Author: David K Scholes

I awakened from the deep drug-induced sleep. The anti-nightmare medications had, at least to some extent, worked. Thank goodness for that. I couldn’t take another mind assault like last time. It would have broken me. I simply would never have woken up.

I hoped I hadn’t been woken early by a computer glitch.

The fact that I was still in sensory deprivation mode seemed unusual and gave me cause for concern.

There was a waiting period but with no way of measuring it and with no reference point it might have been only a few seconds or it might have been all of eternity. It certainly seemed like the latter.

Eventually, and to my great relief, the sleep/hibernation pod opened up. My sleep hazed vision was still limited but I could just see the nearby 3D computer display of my vital and other life signs. Within arms reach, that is if I could have moved my arms. Blood pressure, pulse rate, and temperature seemed within normal Earth human limits as was my life force energy level. Brian activity was above hyper level but I didn’t need a computer to tell me that.

I was still effectively frozen and knew that by now that should not be. I could just make out the real elapsed time since my initial sensory awakening – over 2 standard Earth hours. More than enough time for me to be med-checked, decontaminated if necessary, energy replenished, fully suited up and about my duties.

My unassisted vision slowly improved and I saw that there wasn’t anyone or anything to help me. Not even the soothing, reassuring voice of the normally, ever hovering, ubiquitous AI med-bots.

Those of my companions that I could see were still seemingly ensconced within their sleep/hibernation pods. Were they okay? I couldn’t tell. They should have been up and about by now. I was normally the last to come out of sleep/hibernation.

Slowly, but slowly, movement returned to my body. I found I was not restricted by the usual flexible force constraints that applied during sleep/hibernation. As I slowly rose out of the sleep/hibernation pod a great hunger fell upon me, completely overwhelming all other feelings I had.

Finally, a single lone med-bit appeared ready to inject me with a range of standard and medically proven nutrients. I shoved the irritating AI away

I had been through a lot since my awakening and now was not the time for intravenous fluid nourishment
“Computer,” I found I was yelling at the top of my voice, not even knowing if the central computer was still functioning properly “get me some solid nourishment. I’ll take some Hot Oat Meal, Blueberry Muffins, and an espresso coffee!”

As the central computer complied with my very reasonable request I began to feel a bit more like my old self.

Also, just then, the other sleep/hibernation pods started to yield up their occupants.

I was sure there was a time back deep in the distant past when ordinary people like us didn’t need to have to go to so much trouble just to get a good night’s sleep.

I told myself this as the first members of my family wearily emerged from their pods.

“You will be late for work Dad,” my eldest son called out.