Previously in The Lightstream Chronicles,
… Kristin and Toei received the report that another human was assaulted in DownTown. There have been a series of attacks where humans, primarily young males have been assaulted, “headjacked” and then killed, or dead on arrival; eleven in the last six months. None of these assaults were detected by the ultra-sophisticated surveillance “mesh” that supposedly protects Hong Kong 2 citizens.
Discovering that the latest victim was not only the renowned scientist and prodigy, Dr. Sean Colbert, but that he was still alive and the step-son of the governor of Hong Kong province. This is big news and has obviously aroused the interest of Lee Chen, Colonel of Special Forces, Elite Corps Enforcement Unit. Lee’s elite corps of droids handle the heavy crimes. They are powerful, connected and operate with minimal government oversight. He also gets the job done. The recent spate of assaults are a thorn in his side and now that it has touched the family of the governor of Hong Kong, Lee is probably loosing patience.
Hence, Kristin and Toei make haste to the Prefectural Medical Center. They’re going to be interested in Sean’s condition. Aside from any other injuries, if he was “headjacked” like the other victims, he could be in a vegetative state, and mentally damaged beyond repair. Not all headjacking results in this but often, a random street “jacking” is not done under ideal conditions and the equipment could be cheap or even home made.
Pages 47 and 48
The way I designed this page, there is really no way to deliver it but as a two page spread. Not a lot of dialog here, but I’m hoping to set the mood of this eerie hospital setting. I imagined the opening scene at the medical center to be this massive white expanse, pristine and almost silent. The occasional synthetic voice calmly directs visitors throughout the space. Maybe there is some creepy, almost imperceptible 22nd century musak playing hauntingly from somewhere. On pages 47 and 48 we hear the hushed chime of the elevator and a disembodied, but remarkably soothing female voice introduces Kristin and Toei, far off in the distance, to the intensive care regen unit. As the panels continue we hear the echo of footsteps as our team approaches the waiting area.
A few notes on the medicine of 2159
Medicine has eliminated nearly all forms of disease. Genetics has enabled zero-defect births and isolated the genes that cause aging. The aging gene can be switched on and off (usually in a human’s 2nd decade), through a simple medical procedure.
The wealthy can afford to have themselves replicated and stored as back up in the event of accident or overall wear and tear, Their consciousness can then uploaded into the replicated self. Though some contend that the soul is left behind in this process, many aspire to have this option.
Most organs can be grown in the laboratory for emergency replacement. Some humans, known as “agers” have decided not to have their aging genes modified, relying instead on technology and “original” genetics. Their life expectancy is usually only 150 years even after replacements.
The waiting area, where Lee Chen is… waiting.