Morgan's mother and father had given him a state-of-the-art inheritance. It was only state-of-the-art-2117 but they had seen where the world was going. They had mortgaged twenty percent of their future income so they could order a package that included all the genetic enhancements Morgan's chromosomes could absorb, along with two full decades of postnatal development programs. Morgan was in his fifties when his father committed suicide. By that time his father could barely communicate with half the people he encountered in his day to day business activities. Morgan's mother survived by working as a low-level freelance prostitute. The medical technology that was state-of-the-art-2157 could eliminate all the relevant physical effects of aging and a hidden computer link could guide her responses. For half an hour-- as long as no one demanded anything too unusual-- she could give her younger customers the illusion they were interacting with someone who was their intellectual and psychological equal. Morgan tried to help her, but there wasn't much he could do. He had already decided he couldn't survive in a Solar System in which half the human population had been born with brains, glands, and nervous systems that were state-of-the-art-2150 and later. He had blocked his mother's situation out of his memory and lived at subsistence level for almost three decades. Every yen, franc, and yuri he could scrape together had been shoved into the safest investments his management program could locate. Then he had taken all his hard won capital and bought two hundred shares in an asteroid habitat a group of developers had outfitted with fusion reactors, plasma drives, solar sails, and anything else that might make a small island move at nine percent the speed of light. And he and three thousand other "uncompetitive", "under-enhanced" humans had crept away from the Solar System. And set off to explore the galaxy. Copyright (c) 1999 by Tom Purdom. All rights reserved. This document may be printed out and archived for personal use. All other use is strictly prohibited.
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