posted on Dec, 8 2008 @ 08:29 PM
The cryonics laboratory was in an unusual state of excitement. The legislation had finally been put through and today they would start un-freezing
It had been the subject of a lot of speculation among the scientists, this unfreezing business. There had been years of battles: moral, financial,
scientific battles on a large scale but, finally, the economists had won. De-freezing the undead from the late 20th century would free the rest of
the population to live their lives released from the demands of menial work. That could now be left to those who were currently cryonically frozen.
Those whose money had run out. ‘Sorry’ the argument would go ‘We cannot afford to keep you in the deep freeze any longer. Now’s the time to
get up and earn your keep’.
Never mind that the technology had been evolved insufficiently, today they were going to start un-freezing people: those with only heads first. It
was a matter of some speculation as to whether the heads would be able to re-grow their bodies. But as they were the poorest, that didn’t matter.
Attempts would be made to get them growing. There had been a lot of sick jokes about sticking them in compost.
The serious scientists, however, saw it as a challenge. And even if the experiments failed, the attempts would add to the sum of human knowledge.
And people were in hot pursuit of human knowledge. There weren’t many of them left now, and those who were around wanted to enjoy a rich, leisurely
existence. There was hardly any underclass, there were jobs though. Jobs that no-one wanted to do. Cheap labour was required.
Some had felt sorry, at first, for the hapless souls who would be woken to do the dirty work. After it was explained that bleeding heart liberals
might have to tackle the tasks themselves, the moral lobby gave up.
Joe slowly opened his eyes. He was floating in a vat of lukewarm liquid. Sort of body temperature, really. Body temperature. Where was his body?
Joe floated on. Unknown to him, he was the scientists’ pet project. Their most successful to date. They’d made a few mistakes at first, trying
to grow people from the neck down. Or anything down, really. Any bit that would grow.
In Joe’s case, they’d started with his feet. It required some tricky engineering. Stimulating small parts of the brain in a particular way. Then
they had Joe - his head and his feet. They had kept trying until eventually the bottom of Joe’s neck grew a couple more inches and split into two,
and there he was with ankles. A head, a neck and two short ankles ending in feet. Size ten feet, with all the toes.
If he tried, Joe could learn to hop. His ankles weren’t quite long enough for him to make the steps needed for walking. However, the feet were
useful, they would get him around.
As with other ‘head cases’ he had a full set of body organs in his neck but there was no hope of him regenerating any other body parts. The
scientists had done as much as they could.
Joe was upset for a long time. If only they’d been able to make his ankles just a little bit longer, he might at least have been able to scratch
Ear scratching was actually the least of Joe’s problems. To live in the community he needed to be a useful member of it. He’d heard the
scientists talking. They had obviously become bored and disappointed with their star turn.
After he’d spoken to the historians and described life in the past to them, no-one seemed to have much time for him. Joe got depressed. He was
kept in a back corner of the laboratory with a few of the mice. The pretty laboratory assistant who looked after him was neglectful. Almost anything
would be better than this.
One day, almost anything turned up. The scientists came over and announced with great glee that they’d found Joe a job in Europe. An important
job. A job what would keep the leisured class eternally grateful to him.
Joe bucked up. Perhaps if he was useful he wouldn’t be so lonely and neglected.
The next day Joe found himself on a plane - Europe bound. True, he was fastened to the overhead luggage rack, but he found a way to amuse himself.
He could manage some bodily functions from the little vent between his ankles. He ruined the pretty laboratory assistant’s dinner. A small revenge
for the way she had neglected him, but it pleased Joe.
The ride to the farm was bumpy, and Joe stood in the back of the jeep dumb-founded. The pretty laboratory assistant was sitting beside him,
She had just had the enormously satisfying task of telling Joe that the only job the scientists could secure for him was treading grapes in Spain.