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I was almost late. The appointment was set at 3 and it was 2:58. I parked my car in the half-empty lot outside a small building that was so modern it looked like it was built five days ago.
I walked in the front glass door to meet a receptionist at a desk typing away at her computer. The door hissed shut behind me. The receptionist looked up at me and smiled and then asked for my key. I took a key looking USB device and plugged it into a black box sitting on top of the low frosted-glass desk she was sitting at. She checked the identity on the key, and the looked back up at me, "your appointment is in room 3 down the hall.
I took my key back and walked down the hall and into the room. There was a woman sitting at the end of a wooden table, a guard with a fully automatic rifle standing next to the door, and Mr. and Ms. Garrison sitting down next to each other on the side farther from the door. They looked at me, I looked back at them. I sat down at a chair on the nearer side and, set backpack on the ground, and set up my laptop on the table.
I quickly inspected the table further. It was pill shaped and made of various wooden planks about two inches thick, and was smooth with no seams but still had some texture.
"Okay," the woman at the end the table said, "now that we're all here we can get started." She took out a sleek black thin box and slid it in the center of the table. "This meeting will be recorded and a copy will be sent to each party as well as a signature from the insurance company and the other parties involved verifying its authenticity."
Everyone knew that already but it still had to be said for reasons. The woman read off a peice of paper with monospace text in front of her: "This meeting is to discuss the postmortem affairs of Tyler Garrison; ID number 82b0259a. Please go around the table clockwise starting with me and identify yourself for the record. I am Marissa Blanc, ID number 67a0ff27 the insurance agent for the Los Angeles area."
It was my turn, "I am Anthony Bayer, ID number c105f93a. I am a distant relative of the Garrisons and was Tyler's close friend."
"I am Lindsey Garrison, ID number 28f93810, the mother and parent of Tyler."
"I am William Garrison, ID number b40a0ff2. the father and parent of Tyler."
Marissa looked at Mr. Garrison and smirked.
"Okay," Marissa said, "let's continue to item one: insurance payout. Me. And Ms. Garrison, since you are the rightful guardians of Tyler, you will receive the full $25 million payout as our investigation has found no wrongdoing." Marissa typed a few things on her laptop, "the funds have been sent to your account."
This was hard to do. It was impersonal. We were two minutes into the meeting and we were already halfway done.
"And now onto the second item on the docket: inheritance."
Oh fuck, now I know why I'm here. Mr. And Ms. Garrison knew why too.
"Anthony," Marissa said to me, "Tyler named you his sole next of kin on July 24th 2018 at 22:47:54 GMT. We have not received any newer contracts signed by Tyler that changes his inheritance. If any party has a contract signed with his PGP identity that they would like to add to the record or prove a newer change please provide it now. Any contracts will be included in the final record." Marissa looked up at us to see if we were going to give her anything.
I looked over at the Garrisons, they looked so angry at me, but they weren't; they understood what happened; they knew what he felt in that moment. We kept looking at each other, there wasn't a word to describe what we were feeling, it could best described as a cold empathy.
"Are you guys okay?" Marissa asked us, not really understanding much.
"Yeah," Mr. Garrison said, "we're fine."
"Okay then. Anthony will inherit the following properties: a 2017 Dodge challenger, a 2017 Ford Explorer, one blown up house in Beverly hills, and a backpack confiscated from the Garrisons home." Marissa typed a few things on her laptop. "The properties have been transferred to Anthony."