“Me?” Lisa said incredulously.
“I can think of no one more qualified,” said Professor Hunter. “And I’m giving you complete autonomy. This is a rare opportunity, Lisa. It’ll take you years to document his story, let alone write his biography. I can’t imagine the seminars and interviews you’ll be called to after. You’ll be able to make a career out of this boy.”
“Boy, Professor? He was 58 when he died.”
Professor Hunter laughed. “I couldn’t help myself. When the electronics staff invited me, I felt compelled to watch the opening entry. You’re about to meet an extraordinary young man, Lisa.”
He turned to leave.
“Well, I’ve got to go.”
“Haven’t you got time for coffee?”
“No, it doesn’t look like I can. There’s more work to do than I thought.”
He halted in the metal door, making his semi obscured body seem like a ghost passing through.
“Oh, I was wondering…”
Lisa gave a faint smile at the ritual to come. For two years, he’d ask the same question and she’d always politely refuse.
“My wife and I were hoping you might like to come to our church this Sunday.”
“No, that’s alright, Professor.”
“Well… the invitation is always open. I’m always praying for you, you know.”
“Oh there was one other thing,” he said, slapping his coat pocket.
He produced a short electrical lead of some sort and lobbed it to Lisa.
She caught it deftly. “What’s this?”
“That’s a special adapter the electronics department made for you. You’ll find that the projection function on the goggles is very old. Paul says its the oldest he’s seen, maybe even one of the earliest models ever made. Normally to play back the entries on a unit like that one, you’d have to aim the projector at a blank wall. It makes for dull, flat moving imagery. With that adapter, you can view it through the holographic projector of your lab computer. ”
He turned. “Enjoy,” he said, disappearing through the door.
Lisa mounted the goggles on her desk and aimed them at a vacant part of the room. She readily found the receptacle for the adapter on the goggles, but the external port on her computer took a bit of finding. Switching on both units, she watched as the image of a lounge room filled the lab. A coffee table filled the middle of the scene, with an empty two seater lounge behind. A grey tabby cat leapt onto the table.
The computer froze the image, giving Lisa the opportunity to make herself a coffee. She returned with the steaming mug and took her place on one of her chairs to watch.
“Continue,” she said, taking a sip.
Day one… The scene jolted into motion, making the cat half turn and arch its back as a young man sat down. She could only make out the rounded underline of his chin. Clad in jeans and faded green sloppy joe pushed back at the sleeves gave her a good view of his upper torso. He looked heavy set, athletic, obviously a man in his prime.