51 comments

Fiction Science Fiction

“Name please.”

“Ryan Nero,” Ryan answered.

“ID Number?”

“ASD34523.”

The guard nodded and opened the doors to the underground chamber, revealing gray stone walls, and a high-tech looking computer at the end. There were two platforms on either side of the chamber, holding carbon fiber pods with a bluish substance inside them. Ice.

As Ryan walked into the chamber, he peered into the pods, with curiosity rippling over his face. He saw ghostly pale faces inside, eyes closed, almost like dead bodies. Which they practically were.

Ryan was inside the top-secret underground laboratory of ATLAS. ATLAS was an extremely confidential program, started by the government.

Ryan was one of the few test subjects of the ATLAS program, and was risking his life for the improvement of the world!

“Welcome,” a man said with a British accent, walking towards him. He was wearing a stainless white lab coat, and his face bore a very well trimmed brown mustache. He resembled Ryan, although he was older, “Mr, uh-”

“Ryan,” Ryan replied, “Ryan Nero.”

“Yes, well, my name is Doctor Alexander Algorithm — yes, my parents were mathematicians, one of the best in the world. And I see we look alike!” He added with a chuckle.

“Yup,” Ryan said, a grin rippling over his face. He wasn’t sure what else to say, so he just kept quiet.

“Back to business. Now, do you know why you are here?”

“Yes,” Ryan assured him. He was here to have his body frozen and to hopefully last hundreds of years in “hibernation.” He had chosen this because he didn’t see the point of living in the present world. He had lost his parents to a fatal car crash, and his brother was shot dead in battle. Ryan didn’t have kids, or a wife, or anything. Just a small flat, and a small platinum watch, to remind him of his father.

He could also escape his dark past, full of death and darkness, betrayals, and corruption. He gave a slight shiver even as he thought about it. It was all a secret now anyways. All the monsters of the underworld were gone, and he could escape his present life.

“Let me walk you through the procedures then,” Alexander told him with a small smile on his face, and lead Ryan towards one of the many pods inside the room. Another scientist was near the pod, clipboard in hand, with glasses. He was looking into it and writing on his board. Probably checking it for defections.

He looked up and found us walking towards him. He gave a slight nod and walked away towards the computer setup.

“This is the pod in which you shall be in during the freezing of your body,” Alexander said, “When you wake up — which will be in approximately 500 years — you shall be fit and fine. Now, once you wake up, the entire world might be extremely different from what it is right now.”

“I understand,” Ryan said.

“And there is also the possibility of you dying in the process of freezing your body. Many have faced this fate. We keep their bodies inside the pods, and dispose of them.”

“But … why? Couldn’t have you just reused the pods?”

“Once a human perishes inside one of those, it contaminates the entire thing. We cannot afford to keep the entire lab in danger, and that is why we do what we —”

Alexander suddenly wheezed and coughed, his face turning purple. Some of the other scientists cast pitying looks at him but didn’t come to his help.

“Doctor,” Ryan said, concerned, “Are you okay?”

Alexander shook his left hand at him while his right hand dove into his pocket. He pulled out an inhaler and kept the nozzle inside his mouth, and took deep breaths.

After he was done, he explained what had just happened. “Asthma,” he said, “The usual. Got it because of the air pollution you know? Dreadful stuff, dreadful indeed. And I take it that it is one of the reasons you decided to undertake this precarious job?”

“Yes,” Ryan said. It was a reason, but not as big of a one as his parents and brother. But it still was one. Plus, it was already harming the Earth and humans, so it’s better to be one of the safe ones, right?

“Anyways,” Alexander started, “I shall run you through the procedures now.”

He signaled to one of the scientists and waited. The scientist whom Alexander signaled to pulled a lever next to a number: 63.

Immediately, the bluish substance Ryan had seen inside the pod vanished. “That was to protect our body from the freezing cold inside,” Alexander explained, “That way, the lab does not get affected, and we stay safe. Win-win!

“Now, once you’re inside the pod, one of the scientists shall close the hatch. It can be opened from the inside, in case you suddenly wake up. Don’t worry,” he added at the look of horror on Ryan’s face, “We haven’t had any cases like that. But better to be safe than sorry.

“And once the hatch closes, you might feel a bit claustrophobic, but it will all be gone. Me or another staff member shall start the freezing. The temperatures inside the pod shall go subzero, up to -150 degrees Celsius. After that, your body shall go numb, and you’ll go off into cryogenic sleep. Then, by God’s grace, you shall survive for the next five hundred years. So, any questions?”

“Nope,” Ryan said.

“Great! I shall just show you how to get in now, and also close the hatch! But do not do anything! Stay right here.”

And Alexander heaved himself into the pod and shut the hatch.

Little did he and Ryan know, a junior assistant was present at the computer setup. He saw Alexander jump into the pod. But he thought that Alexander was Ryan. So, for reasons including “I have to impress the staff so that they’ll take me seriously,” he pressed the button next to the label numbered 63.

In doing so, he did not know that he had just doomed Alexander’s life for good, he just thought he was helping out. But when Ryan turned around, with a look of terror etched all over his face, did he know what had just happened.

October 05, 2020 13:21

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51 comments

WOW!!! It is not good, it is AMAZING!! Great job on this short story and make sure to never give up writing because you're great at it!! :)

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Akshat .
13:45 Oct 08, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Akshat .
13:40 Oct 05, 2020

Few things to say here: 1. I've submitted this story after a 3-week break, so it might be a little bad. 2. I might make another part, from Alexander Algorithm's POV. If you want one, say so in the comments! 3. What would you rate this on a scale of 1-10?

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Amany Sayed
13:57 Oct 05, 2020

1.Um, nope! I was intrigued from the start, from the little bit we see before we click, so I decided to read. It was awesome! 2. Yessss :) 3. I'd say maybe an 8. It was a bit rushed at the end. Other than that, I think you really did a cool job, and it's a really creative story. Keep writing!

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Akshat .
14:00 Oct 05, 2020

1. Thank you! 2. :) 3. Thank you so much for your honest feedback!

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Amany Sayed
14:03 Oct 05, 2020

No problem!

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Abigail Romick
21:16 Dec 12, 2020

What happens to Ryan? Unless they have extra pods they can't freeze him like planned and they can't just let him without jeopardizing the project. Also, is it at all possible that Alexander survives? It would be interesting to see the future through his eyes.

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Akshat .
03:44 Dec 14, 2020

Well, I wasn't thinking of what happens to Ryan. All the other pods were booked by other test subjects. Once Alexander froze, he would only unfreeze in the future. I was considering writing a second part through Alex's eyes, about the future! Thanks for reading!

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Abigail Romick
03:59 Dec 14, 2020

I'm glad I read it. It was a great read although I think you could tie a descendant of Ryan into the story.

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Akshat .
09:19 Dec 14, 2020

Thanks, but it's too late now.

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Shae Greyfeather
12:02 Oct 16, 2020

If Alexander were real this is what I would say to him "WHY WOULD YOU GO IN THE POD IF THE POD IS MEANT FOR RYAN!" I would be very annoyed with him I would give this story a 8.

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Akshat .
12:56 Oct 16, 2020

Haha lol. Thanks for the score!

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Niveeidha Palani
23:40 Oct 14, 2020

1. No, it wasn't bad. It didn't seem rushed, and had a good flow! 2. I want one. I'll read it! :) 3. Hmm, I would say about 8?

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Akshat .
03:12 Oct 15, 2020

Thank you!

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Niveeidha Palani
03:32 Oct 15, 2020

No problem!

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22:31 Dec 01, 2020

So, I upvoted five of your stories. Will do the other six soon.

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Akshat .
02:59 Dec 02, 2020

Wow! Thanks a lot! I'll do yours later too!

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19:47 Dec 02, 2020

You're welcome a lot! Thank you so much!

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22:49 Oct 11, 2020

So, one thing I noticed early on is that the exposition clogs the actual story, and gives an unnatural feel. In short stories, it's often tempting--and sometimes necessary--to fill the pages with exposition about backstory, and what's going on. However, the story must also follow a natural progression of thought. For example: when Ryan thinks about what he has left of his parents and brother: flat and watch. A much better way to get this in (for at least one piece of information) would be to have Ryan look down at his wrist for the time (...

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Akshat .
03:14 Oct 12, 2020

Thank you a lot! Don't worry, it's very good critique, and I appreciate it a lot! Thanks for helping me out! I'll keep these in mind for my next story (Which might come out today or tomorrow!)

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13:07 Oct 12, 2020

Keep on writing. :D

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Akshat .
13:44 Oct 12, 2020

:)

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☆ Ariadne ☆
18:28 Oct 06, 2020

Wow, this is wonderful! The ending was kinda abrupt, but it was alright for a 3K word story. Well done! I feel that the last line's wording could be changed. I love the second-last one, but the last kinda sounds off. "But when Ryan turned around, with a look of terror etched all over his face, did he know what had just happened." The "did he know what had just happened" could be reworded, I think. Maybe "nobody could deny that he had just realized the damage he had done." Or something like that. Keep it up! Also, when is your bday? I'd li...

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Akshat .
03:46 Oct 07, 2020

Thank you so much! It only has 1k words actually, not 3k. The ending WAS kinda abrupt though, even I agree. I'll change that soon! Thanks! I'll give you a hint :) My bday comes in 92 days as of now! Thanks again!

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☆ Ariadne ☆
03:58 Oct 07, 2020

Oh, no wonder! I actually calculated that - January 6th? Sorry if my math is wrong...

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Akshat .
04:13 Oct 07, 2020

Super close! Add 1!

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☆ Ariadne ☆
04:31 Oct 07, 2020

Oh, dang! I knew I screwed up somewhere! January 7th, then?

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Akshat .
05:02 Oct 07, 2020

Yup!

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Woooah! This is so cooool!

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Akshat .
15:18 Oct 05, 2020

Thaaank yooou!

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Keerththan 😀
14:44 Oct 05, 2020

This was really creative. It was an interesting take on the prompt and I really enjoyed it. When he first said that number, yo, that code. I thought he was gonna board a flight.😂 And I don't think this is fiction too!😂😂 Anyways, wonderful story after a long break. For some critique: 1)ASD34523 It's not a mistake. But, I don't think he had be so fluent to remember this number. You could say like "he took a card" or something. But, its alright the way you wrote. 2)He looked up and found us walking towards him. Who do you refer ...

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Akshat .
14:58 Oct 05, 2020

Thank you so much! 1. I think I'll keep that the way it is. Thanks though! 2. Thanks for pointing it out! Lemme change it now! 3. Pretty sure it's "dispose of them" 4. Thank you! Editing it now. 5. I know what you mean, but I'm not sure how to replace it. 6. I'm gonna keep it as a period because it's dark and horrifying to the assistant to see that he had just frozen a person! Thank you so much!

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Keerththan 😀
15:11 Oct 05, 2020

Welcome! 1)no problem! 2) my pleasure! 3) okay! 4) No problem again! 5) That reason was not as big as the reason for Ryan. (just a suggestion) 6)Yeah, he had frozen a person, which is like a exclamation. Okay, no problem if its a period. Welcome! 🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆 🎆🎆😎😎😎😎😎🎆 🎆😎😎😎😎😎😎🎆 🎆😎😎🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆 🎆😎😎🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆 🎆😎😎🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆 🎆😎😎🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆 🎆😎😎😎😎😎😎🎆 🎆🎆😎😎😎😎😎🎆 🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆 🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆 🎆😎😎🎆🎆😎😎🎆 🎆😎😎🎆🎆😎😎🎆 🎆😎😎🎆🎆😎😎🎆 🎆😎😎🎆🎆😎😎🎆 🎆😎😎🎆🎆😎😎🎆 🎆😎😎🎆🎆😎😎🎆 🎆😎😎😎😎😎😎🎆 🎆🎆😎😎😎😎🎆🎆 🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆 See this pattern and say what you understand!

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Akshat .
15:19 Oct 05, 2020

:) I think it says C U? BTW, did you make that yourself?

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Keerththan 😀
16:04 Oct 05, 2020

:) Yeah, right. Nope, its a pattern. ☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️ ☁️😁😄☁️☁️☁️ ☁️😁😄☁️☁️☁️ ☁️😁😄☁️☁️☁️ ☁️😁😄☁️☁️☁️ ☁️😁😄😂😄☁️ ☁️😁😄😂😄☁️ ☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️ ☁️😁😄😂😄☁️ 😁😄☁️☁️😁😄 😁😄☁️☁️😁😄 😁😄☁️☁️😁😄 😁😄☁️☁️😁😄 ☁️😁😄😂😄☁️ ☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️ ☁️😁😄☁️☁️☁️ ☁️😁😄☁️☁️☁️ ☁️😁😄☁️☁️☁️ ☁️😁😄☁️☁️☁️ ☁️😁😄😂😄☁️ ☁️😁😄😂😄☁️ ☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️

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Sunny 🌼 🖤
23:17 Oct 12, 2020

Oh, shiiiiiii- My man Alexander is doomed. Rest in pieces. Great twist! I loved it. 1. Story was epic, I have no clue what you're talking about 2. YES PLEASE! 3. Solid 8. Or 9...idk

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Akshat .
02:47 Oct 13, 2020

Thanks a lot!

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Amogh Kasat
03:51 Oct 07, 2020

It's a wonderful story S a n t a C l a w s! great job and the ending was abrupt

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Akshat .
04:14 Oct 07, 2020

Thank you! Yes, it is.

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14:25 Oct 05, 2020

ooh! Nice atmosphere!! I think I just got an idea!! Orr maybe not. Can ya help me? I can't get any ideas for any prompt. :( back to the story, Loved the atmosphere and thrill. Narrated well. It also is very realistic, so good job on that. Overall, 9.8/ 10. I guess the ending was a little hasty.

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Akshat .
14:54 Oct 05, 2020

Thank you! Sure! Yeah, other people have told me that, and I do agree! Thanks!

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15:39 Oct 05, 2020

Welcome!

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Hriday Saboo
14:01 Oct 05, 2020

And Last thinge haha_ so like keep it A.T.L.A.S And i finally have 100+ followers on reedsy

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Akshat .
14:03 Oct 05, 2020

ATLAS is like how FEAR is named. Congrats!

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Hriday Saboo
14:05 Oct 05, 2020

K

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Hriday Saboo
13:59 Oct 05, 2020

Hi Akshat. A pretty cool story. 1 mistake_ end the story with a '?' not a full stop. Yeah i do want another part. But in that, Alexander needs to die in sleep. That'd be pretttyyy cool. And tats it. Rating= 9.5/10

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Akshat .
14:02 Oct 05, 2020

Thank you! No, it's actually supposed to end with a period. For the second part, I was thinking something like Alexander actually freezes and goes to the future. Thanks though!

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Hriday Saboo
14:05 Oct 05, 2020

I think that it would be more cool to kill Alex as then the other person- sorry I forgot his name is like scared 😱

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Akshat .
14:05 Oct 05, 2020

I don't really see how it brings the story forward. His name's Ryan Nero. Thanks for the suggestion though!

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Hriday Saboo
10:51 Oct 08, 2020

Pls read my new story

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Akshat .
11:20 Oct 08, 2020

Sure!

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