“How are you doing, Elena?”
I gave Doc a thumb up before focusing on running again. Sweat was collecting between my breasts. Still my breath was even. I’d been running at a steady pace for almost an hour now. At my side a machine read my blood pressure and heartbeat. The mask over my face and tube between my teeth measured my oxygen intake and outtake.
Doc’s clock let out a small beep and he stood. Slowly he lowered my speed, letting my body calm down over time. It still felt like I hit a wall face first when I finally stopped.
I stepped off the running machine as I took off the mask. Doc walked behind me. His fingers were smooth and warm as he slid his hands around my neck, loosening the choker digging into my skin. It peeled off, but got stuck at the nape of my neck. Doc pulled, and a sharp pain flared through my skin, before it went numb.
“No bleeding today,” Doc said, loosening the choker from the machine. I touched the sore spot at my neck, feeling the small holes in my skin, the tattoo.
The barcode tattoo marked me as an A. G. The chips hidden in the ink held all my family information. My birthmother and her husband. The DNA-codes of my real parents. My personal info, age, birthday and all my health information. It could work as a tracker if needed. In a room at this hospital, someone was looking at a screen with my heartbeat and temperature. At the four corners of the tattoo were holes, all encircled in metal. The metal kept the skin and muscle from growing over the holes. They were used to reach the information in the chips, and update them. Once every moth they were opened anyway, so easier with the piercings.
“They haven’t bleed in years,” I answered Doc as he sat down at his desk and wrote something on his tablet.
I shot my arms in the air, making my back pop, before falling forward, pressing my chest to my knees. The bare skin of my arms and stomach scraped against the soft fabric of my runners pants.
“No, they haven’t. Now, anything new?”
“There’s never anything new,” I said with a smile, pushing closer to my legs. The burn in my thighs was welcome.
“I still have to ask. Periods as normal?”
“Nope. Why would I have pains?”
“Just asking. A new boyfriend?”
I actually laughed at that. “No new boyfriend, no old.”
Doc moved. He was looking down at his tablet again, probably checking my chart again. I loosened the hold on my legs and touched the floor with my elbows, then crawled out until I was standing with my ass in the air. Moving one leg forward, I pushed my pelvic closer to the floor. A fresh burn flared through my calf and thigh.
“You’re 23 years old, Elena,” Doc said, and I looked up at him.
“You’ve never had a boyfriend. At least not from what I can read here.”
“And you’ve never had sex?”
I blushed at that. “No.”
“Just haven’t found the right one yet?”
A picture of my best friends Adam and Iris flashed before my eyes, and my blush deepened. “No, probably haven’t.”
“I think you should start looking.”
“What?” I switched legs.
Doc took of his glasses and started fidgeting with them. He didn’t look at me when he started talking again. “Well, you are an A. G., and you are in perfect childbearing age. As you know we checked your eggs when going into puberty, and they all looked healthy. As you also know, some of them have been used to give sterile mothers children already.”
“So why do you need me to get pregnant?”
“Because so far you’ve only got three children, one of them living in Factory 5, so he doesn’t count, really. And, well, you were born to…”
“I was born to widen the genepool, I know that. And I know other A. G.’s have already starting reproducing. Even some from G4 and G5! But I’m not ready.” I said as I pushed both my legs forward, then let them split. It was done with a bit more force than planned, and my pelvis hit the floor hard enough to bruise.
“Elena, I’m not saying this to be cruel or condescending, but you –”
“No, Doc. I know what you are going to say. That you need my eggs, my untainted body. Some of the mothers using my eggs had the virus, so there is a chance that their children, my children, may have gotten it.”
“The virus is no longer active. It haven’t been active within The Dome at all.”
“I know, but it still poses the problem that my children may be sterile. Children coming from me, on the other hand, will not. But I won’t be a breeding machine for you. If I ever find a guy I’m willing to make children with, fine, but until then you have to be happy with my eggs. I gave you permission to use them as you saw fit when I was 15, I stand by that.”
Doc sighed, but didn’t say anything, just put on his glasses again. I pushed my chest to the floor, not wanting to look at him.
“Be done in half an hour, that’s when the next one gets here.”
I didn’t answer, and he walked out.
As soon as the door closed behind him, I sat up with a sigh, dragging my hands over my face, feeling the cooling sweat. I knew why I was born, why my genes were chosen, but that didn’t make it any easier. Adam and Iris flashed before my eyes again. They were both A. G.’s, and it was advised that every A. G. find a partner that was not one of us. They’d gotten enough crap about their relationship, and I knew the doctors wanted to combine their genes with someone from the original population. Meaning Adam was to impregnate another woman, and Iris would carry forth her own child, but not his. They were in Hell.
Anger ripped through me. The government was doing its best to survive a horrible situation, but it was us, the A. G.’s, that paid for it.
“Fuck this,” I murmured, standing. I threw on a loose, deep blue poncho before throwing open the door and walking out. Another girl sat in a chair along the wall, running pants sticking out under her long, white tunic. She smiled at me, and I forced myself to smile back.
She probably knew what Doc would ask of her at the end of their session, but did she care? We’d been taught for as long as we could remember that we would save The Domes. That our blood and genes would make sure humanity survived. Did she believe it? I actually did, but that didn’t make it any easier. What if I didn’t want to have children? What if I never found anyone I trusted enough to let as close as the act of making a child would need?
The thought made me want to scream.
“Fuck it,” I murmured again. Feeling the girl’s curious eyes on my back, I headed down the stairs.