Author : Nathan Andrew Blaisdell

“What you choose as your first improvement says a lot about you.” Sam said thoughtfully through a mouthful of pizza.

I agreed with a nod, glanced up at the TV in the corner of the restaurant, and gave him time to swallow.

“I mean, it’s a very important decision.” He went on. “Some of them are really expensive, you have to figure out what you would really use.”

“Yeah, I know.” I replied.

The first personal improvements came out about eight years ago; and there were only a few of them available at the time. Over the years however more and more have come out, and they’ve become much more affordable. What the improvements actually did varied; but they were very popular among those who could afford them.

At the moment it was about a month before my 18th birthday, which meant I would be of legal age to get improvements. I had saved up my money, and my parents said that they would chip in too as a birthday present. The only problem is there were so many appealing improvements to choose from, I didn’t know where to start. My friend Sam already had what he wanted all picked out, so I decided to talk it over with him at lunch.

“I just think wall-crawling or super jumping would be really cool.” I continued.

“But how often would you really use it? That’s why I think I’m gonna get improved memory if I can. Relatively speaking it’s not that expensive, and it’s incredibly useful. Besides you could get the cool stuff later.”

“Yeah, but… I mean it’s still kinda new technology. I don’t want that kind of surgery on my brain if I can help it you know?” I explained.

“It’s perfectly safe. Everyone was scared laser eye-surgery was gonna make their eyes fall out years down the road, and now we’re giving people x-ray and heat vision.”

“But wouldn’t it just be so cool to climb up a building or even jump up it?” I asked.

“Well, in that case you better get improved healing too. I would think that stuff is much more dangerous then getting brain improvements.”

“They give you training for it.” I cut in, but he continued.

“The super jump surgery is pretty intense anyway. I’m telling you, you won’t lose your brain. If that was a risk it wouldn’t be legal… or popular.”

“I don’t know.” I said. “I mean, I probably don’t even have enough money for the super jump surgery anyway. But wall-crawling isn’t that expensive. I could do that and even something else maybe…”

Sam started to say something but suddenly I wasn’t paying attention anymore, because at that moment I looked up to the TV in the corner again. I couldn’t hear what the news anchor was saying from where I was sitting, but underneath were the words: “HPI Tech unveils new personal improvement: flight.” There was a picture of someone with what looked like large metal boots and metal circles on their hands: a surgically implanted jetpack.

“I changed my mind.” I said. “I don’t want wall-crawling or super jumping.”

He smiled. “See, I told you. Don’t get tricked by how cool they make something sound, go for the practical… What are you looking at?”

I smiled too.


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