I wrote this book six years ago, in 2013 and published it in 2014 under the name Forever Young. I rewrote the book to correct grammar and style issues however, the storyline did not change. This book has similarities to the Corona Virus in it. When the book was written the Covid-19 was not here, but being in the health field we knew a similarity to the virus would come one day. This is how our alternative world will exist when technology takes over.
The morning sun rose above the horizon, sending rays of sunlight through Jonathan Smith’s thin curtains. He slipped out of bed and made his way to the connecting bathroom. He lifted the lid to the porcelain toilet and eliminated the alcohol he consumed the night before. A computerized hologram appeared on the wall, flashing. His sodium count was up again from the five beers he drank the previous night.
“I know, I know.” he mumbled to no one. He flushed the toilet and walked back into his bedroom.
Jonathan used to work at the University of Texas twenty years ago in March 2079. He invented a computer system for people’s homes and offices. The system made the house a smart house like cell phones did in the year 2015. All systems came with a hologram named Zoe. Zoe appeared whenever you asked for her or if she had to remind someone of an appointment. Students at the University designed Zoe to help people with their everyday life events. She took notes, made phone calls, turned on lights, unlocked doors, and ordered food at restaurants. Zoe’s performance skills excelled daily through updates from the university. It made life so much easier and stress free.
“Zoe,” he yelled.
A hologram appeared in front of him of a thirty-five-year-old woman. She wore a light blue dress that hung to her knees. Her curly blonde hair snaked down her back to her waist. Her nails manicured to match her attire. “You called Jonathan?” She asked in a calm tone.
“Can you have Thelma cook me some eggs and bacon for breakfast?”
Zoe shook her head. “Your sodium count is up again. I will make it sodium free bacon with no salt on the eggs.”
Since Zoe ran all his blood work and urinalysis through her system, he did not get away with anything. She kept him healthy and thriving for many years since doctors’ offices did not exist anymore. Doctors’ appointments performed via Skype at home were the norm. The robot, Zoe, now performed all x-rays, MRI’s and scans from home. The government did not allow surgeries because of the astronomic death rate due to infections. Zoe used her ultra-ray light beam to help heal wounds. The only thing Zoe did not do is heal major diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, auto-immunity diseases, Parkinson’s just to name a few. People lived longer because of the advancements in medicine. However, Jonathan still held the record.
Jonathan walked into the kitchen and sat down on a chair at the kitchen table. He waved his hand in front of him until his hologram newspaper appeared. “I’ll take my morning coffee now, Thelma.”
Thelma appeared from behind the counter. Robots today appeared human. The only difference between a human and a robot was their voice and the symbol they wore on their uniforms. All robots wore the State of Texas emblem to show they were not human. The creator used silicone they invented to make the skin of the robot appear human. Some were women, and some were men. Everyone designed their own robots, and the companies shipped them to the owners. Jonathan chose a down-to-earth woman who stood around 5 feet 5 inches tall. She had short dark brown hair and wore a navy-blue pant suit with black flat loafers. He liked his women to be in dresses or skirts in case someone visited.
Thelma sat a cup of hot, black coffee on the table in front of him. She smiled and then winked. It was their morning routine of flirting since he was a widower. His wife, Cecily, passed several years ago from Alzheimer’s. Jonathan refused a serious relationship since his wife passed. Jonathan figured no woman would tolerate his ways. So, when he began dating his neighbor, Mary Jo Jenkins, he never planned on falling for the fifty-year-old British woman. But even Mary Jo was unaware of the secret he lived with.
“You have a medical appointment with Dr. Alexander tomorrow,” interrupted Zoe. She handed him his D150, and he placed it over his finger.
“Thank you.” The D150 recorded his pulse, oxygen level, and temperature. Zoe then sent the results to Dr. Alexander. Zoe pointed her finger as a bright ultra-ray beam scanned his body for the MRI Dr. Alexander ordered from his last appointment. “Send the scan to Dr. Alexander and inform me when he calls tomorrow.”
Zoe nodded, and she left the kitchen to perform her task in the office.
He touched the hologram screen to turn it on. The front page of the paper showed a picture of his son, Derek. He read the caption and gasped. “Zoe, call Derek for me, please.” The hologram phone emblem lit up green on the bottom of the screen before it separated into two holograms.
“Hello,” answered Derek.
“Hey there, son.” he replied. “I am reading the newspaper and I am wondering why you never informed me of the promotion?”
“Oh!” Derek exclaimed. “You already saw it. I now oversee just about everything the Governor does.”
“That is great, son. Are you still going to practice science while you work for Governor Bates?” Derek had a doctorate degree in Science Medicine. He invented pills and antibiotics for Texas University. The University built the laboratory and paid for it so they could produce more medicines and vaccines. The laboratory covered the whole ten thousand square footage of his basement. It was a win-win situation for Derek and the university since most of the pills used throughout the years were now obsolete.
“Yes, the University has approved of my position with Governor Bates. It will add more publicity for the college.”
“Well, son, you are an integral figure at the college. You have helped Dr. Neill invent several drugs and machinery that saved many people’s lives and helped them to live longer.” Dr. Neill was a respected doctor who worked in the DNA Department at the university. Neill worked for them for sixty years and passed away three months ago at eighty. The university made Derek head of the DNA Department two months ago.
“Many will miss Neill,” said Derek. Derek worked for the university for ten years. He ranked two in his field, graduating from Princeton with honors. After graduation, Derek moved back to Texas and got his first job at the University. Jonathan left the University by that time because he did not want anyone to figure out the experiment included him, especially Derek.
A hundred years ago, at a tender age of forty, Jonathan worked at the university with a new and bright scientist named Dr. Heckler. Heckler invented a pill to make humans live forever. It took years for the doctor to get the formula correct, but he succeeded. Jonathan volunteered in 1996 to be the guinea pig for the experiment. The only people acquainted with the experiment was Dr. Heckler, and the then Dean of the university, Dr. Schultz, and himself. Heckler passed away fifty years ago, and the Schultz passed twenty- eight years ago. He became the last living identity to witness Heckler’s experiment. That is until July 30th of 2097when he was to inform the current administration of the experiment and the results. He only had a few months left before he met with the new Dean, so he must inform his son soon of his secret.
“Derek, I need to talk to you about something. Can we get together later this afternoon and talk?”
“Sure, dad. How about we meet at the park tonight after work at six?”
“That will be fine. See you then.” He hung up the phone, wondering if he was doing the right thing in telling Derek his secret. It would be a lot for Derek to digest. His son was a smart man, so he did not have to explain every detail. Derek learned about Dr. Heckler in college, so he realized how over-the-top Heckler got with his experiments. It should help him a lot when he had to explain to his son his father is not fifty years old, but a hundred and forty.