We are the aliens! They are our future - the greys, the reptilians and the little men in flying saucers. We didn't actually evolve into these manifestations - we created them or more exactly engineered them out of necessity.
"Brothers By Numbers" is science fiction of course and a real 'boys' story' concerning a young soldier, five hundred years into the future, who finds his humanity by learning to care for others and as a result his soldiering convictions appear to suffer. Told in a compelling first person voice - at first naive and enthusiastic and then as the realities of wartime build, wiser and more mature as he discovers how fragile and more dear life becomes as one gains more experience.
Set in a future society that is only moderately more dystopian than today's, "Brothers By Numbers" becomes a true novel of ideas. It should make a reader think and more importantly as all good science fiction should - encourage one to dream.
So this was it. This was finally the much talked about day. The day that Dimitri had told me about so many times had come to pass–and that day was now!
“On that day, Mark you will become a man. From then on you will no longer be an innocent. You will see the world as it is – not through the eyes of a child who is dependent upon others, but through the eyes of a man who is capable of shaping his own destiny.”
Today - my childhood was complete. And today –the real training - for a careerin the NewEuron National Service was about to begin.
And of course this was all true – because I like all good NewEuron citizens followed a predetermined path through life. It was a structured life plan that had served our NewEuron nation very well for generations. It consisted of three stages of approximately twenty years in length each, and I at eighteen years of age was about to begin the second. Should I please those on our local immortal council with my personal achievements and proven qualities of merit during my service as a practical unit in this upcoming second phase, I - just as all other NewEurons would be awarded with a period of remuneration lasting of no less than fifteen years until our final retirement.
This period of remuneration was somewhat like being sent to a heaven on Earth; not a single day would pass there where one would feel ill or suffer any pain or loss of wit. The only exception to the ultimate retiring of each practical unit was rare, but when the circumstances warranted it – it was the granting of immortality – for this to happen you would have to have found yourself in a position of great favor with all of the council of immortals – a feat that was accomplished as often as every couple of generations. To be adopted into an immortal position by the council usually entailed a post of governor of a new colony within the ever expanding NewEuron Empire and of course - a timeless life.
Of late, the door to immortality seemed to be closing, though since it first became possible to become a timeless immortal –it was necessary that all candidates had to have had at least part of their original conception as one that entailed real people – something that was becoming less and less common or even possibletoday, but I and a handful of my classmates were members of an elite group of cryogenically stored embryos produced in a famous old Paris lab and then and there, subsequently lost for centuries until just eighteen years past – though we were not quite harvested fromreal people, we were quite special nonetheless, since many immortals had first started their life in that same old Paris lab. We were both admired and reviled by our peers at our former schools and I suppose soon that would become the case at the NewEuron National Service Academy.