Follow along the blue path, he’d been blue chipped. There were two women ahead of him; he thought they were women. There was one woman behind him. What was the blue chip? Was he the male control? Seleno made designer medications, cosmetics and feminine needs products. A group of nearly all women might mean one of the latter industries was to be his home.
I may not die quickly, after all.
Terror leaded in his legs. Inoue fell, tripping the girl behind him with his ribcage. She screamed as she fell, and kicked back. She was angry. He lay still, and hoped her storm would pass over, given no response.”What’s wrong with you; can’t you even walk?” She hissed back, getting up again. Kicked again. His forearms guarded his head, so it was his stomach that suffered. She would be one of those, the angry-bitch alphas. Angry in fear. She would make the others afraid to make herself feel more secure. He saw her hands twitching, nails clipped short moments ago in the Grooming Room.
Inoue hesitantly lowered his arms, “It is hard to walk.”
”Don’t you know?” “Didn’t you hear?” The front two women lightly touched BitchAlpha’s arms. They had been in a nearby car to his. They had seen him in Desire’s arms when the tram had come.
”-Probably can’t walk well.”
”-Bet he was a virgin.”
Inoue flushed, pushing onto his knees. They had seen, and heard. It was a good excuse, at least, but it didn’t actually hurt badly. It was a pain he wished wouldn’t leave. He didn’t want to forget him. He didn’t want to forget those last pleasant moments in his life.The first two girls obviously thought it was hot. They were cooing to BitchAlpha, whispering and giggling about something to cool her. Inoue got up, brushing off his knees. He was taller then all of them, stronger still, he bet. He could challenge this starting superiority. It would be three-on-one.
“We should get going. They’ll expect us in pen faster then this.” He passed them all, mentally drawing the lead to his knees. Let it swing, pendulums to keep him moving. “Don’t dawdle.”
The women looked annoyed, but returned to their line some steps away from him. It wouldn’t be bad to just be out of the group either. He didn’t want a pack. Social desperation was tired and old back on manufacturing in Reddigar ESI. He’d been a comfortable Gamma. But there, in their refineries, the packs served to shore each other up. Friends covered shifts if members were wearing too thin. He couldn’t imagine any actual benefits of being part of the group structure. Just preventative measures. Being outside of the group meant being the enemy – a distinctly female group trait. Well, he had a penis anyway.They were still whispering to each other behind him.
Glass and mesh doors loomed into view, at least twelve feet in both height and width. They slide often with a hiss of air once he was within three feet. The blue line continued in and right again. The air smelled stale and recycled by two many filtration systems. It smelled like bleach water and sterility. Four cyborgs in white coats waited, discussing something over their network. Their eyes were too intent, even if their mouths were not moving. Four blue circles of light were on the ground. He took the first, stood still and looks at his own feet.
Once the three women had filled the last three circles a voice announced invisibly from the ceiling. “The last two days the subjects have been processed and coded. We thank you for your cooperation in providing your genetic information. Today subjects will be assigned to their individual projects.”
It had been too much to hope that they would be told what the experiments being run on them were. Were the cyborgs orderlies? They were not lovely to look on, strictly functional models, not form serving. Average faces, maybe scientist employees who weren’t Ivy League material. Augmentation may have been a job requirement in having accepted appointment at Selenos’ off-world labs. The cyborgs stepped forward in unison. He decided they would be Curly, Moe, Larry and Shep. Shep stepped up to him.
Shep was tall, about 6’7 with his digitigrades-leg replacements. He was probably the Enforcer, stronger and faster then the others, so they naturally assigned him to the male. The chauvinism seemed dripping. The floor director or project manager must not have been from the Liberty’s Front Union. He could remember his father, ass, joking about the “LFU – Looking For Underwear”. The ass’ best friend, Harvey Shichiro, said countries that joined had caught the “FLU”. Neither were very witty jabs, but they offended well enough.
“Take the subjects to the workstations and begin applications.”
Shep stepped once to the side, opening and indicating with a hand for him to go first. This would be less painful if he was cooperative. BitchAlpha didn’t move, and Larry clamped on her wrist with a not-hand. He lifted her straight up, her shoulder dislocated with an audible pop, and dangled her all the way to the vice chair about twenty feet away. Inoue was already moving, stepping along the line opened by Shep. He wasn’t hesitant and all, but he couldn’t go fast. Shep accepted this. Maybe everyone knew.
He didn’t like the look of the vice chair. It was the bastard offspring of a Victorian asylum strap job with a dental appliance. Tattoo parlour was thrown in on the side: a sizable hose and needle attachment arched off the left side. He laid face down, there was a hole to let him breath, like he was any normal man come to a chiropractor or masseuse for an appointment. Shep’s knees ground as the hydraulics lowered him to a more sitting-like position.