Everywhere is cold and numb. Slowly, the numbness disappears
and I begin to move my fingers, my toes, my hands, everything. Last
of all I open my eyes to a blinding white ceiling. Where am I? I feel
as if I’ve been asleep forever, my arms and legs are aching and my
eyelids feel heavy. A door opens and a man wearing a ridiculous
silver suit walks in.
‘Hello Jeremy, now I know this may be confusing…’
I turn around and face the man, ‘Who are you? Where am I?’
The man smiles to himself like I’m missing some personal joke.
‘My name is Charlie, you are in New New York, the year is 2120
and you have been cryogenically frozen for 100 years.’ His words
echo in my head. Cryogenically frozen for 100 years.
Charlie explains to me that he is my minder or host until I
complete initiation, which will take approximately two weeks.
‘So where are we going now?’ I ask my new companion as we turn
the corner of a wide long hallway.
‘Now, we go home and get you some rest.’
I follow him into what seems to be an elevator although it is made
of glass and has no buttons. As the doors slide open they reveal a
long glass pathway heading to a tube at the end. At the end of the
path Charlie presses his hand onto a keypad, then a few seconds later
two seats arrive in the tube and he ushers me to take one.
‘Welcome to the tube Jeremy, this is the only transport to and
from The Centre.’ I take my seat and the ride begins.
During our journey I look below, it is New York but not New
York. All around me are buildings without character, stark white,
shiny plastic. On the ground I see a silver pavement; no street signs,
no shops, no cafes, no life. In the middle of this perfect abyss lies a
gigantic ball of glass and colour. Above the glittering streets and
white buildings is a network of tubes identical to the one in which
I’m confined, all leading to the centre.
Charlie lives in one of the white fortresses, his is called Block 18.
When we reach the door of his home no keys are used, instead he
places his hand on a keypad and the door slides open ominously. As I
step into the room I feel like I am entering a hospital; everything is
sterile, too clean. There is a kitchen but it isn’t a kitchen. There are no
appliances just a bench, table, metal cupboard and a large TV screen.
I awake the next morning to an awful song that is resonating