Challenge #02436-F246: A Concerning Countdown
I am a big fan of your "Humans are Space Orcs" Series, I read them every chance I can get. I would love to see this one for one of your stories. A deathworlder, a human, has been living with a Havenworlder as his bodyguard for quite some time. He is a scientist and was working with ways to extend a Human's lifespan and she has always been willing to volunteer for his work. Even when she was warned it might hurt. His people live the equivalent of almost 600 Human years. She was the fourth, or was it fifth, to guard him while he worked. His experiments were always careful, always gentle. And those that volunteered, for no one was ever forced, were always well compensated and made as comfortable as possible. Well, I can see his experiment actually succeeding this time, with her, and over the years, the two fell in love. Problem is, they are very different species and it's not always... well looked upon. But love doesn't care. -- BrighidRavenwolf
Love is strange. It's so strange that even Humans have noticed and, of course, written about extensively. They have such short lifetimes, compared to mine... a hundred years, and most of that spent in the decay of old age. Whereas my people can live six times that long without much in the way of suffering. It is not even remotely fair.
When I met the Perette bloodline, I let them know I expected their family to loan me their service as bodyguards. I like consistency, and swapping one familiar face for another once every fifty years or so is far less stressful to me than trying to hire new talent in the same interval. The Perettes have been my guards and companions for decades. I have been trying to help them since the beginning of our arrangement.
Humans are also fascinated by immortality. They have thousands of stories about people who, despite all logic and reason, simply fail to die. There's even a song or two on the topic. Some of them have devoted entire planets to extending lifespans and the associated health. Myself? I just want to keep them around, in good health, for longer than their usual time.
My people have been working on it for generations. I'm merely using the research and results of my predecessors. That, and I'm motivated by my Pam.
She is closer to me than she should be. The experiments have proven successful on her family and the gengineering is looking successful, but... She will not live any number of years closer to mine. I will have her with me for close to two hundred years. That is an immense breakthrough for Humanity, but... not nearly enough for me.
Call me selfish, but I am not ready to bid her farewell. I do not want her to leave so soon. Though she is happy with me, and content to spend her time in my life, and welcome me in hers... Two hundred years past her firm adulthood is not enough. Not for me. Especially since fifty of those are doomed to be spend in degradation of her body and associated pain.
We've already spoken of the B'Nari methods of brain patterning and artificial or cloned bodies... She is morally opposed to having a second or even a third meat suit. Pam does not want to live in a robot, nor cost a potential life to be overwhelmed by hers. She says it's creepy.
I cannot pay for my selfish desire to keep her with her discomfort. So I continue my work, I continue trying to slow her telomeres from decay if I cannot yet stop them. Buying one more decade at a time is worth it, so long as it doesn't cost her any discomfort.
Her smile is my greatest treasure. I would not besmirch it just to have the rest of her around. Should she die before I can help her and her family completely? I don't know if I could continue.
Who wants to live forever anyway?
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