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he? He had everything to be happy. Why would he choose religion instead of happiness? Why choose a fantasy instead of the real life blessings of our current science and technology? Life is good now that we have put a rein on it. Now that life is no longer our enemy, or at least not an enemy that we have to fear, we can face the good things it can offer without worrying about our decay. Regardless of what new feeble disease life invents, our engineers and physicians will often have the cure even before one single person comes down with its symptoms. And if they don’t act quickly enough and you end up with some new virus destroying your heart or your liver, they just grow a new organ for you and replace it in the next bimonthly visit. Pancreas is busted? Your physician’s visit will have to be extended for an extra fifteen minutes. Multiple organs at the same time? They can always schedule you for next week, or some other date that doesn’t conflict with your busy life. The truth is that nobody really has to make any extra appointments these days. The physicians usually detect organ and cell malfunction even years before they actually start giving you problems, and replace what’s necessary during your following preventative check-ups. Old age? Accelerated cell regeneration keeps me in a permanent state of physical and mental youth. Most of the cells in my body don’t even get to die before they are replaced by new ones. You look at me and you see a twenty-something, hungry for life. Give me more! Give me everything! Who wouldn’t want that? We are practically immortal now! All hail the new flesh! Sure, there are ways to perish, but it is becoming harder and harder to suffer that outdated natural death. And yet . . . My son didn’t know that I had been alerted by his physician. When I arrived to his house and entered his bedroom, I found

and old man in his deathbed instead of my son. A decrepit seventy-year-old man; so different from the young and healthy holographic image he tricked me with for so many years. There were no greetings coming from his tired self. “Why?” I had to ask him. His opaque eyes stared at me with almost no reaction. The physician had warned me that he was dying. ‘Too far gone into death’, those were his words. The same physician was now here in his room, surely monitoring my son’s death as a rare event that should be documented for science. He even started to explain to me what kind of cancer was killing my son, hardly suppressing his excitement, until I interrupted him and asked him to please leave us alone. I promised I would allow the monitoring continue until the end. I wanted some privacy in case my son decided to offer an explanation. The physician reluctantly understood and, with a simple nod, signed off his hologram and disappeared from the room. “It’s not too late, my son,” I said once we were alone. “Who are you?” my son asked. “I am your father,” I answered surprised and sad; I supposed his disease had impaired his judgment. “You’re a stranger.” He breathed heavily. “My father would be over a hundred years old now.” “My son . . .” I wanted to explain the blessings of science, the beauty of technology, and how we no longer had to bow to life, but he interrupted me. “No! You are not my father. You are a copy of my father. You have been replacing yourself for years; piece by piece, you have discarded your own self like filth! You are no longer you, and you don’t even know it. You are a second-rate copy.” “No, no. I am the same. Don’t you recognize me?” “There’s not a cell in your body from

Profile for Conjectural Figments

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

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