Can You Stay Young Forever?

He looked at them, from a corner, secluded from the rest of the clientele by a thick haze of cigarette smoke and blue light. They stood around in an oval, with two facing the other two, dressed in black tights and tops, their silver chains glistening in the room with every flash of light that emanated from the low hanging ceilings, conveying an impression that the roof was being held up through the mysterious strength of intoxicated community, and might give way any second if this community was severed.

The clientele was exclusive, in spite of the not-so grand look of the half-dungeon, half-living room, decent sized bar that could accommodate at least two hundred and seven, as per the footfall measured from its most successful night last week, the same night when he had stabbed a thirty three year old in the stomach.

He had shrugged, having escaped around the chaos that had gripped the place after the stabbing. It wasn’t only his fault, the disc jockey who had been helming the music for a few minutes had smashed a glass of whisky on the bartender’s head a few minutes ago, as well. Tonight was the first day both of them had found the courage to come back after that lucky escape.

It was one minute to one in the morning. The party, the first one since that fateful night, would be begin in one minute. Some patrons of the bar hadn’t wanted to begin operations so soon, in the aftermath of the two stabbings.

But he had convinced them. The parties were too valuable to be stopped. So, they had hired lobbyists to defend them in court. They had hired a full fledged security force to keep away the scum of right-wing political groups advocating the dangers of western culture on their own and even scummier cops who had a fever of tormenting establishments frequented by women. He also convinced them that incidents like last night’s would be nipped in the bud, within a matter of thirty seconds after the first blood had been drawn, by keeping a wad of currency close by on the premises at all times. It would cost them a small fortune.

He still hadn’t found a woman for the night.

He had spotted a few. Their masked faces, hadn’t concealed the animal-like lust in their eyes. Everyone was masked, those who weren’t were just not bothered with any sense of suspense anymore, entrenched as they were in popular culture, as masters of their own social circle.

He wasn’t masked. Had never been. The unmasked, who numbered seven, in addition to the seven other patrons, who preferred to be anonymous, were in charge of making sure their clientiele were entertained all the time, and never had a moment’s boredom. The methods to ensure so, were several, but always enough, just enough so that, incidents that happened inside, tended to stay..inside.

The two stabbings last week had never been reported outside. Of course, they had been searched for. But never found.

If they did, everything would come crashing down. The group took precautions to ensure their clientele would be secretive about what they saw. Before their first visit, they were obliged to undergo a ‘mind-reading’ test, whereby scans would reveal the areas of the clientele’s brain that would light up in real-time with every subsequent thought. Their machine was by now, so smart at reading these scans, through machine and deep learning algorithms that they could figure out exactly what the clientele was thinking about during duration of fifteen minutes, a duration sufficient to gauge at least eighty percent of the thoughts most likely to be a complete persona of an individual consciousness.

For this particular bar, all their chosen 207 clientele so far thought that –

  • God was a product of humankind’s imagination
  • Religion also existed in the imagination. But it thrives because it exists in the imagination of billions
  • The usage of mind-altering substances are a choice
  • Everyone should have sex at least twice every week
  • A fringe of humanity caused a bad name to the rest and influenced the gullible
  • This fringe should be eliminated. But only after, their world views haven’t changed for the better
  • Life is an algorithm

The men who were stabbed last week had regressed back to their original selves, a fact not so uncommon. The fact was that, they had been detected by their systems, whose wireless nano robots, numbering in their thousands, swirled around inside all their bodies, constantly eliminating any undesirable thought that would stop them chasing their cherished goals.

His goal was to stay young forever, in the mind.

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