08 Oct

Immortality 101 by Tham Cheng-E’s Surrogate Protocol

Let’s assume that somehow you’ve discovered the formula to immortality or have fallen into the fountain of eternal youth, and you can now live forever. Congratulations! “Time” and “Age” are now off your list of concerns, and you can join Keanu Reeves as a fellow immortal.


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But immortality comes with a list of things you need to look out for. And in case you have no idea how to go about the rest of your incredibly long-lasting life, you’re in luck! We’re going to share what you have to do as an immortal with the help of Tham Cheng-E’s Epigram Books Fiction Prize winner, Surrogate Protocol, to ensure that you survive this (and every other) day and age!


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What you’ll need to do:

Unless you want to live as a hermit in a secluded forest, free from the prying eyes of humanity…


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…you’ll need to adopt a new identity every 15 years or so. Just like Surrogate Protocol’s main protagonist Landon, you don’t want to invite any unnecessary questions by looking too old or too young for your identity.

Like him, you can also nick a couple of birth certificates from hospital delivery suites or even ICs that people used to chope tables with. (To those who use your ICs to chope your tables, let this be a fair warning not to do so as someone might use it to steal your identity!)

And for Pete’s sake, DO NOT open a bank account. Keep your money in a Khong Guan biscuit tin that’s safely tucked away.


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Sure, you won’t accrue any interest but neither would you attract the interest of any unwanted parties. Speaking of which…


What you’ll need to be wary of:

Being immortal is a dangerous business. You’re an ageless being, and there are many out there who want to live forever.

You’d best believe that not all who seek your ability to live forever, aim to attain them through civilised means. You’ll have to hide your identity, lay low, and be careful of who you trust.

And since we’re on the topic of finding friends you can trust, we have to warn you that you have to endure an emotional toll that comes with outliving all your friends, seeing them age or pass on while you remain the exact same image of youth as when you first saw them, can leave you incredibly lonely.


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But that doesn’t mean every single second of your eternal life should be spent looking over your shoulders or hiding under the countless aliases you’ve racked up. You’re immortal! Go live a little and be excited about the things you get to see!


What you might see:

Think about it, you’ll not only outlive humans but also entire civilisations.

And, just like how Landon was there at events that left their mark on Singapore’s history (the massacre at Alexandra Hospital back in 1941, and the fire at Robinsons Department Store in 1972), you’ll get to see key events happening around the world and observe the impact they have on later generations. 


Congratulations! You’re now fully equipped to deal with all the things that come with being an immortal! Who knows, maybe thanks to this guide, you might even be there when the Alpacalypse occurs where intelligent alpacas dethrone humans from the top of the food chain.


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