Doctor Walker adjusted several virtual dials and slides on her display before issuing her verbal command. “Initiate restoration. Authorization Walker zero nine one seven one two.”
A digitized female voice, like the one in the elevator, echoed from the ceiling above them. “Senior executive approval required.”
Doctor Hao looked at Doctor Harris. “Would you like the honor?”
She smiled. “Why thank you, Doctor Hao, I believe I would. Authorization Harris alpha epsilon zero one zero three five two.”
“Restoration approved. Initiating sequence now,” the digital voice echoed.
The holodisplays in front of Doctors Hao and Walker changed to show a three-dimensional image of the person inside the capsule. Several readouts appeared alongside the image showing the patient's core temperature, heart rate and respiration. Doctor Harris noted that the patient's core temperature was minus 136 degrees Celsius and all other readings were zero. Perfectly normal for a person in moderate cryogenic suspension.
Full suspension involved temperatures below minus 196 degrees C but the patient had been warmed slightly for the neurotransfer procedure. Overlaid on the image were graphical indicators for cellular and neural activity. These indicators showed minimal cellular activity but no activity in the brain or nervous system. Also normal.
“All readings normal and rapid warming is in progress,” Doctor Walker reported.
The temperature reading started counting up to zero at the rate of about one degree Celsius per second. Cellular activity slowly increased with the temperature but all other indicators remained flat until core temperature rose above zero, at which point the first signs of neurological activity appeared in the brain stem. All eyes were on the holodisplays as the subject’s core temperature passed ten degrees Celsius.
“Ion exchange returning to normal across all neural pathways.” Doctor Berkovic said, gesturing at her holodisplay until the whole-body display was replaced with a three-dimensional rendering of the patient's brain. “Synaptic signaling is a little low but within range.”
“Increase cortical stimulation by point zero three percent,” Doctor Hao instructed. “I don't want to risk any further memory loss.”
“Increasing cortical stimulation by point zero three,” Doctor Berkovic repeated as she manipulated a set of virtual controls.
“Synaptic activity has stabilized and all readings are normal,” she added
Doctor Walker repeated the information that appeared on her display. “Respiration started and heart rate is ten beats per minute and climbing. Blood pressure is 90 over 50.”
The temperature reading stopped at 37 degrees Celsius, or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit—normal human body temperature. Doctor Walker watched closely as the heart rate indicator climbed to fifty beats per minute, blood pressure went to 120 over 76 and respiration settled in at twelve breaths per minute. All body systems were normal, and the patient was breathing on his own.
“Restoration complete,” the digitized voice intoned.
The humming noise was replaced by a sucking sound as the cryogas was evacuated from the capsule. The thick gas was gone within seconds and they could see a physically fit male lying inside. He appeared to be in his mid-thirties, was about two meters tall and had the physique of an Olympic athlete.
Dozens of tubes were inserted into various parts of his body and he had electrodes attached to his head, chest and along his spinal column. After the gas cleared, a robotic arm inside the capsule removed the tubes from the patient's mouth, arms and legs. Its job done, the arm disappeared into the bottom of the capsule. A second later a loud hissing sound signaled the release of the vacuum seal holding the lid in place—a robotic arm descended from the ceiling to remove it.
“Go ahead and wake him up. Two CCs should do it,” Doctor Hao instructed.
Doctor Walker selected the appropriate dose on her display, causing yet another robotic arm to emerge from the side of the pod and inject the stimulant into the patient's neck.
A few seconds later the patient's eyes fluttered but didn't open. His heart rate jumped up to sixty-two beats per minute, and he was breathing noticeably faster.
Doctor Harris stepped closer to the pod.
“What's wrong?” she asked.
Doctor Hao looked at his display. “He's fine. Give him a minute. If he doesn't wake up, we will give him another CC of Adreneron.”
Just then a spike appeared on the display showing a big increase in brain activity.
“And here he comes now,” Doctor Berkovic said.
The patient opened his eyes for a second but then quickly closed them again.
“Ambient light only,” Doctor Harris ordered.
The light diminished until it was the same soft blue glow as in the hallway.
“There, that's better. Try again.”
The patient slowly opened his eyes and scanned the room before locking his gaze on Doctor Harris.
“Don't try to sit up yet,” she said as she took the patient's hand in hers. “Give yourself a few minutes to acclimate.”
The man in the capsule blinked his eyes repeatedly as he tried to focus.
“Lil...li...Lily?” he asked.
Doctor Harris smiled as she put the man’s hand to her lips. “No Papa, it's Aubrey.”
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