Tell yourselves whatever you’d like, but I’m afraid it doesn’t make it true, Mearth sighed, beginning to look impatient. Step aside Mandy, I have to remediate him, otherwise you’ll find yourself in a whole mess of trouble.You can’t do this, it’s wrong, Mandy insisted.You don’t have a choice, Mandy! Either you let his life compromise the lives of everybody else in the world, or you let me remediate him and get it over with, Mearth icily declared.…Do what she says, Mandy Valems…. Alecto added, standing up and staring with glazed eyes at Mearth.I can’t, said Mandy.…Go away! Alecto shouted at her suddenly, glaring with narrowed eyes, speaking in a voice that hardly sounded like his own. Get out of here, Mandy Valems! I hate you, I want you to leave me alone! Go home and don’t ever come back here!I…. Mandy started, looking totally shocked.I said I hate you, don’t you understand anything? Go away, get out of here! Alecto repeated menacingly, stepping forward in a threatening manner. He looked like a mad dog, shivering as he chased her away from his site. She tearfully took off running, seeming both shocked and horrified and he watched her leave for a moment with a blank expression, his dark eyes hollow. He looked like he was going to black out, but Mearth walked quickly towards him, for once not smiling at all. If it weren’t for her eyes, she would’ve looked like a person. That was very cruel of you to do, Sydney Tar Ponds. I thought you loved her, she disappointedly exclaimed.I do love her, she’s my friend and that’s why I said that stuff to her, Alecto replied forlornly. None of it’s true, I don’t hate her at all… but I know what’s going to happen and I don’t want her to see it, so I lied to her and told her I hated her… can you explain to her after… why I said all that to her?
Rebecca McNutt
The President called it the Epitome of the American dream. Daddy called it the unholy alliance of business and government. But all it really was, was America giving up. Bailing out in order to join the Financial Resource Exchange. A multinational alliance focused on one thing: profit. Fund global medical care to monopolize vaccines. Back unified currency to collect planet-wide interest. And provide the resources needed for a select group of scientists and military personnel to embark on the first trip across the universe in a quest to find more natural resources—more profit. The answer to my parents’ dreams. And my worst nightmare. And I know something about nightmares, seeing as how I’ve been sleeping longer than I’ve been alive. I hope. What if this is just a part of a long dream dreamt in the short time between when Ed locked the cryo door and Hassan pushed the button to freeze me? What if? It’s a strange sort of sleep, this. Never really waking up, but becoming aware of consciousness inside a too-still body. The dreams weave in and out of memories. The only thing keeping the nightmares from engulfing me is the hope that there couldn’t possibly be a hundred more years before I wake up. Not a hundred years. Not three hundred. Not three hundred and one. Please, God, no. Sometimes it feels like a thousand years have passed; sometimes it feels as if I’ve only been sleeping a few moments. I feel most like I’m in that weird state of half-asleep, half-awake I get when I’ve tried to sleep past noon, when I know I should get up, but my mind starts wandering and I’m sure I can never get back to sleep. Even if I do slip back into a dream for a few moments, I’m mostly just awake with my eyes shut. Yeah. Cryo sleep is like that. Sometimes I think there’s something wrong. I shouldn’t be so aware. But then I realize I’m only aware for a moment and then, as I’m realizing it, I slip into another dream. Mostly, I dream of Earth. I think that’s because I didn’t want to leave it. A field of flowers; smells of dirt and rain. A breeze ... But not really a breeze, a memory of a breeze, a memory made into a dream that tries to drown out my frozen mind. Earth. I hold on to my thoughts of Earth. I don’t like the dreamtime. The dreamtime is too much like dying. They are dreams, but I’m too out of control, I lose myself in them and I’ve already lost too much to let them take over. I push the dream-memory down. That happened centuries ago and it’s too late for regrets now. Because all my parents ever wanted was to be a part of the first manned interstellar exploratory mission and all I ever wanted was to be with them. And I guess it doesn’t matter that I had a life on Earth and that I loved Earth and that by now, my friends have all lived and gotten old and died and I’ve just been lying here in frozen sleep.
Beth Revis