by: Dennis R. Humphreys
Most years come and go uneventfully, but this one was different. Maybe it was because the people holding out, believing their leaders, finally had a huge awakening. It was no longer their government watching over their rights to choose, but a quasi-industrial governing force that told them what to do. When there was opposition to their intent, they cried conspiratorialists... or the people were not capable of understanding it was for their welfare. Unfortunately, when you have a society that becomes lazy and refuses to look for the answers directly, or depend on their information from others and the media, and worse yet listen to it, you're fucked.
It was pretty unbelievable when reports of what was being proposed in a bill came to light. Those proposing it denied it. They blamed paranoia and the conspiracy practitioners of creating hysteria. Supporters didn't believe it. The thirty five thousand page bill was too formidable to read at any level of intelligence or commitment in a government for the people. 'Don't worry proponents said, time is of the essence, sign the bill and we'll explain it later.' It was later the true nature of the bill and the ramifications became clear. Some asked how did it get this far? The fact was it began in the early 2020s when viruses were released into the world population, where governments of the world could put out false reports through more than willing media, of their dangers. There was a need for vaccinations and booster shots to end the pandemics threatening us all when in reality our own bodies were much more efficient. The leader wanted its citizens to become used to the needles stuck into them. Regardless, the vaccination did not work with the viruses but it allowed governments and corporations to enact their plan of inoculating the populations with nanites... small computer chips through the bore of needles that could track people and hold information on them. They could be updated on a regular basis, with all that information that the leaders had been collecting for years on people, that was solely for 'marketing' purposes, they said. The most important part of the chip was its ability to sterilize or fertilize people on demand. If you were motivated enough to look for the information it was out there. Large segments of the populations had downward numbers in births and conceptions, since 2016 via experimental nanites induced through regular flu shots administered during those planned pandemics. The plan was underway.
The bill was passed, and then its activation enlightened those that were unenlightened. They realized they had been duped.
Family units were outlawed. To this end, parents were separated and marriages were dissolved as part of the act. Parents were reassigned other living quarters that comprised of two men or two women as parents to raise the existing children and future children the government might assign you. Sex was made illegal with procreation as a focus. Sex was only for pleasure. Government and business became partners in creating Pleasure Bars in all the towns and cities that existed. If you wanted sex for pleasure with someone of the opposite sex you went there and paid a fee. The women or men there that worked at the bar were given credits in virtual currency for every pleasure pact they accomplished. The governments and business began collecting gobs of money. There were no incidents of accidental conceptions because the nanites controlled that.
To breed the kind of people to suit the oligarchies' needs, they created farms. Dr. Lewis Vanderbilt was instrumental in creating the final piece of the puzzle in this whole nefarious construct. For years, scientists had been raising ears and noses on the back of mice as replacement parts for people having undergone radical cancer surgery, removing ears and noses. It was odd seeing mice scampering around their cages or in their wheels with an ear and/or nose on their backs, like back packs but it was proven effective. Stem cell experimentation and cloning individually made great strides. It was Dr. Vanderbilt that put it all together and began raising human babies on the backs of pigs. His sequestered farm labs were oddities to see. Clean and efficient, cleaner than most people's homes and nicer than most government enforced housing, the pigs would carry one or two babies on their back as they went on living lives as pigs. Known as 'pigubators', the babies became the size of a nine month old, in utero, within three months, making the process very efficient. However, scientists found leaving the young ones attached for a few extra months brought them to the crawling stage, so they were mobile much more quickly. They would detach the babies then and repair the surgical marks. However, all one had to do was look at the older child and see the tell tale oval scar on the back to identify them as offspring of the pigubators. They became known as 'pigbies'.
Starch Mabon was a man forced to live with another man for the past three years and raise a 'pigby' as their child. Starch was married before to a woman for five years who he dearly loved, and had, since he first met her as a freshman in high school. Starch was twenty nine and had no idea where she was now. The government reassigned her to a location unknown and so was he, so they didn't know where the other one was. His cohabitant was a gay man who was constantly hitting on him and whom he had no interest, making it clear numerous times. He filed complaints to the local government hearing board to be relocated but they said there wasn't an adequate reason. They told him to just get used to it and give him what he wants.
It was Friday night and after a long, frustrating week of work he wanted out for the evening. He worked hard for no pay, unlike the old days. He accumulated so many credits each week for going to work. He didn't have to do much, just show up for work to get them but the time went slowly if you didn't do something. He had free housing, but it was a cramped apartment, not like the small house he and his wife had owned. He acquired so many credits weekly for transportation which were inefficient, self driving electric cars the government owned. They failed to reenergize half the time, though they were supposed to automatically go to the limited stations to do so. In bad weather, when the snow wasn't removed promptly, which it never was, the cars would get stuck and lose power, making things worse. They then had to be towed into the stations. Three time this winter so far Starch had to walk a few miles and leave his ride behind and his credits. Most of his credits were spent on the limited food supplies there were. Any food not on the list of approved nutrition lists could not be bought with your food credits. Investments were made using your credits and if you were lucky you might see increased credits from time to time on your debit card. He received socialization credits on a weekly basis and he had never used any, so he had a fair amount accumulated. Tonight he'd go out and spend some. He had not been with anyone since the government dissolved his marriage but tonight he was determined to break the seal... drink some and if he saw someone he liked, have sex.
The government place in town to go to, was called 'Hetero's Pleasure Palace' and was a government-business owned bar where anything went on inside... drinking, drugs, and assigned prostitution. He had walked into one at one time and immediately left. He wasn't puritan in nature, but the overwhelming smell of alcohol, pot, sex and other things, was nauseating and he left. He decided to brave it tonight. Non-sponsored government prostitution was illegal and with the chip inside they'd know it when there was illegal activity. First infraction, and you lost a percentage of your weekly credits. The second infraction, you had to work it off as a same sex prostitute, the third infraction, was being neutered. At that point, if you were a man, you had no choice but to become a bottom same sex prostitute for the government. Too many bad choices for Starch to want.
You could accumulate government credits as long as you wanted. The best thing to do was invest in something the government had a hand in making profitable through exploitation or monopoly. Then you might end up with extra credit on your card to buy more food in Class A groceries the government set up for their oligarchy where actual, real meats were provided and specialty foods like candy were sold... not the recycled trash and human feces made to like and taste like meat. Starch wasn't about to eat anyone's shit, especially if had a chance of coming from the ruling class. He ate lots of noodles and even that was questionable at times. Cans of dried vegetables were part of his staple but he would buy an expensive pound of beef from time to time and add it to his noodles and vegetable dish making that pound last a month.
Three years of this life was enough. He had to get out and get rid of some of his frustration. He was tired of dating his right hand and he wasn't very good with his left hand. If he were, he might have indulged in a threesome long ago.
He had three nearby choices to go. All of them were 'Hetero's Pleasure Palaces' because they were government establishments. There were other places available too, but the government run places assured the health of the prostitutes with regular check ups. The non-government unsanctioned ones were less interested in your health. Individual prostitution was outlawed supposedly for everyone's protection. Offenders met with neutralization, both men and women. This stopped the men but not the women who were assigned then to the pleasure palaces and closely monitored.
He had enough credits, he figured if he didn't like one place he'd get a ride to another. He didn't like the idea of supporting this government run institution but he had no choice. He was even considering suicide for the last two months under the conditions but he became angry and felt that would be their ultimate win, trying to control the population.
He keyed the information into his phone arranging the automatic pick up at the apartment to take him to the first bar. The car arrived on time and sent a signal to his phone.
“Why don't you just stay home tonight and save your credits. I'll work you into a frenzy of relief you never knew you could have,” Phillip, his room mate suggested.
“No thanks. I wish you'd stop hitting on me that way. I'm not about to go there,” Starch reprimanded him.
“We'd both get credits on our cards if you would just give in and loosen it up a bit,” his room mate suggested.
“No thanks, I'm not loosening anything up for you or anyone else,” Starch said angrily as he walked out the door. It was a small apartment, just large enough for three people and it was sparsely furnished. The pigby, Toni, stood there and wished him a good evening.
“Besides, I think it would be a bad influence on the kid.”
Raising the pigby was mandated, but they got an allowance to do it until he was eighteen. He had a difficult life ahead of him. He was schooled at home from his computer. If he did well, being tested regularly, he might go into a number of programs created to weed out the best to become part of the ruling class. The worst became government assigned prostitutes, or perhaps used to produce movies with any perversion known to man. Actually there was a worse assignment... organ donors.
“Good evening,” the AI bartender said, "card please.”
That was the first thing these Ai machines did in places like these, and the grocery stores. They scanned your card to see who you were, were you legit, and did you have credits to spend. Once you were scanned the 'ollies' which is what everyone called the ruling class, short for oligarchs, knew exactly where you were. Here, they knew what you were doing.
“What can I get you?” the unemotional machine asked.
“Give me a fucking Coors Light,” Starch asked.
“Sorry we have no fucking Coors Light. We have fucking women and we have Coors Light beer,” the stupid machine replied. Even the AI machines were only as smart as their programmers and they supposedly learned as time went on but, like people, there seemed to be an intrinsi8c stupidity that made them inherently dangerous to rely on very much.
“Alright, asshole... give me a Coors Light beer. Is that clear enough or is it too much for your stupid brain to handle?” Starch ordered.
“If you continue your outburst I will have to ask you to leave. I've already debited your card twenty credits for your profanity,” the machine told him which pissed him off. He wondered what he would be debited if he smashed his glass of beer over its electronic head.
As he waited for his beer he looked around at the scene. There were several people openly having sex in the bar while others watched them. There were a lot of voyeurs in these places... those that couldn't afford the credits for sex but got off watching. There wasn't a law against that. The place had that same smell he remembered from the last time he was in a place like this.
His drink was brought, and he found if he kept his nose in his glass and inhaled deeply the aroma of his drink... that helped. An attractive young woman, maybe sixteen, though it was hard to tell with the makeup in the available light, approached him as he leaned on the bar.
“Are you here to just watch or do you want some pussy?” she asked. “I'm Jay.”
“Well Jay, I'm Starch. You put that so eloquently I just want to throw you over the bar and give it to you,” he said jokingly.
“That'll cost you fifty credits but I'd like that. It'll cost you an extra ten credits if you use my back door,” she offered.
“Jay, let me ask you a question... back door or otherwise, how many men have you had tonight so far?” Starch asked, not that it mattered but he wondered about her own insight into this whole thing. She thought for a minute.
“Eleven so far,” she answered honestly. After all it was what it was.
“And total, how many do you normally take care of by the end of the night?” Starch asked her.
“On a good night, I'll do about twenty... a slow night might be fifteen,” Jay answered just as honestly and without emotion like she was trading toys.
“I'm going to decline. I guess I came here looking for a little more. I'm not sure what I was expecting but being part of a line up wasn't one of them. I guess I'm the disillusioned one,” he told her.
“Go fuck yourself then,” Jay answered walking away.
“I might just do that,” Starch answered her cute butt as it left, hanging out without underwear, from her tiny skirt. As he looked, he heard the AI machine talk.
“I just transferred the credits you lost back to you for her profanity. We don't tolerate that behavior from our workers to our patrons,” the machine informed him.
Starch thought to himself a few moments, thinking a guy could come to a place like this and actually drink free if he could get the people employed here to cuss him out. He might keep that in mind. He looked around to see if there were any prospects who might not be visibly high on something like Jay was. She obviously needed something to get her through the night besides a lot of anonymous sex. But perhaps the government ration of drugs each week didn't really help her with any self image. However, he was sure the guy she was now going down on across the room, wasn't going to help much either.
Disgusted, he left the bar after actually thanking the stupid machine. At least tipping wasn't expected. He put in his drive requirements into his phone and immediately a car pulled over to him from across the street, as his phone beeped in recognition. These places, you didn't have to wait long for a car. A few stuck around knowing they'd get a call. He climbed into it and started the ten minute drive to the next bar. It was a non social event. There was no one to talk to so why bother? You could talk to the onboard AI device but either thirty percent of the answers didn't make sense with your conversation or it would say it didn't understand you. It was frustrating. You'd be better off farting but then if you did, and the equipment noticed it, you were fined credits for non-green emissions. It did have the decency to tell you that when it did it though.
The car dropped him off at the next Hetero's he planned on going to. It looked just like the previous bar, even the bartender looked the same. They should at least paint them different colors. The thing announced he was the one hundredth customer and issued him ten credits on his card when it checked it. He was breaking even for the night so far!
“I see you were at the other bar down the road and had a Coors Light. Can I get you the same?” it asked.
“Sure,” Starch answered. He hated that, the machines knowing everything about you right away.
He liked the socialization of talking to people and maybe changing his mind at the last moment, depending on that short introduction to someone new... like a friendly bartender with a smile that made you feel welcomed, who may or may not know you, but was open to getting to know you, as you sat and drank.
As he sat, he watched the same scenes he saw at the previous bar... the open sex between people that may or may not know each other. He had heard when the girls in places like this had sex six times with the same person, the chips authorized relocation. He didn't know if it was true or not, but knowing how the ollies worked, it made sense. About that time his thoughts were interrupted.
“Hi there cutie pie. How about a pussy sandwich?” the one girl asked, arm in arm with another girl. The one was astronomically cute while the other was just attractive.
“I'm afraid to ask, but what exactly is a pussy sandwich?” Starch asked them both not caring who explained it, he just wanted clarification.
“That's where the three of us get naked, with one of us on either side of you face, and you have to eat your way out,” the girl giggled, looking to be a devilish eighteen year old. She appeared unhindered, but she was busy holding up the other one, who was somewhat younger, from the effects of whatever she had taken.
“Well that sounds absolutely delicious, but I had a smorgasbord earlier and I am totally full,” Starch answered smiling at them, or maybe it was his own comment.
“You come back then before you have something to eat the next time. Maybe we can help fill your void,” the girl said as they both wandered off to their next potential customer.
Help fill my void? He thought to himself. How is that? The woman I love was taken away from me and I've missed her so much over the last three years. If she had died it wouldn't be so bad. It would have been a cruel act of nature but this was a man made contrivance he was forced to handle. She was still out there somewhere and he had no idea where... or how to get hold of her. If he did, they'd both be punished. He didn't know how but that's how everything was handled these days.
Starch took a walk around the bar with the other voyeurs and watched what was happening there. In the not too distant past, you would have gone to prison for... some of the serious offenses he saw. But they didn't use prisons anymore. Your entire life was dependent on your debit card and if your punishments outpaced your rewards, you were assigned jobs that were tantamount to indentured servitude, to work your way out but most people didn't. They died trying. It was worse than slavery. At least as a slave you were worth something and you were taken care of even though someone owned you. Indentured servants worked off their contracts where you thought there was an end in sight but the end never came. They were overworked to extract as much as possible for their debt and normally killed in the process. It was like the old company stores where your debt never got paid off.
Starch was still horny, but appalled at what he observed. This was the culmination of thousands of years of evolution... the modern man, reduced to his original animalistic state. Who would want this? What evil was behind it?
He left the bar to the sound of the AI bartender machine wishing him well and to come back soon. What a friendly machine! He'd make sure he came back as soon as possible to have another mesmerizing conversation.
The next bar was the last he planned for the evening. If this was the same as the last two he might have been better off having a drink at home with his hand. God forbid his room mate Phillip should walk in, he'd probably be attacked. There were no locks on private residency homes anymore. They were outlawed as well. Starch wasn't sure of the exact reasoning for it but thought it had something to do with the old breaking and entry laws for which there was no prosecution anymore. You never had much of value in your place because if you did, it would most likely be gone when you came home from work. You could file a report and get ten percent on your dollar from the ollies but that didn't do much except support the continual downgrade of what you owned. It was cheaper for them to do that than maintain a prisoner. When you place was cleaned out, so was your past and any memories you might have had in your place. Some people managed to kill the robbers but then there were reassignments and fines. It may have been worth doing for some.
Starch entered the last bar... his last chance for some satisfaction. He was greeted by a carbon copy of the other two machines.
“Hi sir, can I be of help?” the AI machine asked.
“Yeah... your twin brother at the last bar said this was a good place to stop for some good conversation,” Starch quipped. The machine didn't respond to that.
“Can I get you a Coors Light?” it asked as it went to the drafts to pour one.
“No, I'd like a Black Russian?” Starch ordered but the machine looked confused, if a machine could look that way.
“Sorry sir, we can't use the term 'black'. I have to deduct five credits for inappropriate verbiage. You might want the Dark Russian,” it suggested.
“Yeah... give me one of those,” Starch answered. How is a person supposed to keep up with all this crap that's going on? Even the dictionary is getting thinner these days.
Starch took his stance against the bar to view his surroundings. This place was just like the other two. There was no ambiance or character here either. The place was a dive by any standard. The human race was supposed to be evolving, moving forward... not backwards. A young lady came walking towards him but when she was within range Starch spoke out to her.
“Sorry honey. You're not my type. Not interested,” Starch informed her.
“And what type would that be?” she asked.
“Under fourteen,” Starch commented. At one time this would be contributing to the delinquency of a minor but now since it was ordained by the ollies it was OK. Prostitution was fine everywhere and every age, as long as it kept meat on their tables. How the hell did we get here so easily?
Starch continued looking around the room. He didn't intend to stay much longer. There was a rude awakening here and the other places, but maybe that's what he needed. Then he saw a familiar face. He didn't believe he saw her here.
He walked over to where the woman was seated to look closer. She was as good looking as ever. She was also as high as she could be. Her eyes were glazed and she could hardly sit up, but as he approached her she looked up in puzzlement. There was some flash of recognition there clouded by the drugs. He stood for a moment in front of her watching her before he spoke.
“You looking for pussy?” she asked.
“I was looking for you. Stacey?” he asked his wife. He couldn't believe his eyes. She had been relocated the same as him but to the same town?
She stared at him searching her memory. The drugs she was on clouded her mind. He could see she was searching her thoughts. There was something vaguely familiar about this man standing in front of her but the recognition was elusive. Her eyes seemed to vibrate back and forth trying to get a fix. Then suddenly they stabilized into a stare and her eyes were fixated.
“St... Star... Starch?” she questioned moving towards him, which he finished, pulling her up in a hug.
“Yes, honey, it's Starch. I can't believe I've found you. I didn't think I'd ever see you again,” he told her hugging her, then kissing her.
“Hey mister,” one of the customers advised, "you have to pay for that.”
Gladly, Starch took out his card and swiped his wife's reader. She led him into a back room where they could have privacy. She was used to having sex in the open and speaking openly but she didn't want anyone to hear. They could easily be reported.
Once they were in the back Starch took her to bed. The passion that ensued was beyond what he thought it would be like if they ever had the chance to be together again. When they had finished, she laid there in his arms and he held her, kissing her on the top of her head every so often. She seemed to have snapped out of her high and was more focused.
“I can't believe we're here together again,” he told her.
“Yeah but five more times and they relocate me,” she reminded him.
“I wish there were a way to get this chip out,” he told her.
“As soon as you do anything to it, they'll know the who and where. It always emits a signal. You'd have be prepared to run immediately to throw them off the track,” Stacey advised as she laid there on her side, watching him.
Starch pushed her over on her back, and looked into her eyes, brushing the few strands of black hair from her forehead.
“Starch it's been three years. I've been with a lot of men,” she began to tell him.
“That doesn't matter, they made you do this. I still love you. I always have,” he told her as he drug his hand over her neck and down over her breasts, remembering how it had been.
“It's something you can't dismiss. They drugged me to start this life, they keep us all supplied in drugs to live this life for them. I've probably been with close to seven thousand men since we were separated. I'm used to it and have gotten to like it physically and mentally. I still love you too and wish we could go back, but I'm not sure if I can change now,” she advised him.
“Don't say that. We'll figure a way, if we leave this place and this life behind,” Starch suggested.
“It wouldn't be fair to you though if I still wanted to be with other men. The first few months I was devastated. I was ready to kill myself. Then I thought there might be a way out, but no way came... I accepted it as part of the new lifestyle the ollies put me into. After a few more months it went beyond mere acceptance. I found I loved the attention of different men. It turned me on and I looked forward to each man I was with as the day went on. Now I get up in the mornings wanting to see how many men I can be with. I am a slut, to put it bluntly,” she told her husband.
“They've conditioned you to this, we can 'uncondition' you. Nothing is ever the same after time and experience has changed us from what we were. We are who we are. I'm not the same man since you saw me. This was the first sex I've had since we were together last. I can't let you go,” he told her as he rolled back onto her desiring her again. They made passionate love, even better than when they first came into the room.
When he rolled off of her, all the feeling came pouring back into him that he had forgotten. He didn't care about what they had done or what she had done for them. He only cared what they were going to do, together. He wouldn't let her go this time without a fight. If he had to, it would be to the death, because without her he might as well be dead. Stacey sat up in bed quietly and placed her chin on her knees.
Starch watched the back of her as she sat there. He had always thought the sexiest part of her was her finely curved back into a small waist... the way it arched especially when they made love and she was on top and he watched her in the mirror over the dresser at the end of their bed. All that was gone now with the passing of that damned Procreation Act.
Then in the dim light he noticed the oblong scar on her back and realized it wasn't the Stacey he knew. Oh she had the memories of his Stacey but every clone is an exact duplicate of the cell donor, including memories, but they weren't his Stacey's memories.
These belonged to a 'pigby'.