Author: Ian Li

With their sailboat torn apart by the storm, Eric and Matt each clung to half the boat, buffeted by waves until they miraculously crashed onto the rocky shores of an island. Coughing up seawater, Eric stumbled toward Matt and found him unconscious, with deep gashes in his side. Scrambling to find something to stem the bleeding, he unexpectedly encountered a woman.
“Please help him!” Eric pleaded.
The woman jogged over, inspected Matt, and shook her head. She pulled out a small device from her pocket, and a burst of white-hot flame engulfed Matt, leaving no trace.
“You killed Matt!” Eric screamed.
“I put him in pyrogenic stasis.”
“You mean cryogenic stasis?”
“Nope. Cryogenic stasis preserves the body, but the soul and mind disappear. Pyrogenic stasis does the opposite, this device absorbs the soul and memories that the body releases as it’s incinerated.”
“What? Who the hell are you?”
“Allison, lead engineer on Uncharted Island.” Allison’s braids, round face, and squeaky voice made her seem young for the role, but she spoke authoritatively and Eric found himself nodding along as she continued to explain.
Eric suddenly remembered he and Matt had been recklessly sailing through the North Atlantic Ocean. “Hang on, there shouldn’t be any islands anywhere close to this part of the Atlantic.”
“Cloaking technology keeps Uncharted isolated from the rest of the world, so only a few have ever visited, mostly through dumb luck.” She glanced at Eric pointedly. “Though I created an exception for satellite TV, there’s a drama that I’ve been watching…”
“Wow, must be advanced tech to be able to hide from the world. So is Matt in virtual reality then?”
“You’ve been reading too much SciFi,” Allison chuckled. “Let me show you the pyrogenic stasis archives.”
Eric followed Allison around the coast of the island and into a sprawling living compound. “Here are the sleeping quarters, the cafetera, and the gym.” Allison pointed casually as they walked briskly past. “This is the research lab, which is connected to the stasis archives.”
As Matt wandered through the lab, he started wondering why there was a need for an archive and why he hadn’t encountered anyone else on the island. Feeling uneasy, he asked, “So, when can we revive Matt? I’d like to bring him back soon, his wife is already going to kill me for dragging him on this trip.”
“I’m still working on the revival process. The theory is solid, but the results are poor without an existing host body,” Allison explained. “Hey, don’t make that face. I hear cryogenic stasis is the same, just buying time until technology advances sufficiently. Anyway, if we can get my research partner into your body, we can really speed up the search for a solution.”
Eric felt the room lurch beneath him, suddenly aware of his heart beating rapidly. “You’re insane,” he blurted, as he stumbled backwards, knocking over a cart of medical implements and nicking his neck with a scalpel.
Allison sighed. “Another useless one. Guess I’ll just put you in stasis too.” She pulled out the small device from her pocket.