Montag Mai 22, 2:05 PM
He stands in the sunny window watching the gardener tend the nearby flowerbeds. It has been a long time since he's felt the sun on his face. It's been a long time since he's been able to stand without assistance.
He was born sometime between the two World Wars, the heir to what was then and still is one of the world's largest fortunes. His family's business interests span the globe.
The 'treatments' are working. He flexes his muscles and feels strength returning to his once feeble body, it is truly a miracle! A miracle that has taken some of the worlds finest scientific minds over twenty years to discover. It is a miracle that has taken every bit of his considerable influence to broker. Yes, it was his vision that made the miracle possible in the first place and now he is reaping the benefits.
He is getting younger!
The infirmities of his seventy plus years are dropping away like a snake shedding its skin. He is being reborn.
He has everything anyone could ever want. Untold wealth, power, he even has an ancient title. Now he eagerly anticipates recovering the one thing that he misses the most, his youth and the resultant vigor and good health that are taken for granted by the young.
He looks into the full-length mirror in his dressing room and sees a man in his middle years looking back at him. Two weeks ago he'd undergone emergency by-pass surgery. His latest MRI shows no signs of that surgery ever being performed. Even the veins they'd removed from his legs to use in that surgery have grown back!
Perhaps miracle is too strong a word. Life is a miracle! What is happening to him is just an applied scientific principle. Defeat the 'death hormone' and your body would rejuvenate itself indefinitely if not forever!
He is rolling the dice by undergoing the treatments now. Testing of the elixir is far from the point of being safe for humans. The emergency surgery had forced his hand; he feared that if he waited much longer it would be too late.
He considers the mapping of the human genome his own personal accomplishment. For the past twenty years he's been the driving force behind the combined global effort to unlock the mysteries of humanities genetic code.
Regardless of his doctor's fears, he feels better than he has in years.
Theoretically, he'll regress until he is in his mid twenties. The treatments could potentially take him all the way back to his late teens; the research and opinions are varied and inconclusive.
He will know soon as he has shed forty years in the past fortnight. This phenomenon has already created a problem with his security forces. He'd been wandering the halls of his castle when a guard confronted him and demanded to know who he was and how he'd gotten in!
He temporarily solved this issue by transferring most of his old loyal retainers to his other properties and hiring new temp ones to replace them.
He's also contracted to have the temps replaced regularly with each new crew being given an updated photo of him so none would become suspicious of the incredible process that is taking place here.
His inner circle knows, there was no avoiding it. These people are sworn to secrecy and would hold their tongues if they wanted to keep them. There are fates much worse than death.
If this procedure is successful, he holds the keys to a whole New World in his hands. He is becoming the world's first immortal but even if he cheats death by natural causes, he can still be killed. Secrecy is of the utmost importance.
Who will he share eternity with? He doesn't need to sell the secret as he already has all the power and wealth a single man can wield. This is a question that has vexed him since he first learned that the aging process could indeed be reversed.
Bestowing this gift on the great-unwashed masses is out of the question. There are already far more people than this tired old planet can comfortably provide resources for. Now there is eternity to think of...
So far the list is incredibly short, just himself and the doctor who developed the genetic elixir. He has his misgivings about the doctor but he can't erase the knowledge from the person who developed the technique.
Erasing the doctor can be arranged easily enough but not until he's sure the process works and the formula is well documented. If it doesn't, the doctor is dead anyway.
He can't think of anyone he wants around permanently and sometimes he wonders to himself if a single planet is big enough for two immortals.
He has heirs. They live with their mother's scattered around the globe. None of these spoiled creatures have proven themselves worthy of sharing such a secret with. Not one of them has a care for their poor father; all they care about is his money.
Perhaps in a world without lawyers he will sire and raise a child worthy of joining him in defying death. There is plenty of time now to consider this problem.
There are several families scattered around the globe that control empires similar to his. None of their empires are as vast or as powerful as the one he alone controls.
His 'top dog' status has forced him to lay low and watch his back his whole life as the other 'Great Houses' watch his empire as closely as he does, probing for weaknesses that they can exploit.
These predators have been sniffing his gate ardently for the past few years, waiting. Waiting for him to die. It looks as though he is going to have the last laugh.
His father accomplished making the planet ready for it's first immortal. The empire he inherited controls the world's financial markets. A few simple manipulations and the world gone mad will crumble to dust.
The needy, greedy masses will annihilate themselves! Only the cunning and resourceful would survive. It will be a long overdue cleansing, an event that he and his 'peers' have spent the past decade paving the way for it to occur.