By Alvin Finch - A short extract
The walk back to Morton's abode was uneventful. Katei
was unsure of how they were going to gain entry to the
house. Morton had already been mulling this over for a
few minutes, along with other things.
The house door was keyed to Morton's passport, and
'spare' ID cards, but was also dependent on his retina
pattern. He was worried that the time in the stasis
machine may have disrupted his eyes. He finally
verbalised his concerns to Katei, who now also mulled
over the problem as they strolled up to Morton's
Katei examined the scanning device at Morton's doorway.
She was surprised at how primitive it was. She fished
around in her pocket, and withdrew her mobile phone.
She cleared her throat, and said to Morton, "As it
happens, for some reason I still have a high definition,
semi-holographic facial photograph of you stored on a
memory slice in my phone." She called up the image,
and magnified the image of the eye to the same size as
Morton's eye. She held this in front of the scanner.
A L V I N F I N C H
Morton gave the door a command word, and the entry
LED glowed green, indicating that the door was now
open. Morton meanwhile failed to grasp the significance
of a woman keeping hold of a fellow's photographic
image for a number of years. This was slightly to Katei's
relief, but more to her annoyance.
Morton now in the familiar surroundings of home began
to relax slightly. He felt rather confused, and decided
that perhaps he had better sit down and review the situation.
Katei followed him through to the living area.
Morton took a deep sigh and his favourite seat. He
looked quizzically at Katei, realising how much older she
now looked. Less delicate he thought, more rounded, but
rounded in a pleasant way. She was definitely more
pleasing to the eye than the very delicate elf she had
appeared before (in his opinion anyway) Morton mused.
He tried to fathom why what had happened to him had
happened, and started to open his mouth to speak to
Katei. Katei pre-empted his vocalisation, with a probably
more sensible one of her own. "Tea, coffee, or perhaps
something stronger?" she enquired. Morton momentarily
considered the stronger option, but found himself
asking for a strong cup of tea, and "only a tiny dash of
that vile milk substitute stuff," adding "please" as he
realised that he may have been a bit stern in his tone, and
wanted to regain a polite stance.
As his listened to the water in the micro-kettle starting to
pop, the steam heating and washing out the tea, he
mused on the processes that his body had gone through,
and how it was that he had woken up in the lab several
years later than planned. Could his friend really have
C O L D S U S P E N D E R S
been the instigator he wondered, or was there something
deeper involved in it?