Rejuvenation is a term coined in Lurking Dragon's science fiction Rejuve Universe. It is a future technology that can transform any person's body into that of a child. It is an example of age regression and allows people to live theoretically forever.
A person who was rejuvenated is generally called a rejuve. People who rejuvenate voluntarily are called Voluntaras. People who rejuvenate medical reasons other than old age are called Medicalos. People who get rejuvenated as a punishment for crimes are called Penitatas.
Rejuvenation, and its various social impacts, is described in the first chapter of Melody's Stories, for example some important limitations to the technology:
"Rejuvenation is one way; the device can only make you younger, not older. It also results in a loss of at least three years of physical age every time it is used. But its worst deficiency is the inability to rejuvenate someone to an age greater than early puberty. This is the puberty barrier, apparently an inherent limit to the alien technology that produces rejuvenation. Everybody who takes a rejuvenation comes out no older than eleven to thirteen years old, usually around twelve. Younger ages are easily achieved, but nothing older is possible; apparently there is something in the genetic modeling system that simply cannot deal with the complex physical and hormonal changes of human adolescence."
History of rejuvenationEdit
The chapter "Sleepover" details how the technology of rejuvenation came to mankind via an alien race in the 22nd century:
"In the beginning, 600 years ago, all rejuvenations resulted in the subject becoming a girl. This was because the Forerunners, the race that developed rejuvenation, were apparently hermaphroditic. They had 32 pairs of chromosomes, all the time, with nothing like our XX and XY differentiation. Therefore their rejuvenation machines tended to ignore the Y chromosome when building a new, rejuved body out of the old one. This caused a lot of problems, and, since EVERY rejuved person was potentially a mother, required the extremely strict reproductive laws still in effect. That was one of the reasons the population had gone down so much, since the solution was found 50 years later.
It was the Drakonians who provided the solution. They had encountered the same problem, although it resulted in all their rejuved people being male, since they had the matched chromosome pair. Their complex software solution, that made the rejuvenator accept the unpaired chromosome, was easily modified for humanity's use. But the solution isn't perfect; even today, almost 1% of male rejuvenations result in a female child. This is usually fixed immediately with a second rejuvenation, and the person just has to put up with three extra years of childhood. But, of course, 1% of THOSE rejuvenations also result in a girl, now nine."
"A rejuve may have all the memories of an adult, but will tend to have the judgment and emotional needs and reactions of a child their physical age, which is why all 'rejuves' are legally treated as children and placed under the supervision of responsible adults."
While rejuve chambers are inexpensive to operate, they are costly to build. They are also heavy—the Johnston crystals alone weigh 20Kg each, and a rejuve system usually has 5 of them. But at the battle of Gorm III in 2721, the population of the town of Higgins was exposed to mild chronostatic radiation. The ONLY treatment for this form of radiation poisoning is rejuvenation, (sometimes multiple rejuvenation). However, the town's only rejuve chamber was badly damaged, with 4 Johnston crystals destroyed. The town doctor used it anyway, and it WORKED! BUT—EVERY male who went through the chamber came out female (Y-suppressed), and the maximum age was much lower—between 6 and 8 years. The system was FAR less capable.
Emergency Rejuvenation ChambersEdit
But as a result of this discovery, modern Medical Response Teams are now equipped with Emergency Rejuvenation Chambers. These are used only when a person is in IMMEDIATE threat of loss of life. Since a rejuve will repair ANY injury or disease, even restore lost limbs, etc, this has been a great boon. But to save weight, only 1 Johnston crystal is used—making the system subject to the same restrictions as in Higgins: Max age between 6 and 8, and ALL female.