Ever and Always
Chapter 15: Conversation between Rick and Marsha – 2022

Copyright© 2015 by Banadin

While the city's suit against GHI was in process, Rick and Marsha were having several conversations about their lives and where they were going.

It started with Marsha stating, "Rick it is obvious that something is very different about us. Our teeth have come back in; our eye sight is perfect. We have none of the aches and pains that we have suffered from the last twenty years. We are more flexible and in general excellent health."

"I know Marsha; I have given this a lot of thought. It must have something to do with the failed Alzheimer's study and then having AIDS. We are the only ones who had both events, and I know of no others like us."

"I wonder how long these improvements will continue. It is not daily, but I feel younger than I did last month, and certainly not as old as six months ago."

"We both look younger also," said Rick. He continued, "I even feel like I think faster all the time."

"So do I," said Marsha.

"What if we are retrogressing in age," asked Rick?

"I don't know, those people on Live are bragging about no longer aging," said Marsha.

"We are different. I hope we don't retrogress back to diapers," Rick said.

"I wish that was one of your bad jokes, but I have wondered the same thing."

Rick continued, "If we are retrogressing and there is no cut off, we will continue until we are infants and can no longer care for ourselves. Then what, do we become embryos? It makes no sense to me and if so nothing can be done about it. I think we need to plan as though we will come to a point where our body ages stabilize; then will we start aging again?"

"We will just have to wait and see about the aging again. When would we stabilize," asked Marsha?

"I don't know," was the reply. "I will do some Internet research," stated Rick."

It only took a simple search string of, when does the human body start aging, to come up with an article. It surprised Rick to learn that the organs of the body aged at different rates. The first was the skin, lungs and brain in the early 20's; then the muscles, hair, breasts, bones, and fertility in the 30's; followed by the eyes, heart, and teeth in the 40's; kidneys, prostrate, and hearing in the 50's; bladder, voice, taste and smell in the 60's; with the liver last in the 70's.

He shared this with Marsha, who thoughtfully said, "If that is the case we are in our 40's right now. That is why our skin still looks eighty plus, but our teeth and eyes are fine. I have never really had hearing problems, what about you Rick?"

"Huh," Rick asked? This earned him a swat on his ear from Marsha, who was standing behind Rick while he sat at his computer.

"No, my hearing has been fine for all my life," he hastily added.

"Well I look forward to my breasts not sagging anymore. I don't have much, but they will look better."

"They are fine as they are," Rick stoutly stated. He hadn't survived around women for most of his life without learning some of the right answers!

Marsha was silent for a minute then said, "I think I had better go back on birth control until we know for sure where we and are bodies are."

"I hadn't thought of that at all," Rick replied.

He continued, "With the uncertainty of our bodies and the condition of the world I do not think now would be the right time to have children. Then there is the fact that we don't know if this change is considered a mutation that we can pass on, or just a change to our bodies. If it is not a mutation, it means any children we have will age and die while we might continue. I like the idea of us having children together but don't know if I could stand out living them."

Upon that note, Marsha hugged him, one thing leading to another until they were practicing making children on the living room couch. Old people can have fun.

The next morning, Rick and Marsha were sitting on the balcony of their rental condo having morning coffee. It was a beautiful spring day in the Delany Valley. The grass on the rolling hill sides had turned a lush green; the daffodils were all in bloom. The temperature was in the mid-seventies so it seemed like a perfect day.

Both wore shorts and polo style shirts. Other than their grey hair looking at them from behind one would think they were in their forties. Their faces were a different story; they had the wrinkles of eighty year olds.

While sitting silently enjoying the view, Marsha suddenly straightened.

"Rick, following the news hasn't been encouraging. I remember back around 2013 the world was coming to an end because our national debt was seventeen trillion dollars, now it almost thirty trillion. The rest of the world is in the same condition. Something has to give. I know they used to talk about some banks being too big to fail; now it is some countries are too big to fail. How much longer do you think they can kick the can down the road?"

"I have been wrong on the doom's day prediction so many times I should give it up. There is one thought that has been coming back to me time and time again. With Benton's Live drug on the market, the population of the earth will be increasing.

If the drug works on everyone and is made available to all, then the earth's population will increase by thirty percent in the next ten years. I don't see that happening, but I would think there would be serious repercussions. Say for religious reasons it is forbidden in a country, it would lead to eventual unrest and war.

In a country like the US, the population would expand dramatically. What is the effect on the food or water supply? Can it be expanded fast enough, if it can't it will lead to price competition for food. I do know for a fact that inflation is the one can that can't be kicked down the road, no matter what the politicians think."

"The world economy has been the Emperor with no clothes for many years now. Once inflation hits it will end up causing the most horrible depression the world has ever seen. I once read that the dark ages in Europe were three hundred years of falling prices. I am afraid this will rival that."

"Do you mean that civilization will collapse," Marsha asked?

"No, just like the real dark ages there will be pockets of enlightenment. Think of the monasteries, they preserved knowledge. Some of what they preserved shouldn't have been like the Aristotelian view of the world. It took until the Renaissance to change that. I suspect it will be better than that as knowledge is now more diffuse."

They paused their conversation while they refreshed their coffees. The day which seemed so full of the promise of spring seemed darker around the edges now.

Marsha said slowly, "If the inflation runs wild. How will people keep up?"

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