Moments in History (1)

The greatest period of growth of cryonics came about in 1793, with the tragic death of Empress Emeritus Octavia I Cyprium (reigned 1425-1644) in a laboratory accident. In accordance with her previously stated wishes, her body was preserved in liquid nitrogen and immured in a specially constructed capsule in the vaults beneath the Garden Tower of the Imperial Palace.

The publicity surrounding these events served to bring cryonics into the public eye across the Empire. Many pro-cryopreservation branches and cryoinvestment corporations formed in the following decade, and the first Vaults of the Dead Awaiting – facilities for mass cryopreservation of all the deceased – were under construction near prominent Ledges of the Dead in the early 1800s.

Octavia I was revived from cryostasis and treated for her injuries successfully in 2581. Her cryocapsule is currently on display at the Imperial Museum of Curiosities, along with its plaque, wryly reading, “In event of Empire-threatening emergency, break glass.”

Trope-a-Day: Human Popsicle

Human Popsicle: Cryostasis used to be a standard way of storing people, and was taken advantage of for a variety of purposes, specifically including the Deep Star projects (subluminal interstellar colonization of the Thirteen Colonies, with ships full of frozen people), and, in the time after the prospect of fixing the dead was mooted but before the technology to do so was available, freezing something very close to everybody who died accidentally “for later”, in the Vaults of the Dead Awaiting.  Hates the permadeath, they does.  Some people, chrononauts, even used it electively for, to be closest to the spirit of the trope, deliberate one-way time travel into the future.  See history while skipping the boring parts!

In the modern era, cryostasis is an archaic technology, mostly replaced with digital archiving for minds and the rather more high-tech and less damaging/risky nanostasis for organic bodies, but the effects and the purposes for doing it remain much the same.