Ever Corp’s headquarters looked like a huge oblong, slightly more elongated along the western wall, where the plushy sales offices were. Not that any of the Ever bodies would know. Adam had spent most of his life in the other half of an Ever Corp facility; from creche to school to offices.
Debt in the thirties had reached such a point that a man could not reasonably be expected to pay it off within his lifetime. At first laws were passed, such that debts were passed down, like a pair of long-worn out socks, from father to son. Down through the lines.
Imagine turning 18 and finding out you have four generations of debt, interest compounded, just waiting to suck up every last chip on your paycheque each month. All of this put the debt collectors at a bit of disadvantage however if said debtor perished childless. Rear ended by a semi or the classic aneurism at forty; generations of debt, past and future, wiped out in an instant. It wouldn’t do. Adam’s father had died on a motorway, fixing a broken axel because he couldn’t afford a decent repair.
Nowadays you need three things to sign a loan; your name, your ID and your blood. Who, where and what you are. So now, when mister bigspender croaks after stuffing half a kilo of co-mex up his nose, Ever Corp (or one of their subsidiaries) can keep the bloodline going. Adam’s father had never settled down. Never had a kid of his own.
It’s not slavery. Per se. The kid gets a life, or as much of one as Ever Family Services can provide with all the expenses added to the life debt. And when they turn 18, they start paying. Two things in life used to be certain: death and taxes. Alleviate the former and and reap the latter. To the corporate execs it was a landmark, an infinite supply of workers. Never again would a debt go unpaid.
Ever bodies, like Adam, had two numbers in their lives. Their ID and their amount owed. The latter had more numbers than the other. The problem began when the former began to grow. Ever Corp started growing thousands of kids, then millions.
Adam had spent his whole life counting down his number. Ever Corp realised the danger of uncontrolled growth, so found a way to kill two birds with one stone. Well, really it was killing one bird, but you got lots of stones out of it.
The average human body is worth about two million chips. You’ve got the organs, tissue and the like. A healthy set of lungs still beat the best prosthetics for now. Throw in the carbon offset from removing yourself from the atmosphere and Ever Corp will happily write off the last percentage of your debt.
So here Adam stood, the last of his line, signing away the last chip he’d ever have to pay.
Prompt originally posted by NormanTech on reddit and received 18 upvotes.