Thursday, November 21, 2019


By David K Scholes

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

I hoped I hadn’t been woken early as a result of computer failure.

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, temperature seemed within normal Earth human limits as was my life force energy level. My brain activity was well above hyper activity 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 now see were still seemingly ensconced within their sleep/hibernation chambers. Were they okay? I couldn’t tell. They should have been up and about by now. I was normally the last of them to come out of the sleep/hibernation state.

Slowly, but slowly, movement returned to my body. I found I was not restricted by the usual gentle, flexible force constraints that were 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. Including the present highly dangerous situation.

Finally a single lone med-bot appeared, ready to inject me with the usual range of standard medically proven nutrients. I shoved the irritating little AI away not without some force.

I had been through a lot since my awakening and now was not the time for mere 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 now. 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 watched on with some trepidation.

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.

“Get a move on Dad, you will be late for work,” my eldest son exclaimed.

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The author has written over 200 speculative fiction short stories. Some of these are included in his eight collections of short stories (all on Amazon). He has also published two science fiction novellas and been published on a range of speculative fiction sites. Including: Antipodean SF, Beam Me Up Pod Cast, Farther Stars Than These, 365 Tomorrows, Bewildering Stories, the WiFiles and the former Golden Visions magazine. He will soon publish a new collection of science fiction short stories “Contingency Nine and Other Science Fiction Stories

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