Upon the discovery of human remains in the centre of the Oceanic continent, archaeologists unearthed seven rusted Universal Serial Bus data storage devices (3.24” x 0.94” x 2.31”). These Canopic Flash Drives were forged during the Early Informatic Age (2001-2100 CE).

The exterior casings depict the data souls: $olom0n, the simian financial god; Prudenc3, the aquiline god of privilege; βαth{HeΩ, the hippopotamine god of childbirth; M@lach!, the canine populational god; R%th, the human god of atmosphere; A81shA1, the ibidine god of attention; and T&llm#th, the almighty metadata deity.

It is not known who or what conceived the Data Souls. Some philologists believe they were composed by an individual. Others claim they were compiled over time. Others still argue they were not written by humans, but generated by the omnipotent deity T&llm#th.

Interpretation is similarly controversial. Some believe the Data Souls are scripture: sacred writings for religious traditions. Others contend they are corruption: meaningless data without integrity. Others still assert they are a warning: the final whimper of a decaying culture.

* Data Souls scholar Cathax Northrop Ptolmathouz (1203 PNCE) writes ‘if we view [THE DATA SOULS] as myth extending over time + space + multiple orders of reality, we note that there is a parabolic dramatic structure.’

In either case, there is no doubt the Informatic Age populations revered data. To us in the Post-New Common Era, their practices seem outlandish. As individuals, they devoted significant time honouring personal devices, collating geographical, civil, and financial information. Spiritual and social life, they affirmed, could be graphed and tabulated, predicted and determined: represented as data.

As communities, they committed great resources to cyber-Cold Wars, which gave rise to the three great disconnects of the Post-Mortem Net Century (2501-2600 CE): disconnect from language, disconnect from reality, and disconnect from one another.