The More Things Change...
Hours passed. Nobody came to check on me. There were no noises in the hallway outside the room. I did hear some barely perceptible noises that seemed somewhat nearby though. I guessed that maybe they were people in the other cells in the hallway.
It was getting dark outside. I could tell that much through the small window with the thick metal grate over it. Still nobody came. I wondered about that. They didn't seem interested in feeding me, though I had no intention whatsoever of eating anything they gave me anyway. Eventually the room lights went out without warning. I waited for my eyes to adjust and then used the meager facilities in the cell before lying on the cot, fully clothed, and staring up at the ceiling.
I must have drifted off eventually, though it was impossible to tell when, because the next thing I knew was the sound of the door unlocking.
I sat up abruptly, but didn't get any further than that. A man in a uniform of some kind was standing in the doorway pointing a stun weapon at me. I sat on the cot and looked at him.
“You will accompany me for processing,” he said.
I didn't move.
The guard shrugged, and without so much of a flicker of expression on his face he shot me with the stun gun.
I slumped down on the bed, still conscious, but utterly unable to move my arms or legs.
The guard stood back and two other men entered the room, roughly lifted me and carried me into the hallway where they dropped me into a wheelchair.
The guard then wheeled me down the hallway, into an elevator, and eventually into some kind of office.
The office was spartan. The walls were cinder block and painted white. A metal desk occupied the centre of the room. A wooden chair was on this side of the desk, but the guard ignored that and parked the wheelchair beside it.
On the other side of the desk sat a man in a cheap looking suit. He was typing something into a vid screen on the desktop.
The guard stood behind the wheelchair and announced, “Jeffrey Chamberlain.” He then stood absolutely still behind me. I could feel his stun gun on my spine as the first stun started to wear off and I was able to straighten myself out slightly in the wheelchair.
The man behind the desk ignored the guard, and me, for several long minutes before eventually looking up at me.
“Your genetic material is the property of the People's Genetic Protectorate,” the man behind the desk said. It was now the second time I'd been told that. “We have the responsibility of ensuring it is used to preserve the human species. You have the moral obligation to cooperate fully in this endeavor. You have no other rights or privileges. Your genetic material, and therefore you, as the carrier of such, are hereby permanently interred in the Alabama Genetic Diversity Preservation Enclave. This building and its grounds.”
I looked around. I wondered what the building had been before yesterday. I had the sense that it had been empty for some time, and then hastily, maybe in the last several weeks, painted and bits of furniture moved in. You could still see the scrape marks on the floor where the desk had been slid into place.
The paint on the wall looked fresh too, but it was dry, and had been there long enough that I couldn't detect any smell.
All this implied that these people had been planning this for some weeks, or months, prior to the election and the seemingly sudden events of yesterday and today. I should have known. There was no way this could have been done that quickly. The support of the police and military implied ensuring the right people were in the right positions. Not to mention heavy bribes, mental blocks and untangling technology.
Still, I knew from Dad M and Dillon, and my own experiences, that the equipment for the blocks and untangling was expensive, and therefore fairly rare. And it was most definitely not portable. Dad M had shown me the multiple rooms of equipment used to help untangle me and to set up my blocks, as well as the holodeck thing itself. It took up most of a floor of the hospital. Even without the holodeck part of it was still massive. As a result, these facilities were only located in some of the bigger hospitals and research centres. There couldn't have been that many people directly affected by that method. There would have been too many logistical problems. There was more at play here than I had so far figured out.
The man behind the desk began speaking again, after typing something into his screen, “There will be other tasks. There is no point in the genetic carriers doing nothing when they can also contribute in other ways. We are still in the process of setting this up. You will be directed as needed.
“In the meantime you will be given your examination and your DNA will be fully sequenced. If your DNA proves to be damaged, or you are a carrier of certain genetic diseases, then you will be neutered before being assigned to a work force. If your DNA is adequate you will provide your first deposit of genetic material. This will be repeated once daily.”
The man appeared to be done with me. He was looking down at his vid screen again and resumed typing. He never even told me his name.
The guard behind me said, “You will accompany me.”
I debated sitting there for a half second, but then figured I really didn't want to be stunned again, so I got up and walked.
The examination room was only a few doors down the hallway. It too looked like it was hastily set up. A man I assumed to be the doctor looked up as we entered the room. He didn't say anything at all. The guard directed me to undress and sit up on the examination table.
I hesitated again, and the guard shot me again. Before I could slump to the ground he lifted me and dumped me unceremoniously on the exam table. He then roughly removed my clothes.
Yes, all of them.
I wasn't sure about the guard, or the man behind the desk in the office, but this doctor was very obviously under some significant mental blocks. I wondered that he could function at all. He barely seemed human.
The exam was cold, impersonal, and rough. The doctor appeared to have no concern, or even awareness, of the fact he was poking, prodding, and pinching in rather uncomfortable ways.
Finally, a swab of my cheek was taken, I assume for the DNA testing, and the guard picked me up, still naked, and deposited me back in the wheelchair.
I saw the doctor picking up my clothes and depositing them in a garbage can as I was wheeled out of the room.
For the second time the stun started to wear off and I began to regain control of myself. I tried very hard not to move though. I figured why bother letting the guard know the stun had worn off.
I was wheeled into another room. It looked very much like the office from earlier, only this room was empty except for a single wooden chair. The guard, apparently knowing the stun had worn off, directed me onto the chair. I complied, and the guard then wheeled the chair out of the room and left, locking the door behind him.
At least an hour went by. I was hungry. I hadn't eaten anything since yesterday's breakfast. The air conditioning was blowing quite hard into the room, and as I was naked I was getting rather chilly too. I also had to pee.
I couldn't do anything about any of this so I sat and waited. I was just considering peeing on the floor in a corner of the room in desperation when the door opened and two men walked in. They were wearing uniforms as well, but they were a bit different from the other guard. Nonetheless, one of them was aiming a stun gun at me as they entered.
Neither of them said anything, but the one with the stun gun motioned for me to get up and walk. I did. He brought me into a bathroom where I was allowed to use the urinal. The guard was standing close behind me holding the stun gun the entire time.
I finished and turned to walk towards the sink to wash my hands, but the guard directed me back out the door instead. We went back to the empty office and again without a word I was directed to sit in the wooden chair.
The guards, or whoever they were, didn't lock the door this time. In fact they didn't even close it, though the one with the stun gun was standing just beside the doorway and continued to aim his weapon at me.
Finally, one of them spoke. “Your DNA has been sequenced. It is adequate. Therefore, your genetic material will contribute to the future of the species. You are obligated to provide it.”
The guard near the door turned and someone handed him something. The other guard took it from him and walked to the chair, just in front of me. He held out a plastic specimen bottle, the kind you got in a doctor's office for a urine sample.
I hesitated, and the guard gestured slightly and said, “Take it.”
The two men then stood on other side of the chair watching me, one still aiming his stun gun at me. They didn't say anything, but were looking at me expectantly.
I was confused. I didn't know what they wanted. If they wanted a urine sample, why had they taken me to the bathroom without the specimen bottle? It didn't make sense.
I must have looked puzzled. The guard with the gun, impatience etched into his features, said, “You will provide a sample of genetic material.”
I stared at him. A horrible thought struck me. They couldn't possibly mean that!
I turned my head and looked at the other guard. He was, for the first time, showing some emotion.
He was smirking. And, I was positive, leering.
The guard with the gun again spoke, “We don't have a lot of time. There are others. You will provide a sperm sample, now, or we will take one from you. However that will be decidedly uncomfortable.” He held up a syringe with a very large and thick needle. I didn't even want to think about where he was planning to poke that.
I stared, then looked down at myself, before looking back to the guard, “I...honestly don't think I can.” I didn't want to feel that needle, but I couldn't. There was no way. It would be utterly impossible. In fact, I was surprised my equipment hadn't shrunk to invisibility at this point.
The leering guard finally spoke. “I think you'll find you can.” He poked my arm with a syringe.
Whatever drug they injected worked as advertised. I immediately could. Despite my complete humiliation, my embarrassment, and my anger. I even, almost, wanted to. That was obviously powerful stuff, whatever they gave me. Still, I hesitated. The leering guard expressed frustration at my hesitation and reached out with his own hand.
“No!” I yelled, and I lifted my own arm from the chair's arm rest. The guard moved his hand back. I think he was disappointed.
I'm not going to say anything more about what happened in that room for the next several minutes.
Except for this. It was humiliating. It was disgusting. And it was, without any doubt whatsoever, the most completely horrible thing I had ever been through in my entire life.
After they had their sample the drug they gave me seemed to wear off immediately. After I...well...you know...
They didn't even bother to tell me to stand up. They simply stunned me where I sat, completely horrified at myself, and then the leering guard picked me up and deposited me back in my wheelchair. I was wheeled back to my cell, dumped out of the chair, and they left. The door locked behind them.
The stun wore off several minutes later and I crawled into a corner of the room and sat with my back to the wall. I curled my knees up to my chest and held them tightly in my arms. I put my head down on my knees and I closed my eyes.
And I cried in shame.