by Kyle Curcio
A new life awaits...flash fiction honorable mention 1/12
To look upon those contained in the cryo-units felt eerily like a wake. He knew, though-- knew they were alive, their faces so beautiful still, in spite of the years that had passed. Above a hint of condensation, Jacob Wallach traced his finger over the narrow lens of the optiport, just inches from the passengers' faces. They didn't notice, of course, being that they existed in a state of suspended animation, to be maintained until they made the Heber Quadrant where they would be summarily revived.
"Are we there yet?" Jacob queried the unresponsive audience and chuckled, his voice banging through the otherwise empty ship as if someone had kicked a can down its steely halls. He spoke aloud as had been his habit for many years, but he aimed his commentary quite specifically at passengers A2117P52 and 53.
"Eighty years will have passed when this is all said and done and you won't have aged but ten. It'll all seem like just yesterday." He stroked his beard thoughtfully, his lip quivered and he forced his words through sudden tears. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry for what you'll find when we arrive. I hope you'll take to your new lives in spite of it all...Just know that I've been with you the whole time, just not like you'd planned."
Jacob wiped his eyes and collected himself. "It won't be long now." Glancing at the everpresent countdown board, he placed a hand upon door P52. "Just a few more years."
And then to P53. "I wish I could've seen it, too, Mom and Dad, but I'm tired now."
The younger Wallach stepped to A2117P54, his unit. An errant circuit had revived him a few short years into the flight. He had been nine years old then. Now he was just tired...