The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 11 (was Chapter 8 long, long ago, now modified)

The Alibi – Chapter 11

Briggs Lane stood at the window of his Lane, Cuomo, and Greenberg top-floor corner office. He held a pair of MIL710 Optical Enhancers to his eyes and focused on Innovation Square. “That stupid bastard. Didn’t he know enough not to shit where he eats?”

He placed the MIL710s back in their padded box, placed that in a desk drawer, closed the drawer, and pressed his thumb against what appeared to be a lock. The drawer hissed as the desk sucked it a microscopic inch or two further in and sealed it in place.

He stepped around his desk – mahogany and large enough to play shuffleboard on – and past a five hundred gallon salt-water reef tank dominating a windowless wall and custom made by a team from the New England Aquarium in exchange for time, materials, and an anonymous ten million dollar donation towards unspecified marine research.

A post-doc from NEAQ came in once a week to make sure the tank and its highly illegal denizens were in good order. Lane ran his hand along the side of the tank and something flashed out from under the reef. It smashed itself against the tank’s clear acrylic wall and Lane smiled down at the circular rows of teeth before continuing on to the wall opposite his desk. Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa hung there. He smiled, lifted his fingers to his lips, kissed then touched his fingers to the carving’s frame.

The wall opened and revealed what Lane’s deep intimates referenced as variously “the weapons locker,” “the Predators’ trophy array,” and “Elon Musk’s wish list.”

That last one always gave Lane a chuckle.

Musk was an ass.

Never invited Briggs to any parties, never accepted Lane’s invitations to dinner when he was in Boston.

What a fucking ass.

Lane lifted a smallish disco dance club’s glitterball from its birth in the hidden compartment to reveal a small, gold nameplate with HIVE engraved on it.

Lane turned the glitterball over and placed his hand inside. A moment later the HIVE – a prototype Human Immersion Visual-audio Enhancer – hummed and Lane fitted it over his head.

The HIVE’s separate facets, much like an insect’s compound eyes, captured video-audio feeds from whatever was available – a newscast, a store camera, municipal video, people livestreaming, devices uploading to the cloud – and built a real-time 3D immersive environment for the wearer. Tilt your head forward and you walked forward, lean forward and you ran, turn your head and you saw from side to side, tilt your head back and you looked up, down was down and so on.

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Previous entries in The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery):

Previous entries in The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery)