Author : Ian Rennie

I was out for a walk last night when I heard a cry for help. There was a girl in the river. I don’t know how she got there, she didn’t say at the time, and I haven’t asked her yet. All she said then was “help!”, in a voice that got sharper and higher as time went on.

I moved quickly, but deliberately. Doctor Mahnke used to tell me “less haste, more speed”, better to get things done right first time than have to try again after you get it wrong. I got out my equipment, which I carry with me at all times. “Be Prepared” is another thing that Dr Mankhe used to say, but he didn’t know about the equipment. Not then, anyway.

In a moment, the computer had interfaced with the girl’s cortical drive, and by a forced handshake the download process started. It took about thirty seconds. While it was going on, I watched her, paying quite close attention to the expressions on her face and the sounds she made as she tried to stay afloat. It was two minutes and fourteen seconds from the start of the transfer to the last time she went under. I timed it and made a note.

The transfer process took place without error. When I got home, I moved her file to the menagerie.

I saved her.

Now I’ll always have a copy.

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