Tom Purdom

   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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