeping on the job,” Deadlock explained as he focused on driving.

“I’m sorry, sir.  I didn’t get any sleep last night.  My first day on the job, not to mention one of the most dangerous, it makes you lose some Zs,” the rookie rubbed her eyes.

“Well, might wanna hold on tight.  Speeding plus rain does not equal smooth driving,” he said as his car slid across the shining asphalt of the road.

“Get your tazer ready.  There might be some surprises ahead,” Deadlock warned as he activated his car’s police sirens.

In a matter of three minutes, Detective Deadlock had dodged traffic and sped through stoplights reaching East Road.  He slowed down and turned off the sirens as soon as he saw several men unloading a truckload of wooden crates into a warehouse.  The detective turned a corner and parked.  He and the rookie got out and peeked around the corner of a concrete building.

“See anything out of the ordinary?” Deadlock asked.

“Not something too noticeable, sir.  What am I suppose to be looking for?” Annika inquired.

“Didn’t the academy teach you anything?” Deadlock sighed, “Look at what those guys are unloading.”

Annika noticed the crates were unmarked.  One of the men tripped and dropped one of the boxes.  The top fell open revealing multiple machine guns and rifles.

“There are no military outposts here.  Get your tazer ready and make sure they don’t get a shot on you,” Deadlock hid his magnum in his trench coat’s side pocket.

The two CCPD officers approached the three men.  Two were bald, well-built men while the third was a scrawny-looking, long haired teenager.  One of the bald men picked up a rifle the minute he noticed Deadlock.

“Evening, gentlemen,” Deadlock spoke softly.

“Is there a problem, officer?” the teenager noticed Annika’s police badge on her belt.

“May we ask what you’re loading here?”

“Just some…stage props, you know, musicals and plays and stuff like that,” the other bald man explained.

“Then you wouldn’t mind if we just took a look, right?” Deadlock reached for one of the rifles from the opened crate.

The first man revealed the rifle and aimed it directly at the officers and prepared to fire.

The sky is gray; the sun is just barely peeking over the horizon. There is a cold bite in the air; icy winds whip throughout the campus. A light fog lingers in the hallways and some of the school’s night-lights are still on. Solitary footsteps echo off the empty walls as a group of 27 students meet in B-9 for the Academic Decathlon.

For these students, waking up before dawn and arriving at school before teachers was normal; all throughout the 2014-2015 school year they would make the same journey to class every single early morning. Their advisor, Mrs. Menter-Hartman, specifically selected each of these students to represent Corona High School at the 2015 Riverside County Academic Decathlon.

(from left to right) Zachary Devereux, Nicholas Sanchez, Carlos Barron, Vicky Le, Mrs. Menter-Hartman, Christian Vargas, Nazibah Chowdhury, Nicholas Stabile, Garrett Wilson, Alejandro Escalante
(from left to right) Zachary Devereux, Nicholas Sanchez, Carlos Barron, Vicky Le, Mrs. Menter-Hartman, Christian Vargas, Nazibah Chowdhury, Nicholas Stabile, Garrett Wilson, Alejandro Escalante
(from left to right) Front Row: Sahill Patel, Alejandro Escalante, Nazibah Chowdhury, Madelaine Nguyen, Destiny (FIND LAST NAME), Mrs. Menter-Hartman, Vicky Le, Stacy Jo.  Second Row: Eddie (FIND LAST NAME), Daniel Corona, Nicholas Sanchez, Nicholas Stabile, Garrett Wilson, Zachary Devereux, Alfredo Reza.  Back Row: Yasha (FIND LAST NAME), Kevin Jackson, Rahim Lateef (?), Christian Vargas, Carlos Barron
(from left to right) FRONT ROW: Sahill Patel, Alejandro Escalante, Nazibah Chowdhury, Madelaine Nguyen, Destiny Aguirre, Mrs. Menter-Hartman, Vicky Le, Stacy Jo. SECOND ROW: Eddie Romo Daniel Corona, Nicholas Sanchez, Nicholas Stabile, Garrett Wilson, Zachary Devereux, Alfredo Reza. BACK ROW: Yasha Panahi Pour, Kevin Jackson, Rahim Latif Christian Vargas, Carlos Barron
(from left to right) Front Row: Sahill Patel, Madelaine Nguyen, Destiny (FIND LAST NAME), Nazibah Chowdhury.  Second Row: Alejandro Escalante, Stacy Jo, Vicky Le, Garrett Wilson.  Third Row: Eddie (FIND LAST NAME), Alfredo Reza, Nicholas Sanchez, Daniel Corona.  Fourth Row: Yasha (FIND LAST NAME), Nicholas Stabile, Christian Vargas, Carloss Barron.  Fifth Row: Raheem Lateef (?), Zachary Devereux.  Top Row: Mrs. Menter-Hartman.
(from left to right) FRONT ROW: Sahill Patel, Madelaine Nguyen, Destiny Aguirre,, Nazibah Chowdhury. SECOND ROW: Alejandro Escalante, Stacy Jo, Vicky Le, Garrett Wilson. THIRD ROW: Eddie Romo, Alfredo Reza, Nicholas Sanchez, Daniel Corona. FOURTH ROW: Yasha Panahi Pour,, Nicholas Stabile, Christian Vargas, Carloss Barron. FIFTH ROW: Raheem Latif, Zachary Devereux. TOP ROW: Mrs. Menter-Hartman.

The Academic Decathlon is an annual competition in which students gather to compete in a multitude of events. Each year, the Academic Decathlon adopts a new topic to be the focus of that year’s competition. For the 2015 competition, the topic was “New Alternatives in Energy: Ingenuity and Innovation.”

The first leg of the competition took place on the last Saturday of January. On that day, the students dressed in their best attire, wrote an essay that pertained to this year’s topic, gave a prepared, four-minute speech concerning anything the student desired, and then delivered an impromptu speech based on prepared topics. The second leg of the decathlon was held on the first Saturday of February, and it was then that the students sat in the auditorium of Heritage High School and were tested on the Math, Literature, Science, Music, Art, Social Studies, and Economics, after those tests—and after a much-deserved break—all of the teams (nineteen in total, with Corona represented by two teams) gathered in Heritage High School’s gymnasium to partake in the Super Quiz..

The Super Quiz is an event in which students are shown a projected question related to any one of the subject areas and are given seven seconds to answer each question. The Super Quiz is divided into three divisions (as are each school’s team) according to Grade Point Averages. Varsity students have a GPA between 0 and 2.999, Scholastic students have a GPA between 3 and 3.749, and Honors students have a GPA between 3.75 and 4.00 or above. For the Super Quiz, all students competed only against others that were of their same division and their scores were categorized accordingly.

After a total of 36 questions, the Super Quiz was over. Students, teachers, parents, and administrators soon thereafter gathered in Heritage High School’s theater for the awards ceremony.

The night didn’t appear to be going in Corona’s favor. The majority of the medals that were awarded for each specific competition and for each GPA division were won by either Hemet High School (the reining champions), West Valley High School (last year’s runners up), or to Elsinore High School (who came in third place last year). By the end of the awards ceremony, Corona’s two teams (Red and Gold) had only accumulated two medals, Nazibah Chowdhury (senior) from Red Team and Madelaine Nguyen (junior) from Gold Team each won gold medals for their superb essays. Due to Corona’s blatant lack of awards, it appeared as though their top-five aspirations were not meant to be. It was generally agreed upon by Corona’s students that a fifth place finish would be ideal and would be the most realistic finish.

However, that was not the case.

Beaumont High School finished as the fifth best team in the county. As Beaumont cheered down the aisle and climbed the stage to collect their trophy, the Panthers were disheartened. Watching the students of Beaumont raise their trophy over their heads was akin to watching the Panthers’ hopes and aspirations ground into dust before their eyes. As the students of Corona hung their heads in shame and thought of the somber tension that would surely follow on the bus ride home, the host of the awards ceremony, once again alone on stage, stood at his podium, leaned closer to the microphone, and uttered words that would forever thereafter ring in the ears of the Panthers.

“And the fourth place team for the 2015 Riverside County Academic Decathlon is Corona High School Red Team.”

In a state of shock and disbelief, the Panthers of Corona’s Red team made their way to the stage and raised a trophy of their own so high above their heads it almost seemed prepared to pierce the boundaries of the heavens.

Even though the typical trifecta of schools dominated the top three (West Valley claimed first, Elsinore trailed at second, and Hemet fell from grace to a third place finish), all of Corona’s Panthers, from both the Red team and the Gold team, rejoiced at their unprecedented success. Because even though it was Corona’s Red Team that won fourth place, the students from the Gold Team were just as influential in Corona’s success. It is for that reason that the trophy belongs not to just the Red Team, nor to just Mrs. Menter-Hartman, but to all the students and teachers and faculty who were a part of Corona High School’s Academic Decathlon program.

Reflecting on Corona’s success, senior Vicky Le, who was in her fourth and final year in the Academic Decathlon, stated that “[Winning fourth place] was a huge surprise but a very good one. I was happy to know that all of the hard work we had put into this throughout the year had paid off in the best way possible. I’m happy we were able to be so successful in my last year competing and I know that Corona will only improve in the years to come.”

Gold Team Captain Stacy Jo, a senior, commented on how both Gold and Red team performed: “I’m just really glad that everyone got the chance to experience something so amazing and unique. Although we didn’t place, I feel as if the gold team really bonded over the year and especially through competing. I’m also really proud of Maddie for winning first place! I’m also so proud of Red Team for winning fourth place, and it’s great that their talents were able to shine brightly. Rather than separating the team into Gold and Red, we’re just Corona High School’s academic decathlon. We’re one team and practically one giant, nerdy family. I’m glad that I was blessed with Acadec and my fellow teammates this year!”

Words like these show just how much of a close-knit group this zero period class is. On a typical day, after the studying and competing is done, these students can be seen conversing and laughing and enjoying one another’s company. At the end of the day, these students come to this early morning class every day not so much for the thrill of competition or for the allurement of trophies, but more for the community that has been created in B-9. Corona’s Academic Decathlon is more than a club and far more than just a class, it’s a microcosm wherein students from all ages, all grade levels, all cliques, and all backgrounds come together to work together, to compete together, to persevere together. Not only has this organization found much success in the county competition, but it has also allowed for some of the school’s brightest students to gather together in an organization they can thrive in.

The sunflowers swing from side to side,
doing a giddy little jive.
The wind blows the swaying green,
None the same the flowers swing.

To eyes of those none the wiser
know not who’s behind the flowers fire;
put easily in a hypnotic trance.

The sunflowers swing from side to side,
doing a giddy little jive.
The dance forming to he winds new trend,
every fluttering leaf and bending stem.

Try as they might to stand stiff and tall,
all circum to the wind and fall.
Like a surfer on an ocean wave,
Choosing to ride out the force a giant made.

The sunflowers swing from side to side,
doing a giddy little jive.
Then Autumn sweeps through the fields,
Marking each flower with its own brown brand

A process all call natural
and although this is factual.
What outside force killed the fun?
Or were the flowers the ones who had it done.

  Brian sat on the couch in his condo of Crown Villas. He was bored out of his mind, and he did have some stuff to do. He finished the chores around the condo, did his daily exercises and finished his three book reports for school he had to do over winter break. It was “No Phone Day” so he couldn’t use his phone on Sundays. His friends Joey and Chris were at church. His other friend, Mike was still at home trying to beat his new game Dead Space. He had no contact with any humans for the last twelve hours.
Brian wanted to play with his Proto X; a tiny palm-sized quad copter he got for Christmas, but his dad took it to his workshop to install a camera as a surprise. He also finished reading The Lost World by Michael Crichton and he didn’t have anything else to read.
He was about to collapse on the floor from boredom when he heard a knock at the door. He opened it and saw Joey and Chris were back from church.
“What’s up you guys?” said Brian. He gave each of them a bro hug and they came inside.
Joey sat on the couch and asked, “How was your day so far?”
“I was bored for the last hour.” He sat next to Joey. Chris went to the kitchen and grabbed a water.
“Didn’t you read your book?” Joey asked.
“I finished it an hour ago,” Brian responded.
Chris sat at the kitchen table. “Thanks for bringing that up. I need to finish my third one.”
“Where’s your Proto X?” asked Joey as he smiled bigger than when he walked in.
Chris smiled the same way. “Yeah. I want to fly that thing.”
“My dad took it to his shop,” Brian said.
Their smiles faded quickly. It was a cool toy for teens and everyone wanted one.
“You really need to get out of this condo more,” said Chris. He drank the last of his water and threw the bottle in the recycle trash. He always made it. Brian thought that he should try out for basketball.
“I agree,” said Joey. “We all need to. We need to go have more adventures. Run around, get dirty, hop some fences, getting into trouble would be a goal that we should accomplish.”
Brian looked like he was going to agree with them. It was fun to go out and have adventures. You make more friends, learn more about the world, and are more creative, the list is endless. “I don’t know. What if we get into trouble or something?”
“It’ll be worth it.”
Brian did remember his mom once saying, “Get into trouble for crying out loud, Brian!”
“Well, what do you say?” Joey asked.
Brian nodded. “Okay.”
Joey and Chris high-fived Brian and gave him a few pats on the back. He felt happy now. He was the new adventure boy. But one question still crossed his mind: “Where should we go?”
“Do you have any places that you’ve been interested in seeing?” Chris asked him as he twisted his hat backwards.
Brian thought for a moment and said: “Follow me.” He got off the couch and walked out the back door of his condo. Chris and Joey followed.
The back of the complex was all dirt with a few tall trees and a small clearing. To the left was a cliff, to the right was a fence and straight ahead was some sort of tower. They didn’t know if it was a work tower or a water tower. Brian led Joey and Chris to the cliff. It was almost completely vertical. There were some pipes at the bottom and some tall trees that prevented anyone from seeing the ground below.
The city of Corona was so peaceful, and the mountains were so green and Brian somehow found them very mysterious. Maybe because they were so quiet all the time or that no one ever went on them.
The three boys looked down the cliff. About fifty to one-hundred feet down was a small building. It was said to have been a water purification building that helped control the pool machines for the surrounding houses. There was an overturned police car near the front gate. It had been there since Brian moved in a year ago, maybe a little longer. There was a lot of graffiti on the walls and trash all over the place. It looked like a haunted house.
“I don’t know man,” said Chris. His voice sounded deeper. He was already getting goose bumps. “I’ve heard and read a lot of stuff about that place, and it doesn’t seem like a good idea at all to seek adventure.”
“You’re the ones who wanted me to seek more adventures and get out more. Now you back out on me!”
“Come with me,” said Chris. “Let me show you what I’m talking about.”
They all ran from the cliff toward Chris’s condo. He lived three buildings away from Brian and next door to Joey. He walked in and led his two friends to his dad’s office. Chris was also curious before about that water purification building, so he went online and looked it up. He printed the articles soon after and has kept them ever since. He pulled the articles out of the closet and handed three to Brian and the other three to Joey.
Each article was about some major events that happened at the building years before.
The first was set thirty years ago when a few workers said they saw paranormal activity (doors slamming on their own, women screaming even though there were no women working there, strange shadows, and glasses dropping from shelves) and a death of one of the workers by gas fumes.
The second was the same except there was more paranormal activity and an increased amount of deaths.
The third was set a year before the boys were born when the building closed down from too many deaths and strange activity. Some reports said that some policemen entered the place to find out what was wrong with the place, but when they did, they never came back out again.
The next two stated that the security system still works for some unknown reason, even though the power was cut and no one set foot there for so many years. It was mostly on during the night. The reports were made only a month ago.
The last one stated that the disappearance of a group of teens who went into the building and never came back out. The only evidence found was some blood of three of the boys and two wallets.
“Sound’s tough, Brian,” said Joey as he swallowed loudly. Both boys handed the articles back to Chris.
“You know those newspapers make up stories like that to get people interested in reading it,” explained Brian. Chris and Joey agreed with him. Just about 80% of the stories the newspapers make are all made up. “Come on guys, I think we can do this, unless you’re chicken.” Brian made chicken noises and flapped his arms like wings. He could see they were getting annoyed with him. “You would be doing the same thing to me.”
Joey and Chris knew that he was a hundred percent right. “OK,” they said simultaneously.
Brian quit the chicken noises and the flapping. He was happy his friends agreed to go.
“We should know more about that place before we go in there,” said Chris. He put the articles back in the closet. The goose bumps on his arms and legs didn’t seem to be getting any better.


  At around six that evening, Brian called Mike and asked him if he knew anything about hacking into a security camera system.
“Are you kidding, of course I do. Have I been living under a rock?”
Brian asked him if he could hack into the security system and get control of it so they could sneak in without being seen by them.
Mike said he would do it, but he needed the serial number on the power box to hack in.
“There’s a lot more you need than that.”
“I already have everything else. I just need that, and I’ll take care of it.”
Brian said that he would try his best to get it before midnight, the scheduled time to start their investigation.
His father came home at nine-thirty with his new Proto X. The tiny camera was installed and there was a screen on the remote so he could see whatever the camera saw. He wouldn’t have to look at the X itself anymore.
He went down a much less steep part of the cliff and stopped about halfway down. He called Mike and told him he was going to give him the serial number with his Proto X.
He turned on the controller. The small light at the top blinked orange. He turned on the quad copter. The LED lights (two red and two blue) blinked once and they stayed on and a small BEEP came from it. The orange light stopped blinking and changed to green. It was ready to run.
He put the copter on the palm of his hand and lifted the throttle. All the blades spun and it made a sound like a mosquito on steroids. It lifted from his hand and was in the air. He turned on the camera and looked down at the screen.
The quad copter made a 180 degree turn and the building was in view. He pushed the other lever up and the Proto X tilted down slightly and rushed forward like a tiny jet. He stopped it and it was straight up again just five feet from the wall of the building.
The wall was white with brown spots, chipped paint, blood stains, and some weird writing written in the blood such as: IF YOU ENTER, YOU DIE!, BEWARE OF DEADLY GHOSTS ALL OVER, and WHOEVER ENTERS NEVER COMES BACK OUT. He swiped the lever to the right and the quad copter tilted to the right and jerked right as well. He immediately released it and it stopped in front of the cable box for the security system.   He called Mike and told him the number: LB777WED9823. Mike thanked him and he would let them know when he would be ready.
Brian hung up and looked back down at the screen on the remote. He turned the Proto 180 degrees again and saw something he would never forget.
The camera was focusing on what looked like a weird-looking transparent man. He was dark and he was wearing some kind of hood. He just stood there and stared at the quad copter like he was about to send it flying into space, never to be seen again.
Brian almost dropped the remote. He pushed the throttle up and the Proto sped forward like a jet and through the man. The camera went blurry and static ran through it for a few seconds. Brian had no idea where it went.
About five seconds later, he heard the sound of the rotors getting louder. Before he could turn to look, the quad copter struck the back of his head and landed on the ground by his foot. He turned off the remote and the Proto X. He hoped that what he caught was still on the camera and not his imagination. He put the Proto X in his jacket pocket, ran as fast as he could to his condo, and went to bed for a short nap. Before he went to sleep, he turned on a walkie and set it to the same channel that Joey and him had told each other earlier that day, and checked his watch. It was 9:36 p.m.


  By exactly 12:04 a.m., Brian was already sitting on his bed wearing black clothes, with all his gear packed in a small backpack: a flashlight, extra batteries, an air horn, a camcorder and his walkie talkie. His Proto X was fully charged and was safely in his pocket.
He heard static on the walkie and finally heard Joey’s voice. “Okay, it’s time. Don’t get caught. Over.”
Brian picked it up, held down the button and responded: “I won’t. Over.” He grabbed his backpack, stuffed some other bags and a pillow under the sheets, and placed a red balloon on his pillow. Watching those movies with kids sneaking out really payed off. He slowly opened the sliding glass door, and closed it slowly. He hopped over the small gate surrounding the back patio, and ran out to the clearing. Joey and Chris emerged less than a minute later. They were also carrying their own backpacks with gear in them. They were wearing black clothing as well.
“Okay, guys,” said Chris. “Here we go to the one place that’s said to be haunted.” He started to sound like a ghost before he was even done talking.
“What’s going on with Mike?” Joey asked Brian.
“He said earlier that he was almost ready he will give us a call when he’s hacked the system.”
“If he fell asleep, I’m going to kick his butt when I wake up after this is over.”
“Same here,” said Chris.
“Alright, let’s go.” Brian got up and ran toward the less steep part of the cliff he took a few hours ago. They went down slowly. Some bushes scratched their faces, arms, and legs. They walked until they made it to the chain-linked fence.
The building was fifty yards in front of them and it seemed like it was waiting for them. The lights were on, the cameras were panning back and forth, like they were searching for them, and the front door was open a crack.
Brian’s cell phone vibrated in his pants pocket. It was Mike.
“How’s it going Mike?”
“Good. I have hacked into the system. I can now see what the cameras see. I see you guys on the other side of the fence.”
There were some clicks from his computer.
“Okay, I’m passed the firewall. Now I can control the cameras. But only for a little bit.”
“How long?”
“Only about a few minutes every few hours from what I’m looking at right now. I’m fighting for the system control from someone else, but no one’s in there. It’s probably a temporary glitch, nothing too bad.”
“Good to hear.”
“Okay, Brian. I need you to do something. I need you to fly the Proto X by the camera that’s facing you, and get it to turn away from you then I’ll shut it down.”
“Why can’t you shut it down now?”
“Whoever was controlling the system got control again, but I can get it back again in a few seconds.”
“Alright, I’ll do it right now.”
He put the phone on speaker, and set it on the ground. He pulled the Proto X out of his pocket, turned it on, and flew it toward the camera. The small gusts of wind made the X drift off a little, but it fought the wind and stayed in view of the camera lens. Once he was in front of the camera, the X drifted to the right and the camera kept its lens on it like it was magnetic. Then the red light next to the lens turned off and the camera stopped following the Proto.
“Alright. I shut down all the cameras. You are good for ninety seconds. GO!”
The three boys climbed the fence like they were trying to escape a wild dog. They made it to the top and dropped down. They landed on the dirt ground and clouds of dust formed around all three of them. They got to their feet and sprinted to the door. Brian forgot the Proto X on the ground. The three boys ran into the building. Suddenly, the door slammed shut behind them.


  After the door slammed shut, Brian took out the camcorder, and turned on its night vision. Chris found a light switch, but only a few lights came on. There was a small flight of stairs in front of them leading down, and a concrete floor.
Brian suddenly remembered that he still had his cell phone on. He tried calling to Mike. All that came out was static and what sounded like Mike screaming. All that they could hear him saying was “Ge–…ou–…th–…” Then the phone went blank. It was the last time they ever heard from him.
Brian hung up the phone. He looked at Joey and Chris and shook his head. It was enough of an answer to them. They did try the door again, but it was still stuck like someone super-glued it shut. They were stuck in the building, with no possible way out as far as they knew.
They descended the stairs slowly, with their flashlights in hand. They reached the bottom and found what looked like some kind of lair with a giant swimming pool like at their high school. There were concrete pillars in one long row. The swimming pool was on the right side and there was a row of doors on the left. Above the pool was a giant glass roof overlooking the stars. There was just one problem. That wasn’t there when they first walked in. Something was wrong with the building the moment they entered it.
“I don’t know about this place anymore,” said Joey. He was almost panicking and he looked like he was going to drop down any moment.
“Just stay close,” said Brian as he wrapped his arm across the back of his neck.
They made their way over to the pool. It was as still and silent as a cemetery. They stared at the water and what looked like a dark figure standing on the bottom.
Brian’s jaw dropped. “Get away from there!”
But it was too late. The figure leaped out of the water, grabbed Chris by the shoulders, and dragged him under the surface.
“RUN,” shouted Brian.
Him and Joey ran from the pool and into one of the rooms on the other side and closed the door behind them.
It stayed quiet for about five minutes before they opened it again. Brian was almost in shock. He was in tears and he dropped the camcorder twice. Joey offered to take it and Brian thought it was a good idea.
They walked even slower back to the pool. It was still and silent as before, Chris was gone, and there was someone else with them in the building that was going to kill them any way possible.
“Chris.” The boys shouted that name for almost fifteen minutes before his body, soaked with water and the odor of chlorine crashed through the glass ceiling. It missed the pool and landed on the ground. They heard some CRUNCH, CRACK sounds when he hit.
“Oh my god, Chris.” They didn’t even get closer to him. They looked behind Chris’s dead body and saw the dark figure again with a skeleton-like face. He looked like he was staring down at Brian. He was more scared than ever.
“I guess some adventures aren’t worth it if it takes the life of someone you know,” said Brian as he wiped a tear from his cheek. It was the last good thing he said.
Both boys tried to run, but Brian tripped and felt like something was ripping through the back of his spine. He yelled out with all his might, and his eyes changed from a leaf green to fire red.
Joey got it all on the camcorder. He looked at Brian, and saw him change completely. He sat there like he was still in shock, his head turned 180 degrees, and faced Joey. Brian then smiled, and said: “Whoever fears me the most, gets their adventure.”
But it didn’t sound like a good adventure at all. The demon now possessed Brian and Joey was easier to kill.
Brian’s head turned back around, and he ran toward Joey.
Joey didn’t even think. He ran as fast as he could to the end of the long hallway and went into the door at the end. He held it shut as “Brian” tried to forcefully pull it from the hinges. He stopped after about ten seconds, but it felt like hours.
Joey held the camcorder at his chest. He was capturing everything. His heart felt like it was trying to leap out of his throat. Tears ran down his cheeks like rivers. “I have to get out of here,” he said to himself. He had to find another weapon to use against “Brian.” On the shelf beside him, was a jug of liquid chlorine. He held it in his hand tight, and slowly left the room.
Immediately, he looked to his right at the door beside the one he was in. There was a little girl about nine, and she was wearing a night gown.   She had her back toward him.
“Oh my god,” he whispered.
The girl turned around and looked at him with bright green eyes. Her eyes rolled back and she let out a demonic roar. Joey splashed the girl with the chlorine, turned away and ran off yelling. He could hear the girl’s demonic yells right behind him and very close. He was beside the fifth concrete pillar and he turned right hoping to not see the girl again but he saw “Brian.” “Brian” jerked forward and let out a demonic roar, and Joey fell backwards and the chlorine bottle rolled away. Joey was dead.
“Brian” picked up the camera, and stared into the lens. His eyes were dark and he had sharp teeth. There were also purple-like veins on the lower part of his face. He stared at the camera for a few seconds and turned it toward Joey, who lay lifeless on the floor. “Brian” turned the camera back to his face and turned it off.

  Outside the building, Brian’s Proto X turned itself on, and circled the building slowly. It made the same sound: a mosquito on steroids. It was now part of the security system. It circled forever, waiting for anyone else who wanted to find anything interesting in the building.

The End!