And its aftermath

by Sam Leo


The concept of the Special Beach, its basic rules, and "The Joker," was developed by Petra Bee in her story A Special Beach which can be found in the Necrobabes Story and Poem Archive.

The concept of the Impulse Park was suggested by a drawing by the artist "McW" entitled "Impulse Park Classified1" which can be seen in Dunsul's gallery at

Seventy years have passed since the Great War between the United States and its allies and the Islamic Alliance, now referred to in common parlance as the Biowar. In the end, neither side could truly claim victory, although the Islamic Alliance had been forced to make more concessions than the U.S. and its allies to secure a cease-fire. Among other damages, the war seems to have stalled technological progress, although the reasons for this are still debated. Not in dispute is the fact that fewer advances in technology and engineering have been made in the seventy years following the war than were made in the three preceding it. As a result, in terms of transportation, communications, energy, and so on, the world looks little different now than it did then.

The Biowar was so called because it had not been fought with bullets and explosive weapons only--both sides had shunned the use of nuclear weapons from the start, and none were ever used--but with biological and genetic weapons. Both sides rained low-explosive bombs on the other, bombs designed to spread artificial viruses created for the most part to incapacitate people rather than kill them. Unfortunately, the viruses mutated rapidly on deployment and only had their designed effect for a short time in a limited area. One U.S. genetic agent designed to cause temporary mental dysfunction turned into a terrible killer, wiping out large portions of the population in Southwestern Asia before being brought under control. Another, created in the old Soviet labs left in Chechnya, ran out of control along the Indian-Pakistani border, killing millions before being stopped by Draconian measures involving a hard no-cross line.

But the one that caused the worst problems was the Tongu strain, a design originally created by the Chinese. An insect-vectored arbovirus, it had been designed to attach itself specifically to the male Y chromosome, where it would manufacture proteins that caused weakness, fatigue, and mental confusion. It was designed to be a stealth virus, working in secret to weaken an enemy. As designed, it did not work very well. The problems it caused did not last long, as the body adapted to it quickly and neutralized the proteins it was creating.

The long-term results, however, were totally unexpected. An unanticipated side effect of the virus caused XY sperm to grow much larger and heavier than XX sperm. The result of this was that the XY sperm became much slower and much less viable than XX sperm, and that meant a severe drop in the number of male children conceived, regardless of the method used for conception. The virus, its effects not being recognized for a while, spread worldwide. By the time the armistice was signed, slightly over ninety-five percent of all births worldwide were female.

At first, the true nature of this problem was not recognized either, since even a ratio of one male to twenty females did not automatically mean that any drop in conception should be expected, and, as the "wild" virus was believed to have disappeared, it was expected that subsequent generations would be more balanced. Sperm banks around the world supplied uninfected semen samples taken before the virus had been released, and this helped balance the genders to an extent at that time. But again, the proclamations of scientists proved to be wrong. The wild virus had not disappeared, it remained, infecting those males born from previously banked sperm--which had been used freely and had been essentially exhausted. Efforts to find ways to combat and eliminate the wild virus were ultimately successful, but came too late. The virus had made itself a part of the human genome and was passed on from father to son. Because of the reduced viability of the XY sperm, not even laboratory separation of the two types followed by artificial insemination helped; few of these produced pregnancies, and, although this method is still used to an extent, the problems associated with low viability have never been solved. A plan to collect sperm from men who had been able to father a son also failed when it was discovered that their XY sperm cells were as weak as any other. This still did not create any true biological problems--other than the fact that the world's population was rising much faster than before--but social problems grew with every passing year. Polygamy was quickly legalized almost everywhere, but this still did not alleviate the situation, since very few men could adequately deal with twenty or more wives. "Girl gangs" looking for men to prey on sexually became very common and were widely perceived as threatening the very existence of males, and thus of the human race.

Thirty years after the Biowar, scientists and politicians from the world's great nations met at a special summit in New York City to find a solution to the problem, and to the concurrent problem of the world’s astronomically rising birthrate. There was only one, and even the women at the conference agreed: the numbers of females had to be reduced somehow. A system of forced abortions of female fetuses and of infanticides of female births was one option proposed, but that idea was beset by problems. For one, it did nothing to rectify the crisis that already existed. The other plan was the establishment of a new social order, one which would result in the deaths of large numbers of females selectively, especially those of breeding age and younger. As the former was vigorously opposed by a number of the world's religious groups, and since the latter could be expected to show immediate results, the latter, after much heated debate and even some instances of violence, was chosen. In every nation, new laws were passed. It was not always peaceful, more than one country fought a minor or major civil war over the proposed changes, but eventually the new standards were adopted worldwide. They called for regular and systematic executions of females according to well-defined rules, and they permitted slavery--slavery where the slave could only be female and could, at the whim of her owner, be killed. The use of female bodies for the purpose of meat and leather was permitted, and new industries quickly sprang up around these usages. Everywhere, the rules governing the executions and slavery were structured so that the burden fell on teenage girls and women in their twenties. If the original rules did not favor this group, they were quickly changed so that they did.

There were several reasons for this. First, the women who made up the feared "girl gangs" were predominantly teenagers and women in their early twenties. Secondly, while the first rounds of systematic executions and the slaughters of women for meat and leather were carried out behind closed doors, the TV networks and others were quick to point out that there was a great deal of public interest in the executions, and therefore there was money to be made in doing these things publicly--and governments needed money to offset the rising costs of female population control. Within ten years, virtually all executions and a large number of organizational slaughters were public events, well attended by paying audiences and routinely televised. Sex appeal was naturally important, as was "color" in terms of the methods of the executions and the slaughters, and practices shifted accordingly. Initially, the women executed in, for example, Utah, were wearing plain white shifts when they died. But, when California instituted topless executions, Utah's TV ratings and their attendance fell dramatically--and California suffered the same fate when Nevada began executing women in the nude. In just a few years virtually all executions in North America and Europe, as well as in many other countries, were being conducted in the nude. Obviously, attractiveness was an issue as well in terms of the ratings, so that scales judging the appeal of the condemned were established; the Class D's, those considered "unattractive," were executed en masse and without fanfare, though still publicly. "Color" was added by allow a sentencing judge complete latitude in the method of execution he chose; he could select anything from a simple hanging to burning alive. To pique interest, the method sentences were not handed down until the day of execution, and then carried out immediately. In high-profile cases that had been in the news, betting on the method of execution that would be used was as common in the casinos as betting on football games.

It was to be expected that governments around the world would devote almost unlimited resources to finding a permanent cure for the damage the tongu virus had done, and, while that goal has not been achieved, numerous side benefits have resulted from this research. Cures or vaccines for almost all the microbial-based diseases that have plagued mankind for millennia have been discovered; the common sexually-transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, syphilis, and AIDS are now as extinct in the wild as the polio and smallpox viruses, as are virtually all insect-transmitted diseases like malaria and lyme disease, and diseases like the common cold and flu are now very rare and easily treated. Major progress has been made in the treatment of conditions like cancer, heart diseases, and the autoimmune diseases as well. Even so, not all tumors and heart conditions are easily treatable. In these cases, all the resources possible are brought to bear on the treatment of an afflicted male, but females with untreatable conditions are simply euthanized.

It was understood at the outset, however, that new diseases would arise as bacteria and viruses mutated; no had forgotten how, years before the war, AIDS had come out of Africa like a tidal wave. Subsequent events have shown that these fears were justified. Empty ecological niches are often filled by a new species; as an example, a few years after the species Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the caustive agent of gonorrhea, disappeared, a new species of Moraxella, which normally infects the lungs, appeared to take its place. Vaccines and treatments for this were quickly developed, but this process is expected to be ongoing.

As a result, various laws were passed to deal with these problems proactively. Worldwide, women showing symptoms of an STD (or any other disease, such as influenza, which might be transmitted to a partner) are required to report to their local health department. If it turns out to be something well-known, something that can be cured with a single injection or a ten-day course of antibiotic, then the woman is given treatment, ordered to remain celibate for at least 90 days, and released. Having sex during this period, or having sex when she should reasonably know that she is infected, results in the death penalty--and such convicts are often treated very harshly by the judges, typically being used as an example to others; such punishments as live burning for such felons is not rare.

Women who are found to have a new disease, or one as yet little-understood, are turned over to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, or to its equivalent in other countries. There she is used to study the new disease and is normally sacrificed and dissected as part of that process; vivisections are common in these cases.

Men with symptoms of an STD are required to report as well, and are obligated by law to identify as many of their recent contacts as possible. Given the easy availability of sex for men, it is not assumed that they can be trusted to remain celibate for 90 days. They are, when infected by a known organism, quarantined until medical tests show them to be free of the infection. Men infected by a new or little-known organism--or whose infection resists treatment--are, like the women, sent to the Center for Disease Control. Unlike the women, though, they are never sacrificed; instead, every effort is made to find a cure. They are often asked to infect women (either volunteers or convicted felons) so that the progress of the disease can be studied in more detail. Once cured, these men are released, but they may be held in quarantine for as long as the infection persists.

Given that STDs can at times produce infertility, in men or women, men who knowingly pass STDs on to others are also often dealt with harshly by the law. A man convicted of this crime is usually required to undergo tests to determine his likelihood of producing male offspring. If he is judged likely to father sons, he is normally treated, given a substantial fine and sometimes a short jail term, then quietly released. Men judged unlikely to or incapable of fathering sons are used as examples. For such a man to be publicly castrated and then forced to accompany the women in public execution is by no means rare.

Sixty years after the Biowar, society had changed dramatically. Executions, slavery, and the slaughter of females for meat were everyday commonplace things, although still often shocking and terrifying for the individual who receives such a sentence, especially if she does not expect it. Society has been restructured in a number of ways in an attempt to reduce this shock and terror, to help the individual woman accept the necessity of her demise. From the time they start pre-school, it is drilled into all female children that there are too many of them, that some must be eliminated, and that to be executed or to be enslaved and slaughtered as meat or leather is an honorable thing, something to be proud of. Little girls are encouraged to watch executions on TV; special classes and camps are held where they play at being executed or slaughtered, and social approval is given to those who die proudly and willingly. From every side girls are encouraged to request their own executions or to sell themselves into slavery, which almost always results in their deaths. Such volunteerism, very rare in the early days of the new social order, has become more common every year.

Rules governing executions, slavery, and anthropophagy vary from country to country, but those applied in the United States are typical:

I) Executions conducted by the state:

A) All females age 10 and above convicted of a crime, no matter how minor--even misdemeanors--are to be executed.
B) Any female age 10 and above may volunteer herself for execution and to do so is considered honorable. Once she has signed papers volunteering herself, she is not permitted to change her mind later.
C) All executions are to be carried out by trained executioners certified by the states, such certification to be determined by the state legislatures.

D) Requests for executions:
1) When a request is made for a particular female's execution, she is taken into custody by the sheriff's department and held in the County Jail or other facility as may be approved by the states until the day of her execution, which is to be set by the local magistrate. Executions are to be held as soon as possible after a request is confirmed.
a) Any female age 10 and above who is taken into custody under a request for execution is to be given an opportunity to sign away her rights to appeal and should be encouraged to do so by the sheriff and/or his representatives, although she cannot be compelled to do so.
b) Females who have signed away their right to appeal a request for execution may be executed at any time.
c) All other females must be held at least 7 days prior to execution to allow time for any appeals. The sheriff's department is directed to allow all possible contacts in terms of filing these appeals.
d) All appeals are to be decided by a circuit court judge, who is directed to keep in mind when making such decisions that the elimination of excess females is a social necessity, and therefore his decisions should favor execution whenever possible.
2) Any female may be executed on a request signed by three or more of her immediate family members other than her descendants. Such requests may be appealed by the female in question. Grounds for appeal are:
a) One or more of the signatories is not an "immediate family member," that is, a sibling, a parent, or any other living ancestor.
b) If the female is married, her husband has the right to quash the request.
c) If the female is engaged or has a "boyfriend" her fiancé or boyfriend may request relief from the court.
d) The female may request relief on her own based on her career and/or social position and/or responsibilities.
3) Parental rights:
a) Either parent can request a daughter's execution without the approval of the other.
b) Parents have the right to request the execution of their unmarried daughters who are under the age of 21. In the case of girls age 10 and above, such executions are automatic. Executions of girls under age 10 can be appealed by the other parent or by an immediate family member.
c) Parents have the right to request the execution of their unmarried daughters age 21 and up. Such requests may be appealed by the female in question.
d) Parents have the right to request the execution of their married daughters. Such requests may be appealed by the female in question, and may be quashed by the female's husband. Note: Females who share a domicile with a man are legally considered to be their "wives," regardless of their actual marital status.
e) No person has the right to request the execution of a parent or other living ancestor.
4) Husbands have the right to demand the execution of their wives. If a woman files for divorce from her husband, his right to demand her execution is suspended on the filing of that document, if and only if she has filed such document prior to the filing of the request. Otherwise, such executions are automatic.

5) Men have the right to request the execution of their "girlfriends."
a) Females who share a domicile with a man are legally considered to be their "wives," regardless of their actual marital status.
b) In the case of females living separately from their "boyfriends," the female in question may demand that the "boyfriend" prove to a court that she is actually his "girlfriend."
E) Families with three or more daughters:
1) The youngest daughter in any one family containing three or more living daughters, and any girls born to that family following the birth of the third, become subject to the lottery upon reaching the age of 13. One third of those eligible for the lottery are selected by random drawings, and those selected are executed. There are no appeals or exceptions.
2) Upon the birth of the fourth daughter in any family with no sons, the father is required to submit to sterilization.
F) Means of execution.
1) The A.R. (attractiveness rating)
a) As the revenues from television and other media do much to offset the cost of public executions, it is incumbent upon the state to establish the A.R., since revenues proceeding from the execution of attractive women will be considerably higher than for those less attractive, and thus a uniform classification scheme is necessitated. Each official municipality in charge of executions shall establish a panel for the determination of an A.R. The legal A.R. classes are as follows:
i: Class A: Females who are judged to be considered "attractive" by any prevailing community standard. Subclasses A, AA, and AAA, where AAA are the most attractive.
ii. Class B: Females of noticeably athletic build and those who are judged to be considered "attractive" by at least some community standards. Subclasses B, BB, and BBB, where BBB are the most attractive.
iii. Class C: Average females. Subclasses C and CC, where CC is considered the more attractive.
iv: Class D: Females who are judged to be considered "unattractive" by any prevailing community standard. No subclasses.
b) Standard state executions for all females of A.R. Class A or Class B are held publicly and televised. Females of A.R. Class C are to be executed en masse by methods to be established by the executing authority, and such executions are also held publicly. Females of A.R. Class D are to be executed in such manner as is most convenient, by the least expensive and/or most efficient method possible.
2) The means of execution for females of A.R. Class A and Class B are at the sole discretion of the sentencing judge, who may order any method of execution he sees fit. The judge is admonished to remember that lottery selections and especially volunteers are to be given special treatment and under normal circumstances should not be subjected to painful and/or protracted deaths unless they themselves request such. In the case of females whose execution has been requested, the person(s) making the request may suggest a means of execution if desired, which must be brought to the judge's attention along with documentation citing reasons for harsh sentences. These may be disregarded by the sentencing judge, however. If a volunteer requests a specific means of execution her request should be granted unless there are overriding factors mitigating against it.

G) Testing for pregnancy
1) All females who are to be executed by the state must be given a pregnancy test prior to execution, and if the test is positive, a gender test must be performed. If the embryo/fetus proves to be female, the execution is to proceed.
2) If the embryo/fetus proves to be male, the execution is halted until after the birth of the child.
a) If the female in question is a convicted criminal, the execution will proceed following the birth of the child.
b) If the female in question is to be executed is a volunteer, she shall be permitted to rescind her volunteer status if she wishes.
c) If the female in question is to be executed by request (see section D above) her execution is to be cancelled and the request denied.
d) If the female in question is a slave (see Section II below) that has come into the possession of the state, she is to be freed.
H) Any female who attempts suicide and fails shall be put to death by the state.
II: Anthropophagy, slavery, and the conversion of a female from free status to slave status:
A) Before any female can be legally killed by any individual or organization other than duly authorized government authority, she must be converted from "free" status to "slave" status. The rules regarding conversion from free status to slave status are, except where otherwise noted below, the same as those involving requests for execution. Enslaved females may be sold by, or legally killed by, their owners at any time as of the moment a certificate of conversion is filed with and certified by the local Clerk of Court.
B) The Clerk of Court will certify the conversion from free status to slave status of any female 10 years old or more upon receipt of her notarized signature or if she signs in the presence of the Clerk.. No exceptions or appeals are permitted. In all other cases all parties with a right to appeal a sale and/or the distribution of monies from any sale are to be notified of the pending sale by 1) postal mail, 2) electronic mail if available, 3) newspaper notification. The selling party is responsible for providing notification information to the Clerk of Court. Failure to provide such information and/or providing false information will void the sale and may subject the proposed seller to criminal charges. If the sale is voided and the female in question has already been killed, the seller may be charged with felony murder, and if the female in question has been sexually used against her will as a result of her slave status the seller may be charged with felony rape.
1) The Clerk of Court shall allow 7 days for appeals to the sale of a female under 10 years old.
2) The Clerk of Court shall allow 14 days for females sold by a parent to show that they are in fact married or for females 21 years of age or more to appeal the sale and/or the distribution of monies from the sale.
3) The Clerk of Court shall allow 14 days for females sold by a husband or "boyfriend" to show that they
a) do not legally qualify as the seller's wife or girlfriend or
b) have filed for divorce prior to the sale or
c) wish to appeal the distribution of monies from the sale.
4) All appeals are to be decided by a circuit court judge, who is directed to keep in mind when making such decisions that the elimination of excess females is a social necessity, and therefore his decisions should favor the seller whenever possible. In cases where there is a question, the submission of an affidavit by the buyer swearing that the female in question is to be killed immediately is to be taken as evidence favoring the sale.
5) Any female is allowed to appeal on the basis of pregnancy, and if tests show that the embryo/fetus she is carrying is male, the sale will be voided.
C) Any female may sell herself into slavery, either to an individual, a corporation, or a slave dealer, at any time. The monies are to be paid to such beneficiaries as she may choose. It is permissible for a female to sell herself into slavery at a future date, in which case she can collect and benefit from the purchase price herself. Any female who does so and does not present herself for enslavement on the agreed-upon date will be deemed to be a felon and is to be considered a fugitive. However, such fugitives, when captured, will not be subject to public execution but will be returned to their legal owner(s).

D) Conversions and sales of relatives:
1) Any female may be converted to slave status and then sold as a slave by any two or more of her immediate family members, by a surviving parent if one of her parents is deceased, by her husband, or by her "boyfriend." Such sales and/or the distribution of the monies from such sales may be appealed by the female in question or by other family members. The rules and determinations, including appeal processes, are the same as they are when such relatives request a female's execution, as noted in section I(D) above.
2) No person who has the right to convert a given female from free status to slave status has the right to make that person his/her slave. Persons who convert females from free status to slave status are required to sell them to an individual, a corporation, or a slave dealer within seven (7) days of the certification of the female’s status as a slave by the Clerk of Court. Failure to do so will result in a) a fine for her owner and b) the enslaved female being taken into state custody and sold at auction. During this time period the female is considered to be the property of the person who converted her but she is not his/her slave. He/she may restrict her movements and may insist that she accompany him/her to a given location such as the offices of a slave dealer, but she cannot be abused, injured, used sexually against her will, or killed by her initial owner. Such abuses may result in her owner being charged with assault, rape, or murder. It should be noted that this applies to her former husband or "boyfriend" as well as to parents and others with conversion rights.
E. Rules governing the rights of slaves.
1) Slaves have no rights whatsoever other than those conferred by their owners and may be killed by those owners or by such persons as said owners may designate at any time and for any reason. On the other hand, a female sold into slavery does not have to be executed. This is entirely at the discretion of her owner.
2) Females sold into slavery may be resold at any time for any reason and according to market price, at the sole discretion of the owner.
3) Freeing slaves:
a. Females may be converted from slave status to free status only after the payment, by her owner and only by her owner, of a fine equal to three times the female's fair market value to the Clerk of Court, such fair market value to be determined by the Clerk of Court.
b. If such fine is paid by the female’s legal owner and she is converted from slave status to free status, she may not be sold into slavery again, nor may a legal request for her execution be made, by any person other than her last owner of record, e.g., the individual or institution who paid the fine to convert her to free status, and then only if the seller is otherwise qualified to sell her into slavery or request her execution; e.g. a parent, a boyfriend, a husband, etc.
4) Discarded slaves: slaves that an owner does not wish to maintain and does not wish to kill or resell may be dropped off at the nearest County Sheriff's office, where they will be taken into custody and executed as soon as feasible.
F. Rules governing the means by which female slaves may be put to death.

As it is in the best interest of society that substantial numbers of females are sold into slavery and subsequently slaughtered, the means of slaughter of those females should not be overly cruel or protracted, as this would discourage volunteerism and the selling of females by relatives and others who are fond of them personally.
1) Institutional execution/slaughter: For the purposes of this subsection, "institutional" shall be accepted to mean any organization or business that slaughters females as a part of their business or ordinary activities. This shall include slaughterhouses, restaurants and other food providers, film studios, producers of stage shows, and others not named here. All organizations engaged in institutional execution/slaughter must employ professional, trained, and certified executioners. All executions and/or slaughters must be done by or under the immediate supervision of these executioners, who is responsible for ensuring that the rules below are adhered to.
a) Accepted means of Institutional Execution/Slaughter (note: all must be accomplished quickly):
i) Painless lethal gas and/or painless lethal injection and/or fast-acting ingestible poisons.
ii) Beheading.
iii) Piercing of the brain or heart with a blade or projectile.
iv) Slitting the throat in such manner that the carotid arteries are opened.
v) Long-drop hanging, in such fashion that the neck is broken. Other methods which result in a broken neck are also acceptable.
vi) Bludgeoning (in such fashion that the skull is crushed).
vii) Rapid exsanguination accomplished by the opening of major arteries.
viii) Methods such as explosives which result in the essentially instantaneous total destruction of the body.
b) Special Slaughter: It is acknowledged that there are occasions in which there will be a desire to slaughter females less than humanely. This may be legally done, but only with the consent of the proposed victim herself. In terms of giving such consent, the female must be informed of what limits are to be set on the tortures she is to be subjected to, and such must be spelled out in writing in the consent agreement (although such agreements may, if all parties agree, be specified as "unlimited."). Consent must be given in writing or in person to an agent of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the Bureau of Prisons (BP). It is to be expected that extra remuneration and/or considerations will be involved in such situations; there are no legal restrictions on these.
c) Enforcement: Federal agents shall be assigned to enforce these regulations as necessary. Special slaughter of a female without consent as outlined in (b) above constitutes homicide. Attempts to coerce a female into consenting to special slaughter against her will also, if such special slaughter is carried out, constitute homicide.
2). Rules governing the slaughterhouses and packing houses/disposal of executed corpses
a) Any establishment registered as a slaughterhouse, a packing house, or a restaurant offering human meats for sale is prohibited from purchasing females from any person or institution other than a registered slave dealer or another such registered institution. Such institutions may however resell slaves either alive or dead without restriction.
b) Females designated for execution by the state may be sold to the public or to the packinghouses after their execution but may not be sold alive.
c) Following executions by the state, the corpses remaining may be bid on equally by the public and by the packinghouses specializing in the human products market. Any that remain may be bid upon by the packinghouses specializing in animal foods and fertilizers. Unclaimed bodies are to be cremated.
3) Means of execution in the case of individual slave ownership.
a) Individually owned slaves may be put to death by their owners in private, at any time, and by any means.
b) Individually owned slaves may not be executed in public, nor may any filmed depictions of their executions be provided to the public, unless the owner purchases from the Clerk of Court a license for a public personal execution exhibition. Under such license, the rules governing the means by which slaves may be put to death by institutions (Section 1) shall apply, and the execution shall be performed by or under the immediate supervision of a certified executioner.
III. Other.
A) All profits acquired from the sales of females are taxable as income.
B) Tax credit for requested executions may be taken by the requesting individual(s), equal to twice the fair market value of the female if sold.
C) No request for execution nor sale of a female into slavery shall be considered final until 1) the female in question signs away her right to appeal, or 2) the clerk of court certifies the sale or request as final because the time for appeal has expired or because a judge has ruled against the appeal. Until that time, the person requesting the execution or offering the female for sale may withdraw his/her request, without penalty.

Although the new laws and policies seemed extreme when first instituted, a wide variety of factors, meshing together, made the system work. Women, by and large, have accepted the idea that they had to die by the tens of thousands to make society work, and the vast majority of them, having been trained their whole lives to believe that they were not special and that there was no reason they should be exempt from the cullings, peacefully accept execution or slaughter when chosen. Particularly in the earlier years of the new social order, the women, since they outnumbered men by such a large margin, more or less filled the roles of politicians, public planners, schoolteachers, law enforcement personnel, and so on. They were, by and large, the ones who had to create an almost suicidal mindset within their own gender, and they were quite successful in doing so, often leading by example.

One of the first of these was Senator Michelle Winston, the second-term Democratic senator from Colorado. Winston was at age 36 one of the younger senators, and was noted not only for her political accomplishments but also for her attractiveness. Married with one young daughter, she was generally considered to have a bright future. One of the leaders in congress in promoting measures designed to eliminate females from the population, she commonly gave speeches aimed at young women, urging them to try to understand that they should not feel, individually, as if they were in some way "special" or should have the privilege of being exempt from the cullings. In her time, these speeches often fell on deaf ears; she was rarely well received at colleges and universities, for example. Although many of the details were not known until later, she arranged for a highly-publicized appearance on CNN's "Hugh King Live," a very popular show at the time. On this show, she again gave her standard speech and discussed her ideas with King, but ended with a surprise announcement that she would not be available for a third term in the senate, and she named another woman as her hand-picked successor. She then, accompanied by King, went backstage, where more cameras were waiting and where a special area, draped by curtains, had been set up; it had also been arranged so that the studio audience could see what was happening. Her husband and daughter were waiting for her there. Her manner was, as it usually was, relaxed but serious, although she laughed easily and readily. Then, to the utter shock of the unwarned audiences, both live and on TV, she very calmly removed all of her clothing. Naked, she knelt down facing the cameras; while her husband and daughter arranged her hair to completely expose her neck, she finally explained that she had come to realize that the best way to drive her point home was to submit to voluntary execution herself. Not just that, she said, but she also felt that her daughter--only eleven at the time--should witness it, so that she would grow up understanding that she, like all other women, should not feel as if the necessity for culling did not apply to her. She then kissed her husband and daughter good-bye, and, as they moved back a Hollywood stuntman, an expert with medieval weapons, appeared from behind the curtains, carrying a large sword. Winston knelt calmly, with her hands on her thighs, smiling warmly at her audience--and held that position while the stuntman drew the sword back for a mighty swing and struck off her head with a single powerful and skillful stroke.

Michelle Winston's sacrifice did not provoke a rush of other female congresswomen to follow her example, although immediately afterwards several well-known actresses and singers drove her point home by submitting to well-publicized voluntary execution as well. These deaths accomplished much in terms of bringing many of Winston's initiatives to law and to general practice. It soon became quite common for women running for political office to declare an intention of committing suicide or volunteering themselves for execution if they lost the election, and they almost always died publicly. In the sports world, a tradition took root that required female athletes to submit to execution upon losing a major contest such as a tournament championship game, often on the floor or field of contest immediately after the game. Contests featuring female gladiators who fought to the death sprang up everywhere and were immediately popular. National pageants of death became fairly frequent events, and nations often informally competed in these for size and spectacle. In Mexico a re-enactment of ancient Aztec sacrifices was held, more than three hundred woman walking to the top of a pyramid to have their chests cut open and their hearts ripped out. In Japan, a full thousand nude women slit open their own bellies in a perfectly choreographed act of seppuku. The British did a mass short-drop hanging, five hundred naked women writhing at the end of a rope. The Germans, not to be outdone, managed to get close to fifty women and girls to agree to be burned alive at the stake in Wurtzburg in a reprise of the Middle Ages witch trials and executions.

In the United States, "reality shows" dominated TV, contests of all sorts in which those women eliminated were killed on-screen, usually live, and often in very colorful ways. Often the killing was a part of the competition, where the last survivor remaining was the winner--"predator chases," where a group of naked female contestants flee from a hungry tiger or other large carnivore which will inevitably select and kill one of them, are typical of these games. French and Italian television was even more popular, both of them specializing in "erotic kills," wherein the female victim was dispatched either during or immediately after having graphic sex with her executioner--or executioners.

In some places the rules were much looser. Brazil, as an example, established a tradition of overtly sexual "Special Beaches"--always clearly marked--where women went at their own peril. These had their rules as well; a woman in a full bathing suit or fully clothed could not be molested. A topless woman could be killed--by anyone--but only with her permission. A nude woman could be killed by anyone, at any time, by any method. To complicate matters, there was an incognito official on such beaches known as "The Joker" who could at any time order any woman to remove her top or her whole suit. Refusal to disrobe when ordered to by The Joker was a felony; any woman who did so was swiftly arrested, condemned, and executed. When the laws establishing the Special Beaches were first enacted there was considerable cynicism about them, it was widely believed that few if any women would ever go to them. As years passed, though, it was remarkable how many attractive young women did go to them, did undress there, and did die there. Although Brazil was the first to set up this tradition, many other tropical countries quickly followed suit; a Special Beach in Northern Australia became a very popular tourist destination. Camera crews often roamed these beaches, filming couples or groups having sex or filming the kills, which were later televised.

In Eastern Europe the Special Beaches existed only in the Greek islands and on Crete, but many parks within the cities were designated as "Impulse Parks." In these, the rules were much the same. Clothed women could stroll these parks safely as long as they weren’t approached by The Joker--a concept borrowed from the Special Beaches--and told to strip. As on the Special Beaches, nude women were fair game. Small gazebos dotted these parks, and these were kept well stocked with guns, knives, garrotes, and swords. Nooses hung from trees with little stools sitting under them, guillotines and blocks with axes standing in them were not hard to find. Signs at the entrances cautioned visitors that "Inhibitions are Forbidden," and a man that officers observed being hesitant to ask a topless woman for her permission or failing to take advantage of a nude girl was subject to arrest and a fine. High school and college girls in the cities commonly visited these parks in groups, challenging themselves to try to survive an hour in the nude--which in practice meant avoiding being seen by males for an hour--and many of those did not survive. Even so, having "done your time" in an Impulse Park was a rite of passage for young girls in most Eastern European cities. Almost invariably, the students freely accepted their fate when they were caught, and such kills were often accompanied by much giggling and squealing. As was the case with the beaches, camera crews were everywhere in these parks, and often acted as "spotters" for men in the park, pointing out the location of enclaves of nude girls trying to avoid notice.

On many of the beaches and in many of the parks a practice known as "snipping" arose. "Snippers" were young men--sometimes mere boys--who would run up to clothed or partially clothed women and attempt to "snip" whatever garments they were wearing, and, ideally, snatch them away. Many became very skillful at this, so that a topless woman could find herself rendered nude quite unexpectedly. This in no sense mitigated her situation; on the Special Beaches and in the Impulse Parks a nude woman is fair game and can be put to death by anyone at any time, regardless of how she became nude. Snipping has everywhere been decreed to be an illegal practice, but only carries a small fine unless the woman is injured by whatever tool the snipper is using or by being knocked down, in which case it is considered assault and the penalties can be much more severe. For this reason snipping is generally a stealth practice, snippers run away from women who resist or try to evade the snipper. In the early days snipping was largely limited to attempts to remove the bottoms from swimsuit-clad women who had already taken off their tops, but more recently many instances have been seen--and recorded on film--of fully dressed women either standing still or strolling slowly, allowing their clothing to be removed item by item by the snippers until none is left. It has been noted that this relieves the woman from making the sometimes-hard decision to remove her clothing and thereby condemn herself by merely taking the chance that snippers will be encountered and not resisting them if they are.

In the countries that made up the former Islamic Alliance, the problems were, initially, severe. In these countries, the lands of the veil, the hijab, and the burqa, there was a long-standing tradition of rather extreme female modesty. This meant that there were no Special Beaches, no Impulse Parks. Executions--in these counties almost invariably by hanging--were often televised but the woman being put to death was normally clad in a loose full-length white shift and was hooded. It was often observed that this was about as interesting as watching someone hang a sack of potatoes, and as a result television ratings were abysmally low. For government officials, the very rich, and former royalty--most of the kings in the Middle East fell as a result of the Biowar--things were different. Gatherings during which girls dressed as harem girls or belly dancers, or even nude, danced and were slain by costumed and scimitar-wielding executioners, were common. But these, while sometimes filmed, were not allowed on television and not made available to the ordinary people. Compared to the rest of the world, the execution rate in the Islamic countries was fairly high, but no tradition of volunteerism was developing at all, and, although mechanisms to request the execution of females were encoded into law, these largely went unused other than by men requesting the execution of a no longer desired wife. Meanwhile, the countries had experienced an even more extreme population boom than the West, as men tried repeatedly to have sons. As in the West the lotteries existed but it wasn’t rare for lottery picks to run away, something that was uncommon in the US and Europe. Since the Biowar had nearly or totally bankrupted many of these countries, even the oil giants, the problems became intense. Even conducting the executions was putting a strain on national budgets.

The first attempts to rectify this situation were Draconian and not well conceived. In many places laws were passed, some of which remain on the books today, permitting men to kill their sisters, wives, or daughters at any time, for any reason, and in any manner without legal consequence. This did result in an increase in the female death rate, but it also caused young women to leave their homes much sooner, often marrying and having children earlier than before, which had the undesired side effect of causing the population to swell even faster. Worse, situations in which daughters had attached themselves to men considered unacceptable to their fathers or brothers were resulting in fights between the women’s lovers and their relatives, often leading to the death of one or more of the men. It wasn’t rare for such fights to result in "family feuds" causing the deaths of numerous men--a disaster for societies trying to cope with shortages of males.

These laws made women effective slaves to their fathers, brothers, or husbands, since displeasing them in any way, no matter how trivial, could easily result in their deaths. Since large numbers of women were being killed in anger, it also resulted in many women being put to death in extremely inhumane ways; stoning and burning at the stake were quite common. The effect of this was that some women fought back, even killing their male relatives. This made them subject to execution by the state, of course, but more than a few were heard to say that they much preferred the gallows to the stake. Runaway wives and daughters became common too, and an industry developed around the art of smuggling such women to the West or into Asia where they were actually statistically more likely to be killed but where more prudent lawmakers had written the laws so that men could not own their relatives as slaves or put them to death themselves.

Things did not change, however, until the ever-increasing shortages of males caused a significant proportion of the governments to become female. As has been the case elsewhere in the world, women seemed more able to directly confront the problem of their own numbers and look for solutions. The first major break came in Egypt, where two-thirds of the parliament and the prime minister were female. Remaining Muslim but operating on a principle that Mohammed had never faced or even conceived of circumstances like these, they repealed the laws giving husbands and brothers the right to kill their female relatives and began considering various schemes to eliminate more of their women and derive revenue from it, which meant exploiting the inherent eroticism of an execution. One of the first ideas was to begin hanging attractive condemned women in scanty costumes or in the nude. This was debated for quite a long time, and while those debates were going on, Islamic fundamentalists, enraged by these radical ideas, began making plans, and an attack on parliament was decided upon. In order to get past the metal detectors at the gates to government buildings, the attackers decided on using short bows and arrows tipped with cut-glass heads, which would not set off the alarms.

Through the efforts of an undercover policeman, parliament learned of these plans well before they were carried out. They did not, however, do anything to interfere with them. On the day of the assault, twenty armed fundamentalists entered the parliamentary chambers. They were amazed to find the women there, expecting them and waiting for them--and all of them stripped nude. In addition, several hundred female demonstrators were there as well, many with their female children, and all of them completely naked. Not only that, but a pile of scimitars were waiting for them as well, ready for use. Cameras had been set up to recorded the event.

The attackers may have been taken aback, but the sight of all these "immodest" women inflamed them even more, and they opened fire with their glass-tipped arrows. The unresisting women began falling quickly as the arrows pierced their bodies. As the arrows began to run out, a number of the demonstrators--mostly young women and teenage girls--ran out close to the pile of scimitars, calling the attackers attention to them. Many of these then knelt with their necks extended, inviting the attackers to behead them--and they were, indeed, beheaded. Others arranged themselves on chairs or tables, face up, their arms and legs dangling. The attackers took these invitations as well, using the scimitars to split open their abdomens. The carnage went on for quite a while before Egyptian security forces were notified and rushed in to kill the attackers. By that time, more than two hundred women and girls lay dead or dying on the floor.

But a corner had been turned. The films that had been made were then marketed in America, Europe, and Asia, earning the Egyptians a profit of several million dollars. One image in particular made this film intensely popular. A very beautiful young girl, later identified as Eirene Halim, of Cairo--a demonstrator--can be seen fairly close to one of the cameras. She is naked, her legs are spread and her hands are high in the air. She has a huge appealing smile on her face as she faces the attackers, and she can be seen yelling at them, apparently inviting them to shoot her. An arrow plunges into her abdomen, but her only response is to laugh. Another arrow strikes her breast and she goes down, but even as she is writhing on the floor she continues to grin widely, and the smile does not fade even as she dies.

Survivors of the massacre, especially women who had been wounded but had survived, received considerable public support for their courage and sacrifice, and popular support for the fundamentalists faded. Under the survivors’ leadership, Egypt then established the "Cleopatra’s Barge" cruise ship service, which continues today. These opulently outfitted barges sail up and down the Nile three times a week. They are manned by crews of, typically, two hundred women, all selected for their appeal and all dressed in ancient Egyptian period costume as shown in the ancient paintings--gauzy gowns or pants, sometimes with their breasts exposed, and sometimes nude. They all wear small pendants around their necks illustrating the methods that can be used to kill them, which they themselves choose. Men, locals and tourists, pay hefty fees for these cruises, where they can have sex with and kill the young women. A normal manifest for a cruise consists of seventy-five to one hundred men, who are not allowed to kill more than one woman in the course of the three-hour tour. The women are well paid for their service, the proceeds going to designated beneficiaries if they are killed and paid to the women themselves if they are not. The men are required to approach the women and asked to be "accepted," and the women can accept them or reject them; however, the third time a woman is approached by a different man she must accept. The pendants, and cards carried by the men, electronically keep track of acceptances and rejections. Once a woman has accepted a man he has a contractual right to have sex with her and kill her according to the specifications on her pendant. Since there are roughly twice as many women on each cruise as there are men, the woman have a fifty percent chance of survival, and large numbers of young women are willing to accept those odds--particularly since those women who have accepted a man are not necessarily killed. There is a well-known instance of an English woman, Cecilia Barrow, who signed on to the barges more than twenty times, and accepted men twelve times before she was finally put to death. Numerous young women from the Cairo area are known to have signed on three or four times, survived, and then retired with a nice "nest egg" of cash. Even so, the barges eliminate, on the average, three hundred women every week and make considerable profit for the Egyptian government. The runaway success of Cleopatra’s Barges quickly inspired other Islamic states bordering the Mediterranean to emulate them, and soon variants of the barges were sailing from major ports in Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Lebanon, and Turkey. It wasn’t long before the Western nations were copying this as well, sailing cruise ships dedicated to female death from a variety of ports in Europe, the United States, and Latin America. On land, a chain of strip clubs in the United States and Canada known as "Goodbars" began using the pendant idea, although in those the woman is simply paid directly for the privilege of having sex with her or killing her. A loophole in the law allows the Goodbars to permit ordinary citizens to act as executioners on their premises. Recently Goodbars have expanded to England, France, Germany, Australia, and Japan.

Even so, males remained significantly in the minority everywhere. In the US and in Western Europe, the rather rigid rules did not change, however, since there was a feeling among lawmakers that a relaxation of the rules might lead to a general lawlessness, or, even worse, create a situation where women began to question and even to resist their destiny. As a result, many of the rules were rather loosely enforced. For example, although it was well known that a man could not put his female slave to death in public without a license and without the supervision of a certified executioner, it happened often enough. It was quite common for men to purchase attractive women from the slave dealers for the express purpose of using them as sexual entertainment and then executing them at a party or other celebration. But, unless complaints were made and unless there was strong evidence that the woman suffered unduly and was not willing, charges were rarely filed.

In those cases where charges were brought, however, justice could be savage. A landmark case of this sort occurred in Florida. James Harker, a senior at Florida State University, purchased a teenage girl for a fraternity party. Without even having been asked to sign a contract for special slaughter, she died in the course of a brutal torture session that lasted for hours and was videotaped for posterity. After complaints were filed and authorities viewed the video, Harker was arrested, tried, and convicted. When tests showed he was incapable of fathering sons, he was given a death sentence and was forced to accompany convicted female felons in public execution.

But such incidents are rare. In recent years, it has not been difficult to find women--especially teenage girls--willing to sign unlimited contracts. The psychology of this has been the subject of several studies, and the general consensus among experts in the area is that women now feel a certain guilt about being female, and agreeing to a painful demise is a way of dealing with that guilt. It also is commonly believed, by men and women alike, that women may experience extreme erotic stimulation in the course of a slow painful death, and certainly it is well-known that many if not most men find that witnessing a woman dying slowly and painfully highly stimulating. It is therefore common enough for women to accept the idea of an unlimited contract in order to provide such stimulation for one or more specific men--or, sometimes, apparently, for men in general. As an example, Maryann Hunter, noted erotic model and actress, conducted a lottery among her fans. By her own plan, the one hundred winners killed her on live TV by stabbing her repeatedly with small two-inch knives, mostly while one or more of them were having sex with her. Hunter was stabbed more than one thousand times before she finally died from exhaustion and blood loss.

Beginning before governments decided to take drastic action to reduce the numbers of females in the population, stresses resulting from the severe imbalance between the genders had a profound effect on sexual mores. With so few men available, women in general developed a tendency to readily accept any man who came their way. Prostitution became legal and continued to be common, but earning money as a prostitute was possible only for exceptionally attractive women. And, while not generally accepted as a goal young girls should aspire to, the profession no longer held the stigma it once did. For a family in financial trouble, contracting an attractive daughter to one of the sex clubs was seen as a viable alternative to selling her into slavery or requesting her execution. Laws concerning sex with children were also revised or repealed, in part in response to a demand that financially desperate families be allowed to contract girls that would have previously been considered underage to the sex clubs rather than having them killed.

To be married almost epitomized success for a woman. Only the best, brightest, and most attractive could even hope for that sort of commitment from a man, given that virtually all men essentially had, from puberty onwards or even before, women literally throwing themselves at them. Marriages, or more informal liaisons, which resulted in the birth of boys were celebrated and the mothers given high honors, even though practically everyone knew that it was the father alone who biologically determined the gender of the child.

Most other marriages did not last long. Wives who were not the mothers of boys--the vast majority of them--understood that they held a privileged position, and, having been trained all their lives not to consider themselves "special," suffered from a pervasive guilt. As a result, most such pairings ended after a few years with the husband requesting, often at his wife's suggestion or even insistence, her sale as a slave or her execution. A common pattern developed, usually when children were in high school but often sooner, of boys accepting a girl as their "girlfriends," staying with them for a semester or a year, selling them into slavery or having them executed, and then moving on the next girl. High school or college girls lucky enough to have a boyfriend found themselves under considerable peer pressure, a pressure which increased with time, to urge the boyfriend to do just this or to outright volunteer for execution. As male companionship was rare and so considered valuable, merely discontinuing the relationship was rarely a viable option for the girl, and most clung steadfast to such a partnership until it resulted in their deaths.

Suicide among women was not terribly common in the early days of the social shift, but has increased steadily since then. At first, women usually committed suicide by ingesting pills, slitting their wrists, or sometimes by hanging. More and more, suicides that are considerably more painful and spectacular, often performed in front of some sort of an audience, have become popular. These shows may be very impromptu, performed in front of family and friends or in a neighborhood venue, or, when undertaken by celebrities, may be performed live on national television.

The new social order has also caused considerable change in the economy. Beyond the business specializing in meat and leather made from female bodies, and beyond the advertising and direct-pay revenues realized by the entertainment industry, a number of new industries have appeared which in various ways make the killing of women easier or more spectacular. A model of the "Jessica 2000," an automatic human impaling and gutting machine first suggested by the cartoonist Dolcett years before the Biowar, was developed and marketed to mixed success. Since beheading was and remains a popular method of execution, a number of automated beheading machines appeared on the market as well. The first of these, and still a significant seller, was called "Head-Off!" This machine even allowed a woman to decapitate herself if she wished. It consisted of two yokes that could be fitted around the woman's neck from any angle, one of which was equipped with a powerful spring-loaded blade. Once the trigger was released, the blade snapped into a slot in the other piece of the yoke, completely severing the woman's head in an instant. When the device was first released, the company offered contracts for attractive young women to demonstrate it for TV commercials, and got several takers. The first of these has become a classic of unintentional humor. The model, a lovely blond with an hourglass figure, dutifully stripped naked and fitted the device around her neck while the cameras rolled. Company representatives stood very close to her, showing her the location of the trigger, and the camera had at that point dollied in for a close view of the device clamped around her neck. She was heard to ask "here?" at which point she unintentionally pulled the trigger. The device did work as advertised, but everyone in the area, and the lens of the camera as well, was showered with her blood. Not only that, but her severed head struck one of the company men in the face, breaking his nose. Subsequent commercials were more successful.

At first, Head-Off! was fairly expensive, but soon enough governments began subsidizing the sales of these devices, making them affordable for anyone who wished to use one. The successes of the Jessica 2000 and Head-Off! spurred other companies to develop their own varieties of killing machines. These have ranged from the very simple--for example, penis-shaped vibrators which contain spring-loaded or motorized rotary blades which can be engaged using a switch at the base and spring-loaded daggers which could be strapped around the body before being triggered--to the very sophisticated, such as the programmable robotic "Studio D." The Studio D consists of a circular platform on which the proposed victim stands, two long steel arms with automatic manacles to restrain her wrists, and two short arms with similar automatic manacles for her ankles. The device can be programmed for a wide variety of actions, actions that are carried out by robotic arms under the control of high-tech biosensors. The company advertises that the Studio D can be used to dispatch women by smothering, fast or slow strangulation, blunt-force trauma to the head, breakage of the neck, asphyxiation by chest compression, infliction of piercing wounds--and these may be programmed to target virtually any part of the body, the speed of blade insertion is completely adjustable, and may be specified as to depth--cutting of any part of the body, impalement, or simple and clean exsanguination accomplished by pumping the blood out through a pierced artery.

Such devices are rarely, however, used by commercial interests, and virtually never by governments. In such areas the human executioner still holds sway, and a number of technical colleges now offer courses designed to allow a man--or, much more rarely, a woman--to become a certified executioner. Although there are no legal barriers to a woman seeking a career as a professional executioner, the fact is that very few do. It has been speculated that this may be due to the fact that a female executioner cannot help but think of herself as "special," something she has been trained all her life not to do.

Still, despite the relative shortage of men worldwide, there is not and never has been a shortage of men willing to act as executioners or butchers. As time goes on, it seems that women and girls are more accepting of their position in society than ever before, willing and even at times eager to give up their lives to help keep some sort of balance. Tens of thousands of females are put to death worldwide every day, but even so, males remain significantly in the minority. Although the threats from the early days, such as the "girl gangs," are completely a thing of the past, there is still much concern about the lack of balance in the human population, and each year new initiatives are put in place to eliminate even more females. Forced abortion of females fetuses, and/or infanticide of females at birth, has been proposed many times, and is used on a limited basis. At first these methods were rejected because they did nothing to help the immediate problem, and now they are rejected because of the damage they would do to economies that are now to an extent dependent on the revenues generated by the food and leather markets and by the entertainment value inherent in the killing of young and attractive women. Unless some means is found of reversing the damage done to the human genome by the Tongu strain--and much research continues to be devoted to this end, although so far without success--there is really no end in sight. As things stand now, this is simply a part of being human.

Results of the Efforts to Balance the Genders, an Analysis

The United States: an example

The US population before the Biowar was about 300 million, 149 million of them males. Initially, before the problems caused by the Tongu strain were fully understood, only 5% of births were males, meaning that, assuming that the population was at zero growth, the expected ratio was soon going to consist of 15 million males and 285 million females. As the effects of the Tongu strain became known, couples were both motivated to and were officially encouraged to try to have boys. Within a few years, the pregnancy rate in the United States had risen 300% and continues at that level today. Most pregnancies are tested for gender as soon as possible, and virtually all conceived males are protected and cultivated. Many female fetuses are aborted by parental choice, and this has raised the number of males to 45 million, balanced against 255 million women. The stated goal of the culling procedure is to balance the population at age 30, and this means that 210 million females must be eliminated before they reach that age. To achieve this, approximately 19,000 women in this pool must be put to death every day. Since serious culling does not begin until girls are at least ten, there are only twenty years left to set a balance, requiring a death rate of 28,800 women/day--a very high number that is not achieved in practice even with all the mechanisms that currently exist.

Nor is it considered particularly desirable that such a number be achieved, since this would lower the population of the US by two-thirds, to about 90 million, a number that most feel would damage the extant US infrastructure and economy. As the years have passed, the population has in fact dropped, from about 300 million to about 220 million.

The death rate from 1) the meat and leather industries, 2) judicial executions, 3) entertainment-related executions, 4) personal/private executions, and 5) suicides reaches, in practice, approximately one-third of this theoretical rate, about 10,000 per day over the twenty-year primary culling period for females, meaning that about 73 million women are eliminated between their tenth and thirtieth birthdays, and leaving the age 30 balance at approximately 45 million males to 175 million females, or 20% males. Beyond the age of 30, volunteerism and virtually all forms of entertainment-related executions drop sharply. Females over 30 are essentially culled only by the judicial executions of criminals and by men who have their wives executed so they can marry younger women, a now-common practice instigated at least as often by the wives as by the husbands. Suicides among older women are common as well. By age 50 the ratio is 42 million males to 151 million females--about 22% males. This is not considered ideal but is viewed as correctable only if the numbers of males can be increased somehow, and this goal remains, so far, elusive.

Not all of these executions, by any means, are "public." Biologists and geneticists constantly warn that selective culling of attractive women--the ones the entertainment industry in all its forms is interested in--would inevitably cause a drop in those characteristics considered to be "attractive" in future generations. No one wants to see this, especially not the entertainment industry; they are quite aware that cutting down all the good trees before they seed results in a rotten forest in the future. Therefore, "unattractive" women are executed quietly, quickly, and in private, or, if they are being slaughtered for the meat and leather industries, in assembly-line fashion following the example of ordinary livestock processing houses. The focus by females in this society on being attractive to the remaining males means that the percentage of those who can be unequivocally called "unattractive" is smaller than it was before the Biowar, but still accounts for a solid 50% of those culled, and thus 50% of all executions and slaughterings are conducted out-of-sight as far as the public is concerned.

The other 50%, the 50% classified as AAA through C, remains the object of intense financial interest by the entertainment industry taken as a whole, from the film industry and the TV networks down to the slave dealer who sells a slave to be killed for someone's personal amusement. From the beginning of the cullings there was intense public interest in the executions, and the TV networks were quick to capitalize on it. It was presumed that such interest would wane as the executions of females became commonplace, but this has not happened. Prior to the Biowar, few men and even fewer women would have admitted an interest in watching or participating in the demise of attractive young females, although even then the popularity of "slasher" films suggested something different. Once an interest in such things became socially acceptable, this changed dramatically. Naturally, interest in such things is considerably higher among males than among females, but a US TV game show featuring the deaths of several female contestants still has little trouble drawing 8 or 9 million viewers, and specials featuring the execution of celebrities can draw three times that many. According to the Neilsen numbers, 50 to 60% of the viewers of such shows are males, but females are not entirely uninterested. The arena-based public executions of criminals, volunteers, requests, and lottery selections still draw large paying crowds; they are a favorite dating venue for teenagers, in part because it is now well understood that for females as well as males, violence and gore are sexually arousing.

As might be expected, in spite of the fact that they are basically subject to execution at any time essentially all the time, most politicians, public servants, businesspeople, etc., etc., are female. In this society males are given preferential treatment in almost every way, but being outnumbered 4 to 1 still means that for the most part, this social order is completely under the control of females. Long ago males were given two votes to a female's one, but females voting as a block can still overwhelm males. Currently, the US president and vice-president are both female, the cabinet is 75% female, Congress is 70% female, six of the nine Supreme Court justices are female, and the US military is 65% female.

From the beginning, though, female politicians and other leaders have always been much more adamant about the need for gender balance than males, and seemingly always more ready to pass laws that will result in female deaths than their male counterparts. It has been suggested on occasion that female lawmakers may be in a sense "getting rid of the competition," but this has been vigorously refuted by those lawmakers themselves, who are quick to point out that, since the beginning of the cullings, a higher percentage of female lawmakers have volunteered themselves for execution than the percentage among the population at large. Again, it is held by some observers that the pervasive sense of guilt about being female is responsible for this phenomenon.

Other observers, however, argue against this interpretation. According to this point of view, females more than males recognize the instincts they themselves have to find mates and reproduce, and they therefore understand more clearly the possibility that too great an imbalance could lead to the virtual extermination of the species--an idea which seems to have merit based on the disasters that were occurring in the early days following the Biowar, when numbers of men died of exhaustion or in some cases were literally torn to pieces by women fighting over their attentions.

No one, man or woman, wants to see things return to the way they were in the days of the girl gangs, and thus for the foreseeable future women and girls will continue to be put to death daily, in large numbers. It is remarkable that such an enormous change in social moirés could have taken place in just a few generations. Today, it is a very rare woman who offers any resistance of any sort when called upon to give up her life for the good of humanity. Even those women who are terrified by the idea of being killed almost never resist. Men do not object, almost ever, to the executions of their wives, girlfriends, sisters, or mothers. In the early days, when the laws were first passed--particularly those laws mandating an invariant death penalty for even very young girls convicted of trivial crimes--predictions were made concerning the rise of an underground or resistance. Nothing of the sort has made an appearance, at least not on a significant scale. An individual woman may be paralyzed with the fear of death, but she arrives to be executed nonetheless. A man may weep over the execution of a beloved daughter but he does not even raise an objection about it.

The species survives.