Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

Bringing the sleepers out of cold storage was always a difficult process.

The actual thawing out was almost fault-free. That was no problem. The problem was the emotional and psychological fallout that happened when they tried to join in with the new society.

The old ones, the ones that were dying of cancer or whatever disease was incurable at the time, are the ones that adjust with a minimum of fuss. The fact that they’re now alive is the most important thing to them. Everything’s gravy after that. They can be rejuvenated, shunted into new skin that suits the environment, and put to work. They don’t care that everyone they know is dead or that this new future is an alien place. It’s an adventure for them.

Suicide rates for them only hover around sixty per cent.

It’s the idealists that we hate, the ones that voluntarily went under, going the only direction in time that was available to them. There were a lot of people in the past that believed that they were born in the wrong century. They believed that they would have been way happier in the middle ages or on a starship sometime in the future. They were usually meek assistant managers in retail stores or online-warrior data-entry drones not at home with their own egos.

These are the ones we have the most trouble with.

They immediately demand to see who’s in charge. They want to see the future. They want to see the planet. They want to see the space ships. They want to taste the cool future food. They want. They want. They want.

They didn’t have what it took to enjoy life to the fullest in their era so they expect it to be different here. When they’re shown their cell after being taken out of the Awakening Compound, they start to complain. When they’re put into the new body construct that can withstand the vacuum and the solar radiation, they complain more. When they’re told that they need to work, they complain loudly.

When they’re told what happens if they don’t stop complaining, they stop complaining.

They usually only last a few months before cutting their tethers and hopping out into space, dying silently if we’re lucky, sobbing into their intercoms on widecast if we’re not. In the last twenty decades, only two have lasted more than a year. They have no compunction about throwing their life away after the Big Disappointment.

We have a joke. We say that there’s a reason why it’s called ‘cry’ogenics. That always makes us laugh. It helps us not to feel cruel when they start wailing and sniffling. It helps us not to feel like murderers just for waking them up.

Life’s a disappointing one-way trip. It’s an immutable law for the universe. Even in the future, there’s no exception to that rule. These fools thought it would be better down the line. My heart used to go out to them but not any more.


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