Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer

The pig carcass filled most of the stainless tub where the delivery men had laid it. Freshly slaughtered, but not butchered, it had taken four of them to lift it there. None of them spoke to Rinnovi, only pausing for him to sign for the animal before they left.

On the way to the door, one of the men pointed at the labels affixed to virtually every item in the house; black typewritten names and addresses on white shipping labels. The leader of the group nudged him and shook his head ‘no’, before hurrying him out the door.

Rinnovi poured a scotch, and turned on the kitchen vid display, his own visage peering back at him with a smile. He froze the frame, leaving the remote on the island beside the second stainless tub.

“Osiris, prepare to renew.” He spoke aloud to the empty room.

“Preparations underway.” The voice, angel soft and faintly Irish filled the room seemingly from everywhere at once. Both of the tubs began to fill with a steaming viscous liquid, spattering against the steel, and slowly enveloping the cooling pig.

In the morning, he knew he’d awake and remember nothing of this. He’d find the remote, curiosity would lead him to play the journal he’d recorded of his work over the past year.

January would be spent shipping pieces from his house, following the instructions laid out on the labels attached to them. Physical things acquired over the past year would hold no value or interest to him come morning, and so they would be gifted to those friends who stood by him.

The first of January would be Rinnovi’s forty first birthday. It would also be the twenty sixth time he’d been reborn as a forty one year old. Restored once more to a version of himself a year younger, from a pattern captured over a quarter century ago. Perhaps this time, this year, he’d get it right.  

He took one last walk through the rooms of his home. In his office, laid out on screens and strewn across whiteboards and table tops, a years progress towards unlocking the gene-code of his own existence. Another years failure to solve the riddle of his hard coded untimely demise.

This year, surely, a reinvigorated him would solve the puzzle, find the key. Perhaps one day he’d see his forty second birthday.

Returning to the kitchen, preparations complete, Rinnovi placed his empty glass on the counter and paused a moment to pat the now submerged swine. However bad he felt for the animal, using a pig for genetic building blocks was much safer and easier than finding fresh human cadavers. Fewer questions; far less expensive.

“Ok Osiris, let’s try this again.”

“As you wish, I’ll re-brief you in the morning. Goodbye Rinnovi.” The voice soothing, the tone, a hint of sadness.

He poured himself another scotch, this time lacing the drink with powerful sedatives and paralytics, and dropping his bathrobe over the back of a kitchen chair, climbed into the bath of warm liquid. He downed the drink quickly, putting the glass on the counter before slowly slipping beneath the surface. He could feel the chemicals take away control, feel his lungs slowly fill with fluid as the air escaped. The lights of the room dimmed as his eyes unfocused. By the time the nano-tech started reverting to his backup, he could no longer feel anything at all.

Tomorrow, a new day, a new man, a new chance.

As his consciousness dissolved, he thought of his son, frozen beneath his home. A boy waiting for a father to undo the error of his creation.

Perhaps he could make it safe for his son to age again this year.




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