“Dr. Jackson!?” Clark was astonished when the grey-haired man walked into his room. “You look just like I remember. So, what year is it? Am I cured?” The lean doctor smiled and shook his head as he approached the hospital bed.
“I apologize, Mr. Hunter. There have been a couple of developments that you need to know about; we revived you early. It’s only been two days since you were frozen.”
“Two days?” Clark sat up straighter in the uncomfortable bed. “What changed in two days?”
“We..uh,” he hesitated as if trying to find the right words. “We’ve been acquired by a corporation. They-“
“Acquired!? Is this a hospital or a tech startup? So, what? I get thawed out and have to wait around to die? Do I get my money back?”
“It’s a bit of both, actually,” Dr. Jackson chuckled. “Calm down please, Mr. Hunter. You don’t understand the scope of what’s happened.” Clark closed his eyes and took a deep breath, then exhaled. He opened his eyes and nodded at the old doctor.
“Okay, I’ll listen.”
“Thank you,” Dr. Jackson nodded. “Sharp Development, that’s the name of the corporation, has an offer for you. I mean cryo-preserved patients. They have VR technology that allows you to lead a normal life while your body waits for a cure.”
“VR huh? How’s it work?” Clark asked from the confining bed.
“They use nanotechnology to relay your consciousness to another universe. There you get a body that feels, tastes, touches, sees and smells. You live out your life until we find a cure, or forever. If you prefer the virtual world you can stay in it as long as you like. Even on a permanent basis.” Dr. Jackson paused. He could see the questions building up in Clark’s mind. The patient pounced on the moment of silence.
“Another universe? Is that what you said?” Dr. Jackson nodded with a sly grin.
“Not even an hour after you went cold visitors came from another Earth. They brought all kinds of technology; it’s been a pretty crazy couple of days.”
“I’m having a hard time believing it,” Clark shook his head. “But I can’t imagine why you’d wake me up to lie. How’s the rest of the world taking it? I guess if it’s only been two days tensions are pretty high?” The doctor shook his head.
“Not at all. It could be argued they brought world peace,” Doctor Jackson chuckled. “Or more appropriately, bought .”
“Huh?” Clark gave the doctor a confused look. “How do you mean?”
“As I said, we’ve been acquired.” Clark nodded.
“Yeah, congratulations I guess,” he shrugged. “But I don’t see how acquiring a hospital produced world peace.” Dr. Jackson shook his head.
“Not the hospital. Sharp Development bought our Earth.”