The Accident - a story

The last thing I remember before meeting you was the flash. It blinded me... I lost control... Or was it the other one who didn't have control, and the impact of their car with my taxi tossed me so badly I couldn't tell? I always did hate the setting sun on the 'scrapers, that piercing reflection even the best Raybans could not block.
Then I was here. Sitting with you, on this park bench, in the middle of a remarkably empty Central Park.
"We can save you," you said, "we can remove your surviving self from the catastrophe that caused you to meet me, and take you somewhere safe, somewhere we'd like to learn from you."
Surviving self. Those two single words were mostly what stuck in my mind. I didn't survive? What did happen? Was it a car wreck?
"What do you mean, surviving self?" I naively asked. Maybe I was still in shock, you telling me so calmly that I may be dying.
"Your body has been nearly totally destroyed," you bluntly stated. "That which remains, will survive for only a few hours upon this sphere, and you will be lost, forever."

A wave of nausea passed over me for a brief moment, but I shook it off.

"That happens when people die." I'm frustrated, because I don't even know your name... Don't know whether I should curse you for being so unfeeling when my life is ending. Sure, it hasn't been great... My last words with my girlfriend had been somewhat angry, I haven't talked to my parents in months - the taxi job, even on alternating weekends, is just so tiring... I have several friends I want to say goodbye to.
"How is it you want to save me?" My logic 'circuits' were catching up to my emotional side now, wondering what would happen.
"We" oh how you infuriate me when you say 'we'... there's only one of you here! "will be extracting your consciousness for study and interaction with our people."
"If you're so technologically advanced, why can't you take my body, fix it, and take that too? You'd learn alot more about humans if you didn't limit yourself so," I reasoned, trying to stall... Something was telling me to stall.
You were silent for a breath longer than your previous responses. We've been talking for what seems like hours, moving in circles. You didn't waver, your stoicly flat mouth didn't twitch, until you responded to me. I couldn't tell whether you were laughing or pitying me. Or were you contacting the rest of 'we?'
"Our technology does not allow us to move the body. Only the mind."

My neck felt tight... Maybe it was just from sitting here for so long.

"So my body will just die... How will my mind remain alive?" I'd watched the Matrix. I'm a sci-fi geek. This was a scene right out of a Spielberg movie... or maybe Ridley Scott or Kubrick, and somehow I'd gotten cast without a contract.
"We have the technolo-"
"Yes, you have the technology. So let me lay down a few ground rules for you. Your technology can keep my mind alive, yes?" Bargaining time.
"You will be transporting my mind to your home planet or home dimension, for study and recreation?" Don't quite like the way that sounds... I'll either end up in a brain-zoo or maybe on a Twilight Zone version of the Head Museum in Futurama. I could also end up being a highly respected entity, but this all sounded too good to be true. I'm a New Yaw'kah, what'd you expect?
"Yes. Part of your time will be spent as a research project, where we shall determine what causes the human mind to work, and perhaps unlock the secrets of the human soul." You paused a bit longer than usual after this response... Did I drag out too much information? "The rest of your time will be spent almost as a celebrity is here on Earth, with our equivalent of talk shows and interviews."
What's the point of interviews and talking about the human condition, with no common frame of reference?

I felt a tickle on the end of my tongue, then my throat itched.

"And what will be the compensation for such? Celebrities on Earth get paid for interviews and talkshows and appearances."
"You will be enabled to live." That sounded both good, and bad.
"Will I have a body?"
"Of a sort, yes. Where we come from, the body works much differently than your human 'shell'. Where your mind serves to keep the body alive, our bodies serve to keep the mind alive." Back to the Matrix again. Damn, will that movie always pop up in my conspiracy theories?
"Do you accept our proposition? Our time is running short." Wait a minute, now we're on a time limit?
"Before we go, I want you to restore my body, so I can say good bye to my friends and family." You're so big on mind-stuff... maybe I can catch you in a lie.
You paused again, too long for the reply.
"Very w-"
"Whoa, hold on there tiger. I do not want you fiddling with my brain or my mind, to give me the mental impression of seeing my friends and family, pulling the goodbyes and such from my memories. Not going to happen. I want my body OUT of that wreck, fixed and perfect as it was 30 minutes before, and I want you to take me from home to home, from person to person, face to face with the people I need to say goodbye to."

My hand started twitching.

You were silent for only a moment.

"We are prepared to do our best to rescue your" and then I heard a horrendous screech.

With the park still around me, I heard your voice, but this time it was saying, "We've got a flatline! Pull out the paddles!"

Blinking, you hadn't changed, and I didn't feel I had either, but I suddenly had this weird poking pain at the back of my mind.

The park started to dissolve around me...

And I heard your voice saying, "It's too late... he's gone."

ROzbeans 19 years ago
Already told you this, but I liked these 'moment in time' pieces. Almost dont need a complete story around it. Praise be the short story.