Wakeup Call






            A brilliant bolt of electricity arced across John's chest. The world came back to him in a rush; the harsh tang of metal and the tortured squeal of ventilation fans that hadn't turned in centuries assaulting his senses. He turned on his side and vomited violently, forcing the thick preservation gel from his stomach and lungs. He tried to stand, but his atrophied muscles would not hold his weight. To his right, a computer terminal blinked dully. He extended a shaky hand and wiped the thick dust from the screen.


-You have been in hibernation for [ERROR] years past the recommended limit. You may be experiencing partial or total memory loss. The computer will now initiate a routine test of your neural implant. Please read aloud the activation code on your right forearm.


            John looked down at his arm, squinting to make out the blurred string of numbers tattooed there. They came into focus and he read them aloud, his voice cracking from disuse.




            Immediately there was a searing pain in his left temple as the implant became active. He clapped a hand to it and gritted his teeth, focusing his eyes again on the terminal screen.


-Our systems have detected that your neural implant is now active. To begin the test, please read the following query aloud: "List name and credentials"


            John did so and the implant burned again. He answered himself almost immediately, the implant taking control of his speech centers.


            "List credentials: Mattek, John. Lieutenant 1st class. Posting: USS Acheron. Assignment: Communications. Tour length: Indefinite. Identifying marks: Scar tissue, left shoulder. Neural implant serial: USAC_52898765. End."


            All of this information was alien to John. He probed along his shoulder with his fingers, and found a large circular scar where he had said it was. Where the implant had said it was. His body seemed strange and disconnected, as if it didn't really belong to him. The terminal blinked again, and he glanced at it.


-You will not regain your memory for [ERROR] days. Your implant contains all standard operating procedures and repair methods relevant to this ship. You will now undergo muscular stimulation and intravenous feeding. Please lie on the table and do not move.


            John swung his legs back onto the table and laid his head on the meager pillow. Straps tightened around his legs and arms, and several large needles descended from the ceiling. The terminal blinked again.


-We are administering an anesthetic. You will experience a tingling sensation and then unconsciousness.


            There was a hiss, and John's eyes rolled back in their sockets. Then the machine went to work.

The End

12 comments about this story Feed