Author : Debbie Mac Rory

My heartbeat is sluggish. My breathing is equally slow. My eyes, when they blink, take an eternity to open and on the other side of the glass, people appear and move as blurs and streaks of colour.

Panic struggles to rise as the primitive parts of my brain send out signals that my body simply can’t respond to yet. I close my eyes and begin the relaxation exercises we were taught before undergoing this mission. The gentle voice of the teacher floats across my memory as I count. “Just relax”, he said. “Just try and relax. I know it’s hard and it’ll be the last thing you want to do. But your body knows what to do, you just have to have confidence in it, and let it move at its own pace”.

When I reach 100, my body feels loose and easy again. I open my eyes and the blurs don’t seem to be moving as quickly now. Some of them are almost recognisable. One of the colours stops in front of me, and stays there long enough for her movement to resolve into a face. She has short, dark hair and when she sees me focusing on her, she smiles. A name surfaces from my slowly warming memory.. Maria…

As soon as I leave this cold-sleep pod, the work will start. A whole new world awaits me out there.

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