August 19, 2483
Afusa was smiling, though he'd been "on duty" for the last 3 hours to watch his son in the crib. He was too busy enjoying the little motions of the tyke as he bobbled around with his mobile. Xuǎnzé (which means "chosen" in Mandarin), was his 8th son, the benefits of being a principle astronaut for the ESA is that the rules regarding progeny for super mortals are a bit relaxed. When Afusa had his first son, back in 2142 he and his first partner were both first parents...after over 100 years of the standardization world wide of revigoration technology the human population had changed in some very important ways. For one, the individual law of nations determined where it was best to have children, some countries outlawed supermortals from engaging in reproduction for the obvious reasons....others which had negative population growth allowed it in intervals, allowing super mortals who had been hoping to raise children the ability while simultaneously continuing to take their revigoration treatments.
Some trouble did emerge over these laws in some places, the riots in Mumbai in 2093 are of note, but that is the past, today the EU , the AU and the AFU had long ago standardized the law on how super mortals could have progeny and the rules were mostly the same. Super mortals could engaging in child rearing for the most part if they did not engage in revigoration treatments during the time that they were raising a child....this had the effect of forcing people to space their children in time which depending on who you ask could be a detriment or a benefit. Those that wanted to have homes filled with children were out of luck but others who were fully focused on doing their best job to raise one child at a time didn't have any issue with the policies. This tolerance varied culturally as the Indian riots indicated but that soon went away as the wisdom of these laws became obvious to the population.
It had been so far 8 years since Afusa's last revig. though he now had an infant son to raise of barely 6 months of age he also had an 8 year old girl Ondarea, he and his partner chose to forgo regivoration for 25 years so that they could raise these two new children.....for Afusa, as mentioned the son was his 8th and Ondarea was his 5th daughter. When he had his first Kanzunetta he was returning from a long trip to an explanetary system...his first to planet, the year was 2193, his genetically enhanced mind easily remembers the trials and tribulations of raising the child of a super mortal, Kanzunetta had been a recipient of the standard pre genetic screening and modulation protocols. Afusa and his partner decided that they would enhanced the standard genetic factors and eliminate the risk factors for various types of old disease....which rarely occurred in natural births in the first place but better safe than sorry.
That first trip to Quat was a doosie, it was at a time when the ESA was limited to sub luminal transit between stars, prior to the discovery and practical harvesting of negative energy density and the invention of the first practical Alcubiere Drives, he spent 26 years in transit and back that first time, in 2483 the same trip is routinely being done in 3 months time, super luminal. The ESA has vastly increased the number of known exoplanets that have been visited by supermortals...and by that I mean, not necessarily SH's, (standard human) many of these planets have varied environments from the kind that were conducive to the formation and development of life on Earth. When Afusa made his first trip to Quat though he was genetically modified in cognitive ways to enable mastery of the technical requirements of the trip, the ESA was in it's early stages of exploring exoplanets and had restricted their initial missions to planets that were 90% like Earth or better as far as gravity, solar irradiance and water availability was concerned....but that changed quickly. The ability to modulate or genetics to suit the planets we found allowed us to basically design our explorers to best fit the locations we were visiting. Genetic adaptation to much higher levels of solar radiation, much lower levels of fresh water concentration, varied concentrations of minerals and amino acids that SU's require to survive became par for the course around the 2440's. As an "old timer" Afusa remembers those days with a glint of nostalgia as he plays with the plastic rocket toy dangling from Xuǎnzé 's mobile. He thinks to himself the type of adventure his son will know over the course of his hopefully centuries long life time, will he trace the pattern of his father and 4 older brothers and become involved in space exploration in some way? Will he remain on Earth and continue to enrich the planet with discoveries in cognitive engineering or maybe he will be an artist and illuminate the fascinating connection between fractal geometry and physical structure through the design of fractal architecture a new idea being explored by SH's and SM's in the last few years. Afusa smiles as his son shoots him back what seems like a knowing glare...in fact, because both are wearing cognitive transference devices ...the child does know what his father his thinking and does understand...but at this moment he's yet to undeveloped physically to put into action the fancy that rages his young mind...he'll yet grow and do so...and from what Afusa can tell, he is destined to make him proud.