Read Beta Planet: Rise Online

Authors: Dayton Grey

Tags: #Fiction

Beta Planet: Rise (2 page)

She turned to Geon and softly said, “It’s okay Geon. You rest now. You angel. You rest now.”

As the others retreated from the room, Mama V sat beside him, bowing her head and whispering a prayer of thanks. She gently caressed his head as he drifted back into a deep sleep.

Chapter 2

It felt like days before Geon finally awoke again. For much of that time, Allea, Kumuki, and Sabien sat at the main table, barely speaking and only in hushed tones when they did. Kumuki stared down at the table mostly, unsure of what to say or what to do. He looked happy and excited, but confused. Allea checked and rechecked the REMpods data for Geon’s health. And Sabien sat stoic, eyes blurry, but never letting the powerful emotions overcome him. Finally, they all looked up and smiled at each other, knowing it was time.

The sheer silence of the room woke Geon up. Expecting to be alone, he was surprised to see the three teens huddled around him, anxiously waiting and fidgeting, smiles from ear to ear. The shock of his awakening had finally passed, and the three of them seemed to be filled with more excitement than their bodies could handle.

“Good morning, sunshine. I’m Sabien… your new older brother. Nice to finally meet you.
Awake,
that is.”

Geon looked to the boy on the right.
Sabien grinned at him with a confident and handsome face. He was slightly shorter than Geon, and he had a bigger, stockier build. His skin was darker than Geon’s, but with more of an olive tone to it. He had a wide jaw and large grin, radiant brown eyes, and a closely trimmed crop of thick black hair. He spoke with a slight accent but Geon couldn’t place it.

“I’m part Mexican and part Egyptian. Basically, I’m sort of the perfect hybrid of the descendants of the Mayans and the royal Pharaohs. I’m probably part royalty myself.”

“The son of Pharaohs,” said Allea. “Really, Sabien? So you’re what… 3,500 years old now? Geon, don’t listen to him. Sabe is quite delusional and
really
into himself, as you can clearly see.”

Geon looked back at Allea, this time with fully awakened eyes. She had petite features, a lightly freckled face and a gentle smile and her hair and clothes were disheveled. Her energy was infectious and Geon couldn’t help but crack a small, but painful, smile.

“How are you feeling brother?”

It felt good to hear those words from her.

“I’m… I think I’m okay. I’m sore… and I feel weak.”

“That’s expected. Your body has been in a state of semi-paralysis for six years now. Fortunately, the REMpod
does
use technology to stimulate your muscles via small electric pulses while you were comatose, but it can never replace actual muscular functionality. It’s really just to prevent atrophy. As for your brain, the pod also stimulates that to keep you from waking up with the same mental capacity you fell into the coma with. Let me check your vitals again. Lie still, please.”

“Oh yeah. Now who’s really into themselves?” Sabien proclaimed while staring at Allea. “He doesn’t have a clue what you just said! In fact,
no one
does!”

Allea rolled her eyes while tapping glowing buttons on the side of the REMpod and analyzing the diagnostics. “It’s pretty amazing actually. Without the advancements of the REMpod, you would likely be paralytic and have the mind of a small child right now. But, you appear to be in good overall health. It will take time to get you up and running. But this looks promising!”

Geon smiled and looked left to the third member of the group. He was taller than the rest of them, with a very slim and lanky body that slightly hunched forward, and he had paler skin than the
others. His face was skinny and tall, as if smooshed in from the sides, and he had a large pointy nose and very open round eyes that were nearly popping out of his head. The most notable characteristic, however, was his great big curly head of bright reddish, brownish hair. It was tightly packed and stood nearly straight up in every direction.

“HI! I’M KUMUKI! NICE TO MEET YOU, GEON!”

Geon recoiled in surprise as the other two giggled at Kumuki’s unique and explosive way of speaking. It was a shocking blend of screams and mumbles, with rapid fluctuations in pitch from low to high in mid-sentence and even in mid-word. The resulting sound was a medley of squeaks, screeches, and growls.

“You’ll get used to it, Geon…
someday
. Or so I’m told,” Sabien grinned. Kumuki smiled and nodded, apparently unaware of the humor in his style of speech.

Allea put her arm around Kumuki and said, “Kumuki is shy, but he’s a good guy. He’s the youngest of us at thirteen. His family comes from parts of Southern Africa and Ireland. He joined us only a few years ago when his own orphanage was shut down. All the kids were allocated to different sectors around the city.”

Hearing the word “orphanage” reminded Geon of the devastating news about his parents. He looked down, afraid to show the others his teary eyes.

Allea, apparently sensing his feelings, laid her hand on his and said, “This is our family now, G. These are your new brothers.”

Geon looked up and smiled. He had never had a brother but always wondered what it would be like.

“By the way, in case you were wondering, the year is 2031. I’m fourteen, Sabe here is sixteen, and you… well, you are fifteen.”

Fifteen! Unbelievable. It’s been so long.
It was at this moment that Geon realized that he didn’t even know what he looked like. Scared to see someone he didn’t recognize, he lay motionless while the others stared at him.

“Well? Don’t you want to get up and
see yourself
?” Sabien said, seemingly reading Geon’s mind while presenting a mirror in the corner of the room with his open hand.

There’s no point putting it off. Why am I so nervous? What if I don’t recognize myself?
Geon nodded and the three came to help him up and out of his pod-shaped bed. As he slid out of it, and gently touched his feet to the ground, he finally became aware of the room he was in. It was a medium-sized, bright, rectangular room, all white on all sides, except for one of the smaller walls, which appeared to be opaque glass. He couldn’t see what was outside the glass, but there was light coming in through it. The wall opposite that had a door, and both long walls were flat but with many horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines embedded in them, some of which glowed with ambient light. In the center of the room were four similar pod-beds, spread out like flower petals. Geon had remembered seeing something about the development of these pods when he was young, but they hadn’t existed at that time. His pod looked like a large egg, cracked into two connected pieces, forming a jagged break from one end to the other. Geon’s pod was open more than the other three. Inside was simple a soft foam bed on the bottom and a curved blank white ceiling on top.

“What’s the deal with these…
beds
?”

“Glad you asked,” said Sabien. “It’s a REMpod. Your personal, climate-controlled, sleeping space. Really quite innovative actually. We started using them right around the time when you were…
hurt
. Our governing organization began mass production and distribution of them to aid in the sleep cycles and efficiency of all of mankind. It’s just another way our government controls us really. I’m quite sure that there are some mind-altering programs in them but I’m still working out the details of that theory. But the technology is very good, I suppose.”

“Sabien, stop with the paranoia.” Allea smiled. “Don’t forget the pod kept Geon alive all these years. G, they use a mix of subtle vibrations mixed with sound and light therapy to maximize your REM cycle. They monitor your vitals at all times and self-adjust to keep you in the deepest rest cycle for the majority of your sleep. Humans are now
fifty percent
more productive than before we had the pods, because we sleep much less now. The most amazing thing is that they’re actually powered by the bioelectric currents that run through the users bodies! It’s really an amazing invention. It’s been said that Dr. Sivila Trace, the inventor of the pod, went crazy and is housed in a medical facility now.”

Sabien smirked. “Went crazy? Or was too smart for his own good?” This was followed by more eye rolling by Allea.

“By the way,” she continued, “your pod is actually slightly different from ours, seeing that it needed to keep you alive and
whatnot
.”

“Whatnot?”

“Let’s put it this way, when you’re in a coma, you can’t take bio-breaks on your own.”

Geon put his face in his hands and winced as the others looked at him smiling.

“Yeah, you sleep really good in the pods!” Kumuki blurted out, startling Geon with his voice and breaking the uncomfortable silence.

Geon smiled and looked over to him. “Well, I guess I can definitely vouch for that. Almost seven straight years of good, deep slumber!”

The other three laughed with Geon and showed him to the mirror. He stepped slowly, hobbling on his weakened legs. The floor felt cold and hard to the touch. As he looked up, he saw the reflection of a skinny teenage boy looking back him. Seeing himself for the first time in six years was shocking. It wasn’t that he looked different, but rather, so much taller. His features were
bigger…
but really skinny, still. The last time Geon had seen himself, he was half the size he was now. Still, his face looked familiar.

His family was part Japanese and part Caucasian American. He had similar features as Allea, with fair, light brown skin, a lean skinny build, light brown freckles on his face, and messy spiky brownish-black hair that was short on the sides but extended down his neck in the back.

“You can blame Mama V for that haircut,” said Sabien. “Don’t know why but she insisted on keeping that mane somewhat trimmed during your slumber.”

Geon looked down at himself, standing in soft grey pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and noticed something unusual. His hands were different colors… not by much, but by enough to be noticeable. He looked at them inquisitively.

Sabien smiled and said sarcastically, “It only took him ten minutes to notice.”

Geon, still staring at his hands, was quiet, clearly confused. His right hand appeared normal, but on his left, something was off. It was smoother, less texture, hairless, less wrinkles… and slightly off-shade.

“Oh my God. Oh my God.
Oh my


Allea stepped forward and grabbed his left hand. “Don’t freak out, G! It’s a Biolimb. The medic team that saved your life had only one option to get you out. Your entire lower arm and hand were pinned down by a huge piece of concrete. It was smashed. They had to…
cut…
you out.”

A sinking, sick sensation came over Geon’s stomach, his knees suddenly weak and the room spinning around him.

“He doesn’t look good, guys!” Kumuki squealed.

“Kuki, grab a chair!” Allea replied.

He grabbed a chair from the corner of the room and they lowered Geon gently into it.

Allea held his hand and rolled up his sleeve. “I know it’s a lot to take in, Geon, but these Biolimbs are incredible. They saved so many lives after the EarthShift and gave people a second chance. Besides, you really can barely tell and it’s more commonplace than you would think nowadays!”

He looked down at his hand, moving his fingers ever so gently. Then he looked at his right hand and did the same thing. He did it again simultaneously. They looked almost the same to him, but they felt slightly different. The left felt… or maybe it just didn’t
feel
quite right.

“Tell me if you feel this,” said Allea, as she pulled a pin out of her hair and tapped each finger on his left hand. His fingers reacted to the touch and he nodded with each one.

“I feel it. It’s just,
different
.”

“I know, G. Take a look here where it’s attached at your elbow,” she said as she rolled up his sleeve. “It’s fully functional and weatherproof, and uses self-healing nano-skin. Scientists found a successful way to fuse the Biolimb’s digital nerves and brain with your actual living nervous system. They then calibrated it to match your other hand’s exact reactions, pressure points, and strength. You are actually more symmetrical than the rest of us now!”

Geon feigned a half smile at Allea, elevated by her optimism and enthusiasm. “So am I left handed now, or right handed?”

Sabien smiled. “Hey, brother, one step at a time. You can be whatever hand you wanna be!”

Geon was overwhelmed with emotions. Looking at the three of them, staring back at him with smiles and wide eyes, feeling helpless and weak, hopeful and inspired, scared and uncertain, and overcome with the deep sadness of the news of his parents, he began to tear up, drops slowly pooling in the corners of his eyes and sliding down his cheekbones. It was so much to take in all at once… too much to keep contained. But having his sister there with him, and his new family, made all the difference in the world. Allea leaped forward and embraced Geon in a warm tight squeeze and said, “I love you, Geon. We’re so happy to have you back. We’re so happy.”

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