The Breeders

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It was the same thing all day long. Guides going over Venus’s stats some couples gushed over her some hesitated over her price tag, but it all meant the same thing. Someone was going to end up buying her at the end of the day.
Her day wasn’t over until the glass door slid open to let her out of her pod. She stepped out in front waiting for her orders. Numbers were called to head to the breeding capsules. She didn’t hear Mar’s number called so it must have meant that he wasn’t chosen or he was going to the auction.
“Numbers 08192051 Venus, 10192050 Mars, 01142048 Andromeda, 06252050 Mercury, 07142048 Messier, and 11252049 Nix report to the holding facility.” A voice over the intercom ordered.
Venus’s heart dropped she knew that meant she was up for auction. As the six of them piled into the room. Mars flopped down on one of the sofas and Venus sat down next to him.
“Fancy meeting you here.” He joked.
“This is my third time in here so I’m not really that surprised,” she said as she leaned back against the soft cushions.
“It’s pretty fancy.” He stated.
“Haven’t you ever been up for auction before?”
“Have you seen me in here before?” He asked.

“Good point.”

“So how does this work?” He asked her.

She pointed to a darkened window, “Out there are the couples that want us. Out profile will flash up on a large screen and the biding will start at our asking price. The bidding goes on until the top bidder wins and then move on to the next poor soul. If the couple’s other top pick is already chosen you’ll be escorted out and taken to the breeding tanks. If they have to bid on the other breeder you’ll stay here. Until that one is won or lost.”

“I don’t even know why they make us watch,” Nix grumbled as she flopped down across from them.

“I think they get some kind of sick pleasure out of it.” Andromeda injected.

“This place is full of sick pleasures,” Venus grumbled.

If being forced to mate with someone with the sole intention of getting pregnant for some couple that basically bought your potential offspring wasn’t bad enough you had to do it in front of a bunch of cameras this the medics on the other end watching to make sure that you were indeed bred.

You couldn’t refuse otherwise you would be ejected from the program which meant death. Noncompliance was not tolerated in the Cube.
The pairs would have to stay in the breeding pod every day and “perform” until the female breeder’s test came back positive.

Venus always counted herself lucky her test would come back positive within two weeks whereas the last time Cas was in the pods she was gone for two months. She had even seen some pairs gone for up to a year. The Medics won’t let it go past a year, however. If a breeder can’t become pregnant within a year then they aren’t cost efficient enough to keep.

Thankfully the Cube isn’t so cruel to eject them they just simply get retired. Which means they are sterilized so they can’t breed like the rest of the outside world. Then released to do as they wished.
Venus longed for her retirement day but usually, retirement didn’t come for decades. Either when she wouldn’t be able to breed anymore or until couples stopped picking her.

Coupled files into the auction room bellow the breeders and sat in front of a large screen.

Venus hated waiting. She wasn’t looking forward to being in a breeding tank but the waiting was cruel.

She would much rather get over and it and start the incubation process. At least then you were left alone except for the medical exams.

By the way Nix was bouncing around the room she didn’t care for the wait either.

“If you could choose who you could breed with who would you pick?” Nix asked.

“What’s the point of even thinking about it?” Venus asked her.

“Just for fun, sometimes I like to pretend I have control over my own fate. Like I volunteered for this or something.” She shrugged.

“I wouldn’t pick anyone.” Venus said, “At least not for a long time.”

“Yeah, but I mean if we weren’t forced . Don’t you ever wonder what it would be like to just choose who you wanted to be with.”

“I guess I wonder more what it would be like to choose whether nor not you wanted to,” Mars told her.

Venus nodded in agreement. It wasn’t a question of who but when.

“You’re up, V” Andromeda announced.

A giant picture of Venus popped up on the screen. Her dark hair was draped gently across her shoulders. Her violet eyes shining above her little button nose. Her slinger face didn’t hold a smile, in fact, Venus couldn’t remember the last time she smiled. It most likely was when she was a child and had no idea the life that she was designed for.

Picture of her when she was a baby flashed and each growth stage after that. Showing pictures of the breeders when they were young had a tendency to drive the bids up causing the potential parents to long for their future child even more.

The muted sounds of the action sounded out from the other side of the class as the amount rapidly increased.

“Damn, V” Nix exclaimed as she pressed herself against the glass. “They’re going crazy over you.”
Venus ignored her trying to get her mind off of what was happening.

“I’d choose you,” Mars whispered to her.

Venus scowled at him, “For what?”

“To breed with.” He blushed.

Venus chuckled, “Why?”

He shrugged, “Just, we know each other.”

“I think it would make things awkward between us.”

“It’s over!” Nix announced.

Venus’s eyes flickered to the door but no one came through. Usually that meant whoever the couple wanted for the male breeder was also being bid on.

“Mars you’re next. Hey, look the same couple is bidding again.” Nix said.

“What!” Mars jumped up and pressed himself up against the glass.

“They seem determined.” Nix announced.

“Why do you think they picked the two of us?” Mars asked. His light blue eyes were filled with panic.

Venus shrugged, “Probably the same reason any of us get picked. ”

“You know why this happens.” Andromeda said. “We are designed to be genetically perfect. We are the best generation to replace the failing one. This... is...the...future.”

Venus shuttered at the sound of the Cubes advertisement that rang through the grounds the day before shopping day.

“They won!” Nix exclaimed.

The door opened and a medicine walked through holding two files, “08192051 and 10192051 follow me.”

Venus and Mars gave each other a quick glance before leaving the room behind the medic.

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