Dill pulled the spirit cube from under the magnifying glass and leaned back in his chair. "I'm stumped. I can't see any way of opening it to either release the spirit inside or fill it with a new one. As far as I can tell, they're one-shot deals."
"They're called spirit jars." Sam's voice sounded more like the speech synthesis program from a mid-nineties micro than his own voice but it was easier than chatting on screen, "The name has never altered despite the leap in technology. They date from the seventeenth century where people tried to trap the spirits of the recent dead in stoppered bottle."
"Why would they want to?"
"They thought they could consume the life force as a means of remaining young."
"A sort of early vampire then?"
"Not really, no." Sam made a k-k-k noise to indicate laughter. "Vampires were the first of the supernatural creatures, created by God himself when he cursed Cain."
"How do you know all this?"
"I've got access to all the electronic books in the world, mate. Project Gutenberg is my bitch right now. Want me to read you a sonnet?"
"Not right now, mate. I'm trying to give them up." Dill tossed the spirit cube from hand to hand. He refused to call it a jar, since it was neither jar-shaped nor made of fragile material. "Best I can offer is to transfer you to one of these and hope for the best. If anyone can get the most out of being confined to a two inch square cube it's you. And yes, I know that was a tautology."
"Can't say I'm all that keen, mate. I've got the whole world at my fingertips right now. The idea of being confined anywhere is a bit brown-trousery if you want to know. "
"Then help me figure out a way of opening and closing these boxes. If I can work that out then you can upload and download at will. Hey! You could keep a back up copy of yourself on the computer with a live synchronous feed. That way, if you were ever killed you could just download into a new body."
"Cool!" k-k-k "I'd be a Cylon."
"Could you be Tricia Helfer, do you think?"