What will human beings be like in the year 3016, a thousand years from now? Will our DNA have changed? At the rate things are going, we could be very different! With due apologies to Lewis Carroll.
Jabber watched the sun bidding the world goodnight from his penthouse apartment. It was the year 3016. First the change in the intensity of the light, then the change in color as the brilliant ball of energy put on its evening veil and became a red-gold orb you could feast your eyes on. It rested on the horizon for a moment and it was as though its many invisible hands reached out to paint the sky above it in the most amazing hues. Then, with a fluid movement, it was gone. There was another burst of color before the night drew its black velvet curtain over this part of the globe. In a few minutes, the stars would dress up the dark – how they loved to do their bling thing night after night.
For the nth time he wondered why he was different, why he was probably the only one who could stand and stare and wonder, why he had these flashes of strange images when he was alone and thoughtful. Were they dredged out from somewhere deep within his subconscious or were they images flashed into his consciousness from somewhere outside? Did anyone else experience them in this modern age, in the year 3016 or was it only him? He daren’t ask anyone because it might just be his death knell.
The Wockys were one of the chosen families, part of the inner circle in this brave new world. In the 1000-year history of his world, everything worked, everything was predictable, everyone smiled because life was good. In the distant past, lost in the mists of time, there was an age when there was chaos and confusion. Then came a new world order and here they were today, in the year 3016 – the perfect number of people who walked the planet Brillig with no deaths and no births. All that was in the past once the slithy toves gyred and gimbled in test tubes and threw up the perfect prototype for the race that was. When they were little borogoves, they were still mimsy – Jabber was, too, as far as he could remember but as they grew, they put away childish things, outgrowing those mome rath days and becoming the epitome of perfection.
There were vague recollections however. He remembered how he had to go to the SynthLab often when he was young. None of the other children his age ever had to. Snippets of conversation came back to him.
“…traces of the old human genome…”,
“…only a matter of time before we totally delete it all…”
“ …he’s clean, Mr. Wocky!”
These pictures in his mind
The perfect moon cast its perfect rays all around the building, dipping its silvery, sliver-like toes into the room as the curtains swayed and parted in the controlled generated breeze. Damn! There it was again. Those pictures in his mind – he’d learned how to hide his secret from the world, even his family. He liked what he felt, saw and experienced.
“A vorpal sword? What on Brillig is that?” he yelled as a clear image unfolded in his mind’s eye. There he was, in a garb that looked so unfamiliar, resting against a strange tree. “Why, that’s me being uffish!”
Then, as he shut his eyes, the centuries rolled back and he knew he had been here before. The Tumtum tree, the Jubjub bird and he, with his sword, fighting off his alter-ego. The one with the jaws that bit and claws that caught. One, two! One, two! The fire in those flaming eyes was doused forever, there in the tulgey wood. He could hear the chortling on that frabjous day as he came back, triumphant, galumphing back to glory.
Jabber Wocky knew it was time to go to bed and time to shut out these images from his mind. Images from before the beginning of the world as he knew it, this world in the year 3016. From before the time when the ideal man was born in a test tube and the ideal population was decided by a plastic race that never fell ill, never aged, never died. A though came unbidden to his mind. “Never lived?”