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Food For Thought
Ever wonder where the food of the future will come from?
P J Lawton
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (9)
An Encounter With Evil (Short Stories) A young man's search for the bizarre gets him a little more than he bargined for. [1,761 words]
Death Walk (Short Stories) A space ship crashes on a lonely planet leaving the crew a long walk to safety. [1,147 words]
Future Shock (Short Stories) A young woman gets a glance into the future, can she change her destiny? [1,035 words] [Science Fiction]
Night Ride (Short Stories) A tired young man accepts a ride from a mysterious stranger. [1,463 words]
Simon Says: Case Of The Deadly Diamond Dupe (Short Stories) A hard-boiled private detective reluctantly gets involved in a terrorist plot. [3,813 words]
Simon Says: Case Of Vengeance By The Letter (Short Stories) A hard-boiled private detective's past comes back to haunt him. [3,972 words]
Simon Says: The Case Of The Singing Lady Blues (Short Stories) A hard-boiled private detective makes a fatal mistake. He can't make it right but he can make those responsible pay. [3,757 words]
The Watchers (Short Stories) A young man has a strange encounter and is orderd to keep quiet, after 50 years he finally decides to tell his tale. [1,874 words] [Science Fiction]
Time Ripper (Short Stories) What if a serial killer could jump through time. Maybe he has! [1,459 words] [Science Fiction]
Food For Thought
P J Lawton
The colony was dangerously overcrowded; food was in short supply and very expensive. The available food was pretty dreadful and consisted of a bland dehydrated ground meat protein substance called WonderFare. He didn’t even know what made up the ingredients of WonderFare; he wasn’t about to ask. It didn’t matter how you prepared it, after it was re-hydrated it was still dreadful. Unfortunately, WonderFare was the main diet staple available to the colonist. Fresh meat and produce when available was extremely expensive. With his current lack of employment he figured it would be many cycles before he would taste real food again.
As he left the Action Force Veterans Center he was more dejected as he had even been. There was still no work available. Just what did a warrior due when there was no war? He was running low on credits; his pay from the last conflict was just about gone. He was a mercenary, a hired warrior, just one of many currently unemployed soldiers wondering around the colony. Somebody needed to start a war somewhere and it needed to be soon.
In a feeble attempt to shed his depression he decided a visit the bar of his old friend Jacos might do. There he could get a cheap sim-beer and hopefully the scoop on some chance of employment. Maybe today was the day.
He was about half way through his second sim-beer when Jacos sauntered over.
“Hey Capt, long time no see.”
“Hey Jacos, what’s happening?
“Heard a little rumor you might just be interested in. Looks like the Daygrus may be hiring.”
“The Daygrus, you sure?” He didn’t particularly like the Daygrus. They were the scavengers of the quadrant. They would barter for or steal anything they could get their claws on. Besides, they were the most repulsive creatures. They had big hairy bodies, little beady eyes and razor sharp teeth and claws. “I haven’t seen anything posted. Any idea why they would need mercs?”
“Well, you know the Daygrus. They keep pretty much to themselves. Rumor is that they will be down in sector 16 this afternoon.”
“Normally I wouldn’t even consider working for the ‘Grus’ but work is work. I’ll check it out. Thanks old friend.”
There were about 100 out of work warriors milling about the temporary recruiting station. The Daygrus had hired a Terran mercenary recruiter to screen the soldiers. He stood in line and watched for a few minutes. Many of the warriors were being turned away but occasionally one would be sent forward to fill out and sign their contract.
As he neared the head of the line one of the rejected soldiers stopped by.
“Hey Capt, don’t even bother to apply if you have any family. The “grus” only want unattached veterans. If you have a spouse, children, or parents they don’t want you. I had heard that the “grus” were cheap but I guess they don’t want the expense of paying veterans benefits it you buy it.”
“Well, if they only want unattached warriors then I believe you may be right. I guess that lets me in then. Thanks friend.”
He had been an orphan, brought up in several homes, no family and few friends. That’s what made him become a warrior in the first place. No unnecessary distractions had made him a very good one.
When his turn came he answered a few questions and was given a contract to sign. It was a pretty straightforward War contract except for one paragraph. Paragraph 22B said that in the event of his death, his remains became the sole property of the Daygru Consortium. Always a pessimist he figured that it meant that if you bought it, the Daygrus would simply let you would remain where you fell. Oh well, what did it matter to him; he would be dead after all. Without another thought he signed the contract.
He reported to the trans-portal at the appointed time where about 50 warriors waited. One by one they stepped forward into the portal and disappeared. When his turn came he happened to notice the dialer. The portal was dialed to sector 21 division 12265. He knew from past travel that those particular coordinates would put them at the far reaches of the quadrant. That was strange; there wasn’t anything out there. He didn’t have much time to ponder his deduction though for within seconds he was there. As he stepped out of the receiving trans-portal two big Daygrus roughly grabbed him.
He was pushed and prodded into line with other warriors. More Daygru soldiers moved the line forward. Something was vaguely familiar about the sickly sweet stench that permeated the still air. After about 10 minutes they were herded toward a group of warehouses. Waiting his turn to enter he saw to his left a loading dock covered with stacked pallets. Each pallet contained box after box stamped with familiar writing. As he moved closer he was able to read the words, WonderFare. There were hundreds of boxes. Why would the Daygrus need so much food?
Something wasn’t right. All his instincts said so. As he looked above the entrance he saw some Daygru script. He had never been good at Daygru either speaking or writing but normally in time he could figure it out. Something was nagging at the edge of his mind as he moved to the door.
Large clawed hands roughly shoved him through. Utterly stunned, he couldn’t believe his eyes! Suddenly he was struck with a massive electro discharge. Silently he toppled onto the moving conveyer belt. As the conveyer moved quietly along his organs were already starting to shut down. Just as the blackness closed around him, his declining brain function analyzed one piece of remaining data. It deciphered and translated the Daygru writing from the entrance. Simply put, the writing had said Slaughterhouse #5.
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"Very good. Very sci-fi..but in the future probably very real.good job.keep it up. I'd also like ur reviews on my work. " -- Avis, Mumbai, India.
"This story reminds me of the 70's sci-fi flick, "Soylent Green"" -- Steven.
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© 2003 P J Lawton
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