CHAPTER 1

Your Worst Nightmare

It's 2050 and you are surprised to still be alive. You actually feel pretty good and the combination of a new titanium hip and your daily regimen of a customized Corrective Cocktail of diuretic, beta-blocker, statin, and a few new nanobots seems to keep you on a pretty even keel. You worked longer than many and both did well professionally and saved regularly, but at 96 you have been formally retired for one-quarter of your life. Your children are hoping to set a time frame soon for retirement and your grandchildren are in the peak of their careers, starting to focus on the cost of putting your great grandchildren through college.

You are one of the lucky ones. Your savings have lasted and you live comfortably. Many of your friends are still around, though mostly those who could afford the Corrective Cocktail market since Medicare and many private health insurers simply could not afford the preventative regimen. You sleep reasonably well thanks to increasing doses of soporifics in the Cocktail, but you wake thinking about all the others and what will become of them.

Your old high school buddy Rob, who was a fireman for 30 years, was just on the news. It seems he was accosted at the supermarket by young blue-collar workers who took offense at his buying steak and beer. Illegal websites highlighting state pensioners drawing pensions over certain amounts have proliferated, and groundswell movements of overtaxed and put-upon young workers are banding ...

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