Header 1

Our future, our universe, and other weighty topics

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Rejuvenation Glitch: A Science Fiction Story

Rejuvenation Glitch: A Science Fiction Story
In the middle of the twenty-first century when Tom Waters first heard that he could undergo rejuvenation treatments that would make him look and feel 30 years younger, the 50-year-old man thought it was too good to be true.

“Okay, Doc, what's the catch?” asked Tom.

“There is no catch,” said Dr. Danton. “Millions of people are doing this all over the world now, with fantastic results. The treatment I propose will be relatively modest. We'll only make your body look and feel like it is 30 years younger. Some doctors are doing rejuvenation treatments which make men as old as 80 look and feel like they are only 20.”

“Tell me again – how is it going to work?” asked Tom.

“We'll be giving you four months of injections, once every week,” explained Dr. Danton. “I could tell you the technical details about how the telomerase will make the telomeres in your chromosomes like the telomeres of a young man. I could give you all the facts about how the restorative nanobots will fix the damage done by 30 years of aging. But why bother getting into the details of the science? The bottom line is: at the end of four months, you will look and feel like a man of 20.”

Tom knew the treatment was very expensive, but he decided to give it a try. He had recently divorced his wife, and he wanted his next mate to be a much younger woman. He knew that many men his age went chasing after women half their age, but he thought they looked ridiculous when they did that. Tom figured: if I want to get a 20-year-old girlfriend, the best strategy is to look like a 20-year-old.

So Tom began the four months of injections. As the weeks passed, he kept looking in the mirror. He was delighted to see his wrinkles gradually fade away as the weeks passed. Tom noticed that his vigor and sex drive seemed to increase a little with every passing week. His hair gradually grew back, his skin tone improved, and he noticed himself looking younger as every week passed.

Finally the four months were over, and Tom looked in the mirror. He looked just as he had looked thirty years ago. Best of all, he had all the energy and vigor that he had that long ago.

Tom went to Bob, a good friend of his, to show off his change in appearance. He knocked on Bob's door. After opening his door, Bob asked, “Can I help you?” Clearly he didn't even recognize Tom.

“It's Tom,” said Tom.

“Tom who?” asked Bob.

Tom laughed, and explained everything.

“It's just amazing,” said Tom. “When they roll back your age by thirty years, no can even recognize you any more.”

Tom was now ready to go look for a sexy young woman to date. Yet he wondered: when he met such a lady, should he tell her he was a rejuvenated 50-year-old? No, he thought; that wouldn't work. There's something ridiculous about a 50-year-old man chasing after a woman half his age, Tom thought. Tom decided it was better to change his name, and come up with a fake story of his life. That way when he met Miss Sexy Young Thing, the woman would be more likely to accept him.

Tom then joined an online dating service that he hoped would find him the type of female he was looking for. He specified that his name was Rick Rogers, age 20. He also made it clear that he was looking for a female no older than himself. Through the dating service, he got in touch with a woman who he found very attractive. So Tom arranged an in-person date with the woman. They met at a small restaurant.

“I'm Jane,” said the woman. “So nice to meet you in person.”

“I'm Rick Rogers; pleased to meet you,” said Tom. “You look even lovelier than you do online.”

“How old did you say you were?” asked Tom. The woman looked very young, and Tom didn't want to get involved with someone underage.

“I just turned 18,” said the woman.

The two of them talked for hours at the restaurant. Tom had a strange feeling that he had met the woman before, but he couldn't associate her with any specific person he had met. It was almost the same kind of mysterious deja vu feeling that the great songwriters Rodgers and Hart had described in their classic song Where or When.

After two more dates, Tom made his move. After kissing the woman deeply, Tom said with a naughty look in his eye: “How about I show you my apartment now?”

“I think I'd better not,” said the woman. “You may not believe this, but I was raised by an incredibly old-fashioned mother. She taught me that a good girl should never have sex with a man unless they are married.”

At first Tom was disappointed. His rejuvenated body wanted some sexual enjoyment now, not months later after some engagement and marriage. But as Tom thought about it the next day, he decided perhaps it was all for the best. Presumably Jane is a virgin, Tom thought to himself, and therefore even more of a catch.

For a few weeks Tom and the woman carried on a passionate but non-sexual relationship. Then one day while the two were walking down a romantic river bank, Tom asked the woman to marry him. She accepted the proposal immediately.

future couple

Tom was overjoyed. He began making plans for the wedding. Tom told his best friend Steve about what had happened.

“Tom, don't you think you're rushing into this?” asked Steve. “You've only known this woman for a few weeks.”

“Steve, I can tell if it's the Real Thing in a few weeks,” said Tom. “When it's the Real Thing, I only need a few days to recognize it.”

“Okay, but let me investigate this woman a little, just to make sure that you don't get any nasty surprises,” said Steve. At first Tom refused, but after some forceful arguing by Steve, Tom reluctantly agreed.

Tom made plans for an expensive wedding. He decided to invite only a few people, so that he would not reveal that his name and life story were fakes. Tom made reservations for a wedding dinner at a very fancy restaurant on the 124th floor of a new skyscraper.

On the day the wedding was scheduled, Steve met Tom at his apartment.

“So today's the big day!” enthused Tom. “She's going to make me the happiest man in the world.”

“Tom, you'd better sit down,” said Steve. “I found some shocking information about your fiancee.”

Tom gulped. “What is it?” he asked.

“Jane lied about her age,” said Steve. “She's not 18, not by a long shot.”

“Oh no!” said Tom. “I should have known from her baby face – she's underage, right?”

“No, that's not it,” said Steve. “The fact is: she's many years older than 18. She had a rejuvenation treatment just like you did. The treatment took decades off her age. That's why she looks 18.”

Tom winced.

“Okay, so maybe she's been around the block a few times,” said Tom. “So she's probably not a virgin. I don't care. I love her, and I'm going to marry her.”

“I also found out that her name isn't Jane,” said Steve. “She apparently did the same thing you did when you got rejuvenated – she changed her name and came up with a fake story of her life, so people wouldn't find out how old she is.”

“What is her real name?” asked Tom.

“With the rejuvenation therapy changing both of your appearances so much, she couldn't recognize you, just like you couldn't recognize her,” said Steve. “And with both of you giving fake names and fake life histories, there was no way for either of you to know you had met before.”

“What is her real name?” asked Tom again.

“Dorothy Waters,” said Steve.

“Dorothy Waters?” shrieked Tom Waters, putting his hands on his forehead as his face contorted in a horrified expression. “DOROTHY WATERS?”

“Yes, Tom, it's true,” said Steve. “That sexy baby-faced young girl you were going to marry today is your rejuvenated grandmother.”