IMMORTALITY

Starch faced with fading hair, Reginald Handley led the brigade into battle.   He was stalwart as he advanced the troops toward the steaming masses.   He was playing “Revenge,” a digital game where he was always the winner.    Reggie was better off than most of the old people on “Extend-A-Life.”   Science had developed cures for aging.   Every year a new cure was developed to extend life further into the future.   Immortality was within reach.    Of course the cures were very expensive.    People spent fortunes or stole millions just to stay alive for one more year.   Reggie was a retired executive from a money market firm.   He was paid several billion dollars in a severance package, but he spent more than he earned.   He was 150 years old, but now he was homeless.   Although he lived on the streets, he still had his phone and connection to the Net.   He was just barely able to pay for wireless service.   He wanted to live forever but no one would loan him money or hire him for a job.  Younger people resented the “super old.”   Employment laws were passed to give preference to people under the age of 85.   The “super old” had to find new ways to earn the money necessary to stay alive.   They became pimps, drug dealers, and contract killers.   A lifetime of experience and knowledge made them expert criminals – they quickly rose to positions of leadership.   Reggie, however, like many of the “super old,” wandered the streets and played computer games.   The hierarchy who ran the gangs didn’t want to lose power to the increasing numbers of oldsters.   Reggie was the first to exhibit symptoms of a new phenomenon among the “super old” …    It started soon after the company cancelled his wireless connection.   At first, he began to deteriorate.  He stopped his life extension treatments.  He became disoriented, drifting from one tent city to another.   He remained physically fit, but something flipped in his mind.   The pathways in his brain were rewired by his obsession with the computer game.   He was actually becoming the leader of the battalion from “Revenge.”   He’d gained incredible strength from his years living in virtual reality.   He went on a killing spree (blood & guts everywhere).   When the killing ended the “super old” came under his influence.   He was worshiped as the first Immortal. Under Reggie’s direction gangsters,  fascists, and CEOs were torn to shreds.    Cures for old age were freely distributed along with wireless connections.   It was a great new dawn until Reginald Handley suddenly dropped dead.   Nothing lasts.   Nothing ever lasts forever.

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