S.uper.visor hooks online. His yellow left eye drifts into focus.
"#YadaYada present, recording via channel AAφ77_@latent2.server, welcome in Scramble. We, the Visors have the answers you seek."
A globe forms like soap bubble, growing bigger until it fills Amari's whole vision. Grey static transforms into images. A black bar underneath produces a shorinophone-like pattern in white. In horror Amari realises she is looking at her mother.
"This is secret footage shot by the traitor Zhu Ren."
"Wait, what, the CEO of QL Electronics?"
"Yeah, Future's Brightness, you must give him that, he turned the company from boring flat displays to a brighter future. Well, he brought us."
"Yeah, us the Visors. Someday we may explain, now it is time for you to listen, observe and learn."
Amari looks her mother, a face she just learn a few weeks ago, now fully automated. As a real treat the visors showed it to her in fully emerged 3D. It is as if she was there, but she is not. A ghost of the future.
"How is this even possible? Scramble was not invented until years later."
"So many question the young have. Yes, we know. Zhou Ren was not CEO yet, he was military back then. He must have been under surveillance most of his life."
S.uper.visor gives a rare smile.
"Please, I want you to see this recording. It is the only video footage we have of your family."
Amari shifts uncomfortable on her seat. Pointless of course. The recording started again from the beginning.
<... / START 3... 2... 1... >
Ren glared at her over the table. He caught her looking at him several times in the shiny polished reflection of the dark black wood. He seemed to recognise her.
An older lady, with deep grooves in her dark, leathery skin tapped a champagne glass and it fell silent, so she glanced over to her right. Ren's stare lingered beyond the point of creepy, then he focused his attention to his left as well. A stylish lady with power. Dressed for the occasion, with a little to much pink for her age.
" Dear guests, I thank you all for showing up at this celebration of democracy and great honour to have such a table full with such great minds and vision. To the future!"
Glasses were raised, chatter returned to the table. Ren spoke to his left to a lady older, before she lost interest, so he resolved to some more staring. Finally, she looked over and they locked eyes.
He mouthed something at her. Subtitles jump in for aid: "Why are you here?"
She smiled warmly at him.
"Liu Zhu Ren, if I would have known you would sit across from me I would have worn a dress with more cleavage. Maybe then you would not stare that long at my face."
"Maybe later, if there is time."
"What would you late wife say about that?"
Ben's face turned red.
"I see bad news travels fast. But I am sure she understood the sacrifices I need to make."
Her slender hand trembled a bit when she took her glass.
"Sorry to excuse myself, I will be right back." Ren leaned over and whispered over her wine glass.
"You will pay for this, you know."
She just gave him a smile while she moved her dark hair away from her dark green eyes.
"And to think I would have given my life back then for a candlelit dinner."
"There is a line you must draw between your dream world and reality."
"You do not see what I see, hear what I hear."
"There is only one world, one life, one purpose, it cannot be found in a game."
"You started this, not me."
Ren walked out of frame and the screen faded to black.
Amari's simulated tears tickles her chin. The warm fuzzy feeling of reality more real than life itself.
"Is there more?"
"No, #YadaYada, the rest of the recording was edited and deleted a long time ago."
"Why did you show me this?"
"We felt you needed to see this. This was the night your parents died."
She looks at the yellow eye with horror.
"So the right arm next to my mother, that was my dad?"
"We assume so, unfortunately we cannot be sure. There is not other footage like I said."
She sits silently with her hands in her lap strongly enough contemplating that even the silence here is perfect. No buzzing noises of an airco or electric equipment. Not even the static from her own ears. Just silence.
"One more thing you must know before I hook out, the car got in the accident for unknown reasons, but fatality could have been avoided had the break lines not been tempered with."
She looks up. The connection was cut right after the visor's last words. She is sitting again facing the water, the big cranes on her left and Bainbridge Island a dark green strip in the morning light.