Louie Drago had been born into a broken world.
Exactly eighty years later, during his farewell party, he realised he had done absolutely nothing during his entire life to fix it.
He couldn’t have cared less.
Born during the closing decade of the twentieth century, he had grown up in a place called the Bronx; an old fashioned, mainly residential suburb in the upper eastern googopolis of the North American continent. He was short and not particularly handsome but even though, or maybe because of this, he had enjoyed the life of a sybarite. He had married three times and divorced twice. His last wife had run off with his mistress’s son when he was sixty four. He didn’t care. He had had two children which was the maximum he was allowed – no matter how many times he got married. None of his former wives or children would talk to him except through lawyers or paid intermediaries. He didn’t care about that either.
He was known throughout the neighbourhood for his tireless energy, acerbic wit, business acuity and loud mouth. In Louie’s case, the neighbourhood meant five blocks from the house he’d built over the bulldozed remains of the grocer’s shop he’d been born above. He had driven the bulldozer himself.
He worked hard and played even harder. By the time he was seventy-five he was pornographically wealthy, had travelled to all of the parts of the Earth he had any desire to visit, had experienced as many risky and thrilling experiences as he could reasonably endure and had variously drunk, eaten or inhaled as many legal, semi-legal or wildly illegal substances as his robust constitution could tolerate. He literally had been there, seen it and done it and stubbornly refused to buy any t-shirts, postcards or anything that would ever require dusting. He was also terminally bored.
They were building a spaceship. A huge interstellar spaceship. They needed two things; young, healthy volunteers and a lot of money. He bought himself a one-way ticket, but as the ship wouldn’t be ready for at least another thirty years and Louie had no guarantee of living that long, he started to make detailed preparations.
On his eightieth birthday he signed a fiendishly complicated agreement, completed the downloading of his entire personality into an interactive long term storage system, had one of those parties that people would talk about for years afterwards, and while the Bacchanalian festivities were at their peak, had himself ceremonially placed into cryonic suspension.
There’s a small problem with cryonics. Once a body has been frozen for more than a hundred Earth-years or so, when the subject wakes up, they have no memories at all. Nothing.
360 Earth Years later, when medical science had advanced sufficiently enough that every single stipulation of the original contract (except one) had been fulfilled, the long and painful process of unfreezing the considerably altered body of the one previously known as Louis Clinton Drago, began.
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