Actually, I already had been following Phoenix. I needed to know if he can be trusted. So I decided to get to know him. Who he really is behind the name and his intentions. My hacking skills are pure handy at times like these so I was able to trace and track who Phoenix is. So Luna and I “got to know” him better. Well, Luna called it stalking while I called it “gathering intel”. He was grumbling something like: “Here we are on one of Runa’s crazy adventures. She certainly loves her adventures. It wasn’t enough for her to crash land on this crazy planet, now she needs to drag me along on for all her crazy adventures. She takes me along so I can save her whenever she screws up. How typical! Now she’s stalking some guy, oh joy. Let’s see where this adventure takes us. Here we go again! Will this nightmare ever end?”
It turns out Phoenix was called “Michael Ren”, but goes by just Ren. I watched him closely enough to know that he’s actually good and harmless. Phoenix, or Ren, is a loner and sulks in the crowd never wanting any attention because everybody thinks he’s not good enough. He spends all day alone and sad. The school he’s in branded him a lone wolf loser.
By earshot I learned that he was a latchkey kid. He was used to being left alone as a child, except when he was bossed around by his strict parents. They’re trying to shape him into an accountant but he’s a hacker and a talented artist at heart. “He has a home, at least.” I thought. But coming home, he had only 3 companions; alcohol, laptop, and guitar. There’s something about him that reels me in. I continued to watch him for a few days and…
Aside from his incredible skills, Ren also has a compassionate heart. I witnessed this one afternoon in the campus.
There was a little girl bullied by her classmates. It wasn’t just Ren who had seen it, as there were also other students but they didn’t have a kind heart like Ren’s. He approached the kid, helped her and said “Stop crying. You know, there’ll come a time when you’ll look back to this day and realize they’re not worth the tears. They’re only doing this because they’re scared. They’re scared because they know you’ll grow up more intelligent and successful than them. They’re trying to break your spirit. But we know better. Just keep standing up every time.”
The mom soon came rushing in and the child told her about a teen boy who helped her. But before the mom could thank Ren, he had already walked away. That was so cool! He didn’t wait for any recognition at all! But I know he still feels lonely because even though he’s being kind to others, he would secretly love someone to be kind and rescue him, too.
At home, I watched him play his guitar after doing some impressively complicated hackathons in his laptop. This boy is brilliant! I’m fascinated and touched by his talents and I know it’s not something to hide. In fact, I feel like I need to empower him and boost his confidence. I’m now decided that I want to start “Project Ren”. He should believe more in himself. He’s got more skills than the whole of his school! Heck, even more intelligent than adults I’ve seen. There’s got to be something to boost his confidence. I’m sending him something —