Cryopods, or stasis chambers, are self-regulating,
temperature-sensitive storage containers. In other words, really fancy
freezers. They're made of Hydro-Honium steel, and they usually have one transparent surface so that the contents are visible — which is a nice feature, in theory.
The idea behind cryogenic freezing is pretty simple; we took a stab at it on Earth
as early as the middle of the 20th century. If you can freeze an
organism to the temperature of liquid nitrogen without killing it,
it'll remain in stasis — i.e., it won't decay — for as long as it's
frozen. Theoretically, this can be used to preserve sentient beings.
The catch is, the freezing process itself can cause significant (as in
lethal) tissue damage. No one on Earth had found a way around that
pesky problem, last I heard, but whoever invented these cryopods has.
I'm not certain whether the cryopods prevent the damage caused by
freezing, or if they employ a technology that heals the freezing damage
during rejuvenation. Either way, as Jool demonstrated, a living being can be stuck in a cryopod, frozen for 22 cycles, and then released with not a hair (or a vocal cord) out of place.
Of course, Jool and her cousins had been put into the pods by Grunchlk, who had essentially kidnapped them for their organs, fluids and tissues. We nearly lost Aeryn
to Grunchlk's freezer farm, too. After Aeryn was recovered from the
freezing-cold water in which she'd drowned, Grunchlk told us she was
dead and put her in a cryopod, to serve as her "coffin."
What Grunchlk didn't tell us was that Aeryn was actually hovering at
the edge of death and that he had activated the cryopod, holding her in
stasis. That S.O.B. Grunchlk tried to use my Aeryn for spare parts. On
the one hand, I could strangle him ... but then I remember that if he
hadn't put her in stasis, she might have really died down there, forever. Sometimes the things people do balance out in the end.
JOURNEY LOG REFERENCES
Die Me, Dichotomy
Season of Death
Suns and Lovers
STARBURST TO ANY NOTE