Author : Christopher Edelen

Elly was on her way home from work, anxious to arrive. The light rail had never seemed slower, but the week was finally over. She was excited to get home and play with her toys. It will be like looking through her mind! she thought, excitedly.

Sure, she didn’t have an original drive. She had a clone, but it was authentic enough. The tech was super vintage. A genuine 5400 rpm 2.5 inch HDD, imaged with a compilation of Octavia Butler’s real hard drives from centuries ago.

The process of finding a way to open the drive had been twice as fun as finding the drive. Elly wanted the experience to be as authentic as possible. She wanted to root through the files the way Octavia would have, to look at the same GUI. She found a way through the friend of a friend.

This dude Zari had sold her a SATA connection adapter that would connect the drive to her in home system, leaving her with only the obstacle of running a 300 years old OS. Luckily, she had asked him about that too. It turned out he was also into vintage info. He pointed her in the direction of an emulator that was compatible with most in home system software. Over the week Elly spent her evenings getting the emulator installed and running. Now all she had to do was boot the virtual machine from the clone of Octavia’s drive, and she could spend the weekend meticulously combing through a brilliant life and mind. Sheer ecstasy.

Elly got off the light rail and walked the three blocks to her building. Somehow, as a result of installing the virtual machine for that ancient OS, her in home system started asking her to authenticate her thumb readouts before she could get into her apartment, but she’d fix that later. She opened the door and set her bag, and her body, down on the couch.

“Run Obselemulate.” She commanded aloud. Her in home system brought up its holographic interface. It launched the emulator, bringing up a holographic keyboard and mouse. Elly got up and fetched the hard drive from her safe. She walked over to the apartment’s i/o panel and plugged it in with the adapter Zari had sold her. Inside the emulator she launched OS XI, using “Octavia’s HD.”

The smile lit up Elly’s face. This was fantastic. Always systematic, Elly launched the earliest drive first. These earlier images were often more fruitful, Elly found. Made in the days when computers stored correspondence locally. After all, human correspondence, human characteristics made the drive worth going through. She sat back, letting her body melt into the couch. This is going to be a good night, she thought.