Okinawa (Japan)

In the rural landscape of Okinawa a police car was driving by.

Inside, two police officers were talking.

- So, Tanaka. Why were we called again? – said the side seat passenger to the driver.

- I already told you. Some people saw suspicious movement last week when they saw someone moving computer equipment into a chalet in the suburbs.

- Big deal…… Must be some hermit who doesn't want to be bothered……..- replied the other officer.

- Probably…….except that after everyone saw him move in, nobody has seen him move out. I mean, somebody has to take out the garbage.

- You're right…… probably is one of those suicidal people. – said the other officer wanting to sound creepy.

- Let's hope you're wrong. – replied Officer Tanaka pulling over in front of an old shack.

There was tall weed around it like if nobody had attended to the field in months. Tanaka was not quite impressed until he saw that the windows were covered apparently from the inside with aluminum foil.

Both officers walked with caution to the front door and knocked repeatedly.

- Hello…….This is the police……..Are you alright sir? – said Tanaka after knocking three times in a row.

Minutes went by without an answer. Only the noise of buzzing flies could be heard.

- Miyagi. Bring the battering ram from the trunk. – ordered Tanaka standing very still in front of the door hoping that somebody would open up.

The other officer went to the patrol car and from the trunk he took out the battering ram.

- Don't we need an order to do this?

- Well. There's no answer. Somebody could be dying in there. – said Tanaka taking the ram by the handles. – If I'm wrong…….. – said Tanaka slamming the door which opened up immediately. - ……..they can deduct it from my paycheck……..

It was very dark inside, not to mention that a very stale odor emanated from all the corners of the house. Tanaka verified effectively that the windows were covered with tin foil. To the right, the officers saw a kitchen that was very filthy with packs of junk food opened all over the place. The freezer door had been left open so there was water all around.

Miyagi, went out to get a flashlight from the patrol car so they could inspect more carefully hoping to find the owner.

- Miyagi.! – called Tanaka from the inside.

Miyagi came back holding the flashlight and when he walked past the kitchen he noticed something curious.

The floor was covered with lots of cables and wires, to the point that Tanaka thought he was seeing snakes of all sizes.

With the flashlight, both officers followed the trail of cables that ended on a huge cabinet at the end of the living room that had many blinking green lights.

Few steps next to the cabinet there was a desk with a flat panel computer monitor on top that had the standby led blinking.

- Oh, My god…….- said Tanaka when he saw that there was a person sited on a chair with his head lying down on the desk in front of the computer screen.

What was really shocking is that this person was wearing a virtual reality helmet that had its cables sticking out trending back to the cabinet with blinking lights. Also, he expelled an unpleasant odor, like if he hadn't bathed in days.

Tanaka got closer and noticed that from both arms of the man two plastic tubes stuck out and they were connected to a nearby machine that whirred intermittently.

- This looks like an IV line…….- murmured Tanaka touching the arms of the man noticing he had a pulse.

- Wow. This is what I call a computer junkie. – replied Miyagi.

- This guy needs medical attention. – said Tanaka activating his radio. – Central, this is A4, we need an ambulance…….I'll give you the address. – he said stepping out to see if the shack had an address plate.

Miyagi was dying of curiosity, so he leaned forward and lifted the head of the man slightly. He noted he was in his 30s, bearded, very unkept.

Minutes later an ambulance came by. The tin foil was cleared from the windows, but not even that could lessen the creepiness of the scene.

The paramedic stepped forward and pulled the IVs out and placed a new one on the left arm. He connected the heart monitor and as soon as he pulled the plugs of the virtual reality helmet the monitor showed funny wave forms on the screen.

- Afib!! Afib!!! – said the paramedic. – Bring the crash cart now!!!! –

Moments later, after putting the man on the gurney they brought a defibrillator and shocked him twice. Then they placed a plastic tube down his throat and took him to the ambulance very quickly.

Later, with everything cleared out, Tanaka was able to inspect the scene more carefully. There was nothing much to be gathered; small sticky notes with telephone numbers, and other set of numbers that he could not make out.

- Ok. Let's unplug all this. – instructed Tanaka to the other officers that had come in.

Miyagi was going to unplug the computer screen when he decided that it would be very interesting to peak on whatever this person was doing, so he pressed the monitor switch and could glance for an instant the work of this poor man.

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ALPHA.mon

Create backup copy? Y/N

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He was reading up to here when the screen blacked out. It had been Tanaka who had pulled the plug.

- Miyagi. We gotta go now. – said Tanaka showing the plug to Miyagi.