After a few minutes of simmering of my nerves, I began to put my brain to use. Wherever I was, I had to know of my geographically location. And more immediately, I had to find a way out of this pod I was. So far, it was a hard plexi-glass material moist with air. I could see one blurred source of blue light that momentarily flashed in the distance. I tried to figure out where I was
At first, I had used the will of force, and had tried to hit hard on the glass surrounding. I had tried to peer my vision through the glass, which was only a futile and impossible attempt. Frustration was beginning to rent through my cold naked body. I was naked.
The colour of my skin was now a few shades lighter, tending towards teal. I tried to remember how it was when I had my first time travel experience. I was Sam. But… wait did I come back as Sam? I couldn’t tell. And there was no way I would know if there was no hope of getting out of this case, or enclave. Or cell- whatever this was.
The thoughts of Sally and her grandma still lingered in my mind; and the mystery words Grandma Anna had forced me to read, still somehow clung to the ridge of my tongue. I would remember them, this I was sure, but I didn’t think it was absolutely as expedient as getting out of this cocoon I arrived in.
Slimy mint green liquid suddenly began to sip into this cocoon through the plexiglass which for the time first I began to realize was made of some sort of semi-permeable material. I adjusted my head a bit so that the liquid didn’t get in through my eyes. In less than two calculated minutes, I had inclined my head the most acute way possible, to avoid the slimy smelly liquid down my lungs and throat.
By the time it filled past my chin and lined the tip of my lips, my struggle became real. I realize if I didn’t get out of this casing, I was going to drown.
I pushed on the lid. Well assuming the top was a lid. I hit with my arms and legs on the side of the glass. Nothing bulged. Nothing eased. The liquid kept filling. Seconds later, I had my lips sealed tight, and was inflating my lungs with as much air as possible. Only too sad to have to release the air so I could take in maybe one last draw and extend my life some seconds longer.
The liquid gushed past the hair follicle on its way to the bulb of my eardrums. I heard bubbles escape as more liquid took the left over space. I struggled with no greater force than I had earlier exasperated. Truth, I was running on residual strength. But stupid me was burning more energy than was permitted by my scientific mind, howbeit sixty-plus years obsolete.
I chilled and let all my struggles stop. I began to burn less energy as it got to the turn of shutting my eyes. I was getting back to the weightlessness I had first got here with. My spirit was on the final process of levitating out of this body. I could feel the lightness of this body. No I wasn’t floating.
I stuck my nose on to the roof of the glass. With a sense of finality, I took the last air permissible without sucking in the liquid. Then I dropped my head into the liquid, letting all my body senses partake in the immersion. I allowed myself think of my baptism long time ago when I was only a teenager.
My mind shifted to Anna and Sally.
Anna didn’t tell me about this… Was there going to be a resurrection? Was this really the future I was suppose to come. Abi na 3015 dem carry me go? I sometimes thought in Pidgin English. And it just happened now.
Minutes passed, and I tried not to fool myself that I had been submerged for hours. I stayed in there, realizing that man’s instinct for survival could keep him alive longer than anything else.
I wouldn’t say I know why the thoughts of Malcom Gladwell and his books sipped into my submerged brain, but right now, I was thinking about his postulation on the concepts of choking and panicking. Which between the spectrums of failure was I now experiencing?
The only words that arranged and aligned themselves in my mind was the words were Grandma Anna insisted I read from the book.
Tsayt iz gegrindet far mir, aun nit mir far mol.
I began to feel my heartbeat slow down, the pulsating veins in my head began to ease, as if going placid.
The memory of Sam that I once saw in the hospital mirror flickered in my mind. Images played in snippets through my head, as if my mind was trying to sieve through its vast amount of data for certain useful information.
Images of when I saw my son for the first time, as my father. And the silver watch locket he had given me that night in my room. That white clad room.
… The silver watch Grandma Anna had given me on that seat as I fell out of the past present into the present future.
I was controlling the panic which I should have experienced while drowning in this smelly slimy mint green liquid.
I heard a sound. Or did I?
I remained still, refusing to let go of my chance at life, and surrender to a glimmer of false hope. A mirage.
I heard a beep… More beeps. And then a vibrating sound.
The top of the cocoon slid open and the liquid gushed out all at once. I jumped to a sitting position and sucked all the air I could. I gasped, and fought my lungs to work.
My vision slowly adjusted to the dark colour in the room, as my face gradually drained of the liquid. I looked around for anything familiar to tell me where I was. This place looked like a high tech laboratory, with flashes and beeps revealing that lots of work went on here. I couldn’t see anyone.
A few other cocoons, well if I could call it that, glowed mint green colour and a bit of frost gathering around them.
I could only imagine what were in the other cocoons. I knew I had to do something other than seat in this drained puddle. I felt the muscle on my arm twitch, and I responded by stretching it.
“What have we got here, buggie?”
I snapped to my right to see the voice that spoke. I had not only inclined my head it total incredulity, my mouth was also left wide open. A few metres to my left were two objects. Objects made of steel. Or is it iron? Or Aluminium? Whatever.
I should have panicked and screamed profanities, but the fear that was released into my bloodstream had long immobilized me before I my brain could think.
I tried to decide between the two object, the one which spoke. They both stared at me with unblinking eyes. I waited for them to make their first move.
“O boy. I’m confused. What do you think?” This was the short one that replied.
These were robots. I concluded, and felt I was quick at that. This realization made me all the more petrified. How in the world would my first contact back in my future be with robots?
All the while I dreamed and wondered about getting back to the future, I had envisaged me waking up on the hospital bed, just like the first time, with friends and family standing over me, praying that I came back to life.
I realized how wrong I was in allowing these things make the first move. Before I could move a muscle, they were right by my cocoon, x-ray eyes focused on me.
I was almost going to scream blood of Jesus. But then again, I only closed my eyes tight, wishing my fears away.
“But how can this be?” One of the robots said.
I slowly opened my eyes to see one of them observing me so critically, like I was an experiment gone wrong. My teeth vibrated vigorously.
“How is it even possible?” The one by the left asked the other which stood a few inches taller.
“Why are you so rhetorical?”
“Am I? Aren’t we suppose to ask as many questions as possible, till be have a favorable conclusion?”
I slowly looked between the two – what- robots, right? Okay. I heard them so clearly, I suspected a prank from someone behind some wall, or monitor.
“You sure will get yourself baked one day?”
“You think so?”
“Shut up, buggie. He is looking at you. Right at you.” The tall one was saying to its colleague.
Yes, I was mesmerized more by what I heard than what I saw. I remembered Peter, the airbus I drove in with Suss and the rest of the family, the first time I came away from my original life. Now I wondered how these two robots argued with each other.
“Yes, he’s looking at me because I was the one who decided to save his life. He feels a sense of gratitude, I think.”
“You wish. I was the one who saved him. I told you something wasn’t right over here, remember?”
“What I remember is that I was the one who thumbed the button. Hence, I saved his life.”
“But I asked you to, remember.”
“Stop asking me if I remember. I don’t forget. Remember?”
Did these two even remember I was still here? If they did, they sure were very distracted. I stared at my naked body sitting in this half empty cocoon. I was quickly catching cold, and I tell the truth, I lie not, I couldn’t but imagine what it would be like if these ‘things’ decided to pull out one of my joints. Or even organ sef.
I clamped my wet laps together. The green liquid splashed off the glass case.
“Hmm,” at last the robots felt it was time to attend to me. “So buggie, what have we got in our hands?” the short one asked.
“This case is one of a dead coming back to life. Twice.”
“Twice. Remember the first time? When Doctor Von gave the report? He said ‘this must be a miracle, the honorable’s son is back to life?”
“Sweet mercy, that was figurative. Then, he was in a coma. Doctor simply said this because it was he was out for so long.”
“You mean –in.”
“In. In? What are you saying?”
“You said Doctor said he was out. And I’m saying ‘in’. He was ‘in’ coma, not ‘out’ coma.”
“Now I’m sure you are bent on making me go crazy. I don’t understand you anymore.”
“No, I think you do. Perfectly.”
The tall one sighed, and it was wonderful to see its chest heave with disappointment.
“Dude, we have a case here in our hands.”
“Yes, a case of a dead man coming back to life.”
“Again. That’s history.”
They turned at me again. This time, maybe trying to determine what they should do with me. Now I know I was dead. Sam was dead. If I was still Sam here, anyway.
I needed to get out of this chilling water, and I wasn’t sure how. I looked into what was supposed to be the eyes of one of the robots.
“Hi guys,” I said. Ripping my hand off the green water, and placing it on the glass rim. I hoped they responded well to my greeting.
“Dead man speaks convincingly. And I think I know what we should do.” The shorter robot seemed to be finally getting into panic mood.
“And that is?”
“Alert Dr Islo?”
“Wait. In as much as that sounds like our best option, I believe if we give this a few more seconds of thought, we could react better, and become heros.”
“Dude, now I know you are not just a crazy fellow, you have finally proved to me that your narcissistic traits and your need to take shine are something that needs to be checked.”
“Yeah. I just checked.” What I suppose was the lips of the taller robot extended in a smile attempt.
“Hi guys,” I said again.
“What? Dead man says hi the second time.”
“That’s why I said you should give this a second thought.”
“No, I think you shouldn’t have stopped the machine.”
“But you did. Remember.”
“But you told me to.” The shorter one eyed his colleague.
“Now, I am to blame. Would that mean that I am to take the glory if this works out perfectly.”
“Yes, you’ll definitely be the one to bear the brunt. Cause all I see here is doom.”
“Yeah, I see this doom result to a bloom.”
For the second time, these two creatures/machines/robots/whatever clearly ignore me and begin this unending rant with each other.
“Yes,” they once again stopped their argument, and stared at me as if they were all of a sudden just seeing me for the first time. They cleared their throat at the exact same time.
“Yes. Hi buggie. Sorry for the trouble. My partner here is a bundle of distraction,” said the taller one.
“Hi.” The short one decided to follow a new route of approach, and not argue again.
“Where am I?” I asked. Now I was shivering, and my teeth grated against each other.
“How do I answer that question?” The shorter one moved closer to me like he was now in charge. He put a finger across its slit of a mouth, like he was in some deep thoughts.
“Just tell the dude where he is, must you always attempt to make a significant appearance every time?
Did these two things have to argue about everything?
“You are in the A-PIT laboratory, which is a sub-lab to the DiVivo Facility. We run autonomous operating from that of the entire hospital facility.” It was the tall one who gave the information at the end.
I nodded my head, thinking how the new information was to benefit me. “Thanks guys.”
“You are welcome.” The short one said. When it sensed the tall one wasn’t going to respond to my gratitude, it shoved it where the rib was supposed to be.
I smiled. This was massive improvement in artificial intelligence. It was beyond imagination. I was sure their intelligence was much more than that of many people from past I came from.
“Can you get me out of here, I’m freezing. Please.”
“Oh, sure.” They both moved towards me extended their metal arms. I withdrew at first reaction.
“Common, we don’t bite.” The short one said.
“Maybe just ones in a while.” The taller one said with an expressionless face. As soon as it saw the fear in my eyes, it boasted out in laughter. “Yeah, just kidding.”
The help down from the glass container was easier than I thought. I felt like paper weight with the ease they lifted me from both shoulders.
“So you guys say I’m dead. Or I am supposed to be dead. Which is right?” They helped me into a plastic chair, which was surely as cold as the glass container.
“You are a dead man. So says the Bureau of Mortality.” The tall one said.
It moved away from me and accessed information from a desk. A screen popped to life from a laser source. Then information began to scroll up as I read.
I read the information as fast as I could. I was confirmed dead just two days ago, and had been in Neuro-emersion since then. Antimortal cause was complicated brain concussion which led to coma. So I was already dead for two days. That was certainly as a result of me leaving here back to my original present.
Was that why Grandma Anna said I was getting late in returning to the future?
Neuro-emersion. That stands for brain emersion, right?
“Here, put this on.” The short robot handed me a clothe. I stretched it out before me, and realized it was a jumpsuit.
“A lady’s jumpsuit?” I looked at the shorter robot.
“Yeah. That belongs to Dr Islo. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind after I explained what happened in her absence.”
“Thank you,” I said. Still scrutinizing the dress. How was I supposed to get into this?”
“So what’s the implication of what just happened? I mean, me coming back to life. Again.”
“Well,” the tall one seemed to think about it. “It means the whole brine process that was to be ready before next week would no longer be?”
“And what does that mean?” I asked again.
“It means the next process cannot be achieved.”
“What’s the next process?”
“Harvesting of stem cells, brain cells, and every useful organ in the body.”
“Why is that? Why not just bury the dead?”
“Why waste research resources and organs that could be very useful to humanity and machine?”
“Wow. So I was already set to be used for research.” I tried zipping up the dress all the way to my chest. It was impossible. My groin was choked up in the dress, with no space to breathe.
“We are even surprised you look good, because so far, brine has been used to flush waste through your system.”
“I think I’m hungry.”
The statement definitely made them stare at me for more than a second. It was very dramatic, I wished Sally was here.
“You see,” the short one had his voice raised at its tall colleague. “This is getting out of control. I’m not supposed to be working this weekend. Now we have to provide food for this man from the dead. I told you. I said it was necessary that we alerted Dr Islo but you refused. Now you have to provide food for the dead man.”
“It’s just food. Food, buggie.”
“Really. Did you say just food? Did I hear you say food? Don’t you realize that you will have to provide every other thing for this dead man? From food, to clothing, to warmer clothing, to a house to live in, to entertainment.”
I just watched the robot rant so intelligently. What on earth had science done with artificial intelligence? I was in a state of incredulity mixed with perplexity and astonishment.
“Do you guys have a name? I mean, like Sam?” I remembered Peter again.
“Sure, why not.” I could swear the short robot was on the verge of losing his cool. He was even getting to shine, as if perspiring from its casing.
“My name is Isaaci. And that short dude is Abati.” The tall one said.
Wow, these things are awesome.
“I’m not short. Don’t refer to me as short. That’s defamation of my personality.”
“So you guys just hang in here all weekend, doing nothing.” I asked.
How Isaaci and Abati were able to keep straight faces was amazing. Everything about these guys were amazing. They stared at me, and I was too amazed to realize I had said something wrong.
“If we ‘did nothing’ the process of your salinity will be totally irreversible now.” The short one said.
“True.” The two of them were in agreement for the first time.
“Sorry, guys, but I still am famished.”
“Come with us.”
They immediately shuffled to the end of a row and turned to the right. I followed. Intensely monitoring them. A few ideas were brewing in my head.
We stopped in front of a hug transparent fridge that had all sort of glass containers. I wasn’t sure if these were laboratory reagents or potable liquid. Maybe these guys had brought me to the wrong refrigerator.
“There you go,” Abati tilted its head in eager delight to meet my need.
“Sorry, but these looks like a storage for your chemicals and what have you. I can’t see anything of interest here.”
“Yes. That’s true. And that’s what Dr Islo hopes. She keeps her drinks and cookies away from the reach of others by hiding them here.”
I thought of the hazardous implication of that, but also wondered at what personality the said doctor had.
“Hmm, Dr Islo sounds like a delightful person to meet. Should I look forward to making acquaintance with her?”
The two robots looked at each other, and smiled in their own way.
“Yes.” “No.” Both Isaaci and Abati voiced their opinion at the same time.
“Yes, no. Which one?” I asked as I made an attempt at the door of the fridge.
I pulled at the door, but it didn’t bulge. Not until I tried it the third time, did I give up and paved the way for either of my companions to help out.
“I think it depends on the time of the day.” Isaaci said as he moved into place to open up the fridge. “She’s must friendly on Mondays and Tuesdays when the week is new. While she tends to transfer a bit of aggression on us because she has to go home for the entirety of the weekend.”
The weekend. I was trying to understand something here.
“When she decides to be nice, she would ask us what work could she take home with her while she’s away for the weekend.”
“She definitely loves her job.” I figured that out.
“Well, I wished I was in her shoes, and get to do something else apart from hang around the lab. Sometimes it’s crazy here, especially on weekends.” Abati confided.
“That’s exactly why I opted that we didn’t call Dr Islo or anyone for that matter. This guy around with us for the weekend – that’s a huge company he would make.”
“After all, I agree you are smart.” Abati said.
Safe from their design and what they were made of, there was nothing from their interaction that showed that these guys weren’t humans. They didn’t just have superhigh artificial intelligence, they also showed a huge capacity in empathy and at making critical decisions.
My mind began to work really hard at thinking at the challenges this present world must have conquered to create this kind of companion. Did they have limits, were there laws in place to control the creation and advancement of this technology? I thought of —
The door to the fridge eventually slid aside and the frost from it leaped at us. The air was refreshing.
“There you go. Dead man.”
I paused. Dead man? “You still think I’m dead?” I asked Isaaci.
“Well, technically. You are dead. Still dead, I mean. Because once we agree that you are alive, it conflicts what we have on our information slog. And that means a pivotal change in things here. We would have to contact authority, and that means…”
I widened my eyes. “And that means what?”
“It means, we can’t have you for the entire weekend.” Abati completed.
Oh, I see. I only nodded my head. I even sighed for emphasis sake. So I had to decide if this would at the end of the day pay off. What if I didn’t agree, and they go ahead to make that call, would there be something I may have found out here? Maybe not.
“Hey mister dead man, don’t think we are holding you hostage. We just want to have you here with us for the weekend.”
“On one condition.” I found myself say.
They stopped their beeping and vibration abruptly.
“You bid all my requests.”
I looked from one robot to the other. They didn’t make any sound. No moves either. Were they processing the information? Was it supposed to take that long?
“What do you think, buggie?” Isaaci asked his colleague.
“What do YOU think?” Abati replied almost immediately.
I wasn’t sure what I asked for was even the right thing. I thought about what the consequences might be if they went ahead to bid my wishes in a time as this when I was many years behind. From the way they stalled, it seems the request to bid all my request would result to a bridge in their modus operandi. I was about to take back my wish when Isaaci spoke.
“Ok, we will provide whatever request within our jurisdiction. We will not divulge any information that would result to the breakdown of our system. If we do, we self-destruct.”
“Actually in the real sense, we can’t even give you such information because we’ve got operational control.” Abati emphasized.
It was my turn to pause a little and think about what they just said.
“What part of the world were you living before you died. You think slowly.”
“What I would presumably need is just information about events. Like politics, news, games, and all. Nothing personal, or encroaching.”
“You love games? What’s your best game?” Abati asked.
“Ahm, football. Soccer.”
“Say what? For real?” Isaaci was getting hysterical.
“Dead man loves soccer.” Abati announced.
“Dead man’s goin’ to return to the grave.” Isaaci replied.
I thought of what to say. “Dead man won’t be goin’ alone.”
They laughed in a zombie kind of way. Was I scared?
“Can I have another taste of the juice?” Abati asked. “I have always wanted to taste it, but Dr Islo wouldn’t be part of that.”
“Sure,” I said, extending the straw towards the short robot. It hardly took any sip before it felt satisfied.
“Ahh, This juice can make me change my career to working at a vineyard. It’s so delicious.”
“Really?” I thought. “You can change career?”
“He is full of dreams, dead man. Today he wants to be a newscaster, the next day he wants to president.” Issaci said, as he managed to drop a few crumbs from the biscuit in the slit where the mouth was supposed to be.
“Dreams do come true. I believe.” Abati wouldn’t give up.
“I believe. Too.” I was slow to say.
So far, I had finished two wraps of Danish Cookies and three hidden rubber cans of a drink labeled Talsa. It tasted so good. I hoped it wasn’t made from one of those genetically modified fruits the world was starting to grow, back in the day. But, hey, it tasted really really good I wished Sally was here to try it.
The TV that had popped on to life from a so called sigma source was showing breaking news on CNN. For a brief nudging moment, I wanted to tell these two folks of the Christian Amanpours, Hala Goranis and Richard Quests I used to know from back in the day on this same station, but I was sure they would know. All they had to do was delve into their archive of stored information.
“It’s time to play. What’s your favourite team?” Isaaci asked, as it/he shuffled away toward another part of the room. “Come with me.”
Is it all these two guys do for the entire weekend? Just faff around and play? Weren’t they expected to be monitoring the things that went on in this lab?
“Haven’t you got a favourite club, dead man?” Abati echoed.
I thought about it for a second. There certainly was no Messi or Ronaldo in this times. I wondered what was on the offer for gaming entertainment now.
“FC Barcelona?” I answered with a question. Wondering if that would suffice.
“Really? Barcelona?” Isaaci stopped on its track and turned around to look at me. I couldn’t say if he was surprised or disappointed.
“What? Anything wrong?” I bore my palms out in the open.
“No. No way! Where have you been all my life, dead man?”
“Ah-I,” I stuttered, not knowing how to react at the exuberance of this things. I’ve been dead. “I’ve been around?” I watched as Isaaci moved towards me and the hugged me. I was immobilized for a few seconds. How did the technology advance to the extent of superhi artificial intelligence? I didn’t think I would stop asking the question. I really wonder if these robots one day won’t try to create or recreate their own world. I thought of all the sci fi movies I’ve seen, and how robot took over the world and eliminated humans.
I cringed a little as I felt Isaaci’s supposed fingers drummed at the back of my neck.
“Oh, I knew. I knew from the first day you were brought to the lab that you and I have a lot in common. You are blood, brother -”
“Losers?” I heard Abati say with a grunt in his voice.
“ – True. Now I believe when they say blood is thicker than water.
“Common bro, let’s watch you play. Abati is a pro though. He’s beaten Dr. Steven Fada on three conservative finals.”
“Scientist around here game as well?” I asked as we stood before a tiny blue screen on a silver plate.
“Yup, we all do. Even Jack does.”
I was about to ask who Jack was, but then my head worked fast, and I was able to decipher the word play.
Abati seemed to bask in the praise that Isaaci had aired about him. He chose to be silent and let the titles speak for themselves.
Suddenly before me, the blue screen come on, and enlarged into a 3D holographic projection from the plate. I stepped back a little, and had whoaed before I comported myself. What was happening here?
In a matter of seconds, an entire stadium had formed before me from thin air, and I was taken through a tunnel and shown options to pick from.
“No, no. I’ll let you play first.” I moved aside for Isaaci to take playing position. I was mesmerized by the level of technology in gaming. In everything. How I once thought the world had come to an end with the advent of Play Station 4, and co. Now this was beyond conceivable to the 2015 mind.
Isaaci was eager to take playing position, as he stood opposite Abati and selected their options for the game.
The biggest tragedy, I concluded now, was man having a delightsome experience and having no one to share such pleasure with. I was the only one here who was shocked at what was happening. How I wish I could just bring my friends here from the past. Walter, Seun, Joe and my other friends if given the chance to play this game, would die here, walai. Omo see spiritual dimension gaming of life.
Abati and Isaaci were soon ready, and their respective soccer teams matched with exuberance into the pitch. It was as though I was watching the game from the top of the stadium. I didn’t realize when I put my hands on my head.
The football game started, and all I could do was shake my head. I watched in astonishment.
When I was eventually given the chance to play, I was beaten by Abati but only in the first time. I beat him in a record of 7 to 1.
Isacci at one time went around the corner and displayed on another screen at the end of the lab: Landslide victory as Dead Man beats Abati on iTech9.0 Soccer.
At 2 am, I was hungry again. And another pack of biscuits was placed on the table for me. I opted for water this time.
At 4 am, I laid in Dr Islo’s capsule, as Isaaci had called it.
“How many other scientist work on this block?” I had asked.
“Seven. Plus we the legis, nine.”
“You guys are legis? What’s legis?”
“Legis. Like legions.”
“Oh, I see.” I pondered on that for a while, then decided to ask another question. “So what do you think Dr Islo would say if s/he comes to find me alive, and eaten all her biscuits, wouldn’t you guys be fired?”
“If she had stayed behind like she normally would do, she would have fallen in love with you?”
“You don’t say.”
“Yup, you heard me right, dead man.” Abati nodded to confirm Isaaci’s speech.
“She’s lonely, and in the wrong relationship.”
“How do you know?”
“She’s in love with her research work. Not that pompous, portentous and ostentatious guy.”
“But her boss demands that she needs to have a life, and made it official and mandatory that she left the lab at the close of the weekday.”
“Wow, that bad.”
“So she would be back in the morning, right?”
“No she’s gone for the weekend, don’t you understand?” Abati shook his head.
“She would be back on Monday.”
“That’s tomorrow, right.”
“Sorry, what’s today? I mean what day is today? What day are we?”
“Oh, we forgot. Dead man.”
“Today is Friday. Time prove 4: 11 am.”
“Really, I thought weekends start on Friday.”
“Nope, it starts Thursday. Dead man. What world did you live in when you were first alive?”
“I see.” I decided not to push. I rested my head back into the capsule, as it automatically dimmed its light and slid shut.
“Wait.” I sprang up again. “So guys, you mean I will be here with you guys for 2? 3? How many more days?”
“Two days, nineteen hours, forty seven minutes, and sixteen seconds.” Isaaci smiled at me.
“There is always a way, dead man.” The two intels stared at me.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to sleep anymore. I forced my eyes to stay wide open. Suddenly, calm music that was supposed to lull me, I guess, began to play from God-knows-where within the capsule.
This people no go kill pesin. God punish devil
Next day, I had become more familiar with the lab. I learned all the names and character disposition of all the scientists, matching them with their pictures- including Dr Islo’s; monitored the other green liquid cocoons that bore bodies of people I didn’t know, saw the other sub tank where the liquid was been drained to.
Isaaci had called it the cell dam, where all the still useful cells from bodies were being regenerated to be reused for research work to advance health technology. I didn’t bother keep difficult to remember names of this and that. I wasn’t planning on working here. I just nodded as my two legi companions took me on the tour.
I asked for any info about my family. The Akinfe family. I didn’t get anything useful other than Theodore Akinfe is senior potentate of the West Africa Union. Every other info I requested was classified. I needed access code to the use of internet, and my two friends had told me there was content restriction and occupational control that they couldn’t break.
We played more games.
We watched the news. A presenter was interviewing a guest on Green House matters, and challenges with the depleting Ozone layer. From the rate the news was spread in the early years of the century, I didn’t expect that any ozone layer would still be existing.
We ate the last pack of biscuit. Sorry, I ate.
I used the toilet. My poo was green. And minty.
I read a paper print novel from a Sally Dodzie, I found in one of the shelves. Written in faded black ink in one of the first few pages was: This was the book that got us reading. You will find truth herein, darling. Loves and Kisses.
I was sure the author’s name just happened to coincide with my friend’s first name. I wished I could know how she and Grandma were doing. Perhaps I could ask a few questions.
I slept for long hours.
When I woke up, I realized I was only asleep for forty-five minutes.
Abati wanted to challenge me to another set of games. His intentions were so that the announcement about my landslide victory would be taken off my Isaaci. I told him I needed to see Dr Islo. He said he could wait till Monday. I said, no wahala.
He looked at me, confused with my response.
I prayed. For the first time in many many days, I prayed. I wanted to do it the Pentecostal style, but I didn’t want to disturb. I didn’t even know what religion was practiced here. I didn’t bother asking.
I slept and woke up. It was finally Monday. Time: 3:15 am. I had my bath, and grimaced through a wardrobe at the corner. I squeezed myself into a small t-shirt I found, then decided to dawn it with Dr Islo’s lab coat.
What was it with this doctor sef? Abati and Isaaci gave me a thumbs-up as I looked in the mirror.
“Thanks guys. For everything.”
“You are welcome, dead man.”
Finally, I was ready to meet with humans. Give the Lord a wave offering.