My Second Life
Copyright© 2011 by Veritas
Science Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Another back to the stone ages story. Watch John Milton, formerly a tired old man, try to take advantage of a second chance at youth and vitality. Only he has to do it on a wild and violent pre-historic world. Future chapters will have violence and possibly off scene sexual violence and rape.
People say, "Everyone deserves a second chance" – an opportunity to redeem themselves, explore the path not taken, or reach for some cast off goal or dream. That doesn't mean that they all get it. Very few people actually get the opportunity and even less have the insight and courage to recognize and take it.
I was offered my own very unique second chance and there was no way that I could have mistaken or ignored it. Sure I was scared; I could have simply played it safe and kept on going, business as usual, but no ... I took the chance for a new life with both hands. Since then, there have been highs and lows, pains and pleasures, but all in all, I can't say that I've regretted it.
My life, till then was pretty ... well, disappointing would be the nice thing to call it.
I was a white male in my early fifties, named John Milton, and I was still working in a job I hated over twenty years ago, stuck in a goddamned cubical most of the day, buried in paperwork, occasionally dealing with angry and impatient customers, insipid coworkers and lazy, undeserving bosses. Sure, I was pretty good at what I did, so I received the occasional promotion or "attaboy". All that meant was more hours and responsibility for not enough pay and benefits, and I got to spend my days in a slightly larger cubicle. The truly high levels of management were out of my reach due to my lack of a higher education or necessary political skills (i.e. hobnobbing and ass-kissing).
When I was younger, I never in my wildest, darkest nightmares thought that I'd end up as just another middle-management drone. In high school I had such big aspirations – I wanted to become an architect or work in urban planning. I wanted to design public buildings and spaces. To build something that would last and have an impact on peoples' lives; something useful, yet beautiful that could truly last and be used and appreciated for generations to come.
But then I screwed up and got myself married right after graduating. I thought that it was true love, but looking back, I now know that I was just attracted to the fact that she needed me. Plus the fact that she was willing to give me all the hot sweaty sex I could handle was a big draw.
Unfortunately, I couldn't afford to go to college and my grades weren't good enough for a decent scholarship. My parents were older than most, pretty close to retirement age, and they didn't have much cash to spare, so I went for any entry level job I could. In my mind it was merely temporary – work a few years, save money for community college, and get a better job. It would take some time and a whole lot of effort, but in my mind it was more than worth it.
In the beginning, I had considered joining the military and letting them pay for my education, but the new missus nixed that idea. She just couldn't stand the thought of me being out of her control for even the shortest amount of time.
Although we had some nice times together, the closer we became, the needier and more narcissistic she became. I think a part of it was her testing the limits of my love for her, trying to see just how much I could take before inevitably leaving her.
The answer ended up being just six years.
The divorce could have been a real nightmare, but thankfully there were no kids involved and she quickly met a new guy, who was more than willing to provide for and bear her every whim. I eventually found out that his overbearing and controlling mother had recently died, so he was used to the treatment – maybe he even needed it. Last time I heard they were still together and ... somewhat content, at least.
Good for them, I guess.
My second wife, now that's where I hit the jackpot. I met Susie just under a decade later, while I was still stuck in the job from hell – due to inertia and lack of ambition mostly. She was a mousey blonde country girl, who for some reason, loved me, and loved to take care of me. Smart and sexy, confident and caring, she was way better than I ever deserved. With her support I was willing to work and aspire for more, even if it meant quitting my job and trying to start my own company. After she took a part-time job (something my ex never even considered doing) I started taking classes at the local community college.
Without a doubt, things were looking up for me.
We were married for about four years when she died. She suffered from some complications in the middle of our first pregnancy. And then, quite abruptly and without any kind of warning, I was alone.
So, there I was, well past middle age and out of shape due to inactivity, no close friends or family in my life and with no good prospects for my future. I was sitting in the living room of my small condo, in the dark, nursing a generous glass of scotch. The TV was on, but I wasn't really watching it anymore. I was instead contemplating my life and growing more and more depressed with where it had led me.
To be honest, thoughts about ending it all had started peeking into my brain on occasion – there just didn't seem like any reason to continue living. And lately, it had been more and more difficult to find good reasons not to just kill myself.
The alcohol eventually worked its magic and I slowly closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.
Even before I opened my eyes, I could tell that it was brighter and warmer than it should have been. I at first assumed that I had fallen asleep in my easy chair (yet again) and the sun had risen, shining a brightly through a curtain inconveniently left open.
As it turned out, once I opened my eyes, I found myself in a completely white room with enough light to see and still brightening.
'I'm in a hospital, ' I thought with a stab of fear. 'Did I have some sort of heart attack or stroke?' I wondered struggling to remember how exactly I got there.
After a few moments, I reasoned that being in a hospital was unlikely. There were no windows or doors in sight and there was a complete absence of medical equipment or supplies. Plus, there was no hint of an antiseptic smell permeating the place.
From my point of view, the walls, ceiling and even floors were made from a pure white plastic. The material was warm to the touch, extremely smooth, but hard and, amazingly, seemed to generate its own light from within. The room was a perfect cube, with about 5 meters to a side. There were absolutely no furnishings - the very comfortable armchair I was reclining on was apparently the only thing in the room, and I was quite reluctant to leave it. It too was pure white and, when I moved, it felt like it was filled with a firm gel-like substance.
Looking down at myself, I saw that I was clothed in something similar to medical scrubs and comfy slippers, but other than that, I seemed all right. I could move and had feeling in all of my extremities, I felt no aches, pain or even numbness. I rose up and out of the chair tentatively, expecting some soreness or, at least stiffness, but there was none.
To tell the truth, I felt great; better than I had in years. I was well rested, alert and energized. Despite the strange circumstances, I wasn't even that worried.
Then something changed. There on the opposite wall, written in bright, clear capital letters were the following words – PLEASE, DON'T PANIC.
I couldn't help it. I laughed out loud, which really broke the tension, and sat back down. The words faded away and new ones took their place and a soft spoken, gender neutral voice read them, coming, seemingly out of nowhere.
"John Milton, you have been chosen from amongst all of humanity for an experience of a lifetime. Congratulations."
In front of me, but to the side, as to not block my view of the text, appeared an amazingly realistic and detailed three dimensional image of a planet.
'A real hologram, ' I thought to myself as I sat down again. I definitely wasn't in Kansas anymore.
I could easily see that it was a life bearing planet like Earth, filled with greens and blues and swirling white clouds. The continents were in unfamiliar shapes, the water to land ratio was about even and the arctic circles at the poles seemed much larger.
I noticed some instrumental music playing softly in the background. Nice touch.
"This is the planet designated as Midgard. It is located in a solar system far from your home planet, but it has been purposely engineered to be completely compatible with human and Earth life."
Suddenly, the view zoomed in from high orbit towards the surface, revealing a large number of terrains and landscapes, filled with animal and plant life.
"Its ecosystem has been crafted to mimic that of your planet some 40,000 Earth years ago."
I was on the edge of my seat now. The little fear I had been feeling was gradually being replaced by wonder and excitement. I could clearly see numerous examples of large mammals that I knew went extinct in the last ice age – I had seen a Discovery Channel program on megafauna and the Quaternary extinction event. One image that really hit me was that of a large herd of woolly mammoths travelling over frozen plains being stalked by what seemed like men, dressed in furs and carrying spears.
"If you agree to participate, you will be permanently transferred to Midgard. The specific location you will be transferred to will be chosen at random, but it will be in an area fit for habitation – near potable water, arable and fertile land and ample hunting grounds, and with more or less amenable climate and stable weather patterns.
"You will have the opportunity to select a certain amount of supplies to take with you to assist in your survival. You may select any type of materials, goods or equipment that you find through the terminal provided."
Before my very eyes the hologram disappeared.
"If you do not wish to participate, please declare so. You will then be returned to the place of your retrieval, with no memory of these events."
I waited in silence for a few moments, but nothing else appeared on the wall and the voice didn't continue.
"Ummm ... excuse me. I have some questions before I can make a decision." I asked the empty air, hoping I wasn't making a fool out of myself.
"Please continue, but not all questions may be answered at this time."
"Okay, let's see ... Let's start with the basics – who are you? Why are you doing this? And ... you did something to me ... didn't you? I can feel it."
"I am an artificial intelligence computer interface. I was designated your agent in this undertaking in dealing with a group of advanced pan-dimensional races. They are offering you, and many others from your world, this unique opportunity for a number of reasons – none of them should concern you at this time."
So I wasn't alone. I wondered if I would meet any of those "others".
"Yes, something was "done" to you. As you were brought here, you were given a temporary treatment to keep you calm and alert in a most likely unsettling situation. You were also subject to a partial rejuvenation and curative treatment. You are now approximately a decade younger and healthier than before."
That certainly explained it. I felt good ... no stiffness or pain in my joints, I could take a deep breath without wheezing, and my eyesight was 20/20 again. Looking down at my hands I could easily see that they were younger and stronger.
"You said "partial". What does that mean exactly?"
"If you choose to participate, you will be fully rejuvenated to the approximate age of 20 Earth years, your physical condition will be enhanced to its peak and all abnormalities in your DNA will be corrected.
"Even if you choose not to participate, you will be returned to the place of your retrieval, with the partial rejuvenation still in effect, but without any recollection of our contact and dialogue.
"But be warned, though certainly remarkable from your point of view, the partial rejuvenation has improved your quality of life and extended your lifespan in a relatively small amount. Physical and genetic imperfections continue to exist and will cause you serious harm. Without further treatment you have a 70.56% chance of developing prostate cancer within the next 13 years, a 57.1% chance of losing most of your eyesight in 16 years, and a 34.666% chance of suffering from a debilitating, if not fatal stroke in the next 20 years."
That left me momentarily speechless. Apparently the expression "Never tell me the odds" was completely foreign to the AI.
On one hand, I could continue to live my life in relatively good health for the next decade or so. Keep living my boring and unsatisfying life until I start developing serious medical conditions, which will slowly disable or kill me. Or I could have a second chance of life. A long and healthy one, but in a completely uncivilized and wild world. I'd be at risk from the wildlife, exposure, starvation, even primitive tribes.
I have no illusions - I'm no survivalist or woodsman. It had been decades since I'd been camping. There's no guarantee that I would survive even a week.
Surprisingly enough, it was a pretty easy choice.
"I hereby officially accept! When do we leave?"
"Congratulations on accepting!" It might have been an artificial intelligence, but he really did sound happy. "Transportation to Midgard will occur as soon as your list of supplies is completed. Your full rejuvenation and genetic reparations and enhancements will be completed en route."
A simple desk and chair appeared against the wall. On it was a large flat screen monitor, a keyboard and a mouse – all wireless.
"Please use the workstation in front of you to research, select or design the equipment and supplies for your first shipment. All of your selections must not exceed a space of 60m3. Six months from now, which should coincide with the beginning of Midgard's winter season, if you are still alive, you will receive a second shipment half the size of the first. After one year, you will receive a third shipment, the same size as the second. Any and all subsequent shipments will be open to negotiations."
I had actually caught that "if you are still alive" part. Once again, pictures of my death flooded my mind's eye, this time by exposure to the elements and starvation.
Great, like I wasn't nervous enough.
"Before we get started," I said as I stood up, stretching my muscles, "is there a bathroom I could use? Oh and maybe could I get something to eat? Selecting my supplies is probably going to take me a while."
There was a much longer pause this time. Almost a minute.
"There are now facilities through the doorway behind you. You may order provisions for immediate consumption at any time."
I looked behind me and noticed a newly formed doorway. I took it and found myself in one of the biggest and most lavish bathrooms I had ever seen. The entire room was made of the same strange, white material. There was a toilet, urinal and bidet, and several bath tubs of varying sizes, a hot tub and a large shower.
It was all just so clean I was actually a bit reluctant to use it, but nature could not be denied. I not only relieved myself, but took a dip in the spacious hot tub with hydro-massage, relaxing in the warm bubbling water, and then cleaned off in the shower. They even had a wide selection of soaps, shampoos and other products. I took the opportunity to pamper myself – I probably wouldn't have access to indoor plumbing for the rest of my life, let alone abundant hot water.
Some time later – I have no idea how long, there were no clocks in sight – I left the bathroom and ordered myself a good meal. I tell you, those steak sandwiches with wedge fries were some of the best I'd ever had. The green salad was fresh and crisp with just the right amount of dressing.
I told the AI to give my compliments to the replicator.
With my immediate needs sated, I then went to work.
"First and foremost, do you have a name?"
"I have a numerical designation used amongst other artificial intelligences, but most organic life forms find it too complex to remember or use. They simply refer to any one of my kind as "computer", "AI" or some comparable term."
"All right then, I hereby dub thee Center." I stated into the air, waving my hand imperiously. "Do you understand the reference?"
There was a short pause.
"The only relevant reference I can find is the name of a computer intelligence from earth science fiction. An AI tasked with rebuilding civilization through a young military commander."
"That's it." I replied laughing slightly. I was really impressed with how fast it reached the correct answer.
"Tell me Center, by accepting, what exactly is expected of me?" I was a bit wary of hidden conditions.
"Nothing will be expected of you. You will be free to live your life in any way you see fit. Part of my purpose is to guarantee your fair treatment and freedom. The Other's only involvement will be observing your life and actions."
'They want to watch me? That's it?' I wondered if I was dealing with a group of super powerful dimensional voyeurs.
I couldn't imagine why such an advanced race would care about how I lived my life on some primitive planet. Maybe some sort of anthropological study? Stands to reason that an alien species would have alien motives.
To be honest, I didn't really care.
A thought occurred to me. "Center, how are you going to handle my disappearance?"
"A genetic duplicate of your body will be fabricated and placed in your home. An autopsy will show you most likely died in your sleep of a brain hemorrhage.
"If you prefer, another scenario can be constructed – house fire, home invasion gone bad, car accident..."
"Ahh ... you pick. But don't give me any details." I responded, feeling pretty uncomfortable with the subject.
"What else can you tell me about Midgard." I asked trying to change the subject and banish my possible death from my mind.
"As stated earlier, Midgard's ecosystem has been crafted, over a very long period of time, to parallel that of your planet some 40,000 years ago. That includes its human inhabitants – early modern humans known as Cro-Magnon man and Neanderthal Man. Their technological and socio-cultural development is also comparable to that of the same period."
At least I wouldn't be alone on the primitive alien planet. Establishing contact and trade with the indigenous people could be essential to my survival. On the other hand, making contact could be very dangerous – man is his own worst enemy, of course.
I shuddered, imagining getting impaled by a flurry of thrown, flint tipped spears.
"What about my supplies ... are you simply taking them from Earth or will you manufacture them from scratch?" I decided to follow a different line of questioning.
"All materials will be replicated based on stored samples and designs. Any item not presently stored, will be searched for, scanned, studied and made available shortly."
"But, what about custom items?"
This time the answer took slightly longer.
"Any specifications given for custom or modified equipment will be followed in the replication of an item, so long as said specifications do not surpass your planet's present technological level. Any and all deviations to stored designs will be tested meticulously for safety and efficiency."
"I guess that means no asking for a replicator for myself. Or a spaceship, ray gun, fusion generator..."
"Correct. Only items which correspond to your planet's current technological level may be requested. Also, no living biological matter may be transported to Midgard, other than yourself."
I puzzled over that for a while, but then it hit me. "Oh, no people or animals allowed. That's too bad. A few chickens or even guard dogs would have been very helpful."
I stared at nothing for a few moments thinking. Sure it was a limiting condition, but there were also a lot of possibilities open to me. I would have to consider my options very carefully.
"OK then. Let's get down to work." I said putting my thoughts into action, and taking the seat before the workstation.