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Cryopreservation Archaeology

Anastasia Kharlamova lives in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. She is writing her PhD in linguistics about the language situation in the town of Selenica in Southern Albania. Apart from her studies, she enjoys books, music and cooking, and she has been writing poems and stories since her early childhood.

It had obviously been a facility for cryopreservation. That much we could decipher: we knew enough Middle Anglish to read the 22th-century signs and labels, and the freezing chambers deep below the ground, amazingly, not only were clearly marked as such but were still in operation.
"Isn't it just breathtaking?" whispered Elly as we walked down the stairs that hadn't been used for centuries. Elly was on her first field expedition to Earth and tended to get overexcited over any small discovery. "What if there are people preserved there?"
"That would just be creepy," I said. More than a century ago, with the discovery of the Resson-Niroky-Feye law, the theory of cryonics was put to a decisive stop. Now we know that living bodies can be preserved at freezing temperatures, for a limited period of time, dead bodies, not so much.
"They wouldn't have dedicated such a large building to cryonics," I added after thinking for a while. "It was always regarded as somewhat of a pseudoscience."
"It might be a seed bank," said Hemm. His dissertation was dedicated to a seed vault he discovered in Earth's Northern hemisphere, so naturally he had since kept seeing seed banks everywhere.
However, this time I thought he could actually be right. What remained of the building suggested an impressive structure that housed something particularly important.
After another turn on the stairs, we finally came to the chamber and opened it. A wave of frosty air hit us in the faces, mixed with some faint sweet odor.
Inside the chamber, we saw towering heaps of huge white and brown blocks, and on the wall, I finally spotted the logo of the organization that used to own this building centuries ago. It depicted a cup of something brown and frothy, with a flowery caption above:
CHOCOLATE PRESERVATION INSTITUTE: SAVE OUR SWEETS
There was a pause.
"Oh well," I said. "No one can deny they housed something important, I can say that much."
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, May 19th, 2022
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