By Julia Crumpelman
Do you know Karen Skyrunner, the British superhero who saved Europe from a Celtic zombie army last year? Do you know Ferris, the metallic Chicago-based superhero who stopped the Great Lakes from being turned to green sludge from a swamp monster? How about Joey Radstone, the former Quinton School student who wanders the globe searching for the most “rad stones”? They all have one thing in common.
They were all born within the last seven years and are all now adults. How? They went to a future world to grow up and returned to the present (or, rather, their past. It’s complicated.).
Now Jennifer Carson-Knowles wants to bring this possibility for child-rearing to the common people with her new business, FutureKin. “It’s so far only been an option for super people,” she said, “and that’s really a shame. Parents should have the option to age their children faster like the super folk.”
Carson-Knowles acknowledges that time travel is highly regulated, but that’s only for trips into the past. “Nowhere in the time laws does it restrict going forward in time,” she said. “Nor can it. We travel forward through time constantly. We’re doing it right now. So that’s essentially what we’re doing.”
FutureKin will provide parents with a selection of several future landscapes with separate instructors for different learning environments. Some will be more knowledge based, others will resemble boot camps, and some will be complete survival worlds. Once an environment is selected, the child will go to that future for several years and return the next day. They will have aged however many years the parents paid for, so they could age up to ten years in one day. How FutureKin Time Engineers are able to pinpoint futures with the right environments is a closely kept secret.
But why would parents do this to their child, who will not see them for up to 10 years? “Have you ever tried raising a child going through puberty?” said Carson-Knowles. “Hell. Pure hell. Get your kid through the rough patch in one day and be done with it, I say.”
“Another benefit,” she said, “would be having grandchildren much quicker. This could be very helpful for parents who have children late in their lives.” Her daughter, who went through one of the 10-year educational futures, rolled her eyes when she heard this. She is legally only 9 years old but is physically 19 years old.
“This is a bad, bad idea,” said Dr. Amazing, upon hearing the business plan for FutureKin. “I don’t even know where to begin. Those superheroes [listed above] went to the future because they had no other choice. Skyrunner had a disease that only future tech could cure. Ferris ran into a time portal when we has pursued by squid monsters, and Radstone was, well, a little stone crazy. They lost years with their families. Years! They returned home and were emotionally distant from their families.”
“Not to mention that those futures may not even exist because of something that happens today or another time traveler comes back to change something which deletes that future from happening,” said Dr. Amazing, running out of breath. “Oh my god, this is such a bad, bad idea.”
Carson-Knowles brushes off the criticisms. “I have the top Time Engineers on this project,” she said. “They will monitor every possible perturbation in the timestreams to make sure all of our futures still exist on a second-by-second basis.”
“It’s like boarding school,” she said. “And children grow up just fine because of that, so I think we’ll be just fine.” Again, her daughter rolled her eyes and made an obscene gesture at her mother from behind her back.