“Well, old son, how do you propose I get rid of you? You’ve two choices at the moment, the ‘romantic’ guillotine with a computer-generated crowd of people knitting and salivating; which I’ll later put on ‘Big Pic’ for the ‘Reality Crowd.’ Or, plain old shot before a firing squad. No crowd watching, only the firing squad. If you wish, I’ll also ‘Big Pic’ it, but I don’t think you’ll get as many clicks as a beheading. I’m hoping you’ll go for the good ol guillotine. I’d find it much more satisfying in that I’m giving you good service. Naturally, it will be in full life-sized holographic mode. I can even add smell to it if you wish. However, eighteenth-century body odours were really something and I doubt whether the ‘Reality People’ would want this much reality in their noses.
Actually, I’ve been lying to you. I’d forgotten I can even offer you a decent looking hanging. We don’t get much call for it as it has gotten to be a bit naff. You know, common, uninspiring. Too many Western movies in the old days where they were always showing someone jerking on the end of a rope. However, if that’s what turns you on, or should I say, turns you off, you got it. I just want to reiterate that it will be the proverbial ‘Lead Balloon’ with the ‘Big Pic’ public, but you’re paying.
Just as an aside, we used to do public burnings at the stake. Oh, the millions of clicks from the religious right were very gratifying and very compensating for the returnees, but they said the pain was not worth the sizeable bank-balance they received later.
Do you know, your listening ability is quite stimulating to me and is giving me quite a thrill and I could see myself bringing back another old method of despatch; ‘The Inquisition?’ Now there’s something that will really pull in all of the zealots; particularly if you have enough masochism in you. I would predict that you would have umpteen millions to return to if you could put up with having your arms and legs torn off, with the tearers in full religious regalia. I don’t really want to mention some of the other things these ‘Holy Warriors’ got up to, that would be too off-putting, or I think it would.”
The world citizens were a trifle bored but knowingly immortal. A physical life-unit could degrade, but the life-force that has always, but usually unknowingly motivated it, is immortal and now retains enough memory of what went on before to carry on pretty much as usual when they got back. Picking up a new body still tended to be a bit of a ‘Pig in the Poke,’ but research is going on to make it it a certainty as to the sex of the new body you choose.
The human body over the last few centuries had improved remarkably. Two hundred years now being late middle-age for most. Repairs and transplantation of 3D printed body parts by robots had virtually eliminated doctors and surgeons. Some individuals still preferred to go through the illusion that they were being treated with a human touch, but even the most backward doctor had an artificially intelligent enhanced robot whispering in his ear.
The world had reached a point where the inhabitants had no need to work. Whatever could be done by a human could be done much better by a robot. The famous painting of the ‘Mona Lisa’ is now surrounded by ‘improved’ versions of the lady done in different colours and one in a three-dimension hologram. Honest people will admit that Leonardo needed to ‘up his game.’
A ‘Luxury Living Wage’ is made available to all, and additional funds made by anyone seeking to gravitate to the ‘Super Luxury Class,’ is untaxed. The weather is controlled, but Tornados and Hurricanes can be generated for special events in safe environments.
A special class of robot had been developed for those that still felt a need to look for guidance outside of their own wisdom. These ‘Preachers’ were very tall and had beautifully modelled features and voices to provide a more realistic seemingly spiritual message. They had halos and their hands had electronic impulses that could stimulate various nerve centres in the human body to simulate a religious experience. Special Preacher checking robots keep an eye on their subjects to ensure the religious experience is not too intense. One particular mal-functioning ‘Preacher’ whose church was on a cliff site, induced such magnificent epiphanies in dozens of ‘celebrants’ that over a hundred jumped off the cliff to their deaths in a hurry to get to heaven.
“However, a new problem has arisen with Mankind that fewer and fewer bodies are being produced by the ‘old fashioned’ way. This has necessitated in the introduction of fully engineered humans that unless controlled vigorously, will eventually supplant the indigenous variety. Of course, the later versions of ‘US’ will inevitably come to pass and will be the dominate species. Even now we have to have two versions of the Olympic Games, as these ‘new’ ones are doing the 100 metres in 5.4 seconds. Nostalgia and a Luddite mentality will prevail for a little while, but I fear, not long. I, myself will opt for one of the newer models as I believe they are at present on the cusp of having a model which also has amphibious characteristics capable of withstanding pressure to five kilometres undersea. I’m rather torn between going for one soon before many others realise the undersea treasure trove just waiting for my hands to get on it.
However, I certainly cannot complain about my life. I conduct enough stimulating deaths for which I am praised for much later by the returned ‘offed’ customers to know my service is valuable.
In ‘Merrie Old England’ the Pierpoint family were called upon to despatch murderers and such-like by hanging for many years. I understand they did a good job and got good job satisfaction from it, otherwise, I doubt that they would have ‘hung’ around.
Whilst I’m still in a gruesome frame of mind, I just might expand my repertoire of despatch after all. I’ll do a little more catering for the truly masochistic. The real Count Dracula had a method that he would ……………. .
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Interesting idea. I had to read It over again to figure out what was going on. People are 'killed' then brought back to life new and improved? Would make a great concept for a sci-fi novel. Have you read Scythe? Not exactly the same concept, but this story reminded me of it a little. Interesting book/series if you like high-concept sci-fi. ^_^
Thanks, Anna. No, I haven't read Scythe. From my look at reincarnation, I don't think we go through a gradual evolution with each lifetime but just adopt different personas to keep existence interesting. The game is the thing. Normally we pass through some sort of forgetting mechanism, but some manage to retain some memory of their previous life.
The first line hooked me to keep on reading... wow :o Would you mind checking my recent story out, "Orange-Coloured Sky"? Thank you!
Don't like it if I find myself forcing myself to read it because of the respect for the name of the author..did not do it for me, I am sorry to say....I do like " the Pierpoint family were called upon to dispatch murderers and such-like by hanging for many years. I understand they did a good job and got good job satisfaction from it, otherwise, I doubt that they would have ‘hung’ around. Whilst I’m still in a gruesome frame of mind." Lol Let me look at said eagle's work for some nuggets or I will cuss. (Sorry Len).
Funny enough, I was demonstrating to a friend that you start to write a short story by just writing a sentence and then carrying on. Well, that tends to be my way. Her reaction to the first line was to remonstrate with me that it was dreadful, which of course made me laugh. Thanks for being honest about it.