#261 A Woman’s World
In the year 2054, after the internet crash, and WWIII, women managed to grab power around the world by promising there’d never be another war. They passed laws that emasculated surviving men, who were outnumbered 10 to 1. I had to accept the decrees, fair or not. The war and demolition of so much infrastructure made salvage a big business. The women passed a mandate that anything remaining get recycled when its usefulness expired, even men’s corpses were broken down into fluids and tissues. Upon death they went to the regenerating center and got stuffed into a machine that extracted all the substances the body held. A man’s corpse had become practically priceless because of the demand. Bone marrow sold for $23,000 per gram. DNA from one body often fetched $9.7 million. The last price I heard for a lung was $116,400, a kidney went for $91,400 and a heart $577,000. All sales were legal and ethical according to mandate 224.
So when Myrtle, my wife said, “John, I have to tell you. Helen said your worth more dead than alive.”
What could I say? It was common knowledge; all men were worth more dead than alive. I agreed with her.
“I’m signing you into the recycling center tomorrow,” she said.
Mandate 224, passed in 2050 gave her the authority to sell me to a regenerating plant anytime she wanted to, so there wasn’t any use trying to prevent it.
“I’ll have you resurrected after I cash the check. You won’t notice your artificial lungs, heart, or kidneys. You’ll retain all your memories too. We’ll have enough money to keep your body tuned up for years,” she took my hand and led me to the Renewable Resources’ office where I met, Jane, a counselor. The instant we made eye contact, I knew we were meant to be a couple. Her job was to interview would be recyclers.
“The first procedure you go through,” she said. “Is to upload the contents of your mind to the universal consciousness.”
“Will I be aware I lived this life when I’m regenerated?” I asked. “Most importantly, will I remember you?” I asked her.
“Most people aren’t aware of their previous lives; their thoughts get mixed in with billions of other thoughts. I’ll make sure your thoughts will be shared with the universal cloud of consciousness, but remain segregated until you reclaim them.”
“How will I know what one’s are mine?”
“They’ll be a copy of your memories you can access from your new life with a code I’ll supply.”
“Do I have a choice of who I’ll be reincarnated as?”
“Fill out this questionnaire so we can decide if you should return as a man, woman, straight, gay, artistic, or whatever. Once that’s decided you can choose.”
“What would you like me to come back as?”
“I’d rather you didn’t get recycled.”
“The law says I have to.”
“There’s a way to recycle your wife instead of you.”
“Marry me, that’ll give me the authority to send your first wife to the recycling bin. Renewable Resources’ don’t allow plural marriages.”
“Great, let’s do it.”
Jane called a regulator, and the robot married us in the name of the Renewable Resources’ Authority.
She immediately punched Myrtle’s name into the computer. Myrtle was waiting to pick up her check for recycling me, so her location was known to the police who arrested her right away, placed her in the machine. Five minutes later Jane handed me a check in payment for Myrtle’s cadaver. It had enough credits to pay for years of vacations.
“Sign here,” she said and handed me a screen to scrawl on. “I’ll deposit it into our joint account.”
“We don’t have one.”
“Yes we do. I just opened it.”
“Are we going to spend a chunk of change on our honeymoon?”
“Anything you want sweetheart, hurry up and sign it so I can make reservations.”
I scrawled my name across the screen, and our joint account held more credits than I ever dreamed of. “Okay, that’s done. Where do you want to honeymoon?”
“You know we’re legally married without consummation.” she said.
“You do now because I just told you.”
“Okay, I Know, but what difference does that make?”
“None. I just wanted you acknowledging you knew it.”
“Because once you knew, I acquired the legal right to sign this order.”
She scribbled her name on the document, and I got a look at the form that said I was to be recycled, and she would receive payment. She placed it on the scanner.
“What about our honeymoon?”
“I only go out with recycled men.”
Those were the last words I heard before the doors closed. That bitch, she was as bad as my first wife was all I could think. My consciousness got uploaded, and my body was melted into a liquid after my organs and bones were removed. Next thing I remember is getting spit out of the machine. Nothing is biological about me. Every part of me came from synthetic materials. I touched the walls and felt the texture of the paint on them. My sense of touch was far superior. My thoughts came much faster, and I ran across the field where the regenerator had spat me out. I had never run so fast, and I wasn’t even breathing heavy. Jane jogged over to me and said, “Wait until we have sex. You won’t believe how good it feels.”
“Is that why you only date recycled men?”
“Got that right,” she said.
“Are we still married?”
“No. You’re a machine now. It’s illegal to marry a machine I own.”
“What am I then?”
“A talking dildo.”#261 A Woman’s World