"Grizzly Science" - Prologue
Author's Note: Hello there! Here's a story I wrote a while ago, and thought would be a nice addition to the blog. Hope everyone enjoys! :)
Onto the story...as I've heard it...
People walked down the street in their own worlds. A few slowed then stopped to watch the news from a store-front window that hosted a multitude of televisions that all showed one channel -- KTAD 51. It was the most recent addition to the news channels the broadcasting companies owned.
"Now the news of the day -- Tech-Nol has made a breakthrough to cure cancer, and other terminal diseases without any side repercussions!"
A young girl of ten pressed her face against the window, watching in wonder, while her mother stood there also enraptured by the new information. The mother stood behind her daughter, and had an expression of amazement written in her eyes. "Wow. They've been having quite a few breakthroughs lately... I hope it's not too good to be true."
A older man of about sixty stood there, clad in a long blue jacket with jeans, and a tight grey t-shirt over muscle and paunch that had seen better days, while chewing on his stogie, snorted in cynicism. Cigar smoke wafted from his stogie, as he muttered under his breath, "If it's true... They probably want an arm'n'leg fer it."
He took a drag of the cigar, and exhaled through his nose, which had been broken in one place once, and healed slightly wrong. He scratched his black salt and peppered full beard, then shrugged unnoticeably. This world wasn't for the optimistic -- the breakthrough probably would end up horribly wrong, somehow -- he just knew it.
The news went on to explain: "Doctor Kemtan has successfully revolutionized nanotechnology to work with terminal diseases and cancer. It will target cancer cells and eradicate them, as well as restore your health to it's optimal condition. Along with this, it appears as if the nanotechnology will help any person regenerate any injury."
"And as for the impact on doctors -- it appears that the doctors will not be out of jobs -- because their patients will also need to have checkups, in case the nanotechnology does not repair everything."
The grizzled old man snorted and sucked on his cigar, rolling it around his tongue. Exhaling the smoke out of his mouth, he felt the cigar relaxing him more. He really ought to quit smoking, but they were his one vice that he didn't really want to give up.
He started walking away, then he paused, and heard the last of the news. "And it is freely available to anyone who is in need. Just go to Tech-Nol Industries main office and apply. They will review applications. Not everyone will be able to get treatment immediately. Only those who are suffering from terminal causes get in first."
He grunted, and his blue eyes hardened in cynicism. Of course. The neediest get it first.
He sucked on his stogie once more, and exhaled a plume of smoke, then started trudging home. Not that it was much of one. It was a one story house that he lived in, and where he used to have family, but they were all gone -- more or less from a long line of heart trouble. He had been alone for several years now, and didn't find much to like about the world anymore.
He had never married -- for the world still hadn't been ready for two men to marry. As far as he was concerned, the right guy had never appeared, so he was resigned to die alone -- and from what he'd noticed of his health -- it would probably be at least several years more.
His health had slowly deteriorated due to his cigar habit. He still worked out occasionally, but he was still a big man -- 6'1" and 350 pounds of muscle and a beer belly.
He would find himself suddenly ill and would take a while to recover. His breathing was getting harder to catch after a good workout. He supposed it was probably cancer, but didn't have the inclination to actually check with a doctor these days.
He entered his house, and shut the door then locked it.
Later that night after a meager dinner, he sat on the couch, with the television off, enjoying another drag of a new stogie which glowed at the end -- this one had been imported from Cuba.
He was almost naked, except for his boxer briefs that he always wore at home. His job was enough to pay the bills, but he didn't expend much effort into it other than getting basics done. Smoking a cigar always relaxed him after a day at work, particularly if it had been very stressful.
He grunted, and spread his legs, laying his broad socked feet on the cluttered coffee table with a sigh of relaxation. He idly scratched his thick fur up and down his chest and stomach, while nursing the cigar, and exhaling smoke slowly through his nose and mouth.
A light coating of ash had landed on his salt and peppered fur, that he brushed away, as he dropped a chunk of dead cigar into the ashtray, then stuck it in his mouth, slowly savoring the taste.
He held it in midair, studying the lit cigar, and contemplated his life.
[Next: Chapter 1]