Mark Jones knew his time was near and had made all the arrangements for his last good-byes. There would be a brief ceremony at his mansion then he would fly to Cape Kennedy.

At eighty years old he didn’t see the necessity of long fair wells he knew this was a one-way trip several probes had been sent there before but nothing the size of this flight, which would not be a fly by but an actual landing on the surface.

When he had first become aware of his illness and knew that he only had a few years to live, he invested billions into this project that he had heretofore only donated a few million.

 Once he had reached the outer atmosphere he could push a button to put himself to sleep. If he was too weak then his pod or casket would take over automatically and finish his final instructions.

From the outside cameras, he could see on the view screen in his casket that it was a perfect take off. The earth appeared on the monitor so huge that it covered the whole screen, then slowly but surely it began to grow smaller.

Some time later the moon filled the screen and he could see the science station that was stationed there, after that there were only stars and he could hear the pitter patter of space dust on the ship, it sounded like rain as he drifted off to sleep.

I’m alive!

Something has gone terribly wrong, I shouldn’t be alive or in this room, at least what seemed like a room. The ceiling seemed to glow and swirl with dim colors I had never seen.The more awake I became the ceiling seemed to get brighter. It was quiet and cool evidently, someone had aborted my trip, heads were going to roll and a lot of people were going to be out of work.

Slowly he attempted to move about on what seemed to be a bed. To his astonishment, he felt no pain. As a matter of fact, he couldn’t remember the last time his body had felt this good. He looked to the left side of the bed for his teeth just as he had done for the last twenty years, they were not there then he realized that his teeth were in his mouth, and to his amazement, they were really his teeth not the expensive teeth from that high priced dentist.

He wiggled his toes, moved his arms and legs slightly and he felt better than he had in years. He also felt something else there were tubes attached to his body from head to toe and every orifice. He felt panic rising but squashed it quickly, whatever they had done to him when they aborted his flight seemed to be working and if they wanted to harm him they could have done that a long time ago.

Mark looked around for a call button or something to alert the nurses that he was awake. “Hello,” he shouted, “Is there anybody out there. The room illuminated and what appeared to be two nurses entered the room.

“Well I see you’re finally awake,” one of the nurses said. “How do you feel,” the other nurse asked? I’m your doctor,” The tall one spoke again. But something wasn’t quite right, Mark could understand what they were saying and speak to them in the same language, but it wasn’t English. “I feel great as a matter of fact I have not felt this good in a long time,” he said.

The doctor had mocha, skin color with long brown hair with streaks of blond and striking green eyes, the other nurse was blond with brown eyes the were shapely and fit. “While you were recuperating you were also connected to a learning processor, that’s why you can understand us and speak to us. There are many more things that you have learned which will gradually come to you.

I’m Marla and this is Tasha, she’ll be showing you around and getting you more familiar with things, we’ll wait outside while you get dress, you’ll find everything you need over there,” she said pointing toward the wall where I noticed several small buttons.”Wait,” I said before they left the room. “Where am I?” I asked. “On Venus, isn’t that where you wanted to go,” she said and went out the door.

He walked over to the wall and pushed one of the buttons and a drawer opened. The more he did the more things became familiar to him. He’d never seen these garments before but he knew how to pit them on. He knew that somehow during his recuperation or regeneration that somehow he had been reeducated and taught the ways and history and many other things about these people.

As he dressed Mark became more aware of other things. He knew that a communication device had been implanted in his upper jaw bone. He also knew that another type of communication device had been placed at the base of his skull.

The device in his jaw allowed him to communicated with other people without actually talking, but that was not quite correct it was like not verbally talking, more like clicks and hums. The second device was connected to a library or some type of super-computer or a combination of both.

He new that any thing he needed to know was there and if he wanted to know something all he had to do was think it or ask it and tons of information would be instantly downloaded into his brain.

“Are you about ready Mr. Jones” the nurse asked? He heard her more in his head than his ear. “Yes”, he replied in the same manner. Mark pushed one more button on the wall and received his greatest shock of all, a mirror appeared and he saw a young man of about twenty-five years old. It was him as he had looked all those years ago.

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LIVING VERTIKAL