Winter 2154, the time for supposedly advanced technology and quality of life. Yet most of the resources were pooled into aerospace and military, even more so than before. The living experience of an ordinary citizen was largely similar to that of the early 21st century. Buildings were still made of concrete and roads were still paved with asphalt.
If a rich man were to go into cryogenic hibernation in 2014 and wake up 140 years later in his same biological age, he’ll only think he went into another neighborhood. The 10 billion dollars he spent in cryo would’ve been a waste if it hadn’t been for the extra skill he received as compensation.
Starting from the spring of 2150, the government issued complimentary skill packages to awoken cryo patients. This was in response to the previous riots. And thankfully, only around 8000 people worldwide were projected to receive this skill, not enough to cause an imbalance in the system. They were only one in a million.
Dangerfield (biological age 35, true age 175) was a Texas Hold’ em master back in the day. With his counting ability, poker face, and a little bit of luck, he quietly won 12 billion in cash around major and minor casinos in Las Vegas, Niagara Falls, Singapore, and Macau from 1996 to 2014.
“This is just my luckiest day,” he said to the lucky draw employee. “Just when I thought of getting Strength x3, Wings, or immobilizing people by stepping on their shadows… I get this instead.” He held up the orange ping pong ball to the employee. “Don’t even know what it means.”
“Mirrorer Front-to-Back,” the female employee read out loud. “Congratulations Mr. Dangerfield, this is one of the most useful of the overlooked skills.” She handed him a small booklet that explained how to use his newly acquired skill.
Five neutrino injections, hours of paperwork, weeks of skill mastering, and months of living at the Post International, San Francisco have passed since then. He was living comfortably with his third wife, whom he met on the plane during one of his poker expeditions.
“This is probably the most useless skill of all,” he said to his wife in the living room of their condominium. He pointed at the edge of his tea cup with his right index finger and said, “10 centimeters, M.F.B.” Getting accustomed to the metric system was one of the changes he had to make, but it paid off as the cup’s left handle reverted to the right side. The cup body, while seemingly unaffected, had its ceramic pattern mirrored. Gauging the correct distance was critical if he wanted to mirror the right objects, especially since he could only use the skill four times a day. This often meant that he couldn’t mirror faraway objects as he would mistakenly mirror a nitrogen, oxygen, or argon molecule in front or behind his intended target, unless he measured out the distance beforehand.
He only measured the distance once during the first five months, and that was to help a ship back out a harbor under a strong tidal surge. Intending to be compensated for his services, he quickly changed his decision and went into hiding ever since, even from his wife. The moment he mirrored the ship from a distance of his demarcated 50 meters, the ship mirrored from front-to-back as expected. What he didn’t expect was that only the ship was mirrored. The people inside remained in the same positions and got stuck with the mirrored ship’s bulkheads and deck heads. Fearing legal action, Dangerfield fled the scene instantaneously.
What he didn’t know, however, was that organic tissue had higher priority over inorganic objects. Most of the people were stuck on the legs and many women got out from the holes they created without problems. For men with inorganic leg hair, however, that was another story.