Awake Again

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
It's about cryonics in the future and what might happen when we open our eyes again.

Submitted: August 25, 2016

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Submitted: August 25, 2016

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Awake Again When Kate opened her eyes, she saw some dim lights shining into her eyes and then became brighter and brighter until everything around her started getting clear. The first "human" came into her sight was a butler-dressed like man, who's smiling at her and gently asked: “How do you feel, Madam?” “I, er..., excuse me, who are you, and where am I?” felt a little bit at lost, she asked. With utterly patience, he answered, "I'm your servant, or your friend, or whoever you want me to be. You are in your home, your own territory in 4553. It won't be long until you remember everything and understand how you wake up at this time and place." "Yeah, I guess so." still feeling confused, she closed up her eyes. A few pictures popped out in her mind, and just in a few hours, she remembered everything. She couldn't believe that she actually came to live again after more than a thousand and five century years! How amazing it is! She even recalled the "last moment" of her life when she seemed to hear the buzzing sound of a fly around her. But then she remembered her family, the happiest family in the world before she got the terrible brain cancer. “Then where were they now? Did they get frozen too, like me, or,,,died naturally?” Tears streaming down her face, she just couldn't help it. The thought of she might lose all her families was killing her. Suddenly, a soft voice disturbed her sorrow, "Are you ok, Madam? Please let me know if you have any questions or any doubts you want to clear up. I'm your family, your friend, and even your child and servant now since I was created for you. We are going to live together as long as life permits. So could you please don't hold your heart back and take my hand to start a new life with me?" "My family? Where are my families now?" stimulated by the word "family", Kate opened her eyes again and looked directly to the place where the voice came from. "According to the records collected in the database, biologically, your family members you had before you underwent the cryopreservation procedures died to the full extend of life. But your bloodline of lineal kin was cut off less than a hundred year after your "sleep" due to a car accident. Technically, you don't have a family now and it won't be necessary in this age of time. Every blood and fresh person lives separately except with his or her faithful companion. In your case, it's me." "Oh, no..." she groaned, "How come you are my family? Oh, no... Please tell me it's not true." "I'm really sorry I have to tell you that, I'm really really sorry!" his face showed what he meant in his words, "If there's anything I can do to relieve your pain, I would do it for you without hesitation. Please, I don't mean to hurt you with the truth. You still have me, and I will always stay with you." After a few days, when Kate could finally pull herself together, she asked many questions about the new world. The "man" actually was a newly made robot, which they called NHR3, and she had the right to name it or "him", because they were going to spend the rest of her life together. And She's the master. "How about Ben? He used to be one of my best friend." "I like it. Thank you, and I will always be your best friend, I promise." he looked into her eyes with sincerity. "I appreciate that. But how am I going to live in this new world? You know I'm complete new person here and I don't even know if I could survive or fit in this new environment. I don't have a job, then what shall I do for a living to support myself? I haven't seen any "living" until now. So they just conducted a surgery on me and then never show up again? Don't they need to see how things going on here?" she became more irritated and anxious when she expressed her concern to Ben. "Oh, don't bother yourself with it at this moment. You need more rest and give yourself a relief. Actually, you are the few people who would probably recover from the cryopreservation and cerebroma. Both doctors and scientists have been working on it to figure out if you could live here as other people do. You must have noticed from this room that many things have changed after you were preserved through low-temperature." She did think too much these days. Then she quickly fell asleep when a sudden wave of drowsiness came upon her. For the next few weeks, Kate gradually gained some energy and could even walk around the room to do some stuff for herself like pouring some water, or go to the bathroom. In fact, she didn't have to do anything since Ben would do it for her and all she needed to do when she wanted to use the bathroom was sitting on the toilet-like facility where she just relaxed herself and everything could be done in minutes. When she felt bored, Ben would talk to her and show her through a screen what was happening outside in this new era. She watched the big screen appearing out of nowhere in from of her bed. The world presented to her was like those in the future movie in her time. Cars flying everywhere in the air but they seemed to be more compacted like a higher version of flying cars without wings and wheels, and she seemed to see some form of energy jetting out underneath them. The tall skyscrapers were much more crowded than before and they were shining in the sun like soldiers in their armors. The metallic texture of everything gave the feeling of a future world. "I'm in the future now! I'm gonna live in this world, how fantastic!" Kate thought. The news was still all about energy like so many centuries ago. Some areas which used to be a disputable place now became the territory of a nearby country whose name she never heard of before. "Where are we now? Am I still in America?" so confused by the political issues, she decided to ask Ben for help. "Well, from your time until this day, the political situation has changed dramatically. It's difficult to explain all of this to you in a few words. Maybe you need to read about the history book written by the historians of today. But what I can tell you now is that the room we are living in is situated at what used to the center of New York, which is now called New Labo since this place has already become the headquarter of medical science and base of other scientific experiments." "That's a huge change. Though it feels weird to hear that my time has become part of history now. It's like I travelled through a time machine to this time, but I don't see much differences since I still could understand everything around me. Is it because I didn't travel too far from my time? Twenty-five centuries are not so long as they seem or the process of evolution has slowed down?" the thought of slight change comforted her but also disappointed her a little bit. "I don't know what you are thinking about. But you are definitely wrong. I've told you that I was specially made for you based on your character, your time and culture. It's the reason you could accept me instantly. I look like the men at your time and also behave in their way so that you would be comfortable in the new environment. So..." before he could finish his words, the wall on the left side disappeared suddenly, a man in silver grey suit came out, his face so white that Kate believed she could see the veins under his skin, his eyes sinking into the sockets, and his mouth also not so plump as a man should be but also sunken like his eyes. Though the man was in man-shape, he didn't look like any man Kate ever seen in life or on television. "So you would be surprised to see me." the man spoke like through a microphone, "I'm sorry I don't speak English so well, so I need a translator. I'm Nivo, nice to meet you." This time he spoke in his own voice, which is loud and full of strength. "Nice to meet you too. I'm Kate Barren." she's really surprised not only by his look but also she finally saw a real, alive person, though a very different one. "I've known you for a long time, Kate. But it's the first time for you to see me. Please let me introduce myself a little. I'm a historian in your concept. I'm fascinated about your time, which was the beginning of the so-called high-end technology which could even bring you to our time! I'm also the counsellor of the surgery team for your de-cryopreservation and cancer." his face glowed and reddened a little by his words, “Sorry to disturb you before you're fully recovered.” Ignoring the uncomfortable feeling of being watched like an animal in the zoo, she still smiled to him, “It's Okay. I'd like to meet more people. I feel much better now. Thank you very much for bringing me back to like. You can ask me anything you want to know.” Nivo gave her a big smile, which made his eyes sunk deeper than before, hesitated a little, he just said: “Thank you! I'll try not to disturb you until you are totally fine.” Before Kate could say a word, he turned his back and disappeared with the wall showing up again. However, later in the next few days, Nivo came to her place from time to time and asked a lot of questions that she couldn't even give him the answer immediately. So many questions that she hadn't thought about before range from geography and population to politics, social problems and technology, many of which she couldn't answer according to her knowledge. One of the things she found out through their conversation was that the food in this new age was quite different. When she told Nivo she used to have a variety of desserts made from different fruits, his eyes were shining with a tinge of envy showing on his face. Later, she got to know the reason. It's because that people at this new world only had one kind of "food" they called "panthing", which was a kind of semi-fluid in a carton including everything they need to take in everyday based on different age, weight, and health condition. That explained why she never had "food" after she woke up again in this age and also why she noticed that Nivo did not have teeth when he was talking to her since, she guessed, they no longer need them any more. What a pity! Enjoying delicious food was one of her wishes after she was diagnosed with the lethal cancer. Now it's not possible any more even though she was physically able to eat anything she liked. She also noticed that all the things were made economically, especially the food which only was given to her to keep healthy and so that she won't feel hungry. She also watched the news on the screen which only had a few channels to choose from, and from which she got to know that all food was processed through factories and many ingredients were artificial. Competition between nations also revolve around the issue of natural resources like water, lands for crops and livestock. It seemed everything was in shortage and needed to be fighting for. Though the city, the new world looked so glamorous, the tension beneath it had never been so intense, especially when compared with the old days. "How come I understand everything in the news, but I still feel so difficult to understand the world?" Kate turned her head toward Ben. "Those channels we have here are just a very small portion of them. And they were chosen specifically for you and have already translated into your language, which we call early English. We still speak so called "English", but in fact its much different from yours. You would not be able to understand it if I speak in the language." Then he said something which Kate only caught one or two words sounded like "eaten" or something. "I just said that I'm happy to live with you here and hope we could live happily together for the rest of your life." “Wow, that’s not easy. Would you teach me that? If I wanna live in this world, it's necessary to learn it, right?” “Actually, you don't have to. They will talk to you through a device which can translate their words. Meanwhile, you could also talk through it which do it in the opposite way. I'm a robot, I could speak both languages, so I don't need one.” He smiled gently. “That's fantastic. Could you do me a favor?” She suddenly asked. “Sure, anything you ask.” “Could you please let me see the view outside this room? I feel my eyes haven't seen things some distance away for a long time. In fact, I wanna know what's outside. I'm quite curious about it.” She looked at him excitedly. “I'm afraid I can't. We now live among one of the rooms in this building which don't connect to the outer place. And also it's not safe to do so. But I could show you the surrounding through the monitoring system built in this place.” He seemed really reluctant to refuse her request. “Okay...though I don't understand why it is.” She looked a little disappointed. In no time, the room was like a box, in which the six facets, including the four walls, the ceiling and the floor, became transparent and only the bed and the two people existed inside it. Kate felt she was floating in the air with the bed like a feather and the scene was what she saw on the television appeared before. She's was at the point in which she could have free fall in the next second. She could even feel gentle breeze brushing softly against her face, though she knew it's impossible since she was still in the room. The scene also dwarfed her to be tiny little ant among the monster-like and metal-shielded skyscrapers. Flying cars shuttled back and forth in the speed of light without even leaving the white lines used to see from the airplane which implied its flying track. She can only tell from the sudden flash passing her by without a chance to see exactly what they look like. For more than ten minutes, she was finally able to find her voice, "I don't know how to express my feeling. The shining grey surface of everything seems to represent high-technology and the future concept all the time. I only see this in the movies of my time. But when you see them become true, it still takes some time to digest the facts. Still, I hope I can see it, touch it, feel it, and smell it with my own eyes, hands, and nose rather than through the cold screen and my imagination. Would that be long to come true?" She looked at him eagerly. He hesitated and cleared his throat, then said: “Honestly, it depends on the orders they will give me. For now, they haven't given me any permission to let your out of the room. I hope they will finally.” “They? Who are those people? You didn’t tell me you listen to anyone and take orders from someone else. I thought you were only my friend and a good companion. And that's it. But now you tell you are a supervisor as well?” She was really angry about herself for trusting people so easily. And he's not even a human being at all. He was made by other people, so he certainly didn't have his own will and would not only be faithful to her, but follow the orders who made him. How come she never thought about it? He was just a robot, don't expect too much from "him"! He couldn't speak for a while and seemed also tortured by the fact that he's not an independent robot and couldn't be one-hundred percent faithful to her and do anything that could make her happy, not to mention he upset her for his own fault. Obsessed with those complicated thoughts, he just turned his back and disappeared behind the walls. The room became silent again. She had to indulge herself in her own thoughts. But this time she felt this place becoming even more strange than ever before. She was at lost and felt helpless that she had no control of her life now. She used to be inflicted by the cancer, though she couldn't control what happened to her body either, she still could do something to make her own choice like the operation of cryopreservation. She sign her name on the file of consent form. But now? She wasn't even given a choice but only did what "they" wanted her to. For the first time, she experienced coldness here both physically and mentally, from inside to outside. Tiredness caught her gradually. Then she decided not to think about it any more and closed her eyes trying to take a nap for a while. "It's no harm to escape from the fact for a little while, is it?" She comforted herself. When the night fell, she woke up again and saw Ben stood right beside her bed staring at her and obviously lost in thought. “How long have you been here? To keep an eye on me twenty-four hours a day and don’t wanna miss a second?” She didn’t intend to be mean, but the thought of him not as close as they used to be overwhelmed inside her heart and she just blurted them out inadvertently. He looked pretty tired. How could that be? Kate thought. “No, certainly not. I wanna tell you that I don’t just follow the orders, but also think on your feet. Actually, I could not let you risk your life for going out before there’s enough protection to guarantee your safety, you know.” He said earnestly. She controlled her temper, which was the only thing she could do on her own will, and said, “Fine, let’s see what you get.” “Thank you. You remember several times of the nuclear leakage before your time, Especially the two major accidents? One is the catastrophic nuclear accident of the Chernobyl disaster occurred on 26 April 1986. Another is the explosions and nuclear fuel rods melting at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 due to the natural forces of earthquake and tsunami. After centuries of years, human being not only failed to control it, but made it even worse. What happened before you went to sleep was just the tip of the iceberg. The competition between nations on energy, military force, natural resources could never be given a second to breath and rest. The nuclear and radiation accidents and incidents happened from time to time due to man-made disaster. You know, men made those things but never thought about the consequences they could bring to them. It may sound ridiculous that your families died all peacefully and even your posterity who died in accident didn’t suffer that much. People after that experienced immeasurable pain. Though they survived from the wars and radiation, the scars on them could never really heal and they have to live with the complications which came along with the radiation. You can never imagine how terrible it was, which was much worse than you saw on the TV of your time. Now, you have noticed the appearance of Nivo who lives in the modern time is quite different from yours. That’s the results of many centuries of ‘evolution’. He has already evolved to some extent to gain the immune system which can effectively protect him to live in this environment. However, even for him, he also needs very complicated protection to help defend the radiation outside let alone you just had your surgery and not fully recovered. The shining look of those buildings you saw today was just the protection and the armor of people. It’s nothing glamorous but rather a have-to-do choice. We are now at the center of this building since you are the most vulnerable one and need the most solid protection.The room is like a self-sustained system. One step outside this room is life-threatening.” He hesitated a little and then continued, “Though I’m not allowed to tell you this, I still think you have the right to know the truth.” Kate was shock by what she was told, “Yes, I want to know them all.” “Yes, I will tell you everything. This world now is also far worse than you thought. Every nation is fighting for food, other resource and energy. Actually there’s no more effort would be spared for you to really join this world. There's no way for you to live as normal person again, but they would only confine you here for research purpose since they believe that they can unlock the mystery of genetic evolution, of human body through you. You have the value of doing the research, so they chose you instead of others. They are even thinking about shutting down most of the devices which preserve other bodies like you, cause it costs a lot of energy which is so precious in this age.” He stopped, looking at her uneasily. She didn’t say anything. His words were like a slap in her face. How could she made such a decision that she might as well accept her respectable death, dying like a soldier in the battle against disease, nature and law, rather than clinging to the hope which can be so humiliating that she could deteriorate into a laboratory rat dislocated in a showcase which superseded the time and space. She must be the most special living fossil of the time. Yes, she was like a sparrow in the cage, but did she have the courage like sparrow who would rather die than losing the freedom. She did not know the answer. Instead, she closed her eyes again, and trying really harder to put herself to sleep. After all, tomorrow is another day, right? That’s also the reason why she was here, wasn’t it?


© Copyright 2017 Yohanna. All rights reserved.

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