Copyright © 2015 by Outside the Box Ink. Image by Manasheepowder.
Agent501 scanned the tag on the dead woman’s toe with the microscopic 3D camera on the tip of a pen and within a nanosecond the holographic data fluttered in the air. The Cloud began building a list of trace files indicating evidence of her biological markers in the Earth Archives. He spoke aloud to his faceless research assistant to create the first new file in the Earth Expedition mainframe.
“Cloud, Create New File pending initial visual uploads. Title: RAINIER WOMAN,” he said evenly. “Toeprint tag reads Lulu but CHIP registers alias Suz Johnson, born Susanna Johanssen, 1975.” He nodded at his assistant in the otherwise empty and sterile lab room in the basement of GEOFORCE Headquarters, PNW Division 122⁰47⁰, Earth Substation West.
Dempsey, his assistant as the Earth Archives Director, cleared his throat then he opened a transmission.
“Record: Submission to RAINIER WOMAN. Upload photo.”He held the e-scan pen at a distance to capture the woman’s complete body, every detail from the crown of her head to the soles of her feet. He tapped the pen then lowered his arm. Click. “Verify image. Scan Facebook.”
The Cloud’s female voice then sounded in the sterile lab. “Image Verified. Facebook confirms match under alias ‘YoMama’.”
Demspey chuckled. He had heard that expression once before in some random video feed from 1997. He shook his head, surprised by the random memory, and stood away from the woman’s body, taking it in as the only woman he has seen in his life. She had died twenty five years ago, when she was 40 years old. It was astounding how many traces of her were captured in the Earth Archives, a list of which was still being compiled by the Cloud. In his experience with the Earth Archives, many traces usually indicates the person was being surveilled off the record. Records consisting of time-stamped biological markers always meant an Agent was close enough to the Target to use their toothbrush.
“Attach Primary Note,” Agent501 said. “Discovered by Geoforce Evacuation Team, 13 September 2038 Earth West Time. Died 12 September 2037, 18:00 hours, due to exposure.”
Dempsey gets chills as Agent501 says the infamous date, hearing it aloud for the first time since formatory school as the date humans no longer resided on Earth. His eyes curiously followed Agent501’s fingertip to a tattoo on the woman’s inner right arm. He leaned in with the pen tip. “Capture image to file mainframe. Title: Tattoo #1. Subnote 1: Black ink, English lettering spells O-H-A-N-A. Note to Research: Meaning and derivation of the word OHANA. Cite Wikipedia Earth Files.”
Dempsey took a step then he leaned over the body to capture another tattoo on her inner left wrist. “Capture image to file mainframe, cross reference human myth, topics birds and fire images. Title: Tattoo #2. Subnote 1: Black ink, Bird Emerging from Flame.” He tapped the pen again and clicked his tongue as if engaged in mental conversation. “Synchronize.”
“Record Hold” Agent501 scoffed with annoyance. “Personal observation there, Agent978? Not on my record.”
“Sorry sir, the image reminded me of a childhood story.” Dempsey shrugged, his eyes never leaving the skin of his subject, the subject of his photos.
“That’s an unusual thing to say. I hope you didn’t read this in a book?” Agent501 questioned smoothly yet pointedly as he motioned towards another tattoo on her right calf.
“No sir, it was just a story my mother figure once told me.”
“Very good then. Cloud, Record.”
Agent501 stood back to allow his assistant to pass around the table to the woman’s left calf. Dempsey adjusted his hold on the pen. “Capture image to file mainframe, cross reference human literature. He held the sensor close and measured with air. The Cloud readout stated “Ten inches in length by three inches in width” and he responded.
“Title: Tattoo #3. Subnote 1: Black ink, English lettering read: “Whither thou goest i will go, Wither thou lodgest there will I lodge, Your people shall be my people.” He tapped the pen a final time and sighed. “Synchronize.”
The Cloud then announced the completion of the upload and the woman’s final case status, last updated a month before her death: Traitor. Dempsey hesitated for a moment then his arm slowly dropped to his side and he dropped the e-scan pen fell to the cold metal floor with a glassy thud.
Agent501 shook his head. “Cloud, update citizen profile Lulu to include alias YoMama, 2014.” With a scan of his wrist he certifies the initial report of the first excavation since mankind left Earth. “Stop Record.” Then he spoke frankly to his assistant.
Want to read more?