New Technologies

by Naomie Christensen © 2002

It was time for my regular check-up. Sitting in the doctor’s office it had been nine years since the accident after the September 11th massacre. I was not in it, but lost a lot of blood in a freeway collision. The lack of donated blood forced me to get a transfusion from a close friend. A year later he find out he was AIDS positive. I cannot really explain the euphoria destroyed on that day. I caught it in time to live a much longer life. Unfortunately I caught a cold and now have another six months to live.

Dr. Mercy walks into the room looking down at her clipboard and states, “Stan, there is a new experiment that can save your life.” Smiling sincerely I had a hard time believing it. “You will need to travel out of state. Your insurance will cover it. It is up to you to participate. You can decide to back out at anytime. I can’t tell you much about it, except it is guaranteed to save your life.”

A little confused I stuttered, “Wh - what do I have to lose?”

I went into a trance after signing the papers and awoke in a small town in North Dakota. A man in a white lab coat paced, before all of us. Twelve people had also agreed to join the experiment, three women and nine men total. I knew I was going live to be an old man, though the technical procedures were all medical jargon and did not make sense to me.

It had been about two weeks of lab tests. In our morning discussion we would talk about our feelings. For the last two weeks, since I got here, haunting dreams of aliens asking me questions about myself preoccupied my mind. My new friend Crystal finished talking and I was next. Dr. Black asked me, “How are you feeling today, Stan?”

Sitting in the chair rubbing my hands I reply, “I have been having strange dreams since I got here. After the lights turn off it is like the door opens to my private room and an alien stands in front of me. It speaks English and asks me questions about myself. It’s probably the situation. The dreams are making me feel uneasy about the whole experiment.” Looking up at everyone, they all look stunned. The whole room was silent until the doctor excused all of us.

Lights out again and it felt like I would explode. My whole body tingled and I could not sleep. For at least two hours, I stared at the ceiling. I must have fallen asleep without knowing it. The alien stood in the room again, just like in the dreams. It said in a calm voice, “Hi Stan, how are you?” It was just a dream. “As you have guessed the technology to cure you is more advance than what modern scientists know conceive; I am sorry. There is no going back now. Tomorrow the doctors will explain. Go to sleep now.”

The team of doctors met with all of us. Dr. Black the resident psychologist got up to speak. “This may seem unconventional however, we are out of options. This place has been in operation since 1993. The first volunteers were strictly military. You can lead a normal life however; with this knowledge you must stay here. There are over five hundred people here, more than enough to live a happy life.”

If it was not already enough, he continued to speak. “First all of your memories will be moved to an Artificial Intelligence chip. Then all of your tissue will be surgically removed to prevent further contamination. We can salvage your bones with a marrow transplant. For a short time you will be like a cybernetic skeleton. You will have full movement, until your new tissue can be grown. You will look totally normal in the end and even be able to have children. Is there any questions?”

It was as though I was a cancer patient and they explained chemotherapy. Perhaps the doctor meant that after eight-teen years, the procedure was now conventional.

We got up and went on like usual. It was too unreal. I am waiting for my new body. Riding my bicycle to the lake always gives me inspiration.

x x x

Read more Flash Fiction? or Back to the Front Page?