Even stranger were the half people that flickered into existence here and there-half-seen arms or legs or torsos that the integrator was unable to link to any specific person. Half of the images Fredda was seeing were at least in part imaginary. Given the appropriate data, it was quite happy to present hypothetical-or quite spurious-imagery.
It could be instructed to run various versions of events, running through all the possibilities of who went where during the moments they were not actually in view of a camera.
Absent instruction from the operator, the simulacrum of the man in the room would just stand there, in the center of the room, a motionless wooden doll, until such time as the hall cameras picked him up reentering the hall.
It could fill in the blanks from one image by lifting them from another.
If, for example, it saw a given man was wearing blue pants and red shoes in a full view from the front, but noted he had a bald spot in a view from the rear where his legs were obscured, it would add both data points to the full image bank of the individual.
It was a tricky job, for the integrator images were not infallible, or even completely realistic.
If there were imagery, say, from a camera in a hallway that showed a man entering a room that had no camera, the integrator had no way of knowing what the man did once he was out of camera range.
The best way to find out seemed to be eliminating all the innocent acts and examining what was left.
So here they were, erasing the innocent from the image trail, in hopes of leaving none but the guilty behind.Even the sophisticated access recorder in use at the Residence had been overwhelmed by the crush of bodies at the reception.Too many people, too many strangers, too many people coming in too quickly.The integrator could present any view of the interior or exterior of the Residence, at any scale, as seen from any point in time in thirty-two hours, the time period under investigation.It could run its imagery forward or backwards at any speed, or freeze it at any point.The imagery integrator was a Settler machine that was a close cousin to the simglobe, designed to take in all manner of visual images and combine then into a single three-dimensional whole. And the more people that were missing from its images, the better.