Thirty by thirty, with an inner ring taking up most of the space. Little to no light, save the soft blue of the birthing room’s floor. The midwives worked slowly, directly, moving from station to station and helping the little mothers bring to the world the new young. There are cries of bliss, joy, pain, and disappointment as the day continues.
Each new life is given a quick rinse to clear it of the birthing. They are weighted, checked for vitals, and have their metal count, type, and parts per verified for identification and genetic heritage. Their limbs are handled, tested, measured, and eventually cleared for initial action. They are allowed to attach themselves to their little mothers and conjoin suction onto the feeding nipple while until their energy payload is full.
With full reserves the new lives are ready. Just minutes after birth they are taken from the little mothers by a midwife. Never will the new life see their little mother again, save for the few per cycle assigned to the midwife quota. The new life is not surprised by this and their is no grief or tear shed. Part of the payload includes knowledge as well as nutrients. Information, databases, and the latest software and hardware patches are given by the little mother’s milk.
The new life is delivered to the cycler next. They know only a little about this. Enough to understand how it fits into their own life cycle, and how it will determine their place for the next established series of events. They are unaware that should they not pass the cycler’s inspection, or they are built too efficient for a role whose numbers have gone beyond quota, they will not be allowed to continue. Recycling is a common thing.
Should they pass, they will only be at the cycler briefly before moving on to any number of stations. Midwives no longer carry them, unless they have been assigned as midwife, or as little mother. Here they are taken by those who are of similar charges. There will be more uploads, and memory wipes as no established lives outside of midwives, mothers, and cyclers, need know where the new units come from. Within an hour, their will be physical modifications and limbs covered or replaced as the established life is fitted to their role.
The efficiency the ranks are filled as quickly as they receive more raw material, more raw life to break into their own numbers. From metal to bone, each unit is created, assigned, broken, and reused endlessly.
Filling The Invoice’s Quota by Justin Diehl is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.