Sometimes I leave the Tower and go down into the city. It’s not that I don’t appreciate living in my ivory castle, but I have to admit, it’s a little too “clean.” Not enough “normal” people—whatever normal means anymore.
There’s a bar I like in the southwest corner. Run-down, dusty, but quiet. I keep to myself and don’t pull my Ghost out in public. No one other than the owner and a few regulars know I’m a Guardian. It’s nice. Instead of being praised just for existing, people treat me like an actual human—a person. There are interesting little moments that happen, too. “Human moments,“ my Ghost calls them.
“What do you think it feels like when a Guardian is resurrected by a Ghost?”
I heard the voice from the corner at my left. A young engineer was talking to an elderly cargo pilot. I tilted my head slightly towards them; this answer should be good.
“They say it feels like waking up from the longest nap you’ve ever had,” the old man said.
He was very, very wrong.
The sound repeated, clearer this time.
I slowly forced my eyes open and light filtered in.
“Eyes up, Guardian!”
My vision began to clear. I was standing in a huge, wide-open field. The ground beneath my feet was spotted with patches of snow and tufts of yellow grass. Anything further than ten feet away from me was a blur; my eyes were still adjusting. In front of me, floating at eye level, was a small robot. A roughly diamond-shaped jumble of white angles with a tiny blue glowing eye in the center.
The little robot spoke. “It worked. You're alive! You don't know how long I've been looking for you.”
As the robot hovered and spoke, the pieces of its white shell shifted slightly and its blue light flashed. It seemed… alive, for something so obviously artificial.
“I’m a Ghost,” the robot said. “Actually, now I'm your Ghost. And you... well, you've been dead a long time. So you're going to see a lot of things you won't understand.”
My Ghost has a massive talent for understatement. I’ll never know whether it’s because he has a sense of humor or if he’s legitimately odd, even for a Ghost. At that moment, however, I didn’t much care about the little robot floating in front of me. A moment prior, I hadn’t existed.
Being resurrected isn’t like waking from sleep. When you sleep, you exist. They say you’re not conscious, but you still think. You still dream. Being dead isn’t describable because to be honest, there’s nothing about it to remember. But I can tell you exactly what being resurrected feels like. It’s like tearing every muscle and breaking every bone at once, but backwards. Transforming from shattered to whole, and only gradually becoming aware that it’s happening somewhere in the middle. Being pulled out of nothing is devastating. It’s a reminder that you are no longer human.