Chapter 1

Mimi Padmabandu

The World State’s motto: Community, Identity, Stability. The Director (DHC) gives a tour of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre to some students. The building is cold, white and clinical. The DHC shows them the Fertilizing Room and the gametes that are kept inside, describing the facility with technical jargon. He states that after fertilization, the Alphas and Betas incubate until bottled, while the Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons undergo Bokanovsky’s Process, which arrests development by X-ray radiation. “Bokanovskification” creates a group of 96 identical twins, developmentally stunted for the sake of Community, Identity and Stability. The Director and Mr. Foster show the students the Bottling Room and Matriculators, describing the assembly-line process of creating a batch of embryos. After decanting the embryos from bottles, the Centre also predestines and conditions their social statuses, going so far as to provide an inferior growth environment and stunting mental maturation for lower castes. Making people like what they have to do, the Director says, is the key to happiness.

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