Her ascetic features tense, Rona sat motionless on a black leather couch and intensely watched the lifeless high-tech monitor spanning much of the wall opposite. But for a
tiny green light at the bottom, one might have thought it switched off.
Suddenly, the screen sprang to life. A metallic voice cut harshly through the silence, instantly pervading the entire room from invisible surround speakers.
“Meeting 216-x7. Reason: emergency.”
In tune with the unnatural rhythm of the digitised words, a pink fluorescent speech pattern now pulsed across the black background.
The colour flashing across the screen turned aquamarine, depicting a second disembodied speaker. There was no discernible difference in the voice itself.
“The rules have been violated.”
Several more anonymous speakers, each represented by a different colour, joined into the calm, analytical discussion.
Her eyes focused on the dancing lines, Rona listened to the eerie voices as they continued to converse quietly, without trace of emotion.
“He has to be eliminated.”
“There is no alternative? He is highly successful.”
“His success is the problem.”
“We can't take any risk.”
“Remember what happened last time.”
“We should investigate further.”
Abruptly, as if on some inaudible command, all speakers were quiet. Without explicitly demanding so, the new speaker, White, had ended the discussion.
How can a never changing voice and digitised speech pattern convey authority, Rona mused. She would never get it. Yet every speaker had instantly known to be silent.
White delivered the final message.
“The assessor will investigate.”