Dispatches from the wilds of Proseambique – Scale

People who imagine immortality is boring suffer from a lack of perspective. Oh, sure, things that are once-in-a-lifetime for most people become routine; you see Halley’s comet so many times that eventually you don’t even bother looking up; you love every newborn son and daughter from the moment they’re in your arms, but you long ago gave up trying to remember their name; and your soul-mates become a long succession of faces slowly fading in the photo-album of your memories – but these are little things. Things that do not matter. Minor amusements – the domain of mortals.

It took ten-thousand years to turn desert lynxes into something you could share space with on your couch; ten-thousand years to turn wolves into chihuahuas. This is the kind of time you have to play with. So you breed, and refine, and breed, and refine with all the patience of the undying. You do the work of two hundred men, one after another other, and feel the satisfaction of two hundred lives well spent.

Until finally your miniature elephant curls up to sleep in your lap while your pocket-bear chews quietly on one of your socks, under the coffee table where she thinks you can’t see her.

Who could ever think that boring?

Published in: on July 28, 2011 at 11:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dispatches from the wilds of Proseambique – The Axe

The doctor gives it to him straight.
“Your heart’s shot. You’ll be lucky to get another month out of it.”
This is no great problem, of course. Replacing a heart is a relatively straight-forward affair. They can grow a new one for him from some DNA taken from a skin sample in just a few days. Robotically-assisted surgery has a higher than 99% success rate. The thing is, though, it’s really not worth it.
“Sure, we can replace your heart… but the rest of you… well, you’re getting on now. We put a new heart in you and you’ll just be back in a year for a new set of kidneys, or new eyes, or… it’ll just be one thing after another. It really makes a lot more sense to transfer you into a new body, fresh grown. No more aching knees or weak eyes. We can even iron out this genetic heart defect. In the long run, it’s a far better course of action.”
He looks down at his hands, the lines of 80 years etched into them. These hands that held his son for the first time. He raises them to his lips, these lips that his wife kissed for the last time. He remembers debating the Grandfather’s Axe with her back in their university days, the thought brings a lump to his throat. Immortality, he’s learnt, is more letting go than hanging on.

Published in: on July 3, 2011 at 1:48 am  Comments (2)  
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