Author: A. Lyn Thomson

“Mother, where are we?”
“This, my dear, is called the Male Incubatorium, and as the new Queen of our world, it is now your responsibility.”
Shock flows through my veins as we stroll through a room I have never seen before. The fact that I have never found this place before is impressive in itself. Especially since I grew up in this castle, my home during my 21 years of life.
But this room is strange in so many other ways. Glowing green, it’s filled with evenly spaced tubes, each possessing a body. A Male. How did Mother keep this a secret from me all these years? She has been training me to rule for the past decade, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this place. Or that there are still Males in existence. Our history lessons always said they were eradicated eons ago, once the First Queen found a way to reproduce without them. Now, I’m finding out that’s a lie.
What else has she been lying to me about?
“I understand if you are confused,” Mother says, “as I was too, when I was your age. So let me enlighten you. Yes, Males do still exist, but only here, in these incubators.”
“Why? I thought we didn’t need them anymore.”
“We don’t need them for anything other than their gametes,” she explains. “This is how we collect the serum to give our citizens children. Think of it as a silo. We store them here, and collect only what we need from time to time.”
“But why? Why do we need to keep them here, like this? Why can’t they just live-”
I’m cut off by her suddenly spinning towards me. She glares at me forcefully. “Under no circumstances can they be allowed to just live.” Seeing the fear her sudden outburst caused me, she calms herself down, then continues. “Listen, you remember the history lessons I taught you. While Males were allowed to roam free, they did unspeakable things, to us and to each other. Even when the First Queen decided to enslave them, taking away their rights, they still committed one crime after the other, rebelling every day. Males are extremely dangerous, and so cannot be released from here. Do you understand, dear?”
I nod, knowing that’s what she wants me to do, and we continue walking past incubator after incubator, until she stops in front of one. I look at it and see a Male for the first time, but that’s not what surprises me.
He looks like…me!
“Yes,” Mother says, reading my facial expressions, “this is the Male whose gamete I used to make you.”
“Why are you showing me this?”
“So that you don’t use him to create your own Heir. Such a thing could cause horrendous complications, both for you and the Heir.” She sighs, then takes a step back. “I’m going to get the Royal Manual, which my Mother passed down to me, and I will pass down to you now. It explains quite well how to maintain this place. Wait here.”
I do as she says, analyzing the Male in front of me. I then look down at the panel and notice a red button labelled “Open Chamber”.
I gulp and stare at it. I know what she just told me, and I understand what pressing this button could mean, especially if she were telling the truth, but…
What else is she lying to me about…?
I press the button and watch as the incubator opens and the Male blinks for the first time.

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