After they colonized Mars we humans left on Earth started to worry. Rumors flew. The food will run out and the fresh water will disappear.
There were right about the food.
Savage fighting has engulfed the world. Friends and relatives fight over scraps. Roaming bands of thugs hunt down weak and defenseless humans. Cannibalism is rife.
My mate found out yesterday that she is with child. We visited the doctor this afternoon and he gave us a choice.
“You look like reasonable people,” the doctor said. He scanned the genome map in front of him. “I can make him healthy and strong, if you agree,” he said.
My mate shook her head. “It isn’t natural,” she said.
The doctor smiled and pointed at a dark band on the screen. “All I have to do is delete this,” he said. “Your boy will never feel hunger. He will have a tremendous advantage.”
I didn’t know what to think. The doctor’s argument sounded reasonable.
“You have a choice,” the doctor said. “I need an answer. Now.”
Tears rolled down my mate’s cheeks and she looked up at me, hoping to find an ally. I shook my head.
“Do it,” I said.
“But,” my mate said.
I held her by the shoulders and stared into her eyes. “It’s the only way.”
The doctor tapped on the screen and a sinuous metal arm approached my mate and before we could react a silver needle darted forward into a blood vessel in the back of her hand.
My mate whimpered and her eyes closed.
The doctor turned to us. “There, it’s done. You can rest assured that you have made the correct decision.”
My mate turned to me in horror. “You monster,” she said.
“The child’s digestive organs will atrophy and eventually disappear,” the doctor said. “At the same time, the new autotrophic system will develop.”
My mate closed her eyes and squeezed both hands into fists.
“There is nothing to worry about,” the doctor said with a smile. “He will still be able to pass liquids and solids through his alimentary canal if he wishes, although I rather doubt he will make that decision.”
“Let’s go,” I said to my mate. “Our boy will live, that’s all that matters, isn’t it?”
My mate looked up at me and shook her head.