Author : Clint Wilson, featured writer
I open my eyes and gasp aloud.
Where… is this? What… what day is… time is… where am I? Who… who… who… who am I?
Although my entire awareness is a swirling multitude of uncertainty, I know I am looking up at the sterile white interior of a… a lid, yes a lid… on a coffin? No, not a coffin… a… a… I just don’t know.
Then my stasis chamber’s computer, sensing my consciousness, begins to speak in a soothing female voice. “You are Cyril Brendan Thompson, citizen of Canada. Do not be alarmed. You have been in stasis.”
Like a punch to the face so much memory comes flooding toward my senses all at once. I hadn’t been ill? but what? Just… just middle-aged and sick of life; but what to do? Back then it was all the rage. All the aging hipsters were doing it, personally I didn’t care I just wanted the world to change.
So for a hefty sum I reserved a position in the well-sought-after fast forward limbo of the time skipper.
But why has my chamber awakened me now? This is the one thing still unclear. I decide to address the computer.
While my vocal chords are physically intact and have been, as I quickly discover, quite obviously well preserved, the sound of my own voice echoes back at me off the inside of the chamber lid with the dry complaint of a long unused musical instrument. “What is the date please?”
The machine hums and whirrs at me but the voice does not answer.
I try again, with more authority this time. “Why have you awakened me?”
Again the mechanical whirring, this time interspersed with a few plastic clicks and ticks. Still the machine says nothing.
“Computer!” I command dryly but sternly. “What is the current state of the world outside?”
Suddenly the mechanical hum of the chamber stops. Then without warning there is a dull metallic thud, as though an iron ball has just dropped and triggered a sinister mechanism inside my coffin-like prison. Then the soothing voice returns as if though nothing is amiss.
“Certainly Mr. Thompson. The date is 6289 AD by your Julian calendar.”
Then without pause it answers my second question. “You requested not to be revived until such time as the human population has been reduced to less than one billion persons.”
And then as I grasp for words but before I can effectively react it plods on mechanically to respond to my third query. “The state of the world outside is utter chaos. A comet approximately forty-two kilometers in diameter has impacted the planet. The shockwave has circled the earth seven times and is still moving. An estimated ninety-three percent of all Terran life is thought to be lost due to this event and its apparent magnitude.”
Shocked to my very core, I decide to ask no more questions for the moment. Everything seems still and tranquil. I am fairly certain my stasis chamber remains in its protective sarcophagus; surrounded by shock absorbers shielding me from the goings on of outside.
I finally decide to address the machine again. “Computer?”
This time she responds instantly.
“How may I be of service sir?”
“Do you retain a complete record of human activity dating back to my time of internment?”
A quick whirr and hum and then, “Yes sir.”
“Tell me then,” I ask with a faraway look of boyhood wonder on my face, “Did the Vancouver Canucks finally win the Stanley Cup?”
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