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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the SCIENCE FICTION genre (05/10/07)

TITLE: Resurrection
By Ann Grover
05/17/07


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Trentar steadied the pod as it rose from the storage facility and guided it onto the transport beam.

“Medical Floor R2.”

The shiny pod disappeared from view.

“That’s the last one for the day.” Xintona consulted the screen and passed her hand over it. It faded to silver.

“It was a very old one from 2063,” said Trentar. “Female. Pod contains original digitalized documents.”

“Really? Diagnosis?”

“Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the esophagus with multiple metastases to the liver.”

“Ah. Simple. She’ll be up and around within the hour.”

“Re-culturization may be difficult for one from that long ago,” reflected Trentar.

“It is for all the Suspends, no matter when they were ‘put down.’” Xintona considered.

“I suppose. What’s the forecast?” Trentar tilted his head toward the window and the artificial sunset painted the sterile white lab a rosy hue.

“Let’s see. Wednesday, June 25, so sunny with cloudy periods. as it has been every June 25 for the last 156 years. You’d think someone would program a little randomness into our lives.”

“It’s not as if we go out. Or ever will.”

“No.” Xintona sighed.

***

Laura McPherson stretched her fingers. The doctor shone a light into her eyes again, then passed a sensor over her forehead, chest, and abdomen.

“How do you feel?”

“Tired. Thirsty.”

“We’ll take care of that. A considerable amount of time has passed since you went to sleep. Do you understand?”

Laura trembled. “How long?” she whispered.

“It’s 2649. I’m pleased to say you’re cancer free.”

Almost six hundred years! The family she’d hoped to see again were gone, then. Twice lost! Suspension was supposed to last only ten years or so.

“Laura? We’re going to jet-infuse you with fluids. Then, you’ll go with a social worker to begin your re-culturization process.”

Laura’s skin tingled as vapour was forced through her pores, and she immediately felt refreshed. Cancer free? The memory of the nightmare weeks before the suspension came back - the numbing diagnosis, the harrowing decision, the final good-byes.

A gentle touch on her arm.

“I’m Milta. Ready?”

Laura gingerly stood up and was relieved that she could walk steadily.

“Very good,” Milta congratulated. “You’ll be running in no time.”

Milta showed Laura a tiny apartment, explaining it would Laura’s place of residence from then on. She showed Laura how to replicate food, call for assistance, use the shower.

“You’ll have classes to help you understand how society works now. Questions?”

“Why was I asleep for almost six hundred years?”

“War. The program was suspended; the pods were hidden away.”

“Where’s the door to go outside?”

“You can’t go outside. It’s toxic. Destroyed in the war. What you see is programming on special windows. The moon rises; the stars move. In the morning, dawn will emerge. Vegetation changes with the seasons.”

Laura’s frowned. “Everything was destroyed?”

“No trees, rivers, cities. Then ocean levels rose and re-created coastlines.”

“San Francisco?”

“That is ancient history. Yes, it’s gone, along with most of the western United States and Canada. Eastern seaboard, western Europe, the United Kingdom.”

Laura sat down on the comfortable sofa, but it gave her little ease. Everything she knew and loved, gone?

“Why don’t you rest? Think about something you’d like to eat. I’ll be back.”

Laura’s eyes were closed before Milta had finished speaking. She dreamed of the Golden Gate Bridge, Vancouver Island, and the Thames. She cried in her sleep, feeling as adrift as the new continent, on the periphery of nowhere. Why come back?

When she awoke, Milta was there, her arm around a diminuitive older lady. Both were sipping tea from china cups, munching on scones, and giggling conspiratorily.

“Gramma?” Laura blinked groggily.

“No, not your grandmother. When we rouse patients from suspension, we try to do so in DNA clusters, especially because of the unfortunate time lapse. So you’ll have family... and hope. Laura, meet Catherine, your great great-granddaughter.”

“But...?”

“Nice to meet you, too. I’m twice your age, yet you’re my great great-grandmother,” laughed Catherine. “Can you imagine?”

“But...”

“Is that all you can say?” Milta smiled.

It was a strange sensation, seeing this older woman who was actually Laura’s descendant, laughing with blue eyes so like her grandmother’s. How could Laura have been given her life back hours ago, when it seemed she had just gone to sleep with a death sentence ringing in her ears.

The earth outside was dead... but her heart lived.

“Pass me a scone, please. And I believe I’ll have butter.”


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This article has been read 1238 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilee Alvey05/17/07
Fantastic. Riveting. I couldn't wait to read more. There are so many implications in this: life is suddenly worth living if you have relationships. It was as if the Rapture had happened with everyone springing back to life. Your piece is a springboard to many more thoughts, the same feeling I had when I watched, "Back to the Future." That is the hallmark of an excellent writer. Well done. Congratulations!
Mo 05/17/07
Very well done!
Jan Ackerson 05/19/07
Wonderful--a roller coaster ride of hope and despair, but finally settling on hope, even serenity. Love the complexity of the relationship between the two resurrected women, and the possibility of kindness even in the direst of futures.
David Butler 05/21/07
I liked this. Ever read "Doorway into Summer" by Robert Heinlein? My favourite SF story up till now. This is an improvement on that concept of the "long sleep." Excellent dialogue.
Joanne Sher 05/21/07
Wow (I say that a lot on your stories, Ann). Your description and characterization AND sense of place are excellent. Absolutely intriguing.
Sara Harricharan 05/21/07
This is great! A strange and unusual setting and definitely the makings of something more here! I love the character of Laura, she is so real and easy to relate to. Love the bit of humor in the end where she meets Catherine. Excellent writing! I enjoyed this. ^_^
Melanie Kerr 05/22/07
An interesting window into the future! there are so many contrasts in the story that it makes for an intersting read.
Benjamin Graber05/23/07
Great story. It is exciting to think that when we are resurrected into a new life, there will be no tears of regret, only the bliss of a future with a loving Father and Brother.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/23/07
Since science fiction is not my favorite genre, it's rare that I find a story that I wish would continue. I'd keep reading yours and Ray Bradbury's. How's that for good company!
Jacquelyn Horne05/23/07
Very good science fiction piece. Well written.
Rita Garcia05/23/07
FANTASTIC!
Brenda Welc05/23/07
This was an awesome entry for the Sci Fi! I am speechless. Great writing.
Shari Armstrong 05/23/07
Good job bringing a human-ness to your story. Have to wonder what the world really looks like outside their windows....
Patty Wysong05/23/07
Super. What a concept!
william price05/23/07
How about I just bow and give you a standing O.
God bless.
Julie Arduini05/23/07
Like an actor in a play I have to say this hit all the right marks. I don't usually get Sci Fi, but this was something special!
Bryan Coomes05/24/07
This was profound..and awesome...it was profoundly awesome :)
Rita Garcia05/24/07
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!
Kate Grey05/25/07
Beautiful.
valerie chambers06/19/07
AMAZING