by Kali Hawa
And holding up my fist
Foolishly asked for
As many years of life
As the grains of sand in the dust
I forgot to add that
They be years of youth.
- Ovid’s Metamorphosis
Circa 2037, AMD (Advance Medical Lab) Noida
Friday, 1130 PM, January 9th 2037
It was past midnight. E Babu, now quite exhausted began collecting his things; in fact he gathered them with the swipe of his hand, dumped them into his briefcase. He felt a deep sense of emptiness, something when you expect a burst of euphoria but instead get dissipated joy. He was at the threshold of an extraordinary event yet there was this nagging sense of foreboding bothering him. Unable to make a decision he slumped back into his cushy chair. It is now roughly two years that he had stumbled upon this discovery. That seemingly innocuous protein had the unusual property of intercepting cell transformation process; he had called it GI (Gene Interceptor). In two years he had perfected its structure for harmless release on humans. Now he was ready for Beta Interceptor the stable and beneficial version of GI.
He looked at his wrist; the watch like device much oversized with bold geometric features looked very rugged, gave impression of being uncomfortably heavy but in reality was quite light. Fitted with Cluzide superconducting power storage, it didn’t need a refill until another year. E Babu sighed,
A translucent blue light hologram over the device began to make pleasant figures accompanying soft music, a lotus meting into a lithe celestial nymph with a harp.’
‘Oh, cut that bullshit Osho’, yelled E Babu.
‘But I detect subtle slowdown in heart rate, and BP. Nerves signaling a mild bout of depression E Babu’
‘That’s is my script you are parroting’
“I am only trying to help’
‘Now run BI (Beta Interceptor) data’
Hologram morphed into a monitor, began running statistical data. It automatically began to scroll in sync with E Babu’s need, sensing his nerve signals. E Babu had seen these figures several times over but this time he was very alert giving close attention to BI simulation results. Finally he asked his e-aide,
‘OK! Osho, tell me, is it ethical to release BI?’
‘I can’t give a subjective answer E Babu.’
‘Could you run BI simulation?’
‘BI simulation has proved beyond doubt that it intercepts dying process of cell regeneration therefore the person injected with BI remain in his state of health perpetually in other words a young person injected with BI does not die of old age. GI protein had two nucleotides that acted as switches. One switch kept the regeneration process on while the other switched accelerated aging. Aging switch remained dormant until in a complex process a specific segment in protein called ‘Beta String’ is oxidized. Once that happens the aging process takes over. You succeeded in isolating that segment of protein that switched aging. No government will allow its release fearing several trajectories of drift. Most governments would fear complete loss of interest in population renewal, a sense of invincibility in folks leading to increase in homicides, high dose of violence in society and behavior alteration towards recklessness. Paranoia over resources will lead to a highly strung society ready for skirmishes even for insignificant resources. After an initially surge in population its number will decline to reach a lower equilibrium. It will be a very wild society.’
‘How does coded BI pan out?’
‘There is no way it can be released legally, not even trials will be allowed, there is too much at stake for governments. The coded version has inert Sulzium nucleotide removed from all twenty one spots, replace by a combination of E-Philtine, N-Cultium, Para-Glydine … etc. These sixteen nucleotides docked in Sulzium spot in GI protein structure communicate with each other. When N-Cultium, E-Philtine etc align they oxidize BI string thereby turning the aging switch on. The computer randomizing of their sequence fixes time for counter reaction. You have succeeded in emulating normal dying ages with randomly coded GI protein i.e coded BI release does not alter average human age. The only benefit is that they don’t grow old but die abruptly in a super aging process. The randomization program is deep encrypted with seed prime number erased. Now nobody can manipulate his age by deciphering code sequence of BI. There is ethical issues to settle i.e. BI injected humans will not have their natural age but an age randomized by a computer program, this apart, impact on society will be generally calming. Aware that they could abruptly die any day and bereft of aging worry, there will be no panic or paranoia over resource crunch therefore human response becomes much more rational.’
‘OK I am ready. Make preparation for first randomized coded BI dose.’
Osho, his e-aide got busy for a few seconds then sent infra red signal to a machine resembling a complex drinks dispenser. The machine began to blink several colored lights and with muted whirring sound came to life. In a few seconds first vial of codes BI came out. E Babu got up looked around, sighed at such a bland setting for a momentous occasion in human history. Without further ado he injected the glistening liquid into his arm, slumped back at his chair waiting for to effect to take place.’
In ten minutes he felt very unusual.
‘What have you done, Osho?’
Monday, 12th January, 2037: AMD, Noida
There was a panicky knock at Director Farzana’s room, immediately floor attended walked in,
‘There a dead old man in Dr E Babu’s room?’
‘Yes Ma’am, an exceedingly old man; dead in his room!’
They hurriedly walked down to E Babu’s room which was only one floor below. They saw an old fellow slumped on E Babu’s chair. Dr Carl Chakra was already investigation the stranger. Said,
‘This dead man is E Babu. I have checked his identity from national DNA register, his DNA matches E Babu’s; absolutely no doubt about the identity.
So they run his e-aide, the emergency log does not need password verification; his last half hour recorded interaction. A blue hologram projected E Babu’s image at the same place where the old man was lying. E Babu looked very tired and listless and at least ten years older,
‘Is there a God, Osho?
‘The issue is not settled with finality.’
‘Is there an afterlife?’
‘The issue is not settled with finality.’
‘What a dumb machine you are!’
‘Really! Humans are the ones who miss out the obvious. Like the Ovid’s character you sought a long life but forgot to seek they be years of youth. Coded BI has to be punched with Seldium solution to make it work. I did my best as a safety response to punch the coded BI with Seldium but it needs four days at room temperature to stabilize. Raw Seldium activated aging switch and turned off regeneration switch. You will be ageing super fast E Babu. There is nothing anybody can do now. Now tell me who is dumb?’
* * * * * * * *