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The perfect hide for a perfect murderer tracked by cops is the refrigerator, having first the precaution to trade the volunteer burial of your own body in an ice block against the leak-proof secrecy of the volunteer. Rather than being cooked in the electric chair, the chances of getting alive out of the snow white casket some 100 years or more a. b. (i.e. after burial) were pretty much better, anyway. When Whynot Cryonics Co.’s clerk who until then was yawningly scrambling over a crossword puzzle asked the newcomer to further elaborate why he wanted to do what he intended to, the Mitch Ken’s corpse, former Bell’s employee, still warm must have been made his last trip down by the elevator. ‘Well, sir, no job, no honey, no parents, no money,’ Jack Fiddler said. He made a shortage; didn’t mention the fact that he killed the telephone company agent when this one rammed the bill down his throat to pay debts summing up $20 in a moment when $5 was all the money left to the end of the month. So, driven insane by the telephone man, Jack Fiddler strangled him, put him into the elevator and sent both of them to make believe people wise that the guy has been stricken by an altitude disease, or alike. The clerk put aside the virgin crossword puzzle and looked at him perceptively. ‘Ain’t you involved in some ugh, dirty mush, now, do you.’ Not that he cared too much about it. ‘Suing, probation, robbery, felony, you know….murder, maybe,’ the Cryonics clerk said. ‘No, sir,’ Jack Fiddler lied and cleaned a tiny blood speck on the tip of his right shoe polishing while standing up by the left leg back of his pants. ‘All right, then. Sign here and undress,’ the clerk said. Jack shivered. ‘So quickly?’ he asked. The clerk shrugged. ‘Well, if you don’t want to do it right away, then don’t,’ the clerk said. ‘I want.’ ‘OK then, do it as I say. I am in no hurry, you know.’ ‘Neither am I.’ As a matter of fact both of them were reckless, one to get lost, the other to see if the machine really worked.
Jack Fiddler started to consider the room. It was not much different from an ordinary photographic shop. ‘How far could you program?’ ‘Why, as far as you wish. ’ ‘Say, 1000 years?’ ‘Sure. 1000 years, if so wanted,’ the clerk said. Jack Fiddler grinned. ‘You, fake! ’ he said. How in the world could it work for 1000 years when nobody knows whether the electric plants will be still working on or not? I guess the whole lot must be fed up somehow. The clerk was smiling. ‘You are interested in technical issues, I see. I like you. I hate fudge. I’ll make it clear for you. As long as your body is frozen, you run absolutely no risk to die, whether the machine is powered or not. If by chance though the mains supply fails, this here cryogenic reactor is provided with a proprietary backing up system of its own. That’s the knack of it. The freezing room is entirely adiabatic. ‘What’s that?’ ‘That what.’ ‘…atic.’ ‘Oh, adiabatic, you mean. That means no exchange of no kind with outdoor, ‘the clerk said. ‘I see,’ Jack Fiddler said. ‘The worst could be expected could be an unexpected deicing as a result of an inner failure and have you thawed back to life at another time than the preset date.’ That’s exactly what I fear, Jack Fiddler thought. ‘Then do what has to be done,’ he said aloud and sighed. ‘I’m ready.’ ‘Fine,’ the clerk said. ‘And don’t worry about the electric plant failure. If all the plants in the world will crack down at once but one left, I guarantee you’ll be supplied all right. If this last one goes to hell too, that’s the time for standby system run; we have solar cell, geothermal, wind mills alternative power plugged in ready to take over in case of the main supply failure. The same goes in case of high level of radioactivity by a Goddamit atomic havoc, if ignited. It would be a sad thing to happen, yet if this is to be, no problem for you either. A certain timer relay will fix up a nice clean postponement for you about 1,800 years over time due. That’s an extra time given by the learned guys for radioactivity lay off in order to let life spring again unharmed. Or so they say, the brainiacs, I mean. Thus would be no hurry to get up earlier, see? But, let’s better not think about it. You’ll sleep, and when the clock will strike the time, you’ll be up bouncing and breezing.’
‘Yeah, breezing, I bet, ’ Jack Fiddler mumbled bitterly. ‘And the Adiabation will take care of me while …’ ‘Why, sure thing, man, sure thing, everything around is adiabatic, ’ the Cryogenics clerk said, and his lenient voice melted away the last traces of Jacks’ boggle. ‘Let’s do it,’ Jack Fiddler said and reluctantly he began to undress. An invisible switch flipped by Cryogenics clerk powered a huge slab which slipped aside in the basement; a dozen steps went steeply downward to a medium sized chrome door swung open on its hinges. A small light switched on was shining green into the cellar’s dusk near a small light switched off – probably red. The later was supposed to activate shuttering off the former, thought Jack Fiddler. A decadal counter displayed overall null-years. Who was going to see them counting? Nobody will. ‘And do you think this outfit will last?’ the nude asked. ‘This is the best heavy duty outfit ever made. If Earth itself is going to go to pieces, this very box should be the only and intact reminder of it supposed to outlive the mush, and maybe it’ll float through the Cosmos safely until the due time, believe me,’ the clerk said begger-like, very gently and reassuring. ‘All right,’ Jack Fiddler said moving doggedly his head. ‘Don’t forget this,’ the Cryonics man said, and he gave him a big, oldfashioned key. ‘You must lock and unlock for yourself the big door.’ Jack Fiddler assessed the key. ‘Ready?’ ‘Ready.’ ‘I’m sorry, it makes no sense saying good bye.’ ‘Sure. I can see that, too.’ ‘So long,’ the Cryonics man said. ‘This is it,’ Jack Fiddler said. The naked man with a key in his hand went down the stairs. The big, square chrome door closed tightly, soundless, then the slab in the basement slid back over the weak and distant glitter of a small red lamp switched on … He has been awaken by unbearable sweat. From the cryogenic pedestal upon which he was stretched as a mediocre statue into a third rate museum’s larder, Jack Fiddler opened the eyes and made a sight tour ready to catch and destroy whatever might be some sort of species of ice eater and
snow flake excreter bed bugs crawling up and down on the ceiling. By chance not a single one was out there to be seen. At first he didn’t quite realize what he was doing there alone and naked in that well lighted white cellar. Then he saw the key and the memory began to loom, zoom and focus. Then he wanted to grab the key, but the very instant his fingers touched it, the key turned to eerie silent pieces. Then his hair turned suddenly gray and his skin whiter than the surrounding microscopic icicles sparkling as a bounty of diamonds. Desperately he tried to gather and stick together the pieces, but these turned at least to the reddish powder of rust. He was trapped. Buried alive. Dead after he has been reawaken. After such a long time! Just how long? He glanced at the three digit timer. It displayed three big red zeros. Electrified with its full freight by the lethal breeze, his brain considered the three solutions of such a quizzical problem: either 999 years elapsed, or 1999, but no more than 2999 years. He simply overlooked the fourth one: an imaginary solution. Zero time displayed might mean zero time, really. He made no move toward the door. Its thickness was discouraging. He barely has seen the green light flickering on the wall. He felt a huge wave of heat overflow. It was funny to have such a heat into a neat, and nice and quiet refrigerator. Nobody else had heard the hiss made by a burned fuse-like string of nerves into the death row convict’s brain. Jack Fiddler died easily, taking along with him the image of a small, deep purple lamp switched on to signal the fact that the electric chair has been energized.
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