“I was robbed of my eyesight when I was only fifteen,” the girl started.
“Are you still talking to that old trid recorder?” her father interrupted. She had been speaking to a hovering hunk of rusted scrap with a lens, a trideo recorder drone. “Please tell me you aren’t planning to document the whole procedure.”
Trideo was nothing new to them. In fact, it had been the replacement for video for the past fifty years or so. The brilliant minds that came up with the technology thought they were so clever when naming it. Three dimensional video was the next leap in visual entertainment, completely skipping over the predicted hologram of science fiction from the twentieth century.
“Of course not, Dad. I haven’t forgotten how uncomfortable it makes you to have peering eyes over your shoulder.” The drone zipped around, keeping the camera trained on the girl’s face as she answered him. With a swift snap of her fingers, the device responded to the queue and found a secure resting place to enter its standby function.
“You’re a good kid, Em. Now come over here and take a seat. We’re almost ready for your operation.” Emma, more affectionately known as Em, walked over to the worn, faux leather covered table and laid on her back while the man rolled a plate of metal to squash it into a thin sheet. With that sheet of metal, her father cut and shaped it until it was split and housed two round, tinted glass pieces.
Hours passed as father toiled over daughter in delicate surgery. Once the anesthetic kicked in, her surgeon prepared for the most gruesome part of the procedure. Even more difficult for the father of the patient to stomach, he had to make room for the girl’s prosthetics. Alas, in the vast hole that once was Los Angeles, equipment was scarce and implements such as a melon baller had more uses than one would prefer. Still, the man pressed on and it wasn’t long after that he was fixing chrome bordered lenses over her empty sockets. Soon, Em had new eyes that looked like highly advanced bottle caps to anyone a century or two ago. All there was left to do was wait.
Another thirty minutes slipped by before the girl awoke from her chemically induced slumber. Behind the lenses, dim lights came to life and brightened as her vision focused. For the first time in ten years, the young woman could truly see. The lights switched off then on as Em effectively blinked and cycled through all the functions of her new prosthetics. First thermographic vision, then flare compensation; sight magnification and video recording shortly followed. Soon the whole world was flooding her visual perception.
Two swift and thunderous claps summoned the drone back to its owner and a faint red light signified that it was recording. “Feast your eyes on my father’s under-stated genius!” Em said in bewilderment. It was the first time she could see the trideo recorder that had been watching her for the past few months. Turning to face her benevolent guardian, the sight of him triggered a flood of memories that were once lost to her and a grin overtook her. “Think you could modify these to fire lasers?” she asked with feigned innocence.
“Maybe some other time, Sweetheart,” Em’s father said with a warm, accomplished smile. “Now let’s get you home so you can see your siblings.”