I was in the airport.
Walking with an US Army soldier – who I had come to escort back once he landed domestically and debrief him concerning some events he saw that he was not supposed to see while on tour.
We had become quick friends, and chatted about everything as we sat in the airport for the long layover.
After a while, he asked if he could check his mail, to which I said “You don’t have to ask me”
He pulled out his backpack, and pulled out a pair of thick, one inch lensed goggles, and as he put them on over his eyes, I saw the ends of them were closed, there was no way to see.
I was about to say something, when the goggles flashed a plethora of colors – one of the first time I had seen color in my dreams here in Hollywood – as his eyes opened unnaturally wide.
At the same time, the previously closed lenses of the goggles opened up, flaps that split in the middle of the lends horizontally that opened both downwards and upwards.
“Augmented Reality,” I asked him.
“Yup.” He said. “Not only does this provide me real time information of pretty much everything around me with facial identification, but the guys in the lab rigged it up to make all textiles completely vitreous”
I laughed. “You’re shitting me, right?”
“They also said you might be interested in them too and might find a way to program them in ways they never imagined. They gave me a pair, in my bag to give to you if you’re interested.”
“I am done with programming. But I will still take a pair for that feature alone,” I replied.
“Give me a moment, let me respond to this email.”
“Huh?,” I said confused. “Eye movement based typing?”
“Dual Mode AR and Laser based VR – lasers direct into the retina. You may have seen it lock in when I first started up. It dilates the eyes and engages with the prefrontal cortex to provide a fully immersive Virtual Reality experience. I am in VR mode now, and can hear you but not see you. It is a completely visually immersive VR simulation so I am typing on a keyboard in an office on the surface of the moon looking at Earth right now through thought alone. It’s quite the spectacular view,” he said.
“Jesus,” I said, “What the hell are you doing with that kind of tech publicly?”
“The DOD has declassified a great amount of the technology which may provide entertainment revenue, and as you know – you are allowed to show things classified Secret to civilians and those without a clearance but you aren’t allowed to distribute technical documentation for how it was pieced together.”
“They aren’t concerned about abuse?,” I asked.
“Naw. In fact they’re encouraging the use and custom modding. They learned about the textile reduction program pretty quickly and looked the other way. Some claim they actually fed that development,” he said.
“Ok, Fine. Do you have or they have an SDK for it?,” I asked.
“Yep. But you’ll have to sign an NDA and re-up your TSI clearance for that.”
“I’m not here to escort you, am I? You’re here to make this offer to me, aren’t you?,” I asked.
His lenses flipped down, as he took the glasses off and looked at me.
“NOW you’re catching on,” he said.
He took a box out of his backpack and set it on the chair between us.
Men do that. Never sit next to eachother. It’s unmanly.
On top of that box. He placed a number of pieces of paper – a full contract, an NDA, and a formal paper, a form with all the necessary parties to have my Top Secret/CLI clearance reinstated in full.
“All they need is your signature,” he said.
“You bastard,” I said.
He smiled, “Still friends?”
“Of course,” I said.
He placed the pen on the paper and said “What do you say?”