FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 6/12/18: Tracking Down Tedesko

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 Using his own facial recognition software, Jim was able to pick up Tedesko’s trail and followed him, via CCTV cameras to a coffeehouse on the west side of midtown.  

“I think I know that coffee house,” I said, staring at a VR hologram of it.  

“When was this taken?” Jill asked.

“This was last night.  I am now searching footage from the last week,” Jim said.

“If this c-c-coffee house is someplace he goes to often, maybe it’s where he meets the human team.”

“Why would they meet at a coffee house, though?” Kate asked.

“I have no idea.  It’s some place to start though, right?” Jill said.

“He’s been there three times this week.  Looks like he brings his laptop.  Whoops–he’s using encryption to hide what data he’s accessing,” Jim said, suddenly the  exterior hologram of the coffee house was replaced by interior footage.

“Nice–Jim, sir, you are one dope AI!” Kate said, in awe.

“Thanks kindly,” Jim said.  “Can anyone see what he might be doing on his laptop device?  I don’t have any three dimensional date to render what is on his device display.”

“How are we supposed to be able to see what the camera can’t see?” KJ asked.  I moved around to look at Tedesko’s laptop screen and saw nothing but black where the screen and part of the keyboard was.  

“Just not enough cameras in here,” I said.

“Too bad he’s not wearing glasses,” Dot said. “Coulda seen something in the reflection, maybe.”

Then I realized something and moved very close to Tedesko’s face.  I looked directly into his eyes to see any reflections.

“You see anything?” KJ asked.

“Great idea, Jacob, but the resolution will b-b-be too low to make anything out.”

I could see little colored blobs that I decided looked like chat windows.

“He’s chatting with someone.  Via some sort of messaging app.”

“Can you read anything?” KJ asked.

“No chance at that resolution.  Even blowing it up won’t help,” Kate said.  

“The data just isn’t there, I’m afraid,” Jim said.

Just then, I noticed the lighting starting to dim. For moment I had the thought that I was starting that morphing process. However, I was not. “Anyone else see the light dimming in the back there?”

“I do,” KJ said.

“Jim, what’s up with the f-f-footage?  Can you up the brightness?”

“I’m not of any quality loss or technical issue that could be causing this lack of light in the photo beyond a lack of light in the space.”

Tedesko seemed to notice the dimming lights, too.  He looked around nervously.  There was one other person at one of the tables in that back row of tables, another of which, Tedesko was at.  She was looking around with vague concern, but Tedesko looked down right terrified when he noticed something behind where I was standing.  I turned around and saw the rest of the coffee house, in the hologram, perfectly lit.  

“Look!  The rest of the place is perfectly normal, but–” everyone looked and saw what I saw, but as I hesitated, I turned back to that back row of tables and saw that it was completely enshrouded in shadow. 

Then the lights came back on to reveal Tedesko slumped over his laptop.

“Oh, no!” KJ said. 

I looked over at the woman and saw that her face turned pale white and she was looking at Tedesko.  I looked at the tablet she was using and saw a similarly colored app running. It was a chat app.  

“She must be another member of the human team,” KJ said, adding: “she better get out of there!”

“Hey!  Jake, what the–?!” Jill suddenly said.  I turned and saw myself entering through the front door of the coffee house, approach the woman and begin talking.

“Jim!  Audio!” Jill barked.

Sorry, the coffee house CCTV isn’t equipped with audio,” Jim said.

The woman gave the hologram-me a grave look but then shoved her tablet into her purse and followed hologram-me out the door.