This is the future, and you saw it here first. This is how it simply has to be.
You see, I think we have to face the probability that in fifty years, when we return in our next lives, (which I for one confidently expect to do, as a powerful, intelligent and successful man), medical knowledge will have far surpassed those sad boundaries of cursing and nursing and hard beds which are our present lot.
‘Prevention, not cure’. Historians of our future will fritter away their Doctorates trying to trace the originator of the phrase. When they discover his or her name, it will be vaunted, sublimated, placed on the same high pedestal as Washington or King. University Degrees will be awarded in it. He or she will become the hero of a new age.
In practical terms though, what will it mean? Well, I offer you this. From the age of, say, twenty-five we will be encouraged to watch ourselves carefully in our mirrors each morning, anticipating the exact moment when our youthful beauty, firm muscle tone, and bright keenness of eye conjoin. When we have selected this vital hour at the summit of our powers, we will submit to an intense examination of our mental alertness and if, after the usual test of five minutes we have solved the required twelve intricate mental exercises successfully, we will make our way to Progenitor Labs, Inc. to have ourselves modeled.
Personally, once I am booked in, I see myself comfortably ensconced with a magazine that will ensure I achieve the best results for certain of my assets. I will sleep while DNA samples are taken, tissue typing is performed and my internal organs are x-rayed in three dimensions. I will be weighed and I will be photographed (I must remember to ask for copies to be sent to my friends) and I will be painted over with delicious warm latex.
Then, wearing a discreet monitor implanted painlessly beneath my skin I will go home, and apart from maintaining a monthly payment to Progenitor Labs I will think no more about that day. I may well forget it altogether.
Progenitor Labs., though, will not forget us – any of us; nor will our medical insurance companies. They will be listening to our tiny, bleeping monitors as they tell of the wrinkles that are etching into our complexions, teeth that are decaying, joints that are wearing down, hearts that are faltering. When we visit our dentists a new tooth will be there waiting, grown from samples drawn by Progenitor: if our joints ache, replacements exactly tailored to our physical shape will be grown and ready. We won’t need to feel the first flutter of arrhythmia; a telephone call will have already summoned us to the operating suite where a new heart and arteries exactly like our own await.
Of course there are certain extra services for which I may choose to pay – like replacement of firm body tissue and a transplant for that fresh, strong-featured youthful face – recreated from the latex mold Progenitor have stored for me. And then there are remedies of a similar nature for those awe-inspiring sexual powers…
Immortality? Certainly, of a kind. There may well be limits, but rest assured the reincarnation waiting lists will get significantly longer, to a point where those who control these things may be forced to operate a selection process, even a clearing house for the allocation of new souls. You might find it very difficult, for example to get a placement with parents in the south east of England, or Los Angeles – much easier to accept a more minor role in the north of Scotland, or maybe Nebraska (sorry, Nebraska!).
A price is necessary to the accelerated pace of evolution: there will always be those who have to pay for the good fortune of others. With my future-eye I foresee a couple of major scandals clouding the horizon of the year 2094:
‘Progenitor Labs file for bankruptcy…creditors told to expect low return on their investment.’
‘Pet food scandal – Milton Ward Cryogenics implicated’.
(descriptions of the author are subject to exaggeration and bear no relation to any persons living or likely to live)