For any long-life species – vampires being a perfect example, but others abound – passing as a human in a world that doesn’t suspect their existence poses a number of challenges. Close to the top of the list (just behind the 11th commandment) would be how, when and where to trade off one “life” for the next – also known as Serial Lives Management, for the nerds among us.
Consider these little brain teasers a long-lifer would have to resolve:
How long should a life be?
A long lifer can’t stay in one “life” (keep one identity and place of residence) for the same time a human could. The eighty-odd years the human race is currently blessed with (on average) brings with it massive changes to that human – aging, health challenges, sometimes diminishing mental capacity, and more. All of that is bench-marked by considerable changes in appearance, including height, circumferences, even nose size (your nose gets bigger as you age).
An immortal or extremely long-lived species couldn’t stay in one spot, as one person, for the whole eighty years, unless they were able to mask their lack of aging…but even then, the longer they knew the humans surrounding them and in their community, the greater their chance of discovery.
The long lifer would have to move into to the community as an adult, and even the most youthful of adults show definite signs of aging by around 50 years of age…so at most, the long-lifer would have 30 useful years, before detection became more certain.
Choosing the next life
It seems like picking another life would be fun, but consider:
A complete set of identity papers, supporting documents and background verification would be needed for every new life. As the world grows increasingly more wired, the documents would have to be of the highest quality to withstand scrutiny by authorities.
What profession to choose? What skills does the long lifer have? Do they even need to work? Many long lifers amass incredible fortunes thanks to compound interest and time. But if they arrive in a new community with a 20 year old’s appearance, how do they explain the money away? Inheriting fortunes is not something even the young can do without notice – Paris Hilton is the perfect example.But even if they choose to work, they will need to acquire the skills for their new profession and if they look too old to be a student, then they need to invent reasons why they’re studying at such an advanced age.
Any choice will prompt questions that need to be answered and preferably backed up with documentation and references…which raises the next point.
Reliable fake references need to be established for any possible questions that need to be answered in the new life, and reasons why that reference is being used. A complete history has to be built that will withstand investigation.
Simply traveling to another town in order to leave the old life behind is not a luxury that modern day long-lifers can enjoy any more. Moving on takes detailed, overwhelming planning and precise execution if they are not to be exposed.