The Card Story

The Technology of Z-G freed us from gravity and ushered us into space. It also gave us the game. Which became our obsession…

"He's coming to - we've got him this time. Open those eyes, BREATHE. You can do it now." Zak slowly rises from a mist-filled cryogenic chamber. Hands wipe the film from his face, and he looks up dizzily.

"Where am I?"
"This is a Sleeper clinic, a hospital. You are cured. But you've been under a long time…"
"How long have I been out? Where's my sister?"
"You've been asleep a long, long time; nearly 100 years. You died twice, so your revival required almost a year of reconditioning. You're lucky to be alive at all."
"But my sister? She was sick too, she…"
"Zak, she is the reason we woke you. Lodetek, holographic computers, gave us sentient helpers, creating the Neutopia. But with them arose new questions of humanity and morality."

Zak drifted away into sleep again. When he awoke, an intense young man sat rigidly next to his bed.

"Well, you're finally up. Excellent! My name is Ice. I'm your legal guardian in this brave new world. You're a curiosity, you know - the only Sleeper who was actually born in the last millennium. The reporters are clamoring for interviews. Things are very different from when you were last around. But let me explain why I am here. We are looking for someone accused of crimes against humanity. Sedition, illegal cloning, creation of Lodes without internal constraint logic. A member of a criminal secret society, but with the talents of a Promethean. The inventor of the Lode, and so the creator of a new age. And with a unique connection to you…
"So let me make this very clear. If you ever want to see your sister again, you'll do exactly what I say and help me find my quarry."