Author : Debbie Mac Rory

Jeremiah Founders swallowed nervously and licked parched lips for the fourth time. Meeting the eyes of the enforcers standing opposite him, he gave a small nod, and they released their charges. Jeremiah winced as the woman hit the floor with a small cry. She paid no mind to her injuries though, or to him, only pulled herself across the small divide between herself and her partner lying unconscious where he had fallen. The bruise on the woman’s face did nothing to take away from her beauty; in fact, the way loose strands of hair had fallen across her face and caught on her parted lips only emphasized her delicacy…

Jeremiah blinked. Amazing that such a thing could distract him, he thought, staring at the ceiling as he composed himself. Obviously a sign of her superior breeding. Jerimah coughed to break the silence, and when the woman’s violet eyes moved up to watch him from a delicate heart-shaped face, they were almost enough to take his breath away again.

“Ms. Azar, I am here as a legal representative of Renew, and it is my duty to inform you that following the illegal actions of both yourself and your partner, Renew as of today has repossessed its property…”

The woman continued to stare up at him, her mouth moving soundlessly as if trying to piece together words spoken in a foreign tongue. Jeremiah sighed and removed the necessary paperwork from his briefcase.

“I am here to present you with a…contract,” he said, flourishing the documents, “that if yourself and your partner sign to the effect that you will make no further difficulties for Renew regarding this case, such as attempts to contact persons within the organisation, no further charges will be pressed against you”.

“You’ve taken my child away”

Jeremiah sighed and after a moment, placed the documents on the counter top in the small kitchen. “I’ll leave the documents here for your perusal. I understand that this may be an emotional time, and you shouldn’t make a decision like this in haste”.

“But you can’t just take away my child…”

“Ms. Azar, I must remind you that while Renew acknowledges your payment in full and discharge from service of both you and your partner, your genome remains copyright and licensed property of Renew. Therefore, any and all products and copies thereof remain the property of Renew.”

“Please!” Azar sobbed, throwing her hands out to him. Crackling filled the air as one of the enforcers shifted, small arcs of static rippling across his gloves. Jeremiah held out a hand, forestalling any further action on their part while he leaned down to take hold of the woman’s hands.

“Please”, he said, “do not misunderstand the kindness of my tone. I speak softly only to make this process as pleasant as possible for myself. Any other affection I may show towards you comes only from the knowledge that I have taken pleasure in your … sisters on occasion, maybe even yourself once though that is most likely doubtful. But the fact remains, even if I was able to help, I would not. I would not willingly lower myself to aid your kind”.

With that Jeremiah pushed her back to lean against her companion as he straightened to leave.

“I don’t believe your kind should ever have been given rights at all, but what’s done is done, and it’s still a healthy pay check for me at the end of the month”.

Tears spilled freely and silently down silken cheeks. Azar hugged herself as the guards began to move towards the door.

“I just want my baby back”

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