Immortality

Petra sighed and closed out her connection to the building system for the day. She almost wished work has run late into the night. There wasn't anything at home for her after all. But the warrant to interrogate Jane’s stock broker under empath-connected polygraph was just going to have to wait until the forensic accountants got back to them tomorrow. Who knew when she'd be able to actually run it — judges were still real careful about magical intrusions into folks. Although she did tend to have an easier time with her warrants. Having a reputation of an extremely light magical hand did have some benefits.

Some days she regretted letting her great-grandkids kids talk her into the rejuvenation treatment. They were only in their teens and early twenties, it was perfectly natural to fear death, hers or theirs. The bone deep weariness of outliving both her partners, all their grandparents, and a couple of their parents just wasn’t comprehensible at that age. Why should it be?

What was that term from that game she’d loved at their age? Oh yes. Immortality Blues. Turned out that game had prepared her for reality more than she'd ever expected.

Oh the tech hasn't really gone in the same directions. No digital copies of people for instance. No, the rejuvenation drugs had more walked off of Bujold’s page than transhumanism’s. Eternal Middle Age. Well, maybe more Elizabeth Moon’s work.

My gods she was reminiscing about her early adulthood a lot tonight.

Why not? As long as she recalled the bitter with the sweet from them.

Regan, the grandchild, not the great-grandchild with the same name, had worked so hard, trying to unlock the medical secrets that could save her grandfather (all this time of legal polycules, and no one had come up with a reasonable name for your genetic relatives’ partner? Maybe she was just old-fashioned for thinking people would regularly want a word to distinguish between genetic and non-genetic relations.) Everyone had thought a werewolf’s regeneration would mean a longer life. No one thought about what all that cellular regeneration was doing to their telomeres. Not until the most active shifters of the first publicly homo sapiens lupus had started dying of old age in their 40s. Liam had made it until his 60s but that had been thirty years ago. He'd looked like a weathered 105 year old. She'd lost Ricardo thirteen years ago, just three years before “the miracle drug” had been approved. The Nobel Prize ceremony for Regan’s entire lab last year had been lovely. There was talk these days of swapping out the cash prize for a rejuvenation.

Nobody had expected the witches to just… keep on going. There’d been so few of them who didn't burn themselves out in puberty, trying to learn how everything worked. But she had looked like a damn 60 year old when they were scattering Ricardo's ashes. Her doctor had been saying she had the fitness age of an average forty year old.

And now the rejuvenation drugs were going to hold her to that for another fifty years.

The kids were starting to make tentative  pushes to getting her dating again. The idea was… rather awful. Still. Maybe by the two decades mark she'd be up for a relationship again.

She didn't ever mention to them how active her sex life was. Some things a great-grandkid had a right not to know.

Petra sighed again walking down the steps into the maglev system. Maybe she should have told the FBI to shove their offer of a free treatment cycle. Of course they'd made all the right noises about needing her expertise again, her flexibility in order to navigate the new criminal law challenges such a drastic societal upheaval as rejuvenation would bring. Should have told them to shove the contract, used her own money and gone to medical school like she'd wanted.

She just hasn't been able to bring herself to use the clan-family money that way. Not with the debt medical school and all those cybernetic body enhancements she'd need to have a foot in the door would cost.

Oh well, another couple of years on the FBI contract. She should also have the new undergraduate degree finished then, and then on to medical school.

Maybe she'd try for a spot at one of the Martian schools. They were pretty cutting edge these days.