The Choice

Warning Contains some “naughty words.”

“Oh I did it; there’s no denying that. Guess I got sloppy in the end. Got caught fair and square.

“Did the whole one-ring dog-and-pony show in front of judge and jury, but I was guilty and everybody knew it straight from the start. Expected to be put away ‘At His Majesty’s Pleasure’ for a bit. The idea didn’t bother me too much, truth be told.

“So it all seemed cut and dried, just a matter of how long this stint will be...and then that bastard judge starts up about ‘new sentencing options’ being available to her.

“She gives me a choice: 10 years hard labour or 100 years in slip sleep, same as on the star fliers. ‘New sentencing options’, indeed. Never heard of this before.

“There’s pros and cons, apparently. The pro is that the time goes past practically instantly. One moment you’re here, the next you’ve slept for 100 years. The cons are that there’s about a 2% screw-up rate so you may end up dead or brain-seared. If you do wake up OK, probably no-one you know is still alive, you’ve got no job and probably no useful skills, no money, no friends. Nothing. Shit! I’m pretty sure that no-one’s going want an ex-con sleeper around either, if it comes to that. On the other hand, there’s about a 10% chance that at my age I won’t survive 10 years hard labour, or if I do, I’ll be completely wrecked at the end of it.

“‘A chance for a fresh start.’ says the judge. Fucker.

“Ten years hard labour is a long time. I’ve never done the hard option and I’m not too proud to admit that I’m running scared now, but I’m no fucking astronaut, either!

“She’s waiting for my choice now.

“You’ve been appointed to advise me, so what the fuck do I do? What would you do…?"