Publish Novellas 29 January 2023
EPISODE 1 – LONGEVITY
Scientists discover a method for getting a second life. But most who qualify cannot surmount two important requirements, until the ingenious discovery in this sci-fi miniseries.
Science fiction pushes limits to make the impossible, probable.
List all episodes or See Final Episode
« Login For Premium Audio »
By Kevin RR Williams
In the year 2120, scientists discover a portal for palingenesis—resetting life when a person reaches one hundred years of age. It exists only on the date corresponding to the exact time of initial birth. Upon stepping through a portal, he vanishes and assumes the life of another child born at that same time anywhere in the world.
As the gifted new child grows older, knowledge—including skills and languages—merges with that of the predecessor. He or she, therefore, becomes a genius.
Mensa member and university professor, Anastasius Tomland Ph.D, at age 49, is halfway through her first rebirth. Her plans to be reborn again include obsessive physical fitness and nutrition so she can make it to 100.
Becoming one of over 134 thousand members of Mensa requires a score at or above the 98th percentile on certain standardized IQ or other approved intelligence tests.
Anastasius learns that the hospital of her birth is having a public hearing to reveal a plan for demolition and reconstruction of a modern facility. She attends the hearing and throws out many objections that presenters cannot answer. So the plan remains in abeyance.
After the hearing, she asks to become a member of the hospital board in exchange for not raising more objections. The hospital researches her credentials and feels she is a valuable asset.
As a board of trustees member, she presents a plan to encase her birthplace as a historical edifice. Around this centerpiece, the new hospital can rise. Of course she is careful not to phrase it as a monument to herself.
When other board members push back, Anastasius reveals one of her patents. It is for a spa capsule, into which people can rest to rejuvenate their cells.
“These pods will distinguish this hospital from all others with a projected $2.8 million revenue during the first year. It’s a package deal; the monument and the pods.”
Of course her shrewdness receives unanimous board approval. Before building a working prototype of the pod or the monument, Anastasius seeks out the input of a man in high demand.
At age 87, Ulysses Fargo, Ph.D. is the last living retired metaphysics scientist that discovered the rebirth portal. He is a highly sought-after public speaker.
People around the globe want him to advocate for the preservation of their birthplaces. Ulysses is concerned that the stress of flying across the world to argue with architects, builders, corporate lawyers, and government officials will end his own life prematurely.
In an official letter from a hospital board member, Anastasius writes to Doctor Fargo. She conveys that the monument to preserve this rebirth portal will be an homage to his discovery that benefits generations of people born at the hospital. She plies him with enough questions to elicit a response.
“As a rebirther, I am keenly interested in your work. A key location was scheduled for demolition. I managed to convince the hospital board to preserve a part of it. With this endeavor, I seek your expertise.
“Since the obstetrics ward is on the second floor, is it necessary to retain that entire structure to which centenarians ascend? Could we build a new room for the express purpose of rebirth? Can we erect a statue of scientist Ulysses Fargo, before which centenarians can stand for their rebirth?
“I would very much like to fly you to Saint Augustine here in Florida for the purpose of viewing the property slated for demolition. Your suggestions about how to proceed will be most helpful.”
Anastasius Tomland Ph.D.
Flagler Hospital Board of Trustees Member
Hundreds of backlogged requests for appearances put his life at risk. Ulysses should be relaxing during retirement. But assisting veteran rebirther, Anastasius, is of special interest. Flagler Hospital is the very one of his own birth so he accepts her invitation to assist.
Upon arrival, Ulysses is showered with luxury hotel accommodations and fine dining. A limousine then brings him to the hospital for a meeting with Anastasius. She literally rolls out a red carpet for his arrival.
“Doctor Ulysses Fargo, welcome to Flagler Hospital,” Anastasius says as Ulysses steps from the vehicle.
“Good morning. I am honored by the invitation. This is a fortuitous opportunity to preserve the meaning of your name, rebirth.”
“Yes. I understand you were also born here at Flagler?”
“Of course. So we will be preserving the opportunity for my rebirth as well.”
They walk slowly down the hallways as Anastasius keeps a close eye on the deliberate steps of Doctor Fargo. When they arrive in a conference room, she offers him a comfortable chair.
“Is there anything I can get for you, Doctor Fargo?”
“No, this is fine. The hotel breakfast was quite delightful. Please, call me Ulysses. In this hospital, someone hearing you refer to me as a doctor might expect me to scrub in for surgery,” he says with a smile.
“Very well, Ulysses. You may call me Ana. Rather than drag you all over the hospital, I have prepared a video presentation with some 3D modeling.”
“Perhaps I should request popcorn and Bonbons,” he jokes.
“It will not be a cinema length production. But I can certainly arrange for snacks afterwards.”
Dimming the lights, Anastasius shows preliminary drawings and 3D models of the options discussed in the letter. She then pauses for feedback.
“It is theoretically possible for the portal to remain if the birthplace undergoes reconstruction. Thus far, no one has dared to risk it.
“As you know, this hospital was first built in 1889 and opened a year later. After a fire in 1916, many of the structures were destroyed. Further renovation occurred in the 1950s and 60s.
“In the 1980s, it was relocated and rebuilt in its current location. The hospital underwent significant modifications in the 2040s and again in the 2080s. Here we are fifty years later, discussing reconstruction.”
“Your knowledge of hospital history is quite impressive. You should be the one making the video presentation.”
“I must keep up to date if I plan to return for my rebirth,” says Ulysses.
“Certainly, so which option do you recommend?”
“The point I am making is that it is my belief that the rebirth portal is not a structure. Rather, it is a connection between earth and stars, which are the illumination of past energy.
“This hospital has undergone many renovations and will likely continue to do so throughout future decades. Either of your options is feasible. But one stands out as practical.”
“Please, share your thoughts!” Anastasius inquires with eagerness.