Images

“Done,” QT said, “Grab your popcorn, the vacation pictures are about to begin.”

David chuckled; he did not know how right he was. The images were mundane, worse than vacation pictures. It had been ten minutes of pictures.

“QT, these pictures look like some took shots every few seconds. What does this have to do with Cassandra?”

“Apparently, everything, all these photos are part of a large collection. Most of them are like this, seemingly nothing. These do not include the pictures that I removed and the pictures that the Agency flagged.”

“Ok, what pictures did you remove?”

“I removed all the pictures that qualify as porn, or could be seen as porn, which were of someone’s skin. I did not think you needed to see them.”

Cassandra had been slightly interested, the pictures were familiar. She now thought that QT was not such a bad computer for weeding out the porn or pictures of body parts. David sighed.

“Ok, they are off the table for now, though we might need them later if we are at an impasse. Can you show us just the flagged images?”

The screen went dark for a moment. Then an image appeared. It was a four-lane highway. There were only four cars visible from this vantage point. They all had their tail lights on. There was a single overpass high above the road. It looked strange all alone. In the background were high hills that were purple and deep red. It was bright and sunny. There were no clouds in the sky. The next few images looked exactly the same. Then something appeared. It was just visible above the overpass on the left side. It was a cloud of sand. As the pictures moved, it was like watching stop motion. The cloud of sand was swirling and gaining in density. It slowly moved to the right of the pictures. The images shifted and the dust cloud was now centered and the images moved with the dust cloud. The cloud was now right next to the highway. It was not a cloud it was a dust devil, a swirling mass of sand. It was easily fifty feet high. The devil was moving right next to the overpass.

David was transfixed by the images. Cassandra was starting to freak out.

“Wow,” David said as he walked over to the screen, “these pictures have wonderful definition. There is something odd about them though. They do not seem like regular pictures.”

“Yes, I noticed that as well. I have not figured out what is different about them,” QT said.

“QT, can you go to the next set of images, just pick one near the middle?” Cassandra asked. “Can you do that?”

David turned around. The light from the screen was just reaching Cassandra. She was hugging herself, her face seemed pained.

“David, do you want me to do that?” QT asked.

David walked over to Cassandra. He looked at her. The light was washing out the color of her skin.

“Cassandra, do you have some idea what these are? Do you know what they mean?” David asked.

Cassandra turned to look at him. Half of her face was lit by the screen. The other half was in total darkness. David’s face was a mirror image. Together they made two whole faces. One lit and washed out, the other completely dark and invisible, just like the Moon. Cassandra turned her face back towards the screen. Only a small sliver of her face was not lit.

“I do not know. I would need to see more before I am sure. Can you please just show the next one?”

David nodded, “QT.”

The next image came up. It was another road shot. This one was of a street in the suburbs, the intersection was just up ahead. The house on the corner had a tree blocking part of it from view. The grass was deep green and a little long. There was a white, wavy spot just above the grass.

“QT, can you just bring up the next image, show it for ten seconds and then switch to the next image?” Cassandra asked.

“Right-o,” QT said. The image changed again.

A road, green trees, houses lining. There is the white wavy line above the middle of the road.

A purple looking tree while all the other trees round it are green.

A cloud split open with a small section of a rainbow in it.

Two Comets in the sky near each other.

Four sections of rainbows can be seen even though there is no rain.

A Heron flying off.

A similar section of road as above, the ground is covered in white and the white wavy line is above the road again.

Four lights hovering off in the distance.

A glowing light in the distance above the city, in the bright sun light.

An Egret in the water at the same location as the Heron was.

The moon just past full with a red beam either hitting or emanating from the edge of the dark portion of the moon.

Cassandra inhaled loudly. Her hand covered her mouth. She was holding back a sob, tears were pooling in the corners of her eyes. David had been watching the images, now he watched her.

“QT, can you show one of the images that you removed because it was of skin. There should be a collection of them. I am looking for a left arm with moles that approximate the constellation Cassiopeia.”

David wondered how she could make such a specific request.

“Done,” QT said. One of the images came up, the constellation was there.

The sob that Cassandra was holding back burst out. The tears started to flow. She slumped onto the floor.

David knelt down next to her, “Cassandra what is it, what is wrong?” He reached over and touched her shoulder.

“It is my life. They are all pictures of my life, everything I have done, everywhere I have been and everything I have seen.”