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When I (we) Saved The World
The blood pounded in my veins. My breath came in short puffs. My lungs burned. My legs felt like Jell-o. “Faster! Faster! Faster!” My brain screamed at my legs. I whirled around and saw the red-orange flames burning down what used to be my house. I tried to think rationally, but I was beyond rationality now. I turned around and charged at top speed to the rapidly collapsing house. I heard the bark again. I willed myself to go even faster. Then I saw the little brown Cocker Spaniel. “Caramel!” I screamed. I heard a yip and then another scream. The terror was real, but it felt like it was happening in slow motion. Like I was floating along.
Then I woke up.
Caramel was curled up at the end of my bed, head up, ears pricked toward me. The bark had been his; the scream my own. But why? Then the dream came flooding back. It was just a dream. No. There was never ‘just a dream’ for me. It hit me then, the enormous amount of danger we were in.
I grabbed Caramel’s food, 3 water bottles, a pillow, a sweatshirt, a change of clothes, Caramel’s leash, a blanket and the lunch that I had packed for school tomorrow. Then I tossed my cell phone on top of the pile and stuffed it all into my duffel bag. My mom and dad were on vacation in Peru and Grandma was out with her friends, so I didn’t have to worry about them. I put Caramel’s leash on and tugged her off my bed. She whined in protest, but followed anyway.
My dreams and visions were unpredictable – what happens in them could happen in two minutes or two hours, but they always happened. For all I knew, the little house would erupt into flames in two minutes. I pounded down the steps, dragging Caramel along with me. I grabbed my Converse shoes, pulled them on, and raced outside. I ran to the stable and grabbed my saddle and saddle bags as well as food and water and hay for my horse. I didn’t know how long I would be gone.
I tucked Caramel into the saddlebag. Her little head popped up, alertly watching everything that went on about her. I flung the saddle and saddlebag as gently as I could onto my horse’s back and mounted him lightly. He was sleepy, but willing. I grabbed some treats for him. Then we set off at a brisk trot. I turned back in the saddle, just in time to watch my house blow up in a puff of flames and smoke. I grabbed my cell phone and dialed 911.
“My house!” I gasped.
“What’s your address?” the operator asked patiently.
“6592 Cleveland Ave.”
“Ok. Stay put. I’ll send someone over.”
I replied with an ‘ok’, but I wasn’t planning on staying put. Not at all! I wanted to get as far away as possible from here. Far away. Anywhere.
About half a mile away from home, I got a call on my cell phone.
“Are you the young lady who called about a fire?”
I thought hard. What could I do? If I said yes, she’d be on my case about not following her directions and blah blah blah. Plus, she might have one of those tracker systems to know where I am and then she’d track me down and find me and give me a fine and… OK. Kristy, chill. Think fast.
“Well, you’re the first to call me young in a very long time,” I said, mustering up my best old-granny southern accent.
“Well, then, why was your number the one that called our station to report a fire, which, in fact, was true?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. It musta been my grandbaby. She was out playin’ not too far from that house. I musta had her call yeew without rememberin’ it.”
“Well, Ma’am, I have to talk with your ‘grandbaby’ to give her a warning, or else you have to pay a very large fine.”
“What sweetie? I can’t hear you!”
“Um…never mind. Just tell her not to call again and pose as a victim, ok?”
“Of course! Now yeew have a good day, dear! Buh-bye!”
That was close, I thought to myself. It’s a good thing I’m good at a southern accent! I plodded along down the road, thinking about home and my grandma and whatever else. Well, in the midst of my daydream, I must have fallen asleep, because I woke up to a strange sound…the rushing of the creek! We had made it all the way through the outskirts of town and to the creek!
I dismounted and filled my horse’s water bin and gave it to him. I also let Caramel out of the saddlebag on her leash to run around. I was trying to concentrate on whether or not I had had a dream/vision on the way here. I was positive I had had one! You see, I’m kind of --ok, very-- different from other 13-year-olds. I can see the future in my dreams. My dreams are always right, but sometimes little details change. For example, the dream that happened earlier warned me of the fire, which really happened, but I was able to rescue Caramel because I yielded to the warning. It sounds weird, and I admit it is weird, but it’s absolutely true. No-one knows where my dreams and my ‘gift’ come from or even if it’s permanent, but it’s good and bad that I have it. I suppose you could call it a curse if you wanted to, but we all refer to it as our gift. We, as in the people who have this gift. I suppose you may think I’m one of those creepers who just escaped from the psych wing at some strange hospital, but I swear I’m not insane. The reason it’s so weird to you is because you, dear reader, are one of the few people in the whole world who knows about my ‘gift’. And I hope it stays that way, but I don’t know how long I’m safe from exposure. Because, according to the dream I had just figured out, unknown suspects put a little computer ‘worm’ called Perimi into one master computer. Somehow it ended up in computers all around the world and now the whole globe’s computer system is basically under the control of these potentially dangerous people. The worm is said to be activated and to do something, detectives didn’t know what, on May 7th , 2030.
I know, right? Cue the Jaws music. But it gets worse. No one knows why it’s in the computers but it’s supposed to be very bad. Well, the day of my grand escape from the fire happened to be May 5th , 2030.
Since I needed to tell someone about my dream, I had to contact the only other person who had my gift. His name was Collin and he was my neighbor as well as the most popular guy in 7th grade. I mean, this guy was like the Elvis of Middle School. We used to play together in elementary school, but then he got too ‘popular.’ I still had his cell phone number on my phone, though. He was the only person I trusted to tell about my visions, but we hadn’t talked in years. Oh, well. I needed to warn someone. I flipped open my phone, and, before I could convince myself not to, dialed Collin’s number. He answered on the second ring.
I gulped. “Yeah…”
“I haven’t talked to you in so long! How are you? Have you had any dreams lately?”
“Well, yeah,” I said, biting my lip. “That’s kinda why I’m calling. I just had a really weird dream...” I trailed off.
“Explain it, because I’ve had a really weird one lately, too. But you tell me yours first.”
I explained. And, I swear. I could hear his jaw hit the floor clear as day.
“No, way.” he cried.
“What?” I asked nervously, afraid he’ll think I’m some deranged Neanderthal who left my brain back a zillion years ago.
“I didn’t realize that’s what it meant!”
“What!?” I stamped my foot. Patience may be a virtue, but it certainly isn’t one of mine.
“I had the follow-up dream.”
I could feel my eyes quickly approaching the approximate size of Jupiter. “What did it say?” I asked, excitedly.
“It showed us getting rewarded for something…” he trailed off.
“How does that have anything to do with a worm in a computer?” I asked, confused.
“I’m not sure,” he admitted. “But I remember some strange Latin name that sounded a heckuva lot like Perimi!”
“I’m running away,” I announced abruptly, like it was a fact of life. 6x8=48. I’m running away. How simple can you get?
“Where to?” he asked, actually sounding genuinely curious. As if.
“Dunno. Prolly over to old man Roberts’ place. (Old man Roberts had been dead for years, but his house was never sold. Some crazy person made up some dumb rumor that it’s haunted. )
“Great! I’m coming with!” Collin exclaimed, triumphantly.
“Are not!” I countered.
“No, you ARE NOT!” I practically shouted. “Wanna know why? Here’s why. Because no one would notice if stupid, gangly, geeky little Kristy dropped off the face of the earth, but if the living god of the seventh grade suddenly catches a cold, the world stops and the school practically shuts down. People would notice! They’d send out search parties! They’d call the coast guard! They’d---”
“Chill!” he cried cutting me off. “Besides, your parents would notice.” He pointed out.
I bit my lip. I had almost forgotten they existed, they’d been in Peru so long. “Well, maybe if they were HERE they’d notice, but they’ve practically dropped off th---”
He sighed loudly, cutting off my rant. I could hear the light bulb go on. “You’re Grandma would notice! She’s here! She’d go ballistic! She’d---”
“All right, all right! I get it! But do you really think that coming along would make her worry less? Do you think that she, sitting in her fuzzy robe, sipping tea, freaking out and going ballistic that I’m gone will suddenly find some comfort in that fact that not only has her granddaughter run off, she’s run off with a GUY?!?! You think that will provide her with a magical solace, knowing that her granddaughter was in the company of COLLIN, who apparently thinks he’s the living god of the world?!?!”
He sighed. “You can’t make me stay!” His voice was suddenly vicious and edgy.
It was my turn to sigh. “I know.” I murmured, and with that, he knew he had won. Believe me, there were many things I wanted to say to him, the majority of them not so nice, but what I did say was, “Fine. Bring your Dad’s laptop. Meet at Roberts’ at 5.”
“Good girl!” he said playfully.
“Shut up!” I whined.
“See ya there!” he said. I could hear him grinning. He had won.
“This time,” I muttered and clicked off, placing the phone back in my pocket.
About 15 minutes later, after arriving and settling in at Roberts’ and finding an old, rusty, dying computer that, by some miracle from above, still worked, I heard a knock at the door. Or rather, Caramel heard a knock at the door.
“Come in!” I called. I needed to taunt him so that he’ll get even madder when he can’t find me.
“Hey!” Collin yelled. “Where are you?” he sounded like he was suspicious of me. GREAT!
I tiptoed downstairs without answering, and, while he had his back turned, crept under the banister with Caramel. Let me tell you, it’s quite a job to keep a cocker spaniel hidden and quiet under a banister, but I guess I’m talented that way.
“Seriously!” he called. “I know you’re there!” now he was really suspicious of me.
He turned around and I could see his feet 3 feet away from where I hid. ‘1-2-’ I counted in my head. On ‘3’ I leapt up from under the banister, Caramel scurrying out behind me, barking like mad, scaring him half to death.
“You’ve really got to stop that!” He managed to cough out between hysterical fits of laughter. It actually sounded more like “Uve weally (snort) gotta (hahahahaha) stoooooooop that!!!! (snort haha)
“The look on your face was so-” I couldn’t finish we were both laughing so hard. I collapsed on the couch. It was hysterical.
Once we calmed down and Caramel was fast asleep in her bed, he turned and faced me grimly. It was weird to be laughing so hard one minute and then to be looking so grim the next, but I guess that’s how it goes. He then handed me a newspaper from out of his knapsack. The headline was “Perimi Attacking at Faster Rate than Ever, Authorities Say” screamed the front page.
“And that’s what the public knows about. For all we know, Perimi is in our computer right now, listening to us and getting smarter every second. It’s only a matter of time until it’s strong enough to attack.” He shuddered, confirming my fears. But really. Listening to us?! ?!?!? It’s like bad sci-fi!
“Get the laptop on! We aren’t going to get anywhere near solving this if we just sit here!” I cried, eagerly. I was so ready to discover this, become famous, and return to my life as a fairly normal 7th-grader.
He opened the laptop and set it in the palm of his hand. He grabbed a stylus and whizzed around the touch-screen keyboard.
Before I knew it, he was on a search engine I had never heard of before, called Koolio.
“Type in ‘Perimi’,” I instructed. I knew I sounded bossy. But I didn’t care. Before I even realized that he touched it, he had pulled up the first hit.
“Perimi, Latin for ‘to destroy’ is predicted to wreak havoc in over 50 different countries on September 11, 2030 next week. Scientists have yet to find out what caused this worm to enter computers all over the world, and what it is going to do, but they are working day and night to try to figure out how to disable this deadly computer worm. Some symptoms that show if your computer is housing the worm are: slowed internet connection, as well as bank accounts being overdrawn.” (An article from the newspaper. Oh-so helpful.)
“Try the very last one,” I advised. “It might hold a clue.” Dun-dun-dunnnnnnn!
He nodded and flipped through page after page of similar stories. Finally, he clicked on the very last one. This is what popped up, one of those stupid little blurbs:
“Koolio advises you not to enter this site. Doing so could attach the bug Perimi to your computer.”
“Click again!” I urged. Another dumb blurb!
“Warning: Koolio has blocked this site. Do not proceed. Doing so could result in harm to your computer. If you proceed, Koolio is not responsible for any damage to your computer.”
Collin, anticipating my next move, clicked ‘proceed’, anticipating what I was going to say next.
Another blurb popped up:
“Hello. If you have a gift, enter your name here and I will decide whether or not to let you proceed.”
“Gift? Like our seeing?” he asked me.
I shrugged. “Might as well try it.”
Collin entered: Collin Shimmons into the text box at the end of the blurb. Then he hit Submit. Soon, another blurb appeared:
Hello Collin. Since you are brave enough to have passed all of those alerts, and only 0 other people have, you will be given a simple riddle that will give you a clue leading to the disabling of Perimi. You will get one try at an answer. If you get it incorrect, you have no second chances, so think hard. Here is the riddle:
What has weapon enough to fight,
Speed enough to flee,
Intelligence enough to strategize,
and is the royal model for Perimi?
“Whoa,” Collin said, clearly stunned but trying to look ‘macho’ and unfazed.
“Umm, I think better on a full stomach,” I said weakly. “Let’s get some dinner?” It was a question, not a statement.
“Agreed!” Collin said with a mischievous smile. “It’s such a shame that I brought $150 along for such occasions as going out to eat.” He grinned and whipped out 3 crisp $50 bills.
“How ‘bout Hoppin’ John’s?” he asked. I knew that it was his favorite restaurant.
“Sure!” I agreed. I didn’t really care. Eating was just an excuse so I can think of an answer to the riddle.
He pulled up a Hoppin’ John’s menu up on the little laptop and turned to me. “I’ll get the Curly Fries, a Pheasant-burger, and some Pineapple Soda,” he told me. His favorite since kindergarten. “How bout you?” He cocked his head and looked up at me.
“I’ll have the BLT with the Beef Patty instead of the bacon, some ribbed fries, and a…a…an orangeade.” I stuttered. If I took too long to order, he would know I was stalling.
“Hokey Dokey! Let’s do the email-through so no one sees us.” I agreed. We wouldn’t want to get busted for skipping school.
He went to the email browser on the little laptop and typed in, fast as lightening:
1 pheasant-burger, 1 BLT with the beef patty, 1 side-order of curly fries, one of rib fries, one pineapple soda, and 1 Orangeade, billed to Collin Shimmons, restaurant code 14579, address: 1234 Briarwood St.
While he did the order, I went to the stable to bed down the horse for the night.
He hit send and within minutes, a little robot holding our order came up to us and said,
“Thank You for ordering Hoppin’ John’s. We hope you enjoy your meal.” (Personally, I think the robot is another reason he ordered by email. Its sooooo cute!)
Then he put the food on the table and left. “Awww. He’s soooo cute!” I cried. Collin looked at me like I was crazy.
We realized he hadn’t settled in so we dragged his stuff upstairs and sat down to eat.
“I wonder what the answer to that dumb riddle is,” Collin commented. (I have noticed that boys have a tendency of calling things dumb when they don’t make sense)
“No kidding!” I agreed. “I just want to be able to go back home soon. Grandma’s probably worried sick about me. I hate to cause her so much pain. I bet she thinks I went up in flames with the house itself.” I said sadly. Collin nodded sympathetically.
“Well, we’ve got to think. Let’s make a list of animals we know that can fight, flee, and look like Perimi. We can worry about specifics like the royal thing and weapons when we have a good list.”
I nodded. His idea was as good as any.
He pulled out a piece of paper and we wrote down:
Then he circled the ones that appeared in all 3 columns. The only that did was snake.
“Great! Let’s type in snake and be done with it!” Collin shouted, enthusiastically.
“Wait!” I cried, not wanting to waste our one chance before thinking it out completely. “There are like a zillion different kinds of snakes. I think ‘snake’ is too generic. We should look up a certain kind of snake. One that has a weapon…venom! Some snakes have poison! Their weapon is their venom! But not all snakes have venom. We have to find a kind of venomous snake.”
I just kept talking and talking. It all made sense now! I grabbed the laptop from him before he could object, and typed ‘venomous snakes’ into Koolio. Up popped lots of poisonous snakes. Moccasins, constrictors, pythons. I browsed along, looking for something that had to do with royalty in each description. Then I got to the Cobras.
It was like the little light bulb clicked on over my head. KING Cobras!
“It’s a king cobra!” I shouted, jubilant. He looked at me doubtfully.
“Just trust me, OK?” I said. He looked at me, and I could see the fear and uncertainty sparkling in his eyes. “Please?” I whispered softly. He gave one quick little nod. I knew what this meant. If I got this wrong, we would have no way of fighting Perimi. The adrenaline flowing through my veins made it impossible to sit still any longer, though. He went back to the blocked website, re-logged in, and typed the word ‘King Cobra’ in the little text box provided. I could hear the intense music playing as he prepared to hit ‘SUBMIT’. Click. You could’ve heard a feather fall in Canada for how silent the room became as the computer processed the information. The responding blurb was:
Very good, Collin (and Kristy). Now I will reward you with another clue. Do not submit the answer. Instead, put it to use. I have made known what was necessary without breaking the pact I am bound to. My work is done. Now you are on your own. I wish you good luck. Here is the final clue:
The operation can be performed on any victim, but you can only attempt it once. Destruct using an element all around us.
Perimi’s eternal slave, Jake L.
“Wow.” I said.
“Another riddle?” Collin complained.
“Well, I guess that it’s better we know .” I said with a sigh.
“And tomorrow we can go home!” He said with a grin.
I nodded. “For now, let’s go to bed.” Never had that sounded more wonderful.
I woke Caramel up and we climbed up the stairs. We said goodnight rather awkwardly because I had never been in the same house as a sleeping guy. I got into bed, and realized that I had left Caramel’s bankie in Collin’s bedroom. I crept slowly into his room to get the bankie, because Caramel won’t go to sleep without it. Collin was fast asleep, which certainly made the situation less awkward than me barging in on him in his pajamas. He was snoring lightly, but he looked so peaceful and little-kid-ish that I tried doubly hard not to wake him up. I got the bankie and left the room, quietly clicking the door shut behind me.
I had never been an early riser, so it really surprised me that I was up at 8:45 on a day when I didn’t have to go to school. Of course, I didn’t remember that right away. I took a peek at the clock and got up, afraid to be late for school. And then it all came back. I got all excited when I realized that today might possibly be the day when I, Kristy McNobody, become Kristy McDougal, the girl who saved the world from the evil worm, Perimi. OK, so Collin helped. I’ll become Kristy McDougal, the girl who helped Collin Shimmons kill Perimi. Same diff, right?
Then I realized that I needed my trusty sidekick and his mini-laptop awake before I started on saving the world. And I also realized that Kristy McDougal, world-saving extraordinaire was REALLY hungry. I walked into Collin’s room. He was still sleeping, but he wasn’t snoring anymore. I knew it would be really awkward for me to be standing here in my pajamas waking him up, but I knew it would be even more awkward if I stood here and waited until he woke up on his own. I shook his shoulder lightly. “Collin?” I said. He stirred. “C’mon Collin! Get up, or there won’t be any pancakes left!”
His eyes flew open. “Is that a challenge?” He asked with a grin. “Game on.”
I raced downstairs and made the pancakes. We wolfed them down in record time, and started puzzling over the riddle once more.
“I think the first line means that we can kill any of the Perimi worms in any computer, and it kills all the rest of them too,” I said.
He shrugged. “Works for me. Now all we have to do is figure out how.”
“Keep reading!” I urged.
“Destruct using an element all around us. Hmmm…”
“I think we have to kill it using an element all around us. So if we chopped its head off, it wouldn’t work. You know?”
“I’ll bet you’re right!” Collin agreed. “Now how do you use an element to kill a worm? And how do we know which computer has Perimi?”
“Didn’t that newspaper article have something about the symptoms? I have an idea! Let’s go online to ‘bank’ and open our ‘bank account’. We can use my Grandpa’s since nobody cancelled it even after he died. But we’ve got to go to Grandma’s house without being seen and sneak into my Grandma’s banking drawer. But that’s all I can come up with.”
“Fine. Let’s go.”
We ran across town. Collin pushed a button on the laptop that made us invisible, but only if we were touching it or something touching it. So we had to hold hands. Major awkwardness. There is no way I’m ever doing that again under any circumstances. When we reached my house, I let go and walked around back. My Grandma was at Brunch with her friends, so I could easily sneak in.
While Collin stood guard, I retrieved the key from under the mat and crept into the study to grab the banking book with his information on it. I felt a wave of homesickness wash over me.
‘Don’t worry.’ I assured myself. ‘Once I save the world, I can go back to being a normal 7th grade girl, minus the part about liking Collin.’ I felt around until I reached the familiar, smooth faux leather. I grabbed it and we went back to Roberts’. This time I put my own finger on the laptop, not holding his hand. When we got back, we went online and ‘banked.’ We deposited $50 of the food money Collin brought.
Then we thought about ‘elements all around us’. Air, water, wind. Apparently you have to use one of them to kill the worm(s?). We could Drown them, blast off their heads with wind, or suffocate them. Collin voted for the second option, but I figured the third would be easiest. We didn’t want to kill the laptop, so we went upstairs to the abandoned computer up there. He opened the back of the computer and pulled out the hard drive. Sure enough. There, sitting on the drive was a tiny, actual worm. Imagine. All the scientists had been trying to reprogram the whole system, but the actual problem was an almost living little creature thing. Ha.
Anyway. We sat there staring at it. ”Hold on,” I said, running into the bathroom. I opened the cupboard and sure enough – there lay a pair of rusty old tweezers. I grabbed them in my hand and ran into the bedroom again. Collin grabbed them from me, and pulled the worm out. We shoved it into the plastic bag that had been holding my sandwich, which I tossed to Caramel. We sealed it tight and waited for it to stop wiggling.
And we waited.
And we waited.
And we waited.
AND WE WAITED.
Until, finally, in a last burst of effort, Perimi stopped moving. We sat there, in stunned astonishment. The one case that had millions of scientists stumped, was solved by two middle-school kids. I could see the headlines. We would be famous!
And in big trouble for running away and skipping school. But this was worth it, right?
On the night before the recognition dinner that had been scheduled in our honor—I guess Collin’s dream was right! We were being rewarded!— I sat down in my new chair next to my best girly friend, Lisa, half listening to her ramble on and on about her favorite topic—Collin.
“You know, you have an opportunity to be with Collin. Why don’t you even like him?”
“I don’t know,” I mumbled absently.
“Seriously! He’s really awesome! Every single girl in the whole grade would KILL to spend ONE MINUTE with him, and here you are, spending almost TWO DAYS with him and you don’t even like him! It’s such a waste! Don’t you even like him the TINIEST BIT?”
I thought about it for awhile. “He’s my friend. End of story.” And somehow, even overly persistent, boy-crazy Lisa caught something in my tone of voice and, for once in her life, stopped. Then she moved on to her second favorite topic, clothes. Time to tune out again!!!
I began to think about how wonderful it felt to be home; in my room, on my chair. I thought back to two weeks ago. Where had I been? With Collin probably. I sighed. SO much had happened since then. We went home from the abandoned house the day we ‘killed’ Perimi. I told my Grandma the minute we got in the door. Every last word.
Her reaction drifted between crying, yelling, threatening to murder me if I ever did this again, grounding me, grounding me again (7 times!) and then she ended up crying and hugging me. Then she called EVERYONE. The neighbors, the teachers, the pastor. Heck, she called the state senator who referred her to the state capital who said that the governor invited us to come down to the capital so he could personally thank us! And after that we’d have some sort of recognition dinner or whatever. And we get a plaque or something! And the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES is sending US a letter of gratitude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can only imagine how famous we were. But the only person who hadn’t answered was my mom. That makes sense, right?
Anyway. I mean, if Collin was Elvis, now he was like Zeus or something! And I was, like, Madonna. Great. I was famous. I had my dog, a beautiful new house (my Grandma is buying one for my parents as a surprise for my parents when they come home) and a slightly neurotic but totally loving grandmother. The only thing missing was a Ferrari (yeah, and I had already tried, to no avail) and a pair of actually existing parents (which was about as likely to happen as the Ferrari.) I figured I’d better get some sleep unless I wanted to look like a zombie in a miniskirt. So I crawled into bed and fell asleep.
I stood at the table and sat between Collin and Grandma. It was awkward, since I could tell he’d much rather be in jeans and a sweatshirt than the sticky tux his mother stuffed him into. It was weird. For some reason I actually cared that my bangs were greasy and fell into my eyes. Lisa would’ve said it was because Collin was there, but I knew better. Anyway. The governor went through this boring ceremony and then we got some medals and Collin ‘said a few words’ about the adventure (he’d always been a better speaker than me). And that was it. Then Grandma handed me a note that said:
I’m so proud of you. Look outside.
I peeked out the door and there, suitcases in hand, stood my parents. Then we had one of those cliché group hugs. But I swear. There in the arms of my best friend, my mom, my dad, and my grandma all huddled around that gleaming medal, my life felt complete. For now. But one thing’s for sure. I am never.
saving the world again.
And for all of you out there wondering who Jack L. was, it turned out that he was the guy who created Perimi as a prank for his senior class. However, he hit the wrong button and the worm got out of control. He tried everything and could not disable it because the worm was smart enough to know him and what he was going to do. In a last effort, he put it out on the last hit of a strange search engine in hopes that one person (in this case, a team of 2) would find it and reverse the disastrous effects. Later, on July 8, 2030, Jack L. was tried and sentenced to prison time. But it would have been a lot worse if these two kids hadn’t been in the right place at the right time. They truly saved the world.