In a flash, my presence of mind returned. I glanced at my phone, hurriedly danced, and nothing happened. I’d gotten something wrong. The mass of flesh bore down on me, bellowing “ROBBLE ROBBLE ROBBLE”.
What step did I forget? I fumbled with the phone but caught myself before I dropped it. Fuck me. I studied the photo I’d taken of that page in the book and, intensely aware that I didn’t have time left for a third attempt, performed the movements as indicated.
When I opened my eyes, I was someplace new. I exhaled and fell to my knees, not sure how much of the condensation on my body was sweat, and how much was meat juice. At last, another apartment. Not familiar to me, but it had a shower, which I eagerly availed myself of. The walls were a drab brown, the wallpaper peeling and cobwebs adorning various corners.
Every room had an old fashioned boxy CCTV camera which as I looked, I noticed was moving to track me. Once finished I toweled off, threw on my boxers and explored the place. There was nothing like a computer.
The fridge, phone and all other appliances were in poor shape. Glancing out the window revealed the rest of the city to be in an equally poor state of repair. More than one distant building appeared to be on fire, with nothing obvious being done about it.
No cars on the street below. Only weird wheeled machines of some kind, carrying sacks of something. I couldn’t make out what from this distance. The television behind me sprang to life, giving me a start.
“Attention cishet white male. It is twelve PM. Please go to the medipod for your daily injection.” My what? I asked for clarification but it was evidently just a recording. It added “You have forty five seconds.”
That lit a fire under my ass. What is any of this? What happened here? I inferred the stained beige kiosk by the door was the medipod. It had a faded vector monitor which displayed crudely animated instructions for receiving an injection. I was meant to place my forearm into an alcove below the monitor and hold still while it positioned the needle.
“Attention cishet white male. You now have twenty seconds remaining. Failure to receive your injection on time is punishable by a ten degree increase of your privilege index.” I began to grow nervous. What could be in the injection? I looked for any indication on the machine. What if human biochemistry was different here? It could kill me.
“Attention cishet white male. Your allotted time for receiving your daily privilege adjustment injection has elapsed. Your privilege index has increased by ten degrees. It now exceeds the legal limit for this sector.
Remain where you are. Diversity enforcement officers are being dispatched to your location. Do not resist. The punishment for resisting is compulsory gender reassignment surgery and ten days in the emotional resensitizer. Thank you for your cooperation.”
Outside I saw some bizarre pink military vehicle pull up to the curb, with the slogan “LISTEN AND BELIEVE” stenciled onto the hood. A motorized ramp descended from either side. I figured out why when the doors opened and the occupants rolled out onto the sidewalk. They were those mechanized wheeled machines topped with sacks of something, but these ones had a threatening looking insignia printed on the front and small flashing red and blue lights.
My hand brushed up against something tucked under the drape. A pair of binoculars. The version of me from this Earth must’ve been somewhat of a voyeur. Or he was on the lookout for cops, if that’s what these things were. Peering through them, a great deal suddenly made sense. The sacks atop the wheeled carriers were people. Or their ancestors had been.
The limbs which hung uselessly off either side were shriveled and malformed. There was no neck to speak of. The positions of the eyes were asymmetrical and their mouths were lopsided, filled with snaggled teeth. I frantically searched the apartment for a gun but couldn’t find anything even potentially useful as a weapon.
Another piece fell into place when the television again sprang to life. “While waiting for the officers assigned to investigate your offense to arrive, please enjoy this retrospective on the social justice revolution your diverse, polygendered precursors bravely fought in to create the perfect society you now have the luxury of inhabiting.”
Grainy footage showed hordes of bizarrely dressed protesters, with messy hair dyed either like a rainbow or various shades of pink, purple and blueish green.
They held aloft signs reading “#killallmen”, “My dream is to someday have to explain to my grandaughter what men were”, “There is literally no such thing as racism against whites”, and “POC cannot rape whites. Rape requires a position of institutional power”.
I was dimly aware of such events on my own Earth. But these people were armed, trading gunfire with police who were faring poorly by the looks of it.
“Following the great Revolution, the Department of Feminism and Sexual Justice was established with the goal of maximizing diversity and vanquishing the last few counter-revolutionaries in far flung bunkers, where they sought to escape severe but well deserved justice.”
The footage now depicted a disturbingly overweight woman. Or what I thought was a woman until it zoomed in on the face. It rode a mobility scooter outfitted with armor plating and flamethrowers, launching gas grenades into the open hatch of an underground shelter.
“Thus the dream of a society without sexism, racism, ableism, misogyny, transmisogyny, transableism, transracism, so-called egalitarianism, abuses of free speech, cognitive neocolonialism, internalized racism, internalized ableism, internalized sexism, internalized misogyny, internalized transmisogyny, microaggressions and the patriarchy was realized.
Notions that certain body types were more healthy than others, long one of the most pernicious and oppressive ideas, were finally thrown into the fire. Physiological diversity, ignorantly branded as medical afflictions by patriarchal science, was finally permitted to flourish.”
The footage showed a man not quite as deformed as the ones on the street but close being fitted for what looked like the prototype for those motorized carriers.
He operated a small joystick with his tongue, deploying two spindly robot arms from the front. The film cut away to a fellow who looked to have a severely debilitating mental handicap sitting in what I recognized as the Senate assembly.
“Neurodivergent persons had up until the revolution been some of the most underprivileged members of society, suffering under the boot of concepts like superior, inferior, and “IQ” invented by white cishet scientists for the purpose of oppressing those unlike themselves.
These tragic victims of the patriarchy were aggressively recruited into positions of power and influence, to set right past wrongs committed against them. Likewise they were elevated to high positions in academia, law enforcement, fire fighting, the surgical profession, research institutes and so on.
Justice at last! Among the first laws passed by these brave, disadvantaged persons of neural diversity was a law abolishing the hate term “mentally handicapped”. It was replaced instead with the term “differently abled“ until that was declared a hate term four years later and replaced with “handsomely abled.”
That too was eventually declared a hate term once the public understood what it meant and so had to be replaced again by “supernaturally abled”. So it went, until the present. The preferred term is now “Radiant glorious golden shining sex gods of remarkable prowess in all pursuits.”
To ensure sexual justice, some percentage of non-radiant glorious golden shining sex gods of remarkable prowess in all pursuits are now assigned to them as life partners to ensure the continuation of their unique contributions to all levels of society.”
I made a note to call the cops that term. Only the disembodied woman’s voice emanating from the television informed me that the elevator in my building was broken, preventing the diversity enforcement officers from reaching my floor.
“As stairs were banned four years ago for being profoundly ableist, ramps are normally installed in all buildings. Yours has not yet received this renovation due to the decision of the civil engineer in charge of this sector to focus instead on dressing up like a ninja turtle and chasing stray cats.
He is one of our city’s treasured radiant glorious golden shining sex gods of remarkable prowess in all pursuits however, so I do not presume to speak in judgement as my privilege level slightly exceeds his.
Because of this development, please proceed to the first floor in order to receive your ticket, pay your fine, and receive instruction in how the medipod works.”
Stay Tuned for Part 7!