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Orson Scott Card's trip to Jakarta, Indonesia

Stories from students at Jakarta International School

Ryan Nava

A Days Destruction

"Ms. Peters please come into my office, now!"

Joanna Peters got up from her little desk and walked towards her boss' office. Joanna would soon return to her desk and continue working on how that glitch had gotten into the computer banking account and who had put it there. She almost had it, too, and it was a good thing the only person she had told was her boss. Maybe he wanted to tell her what a great job she was doing or that maybe she would be getting a pretty big bonus in her next paycheck for finding the glitch. But she did deserve it.

She had been looking around to check on a clients account when she accidentally found the company's main account files and after a bit of looking around found that someone had tampered with the system. They had it so that it would be easy for anyone to come in and send large amounts of money from the bank to an offshore account or something. She had told her boss about it after setting up a security system that wouldn't let anyone without the right password in.

"Excuse me, Mr. Hendem, you wanted to see me?" Joanna walked into the room as Mr. Hendem nodded his head.

"Yes, Ms. Peters, I just want to let you know how we here at Hayden Banking are grateful for the work that you do for us and the work you have done for us..."

"Why thank you sir, I mean it's not much really."

"But unfortunately we have been forced to cut back on a few of our employees and I am real sorry to say that we will no longer be needing your services here Ms. Peters."

"What? But that's not fair, Mr. Hendem, I am so close to finding out who tampered with the system, I mean I have kids, think about my kids!"

"You will receive your next pay check and that will be all, you may take all your items from your desk and we will then see about your recommendation." Mr. Hendem's voice was so steady, as if it didn't matter to him at that he was firing the person he had seemed to be so pleased with just a couple days ago.

Joanna was ecstatic. "Please Mr. Hendem, don't do this to me, please, you need me..."

"That will be all Ms. Peters..."

"I am divorced, I need this job, please, please please!" She was in tears now.

"I said that will be ALL! Now kindly leave my office or I will have security up here to escort you out of the building."

As suddenly as she had started crying she stopped; Joanna had always had a fear of policemen. She did everything she could to not associate them, she enjoyed being around police as much as an Arachnaphobic enjoyed being locked in a room full of spiders. She stopped crying and left Mr. Hendem's office. She gathered her objects and didn't say a word to anyone. But before she left Joanna copied all of the bank's files onto a disk and then left, she still wanted to know who had tampered with the system.

Nowadays it is a real crime to tamper with systems, even if nothing happens, when someone is caught stealing they end up paying big time. Heck, maybe it was worth her job back if she caught the criminal.

"Jason I'm very unhappy with these grades, I mean, what's happening? You are an A student, not a C-. Can you explain this?"

"I'm sorry Mrs. Valentine, I mean I guess I just messed up this time, but I promise I'll do better next time." Jason put on his sad puppy dogface to sweeten the deal, ha! These teachers will believe anything you tell them if it sounds responsible.

"Jason, your sad puppy dog faced responsibility routine is not going to work this time, this is the fourth bad grade in a row and each time you tell me you're going to do better. And still your parents don't seem to do anything about it. Why is that, Jason?"

"Oh, they have so much trust in me that they feel I should decide what my own grades are by working as hard as I feel is right. It's sort of a little thing our family has going, the same thing goes for my sister, Jennie."

"Well, then if that is what goes on in your house you won't mind getting the four papers that you have done poorly on signed and handed in to me by tomorrow. Thank you Jason for your time and I must get going now."

"But Mrs. Valentine!" It was too late; Mrs. Valentine had already left the room and was heading towards the exit door. She had left nothing but the four papers, C-, D, C, F. He felt sick just staring at those grades, he finally decided that when he got home his mom would probably be in a good enough mood to not get too mad at the grades. Jason picked up the papers with weak hands and left.

"Hey you! Stop right there!" The officer called out as he ran after the perpetrator, but despite his efforts Jennie Peters did not stop. She just kept on running. She had been caught shoplifting and not only that but they were also after her for possession of marijuana and for drinking and driving.

"Stop right there lady!" Another officer had joined in the chase, this one was younger and had a better build and was kind of hot. All of this was running through Jenny's mind as she ran away from the fat and buff cops.

Jennie turned the corner still running, pushing and shoving people as she went along. She decided to cross the street and in doing so nearly got run over but was lucky. However, the younger cop was also lucky too and was able to get across the street. The fat older cop had long since given up and was sitting on a bench catching his breath. It was hard for Jennie to run as fast as she could, she had once been an A student who was the best runner on the track team but was now a girl on drugs running away from cops and was also drunk. The alcohol was slowing her down but she kept going on, she turned into and alley and hopped a fence. Suddenly the cop was no longer behind her, so Jennie stopped running and started looking back to see what had happened to him. But there was no sign of him. She started laughing that she had outrun two cops. Suddenly there was a tap on her shoulder, Jennie swung around and was eye to eye with a fist heading straight for her face. It hit and Jennie fell to the ground, she heard a bunch of guys laughing and some gunshots before she fell unconscious.

Jennie woke up in the station; she was lying on a bench, she tried her hand but it was cuffed to the bench. She had a blanket on her. To her left was the buff cop she had been running away from. He was sitting at a desk reading something eating and apple. He saw that Jennie was awake so he threw away his apple and got up.

"Jennie Peters, age 17, born September 14, 1983. Once arrested for vandalism, wanted for driving under the influence of alcohol, drug possession, shoplifting and resisting arrest. My, you sure have acquired an interesting resume for your future job."

"Screw you!"

"Jennie, I know you're a big girl now so I'm not going to give you a lecture on what and what not to do, but what I am going to do is send you down into your new home until someone decides to get you."

"Jail? You can't put me in..." Her sentence was cut short as she felt a great deal of pain surge through her eye. She looked in a nearby mirror. It was big and black and blue. She flinched in pain.

"You know, you're lucky that I found where you had run off to and you should be thanking ME that all they did was steel your wallet and leave you with a big black eye."

"I didn't need your help; I could have taken them on by myself!"

"That's nice, Ms. Peters, and it has been a pleasure talking with you. But now it's that time when I nod my head like this and this happens..."

Two officers came and got Jennie from her seat and started to pull her towards the doors that lead to the cells.

"Let me go! You people can't do this!"

"On the contrary, Ms. Peters, we can..." The young cop took a bite of his apple and started walking towards the door that led outside.

"I know my rights! I want my phone call!"

As the door slammed, Joanna rushed into her house; she threw her purse against the wall, it crashed against the floor and half the things in it came out. This just made Joanna more frustrated. One of the items that popped out was the disk that had the bank's files saved onto it. She stared at it and went and picked it up, she looked at it and smiled. She was going to nail the guy who had tampered with the system, and she was going to get her job back. But what would she do till then? She could survive with the money she had but she needed a job, anything, something that would allow her a steady income. She dropped the disk and put her hands over her eyes and let out a sigh of pain.

Just then the door creaked open and in walked Jason. Joanna watched her twelve-year-old son walk in the door and thought at how good he was, how he could never cause her stress or pain.

Jason walked in and saw his mother watching, he saw her red face and decided to ignore it.

"Hey, Mom, how was work?" Just as he said this he saw the purse on the ground on its side with the items spilling out. This made Jason feel sick.

"Just great, Jay, how was school? Got anything for me?"

Jason felt something come over him that hit him hard. It was like a wave of pain that just swept over his body and the result left him sitting at the table, across from his mom weeping. His mom watched in amazement. Jason handed to her the papers, she looked over them and Jason just sat there, crying.

"Jason . . . oh my, what in gods name is GOING ON HERE?" Jason knew that the purse was a sign that she wasn't in a good mood. "I send you to school every year to receive these grades? Look at this one, semester test and you got a C- on it? What is this?"

"Mom, I'm sorry!" Jason was weeping.

"You know this means you're are going to be loosing some privileges and you won't be doing a lot of the things you are doing now. No, not until your grades are better! I seriously cannot believe this!" Joanna stopped yelling for a second and lowered her voice; she was looking upwards and was breathing in roughly, a sure sign that she was about to cry. "And after what happened at work today I don't know if I can take this, can't anything go right today?" It was more of a cry than a question and just then the phone rang. Joanna cleared her throat, wiped her eyes and picked up the phone. She listened for a second, then her eyes glazed over. Jason became scared and stopped crying. Suddenly his mother threw down the phone and tossed the papers allover the place, grabbed the keys to the family car and rushed off, swearing and cursing all the way.

Jason didn't know what to do so he picked up his math textbook and started studying.

"And here's your check sir..." It made her nervous and scared just being in the police station, her hand was shaking, in fact her whole body was shaking as she gave the twelve thousand dollar bail check to the nice young police officer. Joanna wanted nothing but to leave the place and just thinking about what had happened to her that night in the alley way when the cops had stopped her made her want to throw up.

"Ma'am, if I could talk to you for a second before we go pick up your daughter, I'm worried about what might happen to your daughter if this continues..."


"We have ways to help people, there is therapy, group sessions, we could put her on medication, we could give her something that would control her need for alcohol and drugs. What do you think?"

"She used to be an A student, an A student!" She looked up at the young officer and yelled it out again and then started weeping. The officer swung around the desk and hugged her. She flinched at having an officer touch her again, but this time it was in kindness and love. This made her cry even more, then she thought about her job and her son and let it all out and the officer just sat there and held on to the weeping mother.

The car ride home was silent, Jennie was sitting in the front seat looking out the window and Joanna was just starring at the road. It wasn't busy so she had time to think about her day so far. It was two o'clock and nothing good had come out of the day yet. When they got home the two walked into the house and Jennie walked into her room and slammed the door. Joanna was glad to see Jason studying and it put a smile on her face. Funny, it was the first real smile she had put on since last night when the three of them went out to dinner at a Medieval dinner show place and had a great time. This, however, made her depressed.

"Honey? Honey may I come in?" Joanna knocked on Jennie's door.

"It's not locked..."

Joanna walked into the room. Jennie was lying on the bed.

"Jennie, what's happening to you? What's wrong?"

"Nothings wrong mom, nothing at all, I'm fine!"

"That is not TRUE! Jennie, I just paid twelve thousand dollars for your bail, you have a drug problem and an alcohol problem. Please let me help you..." Joanna was almost begging.

"Mom for the last time! I don't need or WANT any help at all and especially from you!"

"Well FINE!" Joanna was getting furious. "You want to be disconnected you will be! You will also be disconnected from everything that comes with me. For instance, you can forget going out for a long, long, long time!"


"Secondly, you won't be driving the car and you will give me all your lighters; instead of sitting around watching TV or talking to your friends, you will be studying."

"No, you're wrong! I won't do anything you tell me, I hate it when you act like this, I can't stand it anymore!"

With that Jennie got up and stormed out of the room. When she walked past her mom, she made a quick grab and obtained the keys to the car. She stormed out of the house, got in the car and drove off before her mother could get to her. Joanna stormed back inside and slammed the door as hard as she could. She thought about taking the other family van after her but decided against it. It was no use; Jennie just didn't like being around her mother anymore.

The next few hours were spent working on the disk. Joanna was so close to discovering who had tampered with the system. She had already figured out what had happened. Someone had gotten into the system and fixed the accounts so that it would look like nothing was changing but what was really happening was that the person who had broken in was stealing money and wiring it to a different account somewhere and had almost gotten away with it. It was about nine o'clock when she cracked the mystery. All Joanna needed to do to find out who had been stealing money was to click on the enter button and it would get her her job back. Joanna clicked enter and stared at the computer. The name Merick Hendem showed up on her screen. In a second she had figured out what was happening and why she had suddenly gotten fired. Then something went wrong. The letters in the name were being deleted, someone else was in the account system and was changing something, slowly one by one the letters in her boss' name were being deleted and once they were all deleted a new name was put in and to Joanna's horror it was her name that was being entered. As this happened, she quickly shut down her whole computer and almost fell over in fear. The only thing that kept her from fainting was the ringing of the phone. Jason answered it and talked.

"Hello, who is this please? What? Hold on! Mom, it's Jennie, there's been an accident!"

At the hospital the doctors were all nice to Joanna, but it was no use, as she stood there staring at her daughter on the bed, all those tubes attached to her. She had gotten into an accident after drinking out with some of her friends. It was bad and there was a chance she wouldn't survive. Joanna was traumatized. And it didn't surprise her at all when the cops came to get her for the theft of three billion dollars in cash. She felt sick to her stomach and scared about the cops but was too worried about her two kids. Jason was back at home with a babysitter, one of Jenny's old friends who was really trustworthy. It wasn't until the cops where putting her in the car that she realized what had happened. When she accidentally stumbled upon the accounts and found the mistake, it destroyed her boss' plan to steal money. And when she came too close to finding out what had really happened and who had done it, he fired her and just in case she followed up on it, called the police after changing all the files around to make it look like she had done it.

It had been the worst day of her life and she wanted nothing more than to sink into a hole and die. Her whole life had been destroyed and tattered in just one day. She was nothing but an out of work forty one-year-old woman who had been framed for stealing money and had a daughter who might die and a son who was basically failing school.

Jason walked into his sister's room to get some paper and when he went to pull out a sheet of paper from her printer a small piece of paper rolled out. It was small, long and narrow and had stuff in it. It looked like a cigarette but was too small. Jason found his sister's lighter and took the small joint. The babysitter was tipping the pizza guy so out of curiosity Jason lit up and began smoking the marijuana.

Jennie lay there in the emergency room. She had broken her legs and had a broken rib and a punctured lung. They were working hard so that she would live. They didn't want to see such a beautiful young girl drink her life away.

Joanna lay there in the cell. She was alone and it was dark. She thought about her day and what was going to come out of all of this, her need for love grew with each breath she took and with a son who was getting his first unnatural high and a daughter who might not live to see her mother again Joanna cried. The charge meant nothing to her at the time. It was just another big part that had led to her destruction. Suddenly her watch beeped, twelve o'clock midnight. The thought that her whole life had gone down the drain in less than twenty-four hours made her cry even harder. It was just another sad day's destruction.


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