Immortal (Prologue)

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(Author's Note - written for Ooorah's Smackdown: The Second Coming. Pot One Round of Four. Sub Genre - Immortality. Word limit 5000 - this story around 3500, not counting this note


Group One Quotes (appear in the story in bold)

'No young man believes he shall ever die'

'Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon'

'We want to live forever, and we're getting there'

Group Two Quotes (appear in the story in bold)

'The truth is lots of girls like me because, let's face it, I'm pretty adorable, and, uh, my aloofness unconsciously reminds them of their fathers, so... I'm more used to them approaching me.'

'My latest theory? Maybe I'm a god. I've denied the signs for too long'

Plus Song – "Boom Shake The Room)



Immortal


The red opaque shell peeled open with a flourish, revealing a curved dome constructed of glass and shiny silver metal. The words "Stek Industries" were emblazoned on the top. A small group stood on a platform raised above the red Martian sand, gazing at the new building and applauding politely.

"Stek Industries." Iain Stek said the words with satisfaction. "I like it, Drexler," he told the elderly man next to him. "Sounds like a strong, dynamic company that is going places."

"Yes, sir," agreed Drexler. "Your father would be proud of you."

A shadow crossed Stek's face for a second. "I hope so. I know he wants me to take over the Earth business, but there isn't room for two of us at the top. Pop will never let go as long as he can draw breath, and I want my own company."

Drexler nodded.

"What do you intend to build here? Electronic components like your father?"

"I don't think so." Stek took a deep breath. "I want to do something new. A new planet, a new building—time for a new direction."

He glanced at Drexler. Unable to leave his business on Earth, his father had sent Drexler, one of his most trusted advisors as his representative. Ostensibly he was there to offer advice and to be present at the opening ceremony but in reality, Stek knew, and Drexler knew that he knew, he was there to report back to his father.

"A new direction?" queried Drexler.

"No young man believes he shall ever die," said Stek, who had turned forty the week before. "But we both know that's not true, don't we? Just think of all that we could achieve if we didn't grow old and die just as we are getting started!"

"What are you talking about?" Drexler asked, mystified.

"Immortality."

"What? You've got to be joking. You know there's no such thing, don't you? Not in the real world. Even those odd creatures that seem to live indefinitely are still subject to death, by disease or trauma."

Stek smiled defiantly. "I know it sounds crazy, but research has moved on from a couple of centuries ago, when people played around with cryogenics and made up stories about gods and super heroes. There are a couple of scientists today making real headway with nanotechnology and I want to be in on the ground floor."

"But—"

"Just imagine the market for such a product!" He turned to look at Drexler. "What about you, Drex? Wouldn't you like to live another fifty years?"

"Huh!" snorted Drexler. "Not with this arthritis, I wouldn't! Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. If people could live forever, what would they do with themselves?"

But Stek wasn't listening.


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