HOW MUCH IS THAT DOGGY Tom Mazanec Genetek Mammaloid Factory Beta Thu Dec 17, 2076 "Why do we have to be doing this? Doctors don't even use knives anymore...this isn't Twencen, for God's sake!" said the young man. "You know the regulations...medical students have to be trained in surgery, even if they will never use it. We have to get something for them to practice surgery. The students have their exams tomorrow, and then off to holidays. We have to buy the patients." replied the older man. "Why don't they use animals, if they want to waste a student's time with chopping up living meat? It would be a lot cheaper, and I feel funny selecting critters who can talk for this job, even if they talk with an accent or use voders." "Well, mammaloid organs are closer to human than an unaltered animal's would be. But it's mostly legal...the animal rights people have it so you can't cut up an animal, but mammaloids are legally organic machines." "If the Christian Humanists get the White House, they won't even be legally that!" "The Republicans are getting the White House this year. You can't have two guys from Florida deciding the presidency for themselves." "Their votes count. Other electors have voted against their state's elected candidate - it just never made a difference till now." "They had an obligation to vote for the state's winner! And what is it with that state, anyway? In 2000, when I first voted, they screwed up that election, too. They even helped screw it up in 1876." "You remember 1876? I knew you were a codger -" "I'm 95 and you know it!" "Five more years and you have to retire. Maybe then I can move up a notch, if they don't raise the age again. Nanojuve be damned." "When you get older, you'll be glad for it, believe me." "If the Christian Humanists get into office, they'll be no nanojuve. If you live past 80 years, you might even be executed, if the real Bible Bangers have their way." "Well, I think they will change their minds on that. They do believe people used to live up to 969 years, so maybe that will be the limit. But they will have a different view when they're 79." "If they ever do take control, this place is finished. They say anyone even speaking with or using a mammaloid is committing witchcraft...and they won't suffer a witch to live." "So even we're witches? Are we going to be put to death, just for what we're doing today? Even the Nazis didn't kill anyone who so much as ever spoke with a Jew." ********************************************************************** Quick Draw walked into the room with the other mammaloids. Dr. Hazelton had named him...he was relatively good, for a human. Especially one in his position. He did little things like giving his mammaloids names. But it was a business, and he knew what kind of "positions" most of his mammaloids were sold to. Now Dr. Itosaki was the director, and names were no longer given. "Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. So sorry for the inconvenience of our security measures. But with the recent extremist bombing at our honorable competitor's site, I'm sure you understand. I have some mammaloids for you to examine for your purposes. We will start the bidding at $10,000 for each one. First is PL-213, a raccoon mammaloid." "Can you let us see how he does with these legos? We need a mammaloid with high dexterity, for souvenir assembly." The buyers watched Bert manipulate the legos. "$10,000" "$12,000" "$15,000" "$16,000" And so Bert was bought to assemble souvenirs. Since all his owners would have to "pay" him was food and a cage, they had a bargain. Bert was lucky to even know what his future was. Especially for this specialized in exotic mammaloids, and often the kind of position they were qualified for was even less pleasant than most mammaloids faced. Of course, Quick Draw, despite his name, was rather deficient in dexterity, having only hooves. "Next is HA-129, a mongoose mammaloid. I believe you asked about availability of such a mammaloid, Mr. O'Brien?" "Yes, our show needs a new one. I hope his training is better than the last one, we only got two fights out of it." "Our mongoose mammaloids are trained for fighting with real gengineered cobras, just as in the carnivals, instead of simulants. We feel that this is the reason our product tends to last longer in this particular usage...simulants just cannot capture the subtleties of the real thing." "$10,000" Mr. O'Brien raised to only $11,000 but his attitude seemed to say he would go a lot higher. Dr. Itosaki seemed disappointed that noone tried to beat him. Rikki was about to become a 21st century gladiator...could be worse. The auction continued. Pogo (DV-17) was purchased for some state park to talk to children about the local wildlife, including opossums like him. Millie (VV-268) was bought by an "entertainment" center as a foxy "hostess". Two men who seemed to be together were buying quite a few of the mammaloids...including him. He hoped this was a good thing. They gave no hint of what they were obtaining so many mammaloids for. They always bid first, for $10,000 but never went any higher. Near the end, they bid higher for a couple mammaloids but then simply stopped, as if they simply needed to obtain a certain number of mammaloids, of any species, as cheaply as possible. Why? Different species had different abilities...why be so undiscriminating? Finally, the two men pressed the fingerprint reader to exchange their e-credits for the mammaloids and marched them to the hovertruck that would take them to be transformed into dissected corpses.