“Natural selection,” the voice said, “is obsolete now.”
Zac was struggling to focus on the words that were resonating all around him. Despite having memorized them by heart, he had to listen to them daily because according to ADLTHood 101, he had yet to internalize the concept.
“After extensive research, it has been concluded that Nature has turned too soft in deciding what to keep and what to discard,” the words continued. “Therefore, We had to intervene.”
Zac had no idea who these We were. Neither any of his acquaintance knew. The only thing they were aware of was that We were important and right. There was no question about that. Zac was too much of a conformist to question who’s, how’s, and what’s of the system. He was not a rebel, at least not until he had met Aby!
“By our method, only the best will be allowed in this world,” the metallic voice summarized. “Misery will be eradicated, once and for all.” Zac had once again missed the point and he knew that We would know. He will have to attend this session again tomorrow. He was not worried about it because he had just spotted Aby and judging by the sheepish look on her face, she will be attending the class too. He waved at her and she smiled.
“May you see the birth of supreme race,” he greeted her.
“And you,” she replied.
“Today?” he asked her in an undertone.
“Too dangerous,” was her reply. Before he could completely wear his disappointed look, she added, “but I want to.”
This made him happy but in an attempt to show it, he ended up with a comical expression on his face that was a mixture of happiness and disappointment. Aby couldn’t help but laugh. Zac was born with a genetic defect that slowed down his gestures. Therefore, he was often caught between two emotions that resulted in a confusing look on his face. Aby thought it was cute. On the other hand, Zac found it even cuter that instead of inheriting her mother’s dominant gene, the love of his life had her father’s recessive ones. She was bald. This made her unique because according to what science he knew, this was a sex-linked gene. Yet, he had never set eyes upon a woman more womanly than Aby!
They both knew they were not supposed to be like that. We had told them often enough about their defects but failed to instill a feeling of regret in them. It was mainly because the whole world was like that. Everyone had their own set of deficiencies. Since they had never seen for real what Wedescribed to be the perfect human being, except as models in labs, on technological devices, and as monumental structures on every street, they thought it was just an impossibility and an exaggeration.
“Meet me behind the great statue,” he told her. “The one at the end of your street.”
She blinked and was gone.
“You are beautiful.” He was drawing intricate patterns on her hairless head with a SpecPo, which was a pointer with fluorescent ink in several shades. He was holding a mirror in his free hand to let her see his art.
“This is beautiful,” she almost screamed examining the now-finished mandala of vibrant colors on her head. It was the latest fashion trend and Zac did the best replicas of the designs she pointed out to him, from the international magazines.
“Shhh!” he warned her. She suppressed her giggles and clicked his photo from her DigCam.
“No way,” he almost yelled looking at the photo. “Is this the expression you will draw? It is ugly!”
“Fuck off!” she said. “This is such a singular expression. I have never witnessed you being scared, amused, and turned on, simultaneously.” His eyes twinkled and she busied herself in drawing magic on a paper pad. He produced an electronic cigarette from his pocket. They puffed on, taking turns.
“Zac,” she said after a few minutes. “If we got caught, horrible events will ensue.”
“How about we register for a compatibility test?” he suggested.
“I don’t know, Zac. There had been zero cases of love marriage in the previous centuries of which we have any record,” she was unsure. “Rom/Jul were the last ones to think about the L-word and you know how We had staged a series of evil stratagems leading to programmed deaths.”
“This is why I propose to follow the rules,” he tried to convince her.
In order to ensure that children with only the best genetic makeup were born, We used compatibility testing called SPPRIG. It stood for sex, philosophy, psychology, religion, intellect, and genetics — the characteristics that were evaluated in this test. It was based on the latest scientific research and was supposed to generate the ideal results. Data of thousands of people reached them and they ran a set of tests on it. There conducted interviews, blood testing, psychological checkup, and medical examinations. Only after that, were two people allowed to copulate.
“I am positive that our SPPRIG will be acceptable,” said Zac, hopefully.
“You do realize that so far, none of the marriages arranged by We have succeeded in terms of love,” she said.
“Look, they are not interested in love, I agree. But if our SPPRIG score is convincing, they might let us do it,” he told her. “Our sexes are different for the starters,” he joked. She rolled her eyes at him.
“Philosophy and religion are not an issue either,” he counted on his fingers. “You know our family backgrounds, schooling, and beliefs are similar”
“Hey, you missed the psychology P,” she intervened. “Also, what about intellect and genetics. There is no way to estimate those parameters on our own.”
“I ran a few tests on my tech toys using our data,” he told her. “The results were promising.” Zac hesitated and then added, “I have a friend in the SPPRIG headquarters. He will make sure our tests come out alright.”
For the first time during this conversation, she looked hopeful. “What is his id?” she asked.
“Pac. The one with two pair of hands,” he said. “Let’s do this!”
“Bos”, said Pac, “These two are a perfect match.”
The one called Bos smiled. He took the application form from Pac and stamped it.
“Denied?” asked Pac, shocked.
“My dear Pac,” said Bos mockingly, “do you really believe that SPPRIG is about compatibility?”
“Then?” inquired Pac.
“It is for controlling their willpower”, came the reply as Bos’ characteristic multiple laughter sounds rang out in the walls of the SPPRIG Testing Laboratory.