When it started they all thought it would be a great advantage for the handicap mainly. It was, in a sense. I remember my grandpa got a new set of eyes and was able to see again. I mean, he was 115 already; he was one of the first ones. Before they picked him he’d lost his hopes. The only problem is that after that things kind of got out of control.
Do you remember, doc, the boy who received a liver while still in uterus? I think this was when it really started. It was just too much, you know? I mean, helping people is a nice thing to do, especially the old ones in need and everything. Like my grandpa: he understood what was going on and was grateful for all that. But then do that to an unborn child? They don’t even know what they are.
After the boy more and more babies were delivered already with bionic parts. That was crazy, doc. Be it an internal organ, limbs or even hair — I don’t understand, I really don’t understand. What’s the matter with being bald? We don’t see hairless people on the streets anymore. They’ve been fixed up before they were even born. There’s no differentiation; we’re all pretty much the same, except that some have more parts than others.
My father was one of the first “in uterus” cases, did you know that? He was born after my grandpa’s surgery, so they kinda offered him the privilege. They found out during a prenatal exam that my dad would eventually develop some kind of cancer in his stomach and then they replaced it with a bionic one. It’s a good thing, I guess. He’s 147 now, isn’t he? I mean, still healthy as a baby — he’s able to control the vitamins his body absorbs and whatnot. But is it fair? Everyone’s got one of this now. These things just make people lazier and lazier.
I still read books, doc. Did you know that in the past people would go on a diet? They had to. Not only for aesthetic reasons, no. Some people were actually allergic to things. I mean, as in they couldn’t drink milk or eat peanuts. Their organisms wouldn’t respond accordingly to some substances. How unthinkable is that? Took me a while to understand all that. Apparently it was a big thing in the 23rd century; they mention it on every book. There’s nothing about it nowadays, though. No studies, nothing. It’s like it never existed.
The thing is: where do we want to get with all this? What do we still want to accomplish? People already live up to their 260s, and I wouldn’t be surprise if that chap from Okinawa made it to his 300s. I don’t even know why we die anymore! But what’s the point, doc? Why do we live like that? Our health is completely artificial, our bodies are manufactured by robots somewhere in the galaxy, even our happiness is somewhat invented. There’s dopamine in the cereal, for gods’ sake.
But I don’t want to live that way. I want real interaction with people, with the world. I want to learn things, not just order some new chip. We need to struggle, doc. This is the only way people build different things. This is the only way we develop. We’re still trapped in the 2700s, doc, don’t you see that? What have we achieved in the past few centuries? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Things have been exactly the same since Mars. Ever since we dealt with our last fear — what now?
Yes, I know this is the way the world is now, but don’t you think we’re exaggerating? I have my parts too — one of the lungs, some bones here in the right arm and my liver, but this only because they found out too late the gene that will lead me into alcoholism —, but how much is too much? Of course I am grateful for what they have done to me; it was preventive, even though I think I would enjoy breaking this arm at least once, you know? I’m not crazy, doc. This is human nature. We’re supposed to be weaker than the world around us. You see, even if I fall from an intercontinental hoover I wouldn’t break these bones. They’re indestructible. Trust me, I tried. Look at the scars. No, I didn’t want them removed.
And that’s what they want to do with my son, doc. They want to replace everything in him. If they go through with it he’s going to be 53 percent bionic, the first one to go beyond the limit. He’s going to be unbreakable. What is he going to be afraid of?