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  1. Joined
    16 May '13
    Moves
    88384
    15 Nov '17 12:491 edit
    The Conversation
    by Paul A. Roberts

    “What the..? Where am I? I can’t move. I can’t see. What’s going on?”

    “Please stay calm, Sir. Your eyes are covered with bandages to protect them from the light, they have not been used to it for a while. The restraints are purely to avoid you hurting yourself while you cannot see.”

    “Who is that? What’s happened to me?”

    “I am Nurse Christine. You were in an accident, Sir. Your car crashed and caused you significant injuries. As a precaution, you were placed into a cryo-coma. Having now repaired your body, we are bringing you back into the world. It will take a short while for your body and mind to adjust fully.”

    “Oh my God! Are my wife and kids ok?”

    “You were alone in the car at the time of the accident. Your memory will be fuzzy for a time, but most should return presently.”

    “Thank goodness. Where are they? Are they here?”

    “No Sir, they are not here. You have been in cryo-sleep for a substantial number of years. Sir, please can I check your memories. What is your name?”

    “How long? Erm. Yes, of course. My name is Colin Wainwright the Third.”

    “Excellent Sir, and what date do you believe it to be?”

    “The last I remember it was July Fifth.”

    “And which year was that, Sir?”

    “2017, of course… Hang on, just how long have I been unconscious?”

    “Do you remember signing up to the cryo-coma program, as part of your donor registration, Sir?”

    “Yes, it was part of medi-care, a free addition as it was experimental. I’d be frozen until medical science can fix me, if it could be done without too many risks.”

    “That is perfect, Sir. Your car went into near ice-cold water, and the acute hypothermia slowed your heart and mind to such an extent that you were able to be placed into cryo-coma at the scene. Following which, the damage to your head, hands, arms and legs, was classed as severe and they needed to wait before you could be successfully treated. Unfortunately, during your time in a coma, funding to the cryo-care program was cut by the new President, and patients already in comas were placed into storage.”

    “I was in storage? Like a damned box of records? For how long?”

    “Governments changed, and the papers and locations of the storage were lost until last year. Since then we have been reanimating those patients we can, and humanely euthanising those beyond our medical advances. You were brought to this specialist medical station two months ago, we have since restored your limbs, and healed the head trauma.”

    “How long was I in the coma?”

    “Sir, the year on Earth is now 2371, though here on Mars it is called year 63PH, Post Humans. A Martian year is 687 Earth days.”

    “Mars? Martian? Is this some sort of sick joke?”

    “No, Sir. I will now turn your eye bandages transparent. Please try to remain calm.”

    “Calm! Your telling me I’m nearly 400 years old, and to remain calm. OK, I can see a little now. Looks like a normal hospital room to me, I bet the machine even has the irritating beeps. Where are you?”

    “I’m to your right, Sir.”

    “Oh my God. What are you?”

    “Sir, my name is Nurse Christine, and I am a Mech.”

    “A Mech? What the hell is a Mech?”

    “I am one of the original inhabitants of Mars. We are a species that appear similar to your robots, though we are fully sentient and self-aware. Our life goal is to help others, to make our universe a better place, so we run this medical facility for all known lifeforms.”

    “No way, it can’t be true. I’m on Mars? My family, they must be long dead by now. What happened to them?”

    “Firstly, if you look to your left, I will slide back the wall so that you can view Mars fully. Now, let me check. Our records indicate that your wife lived to 87. She never remarried, stating to the end that you were her one true love. Your son married a man called Gerald, and they lived happily in to their 90s. Your daughter married a man named Steve and they had 2 children and 3 grandchildren. At last count, on Earth, you have 39 surviving descendants. These have not been made aware of you, as you would be their 8-times great Grandfather, which can be difficult for people to comprehend.”

    “Oh wow! It truly is the red planet. I can see more of you walking on the surface, but you look different to them.”

    “I am having to wear breathing apparatus, as human nitrogen rich air is harmful to us.”

    “I have 39 descendants. That is amazing. What do I do now?”

    “Now we have you well again, you can be mined for our sustenance.”

    “Eh? Sustenance? What do you mean? Hey, ow that hurts, what are you doing?”

    “Yes Sir, human fear and pain feed us. I can feel your energies, and, how we can make you suffer. We can only extract minute amounts from people normally, as they go about their daily lives here. But you and your other cryo-humans are legally dead. As such, we can use our skills to keep you alive, but in perpetual agony, hopefully for decades. Your Government decided this for the few, so we do not attack the many. Your sacrifice will not be known to the public, but your Governments chose you for us.”

    “You are insane. Let me go. Argh, remove the restraints. No, no, let me see again. Don’t cover my mouth. I can’t mmfffmffm.”

    “We thank you Colin Wainwright the Third for what we are about to extract.”
  2. Joined
    16 May '13
    Moves
    88384
    15 Nov '17 12:52
    It is a back and forth conversation, in the original version one persons speech is in italics to ease the comprehension of who is talking at each turn.

    This was rejected for an online submission to a magazine, but I like it, and the little twist at the end, so selfishly thought I'd share it!

    I hope you enjoy it.
    Paul
  3. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
    Joined
    28 Dec '04
    Moves
    52865
    15 Nov '17 13:26
    Originally posted by @paul-a-roberts
    It is a back and forth conversation, in the original version one persons speech is in italics to ease the comprehension of who is talking at each turn.

    This was rejected for an online submission to a magazine, but I like it, and the little twist at the end, so selfishly thought I'd share it!

    I hope you enjoy it.
    Paul
    Cool, post human. funny. At last Earth can restore itself🙂
  4. SubscriberPonderableonline
    chemist
    Linkenheim
    Joined
    22 Apr '05
    Moves
    529818
    15 Nov '17 15:32
    Originally posted by @paul-a-roberts
    It is a back and forth conversation, in the original version one persons speech is in italics to ease the comprehension of who is talking at each turn.

    This was rejected for an online submission to a magazine, but I like it, and the little twist at the end, so selfishly thought I'd share it!

    I hope you enjoy it.
    Paul
    Thank you for sharing. It is quite a nice miniature.
  5. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
    A Spirited Misfit
    in London
    Joined
    14 Mar '15
    Moves
    11617
    15 Nov '17 15:38
    So, not only is it the year 2371, he's on Mars and a Martian food-bank. 😲

    Nicely written.
  6. Joined
    24 Apr '10
    Moves
    14639
    15 Nov '17 16:46
    Originally posted by @paul-a-roberts
    It is a back and forth conversation, in the original version one persons speech is in italics to ease the comprehension of who is talking at each turn.

    This was rejected for an online submission to a magazine, but I like it, and the little twist at the end, so selfishly thought I'd share it!

    I hope you enjoy it.
    Paul
    Which magazine?
  7. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
    Joined
    28 Dec '04
    Moves
    52865
    15 Nov '17 17:03
    Originally posted by @great-king-rat
    Which magazine?
    Hannity sci fi channel....
  8. Arch Stantons Grave
    Joined
    04 Feb '11
    Moves
    29036
    15 Nov '17 17:45
    Originally posted by @great-king-rat
    Which magazine?
    No not that one.
  9. Joined
    16 May '13
    Moves
    88384
    15 Nov '17 19:04
    Originally posted by @great-king-rat
    Which magazine?
    An online one called Fireside Fiction, they have open invites periodically.

    I'll try another story next time.
  10. Joined
    24 Apr '10
    Moves
    14639
    15 Nov '17 19:18
    Originally posted by @paul-a-roberts
    An online one called Fireside Fiction, they have open invites periodically.

    I'll try another story next time.
    That's cool. You been published there before?
  11. Joined
    16 May '13
    Moves
    88384
    15 Nov '17 20:28
    Originally posted by @great-king-rat
    That's cool. You been published there before?
    Not yet, this was my first effort for them, I missed the last submission deadline, and will keep my eyes out for the next one.

    https://firesidefiction.com/
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