Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer

After Grandma died, Grandpa settled into being the selfish octogenarian teenager he had always been under the veneer of wisdom and mischief. When his body started to fail, he didn’t notice for a while as he played so much. Eventually we had to intervene to save him from himself. Today, he’s viewing his new home, one fully approved by Decade Eight and thankfully affordable.

“But they don’t even have a megabit network interface!”

Give me strength, Grandma. How did you not throttle him with the power lead from his vintage PS4?

“Look; the room doesn’t have a vari-pos screen and the armchair is unpowered.”

At this point, a bright and distractingly bouncy nurse in a blue-green skinjob under her transparent nurse’s suit enters the room. Grandpa’s eyes go saucer-wide, like the first time he’d seen Ellen without the modesty panels in her daysuit.

“Challene Deathblade?” He sputtered.

With a megawatt smile she crouches by him and Ellen, my wife, has to look away from the intimate view provided as Grandpa leans forward to get a better look.

The nurse in cosplay bodypaint has a dazzling smile and her cleavage is seemingly bottomless. “You’re a fan? Oh great. I’m outnumbered by the Empire players.”

Grandpa looks ready to cry. “I used to be a mercenary guild Reptiliad, but I’m useless without enhanced play.”

I know that Grandpa, you spent our inheritance on neural accelerators to compensate for your slowing reflexes. The painted but fundamentally nude nurse leans close and stage-whispers: “Why do you think this place looks so ordinary? We put all of our investment into wireless care. Everything you need is available from dropdown menus, we monitor your body state all the time and prevent more than we have to fix. Plus it gives us a multi-hundred gig bandwidth to parallel you with a fully persona’d neural assistant.”

The look of stubborn non-cooperation on Grandpa’s face vanishes like a switch has been thrown. Ellen doesn’t see because the male counterpart of bouncy nurse has entered the room. Her eyes nearly suck this red-skinned Adonis with brown tattoos clean out of his suit. I need to get her out of here before comparisons with my blatantly ungym rounded padding are made.

“When can I move in, ‘John Carter’?” Grandpa’s voice is querulous and Ellen catches my eye. The advice from the Octogenarian Gamer network had been spot on.

“I see you’re persona non-abode due to mandated residential care, so you don’t actually have to leave, sir. You can scan your flat from here and eyetag everything you want brought over. I’m Doctor Evander Morgan. It’ll be a pleasure and honour to host a veteran gamer like yourself.”

Doctor Morgan’s voice is businesslike, but his pecs flex slowly and I see Ellen’s eyes widen.

Grandpa smiles for the first time in forever. “Do it. Adam, Ellen, you can leave me here.”

Morgan looks at Ellen and smiles. I see the flush spread down the back of her neck.

“We’ll need one of your family to drop in a couple of times to finalise the details. Challene; sorry, Nurse Burton will see to getting ‘Grandpa’ bedded in and implanted.”

Ellen steps forward. “My husband’s very busy right now, but I have no problem coming in when you need me to.”

She smiles straight at Morgan’s chest and I decide that work be damned, whenever she comes to ‘see Grandpa’, I’m coming too.


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