Family Forest

“The sooner the better,” Adlay said. He smiled at his grandmother on the other side of the small, square table. They sat in the kitchen of his small single-bedroom house sharing breakfast. “It takes about a month for you to take root…,” the curly-haired man reached for his grandmother’s wrinkled hand. “It’s not something we can put off until your last minute.” The wispy woman nodded.

“I know dear,” She squeezed his hand. “I don’t know if I want to. All that new nanotechnology stuff leaves me uneasy.”

“What!?” Adlay asked with wide eyes. “Gramma, you have to.” He pointed out the window next to them to a forest of saplings. That each one was a different height hinted they were not planted at the same time. “The forest was your idea,” he chuckled. “Never would’ve guessed you outlived 80% of us.”

“It seemed like a wonderful thought at the time,” she shrugged. “The family living together in a virtual world..,” she shook her head. “…forever. It just seems so unnatural the more I think about it.”

“It’s not forever; the tree will die one day. It’s a temporary life extension. And the server you chose for us is very nice. There won’t be any monsters or players to get in the way of experiencing the world.”

“But it’s not real,” she said. Adlay knocked on the wooden table.

“How do you know this table is real?” The elderly woman knocked on the table too.

“I feel it.” Adlay grinned.

“Then what difference would it make if it was made of wood or nanos that looked and felt like wood? Things in the AlterNet are real enough to touch, taste and smell. You’re trading in that mortal body for one made of nanos but you’ll still be you.” He pointed to the grey, cloudy sky through the window. You’re trading in this boring world for a fantastic Earth. You’ll see amazing things like floating islands and underwater cities; dad already has a big list of places to show you. And don’t even get me started on how easy it is to go to other Earths once you’re in.”

“If I didn’t know better…,” the old woman giggled. “…I’d think you’re just trying to get rid of me.”

“I am!” Adlay laughed and smiled at his grandmother. “I can’t stay logged in until you take root.” He knocked on the table again. “This Earth is kind of boring.”

“Floating islands, huh?” she asked. Adlay nodded excitedly.

“Yeah, dad thought that would get you.” The old woman shook her head and sighed, with a trace of a smile.

“Well, if my baby boy wants to show me something I guess I have to go see it, right?”


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