Data In by Jay Davis

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<i>One of the worst things about running a dig,</i> Simons thought, <i>is that you spend most of your time digging through paper rather than the actual site.</i>

That was pretty much the sum of it. His small camping table was littered with all sorts of red tape paraphernalia, and he really didn‘t see any easy way to extricate himself from the inexorable morass.

Just as he was about to pick up another absolutely thrilling (huh, right) document about credits and decimals and other economic pleasures, the comm unit shrilled out its siren call. Simons was more that glad to oblige.
"Simons, here," he said.

"Hey Craig, Toby here." It was the dig's computer whiz.

"Got something for me?" Simons leaned forward, almost trembling with excitement.

"Sure do and it's a bit of a doozy. You wanna be the first to jack?"

"Give me five."

With a whoop, Simons dropped the comm right into the middle of the table load of "pressing business" and ran out to do that which every good xenoarcheologist craves--play with newly found technology.

The pace that Simons was running would have been impossible on FNA-30605-Q, if not for the plasma shielding that covered the dig. The wind really buffeted the world far more than what was humanly possible to bear. It was pretty darn near heaven, though, for a winged sentient species like the ones who had called it home.

He burst into the structure that the team had nicknamed the Cathedral for its absolute largess. Under the towering central spire, Toby and his crew huddled around a table that held a gleaming body. Wires streamed from a number of plugs in the supine form and fed into a veritable Gordian knot of technical equipment, which then attached to a neurocouch.

"Well?" Simons was breathless after his headlong sprint.

"We weren't able to actually get the robot to work, but we finally were able to access the memory and figure out how to convert it into J.I. format."

"So, it's already then?" Simons was rolling up his sleeve.

"It's all set for you to give it a whirl," Toby said.

"We'll be monitoring it, but hopefully nothing will happen to you."

"God, I hope not." Simons slipped onto the neurocouch and pulled the retractable plug from his forearm. "Well, you all know the normal rot for this kind of thing."

"You mean, ‘one small step for mankind' and all that, right?" asked one of the enthusiastic interns.


And with that, Simons jacked in.

What first I remember is nothing.

And then, flood. Memory upon memory just . . . appeared. It is like water flooding down from the high mountains and filling the gorges.

"Is it working?" It was my voice! I recognized it from my new memories. I open my eyes and swivel my head towards the sound. And . . . there I lay, tubes snaking out of me, my wings pinned. My doctor hovered by the foot of the sleeping mat.

"Great one, the memory transfer was a success!" I found his exuberance reassuring. "Your remote implant will relay everything you feel or experience to it! Immortality is yours."


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