Author : John Tippett
After what seemed like an instant, he awoke.
700 years of cryostasis had passed like a good night’s sleep. Immediately he noticed the partially healed incision in his abdomen.
“They all called me a fool, but who has the last laugh now?”, he smirked to himself.
He was a pioneer in medical cryo-storage, banking on the off-chance that a future civilization would have the know-how to fix him. He had poured much of his massive and substantially ill-gotten wealth into the “Eternity Plan” marketed by the world’s first cryogenic startup. Now, he had quite literally cheated death.
His mind raced. No doubt he would be a celebrity in this time: the oldest, maybe even the first, successful cryo-resuscitation. Oh, and his wealth! If the date on his podscreen was correct, with the magic of compound interest he could buy his way into the highest realms of opulence and power. Some things never change.
Through the pod door he saw a hazy humanoid figure moving along the periphery of the suite.
“You there!”, he mouthed, but no sound came out. ‘That’s to be expected, I suppose”, he said to himself.
At length, he regained mobility in his legs and attempted to draw attention by kicking the translucent pod door. No response.
He sensed pressure on the back of his head and through various contortions managed to discern a tube projecting from the base of his skull.
“I demand to speak to the own-”, his soundless articulations were cut short by the appearance of a form through the plexiglass.
“H-one-seven is now active”, a voice resounded in his head. He kicked the enclosure.
A searing pain shot down his spine and he convulsed. “Remain stationary”, the disembodied voice commanded.
He felt a whoosh of cool air and the haze on his pod door cleared. He realized that he was the center of attention in a room full of humanoid figures. “That’s more like it”, he thought. “This must be the press”.
“One neural network, with body, primitive. Opening bid 40 credits.” Movements. Flashes of numbers on a board.
“Optimized?”, another voice.
It was then that he noticed…a vacancy.
A distinct sense of vacancy between his legs.
“Affirmative”, replied the first.
He wailed a voiceless wail.