> Fourteen Threes
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JANE 6:Periodical V

Jane 6 awoke on a cold metal table, her head resting gently in floam. She felt unbelievably full, but incredibly hungry. Three Brock Doctors surrounded her staring into her orafices with magnified tools.

"I am Brock 4, this is Brock 9 and 12. When you aquiesed to the Utiiud's contract with your thumb, we implanted them during your self induced slumber. Most colonies perfer to be implanted sans anesthetic, so we took advantage of your natural unconciousness. You might feel a little full. Their pear sized world is now inhabiting your pear sized uterine organ, and there are 30,000 of them."

"I'm so hungry, " Jane 6 moaned. "I've never felt this aching in my middle ." Every molocule from under her breasts to her intestines clamored for food, even though she was attached to a feeding tube pumping redish brown goo.

Brock 9 leaned close to her face speaking to the other Brocks as if Jane 6 wasn't naked and prone on the cold metal table listening to every word. "The tube needs to be removed. It's the high grade protein slurry, but it isn't enough to fulfill the contract. She'll need fresh flesh, not the reconstituted proteins to survive hosting the Utiiud inside her. They require extensive iron."

"Iron suppliments? " Brock 12 suggested. "We could keep her on the protein drip and add oral pills."

"They paid handsomely for this Host, and we agreed that she would have access to meat in the DieManHeights," Brock 4 scolded. "We have to abide by their wishes or she could unintentionally abort the colony. They're paying monthly for this Host."

"Why don't we just try? If the host aborts, we'll just find another one." Brock 9 pulled his face from between Jane 6 's legs and quickly withdrew a slick metal speculum. "Fresh meat is reserved for the Controllers. It's never been made availiable to a Jane, Kim or Cindy. What if the others find out?"

"None of them know what meat is, so we shouldn't have to worry too much" Brock 12 added. "Plus, Sexers don't have conversations, and Breeders can't escape their catheters. She could talk to other Hosts, but every Host's situation is different. I really don't see this as a problem."

"If she aborts, we lose the host too." Brock 4 whispered, but Jane 6 heard enough to know her life was not their primary concern, or any concern to the Brocks.

How would Jane 6 stop the gnawing inside her? The hunger was growing teeth, scraping the inside of her belly. Brock 4 left the room, returning moments later with a small block of bleeding red that smelled of nothing Jane 6 had ever experienced. She instinctively grabbed at the bloody slab shoving it greedily between her lips. This was way better than Kim 12's water-apple. It was metallic and soft and wonderful. She chewed, swallowed and looked to the Brocks for more. "Easy there Jane 6," Brock 4 admonished, "That was 4000 bitblocks."

Jane 6's eyes widened; she had never heard of that ammount of money. Would she be able to eat this every day? "You'll get that serving once a week. It'll be delivered to your pod in DieManHeights. It's just enough to keep you from aborting the colony. You'll have daily iron tablets that will help, but you're going to crave this stuff, and we can't supply you with more." Brock 4 hardened his voice, "It might be difficult for you to adjust."

Jane 6 would have to wait 7 days for her next chance to chew more of that amazing stuff. It was a new miracle and she wanted more. They gave her a new zippy suit, orange, the color of the hosts. All Jane 6 wanted was to visit Kim 12, but before she could take the tram to "MissShawn", she wanted a nap and perhaps a whole bucket of meat. Kim 12 would have a possible solution to this meat problem; Jane 6 couldn't imagine the horiffic 7 days ahead of her without one.