Excerpt: The Factory

Image “Bad Girl IV” by Rafaelll90 on Deviantart

“In the labs, you know…”.
“…saw a grotesque thing with legs.”
“Know how to engineer babies…”.

There would always be talk. The less people knew about what went on in other departments, the more crazy the talk. It was always hush hush. It was only safe to gossip, then laugh about it. 

“Back to work,” the supervisor said, rolling by on an old-fashioned pair of skates strapped to his shoes. “Less banter in the ranks.”

Truth is, I didn’t want to know. It was a good place, it was forbidden to ask questions or snoop around, and thinking too much cut down on the easy way we had of singing and whistling and working.

Still, half-truths would trickle out, bit by bit. Advanced munitions. The spontaneous combustion of a worker who burned right through his bed. Quarantine trucks moving, what? A whole department disappeared due to infection, replaced the next morning by another group of gray-faced scientists. Delivery trucks only came and went when no one was outside and at night.

Each city controlled its own surveillance and worked on other things, like DNA, weather, and time. When they tried to engineer time at the Factory, it set the whole place rumbling. We had to duck under tables.

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