Chapter 7. Heartbreak and Happiness. Plus One Idiot.
Fae flipped the holographic files ever faster, in a concerted search for her father when she nearly flipped past his name.
“Thea. My dad was hurt in a fire, he helped put it out and saved over eight-hundred lives that were in hibernation.” Fae laughed, her memories of the patriarch of her family as a selfless and focused man. “He suffered burns on his back and arms. The doctors dressed the burns and rushed him to the pods. It says here that he has signs of burns to the inside of his mouth and throat, so he is in a special numbering profile and will wake up only when the medical staff activates it.”
Thea shook her head.
“Burns to the lungs are serious, but we have the repairs for that. Nanos can fix cell walls and the micros can repair the larger damaged structures”
The mini-bot walked through the holographic display. Looking at the other files that Fae set aside.
“Fae, this one you called boyfriend is older, by far, than you are. This one, Thomas Metive, is in his forties.” She looked at Fay.
“No, I saw him.”
“You saw someone who looked like him. We need to keep searching.”
A flashing light on Rudy the Dragonfly-bot got Thea’s attention.
“We have another problem, the power supply in here is overheating. Core System just sent a message that the display needs a full power-down.”
“There is an electrical fault, the circuit board is ten-degrees higher than normal. These circuits have not been active for a long time. We will need to have service bots in here to find and fix the fault.”
“How do we do that? I am a systems engineer’s assistant, I understand electrical but this is more of an IT problem, this is a different kind of electronic world.”
“Well, I said it would take nanos and micros for medical, we can do that to the circuits.”
“How long could that take?”
“Not long, a few months.”
Fae sagged. Months!
“Could we speed that up somehow before we have other things overheat?”
“We would have to wake someone up that would know the systems.”
“That would be in the second-tier reanimation.” The mini-bot said. “Those would be the specialists for design and maintenance of the systems.”
“After the engineering and medical teams, computer specialists come next. The systems the specialists maintain keep the three legs of reanimation in balance. That is why the schedule for government leaders to reanimate last in the first cycle.”
“Who is first of the computer nerd-pops to put in the toaster?”
“I am making a request to the Core System for an override and giving your argument.” Thea paused for a moment over the top of Rudy the Dragonfly-bot, looking at a tiny display.
“You have fifteen-degrees or five-minutes, which ever one is shorter.”
“Okay. Let’s quick do a search, who is the most accessible one.”
“That will be easy.” Thea said tapping her own, nearly microscopic display. “Check second-tier reanimation schedule. Section 2. Zone HU-N3Y Pod number SL-1027DM.”
“No name, but he’s listed as a service tech with years of seniority.”
“Set up that pod for reanimation. Let’s go see if he can help us last longer than fifteen minutes at a time.”
It was the longest two days Fae had ever lived. Pacing, she had confirmed the pod she found was not the one Peter the Boyfriend was in.
In the med-bay recovery, she looked at the doctors that fussed over the reanimation of this tech that they felt was out-of-order. Medical personnel needed to be first out to care for any malfunctions that may have happened.
And many malfunctions had occurred.
Fae flinched as she read the preliminary reports that came to her and Amsi, they began to work longer hours to check and recheck pods.
One surgeon in stasis lost the vitrification preservative and the argument whether to try to reanimate the body went long into the night.
Percentage numbers of the thousands of preserved humans began to climb.
Predicted failure rate of pods did not match the measured failures. Nearly a third had lost the non-crystalized fluids, leaving desiccated bodies with only liquid helium around and inside every cell and blood vessel.
One domesticated farm animal the humans preserved suffered the same fate. When the medical staff attempted to reanimate the sheep, it crumbled into dust before body fluids could be replaced.
All arguments stopped on efforts to awaken the failed pods, helium maintained with those victims until a process to prevent the bodies from collapsing when the helium boiled away.
In bed 211-S, the computer-tech made angry growling noises with a touch of Gaelic accent.
“Coffee! Just get me some and do not lecture me about waking up from hibernation and nutrition.”
“What do you mean you don’t think there is any? It is in the tenth-guarantee of the planet’s federal declaration! Coffee must be present at all times!”
Minutes pass and voice of the tech remained frustrated.
Fae looked at the tech as he stood, broad-shouldered, pale with a galaxy of freckles over his chest.
Looking down, he swore.
“What is this? I don’t have freckles.” Looking at his image on a display. “This is what I am going to look like?”
Doctor Ofir Bhabel shook her head.
“No, not after you produce your own red-blood cells. Your color will return and your freckles will fade.”
“Well, alright then. I am not reverting to my childhood and have my big brother hold me down to play dot-to-dot on me again.”
“Excuse me?” Doctor Ofir asked.
“Old childhood issues. Until we find out what you are, I am not telling you anything more.”
“I explained to you already. I am your doctor and a bot.”
“Yeah, yeah. You are a visual hallucination. Until I see you in full size, I am not talking to anyone. I am probably only making noises to the outside world.”
Doctor Ofir flitted in front of the techs face.
“You are human, I am bot, I am also your doctor and I have overseen three-hundred animations. The other humans are busy assisting in the warming process.”
“Doctor?” Fae asked. “May I help?”
“Miss Fae. Please.” The Doctor motioned her in.
“I scheduled him for early reanimation. He is needed to help with failed circuitry.”
“That explains a lot, his personality is not compatible with sentient artificial intelligence.”
“Who is not compatible?” The green-eyes sparkled with offense. “I can get along with anyone. This is just not right, my perceptions are off is all.”
*This is funny* She laughed inwardly. *He’s convinced he’s in a hallucination*
“Sir,” Fae smiled. “I assure you that this is all real.”
“Who are you?”
“I am Fae MacLir, Assistant to the Chief Engineer of operations. I was the first one to wake up. Doctor Ofir is a good friend and she is only as tall as your hand from middle finger to the heel of your hand.”
“This calls for some coffee.”
“We told you, there is no such thing right at the moment, they are all in hibernation, the rest grow wild in places around the world.”
“This world sucks, I may want to go back in to the pod.”
Fae laughed again.
“You spend a lot of time laughing at a man just woke up without coffee or Uisce Beatha in my hand.”
“Okay, what is your name?”
“You don’t know who I am?”
“Should I?” Fae asked.
“We have only your pod number, so if you wish to be known as Ten-twentyseven,” Doctor Ofir walked up to him with an injector of an amber fluid. “You will tell us what you like for a name.”
“This will help buffer your system. Your pH is too low.”
“What is it?”
“They are nanobots.”
“Um. If I don’t take them, would I be in danger?”
The doctor made a sound that reminded Fae of a sigh.
“It will take you longer to recover fully.”
“Fair enough. I have a horrid headache from no coffee, anything to get rid of that will be appreciated.”
“I have an analgesic for that.”
“Does it come in a glass?”
“No, but I can give it to you as a pill. No injection.”
“Sold.” He nodded. “Is it possible to get some exercise, walk around. I have a hobby of archery.”
“And my name is Archer Fletch Bowman.” He looked at the women. “Do not blame me, it’s the idiot that gave birth to me and typed in the blanks”
Doctor Ofir shook her head, not getting the humor, but Fae laughed.
The Archer Fletch Bowman, with a hobby of archery blamed the idiot at the keyboard for his name.