It was the chance of a lifetime. One hundred families were to be selected from Earth’s advanced human population. They would colonize a newly discovered planet with an Earth like environment. Unfortunately the planet was located in a solar system over 160 light years from Earth. The crew and the colonists would be in cryogenic sleep for nearly two centuries. Such a lengthy hibernation had not been attempted, and the risk was considered to be significant that not all would survive.
Life on Earth was not easy for the majority of its twenty billion human inhabitants. In the previous century wars had been fought along religious, racial, and class designations. Billions had died senseless deaths in ill fated attempts to establish a world wide dominant religion. More died because of racial bigotry and hatred. And the poor tried to unite to seize wealth from the privileged few.
Out of desperation came the light of dawn. The world’s ten wealthiest families established an enclave of hope on Iceland’s shores. They recruited inventors, scientists, intellectuals, athletes, and artists. This “Trust” as it would become know was well hidden from public scrutiny. Secrecy was of utmost importance in determining and recruiting members of the Trust. The Trust leadership used its great wealth to methodically buy the island’s real estate. Less desirable inhabitants were encouraged to leave. Some were easily persuaded with money. Some of the indigenous population was less willing to leave. The Trust had established a puppet government which passed laws making exportation the punishment for many common crimes and infractions. These laws were used to cleanse the remaining undesirable population away.
Iceland was the perfect location for the Trust. It was isolated by a cold ocean from any large population centers. In addition, Iceland had an inexhaustible supply of geothermal energy. This would give them independence from reliance on dwindling fossil fuel supplies.
In the year 2180 Jill Porter was born in New York City. Her parents were two of the United States’ premier physicists. They were recruited to join the Trust a year later. They never looked back. Ney York as many cities in the United States had been bombed in the religious wars in the mid and late twenty first century. Threats remained from underground terrorists. The Porters loved their daughter and wanted her to live a life far from the maddening crowds.
Jillian Porter was 39 years old and in peak physical form. She had born two children under the Advanced Human Breeding Act of 2187. Her eggs were matched with sperm from two genetically determined donors. Such was life in the late twenty second century. Her daughter, Karen, was now 21 years old and already possessed an advanced degree from a leading biotech university. Her genetic score on the McBride scale was 945. Only one tenth of one percent of the advanced human population scored that highly. Her genetic markers made her taller, stronger, smarter, and gave her more endurance than anyone could have achieved from natural selection. Her younger brother, Christopher, just turned 18. He also scored well on the McBride scale. His 894 placed him in the top two percent. He was a sophomore at the Trust’s premier university.
Jill’s talented children would make her family an almost certain finalist in the selection process if she decided they would risk the long hibernation. She knew it must be a family decision. Karen and Chris would each individually have the right to veto their participation. It would have to be unanimous or the Porters would remain on Iceland as part of the Trust.
Jill loved to cook for her kids. It was very old fashion, but the simple act of cooking for her beloved children made her feel like a mother and a woman. There had always been something missing from her childhood days that she yearned for now. Her parents taught her much. She learned literature, art, mathematics, and of course physics. It was if her life had been scripted for perfection. She could learn and do anything. She was a top selection in the Trust’s Advanced Breeding program. Her genome had many desirable features. She had been blessed with superior intellectual abilities. Using the antiquated IQ test scale, Jill scored a 234. She understood atomic particle theory by the time she hit puberty. She developed a specialty in particle acceleration. It was ground breaking work and it lead to improvements in defense shielding and in long range scanning technology. If it had not been for her work in scanning it is unlikely that the atmosphere of Zeta9 could have been so clearly identified as Earthlike. Jill was also aware that some of her work dealing with particle accelerators had offensive military ramifications.
Becoming a mother at the age of 18 was her choice. Jill could have waited for another seven years or she could have also chosen a mate if she so desired. She had never experienced the physical love of a man at the Escort time of her children’s conception. It was this lack of intimacy that was missing in her life. She compensated by being such a dedicated mother to her exceptional children.
Karen Porter was a stunningly attractive young woman. She had already been selected for the Advanced Breeding program. Unlike her mother Karen had elected to wait a few years before having a child. She was almost 188 centimeters tall and weighed 72 kilograms. Her eyes were hazel green and she wore her brunette jaw length hair in a very sexy bob. Karen was also an amazing athlete. She could run 5,000 meters in 12 minutes and not be tired at the conclusion of her run. Genetic engineering had made her body strong and efficient.
Christopher was taller than his sister, just over two meters, and more muscular. He could dead lift over 350 kg. As his body matured his strength would continue to grow. He knew that someday he would be able to lift 500 kg without effort. Chris’s hair was light brown and he kept it cut short. His eyes were the same intense hazel of his mom and sister. Jill had taught Chris a love for math. He was comfortable as a teen in discussions of matters concerning relativity. Time and dimensionality were common themes in his work.
The kids would be home soon and Jill wanted dinner to be special tonight. The three of them would discuss the merits of the colonization mission to Zeta9. It would be a decision that would shape their destiny and that of all humanity.
The living area in Jill’s home was warm and comfortable. The aroma coming from the kitchen was intoxicating. As soon as Chris stepped into the house he felt his body relax. He had been working on topological quantum field theories in low dimensions. The work was a good challenge to his intellect. His mother understood the subject very well and was capable of guiding him through it, but she always challenged him to first try to master it without help.
“Hi mom, I’m home.”
Jill looked up and smiled. “How was your day? Are you hungry?”
“I’m starved, when is dinner going to be ready?”
Jill stepped over to her son and tightly hugged his body into hers. At 178 centimeters the top of Jill’s head came to the level of her sons chin. The embrace was brief but it served to renew their close family bond. “Dinner will be ready in about ten minutes. I hope Karen isn’t late. Would you call her and see if she is on her way home yet.”
Chris spoke clearly and his voice was firm: “Server…..command 2”. A hologram of Jill appeared. She was in her transporter. “Mom wants to know your ETA.”
Her hologram looked directly at Chris and spoke: “Less than five minutes. Let me guess, you’re starving and can’t wait.”
“I can wait; just don’t decide to stop on your way home.”
“Oh yes sir.” She laughed and blew him a kiss. “Server end transmission”
“Did you hear that mom?”
Jill nodded to him in the affirmative but then started plating her culinary masterpiece. She asked Chris to open a bottle of wine which had been given to her by her parents last year. She appreciated the fact that technology had very little to do with this particular vintage. Many wines were now using nanites to greatly accelerate the aging process. But tonight’s wine was individually aged in her father’s cellar for nearly ten years.
The door swung open as Karen made her way inside. Her body was concealed by her outer coat. “Am I late?”
Jill was at the dining table and smiled at her daughter: “Right on time honey. How was your day?”
Karen quickly removed her coat and approached the table. “Do you like my new dress? I designed it last week and it came from the fabricators today.” It fit her tall athletic body like a second skin. It shimmered in a gold hue but as she moved it transformed from opaque to brief glimpses of translucence. The effect was mesmerizing. It was also apparent that Karen was not wearing any undergarments. She had designed this fabric so its opaque qualities were most present when viewed directly. But the very slight wave length differences in peripheral vision would penetrate the fabric. Thus the dress allowed her to be modest while in direct view, but have an air of exhibitionism and a display of her sexuality that was here and then gone to a passerby.
This was not lost on her brother. As Chris looked up at her at first he thought he saw something. Then when his eyes clearly focused he saw his sexy sister standing in front of him in a tight fitting gold metallic mid thigh length dress. He shook his head and asked: “Was that what I thought I saw sis?”
Karen smiled at him: “What did you think you saw?”
Now Chris was clearly embarrassed and he looked away and said: “Never mind, it was nothing.” But he soon realized that the image that burned into his brain would reappear for a split second each time he would either move his focus away or back toward Escort Bayan Karen.
Jill told her daughter how lovely she thought the dress was and for her to sit down and enjoy the feast she had planned. Her plan was for the children to enjoy a good meal and then she would discuss the plans for the Zeta9 mission. Genetic engineering had made it possible to raise fowl in factory environment. The yield of protein from grain was constantly improved and the development time from egg to an adult was greatly accelerated. But it still tasted like chicken. And that was the centerpiece of the dinner.
The meal was delicious and the wine allowed the family to unwind after their day’s work. Now was the time for Jill to lay out what she knew about the mission and what their chances were to be selected as colonists if they decided to participate. She explained what the scans of Zeta9 had revealed. The atmosphere contained oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide in percentages similar to earth’s atmosphere. Zeta9’s percentage of oxygen was a bit higher than on earth, which indicated that plant life based on some type of photosynthesis was probably abundant, and that the planet might lack a substantial oxygen breathing fauna.
But most of the discussion was on the risk. There were so many risks. They included the length of cryogenic sleep, equipment failure, and alien intervention. In addition if they arrived safely there could be hostile life forms on the planet. There would not be any possibility of a return flight to earth. Once the colonist were awakened, there would only be about a years food and water available onboard the ship. Needless to say, this mission was a leap of faith.
Jill was in favor of the mission. She wanted her children to have a chance to escape Earth’s violence. However, her motherly instincts were at cross purposes since she understood that the entire crew might die on the mission. She was confident in the technology which had been developed. A large orbiting ship had been under construction for the past 14 years. It was nearly ready for fueling and testing. She was close to the lead designer and knew he would never take any short cuts. She would leave the decision to the kids. After all it was their future.
Karen had always been courageous and self confident. She loved adventure and anything that would challenge her superior abilities. She quickly understood that she could become the leader of a new world. That world could be built on a value system that respected intellectual growth and rewarded hard work. She knew that Earth was plagued with a paralysis caused by humans which never contributed positively to the future. Too many politicians pandered to these masses by promising them a life of ease without any responsibility. The result was a break down of cultural values and work ethics. Drug usage affected most of the non-advanced human population. It was only a matter of time until the Trust would have to wage war on the rest of the human population. Karen didn’t want to be the instrument of the death to billions of innocent children. She was prepared if called upon to be a warrior, but she knew such a war would require the mass slaughter of the general population.
Christopher was more emotional than either his mother or sister. Even genetic manipulation hadn’t stopped his body from producing copious levels of testosterone. It made his body large and incredibly strong, but it also contributed to severe bouts of anger and even rage. His intellect would allow him to control most of his anger, but when it boiled over, it was wise to give Chris plenty of room.
The testosterone also made Chris think about girls. There were two girls which he liked. The three of them were good friends and as most teenagers they experimented in various sexual activities. However, sexual intercourse was strictly regulated in the Trust. It was the year 2219 and physical sex had been largely replaced by technology which stimulated the brain into thinking the body was engaged in sex. Genetically matched sperm and egg would be united in the laboratory. The fertilized embryo would then be planted in host female’s womb for the nine month gestation.
The discussion between Jill and her kids went on for hours. Chris was incredibly excited and Karen was at her analytical best in formulating equations which would weigh the risk and reward. Finally Jill explained: “There are simply too many variables for us to consider in an attempt at arriving at an answer in the form of a mathematical formula. I have worked on this for days and I finally think I understand what I want you to consider. Think about the ancient explorers here in earth. Think how they hurled themselves out into the unknown. There vessels were the state of the art as they knew it, but they fully realized that they may never return. Why did they do it? I think that some sought fortune, others sought fame, some desired adventure, but most wanted to find a better Bayan Escort life. That is what I want for you my darling children. What we need to decide is that better life going to be on Zeta9.”
Karen was becoming tired but looked at her mom and spoke: “You’re right mom. There is no way I can solve this analytically. I would need to be able to see into the future and that is still not possible.”
Chris wasn’t worried about the risk. He wanted to have a life that didn’t restrict his sex life. He reiterated his point to his mom and sister: “I’m for it as long as the Trust no longer runs every aspect of our lives.”
Jill decided that everyone should go to bed and that a good night’s sleep would help them decide the issue in the morning.
Right after the turn of the century the Parallax Corporation announced a technological breakthrough in human sexuality. It had perfected new interfaces with the brain that made it possible for a person to experience full body sexual sensations without any instrumentality touching the body. No longer would a person have to wear a strange looking helmet or body suit. Just a voice command to your household server and you could be connected to their data base.
Parallax sold their service worldwide. The monetary value of their programs quickly allowed them to become the world’s richest company based on market capital. The company’s founder, Eric Rolph Jr., became the world’s richest man. In the year 2207 he was invited to join the Trust. Eric Jr. accepted the invitation and quickly became a preeminent member in the Trust’s otherwise aging leadership.
Any prospective customer for the Parallax system had to sigh up for the program and go to one of their centers. A complete scan of the customer took place in one of their many clinics. It also measured the customer’s reaction to various sexual stimulations. Everything was retained in a data base for later use.
Jill Porter was 23 when she initially signed up for the service. She was a single mom with two exceptional children, but she had no love life. She craved sexual intimacy, but only if it came without the emotional baggage that normally developed with sexual relationships. As a Parallax member she could access any other member if she knew their user identity and password. The sex could be “Live Interactive (LI)” or “AI Interactive (AII)”. To use LI both parties would have to be interacting with their servers. For AII only the initiating customer was needed. The computer would interpret the data in its file to respond to every situation.
Eric Rolph was brilliant in that he also allowed the customer to alter the AII to be normal, submissive, or dominant. Simply stated, Parallax was the ultimate gold mine. Many prostitutes sold their Johns a one time ID and password. Parallax had become the world’s pimp. But its service helped reduce STD’s and unwanted pregnancies. A user license could be purchased when a person reached the age of 18. It had to be renewed every five years with a full office scan. There was a fee associated with every aspect of licensing, scanning, and usage. Passwords were required to be updated weekly.
The day had been very eventful for Chris. He was extremely excited about many things and knew he couldn’t go straight into sleep mode. His mind was filed with thoughts of Zeta9 and how his sister looked in her new dress. But a chance event earlier in the day was what dominated his thinking. After his mid-morning class Chris went to his best friend’s campus apartment. His friend was Eric Rolph III. They were the same age and had been friends for quite a few years. Jill had been a liaison to the Trust’s Governing Body. She had a good relationship with Eric Jr. and they even socialized together.
His friend’s apartment was much nicer than any of the other students. But Chris and Eric were okay with their class distinctions. Eric always treated Chris as an equal.
As Jill’s youngest child stepped into the apartment he called out to Eric and asked: “Do you mind if I access your server?”
“Go ahead, but my dad just stopped by a little while ago and used it. He might still be logged in. Just make sure you save and then clear his stuff out.”
“No problem” Chris was seated in front of table in the recreation room. “Server, full display.”
A holographic menu appeared before his eyes. His friend was correct in thinking that his father was still logged in. A highlighted message had just arrived. It was from his mom to Eric’s dad. Chris hesitated, not knowing if he should save and then logout as he had been instructed or whether he should open it. His curiosity took over and he said in a voice just louder than a whisper: “Open priority message one.”
A hologram of his mom appeared. Her holographic figure blew a kiss and said: “Tomorrow night….$trap999”.
Chris couldn’t believe his ears. This was his beautiful mom making a cyber date for some hot sex. And now he knew her updated password. He already knew that his mom’s user identity was Jill999_. Chris looked around and he was still alone so he commanded the system to delete the message from current and permanent files. He then signed Eric’s dad out.