I’m seated in a stiff, wooden chair, my ankles tied to the legs, my arms tied together. Vic Gundotra’s just summarily executed three people, and now he’s walking over to me.
His voice is soft, his questions are few.
Gundotra’s got the calm of a traffic cop who’s already decided he’s going to write you a ticket before he even speaks to you, and who also knows that after he finishes with you, he gets to take a dinner break.
No slapping. No punching. No kicking. No hair pulling. No torture of any kind. He has no interest in taking the pleasure of hearing me pathetically beg for my life like the terrified, helpless animal that I am. To torture someone is to acknowledge that they exist and that they know something. Gundotra will grant me neither. He’s not here to see me squirm. He’d much rather put a bullet in my brain and get on to the feeling of that hot dog he’s been craving squirming its way down his gullet.
Since Gundotra’s neither here to gather any information, nor for torture, he doesn’t ask trick questions. He’s not being clever. He is not condescending or dismissive. Brin’s the one who’s supposed to have a soul and be all touchy feely about ethics and human beings and all that shit. Gundotra’s just here to execute a kill order.
As he walks over to me a tear rolls down my cheek and like tears in rain, like a bullet in the brain, in the slow motion moment of Gundotra’s two steps over to me I see my life “passing before my eyes.”
I’ve seen things you product managers wouldn’t believe. Avatars on fire around the Odyssey performance simulator. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Burning Man gate.
A bullet in the brain travels at 900 feet per second, a pathetically sluggish, glacial pace compared to the synaptic lightning that flashes around it.
It is worth noting what I do not remember, given what I do remember. All the things I’d planned to remember, all the things that seemed so important, are absent. Unexpectedly my mind remembers the delicious corporeality of lying, sprawled out, face down, in a field of flowers. A long forgotten moment, brought suddenly forth to rich, sensory reality.
Even the speed of the synaptic firings of my brain cannot outrun a bullet forever. Now Gundotra towers over me, and asks in a soft, hiss of a voice,