science fiction logo by Victoria G.

Gendering

Chapter 1

 

“Our world is dominated by alpha males and their heirarchical systems. How do we escape from their tyranny?”

24 hours to turn the tides. One day in a year to switch the sides.

“Head wrap next” endless column of cloth wound around her head. Shaquot secured the mass of material with a fine edged dagger pin and stood back to assess. “Hmm, the suggestion of incipient moustache completes the uniform”.

Banduat shook out her legs, also wound in meters of cloth and attempted a confident stride around the tent, somewhat confined by its small size. “I feel like an Esoquan mummy, buried 2 centuries ago. Is this why most men are so bad tempered, running around in clothes that make you feel heavy as a corpse?”

“This is ceremonial dress, men don’t do much running around in it. You probably won’t either. All the rights and priviledges but not much ability to exercise them. An oversight maybe?” ShaQuot allowed a slow audible outbreath. “This way there won’t be much memory that has to be removed anyway.”

“Is that why you refrain from taking the pledge?”Banduat turned towards her, searching her expression for clues to explain the resignation in her voice.

“What’s done today won’t be undone tomorrow. You will not remember but others will not forget. Too much will be held for accounting and whose accounting will you believe?”

“But what if I slip away and disappear from the city into mud swamp? There must be a way with so many women to shock. How can they keep track of all of us anyway?”

The shock is chemical. It was in the tattoo they imprinted on your forehead yesterday. After 36 hours the chemical that permeated your skin and entered your brain causes an insulin shock. It is already chemically reacting with your blood. There is no escape.

“There must be an antidote, there must be some compound that can neutralize this chemistry. Bandaut, your knowledge of herbs is legendary. Tell me where I can find it. Even if it is in the most dangerous swamp or hostile desert I will bring it back and free us from this perpetual oppression.”

 

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