Evidently, that had also been taken away from me. As I attempted to fall asleep, I could sense that rather than actually committing to the act of sleeping, my brain was having controlled shut-downs in areas that were not currently being stimulated by thought. It was an odd sensation, a small tingling until the unused areas were shut down and then back to normal. The only difference was that I felt in a state of rest.
This feeling was soon gone as a new disembodied voice filled the room. This time, the voice was a deep and authoritative male voice.
“Mr. Deacon. You have been in Stasis.”
I felt like offering a nonplussed shrug in response to this as it really meant nothing at all to me.
“I can see from your blank stare that that means nothing whatsoever to you. I will try to explain, but please interrupt me if you have any questions or if you do not understand.
“I will begin by explaining as simply as possible what Stasis is. Do you know what a social network is?”
“Kind of. It’s a few years since I studied any psychology.”
“Well, Stasis has been designed to be one big social network that is all around society and allows you to make transitions in and out of different social networks that are all around you.
“We have seen over the last few years the inception of several online social networks such as Friends Reunited that built on bulletin boards, chat rooms and IRC from the early days of the internet. There will soon be another one launching that we believe will really begin to take online social networks to the next level.”
As I processed what I was being told by this nameless voice, I obviously began to wonder as to where I fit into all of this. Either my thoughts had been read, or my place in all this was the next subject to be explained.
“Your part in this is merely coincidence. You were not selected in any way. You were simply working for our sister company, NoTech when we installed a new phone system. When you contacted Neville Godfrey, this created an entry point into Stasis and allowed the transition to take place. Obviously, I am very sorry that you were not aware of this at the time and I profusely apologise for any pain you endured during the transition.
“Essentially, the entry point into Stasis started a conversion process. Your body and brain were being transformed into pure energy so that they could exist in Stasis. As you are now aware, time in Stasis runs 360 times faster than normal. Because of the sheer amount of processing power that would be required, a Stasis bubble surrounded you during the transition and you were effectively being converted in Stasis time. This took one Stasis hour, or fifteen regular days.”
So, I’d been turned into living energy, a conceit that I had read in countless sci-fi novels and here I was, the human guinea pig for something that I was still having trouble actually believing.
“So, beyond being a social network and on the other end of a telephone system, what and where is Stasis?”
“The where is simple – it exists all around us. It does not exactly co-exist though, that would cause severe interaction problems. It is slightly out of phase with what we consider normal and exists beyond the three common dimensions in a transitional phase that envelopes those three dimensions. This transitional phase is what we call Stasis. The link is crucial, and this is the link that is tenuous. It needs to be powered down for five days a year and rebuilt before someone can return to Stasis.”
With each revelation that I was subjected to, I was at first confused but rapidly garnered a level of comprehension that would not have come so easily to me before my transition. Stasis had improved me. But how?
“At the moment, I think I only have the one question. What has Stasis done to me?”
“You mean changes to your body and mind?” I nodded to voice. “Stasis streamlined you, simple as that really. It was a side effect that we had hoped for but you are the living evidence that the connection process has made you more efficient in every way imaginable. It has taken away your excess and unnecessary weight, repaired any muscle and tissue damage and improved your stamina to your peak fitness levels. It has cleansed your body of all toxins and has essentially acted as a giant reset button.
“And then there is your brain, it has compartmentalised memories into an organised ‘filing system’ with any new information that is added adhering to the standards that have been laid down here.
“Then there is sleep, or lack thereof. It has restructured the hypothalamus so that it is constantly resting areas of the brain that are not required. It gives you fully conscious ‘power-naps’ all throughout the time you are awake. You will still be able to sleep as you know it, but you should find that you will only require this after prolonged exertion. However, it will get all the rest that it requires in about 30 to 45 minutes.”
I thought about the medical potential for this. At the same time it concerned me that it could be used for sinister purposes – the perfection of the human race by rewriting the code could set a dangerous precedent of various forms of human cleansing.
“It sounds too good to be true though. I can already feel that I have been turned into a better person. Everything that I would have wanted to improve had I been given the opportunity has been done. There has to be a drawback.”
The pause I got in reply said it all. “You obviously know about the time drawback. The other drawback is the one that you will not like. You have to go back into Stasis in five days time.”
Nothing surprised me any more and I had been fully expecting for a bombshell of that proportion to be fired right at me. All I could manage was a resigned “Why?”
“The link is broken, but not in the way that would stop you going back into Stasis. Unfortunately we are unable to repair it because you are the link to Stasis.”
This hit me like a planet killer. I had a little under five days until I would return to Stasis due to a reason that my 'captors' had not planned for.
“We have determined that when you made the initial transition that the link mechanism used was replicated within your Stasis energy and thus was incorporated into your reformed body. The mechanism is located in your spine and sadly cannot be removed. There is no way that we can stop you returning to Stasis as the mechanism will operate according to its programming.”
I was stuck, until medical science was advanced enough to allow a procedure to detach the mechanism. Unless it actually was my spine, in which case I was definitely going to be in and out of Stasis for a very long time.
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