A Lonely, Dying Man Looking Down

The last thing I remember was being told that my cancer was terminal. I had – at most – two weeks to live. My doctor gave me two options aside from hospice: undergo an experimental process in which my whole being was broken down to so much subatomic dust and reassembled, or enter cryostasis and wait for a better option. I chose the latter, hoping I would be able to see my wife again; maybe medical science would take a leap and our 5 year age difference would simply be reversed.

I awoke to pain. Different than the dull throb of the cancer pain, like fire dancing on my flesh. Before I fell into a full panic, I realized I was inside a cryostasis pod. One of the selling points for the company I chose was their low-Earth orbit facility powered entirely by solar energy, no terrestrial carbon emissions, not even a use of valuable ground space with a large warehouse. But the view outside my pod didn’t look like the calm, white-walled facility from the brochure. Emergency lights flashed, making the corridor a crimson strobe. I could see bodies slumped in pods, cryoliquid leaking all over the floor. I shoved the door of my pod a few feet open.

I found the only thing that looked something close to a front office; a bank of computers, each one blinking dire messages. Low power, low oxygen, no radio. I could see Earth, could see both the megacities on the eastern and western seaboards, but I couldn’t talk to them. No one knew the little white dot in the sky was a lonely dying man looking down.

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