The Connection: A Short Story by FCEtier
January 2, 2015
Last day of month 3: year 3904
A man waited in solitude for his wife to return to their home.
It was her third visit to the obstetrician.
The two of them had become apprehensive about their prospects of parenthood.
She entered with a smile, “We’re pregnant!”
He struggled to his feet to greet her and they embraced, filled with joy over the good news. “The home test was accurate, then.”
“Oh yes! Dr. Chiang was as happy for us as we are.” The woman beamed and exuded a glow never before seen by her spouse.
“Now, tell me the rest. Was the doctor’s prediction confirmed or is it too early to know for sure?”
“Too early. The doctor said she would be able to determine it in a couple of weeks. I’m going to connect with mom and dad, they’ll be excited to know.”
“They probably already know,” he thought with a smile.
She continued to smile and said aloud, “You’re right. Our generation has the most developed ability to communicate our thoughts without speaking in the history of man.”
“I marvel at it every day,” he said in silence.
“You almost never move your lips,” she spoke.
She was too excited not to verbalize her greeting when she reached her mother, “Mom, we’ve got a child on the way!”
Her mother chose not to spoil the moment by revealing what she already knew, “Wonderful! Dad and I have anticipated this moment for years. We’re so happy for you!”
“Knew you would be.”
“What is your due date?”
“Depends. You know it’s possible our offspring could be…”
Her mother interrupted, “Yes, and if it is, it won’t take months and months for a body to develop and grow.”
“Our generation has little use for ours as it is. Dr. Chiang said it could require less than twelve weeks to be full term.”
“If the predictions I’ve read are correct, your offspring would be androgynous.”
“Yes, it would.”
“Have you decided on a name?”
“We’ve discussed it a lot. If the result is what we expect, we shall name it, ‘Primum,’ Latin for ‘first one.’”
Eleven weeks, four days later
The couple waited together, hand in hand in Dr. Chiang’s outer office. A light emitting diode began to glow and indicated it was time for them to enter the exam room. A series of lighted markers embedded into the floor led them down a corridor and into a sterile white room. The environment reminded first time visitors of an old fashioned laboratory. Once inside, chairs glided in silence to positions behind each of them. They sat.
They faced a blank wall in the ten foot by fourteen foot white room. Between them and the wall was a stage-like platform. Moments later, Dr. Chiang appeared before them in hologram. She smiled. “Since your last checkup, I’ve lost use of my legs. If you need me, I’ll join you via motorized personal transportation equipment.”
The expectant couple looked at each other.
She smiled and nodded approval.
The doctor continued, “A week ago, you had gained 0.681 KG. That’s close to what my team expected. This morning you weighed in at 0.749 KG, an increase of almost ten per cent.”
“Is there something wrong? I’ve conformed to the diet you prescribed without fail.”
“As we discussed, we don’t expect a placenta in the traditional sense, but the sonogram shows some mass in your womb. Since there won’t be a body to deliver, we anticipate some contractions and the expulsion of whatever has built up to support the life inside you.”
“Does this mean something is wrong?”
“No. For several generations now, placentas have been getting smaller and deliveries have been much less complicated. Any other questions?”
“With nothing to see, feel, or touch, won’t Primum be lonely?”
Last day of month 4: year 3905
Dr. Lionel Culpepper sat alone at his desk. He had just conducted his last office visit for a pediatric patient. There would be no more. His assistant entered with the silence of night.
“Doctor, are you alright?”
“I feel like an old soldier who was just hit by the last bullet of the last battle of the last war. No, I’m not alright. As far as finances go, I can retire in peace, but I’m not ready for it from an emotional point of view.”
“But you have many accolades. Your great grandfather discovered the ‘knowledge’ gene. Then you perfected the technology to enhance the IQ of unborns.”
“Yes, I did. I often wonder if it was a boost for mankind or a bust. Now babies are born with knowledge as well as instinct.”
His assistant was surprised at his disregard for his achievement, “But so many generations have benefitted from the favorable alteration of the IQ in newborns.”
He growled, “How many geniuses does the world need?”
“Worldwide, the average IQ is well over six hundred. The world is tapping into the unlimited potential about which our ancestors could only dream.”
“We have too many generations of perfection,” he replied.
“How many generations of patients have you treated?”
“Five. The span of years between each successive generation has gotten progressively shorter. The babies are smaller and our lives are requiring less and less physical activity. Next thing you know, we’ll have a generation of entities without a physical body. Nothing but a conscious being,” he paused, “a spirit.”
“I thought you were an atheist.”
“You haven’t been reading your journals. You’ve ignored the news for too long.”
“What do you mean?”
“It happened a year and a month ago.”
“What?” asked Dr. Culpepper.
“A Doctor Chiang wrote it up in Lancet. She presided over the delivery of a child without a body. She practices in the 73rd city.”
“What?” the older doctor exclaimed. “I’ve read predictions of such and just passed them off as science fiction.”
“It happened. The future is here. The world has changed–again.”
“I’ll have to re-think my position.”
“On what, doctor?”
“Everything,” he sighed. “Everything. If the latest generation is non-physical, invisible, aaaah, spiritual if you will, well,” he paused for an uncomfortable length of time, “what happens when those of us with bodies die? And, how do we communicate with this generation?”
His assistant smiled, “Doctor Culpepper, yours is not the first generation to have problems communicating with youth.”
TO BE CONTINUED:
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