Stanley Random sat at his desk in the Information Center gazing intently at his display monitor. His fingers were motionless. His eyes were transfixed. His mind was incredulous with the possibilities which lay before him. On the screen was the key to the portal he had been searching for, which he knew must exist, ever since he had discovered "The History of the Migration" and the rejuvination process. Now he had to hide his new knowledge; camouflage it so the Master Programmer would not uncover it. Stanley knew that discovery would bring a quick end to his plans, and he would never achieve his goal. Even though he had allready assimilated more knowledge than anyone in his generation, and provided the Society with provocative improvements, some of which had been suppressed by the Master Programmer himself, Stanley's one great, all-consuming desire in life was to learn the purpose of the Migration. Unfortunately, that was the one subject so totally forbidden that any citizen caught making inquiries pertaining to it immediately lost password access to the Information Center libraries. Depending on the nature of the inquiry, it might also result in permanent demotion to external debris technician. This highly undesireable job consists of cleaning the outside of the City, with the inevitable result of becoming a part of the debris oneself. Consequently, Stanley knew the necessity for rapid encryption, and initiated the task with fanatic fervor.
Stanley was nearing the end of his ninth and final rejuvination cycle. Prior to his discovery of the day, he was becoming frantic with the possibility that he might cease to exist before finding the answers to his questions. Now he smiled a broad, toothy smile, confident that he had all the time in the universe to continue his research.
Rejuvination was a process discovered by Stanley early in his career as a librarian. In fact, he was only 30 earth years old at the time. The discovery catapulted him into the limelight, earned him a 6 grade promotion, and ultimately resulted in a major restructuring of society. One day he was sitting at his workstation absent-mindedly entering random password combinations, when the screen suddenly flashed,
"You have successfully entered a restricted password sequence.
This file has not been opened for 6321 earth years.
Data contained herein is of a sensitive nature.
Please press PF10 to continue.................."
Stanley pressed PF10 on his keyboard.
The help key very satisfactorily provided a complete summary of the various functions, including examples of alternative entries. There was even a flowchart showing how the master computer would perform the miracle, and a fully drawn schematic of how to build the medical robot which would operate on the subject. By the time Stanley finished reading, he knew exactly how to convert a 90 year old senior citizen to a healthy 20 year old. The only thing which puzzled him was the message,
"PF5 and PF9 permanently deactivated - no information available. Further inquiry will result in suspension of password privilege. PF6 limited to 9 cycles per subject. Tenth cycle results in subject termination. "
(AUTHOR NOTE- for future ref. PF5 - alter subject profile PF9 - override PF6 restriction, are the new discoveries which allow Stan to continue his quest.)
It should be noted that in turning back the aging clock, only the physical aspects of the subject change. The subject becomes exactly what he was at age twenty. Memory remains intact. In fact, a mind affected adversely by age resulting in memory loss will be restored to full capacity by the process. In other words, the normal life span of a human increased from 90 earth years to 90 + (70 * 9), or 720 years.
Society changed. The authorities, upon hearing of Stanley's brilliant discovery, immediately diverted all resources to the production of medical units for initiating rejuvination. The Master Programmer himself volunteered to be the first test subject, since he was allready 92 years old. The test was a total success, and since the Master Computer always chose a new Master Programmer upon the demise of the current one, with a lifetime term of office, the government of the City developed an entirely new outlook. Projects and Policies could now be extended for much longer periods, which inevitably led to a stranglehold of power, less acceptance of change, and a restriction of personal freedom. Of course, personal freedom had always been in question, as the encapsulated society had no room for growth.
The population quickly adapted to the longer lifespan. Since zero-growth had always been a forced limitation of the City, which has a total capacity of two million inhabitants, the permitted birth rate plummeted in direct proportion to the death rate, from 22,222 per year to 2,777 per year. In turn, there was a drastic realignment of job assignments by the master computer. Jobs had always been assigned at birth, based on computerized gene analysis. Within 20 years, less than 3 percent of the population were children, resulting in fewer childcare workers, toy manufacturers, educators, and all other child-related occupations. Major increases occurred in areas relating to adult leisure activities.
(future topics- Stanley's personal life - childhood, friends, views, relationships, etc.; the history of the migration, not including its purpose; the City - description, society; the new discovery of PF5 and PF9, how Stanley transforms himself, protects his identity, beginning adventures)
copyright 1996, Random Novels, Inc.