The next morning at work, Lily got a surprise visit from Zahra Morgenstern. With a warm smile, Zahra asked, "How are you feeling today, Lily? All good?" And then before Lily could answer: "Come on, let's talk in my office."
Once the door was shut and they were both seated, Zahra continued: "Well, I have good news for you. With our help, the police have already apprehended the woman who attacked you last night. You'll have to identify her yourself, but that's really just a formality since we have her on camera. Caught her in the act!"
"So there were... cameras in the park?"
"Well, a few, but they weren't much help. I'm talking about the product. We got a nice faceprint with the new tech."
"You saw her face? But she had a mask."
"Well, it wasn't much of a mask," Zahra laughed. "The spectral signature came through just fine."
"Wait, I'm confused..." Lily didn't want to believe what she knew perfectly well already. "My lenses... You can see what I see?"
Zahra lifted an eyebrow and sighed wearily. "I'm guessing you didn't read the terms of service?"
"I'm sorry, I must have missed the—"
"No, don't worry about it. You're fine," said Zahra—as if Lily were the one in need of forgiveness. "Second Sight isn't marketed as a camera because that introduces privacy concerns. But of course, it has to be a camera. That's how it works. The feed is processed realtime and projected back onto the retina. To reduce lag, we offload that processing onto the user's associated portable. And from there... Sure, it's accessible. To parties with a legitimate interest."
"Law enforcement, yes. Whenever a crime is committed— This is a perfect use case, actually. And you're the very first to demonstrate Second Sight's effectiveness in the wild! This is really going to help our Series B funding."
Lily didn't know what to say. In a few short months, Second Sight would go live in thousands of homes across the country. And then if all went well, millions of homes worldwide. The whole planet would be one big interconnected web of cameras. It was all too much to fathom, this seething, writhing, tangled mass of digitized human lives—this mocking, sneering leviathan. Lily couldn't breathe.
And then she remembered something that made her feel a little better, at least. "So the police have my ring?"
Zahra's smile vanished. "Unfortunately, no. Your assailant has been... less than cooperative. If only we had more eyes on the ground, we could have tracked her better and seen what she did with that ring, but as it is... We've won the battle, but not yet the war. We're building a new world here, you know? Full visibility. No more shadows for the cockroaches to hide in." And then with a conspiratorial grin, she leaned in and whispered, "We're turning on the lights."
Lily nodded and smiled back. What else could she do?
YOU ARE READING
Second Sight 💍 (#Wattys2019)Science Fiction
Second Sight is the latest revolution in sensory input augmentation. The lenses work like magic to correct your vision, let you see in the dark, identify strangers, read people's emotions... But when they begin to reveal more than advertised, how wi...