Digging up the Past was the tenth and final story in the Bernice Summerfield anthology The Dead Men Diaries. It was written by Mark Michalowski.

Summary Edit

Benny is angry. Braxiatel wants her to take part in a docudrama about her life story, but she refuses, thinking it would be more of a soap opera. She also doesn't like the idea of a synthespian, or AI, character playing her. She storms off.

Back in her quarters, Benny, still angry, receives a visit from Gully. He has a list of 20th century artefacts he thinks she might be interested in, which she says are mostly junk. They discuss Brax' interest in the docudrama, and when Gully mentions it would be done by InterMedia, Benny is suddenly interested.

Soon, Benny is talking by commlink to Layla Field of InterMedia, trying to get more information. Ms Field is a synthespian business tycoon. Benny is stunned to hear that the docudrama will reach an audience of 27 billion. Ms Field says they will await Benny's decision on her synthespian.

Benny and Gully are searching through a catalogue of synthespians, none of which are appropriate. Gully seems surprised when Benny says she hasn't signed anything yet, and produces a copy of her signed contract. It seems that in this sector of space, assent over a commlink is considered just as valid as a signature.

Benny tries to find Brax, but he's made himself unavailable. She asks Ms Jones to look at the contract, but is dismayed to find it's valid.

While Benny is trying to figure out what to do, she is visited by Gully again, asking about the 20th century artefacts. In a fit of revenge against Brax, she signs off on all of them at a price ten times their worth. The idea of 20th century artefacts starts her thinking, and an idea tugs at her brain. She searches through her old mementos, finally coming across an old video game card.

She contacts Ms Field again. Benny tells Ms Field what she's learned: that Ms Field is much older than the four hundred years she's been "alive", and that her first job was as a character in an adult video game. Benny thinks one of InterMedia's biggest shareholders, the Army of Heavenly Light, would be very interested in knowing Ms Field's past.

Benny and Ms Field renegotiate Benny's contract to Benny's satisfaction.

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Continuity Edit

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