Unexpected Choice (5-24-18)

[WP] You are a low-class citizen, struggling to live paycheck to paycheck. Luckily or unluckily for you, a new market emerges from the birth of a new invention: a machine that can transfer lifespan from one person to another. [Link to post.]

“Don’t worry about a thing, Mr. Fuller,” the young dark haired nurse said as she affixed the straps around Sean Fuller’s arms. He rested in the metal chair and stared at the bright orchid arrangement resting on a nearby desk. The faint scent of vanilla around the nurse helped put him at ease while she worked. “This is just a quick test to see if you’re compatible with the process. Every person has reported some sort of discomfort, however never anything more than a stinging sensation. If you become too uncomfortable please let me know and I’ll stop the machine, okay?” she asked. Sean nodded.

“What happens if I’m not compatible? Do I still get paid?” Sean asked. A million dollars for one year of his life was an amazing deal, he would have done it for a hundred dollars a year. Sean’s plan was to die rich and soon. Homeless at age 74, with no friends or family members he’d had enough of life.

“That depends. The process is still new, and we’re still finding out what makes people incompatible. If we think we can learn something from you, you’ll definitely be rewarded.” The nurse finished attaching Sean to the table, then stepped away. “Okay, you’re all set up. I’m gonna try this out, you let me know the moment it gets uncomfortable, okay?” She flipped a switch and a large red light on her control panel lit up. Sean held his breath expecting discomfort, but none came. He relaxed and breathed normally when he realized he felt no pain. The nurse kept pushing switches on the control panel, then made a ‘huh’ noise.

“Something wrong?” Sean asked. The nurse flipped a switch on and off, causing the red light to flicker on and off.

“It’s not working. It says it’s working, but it doesn’t recognize you as a donor.” 

“Does that mean I’m not compatible?” Sean asked, then complained to himself. “Figures I can’t even die happy,” he grumbled. However the nurse shook her head.

“No, it’d tell us if you weren’t compatible. Something else isn’t working. Hold on, I’ll be right back.” The nurse left the room and Sean’s thoughts wandered. It could still go either way. If he was compatible he’d buy himself a proper meal and nice hotel room for the night. If he wasn’t compatible, he had a plan for that too. Either way he planned to sleep very well that night. The nurse walked back into the room while unwrapping a long piece of clear tubing. “Gonna try a part swap,” she said. While she installed the new tube Sean’s eyes wandered around the plain white room. There was not much for him to see other than the orchids on the desk. They appeared to be drooping, their bright color muted a bit. Sean thought they looked brighter the first time he noticed them.

“Okay, let’s try again. This will feel uncomfortable,” the nurse said. Sean nodded, then she flipped the switch. Sean felt nothing. “Is it even working?” the nurse asked. She reached for the tube not connected to Sean and grabbed it. The moment she touched it, the nurse opened her mouth to yell. But no sound came out. Her eyes shot wide as if she was in pain, and her mouth hung open with a silent scream.

Sean watched her grow old before his eyes. Her cute dark hair grew long and white, then fell off her skull. Her skin wrinkled and became dry and leathery. After a few seconds she released the tube then fell over dead. Her body made a muffled thud as it fell to the white tile floor. Sean did not know what happened, but he knew he did not want to be found in a room with a dead body. He disconnected all his electrodes then hopped off the reclined examination chair. He inadvertently stepped closer to the orchids, and movement caught his eye. He turned to see the orchids darkening and shedding flowers.

“Is that me?” He asked. He reached out to touch an orchid, and it disintegrated under his touch. He shook his head deciding he needed to leave fast. As he walked out of the room he caught sight of himself. Instead of the homeless 74 year old grey bearded man, his image was a young, handsome man with a bright blond beard, and flowing blond hair atop his head.

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