Dr. von Ratner eyed the incubators through the two-way mirror. They sat in the waiting room, arms crossed over their chests and trembling, terrified, but not of him or of what he was about to do to them. No, they feared the consequences of their own actions. They believed he was here to help.
Von Ratner nodded to the incubator on the left. “Send that one home. It’s too early for her. Tell her she needs to think about it, but she’ll realize this is the right choice. Get her to come back in a few weeks.”
The assistant went into the waiting room and sat next to the incubator he’d indicated. She held the incubator’s hand and spoke soothing words and offered a tissue so the incubator could wipe her eyes. The incubator nodded and left a few moments later and the assistant returned to him.
Von Ratner indicated the incubator in the far right corner. “That one. That one is perfect. Bring her to me.”
Von Ratner smiled as the incubator came into his waiting room “This way, my dear. It will all be over soon.”
He performed the procedure he’d done thousands of times before, heedless of the incubator’s comfort or safety, concerned only for the prize she carried inside her. In a few short minutes, he’d harvested the parts growing inside, piece by piece, as the organism writhed and struggled, helpless against his tools.
He sent the incubator away and carried his prize into the frozen storage. “Get my contacts on the line. Tell them I have an intact specimen. Viable limbs and organs, available for transplant immediately. And bring me another one.”
Getting paid to remove specimens was profitable on its own. The government paid him to continue providing services. The incubators paid him to get rid of their “problems.” The money had made him wealthy already. But when he’d discovered the black market rates for selling the specimens he’d removed, his profits nearly tripled.
Of course, he’d told his associates. There was money to be made by all, and the more incubators they could convince to enter their offices, the more profits could be made. And the beautiful irony was that no one could stop them, because they based their services on the “rights” of the incubators. As long as no one really knew about the specimens they harvested and sold on the black market, they could continue farming them and put everything under the header of “rights.”
“Sir, we have a problem,” the assistant said. “One of the other assistants caught us on video, harvesting the specimens and haggling about the price.”
Von Ratner’s heartbeat sped up. Would they shut him down? Could “rights” still trump his farming practices when people found out?
“Create a narrative. Imply that the video was cut and pasted to put things out of context and make it seem worse than it is. Then spread the idea that this was an isolated event, and not an industry-wide practice.”
The assistant obeyed, as did the assistants of the others across the country, and for awhile everything was fine. Until another video surfaced, and another.
“This cannot go on,” Von Ratner said. “Minimizing the damage didn’t work. We must now try distraction. What else is going on that could take the focus off our work?”
The assistant scoured the news for just the right story to distract the people. “Ah ha!” she said at last. “Some rich slob poached a lion in Zimbabwe.”
Von Ratner rubbed his hands together. “Perfect. Spread the news. In a matter of hours, no one will care that we’re using women as incubators and harvesting their unborn children for fun and profit.”