Author : D. Maurer
“Coffee?” I asked him; we were watching a recovery procedure. This poor sap died well over five hundred years ago. He was the oldest meat popsicle we had attempted to revive.
“Would you like some coffee?”
“No. No, thank you.”
I looked at him and the giant polygon that the popsicle was in.
“You’ve been staring at that thing for at least 2 hours. Nothing’s happened yet. Not supposed to for a while yet.”
“But we never know.”
“But the machines notify…” I trailed off. We were not really doctors like they were back when this guy was first alive. More like engineers. That’s as good as bad.
He sighed. “Of course, but it’s not the same.”
Pause in the dialogue. I thought about it.
“I can see that.”
“See what?” He looked closer at the polygon. 13 sides. Matte black. Longer one way than the other, of course. Some industrial designer’s idea of modern. It sat in a small room. We sat in a small room carved from the other room by glass walls and a door.
“I mean, I understand. It’s not the same seeing them when they first wake.”
“Understand what? Oh. Yeah,” He leaned closer, nose almost against the glass.
“What did he have?”
“Something with his kidneys. Or his heart. Or cancer. Doesn’t matter. We’ve grown new organs. I’m not worried about anything but the brain,” he looked at me for the first time in hours. “And you should only be worried about that, too. The rest is,” he flipped his hand over, looking for the word, “fixable.” He turned back to the black thing.
We’d heard some people getting revived with massive brain damage; if the damage is too severe to a given cell, it’s abandoned by The Process. You didn’t want too many of those; even a handful in the wrong brain area was bad, but if someone woke up with a soup of cell components instead of proper nerve cells, there was really no telling.
Best case: memory loss was common, incontinence close second, but you were alive. Catheter and therapy took care of the urine issues; time and therapy took care of the memory.
And he stared at the damned polygon for another hour before it opened. When it did open, it revealed a bald, naked, and scared human being.
We entered the room and I spoke quietly to him. I spoke a dozen old languages and dialects; my partner, a dozen others. Between us we had most of the popsicle languages covered.
“Richard, we’re here to help. You were frozen when you died; we cured what killed you and you’re still alive,”
“You can hear me but probably cannot talk. We will teach you these things.”
“You died in 2034. The year is 2561. You have been dead for 527 years but now you are alive. You were rich and your investments have paid off handsomely. You are rich almost beyond measure. Your first-hand history will serve you well. You lived in an interesting time.”
He was trying to talk, a sound close to “Matilda?”
His chart said he was married. This Matilda had moved on and had elected not to be frozen and revived. A good sign he asked about her, though. Memories and all.
“We’ll get to that sir. Can you stand?”
He could. We led him to the recovery area. He only peed a little bit on the way there. I talked to him because he was more alone now than I could imagine.