Daysleeper

Slattery burst into the Temporal Control Room and aimed his ion pistol at a spot just between the eyebrows of the Time Lord. “Sic semper tyrannis!” Slattery screamed as his finger tensed on the trigger.

“Wait!” the Time Lord cried, his hands raised in alarm. “Why are you doing this?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” Slattery snarled. “You keep our people in slavery, without control over our own lives!”

“What are you talking about?” the Time Lord protested. “All I do is enforce our law, which is that all citizens must spend 12 hours of each day in cryogenic suspension. We created this law because of rampant overpopulation. This way, half of our people enjoy the benefits of our society at any one time, thus making efficient use of valuable living space and resources!”

“Pfah!” Slattery spat. “Lovely words, Time Tyrant — and a convenient excuse to steal half of our lives — the half we spend rotting in those damned cryo tanks!”

“But your body is perfectly preserved while in the cryogenic storage capsule,” the Time Lord replied. “You don’t age at all in cryo sleep…so effectively, we’re actually doubling your lives by spreading your total life expectancy over twice the usual number of years.”

Slattery pondered this for a moment. “Oh…yeah, you’re right,” he mumbled, frowning. “I hadn’t thought of it that way before. Sorry — my bad.”

“Don’t worry about it, my good chap!” grinned the Time Lord, whose real name was Bill Evans.