Jasper shuffled through the papers on his desk, scanning over them again. Everything was in order, but it was always good to double check. It wasn’t a big batch today, only twenty to be ascended. It had been a bit of a slow month, but he knew things would pick up in a month or so, there was always an upswing in the spring and summer months. They all looked so happy in their file photographs, not that that was any surprise, he’d be thrilled too if he could go, but he was stuck here for at least another fifty years. He couldn’t really complain as far as jobs went, it was easy enough work, the pay was good and the clients were usually bright and happy, but it was the waiting that got to him. Every day he got to watch people ascend, knowing he’d be stuck here for years to come.
He wondered what it was like to ascend when you were older, would you be returned to your youthful body or would you be stuck in what ever one you arrived in? Of course there was also the worry that he wouldn’t make it. There were plenty of diseases that the young were able to fight off, ones that would just steam roll someone older. Most people ascended before forty, fifty if they were really pushing it, then there were people like him, people who were going to be pushing eighty or even ninety when the time finally came. Sure medications would help prolong life and at ninety he would still be fitter than an average fifty year old two hundred years ago, but that didn’t mean he would be invincible. There were cases of people being lost, lost to what ever was there before humans discovered how to ascend. That was always a sad day. They were cast out, never to be seen again. It hadn’t happened in a few years, but Jasper had gone to the funeral when it happened, everyone had. He had never known the person and now he never would.
“Ok everyone, please move onto the platform, the ascension will begin momentarily.” The crowd slowly moved forward, Jasper scanned each face as they passed and kept a count, making sure no one had snuck in. They had that happen occasionally, people who wanted to ascend a little early. When the crowd were comfortably on the platform he sealed the room and lowered the barriers.
“Ok everyone, take a deep breath and then release it slowly.” Jasper pressed a few buttons then turned the key, even though the windows had been sealed with blast doors, bright, blinding light shone from the edges. The light faded and the blast doors rose again, revealing the empty room. The bodies were reconstituted and used in the transformation process. Jasper looked at the empty room, one day he’d be standing there himself, ready to accept the next part of life’s journey, but for now, he was stuck here, he took the key from the ignition and sighed.