Time Travellers from the 1960's : Ted and Louise : Ch.2 : Awakening
Chapter 2 : Awakening
The vapour mist wafted before her, sweet dreams assailed her. She knew who she was all of a sudden. Feeling returned to her fingers, her breasts filled with promise and the vapour mist responded to stronger breaths by thinning. She imagined the dreams she had just come out of, knowing now that they were not real any more. Perfect male bodies stretched in the sun; there were women she could communicate with, on the same wavelength; the people there were fun, lively and intelligent, unbound by the cumbersome rules of the past; sunshine and leisure. The drabness of the old world of discipline, austerity, war and social control were left behind forever.
Memories resurfaced. She remembered Ted - her boyfriend, partner. They had gone to the New Seminary of the Future together regularly, part of a community of real friends who shared beliefs and expectations. The Seminary wasn't like an old religion. It wasn't a religion at all, but simply a belief in the future, that the future would be better. The organisation had developed the science, in which the body could be put to sleep for 10 or 30 or more years, and be woken up at the prearranged date, to be revitalised and sent out into the new world of the future. Some members had already committed themselves to their belief in a better world in the future, by volunteering to trust in the new techniques. The earliest attemptors had allowed themselves to be put to sleep for just two years. They had awoken with no apparent harmful effects after a full two years of the deepest sleep. Others had followed, then herself and Ted had volunteered. She was aware now that she was awakening from that sleep and began to feel the first feelings of uncertainty and rising panic as she anticipated what she might find when her eyes opened.
They woke up in the same room they had 'gone to sleep' in, belonging to the New Seminary of the Future.
"Hi," said an assistant as Louise came round.
"Hi," responded Louise, she felt okay. "You're wearing a uniform?" she observed of the female attendant.
"Yeah. We all wear uniforms here. You're not the first time travellers from the sixties and seventies to be surprised by that. We find it's more professional this way. Our clients feel they're in better hands if we're properly trained and qualified." The uniform was white with blue bands at the sleeve, collar and hips. It reminded Louise of a nurse's uniform. When she and Ted had 'gone to sleep' there had been no uniforms in the Seminary. They were all free spirits striving for a better and more individual world. The group members had worked voluntarily to give the volunteer travellers a good send off, and to make the procedures work.
"Oh I see. You need a qualification to help the travellers emerge now. Are you volunteer members?" asked Louise. "Your uniform looks a bit like a salaried nurse's."
"Of course," said the girl, who must have been just a few years younger than Louise.
“We’re professionals, and as such we have uniforms. We are not volunteers. Naturally we are paid for the work we do. And I am pleased to remind you that your care has been paid for, so you will be well looked after.”
"Paid for it?" exclaimed Louise. "I don't recall us paying for this time travel. The seminary members took part in these experiments out of a desire to learn and to reach into a future, which we are sure will be better than the past. How do you mean 'paid for'?"
"I mean just that. When Future Investments took over the operation the New Seminary paid them in shareholdings for the continuing servicing of the earlier New Seminary travellers, such as yourselves. Your organisation paid for your continuing care."
"Oh," exclaimed Louise, finding this a little hard to take in. "So you mean the New Seminary no longer looks after emerging Time Travellers? And 'care' has to be paid for?"
"Yes. Care has already been paid for. You have no need to worry about that. We will look after you. Future investments are the inheritors of the New Seminary. We have put things on a better footing and will ensure that all past present and future clients will be properly looked after in a more professional way than that organisation was capable of."
"When did this change of name occur?" asked Louise, collecting information about this unexpected development which she could not quite understand. She had assumed that the new Seminary would stretch on into the future for at least 30 years and probably many more. They all had. It was a big surprise, but she did not fully understand it, or what this later organisation was all about. She would have to learn more. She reminded herself that she was a stranger (at the end of a) in a future decade. She must have a lot to catch up on, and a lot to learn. At least the room was the same, although she noticed differences in the furnishings. They had accepted the challenge of the new when they had decided to come on this gamble of trust. So far there were things about 'Future Investments' which were not as she had expected.
Lou realised she had been calmed and made comfortable by her conversation, despite its oddness and the unexpected new concepts which it revealed. It had taken her mind off the 'time trip' she had just come out of. She was well aware of having come out of a deep and fuzzy sleep, deeper than any she had ever experienced before. Her mind felt slow, as if it had not been used for a very long time. Otherwise she felt alright, and now she was thinking straight and putting the distraction of that strange conversation she had just had into perspective. She looked around more deliberately than before. She was in the same room she and Ted had departed from, what seemed to be only hours, like a night's sleep ago. "Ted. Where's Ted?" she asked in sudden consternation. She had allowed herself to forget about his wellbeing while she faced her strangely casual awakening. Now she suddenly remembered him. She knew she had made it, but had he?
"He is here," reassured the 'nurse'. "Ted's your partner, right? Mr Edward John Reed. He's next on my list. He's over here. I haven't wakened him yet but I am about to do it. We don't usually do more than one at a time, just in case there are complications. It says you're married, but you don't have the same surname?" she said looking at some typed list.
Louise was greatly relieved to hear Ted was here, even if he was still 'sleeping'. "Oh yes. We chose for me not to take his surname. We feel, felt," she corrected herself, "that the taking of the husband's surname by a wife was very traditional. We are married but we retain our individuality." She could see the top of a box much like the one she was laid in further towards the door. Ted must be in there. She was reassured.
(to be continued soon)