God it’s cold. Why is it so cold?
Crippling confusion swirls like thick fog in my mind. Like wraiths and demons, choking out logical cognition.
Synapses reconnect, neurons fire, the fog thins slightly.
“Can you hear and understand me?” asks a voice from the void above.
Yes, yes I can hear. I can understand; but how? I try to raise my head, open my eyes, voice my epiphany of consciousness, all to no avail. All that I manage is to crack open what I believe to be my lips and with tremendous effort vibrate my vocal cords in a tremulous and primal groan.
“Very good, Ms. Leyburn. You’re doing fine.”
Leyburn? Who is Ms. Leyburn? Where am I?
“You’ve suffered quite a lot of damage from the cryonic process that was used on you.”
Damage? What the hell is she talking about? Slowly memories begin to filter back in; small, disjointed, episodic visions of a life. My life? I try hard to make my eyes work, but the blackness persists.
“Unfortunately it is not damage that we can repair at this time.”
A brief image of an animal drifts through my mind. It is accompanied by the feeling of sunlight, soft golden-red fur against my face, the smell of leather and hay. A feeling of happiness. Contentment. I try to grasp the sensations but they fade all the faster for it, leaving a feeling of loss so intense that for a moment I forget my confusion.
So much grief. So much pain.
“What we have decided to do with cases such as yours, since we cannot viably re-freeze you without causing further damage, is to place you in suspended animation. You will have some level of consciousness, though for the purpose of preserving as much brain function as possible, we will stall the thawing process where it is at the moment and, as a consequence of that, consciousness of yourself and your surroundings will be limited to approximately what you are experiencing right now.”
Re-freeze me? I was frozen? That explains the cold. Why was I frozen?
“In case you are wondering, it is April eighth, 2541. Welcome back to life, Ms. Leyburn. Rest assured that we here at Burns and Levy CryoniTech Incorporated will do all that we can to ensure that your body and mind get the premier care that you paid for when you signed with us.”
I’m dead. I was dead anyway.
I don’t understand what the voice means by “damage”, but the fog seems to be lifting ever so slowly. There are memories there; I can feel them on the edges, just out of reach. With just a bit more time I’m sure that I’ll be able to see and understand them. They will fall into proper order and I will know who I was. Who I am. I just need to know, to think, to feel. Just need time, a little bit more time. My lips open, I strain to speak.
“Alright Ms. Leyburn, I’m putting you into stasis now. Sweet dreams.”