Author: Malcolm Carvalho
Sneha glances at me and adjusts the collar of her gravsuit. The ocean depths are unforgiving to these elite land dwellers, even with their gravsuits and this room’s pressure neutralizing field. Yet they need this place. She shoots a dictating glance at me. I swallow my pride, walk to the dashboard at the corner of the room, and adjust the pressure shield.
“Your visits are becoming too frequent these days,” I tell her. “The last one was barely a month ago. This will only drain the harvesting here and produce weaker organs. According to our agreement…”
“Please.” Sneha clenches her jaws. “I know what we are doing. Why do you have to be so uptight? We spend a fortune running this place. The electricity to power the centre, to maintain the shield so the water pressure does not kill you. Otherwise, at 300 meters, you would have been crushed to pulp within minutes.”
I knew she would rub it in. “Who brought us here in the first place? You. You need the higher gravity so we can develop stronger muscles and organs, so you can use them. You have the gravshields only because you know an exposure to higher-G would kill us. What would that do to this city of yours, this organ cultivating haven you have built? How would you sustain your ‘immortality’ then?”
“Ah, so you think immortality is a privilege? You must visit land. See how the few thousands of us have to suffer just to keep the planet going. Tend to the crops, keep our numbers at an optimum, and maintain hygiene. Immortality comes at a price. Look at yourself, you don’t need to worry about this. We ensure you have a decent lifestyle. Your people can live however they want, date whoever they wish, have as many children as they like.”
“To what end? Have children so you have more of us as hosts for your organ factory?”
Sneha throws up her hands. “You think being immortal solves our problems? Seeing the same people all the time, not having children because infant mortality is almost 100% thanks to the climate on land. Never having anyone to care for, no one to mentor. Us never ageing, yes thanks to this harvesting place. The same decision makers with their indecisiveness that immortality brings in with an infinite supply of time, the same mistakes repeated. Immortality for what? So we, the last occupants of the land up there, can keep our flag flying? Lay claim to a piece of land as our historic home?”
“Okay, I get it. Where does that leave us?”
“It’s not that simple. We are both in this warp together. You must produce hosts for our organs, or we will slowly die out. As for us, we have to maintain the machinery here, power up this place so you don’t have to worry about anything but staying healthy. If we die out, you won’t live for long too.”
I’m tired of her argument. “Listen. We have known this for years. Our people are dying sooner, some of them even before they hit 30. What’s the point of procreating if they cannot see their children grow up?”
“Stop being emotional. Both sides have a job and we are doing the best we can.”
I stop arguing. There is no other way. Let them have the new batch of organs. My people have engineered the organ cells to grow exponentially even after they’ve been transplanted.
None of our engineers will be around to handle the consequences. And soon, none of these land-dwellers too.