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The Immortal Database

Chapter Text

He found the computer disk behind a shelf of Winston Churchill, in the back room of Shakespeare & Co.

It was covered with a dusting of fallen plaster, leaning askew against the cracked foundation wall of the old building; it was the last thing he should have found. Marc fished it out, shook it off, and sneezed as the air filled with dust. It was only a floppy disk. Plain and black. Unlabeled. And he didn't think much about it then, because Shakespeare & Co. had converted to cyber-bookstore several months previously, and stray floppies were always turning up - there were floppies all over the place.

It probably belonged to the owner, M. Pierson.

Well, that was Pierson's problem, and he hadn't been around for weeks, anyway.

Marc had been working at the bookstore for over a year, and he had a low opinion of his employer. The man was always daydreaming, was prone to vanishing without notice and popping up again just as suddenly, and half the time he seemed to be muttering to himself in tongues. Only, once or twice, Marc had seen his gaze sharpen disconcertingly, and then M. Pierson would seem to spear him with a glance and read every thought in his head ...

Most likely it was only an inventory-backup disk anyway.

The shop was empty. Marc shook the disk till it rattled, walked into the front room, booted up a computer, and shoved the disk into the A: drive.

Then he called up its icon on My Computer, highlighted it, and clicked enter.

WATCHER IMMORTAL DATABASE

He tried again.

WATCHER IMMORTAL DATABASE

And again.

WATCHER IMMORTAL DATABASE

Then he noticed the small, inconspicuous link, and clicked it.