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Project Utopia: A New World Order [Horror Fiction] - Chapter One
Samantha’s blue eyes slowly crept open as Charlie’s hand slid gently across her stomach, his fingers probing up to stroke her right breast. She glanced at the bedside clock: 5:43 am. Charlie nuzzled against her, moving his body up over hers.
She stifled a groan when he pushed in between her legs. She had barely gotten three hours of sleep, having spent most of the night finalizing her presentation about the negative ramifications of the biochip for her meeting with Corporate at nine that morning.
With shaking fingers, she wiped the sleep from her eyes. Charlie was already hard, pushing inside her. She yawned as he thrust deeply, forcing herself to wake as he panted.
Charlie gave a few stiff thrusts, and then his body went limp atop her. He kissed her forehead lightly. “Morning, honey.”
“Morning,” Samantha answered, forcing a smile. It was over this time much faster than usual. Charlie was a jackrabbit, thumping away and reaching climax before her mind had even processed that he wanted to make love.
Charlie grunted, rolling back to his side of the bed. He yawned and scrubbed his hands across his eyes. He lay quietly a moment before pushing the covers back and crawling out of bed. “Want me to make breakfast while you shower?”
“Sure,” she said, watching his taut form stretching in the shadows of the early morning light before he padded from the room for the kitchen. He was a considerate man, at least. She heaved a sigh. At least Charlie was still handsome, in a clinical, nerdy way.
They had met as Doctorate candidates in the Medical Science program at Idaho State University, she as a nano-particle engineer, and he as a psychoanalyst for the ethical use of biotechnology. Samantha had never expected more than the life of a scientist’s wife, working so often late into the night on cutting-edge experiments and hectic deadlines. Her parents had always said that her life was in the labs and that was where she’d find a man. When Charlie had proposed, she’d said yes because it seemed the right thing to do. A good choice. The life she was supposed to have.
Samantha yawned again, shoving back the flannel covers. She wondered what her life would have been like if she had married Luke, the young motorcycle riding bad boy who worked at the local gas station. He, at least, had given mind-blowing orgasms.
She glanced again at the clock. 5:46 am. She expected her assistant Ryan to call a little after six with the final proofs on her presentation, leaving her with a few hours to prepare before the meeting with Corporate. She was expecting the worst during the meeting, and knew she needed to be well versed in her findings. As negative as her conclusions were, she knew that Corporate would be resistant in making any changes regardless of the fact that the deadline for implantation had arrived—far too soon.
Flicking on the bathroom light, she stared at her reflection in the mirror as she turned the knob on the shower. She wasn’t yet wrinkly in places that women in their thirties always cursed about, and her breasts were still perky and properly above her belly button. She touched her stomach with light fingers. Still smooth and on the firm side, but getting soft.
Sighing, Samantha stepped into the warmth of the shower. She savored the hot steam a moment before running her fingers through her long hair. She squeezed a blob of shampoo onto her palm and worked it into her scalp. As she lathered, one hand slid down between her legs.
She was so tense lately.
“And the guy is new, you know, and didn’t stamp the report like he should have,” Charlie mumbled through a mouthful of eggs. “And Loraine never saw it, because the report didn’t have the stamp, you see, so we never even processed it!”
Out of habit, Samantha laughed when he laughed. She glanced at the clock over the stove. 6:55 am. Something was wrong. Ryan should have called some time ago. She took a sip of her coffee as Charlie gestured with his fork. “So Loraine comes to me, all in a huff, talking about the client being ready to sue and I’m thinking that this guy has got a lot of explaining to do, you know?” He glanced over at Samantha, chuckling to himself. “Did you hear me, honey?”
She blinked, letting out a little laugh. “Sure, Charlie.” She glanced at the clock again. “Guess I’m just slow this morning.”
Charlie nodded, standing as he reached for his briefcase. “I told Loraine to let me handle things, ‘cause the new guy is the boss’s nephew or something.” He chuckled again, reaching for his jacket. He stuffed his arms through and straightened the collar before setting his plate in the sink. “So I’ll take care of this and Loraine will still be pissed at the new guy.”
On his way back around the table he paused to kiss Samantha on the forehead. “Good luck with your meeting.”
As Charlie’s car roared to life and backed out of the driveway, she sat in silence, staring at her plate of eggs. For some reason, anxiety churned her stomach. Ryan was never late, especially not for something this important.
“Screw it,” she muttered as she reached for the phone, her fingers poised to dial. It rang suddenly, and she dropped it to the hardwood floor. It clattered hard, still ringing sharply.
She snatched it up. “Hello? Ryan?”
“Sam!” Ryan shrieked into the phone. He mumbled something she couldn’t make out, then screamed, “they’re doing it right now!”
“What?” She didn’t understand. “Slow down, Ryan. Tell me what happened.”
“They’re doing it, Sam. Two dead. Two died!” He started cursing. “Corporate made your biochip.”
Samantha pressed a hand to her forehead, still confused. The biochip was the reason that Intelli Inc hired her five years ago. They had tried for nearly a decade to fabricate the biochip themselves, but no one had been able to complete the sequence on a molecular level. The neural net didn’t process reliably or the biochip became too unstable after implantation.
After numerous failed experiments herself, Samantha and her team had finally engineered the biochip, a living, evolving organism that would organically adapt to the storage of technological information and could be contained in the right hand of a human being. It could store thousands of terabytes of data and records for medical history, insurance information, and even personal finances.
Designed to work on a broad spectrum, it would scan at stores and restaurants, taking the place of money or credit cards. It would hold all medical information, and when emergencies arose, could be immediately scanned by police or public officials. If emergency medical attention was needed, an order could be issued electronically and via satellite, the biochip would administer the appropriate medication by triggering specific responses from within the patient’s blood stream. Students would be expected to scan their homework to be downloaded upon arrival at school. It would even take the place of the driver’s license, passport, and identification card.
Corporate had specifically requested certain parameters, and assured her that they would handle the actual production of the biochip for mass consumption as well as funding the detailed ad campaign that had already been sweeping the nation. When Samantha accepted the project, she had been assured that the nation would flourish because of her creation, and she had been thrilled at that prospect. For an engineer, actually seeing the value of her product could prove to be the most profound moment of her entire career.
For months now, the news of Project Utopia had rocked the media. Everyone wanted the biochip. And once a mandatory desire to “want” was established within every state in the union, soon receiving the biochip implant would become a law.
To that end, Pendleton Hills was established as a little research community just outside of Pocatello, Idaho. After World War Three and the abolishment of the United States Constitution, a One World Order was organized to regain control over the confused and terrified populace around the world. To test new laws and conduct undocumented research, small communities were erected around the globe. The participants were decently paid, they lived in newly constructed manufactured homes, and all of their needs and wants were tended to by clones. It was a simple, convenient method for the government to test revolutionary ideas without fear or ramifications for any unconstitutional actions.
It had sounded wonderful and promising until she had discovered, quite by accident, what else the biochip could do. Manufactured as a living, evolving organism, it adapted within the biology of the implantee. Such an action was not unexpected, except that the biochip inherited and controlled emotional data as well as physical, making it highly unpredictable and a danger to the implantee.
With growing concerns, Samantha had determined that the biochip was too unreliable for implantation and immediate design changes needed to be made. All of her recommendations were in the presentation that she was supposed to give to Corporate later that morning.
Samantha spoke calmly into the phone. “Manufacturing the biochip was part of the deal, Ryan. I’ll let them know about my concerns and—”
“It’s too late,” Ryan shrieked into the phone. “They implanted the test clones three days ago. They ate the guards!”
Samantha stared dumbly at the phone. “Seriously? The clones ate the guards?”
He cursed loudly in confirmation.
Her mind started spinning. She knew what this meant. They had implanted clones that hadn’t first been examined, months ahead of schedule. The FDA hadn’t even visited Intelli Inc yet with their final recommendations. Things were happening much too fast. And with what she had just found out—
Ryan let out a startled cry. Something heavy crashed and muffled voices issued orders.
“Ryan? Are you okay?” More things came crashing down, hard. Glass broke as Ryan started to sob. The phone crackled as someone snatched it up.
“Is this Dr. Samantha Hargrove?” a man’s voice demanded.
The voice was familiar but she couldn’t place it. She could hear Ryan crying in the background.
She forced her voice to sound authoritative. “Who is this?”
The man chuckled. “Don’t worry about the boy. Seems he got into some chemicals down in the lab—nothing serious. Glad we found him in time. You know how the paranoia sets them off.”
Samantha heard heavy things moving in the background. Suddenly Ryan was no longer making noise. “Tell me who this is or I’ll call the police.”
“Don’t concern yourself with this,” the voice snarled. “We’re just doing our job. Now I have to go take care of the boy.” There was a long pause, then a low chuckle. “I’m afraid he needs immediate attention.”
Samantha shook with anger, holding the phone so hard against her ear that the side of her face began throbbing. “What is going on?”
The man laughed openly, the grating sound of it rasping harshly in the phone. “Forget the boy. He is no longer your concern.”
Then the phone went dead.
About the Author
MEET PAM MCELPRANG. You know what I love most about fantasy? The escape. The fantastic worlds, the courageous and challenging characters. I love immersing myself in exciting realms populated by dragons and demon gods. And the best part is writing fantasy. I get to create everything I've always wanted to read about in novels. I get to craft the universe and struggle with my characters as they adventure within the realm. I get to watch as they take on lives of their own and make choices that I never planned.
Pam McElprang lives in the mountains of Idaho with her family and is hard at work on the continuation of the Dragon Gods Series. She loves lazy days and is fueled by the incredible cast of characters in her life; including the household felines who seem to think the desk chair is the only place in the house worth sitting.
Listen to Project Utopia on Audible
Project Utopia, narrated by Francesca Townes: http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Project-Utopia-Audiobook/B00CLC24T0