Friday, July 10, 2015

Microstory 100: Lifespan Tattoo

Ethan woke up with a slight itch on his arm. He lifted his sleeve and discovered a tattoo that he had no recollection of getting. He had only put his head down for twenty minutes for a nap, and he didn’t drink. There was no way he could get a fully healed tattoo and not remember it. It read Ethan Daniels 2002 - 2044, which was incredibly ominous. He rode his bike to various tattoo parlors in town but they all assured him that they would never ink a 13 year-old without his parents’ permission. He knew his parents would never agree to such a thing either, even if he asked. Eventually, he gave up on finding a logical reason for it, and instead focused on the warning. It was clear that someone was trying to tell him that he was going to die in 29 years. As he continued trying to go about his normal life, the message ate away at him. He took classes and did research online about precognition, ghosts, time travel, and anything else so much as mildly relevant to his situation. He found himself obsessed with the possibility of immortality. He ended up studying longevity in college and began a company of his own that put vast amounts of resources into solving death by attacking the problem from multiple angles. His death loomed, and he was running out of time. The tattoo didn’t show a date, so he had always assumed that it would happen on his birthday, July 10. On that day, despite objections from his team, he subverted safety protocols and uploaded his consciousness to an android body. It worked. The artificial neural network soaked up his brain patterns like a sponge. It was only then that he realized the truth. The tattoo was never predicting the year of his death; it was predicting the year of his birth.

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