Author: Brian Etta
“Time travel is real I tell ya…I just took the long way ‘round” Frank intoned. He’d been talking with a group of 12 to 15 year olds physically located in Mumbai, San Francisco and New Zealand, who combined, formed this cloud based classroom. Things had come far he thought. He would know, he was the first human to live to 200.
In his time, the nascent technologies that would allow this world of 2200 were gaining a foothold. The permutations and combinations by which remote learning, neural implants, connectivity and so many other fields bred, interbred and produced best of breed, all got started during the pandemic of 2020. At the time, he was 20, clueless and hapless, and destined for greatness.
To “enter” class, one didn’t need a computer, indeed desktops, notebooks and the like hadn’t existed for over 100 years except in the Smithsonian or some history boffin’s basement. The word itself wasn’t to be found in dictionaries except ones specializing in anachronistic terms. Computers were to 2200 what victrolas were to the 21st century, except less useful.
Using biological devices grown in utero, meshing and developing with the gestating foetus, children were born aware of the larger world and the world at large. So much so that modern humans were less egocentric as a result of breeding and birthing allowing children to realise their own ego boundaries and separate / togetherness. Really, they were born with less need for ego dissolution making self actualization attainable and early in life. Tech effectively altered the trajectory of individual development with children often reaching brahmin like levels unattainable to the most realised 21ˢᵗ century human.
Frank always griped about the kids of today, no matter the “day”, from his middle age in 2050 through the 2100’s up to his 200ᵗʰ year. He was merely following the script all humans were born following and when cued complained about the “youth of today”. Born in 2000 he and his peers, millennials / Gen Z, caught the same flack from “real” adults in the 2020’s. Ah, the cycle of life!
Fielding a host of “What was it like” questions for a marathon 5 hour session would fund his next “time hop”. Immortality now came down to economics not technology…either you had cash and lived or you didn’t and consequently wouldn’t. He intended the former, having pondered Hamlet like the proposition, “To be or not to be”. Using every technological intervention economically available afforded him the youth and vitality to sit through a 5 hour Q&A.
His reputation counter had inched upwards through his talk. At 5000 his implant alerted him the chronmat, Somnambulant, approved him for the next leg of his trip.
He was going to sleep his way to his next destination, the year 2300.