The day of my test was coming up.
There were preparations to be made, exercises i was meant to do. I was meant to wear formal attire, or at least an appropriately elegant gown. I remember seeing all the glamorous women walking in succession during last years test day, and dreading when it would be my turn.
There would be no gowns or frocks for me. It was something outside my caregivers means to provide.
In this world there are two classifications of peoples. This is determined by a test given all citizens aged 17 on the first day of spring each year. Those two classifications were producers and takers.
My caregiver (he preferred to be called dad) was a taker. He raised me with what resources he could muster, and i love him for it, but the thing with takers is they don’t get much but the basics. They do not provide what society needs and is not rewarded like a producer is.
If i pass the test i want to make sure that his life improves, and he gets treated fairly. I will not forget the sacrifices he made to keep me alive, it being so rare for children in this day and age to make it past 5 years of age, unless you live in the upper rings of society.
The worst part was i had no control over the outcome of the test. It is a fertilisation test.
It was around 2250 A.D that natural fertilisation suddenly stopped working. The real cause was never quite determined or told to the general public, but in school we are told it was by a disease or chemical warfare. Over decades following this time artificial insemination became the only way to conceive, but as time went on the odds of this being successful became less and less. For a time there was a large bank of frozen sperm that was used to continue to keep the population afloat, but this eventually ran dry, supposedly running out around the beginning of the 23rd century.
World population has considerably dropped since those then, it was estimated that there was over twelve billion people on the planet in 2250, now that number is closer to one billion. There is no real way of getting an actual figure for this unless you worked in the department of births and deaths. All the online databases made available to the public only get back five to ten years, or contains useless videos or non-historical rubbish.
There is some information given to each child on their 17 birthday in preparation for their test day. If you are fertile (we are told the odds are 1 in 10,000) then you are whisked away to the upper echelons of society, the only work you need to do it to provide your seed on a daily basis, not exactly a difficult task, but one which grants you the title of “producer”. If you are infertile then you are put to work in the mines or some manual labor job until you died.
The reduction in fertility only affected the males, which lends to the argument that it was a man-made disease that causes it originally. Women are able to conceive and occupy most of the middle to upper classes of society, as long as they are willing to carry children to term they maintain a relatively safe and happy lifestyle. Many children born in such a way are unwanted by either parents, especially boys as they are so unlikely to be producers, so most children are sent to be looked after by takers until there test day, with the larger proportion of children dying at an early age of measles or pertussis.
<Story idea, was thinking of either exploring the cause of the infertility (maybe making it a government thing) or potentially making it more focused on the individual characters struggles to survive> Any thoughts?
Edward Leeming 19/11/2017