Digital Arbitration - IoT Noir

This old English colonial house was left standing alone among empty foundations and ruins. It stirred a feeling of stately mystery in Jonathon and he promptly bought it.

“If she was put in the chair, I take it she was exposed to the Injury Library.  Is there film of her reactions to the exhibits?”

“Some.  We have a partial that shows pointed reaction to the sensor cluster recovered from North East Control Analytics. Otherwise, she seems to mostly chuckle at the medical displays.”

“Ah good, then it was worthwhile. Such a reaction shows awareness and sensitivity which she attempts to hide through humor.  I can work with this one.” Emphatically, “See she is recovered!”

Jonathon walks over to the old house sitting in the middle of the empty warehouse. He brushes his hand across the porch rail. He remembers coming upon it in the old village that had been condemned by a new reservoir dam’s rising water. It would have been forever flooded in a month. The Chinese dwellings had already been salvaged and moved to a city center park. But this old English colonial had been left standing alone among empty foundations and ruins. It stirred a feeling of stately mystery in Jonathon and he had promptly bought it at salvage, had it deconstructed and then reassembled here in this warehouse. He taps on a column at the entrance door with his knuckles. “They violated our Cabinet of Curiosities.” He walks down the corridors to the Injury Library that contains the pain study. “Oh good. She did not break anything.  She understands.  But she took the exhibit materials of Rachael and herself!  Fret not House. No loss. I have others in storage.”

Turning around to his foreman, “Recover her unharmed, understand, and keep trauma to a minimum.”

“What about the cyborg?”

“Oh definitely collect him. He will contribute to a very fine exhibit. Whatever you must do, but return the artificial limbs and connecting tissue for research and then display.” Jonathon turns away and walks to his reading library.  It is a mess with overturned tables and bullet holes.  He checks to see if everything is there and realizes his most recent completed Journal is missing. Now why would she want that?

To the house again, “Do you think she wants to know about me as much as I want to know her?”

Evolution of Self

The next day, after visiting Ninan and seeing him improving, Kiko-Lyn begins work on Rachael’s request to gather information about her hosts. With the directness of youth, she asks, “Nightingale, my Aunt is concerned with what you are. And I myself am curious. Can you explain who you are and why you are helping us?”

The Nightingale AI responds, “In that case, I believe we should clear the air for all parties.  Please invite your Aunt and everyone involved with your rescue to a VR telepresence conference.”

“I’ll get right to work on setting it up.”

Later that day, the whole group links into a virtual reality conference. For each caller, their actual local seating and real-time video image are displayed against a generic conference lounge in a virtual 3D setting.

Dawn opens the conference call. “I would like to introduce my employer, the esteemed Chinua Mills.  I am Dawn, Kiko-Lyn’s local contact. Graciously acting as Kiko-Lyn’s and my current host at this clinic, and as Ninan’s physician is Flora Nightingale.”

Rachael responds, “I am Rachael Greg. Kiko-Lyn is my niece. With me are Doug Bear, a cyber-PI investigating our recent cyber-attack, and Jorge Isidoro who I’ve contracted to provide protective support and counter surveillance… I assume you are aware of the circumstances leading up to this meeting.”

Jorge turns to face the Nightingale’s avatar, a mid-thirties woman dressed in pale blue scrubs. “I would like to thank you for treating my contract employee, Ninan Panikkar. I am in your debt.”

She responds, “His injuries were significant but not life threatening.  The youngsters did a good job of stabilizing him and were correct to bring him here.  We will continue to take good care of him.”

Jorge, “Can you give us an idea of when he might be well enough to leave. We may need to establish special travel arrangements.”

Nightingale picks up a chart from out of frame and casts an enlarged image onto a virtual screen. It shows a series of scheduled operations. “I’m afraid it will be at least several days before he can leave. His cybernetic enhancements are a complication requiring a staged treatment.”


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