A shaky hand clicked the one dated 17 April. The second file contained the impact and rescue, followed by those insidious men cleaning out their truck.
If people actually saw what happened, they'd be on her side, for sure.
The cursor hovered over the relevant file.
Her heartrate spiked, nerves on fire, as a whirlwind of terrifying memories gripped her heart.
The coroner's report said Bryan died instantly.
Multiple blunt force trauma injuries.
That digital recording of screaming, traumatized metal contained the moment the love of her life drew his last breath.
The very moment.
Both hands covered her heart, as if to subdue its staccato beats.
How could she share this?
This, too, was way too personal. Sacred, perhaps.
The exact moment. . .
She, too, was clinically dead when they removed her from their truck. The moment preserved forever.
Was having this recording a blessing or a curse?
So far, it had been a blessing. Otherwise, she would have forever wondered. Never found Bryan's cache of incriminating data. Her teeth seized her bottom lip as the debate raged, tilting toward logic.
Should she? Or not?
Such would be edited out of any reality show.
Except maybe the news.
Exactly what this was—News.
News of an entity so evil it took no pause at taking a life.
Her husband's life.
Liz was right. This was evidence the public needed to see, albeit with a viewer advisory:
The following program contains material of a graphic and disturbing nature and may not be suitable for some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
She took a deep breath, held it, then—
As soon as she heard Bryan's voice, the tears broke cover. When she listened with Charlie it seemed vaguely familiar.
This time she was there.
Memory synchronized with the recording, she relived the nightmare, one from which she'd never entirely awakened.
The grating screech of a violent collision exploded from the speakers. She jumped, startled. Hearing her own screams wracked her lungs with trauma-saturated sobs.
Then silence, followed by the notification from OnStar.
At least there wasn't much to see other than the truck's hood, the road, impact jolts, and subsequent plunge to the ledge overlooking the precipice. Nonetheless, the visual input slammed its affect into overdrive.
The EMTs conversing and raucous sounds of a saw as they removed them from the cab were surreal.
A long pause, then the recording shifted to the black ops team cleaning out the truck. People definitely needed to hear their cavalier attitude toward taking a human life.
Tears still flowed, her breath ragged gasps, except now they were fueled by fury.
More determined than ever to honor Bryan's request, she opened the video editor and selected key scenes. Repeated impacts showcased the wreck's violence. Arrival of the ambulance. Then the final section with the commandos.
She added written transitions that indicated how much time elapsed between each clip. Date, time, and location stamps integral to the recording provided additional credibility. To fully drive the message home, she added a few of Charlie's photos she hadn't shown before of their decimated truck in the ravine, especially its blood-stained interior.
When she finished up, she played it through to check its continuity, noting it ran a little over three minutes.
She slid the time marker back from the still photos to the frozen image of the guy who whacked the webcam to bits.
She snarled into his ice-cold eyes with vengeful satisfaction.
You're going to look just great on national TV.
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