A relentless pursuit from Vietnam to Saudi Arabia in which augmented reality distorts the nature of attachment and desire.
In a world where augmented reality blurs the line between the real and the computer generated, Charlie cherishes the reality of Lauren….
His life as a young American banker in Vietnam seems idyllic until a series of events precipitate her disappearance.
When her trail leads to Saudi Arabia, he must navigate a criminal underworld. The stakes grow higher as it becomes apparent that reality isn’t what it once was.
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“He’s been working outside of Vietnam. I’m not sure of his schedule. You can discuss it with him.” She gave a quick business smile, which ended abruptly as she continued down the hallway.
An hour passed. A young Vietnamese woman with polished skin and mirrored glasses came down the stairs and passed through the front door without a word or even a look.
“You can go up now,” Sarah said. “Keith will appear when we establish contact.”
“Oh. He’s not here.” He walked upstairs into an empty conference room with a projection of the same conference room covering the whole wall in front of him. Freshly cut flowers lined a shelf.
Keith had been walking so long he had lost track of time. One of the Dragonflies indicated with a musical chime that he had an international phone call. It was an odd time for any of his clients to be calling. One of the Bats shone an audio beam on his head, and he maxed out the volume with his stylus. In the sooty mirrored glass of the office building across the street, the setting sun glowed. As he crossed the street, Charlie’s video image flickered on the street and then on the broken sidewalk between cracks that led straight down to Jakarta’s drainage system. Amid the rush-hour shuffling of the crowd, a man with a Muslim skull cap and a long gray goatee squatted on a railing like a bird on an electrical cable. His AR glasses were blacked out in occluded mode, and his mouth was in a tranquil, permanent grin. The other Bat surveyed Keith’s body for the holographic display in Vung Tau.
“Keith! You look great,” Charlie said as Keith appeared as a translucent version of himself in the conference room.