"But I don't remember dying," he objected, softly. "Not exactly." All he had was the horrific images of the man with the gun. And…a laughing woman?
She had helped him back to the chaise. He was there, now, clutching his Teddy, while she sat beside him, her arms comfortingly around his shoulders.
"It will take a while for all your memories to come back," she reassured him. "Which is a good thing. Some events you don't want to recall until you are fully healed."
"I was," he swallowed, "frozen?"
"Yes. In liquid nitrogen. Or, your head was, anyway. I believe you called it 'Cryonics.'"
He knew the term, but only vaguely. The idea was that you froze yourself, preserved your body, and then, after many years, and after the technology had advanced sufficiently to make it possible, some future culture would bring you back to life. Other than that, though, he was clueless. "So, you …what?...reanimated me?"
"In a sense," she explained. "We couldn't actually revive your brain, of course. There was far too much damage from the freezing process itself." But they could claim his chemical memories, RNA/DNA, send nanobots to trace out ancient neural connections, and generally extract his memories from the ice.
Then, they had constructed a new body for him. They'd built it layer-by-layer, cell-by-cell, atom-by-atom, using nanomachines, and put his psyche into it. "Along," she went on, "with a number of new understandings and assumptions to make it easier for you to adapt to current conditions."
"I don't recall doing that either. Signing up, I mean, to be frozen."
"Again, it will come to you, in time."
He nodded, but felt somehow uncertain. Cryonics wasn't something he'd been interested in when he'd been alive the first time. His existence back then hadn’t been terrible, but it hadn't been terrific either. The idea of extending his life for all eternity seemed a little frightening.
"How long?" he asked. "How long was I dead."
"We're not entirely sure. A lot of records were lost in the Years of Impasse. But, we are pretty certain you died in the early Twenty-First century."
"About five hundred years ago."