Author : Julian Miles

We met at a parts fair. We simultaneously laid hands on opposite ends of an Emptor storage array. She smiled and brandished a handful of gigaflex at me.

“Mine.” She said.

In one of those moments of prescient genius, I replied “Ours.”

It started for real a week later and finished two hours ago, with fifty years in between. We had gone from two lonely computer geeks with a thing for efficient storage to the founders of DataSure.

Yes, that DataSure. The one that can map you into the Alphanet; “Making Death Merely a Transition” as our promotionals say. She’s there now, a Transited, getting used to peripherals that can operate kit in different galaxies. We argued so much about that. She wanted the merge as her body failed; I couldn’t bear to see her go. Her crossing was the end for us. Because a transited consciousness cannot run slow enough to mix with mortals. It just isn’t possible. A machine slow enough to allow us to interface would demise the transited. A certain processing speed is necessary to maintain soulullar cohesion.

Yes, I am wealthy enough to ignore the assisted suicide laws and the mandatory consciousness directives, but my problem is something I cannot buy off.

In amongst the genetic diversity of mankind there is a peculiar combination that although mapped decades ago was a mere curiosity until transit was discovered. It means that a minute fraction of one percent of the population cannot be transited. They are quietly and pityingly referred to as ‘The Bodybound’. Something in their makeup means their consciousness cannot remain cohesive outside the shell they were born into. I have the dubious, lonely privilege of being one of them.

So I lie here next to her precious body, the cortex feed bundle hidden by her still luxuriant white hair. I write this having just completed putting my affairs in order. Now I look at the dark sheen on the barrel of my antique Desert Eagle and hope beyond reason that one day my afterlife will find her eternal circuits, somewhere out there when science and heaven finally meet.

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