The Eden Project

Mark had enrolled in the Eden Project just out of college, nearly twenty years ago, when it was still an experimental government program. It was strange to look back on those pre-Eden days.

At 40, he was fitter than he had been at twenty. He was well-fed, but he completed the required workout sessions assigned to him by his computer trainer. He had known some residents who rebelled against such compulsions, but that had been early on, when people didn’t trust Eden. Now the residents knew better. They were healthier, stronger, and by all medical measures, should live to be at least 100.

He’d been given access to a database of potential companions when he’d arrived, personality matched by matrixes designed by famed Internet dating gurus. Amanda had been his first fling, Brittany his first long-term relationship. He and Brittany had parted ways a few years ago. They still kept in contact occasionally and considered each other friends.

When he had arrived, he’d enlisted as a construction worker, building new Eden facilities as demand grew. He enjoyed working with his hands. The hours were loose, as long as you came when promised, and it gave him something worthwhile to invest in. It had kept him busy, too. The government built hundreds of new sites in those first years as people came to understand that Eden was the next wave of human happiness.

In the last three months he’d transferred four times. He had grown tired of the coastal climate, but none of the regions he tried seemed to suit him. He settled in the sprawling Phoenix Eden, and soon after scanned the relationship database as he watched a western from the tens of thousands of movies and TV shows stored on the central video database. He called the redhead for a video chat and set up a date.

They discussed basketball at dinner as the chef cooked stir fry at their table. Afterward they returned to his room. Late that night, in bed, he asked: “What do you think of God?”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know. Do you think someone made us? Were we made for something?”

“Mark, we’re in paradise. Who cares?”

Mark shrugged. “You’re right.”

Sometimes, though, living to 100 seemed like a long, long time, even in Eden.

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