Shopping day always meant an early morning for all in the Cube.
The loud buzzer and flashing red light pulled Venus from her slumber. She sat up and rubbed the sleep from her eyes while the door to her white cell slid open.
She felt like she had just returned and her rest period hadn’t lasted long enough but she knew that the medics would release her.
She filed out behind the other females in her pod and made her way to the showers. A fresh new pair of clothes waited for her. On shopping days all the males and females where dressed in clingy white tanks and leggings. The patrons needed to be able to see every flaw, not the Venus or the other had any. That was the point of the breeders. All imperfections were bred out giving the patrons a chance to make a perfect child.
After the shower, the females made their way to the common room cantina where they were served a fully nutritional meal.
Venus scanned her golden bracelet before receiving her tray. Along with the food and water sat two pink pills that she recognized all too well.
She sighed knowing that the pills meant that they were preparing her for the breeding. Her shoulders sank knowing that she would be following her fellow Breeders into the mall that morning and dread filled her thinking about what was to come that afternoon.
She scanned the room looking for her best friend, Mars. Everyone in the cube was named after celestial forms she and Mars where a few that ran through the planetary names.
“Morning, V,” He said cheerfully as he sat down.
“What has you in a good mood?” She grumbled.
He shrugged his shoulders, “I’m not I was just trying to make the day better.”
She gave him a small smile, “Thanks but I don’t think that’s possible today.”
His brows drew together in concern, “You’re not going today are you?”
Venus held up her small cup of vitamins, “Cheers to shopping day.”
“V, they can’t keep doing this to you.”
“I don’t have a say, do I?”
The clatter of a tray next to her made Venus jump and turn to see her friend Cas pressing her hand against her swollen abdomen.
“Damn,” Cas gasped. “I think the bastard’s coming today.”
“You need to get to the clinic,” Venus told her.
“Hell no!” Cas protested, “I’m eating breakfast first.” Cas sat down next to her and adjusted her tray as Mars and Venus looked on with concern.
“Number 12192050, Cassiopeia. Please report to the clinic.” A voice announced over the intercom.
“Damn it!” Cas complained.
“You know they’re always watching,” Mars interjected.
“Yeah but they could at least let me finish my damn meal!” she huffed before stuffing her mouth full of eggs. “Mutter muckers.” she mumbled out through her food.
“I can’t do it again.” Venus wined.
“Just stay strong, maybe you won’t get picked.” He said encouragingly.
It was something that Venus hopped for every time she entered the mall but her stats were too perfect. She was the ideal breeder for the consumer.
They finished their breakfast in silence then lined up in their gender lines to file into the mall. Venus knew she would get picked again and wondered who her partner was. Usually, it was a guy she barely knew which made it surprisingly easier. The embarrassment of seeing them in the corridors lessened.
The mall was incomplete cube fashion everything was sterile white pods that held the breeders were butted next to each other in perfect rows.
Before entering the mall each breeder had to check in with a medic to be cleared and assigned a pod. As Venus lined drew closer she prayed more fervently that the medics would send her back to the common area.
“Number 08192051, Venus.” The medic called out.
She made her way to the table where the two white-clad medics sat staring at their tablets.
“I see your back already, Venus.” Medic Grey said to her. “How are you feeling?”
“Terrible,” she lied, hoping that it would help send her back.
“Sorry to hear that.”
“I think I need about another month.”
Grey scrolled through his tablet, “It looks like you were cleared at your last exam.”
“Yes but I’m not feeling up to it.” She urged.
“You’re in pod E2.” He flatly told her.
Venus’s shoulders dropped as she made her way to the E group. E stood for elites which meant that she had become a more expensive breeder. The E group was always cleared out by the end of the day.
Venus entered her pod as the thick glass doors closed behind her. The day started like a normal shopping day couples filed through with a shopping guide who would help them pick out their top five pairings. At the end of the day if they were the only one that picked a breeder the pairing would take place. If several consumers picked a breeder then an auction would be held.
The first couple of the day stopped at Venus’s pod the guide touched the glass to activate the touchscreen.
Venus’s breeding info popped up on the glass. “This is number zero-eight-one-nine-twenty-fifty-one. She is one of our top breeders. She has been a breeder for the last four years and has sired five-strong healthy offspring.” The guide told the couple
“Five!” The woman exclaimed surprised.
“Yes, one of the pregnancies resulted in twins.”
“And what happens when you get twins, does it cost extra?” the husband asked.
“No, no, of course not. You can either choose to keep the extra or we will integrate it back into our breeding system.” The guide told them.
“Why is this one so much more expensive?” The wife asked.
“Number zero-eight-one-nine-twenty-fifty-one is one of our most fertile breeders. She has only been bred four times and each time it has resulted in a pregnancy. We monitor the fertility of our female breeders and right now she is at her most fertile. Which means you will most likely get your baby within ten months. She also has one of the higher IQs of the group.”
“What does she test the highest in?” the husband asked.
“Language and arts.”
Both husband and wife stepped closer to the glass to examine her.
“She is beautiful,′ the wife said. “But I was hoping for a blonde child.”
Venus breathed an eternal sigh of relief. Hopefully, her dark brown hair would save her.
“I know sweetie but look at those eyes.” the husband pointed out. “Are they violet?”
The guides grin widened “Yes, she’s the only one we have with violet eyes and if you pair her with a blue eyes male breeder there is a good chance that it will carry through to the offspring.”
“Can you guarantee that?” the wife asked.
“I’m afraid not. Somethings are still out of our control.”
“I don’t know,” the wife said reluctantly.
“You can put her down on your wish list and her bio will pop up in the tablet for you. That way when we’re through you can go back and narrow down your list.” The guide suggested.