Rapidly growing government.
Rapidly crumbling society.
Eighteen years into the future of darkness and conformity, 20400324 - The Future Liberals Want (Part One) left us hanging on the precipice of udder ruin for Soy Mill worker “Lor” because of a discovered secret - one he didn't ask for, but couldn't avoid. A world of helpless lemmings ruled by so-called peers, “The Council” that mercilessly apply standards of behavior, manufacturing quotas, and strict collectivism. A world devoid of color, save the earth tone shades of work uniforms.
Will Lor uncover the secret of the “breeding program”...will Sen bring him down and this contraband information with him? What begins to unravel on this fateful day in the third month of 2040? What horrors of the future await us in part two of…
20400324 - The Future Liberals Want
“Citizens! Celebrate the Council’s safe guidance for yet another annum!” The loudspeaker at the mill complex’s front gate rang out a call to praise for its workers, a grim reminder of another turn around the sun.
Half-hearted, grumbled “Cheers” sporadically replied from the shuffling heaps of uniformed shells, once human.
Through the gate lay the four mills; Soy, Nutrients, Fibers, Alloys.
Uniform colors correspond with each facility…the Soy Mill in gray, Nutrients in brown, Fibers in blue, and Alloys in black. The streams of uniforms naturally aligned in queues directed toward their places of employment. Perpetually gray skies blocked the sun celebrated by the announcement and any joy it might bring.
Several days had passed since the investigators came to inquire about the missing mill workers, but the screens still flashed the pictures and names with the caption “Missing Workers - Suspected Subverters” flashing in bright red. After questioning every worker in Producer Level One over the course of a week, the investigators only confirmed no one had seen Soy Mill worker Lor or Fibers worker Sen after 20400324.
This morning, Lor’s still undressed pod-mates were detained for questioning by five members of the Racial, Anthropological, Gender, and Ecological Equality and Justice Division.
Associate R.A.G.E. Equality and Justice Investigator “Xin” addressed the three; “The Council is aware that, as penised individuals, there is a predilection toward strife in those who do not consume adequate efficiency and recovery nutrients or partaking in pre-sleep ejaculations."
Xin stroked at his nylon mask as he stalked the group: "Cube PL1-A4 records a 98% rate in nocturnal emissions, which is above the 95% minimum compliance rate, therefore we have ruled out there being sufficient ground for conflict within the pod groups on these grounds - further evidence of the Council’s wisdom and that the missing individuals must be involved in a violation of greater severity.”
Shrugging, they looked at each other. Kyl spoke first.
“Lor is a typical male…there’s nothing special about him. Back when people were supposed to choose pronouns he would have been the type to refuse that sort of progress.”
Pat nodded in agreement while Ter covertly rolled his eyes while looking at the floor.
“You imply that Lor would maintain an individualized attitude toward freedom of expression of one’s gender identity in stark contrast to the code laid out by Former Senator Buttigieg’s Gender As You See Harassment Intervention Title VI, Section 6.6 in which all citizens of the former United States were required to post pronouns on all social media and workplace communication programs, wear name badges with said pronouns, and ensured inclusion by requiring all credit and debit card manufacturers also include pronouns on every card and any changes submitted by citizens must be processed and the cards reissued without fees."
"Interesting" quipped Xin, dismissively.
"Thankfully the Council has evolved from that primitive time of allowing a choice in the matter.” Xin was a by-the-touchpad enforcer of the law with a list of no less than five degrees ranging from Social Justice to Gender Transformation Compliance methods in K-5. An ideal investigator.
Ter blurted, “Listen, we’ve already been questioned. We haven’t seen him.”
“He/Him…Troglodyte caveperson, more like it,” interrupted Kyl with a glance and a wink at the investigators. One of them smirked and slowly nodded.
A perturbed Ter squeezed his eyes shut, raised his hand to rub them, and continued, “Can we please get to our assignments? We’re already going to miss quota and some of us don’t have as much travel allowance as Lor did….does…” and returned his gaze to the floor.
It was true, Ter lacked the travel time granted to Lor because he would occasionally stop his production at the Alloys facility to do pull-ups on the head-height safety rail near his station. He met his quotas, but this reckless display of hotdogging was not tolerated by the supervisory board. Only two minutes between exiting his cube and entering the train and two minutes from the train to the front gate of the mills - he had to barely cross from a walk to a jog to make it.
“Don the assigned uniforms of your work assignments and perform to maximum capacity,” said Xin, certain of their lack of information around the missing duo and their lack of any concern toward their pod-mate. And this was ideal to the Council - If pod-mates or coworkers “cared” about those in proximity, they might be inclined not to report misdeeds or worse…lie for them. Not caring suited the Council, so it suited Xin.
They (though also penised, Xin was among the first citizens to have their gender identity determined by a Kindergarten teacher under Secretary of Higher Education and Equity and Transportation Buttigieg’s Only Unique Recognition Kindness Inclusion Diversity and Sexuality directive) and the other investigators proceeded to comb the rest of the floor, and then on to Sen’s pod-mates, who were being detained by another of the team.
No sufficient conclusions were drawn by these endeavors, but Xin was ever certain that the two penis-havers had somehow become embroiled in the scandal brewing around the fires outside town.
Bits of decades old paper reports and banned materials housed in a large Data Maintenance Division warehouse had been scheduled for destruction in the incinerator near the waste water recycling plant, but somehow the large structure caught fire a West wind pattern picked up the ash and smoke and blew them straight into town.
Rumors were swirling about whole sheets of paper making it the two kilometers to the city, but had yet to be confirmed.
“They wonder,” Xin said out loud, speaking the thought in them/their’s mind. “They have a hunch.”