the disc spins to a stop. unbeknownst to you, this is the last time the two of you will speak. the bits and bytes you two carefully arranged together: all the memories, all the Really Useful Links you swore you’d return to, all those digital tears in rain. today, something in the drive’s alignment has shifted, and stories once freely exchanged will now be held captive behind the high walls of file corruption and other spells. maybe you bumped or dropped it too many times or plugged your computer into a particularly disagreeable outlet, but whatever the case, you and the drive are no longer allies. the realm of the drive will overgrow with vines and clandestine glances and secrecy; a new country to which there will be no visitors. 

that is, until such a day that you encounter a new sort of sorcerer, who promises an end to The Drive’s tyranny, at a steep cost. it will be dangerous, and results will not be guaranteed, he says, but there is a chance those unfinished school projects and family photo backups will be yours once more. he will wield strange tools to alchemically blur the lines between hardware and software, working by electric lanternlight late into the evening.

as dawn comes, the skin of your palms is raw with impatience, your eyes fixed forlornly on the door of the sorcerer’s workshop. after countless hours of teetering uncertainty, however, the symphonies of whirring and clicking behind the door reach their codas and fade into mechanized fermata. another lifetime passes, and the sorcerer emerges, haggard, and bearing a crisply-folded anti-static shielded pouch. his hat sits crooked upon his head and his glasses dare to slip from his nose at any moment, but after a deep exhale, his forehead pulls his face back into a warm smile. he holds the shielded bag out to you, and the chromatic gold of a new drive (a new world!) bearing all the tales and lore of its debased predecessor glints furtively from within. today is a new day, and you are a new convert. a believer in the dark art of data recovery
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