Immortality: The Beginning of the End
It’s the year 2217. In several months, the world will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the creation of the chip that changed life on this planet forever. On November 1, 2117, Dr. Janix Frostman successfully implanted the first immortality chip into a live human, a one-year-old baby girl. The next four years were spent running intensive tests on the recipient. This included multiple attempts to end her life, all of which failed. When the test subject turned 5 years old, the results were announced to the world via a gruesome and elaborate demonstration consisting of three phases.
At the beginning of the demonstration, Dr. Frostman stepped up to the podium with the child in her arms, and a forced grin stretched across her face. As she began to speak, a silence like death swept across the crowds of people. At that moment, it was as if the whole earth had just stopped moving. All focus was directed toward the center stage, and then Dr. Frostman’s speech began.
“For centuries, mankind has sought after eternal youth and immortality. When it seemed that the Fountain of Youth was a myth and science wouldn’t provide answers to our ancestors, they turned to medical treatments like plastic surgery and Botox injections. The reality was, as they spent thousands of their hard earned money every year, they knew that they were only prolonging the inevitable. For them, in the end, death was the only option. But ladies and gentleman of 2117, I am proud to announce that we are living in a new era! We are no longer living for the purpose to die! Death is no longer an option! Welcome, my friends, to the Age of Immortality!”
With that last statement, the crowd went wild. Even before they saw the demonstrations, the evidence that proved that such a thing was possible, the people of earth were sold. In a few seconds, everyone was on their feet screaming, whistling, clapping, and celebrating even the possibility of being able to live forever. Though there were many skeptics, no one wanted to miss out on this exciting new development.
The holograms around the room began flashing, signaling the audience to quiet down. During the time of cheering, the stage was quickly changed, like everything had been perfectly rehearsed. After about five minutes, the crowd was seated and ready for the show to begin. The podium that once stood in the middle of the stage had been replaced by a cage and a playpen. In the cage sat a common chimpanzee that was specifically bred for scientific research. Even with all of the anti-animal testing laws that existed, knowing the right people and having the right amount of money still meant doing whatever you wanted to do. There, beside the caged animal in the playpen, sat the small child playing with her two-story dollhouse equipped with the latest in holographic technology. She was smiling and playing happily unaware of the thousands of people watching her.
Over the loudspeaker came the voice of Dr. Frostman. “Ladies and gentleman, this is the first of three demonstrations. Please be aware that some of these will get rather violent. If you feel as if you are unable to handle it, we encourage you to lean back in your chairs to activate your virtual personal blinders and wait for the demonstrations to end. We will send you a V-notice when we are ready to proceed to the next portion of the event. Let’s begin.”
Not a single person in the audience turned on their blinders even the idea of violence couldn’t scare them away from witnessing immortality for the first time. Thousands of people sat on the edge of their seats waiting to see what would happen next. They appeared to be in a trance, not knowing what to expect. The doctor continued.
“Let me direct you to the center of the stage, between the child and the chimp, we have a small table with two empty syringes and a single vial.”
The crowd began to “oh” and “ah” even before the contents of the vial were announced.
As she continued, a nurse dressed from head to toe, including a surgical mask to shield her face, began to fill each syringe with the liquid, making sure each syringe never left the audience’s sight. “This vial contains a highly concentrated dose of cyanide made from genetically altered banapple seed to increase its potency. You will begin to see the side effects immediately after it is injected.” She nodded to the nurse and said, “Proceed.”
Many of the audience members wore expressions of grave concern. Some showed signs of anxiety and even fear for the child’s well-being. But all were extremely curious about the events that were about to unfold.
The nurse walked over to the chimpanzee, offered it a piece of banapple and as it reached for the apple banana crossbreed, she grabbed its hand and shot the cyanide into the chimps forearm before it could take a piece of fruit. Within seconds the chimp started having violent convulsions. Thirty seconds later, the chimp had blood seeping out of every opening in its body. And in less than a minute, the chimp was laying at the bottom of the cage in a pool of blood, dead.
The audience gasped at the dreadful sight as the cage slowly sunk into the floor of the stage and disappeared out of sight. Some of the audience members began to shrink into their seats, preparing to activate their blinders, as the nurse stepped up to the child’s playpen. The nurse took the child’s arm and injected the cyanide. The child began to cry because of the pain from the injection. The nurse patted her on the head in a motherly fashion. Then she stepped back over to the table, picked up a stuffed teddy bear and gave it to the child. The child stopped crying as she hugged the bear to her chest and wiped the tears from her cheeks.
More than a minute had passed, and the crowd stood there waiting for the gory and gruesome death to begin. They weren’t heartless, they just knew what to expect because of the chimpanzee. But nothing happened. Ten more minutes went by, and everyone in the audience was chatting away asking themselves, “How is this possible?” Some of the skeptics said, “It’s a trick! A gimmick to get us hooked.” Most were not convinced.
Dr. Frostman’s voice returned, filling the room and drowning out the chatter. “I can see that some of you don’t believe this is actually happening. But what you don’t know is that the Immortality Chip has been programmed to help the body to produce the necessary antibodies to fight off all currently known illnesses that can cause death. This includes bacteria, viruses, poisons and more. And it is updated regularly via the unhackable Redtooth network. But if that isn’t proof enough for you, we will move onto demonstration number two.”
At that, the cage raised from the floor again, containing a new chimpanzee, and this one had a shaved patch on its arm. The nurse who had previously wandered off stage returned carrying a tray with a tomato and a laser scalpel. She placed the tray on the table and with a nod toward the back of the auditorium, she retrieved the scalpel, activated it, and began slicing the tomato into thin, even slices. For being a nurse who likely never had surgical training, she cut with the precision of a surgeon.
“As you can see, this is a real laser scalpel that is quite capable of cutting clean through many things.” Again, to the nurse, “You may proceed.”
The nurse walked over to the chimpanzee and offered it a piece of banapple. As she grabbed its arm, she slid the laser quickly and smoothly across its wrist and blood instantly began to spill out onto the floor, splattering the nurse’s white shoes and clothes. She had cleanly sliced through an artery with swiftness and without hesitation. Instantly, the bright red blood flowed as a stream flows down a mountainside.
“For those of you who are unfamiliar with biology, our bodies have several main arteries that carry blood throughout our bodies. If the main artery becomes damaged the body will bleed out its entire supply of blood in a matter of minutes. In this case, it was cut open with a laser scalpel. The result is… predictable.”
Again, the audience watched as the chimpanzee fought, unsuccessful, to hold on to its life and eventually died, just like the first one. This time, in a pool of blood that was so large that it ran out of the sides of the cage, forming a crimson ring. As the cage disappeared into the floor, hundreds of members of the audience began to turn on their blinders for fear of what would happen next to the child. It seemed as if not even a single person believed in this “immortality” claim. The audience certainly didn’t want to witness the murder of an innocent child, killing an animal, even in the name of science, was bad enough.
Without missing a beat, the nurse returned to the stage wearing clean white clothes. She retrieved the laser scalpel and approached the playpen. The child, who was still playing with the teddy bear, held it up to the nurse with both arms. With one hand, she patted the bear on the head and with the other hand, she slit the wrist of the child. Blood splattered across the playpen as the child’s arm began to bleed. The nurse stepped back and watched with a blank expression in her eyes, that were just visible over the top of her surgical mask.
The members of the crowd who chose to continue to watch this atrocity waited on pins and needles to see how long the poor child would have to suffer before the life was eventually drained from her body. They waited for the holograms to announce that it was all a big joke. Then a camera zoomed in closely on the wound that was gushing the precious red liquid of life. The child had tears streaming down her face from the pain.
After three minutes, the child should have been growing weaker, but her state remained unchanged. The nurse walked over to the child and patted her on the head just as she had done with the bear minutes ago. Then she motioned toward the wound. It was then that the audience members began to notice that it was no longer bleeding profusely. In fact, the bleeding had all but stopped.
When the child noticed that she was no longer bleeding, the tears stopped as she reached for her blood splattered bear that she had dropped, when the nurse attacked her, pulled him close. The nurse reached into the playpen and held out the child’s arm so that the camera could get a clear view. The astounded audience members began to get the attention of those who refused to watch so that they could see this miracle happening before their eyes. The wound on the child’s arm had not only stopped bleeding, but it had begun to close and heal itself.
“I know what you are thinking. What kind of witchcraft is this? It’s a miracle! Well, both of those thoughts are wrong. There is no such thing as magic, that was disproved by our ancestors 50 years ago. It’s also not a miracle.” She paused for effect. “It’s science.”
She watched from afar as the crowd’s appearance began to change. “The Immortality Chip has a special feature that allows the body to heal rapidly. This feature includes the creation and use of thousands of tiny nanobots when the body is in great distress, especially when large quantities of blood are lost. Now, the Immortality Chip does not turn us into robots. As you saw, the child was obviously in pain when she sustained the wound. But as the nanobots started to work on stopping the bleeding, the pain began to subside as did the child’s tears. Take a look at the wound now.”
The audience members were only paying attention to the wound displayed on the big holographic screens throughout the auditorium. They were gawking in amazement as the wound had all but disappeared before their eyes. There was minimal evidence that anything had even happened.
“In a few short hours, even the scar left by the laser will be but a memory. The nanobots are capable of wiping away all traces of the wound, including the typical buildup of scar tissue below the surface of the skin.”
As Dr. Frostman finished her sentence and the echo of her voice faded, chatter began to fill the auditorium. People were amused, concerned, fearful, excited, but most of all, they were curious about demonstration number three. It didn’t take long before everyone was on their feet chanting, “Number 3! Number 3! Number 3!”
Again, the holograms signaled for silence as Dr. Frostman began to speak again. “For the final demonstration, we are going to have a rather large change of scenery.”
At that, the top closed over the playpen to keep the child securely inside, and a cage with a new chimpanzee rose from the floor. Then both the cage and the playpen appeared to float straight up in the air. The spotbots shined their lights brightly on both.
As they reached a platform that hung about 6 feet from the ceiling, the nurse appeared behind the chimp’s cage. She reached forward and pulled the cage back as an extension to the platform rose and locked into place. Then she lowered a piece of banapple onto the platform in front of the chimp. He got excited and started jumping up and down in the cage, visibly shaking the platform a bit. The audience gasped in unison as the platform began to move but the nurse acted as if nothing had happened.
The nurse did the same thing with the child’s playpen, but instead of a banapple, you offered the child a piece of purple chocolate, and she too was excited about her treat.
Without a word from Dr. Frostman, the front of the chimp’s cage was opened, and it walked out onto the small platform extension and sat down to eat the banapple. Every member of the audience had their eyes glued to the chimp.
Suddenly, without warning, there was a loud click that echoed through the auditorium as the platform beneath the chimp collapsed sending the chimp plummeting towards the floor. As the chimp screamed in fear, seemingly falling for an eternity, many people began to cover their eyes as they knew what was coming next.
Splat! As expected, the chimp splattered across the stage in every direction upon impact with the hard, metallic floor. A few members reached for their suction bowls to collect the vomit that escaped them at the horrifyingly sickening sight. Others turned on their blinders to try to find their happy places and forget what they had just seen. And still a few waited anxiously to see what would happen to the child under the same circumstances.
Four robocleaners swept across the stage all at once, ridding the stage of the nauseating sight as the spotbots hovered directly over the child who was now approaching the piece of purple chocolate in the center of her tiny platform. Before she could even take a bite of the chocolate, the platform fell from beneath her, and she too fell rapidly toward the floor. The members of the audience who were still watching didn’t even have time to blink before the child hit the floor.
The child lay face down on the floor, lifeless, as blood began to pool underneath her small head, turning her light brown hair into a sticky red mess that draped across her face. The people were convinced now that the Immortality Chip had failed and the child was dead. They sat there watching for what seemed like an eternity as an ominous silence lingered in the room. No one spoke, no one even dared to take an audible breath, as they just sat there and waited.
Never before had a room sat completely motionless and silent for as long as this room sat waiting and hoping that the child was somehow alive.
After about half an hour, the nurse walked out on the stage and sat the child’s teddy bear near the edge of the pool of darkening blood. Then she disappeared off stage again.
Another 15 minutes passed, when a synchronized gasp filled the auditorium as the child’s small hand reached out and pulled the teddy bear close to her chest and then she began to pull herself up into a seated position. They could no longer contain themselves. The crowd went wild!
People were running laps through the aisles, jumping up and down, climbing on top of the seats, whistling and cheering loudly at the amazing miracle child!
The nurse returned to the stage, picked up the child, and wiped the blood from her face and pulled her bloodstained hair back with a ribbon. She then proceeded to lift the child up into the air as virtual fireworks and confetti filled the room!
From that day forth, life on earth would never be the same. Within hours after the demonstration, people began flocking to the various implantation stations that had been set up around the world. A total of 25,000 of those stations were built and prepared to start the surgery the day after the demonstrations. All of which could do roughly 250 implants a day.
Over the next three years, people spent days waiting in lines to have their appendix removed and replaced with the Immortality Chip. Instead of having their newborn babies vaccinated, parents were having their children implanted with the chips when they turned six months old.
By the year 2125, ninety-nine percent of the world’s population was now immortal. The death rate of humanity had dropped to less than 1%. The participation in extreme sports like skydiving, mountain biking, and rock climbing had increased to an all-time high. Surveys showed that 85% of the world’s population participated in one or more activities that they once considered to be too dangerous to attempt. The fear of death was gone. Hospitals and doctors had become obsolete. And life seemed to be going pretty well for the majority of the world’s population.
Copyright November 2017