The Problem with Immortality, Part I

Posted: August 2, 2013 by writingsprint in Science fiction, The Problem with Immortality
Tags: , , , ,

cyborgI breathed. I blinked, opening my eyes wide. I started to rub them out of habit, but they didn’t itch. Cyborg eyes didn’t itch. They registered irritation. I noticed it without it feeling unpleasant. I laughed.

“How do you feel?” Dr. Andrews asked. “Are you all right?”

“Fine. I’m not tired. You know how when you wake up, you want to hit the snooze bar and sleep for five more minutes?” I shrugged. “Wide awake.”

Dr. Andrews made a note on his tablet. “We may want to adjust that.”

A nurse offered me her hand. Gingerly, I tried to stand up. I clasped her hand but not too tightly. Andrews laughed now. “You’d have to try really hard to hurt her. The system is aligned to your old body. You’re no stronger and no weaker than you were before.”

I smiled. I felt myself smile! “Can I get stronger?”

“Well, no. Your muscles are what they are. You can make yourself stronger if you get new motors in your joints. To make them bigger you’ll need to an overhaul, to replace the muscles.”

“All right, never mind.” I was standing.

“Tell me your name.”
I read it more than I remembered it. “John Patrick Walker.”

“Where are you from?”

“I was born in Philadelphia.” I blinked. “It’s all there. It’s clearer than before. I could tell you where I was born, where I grew up, and everywhere I lived after that, down to the street addresses and zip codes. I forgot about that time I slept on my friend Steve’s floor.”

“Please don’t get distracted. Every word you say is making history.”

“What are you worried about? I’m recording it all.”

Andrews looked at his assistant. “Memories aren’t supposed to be perfect. We want to work on that.”

I took his assistant and spun her in a circle, my favorite waltz move. She shrieked.
“Come on! This is fun!”

“Mr. Walker!”

“I haven’t walked in three years. I haven’t danced in eight. Give me a break!”
His assistant looked beside her herself. She was trying to hold on to her note pad with one hand while I tried to dance with it. She couldn’t pay attention while I kept moving her from side to side.

Andrews grabbed another assistant. “Get coordination. Motor function. Until he lets go of Dr. isaacs you need to fill in!”

“Mr. Walker, I’m trying to work,” Dr. Isaacs said.

“Fine.” I let her go and grabbed Andrews. “Come on, doc, let’s cut a rug.”

Andrews wriggled free. “Nonsense!”

I stumbled back. The cyborg body didn’t react quite as quickly as my body did. I almost fell. I felt more dizzy. The gyroscope or inner ear or whatever it used to keep my balance overcompensated left, then right, then got its act together. I felt motors whizzing all over my body to lift me back up. I wasn’t Fred Astaire, yet. But I was going to live forever.


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