iHero: Episode 10

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*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

This case started out with a man sitting in front of his computer waiting for someone. It seemed like he was chatting or waiting for one or something. Then he received a phone call and went insane. He ended up stabbing himself.

The landlady made the call to the team so that was how they were notified of the incident. From what was discovered and their deductions, it was obvious it was suicide. However, the strangest thing was learning that the landlady wasn’t the first to discover the body. She received a call from a girl, telling her what happened so she had called the police afterward. Through the victim’s cell phone callbacks log, that girl might be Lin Yi Ting (林依婷). Tou Mu had checked the cell phone without Yang Qian realizing it so she took a closer look at the text messages when Tou Mu walked over to her. What got to her was how Lei Gong had asked Angel to monitor the cell phone for future messages or the like. Why the strong reaction? Through a quick flashback of voices, it was known that Yang Qian was the one Lei Gong told to do the checking of such things in the past. So of course, Yang Qian was reluctant to give up the phone. What they didn’t notice the whole time was how the camera attached to the computer had been watching their every move.

Good news! Jing Ling is back! She walked into the area to ask why they weren’t eating since it was lunchtime already. Xiao Gao said that he was in the middle of something so he needed to complete the task first before he could eat. Jing Ling said it wasn’t going anywhere so he didn’t have to plunge into work like that. Xiao Gao persisted with his task but pointed out that the person behind him was probably starving to death already. Jing Ling turned to see a very anxious Xiao Xiang sitting nearby. He indeed looked pitiful. After all, Yang Qian had been taking her frustration out on him recently. But did he have a death wish? He was eyeing Jing Ling’s apple so desperately that it was hard not to see. She finally took pity on him and tossed him a red apple to hold him over for the time being as he waited. The poor dude wolfed down the apple like it was beef steak or something. Jing Ling, amused, asked him how long he hadn’t eaten. He said it was because he didn’t have any money. He was so asking for it. It wasn’t easy eating Jing Ling’s apple. (Like the old saying goes: “There are no free meals in life.”) Jing Ling pursued with her interrogation, asking him how outrageous his spending was hence no money, and even pondered if he had a girlfriend. It was the same question Yang Qian asked him earlier when he was acting suspicious, talking on the phone. He denied, saying how he lost all his money. Xiao Gao jumped in then, saying that it was possibly because his computer had a virus. While Xiao Gao was reassuring Xiao Xiang by promising to help him check out his computer later, Jing Ling teased Xiao Xiang about visiting ‘suspicious’ websites hence encountering the virus. (LOL!)

While that was going on, Professor Yang was briefing Yang Qian and Lei Gong about the autopsy. He was talking about the situation with the suicide and all. He said it wasn’t just some impulse action, but the seed had been planted for a long period of time. Whatever it was, they weren’t sure of the victim’s suicide. Yet Professor Yang pointed out that it was important that communications were clear toward one another. He sort of got into the territory with Lei Gong and Yang Qian so they were staring awkwardly all around.

Back to Jing Ling, Xiao Gao, and Xiao Xiang at the computer stations. Xiao Gao was finally finished with retrieving the data from the computer and other stuff. As he was briefing them though, he found out something else that was so strange he had to stop and figure it out. Of course, both Jing Ling and Xiao Xiang didn’t know what he was talking about.

While the other two were waiting for Xiao Gao to figure it out, Lei Gong and Yang Qian were walking and talking about the information Yang Qian was holding, mostly regarding the victim and the link he had with Lin Yi Ting before his death. As they were in the middle of the discussion, Angel walked up to them and handed Lei Gong a folder. She had already finished her task with retrieving the phone records, etc. As she was briefing Lei Gong, Yang Qian leaned in closer to Lei Gong to read the file. Though it made sense she was as curious regarding the newly found information, but it was too obvious that she had a point to prove (and that she was secretly jealous of Lei Gong and Angel’s past link). Of course, Lei Gong noticed the lack of distance between the two of them so he sort of leaned back before sending her a nervous smile, which she returned his smile with a natural one (or at least she tried to make it as normal as possible–like she wasn’t up to anything). When Angel handed Lei Gong another folder, Yang Qian grabbed it this time, not allowing Lei Gong to touch it, but she did mutter a ‘thank you’ and sent Angel a sweet smile. Angel had noticed the weird gestures yet didn’t know what to make of it hence she chose to focus on delivering facts to them both. Seeing the number of gambling debts the victim incurred, Yang Qian commented that it was obvious why he had to kill himself (i.e. the pressure was too much). Yet Lei Gong said that could be a coincidence and the real reason might not be that simple. Yang Qian laughed and made a quip, wanting to head off to investigate, but Xiao Xiang rushed toward them at that time, stopping Yang Qian from proceeding any further. He told them that Xiao Gao had discovered something so they all rushed off to the computer area, leaving Angel behind to fend for herself. She soon followed them though so it wasn’t like they had abandoned her completely.

This was the clip Xiao Gao managed to retrieve from the cell phone. It had been deleted, of course. It was Liao Wen Ding (廖文鼎), the victim, and Lin Yi Ting. After they watched the clip, Lei Gong said that ‘love’ wouldn’t be that high on the list for Liao Wen Ding’s suicide. Regardless of the reason, Yang Qian said it probably had to do with Lin Yi Ting. Lei Gong disagreed since he pointed out it could be due to money. Then he smiled and asked Yang Qian to investigate further. That was when Yang Qian smiled, feeling like her spot had been restored. So she returned the favor that Angel had upstaged her earlier by demanding the files in Angel’s hand. She had no choice but to hand it over, so of course, Yang Qian was unusually happy. She even ended up skipping around and telling Xiao Xiang to go. Xiao Xiang, of course, knew better than to ask of her sudden change in moods, followed her–skipping along as well.

Yang Qian finally located Lin Yi Ting so she could come in and see for herself. Lin Yi Ting confirmed that the victim was indeed Liao Wen Ding and that something finally happened to him. When Yang Qian asked, she whipped out her cell phone and showed Yang Qian the same clip that Xiao Gao had retrieved from Liao Wen Ding’s cell phone previously. She said that she initially thought that Liao Wen Ding was paranoid when he told her that it seemed like he was always being watched. They still had no idea that they were still being watched and monitored by an unknown person behind the screen.

Xiao Gao managed to retrieve another deleted message and showed it to them. It had some bank records. Xiao Gao had to explain to Yang Qian about IP Addresses and how if it was some pro, he or she would know how to direct overseas hence making it harder to trace that person’s location. Angel understood the concept of IP Address and how the internet worked though, so that meant Yang Qian just lost some points? (Or was Yang Qian the only one keeping track? LOL!) While they were discussing it outside of the lab area, Xiao Xiang was eating in front of Liao Wen Ding’s laptop so he was being monitored again. The screen soon went mad and was in the process of destroying data–or something. When would he discover that something was wrong? Well, he didn’t discover anything, but it was Yang Qian who had stumbled upon the answer without knowing. She had blurted out how no wonder Liao Wen Ding wasn’t able to do anything with his webcam and all. That was when Xiao Gao chided himself for missing that important bit. Soon, both Xiao Gao and Angel were running like crazy back into the lab. Yang Qian, of course, didn’t get it.

Xiao Gao had to push Xiao Xiang out and tried to stop the sequence. Yup, there was no time to talk. He had to act fast. Jing Ling had rushed over to check out the rupture. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, she told Xiao Xiang not to disturb Xiao Gao. Yet it was indeed too late. Xiao Gao stopped what he was doing and settled into a chair Xiao Xiang pulled up for him. He tried to stay calm, but it was indeed infuriating, knowing that he missed what was right in front of him. Now it was too late.

It was no use crying over spilled milk. They had to work with what they had left. So Lei Gong and Yang Qian went back to the crime scene and tried to pinpoint where the spy cam was.

Back in the lab, although Xiao Gao still looked devastated, he revealed that he would be able to save the situation. He said that he just needed some extra time for that. So when they were in the meeting area, the others were discussing what they found at Liao Wen Ding’s house. Tou Mu had to explain to Yang Qian how IP Forwarding worked and the whole nine yard with monitoring via remote access too. Xiao Gao said he also had something similar setup, but to monitor his cat. Yang Qian was accusing Xiao Gao and lumping him in with the rest of the cyber-criminals, lol. He explained that not all hackers online were like that, lol. Now he was getting timid, because of how fierce Yang Qian was. Well, he sort of asked for it when he said it wasn’t against the law with spying and all. Then she jumped in with asking him about how it was with monitoring them and stealing others’ money, etc.

While they were debating about that matter, Xiao Xiang suddenly showed up, so the heat was now on him. Tou Mu was wondering why he was sneaking around and if he was trying to steal something. Yang Qian yelled for him to come in and asked what he wanted. He hesitated before saying that the message that Liao Wen Ding received about some sin, he also received it. The others were, of course, surprised. So they gathered around Xiao Xiang’s laptop to see for themselves. After reading the message (only the first line), Yang Qian then gave Xiao Xiang a fierce look, asking what sin had he committed. Xiao Gao even got on his case, saying that Yang Qian was asking him (Xiao Xiang), lol. Since they were all waiting for the response and wasn’t go to leave him alone, he finally confessed that he sometimes downloaded movies to watch. (Yup, illegal downloads.) Yang Qian chided him for being a pervert while he rushed to explain it was just normal movies. It wasn’t until Xiao Gao took a closer look at Xiao Xiang’s laptop that he realized his mistake, mumbling how he deserved to die (aka it was so easy so how could he not figured it out before). He rushed off with the laptop to try something else. Xiao Xiang had no choice but to let it be, considering how no one was on his side on this one. It was much more important to crack this case and stop that other person, whoever he or she was.

While they were waiting, Yang Qian noticed how fierce Xiao Gao was getting by the second. She commented that he had gone insane. Lei Gong explained that that was how Xiao Gao was in the past. He used to be a hacker and had caused trouble for a lot of companies. Lei Gong went on further explaining more about Trojan horses and other techniques hackers used to get into someone else’s computer.

So Xiao Gao was in a trance, which was irreversible until he figured things out and defeated the other hacker. It got Yang Qian quite worried but Lei Gong said there was nothing they could do at this point except to leave him alone. They had a little scare when Xiao Gao won’t wake up as Jing Ling and Xiao Xiang were entering his work area to check in on him. Yes, Xiao Gao slept in the lab too often. Yet it was convenient for him to just jump to action when needed as he got up–or thought of something. And he finally was able to track down that mysterious hacker. He confronted the hacker and tried to extract the name of her boss. She, of course, worked for someone else. Xiao Gao wasn’t unsuccessful in getting a name out of Phoenix (the hacker), but after he told her that Liao Wen Ding had already committed suicide, she pulled out her cable and covered her webcam to hide from him. Xiao Gao was disappointed that the showdown between them ended just like that. Jing Ling was puzzled by one of Xiao Gao’s questions to the hacker, which was the one asking about the boss. Xiao Gao explained that he found out some stuff that got him to suspect that Phoenix wasn’t the mastermind of the schemes.

I lost count which round this was. But this was another chance for Yang Qian to prove herself. Like she needed to do that, but the jealous, insecure side of her was acting on her behalf–as of recent. Anyway, what Yang Qian just found out was how a sumptuous amount was donated to a certain charity organization. Angel jumped in to say that she noticed a package from the organization when she processed Liao Wen Ding’s possessions. She didn’t think much of it at that time, except maybe he had a good heart. Yet it seemed like that was relevant to the case as of now.

While Lei Gong, Yang Qian, and Angel were busy chasing the new leads, Jing Ling and Xiao Gao were seem in disagreement. Jing Ling disagreed with Xiao Gao’s method of hunting down the hacker and drawing out the boss. Yet Xiao Gao reasoned that he was just trying to help them catch the culprits. Jing Ling wasn’t convinced. She said he wasn’t focusing on the case, but he was playing. Xiao Gao stepped away from her, raising his voice and denied that he was playing around. She continued by saying that even before the case, he often hacked into other people’s computers to get information–despite the fact that he was working as a law enforcement officer. That was when he rushed to stop her from saying anything further, trying to tell her to lower her voice. He said there were things he wasn’t sure about hence showing her stuff. He also said that he didn’t want to act and possibly harming a good person (i.e. with how Jing Ling was saying how he was hiding the hacker from others). That got Jing Ling riled up, saying that he was just obsessed with her (the hacker). He said it had to do with the ‘X’ identity. She shushed him up and said she promised to keep the secret for him, but aside from that, she couldn’t guarantee. He called her back and did the ‘begging’ gesture before leaving.

Which led to this scene. Yes, Lei Gong had called Xiao Gao in for a chat. He wanted Xiao Gao to sit down yet Xiao Gao said it was all right that he stood. Lei Gong was asking about his progress. He said he was making some progress but still working on it. He said the other person used such advanced techniques so it would take a while. He rattled off a random list before Lei Gong stopped him and told him that he had one chance to explain. Xiao Gao was still dodging, listing his method in tracing the hacker. Lei Gong told him to tell the truth, but Xiao Gao said he wasn’t lying. Jing Ling had it, so she jumped in with saying how Xiao Gao should tell them and if there was anything they could do to help, they would. Xiao Gao confronted Jing Ling about her betrayal before turning to Lei Gong, asking if he also didn’t believe him. Lei Gong only said that it was important that in the process of investigation, there wasn’t any other factor that would influence their judgment thus affecting the case. Lei Gong went on and on with the lectures, reminding Xiao Gao how important it was that they kept their biases out of the case, etc. Jing Ling jumped in again, telling Lei Gong not to be like that. Yet the damage was already done. Xiao Gao was already offended. Way past that even. He said if Lei Gong wanted to fire him, that was fine. He took off his badge, slamming it on the desk before leaving. Lei Gong yelled after Xiao Gao, asking him about his attitude. Jing Ling was still silent, pondering about matters.

Xiao Gao finally met up with Phoenix. Phoenix was saying how she hated law enforcement since they only knew how to protect people with money, not caring about others. Xiao Gao was trying to convince her of how it wasn’t the same with everyone. She soon realized he was a cop. She said she hated liars and of course, hated him for conning her into the meeting. He said he was worried for her and wanted her help in solving the case. She turned him down. Before leaving, she ‘gave’ him eight words. He blurted out that he had quit (his job) because of her. She stopped and it seemed as if she was reconsidering, but she left anyway.

As Xiao Gao was packing up, Jing Ling went to see him. He said that she had lied to him. He said that she promised not to tell yet she went and told on him anyway. She said she was discussing with Lei Gong about him and their concern was him, not the case. She didn’t care about the culprits, but about what he was going through. She chided him for not knowing the difference. He sighed and finally calmed down. He sat his box down and asked Jing Ling if he was too rash in his decision. She pulled a chair up before answering him, saying how it was unavoidable that they encountered cases where it would impair their judgment. They seemed to have reached an understanding since they were able to talk calmly again, discussing the case for what it was. Xiao Gao finally was able to think clearly, providing the proper reasoning for his disbelief about Phoenix’s involvement in the schemes. Jing Ling told him that they were a team so regardless of what happened, they would always be there for one another. She was saying how he should believe in them too, but he just figured out something so he rushed off before she could finish, lol.

Xiao Gao had another meeting with Phoenix. She said her life was in danger so she needed protection. He was still struggling to decipher her words when she pulled out a USB stick and gave it to him, saying it was evidence that she had gathered. Also, she had packed already so he probably can’t turn her down now. She explained to him how she had thought it through after their last meeting and had gone back to her boss’ place to retrieve all the evidence. Xiao Gao, alarmed, asked if she got discovered already. She said not yet, but it would soon come so they should go. She reminded him that he was already out of a job. He stopped her, saying he wanted to go home. She didn’t care. She said it was probably for the best, stating that the safest place was probably the most dangerous place. So yes, she followed him. Nice?

After some initial excitement with her greeting everyone and them staring awkwardly, Phoenix managed to explain for Xiao Gao. Then she told Lei Gong how she had managed to retrieve the evidence, stating that there were about fifty people involved in the schemes. With all the computer speaks, Yang Qian was getting confused. Angel jumped in to explain about Trojan horses yet Phoenix said it wasn’t that simple. She covered all the details of the schemes. Liao Wen Ding was also involved yet he ended up developing some sort of conscience hence getting offed by the boss. The charity organization was a hoax, obviously. When Yang Qian asked if Phoenix was able to track down the boss, Phoenix and Xiao Gao exchanged a knowing look. Before long, they were settling down at the computers to begin their battle of the web. Xiao Gao and Phoenix successfully sabotaged the guy and Yang Qian was just in time to capture him at a cybercafe. The good news was Phoenix didn’t have to go to prison–courtesy of Lei Gong. Considering how she didn’t understand the seriousness of it all, just acting out on her righteousness–and she had helped them with tracking down the boss. Cute ending.

*All images were captured by DTLCT

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