Nayra looks up toward tube C-51 and groans. She grabs the ladder and climbs to her cocoon for the night and settles in. The same instructional video she has been watching every Wednesday evening for 40 weeks now chimes in from the roof of the tube.
She rips open her medical kit and pulls out a stress ball, disinfectant swab, needle, tube, half-litre bag, medical tape, and a bandage for afterwards. She follows along mechanically as instructed.
“…locate the large surface vein on the inside of your left elbow. If you are left-handed then prepare your right elbow instead. If at any time you feel faint or require assistance please say ‘help’ loudly and one of our nurses will assist you. Say ‘ready’ to continue.”
“Ready.” Nayra takes a deep breath.
The video continues. “Good. Now remove the swab from its packaging and thoroughly cleanse the area as demonstrated, then ….”
Around 10 minutes later, the alarm sounds and the C-section nurse appears. He removes the bag, disposes of the needle, put the bandage on Nayra’s arm. “Apply pressure here for 15 minutes.” He leaves her to rest overnight.
Nayra swears under her breath. “You’re fracking welcome.” She feels like a hen in a filing cabinet hatching facility.
Before drifting off to sleep, she checks that the final payment was credited to her account. All is good finance-wise but emotionally Nayra is spent.
She lays there staring up at the display playing the post collection relaxation sequence. The binaural beats and colourful images aim to focus her thoughts away from the reality she still has difficulty accepting.
She will never hold this child.
The only consolation she receives at this point is a name. Winter.
The Institute rules are very clear with regards to the fostering program. Both the donor and the benefactor are anonymous to each other. Once the child is born healthy, the donor receives an extra bonus payment and her contract is complete. She is then free to sell her next eggs and her blood to foster another child.
Tonight marks the completion of Nayra’s fixed income 5-year contract— 1 year of dietary preparation and 3 fostered pregnancies with a 6 month recovery period between each.
Although the work allowed her to upgrade her living conditions at first, in the end, the food quality clauses were so restrictive that soaring prices over the past years has brought her to the point where she has now exhausted all her savings and is barely able to cover her rent.
Nevertheless, she is grateful for having landed such a long-term agreement.
Many women only get paid for the 40 week gestation period and never take time to recharge properly, turning them into egg and blood factories until their mid 30s. As a result their quality rating drops significantly as they age, but not Nayra’s. Her consistently superior product over the past 5 years has moved her current rating from C to A , which has attracted 5 new back-to-back offers including paid 6-month leaves in between them.
Nayra takes a few deep breathes and relaxes into the dreamworld. She is content. In just over 6 years, she will have saved enough money to buy the rights for a child of her own.
In this BPA infected world, Nayra is one of those rare individuals whose ancestors came from the last undiscovered native village high up in the Andes. While the rest of the world carried on with their throw-away plastic world, her foremothers lived off the pristine landscape far away from any coastline.
Others fortunate enough to be accepted into the Institute‘s biodome communities whose ancestors joined the movement to ban plastic in the 21st century also fair reasonably well. Their foremothers took control of their daily habits, and more importantly those of their young children, and limited consumption of liquids bottled in plastic, canned foods (all of which were lined with plastic), fish and shell-fish and their predators, plastic wrapped produce, microwave-heated convenience foods, and processed foods, especially red goo cooked in their store shelf-ready plastic packaging then cooled for distribution such as hot dogs.
The remaining population whose BPA blood levels were above the Institute cut-off had their applications rejected. They were the ones whose ancestors were in denial or who were addicted to plastics and their own convenient lifestyle at the expense of the environment.
These willfully ignorant nations slowly poisoned themselves and spread their cancers to the rest of the civilized world through their continued contamination of the oceans.
The insanity continued well into the 2020s until the balance tipped and the first generation of cancer babies were born. The survivors were sterile.
While the outside world still suffers from a plastic induced hangover, the closed Institute communities thrive. Their blood transfusion programs are humanity at large’s only hope of survival.
Debate rages on however between the Institute and local governments where their facilities operate.
Accusations of human rights violations within their heavily armed perimeter fences are commonplace. But most people living inside the network of air tight buildings, tunnels, greenhouses, and various indoor self-sustaining ecosystems consider their isolation a small price to pay for living a healthy cancer-free life.
Nayra is one of them. She has never walked the natural world and has no desire to do so.
The Institute propaganda has been incredibly successful over the years. But something is about to change all that.
… to be continued in BPA Infected Organs.