There was a slim, steel rod in my ear canal. Whatever. Do your worst with that one.
“Do you even have medical credentials?” I asked.
“Shut up,” Jones whispered as he slowly removed his instrument from my orifice. Yup. Have at it. I don’t care anymore.
“This just seems like something that should be done in a hospital…”
“You’re going to end up a mongo yourself if you don’t stay still,” Jones admonished me.
Moments later, the procedure was complete and I was free to sit up. Guzzy’s sick bay was fully stocked. Clean. White. Sterile.
“There,” Jones said. “You’re all swapped out. Can you hear me ok?”
“How’s your lip?” Jones asked.
“Sore,” I replied as I reached my hand up to touch it only to have it slapped away.
“Don’t touch,” Jones said. “The stitch needs to heal.”
“How do you even know how to do all this?” I asked.
“I’m a hundred thousand years old,” Jones answered. “I know how to do everything.”
A hundred thousand years. Such an amount of time is unfathomable to me and yet there are many species with seemingly endless lifespans. Humans have only been on Earth for about 200,000 years, just to put things in perspective.
I stood up and unbuckled my pants.
“Voss,” Jones said. “How many times must I tell you we’re just friends?”
“Shut up, Shorty McNoPants,” I said. “It’s that time of the month.”
“I’m not an expert on humanity but I thought that was a female thing,” Jones said. He may have been joking or serious on that one. I couldn’t tell.
“Not that,” I said. “Rejuvatrix.”
Rejuvatrix. The magical, miracle drug that humans begin taking when they turn twenty-five that allows them to remain looking like they are twenty-five…for the next 275 years. Three hundred had become the average human life span thanks to this pharmaceutical wonder. Still a drop in the bucket compared to some species but nothing to sneeze at either.
“No,” Jones said. “Do it yourself.”
“Aw come on, man,” I said. “I can never find a vein.”
I usually went to a clinic for it but needless to say, I couldn’t ask Guzzy to pull his flying department store to one.
“You have no idea what you’re doing to yourself, do you?” Jones asked.
I sat back down. “No, just hurry up and do it and spare me the PSA.”
Jones wasn’t about to do that. In retrospect, I can see that he was to good of a friend not to. He’d switched his Sen Pen with a brand new one off of Guzzy’s tech rack. He got me one too.
He set his to levitate and then ordered it to display a holographic photo album. He swiped and swiped and swiped until he located a picture of a geeky looking doofus with dark hair and some odd whatchamacallits over his eyes.
“This is Eduardo, an old friend of mine,” Alien Jones said. “I first met him nine-hundred and eighty-four years ago, when he was in his thirties.”
“What are those things on his face?” I asked.
“Glasses,” Jones answered. “Genetic modification wasn’t what it is today and vision problems were common back then. Humans wore special, medically proscribed pieces of glass to help them see.”
“That is some dark age bullshit,” I said.
“It gets worse,” Jones said.
He swiped to another photo. It was of the same man but…different. He was mostly bald, except for tufts of scraggily gray hair on either side. His face was all weird. I don’t even know how to explain it. There were creases in his skin. Wrinkles. I’d never even seen a human who looked like this before.
“What the shit?!” I shouted. “What the f%^king shit!?”
“Here is what Eduardo looked like at 65,” Jones said. “The same age you are right now.”
“Liar!” I cried.
“Truth!” Jones said. “This is what a sixty-five year old man looked like a thousand years ago! Back then, a man your age was considered an elder, a man at the end of his life! Today sixty-five year olds are thought of as carefree youths. None of your peers even expect anything out of you until you turn a hundred! You have no idea how badly people like Eduardo would have loved to have had access to Rejuvatrix and what are you doing? You’re throwing this gift away!”
“I am not you drama queen,” I said. “I’m not listening to this anymore.”
“You’re huffing your life away,” Jones said. “Halminotrin and sofraris, the active ingredient in Rejuvatrix do not mix well together. They’re duking out a heavyweight prize fight in your system as we speak and mark my words, the halminotrin is working.”
“I feel fine,” I said.
“Everyone huffed does,” Jones said. “Until their hearts explode without warning. You need to either quit huff and learn how to deal with your problems like a normal being, or you need to quit Rejuvatrix and revert to your natural age but…good luck picking up females when you look like Eduardo.”
I folded my arms.
“You’re a lecherous poonhound…”
“I am a ladies man,” I corrected him.
“A degenerate pervert,” Jones added. “Either way, being dead or being able to find a mate are two fates you wouldn’t care for. Stop huffing. Cold turkey is the only way. I’ll stand by you and monitor your vitals and…”
“Oh God, oh ok Mom, forget it, I’ll do it myself…”
Jones sighed. He rummaged through a cabinet until he found a vial filled with an amber colored ooze. He filled a fresh needle.
“Drop trou and present your cheeks,” Jones said.
“I bet you say that to all the humans,” I said as I let my pants down and bent over the examination table.
“This is the last time I do this,” Jones said as he moved behind me. “I won’t help you kill yourself.”
“I mean it, I don’t want to….YEESH!”
“What?” I asked.
“How you humans can stand to have one of these things I have no idea,” Jones said. “Disgustingly primitive.”
I felt a slight pinch on my right cheek and voila. I was good for thirty days.
With terrible timing, Mystery Woman walked in, munching on an apple. One of Guzzy’s relatives’ found her a blue jumpsuit to change into. It match her eyes, which were wide with bewilderment at the site in front of her.
Jones popped out from behind me. “It’s not what it looks like!”
“It’s not what it looks like,” Mystery Woman repeated.